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Imported American Stallion wins trial

The ranks of New Zealand’s open class trotters are about to receive a breath of fresh air with the impending debut of the imported Aldebaran Eagle.

The American-bred, Australian-owned Muscle Hill entire made his first public appearance in New Zealand a winning one at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.

While there may have been concerns about his standing start manners after an all-mobile career in North America , Aldebaran Eagle trotted away from the 40m backmark like a toff.

The winner of over US$250,000 easily handled a nine-horse heat with closing sectionals of 58.9 and 29 for co-trainer Mark Purdon.

There is a suitable standing start race for Aldebaran Eagle at Addington next week but he is almost certainly heading towards the Ordeal Cup in a fortnight, which is a mobile FFA over 2600m.

The six-year-old was imported back in April by Victoria’s Duncan McPherson and allowed plenty of time to acclimatise before starting his Down Under career in the new season.

Ultimately, McPherson is hoping Aldebaran Eagle can perform to a level which would set him up for a stud career in New Zealand with his semen being shipped to Australia as well.

“New Zealand has been screaming out for quality fresh semen trotting stallion for years,” said McPherson.

“It is easier for us to send semen from New Zealand to Australia rather than the other way around, so it makes sense to stand him over there and serve as many mares as possible,” he added.

Aldebaran Eagle is heading down a similar path as Peak, the European-bred trotter who made such a fine impression during a very brief racing career in New Zealand before getting good support at stud.

Peak only had three starts here but he won the Ashburton Flying Mile in 1.57.6 and the G1 NZ Trotting FFA on Cup Day in 2013 before going amiss in the Dominion Handicap.

The chestnut now has a promising crop of juveniles coming on stream.

He certainly has the pedigree to command respect.

Muscle Hill is now the leading all-age trotting sire in North America and Aldebaran Eagle belongs to the family of Delmonica Hanover, an international star in the 1970s.

Delmegan was a top class daughter of Delmonica Hanover and other top performers emanating from her include Armbro Marshall ($947,000), Temple Of Doom ($745,000) and Mosaique Face in Europe along with an earlier imported trotting stallion in Armbro Invasion.

Line-bred 3x4 to Valley Victory, Aldebaran Eagle is a half-brother to the well-performed Haughty ($330,000) and his fourth dam is Delmegan, a U.S. 2YO Filly Trotter of the Year.

Aldebaran Eagle made the final of the Hambletonian in 2014 and the following year he took a record of 1.52.2 at The Meadowlands.