Day At The Track
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Jean Feiss has a simple philosophy to buying yearling these days, the only problem is she bumped into somebody with the same attitude at Karaka yesterday. Feiss, best known as the owner of Auckland Cup hero Vincent, outlaid $230,000 to secure the sales topper at the Australasian Classic harness sale, huge money for a standardbred yearling in this part of the world. She did something very similar at the same sale last year when she purchased that sale's top lot in Jessie Duke, who has already won his debut and looks worth every cent of his $220,000 price. "My attitude these days is go and buy the horse you actually want, rather than miss him and buy one that is left," says Feiss. "Obviously [husband] Bill and I are fortunate enough to be in the position to do that but because we are, my approach to the sales has changed a little bit in recent years." While Feiss was pleased to get her prime target it would have cost a lot less had one of the true big spenders of New Zealand racing in John Street not been the underbidder. Street and Feiss went bid for bid in $10,000 increments from about the $100,000 mark and while it made for an entertaining minute on a largely sedate day, either one of them could probably have secured the colt for $150,000 and gone home happy had their other not been so keen. Their bidding war was indicative of how the sale played out, with the big buyers willing to spend up to $100,000 probably numbering around 10 and almost of all of them interested in the same 10-12 colts. Feiss is a filly buyer and will head to the Christchurch sale tomorrow looking for her next Spanish Armada but the fairer sex are becoming a harder sell in harness racing, with many of the top-end buyers focusing on colts. Yesterday's top lot was, as expected, a son of Bettors Delight and a brother to Linda Lovegrace, being the fourth foal of a mare whose only three progeny to race have all won. Bettors Delight was the big dog again, siring the top three lots but Woodlands Stud were just as thrilled with their new stallion Sweet Lou producing the fourth highest lot, a half-brother to Let It Ride, who finished second in the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Saturday. Another big winner from the day was Canterbury boutique breeding operation Dancingonmoonlight Farms, the breeding business set up by Robert Famularo of Monkey King fame and now run by daughter Sara. They sold two lots for $90,000 and one for $85,000. Overall the sales average yesterday at $33,850 was down about 10 per cent on last season. The clearance rate of 73.36 per cent will raise to around 77 per cent after the usual business is done on passed in lots but there were still plenty of vendors disappointed. Until harness racing finds 50 new buyers to boost the middle market, that won't change. Big bucks babies $230k Bettors Delight-Linda Grace colt. $140k Bettors Delight-Sossusvlei colt. $130k Bettors Delight-Beach Parade colt. $100k Sweet Lou-Love A Gamble colt. Michael Guerin

Cullen Breeding and Nevele R Stud wish to advise that for the coming harness racing breeding season Christian Cullen will stand at Dancingonmoonlight Farm in Ohoka, Canterbury. Both parties believe that the move is in the stallion’s best interests, given his age and well documented fertility issues, and that a smaller boutique stud environment would be beneficial to the horse. Cullen Breeding thanks Nevele R for the management and care of the horse in recent years. Dancingonmoonlight is very excited to be given the opportunity and looking forward to standing the champion stallion. Christian Cullen will continue to serve mares on-farm only, continuing the practice that Nevele R Stud introduced. With full stallion and broodmare facilities Dancingonmoonlight is confident of the best possible in foal results. Christian Cullen’s service fee will remain unchanged at $9,000 + GST. All enquiries should be to Sara at Dancingonmoonlight Farm on 03 312 6864, mobile 021 237 4223 or email sara.famularo@xtra.co.nz Ian Dobson Cullen Breeding

If you had asked anyone involved with harness racing in New Zealand who Robert Famularo was, the answer would invariably be the man who raced Monkey King and Carabella. But racing horses was never really meant to be the plan when Robert and his daughter Sara established Dancingonmoonlight Stud at Ohoka all those years ago. The plan had always been to set up Dancingonmoonlight as a boutique breeding establishment and to sell the yearlings they raised at the sales each year. But with the emergence of first Monkey King and then Carabella, those plans were put on hold as the emphasis understandably went on the racing team. Now Dancingonmoonlight is about to fulfill those original plans with a batch of yearlings heading to the Christchurch sales next week. Situated on nearly 200 acres at Ohoka, Robert and Sara have developed Dancingonmoonlight into a showplace the equal of any in the world. From the long tree lined entrance to the state of the art yearling boxes to the fully irrigated paddocks, no expense has been spared in establishing the stud. Sara is really looking forward to next weeks sales. " I am a bit nervous but excited at the same time about next week." " We have raised these yearlings from foals and I think there are some great types amongst our draft" " We are taking them there  to sell and thats the hard part for me as I've handled them all the way through but I will get a big thrill out of seeing them race regardless of who owns them," Sara told Harnesslink this week. At present they have about 15 mares in their broodmare band and Sara thinks that is not to far off their optimum number.  "We have bred a couple of Artsplace fillies with the sole intention of adding them to the broodmare band long term but apart from that we are pretty happy with the mares we have." Sara said. This years draft are all from mares that Cavalla Bloodstock have either imported or raced and as you would expect Sara has a couple of favourites amongst them " The two I really like are from full sisters actually." "One is the Mach Three colt from the very smart racemare Timeless Perfection (1:56.9 6 Wins) and the other is the Four Starzzz Shark colt from her full sister Miss Moonlight Shadow." "They are both lovely strong colts who have been very popular with trainers and owners looking at our draft," Sara said. Next year Sara expects to have up to twelve yearlings entered and the star lot of those will undoubtedly be the Mach Three colt from the champion racemare Carabella 1:55.2 ($693,617) " He is Carabella's first foal and is a lovely type. " We have all the top sires represented amongst our foals but we also have some Raging Bull foals to go through the ring next year. "He stood here last year and we have some lovely foals by him," Sara said. While it may have taken a bit longer than planned to get Dancingonmoonlight Stud functioning as they originally planned, Robert and Sara should be very proud to have a breeding establishment unrivaled in the southern hemisphere and a lovely broodmare band with which to take advantage of the superb facilities. Harnesslink Media 

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