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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

In our prominant harness racing sire series we have reviewed American Ideal and Art Major so far and today we have produced an in depth review for Bettors Delight. Enjoy the read. BREEDING - By the great sire Cams Card Shark, he is out of the averagely bred Armbro Emerson mare in Classic Wish. But that is the only thing that is average about this mare. Taking a record of 1:52 on her way to earning $436,273 makes good reading but it is her record at stud which places her up with the all time brood mare greats. Apart from Bettors Delight p3,1:49.4 ($2,581,461) she has left Roll With Joe p3,1:48.2 ($1,799,250) now at stud, No Pan Intended p3,1:50.3 ($1,613,180) now sire of over $28,000,000 in stakes, and Classic Rocknroll p3,1:50.1h ($780,210). Her 10 winners to date have produced total stakes of $7,445,000 a massive effort for any brood mare in history. The other feature for Classic Wish is that her progeny at the sales have always sold for big money as the following list shows; 1998 Bettors Delight  by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 59)                      $65,000 1999 No Wishes by No Nukes (Harrisburg lot 186)                                        $100,000 2000 No Pan Intended by Pacific Fella (Tattersalls lot 50)                             $150,000 2001 Western Wish by Western Hanover (Tattersalls lot 40)                           $70,000 2002 Wishforall Fullhouse by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 229)         $310,000 2003 Classic Card Shark by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 119)            $240,000 2005 Classic Star by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 78)                            $130,000 2006 Regal Wish by Cams Card Shark (Lexington Select lot 82)                     $70,000 2007 Classic Rock Nroll by Rocknroll Hanover (Winbak Farm lot 60)            $180,000 2008 Roll With Joe by Cams Card Shark (Lexington Select lot 81)                 $100,000 2009 Rocknroll Wishes by Rocknroll Hanover (Harrisburg lot 112)                   $40,000 2011 Classics Greatwish by Somebeachsomewhere (Harrisburg lot 131)   $185,000 RACE RECORD - Started just twenty six times for 15 wins and 7 placings for $2,581,461 in stakes, racing just at two and three. Took a mark of 1:51.3s at two which he reduced to 1:49.4 at three. He won the $871,475 Breeders Crown as a  2yr old  and the $1,148,500 North American Cup and $348,867 Little Brown Jug as a 3yr old.  AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Very hard to do it justice really.There are too many crops to review individually but right from his first crop he has stamped himself as one of the all time greats. What has really set him apart from his competition is his ability to sire such great fillies and mares. His very first crop born in 2003 produced his richest performer the sensational mare Darlins Delight p4,1:49.1 ($3,024,304). He had 114 foals born that year,107 have raced for 92 winners and that crop has earned $16,327,315 to date. His second crop once again produced a mare that was his highest stake earner of the year, the champion mare Southwind Tempo 1:48.2 ($2,445,541) and to top that year off he produced another mare that made a million, Symphony In Motion 1:49 ($1,065,949). Besides those two mares he left two other millionaires that year in Kenneth J and Forensic Z Tam. Four millionaires from one crop - That is incredible. That crop has 111 foals for 95 winners of $21,000,000 to date. His third crop in 2005 produced just 87 foals but once again Bettors Delight showed just how good he is by producing the outstanding gelding Bettor Sweet 1:47.2 ($2,816,287) his only $1 million plus winner from that crop. The 2006 crop had just the 89 foals for 75 winners of $12,398,000 in stakes with no millionaires to date. Then the 2007 crop produces his next millionaire in Hulas Z Tam 1:52.2h ($1,016,860) racing almost entirely in New York state. One must remember that New York State has the most money for racing any where in North America. Therefore there is a big advantage for stallions standing in New York State. The three stallions that we have profiled to date American Ideal, Art Major and Bettors Delight have all stood at stud in New York State and have completely dominated the breeding Industry in that state. After 10 seasons standing in New York State Bettors Delight was moved to stand in Canada in 2012 before moving again to stand in Pennsylvania in 2013. Never the less we move on to Bettors Delight 2008 crop and you will not believe it he does it again producing two millionaires, his best colt to date in Betterthancheddar 1:48 ($1,636,086) and the champion 3yr old filly See You At Peelers who had just the 31 starts for 26 wins and $1,566,900 in stakes. That 2008 crop has 134 foals, 121 have raced for 99 winners for a total stakes of $13,635,886. The 2009 crop has no millionaires as yet but they are only 4yr olds and I am betting that two of them will be millionaires in the not to distant future as both Dynamic Youth 1:48.1 ($847,878) and Bettors Edge 1:49 ($756,301) are both top end racehorses and they finished 1st and 2nd in a feature race just last night at The Meadowlands (4th of January) with Bettors Edge winning this time round. His 2010 crop (3yr olds in 2013) has produced the outstanding Vegas Vacation and yes you guessed it, another millionaire at $1,071,788. The 2011 crop of 2yr olds by Bettors Delight has been by his standing a very average crop with his richest earner Delightful Dragon earning just $227,329 for the year. All in all Bettors Delight has produced millionaires in six of his nine crops to the races so far in a siring career in North America that one could only dream off. He has a stunning and outstanding record that would be hard to duplicate anywhere. US statistics Eligible to race - 973 Winners - 706 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 72% $1,000,000+ 10 Sub 1:50 - 45 Average earnings per starter - $126,831 Average earnings per eligible horse - $107,670 Total earnings to date - $104,762,708 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD -  It started with four small crops via frozen semen which totaled just 30 foals of which 21 were winners including such smart types as Emjayem Grand 1:49.6 ($420,157) Vegas Bound 1:52.5 ($334,589) and Roman Stride 1:53.7 ($261,513). His first crop via fresh semen in the 2007 / 2008 season was his biggest to date in Australia and numbered 117 foals of which 67 have been winners including such top liners as Caribbean Blaster 1:52.6 ($939,208), Beautide 1:50.2 ($803,437), Aussie Made Lombo 1:55.1 ($578,456), Suave Stuey Lombo 1:51.8 ($323,394) and Abettorpunt 1:54.9 ($306,255). His next three crops have produced just 216 live foals (80, 80 and 56) of which 111 have been winners including the outstanding Border Control 1:50.6, (a NZ record) with stakes of $405,558 in Australia and New Zealand combined, Im Smouldering 1:55.8 ($249,688), L Machane 1:54.6 ($317,760), Musical Delight 1:53.1 ($243,188), Waldenburg 1:53.8 ($198,848 and Caesar Augustus 1:54.5 ($166,923). Has not done as well as his North American competitors as a sire of fillies and mares in Australia. Still he has left the brilliant Aussie Made Lombo 1:55.1 ($578,456), Bellas Delight 1:54.8 ($376,035), L Machane 1:54.6 ($317,760) and Im Smouldering 1:55.8 ($249,688) to date. Australian statistics Foals 3yr old and older - 363 Winners - 197 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 54% $100,000 plus - 24  $1,000,000, plus - 0 Average earnings per starter - $46,097 Average earnings per eligible horse - $33,636 Total earnings to date - $11,846,986 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - Bettors Delight started breeding mares in New Zealand via frozen semen in 2003 with several small crops (13, 6, 25 and 7) which totaled just 51 foals. That group produced 24 winners including Highview Tommy ($1,021,904) and Bettors Strike ($890,201). He has four crops in NZ via fresh semen (261, 127, 243 and 117) and has been dominant from day one with his larger crops. His standouts include such horses as Gold Ace ($1,028,621), Bit Of A Legend ($640,178), Five Card Draw ($347,021) and Ohoka Punter ($478,402), Percy The Punter ($241,611), Texican ($282,707) and the unbeaten 3yr old this year in Tiger Tara ($132,200). Like in the US it is as a sire of fillies that he has excelled in NZ. Three champions in Bettor Cover Lover ($1,061,534), Carabella ($693,615) and the sensational Adore Me ($582,976) are all as durable as they are fast.  Other very good fillies are Dancing Diamonds ($343,276), Ardens Darlin ($245,829) and Donegals Delight ($205,428). Foals 3yr old and older - 799 Winners - 391 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 49% $100,000 plus - 29  (+26 in Australia) Total - 55 $1,000,000 plus - 3 Average earnings per starter - $32,214 Average earnings per eligible horse - $19,272 Total earnings to date - $15,398,520 POSITIVES - Has left great fillies and mares especially in the US and New Zealand. His progeny can run at two and carry on as older horses onto the Grand Circuit and are just very good race horses durable and good allrounders. He has a decent record as a percentage sire especially in the US. He is known for his great fertility and is still breeding huge crops even at the age of 16 years old in New Zealand and Australia. Not many stallions can keep producing millionaires year after year but that is what Bettors Delight has done. In 2013 Bettor's Delight was the leading money winning pacing stallion in the NY Sire Stakes program as well as the leading All age money winning stallion in North America. NEGATIVES - With such large numbers on the ground now world wide Bettors Delight has seen a drop off in his yearling sale prices in the US and no doubt the same will happen in Australia and New Zealand as he continues to breed large books of mares. Bettors Delight is just a little fellow and I mean real small in size and he leaves a lot of small foals which has not helped him at the yearling sales. Although he has left great fillies in the US and in New Zealand he has failed to leave any colt that was anywhere near as good as himself with his richest colts Betterthancheddar 1:48 ($1,636,086) and Kenneth J 1:49.2 ($1,592,755) only just able to command enough respect to stand at stud anywhere in the world today. Now one must remember that he has ten crops in North America and eight crops in Australia and New Zealand with a staggering 2,135 foals that are now 3yrs old or older with total stake earnings of $132,008,214. With these huge numbers on the ground he has still failed to leave that very special colt, anywhere in the world to date.  OVERVIEW - Just an incredible racehorse sire anywhere he has stood at stud. Unbelievable ability to sire great fillies and mares sets him apart from all his competition. A tremendously fertile stallion and being from such a great brood mare and leaving such great fillies and mares bodes well for his future as a brood mare sire. Has to be a very big question mark over him ever being a sire of sires! With his richest colt to date, Betterthancheddar, standing at Alabar in New Zealand for the first time this 2013/2014 breeding season, one would hope that that he may fill a much needed void for this great son of Cams Card Shark.. OVERALL RATING - 9 / 10  JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major 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

Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we have decided to run a series of reviews on our more prominent sires. As they say in racing you can criticise someones 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. These 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 for Down Under the official organisations of New Zealand and Australia) Enjoy the read. In this series we start with "AMERICAN IDEAL" BREEDING - By Western Ideal from a good race winning Matts Scooter daughter of the super race mare and world champion Three Diamonds so about as mainstream as you can get in 2013. Western Ideal is fast becoming a sire of sires and American Ideal is one of his best. American Ideal was sold as a yearling at the Tattersalls Sale at Kentucky in 2003 as lot 142 for $72,000. RACE RECORD - Won four of seven at two but no star earning just $29,800 and going 1:55.2f. At three he really shone through, winning ten of twenty-two with stakes of $855,928 and taking his lifetime mark and a world record at that time of 1:47:4m at The Red Mile, Lexington  Noted for his great gait and for having blinding speed. AMERICAN STUD RECORD - At the end of the 2013 season he had had four crops to race and he has quickly risen to the upper levels of North American sires. From his first crop came the brilliant Idyllic p1:50f, $1,313,241. From his second crop which has been his best to date has come three millionaires including the brilliant American Jewel p1:48.2s, $1,834,823, Heston Blue Chip $1,563,273 p1:48f (Dover Downs) and Romantic Moment $1,077,352 p1:50.1f (Chester). These horses put American Ideal on the map worldwide. His third crop was his least successful to date with only the Adios and Tattersalls Pace winner Sunfire Blue Chip showing real class in winning $740,374, and taking a time of 1:48.3f at Pocono Downs. His fourth crop this year was headlined by the brilliant two-year-old He's Watching 1:50f (Tioga Downs) who is unbeaten in eight starts to date having recorded five track records and two world records along the way and looks a monty for USTA two year old of the year in 2013. US statistics Eligible to race - 401 Winners - 271 $1,000,000+  4 $100,000+  55 Sub 1;50 - 6   Average earnings per starter $72,140 Average earning per eligible horse - $57,568 Total earnings to date $23,084,873 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Only has 96 horses three years and older in Australia but even so his record is slightly disappointing. He has left 39 winners to date headlined by last seasons brilliant two year old in Bling It On $404,713 but only Obahma Joy $132,308 has joined in the $100,000 club which is less than "ideal" Australian statistics 3yr old and older 96       Winners 39     $100,000+  2     $1,000,000+ 0 Average earnings per starter - $22,930 Average earning per eligible horse - $13,853 Total earnings to date $1,329,959 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - He has 173 3yr olds or older on the ground in New Zealand and like Australia the record is slightly disappointing. His best performer has been the outstanding Ideal Scott $749,214 who has performed to the highest level on both sides of the Tasman whilst Besotted $175,827  has also performed to a high level.. But they are the only $100,000 winners so far from his three crops to race here and that needs to change with much larger crops set to hit the tracks in the next three years. New Zealand statistics 3yr old and older - 173      Winners - 48       $100,000+ 2       $1,000,000+ 0  Average earnings per starter - $20,386 Average earning per eligible horse - $7,895 Total earnings to date $1,365,869 POSITIVES - Leaves great gaited and well conformed horses in the main. His stock are noted for having inherited the high speed of their sire. Has shown he can leave top quality two and three year olds in any country where he has stood. A great fillies sire with three of his four millionaires being fillies. NEGATIVES - His percentages right across the board are way off the pace of his siring competition. Shown he can leave top horses but there is no middle strata to his siring record, especially Down Under. Really needs more competitors on the grand circuit to show he is not just an early speed sire. OVERVIEW - Great siring record in North America and in high demand up there with his stud fee increased in 2014 to $10,000 and already fully booked. Yet to hit anywhere near the same heights in Australasia with his percentages way off the pace set by his siring competition.He has much larger crops coming on stream in New Zealand in the next three years and those dreaded percentages would need to improve markedly or breeders Down Under will leave him as quick as they have flooded to him. Overall rating - 6/10 JC The previous series that Harnesslink recently ran. This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing 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

Lightly-raced seven-year-old Hokonui Ben emerged as a leading candidate for the rich Cup events at Gloucester Park in January when he outclassed his eight rivals in the $60,000 group 2 Retravision Village Kid Sprint on Friday night. Having only his 48th start, Hokonui Ben, hot favourite at 7/4 on from the coveted No. 1 barrier, survived early pressure applied by Sneakyn Down Under and a flying first quarter of the final mile in 27.2sec. to go on and defeat the fast-finishing 8/1 chance David Hercules by just over two lengths, rating 1.54.3 over the 1730m journey. Hokonui Ben's effortless victory was the high spot on a wonderful night for champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and his son Gary. Hall sen. equalled his best performance at Gloucester Park by preparing six winners on the ten-event program, while Hall jun. drove five winners. Hall sen., who trained five winners the previous Friday night, was a notable absentee on Friday night. He is enjoying a brief holiday in New Zealand with his wife Karen and is also taking the opportunity to cast his eye over some yearlings. Hall jun. praised Hokonui Ben and predicted that the Washington VC gelding would be a major player in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup on January 10 and the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup the following Friday night. "He's gone huge tonight and if he gets a good draw in some of the big races coming up he's going to be very hard to beat," he declared. "On paper it looked that we would have an easy lead, without too much trouble, but I really had to gas him early. "It was a lot harder than we wanted. It was a bit concerning, but we got away with a quiet half (with the second and third 400m sections of the final mile in 30.1sec. and 29.1sec.). But then he wanted to fight me, so full credit to the horse. He found plenty when he needed to. "I knew that after the first quarter that David Hercules was right in the race. And I just had to wait until he pulled out before we got going. He got to us on the bend and got close to us, and when he went four wide I just had to go for home and hope that I was good enough to hold those horses on the fence at bay." David Hercules, who started from the outside of the front line and raced in seventh position in the one-wide line before following the three-wide run of Livingontheinterest approaching the bell. David Hercules charged home, four wide, in the home straight to be an excellent second, with the final quarter taking 28.5sec. Toretto, a stablemate of the winner and a 12/1 chance, enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaking Hokonui Ben before running home solidly to be a half-head behind David Hercules in third place. Lord Lombo (50/1) was eighth at the bell before running home strongly along the pegs to be fourth. Dasher VC (16/1) ruined his chances when he broke into a gallop and almost fell soon after the start. Hokonui Ben had 24 starts in New Zealand for six wins and five placings and then his Queensland owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg sent him to Western Australia in April 2012 to be trained by Hall sen. But then a hairline fracture in his near hind leg kept Hokonui ben on the sidelines until he made his Australian debut when an unlucky second to Vital Equalizer at Gloucester Park in late October 2012. Hokonui Ben then won at his next four starts, including the Navy Cup at Gloucester Park and the Bunbury Cup. He now has raced 24 times in WA for ten wins, eight seconds and a third to take his career record to 48 starts for 16 wins, 14 placings and $281,339 in prizemoney. He is the first foal out of Jane Halsey, who had 15 starts in New Zealand for one third placings and stakes of $413. REFORMED SOHO REDFORD HAS COME A LONG WAY Reformed pacer Soho Redford gave promise of better things to come when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win the $25,000 The West Australian Coulson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in great shape by Wanneroo trainer Tonia Stampalia, the Mach Three four-year-old horse made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier and simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals, scoring by a length from the fast-finishing 20/1 chance Heez Orl Black, with 1m to Bettors Ace (12/1), after that pacer had enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail. Soho Redford, a noted frontrunner who had won by four lengths at Northam at his previous outing, was heavily supported and started at 5/4 on. Im Terrific quickly moved into the breeze and Strampalia paved the way for victory when was able to settle Soho Redford and get him to stroll over the lead time in 37.8sec. and the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.6sec. Stampalia increased the tempo and Soho Redford dashed over the next three sections in 29.4sec., 28.8sec. and 29.7sec. He rated 1.58.1 over the 2130m and took his record to 35 starts for eight wins and eight placings for earnings of $59,687 for breeder Rob Watson, who races the horse in partnership with two syndicates. Soho Redford's dam The Dream Bet did not race, but her dam Better Bet earned $96,018 from eight wins and 18 placings from 39 starts. "He has come a long way in 12 months," Vance Stampalia said. "When we first got him he was a bit of a head case. But now you can do anything with him and he's actually a treat to drive. We used to fight a lot, but now we're good mates. Tonia keeps him fresh in the mind with a lot of swimming in the pool." CLASSIC AMERICAN IS DEVELOPING INTO A WA DERBY PROSPECT Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has no regrets that he convinced several stable clients to outlay $70,000 to purchase Classic American after the colt had scored a runaway victory at his New Zealand debut six months ago. Classic American is living up to Hall's expectations and is showing all the signs of developing into a good prospect for the rich WA Derby next year. Driven confidently by Gary Hall jun., Classic American overcame the significant disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier on the front line to record an impressive victory in the 1730m Electrolux Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 5/4 on favourite was restrained to the rear before he sustained a powerful three and four-wide burst over the final 900m to beat the fast-finishing Mister Jadore by a length at a 1.57.8 rate after sprinting over the final 800m in 57.6sec. This improved Classic American's record in WA to three wins and a second from four starts. Polemarker Zacharia (13/2) set the pace from Macon Georgia (breeze), Crimson Floyd (behind the leader) and Major Rush (one-out and one-back). Classic American was in fifth position when Hall jun. switched him four wide 300m from home. The colt raced greenly and veered inwards rounding the home turn before bursting to the front 90m from the post. Hall jun. was driving Classic American for the first time and was suitably impressed, saying: "He's a classy animal. When he arrived we thought he had great speed. But it's always a question when they get to the races, and now he's shown that as well. Initially, we thought he was going to be just below the top ones, but the way he is going and with natural improvement with racing, he's going to be right up there." Kim Prentice had driven Classic American at his first three WA starts for a first-up second to Calais and two easy wins. The colt had raced in the breeze in those three outings. Hall jun. said that he considered racing without cover was far from ideal for Classic American and therefore he restrained the colt to the rear on Friday night and saved him for a last-lap effort. "I knew he is a pretty good horse because, at home, his speed is exceptional, and he got to show that tonight," he said. "He was a bit of a handful on the last bend when he wanted to get in really badly. So we will have to do something to sort that out." Classic American was favourite at 5/2 on for his only appearance in New Zealand, in a 2200m mobile event at Cambridge on June 27 this year when he charged to the front after 500m in a field of six, set a slow pace and sprinted the final 400m in 28.5sec. to win by seven and a half lengths at a 2.2.5 rate. He arrived in WA early in August. His dam Classic Vicolo was retired in 2007 after failing to be placed in ten starts. FAMOUS ALCHEMIST SETS THE PATTERN FROM THE INSIDE BARRIER New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she set the pace and scored a convincing win over Maggies Mystery and Elsu Sheila in the 2130m The West Australian Pace on Friday night. She was the first of five winners to start from the inside barrier and lead throughout in the nine mobile events on the program. The four other pacers who started from the No. 1 barrier recorded three seconds and a third placing. Famous Alchemist, who went into the race with a losing sequence of seven, was a firm 6/4 on favourite, with star mare Leda McNally second fancy at 11/4 from the outside of the back line in the 2130m event. Gary Hall jun. was able to get Famous Alchemist to coast through the lead time in 38.4sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 30.1sec. before reeling off the next three 400m sections in 29.5sec., 28sec. and 28.5sec. She recorded a slick rate of 1.56.7. Maggies Mystery, from the inside of the back line, ran home solidly into second place, with 118/1 outsider Elsu Sheila running on gamely from three back on the pegs to be third, just ahead of Sensational Gabby, who fought on from sixth at the bell. "She has been ever so consistent and is a quality mare," said Hall. "It looked on paper that we were going to get the perfect run. She fought me a bit for the first half of the final mile and I was a little bit concerned that she wouldn't be able to punch out quick closing sectionals because she had pulled a little bit. "But she did it quite comfortably and I probably eased up on her too early, half way up the straight, and she took advantage of me (by switching off)." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, wife of leading trainer Gary Hall sen., won at five of her 17 New Zealand starts and now has raced 17 times in WA for six wins and six placings. She has amassed $215,109 from her 11 wins and 11 placings from just 34 starts. She showed early promise and as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in April and May 2011she finished second to Dancing Diamonds ibn a $195,000 classic for fillies and was third in a three-way photo finish behind O Baby and Cowgirls And Indians in a group 1 $156,400Two-Year-Old Fillies Championship. BUTCHER FORMS A STRONG ALLIANCE WITH MY HARD COPY Young New Zealand reinsman Shane Butcher continued his successful association with My Hard Copy when he drove the New Zealand-bred four-year-old to an impressive all-the-way victory in the first heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. My Hard Copy was not extended in leading from the No. 1 barrier and then setting a brisk pace to win by one and a half lengths from The Feather Foot, with a neck to Glenferrie Hood. He rated 1.54.6, the fastest of the heat winners. Polak and Courage Tells won the other heats, with each pacer rating 1.54.9 over the 1730m sprint. My Hard Copy, who had run home solidly to be fifth behind Nowitzki in the Golden Nugget Classic at his previous outing, was favourite at 10/9 on, with his stablemate Northview Punter second fancy at 5/2 from the wide barrier, No. 8, with nine runners across one line. Butcher gave his rivals little chance by setting a fast pace, with the last mile sectionals in 29sec., 29.2sec., 28.3sec. and 28.5sec. My Hard Copy dashed away from the opposition in the closing stages to win by one and a half lengths from The Feather Foot (who ran on from three back on the pegs). Glenferrie Hood finished third after trailing the pacemaker and Copagrin was fourth after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Northview Punter raced at the rear before Gary hall jun. sent him forward, three wide, with 870m to travel. But the four-year-old failed to make any impression on his rivals and finished last. "My Hard Copy has been racing against the best and has been running good races from bad draws," Butt said. "In The Golden Nugget he drew seven and I was lucky enough to get a good run and finish close to them. He definitely loves the mile and is a good frontrunner. From No. 1 tonight I thought he was a good chance. There's not much of the little horse, but he gives it his all every time he goes out. "Every time you ask him, he keeps giving as much as he can. He is such a genuine horse and races so well. He never takes it out of himself. He doesn't overrace or anything like that. He's a gentleman to drive." My Hard Copy had 16 starts in New Zealand for three wins and eight placings before starting six times in Victoria for two wins and two placings. His 12 WA starts for trainer Gary Hall sen. have produced five wins and two placings and he now has earned $101,993 from ten wins and 12 placings from 34 starts. BROWN SETS ERSKINE RANGE FOR SAN SIMEON CHAMPIONSHIP Banjup trainer Colin Brown is setting Erskine Range for the $50,000 San Simeon Championship on January 24 after driving the promising four-year-old to a narrow victory in the 2130m Retravision As Local As You Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And after Erskine Range contests that feature event Brown plans to send the gelding for a spell, with high hopes that he will resume an even better performer during his next campaign. Heats of the San Simeon Championship, restricted to M0-class pacers, will be run on January 17. Erskine Range was favourite at 5/4 on for Friday night's event in which he was smartest to begin from the No. 3 barrier, but had to work hard to get to the front after 270m. Brown then got the gelding to relax and he went through the lead time in a comfortable 38.5sec. before strolling over the first 400m section of the final mile in a dawdling 31.9sec. Rank outsider Tuxedo raced in the breeze and polemarker Veitchy enjoyed a perfect passage behind the pacemaker. Erskine Range sped over the third quarter in 28.3sec. before a final section in 29.3sec. He just held on to beat 18/1 chance Veitchy by a head, rating 1.58.7. Sparkling Seelster, seventh on the pegs at the bell, rattled home to be a close third, with Borntobeanartist finishing strongly from last in the middle stages to be fourth. Tuxedo was checked on the home turn and broke into a gallop before finishing last. The stewards suspended Michael Robinson for 19 days for allowing Veitchy to shift out and check Tuxedo. Brown said that he would set Erskine Range for the san Simeon, even though he was slightly disappointed at the chestnut's performance. "I actually thought that he might have let down better than that, considering the early sectionals," he said. "But a win is a win. However, I would have liked him to have let down a bit better. He came to my stable a little bit speedy and a little bit mad and when we settled him down he has gone the other way a little bit too much." The Victorian-bred Erskine Range is owned by Jim Currie and is by Canadian stallion Four Starzzz Shark. He is the second foal out of South Australian-bred mare Living Hei, who was retired after only one start, when seventh at Bendigo in March 2007. Living Hei's first foal is five-year-old mare Im Living The Dream, who has had 53 starts for nine wins, 16 placings and $95,972. Erskine Range, who is related to WA winners Our mac Attack (16 wins), Chanoine (nine), Princess Tenille (two) and Tara Village (13), has earned $40,797 from eight wins and two placings from 22 starts. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR POLAK'S UPSET VICTORY A plan devised by trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko to surprise the opposition by setting Polak alight from the No. 6 barrier at the start of the second heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night paid handsome dividends when the five-year-old carried too many guns for his seven rivals. Most pundits agreed that polemarker and 2/1 on favourite Silent Prowl would set the pace and prove hard to beat. But Suvaljko got Polak, a 13/1 chance, away with dazzling speed to burst straight past Silent Prowl. Polak then set a fast pace, reeling off quarters in 28.5sec., 29.9sec., 28.3sec. and 28.6sec. to beat Silent Prowl by just over a length at a 1.54.9 rate over the 1730m. Silent Prowl got off the pegs behind Polak in the home straight and finished fast. Xupan Three, who raced three back on the pegs, was 2m away in third place. "All the speed underneath wasn't that quick, except for the one (Silent Prowl)," Suvaljko explained after the race. "So our plan was just to time the gate and get him out as fast as he can. And he really came out of the gate at a hundred miles an hour, and once he got to the front he was always going to be the one to beat. He can run really good times in front and we'll be hoping for a favourable barrier in the final." Polak, who ended a losing sequence of seven, has amassed $160,555 from 15 wins and 15 placings from 51 starts. He is a full-brother to Schinzig Buller, who has raced 52 times for 11 wins, 12 placings and $289,452 in prizemoney. Schinzig Buller's most notable victory was when he defeated Mysta Magical Mach and Im Themightyquinn in the Golden Nugget in November 2008. COURAGE TELLS HOLDS ON AFTER SETTING THE PACE Well-travelled New Zealand-bred six-year-old Courage Tells maintained his splendid form for Hopeland trainer Colin Joss when he set the pace and held on to win the third heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 10/9 on from the prized No. 1 barrier, Courage Tells bowled along in front for Morgan Woodley and beat the 7/2 second fancy Smokey The Bandit by a head at a 1.54.9 rate over the 1730m. Rowchester, third favourite at 4/1, fought on to be third after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Smokey The Bandit trailed Courage Tells all the way and got clear in the closing stages. He flashed home, but just failed to overhaul the leader. Woodley said that Courage Tells was better suited as a sit-sprinter, but he did not want to sacrifice the advantage of the No. 1 barrier over the sprint trip. "He's a nice type of horse and I think you see the best of him in a sit and sprint capacity," he said. "That's his best asset, his let-down speed. However, this is such a leader-biased track that you've got to stay there (in front). He has certainly got a lot more wins ahead of him." Courage Tells won twice from three starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and then had 58 starts in Victoria and New South Wales for another 15 victories. He has had 11 starts in WA for three wins and four placings and now has earned $126,830 from 20 wins and 24 placings from 72 starts. NEW TACTICS SUIT PRINCE EDDIE --- AND NOW FOR THE TROTTERS CUP New Zealand-bred five-year-old Prince Eddie earned a crack at the $30,000 Trotters Cup at Gloucester Park next Friday night when he was on his best behaviour and produced a brilliant late burst of speed to get up and score a narrow victory in the 2503m Fisher and Paykel Handicap on Friday night. Trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by Gary Hall jun., Prince Eddie, second fancy at 3/1, trailed the pacemaker and 11/4 favourite The Beau Brummell and did not look likely to succeed when he was in fourth position just 60m from the post. But Hall called on the Monarchy gelding for a special effort and he responded grandly, sprinting fast to get up and snatch victory by a neck from Hot Holiday, the third favourite at 4/1 who started from 30m and raced without cover over the final 1500m. A nose away in third place was the Beau Brummell. After a slow early pace, the final 800m was covered in 59.2sec. and the winner rated 2.9.2. Hall jun. said it was pleasing that Prince Eddie was showing form leading into the Trotters Cup. "Originally we thought he would be a good frontrunner, but we are now driving him in the field and keeping him for a late burst," Hall said. "Everything has been turned upside down after he had led in a couple of races and then folded up. Now we know that when we drive him this way (with a sit) that he can beat the good ones." This was Prince Eddie's second win from six WA starts after he had won once from eight New Zealand starts and four times from seven outings in New South Wales. He has earned $43,491. Prince Eddie is out of Hands And Heels, who finished tenth at her only start, at Addington in May 2002. He is a full-brother to King Charlie (67 starts for 15 wins, 14 placings and $238,291) and Shezoneoftheboyz (13 starts for eight wins, one placings and $91,849). BRENNAN TO TRAIN THIS TIME DYLAN FOR RIDLEY Serpentine horseman Michel Brennan will train This Time Dylan after the gelding was claimed for $20,000 by Brian Ridley at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This Time Dylan, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, has been in outstanding form for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and he kept up the good work when he stormed home from the rear to score an effortless win in the 2536m Retravision.com.au Claiming Pace. This Time Dylan, a chunky little son of Dream Away, is the leader in the Pacer of the Year award with seven wins, three seconds and a third in the first four months of the season. He has competed in claiming races at each of his past six starts for three wins and three seconds to take his career record to 37 starts for 13 wins, nine placings and $112,125. He is now on an M6 mark. Shardons Rocket (3/1) dashed to the front after 500m in Friday night's event and Gary Hall jun. was content to keep This Time Dylan in sixth place in the field of seven before starting a three-wide move 600m from home. This Time Dylan burst to the front at the 4o00m mark and raced away to beat Talk It Up by three lengths, with Shardons Rocket a wilting third. Ridley is hoping that This Time Dylan proves to be an even better success than the previous horse he claimed from the Hall stable --- Rakarebel. Ridley outlaid $10,000 to claim Rakarebel early last May, and in ten starts for Brennan Rakarebel won once and was placed four times for earnings of $18,550. And then Ridley received $20,000 when Rakarebel was claimed in July by eastern states owners. Rakarebel has continued his career in New South Wales and Victoria where he has had 11 starts for seven third placings. Talk It Up was claimed by a syndicate headed by Laurie Kennedy and the evergreen nine-year-old will be prepared by Wanneroo trainer Barry Morrison. by Ken Casellas  

This unraced son of champion trotting sire, Balanced Image and the Hall Of Fame brood mare, Lou Macs Glory has always struggled for patronage at stud and has always lacked those quality mares that can help make a stallion. Bred by Tara Hills stud farm in Canada, he is a full brother to the champion Glory's Comet $2,057,695 as well as three other winners. Lou Macs Glory left 15 foals in total for nine winners of $3,242,487 in stakes. Injury prevented Brylin Boyz from racing but he had showed so much potential in training, was bred in the purple and was such a great type, that Tara Hills decided to cover a few mares of their own and look for a place to stand him where he could get a shot at being a stallion. Hence his arrival at Bon Accord farm in Canterbury, NZ. Within a couple of seasons he had being purchased by Michael and Diane Heenan of Trouble Lodge at Methven and he stood the rest of his time in NZ at their property. It was here that he was to have most of his success. Not long after being purchased by the Heenans, his stock from the initial matings in Canada hit the track and showed plenty of promise with his winners including such smart types as Marcliff Victoria $167,000, Mikie Will $89,000, Call To Order $89,000 and Herecomes The Boyz $75,000. And that initial success was carried on by his Australasian stock. From his first crop came Awesome Imace $169,000 and he was quickly followed by such talented types as Springfield Hero $94,000, Featherflight $85,000, Extasia $77,000, Zealous Lady $73,00 and Lanez Luck $52,000 among his 64 winners. Progeny exported to Australia have compiled a good record with Makati Maximus $109,000, Brylin Crescent $73,000, Heza Boy Star $57,000 and Springfield Barry $46,000 all flying the flag for him on that side of the Tasman. Without doubt the best horse sired by Brylin Boyz is Shezoneoftheboyz $76,000. The dominant three year old of her year in NZ , her career was curtailed by injury before it really got started and robbed Brylin Boyz of that star flag bearer that all stallions need. Still his major impediment to greater success has always been his lack of mares each year and just as importantly, the quality of those mares. Which has been a real shame as the one thing that really stands out when you look at his stud record is his ability to lift mares. Most of his winners are the best foal that their dam has produced. Recently sold to Queensland, Brylin Boyz has more than fulfilled the potential Tara Hills saw in him all those years ago. With his impeccable bloodlines and great confirmation, his daughters should leave an even bigger impression on the NZ trotting scene in the years to come. JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing 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

Kiwi bred Washington VC/No Doubt About It filly Dontdoubtme trained in Sunraysia by Shayne Cramp, made the long trip down from Mildura to Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday with happy results, as she was victorious in winning the $25,000 Harness Breeders (Vic) Gold Chalice for three year old fillies over 2240 metres. Unbeaten in three Australian starts to date, Dontdoubtme had little trouble pouncing on the lead from gate three, with reinsman Nathan Jack well aware of her capabilities allowing her to bowl along at her leisure. Careering away on the final bend, Dontdoubtme in quarters of 29.3, 30, 28.2 and 29.1 after a lead time of 48.3, scored virtually untouched by 11.3 metres in advance of another Kiwi bred in My Bella Starr which raced in the open before dropping down to follow the winner on straightening when pole marker Lies in the trail galloped for no reason when looking likely to fill a place. This allowed the Glen Douglas trained and driven Somedreamsomewhere (four back the markers) to fill third place after making the home turn very wide. Raced by a large group of owners including long time harness participants Dawn Leppard and Gordon Bubb, Dontdoubtme returned a mile rate of 1-58.4. Several champion fillies have won this prestigious classic in the past and gone on to much bigger and better things. Len Baker

One of the sires who regularly makes the sires list in both North America and Australasia is the proven son of Western Hanover in Badlands Hanover. Earning $756,00 in his race career, he took his mark of 1:50 at two at Colonial Downs which as a one turn track had a speed rating 2-3 seconds quicker than anywhere else at the time. So there were doubts about the significance of the time because of where it was taken. However any doubts about his credentials as a sire have been long put to bed by his outstanding record at stud. North America - Stakes Won  $49,778,000   Winners 525    Sub 1;53 - 97    Sub 1:50 - 10   His winners include such standouts as Tug River Princess, $1,858,219 (1:49:3)  Badlands Nitro, $1,605,608 (1:50)  Mr Wiggles, $1,195,099 (1:49.1) Delmarvalous $905,691 (1:48.2). His NZ record is no less significant. To date he has sired 349 winners including the derby winner Badlands Bute $311,000 along with such talented types as Highview Badlands $142,000,  Ohoka Rebel $132,000 and Cast Adrift $104,000. But it is as a sire of fillies/mares that Badlands Hanover has really made his mark as a sire in NZ. How is this for a list of his super impressive filly/mare winners in NZ. Nearea Franco $439,000, Beaudine Bad Babe $404,000, Western Dream $328,000, Flying Pocketlands $255,000,  Natal Franco $117,000 and Belletti $109,000. Total stakes earnings for Badlands Hanover are in excess of $8,190,000 which is a great achievement with stake money at the level it is in NZ. In Australia he has sired 86 winners who have won more than $3,250,000 including the age group star Chariot King $489,000. Several NZ imports such as Sneakyn Down Under $ 450,000 have kept his name in the spotlight but one import in particular has done an incredible job and that of course is the iron horse, Washakie $1,810,000 1:50.  He continues to perform at the highest level long after many of his former age group rivals have since retired All up worldwide, Badlands Hanover's stock have won in excess of $60,000,000 and he is quickly closing in on 1000 winners. Overtaken in many breeders eyes by some the high profile imports of the last few years, Badlands Hanovers record shows that at a $ 3,000+gst service fee, he is outstanding value in today's breeding marketplace.   JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing 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  

This great looking son of Balanced Image, one of the all time great trotting sires in North America is slowly but surely gaining the respect from breeders that his record says he deserves. Even though Monarchy won 11 races and took a mark of 1:56:2, you wouldn't say he was a star on the track. What he did have was great looks - gait - -and a lovely pedigree. At the time he was imported, no sons of the  leading trotting sire in the world at the time in Balanced Image were at stud in NZ. He was imported by Roydon Lodge to stand alongside their champion trotting sire Sundon. And there was the greatest hurdle that Monarchy had to face. Sundon got the larger books and by far the better quality mares and as a result Monarchy struggled to establish himself in his initial years at stud. In his first four years he served just 129 mares.   So it was up to those initial small crops to establish Monarchy as a sire. With the arrival of Sovereignty as a three year old, Monarchy showed that he could produce those top of the line trotters that every breeder is searching for. And Sovereignty went on with it as a older horse with his stakes earnings now in excess of $716,000. Numerous top liners followed in the form of Stylish Monarch $492,000  King Charlie $236.000  Prince Harry $113,000 and Kylie Ree $112,000. Sundon was still king but Monarchy was closing the gap. And with his first crop of any size which raced as three-year-olds last season, Monarchy has truly arrived. He produced three horses from that crop who earn't in excess of $100,000 by the end of their three year old season which is an outstanding achievement with the lack of opportunities and stakes for young trotters in NZ compared to their pacing counterparts. Royal Aspirations $229,000  Prime Power $125,000 and Sheemon $118,000 have flown the flag for Monarchy with real style. The three of them have started their four year old campaigns as they finished their three year old campaigns with each of them recording outstanding wins recently. Sheemon opening his season by smashing the track record at Timaru followed by Royal Aspirations winning his first start for the season by six lengths over The Fiery Ginga and company at Geraldine and Prime Power is unbeaten in three this season, his last win at Auckland over two of the better open class trotters in NZ in  Stent and Boizel. All three look headed for the grand circuit in a hurry. And being by a son of Balanced Image is a bonus as it is sire line that is renowned for leaving stock that get better with age. With total stakes closing in on $4,000,000, Monarchy is at last throwing off that shadow that Sundon has cast  on him for so long. JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing 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  

The first thing that strikes you when you take a close look at the credentials of Bacardi Lindy is how beautifully bred he is. By one of the all-time great sires and now sire of sires in SJ’s Photo, Bacardi Lindy is the first foal from the brilliant Valley Victory mare in Rum Boogie a USTA 2 Year Old filly of her year (T3 1:55 $900,000). Sold at Tattersall’s for $115,000 as a yearling, he was followed through the ring by the next three foals of Rum Boogie who all made over $100,000 with one Lindys Chosen One making $235,000. Troubled throughout his racing career by an injury sustained as a yearling, he still managed to take a best time of US1:52,4 and earn in excess of $200,000 in a short racetrack career. Imported down under straight off the racetrack by Ross Simpson from Karamea Farms, he served good books in his first two seasons at stud which resulted in foal crops of 48 and 28. At this time Ross Simpson decided to relocate to Canterbury in NZ and took Bacardi Lindy with him. Standing at the famous Roydon Lodge alongside the two leading trotting sires in NZ in Sundon and Monarchy made getting mares very difficult for the unproven sire. In his first year in NZ he served 25 and 13 in Australia, while in his second he served just 13 in NZ and 12 in Australia.  At this point, with his stock starting to show up in Australia, Bacardi Lindy was relocated to Morley Park in Victoria and with the success that his first two crops have had, it was a wise move. With his oldest crop just turned four, he has already had 17 starters from that crop including such smart trotters as The Boss Man ($48,000) Bellmac Kody ($35,000) Basil Knight ($20,000) and Lochaber ($17,000). And from his second smaller crop of now 3 year-olds (28) he has had eight starters including the very smart Claudys Princess ($51,000) who won 3 of 5 as a 2 year-old including a defeat of the New Zealand two-year-old of the year Daenerys Targaryen in a Breeders Crown heat at Maryborough, also the promising Barefoot Sally who has had two wins from two starts this season.  Bacardi Lindy’s promising start to his siring career has been recognised by Australian breeders last season by attracting a book of 91 mares, the most of any Trotting stallion in Australia by 46 mares. Taking everything into account, Bacardi Lindy has made a very promising start to his siring career and the future looks bright for this speedy BLUE BLOOD. JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing 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

Sneakyn Down Under, an 11-year-old in the twilight of a wonderful career, bounced back to top form when he gave a typical powerful frontrunning performance to win the $21,000 TABtouch Fred Doy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night and now will be set for the $60,000 Village Kid Sprint over 1730m on December 27. Starting third favourite at 7/2, Sneakyn Down Under took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier when Chris Lewis gave the New Zealand-bred gelding's ten rivals a difficult assignment to overhaul him by setting a brisk pace in the 2130m event. After comfortable first two 400m sections of the final mile in 29.8sec. and 29.1sec., Sneakyn Down Under sped over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 28.6sec. and won by 2m from 3/1 second fancy Hokonui Ben, with a head to the fast-finishing 5/2 favourite David Hercules, rating a smart 1.55.2. Sneakyn Down Under's victory came on a tough night for punters, with eight favourites, including five at odds-on, being beaten. Beaten favourites were Courage On Fire (7/4 on), Calais (7/4 on), Hez The Bart Man (7/4), The Ragpickers Dream (6/4), David Hercules (5/2), Condrieu (5/4 on), Jay Bees Grin (5/4 on) and This Time Dylan (10/9 on). "It was a great run, 1.55.2 for an 11-year-old; it couldn't be better," Lewis said. "If he can draw one, he'll probably win a few more." Sneakyn Down Under, a rangy Badlands Hanover gelding raced by Darren Duffy and his sister Tracey, is a brilliant sprinter who will be ideally suited in the Village Kid Sprint if he draws favourably. He was recommended to the late Ray Duffy (father of Darren and Tracey) by Invercargill harness racing identity Graham Anderson after he had won twice over 2700m at Forbury as a three-year-old. Friday night's victory ended a losing sequence of 11 and boosted Sneakyn Down Under's record to 94 starts for 26 wins and 20 placings for stakes of $450,344. He is a half-brother to Countess Kala, who set the pace and won the Golden Nugget in a thrilling four-way photo finish at Gloucester Park in December 1999. Hokonui Ben began smartly from the No. 3 barrier and was kept three wide by Banana Dana for the first 250m before getting to the breeze. Morgan Woodley restrained David Hercules from barrier five and was content to remain at the rear. David Hercules was still last at the bell when he was following a three-wide run of Mysta Magical Mach. He was switched four wide at then 650nm mark and finished determinedly, out wide, to be an excellent third. Banana Dana finished strongly to be fourth after enjoying the ideal one-out, one-back sit. GATE BENDER REWARDS SMITH AND GIVES HER FIRST CITY TRAINING SUCCESS Young Serpentine trainer Stephanie Smith was rewarded for months of diligent, loving care when eight-year-old pacer Gate Bender gave a tremendous first-up performance to score an effortless victory in the Congratulations Washakie Five Straight Treuer Memorials Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was an outstanding training feat to produce the New Zealand-bred gelding in such superb condition after a six-month absence. The win gave Smith her first training success in a Metropolitan-class event after wins in minor races with Sovereign Grange and Bolshevic in her first year as a trainer. Smith, her father Stewart, Lee Bunney and Ian Sermon outlaid $10,000 to claim Gate Bender last June. But the gelding suffered severe suspensory damage to a foreleg before being laid low by a similar injury to the other foreleg. However, Smith refused to admit defeat and she nursed the gelding back to fitness, using her expertise as a qualified veterinary nurse and devising a training regime that would suit a horse with bad legs. This included taking the horse to the beach to wade in the water and galloping exercise in a jog cart. Smith, who is also an accomplished equestrian rider, engaged Donald Harper to handle Gate Bender on Friday night after her partner and star reinsman Morgan Woodley opted to drive Hokuri Handrail for trainer Kristie Morrone. "I was honoured when Steph rang and asked me to drive the horse," Harper said. "She has done a really great job with the horse. I was really impressed with him tonight, especially after blowing the start. He just powered over them and I think that if he stands up he will win a fair few more." After a win in a Pinjarra trial by five lengths two Sundays ago Gate Bender, an M2-class performer, was handicapped on the front mark in Friday night's 2503m stand for M0 and better pacers. Punters were mindful of the smart trial win and the speed the gelding had shown in his first 30 starts in Western Australia after arriving from New Zealand and he was favourite at 4/1 in a wide-open betting race. However, his supporters groaned when he galloped at the start and was last in the field of 12 after a lap had been completed. Erris Lad (11/2) was bowling along in front, with Lennys In Heaven in the breeze and Thirtyeight Special trailing the pacemaker. With 1300m to travel Aldo Cortopassi dashed the 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket (9/2) forward and Harper urged Gate Bender forward to follow that horse's three-wide run. Shardons Rocket worked his way to the front 420m from home, but was unable to withstand the powerful finishing burst of Gate Bender, who charged to the front 130m from the post and was hard held by Harper as he crossed the line just under two lengths in front of Shardons Rocket, rating 1.59.9 over the 2503m journey. Anvils Big Punt (15/1) followed Gate Bender over the final 1300m and finished a sound third. So well was Gate Bender travelling in the final circuit that Harper did not pull the ear plugs. Gate Bender, by Courage Under Fire, won five times in New Zealand and he now has earned $139,505 from 18 wins and 19 placings from 68 starts. His 31 WA starts have produced 13 wins and ten placings. His first stake of $11,550 was a splendid return for the $10,000outlaid to claim him on June 14. PRENTICE PREDICTS BIG THINGS FOR CLASSIC AMERICAN Kim Prentice predicted a "great" future for Classic America after driving the inexperienced three-year-old to an impressive victory in the 2130m TABtouch.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Classic American, at a gift price of 8/1, raced wide early and then in the breeze before scoring easily from the pacemaker Modigliani (12/1) and Swagga (11/2), rating 1.57.8 after dashing over the final 800m in 56.7sec. A runaway winner at his only start in New Zealand (in June this year), Classic American started a hot favourite at his WA debut ten days before Friday night's run when he raced without cover and finished a 10m second to debutant Calais. On Friday night Calais, from barrier two, was a 7/4 on favourite. But he was beaten for early speed by polemarker Modigliani and was shuffled back to eighth at the bell before finishing solidly into fourth place. "Classic American has learnt a lot from his first-up run and Senior (trainer Gary Hall sen.) said during the week that he had improved out of sight," Prentice said. "When he was in the breeze tonight he was just on a loose rein and I didn't know how much was there. But each time I asked him for a little but he grabbed hold (of the bit) and I knew at the 400m they weren't going to beat him because I knew I still had plenty of horse. "To get home in 28.1sec. was a fine effort, considering that he turned off half-way down the straight. He's got a great future, for sure." Classic American has earned $15,210 from two wins and a second from three starts. The win gave Prentice the first leg of a double and Hall sen. the first leg of a treble. They combined to win with Toretto and Soldier Boy, driven by Shane Butcher, completed the Hall treble when he drove Soldier Boy to a thrilling victory late in the program. SENSATIONAL GABBY ENDS A YEAR-LONG DROUGHT Former champion juvenile pacer Sensational Gabby returned to form when she unwound a dazzling late burst of speed to snatch a last-stride victory over 6/4 favourite The Ragpickers Dream in the third heat of the Heather King-KC Sports Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was the five-year-old mare's first success since she won a heat of the Christmas Gift exactly 12 months ago. Since that win she had raced only seven times and on Friday night was making her third appearance after a seven-month absence. Sensational Gabby, third favourite at 9/2, began from the inside of the back line and she pulled very hard behind the pacemaker Wrongly Accused (15/4). However, this did not prevent her from producing her whirlwind finish. The final quarter was covered in 28.3sec. and Sensational Gabby rated 1.57.1 over 2130m. "She's been a great filly and a great mare for us and it's just nice to see her back, winning," reinsman Chris Lewis said. "It's always a query when a horse travels so strongly (pulling) as to exactly how they are going to finish off. But I was confident that there would be something left in the tank." The win gave Lewis the first leg of a double and completed a training double for Ross Olivieri, who prepared Red Salute for his win in the previous event. Lewis was successful 30 minutes later when Sneakyn Down Under won the Fred Doy Memorial. Kim Prentice drove The Ragpickers Dream hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Wrongly Accused after 100m and then Dylan Egerton-Green eased Wrongly Accused off the pegs and into the breeze 200m later. After an opening quarter of the final mile in 29.5sec., The Ragpickers Dream was able to relax and cover the next section in 30.6sec. before the final quarters were covered in 29.1sec. and 28.3sec. The Ragpickers Dream dashed away approaching the home turn and led by two lengths with 120m to travel. But he failed by a nose to hold out the fast-finishing Sensational Gabby. Sanjaya, having his first start for owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Brew, flew home along the pegs to be a head away in third place. Sensational Gabby was a brilliant juvenile who won at her first eight starts as a two-year-old in 2011, including two $100,000 classics for fillies, and won the 2012 WA Oaks. Her 39starts have produced 25 wins and three placings for earnings of $468,595. MAGGIES MYSTERY IN TUNE FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN Five-year-old Maggies Mystery gave convincing proof that she will be a leading contender in races for mares this season when she sustained a spirited finishing burst from the rear to snatch victory in the 2130m Download TABtouch Today Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Making her fourth appearance after a spell for Burekup trainer Colin Reeves, Maggies Mystery started from barrier four on the back line and was a 12/1 chance, with the polemarker Courage On Fire all the rage as a 7/4 on favourite. Courage On Fire set the pace and after covering the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30sec. and 30.7sec., she increased the tempo and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.9sec. and 28.8sec. Maggies Mystery settled down in ninth position and she improved to seventh at the bell where she was following the three-wide run of 9/1 second favourite Chloe Vargarita. Maggies Mystery rattled home and got her head in front of Courage On Fire in the final couple of strides to score by a head, with 10/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady two and a half lengths away in third place after racing without cover over the final 1500m. Maggies Mystery rated 1.58.5 and improved her record to 55 starts for 11 wins and 14 placings for stakes of $116,290. "That's her ideal scenario, just sitting back and being saved up for one 250m sprint," said reinsman Morgan Woodley. "She drew barrier 11 and that didn't do her any favours. We were fortunate to get that nice run tonight and she was good enough to use it. She sits on speed really well and I'm sure that she can certainly match it with the best when she gets up in class." BELL TAKES FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE No. 1 BARRIER WITH BETTORS ACE Victorian-bred six-year-old Bettors Ace, who is closely related to former star performers Saab and Talladega, caused an upset when he started at 12/1 and gave a strong frontrunning exhibition to win the 2130m second heat of the TABtouch The Coulson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win was a triumph for young trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell, who produced the gelding in fine fettle for his first outing for seven weeks. Bell made full use of the considerable advantage of the No. 1 barrier on the front line and Bettors Ace relished his pacemaking role to score by one and a half lengths from 38/1 outsider Clifford, with the 5/4 on favourite Condrieu a half-length away in third place. Condrieu started from the outside of the back line and Colin Brown wasted no time in dashing the classy four-year-old forward, out three wide, before moving into the breeze after 500m. Bell then kept his rivals honest as Bettors Ace covered the final four 400m sections in 30.3sec., 30.1sec., 28.6sec. and 29.1sec. and 29.1sec. The winner rated 1.57.6 and took his record to 48 starts for ten wins and 12 placings for earnings of $94,260 for owners Kevin Jeavons, Gino Monaco and Lindsay Severn. "Bettors Ace is not at his top," said Bell. "We've had a fair few issues with him over the past two months and that's why he's had only two runs in that time. He's still not 100 per cent, so it means that we have something to work with. His best go is rolling and at his best he has two low 28sec. quarters in him, which makes him hard to catch. "Tonight I thought that Brownie (Condrieu) and Butcher (Shane Butcher, Soho Highroller) would be punching through (from the back line) at the start and it was going to be an interesting contest. But once it was only Brownie I knew I couldn't let him pass my wheel --- and it paid off." Bettors Ace is the second foal out of the Classic Garry mare Saabette, who had 29 starts between 2003 and 2005 for nine wins, six placings and $34,378. Saabette is a full-sister to five winners and a half-sister to six other winners. Among her full-brothers are Saab (63 starts for 21 wins, 18 placings and $577,197), Talladega (66 starts for 18 wins, ten placings and $411,680) and Saabella (74 starts for 17 wins, 14 placings and $205,754). INSIDE RUNS ENABLES SOLDIER BOY TO GET UP IN A SEVEN-WAY PHOTO FINISH Soldier Boy, under lock and key in sixth position on the pegs for most of the journey, made the most of a dream inside passage to get up in the final stride to score a thrilling victory in the 2130m Crash Craddock Pathway Pace on Friday night. It was one of the most exciting and closest finishes ever witnessed at the course, with only a neck separating the first seven runners, spread right across the track. Young reinsman Shane Butcher simply had nowhere to go half-way down the back straight in the final circuit, with Dilinger Dreaming setting the pace and steaming through the third quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. But when Shannon Suvaljko restrained Hez Got The Nod and moved the gelding off the pegs with 380m to travel Butcher gleefully sent Soldier Boy, a 10/1 chance, through on the inside to get on to the leader's back. Hez Got the Nod then was able to get on to the back of the 5/4 on favourite Jay Bees Grin and he and several other runners surged forward as the field rounded the home bend. And then, shortly afterwards, Butcher gained his second piece of good fortune when Dilinger Dreaming drifted up the track, allowing him to send Soldier Boy through a needle-eye opening and get up in the final stride to score by a half-head from Hez Got the Nod. Grand Cru (10/1) was a half-head away in third place, with a nose to Jay Bees Grin. Only centimetres separated the next three runners, Notabdexcuse (a 7/2 chance, who had sustained a strong three-wide burst to get to a narrow lead 70m from the post), Mister Roberto and Dilinger Dreaming. Ashleigh Markham was fined $100 by the stewards for allowing Dilinger Dreaming, a 20/1 chance, to shift outwards and allow an inside run for Soldier Boy. "I got a bit of luck, which you need," said Butcher. "Soldier Boy is a funny horse. You really have to drive him and he hasn't got a lot of point-to-point speed." Soldier Boy, trained by Gary Hall sen., is by Washington VC and he had 20 starts in Victoria for seven wins and six placings before arriving in Western Australia where he has raced 12 times for two wins and seven placings. He is raced by Beth Richardson, Karen Hall, Luke Montgomery and a group of New South Wales owners, Jamie Durnberger-Smith, Natalie Stephens, Sam Oscuro, Christine Ianson, Anthony McAlpine, Kevin Hunter and Joshua Mackison. MAROONED GIVES SCOTT AN EARLY RETURN Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott has no regrets at his decision to pay $10,000 to claim seven-year-old Marooned on November 29. There were six claims for Marooned and Scott was successful in the ballot. Marooned, having his second start for trainer Matt Scott, son of the owner, was an 8/1 chance who finished fast from fourth at the bell to win easily from 10/9 on favourite This Time Dylan in the 2130m TABtouch Claiming pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of 21, stretching back to a victory at 48/1 at Menangle last February and took the New South Wales-bred pacer's record to 66 starts for 15 wins, 14 placings and $108,077 in prizemoney. First prize for Friday night's win was $5200 and the gelding looks sure to earn his new owner plenty more in stakes. Heavens Delight (14/1) set the pace on Friday night and Chris Voak made a sound decision to send Marooned forward, three wide, from out wide at No. 6 on the front line. Marooned swept forward to move into the breeze and soon afterwards was able to enjoy the perfect one-out, one-back sit when Kim Prentice sent This Time Dylan forward to race without cover. This Time Dylan, second at his two previous starts after a hat-trick of wins, took the lead 250m from home, but was powerless to hold off the fast-finishing Marooned, who got to the front 75m from the post. The win completed a double for Voak, who had been successful with Red salute earlier in the night. VOAK TIPS MORE SUCCESSES FOR FRONTRUNNING RED SALUTE "This horse will go from strength to strength," declared Chris Voak after driving Red Salute to an easy win in the 2130m second heat of the Del Basso Smallgoods Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Red Salute, hot favourite at 5/2 on from the prized No. 1 barrier, gave his supporters no cause for concern as he set a dawdling early pace before sprinting home stylishly when he covered the final 800m in 56.4sec. and the last 400m in a scorching 27.6sec. He rated only 1.59.1, but could have gone considerably faster. Red Salute ambled through the lead time in an extremely slow 39.8sec. before dawdling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.6sec. and 29.8sec. He won by just over a length from 12/1 chance Famous Alchemist, who enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Our Major Mark held on to be third after working in the breeze for most of the way. Red Salute advanced to an M4 classification and looks set to perform soundly in open-class company. He has earned $136,859 from 13 wins and ten placings from 42 starts. "I probably didn't need to go so slow for the lead time, but you've got to get what you can get," Voak said. "I think he was a better horse for the run he had last week (when second to Hez the Bart Man). This horse will go from strength to strength." TORETTO SHOCKS AND IMPRESSES PRENTICE The lightly-raced Toretto impressed Kim Prentice when he drove the New Zealand-bred five-year-old to an easy victory in the 2130m first heat of the Cavalia Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "This is the first time I have sat behind him," Prentice said as he admitted that he had some misgivings about driving the gelding because of his habit of racing ungenerously. "I know that Senior (trainer Gary Hall sen.) has always had a high opinion of him. But his habit of hanging has been a problem. I asked Clint (Hall's son) if Toretto was steering any better than he was a few weeks ago and he replied that he was gradually getting the hang of things. He got round the last bend and won like a good horse. He shocked me." Polemarker Xupan Three set the pace, with 3/1 chance Your Good Fortune in the breeze and Lucie Boshier in the one-out, one-back position. Toretto was ninth in the field of ten at the bell before he unwound a powerful burst which carried him to the front 110m from the post. He won at a 1.56 rate by just over two lengths from the 7/4 favourite Hez the Bart Man, who came from the rear in the middle stages and sixth at the bell. Xupan Three held on to be third. Toretto now has earned $60,630 from eight wins and two placings from 13 starts. by Ken Casellas  

This outstanding son of the great Artsplace has rightly earned himself a reputation as a champion racehorse who has gone on to be a champion sire. As a sire he has done it in both hemispheres which makes the achievement even more impressive. Racing as just a two and three year old, Grinfromeartoear was a star from the start. Raking in over $735,000 from just nine starts at two, he went on to win over a million at three and ended his career having won $1,760,000 and taking a time of 1:50:1 USA. He went to stud at four and quickly made a name for himself as a sire whose stock processed that great intangible, the will to win. His sons and daughters became renowned for lifting and winning when appearing to be beaten in the home stretch. His American stock have performed right from the start and to date have won over $46,000,000. His 487 winners with 14 in 1:50 include the incomparable Mister Big $4,143,000  who is still the biggest stake earning pacing sire on the planet, Not Enough $1,387,000, Transcending $861,000, Tiz To Dream $702,000 to name just a few of the others that have built his reputation. In Australia he has left 245 winners including the great import Mr Feelgood $3,366,000 who has proven you can win at the highest level in both hemispheres. Others such as Make Me Smile $517,000  Rocknrolla $287,000  Devilish Smile $277,000 and Grinjarra $248,000 have been worthy representatives in Australia. In New Zealand he has left 73 winners with the outstanding juvenile Smiling Shard $1,089,000 his best performer to date. Pure Power $294,000, Pass Them By $133,000, Smiling Star $105,000 and Charge Forward $104,000 have all raced in Free For All class in NZ in the last three years. All up he has left 805 winners worldwide for stakes in excess of $56,000,000 with over $10,000,000 of that earned in Australasia. One of his most lasting achievements is that of having left a millionaire in North America, Australia and New Zealand. He can truly call himself one of the all time greats - The sire who leaves them as tough as they come. JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing 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

Washington VC is one of the best performing stallions available to NZ breeders but seldom gets the accolades or mares his record suggests he should. As a racehorse he was smart without being a standout. Going US1:52:3 and earning $560,000 is not the record of a champion. He is a son of Presidential Ball who earned over $3,000,000 and also stood in NZ.  At stud however Washington VC has a far superior record to Presidential Ball. When you try to ascertain how the inferior racehorse is the far superior sire, you are drawn to the dam side of Washington VC. He is from a full sister to the brilliant Dexter Nukes who was renowned for leaving great gaited and wickedly quick stock, traits which Washington VC is also known for.  Imported to NZ by Keith Norman and syndicated  amongst a group including noted yearling sales vendor  Brian West, Washington VC was based in Southland at Norman's stud. Right from the start he has had issues with his semen traveling which has resulted in mares having to be served on farm which has meant he hasn't had access to a lot of the commercial mares in NZ, especially from the North Island. That has not stopped him from establishing a fantastic record of leaving top quality stock who are both quick and durable. The limestone country in Southland has always had a reputation for producing stock who handle the ravages of hard racing better than most and the stock of Washington VC are no exception. His flag bearer is the superstar I'm The Mightyquinn ($4,377,000) and he would have to rate up there with the best horses produced in the Southern Hemisphere. Horses of the caliber of Dasher VC ($630,000)  Foreal ($623,000)   Georgetown ($610,000)   I'm Victorious ($540,000) are prime examples of the kind of stock he leaves. His American record is outstanding. He only has 11 horses to have been exported there, all have won with 10 earning $100,00 plus for total earnings of $3,067,000. His stock to have excelled include Report For Duty ($847,000)  Steuban ($382,000)  VC Atom ($376,000) and Ruling VC ($266,000). As with a lot of NZ sires a big proportion of his stock are exported but he has still managed to leave over 255 winners in NZ with 148 in 2:00 including such smart types as It's Ella ($291,000) and Vice Chairman, whose wins at the recent NZ cup meeting stamped him as a grand circuit star in the making.  All things considered Washington VC has a stud record the equal of any. If his semen would travel his book would double overnight. Which makes what he has achieved from his Southland base so notable.  Traveling mares to studs doesn't  happen much these days but in the case of Washington VC it is definitely worth the trouble. JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing 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

The first round heats of the much sought after Snowball Series for C0 class horses four year old and older were held at the Charlton Graduation class meeting on Monday December 9, 2013. A unique series where stake levels increase as the series progresses - Heats $3,000, Semi-finals $5,500 and the Final $10,500 Heat one over 2100 metres was taken out by Great Western trainer/driver Kerryn Manning's Washington VC/Robyne Measure 4-Y-0 gelding Willow Robyn in a rate of 1-59.9. Beginning brilliantly from gate four, Willow Robyn a prohibitive $1.10 favourite, led throughout to street his rivals in winning by 18 metres over a death-seating Sassy man and Playing The Ace. Heat two saw South Australian visitor Sparks On Nudgee, a four year old daughter of Life Sign and Big Brown Eyes successful in a rate of 2-01.2. Driven by Greg Sugars for Globe Derby Park trainer Andrew Mitton, Sparks On Nudgee was sent out with a rush from gate three, but was unable to head off the polemarker Miss Toolern Vale, with Sugars easing to take a trail. Using the sprint lane in the shadows of the post, Sparks On Nudgee ($3.20) finished best to gain the day by a head from Shes Even Cooler (one/two - three wide home turn), with Miss Toolern Vale a half neck away in third place. Smart Lombo Pocket Watch/Road To Paris four year old gelding Clancys Fobwatch snared Heat three in the fastest rate 1-57.7 from gate three. In what was a great staying test, Clancys Fobwatch ($2.10) trained at Hopetoun Park (Bacchus Marsh) by Ross Sugars and driven by Greg, raced outside the highly fancied Seven And A Half (gate four), before prevailing by a half neck in a thrilling duel all the way up the running. Tearitup which led out before being eased to follow Seven And A Half finished 37.4 metres away in third place. Two Semi-Finals over 2190 metres will be held at Maryborough on December 18, with the 2200 metre Final at Ballarat on December 26. Len Baker  

It may have been a wet and miserable day but Greg & Nina Hope left Mt Harding Racecourse with plenty to smile about. The Woodend couple were successful early in the card with smart mare Helena Jet before claiming dual Green Mile victories with Glencoe VC and stable newcomer Phil’s Gift. The former, who was driven by Gerard O’Reilly, was a comprehensive winner of the $20,000 Pacers Green Mile over Castellina Lover and stablemate Jason Rulz, despite racing parked for the majority of the journey. “He is a very good horse who just never gets tired,” said Greg Hope. “He is a great stayer, but he also has his fair share of speed, so I think he has a very big future,” he added. The lightly raced six-year-old son of Washington VC will now target the Ashburton Cup on Boxing Day before tackling the Northern Southland and Invercargill Cup. “The two mile standing starts should really suit him, so all of those races will be right up his alley,” he enthused. Hope was also happy enough with Jason Rulz performance in finishing third. “Being left three wide in the Cup really hurt him and he is just taking a while to come back to it. He looks like he is back on the up now though. There isn’t a lot between him and Glencoe VC.” Phil’s Gift then topped off a great day for the Hopes by winning the trotters version of the Green Mile. “We have only had him a week but he is a lovely horse with really high speed,” said Hope. “We took him home after the Geraldine races last week and he was in terrific order. He had a couple of runs on the beach during the week and I think that sharpened him up for today,” he added. “Murray Tapper who formerly trained the horse is cutting down so we were lucky enough to get our hands on him. Murray has done a superb job with him. He is probably the most sensible and well mannered Sundon I have ever had anything to do with,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson

Champion pacer Themightyquinn has been cruelly denied his chance at a fourth straight Interdomion Final. The Western Australian speedster recently suffered a broken cannon bone. Reports are that Themightyquinn will now need six weeks in a box before his leg is re-scanned. If the scan is good the megastar will resume light work. Gary Hall Snr currently has no plans to retire the 5.3 million-dollar earner and hopes to have him back racing in the winter. Meanwhile, fellow Western Australian superstar Im Victorious was victorious in the Miracle Mile trial at Menangle today. After settling in the trail, Im Victorious, also a son of Washington VC, moved away from the inside on the corner and strolled past his rivals to win easily by just over a length. Christen Me was given a quiet trial by Dexter Dunn but found the line strongly to finish into third. By Mitchell Robertson  

At a function at Sandaford Winery in the heart of the Swan Valley yesterday, Im Themightyquinn was announced as Western Australia's Harness Horse of the Year for 2012/13. It was the gelding's fourth successive win in the award and capped yet another remarkable season where the son of Washington VC put together 12 wins and three seconds from 17 starts for season's stakes of $982,490. His wins included a third successive Inter Dominion final, the WA Pacing Cup and Auckland Cup and topped off his national awards as Australian Harness Horse of the Year and Australian Grand Circuit Champion. Also presented yesterday were the Age Category Awards for two and three-year-olds. Two-Year-Old Filly of the Year was won by the Westbred daughter of Kenneth J - Im Bella Jay which won the Group One Westbred Classic before finishing third in the Group Three Gold Bracelet Stakes and finished with a season's record of seven starts for three wins and two seconds and stakes of $82,544. The category for Two-Year-Old Colt or Gelding of the Year was taken out by another Westbred in the Grinfromeartoear gelding Mister Jadore which won the Group One Sales Classic and Group Two Champagne Classic, finished second in the Group One Pearl Classic and third in the Group One Golden Slipper Stakes with a season's record of 14 starts for six wins, four seconds and two thirds for stakes of $158,054. The New Zealand bred Bettors Delight filly Bettor Dreams won the Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year Award on the back of a 1:54.6 win at Pinjarra and outstanding seconds to Australian 3yo Filly of the Year Frith in the Group One WA Oaks and to Gota Good Lookadda in the Group Two Daintys Daughter Classic. Her 11 starts for the season yielded four wins, three seconds, one third and stakes of $67,035. Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding of the Year honours went to the outstanding New Zealand import Alta Christiano which was unbeaten at his only three Western Australian starts which included wins in the Group One WA Derby and Group Two Western Gateway Stakes and WA stakes of $169,030. Aiden De Campo was presented with the Youth Achievment Award after a breakout season where he drove 100 winners for the first time while Dylan Egert-Green was presented with his trophy for winning the RWWA Rising Stars Series. Gary Hall Junior drove 242 winners for the season to take out the Leading State Driver Title while his father Gary Hall Senior took out the Leading State Trainer Title with 192 winners. Alan Parker  

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