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This season has been a breakthrough one for the well known husband and wife harness racing training partnership of Jason and Megan Teaz. How much credit should go to Jason is debatable as he spends a good part of his time hundreds of kilometers away in Dunedin as the commentator for the Otago region for the Trackside channel and does a fine job of it to be fair. And Jason does commute on a regular basis. Meanwhile his wife Megan is based at Ohaupo in the Waikato training a small team that has a trotting bias. The stable star to date has been Mingara who won 6 in New Zealand with Megan the pilot for all six wins. With few opportunities in New Zealand at this time of year, her owners recently transferred Mingara to Sydney to take advantage of the good stakes on offer at Menangle Mingara did her part, winning first up last Saturday night for new trainer, Nicole Molander. So the Teazs needed a replacement for their stable star and if the win of King Of Cool last night at Cambridge is any guide, they may have a ready made one to take the step up. Sent out of the gate from seven by Megan, King Of Cool made the lead after 150 meters and then proceeded to turn the race into a procession from that point, cruising home  a very comfortable two and a half length winner. By the outstanding trotting sire Monarchy, King Of Cool is from the smart Sundon mare Cool Kahli who won seven on the track. This was the third win from just 14 starts for King of Cool who has been placed on five occasions as well. The ease of last nights win by King Of Cool must have given the husband and wife team plenty of confidence as they plan his immediate racing future. Harnesslink media  

Bring on the Queensland winter carnival. That was the message following a super night of harness racing at Albion Park last night (Saturday) which boasted a cavalcade of stars. With the winter carnival officially starting on July 5, a great entrée was provided with features including the Gr.2 $50,000 Kevin &Kay Seymour Premiers Cups Final, the Gr.3 $30,000 TattsBet Gold Coast Oaks, the Gr.3 $35,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Finals and the Listed $15,000 Statewide Taxation Services Trotters Marathon. Another highlight was the appearance of Australia’s best three-year-old Bling It On. Staged for the first time at Albion Park, the Premiers Cup Final proved to be a survival of the fittest with Major Moment ($8.20) sprintlaning to beat a gallant Five Card Draw ($21.60) and Alleluia ($1.60 Fav). The 2647m standing start contest was loaded with action from the start with Major Moment leading from his prime draw but the moves soon followed with Alleluia, Slipaslygrin and Five Card Draw all taking off before the mile marker. Alleluia found the lead but gained no peace as Five Card Draw attacked on his outside, Major Moment who gained the perfect trail then used the passing lane to finish best from Five Card Draw and Alleluia. The time of 1;57.0 clearly smashed the track record which was previously held by Devil Dodger. The last mile was run in 1;54.9. It was a case of third time lucky for co-owner and Queensland Harness Racing Board member Greg Mitchell who has been a runner-up the two previous years with Only The Brave and Major Strike. The Gold Coast Oaks was dominated by brilliant filly Nike Franco who toyed with her rivals after working to the lead at the 1500m point of the 2138mcontest. Thereafter, the McArdle filly travelled kindly and was never threatened and scored comfortably defeating consistent fillies Beef City Safari and Freedom Is. The winning milerate was 1;56.2, just outside the race record of 1;56.0 set by Baby Bling in 2011. Recently taken over by Luke and Belinda McCarthy, the filly now heads to the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks on July 12. The QBRED Breeders Classic Final for two-year-old fillies was taken out by Bettor Promise who led throughout to beat race favourite Feel The Faith and Bettorthanspecial. Prepared by Shannon Price and Scott Miller, the regally bred filly was rated perfectly in front by Brad Cowen and rated a career best time of 1;56.8. Bred by her owners, Tony and Katy Price, Bettor Promises ranks as a half-sister to former triple Oaks winner All Promises. In the colts and geldings Final, an inspiring drive from trainer/driver Donny Smith aboard A Good Chance saw him take the prize defeating a game Major Coup and Constantlysideways. Race favourite Mista Natural was crossed quickly at the start and Smith quickly followed through at the start before finding the lead before the end of the first quarter leaving the favourite to race without cover. The Mr Feelgood colt fought strongly in the straight and scored by a half head margin in a time of 1;58.7. Talented former Kiwi trotter Our Overanova maintained his unbeaten Queensland record with an all the way victory in the trotters marathon. The Grant Dixon trained and driven Monarchy gelding proved too strong holding out Goldstar Invasion and Its Three By Two in a time of 2;08.9 for the 3157m event. Our Overanova has won nine straight races and eight in Queensland since being purchased by Greg Mitchell. Boom pacer Bling It On didn’t disappoint his legion of fans with another effortless victory in the Knudsens Betta Home Living Pace. The American Ideal colt blasted home in splits of 27.7 and 27.4 seconds while recording a mile rate of 1;57.7. And the weekly $16,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final was taken out by the Bart Cockburn prepared Miss Real in a time of 1;56.5. For further information regarding the Queensland winter carnival, contact either Racing Queensland or the Albion Park Harness Racing Club. by Chris Barsby

The ever consistent Sheemon nailed his first Group One victory when taking out the $100,000 4YO Ruby at Cambridge today. “I’m just really pleased for the horse and his connections because they really do deserve it,” said driver, Dexter Dunn. “He has been close to winning a few Group Ones before today and he is just a lovely trotter who always gives his best. Dunn said that Sheemon had gone to a new level since heading on his Northern campaign. Sheemon was yet another who overcame a second-line barrier, giving them several lengths on the bend, before unwinding powerfully to win over Doctor Bones and the pacemaking Prime Power. Sheemon, who is a son of Monarchy and handy mare Solar Fire, trotted the mile in 1:57.07. By Mitchell Robertson

With the Harness Jewels nearly upon us, the top twenty in each division are listed as nominations on the Harness Racing New Zealand website. It is from these nominations that the final fields will be selected. We thought an evaluation of the sires represented might be an interesting project so here goes. 2 YR OLD TROT - Surprisingly the sire with the most representatives in this division is the champion sire Sundon with five and this is from just 48 live foals. To all intents and purposes his influence is on the wane but maybe not as much as we think. As you would expect Majestic Son (23 live foals) and Love You (21 live foals) are both well represented with three a piece while Monarchy (74 live foals) and first season sire Bacardi Lindy (25 live foals) both have two. 3 YR OLD TROT - Monarchy and Majestic Son hold a big hand here with four eligible horses each. Of the other sires, four have two eligible with the interesting one being Muscle Mass whose crop of foals that year numbered just five. 4 YR OLD TROT - One sire is completely dominant in this division and that is the Balanced Image sire, Monarchy who has seven eligible including all the favoured runners. Love You with three eligible and Sundon and Monkey Bones with two eligible are the only other sires to have more than one runner nominated. 2 YR OLD FILLIES - Bettors Delight has really stamped his mark on this division with seven horses eligible while Art Major with four and Mach Three with three are the next best. Next in line are Changeover and American Ideal with two each. The ability of Art Major to have four eligible from a 2 yr old crop just 40% the size of that of Bettors Delight is a notable achievement. 3 YR OLD FILLIES - This is undoubtedly the most even division with Art Major, Christian Cullen, Mach Three and American Ideal all having three eligible. The surprise is that noted filly sire Bettors Delight has just two the two eligible fillies while no other sire has more than one. 4 YR OLD MARES - As most would expect, Bettors Delight has the most eligible mares with five while Mach Three was the next best with three. Falcon Seelster and Jeremes Jet both have two eligible while eight other stallions each have one eligible. 2 YR OLD COLTS - There was a real turn up in this division with Art Major being dominant with seven horses eligible trumping Bettors Delight who has four even though the two year crop of Art Major numbers just 87 alongside the 234 of Bettors Delight. Mach Three with two eligible was the only other stallion to have more than one eligible. 3YR OLD COLTS - Three stallions dominated this division with Mach Three with five eligible on top. Art Major with four and Bettors Delight with three were the next best while American Ideal and Badlands Hanover both have two eligible. 4YR OLD COLTS - This division is a Bettors Delight show with the leading sire having a huge eight of the eligible horses. The rest are headed by Mach Three with four, Elsu with three and Christian Cullen with two. Overview TROTTING DIVISIONS - With regards to the trotting divisions it is becoming more apparent by the day that Monarchy, Majestic Son and Love You are in a battle to assume Sundon's crown as the premier trotting stallion. Monarchy has an edge at present due to having more crops on the ground but is under real pressure, especially from Majestic Son. PACING DIVISIONS - Bettors Delight continues to be prominent in all pacing divisions but is not as dominant as he once was. For Art Major to have seven colts and four fillies eligible from a crop of just 85 2yr olds foals is a great result and couple that with Mach Three leading the three year old divisions with five colts and three fillies and the Bettors Delight grip on this series is  loosening. Harnesslink media

Harness racing buyers at this years All Aged sale in Canterbury held the upper hand right from the opening lot. Most of the broodmares for sale had foals at foot by such well-established sires such as Badlands Hanover and McArdle but most failed to even make four figures. Lockerup, the aged dam of champion trotter Sovereignty $678,321 made $5,000 in foal to Monarchy but most struggled to attract interest. Good examples of that lack of interest would be mares such as: Keepalert - A Life Sign half sister to Mach Alert $394,945 with a Changeover filly at foot made a paltry $400 High Tops Hanover - A mare by Western Hanover from a Big Towner half sister to Holmes Hanover with a filly by Tintin in America at foot fetched just $700 Cullen Katching - A striking young  mare by Christian Cullen from a Western Hanover half sister to seven winners including Pacific Flight 1:51 $562,345 and The Unicorn 1:56.7 $488,524, who was not in foal sold for a touch more at $1100. The weanlings were much more in demand. Top price went to the stunning McArdle colt from the 13 win mare Lady Toddy who is already the dam of four in 1;58. He fetched healthy $15,500 which in the context of the sale was a great result for the vendors, Nevele R Stud. Other weanlings to attract interest included *Changeover / Last Port Of Call  colt--$8100 *Monarchy / Lockerup  colt--$6400 * Vintage Master / Joyful Holmes  colt $6200 *Vintage Master / Supreme Classie  colt $4600 *Dali / Tammy Franco  colt $4500 For full results click here. The North Island leg of the All Aged sale will be held at Karaka on May 30th, The day before the Harness Jewels at Cambridge. Harnesslink media

After emphatic wins at Alexandra Park on March 21 and April 4 Sovereignty’s season has come to an abrupt end meaning a third tilt at the prestigious Rowe Cup on May 9 has had to be abandoned. The Sean McCaffrey trained and Charlie (ONZM) & Annette Hunter owned 9-year-old came right into Rowe Cup calculations with three wins and five placings from 12 starts this season, but the plug was pulled last week – just hours before he was expected to line up in the third annual Anzac Cup. Hunter said he was disappointed that Sovereignty would now be spelled for the remainder of the season, but said the welfare of the 2007-2008 Trotter-Of-The-Year always came first. “We discovered a corn in his foot after he trained at Te Awamutu last week. We swam and jogged him on Thursday morning and then on Friday he was lame. “The vet looked at him again and we decided without a race under his belt it would be too big a mission for him to start against the best in a two mile race,” said owner Charlie Hunter. Sovereignty finished 9th in the time honoured event last year when ninth favourite, and in 2011 he was fourth when fifth favourite. The Monarchy gelding would have been vying for his third Group One victory since embarking on his racing career back on September 21, 2007. Hunter said it was a shame that he now won’t be able to claim his second Rowe Cup Jenner gave victory in the great race in 1984. John Langdon drove him that night because Hunter was still recovering from a smash he suffered in the New Zealand Derby. “He will be brought back in the spring and is likely to make a hit-and-run assault on the Dominion Handicap at Addington in November. “In hindsight we stayed down there too long last year. This time I think we will just head down for the big race and then come home. “He’s had a few injuries in his career and we want to look after him during his 10-year-old season,” Hunter said. Meanwhile McCaffrey said there was no point going into a big race like the Rowe Cup “half cooked” and withdrew his nomination today (Thursday May 1). “He’ll go out to the paddock now and will tell us when he’s ready to race again. There’s no way you can bring a horse like this back to a race like the Rowe Cup when he’s not ready. “For that to happen we really needed to start him last week. It’s a shame but it’s the best decision we could make for him,” McCaffrey said. Sovereignty has now banked $780,386 in 94 starts. He’s won 28 races and also placed 34 times. Two of those victories have come in Group One events - the Group One 3yo Northern Trotting Derby in 2008, and the Group One National Trot in 2010. He also won the then Listed 3yo Harness Jewels ruby Final in 2008 and has also placed in several Group One and Two events. He was bred by Roydon Lodge. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

Once a year the square gaiters take pride of place at Mildura as part of the Pacing Cup Carnival and Thursday April 10 was the night this year, with Kiwi bred four year old Monarchy/Sunny Gem gelding Unico Crown scoring a brilliant all of the way victory in the $14,505 Seelite Windows & Doors Mildura Trotters Cup for T5 or better class over 2600 metres. Trained at Lara by Dean Braun and driven by the stable’s number one reinsman Chris Alford, Unico Crown began smoothly from the pole to lead and rated to perfection around the tight circuit, ran out an easy 7.7 metre victor in advance of Sandys Boy which trailed, making no impression in the run home, with Monte specialist Motu Young Jacob a further 2.7 metres back in third place from a 20 metre handicap after racing mid-field in the moving line. With quarters of 31.1, 31.1, 31.2 and 29.9 for the last 1609 metres, Unico Crown returned a mile rate of 2-05.5, well outside Si Capisco’s track record of 2-03.3 set in 2012. Unico Crown has made only one blemish since crossing the Tasman, when unable to handle the tiny Boort track in the Boort Trotting Cup. Earlier in the evening the VSTA Trotters Handicap for T0 to T4 class over 2190 metres was taken out by the Brent Lilley (Bolinda) trained and Lance Justice driven in-form five year old gelding Like It Chilled, a son of Sundon and Rite Effort. Raced by Bruce and Margaret Dalton, Like It Chilled coming from a solo 20 metre backmark settled six back along the markers, with the South Australian visitor Buff Orpington leading out from from the pole before going off stride entering the straight on the first occasion which allowed The Final Cut to take over. Set alight racing for the bell, Like It Chilled was able to stride clear when the leader galloped with a circuit to travel. Travelling easily, Like It Chilled coasted to the wire by 18 metres in a mile rate of 2-08.4 over Candy Digger which was always handy, with Featherfoot Sun another S-A raider third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)  

It was appropriate that Sean Grayling drove his first winner on the Pukekohe grass yesterday. After all he grew up with horses at his father’s Pukekohe stable, and learnt to drive at Counties Kidz Kartz just across the road at the Franklin track. It was also a just reward for the 18-year-old who on October 10 last year broke his wrist in a race-fall at Cambridge Raceway. He was rushed to Waikato Hospital and was out of action until December 29. That was just his sixth race-day drive. He’s now had 19 drives for one win, two seconds and a third. Grayling, last year’s North Island Cadet Rising Star Award winner, won behind the Tony Grayling (Dad) trained Brookby Prince. The Monarchy bay gelding was the sixth favourite and paid $14.90 to win the $5,500 Tony and Anne Parker Trot. He got the 5-year-old away quickly from his 30m handicap and was fifth in the running line early before lobbing into the one-one. They then loomed up three-wide on the turn to win by 1-3/4 lengths from the favourite Handoverdakash and Tony Herlihy (MNZM). Roughie It’s Big Time (Phil Butcher) was 2-3/4 lengths back in third. It was Brookby Prince’s second win from 32 starts. She trotted the 2300m stand in 3:08.1. Mile rate: 2:11.5. Last 800m: 64.4 and final 400m in 32.6. “He was going real strong at the top of the straight. That’s when I thought this could be my first win. It was a great feeling all right,” said Grayling who is sponsored by JGH Chartered Accountants. Grayling dedicated the win to his late mother Anne, who passed away on July 24, 2012. He also thanked his father and employer Barry Purdon for everything he has learnt in the sulky. “I’m sure Mum would have been watching down on me. She encouraged my driving. I really miss her. I also want to thank Dad and Barry. They have been so supportive,” Grayling said. “I’d also like to thank the owners Steve and Karen Dunn for having the faith in me to drive Brookby Prince the whole time,” he added. He said he loved harness racing especially being employed by Hall-Of-Famer, Purdon. “I’ve learnt so much working here. In fact you never stop learning. It’s not hard to see why Barry is a master trainer. He’s a legend. “Zac (Butcher) also works here so I’m working alongside the best people and the best horses,” he said. Grayling was born in Pukekohe and left Pukekohe High School at the end of Year 11 to join the Purdon barn in December 2011. “It was such a great feeling to win. Super in fact! It might have come a lot earlier had I not been out for 10 weeks,” said Grayling who is also a loose forward in rugby, and brilliant cricket fielder and lower order batsman. Grayling said his goal for the remainder of the season was to land a “couple” more winners and then one day to try and one day qualify for the New Zealand Junior Driving Championships, and then ultimately the Australasian Junior Finals. “I’ve got a long way to go yet, but I’m really enjoying what I do. I have wanted to be a harness racing driver for as long as I can remember. I’m leaving my dream,” Grayling said. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

Top trotter King Charlie, who reached the heights of Group One stardom when winning the Northern Derby as a three-year-old, has been retired after finishing eighth at Addington on Sunday. The injury plagued trotter who was sidelined on numerous occasions during his career due to hind suspensory problems, won on 15 occasions during his 70 start career earning stakes in excess of $200,000. The now ten-year-old Monarchy half-brother to NZ Trotting Derby winner Shezoneoftheboyz was purchased out of the barn of Neil Munro as an early three-year-old by Paul and Pauline Renwick for trainer Nigel McGrath, who trained the gelding for the remainder of his career. As well as success in the Northern Derby, King Charlie also finished second in the 4YO Harness Jewels Ruby and the New Zealand Trotting Championship. McGrath said that King Charlie was becoming very hard to place under our handicapping system which is one of the main reasons for his retirement. He will now live out the rest of his days as a riding hack. Meanwhile, McGrath has also retired eight-win pacer Chechnya due to similar circumstances. By Mitchell Robertson

The passing years are not diminishing the brilliance of Chris Lewis, who was at his best at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he drove Sensational Gabby to a stylish victory in the $50,000 Community Newspaper Group Empress Stakes. This gave the 58-year-old maestro a record seventh success in the group 2 feature event for mares, after wins with Candy Macray (1988), Armbro Lucy (1992), Meggie Dear (2001), Classical Mover (2002), Shes Royalty (2007) and Ima Spicey Lombo (2011). It was Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri's third win in an Empress Stakes, after succeeding with Elysees Crest (Morgan Woodley) in 2010 and Ima Spicey Lombo. While Lewis deserves praise for his drive behind Sensational Gabby, Olivieri must be congratulated for curing the West Australian-bred five-year-old's annoying and disruptive habit of overracing badly. "She's just a great mare and Ross has done a great job in settling her down," Lewis said after Sensational Gabby, favourite at 6/4 on, had defeated Famous Alchemist and Kristen Louise. "We needed to get her back a bit (and prevent her from pulling so hard) and Ross has been able to get her to do that in her past few runs. And this has made my job much easier. "She is now on the right road and she's got that sort of speed to be quite competitive in races other than those restricted to mares." Sensational Gabby, bred by her owners Susan Beven, Danny Roberts, Brian Anderson, Barry Sutton and Norm Champion (along with Jay Farrell), was an all-conquering juvenile who won at 21 of her first 23 starts. She failed badly at four starts at Menangle in an Eastern States campaign early last year and when she returned to WA she went into Olivieri's stables. But she pulled hard at her first five starts for her new trainer, in November and December, before he experimented with her gear and eventually cured the problem. Sensational Gabby now boasts a marvellous record of 45 starts for 26 wins, five placings and stakes of $509,505. She is by Yankee Sensation and is the first foal out of the New Zealand-bred mare Lite Jewel. Sensational Gabby started from barrier two on the back line and Lewis was content to let her relax in eighth position in the one-wide line, following Talk About Mach, while polemarker Courage On Fire set the pace and covered the first two quarters of the final mile in 303sec. and 30.6sec. Gary Hall jun. settled 5/2 second fancy Famous Alchemist behind the pacemaker until he eased her off the pegs after 4500m and dashed her forward, three wide, to assume the position outside the leader. Kyle Harper started a three-wide move with Talk About Mach approaching the bell and Lewis followed that run before switching Sensational Gabby four wide passing the 600m mark. Famous Alchemist got to the front with 550m to travel before Sensational Gabby, sprinting fast, surged to the lead 300m from home. Famous Alchemist refused to surrender and fought back determinedly before finish a length behind the winner. Kristen Louise, who trailed the pacemaker for most of the way, finished strongly into third place. The third 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 27.9sec. and the last quarter was run in 29.3sec., with the winner rating 1.59 over the 2536m. PACIFIC WARRIOR ON AN INEVITABLE JOURNEY TO THE TOP "He will go a long way," declared Kade Howson after driving 5/2 favourite Pacific Warrior to an impressive win in the $25,000 final of the Fremantle Gazette Lewis final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was yet another superb performance by the New Zealand-bred six-year-old on his inevitable climb to the top. Pacific Warrior began well from the No. 5 barrier on the front line, but was no match for 50/1 outsider Real Hammer, who began with dazzling speed from the outside (No. 7) barrier and sped to the front after 200m. However, Howson was unruffled and was content to progress forward, three wide for the first 500m, before Pacific Warrior moved into the breeze. After a third 400m section of the final mile in 28.8sec., Pacific Warrior burst to the front on the home turn and beat the fast-finishing 5/1 third favourite Marooned by 2m. Marooned, who raced behind the leader, finished a head in front of 13/2 chance Our Arlington, who was shuffled back on the pegs to ninth at the bell and was badly hampered for room in the home straight before flashing home with an eye-catching burst. Pacific Warrior is trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams and had 27 starts in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings from 27 starts before arriving in Western Australia where his 29 starts have produced 15 wins and eight placings. He now has earned $166,244. He is owned by Oz West Pacing, the Northam Alliance Pacing Syndicate, Bruce Greenwood, Greg Richens, Joseph Lawrence, Reegan Buswell and Ian Gillespie. "Things didn't go our way; we got crossed at the start, but the horse was far too good," Howson said. "Real Hammer is one of the fastest horses in WA and once he crossed us there wasn't much we could do. So we just parked up there and I let him do the rest. "In the moving line he's pretty good and he gets around this track a lot better than he used to. He'll go a long way." PRINCE EDDIE SMASHES WA SPRINT RECORD FOR TROTTERS Clint Hall identified Prince Eddie as a square-gaiter capable of proving a star in Western Australia when the New Zealand-bred gelding won four races in succession at Menangle last winter and a band of West Australians are extremely happy that they decided to buy him. Max Grynberg, Karen Hall, Bill Paterson, Ruth and Tony Thompson, Dave Kahl, Danny Roberts, Susan Beven and Jay Farrell were celebrating their perspicacity at Gloucester Park on Friday night after Prince Eddie had romped to victory in the $30,000 Happy Birthday Alison Ward Discreet Romeo Sprint. The five-year-old Prince Eddie, favourite at 10/9, was driven with supreme confidence by Gary Hall jun. and was not extended in beating 3/1 second fancy Ushaka Bromac by three and a half lengths, rating 1.58.9 which smashed the State 1730m record for trotters, the 1.59.8 recorded by Conquer All last October. Prince Eddie, trained by Gary Hall sen., has improved in leaps and bounds and his first 12 WA starts have produced five wins and four placings to take his career record to 27 starts for ten wins, four placings and $77,260 in stakes. He won only once from eight starts in New Zealand (and was unplaced at the other seven starts) before racing seven times in New South Wales for four wins last June and July. Gary Hall jun. got Prince Eddie away like a flash from the No. 2 barrier and the gelding set a solid pace, followed by polemarker Ushaka Bromac, with Hot Holiday in the breeze and Heez Speedy Gonzalez in the one-out, one-back position. Prince Eddie gave his rivals no chance by sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 29.2sec. and 29.3sec. The Beau Brummell raced three back on the pegs and he finished fast on the inside to be a half-head behind Ushaka Bromac in third place. Prince Eddie is by American stallion Monarchy and is out of Hands And heels, a mare who was retired after only one start, when tenth in a race at Addington in May 2002. However, Hands And Heels has proved a wonderful broodmare, producing talented trotters King Charlie and Shezoneoftheboyz. King Charlie earned $239,256 from 15 wins and 14 placings from 69 starts, while Shezoneoftheboyz won easily at her first five starts as a three-year-old in the 2009-10 season. Her wins included a group 3 feature over 1609m at Ashburton and the $80,000 New Zealand Trotting derby. She then was unplaced at her next four starts before being retired with a record of five wins from nine starts for stakes of $76,624. DAVID HERCULES ENHANCES HIS REPUTATION West Australian-bred seven-year-old David Hercules enhanced his reputation when he sizzled over the final 800m in 55.6sec., after racing without cover, and scored an easy victory in the 2130m Stirling Times Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was his 29th win from 86 starts and boosted his earnings for owners David Botha and Jeneen Johnson to $802,664. David Hercules, favourite at 5/1 on, started from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line and Morgan Woodley did not bustle him and was content to race in the breeze while polemarker Truckers Ruffnut, second fancy at 5/1, set a brisk pace. Woodley began to apply more pressure on the leader at the bell and David Hercules surged to the front 450m from home and went on to win by 5m from Red Salute (11/1), with Passion Stride (50/1) running home gamely to be third, four and a half lengths behind Red Salute. Red Salute enjoyed the perfect passage in the one-out and one-back position (following David Hercules), but did not seriously threaten him in the run down the home straight. David Hercules rated 1.55 which was well outside his track record of 1.53.6 over the 2130m journey. His trainer David Thompson was in Sydney on Friday night before going to Menangle two days later to watch the interdominion championship final, a race in which he dearly wanted David Hercules to contest. Woodley was full of praise for David Hercules, saying: "He's a horse who really loves the fight. He is a tremendous performer. He likes to get up there and get involved and if you get him travelling on the bit he just loves it. He really thrives on that sort of racing. "He has a high cruising speed and tonight we got up there (in the breeze) and tried to make it hard for those around him. Having a good horse liken Red Salute on our back was a concern. I was really pleased when we got past the leader at the 400m mark and expose Red Salute from that point onwards. I think that if Red Salute was able to hold up right on our back until the top of the straight and get one kick, it might have been a different story. "So when I was able to get past the leader and really make Red Salute work from the 400m outside of us I was pretty confident." LORD LOMBO, DOWN IN CLASS, CAUSES AN UPSET Lord Lombo made the most of a recent drop down from an M4 classification to be eligible to contest the M3-only Wanneroo Times Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven patiently by Chris Voak, the seven-year-old caused an upset when he started at 15/1 and charged home to snatch victory from Uppy Son (17/4) and the 2/1 favourite Midnight Dylan. This broke a losing sequence of 13 and ended a run of eight unplaced efforts for Pinjarra trainer Chris King. With polemarker Midnight Dylan setting the pace and Uppy Son in the breeze, Voak was happy to position Lord Lombo in the one-out, one-back position before the gelding unwound a scorching late sprint, coming from sixth (three wide) on the home turn to beat Uppy Son by a neck. Uppy Son had looked the winner when Dean Miller got him to the lead in the final stages. The final 800m was covered in 56.8sec., with the last 400m taking 28sec. Lord Lombo rated 1.56 over the 1730m. This was Lord Lombo's seventh win in WA for his Victorian owners Greg Stubbs and Tony Peacock. He had won eight times in Victoria, twice in South Australia and once in New South Wales before arriving in WA. His record stands at 98 starts for 18 wins, 24 placings and stakes of $160,782. "He was pretty much down in grade tonight and Chris (King) does a good job training his horses over the mile," Voak said. "It was a big effort by Lord Lombo to come from where he was to win." ROWCHESTER CARRIES TOO MANY GUNS IN A TIGHT FINISH New Zealand-bred horse Rowchester warmed up for the $25,000 Manea Classic at Bunbury next Saturday night when he gave a tough staying performance to win the 2130m Happy Birthday Alison Ward Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at 10/9, Rowchester got away smartly from barrier two on the back line and raced without cover for most of the way before winning narrowly from the fast-finishing 4/1 second fancy Robbery, with veteran Rojen Cruz, third favourite at 13/2, flashing home from seventh on the pegs at the bell to be a close third. The heavily-supported Robbery lacked early pace from the No. 1 barrier and settled down three back on the pegs in fifth place while Cool Johnny set the pace from Im Terrific (pegs), Rowchester (breeze) and The Oyster Bar (one-out, one-back). Gary Hall jun. sent Rowchester to the front 250m from home and the horse dug deep to hold out the fast-finishing Robbery by a half-head, rating 1.57.9 after closing sectionals of 28.3sec. and 28.9sec. "There's definitely more than one of him," said Hall. "He can come out here on occasions and sort of nod off a bit and not really concentrate. It's important to get him up there on the speed and get him interested in the game. "We were confident tonight that the breeze would be there when we wanted it, and everything worked out good. He toughed it out really well. He's not the sort of horse you want to go kicking away with He is better racing outside something of having something racing pretty close to him. "They were coming and we had to get going. I thought he was going to hold on easily, but it got quite nerve wracking late." Rowchester, trained by Gary Hall sen., has had 21 starts in WA for six wins and seven placings. He raced five times in New Zealand, winning at his final three starts, as a three-year-old in November-December 2012. He is the fifth foal out of Falcon Seelster mare Satire Franco, who failed to be placed at her 16 starts. HALL SEIZES THE INITIATIVE WITH THE PACING PRIEST Injury-plagued pacer The Pacing Priest gave a sample of his ability at his third appearance after a spell when he scored a narrow win in the 2503m Melville Times Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win gave Gary Hall jun. the first leg of a driving treble and West Swan trainer Ken Kirke considerable satisfaction. Punters groaned at the start of the stand when 5/2 favourite Bobby Teal and 3/1 second fancy Bet Your Life galloped, leaving 7/1 chance Pembrook Henry in front with The Pacing Priest in the breeze. Hall was happy to take the one-out, one-back trail when Justin Prentice dashed forward with Mister Sarkozy in the first lap to move into the breeze. But after a lap had been completed the pace slackened noticeably and Hall seized the initiative by vacating his ideal position and taking up the position outside the leader. Chris Voak (Pembrook Henry) slowed the field almost to a jog with a first quarter of the final mile in 33.5sec. before the next section went by in an ambling 31.1sec. Then the tempo increased with a third quarter in 28.7sec. and a final 400m in a sparkling 27.7sec. The Pacing Priest took a narrow lead in the final stages and won by a nose from Pembrook Henry, with Pacific Black running on soundly to be third after trailing the leader all the way. The winner rated a pedestrian 2.4.1. The Pacing Priest raced seven times in New Zealand (all in stands) for two wins and one placing. He then won at his Australian debut, at Wedderburn in March 2009, before being sent to Perth and entering the stables of Gary Hall sen. His first eight starts for Hall produced three wins and five seconds before he went amiss after finishing eighth behind Bonavista Bay in the Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park in November 2009. Leg problems then prevented The Pacing Priest from racing for 41 months. The gelding resumed with Kirke as his trainer last April and in 15 starts for Kirke he has won three times and been placed on another three occasions. The Pacing Priest, by Pacific Rocket, is the first foal out of unraced Road Machine mare High Road. Now an eight-year-old, he has earned $93,186 from nine wins and ten placings from just 34 starts. "We had The Pacing Priest a long time ago and one thing he wasn't short of was ability," said Hall jun. "Tonight I took off when the speed was so slow and I knew that the breeze was there. I thought we could drive him from the breeze sit-kick style and he was fortunate that we were able to get away with those sectionals. He was good enough to get over the leader." CLIFFORD PROVES TOO STRONG FOR BARKERS HALL New Zealand-bred five-year-old Clifford is proving a wonderfully consistent performer and a great moneyspinner for Bunbury trainer John Graham and he caused a minor upset at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he proved too strong for 5/2 on favourite Barkers Hall in the 2130m Southern Gazette Pace. Starting second fancy at 11/2, Clifford was driven with great confidence by Graham's stable foreman Tom Buchanan. Barkers Hall had no trouble in setting the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier, but Buchanan drove positively, taking Clifford three wide for the first 150m before settling in the breeze. After a third quarter of the final mile in 28.8sec. Barkers Hall looked all set for victory, particularly when Clifford dropped back one and a half lengths behind the pacemaker at the 400m mark. However, Clifford finished strongly to hit the front 100m from the post before beating Barkers Hall by just over a lengths at a 1.58 rate. Buchanan said he was confident that Clifford could beat Barkers Hall, pointing out that Clifford had finished a close second to Barkers Hall's better-credentialled stablemate Rowchester two starts earlier. "I don't think that Barkers Hall is anywhere near the horse that Rowchester is," said Buchanan. "So I knew that if I could get outside the leader and get some nice easy sectionals Clifford would be hard to beat, and he was. Going down the back straight (in the last lap) I thought that Junior (Gary Hall jun., the driver of Barkers Hall) was still travelling pretty well. "It wasn't as though my bloke was struggling; I just gave him a bit of a breather and Barkers Hall went from going all right to struggling round the bend. And Clifford was too good. I think Clifford can go on and get to an M3 mark." Clifford did not race in New Zealand and his 63 starts have produced 16 wins, 15 placings and stakes of $110,675. He is the tenth foal out of Soky's Atom mare Sceptic, who was retired after finishing ninth as a three-year-old at her only start, in Wellington in April 1995. CHANGE OF SHOES HELP ONEHEART TWOFISTS The value of the No. 1 barrier in mobiles at Gloucester Park was further illustrated on Friday night when Oneheart Twofists was heavily supported and started favourite at 10/9 on. At his two previous starts earlier in the month he was sent out at liberal odds --- at 90/1 (when sixth from the back line at Harvey) and at 21/1 (when he led and finished third from barrier two at Pinjarra). Driven by Callan Suvaljko, Oneheart Twofists gave his supporters no cause for concern as he dictated the terms in front and romped to a three-length victory over Senator Whitby in the 1730m Eastern Reporter Westbred Pathway Pace. The easy victory broke a losing sequence of 19, stretching back to March 2012. Millendon trainer and part-owner Graham Bond attributed the seven-year-old gelding's victory to a change of shoeing. "He has been a knee knocker and has had a tendon problem," he said. "But now everything is going well for him. I've been able to get him off his knee by putting steel shoes on, instead of aluminiums. They're galloping plates, no heels, no nothing, just plain level shoes. "He was a knee knocker when he was in the stables of Gary Hall sen. and I was able to buy him as an unraced three-year-old for $5000 from Mark Congerton." Oneheart Twofists, by Courage Under Fire, has earned $34,516 from six wins and six placings from 44 starts. RAZA SHARP LOMBO BREAKS THROUGH AFTER 23-MONTH DROUGHT Eight-year-old Raza Sharp Lombo celebrated his 132nd start by giving a bold frontrunning display to win the Bill Delaney Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of 31, stretching back to a win at Globe Derby Park in April 2012. Raza Sharp Lombo had 116 starts in South Australia for 20 wins and 41 placings before being sent to WA early last year to be prepared by Gary Hall sen. He did not show up for the Hall camp and Brigadoon trainer Wendy Boyd took over his preparation a few months ago. Then after Raza Sharp Lombo had run on from sixth and last at the bell to finish second to Smooth Caesar at Pinjarra on February 3 he left Boyd's establishment to be prepared by Dylan Quadrio. Quadrio drove Raza Sharp Lombo for a sixth at Northam and then an encouraging third (after racing in the breeze) behind Preordained at Gloucester Park last Friday week. On Friday night, in moderate company, Raza Sharp Lombo, now raced by Quadrio's father Shane, was second favourite at 5/2. The Mach Three gelding dashed straight to the front from barrier three, set a solid pace and sprinted over the final 400m in 28.1sec. to win by a half-length from the polemarker and 9/2 chance Wotavugot, who finished strongly after trailing the leader all the way. Tis A Charmer, a 33/1 chance and a nine-year-old mare trained by Boyd and having her 170th start, ran on from eighth and last at the bell to be a distant third. by Ken Casellas  

One of New Zealand’s most promising young trotters again proved just how good he was when winning the feature trot at Alexandra Park tonight – but you can forget about him lining up in the prestigious Rowe Cup in May. “It would be silly to start him as a 4-year-old in an arduous 3200m race like that. He will however start against the open class trotters in the Anzac Cup,” said trainer-driver Todd Mitchell. Prime Power gave his 10 opponents a trotting lesson in the $20,000 Swiss Deli Handicap for the C3 to Open Class trotters. The 4-year-old Monarchy gelding stopped the clock in 3:30.6 with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 58.1 and 28.4. Mile rate: 2:05.5. He had 3-3/4 lengths and three quarters of a length to spare over place-getters Duchess Diedre (Tony Herlihy MNZM) and Sovereignty (Maurice McKendry. Prime Power, who started from the 30m is owned and was bred by Bryan Macey of Homin Hosed New Zealand Cup (1999) fame. He has now had 21 starts for 11 wins and five placings. “After the Anzac Cup We’ll target the Jewels and then next season we will travel a bit with him as a 5-year-old,” Mitchell said. Prime Power is unbeaten in four starts this campaign and his stake earnings now sit at $148,509. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major and Bettors Delight so far and today we have produced an in depth review for Christian Cullen Enjoy the read. BREEDING - By the son of Direct Scooter in "In The Pocket". As a stallion In The Pocket has been nothing short of sensational in New Zealand and is responsible for changing the breed in Australia and New Zealand. – becoming NZ’s Champion Sire in both 1998/99 and 2003/04 as well as being the Leading 2YO Sire five times and twice 3YO Sire of the Year. He is the sire of 3 NZ based millionaires and multiple Harness Horses of the Year. His best performers to date include: Changeover p, 1:54.3 $2,426,765 29 wins – G1 NZ Cup, G1 Len Smith Mile,G1 Taylor Mile, G1 NZ Derby, G1 Northern Derby, G1 3YO ABC Final etc…NZ 3YO Colt Pacer of the Year, NZ 5YO & Older Pacer of the Year. Now at stud, Courage Under Fire p, 1:54.2 $1,485,629 41 wins. UNBEATEN in his FIRST 24 starts. Winner of a World Record 6 Derbies. G1 2YO Sires’ Stks Final, G1 3YO Sires’ Stks Final, G1 NZ Derby, G1 GN Derby, G1 AUS Derby, G1 VIC Derby,G1 QLD Derby, G1 NSW Derby, G1 AUS Pacing championship, G1 QLD Pacing Chsp, G1 SA Cup. NZ 2YO Pacer of the Year, NZ & AUS 3YO Pacer of the Year, NZ 4YO Pacer of the Year. Now successful sire.  And of course Christian Cullen who we will detail more below. Christian Cullen is from a very wayward daughter of Bo Scot Blue Chip in Pleasant Franco. What is really notable about the dams pedigree is that it is so dual gaited with the grand dam of Christian Cullen, a half sister to the great Australian trotter in True Roman  (46 wins) RACE RECORD - Plagued by issues most of his racing career, Christian Cullen was a star from the time he stepped on the track. He was such a great looking colt and with ability to match his looks he quickly became a crowd favorite. While he won four from five at two and five from ten at three, it is his four year old career that he is most remembered for. Twelve from twelve says it all with the two highlights being his outstanding win in the NZ Cup and his demolition of a star studded field by 20 meters in the Miracle Mile. All up he faced the starter just 31 times for 22 Wins and 4 placings for $1,249,150 in stakes. AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Stood one season in North America but as was predicted when it was announced he was very poorly patronized with that single crop numbering just 26 live foals which were three year olds in the season just finished. Of that 26 foals 17 have been winners with the best of them being the smart pair Handsoffmycupcake 1:52.1f ($369,325) and Good Day Mate 1:49.3f ($321,483)  and has an average earnings per starter of $55,000.  He also has sixty-five horses who have raced in North America but were bred in NZ. Of those, 63 have won including the top mare Royal Cee Cee 1:49.3f  ($996,432), King Kat Anvil 1:52.4h ($918,191), Mighty Cullen 1:50.2 ($574,945), Classic Cullen 1:50.4 ($451,660), All Tiger 1:49.1s ($401,238), Lightning Raider 1:52.4 ($403,559) to name just a few.  Eligible to race - 91 Winners - 80 Sub 1:50 - 5 Average earnings per starter - $187,328 Total earnings to date - $16,297,512 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD.- Has a great record in Australia especially with his fillies. Off the ten highest stake earners bred by Christian Cullen in Australia, seven are fillies. He has produced fillies of the class of Make Mine Cullen 1:53 ($874,178), Keppel Bay 1:58.3 ($416,151), Staccato 1:58.2 ($393,216), Nowuseeme 1:57.2 ($287,234), The Archduchess 1:55.2 ($281,319) and Triliner 1:56.2 ($280,196) while his colts are headed by the likes of Catchmecullen 1:51 ($349,552), Secretagent Cullen 1:51.4 ($334,961) and Jukebox Music 1:53.6 ($261,321). Of his twenty six $100,000 winners in Australia, fifteen are fillies or mares. Foals 3yr old and older - 324 Winners - 158 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 48% $100,000 plus - 26 $1,000,000 plus - 0 Average earnings per starter - $48,245 Average earnings per eligible horse - $31,269 Total earnings to date - $10,131,440 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD. - Hard to do justice to it really. Like his father In The Pocket he has helped to changed the breed in NZ. Even though he stood at a fee of $25,000 for some of his career he has still covered large books in NZ due to the sustained success his stock have enjoyed on the track. He has produced so many champion fillies and colts that he truly is a world class sire. His oldest crop are 13yr olds and he had just 46 foals born that year for 25 winners including the following; Born Again Christian 1:51.2 ($133,130), Likmesiah ($427,965), Roman Gladiator ($318,022), V For ($208,777), Chris Riley ($306,732) Conte De Christo ($246,703) Dudinka's Star ($106,580) and C C Mee ($101,949). His 12 yr old crop produced 103 foals for 58 winners including the outstanding group headed by Mainland Banner ($684,579), King Cat Anvil ($918,191), Molly Darling ($575,150), Mighty Cullen ($574,945), Classic Cullen ($451,660), Whambam ($407,299), Kamwood Cully ($159,838), Dudinka's Cullen ($316,386), Chesterton ($136,376) River Waltz ($303,837), Supreme Edition ($386,829), Spiritual King ($204,624), Conte Cenovalli ($204,486) and Cullens Reign ($170,806). There is that many good horses that from here on I only want to mention the names. His 11yr old crop left 34 winners from 59 foals born and still left the very fast Pay Me A Christian ($354,770), Cruzee Lass ($99,544), Cyclone Cully ($399,635), The Midnight Owl ($283,630) and Wilson Jay ($147,267). His 10yr old crop of 136 foals produced 72 winners headed by Gotta Go Cullen ($1,173,343), Fergiemack ($230,653), Spicey ($162,014), Charles Bronson ($127,255), Cullens Blue Jean ($289,056), Chausettes Blanche ($329,250), Jimmy Cowan ($210,631), Aloha Christian ($212,358), CC's Lover ($241,306) and Christian Skipper ($189,176). His 9yr old crop  produced 241 foals for 138 winners headed by Kiwi Ingenuity ($491,821), Lizzie Maguire ($421,479), Ohoka Arizona ($273,498), Absolute Magic ($178,981), Benny Mac ($196,936), All Tiger ($401,238), Tact Lizzie ($128,988), Rakarebel ($309,876) and Roman Conqueror ($355,078). His 8yr old crop total was 204 foals with 109 winners headed by Stunin Cullen ($1,015,257), Lauraella ($649,946), Lightning Raider ($403,559), Rona Lorraine ($133,268), Cullens Crown ($320,215), Carolines Cullen ($333,518) and Mercurio ($223,603). His 7yr old crop produced 145 foals for 86 winners headed by Franco Emirate ($326,830), Royal Cee Cee ($996,432), Meridith Maguire ($226,167), Gotta Go Harmony ($205,909), Harrison Maguire ($103,634) and Supremacy ($107,910). His 6yr old crop of 154 foals has left 90 winners including Easy On The Eye ($315,650), Statesman ($306,632), Hands Christian ($263,930), The Muskeg Express ($111,331), Ohoka Texas ($174,342), Mr Hasani ($270,063), Jarcullembra ($207,410) and Empyrean ($121,302) Miss Moonlite ($184,000) and Rupeeno Cullen ($123,415). His 5yr old crop of 154 foals has produced 73 winners including the brilliant Christen Me ($767,324), Western Cullen ($441,159), O'Baby ($333,026), Chancellor Cullen ($363,752), Field Officer ($183,017) and Raging Bull ($115,581). The 4yr old group has 142 foals for 60 winners and already include Alta Christiano ($241,614), Classiesistar ($197,094), Delightful Christian ($327,321), Franco Nelson ($232,880) and his 3yr old crop of 124 foals he has left the promising Locharburn ($107,908), Libertybelle Midfrew ($100,656) and Allblack Stride ($146,466) to date. Several of his sons are being given an opportunity at stud including Stunin Cullen, Gotta Go Cullen and Gotta Go Collect.  Foals 3yr old and older - 1,431 Winners - 758 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 52% $100,000 plus - 64 $1,000,000 plus - 2 Average earnings per starter - $29,515 Average earnings per eligible horse - $20,625 Total earnings to date - $29,515,298 His broodmares are already firing with his mares already having left the winners of over the  $3,000,000 mark with Highview Tommy and Ohoka Punter their two best performers to date. POSITIVES - He has that ability to leave that exceptional individual year in and year out.Colt or Filly that can dominate as two and three year olds and still go on to race on the Grand Circuit as older horses. Has not only shown that he can compete with the best American stallions available but in most cases has outperformed them and over a long period of time. NEGATIVES -  His major one for most breeders has been his stud fee but at the end of the day that hasn't stopped them breeding to him in large numbers year after year. Otherwise he is just a great stallion with no major issues. OVERVIEW - A "Local" sire who has not only competed with the best North American Stallions but he has consistently outperformed them. His numbers for a stallion based in NZ are truly staggering. World-wide he has left over 1150 winners who have won over $55,000,000 in stakes. He has given the breeding industry in New Zealand the belief in its own product and set the bar for all that follow. OVERALL RATING 9.5 JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  And here is "The forgotten sires series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Wetern Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled  

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three and Western Terror so far and today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding trotting stallion Sundon (In North America called Sondon) Enjoy the read. Sundon was bred in North America by prominent New Zealand breeder Sir Roy McKenzie whose father established the famous Roydon Lodge stud in New Zealand. He was a son of Arndon who was bred by Sir Roy from his good mare Roydon Gal. The dam of Sundon was the B F Coaltown mare in Sungait Song.  Brought to New Zealand with her foal Sundon at foot, this mare has established an outstanding record at stud in New Zealand. Apart from Sundon she has left Sungait Reb (US,1:57.1s), 15 wins 15 seconds and 8 thirds for $178,000 in stakes, Sunning ($95,077), Sunbeam Song ($14,475) and A Touch Of Sun ($37,576). Sunning is the dam of Burano ($105,000) and other daughters have left Roydon Flash ($214,000) and Solar Fire ($214,00) who is the dam of Sheemon ($137,964). RACE RECORD - Bred to North American time, Sundon was giving away six months to his age group competition when he stepped on to the track at two. But that didn't stop him winning 11 straight at that age and he started the same way at three winning 8 of his first 9. He carried on through to Grand Circuit company as a older horse and although he was a bit inconsistent at times, when he put it all together he was nigh unbeatable. All up he faced the starter 60 times for 27 wins and 8 placings on his way to earning $264,000 AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Sundon was known as Sondon in North America. He never stood in North America but he does have 81 horses who have been imported from New Zealand and they have compiled an outstanding record. They are headed by the brilliant Westland Sun 1:52.3s ($729,624) and include such talented horses as Locofoco 1:53.4s ($714,998), Lets Get Serious 1:52.2m ($621,912), Supreme Pat 1:54.3m ($322,891), and Ima Gold Digger 1:55f ($271,289).  As the stats below show his percentages and average earnings are up there with the very best. US statistics Eligible to race - 81 Winners - 76 $100,000+ winners - 34 Sub 1:54 - 4 Average earnings per starter - $119,716 Average earnings per eligible horse - $116,760 Total earnings to date - $9,457,553 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Surprisingly he has only produced 259 live foals in Australia (spread over 16 seasons with his biggest crop totaling just 44 foals) which given his complete dominance of the trotting sires list over nearly twenty years is hard to fathom. Never the less from those foals he has sired such standouts as the outstanding I Didn't Do It ($455,554) along with such smart horses as Donny Bouchea ($326,062), Red Samurai ($230,722), Compressor ($212,303), Right Interest ($202,096) and Aleppo Sunrise ($183,090) to name a few. Australian statistics Foals 3yr old and older - 259 Winners - 107 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 41% $100,000 plus - 16 Average earnings per starter - $37,721 Average earnings per eligible horse - $22,000 Total earnings to date - $5,698,092 BROOD MARE STATS - Already his daughters have produced 47 winners in Australia headed by last years leading two year old in I"m Stately ($182,915) along with Sassy Pinevale ($176,195) and Spidergirl ($139,075) for stakes totaling $1,995,461 to date.    NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - He has completely revolutionized the trotting breed in New Zealand. From his first crop he has stamped himself as a sensational sire and any look at his record in NZ shows how dominant he has been for over 20 years. He has been voted New Zealand 'Stallion Of The Year' four times and he has been the leading trotting sire for many seasons and even managed to top the overall stakes won by all stallions in 2007 which considering the difference in stakes and racing opportunities in New Zealand is truly remarkable. He has left superstars galore with his male offspring headed by the millionaire and champion Sundons Gift ($1,275,264) along with such top performers as Springbank Richard ($651,245), Whatsundermykilt $510,484), Houdini Star ($427,327), Pompallier ($398,138) and Delft $353,910) whilst his females are headed by the brilliant One Under Kenny ($1,060,394) along with such stars as Allegro Agitato ($524,399), Martina H ($391,867), Our Sunny Whiz ($348,781), Some Direction ($307,804) and Escapee ($242,363). His latest star is Master Lavros ($210,868) who is currently the best trotter in NZ. New Zealand statistics Foals 3yr old and older - 1,706 Winners - 670 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 39% $100,000 plus - 54 $1,000,000, plus - 2 Average earnings per starter - $28,622 Average earnings per eligible horse - $14,562 Total earnings to date - $24,844,368 BROOD MARE STATS - Going to be as dominant here as he has been in the siring barn. His mares have already left 278 winners including Vulcan ($858,793), Sovereignty ($716,496), Paramount Gee Gee ($497,100), Habibti ($258,790), Stent ($283,140), Royal Aspirations ($256,149) and Prime Power ($136,759). Stakes won to date are nearing 10 million and he has the opportunity in the next ten years to set benchmarks as a brood mare sire that may never be bettered. POSITIVES - A dominant sire in Australasia for near on 20 years and now doing the same as a brood mare sire. Completely changed the standard of trotting down under and his ability to lift non descript families is legendary. Credit must be given to his owners who have always kept his stud fee very affordable which has allowed the average breeder to access this great sire. NEGATIVES - The word "HOT" and Sundon have always gone together. Gelding was one of the first things you did when acquiring a Sundon colt, hence the absence of any of his star sons at stud. One that may have proved the exception was the speedy Last Sunset 1:55.2 ($312,423) who died prematurely when looking a very promising sire. He sired just 41 foals before his death of which 16 have started for 11 winners to date that have earned $568,198 in stakes to give him an average earnings per starter of a very good $35,512. He only bred the two small crops of 10 and 31. OVERVIEW - Without doubt the greatest trotting sire to have ever stood in Australasia. His  dominance at stud over such a long period has cast a huge shadow over his competition during that period. With over $40,000,000 on his card worldwide and his daughters now leaving the next generation of stars, Sundon has lifted the trotting breed in Australasia to a much higher level than breeders thought possible. A truly great sire and top brood mare sire. OVERALL RATING - 9.5/10 JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three A Stallion review - Western Terror Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  And here is "The forgotten sires series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Wetern Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled    

Former New Zealander Unico Crown was again the victor in Heat Two of the prestigious Tontine Series for Trotters T0 or better class over 2590 metres at Stawell on Monday February 3. A winner of the first round heat at Geelong on January 27, Unico Crown was again eligible to compete due to a paucity of numbers accepting for the race and scored in almost identical fashion. Trained at Lara by Dean Braun and driven by Chris Alford, Unico Crown as he did at Geelong began swiftly from the 10-metre mark to lead and was never headed, defeating Craig Demmler’s smart gelding Glenferrie Typhoon which raced outside him for the majority of the trip when first up since August, going down by 3.6 metres in a rate of 2-08.9, with Will Atone (20 metres) 44.1 metres away in third place after making a mistake hitting the back straight on the final occasion. Unico Crown four year old gelded son of Monarchy and Sunny Gem will now head to the $7,000 Semi-Finals to be conducted at Terang this Sunday, with the $30,000 Final to take place at Ballarat on February 14. Last season’s very smart Yankee Spider/Rockolina gelding Miracle resumed in the Grampians Estate 3-Y-0 Trotters Handicap  over 2175 metres and as expected was untroubled to score. Trained and driven by Bolinda’s Chris Alford for owner Dolores Murphy, Miracle an almost faultless trotter, led throughout from the pole, winning with something in hand over Bacardi Breeze which trailed, moving to the outside on turning to fail by 1.5 metres in a rate of 2-10.8. No Trumps No Glory (three back along the markers last lap was a further 16.5 metres away in third spot. Miracle hadn’t been seen since finishing fourth in The Redwood at Maryborough on July 14. Mingbool (Mount Gambier) trainer/driver David Drury has a terrific strike rate when he crosses the border and landed the Renown Silverware Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres with four year old Blissful Hall/Art For Art Sake gelding Big Gorilla. Driven with aggression from gate two, Big Gorilla led throughout to record a 4.8 metre victory in 1-59.4 over Evil Trickster which raced outside him, with Jerry Marshall (one/one) dropping down to use the sprint lane on straightening to finish third 1.8 metres away. Heywood co-trainers Kevin Brough and Bec East have their team firing on all fours at present and snared the Brian Gunnell Memorial 3-Y-0 Pace over 1780 metres with ever reliable Total Truth/Mama Tembu gelding Always Wantano in a rate of 2-00.8. Starting from the extreme draw, driver Matt Craven sent Always Wantano forward from near last racing for the bell to park outside the pacemaker My Mach Scooter for the final circuit. Gaining the upper hand on straightening, Always Wantano scored by 3.4 metres in advance of Bungalally Boy which trailed the leader easing wide on turning, with My Mach Scooter weakening to finish third a head away. The Kaye Matthews Tribute a C1 class race over 2175 metres named in honour of the late Kaye Matthews an administrator with the club for a number of years, went the way of Long Forest trainer Andy Gath’s most consistent Mach Three/Fingers Crossed four year old mare Lems Cameo. Driven by wife Kate, Lems Cameo (gate four) made an unsuccessful bid for the front running as the mobile gate pulled away, but couldn’t head off Sorority Sister (gate two). Gaining cover shortly after when Cullen Time moved to race in the open, Lems Cameo enjoyed a perfect passage. Easing three wide in the last lap, Lems Cameo sprinted sharply to lead on the home turn, before racing away to record a 12.8 metre victory from Franco Seelster from last off a three wide trail in the final circuit, with Additallup flying home late for third after being shuffled back from three back the markers when Beau Ciel ahead of him was held up for a clear passage. The mile rate 2-02.7. Childers Cove duo Ange and Clare McDowell made a long awaited return to the winners list, when four year old Blissful Hall/Childers Elite gelding Masterofthurles (unplaced in six starts prior) greeted the judge in the Mussett Upholstery Pace for C0 class over 1780 metres. Despite racing without cover from gate three for the entire trip, Masterofthurles outstayed his rivals in defeating Glenway Hustler which led and Rose Devine (one/one) in a rate of 2-01. Great Western’s Michelle Wight was victorious with Armbro Operative/If Iseeyouinheaven five year old mare Shanira in the Pyrenees Smallgoods Pace for C1 class over 1780 metres. Given every opportunity one/one from gate five, Shanira when eased three wide at the straight entrance, finished best to score by a half neck over a death-seating Khaleesi and Tipperary Seelster which led in a rate of 2-01. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

The second annual Australasian Premier Trotting Sale, sponsored by Pryde’s EasiFeed, will be held on Sunday, March 23 at Tabcorp Park Melton, the day following the running of the Group 1 $400,000 Great Southern Star. The sale has attracted 44 nominations – up from 40 last year – and will feature the cream of the crop of Australia's trotting yearlings. And, to give the sale a truly international flavour, 40 percent of the catalogue are out of overseas mares – three USA, 14 NZ and one Europe. Duncan McPherson, a Director of the sales company, said: “The sale represents an opportunity for purchasers to buy at any level of the market. With 18 stallions represented there’s a horse in the sale for every pocket. Never before in Australia has such an offering and variety of yearlings been made available to the Harness industry. “Full credit goes to the vendors of the yearlings who have shown great faith not only in the sale but also in the initiatives taken by Harness Racing Victoria in its efforts to internationalise and globalise the Trotter.” A feature of the sale will be the first Australian crop of former USA superstar and now siring sensation Muscle Hill. He will be represented by two colts, one out of a half-sister to Calder Sensation and to the dam of Blitzthemcalder, and the other from the American-bred Let’s Be Happy, the mother of Vicbred heat winner Verbier. Muscles Yankee, the sire of Muscle Hill, has a single entry, a filly out of the multiple Group 1 winner Adella’s Dash, dam of the SA Trotters Derby winner Glenferrie Dreamer. Muscles Yankee’s highest stakes earning entire son ‘Down Under’, Skyvalley ($322,675), has by far the biggest draft with seven fillies and two colts. The top picks could be the colt out of former top racemare Jauriol, the colt from the sister to Swedish star Yield Boko and fillies out of Aldebaran Dream (Vic. Trotters Oaks) and the Muscles Yankee mare Charming Yankee. Besides Muscles Yankee and his sons, the catalogue boasts stock by established sires such as Angus Hall, Majestic Son, Pegasus Spur, Monarchy and Conch Deville and the exciting newcomers Bacardi Lindy, Federal Flex, Great Success, Lawman, Armbro Variable, The Pres, Bad Boy Truscott, Tennotrump, Aldebaran Yankee and Zooma. Angus Hall, one of America’s most successful sires of all-time, has four nominations including a gelding from the 1:57 $150,000 winning Muscles Yankee mare Lindy’s Two Step, two colts out of mares from the wonderful Maori Miss tribe and a colt from the classics-winning Pinevale Ellason. Another sire with a strong representation at the sale is Majestic Son, last year’s leading sire of two-year-old trotters. His five entries include a half-brother to the Vicbred champion Split Image, a colt out of a half-sister to Skyvalley and Allegro Agitato, a half-brother to the Derby placegetter Our Dreamlover and a filly out of a half-sister to the cup class trotter Danny Cash. While Pegasus Spur, the sire of three Breeders Crown champions, has fillies out of Shez Allrighty ($85,431), Kyvalley Bling (family of Kyvalley Road) and the Muscles Yankee mare Aldebaran Honey and a colt out of Maori Sunshine (Lightfoot Laurels). Other well performed racemares with progeny in the sale include the Trotters Oaks winner Running Pinevale, Speedy Naomi ($77,316), Aldebaran Maori ($74,581), Cloud Chaser (VSTA Cup), Poppy, Strike Destroyer, Enjoy A Champers and the Breeders Crown placegetter Pocket Fantasy. There’s a sister to the dual Vicbred champion Brunelleschi and close relatives to a swag of Group and Cup winning trotters including Galleon’s Assassin, Merinai, Spidergirl, Danny Bouchea, Stoned I Am, National Interest, My Missindependent, Jazz Legend and Tucumcari. All prospective purchasers should note that the $7,000 Vicbred First Win bonus is applicable to Vicbred eligible horses as is Breeders Crown and Need For Speed Series. All purchasers are encouraged to become members of the Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club as owners bonuses are available to all those horses owned by members in selected events during their racing careers. The online catalogue for the Australasian Premier Trotting sale can be viewed at www.austrottingsale.com.au Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Harness Racing Victoria on phone 8378 0200 in early February. by Peter Wharton

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire and Mach Three so far and today we have produced an in depth review for Western Terror. Enjoy the read. BREEDING - A real blue blood which ever way you look at it. By the champion sire in Western Hanover, he is from the good Artsplace race mare in Arterra 1:53.2 ($161,976). She is a full sister to the outstanding racehorse and now sire in Artiscape 1:49.3z ($1,469,461) and Strike A Balance 1:55.4 ($121,428) dam of the outstanding Strike An Attitude 1:48.4 ($1,008,898). Apart from Western Terror, Anterra has also produced the brilliant If I Can Dream 1:49.4 ($2,038,153). The grand dam is none other than the brilliant race mare (41 wins) and broodmare in Delinquent Account 1:51.4 ($1,038,997).   RACE RECORD - Western Terror faced the starter just 34 times in his career for the creditable record of 10 wins and 12 placings for stake earnings of $1,289,422. As a 2yo he only had two wins from ten starts and a best winning time of a rather pedestrian 1:54.2, but he went supersonic at three, taking a mark of 1:48.3. He took a few starts as a 3yo before hitting form for trainer Scott Forbes. In his fourth start as a 3yo and in the first division of the North American Cup Western Terror  won in 1:51 beating a New Zealand import in Village Hero N. He finished fourth in the final to Mantacular ($1,318,096). He was then transferred to the Brett Pelling stable and it took him another six starts before he won another race and that was a dead-heat (with Timesareachanging) in the Cane Pace final at Freehold in 1:52.3. It should be noted that the worlds fastest horse Holborn Hanover 1:46.4 ($2,164,802) finished fourth, some distance behind Western Terror in this race the Cane Pace Final. He then went on to win a heat of The Little Brown Jug (Second in the final), The Bluegrass stakes and then he took his record of 1:48.3 in The Tattersalls at The Red Mile (In that race Western Terror once again beat Holborn Hanover). He then went on to win The Breeders Crown Final and The Windy City Pace. He retired at the end of his 3yo career.  AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Due in large part to the massive support he received from his now infamous owner David Brooks when he went to stud, Western Terror served big books of mares starting in the 2005 season in Ontario, Canada with 190 mares served. He then stood another year in Canada serving 158 mares. In 2007 Western Terror was moved to New York to stand where he served his smallest ever book of 106 mares (Still a good number) before moving again to Pennsylvania where he has served books of 140, 248, 188, 145, and 152 in 2012. With these numbers served he was given the best start any stallion could have possibly have had. It paid off as he got the desired results. What immediately stands out when looking at his stud record is what a great filly sire he has been. His five top earners are millionaires and are all fillies. Interestingly all have won more than their sire did on the track. They are headed by the brilliant Western Silk 1:50.1s (($1,729,708), Economy Terror 1:49 ($1,589,139), Shacked Up 1:49.4 ($1,466,978), Yellow Diamond 1:49.4 ($1,387,013) and Drop The Ball 1:48.2 ($1,309,174). His best colt to date is his other millionaire in Up the Credit 1:48.3 ($1,293,408) winner of the North American Cup. Up The Credit is being given his chance at stud. US statistics Eligible to race 3yr old and older - 679 Winners - 396 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 58% $100,000 plus - 103 $1,000,000 plus - 6 Sub 1:50 - 18 Average earnings per starter - $82,710 Average earnings per eligible horse - $54,047 Total earnings to date - $42,264,737 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Was available to Australian breeders for just three years starting in the 2006/2007 season producing just 53, 67 and 62 foals (182) for Alabar. He was brought back to Australia for the current season by Empire. It will be interesting to see what numbers he serves this year. His first three crops are now 5, 6 and 7yos in Australia. In his first crop he left Lovable Larrikin 1:53.7 ($141,468) and Terrifying 1:55.3 ($129,067). His second crop produced the good fillies Vertigal 1:55.8 ($317,380) and Arch On Fire 1:56.6 ($130,532). He also left One Eyed Terror 1:56.3 ($148,689), Lightning Joy ($128,875) and Blazing Terror 1:56.5 ($122,119). His 2008 crop produced Terror Time 1:55.1 ($221,760) and Western Rockstar 1:57.3 ($119,385). Australian statistics Foals 3yr old and older -  182 Winners - 89 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 48% $100,000 plus - 9 $1,000,000 plus -  0 Average earnings per starter - $35,359 Average earnings per eligible horse - $22,731 Total earnings to date - $4,137,060 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - Was also only available to NZ breeders for the same three years as in Australia. In that time he produced 169 live foals in New Zealand for 73 winners with the standout being the champion entire Terror To Love 1:51 ($1,970,936) who in November became only the third horse in history to win three New Zealand Cups in a row. However he is the only one of those 169 foals to win over $100,000 in New Zealand with his next biggest earners being Chechnya at $53,000 and Corzin Terror at $35,000. (NOTE: When you take the stake earnings of Terror To Love $1,970,936 off his stakes earned in NZ it leaves a total of just $514,056 earned by his other 168 foals an average of just $3,059)). One has to take into consideration that he produced two horses in New Zealand that were big winners in Australia and they are the Miracle Mlle winner and tremendous mare Baby Bling 1:50.5 ($801,178) and good open class horse Terrorway 1:52.6 ($385,709). New Zealand statistics 3yr old and older - 169 Starters - 88 Winners - 73 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 43% $100,000 plus - 1 (8 in Australia)  $1,000,000 plus - 1 Average earnings per starter - $28,238 Average earnings per eligible horse - $14,704 Total earnings to date - $2,484,992 POSITIVES - A proven filly sire who has left a top filly or mare in Canada, the US and in New Zealand (racing in Australia). He has left several horses who have won more than he did on the track which is always desirable in a sire. Can leave that exceptional horse which can dominate his rivals on the track. NEGATIVES  - If you don't get the exceptional one which 99% of breeders don't you are left in the main with an average performer. He has a creditable North American record but his Australasian record is not so hot. In North American he is still behind on just about every indicator when compared against the likes of Bettors Delight, Art Major, and company. OVERVIEW - The stud stats in the two hemispheres are like chalk and cheese. While he has a creditable but not exceptional record in North America, his Australasian stats are way short of the necessary standard required to be a genuine top stallion for Australasian breeders. With the standard of stallions available increasing every season, Western Terror may already be past his use by date for most Breeders. OVERALL RATING  5/10 JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  And here is "The forgotten sires series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Wetern Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled    

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