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United States and Canadian Hall of Fame member, the former PR Director of Hanover Shoe Farms, and veteran journalist, Murray Brown, speaks his mind and 'tells it all' during his captivating interview on the Harness Racing Alumni Show. This weeks show brought to you by Joe Ricco Century 21 Long Island To hear the broadcast, click here. From Freddie Hudson  

The best may be yet to come for Please Shuddup who made it win number nine this season for the Tricode Racing Syndicate when taking out the Collingwood Foodcentre Pace at Ascot Park on Saturday afternoon. After a quick calculation, Syndicate head Peter Kett advised that the tally was made up by one galloping win, five at the dogs and three from Please Shuddup. The four-year-old has won five from 19 for Invercargill trainer Murray Brown who says the gelding is continuing to improve, especially in the weight department. “He should be even better next year,” he said. Before that though, Brown has a couple of good options in mind for the son of Auckland Reactor who holds a high rating on the Southland Country Cup points table. The Winton Cup will be staged over 2400 metres in a fortnight and another two weeks on the final of the series will be a double points race over 2700 metres back at Ascot Park on Diamonds Day. Please Shuddup is a half brother to Soapbox who also raced for the Tricode Syndicate and in August 2017 provided Brown with a milestone 33 years in the making. With her win at Gore, Brown became just the second-ever trainer to prepare the winners of 500 races from a Southland base. The Syndicate had received both Soapbox and Please Shuddup from Brian West and when Soapbox scored that win, Please Shuddup was due to have his first workout. “I like him,” Brown said at the time. In addition to Please Shuddup's contribution of five, Soapbox (three) and Just Wish are the other Brown winners for the syndicate. A couple of races earlier, Brown produced Triple V C to win the Final Touch Dominion Electric Pace. The five-year-old trailled the leader throughout and went clear in the straight. “He was due the win, he's been unlucky but got the perfect run today.” The race was held in glorious sunny and warm conditions, a far cry from the heavy fog which had enveloped Invercargill for much of the morning. A result of the fog was closure of the airport, leaving John Morrison, Sheree Tomlinson and Nathan Williamson unable to make Invercargill to fulfill their driving engagements. Morrison (39 wins) and Tomlinson (37), sit first and second on the junior drivers premiership. One of Tomlinson's drives was to be Please Shuddup which was taken by Brad Williamson. Nathan Williamson was the other to miss out on a win when the Matt Saunders-trained She's Outstanding took the Autosure Mobile Pace in the hands of Shane Walkinshaw. “Nathan rang me here (on course) about 10 to say he was back in Christchurch,” said Saunders whose mode of operation is to seek out modestly priced horses capable of winning a race or races. She's Outstanding was previously with Robbie Rowland of Yaldhurst. “Justin Le Lievre found him, he pretty much made me buy it. I like to get ones that can win a race without overspending,” he said. Saunders operates the Four Square store in Tapanui and trains at the long-time 'retired' race course in the town. “She didn't show much in work but I took her to the Gore trials 10 days ago, Nathan drove her and she won. I got confidence from that. I'll give her a shot at the next level up, she should improve from the win.” Both Tomlinson and Morrison had drives in the Stirling Auto Repairs & Clean-Biz Trot for Junior drivers which opened the card. To ensure the horses concerned didn't have to be scratched, local trial licence holders Tristan Larsen - who works for his father Kirk - and James Forbes - who works for Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis - were considered for an upgrade for the race. The stipes, connections and JCA all agreed with the arrangement. The pair got their first raceday drives and spent much of the event in the two foremost places. Forbes on the Williamson-trained Our Foxy Lady led from the 1800, only to be cut back in the straight to finish a close up third. Larsen drove the Matt Anderson-trained Spurred By Success, sat fifth early, was left parked at the 1800 but beaten in the back straight the last time. “Tyler Dewe rang me about 11 o' clock and told me to get down here,” Forbes said, “we had every chance, I'm looking forward to my next go.” “The stipes rang about 9:30,” Larsen said, “it was a good experience, we just battled at the end.” Victory went to Dewe's drive Horse Of Course, the Williamson-trained favourite who trailed his stablemate for most of race. A fortnight ago, Dewe had driven The Commando to be Williamson's 599th training success. Horse Of Course was number 602. “Brad got 600 on Majestic Man,” said Dewe, “It was good to get the win because I had the pick of the drives. He works like a good horse, doesn't always do it on raceday but I'd happily drive him again.”   Mac Henry for Southland Harness Racing

In 2016 the publisher of Roosevelt Raceway Where It All Began, Meadow Skipper The Untold Story, Murray Brown Book Full and Closed, and Rose Runners the Chronicles of the Kentucky Derby Winners, closed their doors and went out business. Due to their business practices on May 4, 2017 this publisher was arrested for multiple felonies and on December 18, 2018 they plea-bargained and plead guilty to 38 felonies. There was a record of over 2,200 criminal complaints filed against them with the Oklahoma State Attorney Generals office. During this time the above mentioned books were all in limbo, still showing on Amazon but all out of print. With the combined efforts of Bob Marks, Vicki Howard, Murray Brown, Billy Haughton and Freddie Hudson the books were able to be republished through Freddie Hudson's Amazon Author account. The newly republished books (Murray Brown, Roosevelt Raceway and Meadow Skipper) have all made it to Amazons best sellers list in the category of Horse Racing. We expect Rose Runners to be on that list shorty, it;s release date was today. All of the books can be viewed and redirected to their Amazon pages at the link below. https://rrtrotting.com/books   From the United States Harness Racing Alumni Association

For the second consecutive year and third time in its history, harness racing horses bred by Hanover Shoe Farms have earned over thirty million dollars. Last year Hanover Shoe Farms set an ALL EQUINE BREED RECORD with earnings of $31,451,117. With more than one month remaining on the calendar, it is possible that last year's record will be eclipsed. Jim Simpson Hanover's President and CEO said: "We are extremely pleased and proud of this unique accomplishment. If there is one thing I've learned in this business, it is that we cannot rest on our laurels. We plan to keep breeding and raising the very best horses we possibly can. Thank you to our customers and staff who have made these accomplishments possible. Murray Brown

Invercargill harness racing trainer Murray Brown is proud of the performance of Southland three year old Mighty Flying Art in the Group One Sires Stakes Finals at Addington a week ago. Although originally on the ballot for the $166,660 feature he managed to get back in the field because of a scratching.  “Those front three got away. He had the third fastest last half and last quarter. How many horses go 1-52 (mile rate) at their sixth start,” said Brown. Ultimate Sniper’s winning time for the 1980 metres was 2-19.0 a new New Zealand record. Brown says his phone’s been running hot but the horse is not on the market. “Yeah they’re going mad. Brent (owner Brent Ballantyne) bought him to race him. He said “what I am going to do next Friday if he’s sold.” And Brown predicts the best is ahead for Mighty Flying Art. “He’s never really had a hard run because of his draws. Up here he just followed them round. Brent Barclay (driver) has been looking after him. After his run (Sires Stakes Final) we took him home and he licked his bowl clean.” He says his next target is the $20,000 Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting on Saturday 9thMarch. The colt was bought by Brown for $50,000 at the Sale of the Stars. He had two starts at two, running fourth behind Another Masterpiece on debut before finishing sixth in last season’s Kindergarten Stakes behind War Dan Delight. He won his first start as a three year old at Winton in late September before running a close second behind Memphis Tennessee a month later. His next start was at Addington in the last Sires Stakes Heat in which he locked wheels in the straight and finished an unlucky seventh. Ballantyne also owns Mighty Flying Art’s half-brother Mightyflying Macatak which he bought for $55,000 at the sales. He’s by Mach Three and is a two year old. “We went back and bought his half-brother. He bowls round alright but we won’t know how good he is until after Christmas. With the Mach Three’s you just have to be a bit careful because you can fire them up a bit.”   Meanwhile other “Super” finals will be held for the Ladyship Fillies and Mares series at the Invercargill meeting on the 6th April and the Gold Chip for trotters at the Winton meeting on 13th April. All finals are worth $20,000.   Bruce Stewart

Invercargill Jeweller Kevin Schuck can thank a handful of slow gallopers for his switch to Standardbreds and hence his love of the straight out trotter. Schuck was born in Dunedin and has a mix of European blood running through his veins. His grandfather was born in Austria and he also has German and Dutch ancestry. Maybe this explains his love of trotters. His father Bill, was in the New Zealand Police force for over twenty years and the family moved to Invercargill when Kevin was about eight months old. He attended St Patricks Primary School before heading to Marist Primary and then on to Marist College. At the age of thirteen his father got him an after school job with local jeweller Russell Coats and Kevin has been in that industry ever since, even though he initially didn’t have an interest in jewellery. “Dad had a real interest in antiques, trying to make the odd dollar here and there, wheeling and dealing. I really wanted to have something to do with wildlife like being a wild life ranger. But after a few years working for Russ I thought ‘I can do this.’ Coats and Schuck eventually became partners in the jewellery business and also in a host of other ventures over the years. “We’ve had a go at a few things. Coatsy and I had a go at farming possums – that failed dismally. I’ve had goats and reared calves.” As an twenty year old Kevin Schuck bought fifteen acres at Longbush just outside of Invercargill and that lead to his involvement with horses. “I had some money put aside to put in some drainage tiles. I didn’t know the front end from the back end of a horse. Russ said ‘would you like to make a bit of money’ so we put $600 ($300 each) for a place on a galloper. It was the first bet I ever had. It paid $2.40. For the next week and a half I didn’t leave the Northern TAB thinking this was an easy lark. I was just betting on their names and form. After a week and a half I‘d earned $600 to $700 but after that, it all went pear shaped and has been ever since. ”   Kevin also worked in The Gold Room on the West Coast for seven months in the late 1980s and one horse he vividly remembers at the time was Besta Kara which won three races for Bill Cummings and a further six for Doody and Kevin Townley. The Gold Room was owned by Rhett Robinson who owned a mine in the area and turned gold nuggets into jewellery. “After I left he got into breeding in a big way.” Robinson and his daugther Fiona bred Village Green under the Aird-righ Bloodstock Limited banner. She was by Tuapeka Knight out of Totara Road and won three races. They also bred from Village Green with her best foal being Indy Village which was by In The Pocket and won seven races when trained by Robbie Holmes. The first horse Kevin owned was a galloper called Mr Jay Jay (Palatable – Miss Jumbo Jet) which was trained by Longbush trainer Kelly Thompson. Mr Jay Jay had three starts for an 8th, 6th and 15th before breaking a leg at the trials. One of his next ventures in the galloping game was through his brother Stephen who had a bit to do with local trainer Cecil Beckett (trainer of Wellington Cup winner Ed). “I ended up buying Ravensdale off Cecil. Dad and I went halves in her and we bred a couple of Codeenes. We also bred a colt called Fast Forward which Cecil wanted to buy but Dad and I hung onto it. I ended up swapping a car for Dad’s share. I gave him a Mitsubishi Tredia Turbo for his half. He drove the car for about 15 kilometres before the turbo blew up. He was very sour about that and probably still is.”    Ravensdale was by Grey Gull out of Game Girl.  Fast Forward won once, at Gore in October 1994. Trained by Lenny Casey who shared in his ownership he was sold to Macau for $25,000. “To be fair galloping was not my go. In general if you want to get to the top in galloping you have to go to the top sires which cost more. That’s why I got into trotting.” Thus Schuck switched gaits. His first Standardbred winner was pacer Barbed Wire; a Majestic Chance gelding out of Lively Air which ended up winning four races from Murray Brown’s stable. The horse’s first win was at a Southland OTB trial in December 1991 when driven by junior driver Richard Stevens. Kevin’s interest in trotters started to develop. “Because there’s less of them you’ve got a better chance of getting a winner. The game has changed now, they’re going that quick. Going back twenty years you just needed something that could just trot all the way and if it stayed down you’d generally get a cheque. That’s changed and they’ve got to have speed now. That’s the French and American influence coming through.”    The first trotter he raced was Dean’s Pride which was bred by John Lischner who initially trained the Game Pride gelding. His only win in twenty five starts was for Murray Brown at Forbury in January 1991 driven by Henry Skinner. “I remember Wattie Muir walking past and saying to Russ and I ‘there we are boys you’ve had your win.’ Schuck said he and Coats didn’t understand what he meant. However he now says “I saw what he meant. It was his only win. It’s not that easy this game.” Schuck also raced Sundon trotter Don Pauli which won two races for Brian Norman after stints with Kevin Townley and Alan Paisley. Don Pauli also raced in America trotting a mile in 1-55.2 and winning another eight races there. Schuck also raced Don Pauli’s full brother Son Of Elgin and half-brother Leonard. Leonard, a Chiola Hanover gelding and the second foal of Elgin Princess, was initially trained by Townley but won his four races for Paisley who shared in the ownership with Schuck and JF Smith. He was exported to Australia and won another four races there. Elgin Princess the winner of six races was out of Elgin Lady which won five. This family goes back to Desmond’s Pride mare Bettagain whose best two foals were Cee Ar (11 wins) and Tronso (10 wins). Tronso is the second dam of Elgin Princess. Cee Ar, trained by Roderick DeFilippi, raced in the mid to late 1970s when there were a host of very good trotters including Easton Light, Waipounamu, Screws Loose, Bachelor Tom, Frontier, Edis Nova, Dupreez, Robyn Evander, Castleton’s Pride, Petite Evander and Nigel Craig. Cee Ar’s best wins were in the 1974 Rowe Cup and the 1975 New Zealand Trotting FFA. Schuck bred from Elgin Princess from 2004. The mare left Muscle Yankee colt Leave It Alone which won once from twelve starts, Lady Eileen (Armbro Invasion) which was unraced and Mr Mayfly (Earl) which won six races here and a further eight in Australia. He’s still racing in South Australia. Mr Mayfly was Elgin Princess’s last foal but Kevin continues to breed from Lady Eileen. Her first foal was the talented De Vito which has won five races and has had stints with Southern trainers Billy Heads and Nathan Williamson. He was then trained in the north by Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett but has since returned to Southland where Robert Wilson will train him. “There’s always been something niggling at him. He’s a head tosser.” Lady Eileen has since left foals by Continentalman, The Pres, Angus Hall, Dream Vacation and Bacardi Lindy. The Bacardi Lindy colt named Napoleon Bonaparte was bred by D.R.Beckingsale. Schuck also ended up breeding from another branch of the family, Elgin Princess’s first foal Sylvia Star. “Kevin (Townley) offered me a couple of mares to breed from and I ended up taking Sylvia Star. I wanted to go to Chiola Hanover and Kevin had a service to him which he wasn’t keen on using. I leased Sylvia Star off him for one season and bred Cochy Bondhu. I went back to Kevin a few years later and ended up buying Elgin Princess. I must have had too much money back then when I was young.” Sylvia’s Star has left a host of winners including Constar (7), Mitchell (5), The Promise (6), Lenny B (4 New Zealand and 20 USA wins) War Spirit (2 New Zealand and 4 Australia including the Group One Breeders Crowns for three year old colts and geldings). During the early years he also bought into trotting royalty with the purchase of Sundon’s Sister – a half-sister by Gee Whiz II to Sundon. “When we got her home we found out she had a condition called Bog Spavin (soft swelling on the medial surface of the hock joint). Dick Prendergast trained her. She ended up winning one race but she cost a shit load of money. I thought I’d put her in foal to Call Me Now. Kevin Townley leased that foal off me but it died in a thunderstorm, snapping its neck.”              Schuck shared in the ownership of Sundon’s Sister with Russell Coats and two other jewellers Bas O’Connell and Ian Shackley. Her win was at Invercargill in October 1996. She was exported to Australia in August 1999 but never raced over there. She did leave Likeaplayboy (Dream Vacation) which won 24 of its 104 starts and banked $96,669.00 for his owners. Two of Sundon’s Sisters’ daughters have bred on. Springhasprung has left a couple of handy types in Miss Cully (Great Success) which has won four races and Aussie Beach Blonde (Bacardi Lindy) which has won six. Another daughter Sister Ra has left I’m Princess Sophie which has won 14 races and ran second in the 2017 Group Two South Australian Trotters Cup at Globe Derby. So in total Schuck is breeding from four: Lady Eileen, Streaming Sunbeam, Overcast and Cochy Bondhu. Cochy Bondhu (Chiola Hanover – Sylvia Star) won four races and has left Overcast (9 wins), Coppertone Lad (1 win) and Over The Love (3 wins from just 8 starts). Schuck says Over The Love, which is by Love You, has shown plenty of potential for Canterbury trainer Ken Barron. “Another one which I can’t take the credit for is Over The Love. Frank Marrion and I did a one for one swap. I bred Coppertone Lad and he bred Over The Love. Frank didn’t do the paperwork and left Cochy Bondhu in my name so I’m getting all the credit for it (Over The Love) which I shouldn’t be.” As an owner his most successful trotter to date has been Overcast, a Sundon mare which finished racing this season winning nine races for him and trainer Alan Paisley. She was served by Majestic Son but didn’t hold so she’ll be served by Love You this season. Other foals out of Cochy Bondhu are a colt by Dream Vacation called Cochy Malc which Ken Barron bought as a weanling and a Father Patrick colt named Father On Down. He’s also breeding from Streaming Sunbeam which he brought in 2011. “After I sold Sundon’s Sister I got a bit more money and thought bugger this I want to get back into that breed. I bought Streaming Sunbeam which was by Armbro Invasion out of A Touch Of Sun. Streaming Sunbeam was a very average horse but had very strong genetics.”   She was trained over a 20 start career by Alan Paisley and Billy Heads and her best two runs were for Paisley - a second and a third. Bred by Dennis Bennett and Linda Joyce, A Touch Of Sun won five races and is out of elite broodmare Sungait Song the dam of champion trotter and sire Sundon (27 wins), Arnsong (9 wins), Roydon Arnie (9 wins), Sungait Reb (15 wins) and Sunning (8 wins). Streaming Sunbeam’s foals to date are; Spotlight The Valley (Skyvalley), Danangus Fella (Angus Hall colt) and Steaming Live (Muscle Mass filly).  She’s just foaled to Sundon. Ross Jones with Streaming Sunbeam and her day old Sundon foal - Photo Supplied Of the four broodmares he’s breeding from he’s most excited about progeny out of Overcast. “Because there’s a chance we could breed something pretty smart. There wouldn’t be too many mares that have Sundon, Gee Whiz II and Chiola Hanover in their pedigree. Without a standout there’s some still nice racehorses in there and I think the first five or six generations are all race winners.” With a host of stallions to choose from Schuck says it’s becoming more difficult to match his mares. “Every year I have everything worked out on paper, then I listen to people and read books and then my breeding theory just goes out the back door. We are spoilt here for what we can get now. There are just so many new stallions coming through and you’ve got to weigh up the cost. You also have the same problem as all breeders have – are these stallions going to be in vogue in two years’ time? Even if you’re not breeding for the sale you still want to try and breed a commercial race horse that if it shows potential you can sell and even as a weanling there’ll be interest from trainers to buy it.” Schuck has decided to send all his mares to Love You this coming season – at this stage. “The best value for money, in my mind is Love You. If you look at the rest of the world there’s no doubt that Muscle Hill is up on a pedestal at the moment. If I had the money though Muscle Hill would perhaps be worth a punt.” Some consideration was given to what he reckons are two underrated stallions in Majestic Son and Bacardi Lindy. “The thing with my breed is that most of the progeny get better with time. With Love You you can’t beat the statistics. For eight grand you’re getting what was the best in the world. I know it’s not there now but he’s still right up there.” Although Kevin has been to the national sales as a buyer he’d love to return as a seller but is just biding his time, aware that it’s an exact science. “If we can get a Love You out of Overcast we’d consider it. They’ve got to be 100 percent correct or you’re wasting your time. Until we get something that’s 100 percent we’ll just have to keep chipping away.” As a breeder he says the Rowe Cup is the race he’d most like to win but it’s just as big a thrill seeing a horse win a maiden race. “When I was getting started the Rowe Cup at the time was the prestige race to win as a trotter but there’s so many others now.” Schuck is one of the few in the south breeding just straight trotters. He’s become a student of pedigree but remains very much hands off when it comes to horses. “I’d rather walk a cow around. Mike Brown (who was a well know Southland vet) once said ‘if you’re not confident with a horse don’t go near them because you’ll get hurt.’ No one has ever taught me and at 55 I have no desire to start learning now either. Better to stick to my jewellery.”   Bruce Stewart

Not many owners can claim to have won a New Zealand Derby, a New Zealand Messenger, and a Four Year Old Emerald. And to have had two consecutive sales toppers at the yearling sales, but that’s what Stu and Pauline Gillan of Lochiel have achieved. The Derby, the Messenger and the Emerald were all achieved this season with two horses - Eamon Maguire and Sheriff. It’s been an outstanding racing season for the couple who not only have shares in Sheriff and Eamon Maguire, but also in Thefixer, English Rose and Motu Top Mach. And between them all this season they’ve won thirteen races and stakes of $418,548. The Gillan’s sales toppers as yearlings were Titanium in 2013 and Bollinger in 2015. Stu doesn’t come from a racing background, but he says his interest was developed at an early age. “My father enjoyed his five bob doubles. He’d put the doubles on and listen to the first leg and normally miss out. Then he’d go to the pub and talk about what happened. He didn’t go to the races a lot. He went to Wingatui and Waikouaiti on News Years Day. I used to have bets (pretend) with my father and pick horses I could pronounce,” he said. Listening to the wireless in those early years also heightened his passion for the industry. “I remember as a nine year old running home from school to hear the 1954 New Zealand Trotting Cup which Johnny Globe won. We were all fans of Johnny Globe. He was a lovely black horse.” Stu was educated at Kings High School in Dunedin and loved sport. That’s where he met Phil Creighton. As teenagers they played cricket together for Albion and rugby for Pirates. “I loved rugby and cricket but I was bloody hopeless at playing them. I also played squash for years.” In later years he also refereed rugby in Southland.                                                                                           “I really enjoyed that because all you do is look after yourself while if you’re coaching you’ve got twenty guys you’ve got to try and get on the field. I got to know the Browns (Southland trainer Murray Brown and his brother Bevan). They didn’t mind helping me referee games.” Stu met Pauline in 1970 after he was transferred to Invercargill to work for New Zealand Insurance.   He subsequently worked for a number of different companies before setting up his own accounting business. “I worked for the Permanent Building Society, then got offered a job with John Harrington of Harrington and Partners. After five years the company merged with Forrest, Burns and Ashby. I was made redundant and Pauline talked me into having a go on my own. It’s good to be able to work on your own and be independent.” As an accountant he doesn’t have big flashy companies on his books, preferring to deal with the southern farming type. “I’ve got good smaller sheep farmers. I don’t have any dairy farmers because they owe too much money,” he chuckled. Pauline has been the receptionist at the Southland Hospital Children’s Ward for the past twenty six years and is also an ardent netball fan, having followed the Southern Steel and Sting since the franchise started in the old Invercargill Centennial Hall. She and her good friend Bronwyn Queale, also from Lochiel, were often first in line when it came to getting their seasons tickets. Stu’s first yearling purchase was in 1975 when he bought Scottish Hanover colt Pierre Scott for $3,000. It was out of the Thurber Frost mare Heather Frost. Pierre Scott started eighteen times for three different trainers; Hamish Hunter, Stu Campbell and Noel Creighton, without banking a cheque. “He was hopeless. Anyway the guy that bred him Roy Adam who was a Life Member of the West Australia Trotting Association, was so disappointed with the price he got (for Pierre Scott) that he took the mare home in foal (to Lumber Dream). That foal was Preux Chevalier.” Preux Chevalier went on to win forty one races in just fifty six starts and $791,331. His wins include an Interdominion Final in Melbourne, a West Australian Cup, NSW Miracle Mile and New Zealand Free For All. The one that got away!! Stu’s first winner was in 1995 when Mocca Magic, which he raced with Phil Creighton, won. She was by Vance Hanover out of the Local Light mare Mia Mocca. Trained by Greg Hope, she won another race before becoming a broodmare. Creighton and Gillian bred from her for a number of years and her best foal proved to be Angela Gold (In The Pocket) which won two races here before heading state side. She won a further twenty two races there, recording a best mile time of 1-53.0. “Phil gave me a share in her (Mocca Magic). She won at Forbury Park driven by Ricky May. Phil gave him fifty bucks unbeknown to me and I gave him fifty as well. Ricky didn’t say no to either.” (Laughter). So the breeding bug had begun. “Over a few years Phil bought three broodmares that I had shares in. 1981 was our first sale and we took a filly up to Christchurch. He’s had two or three in the sales each year ever since and I’ve had an average of one. We never made any money for many years but by selling them it kept the pot boiling.” Gillan also bought at the sales, purchasing a Bettor’s Delight colt Match Point at the 2011 Yearling Sales in Christchurch. He was out of the lightly raced Badlands Hanover mare Clijsters. Her second dam Vicario was a half-sister by Soky’s Atom to New Zealand Cup winner Il Vicolo. Vicario was a very good broodmare leaving Stunin Cullen the winner of the Hunter Cup, Great Northern Derby, Ashburton Flying Stakes, Sires Stakes Final, as well as twelve other races with total stakes of $1,493,716. Vicario also left Coburg (10 wins). “Dean Taylor trained him (Match Point) for three or four starts and said he was going to take time. Eventually we brought him down to Graeme Anderson to train on the beach. I think the beach work and more aggressive driving by Dexter Dunn helped him. I owned him with John Blakeley who passed away about a year ago. Unfortunately in New Zealand you soon get out of your class and he wasn’t good from a stand so we sold him to Australia.” Match Point won his first start at Forbury for Taylor and two other races from that stable before he was transferred to Anderson’s stable. He won first up for Anderson at Winton in March 2015. He won three other races before he was exported to Aussie later that year. In Australia he’s won another seven races and paced a mile in 1-51.6. “That was my introduction to Graeme Anderson. I’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to buy shares in three horses with him since.” Typical of his accounting background, Gillan has been calculating with these investments. From capital gained from the sale of his high end yearlings he’s reinvested in racing stock that have been up and running and with potential. That investment money has primarily come from broodmare gem Asabella. She was bought as a yearling at the 2002 yearling sales by Creighton for about $48,000 and Gillan bought into the ownership. She was by In The Pocket out of the Smooth Fella mare Bellisimo. It’s the family that has produced Jovial Jennie the winner of nine races and the dam of Happy Hazel which won twelve races including the 1989 Great Northern Oaks. Asabella was initially trained by Mark Purdon and won just two races. “She had a bit of speed but lacked toughness. She raced a bit in Auckland over the short distances and didn’t have much luck.” After her racing days were over the partnership set about breeding from her. In 2008 they sold Red River Hanover gelding Black Denim to Rob Storer for $27,500. He was renamed Code Red and won six in New Zealand and another six in Australia. The following year Dave Carville bought the mares next foal Bet On Black for $45,000 and he was renamed as well – Ohoka’s Bondy looked smart at two but was exported to Australia winless. However he ultimately won twenty two races in Australia including the $125,000 Group One Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park. Asabella’s next foal and first filly Dancing Diamonds was also sold at the yearling sales in 2010 - knocked down to Mark Purdon for $110,000. She was raced by Braeden and Caroline Whitelock. She won her first four races as a two year old and her two biggest wins were in the New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Two and Three Year Old Championship. She won $343,276. As a broodmare Dancing Diamonds has left two foals of racing age; Rock Diamonds which has won fourteen races in Australia including the Group Two Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park, the Group Three John Higgins Memorial and Group Two Westral Four Year Old Classic both at Gloucester Park. The mare’s other foal is the unbeaten Art Major filly Princess Tiffany. Her five wins include the Group One Caduceus Club Two Year Old Fillies Classic and Two Year Old Diamond at this year’s Harness Jewells at Cambridge. The following year Trevor Lindsay from Australia bought Asabella’s Mach Three filly Bluegrass Belle for $52,000. She was exported to Australia but never raced. Things were about to get even better for the Creighton and Gillan breeding partnership. In 2013 and 2015 they bred the top lot at the Christchurch yearling sales. Both out of Asabella; Titanium was bought by Emilo and Mary Rosati for $170,000 in 2013 while two sales later the same couple bought Asabella’s next foal Bollinger for $200,000. Since then Robinson Crusoe ($24,500) and Brantley ($35,000) the mare’s next two foals, have sold but are currently unraced.  Asabella’s eight foals when sold at the sales grossed $664,000 that being an average of $83,000 per foal. “She’s eighteen now and we’re very keen to get a filly out of her to carry on the bloodline. She aborted a Bettor’s Delight filly about eighteen months ago and is in foal to Art Major so hopefully we get a filly at Christmas time. Those sales (Titanium and Bollinger) gave us a bit of money to buy into pacers. Phil had a quarter share in three horses with the Kennards and he gave me a half of his quarter share in all three horses. They all won. Meticulous was the best, he was a nice horse but he had a lot of injuries.” Meticulous was the first foal by Christian Cullen out of the Falcon Seelster mare Syriana, and she’s from the famed Black Watch family.  He was bought by Mark Purdon for $100,000 at the 2012 Australasian Classic Yearling Sales.  “I love the sales. I study the catalogue every night. I’m more of a theory man than being hands on.” Since then Stu’s had shares in seven to eight horses with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. “Thefixer’s been the best. He’s back in work.” Thefixer has won six of his eleven starts, and won his last two during Cup week last November. He hasn’t been sighted since. “He got a nail in the foot at Auckland. He came back and raced at Cup Week on both days but then it got infected so we turned him out for two months.” The Gillans also bought into Titan Banner in October 2015 after the horse had won five races. He went on to win another eleven with Pauline in the ownership and finished his New Zealand career when he ran second to Vincent in the 2017 Auckland Cup. They also purchased a share in the Art Major gelding Eamon Maguire which had won two workouts and qualified before they joined the ownership.   Bruce Stewart

The Murray Brown trained Dallas Grimes an unlucky second on debut, got the winners cheque at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park on Saturday when she proved too good in the Kubala Seeds Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace. Initially trained by John Hay she was offered on lease to Brown as a two year old. “He (Hay) was cutting down a bit and had a couple for lease, and I chose her. She’s been to the workouts as a two year old. She’s a nice wee mare and can only get better, we gave her a whole year off from her two year old season. John always said her was a bit light but she’s filled out,” said Brown. After qualifying nicely at Winton the camp was confident of a good first up run on this track two weeks ago but she had to settle for second after clearing a tight pocket and closing late. “He thought she’d win first up after the way she qualified. She’s got a good temperament and can be a bit rough in her gait but she’s getting better.” The four year old mare is raced by Gone Trotting Syndicate, Jonah’s 11 Syndicate and regular Brown clients Scottie Ramsay, Murray Heath, Kevin McCallum, Barry Brown, Reece Rogers and Bevan Brown. Winning connections with Dallas Grimes - Photo Bruce Stewart. Dallas Grimes is named after a secondary antagonist in Beavis and Butt Head. She's by Changeover out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Madison Lee and is closely related to Courage Under Fire. Later in the programme some of the owners of Dallas Grimes tasted success again when the Shannon Armour trained mare Ivana Legacy in the hands of junior driver Charlotte Purvis won the Advance Agriculture Junior Drivers Pace.   Bruce Stewart

John Higgins (Higgie), has been an Insurance Agent for forty two years and he’s been around Standardbreds for slightly longer. He’s lived in Invercargill for over forty years but does a fair amount of his business in Central Otago and his beloved West Coast. In fact every December and January he heads to the Coast and takes in the racing on the summer circuit. Higgins was born in Westport where the family are well known, having bred and raced horses for many years. One of thee Standardbred families they’ve had success with was started in the early fifties when Jim (J.E.) Higgins bred Kingcobra mare Pitterpat. She was out of a Jack Potts mare Red Queen. Pitterpat won twice. “Uncle Frank and Uncle Jim had a farm. They had stables and used to do a lot of horses with Dad (Sid). My Grandfather was a legal bookie. It was like the old days – a lot of the work was done in the billiard saloon. Trotting was really strong in Westport. There were the Higgins and the Reedys,” said John. Pitterpat’s first foal was Honest Master filly Coolit. Coolit left Patsy Marie (Schell Hanover) and her claim to fame was beating the ‘boys’ Bionic Adios and Fouroux in the 1980 Methven Two Year Old Stakes. She was trained by Higgin’s cousin Bob Higgins. John went to school at St Pauls School in Dunedin and that’s where he became more hands on with horses. “I used to go to Forbury Park and help around there. When I came to Southland I mucked around with horses at Jock Purdue’s. I also helped Bryce Buchanan and Gary McEwan. I then went out on my own doing some pre-training.” His first horse was King Red. He was by Ferndale Bachelor out of Ann Frank. Ferndale Bachelor was a colonial stallion by Bachelor Hanover out of Queen Ngaio making him a half-brother to Waratah (Johnny Globe) which won eight races and Trio (Lordship) which won sixteen. Queen Ngaio herself won ten races. She was by Light Brigade and she was trained by Felix Newfield. As a four year old she won five races – four in a row including two on the same day at Oamaru in October 1958. In 1989 Higgins also part-owned a daughter of Queen Ngaio - a Garrison Hanover mare called Reassurance. Higgin’s bred from the mare for a few seasons and raced one of her progeny Georgia Rose. Georgia Rose was trained by Buchanan and ventured north to Auckland and raced in a number of two year old fillies races. She won once at the Franklin meeting in the hands Michael Langdon. At that point Michael’s father John had taken over her training. She was then exported to Australia and won another five races there. As a broodmare mare in Australia, Georgia Rose has left Alberado (Albert Albert) 18 wins, Modern Warrior (Modern Art) 14 wins and Bettor Atom (Bettor’s Delight) 15 wins. In the late 1980s Higgins also purchased with Buchanan, Heather’s Bo (Bo Scot Blue Chip – Heatherloch). Heatherloch turned out to be a prolific breeder leaving Scottish Loch (7 New Zealand wins plus 30 American wins), Yankee Loch (20 trotting wins) Scotch Cloud (12 USA wins) Cloud Over (30 USA wins). “Bryce and I bought her (Heather’s Bo) at the sales and paid about $20,000 for her which was dear at the time. She had arthritis so she never raced.” Heather’s Bo did leave Eileen Monica which won seven races and Patches (Live Or Die) which recorded 17 wins. Later on Higgins started to breed from the Bo Scots Blue Chip mare Patsy McCreedy which was a descendant of the old mare Pitterpat. Patsy McCreedy left good pacer Padraig (Holmes Hanover) which won five races for Murray Brown before heading to America where he won another 14. She also left Starship gelding White Star Rocky which won two races in New Zealand before winning another eleven races in Australia. Lyse Doucet, a Holmes Hanover mare out of Patsy McCreedy, is still being bred from by Higgins. She’s left seven foals so far with the best being Eilis Rose. She was by Courage Under Fire and Higgins raced her with John Thompson. She won four races in New Zealand for Murray Brown. She was exported to Australia in 2012 and ended up winning another six races there, recording a best mile rate of 1-53.9. “She used to break up and had bloody issues here. One of the reasons we sent her to Australia was mile racing.” She was brought back to New Zealand to breed from and she has a three year old American Ideal filly called Ideal Millie, an unregistered Art Major filly and is in foal to A Rocknroll Dance. Incidentally, John Thompson recently owned the winner of the Group One $1,000,000 Kingston Town Stakes, Pounamu. He also owned the 2000 Caulfield Cup winner Diatribe. He races his horses in the colours of black with the silver fern. “He was from Queenstown originally but now lives in Sydney. I got him started with pacers and he got into gallopers in a big way.”  Booster (Badlands Hanover), which won seven races and his full brother Sniggihdis (Sid Higgins spelt backwards), which had ten New Zealand and Australian wins, are other winners out of Lyse Doucet. She’s also the dam of the promising Liberty Dance - a Mach Three filly with Mark Jones that ran second once in two starts last season as a two year old. She was the favourite in last season’s Sweet Lou Leonard Memorial Stakes, finishing sixth. The mare’s latest foal also a filly, is by Somebeachsomewhere. The Higgins family are also breeding from a full-sister to Eilis Rose in Mary Niven. Her Rocknroll Heaven filly Rocknroll Nevin has won two races to date for Higgins’ brother Robert. He also owns her next foal by A Rocknroll Dance. John has raced many horses over the years. They were mainly trained by the late Bryce Buchanan and Findlay Road trainer Murray Brown. One of his better ones was good two year old Badlands Hanover filly Hemisphere. She won three of her twenty two starts including the Group Three Nevele R Stakes for Two Year Old Fillies beating Arden’s Darlin and Delight Me. She also won a heat of the Sires Stakes for Two Year Old Fillies and dead heated for second with Arden’s Darlin in the 2008 Caduceus Classic for Two Year Old Fillies, one and a half lengths behind winner Rona Lorraine. “After the Jewels she was never the same horse. She did have a respiratory issue which we got looked at at Massey which never came to anything. In saying that we probably pushed her a bit as a two year old because she was a big horse when you look at her now. She probably never matured until she was four or five.” Hemisphere was out of the OK Bye mare Trans Tasman. She is a half - sister to handy horses Caps Off and Badlands Bute. “Trans Tasman is out of Te Phyno. Danny Boyle had that breed. He loaned her (Trans Tasman) to me. I’d always supported Nevele R. That’s how I got Hemisphere.” Hemisphere’s second foal, a filly by Stunin Cullen named Bardot, qualified recently at Rangiora for Benny Hill and he could be Higgins next nice horse. “They’re not saying much. She’s a nice pacer and does everything right. They think she’s got a lot to learn as she’s a bit of a green horn. Everything she does she seems to improve each time. She’s been turned out at my cousin Joan Adair’s place. She used to own Windbag. We tried a couple of times to get her (Hemisphere) in foal to Christian Cullen but couldn’t. That’s why we went to Stunin Cullen. Hemisphere is in foal to Sweet Lou and she’s got a nice two year old Bettor’s Delight filly which Brent Barclay and Lauren Pearson have broken in and like.” So for a guy who’s put a bit of money into the Standardbreds it would be nice to see him reap the rewards from Bardot and of course tell the story of a few wins over a few beers between here and the West Coast. Editor’s note: Since this article was written Bardot has gone on and won her first starts for Higgins. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness racing

Well Said gelding Son Of Lana gave a big group of owners a thrill at Ascot Park today(Monday) when he easily won his first race on his home track. The Murray Brown trained three year old is owned by the Kiwi Connection Syndicate, Fairsay Syndicate and a handful of other individual owners including regular stable clients Murray Heath, Bevan Brown and Barry Croft. "He had a start as a two year old and broke a couple of times. In his last two starts we've got him. He was perfect last week and good again today. Scotty Ramsay (stable foreman) got the Onslow Street Squash Club involved while Arty (Arty Shirley) got together members of the Waikiwi Rugby Club," said Brown. In today's race Son Of Lana settled back for driver Brent Barclay. He improved wide with just over a lap to run to sit parked. He took the lead just before turning in and beat a late charging Archman by a length and three quarters.   Returning to the birdcage with driver Brent Barclay                   - Photo Bruce Stewart He is out of the In The Pocket mare Long Live Lana which won twice for Paul Burrows. As a broodmare her first foal Delightful Lana won seven races in New Zealand and also campaigned in Australia where she had a number of group placings. Her best performance was running third in the Group One NSW Oaks won by Southland owned filly Fight For Glory which ran a World Record time of 2-50.3 for the 2400 metre mobile. Son Of Lana is Long Live Lana's third foal.  "He seems quite sensible from the stand so a one win stand may suit him."  Winning owners    -     Photo Bruce Stewart Son Of Lana was purchased by Dave and Catrina Gordon for $27,000 at the 2016 Sale of the Stars sale. His name then was Marlboroman. The Gordon's have both since passed away and Catrina offered the horse for lease to the large group of owners last season. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   Son Of Lana winning at Ascot Park  

Southland based driver Sheree Tomlinson became the first female driver to win the time honoured Dominion Handicap at Addington yesterday (Friday). The nineteen year old is the youngest driver to the win the race and just the second junior driver to win the Group One feature; the first being Anthony Butt who won it in 1987, driving Simon Katz. "It was so special and very emotional. As soon as they crossed the line I was pretty much in tears," she said yesterday after Amaretto Sun which is trained by her Grandfather Ken Ford won at odds of 91 to 1. Things looked promising at the start when she timed her walk up to the tape perfectly and began well to lead early, before The Foot Tapper then Great Things Happen took over leaving Amaretto Sun three back on the running line. "He just stepped so good. That's probably the best he's ever stepped in his whole career. I couldn't hand up to The Foot Tapper straight away because you have to let my horse run for that first 400 metres because he can buck. You just have to loose rein him for the first bit. I knew when The Foot Tapper got to the front he'd only hand to the best horse in the race. I saw Gavin (Gavin Smith on favourite Great Things Happen)coming and I knew he'd stay there." That's the way it remained until the field straightened for the run home at the end of the 3200 metre feature. "I had to tell myself heading up the home straight not to pull out and hope that I'd get a run inside the passing lane. It opened up, he got the run then he showed some high speed. Turning for home Dexter had Bordeaux on the bit with the plug out and he was travelling but he was tapping him up a bit. I thought that's alright. Then I thought Gavin would have put a few lengths on us but he was only half travelling. I thought if I get a run I should go close but I definitely wasn't expecting to win it."   I was in the last 50 metres that the inside run presented itself and the Sundon six year old let down nicely to beat The Foot Tapper by a length and a quarter. The win was celebrated by Tomlinson with a flourish of the whip. "There were so many things going through my head. I couldn't believe it. He's been so up and down in the last twelve months. He went super in the Ordeal Cup, he then had a couple of issues and we had to get the chiropractor to him." Although not overly confident about her chances in the Dominion there were signs that the horse was well pre-race.  "I couldn't even walk him around before the race he was that keen and full of himself. He tried to boot me out of the cart five or six times in the warm up. I think it's a habit he's got into. Once he's going and focussed on the job he's a beautiful horse to drive."  The last Southland based driver to win the Dominion was Nathan Williamson when he drove Springbank Richard to win in 2009. Before that you have to go back to Henry Skinner who drove Tobago to win in 1989.  "To us as a family the Dominion is like winning the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Grandad only really trains trotters."   Amaretto Sun has only ever been driven in his thirty six starts be either Sheree or her mother Amanda. Amanda drove him to win at his first start at Banks Peninsula in September 2015. The mother and daughter have each driven the gelding five times to win. Tomlinson, who works for Invercargill trainer Murray Brown, currently sits second behind Matt Anderson in the Junior Drivers Premiership and has been racking up the travel miles this season, venturing to Canterbury most weekends.   "Murray has been very good to me. I come up most weeks to Addington to drive on Friday night. If it wasn't for my Mum and Dad and Nana and Grandad helping me I wouldn't be able to do it. I really do appreciate it."  Tomlinson says the Green Mile at Methven on December 3rd is the horse's next target before he heads to Auckland with the main target The Rowe Cup. "I'm heading over for the Australiasian Drivers Championship in December and I think one of his races is when I'm over in Aussie. I'll have to sweet talk Grandad and miss that one. Mum may have to put on the colours and drive him." Sheree Tomlinson has driven forty six winners in the three seasons she's been driving. Her first winner was Little Mo at Oamaru in January 2016.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

The Pegasus Spur mare Bonny Reece won the qualifying heat for trotters over 2200 metres at Ascot Park today. The winning margin was a nose from Make My Day. Bonny Reece, trained and driven by Clark Barron,is out of the Sundon mare Pure Thrill which is a full sister to Makarewa Jake the winner of seven races. The winning time of 2-57.1 was 7.6 seconds inside the required qualifying time. The well bred filly Delightful Deal show a bit of class in winning her qualifying mobile heat by six lengths. She's out of the five win Julius Caesar mare Deal On The Day.  Delightful Deal winning by six lengths at Ascot Park today - Photo Bruce Stewart Deal On The Day is a half sister to Best Deal Yet (9 New Zealand wins) and Awesum Teddy (10 wins). Delightful Deal is owned by Marty Fairbairn and is trained by Nathan Williamson. Her winning time for the 2200 metre mobile was 2-47.7 - over 7 seconds inside the required qualifying time. Harrydahorse (Panspacificflight - Millwood Salli) was second in 2-48.5. Please Shuddup by Auckland Reactor looked promising when he won his 2200 metre mobile qualifying heat by a length and a half. He ran the distance in 2-47.5 - last 800 metres in 57.2 and 400 metres in 28.2. Franco Santino made ground late to run second with another seven and a half lengths back to High Line. "He's still got a bit to learn but he can run. He's got a lovely nature and is a good eater - just what makes a good horse. He's above average," said trainer Murray Brown about Please Shuddup.   Please Shuddup on the inside beating a fast finishing Franco Santino  - Photo Bruce Stewart. Thatswhatisaid trained by Kirk Larsen won the non-winners mobile heat by a length and a half from Wokalup. His time for the 2200 metres was 2-48.7. He started once last season as a two year old in the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton running fifth in 1-56.4. "We'll probably go to the Northern Southland meeting. He a pretty laid-back horse and he's hard to get a line on but he goes better when you take him off the place. He paid up for the sires (Sires Stakes Series). Whether he's good enough I don't know. We'll let him do the talking," said Thatswhatisaid's trainer Kirk Larsen.  In the final heat of the day a new addition to Nathan Williamson's barn Lady Of The Moment beat stablemate Pegarose by half a length. Lady Of The Moment, which had a big lead for most of the heat, is by Majestic Son and is closely related to Take A Moment (39 wins). Pegarose which has won two of her three starts hasn't been to the races since May 2016. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

He only had one runner at Gore today in Soapbox but that was enough for Findlay Road trainer Murray Brown to reach a milestone of 500 harness racing winners. Brown, who's in his thirty fourth season of training, won his first race with Mike Adios at Invercargill on September 22nd 1984. So his 500th winner came almost 34 years to the day later. He began his career with Henry Skinner; an association that started while Brown was playing rugby for Central Pirates. "Henry and Alan Devery and John Hay who trained at Ryal Bush used to come down and watch the rugby. We ended up with horses with Henry. I was at the works (Freezing Works) and used to go and help him in the off-season. I then went over to Bryce's (Bryce Buchanan) when he broke his leg. Henry and Bryce signed my form to get a training licence," said Brown. He initially rented boxes at what is now Wayne Adam's property but then bought his current stable off Stewart Barlow.  His best season came in 2012 when his horses won thirty two races. His UDR that season was .2792 and stable runners won $138,917. He's the second Southland trainer to join the elite 500 club. Hamish Hunter was the first, two seasons ago.  "It's pretty hard to do. There's only Hamish and I. We've had some good trainers down here but we've probably had more opportunities."    Brown has won the Southland Trainers Premiership seven times: 1998, 1999, 2000 (jointly with Tony Barron), 2001, 2002, 2006 (shared with Hamish Hunter) and 2012.   He named his best horse as Beaudiene Bad Babe which won the Group Two Caduceus Club of Canterbury Premier Mares Championship twice (2010 and 2011). She also won the 2010 Nevele R Stud Four Year Old Diamond at Cambridge and the 2009 Group Two Macca Lodge/Nevele R Southland Oaks Final. In all she won twenty two races. Another group winner for Brown was Hemisphere which won the Group Three Nevele R Two Year Fillies Mobile at Addington in 2008. He's won numerous cups in the Southland region including the Wairio Cup three times; Hebe Gebe (1997), Loch Nagar (2008) and Beaudiene Bad Babe (2009). He also won the time honoured Hannon Memorial with Freeway Don in 1999.  Brown's best winners list include: Beaudiene Bad Babe (22) Freeway Don (11) Awesum Teddy (10) Highview Jude (9)  Rimesaut (8) Mister Dale (8) Absolutely Brilliant (8) The Receptionist (6) Blue Jay Way (6) Rakanra (6) Loch Nagar (6) Bali Mystic (6) Mister PB (5) Titan Bloss (5) Hebe Gebe (5) Tahlia Jaccka (5) Padraig (5)  Murray Brown (left) with the Tricode Racing Syndicate Number Two - Photo Bruce Stewart. Back to today's winner Soapbox. She got a dream trip in the trail and ran along the passing lane to beat a game Franco Huntington by half a neck. A desperately unlucky No More Change ran third. Soapbox is raced by the Tricode Racing Syndicate Number Two. It was the Santanna Blue Chip mare's second win from thirty starts.      Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The videos of the Hanover Shoe Farms yearlings to be sold at the Goshen Yearling Sale and Ohio Selected Jug Sale are now available on the Hanover website - hanoverpa.com. The Goshen Yearling Sale will take place at the Mark Ford Training Center on Sunday, September 10. The consignment consists of 35 yearlings by sires, all eligible to the rich New York and Pennsylvania programs. Included are yearlings by Andover Hall(1), Crazed(3), Detour Hanover(1), Donato Hanover(3), Explosive Matter(2), Muscle Massive(3), RC Royalty(3), Roll With Joe(2), Russell Hanover(9), Well Said(1) and Western Ideal(7). The Ohio Selected Jug Sale will take place at the Brave Horse Show Park in Johnstown Ohio on Friday, September 15. The Hanover consignment consists of all twenty of its Ohio eligible yearlings. Featured are first crop yearlings by Uncle Peter(1) and Western Vintage(4); together with those by proven stallions Broadway Hall(1), Dragon Again(10) and Yankee Cruiser(4). The Goshen Yearlings will be available for evaluation at the Mark Ford Training Center beginning on Saturday, September 9 The Ohio Yearlings will be available for evaluation at the Brave Horse Show Park beginning on Thursday, September 14. Murray Brown

Maidonthebeach increased her value as a harness racing broodmare when she cleared maiden ranks in the EH Ball ITM Building Centre Mobile Pace on Saturday. She capitalised on a nice run behind the leader The Arbitrator and won easily by a length and three quarters. She's a three year old filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of the cup class mare Nursemaid and is raced by Graeme and Jill Cooney, Vin Nally and the Centaurus Syndicate.  Meanwhile one of Southland's older syndicates The Highlanders Syndicate owned another winner at Ascot Park today. Ideal Art won nicely by three quarters of a length from late finishers Toby O'Gara and Bettor Under Fire. She's by American Ideal out of Arts Mistress and was also bred by the syndicate. Ideal Art is trained by Murray Brown and was driven by Sheree Tomlinson Ideal Art after winning at Ascot Park           Photo Bruce Stewart Southland trainer Ken Dixon trained his first trotting winner when Sheer Class won the Invercargill Workouts Committee Trot at Ascot Park. Sheer Class winning easily               Photo Bruce Stewart It was the trainer's 57th winner since he started training in 1976. His first winner was Master Vilas at Winton in November 1976. Over the years he's trained many good pacers including Historic Moment (7), Whale Of A Tale (6), Taurus Chief (4) and New Energy (4). He also developed Richard Henry which won thirty six races in Australia Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

American Magic has had a bit of a rap on him since he stepped onto the racetrack as a two year old a year ago. But a combination of a bad race day experience, some minor setbacks and bad draws, has meant he hadn't lived up to that reputation. But that all changed today.    "As a two year old he won two workouts in a row then we qualified him. We then took him to the races and one of the other horses run into him and the cart hit him on the backside. He dived forward and went down on his nose. He got such a fright. He was sore after that so we just turned him out. When I was bringing him up he had stone bruises... you name it he had it. Then he got three shitty draws this season and it makes all the difference," said trainer and part-owner Murray Brown after the gelding won at Ascot Park today.  Going into today's race there was a fair amount of confidence in the camp after he'd impressively won a workout last Friday at Winton in which he led all the way with blinds on. The blinds remained on today and when he drew barrier one and secured the services of New Zealand's leading reinsman Dexter Dunn, the confidence heightened. In his race he either led or trailed the leading horse, eventually winning by three quarters of a length. American Magic with Dexter Dunn beating Maidonthebeach           - Photo Bruce Stewart. "All the family have won their races in front. He goes around the corners so well now, so if he draws good he could win again." The American Ideal gelding is raced by the Watch Your Step Syndicate which consists of Brown, Cleland Murdoch, Alan Lindsay, Trevor Ryder, Dave Kennedy and John Hishon.   Winning connections                                                 - Photo Bruce Stewart. Brown bought American Magic's grandmother Watch Your Step from John Stormont. She was an American bred mare by On The Road Again. When he bought her she had a colt foal at foot by In The Pocket and was in foal to that stallion. The foal at foot was Stopwatch which won his only start here before being exported to America where he won plenty of races. The dam of American Magic, Cher Magic, is Watch Your Step's sixth live foal. She is by Christian Cullen and won once from just six starts. The Syndicate raced Cher Magic's first foal Chers Bettor Babe which won four races for Brown before heading to Australia where she's won another six. Her next foal Chers Magic Jet was also sold to Aussie and American Magic is the mare's next foal. The following two foals by Bettors Delight and Well Said have sold at the national sales.    Bruce Stewart Southland harness racing

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