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

Auber has Crown runner

J Scott Latest News



As a broadcaster, form analyst and scribe, Rob Auber is a figure as tied to the image of Victorian harness racing as any in the sport.

But it is in is his other guise, as owner and breeder, that his greatest passion for the industry lies, meaning it comes as little shock to hear the euphoria in his voice approaching Super Sunday and his first crack at racing immortality.

Bellas Delight will line up for Auber and his team of owners as a maiden with only five career starts in the $A308,000 Group 1 two-year-old fillies final of the Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown.

But following a slashing performance last Friday night, when she ran the fastest last half and quarter of all 22 semi-finalists in her division, she has her stalwart owner and breeder daring to dream.

“We’re very excited about racing on Sunday,” Auber said.  “We’ve been thrilled with her performances to date and while it’s a very tough race we think she’s one of the absolute chances.”

While conceding that her inexperience might be her biggest obstacle, Auber also senses that with a genuine tempo his filly can figure in the finish despite TAB Sportsbet rating her a $71 chance in the market headed by Lively Moth ($1.90).

And if she does salute the judge it might place her owner – who has been commissioned to conduct all post-race interviews on the $1.56 million card – in a tricky position.

“I think I might have to ask Craig Rail or Michael Polster to do it (the interview) if she won,” Auber laughed.

“Look, it’s pretty exciting just to be in that situation. I bred Bellas Delight and I’ve had three generations of that family, so to get here with her is amazing.

“It’s the biggest meeting from a two, three and four-year-old perspective in Australia and when you’ve been paying up for three years and you’re through to the final, it’s a massive thrill.”

With just a few nervous nights to wait until the richest showcase of age-restricted in Australasia and his shot at one of the most treasured prizes in the sport, Auber is trying to remain philosophical.

But for a man as enamoured with the industry, the Crown and horses in general as he is, the anticipation is peaking fast.

“Everybody knows how passionate I am about my horses,” he said.  “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about winning a Group 1, it’s something I’ve dreamed of forever and for me it would be the pinnacle of my life.”

The 2240-metre Crown final for the baby girls is the seventh race on a cracker 10-race program and will be run at 5.45pm (NZ time).


Most punters are looking at Sunday’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Final as a put in, take out job with Kiwi champion De Lovely.

The Australian and New Zealand Oaks winner had many pondering just how she stacks up with some of New Zealand’s all-time great fillies after her semi-final when she strolled home by 17 metres in second gear.

But punters who might not be so clear-cut in their assessment of the race are those who were on Divisive in the 2006 three-year-old colts and geldings’ final.

The 2008 Miracle Mile champion holds the distinction of being the shortest priced beaten favourite in a Breeders Crown final, going down to Tip Your Hat when a raging $1.10 popular elect.

That’s the price TAB Sportsbet has put up about the Geoff Small-trained De Lovely in the $188,000 Group 1.

If her TAB price reflects that quote – and she does salute of course – De Lovely will become the shortest-priced Breeders Crown pacing champion.

Manifold Bay (2000, 2YO C&G), Changeover (2007, 3YO C&G) and last year’s four-year-old male champion Maffioso currently hold that honour after winning respective finals at $1.30.

The three shortest-priced Crown champions in the series’ 12-year history are all trotters.

Our First Jewel will forever hold the record owing to the fact he won the two-year-old trotters final at “money back” in 2000, before $1.04 became the lowest possible dividend.

Kyvalley Road was $1.10 when he won the three-year-old trotters final in 2003, while Zesta won the same division at $1.20 the year previous.


Last season’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown runner-up Lanercost has history against him at Melton’s Tabcorp Park this Sunday, but that is the last thing on the mind of his trainer-driver Darrel Graham.

The Crown’s 12-year almanac tells us that no male pacer has returned after finishing second at two and gone one better at three.

But, having overcome the most famous hamstring injury since Nick Riewoldt with his duel Derby winner, Graham is just happy to be back with another crack at glory.

“We’re very happy with him and we’re not worried about the past,” Graham said.  
“He had a little hamstring drama, which we’re getting the chiropractor down to have a look at again, but he seems OK.

“He ran well at Yarra Valley and that tough run he had last week was probably just what he needed.  He’s close to his top now – 95 or 98 percent at least – and he’s ready to go for the final.”

Lanercost’s chances of rewriting history have been enhanced by his handy draw of barrier four in the $188,000 decider for th 2240-metre final and while Graham stopped short of declaring he will lead, he’s not denying the possibility.

“It’s one of those draws where you can look inside and outside and just see what happens,” he said. “He’s definitely got the speed to find the front, but we’ll just have to wait and see what’s best.”

Meanwhile, Graham’s other Crown aspirant, El Padrino, has drawn even better in the pole for $100,000 Group 1 four-year-old boys final.

He too has sufficient speed to lead a quality field headlined by Chariots Of Fire champion Villagem and on that score the Sunshine Stater is more forthcoming about his tactics.

“Twelve months ago we would have handed up, but his last few runs have been good and I think if you hand up you’re sort of conceding the race,” he said.

“I’m not running for second. I think he is a live chance. I think both of mine are.”

Lanercost will step out in race eight on a 10-event program, scheduled for 6.25pm (NZ time), with the 4YO entires and geldings’ final to follow at 7.05pm (NZ time).


Reigning Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown champion Tuhimata Glass is one of five horses seeking back-to-back glory this Sunday, but he is the only one returning in a new stable.

Trained to last year’s 2YO trotters title by Brent Mangos, the son of Malabar Maple is now with Lance Justice and while he’s yet to show the form of 12 months ago, his new handler senses he’s not far away.

“He’s getting back to feeling really good and racing well,” Justice said.  “He’s a great little horse and he’s drawn better than his main dangers, so he’s a chance.”

It is that crucial barrier advantage (five) over TAB Sportsbet’s $2.10 favourite, Miami H, which has the always ebullient Justice sensing a historic victory is within reach.

“He’s certainly got enough speed to find the top from where he’s drawn and from there he’ll just roll along at a good speed and make it tough for the favourites to catch him.”

If Tuhimata Glass is successful in the $102,000 Group 1 final (2240m) at Melton’s Tabcorp Park it would be just reward for not only Justice, but the loyal team of leviathan owners who recruited him for this race almost three months ago.

Rob Merola, Sam Godino, John Hawke, Tony Prochilo, Michael Taranto and Angelo Cammaroto represent some of the sport’s biggest personalities and as close mates would love to win a big one together.

“All those guys are just great blokes and I’m just glad they give me horses like Tuhimata Glass to train,” Justice said.

“We’re great mates on and off the track, which just makes it better and makes you want to win a race like this that little bit more. We’re really looking forward to Sunday.”

The other four horses defending their titles on Super Sunday are Let Me Thru (4YO Trotters), Make Mine Cullen (4YO Mares), Led Suitcase (3YO Fillies) and Smiling Shard (3YO Colts and Geldings).

Magic Interest, the two-year-old trotting champion of 2008, is out to become the first non-consecutive winner in Breeders Crown history.


If Paramount Geegee’s seven wins in New Zealand weren’t enough to install him favourite for the Group 1 Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotters, his dominant display at Geelong on August 10 was.

Never out of second gear, the hulking son of Pegasus Spur destroyed a field of inferior rivals by almost 30 metres and sent a shudder down the spine of all those hoping to beat him in Sunday’s $162,000 event over 2240 metres.

Rather than trying to intimidate his impending foes, trainer John Dickie was merely in search of race fitness that night and the kill his big bloke needed ahead of what would be the biggest win of his career.

“The reason I came over here early is because he hadn’t had a run in eight weeks, since the Breeders Crown heat back in Auckland,” he said.

“The two-year-olds at home were all in the paddock, so he came here without a trial or anything and did it very well at Geelong.

“Admittedly they were horses he deserved to beat well, but he’s also had a quiet hit-out at Ballarat last Sunday where he came from last and ended up winning quite easily, so we’re very, very pleased with him.”  

Paramount Geegee’s excellent form has been a welcome fillip for his handler, with Dickie struck down with back-to-back ear infections in recent weeks, the second of which prevented him driving his star pacer at Geelong.

But with money, prestige and a Breeders Crown tilt now just around the corner, he’s bravely fighting on.

Before I came over I had one (an infection) in my right ear and just got over it on the eve of coming here,” Dickie said.  “Then, when I arrived it switched over to my left ear, I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m still not over it completely but it’ll feel a lot better if we can win on Sunday.”

Paramount Geegee has been installed a prohibitive $1.60 favourite by TAB Sportsbet, with Chateau De Ville ($3.10) his nearest rival in betting ahead of Aldebaran Breeze ($9) and polemarker Moyabamba ($13).

The 2YO trotting final is the opening race on Breeders Crown Final day and is scheduled to run at 12.10pm.

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager

Kiwis smiling ahead of Crown

J Scott Latest News


By Jason Bonnington

Australia’s dwindling chances in the 3YO colts and geldings’ section of this year’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown plummeted further on Friday August 13 when Kiwis won both semi-finals.

Reigning titleholder Smiling Shard put his rivals on notice when he sat parked but still proved far too good in the second semi-final in scintillating time.

With fireworks from the outset Smiling Shard’s chief threat, countryman Kiwi Courage To Rule, struggled to hold the top from his inside draw and while he won that early battle it proved to be of little value with a hot speed continuing.

A lead time of 43.7 seconds was followed by a sizzling 59.2sec first half of the last mile, during which Smiling Shard found the position outside the speed.

That was followed by a 29.1sec third split as those smoking their pipe at the rear began long, searching runs.

But when Courage To Rule relented, Cran Dalgety’s son of Grimfromeartoear thrived, drawing away from his rivals in a 29.6sec final split to defeat brave West Australian David Hercules, Remember El and Composed in a 1:56 mile rate.

Our High Octane and Lively Operative rounded out those to qualify for the $A188,000 Group 1 final of the series on Sunday, August 22, with Courage To Rule Friday night’s major casualty.

In the other preliminary, Steve Dolan’s son of Courage Under Fire, Franco Jamar, upstaged more fancied compatriot Devil Dodger.

After leading the field with relative ease from the pole, $1.90 favourite Devil Dodger controlled the tempo in a lead time of 47.6, but when Darrel Graham circled the field aboard Lanercost the race was on in earnest.

Despite a moderate 63.2sec first half of the last mile, Mark Purdon poured the pressure on aboard Henrik Zetterberg to inspire a 27.7 third term that was always going to test the leaders.

Craig Thornley and Franco Jamar took full advantage of their gun run behind the leader to explode in a 27.3sec final split for a 1:59.2 mile rate win.

Franco Jamar finished four metres ahead of Devil Dodger with game Queenslander Lanercost, Its My Pleasure, Dream Catch Me and Wartime Sweetheart all qualifying for the final.

Having beaten reigning Crown champion and series favourite Smiling Shard in his heat, Thornley expressed his excitement and anticipation approaching Super Sunday.

“It was a good win tonight and he (Franco Jamar) is getting better all the time, so we’re really looking forward to next Sunday,” he said.

The 3YO colts and geldings final field will comprise: Franco Jamar, Devil Dodger, Lanercost, Its My Pleasure, Dream catch Me, Wartime Sweetheart, Smiling Shard, David Hercules, Remember El, Composed, Our High Octane, Lively Operative.


By Jason Bonnington

De Lovely was named after one of Cole Porter’s biggest hits, but it might be another of his signature songs, Night and Day, that best expresses the growing chasm between the brilliant filly and her Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown rivals.

The daughter of Falcon Seelster strengthened an already vice-like grip on the $A188,000 Group 1 3YO Fillies Final when she cruised home by 17 metres in the second semi-final with ear plugs in tact.

Sent out a raging $1.10 favourite in the second semi, the Geoff Small-trained superstar ambled past her rivals to take up the running through a steady lead time of 45.7-seconds before reinsman David Butcher stepped on the breaks.

A casual final first half of 61.8-seconds followed with De Lovely cruising at the head of affairs clear of polemarker Forest Babe on her back and Miss Trickin Lombo who circled the field down the back straight a clear third.

may 15 addington 2010 015After a 29.7-second third term, Butcher released the shackles and the highest rated filly in Australasia responded with a 26.6sec final split to complete a 1:57.8 mile rate.

Miss Trickin Lombo stuck on well to finish second, albeit a long way from the winner, while Forest Babe held off Clancy Rose and Loving Life Lombo for the minor prize. Revivalist was sixth.

“She’s just gotten stronger and stronger,” Butcher said after the win. “As you can see, she did it pretty easily but it’s all about next week now and we’ll find out (how much is left) then.”    

Earlier, highly-rated Western Australian, Arctic Fire, justified her $1.40 quote by going from pillar to post in effortless fashion.

After securing the coveted pole draw, Ross Olivieri’s talented daughter of Courage Under Fire led the field with ease before cruising through what veteran reinsman John Caldow described as a “snack lead time” of 47secs.

Quickening noticeably down the back straight the Sandgroper then carved out a 61.5sec first half of the closing mile before scooting home in 28.1 and 28.3sec closing sections.

At the line she had 6.5m to spare over defending champion Led Suitcase, with Art Princess holding down third.

Glenferrie Inn and Morgan Abby finished fourth and fifth to book their spots in the final, along with sixth placegetter Sugarland.

Final Field: Arctic Fire, Led Suitcase, Art Princess, Glenferrie Inn, Morgan Abby, Sugarland, De Lovely, Miss Trickin Lombo, Forest Babe, Clancy Rose, Loving Life Lombo, Revivalist, Art Shadow (emerg).


By Brad Bishop

Some of Friday night’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown semi-finals didn’t prove a lot, but the 2YO colts and geldings qualifiers certainly weren’t among them.

Under-rated pair Abettorpunt and Sushi Sushi announced themselves bona fide ontenders for Sunday week’s $308,000 Group 1 final with barnstorming upset wins in their respective semis.

Both travelled three-back the pegs and unleashed whirlwind finishes to run down short-priced favourites in the shadows of the Tabcorp Park post.

Abettorpunt kicked things off when he reeled in Royal Verdict at $19, while $7 chance Sushi Sushi produced an almost identical performance to deny Kiwi star Our Major Mark in the second semi.

It franked the form from their repechage, when the Freddy Taiba-trained Sushi Sushi defeated Abettorpunt. He lost that round, but Abettorpunt won’t be short of fans who think he can turn the tables in the final.

The David Lewis-trained son of Bettors Delight spotted Royal Verdict and Devilish Smile 10m turning for home, but still ran the class pair down despite a 27-second last quarter.

It wasn’t until 50m from home that he loomed as a genuine winning chance, but so fast did he finish that he was a half-neck clear of $2 favourite Royal Verdict with Devilish Smile ($5.20) the same distance away in third in a 1:59.8 mile rate.

Winning driver Caleb Lewis has always had a high opinion of the gelding, but said even he was surprised Abettorpunt was able to run down the class pair after a 64.4sec first half of the last mile.

“I knew he had the speed to put himself into the race at some stage, but he had to get out and when he did get out around the corner he showed he’s a very fast horse,” Lewis said of Abettorpunt, who has now won two of his four starts.

Sushi Sushi’s driver Greg Sugars had a similar tale to tell after the latter semi. He was also hooked to the outside at the top of the straight and motored late to hit the front in the final couple of bounds.

Sugars had basically conceded defeat after a 33.2sec first split, but 28.6 and 28.2sec middle quarters saw him outsprint the $1.50 hot pot in a 28.3sec final split.

At the line he had a neck to spare over Our Major Mark in a 1:58.4 mile rate with Queensland representative Caesars Folly six metres away in third.

“After the first quarter I just hoped to run third or fourth and have a better run in the final, but the mid-race pressure went on and the gaps opened up and he sprouted wings,” Sugars said.

“Halfway up straight he really hit top gear and was just so strong on the line.”

Final Field: Abettorpunt, Royal Verdict, Devilish Smile, King Grin, Blackjack Bromac, Sushi Sushi, Our Major Mark, Caesars Folly, Attackamach, Brick Top, Beeston, Excel Stride (emerg).


By Brad Bishop

Tabcorp Park racegoers would be forgiven for experiencing a bit of déjà vu in the Australasian Breeders Crown semi-finals.

Six weeks after pulling off a Vicbred Super Series semi-final winning double with Aussie Made Lombo and Passions Promise, Jayne Davies won both Breeders Crown 2yo qualifiers with the same 2yo fillies.

Aussie Made Lombo did it easy in the first semi, while Passions Promise denied odds-on favourite Lively Moth – as she did in her Vicbred semi – in the latter event.

Davies said it was sweet result, but hopes Sunday week’s $A308,000 Group 1 Breeders Crown has a happier ending than the Vicbred series, which saw Lively Moth get her revenge.

“That was great (the Vicbred double), but we couldn’t win the final, though,” she said. “Hopefully we can one better this time.”

Aussie Made Lombo overcame a wide early run from the outside of the back row to lead for the majority of the first semi, while Passions Promise benefited from a crack Gavin Lang drive to win the other.

Lang was patient from gate nine, but wasted no time working his way into a prominent position aboard the $4.50 chance before handing up to Sheezallattitude and assuming the one-out one-back.

He then came with a strong run rounding the home bend and hit the front soon after straightening and held on to win from Lively Moth and fast-finishing pair Bettor Give It and Bella Shine.

Her 1:58.7 mile rate – which consisted of 30.3, 29.4, 30.1 and 29.6sec splits – was significantly quicker than the 2:00.8 Aussie Made Lombo went.

The daughter of million-dollar mare Tailamade Lombo, who started $1.80, was allowed to get away with a 64.6sec first half of the last mile before ripping home in 29.2 and 27.3secs for victory over Beach Melody and McAmber.

Davies was thrilled with their efforts from the testing draws.

“They both had terrible draws ands they had to make the best of them, but they came through,” she said. “Gee it would be nice if they could run first and second.”

Final Field: Aussie Made Lombo, Beach Melody, McAmber, Bellas Delight, Artistic Rainbow, Passions Promise, Lively Moth, Bettor Give It, Bella Shine, Sheezallattitude, Claire Jasper, Dream Verdict (emerg).


Nathan Jack and Elixir combined to score an upset win Friday night’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate Mares Free-For-All.

Last year’s Australian Oaks heroine proved the nemesis of punters hoping to get out on class act Jazzam when they sprint-laned to victory in the $25,000 event.

It was the perfect way to tune up for Sunday’s four-year-old heat, in which she has the unenviable task of meeting Broadways Best where her reward might be a meeting with Make Mine Cullen.

“Tonight was probably her best run this time in,” Jack said. “She did a little bit early and to kick home so hard and win pretty easy on the line, she’s heading in the right direction.

“Unfortunately she’s got to face Broadways Best, but if it and Make Mine Cullen get into a war they’ll know she’s there.”

After leading early in the 1720-metre event, Jack elected to take a trail behind Jazzam when Gavin Lang surprisingly sent that horse forward at the beginning of the final lap.

After a lead time of 7.5-seconds the small field of top-grade mares sizzled through quarters of 29.5 and 29.2 before the $5 pop squeezed through along the sprint lane in 27.6 to upstage the $1.40 favourite in a 1:55.1 mile rate.

Christian Melody ($8) split that pair closing late on the leaders down the centre of the track.

Elixir and Broadways Best will clash in Sunday’s first Breeders Crown heat, which kicks off the card at 3.16pm (NZ ime).

Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria.


Breeders Crown barrier draws

J Scott Latest News


Franco Jamar was the big winner at the barrier draw for the headline race of next Sunday’s $1.56 million Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown finals day at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.

The Steve Dolan-trained colt is poised to challenge for favouritism in the 3YO Colts & Geldings Final after landing the coveted inside alley, the position he started from when a scintillating semi-final winner on Friday night.

The compatriot he run down, Devil Dodger, drew wide on the front line (six), while defending champion and second semi-final winner Smiling Shard drew awkwardly inside the back row (eight).

Lanercost, a game third behind Franco Jamar, appeals as Australia’s best hope of repelling the Kiwi challenge after landing gate four.

Franco Jamar wasn’t the only Kiwi to pluck a gun barrier with Our Major Mark to start from two in the 2YO Colts & Geldings Final. Local star Royal Verdict drew three and semi winners Abettorpunt and Sushi Sushi five and seven.

Paramount Geegee gained an edge over top local hope Chateau De Ville when he drew barrier three in the 2YO Trotters Final. Chateau De Ville will start from outside the front row in barrier seven.

Fellow Kiwi trotter Miami H wasn’t so fortunate in the 3YO Trotters Final, allocated the spot inside the second line (eight). The first two home in last year’s final, Tuhimata Glass and Rostevarren drew barriers five and seven.

Not even an outside-front-row draw will prevent De Lovely starting a long-odds-on favourite in the 3YO Fillies Final, especially with Western Australian semi winner Arctic Fire drawn wide on the second line (12).

Lively Moth fared best of the big trio in the 2YO fillies’ division, drawing gate two with Jayne Davies-trained semi winners Passions Promise and Aussie Made Lombo in seven and nine respectively.

Villagem drew gate six in the 4YO Colts & Geldings Final, while class pair Down Under Muscles (six) and Let Me Thru (seven) will start next to each other in the 4YO Trotters Final.

Broadways Best gained an edge over Make Mine Cullen in their long-awaited clash in the 4YO Mares Final, drawing barrier four with Make Mine Cullen to start three horses wide on the back row in gate 10.


2YO Colts & Geldings: (front) Blackjack Bromac, Our Major Mark, Royal Verdict, Excel Stride (emerg), Abettorpunt, King Grin, Sushi Sushi; (back) Caesars Folly, Beetson, Devilish Smile, Brick Top, Attackamach.

2YO Fillies: (front) Bella Shine, Lively Moth, Beach Melody, Claire Jasper, Dream Verdict (emerg), Bettor Give It, Passions Promise; (back) Sheezallattutide, Aussie Made Lombo, McAmber, Bellas Delight, Artistic Rainbow.

2YO Trotters: (front) Moyabamba, Elegant Image, Paramount Geegee, Me Neither, Our Flash Girl, A Stylish Jewel, Chateau De Ville; (back) Aldebaran Breeze, Mikey Son, Miss Eliza (emerg), Sir Pegasus, Baggy Boots.

3YO Colts & Geldings: (front) Franco Jamar, Remember El, Our High Octane, Lanercost, Courage To Rule (emerg), Devil Dodger, David Hercules; (back) Smiling Shard, Dream Catch Me, Wartime Sweetheart, Composed, Lively Operative, Its My Pleasure.

3YO Fillies: (front) Miss Trickin Lombo, Clancy Rose, Revivalist, Art Shadow (emerg), Art Princess, Glenferrie Inn, De Lovely; (back) Morgan Abby, Led Suitcase, Loving Life Lombo, Sugarland, Arctic Fire, Forest Babe.

3YO Trotters: (front) Enjoy A Malabu, Miss Bullion, Gluteus Major, Ymbro Wow, Tuhimata Glass, Posimistic, Rostevarren; (back) Miami H, Amelia Darling, Mister Castleton, Ninegrandsons, Im Chilled, Tsonga (emerg).

4YO Entires & Geldings: (front) El Padrino, Dominate Line, Make A Memory, Cool And Casual, Erics Legend, Villagem, Jilliby Bartel; (back) Runaway Red (emerg), Goodtime Jasper, Jukebox Music, Bee And Jay, Garnet River, Christian Shadow.

4YO Mares: (front) Queen Of Fire, Miss Athens, Justa Jem Lombo, Broadways Best, Ananz (emerg), Three Card Brag, Dreams Of Heaven; (back) Keppel Bay, Flyin Indi Air, Make Mine Cullen, Ay Tee Em, Cullens Angel, Elixir.

4YO Trotters: (front) Aleppo Sunrise, Magic Interest, Happy Maori, Melpark Miccole, Down Under Muscles, Let Me Thru, Berceuse; (back) Karaka Tooth, Sassy Pinevale, Amazon River.

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager

2YOs’ in early workout run

J Scott Latest News


Two Mark Jones stablemates were the first South Island juveniles to step out publicly in the new season at the Rangiora workouts on Saturday, August 7.

The promising 2YOs’ finished on terms at the end of the 2YO mobile 2000m pace, pleasing their trainer with their manners. Bedlam_after_Rga_workout

They were turned out later in the afternoon for a six-seven weeks spell to develop further.

Kristoff, a P-Forty-Seven colt, bred and owned by Trevor Casey, led up for much of the heat for catch-driver Wayne Higgs.

Bedlam, a showy black Washington VC colt, bought out of the second day of the NZ Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch in February for $10,000 by Ohoka owners Ernie and Gail Bailey, had the last say for Mark Jones putting his nose in front on the line.

The stablemates were not out to break records but did everything right running the 2000m in 2:55.9, pacing their last 800m in 65.1s and quickening over their last 400m in 30.7s.

Bedlam is a half-brother to former Ardmore mare Linatawa, who won three for Tony Herlihy before being exported to North America, where she has raced on well winning a further 10 races and taking a 1:53 winning mile mark.

They are from Bedspread, an unraced Wingspread half-sister to Colonel Anvil (11 NZ & Aust wins, 1:57.7), a former four lengths runnerup to Courage Under Fire in the 1999 NZ Derby at Addington for trainer Robert Cameron.

Bedlam is from the same family as former good winners Butler Hanover (4 NZ wins, 26 USA wins, 1:58.4, US), Spangle’s Gold (6 NZ wins, 15 USA wins, 1:57.4, US), Farm Boss (2 NZ wins, 10 USA wins) and big Queensland winners, Natta Razoo Left (41 wins), Costa Razoo (35 wins) and Notta Brass Razoo (12 wins).

Kristoff, from the second crop of P-Forty-Seven (p3, 1:48.4 & $US707,660), is the first foal from Pita Pocket, a qualified but unraced daughter of In The Pocket and Caps Off (1:52.8, 10 US wins), winner of five in NZ including the Group One 2000 NZ Oaks at Addington over Tupelo Rose and Dancingonmoonight when raced by Mr Casey and trained by Bruce Negus.

Caps Off (Caprock-Te Phyno), who at stud has left the good Victorian winner Captian Cullen (15 Aust wins & $94,168, 1:55.7), and minor winner Fortuitious, is most notably a half-sister to former NZ and Great Northern Derby winner Badlands Bute (12 NZ wins).

Bedlam is also distantly related to former NZ Free-For-All winner in record time Waipawa Lad (17 NZ wins & $368,501), and now a 1:52.2 winning miler in North America.

By Jeff Scott


Posthumous award for Kahdon

J Scott Former News, Latest News


Ill-fated filly Kahdon joined an elite list of 3YO trotters to be voted NZ Trotter of the Year in Christchurch on Saturday, July 31.

Kahdon, who lost her life to a bacterial infection in Australia on July 19, joins One Over Kenny (2005) and Sovereignty (2008) as previous age group champions to take out the coveted title.

Voters gave Kahdon a three vote advantage over Dominion Handicap winner Springbank Richard for the top of the division, polling 11 votes to eight.

Rowe Cup champ Sundons Gift gained 7 votes for Trotter of the Year, while top 4YO I Can Doosit (5), Stylish Monarch (4) and top aged mare Speculate (1) were other nominees.

Kahdon raced only 14 times for 6 wins and 5 seconds and $177,234 in stakes.

She beat the boys in the G1 Northern Trotting Derby on May 7, and the G2 Hutton Racing Stables Sires’ Stakes Trotters Championship at Auckland On May 30.

Kahdon was second in the G1 NZ Trotting Derby at Addington on March 26 behind Shezoneoftheboyz, and also second in the G3 NZ Trotting Oaks on April 9 behind Emma Hamilton.

She raced for the breeders, Ben and Lois Smith, and Leeston trainer Paul Nairn, until a few days before the Harness Jewels 3YO Ruby at Cambridge on June 5, when she was purchased for the Mark Jones stable by Jakarta-based owner Peter Chambers.

Kahdon finished a gallant second behind front-running Vulcan in the Jewels, won in 1:58 for the mile, then easily won the $A50,000 Victoria Trotters Oaks at Melton on June  11.

Mark felt something wasn’t quite right with her after being outfinished late by Rostevarren in a Victoria Trotters Derby on July 3. She became very ill a week later and despite every attempt to save her, she succumbed to a severe bowel infection at the Werribee clinic.

Although irreplaceable, Mr Chambers and Mark are searching for another close relative in order to continue to share in the family legacy.

Awards winners were:


2YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: PARAMOUNT GEEGEE (2g Pegasus Spur-Paramount Star), owners Jocelyn and John Davies, Charles Blackwell, Jonathon Hope, Jennifer Sutherland (trainer: John Dickie) 37 votes.

2YO Filly of the Year: KYLIE REE (2f Monarchy-Nerokilo), owner, Brian McCully (trainers: Mark Purdon/Grant Payne) 35 votes. Other nominee: Sapphire Castleton 2.

3YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: VULCAN (3g Earl-Epona), owners: Jenny Butt, Donald McKenzie (trainer: Tim Butt) 27 votes. Other nominees: Miami H 6, The Fiery Ginga 4.

3YO Filly of the Year: KAHDON (3f Sundon-Kahola), owner, Peter Chambers (trainer Mark Jones) 36 votes. Other nominee: Shezoneoftheboyz 1.

4YO Entire/Gelding of the Year: I CAN DOOSIT (4g Muscles Yankee-Sheezadoosie), owners, Breckon Racing Syndicate (trainers: Mark Purdon/Grant Payne) 37 votes.

4YO Mare of the Year: POCARO (4m Sundon-Niamey), owners, Trevor Casey, Tim Whelan, Stephen Ward, James Whelan, Shane Hausler) 36 votes. Other nominee: Great Getaway 1.

5YO or older Entire/Gelding of the Year: SPRINGBANK RICHARD (6g Sundon-It’s A Whiz), owners, Alistair and Denise Smith, 16 votes. Other nominees: Stylish Monarch 14, Sundons Gift 7.

5YO or older Mare of the Year: SPECULATE (8m Sundon-Look), owners, Lynn and Gerry Smith, Justin Smith (trainer: Justin Smith) 37 votes.

TROTTER OF THE YEAR: KAHDON 11. Other nominees: Springbank Richard 8,

Sundons Gift 7, I Can Doosit 5, Stylish Monarch 4, Speculate 1, no vote 1.


2YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: MAJOR MARK (2c Art Major-Gucci Franco), owners Glenys and Phil Kennard, Neil Pilcher, Gavin Douglas, Philip Creighton (trainers: Mark Purdon/Grant Payne) 37 votes.

2YO Filly of the Year: BETTOR COVER LOVER (2f Bettor’s Delight-Front Cover Lover), owners: Karnup Racing Pty Ltd (trainer: Brent Mangos) 37 votes.

3YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: SIR LINCOLN (3c Mach Three-Clare De Lune), owners, Lincoln Farms Ltd (trainer: Ray Green) 23 votes. Other nominee, Russley Rascal 14 votes.

3YO Filly of the Year: DE LOVELY (3f Falcon Seelster-Copper Beach), owners, Les Girls No. 2 Syndicate (trainer: Geoff Small) 37 votes.

4YO Entire/Gelding of the Year: TINTIN IN AMERICA (4h McArdle-Zenterfold), owners, ATC Trot 2008 Syndicate (trainer: Geoff Small) 37 votes.

4YO Mare of the Year: BEAUDIENE BAD BABE (4m Badlands Hanover-Beaudiene Babe), owners, Estate of Peter Ryan (trainer: Murray Brown) 37 votes.

5YO or older Entire/Gelding of the Year: MONKEY KING (7g Sands A Flyin-Tuapeka Vale), owners, Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd (trainer: Benny Hill) 37

5YO or older Mare of the Year: KIWI INGENUITY (5m Christian Cullen-Kiwi Express), owners, Hamish Scott, Dr Kim Lawson, Equine Investments Ltd, Abbey

Smith (trainer: Robbie Holmes) 28 votes. Other nominees: Nearea Franco 7, Tact Lizzie 1, no vote 1.




Owner of the Year: Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd (Robert Famularo).

Breeder(s) of the Year: Tony and Anne Parker.

Unsung Hero Award: Allan Maslin.

Broodmare of the Year: Sheezadoosie (Breckon Bloodstock Ltd, Ken and Karen Breckon).

Stallion of the Year: Sundon _ Roydon Lodge Stud (Keith and Robyn Gibson).

Leading trainer(s): Mark Purdon/Grant Payne.

Leading Driver/Cruickshank Leading Junior Driver: Dexter Dunn.

Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing: Pat O’Brien.