Day At The Track

THE GOOD 2019 Queensland Horse of the Year, Colt Thirty One, has returned from a brief spell in fine fettle to press his credentials for successive titles. In two runs back this preparation, the Grant Dixon-trained entire has shown his versatility to overcome gate seven on successive occasions; the first in a tough fighting win, the second in a swooping finish. Resuming over the 2,138-metre distance on September 12, Dixon sent his star pupil to sit outside the leader, Northview Hustler, where he was able to show plenty of grit in scoring victory by a one-metre margin. Second-up on Saturday night in the Remembering Son Of Pearl Pace, the barrier draw was again unkind, landing the outside front-line gate, this time over the 1,660-metre trip. As the field was released, Dixon stayed out of the early pace battle that ensued, easing ‘Chester’ to find position in the running line. With Justalittle Torque repelling Maywyns Best through the first quarter, the clock was stopped in a sizzling 26.5 seconds. That drew an early move from Ashley Locaz, working forward from the 1100-metre mark, expending plenty of petrol in working forward. The move saw Maywyns Best flagged on to take control, with Ashley Locaz moving to the position outside the leader. With the speed on, Dixon made his move at the 500-metre mark, pushing Colt Thirty One around the field to loom into the contest strongly. Balancing up for the stretch drive, the Colt had bullets to fire, arriving for a strong 1.51.2 mile-rate victory, a new career personal best for the five-year-old. In claiming the 40th win of his career, it was the 35th time that Colt Thirty One has been successful at Albion Park. This moves the Dixon-trained star into the top 10 for most victories at The Creek, Queensland’s headquarters of harness racing. Sitting equal with Melton Multimax and the former star mare Happy Haldon on 34 wins heading into Saturday night’s race, the win pushed Chester to 35 and outright ninth on the list. Another three wins will move Colt Thirty One equal to three of the greatest Queensland trained pacers of any era, and amazingly all three campaigned at the same time. Be Good Johnny, Cobbity Classic and Blacks A Fake all finished their careers with 38 victories at Albion Park. Arguably the greatest ever, Blackie missed a cheque just twice in his 50 appearances at headquarters, adding 10 placings to his 38 victories. Colt Thirty One has made it to 35 wins from 49 outings at The Creek, placed a further 12 times having also missed a top-three finish just twice thus far. Returning in such dominant fashion, Chester looks set to further his record with successive Horse of the Year titles looking well within his grasp.   THE BAD While track resurfacing works were scheduled to be completed with the transfer of just the Tuesday and Friday meetings at Albion Park, the process involved has seen two further meetings transferred to Redcliffe this week. The delay has been necessitated by advanced surveying work to be undertaken, and these advanced works will allow accurate track levels to be surveyed and recorded. Despite the disappointment for the Albion Park Club to lose the Saturday and Tuesday meetings, the long-term benefits are worth the short-term loss. The transfer represents a great opportunity for Redcliffe to play host to metropolitan racing. Officially opened just last week, the upgraded facilities were the result of the Club securing a Government grant to complete works that included a new stabling complex and upgrades to the race day facilities for drivers and stewards. Fresh off the track undergoing maintenance resurfacing in the past fortnight, it bodes well for a top night at The Triangle this Saturday night.   THE MILESTONE It has been a long time between drinks for Deception Bay based trainer Stephen Bunz, yet his perseverance has never waned throughout the season. In the extended season, Bunz had yet to prepare a winner, not through lack of effort or attempts as he continued to toil away looking for an elusive winner. That determination was rewarded last Thursday at Redcliffe when Bunz broke the drought to land his first winner for the season when Rayong Princess was successful in the opening event of the day. In recording her third career victory - the second under Bunz care - the Rob Roy Mattgregor mare also broke a drought of her own. The last victory the mare recorded came back in April of 2018, driven on that occasion by Adam Richardson. This time around Paul Diebert took the drive, leading throughout in claiming victory by a half-head margin. Owned by Bunz in partnership with Matthew Greentree, it was a day to remember for Greentree as he recorded his first double as an owner. Just thirty minutes after Rayong Princess was successful, Greentree drove Sixpenny Red to victory, a mare he was gifted and is trained by Graham Dwyer. Coming with a well-timed run, four-year-old mare Sixpenny Red rushed by the leader to claim victory by just over 10 metres, the eighth win of her career.   THE WILDCARD One Change remains unbeaten in Queensland since joining the Vicki Rasmussen stable after another strong performance when successful at Albion Park at his most recent start. Sitting back as the leader Will The Wizard was out in front in ‘catch me if you can’ tactics, driver Shane Graham allowed One Change to slide up towards the leader. With a third quarter blitz of 26.9 down the back stretch, Graham continued to edge closer and approaching the home turn, put the power on to take the lead. Forging clear in the run to the judge, a fast-finishing Bombadier Jujon loomed up, but left his run too late with One Change holding on to claim victory by a neck. The win equalled the three-year-old track record at Albion Park, matching the mark set just last month by Crunch Time in a 1.51.1 mile. The previous record of 1.52.1 set by Burnaholeinmypocket had stood since June 2015. In securing the Ultimate Tools sponsored 3YO event, One Change took his superb record to 12 wins from 18 starts, with the colt sure to be a major player in any feature he contests this year. THIS WEEK As a result of Albion Park’s track resurfacing works, Redcliffe will play host to the next eight successive Queensland harness meetings, starting on Tuesday September 22 through to October 1. This Friday will see heats of the popular Pot Of Gold Series held over the 1780 metre distance. Those progressing to the Final will compete over the 1,660-metre distance at Albion Park on Friday October 2, with total stakes of $10,860 on offer. Trainers and owners are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the updated programme and distance amendments that are a result of the Saturday and Tuesday meetings being transferred to Redcliffe. Of interest in the calendar this Saturday is a 2040-metre event for the square gaiters to be keenly contested. For horses with no band assessment, it is effectively a qualifier for the trotters and on current numbers should provide a highly competitive event, with the likes of Doug, Skyline, Jeddy R Ya Ready, Aveross Don and Miss Invasion all possible nominations for the event.   by Darren Clayton

Perfect Sting remains undefeated after winning the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes Final for two year old pacing colts and geldings at the Red Mile today. After settling fourth, the son of Always B Miki made a move to the front during the 26.6 second quarter. He was challenged at the top of the home straight, but he responded to win going away by two and a half lengths. Perfect Sting is now a perfect six for six and has earnings of $194,400. His time today was 1:49.8 – his second sub 1:50 mile of the season. Perfect Sting is the third foal of the fast Bettors Delight mare Shebestingin 1:47. Interestingly there is a New Zealand connection with Mark and Pauline O’Connor owning Wantapieceofme, a half sister to Shebestingin. Always B Miki is the current leading first season sire in the US. While his book is full in Australia he is still available in New Zealand at a fee of $7,000 plus GST.

Venerate, a two-year-old colt by the great Love You, a member of the Haras Des Trotteurs’ frozen semen roster, tied the season’s mark of 1:51.8 when he led from end to end in the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Final at The Red Mile on Sunday (September 20). The time was only 0.2 outside the world record. A $90,000 yearling, Venerate, one of a crop of only six USA bred foals by Love You, has now banked $188,766 from three wins and two placings in six starts. Love You was also represented by the three-year-old filly Wanna Play With Me (ex Majestic Son mare), who produced a barnstorming finish from worse than midfield to post her second win from five outings at Addington. Beau Garcon and Just Believe, both members of Orlando’s Vici’s outstanding first crop and both bred by Haras Des Trotteurs principal Pat Driscoll, won at Horsham and Melton respectively last week.  Beau Garcon came off a 20 metre handicap to notch his sixth success this season, while Just Believe earned a new speed badge of 1:58.1 in winning for the sixth time from 16 starts. Orlando Vici’s first crop has produced an amazing 10 winners from 11 foals and they have won 43 races and $349,023 in prizemoney.     Peter Wharton

Chicago Bull excites Hall “That was probably his best run since he was injured almost two years ago,” said jubilant reinsman Gary Hall jnr after driving the rising eight-year-old champion Chicago Bull to a runaway victory in the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chicago Bull began speedily from barrier four but was unable to wrest the lead from Galactic Star and was forced to work in the breeze before getting to the front 550m from home and then racing away to win by three and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Bletchley Park. “I know how good he is and how good he has been in the past,” said Hall. “And this is the first time since his injury that he has excited me. He felt tonight like he did before the injury. “It’s pretty exciting. I thought he could win, sitting in the breeze. To me, Chicago Bull now feels more switched on and better in the breeze than in front. In front, I’ve got to keep at him all the time to let him know that we’ve got to get going. But that’s not saying I wouldn’t be happy to be the leader.” Chicago Bull’s great career was in doubt in Auckland in October 2018 when he flipped over backwards when being treated and fell on his back, suffering six vertebrae in his wither. This freak accident happened the day after Chicago Bull gave a magnificent performance to win a 2200m standing-start event at Alexandra Park when he galloped from the back mark of 20m and settled down 15 lengths from the leader Jack’s Legend before dashing forward to move to the breeze with just over a lap to travel. Chicago Bull went on to win by two and a half lengths from Jack’s Legend, rating 1.57.7, with a final 800m of 54.2sec. Hall said that Chicago Bull’s effort seven starts ago, when he beat Handsandwheels by a short half-head over 2536m had the effect of sharpening him up. “He sat outside Handandwheels and went to the line on empty and just got up,” he said. “That really sharpened him up and really switched him on, and I felt his two runs after that were really good. “Last week, when Chicago Bull was chasing Shockwave and I really had to drive him out to the line obviously worked again and switched him on. He was sharpened up again when he worked on the track on Wednesday.” Chicago Bull was off the scene for seven months after his injury --- and since resuming he has had 23 starts for 15 wins, six seconds, one third and one fourth placing. He now has had 84 starts for 55 wins and 23 placings for earnings of $1,938,531 and Hall is looking forward keenly to the champion contesting the Fremantle Cup and WA pacing Cup early next year against horses of the calibre of Shockwave, Mighty Conqueror and Galactic Star. Chicago Bull’s victory on Friday night was his 50TH at Gloucester Park and his third in a Navy Cup. It also gave Hall his fifth success in the Navy Cup and champion trainer Gary Hall snr a record seventh win in the race. Chicago Bull’s victory gave Hall jnr the first leg of a treble. He also was successful with Sir Galahad and Blissfullabbey. The injury-plagued Sir Galahad ($3.60) enjoyed the perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position before charging home to score an easy victory over Rakasinc ($5.50) and the pacemaker Lord Rosco ($3.60) in the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace. Six-year-old Sir Galahad has raced only 17 times for ten wins, four placings and $86,261 in stakes. This gave Gary Hall snr the third leg of a treble, following the wins of Chicago Bull and Eloquent Mach. Hall watched his runners from his home where he is recovering from surgery on Thursday night to cure problems caused by a crushed nerve at the rear of his neck. Blissfullabbey, part-owned and trained by Chris Willis, was a $2.40 chance from barrier No. 1 in the Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace and she maintained her excellent form with an all-the-way victory. Blissfullabbey was not challenged in the lead and enjoyed leisurely opening quarters of the final mile in 32sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 27.8sec. and holding on to defeat $11 chance Euphoric Moment by a nose after she had trailed the pacemaker throughout.   Madeleine, a capable substitute Part-owner and trainer Jocelyn Young didn’t have to look far to engage a driver for her smart mare Has No Fear in the Seven West Media Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she was committed to act as a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding in Baldivis. She called on her sister Madeleine to drive the four-year-old --- and Madeleine, who had never handled the mare in a race or in trackwork, gave a polished display to land Has No Fear, a $12.30 chance, a fast-finishing, last-stride winner over the $2.25 favourite Just Makemine Diamonds. Has No Fear was awkwardly drawn at barrier six, but Madeleine quickly positioned her in the one-out and two-back position, with Just Makemine Diamonds setting the pace after a lead time of 37sec., followed by comfortable opening quarters of 31.3sec. and 29sec. “It all worked out well for me,” said Madeleine Young. “When I pulled Has No Fear out (three wide with 450m to travel) she really exploded.” The final 800m was covered in 57.6sec. and Has No Fear rated 1.57 over the 2130m. Delightfulreaction (third) and Queen Shenandoah (fourth) finished strongly out wide. Has No Fear has bounced back to top form and has won at three of her past six starts, following a losing run of 22. She has earned $232,363 from ten wins and 14 placings from 47 starts.   Hynam’s memorable week Byford trainer Craig Hynam completed a memorable week when veteran pacer A Boy Named Rosie scored a convincing victory in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to end a losing sequence of 24. This followed a surprise victory by $28.10 outsider Sarge at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon which broke the five-year-old gelding’s losing run of 27. Shannon Suvaljko took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier to guide nine-year-old A Boy Named Rosie ($4.10) to an all-the-way win at a 1.57.4 rate. The gelding dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and finished a length in front of Rocknroll Whitby ($8), with Jack William ($7) a neck farther back in third place. Suvaljko’s daughter Emily lodged a protest, alleging interference in the home straight from Rocknroll Whitby, who was driven by her uncle Callan Suvaljko. The stewards upheld the protest and elevated Jack William to second place. They ruled that Rocknroll Whitby shifted out with about 100m to travel, forcing Jack William up the track and then becoming unbalanced and breaking gait.   Callan Suvaljko was suspended for 14 days for causing interference. A Boy Named Rosie’s win gave Hynam his first success in a city-class event since the gelding won by a head from Rocknroll Lincoln on March 29, 2018. This also was A Boy Named Rosie’s first win since he scored from Lightning Jolt at Pinjarra on August 12, 2019. Hynam, who races A Boy Named Rosie in partnership with his partner Courtney Burch, has never lost faith in the gelding. “I love him and he’s my mate,” he said. “He has been racing well; just check his past few runs, and he’s been running second last and breaking 27sec. quarters. It’s all a matter of barriers, and from No. 1 tonight he got his chance. I don’t work him hard and just keep him happy.” A Boy Named Rosie, who won four times in New Zealand when driven by Dexter Dunn, enjoys racing and has earned $191,615 from 18 wins and 30 placings from 140 starts. He has had 77 starts for Hynam for five wins and 16 placings. Hynam, who works as a furniture removalist, said that Sarge, a five-year-old Art Major gelding, had a lot more ability than he has shown. “We got a bit lucky at Pinjarra on Monday when the No. 1 horse (Beaudiene Western) was scratched and then we were able to come home along the sprint lane,” he said.    Eloquent Mach shines Young reinsman Stuart McDonald was effusive in his praise of Eloquent Mach after driving the New Zealand-bred four-year-old to a brilliant victory in the 2536m Westral Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He felt like his old self, like he was as a three-year-old and an early four-year-old, winning the Western Gateway, the Marathon and the Binshaw last year,” he said. “He didn’t feel right and wasn’t himself at his last preparation. But now he’s certainly hitting his straps and he’s going to be better for the run. “I was surprised that he was such a good price ($3.30). Just look at his scalps. He raced against Major Trojan (the 2019 WA Derby winner) four times and beat him three times, and he’s beaten horses of the calibre of Franco Edward, Patrickthepiranha and Convert Denario.” Stablemate Extreme Prince, the $3 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, led early before Nathan Turvey set $34 chance Carter Micheal alight from the outside barrier (No. 9) and burst to the front after 250m. Eloquent Mach started from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and settled down in eighth position before an aggressive McDonald urged the gelding forward to assume control after 950m. After the race McDonald pleaded guilty to having forced Braeview Bondi wide leaving the back straight in the first lap and was suspended for seven days. Braeview Bondi (Michael Grantham) had a tough run in the breeze outside of Eloquent Mach and did well to finish fourth, just behind Carter Micheal and Jimmy Mach. Brett Smith, who drove Burning Rubber, was suspended for ten days for having caused interference to Always Arjay and Quick Stride leaving the back straight then first time. Eloquent Mach, prepared by Gary Hall snr, has amassed $192,026 from 13 wins and six placings from just 29 starts and is developing into a strong candidate for the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup early next year.   Spell for Henrik Larsson Powerful colt Henrik Larsson gave further proof that he should develop into a leading candidate for the rich classics for four-year-olds early next year when part-owner and trainer Luke Edwards drove him to an easy victory in the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Described by Edwards as “a big ball of muscle,” Henrik Larsson, the $1.40 favourite, cruised to the front after 400m and  relished his frontrunning role as he won by just over three lengths from Soho Hamilton ($4.20) and Little Bitof Fun ($26). He rated a smart 1.56.3. “He will go to the paddock next week for a spell, and then come back into work after October to be prepared for the big races in the new year,” Edwards said. Henrik Larsson, unraced as a two-year-old, remains unbeaten in four starts as a three-year-old for Edwards. “He’s a very exciting horse and has done everything we have asked of him,” said Edwards. “Each run he’s getting keener and keener and learning what’s the game all about. “He has shown a lot of improvement. When he arrived from New Zealand, I told the owners that he would have to have a couple of educational trials to teach him what it is all about. He’s learning on the run and has come a long way in a short time. He’s carving out the mile rates under his own steam. “He did a good job tonight to hold on after the quick lead time (36.2sec.).”      Bettor Beach Belle too strong Memories of Terry Ferguson training and driving Art On The Beach to an all-the-way victory in the group 2 WA Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies in February 2007 were revived when her eighth foal Bettor Beach Belle led and won the 2130m Nova 93.7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ferguson bred, owns and trains Bettor Beach Belle, the $2.90 second favourite who was driven confidently by Nathan Turvey and won by more than a length from the $2.25 favourite Letsdancetonight, who raced without cover early and then enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before finishing determinedly. Bettor Beach Belle is a half-sister to six winners, including Swagga, who won the Pearl Classic by eleven lengths from Mister Jadore in June 2013 and was forced into an early retirement after his 16 starts produced three wins, ten placings and $102,655 in stakes. Other prominent progeny of Art On The Beach include Rocknroll Beachboy (91 starts for eight wins, 27 placings and $70,931) and Major Artist (45 starts for seven wins, 15 placings and $54,299).   Mattjestic Star ends long losing run Veteran pacer Mattjestic Star ended a losing sequence of 29 (which included just one minor placing) when he was a solidly supported $2.40 favourite and was driven by Shannon Suvaljko to an all-the-way victory in the 2130m Choices Flooring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He had been unplaced at his 13 previous starts and was at odds of $34, £71 and $51 at his past three outings for Wanneroo part-owner and trainer Julie O’Neill. But a drop in class, an ideal barrier at No. 2 and a smart trial run at Byford the previous Sunday were major factors in his improved performance. He led and finished a short half-head second to Mister Bushido in the 2150m Byford trial in which he rated 1.57.5 On Friday night, the nine-year-old New South Wales-bred Mattjestic Star bowled along at a strong pace and rated an excellent 1.55.8 to win by four lengths from $4.60 chance Crocodile Kid, who battled on gamely after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. A winner of 14 races in NSW Mattjestic Star has had 83 starts in Western Australia for five wins and 11 placings to take his career record to 163 starts for 19 wins, 34 placings and $170,084 in prizemoney.   The Bird Dance resumes in style Talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old The Bird Dance resumed after an absence of 12 weeks in fine style with an impressive victory in the 2130m Allwood Stud farm Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The $3.90 second fancy, prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond and driven by star reinsman Ryan Warwick, overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier in the field of eight. He settled down in seventh position, with the $2.15 favourite Roman Aviator setting the pace, before Warwick improved quickly to assume the favourable one-out, one-back position. He sprinted home strongly with a final quarter in 27.8sec. to win by a half-length at a 1.56.5 rate from Roman Aviator. The Bird Dance boasts an outstanding record of 24 starts for 16 wins and one second placings for stakes of $114,532 and looks set for many more victories.   Bracken Sky on the way up Former New South Wales pacer Bracken Sky is improving all the time according to his trainer Debbie Padberg, who races the five-year-old in partnership with her husband John and long-time stable clients Don and Adele Simmons.    Bracken Sky, favourite at $2.30 and driven confidently by Dylan Egerton-Green from the coveted No. 1 barrier, led throughout in the 2130m Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace and won by a length from Bettorstartdreaming at a 1.57.4 rate. Space Junk trailed the pacemaker throughout and finished third. A winner of ten races in NSW, Bracken Sky has had 35 starts for the Padberg stable for three wins and 12 placings. His win ended a losing sequence of 11 and came after excellent recent placings behind Patronus Star, Delightfulreaction and Eloquent Mach. “He is improving all the time,” said Mrs Padberg. “He is learning how to race in Perth. All the do in Sydney is want to run the gate.”   Ken Casellas

Tasmanian record holder Call Me Hector on Sunday night added the Launceston track record to his resume when he led all the way to score in the Impress Print Free For All. Call Me Hector stopped the clock in 1m 59.37s which represented a mile rate of 1m 54.34s for the 1680-metre trip to claim the record, the gelded son of Art Major also holds the Hobart record of 1m 54.3s. From barrier four trainer-driver Matthew Cooper took the $4.40 elect straight to the lead and after a lead time of 5.22s before quarters of 29.56s, 29.22s, 28.02s, 27.35s. “It is a huge thrill to claim another track record,” said Cooper post-race. “I thought if I could ease off for just one quarter that I would just let him go, and when I pulled the plugs at the 400 I knew nothing would beat him,” added the Oatlands based trainer-driver. Punters sent out Ignatius as the $1.45 favourite, but the pacer who was the sole runner on the second row settled three-back along the marker pegs before working into the clear around the home corner to finish 8.6 metres away fourth. “I read an article on the Tasracing website that Todd (Rattray, trainer-driver of Ignatius) thought he was a bit fat and needed the run, so I thought if I was going to beat Ignatius then tonight was the night,” explained Cooper. Cooper also made some gear changes by removing the lugging pole and block blinds. “When he beat Ryley Major (last start) he wanted to hang up the track, so I decided to leave the pole off him at home and he was alright and I took him to the trials and he went absolutely super, so I thought maybe this is the go,” said Cooper. “There is no more miles for him this year, I don’t understand their programming. “Anyway, we will go to the Show Cup in two weeks,” added the trainer-driver The Show Cup is a standing start event and Call Me Hector’s standing start manners have let him down significantly in the past. It was a slick time to start the card with Bridwood Bella keeping her unbeaten record intact after two starts. The Rohan Hadley-trained pacer claimed the state record for a two-year-old filly of 1m 57.0s when winning on debut and was just outside of that time last night when running 1m 57.7s where she raced outside the leader from her second-row draw to score by 18 metres. The filly was driven by Conor Crook who drove a treble on the card with Lake Eyre and Pockets Of Courage. One of the biggest winning margins in the state for some time was recorded in the final race of the night when Devil Of Tyne scored by 42.9 metres in a rating 51 to 55 event.   by Duncan Dornauf

The North America Cup winner Fear The Dragon, whose frozen semen is available ‘down under’ from Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga (NSW), stole the show at the recent Ohio Selected Jug Sale. Fear The Dragon sired the top priced colt, Springbridge Dragn at $120,000 and the leading filly, Dragon Lady, for $85,000. Both are members of his first crop. Warrawee Needy, the second leading first-season sire in Australia, was represented by the tough Bathurst two-year-old winner Warrawee Drinking, who rated a career-best 1:58.1 in notching his second success. The gelding was one of two recent Yirribee Stud-bred winners, the other being the three-year-old Eagles And Indians, a runaway winner in 1:54.9 at Wagga. Renaissance Man, the former Group winning star who is standing at Yirribee Stud this season, left the two-year-old Mister Ridgewell (1:58.6), who posted his second win from only three starts at Pinjarra, and the ‘new’ three-year-old winner Trittrittbangbang (1:57.5, Bendigo). Renaissance Man has sired 21 winners from 33 starters at an average of $18,600 per starter. Only In America, a gelding by Shartin’s sire Tintin In America, kept the flag flying for his sire in New Zealand with a thrilling win in a new lifetime mark of 1:57 over 1980 metres at Addington. The Little Brown Jug winner Million Dollar Cam continues to churn out the winners – in both hemispheres. Kyalla Mini Marg scored at her first appearance at Dubbo on Sunday, while Doc’s Ronhenry won in 1:56.2 in Canada.     by Peter Wharton

IT amazing to think Chicago Bull looks back to his best, maybe even a tad better, than before the freakish mishap which almost ended his career in Auckland two years ago. But you only had to watch him last Friday night to see the proof. Chicago Bull, rising eight and still one of the smallest pacers you’d see, did all the worked outside the leader and thrashed his rivals to win the $50,000 Group 2 Navy Cup. He roared away to win by 10.6m in a scorching 1min53.7sec mile rate for 2130m, just 0.8sec outside the track record. His last three quarters were: 28.4, 27.5 and 28.1sec. And all that after a phenomenal run for second in his epic clash with Shockwave in near record time just seven days earlier. “That’s the best he’s felt since he was in NZ,” driver Gary Hall Jr said. “He felt amazing out there and, judging by the comments, it must have looked pretty amazing too.” Watch the race replay click here. Chicago Bull’s won 55 of his 84 starts with another 23 placings and is rapidly closing-in on $2 million in earnings. His comeback campaign this season has netted 12 wins, five seconds and a third from 18 runs. Yes the rivals are lining-up and WA has a strong open-class crop, but Chicago Bull is clearly the one they all have to beat. ________________________________________________________________________________________ YOU don’t go better in defeat than Lochinvar Art went at Bendigo on Saturday night. The winner Hurricane Harley produced a career-best run when he led throughout in a 1min52.3sec mile rate for 2150m and smashed the track record by a full second. He’s earned a spot in the Victoria Cup and is clearly on the rise. But Lochinvar Art’s effort to get within 1.5m was monstrous. He came from outside the back row, settled last, came three and four-wide around the field in the middle stages and still keep bridging the gap on the winner all the way to the wire. Lochinvar Art ran his last mile – remember all the extra ground he covered – in a mindblowing 1min50.9sec. And trainer-driver David Moran was openly cautious going into the race, warning punters his star was “not fully wound-up and would improve a lot from the run.” The obvious question is could Ride High have done what Lochinvar Art did, but gone that bit better and won? Only Clayton Tonkin and Emma Stewart could truly tell you given they train both Hurricane Harley and Ride High. All interest now settles on whether Lochinvar Art backs-up in a Melton free-for-all next Saturday night, which would likely mean his first clash with Ride High. ________________________________________________________________________________________ LEVIATHAN owner-breeder Kevin Seymour is comfortable with the decision to keep Queensland’s best pacer Colt Thirty One at home instead of chasing next month’s Victoria Cup. Colt Thirty One ran second to Bling In On in last year’s Victoria Cup and has sparkled in two wins from as many runs back from a let-up. He stormed home from last, three-wide around the field without cover, to nab classy former Kiwi pacer Ashley Locaz and win in a blazing 1min51.2sec mile rate for 1660m. He was clocked to run his last half, three-wide all the way, in 54.2sec. “He’s come back really well and if things were normal, we’d think about Victoria, but it’s just too hard to get the horses and people down there with what’s going on,” Seymour said.  Instead, Colt Thirty One will keep running in Albion Park free-for-alls in the build-up to the enhanced Queensland Summer Carnival in November/December. He’s now won 40 of his 70 starts and close to $900,000. Ashley Locaz was fantastic in defeat after making a midrace move to sit parked and set the blistering times on the speed. ________________________________________________________________________________________ CLASSY mare Red Hot Tooth keeps getting better with age. She took the biggest scalp of her career so far and did it on her merits when beat champion trotter Tornado Valley and easily in a 2150m free-for-all at Bendigo Saturday night. Tornado Valley zoomed out from gate five, but Red Hot Tooth had enough speed to hold him out and then the champ dropped in behind her form a trail and to try and sprint lane her late. But Red Hot Tooth always looked in control and ripped home in brilliant 56.7 and 28.6sec splits. Tornado Valley tried hard, but could only get to within 4.2m in a 1min57.2sec mile rate for 2150m. The gifted but increasingly costly Wobelee loomed down the back straight, but was fighting driver Chris Alford and weakened late to finish 10.2m away in fifth spot. It was some revenge for Red Hot Tooth who was beaten a whisker by Tornado Valley in Australia’s biggest trotting race, the Great Southern Star, back on February 1. The Kari and Paul Males-trained Red Hot Tooth’s rapidly closing in on $500,000 in earnings with her 77 starts returning 23 wins and 27 placings. ________________________________________________________________________________________ NOT since the days of the great Noopy Kiosk in the 1990s has there been so much excitement about two-year-old trotters racing in Australia. Wobelee came close to Noopy Kiosk-like hype when he raced 12 times as a juvenile trotter for 10 wins, four of them at Group 1 level.  But the buzz around Utopia and Aldebaran Zeus this season is huge. Brent Lilley’s internationally-bred Aldebaran Zeus (Muscle Hill-Zoia Boko) hasn’t been foolproof in four runs, but the talent he’s shown winning two of them has been stunning. He returns from a spell with Chris Alford to drive from a 20m backmark in the fourth race at Maryborough on Monday. At Bendigo on Wednesday, the freakishly-talented Utopia returns from a spell for Emma Stewart. Utopia’s only run was an 82.5win win at Shepparton in a brisk 2min2.6sec mile rate for 2190m back on July 2. ________________________________________________________________________________________ LEVIATHAN owner-breeder Rob Watson looks to have found another star youngster. In a season ravaged by COVID-19, Soho Almasi looks like quickly making up for lost time. The daughter of Mach Three looked awesome winning her first start for trainer-driver Mick Stanley, but lost all chance with an early gallop at her second run.  Back from a long spell and “on loan” to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy, Soho Almasi turned plenty of heads winning her NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO fillies’ heat by 16.5m in a 1min52.7sec mile last Monday. It was only 0.6sec outside the Australian mile record for a two-year-old filly, set by Heavens Trend at Menangle in 2012. “I had an outstanding filly a few years back in Petacular. She’s was really strong, but this filly is so fast. She’s the fastest filly I’ve ever had,” Stanley said. ________________________________________________________________________________________ STILL on exciting youngsters and we are starting to see the powerhouse Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin barn unleash some of their best now. First came Art Major colt Major Moth, who zoomed home a 26.3sec last quarter to win on debut by 9.9m for driver Damian Wilson. Major Moth led from gate three, cruised through a 62.6sec first half, but ran his last half in 54.7sec at the end of a 1min57.3sec mile rate for 1650m. It’s no secret the stable has a massive opinion of him. Last Thursday, Rogue Wave (Somebeachsomewhere-Perfect Life) looked stunning leading throughout to win her first start. Chris Alford used the pole to lead easily, but was kept honest through a 58.9sec first half before scorching home in 55.3 and 27.8sec to win by 18.7m. Rogue Wave’s 1min54.3sec mile rate for 1690m was stunning when you consider the track record is the 1min52.5sec set by open-class pacer Ideal Star back in June. ________________________________________________________________________________________ TIGER Tara’s baby brother Stingray Tara is two-from-two in Australia. But, unlike his dominant Aussie debut win for Geoff Webster, the gelding had to dig deep after leading and appearing to “loaf” a bit in front for a half-neck win in a 1min58.4sec mile rate for 2200m at Ballarat last Wednesday night. He did rip home in 56sec flat and 27.6sec.   By Adam Hamilton

Victoria's ambassadors for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, John Caldow and Mick Bellman, have shaken off the shackles and hit their straps! The pair, regarded as two of the country's best reinsmen, are sporting the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia silks for the month of September, and have posted an impressive seven wins over the past few days. "I've got to hand it to Mick, he's been the top performer recently and deserves it," Caldow said. "He'll bob up at any meeting he can drive at and his form at Ballarat and then Horsham was sensational," he said. Harness Racing Victoria is donating $500 to PCFA for every winning drive by Caldow and Bellman, during September, while clubs and individuals have also come on board to support the worthy cause. Both Bellman and Caldow had been chipping away tasting success and quietly boosting the coffers for the promotion to raise funds and promote awareness of the disease, but in the past week have found some serious form. Mick Bellman was at his brilliant best with a treble at Horsham last week – one of his winners was Crompton Bay. Caldow landed Pantzup at Melton just days into the awareness month and then a week later made it a winning double with Kasbah Kid (trained by Freddy Taiba) and Andover Sun (for his wife Maree). He followed up with a victory at Cranbourne with Letherhairdown, prepared by Blake Caruana. And last Friday at Melton he again injected some cash into the campaign, landing Kasbah Kid again and 20/1 shot Will And Andy for trainer Laraine McKenzie. "I've been happy with how I've been going along, but Mick really jumped into the spotlight with five winners and a few placings over a few days to move things along a bit," Caldow said. It's a somewhat scary statistic, but every three minutes, six Aussie men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. "A couple of our owners have been diagnosed with it, but thankfully they are in the clear now, Caldow said. "A lot of us blokes get a little complacent when it comes to health, but it's so important to look after yourself and get tested as soon as you hit 50 years of age," he said. "Having to do a medical for our licence renewal is a good thing, because I will be honest and put my hand up and say I might be one of those who wouldn't get around to it if I didn't have to do that medical every year. "But it's really easy because an accurate blood test can measure your risk for having prostate cancer." Under the COVID-19 regional racing, Caldow who lives at Melton, has been able to compete at just his home track and one other in Cranbourne. "Melton has been racing once a week and the fields have been strong. Taking the opportunities I've been getting into consideration, I'm really rapt with winners I've been able to get," he said. Bellman got a Stawell winner early days with Aerodyne Guy for trainer Owen Martin and then posted a string of second and third placings. Along the way he also reached a career milestone of 1500 winners-well deserved for the hard working and popular freelance driver. Then at Ballarat and Horsham meetings last week, Bellman was at his best with a double and then a treble. He landed Hanging On A Dream (Keith Douglas) and Eastbro Adele (Rebecca East) at Ballarat as well a two minor placings. Then at Horsham it was Liberland (Gary Donaldson), Aerodyne Guy (Owen Martin) and Crompton Bay (Ricky Ryan) all in the winner's circle as well as one placegetter. "I'm just honored to be part of it, particularly joining John as an ambassador is something special. The support has been overwhelming with the Horsham, Ararat and Stawell clubs in my region all backing it through donations and social media accounts," Bellman said. And with still nine days remaining, you can be assured that Caldow and Bellman will be eager to make every post a winner. To donate, please head to https:/   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

NZ Cup champion Cruz Bromac could launch his campaign to defend the title as soon as next Saturday. Managing owner Danny Zavitsanos said the veteran would either resume in a 2240m Melton free-for-all on Saturday or wait for the $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at the same track a week later. “This week is a chance. Dean (Braun, trainer) is weighing-up his options,” Zavitsanos said. Strangely, waiting for the richer Smoken Up Sprint could be an easier option if, as it now seems very likely, next week’s race will bring together Victoria’s two best pacers, Ride High and Lochinvar Art, for the first time. Cruz Bromac hasn’t raced since finishing fifth to then stablemate Self Assured in the Group 1 Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve. Soon after he was sidelined from a planned Sydney raid because of a fetlock injury and eventually made his way back to Braun’s stable. The nine-year-old (in NZ terms) has won two recent trials, the first at Terang on September 5 and the latest just last Tuesday at Kilmore. Cruz Bromac was asked to a bit more at Kilmore, beating open-class pacer Star Of Memphis by four metres in a 1min59.3sec mile rate for 2180m and finishing-off in 56.4 and 27.7sec. Just as he did last year, Cruz Bromac will tackle the Group 1 Victoria Cup on October 10 with a view to then heading back to the All Stars’ barn in Christchurch to prepare for the NZ Cup.   By Adam Hamilton

ONLY a late change of plans will thwart the first clash of superstar Aussie pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art at Melton next Saturday night. Ride High’s trainer Clayton Tonkin confirmed his pacing sensation would chase his 17th win from just 18 starts in the $30,000 Minuteman Free-For-All (2240m), while Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said it was “very likely” his charge would be there as well. Lochinvar Art lost no admirers when a monstrous second in scorching times at Bendigo on Saturday night. The Chariots Of Fire winner smashed the clock from a horror draw and after doing all the work when a mighty second to Hurricane Harley in track record time. He was timed to run his last mile of the 2150m race in a mind-blowing 1min50.9sec, some of it three and even four-wide. “His run was massive under the circumstances,” Moran said. “And, as I said going into it, he needed the run. He’ll take a lot out of it. “I’ll give him the day to make sure he’s come through it well, which he seems to have, and make a final decision tomorrow (Monday), but I will most likely back-up next week. “He thrives on racing every week and he needs the hard racing to be right at his top for the (Victoria) Cup.” Confirmation Ride High will run this week means he will almost certainly bypass the $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton on October 3 and continue his routine of racing every second-week by going straight to the $300,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup (2240m) on October 10. In other Victoria Cup news, it’s growing increasingly likely Sydney sensation Cash N Flow will stretch-out from his beloved sprint racing to the 2240m of the Cup. Cash N Flow won a staggering 12th successive Menangle mile race last night (Saturday) and broke the magical 1min50sec mark for a record eighth time. “We’ll chat with the owners and make the final call, but we’re not worried about him going out to 2240m, especially the form he’s in at the moment,” driver Luke McCarthy said. McCarthy and Craig Cross are sending Australasian 2300m record-holder Zennart down to race against Ride High and Lochinvar Art. And McCarthy said three of their stars – Balraj, Alta Orlando and Cash N Flow – were definite to go straight into the Victoria Cup without racing again. Bling It On is also a Victoria Cup definite, but he will race against King Of Swing at Menangle next Saturday night. And what about King Of Swing for the Victoria Cup? “No update from last week. It really depends on the restrictions. He’ll be ready to go if I can get in/out (of Melbourne) easily. We probably won’t decide until the last-minute,” McCarthy said.   By Adam Hamilton

A resounding success in the $156,400 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday (September 18) sent He’s Watching brilliant son Tattoo Artist’s seasonal tally to $401,889 and he is now the second richest three-year-old colt in North America in 2020. Starting from the outside gate, the colt was sent straight to the top before handing up briefly in the second stanza and then recovering the lead. He was never again heading, scoring by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:50.2. Tattoo Artist boasts seven wins and a second from 10 starts this season. He has won four OSS Gold Finals and is clearly the leading pointscorer in his division. He’s Watching was also represented by a trio of winning three-year-old fillies in Canada over the weekend in She’s Magic (1:58), Panerai (1:58.8) and Lady To Watch (1:59.8). On the home front, He’s Watching’s stocks were given a terrific boost with a winning double at Echuca on Sunday (September 20). Hes Dan, a black two-year-old colt, overcame a difficult draw and a wide passage to notch his second win in as many starts, while the three-year-old Rambunctious led from end to end to post his fourth success this season. He’s Watching 1:46.8 ($1,116,450), a former USA 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year and world record holder, is now standing at the Tipperary Equine stud, Young (NSW) of Luke Primmer.     by Peter Wharton

The latest Standardbred auction is online now with eight Lots entered including youngstock, racehorses including the Sydney-based Smokin By and the recently retired winner of three Rave Nation.  Bidding is set to close, starting with Lot 1, from 7pm on Wednesday 23 September. Following are some bidding tips to help you navigate the process. Lot 1 will close from 7pm. If a bid is placed in the final 30 seconds, another 30 seconds is added onto the auction and to all subsequent Lots. This will keep happening until there are no further bids placed. If you are are outbid, you must type in the next bid amount, the site does not automatically update the bid amount for you. There is no benefit in letting auctions run down to the last second before bidding as the auction will just keep auto-extending until no further bids are placed. This practice increases your chances of missing out on horse. cannot identify loss of online connection, a slow internet connection or browser issues at the user’s end. Even a slight loss of internet connection that may not be noticeable can interrupt the user’s browser in following the sale in real-time therefore setting up an auto-bid is the best way to ensure your bids are placed. Google Chrome or Safari are the recommended internet browsers. staff are able assist in actively supporting both buyers and vendors during the sale, if you need a hand with registration or bidding, we are available on phone +64 9 296 4436 or email during our online auction to help. VIEW FULL CATALOGUE Featured Lots Lot 2 WOODY PAIGE  A half-brother to two winners including the very smart WA pacer Parmesan - the winner of 12 races in the 2019/20 season. His dam is a half-sister to Delight Brigade ($156,312) and Trigirl Brigade ($143,711) – the dam of Open Class star Classie Brigade (Kaikoura Cup, 3rd NZ Cup). This colt has a pronounced roman nose and was entered to be sold with the farm's other weanlings in the May Sale but was withdrawn to see how he developed. He is reported to havedone very well and his nose has been scoped all clear.  Sire: Sportswriter Dam: Tristar Brigade Seller: Alabar NZ Location: Waiau Pa VIEW ONLINE Lot 3 CARRERA BELLE  A mare who qualified on 08 September 2020 at Ashburton in 3.07 from a stand - last half in 57.2, quarter in 26.8. She is reported to be clean gaited with perfect manners, completely sound and would be a lot of fun for someone placing her through the grades from zero rating in Australia. She is bred on a successful cross being by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen race winning mare who is a half sister to seven in black type including Ideal Belle and Five Card Draw. Sire: Bettor's Delight Dam: Belle Arising Seller: Carrera Location: Dunsandel VIEW ONLINE Lot 5 SMOKIN BY  Currently located in Sydney, Australia at Cobbitty Equine Farm. A quality open class horse, Smokin By has raced at the highest level in New Zealand and has since gone to Australia. Unfortunately, he got quite sick in his last preparation and the owners decided to give him a good break to get over it. They have since made a decision to sell as they're not interested in racing a horse in Australia where they can't see him in person.  Sire: Mach Three Dam: Flo Jo Seller: OffnRacing Location: Sydney VIEW ONLINE Lot 8 RAVE NATION  A recently retired winner of three by Muscle Mass, Rave Nation is  out of the Jewels winner Merckx whose first five to the races are all winners. The first colt from Merckx is doing a good job in Australia and the second colt recently qualified from the All Stars barn. She is reported to be in great order. Sire: Muscle Mass Dam: Merckx Seller: Steeno Location: Cambridge VIEW ONLINE

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Close relatives win at Bendigo Two of Victoria’s star youngsters at present, and both winners at the Bendigo midweek meeting who promise to be a force in the upcoming classics, are Treachery and Roquefort Cheese. Both bred by Peter Gleeson are members of the same maternal family. Treachery, a two-year-old filly bred by Gleeson in partnership with Bruce and Craig Cameron, is by Captaintreacherous from the thrice Group winner Lovelist (1:53.2), by Always A Virgin from Lifeline, by Classic Garry from Larrakeyah Lady. Roquefort Cheese, a three-year-old Betterthancheddar filly, is out of Feel The Magic (1:59.6), by Fully Loaded from the What’s Next mare Dreams, a half-sister to Lifeline, the grand-dam of Treachery. This is the family which produced such winners as Ride High (1:48), a Breeders Crown champion and rated the best pacer in Australia today, the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Safe And Sound, Major Secret (NSW Derby), Beauty Secret (Vic. Oaks), The Good Times, Out To Play and so on. Star four-year-old by Well Said A bright future is being predicted for the Well Said four-year-old The Buckeye Bullet, whose success at Gloucester Park last Friday was his seventh winning run from his last nine starts. He ranks as a half-brother to a capable pacer and Melton Cup winner in Toulouse Lautrec 1:53.1 ($257,126) and the SA Sires Produce winner Lady Taras Bulba (1:55.1), who, in turn, is the dam of Lady Flora 1:57.7 (4 wins).   Their dam, Titan Bloss (1:59.9), a Son Of Afella mare from Young Royalty, by Lordship from Pruedence, has proved a most successful broodmare. She is also the dam of the Harold Park winner Tinship (1:55.9), Tagataese 2:00.4 (5 NZ wins) and the Perth winner Tour King (2:00.8). Titan Bloss, who won five races, was a half-sister to the good Harold Park winner Titan Vic, Titan Sioux (9 wins) and to the Lumber Dream mare Titan Crest, dam of the Gore Cup and Moonee Valley winner Titan Abel. Treble for breeders Prominent New South Wales breeders the Xerri family, trading as Sloy’s Company, had a red-letter night at the recent Penrith meeting with a winning treble. They were the three-year-olds Smoothe Style (Bettor’s Delight-Miss Brazilian) and Flying Scribe (Sportswriter-Jet’s Girl) and the five-year-old Jay’s Cash (American Ideal-Far Apart). Smoothe Style is one of four winners produced by the Mach Three mare Miss Brazilian this season, the others being Let’s Go To Brazil, Benicio and Mister Brazil. Flying Scribe ranks as a half-brother to the promising Victorian stayer Struve (9 wins from 17 starts), while Jay’s Cash is a half-brother to recent winners in Backintown and Far Out Bro. Tasmanian Sweepstakes winning line Paul Hill, who brought out classy juveniles in Feelin Dusty, Chica Bella and Hillview Jake, has a top two-year-old in Rocknovertime racing at present. He downed a smart field in a heat of the Tasmanian Sweepstakes at Hobart last Sunday and has now won two of his three outings by a combined margin of 42 metres. Rocknovertime ranks as a half-brother to the Sweepstakes winner Chica Bella (1:58.7) and Cesta La Vie (2:00.5), being a gelding by the Rocknroll Hanover horse Rock N Roll Heaven from Time Moves On, by Time Stands Still from Evening Jay, by Cognac Hanover from Jay Firth, by Bye And Large. This is the family that left a top flight juvenile in Hillview Jake 1:57.8 ($107,045), who won six races as a two-year-old including the Dandy Patch, Sweepstakes, Golden Slipper and Breeders Plate. Well related three-year-old Amelia Rose, who easily accounted for older rivals at Terang, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she finished second to Maajida in the Vicbred Super Series final. She has opened her three-year-old season on a winning note – she has won four and been twice placed from her last seven starts – and will be well in line for the major juvenile classics. Amelia Rose is a filly by the Artsplace horse Art Major from Bennies Daughter, the dam of an earlier winner in Sporty Ben. Bennies Daughter ranks as a half-sister to the Bathurst Gold Crown winners Soho Valencia and Yrubla and the Victoria Oaks winner Niki No No, being by Falcon Seelster from Benelise, by Vintner from Dorrie’s Daughter, by Keystone Scotch. A half-brother to Bennies Daughter in Majordan (by Art Major) was a winner in 1:49.6 at Scioto Downs, Ohio on the same night that Amelia Rose won at Terang. Both were bred by Benstud Standardbreds, who bred a second sub 1:50 winner at Scioto Downs in Stars Align (also by Art Major), who won in 1:48.8. The feat of breeding two sub 1:50 winners on the same card in North America is believed to be a first for Australian breeding.  Albion Park winner from good broodmare Dina Bolt, a Bettor’s Delight three-year-old and a double winner at Albion Park recently, is out of Pullover Brown, a triple Oaks winner with a record of 1:56.7, who is proving a successful broodmare. Pullover Brown is also the dam of In Runaway Bay, a Melton and Menangle winner who later took a mark of 1:52.6 in America, and Dina Brown (1:57.4), winner of the NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Graduette. Pullover Brown was an Armbro Operative mare from Dinavinetto, by Fitch II from Precious Dina, by Mercedes from the Estes Minbar mare Precious Nandina. She was a sister to the exported Montecito 1:49.4 ($522,723) and a half-sister to Im Against The Wind (1:59), dam of the Cobram Cup and US winner Pass Them By 1:51.8 ($419,261), Neon Sky 1:53 ($158,481), Irak M Up (1:56) and the Melton winner Like A Wildfire (1:54.3). Other members of this family, which was founded in Australia by the Ajax mare Lady Ajax, were the Auckland Cup winner Flight South (1:56.3), Whittaker (1:50), the Inter Dominion heat winner Where Eagles Dare (1:51.8) and Three Jewels (1:57.6). Dina Bolt Son of Beach Shack A two-year-old to make a good impression in Victoria this week was Sayitaintso Joe, who was bred and is raced by Brendan and Anne James and trained by Michael Stanley. He won at second start at Ballarat in the smart time of 1:59.5 and looks every inch the blood he represents. A gelding by Roll With Joe, he is out of a fine racemare in Beach Shack 1:53.2 ($148,702) and the first of her produce to race.  Beach Shack, a Listed winner at Melton, is by Somebeachsomewhere from the grand producer Arty Alice NZ, by Artiscape from the Bo Scot’s Blue Chip mare Pleasant Franco, dam of the great Christian Cullen. Besides Beach Shack, Arty Alice is also the dam of Rockstar Angel 1:51 $406,258), a multiple Group winner at Melton and now competing successfully in America, Angel Of Arts 1:55.5 ($100,600), Earth Angel (1:54.7) and Tarin Kowt (1:56), all metropolitan winners. Andover Sun bred to be top trotter Andover Sun, who won his fourth race from his last six starts at Melton last weekend, is a three-year-old trotter expected to graduate far beyond his present rating. A member of John and Maree Caldow’s Melton team, he has a good deal more in his favour on the score of blood than most. By Andover Hall, who sired the Group 1 winners Jaxnme and Is That A Bid and is a brother to champion sires Angus Hall and Broadway Hall, Andover Sun is out of the Sundon mare Solar Flash (Tr 2:01), who also produced this season’s two-year-old winner Sangreal. Solar Flash, who was only lightly raced, was out of Flash And Flair, by S J’s Photo from a fine racemare in Fiona’s Flair, whose 15 successes included the E. B. Cochran Cup and a string of country cups. Besides Solar Flash, Flash And Flair was also the dam of the Vicbred and Breeders Crown finalist Our Flash Girl, a winner of six races and The Summer Cat (4 wins to date) and the grand-dam of recent winner Pickles Magee. Flash And Flair was a sister to a top trotter in A Touch Of Flair Tr 1:52.6 ($569,197) and a half-sister to the high class trotters Down Under Muscles Tr 2:01.1 ($216,925), now a successful sire, Son Of Flair Tr 1:56.2 ($257,909) and Mighty Maori Tr 1:55.2 ($256,305), all Group winners. In all, Fiona’s Flair’s progeny won 130 races and a staggering $1.35 million in stakes. In the back removes of Andover Sun’s pedigree are pacers of the calibre of the Breeders Crown and Vicbred champion Oscar Le Vant, Lynmont (Victoria and SA Oaks), Danny Strike, Bubba’s A Fake (Tas. Granny Smith) and Barkurrei. For all that, strains of Sundon, S J’s Photo and Super Bowl would tend to give an influence in later removes producing trotters of the calibre of Andover Sun. Andover Sun Crack colt by Bettor’s Delight A top colt in Victoria this season – he has won five and been placed once in six starts – is Soho Bollinger, a close relative of the former top NZ sprinter The Suleiman. Bred by Robert Watson, who also races him, Soho Bollinger is a colt by Bettor’s Delight from Soho Champagne, by Artsplace from Miss Maddy Jay, by In The Pocket from Highland Park 1:58.5 ($173,032), a winner of 11 races including the Queen of the Pacific and NZ Yearling Sales 3YO Series. Soho Champagne, the dam of Soho Bollinger, left earlier winners in Soho Angel 1:53.3 ($168,430), whose 10 successes included the Tatlow Memorial, and Soho All Shook Up (1:56.8), who are both being bred from. The family descends through mares by Tuapeka Knight, Armbro Hurricane, Lordship, Young Charles, Red Shadow and Logan Pointer to Prudish (by Principal), foaled in NZ in 1903. Other members of this family have been The Cornishman (Gawler Cup), The Phoenician (Vic. E. K. Bray Country Clubs Cup), Black And Tan (NZ Franklin Nursery) and the NZ country cup winners Saucy Jack, Ginger Megs and Master Michael. Ninth winner from broodmare When the Mr Feelgood two-year-old Ringos A Star won at the Redcliffe midweek meeting, he credited his dam Rhapsody In Red with her ninth individual winner. Ringos A Star, who overcame a chequered passage to win, had shown good placed form in the Brisbane area. Others from Rhapsody In Red to win have been the Group winners Red Charmer (1:55.2), Rani Major (1:55.7), Raring To Go (1:56.1) and Rich Heritage (1:56.3) and the handy performers Reds Good To Go (1:55.4), Reds Jet Star (1:55.6), Caesar Rules, Red Hot And Ready and now Ringos A Star. Rhapsody In Red is a Fake Left mare from Charming Reminder, by Vanston Hanover from the Tempest Hanover mare Call Girl, who established a great winning line for prominent Queensland breeder-owner Kevin Seymour. She left a top racemare in Goldrush Girl (TT1:55.3) and Destiny Calls, a winner of 19 races.   Peter Wharton

Alabar and Nevele R Stud are excited to announce that Ultimate Machete will be relocating to Alabar Australia for the 2020/21 season. The recently announced changes to the Vicbred First Win Bonus are a major reason for the move. “With the Vicbred First Win Bonus increasing to $12,000 for the progeny of Australian and New Zealand bred stallions standing in Victoria it seemed only logical to shift Ultimate Machete to our Victorian farm,” stated Alabar Australia General Manager Brett Coffey. “This is a great initiative by Harness Racing Victoria. It will mean that horses by these locally bred stallions standing in Victoria will earn their connections close to $16,000 for their debut win in a country front race in Victoria,” Coffey went on to say. Vincent and The Storm Inside are other Victorian based Alabar stallions whose progeny will be eligible for this VicBred Pure Bonus. Ultimate Machete is a four time Group One winning son of Bettors Delight and a full brother to newly crowned NZ Horse Of The Year Ultimate Sniper. He set multiple NZ records as a three and four year old on his way to be earning end of season awards for both those seasons. His wins in the NZ Sires Stakes 3yo Final (after being three wide) and the NZ free-for-all (after sitting outside Tiger Tara) are two of the most memorable wins in NZ racing in recent years. His pedigree indicates he is a great choice for many Australian mares including those by Artsplace and Direct Scooter line stallions. A big, powerful individual, Ultimate Machete stood his debut season at the Alabar New Zealand property where he served over 120 mares. His first foals are hitting the ground this season and the early indications are that they are attractive foals with size and type. Ultimate Machete will be available in Australia from October 2nd and is standing for a stud fee of $2,500 plus GST. His semen will also continue to be available to NZ breeders.

Jovial Bendigo harness racing farrier John McDermott isn't sure how his dance moves looked as he was cheering home his longshot winner this week, but he's adamant he's sticking to his day job. "I don't think there would have been much finesse at all. I'd best describe it as a bit of a rap dance. I know I had arms and hands flaying around everywhere," he laughed. McDermott was watching his first-starter from about 50 metres from the finish line at the Ballarat meeting on Wednesday night when he went from being satisfied - to realizing he was about to land a winner. And judging by the performance of 137/1 shot Waikare Colleen (Tennotrump-Waikare Patricia (Last Sunset) on her two-year-old race debut, there's sure to be many more to come. To watch the video replay click here. Driver Scott Rains pushed forward from a front line barrier to land one-one early. But after the leaders sorted themselves out, Rains found himself leading the outside division. "I was happy because our aim was to get around safely and do it right," McDermott said. "She was in the death-seat, but looked comfortable and we knew she would trot all the way. Coming up the straight, I was so pleased that she was still hanging in there," he said. When Maryborough veteran Mark Hayes kicked on the leader Igniting Stride on the home corner, Waikare Colleen was up for the fight and wouldn't go away. She did her best work over the final stages to win by nearly two metres in a most creditable mile rate for the 2yo maiden trotters of 2.04-5. "I haven't had a square-gaiter for a long time. And this is the first two-year-old trotter I've raced, although I did drive one over 20 years ago for Paul Morrissey. It was called Just Like Jack and we won a few as well as running third in the Redwood and Sires Final," McDermott said. "We really haven't any big plans for this girl because we thought she would take time being so big. She's paid up for the Sires and that's about all. We've put her in at Maryborough next Monday as there's nothing much else about." McDermott said he was surprised by the long odds of Waikare Colleen at Ballarat because the filly had been trialling quite nicely. "The first two were against older horses and she was far from disgraced because we didn't bustle her at any stage. Then at her latest trial she ran third against her own age group and peeled off a 29 second quarter," he said. "We are working a team of four at present. Scott (Rains) has now driven a few winners for us and he was pretty excited as well with Waikare Colleen." The filly is raced by John's wife Kelly, his mother Shirley and the estate of Max Lancaster. She is one of two live foals from Waikare Patricia (13 wins, 16 p for $150K) - the other being a Sebastian K yearling colt. Waikare Patricia was raced by the McDermott family and was sensational in 2013 with wins in the $30K Glenferrie Kahdon Trot, $15K Empire Platinum Trot Final, $10K Petstock Platinum and $10K Empire Platinum. Three generations of the McDermott and Waikare family tree – Ciarah, Sophie and Brady McDermott with Waikare Colleen (left), John and Kelly McDermott and the “family matriachs” Shirley McDermott and Waikare Colleen’s grand-dam, 27 year old (interdominion place-getter) Waikare Gold. Waikare Gold (by Golden Greek), also raced by the McDermotts and the grand dam of "Colleen", amassed 15 wins, 44 placings for $131K. She had five foals to race, all being winners. Another notable apart from "Patricia" was Waikare Aristocrat with 15 wins for $124K. McDermott said the late Max Lancaster, who lived near the Snowy Mountains, had been good friends with his dad, Henry, who died in early 2007. "Dad reckoned Max was a gem - he loved taking him to the trots. He always said Max was like a good luck charm. "Two of the horses have been named in honor of the late wife of Max-her name was Patricia Colleen. Their children told us that when Waikare Patricia was racing, it had added five years onto the life of Max. He passed away a couple of years ago and two of his kids have taken over his interest in the horses." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The Punters Mate launches on SENTrack in Queensland today – showcasing all the excitement and exhilaration of Queensland chasing, pacing and racing every Friday morning 8.30-9.30am.   Hosted by Mark Braybrook and racing expert and form analyst Chris Nelson, the pair will speak with participants of the sport from all three codes – covering all the action from the Cape to the Coast.   Today’s show launches with CEO Racing Queensland Brendan Parnell and leading thoroughbred trainer Tony Gollan.   More than just tips, the show will cover everything making news in racing and across Queensland’s greyhound and harness industries.   It arrives at a boom time in Queensland racing – including the performance of local horses like cult hero Alligator Blood and Everest-contender Rothfire as they head South for the Spring.   SEN CEO Craig Hutchison said the station was right behind the industry in Queensland.   “Racing in Queensland continues to go from strength-to-strength, so we are thrilled to dedicate local programming to support its growth and showcase local racing in all its forms,” Hutchison said.   The Punters Mate, presented by Racing Queensland, will be heard on SENTrack 1053AM Brisbane, 1620AM Gold Coast, 96.9FM Ingham and 99.1FM Atherton. It can also be heard via the SEN app and across the broader national SENTrack network of 9 stations.   The Punter’s Mate will lead into the day’s racing coverage – which will be jam-packed with previews, analysis, insights and reviews of key races across the country – with plenty of fun and banter for punters.   SENTrack is Australia’s first independent racing, harness and greyhound radio racing service. It launched earlier this year on 1593AM Melbourne; 1539AM Sydney; 657AM Perth, 1575AM Wollongong, 801AM Gosford, and is also heard in Queensland on 1053AM Brisbane, 1620AM Gold Coast, 96.9FM Ingham and 99.1FM Atherton.