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American Flybye has created a really good impression in her short career todate but faces her biggest challenge so far when she lines up in race one at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park tonight. Trained by Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick, the daughter of Tintin In America has racked up three wins from her first three starts in the hands of stable driver Scott Phelan. Tonight she has had the misfortune to draw five on the second line but Scott has not written her off due to the draw. " She is a really nice filly and even from the draw I think she is a winning chance tonight." "She is going to need a bit of luck but if things went her way, she could roll over the top of them," Scott said. American Flybye has been part of the Telfer and Garlic barn since an early two year old and they have always had a bit of a wrap on the filly. " Like a lot of good fillies she can be a bit headstrong every now and again but in the main she is lovely to do anything with." " She shows real dash coming off a horses back but due to the good draws we have had so far, she has always led in her races." " We have always thought that she would be better coming off a horses back in her races so I guess we are going to find out if we were right in tonights race, Scott said. Regardless of what she does tonight, Scott thinks the best may be in front of her. " She continues to improve all the time." " We will just stick to grade racing at the moment but it wouldn't surprise me if she found her way into some of the better fillies races later on," Scott said.  The run of American Flybye certainly hasn't hurt her young sire Tintin In America, whose oldest crop are only three and are doing a good job on both sides of the Tasman. Harnesslink Media

Tintin In America, a harness racing Group winner as a two, three and four-year-old in New Zealand, was represented by his first Group winner from his initial crop when Zee Dana captured the Group 3 $30,600 Garrards Horse and Hound Ready To Run Graduate Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night (August 15). A dominant favourite, the NZ bred youngster began like a rocket from the No 6 gate to assume role from the outset. After a leisurely middle half, Zee Dana peeled off fractions of 27.6 and 27.6 to easily keep his rivals at bay. The mile rate for the 2300 metres was 1:59.3. The win extended the gelding’s record to five starts for four wins and a second for $38,293 in stakes. He holds a mark of 1:57.3. Zee Dana was the fastest triallist at the Ready To Run Trialling Sale last December and changed hands for a super $71,000. Bred by David Kennedy, Zee Dana is out of the winning Dream Away mare Zwish (2:02.4), who left earlier winners in Phil Monty (1:54.6), a winner of nine races in Victoria, and Dana Dawn 2:01.1. He is a member of the noted Black Watch family whose descendants include Arden Rooney, Katy Perry, Reba Lord, Sovereign Hill, Laurella, Alta Christiano and The Unicorn. Tintin In America has already sired five individual two-year-old winners from his first small crop including the South Australian Kindergarten Stakes winner Just Wantano (2:00.7) and the Group placegetters Dame Puissant (1:59.6) and Aussie Vista (2:01.1). Zee Dana By Peter Wharton

The McArdle horse Tintin In America, a top pacer of a few years ago and a dual Harness Jewels champion, is a young sire – he was foaled in 2005 – already well on the way to proving a success with his first racing crop. He stands at the renowned Nevele R Stud, Christchurch for a fee of $A2,255 including GST. Actually Tintin In America has made a very impressive start as a sire. In his first season in New Zealand he left 32 foals, and of these he had three winners and four qualifiers, while his first Australian crop of 15 foals has produced two winners from four starters. Overall, Tintin In America has achieved a 70 percent winners-to-starters strike rate with his initial racing crop. From his first crop he has sired a top colt in Zee Dana (1:57.3), who has won three of his first four starts including a heat of the Breeders Crown and is rated one of the star two-year-olds in Victoria this season, and a brilliant filly in Dame Puissant (1:59.6), who has won three races in the west this season.  Just Wantano (2:00.7), winner of the SA Kindergarten Stakes and a close fourth in the Vicbred Final, and Aussie Vista (2:01.1), a placegetter in the QBred Triad 2YO Final, have been other winners by Tintin In America from his first crop. Tintin In America was a top racehorse himself, winning more than $900,000, and he won five times at Group 1 level and established three NZ records from 1609 to 2700 metres. He won the NZ Sires Stakes Championship as a two-year-old, while at 3 he took his record of 1:53.2 winning the $200,000 Harness Jewels, in which he defeated Sleepy Tripp, Stunin Cullen and Highview Tommy.  Tintin In America also set a  track record 1:56.1 mile rate for 2240 metres winning the Group 1 $170,000 Breeders Crown Final at Melton. At four years Tintin In America bankrolled $519,355 from eight wins and three seconds from 13 starts and was subsequently accorded NZ 4YO of the Year honours. Among the many highlights of his stellar four-year-old campaign were his successes in the $200,000 Harness Jewels (in 1:54.1), $150,000 NZ Messenger (in 1:56.6) and $50,000 Cambridge 4YO Futurity and his close second (beaten half a neck) to Monkey King in the $500,000 Auckland Cup. Tintin In America belongs to one of the fastest moving families in the NZ stud book. His dam, Zenterfold 1:56.6,  not only left four sub 2:00 performers, but she is a half-sister to the Cup winners winner Zenad 1:55.4 ($201,272), Zensational 1:54.8 ($138,808) and Zenola Seelster 1:58.2 ($102,706). Zenterfold was by champion sire and broodmare sire in the great In The Pocket (1:49.6) and was out of Zenola Star (2:01), by New York Motoring (1:56.2) from Now And Zen, by Chiola Hanover from the great producer in Zenover, dam of Motoring Magic (1:57.5), Interchange and others. Zenover was also the grand-dam of Elsu 1:53.6 ($2-million), Inter Dominion winner and highly successful sire. As one of the best winning members of the Zenover family, there is good reason to expect Tintin In America to make a name for himself as a sire. Peter Wharton

This Tuesday's harness racing meeting was at Shepparton and close finishes were the order of the night which featured two heats of the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for Two Year Old Colts & Geldings over 2190 metres. Heat eight went the way of the local training - driving combination of Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack with Tintin In America/Zwish gelding  Zee Dana. Driven by Nathan, Zee Dana led out from the pole, before taking cover on the well fancied ex-Kiwi Code Black to enjoy the run of the race. Assisted by third elect Born To Rocknroll moving from mid-field racing for the bell to keep the leader honest, Zee Dana made full use of the sprint lane to register a soft 1.3 metre victory over Code Black, with Born To Rocknroll 3.2 metres away in third spot. The mile rate was 1-58. Heat nine saw Vicbred Super Sires victor Shadow Sax continue on his winning way with a strong victory in a rate of 1-59.4, much to the delight of popular owner/breeders Russell and Pam Hockham. Trained by Emma Stewart  and driven by Gavin Lang, Shadow Sax who is getting better with every run, possied one/one from outside the front row with Peter Manning’s one time boom pacer Christmas Jolt leading from the pole with Greg Sugars aboard. Not happy with the tempo, Lang vacated the prime spot mid-race to park in the open and Shadow Sax outstayed his rivals, scoring by a neck after the pair drew away at the straight entrance. Swan Hill winner Betanotblink was 10.5 metres away after trailing the pacemaker. A gelded son of Shadow Play from the handy racemare Miss Saxony, Shadow Sax has fronted the starter on nine occasion for five wins, the last three in succession. Rockbank area trainer Rob O’Connell and stable reinsman Zac Phillips snared the Hunter Rural Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres with five year old Falcons Icon/Alkaliner gelding Jialiner in a rate of 2-00.7. Burning away from gate four, Jialiner was untroubled to lead throughout in  defeating Lights And Music which trailed using the sprint lane to no avail, the margin 2.1 metres, with Brother Rabbit 8.9 metres away after following the pair. Jialiner is raced by Peter Earl and partners who have won many races with horses using the “Liner” moniker. Riverina (Wagga Wagga) trainer Russell Campbell combined with Gavin Lang to land the Shepparton BMW 3-Y-0 Pace over 2190 metres with Sportswriter/Aflyin Home Lombo filly Lombo Newsy Scoop. Driven brilliantly, Lombo Newsy Scoop settled mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second row, weaving in-between runners in the last lap before dropping down to the inside approaching the home turn. Using the sprint lane, Lombo Newsy Scoop finished best to gain the day by 5.2 metres in two minutes even over Wantalinga Dream off a three wide trail last lap and first starter Mesmeric which led for the final circuit after crossing Major Missile at the bell. Five year old Righteous Hanover/Jasmin Korikina gelding Black Jasmin recorded his first victory since May 2013 when victorious in the 1st division of the Saddleworld Shepparton Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres. Trained at Gingarre (G/V) by former New South Welshman Greg Lewis, Black Jasmin driven by Ben Gledhill was given the run of the race one/one from gate five, with the Narrandera visitor To Infinitynbeyond leading from the pole. Taken three wide at the top of the straight, Black Jasmin in a punishing finish prevailed by a nose over Tee Da Green (one/one) out wide, with Boardwalk Emperor  (three back the markers) using the sprint lane to be a half head away in a thrilling finish. The mile rate was 1-58.5. The second heat was taken out by another border hopper in 3-Y-0 Flight Path/Maud gelding Quagmire giving Zac Phillips a driving double. Trained at Cobbity by Belinda McCarthy, Quagmire led throughout from the pole, scoring by a neck from Our Grasshopper which trailed in 1-57.2. Bubbas Princess rushed home from last at the bell to finish third 28.8 metres away. Sit sprinting specialist Awesome Mattjesty chalked up his 8th victory in 62 outings (4 this season), when successful in the Neatline Homes Pace for C2 class over 1690 metres. Driven by “Rocket” Rod Petroff for Coimadai trainer Steve Zammit, Awesome Mattjesty starting from inside the second row was given a charmed passage following the poleline leader Tennaya, before steaming home along the sprint lane to register a nose victory in advance of Bettor Atom off a three wide trail from near last in the final circuit, with Royal Deviate (one/one at bell – three wide home turn) a half neck away third in another tight finish. The mile rate was 1-57.1. Speaking of tight finishes, the Equine After Care Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2190 metres was a ripper, with local trainer Stephen O’Donoghue’s No Tomorrow blousing Forbidden Forest in a finish with had all guessing the result including caller Dan Mielicki. Driven by the stable’s Bec Bartley, No Tomorrow a 5-Y-0 gelding by Life Sign from Cobbity Cobbity was sent forward after starting outside the front line to park outside the leader Forbidden Forest which had moved around Ramblenroller which flew away from gate four. With the pair being joined by Nor Nor West three wide approaching the home turn, the three went head and head to the wire with No Tomorrow getting the judge’s nod by a nose in 1-58.8, with Nor Nor West first up since February just weakening over the concluding stages to be 1.9 metres away in third place. Len Baker

The Gr. 3 Ready2Run Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on August 15 is already shaping as an exciting contest.  The $30,000 harness racing event over 2300 metres is restricted to horses sold at last’s year Ready2Run Sale at Menangle and with talented pacers such as Zee Dana, Boundtobemad, Redbank Lenny, Kleened Out, Alesha Maguire and Milias Ideal eligible, the race should be a strong one. Zee Dana is unbeaten after two starts and scored an effortless victory at Shepparton on Thursday night with regular driver Nathan Jack impressed by the son of Tintin In America. “I like him, he is doing a good job now but I think he is going to be an even better three-year old,” Jack said. “At Shepparton he got a comfortable time of it in front but ran home very well and I still haven’t had to pull the plugs on him yet.” Jack confirmed connections will be forced to make a decision on the gelding’s short term future soon. “He is eligible for the Breeders Crown and the Ready2Run Stakes at Menangle, he won’t be able to go in both so Amanda (Turnbull trainer) will have to make a decision either way but we’re leaning towards going to Sydney at this stage. “His next start will be the Tatlow Stakes, he is a big horse, a real good type but I think he will be even better once he has had a spell.” Zee Dana is part owned by Manly fullback Brett Stewart and he is enjoying his first foray into harness racing.  If Zee Dana does compete in the Ready2Run Stakes at Menangle, Stewart was hoping to be trackside to watch the two year old compete but will need clearance from coach Geoff Toovey with Manly set to play the Raiders in Canberra the following day. Another quality youngster being aimed towards the Gr. 3 event is the Steve Harris trained Boundtobemad.  Harris got the opportunity to train the filly after original trainer Dean Cernovskis made his annual journey north to campaign a team of horses in Queensland during the winter carnival. “She was a nice filly and understandably her owners wanted her to be aimed towards the Breeders Challenge and the Ready2Run race at Menangle, her part owner Troy Saddler lives in Wagga so I suggested he send her to Steve Harris,” Cernovskis said. “Dave Reichstein took her down to Wagga for me for her first start and we weren’t expecting her to do too much but she ran a really good race, she was very green and was still learning so Steve has done a great job with her.” Harris took over the filly’s preparation after her debut effort and the daughter of Sportswriter has blossomed culminating in a Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge placing. “Since I’ve had Boundtobemad she has just continued to improve, I was very proud of her at Menangle in the Breeders Challenge,” Harris said. While the Ready2Run Stakes will be a target for Harris he is looking forward to seeing the filly win her first race. “I’d be happy to win an ordinary two year old race with her, we’ll definitely have a look at the Ready2Run Stakes though and the longer distance will be right up her alley. “She is a very tall filly but racy with it, I think she is going to improve with a bit of time and especially once she fills out into her frame.” Harris prepared youngsters for last year’s Ready2Run Sale and will be looking to have more horses in the sale later this year. “I only have a small team of racehorses at the moment but there are a lot of young ones here and I will be having a few for the Ready2Run Sale for sure.”    The Ready2Run Sale this year will be conducted on Sunday 6th December at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Greg Hayes

The harness racing breeding industry in Australasia has always been a hard place for young colonial stallions to establish themselves and with the advent of shuttle stallions and frozen semen it has become even harder in the last 15 years. One who is just starting out is Tintin In America 1:53.2 $934,305 who has two year olds on the track this season in both Australia and New Zealand. As you would expect in todays competitive market the son of McArdle has struggled to attract mares to his court and his crops to date have been small to put it mildly. In Australia Tintin In America has just 15 two year olds and has had three starters this season for two winners to date. The best of those is the smart filly Just Wantano who took out the $15,000 Kindergarten Stakes Final at Globe Derby in a 2:00.7 mile rate for the 1800 metres. Of note is that the other winner in Australia by Tintin In America in Aussie Vista is also a filly. In New Zealand where he stood at Nevele R Stud, Tintin In America has had 32 two year olds to represent him this season. He has had five qualifiers to date and one starter in New Zealand in American Flybye who won her only start to date. One of the qualifiers is Dame Puissant who qualified at Ashburton in December last year in 2:00.5 and is now in Perth, Western Australia. A nice second first up where the winner went 1:56.8, Dame Puissant won her only other start and looks very promising. Another one of the Kiwi bred two year olds to make his way to Australia is Zee Dana. Sold by Greg Payne at the Ready To Run sale last December at Menangle for a hefty $71,000, Zee Dana made his long awaited Australian debut at Bendigo yesterday from the Amanda Turnbull barn with Nathan Jack in the bike. Sent straight to the front by Nathan, Zee Dana just brained them by 27 metres in a 1:57.3 mile rate for the 1650 metres with closing sectionals of 56.8 and 28 and appeared to do it with plenty in reserve. So considering the number of mares he served and the quality of most of those mares, Tintin In America has made a good fist of his debut season with horses on the track. The way both his fillies and colts are going it wouldn't be a surprise if he served his biggest books in both Australia and New Zealand in the upcoming breeding season. Harnesslink Media

All of a sudden, the barrier draw is crucial to the outcome of the harness racing Gr.2 $80,000 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series No.7 Final next Friday (June 5). Under the conditions of the series, preferential barrier preference is given to fillies that qualify for the rich final. And after the four heats were contested tonight (Wednesday), the fairer sex made a clean sweep following the victories of Charlyse, Covert Beauty, Shezabonnygem and Aussie Vista. A total of six fillies qualified for the final with the four remaining spots going to the boy’s. The opening heat went the way of the highly regarded first starter Charlyse for trainer/driver Darren Weeks who led throughout to score easily by a widening margin from Earl Jujon and Timmo Time in a mile rate of 2;00.9 for the 1780m. The Changeover – Gliding Atom filly rated the quickest time of the four heats staged. Heat two was taken out by race favourite Covert Beauty who gained control soon after the start before scoring comfortably from a game debutant in Bella Rippin and Wishitwasheaven in a time of 2;01.6 Prepared by Mark Dux and handled by Pete McMullen, the Art Official – Our Lillyfield filly has now won three of her four starts to date. In heat three, promising type Shezabonnygem was able to race to the early lead and dictate terms before racing clear over the concluding stages  to defeat Riverleigh Dolly and Ivan The Third in a time of 2;03.1. Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, the South Park Hanover – Bonny Willow filly broke maiden ranks with this victory. In the fourth and final heat, race favourite Mucho Macho Man couldn’t reel in speedy filly Aussie Vista who led throughout after starting from the ace draw in a time of 2;01.1 with first starter Leos Best catching the eye with his fast finishing third. Trained by Shane Sanderson, the Tintin In America – Terranora Vista Filly provided star young reinsman Pete McMullen with a double for the night. The final field is; (not in barrier draw order) Charlyse, Earl Jujon, Timmo Time, Covert Beauty, Bella Rippin, Shezabonnygem, Riverleigh Dolly, Aussie Vista, Mucho Macho Man and Leos Best. The barrier draw will be conducted next Tuesday (June 2). A total of 30 two-year-olds contested the heats which is almost a third of the yearling sale staged last year by Darren Ebert & Co. Auctioneers which left club officials thrilled. Racing Queensland

Harness racing breeders are never slow to pick up the trends about new sires and these days are pretty quick to abandon any stallion who they think is not delivering on the track. The numbers of mares served by some of our newer sires this year are way down on what they served just twelve months ago and are due no doubt to the lack of winners these stallions are producing. The first one we are going to review is Art Official who dropped this season to just 17 mares after covering 72 last season. His oldest crop are three year olds and numbers 49 horses of which nineteen have qualified but just five have won a race. His second crop are two year olds this year and that crop numbers 80 horses and have produced one smart horse in Salty Robyn 1:53.9 ($ 44,600) who has been burning up Menagle in the last two months. His Australian offspring are doing a good job with small numbers which makes the New Zealand situation harder to understand.  Overall Art Official has been a little disappointing and unless his stock have a big next six months it is hard to see him coming back to Australasia next season. Tintin In America is another sire whose numbers fell away this year even though his oldest crop are only two year olds. That first crop numbers only 32 horses but to date has only had three qualifiers which is disappointing. It is way to early to make any decision about him as a sire but he only served 13 mares this year which means the breeders have taken a wait and see approach. Tintin In America badly needs four or five of those two year olds to salute the judge and create some momentum before the next breeding season or his days as a sire might be numbered. The former champion pacer Elsu is another stallion to get the cold shoulder from breeders. This is a stallion who has produced over 250 winners of over $12,733,000 to date in Australasia alone yet breeders have deserted him. This year he served just six mares in New Zealand and his future may lie in Australia where his stock have won over $8,424,000 and where he has left most of his winners. Gotta Go Cullect is another stallion to get the cold shoulder from breeders after being given every chance in his initial seasons at stud. In his first four years he served over 100 mares every year but this fell away bigtime this season with him attracting just 18 mares. At present he has 222 three year olds and older in New Zealand and to date he has sired just 30 winners so his days may be numbered in New Zealand. Lis Mara was an interesting one for us in that his numbers are not that bad overall. He has 175 horses three year old or older and so far has produced 49 winners and a further 37 that have qualified. Their main problem is like their sire they are better with a bit of age and people are not prepared to wait these days. From a high of 90 mares, Lis Mara dropped to just 7 mares this season and there would have to be real doubts that he would shuttle next year. Finally the trotting sire The Pres is another stallion to suffer a big drop off in demand from breeders after a slow start to his siring career. His oldest crop are just three year olds and number 38 horses and to date he has had just two winners as well as a further four qualifiers. From a high of 80 mares bred in 2013, The Pres slipped to just 13 mares this season and like all the others here badly needs a few flagbearers. It is very early for a trotting sire to be condemned but the breeders patience these days seems to wear out very quickly with any sire not performing immediately. What the above list shows is how hard it is to get a foot on the stallion ladder and once there how difficult it is to stay there. Harnesslink Media

Kentuckiana Lodge trainer Cran Dalgety has joined Patumahoe’s Geoff Small as NZ’s most successful trainers of Group One Breeders Crown Final winners after Katy Perry’s hard fought success in last Sunday’s $A297,000 Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Australasian Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park, Melton. Both have achieved five Breeders Crown Final successes in the specialised two-four age group categories, just one ahead of NZ’s premier trainer Mark Purdon. Cran Dalgety’s growing list of ABC Grand Final winners is: Sparks A Flyin (2001 3YO fillies), Smiling Shard (2009 2YO colts/geldings), Bit Of A Legend (2012-13 3YO colts/geldings) and Katy Perry (2014 2YO fillies). Former world champion driver Mark Jones partnered Sparks A Flyin. Current NZ champion Dexter Dunn has driven the stable runners since 2009. The Kentuckiana Lodge mentor is challenging as NZ’s most successful trainer at the Breeders Crown, taking into account his additional three Grand Final seconds _ Smiling Shard (2010 3YO colts/geldings), Onlyforyou (2012 2YO fillies) and Bit Of A Legend (2014 4YO entires/geldings). Northern-based, but Canterbury-raised Geoff Small, set the early pace among the Kiwis. Small’s ABC Pacing Grand Final winners are: Pullover Brown (2003 3YO Fillies), Changeover (2007 3YO Colts/geldings), Tintin In America (2009 3YO Colts/geldings), De Lovely (2010 3YO Fillies) and Cowgirls N Indians (2011 2YO Fillies). He also has a Group Two Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate FFA (open class race) to his credit, with All Tiger in 2009. Recuperating Cambridge driver David Butcher has partnered all but one of Small’s ABC winners. Templeton driver Anthony Butt partnered Pullover Brown for her ABC win after also driving her to win the NZ Oaks that season.  Anthony Butt, a close second driving Joanne’s A Delight in last Sunday’s 2YO Fillies Final, also won the 1998 ABC 3YO Fillies Final driving Under Cover Lover, Mark Purdon, who gained early ABC Final training successes with Galleons Assassin (2005 2YO trot) and Fly Like An Eagle (2012 3YO colts/geldings), doubled his quota when (My) Ayra (2YO fillies trot) and Follow The Stars (2YO colts/geldings) delivered last Sunday. His additional driving win with (Our) Twentyten (who he formerly trained) in the 3YO trot final on Sunday, makes him jointly NZ’s top driver in the 2-4YO age group catergories, with David Butcher, who besides the Small-trained winners, also reined Miami H to win the 2010 3YO trot final for trainers Derek Balle and Owen Gillies. Victorian trotting training master Chris Lang is the most successful Breeders Crown trainer with seven wins. His successes, all in ABC trot finals, are: Kyvalley Road (2002-03 2 & 3YO trot), Right Interest (2006 3YO trot), Skyvalley (2008-09 3 & 4YO trot) and Let Me Thru (2009-10 3 & 4YO trot). Lang has also added three Group Two Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate FFA wins, a race for open class trotters, with former champ, Sundons Gift (2007-08 & 2010). Lang’s brother, champion Victorian reinsman Gavin, although winless at the Breeders Crown this year, remains the most successful driver in Breeders Crown Finals, with 10 successes. Courtsey Of Cran Dalgety Racing

Geoff Dunn has just had a harness racing season he will probably never top with his two leading 3 year olds Venus Serena and Tiger Tara winning the age group titles at the recent New Zealand awards. Going by the run of Zin Zan today (August 17th) at Rangiora though, Geoff appears to have another 3 year old of real quality. Very unlucky at his debut run at Oamaru two weeks ago, Zin Zan was restrained off the gate from barrier eight by driver Gerald O'Reilly and settled second last. The free going Millwood Faith went straight to the front and set up a solid clip in front. There were few changes until they turned for home where the favourite Western Art worked to the lead and looked all over the winner. Zin Zan was still second last at the 400 meters before being sent on a searching run by Gerald O"Reilly. Western Art still seemed the winner 100 meters from home before Zin Zan flew home late for a narrow but super impressive win. Zin Zan paced the 2000 meters from the mobile in 2:27.2, a mile rate of 1:58.4 with closing sectionals off the front of 56.5 and 28.8. Zin Zan was miles off the leaders at the half so his closing sectionals must have been really special. It shouldn't be a surprise that Zin Zan is so talented as he is one beautifully bred individual. Purchased out of the 2013 Australasian Classic for $50,000, Zin Zan is raced by Geoff Dunn with his long time stable clients, Bob and Jenny Sandford. By Bettors Delight, Zin Zan is the first foal from a Christian Cullen half sister to Zenad 1:55.4 ($192,636)  Zensational 1:54.8 ($138,808)  Zenola Seelster 1:58.2 ($102,706) and to Zenterfold, the dam of Tintin In America 1:53.2 ($934,305). Zin Zan looks to have inherited all the family ability and it would not surprise to see him take on the better 3 year olds later in the year. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing buyers at this years All Aged sale in Canterbury held the upper hand right from the opening lot. Most of the broodmares for sale had foals at foot by such well-established sires such as Badlands Hanover and McArdle but most failed to even make four figures. Lockerup, the aged dam of champion trotter Sovereignty $678,321 made $5,000 in foal to Monarchy but most struggled to attract interest. Good examples of that lack of interest would be mares such as: Keepalert - A Life Sign half sister to Mach Alert $394,945 with a Changeover filly at foot made a paltry $400 High Tops Hanover - A mare by Western Hanover from a Big Towner half sister to Holmes Hanover with a filly by Tintin in America at foot fetched just $700 Cullen Katching - A striking young  mare by Christian Cullen from a Western Hanover half sister to seven winners including Pacific Flight 1:51 $562,345 and The Unicorn 1:56.7 $488,524, who was not in foal sold for a touch more at $1100. The weanlings were much more in demand. Top price went to the stunning McArdle colt from the 13 win mare Lady Toddy who is already the dam of four in 1;58. He fetched healthy $15,500 which in the context of the sale was a great result for the vendors, Nevele R Stud. Other weanlings to attract interest included *Changeover / Last Port Of Call  colt--$8100 *Monarchy / Lockerup  colt--$6400 * Vintage Master / Joyful Holmes  colt $6200 *Vintage Master / Supreme Classie  colt $4600 *Dali / Tammy Franco  colt $4500 For full results click here. The North Island leg of the All Aged sale will be held at Karaka on May 30th, The day before the Harness Jewels at Cambridge. Harnesslink media

A Bettor’s Delight colt with ‘Rockstar looks’ out of Christian Cullen mare Galleons Supreme  has topped the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale, fetching $130,000 for his Woodlands Stud vendors. Bettor Cheer, who is out of a half-sister to star Bettor’s Delight mare Cheer The Lady ($314,625), was purchased by prolific Australian owners Emilio and Maria Rosati and is likely to be trained in New Zealand by Tony Herlihy The bay colt, who was lot 57, hails from the family of top producer No Regrets, who herself was a half sister to Cup winner Globe Bay and a relative of the immortal Cardigan Bay. Galleon’s Cheer, Galleon’s Treasure, No Equal, Nevermore, Chancellor Cullen, Franco Nester, and Franco Nelson are just some of the names printed in black on Bettor Cheer’s pedigree page. John Street of Lincoln Farms was another who was prepared to fork out big dollars at the sale. His most expensive purchase was a Mach Three colt out of top mare Angelina Jane called Like A Hurricane who set him back $96,000, while he also secured a full-brother to Besotted for $32,500, and a Real Desire half-brother to Tintin In America for 84,000. Purdon brothers, Mark and Barry, both purchased yearlings from families they have had great success with in the past, with Barry securing a brother to Bettor Offer for $46,000 and a sister to Five Card Draw and (half) Ideal Belle for $75,000. Mark on the other hand, purchased a Mach Three half-brother to his Oaks winning filly O Baby for $48,000. His other buys included Conversion (Christian Cullen – Coburg), $45,000, and Sophisticated Lady (Mach Three – Gentle Anvil) $70,000, while his large band of owners were also very active. The other top lots were lot 45 - Alta Las Vegas, Bettor's Delight - Alta Camilla ($77,500 - Robert Dunn), lot 75 – Derringer, Bettor’s Delight – Bury My Heart ($75,000 – Mark Jones), lot 76 – Zadaka, Mach Three – Copper Beach ($115, 000 – Geoff Small), and lot 108 – Mavros, Bettor’s Delight – Its Showtime ($75,000 – Rosslands Stud) The overseas contingent once again played a strong part in the sale with many yearlings now Australian bound and two possibly even heading for the USA.   Those two particular yearlings are Cyclone Charlie (Rock N Roll Heaven – Eyre To The Throne) and Maia Maguire (Bettor’s Delight – Mystic Gold) who were purchased by G L Banks & M J Hanover of the USA for $74,000 and $31,000 respectively. Meanwhile, the top trotting lot of the day was lot 47, Gunners Coin, a stunning Muscle Hill colt out of Galleons Dream. He reached $100,000 but that fell well short of  his $200,000 reserve. To view full results for the Australasian Classic Yearling Sales click here. By Mitchell Robertson

The flagships of the Division are the Australasian Classic and New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales held in Auckland Monday 17th February and Christchurch Tuesday and Wednesday 18th and 19th of February. Billed as the “Sale of the Stars” their graduates include seven modern day New Zealand Cup winners, thirty two Harness Jewels winners and thirty one Australasian Breeders Crown winners. Unity under the PGG Wrightson organisation has been a major benefit to the sales. Especially in producing a top quality catalogue, funding a very successful inward buyer scheme and the $1 million Sales Race Series now in its 24th year. Harnesslink is running a short series on some of the yearlings on offer. Lot 79 Premier sale - FRANCO TAI SIRE - Lis Mara is one of the big movers on the New Zealand sires list this season. The winners have been coming thick and fast lately and all he needs now is that flag bearer in all the classics.That horse may have arrived with Quick as A Trick looking more like Derby material with every run. DAM - The dam Thatcher Franco (p3,1:59.4) is by the noted filly sire in McArdle from the race winning Badlands Hanover mare in Thoroughly Franco. She is a half sister to the smart Franco Taima (p3,1:59.4. 2240m) who has won seven races and $30,721 to date. The third dam Think Again Franco only left two foals who both won including Try Me Franco (TT1:58.8). The third dam is a half sister to the brilliant Franco Tiger ($991,387) and they both are progeny of the brilliant race mare Tempest Tiger who went on to be the brood mare of the year in the 95/96 season. OVERVIEW - Great chance to buy into one of New Zealands most prolific juvenile producing families. First two dams have been winners and have left winners so Franco Tai is a great chance to add to this families success. Catalogue pedigree Lot 149 Premier sale - FRANCO CHRISTANO SIRE - Bettors Delight needs no introduction. He ticks every box as a sire with his stock being smart age group performers who go on to the Grand Circuit as older horses. DAM - Cherish A Franco (1:58.2) is a race winning daughter of Caprock from the outstanding brood mare in Cherubic (1;57.2 placed). This is her fifth foal and she is already the dam of two very smart performers in Cruiser Franco (1:53.4. $118,000) and Franco Czar 3 wins and 9 placings to date. The dam is a half to eight winners including the brilliant Franco Catapult (1:49.4. $640,831) and Franco Conquest (1;53.4. $94,993) OVERVIEW - A colt by the leading sire in Australasia from Cherish A Franco (1:58.2) who is a daughter of Cherubic (1:57.2). The dam has already left a 1:53.4 winner in Cruiser Franco so the question is not will this colt win races, the question is how many will he win? Catlogue pedigree Lot 259 Premier sale - FRANCO JAMESON SIRE - McArdle is an established sire with over $10,000,000 on his card in New Zealand including such stars as Tintin In America (1:53.2. $906,422) and Elusive Chick (1:53.9. $299,844) DAM - Jazz Franco is a daughter of prominent brood mare sire in Live Or Die. This is her sixth foal and she already has four to race including the full brother to this colt in Franco Jazzman (1:55.7h. $101,840) and a half sister in Jolene Franco (1:58.1) while another full brother in Franco Joaquin was placed in 1:57.9 as a two year old last season. The race winning grand-dam has left five winners including Franco Jonquill (1:52.6) and Franco Justin (1:56.4f). OVERVIEW - A full brother to two smart types in Franco Jazzman and Franco Joaquin, this colt is from a mare that hasn't missed at stud to date. The four foals 3 years and older have all raced and Franco Jameson looks a likely type to join his siblings in the winners circle. Catalogue pedigree JC

One of the more intriguing aspects of the 2014 round of New Zealand Yearling Sales is the return (in numbers) of the progeny of Real Desire. As the winner of over $3.3 million in a stellar race career, Real Desire attracted huge interest from breeders when he first stood in New Zealand in 2007. The resulting crop of foals made an immediate impact and included three Group 1 winning two-year-olds – Cowgirls N Indians (NZ Jewels and Aust Breeders Crown, NZ 2yo Filly of the Year), Lets Elope (NZ Sires Stakes Open Final) and Secret Desire (Vicbred 2yo Fillies Final). While the brilliant Cowgirls N Indians tragically broke down, Lets Elope has gone on to win $280,000 and numerous other highly talented individuals have also emerged from this debut crop – including the likes of Regal Knight (1:53.2, 2nd NSW Derby), Awesome Belmer (12 wins, $100,175), Desirable Guy (14 wins, $95,623), All I Want (14 wins, $87,406), Freespin (1:53, $82,627), Reuben Brogden (12 wins, $90,134), Canardly Lover (8 wins, $86,492), Realmein (8 wins $88,030), All Star Man (6 wins, $69,272) and Spirit And Desire (9 wins, $66,341). All told, Real Desire’s first crop in New Zealand and Australia has produced a tremendous 110 individual winners including 57 in 2:00. Due to poor health, Real Desire did not return to stud in New Zealand for the 2008 season. This break in continuity has put him on the back foot with his stud career downunder. While he did return to New Zealand in 2009 and 2010, Real Desire’s absence for a season reduced his profile and he struggled for numbers. It all changed, however, in 2011 off the back of the wonderful racetrack success of his first crop of two-year-olds. The numbers and - most importantly - the quality returned. Only Bettor’s Delight served more mares than Real Desire did in the 2011/12. The Real Desire yearlings selling in 2014 are the foals of this bumper crop. All told, Real Desire has 20 colts and 12 fillies selling in New Zealand in 2014 – and the quality is very much there. Cowgirls N Indians is out of an In The Pocket mare. There are seven yearlings in the sales bred on this same cross including a half-brother to Tintin In America and a colt from a full-sister to Christian Cullen. Lets Elope and All Star Man are out of Soky’s Atom mares. There are three yearlings in the sales bred on this same cross including a half-brother to Lancome. Other compelling Real Desire lots include a three-quarter brother in blood to Lets Elope and two colts  from Christian Cullen mares – one mare a half sister to Venus Serena, the other a half to New Age Man. Astute yearling buyers will remember the success of Real Desire’s last significant crop and be on the lookout for the next Cowgirls N Indians or Lets Elope at Karaka and Christchurch this year.  

Smythes Creek (Ballarat) trainer Emma Stewart and freelance Bacchus Marsh reinsman Gavin Lang each recorded doubles at Saturday's Cranbourne fixture, Stewart with two six year olds - Mister Sheedy in the Tintin In America Pace for C6 or better class over 2080 metres and Tara Toplady the Cranbourne Trainers Bonanza for C4 & C5 class (mares) over 1609 metres, while Lang was successful aboard Gatesys Girl in the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2575 metres and Flaxton Filly in the Bayside Group Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres. Mister Sheedy a gelded son of Presidential Ball and Intoxicating driven by Michael Stanley, was surprisingly able to head off the favourite Astronaut shortly after the start from gate five and after an easy time, proved too strong for Astronaut along the sprint lane in a rate of 1-59.4 (last half 56.9 - quarter 28.3), with the Cranbourne specialist Stylish Jasper close up in third place after following the pair. Bettors Delight/Perfect Passion mare Tara Toplady taking a concession for reinswoman Jaimie-Lee King, was a big winner of her race after being trapped three wide from gate four and eventually working to the lead at the bell.  Joined by Arber for the final circuit, the pair raced away approaching the home turn with the race to themselves, with Tara Toplady giving plenty to hold a margin of a neck on the wire. Jasmine Sheffield (one/one) was 8.2 metres away in third place. The mile rate 1-56.9. Smart 5-Y-0 Conch Deville/Glamor Loch mare Gatesys Girl is good when she's on her game and was at Cranbourne with a tough victory in a mile rate of 2-07.4.  Trained in Gippsland at Longwarry by Michael Hughes, Gatesys Girl stepped cleanly from a 10 metre handicap, with Lang having no hesitation is sending her forward to park outside the pole line leader Mallee Trapper.  Appearing to be under pressure on the final bend with the leader holding a clear margin, Gatesys Girl rallied under desperate driving to score by a head right on the wire in a rate of 2-07.4. The 40 metre backmarker Earl Or Nothing ran on late from last to finish third. Eight year old Village Jasper/Turn To Gold mare Flaxton Filly which had recorded 6 wins from 86 outings prior to the race, was given a cosy trip three back on the marker line from inside the second row, with the heavily supported Obama leading from gate four with Monique Burnett in the sulky for trainer Maree Caldow. Extricated into the clear on straightening, Flaxton Filly came with a brilliant burst of speed to register a runaway victory in advance of Obama which offered no resistance, with Zoomba third after racing in the open. The mile rate 1-59.8. Lara trainer Dean Braun made it three from three with recent stable addition Sals Mo in the Ade Turf Equipment Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2080 metres. Beginning with a wing on every foot for Nathan Jack from gate five, Sals Mo was untroubled to lead throughout, winning by 9.6 metres in a rate of 1-58 from Conflict Of Interest (one/two) and Courageous Spirit which trailed the winner. A five year old Art Major/Dream Chaser gelding, Sals Mo is the 6th winner from the dam, the most noticeable being 18 race winner Detriot Dan (By Oil Burner). Len Baker

Cranbourne will host another quality card of action on Saturday and the night will be highlighted by the Tintin In America Pace. Thanks to the generosity of Glenferrie Farm, the winner of the race will be bestowed with a service to the rising stallion. But the race itself could turn into a war between two of Cranbourne’s leading trainers in Hugh Cathels and Vivian Tomren. Their local warhorses Stylish Jasper and Astronaut will go head-to-head and Cathels explained that his charge, Astronaut, has always been a more than honest gelding. “He’s been consistent throughout his whole career except about 16 months ago,” Cathels said. “Before that he cleaned up Suave Stuey Lombo and Saint Flash in a heat of the four-year-old sires and a week later got a really bad viral pneumonia which ,to be frank, knocked him around for the best part of a year. “If he can stay as well as we think he can, and he keeps getting away from the stand then we will definitely look at a few of the lesser class Country Cups.” Noted for his gate speed, Astronaut has drawn three and with his local rival taking up a polemarking position, they are likely to be in front and behind the leader in the early stages. It’s a deep race however as the powerful Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin team bring Mister Sheedy to Cranbourne as he looks to avenge his defeat at Tabcorp Park Melton last week, while Melton’s leading trainer last term, Lance Justice, has Alchemy engaged for a first-up tilt. The Cranbourne Trainers Bonanza Pace will be another highly sought after race on the program with Tim Bolitho’s stable recruit Arber drawn the outside the front row in a small field. The meeting kicks off at 6.30pm. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

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