23 August 2012 - Make Mine Cullen has made a habit of proving people wrong in her distinguished career and trainer Glenn Douglas is hoping his mighty mare can do it one more time tomorrow night.
Make Mine Cullen will have her final start before heading to the breeding barn at Melton tomorrow night in a Free For All against champion pacer Smoken Up. “We all know Smoken Up’s a champion, but we’ve got a favourable draw," Douglas said yesterday. “I’m sure no-one will tip her again and, hopefully, she’ll prove them wrong again.” With 39 career wins and more than $860,000 in prizemoney, Make Mine Cullen has had many career highlights. But there’s one race in particular that stands out for Douglas. “Winning the Breeders Crown 4YO final sticks with me," he said. “Everyone wrote her off in the lead up to the final. They said she couldn’t win. “She came from a bad draw, but still won impressively. I was more than happy to tell everyone about it.” Make Mine Cullen started her career in Sydney where she had seven starts for two wins before being transferred to Douglas’ Strathfieldsaye stables. “When we first got her I thought she was going to make a nice horse, but I never thought she’d go as far as she has," Douglas admitted. “We did a fair bit of work with her and then one night at the trials at Bendigo, (driver) Daryl (Douglas) got off her and said “this horse can really run”.
“She’s never let us down.” Douglas has been in talks with Make Mine Cullen’s owners about racing the mare for another season, but he lost the debate. “We’ve known this has been coming for a while and Friday night’s it, I think,” Douglas said. “We’ve been fortunate to get another year as it is. She (Make Mine Cullen) was supposed to retire last year, but we got a reprieve then. I would like to have had another one, but I totally respect why she’s finishing up. “I’ve got no ill feelings about it; I just hope she’s as successful in the breeding barn as she was on the track.” Win or lose tomorrow night, Make Mine Cullen goes out at the top of her game. This season she’s won 12 of her 28 starts, including a last start win at Melton.She holds the record for the most number of wins at Melton – 28 – which includes two Breeders Crown final wins and a victory in the Group One Queen of the Pacific. Other career highlights include stunning wins in the Group One Kilmore Cup and the Group One Ladyship Mile at Harold Park. - Adam Bourke (Bendigo Advertiser)
14 August 2012 - Three-year-old Whata Avenue was crowned the Princess of the Wimmera in Horsham last week and the daughter of Art Major is proving to be a real quiet achiever for her Marong trainer John McDermott. Raced by first time owners Gary and Vicki Sheppard of Werribee, Whata Avenue has won four of her last five starts and finished second at her only other run for McDermott. The connections credit the filly's turn around in form to the change of scenery and routine. "She's settled in well and a lot happier in a smaller yard with another horse for company close by, she seems to like the change," McDermott said. John, who works in a management role at Bendigo's Tip Top Bakery, curently only works a couple of horses. Gary said he bought What Avenue to give his family an interest in going to the races. "We can go along and a family and watch her race and we are over the moon with her success," he said.
2 August 2012 – With the new breeding season upon us, Eldarin Park has announced that outstanding trotter Down Under Muscles, a brilliant son of USA Hall Of Fame sire Muscles Yankee, will stand the 2012 season at their stud at Pyramid
Hill, north of Bendigo. Mary Helen Pearce will stand the impressive winner of 17 trotting races and $216,000 in stakes for just $1790 inc.GST with a Live Foal Guarantee. Eldarin Park Stud which also stands P Forty Seven and Wrath Of Pan is holding an Open Day to view the three stallions and the Stud facilities on Sunday 26 August with lunch and refreshments from 12 noon and a Stallion parade at 1:30pm. Visitors will go into a draw to win a Tabcorp Park Luxury Racing Package. Down Under Muscles was a favourite of driver Chris Alford who rates the trotter highly. "He had the greatest turn of speed. He'll put that blistering speed into his foals," Alford said. Down Under Muscles won the Kilmore Trotters Cup and the George Gath Gr. 3 Maryborough Trotters Cup in record time and was successful in heats and placed in the finals of the Tatlow Stakes (2yo), Australasian Breeders Crown 2yo, The Victorian Trotters Derby, Australasian Breeders Crown 3yo and the Australasian Breeders Crown 4yo. Down Under Muscles also finished a close second to Sundons Gift in the NSW Trotters Mile at Menangle in Australian Record time of 1:54.3.
Down Under Muscles has an outstanding maternal pedigree with his dam Fionas Flair a top racehorse and producer. The Cochrane Cup, Legends Of Trot and Kilmore Cup winner's other offspring include Australasia fastest ever trotter A Touch Of Flair which trotted 1:52.6 at the Meadowlands (USA) and won 34 races including the Victorian Trotters Derby, Son Of Flair the Australian 3yo Trotter of its year and Mighty Maori Gr1 winner of $248,000. As an incentive for breeders Eldarin Park Stud is offering a cash bonus of $5,000 to the breeder of the first Group 1 winner by Down Under Muscles. To contact the stud, phone (03) 5455 7325 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. - David Aldred Down Under Muscles Stallion Brochure