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The continual success of the New Zealand standardbred has brought many key updates to the 2021 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale catalogue.  Buyers across Australasia have been carefully studying the pedigrees of 430 yearlings that will be offered at Auckland on 14 February and in Christchurch from 15 to 17 February. Since December, New Zealand-breds have continued their brilliant success in Australian and New Zealand feature races, which has made the credentials of several yearlings look even more outstanding. The recent crowning of King Of Swing (NZ) (Rocknroll Hanover) as Australian Harness Horse Of The Year and his victory in the Group One Blacks A Fake, as well as Bettor Twist (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) winning the Group One Caduceus Club Classic and claiming a second placing in the Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Final have boosted a series of valuable pedigrees now found in NZB Standardbred’s 2021 yearling sale catalogue. The standout pair have close relations going through the sale ring through the Breckon Farms drafts. Lots 7, 28, 32, 39 and 83 are all relatives of the outstanding duo. Lot 39, an A Rocknroll Dance colt out of Twist And Twirl (NZ) (Artsplace) is set to capture plenty of attention being a half-brother to both King Of Swing and Bettor Twist. Lot 83 is a close relation to King Of Swing and Bettor Twist, the A Rocknroll Dance colt is from Double Twist (NZ) (Artsplace), a full sister to the dam of the two Group One stars, Twist And Twirl. Lot 7 a Bettor’s Delight (ex Reachforthetill) colt, Lot 28 an Always B Miki (ex Spandu Ballet) filly and Lot 32 an Art Major (ex Spin To Win) filly are each from half-sisters to Twist And Twirl. Another close relation to the five Breckon Farms lots in Mach Dan (NZ) (Mach Three), recently won the Group One Australasian Breeders Crown Final for three-year-old colts and geldings. The pacer is also from a half-sister to Twist And Twirl in Bettor Give It (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight). Other recent feature race champions include Aladdin (NZ) (Sweet Lou) the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Three-Year-Old Colts And Geldings Pace winner. Lot 8 is a full brother to the leading three-year-old and will be offered by Woodlands Stud at Karaka. A half-brother to recent Group Three Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate Trot winner Kyvalley Chief (NZ) (Muscle Hill) and Group Two Tatlow Stakes winner Kyvalley Hotspur (NZ) (Muscle Hill) will also be offered at Karaka. Lot 121 a What The Hill colt out of Love Ya Doosie (NZ) (Love You) and will be offered by Breckon Farms. Relatives of yearlings entered in the Christchurch section of the NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale have also been racking up feature wins recently. Beyond Words (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) has gone on a winning spree since her half-brother by Sweet Lou, Lot 197, was catalogued by Studholme Bloodstock. The leading mare won the recent Group One Queen Of Hearts and the Listed NZ Sires Stakes Southern Mares Classic. Beyond Words also ran second in the Group Three Northern Breeders Stakes. Lot 217, Broadfield Lodge’s Bettor’s Delight colt out of Safedra (NZ) (Mach Three) is a full brother to racetrack stars Dr Susan (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and La Rosa (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight). Dr Susan was recently crowned the Australian Harness Racing Three-Year-Old Filly Of The Year, while La Rosa ran a brave second in the Group One Caduceus Club Classic and third in the NZ Sires Stakes Fillies Championship. Lot 315, Price Bloodstock’s Bettor’s Delight colt out of Chicago Blues is a full brother to Chicago Bull (NZ) who has recently won twice at Group Level, once at Group Three Level, once at Listed level as well as winning the Group One Freemantle Cup and run second in the WA Pacing Cup. Lot 335, Broadfield Lodge’s Bettor’s Delight (ex Fortune Lover) filly is a half-brother to West Australian star Vampiro (NZ) (Rocknroll Hanover) who has recently won twice at Listed level. Galactic Star (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) has added the Listed Better Your Club With Tabtouch Pace and his second in the Group One Freemantle Cup to the pedigree of Lot 193. The Sweet Lou-Petra’s Star filly, to be offered by Tuapeka Lodge, is also a half-sister to recent winner Bettastar (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight). Earlier this month Boots Electric (NZ) (Somebeachsomewhere) stormed to victory in the Group One Four-Year-Old Bonanza at Melton. Lot 353, Macca Lodge’s Sweet Lou (ex Glenburn Joy) colt is from a half-sister to the star Victorian pacer. Lot 361, Price Bloodstock’s Bettor’s Delight out of Hartofdixie (NZ) (American Ideal) filly is a close relation to rising West Australian star Magnificent Storm (NZ) (American Ideal). Magnificent Storm recently won the Group One Four-Year-Old Classic and the Group Two Four-Year-Old and ran second in the Group One Four-Year-Old Nugget. Lot 322, an Art Major filly out of Crushem (NZ) (Holmes Hanover) from Broadfield Lodge’s draft is a half-sister to star New Zealand pacer Spankem (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight). Spankem has recently won the Group One New Zealand Free-For-All, the Group Two Franklin Cup and has run second in the Group One New Zealand Cup and Group One Auckland Cup and third in the Group Three Ashburton Flying Stakes. Off N Gone (NZ) (Somebeachsomewhere) showed her talent by winning the recent Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Three-Year-Old Fillies pace. Lot 382, Dunvegan Lodge’s Art Major-Kabet half-sister to the pacer, will be offered at Christchurch. Selling at NZB Standardbred’s National Yearling Sale in Auckland commences today at 12PM (NZT). Should you require any assistance with NZB Standardbred’s online bidding platform, contact support@nzb.co.nz or call +64 9 298 0055. Phone bidding is another welcomed option for buyers, for enquiries contact Bloodstock Representative Cam Bray on +64 21 737 199 or email Cam.Bray@nzb.co.nz. For those wishing to catch all the sale day action, the Auckland selling session will be broadcast live on Freeview channel 200, as well as live streamed on nzbstandardbred.co.nz and NZB Standardbred’s facebook page. Presenter Michael Guerin bring key highlights and interviews throughout the day, as well as a Preview Show which commences today at 11:30AM (NZT).   NZB Standardbred

By Jonny Turner    Kentuckiana Lodge is taking the approach that there are no owners that can’t be accommodated and shares from 1 percent to 100 will be available in their yearlings from the 2021 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales.   Excitement is building at the Canterbury stable as trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety prepare to land their next crop of race track stars, starting at Karaka on Sunday.  Fractional ownership and syndication will again play a vital part in the 2021 sales experience for the Kentuckiana Lodge couple.   Each year the high-energy nature of the auction ring brings plenty of hype, drama, big-money deals and even a little mystique. With all of that comes a myth Cran would love to dispel heading into the 2021 sales. And that is that yearling ownership is exclusive.  “People see the prices we pay for some of these horses and all of the hype that goes with them and they can be a little bit intimidated to ask about taking a small percentage.” “With all of the drama and the fanfare at the sales you can understand why.” “But the reality is a lot different to what people’s perceptions out there might be.” “We negotiate all kinds of shares in our yearlings.” “And people might be surprised to hear that it is actually some of the more expensive ones that are made up of smaller percentages.” Though syndication and fractional ownership are becoming increasingly popular in harness racing, the message has not filtered down to the yearling sales quite as well. “That is certainly what we have struck, there are owners out there that don’t think that it is possible to take a 2% or 3% share in a horse that might have cost $100,000.” “We work on the theory that it is no less exciting winning a group one race whether you own half of the horse or two hairs in its tail.” The beautiful part about fractional ownership for Cran is the pathway it creates for owners to get to the top level of racing. “Obviously we are at the sales to buy yearlings to target the best races in Australasia.” “Taking a smaller share in a yearling gives owners a reasonably affordable chance of racing in those big races.” “And we get a real kick out of that, it’s pretty special when an owner has their first runner in a group one race.” “And it is a hell of a party when they get their first winner.”  Cran and Chrissie will be making shares available in all of their yearling sales purchases as soon as the hammer falls. They encourage anyone interested in taking any kind of share in one of their yearlings to contact them to discuss how they can join the excitement of racing a horse with Kentuckiana Lodge. Cran: 027-436-0667 Chrissie: 027-278-9466 Email: c.dalgety@xtra.co.nz

Pompano Beach, FL...February 13...In what has become a valued annual tradition at Pompano Park, harness racing Hall of Fame drivers Tim Tetrick and David Miller will, once again, team up with many of the best amateur drivers in the sport in the 2021 edition of the Tetrick-Miller Challenge, benefiting New Vocations and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The four race competition covers races two through five and adds a special flavor to the track's popular Pick-5 event, which features a $125,000 guaranteed pool beginning with the first race/ Miller and Tetrick have won a combined 25,205 races during their grand careers with owners benefiting to the tune of close to $500,000 million. The last leg of the competition--the fifth race--will also be a milestone for Miller as it will be 77,777th career drive. Reflecting on the importance of the competition, Miller related, "I have been most fortunate to be able to compete successfully in an industry I love so much. There are those children that have not been as fortunate as I and it's a great feeling to participate for the Make-A-Wish organization that does so much for the kids. It truly is an honor." Tetrick reflected, "New Vocations is a place that takes care of many of our great equine athletes after their racing days are over. These horses give us everything they have every time they go behind the (starting) gate and New Vocations gives everything they have to make sure they (horses) have the retirement they deserve." The event was created by the Florida Amateur Driving Club, that has donated well over $200,000 to worthwhile charitable charities since their inception as all drivers donate their earnings from purses to charity. The $125,000 guaranteed pool for the Pick-5 comes after a pair of long-shots, William Star at 54 to 1 and Just Don't Wait at 26 to 1, won back-to-back races on Thursday night's program capped by a photo finish in the finale preventing one bettor from a payoff of over $30,000. Sunday's program also features a carryover in the Pick-6 of $11,211.81 and a Super Hi-5 carryover of $3,918.23. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – In what was a frantic finish to a fabulous Friday night harness racing feature at The Meadowlands, Get Legs went another powerhouse mile in scoring from off the pace in the $19,000 marquee dash for non-winners of nine races lifetime on the trot, upping his lifetime stats to six wins in seven starts, all taking place at The Big M. “You can’t map out the trip,” said winning trainer Julie Miller. “But you hope it works out in the end. We were very fortunate.” Maybe so, but Get Legs was also very good. Get Legs was away quickly from post seven, as was 7-5 favorite Some Chapter from post eight in the eight-horse field. The problem was, virtually all the horses to their inside also left the gate, leaving Get Legs and Some Chapter, who was seeking his fifth win in six starts, extremely wide around the first turn. With the two favorites resigned to having to come from the back of the pack, HL Revadon had the lead at the quarter while parked out by Cool Clifford, but soon thereafter, Gotwuteverittakes made a bold move to the top only to be pressed by 29-10 third choice Swan In Motion. The quick action down the backstretch assured a closer would get the money, and at three-quarters, Magical Winner K tipped off his cover and was first-up leading a three-wide flow as 27-10 second choice Get Legs followed that live tow with Some Chapter tracking from third-over as three-quarters was timed in 1:25.3. Andy Miller steered Get Legs to the outside for the stretch drive, and after trotting a final quarter in :27.2, grabbed the victory by a half-length over Magical Winner K, who raced well beyond his 44-1 odds. Some Chapter was a valiant third. “I just have so much confidence in my horse and driver,” said Julie, the better half of team ‘Orange Crush’. “My horse was supposed to race last week at Pocono but the card got canceled, so I was afraid we might be a little short. He rose to the occasion.” Get Legs, a 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Legzy, returned $7.40 to his backers after completing the mile in 1:53.4. He now has earnings of $46,610, and if all goes as hoped, there will be a lot more to come. “We’ve staked him to the 4-year-old races this year,” said Julie. “I would love to take on the big dogs, but he’s kind of behind the eight ball with his limited experience. I think my slow play game will benefit him. When we have to race the better horses, we hope to be prepared.” The game plan is to be ready for the Graduate Series in May. “I’m not going to feed him to the wolves unless he’s ready. If we think he is, we’ll be there,” said Julie. View the Meadowlands results click here A LITTLE MORE: Julie and Andy have another potential good one on their hands. Earlier on the card, their Hipster K, another 4-year-old trotter, made it three wins in as many lifetime starts in a non-winners of two. The son of Sebastian K S-Riley’s Dream became the first 1-9 winner of the meeting, returning $2.20 for a $2 wager after finishing his mile in 1:55.4. … Despite four favorites winning during the sequence, the 20-cent Pick-6 returned $825.40 thanks to Waterway, who scored from off the pace with Corey Callahan driving in the 12th race at odds of 23-1. … Andy McCarthy led the driver’s colony with three victories on the card. … All-source wagering totaled $3,131,740, the second consecutive Friday where wagering exceeded the $3-million mark. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Breckon Farms, the model Ohaupo-based harness racing breeding establishment founded by Ken and Karen Breckon in 2007, is offering its largest and best quality draft ever at the NZB Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka on February 13 and 14. The consignment comprises 21 colts and 15 fillies by nine different stallions including champion sires Art Major (6 colts, 6 fillies), Bettor’s Delight (2 colts, 3 fillies) and Majestic Son (1 colt). There’s also stock by the emerging sires A Rocknroll Dance (3 colts), Father Patrick (1 colt, 2 fillies), Sweet Lou (2 colts), Betting Line (1 colt) and Always B Miki (1 filly) and five colts and three fillies from the first crop of the brilliant, young trotting sire What The Hill. Paul Campbell is joined today by Breckon Farms Nigel J Fahy to showcase their 2021 draft being offered up at this years NZB Standardbred sale. Nigel and Paul discuss some of thier draft that its littered with Group 1 descendants. Breckon Farms have one colt by A Rocknroll Dance in this sale. A Rocknroll Dance is the sire of multiple Group 1 winners from his debut crop in the Southern Hemisphere. He was the leading first season sire in North America, leading first season sire in New Zealand and leading first season sire in Australia! A Rocknroll Dance is a multiple Group 1 sire in Australia. Lot 59 Maybe Rocknroll Maybe Rocknroll is a half-brother to Sires Stakes 2yo heat placegetter Bettor Call Me. He is a bay colt bred on the golden cross of Rocknroll Hanover over Artsplace. He’s a son of the Meadowlands Pace winner and emerging young sire A Rocknroll Dance, the sire of Australia’s fastest ever two-year-old Bar Room Banta. The colt is a half-brother to the Sires’ Stakes 2YO heat placegetter Bettor Call Me. His dam is a half-sister to the dam of the NZ Derby placegetter Shandale and the Menangle winner Shandance, while his grand-dam is a daughter of the 2yo Pacing Filly of the Year Megaera. He’s very closely related to the current top Australian sprinter Cash N Flow and the Breeders Crown champion Katy Perry. Breckon Farms have one colt by Betting Line in this sale. In 2020 Betting Line ranked 4th among two-year-old Pacing Money Winning Sires with $1,403,573 earned and an amazing 93 starters form 119 foals. Betting Line's freshman performers was led by Abukabett Hanover p, 2, 1:50.3S $162,335 (12 starts-4-1-2) Winner of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, Metro Elimination, Nassagweya Stakes and Champlain Stakes. It was a red letter day for Betting Line with his first two starters at the races this week in Australia - and both returning to scale winners! The outstanding son of Bettor's Delight couldn't have commenced his Australian siring career in a better way, with recent trial winner Comet Cruusader (Betting Line - Shimmering Star - Badlands Hanover) taking on the HRNSW 2YO Guaranteed Pace at Newcastle, and winning in strong style over the favourite in 1:56.6.  Lot 97 Havapunt Havapunt is a colt from a half-sister to 2yo Filly of the Year Elle Mac. A brown colt from the second crop of the Little Brown Jug winner, world champion and USA 3yo colt of the Year Betting Line. He’s out of the successful Mach Three mare Goodlookingbabe, a half-sister to the crack racemare Elle Mac, whose successes includes the Sires’ Stakes 2yo and 3yo Finals, Northern Oaks and Harness Jewels, and to the multiple Group 1 placegetter Miss Streisand. His grand-dam is a half-sister to the $340,000 earner Mark Dennis, the dual Winter Cup winner Waitfornoone, the Listed winner Fight Fire With Fire and to the dam of the dual South Breckon Farms have eight yearlings by What The Hill in this sale. What The Hill's first crop of yearlings have impressed harness racing breeders across the world, they are strong, great types and easy to handle. The first crop to the yearling sales in New Zealand are all the talk amoung breeders and trainers and potential buyers throughout the Country. On the race track, What The Hill was a star. As one of the fastest sons of Muscle Hill he took a career equaling record of 1.51.4 at his last start and accumulated $1,345,999 in stakes. Lot 67 Keep It Klassy Keep It Klassy is a sister-in-blood to Tailored Elegance. She is a filly from the first crop of the US 3yo Trotting Colt of the Year and Breeders Crown champion What The Hill. She’s a sister-in-blood to the NZ Sires’ Stakes 2yo Championship winner and 2yo Trotting Filly of the Year Tailored Elegance and the $150,000 earner Sertorious. Her dam Classic Armbro is a half-sister to the NSW Trotting Championship winner Sunny Elegant, the dam of the Bathurst Gold Coronet winner Pegasus Elegance. The filly’s grand-dam the outstanding racemare Merinai won the Rowe Cup and Dominion Handicap and was named NZ Horse of the Year and Trotter of the Year in 1997. The Sires’ Stakes winner Rosscoe and the Bill Collins Mile placegetter Pretty Sunday are other close relatives Lot 87 Bet N Win Bet N Win is a brother-in-blood to Yearling Sales 2yo Final placegetter Cheeky Babe. He is a colt from the first crop of the exciting, young Muscle Hill horse, the USA 3yo Trotter of the Year, What The Hill. His dam Factor The Odds is a half-sister to the Group winners and $100,000 earners Stress Factor, the 3yo Trotting Colt of the Year whose successes included the Victoria Derby and Breeders Crown 3yo Final, and the NZ three-year-old mile race record holder Prince Fearless, who won the Hambletonian Classic and Yearling Sales 2yo Trot. The grand-dam Fear Factor won the Sires Stakes 2yo Championship and NZ 2yo Trotting Stakes and was 2yo Filly Trotter of the Year. Lot 91 Ferdinand Ferdinand is a half-brother to the Group winning trotters Stress Factor and Prince Fearless. He is a bay colt from the first crop of the USA 3yo Trotter of the Year and millionaire What The Hill. He’s out of the Sires Stakes 2yo champion and 2yo Filly Trotter of the Year Fear Factor, the dam of five to race and four winners including the $100,000 earners Stress Factor, the 3yo Trotting Colt of the Year and winner of the Victoria Derby and Breeders Crown 3yo Final, Prince Fearless, who won the Hambletonian Classic and Yearling Sales 2yo Trot and set a NZ record as a 3yo, and the Sires Stakes 2yo Prelude winner Not About The Money. Lot 124 Hugh Hoofna Hugh Hoofna is a colt from a half-sister to Rock Tonight. He is a brown colt who is one of the initial crop of the US 3yo Trotter of the Year and Breeders Crown and Canadian Trotting Classic winner What The Hill. He’s the first foal of the winning Love You mare Loveonthelawn, a half-sister to six winners including the Melton and Gloucester Park winner of $130,000 Rock Tonight and the Group placegetters Lifeoftheparty and You Rock. His grand-dam Rock’n Rhonda won the North Island Breeders Stakes and Green Lane Cup and was a half-sister to the 2yo Trotter of the Year Go Right and to the dams of Take Gold (1:58.4) and Tart N Tights (2:00) Lot 127 Luby Lill Luby Lill is a half-sister to Tickle Me Pink and Luby Lou. She is boasting a 4x4 cross to Valley Victory, the filly is from the first crop of the Muscle Hill horse What The Hill, the winner of $1.2 million and the US 3yo Trotter of the Year. She’s a half-sister to the Group 1 winners Tickle Me Pink, the 2018 3yo Trotting Filly of the Year and whose successes included the 3yo Jewels and Sires’ Stakes 3yo Championship, and the NZ Derby and Oaks winner Luby Lou, the 2017 3yo Trotting Filly of the Year. Their dam the Andover Hall mare Luby Ann won four races and left two winners from two foals, the grand-dam left six foals for four winners and the third dam had nine foals for five winners. Harnesslink Media  

By Jonny Turner    Watch Me Now delivered the ultimate goodbye and the greatest moment of Kirstin Barclay’s harness racing career by winning the NZ Standardbred Breeders’ Stakes at Addington on Friday night. Watch Me dug deep along the Addington passing lane to reel in star mare Amazing Dream to seal maiden Group One wins for both Barclay and her training partner Tank Ellis in the 2600m feature. In her more than 23 years in harness racing Barclay had only dreamed of winning a Group One race. But thanks to the incredible talent of her lightly raced mare it was a dream no more. “I never thought I’d get the chance to drive a Group One winner, it is just so special.” “Especially doing it with her in her last start for us.” Barclay will now say goodbye to Watch Me Now with the mare being sold in a big-money deal to North American interests by agent John Curtin. “The owners are definitely delighted to get her,” Curtin said. “We didn’t think she could beat Amazing Dream from the 8-hole, but she was just incredible.” Barclay went into her last race with Watch Me Now wanting to give it everything they had. And she did that by blasting off the gate in a move that was clearly the winning of the race. “Tank and I spoke during the week and every time I looked at the field I thought our one chance was if we could cross out of the gate and get handy,” Barclay said.  “Otherwise we were either going to have to sit parked or pull back and try and get around them.” “You can’t do that when they are running those times.” “That was the plan and luckily it worked out.” After crossing to the lead shortly after the start, Amazing Dream and Mark Purdon came back around Watch Me Now and Barclay to hand them a perfect trip in the trail. Though it looked like the leader had enjoyed steady sectionals in the middle stages, the pace can’t have been too slow. Watch Me Now broke the national mares’ record for 2600m The Orange Agent set in the same race in 2017 with her 3-07.2 time. Watch Me Now and Kirstin Barclay            --Race Images Photo Barclay praised Ellis for his careful planning that had Watch Me Now ready to peak for her Group One tilt. “He has been really patient and he is really good at mapping out a path for them.” “And he really did that to perfection.” “And we have really got to thank Benny Hill, who has looked after her for the last two weeks.” “You couldn’t have a horse in a better place, no stone goes unturned.” Watch Me Now delivered the ultimate going away present for her Southland owners Steve and Claire Sloan, who race the outstanding mare with son Brad and his wife Jess, and daughter Halie Gibb and her husband, Alan. The daughter of Mach Three mare, Mach N Elle, will head to North America on the next available flight pending the outcome of a vet inspection. It will not be the last Barclay has seen of her favourite mare, she vowed to visit Watch Me Now once COVID allows her to get there. 

Off N Gone (NZ) (Somebeachsomewhere) lived up to her name in emphatic fashion to win the $150,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Fillies Pace (1980m) at Addington on Friday night.  The Robert Dunn-trained pacer made light work of the power of mid-race that a wide barrier draw forced her to do before she was off and gone from her rivals to take out the lucrative feature by four and a half lengths. Off N Gone was caught wide in the early stages of the NZB Standardbred Harness Million Final before driver John Dunn worked her forward to the parked position. Racing without cover for the entire 1980m event took no toll on the classy filly as she burst to the lead on the home turn and scorched to victory with fast closing sectional times. Off N Gone came into the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Fillies Pace in outstanding form. The three-year-old ran to two impressive victories at last month’s two-day meeting at Nelson before she charged into third after being held up in her latest run at Addington. Now a Harness Million winner, Off N Gone has earned a shot at Group One glory in the Northern Oaks at Alexandra Park. “It was a great win, she drew wide and did plenty of work and she ran a great time,” Robert Dunn said. “She has always been a lovely filly, we have always liked her. “I thought her two runs at Nelson were terrific and she has just come on from there. “She will head to Auckland now for the Cadeceus Club Stakes and then go on to the Northern Oaks.” Off N Gone stopped the clock in the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Fillies Pace in the scintillating time of 2-23.9, producing a 1-56.9 mile rate. Off N Gone was followed across the line by With Grace (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) in a Robert Dunn stable quinella. The Woodend Beach trainer qualified four runners for the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Fillies Pace with Shankia (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) finishing fifth and Passion And Power (NZ) (Art Major) finishing eigth. Avana (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) ran third behind the Dunn trained quinella makers to complete her second placing in an NZB Standardbred Harness Million Final. Breeder-owners Brent and Suzanne Williams and Gary Woodham offered Off N Gone at the 2019 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales where she was knocked down for $37,000. The filly’s dam Kabet (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) had already proved to be a broodmare gem, becoming a stakes-winning producer after Off N Gone’s victory in Friday night’s race. Off N Gone’s half-brothers Take A Bet (NZ) (Mach Three) and Above N Beyond (NZ) (Art Major) have both been multiple race winners. A half-sister to Off N Gone and full sister to Above N Beyond will be offered at the 2021 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale. The filly will go through the ring as Lot 382 at the Christchurch session on Wednesday February 17. 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale Calendar Auckland Parade at Karaka: Saturday 13 February 2021, 1PM (NZT) Auckland Sale of Pacers & Trotters: Sunday 14 February 2021, 12PM (NZT) Christchurch Parade & Sale of Trotters: Monday 15 February 2021, 1PM (NZT) Christchurch Sale of Pacers: Tuesday 16 & Wednesday 17 February 2021, 1PM (NZT)   NZB Standardbred

Sweet Lou has made a stellar start to his harness racing stallion career down under, being crowned the leading first season sire in both New Zealand and Australia in the 2018/19 season and has continued to produced outstanding racehorses including a quinella in the first two-year-old race at Addington last week. His daughter’s Sweet On Me and Double Expresso were the two leading 2YO fillies in Australasia in his first crop produced. Top breakers and trainers have nothing but good things to say about natural gaits, attitude, temperament and willingness.  Sweet Lou presents commercial Australasian Breeders with quality bloodlines not currently available. He is a complete out-cross being by the son of Yankee Cruiser (Artiscape) out of Sweet Future (Falcon's Future) who is a USTA Hall of Fame inductee. His maternal line is one of USA's strongest with with his half brother being $2.7 million winner and World Champion Bettor Sweet (Bettor's Delight) and half sister 1.51.1 mare Sweet Paprika (Artiscape) Sweet Lou was a multiple world record holder and exceptional speed machine! In this race above Sweet Lou beat probably the richest field in history with combined earnings of $26,917,444. That is an average of $2,691,744 for each starter. This writer believes that it is possibly the richest field ever produced on the race track in one race. At New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka on Sunday, 14th of February there are 26 yearlings by Sweet Lou and in the Breckon Farms draft there are two colts. Lot 21 Shanghai Lou Shanghai Lou is from a sister to Group 1 Queensland Seymour Nursery Stakes winner Burnaholeinmypocket. He is a bay colt bred on the identical cross of the Harness Million winner Aladdin and Harness Jewels winner Sweet On Me, being by Sweet Lou from a Bettor’s Delight mare. He’s the first foal of a sister to the Group 1 and prolific Melton winner Burnaholeinmypocket and the Melton, Menangle and USA winner Positano and a half-sister to the Melton winner Fleshing. His third dam Flash Atom won the Group 3 North Island Standardbred Breeders Stakes and was the 4YO Pacing Mare of the Year. Lot 49 Mr President Mr President is a half-brother to four sub 2:00 winners. He is a bay colt by the world champion Sweet Lou, the sire of the classic winners Aladdin, Sweeto On Me, Virgil and Double Expresso. He’s a half-brother to six winners including the Yearling Sales 2YO North Island Graduate and Sires’ Stakes 2YO heat winner Chachingchaching, the 1:53 Menangle winner Giddy Heights, the Cardigan Bay Stakes place getter Smart Fortune who won last night in Australia (now with 6 wins and 21 placings for $64,500) and to the dam of the Perth winner Head Honcho. His dam the Presidential Ball mare Affairs Of State, a Group 1 place getter is a daughter of the triple Oaks winner and 2YO and 3YO Filly of the Year Under Cover Lover. Affairs Of State is a half-sister to the Yearling Sale Series 2YO Final winner My Exotic Lover, the dam of the multiple NSW Group winner Match In Heaven, and to the dams of the outstanding WA pacer Vampiro, the winner of seven Group races, the WA Derby winner Major Trojan, the WA 4 & 5YO Championship winner The Odd Lover and Our Classical Art.   Harnesslink Media            

Last night’s premier harness racing at Addington will long be remembered by those of us in the south. There was great excitement when having her last race in New Zealand, Southern mare Watch Me Now upset hot favourite Amazing Dream in the $102,000 Group One Breeders Stakes. Driver Kirstin Barclay schooled Watch Me Now off the gate from a wide draw and took the lead just after the winning post, before handing up to hot favourite Amazing Dream. Inside the last 400 metres Amazing Dream, Watch Me Now and Need You Now broke away from the field. On straightening Amazing Dream and Watch Me Now set down for a stride by stride battle with Barclay throwing everything at the Southern mare to get her up to win by a head. “Everything went to plan for once. You’re always hopeful that you can beat mares like her but you don’t expect to,” Barclay said. The time of 3-07.2 was a new New Zealand record, bettering The Orange Agent’s previous record of 3-07.4. The last 800 metres was run in 55.1. “She was travelling well all the way. She was bang on ready.” Owned by the Sloan and Gibb families, the mainstream public were unaware the Breeders Stakes was to be her last race in New Zealand, as she had recently been sold to American interests. “It was bitter sweet and pretty emotional. It’s a bit heart breaking really but she’ll do a massive job over there.” It was by far Barclay’s biggest race day win in her twenty two years of driving. She has previously won a Listed race on U May Cullect and the Group Three Kindergarten Stakes driving El Nino. It was also the first Group win for Watch Me Now’s Oreti Beach training partnership of Barclay and Tank Ellis. “We’ve liked her from day one. Kerry O’Reilly broke her in and said she was a nice horse.” Southland mares have a great record in the race. Bonnies Chance won it three times in 1980s, Shortys Girl won in 2002 and 2003 and Tact Lizzie won at long odds of 63-1 in 2010. Meanwhile Pembrook Playboy underlined his rising status at last night’s meeting, taking the next step and winning the Group Three Coca Cola Summer Cup. He beat last year’s New Zealand Cup winner Self Assured by the barest of margins. Williamson secured the trail behind pacemaker The Fixer and the entire ran up the passing lane and held out Self Assured by a nose. “I heard Matt Cross say that I got there, but I wasn’t really sure because I couldn’t see that other horse. Were absolutely rapt,” said Williamson. Williamson took his horses north midweek and he said Pembrook Playboy didn’t travel that well. “He’s bit of the bugger not to settle in. He gets a bit worked up when he’s away. He’s good at home as he knows his routine. He seemed a little bit more settled tonight. He’s doing a bit of travelling coming up so we hope that’ll be the making of him.” Prior to last nights Group Three Williamson made sure the Bettor’s Delight entire had his mind on the job, giving him a sharp section in his warm up. “He travelled pretty keenly in the running and was definitely focused, and he dug in well at the finish. When the money is handed out it’s a good habit to get into.” Although last night’s win was up there as a career highlight Williamson said winning the Invercargill Cup is still at the top of the list. At the conclusion of last night’s meeting in Christchurch Williamson was travelling south to Oamaru for the night. It would be an early start to get back home and then into Invercargill for the Riverton Meeting at Ascot Park today. Williamson said last night, “We’ll get him home and get him on the green grass. He tucked up a bit on this trip. We’ll set him for the Northern Southland Cup. I might have him at the Riverton Meeting (4th March) as there’s a Free for All which could be a good leadup.” It was the Bettor’s Delight four year olds eighth career win from fifteen starts and his third in a row. The win elevates him to second behind Copy That in the Four Year Old Diamond for the end of season Harness Jewels. Also at last night’s meeting the Williamson trained Ragazzo Mach ran a gallant second in a high quality R57-R75 pace – a race that included a few New Zealand Derby aspirants. After covering extra ground he came on strongly at the end of the 1980 metre race and got within three quarters of a length of favourite It’s All About The Faith. “He went a great race. He was working the whole way. It was a slick time and he certainly wasn’t disgraced.” Williamson trained trotter Dark Horse also had to settle for second, beaten by Muscle Mountain by half a length. “I think she wasn’t quite at her best without taking anything away from the winner. It was a phenomenal run. He’s the new kid on the block and was pretty impressive.” It’s proving to be a pretty successful season for southern trained horses which we would expect would be reflected at the Sales this week. Click here for full results from last nights Addington meeting   by Bruce Stewart

MILTON, ON - February 12, 2021 - Following today's designation of the Halton Region being placed in the 'Red-Control' zone by the Government of Ontario, Woodbine Entertainment has announced plans to resume live harness racing, without spectators, at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, February 18. Halton Region will officially enter the 'Red-Control' zone as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16. Live horse racing, without spectators, is permitted in all phases of the province's current COVID-19 Response Framework except for 'Grey-Lockdown'. With the resumption of racing on February 18, Woodbine Mohawk Park will proceed with its regular schedule of live racing every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 7 p.m. Condition sheets for the first several cards at Woodbine Mohawk Park are now posted at www.StandardbredCanada.ca. The draw for Thursday's card will take place Monday, February 15, with the entry box closing at its usual time of 10:30 a.m. The full draw schedule is listed below: Enter Monday for Thursday Enter Tuesday for Friday Enter Wednesday for Saturday Enter Thursday for Monday Woodbine Mohawk Park qualifiers will be held on Thursday, February 18 and the draw held on Wednesday, February 17. As per the Government of Ontario's restrictions, spectators are not permitted at Woodbine Mohawk Park at this time. Only those performing essential duties relating to the operating of live horse racing are currently permitted onsite. Woodbine Entertainment will provide an update to horse owners and the public over the coming days of opportunities to watch and wager. Any horseperson coming to Woodbine Mohawk Park for training, qualifying or racing must complete the COVID-19 Daily Screening Form prior to arriving at the racetrack and must adhere to Woodbine Entertainment's COVID-19 Racing Protocols at all times. Any horseperson that has been outside of Ontario must provide the Director of Racing (Bill McLinchey, bmclinchey@woodbine.com) with proof of their return date and be in Ontario for 14 days before coming to Woodbine Mohawk Park for training, qualifying or live racing. Any individual outside of Ontario must also provide a negative COVID-19 test taken 10 days into their quarantine. For the latest updates, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com or follow @WoodbineSB on Facebook and Twitter. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

One telephone call sealed the deal between the key players associated with boom harness racing pacer Lochinvar Art - and within four hours, "Artie" was in the float and on the road. When Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announced a five-day Stage Four lockdown in response to the growing COVID-19 cluster in Melbourne, owner Kevin Gordon and trainer-driver David Moran leapt into action. Overnight border closures were a certainty, but the pair quickly put together a new travel plan to allow Lochinvar Art to meet two major assignments in New South Wales - next weekend's Newcastle Mile, and, all going well, a start in the Miracle Mile at Menangle on March 6. "David was initially going to travel from his Shepparton base up to the property of Luke McCarthy at Cobbitty early next week," Gordon explained. "But we had to fast-track things with the lockdown coming into effect at 11.59pm," he said. "We just wanted to get over the border into New South Wales to prevent any risk of missing those two races, so we couldn't spend too much time thinking about it." A winning team: Proud owner Kevin Gordon and trainer David Moran with the champ Lochinvar Art When Harnesslink spoke to Gordon mid-afternoon on Friday he said the arrangements were pushed forward "in a rush". "David's on the road now and he has Lochinvar Art and Patsbeachstorm on board," he said. "They've been able to book into a horse motel for the night which is a few hours on the way and then he hopes to get to Luke's place early in the afternoon on Saturday." The Newcastle Mile is close to the heart of Gordon, his wife Leonie and family as it is their home track. "I've always dreamt of having a horse in the feature race there," he said. "It goes back quite a few years ago when I attended the Cup with well-known horseman Vic Frost - Vic raced Westburn Grant and got the money, in fact I think they may have won it on two occasions, and I suppose that's where the dream began." Lochinvar Art posted his seventh Group One victory last weekend, further confirmation (if there needed to be any) that he is the best standardbred in Australasia. The pacer blew away his rivals in the $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton. That took his prize money to an incredible $1,368,456 courtesy of 28 wins from 50 starts.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The Prix de France « Speed Race » will offer a dazzling harness racing sport climax on Sunday 14 February at Paris-Vincennes. This Group I is the second of the three Ultimate Finals of the Prix d'Amérique Races ZEturf. It is the expected revenge, two weeks after the crowning of Face Time Bourbon in the Prix d'Amérique "Legend Race". The 2100-metre speed course promises an intense and spectacular confrontation. The total purse for the race is 400,000€.   And revenge it will be, since the horses who finished first and second in the Prix d'Amérique "Legend Race" will line up for the start on Sunday next. Face Time Bourbon, winner on January 31, and runner up Davidson du Pont, title holder of the Prix de France "Speed Race", will compete anew on the mythical cinder track of Paris-Vincennes. Last year, in that same race, the latter had beaten his rival. What will happen next Sunday? Everything is possible.   On a smaller distance, ideal for speed surprises, the other exciting parameter will be the actual timed speed. Will the Race record fall? Kool du Caux, with 1'09"8, has been the title holder for some time now, since 2007.If we bear in mind that Face time Bourbon has already trotted twice in 1'09"8 over that same course, the existing record is in great danger. In addition to those two inescapable favourites, Face Time Bourbon and Davidson du Pont, other contenders, namely Délia du Pommereux and Bahia Quesnot, who finished 4th and 5th, respectively in the Prix d'Amérique "Legend Race", have legitimate ambitions. This beautiful casting will be completed by Billie de Montfort who loves sprints, by Aetos Kronos the gifted Swedish horse, who will bring an international flavour to the race, and also by Romanesque and Frisbee d'Am.      Face Time Bourdon (left) and Davidson du Pont PIERRE HERME, A PATRON OF EXCELLENCE FOR THE DRAW OF PLACES AT THE AUTOSTART In this race with mobile autostart, places behind the car are essential. The draw for the start of the Prix de France was held under the auspices of the Excellence of the pastry art "à la française" and the Excellence of trotting. Pierre Hermé, Pastry World Champion and horse racing aficionado, has honoured with his presence the draw of numbers behind the autostart. The king of the Macaron had a lucky hand for Face Time Bourbon who obtained n°2, considered as one of the most favourable numbers, whereas Davidson du Pont with n°8, on the outside, was not that lucky… Jean-Michel Bazire, Davidson du Pont's trainer and driver had no hard feelings about it. He told Pierre Hermé :"I admire you. Let me tell you that your rose cake is the best in the world! Number 8 is certainly not ideal but my horse is in top form and has recovered very easily after his recent efforts". Björn Goop, driver of Face Time Bourbon, observed: "Number 2 is all right, even though I was hoping for n°3 or n°4. It's sad for Davidson du Pont and his number 8 but Jean-Michel Bazire, at any place, knows the best tactics " ' Yesterday’s draw, live, HERE     FOLLOW THE RACE LIVE The race will be available online, live, on LeTROT.com, prixdameriqueraces.com, Equidia Racing 1, and on Facebook Live @Equidia.   From LeTrot Media

After a lengthy debate on the House floor, SB 120 has passed the Kentucky State House with a 55-38 vote. The bill changes the definition of pari-mutuel to allow Historical Horse Racing machines to be included after a Kentucky Supreme Court decision deemed they were not. Historical horse racing fuels Kentucky’s signature horse industry, strengthens purse money for racing, provides valuable jobs and generates millions in tax revenue to benefit investments across the Commonwealth.  The revitalized Kentucky Sire Stakes Program, enhanced Kentucky Proud Series (formerly fair racing) and the exciting new Kentucky Stallion Bonus Program are all a direct result of the growth of historical horse racing in recent years.  Governor Beshear has been vocal in his support of the horse industry and historical horse racing and its positive impacts on our state. He is expected to sign the bill once it hits his desk.  The Red Mile we will reopen tomorrow, February 13th at 10 am. The Kentucky Harness Horsemen’s Association would like to thank the legislators who voted YES on this bill. Also, thank you to everyone that reached out to let them know how important this bill was to the horse industry. Its passage will certainly continue to grow our industry. In standardbred racing it has already helped fuel our purses, add race tracks, grow our fair program, add money and legs to the Kentucky Sire Stakes program, along with bringing more mares to board at our farms, and a new stallion bonus has added quality stallions.  The Kentucky Harness Association applauds the Kentucky House of Representatives for the passage of Senate Bill 120 to secure a strong and healthy horse industry by preserving historical horse racing.  “We greatly appreciate the countless hours of hard work by the members of the Kentucky House and Senate and their continued dedication to the horse industry in Kentucky.  To see and be part of a united front in working diligently to fight for Kentucky’s signature industry was refreshing in these challenging times.  Passage of this historical horse racing bill enables Kentucky to remain the Horse Capital of the World.,” said Bob Brady, President of the KHA. “Although it is impossible to give proper recognition to every person and organization that came together to make passage of this bill possible, the KHA wants to give special thanks to Marc Guilfoil, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, a life-long advocate for harness racing in Kentucky, and his wife Elisabeth Jensen, Executive Vice President of  KEEP (Kentucky Equine Education Project), for the countless hours of time and dedication to making this happen,” says Bob Brady.  “Marc and Elisabeth have a unique ability to work cooperatively throughout all aspects of the horse industry to make Kentucky the special place that it is,” continues Brady. From the KHA and KHHA    

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Max Delight’s breeding background Max Delight, who won the Group 3 Pure Steel on the final night of the Summer Of Glory carnival at Melton, is a five-year-old entire expected to graduate far beyond his present rating. A member of David Aiken’s Avenel team, he has a good deal more in his favour on the score of blood than most. By Bettor’s Delight, Australia’s leading sire for the last nine years, Max Delight is out of the five-time Group 1 winner Lady Euthenia (1:53.3), by Art Major from Reggae Miss, by Maple Lanes Strike from Girl Next Door, by What’s Next. Max Delight                         --Stuart McCormick Photo Lady Euthenia proved herself in the top flight as a racemare, taking a mile record of 1:53.3, winning 21 races and $461,285 in stakes including the NSW Oaks, Bathurst Gold Tiara and Kay Seymour Nursery. Besides Max Delight, she has left others in the Menangle winner Sunset Zeus (1:53.4) and Lady Shakira (1:55.4). Reggae Miss, the dam of Lady Euthenia, was also a top racemare. She took a record of 2:00.3 and registered 18 successes. She won the NSW Sires Stakes Four-year-old Final and qualified for the two and three-year-old finals. At the stud Reggae Miss, one of several outstanding racemares and broodmares by Maple Lanes Strike, left the NSW Sapling winner Reggae Cowboy (1:59.4), San Domino 1:49.2 ($326,754), who is now racing successfully in America, Tears To Maple (2:06.9) and Swantastic (7 wins). Tears To Maple, an Albert Albert mare, left the NSW Breeders Challenge Regional winner Gracie Taljuice 1:53 ($140,615), Mymatethomo (SA Whyalla Cup), Fifteen Aces (1:53.8) and Hit The Track (1:56.9). Another daughter of Reggae Miss in the unraced Leslie Jay (by Grinfromeratoear) became the dam of the Bathurst Gold Crown and Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial winner Castalong Shadow 1:54.6 ($155,241).   Million dollar winner When she won the $100,000 Ladyship Cup at Melton recently, Our Princess Tiffany became the 12th Australasian bred millionaire pacing mare joining a list that includes Adore Me, Tailamade Lombo, Blossom Lady and Dream About Me. Our Princess Tiffany                     --Stuart McCormick Photo Bred and raced by Braedon and Caroline Whitelock, Our Princess Tiffany is a five-year-old Art Major mare from the top racemare Dancing Diamonds 1:57.8 (winner of $343,276), by Bettor’s Delight from Asabella, by In The Pocket from Mio Bellisimo, by Smooth Fella. This family has produced some useful pacers over the years including Ohoka’s Bondy, Miss Sangrial, Sangue Reale and The Cavalier. Dancing Diamonds also produced Rock Diamonds 1:50 ($435,016), a winner at Group level in Western Australia and Canada.   Star four-year-old by Bettor’s Delight The winner of the Group 2 Hondo Grattan Stakes at Menangle was the Bettor’s Delight entire Zeuss Bromac NZ, who is expected to make open grade. Only a four-year-old, he showed up last season as a three-year-old above average when he won the Breeders Crown at Melton and finished third in the NSW Derby. Zeuss Bromac, by Bettor’s Delight, is the first foal out of Zeta Bromac, who took a record of 1:55.5. She was a Mach Three mare from the Victorian-bred mare Zante Beach, by Fake Left from Gemfire, by Torado Hanover from Gold Mistress, by Golden Money Maker from the Bachelor Hanover mare Madame Han, who established a great winning line for Helen and the late Graham Head.  She left 10 winners including a cup class pacer in Chipmunk and the Moonee Valley winners Gold Mistress, Moonshine Mistress, Cocky Benz and Botlar. Zante Beach, the second dam of Zeuss Bromac, won 16 races and $115,160 in stakes and at the stud left the metropolita winners Zorro Bromac (1:56.6) and Savvy Bromac (1:57.2), Zion Bromac (1:56.1) and the exported My Zach Bromac (1:52).  Zeuss Bromac is the best winner from this family in recent years but in an earlier decade it produced a top flight pacer in Safari, who won 28 races.   Close relatives win at Shepparton Boy From Bondi and Kissmelvis, who both won at the Shepparton midweek meeting recently, are members of the same family. Boy From Bondi, a seven-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is out of the Safely Kept mare Awakemecate, while Kissmelvis, a seven-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover, is from Kissmecatie (1:56.5), a daughter of Awakemecate.  Both were bred and are raced by Avenel horseman Ian Montgomery. Kissmecatie, by the triple Inter Dominion champion Our Sir Vancelot, won 16 races including the Albury and Gunbower Cups and $125,344 in stakes and at the stud, has left winners from her only two foals of racing age. Her dam, Awakemecate, was only lightly raced but she left four winners. She was out of a capable racemare in Cathanda, who took a record of 2:01.4 and won 12 races. Besides Awakemecate, she was also the dam of Armbro Andie (2:01.8), who won three. Other members of this family have been the Victoria Breeders Plate winner Son Of Chris, Navy Way (NE & GV Breeders Plate), Standing ovation (Bendigo Guineas) and a top Tasmanian pacer in Saint Tulloch.   From Bessie B family Lochinvar Art, the commanding winner of the A. G. Hunter Cup at Melton, became only the second winner – Preux Chavelier (1985) was the other - from the noted Bessie B tribe to win Victoria’s signature race. Lochinvar Art       --Stuart McCormick Photo Bred by Peter and M. Green, M. A. Morris and Daniel Cordina, Lochinvar Art is a five-year-old entire by the Artsplace horse Modern Art out of Ponder In Paris (1:56.5), by Ponder from Alive In Paris, by Live Or Die from Zora Paree, by Torado Hanover from the Hilarious Way mare Paree Beauty, dam of the Victoria Oaks winner My Cherie. This branch of the family has produced such winners as Kaboom (20 wins), All Hotted Up (NSW Derby heat), Ned Pepper, Mind The Wire (1:51.9), Katie’s Secret, Drunken Desire (1:51.8) and What’s The Catch.   First winner The Bettor’s Delight horse Betting Line, the former USA 3YO Colt of the Year and now available a member of Empire Stallions’ frozen semen roster, was recently represented by his first two-year-old winners in Australia. Comet Crusader, a New Zealand-bred colt, and Whataretheodds, a gelding bred in WA, both won on debut at Newcastle and Pinjarra respectively. Both had shown up strongly at the trials. Bred by Chatsworth Lodge, Auckland, Comet Crusader is out of the Badlands Hanover mare Shimmering Star, whose dam, Electrify, left the Treuer Memorial winner Lochinver 1:52.2 ($302,448) and Miss Tanaka, the dam of the Gloucester Park winners Tanaka Eagle 1:54.7 ($266,166) and Advance Your Dream (1:57.5). Whataretheodds, who was bred by Kody and Kevin Charles, is the second foal of the Group 3 winner Generally Outspoken (1:59.4), a sister by Mach Three to Mach’s Gold (1:54.3) and a half-sister to the dual NZ Group winner Spellbound 1:56.8 ($126,230) and Missinmemate (1:54.5).   Canberra Cup winner Benalong Valley, who won the $25,000 Canberra Cup, after being required to overcome a difficult barrier draw and a wide passage, has now won 13 races and $137,537 in stakes and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. By The Panderosa horse Shadow Play, who sired top pacers the calibre of Shadow Sax and Our Triple Play, Benalong Valley is a six-year-old gelding out from Cedar Valley (1:55.1), by Island Fantasy from Tricky Valley, by Tricky Dick (son of Lordship) from Red Valley, by Brutus Blue Chip from Totara Valley, by Regal Yankee – a pedigree with some real background with a strong staying influence behind it. Cedar Valley, a Harold Park and Moonee Valley winner, was a half-sister to the cup winning pacer Dontfencemein 1:57.2 ($272,760) and Larado 1:54.7 ($179,178).  The champion WA pacer of the 1980’s, Village Kid, is the best known member of this family.   Up-and-coming trotter One of the most improved trotters racing in Victoria is Aldebaran Poppy, bred by Aldebaran Park, Nagambie. A seven-year-old, Aldebaran Poppy has won four of her last five starts including the Group 2 $30,000 Vicbred Platinum Trotting Mares Sprint Championship at Melton. Aldebaran Poppy              --Stuart McCormick Photo Aldebaran Poppy has a background of trotting blood second to none. Her sire, Skyvalley, has left the great Australian trotter Tornado Valley and other top trotters in Pink Galahs, Sky Petite, Kyvalley Finn and Aldebaran Eve. Her dam, Aldebaran Revenue, is by Revenue, a former leading trotter in Europe and America. Aldebaran Poppy ranks as a half-sister to a talented trotter in Keayang Ignite, a winner at Group 1 level at Melton. Aldebaran Revenue, who was unraced, is a half-sister to Aldebaran Maori (10 wins), the dam of two high class trotters in Fear Not 2:01.6b ($179,495) and Kyvalley Kyrie Tr 1:59 ($100,251).  The family, which traces to the Lincoln Yet mare Dot, produced a champion trotter in Maori’s Idol (1:59.3), who won 40 races, including 24 on end, and other top trotters in Maori Time (1:51.5), the fastest trotting mare ever bred in Australasia, Noopy Kiosk, Sumthingaboutmaori and Danny Bouchea.   Close relative of Beautide Kikkimi, who won at Launceston last weekend, is a Roll With Joe mare from the same family as that which produced the dual Inter Dominion champion Beautide. A four-year-old, Kikkimi has not raced a great deal. She had only start at two, and from eight lifetime appearances has won twice and been three times placed.  Kikkimi is a well developed mare and was bred by Barrie and Denise Rattray, who bred and raced Beautide. She is out of the Jereme’s Jet mare Delmi, a moderate performer herself but who is proving a successful broodmare having left others in Lancelot (2:00.1) and Invil, both good winners. Delmi ranks as a half-sister to Beautide, being out of Gorse Bush (2:02.1), by Ticket To Heaven from the noted producer Barrington Lass, the dam of a record 15 individual winners.   Tasmanian Yearling Sale on Saturday The Tasmanian Harness Yearling Sale, to be conducted by Tasracing, will be held at the race meeting at Carrick Park on Saturday. The sale features youngsters by exciting, young sires such as Betting Line, Downbytheseaside, Sweet Lou, A Rocknroll Dance, Hes Watching and Lincoln Royal and the established sires Sportswriter and Stonebridge Regal. Progeny of the smart racemares including the Granny Smith winner Tisu Holly, Angel Or Demon (Mother of Pearl and Matron Stakes), Iden Countess (Killarney Stud Bouquet) and the Belmont winners Mon Soie and Iden Princess are listed in the catalogue. Yearlings closely related to the outstanding pacers Beautide, Ignatius, Lombo Pocket Watch, Devendra, Astral Francais and Chip And Gale are also among the offering.   By Peter Wharton

As anticipation builds for NZB Standardbred’s 2021 National Yearling Sale, viewers from around the globe can look forward to an enhanced sale broadcast over the duration of the five day event.  The new format will provide enriched content for standardbred enthusiasts, with a number of key sponsors jumping on board to support the 2021 Auckland and Christchurch selling sessions.  Robert Dunn Harness Racing, Woodlands Stud and Southern Bred Southern Reared will support the coverage of the NZB Standardbred yearling sale sessions, bringing in all the action from the sale rings at Karaka and Canterbury Agricultural Park.  With the addition of presenters Michael Guerin and Greg O’Connor bringing daily Preview and Review shows, as well as key sale highlights and interviews, viewers can be assured they will not miss any of the live sale action.  From Saturday 13 February through until the conclusion of selling on Wednesday 17 February, the sale will be broadcast live to viewers on Freeview Channel 200, streamed on nzbstandardbred.co.nz and on NZB Standardbred’s facebook page.  2021 Sale Coverage Auckland  Saturday 13 February: Parade of Trotters and Pacers, 1PM (NZT) Sunday 14 February: Sale of Pacers and Trotters, plus the daily Preview and Show hosted by Michael Guerin commencing 11:30AM (NZT) until the close of selling Christchurch Monday 15 February: Parade and Sale of Trotters, 1PM (NZT) plus the daily Preview and Review Show hosted by Greg O’Connor commencing 2:30PM until the close of selling Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 February: Parade and Sale of Pacers, 10AM (NZT) plus the daily Preview and Review Show hosted by Greg O’Connor commencing 12:30PM (NZT) until the close of selling on both days  All coverage will be available on Freeview channel 200, nzbstandardbred.co.nz and the NZB Standardbred facebook page.    NZB Standardbred

Three years ago Nathan Williamson was watching a racing show on television, turned to his wife Katie and said the words that changed his career. “We got to change the way we go about this,” said the now 32-year-old horseman. Williamson was watching a discussion about the dominance of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen and how the challenge was for other trainers to raise to their standards, not complain about the All Stars success. The words hit the talented young harness horseman like a mallet. “We were going ok at that time, training winners and had a good-sized team but we weren’t going to go to that next level and not to the top,” says Williamson. “That show really made me think about how we were running the business and I decided we should have less horses but better bred ones and have a plan.” That plan in involved getting successful owners to re-invest and trust Williamson’s judgement, buying better-bred yearlings and then target carnivals at the major tracks while establishing a professional base in Southland. The Williamson’s plan has worked and now the young gun trainer is one of the most feared in the South Island with ambitions of northern raids and buying even better horseflesh at the yearling sales, which start this Sunday. But first he heads to Addington tonight with the tangible results of his new, improved training programme, four horses good enough to compete against the best and maybe beat them. He has exciting three-year-old Ragazzo Mach up against Sires’ Stakes winner It’s All About Faith in race two, stable star Dark Horse in the main trot, Pembrook Playboy taking on NZ Cup winner Self Assured in the Summer Cup and stable newcomer Yankee Party in the group one $100,000 Breeders Stakes. He realises Yankee Party can’t beat Amazing Dream in the last of those races and even though his other three will be among the favourites they may not win either. But Williamson is now in the big time and loving it. “This was part of the plan way back then and Friday is an important night for us,” he offers. “With the sales starting this weekend we want to show people we can train in the big time, especially with Mark and Natalie taking a break. That has changed the industry and maybe the dynamic of the sales.”Pembrook Playboy (R7, No.2) has been in scintillating form in the deep south and has an open class motor but taking on a New Zealand and Auckland Cup winner in Self Assured is a step up so big he might need a pole vault. “He is still a big baby of a horse but I will put him in the race and give him his chance. But I don’t think he can beat Self Assured,” says Williamson. Dark Horse is a wonderful follower of speed with a sprint to match most open class trotters in the country but tonight’s Summer Trotting Free-For-All will require early pressure that doesn’t relent to see her at her best. “I used to think she had a top trotter’s sprint but after a few injuries I think she is a very good group two or three horse away from the very best. “So she can win this week but Muscle Mountain will be hard to beat and it might come down to the tempo.” Ragazzo Mach (R2, No.9) may be the best of Williamson’s new generation and as a pre-Christmas three-year-old beat good older horses in the Wairio Cup and then slayed his last-start opponents by almost 10 lengths. In an open year for three-year-olds he is a legitimate NZ Derby hope but finds himself in a wonderful intermediate grade field tonight containing four or five future open class horses. “You wouldn’t believe he could end up in a field this strong and from the outside barrier I can’t go rushing off the gate (at the start),” says Williamson. “So in reality it might be a race where he hits the line hard and we are happy with that if we don’t get the right luck. “But he is the real deal and I think he has a Derby chance. He is the sort of horse we wanted to be training by now when we made those tough calls three years ago.”   By Michael Guerin

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