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Top harness racing mare Wainui Creek provided a boilover last night at Addington Raceway when she won the $100,000 PGG Wrightson Standardbred Breeders Stakes paying $18.00 on the tote. The win gave North Island driver Scott Phelan an emotional Group One success. It was a well driven race by North Island driver Phelan. He led early and then capitilised on a great run in the trail behind Bettor's Heart and driver John Dunn who was determined to park Princess Tiffany,the hot favourite for the race.  That made it for the Barry Purdon trained Wainui Creek and the Bettor's Delight mare finished best up the passing lane to get a deserved win by a head at the liine. Wainui Creek winning the Group One PGG Wrightson Standardbred Breeders Stakes Wainui Creek paced the 2600m mobile in 3-12.9 a mile rate of 1-59.3 with the closing 800m in 57.2 seconds. It was a night of firsts last night with junior driver Sarah O'Reilly also gaining her biggest win aboard the Michael Purdon trained Willie Go West in the listed PGG Wrightson "7000 Stakes" for 3yo's. Robbie Close was another to cause a massive upset when he won the $100,000 Group three Summer Trotters free For All on the Regan Todd trained Splash Cola.   Harnesslink Media

Many harness racing fans will remember an incredibly successful North Island family of horses from the eighties and nineties that trace back to the broodmare Birdie. Birdie, of course, earned fame as the dam of Dillon Dean and Dillon Dale, who, between them, won 37 races and were placed 31 times, she also left My Double Birdie (1:57.4) who left Two Under (1:53.2 in USA) Dillon Dean's main wins included the NZ Messenger and Derby titles alongside the NZ Free For All. Dillon Dale also won the NZ Free For All, the NZ Juvenile Championship and Thames Cup. Birdie's Belle, a Berry Hanover daughter of Birdie, produced the outstanding pacer Elmer Gantry, winner of 18 races and 29 times placed. The dam of Lot 31 at the 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale is out of a half sister to Elmer Gantry giving buyers a chance to buy in to a family that has left an indelible mark in harness racing annuals. Lot 31 Simply Sam is by outstanding sire American Ideal out of Simply Stunning and is being offered on behalf of Breckon Farms. American Ideal served a full book of 220 mares this past season in Australia standing at a stud fee of A$10,000. American Ideal is the sire of over $105,000,000 in progeny earnings in North America including 12 millionaires. His progeny has average earnings of over $123,191 per starter. In New Zealand, American Ideal has bred 298 winners and his progeny earnings are over $9,000,000 including the likes of The Orange Agent $516,972), Ideal Scott ($388,689), Besotted ($255,744) and recent top three-year-old Copy That ($107,334)   In Australia, American Ideal has 189 Australian bred winners of $12,509,442 to date. He has amazing per starter average earnings of $50,239 per starter. These winners include the super stars Bling It On ($1,830,597) and Soho Tribeca ($1,103,854). Top two-year-old in Australia last season was Pelosi 1:52.6 ($254,236) another daughter of American Ideal. A simple stunning story so far and a compelling future ahead for American Ideal and Simply Sam!  Harnesslink Media

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.   Double Expresso top WA three-year-old filly   There was never much doubt that Double Expresso was the season’s top rating three-year-old filly as she was the previous season at two years, and she duly confirmed her class by winning the $50,000 Dainty’s Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park.   Actually she was a class above her rivals, and was not seriously tested in running out the 2130 metres in a 1:56 mile rate.   From 12 starts Double Expresso has won nine and been three times placed for $214,579 in stakes   By the world champion Sweet Lou, and one of his first crop, Double Expresso is out of Here For The Money, by Rich And Spoilt (a Group 1 winner and son of Million To One) from Regal Castle, by Safely Kept from Duel Queen, by Seahawk Hanover.   Double Expresso                                                              --Scott Hamilton photo   Here For The Money, a winner of seven races and $81,874, is also the dam of this season’s WA Golden Nugget winner Shockwave 1:54 ($298,704).   This is the family which produced such winners as Kingstar, Chariot King, Emjayem Grand (1:49.6), Its Only Rocknroll, Duel Prince and others.   Double Expresso was bred by Kevin and Annette Charles.       ‘Beach’ colt wins Premiere   The Premiere Stakes, the first classic race for two-year-olds in Victoria, and run at Melton, was won in cavalier fashion by Soho Lanikai, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere from the smart racemare Obahma Joy (by American Ideal), who took a mile record of 1:53.2 at Menangle.   After sitting parked most of the trip, the colt careered away in the closing stages to win untouched by 65 metres – one of the biggest margins ever put up by a juvenile in this country.     Obahma Joy, the dam of Soho Lanikai, won 12 races including the NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO Final and $180,618 in stakes and at the stud has produced three foals of racing age for three winners - all inside 2:00.   By American Ideal, Obahma Joy was a half-sister to the APG Final placegetter Kingofthestars 1:55.9 ($111,139) and Make Mine Joe (1:56.3), being out of Kirrilee Joy, by Safely Kept from the Fake Left mare Intrude, dam of the champion racemare Make Mine Cullen.   Bettorthanyou, a half-sister to Kirrilee Joy, ranks as the dam of the recent Echuca Pacing Cup and Pure Steel winner Sicario.   Soho Lanikai, who is raced by Robert Watson and trained by Michael Stanley, looks a top colt.     Cup winner by Western Ideal   Pat Stanley, who won the $60,000 South Australian Pacing Cup – Rackemup Tigerpie, Somewhere Secret and Stroke Of Luck filled the placings behind him – has made smart progress through the classes.   He is a grand stayer and one of the best of the Australasian stock of the Western Hanover horse Western Ideal, who sired top pacers of the calibre of Rocknroll Hanover, Vintage Master, Always A Virgin and others in America.   Pat Stanley is a five-year-old gelding from Jaz Tanner, by Artiscape from Sly And Stylish, by New York Motoring from Sly Soky, by Soky’s Atom from Sly Tabella, by Saigon – a pedigree with some real background with a strong staying influence behind it.     This has been one of the most successful branches of the Harold’s Rest family, Sly And Stylish being a half-sister to the NZ Free-for-all winner Sly Flyin 1:53.6 ($903,705) and to Sly Shard, a capable racemare who has produced an outstanding family of winners including the millionaire Smiling Shard and the Casey Classic winner Mach Shard.       First Australian winner for ‘Captain’   Captaintreacherous, the former USA 2YO and 3YO of the Year and now leading sire, was credited with his first Australian winner when the two-year-old Captain Braveheart won on debut in 1:53.3 at Menangle.   The colt had shown up impressively in several trials at Menangle recently.     Bred by Lauriston Bloodstock, Captain Braveheart is the third foal and winner out of Scottish Glamour NZ (1:55.9), the dam also of last year’s Leeton Breeders Plate winner The Tiger Army (1:59.1).   Since producing Captain Braveheart in 2017, Scottish Glamour has left a filly foal by Yankee Rockstar but failed to get into foal this season.   In New Zealand, Captaintreacherous has sired the Young Guns heat winners It’s All About Faith (1:56.4) and Platinum Stride from three starters.     From Derby winning family   Mach Dan, winner of the $30,000 South Australian Derby at Globe Derby Park and winner of five of his eight lifetime starts, has the breeding to develop into a top class colt. He is by Mach Three from Bettor Give It NZ, by Bettor’s Delight from Giveitawhirlgirl, and is related to some top Australian pacers.   Mach Dan was bred by Shannon and Meaghan Nixon, of Bacchus Marsh (Vic.), and is the second foal of Bettor Give It (1:57.4), a dual Listed winner of almost $140,000 in stakes.   Bettor Give It ranks as a half-sister to a fine racemare and NZ Sires Stakes champion in Twist And Twirl 1:56 ($283,258), the dam of the WA Derby and recent A. G. Hunter Cup winner King Of Swing 1:48.7 ($793,196).       Tenth winner from broodmare   When the Mach Three three-year-old Bonski Macarena won at Albion Park last Friday, she credited her dam Bronski Gorgeous with her tenth individual winner.   Bronski Macarena had previously been placed on four occasions at the Brisbane headquarters’ track.   Others from Bronski Gorgeous to win have been Admiral Bronski 1:51.6 ($294,362), a very smart three-year-old, Brigadier Bronski 1:51 (265,932), the Group 2 winner General Bronski 1:53.7 ($160,729), Major Bronski (Vic. Derby heat and sire), Bronski Mackenzie (1:53.2),   Sombronskisomwhere (1:54.4), Private Bronski (1:55), Breeze On Bronski (1:56.8), La Pistola and now Bronski Macarena.   Bronski Gorgeous, who is now in her 20 th year, has since produced a yearling colt by Somebeachsomewhere and has a positive test to Sweet Lou.   A top racemare in her own right, Bronski Gorgeous ranked as a half-sister to the Derby and cups winner Sir Galvinator 1:56.8 ($516,723) and Esprit De Kayjay 1:51.6 ($586,976), being out of Promise, by Land Grant from the noted producer Blythbank Del.     Tenth on end   Ryley Major won his tenth race on end in the $25,000 Hobart Pacing Cup, one of the feature events on the Tasmanian calendar. He is by the Artsplace horse, Art Major, sire of the one- time fastest ever NZ bred pacer, My Field Marshal.   Ryley Major is out of a top flight racemare in Shez Rylemak 1:56.2 ($270,688), by Totally Western from Rosary, a Granny Smith winner by Ticket To Heaven from Rosewood Treasure, by Out To Win from the Bachelor Hanover mare Rosewill Rosary was a half-sister to the Matron winner Rosewood Robust and a member of the same family as the Auckland Cup winner Burlington Bertie and Good Chase (NZ Derby and sire).   Ryley Major                                                photo   Ryley Major is a member of Rohan Hillier’s team.     First winner for Bonavista Bay   Bonavista Bay, a multiple Group 1 winning son of Rustler Hanover from a smart racemare in Our Lady Rena, by Troublemaker, and who is now at the stud in Western Australia, was represented by his first winner when the three-year-old gelding Bonavista Boy was successful recently at Melton.   He led throughout and scored by open lengths in a 1:54.2 rate over 1720 metres.   Before going to WA, where he stands at Spurrs Stud, Wagin, Bonavista Bay was only lightly used at the stud in Victoria and he has had very few runners.   Bonavista Boy, a half-brother to winners in Franco Jolto (1:56.9) and Franco Brien, is a well developed gelding and promises to be a very good stayer.   Their dam, Bianca Jasper, was a Village Jasper mare from Our Lady Bianca (by Classic Garry), who left several useful winners including Serenas A Hit 2:00.4 (Moonee Valley) and Compare Bianca (1:58.7).       Breeders land treble   South Australian breeders Peter and Lesley Medhurst led in three winners at their home track Mount Gambier on Tuesday. And they came within a nose of completing a quadrella.   Their winners, Crown Royale, Pebble Sands and Sea Lover, all belong to the same family, that tracing back to the Kentucky mare Roses In Paris.   A smart racemare in her own right, Roses In Paris, who took a mark of 1:58.9, left 12 winners from 13 foals, three of which won at Group level in Pete’s Elect 1:51.6 ($118,085),   Thorninmyside 1:58.9 ($160,666) and King Grin 1:56.7 ($132,436).     Tasmanian yearling sale on Saturday   A total of 21 yearlings have been nominated for the Tasmanian Harness Sale to be held at Carrick Park, near Launceston, on Saturday.     The draft includes youngsters by the well-credentialled sires Rock N Roll Heaven, Sweet Lou, Racing Hill, Betting Line, Well Said, Sunshine Beach, Modern Art and the ill-fated Hurrikane Kingcole.   The on-line catalogue with photos of the yearlings can be viewed at       By Peter Wharton

The Somebeachsomewhere horse Beachtrea, a full-brother to former champion racehorse and now leading sire Captaintreacherous, is available for stud duties ‘Down Under’ next season. An upstanding individual, foaled in 2011, Beachtrea represents a great opportunity for a small stud in New Zealand or Australia to secure a young stallion from one of the most highly prized families in America today. Beachtrea was only lightly raced due to injury and took his record of 1:52.6 at three years. Standing in Ohio, Beachtrea, from restricted stud chances, has sired 13 winners – including three in 1:55 - from 18 starters to date from his first two racing crops. On the score of blood Beachtrea lacks nothing. His sire Somebeachsomewhere (1:46.8) was a champion with stake earnings of $3.2million and has been one of America’s top sires for some time. He figures as the sire of two of America’s greatest pacers in Captaintreacherous (1:47.3) – a younger brother of Beachtrea – and Pure Country (1:48). Worldly Treasure (1:53.2), the dam of Beachtrea, was one of the many grand producing daughters of a champion sire in Artsplace (1:49.4), being out of a noted produced in World Order (1:53), by Nihilator from Rodine Hanover (1:54), by Big Towner. World Order was the dam of seven individual winners three of whom took record of 1:55 or better including an outstanding racemare in Worldly Beauty 1:49.6, winner of $1.9m in stakes. In turn Worldly Beauty has proved herself a champion broodmare, being the dam of Rock N Roll World 1:48.6 ($712,737), the Hoosier Cup winner World Of Rocknroll (1:50.6) and Captain Deo (1:50.4). World Of Her Own, a daughter of Worldly Beauty, is the dam of Sir Richard Z Tam (1:50.2). This is the immediate family of champion Australian sire Art Major, the leading juvenile sire on six occasions, and other successful ‘down under’ sires in Perfect Art and Panspacificflight. For further details contact Peter Wharton on +61409192532

By Garrick Knight    The country’s top three-year-old colt returns at Alexandra Park tonight on a path towards next month’s Northern Derby. And it’s an unconventional starting point for Copy That, too – a standing start event against the older horses. The reason? Quite simple. He is too highly assessed and there is a dire horse shortage in Auckland. Trainer Ray Green is frustrated but understanding. “I’ve had that conversation with them but I can understand their problem, that being the gross shortage of horses in the north. “Really, we have no other option; it’s a necessary evil.” He’s ineligible for next week’s Waikato Guineas due to his high rating – a race he would have been a very short-priced favourite in. Instead, Green will start him this week, then in the Derby prelude in two weeks’ time before the $200,000 feature on March 6. Green gave Copy That some standing start practise at the trials last week and it went well. “We stood him up once and he did well; I think he’ll be very good from the stand because he’s quite a rapid-going little horse.” The horse is thriving according to Green and he is in a good place heading towards a plethora of feature races over the next six months. “He’s very good and I’m very happy with him. “He’s in a good place right now. “It was good to get him a wee break over Christmas but he was glad to be back; he likes being in work and enjoys the routine.” Green is noted for taking his horses to the races fit and ready to win every time and this week is no different. But don’t expect driver David Butcher to launch him if he’s slow away. “This is just a lead-up race to our main mission. “He’ll win it if the opportunity presents itself, but we aren’t going to send him on a ‘search and destroy’ mission.” Bookies have faith – they opened Copy That a prohibitive $1.55 favourite yesterday afternoon. Green also has four horses in the $15,000 two-year-old race to close out the night. Of them, Franco Nandor opened second elect with bookies last night after a brave debut second a week ago, where he was nosed out right on the line. “He sort of exceeded my expectations a little bit first-up. “He’s certainly lifted his game. All four of them are nice horses, actually. “Vanquish Stride’s first start was very good considering he did everything wrong against a better class of horse and still finished with them. “The three colts will all be pointing towards the Young Guns Final in a few weeks’ time.” Monday will see Green, stable owner John Street, and client Emilio Rosati start their three-day yearling shopping spree at Karaka and Christchurch. Most of the hard work has been done, but he’s hopeful of avoiding one thorn in his side. “We’ve eliminated a bunch in the last few weeks, but haven’t looked closely at the ones still on our list. “It’s the same old story – work to the budget and see what they’re going for. “And if Jean Feiss is bidding on one that makes it difficult. “We were the under-bidders on Jesse Duke and Self Assured. She’s tough to beat, especially when she hones in on one she likes. “She’s a great judge.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Natalie Rasmussen isn’t expecting Princess Tiffany to be gifted tonight’s $100,000 New Zealand Breeders Stakes at Addington. That doesn’t diminish her confidence the hot favourite can win and earn herself a trip to Sydney but it might not be the comfortable watch many punters expect. Princess Tiffany is $1.40 in the Breeders after returning from a long layoff by easily beating many of these last start over 1980m when she was able to stroll to the front and control the race. Rasmussen, who co-trains the multiple group one winner and will drive her, says Princess Tiffany has improved with that outing but she expects more early challenges tonight. “I don’t think the other drivers will just hand it to her this time,” says Rasmussen. “I think the two drawn inside her might be happy to trail but other horses like Wainui Creek, Step Up or Bettors Heart drawn wider might have a crack early. “So while I am confident she can win I might not be as easy as last time.” While multi punters or big players might be happy to take the $1.40 for Princess Tiffany others may look for different ways to make money out of the race, with the natural option looking to be Ivana Flybye at $2.20 a place drawn the ace. If Princess Tiffany is able to run straight to the front and stay there that could be good money but if Rasmussen is right and there is more early pressure than the Ivana Flybye trail and run second theory may not be so logical. If the market is right and Princess Tiffany does win then she will earn automatic entry into the A200,000 Ladyship Mile in Sydney on March 7 and she would head there to take on arch-rival Belle Of Montana. Rasmussen and partner Mark Purdon hold the key to most of the features at Addington tonight with Amazing Dream expected to continue her domination of the three-year-old fillies season in the $150,000 Sales Series Pace. “She is working really well and even if she doesn’t lead she should trail at worst.” Another Masterpiece is fresh up since the Auckland Cup on New Years Eve but has been working so well Rasmussen says she will not be scared to put him into the race from a wide draw, even though he meets some fit, hard-running rivals. But the $30,000 Trotters Free-For-All looks potentially more challenging for the All Stars with Marcoola and Valloria genuine threats to their pair of Enhance Your Calm and King’s Landing. “Our two are trotting well but it won’t be an easy race,” offers Rasmussen. “I’d favour Enhance Your Calm slightly out of our two.”   Michael Guerin

Always B Miki has the heart of a harness racing champion. He has proven this time and time again, whether it be setting a world record during the Allerage Pace, or in his fierce showdown in the 2016 Breeders Crown to capture his second consecutive Breeders Crown title. His fierce determination has led to his success on the track, even after suffering a potentially career-ending injury his 3-year-old year, Always B Miki would not be stopped. He recovered and came back even stronger, with wins in the Breeders Crown, the Haughton Memorial, the Gold Cup, and the Ben Franklin, among many others, landing on the board an impressive 45 times. His grit and speed are second to none, and he will surely be a force to be reckoned with in the stud barn. Always B Miki  Click here for Always B Miki on Wikipedia 2011 Bay Stallion by Always A Virgin out of Artstopper Earnings of $2,715,368 2016 Horse of The Year Always B Miki set the WORLD RECORD during the Allerage Pace, winning in an outstanding 1:46 Two time Breeders Crown champion, winning both in 2015 and then again the consecutive year in 2016, in a thrilling battle against Wiggle It Jiggleit Only horse to win 4 races in 1:47 or faster Multiple other victories in prestigious races such as the Ben Franklin, Haughton Memorial and the Ewart Memorial Always B Miki record Year Age Starts Win Place Show Earnings Speed Record Ref 2013 2 12 2 4 3 $135,384 1:53.1 [8] 2014 3 19 12 4 – $791,482 1:47.4 [29] 2015 4 4 4 – – $301,210 1:48.1 [30] 2016 5 18 12 5 – $1,487,292 1:46.0[a] [31] Overall 53 30 13 3 $2,719,368 1:46.0   ^ World record[28] Always B Miki is featured with 26 yearlings at the 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale, New Zealand this coming week. He has 12 yearlings in the Northern Sale at Karaka on Monday and he has 14 in the Southern Sale on Tuesday and Wednesday. Breckon Farms have six yearlings entered by Always B Miki in the Northern Sale at Karaka.  One of those yearlings is Lot 9 Money Motives,out of the race winning Bettor's Delight mare Moving Money selling on behalf of Breckon Farms.. Moving Money's dam is the very good race mare Angela's Dream winner of $118,244. Lot 9 - Money Motives Other yearlings by Always B Miki from the Breckon Farms draft are Lot 43, Lot 76, Lot 93, Lot 103 and Lot 106 Harnesslink Media.

It’s often hard to line up 2yr old form with any confidence. A smart, well bred performer might look a million bucks one week and perform like it’s worth two bucks-fifty the next. Couple that with the All Stars Stables dominance of juvenile racing in New Zealand over the past few years and you have an argument that might say “she’s a nice one for next season” or “she’ll be better placed once the good fillies are out of the way” I’m not entirely sure that argument would hold up for a certain trial and workout performer lately… Credentials are as follows Trainer: M Anderson Horse: Town Echo The Art Major filly, out of a Bettor’s Delight two-win mare in Cordelia, has impressed in her two trials and does genuinely look like a horse that can have punters sitting up and slinging their hard-earned on at short notice. Her eight length blitzing of a field yesterday at Rangiora trials (in a time of 2.35.7 over the 2000m mobile) comes after a bullish trial performance some three months ago at Addington when accounting for the Cran Dalgety trained Karmic Delight. On that occasion Town Echo found the line like a horse in a hurry completing the last quarter in a little over 27 seconds from the trail to win by a comfortable two length margin. Yes it’s early days but there are fair wins and there are nice wins, the efforts of Town Echo certainly belonging in the latter of those two descriptions. A further investigation in to the prospective quality of the filly is supported by a brief look at its closely-related performers. Aqua Sancta (2 wins from just 7 starts on NZ soil) Zinny Mach (now multiple winner in the USA) and the well travelled Our Bagger Vance (8 wins) all have blood ties to the Anderson runner. When you couple those family-ties effort with the sound UDR of the young trainer / driver then you have a compelling argument towards Town Echo being more than your average run-of-the-mill qualifier.     So while the two year-old riches generally go to the stable racing in blue with a few stars on their chests if would pay to follow the Anderson trained runner in the months ahead. There’s a strong chance you’ll witness a nice horse, in full flight, winning races.    If Town Echo is the horse her recent efforts suggest then Lot 35 at the upcoming 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale is well worth a look. “Cover Girl” is a Bettor’s Delight filly offered by Breckon Farms and is closely related via her dam (Sossusvlei) being a half sister to Cordelia. “Cover Girl” is only the second foal out of Sossuvlei and a full sister to the forementioned Aqua Sancta. Pedigree updates; Aqua Sancta 2016 (Bettor's Delight-Sossusvlei, by Art Major - Corbie) 29/11/2019 2nd NZMTC NZ Sires Stks 3yo Silver 1-58.3 Cash N Flow 2012 (Mach Three-Karen Donna, by In The Pocket - Megaera) 09/11/2019 2nd Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle NSW Kevin Robinson ffa Gr.3 16/11/2019 1st Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle NSW Sue Kelly ffa 1-49.9 Gr.3 30/11/2019 2nd Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle NSW Lazarus At Yirribee ffa Gr.3 06/01/2020 1st Tabcorp Pk Menangle Ainsworth Game Technology Pace 1-52.0 25/01/2020 2nd Tabcorp Park Melton Vic Casey Classic Gr.2 Perfect Stride 2016 (Bettor's Delight-Chicago Blues, by Christian Cullen - Bluejeanbabyqueen) 26/11/2019 1st Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle Garrards Horse And Hound Pace 1-53.1 25/01/2020 3rd Tabcorp Park Melton Vic Derby Gr.1 Ben McMillan

Alexandra Park’s Summer Carnival: Oaks and Derby Oaks and Derby combines premiere racing action, fashion, entertainment plus bottomless dining and beverage packages across two days in February and March. In addition, Alexandra Park is supporting the Teal Pants Campaign with various activations happening at Oaks Night! Save when you buy a Summer Carnival Pass which gets you into both events! We recommend booking sooner rather than later as prime seating is being sold as a first come, first serve basis. Click here to find out more information and to book your tickets! Alexandra Park’s Owners Night Retail therapy? Valentines gift? Why not buy a horse? If you’ve ever considered ownership, then Alexandra Park’s Owners Night from 5.30pm on Friday 14th February in the Tasman Room is where you’ve got to be! Entry is FREE, so it’s the perfect way to find out more on how to break into the harness racing industry, by mixing and mingling with other owners here on the night. Our MC will be drawing prizes throughout the night while you enjoy delicious food from the Lyell Creek Lounge located on the same floor with an open cash bar. We hope to see you there! Register your interest by contacting Karen Blanchard on 027 808 3150 or by emailing General Admission is FREE at Alexandra Park Walk right on in and witness all the racing action at any one of our race nights. The Alex Bar and Eatery is open til late and has a huge range of delicious food and drink options for guests. Wander outside and explore the parade ring and get closer to the action with the outdoor seating located track side where you can witness the horses being driven up the home straight. Check out The Alex Bar & Eatery menu: Winton Harness Racing Club - February 16 PLOUGHMANS LUNCH WITH WENDY FREW PART OF WINTON RACE DAY    A Ploughman’s Lunch with retired Southern Steel Captain Wendy Frew is a feature of the Teal Pants Campaign at the Winton Harness Racing Club meeting at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Sunday (16 February). The Robin Dundee Club is organising the lunch in support of WomenCan - Team Teal - which is part of a day of ten harness races which comes during the nationwide harness racing Teal Pants Campaign which raises money for the fight against Ovarian Cancer. The lunch will feature a selection of meats, pickles, cheeses, nuts, breads and light salads. Southland’s very own netball great, Wendy, will take the floor from around 2pm talking about her career as an international netballer. Tickets are just $10 and a cash bar will operate – wear teal and you could win a prize. Tickets are extremely limited and available from: Caroline Carter 0274 518 784 or 03 206 6339 Lynley Morris 03 2066 987 or 021 048 8448 Daphne Fairbairn 027 452 5954 Gail Paisley 027 222 1114 or 03 231 3462 The Robin Dundee Club are also sponsoring a race during the programme and invite anyone to drop by at anytime during the day. The club will also donate $50 to Team Teal should a Team Teal driver be the reinswoman of the race winner plus they will also donate $50 for each race won by a filly/mare and $50 for each race with a female driver on the winner. The Teal Pants branding refers to the colour of driving pants worn by lady drivers during the promotion. In the south the Teal Pants campaign sees $500 donated every time a female driver wins a race between 1 February and 7 March 2020 with Harness Racing NZ donating $200, the club at who’s meeting the victory takes place giving $100, Woodlands Stud $100 and Southern Harness Racing $100. Ten harness races are scheduled on the day with the first scheduled for 12.07pm. A draw of losing tickets after race 6 will net a couple of punters a betting voucher each, with the hope that it improves their luck. Admission to the course will be free! Lindsay Beer Promotions Officer Southern Harness Racing 021 351 499 Ladies Night at Cambridge Raceway - Friday February 21st Get your gal pals together for a very special edition of our popular Friday Night's Under The Lights series in support of Team Teal. $5 from every ticket will be donated to the Team Teal campaign - a NZ Harness Racing initiative where all female drivers in New Zealand wear teal coloured driving pants to help raise funds and awareness for Ovarian Cancer. The evening will also feature the inaugural running of the $30,000 Waikato Trotting Breeders' Stakes (2700m) for fillies and mares. VIP TICKETS are only $49 EACH (use code: "teamteal" for a $10 discount) Ticket price includes: 1x glass of bubbles on arrival, $30 food voucher, $5 betting, race book, 1x drink voucher (wine, beer or non-alcoholic beverage only) and & goodie bag. ENTRY TICKET $10 EACH Ticket price includes race book + drink (beer wine or non-alcoholic). For more info on this event or to book tickets please click on this link Stratford Trotting Club - Thursday 27th February Stratford Trotting Club has our first twilight meeting. Racing starts at 3pm. Free entry with kids entertainment including the Dairy Master Train, bouncy castle, Kidz Kartz and rides in the Kidz Kartz. Racing featuring the Quentin Oakes Builders Stratford Cup and the Brian Darth Funeral Directors North Island Grass Track Trotters Cup. All trainers and owners are invited to a pre-race night BBQ on Wednesday 26th of February from 5.30pm onwards, where a bbq dinner will be provided with subsidised drinks and raffles. Those needing accomodation, TAB facilities, we recommend contacting Ian and Jude at the New Commercial Hotel 06 765 6364, they also have a great public bar and restaurant on site. Bring a picnic and set up on the lawn to enjoy a fun filled community event. Forbury Park Trotting Club - Thursday 5th March Will to Live at Forbury Park, March 5, 2020, starting from 5.30pm. Help support this worthy cause while enjoying a fun night at the races. Find out more here.

Superstar pacer One Change is not for sale. At least that’s what can be derived if the Chinese-whisper-mill of the harness racing industry can be believed. The offer, which would have bought you a 4-bed family home in Invercargill or a front porch in Auckland, obviously not tempting enough to get connections to part with their Group 1 performer. You can’t blame them either. The son of Bettor’s Delight has been a force unabated in group features from the time he first stepped onto a racetrack proper.      His impeccable resume includes no less than three Group 1 victories from just 11 starts (Sires Stakes Final, 2yr Old Emerald, 2yr old Garrards Sires Stakes) alongside his wins in the NZ Yearling Sales Series Final and NZ Yearling Sales 2yr Old Open Final both at listed level. It’s been a remarkable run by the son of Bettor’s Delight, who has never missed filling a place in any of his race-day appearances and seems to have a knack of knowing when to lift in the final moments of feature events (his passing lane victory on Cup Day in the Sires Stakes Final provided true drama as the All Stars charge fought to cling on while the David Butcher driven Copy That descended from the clouds to get within a crowds gasp of taking victory himself) $156,400 3yo Sire Stakes Final $195,000 Sales Series Final One Change was seen at Ashburton trials on the 4th of February when running a leisurely 5th in behind stablemates Dina Bolt and Flying Even Bettor. If history is anything to go by it’ll be the worst position he runs for some time! The racetrack success of One Change continues the famed run of Chaangerr as a broodmare. Her longevity as a producer, in one word, stunning.   The Vance Hanover mare started a life of motherhood in 1996 and swiftly produced the mother of Joey Maguire (7 wins) and Chokin Hanover (whose own progeny includes Donegal Chokin with 14 wins) in Bhutan. Bhutan was quickly followed by Mulan (mother of 6-race winner in Hermattjesty Mulan) the seven race winner Shang (by Troublemaker) and Morad who won eight, a Life Sign mare, Jarntimarra, was foaled two years after Morad and would, in turn, leave Jonah Jones (19 wins, 131’000) Chaangerr then turned up the heat by leaving a number of colts that would all be highly successful race horses. The flying, now siring Changeover (whose $2.3 million dollar-earning career included  Northern Derby, New Zealand Derby, Taylor Mile, New Zealand Cup, multiple Harness Jewels victories and Len Smith Mile titles ) the Group 3 placed Change Gear (who went on to win no less than 22 times) and Change Stride who couldn’t stop saluting the judge when reaching Australian shores winning 12 of his first 18 starts on the continent. He has now raced successfully across Australasia and North America with over $360’000 dollars earned and continues to win bringing up his 28th career victory last week at the Meadowlands. This hot broodmare-hand continues to be played to this day with daughters of Chaangerr continuing on the proud history. One of those daughters being the mother of One Change in Changedown. Changedown brings real interest to the 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale this year with a 7/8 sister to One Change. Lot 87 “Star Change” offered by Breckon Farms is a bay filly by Betting Line. Alongside One Change (first colt) Changedown has produced the impressive Renske B (2 wins, $58’000) and the current Australian winner in Ah La Vitesse.   Lot 87 Star Change Ben McMillan

Since 2014 Southlanders Todd and Fleur Anderson have been buying Standardbred bloodstock in a well-researched and measured way. Todd, who is heavily into genetics due to his stud stock background in sheep, cattle and deer, has applied that way of thinking to every purchase and over the past six years the Andersons have acquired some of New Zealand’s best broodmares. Todd’s family background doesn’t feature harness racing at all. In fact he was a city boy with a yearning for the country, and it was a pathway he was determined to follow. “I grew up in town (Invercargill) but wanted to go farming because I loved animals,” he said. Racing was a feature in his early life. “I’ve always enjoyed the races. Dad and my uncle Alister Hopkinson (former All Black) used to listen to races while they were peeling spuds when we were away on holiday in the summer.” Fleur also fondly remembers going to the races. Her fathers’ family lived at Leeston where her grandfather was a stock agent for Dalgetys. “Going to Motukarara was part of my racing experience that’s for sure,” she said. After completing his secondary years at James Hargest High School Todd headed off to Lincoln University and living in Canterbury gave him access to racing at Addington. “It was the time Il Vicolo was going well and we’d go to the Cup because we’d finished our exams,” he said. Todd graduated in 1995 with a Batchelor of Agricultural Commerce, majoring in Farm Management and Rural Valuation and then he headed into the rural finance sector where he worked for ten years. Based at the BNZ Offices in Invercargill he said he picked up lots of advice that would serve him well in later years. “A client of mine said ‘an opportunity normally knocks once. You choose whether you take it or not’.” After his time with the bank Todd has worked for local company Wrightson Real Estate selling rural property. They moved to their current property east of Centre Bush in March 2009. On their 325ha’s they run Romney and Southdown Sheep Stud, cattle and breed red deer for velvet. They also have interests in dairying. So with all these commitments, is there room or desire to have mares and foals on farm? “We have a busy family life, especially with the kids and their activities, I’m not saying never, however at the moment we haven’t got the time. We think we’re very lucky that we’ve got people looking after our horses who have great skills. I’m not professing to have those skills.” So to the horses. In May 2014 Todd and Fleur purchased their first broodmare Beaudiene Bad Babe. Bred in Western Southland by Dave Kennedy, the Badland’s Hanover mare was a true Southland favourite. She ultimately won twenty two races and earned $404,898 in stakes. “We were really stoked to get her. One of the races I love the most of all her wins was when she won at Cambridge the week before the Jewels. She got parked three wide. We didn’t own her then but you could watch that a few times and get a real thrill. She was as tough as.” Beaudiene Bad Babe’s wins included the Group One Harness Jewels Four Year Old Diamond, Southland Oaks and the Caduceus Club Premier Mares Championship (twice). “I thought I might have done something with horses when I was in my 60s. Fleur has always been very supportive and she said ‘you never know what life brings.’ She’s probably rueing the day she said that.” Beaudiene Bad Babe winning the 2011 Premier Mares Classic at Addington – Photo: Race Images As a broodmare Beaudiene Bad Babe hasn’t had too much luck. So it is so pleasing to see the very promising Bad To The Bone race, he has won two races and placed second in the PGGW Sales Final (Listed) in a short career  and is the broodmare’s first racehorse. After Beaudiene Bad Babe, Cheer The Lady was Todd and Fleur’s next purchase. “Someone said to me, what would be good now is to get hold of an Oaks winner. We bought her back from America. Barry Purdon trained her and she won the Oaks and The Breeders Crown. Cheer The Lady winning the 2012 New Zealand Oaks at Addington – Photo: Race Images. Through this early buying processes Fleur saw firsthand the amount of study Todd put into each pedigree and it reminded her of the early part of their relationship. “When I first met Todd he wanted to get into the stud sheep game. One of the top breeders in New Zealand was selling his sheep. Todd had the catalogue and knew what he wanted. “When I bought those stud sheep I basically bought the top families. I do look at type but I think you’ve got a better chance when you’ve got a pedigree as well,” Todd added. The Andersons had the assistance of experienced Bloodstock Agent Paul Davies to do the negotiations and finalise the deals. They also seek the advice of Bloodstock agent Peter Lagan who’s been in the industry for 45 years and there’s no one that knows pedigrees like Peter, Todd added. Alabar’s Graeme Henley has also provided Todd with plenty of good advice. “Graeme’s been amazing. There are just so many good people out there. You just hope coming into the industry that you can mix with some of those people. I think it’s really exciting.” Another mare they purchased in 2015 was The Fascinator which was trained by Tony Herlihy. After winning the Listed Northern Mares Classic, Todd and Fleur bought the Bettor’s Delight mare and at her first start for her new owners she won the North Island Breeders Stakes. “Tony said we could still race her through the winter. We never got to see her race but Fleur’s family who in Auckland all went to the races and met Tony. They had two or three nights at Alexandra Park when she won. That was a fantastic experience,” said Fleur. Safedra (Mach Three) is a mare they bought in 2017 and she’s doing a fantastic job for the Andersons. Her Bettor’s Delight daughter Dr Susan recently completed a successful three race campaign in Australia, winning the Group Two Raith Memorial in 1-52.1 and then taking out the 2020 Victoria Oaks Final – a $150,000 Group One race at Melton. Other mares on the books are Tandias Bromac (Art Major), De Lovely (Falcon Seelster), Imaginary Bet (Bettor’s Delight), Shimmy Shoes (Bettor’s Delight), Gotta Go Harmony (Christian Cullen), Supersonic Miss (Mach Three), Te Amo Bromac (Mach Three), Joanne’s A Delight (Bettor’s Delight) and Spanish Armada (Bettor’s Delight). De Lovely winning the 2011 New Zealand Breeders Stakes – Photo: Race Images Joanne’s A Delight, Spanish Armada and Cheers The Lady all have Art Major colts in this month’s Auckland sale. The Anderson’s philosophy when getting into Standardbred breeding was to target nice, well-bred mares. “If you buy a nice page (pedigree page) it can never change. It does cost quite a bit to get a yearling to the sales therefore to make it more viable you probably needed to target the upper bracket. There’s an old saying – if you’ve got a dog in a kennel thats poorly bred it costs the same to feed it as a well-bred dog. So I’d sooner have the well-bred one. Horses can come from anywhere but I still believe in maternal lines.” He says regardless of the pedigree page the yearling still has to be well put together and correct. “You still have to have an article to sell which is not always guaranteed. I think that’s what we’ve tried to do. If you’ve got a strong page and an article it gives you a fair chance of getting a good result.” Under their company name “Taffy” colts and fillies from their mares are on the market. “We set ourselves up to be yearling sellers.” But he said they may keep some fillies at some point. At a time when a number of breeders have got out of the industry the Andersons have been a welcome addition to the breeding and yearling sales ranks. “My grandfather used to say ‘when someone is going one way go the other.’ But we’re now at a stage where we don’t have to rush to buy mares.” One thing he is passionate about is giving fillies and mares more racing opportunities because too many are being lost overseas. In addition to pacing mares the Andersons own a number a well-bred trotting mares including Angus Hall mare Petite One. She raced only twenty nine times over five seasons, winning seven races. She was good enough to win a race as a two year old. Petite One winning at Addington in November 2017 – Photo: Race Images Her pedigree goes back to Pride Of Petite the winner of thirty five races, and globetrotting mare Petite Evander the winner of twenty one races in New Zealand, twenty six in North America and one in Sweden. Anderson says Petite One has been served by Tactical Landing – a son of Muscle Hill who is out of Southwind Serena a daughter of Varenne. “He (Varenne) was a French stallion who they reckon was the best trotter the world has ever seen.” Other trotting mares include Eilish Aimee (Love You) who’s in foal to Father Patrick, San Diego Love (Love You) whose been served by Andover Hall and Angus Hall mare Missandei, which is in foal to Love You. Missandei winning at Addington November 2018 – Photo: Race Images “Love You is coming to the end of his career and when you go through (the stud book) most of his mares are in Australia.” Most of the Taffy mares are located in the South Island and up until recently were looked after by David Shadbolt in Canterbury. “David’s got to a stage where he didn’t want to foal mares anymore so we’ve got our mares out with Laura Smith at Cust. We’re very lucky. She’s a lovely lady and very good with the mares and the foals.” In the past, good friends Robert and Sandy Mitchell at Raglan have prepared the Andersons yearlings for the Auckland Sales. “This is their last yearling sale and they’re preparing one of their own. Robert said ‘I wish you’d driven up the drive ten years ago.” Consequently this year for the first time Todd and Fleur’s North Island draft is been prepped by Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson. Also for the first time one of their yearlings is being prepared in the South under the Southern Bred Southern Reared banner. This came about when Todd was talking to fellow southern breeder Phil Creighton who was looking to find a mare with a filly foal to run with his mare who had a filly foal. Todd has recently joined the committee of the Southland Standardbred Breeders Association and doesn’t rule out more of his stock being prepared in the area. “I think SBSR is awesome. There are some really lovely horses being bred in Southland.” The Andersons have small shares in the following two fillies,  Platinum (Art Major – De Lovely) which qualified recently at Cambridge and Mia Ragazza (Art Major – Te Amo Bromac). They’re also members of the Own the Moment Syndicate formed by Southland trainer Kirk Larsen and his wife Michelle. The syndicate have a promising two year old Somebeachsomewhere gelding Oneloveonelife  and a Mach Three gelding McLaren. “Michelle and Kirk have done a great thing. We went into that solely because we thought ‘good on them for introducing more people to harness racing,” said Todd. Between bringing up a family of teenagers, running a busy farm and thinking about their Standardbred breeding and racing stock life is pretty full on for Todd and Fleur Anderson. With the yearling sales fast approaching the work has been done and in the next two weeks buyers will decide what their ten nicely bred yearlings will sell for. The page will turn to a new chapter, and no doubt there’ll be more exciting times to come. Taffy Limited Yearlings – 2020 Auckland 16th and 17th February Lot 3: Hoppy’s Way – colt by Art Major out of Joanne’s A Delight. 00 Lot 42: Maddy’s Nino – colt by Art Major out of Spanish Armada. Lot 77: Mitch (named after Robert Mitchell) – colt by Art Major out of Cheers The Lady.   Christchurch 18th and 19th February Lot 239: Allegra – filly by Bettor’s Delight out of Safedra. Lot 246: Dance Till Dawn – filly by Art Major out of Shimmy Shoes. Lot 263: Take A Bow – filly by Captaintreacherous out of The Fascinator. Lot 276: Taieri Express – filly by Bettor’s Delight out of Tandias Bromac. Lot 313: Five Bangles – filly by Bettor’s Delight out of Beaudiene Bad Babe Lot 337: Emmy – filly by Bettor’s Delight out of De Lovely. Lot 378: Blameitonthenight – colt by Bettor’s Delight out of Gotta Go Harmony.   Bruce Stewart

By Garrick Knight    It’s a long way from Ireland to Palmerston North, but junior driver Jonathan Cowden has zero regrets about venturing to the other side of the world. The 19-year-old Celtic lad recorded his first winner in New Zealand when reining home Benjamin Button at Manawatu Raceway on Tuesday. Cowden is on a three-month working holiday based with Jay and Sailesh Abernethy in South Auckland, the latter of which trains Benjamin Button. “I wanted to do something different over the winter and was thinking about America or Canada. “But its winter there too, and even colder than back home, so I wasn’t going to get too many opportunities. “So I left it and was thinking about looking in to it again next year.” Enter his friend and fellow horseman, Sean Kane, who had previously worked in New Zealand with the Abernethys. “Sean text me and said Jay was looking for someone to help him out down here. “I got in touch, Jay said come down, and here I am.” While the circumstances weren’t ideal, Jay Abernethy breaking his wrist recently in a spill at Cambridge recently has worked out in Cowden’s favour and Tuesday’s win was his 23rd drive. “I’m delighted to get the win; it’s another one to tick off. “I’m coming in to my third season as what you would call a junior driver back home, and I also represented Ireland in the European Championship in Spain.” Sailesh Abernethy stayed home due to work commitments but gave Cowden some key advice on how to drive the horse he trains and owns. “Saily said drive him cold. Keep him at the back because he has one short sprint in him. “When they were flying along in front I thought it might work out ok. “Luckily I did get a nice trip in to it down the back and his speed came through round the bend. “He ran away from them.” Cowden plans on being here for another four weeks before returning home for the new Irish racing season, which starts at the end of March. But he thinks he’ll come back again next year. “I rung home the other day and it was 1 degree and snowing. “Every day here it’s twenty, thirty degrees and the sun is always shining. “Sean said to me the first time no one there will know you, so spend it to get acclimatised and learn the rules. “And if I enjoy it, come back next year and it’ll be easier and he was right.  “It’s all down to Jay and I can’t thank him enough. “He and Saily have been more than willing to help me understand what way I should be driving in every race and they’ve taken me to quite a few places I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. “Palmerston North, Rotorua, Otaki, they’ve taken me everywhere! “I can’t complain at all and I’m delighted that I decided to come out here.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

The curse of winning pacing’s greatest races has claimed its latest victim. New Zealand Cup winner Cruz Bromac has been sidelined for the rest of the season by a fetlock injury and his entire career may now even be in doubt. The injury was revealed by trainer Mark Purdon yesterday with the one-time favourite for next month’s Miracle Mile still heading to Sydney, but for a four-month spell on the NSW property of one of his owners. “It is a fetlock issue and the kind of thing a lot of horses his age might get,” explains Purdon. “He is a horse who has raced at a very high level for a really long time and we hope he comes back but that won’t be until next season and we would know if he makes it back until after he has had his spell.” It is only three months today since Cruz Bromac, beautifully driven by Blair Orange, scored the greatest win of his career in the New Zealand Cup, adding it to the NZ Free-For-All he won the season before. He has also been hugely competitive in two Inter Dominion series, albeit his Final chances at both ruined by bad draws, and yet he is still a touch under-rated for a horse with 23 career wins and over $1 million in earnings. His last outing was in the Auckland Cup, where he finished fifth, before heading back to Canterbury to prepare for the Miracle Mile. Cruz Bromac joins an quite remarkable list of open class stars to be sidelined by injuries in the last 16 months dating back to Thefixer’s win in the 2018 New Zealand Cup. He has struggled on and off with hoof problems since and while he had a strong Australian summer last year, Thefixer hasn’t won a race this season and looks to be heading to the paddock because of his nagging foot issues. Turn It Up won that season’s Auckland Cup and had a good rest of his four-year-old season, winning the Jewels, but has missed the entire of this year because of injury. Spankem, who won last year’s Miracle Mile and finished second to Cruz Bromac in the NZ Cup, has also been sidelined although his prognosis sounds promising. And then Ultimate Sniper, who was unbeaten in the Inter Dominions in Auckland in December, broke down after the series and while he is expected to make it back to the track it means that almost every major group one pacing race winner for older horses in New Zealand in the past 16 months has succumbed to injury at some stage. “We have had a bad run with them but they are all different types of injuries so I am not sure what we can do about it,” says Purdon. “To be honest the only thing I can put it down to is how hard the horses race these days, they go so quick in every race.” Purdon will be hoping his latest star, Auckland Cup winner Self Assured, can dodge the curse after he return to winning form at Menangle last Saturday night. He sat parked to win in 1:50.3 as his lead to the A$200,000 Chariots Of Fire on Saturday week, likely to be followed by the A$1 million Miracle Mile on March 7. Self Assured as beaten twice, albeit brave both times, in Victoria recently but Purdon thinks he is back to his best form and with strength to match his speed he may prove better suited to Menangle mile racing than many Kiwi pacers. The stable has Chase Auckland and Stylish Memphis, who Purdon is caretaker trainer for, racing at Menangle this Saturday as they are aimed at the Miracle Mile and NSW Oaks (February 29) respectively. Before then premier racing returns to Addington on Friday where Princess Tiffany is hot favourite to win the Breeders Stakes, victory in which would give her direct entry to the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 7 and another shot at her arch nemesis Belle Of Montana. A G’s White Socks continues his Miracle Mile build-up in the A$50,000 Terang Cup on Saturday night while Kiwi trotters Massive Metro and Temporale tackle the A$50,000 Knight Pistol at Melton on Friday night.   Michael Guerin

If you were to look down the list of NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes winners you’d be looking at a list of some of finest harness racing mares to run on New Zealand soil. It’s a race that invariably attracts a strong field with plenty of depth.   Tellingly, the running of the race also generally results in the in-form mare of the time prevailing. The storied history of the race includes the three-time winners in (Blossom Lady (1991,1992,1993) and Bonnie’s Chance (whose last title came at the end of 1983 after winning the same title on the 1st of January of the same year) Kym’s Girl, Shortys Girl and Lento all captured the title twice. The Robbie Holmes trained Kiwi Ingenuity won in 2009 while Bettor Cover Lover (2013) Adore Me (2014)and The Orange Agent (2017) are all recent winners of the Group 1. An impressive roll of honour indeed. This years edition of the New Zealand Breeders Stakes, to be run on the Friday night, is shaping up to be another competitive affair . Conversations regarding the favoured runners are dominated, and rightfully so, by the All Stars trained Princess Tiffany who opened her account this time in on the 31st of January with a front running win in the Group 2 Garrards Premier Mares Championship. You’d have to think that Princes Tiffany would only improve off the back of that first-up effort but so will others… The Bagrie trained Bettor’s Heart continues to run strong races and does pose a genuine threat if able to receive a decent mid-race position, while the Steve Telfer pair of Step up (second in the race last year) and Ivana Flybye ,who has drawn the #1 barrier, both put in sound performances in the Mares Championship and should also be respected. Other prospects come in the form of the Barry Purdon trained Wainui Creek, the much-improved Enchantee, who can find the line better than most from a sit behind genuine speed, and the Steve McRae trained Nemera Franco, a mare whose risen through the ranks in recent times and has shown a genuine ability to find the line. All-in-all a competitive looking field once you get past the All Stars runner.   Apart from its obvious riches the NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes plays an important part in any broodmare career that race participants may go on to have with the black type and group title garnered from a victory in the race acting as a powerful endorsement of a mares quality on the track and continued worth when heading to the paddock for mothering duties. It’s a common belief that the best of a generation can, and often do, leave the best of the next. With that in mind it comes as no surprise to see a number of past NZ Standardard Breeders Stakes victors and performers represented at this years 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale to be held at both Karaka and the Canterbury Agricultural Park.    These include: Willow, the runner-up to Venus Serena in 2015 when trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, is represented with Lot 69. Offered by Breckon Farms “Willow Bay” is by Art Major, the colt will look to carry on a strong family history that includes early-going types in Go West U Terror (Pearl Classic winner and 2100 Golden Slipper runner-up) and Tricky Styx (2yr old diamond classic winner and WA Derby runner-up) both are the progeny of a sister to second dam Listen To The Rhythm. Luisanabelle Midfrew, the 2016 winner of the Breeders when trained by Nigel Mcgrath, brings her first foal to the sales in the form of Lot 201. A Somebeachsomewhere colt named “Midfrew Laguna Bay” The family has found success lately with Letsgotothehop (8 wins) being a notable Australian performer last year. Nearea Franco, who placed in behind the Robbie Holmes trained Kiwi ingenuity in 2009 has a Bettor’s Delight filly in. Lot 224, Nirvana Franco, will want to repeat the racetrack success of Nike Franco (multiple Group 1 winner and career earnings of almost $1’000’000) The wider family went very close to a maiden victory at Alexandra Park on the 7th of February when Franco Nandor (the first foal out of Nicaea Franco) was narrowly beaten by the Steven Reid trained Mr Fantastic. And Lot 352, Aliberto, a Somebeachsomewhere colt is the fifth foal out of the 2012 winner of the race in Carabella, a champion mare who has already produced Olivia Rachel (2 wins, 7 places). A close relation, a 2yr old Bettor’s Delight filly, Girls Need Pearlz (out of Andress Blue Chip) has been seen at trials and workouts as recently as last week. Ben McMillan

Very smart Down Under pacer makes a winning debut in North America. Jesse Duke N made his harness racing debut at The Meadowlands on Saturday night and it was a winning one. New Zealand born trainer Chris Ryder now trains the 5yo Gelding and had Dexter Dunn aboard for the win. The down under duo paced the mile in 1:51.3 in the $16,000 pace. The son of Bettors Delight was lightly raced Down Under winning 8 races and over $450,000 in Stake Earnings. Most Significantly he was the winner of the Group 1 Young Guns Final and the Group 1 New Zealand Sire Stakes Final as a 2yo. Along with the Harness Jewels 3yo Emerald. He also placed at Group level on a further 9 occasions. Jesse Duke N (Bettors Delight x Daisy Dundee) has a full brother entered in the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling sales. Lot 102 a colt prepared by Woodland Stud, that will go under the hammer on the 17th February.   Yet another Down Under Mare impressing on the race track in North America. Major Occasion A blitzed her rivals on Wednesday night at Dover Downs. The 6yo mare also had the extra Down Under factor, being trained by Nifty Norman and driven by Dexter Dunn. Major Occasion A quickly put pay to fellow down under mare Ideal Lifestyle A at three quarters (1200m), where she extended by 4 ½ lengths to win in 1:49.4. Making her yet another Down Under mare to break 1.50 in the US. She is yet to finish out of the money this season, having had four starts, recording two wins, a second and a third. The daughter of Art Major was the winner of 15 races and earned over $240,000 in stake earnings during her down under racing career. Being a winner at Group level and placed a further 5 times.   Monday 3rd February   Miami Valley Raceway OH Hit And Giggle A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $5,000 Montana Pablo A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $5,000   Monticello Raceway NY Myeyesadoreya N – Time: 1:59.3, Stake: $3,700 Bettor Reason N – Time: 1:59.3, Stake: $5,000   Northfield Park OH Sammy The Bull N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $12,400   Yonkers Raceway NY Global Domination N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $18,000 Redbank Blaze A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $17,000     Tuesday 4th February   Pompano Park FL Rub Of The Green N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $4,500   The Meadows PA Strawb’s Chippie N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $9,000 Amelia’s Courage A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $11,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Shes Sporty A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $12,500     Wednesday 5th February   Dover Downs DE Flashazz N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $13,000 Anytime N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $11,000 Rock N Shard N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $16,500 Major Occasion A – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $27,500   Monticello Raceway NY Back On Board N – Time: 1:59.1, Stake: $2,500   Thursday 6th February Dover Downs DE Duplicated N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $12,000   Pompano Park FL Idle Bones N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $4,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Lynbar Rose N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $14,500     Friday 7th February   Meadowlands NJ Glenferrie Bronte N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $11,250   The Meadows PA Mister Spot A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $16,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Keep On Rocking A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $14,500 Kaitlyn N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $40,000 Sudden Change N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $22,000   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Lady Rocknrolla A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $20,000     Saturday 8th Febuary Cal Expo CA Dependlebury A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $3,400   Meadowlands NJ Change Stride N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $13,500 Jesse Duke N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $16,000 Bechers Brook A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $20,000   Miami Valley Raceway OH Lifeonthebeach A – Time: 1:08.3 (5/8 Mile), Stake: $12,500 Ana Afreet N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $15,000 Make A Statement A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $15,000   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Star Commander N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $12,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Italian Delight N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $27,000 Imarocnrollegend N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $27,000 Jacks Legend N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $40,000   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Better B Donna N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $26,000 Mongolian Hero N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $21,000     Sunday 9th February   Miami Valley Raceway OH Hillary Barry N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $10,000   Click here for previous weeks articles   By Carter Dalgety

THE countdown to the Miracle Mile really hots up at Menangle on Saturday night. The All Stars’ Chase Auckland (gate 11) clashes with former Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal (nine), the flying Alta Orlando (10), brilliant miler Majordan (eight) and classy Ignatius (seven) in the mile free-for-all. While it’s not a Miracle Mile qualifier, it could certainly help reshape betting on Australasia’s premier sprint race on March 7. It’s got all the potential for a blistering time with Majordan appearing a certain leader, but others realising they can’t leave him along as happened when he won easily last Saturday night. The Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy team settled on Alta Orlando as their runner this week out of their team of Miracle Mile contenders. “Alta Orlando’s had a frustrating time with missing the trip to Perth and then being scratched with something minor from the Hunter Cup. He’s raring to go,” McCarthy said. “King Of Swing will go straight to the qualifying sprints (February 29) and we’re still tossing-up where Bling It On and Cash N Flow will have their next runs.” __________________________________________________________________________________________ SUDDENLY buzz NSW pacer Balraj is under the pump. The former Kiwi created a huge stir winning his first eight NSW runs, but had to work hard in slick time to lead last week’s Paleface Adios Sprint then tired to finish ninth. He’s on the quick back-up in this Saturday night’s Paleface Adios just to try and make the Chariots Of Fire field, but has the outside draw (gate 12) to overcome. Sure there’s no Self Assured this week, but it’s still a high-class field of Chariots hopefuls including Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin trio Hurricane Harley (three), Fourbigmen (two) and Out To Play (eight). Other key players include Make Way (gate five), Grant Dixon’s former Kiwi Henry Hu (four) and polemarker Culture King. __________________________________________________________________________________________ THE three placegetters from the Victoria Derby clash again at Menangle on Saturday night. Anthony Butt’s winner Line Up and third placegetter Perfect Stride (seven) are their along with Grant Dixon’s Governor Jujon, who ran second in Victoria. Under the preferential draw, Line Up has gate 10, Governor Jujon 11 and Perfect Stride a slight advantage in seven. In an interesting move, tough Victorian Youaremy Sunshine, who ran fourth in the Victoria Derby, has moved to the Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy barn and has gate eight. It’s a ripper race and thankfully over 2300m ahead of the heats of the Derby in a couple of weeks. Another star three-year-old, Stylish Memphis, also steps out at the meeting after being a late scratching last weekend. The prepost NSW Oaks favourite has drawn the pole against older, but largely inferior rivals in the third race over a mile. __________________________________________________________________________________________ BARRY Purdon already has prepost favourite Belle On Montana on target for the Ladyship Mile and unleashes his second-stringer, Havtime, at Menangle this week. Havtime has drawn wide (gate nine) in the $50,000 Group 2 Sibelia Stakes (1609m) in a talent-packed field. The one to beat is definitely Craig Cross’ much-improved Bettor Enforce (gate 11), who went so close to upsetting Belle Of Montana in the Ladyship Cup at Melton on Hunter Cup night.    Adam Hamilton

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