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Right from the very start of harness racing in Australasia, breeders have looked to North America for stallions and breeding stock to lift the local breed. The influence of those imported mare's has always been pronounced and continues to this day to produce some of our best  racehorses. Last season's outstanding two year old Follow The Stars 1:53.8 ($504,167) is a product of the imported daughter of Cam's Card Shark in Smyrna Duruisseau and this season has unearthed another potential star from an imported mare. The horse in question is Ideal for Real and his win in the heat of the New South Wales Derby on Saturday night was that of a horse headed to the top. A son of American Ideal, Ideal For Real is the first foal from the Real Desire mare Tamara Hall who was imported to Australia in 2010. Tamara Hall is a daughter of the talented No Nukes mare in Tabloid 1:53.3 ($321,604) who is a former Canadian two year old of the year Tamara Hall was purchased as a yearling but injured a tendon and never raced Her dam Tabloid has left eight winners, 6 in 1:53 with five of those winners earning over $100,000 The best of these winners were the very smart trio of B J's Whirlwind 1:49.1 ($ 954,463)  The Globe 1:50.3 ($772,462) and B J's Breeze 1:51.2 ($506,556) while a daughter in Cambloid 1:58.8 ($28,760) has left four $100,000 winners including That's Ideal 1:51.3 ($283,742) and Upfront Countryboy 1:51.1 ($208,667) Tabloid was one of fifteen winners from Next Chapter with those winners including the full sister to Tabloid in Positive Reaction 1:53.4 ($153,217)  Half sisters to Tabloid include: * Little Black Book 1:54 ($288,457) who is the dam of five $100,000 winners including Sioux Dawn 1:50.2 ($348,926) and Catch A Wish 1:52.2 ($260,829) *Saucy Britches 1:57.1 ($84,553) who is the dam of four $100,000 winners including Armbro Cayenne 1:51.3 ($523,432) and Swashbuckler 1:51.1 ($352,298) *Book Smart 1:57.3 ($27,654) who is the dam of Fourth Page 1:52.2 ($255,828) Tabloid is closely related to the former outstanding three year old in Hot Hitter 1:54 ($963,574). Tamara Hall has had three more foals since Ideal For Real including the two year old Rocknroll Hanover filly in Rockin Tammy, a yearling full brother to Rockin Tammy and a weanling full brother to Ideal For Real. It is a family that has consistently churned out high class racehorses and reading that pedigree it is not hard to see why Ideal For Real is the talented three year old he is. The importation of North American mares has been happening for over 100 years but has  really taken off in the last few years and with the continuing success of their offspring at the highest level in Australasia it is a trend that is likely to continue. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing owners dream of having a runner qualify for an Inter Dominion Grand Final.  Western Australian Kevin Jeavons is one of the lucky few that has already lived the dream having watched Washakie compete in four grand finals.  Washakie’s best effort was sixth in Queensland in 2009 and he repeated that again in Sydney four years later. This year Jeavons will be cheering on two runners with the John McCarthy trained Monifieth and Blazin N Cullen qualifying for the $750,000 Gr. 1 event. “I’m looking forward to Sunday afternoon for sure but I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, I’m just hoping they perform at their best,” Jeavons said. “I’ve always had an interest in horses, I got my first one when I was nineteen, have driven a few as well but as I got older my business interests took up more time and now my wife and I get plenty of enjoyment watching the horses race.” Monifieth and Blazin N Cullen raced in New Zealand before being purchased and Jeavons admits he enjoys watching and researching horses from across the Tasman. “Monifieth is a lovely horse with high speed but I guess when you buy them from New Zealand you are always hoping to get one that can take that step up and race against the best horses.” “He was beaten at his first run in Australia at Goulburn and I don’t think the bookmakers had much of an opinion of him at his next start because from memory I think I got 25/1 and he won which was very nice.” Blazin N Cullen is beautifully bred, his mother Rye Hanover is the sister of American stallions Red River Hanover, Rustler Hanover and the winner of over $3 million Rocknroll Hanover. “I was surprised that he came up for sale, I had been watching him in New Zealand and always liked him but I didn’t think he would be available but I still remember getting a call just before Christmas a few years back that he was on the market.” “We bought him and he has done a great job for us and John (McCarthy), he has drawn well in barrier two this Sunday so there are options with him.” Jeavons will also be cheering on his three year old Kilcullen in the Gr. 1 NSW Derby on Sunday afternoon. “We bought him unraced from New Zealand, he has done a good job and I really like that he has drawn barrier two so he should get the perfect run.” The Inter Dominion 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Greg Hayes Position: Media Coordinator Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: ghayes@hrnsw.com.au Related Links Fields for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015 Form guide for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015

Yesterday we did a review of how all the harness racing sires fared at the two day sale at Christchurch this week. Now we turn our attention to Auckland and as expected the Australasian Classic was the success everybody thought it would be with a catalogue as strong as anything ever presented at Auckland. The one huge plus at this years sale was that the champion sire Bettors Delight ended up with with 35% of all horses sold at the sale. Between them Bettor's Delight, Art Major, Mach Three and American Ideal provided nearly two thirds of all the horses sold at Auckland which is such a help when it comes to averages overall. Bettors Delight Number Sold - 40 Overall average - $55,512 Colt average - $62,820 Filly average - $43,330 Just the backbone of the sale and his colt average for 25 sold of $62, 820 is outstanding for any standardbred sale worldwide let alone in New Zealand. Surprisingly for us his fillies averaged nearly $20,000 less than the colts which for a sire who is the best filly sire on the planet is a bit of a mystery to us. Art Major Number sold - 14 Overall average - $48,000 Colt average - $64,100 Filly average - $39,055 Compared to how he fared in Christchurch, Art Major had a stunning sale in Auckland. He has the highest colt average at $64,100 and his fillies brought money more in line with how they are performing on the track. The issue in New Zealand for Art Major has always been one of numbers in the sale due to him never breeding huge numbers of mares in this country. That changed this season when he served a book of 170 mares in New Zealand and therefore he should have a much bigger presence at the sales in the near future. Mach Three Numbers sold - 6 Overall average - $38,333 Colt average - $40,000 Filly average - $30,000 Those figures are a good indication of where Mach Three sits in the overall scheme of things.  Right up there with the big boys but commercially just a touch behind the other two sires above. Continues to have fluctuations in his numbers for sale due to foal numbers but does have bigger crops coming through so may have bigger representation in the future. American Ideal Numbers sold - 11 Overall average - $33,863 Colt average - $40,714 Filly average - $19,375 His numbers at Auckland were a lot better than they were at Christchurch but that was due entirely to one lot who made $150,000. We are still at a loss to explain the lack of demand for American Ideal fillies which have been his flag bearers in New Zealand. Hard to pinpoint what the problem is here with buyers overlooking his stock in favour of stock by sires he is matching on the track. It may just be the lag effect between racetrack performance and sale ring success but we will be watching closely next year for the uplift in prices his performance deserves. Somebeachsomewhere Numbers sold - 4 Overall average - $36,625 Colt average - $42,500 Filly average - $34,333 As in Christchurch the SBSW were great types and were keenly sought after. The only Somebeachsomewhere colt in this sale went to the All Stars barn who have had some success with stock from his very small New Zealand crops to date. His biggest New Zealand crop are now foals on the ground and with the success at this years sales you would anticipate a much bigger representation at next years round of sales. Christian Cullen Number sold - 5 Overall average - $28,900 Colt average - $36,500 Filly average - $22,500  A bit surprising to see Christian Cullen struggle as much as he did in Auckland. Still in the frame as a commercial stallion as he proved at the two days in Christchurch but apart from one lot he was not wanted at this sale. His fillies in particular were marked down which considering their success over the years was a minor surprise. Rocknroll Hanover Number sold - 7 Overall average - $32,714 Colt average - $36,500 Filly average - $30,000 We didn't include Rocknroll Hanover in our Christchurch review as we took the view that being deceased meant he had a limited future impact on New Zealand sales. But having sold seven at Auckland and having such healthy figures persuaded us that we should include him in the Auckland review. A lot of breeders have used him over their Artsplace mares and horses bred on this cross are highly sought after world wide as this cross has produced six of Rocknroll Hanover's eight millionaires. Muscles Yankee Number sold - 3 Overall average - $42,333 Colt average - $43,500 Filly average - $40,000  Muscles Yankee only had the three lots in the whole sale but they all made over $40,000 so their is a real demand still for his stock. The maternal families of all three lots were top class which may have helped the overall result. Majestic Son Numbers sold - 3 Overall average - $34,500 Colt average - $52.500 Filly average - $25,500 The small number in the sale is due to the fact that Majestic Son only has eight yearlings on the ground in New Zealand Should have a much bigger representation next year as he served 161 mares in 2014 on the back of his earlier small crops performing so well. Overview  This sale is the best promotional tool that harness racing has in New Zealand but it has the potential to be so much better in our opinion By natural attrition of smaller breeders in the North, the sale has few lots by sires who are not in the elite group as the above statistics show. We firmly believe that the Australasian Sale could reach far greater heights if the following changes were implemented. *Limit the sale to 125 lots * Make it a select sale * Have a set number of places set aside for southern breeders. The whole point of the changes is to turn the Australasian Sale into an elite sale that dominates the top end market in Australasia. The thoroughbred breeders do it very successfully with K1 at Karaka and while we will never reach those heights we can close the huge gap a wee bit. Breeders in the north who don't get accepted for the Australasian Classic have a ready made alternative these days with the all age sale in May which has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. Last year it hit a five figure average for the first time and the bench of buyers included most of the regulars on the New Zealand sales scene. We have a chance to position our industry in the best possible light with a smaller select sale at Auckland and it is something that we would hope would be considered by PGG Wrightson and The North Island Breeders Association.. Harnesslink Media

Coming off his first loss since December 13th, Rockeyed Optimist returned to the Meadowlands with a vengeance, winning his division of The Sonsam harness racing pacing series in 1:50.3. The first $17,500 division went post-ward as race two on the Saturday program with a field of six and Rockeyed Optimist was sent off as the 3/5 betting choice from post position one. The early speed came from Bettorever, fresh off his runner-up effort in round one with Corey Callahan. In fact, Bettorever would proceed to cut the mile, establishing fractions of 26.3, 55.4 and 1:24.4, stealing a 58.1 middle-half under no pressure, that is until Rockeyed Optimist and Brett Miller made their move. The favorite, a son of Rocknroll Hanover, sat back in fourth position early on and was guided to the outside approaching the half-mile pole where he would proceed first over, eventually racing on even terms with the pace-setter. Turning for home, Rockeyed Optimist exploded and powered away from the field winning in a sparkling 1:50.3, pacing the final quarter in an absurdly-fast 25.4. The win was one of four on the card for Brett Miller on the heels of his four-win performance Friday night. Rockeyed Optimist is trained by Steve Elliot for Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, A and B Srable and Joseph Battaglia. With the win, Rockeyed Optimist has surged past $100,000 in lifetime earnings while earning his ninth win of his career from 23 starts. Major Uptrend will be shooting for the series sweep, following his win in the second division of The Sonsam on Saturday night. After briefly allowing JK Patriot to claim the early lead, Yannick Gingras quickly guided Major Uptrend to the lead before the opening quarter and would click off fractions of 28, 55.4 and 1:23.4 before facing just mild pressure from Company Man who moved first over. In the stretch, Gingras called to the Somebeachsomewhere gelding and the response was evident as there was never an anxious moment through the stretch. Major Uptrend won while racing well within himself equaling the mark of 1:50.3, identical to the winning time of Rockeyed Optimist in the first division of The Sonsam. Major Uptrend is trained by Ron Burke for Howard Taylor. In other racing action, National Seelster, the three year old colt that opened eyes winning upon debut two weeks ago returned to the races on Saturday night and returned with another win. Allowed to sit the pocket throughout the mile, National Seelster found room late in the stretch up the pylons and accelerated rapidly to win again, in 1:53.1. National Seelster, a son of Bettor's Delight is now two for two to start the career. An intriguing match-up could be on the horizon between a pair of undefeated and lightly raced three olds in the William "Buddy" Gilmour series between National Seelster and Wiggle It Jiggle It. The latter won a division of the first round of the Sonsam series and will square off with Rockeyed Optimist and Major Uptrend in the final of that series before tackling National Seelster in the Gilmour. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed, but there were only two winning tickets which were paid a dividend of $4,257. The last race jackpot also carried over to the tune of $123,827 into the last race on the Thursday program, which will begin at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

Any southern hemisphere harness racing breeder looking at the results of matings of Artsplace mares in the northern hemisphere will quickly come to one conclusion. Cover the mare with Rocknroll Hanover and chances are very good that the resultant foal will be a serious racehorse.  It has been a cross without parallel in recent times and six of the eight millionaires that Rocknroll Hanover has produced have been from Artsplace mares. Rock N Roll Heaven - 1:47.3 ($2,774,478) Put On A Show - 1:47.3 ($2,459,903) Rocklamation - 1:48.3 ($2,259,904) Pet Rock - 1:47 ($1,985,820) Rock N Soul - 1:49.4 ($1,158,637) Ticket To Rock - 1:50.3 ($1,131,163) Looking through the maternal families of horses bred on this cross in this years Australasian Classic yearling sale led us to Lot 129 and the filly, Crystal Sparkles. Crystal Sparkles is the second foal of the young Artsplace mare Taylor Kate who is from the former smart two and three year old filly in Black Maire 1:59.8 ($39,981) Taylor Kate is a half sister to six winners including the brilliant two and three year old filly Lauraella 1:55.9 ($649,946) The 2008/2009 three year old filly of the year in New Zealand, Lauraella won the New Zealand Oaks, Great Northern Oaks, Nevele R Fillies Final as well as the Harness Jewels Diamond at two. The first foal of Lauraella is this seasons very smart three year old Express Stride 1:58.1 ($119,525) Taylor Kate is also a half sister to a very smart two and three year old in The Muskeg Express 1:55.9 ($111,331) A full sister to Black Maire in Syriana is the dam of this seasons big improver in the four year old ranks, Meticulous 1:55.6 ($99,420) The third dam is the handy Vance Hanover mare in Corbie 1:57.2 who left six winners including the talented Agios Nikolaos 1:52.2 ($192,180) while the fourth dam is Black Watch herself. This is one of the strongest branches of the strongest family in the New Zealand stud book. Given that Crystal Sparkles is also bred on such a dynamic breeding cross makes her a great proposition both on the track and in the breeding barn. Harnesslink Media   

A record 59 royally bred 2-year-old harness racing pacers have now staked their claim on the 4th annual Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Cup weekend, following the closing of entries on February 6th. A first prize of €12,000 for the grand final and an additional €4000 consolation race has attracted an unprecedented number of entries for the event, the richest in Europe for pacers and all eyes will be on Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin the weekend of Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 to see who scoops this year’s renewal. The increase in nominations was a very positive 13% over last year. Although a filly has never won the most prestigious event in the British Isles, the fairer sex are responsible for almost half the entries this year and with preference on the gate in the final, this could be the year a filly finally breaks the deadlock. The most popular sire in the line up is Kikcolt with 10 representatives followed by Hasty Hall with 8, Rogue Hall with 6 and Pro Bono Best the next most popular sire with 5 prospective runners. Standardbred breeding aficionados are always frothing at the mouth in anticipation at the entries list being published and this year has proven to be no exception. Imported yearlings by sires Well Said, Rocknroll Hanover, Santanna Blue Chip, Dragon Again and Western Terror were all nominated in a year which also features the progeny of first season sires Star On The Beach, Urban Guy and Share The Delight. Trends are also beginning to emerge after three runnings of the event with the previous three winning sires all represented and also the dam of last year’s winner too. In 2012, Frisco Fiddler took the inaugural Delaney Memorial and his sire, Arts Conquest, has sired Miraculous, whose dam Another Mattie, was responsible for last years winner, Titanium. Oddsmaker Dan Carlin, who is soon to release a book and its certain that this colt will feature high up in the betting. Yankee Lariat, the sire of Camden Tino, the winner of 2013’s Delaney renewal, has just a single nomination in Kick On, but this is out of Stakes winning mare Coalford Virtue and trained by Brenda Hudson, a formidable female trainer and driver of many classic winners spanning almost 4 decades. Top UK trainer Alexis Laider has signalled her intentions to go all out this campaign to land the spoils and she has entered a total of six including the most expensive yearling ever purchased in Britain, Rhyds Megastar, which fetched an eye-watering £51,000 at Builth Wells Sale in Wales back in October 2014. Megastar is out of the UK’s most prodigious broodmare Tonda Star, who has been responsible for some of the most stellar performers over recent years, including Stars Dragon, Rhyds Hallstar and the recently deceased Rhyds Five Star. The Irish have seen the lions share of the prize money travel back across to the UK in all three running’s of the Delaney Memorial so far and this time around the home team are intending to put up their strongest defence ever in an effort to keep the distribution of the weekend’s total prize money of €29,000 euros local. Willy Flanagan and the mighty Meadowbranch Stud along with Alan Wallace and the Newtown Stud will lead this charge with three runners each with all three Meadowbranchs runners by siring sensation Kikicolt and Newtown’s are all imports by the mighty Rocknroll Hanover. Brothers James and Derek Delaney, chief organisers and main backers of the memorial series ran in memory of late younger brother Vincent, have entered two pacers themselves in this years renewal, a colt and a filly. Having gone so close in 2014 with Carmel Camden, a heat winner, they have entered up the syndicated colt Brywins Magician and the aptly named filly, Oakwood Destiny, in an effort to win the final and create a fairy tale ending to a race that’s captured the world’s imagination since its inaugural running back in 2012.   Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin on August 8th and 9th is the place to be and thousands of patrons are expected from across the globe to converge on the venue in Ireland, traditionally dubbed as the land of a thousand welcomes. By Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink.com Listed below are the nominees for the 2015 Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial -  denotes GB owned     Name of foal Breeding Owner(s) ALICOLT M.KIKIKOLT - LYONS ALLISON S.DUGGAN AYR TYCOON * M.YENGHIS PAN - AYR WING D.MAHON AYROSMITH* M.DAYON ALERT - OUT IN THE OPAN B.HALL BONNY JANE * F.DAYLON ALERT - DENTON JANE J.SHEENAGH -DAVIE BROTHER JOE M.KIKIOLT - LONG ISLAND ARTIST C.FORAN BRYWINS BEACHAHEAD * M.STAR ON THE BEACH - SPRINT AHEAD MS K.KENNEDY BRYWINS MAGICIAN SHARE THE DELIGHT - LIFES MAGIC GIRL OAKWOOD SYND CAENWOOD CLASSIC* F.HASTY HALL - ARTRIBUTE J.DUGGAN CHINATOWN JESS* F. KIKIKOLT - BON BONITA A.DICKINSON COALFORD BRUCE * M.ROGUE HALL -BLACKWELL MINOGUE COALFORD STUD COALFORD CHRIS * M.ROGUE HALL - COALFORD AMORETTO COALFORD STUD COALFORD DAWN * F.ROGUE HALL - SWEET TAHOMA COALFORD STUD ELSA CAMDEN * F. BONO BEST - ANTHOLOGY P. JOHNSTON ENTER THE DRAGON * M.N.CONNORS DRAGON - CAROUSEL H.EVANS FAIRDAYS DIXIE M.JIMMY LONG - BLACKWELL TARAKING G.DEAN GABRIELLA CAMDEN  * F.PRO BONO BEST - SEVEN SEAS P.ANDERSON HARD EARNED M.EARNED INCOME - QUERELLE HANOVER T.RICHARDSON HOWARDS RITE SEXY * F.URBAN GUY - HOWARDS CAMISTRESS J.HOWARD IMOGEN CAMDEN * F.PRO BONO BEST - ROARIN GOODTIME P.JOHNSTON INDIE HANOVER * M.WELL SAID - INCREDIBLE MARGIE MRS C.FLETCHER JK BELIEVEINMAGIC *  M.ROCKNROLL HANOVER - JK WITCHCRAFT S.GILVEAR JM'S MACY HALLSTAR F.HASTY HALL - CAMDEN LOVER J.MURDOCK KELSEY CAMDEN F. PRO BONO BEST - LETS ALL BOOGIE J.DUNNE KICK ON M.YANKEE LARIAT - COALFORD VIRTUE MRS B.HUDSON LADY BEST F.PRO BONO BEST - LADY LEAH E.MC DONAGH LADYFORD CARMEL * F.Santanna Blue Chip – Three Men Dreamin J.STEWART LADYFORD PHOENIX * F.THE PREACHER PAN - STAR HALL R.RALPH MAJOR JEMMY M.ROGUE HALL - PRETTY SPECIAL R.BARRY UN-NAMED F.KIKIKOLT - SASSY COW GIRL C.FORAN MAYFELLDEN HETTY * F.CHECK ON JACK - MAYFELLDEN AMBER G.DENT MEADOWBRANCH QUEEN F.KIKIKOLT - MEADOWBRANCH QUEEN MEADOWBRANCH STUD Meadownbranch Roman M.KIKIKOLT - MEADOWBRANCH NICHE JP.O'CALLAGHAN MEADOWBRANCH TITUS M.KIKIKOLT - MEADOWBRANCH GIGLO MEADOWBRANCH STUD MIRACULOUS * M.ARTS CONQUEST - ANOTHER MATTIE S.A.FLOWER NEW LONDON HANOVER* M.DRAGON AGAIN - NATURAL PARADISE S.GILVEAR NEWTOWN MAJOR M.ROCKNROLL HANOVER - MAJORED IN LOVE NEWTOWN STUD NEWTOWN ONYX F.ROCKNROLL HANOVER - ONYX KILLEAN NEWTOWN STUD NEWTOWN ROCK M.ROCKNROLL HANOVER - HANNA M NEWTOWN STUD NO JOKING * M.HASTY HALL -ARTNSOUL J.DUGGAN NO STOPPIN * M.HASTY HALL - PANAMA CANAL R.Huschka/A. T. Racing OAKWOOD DESTINY F.WESTERN TERROR - OLYMPIC SIGN OAKWOOD SYND PAN CAM MYSTERY M. JUDGE CAM - STONERIGGS VANITY KELLEHER BROS PARTY AT THE SPA * M.DRAGON AGAIN - UNION AND LUDLOW MRS C.FLETCHER RHYDS GEM * F.HASTY HALL - CPR MS K.ADDISS RHYDS GIRL POWER * F.HASTY HALL - JEANNINES GIRL J.HOWARD RHYDS MEGASTAR * M.HASTY HALL - TONDA STAR R.Huschka/A.T. Racing RHYDS SNOWBIRD * F.HASTY HALL - KENTUCKY SUNSHINE J.HOWARD ROGUE COMET * M.ROGUE HALL - ANGELAS COSMOC Y-NOT-STABLES SANDS PHOENIX F.SABLE MATTERS - PARTY LIZ MRS B.KELLY SEXY LEGS * F.VILLAGE MARQUIS - RIGHTEOUS BUNNY J.HOWARD SHE'S MINE * F.ROGUE HALL - TRIPLE DARE R.WALKER SPRINGHILL ALI F.BEST SUNSHINE - CAMDEN TOWN SPRINGHILL STUD SPRINGHILL ARTISTE F.PLAYWITHAFULLDECK - ARTISCAPE ARTISTE SPRINGHILL STUD SPRINGHILL CATCH M.BEST SUNSHINE - SPRINGHILL KATE SPRINGHILL STUD TARAWOOD JOY KIKIKOLT -ONE MEG MILE TARAWOOD STUD MERRINGTONMOONLITE* M.CHECK ON JACK - WHAT A CAMOTION MERRINGTON ST WESTEND DAKOTA F.KIKIKOLT - MAGICAL BELL T.BENNETT WESTEND PHOENIX * F. HOPPING HIGH - WESTEND SUKI G.SMITH WOTTENBRIDGEBEAUTY F.KIKIKOLT - MEADOWBRANCH MEG D.JOYCE

Even though he was euthanized in 2013, Rocknroll Hanover continues via frozen semen to add to his  harness racing legacy in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Many breeders in Australasia are looking at his successful crosses in the northern hemisphere and are trying to replicate those same crosses down under The most successful cross of course is over daughters of super sire Artsplace which has produced several millionaires including horses such as Rocknroll Heaven 1:47.3 ($2,774,478)  Put On A Show 1:47.3 ($2,459,903) and Rocklamation 1:48.3 ($2,259,904) to mention just a few. This years Australasian Classic sale include four yearlings bred on this cross and the one that took our eye from the videos is Lot 117, Head Honcho. This colt is the first foal from the race winning Artsplace mare Stateofthenation who is a three quarter sister to the former smart juvenile Exotic Lover 1:59.5 ($110,336) who has already left Abraxas 1:55.4 ($88,108) at stud.  Stateofthenation is from the former talented filly Affairs Of State 2:00.1 ($50,811) who finished second in both the Nevele R Fillies Final as well the three year old fillies Yearling Sale pace. Affairs of State has left three winners from four foals at stud  including this seasons talented three year old in Chachingchaching 1:56.6 ($75,223) The third dam is none other than the former champion three year old filly Under Cover Lover 1:51.8 ($864,988) who won twenty one races in the northern and southern hemispheres. Under Cover Lover is also a half sister to the dam of another outstanding racemare in the millionaire pacer in Bettor Cover Lover 1:53.8 ($1,061,534). With yearlings as well bred as Head Honcho still coming through, the influence of Rocknroll Hanover on harness racing may continue for a while yet. Harnesslink Media    

Renowned breeding establishment Yirribee Pacing Stud is a constant source for top harness racing performers, with each season’s stock producing its share of winners. That said, Yirribee’s line-up at this year’s Australian Pacing Gold has the potential to be the best. Yirribee and clients have 11 yearlings in the Sydney leg of the sale, with Lot 393 destined to attract its share of attention and bids. By the ill-fate Rocknroll Hanover, the colt is from one of the best mare produced on this side of the equator – Lombo La Fe Fe. Rocknroll Hanover is quickly proving his worth as a super sire, with his outstanding son, Yankee Rockstar, capturing last weekend’s Bonanza at Melton. As for Lombo La Fe Fe, her feats need no introduction! Not only did Lombo La Fe Fe set the record as Australia’s richest two-year-old filly in 2001/02, she still holds title. Successful at 26 of her 44 starts, Lombo La Fe Fe captured the Group One APG Final at two and three, Bathurst Gold Tiara, Vicbred Super Series, Queensland Nursery and Australasian Breeders’ Crown. At stud, Lombo La Fe Fe has two winners from three starters, with Lot 393 her second colt…the mare’s first colt is one of this season’s two-year-olds. By Troublemaker, Lombo La Fe Fe is from dual Group One winner Lombo La Paree, dam of four winners from four starters. Along with his inclusion in the APG race series, Lombo La Fe Fe’s magnificent looking colt is also eligible for the Australasian Breeders’ Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, New South Wales Challenge, Vicbred Super Series. PAUL COURTS

Along with being the favourite, Yankee Rockstar was harness racing’s omen bet of the weekend when he competed at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. A member of the powerful Emma Stewart / Clayton Tonkin stable, Yankee Rockstar captured one of the feature events on the card – The Bonanza. What made the victory fitting is the fact the son of Rocknroll Hanover is part-owned by media identity, Andrew Bensley – also known as Hoss. Bensley received the nickname due to his likeness of actor Dan Blocker, better known for his character ‘Hoss’ on the long-running television series Bonanza! “About 20 years ago Damian Oliver pointed out I look like Dan Blocker and the name Hoss has stuck since,” Bensley said. “It dropped away for a while, but it is back stronger than ever now and looks like it will stick. “I guess with me being known as Hoss and the name of the race, it all worked out as an omen for us.” Bensley, complete with Stetson, was trackside to watch Yankee Rockstar account for Hectorjayjay and Yayas Hot Spot Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Yankee Rockstar led throughout, rating 1:52.4 for the 1720-metre trip. “Gai Waterhouse bought me the hat last December and now my co-owners want me to wear it every time he races,” Benlsey said. “They feel the hat may be a good luck piece, so I will wear it with pride.” Bensley’s Stetson – along with Yankee Rockstar - is set to make its next appearance at Menangle on March 1 – TAB.com.au Inter Domininion day. “With his Bonanza win he is guaranteed a berth in the Chariots Of Fire, so that’s where he is heading,” Bensley said. “I didn’t get a chance to speak to Emma or Clayton after the race, so at this stage I don’t know if he will have another run before then. “Either way, my hat and I will be at Menangle for the Chariots and cheering him on.” PAUL COURTS

On Wednesday 11th February, rising star WA breeder Kody Charles will parade 20 harness racing yearlings that are entered in the upcoming Gloucester Standardbreds WA Yearling Sale which will get under way on Sunday 22nd February at 1:00pm. The parade will get under way at 5:00pm at Kody’s property at 324 River Road, Hopelands and will feature colts and fillies by a range of the nation’s best sires. Somebeachsomewhere, sire of Saturday night’s brilliant Victoria Derby winner Menin Gate, will be represented by two fillies and two colts and other sires whose progeny will be paraded include Rocknroll Hanover, Bettor's Delight, Art Major, Sportswriter, Well Said, Village Jolt, Rock N Roll Heaven, Courage Under Fire, Four Starzzz Shark and Always A Virgin. The yearlings include the likes of the second foal from 2yo Australian Pacing Gold winner Leilani Lombo 2:00.5 $224,595, the first foal from Flylika Bird Lombo 1:59.8 $53,975 (a half-sister to Australian 2yo Pacer of the Year Lombo Skyrider) and a half-sister to this season’s Christmas Gift winnerTuxedo Tour 1:56.6 $149,001 and Truckers Ruffnut 1:56.0 $249,770. The 20 yearlings are catalogued on account of KTC Bloodstock and KTC Bloodstock as agent for K & A Charles. For more information on this Wednesday's parade contact Kody Charles on 0413 669 474.

Promising pacer Yankee Rockstar has been aimed at harness racing’s premier four-year-old event – Chariots Of Fire. Following the entire’s victory at Tabcorp Park Melton last night, trainer Emma Stewart revealed her plans for the remainder of the season. To be given a light week, Yankee Rockstar will head to New South Wales to contest a Chariots Of Fire qualifier, in hope of gaining a berth in the Group One. The Chariots Of Fire is scheduled to be conducted at Menangle on March 1 – TAB.com.au Inter Dominion day. Stewart is no stranger to success in the feature, having won last year’s edition with boom pacer, Guaranteed. “He has come back in great shape this season and will head towards the Chariots,” Stewart said. “We couldn’t be happier with him. “He will head up to Sydney for one of the heats, then be back for the Chariots.” Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang last night, Yankee Rockstar began quickly to lead from the pole as Jilliby Jagger worked on his outside. Fending off the initial challenge on the home turn, the son of Rocknroll Hanover staved off a late charge from Hectorjayjay to score by a neck, with Yayas Hot Spot two-and-a-half metres away third. “It got close at the finish, but he was holding them off at the end,” Stewart said. “That run will top him off perfectly before we head to Sydney.” Covering the last half in 55.4 seconds, Yankee Rockstar rated a slick 1:52.4 for the 1720 metres, taking his record to an imposing 14 wins and three placings from 18 starts. PAUL COURTS

Nevele R Stud has had a major influence on harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere since its inception over 40 years ago and that influence continues to this day. From Live Or Die to Holmes Hanover to anyone of another half a dozen stallions they have stood, a lot of pedigrees in New Zealand have a Nevele R influence.  The up coming sales have a lot of yearlings whose maternal families are almost completely Nevele R Products and one of those is Lot 97 at the Australasian Classic sale in Auckland. Named Got The Music In You, she is a daughter of of the champion sire Rocknroll Hanover from the outstanding Caprock mare OK Rock 1:56.1 ($168,529) who won the Great Northern Oaks and the New South Wales Oaks on her way to the New Zealand 1999 three year old filly of the year title. At stud OK Rock has left the very talented Big Dog 1:58.7 ($206,682) as well as Burning Cash 1:53 ($40,555) and the talented filly Mohua 1:57.3 ($75,016) A half sister to OK Rock in the Live Or Die mare Lets Scoot Franco 1:56.6 is the dam of the southern superstar Franco Ledger 1:53.7 ($487,982). The grand dam of Got The Music In You is the OK Bye mare Looks Ok who has left five winners to date including OK Galleon 1:53.7 ($125,490) The third dam is the former outstanding racemare Lancia (10 wins) who went to open class in New Zealand in the late 1970s. The winners tracing back to her are too numerous to mention but include such standouts as Late Bid 1:57.1 ($506,413) Ohoka Arizona 1:56.2 ($273,499) and Franco Lotsmore 1:56.8 ($271,403). One thing about Got Music In You is certain and that is her residual value when she retires from the track will be significant. Harnesslink Media  

Back in November of 2012 veteran harness racing trainer Gary Fatland took a $10,000 gamble on the then 3-year-old filly Muy Caliente at the Delaware Sale. It’s turned out to be successful venture for the Sandwich, Illinois horseman. The now 6-year-old mare guns for her second straight victory in Friday’s tenth race Maywood Park feature. Last week she breezed to a 1:55.4 wire-to-wire triumph with Travis Seekman at her lines. “It was the first time I sat behind Muy Caliente and she’s very easy to drive. I hate to use this cliché she’s a ‘push-button horse’ but the mare really is. She’ll do whatever you want out there. The mare wants to race and she wants to win.” Muy Caliente has put over $120,000 on her card since being acquired by Gary, his son Nate and their partner John Price of Grant Park, Illinois. The mare earned almost $8,000 in the month of January, picking up a purse check in all four of her starts in Open Handicaps at Miami Valley Raceway in Lebanon, Ohio prior to her local win. In her last Ohio start on Jan. 23 Muy Caliente was saddled with the second tier 10-hole and was next to last with a quarter of a mile to go and ended up fourth, beaten a little more than two lengths. Her triumph last Friday at Maywood was her 12th on the circuit’s half-miler since she joined the Fatland Stable. In 2014 Muy Caliente was third or better in 23 of her 36 trips postward. “She likes to race and she’s been very consistent for us,” said Gary. “I think the fact that I train her on a half at my farm helps her at Maywood. She’s done very well there for us.” Muy Caliente has the bloodlines to be a successful pacing mare. She was sired by Rocknroll Hanover and is out of the Bettor’s Delight broodmare Cannae Cindy. Unraced at two, Muy Caliente spent most of her 3-yeart-old season racing for trainer Ron Burke. The draw this week wasn’t as kind to Muy Caliente as it was a week earlier when she left from Maywood’s coveted one-slot. This Friday she’s in the second tier. She does start behind Melodie Hotspur, a mare with good gate speed and wins in 4 of her last 6 starts for trainer Jimmy Ellison. Muy Caliente will open as the 3-1 programmed choice with Melodie Hotspur (John De Long) and Blazing Fury (p.p. 2, Bobby Smolin) next at 9-2. From posts 3 through 8 you’ll find Triple Lane Melody (12-1, Pat Curtin), Morwyn Hanover (15-1, Brian Carpenter), Financial Effort (8-1, Casey Leonard), Feel Like Dancing (6-1, Kyle Wilfong), Gentle Janet (12-1, Todd Warren) and Incredible Filly (15-1, Tim Curtin). By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

DOVER, Del.--- King Royalty, overlooked at 10-1, won a track-meet dash to the wire to win the $20,000-$25,000 4&5-Year-Old Claiming Allowance at Dover Downs on Tuesday, Feb. 3. On the harness racing under card Jingle Bell Rock continued in the holiday spirit notch his seventh consecutive victory. Corey Callahan collected another four-win performance. With four horses across in a 1:52.4 mile, King Royalty emerged with his first win as a four-year-old in the day's top claiming event. Jim Morand drove the Classic Card Shark - Royal Lady Les gelding owned by Ed Maas, Arlene Paisley and Nanticoke Racing trained by Les Givens. Swift As A Shadow (Callahan) closed with a rush to take second, race favorite Just Bettor (Vic Kirby) edged Bettor And Bold (Trace Tetrick) for third. Currently, Tina Clark's Jingle Bell Rocker is 'king of the claimers' at Dover, racking up his seventh straight triumph. Trace Tetrick has been in the bike for trainer Les Givens in all of his victories. The Rocknroll Hanover - Blissard Of Oz gelding scored a 1:53.3 win in a Delaware $7,500 Male Claiming Allowance with Windmill Shark (Sean Bier) and Clark P Kent (Ross Wolfenden) finishing second and third, respectively. Meet leader, Callahan, scored another four bagger. Wolfenden drove three and Tetrick made the winners circle twice and Les Givens had two training wins. An outstanding $18,000 Open trot headlines Wednesday at Dover Downs featuring Tough Mac, Tirade Hanover and the seasonal debut of Wind Of The North. in a field of eight. TOUGH MAC LEADS TOUGH FIELD IN $18,000 OPEN TROT WEDNESDAY Tough Mac puts a three-race win streak on the line against a tough field of opponents in the $18,000 Open/Handicap trot, Wednesday, Fe. 4 at Dover Downs.  Mike Casalino's Tough Mac was an equally an impressive winner of his last three starts highlighted by a 1:52.4 victory last week with Corey Callahan at the controls with Baximum, owned by Tina Clark and Joe Clark, was a fast finishing second for Allan Davis. Steve Ross, the Solomons and trainer Leigh Raymer's Tirade Hanover and Vic Kirby should benefit from an inside post. Wind Of The North, one of the standouts of late 2014, makes his seasonal debut for owner, trainer, driver Daryl Bier. Rich Lombardo and Howard Taylor's Fitness Craze, a winner of three of his last three races, is in the hands of Tony Morgan. Dontcheatonmenow, recently acquired by Arty Foster, drew the rail with Trace Tetrick in the bike, with Bob Shahan and Don Marine's Six Gun Hall, driven by Ron Pierce, alongside. I'm So Striking with Eddie Dennis, was handicapped from post 8 last start and now moves more inside. Wednesday is trot day at Dover Downs and a strong supporting card is featured. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 pm. There is no live racing Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday post time is 5:30 pm. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

The first of this years harness racing yearling sales were held in Melbourne yesterday with  the Victorian section of the  Australian Pacing Gold being staged As has become common in recent years, there was quite a few Kiwis on hand and they were active again throughout the day. The first Kiwi in action was Neil Pilcher who continued his long standing habit of buying a son of Courage Under Fire at most sales. On this occasion Neil brought lot 7 which was a colt from the former 1:58.7 two year old Artificial for $25,000. Artificial has already left Im For Real 1:55.6 while the grand dam is the talented racemare Counterfeit Girl 1:58.1 ($118,769) Neil has had a great run with his Couage Under Fire purchasers in the last few years and this one has all the credentials to keep up his strike rate. Second cab off the rank for the Kiwis were the prominent husband and wife team of Philip and Glenys Kennard. Their first purchase was lot 102 which is a Bettor's Delight colt from the unraced Mach Three mare Miss Montoya. Her claim to fame is she is a half sister to the dam of A Bit Of A Legend 1:54.7 ($760,747) and London Legend ($456,124) so the $26,000 purchase price looked good value to us. Well known trotting owner Trevor Casey was next up but as this was a pacer only sale, thats what he brought. Trevor brought lot 105 which is a son of Art Major from the imported American mare Magic Z Tam 1:57.1 ($83,942) The first foal from the dam, the colt is related to a string of top performers in North America and even though he cost Trevor $72,000, he didn't appear an expensive colt once you had read his pedigree page. High flying New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety was the next Kiwi into the fray forking out $60,000 for a colt by American super sire Somebeachsomewhere from the imported daughter of Bettor's Delight in Molly's Lucky Star 1:54.2 ($96,700) The grand dam Pacific Destiny is a half sister to the brilliant Pacific Fella 1:48.2 ($1,064,631) so he has all the credentials to make it on the track. The Kennards were next into the fray again when they went to $42,000 to secure lot 131 who was an Art Major colt from the race winning Albert Albert mare in Nosotros who has already produced Red Vee Hanover 1:58.8 ($89,094). The dam Nosotros is a half sister to the former brilliant grand circuit performer in Hexus 1:55 ($555,114) and with Nosotros being a 3/4 sister to the smart Winforus 1:55 ($139,915) this colt ticks plenty of boxes. Mark Purdon waited to lot 167 before he brought his one and only purchase for the day. Mark purchased a Modern Art colt from a Badlands Hanover half sister to the champion juvenile Gotta Go Cullen 1:58.2 ($1,127,567) for $34,000 The grand dam is a half sister to Mark's former champion pacer Il Vicolo 1:56.7 ($1,580,945) and to the dam of Stunnin Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,359,094) Mark has a history of plucking horses out of sales for not a lot of money and turning them into stars and this colt has a maternal pedigree to die for. The last purchase by Kiwis for the day was when the Kennards went back to the well for the third time and spent $30,000 to buy lot 173 who is an Art Major colt from the former race winning two year old Sophies Girl. She was from a half sister to Seinfield 1:55.1 ($126,082) and belongs to the New Zealand family made famous by the great Manaroa 1:58.1 ($218,159) back in the 1970s. The top priced colt for the sale was lot 63 who was a Western Ideal half brother to the brilliant Guaranteed 1:50.4 ($829,5910). The top price in the fillies division of $51,000 was shared by Lot 159 who was a Rocknroll Hanover filly from a mare tracing to the great New Zealand broodmare Armiss and Lot 187 who was a Bettor's Delight filly who had the outstanding Lordship broodmare Black Debate as her third dam. Overall the sale would have to considered a big success with the average up nearly $3,000 ($26,046)  and the clearance rate on a par with last year at just under 80%. Harnesslink Media

The Whitelock family from Palmerston North who are well known in New Zealand for producing a string of outstanding rugby players, also have a growing reputation in the harness racing industry with the family racing/breeding a string of elite level colts and fillies over recent times. One of their best performers in recent years was the outstanding Bettor's Delight filly Dancing Diamonds 1:57.8 who won nine races at two and three on her way to earning $343,276. She numbered the two and three year old PGG Sales Races among her victories. Her first foal, a colt by Rocknroll Hanover named Rock Diamonds is being sold at this years Australasian Classic Sale and is sure to attract strong interest from buyers. Rocknroll Hanover 1:48.6 ($2,754,038) needs no introduction as he has already left the winners of over $73,000,000 including such stars as Rocknroll Heaven 1:47.6 ($2,754,818) and A Rocknroll Dance 1:47.4 ($2,429,441) Dancing Diamonds is bred on the potent Bettor's Delight/In The Pocket cross, and has a brilliant pedigree to go with her race record. Her dam Asabella ($52,809) was a smart two and three year old herself  and aside from Dancing Diamonds has also produced Ohoka Bondy 1:53.6 ($388,148) and Code Red 1:55.1 ($132,639) This is the branch of the Rothschild 124 maternal family closely associated with Jim Dalgety who brought the fifth dam of Rock Diamonds in Bellajily back from North America in the early 1970s in foal to Most Happy Fella. Bellajily won a New Zealand Derby before going to America and Bellajily and her daughters left Jim Dalgety a string of top horses headed by the likes of Jovial Jeanie(9 wins), Happy Hazel 1:57.6 ($236,623) and Imagine That 1:57.1 ($415,289). Belajily was also a full sister to the brilliant racemare Van Glory whose daughters left us Undercover Lover 1:51.8 ($864,811) and Bettor Cover Lover 1:53.8 ($1,026,428) It has been a brilliant maternal family for well over 50 years and shows no signs of tapering off. If anything it appears to be going from strength to strength. Rock Diamonds has all the credentials to add yet further kudos to his brilliant maternal family. Harnesslink Media  

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