graduate Aardie’s Express (NZ) powers to Oaks victory graduate Aardie’s Express (NZ) (Always B Miki) continued her monumental rise when powering to victory in the $50,000 Group 2 Nevele R Stud-Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final (2700m) at Ascot Park.

The classy filly scored the biggest of her six wins for trainers Steve and Amanda Telfer in a whirlwind seven start career when seeing out her first test at black-type level with class for driver Tim Williams.

Canadian owner Mike Tanev purchased Aardie’s Express for $30,500 as a yearling in 2020 when offered in a auction and in the same sale bought her dam Tatijana Bromac (NZ) (Rocknroll Hanover) with an Always B Miki colt at foot while also back in foal to the sire for $47,500.

Tim Williams was delighted to be able to secure stakes-race success for Tanev at Saturday’s Diamonds Day meeting.

“I spoke to Mike a couple of times and he was pretty excited about the race,” Williams said.

“I am just glad we could pull it off for him.”

Aardie’s Express reeled off a sizzling 26.8sec final 400m showing just how strong she can be at the end of the staying test of an Oaks distance.

It should hold the three-year-old in great stead as New Zealand’s biggest three-year-old fillies races approach later in the season.

“There is plenty of bottom to her and she showed that today,” Williams said.

“She has got the makings (of a top filly) and I think time is going to be her friend too.”

With her Southland Oaks mission complete, Aardie’s Express will head to the paddock before she is set for races like the New Zealand Oaks.

“You have got to tip your hat to Steve and Mandy, they put the plan in place a long way out,” Williams said.

“Obviously it is nice when a plan comes together.”

“She is a big girl, too, she is deserving of a good break and she will come back bigger and stronger.”

Play Philly (NZ) (Art Major) worked hard to find the lead in the early stages of the Southland Oaks.

The NZB Standardbred graduate fought on strongly to run third behind Aardie’s Express.

Play Philly was purchased at the 2020 Christchurch National Yearling Sales from breeder-vendors Denario Breeding.

NZB Standardbred graduate Idealism (NZ) (American Ideal) was also among the feature race winners on Southland’s biggest day of harness racing on Saturday.

The four-year-old produced an impressive front-running performance to win the $27,000  Regent Car Court Southern Country Cups Final for trainer Alister Black and driver Brad Williamson.

Black purchased Idealism at the 2019 Christchurch National Yearling Sale from Studholme Bloodstock’s draft.

Entries for the next Standardbred auction are due online by 10pm on Wednesday 4 May.

Two winners at Manawatu to sell Thursday

Five of the 16 Lots have their reserve met flags up in the latest Standardbred auction with bidding set to close from 7pm tomorrow (Thursday 31 March). 

With a number of Lots racing last night at Manawatu, there was plenty to be pleased about with Taliesin and Piiki Whara both winners while BenderImmer Besser and Mosaic Art featured in the minors.

The above bar Bender are all trained by Michael House who bought a big team North for the meeting.

“They have all pulled up particularly well and are set to back up at the Thursday meeting,” said House. 

“There is still plenty of upside to the horses we have for sale and a lot of them will suit the Cambridge and Auckland style of racing so this is an opportunity to add to your team while not having to fork out for the extra freight in bringing them up from our base down South.”

Entries due tomorrow night, extra day added to sale

Entries for the next  Standardbred sale are due online by 10pm tomorrow, Wednesday 23 March.

This sale will run for a day longer than usual to cater for horses engaged to race on the usual Wednesday closing night. 

“We have been approached by a number of trainers and owners who would like to sell horses in this sale but want to run them at Manawatu on the Thursday night so have pushed closing back a day to accommodate this,” Standardbred representative Cam Bray said. 

The next auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday and will run through until 7pm on Thursday 31 March.

Entry into the sale costs $200 + GST for a standard listing and $300 + GST to be included in the email newsletter and circulated via social media platforms.

Contact Cam Bray to discuss your options:
021 737 199   |

Entry deadline looming


Entries for the next Standardbred sale are due online by 10am Thursday 15 July.

Judging the quality of the current entries in the sale, it’s shaping up to be a decent catalogue and one worth tacking onto.

This sale will run off the back of a successful last fornightly auction that resulted in an overall sale clearance of 100% and a top price of $6,500 for Bossmaro (pictured below).

The auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday and will run through until 7pm on Wednesday 21 July.

Contact Cam Bray to discuss your options:
021 737 199  |

Picture perfect for your listing


We all know too well the struggle of getting the perfect photo of our horses. But how important is it?

A decent photo could be the difference between money in the bank and a horse still sitting in the paddock. It attracts attention and draws in buyers giving them a creditable indication of conformation and type.

If you don’t have a handy photographer friend, or a professional at that, then these six tips and tricks could help you improve your photography skills to get the best photo for your listing page.

  1. Preparation

A little grooming never goes astray. Brush out manes and tails, and brush off any mud or sweat marks.

  1. Consider you background

Highlight the horse, and only the horse. Other elements in your background tend to become a distraction and draw away from the subject so it’s best to find a space with a plain backdrop and not too much happening in it. Keep in mind that a level ground is also ideal.

  1. Standing the horse

Most buyers are looking for conformation photos to help them evaluate the horse. You want to give them a view of all four legs (que the patience and a second or even third helper). The legs nearest the camera should be slightly spaced out and the legs furthest from the camera slightly spaced in. Try and avoid the “three-legged” look.

Stand level to the horse and in the middle of the horse to create a well-balanced photo. The horse should take up at least 50% of the shot.

  1. Natural Lighting

Keep the sun at your back. You want the lighting to fall on the side of the horse to avoid any shadows that could distort it. Avoid using the flash setting.

  1. Avoid using the zoom

As tempting as it is to zoom in when taking a photo from a distance it is better to try and get closer to your subject or crop it later on. Zooming in can make the photo appear pixelated or blurry.

  1. Abundance is key

Take as many photos as you can so you have plenty to choose from to get the best one. listings allow for 20 photos of each Lot plus video footage. Ideally buyers are looking to see a good side on shot of the horse from both sides, a head shot, a front on shot and a hind shot to allow them to assess the correctness of the horse.

Click here for an example of a listing with great photos and if you have any questions or need photos cropped or edited, feel free to call the team on +64 9 296 4436 and in Australia on +61 3 9614 4882 or email them to

Purdon scores first Group victory with buy

A $9,501 purchase is proving to be the best decision of young trainer Michael Purdon’s burgeoning career.

When perusing a auction catalogue last year, the West Melton horseman’s eye was caught by the breeding of Mystic Max, having been a fan of his sire, French stallion Village Mystic.

Purdon duly secured the yearling out of the famed Robinson family, but when it came to selling down shares in the colt, Purdon had no takers.

While it was deflating at the time, it has worked out in Purdon’s favour, with the juvenile trotter now boasting more than $36,000 in earnings after his victory in the Gr.2 Sires’ Stakes 2YO Trotting Championship (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Friday.

“I tried to sell shares in him in the early stages, but I couldn’t get anyone interested. It has now worked out really well owning him outright,” Purdon said.

Starting from the outside of the front-row, Mystic Max was taken back early to take a sit for driver Blair Orange, with hot-favourite Highgrove breaking early.

Orange continued to sit patiently behind his colt until he asked him to improve on the back of Mr Love three-wide down the backstraight.

Mystic Max found clear running room down the home straight and ran over the top of his rivals to win by a half-length over Wy Fi, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Mr Love in third.

While his chances were aided by a breaking Highgrove, Purdon said manners are a huge factor when it comes to juvenile trotters.

“None of these juvenile trotters are really bombproof, they all have their little hitches,” Purdon said. “We were just fortunate enough tonight that Mystic Max put it all together.

“He is nice and kind, and he is showing he is pretty versatile now, with his first win leading up, and tonight’s win coming with a sit.”

The result now evens the ledger between Mystic Max and Highgrove at two wins a piece, with the Gr.1 Montana Food & Events 2YO Ruby (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway on June 6 set to be the tiebreaker.

“It’s very exciting,” Purdon said. “There will be a bit of pressure on him, but it is still a big thrill nonetheless.”

While looking forward to the Harness Jewels, Purdon will savour Friday’s victory, his first at Group level.

“It’s a massive thrill to get that Group win,” he said. “My last big win was a Listed race, the Harness 7000 with Willie Go West.”

Mystic Max’s victory on Friday night was also an important one for his sire Village Mystic, with the Haras des Trotteurs stallion now boasting a record of 100 percent Group winners-to-runners in New Zealand, albeit Mystic Max being his only representative.

Buoyed by the success on Friday, Purdon is keen to get some more European blood into his stable in the future.

“The European blood has always done a good job here with the likes of Love You, and Village Mystic is a son of Love You, so it’s good seeing that bloodline coming through,” he said.

Later on the card, Outamyway filled the coffers of his connections ahead of the Gr.1 Mitre 10 3YO Ruby (1609m) next month when winning the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 1 – Final (1980m).

The Paul Nairn-trained colt set the pace throughout and was able to hold on bravely to defeat Regal Attire by a nose, with a further 1-1/2 lengths back to Leaf Stride in third.

Outamyway was purchased out of White Stables’ 2019 NZB Standard National Yearling Sale in Christchurch for $17,500.

Currently online is a 27 Lot Standardbred auction with bidding running through until 7pm on Wednesday.
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Fear The Dragon progeny to Debut on Standardbred

New Zealand’s first public offering of progeny by exciting freshman sire Fear The Dragon (USA) is now live and open for bidding on Standardbred, as a part of a 27 lot mixed catalogue.

Established Southland breeders Macca Lodge have entered 15 weanlings in the latest fortnightly auction hosted on New Zealand Bloodstock’s leading online subsidiary, including 12 youngsters by Fear The Dragon.

“Fear The Dragon has left some cracking foals in the spring and they have developed into some really good looking weanlings,” Macca Lodge proprietor Brent McIntyre said.

“He leaves correct foals that have a good attitude and want to work with you.

“They are very athletic and the perfect size, we couldn’t be happier with them.”

Fear The Dragon has made outstanding progress in his stud career outside of New Zealand, where his stock are about to embark on their race careers.

The freshman sire’s oldest crop in North America are two-year-olds and interest is building ahead of their career debuts later this season, following strong reports from several leading trainers.

Fear The Dragon’s first North American crop sold strongly in the Northern Hemisphere last year, topping both American yearling sales.

The sire’s oldest crop in Australia are yearlings and they have already made their mark in the auction ring.

Macca Lodge’s weanling draft offered on Standardbred is highlighted by Fear The Dragon weanlings:

Lot 1, a colt out of five-time winning mare Bonnie’s Khaleesi (NZ) (Live Or Die). Bonnie’s Khaleesi is a half-sister to four winners and this Lot’s granddam is 10-time winning mare in Bonnie Lass (NZ) (Camtastic).

Lot 2 is a colt out of Hot Toddy (NZ) (Falcon Seelster). This Lot is a half-brother to star pacer B Mac C (NZ) (Mach Three) and is from the highly successful ‘Toddy’ family. Hot Toddy is out of Group One winner Lady Toddy (NZ) (Live Or Die), dam of eight individual winners.

Lot 3 is a filly out offormer New Zealand record holder and stakes placed mare in Jamie (NZ) (Albert Albert). Jamie is out of Tuapeka Lodge’s super-producer Tuapeka Tango (NZ) (Smooth Fella), who is the dam of 10 individual winners.

Another colt (Lot 8) is the second foal from race-winning mare Motu Lightning Lass (NZ) (McArdle), a half-sister to seven winners. Among them is Motu Moonbeam (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), a winner of 26 races in America, with prizemoney earnings of nearly US$500,000.

Lot 9, a black filly out of My Blue Heaven (NZ) (Rock N Roll Heaven) is from the renowned ‘Banner’ family. Her pedigree page is stacked with black-type, with her being a close relation to multiple Group One winner Mainland Banner (NZ) (Christian Cullen), her Group One-winning daughter Rocker Band (Rocknroll Hanover) and multiple Group winner Titan Banner (NZ) (Art Major).

The first lot in the Standardbred fortnightly auction closes at 7:00PM (NZT) on Wednesday 26 May.

Buyers can view the full Standardbred catalogue online here.  

Gavelhouse buy rings in milestone for Hewitt

Gavelhouse graduate (I’m) Captain Max provided trainer-driver Brad Hewitt with a special victory on his family’s annual memorial raceday at Goulburn on Sunday.

At what was his second start for Hewitt having been bought online in October for $10,500, the five-year-old son of American Ideal provided him with his 500th driving win with a dominant performance.

Heading into the race as odds-on favourite, (I’m) Captain Max stalked the leaders in a mid-field position before Hewitt let him stride around the outside, taking control of proceedings in devastating fashion. Hitting the front before entering the straight, the pair left rivals 11.9m in arrears on the line.

“We had been keeping an eye on each of the catalogues for young horses and racing stock and he was one we were keen to secure and if it wasn’t for the cost of freight we’d have added more to the team from the site,” commented Hewitt.

“He’s one of 26 odd that my father and I have in work and he went really well on Sunday, running 11:55:4.

“At this stage we have no set plans with him, we will just keep taking him through the grades.”

Bred and originally raced by Stonewall Stud, Captain Max won on two occasions in New Zealand over 2000m and 2200m before being offered for sale on

Currently there are four Standardbreds for sale on the site with bidding ending from 7pm on Wednesday 13 January from 7pm.

Photo credit: Lance Fearne/Amy Rees, Goulburn Paceway

Bidding tips

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.

Heartland Reduction featured in 20 Lot online auction

The latest fortnightly Standardbred auction features a bumper catalogue of 25 Lots including a quality draft as part of a Heartland Farm Reduction Sale. Standardbred representative Cam Bray is thrilled with the performance of the site and the momentum built over recent months “Judging by the site’s traffic people are now accustomed to tuning in fortnightly to see what our latest offering is like and we have been consistently clearing in excess of 80% of entries,” he said.

“As we approach the end of the year, this latest catalogue is going to be exciting to follow over the coming week with Heartland Farm entrusting us with some quality stock as they look to cut back on numbers,”

“There’s a good cross-section of stock and I believe something for everyone in the market looking to add to their operations.”

Some highlights from the Heartland Farm Reduction include:

  • Lot 1 – A colt foal by Betting Line from the black-print Art Major mare Spirit of Art. Her three to race all have black-print to their credit including Gr.3 Leonard Mem Stakes and Gr.3 WA Gold Bracelet winner Dracarys.
  • Lot 4 – Divine Light. A yearling Skyvalley filly from a sibling to black-print winners Mr Chin, (I’m) Light Hearted and Vibhuti.
  • Lot 7  – Perun. A yearling colt by Betting Line from the winning Dream Away mare Bianca.
  • Lot 23 – Cathar. An incredibly well-related mare who is the dam of two black—print winners and is a sibling to seven to have achieved the same.

Other highlights include:

  • Lot 8 – Lawyer Girl. A Always B Miki yearling filly who is the last foal from the outstanding producer Van Seraa.
  • Lot 10 – Carrera Sunshine. A two-year-old filly by Sunshine Beach, she is the first foal from the winning Bettor’s Delight mare All That Glitters.
  • Lot 20 – Waingaro Ideal (pictured). In work until last week, Waingaro Ideal is a lightly raced, winning four-year-old son of American Ideal from the black-print mare Waingaro Lassie.

The auction also features more broodmares, yearlings, unraced horses and racehorses. Bidding ends starting with Lot 1 from 7pm on Wednesday 2 December. Standardbred entries due today

The revised fortnightly format of Standardbred auctions has been paying dividends of late with entries for the next sale due online today by 7pm.

Bolstering the domestic buying bench have been Australian and Canadian-based enthusiasts with Standardbred representative Cam Bray heartened by the consistently strong results.

“Our last three sales have resulted in clearance rates of 83%, 88% and 88% with the highest price fetched being $27,000 in these sales,” said Bray.

 “It’s now widely accepted as a tried and true platform to sell all Bloodstock and what has been most remarkable lately has been the demand for racing stock from our Australian-based trainers and agents.”

The next auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday 15 October and will run through until 7pm on Wednesday 21 October.