Peter Chambers increases involvement

J Scott Latest News



Jakarta-based Australian businessman Peter Chambers had a big interest in developments on the Canterbury scene in late August.

Mr Chambers has confirmed he was the buyer, through agent Peter O’Rourke, of 2005 NZ Cup winning mare and 2005-06 NZ Harness Horse of the Year Mainland Banner at the Cullen Breeding Dispersal Sale on Sunday, August 29.Peter_Chambers

On Saturday, Mr Chambers Burnham-based trainer Mark Jones stepped out two 2YO fillies owned by the major owner at the Rangiora workouts on Saturday, August 25.

“Peter is sending Mainland Banner to Rocknroll Hanover,” Mark said.

“Hopefully I will get a few of her foals to train. I’d have to be pretty happy about that.”

“I’m lucky Peter sends his mares to the best stallions and while that doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with the best, it definitely helps if you have well bred stock to work with.”

Mr Chambers also recently purchased retired former smart racemare Crystal Star out of the Mark Jones stables as a broodmare.

“The two fillies who went to the workouts on Saturday were both purchased as potential broodmares and hopefully then can do a good job as racehorses first,” Mark said.

Glenferrie Magic, a daughter of P-Forty-Seven and Time Flies (1:52, US), scored by half a length over Glenferrie Diva, at the end of the mobile 2000m workout in 2:43, quickening over their last 800m in 60.4s and final 400m in 28.9s.

“The are both bloody nice fillies. The P-Forty-Seven filly feels a bit stronger and I’m leaning towards her as the better of the two at this stage, even though the Christian Cullen filly is better bred,” Mark said.

“They’ve only been in work for six weeks. They’ve both done well so they can be turned out now on an agistment farm at Rangiora for two-three months.”

“They were both bought privately and look like they’ll be good investments.”

Glenferrie Magic is the first foal from Time Flies (In The Pocket-T K Swift), who won a 2YO fillies pace at Addington second-up in 2002 for Malcolm and Ian Shinn, defeating River Valley Belle and Champagne Princess.

She won two-lead up races at Auckland and Cambridge then ran fifth in Lombo La Fe Fe’s 2002 Great Northern Oaks before taking out a Nevele R Fillies Heat at Marlborough in 1:58.4 (mile).

Time Flies was exported to North America and Canada from that point where she did a big job, winning a further 32 races and retiring with lifetime earnings of $624,230.

She is closely-related to a host of smart pacers including fromer Kingergarten Stakes winner Flak Jacket (1:54, US), Slybye (1:52.4h, US, 23 Australasian wins), El Cabalero (1:54.4, US, 5 NZ wins), Cee Eye Sly (11 Aust wins), Ulitmate Pursuit (1:51.6, US, 6 NZ wins and over $US151,000), Cee Eye Bee (7 NZ wins) and Crafty Kobba (10 wins including a Forbury 4YO Championship).

Runnerup Glenferrie Diva is the second NZ foal from 1:50.4 North American miler Pleasing Package (Fake Left-Pleading), a former smart 3YO filly in Australia who furthered her career in North America, winning 38 races and $US359,380.

Pleasing Package was raced by Tony Price from the Graeme Bowyer stable in Australia. She won a Gold Coast Oaks and was the runnerup to Sparks A Flyin (driven by Mark for trainer Cran Dalgety) in the 2001 New South Wales Oaks. She was also the runnerup to Cherry Cheer in the 3YO Fillies Qbred Triad Final at Albion Park at three.

Her grand-dam Pleading is a NZ-bred daughter of McKinzie Almahurst and Pleadover.

By Jeff Scott

Fast Ready To Run trial

J Scott Latest News


Marble Ridge (Courage Under Fire-Seacrest Franco colt) recorded the fastest sectionals at the Ready to Run video trial day at Ashburton on Tuesday, September 14.


Trained at West Mellon by Macolm Shinn, Marble Ridge ran his 800m section in a sharp 54.9s, closing with a final 400m in in 25.8s.


Marble Ridge’s dam Seacrest Franco, an unraced daughter of Live Or Die and Seafoam Franco, who has left the useful winners Franco Sandman (12 wins, 1:55.3, Aus) and Prince Of Tides (four NZ wins, 1:54.2, US).

His grand-dam is an unraced daughter of Falcon Seelster and Seascape Franco, an unraced sister to former top filly/mare Seaswift Franco (Talk About Class-Stormy Pat).

Seaswift Franco (1:57.6) won 11 of 31 starts for Weedons trainer Jack Smolenski.

A total of 21 trialled over their last 800m in better than 57s, with 23 running their last 400m in better
than 27 seconds.

Rachel Deegan, representing PGG Wrightson, has advised all trials will be on the web next week, with DVDs available from the the end of next week.

NZ CUP STAKE $750,000

The 2010 Christchurch NZ Trotting Cup will be run for a stake of $750,000 and nominations will be called for on Wednesday 29 September.

The drop from $1,000,000 to $750,000 is understandable given the current economic climate, however, look for a positive announcement from Addington Raceway in coming days regarding minimum stakes at the Cup carnival.


This Friday’s Avon City Ford Cup looms as a beauty. This is the first time in the race’s modern history (since 1987) that it will be run as a standing start FFA. Since 1988 it had been a mobile.

This week we’ll get our first real taste of Cup build up with a ticket into the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup awaiting the winner.

On paper three horses stand out. Last season’s horse of the year Monkey King being the obvious one, Bondy, who has been flying in his trials and workouts and Stunin Cullen who has been in sparkling early season form and appears to have the fitness edge right now.

The Avon City Ford Cup will be run at Addington Raceway at 9.07pm, Race 7. Fixed Odds will re released at 10am Thursday.


Monday’s release of the Investec Super 15 Rugby draw threw a spanner into the works for 2011 Inter-Dominion Officials. Despite reports to the contrary, the Crusaders are drawn to play the defending champions, “The Bulls” at AMI Stadium on Grand Final Night, Saturday 9 April.


Colin De Filippi is currently on 1799 lifetime driving wins, while Mark Jones is on 1194. Both drivers will be at Addington on Friday night.

Tony Herlihy is on 492 lifetime training wins, and will be looking to close the gap to 500 this week with Danica Patrick in Race 8 at Manukau today and three runners at Kumeu on Thursday night.

Junior Driver Regan Todd had first training win at Gore last Tuesday with Del Sur, driven by previous trainer Brendon McLellan.

Aftershocks cause abandonment

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A major 5.1 magnitude aftershock in Christchurch on Wednesday morning (Sept 8) at 7.49am has led to the abandonment of Thursday’s Addington Raceway meeting.

The decision to abandon the meeting was made by the Club in conjunction with HRNZ officials.

Addington Raceway CEO, Shane Gloury, reported to HRNZ from the site. “Everybody here worked so hard to get the place ready to go after the weekend but this mornings aftershock put us back to where we were after the first quake.”

“There is a range of issues that necessitated the abandonment. There is damage in many of our major rooms in the Metropolitan Stand – we’ve had ceiling tiles and light fittings that have collapsed and have been strewn across the floor. TV’s have been destroyed, broken glassware and crockery, and our lift has also been damaged. Many of the rooms are a mess.”

“We also have the Welfare Centre at the Raceway. There were 280 people that stayed here last night currently and that number is expected to swell after this morning’s aftershock, which means that the Welfare Centre will require use of more rooms and facilities here over the next 48 hours. The Drivers’ Rooms and First Aid areas are also currently being used as a quarantine facility for those that are ill at the Welfare Centre.

“When you also factor in that the meeting will be at night, the wider obligation we have to the community in respect of the Welfare Centre and the fact that aftershocks could occur during the race meeting, which potentially threatens the health and safety of patrons, participants and workers, the
decision became easy. There’s just too much risk involved to allow us to proceed.

“On a positive note there has been no structural damage to any of our buildings and the racetrack, lighting towers and stables all appear to be fine.”

All events scheduled at Addington Raceway through until Sunday 12 September have been cancelled, including two greyhound race meetings and the Great NZ Craft Show. Addington expects next Monday’s trials to be conducted as planned and harness racing will resume their next Friday night
for the feature Avon City Ford/Ordeal Cup meeting.

Courtesy of Andrew Morris, HRNZ Marketing and Communications Manager

Smart mares on the move

J Scott Latest News


The Mark Jones Racing Stables is entering a rebuilding phase with last season’s smart 4YO mares, Crystal Star and Telemecanique, on different career paths.

Crystal Star, who won 11 of 40 starts for $148,406 in stakes for owner “Jim” McDonald, has been sold as a broodmare to Australian owner Peter Chambers.
Telemecanique, who stepped up last term, jets out of Auckland on Monday August 30 for North America. She won 11 of 30 NZ starts, earning $102,839 for owner Dave Neal.

“Its a massive loss out of the team with those two going. It looks like I’ll have a pretty quiet season,” Mark said.

Ironically, both mares’ became victims of their own success under the NZ handicapping regulations.

“Lack of opportunities for mares to race was a major factor in them moving on,” Mark said.

“Crystal Star was placed in the Premier Mares’ Championship at Addington in February _ one of only about three Group races for mares in NZ _ and got just over $3000 for third in a Group (Two) race.”

“The system just doesn’t look after those good horses enough. You try to get those horses and all of a sudden they are the worst horses to have in the stable because you can’t get races for them.”

Crystal Star earned $14,250 with her second to upset winner Tact Lizzie in the Group One $80,000 PGG Wrightson NZ Breeders Stakes at Addington in February, won in a mares’ record (3:09.4, mobile 2600m).

She did win two useful stakes races this year _ the Group Three $29,423 Signprint 4YO Championship at Forbury (beating subsequent Easter Cup winner Sleepy Tripp) and in the $25,353 ICE Bloodstock Canterbury Regional Country Cups Final at Addington.

She retires with a fast 1:54.6 placed mile mark, set when running third behind Joyfuljoy and Imagine Me in the 2009 Harness Jewels 3YO Fillies Diamond at Ashburton.

Mark says its a shame to lose Crystal Star, but will be excited to train some of her foals in the future.

“Part of the deal was that she be retired and be sold as a broodmare,” Mark said.

Mark says Crystal Star had a great attitude and will be hard to replace.

“She had a problem with bad ankles early on and thats the reason I ended up with her. Early on, we were flat getting her to the races so we were lucky to get what we did,” he said.Telemecanique

“Even if I buggered up her training, she would still put in and make me look good.”

Mark thinks Telemecanique has the right qualities to extend her career in North America.

“Telemecanique had limited opportunities here and was limited from a stand. She’ll be able to race for a minimum of $US40,000 each week in America, all going well, touchwood,” he said.

“She probably had the most brilliance out of two of them, but was not the best from stand starts.”

Telemecanique is likely to race for the next 3-4 years in North America.

“It won’t cost the owner here one cent, but he’ll get half her winnings on a 50 percent deal.”

“Hopefully she can win $500,000 and get down to close to a 1:50 mile time.”

The daughter of Falcon Seelster will be trained at New Jersey by Richard “Nifty” Norman.

“Nifty was Very good to me when I’ve been up there in the past. Hopefully I’ve sent him the right one up there.”

“She will probably race mostly at (Harrahs) Chester, but I’d love to see her race at the Meadowlands.”

Mark believes she will have enough stamina to compliment her speed in competitive mile racing.

“She went 3.10.9 (mobile 2600m) when she moved up parked to beat Harley Earl at Addington in April. She can go with any horse. She has always had speed and last season showed toughness as well.”

Telemecanique’s best mile rate in NZ was a fast 1:56.1 winning from the nine gate over 1700m in a Southern Belle Speed Series Pace at Invercargill on January 14.

By Jeff Scott




San Fran Lady NSW bound

J Scott Latest News


San Fran Lady’s sale to clients of the Keinbah, New South Wales, stables of Shane Tritton was confirmed on Thursday August 26.
The in-form Live Or Die mare was very honest for Burnham trainer Mark Jones, winning three and recording five minor placings in 16 starts for $19,784 in stakes for breeders, Max and Frances Bowden.

She was a good beginner from both stand starts or mobile and should continue with the good work across the Tasman.

“Shane had bought two off me previously and both have done a super job,” Mark said.

San Fran Lady’s good manners led to her defeating Datmymulligan by half a head at Addington on July 30 at her second to last NZ start.

“Its a bit of a shame to see her go, but she should do a good job over there too,” Mark said.

“The only times she has finished out of the money was when she had bad luck in the running or was knocked over,” he said.

She was unlucky at her last start at Rangiora after setting back from a wide front row draw, then having little chance when no-one moved ahead of her before the final 400m.

San Fran Lady made good ground late wide out for seventh as Belle Vista rated 2:02.7 for the mobile 2600m in front, giving the back runners no chance as the winner quickened over her last 800m in 57s and final 400m in 28.4s.

By Jeff Scott

Mainland Banner fetches $135,000

J Scott Former News, Latest News


Former champion racemare Mainland Banner (1:55.1) was sold for $135,000 to Nevele R Stud’s General Manager Peter O’Rourke, as agent, on behalf of Peter Chambers, at the Cullen Breeding Dispersal Sale at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway on Sunday August 29.

The realisation that the 2005 New Zealand Cup-winning mare can only have foals by embryo transfer was of no concern, according to Mr O’Rourke.Peter_ORourke_

“There is more chance annually to get foals with embryo transfer,” he said.

A first-up consort under her new ownership will be top American sire Rocknroll Hanover, who has frozen semen availabe at Nevele R.

Mr O’Rourke said Mr Chambers was also looking at one or two others from the Ian Dobson draft, but Mainland Banner had been the prime focus.

“We paid a little bit more than we wanted, but at the same time she probably wasn’t beyond budget,” he said.

Mainland Banner was a racetrack sensation, winning 17 races and $684,580, when prepared by at West Melton by Robert Dunn.

The 9YO daughter of Christian Cullen and Corporate Banner had been served by Mach Three.

She has had two foals to date _ Peruvian Banner, a qualified 3YO Peruvian Hanover filly who raced once last term at two, and Stunin Banner, now a 2YO colt by McArdle.

Another to fetch six figures was Crown Counsel (TT, 1:58.1), served by Christian Cullen, who was purchased by Sydney couple Emilio and Maria Rosati, for $100,000.

Crown Counsel (10m Western Hanover-Classic Blue Jeans), a half-sister to former fast pacer Attorney General (1:48.4, US) and closely-related to another speed horse in Falcons Blue Jean (1:51.8, US), has left four foals including useful North Island winner Cullens Crown (five wins).

The Rosati’s also secured Not Guilty Cullen, Crown Counsel’s yearling Christian Cullen colt, for $37,000.

Former smart filly Idancedallnight (Presidential Ball-Ciccio Star), served by Christian Cullen, sold for $50,000 to Winton couple John and Katrina Price. Katrina trains at Winton with father in law, Roger Price.

Idancedallnight won six races and  $103,655 including the Nevele R Stakes at two.

Mywayorthehighway (In The Pocket-Shoshana Hall), winner of $101,133 on the track from 10 wins for Mr Dobson, sold for $30,000 to Saratoga Farm, Rangiora. She had been served by former Horse of the Year Elsu.

Auckland businessman John Street paid $24,000 for the unraced 5YO mare Tania Tandias (Falcon Seelster-Tandias Courage), served by Christian Cullen.

Her grand-dam Tandias Courage was Australian 2YO Filly Pacer of the Year in 2000. She won 10 races in Australia and a further 13 in North America, taking a 1:53.6 mile mark. She is closely-related to another former top Australian filly in Mother Courage (30 wins and $462,520).

A total of 37 lots were offered (one withdrawn), selling for an aggregate of just over $720,000.

By Jeff Scott

Sales details were:

1 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Albert Albert-Achy Breaky Heart, HJ & LM BUTSON, Temuka, $2000.
2 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Armbro Operative-Nicola Poplar, MATT LOOSE, Christchurch, $1000.
3 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Soky’s Atom-Splish Splash, BD & SA MCINTYRE, Gore, $300.
4 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Presidential Ball-Delightful Chance, MR N A TIMMS, Gore, $30,000.
5 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Falcon Seelster-Electrofying Franco, YESBERG BLOODSTOCK, Christchurch, $12,000.
6 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Christian Cullen-Corporate Banner, Peter O’Rourke (as agent), Christchurch, $135,000.
7 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Safely Kept-Now And Zen, BRUCE GREENHALGH, Christchurch, $8500.
8 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Mach Three-Beach Dahrlin, SUCCESS STUD, Australia, $56,000.
9 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M In The Pocket-Shoshana Hall, SARATOGA FARM, Rangiora, $30,000.
10 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M In The Pocket-Steady Niatross, RENA JOHNSEN, Gore, $1400.
11 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Badlands Hanover Never Before Franco BD & SA MCINTYRE, Gore, $2000.
12 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Armbro Operative Laughing Sable GLEN KOWHAI FARMING CO LTD, Hastings, $600.
13 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Abercrombie Sunburn MR STEVE CLEMENTS, Australia, $18,000.
14 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Christian Cullen Inaugural Princess MR D KENNEDY, Otautau, $10,000.
15 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Holmes Hanover Ryal Robyn MR DG FEAST, Christchurch, $4250.
16 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Falcon Seelster Tandias Courage, LINCOLN FARM, Kumeu, $24,000.
17 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: F Bettor’s Delight-Under Cover Lover, STUDHOLME BLOODSTOCK LTD, Christchurch, $34,000.
18 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Abercrombie-Top Shelf, CLEMENCE DRILLING, Kaiapoi, $2200.
19 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Soky’s Atom Bee Gee’s Dream, FJ & KV PRICE, Winton, $8500.
20 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Western Hanover Classic Blue Jeans, E & M Rosati, Australia, $100,000.
21 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Falcon Seelster-Awesome Dream, MR PG MULDER, Invercargill, $5500.
22 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Holmes Hanover-Easy Key, CHESTER FAMILY TRUST, Auckland, $12,000.
23 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Presidential Ball-Erin Brockovich, GARETH DIXON (as agent), Clevedon, $30,000.
24 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M I Am A Fool-Life’s A Fitch, MR N A TIMMS, Gore, $300.
25 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: M Presidential Ball-Ciccio Star, FJ & KV PRICE, Winton, $50,000.
26 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: C Christian Cullen-Imabluesgirl, MR STEVE CLEMENTS, Australia,  $10,000.
27 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: C Christian Cullen-Lynne Falcon, Withdrawn $0.
28 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: F Peruvian Hanover-Mywayorthehighway, CRAN DALGETY, West Melton, $3000.
29 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: C Christian Cullen-Niftey Franco, Peter O’Rourke (as agent), Christchurch, $15,000.
30 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: C Christian Cullen-Nina Myers, MR J KEAST, Christchurch, $14,000.
31 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: F Christian Cullen-No Paba, MR D BENNETT & MS LA JOYCE, Rangiora, $12,000.
32 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: Robyn’s C C, B f Christian Cullen-Robyn’s Finale, MR TREVOR LINDSAY,  Australia, $17,500.
33 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: Peruvian Ouzo, B c Peruvian Hanover-Acropolis, EJ SWAIN & TA COLLEY, Invercargill, $400.
34 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: Allnighter Cullen, B f Christian Cullen-Champagne Party, CLEMENCE DRILLING, Kaiapoi, $11,000.
35 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: Not Guilty Cullen, B c Christian Cullen-Crown Counsel, E & M Rosati, Australia, $37,000.
36 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: Electric Cullen, B f Christian Cullen-Electrofying Franco, E & M Rosati, Australia, $15,000.
37 CULLEN BREEDING LTD: Rockin Cullen B f Christian Cullen-Idancedallnight, CRAN DALGETY (as agent), West Melton, $20,000.

Algeepee back in winning form

J Scott Latest News


Burnham trainer Mark Jones turned Algeepee around for the gelding’s first win for 11 months at Addington on Friday night, August 27.Algeepee

The former World Champion driver was in top spring form with a training double, also getting Jackaroozy home narrowly in the final event.

For good measure, he also seized the initiative in front behind Raglan on the home turn to dash clear and hold the fast late finish of Stunin Cullen in the night’s feature, the $10,000 Vero Handicap Pace.

“Probably a lot of things came together with Algeepee. It all worked into place,” Mark said.

“He’d been trying for a while in a hard grade.”

“He won two races real good at Addington last September, then went big races at the NZ Cup meeting.”

“But he’s been in a tough grade for a while and this was a drop down in class for him after racing Stunin Cullen last week.”

Mark changed his training during the week, keeping him off the track and sending him round the roads.

“I definitely noticed an improvement in him during the week and it all came together,” he said.

Algeepee, who paced a strong 3:11.5 (1:58.5 mile rate) for the mobile 2600m to wear down front-running Wonderful Tonight, with The Big Mach third, was bred and is raced by retired painter Morton Price, and wife Anne, who live in Wanaka.

“This is about the first time they haven’t been here to watch him,” Mark said.

“Their son Nyles lives in Christchurch. He was there for his parents.”

Algeepee joined the Mark Jones Racing Stables last year. He previously won first-up at three for Kaiapoi trainer David Thompson, then another two for the Mark Purdon/Grant Payne stable.

Now five, the Pacific Rocket-No Parking gelding took his career earnings to $59,868 on Friday, from five wins and 13 placings in 34 starts.

Jackaroozy, who makes up for his diminutive size with a huge heart, recovered well after scrambling away from the inside barrier to win the Passions Promise Breeders Crown Winner Pace.

The Courage Under Fire gelding ran slightly faster overall (3:16.1) to win the 2-3 win pace than it took Raglan to win the 6-win or faster pace (3:16.7).

However those in the fast class pace showed their fleet of foot, Raglan running his last 800m in 55.8s and final 400m in 27.3s _ as opposed to 59s for the final 800m in Jackaroozy’s race.

The final race winner was on the move from the rear at the 1400m to take the lead off Fresco Denario with 1000m to run.

After trailing Bushfire at the 700m, Jackaroozy was game along the sprint lane in the straight, holding by a neck.

The younger brother to Alexis (now racing in Victoria as Glenferrie Alexis) took his record to four wins and 12 placings from 25 starts, for $31,109 in stakes, for Queensland owner Greg Brodie.

By Jeff Scott

Kiwis clean up at Breeders Crown

J Scott Former News, Latest News


By Brad Bishop

Kiwis dominated the biggest day in Australian harness racing at the Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown day at Melton on Sunday, August 22, 2010. New Zealand had runners in five of the nine Group 1 finals and won four of them.

De Lovely created history in the three-year-old fillies final, Devil Dodger led home a Kiwi trifecta in the boys’ version of the same age group and Paramount Geegee and Miami H won their respective trotting finals.

De Lovely became the shortest-priced winner of a pacing final in 13 Breeders Crowns when she ran her rivals a merry dance in her $A188,000 final.

The Geoff Small-trained daughter of Falcon Seelster endured a nightmare first half of the 2240-metre event, sitting three-wide, much of it without cover, but still pulled out a 56.9sec last 800m to score as $1.10 favourite in a 1:57.6 mile rate.

The previous shortest-priced pacing champions were Changeover, Maffioso and Manifold Bay, who all scored at $1.30.

Her 9.5m win over Miss Trickin Lombo ($12) and Art Princess ($28) added the Breeders Crown to her Australian and New Zealand Oaks titles, prompting David Butcher to declare her possibly the best filly he’s driven.

“As a three-year-old filly she’s very, very good,” Butcher said. “I’ve been lucky enough to drive a few good fillies in my time and she’s right up the top of the tree.

“It’s another step up to the colts and geldings, but if she can get a little bit stronger there’s no reason why she can’t measure up. She’s just a lovely filly and it’s a pleasure to drive her.”

Brent Mangos is happy to be the partner of Devil Dodger after the Brian Hughes-trained colt gave him reason to celebrate his 47th birthday a day early with an upset win in his $A188,000 final.

The son of Mach Three atoned for semi-final defeat as an odds-on favourite when he relished being driven from behind to run down defending champion Smiling Shard in the final couple of bounds in a 1:56.6 mile rate.

Courage To Rule ($15) completed a dream result for the Kiwis to grab third, 2.2m from his stablemate, while New Zealand’s other representative, Franco Jamar ($4), was caught in traffic for much of the last 200m and finished seventh.

“Brian’s done a great job with the horse and it’s great for me to be a part of it,” Mangos said. “He’s a good horse on his day and he proved it here today.”

Devil Dodger ($14) was wide and near the rear on the home turn, but flashed home in a 28.7sec final split – which followed a 27.9sec third quarter – to get up by a neck from the $2.90 favourite who did a power of mid-race work.

The Kiwis also won the two trotting finals in which they were represented. Paramount Geegee did as he pleased in the juvenile decider, while Miami H cashed in on a Rostevarren gallop to claim the three-year-old final.

Miami H galloped himself at the start, surrendering around 25m, and looked destined to be racing for second place at the 150m when Rostevarren held a commanding eight-metre lead.

But last year’s two-year-old runner-up broke, gifting the $102,000 final to Derek Balle’s $2.10 favourite. Rostevarren ($3.70) got going again, but finished a head astern Miami H with Ninegrandsons ($12) 4.5m back in third.

Miami H’s 2:01.7 win – the first leg of a winning double for David Butcher – followed Paramount Geegee’s effortless 2:03.8 all-the-way win in the $162,000 two-year-old final.

The John Dickie-trained son of Pegasus Spur presented reinsman Robbie Holmes with his first Breeders Crown success when he coasted home by 8.2m from Chateau De Ville ($5.40) and Sir Pegasus ($46) as a $1.40 favourite.


By Brad Bishop

Evergreen reinsman Brian Gath rewrote the Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown record books when he combined with Royal Verdict to win Sunday’s 2YO colts and geldings final at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.

The legend from Longlea, near Bendigo, broke his own record as the oldest person to drive a Breeders Crown winner when celebrated victory at 66 years and 48 days of age.

Gath beat the record he set when he won the 2003 three-year-old trotters decider with Bad Boy Truscott at 59 years and 50 days.

“It’ll take a while for them to catch up now, won’t it?” Gath joked before suggesting he isn’t finished as a Breeders Crown force just yet. “I keep in pretty good health and these horses keep me young, so I’ll keep going.”

Gath called on all his guile to steer the Ian Dornauf-trained colt to victory in the $308,000 Group 1 over 2240 metres.

He won the battle for early supremacy with Mark Purdon-trained $2.70 favourite Our Major Mark, before handing up to semi-final winner Sushi Sushi down the back the first time.

Our Major Mark popped off the pegs not long after to lead up the three-wide line, but his race was over at the 600m when a loose tyre impacted on his chances and he dropped back through the field sharply.

Sushi Sushi turned with a commanding lead and looked to be travelling like a winner at the 150m, before a 28.4-second third quarter caught up with him and Royal Verdict exploded along the Express Post lane.

The $3.60 chance pulled away in a 28.3sec final quarter for a two-metre win over Sushi Sushi ($5.60) with $78 outsider Caesars Folly hitting the line hard to grab third. The mile rate was an impressive 1:56.8.

“(Handing up) was Ian’s plan, but he left it up to me,” Gath said. “He’s a bit vulnerable sometimes in front and Ian said, ‘if you’re trailing one of those good horses, they won’t hold you off’.”

“I backed his judgement because I know he knows this horse and he was right.”

Royal Verdict all but secured Australian 2YO of the Year honours with the win following earlier victories in the Australian Pacing Gold and Vicbred Super Series finals.


By Jason Bonnington

The Grand Final is over and a premier has been crowned following Make Mine Cullen’s breathtaking victory over arch rival Broadways Best in Sunday’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown 4YO Mares Final (2240m) at Tabcorp Park.

The $A100,000 Group 1 lived up to the hype as last year’s three-year-old fillies champion put her highly-rated rival to the sword in a brutal 1:56.5 mile rate to end speculation over the dominant female pacer in the land.

“I thought she was capable of it, I felt she would be just too good,” the mare’s Bendigo trainer Glenn Douglas said.

“A lot of people had us written off, that we were only running for second, but I kept saying that although Broadways Best is one of the best around over the short course, with the extra distance we always felt we could get her.”

The race went to script early with Broadways Best crossing to the top and Make Mine Cullen restraining from her awkward second line draw (10).

But when Daryl Douglas took off in search of the spot outside the leader during a 28.8sec second split – which followed a 31.1sec first quarter – it was clear the plan to outstay their chief rival was in full swing.

The daughter of Christian Cullen first worked Broadways Best over, then beat her into submission in a 56.7sec final 800m, relegating her to third, a neck from runner-up Queen Of Fire, who finished four metres from the winner.

“Daryl just drove her so well,” Douglas said. “Yes, he had to go for her first but that’s the way she goes. She’s just so strong and a lovely mannered horse to boot, so we love her.”

“We’ve had a lot of nice horses but she’s a bit better than nice. She’s a bit special and she’s just a total pleasure to train.”

Later in the program, Make Mine Cullen’s Chariots Of Fire conqueror Villagem further emphasised his status as Victoria’s top four-year-old male with an arrogant win in $100,000 final for the four-year-old boys.

Starting a prohibitive $1.30 favourite, the Lisa Miles-trained son of Village Jasper was never out of second gear winning his 20th race by 2.5 metres from top Queenslander El Padrino ($4.80) with Runaway Red ($41) a distant third.

“He’s an awesome horse and we couldn’t be happier after today,” trainer-driver Miles said. “He’s a true professional nowadays and he really does finish his races off super.”

“He’ll have a little rest now but fingers crossed we can keep him going and he can be a Grand Circuit horse next year.”  

Villagem’s 1:57.1 win was recorded from the front in splits of 29.7, 31.1, 28.5 and 26.8 and made it consecutive Crown-winning years for the Miles camp following Led Suitcase’s win in last year’s two-year-old fillies final.


By Jason Bonnington

He had to fight for it, but Let Me Thru officially announced himself Chris Lang’s next great squaregaiter with a second consecutive Tabcorp Australasian Crown title at Tabcorp Park, Melton.

After a tough run and stirring duel with fellow rising star Down Under Muscles in the $50,000 Group 1 4YO Trotters Final, Let Me Thru exploded at the top of the straight – unleashing a 27.5-second last quarter to amaze even his trainer.

“He is a horse of the future no doubt,” the Nagambie horseman said. “Sundons Gift is obviously considered Australia’s best trotter, but I think he’s our next best.

“Along with Down Under Muscles, they’re both exceptional horses those two, so to win as he did, I hope he’s the heir apparent.  He’s definitely the real deal.”

Pratted three and four-deep early from his wide front-line draw with Chris Lang Jnr in the cart, the hulking son of Muscles Yankee persisted to take up the running at the 1600m.

Finding the lead after a 47.1sec lead time, Lang Jr attempted to control the speed in a 62.8sec first half of the last mile, but when Chris Alford worked around the field with Down Under Muscles the race began in earnest.

Careering away from their rivals in a 29.3sec third term, the two outstanding prospects fought the race out with only 1.5 metres separating them in a two-minute mile rate. Aleppo Sunrise was 19m away in third.

Let Me Thru, now a winner of 11 of 18 starts and almost $202,000 in stakes, emulated former stablemate Skyvalley, who last year won the four-year-old Breeders Crown title 12 months after also scoring at three.

It also saw Lang extend his lead as the most success trainer in Breeders Crown history with seven wins.

It was a historic day for the family with Lang’s older brother Gavin becoming the most successful Breeders Crown reinsman when he teamed with Passions Promise to win the $308,000 2YO Fillies Final.

Lang broke the deadlock with Chris Alford when the Jayne Davies-trained filly provided him with his seventh Breeders Crown success to give him outright honours as the greatest reinsman in the 13-year history of the series.

It was “The Iceman” at his coolest, as he overcame the extreme front line draw to lob one-out, one-back within 800m aboard the filly who was $9 into $5.50 on track.

Favoured duo Lively Moth ($2.60) and Aussie Made Lombo ($3.30) led the way and after a moderate 62.3-second first half of the last mile, Passions Promise had to unleash a powerful finish to reel them in thanks to a 56.3sec last half mile.

The daughter of Modern Art prevailed by a head from luckless New South Wales visitor Sheezallattitude ($23) with Aussie Made Lombo a further head away. Lively Moth weakened after leading and finished in fourth spot.


By Jason Bonnington

Top New South Wales 5YO Rohan Home enhanced his standing as a potential Grand Circuit star with a dominant win in today’s $60,000 Group 2 Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate Free For All at Tabcorp Park

After getting under punters guards to be sent out at $12, Blake Fitzpatrick drove his horse like a good thing to win by 4.7 from the unlucky Benny Mac with Kiwi The Band On The Run a further 1.2 metres astern.

“We thought he was very well graded today and gave him a great chance,” Fitzpatrick said. “He might have been a touch disappointing last time, but the beauty of this horse is that he is versatile and he can do work to win.”

The pedestrian mile rate of 2:00.2 made the race for Rohan Home and made it impossible for those at the rear thanks to a 65.2–second first half.

That slow early tempo set the scene for a sizzling final half of 56.2, to give Fitzpatrick’s recent Winter Cup winner victory to close out Super Sunday.

The rank failure was polemarker and second favourite Standelle, who led them up easily but dropped out sharply down the back the final time to finish last.

Mark picks up Raglan drive

J Scott Latest News



Mark Jones, on four driving wins for the new term after landing Cheval De Triomphe home at Addington last Friday night (August 20), has picked up a nice catch drive for the spring behind the Tim Butt-trained Raglan.Raglan

Mark reined last season’s Amberley and Northern Southland Cup winner to a head win over the Tim Butt-trained stablemate Cullen’s Creek at the Rangiora workouts on Saturday, August 21.

The stablemates and another smart one in the same grade, last week’s impressive Addington winner Stunin Cullen, provide Tim Butt’s Premier Stables with three of the nine acceptors in this Friday night’s 6 win and faster Vero Handicap Pace at Addington.

Raglan, also driven by Mark when outzipped by Stunin Cullen first-up at the Addington trials last week, stepped up after trailing Cullen’s Creek at the workouts. He moved out to challenge on the home turn and kept up a strong run.

The Sands A Flyin gelding ran the 2600m (stand) in 3:21.3, the leaders quickening over the last 800m in 56.9s and final 400m in a sharp 27.5s.

Beaudiene Christian ran on well from midfield to dead-heat for third with Ohoka  Arizona, who also ran on from the third line.

Hunter Cup winner Bondy, resuming for David and Catherine Butt, settled last after starting off 30m and wasn’t extended, but appears forward being timed over his last mile in 2:00.3 and his final 800m in 56.6s.

Georgetown, also being aimed towards November’s Christchurch Casino NZ Cup by West Melton trainer Ken Barron, settled back off 30m and also wasn’t asked for a serious effort.


Sundons Gift millionaire winner

J Scott Former News, Latest News


Sundons Gift’s status as a harness racing immortal is secure following his win in the Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters Free-For-All at Melton’s Tabcorp Park on Friday, August 20, 2010.

The Chris Lang-trained superstar became the first Australian-prepared trotter to top $A1 million in prizemoney when he won the $A35,000 Group 2.

(He was bred to achieve being by former champion squaregaiter and sire Sundon from Landora’s Gift, a 4-win daughter of Chiola Hanover and former top NZ trotting mare Landora’s Pride (34 wins and $472,842), who numbered wins in both NZ’s Group One trots _ the 1987 Rowe Cup at Auckland and 1988 Dominion Handicap at Addington).

First prize of $A23,625 for Sundon’s Gift took his bankroll to $A1,019,593, moving him alongside Kiwi champions Lyell Creek ($2,256,924), Take A Moment ($1,132,694) and One Over Kenny ($1,085,187) as Australasian trotters to have won $1 million.

“It was a great result, a fitting result,” Nagambie-based Lang said. “He’s been a great trotter, he’s won two Inter Dominions, been around the world and been to New Zealand and beaten their best, so it’s a fitting accolade.”

Sundons Gift, a rising 9YO, has won 34 of 58 starts for Lang since crossing from is native New Zealand, where he was unplaced in his first six starts.

Along with the past two Interdominion finals, Sundons Gift has also won the last three Australian Trotting Grands Prix and in May conquered New Zealand when he won the Rowe Cup in Auckland.

Friday night’s success was also his third win in the Breeders Crown Trotters FFA. He won the first two editions in 2007 and 2008 and was in the spelling paddock last year when Acacia Ridge prevailed.

Sundons Gift’s win came as little surprise to punters following the race-morning scratching of classy five-year-old I Didnt Do It.

He was the horse who denied who Sundons Gift cracking the million at his previous start and when he came out there was no obvious danger to the superstar gelding.

Lang couldn’t have asked for a better run, lobbing in the one out one back from his back-row draw, and while he spotted the leaders six metres at the 250m, he took control of the race when asked.

After claiming the lead at the 150m, the $1.10 favourite pulled away for an effortless 2.8m win over Earl Of Mot with Kyvalley Mac a further half-neck back in third. The mile rate was 2:00, which included closing sections of 29.4 and 29 seconds.

“To be quite honest, I couldn’t believe the run I got…I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Lang said. “Just having to do what he did, it was a nice way to get the million bucks.”

Sundons Gift will now have a let up before being set for a fourth straight win in December’s Australian Trotting Grand Prix.

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager