Day At The Track
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TIPPERARY Equine studmaster and principle Luke Primmer has experienced a roller coaster of emotions over the last 48 hours. Firstly, the tingles of excitement and anticipation. This season Primmer will stand former USTA two year old of the year and Meadowlands Pace winner Hes Watching at his Young, New South Wales, stud. In a coup for Australian breeders, Hes Watching will stand his debut season at a heavily reduced service fee of just $2500. Hes Watching, who retired the equal fastest horse in history, has two crops of racing age and since his announcement as Tipperary’s flagship stallion, his results have been nothing short of mind blowing. And this is where Primmer’s roller coaster roll started. Hes Watching showed he has what it takes to be elite when his star son Tattoo Artist took the mantle as Canada's best with a 1.48.2 seasons record at Mowhawk in a $107,000 divison of the sires stakes. He is on his way to the $1m North America Cup eliminations on Aug 22 before the rich final a week later. Then today at Mowhawk, Saratoga Blue Chip, a 2yo from Hes Watching's 2nd crop made a winning 1.53.3 debut in a heat of the OSS. The same race Tattoo Artist made a winning debut 12 months earlier.  “It is amazing to watch the progeny of Hes Watching racing in Australia, New Zealand and also in North America,” Primmer said. “His first crop did a good job last season as two year olds but they have really came of age this time around.” “Tattoo Artist is a beast. He has won his last three and he just keeps getting better.” “He went 1.50 winning three starts back, 1.49.3 two back and then on Sunday he went 1.48.2... he is the fastest horse in Canada and he is yet to be challenged.” “Really does make the hair stand up on the back of my neck knowing that Hes Watching is on his way here!” Hes Watching goes into quarantine on Thursday for two weeks before making Tipperary Equine his home for the southern hemisphere breeding season. “The support he has received from breeders all over the country has been amazing with over 100 confirmed bookings,” Primmer said. “And it’s not hard to see why.” “He has the best 3yo in Canada, he is one of the leading sires of three year olds in both Australia and New Zealand and his two year olds are off and running and racking up the wins worldwide.” “New South Wales has been crying out for a stallion of the calibre of this guy.” “He was a champion racehorse and is now proving himself as sire of elite level performers.” “Given his unique breeding it has been a real eye opener to see the pedigrees of his best performers.” “He is a near perfect match for most Australian mares and this shows in how well booked he has been without even getting into quarantine!” Primmer said. While the impending arrival is filling Primmer with excitement, it is with a heavy heart. Tipperary Equine made its debut last season with Alta Christiano as the flagship stallion. Alta Christiano (Monte) was exceptionally well received by breeders and covered 160 mares but tragedy struck in March when he suffered a colic attack and was unable to be saved. “There is a lot of pain and sorrow,  but also amazing pride in watching the performances of Alta Christiano's progeny,” Primmer said. “Yesterday was one of those days.” “Ronaldo started the day with a solid front running display digging deep for a 1.53.5 Menangle win.” “Monte then reminded everyone why he was on his way to being on of the best stallions in the country when Alta Engen and Alta Blues went to war at Bunbury. What a race.” “On not only a personal level, but also as a harness racing fan, Monte's loss was tragic.” Thankfully for the industry, he has one more crop of foals on their way to remind us of his greatness for years to come.  Hes Watching has some giant shoes to fill, but his record to date is proof he may just be one capable of filling them.  

The progeny of former USA 2YO Colt of the Year and dual harness racing world champion He’s Watching 1:46.4 fifths ($1.1 million) are firing on all cyclinders in both hemispheres! In Canada, the talented He’s Watching three-year-old Night Watchman showed he is genuine candidate for the $1 million North America Cup with his second straight win in 1:52.2 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. To watch the video replay of Night Watchman click here. A number of He’s Watching’s babies qualified in Canada over the weekend. They included Watch My Beverage (1:57.2), Always Watching (1:57.6), Sono Bella (1:58), Siri Blue Chip (1:58), Socrates Blue Chip (1:58.2) and Winsun Gaga (2:00). On the home front, the brilliant He’s Watching three-year-old Watchmylips led most of the way to score at Launceston, his fourth success from six lifetime starts. To watch the video replay of Watchmylips click here. Chamonix, a two-year-old by He’s Watching, overcame a difficult draw and a torrid passage to post his first win at Albion Park, rating 1:57.1 over 1660 metres. To watch the video replay click on this link He’s Watching is now standing at Tipperary Equine, Young (NSW) of well known studmaster Luke Primmer. To refresh your minds of just how fast this horse was, watch this video below of He's Watching winning The Meadowlands Pace in 1:46.4 still the fastest mile ever at The Meadowlands. He had explosive speed with Tim Tetrick declaring that he is the fastest horse he has ever sat behind. Remember also that when He's Watching won the Meadowlands Pace he was only one month into his three-year-old season as he was a very late foal been born in June of his year.   Peter Wharton

A harness racing two-year-old filly to take high ranking in South Australia is Mostpeculiarmumma, one of the second crop sired by He’s Watching, who is now at Luke Primmer’s Tipperary Equine stud, Young (NSW). She has won two races and been twice placed from nine starts. She won the SA Ladyship Stakes at Globe Derby Park last weekend after leading, then handing up and sprinting strongly along the passing lane. She is a very smart youngster. To watch the video replay click here. Mostpeculiarmumma is out of Jane Crothers (2:00.7), an Armbro Operative mare whose dam, Memories Galore, is a half-sister to the SA Sires Stakes 2YO champion Tora Tora Rose. He’s Watching has left some promising sorts in Canada since the return to racing this week. Ozzie Magic, a three-year-old colt, and She’s Magic, a three-year-old filly, won at Grand River Raceway in 1:56 and 1:59.2 respectively. Peter Wharton  

There is no doubt covid-19 has left an indelible mark on the entire world. Firstly its shattering infection and death rate sent tremors through every country, no matter how big or powerful. Then came something equally as shattering... the economical trail of destruction. Like most businesses, harness racing was always going to wear financial implications. Already West Australia and New South Wales have applied 20% cuts to stake money and it is logical  to think other states will not be spared a similar fate in the not too distant future. Given everyone is or will be taking a financial hit at some stage, it is refreshing to see instances where people are willing to forgo for the long term health of an industry set to struggle through the foreseeable future. Last season Tipperary Equine was established by Luke Primmer at Young, with Alta Christiano the stallion tasked with the headline act. What an act he proved to be, serving over 160 mares as his progeny Australia wide racked up win after win. However, tragedy struck and Alta Christiano lost his battle with colic at the Wagga University in late March. Whilst Alta Christiano may be gone, his siring feats will be heralded in years to come with his 2020/2021 foals sure to dominate the headlines when they hit the track. Tipperary Equine's establishment was a breath of fresh air, especially for breeders in New South Wales, and it appears once again it is the stud that will be on most people’s minds this coming season. He’s Watching, who retired as the equal fastest three year old of all time, is the studs new headline act. This horse brings everything to the table. He was undefeated in eight two year old starts with a season’s best 1.50 to be named USTA 2yo of the year. He set his world record lifetime mark of 1.46.4 winning the million dollar Meadowlands Pace for three year olds, leaving horses of the llke of Always Be Miki in his rear view mirror. World record lifetime mark of 1.46.4 in The Meadowlands Pace He is a son of the great American Ideal and has bloodlines to dream of, he carries no fewer than four strains of the outstanding mare K Nora. He has the score on the board already as a sire, 15 winners in New Zealand and 16 in Australia this season alone. His first crop in Canada raced in 2019 and He's Watching sired the quinella in the Two-Year-Old $225,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final with just the two starters in the race. The very good Tattoo Artist with Dexter Diunn driving for the first time, won from Examiner Hanover in a time of 1:52. Tattoo Artist has had 8 starts for 5 wins and a third for $240,405 in earnings. Here is that race. With his oldest progeny just three years of age, He’s Watching has plenty of upside. And he makes his New South Wales debut with a hugely reduced fee of $2500 inc gst.  “Obviously it was devastating to lose Alta Christiano, and to be honest, I couldn’t see us standing a stallion for some time,” Primmer said. “Horses like him don’t come along very often, he was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the best stallions in the country and I just couldn’t see how I would want to have a stallion that wasn’t in the same class as him”. “Then it became apparent the connections of He's Watching were interested in standing him at Tipperary and with a few conditions met a deal was done”. One of the “few conditions" was that He’s Watching would be made affordable to every breeder. “Coronavirus was destroying the world economy and given the amazing support breeders showed us last season it was essential we were able to offer those people a quality horse at a fee that was inline with what was happening around the world” Primmer said. “His northern hemisphere connections were very understanding, which was an amazing gesture by them to agree to setting his fee so low given he had over 130 foals standing at $6000 and then $5000 for his first four seasons down under.” “They are leaving a lot of money on the table to stand him in New South Wales this season, and I know the breeders will appreciate that.” “One of the things I have always been mindful of as a breeder is the discounts available to stallions for multiple mare bookings and the like.” “Not everyone has multiple mares to send to stud, and obviously we expect everyone is going to be doing it tougher this breeding season so we decided that everyone would be equal.” “The biggest breeder or the little one mare man, no one would be better off than the other with He's Watching.” “We cut his fee in half.” “He is discounted for everyone.” So whilst covid-19 is playing havoc around the globe, it has also given something back. The opportunity for breeders, big and small alike, to access a horse of the calibre of He's Watching, at an unheard of service fee and an equal footing for all breeders. Alta Christiano may be gone, but his replacement is just arriving.  

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