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

A shock announcement from world renown owner Neven Botica has paved the way for the Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star’s first ever invitee to possibly tackle the event in the second edition of the race. It may come a year later than many first thought, but the highly credentialed Imperial Count could now target the race after flying to New Zealand to stand at Barra Equine stud. The North-American squaregaiter, who has amassed almost $700,000 in earnings and has a best lifetime mark of 1.53.2, has been competing against some of the world’s best trotters in recent years. However with Botica keen to get him to the Southern Hemisphere as a breeding proposition; it has opened the door for a Great Southern Star tilt. “Last year he had a little hiccup at the last minute before he entered quarantine on his way down for the Great Southern Star and because of the horse he was, it didn’t make sense to take a chance with him,” Botica said. “He came back and in his last start he broke the track record at Yonkers, it was a 1:54 mile rate on an 800-metre track. “He is going to stand at Barra Equine. He is in quarantine at the minute but he gets out next weekend and I’m thinking while he is only a five-year-old, I should give him a crack at a race like the Great Southern Star.” With plenty of life still in his legs, Botica will make a final decision in a few weeks however the initial signs are looking positive that the fledgling race could have its first ever international raider from North America. The next step will be for Imperial Count to come back into work in the Shaky Isles according to Botica. “He’ll come back into work in New Zealand initially while he covers some mares and he will tell us how he is going,” he said. “He is by Angus Hall who is the sire of Majestic Son so it is already proven that the line works down here. He has a good high speed gait and he is very versatile which is an added advantage.” Botica, famous for owning another superstar squaregaiter in Sundons Gift, will also have a runner in the rich Breeders Crown Final of the Open Mares Trot to be run in America on Sunday morning our time. Beatgoeson Hanover broke the world record at Pocono in late September and will tackle the $250,000 mares trotting feature race at the very same track on Sunday. In a win for the globalisation of our great sport, SKY Racing, through their SKY 2 platform,  will show the majority of the meeting live this weekend. HRV Media

After a relatively slow start to the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch today (Wednesday February 20) - Lot 33 Ohoka Hall - sparked up the harness racing sale when a bidding war resulted in the grandson of Landora's Pride ($426,867) selling for $127,500.

The Australians were left with a few crumbs after New Zealand's big guns blasted the locals off the track at Saturday's feature harness racing meeting at Melton.

All honours in the Simplot Australasian Trotting Championship went to harness racing trainer/driver Geoff Webster and Mister Zion when the dual gaited Group winning gelding made it a double at the elite level.

Sundons Gift has been one of Australia's most lauded squaregaiters. A globetrotter in the true sense of the word, his harness racing career was halted after illness crippled him to a point where the Lang team thought he was best served in a retirement paddock.

One of Australia's trotting legends will soon have a special place at Shepparton's Quest Harness Racing Complex with the official opening of the 'Sundons Gift' spectator deck. Minister for Racing Denis Napthine will officially open the new facility at Saturday night's Shepparton Gold Pacing Cup.

With all nominations received for the 2012 Inter Dominion Trotting Championship, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has today published the first rankings. Eighty nominations have been received, but late nominations will be accepted until noon on Monday December 19 upon payment of the late nomination fee of $2200.

Uncertainty surrounding Trans-Nullarbor transport may hold the key to a prestigious pair of Tabcorp Park features this weekend. Canny Lara-based harness racing conditioner Dean Braun has accepted for Friday night's $50,000 4YO Championship at Gloucester Park with both Mustang Mach and Night Of The Stars but remains in limbo with flights to Perth on standby only.

Smoken Up capped an all-conquering season when he was tonight crowned as 2010/11 Victorian Horse of the Year at Tabcorp Park, Melton. The Lance Justice-trained harness racing superstar won 12 of 18 starts at home and abroad, including the Inter Dominion, Miracle Mile and a successful defence of the Len Smith Mile, netting over $1 million in prizemoney in the process.

Chris Lang Jr is one of the new forces to be reckoned with on the Australian harness racing scene, but the talented 25-year-old also wants people to know that he is a public trainer and keen to make a name for himself as an equine conditioner.

Sixty-six days after a myriad of dramas across the ditch scuppered his quest for a third straight Inter Dominion title, champion Nagambie squaregaiter Sundons Gift returns to harness racing this Friday night in the most appropriate of circumstances.

Master Clevedon harness racing trainer Barry Purdon has always believed in Raydon and tonight at Alexandra Park (Friday April 1) the 6-year-old gelding duly repaid that faith in the third trotters heat of the 2011 Inter Dominion Championship.

The changing of the guard took just 90 minutes on the opening night of the Interdominion harness racing carnival at Alexandra Park.

Up and coming Aussie harness racing squaregaiter Let Me Thru finalised the Australian domination at Alexandra Park tonight (Friday March 11) by winning the group Three City Of Sails FFA Trot. The son of Muscles Yankee worked hard outside the leader and stablemate Sundon's Gift, but still proved too good in the hands of Chris Lang JR.

It's the clash harness racing fans have been salivating over for months; the first meeting between Australia's best-performed trotter of all time, Sundons Gift, and the rising megastar most consider his heir apparent, Let Me Thru.

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