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The Southern Hemisphere's largest standardbred stud farm, Alabar, are standing some of the finest harness racing stallions in the world but one of those stallions, Always B Miki seems to have hit the jackpot. Always B Miki has a total of 112 two-year-olds with 53 starters and 23 race winners with just on $2 million in earnings to date. His service fee in the USA was at $12,500 in 2020 and has been announced at the same price for 2021. Down Under his service fee is just $7,000 this season and appears to be a real bargain. His first crop to the races has produced to date an outstanding group of top two-year-olds including five $100,000 plus winners, three colts and two fillies. The amazing thing about Always B Miki is that he has shown he can leave champion horses with his first crop, something all breeders pray and hope for. Always B Miki has the two richest pacing two-year-olds in North America, Southwind Gendry $583,069 (13 starts 10 wins) and the unbeaten Perfect Sting $534,300 (10 starts 10 wins). His other $100,000 plus winners are the colt Always A Miki $147,708 (11 starts 3 wins) and the two fillies JK Alwaysbalady $214,407 (9 starts 2 wins) and Grace Hill $210,947 (7 starts 4 wins). It is interesting to note what dam-sires these Always B Miki five two-year-olds were out of; Southwind Gendry is out of a Cams Card Shark mare Gamblers Passion p3, 1:50.4 ($123,100) Perfect Sting is out of a Bettors Delight mare Shebestingin p3, 1:47 ($760,038) JK Alwaysbalady is out of a Art Major mare JK Shesalady p2, 1:50.1 ($972,730) Grace Hill is out of a Western Terror mare Western Silk p3, 1:50.1 ($1,729,708) Always A Miki is out of a Somebeachsomewhere mare Beach Gal p3, 1:49.3 ($506,170) Southwind Gendry There is no doubt that Always B Miki is having a sensational first crop to the races. It remains to be seen just how much of an impact he is going to make on the breeding scene long term! Harnesslink Media

AUSSIE pacing sensation Ride High will race on for another two years as part of a massive deal by Alabar Farm’s Alan Galloway to buy a half-share. The deal was sealed just before Ride High won his 10th successive race at Shepparton last night and took his career record to 15 wins from just 16 starts. Neither Gleeson or Galloway would disclose what the sale valued Ride High at, but it’s believed to smash all records for a Down Under pacer. “We’ve agreed to a deal, all that’s pending is a fertility test on Monday,” Ride High’s owner-breeder Peter Gleeson said. “I wouldn’t have done the deal without surety he’ll race for another two years, providing he stays sound. “I’ve waited a lifetime for this horse and the sport needs him as well. Alan (Galloway) was great about that.” The complex deal, which effectively has Galloway as a “silent” and non-earning partner during Ride High’s racing career, allows for Gleeson to continue a lease agreement with co-trainers Clayton Tonkin and Emma Stewart. Galloway, a major global breeding figure, said Ride High was the best pacer he had ever seen. “I’ve been all around the world and seen the best of the best, most of them in the flesh, and this horse is next level. He’s the best I’ve seen, anywhere, and that includes horses like Niatross and Nihilator. “The way he gets over the ground so easily and the times he runs without being asked … he’s just amazing. “I’ve been trying to buy a share in this horse for two years. Peter and I go back 40 years, he even worked for Alabar at one stage, and I’m sure that helped, but it’s taken a long time and lot of negotiating to get to this point. “I want him to race on as well. Peter deserves to have him race and I know what this horse can do for the sport.” Gleeson said winning major races and breaking the world record – Always B Miki’s 1min46sec – were the major goals with Ride High. “We want to get him to Menangle. Clayton (Tonkin) and I are sure he would break 1min46sec in the right conditions at Menangle. The problem is we obviously can’t with COVID restrictions,” he said. “We’re obviously not sure about feature races either with growing talk the Victoria Cup will be pushed back because of the virus. “Hopefully we can get to Menangle before too long and give that (world) record a crack.” Galloway and Alabar buying in begs the question about Ride High campaigning in North America to potentially further boost his stallion value. “We would like to do that, but it’s highly unlikely for a myriad of reasons,” Gleeson said. “There’s the virus, the fact Clayton and Emma really couldn’t leave their huge operation here to go with him and his age as well. He’s turning six later this year. “I think we’ve got some amazing things we can achieve here without having to worry about America and the risks associated with that.”   Adam Hamilton

NZB Standardbred’s highly anticipated 2020 All Age Sale saw New Zealand’s largest breeding stock go under the digital hammer on New Zealand Bloodstock’s online subsidiary platform gavelhouse.com. Despite initial COVID-19 uncertainty, the first-ever sale of its kind saw 138 lots sell for a total turnover of $1,042,310. The average reached $7,553 and the median settled at $4,550.  The confidence in the market over the past week of bidding has been reflected in the strong clearance rate, which topped the 97% threshold at the close of selling. NZB Director and Operations Manager James Jennings was delighted with the outcome of the Sale. “I think it’s a great result in light of recent and unprecedented circumstances. “The support and commitment we received from vendors was echoed by the remarkable clearance rate and their enthusiasm to meet the market. “There was a strong, international buying bench present and we are thankful for their participation in the Sale,” said Jennings. The top-priced Lot of the session was an Art Major weanling colt out of Alta Camilla (Lot 75). The colt was secured for $52,500 by Stonewall Stud’s Jill Stockman from the draft of Alabar Farms. “He is from a great family and is a very nice looking colt, we are happy to have secured him,” said Stockman. Stockman had completed her research prior to the Sale taking place. “The online bidding experience has been really good overall, it was certainly a different experience but Steve Telfer had gone to look at the horses first, so we knew exactly what we were bidding on.” First season sires were in hot-demand this evening, highlighted by Stonewall Stud’s purchase of Lot 35, a Downbytheseseaside filly out of Revere Me for $50,000 from the draft of Woodlands Stud. “She is a lovely filly and I think given her pedigree she would have made six figures had she gone through the ring next February. “She definitely ticked all the boxes for us,” said Stockman. Over the Tasman, prominent buyer Jean Feiss locked in Lot 26, another Woodlands Stud colt by Downbytheseaside out of Panforte for $26,000. Feiss was pleased with her purchase, “normally I don’t go for first season sires but I just liked the type of weanling he was, that’s what attracted me to him. “He could have been anything, I truly thought he was an outstanding weanling.” The previous owner of Vincent herself, Feiss also secured two of his offspring, Lot 44 (ex Sheza Monkee) filly and Lot 103 (ex Delightful Lover) filly for $19,000 and $26,000 respectively. “I really liked these two fillies, their breeding stood out to me as well as their exceptional type. “Overall Vincent has produced some outstanding types and I hope they are going to represent his results on the track. Feiss was pleased with the outcome of the digital format but is looking forward to getting back into the physical auction ring. “I think given the circumstances it went very well, it has been great to see vendors rewarded and buyers being able to secure good stock but I think we are all looking forward to when things can go back to normal,” said Feiss. Alabar Farms (NZ) General Manager Graeme Henley was elated with the result of his resident first season sire Vincent. “We thought the Sale went great overall, the biggest thing we were thrilled about was how Vincent’s progeny sold. “It was a great outcome for us and it was nice to see them receive the prices they deserve. “It’s been a lot of work and a bit of a roller coaster leading up to the Sale but the results we achieved today has made it all worthwhile,” commented Henley. First-time digital buyer Shane Sanderson was pleased with the simple online process on the gavelhouse.com Standardbred platform. “It was easy for me to get verified as a buyer and a good experience. I ended up purchasing Lot 59, a Rock N Roll Heaven filly from a good producing family for $20,000. I actually trained one of the half-sisters so I was pretty happy,” said Sanderson. All weanlings offered at the 2020 All Age Sale are eligible for the NZB Standardbred Harness Million Series, with approximately $1million in prizemoney on offer.  If you wish to notify and enter your horse into the Series, please contact Rachel Deegan (Rachel.Deegan@nzb.co.nz or +64 3 381 0141).  To make enquiries about any Passed Lots, contact Cam Bray on +64 21 737 199. To view the full 2020 All Age Sale results on gavelhouse.com Standardbred click here. 2020 All Age Sale Statistics Aggregate  $ 1,042,310 Average  $ 7,553 Median  $ 4,550 Sold 138 Offered 142 Clearance 97%  

Rock N Roll Heaven further enhanced his credentials with a Group 1 siring double on Saturday night. Wolf Stride extended his win streak to six with a strong front running display in the $100,000 Metropolitan Region Championships Final. (Watch Replay) The star pacer began the race as favourite and he gave his backers no reason to be concerned. He settled in front and ran the field along in solid fashion. On the home bend Anthony Butt gave Wolf Stride some rein and he sprinted clear to win. The Emilio and Mary Rosati bred pacer has now won seven of his thirteen starts for $83,320. While at Newcastle, Kanye Crusader led and scored his maiden Group 1 win in a thrilling finish. (Watch Replay) After speeding to the front early, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven was able to dictate terms and fend off his rivals to win in a photo finish. Kanye Crusader was bred by Clayton Harmey out of the Fake Left mare Khloe. At stud she has a perfect record with four winners from four foals. The win pushed Kanye Crusader's lifetime earnings to $86,280.

Alabar has 57 harness racing weanlings in their annual NZB All Age Sale consignment up for sale this year – and one noticeable feature is the increasingly strong representation of trotters. The consignment, this year selling online via gavelhouse.com due to Covid-19, features five weanlings by Majestic Son, four by Peak and one (on behalf of a client) by Pegasus Spur. Majestic Son stands at Alabar NZ and is the reigning champion trotting sire in both New Zealand and Australia. Peak stands alongside him at Alabar NZ and the European bred, dual Group One winner is making his way as an up and coming sire. The highlight amongst the Alabar trotting consignment would have to be the big, strong Majestic Son colt out of the Muscles Yankee daughter, Cyclone Dani. Cyclone Dani is already the dam of Cyclone Chief which ran second in the Australasian Breeders Crown Final as a two-year-old. She is a full or half-sister to six black type trotters incl the Great Southern Star (Gr1) winner, Glenferrie Typhoon. Of significance, three of these black type trotters (incl Glenferrie Typhoon) are by Majestic Son so are three-quarter blood relatives to the weanling colt in the sale. Glenferrie Typhoon ($548,994) is the richest trotter sired by Majestic Son in the Southern Hemisphere. Also of particular note is that the richest worldwide offspring of Majestic Son, Charmed Life is out of a mare by Muscles Yankee. As is his third richest, Harper Blue Chip ($943,392, third Hambletonian Final). The weanling colt from Cyclone Dani certainly ticks a lot of boxes. The other trotters Alabar have in the sale are from sisters to some of the greatest trotters to have graced our tracks in recent years – Glenbogle, Prime Power, Sheemon, Sovereignty, Speeding Spur, Take A Moment and Whatsundermykilt. The lovely moving filly by Majestic Son out of Corker Moment is another to stand out. Corker Moment is not only a half-sister to the great Take A Moment but also to the dam of the current star, Oscar Bonavena (by Majestic Son). Filly by Majestic Son out of Corker Moment The Peak fillies from Lady J (a Majestic Son grand-daughter of Inda Bank, second Rowe Cup) and Megaspeed (an Angus Hall half-sister to Prime Power) are two other trotting lots with plenty of appeal.  “We’re fortunate to be standing Majestic Son and he’s enabled us to breed some very nice trotters. “Both the winners of last year’s Victorian Trotter’s Derby (Majestuoso) and Australasian 3yo Breeders Crown (Kratos) we bred and raised here. “On type and pedigree we definitely look like we have some very strong trotting prospects to sell again this year.” Graeme Henley, Alabar NZ. The full Alabar consignment is now online on gavelhouse.com. Bidding starts on 20 May and closes 27 May. For further information contact Cam Bray at NZB Standardbred (cam.bray@nzb.co.nz, 021 737 199) or Graeme Henley at Alabar NZ (graeme@alabar.co.nz, 0274 870 901).

Few horses have impressed Mark Purdon as much as Vincent did. The son of Art Major won 16 of his 19 starts including victories in the NZ Derby, NSW Derby and Auckland Cup. Vincent was regarded as the next harness racing’s next superstar. He retired to stud at Alabar as the fastest ever three-year-old in the Southern Hemisphere – and has served magnificent books of mares. His first foals are now weanlings and a selection of these are selling in NZB Standardbred’s gavelhouse.com sale this month. A stunning individual himself, Vincent is certainly leaving his impressive physique in his foals. Alabar have nine weanlings by Vincent in their gavelhouse.com consignment – and they are an absolute credit to their sire. These weanlings are uniformly attractive, muscular types and are all great walkers. They are: Lot 5 (Kim Maguire) – an eye-catching three-quarter sister to Eamon Maguire, the winner of the NZ Jewels 4yo Emerald and NZ Messenger Ch’ship Lot 21 (Nga Mihi Nui) – a precocious looking first colt from a race-winning mare closely related to a number of stakes performers incl Roman Gladiator (NSW Derby) Lot 39 (Russian Rocket) – a lovely moving half-sister to 4 in 2:00 incl the good mare Dynamite Denn Nee ($292,529) Lot 44 (Sheza Monkee) – a filly that looks and carries herself like a colt. A half-sister to 2 in 2:00 and out of a full-sister to the great Monkey King (2 NZ Cups) Lot 62 (Twist N Shout) – a strong filly who’s out of a $100,000 winner and is a half-sister to a $100,000 winner (Harry Hoo) Lot 78 (Alta Serena) – a quality filly out of a mare that won multiple Gr1’s and over $500,000. A half-sister to Hughie Green ($259,671) Lot 80 (Anika Lindenny) – a strong filly from a race-winning Christian Cullen mare. The family of Nostra Villa (Aust 2yo Filly of the Year) Lot 103 (Delightful Lover) – a well-muscled half-sister to the promising Love The Blues (1:58.9). The family of Better Cover Lover (6 time Gr1 winner) Lot 121 (Honey To The Bee) – a sharp colt from a half-sister to Cincinnati Kid ($490,557) and to the dam of The Orange Agent (3 time NZ Filly/Mare of the Year)  “We’re really thrilled with the Vincent foals. “In doing the photos and videos it was just so obvious what attractive, well-muscled types they are and that they are such lovely fluent walkers. Some horses just have more quality about them – and they do.” Graeme Henley, Alabar NZ A view of the photos and videos of the Vincents on gavelhouse.com is an absolute must. The full Alabar consignment is now online on gavelhouse.com. Bidding starts on 20 May and closes 27 May. For further information contact Cam Bray at NZB Standardbred (cam.bray@nzb.co.nz, 021 737 199) or Graeme Henley at Alabar NZ (graeme@alabar.co.nz, 0274 870 901).  

By Garrick Knight    Today’s Karaka yearling sale is being keenly anticipated by those connected with rookie sire, Always B Miki. The former champion American racehorse has his first New Zealand crop going through the ring this week and if results from his homeland are taken as a guide, he’s in for a good showing here. “His first crop of yearlings sold for huge money in North America,” said Graeme Henley, head of Alabar Stud, which stands the shuttle stallion. “He was third overall on average behind Somebeachsomewhere and Captaintreacherous and I think had at least 11 lots sell for over US$100,000. “Then at the first APG sale in Brisbane, he broke the record there for the highest-priced colt and he sold solidly in Melbourne.” Henley says the biggest sign that buyers and breeders like Always B Miki is that in this most recent breeding season, his third, he defied the usual ‘third year slump’. That is the season where he is yet to have a yearling in the sales, but is no longer the exciting new stallion, so numbers would inevitably take a hit. It’s been that way since Moses wore short pants. “But this year he served his biggest book ever. “It means people are liking what they see and they’ve seen the results in North America.” Henley sees Always B Miki, in time, as the Stud’s replacement flagship stallion for the great Art Major, who is now 21 and starting to struggle a bit with fertility. “He’s just so well lined up to succeed down here and will certainly have his opportunity.” There are 12 of his stock that will go through the Karaka ring today, and the standout on paper is the half-brother to star mare Princess Tiffany, named Miki Diamonds. Nigel Fahy is the new studmaster at Breckon Farms, and he’s handled six of the 12 Always B Miki yearlings for the sale. He says buyers are showing immense interest in all of them. “A lot of people who turned up at the farm, including a few major clients, all said the same thing. “We want to see the Bettor’s Delights, the Art Majors and the Always B Mikis. “That’s what you want – a lot of the good judges, and those that buy at the top end of the market, looking at them.” Fahy says Miki Diamonds has had his fair share of interest and he has no doubts he will sell well. “He’s a big strapping colt and the type of horse the high end buyers will be after. “He is really big though and that may just prevent him from being in the top few lots.” Another sure to get the attention of buyers is Cos I Can, a half-sister to juvenile filly Town Echo, who has turned heads with some scintillating trials performances recently. Connections confirmed over the weekend that a $300,000 offer had been declined for the Matt Anderson-trained filly, so her Always B Miki half-brother will surely generate plenty of interest. The first to go throw the ring will be Thug Rose, a half-sister to Eamon Maguire offered by Henley’s son, Tate. “It’s a bit of a shame she has to go through so early as lot 6, but she’s a really nice filly and I’m sure will sell well,” said Henley. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Word came today that one of the real pioneers of the Harness Racing Breeding Industry in Australia had passed away. Alan Playford Galloway died suddenly on Thursday 23rd January at his home in Coffs Harbour , NSW at the age of 92. It was Alan [Snr] and his wife Barbara that commenced the now famous world wide Breeding name of ALABAR  [a combination of the first three letters of their Christian names]. Alan was a rugged Aussie Rules footballer in his younger days in Adelaide playing at the highest level in the SANFL and representing his State. He also served in the SA Mounted Police Force for a number of years before taking early retirement and purchasing a dairy farm at Mt Barker in the Adelaide hills in the 1950’s. Along with the farm came a Standardbred broodmare, Stormy Princess and so Alan and Barbara quickly became Harness Racing participants. Stepping Chief, Trainer Hanover and Golden Adios were the first three stallions that Alan took under his wing and during this time three children arrived to join the Galloway clan  -  Julie [now deceased], Alan Jnr and Greer. Alan Jnr relocated the Alabar home to Echuca, Victoria in 1979 and the rest is history, as they say, with the ALABAR name and brand at the forefront of Standardbred breeding worldwide. Alan [Snr] never let his age slow him down  -  he loved fast cars , yachts , planes and had an uncanny knack of reading Harness Racing pedigrees. It was just two days before his passing that he circulated a list of Yearlings, recommending that his son Alan purchase at the Melbourne Yearling Sales on 2nd February. He was also planning on flying to Melbourne to watch the ALABAR syndicated horse Chase Auckland take on his rivals in the prestigious Hunter Cup. Alan was preceded in death by his daughter Julie and is survived by his wife Barbara , children Alan and Greer and grandchildren  Thomas and Brooke. A full obituary will follow next week. John Coffey

By Garrick Knight Tragedy struck early on Friday morning when highly-regarded broodmare, Zenterfold, died while foaling. The 19-year-old daughter of In The Pocket could not be saved by staff at Alabar Stud in South Auckland shortly after delivering a colt foal by Vincent. Zenterfold is best known as the dam of former Group 1-winning pacer-cum-sire Tintin In America, whose daughter, Shartin, is arguably the best pacing mare in the world given her North American domination over the past couple of years. Zenterfold also left the Group 1 place-getter The Blue Lotus and four other winners, including the 1.52 pacer, Destination Moon. While devastated, her Cambridge co-owner Bee Pears says she has many good memories of the mare, which she bred about-turn with Pukekohe’s Geoff and Aria Small. “She was a very much-loved mare who shuttled between our place in Cambridge, Geoff and Aria's place and Alabar often for foaling. Everyone loved her. “Character is the word you immediately think of with Zenterfold." “She loved people and attention, could be bossy with other horses, and was a super mum to her foals.” “I'm so grateful her daughters and granddaughters are in such good hands. Her legacy lives on in her offspring and theirs, and of course in the deeds of Tintin In America as a sire now.” Both Tintin In America and The Blue Lotus are now based in New South Wales at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Pears having sold The Blue Lotus to the Stud just a few months ago. And while Pears no longer has any female descendants of the family left in her ownership, more memories are still to be made as Zenterfold’s two previous foals, both colts, are in training and showing promise. Ideal Zen (American Ideal) is now three and in training for the Smalls while King Ottokar, which Pears sold to Graeme Rogerson for $30,000 at Karaka earlier this year, has just turned two. “The two colts are getting close to racing and hopefully so will this new boy by Vincent, which Kym Kearns will have. “So, there is lots of legacy but after 20 years of close friendship with this mare, we will all miss her heaps. “I'm so grateful for having known her and what she gave me.” While a healthy foal, the Vincent colt is in desperate need of a foster mum and Alabar Stud were aggressively seeking one as the day wore on. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

U May Cullect is regarded by many as the rising star of New Zealand harness racing.   Unbeaten in four starts to date, the Southland pacer has built up a level of excitement that few horses ever do.   Now very much the pride of the south, the son of Gotta Go Cullect was purchased by Tom Kilkelly for $5,200 as a weanling at Karaka from the annual Alabar NZ draft.   This year, Alabar NZ have a consignment of 55 weanlings selling at the NZB Standardbred All Aged Sale being held at Karaka on Monday, 6 May.   The sale starts at 11am with an Open Inspection Day being held at the sales venue the day before (Sunday, 5 May) between 1pm and 4pm.   Come along, who knows, you may collect harness racing’s next excitement machine.   The highlights of a 2019 draft stacked with quality include:    Five weanlings from the first crop of Always B Miki. The fastest horse of all time and the horse that Hall of Fame trainer, Jimmy Takter was quoted as saying “I think this could be the greatest horse that ever lived”   The first North American yearlings by Always B Miki are due to sell later this year and, being by a superstar of the sport and out of some of the best mares in the world, they are sure to sell extremely well.   The Alabar weanling draft gives buyers the chance to get ahead of this hype.   To add to the attraction they are also outstanding types.    Three weanlings by champion sire Art Major including a full-brother to Alta Maestro and a daughter of Annie Morva, 1:52.9 Lot 179 Art Major - Alta Camilla colt    Four weanlings by Majestic Son, the leading trotting sire in both New Zealand and Australia for the last two seasons Lot 120 Majestic Son - Letz Hope colt    Seven weanlings by He’s Watching who’s off to an excellent start with his first crop with five individual winners including the recent impressive Cambridge winner Eagle Watch (3rd Young Guns Final) and Star Hunter, a multiple Australian winner who was a close second in 1:53.3 in the APG Heat at Menangle on Tuesday. He looks like being one of the favourites for the Final Lot 106 He's Watching - Hip Pocket colt    Four weanlings from the only Southern Hemisphere crop by the US 3yo Breeders Crown winner, Racing Hill. Being the greatest son of Roll With Joe, a top sire who is no longer available to New Zealand breeders, is sure to be something that will grab the attention of buyers Lot 108 Racing Hill - Ineedanorvic colt      Six weanlings by A Rocknroll Dance, a sire who is sitting fourth on the NZ 3yo Sires’ Premiership with his first crop Lot 200 A Rocknroll Dance - Cote D Azure filly    Six weanlings by Sportswriter, the prolific juvenile sire who sired 43 individual 2yo winners in Australia last season and showed NZ a preview of his quality by quinellaing the Southland Oaks last weekend.    Three weanlings by Sunshine Beach, already the sire of 10 in 1:55 (3 in 1:53) with his first crop of early 3yo’s in North America Lot 116 Sunshine Beach - La Joconde colt    The only weanling ever to sell in NZ by champion US trotting sire Kadabra. Of note, with the weanling being offered being a filly, Kadabra is one of the all-time great sires of trotting mares with four millionaire mares to his credit including the US$4 million winner, Bee A Magician. Lot 206 Kadabra - Cyclone Emily filly     In what will be a somewhat poignant moment for the Alabar team, the last ever weanling by the great and ill-fated Mach Three appropriately rounds out the draft to be offered. Lot 152 Mach Three - Samantha Chloe filly    For more information contact Peter Lagan (021 424 606) or Rachel Deegan (021 939 950) at NZB Standardbred.     Graeme Henley

New Zealand Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year.   New Zealand Four-Year-Old Pacer of the Year.   New Zealand’s fastest ever pacer over both 1950 and 2200 metres.   A four-time Group One winner.   By an eight-time New Zealand Stallion of the Year from a mare destined to be New Zealand’s Broodmare of the Year.   Ultimate Machete has a stallion’s résumé and a stallion’s pedigree.   Now purchased by Alabar and Nevele R studs to stand at Alabar’s Auckland property, he’s also going to have a stallion’s opportunity.   New Zealand and Australian racing is dominated by horses that thrive on today’s style of racing.   Horses that are able to roll forward into the race and then be unrelenting in last halves run in 54 seconds or better.   Ultimate Machete, with extreme toughness and a high cruising speed, personified this never-say-die rolling style of racing.   These qualities should come as no surprise as he is by Bettor’s Delight out of a mare by Armbro Operative, so bred 3x3 to Cam Fella.   His entrance to the stud scene is surely timely, as many broodmare owners will see that breeding to him is breeding to a horse tailor-made for today’s racing.   With his pedigree, the attributes he brought to his racing and also his stature (standing a shade over 16’) he will be an ideal consort for the many mares that are bred along speed lines.   He is well suited to daughters of Christian Cullen, In The Pocket, Mach Three, Somebeachsomewhere, Courage Under Fire, Changeover, Art Major, Dream Away, Real Desire, American Ideal, Falcon Seelster, Safely Kept, Live Or Die and Badlands Hanover to name but a few.   In an outstanding race career, Ultimate Machete’s flagship victories were: - The NZ Sires Stakes Three-Year-Old Final at Addington on NZ Cup Day - where he announced his arrival as a rising star. His winning performance was nothing short of phenomenal, being caught out wide and just keeping rolling to be far too good in what was a New Zealand record for 1950m at the time. It is regarded as the best ever performance in the history of the race.   - Twelve months later, in the NZ Free-For-All on Show Day at the same venue, he did what many thought impossible by sitting outside Tiger Tara before winning the home straight war to claim victory – and in doing so, reclaiming his New Zealand record for the 1950m distance (2:15.7, a 1:51.9 mile rate).   - He then ventured to Perth where he monstered the Group One double for four-year-olds in the WA Classic and the WA Golden Nugget – wonderful efforts by the big horse around the tight Gloucester Park circuit and a testimony to his gait. He then ran a close up fourth in the Fremantle Cup before injury curtailed a blitz on the Victorian classics.   As a two-year-old, his second by a ½ head in the NZ Jewels, after being wide early then working to the lead, was a precursor to what would be a wonderful three-year-old season.   The other highlights to his three-year-old season were equalling the all-age New Zealand 2200m record (2:36.1) in winning the NZ Yearling Sales Series 3yo Final, winning the Alabar Classic and the NZ Flying Stakes (53.9 last 800m) as well as finishing second in the NZ, Northern and NSW Derbies.   All told, Ultimate Machete won 13 of 32 starts for $850,361 in stakes.   He’d already done enough to be regarded as a star - but a niggling, leg-injury-enforced retirement surely robbed him of being an open class colossus.   He was the early favourite for the 2018 New Zealand Cup but it wasn’t to be.   Co-trainer, Mark Purdon is full of respect for Ultimate Machete,   “He was a very tough horse with a great attitude. He never gave in, always trying right to the wire.He was a horse who could really maintain his high speed.”   Ultimate Machete is impeccably bred, being a full-brother to super-star three-year-old Ultimate Sniper. Their dam (Reality Check) was a very smart race filly winning the NZ Yearling Sales Series Two-Year-Old Fillies’ Final. She is also the dam of the top Western Australia racemare, Major Reality (1:50.9, $434,415).   His grandam is the NZ Broodmare of Excellence winner, Maureens Dream, who is a half-sister to the excellent sire Tuapeka Knight.   This is a prodigious family made famous by renowned breeders, Tuapeka Lodge. Ultimate Machete is one of its proudest sons.   He will stand his debut season at Alabar NZ (in association with Nevele R) at an introductory service fee of $3,000 (plus GST)   Graeme Henley General Manager Alabar (NZ) Ltd

The Inspection Day for the 2019 Alabar NZ weanling draft is being held on their farm at 480 Seagrove Road, Waiau Pa this Sunday, 14 April from 1pm to 3pm. All are welcome. The draft will be selling at the NZB Standardbred All Aged Sale at Karaka on 6 May. There will also be a further opportunity to inspect the weanlings at Karaka the day before the sale where an Open Day is being held between 1pm and 4pm. The Alabar draft totals 57 weanlings and features: -  5 weanlings from the first crop of Always B MIki (1:46, a dual Breeders Crown winner and the fastest horse ever). Miki himself is a tall and athletic horse and his first weanlings are a credit to him. This debut offering by one of the all-time racing greats is sure to be well sought after Lot 135 Always B Miki - Pacific Glory filly - 4 weanlings by Art Major (incl a full-brother to Alta Maestro and a daughter of Annie Morva, 1:52.9) Lot 179 Art Major - Alta Camilla colt - 5 weanlings by Majestic Son, the leading trotting sire in both New Zealand and Australia for the last two seasons - and the only weanling ever to sell in NZ by champion US trotting sire Kadabra Lot 206 Kadabra - Cyclone Emily filly - The last ever weanling by the great Mach Three Lot 152 Mach Three - Samantha Chloe filly   - weanlings by He’s Watching and Sunshine Beach who are doing excellent jobs with their debut two-year-old crops leaving multiple winners and, in He’s Watching’s case, the stakes placed Eagle Watch and Cassius Bromac in New Zealand - the only Southern Hemisphere crop by the US 3yo Breeders Crown winner, Racing Hill (being the greatest son of Roll With Joe, a top sire who is no longer available to New Zealand breeders, is sure to be something that will grab the attention of buyers) - 3 weanlings by Peak who has currently left four two-year-old trotting winners in Australasia this season – more than any other sire. The draft represents an excellent opportunity for investors and pin-hookers alike, in that it features not only the full foal crop of Alabar NZ Ltd but also that of the highly prominent commercial breeders Alta Breeding Co Ltd.   Graeme Henley General Manager Alabar (NZ) Ltd

Big wins are nothing new to Gary Woodham but the success of Flying Even Bettor in the $30,000 group three Alabar NZ Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham on Saturday gave him a great deal of satisfaction. Along with his wife Kerry, the Plimmerton-based General Manager Customer for the New Zealand Racing Board races Flying Even Bettor with Glenys and Phil Kennard, Ken and Karen Breckon as Breckon Racing Syndicate, along with Jim and Ann Gibbs. The syndicate was formed three years ago and in our first year we got Spankem and The Devils Own,” Needham explained, “Another Masterpiece was the next and then Flying Even Bettor.” The Devils Own and Another Masterpiece finished second in the Kindergartens of their year, 2017 and 2018. “Three times we've tried, following the same preparation each time, and now we've won it,” Woodham said. At the end of their appropriate seasons, both Spankem and Another Masterpiece were named two-year-olds of the year with Spankem going on to land the million dollar Miracle Mile at the beginning of this month. “When The Devils Own went to Australia for the Victoria Derby last year he got a virus and was very ill. He's back in work now with Brent Mangos and he'll be the trainer when he races again.” But the win meant more to Woodham than picking up a group three. For some time he has been studying the operation of harness racing in the region and doesn't need a second excuse to visit. “Harness Racing New Zealand used the model of Southern Harness as a text book case and I wanted to know more about it,” he said. “With the help of Kevin McNaught (Chairman) and Jason Broad (General Manager), I've seen it up close and love the way all the clubs are working together. They're doing right for the region, take costs out and that allows them to increase stakes. This is my 12th visit.” Woodham also acknowledged their assistance when the Wyndham Club raced at Cromwell earlier in the year. “We were about to launch our new betting platform and needed their help with race times, we wanted them to finish earlier. They made the changes to work in with us and we are indebted to them. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen–trained Flying Even Bettor was driven by Blair Orange to give him his third win in the race. Three wide for the first 500 metres, the Bettor's Delight was gelding no sooner one-out than stablemate Copperfield arrived to give him cover. Once in the straight Flying Even Bettor was unleashed and soon put the issue beyond doubt, to win in 1:54.4. “He didn't show a lot of gate speed but it worked out well,” said Orange who was sitting behind the winner for the first time. “He felt good on the turn and when he let down he found the line well.” Earlier, Orange had won aboard the Paul Court-trained Major Sass. It was her third win from five starts, all of the wins at Wyndham. The three-year-old daughter of Art Major led out and pulled clear in the straight to win the Southland Harness Awards Ladyship Final by four and three quarters lengths in 1:56.2. Orange scored his third win for the day aboard Ohoka Achilles who clocked 2:55.9 for the mobile 2400 metres of the Astra Stu and Jean Pace. It was a comfortable win for the four-year-old who had chased U May Cullect home at Ascot Park last Saturday. The half-brother to Ohoka Texas is trained at Woodend Beach by former Wyndham horseman Regan Todd. After Tartan Robyn scored his second win in nine starts when taking out the PGG Wrightson Real Estate Cromwell Pace for owner and breeder Graeme Edgar, trainer Hamish Hunter described the four-year-old as a horse that couldn't be rushed. “He's got a patient owner and has taken lots of time,” said Hunter, “18 months ago he couldn't pace but turned the corner in the spring and gets a little better each time.”   by Mac Henry for Southland Harness Racing

Former top free-for-all harness racing pacer Savesomtimetodream is the 2019 Alabar HERO Series Champion. The 11-year-old Village Jasper gelding defeated 19 rivals to claim the state’s richest and most prestigious standardbred showing championship at Bendigo on Sunday. The Alabar HERO Series Final carried $1000 in prizemoney for the overall winner and was staged under the auspices of Victorian Agricultural Shows Limited’s prestigious Saddle Horse Championships. Savesomtimetodream was also named Best Newcomer, securing a $500 cheque. The Award recognised the best performed competitor less than two years off the track. Bred, trained and owned by the Rowse family at Ballarat, he retired from a six-and-a-half-year racing career on August 25, 2017, with $222,625 in stake earnings in his bankroll. The pacer notched 20 wins and 33 placings from 113 race starts, highlighted by successes in the Gunbower, Yarra Valley and Ararat Pacing Cups, and a semi-final of the Vicbred Super Series. In May 2018, he was recruited by Harness Racing Australia under the banner of There Is No Finish Line to feature in a Track To Hack project documenting the transition of a retired standardbred from racing to riding. The project included a series of on-line video diaries and regular features in Horse Deals magazine. HRA Animal Welfare Officer and accomplished show rider Kathleen Mullan oversaw the horse’s re-education – prior to joining her care, Savesomtimetodream had never had a saddle on his back. He was therefore the richest racehorse and least experienced riding horse in the HERO Series Final. A three-person panel, including licensed harness racing trainer Courtney Slater and SA guest  Holly Alcorn, adjudicated on the final, with just one point separating Savesomtimetodream and runner-up Maxwell Smart, who raced as Equity Wizzbang. The second place getter was also runner-up in 2018 after winning the inaugural Alabar HERO Series Final in 2017 for owner Eboni Knights. An Owner/Rider category, carrying $500 in prizemoney, was introduced for the first time this year.  It was won by Rebecca McGee riding Mighty Boy Lombo, a Northern Luck gelding who retired in 2013 after a moderate racing career in the NSW Riverina, which notched two wins from 28 starts. The Child’s Ridden Standardbred went to Double Art, an Artiscape gelding who failed to place in 13 race starts, who was ridden by Emily Barton. Maxwell Smart was the Champion Led Standardbred for Julie Knights and Rebecca Mackay was named Champion Rider in the Standardbred ring aboard Style Of Art, an unraced daughter of Kenneth J. The Best Presented Standardbred was Kelly Stuart-Mitchell’s Gowan Brae. The Alabar HERO Series would not be possible without the ongoing support of principal sponsor Alabar Bloodstock, and Victorian Agricultural Shows Limited. All pictures are by Belinda Richardson of Alabar Farms.

As we’re just over halfway through the stud season I thought it was timely to give you an update on: how the harness racing breeding season is progressing, the new foals, the availability of our stallions, a reminder of our loyalty rewards. We are often asked which of our stallions are proving to be the most popular.   This season, our stallions that are serving more mares than last year are Rock N Roll Heaven, Majestic Son and He’s Watching.   That Rock N Roll Heaven and Majestic Son are serving bigger books is an understandable recognition of the excellent year’s their progeny have had on the racetrack.   Rock N Roll Heaven is now very much an elite sire in terms of the numbers of Group winners he sires (15 individual winners of 22 Group races last season incl the brilliant Shez All Rock).   Majestic Son is the leading sire of trotters in both New Zealand and Australia.   That He’s Watching is serving his biggest book to date in his fourth season at stud is quite remarkable.   There are obviously a lot of people out there that really like his first 2yo’s. We, along with many others, are excited about seeing them race this season.   Limited bookings to all three of these stallions are still available. OPPORTUNITY   The two stallions that have been announced as full and closed this season are Art Major and Vincent.   We have been conservative with both these stallions – with Art Major due to the medical issue he had last season and with Vincent due to him being a young stallion in his first season.   However, both stallions are going great, are meeting their semen orders easily and are recording excellent fertility.   Therefore, we’re happy to take a handful of additional bookings to both Art Major and Vincent for this season. Please let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to take advantage of this offer.   Overall, our breeding numbers are tracking towards a similar total to last season. NEW FOALS   Always B Miki – gee, he’s leaving cracking foals. They’re tall and athletic like Miki is himself and many breeders are sending their mares back to get another one. He is on track to serve 200 mares in his second season so that says a lot in itself.   Of interest, if you breed to Miki this season, when you come to sell your yearling in February 2021 his first 2yo crop in North America will already have raced in 2020. Given they are out of many of the best mares in the world, they will surely make a strong impact which simply must enhance the value of your yearling – the foal resulting from this breeding season. Here are just a few of the outstanding Always B Miki foals we are seeing   ON THE RACETRACK   A Rocknroll Dance – it was great to see Dance record three winners on the weekend incl a double at Motukarara. He was the most popular stallion in New Zealand last season and is again getting a solid book. Breeding to a stallion in the year after a huge book is often the best year to breed – you get to sell off the back of the impact of that big crop.   Auckland Reactor – he has some really nice horses racing at the moment with the likes of Aha Reaction, Revolver and Red Reactor. Excitingly, it won’t be long before his flagship son, the reigning NZ 3yo Pacer of the Year, Chase Auckland is back on the racetrack. He’s due back at the trials in the next couple of weeks.   Majestic Son – last season’s leading trotting sire has hit the ground running this season with 24 individual NZ winners already – nearly double that of any other trotting sire. And, to show he’s more than an age-group sire, 16 of these winners have been 4yo’s.   REMINDERS   LOYALTY REWARDS APPLY: If you’ve previously bred to one of the following stallions and breed back to that same stallion this year, you are entitled to a loyalty reward service fee.           A ROCKNROLL DANCE, AUCKLAND REACTOR, HE’S WATCHING, MAJESTIC SON, SIR LINCOLNand SPORTSWRITER   GOLD SUPPORTER REWARDS APPLY: If you are an Alabar Gold Supporter you are entitled to an additional $500 (plus GST) rebate off the service fee to any of the following stallions (please note this is not additional to any of the above loyalty rewards.)   AUCKLAND REACTOR, GRINFROMEARTOEAR, PEAK, SHADOW PLAY, SIR LINCOLN and SUNSHINE BEACH   The second half of the stud season always makes the difference between an OK stud season and an excellent one.   Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance to you in this regard – whether it be a new booking, a stallion change or just some advice. We all want to end the season on a positive note.   We value your support and look forward to hearing back from you.   All the best for the upcoming festive season and the best of breeding, selling and racing luck in 2019.   Graeme Henley

Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV) and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) are delighted to announce the inaugural Central Victorian Premier Stud Tour on Sunday 16 September 2018. Members of both breeding associations and guests are invited to embark on a unique tour of Swettenham Stud, one of Victoria's leading thoroughbred breeding facilities, and Alabar Farms, the largest standardbred stud in the Southern hemisphere. The exciting journey will make its first stop at Nagambie's Swettenham Stud where guests will be greeted by stud proprietor Adam Sangster. He will lead a tour of the magnificent property and present his six-pronged stallion roster; including new sire and world Group 1 star Highland Reel as well as Americain, Puissance De Lune, Rebel Dane, Toronado and Trust In A Gust. Following the fine hospitality at Swettenham, guests will be greeted with a welcome drink, and treated to a two-course lunch at La Penelope's at the picturesque Kirwan Bridge Estate Vinery, then travel to Koyuga's Alabar Farm, a short distance from Echuca. Since its inception in the 1950s, Alabar has steadily grown to become a front-runner in the global standardbred breeding industry. Stallions that have called the breeding barns of Alabar home have an impeccable record. They have won 16 Globe Derby Awards for Leading Juvenile Stallion, 15 Globe Derby Awards for Leading Stallion (by individual winners), and 8 Globe Derby Awards for Leading Stallion (by prizemoney). Meanwhile, the current Alabar stallion roster has sired progeny which have collectively won a staggering $205 million. Tour guests will observe a semen collection and lab demonstration, followed by a stallion parade of the Alabar residents. Tickets must be paid for with booking and are strictly limited - don't miss out! BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW If you have guests who wish to take advantage of membership pricing, don't forget to inlcude a membership form (for HBV) or complete an online application (for TBV). Alabar Bloodstock General Manager Brett Coffey noted that the tour is in essence a celebration of Victoria's vibrant horse breeding industry. "Victoria is one of the best places to breed horses anywhere in the world and this opportunity to go behind the scenes at two leading farms is one not to be missed," Coffey said. "Whether you are more into thoroughbreds or standardbreds, we are all horse lovers and this cross-code stud tour is a really exciting promotion," he said. "The joint stud tour is an outstanding initiative, and Swettenham Stud applauds the work of HBV and TBV to offer this opportunity to our breeding communities," Adam Sangster said. "It is a great honour for Swettenham to be the very first stop of the tour in its very first year. Our stallions will be ready and waiting to welcome everyone and give them a great show."   Harness Racing Victoria  

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