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One of the many side affects of our open access to the best stallions in North America through shuttling and frozen semen is how much harder it has become for new stallions to gain a foothold in the market early in the career. Such is the Lot of Santanna Blue Chip. One of the same foal crop as Somebeachsomewhere--- Shadow Play---and Art Offical. Santanna Blue Chip more than held his own, winning $1,623,000 as a two and three year olds against arguably the best crop of 2+3 yr olds in the last 20 years. He stood his first year at stud in Ontario and those horses raced as two year olds in North America last year. He ended his first season in 14th place on the stakes won list which was a repectable effort in his debut season. They have gone with it at three with his stock earning in excess of $1,000,000 this season already  and he presently sits in the top 20 stake earning stallions for 3 yr olds  in North America. Every young sire needs a flag bearer and for Santanna Bluechip that horse is Windsong Jack (1:49:4 and $$447,000) who is highly regarded in North America. First available to NZ breeders in 2009 he has had foal crops of 65 followed by 52 and 46. Then on the back of his North American results and the many positive reports from trainers and breakers in, he served 114 mares in his fourth year. So expectations were high when his first 2 yr olds hit the track in Australasia in 2012.   To say they were disappointing would be an understatement. Only one winner and a handful of starters didn't bode well for his future. But as is the way with a lot of stallions, as 3yr olds the initial promise is slowly but surely being fulfilled.   With a one third of the season over he already has 20 qualifiers of which four have won with several more being placed  recently. Horses such as Carlos Santana - Call Me Yours - Macy Bluechip and Avalon Bromac have all shown above average ability in their public outings to date.   Hardly a meeting goes bye at the moment without another Santanna Blue Chip popping out of the woodword. And his second crop have started the right way with the super impressive Smokin n Santanna winning effortlessly at yesterday"s Addington trials.   With his North American crops continuing to perform (18 in 1:53 and stakes approaching $2,000,000) ,his down under stock are slowly but surely establishing a record they can be proud of. JC   This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink will be doing with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires available in Australasia.   Elsu - Redemption awaits   McArdle - The quiet achiever  

It was a quiet midweek meeting at Bendigo when stewards were notified Talk To The Hand was a late scratching from race two. There was an unusual but rock solid reason for the horse pulling out. The evergreen winner of 11 races had - for reasons which are unclear - become gravely ill, forcing it to be put down. "Talk To The Hand was a late scratching at 6.34pm on veterinary advice," a Harness Racing Victoria stewards report stated. Two months on, Talk To The Hand's unexpected demise remains the subject of an inquiry by stewards. They began examining the matter after their own inquiries established the reason for his scratching from the Alabar Bloodstock Claiming Pace, due to run at 7pm over 2150m. The stewards started looking further into the matter the next day. Talk To The Hand's body was located and samples taken for testing. Analysis of those is still not complete, the Herald Sun has been told. Several people have been contacted by stewards, including trainer Glenn Douglas, who was to have driven Talk To The Hand on the night. Douglas, who is based at Strathfieldsaye, near Bendigo, said he did not know what had caused the horse to fall ill. "We'll know more soon. I'll talk to you after they've had their inquiry," he said. Douglas said all horse deaths were the subject of a stewards investigation. HRV chief operating officer Brant Dunshea confirmed there was an "ongoing investigation into the death of the horse." Talk To The Hand was a tough campaigner who was expected to start favourite in the Bendigo race. His 85 career race starts had yielded 11 wins and 36 minor placings for a total of $81,503 in prizemoney. Among those were wins at Tabcorp Park in Melton, the state's premier track. By Mark Buttler (Courtesy of

Dubbo Harness Racing Club has once again assembled a good line up of stallion services for its 2013 Red Ochre Stallion Service Tender according to organiser Brett Wrigley. We have some excellent stallion services up for grabs thanks to the generous sponsorship of the studs involved. Interested buyers should start bidding now on the web at Wrigley said he would like to remind buyers that all funds raised from the tender support the prestigious Red Ochre Mares Classic Cup series which is conducted each year during the Dubbo Carnival of Cups. Online bidders can secure services to the listed stallions provided they are the highest bidder at the close of auction which is 4pm on Friday 18 October 2013. Stallion Services up for auction include: Grinfromeartoear @Alabar Bloodstock, Cammibest @Burwood Stud, John Street North @ Yiribee Stud, Righteous Hanover @Rosswood Stud & Major In Art service donated by Lester Hoy. The Club would like to thank the abovementioned donors who have all been long time supporters of the Red Ochre Classic. The Club encourages those with mares to support their sponsors who have been extremely generous given the current breeding climate, adding this event would not be possible without their support. Wrigley would also like to inform bidders that all bids are automatically uploaded to the website as they are submitted, so please support the Dubbo Club and Red Ochre Mares Classic and start bidding today. If you are interested in placing a bid for a service but don't have access to a computer or internet contact Brett Wrigley at the Dubbo Club on 0407 995 930 or Lester Hoy 0457 647 919 who will lodge bids on your behalf. Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Sisters to a multitude of Group and classic winners and a smattering of top racemares adorn the catalogue for the Alabar Blue Ribbon Yearling and Broodmare Sale, to be held on Sunday, October 6 at Alabar Bloodstock, Echuca. The sale comprises 95 lots - including 65 broodmares, most of which are carrying positive tests to some of the world's leading stallions. The list includes sires the calibre of Mach Three, Art Major, Shadow Play, Roll With Joe, Sportswriter, Live Or Die, Grinfromeartoear, Armbro Operative, Village Jasper, Mister Big, Mr Feelgood and others. Uncork, Libra Jaccka and Glacier Bay, all classic-winning juveniles, are part of a strong contingent of quality racemares catalogued that also includes Machinegun Molly, Cunning Kate, Dame Rainbow, Dontsayawordbut, Our Vanessa and Signyourlifeaway and trotters Kim's Fantasy, Speedy Naomi and Pocket Fantasy. Among the offering are sisters/half-sisters to the Derby winners Bella's Boy (Vic.), Robust Rock (SA) and Bo Jasper (Tas.), a half-sister to the Vicbred champion Master Maori and a sister to the SA Oaks winner Gem Of Reibey. There's sisters to former 2YO of the year Lombo Skyrider and 3YO Filly of the year Nemeeshar and half-sisters to Grand Circuit stars Wally Walton and Hexus and to the top NZ juvenile After The Reckoning. Sparkles A Plenty, the dam of the former darling of Albion Park, Sparkling Melody, and who carries a positive to Sportswriter, will also create plenty of interest. The sale will begin at 1pm and will be preceded by a parade of Alabar stallions at 11am. The online catalogue for the Alabar sale can be viewed at Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Peter Dow on 0412 195 986 or the office on (02) 6884 8355 or email By Peter Wharton  

Weanlings by the well credentialled sires Shadow Play, Art Official, Major In Art, Grinfromeartoear, Tell All and Skyvalley will go up for auction at the Alabar Blue Ribbon Yearling and Broodmare Sale to be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on Sunday, October 6 at Alabar Bloodstock, Echuca. A total of 27 yearlings have been nominated including four by both Major In Art and Santanna Blue Chip and two by Shadow Play and Art Official. The offering includes a half-brother by Grinfromeartoear to the Spring Championship winner Crimson Knight, a Santanna Blue Chip grandson of Majestic Tess (Breeders Plate), a Kenneth J half-brother to the Inter Dominion heat winner Faking It, an Allamerican Ingot colt out of a half-sister to Wally Walton, a Safari filly out of the Bathurst Gold Tiara winner Donna Lombo, Shadow Play and Major In Art fillies both closely related to Rocknrolla. There’s yearling colts and fillies from the families of ‘black type’ performers Alta Christiano, Saint Flash, Hilarious Guest, Her Sparky Self, Gotanedge, Six Oclock Rock and Newsbreaker. The sale also features broodmares in-foal to leading sires such as Art Major, Mach Three, Rock N Roll Heaven, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Shadow Play, Mr Feelgood, Sportswriter, Village Jasper, Roll With Joe, Mister Big and Grinfromeartoear. The online catalogue for the Alabar Blue Ribbon sale can be viewed at Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Peter Dow on 0412 195 986 or the office on (02) 6884 8355 or email by Peter Wharton

In an exciting decision by the Mildura Harness Racing Club, they have announced that effective from 1 January 2014, stakes will increase to $6,000 minimum per race at the venue. In another show of strength from the progressive club, the announcement comes that a full two months prior to Harness Racing Victoria raising the stakes to $6,000; the Mildura Club will self-fund the additions. The increases are aimed at the grassroots of the trots industry by providing a $50 fee to any horse that finishes between sixth and last. In another major coup for the club, the Mark Gurry and Associates Cup will rise from $25,000 to $30,000 and become a Group 3 race this season. Seelite Windows And Doors have also seen the potential in one of the greatest Country Cup carnivals around the nation by adding the Mildura Trotters Cup to their sponsorship repertoire; the race increases from $12,000 to $14,000. The injection of funds by the Mildura Harness Racing Club is set to top $24,000 which is another sign that the state’s far north-west is continuing to prosper. Another sign of the support in the area is the fact that the 2014 Alabar Bloodstock Northern Region Championship has been boosted from $20,000 to $25,000 and awarded listed race status for this year’s final at Swan Hill on March 19. Harness Racing Victoria

The “Trots” returned to the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Thursday September 12, when the Nyah HRC stages a compact seven event harness racing card. The theme for the night was excitement after a thrilling dead-heat was signalled in the opening event on the program – the Nevele R Stud Pace for C0 class over 1609 metres between Stonethachristian and Nuggetpan. Stonethachristian’s performance was gigantic, as he race three wide for almost the entire journey from gate six before joining the pacemaker and favourite Bazzas Art approaching the home turn. Surging clear in the straight with Nuggetpan in hot pursuit after following him throughout, the pair hit the wire in unison with the judge unable to declare an outright winner. A 5-Y-0 gelded son of Christian Cullen and Life Of Perfection trained by Mark Thompson in Rochester and driven by Michael Bellman, Stonethachristian recorded his 5th victory in 46 outings, while Nuggetpan a lightly raced 6-Y-0 gelding by The Wrath Of Pan from Fly Home trained at Pyramid Hill by Andrew Grogan with Brian Gath in the sulky was making only his third appearance at the races. The Reverend Black (three back the markers) finished third after being wide on the final bend. The mile rate being a brilliant 1-55.9. The Morley Park Stud Pace for C1 class was taken out by Merbein South owner/trainer Jason McGinty’s Kiwi bred 8-Y-0 Live Or Die/Andos Prospect gelding Gone Cruzin in a rate of 2-00.4. Driven by Nathan Jack, Gone Cruzin starting inside the second row enjoyed a cosy passage trailing the poleline leader Macray Divale, before using the sprint lane to score from Woodlea Cosmos (one/three – three wide last lap), with Los Bravos (three back the markers) third after also using the sprint lane. It was an all Mildura trifecta. It was another tight finish in the Global Stallions Pace for C0 class (mares), with Stanhope trainer/driver Gary Pekin’s 4-Y-0 daughter of Grinfromeartoear and Illawong Fabulous Illawong Fantasia greeting the judge. Despite spending all of the race parked outside the leader and favourite Carbon Cate (gate three) drawn inside her, Illawong Fantasia raced by wife Jane prevailed by a nose in a tricky finish over the fast finishing My Lishi (six wide home turn) from last in a mile rate of 1-59.8. Haryda Hanover finished third from three back in the moving line. Strathfieldsaye brothers Glenn and Daryl Douglas who usually win a race or two at most Nyah meetings, landed the Alabar Bloodstock Pace for C4 to C6 class over 2240 metres with 6-Y-0 Live Or Die/Kutas Lass gelding Itsnewstome in a rate of 2-00.2. Restrained from outside the front line at the start to settle at the tail of the field with the stablemate and favourite Run Forrest leading from gate three, Daryl sent Itsnewstome forward approaching the home straight on the first occasion to surprisingly be handed the front running on a platter. After an easy time, Itsnewstome kicked away on the home turn with Run Forrest using the sprint line to issue a half hearted challenge, so much so that Shelby Cruzin (three back the markers) was able to also use the sprint lane to dead-heat for second, with Itsnewstome scoring by 1.8 metres. On returning to the all clear, an interesting protest was lodged by both placegetters against each other which was subsequently dismissed. Glenn Douglas was again a winner when honest 6-Y-0 Flight N Irish/Blueberry Kris gelding Patos Wallet snared the Woodlands Stud Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres. Taking a concession for Bolinda based Josh Duggan, Patos Wallet starting from the extreme draw possied three back in the moving line, with Luke Watson’s East West Star leading from gate three. Easing three wide solo in the final circuit, Patos Wallet surged clear on the home turn, winning by 1.4 metres in advance of Wrinkle Knutt (one/three), with Lerrad Maharg (three back the markers – four wide home turn) running home late for third. The mile rate 1-58.4. It was Patos Wallet’s 5th victory in 47 outings. On what was a great night for the Mildura McGinty’s, former Kiwi gelding Cyclone Mach was successful in the Warwick Stud Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres in a rate of 1-57.1. Trained by Brian (Jason’s father), Cyclone Mach driven by Michael Bellman was taken back from outside the front row to settle at the rear. Sent forward three wide uncovered in the last lap, Cyclone Mach ran to the wire in impressive fashion to score by 4.2 metres from the heavily supported leader Who Broke Our Halo (gate five), with Primo Tapia (gate six) a game third after racing in the open. The Goodtime Lodge Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1609 metres concluded the meeting and the long odds-on favourite Spokewoman was an easy winner in 1-58. Prepared at Mildura by last season’s state leading trainer Shayne Cramp, Spokewoman (gate two) driven by Nathan Jack crossed the pacemaker Lycoming Racer inside her at the bell, before coasting to the wire 6.9 metres in advance of Joe Costa’s Life Of Ted (one/two) and Elle Jasper along the sprint lane from three back the markers. *** The next Nyah meeting will be Cup Night on Saturday October 19. Len Baker    

Ninety-five nominations have been received for the 2013 Alabar Blue Ribbon Yearling and Broodmare Sale, which will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty  Ltd on Sunday, October 6 at Alabar Bloodstock, Echuca.   The online catalogue for the Alabar sale can be viewed at Hardcopy catalogues can be requested from Peter Dow on 0412 195 986 or the office on (02) 6884 8355 or email   A strong selection of stallions are represented in the catalogue such as Major In Art (4 lots), Santanna Blue Chip (4), Shadow Play (2), Allamerican Ingot (2), Art Official, Grinfromeartoear and Tell All.   Broodmares are in foal to highly credentialled stallions including Mach Three, Art Major, Rock N Roll Heaven, Roll With Joe, Shadow Play, Sportswriter, Armbro Operative, Village Jasper, Live Or Die, Four Starzzz Shark, Grinfromeartoear and Mister Big.   Among the broodmare contingent are the Group or Listed winning racemares Uncork, Libra Jaccka, Glacier Bay, Kims Fantasy and Speedy Naomi.   The sale will begin at 1pm and will be preceded by a parade of Alabar stallions at 11am.   By Peter Wharton

For the 2013 breeding season WASBA is again running our Stallion Service Raffle, with support this year from Alabar Farms and Pepper Tree Farms.

As part of our Breeders Challenge sponsorship with Alabar Bloodstock, Harness Racing NSW will proudly offer services to both Art Major and Mach Three again this season.

Obahma Joy pulled off a last to first win when booming down the outside for harness racing trainer-driver Blake Fitzpatrick to claim Group One glory in the $100,000 Mister Big Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge for the 4YO Mares.

Mach Beauty today confirmed what many have long thought; he is a harness racing star of the future.

Next Sunday afternoon SA BOTRA is holding one of its biggest harness racing fund raisers of the year when it hosts their Christmas In July function at Globe Derby Park with special guest speaker Gary Hall Senior, apart from the fun and good time to be had over lunch with Hall, breeders will have a chance to pick up a bargain at the annual stallion auction.

"Of all the horses I've driven he'd have the biggest heart."

What a night for harness racing first crop sire Major In Art at Bathurst on Wednesday. He sired the winners of both finals of the Gold Crown Yearling Sale Graduate series in Lagoon Stride (colt) and Goodtime Stride (filly). Both are out of Fake Left mares and were bred by Wayne and Anne Lamb and owned by Emilio and Maria Rosati.

Minister for Racing Denis Napthine today visited one of Australia's biggest and most successful harness racing studs and inspected the white foal, which has captured the imagination of the industry. Dr Napthine said Alabar Bloodstock, located in northern Victoria at Koyuga, was a mainstay in Victoria's racing industry as well as key local employer.

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