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Remembering the great Gramel

ARGUABLY the best trotter produced on this side of the globe will be honoured again this weekend when South Australia hosts the final leg of its annual Gramel Series. The Globe Derby-based Championship pays tribute to the former Queen of Trotting and her connections. Attracting a top assembly each year, the races are dedicated to the memory of Gramel, which thrilled fans across three nations during the 1960s. With all respect to the entrants, none of the runners involved can be mentioned in the same breath as the great mare. Putting it frankly, Gramel – or Gracie as she was affectionately known – would ‘date’ most of the modern-day squaregaiters. Even the records of highly-rated stars such as Maori’s Idol, Scotch Notch, Lyell Creek and Sundons Gift pale in significance to some of Gramel’s feats. None of the above were forced to race off handicaps such as 256 yards like Gramel was at the Adelaide Showgrounds. Despite her mark being just 19 yards short of half the track, Gramel emerged victorious. The toughest handicap Maori’s Idol faced during his record run of 24 consecutive wins was 60 metres. Conceived in New Zealand and foaled in South Australia, Gramel was a 1957 result of a mating between Johnny Globe and the Light Brigade matron, American Brigade. Failing to attract a satisfactory bid during the 1959 Adelaide Yearling Sale, the youngster was eventually sold to Frank ‘Silky’ Jones for 375 guineas. Jones then approached astute trainer Jack Roberts to prepare his latest purchase, with Roberts hesitant to say the least. Roberts has been quoted as saying his first impression of Gramel was that of a “ewe-necked, small filly, with no tail, only a few hairs.” Roberts eventually agreed to take the ‘ugly duckling.’ Bred to be a star pacer, Gramel refused to work with the hopples, and after plenty of failed attempts, was converted to a trotter. That decision saw the start of a beautiful friendship. Unraced at two, Gramel had four three-year-old starts, for a win and a second behind Top Command in the New South Wales Trotters’ Derby. Gramel started to blossom the following season, which yielded seven triumphs and three seconds from 14 outings. Her effort to win off 96 yards at Strathalbyn on May 1, 1962 was described by the late Clem Hewitt as “one of the greatest trotting performances seen in South Australia.” During her following campaign, Gramel won 11 of her 19 starts, with three seconds and two thirds also to her credit. One of those victories was off 108 yards at Strathalbyn in October 1962 when Gramel scored by 60 yards. Other wins that season included performances from 120, 96 and 132 yards, with her biggest success coming in the V L Dullard Cup at the Melbourne Showgrounds. As a six-year-old, Gramel raced 17 times for 11 wins and five placings. Her successes were off marks such as 144 yards against trotters and 12 yards against open class pacers. One of those wins against the opposite gait includes the Gawler Free-For-All, which ranked Smokey Eric among the beaten brigade. Earlier in the year, Smokey Eric won an Inter Dominion heat and contested the Final won by Cardigan Bay. Gramel also produced what is regarded as her finest win that season, when she overcame 48 yards to successfully defend her Dullard Cup title. Caught three-wide for the first three laps around Ascot Vale’s saucer-like circuit, Gramel won easing down by 15 yards from Tara Gold and Shellgrit. Gramel rated 2:11.2 for the 15 furlongs, with her time slashing a second off the track record set by Jenny in 1960. Amazingly, Gramel was then entered in a match race with South Australia’s best pacer, Braganza, which saw out her season. Vigorously driven by Dick Webster to catch the bold striding Gramel, Braganza scored in the last stride to win by a half-neck in 2:06.2. The following term, Gramel won races in three states and also time-trialled in 2:01.2 at Harold Park, the fastest mile registered in the Southern Hemisphere. Gramel was also successful in New Zealand, including a clean sweep of her three Inter Dominion heats before finishing fourth in the Final won by Poupette. Returning to Adelaide, Gramel finished second to Inter Dominion Pacing Champion, Minuteman, in the Strathalbyn Cup. Sent for a well-earned break, Gramel was better than ever the following term, breaking records at will as an eight-year-old. Completing a hat-trick at Harold Park early in the year, Gramel returned home to win off 156 yards at Gawler. Finishing third behind Minuteman in a free-for-all, Gramel was then back in Sydney again, this time for the Inter Dominion. Unsuccessful in her heats, Gramel faced a daunting 72-yard handicap in the Final. Suffering interference early, Gramel had to settle for a half-head second behind Yamamoto. Sick of the huge marks their champion was being forced to endure, connections decided to race Gramel in America on a two-year lease. Gramel left Australia with 47 wins and 24 placings from 86 starts for record earnings of $51,874. Gramel’s career on the other side of the equator failed to live up to expectations. Last at her first two American starts, Gramel won her fourth outing before contracting a virus and being sent for a spell. Upon her return to the track, which yielded two wins, it was apparent Gramel was not going to scale the heights originally planned, with Jones buying out the remainder of her lease to return his grand mare ‘Down Under’. After spending six months in England under quarantine laws, Gramel was eventually back in Australia. Also spending a fortnight at Bill Davin’s Goodwood Stables in Ascot Vale as part of her quarantine, Gramel then completed her trip home. Connections decided to give the 11-year-old another campaign, with Gramel chalking up her final win when she beat Adios Van and Fruit Queen at Wayville. Two subsequent unplaced runs led to Gramel’s retirement. Unable to match her racetrack deeds in the breeding barn, Gramel produced a couple of minor winners. As for her stats, Gramel set 23 track records during her illustrious career while overcoming handicaps that would have today’s generation calling for the RSPCA. - PAUL COURTS

Jerrys Jet (outsde)

Interstate trip on radar for Jerrys Jet

After Jerrys Jet stormed home to score an unbelievable win in the 2014 2YO Sweepstakes final on the Elwick track in Hobart his owners were excited about what the future might hold for the talented pacer. His Sweepstakes win was one of the most impressive performances seen by a juvenile pacer in a feature race final as he came from last on the home turn to win in a three-way photo finish. He was in the care of Paul Hill who at that stage had prepared the gelding to win four from as many starts. Jerrys Jet went on to win a Dandy Patch Prelude before being beaten by Boasson Hagen in the Dandy Patch final. He was sent for a spell and resumed with a win in January followed by a second to No Spring Secrets in Launceston. Jerrys Jet was subsequently sent to Rohan Hillier's stable by his owner Charlie Beadman. Hillier had open class horses with which Jerry Jet could work with and that was expected to help the owner determine whether or not Jerrys Jet would be up to tackling an interstate campaign. The son of Jeremes Jet had his first start for Hillier in the Sires Produce Stakes at Ubet Park Hobart last Sunday night and it was clear he is going to be up to the challenge when he leaves the state. With Hillier in the sulky, Jerrys Jet scorched to the front from a wide gate and after a modest first half (800m) he quickened the tempo and when asked for an effort by Hillier he reeled off a sizzling last quarter (400m) in 26.7 seconds. He defeated the highly promising filly Followthewind that went into the race on the back of a brilliant win in the Premier's Blue Bonnet Stakes clocking a mile rate of 1.59.5. Hillier was ecstatic after the win. "They wanted to find out if this horse was good enough to go interstate and in my opinion he will match whatever he goes up against when he gets there," Hillier said. "It's a shame he's not paid up for the Breeders Crown because he would have given that a shake but we'll stay here for the Tasmanian Guineas in a fortnight and then go to the Globe Derby ($30,000 sires stakes race)." "The owners will probably look at sending him interstate after the Globe Derby because he is still only a C0 rated horse." "If he can reel off a 26.7 last quarter on the Hobart track he can run a quarter at least two seconds better on the Menangle track and that would make him very competitive," he said. Peter Staples

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Chasing Queensland riches

Team McCarthy is heading back to Brisbane for next week’s $75,000 Seymour Nursery Pace series. Heats are scheduled for next Tuesday, with the Finals will be staged on May 16. Locally-owned pacers Smooth Showgirl and Birdy Mach will represent the power stable in their respective divisions and both will command strong respect. Smooth Showgirl is the defending champ following her dominant performance in last year’s Final when she defeated Feel The Faith and stablemate Bamako Mali, while Birdy Mach is very highly regarded within the Belinda and Luke McCarthy stable. “We’re looking forward to heading back to Brisbane next week for the Nursery Pace,” Luke said. “It’s a series that has been very good to me over the years and we believe we have the right horses to give it a good shake. “There’s nothing better than a Brisbane autumn/winter campaign.” Smooth Showgirl has raced in strong form this season, winning four of her 10 starts and setting a personal best time of 1:53.2 when successful at Menangle last month. The daughter of Art Major was unplaced as favourite last week at Menangle behind Image Of Courage after racing without cover in a time of 1:53.4. Birdy Mach has raced just once this term when unplaced at Menangle on December 30. Following a freshen-up, the son of Mach Three has undertaken an extensive trial campaign in preparation for his Brisbane trip, with his trial yesterday resulting in a comfortable victory in 1:56.4 when leading throughout. He paced the mile in sectionals of 29.6, 30.4, 28.5 and 27.9 seconds. “Both horses are fit and well and we’ve deliberately set both horses for this series,” Luke said. “It’s been one of their major targets all season. “The local talent looks pretty handy so it won’t be easy, but we’re confident both will perform at the required level. “Smooth Showgirl has been solid this season. She got left parked last week in fast time and she only just missed a placing in the end, so I was more than happy with her effort. “She can sustain her speed and she’s quite tough, so the style of Brisbane racing will suit her down to the ground. “We discovered a few little issues with Birdy Mach following his first-up effort and worked on those during his down time. It wasn’t anything major and time has helped him. “His trials have been good and he felt sharp yesterday, he pulled up in good order and I’m keen to test him during this series.” Both horses will be based at the property of co-owner Ian Gurney during their Brisbane campaign. McCarthy is no stranger to success in the Nursery Pace with victory behind Smooth Showgirl and Waves Of Fire (2014), Bling It On (2013), Aussie Made Lombo (2010), Fleur De Lil (2006), Tip Your Hat (2005) and Slipnslide (2003). He also won the three-year-old colts’ and geldings’ Final last year with Bling It On. HRQ Media

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Legendary scribe to be honoured at Kilmore

One of harness racing’s great scribes will be honoured at Kilmore on Saturday night with the latest edition of the Bob Cain Memorial. Losing his long battle with cancer in 2005, Cain left a hole in the industry’s media section too big to fill, having served the sport in the highest calibre for almost five decades. Cain’s association with harness racing started in 1959 when, at the age of 16, he began work at the Trotting Control Board as, in his words, the ‘resident lackey’. His flair for journalism was soon apparent, with Cain producing articles for The Guide, Australian Trotting Register, Racetrack and Sports Novels. In December 1963, Cain left the TCB to work at Southdown Press as Assistant Editor on the racing and trotting publication Best Bets, while also assisting Southdown Press’ sister publication Truth. Cain became chief trotting scribe for Truth in 1969, covering harness and thoroughbred racing for the next decade. During the 1970s, Cain’s versatility shone through, with the intrepid reporter covering VFL, cricket, cycling and other general sports for the Truth. After leaving Truth in 1979, Cain re-joined the team in 1982, before moving to National Trotting Weekly as Assistant Editor in 1985. Cain took over paper’s top job in 1993, but resigned from the position in 1996 due to ill-health, working as a freelancer for the next eight years. In 2001, at the insistence of then New South Harness Racing Club chief executive Peter V’Landys, Cain returned NTW, which had been renamed Harness Racing Weekly, to be publisher of the paper and its sister publication National Trotguide, simply because he was the best man in the industry to undertake the difficult role. “Bob was a brilliant journalist, legendary author, but most importantly, he was a champion bloke,” V’Landys said. “I don’t think I have met a person who had a wit like Bob possessed, and although he tried to hide his feelings, I don’t think there was a more caring and kind person. “When we acquired Harness Racing Weekly Bob was simply the only person capable of getting the job of putting the two papers together done for us.” During the years, Cain promoted the industry via radio and television, and has four books to his credit. Among Cain’s achievements are numerous literary awards on a national and state level, with Cain gaining a reputation as an astute historian, which led him to becoming the “go to” man for a large number of journalists throughout Australia. Cain’s career was given due recognition before his death when the Australian Harness Racing Council honoured him with the Joseph Coulter Media Meritorious Service Award. As for the race in Cain’s honour, handy pacer Captain Bronzie shapes as the one to beat for trainer George Batsakis despite drawing awkwardly in barrier five. The son of Art Major is ready to return to the winners’ circle having filled the placings at his two runs back from a break. “He is going well, and after two runs this time in, he is back at his peak,” Batsakis said. “The barrier is a bit difficult, but it is only a small field of six, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. “He has the gate speed there if Chris (Alford, driver) wants to use it.” Following this weekend’s assignment Captain Bronzie will work his way through the grades as Batsakis prepares the four-year-old for the rich Vicbred Super Series. “He is very loosely-assessed, so at this stage I will just get him through the grades and head towards the Vicbred,” Batsakis said. “He is not up to the real top ones, but he’s a nice type, which can win his races.” PAUL COURTS

THE death of a young harness racing horse while it was being exercised using a mechanical trainer at Globe Derby Park has prompted a call for a ban on the device.   Harness Racing SA and RSPCA are investigating the death of the yearling last weekend as it was being put through its paces while tethered to the trainer, which was being towed by a car.   The cause of death hasn’t been officially confirmed but it is understood the horse had its neck broken.   The RSPCA said it opposed the use of any training equipment that had the potential to cause harm.   “If indeed it is found that this equipment has caused the death of a horse, then obviously we would not support its use,’’ RSPCA SA chief inspector Andrea Lewis said.   Harness Racing SA said it was alerted to the death on Monday, and launched an immediate investigation.   It said the continued use of the mechanical trainers — which was common in the harness racing industry — was part of the inquiry.   Harness Racing SA chief steward Barbara Scott said as soon at it was alerted to the horse’s death, “two stewards were asked to leave the race meeting and begin an investigation’’.   “They have identified who was in charge of the horse and those people have been directed to come to the inquiry.’’   The chief steward said she was restricted in what details could be provided about the fatal incident but confirmed the horse was young but had been broken in.   She said the people in charge of the horse at the time it died were “cooperating with the inquiry’’.   “It’s common practice (to use this equipment), a lot of horse benefit from being on the jogger and it’s done not just in SA but other states as well,’’ the chief steward said.   “We get very few horses injured using this (equipment) but part of the inquiry will look at the use of them in future.’’   Harness horse trainers typically tow the mechanical trainers and horses to the practice track provided for them at Globe Derby Park.   Police said drivers had to obtain a special permit from the Transport Department to tow the device on public roads.   Otherwise they could face fines for towing an unregistered/uninsured trailer and leading an animal while in or on a vehicle.   Danny Nankervis   Reprinted with permission of the Herald Sun  - Check site here

Goulburn harness racing trainer Brad Hewitt prepared a treble at Canberra on Monday night and the common link between the three horses is part owner Jarrod Croker. Croker is the captain of the Canberra Raiders rugby league team and wears the number three jersey on the field.  Hewitt and Croker have been friends for years and the young horseman is hoping their success can continue on the track. “I think Jarrod has been in five or six horses with me now and they have all won, he has become a bit of a lucky charm for the stable,” Hewitt said. “We both grew up in Goulburn and while we didn’t go to the same school we played for the same rugby league club before he started playing for the junior Raiders, Jarrod loves harness racing and he is out cheering on his horses whenever they are in and he isn’t playing or training.” The first leg of Monday night’s treble was former New Zealander My Trial By Jury. “All of them are former kiwis, My Trial By Jury went really well at Menangle last week, he doesn’t show a lot at home but I think he is one of those horses that goes a lot better at the races. “Monterey Jack was the second winner for me, he’s a solid three year old without being a star but I still think he will do a good job going forward.” The final winner for Hewitt at the Canberra meeting was Tullow, a three year old by Mach Three. “He’s got brilliant speed and he showed a heap of it on Monday night, he has just kept on improving since he arrived in Australia and if he continues to get better then I will think about taking him to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby. “I’ve nominated him for Menangle on Saturday night as well, another one of his part owners is Raiders halfback Sam Williams, he hasn’t had a horse for a while so it was nice for him to get a winner.” Hewitt has his talented mare Sweet Molly Oshea engaged at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. “She has had a few trials but I want to see where she is at this week because if she races well then I will take her to Melbourne for the Queen Of The Pacific.” “I wish I had a bit more time with her because she isn’t eligible for the Breeders Crown and there aren’t a lot of mares’ races around.” Sweet Molly Oshea last raced on Inter Dominion day when she took out the Gr. 2 Carnival Stakes.  Another of Hewitt’s talented pacers Im Jay Tee will be on the sidelines for a number of months. “He had a set back and he will be out for anywhere between six and twelve months, it is disappointing for the owners because he was doing a good job.” Greg Hayes

One of Australia’s fastest pacers is on the market. Boasting three of the five fastest miles in Australia during the past year, Suave Stuey Lombo is for sale according to trainer Shane Tritton. Tritton believes the pacer is the perfect candidate for American-style racing, with the weak Aussie dollar the ideal time to sell the son of Bettor’s Delight. A multiple Group One winner, Suave Stuey Lombo has stopped the clock in 1:49.6 under race conditions and has trialled in 1:49.2. The seven-year-old also has a pair of 1:50.1 wins to his credit. “The Aussie dollar isn’t holding up that well against the US dollar at the moment, so it’s a good time to sell to American,” Tritton said. “A horse like Suave Stuey Lombo will love the mile racing there and can win $100,000 every year, so he would do a good job over there.” Should Suave Stuey Lombo remain in his stable, Tritton believes the gelding can add to his impressive list of feature wins. “He is having a good spell now, but we will be looking at the majors with him next time in,” Tritton said. “He is far from a spent force and can still win at the top level. “The owners are probably thinking if they can get good money for him they can reinvest and try to find that next generation horse. “He is a very nice, quick horse and can do a good job both here and in America.” PAUL COURTS

Harness racing trainer Paul Hill is on the verge of making a clean sweep of the feature two-year-old races in Hobart on Sunday week. Hill will be represented by Hillview Jake in the colts’ and geldings’ division of the $20,000 Sweepstakes series, with the freshman likely to start favourite if he draws the front line. Hill will also have two genuine winning chances in the fillies’ Final in Chica Bella and Scorchin Safari. Chica Bella scored an effortless heat win last Sunday night, with Scorchin Safari finishing third behind her stablemate. “I am excited about both the Finals because Hillview Jake is going extra well and Chica Bella was also impressive in winning her past two starts,” Hill said. “Scorchin Safari is a big girl, and will obviously be better as a three-year-old, but depending on where she draws she is capable of winning the Final. “Chica Bela has improved at every start, and if she draws favourably then she is my best winning chance, but it will be an open race.” Chica Bella has started five times for three wins and two placings, while Scorchin Safari has four placings from her four starts. During her recent victory Chica Bella raced outside of leader Shesastandout, while Scorchin Safari settled three-back along the pegs. Responding to Ricky Duggan’s hard driving, Chica Bella completed a strong two-and-a-half metre win from Shadow Blue, with Scorchin Safari three metres away third. With the final 800 metres run in 61.5 seconds, the daughter of Cardmaster Hanover covered the mile in a modest 2:02.6. PETER STAPLES

The popular Dubbo Carnival Of Cups harness racing meeting is less than two weeks away and there was plenty of interest at Forbes on Sunday with a heat of the Club Dubbo Dooza Speed Gig Series conducted.  The final will be run at Dubbo’s feature meeting on May 17.  This race is restricted to horses with four wins or less and must be trained and driven by amateur participants.  The final carries prize money of $10200 plus a Dooza Speed Gig valued at $8000 will also go to the winning connections. The major sponsor of the event is Club Dubbo formally known as the West Dubbo Bowling Club. The club have been a major supporter of the Dubbo Harness Racing Club for a number of years. It was fitting that the first heat run at Forbes on Sunday was taken out by Dubbo trainer/driver Gary Edwards. The Dubbo track curator was one of the instigators of this unique series and there will be further heats run at Bathurst on May 6th, Tamworth May 7th, Parkes May 9th  with the final heat at Dubbo on May 13th. All heats carry minimum prize money of $5100 with the first two horses past the post in each qualifying for the final. The inaugural series winner Cankickatarget has gone onto win more than $50,000 for trainer Brett Hutchings. The main race of the carnival is the Red Ochre Mares Classic. Heats worth $5100 will be conducted at the club’s meeting on May 13th with the Gr. 3 final worth $30000 run four days later. Funding for this time honoured mares classic comes from Dubbo’s stallion service auction with all money raised going into prize money. The Dubbo club is extremely grateful to Yirribee, Alabar, Nevele R, Woodlands and Goodtime Lodge Studs. The other feature event will be the $12,240 Peter Lew Memorial for three year olds.  The race is named after one of Dubbo’s most respected trainers and made possible by the generous donations of his family. Dubbo has currently three talented pacers that could start in the prestigious event headed up by Mister Jogalong prepared by Mick Lew. The Peter Gavin trained The Only Child and recent Tamworth Derby winner Remember Kaiser from the Brett Pay stable will be the other local representatives. The remainder of the program will carry minimum prize money of $8000 per race making this year’s meeting one of the richest in country NSW. - HRNSW Media

HRNSW will conduct seven ‘road shows’ across New South Wales in the next month to update participants and interested parties about the handicapping and programming changes that have been undertaken.  CEO John Dumesny has confirmed HRNSW Board members and other key staff will be in attendance to explain the outcomes and answer questions arising from the review’s results. “The key objective into the review of handicapping and programming policy was to increase revenue returned to the harness industry through the creation of competitive racing,” Dumesny said. “The review was basically broken into three parts or ‘phases’, it is vital for participants to understand the results and ask any questions they may have and the best way to give people the chance to do this is by convening meetings across New South Wales.” Scheduled Road Shows will be conducted at:  Monday May 11th  WAGGA –                           7pm Wagga Showground  Monday May 18th PEAK HILL –                       7pm Peak Hill Golf Club  Tuesday May 19th BATHURST –                      7pm Bathurst Paceway  Sunday May 24th MENANGLE –                      Midday Tabcorp Park Menangle  Thursday May 28th TAMWORTH-                    7pm Tamworth Showground  Monday June 1st NEWCASTLE-                       7pm Newcastle International Paceway  Wednesday June 3rd PENRITH-                      6pm Penrith Paceway “Road shows were conducted last year to explain why there needed to be change to handicapping in NSW, a system was implemented in an attempt to decrease odds on favourites, create competitive racing and increase field sizes.” “HRNSW can now provide the results from the review and explain what it means going forward, I would encourage anyone that has an interest to attend.” Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. - HRNSW Media

Cobram Harness Racing is turning pink on Thursday, May 7 for the club's ‘Community Pink Ribbon Ladies Day at the Trots’. To celebrate the occasion the lady drivers will be wearing pink pants sponsored by Harness Racing Victoria. A candle lighting ceremony involving ladies from the service clubs and ladies groups who have supported the day as well as students from the Cobram Secondary College will take place at 12 noon; prior to the first race at 12.37pm The talented Cobram Secondary College Stage Band led by band master Justin McLaren will provide musical entertainment during the afternoon while students from the ADVANCE Program at the College have generously volunteered their services to man the gate. All proceeds from the gate will go to the McGrath Foundation. The highlight of the afternoon is the Antica Murrina Paul Roberts Lady Drivers Invitation Race and the highly sought after Xerri Evans Aggregate Award for Lady Driver of the Day. There will be a free sweep on the Invitation Lady Drivers Race for the female patrons. Lady of the Day and Best Hat will be judged during the afternoon with sashes generously donated by the Cobram & District Artists Society and the Cobram Newsagency. Excellent prizes have been provided by Cobram Sit ‘n Sew and Cobram Shoex. A great day’s racing is assured on the nine-race program; races being named after the service clubs, ladies groups and the Moira Shire. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy an afternoon in the sun and the thrills and excitement on one of the state’s best race tracks. Ladies are invited to wear something pink to celebrate the wonderful work of the McGrath Foundation breast-care nurses supporting those battling this cruel disease in our community. - HRV Media Related Links Fields for Cobram, Thursday 07 May 2015 Form guide for Cobram, Thursday 07 May 2015

Friday night, 1st May, saw the start of the  harness racing 2015 SA Gramel Trotters Carnival at Globe Derby Park with the Gramel Preview and Maoris Idol Plate. This year's carnival is being run over 4 meetings with 13 Trotters races programmed and features prizemoney of $100,000. The "Gramel" format has changed slightly this year as the 44th running of this race is now a stand alone event without heats and carries a country penalty stake of $14,000. The Gramel, sponsored by Roseworthy Roadhouse, will be run on the carnival's SUPER NIGHT, Saturday 9th May. Seven Trotters Races have been programmed for this night alone: $14,000 Gramel, T3ob Disc $ 7,000 Gramel Consolation, T3ob Disc $15,000 SA Trotters Derby, 3yo Trotters Classic $10,000 SA Parker, 2yo Trotters Classic $8,000 Legends Final, T0-T2   ($3k R Penalty heats Monday 4th May) $ 5,000 Trotters Handicap, T0ob $ 3,000 Monte, T0ob Disc for Ridden Trotters It is hoped that this May 9th Super Night will attract interstate Trotters, with every class of Trotter being catered for, which has not been the case in previous years. Only the Legends has heat qualifications, meaning trainers can nominate for any other race that night without the need to qualify. The carnival concludes on Friday 15th May, with 2 more trotters races, this time being for the girls -  the $7,000 2015 Springvale Stud Pride of Petite for Mares only, and the $8,000 SA Trotters Oaks for 3yo fillies. The SA Square Trotters Association has tried to cater well for the juvenile trotters, with 3 trots for 3yo's and including the 2yo Parker Classic on the main night - increasing the prizemoney to $10,000. We encourage interstate trotting trainers to take the opportunity to race for the carnivals highest ever stakemoney levels and prestigious trotting events in SA. Please check the programming for full race details, or contact the SA Square Trotters Association Secretary Matthew Jacques on 0402 098 599 for further information. The SA Square Trotters Association could not put on such an event without their valuable sponsors, and gives many thanks to the following: Roseworthy Roadhouse - Major Sponsor Hopkins Saddlery & Troy Laboratories Globe Derby Poultry Grain & Fodder Specialty Foods & Max Peake OAM Springvale Stud Victorian Square Trotters Association Maryborough Harness Racing Club The Spirou & Dyson Families Dick White & Marcus Hearl HRSA & SAHRC Related Links Race programme for Globe Derby Park, Saturday 09 May 2015 - HRSA Media

A field of six will line up in the Terang Guineas tonight, Race 3 on a seven-race harness racing program at Dalvui Raceway. The favourite is likely to be unbeaten Dean Braun-trained filly Sparkling, who made an impression at her first preparation with two wins from two starts. The daughter of McArdle/Champagne N Diamonds produced a strong last 800m to win at Melton in November last year, rating 1:56.4 for the 1720m trip after coming from last. “She’s a nice filly,” Braun said. “Whatever she does tomorrow night she’ll improve on." Braun said there had been talk about sending Sparkling to Tasmania for the Oaks in March, which his stable won with Sudden Change. Sparkling has had three trials to prepare for her racetrack return and has drawn gate five in the six-horse field over 2180m for reinsman Alex Ashwood. The main danger is expected to be another filly in Keayang Torah, who finished fourth in a heat of the Victoria Oaks before running eighth in the final beaten 6.9m by Niki No No. Trained locally by Marg Lee, Keayang Torah has had two starts at Terang for a win and a second and has drawn barrier four. Another local in Bellas Jet, from the Matthew Craven camp, is also expected to run well despite starting from gate six. Bellas Jet has won two of her past three starts and possesses good gate speed. The remaining runners in the Terang Guineas are Wabash Avenue for in-form trainer/driver combination Sebastian and Zac Steenhuis from the pole, Slap On The Wrist for Tim Bolitho and Greg Sugars from gate two, and 18-start maiden Delta Safari for trainer Mathew Falzon and reinsman Bill Spiteri out of four. The seven-race program at Terang kicks off at 6pm. Watch Sparkling win at Tabcorp Park Melton last year. by Cody Winnell Related Links Fields for Terang, Tuesday 05 May 2015 Form guide for Terang, Tuesday 05 May 2015

Perfect weather conditions complimented a good day of harness racing at Warragul on Monday. Seven events produced keen racing - importantly winners came from both the front and rear of the field across the day, defying the usual trend of on-pace runners being suited on the smaller Warragul circuit. Again, fast times were recorded during the day, highlighting the quality of Warragul's renovated circuit. One trainer particularly happy to win on Monday was Warragul boy Michael Hughes, who prepared Illawong Libby to win the Warragul Downtowner Pace. Hughes has only had the four-year-old mare in his Cranbourne stable for two starts. He explained after the race that he had set Illawong Libby for the Warragul event some four weeks ago. He felt Illawong Libby would be suited by the Warragul track, and that proved the case. She led from barrier one, holding off a late challenge by Readyforreign to score narrowly in a deceptive finish. The five owners of Illawong Libby were delighted with their victory, the mare's third from 24 starts. Former Gippsland trainer Graeme Lang also claimed a victory on Monday's card with Maybellina in the Drouin Signs Trotters Handicap. Lisa Miles donned Lang's famous dark blue silks and drove a well judged race behind Maybellina, which grabbed Slancio close to home to win. Husband and wife Andy and Kate Gath collected a double on the day, courtesy of Lagoon Beach and Qtown Rip Roaring - both horses coming home strongly from off the pace in their victories. Leading combination of trainer Jayne Davies and driver Chris Alford have won more races than most at Warragul over the years, and claimed another victory on the day, this time with Baccarat in the Healers Shack Pace. Hoofnit provided the upset of the day in winning the Don Collins Pace - the longest priced winner of the afternoon at around 10/1. After three racedays in the last six weeks, Warragul now has a break before the traditional Traralgon Pacing Cup program on Monday, June 29.    

A host of promising two-year-olds will vie for a share of the rich Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic prize money starting this week at Ballarat and Geelong. The colts and geldings will be in action at Ballarat on Wednesday night, while the fillies will take to the track on Thursday night at Geelong. Kialla trainer Heath Redwood will take two youngsters to Ballarat in the hope of qualifying for the $50,000 Empire Stallions Home Grown Classic Final at Melton on May 15. His best winning chance appears to be unbeaten colt Iconic Valor, which has been the subject of several sizeable offers after winning his two starts. “He’s a very nice horse,” Redwood declared. “I’m really happy with him. He’s 100 per cent and he’s drawn perfectly, with his main danger (Apache Shark) drawn eight.” Redwood begins the night with last-start winner Showgun Thomas, with the son of Bettors Delight to come from barrier eight. “He’s got a good draw for him because he’s an opportunist, who can sit on the speed and peel off a pretty good last sectional,” Redwood said. “Andy’s (Gath) horse (Franklin Art) will probably push forward from the pole, so we should get our shot at them.” In the first of the fillies’ heats the Emma Stewart-trained Whirily School will be looking to stretch her record to three wins at her fourth start when she begins from gate four. To be driven by Greg Sugars, the daughter of Courage Under Fire boasts two professional victories over Diamond Jasper at Geelong and Maryborough. Highly-rated pacer Swiftly Tothebeach will line up in the second heat. Backed into $1.40 favourite on debut, Swiftly Tothebeach finished third, beaten two-and-a-half by Whirily School after working in the breeze. HRV Media

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ARGUABLY the best trotter produced on this side of the globe will be honoured again this weekend when South Australia hosts the final leg of its annual Gramel Series. The Globe Derby-based Championship pays tribute to the former Queen of Trotting and her connections. Attracting a top assembly each year, the races are dedicated to the memory of Gramel, which thrilled fans across three nations during the 1960s. With all respect to the entrants, none of the runners involved can be mentioned in the same breath as the great mare. Putting it frankly, Gramel – or Gracie as she was affectionately known – would ‘date’ most of the modern-day squaregaiters. Even the records of highly-rated stars such as Maori’s Idol, Scotch Notch, Lyell Creek and Sundons Gift pale in significance to some of Gramel’s feats. None of the above were forced to race off handicaps such as 256 yards like Gramel was at the Adelaide Showgrounds. Despite her mark being just 19 yards short of half the track, Gramel emerged victorious. The toughest handicap Maori’s Idol faced during his record run of 24 consecutive wins was 60 metres. Conceived in New Zealand and foaled in South Australia, Gramel was a 1957 result of a mating between Johnny Globe and the Light Brigade matron, American Brigade. Failing to attract a satisfactory bid during the 1959 Adelaide Yearling Sale, the youngster was eventually sold to Frank ‘Silky’ Jones for 375 guineas. Jones then approached astute trainer Jack Roberts to prepare his latest purchase, with Roberts hesitant to say the least. Roberts has been quoted as saying his first impression of Gramel was that of a “ewe-necked, small filly, with no tail, only a few hairs.” Roberts eventually agreed to take the ‘ugly duckling.’ Bred to be a star pacer, Gramel refused to work with the hopples, and after plenty of failed attempts, was converted to a trotter. That decision saw the start of a beautiful friendship. Unraced at two, Gramel had four three-year-old starts, for a win and a second behind Top Command in the New South Wales Trotters’ Derby. Gramel started to blossom the following season, which yielded seven triumphs and three seconds from 14 outings. Her effort to win off 96 yards at Strathalbyn on May 1, 1962 was described by the late Clem Hewitt as “one of the greatest trotting performances seen in South Australia.” During her following campaign, Gramel won 11 of her 19 starts, with three seconds and two thirds also to her credit. One of those victories was off 108 yards at Strathalbyn in October 1962 when Gramel scored by 60 yards. Other wins that season included performances from 120, 96 and 132 yards, with her biggest success coming in the V L Dullard Cup at the Melbourne Showgrounds. As a six-year-old, Gramel raced 17 times for 11 wins and five placings. Her successes were off marks such as 144 yards against trotters and 12 yards against open class pacers. One of those wins against the opposite gait includes the Gawler Free-For-All, which ranked Smokey Eric among the beaten brigade. Earlier in the year, Smokey Eric won an Inter Dominion heat and contested the Final won by Cardigan Bay. Gramel also produced what is regarded as her finest win that season, when she overcame 48 yards to successfully defend her Dullard Cup title. Caught three-wide for the first three laps around Ascot Vale’s saucer-like circuit, Gramel won easing down by 15 yards from Tara Gold and Shellgrit. Gramel rated 2:11.2 for the 15 furlongs, with her time slashing a second off the track record set by Jenny in 1960. Amazingly, Gramel was then entered in a match race with South Australia’s best pacer, Braganza, which saw out her season. Vigorously driven by Dick Webster to catch the bold striding Gramel, Braganza scored in the last stride to win by a half-neck in 2:06.2. The following term, Gramel won races in three states and also time-trialled in 2:01.2 at Harold Park, the fastest mile registered in the Southern Hemisphere. Gramel was also successful in New Zealand, including a clean sweep of her three Inter Dominion heats before finishing fourth in the Final won by Poupette. Returning to Adelaide, Gramel finished second to Inter Dominion Pacing Champion, Minuteman, in the Strathalbyn Cup. Sent for a well-earned break, Gramel was better than ever the following term, breaking records at will as an eight-year-old. Completing a hat-trick at Harold Park early in the year, Gramel returned home to win off 156 yards at Gawler. Finishing third behind Minuteman in a free-for-all, Gramel was then back in Sydney again, this time for the Inter Dominion. Unsuccessful in her heats, Gramel faced a daunting 72-yard handicap in the Final. Suffering interference early, Gramel had to settle for a half-head second behind Yamamoto. Sick of the huge marks their champion was being forced to endure, connections decided to race Gramel in America on a two-year lease. Gramel left Australia with 47 wins and 24 placings from 86 starts for record earnings of $51,874. Gramel’s career on the other side of the equator failed to live up to expectations. Last at her first two American starts, Gramel won her fourth outing before contracting a virus and being sent for a spell. Upon her return to the track, which yielded two wins, it was apparent Gramel was not going to scale the heights originally planned, with Jones buying out the remainder of her lease to return his grand mare ‘Down Under’. After spending six months in England under quarantine laws, Gramel was eventually back in Australia. Also spending a fortnight at Bill Davin’s Goodwood Stables in Ascot Vale as part of her quarantine, Gramel then completed her trip home. Connections decided to give the 11-year-old another campaign, with Gramel chalking up her final win when she beat Adios Van and Fruit Queen at Wayville. Two subsequent unplaced runs led to Gramel’s retirement. Unable to match her racetrack deeds in the breeding barn, Gramel produced a couple of minor winners. As for her stats, Gramel set 23 track records during her illustrious career while overcoming handicaps that would have today’s generation calling for the RSPCA. - PAUL COURTS
After Jerrys Jet stormed home to score an unbelievable win in the 2014 2YO Sweepstakes final on the Elwick track in Hobart his owners were excited about what the future might hold for the talented pacer. His Sweepstakes win was one of the most impressive performances seen by a juvenile pacer in a feature race final as he came from last on the home turn to win in a three-way photo finish. He was in the care of Paul Hill who at that stage had prepared the gelding to win four from as many starts. Jerrys Jet went on to win a Dandy Patch Prelude before being beaten by Boasson Hagen in the Dandy Patch final. He was sent for a spell and resumed with a win in January followed by a second to No Spring Secrets in Launceston. Jerrys Jet was subsequently sent to Rohan Hillier's stable by his owner Charlie Beadman. Hillier had open class horses with which Jerry Jet could work with and that was expected to help the owner determine whether or not Jerrys Jet would be up to tackling an interstate campaign. The son of Jeremes Jet had his first start for Hillier in the Sires Produce Stakes at Ubet Park Hobart last Sunday night and it was clear he is going to be up to the challenge when he leaves the state. With Hillier in the sulky, Jerrys Jet scorched to the front from a wide gate and after a modest first half (800m) he quickened the tempo and when asked for an effort by Hillier he reeled off a sizzling last quarter (400m) in 26.7 seconds. He defeated the highly promising filly Followthewind that went into the race on the back of a brilliant win in the Premier's Blue Bonnet Stakes clocking a mile rate of 1.59.5. Hillier was ecstatic after the win. "They wanted to find out if this horse was good enough to go interstate and in my opinion he will match whatever he goes up against when he gets there," Hillier said. "It's a shame he's not paid up for the Breeders Crown because he would have given that a shake but we'll stay here for the Tasmanian Guineas in a fortnight and then go to the Globe Derby ($30,000 sires stakes race)." "The owners will probably look at sending him interstate after the Globe Derby because he is still only a C0 rated horse." "If he can reel off a 26.7 last quarter on the Hobart track he can run a quarter at least two seconds better on the Menangle track and that would make him very competitive," he said. Peter Staples
Team McCarthy is heading back to Brisbane for next week’s $75,000 Seymour Nursery Pace series. Heats are scheduled for next Tuesday, with the Finals will be staged on May 16. Locally-owned pacers Smooth Showgirl and Birdy Mach will represent the power stable in their respective divisions and both will command strong respect. Smooth Showgirl is the defending champ following her dominant performance in last year’s Final when she defeated Feel The Faith and stablemate Bamako Mali, while Birdy Mach is very highly regarded within the Belinda and Luke McCarthy stable. “We’re looking forward to heading back to Brisbane next week for the Nursery Pace,” Luke said. “It’s a series that has been very good to me over the years and we believe we have the right horses to give it a good shake. “There’s nothing better than a Brisbane autumn/winter campaign.” Smooth Showgirl has raced in strong form this season, winning four of her 10 starts and setting a personal best time of 1:53.2 when successful at Menangle last month. The daughter of Art Major was unplaced as favourite last week at Menangle behind Image Of Courage after racing without cover in a time of 1:53.4. Birdy Mach has raced just once this term when unplaced at Menangle on December 30. Following a freshen-up, the son of Mach Three has undertaken an extensive trial campaign in preparation for his Brisbane trip, with his trial yesterday resulting in a comfortable victory in 1:56.4 when leading throughout. He paced the mile in sectionals of 29.6, 30.4, 28.5 and 27.9 seconds. “Both horses are fit and well and we’ve deliberately set both horses for this series,” Luke said. “It’s been one of their major targets all season. “The local talent looks pretty handy so it won’t be easy, but we’re confident both will perform at the required level. “Smooth Showgirl has been solid this season. She got left parked last week in fast time and she only just missed a placing in the end, so I was more than happy with her effort. “She can sustain her speed and she’s quite tough, so the style of Brisbane racing will suit her down to the ground. “We discovered a few little issues with Birdy Mach following his first-up effort and worked on those during his down time. It wasn’t anything major and time has helped him. “His trials have been good and he felt sharp yesterday, he pulled up in good order and I’m keen to test him during this series.” Both horses will be based at the property of co-owner Ian Gurney during their Brisbane campaign. McCarthy is no stranger to success in the Nursery Pace with victory behind Smooth Showgirl and Waves Of Fire (2014), Bling It On (2013), Aussie Made Lombo (2010), Fleur De Lil (2006), Tip Your Hat (2005) and Slipnslide (2003). He also won the three-year-old colts’ and geldings’ Final last year with Bling It On. HRQ Media
One of harness racing’s great scribes will be honoured at Kilmore on Saturday night with the latest edition of the Bob Cain Memorial. Losing his long battle with cancer in 2005, Cain left a hole in the industry’s media section too big to fill, having served the sport in the highest calibre for almost five decades. Cain’s association with harness racing started in 1959 when, at the age of 16, he began work at the Trotting Control Board as, in his words, the ‘resident lackey’. His flair for journalism was soon apparent, with Cain producing articles for The Guide, Australian Trotting Register, Racetrack and Sports Novels. In December 1963, Cain left the TCB to work at Southdown Press as Assistant Editor on the racing and trotting publication Best Bets, while also assisting Southdown Press’ sister publication Truth. Cain became chief trotting scribe for Truth in 1969, covering harness and thoroughbred racing for the next decade. During the 1970s, Cain’s versatility shone through, with the intrepid reporter covering VFL, cricket, cycling and other general sports for the Truth. After leaving Truth in 1979, Cain re-joined the team in 1982, before moving to National Trotting Weekly as Assistant Editor in 1985. Cain took over paper’s top job in 1993, but resigned from the position in 1996 due to ill-health, working as a freelancer for the next eight years. In 2001, at the insistence of then New South Harness Racing Club chief executive Peter V’Landys, Cain returned NTW, which had been renamed Harness Racing Weekly, to be publisher of the paper and its sister publication National Trotguide, simply because he was the best man in the industry to undertake the difficult role. “Bob was a brilliant journalist, legendary author, but most importantly, he was a champion bloke,” V’Landys said. “I don’t think I have met a person who had a wit like Bob possessed, and although he tried to hide his feelings, I don’t think there was a more caring and kind person. “When we acquired Harness Racing Weekly Bob was simply the only person capable of getting the job of putting the two papers together done for us.” During the years, Cain promoted the industry via radio and television, and has four books to his credit. Among Cain’s achievements are numerous literary awards on a national and state level, with Cain gaining a reputation as an astute historian, which led him to becoming the “go to” man for a large number of journalists throughout Australia. Cain’s career was given due recognition before his death when the Australian Harness Racing Council honoured him with the Joseph Coulter Media Meritorious Service Award. As for the race in Cain’s honour, handy pacer Captain Bronzie shapes as the one to beat for trainer George Batsakis despite drawing awkwardly in barrier five. The son of Art Major is ready to return to the winners’ circle having filled the placings at his two runs back from a break. “He is going well, and after two runs this time in, he is back at his peak,” Batsakis said. “The barrier is a bit difficult, but it is only a small field of six, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. “He has the gate speed there if Chris (Alford, driver) wants to use it.” Following this weekend’s assignment Captain Bronzie will work his way through the grades as Batsakis prepares the four-year-old for the rich Vicbred Super Series. “He is very loosely-assessed, so at this stage I will just get him through the grades and head towards the Vicbred,” Batsakis said. “He is not up to the real top ones, but he’s a nice type, which can win his races.” PAUL COURTS
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