Day At The Track
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World champion pacer Lis Mara sired his first New Zealand harness racing winner over the weekend with the smart juvenile Seven Point One taking out an $18,000 heat of the Magness Benrow Sires Stakes 2YO Fillies Series (1,950m) at Addington Raceway on Friday evening.

The first time the late Wayne Francis laid eyes on Falcon Seelster, the fire-eater knocked him to the ground. But yesterday, when Nevele R Stud put the old horse down at the age of 30, it was with plenty of sadness and memories of one of New Zealand's greatest harness racing sires.

The Auckland Trotting Club Trot 2008 Syndicate has sold Tintin In America to stand at stud this season at Nevele R Stud. From a harness racing racing career spanning just three seasons (2, 3 & 4YO), Tintin In America was the winner of five Group 1 races, claiming Group 1 victories in each year of racing.

The issue of the sire service returns for the 2010/11 New Zealand breeding season make interesting reading and provide food for thought for our administrators as they plot a path forward to rescue the beleaguered harness racing industry.

You could tell by the look on New Zealand's leading harness racing driver Dexter Dunn's face that he knew he was in for a big season with Tony Stratford's smart juvenile pacer, Monaghan. The 2-year-old proved too good for his 14 rivals in today's $25,000 Sapling Stakes at Ashburton Raceway.

Harness racing princess Nearea Franco will return to sunny Southbay Racecourse in Kaikoura on Monday in an attempt to win back to back Kaikoura Cup's. The winner of ten races and close to $400,000 in stake earnings had her preparations for this year's New Zealand Cup interrupted by a foot ailment curtailing her expected return to racing.

Harness racing super sire in the making "Bettors Delight" looks set (in the current 2010/2011 breeding season) to challenge his own record of 546 mares that he bred in the 2006/2007 breeding season. That year he bred 345 in New Zealand and 201 in Australia.

Former harness racing star and New Zealand Derby winner Pay Me Christian has become a dad. A stunning filly foal (pictured here) from the Nevele R Stud owned mare Joyful Holmes, a Holmes Hanover half sister to open class pacer and 2007 Free-For-All winner Waipawa Lad, and was born on September 17.

Nevele R Stud has grown into one of Australasia's foremost standardbred breeding farms. In the 2010/11 harness racing season the Canterbury based breeding stronghold on the outskirts of Prebbleton township has come up trumps again, standing nine highly credentialed stallions as well as offering breeders access to a wide range of top quality stallions via frozen Semen.

Experienced South Auckland horseman, Rob Saunders, has joined to assist with various harness racing projects. The first venture Rob will be involved with is working with studs and stallion owners so that they can take advantage of the huge fan base the site has.

They weren't quite doing handstands or cartwheels at New Zealand's premier harness racing stud - Nevele R - on Monday morning, but staff at the Canterbury breeding establishment were on cloud nine and certainly had much to celebrate about.

Jodi Quinlan shares the record for the most wins by a driver in the 20-year history of the Nevele R Stud Queen Of The Pacific, but she has a couple of good reasons for wanting to get her name on the harness racing honours board a third time.

Greg Sugars' rise to prominence continued last night (Friday April 23) when the gun young reinsman won the $100,000 Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks aboard Charlotte Brew. The 25-year-old continued his breakout season when he scored his first Group 1 of the harness racing year aboard the John Tapp-trained daughter of Mach Three.

Rocknrolla's hopes of providing a hometown harness racing win in the Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks received a boost before tonight's heats were even run at Melton's Tabcorp Park. The filly considered the biggest threat to last season's Victorian 2YO Filly of the Year, New South Wales darling Lady Euthenia, was scratched from the second heat after injuring herself when getting in her stall overnight.

Two of the richest pacers ever trained in New Zealand are unlikely to be seen here again. However, they could be set to continue their battles in the stallion barn next harness racing season. Changeover is just one satisfactory fertility test away from being retired to stud after his battling effort in last Friday's Auckland Cup.

Harness Racing Victoria, together with a group of dedicated trotting enthusiasts, Duncan McPherson, Michael Taranto and Jim Connelly, has announced an exciting new series for trotting mares. Named the Breed For Speed Trotting Mares Sprint Series, the promotion will embrace three heats at country venues and a $20,000 Final at Tabcorp Park carrying Group 3 status.

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