Barastoc Grand Circuit Series
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Barastoc Grand Circuit Trotters Series 2009/2010
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The 2009/10 Barastoc Trotters Grand Circuit Series was dominated by champion Australian squaregaiter, Sundons Gift NZ.

by Chris Barsby

The Chris Lang trained and driven star was the only multiple leg winner of the nine race series.

Sundons Gift NZ collected the $100,000 SEW Eurodrive Grand Prix at Melton, the $250,000 Inter Dominion Trotters Championship at Moonee Valley and the $250,000 Canam Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland.

Sundons Gift NZ was also a runner-up in the $50,000 Aldebaran Park Stud Bill Collins Sprint behind his stablemate, Skyvalley NZ.

The first leg of the 09/10 series began on New Zealand Cup day with the running of the $100,000 New Zealand Trotting FFA and the deserving winner was the lightly raced 8yo mare, Speculate NZ for Justin Smith.

The Sundon USA mare proved to be a popular winner and the victory took her overall record to eight wins from thirteen starts.

The $250,000 Dominion was run three days later and the Phil Williamson trained Springbank Richard NZ proved too strong after beating his rivals into submission.

On a bitterly cold day, Springbank Richard NZ appreciated being kept on the fresh side with Williamson electing to bypass the Trotting FFA earlier in the week in preference for the Dominion.

It was a masterstroke move by Williamson.  Springbank Richard NZ was handled by Nathan Williamson.  The Sundon USA gelding registered his 17th victory by winning the Dominion.


Sundons Gift NZ and Chris Lang win the
2010 Inter Dominion Trotters Final
photo: Stuart McCormick, copyright Harness Racing Victoria


The next leg of the Barastoc Trotters Grand Circuit switched back to Australia with the running of the $100,000 SEW Eurodrive Australian Trotting Grand Prix at Tabcorp Park, Melton and the reigning Inter Dominion champion Sundons Gift NZ stood tall with a fantastic victory.

Sundons Gift NZ was only having his second run back since his European campaign earlier that year and proved his class by winning easily in a mile rate of 1.58.7 for the 2240m event. 

The elite trotters backed up the following week for the running of the $50,000 Aldebaran Park Stud Bill Collins Trotters Sprint and the Lang trained duo of Sundons Gift NZ and Skyvalley NZ dominated the pre-race discussions.

The emerging star Skyvalley NZ prevailed on the night beating his esteemed stablemate Sundons Gift NZ in a track record performance of 1.56.4 for the 1720m event.

The Muscles Yankee (US) entire was driven to victory by Chris Lang Jnr.

On New Year's Eve, the focus switched back to New Zealand with the running of the $99,850 Seelite Windows & Doors National Trot at Alexandra Park, Auckland.

In a race packed with action, the John Hay trained and driven Houdini Star NZ proved successful beating Raydon and Leighton Hest.

It was win number sixteen for the big Sundon USA gelding and his earning have now exceeded $475,000.

The action quickly came back to Australia, the $50,000 VL Dullard Trotters Cup Final was being staged at Tabcorp Park, Melton but the hometown heroes from the Chris Lang stable were notable omissions with Sundons Gift NZ and Skyvalley missing from the event.

The Lang name is synonymous with trotting and this time it was the father/son combination of Graeme and Gavin Lang who combined with the improving gelding Don King NZ to take out the feature.

The Sundon USA gelding showed his class holding off the brave Acacia Ridge with Save A Sixpence filling third placing.

The next leg of the Barastoc Trotters Grand Circuit Series was the jewel in the crown - the $250,000 Inter Dominion Trotters Championship being staged for the final time at Moonee Valley in Melbourne.

Sundons Gift NZ, aiming to become the first Australian trained trotter to win back to back Inter Dominion Finals, received a huge boost after drawing perfectly at gate one at the Barrier Draw function earlier in the week.

The Chris Lang trained star was sent out as an odds on favourite and gave his backers no cause for concern with a faultless display leading all of the way.

Sundons Gift NZ beat home the Queensland trotter Kasyanov whilst Skyvalley NZ charging late to grab third prize.

The victory of Sundons Gift NZ provided Chris Lang with his third straight Inter Dominion training triumph after being the caretaker trainer of Galleons Sunset NZ who took out the title back in 2008 for Derek Balle.

The feature trotting action returned back to the south island of New Zealand for the running of the $80,000 NZ Trotting Championship at Addington, Christchurch.

The Murray Tapper trained Stylish Monarch lived up to his promising reputation with a convincing victory defeating Braig NZ and I Can Doosit NZ.

The 6yo Monarchy USA gelding was driven to victory by Ricky May.

With the final leg of the Barastoc Trotters Grand Circuit being staged up in Auckland at Alexandra Park, all eyes were centered on the Australian visitor Sundons Gift NZ who made the trip across the Tasman for the $250,000 Rowe Cup.

After being beaten in his final lead-up run prior to the Rowe Cup the week earlier, Sundons Gift NZ rebounded with a brilliant performance to dominate the event.

Sundons Gift NZ scored easily from Stylish Monarch NZ and Leighton Hest NZ in a mile rate of 2.04.9 for the 3200m event.   He joins fellow Australians Wagon Apollo and La Coocaracha as winners of the famed New Zealand event.

Sundons Gift NZ is set to become the first Australian trained trotter to earn a million dollars with his current earnings sitting at $992,968.

In the end, Sundons Gift NZ dominated the Barastoc Trotters Grand Circuit Leaderboard with 17 points, 10 clear over his nearest rival Stylish Monarch NZ with Houdini Star NZ and Skyvalley NZ finishing third with 6 points each.

Champion sire Sundon USA also dominated with seven of the nine legs taken out by his progeny.

Congratulations to owner Neven Botica and Chris Lang on another wonderful season with Sundons Gift NZ.



All Time Pacing and Trotting Records pre-2001 please refer to the Australian Harness Racing Annual.

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