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Talented Tintin In America mare Nimah Franco’s won again at harness racing's Albion Park track last weekend. The six-year-old posted her seventh success at the Brisbane headquarters’ track this year and earned a new speed badge of 1:54 in the process. The win pushed her earnings over the $100,000 plateau. Other Tintin In America winners for the week have been Nerano, a winner in 1:59.1 at Addington, and Smooth Rye (1:59.3, Central Wheatbelt). World champion Warrawee Needy was represented by his 16th individual from his first crop when the three-year-old filly Ripponlea trounced her rivals at Dubbo. Another Warrawee Needy filly, Rusty El, made it three wins from only seven starts with a 1:58.5 effort at Wagga. Warrawee Needy boasts a 34 percent winners-to-foals strike with his initial crop in this country. Reigning NSW Sire of the Year Million Dollar Cam left winners in two countries this week. Kay Nora Shannon scored in a career-best 1:56.2 at Albion Park, Enk Spot Shannon captured a heat of the NSW Regional Championship at Bathurst, Whatta Conk won in 1:57.9 at Penrith, and the three-year-old filly Eippermill scored her maiden success by 17 metres at Young. While in North America, Justa Camilion won again in 2:00 flat at Freehold Raceway, New Jersey. The four-year-old Medieval Man continues to fly the flag for Renaissance Man in Western Australia. The gelding peeled off a flying 55 seconds final 800 metres on his way to his fifth success from 10 starts at Gloucester Park this year. Tintin In America, Warrawee Needy, Million Dollar Cam and Renaissance Man are members of the powerful sire roster at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga (NSW).   By Peter Wharton

The bonny Changeover mare With The Band NZ became her sire’s 24th $100,000 earner when she led from end to end at Albion Park on Thursday (May 13). It was her 15th success and increased her stake tally to $100,301. La Bella Vita NZ and Raani, a pair of Changeover mares, scored at Menangle and Albion Park respectively. The former completed a winning hat trick in a career-best 1:52.7 effort, while the latter took a new mark of 1:55.1. Other recent Changeover winners included Kash Us Back, who won a NSW Regional Championship heat at Bathurst in 1:56.5, Jaccka Ted NZ (Globe Derby Park), Gallifrey Direct (Gunbower) and Presidentialchange (Mount Gambier). Changeover, who stands at Burwood Stud, Queensland, has sired 46 individual winners in Australia this year for progeny earnings of more than $560,000.   By Peter Wharton

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. General Dodge’s family background General Dodge, a son of the champion New Zealand sire Courage Under Fire, who died a few years ago, further underlined his potential when he scored an impressive win in the Golden Reign Free-for-all at Melton recently. A fortnight earlier he disposed of Pacifico Dream and others in a Free-for-all at Geelong. General Dodge has not done a great deal of racing, having only had 19 starts for 14 wins and a placing for $108,810. Bred by Alabar Bloodstock, he is an eight-year-old gelding by Courage Under Fire from Sheza Keeper, by Safely Kept (son of Jate Lobell) from the noted producer Boom Or Bust, by Kawartha Robust from Boom Boom Baby, Pure Steel from Morris Queen, by New Morris from the Aachen mare Gay Lark. Sheza Keeper left others in Kurai Kage (1:56.1), Heza Warhouse (1:57.6) and Heza Blaster. She was an unraced half-sister to the top WA mare Party Date 1:56 ($256,003), Red Hot Date 1:56.5 (WA Breeders Stakes) and Hello Boys (1:57.5). Their dam, Boom Or Bust, was a half-sister to the exported Follow The Stairs (1:53), the Gloucester Park winners Slam Bam and My Barney Rubble and to the Crouch mare Pleasedontstop, dam of nine winners including Nomore Forusir 1:57.8 ($198,663). The family, which traces to Ruby Pearl (by the thoroughbred The Sinner), produced a top flight WA racemare in Golden Goddess (1:56.9) and other good pacers in Golden Gears (Fremantle Cup), Social Aspect (WA Champagne Classic), The Power Within (WA Sires Stakes 4YO), Rocknroll Whitby (WA Sales Classic 2YO) and Bettor Party. An interesting feature of General Dodge’s pedigree is that it combines several lines of rather noted colonial blood through Courage Under Fire, Pure Steel and Aachen, all top racehorses. General Dodge winning at Melton. Stuart McCormick photo New 2YO trotting sensation Wimmera horseman Peter Manning, who has a grand record in producing star juvenile pacers and trotters, produced a grand two-year-old trotter at Melton last Saturday in Plymouth Chubb. After breaking in the first lap and spotting the leaders a conservative 50 metres, Plymouth Chubb’s chances could have been written off. But the gelding joined the field at the 500 metre mark, reached the lead soon after straightening and waltzed away to score by 17 metres. Plymouth Chubb’s performance was an amazing one in every respect. He is a son of the Angus Hall horse Majestic Son, a top trotter himself and who has been the leading trotting sire in both NZ and Australia for the last five years. Pocket Fantasy, the winning dam of Plymouth Chubb, is an In The Pocket mare from a fine straightout trotter in Kim’s Fantasy, by Smooth Falcon from the Gaviland mare Vila Court, the grand-dam of the Victoria Trotters Oaks winner Running Pinevale. Plymouth Chubb is a half-brother to the cups winner My Skypocket 1:59.4 ($131,888), Edge Hill 1:55.6 ($110,161), the Tatlow victor Dublin Chubb (1:59.8), Zephiane (1:57.1) and Garston Girl (1:57.3). Plymouth Chubb winning Group 1 Vicbred Home Grown 2YO Colts Classic at Melton. Stuart McCormick photo Group double for WA breeder Rather a notable breeding feat was credited to prominent WA breeder Mike Howie, of Copper Lodge, when he bred three winners at Gloucester Park last Friday. The haul included two Group winners, Caveman and Star Of Diamonds, both four-year-olds expected to graduate far beyond their present rating. His third winner was the impressive two-year-old The Miki Taker. Caveman, who won the Group 2 $51,000 APG 4YO Consolation Final, is a Somebeachsomewhere entire out of the Art Major mare Our Copper Art (1:58), a half-sister to Copagrin 1:54.7 (winner of 19 races and $241,352) and the WA Breeders Stakes winner Copper Beach Girl 1:56.2 ($156,851), grand-dam of The Miki Taker. Their dam, Red Hot Copper, was by Fake Left from the Maple Lane’s Strike mare Copper Strike (1:58.8), a WA Sires Produce winner who left the Pearl winner Willowleaf Boy (1:57.7) and Strike North, who won five at Gloucester Park. Star Of Diamonds, winner of the $50,000 WA Breeders Stakes and a week earlier the Race For Roses, is a four-year-old Bettor’s Delight mare from a capable racemare in Maddy White 1:56.9 ($110,824), the dam also of this year’s WA 2YO Sales Classic victor Floewriter (1:56.5). By Lombo Mandingo (a multiple Group 1 placegetter), Maddy White ranks a half-sister to the WA Derby and cups winner Handsandwheels 1:53/.2 ($666,739) and the Listed winner Rock Me Over 1:53.8 ($323,965), being out of Benjor Maddy Lombo, by Perfect Art from Magic Maddy Lombo, by Classic Garry from the Australian Derby winner Misty Maiden. This is a long established WA family and an earlier top two-year-old belonging to it was Lombo Pocket Watch, who was the first Australian bred pacer to earn $1 million before the end of his three-year-old campaign. Caveman winning at Gloucester Park. Paceway Photos Star four-year-old by Art Major A bright future is being predicted for the Art Major four-year-old mare Spellbound, whose success at Melton recently was her second winning run in Victoria in as many starts. A week earlier she won the Ian Daff Memorial in a new career mark of 1:52.9. She has a good deal in her favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by Art Major, Spellbound is out of the Armbro Operative mare Return To Gold (1:57.5), a half-sister to the Listed winner Skewbridge Road (1:56), being out of Turn To Gold, by Tuapeka Knight from the El Patron mare Our Stretto TT1:55 ($168,028), who won 15 races at Harold Park including the NSW Ladyship Mile and became the dam of the Melton Cup winner Hei Heir (1:57.6). Spellbound ranks as a half-sister to the Albion Park victor Missinmemate (1:54.5) and the Gloucester Park winners Mach’s Gold (1:54.3) and Generally Outspoken (1:59.4), who, in turn, left the recent WA De Campo Memorial winner Whataretheodds (1:55.5). NSW Trotters Derby winner The NSW Trotters Derby, for three-year-old trotters, one of the features of last weekend’s racing at Menangle, was won by Kyvalley Hotspur, a well performed colt by Muscle Hill from Love Ya Doosie. Last season Kyvalley Hotspur won the Tatlow Stakes at Melton and from 12 starts, he has now won five and been four times placed for $72,660 in stakes. Kyvalley Hotspur ranks as a brother to a capable trotter in Kyvalley Chief (1:56.4), being out of Love Ya Doosie, by Love You (a leading sire in Europe) from the dual NZ Broodmare of the Year Sheezadoosie (7 wins), by Chiola Hanover from the American-bred mare Becalm Lobell. Love Ya Doosie, a double winner at Auckland, is a half-sister to the millionaire trotter I Can Doosit (1:55.5), who won 18 races on end at one stage including the Inter Dominion Grand Final twice, Rowe Cup and the Dominion Handicap, and to the Group 3 winner Sno’s Big Boy 1:58.4 ($215,308). Another half-sister in Yankeedoosie (by Muscles Yankee) is the dam of Forget The Price Tag (5 wins and $90,173) and the highly promising American Pride. This has been a most successful family, as Big O E, a half-sister to Sheezadoosie, was the dam of the Breeders Crown champion Aldebaran Ay M and a smart trotter in Aldebaran Southland. A What The Hill half-brother to the Derby winner offered by Breckon Bloodstock was knocked down for $45,000 at the NZB National Yearling Sale at Karaka in February. Australian bred siblings win in America It was no mean feat for the siblings Soho Burning Love and Persimmon to win on the same night at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recently. Soho Burning Love won in 1:50.2 and Persimmon in 1:51.4. Both bred by Robert Watson were sired by Auckland Reactor (Soho Burning Love) and Courage Under Fire (Persimmon). Soho Bordeaux, the dam of Soho Burning Love and Persimmon, was out of a useful racemare in Lombo Portrait, who took a record of 1:59.9 and earned $94,998. Besides Soho Bordeaux, she was also the dam of Soho Monroe (1:57.4), Playboy Shadow (1:57.5) and Soho Summer, dam of the top Tasmanian juveniles Colby Sanz and Sunny Sanz. Lombo Portrait was from a Breeders Crown champion in Lombo Adreamin, who had a record of 1:56.8 and won 29 races for $337,575. Top filly by Skyvalley Aldebaran Misty, who is proving herself a star juvenile trotter, has won two of her three starts including the Group 1 $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic at Melton. Aldebaran Misty has a background of trotting blood second to nine. Her sire, Skyvalley, has left the great Victorian trotter Tornado Valley and other top trotters in Pink Galahs, Sky Petite, Fear Not, Aldebaran Eve and Kyvalley Finn. Her dam, Mason Magic, is by Kadabra, the leading sire of trotters in Canada for many years. Aldebaran Misty ranks as a half-sister to the thrice Melton winner Abitofmagic (1:59.6). Mason Magic, who was unraced, is a daughter of the Inter Dominion Grand Final winner Sumthingaboutmaori, the dam of the Breeders Crown winner Gus An Maori 1:56.8 ($119,071), Justanother Maori (13 wins) and the recent Home Grown Classic 3YO winner Central Otago. The family, which traces to the Grand Monarch mare Maori Miss, produced a champion trotter in Maori’s Idol (1:59.3), who won 40 races, including 24 in a row, and other top trotters in Maori Time, Noopy Kiosk, Danny Bouchea and Blitzthemcalder. Aldebaran Misty winning Group 1 Vicbred Home Grown 2YO Fillies Classic at Melton. Stuart McCormick photo Fourteenth foal a winner The two-year-old Commander Buzz, who won at the Kilmore midweek meeting, is the fourteenth foal and the ninth winner out of his dam, Star Chaser. Commander Buzz, one of the first crop by Betting Line, had finished runner-up in the Victoria Sapling Stakes at his previous start. Others from Star Chaser to win have been the ‘Cups King’ Safari (1:55.7), the Vicbred champion Our Maid Marianne (1:57.9), the Derby winner Astronaut (1:53.4), Major Frank (1:52.8), Our Star Dust (1:54.2), Stratospheric (1:56.2), Lewis Lane (1:58) and June’s Girl (2:00.6). Star Chaser was 25 when she left Commander Buzz. The 2007 Victorian Broodmare of the Year, Star Chaser was a Torado Hanover mare from Dream Chaser, by Classic Garry from Dreamwood, by Lumber Dream from Madame Han, who established a great winning line for Helen and the late Graham Head. She left 10 winners including the cups winner Chipmunk. American filly wins at Kilmore Farady Hanover, an American-bred filly who won at her second Australian start at Kilmore recently, is a three-year-old who can claim some worthwhile blood. By Somebeachsomewhere, she is out of the Western Hanover mare Fashion Ecstasy 1:52.8 ($126,228), whose dam, Galleria (by Artsplace), was one of North America’s most outstanding racemares in the late 1990’s. She won 22 races including the Breeders Crown and $1.8 million in stakes and took a mark of 1:49.2, a world mares’ record when set. At the stud Galleria left the world champion filly Gallie Bythebeach (1:49), the Breeders Crown winner Sandbetweenmytoes (1:48.6) and the Stakes winner Western Gallie (1:51.4). A sister to Galleria in Sans Sophia (TT1:52.6) has produced the classic winners Raging Bull (1:56.6), now siring winners in NZ, Thisbeachrighthere (1:50.8), San Rafaella (1:52.3), Our Santa Catalina (1:55.6) and Hilltop Sophia. First winner The Mach Three horse, Three Over Three, a Breeders Crown champion and now at stud in the NSW Riverina, was represented by his first winner when Knight Kiss was successful recently at Wagga. Knight Kiss had been placed in her previous three starts. Bred by Maureen Diebert, Knight Kiss is out of the Art Major mare, Silent Kisses, whose dam, the American-bred Make A Millie (1:57.8) was by Western Hanover from the Abercrombie mare Dutch Love, a half-sister to a top class pacer in Jenna’s Beach Boy, who later became a leading sire in both North America and Australia. Broodmare triple treat The Safely Kept mare Kiss Me Monty will be represented by her third consecutive The Allwood finalist when Betterthan A Kiss (by Betterthancheddar) lines up in the $100,000 two-year-old feature at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Kiss Me Monty also left Milliondollar Kiss (by Million Dollar Cam), who ran third in the 2020 race, and Bayside Victory (by Shadow Play), who finished unplaced in the 2019 edition.   By Peter Wharton

Bonny Tintin In America mare Nimah Franco’s affinity with Albion Park continued last Saturday. The six-year-old came from last to notch her sixth success at the Brisbane headquarters’ track, rating 1:55.9 over 2138 metres. It was her 12th lifetime win. Tintin In America was also represented by the two-year-old Teddy Disco, who won on debut at Redcliffe, Smooth Rye, a runaway winner in a career-best 1:57.1 at Northam, and a ‘new’ winner at Cambridge Raceway, NZ in Tintoretto. World champion Warrawee Needy led in three winners in North America for the week in Needless To Say (1:54), Need Ur Opinion (1:57) and Deprived (1:57.6). Reigning NSW Sire of the Year Million Dollar Cam led in winners in both hemispheres with Dollarbill, a 1:56.6 winner at Marburg (Queensland), and Million Dollar Gem (1:56.4, Buffalo Raceway, New York), while the Renaissance Man gelding Medieval Man came off a 30 metre handicap to record his ninth success at Bunbury and send his stake earnings beyond the $50,000 mark. Tintin In America, Warrawee Needy, Million Dollar Cam and Renaissance Man all stand at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga (NSW).   By Peter Wharton

Talented Changeover gelding Yianni tasted Group success for the first time when he effortlessly won harness racing's Group 2 $50,000 Australian Pacing Gold 4YO Consolation at Melton on Saturday (May 1). The four-year-old worked to the front in the early stages and reeled off a flying 56.4 seconds last 800 metres to score by open lengths. The mile rate for 1720 metres was a career-best 1:53.8. Changeover was also represented by metropolitan winners in three other States in the first week of May. Leica Change won in 1:57.5 at Menangle, Franco Nathan NZ won on debut at Albion Park in 1:55.9 and Jaccka Ted NZ emerged successful in 1:57.1 at Globe Derby Park. The three-year-old Nick’s Pick (1:58.8, Redcliffe), Just Ralph (1:53.8, Mildura) and Isla’s Joy NZ (1:56.1, Marburg) were other recent Australian winners sired by Changeover. NZ winners included Jungle Gem (1:58.8, Cambridge Raceway) and Changenround (Invercargill), while the NZ bred Darkershadeofpale scored again in 1:53 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Changeover will again by standing this season at Burwood Stud, on Queensland’s rich Darling Downs.   By Peter Wharton

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. Ego about top four-year-old Expensive Ego, a good looking Rock N Roll Heaven entire, is rated Australia’s top four-year-old this season, particularly after his superlative win in the $210,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final at Melton, one of the season’s major harness racing classics. He has won six and been twice placed from nine starts for $418,390 in stakes. In the APG Final, he was never really extended in running out the 1720 metres in a 1:52.1 rate, the last 800 in 55.3 and the final 400 in 27.7, figures which he could have sharply improved. Expensive Ego is out of Art Start, who took a record of 1:58.2. Art Start was a Perfect Art mare from the Oaks winner Sweet Clementine (1:59.6), by Land Grant from the noted producer Sue Adios NZ, by Jerry Adios. Art Start, a winner of 14 races, has proved a very successful broodmare. Besides Expensive Ego, she is also the dam of the QBred Triad 2YO winner Art’s Treasure 1:50.9 ($152,542), Bodhi Tree 1:52.1 (winner of 26 races and $192,854) and Golightly (1:54.5), who has won his last four starts at Albion Park. Art Start was a half-sister to the Albion Park and Gloucester Park winner Stage Coach Kid 1:56.5 ($139,575) and to the dam of the exported Who Said What 1:54.2 ($191,803), their dam Sweet Clementine being a half-sister to the multiple Group winner Sweet Liberty 1:57.9 ($102,706), who founded a strong winning branch of The Brat family. It includes My Liberty Belle (Qbred Triad 3YO), the dual Inter Dominion heat winner Philadelphia Man 1:52.6 ($559,135), the former 2YO of the Year Centenario, last year’s outstanding two-year-old filly Tough Tilly and Somedan (1:55.9). Expensive Ego wins APG 4YO Final at Melton – Stuart McCormick photo WA Derby winning line The Western Australian Derby winner, Mighty Ronaldo, is a son of the Christian Cullen horse Alta Christiano, who won the Derby himself as well as other Group races in NZ and WA. It was Mighty Ronaldo’s third success at Group level and his fifth lifetime. He has stakes totalling $270,255, One of the third crop sired by Alta Christiano, he is out of Millwood’s Delight (1:57), by Bettor’s Delight from Gliding By (1:57.4), a Cambridge Cup winner by Vance Hanover from Significant, by Out To Win from the broodmare gem Black Watch. Millwood’s Delight, the dam of Mighty Ronaldo, was last season sent to the world champion McWicked. The winner of three at Gloucester Park, Millwood’s Delight ranked as a half-sister to the NZ and USA winner Raptorial 1:50.2 ($316,088), the Gloucester Park victor Face Your Fears (1:58.6), Seaward 1:59.2 (9 NZ wins) and to the McArdle mare Shes Got It All (1:58.6), the dam of two high class pacers in Malcolm’s Rhythm 1:52.9 ($248,850) and Be Major Threat 1:55 ($125,639). Another half-sister in Zwish (by Dream Away) was responsible for the good Melton winner Phil Monty 1:54.3 ($130,216) and the brilliant but ill-fated Zee Dana (1:54.6). Significant, the third dam, left seven individual winners including the NZ Oaks winner Pacific Flight 1:51.2 ($562,345), who later competed with great distinction in America, and the Victorian country cups hero The Unicorn 1:57.8 ($488,524). Mighty Ronaldo was bred by leading Perth breeder Dr Trevor Lindsay. Mighty Ronaldo wins WA Derby at Gloucester Park – Paceway Photos   Leading sire’s absence a loss The runaway success of Cat King Cole in the $50,000 APOG Gold Bullion Final for two-year-old fillies at Albion Park further demonstrated the loss of Hurrikane Kingcole to breeders. One of his third crop, Cat King Cole has won three of her four starts and looks to be well in line for the major juvenile classics later in the year. She is out of the multiple Group winner Catwalk Beauty 1:58.2 ($156,566), a P B Bullville mare who produced others in Werelivingthedream (1:54.3) and Matron Jujon (1:55.4). Venus Jujon, a four-year-old mare by Hurrikane Kingcole, finished third in the $50,000 APG 4YO Consolation Final on the same night as Cat King Cole won. In all, Hurrikane Kingcole has produced 67 foals to have raced with 45 of those having been successful and his progeny has earned $1.1 million to date. Cat King Cole wins APG Gold Bullion Final at Albion Park – Dan Costello Photography   Class prevails at Albion Park A top colt in Queensland this year – he won the $50,000 APG Gold Bullion Final at his second start – is Class To The Max, a half-brother to the outstanding pacer Colt Thirty One. Class To The Max belongs to one of Queensland’s premier families, being by American Ideal from Charm Personified, by Perfect Art from Charming Reminder, by Vanston Hanover from the Tempest Hanover mare Call Girl, who established a great winning line for well known Brisbane identity Kevin Seymour. She left an Oaks winner in Goldrush Girl and a smart colt in Destiny Calls. Charm Personified, the dam of six sub 2:00 winners, was a half-sister to the dual Oaks winner Cherry Cheer 1:56.7 ($278,372), dam of the Breeders Crown Silver winner Cherish The Moment 1:53.1 ($135,595), and to the Seymour Nursery winner Rhapsody In Red 1:56.8 ($167,715), who left a string of classic winners in Rani Major, Raring To Go, Rich Heritage and Red Charmer. Other members of this fine family have been Good Lookin Girl (NSW Ladyship Mile), the QBred Triad winners Girl From Ipanema and Charming Allie (half-sister to Class To The Max), Cavetto (1:51.2), Cheers Robbie (1:53.9), Cherry’s The Best (1:53.1) and recent Albion Park three-year-old winner Frontliner. Class To The Max wins APG Gold Bullion Final at Albion Park – Dan Costello Photography   Yianni shows promise The four-year-old Yianni to uphold the fine record of Changeover’s stock. Trained by Emma Stewart, he effortlessly won the $50,000 APG 4YO Consolation at Melton in a career-best 1:53.8. Yianni has not raced a great deal. From 34 starts he has won seven with 11 placings for $73,945. A gelding by Changeover (son of In The Pocket), he is out of a useful racemare in Jodila (1:57.5), who ranked as a half-sister to the metropolitan winners Jodan 1:52.9 ($147,129) and Walkabout Creek (1:52.7). Their dam, Trudee, was a top flight racemare in the Harold Park era. She won 21 races and $167,757 and at the stud left five winners – all inside 2:00 – from eight foals to race. Trudee was an Albert Albert mare from the noted producer Avonali, by Toliver Hanover from Stormy Helen, by Stormyway. A champion racemare in Make Mine Cullen belongs to this family. She won a record 29 races at Melton and, at one stage, held the Australian mares’ mile record of 1:53. In all, she won 40 races and $874,178 in stakes. Yianni ranks as a half-brother to the Victoria Sapling Stakes winner Ideal Dan. From Group 1 family Michelle Lee Mac, who won the $210,000 APG Gold Bullion Final for four-year-old mares, one of the features of last weekend’s Melton meeting, is a Bettor’s Delight mare from the same family as that which produced a champion racemare in The Private Dancer. Michelle Lee Mac, who won the Bathurst Gold Tiara as a two-year-old and the NSW Breeders Challenge Regional Final at three, has been a model of consistency throughout her career. Bred and raced by the McDowell family, she has a wealth of breeding on her dam’s side, being out of the Armbro Operative mare Duets, a member of the prolific First Water family. Duets (1:56.2), a dual Listed winner, produced earlier winners in Thunder Dance 1:50.5 ($209,030), Butterfly Princess (1:56.1) and Dance Teacher (1:57.3), an Artsplace mare who left the good NSW and USA winner Jive Dancing 1:51.8 ($152,883). Duets was a half-sister to the NSW Sapling Stakes winner Stardust 1:52.9 ($118,705), Private Road (NSW Breeders Challenge Regional 3YO) and Prince Syntax (1:52.8), being out of the Edgar Tatlow winner The Irish Dancer, by Torado Hanover from the glamour filly of the 1980’s, The Private Dancer, the winner of her first 12 starts including the Edgar Tatlow Memorial, NSW Pink Bonnet, NSW Princess Mile and Raith Memorial. At the stud The Private Dancer left seven winners and was the ancestress of horses the calibre of the NSW Breeders Challenge winner Home Of The Brave (1:53.4), Palace Star (NSW Princess Mile and Raith Memorial), Zenyatta (NSW Breeders Challenge Regional 2YO) and Pacific Drums (1:52.8). Michelle Lee Mac wins APG 4YO Mares Final at Melton – Stuart McCormick photo Stars Align in 1:48 Stars Align has become the third Australian-bred performer to enter the 1:48 list in America. He recorded 1:48 when he was successful in a $US16,500 race at The Meadowlands on April 24. He won again in 1:49 the following week. By the Artsplace horse Art Major – a champion racehorse himself – Stars Align is out of the Albert Albert mare Nosotros, a half-sister to the cup class pacer and Inter Dominion heat winner Hexus 1:55 ($555,199). Nosotros produced others in Red Vee Hanover 1:54 ($181,436), Ichiba Newy (1:57.1) and Tell A Tall Story. Stars Align, who was bred by leading Victorian nursery Benstud Standardbreds, joins Majordan (1:47.8), also bred by Benstud, and Leonidas (1:48) as Aussie bred 1:48 pacers. NSW Trotters Oaks to Aldebaran Ursula The Group 2 NSW Trotters Oaks, for three-year-old fillies, one of the features on the trotting calendar at Menangle, was won by Aldebaran Ursula, a filly by the Swedish sire Yield Boko from Ushaka Bromac NZ. Yield Boko, a son of the Italian bred champion Viking Kronos, has not been extensively represented to this stage but has a tidy score of winners to starters. He has sired such winners as Godofthunder (SA Hambletonian), the Vicbred Final placegetter Fend Off, Flyin Around and Forever Kronos. Ushaka Bromac, the dam of Aldebaran Ursula, was by Continentalman, who also distinguished himself as a sire of trotters, from Ursula Bromac, a mare by Live Or Die from a predominantly pacing family. Ushaka Bromac won 16 races and $144,985 in stakes and took a mile record of 1:59.3 and was a top racemare in her own right. This has been a most successful family, as Caligula, a winner in 1:55.2 on Oaks night, is out of Una Bromac, a full sister to Ursula Bromac. A half-sister by Union Guy to the pair in Ulrica Bromac went in 1:49.6 in North America. Aldebaran Ursula was bred by Aldebaran Park and was sold for $8,000 at the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale in 2019. 50th SA Golden Nursery An important milestone for South Australian harness racing will be marked on October 30 when the Alabar Bloodstock Golden Nursery will be held for the 50th time. The two-year-old feature was first run at the Wayville Showgrounds in 1971 and was won by Karomin, driven by Lloyd Webster. Over the years the race has been won by many of SA’s top juveniles including Dancing Finn, Emain Macha, Aspiring Artist, Flagbearer and Oztreos. Alabar Bloodstock is sponsoring the classic for the eleventh consecutive year.   By Peter Wharton

Former New Zealand harness racing champion Changeover took the siring honours at Yonkers Raceway, New York on Thursday (April 29) with a winning double in Bronze Over NZ (1:54.4) and Sudden Change NZ (1:54.8).  Sudden Change increased her lifetime bankroll to $US382,795, while Bronze Over lifted her stake total to $US325,782. Changeover was represented by metropolitan winners in three different States last week. La Bella Vita NZ scored in 1:53.1 at Menangle and has now won four of her six starts this season, With The Band NZ won her 14th race at Albion Park going 1:53.8 and Smoken Shazza NZ emerged successful at Melton in 1:59.4. Isla’s Joy NZ (1:56, Redcliffe), Endless (1:57.8, Goulburn) and Soho Beijing (2:00, Coolamon) were among Changeover’s winners on the provincial circuit recently. In New Zealand, Changeover led in doubles at Rangiora with Dalness First and Honour Before Glory and at Methven with Evidently and Kusanova, while the three-year-old Stoneyroyd prevailed at his second start by 5-1/2 lengths at Winton. All told, Changeover boasts total progeny earnings in excess of $15.7 million.   By Peter Wharton

A feature of the Australian and New Zealand sires’ statistics to date this season is the rise to the top of the two and three-year-old trotters only section by Love You. The champion French stallion is more than $20,000 ahead of the second sire, Muscle Hill, in the NZ three-year-old sires’ premiership and leads Majestic Son by $75,000 on the Australian list. Love You enjoys a comfortable lead in both countries on the two-year-old table. Recent winners by Love You include the two-year-olds Kyvalley Picasso NZ (Ballarat) and the NSW Foundation Trot heat winner Tough Love (Menangle) and the three-year-olds Locksley Lover (Yarra Valley and Kilmore), the NSW Foundation heat winner Affaire De Cover (1:58.4, Menangle), Outamyway (Addington), Love And Faith (Cambridge Raceway) and Simone Lindenny (Winton). Not to be outdone, Love You’s champion son Quaker Jet weighed in with winners in Victoria and Queensland recently. Night Whisperer made it four wins from eight starts this year at Stawell, while Gunner overcame a 30 metre handicap to win at Albion Park. Both are members of Quaker Jet’s first Australian crop of 24 foals which has produced 12 winners – an amazing 50 percent strike rate. Orlando Vici, a nine-time Group winner in Europe, sired his first two-year-old winner of the season at Auckland in the talented Voronov, one of six foals from his third NZ crop. Meanwhile, Orlando Storm, one of Orlando Vici’s amazing first Australian output, won her seventh race at Goulburn in a career-best 1:59.5. Love You, Quaker Jet and Orlando Vici are all members of the star-studded Haras Des Trotteurs’ stallion lineup at Ballarat, Victoria.   By Peter Wharton

Harness racing's The Grogfather, a three-year-old gelding by world champion Warrawee Needy, and one of his first crop, continues to carry the flag for his sire in NSW. The gelding notched his third win from his last five starts and his sixth lifetime when he overcame a difficult barrier draw and a wide passage to win in a 1:55.8 rate at the Bathurst midweek meeting. Rockindownunder, a three-year-old filly, notched her third win at Penrith, while the Warrawee Needy pair, Needless To Say (1:54, Pocono Downs) and Farro’s Reign (1:57.2, Saratoga Raceway) both saluted in North America. NSW Sire of the Year Million Dollar Cam was represented by winners in Million Dollar Gem, a mare bred by Yirribee Pacing Stud and a double winner at Buffalo Raceway, New York in 1:57.4 and 1:58.2, and Bill Shannon, who posted his fifth success at Bathurst. Renaissance Man, who completed his first season at Yirribee last year, led in two winners in the West in Goodonya Mate, a winner in a career-best 1:56.6 at Bunbury, and Flywillowfly, one of two Stud-sired winners at Central Wheatbelt (WA). The other was Cavalry Call, a gelding by Tintin In America, who posted his 14th win and increased his bankroll to $95,000.   By Peter Wharton

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.   Byron unbeaten two-year-old My Ultimate Byron, who is being aimed at harness racing's NSW Breeders Challenge in the spring, won the $125,000 APG Gold Bullion Final to mark the close of his first campaign with a good deal to spare. His winning sequence of three two-year-old starts by a combined margin of 48 metres makes him one of the best of his age, and he looks to be well in line for the remaining classics. A well developed youngster, possessing both speed and stamina, My Ultimate Byron is a particularly easy going juvenile by the great Somebeachsomewhere, and is likely the best pacer to be trained by former Riverina horseman Jarrod Alchin. My Ultimate Byron’s earnings totalled $77,220. My Ultimate Byron’s dam, Our Sleeping Beauty, was only a moderate, being by Bettor’s Delight from Bishop’s Dream, an unraced mare, and by the Artsplace horse Dream Away, a Meadowlands Pace winner. Bishop’s Dream was a half-sister to two high class pacers in Devil Dodger 1:50.8 ($724,666) mand The Devil’s Own 1:48 ($293,495), being out of Bishop’s Blessing, by Live Or Die from the Soky’s Atom mare Atomic Lass, dam of the outstanding NZ pacer Auckland Reactor 1:52.9 ($1.7 million), now at the stud in NSW. My Ultimate Byron won the $125,000 APG Gold Bullion Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night. Photo Club Menangle.   Brother to Poster Boy Beach Villa, who won the Victoria Sapling Stakes for two-year-old colts and geldings, after leading and carving out his final four quarters in under 30 seconds, could develop into one of the best his age this year. He has an all-American breeding background and one which has been most successful. By Somebeachsomewhere (son of Mach Three), he is out of the Artsplace mare Aston Villa (1:58.1), who won four races at the Victorian provincials. At the stud Aston Villa, the 2019 Broodmare of the Year, has left six individual winners, five of whom took records of 1:56 or better including a champion colt in Poster Boy 1:49.1 ($803,310), the winner of five Group One’s and the 3YO of the Year in 2018. Others from Aston Villa have been Yankee Rockstar 1:52.2 ($329,048), who won the Sapling Stakes in 2013, the Breeders Crown champion Born To Rocknroll 1:52.5 ($300,684), Zoliver (1:53.6) and Yankee Showgirl (1:56.5). Aston Villa, bred in Canada by the Armstrong Brothers, was out of Villa Storm 1:53.2 ($328,817), a half-sister by Storm Damage to the top Canadian pacers Art’s Secret and Cam’s Secretary. Beach Villa was bred and is raced by Bill and Anne Anderson, of Lauriston Bloodstock. Photo Stuart McCormick.   Champagne Classic winner A two-year-old to take high ranking in Western Australia this year is Bushwacked, one of the third crop sired by Follow The Stars, who is now at Goulburn Valley Equine in Shepparton, Victoria. Bushwacked has won three races with a second in eight starts for $50,553. He won the $50,000 Champagne Classic over 2130 metres in the smart mile rate of 1:57.2 and appears every bit as good as the Sandgropers rate him. He is out of Aleta Anvil (1:59.7), by In The Pocket from the American-bred Aleta Hanover, an Albatross mare from the same family as the top Canadian pacer High Ideal. Aleta Anvil, who won six races including two at Gloucester Park, produced others in Warrior’s Code (1:55.6), Rapid Red River (2:00.2) and The Witness. She was a half-sister to Maiden America, the dam of the Australian winners Cashel Rohan (1:58.3) and Cashel Eclipse. Aleta Anvil was 22 when she left Bushwacked. West Australia's Bushwacked is one of the third crop sired by Follow The Stars. Photo Gloucester Park – Paceway Photos.   Heavens Showgirl’s breeding background Heavens Showgirl, who won her fourth race from five starts in WA at Gloucester Park, is a five-year-old mare expected to graduate far beyond her present rating. A member of Nathan Turvey’s Ravenswood team, she has a good deal more in her favour on the score of blood than most. By Rock N Roll Heaven, the sire of horses the calibre of Wolf Stride, Heaven Rocks and Expensive Ego, Heavens Showgirl is out of a useful racemare in Miss Deville with a record of 1:58.8, who is proving a successful broodmare. Miss Deville is also the dam of Knights Templar (1:55.1), a Group placegetter as a two-year-old, Misty Cullen (1:56.6) and Modern Ville (1:57.3). Miss Deville is a D M Dilinger mare from the Moonee Valley winner Lauraville (2:00.8), by Hilarious Way from Gift Ray, by First Variety from Philray, by the Raider horse Raglo. Miss Deville is a half-sister to Jasville 1:59.7 (who won 12 races), to Nextville 1:59.1 (14 wins) and Stoneville (2:00.9), dam of Some Stone 1:57.3 (12 wins). Heavens Showgirl was bred by the late Gordon and June Turner, from Victoria’s Gippsland district. Heavens Showgirl won her fourth race from five starts in WA at Gloucester Park. Photo Gloucester Park – Paceway Photos.   Another star from Fususi Captain’s Queen, who won the $125,000 APG Gold Bullion Final at Menangle, is a two-year-old sister-in-blood to a NSW Breeders Challenge winner in Soho Almasi 1:51.8 ($124,950). They are out of a fine racemare in Fususi 1:59.2 ($180,305), by Village Jasper from Gold Sarn, by Muckalee Strike from Muma Sarn, by Caliburn, a son of Bullet Hanover. Muma Sarn was a most successful broodmare, being also the dam of Muma’s Little Girl (1:59.9), How Is He (1:59.7), Gold Sarn and My Mate Leigh. Fususi is a half-sister to the Australian Oaks winner Shake It Mama 1:54.7 ($257,588) and to Pyrites (1:57.9), the dam of Bettor Be Gold (1:52.8) and Golden Year (1:54.6). Star four-year-old by A Rocknroll Dance Chubby Checker, who has won four races from as many starts at Menangle, and has graduated to a NR75 mark, is regarded as one of the best young stayers in NSW. Chubby Checker is a four-year-old gelding by the Rocknroll Hanover horse A Rocknroll Dance, who has sired numerous top performers including No Win No Feed, Its Rock And Roll, Bar Room Banta, Whereyabinboppin and others. He is out of a former smart racemare in Just Gorgeous (1:59.7), a Washington VC mare from the same family as the 2YO Filly of the Year Maajida. Just Gorgeous, a Group winner at two, ranks as a half-sister to the NZ winner I’m Watching You, being out of I’m Gorgeous (2:01), by Peace Of Art from the Soky’s Atom mare Moonshaker, dam of the Harvey Cup winner Galactic Galleon 1:52.2 ($449,371). In the back removes of Chubby Checker’s pedigree are pacers of the calibre of the NZ Cup winner Gracious Knight, King Alba (NZ Flying Stakes), Black Cam 1:52.2 (Popular Alm FFA), and Alta Leonie (NZ Stratford Cup).   Well related three-year-old Sayitaintso Joe, a most impressive winner at Ballarat recently, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when he qualified for the Breeders Crown semi-final. He has opened his three-year-old season on a winning note and will be well in line for the major classics at the end of the year. He is a gelding by the Cam’s Card Shark horse, Roll With Joe, from the Group winner Beach Shack 1:53.3 ($148,702), a half-sister to a top flight racemare in Rockstar Angel 1:51 ($438,053). Their dam, Arty Alice (by Artiscape), ranks as a half-sister to the mighty Christian Cullen and the Auckland Cup winner Kate’s First. Sayitaintso Joe was bred and is raced by Brendan and Anne James, of Ballarat. Won SA Oaks The Victorian filly, Alien’s Exist, who firmly clinched her claim to being one of the best three-year-old fillies of the season when she won the South Australian Oaks at Globe Derby Park, is a member of one of NZ’s top ranking standardbred families. Alien’s Exist, who has now won four races, is a filly by the In The Pocket horse Courage Under Fire, who also sired the dam of the runner-up Doug’s Babe (by Western Terror). Courage Under Fire has been most successful in Australia. His stock include the Inter Dominion champion Smolda, Alta Orlando, Turn It Up and Carla’s Pixel. Alien’s Exist is out of the smart racemare Low Velocity 1:56.8 ($121,993), by the Artsplace horse Fully Loaded from Claire Lane (1:59.1), a NZ bred mare by New York Motoring from Claire Vision, by Windshield Wiper and tracing to the taproot Lutie Rodgers (by the thoroughbred Cannon’s Whip colt). Claire Lane was the dam of a top Queensland pacer in Presidential Lane (1:55.3), winner of 14 races including the Gold Coast Derby and $142,411, and the Albion Park winner Claire Jasper (1:58). Claire Vision was a half-sister to What’s Fair, a What’s Next mare who left the smart Tasmanian pacer Whata Dragon. Polly Put Kettleon (also by Courage Under Fire), who won the Norman Memorial on the same night as Alien’s Exist won, is another member of the Lutie Rodgers tribe.   Siblings win at Albion Park It was no mean feat for the siblings Manila Playboy (by Pet Rock) and Cheesandkisses (by Betterthancheddar) to win on the same card at Albion Park recently. Manila Boy, a three-year-old gelding, has won five of his 11 starts to date, while Cheesandkisses, a four-year-old mare, has won four. Bangkok Dancer, the dam of Manila Playboy and Cheesandkisses, won 11 races including the Paleface Adios Classic and took a record of 1:56.4 and was a smart racemare in her own right. She was a half-sister to the Albion Park winners Perfect Pegasus 1:55.7 ($150,702) and Courageous Cam 1:56 ($104,154), being out of Killarney Beauty, by Caroldon Lehigh from Killarney Betty, by Stormyway. A top Brisbane free-for-aller from an earlier decade in Manila Lover Boy belongs to this family. He won 48 races including 12 at Albion Park and one at Harold Park. Victorian trotter has strong bloodlines Hatchback, the winner of the recent Bendigo Trotters Cup and earlier the runner-up in the Mildura Cup, is a five-year-old trotter of some potential. He has won $87,875 in stakes, a worthwhile return for the $23,000 paid for him at the 2015 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale in Melbourne. By the Garland Lobell horse Angus Hall (whose frozen crops ‘down under’ have been most impressive and have run up a particularly good record), he is out of a champion racemare in Jauriol 1:59.9 ($248,824), a winner of 22 races including the Victoria and NSW Oaks, the NSW Derby and The Redwood. Jauriol was by Wagon Apollo, also a champion trotter, and from New Karamboo, by Keystone Gondola from New Everest, by Mt Everest from the Apepa mare Newry Star, the grand-dam of the Victorian country cups winner Rockey. Hatchback ranks as a brother to the dual Vicbred champion Endsino 1:58.1 ($185,203), now at the stud, and a half-brother to the smart SA square-gaiters Skyflyer and Joekenn.   Peter Wharton

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.    Two-year-old fillies’ record A fresh track record for a two-year-old filly at Gloucester Park was established by the Always B Miki filly Taking The Miki of 1:54.2 when she won the $50,000 APG WA Gold Bullion Final. Taking The Miki, who has now won three of her six starts – she finished second to Wonderful To Fly in the heat – is a member of the same family as the prolific Perth winner Atomic Cruiser.  Taking The Miki winning the APG Gold Bullion Final for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park – Paceway Photos   On the score of blood Taking The Miki lacks nothing. Apart from being by the world champion Always B Miki (1:46), and one of his first crop, she is out of the Bettor’s Delight mare All American Dream (1:58.7), a half-sister to the promising WA pacer Trois Fontaine, being out of River Valley Dream, by Artsplace from the Holmes Hanover mare Maheer Queen (1:57.6), and tracing eventually to Polly (Hood), whose family today is one of the best in the NZ stud book. It includes the NZ Cup winners Lord Module, Inky Lord and Gold Bar, the Hunter Cup winner Another Party, top flight juveniles in Testing Times, Cowgirls N Indians and Party Party and others such as Burrows, Waylade, Champagne Party, Classy Colt and Master Kane. Taking The Miki was bred by John and Trish Coffey, of Patrician Park (WA).   Boots Electric wins SA Cup  The most important race of the South Australian calendar, the $60,000 SA Pacing Cup at Globe Derby Park, was won by the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Boots Electric, who downed the favourite Perfect Stride. Boots Electric, who is trained by Anthony Butt and Sonya Smith, has not done a great deal of racing and from 20 starts he has won 10 and been four times placed. A four-year-old gelding, Boots Electric is out of Glenburn Jewel (1:59.3), a winner of five races, by Live Or Die, a leading sire in NZ for many years and a member of the noted Belle Mahone family. Glenburn Jewel was a half-sister to a smart pacer in Chesterton 1:56.1 ($136,984), being out of Glenburn Rose, by Stand Together (son of Cam Fella) from Bretella, by Knowing Bret from the Newport Chief mare Newella. This is the family which produced such winners as Young Mister Charles and Tiger Tara, both Inter Dominion champions, the Fremantle Cup winner Power Of Tara, A G’s White Socks (Ballarat Cup), Salty Robyn (1:49.2), Matthew Lee (NZ Easter Cup), Lachie Maguire (1:50.4)  Sammy Maguire (Bendigo Cup) and Vita Man.   Well related three-year-old filly Island Fire Dance is proving herself a smart three-year-old – she has won two of her three starts to date including the Group 3 Fairfield Golden Easter Egg – and could develop into one of the best her age this year. One of the third crop sired by A Rocknroll Dance (son of Rocknroll Hanover), she is out of Island Under Fire (1:59.3), by Courage Under Fire from Island Sailor, by Live Or Die from Bye Bye Sailor, by Hilarious Way. Bye Bye Sailor, a winner at Moonee Valley and Harold Park, became the dam of the multiple Melton winner Island Tango (1:54.9) and the Albion Park victor North West Sailor and the second dam of Leaky’s Smokin (1:54.1) and the Menangle winner Deejay Dilinger (1:54.6). Bye Bye Sailor ranked as a half-sister to two high class pacers in Butler’s Love 1:57.4 (winner of 23 races and $226,951) and Love To Spare 1:57.8 (31 wins and $281,860), being out of Hanover Love, by Toliver Hanover from Ulove, by U Scott from Sailor’s Love, by Light Brigade from the Auckland Cup winner Navy Blue. In the back removes of Island Fire Dance’s pedigree are horses of the calibre of the NZ and NSW Derby winner Blue, Blue Gamble (two Inter Dominion heats), Petty Officer (NSW Summer Cup), Aksarben and others.   Jumpingjackmac is Derby material Jumpingjackmac, who won his fifth race from only seven starts at Gloucester Park last Friday and is regarded as Derby material of the highest order, is a three-year-old gelding by Mach Three from Jumpforjoy, a useful racemare who took a record of 1:55.8. Jumpinjackmac winning at Gloucester Park – Paceway Photos   He is a member of an old time New Zealand family, which was represented by the winner of the Victor Harbour Pacing Cup in Arco a fortnight earlier. Arco is undefeated in three starts on Australian soil. Jumpforjoy, a Southlands Oaks winner, was a Bettor’s Delight mare from Joyfulbelle (1:56.3), the Wyndham Cup winner by Road Machine from the Rockne Lobell mare Rockne Dell. Joyfullbelle was the dam of the high class racemares Bettor Joy 1:50.2 ($613,164) and Joyfuljoy 1:51.6 ($480,442), both winners at Group level, Verge Of Greatness (1:54.2) and Alexsjoy (1:59.6). Pride N Joy, a Mach Three mare from Joyfullbelle, left the dual WA Diamond Classic winner Majorpride 1:58 ($139,245) and Giftofjoy (1:58.3), runner-up in the Tasmanian Oaks. Jumpingjackmac ranks as a half-brother to the good NZ winners Somejoy (1:53.2) and Allaboutjoy (1:56.4).   Near cup class General Dodge, who won the Captain Sandy Free-for-all, main race at the metropolitan meeting at Geelong, is a Courage Under Fire gelding from the same family as that which produced a top WA pacer in Golden Gears. General Dodge, the winner of the Bray Country Clubs Cup at Melton as a four-year-old, has been a difficult horse to produce at his peak owing to a series of health problems, but he has shown up as a very useful pacer, and it was a strong field he beat at Geelong. Bred by Alabar Bloodstock, General Dodge is by the In The Pocket horse Courage Under Fire, from Sheza Keeper, dam also of handy winners in Kurai Kage (1:56.1) and Heza Warhorse. Sheza Keeper ranks as a half-sister to a fine racemare and Victoria Ladyship Cup winner in Party Date, being by Safely Kept from Boom Or Bust, by Kawartha Robust from Boom Boom Baby, by Pure Steel. Boom Boom Baby left a smart pacer in Follow The Stairs (1:53), Pleasedontstop (dam of a useful pacer in Nomore Forusir), Queen Matilda (dam of Feel The Courage), Slam Bam (11 wins) and others.   Close relatives win at Geelong Honolua Bay and the two-year-old filly Irish Black Label, who both won on the same card at Geelong, are very close relatives. Both were bred and raced by Bill and Anne Anderson, of Launceston Bloodstock. Honolua Bay, who set a fresh track record of 1:51.9, is a four-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere from National Gallery (1:54.4), a Group winner by Artsplace from the Smooth Fella mare Lil’s Dream (TT1:55.7). Irish Black Label, winner of the Geelong 2YO Classic, is a filly by Bettor’s Delight from Rosie O’Reilly (1:56.5), by Art Major from Limerick Star, a half-sister by Christian Cullen to National Gallery, the dam of Honolua Bay. Limerick Star produced others in None Bettor 1:48.8 ($567,075), a prolific winner in Queensland and now racing successfully in America, and the Victoria Sapling Stakes winner Abouttime (1:52.9). National Gallery is also the dam of Rocknroll Icon, an impressive winner at Albion Park on the same night as Honolua Bay and Irish Black Label won.   Top WA juvenile Rock On Top, a good looking A Rocknroll Dance gelding, is rated WA’s top male youngster, particularly after his success in the $50,000 APG Gold Bullion Final, one of the year’s major two-year-old classics. He has now won three of his four starts.  Rock On Top winning the APG Gold Bullion Final for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park – Paceway Photos   In the Gold Bullion, he was never really extended in running out the 1730 metres in a 1:55.3 rate, the last 800 in 57.8 and the final 400 in 28.9, figures which he could have easily improved. Bred by leading WA breeder Steve Johnson, Rock On Top is a product of the Rocknroll Hanover horse A Rocknroll Dance, the sire of Australia’s fastest ever two-year-old colt Bar Room Banta (1:50.3) and a top ranking filly in No Win No Feed (1:50.8). Rock On Top’s dam, Harper Grace, belongs to a noted Victorian family. She was by Grinfromeartoear from Tiz Herself, by Exotic Earl from the Dale’s Gift mare Laurick’s Pride, and tracing eventually to Jessie (by Osterley II). Harper Grace, who won six races and took a record of 1:55.5, is also the dam of the multiple Group-winning juvenile Just For Love 1:57.5 ($100,224). She was a half-sister to the Australian Pacing Gold Final winner Bus To Harland 1:55.6 ($317,869) and to Majestic Cruiser 1:54.5 ($115,894), a winner of 14 races to date. Laurick’s Pride, the third dam of Rock On Top, really established this branch of the family to some purpose. She was the dam of 14 individual winners including the Vicbred 3YO champion Her Sparky Self, Victorian country cup winners in Robric Jonboy and Send Me A Dream and the Gawler Cup winner Robyn’s Boy.  Laurick’s Pride figured as the second dam of the SA Oaks winner Gem Of Reibey and the Vicbred 2YO Final winner Yejele Hammer.   Kindergarten winner from SA yearling sale When Monsieur Steel won the Kindergarten Series Final, for two-year-olds, at Globe Derby Park last Saturday, he came the fourth winner which had been sold at the 2020 SA Yearling Sale. Monsieur Steel was sold for $5,000 at the sale to prominent Adelaide owner Peter Holder. A colt by former NZ 2YO of the Year Smiling Shard, now at the stud in Tasmania, he is out of the Gloucester Park winner French Fashion (1:58.3), a half-sister by Rich And Spoilt to the WA Diamond Classic winner Cool Adda 1:56.2 ($160,839). The Kindergarten heat winners Trigger and Partyatthebeach and the SA Sapling Stakes victor Major Lincoln were other winners from the sale.   Kyvalley Pierro bred to be top trotter Kyvalley Pierro, a brilliant winner on debut at Kilmore recently, is a two-year-old trotter expected to go on and develop top ranking form. A member of Brent Lilley’s Bolinda team, he has a good deal more in his favour on the score of blood than most.  By Muscle Hill, the leading sire of trotters in America for many years, Kyvalley Pierro is out of the Angus Hall mare Kyvalley Kyrie 1:59 ($100,251), who won eight years including the Breeders Crown. Kyvalley Kyrie ranks as a half-sister to the cup class trotter Fear Not 2:01.6 ($189,145), being out of a capable racemare in Aldebaran Maori (the winner of 10 races) from the Lindy Lane mare Maori Lindy. This was the family founded by the Grand Monarch mare Maori Miss. From the Maori Lindy branch of it and to which Kyvalley Pierro belongs, others in Keayang Ignite (Vicbred Homegrown 3YO Classic), the Vicbred Platinum Mares Series winner Aldebaran Poppy and Aldebaran Rambo (1:59.7) and other fine trotters belong.   by Peter Wharton

Former New Zealand superstar Changeover, who stands at Burwood Stud on Queensland’s Darling Downs, sired harness racing winners in three different countries last week. Heading the vanguard was Rakasinc, a NZ bred gelding who outsprinted his rivals at Gloucester Park, rating a career-best 1:54.6 over 2130 metres with the last 800 in 57.9. The gelding has now won 14 races and $110,000 in stakes. Sir Simon, a five-year-old by Changeover, earned a new speed badge of 1:57.8 winning for the fourth time at Penrith. In NZ, the three-year-old Ted’s Legacy notched his maiden success at Addington, leading for the last 1600 metres and scoring by three lengths, while Jazelle posted win No. 6 at Rangiora, rating 1:58.5 over 2000 metres. Ted’s Legacy winning at Addington. While, in North America, Darkershadeofpale, a NZ bred mare, scored in 1:54 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to increase her bankroll to $US108,000.   By Peter Wharton

Eyes For Millie, a three-year-old filly by Yirribee Pacing Stud’s world champion Warrawee Needy, became her sire’s 15th winner from his first crop when she led throughout on debut at Wagga last Friday (April 16). She looks to be well in line for the major classics later in the year. Warrawee Needy has left 15 winners from a foal crop of 47 – a 32 percent strike rate – while 28 of his first crop have already started, giving him a 60 percent starters-to-foals ratio. Rockndownunder, another filly from Warrawee Needy’s initial crop, outclassed her rivals at Maitland on Monday (April 19), scoring by 25 metres in a career-best 1:58 rating. Meanwhile, Deprived, one of Warrawee Needy’s first North American crop, won again in 1:56.8 at Northville Downs, Michigan. She has now earned more than $US120,000. Renaissance Man, the latest addition to the Yirribee sire roster, produced two winners in WA in Medieval Man, a winner in 1:59.6 at Pinjarra, and a ‘new’ winner in Halloween Queen (Northam). Other stud sired winners for the week have been Camroller (by Million Dollar Cam), who won in 1:58.4 at Redcliffe, and Cavalry Call (by Tintin In America), who won his 13th race at Collie (WA).   By Peter Wharton

Prominent Ballarat breeder Pat Driscoll, the principal of Haras Des Trotteurs stud, along with members of their sire roster and their progeny dominated the 2020 IRT Victorian Breeder Awards. Driscoll’s list of successes in 2019/20 included the star trotters Dont Care, Im Ready Jet, Always Ready and Dance Craze. Two of the stud’s stallions, Used To Me and Quaker Jet, were awarded the 2YO Trotting Sire of the Year and 3YO Trotting Sire respectively. Dont Care, a son of Used To Me, was named the 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year, Im Ready Jet (by Quaker Jet) the 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year and Always Ready (by Ready Cash) the Trotting Entire of the Year. Im Ready Set, the dam of Im Ready Jet and Imsettogo (by Used To Me), was the winner of the 2020 Victorian Trotting Broodmare of the Year award. Meanwhile, the stock of Haras Des Trotteurs’ sire continue to rack up the successes on the racetrack. Orlando Vici was represented by the Menangle winner Deneuve Star (1:57.2), the Albion Park victor Orlando Jolt NZ (off 30 metres) and Orlando Storm, a winner by an amazing 53 metres at Canberra. Lucky Charm, a three-year-old filly by resident sire Used To Me, recorded her first success at Penrith, leading from the outset and scoring by 25 metres. Used To Me boasts the amazing score of having sired nine individual winners from 15 starters at an average of $21,400 per starter. Gunner, a four-year-old gelding by Quaker Jet, and one of his first crop, sat parked throughout before scoring in convincing fashion at Albion Park, while champion Love You, the sire of Quaker Jet, led in winners in the three-year-old fillies Illawong Moonbeam (1:57.4, Menangle) and Salvo (Addington, NZ).   by Peter Wharton  

Who will be the next Daryl Douglas, David Miles, Damian Wilson or Zac Phillips? The above quartet are just a few of a long list of leading drivers to have honed their skills at the Harness Racing Industry Training Centre at Bendigo. And, judging by the first intake of HRTIC Pony Trot scholarship students from 2020, there’s a few more that will be looking to make a name for themselves on the Victorian trotting scene. Among the list of 2020 graduates from the Bendigo school are two of the state’s brightest junior driving prospects, Connor Clarke and Jordan Leedham. Clarke, 17, a son of Sebastopol horseman Stephen Clarke, has already driven 36 winners - including several at Melton - with horses the calibre of Cant Top This and the close relatives Miss McGonagall and Monsieur Delacour. Clarke also finished a close second with Miss McGonagall in the Group 1 $200,000 NSW Ladyship Mile at Menangle recently. “I’d love to win a Group 1 race. I’ve had a second and two thirds so far,” said Clarke, who has been ensconced with the Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin stable for the past 13 months. Leedham, who started out as a trainee with Alex Ashwood and Kate Hargreaves and is now with Long Forest horseman Andy Gath, has enjoyed plenty of success since starting out in the 2019/20 season. He has steered home 34 winners to date and they have earned in excess of $200,000 in stakes. Brock Gibson, a HRITC based apprentice and a trainee at Keith Douglas’s Sebastopol stables, is another keen to forge a career in harness racing. “I’ve driven trackwork for Keith and helped break in a few of his horses,” Brock said. “My plan is to become a full-time driver.” Sean O’Sullivan, a brother of promising junior reinswoman Shannon, is a stable-based enrolment working in the Heathcote barn of his father, the Inter Dominion-winning trainer-driver Jim O’Sullivan. Sean, who has been placed twice from only 10 drives, helps work his father’s team in the mornings and serves at Garrard’s Horse and Hound’s Bendigo store in the afternoons. “I want to be a successful driver firstly and, when I lose my concession, I’d like to venture into the training side as well,” Sean said. A trainee with Andy and Kate Gath, Courtney Laker, who was originally with John ‘Bulldog’ Nicholson, comes from strong trotting stock, being a niece of well known horsewoman Rita Burnett. The 16-year-old, who lists Smart Little Shard and trotter Zigzagzoo as her favourite horses, has had a couple of drives in trials for Burnett and Aussie Mifsud. “I’d like to get my driver’s licence and later on become a trainer,” Courtney said. Blake Pace, 16, a stable-based enrolment with his father, New Gisborne horseman Darren Pace, started driving in pony trots when he was six. He helps work his father’s team of five horses. “I’d like to be a driver first and later on train a team of my own,” Blake said. Sam Vagg and Jazzy Fusinato, the HRITC pony trot scholarship winners, are both following their dreams but in different pathways. Sam, who lives in Camperdown and is doing Year 11 at school, has secured a School Based Apprenticeship/Traineeship with leading western districts horseman Matt Craven. “I help work Matt’s team on Tuesdays and Saturdays and other days when I’m required,” Sam said. “I would like to become one of the leading drivers and train a team of my own later on.” A daughter of former Victorian Breeder of the Year Greg Fusinato, Jazzy Fusinato, 18, is doing the third of a four-year course at the Gippsland Harness Racing Training Centre in Warragul. Her studies include doing trackwork and helping out on race days with GHRTC co-ordinator Jenni Lewis. “My aim is to become a harness racing driver,” Jazzy stated. “I want to work in a stable and pick up a few drives.” HRITC Executive Officer Leigh Graham said: “The Pony Trot Scholarship is a fantastic initiative by Harness Racing Victoria. It gives a clear pathway from the Pony Trots to licensing and helps give each recipient a start.  “There is no doubt that the scholarship will be keenly sought after in years to come. The quality of the recipients for the first two years has been nothing short of outstanding, a testament to all the recipient’s parents and mentors. It really shows that the industry is in good hands with the talent that want to be involved.” For further information on the Harness Racing Industry Training Centre phone Leigh Graham on (03) 5449 3590 or email   by Peter Wharton

Promising Tintin In America youngster Mahomes made it two harness racing wins from two starts when he led most of the way in an APG Bullion heat at Menangle on Tuesday (April 13). The gelding clocked a career-best 1:54.5 for the flying mile with the last 800 in 56.3 seconds. Watch the race replay click here! Warrawee Needy was represented by a ‘new’ two-year-old winner in Inspector Callahan, who rated a slick 1:56.4 at Wagga, as well as the three-year-old filly Rusty El, a winner in 1:58.4 at Wagga, and the North American winner Deprived (1:57.6). Other recent Tintin In America winners have been Wotdidusaaay, who won his eighth race at Melton, and Knockawarwon NZ, who notched his second win from four outings at Newcastle. Three-time NSW Sire of the Year Million Dollar Cam produced the North American winners Sure Please (1:56.8) and Milliondollardad (1:58.2) along with the Parkes (NSW) victor Deal Breaker. Renaissance Man continues to churn out the winners with the three-year-old Mister Ridgewell leading from end to end in a career-best 1:57.7 at the Gloucester Park midweek meeting and Trittrittbangbang notching win No. 7 at Cranbourne. Mister Ridgewell has won three of his five lifetime outings. The North America Cup winner Fear The Dragon had a colt sell at the inaugural Nutrien Equine Yearling Sale for $67,000. Tintin In America, Warrawee Needy, Million Dollar Cam, Renaissance Man and Fear The Dragon are members of the Yirribee Pacing Stud sire roster.   By Peter Wharton

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