Day At The Track
Chicago Bull,Harness racing

Chicago Bull arrives in NZ Thursday

Gary Hall is hoping a change of trainer can transform Chicago Bull from a Victoria Cup runner-up to a New Zealand Cup winner. The pride of Perth arrives in New Zealand on Thursday and is likely to stay a month with the $800,000 Cup at Addington on November 13 his main aim. Had Chicago Bull won the Victoria Cup at Melton last Saturday he could well have threatened for favouritism in New Zealand’s greatest harness race but he had to settle for a well-beaten second behind Tiger Tara, who is also bound for Addington but will race at Menangle this Saturday first. Hall’s usually unshakable confidence was initially dented by the Victoria Cup defeat. “I first glance I thought he was disappointing,” he admits. “But then when I analyzed it and the lead time was so slow, it was like sitting parked outside Tiger Tara over a mile. “You are not going to win doing that and obviously we didn’t. But at the top of the straight our fella was all done and he still fought on really well for second. “So he can still win the New Zealand Cup.” Not that Hall will have as much input as usual into Chicago Bull’s preparation with his son and regular driver Gary junior taking over the hands-on training for almost all the New Zealand campaign, albeit in an unofficial capacity. “Gary is going over with him this week and staying right through until after the New Zealand Cup, he won’t be coming back to drive here in Perth. “Gary actually did most of the training with Quinny (I’m Themightyquinn) when he raced in the Inter Dominion in Auckland in 2011, which we ended up winning after Smoken Up was disqualified.  “So he thinks he is the man for the job so I will only come over a few days before the Cup,” laughs Hall. Chicago Bull flies into Auckland in the hope the Auckland Trotting Club will hold the programmed open class race at Alexandra Park next Friday as his final lead-up to the Cup.  With Star Galleria already in the south and Northview Hustler and No Doctor Needed nominated for the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on Monday the northern open class stocks will be getting pretty thin by next week.  But Let’s Elope and Jacks Legend, who quinellaed last Friday’s Holmes D G, are likely to accept for next Friday along with a few others and the Auckland Trotting Club have been keen to support pre-NZ Cup open class racing in recent years so the race should get off the ground.  “That would be ideal for us because he needs the standing start practice, he has never been from one in a race,” says Hall.  “He has had a couple of trials over here from a stand but that is a lot diferent from a race.” Chicago Bull versus Jacks Legend is very much a spring treat for Alexandra Park regulars as they were both runner-ups to Lazarus at the highest level last season, Jacks Legend in the New Zealand Cup and Chicago Bull in the Inter Dominion.  The pair staying in the north for their final lead-up races also adds to the intrigue of an already fascinating New Zealand Cup, which in recent years has seen most of the top chances race each other and establish a clear pecking order before they get to Addington.  That won’t be the case this season because while some of the Cup favourites like Ultimate Machete and Dream About Me will head to Ashburton on Monday others like Star Galleria and Methven Cup winner Cruz Bromac will bypass that race, ensuring lots of varying formlines heading into the Cup.   Michael Guerin

Tiger Tara,Harness racing

TAB Inter Dominion 2018 second rankings

The second lot of rankings have dropped for the 2018 TAB Inter Dominion pacing and trotting championships, with Tiger Tara enjoying a bump off his Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup win. Kevin Pizzuto's Grand Circuit winner has leapfrogged Let It Ride into second on the rankings but Chicago Bull's retain top billing ahead of his New Zealand Trotting Cup campaign.   See the full list of second rankings here!   Trots Media

Wayville,harness racing

HRSA Awards night wrap up

NORMALLY registering a double would be a highlight of a meeting but for Dani Hill a pair of winners at Mildura last night played second fiddle to her “amazing” evening. While she was hard at work across the border Hill was being honoured by Harness Racing SA during its annual awards function. In front of a sell-out crowd Hill was announced the 2017/18 Jim Hurley Medallist thanks to her remarkable season. Along with being South Australia’s premier driver, Hill’s season including a tearaway victory in the inaugural Australian Reinswomen’s Championship, which was conducted in Tasmania last November. If that isn’t impressive enough, Hill was also the leading Australasian reinswoman during the Teal Pants Campaign. “I had such a great season with so many highlights, but to receive such an honour is truly amazing,” Hill said. “Unfortunately I couldn’t attend, but when I got a text from Lisa Ryan telling me the news, I felt so overwhelmed...it was just surreal. “It is a massive honour and I cannot thank HRSA enough for bestowing it upon me.” It’s the second time Hill has claimed the medal which follows her success in the inaugural presentation in 2016. “To win the first Jim Hurley Medal is something extremely special, but to receive it a second time is a huge thrill,” Hill said. “To all the people who support me such as owners and trainers for trusting me to drive their horses, this wouldn’t be possible without you.” HRSA recognised numerous participants throughout the function, including the ever-passionate Max Beasley who received the Chairman’s Award. Young enthusiast Lachlan Stace took home the Nevada Smoke Special Achievement Award for his dedication towards the industry. Stace – who is a still wet behind the ears 18-year-old - calls trials, TAB and pony races, is the MC for a range of tracks and a tipster. “It is a fantastic honour, which I wasn’t expecting it that’s for sure,” Stace said. “I was hosting the night and obviously this was kept off the running sheet. “I cannot thank HRSA enough for this award and the support they have given me all along. “Without them and a lot of our clubs and associations I would be able to do what I am.” Media were also acknowledged with Dianne Crocker's sensational snap of the Wayville crowd judged Best Photo. Sky Racing's In The Gig’s handling of the Wayville extravaganza was rated Bet Film/Television/Video coverage.  To view the video please click here  Rounding out the scribes was Paul Courts who gained the Best News Story for his feature on Leah Harvey. Click here to read Harvey’s story. To view the full leaderboard of the Jim Hurley Medal for 2017/18 please click here. HRSA Media

Jody Jamieson

Inaugural HRA National Conference Announcement

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) today announced plans to establish an annual HRA National Conference. HRA Chair, Mr Michael Taranto, explained that planning for the inaugural HRA National Conference on 14 December 2018 was well underway, with a number of prominent Keynote speakers and guests having confirmed their attendance. “The HRA Executive’s plans for a National Conference were reasonably bullish as we hoped to construct a program that would grab the attention of all industry stakeholders across the various industry sectors with interesting speakers and interactive sessions for engagement and participation among all who attend. “We are excited to announce a mixture of local and international talent, spearheaded by world champion driver and administrator, Jody Jamieson, and our future leaders who will participate in a Youth Forum.“ Leading trotting stud Aldebaran Park has been quick to throw its support behind the initiative, coming on board as an event sponsor with Stud Principal, Duncan McPherson OAM, declaring, ”the program is outstanding and the ability to secure Mr Jody Jamieson as a keynote speaker is a real coup for the industry.” The inaugural HRA National Conference will be held from 10.00am to 6.00pm on Inter Dominion Championships Grand Final Eve in the Hill Stand at Flemington Racecourse. Topics that will be covered include Marketing & Promotion, Breeding, Industry Funding and a Youth Forum where emerging talent and future leaders will share their thoughts and paint their vision for the future success of the industry. Mr Taranto further advised “that more information regarding speakers, topics and event registrations will continue to be announced in the coming weeks but I extend an open invitation to any and all persons and associations who have an interest in the ongoing success and sustainability of our industry to save the date. I look forward to your attendance and welcoming you on the 14th December.” For further information contact Andrew Kelly 03 9227 3000.   Harness Racing Australia  

Ben Yole continued his powerful defence of his Leading Trainers Title by preparing four of the eight winners on the programme at Devonport on Sunday. Ben’s winning run commenced in race two with Pushkin, despite being friendless in the betting. “It was three-way photo at the finish and I was probably the only person not worried about which way the result went because we trained all three but Pushkin (pictured – middle) has been a grand campaigner for us, he won four races last season and has already picked up two wins this season at odds of $18 and $51,” said Ben. “Troy (McDonald) has been driving well so it was no surprise to see him lead all the way with Giant Steps in the fifth race and collect his double and I’m sure punters were much happier as it was well supported ($3.10) to run favourite.” Monarkmac has gone close to winning on two occasions this season going down narrowly to Haleys Comet in Launceston and El Jays Monet in Hobart. “He’s a ten-year-old now and he found himself in the right race with the right draw and he was able to do the rest, Rohan (Hadley) rated him well and he had enough in hand to stave off stablemate No Apachemee which made a late charge after getting off the pegs turning for home,” said Ben. “The stable finished off with Im Barney Rubble, he’s just a machine, he won six races last year at ten years of age and has already nailed three from six this season, he won by over five metres and had them covered a long way out.” The Todd Rattray trained and driven six-yer-old Taurisi ($1.60) showed his class to come off the 30-metre handicap and score a runaway 5.1-metre win in the Discretionary over Karalta Dazzler and Poker Storm. Paul Ashwood trained the quinella in the Maxfield Drilling Pace for Mick Maxwell but not in the order most punters would have preferred with Krafty Boy ($4.80), driven by Rohan Hillier,  storming home over the top of popular pick Miracle Marcus ($2.00). Punters won the battle on the night with six favourites saluting including the Bianca Heenan prepared Mon Poppy Polly ($2.70) driven by Taylor Ford and the Melissa Maine-trained Better Go Go ($2.30) steered home by Gareth Rattray. Shane Yates

Victorian harness racing has paid tribute to a long-time trainer, driver, gentleman and Inter Dominion champion in Eric Rothacker. The beloved trots participant passed at age 89 on October 13, leaving behind a devoted family and a considerable imprint on the harness racing landscape. Mr Rothacker continued to train until 2015-16 and drive until 2009-10 after an extensive career of participation, most recently with 1996 Bendigo Trotters Cup winner Larry Do, 1990 Horsham Pacing Cup winner Eck’s Shadow and Fiery Gent (2002). His last training win was with Watch My Sox at St Arnaud on July 2, 2015, when he was aged 86, while it was at age 76 that he piloted his last win (Hanging Loose at Bendigo in November 2005). He was a prominent member of Victorian harness racing royalty, being the son of Vic Rothacker, nephew of Bill Rothacker and cousin of Gordon Rothacker. He formed a terrific and successful bond with Gentleman John (pictured) in the 1950s, a gelding who he owned, trained and drove after the yearling was gifted to him by his father. Gentleman John would win the 1955 A. G. Hunter Cup, three Vic Globe Derby Championships, three Melbourne Showgrounds Free For Alls and the Horsham Easter Cup. But it’s his victory in the 1956 Inter Dominion at Sydney’s Harold Park for Eric Rothacker that would provide a career highlight, with the 26-year-old being at the time the youngest reinsman to win the race. Gentleman John beat local pacer Mineral Spring by a head with New Zealand’s Caduceus a gallant third in front of a crowd of 34,020. It was Gentleman John’s 24th win and took his earnings to £19,000. “The big crowd gave 26-year-old Eric Rothacker a great ovation as the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Alderman P. D. Hills, presented him with several trophies and garlands,” reported the book ‘Inter Dominions: saga of champions’. Harness Racing Victoria extends its condolences to Mr Rothacker’s friends and family.   Trots Media

Victoria Derby-winning three-year-old Colt Thirty One was crowned Queensland Harness Horse of the Year at the 2018 UBET Queensland Harness awards in Brisbane on Sunday.   The award capped a night of accolades for trainer Grant Dixon, who was again recognised as the Queensland Trainer of the Year. The Dixon stable also picked up the Queensland Trotter of the Year title with Our Overanova. Nathan Dawson was crowned Queensland Driver of the Year and Concession Driver of the Year following a highly successful season in which he steered more than 200 winners statewide. Pete McMullen was also recognised for winning his first Metropolitan Drivers’ premiership. The Kevin and Kay Seymour-owned Colt Thirty One also picked up the award for Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year, while Group 1 winning juvenile Smart As Camm Be won Two-Year-Old Pacer of the Year and Filly or Mare of the Year. Bodhi Tree capped his remarkable return to the racetrack and to form by winning the Aged Pacer of the Year award. Kevin and Kay Seymour’s Solid Earth Pty Ltd also won the awards for Owner and Breeder of the Year. The dam of Colt Thirty One, Charm Personified, was named Queensland Broodmare of the Year. Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said the awards night was an important opportunity for the industry to join together and celebrate all they had achieved in the past season. “Racing is a 24/7 industry and it’s not often participants get the time to stop and celebrate their achievements, which is why nights like these are so important,” he said. Mr Parnell thanked the night’s major sponsors UBET for their continued support of the harness racing code in Queensland. “Without sponsors such as UBET nights like these would not be possible. We must also thank UBET for their generous $120,000 sponsorship of this year’s Winter Carnival, which allowed Racing Queensland to offer bonuses to attract some of Australia’s best horses and participants to Queensland,” he said. Racing Queensland also wishes to thank individual award sponsors: Albion Park Harness Racing Club, Marburg Pacing Association, Redcliffe Harness Racing Club, Kevin and Kay Seymour, RadioTAB, QRIC, Garrard’s Horse and Hound, Australian Pacing Gold (APG), Ladies In Racing, McGarry Equine Veterinary Services, Seelite Windows and Doors and Sky Racing.   2018 UBET Queensland Harness Award Winners   Albion Park Harness Racing Club Horse of the Year GLENFERRIE HOOD Albion Park Harness Racing Club Metropolitan Drivers Premiership PETE MCMULLEN Albion Park Harness Racing Club Metropolitan Trainers Premiership GRANT DIXON Albion Park Harness Racing Club Owner of the Year SOLID EARTH P/L Albion Park Harness Racing Club Mare of the Year VILLAGE WITCH Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Horse of the Year CALCAVADO Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Drivers Premiership NATHAN DAWSON Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Trainer Premiership GRANT DIXON Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Concession Driver of the Year NATHAN DAWSON Redcliffe Harness Racing Club Mare of the Year SPLASH OF GOLD Marburg Harness Racing Club Horse of the Year LIVING FREE Marburg Harness Racing Club Drivers Premiership MATT ELKINS Marburg Harness Racing Club Trainer of the Year DARREL GRAHAM BOTRA Rising Star – Male MITCHELL DAWSON BOTRA Rising Star – Female ALEX CAIN BOTRA Centurion Medal Trainer GRANT DIXON, DARREL GRAHAM, CHANTAL TURPIN, JACK BUTLER BOTRA Centurion Medal Driver   NATHAN DAWSON, PETE MCMULLEN, GRANT DIXON, ADAM SANDERSON   Kevin and Kay Seymour Queensland Young Achiever Award - Male NATHAN DAWSON Kevin and Kay Seymour Queensland Young Achiever Award –  Female DANNI-ELLE MCMULLEN Redcliffe Pegasus Award presented by Lin and Laurie Feehely NOEL & CHRISTINE DENNING & FAMILY RadioTAB Queensland Concession Driver of the Year NATHAN DAWSON Garrard’s H&H Queensland Owner of the Year SOLID EARTH P/L QRIC Queensland Breeder of the Year SOLID EARTH P/L QRIC Queensland Broodmare of the Year CHARM PERSONIFIED APG Queensland 2YO Pacer of the Year SMART AS CAMM BE Queensland 3YO Pacer of the Year COLT THIRTY ONE Garrard’s H&H Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year BODHI TREE Ladies In Racing Queensland Filly or Mare of the Year SMART AS CAMM BE McGarry Veterinary Services Queensland Driver of the Year NATHAN DAWSON Garrard’s H&H Queensland Trainer of the Year GRANT DIXON Seelite Windows and Doors Queensland Trotter of the Year OUR OVERANOVA UBET Queensland Harness Horse of the Year COLT THIRTY ONE   Racing Queensland

ALL of the action took place inside the Clubhouse when the awards for last season were presented at a highly enjoyable Gold Crown Paceway function last Friday. Guests included Harness Racing New South Wales Chairman Rod Smith, Board Member Peter Nugent, Bathurst Regional Council Mayor Cr Graeme Hangar and NSW Owners Association representatives Peter and Marie Neil, the current Gold Crown Honourees. The Chairman, in a brief address, touched on several current topics:  the $200,000 funding increase for the Gold Crown (which will provide four Group 1 finals in 2019, for the first time);  the decision to stage a  Group 1 series for both four and five-year-olds at Wagga next season (eligibilty for horses which were paid up as juveniles for the Bathurst Gold Crown) ; and the extension of the current drought assistance to participants. He then made the presentation for Trainer of the Year to Steve Turnbull, who trained 63 winners, including five trebles, 15 doubles and Group wins with Art Series in the Gold Bracelet and NSW Regional Final. Steve’s children Amanda and Mitchell completed a family trifecta of major premierships, by taking out the Senior and Junior Driver of the Year Awards respectively, to the evident pride and delight of their grandfather 'A.D.' Tony Turnbull, the legend himself. Amanda’s 49 winners included five winners at one meeting, back in October 2017, the Soldiers Saddle Final, Oberon Cup, Sales Graduate Final and both feature wins by Art Series. In making the presentation to Amanda, Mayor Hangar recalled his days as a teacher at Kelso High School, reminding Amanda that she still owed him a history assignment from back in Year Nine! Amanda’s focus then was clearly on the future, and not writing about the past, and nothing’s changed since. Mitchell was dux of a very strong class of Bathurst junior drivers  - the likes of McKayler Barnes, Justin Reynolds, Doug Hewitt and Jake Davis - with 17 wins for the season, which included a treble and several doubles. Three of his wins came courtesy of the Bathurst sprint lane. HRNSW Board Member Peter Nugent made presentations for Horse and Juvenile Horse of the Year and UDR Trainer and Driver of the Year. Bathurst couple Lester and Linda Hewitt accepted the trophy and rug for Horse of the Year. What A Jolt, a four-year-old Village Jolt gelding, registered seven wins during the season, including three consecutively at one point. Hewitt paid tribute to driver John O’Shea, who formed a strong connection with the horse, using his brilliant gate speed to advantage many times. Jenny Turnbull, mother of Amanda, received the award for Juvenile Horse of the Year Shoobee Doo. The two-year-old Shoobees Place colt lined up at Bathurst seven times for four wins, which included heat and final of the Graeme Board Sales Graduate series, and a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge. Bathurst was a regular destination for a number of metropolitan stables last season, including KerryAnn Turner and Robbie Morris from Menangle, and the UDR Trainer and Driver winners, Cobbity-based Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy. Luke drove a winner every 2.9 starts, including a number for other stables, while Craig was successful every 3.6 starts, with winners such as Majestic American, Blackened, Rocknroll Dude, Zahven Banner and Darkershadeofpale. With Craig and Luke lining up with  Mach Doro in the following night’s Victoria Cup, the awards were collected on their behalf by Matt McCarthy, a Bathurst HRC director and the uncle of Luke. Jake Davis, likewise, represented his grandparents Ray and Pat Davis in accepting their Owner of the Year award from NSWSOA representative Marie Neil. The Davis family milk 650 cows twice a day at their Browns Creek dairy near Blayney, yet still find time to race a nice team of horses, mainly at Bathurst, the likes of Browns Creek Boy, Studleigh Kristen and two-year-old winners Nifty Studleigh and Rainbow Comet. Jake, who expresses a hope of making a full-time career in harness racing, does most of the stable driving, alongside father Leigh and uncle Brett. Art Major was acknowledged as the leading sire of winners at Bathurst, with 28 individual winners during the season. Bernie Hewitt, runner-up in the Trainer and Senior Driver premierships, was acknowledged for his achievement in winning his first Bathurst Gold Crown, with College Chapel, and spoke about the outstanding season for the youngster, finishing with his hopes for the coming season. Which was possibly the thought uppermost in most minds as folk headed home after this year’s awards.   Terry Neil

Last night’s Harness Racing Awards Dinner brought exciting news for junior drivers and cousins Nathan Dawson and Dannielle McMullen when they were announced winners of the 2018 Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achievers Award. The award comes with an unbelievable all-expenses paid trip to North America working and learning under the watchful eye of successful harness racing trainer and former Australian Ross Croghan. The trip will be an incredible learning curve for the youngsters and will include opportunities to visit the stables of prominent standardbred trainers such as Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke, touch base with ex-pats such as Andy McCarthy, Noel Daley and Chris Ryder to name but a few, visit renowned racetracks such as the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Freehold as well as the possibility of securing a race drive. Young Achiever nominations were selected on a monthly basis throughout the season by a panel of industry experts. Other nominees included Trent Moffat, Hayden Barnes, Brittany Graham, Narissa McMullen, Isobel Ross, Mitchell Dawson, Alex Cain and Matt Elkins. Nathan Dawson was the obvious preference for the male award recipient given his unbelievable driving record in the 2017/2018 season and being nominated for the award on three occasions. He secured the Queensland Driver of the Year Premiership and was the only driver to land a double century of wins. Dawson’s career best month was in August where he landed 40 winners and 42 placings from 149 drives. In that month he drove four winners on two occasions, trebles on three occasions and recorded his 500th lifetime winner. “I hadn’t kept count of the winners that month, I just went out there and did my best. I had a really good season and it’s great to be rewarded for the hard work” Dawson stated. He was also selected to represent Queensland in the upcoming Australasian Young Drivers Championship held at Albion Park and Redcliffe in November. McMullen also enjoyed plenty of success last season finishing within the top 10 on the state drivers, metropolitan drivers and concession drivers premierships with 78 winners from 595 drives. Along with her sister Narissa, McMullen represented the state in the Australian Female Drivers Championship in Tasmania where she finished in 2nd place, as well as competing in the Reinswomen Invitational series at Globe Derby. Narissa was selected as last year’s Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achiever and ironically the sisters finished on the same number of wins last season. “I’m really looking forward to the trip, it’ll be a really great learning experience and I know it wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors Kevin and Kay Seymour”, said McMullen. While the trip details are yet to be confirmed it has been suggested that the drivers will set off in August next year and their trip will coincide with the one million dollar Hambletonian Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack.   Albion Park Harness Racing  

A driver of almost 1000 starts who crossed codes and become a thoroughbred foreman, Ricky Frew has been remembered as a passionate horse man and true friend. Ricky passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family Sunday night after earlier suffering a heart attack. A father of four and grandfather of one, Ricky's driving career started in 1980, when he spent time with Ted Demmler's stable along side Ron Hall.  Over the next 15 years he was able to achieve great success in both the harness and thoroughbred industries. As a trots driver in Victoria he had 72 wins, 77 seconds and 79 thirds from 837 starts. More recently he has been stable foreman for Tony Vasil, and has spent the last 15 years as assistant trainer/foreman with team Hawkes based in Flemington - working with such horses as Chataqua, All Too Hard, MaLuckyDay and his favourite, Longeron.  A funeral will be held in his honour at Le Pine Funerals, 484 Geelong Rd, West Footscray, at noon on Monday, October 22. Rick's eldest daughter has arranged a Go Fund me account to help raise money for the funeral. Click here for more information: https://www.gofundme.com/ricky-frew039s-last-wish  Harness Racing Victoria sends its condolences to Mr Frew's family and friends.   Harness Racing Victoria

When harness racing 4yo Please Shuddup won at Saturdays Gore meeting, it capped off a commendable couple of days for his sire Auckland Reactor.   Well known for his deeds on the racetrack, Auckland Reactor is now making a name for himself as a Group 1 winning sire, headlined by his award winning son Chase Auckland.   Chase Auckland (Auckland Reactor - Delicata) swept all before him last season as a three-year-old winning eight of his nine raceday starts including the Great Northern Derby (Group 1), New Zealand Sire Stakes Final (Group 1), Elsu Alabar Classic (Group 2) and the New Zealand Yearling Sales Final (Listed).    He was named three year old of the year at the prestigious New Zealand harness racing awards and finished the season holding two New Zealand records, the 2700 metre mobile all-comers record of 3:16.8 and also the 1950 metre mobile all-comers record of 2:16.1   Although his season ended with an minor injury, Chase Auckland is now well healed and the striking four year old is back in full work hoping to be ready to race early in the new year or just before.   Chase Auckland - NZ Sire Stakes Final - New Zealand Record     Chase Auckland - The Great Northern Derby New Zealand Record     At Gore, the Murray Brown trained Please Shuddup (Auckland Reactor - Blah Blah Blah) was too good for his opposition, trailing early then jogging to the lead with 150m to go and winning as he liked without the removable deafeners being pulled.    Auckland Reactor picked up another milestone of sorts last Friday night when his daughter As Free As Air (Auckland Reactor - Cloud Cuckooland) won her first trotting race in the hands of driver Maurice Mckendry at Alexandra Park .   That win was Auckland Reactor's first trotting winner as a sire and it also gave Maurice Mckendry a total of six driving wins in the one night a feat he had accomplished only twice before.   As Free As Air     Amazingly the second of Mckendry's six wins on the night also came courtesy of the progeny of Auckland Reactor when Red Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Edernay) zipped home for an impressive win in quick time.   Mckendry who trains Red Reactor says the gelding is still improving and will be a better horse next year, a comment we have also heard being made by several trainers of Auckland Reactor bred pacers in both New Zealand and Australia.   Red Reactor     And then to top the week off Sergei (Auckland Reactor - Jane Of Eden - Strong Life) a gelding, won his third race in a row and fourth from his last six starts in NSW.   Sergei makes it three in a row     In New Zealand Auckland Reactor has had 21 individual winners to date and in Australia he has had even more with 32 winners already on the board.   That is a total of 53 winners with total stake earnings of $1,700,000 between both Countries.   He has had 96 qualifiers or starters in New Zealand and 80 in Australia to date.    He bred 76 mares in New Zealand and 112 in Australia for the past season.   In New Zealand Auckland Reactor finished third on the three-year-old sires list for the past season a great effort for his first crop to the races.   Leading HorsesSiresBroodmare Sires for the 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970 1969 1968 1967 1966 1965 1964 1963  Season     Pacers OnlyTrotters OnlyCombined Gaits     All Ages2 year olds only3 year olds only4 year olds only5 years old and older 10/10/2018@11:18:32 Sires $Won ▾ Starters Foals Winners Starts Wins 2nds 3rds Bettor's Delight 2,320,600 93 195 62 806 135 126 94 Mach Three 747,078 64 117 49 489 77 51 58 Auckland Reactor 596,037 39 156 15 231 29 18 14   When you consider the great sires behind Auckland Reactor on this list such as Art Major, Somebeachsomewhere, American Ideal and Christian Cullen, Auckland Reactor has performed exceptionally well and is assured a bright future. In Australia Auckland Reactor has had 80 starters to date with 32 winners including the top filly Soho Burning Love who is probably the most unlucky and underated filly in all of Australia.  Soho Burning Love (Auckland Reactor - Soho Bordeaux - Western Terror) has had 30 starts for $157,170 to date with a record of 1:52.6 over 1720 meters winning by 34 meters but the real story with this filly was the shocking amount of bad draws in all her starts against the best Group horses in Australia. I believe she only drew inside post 8 three times in her three-year-old starts. She has had mostly second row draws. She had 21 starts as a three-year-old for 6 wins 10 seconds 3 thirds a ffith and a 10th. She won a heat of the Bathurst Gold Bracelet (second in the Group 1 Final), second in the heat and final of Group 1 New South Wales Oaks, second in the Group 2 Vicbred Classic and she was third in the Group 1 Victoria Oaks. Soho Burning Love winning in a 1:52.6 mile rate over 1720 meters. Auckland Reactor had 9 two-year-old winners in Australia and $148,527 in earnings for the last season. He had  20 three-year-old winners earning $402,523 for that season. He had 4 additional stake placegetters. Besides Soho Burning Love in Australia, Auckland Reactor has sired the Group 1 winning Gold Reactor, De La Tourbie (third in the Group 1 Westbred Classic), Delightfulreacion (second in the Group 1 Westbred Classic) and You Ninety Two who finished second in the Group 1 Vicbred Classic. Harnesslink Media

Champion three-year-old Ignatius was awarded Tasmanian Harness Racing’s 2017/18 Horse Of The Year at Saturday night’s Annual Hall Of Fame and Awards Presentation Dinner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston. The star pacer, owned by Lyrae Rattray (pictured with husband Todd), enjoyed another sensational season on the track winning 11 of his 13 starts, following his remarkable efforts as an outstanding two-year-old winning five of six appearances. Bred by the Rattray Family Trust the Roll With Joe – Ashkalini gelding, trained by James Rattray is a Dual Group 1 winning performer, remarkably returning an identical sizzling mile-rate of 1.51:3 on both occasions. Ignatius’ dam Ashkalini, bred and owned by The Rattray Family Trust, was named Broodmare Of The Year after another stellar season. Popular Tasmanian Harness Racing participant Chester Bullock was honoured with the prestigious Edgar Tatlow Medal for his life-long dedication, service and commitment to many aspects of the industry including ownership, breeding, training, administration and sponsorship. It was an exciting evening of presentations: Hall of Fame inductees Trainers/Drivers – Tom Terry, Bob Kernan, Don Peck. Racehorses – Jean Logan, Stanley Rio, Karalta Gift. Breeding – Fred & Pauline Barker, Globe Dobell, Prancing Ruby. Associates –  John Vranisan, Robin Wilson, Noel Salter. Aged Horse of the Year awards 2YO Colt or Gelding  – Resurgent Storm 2YO Filly – Karalta Moondance 3YO Colt or Gelding – Ignatius 3YO Filly – Ideal Bliss 4YO Mare – Call Her Julie 4YO Gelding or Entire – Harjeet Broodmare – Ashkalini Horse Of The Year – Ignatius Medalists Edgar Tatlow Medal – Chester Bullock Halwes Medalist – Todd Rattray Beautide Medal – Ignatius Young Achiever Award – Conor Crook Achiever Award – Pam Krushka Recognition Award – David Mace Media Award – Mark Yole Welfare – Sue Streit Mini Trot – Brodie Davis Participants Awards Trainer – Ben Yole Driver – Todd Rattray Female Trainer – Juanita McKenzie Female Driver – Hannah van Dongen Junior – Conor Crook   Shane Yates

Tiger Tara is tough. He’s fought in most big fights….he’s won some and he’s lost some. But he’s always in for the fight. And he never takes a backward step. With the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit series officially underway, the New South Wales trained eight-year-old showed great tenacity when defying his rivals to score a major victory, leading throughout in the Gr.1 $200,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Victoria Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton tonight (Saturday). The Kevin Pizzuto trained star easily defeated Chicago Bull and Carlas Pixel in a time of 1:53.4 to register his maiden Grand Circuit success. Starting from gate two, driver Todd McCarthy urged the Bettors Delight entire off the gate and defied Mach Doro the early lead which forced a major reshape of tactics of rival drivers. Settling into a comfortable looking stride, Tiger Tara led the way in the 2240m contest while Mach Doro and Franco Nelson were forced to cover extra early ground before eventually gaining a trail on race favourite Chicago Bull who quickly made his move when the pace steadied. The lead time was covered in a moderate 44.2 seconds. Placed in the same event twelve months earlier, Tiger Tara was looking for redemption and rivals allowed McCarthy to dictate terms easily in front with little or no moves being made in the first part of the event. The first half was covered in 30.7 and 28.9 seconds. It spelt disaster for his rivals. Entering the back straight for the final time, McCarthy let Tiger Tara off the chain and rapidly increased the pressure which gave rivals in the second half of the field little or no chance of improving. Tiger Tara was in full-flight while Chicago Bull and Shadow Sax were left working overtime deeper off the track. The back straight quarter was covered in a punishing 26.3 seconds. Approaching the top of the straight, Tiger Tara found separation and raced clear with a widening margin while the race for the place was on in earnest. At the line, Tiger Tara ($7.90) scored by 12.2 metres from Chicago Bull ($1.80) while Carlas Pixel ($77.90) rattled home via inside runs to grab third spot. The final split was covered in 27.7 seconds. The winning mile rate of 1:53.4 is well outside of the track record held by Lennytheshark at 1:52.4 set earlier this year. “He was awesome tonight, he felt the best he’s ever felt for some time and that was an unbelievable feeling. He’s such a courageous animal and thoroughly deserved to win a race of this magnitude.” Winning driver Todd McCarthy said. The gifted young reinsman joins his father John (Be Good Johnny – 2005) and big brother Luke (Mr Feelgood – 2010 & For A Reason – 2013) as a winner of the Victoria Cup. Since joining the stables of Pizzuto, Tiger Tara has won 16 of his 37 starts while his earnings are now in excess of $1.5 million. Tiger Tara is now headed back to New Zealand for another shot at the $800,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 13 before returning to Melbourne in December for the $500,000 Inter Dominion series. Last season, he finished third in both the New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominion. Following his Victoria Cup triumph, Tiger Tara amassed maximum points and is looking to claim the title of Grand Circuit champion this season. He finished third behind Lazarus and Soho Tribeca last term. And it’s another fight he’s ready for, you wouldn’t expect anything less. Chris Barsby

Sunshine Sprint winner Tact Tate has been sold. The Amanda Turnbull prepared pacer will do his future racing in North America and is scheduled to fly out this weekend. Tact Tate scored a brilliant victory in the Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint in 1:53.0 defeating Celestial Arden and Ohoka Punter before finishing an unlucky 6th behind Let It Ride the following week in the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship back in July during the Queensland winter carnival. The McArdle gelding was unplaced in his only start since the Brisbane campaign, finishing 9th behind Gotta Go Ya Hu on September 15 at Menangle. “It obviously was a very tough decision but there was plenty of interest in him and things moved along pretty quickly and he’s headed out this weekend. He’s been an absolute ripper for me and all of the other owners and provided us with so much fun and excitement, he won two Gr.1 features and I’m sure he’ll do a great job in the States.” Co-owner Steve Salter said. Purchased for a moderate amount from New Zealand back in 2015, the former Southland pacer transformed into a great money-spinner for his connections winning 11 races including his first five starts in Victoria. His biggest victories came via the Gr.1 $100,000 Bonanza at Melton in a career best 1:51.9 and the Gr.1 $100,000 Bohemia Crystal FFA at Menangle defeating Have Faith In Me in 1:53.6 for 2400m. Other feature victories include the Gr.2 $50,000 Treuer Memorial and the Gr.3 $30,600 Sydney Cup. His most recent victory came via the Sunshine Sprint back on July 14. In recent times, former southern hemisphere pacers have performed exceptionally well in North America highlighted by the deeds of star mare Shartin and the mighty champion Lazarus. Shartin, a former winner of the Queensland Oaks, has confirmed her ranking as the best pacing mare in the world this year with a string of feature race victories throughout North America and Canada. The Tintin In America mare has banked more than $820,000 this year.   Chris Barsby

Tiger Tara tore shreds off his rivals to score a remarkable 12.2-metre win in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton. The New South Wales-trained eight-year-old clawed his way to the lead early for reinsman Todd McCarthy, defying the challenge of fellow Sydneysider Mach Doro, and powering past polemarker Gotta Go Ya Hu, before ripping home with a 54-second last half. That made it virtually impossible for anything to make ground from out the back following a 44.2secs lead time and 59.6 first half. “Being able to lead on him worked out perfectly,” McCarthy said. “We got that breather early and were ready to roll after that. Full credit tonight to (trainer) Kevin Pizzuto; he had him absolutely at the top of his game.” Chicago Bull lost no admirers, boxing on gamely to run second, covering ground in the breeze and holding off third-placed Carlas Pixel – the mare running a bottler to finish third – and Franco Nelson, who did his share of work early, finishing fourth, just ahead of stablemate My Alpha Rock. Chicago Bull remains the favourite for the TAB ID18. Ameretto, who finished last, was scoped post-race and showed signs of mucous, according to trainer-driver Kerryn Manning, which may explain the performance. Tiger Tara will now head to New Zealand for a tilt at the $800,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup, one of the international jewels of the sport, before returning to Victoria for the TAB Inter Dominion from December 1. Ranked No.3 in the Inters earlier this month, there would be every chance Tiger Tara could launch to the top of the charts when rankings are updated this week. “We’ll definitely be back for the Inter Dominion,” an elated Pizzuto said. “He’s such a great horse with a big heart.”   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

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Gary Hall is hoping a change of trainer can transform Chicago Bull from a Victoria Cup runner-up to a New Zealand Cup winner. The pride of Perth arrives in New Zealand on Thursday and is likely to stay a month with the $800,000 Cup at Addington on November 13 his main aim. Had Chicago Bull won the Victoria Cup at Melton last Saturday he could well have threatened for favouritism in New Zealand’s greatest harness race but he had to settle for a well-beaten second behind Tiger Tara, who is also bound for Addington but will race at Menangle this Saturday first. Hall’s usually unshakable confidence was initially dented by the Victoria Cup defeat. “I first glance I thought he was disappointing,” he admits. “But then when I analyzed it and the lead time was so slow, it was like sitting parked outside Tiger Tara over a mile. “You are not going to win doing that and obviously we didn’t. But at the top of the straight our fella was all done and he still fought on really well for second. “So he can still win the New Zealand Cup.” Not that Hall will have as much input as usual into Chicago Bull’s preparation with his son and regular driver Gary junior taking over the hands-on training for almost all the New Zealand campaign, albeit in an unofficial capacity. “Gary is going over with him this week and staying right through until after the New Zealand Cup, he won’t be coming back to drive here in Perth. “Gary actually did most of the training with Quinny (I’m Themightyquinn) when he raced in the Inter Dominion in Auckland in 2011, which we ended up winning after Smoken Up was disqualified.  “So he thinks he is the man for the job so I will only come over a few days before the Cup,” laughs Hall. Chicago Bull flies into Auckland in the hope the Auckland Trotting Club will hold the programmed open class race at Alexandra Park next Friday as his final lead-up to the Cup.  With Star Galleria already in the south and Northview Hustler and No Doctor Needed nominated for the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on Monday the northern open class stocks will be getting pretty thin by next week.  But Let’s Elope and Jacks Legend, who quinellaed last Friday’s Holmes D G, are likely to accept for next Friday along with a few others and the Auckland Trotting Club have been keen to support pre-NZ Cup open class racing in recent years so the race should get off the ground.  “That would be ideal for us because he needs the standing start practice, he has never been from one in a race,” says Hall.  “He has had a couple of trials over here from a stand but that is a lot diferent from a race.” Chicago Bull versus Jacks Legend is very much a spring treat for Alexandra Park regulars as they were both runner-ups to Lazarus at the highest level last season, Jacks Legend in the New Zealand Cup and Chicago Bull in the Inter Dominion.  The pair staying in the north for their final lead-up races also adds to the intrigue of an already fascinating New Zealand Cup, which in recent years has seen most of the top chances race each other and establish a clear pecking order before they get to Addington.  That won’t be the case this season because while some of the Cup favourites like Ultimate Machete and Dream About Me will head to Ashburton on Monday others like Star Galleria and Methven Cup winner Cruz Bromac will bypass that race, ensuring lots of varying formlines heading into the Cup.   Michael Guerin
The second lot of rankings have dropped for the 2018 TAB Inter Dominion pacing and trotting championships, with Tiger Tara enjoying a bump off his Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup win. Kevin Pizzuto's Grand Circuit winner has leapfrogged Let It Ride into second on the rankings but Chicago Bull's retain top billing ahead of his New Zealand Trotting Cup campaign.   See the full list of second rankings here!   Trots Media
NORMALLY registering a double would be a highlight of a meeting but for Dani Hill a pair of winners at Mildura last night played second fiddle to her “amazing” evening. While she was hard at work across the border Hill was being honoured by Harness Racing SA during its annual awards function. In front of a sell-out crowd Hill was announced the 2017/18 Jim Hurley Medallist thanks to her remarkable season. Along with being South Australia’s premier driver, Hill’s season including a tearaway victory in the inaugural Australian Reinswomen’s Championship, which was conducted in Tasmania last November. If that isn’t impressive enough, Hill was also the leading Australasian reinswoman during the Teal Pants Campaign. “I had such a great season with so many highlights, but to receive such an honour is truly amazing,” Hill said. “Unfortunately I couldn’t attend, but when I got a text from Lisa Ryan telling me the news, I felt so overwhelmed...it was just surreal. “It is a massive honour and I cannot thank HRSA enough for bestowing it upon me.” It’s the second time Hill has claimed the medal which follows her success in the inaugural presentation in 2016. “To win the first Jim Hurley Medal is something extremely special, but to receive it a second time is a huge thrill,” Hill said. “To all the people who support me such as owners and trainers for trusting me to drive their horses, this wouldn’t be possible without you.” HRSA recognised numerous participants throughout the function, including the ever-passionate Max Beasley who received the Chairman’s Award. Young enthusiast Lachlan Stace took home the Nevada Smoke Special Achievement Award for his dedication towards the industry. Stace – who is a still wet behind the ears 18-year-old - calls trials, TAB and pony races, is the MC for a range of tracks and a tipster. “It is a fantastic honour, which I wasn’t expecting it that’s for sure,” Stace said. “I was hosting the night and obviously this was kept off the running sheet. “I cannot thank HRSA enough for this award and the support they have given me all along. “Without them and a lot of our clubs and associations I would be able to do what I am.” Media were also acknowledged with Dianne Crocker's sensational snap of the Wayville crowd judged Best Photo. Sky Racing's In The Gig’s handling of the Wayville extravaganza was rated Bet Film/Television/Video coverage.  To view the video please click here  Rounding out the scribes was Paul Courts who gained the Best News Story for his feature on Leah Harvey. Click here to read Harvey’s story. To view the full leaderboard of the Jim Hurley Medal for 2017/18 please click here. HRSA Media
Harness Racing Australia (HRA) today announced plans to establish an annual HRA National Conference. HRA Chair, Mr Michael Taranto, explained that planning for the inaugural HRA National Conference on 14 December 2018 was well underway, with a number of prominent Keynote speakers and guests having confirmed their attendance. “The HRA Executive’s plans for a National Conference were reasonably bullish as we hoped to construct a program that would grab the attention of all industry stakeholders across the various industry sectors with interesting speakers and interactive sessions for engagement and participation among all who attend. “We are excited to announce a mixture of local and international talent, spearheaded by world champion driver and administrator, Jody Jamieson, and our future leaders who will participate in a Youth Forum.“ Leading trotting stud Aldebaran Park has been quick to throw its support behind the initiative, coming on board as an event sponsor with Stud Principal, Duncan McPherson OAM, declaring, ”the program is outstanding and the ability to secure Mr Jody Jamieson as a keynote speaker is a real coup for the industry.” The inaugural HRA National Conference will be held from 10.00am to 6.00pm on Inter Dominion Championships Grand Final Eve in the Hill Stand at Flemington Racecourse. Topics that will be covered include Marketing & Promotion, Breeding, Industry Funding and a Youth Forum where emerging talent and future leaders will share their thoughts and paint their vision for the future success of the industry. Mr Taranto further advised “that more information regarding speakers, topics and event registrations will continue to be announced in the coming weeks but I extend an open invitation to any and all persons and associations who have an interest in the ongoing success and sustainability of our industry to save the date. I look forward to your attendance and welcoming you on the 14th December.” For further information contact Andrew Kelly 03 9227 3000.   Harness Racing Australia  
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