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The quality of harness racing at Menangle – as well as our women trainers, has never been more evident. Two New South Wales pacers, both trained by women, plundered the riches on offer at Melton last weekend when Expensive Ego and Michelle Lee Mac brought two Group 1 features back to ‘the Premier State’. Trainer Belinda McCarthy outlined some ambitious plans for the horse many expect to be our next superstar after Expensive Ego scored an easy win in the $210,000 APG final for four-year-old colts and entires, beating local stars Pacific Dream and Mach Dan in a 1:52.1 mile rate. McCarthy has set her sights on the inaugural Rising Sun on July 10 at Queensland’s Winter Carnival, followed by their other features, the Sunshine Sprint and the Blacks A Fake – all run at Albion Park in consecutive weeks. “He will come home now and do a few days in the water walker and we’ll then look for a race for him,” said Belinda. “He’ll have one start somewhere before we go to Queensland, but that’s it. “In between we will keep him pretty fresh.” While Expensive Ego has a few hills to climb this season, four-year-old mare Michelle Lee Mac will be taking it easy following her win in the night’s other big feature, the $210,000 APG Mares Final. Sent out as a $24 outsider, the Kerry and Dean McDowell-trained mare rated 1:54 to score a 6.7m win over Its Beaujolais and Its Ebonyivory after a faultless drive by leading local reinsman Greg Sugars. “There’s nothing more exciting than that - that was a real thrill,” said the Wallacia-based McDowell. “She’s going to a paddock now; we’ll be dropping her off on the way home. “We’ll give her a fairly long break; she’ll have a nice quiet winter.” Michelle Lee Mac, who had finished fourth in the NSW heat behind Pelosi, is now a two-time Group 1 winner after taking out the 2019 Bathurst Gold Tiara Final as a two-year-old. “She's been unlucky in a couple of other Group 1 races. She's been knocked down a couple of times, so we hadn't seen her true form back then,” said McDowell. “But when she's got it all together and clear racing, you can see that she can perform with the best of them. “I lost my voice in screaming; I was screaming and jumping up and down. “I think everybody heard me.” By Michael Court for HRNSW MEDIA

Interstate rivals dominated harness racing’s Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold Four-Year-Old Finals at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. Leading the way was exciting New South Wales pacer Expensive Ego who lived up to his favouritism to claim the entires/geldings edition. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven was steered to the front by reinsman Luke McCarthy, and that is where they stayed throughout the $210,000 feature. Expensive Ego clocked 1:52.1 and spaced his rivals by more than nine metres. “We didn’t need to break any records we just wanted to get the job done,” said McCarthy. “I was really happy with him tonight. “He is a big goofball-gangly-sort-of-fella and is just a cool horse. “He is still a stallion and is just a pleasure to drive.” Watch the replay below: Trained by Belinda McCarthy, Expensive Ego will now be aimed for $250,660 The Rising Sun at Albion Park, Queensland, on July 10. “He was one of the first horses invited for the race and the owner Jason Grice has accepted the invitation,” said McCarthy. Meanwhile, in tonight’s Australian Pacing Gold Four-Year-Old Mares’ Final, New South Wales mare Michelle Lee Mac caused an upset at starting odds of $24. The Dean and Kerry McDowell-trained daughter of Bettors Delight was driven by local reinsman Greg Sugars to secure her second Group 1 win. Michelle Lee Mac won Bathurst’s Gold Tiara Final as a two-year-old. Watch the replay below:   By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Sydney reinsman Gavin Fitzpatrick is starting to build a common theme in his illustrious harness racing career. He seems to be saving his major milestones for feature races. Fitzpatrick brought up 1600 wins at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight when claiming the Australian Pacing Gold Four-Year-Old Consolation with Jay Ok. Trained by his father, Harold Park Living Legend Paul Fitzpatrick, Jay Ok lowered his personal best time by almost two seconds when rating 1:50.7 to claim the $50,000 futurity. Beginning from barrier seven, Fitzpatrick settled Jay Ok three back along the pegs. Noted fast beginner Crunch Time dictated the slick pace in front, rolling through the first two quarters in 27.1 and 29.1 seconds. The third split was 27.4 and Fitzpatrick was able angle Jay Ok into the clear around the home turn, producing a finishing burst in 27 flat to win by more than two metres. Club Menangle Chairman Robert Marshall with stablehand Lucas Rando, Gavin Fitzpatrick and Alicia Flowers following Jay Ok's success. Jay Ok, a son of A Rocknroll Dance out of Sportswriter mare Naevia, extended his record to eight wins in 24 starts and earnings of $91,960. As for Fitzpatrick, who has the nickname ‘Group 1 Gav’, he brought up 1500 wins when successful in the 2018 Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle with Miss Halfpenny, on his birthday. Race replay below: By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Harness racing young guns will steer the ship at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight (Saturday) with Sydney’s leading reinsman Luke McCarthy on a hit-and-run trip to Victoria to chase one of their feature races. Trainer Belinda McCarthy will still have a big team contesting several Menangle features and there’s one in particular that her husband Luke admits he’d love to be aboard. While Luke will be hoping to capture the $210,000 Australian Pacing Gold four-year-old entires and geldings final with Expensive Ego at Melton, another of their potential stars, Ilikemebettor will have the services of young Jack Callaghan as he tries to annex the $50,000 APG Consolation at Menangle just 45 minutes earlier. Callaghan, along with Ashley Hart and experienced Victorians Chris Alford and John Caldow, will handle the McCarthy runners at Menangle and Luke admits he has full confidence they will be able to get the job done. “Ilikemebettor is a really nice progressive type of horse and I think he’s likely to get a good trip,” said Luke. Ilikemebettor finished third to Expensive Ego and Jay OK in the APG qualifier at Menangle on April 20 and the lightly-raced Bettors Delight stallion has drawn gate seven but should come into six for tonight’s race after the emergencies are withdrawn. Meanwhile, McCarthy reports that Expensive Ego could not be better, and the Miracle Mile runner-up had the perfect draw to account for his rivals in the Group 1 Melton feature. “Not many horses can sit outside of King Of Swing and still be coming in the straight, which is what he did in the Miracle Mile,” said Luke. “We gave him a freshen-up after that run and he could not have been more impressive when he came out and went 1:48.6 first-up. “It’s a good race with horses like Mach Dan in really good form but we have turned the page on Expensive Ego’s last run at Melton because he got knocked over and raced without luck. “I expect him to be a much different proposition this time around.” McCarthy also took stablemate Star Galleria to Melton as a travelling companion for Expensive Ego and despite drawing the outside of the second row in the TAB Golden Reign Free-For-All, expects the last-start Menangle winner to give a good account of himself. “The free-for-alls in Sydney are pretty strong and he ran a good time last start so he should go well again,” said the champion reinsman.   HRNSW MEDIA Michael Court

John Yeomans is no stranger to Australian Pacing Gold success, but does need to stretch his memory a fair way to recall his one previous triumph in harness racing's rich national series. The Doreen-based trainer prepared youngster Etoile to win the APG two-year-old final all the way back in 1994, a victory that proved one of just four in the horse's career which ended just over a year later. Now, Yeomans is looking to a pair of stablemates to help him lift Group 1 silverware once again. This time it will be in the APG four-year-old division, for horses that missed the abandoned three-year-old series due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yeomans and his wife Christine bred, own and prepare the exciting Its Ebonynivory and Its Beaujolais, who ran the quinella in the Australian Pacing Gold 4YO Mares Heat at Tabcorp Park Melton last Friday. Some tricky draws - Its Ebonynivory has nine and Its Beaujolais seven - will make the job tough against a quality field, which includes the well-fancied Pelosi, who won the New South Wales heat last week. "I think Beaujolais is probably the better of the two, not that there is much between either one of them," Yeomans told Trots Talk. "It's a pity that we have drawn where we have - two of the worst draws - but we won this race 27 years ago with a horse called Etoile. She drew barrier nine, she was one of the longest priced horses in the race, Trevor Dove drove her and she got up and won for us." Its Ebonynivory and Its Beaujolais are both descendants of a horse the Yeomans previously raced by the name of Indigenous. After winning 14 of 21 career starts, she had the well-performed Life Inthefastlane - the mother of Its Beaujolais - and The Dreamtime - the mother of Its Ebonynivory. "Indigenous has been a great producing mare and has had over eight or nine winners. She's in foal again to Sweet Lou. She's getting an old girl, this will probably be the last foal," Yeomans said. The $210,000 APG 4YO Mares Final (1720m) will come two races after the clash between the entires and geldings, where another NSW campaigner looks awfully hard to beat. Luke and Belinda McCarthy's star Expensive Ego - the 2021 Chariots of Fire champion and Miracle Mile runner-up - cruised through his heat at Menangle last week and has come up with barrier four - three if emergency Jawbreaker doesn't gain a start - for the feature. He will take on some key Victorian-based rivals, but has the early advantage over local heat winners Pacifico Dream (Andy Gath) and Mach Dan (Emma Stewart), who have barriers six and nine respectively. The Australian Pacing Gold 4YO Consolation will be run at Group 2 level early in the night, with a field of six to do battle over 1720m, while plenty of attention will be on the Mick Chircop-trained General Dodge, who is back at the races after a blistering first-up win at Geelong two weeks ago. He will start from barrier seven in the TAB Golden Reign Free For All, where he will come up against NSW raider Star Galleria, who last ventured to Melton for February’s Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup. Saturday night’s meeting kicks off from 5.04pm AEST.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

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   Australian Pacing Gold

The stock of exciting first crop sires Huntsville, Downbytheseaside, Lennytheshark, Vincent and Jilliby Kung Fu will be showcased at the harness racing Australian Pacing Gold sale at Oaklands Junction on Sunday, February 7. Huntsville has the largest representation with six (four colts and two fillies), Downbytheseaside has three fillies, Lennytheshark and Vincent both have three and Jilliby Kung Fu one entry. Huntsville and Downbytheseaside, both sons of the incomparable Somebeachsomewhere, were joint record holders of the fastest mile put up by a two-year-old at 1:49. The former was voted the USA 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year in 2016 and the latter the USA 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year and Pacer of the Year in 2017. Huntsville (1:47.8) won 15 of his 25 starts and $1.7 million in stakes including the Breeders Crown, International Stallion Stakes and Bluegrass at two and the Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace and North America Cup elimination at three. His first crop of yearlings sold at the Lexington Selected Sale in October averaged $62,143 for 35 head. Downbytheseaside, who took a record of 1:48.6 at three and earned $2.1 million, won 22 of his 35 outings. Among his successes were the Governor’s Cup, International Stallion Stakes and Bluegrass at two and the Messenger Stakes, Progress Pace, Art Rooney Memorial and Carl Milstein Memorial at three. At the Lexington sale Downbytheseaside’s stock averaged $61,192 for 26 lots sold. Lennystheshark, a courageous pacer with a lion-sized heart, began his career as a two-year-old and soon became the idol of all Australian trotting fans in the 2010’s. In all, ‘Lenny’ recorded 39 wins including the 2015 Inter Dominion Final and 2017 Miracle Mile and now fewer than 23 Group successes and finished up with a stake tally of $3,007,585. A member of the dominant Cam Fella sire line, Lennytheshark, by Four Starzzz Shark, is from the noted Miss Tommy family which produced the champion colonial stallion Classic Garry. A son of the great Art Major and the Group 1 winner Kept For Pleasure, Vincent was unquestionably one of the greatest three-year-olds ever produced in this country. He won 12 of his 15 starts at three including the NZ and NSW Derbies and the NSW Breeders Challenge and was named 3YO Colt of the Year, while at four he was unbeaten in three attempts including the Auckland Cup and Franklin Cup. Vincent’s debut crop of weanlings were greatly in demand at the NZ All Aged sale last May. Nine weanlings sold for an average price of $14,333, the highest for a first-season sire and the third highest overall. Jilliby Kung Fu, another son of Four Starzzz Shark, was a Group winner at two, three and four years. In a comparatively brief career he won 16 races including the Chariots of Fire equalling the race record of 1:48.8, the Vicbred Super Series 3YO Final and the Victorian 4YO Bonanza and finished second in the fastest ever Miracle Mile. The winner of $529,710, Jilliby Kung Fu was voted the Victorian Horse of the Year in 2018. To order a sale catalogue or to view the catalogue online simply click on the respective links on the website Australian Pacing Gold

As we head towards nomination time for next year’s Australian Pacing Gold’s (APG) Yearling Sales, Chairman of APG, Robert Marshall, reflected on the contribution the sales company has made to Australian standardbred breeding and  harness racing. “APG is Australian focussed, always has been, always will be”, Marshall said. “Our mission is to provide the opportunity for standardbred breeders to offer their yearlings for sale in a market and for a Futurity event, where only Australian bred horses are offered and compete.” APG’s Futurity Series acknowledges the importance of the purchaser in the equation. While APG’s model originally focussed on a National 2YO Final, it now looks to provide the purchaser with the opportunity to earn across the States and for more than just the 2YO season. Marshall noted that, with the pressure on wagering revenues, impacted even more by the outbreak of COVID-19, owners will be looking to purchase a yearling where the likelihood of a return is enhanced by greater opportunity. The investment in a yearling is, for most purchasers, a leap into the unknown. Clearly some will not make it to the racetrack and some may not make it as a 2YO. APG’s Futurity Series provides the purchaser with a lot more in the way of opportunity than was available under the previous format. The purchaser is no longer competing for one pot of money - the State-based series provides Group racing in all east coast states as well as WA for 2yo and 3yo Colts and Fillies. Given the reduced prizemoney available across Australia, purchasers will have a keen eye on where they spend the discretionary dollar in 2021 and the likelihood of a return. On the suggestion that APG might open its books to NZ-Bred yearlings as is the case with Nutrien Ag’s proposed sale in 2021, Marshall was adamant: “APG is Australian owned for Australian bred.”  

Dear friends in the Australian harness racing industry - breeders, vendors, buyers, trainers, owners, administrators. The outbreak of COVID-19 will have a major effect on communities around the world. Fortunately, global events such as this do not occur often. Sadly, however, their impact, both social and financial, can be long lasting. APG would like to assure the Australian harness racing industry that the Company’s balance sheet is excellent and there is no threat from current events to the commitments made to vendors and purchasers going forward. These commitments are in the bank! We recently consulted with the industry about the preferred futurity model and have introduced a new state-based scheme, which enables owners of APG qualified horses to compete in APG Futurity events over a number of years and in the jurisdiction of their choice. Owners and potential owners have an on-going opportunity to realise on their investments. APG has the balance sheet, the industry knowledge and a tried and true formula to ensure that we will be there to support the harness racing industry this year and into the next decade. We are committed to all of our resources being channelled back to the industry and nowhere else! Here are some important facts about Australian Pacing Gold: Owned jointly by Harness Racing Victoria, Albion Park Harness Racing Club and Club Menangle First sale conducted in 1990 A Not-For-Profit Company - meaning that no financial gain can be realised by the owners Currently has pledged in excess of $5million in futurity-race prizemoney over the next three years APG GUARANTEES the availability of promised stakes for APG sales graduates who have sustained in Series 29, 30 and 31 . . . and beyond! In times of financial uncertainty, invest in GOLD - Australian Pacing GOLD. Robert Marshall CHAIRMAN

Club Menangle has confirmed industry rumours of a further commitment to the harness racing industry in New South Wales. Australian Pacing Gold (APG) has announced that Harness Racing Victoria will contribute an additional $25,000 towards the two-year old fillies and two-year old colts and geldings Gold Bullion Finals to be held in Victoria in 2021. The bonus will be paid to the owner/s of the highest placed Victorian bred horse in either final and sold out of the 2020 APG sales. The horse must be sold through the sale and potential buyers should note the conditions. “Club Menangle Directors have been monitoring the horrendous impact of the drought across New South Wales for the past eighteen months”, said Club Menangle’s Chair, Robert Marshall. The record dry has had an enormous impact on the harness racing industry in this state and made worse by the unprecedent bushfires which have ravaged parts of New South Wales since just before Christmas. While it may be too late for Santa Claus, Robert and his fellow Club Menangle director on the Board of APG, Bill Ellis worked with HRV APG directors to develop an additional incentive for the forthcoming Melbourne and Sydney APG sales. Bill Ellis said the Club Menangle Board was committed to implementing an incentive ahead of the sales, given the conditions prevailing in NSW. Owners of horses purchased through APG’s Sydney sale and bred in NSW (inseminated, foaled and branded) will be eligible to compete for the Sydney bonus of $25,000 in both two-year old Finals.  Robert Marshall noted the important characteristic of the bonus was that it would not necessarily go to the winner of the Sydney Gold Bullion Final. If the winner was not bred in NSW and not sold at the Sydney APG sale, the bonus would go to the next highest placed NSW bred horse. The news has been welcomed by the New South Wales harness racing industry. Success Stud co-proprietor, Jackie Gibson thanked Club Menangle for supporting the breeding industry in New South Wales and highlighted the value in purchasing a yearling through the Sydney APG sale. It makes sense to purchase in New South Wales due to the support Club Menangle provides. Rod Woodhouse, the owner of Yirribee Stud, said “this is another example of Club Menangle’s leadership in New South Wales. On the eve of the Sky Carnival of Miracles, its another reason to breed and own in NSW.” Club Menangle also funds the NSW Blue Series. Another Club Menangle funding initiative. All in all, it’s as easy as APG! Club Menangle

EXCEPTIONALLY-BRED filly Keep Rockin is well placed to join her famous mum on a Group One honour roll next month. Thanks to her victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle this afternoon Keep Rockin has earned a berth in the Australian Pacing Gold Final. The $350,000 decider is scheduled to be conducted at Albion Park on May 11. By Rock N Roll Heaven, Keep Rockin is from former outstanding filly Kept For Pleasure, which was retired with 19 wins and 10 seconds from 37 starts for earnings of $542,343. Kept For Pleasure, which has become a prolific producing broodmare, captured four Group Ones, including the 2007 APG Final at Albion Park. Keep Rockin is prepared by Michael Doltoff who trained Kept For Pleasure to secure the Final. “Her mum won the APG in Queensland so hopefully this filly can do it too,” Doltoff said. “She’s got her share of ability, but has a long way to go before she can be compared to her mother. “A win in the Final will certainly move her closer.” Driven by Michael Towers, Keep Rockin was eased away from barrier five to settle mid field as Michelle Lee Mac led and the five runners travelled in ‘Indian file’. Gaining the one-one trip along the back straight as Gee Gee Blinxs was taken to the ‘death seat’, Keep Rockin was angled three-wide at the top of the home straight before sprinting to a five-and-a-half metre win from the pacemaker. Gee Gee Blinxs fought on to be 18 metres away third. “She’s run second at her last three starts so has been building up to that,” Doltoff said. “After getting the kind of run she did she was always going to be hard to hold out.” Breaking her maiden at her sixth start, the two-year-old covered the mile in 1:56.4, with her time six-tenths of a second slower than Roscommon Rose in the following heat. Trained and driven by David Hewitt, the daughter of Art Major was two-back along the pegs from barrier four before gaining an opening halfway along the home straight. Unleashing a strong sprint Roscommon Rose grabbed the lead in the last stride to score by a head from Smooth Style, with Sheza Mamacita a half-neck away third. Unplaced upon debut, Roscommon Rose caused an upset as an $18 shot.   APG Media

A DECISION to send Australian Pacing Gold purchase No Win No Feed to New South Wales has certainly paid dividends. Prepared in Victoria last season by part-owner Jaime Madruga, No Win No Feed was transferred to Craig Cross’ stable for her three-year-old campaign. Making her racing return when second in a Bathurst Gold Bracelet heat last week, the handy filly was back at the venue for tonight’s Final. Driven “a treat” by Todd McCarthy, No Win No Feed upstaged her more fancied rivals to capture the Group One. “I sent her up for a few races with John McCarthy last season and was going to send her there again, but he is going away, so he said to send her to Craig,” Madruga explained. “She did well in the heat in her first run for seven months and was always going to be better for the run. “The boys had her primed perfectly for the Final.” Beginning quickly to lead from barrier five, No Win No Feed was allowed to roll along as the favourite, Brooklyns Best, worked at the pacemaker’s wheel. Striding clear around the home turn, the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance was untouched to score by 12-and-a-half metres from Our Ultimate Julie, with Brooklyns Best three-and-a-half metres away third. “Todd drove a treat,” Madruga said. “He knew the better ones had to come from behind so he made it hard on them. “We felt if she got the front without doing much work and could run her own race she would take a lot of running down.” Rating 1:55.5 over 2260 metres, No Win No Feed took her record to three wins and seven placings from 19 starts for earnings of $76,060. “Andy (Sinclair, part-owner) picked her at the APG Sale and we got her for only $10,000,” Madruga said. “This is Leigh’s (Flanagan) first horse and he’ll be over the moon.” Poised to remain in New South Wales, No Win No Feed will be aimed at the Breeders’ Challenge later in the season.   APG Media

TASMANIANS will be keen to claim Max Delight as one of their own, or at the very least acknowledge his local connection, on Sunday night. Although prepared in Victoria, the David Aiken-trained youngster is owned on the Apple Isle by Michael Maxfield, who purchased the son of Bettors Delight at the Australian Pacing Gold Sale. As such, Max Delight is heading across Bass Strait to tackle the state’s Derby in Hobart. The Blue Riband is part of a sensational card which includes the Pacing Cup, Trotters’ Cup and Oaks. “Michael wanted him to come down to try and win the local Derby,” Aiken said. “He will head over on the boat this arvo and get there in the morning. “With Menangle on Friday night this week Todd McCarthy will make the trip down to drive him.” McCarthy combined with Max Delight to capture the New South Wales Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle a fortnight ago. While he was among the outsiders in the Group One, Max Delight is a short-priced favourite this time around after drawing to lead throughout from barrier two. “He came through his Sydney runs in great shape,” Aiken said. “I gave him a couple of light days after that and he has been working up nicely since. “He’s drawn well and will be pretty hard to beat.” To be given another short break following this weekend’s assignment, the colt is poised to return to the scene of his Group One triumph later in the season. “He will have a little freshen up after the Derby,” Aiken said. “He is New South Wales-bred so the Breeders’ Challenge in June will be his next main target. “I’ll see what I can find in between as a lead-up to that series.”   APG Media

A MASSIVE performance in defeat coupled with an almost perfect season will see Patrickthepiranha’s younger sibling attract plenty of attention during Sunday’s Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Perth. Winner of his first seven starts for the term, Patrickthepiranha finished third at Gloucester Park yesterday in what was an impressive run after dragging a flat tyre. By highly-successful sire Four Starzzz Shark, Patrickthepiranha is from Thats The Spirit which boasts a perfect record from four starters. Thats The Spirit’s latest offering is a colt by Rock N Roll Heaven, which is set to enter the ring as Lot 620. The family includes Il Vicolo, Gotta Go Cullen, Stunin Cullen, Chilli Palmer, Veste, Jinni’s Fantasy, Fake Spirit and Niketia. Also an APG graduate, Patrickthepiranha is being primed for next week’s Sales Series Final by trainer Colin Brown, who played a role in naming the gelding. “The boys were at the stable one morning talking about Lennytheshark,” Brown explained. “Lenny, which is also by Four Starzzz Shark, had just run an enormous race the night before and they were crowing about him. “This bloke’s stable name at the breeder’s place was Patrick and as a throwaway line I said ‘don’t worry about Lennytheshark we’ve got Patrickthepiranha’. “The boys loved it and went with it. So I guess in some way he is named after Lenny!””   APG Media

After yesterday’s Ladbrokes Sydney Sale, harness racing Australian Pacing Gold has enough hit records to rival The Beatles. In what has been a stellar year for breeders and buyers, the third round of APG Sales for 2019 has once again reached record heights – following the trends set in Brisbane and Melbourne. With a tremendous depth in quality yearlings on offer, the first two sales resulted in a sales average increase, a rise in gross turnover and clearance rates boosted! As fantastic as that has been for all involved, figures from Sydney are phenomenal. With a sales average of $28,628, the 2015 Sydney record was broken as was the gross sales amount, which was beaten by a quarter of a million dollars! The day saw 184 yearlings pass through the ring with the clearance rate all but eclipsing the 2014 record when 156 were presented. “Obviously, we’re delighted with the results from yesterday’s sale, particularly the strong clearance rate, with 87 per cent of yearlings having already found new homes,” APG General Manager David Boydell said. “What was really pleasing was that the gains were not restricted to the top end horses.  Whilst the overall sales average was up by 23 per cent, the sales average for the bottom quartile of horses was up by 21 per cent, whilst the next quartile was also up by over 19 per cent, which I think is indicative of a healthy industry.” As for the top end, seven yearlings fetched bids of $100,000 or more – with four by Bettors Delight! A colt by Bettors Delight from Freedom Is was knocked down to the Jewel Syndicate for $130,000, while one of his daughters from Left For Me was the top priced filly at $110,000. Emilio Rosati matched the $130,000 bid as the highest price for the day when he purchased a colt by Captaintreacherous from Sweet As Reign. Captaintreacherous also had a filly from Golden Showgirl sold for $100,000. Somebeachsomewhere – sire of Captaintreacherous – was the only other stallion to reach the $100,000 mark when he daughter from Bettorthanyou was purchased for that amount. “We’re really appreciative of the way buyers supported both APG and our hard working breeders yesterday, and look forward to hearing their stories of how the horses progress over the coming years,” Boydell said. “For buyers who missed out in Sydney, there are still passed-in lots available online, or if buyers are interested in attending either of our Perth or Trotting Sales this weekend, we encourage them to call us on 03 5275 1999 to discuss any travel arrangements that may be available.” APG Media

UP, UP and away (hopefully to the winners’ circle) is the best way to describe the results of last weekend’s Ladbrokes Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Brisbane. With a tremendous depth in quality yearlings on offer, the sale’s average increased, gross turnover is up and interstate interest was at a level never seen before! The lots averaged $18,593 which represents an increase of eight per cent on the previous year, while gross turnover is up four per cent on 2018 – a figure which is set to rise during the coming fortnight as buyers purchase some of the lots which were passed in. New South Wales buyers were the most active with more than half the sold lots heading south. Prominent horseman Tim Butt purchased the top priced colt and filly for a combined total of $91,000. Butt parted with $55,000 for a son of Captaintreacherous and Forever Gold and $36,000 for Roll With Joe and Save Me Christian’s daughter. “The most pleasing aspect of Sunday’s Sale was our ability to attract interstate buyers,” APG General Manager David Boydell said. “They were all keen to take advantage of the additional earning opportunities available to Brisbane Sale horses courtesy of APG’s $100,000 Albion Park Sales Race and the outstanding QBred For Life bonus scheme. “Over 50 per cent of all sales were to New South Wales buyers, headed by the likes of Tim Butt, Robbie Morris, Josh Farrugia, Chris Frisby and Tumby Park, whilst Matt Craven was also active, purchasing one and missing out on a couple of others. “Overall, it was a really positive start to the sales season. There was good money available for quality horses, and this was reflected in both our sales averages and our gross turnover. “Looking forward to next year, we would like to look at ways to generate more buying activity from local owners and trainers, and we probably also need to work through a few issues with the reserves, because there were a few horses this year that had reserves on them that were higher than I’d like to see and which would have exceeded many buyers expectations.” A list of results, including a list of those passed and their reserves, is available on the APG website by clicking here Anyone wishing to place an offer on a passed in Lot can do so by clicking on the “Make An Offer” link on the results page, or by phoning John Coffey on 0418 500 211. APG Media

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