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Belgian-born reinsman Sidney Van den Brande will soon feel like he's back home. After two years working with the powerful Ballarat harness racing stable of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, the 30-year-old is about to change scenery. He's accepted a job with prolific trotting trainer Anton Golino at Pat Driscoll's Yabby Dam Farms, at Cardigan - a move that will return Van den Brande to his harness racing roots. "Before coming out to Australia, I had only competed in trotting races in Belgium, France, Germany and Holland - I didn't drive pacers until I came to Australia. I'm excited at the opportunity to be back working again with them and Anton has an outstanding bunch," he said. "It probably sounds a little crazy, but I really have been missing the trotters. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time, firstly with David Aiken, of Avenel, and then more recently with Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. "I knew nothing about pacers, but they were great and taught me a lot. And I drove some very good (pacing) horses with Emma and Clayton." Van den Brande has worked with leading trainers in the northern hemisphere but is quick to rate Australia as the best of the sport. He recently drove the 100th winner of his career - 52 of those being out here. Van den Brande said his interest in harness racing began when his older brother Nicky started helping out at a stable near the family home in Belgium. "Nicky seemed to spend a lot of time over there and the interest rubbed off onto me," Van den Brande said. "I remember the first time I was given the chance to drive a horse, I was very afraid. I was wearing shorts and the stones were flicking up onto my legs. It hurt a lot! "I was happy to just clean out the boxes and do other jobs. I had never considered wanting to be a race driver." The enthusiastic Belgian said that after spending "quite a while" honing his driving skills, he competed in an event in Holland in 2006 for concession drivers only. "The trotter I was allocated was a winner of only one of his 105 starts and I remember my opposing drivers were laughing very loudly about my unlucky draw," he said. "I was 27/1 and the only one above 10/1. So away we went, and I had the last laugh by winning - officially by 25 metres. "Another memorable time was driving in Paris. It is every young kid's dream to drive there and win. I wasn't that lucky, but it was a thrill to compete there." Van den Brande said the experience of working and driving in Europe was invaluable. "I also worked in America, but never drove in a race. In a strange twist, when I was based in the States, so was Anton. I later moved to Sweden to gain more experience, and Anton did likewise at the same time. We never did meet up but now I'm working for him!" Van den Brande has scored 19 victories this season, likely to comfortably pass his 21 of last season and the 12 he scored in a sensational start to his Australian race driving career in 2016-17. "After joining Emma and Clayton, they gave me a chance and I drove eight consecutive winners in my first eight drives. I then had a second, and then another win. That was unbelievable. "My best win so far has been with Perfect Look. We won the SA Southern Cross 3yo fillies final in Adelaide in July 2017 - that was my first Group race success. "Later the same year I won the $50,000 Tasmania Cup with Major Secret. I guess that was special as well." He rates Melton and Bendigo as two of his favorite tracks. "It's very hard to win at Melton. But I have won three races there and it was in three weeks. I thought how easy is this? Then later reality kicked in! "Bendigo has a nice shape and a good vibe." Van den Brande said naming his favorite driver was easy because Chris Alford is such a champion of the sport. "I also admire the way Gavin Lang is so cool and gets a lot from the horses, while Luke McCarthy always seems to come out of nowhere and be there at the finish," he said. "The racing here is different to back home, but the biggest difference is the longer carts. I just find myself sitting a long way back, but I'm slowly adjusting. "My parents are elderly now and weren't ever interested in horses, but they seem to be enjoying what I do. They ring me all the time so I think they must like it." Van den Brande said that with his time spent with trotters, he hoped he could sometimes offer some positive ideas at his new stable. "But maybe not as Anton is most experienced and very talented! I just want to keep finding my way and don't expect to have too many drives because there's a few above me, but that's fine." Outside of harness racing, Van den Brande admits he has become an avid fan of Formula One racing. "I went down to Albert Park, Melbourne to watch it and got hooked," he said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Ben Aubron is an integral part of the powerful Yabby Dam Racing operation in Cardigan, where the Frenchman plays a key role in the education of the yard's "babies" at the state-of-the-art stable and stud complex. And the 27-year-old was able to celebrate an extra special success on Saturday night when the one horse trained under his name saluted in the Club Menangle NSW Trotters Derby (2400m), when Xebec captured Group 2 glory at just his seventh run for Aubron. "To win a race like that ... we worked so hard to do this. We wake up in the morning dreaming about this, to win some big race like this," he said. "I think I've got a really nice horse." Picture: Ben Aubron salutes as Xebec claims Group 2 glory. Picture: Ashlea Brennan Photography. A far-reaching combination of nationalities helped achieve the triumph, with New Zealander Jack MacKinnon at the controls for the French trainer. MacKinnon settled Xebec back in the field for much of the trip and then capitalised on the early speed to run down front-runner and Yabby Dam rival All Cashed Up. In the end, Xebec raced clear to score by more than seven metres, with the Orlando Vici gelding rocketing home to pip All Cashed Up for second.  The win - at the bolter's price of $31 - came on the back of his maiden victory at Maryborough just a fortnight earlier. Xebec has now won two and placed in another two of his 10 career outings, the first three of which were for Yabby Dam's head trainer Anton Golino. Aubron said the plan was to now send the horse back to Menangle on May 25 for another Group 2, the Trots NSW 3YO Final. It's a further sign of doors opening for Aubron, who arrived in Australia close to five years ago primarily as a monte rider and joined Yabby Dam Racing after an initial stint with Craig Demmler. "It's really different from back home, the racing, but it's a really good country and good people," he said.   Tim O'Connor for Trots Media

All Cashed Up has been confirmed as the most recent Australian horse to be invited to compete in the IRT Harness Jewels at Addington Raceway on Saturday 1 June.   Following the announcement last week that Majestic Player will represent Anton Golino and Yabby Dam Farms in the 4yo Ruby, stablemate All Cashed Up will line up in the 3yo Ruby in the Green Harness Jewels colours also.   All Cashed Up is a son of Ready Kash and has won four of 13 career starts.   He was a brave third in Saturday night’s NSW Trotting Derby despite being attacked for the first half of the race when in front. He went down fighting and was not far off the winner despite working overtime early on in the race.   “He’s a tough bugger,” said Golino. “He’s a typical son of Ready Kash he has a little bit of a crazy streak to him but I think that’s what makes him good.”   Golino reported the horse has pulled up well and has come through Saturday night’s race in good order. (Full information can be found in the interview attached)   All Cashed Up is owned by Pat Driscoll of Yabby Dams Racing, which is an exclusive trotting focused farm, following European training styles and focusing on the best trotting bloodlines worldwide.   This is reflected in the breeding of All Cashed Up, being by Ready Kash out of a Kadabra mare.       Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

EMERGING speedster Majestic Player looks set to become the second Harness Jewels contestant for the giant Yabby Dams operation. Trainer Anton Golino took Dance Craze across to Cambridge for last year’s 4YO Jewels trot and would’ve gone close to winning with any luck. She’s since returned home, gone to another level with wins in the Great Southern Star and other features and shown the NZ trip was the making of her. Maybe Golino thinks it could be the same with Majestic Player, who made it 13 wins from just 25 starts when he won untouched in a 1min54.8sec mile at Menangle last night. Jewels recruiter Darrin Williams made it clear Majestic Player and Drop The Hammer – who ran fourth last night – were racing against each other for the Jewels invite. Majestic Player’s gate speed is lethal and he used it to lead and win as he liked last night. That gate speed will be huge with a kind draw at Addington on June 1. Golino said a Jewels trip was “very likely as long as he comes through this well.”   HRNZ

Yabby Dam Farms and Haras des Trotteurs will be offering this striking chestnut colt who will be going under the hammer as Lot 14 of the APTS on March 10 with all proceeds going to the Terang Harness Racing Club stable upgrade at Dalvui Raceway. The Terang Harness Owners, Trainers and Supporters Group has been fundraising $2M for about four years to build a new stabling facility. With APTS also waiving its fees from the sale of Lot 14, the only money from the purchase not going to the Terang Harness Raing Club fund will be GST. By Haras des Trotteurs successful French sire Used To Me out of My Dreamweaver, the well-bred colt is the fifth foal with all of his four elder siblings being winners. These include the 10-win mare My Chimera (T1.55.6,$63,360) who had two wins at 3, six metropolitan wins and a second placing in a Need For Speed heat, running fourth in the Gp1 final. Another half-sister to the colt, Cadenas Amour (TR1.58.3, $16, 970) has won three of her 17 starts with 4 placings, including a win at 3 and also ran 4th in a Breeders Crown heat. His 2YO older half-brother Dream Over has also had a win in his first three juvenile starts. His dam My Dreamweaver won 4 races and placed 10 times taking a time of 1.57.8TT. A New Zealand bred mare with pure American bloodlines, she is by Lindy Lane out of the imported mare Dreamlands Nancy. My Dreamweaver is a half to Gp2 winner Our Dreamlover (Love You) (TR1.59.6, $159,017) who won 16 races, including 9 at 3 and was the winner of a repechage of the Breeders Crown, and was also second in the Gp1 Vic Derby and third in the Gp2 Breeders Crown. As an aged horse he won the Gp2 Queensland Cup. My Dreamweaver is also a half to Ararat Cup winner Crown Dream (Tr1.59.7, $50,140) who won nine races, including two at 2, and five other winners. Lot 14 is eligible for the Vicbred $7000 First Win Bonus, Vicbred Platinum and Breeders Crown.

Three harness racing trotting winners on two continents in one day. That was the remarkable achievement of progeny from Yabby Dam Farms’ former Australasian Grand Circuit champion mare La Coocaracha this week. First out of the blocks at Bendigo was La Coocaracha son Mataderos, a 3YO Dream Vacation colt who was driven by Yabby Dam Racing’s Finnish track driver Anti Ruokenon in his first ever Australian race start. Trained by Anton Golino, and rated in front to perfection by Ruokenon, Mataderos cleared out to win by 8.5m to record his first win in impressive fashion, and also give the young Finn the perfect start to his Australian race driving career. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. The Golino stable’s star Dance Craze was the next up for La Coocaracha, competing in the first heat of the Lynn McPherson Breed for Speed Gold Series after her stunning win in the Great Southern Star. Glen Craven patiently drove the 5YO mare at the back of the field before unleashing a brilliant burst of speed in the home straight to claim the victory, the mare’s 16th in 26 starts. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. And then as the day turned night at the famous Yonkers track in North America, La Grange A won impressively in 1.56.3 on his American debut in a $20,000 conditioned event. Despite the dreaded eight pole, driver Yannick Gingras using his charge’s gate speed to get to the lead early and proved too strong for this conditioned field. La Grange, was sold in December through JC International’s John Curtin to Renee Spahr, and is a full brother to Dance Craze being a son of Muscle Hill out of La Coocaracha.  Like his two siblings, he was bred by Yabby Dam Farms and Haras des Trotteurs in Cardigan, Victoria and was a Group 2 winner during his 2- and 3-year-old seasons in Australia.  A November 2014 foal, La Grange is still a 4-year-old by Australian time, but is a 5-year-old in the U.S. because of the different breeding calendars and has now won seven of his 23 career races.     “He’s a nice horse,” trainer Per Engblom, told the US Trotting Association website prior to the race.  “From the way he feels when we’re training, that he’s a very strong horse. He can take a lot of air. He’s very clean gaited; I just hope he’s fast enough. He’s more of a grinder than a speed horse, but I think he’s OK.” Engblom’s feelings as it turned out were spot on.  “Hopefully we can get him into the Meadowlands in a class where he fits so we can get started there. He’s basically missing his 4-year-old year, so it’s going to be a big transition. We’ll see how he handles it. He was maybe a notch below the best ones Down Under, but he’s a real good horse. La Grange Is yet another product of the blossoming Australian trotting breeding program, which is now showing that it can produce trotters that can be competitive on the international stage, a path that has been successfully blazed by Down Under pacers for several years. Last year, another Muscle Hill colt Aldebaranwalkabout won two races, including a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, for owner and breeder Duncan McPherson’s Aldebaran Park Inc. Engblom also told the US Trotting website will point La Grange toward several upcoming series for older trotters and also made the stallion eligible to some stakes races. “I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for the early stakes, but by this fall I wouldn’t be surprised if he is,” Engblom said. “He’s got a series at Pocono, then we’ll see. We’ll see if he develops. He’s a big horse, so I think he’s going to be better with age. I think he’ll be OK.” Back at Yabby Dam Farms and Haras des Trotteurs in Australia, La Coocaracha is proving to be every bit the champion in the broodmare paddock as she was on the track.  She is also the dam of former Group one winner Reine Danzante (now in foal to Muscle Mass) while  a yearling colt by Andover Hall is breaking in beautifully and she also has a lovely filly by French sire Quaker Jet. Meanwhile La Coocaracha’s  9-win daughter La Biscuit is also the dam of a Group one winner in Royal Treat. The results are also in line with Yabby Dam Farms/Haras des Trotteurs mission to breed world class trotters while also continuing fellow breeder Duncan McPherson’s long stated ambition to internationalise trotting. Note: Yearling buyers should take notice of Lot 8, at the APTS Sale in Melbourne on March the 10th, a Dream Vacation colt from Meridith Castle, a half-sister to La Coocaracha, who has already produced Iona Grinner a trotting winner of over $217,000 and has a time of 1:55.1.   Harnesslink Media  

Don’t be surprised to see the trotting ranks bolstered at the APG Yearling Sales in Brisbane in the next few years. In 2018 Racing Queensland and international breeders, Haras de Trotteurs, have joined forces to stimulate the breeding of trotters in Queensland. Haras de Trotteurs and Yabby Dam Farms principal, Pat Driscoll, said the partnership gave participants the chance to win and take ownership of one of 14 well-bred broodmares.  “The offer was open to breeders, trainers, owners and trotting enthusiasts, who wanted to includes the ownership of a mare, with a free service to one of Haras des Trotteurs’ stallions for the first year. “The winners could have gone to any stallion but we were offering the free service to Used To Me, Dream Catcher, and En Solitaire,” Driscoll said. One such new owner(s) was delighted couple Brian McCall and Rachel Beaton. “This is a fantastic concept and those who organised it need to be applauded. We drew out Madam Commander (Majestic Son – Commander Jewel, NZ) and she is a lovely mare. “When the idea was first mooted we thought the mares would be old horses coming to the end of their breeding careers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth,” McCall said. “Madam Commander is just four and has huge breeding potential,” added the Queensland trainer and APG auction spotter. He said he put the mare to Haras de Trotteur's French stallion, Used To Me (Nuage De Lait – North Lane) twice this breeding season, but her cycles weren’t compatible. He said he would keep her fit until the next breeding season and likely head back to Used To Me again. “I liked the pedigree match-up,” McCall said. Driscoll said the concept was a ‘no brainer’. “I personally love trotters and wanted to provide a more solid base for them here in Queensland. They are a much more majestic animal than pacers. “Trotting is international whereas pacing seems to only be run in Australasia and North America. There is huge potential to be had here in Queensland,” Driscoll said. He said each mare that was offered must remain in Queensland for at least the initial breeding season to ensure offspring are QBRED eligible - with a minimum expectation that the foal’s first race start be in Queensland. “The new owner must also fund transport costs to Queensland for both the mare and semen,” Driscoll said. He also paid a tribute to fellow supporters of the concept - prominent trotting owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg and Racing Queensland. Racing Queensland Harness Development Strategy Manager, David Brick, said the generous offer would be a major stimulant to the local ranks. “Many thanks must go to Pat for this generous offer to help stimulate breeding in Queensland, and to Jeroen, who has been pivotal in helping to get it off the ground,” he said. Mr Driscoll said he was a passionate supporter of the trotting gait and hoped the initiative will kick start the breeding of trotters in Queensland and lead to the introduction of two-year-old trotting races in the state. Brick said the trotting gait had experienced a resurgence in recent years, driven largely by international wagering returns, and Australian breeders being able to access the best international breeding lines. He added a number of initiatives will be introduced in the coming season to grow racing opportunities for trotters, including enhancements to last year’s Winter Carnival program through the $20,000 Haras des Trotteurs Marathon and the $15,000 Haras des Trotteurs Mobile joining the $30,000 Seelite Windows and Doors Queensland Trotters Cup. “There will also be the new QBRED trotters features in 2018/19, and the introduction of a juvenile trotters series similar to the Foundation Series established in New South Wales,” Brick said. The ballot was drawn publically at Albion Park on Saturday July 7. The 14 new owners (with mares) are: John Edmunds (Bartali), Alex Cain (Bella Sorella), Gerard Maloney (Bigonluck), Gary and Jodey Whittaker (Calder Luck), Graydon McCoombes (Ella Galleon), Ken Wills (Eilish Monarch), Paul Morris (Fiona Jay),  Anthony Perkins (Lucky Love), Rachel Beaton (Madam Commander), Heather Warl (Majestic Elsa), Colin Knox (Mya Grace), Gary Chequer (My Dreamweaver), Rob Plunkett and Shane McConnell (Parisian Dancer), and Shane McConnell (Yankee Duchess).   By Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Yabby Dam racing's Beau Garcon's strong win in the Group 3 Breeders Crown 2YO Silver Trot was the icing on the cake for his sire Orlando Vici's impressive first season crop Down Under. With big race driver Anthony Butt in the sulky, Beau Garcon, took over the lead a lap out, stared down race favourite Alpha Male's challenge, and when he broke under pressure down the back straight, strode away from the field to win easing up to win by 14 metres from Yabby Dam Racing stablemate Hallaboutme. Trained by Anton Golino at Cardigan, Beau Garcon was Orlando Vici's third individual winner, from an Australian crop of 11 foals, with no less than six making the races, and, with his only New Zealand colt included, four making the Breeders Crown finals last weekend.  Trainer Anton Golino and Driver Anthony Butt, pictured with Beau Garçon Orlando Vici has been a standout sire in Europe, a consistent top ten stallion in France and a top five stallion in Sweden, whose progeny have won age-group black type in six nations and whose durability, is shown by his veteran son Un Mec d'Heripre capturing the Cagnes-sur-Mer GP des Alpes-Maritimes in the past week at the age of 10. Beau Garcon is a product of all- French breeding, with his imported dam Glenferrie Unixa having produced group winners with her first two foals, her previous offspring being the multi-Group one winning filly Une Belle Allure, who completed the Victoria Trotters Derby and Oaks double last season.   Dave Sanders  

Always Ready rewrote Maryborough's record books with a blistering run in the final Breeders Crown heat, setting the stage for a ripping finals night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Thursday's heats at Maryborough narrowed the Breeders Crown contenders for the prized finals on August 25, with $90,000 up for grabs in the two-year-old classes and $75,000 in the three-year-olds. None were more impressive than Yabby Dam Farms trotter Always Ready, with the Vicbred and Tatlow Stakes winner and Redwood Classic runner-up stopping the clock at a 2:00.8 mile rate, cutting a second off Wobelee's two-year-old track record. That was the eighth of the days heats and provided a clearer picture of who would contest the Crown finals, though final fields will not be declared until the commencement of tomorrow night's meeting at Bendigo in line with the pacing finals. Below are the fields as they stand ahead of the barrier draws, which will feature as part of the festivities for tomorrow's pacing semi-finals at Lords Raceway. The draws will be streamed live at www.thetrots.com.au in a special barrier draw telecast hosted by Rob Auber and Craig Rail. Tune in from 5pm. For more details click here. Yabby Dam Racing Breeders Crown 3YO trottting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 3 (6.02pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. CADENAS DAMOUR NZ DI LI HADES SKY MAR PACIFICO MEADOW VALLEY SKY MOONLIGHT DREAM MOONSHINE LINDA OUR SHOW GAIT NZ PARISIAN OPERA PRETTY MAJESTIC THE GREAT REDEEMER NZ WILKES BARRE ALEPPO JEWEL (1st Em) Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO trotting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 4 (6.34pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. COMMAND ME DENEUVE STAR EMERALD STRIDE GATESYS ALLEY GEORGIAS PRIDE IMSETTOGO MY LITTLE COMET ORLANDO STORM SLEEPEE SO TICKLE ME PINK NZ STARLIGHT RED WALKABOUT SUNRISE DELAROSE (1st Em) Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO trottings colts and geldings final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 5 (7.02pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. ALDEBARAN PETE ALDEBARAN WILLO NZ ANYWHERE HUGO FIELDS OF KYVALLEY IMPERIAL WHIZ NZ KYVALLEY FINN LA GRANGE MAJESTIC COURTNEY NZ MAJESTIC PLAYER NEXTA NUNN STRESS FACTOR NZ WHIZZBANG DAN DELLSUN (1st Em) Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown two-year-old trotting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 6 (7.30pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. ALDEBARAN ROCKY ALWAYS READY ARCHLEO CALIGULA NZ DREAM MASTAR JILLIBY BULLDOG KYVALLEY CLICHY MAJESTUOSO NZ MONTPELLIER ONEOFTHECLAN ORLANDO JOLT NZ XEBEC GLAD ALL OVER CRITICAL ADVANTAGE (1st Em) Michael Howard Trots Media

French super stallion Ready Cash scored his first group one successes in Australia with Always Ready winning the Vicbred Super Series 2YO Colts and Geldings Final and followed that up with a group one placing with 2YO filly Par Ici. Bearing the stamp of Ready Cash in both looks and action Always Ready kicked the Vicbred Super Series finals off with an all the way win in the 2YO Colts after fighting hard to get to the lead, controlling the tempo and then impressively kicking away from the field from the 600m mark. Later in the evening Ready Cash filly Par Ici was shuffled back on the inside rail, but finished on gamely to pick up a third placing in the Group one Vibred Super Series 2YO Fillies Final. Anton Golino trains the pair at Yabby Dam Farms in Cardigan, Victoria. Yabby Dam Farms proprietor Pat Driscoll secured a small amount of Ready Cash frozen semen before his sons and daughters created a storm on the track through the likes of Prix d’Amerique winners Bold Eagle and Readly Express and multiple group one winners Brillantissime and Bird Parker. Anton and Always Ready The winner of 40 races, 8 at Group one level including two Prix de Amerique, Ready Cash has topped the French sires premiership in each of the six crops he has sired. And his son Brillantissime has just began his stud career in sensational fashion leading the French qualifiers with 22 qualifiers already with Love You and Ready Cash superstar Bold Eagle joint second on 12. Bold Eagle is out of a Love You mare. Ready Cash himself Is joint fourth on the table with 10 qualifers, while Bird Parker another son of Ready Cash has 9 qualifiers.  Yabby Dam Farms and Haras des Trotteurs are standing the first son of Ready Cash in New Zealand this year, in En Solitaire, who is bred on the same cross as Bold Eagle.   Dave Sanders

Haras des Trotteurs and Yabby Dam Farms are delighted to announce the arrival at their Ballarat stud of exciting new stallion En Solitaire, who is the first son of French siring phenomenon Ready Cash and will be available fresh to breeders in both Australia and New Zealand for the upcoming season. Yabby Dam Farms owner Pat Driscoll has bought a 50% share in the stallion with En Solitaire’s breeder Jean Pierre Dubois who stands Love You and a bevy of France’s top stallions at the prestigious Haras de la Brosse in Normandy. Breeders in Australia and New Zealand will this season be able to access the genetics of the French siring sensation Ready Cash who has dominated European trotting since with the likes of 15 time Group 1 winner Bold Eagle and Group one winners Readly Express, Bird Parker, Django Riff, Charly du Noyer, Cash Crowe, Brillantissime, Avila, Vash Top, Vamp Kronos and recent winner Traders. Bred on same cross as the sensational Bold Eagle and the Group winning new sires Atlas des Joudes and Cash And Go, En Solitaire represents the cutting edge of French breeding which is taking the trotting world by storm. Ready Cash, his sons Bold Eagle and Brillantissime and established sires Orlando Vici and Love You are in high demand in Scandinavian trotting powerhouses Sweden and Norway, producing horses which this year won the likes of trotting’s most prestigious race the Prix d’Amerique in France. En Solitaire is from a Love You sister to millionaire group one winning sire Kaisy Dream, and group winning sire Paisy Dream plus 15 other winners including two others who subsequently stood at stud in France. Sold for a big sum after showing outstanding ability as an early 2YO, En Solitaire suffered a serious injury in transit to his new owners and was returned to Haras de la Brosse and was subsequently, unable to stand up to training in time to take part in the rich age-group racing programme which ultimately decides French stallion careers. French racing opportunities are based solely on earnings, and En Solitaire lost a race against time in order to take part in the 4YO season and Haras de la Brosse reluctantly pulled the pin. En Solitiaire will however be put into training in Australia at Yabby Dam Racing’s adjacent stable at Cardigan under Anton Golino with a view of competing in Australasia if he is able to recover fully from his injury, but this will not affect his ability to serve mares during the upcoming season. En Solitaire is likely to provide a great outcross for New Zealand mares, bringing a powerful mix of the most modern bloodlines seen repeatedly in world class horses. EN SOLITAIRE carries the breed changing US stallion Speedy Somolli, and the highly influential French stallion Caprior doubled up in the maternal line, through the combination of his dam Daisy Chain and of course his sire, Love You who has been so successful with New Zealand mares. En Solitaire will stand alongside fellow European stallions, exciting Group winner Used To Me, is part owned by la Perrière and Love You entire Dreamcatcher, who is part-owned by French stud Haras des Rouges Terres. Like Haras des Trotteurs other resident stallions, all of EN SOLITAIRE's New Zealand foals are Vicbred eligible. The stud fees for all Haras des Trotteurs stallions will be announced in the near future. Harnesslink Media  

Tasracing will officially welcome back the trotting gait to Tasmania’s Standardbred harness racing industry from 1 July next year. Tasracing chief executive officer Vaughn Lynch said trotting races would be regularly scheduled from next year. “Trotting is the most popular gait internationally, especially throughout France and in Scandinavian countries where they race trotters exclusively,” he said. “It is an important step forward for the local industry. “We are confident that this will give Tasmanian harness racing the opportunity to be exported around the world.” The announcement that trotting is set to return to Tasmania coincided with Yabby Dam Racing, a leading Victorian-based trotting establishment, becoming the naming rights sponsor of the 2017 Australian Drivers’ Championship to be held in Hobart on 28 October 2017. Principal Pat Driscoll said sponsorsing the drivers’ championship in Hobart was the perfect way for Yabby Dam Racing to engage with the Tasmanian industry. “I am obviously very supportive of the reintroduction of trotting in Tasmania from next year,” he said. “We are very much looking forward to working with local owners and trainers to build the trotting population in the state.” TasRacing

A big camp’s investment and a young man’s persistence both paid off with Une Belle Allure claiming the $60,000 IRT Need For Speed Prince Final at Tabcorp Park Melton. The victory delivered harness racing driver Zac Phillips his first Group 1 success less than a week after his 21st birthday and capped a dominant performance by trainer Anton Golino and owner Pat Driscoll’s Yabby Dam Farms. Having qualified six for the $60,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies, Golino’s crew preceded to fill the first four placings with Une Belle Allure winning by a half-head from favourite Dance Craze, with Nieta 5.7m back in third and My Chimera claiming fourth. “It’s a great thrill,” Golino said. “We worked hard for this, it was a big night, we had a lot of horses in it. It doesn’t always mean that you get the job done, this is satisfying.” That it was his Angus Hall three-year-old who saluted was no surprise to Golino. “I thought she was our best last year as a two-year-old. She had a horrible prep, a few things went wrong, she got sick, she got kicked. We sort of rushed her there and she didn’t probably perform as well as we thought she could. “She’s come back super this season and she’s shown that again tonight.” Phillips guided Une Belle Allure to the front from gate three with Diz Luck on his outside when they settled before Dance Craze joined him at the bell. A 32.3 second quarter sured up the leaders’ control of the race and after a 29.8 third quarter they would have plenty left in the final straight. Dance Craze loomed in Gavin Lang’s hands but Une Belle Allure fought on and when they hit the line a half-head was enough to give Phillips his crowning moment. “It’s a massive thrill. I’ve dreamt of winning a Group 1 for as long as I can remember and to do it on trotting’s night of nights, it really means a lot to me,” Phillips said. “To Anton and the team, for them to give me the opportunity, I really can’t explain how grateful I am to them. “It just shows the quality of people they are, they do a great job with their team and put a lot into the sport.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Sean McCaffrey described his last drive at Cambridge Raceway yesterday (Tuesday) as one of his most satisfying. The 57-year-old, who leaves for Australia this month to work at Yabby Dam Farms in Ballarat, won the $6,000 Sean McCaffrey Farewell Mobile for the R50 to R57 pacers behind the Ross Paynter trained Lambros. McCaffrey and Paynter were training partners up until this month. It was Lambros's third win in 20 starts and his second on the track. He was the $19.60 sixth favourite. “This feels pretty special. One of my more satisfying wins you could say. It’s a great way to bow out all right. I’ve lived in Cambridge for 50 years and this is a special way to say goodbye,” McCaffrey said in the winner’s circle immediately after the race. “The horse went super. I’m delighted for Ross,” he added. McCaffrey and Lambros led from gate two and stayed there throughout. As they crossed the finishing the line, McCaffrey gave the small crowd a big assertive army-like salute. “Did you like that? That was the last salute,” he joked. The R52-rated Lambros paced the 2200m mobile in 2:43.3 (mile rate 1:59.4) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 60.8 and 29.5. The brown Bettor's Delight 3-year-old gelding had two-and-a-half lengths and half a head to spare over Are You Ready Girl (David Butcher) and Tact Ollie (Peter Ferguson). “He’s been unlucky in his last few races and if I ever wanted to win behind him, it was today. He felt real good and hopefully it won’t be his last for Ross,” McCaffrey said. McCaffrey has lived in Cambridge for 50 years and will be farm manager at Pat Driscoll’s Yabby Dam Farms. “I went to the Sales with Pat last September and built up a good rapport with him. Then not long ago he asked me if I wanted to relocate to his magnificent farm and after some thought my wife, Joanne, and I agreed to move,” said McCaffrey. Meanwhile, Thames trainer Paul Springall believed one-on-one training was the secret behind The Last Gamble’s sudden form reversal following the 4-year-old mare’s third consecutive win in his colours at Cambridge Raceway yesterday (Tuesday). The trotter than finished 100 lengths last at the Thames meeting on January 21 has now won at Cambridge Raceway twice (also February 16), and New Plymouth (March 2) “Jay (Abernethy) knew I was on the lookout for a trotter and he gave her to me at our Thames meeting. I haven’t even had her for two months and already she’s developing into one of the best horses I have trained,” Springall said. “Tender loving care, the big Thames track and good tucker I think are some of the reasons why she has thrived,” he added. The Last Gamble simply out-stayed her seven opponents in yesterday’s $7,000 Garrard's Horse & Hound Handicap for the $9 and faster trot. Driven by Arna Donnelly for the first time, the Great Success mare trotted the 2700m stand in 3:32.9 (mile rate 2:06.8) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 61.9 and 30.8. She was the $8.20 fourth favourite. "I think she appreciates working on a big track compared to say amongst other horses in a big team. She really enjoys her work and can do eight rounds of the Thames track at good speed. “That’s why I thought she might out-stay them today. She has quite a bit of stamina and can grind her opposition down if she gets her own way,” Springall said. Donnelly agreed. “That was a great pick-up drive. All I had to do was just sit there and steer really. She did the rest. A real armchair drive,” the modest Cambridge horsewoman said. The Last Gamble was disqualified from her first three starts last October because of branding issues when racing under a different name. But Abernethy said he was now delighted for Springall. “We had trouble getting her to go away and we did a few saddle trots with her. I always liked her and I thought she might thrive on a change of scenery. Good on Paul. I hope he gets a few more wins out of her too,” Abernethy said. Duane Ranger

An emerging trotting powerhouse fired its first shot in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series, with Aldebaran Eve winning the three-year-old fillies’ final at Tabcorp Park Melton Friday night for harness racing trainer Anton Golino and owner Pat Driscoll. Having established Yabby Dam Farms at Cardigan, near Ballarat, Driscoll and Golino won with the filly by Skyvalley out of Aldebaran Dream, who Greg Sugars put into the box seat from barrier one and had the most tickets left in the straight. “It’s a real thrill for Pat and Anton to score a winner in the Vicbred series, their first since setting up and moving down to Victoria,” Sugars said. “They are a terrific outfit and great group of people, not only those two but all the workers around them. It’s a privilege to be associated with them.” Golino said he “appreciated” the win “a lot”, lauding “all my staff and Greg for such a great drive”. Aldebaran Eve was steered to the leader’s back from barrier one, with favourite Into The Unknown taking the breeze outside the leader, second favourite Princess Phoenix. Come the final straight and Into The Unknown found the challenge too much, enabling Aldebaran Eve to peel off the leader’s back and run a 29.8 final quarter to win by 1.7m in a 2:00.6 mile rate. “She’s a nice little filly, she’s getting better with every start and we said after the heat we just need a good draw, one would be nice and that’s what she got and that’s what won us the race.” The win came as something of a surprise for the stable, with Sugars admitting this one had “probably been at the bottom of the list” of the Yabby Dams crew. For owner Driscoll, it made victory all the sweeter. “It’s quite a thrill,” he said. “A bit unexpected, because she was probably the least of the runners we have here tonight. It was a great drive by Greg and a wonderful training performance by Anton.” Michael Howard Harnes Racing Victora

Harness Racing Trainer Anton Golino and owner Pat Driscoll combined to win Saturday night’s NSW Trotters Oaks at Tabcorp Park Menangle with talented filly Pizza Queen.  The daughter of Credit Winner was purchased from the 2014 Harrisburg Sale for $100,000 and produced a big upset as she ran down short priced favourite High Gait in the shadows of the winning post. Golino had three runners in the NSW Oaks and Pizza Queen was the longest priced filly of his trio. “I thought she would need a good trip to win but in saying that she has always had ability and she did run second and third behind High Gait in the heats of the Need For Speed,” Golino said. “I wasn’t overly confident or anything but I thought she’d be in the finish with the right run.  Her work in the lead up to the Oaks was great and she had come on a fair bit in the last fortnight.” Pizza Queen is out of top race mare Armbro Domino.  She won $275,000 during her career on the track and was sold for $260,000 after the birth of her first foal in 2008. “Pizza Queen is beautifully bred, she’s by Credit Winner, he is a great sire in America and he stands in New York.  Her mother performed very well on the track.” “Noel Daley picked her out for us from Harrisburg, he did all the research and he got it right so we’re very happy.” While Golino has decided to keep fourth-placed finisher Courchevel in Sydney for next Saturday night’s NSW Trotters Derby, Pizza Queen and Dream Island will return to Victoria. “They’ll both come home for the Victorian Oaks, they left Sydney on Monday.  Courchevel’s run was really good on Saturday night, she got a little bit too far back but she got home well and hit the line strongly. “Courchevel is awkwardly gaited, she’s got a lot of ability when she does everything right.  She’s had a few little niggling issues, we’re starting to get on top of them but I think she’ll develop into a very nice mare next season.” Golino confirmed he has enjoyed the transition from New South Wales to Victoria. “Yes I’m loving it, there are plenty of racetracks to pick from.  The farm is coming along very well and full credit must go to Pat Driscoll because he has worked his butt off to get this place up and going. “We’re getting there slowly, it’s been a good time here so far but winter’s coming up and I’m definitely not looking forward to that.” Greg Hayes

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