Epic Harness Million Series Clash at Addington
12 May 2021
A star-studded field is set for an enthralling battle in the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Colts and Gelding Final (1980m) at Addington on Friday night.
An incredible line up New Zealand’s top two-year-old ranks will start in the lucrative feature, including six runners from Hayden Cullen’s stable.
The Cullen trained Franco Mac (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) has clinched a crucial starting spot in Barrier 1.
The $60,000 2020 Christchurch National Yearling Sale purchase was in excellent form during his first two starts before an unlucky fifth placing.
Cullen is hoping the pacer’s luck can change from his ace draw on Friday night.
“Franco Mac hasn’t done anything wrong and from the draw he looks like he is going to get a really nice trip,” the trainer said.
Akuta (Bettor’s Delight) (NZ) comes into Friday night’s lucrative feature after winning the Group Three $22,000 Macca Lodge Kindergarten Stakes (1609m) on debut before a narrow defeat at Group Two level in his last start.
Cullen has the pacer primed for his biggest performance yet in Friday night’s Harness Million final.
“Akuta is one that has always carried a bit of weight and he really seems to be peaking at the right time.”
“Heading into Friday night he has just got better and better.
“If the two emergencies come out then his draw (4) is going to look pretty good,” Cullen said.
Akuta was purchased from Broadfield Lodge’s draft at the 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch for $170,000.
Cosmic Major (NZ) (Art Major) chased down Akuta to win his last start in the $46,000 Group Two Avon City New Zealand Welcome Stakes (1980m).
Cosmic Major was a $37,500 purchase by Phil and Glenys Kennard at the 2020 Auckland National Yearling Sale from Breckon Farms’ draft.
“Cosmic Major has a hard draw (11) to overcome, but he has proved that he is tough enough and he is actually a quick horse too,” Cullen said.
“If it is a good honest pace he will be thereabouts.”
There are threats to the six-strong Cullen team across Friday night’s star-studded field.
Among them is the winner of the $87,000 Group One Breckon Farms Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes Final (1700m), Montana DJ (NZ) (Captaintreacherous).
The Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan trained pacer, was purchased for $170,000 by Dean Shannon’s Montana Park out of breeder Jill Smolenski’s draft at the 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch. Montana DJ starts from a premium draw in Barrier 3.
The Purdon and Phelan stable also start Major Perry (NZ) (Art Major), a $160,000 from the Broadfield Lodge draft at the 2020 Christchurch National Yearling Sale.
Also included in the Harness Million field is My Ultimate Chevron (NZ) (Sweet Lou), recent winner of the $23,000 Group Three Sapling Stakes (1609m). He must overcome a tough draw in Barrier 15.
The pacer was offered as a weanling in the 2019 All Age Sale, then purchased by Tumby Park owners Scott Whitton and Jodie Foster for $27,500 from the 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch.
The $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Colts and Gelding Final (1980m) will be run as Race 11 at 9:40PM (NZT) at Addington on Friday 14 May.
2021 Harness Million Colts and Geldings Final Field
|1||Franco Mac||Olivia Thornley(J)||Hayden Cullen||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $60,000||All Stars Racing Stables|
|2||Republican Party||Cran & Chrissie Dalgety||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $210,000||Cran Dalgety|
|3||Montana DJ||Zachary Butcher||Barry Purdon & Scott Phelan||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $175,000||Montana Park|
|4||Smart Watch (E2)||Phil Burrows||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $38,000||Mr NR McGrath|
|5||Ajira (E1)||Cran & Chrissie Dalgety||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $80,000||Cran Dalgety|
|6||Akuta||Hayden Cullen||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $170,000||All Stars Racing Stables|
|7||Cantfindabettorman||Matthew Williamson||Graeme Anderson & Mike Love||2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $41,000||Mr GJ Anderson|
|8||Willow Bay||Natalie Rasmussen||Hayden Cullen||2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $55,000||Breckon Farms|
|9||Bollinger||Jonny Cox||Hayden Cullen||2019 All Age Sale, Passed, 2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $200,000||Mrs J L Feiss|
|10||Major Perry||Scott Phelan||Barry Purdon & Scott Phelan||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $160,000||Barry Purdon|
|11||Cosmic Major||Hayden Cullen||2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $37,500||PI & GJ Kennard Bloodstock|
|12||Chimichurri||David Butcher||Michael House||2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $40,000||Stonewall Stud|
|13||Strength And Honour||Brent Mangos||Brent Mangos||2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $150,000||PI & GJ Kennard Bloodstock|
|14||Always Have Faith||Hayden Cullen||2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $55,000||All Stars Racing Stables|
|15||My Ultimate Chevron||Gavin Smith||Gavin Smith||2019 Auckland All Age Sale, $13,000, 2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $27,500||Lake Bruner Syndicate, Tumby Park|