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.
The New Zealand TAB's harness racing bookmaker, Steve Richardson has installed Themightyquinn and Sundons Gift as the two favourites for the 2011 Interdominion Pacing and Trotting Championships at Addington Raceway in Christchurch from March 25 to April 8.