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Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Max Delight’s breeding background Max Delight, who won the Group 3 Pure Steel on the final night of the Summer Of Glory carnival at Melton, is a five-year-old entire expected to graduate far beyond his present rating. A member of David Aiken’s Avenel team, he has a good deal more in his favour on the score of blood than most. By Bettor’s Delight, Australia’s leading sire for the last nine years, Max Delight is out of the five-time Group 1 winner Lady Euthenia (1:53.3), by Art Major from Reggae Miss, by Maple Lanes Strike from Girl Next Door, by What’s Next. Max Delight                         --Stuart McCormick Photo Lady Euthenia proved herself in the top flight as a racemare, taking a mile record of 1:53.3, winning 21 races and $461,285 in stakes including the NSW Oaks, Bathurst Gold Tiara and Kay Seymour Nursery. Besides Max Delight, she has left others in the Menangle winner Sunset Zeus (1:53.4) and Lady Shakira (1:55.4). Reggae Miss, the dam of Lady Euthenia, was also a top racemare. She took a record of 2:00.3 and registered 18 successes. She won the NSW Sires Stakes Four-year-old Final and qualified for the two and three-year-old finals. At the stud Reggae Miss, one of several outstanding racemares and broodmares by Maple Lanes Strike, left the NSW Sapling winner Reggae Cowboy (1:59.4), San Domino 1:49.2 ($326,754), who is now racing successfully in America, Tears To Maple (2:06.9) and Swantastic (7 wins). Tears To Maple, an Albert Albert mare, left the NSW Breeders Challenge Regional winner Gracie Taljuice 1:53 ($140,615), Mymatethomo (SA Whyalla Cup), Fifteen Aces (1:53.8) and Hit The Track (1:56.9). Another daughter of Reggae Miss in the unraced Leslie Jay (by Grinfromeratoear) became the dam of the Bathurst Gold Crown and Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial winner Castalong Shadow 1:54.6 ($155,241).   Million dollar winner When she won the $100,000 Ladyship Cup at Melton recently, Our Princess Tiffany became the 12th Australasian bred millionaire pacing mare joining a list that includes Adore Me, Tailamade Lombo, Blossom Lady and Dream About Me. Our Princess Tiffany                     --Stuart McCormick Photo Bred and raced by Braedon and Caroline Whitelock, Our Princess Tiffany is a five-year-old Art Major mare from the top racemare Dancing Diamonds 1:57.8 (winner of $343,276), by Bettor’s Delight from Asabella, by In The Pocket from Mio Bellisimo, by Smooth Fella. This family has produced some useful pacers over the years including Ohoka’s Bondy, Miss Sangrial, Sangue Reale and The Cavalier. Dancing Diamonds also produced Rock Diamonds 1:50 ($435,016), a winner at Group level in Western Australia and Canada.   Star four-year-old by Bettor’s Delight The winner of the Group 2 Hondo Grattan Stakes at Menangle was the Bettor’s Delight entire Zeuss Bromac NZ, who is expected to make open grade. Only a four-year-old, he showed up last season as a three-year-old above average when he won the Breeders Crown at Melton and finished third in the NSW Derby. Zeuss Bromac, by Bettor’s Delight, is the first foal out of Zeta Bromac, who took a record of 1:55.5. She was a Mach Three mare from the Victorian-bred mare Zante Beach, by Fake Left from Gemfire, by Torado Hanover from Gold Mistress, by Golden Money Maker from the Bachelor Hanover mare Madame Han, who established a great winning line for Helen and the late Graham Head.  She left 10 winners including a cup class pacer in Chipmunk and the Moonee Valley winners Gold Mistress, Moonshine Mistress, Cocky Benz and Botlar. Zante Beach, the second dam of Zeuss Bromac, won 16 races and $115,160 in stakes and at the stud left the metropolita winners Zorro Bromac (1:56.6) and Savvy Bromac (1:57.2), Zion Bromac (1:56.1) and the exported My Zach Bromac (1:52).  Zeuss Bromac is the best winner from this family in recent years but in an earlier decade it produced a top flight pacer in Safari, who won 28 races.   Close relatives win at Shepparton Boy From Bondi and Kissmelvis, who both won at the Shepparton midweek meeting recently, are members of the same family. Boy From Bondi, a seven-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is out of the Safely Kept mare Awakemecate, while Kissmelvis, a seven-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover, is from Kissmecatie (1:56.5), a daughter of Awakemecate.  Both were bred and are raced by Avenel horseman Ian Montgomery. Kissmecatie, by the triple Inter Dominion champion Our Sir Vancelot, won 16 races including the Albury and Gunbower Cups and $125,344 in stakes and at the stud, has left winners from her only two foals of racing age. Her dam, Awakemecate, was only lightly raced but she left four winners. She was out of a capable racemare in Cathanda, who took a record of 2:01.4 and won 12 races. Besides Awakemecate, she was also the dam of Armbro Andie (2:01.8), who won three. Other members of this family have been the Victoria Breeders Plate winner Son Of Chris, Navy Way (NE & GV Breeders Plate), Standing ovation (Bendigo Guineas) and a top Tasmanian pacer in Saint Tulloch.   From Bessie B family Lochinvar Art, the commanding winner of the A. G. Hunter Cup at Melton, became only the second winner – Preux Chavelier (1985) was the other - from the noted Bessie B tribe to win Victoria’s signature race. Lochinvar Art       --Stuart McCormick Photo Bred by Peter and M. Green, M. A. Morris and Daniel Cordina, Lochinvar Art is a five-year-old entire by the Artsplace horse Modern Art out of Ponder In Paris (1:56.5), by Ponder from Alive In Paris, by Live Or Die from Zora Paree, by Torado Hanover from the Hilarious Way mare Paree Beauty, dam of the Victoria Oaks winner My Cherie. This branch of the family has produced such winners as Kaboom (20 wins), All Hotted Up (NSW Derby heat), Ned Pepper, Mind The Wire (1:51.9), Katie’s Secret, Drunken Desire (1:51.8) and What’s The Catch.   First winner The Bettor’s Delight horse Betting Line, the former USA 3YO Colt of the Year and now available a member of Empire Stallions’ frozen semen roster, was recently represented by his first two-year-old winners in Australia. Comet Crusader, a New Zealand-bred colt, and Whataretheodds, a gelding bred in WA, both won on debut at Newcastle and Pinjarra respectively. Both had shown up strongly at the trials. Bred by Chatsworth Lodge, Auckland, Comet Crusader is out of the Badlands Hanover mare Shimmering Star, whose dam, Electrify, left the Treuer Memorial winner Lochinver 1:52.2 ($302,448) and Miss Tanaka, the dam of the Gloucester Park winners Tanaka Eagle 1:54.7 ($266,166) and Advance Your Dream (1:57.5). Whataretheodds, who was bred by Kody and Kevin Charles, is the second foal of the Group 3 winner Generally Outspoken (1:59.4), a sister by Mach Three to Mach’s Gold (1:54.3) and a half-sister to the dual NZ Group winner Spellbound 1:56.8 ($126,230) and Missinmemate (1:54.5).   Canberra Cup winner Benalong Valley, who won the $25,000 Canberra Cup, after being required to overcome a difficult barrier draw and a wide passage, has now won 13 races and $137,537 in stakes and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. By The Panderosa horse Shadow Play, who sired top pacers the calibre of Shadow Sax and Our Triple Play, Benalong Valley is a six-year-old gelding out from Cedar Valley (1:55.1), by Island Fantasy from Tricky Valley, by Tricky Dick (son of Lordship) from Red Valley, by Brutus Blue Chip from Totara Valley, by Regal Yankee – a pedigree with some real background with a strong staying influence behind it. Cedar Valley, a Harold Park and Moonee Valley winner, was a half-sister to the cup winning pacer Dontfencemein 1:57.2 ($272,760) and Larado 1:54.7 ($179,178).  The champion WA pacer of the 1980’s, Village Kid, is the best known member of this family.   Up-and-coming trotter One of the most improved trotters racing in Victoria is Aldebaran Poppy, bred by Aldebaran Park, Nagambie. A seven-year-old, Aldebaran Poppy has won four of her last five starts including the Group 2 $30,000 Vicbred Platinum Trotting Mares Sprint Championship at Melton. Aldebaran Poppy              --Stuart McCormick Photo Aldebaran Poppy has a background of trotting blood second to none. Her sire, Skyvalley, has left the great Australian trotter Tornado Valley and other top trotters in Pink Galahs, Sky Petite, Kyvalley Finn and Aldebaran Eve. Her dam, Aldebaran Revenue, is by Revenue, a former leading trotter in Europe and America. Aldebaran Poppy ranks as a half-sister to a talented trotter in Keayang Ignite, a winner at Group 1 level at Melton. Aldebaran Revenue, who was unraced, is a half-sister to Aldebaran Maori (10 wins), the dam of two high class trotters in Fear Not 2:01.6b ($179,495) and Kyvalley Kyrie Tr 1:59 ($100,251).  The family, which traces to the Lincoln Yet mare Dot, produced a champion trotter in Maori’s Idol (1:59.3), who won 40 races, including 24 on end, and other top trotters in Maori Time (1:51.5), the fastest trotting mare ever bred in Australasia, Noopy Kiosk, Sumthingaboutmaori and Danny Bouchea.   Close relative of Beautide Kikkimi, who won at Launceston last weekend, is a Roll With Joe mare from the same family as that which produced the dual Inter Dominion champion Beautide. A four-year-old, Kikkimi has not raced a great deal. She had only start at two, and from eight lifetime appearances has won twice and been three times placed.  Kikkimi is a well developed mare and was bred by Barrie and Denise Rattray, who bred and raced Beautide. She is out of the Jereme’s Jet mare Delmi, a moderate performer herself but who is proving a successful broodmare having left others in Lancelot (2:00.1) and Invil, both good winners. Delmi ranks as a half-sister to Beautide, being out of Gorse Bush (2:02.1), by Ticket To Heaven from the noted producer Barrington Lass, the dam of a record 15 individual winners.   Tasmanian Yearling Sale on Saturday The Tasmanian Harness Yearling Sale, to be conducted by Tasracing, will be held at the race meeting at Carrick Park on Saturday. The sale features youngsters by exciting, young sires such as Betting Line, Downbytheseaside, Sweet Lou, A Rocknroll Dance, Hes Watching and Lincoln Royal and the established sires Sportswriter and Stonebridge Regal. Progeny of the smart racemares including the Granny Smith winner Tisu Holly, Angel Or Demon (Mother of Pearl and Matron Stakes), Iden Countess (Killarney Stud Bouquet) and the Belmont winners Mon Soie and Iden Princess are listed in the catalogue. Yearlings closely related to the outstanding pacers Beautide, Ignatius, Lombo Pocket Watch, Devendra, Astral Francais and Chip And Gale are also among the offering.   By Peter Wharton

As anticipation builds for NZB Standardbred’s 2021 National Yearling Sale, viewers from around the globe can look forward to an enhanced sale broadcast over the duration of the five day event.  The new format will provide enriched content for standardbred enthusiasts, with a number of key sponsors jumping on board to support the 2021 Auckland and Christchurch selling sessions.  Robert Dunn Harness Racing, Woodlands Stud and Southern Bred Southern Reared will support the coverage of the NZB Standardbred yearling sale sessions, bringing in all the action from the sale rings at Karaka and Canterbury Agricultural Park.  With the addition of presenters Michael Guerin and Greg O’Connor bringing daily Preview and Review shows, as well as key sale highlights and interviews, viewers can be assured they will not miss any of the live sale action.  From Saturday 13 February through until the conclusion of selling on Wednesday 17 February, the sale will be broadcast live to viewers on Freeview Channel 200, streamed on and on NZB Standardbred’s facebook page.  2021 Sale Coverage Auckland  Saturday 13 February: Parade of Trotters and Pacers, 1PM (NZT) Sunday 14 February: Sale of Pacers and Trotters, plus the daily Preview and Show hosted by Michael Guerin commencing 11:30AM (NZT) until the close of selling Christchurch Monday 15 February: Parade and Sale of Trotters, 1PM (NZT) plus the daily Preview and Review Show hosted by Greg O’Connor commencing 2:30PM until the close of selling Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 February: Parade and Sale of Pacers, 10AM (NZT) plus the daily Preview and Review Show hosted by Greg O’Connor commencing 12:30PM (NZT) until the close of selling on both days  All coverage will be available on Freeview channel 200, and the NZB Standardbred facebook page.    NZB Standardbred

Thirty-two three-year-old pacers have been nominated for the Group One $200,000 Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Pacing Derby, when nominations closed this week. This prestigious race will be held on Friday 9 April 2021. The 32 horses nominated are listed below.  Aladdin Alta Sensation American Dealer American Lightning Arden's Ace B D Joe Best Trio Bettor Call Me Castelo De Vide Corravally Star Dashing Major First Class Got You Covered It's All About Faith Keep On Dreaming Krug La Rosa Luke John Pace N Pride Pembrook's Destiny Perfect Cut Quaddie VC Ragazzo Mach Raven Banner Rock Legend Samhara Shan Noble Sir Brigadoon Stag Party Stephs Boy Will He Rock Yorokobi Their fixed odds prices (NZ dollars) will be released by the TAB in the near future. For more details on the 2021 Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Pacing Derby, please visit Alternatively, please phone the racing department at Addington on 338 9094.

Three years ago Nathan Williamson was watching a racing show on television, turned to his wife Katie and said the words that changed his career. “We got to change the way we go about this,” said the now 32-year-old horseman. Williamson was watching a discussion about the dominance of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen and how the challenge was for other trainers to raise to their standards, not complain about the All Stars success. The words hit the talented young harness horseman like a mallet. “We were going ok at that time, training winners and had a good-sized team but we weren’t going to go to that next level and not to the top,” says Williamson. “That show really made me think about how we were running the business and I decided we should have less horses but better bred ones and have a plan.” That plan in involved getting successful owners to re-invest and trust Williamson’s judgement, buying better-bred yearlings and then target carnivals at the major tracks while establishing a professional base in Southland. The Williamson’s plan has worked and now the young gun trainer is one of the most feared in the South Island with ambitions of northern raids and buying even better horseflesh at the yearling sales, which start this Sunday. But first he heads to Addington tonight with the tangible results of his new, improved training programme, four horses good enough to compete against the best and maybe beat them. He has exciting three-year-old Ragazzo Mach up against Sires’ Stakes winner It’s All About Faith in race two, stable star Dark Horse in the main trot, Pembrook Playboy taking on NZ Cup winner Self Assured in the Summer Cup and stable newcomer Yankee Party in the group one $100,000 Breeders Stakes. He realises Yankee Party can’t beat Amazing Dream in the last of those races and even though his other three will be among the favourites they may not win either. But Williamson is now in the big time and loving it. “This was part of the plan way back then and Friday is an important night for us,” he offers. “With the sales starting this weekend we want to show people we can train in the big time, especially with Mark and Natalie taking a break. That has changed the industry and maybe the dynamic of the sales.”Pembrook Playboy (R7, No.2) has been in scintillating form in the deep south and has an open class motor but taking on a New Zealand and Auckland Cup winner in Self Assured is a step up so big he might need a pole vault. “He is still a big baby of a horse but I will put him in the race and give him his chance. But I don’t think he can beat Self Assured,” says Williamson. Dark Horse is a wonderful follower of speed with a sprint to match most open class trotters in the country but tonight’s Summer Trotting Free-For-All will require early pressure that doesn’t relent to see her at her best. “I used to think she had a top trotter’s sprint but after a few injuries I think she is a very good group two or three horse away from the very best. “So she can win this week but Muscle Mountain will be hard to beat and it might come down to the tempo.” Ragazzo Mach (R2, No.9) may be the best of Williamson’s new generation and as a pre-Christmas three-year-old beat good older horses in the Wairio Cup and then slayed his last-start opponents by almost 10 lengths. In an open year for three-year-olds he is a legitimate NZ Derby hope but finds himself in a wonderful intermediate grade field tonight containing four or five future open class horses. “You wouldn’t believe he could end up in a field this strong and from the outside barrier I can’t go rushing off the gate (at the start),” says Williamson. “So in reality it might be a race where he hits the line hard and we are happy with that if we don’t get the right luck. “But he is the real deal and I think he has a Derby chance. He is the sort of horse we wanted to be training by now when we made those tough calls three years ago.”   By Michael Guerin

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    As Free As Air finally found some luck at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday night and took advantage of it. The Ross Paynter-trained mare has had a bad run of things of late, highlighted by losing driver Andre Poutama in the Trotters Gold Cup at Cambridge last Saturday. Poutama was back in the bike on Thursday and the pair had no such trouble this time, taking a front-running role and holding on for a three-quarter length victory over The Last Gamble, with Our Gracie a further 1-1/4 lengths back in third. View the full results click here! Paynter was happy with the win and relieved some luck finally went his mare’s way. “It was a good run, she just doesn’t get a lot of luck at the start sometimes,” Paynter said. “She doesn’t help herself, but a couple of times horses get in her way too and cause a bit of bad luck. “She has had some real bad luck lately and last start was a disaster. “When she does behave and gets a free run at them off certain handicaps, she can be quite potent. “She hasn’t been racing that bad, but she is a bit patchy at times. It just depends what horses she is racing and what handicap she gets. When she won her last race she went back and struggled a little bit with the handicap, but she got back in a bit better tonight. “As soon as she gets back into where she is capable of doing it, she normally provides you with a pretty good run.” Looking ahead to the weekend, Paynter is looking forward to donning his vendors cap at New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbreds Yearling Sale at Karaka on Sunday. He will offer lot 22, the Father Patrick filly out of Sagan, a half-sister to Group One winner Lemond, Group Three winners Il Pirata and Anquetil, and Harness Jewels winner Merckx. “She is a really well bred and well put together filly,” Paynter said. “Ross McKay is preparing her for the sale under Leanach Lodge. “Father Patrick is a very good stallion and she is out of a Monarchy mare, so it gives you the same cross as the one of Barry Purdon’s, Son Of Patrick, that has been winning the races down here.” Paynter has sold a number of high performing trotters through the yearling sales over the years, and he is hoping that will continue on Sunday. “We sold Lemond, Contador, Anquetil, and Merckx. It’s a good family,” he said.

The Racing Safety Development Fund is now open for applications until the end of March. “While the Government is in the process of implementing changes to revitalise the racing industry, health and safety will always be of the upmost importance. “This fund allows racecourses the opportunity to improve health and safety activities to ensure animals, staff and spectators can enjoy and reap the benefits of this industry,” Grant Robertson said. All racing clubs and racing code bodies should consider the condition and standard of their facilities and equipment, and assess whether they are safe for animals, staff and customers. The fund covers up to half the costs of a project with between $7,500 – $50,000 funding being available for each project. Past projects have included improvements for safety running rails, irrigation and drainage, lighting upgrades, and grandstand repair. Media contact: Chris Bramwell 021 581 149

The class of yearlings set to be offered at the 2021 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales have been given a big tick of approval by Cran Dalgety ahead of the gavel falling for the first time at Karaka on Sunday. Cran has trekked the country in search of the Kentuckiana Lodge's next Krug, Bit Of A Legend or Smiling Shard. The Southern Bred Southern Reared Sales Tour was the latest stop on Cran's countrywide tour. The Kentuckiana Lodge trainer had previously been on the North Island yearling sales tour and had made private visits to view yearlings across Canterbury. After inspecting around 95% of the sales catalogue, Cran has been impressed with what he has seen. "The standard is definitely high this year, we have seen a lot of quality horses." "Naturally we would like to take a heap of them home, but it will depend on what happens on the day." "One thing is for sure, we can go there with a bit of confidence that we will be able to bring home some really nice horses." It is a good thing Cran goes over every yearling he inspects with a fine-tooth comb. The standard is so high it takes plenty of inspecting to narrow down the ones that will make the Kentuckiana Lodge trainer's hit-list. "The presentation is very, very high." "So we have to be on our game and keep our own standards high." "We go into each individual project leaving no stone unturned." "Going on farm we have the privilege of being up close with the individual horses." "There is nothing like getting in there and running your eye over them." "We take a lot out of it, it is definitely worth the effort." After giving each yearling is appraised there are still plenty on Cran and wife Chrissie's possible buying list. Thorough study of each pedigree page - which starts as soon as the sale catalogue is released - helps further narrow down which horses Cran takes home. "To be honest there would be about 50 of them I would love to take home." "But naturally we have got the list down to 10-12 lots we would really like to target." The final and most volatile factor in deciding which yearlings will come back to Kentuckiana Lodge, of course, is the auction process. "A lot of it will depend on what happens in the ring, naturally you are not going to come home with every horse you like." "There were plenty of people keen to get their hands on Krug, but we were determined to get him." "We have had a bit of luck with coming home with most of the horses we have been keen on in the past." "And we would like to think that is just what we will be doing again this year." After the sales Cran and Chrissie will be syndicating the yearlings they are able to secure. They welcome anyone interested in enjoying the thrill of racing a horse with Kentuckiana Lodge to contact them. The smallest of shares in each sales purchase can be negotiated for purchase.   By Jonny Turner

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Stakes-winning three-year-old Aladdin will be carrying new colours at Alexandra Park on Friday night in the NZB Standardbred Karaka Yearling Sales 14 Feb Mobile Pace (1609m). The Sweet Lou gelding had previously raced in the blue and silver All Stars silks, but he has recently transferred to the Pukekohe barn of Peter and Vaughan Blanchard after his sale to the Cormack family, who race under their AB & T Cormack Racing Pty Ltd banner. Peter Blanchard had negotiated his sale just days before the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 1 3YO C & G Mobile Pace (2200m), and he began his association with his new owners in perfect fashion, taking out the rich feature at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve. “That was a great training performance by Mark (Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen) and a great drive by Tim Williams in that race,” Vaughan Blanchard said. “The owners, who bought him, live in Australia and they were lucky enough to own him for that race. The sale went through 10 days before New Year’s Eve. “That (win) was a bit of a surprise, but he had pretty good lead-up form. He got a good run that night and everything panned out well for him. “It will be a hard feat to keep him up to that standard, but the way he is working and trialling, he is pretty good at the moment.” Blanchard said he and his father have trained and sold a few to the Australian-based Cormack family over the years. “We have always had the odd one for them,” he said. “They owned Al Bundy and we won nine or 10 with him. “Another mare we sold to them, Rockon Bye, won 20 for them over there (in Australia). “Predominantly they have their horses in Australia and that is where Aladdin will end up, but they thought why not have a crack at some three-year-old races and then go over. “He will definitely head towards the Great Northern Derby and then we will assess how he shapes up and whether he travels to Addington for the New Zealand Derby, and the Jewels (at Cambridge Raceway).” While looking ahead to three-year-old feature races, Aladdin will have his first start for the Blanchard stable on Friday and his new trainers are expecting a solid first-up performance after his trial win at his new home track late last month. “After the New Year’s Eve run we gave him three weeks off and he hasn’t put a foot wrong since we have had him,” Blanchard said. “He has settled in really well. He is a very easy horse to have around the place. “It is a very strong field on Friday. He trialled two weeks ago and we wanted to race him last week at Cambridge, but that race didn’t get off the ground. “But it’s a mile on Friday and it’s a perfect run for him first up after having a wee break.”

Champion harness racing's stallion Bettor's Delight is now 23 years old and top sire Art Major is just one year younger at 22. These two stallions dominate the Australasian sires lists and once gone new stallions have to emerge or should emerge. Some highly promising young stallions are out there but to date breeders are still looking for the next hot commercial stallion to arrive in the flesh. Bettor's Delight needs no introduction and to date has completely dominated money winning sires lists throughout the world. In North America to date he has produced the winners of over $270 million!  That is right $270 million to date with an average of $129,521 per foal. He has 31 winners with over $1,000,000 in earnings and that is just in North America. In Australia Bettor's Delight has produced the winners of over $47 million with an average earnings per starter of $63,000. And in New Zealand Bettor's Delight has produced the winners of over $61 million to date including the mighty Lazarus with $4m to his credit.. Total earnings world-wide from Bettor's Delight progeny to date is a staggering $378 million the most of any stallion thoroughbred or standardbred in history. There is no comparison, no stallion even comes close and they are the facts. By the way, if you have forgot about who the sire of the dam of Bettor's Delight is, it is Armbro Emerson, yes Armbro Emerson, by Abercrombie from an Albatross mare. It such a laugh when you listen to some breeders and hear that they would not breed to such and such stallion because the stallion is out of a mare by a sire not well known. Or by a sire that is not well known!  Bettor's Delight winning the 2001 North America Cup XVIII Next to talk about is top sire Art Major who is now 22 years old. Once again Art Major needs no introduction as he is a top commercial stallion Down Under. Art Major has produced to date over $144 million in progeny earnings in North America. He has an average earnings per foal, old enough to race of $97,612 and has sired nine millionaires. In Australia he has done an exceptional job with progeny earnings of over $68 million with an average earnings per starter of just under $50,000. In New Zealand Art Major has sired the winners of over $17 million. Art Major has progeny earnings of $229 million worldwide. By the way Art Major is out of a Nihilator mare who in turn is out of a Big Towner mare. Art Major winning the 2003 Canadian Pacing Derby Final There are 25 yearlings by Bettor's Delight in the National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka on Sunday and 31 in the Sale in Christchurch next week. There are 19 yearlings by Art Major in the National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka and 41 in the Sale at Christchurch next week. In the Breckon Farms draft there are two colts an a filly by Bettor's Delight that we have not covered to date. Lot 2 Ok Boomer Ok Boomer pedigree combines both the champion sires Bettor's Delight and Art Major. Ok Boomer's dam a half-sister to mother of top Australian Grand Circuit pacer King Of Swing. Ok Boomer is a colt by the incomparable Bettor’s Delight out of the Art Major mare Reachforthetill, an unraced half-sister to the NZ Sires’ Stakes 3YO champion and Great Northern Oaks winner Twist And Twirl, the dam of the Miracle Mile and A. G. Hunter Cup winner King Of Swing and the Sires’ Stakes 2YO Final winner Bettor Twist. His dam is also a half-sister to the multiple NSW Group winner Feels Like Magic and to the $130,000 winning mare Bettor Give It, whose the dam of the NSW Sapling Stakes and SA Derby winner Mach Dan. Lot 101 Greater Good Greater Good is a sister to champion racemare Elle Mac. She is a bay filly bred on the identical cross as Lazarus, Chicago Bull, Ohoka Punter and Thefixer. She’s by the world’s leading stakewinning sire Bettor’s Delight from the Christian Cullen mare Goodlookinggirl, the dam of five foals to race for four winners headed up by the 2YO Filly of the Year and 4YO Mare of the Year and NZ record holder Elle Mac, the winner of 12 races and $607,000 including the Sires’ Stakes 2YO and 3YO Finals, Northern Oaks and Harness Jewels. She’s a half-sister to the Sires’ Stakes 2YO Final, Young Guns and Queensland Oaks placegetter Miss Streisand. Her dam is a half-sister to nine winners including the dual Winter Cup winner Waitfornoone, Mark Dennis, the winner of $340,000, the Listed winner Fight Fire With Fire and to the dam of the dual South Australian Cup winner and dual Inter Dominion Final placegetter Flaming Flutter (1:49.2) and the Alabar 3YO Classic winner Two Times Bettor. Lot 105 Bettor High Bettor High is a half-sister to 1:56.5 NSW winner Bita Banta. A filly by the incomparable Bettor’s Delight with a 3x4 cross to Cam Fella and a 4x4 cross to Abercrombie. She’s a half-sister to the NSW winner Bita Banta (1:56.5). Her dam the 1:57 winning Mach Three mare High Society Gal is a sister to the Yearling Sales 2YO North Island Graduate and Sires’ Stakes 2YO heat winner and Newcastle Mile placegetter Chachingchaching and a half-sister to the Menangle winner Giddy Heights (1:53.9, the Young Guns placegetter Smart Fortune and to the dam of the Perth winner Head Honcho (1:53.7). The grand-dam is a Group 1 placegetter who’s a half-sister to the Yearling Sales 2YO Final winner Exotic Lover and to the dam of the outstanding WA pacer Vampiro In the Breckon Farms draft in the National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka on Sunday they have five Art Major colts that we have not covered to date. Lot 42 Wild Willow Wild Willow is a colt from a NZ Sires Stakes Championship winner. A colt by the outstanding racehorse and sire Art Major. He’s the second foal of the Sires’ Stakes 3YO Championship winner, NSW Ladyship Mile placegetter and NZ record holder Willow, a half-sister to two sub 2:00 winners and to the dam of the prolific Albion Park winner Phantom Rockstar. The colt’s grand-dam Listen To The Rhythm won 15 races and $130,000 and was placed in the Breeders Crown 3YO Final. He’s closely related to the Australian Horse of the Year and Grand Circuit champion Atitagain, the Messenger winner Rain Again, Tricky Styx, who won the WA Diamond and Champagne Classics, and the WA Pearl Classic winner Go West U Terror. Lot 94 Capital Gains Capital Gains is an Art Major colt out of a sister to Elle Mac. A colt by the sire of the Miracle Mile winner Field Marshal, the Victoria Cup winner For A Reason and the champion racemare Princess Tiffany. His dam, Fellamongsttabeauty, is a Bettor’s Delight sister to the six-time Group 1 winner Elle Mac, the winner of $607,000, and a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 placegetter Miss Streisand. The grand-dam is a half-sister to four $100,000 earners including Mark Dennis, the dual Winter Cup winner Waitfornoone, Fight Fire With Fire and to the dam of the dual South Australian Cup winner and dual Inter Dominion Final placegetter Flaming Flutter (1:49.2), the winner of $820,000. Lot 109 Major Hulabaloo This colt is from the family of the great Rocknroll Hanover. He is a bay colt who carries a 2X3 cross to super sire Artsplace. A son of the great Art Major, the sire of the winners of more than $100 million, he’s from a powerful all-American family. He’s the second foal of Bettor’s Delight mare whose dam ranks as a half-sister to eight winners including the multiple NSW Group winner Blazin N Cullen. The colt’s third dam is a sister to top American racehorses and sires Red River Hanover, Richess Hanover, Rustler Hanover and Righteous Hanover and a half-sister to the Hall of Fame Immortal Rocknroll Hanover. Lot 130 Lydia's Art This colt is from a sister to the Jewels, Breeders Crown and Oaks winner Partyon and the dual Derby winner Line Up. He is a bay colt by the seven-time champion Australian two-year-old sire Art Major, the sire of the winners of more than $100 million and 16 in the 1:50 list. He’s the first colt form the Bettor’s Delight mare Lydia’s Delight, a full sister the 2YO Jewels, 2YO Breeders Crown, NSW and Northern Oaks and Queen Of Hearts winner Partyon, the NSW and Victoria Derby winner Line Up, the 1:53 Menangle winner Typhoon Stride and the Sires’ Stakes 2YO heat winner Ubettabelieveit. The colt is from the immediate family of the Group 3 winner Glenferrie Blade (1:52.8 and the Melton and Menangle winner High Rolling (1:51.8) Lot 133 Wolf Of Wall Street Wolf On Wall Street is a grandson of the NZ Oaks placegetter Angela’s Dream. Boasting a 2x4 cross to the incomparable Artsplace, this brown colt is by the champion racehorse, sire and broodmare sire Art Major. He’s the second foal of the 1:59 Bettor’s Delight mare Moving Money, a daughter of the Nevele R Fillies heat winner and NZ Oaks runner-up Angela’s Dream who’s a half-sister to seven sub 2:00 winners and three $100,000 earners including the NZ Sapling Stakes winner Jackson Street, the Gloucester Park winners Fifth Edition and Meet Me In Seattle and the Albion Park winner Brass Lantern. Harnesslink Media

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Addington tonight with a ten race program starting at 5:04pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Addington  selections 12th February 2021 Best Bet:  R6 La Rosa Best Value:  R8 Midnight Assassin   Race 1 Global Flight form suggests a big showing here. Getting close to a win and hard to beat with manners..… Regal Appointment looks the leader here and good winning chance but tricky draw. Can run top three again…… Greenbank Betty runs the odd good race and could be the upsetter here. Include at longer odds….. The Bloss races well on the track and on the improve. Place chances looks best here though Selections:  Global Flight (6),   Greenbank Betty (9),   Regal Appointment  (10)   The Bloss (3)   Race 2 It's All About Faith comes up with a tricky draw but has gate speed. Has to be a major player here.……. Ragazzo Mach has a big reputation and in good form. Not well placed here from the draw but has winning claims with luck in the running…… Italian Lad drawn for a soft run on the pegs but will need luck. Another with good winning claims if the gaps come…… Smooth Deal has been disappointing at times but good recent trial. Can win at good odds with a cart into the race Selections:  It's All About Faith (8),  Italian Lad (10),   Ragazzo Mach (9),   Smooth Deal (13)   Race 3 Pace N Pride last run not great but drops in grade for this. Drawn well and should give a good account. Top selection….. Radioactive Jaffa has been racing well but draw not great. Chance at big money here with luck in the running….. Last Of The Mohicans tidy draw and in good form but hardest test to date. Can run top three in this field and good beginner….. Bettor Call Me terrible draw but has a ton of ability. Can win with a good run in transit Selections:   Pace N Pride (1),   Radioactive Jaffa (12),   Bettor Call Me (17)   Last Of The Mohicans (4)   Race 4 Rock Legend from a powerful stable and gets in well here. Top selection….. Zarias racing into form and has come a long way for this race. One of the leading players and should start favourite….. Corravally Star in good form and has the ability to compete well in this field even from the wide draw . Needed ….. Rollyourown manners not great at times but drawn well. Winning claims with a soft run in transit Selections:   Rock Legend (6),   Zarias (7),   Corravally Star  (9)   Rollyourown (1)   Race 5 Splash Cola conditions suit and drawn to go forward early . Good winning claims and can run top three at nice odds.…. The Dominator good patch of form and should be close to the lead early with his gate speed. Good chance here and over the odds …… Vacation Hill ok draw and very good last start. Should be improved and can win with a good run in transit ..… Dark Horse top wins the last three and looks hard to beat again here. Include Selections:  Splash Cola (6),   The Dominator (7),   Dark Horse (8),   Vacation Hill (4)   Race 6 La Rosa tricky second row draw but class horse of the field. Can win and is the leading chance in this field …. Avana form suggests a good run here at nice odds. Has been freshened and can upset if she can clear traffic from the fence draw ….. Off N Gone has been good the last couple and getting fitter. Terrible draw but will likely press forward early. Can place…. Braeview Kelly getting better with racing and a good winning chance if back in her best form. Include Selections:   La Rosa (12),  Braeview Kelly (2),   Avana (10),  Off N Gone (9)   Race 7 Self Assured NZ Cup winner who is coming in fresh. Should win and is the top selection in this field …. Thefixer form suggests a good run here at nice odds. Might be hardest for the favourite to beat and should place ….. Pembrook Playboy has been too good the last couple but this is harder. Has the ability to run top three…. Classie Brigade getting better with racing but some of these look more seasoned. Place chances best Selections:   Self Assured (5),  Thefixer (4),   Pembrook Playboy (2),  Classie Brigade (6)   Race 8 Midnight Assassin going ok and paying great money. Looks hard to beat here if he gets a run through early ….. Phoebe Onyx good second last start and will be improved. Can run a decent race at good money….. B D Yasothon ok draw but manners not great. Will be running on  and should be close to the placings with no mistakes….. Rydgemont Son draw not great and will need luck in transit, but at his best would be hard to beat. Needed Selections:   Midnight Assassin (13),   Phoebe Onyx (14),   Rydgemont Son (18)  B D Yasothon (7)   Race 9 Amazing Dream racing well and looks a good thing in this field. Top selection….. Watch Me Now racing well and good stayer who should be hard to beat even from the tricky draw. Include at longer odds….. Enchantee racing well and not far away from the placings last start. Place chances look best…… Need You Now got close to beating the favourite last start and drawn handy. Should be thereabouts again Selections:  Amazing Dream (5),  Need You Now (6),   Watch Me Now  (8)    Enchantee (13)   Race 10 Chal Patch well drawn and in good form. Winning claims with a quick beginning here….. Ifyousayso better run last start and hardly ever out of the placings. Go again here….. Fire Fox fence draw and will be a factor if he can clear the fence early . Paying ok money and can upset….. Artatac  getting fitter with racing and not the worst in an even field. Place hope at big odds Selections:   Chal Patch (2),   Ifyousayso (5),   Artatac   (8)   Fire Fox (10)   Harnesslink Media

To mark the running  of the Group One Leefield Station NZ Breeders Stakes at Addington on Friday night we have produced a video clip, featuring  every runner. The $100,000 feature over 2600 metres for the fillies and mares, is set to go at 9.10 pm. Amazing Dream  will be the hottest of favourites, opening at $1.25 to make it 19 wins from 29 starts. The Auckland Cup winner has accrued nearly $900,000 in stakes. The race dates back to the 1970s and has featured three-time winners Blossom Lady and Bonnie’s Chance as well as Mainland Banner (2016), Adore Me (2014) and Dream About Me (2019).   Harness Racing New Zealand

Addington runs a premier night of harness racing action on Friday the 12th Here we look through the strong card and the races that catch the eye. The 4th of the night the “Woodlands Stud Sires Stakes Harness 7000” is dominated, at least in name, by Bruce Negus. The Burnham based trainer lines up no less than four runners in an all-out attack on this $40’000 event. He does hold a strong hand too with Corravally Star having more exposed form than most and Perfect Cut having the early speed to attempt to dictate terms from the front. Zarias, the Zachary Butcher trained son of Changeover will also carry support following a notable debut win at Alexandra Park. It’s a good concept this Harness 7000 and I’m sure most are pleased that it’s managed to attract a strong field. Race 5 the “Fahey Fence Hire Summer Trotting FFA” is due to clear the mobile arm at 7.11 pm. The field is a strong one with the Hope stable producing two of the most exciting trotting stars of the last season or so in Midnight Dash (drawn 3) and Muscle Mountain (operating from the #5 barrier) Dark horse, coming off a treble of back-to-back wins is entitled to carry support but this field is a step up on the last outing and she’ll have to be at her brilliant best to prevail. The Dominator, the impressive Vacation Hill and Splash Cola all have strong mobile records too and add real depth to this quality field. The NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Fillies rolls around at 7.40 and sees the Mark Jones stable hold sway over the field of twelve. Braeview Kelly, who possesses an explosive turn of foot, draws well at #2 while her stablemate, the free-wheeling La Rosa, will have work to do from a second line draw but there’s little doubting her ability to win given her race record against arguably stronger fields. The Hayden Cullen trained Avana is confined to an inside second row draw and may need early luck while the Robert Dunn trained Off N Gone, who has been strong in her last three race day appearances, will need to overcome the car park draw of #9. Expect mid-race moves here.   The Coca Cola Summer Cup at Group 3 level is the next humdinger on this big night with the New Zealand Cup victor from last year Self Assured going to battle with the New Zealand Cup winner of 2018 in The Fixer. Classie Brigade, a known mobile arm flyer, will start from the widest barrier but could still have too many wheels for his rivals early. Pembrook Playboy, the Southern raider, looks to further cement his open class credentials here and will have options from his nice #2 barrier. A small field yes but it certainly doesn’t lack for quality. The last Group race on the card is the feature of the night. “The Leefield Station NZ Breeders Stakes” at Group 1 level will be run at 9.10pm and sees the amazing Amazing Dream look to defy them all and notch another memorable victory. The 2600m will sort the real women out from the girls here as this title normally brings the very best to the top. Look for Watch Me Now to continue her stellar form of late alongside Need You Now who simply looks incapable of going a poor race. The Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan trained Havtime should be respected and is likely to receive an economical trip from an inside second row draw. Plutonium Lady, Enchantee and Spellbound will also have their fans and their chance to run into things if the race tempo is in their favor. All things considered a wonderful night of racing at Addington.   Ben McMillan     

La Rosa (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) is primed and ready for her shot at back-to-back Harness Million Sale Race Series victories at Addington on Friday night.  The emphatic winner of the inaugural Harness Million Listed 2YO Fillies Pace will attempt to back up her two-year-old final victory by winning the $150,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Fillies Pace (1980m). She was purchased by trainer Mark Jones for $100,000 at NZB Standardbred’s 2019 National Yearling Sale out of Wairau Farm’s draft. A standout performer amongst her age group, La Rosa has been freshened and guided back to full fitness by Mark Jones after competing in Group One events in Auckland over the summer. La Rosa has shown she is ready to run in Friday night’s feature when storming home to place second at Addington last week in her first start since returning to Canterbury. The Bettor’s Delight filly will reunite with driver Samantha Ottley who guided to her front-running victory in the $150,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Fillies Pace (1980m). Ottley comes into Friday night’s race after becoming just the second woman in New Zealand harness racing history to reach 500 driving wins on Wednesday. Victory in Friday night's final would top an outstanding week for the talented reinswoman. “That is fairy-tale stuff, she is a nice filly and she is going super,” Ottley said. Ottley goes into her second Harness Million Series Final pleased with La Rosa’s late-closing second at Addington last week. “She is a biggish filly and we knew she would need the run and she has improved with it.” “She seems really bright and well at home, she has worked nicely during the week. “In the big races you need a little bit of luck, but I wouldn’t want to be driving anything else,” she said. While La Rosa starts from barrier three on the second row of the mobile, her stablemate Braeview Kelly (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) starts from the sought after number three alley. She was purchased by Braeview Ltd for $27,500 from the 2019 Yearling Sale in Christchurch out of P. A. Boyle’s draft. Trained by Mark Jones, the filly was desperately unlucky in her lead up run at Addington last week. Braeview Kelly has shown a brilliant turn of foot in her short career, running fourth behind La Rosa in the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Fillies Final last year. The Mark Jones-trained pair clash with the four-strong team trainer Robert Dunn has qualified for Friday night’s event. Dunn has fillies positioned right across the field, with $50,000 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale purchase With Grace (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) starting from barrier one, she was secured by Grant Enterprises from Broadfield Lodge in 2019. While Passion And Power (NZ) (Art Major) will start just outside her in barrier three, a $52,500 purchase by Robert Dunn from Breckon Farms 2019 Auckland Sale draft. The three-year-old comes into Friday’s Harness Million Final after storming home to secure a strong win at Rangiora on Sunday. Dunn has the in-form Off N Gone (NZ) (Somebeachsomewhere) starting from barrier eight, she was purchased by BD & SM Williams and GA & KJ Woodham for $37,000 from A. D. Edmonds 2019 Christchurch draft. The three-year-old faces a big ask from her wide draw, but she must still rate highly given the excellent performance she has put in lately. Dunn also lines up $40,000 2019 Christchurch purchase Shanika (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) from barrier two on the second row, just inside La Rosa. Shanika was secured by Mrs W Nordqvist from Roypark Lodge. Shanika will be out to go one better than her second placing behind La Rosa in Friday night’s clash. The three-year-old has just had one start since, producing a nice second placing at Addington preparing her for a big run on Friday night. Avana (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) looks to be the biggest threat to the Jones and Dunn camps. The Hayden Cullen-trained filly ran third behind La Rosa and Shankia in their clash in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Fillies Final. Avana was purchased for $16,000 by All Stars Racing Stables from Broadfield Lodge’s 2019 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale draft. A strong benefit of the 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale is that all unbroken yearlings purchased at Auckland and Christchurch sessions are eligible to be nominated for the lucrative NZB Standardbred Harness Million Sale Race Series, with an estimated one million dollars in the prizepool.    NZB Standardbred

I Can Doosit is unquestionably one of harness racing's best trotters ever produced in New Zealand. He won 36 of his 55 starts and $1.4 million in stakes including nine Group 1’s beating the best trotters in commission on both sides of the Tasman.  A dual Inter Dominion champion and Rowe Cup winner, I Can Doosit was twice named NZ Trotter of the Year and was the NZ Horse of the Year and Grand Circuit Champion in 2012. To read a great article on I Can Doosit click here. Quote from Mark Purdon after the Inter Dominion Final  "I have been lucky enough to train some great trotters like Pride Of Petite and on ability and record alone I Can Doosit is as good as them." To have Mark Purdon place I Can Doosit in the same pantheon as dual Inter Dominion champion Pride of Petite was the ultimate accolade. These two champions, together with Sundons Gift, are the only three to achieve consecutive wins in Inter Dominion Finals since the series began in 1948. I Can Doosit features on TV1 News Sport ahead of the Interdominion Final. Now you have the chance to buy a colt, Lot 46 called Yogi Son, who is out of a sister to dual Inter Dominion champion I Can Doosit at the New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka next Sunday, 14th of February. This colt is in the Breckon Farms draft. Lot 46 Yogi Son Yogi Son is out of a sister to dual Inter Dominion champion I Can Doosit. A real blue blooded colt by Australasia’s premier sire of trotters Majestic Son. His dam the Muscles Yankee mare Yankeedoosie won four races and has a 100 percent record at stud. Yankeedoosie is a sister to the millionaire trotter I Can Doosit, the winner of nine Group 1 races including two Inter Dominion Grand Finals, the Rowe Cup twice and Dominion Handicap and the NZ and Australian Trotter of the Year, the City of Sails winner Sno’s Big Boy, winner of $215,000, and to the dam of the Group 3 Breeders Crown Graduate winner Kyvalley Chief. The colt’s grand-dam Sheezadoosie, the dual NZ Broodmare of the Year winner, ranks as a sister to the 1:55 trotter Golden Blend and a half-sister to the 1:58.8 winner Dipendra and to the dam of the Breeders Crown Open winner Aldebaran Ay M Here is another yearling in this sale related to I Can Doosit, Lot 121 Lovemeto. Lot 121 Lovemeto He is a brother-in-blood to the Melton winner Kyvalley Chief. He is a bay colt from the first crop of the Muscle Hill horse What The Hill, the USA 3YO Trotter of the Year, Breeders Crown champion and winner of $1.2 million. He’s a half-brother to the two Victorian winners Kyvalley Chief (1:56.4) and Kyvalley Senator. His dam the Love You mare Love Ya Doosie is a winning half-sister to the millionaire trotter I Can Doosit, the winner of nine Group’s including two Inter Dominion Grand Finals, the Rowe Cup twice and Dominion Handicap and the NZ and Australian Trotter of the Year, and to the City of Sails winner Sno’s Big Boy, the winner of $215,000. The colt’s grand-dam, the dual NZ Broodmare of the Year Award winner Sheezadoosie is a sister to the 1:55 trotter Golden Blend and a half-sister to Dipendra (1:58.8) and to the dam of the Breeders Crown Open winner Aldebaran Ay M. Harnesslink Media  

While Sam Ottley’s feat of becoming just the second female driver to rein home 500 winners at Oamaru yesterday attracted praise from the racing community up and down the country, Jonny Cox also brought up a milestone of his own – in sensational fashion. The 36-year-old dead-heated for first with Dashtothebeach in race 8 to bring his 600th driving success. Favourite Jonique looked home but Dashtothebeach edged up on the inside, and at the winning post they could not be separated. “It’s a weird one, I had a laugh and thought that maybe it was only win 599 and a half.” “But I’ll take it.” It was Cox’s 17th driving success this season, and his 600th comes nearly 20 years after his first (Godet at Winton Sept 20 2002). His best season was the 62 winners he had in 2015. Cox was born into racing, his grandfather Harry Cox trained at the Winton racecourse for more than 45 years and his father John trained either on his own or in partnership between 1990 and 2018 and drove 113 winners. After starting out down south Cox worked in Otago before heading to Canterbury, where he now trains a team of 14 at his Leeston stables, just outside Christchurch, along with partner and fellow driver-trainer Kimberley Butt. Of the best horses and most memorable performances Jaccka Justy stands out. Cox drove and co-trained (with Amber Hoffman) the son of Continentalman to victory in the 2014 Dominion handicap. “He was a special horse.” He also drove the All Stars-trained Elle Mac to Group One success in the Caduceus Club 2YO Fillies Classic at Alexandra Park in 2017 Another favourite was the Cox-Hoffman trained New Years Jay. “She won seven in a row as a six-year-old mare.” His last winner as a trainer was Folklore (driven by Mark Hurrell) at Addington last Friday. Now the Sportswriter five-year-old is heading to Friday’s Group One NZ Breeders Stakes where she’ll line up against the likes of Amazing Dream and Need You Know. “She has drawn three and will need a lot of luck but it’s nice to be there.” It’s been a busy, and so far successful, week.   HRNZ News

One of the men responsible for selling our elite yearlings at the up-coming sales loves the fact standardbred vendors are embracing technology to fill the void for potential buyers who can’t be there in person. And that has even extended to pre-sale endoscopic reports in what is a rarity for standardbred sales in this part of the world, which New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred’s James Jennings says is a very smart move. “Because the standardbreds are so clean winded 99 per cent of them come back great so the scoping is a really good move,” he offers. Endoscopic examination of the upper respiratory tract has been a common post-sale practice in thoroughbred sales since 1995 but even more common place these days are pre-sales examinations which are placed in a repository at the sales allowing vets to check horses airways for potential buyers before they bid. That and x-rays have become huge determinants of how thoroughbred yearlings sell but the harness racing industry has been far less demanding in those regards. Some would say, in the case of x-rays, that could be a good thing, some would say it is shooting in the dark. But in this new era when Australian buyers can’t be at the sales grounds because of travel restrictions, the more information vendors can supply the better and Jennings says three of the biggest preparers for the Karaka sale which starts at noon on Sunday have embraced that. “Woodlands, Breckon Farms and Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson have all taken pre-sale scopes and we think that is great,” says Jennings. “It provides even more info for potential buyers which might make them more comfortable, particularly if they are considering making a significant purchase. “And the real beauty of it is the standardbreds scope so well. 99.9 per cent of the time the scopes are great because as a breed they have big open airways and most of them scope as 1 or 2s (good airways with no expected breathing issues). “So we applaud vendors for doing it.” Logan Hollis, who prepares a very strong 15-horse draft for Karaka, says 13 of theirs have been scoped and it is just another level of professionalism as the standardbred industry tries to rise to the levels of the thoroughbred sales. “We had one owner who didn’t bother getting them done but we are happy to do them and provide buyers with some extra peace of mind,” says Hollis, who says he has his best ever draft. Jennings says vendors have excelled this year with the standards of their photos, video presentations and overall information for buyers, again crucial for the Australian market. “We have already had two of the biggest Australian buyers register and we expect plenty more.” One of those buyers, Jean Feiss, says she intends to buy New Zealand yearlings but as a very hands-on buyer she misses seeing them up close. “It is definitely different not being there,” laments Feiss. “You miss the atmosphere and knowing who you are bidding against as well as I usually see the horses at different stages in the months leading up to the sales. “So I really miss all that but I will be still looking to buy.” Jennings says for all the information available online for most yearlings going under the hammer next week, some buyers who can’t get to yearling tours and inspections have been going straight to the source. “A lot of people are using Facetime for real time inspections,” he explains. “I have been on the Southland yearling tour this week where there have been some stunning yearlings and a lot of people had their phones out and I thought they were videoing the horses. “But when you get closer you realise they are actually talking to somebody on Facetime and showing them the yearling at the same time. “So people are really embracing the technology which can only help come Sunday and next week.” The yearling parade for the Karaka sale starts at 1pm on Saturday with the first lot under the hammer at noon on Sunday before the sales heads to Canterbury on Monday.   By Michael Guerin

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