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Chris Voak celebrated his wonderful performance to be the State’s leading driver last season with a treble at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, and is looking forward to a busy night at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he will have a drive in nine of the ten events. He has chosen the Terry Ferguson-trained mare Bettor Copagoodone as his best winning prospect. The five-year-old, a winner at seven of her past 16 starts, has been racing in fine form on South-West and Great Southern tracks. She has had made only six appearances at Gloucester Park and has yet to be placed there. She has won five mobile events at Albany, two stands at Pinjarra and one stand at Bunbury in her 43-start career. Bettor Copagoodone will start from the inside barrier on the front line and Voak is hoping the mare will maintain her sound form from a standing start. She gave an excellent frontrunning performance to win by four lengths from Be On Guard and Kilowatt Kid in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. “She went really good at Pinjarra, and she went even better when she ran on to win a 2265m mobile at Albany at her previous start,” said Voak. “She can win again. At Pinjarra she felt strong and that’s why I let her slide (in front) and just kept her company. “She won very easily and her last 1200m was excellent. If she can lead again, there’s no reason why on the half-mile track she can’t repeat the dose if she steps away like she did on Monday.” Bettor Copagoodone’s chief rival appears the Peter Tilbrook-trained Vivere Damore, who will start off 20m and will be handled by Emily Suvaljko. Vivere Damore ran on powerfully from eighth (and last) at the bell to finish second to Waltzingwithsierra in a 2130m mobile last Friday night. She looks set to fight out the finish. Voak has given punters a good lead by opting to drive Carrera Mach in preference to Rock Me Over in the 2130m Retravision Pace. Voak drove the Matt Scott-trained Rock Me Over last Friday night when the six-year-old, favourite at $1.50, set the pace and finished second to the fast-finishing Blue Blazer over 2536m. Gary Hall jnr has been engaged to drive Rock Me Over, who has solid winning claims from barrier four. Carrera Mach, prepared by Ross Olivieri, will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Carrera Mach started from the No. 9 barrier in a 2130m event last Friday night and impressed in sustaining a powerful three-wide burst from last at the bell to finish a half-head second to Walsh. “He will go well this week,” said Voak. “Hopefully, he won’t get too far back; we don’t want to be any worse than one-out, two-back. His past two runs have been very good.”   Ken Casellas

Star pacer Magnificent Storm has recovered from the debilitating effects of racing in blistering heat at 3 o’clock three Thursdays ago and is fighting fit and poised to extend his winning sequence to eleven when he contests the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred gelding has drawn awkwardly at barrier six in the 2130m Group 2 feature event which has attracted a quality field and has left astute Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams considering that Magnificent Storm is facing the biggest test in his short but dazzling career. “lt will be a test for him, but I think he will come through all right,” Williams said. “I’m excited and am looking forward to Friday night. It is a good field, and this will tell us where we’re at with the horse. “No doubt, this will be his biggest test and he will tell us whether he’s up to it (to be set for the Group 1 Four-Year-Old Classic in a fortnight and the Group 1 Golden Nugget two weeks later). “We decided not to contest the Pinjarra Four-Year-Old Classic last Monday week because it was pretty hot when he won at Gloucester Park eleven days earlier. He has come through that pretty well and he has worked well. “The draw hasn’t done us any favours, but I’m not too concerned about that. He doesn’t have to lead; he’s a nice horse who is easy to drive. So, we’ll grab a spot and see what happens. “He doesn’t do any track work and the only time he sees the track and is hoppled is when he’s in a race. He gallops in the cart and enjoys galloping up the hill at home.” Aldo Cortopassi will determine his tactics with Magnificent Storm as the race unfolds. The major danger looms large as the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Patronus Star, a winner at ten of his 17 starts. Patronus Star, to be driven by Ryan Warwick from the No. 3 barrier on the front line, is in top form. He started out wide at barrier seven in the Pinjarra Classic and raced three wide in the middle stages and then in the breeze when a fighting second to talented stablemate Howard Hughes, who notched is twelfth win from just 15 starts when he raced three back on the pegs and finished strongly along the sprint lane. Howard Hughes is handily drawn on the inside of the back line on Friday night when he will be handled by Deni Roberts. Stuart McDonald will drive Copy N Pace for trainer Gary Hall Snr, and will have admirers from barrier two on the back line. Copy N Pace impressed two starts ago with his fast-finishing third behind Magnificent Storm and Jaspervellabeach. Michael Grantham has chosen to drive the Mike Reed-trained Power And Grace from the No. 1 barrier in preference to trainer Michael Brennan’s Withoutthetuh (barrier No. 8). Gary Hall Jnr has been engaged to handle Withoutthetuh, who faces a difficult assignment from his wide draw. Chris Voak is looking forward to driving Henrik Larsson, who won for the fifth time from eight starts when he covered extra ground early before taking the lead and winning easily from The Stars Above at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. However, barrier No. 7 is likely to make life tough for Henrik Larsson. Henrik Larsson’s trainer Luke Edwards said that the horse was on track to contest the coming feature events for four-year-olds. “I was very happy with his run at Pinjarra,” he said. “He did a lot of work early and finished the race in good fashion, with the ear plugs in. We will be going back at the start and hopefully he hits the line strongly. “He is still on the way up and I aim to have him peaking for the big events over the next four weeks.” Voak was impressed with Henrik Larsson at Pinjarra, saying: “He still had gears left. But the draw on Friday certainly won’t help his cause.” Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo said that Alta Engen, a winner at eight of his 12 starts, was capable of a solid showing. “But the draw (No. 9) hurts,” he said. “He has improved a lot since his last-start sixth behind Howard Hughes and Patronus Star at Pinjarra, and his work since then has been good.”   Ken Casellas

The countdown to NZB Standardbred's 2021 National Yearling Sale is on, with various tours around the country beginning as early as next Tuesday. We welcome all to join us as we inspect an incredible line up of standardbred yearlings heading to Karaka and Christchurch to go under the hammer this February. The annual on-farm tour begins in the North Island, with visits across multiple farms on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 January. Parades continue in the Canterbury region of the South Island on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 February and finishes with the famous SBSR tour in Southland on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 February. View the schedule here We look forward to seeing you at the picturesque New Zealand stud farms before heading north for the beginning of our 2021 National Yearling Sale. Should you wish for an agent to inspect yearlings on your behalf, please get in touch with one of our Standardbred team members below. For more information about the tours contact Rachel Deegan +64 3 381 0141 or email rachel.deegan@nzb.co.nz.  

One of New Zealand’s best pacing mares is heading off-shore and trainer Mark Jones admits he doesn’t know when to expect her back. Jones is sending Stylish Memphis to Sydney to be trained by former Kiwi horseman Jack Trainor, who trains alongside Jason Grimson at Menangle. The plan was hatched when it became clear the All Stars runners Amazing Dream and Beyond Words were not heading across the Tasman, with trainer Hayden Cullen set to have no Aussie reps for the summer. “With Amazing Dream in particular not going the Sydney races like the Ladyship Mile become very attractive,” says Jones. “Not just because she won’t be there but because it also means she will be here and that makes the Addington mares races here so much harder, especially with Beyond Words also being here. “So Sydney is the best place for her and Jack had been hassling me for a while to send her over and now is the time.” It is not the first time Jones has sent Stylish Memphis to another trainer to maximise her potential, with Mark Purdon himself training the filly to win last season’s NSW Oaks after being a huge second in the Victoria Oaks. “It is about placing them where they are best suited and can make the most money,” explains Jones. “After those two mares races here at Addington she has no real mares opportunities until the Jewels and even that could mean taking on Amazing Dream again. “I don’t think we have enough good mares races here and after the two coming up she has to race the likes of Copy That and Self Assured. “Whereas at Menangle she has two A$50,000 mares races before the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile and then can races in mares races every second week.” While Jones and his owners are leaving the option of Stylish Memphis returning for the Jewels open she could also possibly head to North America. “That is another option for her because of all the mares races and the times she can get for her future broodmare career.” Stylish Memphis won’t be the only former Jones-trained good pacer plying her trade at Menangle soon, with Burnham Boy having already started his career there with a win two weeks ago after a two-third share in him was sold to big-time US owners Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover.   By Michael Guerin

The first of 36 Vicbred Platinum Maidens scheduled for 2021 brought a special result for owner/trainer Alan Ratnasingham, with Illawong Phoenix winning the $10,000 opening race at Geelong last night. An outstanding James Herbertson drive helped produce the trainer’s first victory since February 2017, which proved a big windfall for Ratnasingham, who secured the $5700 for first place plus his $7000 Vicbred first win bonus. Making the win in the Alabar Vicbred Platinum Maiden Pace all the more notable was that it was Illawong Phoenix’s first at start 12, having previously failed to place and amassed a modest $1960 in stakes. The win was the eighth and most richest of Ratnasingham’s career, which stretches back to the 1997-98 season and features 516 starts. Each month in 2021 there will be three $10,000 Vicbred Platinum Maiden races held, two for pacers and one for trotters. The next will be a trotting race at Bendigo on January 27 followed by a pacing race at Wedderburn on January 31. In February, the $10,000 maidens are programmed for February 8 at Yarra Valley and February 28 at Boort for the pacers, and at Geelong on February 26 for trotters.   Harness Racing Victoria

The pathway to a long-coveted win looks extremely simple on paper for David Moran and his superstar Lochinvar Art, with the pair seeming to have a steady hand on their prized local cup. A gate one draw for Saturday night’s Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup only further strengthened Lochinvar Art’s claims to the $60,000 Group 2, even amid the likes of Grand Circuit contender Our Uncle Sam and David Aiken’s trio Sirletic, Malcolms Rhythm and Reactor Now. “I’ve always wanted to win a Kilmore and a Shepparton Cup, along with some of the bigger ones. In the past some great horses have won this race,” Moran said. “(Lochinvar Art’s) got the draw for Saturday night, it’d be a great trophy to have on the mantle.” Enlisted a $1.10 favourite with TAB.com.au, success looks a near formality for the brilliant five-year-old, who’s fresh from dismantling Australia’s best in the Victoria Cup, part of six wins from his past seven outings. It’s a run that his trainer/driver is savoring. “I’m every chance of probably never experiencing a horse like him and his ilk ever again,” Moran said. “Never say never, but the chance of those sorts of horses coming around again are very, very rare. Generally most of the big wins, we celebrated really hard and enjoy it. “You only live once, as much as that’s your job, I really think you need to enjoy it and embrace it and make the most of it really.” And all is in order for the good times to continue to roll from 9.44pm Saturday night, when the cup kicks off and can be enjoyed live and free with extended coverage on Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au. “He’s really good. We cleaned him up a little bit after his last win and got a few things sorted out for the coming months ahead,” Moran said. “He’s going to be pretty close to 100 per cent. He only raced a bit over a fortnight ago, he’s always better the second week backing up, but he’ll be pretty close this week.” While a first Shepparton Cup win would be an unforgettable achievement for Moran, it’s another horse who may carry most interest for him. Race two, the Graham Head Memorial 3YO Pace, will mark the return of Patsbeachstorm, a gelding who created plenty of hype during his short racing stint in February and March last year, when he won two of three starts. “He’s probably my favourite horse in the stable, believe it or not. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a horse so much,” Moran said. “Early on I thought he’d just go through his grades and his age group and eventually be a top class horse. His ability’s unbelievable. “His first three runs showed that. I think the best one, he wasn’t 100 per cent, he hadn’t raced for a few weeks and he came out and sat parked and they ran the last half in 54.6 or 54.8 and he did that with the plugs in. “His ability is definitely there. We had a couple of issues, which is why we haven’t seen him for so long.” Patsbeachstorm’s lengthy absence is the result of an unknown toxic reaction, which Moran said was possibly a spider bite. “He nearly died on us, it was 50-50 as to whether he’d get through the night,” he said. “Thank God we saved him. He’s had a pretty tough road, but he seems to be really good at the moment. We don’t have any issues with him whatsoever. “His work’s been brilliant, but he is going to need that run and will take a bit out of it. Providing he comes back good and keeps pressing on with his work he will make a very good horse.” If all goes well tonight he could target the Group 1 $100,000 VHRC Caduceus 3YO Classic at Tabcorp Park Melton, which headlines night two of the TAB Summer Of Glory.   HRV - Michael Howard

Australian breeders have been notoriously shy over the past 20 to 30 years in supporting stallions that are bred in the Southern Hemisphere, albeit with a few exceptions such as Christian Cullen, Classic Garry, Courage Under Fire and Elsu. Consequently large amounts of money have been drained from our Australian Breeding Industry in supporting the North American owned shuttle stallions. However, that hasn’t been all bad news for our harness racing Industry as in the current season five sons of those Stallions - American Ideal, Art Major, Bettors Delight and Somebeachsomewhere – have all bred over 100 mares in Australia. The acceptance by breeders of these five stallions – For A Reason, Poster Boy, Soho Tribeca, Ultimate Machete and Vincent – represents a big step forward for our Breeding Industry. This acceptance of our ‘Home Grown’ stallions is very timely as the sires of those stallions are either deceased (Somebeachsomewhere) or now into the veteran stages of their lives – American Ideal (19-year-old), Art Major (22-year-old) and Bettors Delight (23-year-old). We know of course that is unlikely that all these new stallions will rise to the top of the Australian Sires’ Lists but at least they now have an opportunity with strong support from Australian breeders.   It is well worth remembering that Classic Garry rose from a rather humble beginning (79 foals in his debut crop of 1986/87) to the Leading Stallion of Australia a few years later. The very positive initiative of Harness Racing Victoria to increase the First Win Vicbred Bonus to $12,000 for the progeny of Australian and New Zealand bred stallions certainly paved a smooth path for the Victorian based stallions Poster Boy, Soho Tribeca, Ultimate Machete and Vincent. It is no surprise that the Art Major son For A Reason received strong support as his first crop of just 33 foals have now won over $1.2million between them (20 individual winners), whilst his second commercial crop of 93 foals raced as two-year-olds in the recently completed season with 21 winners emerging to date. The positive signs don’t end with these five stallions either.  The 2016 Australian 2YO of the Year The Storm Inside and the Inter Dominion champion Tiger Tara were strongly fancied by Australian breeders as well with around 90 and 80 mares bred respectively. Bling It On, who mixes his racing and breeding career, is another stallion who has been kept busy all season, having served around 90 mares.  His oldest progeny will soon be seen on racetracks around Australia (current two-year-olds). The former outstanding racetrack performers Fly Like An Eagle, Guaranteed and Jilliby Kung Fu have all received good bookings as well with numbers between 40 and 60 mares each. The Hall of Fame Stallion Artsplace has had a profound impact on the Pacing breed the world over and it will continue for many years to come. Eight of the eleven ‘Home Grown’ stallions mentioned in this article are either by Artsplace or his son Art Major or are from mares by Artsplace or one of his sons. The 2020/21 season saw 19 stallions serve over 100 mares with only nine of those stallions to shuttle back to North America – Always B Miki, American Ideal, Bettors Delight, Captain Crunch, Downbytheseaside, He’s Watching, McWicked, Sportswriter and Sweet Lou. Lather Up, another shuttle sire, served around 90 mares in his debut ‘down under’ season. In addition to these shuttle stallions and the five Home Grown stallions, the other five stallions included Art Major , Warrawee Needy and the sons of Rocknroll Hanover - A Rocknroll Dance , Rock N Roll Heaven and Rock N Roll World .  Warrawee Needy   The numbers of stallions who have bred over 100 mares in a single season in recent times are: Year          No. stallions          Total Services for Season 2019               12                             4,659  2018               14                             4,956  2017               19                             5,431 2016               15                             5,722  2015               15                             5,880 Although there were 19 stallions who bred over 100 mares in 2017, it was from a total of 5,431 services. Based on the figures from 2018 and 2019, total services for the closing season are estimated to be between 4,500 and 4,750. It is also worth noting that in 2017 of the 19 stallions to cover 100 mares or mare, 14 were shuttle stallions, thus much of the service fee income disappeared from our economy. The year 2020 will be remembered around the World for some wrong reasons but in the Harness Industry in Australia it may be the start of a resurgence in our Breeding Industry.   By John Coffey and Peter Wharton

Amid the summer heat Damien Burns will be more than satisfied to see a little sunshine break out at Geelong tonight, when he chases a second two-year-old victory of the new season. The trainer-driver has Solesseo Matuca contesting tonight's Happy Birthday Jim Fuller 2YO Pace, with the little half-brother to Youaremysunshine ($139,500) bouncing back after a second on debut, when he was beaten by stablemate Got Equity. "I like them both," Burns said of his two-year-olds, who quinealled the first two-year-old race of the season at Maryborough on January 4. "I don't honestly know which one's better. They're two very different horses to drive. "Solesseo Matuca is definitely a bit more speedy, the other one (Got Equity) seems to be a bit better racehorse." Round one went to Got Equity, who swept past his stablemate in the dying stages after Solesseo Matuca had to lug a flat tyre for the majority of the hit out. Talking to Jason Bonninton and Toby McKinnon on SENTrack's Trots Life this morning, Burns said "that was probably my fault". "I cut in a bit tight on Glenn (Douglass's) horse (Ozzie Joy), which popped my wheel. I thought I better go as slow as I possibly can to get him up the home straight, which I tried too, which was about a 36sec (second) quarter. It didn't quite get me there and I looked up on my inside and it was the other one (Got Equity) who pipped me on the post." Tonight Solesseo Matuca won't have to worry about his stablemate in his second attempt to break his maiden status, with Got Equity scratched along with first starter Victory George, leaving just a four-horse field to tackle the $7000 pace at 7.55pm. Solesseo Matuca is again likely to start in the red on TAB.com.au. "His second trial I thought he was a little bit fierce and I put plugs in for the first time at Maryborough and then he wouldn't go until I pulled the plugs," Burns said. "He won't have plugs in tonight and you will probably see a different horse." He's optimistic both have success in their paths, though there's plenty of water to go under the bridge before the headline features arrive at year's end.  "They go as good as any other youngster I've taken to the track before," Burns said. "This year they will be going harder and faster again. Every one thinks they have a nice horse until you bring them to the track and there's always one better. That's just the way it goes."   Harness Racing Victoria

BATHURST horsewoman Stephanie Burley will be hoping to snare her first win for the season at her local track tonight.  Burley has only had one drive this season and she will add to that tonight.  Originally, Burley had two horses nominated, however, Im Jimmy James has been scratched from Race 3, a heat of the Menangle Country Series.  This gelding provided Burley with her last winner.  Burley’s only drive tonight now is on Havana in Race 7, a mare she also owns.  Burley drove five winners last season, which extended her overall record to 14 wins.  As a trainer, the 25-year-old has had seven winners.  Burley began training in July 2017 and her first horse was Our Emancipation.   This pacer provided Burley with her first win as a trainer and gave her five wins overall. iForm Bathurst best bet Race 7: Shes All Smiles (5) Looks the one to beat changing stables showing noticeable improvement at Penrith. Bathurst next best Race 5: The Mustang (7) Makes his presence felt following a tidy effort in the Temora Cup when striking early trouble. Play the exotics The Bathurst Quaddie Race 5: 3-8-4 Race 6: 3-2-1 Race 7: 5-7-2 Race 8: 4-8-3 $81 for 100%

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) are pleased to announce the 2019/2020 Globe Derby Awards – proudly sponsored by IRT. The Globe Derby Awards celebrate the sports leading Sires. Bettors Delight USA continued his dominance of the Globe Derby Awards in winning both the Leading Sire by Stakemoney and Leading Juvenile by Stakemoney. Remarkably, season 2019/20 marked the 9th time in which the Woodlands Stud sire was the leading sire by Stakemoney. Alabar Farm’s Majestic Son CA was the Leading Trotting Sire by Stakemoney for the 5th time and was clearly the most outstanding trotting sire for the season. The remaining award winners are listed below, and Harness Racing Australia congratulates the connections of the Globe Derby Award Winners. BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 9th time) Leading Sire by Stakemoney BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 5th time) Leading Juvenile Sire by Stakemoney MAJESTIC SON CA (for the 5th time) Leading Sire of Trotters by Stakemoney 2019/2020 Statistics LEADING SIRE BY STAKEMONEY           BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 654 starters 460 winners 1438 wins $14,568,341 LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY           MACH THREE CA - 43 starters 29 winners 69 wins $973,362 LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY             BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 115 starters 90 winners 300 wins $2,930,908 LEADING JUVENILE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY (2&3YO’S)           BETTORS DELIGHT USA  - 192 starters 138 winners 397 wins $3,862,897 LEADING SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKEMONEY          MAJESTIC SON CA  - 174 starters 109 winners 293 wins $2,751,053 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKEMONEY               SUNDON USA - 213 starters 136 winners 378 wins $3,671,438 LEADING SIRE BY WINNERS           BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 460 winners LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS           ART MAJOR USA - 48 winners LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS           ART MAJOR USA - 101 winners LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY           CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ - 423 starters 298 winners 903 wins $9,112,847 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY           ART MAJOR USA - 85 starters 45 winners 88 wins $887,898 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY           ART MAJOR USA - 106 starters 61 winners 209 wins $1,653,945 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY WINNERS           CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ - 298 winners LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS           ART MAJOR USA - 45 winners LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS           BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 68 winners   Harness Racing Australia

MICHAEL Muscat recently decided that it was the right time in his life to make a change and he now has no regrets that he chose to re-locate from Sydney to Bathurst. “I am really loving it out there in the central west. The people that I have got to know are so friendly and the lifestyle is most definitely more relaxed than in the city,” said Muscat. Since moving west, Muscat has had five winners, his most notable being Jak Magic, which provided him with his first Menangle Country Series Final three weeks ago.   Muscat has no fear in travelling with his team and has already been seen all around the countryside at tracks like Dubbo, Junee, Young and Parkes. “Bathurst is quite central to many tracks which gives me lots of options to race my horses in suitable races and I have enjoyed the trips to places that I had not been to before,” said Muscat.  “Unfortunately, I have been unable to drive the horses myself due to sustaining some injuries in some falls earlier in 2020. “But I have been fortunate to have secured some of the best drivers from the area, who are keen to drive my horses, which is very humbling. “I have not had all that many starters to date, so I am pleased to have already chalked up five winners since moving.  “In fact, I don’t think many of them have missed a cheque either.” Muscat said that eventually he wanted to return to race driving, but is in no rush. “I do miss driving in races but while things are ticking over as well as they currently are, there is no real urgency to get back,” he said. On Wednesday night, Muscat is “at home” with four runners on a solid Bathurst program. “I find it hard to pinpoint a standout from my team tonight as all four appear to be top chances,” he said.  “Jak Magic was so strong in winning at Menangle last start and Lord Heston bolted in on Boxing night.  “Although Dargos Pet was beaten last time out when an odds-on favourite we were happy with his effort while Shes All Smiles is one to follow as she is on the improve and I think she can go very close to winning.”   HRNSW MEDIA

Gavelhouse graduate (I’m) Captain Max provided trainer-driver Brad Hewitt with a special victory on his family’s annual memorial raceday at Goulburn on Sunday. At what was his second start for Hewitt having been bought online in October for $10,500, the five-year-old son of American Ideal provided him with his 500th driving win with a dominant performance. Heading into the race as odds-on favourite, (I’m) Captain Max stalked the leaders in a mid-field position before Hewitt let him stride around the outside, taking control of proceedings in devastating fashion. Hitting the front before entering the straight, the pair left rivals 11.9m in arrears on the line. “We had been keeping an eye on gavelhouse.com for young horses and racing stock and he was one we were keen to secure and if it wasn’t for the cost of freight we’d have added more to the team from the site,” commented Hewitt. “He’s one of 26 odd that my father and I have in work and he went really well on Sunday, running 11:55:4. “At this stage we have no set plans with him, we will just keep taking him through the grades.” (I'm) Captain Max and Brad Hewitt. Photo: Goulburn Paceway. Bred and originally raced by Stonewall Stud, Captain Max won on two occasions in New Zealand over 2000m and 2200m before being offered for sale on gavelhouse.com.   Currently there are four Standardbreds for sale on the site with bidding ending from 7pm tomorrow, Wednesday 13 January. VIEW FULL CATALOGUE   gavelhouse.com

Saturday night should be another walk in the park for Lochinvar Art. Australia’s best pacer already looked a class above his Group 2 Shepparton Gold Cup rivals, but drawing the pole cemented it. He’s $1.10 with the Aussie TAB in a seven-horse race where former Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup runner-up Our Uncle Sam (gate five) and talented comeback pacer Malcolms Rhythm (three) look next best. Trainer-driver David Moran said Lochinvar Art was “pretty close to his top” for his first race of 2021. His last run was that stunning 30.5m Group 1 Vicbred final win on New Year’s Eve. “He had a few days off after that last win and I said I’d play it by earn whether he ran this week or waited to Ballarat, but he’s ready to go,” he said. “This will sharpen him up a bit and then he’s got Ballarat next week to top him off for the Hunter Cup (February 6). “He’s had his share of bad draws in big races, so it’s great to have a couple of draws at his past two. Hopefully he keeps getting the good draws, especially come Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile time.” ______________________________________________________________________________________ Rejuvenated trotting star McLovin headlines the feature trot at Shepparton when he backs-up from gate seven in the Group 3 George Gath. He’s one of three Andy and Kate Gath runners, Monaro Maro (three) and Majestic Courtney (five). McLovin is going for four wins on end after his mighty Group 1 Maori Mile victory at Bendigo last Saturday night. His baby half-brother, Havehorsewilltravel, is going for four wins from as many starts for Team Gath in the third race at Shepparton. The Angus Hall gelding found the front and won well in the Cobram Trotters’ Cup last Sunday. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Former classy Kiwi pacer Star Galleria continues his Hunter Cup preparation in the free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night. Driver Luke McCarthy was delighted with the gelding’s first run for trainer Craig Cross when he won easily, albeit in moderate time, at Menangle two weeks back. Star Galleria will start from the outside gate, but should be further improved and looks a classy above his rivals with Cross’ other big guns not in the race. On the same card, prepost Ladyship Mile favourite Bettor Enforce should be too classy from gate in a small but select Group 3 Ladyship Pace. Classy Queenslander Pelosi is down to start her quest towards the Ladyship Mile and looks the main threat from gate five, while former WA mare Dracarys (two) and the talented Nostra Villa (four) add some class. There will be plenty of interest in the opening race when last-start Breeders Crown 3YO winner Zeuss Bromac returns from a break to build towards the Chariots Of Fire.   by Adam Hamilton

With 101 yearlings due to roll through the Oaklands Junction sale ring on Sunday, February 7, the odds of purchasing a potential topliner at the Australian Pacing Gold Melbourne sale have never been more in the favour of buyers. The sale catalogue has listed 56 superbly bred colts and 45 fillies for auction, all eligible to contest APG’s Melbourne Gold Bullion Series carrying around $600,000 of local prizemoney. APG’s General Manager, David Boydell, enthused, “the simple fact is that the risk to reward ratio for buyers has never been better with the 56 colts and 45 fillies eligible for APG’s Melbourne $150,000 2YO finals and $100,000 3YO finals, featuring separate divisions for each sex". “The odds of finding a horse capable of filling one of the 40 places in the finals are outstanding, and most buyers would like to think that they can shorten the odds even further based on their own methods of ranking the horses based on pedigree and conformation. “Realistically, I’d expect buyers will be approaching APG’s 2021 Melbourne Sale with an enormous feeling of confidence that they will be coming home with a purchase capable of lining up in at least one of APG’s Group One Melbourne Gold Bullion Finals”. In addition to the $600,000 or so of local APG prizemoney, the majority of the yearlings are also paid up for the rich Breeders Crown, Vicbred and Vicbred Platinum series for two, three and four-year-olds, while 37 are eligible for the Bathurst Gold Crown, five for Tasbred, three for the NSW Breeders Challenge and one for Westbred. And, with the plethora of age classics being conducted around Australia, graduates of the 2021 APG Melbourne sale will have far greater earning potential than ever before. The catalogue lists progeny of past Australian Pacing Gold winners in Self Denial (2003) and Pelicanrama (1999) and close relatives of APG champions such as Follow The Stars (2014), Mindarie Priddy (2013), Lombo Pocket Watch (2006) and Lady Waratah (2005). Graduates of recent Melbourne sales include recent Breeders Crown champions Maajida and Be Happy Mach the Vicbred winner Pacifico Dream, as well as recent Australian Horse of the Year winners in their respective categories, Centenario, Lumineer, Nostra Villa, Shez All Rock and Smolda. To order a sale catalogue or to view the catalogue online simply click on the respective links on the website www.apgold.com.au   Australian Pacing Gold

Down Under driver has huge weekend of racing. Down Under harness racing driver Todd McCarthy had an outstanding two nights at the Meadowlands in New Jersey over Friday and Saturday nights race meetings. McCarthy recently relocated to North America from Sydney Australia to further purse his harness driving career. With his older brother Andrew McCarthy already located in the US, Todd has entered the American racing scene with a great impact and is gaining huge winning momentum. On Friday night McCarthy scored 4 wins then backed up on Saturday night winning another 4 races and picking up 4 seconds and a third. Making that 8 wins and 5 placings in two days of racing at the Meadowlands. Three of which of the wins he teamed up with Down under trainers Noel Daley and Nifty Norman. Firstly Darkrshadeofpale N a Down Under mare trained by Noel Daley scored a convincing win in a $12,500 pace clocking 1:51.4 for the mile. Soon after McCarthy jumped on one of down under trainer Nifty Normans trotters in Godspell Hall and won easily in 1:53.2 taking home $15,500. Then to Saturday night and the talented Down Under pacer Effronte A found form again when winning in 1:51.2 after receiving the perfect two hole ride (trail) and then really rallied late to win by two and a half lengths. This son of Rock N Roll Heaven is also trainer by Down Under trainer Noel Daley.  Over the 11 days so far in 2021 Todd McCarthy has driven 10 winners and placed 6 times for $88,580 in stake earnings. He is off to a flyer and this year looks to be exciting for the Down Under talent. Monday 4th January Monticello Raceway NY Eden Paige N – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $5,200   Tuesday 5th January Pompano Park FL Thefreedomfighter N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $4,500   Wednesday 6th January Dover Downs DE Neon Sky N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $5,000  Soho Burning Love A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $22,000  Sudden Change N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $12,500    Northfield Park OH Rycroft N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $4,200   Thursday 7th January Dover Downs DE Tiger Thompson N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $13,000  Always Flashing A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $15,000  Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $20,000    Monticello Raceway NY Northern Assassin A – Time: 1:59.1, Stake: $4,600   The Meadows PA Hereslooknatyou N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,400   Friday 8th January Freehold Raceway NJ Tall Poppy N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $7,500   Meadowlands NJ Darkrshadeofpale N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $12,500 Dbldelitebrigade N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $15,500   Miami Valley Raceway OH Armabluechipboy N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $12,500 Sprinter N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500 Persistent Threat A – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $12,500   The Meadows PA Yankee Roller A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $4,900   Saturday 9th January Cal Expo CA Hoo Nien A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $5,600   Freehold Raceway NJ Vasari N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $7,700   Meadowlands NJ Effronte A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $7,500 Italian Delight N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $10,000 Two Fiftyeight N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $8,125 Hold Thumbs N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $7,600   Miami Valley Raceway OH Messi N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $8,100 Charlottetown Driving Park CA Uncle Ben N – Time: 2:03.2, Stake: $1,400   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Thanks to some outstanding decisions made by Queensland breeders back in the season of 2019/20, APG have been able to assemble 52 distinguished Lots for the APG Brisbane Sale happening at Albion Park Paceway on Sunday 31 January 2021. This acclaimed race series not only has $350,000 of local prize money on offer, but in addition an incentive scheme for QBRED-eligible horses sees a first-win bonus set at $12,000 at any age, regardless of how many interstate wins they may have had. A further $7,500 cash bonus is also on offer for their first Queensland win in a subsequent season, meaning the opportunities for investors in harness racing right now have never been better than in QLD. The next four stallions we would like to highlight are Badlands Hanover, Betterthancheddar, Betting Line and Bettors Delight. Badlands Hanover was a standout Grand Circuit performer, setting a world record at two of 1:50 winning the 1998 Breeders Crown Final. With multiple $1,000,000 winners in both the northern and southern hemispheres, this puts him amongst some of the most successful stallions in the sport. Lot 30 - Badlands Hanover - Bute Sister - Artiscape -  Ms Mac N Cheese $815,427: This impressive looking filly has a dam being a sister to Badlands Bute, and a winner of $328,365 which carries the blood that could get the new owner extremely excited by its prospects. Betterthancheddar went to stud as a Bettor’s Delight’s fastest and richest entire and while his multiple world record holder race career ended tragically, it hasn’t stopped him leaving fast horses in both hemispheres. Lot 28 – Betterthancheddar – Bubby Doll – Jet Laag Wisdom tree (Artsplace) $642,215: The APG Brisbane breeder looks to have nailed his choice of broodmare sire here with Jet Laag.  With six of Betterthanchedddar’s best 16 coming from the Adios line (through Abercrombie) broodmares sires, this stylish looking grey has the potential to bring joy to her new connections. At three-years-old, Betting Line won 14 of 15 starts  and with wins in the North American Cup, the Carl Milstein Memorial and the Battle of the Brandywine (where he posted his career best time of 1:47.2f) it helped him to go on to be crowned 2016 Canadian All-age Horse of the Year and North American 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year. Betting Line’s top four progeny (all have won north of $100,000 as 2YOs) so far have come from Meadow Skipper (through Western Hanover) and Adios (through Abercrombie) which is a point not lost on the canny APG Brisbane breeders, with five of the six lots matched to those successful lines. The sixth was bred on the Direct Scooter line, which most people would understand shows how amazing Bettors Delight has been with Cullen mares. Both Lazarus - the super star winner of $4,125,988 - and Chicago Bull - winner of $2,308,843 - are out of Cullen mares. Three great examples of Betting Lines Lots are: Lot 1 - Betting Line - October Original - Perfect Art - Tall Dark Stranger $1,941,999 (Bettors Delight – Art Major): What a great filly to kick off the sale; fillies have really ran in this family and please don’t forget that the very handy Lovers Delight (by Bettors Delight) winner of $555,473 was out of the same N4 family. This lot is being prepared by the team at Monarch farms and it’s sure to present well. Lot 4 - Betting Line - Ourark - Rocknroll Hanover - Abuckabett Hanover $172,434. This colt is from U306 and it’s done a wonderful job here in Australia. While Betting Line’s highest earner is from a Rocknroll Hanover Broodmare, his father produced Bettors Wish from a mare by Rocknroll Hanover’s sire Western Ideal. Lot 38 - Betting Line - Exclusif - Perfect Art - Tall Dark Stranger $1,941,999 (Bettors Delight – Art Major): What is of particular note here is how good the Bettor’s Delight blood has already worked with this dam who has produced the $455,809 winner Bettor Bet Black. The Vaggs have a reputation of producing big strong yearlings to the sale and this Lot will be no different - a must view colt. Bettor’s Delight is being promoted as harness racing’s relentless juggernaut in the breeding shed, with no stallion having cast a bigger shadow over the breeding scene. Age has not diminished his influence on the racetrack and in the breeding barn as his progeny continue to break records and he is now impacting as a broodmare sire. Lot 25 – Bettors Delight – Wandary Splash – Blissfull Hall – Bettor Than You $543,628: With an incredible five offspring bred on this cross so far with earnings of more than $100,000, from just nine progeny of racing age - this cross has ticked so many boxes.  With the additional bonus of being prepared at Burwood, this QBRED Filly should have a massive day. Please come and celebrate the exciting opportunities now available in Queensland with us and support the efforts of the breeders and consignors in this state.  We invite you to join us at Albion Park on Sunday January 31 from 8am for a complimentary breakfast, followed by free beverages from 11am to 12:05pm. We will have online and telephone bidding options available if you are unable to attend. John Coffey will be inspecting all of the Brisbane yearlings on sales day, and will be pleased to answer any questions that you may have on the individuals featuring in the sale, or to bid on your behalf.  John can be contacted on 0418 500 211. Please contact Linda Graham on 0428 955 998 via email and she’ll be pleased to assist you with your online registrations, pre- bidding sale approvals or to answer any other questions that you may have on your travel and accommodation needs.   RQ Media

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