Breeders Crown bonanza on Saturday night.

By Brad Reid for HARNESSLINK
Saturday night at Melton will see the 23rd edition of the Breeders Crown being hosted with $1.15 million in prizemoney to be had across the eight Group One’s on the card for two- and three-year-old pacers and trotters competing against their own sex in each age group and gait.
  • $250,000 Group 1 IRT Breeders Crown Final (2YO Colts & Geldings)
  • $250,000 Group 1 Pebble Beach Breeders Crown Final (2YO Fillies)
  • $150,000 Group 1 Woodlands Stud “Lather Up” Breeders Crown Final (3YO Colts & Geldings)
  • $150,000 Group 1 A RockNRoll Dance Breeders Crown Final (3YO Fillies)
  • $100,000 Group 1 BetaVet Breeders Crown Final (2YO Trotting Colts & Geldings)
  • $100,000 Group 1 Mimosa Homes Breeders Crown Final (2YO Trotting Fillies)
  • $75,000 Group 1 Hygain Breeders Crown Final (3YO Trotting Colts & Geldings)
  • $75,000 Group 1 Hygain Breeders Crown Final (3YO Trotting Fillies)
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and while the carnival may fall slightly short of the huge money available in the North American equivalent, the Victorian carnival is never lacking for action.

Breeders Crown eligible progeny are always hotly sought after at the yearling sales with the big prize money on offer at the other end a great reward for breeders and owners who invest heavily in the sport.

With access to the world’s best and most modern bloodlines, what is remarkable about the series in 2023 is the parity by and large across the eight contests with no stallion siring more than 3 runners in any of the contests, and in five of the finals, no sire is represented greater than twice.

It’s a strong indication of where the industry is at in terms of stallion selection, whereby you can make a solid case for just about every stallion available and their ability to produce a quality animal. The changing of the guard at the top is happening before our eyes, and while the likes of Art Major, American Ideal and Bettor’s Delight continue to be prominent in their twilight, others such as Sweet Lou, Always B Miki and Captaintreacherous are all more than capable of footing it with the big boys in the pacing gait.

On the Trotting front, it’s very much the same with 20 individual sires represented with a mixture of some of the best North American, European and local bloodlines on offer.

Only first-season sire, Volstead, can lay claims to siring more than two runners in any of the four trotting features, with his daughters having made huge waves in 2023 therefore it is hardly surprising to see them so prominent in that division. Below is the sire representation in all its glory to feast your eyes upon. Good luck to everyone involved this weekend and it would be remiss of me as a New Zealander to not be cheering on the fortunes of Nathan Street who is looking to give his sire, Lazarus, his second Group One.

By Brad Reid