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Alabar will present a draft of 31 yearlings on behalf of clients and ourselves at this weekend’s Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale at the Oaklands Sales Complex. The draft represents an amazing amount of quality ranging from siblings to stars through to the first of second foals of outstanding racemares. Siblings to Shez All Rock (pictured), Make Mine Cullen, Cover Of Darkness and Excel Stride, to name but a few, will be on offer. While buyers will also have the opportunity to secure the first yearlings offered at auction from Arms Of An Angel 1:49.5, Illawong Helios (Vic Trotters Derby – Gr.1) and Illawong Shimmer (Vicbred Platinum Homegrown Classic – Gr.1). We are particularly excited about the debut crop of Vincent. They have been very well received at auctions around Australia and New Zealand selling up to $215,000. We will offer three by this exciting stallion including a powerful colt out of stake winning mare Our Santa Catalina who is bred to Northern Hemisphere time. To view photos and videos of each yearling please click here. This draft features a yearling for everyone and we encourage all buyers to come find your next star in Barn F at the Oaklands Sales Complex.   Alabar at The Barn

Former Victorian Horse of the Year Jilliby Kung Fu, who will stand his first commercial season at Marg Lee’s Jilliby Lodge, Terang following two seasons as a private sire, is without question one of the best performed, best-bred colonial stallions to become available to breeders.  His first crop, now weanlings, show all the quality of their sire and give every impression of being likely to develop early speed. “They are nice types with a great temperament and come to hand quickly,” Marg Lee said. Jilliby Kung Fu had only 34 starts as a two, three and four-year-old, winning 16 times and being 12 times placed and running up a stake score of $529,710 – an average of $15,580    per start. But for his injury in a paddock accident as a five-year-old, there would have been no doubt that Jilliby Kung Fu would have been one of the stars of Grand Circuit racing. Jilliby Kung Fu, who commenced his career as a two-year-old in the 2015/16 season, won five races that term including the Group 2 $50,000 APG Consolation Final in a 1:55.6 rate and a heat and semi-final of the Vicbred Super Series. As a three-year-old he captured the Group 1 $120,000 Vicbred Final in 1:55 and was beaten a head by Our Little General when runner-up in the $190,000 Breeders Crown Final and second in a Victoria Derby heat. Jilliby Kung Fu was the top stake earning four-year-old of 2018 racing against a vintage crop. Among his five successes at four were the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire, defeating Let It Ride and Atomic Red in a race equalling record 1:48.8, the $100,000 Victorian 4YO Bonanza after sitting parked throughout in 1:51.9 and a semi-final of the Vicbred Super Series. “Horses don’t do what he did in the Bonanza. He’s the best horse we’ve ever had,” Lee stated. He also finished a head second in 1:46.9 to My Field Marshal in the fastest ever Miracle Mile and second to Wrapper’s Delight in the $125,000 Vicbred Final and finished up with a seasonal tally of $332,790. A brilliant sprinter and a genuine racehorse, Jilliby Kung Fu met and defeated the best horses of his era including Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Tiger Tara, Soho Tribeca and Our Uncle Sam. A commanding bay horse, foaled in 2013, Jilliby Kung Fu is the fastest son of former champion pacer Four Starzzz Shark (1:47.8) to do stud duty in this country. Four Starzzz Shark hit the siring headlines when he left the mighty Lennytheshark (1:49.2), the Horse of the Year and Grand Circuit champion, and the millionairess Frith. On his dam’s side Jilliby Kung Fu comes from a family which has made a real impact on the Australian breeding scene. His dam Slip Slop Slap has left eight winners from nine foals of racing age including six in 2:00 or better and progeny earnings of $840,000. By Perfect Art, Slip Slop Slap is a half-sister to the Victoria Gold Chalice winner Lombo Mondoluce 2:00.4 ($145,675), being out of the top racemare and Oaks winner Slaps 2:00.2 ($142,344), by Tuapeka Knight from the American-bred mare Tabella Ace, the dam of three $100,000 earners including Riwaka Rocket (1:56). This is the family of the champion racemare Jadah Rose (1:49.6), the prolific cups winner Guaranteed and current top Victorian three-year-old Pacifico Dream. His introductory service fee is $2,200 including GST.   by Peter Wharton

The team at Allwood Stud is delighted to announce that both Follow The Stars (sire of Australasia’s leading Filly for 2020) and Rock N Roll World, both these very exciting and up and coming stallions will be standing at will be standing at Goulburn Valley Equine, Congupna Victoria for the 20/21 season.  Rock N Roll World is the son of the champion racemare and USA 2YO and 3YO Filly of the Year, Worldly Beauty 1:49.6 ($1,900,255).   She also shares a 100% matched pedigree of Art Major and she is the full sister to the dam of champion colt pacer and 2018 leading American sire Captaintreacherous 1:47.2 ($3,148,657). When we spoke to Mick Holtham today at Allwood Stud he said “We are so proud to own these very talented young sires outright.  With the potential new Vicbred Bonus breeding scheme, we thought it was time to let the breeders on the east tap into some of the hottest available genetics in the sport.” The super-fast Rock N Roll World 1:48.3, who carries the title of having “The Golden Cross of the 21st Century”, belongs to the U7-Miss Duvall family, which is noted for the number of successful sires it has produced such as Art Major, American ideal, Captaintreacherous, Life Sign, Perfect Art, Real Artist, and Western ideal just to name a few. Rock N Roll World displayed brilliant speed and stamina, winning on half-mile, five-eighths and mile tracks in Stakes and Invitational company from two to five years. Rock N Roll World is a bay horse, foaled in 2012, 15.3 hands and a stunning individual and represents GREAT value for your broodmare at the amazing fee of just $4400 less discounts. Leading 2Yo sire (4th at this time), Follow The Stars, the 2014 Australian and New Zealand 2YO of the Year and rated one of the best youngsters ever produced in this country, is lining up for his first ever season at Stud in Victoria. Follow The Stars won 10 of his 11 starts as a two-year-old and $455,409 – a scrimmage putting him out of the race at his other appearance in the Harness Jewels at Cambridge. He won in a career-best 1:53.8 at his second start in the Group 3 NZ Sapling Stakes in February and maintained his brilliance right to the end of a long 2yo campaign. He captured the Group 1 $297,000 Breeders Crown Final at Melton at his final start, ripping home in 55.7 after being required to work overtime from an awkward barrier draw. The charismatic colt also made a clean sweep of the Australian Pacing Gold series at Melton, winning the Group 1 $322,000 Final in runaway fashion in 1:54.1 for 1720 metres, as well as the $100,000 Cardigan Bay Stakes – his third Group 1 success in Auckland. Legendary NZ horseman Mark Purdon, who trained Follow The Stars, said after the Breeders Crown: “There is something special about this horse. He has a real X-factor about him. I would say he is more than up with the best two-year-olds I’ve trained…he is the best.” As a three-year-old Follow The Stars was among the top bracket. He won nine of his 15 starts and $251,828 including successes in the Caduceus Club Cup, Waikato Guineas, Reg Withers Classic (Kilmore), a heat and semi-final of the Vicbred and a heat of the Breeders Crown. In all, Follow The Stars won 19 races and was nine times placed from 29 starts for $707,237 in stakes. He is from the very powerful U24 – Lida family. This of course is the same family as the hall of fame champion BEACH TOWEL who had a spectacular racing career and was crowned 1990 Horse of the Year. Beach Towel retired as the richest single-season Standardbred (both gaits) of all time. Although plagued by allergies as a two-year-old, Beach Towel won 11 of 13 starts, earning $478,497. He set stakes, track or season records with each victory, including the Presidential, Matron, Potomac and a Governor’s Cup elimination. Beach Towel was voted 1990 Horse of the Year, and he retired as a world champion and the richest single-season Standardbred of all time ($2,091,860). His lifetime earnings totalled $2,570,357. To celebrate this move to Victoria, Follow The Stars (sire of Australasia’s leading filly) will represent astonishing value, with a fee of just $3,300 less discounts.   For all booking details please contact Michael on 0410 565 244 or email:

ONE of Australia’s most exciting pacers Poster Boy has been retired to stud. But owner-breeders, Bill and Anne Anderson, will consider a racetrack return next year. “It’s been a really hard week weighing it all up, but he’s got nothing left to prove to us and COVID-19 left us without any really big races to set him for through the middle and latter part of this year,” Anne Anderson said. “It’s cruel because this was to be his year. He got so ill with pneumonia last year and then just when we had him back and flying, along came COVID-19, but we have to move on and now’s the right time to give him his chance at stud.” Poster Boy adds to the blossoming roster of Northern Rivers Equine in Kyabram, which will also stand recently-retired glamour North American pacer Lather Up, Yankee Rockstar and established star American Ideal as well as another exciting freshman Soho Tribeca. “We had huge interest in him as a stallion, from two of the biggest studs, but we’ve decided to keep 100 percent ownership of him ourselves to keep the option of a racetrack return open,” Bill Anderson said. “We went with Kath McIntosh and Northern Rivers Equine because we’ve had a long relationship with her, she’s a vet and we think she’s a rising star in the breeding game.” Trained by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, Poster Boy ran sixth on debut at Menangle as an early two-year-old, then never finished outside the top three in his next 29 starts, winning 22 of them. The regally-bred entire won five Group 1 races and also ran a slashing third to Spankem in Australasia’s premier speed test, last year’s Miracle Mile. “We bought his mum (Aston Villa) as a yearling in Lexington, Kentucky and we were there when Poster Boy was born,” Anne said. “Of all the top horses we have bred, he’s the best, he’s our favourite. He’s the prodigal son.” The Andersons do differ on one thing, which of Poster Boy’s wins was their favourite. “Bill says the Chariots Of Fire, but my favourite was the NSW Derby,” Anne said. The Andersons praised Stewart and Tonkin for an outstanding job training Poster Boy. “He’s Emma’s favourite. One of her all-time favourites,” Bill said. “He’s the first horse she checks every morning. She thought he wasn’t himself one day and that turned into the pneumonia. We’ve got so much to thank them for.”   Adam Hamilton

The death of the New Zealand bred harness racing stallion Alta Christiano was an immense blow to the Australian breeding industry.   Alta Christiano died as the result of a colic attack at Tipperary Equine stud, Young (NSW) last weekend.   The top pacer and sire had just completed his busiest ever season, covering in excess of 160 mares.   “We had already received advanced bookings for 40 mares for next season,” Tipperary Equine studmaster Luke Primmer said.   In a career interrupted by injury, Alta Christian won 13 of his 18 starts and $309,163 in stakes.   He won four races at two years, including the NZ Kindergarten Stakes and NZ Yearling Sales Graduate at Addington.   Among his three wins as a three-year-old were the $200,000 WA Derby and the Western Gateway in a track record 1:55.4 for 2130 metres.   Alta Christiano won six of his seven starts at four including The Johnson, a Listed race.   From his first crop he produced the talented Im Sir Blake, winner of the Northern Region Championship in Victoria and Mildura Guineas, the WA Country Derby winner Fake News and While They Pray (11 wins).   Alta Christiano’s second crop now racing as three-year-olds includes the Battle of Bunbury winner Al Guerrero and Will The Wizard (Queensland Breeders Classic 2YO), while among his current batch of two-year-olds is the Western Crown winner Mighty Ronaldo.   He has sired 48 individual winners from 66 starters and they have amassed $1.17 million. In the current season he has left 40 winners to date.   by Peter Wharton

My Hard Copy, the richest New Zealand bred son of champion sire American Ideal, will stand his first season at the Highlight Lodge stud, Bullsbrook, of one of Western Australia’s leading studmasters Bill Hayes. He is a striking individual in every respect. My Hard Copy was a top racehorse, winning 27 races and being 22 times placed from 89 starts for $1,270,660 in stakes. He won the WA Pacing Cup in 2015 and 2016 and the 2018 Fremantle Pacing Cup, in which he defeated Lazarus, Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca. As a two-year-old he won in 2:00 as a two-year-old, while at 3 he won in 1:55.2 over 1730 metres at Gloucester Park. He took his record of 1:51.6 over 1609 metres at Bunbury, winning a heat of the 2015 Inter Dominion Championship, a record which still stands. Among his other successes were the Pinjarra Cup, Ray Duffy Memorial and numerous free- for-alls and he was placed in the 2016 A. G. Hunter Cup, Fremantle Cup, Cordina Chickens Sprint and Village Kid Sprint and qualified for the 2015 Inter Dominion and the 2016 Miracle Mile. A son of Western Ideal (sire of Rocknroll Hanover), from Lifetime Success, a sister to the Little Brown Jug winner Life Sign, My Hard Copy’s sire American Ideal was one of the best bred horses ever imported ‘down under’. He has been among the top bracket of sires in Australia and New Zealand for the past few years. It is fortunate that a son of American Ideal in a performed horse of My Hard Copy’s credentials is to be available to establish this male line. My Hard Copy is out of Readallaboutit, a lightly raced NZ bred mare who, besides My Hard Copy, left others in Our Front Page (1:58.1) and Press Release (1:59.5), both metropolitan winners. By Presidential Ball, a leading sire and broodmare sire, Readallaboutit was out of Natalia’s Joy, the dam of the Harold Park winner Money In The Pocket and the grand-dam of Secret Rendezvous (1:51), and the Gloucester Park winners Solomon Maguire (1:56.6) and Kenny Maguire (1:59.6). The family to which My Hard Copy belongs was established in North America, but has been extensively represented in Australia over three decades. It includes top pacers such as the dual Inter Dominion heat winner Run Oneover (1:50.8) and the WA Derby and Golden Nugget winner Manifold Bay. My Hard Copy is a quality young stallion with the bloodlines, racing performance and conformation to commend him to the most discriminating breeder. His brilliance, speed and courage have marked him as a real topliner. His introductory fee is $2,000 including GST and his progeny will be eligible for the double Westbred bonus. For further information phone studmaster Bill Hayes on 0413 257 675.   Peter Wharton

Former champion pacer Lennytheshark is to do stud duty at one of New South Wales’ leading studs – the Yirribee Pacing Stud - where Lazarus, Warrawee Needy and Fear The Dragon head a select sire list.   Lennytheshark, who took a mile record of 1:49.2, earned stakes in excess of $3-million, of which he won $2.45-million in his last three seasons. He won a remarkable 23 Group races including seven at Group 1 level.   Lennytheshark was a champion juvenile pacer in his own right. At 2 he won a heat of the Vicbred Super Series (3 rd in Final) and a semi-final of the Breeders Crown, while at 3 his major successes were the $200,000 NSW Derby, a heat of the Victoria Derby and semi-final of the Vicbred Super Series.   As a four-year-old ‘Lenny’ was undefeated in six starts including a clean sweep of the Vicbred Series and the Victorian 4YO and 5YO Championship.   However, Lennytheshark really stamped himself as the leading pacer in the country as an aged horse.   His list of major race victories included the 2016 $1.3-million Inter Dominion Grand Final, the 2016 and 2017 Victoria Cups, the 2017 Kilmore Cup and the 2017 Miracle Mile in which he took his lifetime mark of 1:49.2, defeating Lazarus, Smolda and Our Waikiki Beach.   A versatile performer, ‘Lenny’ won from the front end, sitting parked or coming from behind and won on all-sized tracks from 1600 to 3200 metres.   In all, ‘Lenny’, a true champion of champions, recorded 39 wins and 33 placings from 82 starts for $3,007,585 – an average of $36,600 per start!   On the score of blood Lennytheshark lacks nothing. His sire Four Starzzz Shark (1:47.8) was a champion with stake earnings of $2,758,648 and has been one of Australia’s top sires for some time.   He figures as the sire of two of Australia’s greatest pacers in Lennytheshark and Frith ($1.1-million).   Botswana, the dam of Lennytheshark, was the winner of the Broodmare of the Year award in 2016. She is the dam of five individual winners, four of whom took records of better than 1:58, including Led Suitcase ($261,395), a Breeders Crown champion, and Blissfull Boy ($241,970).   Botswana (2:00.7) was by Albert Albert from the noted producer Lourenco Marques, by Thor Hanover from Mozambique (dam of 6 winners) and tracing to Miss Tommy, who founded one of the greatest sources of speed of any Australian Stud Book family.   Classic Garry, a Garry Rowan horse who became a leading sire and broodmare sire, is a member of this family.   A commanding individual standing 15.3 hands with outstanding conformation and an excellent temperament, Lennytheshark is certain to add interest to the NSW breeding scene.   His service fee is $2,750 including GST with discounts for multiple mares.     Peter Wharton

It's no surprise to see leading harness racing owners Emilio and Mary Rosati in the winners’ circle on Breeders Challenge Day at Tabcorp Park Menangle. And beautifully-bred mare Sapphire Stride added to the fanfare when she scored a surprise win in today’s Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Group One for four-year-old mares. What did surprise, however, was the price: Sapphire Stride was sent out at the amazing odds of $36.20 on the TAB before leading most of the way to defeat Hey Porsha and Dolly Braveheart, scoring by a head in a 1:52.7 mile rate. Disappointment of the race was the $1.30 favourite Ameretto (Ash Grives), who settled down near last and couldn’t make up the ground in the straight before finishing a close fourth. In a field of young drivers, John McCarthy could probably be classed as a veteran, even though he’s only mid 50s, but he took Emilio Rosati’s advice and showed the youngsters a thing or two. “I thought she’d be quick out and I might struggle to get to the lead (from gate five),” said a jubilant McCarthy after scoring on the Belinda McCarthy-trained mare. “But they just didn’t come at me in the straight. “I was getting a bit tired near the line  . . . but so were they and she just kept boxing on.” McCarthy [senior] described Sapphire Stride as a nice mare: “We had a good barrier today and it might have been different if we didn’t and this win has made it really good for her as a broodmare later on. “Emilio said you go show them – and today we did.” Michael Howard

Burrumbeet harness racing trainer-driver Michael Stanley looks a leading light in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old fillies, winning one heat and placing in the other. Petacular, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Ideal Priority, was outstanding in coming from last to first to win the first semi-final, while stablemate Soho Angel ran second in the second semi-final. And Soho Angel is well-placed for a significant crack at next Saturday night’s final, drawing barrier two with Petacular to start on her back from barrier nine. It capped a great night for Stanley, whose six runners all qualified for the July 2 super series’ finals. Petacular had to work hard for her win, taken back from barrier 13 the front runners were able to lead with comfort, requiring a super effort by Stanley to run down Emma Stewart’s pair Our Celebrity and Perfect Sense. “The race probably didn’t pan out ideally, easy lead time and easy first quarter, but (Petacular) has got a bit of toughness and class about her and did the job nicely,” Stanley said. And, he said, she was improving all the time. “You only have to look at her to know she hasn’t filled out and has a lot of growing to do,” he said. “I’m sure whatever she does this year she can go with it next year.” He was starved of training a fillies double by Flying Moth, who won the second semi-final with driver Damian Wilson for Moama trainer Tony Peacock. By Art Major out of Moody Moth, Flying Moth had the leader’s (Keayang Secret) back and when Jason Lee’s frontrunner tired Wilson dove down the sprint lane to get a sniff of a win amid a tight finish. Soho Angel made a big run outside and Valbarann loomed up on the pegs, but Flying Moth nudged clear to win by a head and a neck for her thrilled connections. “She lacks a little bit of high speed but she does give her best when she’s right,” Wilson said. “The other heat looked like the stronger heat, but she is in there with a fighting chance and with a good draw we will see what happens.”   Barrier draws: Two-year-old fillies pacers 1: Keayang Secret 2: Soho Angel 3: Emoji 4: Perfect Sense 5: Valbarann 6: Artara 7: Flying Moth 8: Wongalea Jatz 9: Petacular 10: Six Elements 11: Chic Boutique 12: Atusa (emg) 13: Our Celebrity   Michael Howard

Smythes Creek harness racing trainer Emma Stewart holds plenty of aces in next Saturday night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. The three-year-old pacing fillies’ division appears to be one of her strongest hands. Stewart has four runners in the field and semi-final winner Whirily School’s stocks only rose when she pulled gate one at the barrier draw. “It was one of those cases where the wide barrier draw was actually to her advantage,” Greg Sugars said of Whirily School’s semi-final win tonight. “We were able to press forward and once she was able to take up the lead she was always the one to beat. “It’s probably a very honest and fair assessment to say she’s probably a length or so behind the very best of her age group, but she is certainly not far behind them . With a bit of luck in the final she is definitely in with a chance.” Whirily School (Courage Under Fire/Mayhappen) worked forward to eventually find the lead through a 45secs lead time and posted quarters of 30.5, 32.5, 28.9 and 28.9 for a mile rate of 1:58.7. Stablemate Rocknroll Magic will take a power of beating in the final though, despite drawing barrier 11. The filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic made it 15 career wins from 22 starts tonight, notching a 1:57.5 mile rate in the chair (55.2 last half) to overhaul leader Rockstar Angel by a half-neck. “I probably expected that is where I would land in the run but I was still confident enough she’d be good enough,” winning driver Gavin Lang said. “She’s one of the main players (in the final), as you know with Emma and Clayton’s horses this time of the year they’re always on song.” Rockstar Angel has drawn barrier eight so will follow Whirily School. In the three-year-old colts and geldings’ final, semi-final winners Soho Tribeca (American Ideal/Pixel Perfect) and Iceenothink (Art Major/Decethree Lombo) have drawn gates three and four for the Final. Iceenothink finished powerfully tonight for Chris Alford and trainer Larry Eastman (who combined to win this section last year with Menin Gate), holding off Mario Attard and Don’t Hold Back, who also savaged the line from well-back. Iceenothink posted a 1:57.4 mile rate. Soho Tribeca, trained by Jayne Davies and driven by Alford, scored by a half-neck over Carter Bromac, with Brallos Pass third in a rate of 1:57.4. “He was going to get a good run through, (it was) just whether he could stay in front of Brallos Pass. That didn’t work out but he (Brallos Pass) had to do a fair bit of work,” Alford said. “Just got to hope he gets a good draw and he can play a part next week.” Burrumbeet trainer-driver Michael Stanley is set for a busy Vicbred finals night once again, qualifying six pacers through tonight’s semis. His three-year-old Spiritwriter drew the pole in the males’ division and that brings him right into contention.   Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Fillies Final Barrier Draw 1: Whirily School 2: Ideal Lifestyle 3: Kalinda 4: Platinum Power (em) 5: Just Wantano 6: Nikkibadwagon 7: Flojos Gold 8: Rockstar Angel 9: Alessa 10: Celebrity Guest 11: Rocknroll Magic 12: Rockabella Starz 13: Champagne Taste Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Colts & Geldnigs Final Barrier Draw 1: Spiritwriter 2: Battle Born 3: Soho Tribeca 4: Iceenothink 5: Keep On Rocking 6: Senor Macray 7: Brallos Pass 8: Herehecomes 9: Professor Tom 10: Showgun Thomas 11: Illawong Maestro 12: Dont Hold Back 13: Carter Bromac ..................................................................................................................................................................................... Advantage Sundons Courage and Princess Phoenix after the three-year-old trotters' barrier draws for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. Drawn on Friday night amid the pacers' semi-finals, Sundons Courage drew the front row in the colts and geldings and fellow heat winner Cruisin Around will start from barrier eight, while Sky Majesty will start from barrier 12 in the fillies, opening the door further for her rivals. The three-year-old fillies semi-final promises to be an evenly fought and engaging final, with several winning hopes. Among them is Princess Phoenix, a $1.80 favourite in the second heat at Bendigo last Wednesday, who led but was beaten into third by winner Into The Unknown, from Donna Lewis’ Toolern Vale stable, and Geoff Webster’s Rift Valley. The first heat was all about Sky Majesty (Skyvalley/Mystic Hush). Bacchus Marsh trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan was rapt with her filly’s heat win, which she said was one of her “best runs to date”. The 12m victory came after she found the front and careered away, and Sky Majesty should be right in the final despite the tough draw. “I was very happy with her heat,” Quinlan said. “She’s a good chance. There’s not a lot of difference between the horses in the grade, it is pretty even. “(Sky Majesty) can sit and sprint. She is not a class above them, but I think they have all come back to each other.” The three-year-old colts and geldings final also promises much, not the least of which is another showdown between Cruisin Around (Bacardi Lindy/Cloud Chaser) and Sundons Courage. Both won their heats, with Sundons Courage (Sundon/Truscott Photo) a 1.6m winner for Muckleford trainer Chris Angove and Bolinda driver Chris Alford, with Brent Lilley’s $34-shot Kyvalley Tinman running into second. Cruisin Around’s win was even tighter. Driven to one-out one-back by Myrniong’s Greg Sugars, Cruisin Around lost touch with front runners Calder Knight and Big Jack Hammer at the final bend but wound up sufficiently in the straight to win by a short half-head. Bannockburn trainer-driver Geoff Webster’s three-year-old Big Jack Hammer (The Press/Running Pinevale) punched on for second in the breeze and will be a threat come next Friday’s final, says Cranbourne’s Michael Hughes, trainer of Cruisin Around. “There are three or four really good horses,” Hughes said. “(Cruisin Around) has always had a ding-dong battle with Sundons Courage. Big Jack Hammer looked back on song, and a few others are also a chance. It will all come down to who has the best luck.” Hughes’ confidence about his own charge’s horse were only emboldened with Cruisin Around’s heat win. “I think he went pretty good. I was a little worried when he lost ground at the top of the straight, but he did a good job to pick them up in such a quick quarter,” Hughes said. “I give him a really good chance as long as he does everything right. The horse is really good, feels really good, there are no issues. He is a good sit-sprinter, but has also done it the tough way and led before.”   Barrier draws: Three-year-old colts and geldings trotters 1: Kyvalley Tinman 2: Skyflyer 3: Big Jack Hammer 4: Calder Knight 5: Sundons Courage 6: Cargerie 7: Sun Valley Road 8: Cruisin Around 9: Diamond Wes (emg) 10: Sky Me A River 11: Menewa 12: Shetland  13: Imahe Man (ODM)   Barrier draws: Three-year-old fillies trotters 1: Aldebaran Eve 2: Never Never Land (emg) 3: Princess Phoenix 4: Mizurri 5: Defence Power 6: Into The Unknown 7: The Cooler 8: Tension Seeker 9: Getthenet 10: Illawong Bliss 11: Rift Valley 12: Sky Majesty 13: Scottish Sardius (ODM) Michael Howard/Cody Winnell

We are pleased to announce the service fees for our 2016/17 harness racing roster which we believe is the best we have ever offered. The leading sires Art Major and Mach Three once again head the roster. This season we are thrilled to announce the additions of Rock N Roll Heaven, Roll With Joe and Sportswriter. Having previously stood at Pepper Tree Farms, all three are Group One producing stallions. With his oldest only three in the Southern Hemisphere, Rock N Roll Heaven has already put together a very impressive resume. He is clearly the leading young sire in Australia and New Zealand. His three-year-olds include no less than four Group One winners and ten stakes winners overall. Those Group One winners are Heavens Trend, Jilliby Jitterbug, Frankie Rocks and the brilliant NZ pacer Heaven Rocks. Roll With Joe is of course Bettor’s Delight’s brother but he is also clearly forging his own path. He was the leading two-year-old sire in New York in 2015 and, with his oldest only two in Australia, he has already sired a Group One winner – Allmightyjoelouis 1:56.9. Sportswriter continues to be a prolific sire of age-group winners and the son of Artsplace will surely remain very popular with breeders. His two year olds include the smart performers Wesley 1:57.4, Fastestgirlintown 1:57.9, Mitch Maguire 1:57.7 and The Lone Ranger 1:59.6. In a boon for New Zealand breeders, Sportswriter will stand this season at Alabar NZ. This is on the back of him producing six qualifiers and two NZ Jewels finalists from his two-year-old crop of just fourteen foals. Rock N Roll Heaven, Roll With Joe and Sportswriter are not the only new additions to the Alabar roster however. We will also be standing the Group One winning son of Love You in Amore Stride. Raced by Emilio and Mary Rosati, Amore Stride is a beautiful rangy chestnut and a classically European-type. His conformation and looks are backed up with a sensational pedigree – he is the highest priced trotting yearling ever to sell in New Zealand. He joins fellow trotters Majestic Son and Peak on the Alabar roster. The roster also includes the exciting young stallions A Rocknroll Dance (standing at Nevele R), Alta Christiano, Auckland Reactor, Betterthancheddar, He’s Watching and Sunshine Beach. While the Group One producing stallions Courage Under Fire, Elsu, Grinfromeartoear and Shadow Play round out the incredible line-up. With 18 high class stallions on offer to breeders it promises to be a really exciting season ahead. Service Fees 2016/17   Aust Fee (incl GST) NZ Fee (plus GST) Standing at Alabar Australia     Alta Christiano $2,750 $2,750 Amore Stride $2,500 $2,500 Art Major $12,000 $12,000 Betterthancheddar $4,400 $4,000 Courage Under Fire To be advised NA Grinfromeartoear $3,300 $3,000 Rock N Roll Heaven $8,000 $7,000 Roll With Joe $5,500 $5,500 Shadow Play $4,400 $4,000       Standing at Alabar NZ     Auckland Reactor $3,000 $3,000 Elsu $2,200 $2,200 He's Watching $6,000 $6,000 Mach Three $12,000 $11,000 Majestic Son $5,000 $5,000 Peak $2,500 $2,500 Sportswriter $4,950 $4,500 Sunshine Beach $4,000 $4,000       Standing at Nevele R     A Rocknroll Dance $6,000 $6,000

Harness Racing Breeders in New South Wales are set to be the big winners after today’s announcement from Yirribee Pacing Stud that the world’s fastest horse Warrawee Needy will be joining its stallion roster. Warrawee Needy is the fastest two year old in Ontario Sires Stakes history on 800m, 1000m and 1400m tracks and is the equal fastest harness horse of all time having run a 1:46.4, a record he shares with Somebeachsomewhere.  He won 29 races and more than $1.25 million, was freakishly fast at two after recording a 1:49.4, faster still at three when he ran 1:48.4 and fastest in the world at four with his 1:46.4.  Warrawee Needy will stand for $3,850 inclusive of GST. The arrival of Warrawee Needy comes on the back of news announced by the HRNSW Board last month that it would eliminate all HRNSW fees including the $750 registration fee and the $110 paid to the controlling body by stallion owners for all Breeders Challenge eligible foals for NSW resident stallions. This is on top of the announcement made by the New South Wales Harness Racing Club that it will be fully subsidising the breeder’s payment of the $185 foaling fee for the next three years. HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny congratulated Yirribee Pacing Stud on the arrival of Warrawee Needy and with tax parity funding strategies soon to be released, confirmed the NSW breeding industry and its future is paramount to the success of harness racing in the premier state. “To have the fastest horse on the planet standing in NSW is a coup for breeding in New South Wales and I applaud Yirribee’s team headed by Rod Woodhouse for the commitment to local breeding,” Mr Dumesny said. “The commitment of the HRNSW Board to support breeding in NSW is evidenced by early resident sire announcements and I look forward to outlining further tax parity funding strategies at the Harnessing Our Future conference later this month.” Greg Hayes

The Tasmanian based harness racing sire Cardmaster Hanover has had a long hard grind to try to get established in Australia but judging by the results from Hobart yesterday, he is finally rewarding his loyal supporters. Imported from North America in 2005, Cardmaster Hanover stood initially in New South Wales but to say he was poorly patronized would be the understatement of the year. Up until the time he was on sold to Geoff Madden in 2010, Cardmaster Hanover  had produced four crops whose numbers together came to just thirty three live foals. Of those thirty three foals, only nine have faced the starter and four have won but included in those winners was the very smart Dealer 1:53.3 ($105,230) So on his arrival in Tasmania, the fortunes of Cardmaster Hanover were probably at an all time low. His first crop in Tasmania were born in 2011 which are three year olds in the current season and they number thirty seven in total of which fourteen have started and seven have been race winners to date. Not a blazing start but a big improvement on the small numbers he had produced in New South Wales. The second crop by Cardmaster Hanover in Tasmania numbers forty two in total and it is this crop which has made breeders sit up and have another look at the son of Cam's Card Shark. Cardmaster Hanover has produced two high class juveniles this season in Hillview Jake and Chica Bella and they were both at the top of their game last night at Hobart. Chica Bella was too smart even from a bad draw in the $30,000 Evicus Final for fillies while Hillview Jake brushed home in a smart 56.9 to capture the $30,000 Dandy Patch Final for colts and geldings. Chica Bella 1:58.7 ($51,442) is five from nine this season while Hillview Jake 1:57.8 ($49,806) is five from seven in his debut season. Throw in Origin Cronk 2:00.9 ($16,606) and a few other promising types knocking on the door and Cardmaster Hanover has had a season to remember. It will be very interesting to see how breeders react to the performance of his two year olds this season when the next breeding season rolls around. Harnesslink Media

Aldebaran Eagle has held his own against some of the best 3-year-old male trotters around and now harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson is hoping the colt is ready to soar as he prepares for Saturday's Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Beal elims are part of a jam-packed card at Pocono, where eliminations for the Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers also will be contested. Aldebaran Eagle, who has won only two of 15 career races but hit the board a total of 11 times, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line in the first of three Beal eliminations. He will start from post No. 1 in the six-horse field with driver Corey Callahan. Dexter Cup winner Habitat, who starts from post three with Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The division also includes Walter White, Cruzado Dela Noche, Southwind Mozart, and Boots N Chains. The top three finishers from each Beal elimination advance to the $500,000 final on July 4 at Pocono. Aldebaran Eagle enters his race off a 1:52.1 victory over older horses in a conditioned race June 12 at the Meadowlands. He also has one second-place finish and two third-place finishes in four starts this season. He finished third in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, behind Canepa Hanover and French Laundry, and was second to Guess Whos Back in a preliminary round of the NJSS. "He's been racing pretty nicely, so we can't complain there," Czernyson said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. Now we're kind of getting to the test to see what we have. He raced in a lot of the big dances (last year). He was always there, but he kind of stayed in the shadows of the best ones. "He was kind of big and growthy as a 2-year-old, but he kept it together pretty good. He spent the whole winter in the (resistance) cart and it muscled him up good. I think that's been paying off on him. So far he's been coming along pretty good." Aldebaran Eagle is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Letsjustalkaboutme. He was purchased under the name Ramblings for $70,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes stakes-winners Ifhallscouldtalk, Armbro Hilary, and Armbro Marshall as well as Dan Patch Award winner Delmegan. Owned by Australian-based Aldebaran Park Inc., Aldebaran Eagle has earned $112,069 in his career. "I liked him from when we bought him at the sale pretty much," Czernyson said. "He was doing everything right. He's got very good owners on him. They're happy to branch out here and so far it's been working for them." Last year, Aldebaran Eagle won a division of the International Stallion Stakes at odds of 106-1. He defeated Whom Shall I Fear by a head and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Centurion ATM by a neck. "You can pretty much do whatever you want with him," Czernyson said. "He can leave pretty good, but he doesn't have to leave. If you don't want to leave with him, you don't have to. So he's pretty versatile that way." The second division of Beal eliminations features the Jimmy Takter-trained entry of Pinkman and Whom Shall I Fear, which is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Pinkman was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and Whom Shall I Fear is a full brother to Dan Patch Award winners Pastor Stephen and Father Patrick. Whom Shall I Fear starts from post four with driver David Miller and Pinkman starts from post five with driver Yannick Gingras. Nik Drennan-trained and Brian Sears-driven Guess Whos Back is the 5-2 second choice in the division, which also includes Donatomite, Honor And Serve, Centurion ATM, and Wicker Hanover. The third Beal elimination is led by Crazy Wow, who captured the Empire Breeders Classic on June 21 at Vernon Downs in a track-record 1:51.1. Crazy Wow is the 2-1 favorite from post two with Gingras driving for trainer Burke. Sharing honors as second choice at 5-2 are Shoot The Thrill and Uncle Lasse. Shoot The Thrill will leave from post one with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Dirk Simpson. Uncle Lasse, who brings a three-race win streak to the Beal and a mark of 1:51.4, starts from post six with Brett Miller at the lines for trainer Takter. Completing the field are Code Ben, Divisionist, and Billy Flynn. "The 3-year-old colts this year, there's one (good one) after another, after another, after another," Czernyson said. "There are tough horses out there. I don't think I can remember seeing so many good 3-year-old colts that have been out this early. They're just taking turns at who wants to be the fastest. It's tough to throw out anyone and say they're not good enough to be here." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

The richest ever son of harness racing super sire American Ideal is standing for the first time ever in the Southern Hemisphere at Empire Stallions. Sensational USA 3-Year-Old Pacer of the Year and Breeders Crown Champion Heston Blue Chip 2,1:50.4; 3,1:48 ($1,781,881) has been issued an international passport  and is headed to Empire Stallions in Victoria to stand the upcoming 2015/16 breeding season. Heston Blue Chip defeated the best of his generation while winning 34 times and banking over $1.8 in earnings. He set 9 track and stakes records while competing on the Grand Circuit and in the highly competitive New York Sires Stakes at 2 & 3. As a two-year-old, Heston Blue Chip won 11 of 13 starts with 2 second place finishes while earning $375,650. His most prestigious win at 2 was the $177,275 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs which he won by three-quarters of a length in a brilliant 1:50.4. That time set the stakes record, equaled the track record and was one-fifth of a second off the world record for two-year-old colt pacers on a five-eighths mile track. Other Grand Circuit wins at 2 included the John Simpson Memorial at Vernon Downs and the Tompkins Geers Stakes where he equaled the stakes record with a 1:52 effort. Also at 2, Heston was a standout in the New York Sires Stakes arena winning 7 Sire Stakes events at 6 different tracks including the $175,000 2YO New York Sires Stakes Championship with a track record 1:53.3 performance at Saratoga Raceway. Heston Blue Chip was New York’s 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year. Heston Blue Chip returned at 3 to take the harness racing world by storm. The defining moment of this stellar 3-year-old season was his victory in both the elimination and Final of the $555,000 3YO Breeders Crown. Heston Blue Chip went off as the favourite in both events and did not disappoint winning the 1:50.3 elimination over Sweet Lou and A Rocknroll Dance. In a great stretch run duel in the Final, Heston Blue Chip prevailed over Sweet Lou and Bettors Edge to win in 1:49.2.   It was an absolute romp for Heston Blue Chip in the Progress Pace elimination where he defeated Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou by more than 5 metres in 1:49.3. Heston Blue Chip was untouchable in the $270,000 Final reaching the opening quarter in a slick :25.2 – the fastest quarter ever recorded at Dover Downs. He rolled on by the half in :54 and stopped the clock in a Stakes Record 1:49 again over Bettors Edge and Sweet Lou.   In addition, Heston Blue Chip won the Historic Stakes at Tioga in a 1:49.2 track record for 3-year-old colts and swept the $270,000 Empire Breeders Classic with a 1:50.4 win in the elimination and set yet another track record with a sizzling 1:48.4 performance in the Final.   Heston Blue Chip again dominated in the New York Sire Stakes program winning 4 events. These victories were a $113,413 leg at Yonkers, a $66,848 leg also at Yonkers, a leg at Monticello Raceway in 1:52.4 with a :26.3 last quarter and a leg at Tioga Downs when he equaled his own 1:49.2 track standard.   Heston Blue Chips final start at 3 was a memorable win in the Final of the $176,663 Matron Stakes. He demonstrated his great turn of foot when he paced the fastest mile in Dover Downs’ history winning in a sizzling 1:48 over the 5/8ths mile oval. Heston Blue Chip also won eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace and the Jersey Cup.   Heston Blue Chip tallied up 14 wins and 2 placings from 18 starts while earning over $1 Million that season at 3 on his way to being awarded tops honours. Heston Blue Chip was voted the USA 3YO Colt Pacer of the Year in a crop that included Sweet Lou and A Rocknroll Dance.   Heston Blue Chip was a nine-time Open, Preferred, FFA and Invitational Winner at The Meadowlands, Yonkers, Tioga, Saratoga and Harrah’s Philadelphia at 4 & 5. He established a new track record at Tioga Downs for 4-year-old pacing stallions with a 1:49.2 victory. Heston Blue Chip was retired to commence his stallion duties and is standing his first season at Winbak Farms in New York in 2015.   Heston Blue Chip was trained by Linda Toscano, the all-time leading trainer at The Meadowlands and the first woman to ever train a Hambletonian winner. “He was clearly the best New York Sires Stakes colt at two and three setting multiple track records on all sized tracks. In his Breeders Crown win, Heston Blue Chip beat the best of the best including Sweet Lou. If that isn’t enough, he’s one of the kindest, nicest and happiest horses I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He’s a great-gaited individual who wore no boots and a 63” hobble. "He’s a special horse,” Toscano said. Tim Tetrick who recently visited Australia & New Zealand to compete in the World Driving Championship was Heston Blue Chips regular driver. “I really enjoyed racing Heston Blue Chip”, said Tetrick. “From the first time I raced him in a baby race at 2, I knew he was extremely talented,” Tetrick continued. “He is a beautiful animal, big, strong and athletic on his feet and could leave the gate lightning fast." "He had a great attitude and a will to win and that usually transfers to a stallion’s offspring." "If his offspring have his attitude and desire, they will be great colts and fillies,” Tim said. Heston Blue Chip represents one of the world’s hottest sire lines today – his sire American Ideal is by super sire Western Ideal. From his first 5 North American crops to race, American Ideal is already the sire of 201 in 1:55, 19 in 1:50 or faster, 100 winners of $100,000+ and over $35.4 Million in progeny earnings. With his $1.7 million in race earnings, Heston Blue Chip is his sire’s richest son. In the Southern Hemisphere, American Ideal is the sire of 370 winners with earnings of over $6.5 million from 5 crops to race. His top Australian performers include multiple GR1 Winner & Breeders Crown Champion Bling It On 1:51 ($829,422) and the 2015 GR1 NSW Derby Winner Ideal For Real 1:55.8 ($172,185). Heston Blue Chip hails from one of the sport’s best maternal families. He is the first foal out of the unraced Cams Card Shark mare Shot Togo Bluechip. His full brother is 2013 Adios Winner Sunfire Blue Chip ($917,374) and their half-sister sold at Harrisburg last year for $160,000. His second dam, CC’s Saleofcentury by Real Artist is a full sister to Just Wait Kate 1:54.4 ($387,931), Kiss Me Kate 1:51.3 ($283,839) and the $1.4 million winner Kikikatie 1:50.3, dam of Rockin Image 1:48.2 ($901,756) by Rocknroll Hanover, Time To Roll 1:49.3 ($781,249) by Rocknroll Hanover, Rockin Amadeus 1:48.4 ($728,392) by Rocknroll Hanover and Tellitlikeitis 1:48.4 ($490,695) by Well Said. This is the immediate family of Camluck, North America’s  leading pacing sire for many years. “Heston Blue Chip is a wonderful addition our stallion roster this season” said David James, owner of Empire Stallions. “He is American Ideal’s first and only son to stand at stud in the southern hemisphere and with the current success of the Western Ideal sire line down under, Heston is a great new option for breeders. He is just a magnificent looking dark bay stallion with a fluid gait, outstanding conformation and excellent fertility. "His credentials speak for themselves.” Heston Blue Chip will stand for a very attractive fee of $5,500 including GST and discounts apply. His progeny will be Vicbred eligible as well as eligible to the Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and the NSW Breeders Challenge. Courtesy of Empire Stallions

Nineteen year old Alex Tout will be able to travel to the USA after receiving the Breeding Encouragement Award from the Leigh Plunkett Foundation to further his career in harness racing.  Tout works for Success Stud In NSW and is excited to be given the opportunity to head overseas to learn more about the breeding industry. “I was very excited to win the award, it was great to see the Leigh Plunkett Foundation recognise the breeding side of the industry, I have no training or driving experience but have still been given the opportunity to learn more about the harness racing industry,” Tout said. “I love my job with Success Stud, it all started for me there a few years ago when I applied to do work experience with them, after that finished I continued to help out during school holidays and since I have left school I have been working there.” Tout plans to travel to Blue Chip Farms, a 700 acre breeding farm located seventy kilometres north of Manhattan, New York which is the home of leading stallion Art Major. “I’d like to spend some time at Blue Chip Farms learning as much as I can and then head to Winbak Farm and watch what happens there too.” “I’ve had a passion for horses since I can remember, my family has always had show horses but when I started with Success Stud it was my first involvement in the harness racing industry.” While Tout has enjoyed a few different aspects of the industry, he believes the breeding side has been the most interesting to date. “I have spoken to a few people about training and driving, I’ve got a share in some racehorses too but the breeding aspect of the industry is what I find most interesting.” “I’ve already got a few favourite broodmares here, Maudie won the Pink Bonnet in 2006 is a favourite, so too is Lady Lexus everyone here loves her and I have a bit of time for Muscle Beach as well.”  Leigh Plunkett Foundation spokesman Vaughn Lynch was full of praise for Tout. “It is the first time the foundation has given out the Breeding Encouragement Award but I think it is an important part of the industry that needs to be nurtured and to see such a strong passion and interest in someone as young as Alex is very exciting.” Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

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