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It is a surprise to us that even today a lot of breeders in the harness racing industry in New Zealand like to see stallions with a bit of size to them. They want to see that 15.3 hand stallion with an athletic appearance when appraising a stallion Smaller stallions often get a big cross beside their name from a lot of breeders just because they are not as big as the competition. Does size correlate to success in the siring barn.? In our opinion the answer is a resounding no as champion stallions that have stood in New Zealand have shown us time and time again. In New Zealand, smaller stallions have done a great job over the last forty plus years. Vance Hanover was a champion sire in the 80s and 90s but would have never topped 15 hands on his best day. It didn't stop him from being a great sire and broodmare sire. Likewise Lordship and Smooth Fella were two other great sires in the 70s and 80s who dominated the racing scene and both were on the smallish side with both barely 15 hands at best. Another stallion who falls into the same category in New Zealand was Soky's Atom and like the ones mentioned above he was small in statue but a great sire nevertheless. The legendary trotting sire Game Pride was another stallion to miss the 15 hand mark. More recently Courage Under Fire was yet another stallion to show that size doesn't count in the stallion barn. And then we come to the best of the smallish stallions to have stood at stud in New Zealand. Bettors Delight would have to be one of the smallish stallions to have ever stood at stud in New Zealand but it hasn't stopped him being the most dominant sire in the country over the last few years. Bettors Delight is closing in on $200,000,000 in earnings worldwide which tends to suggest even in the North American market size does not equal success. Breeding to smaller stallions means you do have to be a bit more cautious in the type of mare you send to them but in our opinion the size of the stallion has no relation to their chances of being successful. So when breeders are going to the open days at the studs in the next few weeks, it may pay to remember the great record smaller stallions have in New Zealand. Harnesslink Media

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   

Memories of one of the greatest harness racing performers produced in the Southern Hemisphere came to the fore at Pinjarra yesterday. Successful in the Medic Aid Handicap, Donegal Chokin – as the name suggests – is closely-related to former superstar Chokin. By Art Major from Chokin Hanover, Donegal Chokin is in stylish form this campaign, with his five starts yielding two wins and a second for trainer Sonia Zucchiatti. Driven by Kim Prentice during his latest triumph, Donegal Chokin led throughout from four to account for Blacknsweet Adda and Lively Shard. Thrilled with the gelding’s progress, Zucchiatti is hoping Donegal Chokin can continue his winning form in an M0 at Gloucester Park. Donegal Chokin’s second was registered at Western Australia’s home of racing last month. “I’ve had a few issues with him since he got here last October, but he’s over those now,” Zucchiatti said. “It was never anything serious, just things like getting his blood right, which set you back. “He has come along really well this time up and hopefully can put a few more wins on the board. “He’s getting away from the stand really well, so I will stick with those for the time being and try to win a race in town.” As for his family tree, Donegal Chokin is also closely-related to Changeover, which is from Chokin’s sister, Chaangerr. The siblings are by Vance Hanover from Nell’s Pride, with Chokin leading the way. A brilliant freshman, Chokin won seven of his eight starts for trainer Barry Purdon to quickly be touted as the industry’s next superstar. Just as dominant the following season, Chokin created history by becoming the first - and still only - three-year-old to contest the Miracle Mile. After over racing during the middle stages of the sprint, Chokin collapsed with exhaustion at the top of Harold Park’s home straight as his stablemate, Christopher Vance, went on to victory. Sadly the gelding broke down midway through his campaign before returning in brilliant style as a four-year-old. Australasia’s premier pacer at five and six, Chokin was found dead in his paddock while spelling after finishing fourth behind Golden Reign in the 1995 Christchurch Inter Dominion. Chokin was later promoted to second when Young Mister Charles and Victor Supreme were disqualified for swab irregularities. Chokin’s victories included 13 Group Ones, consisting of two Miracle Miles, two Auckland Cups, New Zealand Cup, New Zealand Free-For-All, Victoria Cup, two New Zealand Sires’ Stake Finals, Messenger Championship, Easter Cup, South Australia Derby and New Zealand Two-Year-Old Championship. PAUL COURTS

Changeover 1:53.4 ($2,404,473), New Zealand's richest ever harness racing stallion and the winner of 19 Group and Listed races, has left some smart two-year-olds from his first crop in both NZ and Australia. In his first season he produced 151 foals in New Zealand and he has been represented by 43 qualifiers and 28 starters from that crop, 13 of which won including Controversial (1:57.1), the winner of three races including a Queensland Breeders Crown heat, fellow Breeders Crown finalist Beaudiene Bill, Prince Of Pops 1:59.8 (3 wins), Change The Rulz, an Addington winner in 1:58.9; promising Victorian winner Big Spending Telf; and Cambio, who won the  Listed Yearling Sales Series NHT Final at its only start at Auckland. Another of Changeover's first NZ crop in Nuala, who is a filly from the Live Or Die mare Forever Blue, established an all aged track record at Oamaru, rating 1:58.8 for 2000 metres. At her first start on Australian soil Nuala blitzed her rivals at Pinjarra (WA), running her last 800 in 56.4 seconds. The Paul Kerr trained Oneover competed with real distinction in several of NZ's feature juvenile events and was placed third behind Alta Orlando in the Group 2 NZ Welcome Stakes. He looks like he will develop into a very nice three-year-old. Changeover was clearly NZ's leading first-season sire based on individual winners and stakemoney and he was the third leading overall sire of two-year-old winners. In Australia, Changeover produced 29 foals from his first crop racing as two-year-olds and he has achieved an excellent 44 percent winners-to-starters percentage ratio. With a 13.8 percent winners-to-foals strike rate, Changeover is second only to Sportswriter (19.4%) on the first-season percentage sires' list. Of nine foals to have raced, four have won and another two have been placed including the Vicbred Super Series and Home Grown Classic heat winner Licinia; the Albion Park winner Chang; Grace Campbell, a Launceston winner and runner-up in the Group 3 Evicus; and Glenferrie Boss, a 1:59.1 Victorian winner. Changeover, a son of champion sire In The Pocket and the Vance Hanover mare Chaangerr and from the maternal family of Chokin, Fly Like An Eagle and co, is lining up for his fifth season at Nevele R Stud, Christchurch. Courtesy Of Nevele R Stud

Harness racing can always throw up the unexpected from time to time and the Safely Kept mare Cyclone Vance would seem to fit that description beautifully. Cyclone Vance is from the Vance Hanover mare Cyclone Betsi who is from a family that has produced some very smart pacers in the last 30 years such as Running On Faith 1:56.1 ($326,890)  Thunder Storm 1:51.8 ($343,340) and Atlas Alliance 1:53.4 ($138,623) to name just three. Not a trotter to be found anywhere but Cyclone Vance wanted to trot and was quite handy at it to boot, winning six races and $44,983 on the track. Then when she went to stud, Cyclone Vance was bred to high class trotting sires and the results have been a succession of talented trotters. Her first foal was the Muscles Yankee horse Cyclone Jake 1:55.6 ($173,342) and that was followed by the son of Dream Vacation in Cyclone Dream 2:00 ($74,734) The next winner from the mare was another son of Dream Vacation in the very talented Cyclone U Bolt 1:54.5 ($240,393) and the fourth winner was the promising son of Majestic Son in Glenferrie Typhoon 2:01.1 ($45,144) who is in the 4 year Trotters final of the Breeders Crown on Sunday at Melton. The latest foal from Cyclone Vance to hit the track is Cyclone Lucky Seven who made his debut tonight at the Harness Racing Waikato meeting at Cambridge. Trained by Todd Macfarlane and Craig Sharpe and driven tonight by Todd, Cyclone Lucky Seven stepped away well from barrier one in the 2700 meters standing start event. After leading early the son of Majestic Son ended up three back on the inner for most of the journey, Off the back straight, the horse in the trail broke allowing Cyclone Lucky Seven to get up on to the leaders back. From there Cyclone Lucky Seven shot up the passing lane for a stylish win on debut. Cyclone Lucky Seven trotted the 2700 meters from a stand in 3:40.8 with closing sectionals of 61.2 and 30. Going by his faultless debut performance, this won't be the last time that Cyclone Lucky Seven is seen in the winners circle. Harnesslink Media  

The West Melton trainer Gavin Mills has had a lot of success in harness racing over the years with progeny from the Vance Hanover mare, Fair Play. Of course the one Gavin will always remember  the most is the one that he sold to the present starter in Canterbury, Pete Lamb. Named Play On, the son of Bellam won an Interdominion Final for Pete Lamb at Alexandra Park in 2005 on his way to earning a very healthy $290,966. Even after Play On, Gavin has never been tempted to cover Fair Play with fashionable sires but it hasn't stopped the mare from producing four other winners including Another Player ($62,008), Will Play ($52,758) and Lighting Play ($41,052). The most recent winner from the mare is the Thanksgiving gelding, Thanksforplaying who won his second race for the season and third overall when he was successful in the Moore Architecture Handicap Trot at Ashburton today Sunday the 20th of July. Away well for a change, driver Chris McDowell settled him in the trail after 300 meters and from there Thanksforplaying got shuffled back to the point where he ended up five back on the inner at the 800 meter mark. Still five deep as the field turned for home, Chris McDowell angled him out to the centre of the track and he came with a storming late run to win going away from a handy field of lower grade trotters. Thansforplaying trotted the 2400 meters from a stand in a smart 3:07.1, a mile rate of 2:05.4 with the last half off the front in 60.3 and the quarter in 29.7. Even though he ran a couple of nice thirds at Nelson and Malborough recently, Thanksforplaying was completely let go by punters, paying $59.10 for the win. Thanksforplaying is his own worst enemy most of the time but as today showed, when he trots all the way he is very hard to hold out.   Thanksforplaying Harnesslink media

Alta Christiano, one of Australasia’s most exciting harness racing prospects, has had his brilliant career cut short by injury. He has been retired and will stand at Alabar this season – and beyond. With Im Themightyquinn, champion West Australian trainer, Gary Hall has the greatest horse in Australasia. In Alta Christiano he felt he had his heir apparent. In the words of Gary Hall: “For Alta Christiano to win the WA Derby in only his second start for us – and after only eight weeks work – was outstanding. He drew 10, sat outside them and was just too good. “When he came back as a four-year-old we had nothing else that could go with him in work so we had to work him with Quinny – and Quinny really had to open up and stretch his neck to get past him – and then there wasn’t much in it. There’s not too many horses that could make Quinny go all out - not on a one-on-one basis. “When Alta Christiano set his time of 1:54.2 at Gloucester Park he sat three wide outside them and just jogged it. Gary didn’t even pull the earplugs. He said he could easily had broken 1:53 that night if he’d wanted to. I was pleased on the night that he didn’t have to – but looking back I wish he had let the brakes off as everyone would have been able to see what an outstanding horse this is. “It’s a great shame that he never really had another chance to show the type of horse he was. As a four-year-old he was never 100% in all his wins. This was a serious horse. “Of all the top sons of Christian Cullen, he had the gait that was the closest to Cullen himself as I’d seen. He’s also the one that I feel looked the most like Cullen. “He’s got all the attributes you could want in a horse – he’s fast, he can stay and he’s great gaited. Very quick – with high, high speed but also very strong with a high cruising speed. “In my eyes there can’t be a better prospect as a stallion. He’s out of a Fake Left mare and is a direct descendant of Black Watch. If gait, speed, pedigree and temperament make a stallion then he’s got everything.” On Sky Channel’s “In The Gig” earlier this year, Johnny Tapp – an icon of Australian racing broadcasting – compared Alta Christiano to the champion galloper Might And Power. Quite the compliment indeed. After all, Might And Power was one of the greats of Australian racing - rated the world’s best stayer in 1997 when, as a four-year-old he won the Caulfield Cup / Melbourne Cup double. He’s the only horse to lead all the way to win both great races. Like Might And Power, Alta Christiano has a free-striding style, a high cruising speed and could effortlessly draw away from fields without even appearing to accelerate – traits he also shares with his own champion sire, Christian Cullen. Alta Christiano was bred in New Zealand by Tony and Val Dickinson’s Alta Breeding Co Ltd. Right from his very first start he showed he was something special – winning on debut in February 2012 as a two-year-old in 1:56.8 by 7 ½ lengths with a 57.5 last half – paying $1.20. He also went on to win his next three starts in 1:57.6 (the Gr.3 NZ Kindergarten Stakes), 1:56.6 and 1:59.6 (last half in 56.5). Undoubtedly the hottest youngster on the New Zealand harness racing scene, he was sold for huge money to clients of Gary Hall’s Perth stable. The intention being that he would continue to race in New Zealand through both the NZ two and three-year-old Sires Stakes Series. Following a massive third in the $250,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final the plans went somewhat pear-shaped culminating in the diagnosis of a spiral fracture in his near hind leg. After a long period of recuperation he joined the Hall stable – and became an instant sensation. First-up he won the $50,000 Gr.2 Western Gateway Pace in 1:55.4. He then absolutely monstered them in the $200,000 Gr.1 WA Derby and in his only other start as a three-year-old he won at Pinjarra in 1:54.9. This season as four-year-old, he was in sensational form. His last four starts were victories - mostly by wide margins - in 1:56.9, 1:55.3, 1:54.2 (after sitting three wide) and 1:56.7. Only ever beaten once in nine starts in Australia, Alta Christiano most certainly excited race-goers – had it not been for being a day-to-day proposition (in all probability due to the after effects of his original injury) it could have been oh so much more. It will be as a stallion that he now gets the opportunity to fulfil this immense promise. He certainly has the pedigree to be a stallion – not only are the first four sires in his pedigree all champion, premiership-winning sires (Christian Cullen, Fake Left, Vance Hanover and Noodlum) but he also boasts the former NZ Broodmare of the Year, Black Watch as his fourth dam. Alta Christiano will be based at Alabar’s Victorian farm and will be available in Australia at a fee of A$2,750 (incl GST) and in New Zealand at NZ$2,750 (plus GST).  

After having many impressive qualifiers earlier in the season that failed to amount to age group stardom, the progeny of Changeover have finally started to hit their straps on the racetrack. In the last month the 2.4 million-dollar earning son of In The Pocket has produced four impressive juvenile winners, none more so than Webb Ellis, who streeted his rivals by four lenghts at Forbury Park last night. His other recent winners include Risk, Sudden Change, and Nuala, who was ultra impressive on debut and his since been sold to leading Perth trainer Gary Hall Snr for a six figure sum. Risk will compete at Addington tonight, where he is sure to be competitive, while Prince Of Pop could well be Changeover’s latest two-year-old winner after the completion of racing at Alexandra Park tonight. But, while Webb Ellis was very impressive at Forbury Park last night, he wasn’t the only one doing Changeover proud. His little Christian Cullen ¾ sister, Change Time, was also a winner in the hands of trainer-driver Ken Barron. Change Time is the ninth winner from Vance Hanover mare Chaangerr, while her next foal, Change Stride, was a recent workout winner for leading trainers’, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Meanwhile, smart Love You three-year-old Father Christmas looks destined for better things after easily accounting for a field of C1 & faster trotters’ last night. The Phil Williamson trainer trotter, who is a close relation to Jo Anne, Dependable, Ima Gold Digger and Shirley Temple, has now won two of his four starts, but could well have been unbeaten if it wasn’t for a couple of costly gallops. 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 90 Premier sale - Pure Diva SIRE - Art Major is on a real roll at the moment with his stock having a great run especially his two year olds. The first classic of this season, the Sapling Stakes resulted in the first four home all being by this great sire. He has done a great job world wide as a sire and is a "major" plus in any horses pedigree. DAM - Terranova Is a daughter of Badlands Hanover who qualified at two but never raced. She is a daughter of the classy two and three year old stakes performer in Ok Matao (1:57.6) who won a heat of the DB fillies series and ran third in the final. She has left three winners at stud including Analyst (1:58.2) who won the Sires Stakes Silver at two as well as running third in the Sapling Stakes. Another winner from the mare is Mick Ultimate (1:57.3) who has won 11 races to date. The third dam is the Vance Hanover mare in Miss Burnside who left 11 winners headed by the very smart Optimist ($355,659, 1:51.4) and she was a full sister to Miss Clevedon the dam of Inter-dominion champion Mark Hanover ($917,621) and also to Vicky Hanover, the 2005 Australian broodmare of the year who left three horses who won in excess of $200,000. OVERVIEW - A smart looking filly from a great fillies family. Not only do they shine on the racetrack but they carry that ability into the broodmare barn. This is a family that has starred on both sides of the Tasman for over 30 years and she will have a high residual value when retired to stud. Catalogue pedigree. Lot 306 Premier sale - MOMENT OF KAOS SIRE - The Prez. The first son of the great Andover Hall to stand at stud in New Zealand, The Pres has two year olds as his oldest down under this season. The reports on that crop have been very positive which has resulted in the number of mares he has served rising each year at stud. A 1:57.3 two year old and a 1:55.2 three year old from just a handful of starts, The Pres has really stamped his stock and the future looks bright for this young sire. DAM - Just A Moment is a lightly raced mare by Alias Charm from the broodmare gem in Nakura. Nakura (5 wins) was four year "mare of the year" but it is as a broodmare that she has become famous. She has fashioned an incredible record with the best of her progeny being the champion Take A Moment ($1,164,356) who won 39 races and was a dominant force in Austaralian trotting for several years. A half sister to Just A Moment in Now's The Moment won five and at stud has produced the trotting warrior Dr Hook ($397,072) (15 wins) and Moment Of truth $188,846 (22wins). Another half sister in Juverna has left last season's brilliant three year old in Quite A Moment (Breeders Crown 3yr old trot) and the very smart Duke Of The Moment ($105,926). Nakura is a half sister to Naraya , the dam of another champion in Stig $851,926 (23 wins) OVERVIEW - This colts family has had an unbelievable last 20 years, leaving champions left right and centre. Take A Moment and Stig are two of the greatest trotters to ever grace the racetrack in New Zealand and they are very close up in this colt's pedigree. With all the talk from trainers about the stock of The Pres coupled with such an outstanding maternal pedigree, this colt is a real chance to make it big. Catalogue pedigree JC    

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight  and Christian Cullen so far and today we have produced an in depth review for Courage Under Fire. Enjoy the read. BREEDING - Another son of the Southern Hemisphere super sire In The Pocket  (As a stallion In The Pocket has been nothing short of sensational in New Zealand and is responsible for changing the breed in Australia and New Zealand. – becoming NZ’s Champion Sire in both 1998/99 and 2003/04 as well as being the Leading 2YO Sire five times and twice 3YO Sire of the Year. He is the sire of 3 NZ based millionaires and multiple Harness Horses of the Year). Courage Under Fire is from the Vance Hanover mare Advance Debra. She won the NZ Sires Stakes Final but was the only winner of any note in her family. The old saying about champions can come from anywhere certainly applies in this case. RACE RECORD - Arguably the best juvenile pacer to ever race in the Southern Hemisphere. He won his first 24 races and included in those were six derbies on both sides of the Tasman, a record which is unlikely to be ever broken. Small in stature, he was known as the "Pocket Rocket" and thrilled crowds with his displays of speed and stamina. Not as dominant as an older horse but he still wound up his racing career with the outstanding record of 41 wins and 4 placings from 56 starts, taking a time of 1:54.2 on his way to earning $1,551,000. AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Only has the very small number of just 17 horses that have been exported to America but they have done a stellar job so far. Headed by such smart types as the mare Itz Cherry Ripe ($526,727), Flem N Em 1:49.3 ($461,175) and Artic Fire ($341,008), his stock have garnered $3,735,535 to date. With such small numbers it is hard to draw any conclusions either way on his record in the USA.  Eligible to race - 17 Winners - 17 $100,000 plus - 13 $1,000,000 plus - 0 Sub 1:50 - 1 Average earnings - $219,737 Total earnings to date - $3,735,535 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Bred small numbers initially (foals; 15, 19, 29, 44, 15, 21, 64) as he was based in NZ  and there were issues with the transportation of his semen. Now based in Australia under the care of Alabar, he has served large books in the last three years (foals; 134, 100, 144). This is due in no small part to the record of NZ imports with 38 of them having won over $100,000 in Australia. The record of his Australian born stock is a lot less successful with Smolda ($512,888) standing head and shoulders over the other 341 sons and daughters he has in Australia. His next best performer after Smolda is Runnaway Fire ($228,061). What is really concerning is his percentages of winners to foals which are well off the pace of his major competitors. That may change now that he is under the influence of Alabar but it needs to and soon. Foals 3yr old and older - 341 Winners - 118 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 35% $100,000 plus - 13 $1,000,000 plus - 0 Average earnings per starter - $23,390 Average earnings per eligible horse - $14,129 Total earnings to date - $4,818,319 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - Right from the start he had huge support from breeders in NZ (foals; 151, 127, 186, 236) and that is reflected in the number of quality colts and fillies he has left in NZ. Colts of the class of Pembrook Benny ($787,745), Sleepy Tripp ($723,887), Lanercost ($506,324), Courage To Rule ($489,231), Choise Achiever ($502,095), Franco Jamar ($367,492) and Days Of Courage ($335,859) while his fillies included the likes of Lancome ($461,277) and Secret Potion ($285,312). His percentages in NZ are again a concern but at least he has some quality horses to showcase. Foals 3yr old and older - 950 Winners - 374 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 39& $100,000 plus - 16 (38 in Australia) $1,000,000,000 plus - 0 Average earnings per starter - $20,610 Average earnings per eligible horse - $10,413 Total earnings to date - $9,892,809 POSITIVES - Can leave top line two and three year olds who can go on to be competitive as older horses on the Grand Circuit. Leaves top class fillies as well as colts and they have a reputation for being very durable. NEGATIVES -  In both Australia and New Zealand his percentages are 15 to 20 points below what his major competitors are achieving in both countries. And he needs a few more quality individuals in Australia with Smolda his only real credit so far. OVERVIEW - This horse has all the credentials to be a leading sire but his record to date is one of under achievement. That may have more to do with his management in the recent past. He has changed ownership twice, countries and states and that makes it tougher for a stallion to excel. Now under the management of Alabar he will get the opportunity to turn those numbers around but it better happen in the next twelve months or so or he may find himself passed over for some of the new boys on the scene OVERALL RATING - 6/10 JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen 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

For some elite athletes, when one door closes another often opens and this is now the case for six year old stallion Lanercost. The welcome banner has gone up at the picturesque Yirribee Pacing Stud at Wagga Wagga NSW for the wickedly fast, and handsome son of Courage Under Fire, who stands at an impressive 16hh. The owner Dean Shannon's Montana Park and trainer Darrell Graham made the decision to bring the curtain down on a glorious career - a career that was hampered in recent times by recurring hamstring problems. His race career commenced on 3rd April 2009 with a bold statement for a 2year old - a 1.56.3 victory at the Gold Coast. This performance was certainly not a fluke - a career resume' that read, 43 starts 29 wins and a bankroll of $506,324 was proof of that. Lanercost was a pacer that fitted the company of "Royalty" with ease. His biggest assets were his blistering speed, especially off the gate, and his lovely fluent and efficient gait. These two weapons were used to the max on 30th April 2011 in the $200,000 Chariots of Fire. After blasting off the gate in 27.7, Lanercost controlled the race and with a record 26.5 record closing quarter, recorded a stunning victory in 1.52.5. Left in his wake that day were Bitobliss, Motu Crusader, For A Reason & Chariot King. Hamstring problems hampered his racing career not long after his chariots victory, so now a new chapter begins in the life of Lanercost. He has a pedigree to match his good looks and stunning race career. His sire, Courage Under Fire, needs little introduction to breeders of Australasia. He is arguably the greatest juvenile pacer in the history of harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere. His 24 successive wins including 6 Derbies and a World record in the Australian Derby are testament to that. Courage Under Fire is now one of the leading four or five stallions in the Southern Hemisphere having sired Smolda 1.52.1, Franco Jamar 1.51.9, Courage to Rule 1.52.9, Glengowan 1.52.2, Glenferrie Alexis 1.55.9 etc. His Dam - Lanoch by New York Motoring has now produced 8 individual winners, 3 in better than 1.55 and 5 winners in 2.00. The female line of Lanercost does not contain any weak links - it abounds in stallions that have been to the forefront of breeding in New Zealand namely New York Motoring, Vance Hanover, Scottish Hanover, Garrison Hanover and Grattan Loyal. Lanercost is now at his new home - the picturesque Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga. His debut season service fee is $2970 including GST with usual discounts to apply. LANERCOST RACE RECORD AGE     STARTS    1ST       2ND      3RD    EARNINGS        TIME 2           10               8          2           -        $109,224         1.56.3 3           14             9            1          3        $163,564          1.57.2 4           12             10          1          1        $202,704          1.52.5 5             3              1             -          -          $12,620          1.59.8 6             4              1            1          -          $18,212          1.59.1               43            29           5         4       $506,324 Race Highlights At Two - won Heats Kevin Seymour Pace, Australasian Breeders Crown, Semi Final Aust Breeders Crown, Big 6 2yo Pace (defeating Smiling Shard). 2nd in Kevin Seymour Final & Australasian Breeders Crown (Beaten ½ neck) At Three - Won Australian Derby (Gr1), Tasmanian Derby (Gr1), Caduceus Club Cup, Heat VIC Derby (3rd in Final) At Four - Won Chariots of Fire (Gr1) (Last Half in 54.2 last ¼ in 26.5), QLD 4yo Championship, Heat of Aust Breeders Crown (scratched from Final) At Five and Six - Won QLD Christmas Cup For more information, please call Joanne Andersen on 0414 936663. A video of Lanercost winning the Chariots Of Fire is attached with the photos Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |

This New Zealand import was the dominant pacing mare on the Chicago harness racing circuit in the middle 1990s for the Joe Anderson Stable when she was owned by Illinoisans John Leahy, Bill Blessing, Eric Boquist and Regina Kiefer.

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