Day At The Track
My Field Marshall,harness racing

Butt hoping for mile glory

Transplanted Kiwi trainer Tim Butt is hoping for a near two-minute commercial for his new Sydney training base to be beamed Australasia-wide on Saturday night — called the Miracle Mile. Butt stunned the local harness racing industry last year when he left his native Canterbury for the outskirts of Sydney, where he now has 12 horses in work including Miracle Mile blowout hope My Field Marshal. He and wife Andrea have no regrets about the move as Menangle provides localised racing without great travelling, a chance to tap into Australian riches and hopes of building a new ownership base. "And I'd always wanted to live in Australia, and I thought you only live once so why not," says Butt.   While his team is ticking over nicely, more horses — and more good horses — are always welcome and a Miracle Mile win would be an advert for the stable like no other. "It would obviously be the dream result. We are going all right but you can't buy that level of exposure. "And I think we have a chance, the way the race is shaping up." My Field Marshal has been set for the mile and ignored the sapping distance races like the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup, with his history of two wind operations suggesting sprinting is more his go. He won the Len Smith Mile, usually a mini Miracle Mile, at Menangle last year by sitting off a hot speed, something which looks likely again on Saturday night. "I think they will go hard and we could be trailing, three deep or in the one-one behind a horse like Soho Tribeca," says Butt. "And that would give us a chance. He may not be as good as Lazarus but he may not have to be with him drawn eight. "I also have Ants (brother Anthony) driving and that is always a plus in a group one race so we will get our chance." While many rival trainers are buoyed by Lazarus's defeat last week and barrier on Saturday, Butt is not so confident the champ is ripe for the beating. "I have had those top horses before with a bug and they get beat because they are a fraction off their peak form but then they can bounce back very quickly. "Mark is a great trainer and if he gets him back to his best this week and they go really hard early then I still think he can win. His last 100m last Saturday we very good, very brave." My Field Marshal has been one of the few roughies heavily backed this week, being as long as $23 with some bookies after the draw but only $10 with the NZ TAB fixed odds now. Michael Guerin

Trotsynd

Trotsynd fillies score place in final

Yesterday’s Gloucester Park harness racing meeting saw two of the Trotsynd horses gain a place in the $100,000 Clipsal by Schneider Electric 2YO Fillies Sales Classic Final. Has No Fear, trained by Justin Prentice, won her second race from three starts (with her first start being a second place), and Cosmic Horizons, trained by Skye Bond, came fourth in her first start after putting in a bold performance. Trotsynd Racing Manager Ross Waddell bought the horses on behalf of the Trotsynd Syndications at the 2017 Perth Yearling Sales and will be purchasing more yearlings for new Trotsynd Syndicates at the upcoming 2018 Perth APG Yearling Sales on Sunday 4th March at Belmont Racetrack.  “Due to the expense of owning a horse, syndication is a great way for people to be involved in the ownership experience” said Waddell “and being able to cheer on your horse with other joint owners is all part of the fun”. Waddell has had great success in the past with Pacing WA partnership horses, including Group One winners Red Hot Roxy, The Real Ideal and the Greg and Skye Bond trained Play The Boys. Trotsynd has also had its share of success, running ten syndications for the Western Australian Trotting Association, with the best performers being Group One winner Hail The Judge and open class pacer Franco Amon.  The horses that are purchased at the Yearling Sales will be syndicated into twenty shares each. “It’s an exciting opportunity” said Trotsynd Secretary Michael Radley. “Ross has done an excellent job over the past year with the Trotsynd horses and together we can help grow the ownership base through our syndication licence.” said Radley.  Once the horses have been secured by Pacing WA and Trotsynd a prospectus will be available on specific horses offered for syndication on the Gloucester Park website www.gloucesterpark.com.au and expressions of interest can be made through info@gloucesterpark.com.au  Further information contact Ross Waddell 0417 922 352 or Michael Radley (08) 9323 3555 

Cap In Hand, harness racing

Two-year-old filly impressive

The heats of the Group 1 $100,000 WA Sales Classic for the harness racing two year olds were run at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. The Auckland Reactor filly, Cap In Hand was an impressive winner of the first heat for the fillies. A short priced favourite, she sprinted home in a slick 27.8 to win nicely by four metres in 1:59.4. The Kat Warwick trained and Gary Hall jnr driven filly is now unbeaten in both her race day starts. A winner on debut at Pinjarra in 1:59.7 she looks to have a bright future. The other heat for the fillies was won by Has No Fear (by Western Terror). The heats for the colts were won by Shockwave (by Mach Three), Patrickthepiranha (by Four Starzzz Shark) and Babyface Adda (by Rich And Spoilt) The $100,000 Sales Classic Finals for both the colts and fillies will be run at Gloucester Park on Friday the 2nd of March. Cap In Hand Harnesslink Media

Nothing to see here - Stewards give this race the all clear

No race or harness racing is dead!

Punters were left up in arms by the stewards’ decision to allow the result of an Albany harness race over the weekend to stand despite several harness racing drivers pulling their horses up thinking the race had been called off. In extraordinary scenes, the standing start of Race 5 at the West Australian racetrack on Friday night saw rank outsider Melton Express stand flat footed at the start before backing straight into the path of Crimson Floyd, with both drivers dislodged. The remaining five horses continued until some 600m after the start where in the mistaken belief that the race would be abandoned because of injured drivers or horses on the track, two drivers decided to pull their horses up. Jack Justins on $4.50 shot Chuck Norris was the first to pull up, and then Lang Inwood on Across the Way ($18) decided his race was also over, dropping back through the field. Chaos reigned for the next lap as caller Craig Morrison tried to make sense of what was going on. “I’ve been calling a long time, but this is one of the strangest races I’ve ever seen,” he said. He would then receive confirmation from the stewards that the race was progressing, with just the three horses in contention. Dredlock Rockstar, the $2.80 favourite, would go on to win the race, defeating Four Needed ($7.70) and Estocada ($3.40). Across The Way would fill the first four, some 380 metres (or around 30 seconds) behind the winner. Here is the race - You be the Judge The stewards report from the meeting said that after interviewing all the drivers, it was established that there were no reasons the race should be called off. No siren had sounded and the decision to pull the horses up was made by the drivers themselves. However, an inquiry was opened into their actions. Driver Wes Andrews, who was cannoned into at the start, was taken to Albany Hospital. The replay of the race and the full stewards report is below. By Bren O'Brien Reprinted with permission of punters.com.au site If Albany race 5 is not declared a no race Harness Racing is dead @Punters @HRNSW_Harness @racing_nsw   The Stewards Report: As the start was effected MELTON EXPRESS stood flat footed and then commenced to run backwards and as a result CRIMSON FLOYD which was trailing made heavy contact with the sulky of MELTON EXPRESS NZ resulting in drivers W. Andrews (MELTON EXPRESS) and T. Stone (CRIMSON FLOYD) becoming dislodged from their sulkies. As both horses and drivers had cleared the track the race continued. Prior to the all-clear Stewards questioned all Drivers in the event into the reasons for them appearing to restrain their horses during the early stages of the event. The drivers stated that they elected to restrain their runners as they were off the opinion that the race would be stopped due to the fall shortly after the start. In giving consideration to the evidence tendered by all drivers Stewards were of the opinion that at no stage were any warning sirens sounded to alert the drivers to restrain their runners, there was no interference suffered to any runner and that the track was clear of any obstruction and therefore clear to continue running the race. As a results Stewards declared the event and race gave the all clear on the judge’s numbers. As Driver W. Andrews was injured he was transported to Albany Base Hospital for observation. Due to the delay all races were put back 1 race with Race 9 re scheduled to start at 11.05pm. Stewards opened an inquiry into the actions of the following Drivers L. Inwood (ACROSS THE WAY), M. Young (ESTOCADA), T. Wheeler (FOUR NEEDED), J. Justins (CHUCK NORRIS), A. Markham (DREDLOCK ROCKSTAR) during the running of the event. After taking initial evidence the inquiry was adjourned to a time and date to be fixed. MELTON EXPRESS – Stood flat footed at the start and lost ground. Driver dislodged shortly after the start. In view of the performance stood down until it can complete one satisfactory standing start trial. CRIMSON FLOYD – Severely checked after the start and dislodged driver.  

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis said “the win made his day". He was talking about the persistence shown by hobby harness racing trainer Bryce Jancey, who trained his first winner at Gloucester Park early in February when Greenngold saluted. The Oakford-based trainer, who owns Greenngold with his wife, Christine, had been trying to win a race at headquarters for more than 18 years. And Lewis summed the occasion up perfectly when he said “it’s moments like these (when you win a race for a battling hobby trainer) that make it all worthwhile”. The Janceys would be the first to agree with Lewis. “Chris is a master,” Jancey said after the race. “He drove Greenngold perfectly ... he gave him the run of the race and timed his run to perfection. He was so cool.” The victory, apart from the $10,881 winner’s cheque, meant everything for the couple who have been married for 45 years. “Both Christine and me had a year to forget in 2017,” Jancey said. Sixty-six-year-old Bryce was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Christine, 64, had open heart surgery. “We’re both coming good now but we were happy to welcome in the New Year and say goodbye to 2017. This win just tops things off for us,” he said. “It’s a great tonic. We both got pretty excited and emotional when Greenngold hit the front in the home straight. “I reckon they would have heard us over at the casino ... the way we were screaming.” The Janceys used the last of their savings to buy Greenngold for $20,000 last October from Bathurst trainer Amanda Turnbull. Greenngold is well named, being out of broodmare The Baggy Green, and he broke a duck of his own when he defeated Hot Fraternity and Good Times Ahead at GP on February 2. It was not only the four-year-old gelding’s first win for the Janceys, but the horse’s first win in more than a year. His last success came at Parkes in January 2017 when he led all the way to win The Elvis Final over 2040m. That was the Greenngold’s sixth win in a row, but he seemed to lose all form after that victory. Jancey has always been around horses - what with being the president of the Orange Grove Pony Club when the couple’s three children were growing up - and was a fan of the great Mount Eden when he was in his teens. He’s been involved as a trainer for more than 18 years and has had limited success in the country with horses such as Crouchdown, Sergeant Roy, Ruthless Impression, El Slick, Ya Dreamin and Nivea Joe. But Greenngold’s victory at headquarters was the icing on the cake for the Janceys. “It was fantastic to finally get that city winner,” he said. “I honestly thought it would never happen. “And Greenngold has a strut about him too since his win. “He’s a different horse after that race ... he knows he’s won.” Jancey was right about Greenngold being a different horse after his breakthrough win at headquarters. The Janceys started Greenngold in a stand at Northam on Saturday, February 17 with Kiara Davies in the cart and the horse made it back-to back victories when he finished with a new-found determination to win running away from his opposition. Greenngold, like his win at GP, was virtually unwanted in the market and came home at the juicy odds of 12/1 and added another $4163 to his owners’ account. The Janceys haven’t been able to wipe the smiles off their faces since Greenngold’s latest win and are happily planning his next run in the hope that he can bring up a hat-trick of victories. Wayne Currall

The Sydney APG Yearling Sale is this Sunday and forms part of the biggest harness racing weekends of the year! The Miracle Mile race meeting will of course be held on Saturday night, so the weekend will be a harness racing lover's dream. The sale will also be the first harness racing yearling sale to be conducted at the recently opened Inglis Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm. Sydney APG Yearling Sale Date: Sunday February 25th 2018 Venue: Inglis Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm Online Sales Catalogue SELECTION OF ALABAR SIRED LOTS Son of Rock N Roll Heaven becomes fastest Australian bred pacer Anything For Love soared into the record books when becoming the latest Group 1 winner for his sire Rock N Roll Heaven. The Shane and Lauren Tritton trained speedster took out the $100,000 Allied Express Sprint at Menangle on Saturday night in 1:48.7.   That time sees him become the fastest ever Australian bred pacer.   Making all the running, Anything For Love ran through his quarters in 26.2, 28.5, 26.9 and 27.1 to hold off Soho Tribeca and etch his name in history.   Bred by Paul Humphreys, Anything For Love is the fourth foal of the Perfect Art mare The Perfect Mona. She had already produced the smart Safe And Sound pacer Palais Du Louvre $165,201.    Anything For Love will now take his place in the $750,000 Miracle Mile. It was a massive night for Rock N Roll Heaven with the extra smart filly Shez All Rock winning a heat of the NSW Oaks and My Alpha Rock winning the opening race in 1:50.5 - the second fastest time of the night. This Saturday Shez All Rock will go around in the $200,000 Group 1 NSW Oaks Final as one of the favourites, while My Alpha Rock will look to extend his win streak to five in the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal FFA. These sort of nights continue to reinforce just how good a sire Rock N Roll Heaven is.   Harnesslink Media

Harness racing’s greatest trainer Mark Purdon has sacked himself off champion pacer Lazarus for Saturday’s $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile. And he says putting partner Natalie Rasmussen on the Mile favourite gives all involved their best chance. “It wasn’t a hard choice to make,” said Purdon, who has driven Lazarus to win two New Zealand Cups, an Inter Dominion, as well as the Hunter Cup earlier this month. “Obviously our team had a little bug through them last week and they didn’t race up to our expectations, and with that in mind, I want to concentrate on getting the best out of them this week. “That means me doing my job as a trainer to 100 per cent and I think if I am busy doing that then I might only do an 85 per cent job on the driving front. “This way Natalie can concentrate on the driving and make those decisions and I will handle the training details.” Rasmussen is best-known as the former trainer-driver of Blacks A Fake, who won almost every major race in Australia, except the Miracle Mile. But she finally snared the Miracle win two years ago with an inch-perfect drive on Have Faith In Me, who she co-trained with Purdon, who nosed out Lennytheshark in an Australasian record 1:47.5. Rasmussen owns the two fastest winning miles in Australasian history, having also driven Adore Me when she paced 1:47.7 winning the Ladyship Mile a year earlier. Champion pacer Lazarus will be aiming to bounce back from a shock defeat at Menangle last weekend. Picture: Ashlea Brennan. Her aggressive style, which often sees her launch between the 1200m and 800m poles and keep running hard is perfectly suited to Menangle’s big miles, not that Purdon thinks she drives there better than anywhere else. “She is a great driver on any track, simple as that,” he said. Exactly what version of Lazarus Purdon hands over to Rasmussen on Saturday night is hard to predict after his brave but well-beaten third behind Tiger Tara last Saturday. He was feeling the lingering effects of a virus which a blood report on Tuesday suggests is now gone, but Purdon is cautious. “The best thing I can go on is his blood report and it was a lot better so we should be able to get a good week into him,” Purdon said. “And the rain we had overnight on Monday helped settle the dust, which will also help. “But I will know more after he fast works on Thursday. I am confident he will be close to his peak on Saturday night but there is no money-back guarantees.” MIRACLE MILE Menangle, Saturday night 1: Tiger Tara (1) 2: Atomic Red (2) 3: Anything For Love (3) 4: My Field Marshal (4) 5: Jilliby Kung Fu (5) 6: Soho Tribeca (6) 7: Lennytheshark (7) 8: Charlaval (8) 9: Let It Ride (9) 10: Lazarus (10) Emergencies: Let It Ride, Atomic Red. LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS Michael Guerin Reprinted with permission of The Daily Telegraph

Harness racing participants in New South Wales will be the recipients of a $2.8million injection in prizemoney initiatives commencing from July 1 as announced by HRNSW Chairman Mr Rod Smith today. The raft of initiatives cover the broader industry as the HRNSW Board, working collaboratively with the Club Menangle Directors and respective executive managements on funding aspects, also took into consideration the needs of all stakeholder groups. These prizemoney increases should encourage existing and potential owners to invest in yearlings at the Australian Pacing Gold and Bathurst yearling sales in February and March respectively, particularly yearlings eligible for the 2019 Alabar Breeders Challenge and Bathurst Gold Crown Series. "Breeders can now look to the future and ensure all foals are paid up for the various NSW futurity series, as no doubt buyers will be very interested in eligible yearlings with the half-a-million dollar combined increase for the Breeders Challenge and Gold Crown," said Mr Smith. In partnership with Club Menangle midweek prizemoney will increase to $9,000 per race. "My Board Members are extremely appreciative of the Club Menangle team led by Ray Sharman and Bruce Christison for working with John (Dumesny - HRNSW chief executive) towards a more productive racing calendar for the Sydney area but more so for the Club's on-top contribution to the standard $6,500 per race funding for the Tuesday meetings," said Mr Smith. Whilst there are increases to the Alabar Breeders Challenge and Bathurst Gold Crown series, owners and trainers have not been forgotten especially owners who may not have horses in the top category with the introduction of a new 'Reward Series' with regional and provincial heats and finals ($10,000) as a reward for continuing to be involved in the industry. "The Reward Series will allow owners of Australian bred and NSW trained horses to compete at the lowest entry level for better prizemoney but to also earn $6,000 in Owners and Breeders Bonuses," explained Mr Smith. The funding injection will benefit breeders, owners, trainers and drivers with the further contribution of Clubs which are willing to add value to base prizemoney offered at non-feature race meetings. "Where a Club is to conduct a standard race meeting, eight races at $6,000 per race, HRNSW will offer additional monies to be matched by the Club for a single race on that programme," said Mr Smith. In making the announcement Mr Smith stated HRNSW is confident the injection of funding will continue into the future whilst wagering revenue through Tabcorp, corporate operators and tax parity streams remain consistent. "The HRNSW Board and management will continue to monitor wagering revenue streams and provided future financial commitments which can be adequately accommodated through surplus funds that are returned to the industry stakeholders in various forms be that through administrative assistance, infrastructure improvements or prizemoney," concluded Mr Smith. The $2.8 million funding is provided through: $600,000 Club Menangle funding of M1 races and increased prizemoney for Tuesday meetings to $9,000 per race in partnership with HRNSW. $600,000 Convert all $3,500 (R penalty) race meetings to minimum $5,000 (C penalty) race meetings and increase the allocation of $6,000 (C penalty) race meetings. Note: There will still be some individual "R" races for $3500 as Heats into Finals and as lead up races to support the likes of the Canola Cup. $300,000 Three-Year-Old Fillies and Mares funding for dedicated racing calendar. (Similar to the Two-Year-Old Calendar with guaranteed races if six original nominations are received) $300,000 Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge funding increase from 2019 in consultation with the Harness Breeders NSW and the NSW Standardbred Owners Associations. $200,000 Bathurst Golds Crown Carnival funding increase from 2019 in consultation with the Bathurst Harness Racing Club and industry stakeholders. $100,000 Group 2 funding increases for Pink Bonnet, Sapling Stakes, Rod Fitzpatrick, Raith Memorial and the Simpson, Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan Sprints. $200,000 Regional Rewards Series of Heats and Finals to accommodate four-year-old and upwards C0 horses which are Australian bred and physically trained in NSW by HRNSW licenced trainers. (Heats $3,500 and Finals $10,000) $300,000 Non feature race meetings prizemoney boost in conjunction with Clubs. $200,000 Cups Series in Metropolitan and Country Regions incorporating established and new feature races. For example the Shirley Turnbull Memorial, Renshaw Cup, Treuer Memorial, Newcastle Mile and Riverina Cups (Goulburn, Young, Wagga). AMANDA RANDO

Popular South Australian harness racing trainer-driver Scott Pascoe landed his first winner in more than 10 years when Samalise scored a thrilling win in the PFD Food Services Pace (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. A $10.50 chance, Samalise recorded her first win leading throughout scoring a half-head win in a photo-finish that had only half a metre between the first four horses past the post. After receiving pressure for much of the race, the four-year-old mare responded to Pascoe’s urgings to defeat the fast-finishing Clarenden Valour ($4.50) while Fine Artist ($33.10) was a short half head away third and Eyes For You ($9.70), a half neck away fourth. A delighted Pascoe was relieved to finally have his first winner after returning to the sport in November last year. “I’ve had a few placings, but it is great to finally land a winner, and she did a great job,” Pascoe said. “Even though it has taken a while, I’m loving being back in harness racing, it is really enjoyable.” Pascoe’s previous winner was La Bella Mafia which scored at Globe Derby Park on October 27, 2007. “I gave it away soon after that but made a short comeback in 2014 before stopping again. I’ve been working in the Northern Territory but am back home in Birdwood again so have the chance to train a few.” Pascoe said he had purchased Samalise from the stable of champion Victorian trainer-driver Brian Gath. “I had been watching her for a while and when I saw her listed on the Trading Ring, just had to buy her.” Saturday was the mare’s 19th race start, and she had recorded five seconds and a third before the win. “I thought she ran really well at Kapunda on the previous Monday running home strongly to finish second. “Tonight, from gate one, I was determined to push through and hold the lead. “I wasn’t too happy when there was mid-race pressure from Peter (Borrelli on Fine Artist) but Samalise responded and really battled on strongly up the home straight.” Samalise and Fine Artist went head-for-head for the last 400 metres and Clarenden Valour, which had had an easy run back in the field, loomed up wide out in the home straight but just could not catch the mare which refused to give in. Fine Artist held on well while Eyes For You came on strongly along the sprint lane. Samalise is owned by Pascoe’s Ningana Park, managed by his wife Mandy, along with Mount Gambier committeeman Anthony Rice and his partner, and the Pascoe’s daughter Samantha. Graham Fischer

The result of every harness race run in Bendigo from 1855 to 1954 will soon be available at the click of a finger. It follows months of pain-staking research from passionate Melbourne-based harness racing historian John Peck. His 304-page Trotting Annals Bendigo and Environs 1855 – 1954 is expected to be available online at the Bendigo Library within weeks. Peck, who was last year inducted into the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association Hall of Fame, has spent countless hours delving into the records and old newspapers at the State Library over the last 12 months to compile his research. He describes it as a labour of love. “Dad and granddad always went to the races – they never owned a horse, but they always went to the races at the Showgrounds,” he said. It is not the first time Peck, who previously worked for the former Australian Trotting Record publication, has compiled in-depth works for Victorian harness racing clubs. His previous research works include histories of the Ballarat and Horsham clubs, with plans to eventually add Geelong. He says his motivation for compiling the history was simple. “Trotting just doesn’t get the coverage it deserves,” Peck said. “There’s no officials results pre-1954. I have just done Bendigo, there’s a file I work on twice a week which is now up to 3400 pages. That’s every trotting race in Victoria since 1838. “And it’s still being added to because I have done everything on Trove on all the metropolitan newspapers and now I’m going through all the country ones. “I’m doing Kyneton at the moment.” The annals record Bendigo’s first trotting race as taking place at Myers Flat on November 22, 1855, when the Tennant family-owned Bobby defeated a Mr Brown’s horse in a match-race for 20 pounds over a distance of one-and-a-half miles. Among the more popular match-race courses in the 1850s and 60s were from the former Glasgow Arms in Kangaroo Flat, to the Victoria Hotel in Pall Mall, Black Swan Hotel and Victoria Hotel, many of them starting at 5am. Peck’s research also includes an extensive list of trotting results from Bendigo Agriculture Society Sports meetings conducted at Bendigo Showgrounds and long-since disappeared tracks like Axedale, Eaglehawk, Goornong, Marong, Myers Creek, Raywood, Sebastian and Toolleen. Trotting just doesn’t get the coverage it deserves. John Peck Bendigo Harness Racing Club historian Noel Ridge said the research shed plenty of light on the history of the sport in Bendigo and dispelled a few myths. “A lot of people think trotting started with the opening of Lords Raceway in 1954, but in actual fact it’s been going for more than 100 years,” he said. “This research is not all about the horses, but it’s the people and the places and the whole social aspect that was going on at the time. “In the (gold) boom, they had some serious horses – the wealthy people engaged in horse racing big-time, so it’s a big part of Bendigo history.” Ridge said the club was indebted to Peck for his tireless work and looked forward to it being made available to the public.  Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

At an age when most horses are heading into retirement, Brettoneux has only just begun his harness racing career. Now 11, Brettoneux won at Kapunda on Monday, February 12, at just his third race start – and all have been this year. Globe Derby Park trainer Vaughn Newman takes up the story. “I’ve trained a few horses for a Victorian owner John Kennedy and he said a relative, Murray Goates from Werribee, had a trotter he wanted to send to South Australia. “I’ve trained horses for more than 40 years, and always pacers, never a trotter,” Newman said. “When John said the horse was 11 and had never raced I turned him down but said I would try to place him. “A few trainers showed interest but quickly dropped off because of his age, so finally, I said okay. Newman found out Brettoneux had actually qualified to race for Victorian trainer Amy Tubbs back in 2012. “He then suffered tendon injuries in both legs and spent 4-1/2 years in a paddock before being brought back into training. “I think John (Kennedy) worked him up before he came across to South Australia.” Newman gave the gelding his first start at Kapunda on January 5. “I had no idea what to expect and I don’t think Wayne (reinsman Wayne Hill) did either. “The horse trotted safely, but slowly, before Wayne shook him up during the last lap and he made up good ground. “Next start at Globe Derby (on January 15) I had something on him because I thought he had improved but he broke and lost a lot of ground before again trotting home strongly. “He had never broke for me so I was shocked and mucked around with his headgear for last Monday’s race.” Backed from $31 into $17.90, Brettoneux began quickly off his front mark and Hill found himself left 40 metres in front of the body of the field. With the knowledge of the horse, Hill kept him trotting strongly running 30.1, 30.2 and 30.0 quarters making it basically impossible for anything to catch him. Brettoneux scored a 12 metre win from Truscott Hall ($1.50 fav) with No Renege ($7.10), 16 metres away third. “He did get tired running a 33.5 final quarter,” Hill said, “but he also knocked off a bit when I didn’t keep at him.” Newman said the gelding had had 27 weeks of training for his races, so it was fair to assume, after such a long break, he would continue to get fitter. Brettoneux’s next run will be in the $7000 Legends Trotters Final (2220m) at Kapunda on Monday, February 26. Incredibly, even though he will be in his first full year of racing, when Brettoneux turns 12 on September 1, he will have to undergo a veterinary inspection each time he heads to the races. Graham Fischer  

The race to the top is on. And while the mighty champion Lazarus leads the way, it is not a given that he takes the harness racing title. Entering Saturday night’s Gr.1 $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle, the Mark Purdon prepared equine freak leads the way in the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit race, sitting at the top of the leaderboard with 300 points. Victories in the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and the Hunter Cup have him as the chosen one but as the season gets deeper, the challengers are coming. Only two legs remain in the current Grand Circuit season, the Miracle Mile and the Blacks A Fake in Brisbane in July and that only adds to the pressure Lazarus is facing this weekend. Lazarus is facing many adversities as he looks to rebound following his shock loss last week in the qualifying race while also looking to break a major hoodoo. On Sunday, the Bettors Delight entire was slammed with the outside barrier in the 1609m feature; he now needs to rewrite the record books. As it stands, no horse has overcome the outside gate since the race was moved from Harold Park to the spacious surroundings of Menangle back in 2009. Even more worrying, no horse has even placed from the extreme outside post position! But as we know, Lazarus is no normal horse. Yet to miss a place in 44 career starts to date, the winner of 35 races (15 at Gr.1 level) will need to bring his absolute best to establish a new and exclusive club. If successful, Lazarus will become the only pacer to win the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile (and all in the same season!). Purdon is no stranger to success in the Miracle Mile; he prepared the 2016 winner and race record holder Have Faith In Me (1:47.5) Lazarus may need to eclipse that mark to win this weekend. As good as Lazarus has been this season, his rivals aren’t backing away and the current logjam behind him on the Grand Circuit leaderboard is ready to take their shots again. If Soho Tribeca (165 points), Tiger Tara (125) or Lennytheshark (124) prove victorious and Lazarus can’t overcome his wide draw, the race to be crowned Grand Circuit champion could take an interesting twist. Lazarus won’t make the trip to Brisbane for the final Grand Circuit event while his three rivals could easily venture north in July and snatch victory. Both Tiger Tara and Lennytheshark contested the Blacks A Fake last season while Soho Tribeca was being considered before a late change in plans. For the third time this season in a Grand Circuit event, Tiger Tara has drawn the inside gate and will prove very hard to beat following his Gr.1 triumph last week in the Canadian Club Classic in a time of 1:51.5. Prepared by Kevin Pizzuto and to be driven by Todd McCarthy, the Bettors Delight entire will again prove a worthy rival. Allied Express Sprint winner Anything For Love rated a scintillating 1:48.7 last week and will also prove hard to catch after landing saddlecloth number three. Prepared by Shane Tritton, his wife Lauren will take the drive and look to join Kellie Kersley, Jodi Quinlan and Natalie Rasmussen as winning female drivers of the Miracle Mile. Classy pacer My Field Marshal sports saddlecloth number four and shapes as a legitimate threat following his booming effort last week when runner-up behind Tiger Tara. The ultra-consistent performer is looking to provide Tim and Anthony Butt with their maiden Miracle Mile success. Last start Chariots of Fire winner Jilliby Kung Fu will represent Victoria and the speedy four-year-old looms as the ‘wild card’ runner for Marg and Jason Lee. Fresh from his success two weeks ago when he equaled the race record of the Chariots with his 1:48.8 clocking, the emerging force looms as a genuine threat. The last four-year-old to claim the Chariots/Miracle Mile double was Have Faith In Me two years ago. Another Victorian trained pacer boasting outstanding credentials is the Michael Stanley trained and Greg Sugars driven Soho Tribeca, the classy five-year-old was beaten narrowly last week as favourite when second behind Anything For Love in 1:48.7. The WA Pacing Cup winner will carry saddlecloth number six. Defending champion Lennytheshark creates plenty of intrigue despite being safely held last week in the Allied Express Sprint, the 1:49.2 performer finished fifth behind Anything For Love and Soho Tribeca after enjoying a good trip throughout. The David Aiken prepared $2.9 million earner will be handled by champion reinsman Chris Alford and carry saddlecloth number seven. The veteran of the field is looking to become the first eight-year-old to win the Miracle Mile since the mighty Smoken Up back in 2010. Locally prepared star Charlaval finished an eye-catching third last week behind Anything For Love and Soho Tribeca in 1:48.7. Prepared by leading trainer Kerryann Turner, the five-year-old gelding will be handled by Turner’s husband, Robbie Morris. The two emergency runners are Let It Ride (saddlecloth number nine) and Atomic Red (saddlecloth number two). No mares are starting in this year’s event. The Ainsworth Miracle Mile is scheduled to start at 9.32pm local time. As always, the race time will be a fascinating aspect but the race to be crowned Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit champion could be decided after this weekend. Again, time will tell. Chris Barsby Hoofnote: Only Westburn Grant is even with Lazarus with Gr.1 victories.

A Miracle Mile that Lazarus couldn't lose is starting to look like one the champion pacer will struggle to win. The Kiwi pacing hero struck not one but two judder bars over the weekend on the road to the only great Australasian race to have eluded him and is set to be a huge drifter in the market. The first signs of trouble for Lazarus, and punters, came when the Inter Dominion champ was a brave but battling third in his $100,000 prelude to the Mile at Menangle on Saturday night. That was still enough to earn him an invitation to the A$750,000 super sprint this Saturday but Lazarus clearly wasn't at his best, only clawing his way into third on heart after looking beaten at the 500m mark.   He appeared still drained by the effects of a virus trainer-driver Mark Purdon had expected to be out of his system but dogged the entire Purdon-Rasmussen stable on a dreadful night at the office. "We had a bug through the team during the week but we thought they were over it," said Purdon. "They had good blood reports and we even had Laz scoped on the morning of the race so we could keep the stewards up to date but clearly he was still below his best. "So while I was disappointed in him because he tried so hard, it was hardly ideal." Purdon said Lazarus appeared to come through the hard run behind long-time rival Tiger Tara well and looked fresh yesterday, and he expects to know more about his well-being after fast work on Tuesday. But that isn't the only problem facing Lazarus as he drew the outside of the front line at yesterday's barrier draw, meaning he will start from barrier eight. Since the Miracle Mile moved to Menangle a decade ago no horse has even placed in the race from barrier eight. That saw him move from $1.70 on Saturday morning to $2.20 with the NZ TAB last night but he could stretch out to $3 with some bookies before race start time, especially depending on how Purdon assesses his bounce back to peak fitness. The big winner in the draw was the faster of Saturday's two prelude winners in Anything For Love, who has barrier three for the Mile while Tiger Tara's unbelievable run of ace barrier draws continued. He has now drawn the ace in the Inter Dominion Final, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile and whether he can hold Anything For Love at the start will be a crucial factor in the race. A$750k Miracle Mile The field for the A$750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at Menangle on Saturday night is: 1: Tiger Tara (1) 2: Atomic Red (2) 3: Anything For Love (3) 4: My Field Marshal (4) 5: Jilliby Kung Fu (5) 6: Soho Tribeca (6) 7: Lennytheshark (7) 8: Charlaval (8) 9: Let It Ride (9) 10: Lazarus (10) Emergencies: Let It Ride, Atomic Red.   Michael Guerin

Racing Queensland’s commercial strategy to convert non-TAB to TAB race meetings where possible has resulted in two TAB meetings being allocated to the Marburg Pacing Association for the first time in the club’s history. Marburg’s Easter Sunday meeting (1 April 2018) will be a TAB meeting broadcast live on Sky Racing, with the Labour Day Public Holiday meeting (7 May 2018) also allocated TAB status. It comes after the hard-working MPA committee secured a major sponsor to bankroll an exciting new series culminating in a $25,000 final. Oakwood Capital – a commercial finance brokerage company – has partnered with the club to help with a goal of assisting the sport at the grassroots level.    Director Craig Whiteoak said: “Oakwood Capital is thrilled to partner the Marburg Pacing Association to present the inaugural running of the standing start series, which represents a significant boost to harness racing in Queensland at a grass roots club”. Excited Marburg Club President Scott Neaves said the MPA was hugely appreciative of the support of Oakwood Capital and Mr Whiteoak. “We are really looking forward to putting on a massive series of racing, with the final being our first occasion of TAB coverage and Sky Channel broadcasting,” he said.   The Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series will be conducted under standing-start conditions for horses assessed R0 or better, but no better than C5. Heats, scheduled for March 24, are to be split by class with all horses starting from the front. However, if some classes have to be combined the barrier draw will be drawn on “C” or Career class. Five Heats are intended to be conducted with first and second qualifying for the rich $25,000 Final on Sunday April 1. The handicaps for the Final will be 10 metres for each Career class and the winner will take a Career and Graduation Penalty only. This new series is based on the former Rocklea Pot Of Gold Series. Several standing start races have been added to the program at Redcliffe and another at Marburg in February to provide suitable lead-ins to this fantastic new Series. Mr Whiteoak said his company looked forward to sponsoring a great day of racing and entertainment, referring to the various plans for what has long been a family fun day at the Marburg Showgrounds and the committee’s plans to make this the biggest yet. The MPA and Oakwood Capital are optimistic that this series can encourage growth of industry participants and the interest of the public generally in the entertainment and enjoyment that harness racing has to offer. The new series complements other participation initiatives such as the Aspiration races, hobbyist only races and Marburg to Metro races recently introduced by Racing Queensland and its Clubs to increase racing and winning opportunities particularly at the grass roots level.  Racing Queensland

Grant Dixon might have one hand on the 2018 NSW Derby with the exciting Colt Thirty One, but the champion Queensland trainer knows his opponents will be lining up to loosen the grip in Saturday night’s harness racing final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Dixon had a night to remember in Sydney after he booked his chance at a second derby victory with Colt Thirty one in the space of a month, before earning a spot in the NSW Oaks with Fame Assured. Colt Thirty One was rated a $1.90 with UBET after he drew barrier one at Monday’s draw, which following a stunning all-the-way win in Heat 3 at the weekend. There, he was able to hold off the Jess Tubbs-prepared Little Peanut and odds-on pop The Devils Own (NZ) to record a seemingly comfortable 2.8m win. “He knew he’d been around but he hit the line really nicely,” Dixon said. “He has always been a good eater and he has pulled up well.” Double Derby glory now seems well within reach for the Kevin and Kay Seymour-owned pacer, after he claimed a thrilling come-from-behind win in January’s $200,000 Victoria Derby at Melton. “Derbies are particularly hard to win,” Dixon said. “He had a bad draw (in Melbourne) but they went hard early and he was able to finish over the top. This weekend (from barrier 1) the shoe will be on the other foot.” The three-year-old by Mach Three out of the once-raced mare Charm Personified has built an ultra-impressive record since his last-to-first debut win at Albion Park in February 2017. In 17 starts the colt has been unplaced just twice. However, it was his 20m demolition job of some smart rivals in the Group 1 QBRED Triad at Albion Park in July last year that really got tongues wagging. “Even when he was being broken in they had a massive opinion of him,” Dixon said. Dixon said Fame Assured, currently rated a $4 chance to win the Oaks with UBET, had really pleased him this time in. “She’s really stepped up since her two-year-old campaign,” he said. Fame Assured has seven wins and one placing from nine starts and will be out to secure her first Group 1 victory after running a narrow second to Arts Treasure in the QBRED 2YO Triad (Fillies) in July. “I think we have two genuine chances going into this weekend,” Dixon said.  Alex Nolan

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Transplanted Kiwi trainer Tim Butt is hoping for a near two-minute commercial for his new Sydney training base to be beamed Australasia-wide on Saturday night — called the Miracle Mile. Butt stunned the local harness racing industry last year when he left his native Canterbury for the outskirts of Sydney, where he now has 12 horses in work including Miracle Mile blowout hope My Field Marshal. He and wife Andrea have no regrets about the move as Menangle provides localised racing without great travelling, a chance to tap into Australian riches and hopes of building a new ownership base. "And I'd always wanted to live in Australia, and I thought you only live once so why not," says Butt.   While his team is ticking over nicely, more horses — and more good horses — are always welcome and a Miracle Mile win would be an advert for the stable like no other. "It would obviously be the dream result. We are going all right but you can't buy that level of exposure. "And I think we have a chance, the way the race is shaping up." My Field Marshal has been set for the mile and ignored the sapping distance races like the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup, with his history of two wind operations suggesting sprinting is more his go. He won the Len Smith Mile, usually a mini Miracle Mile, at Menangle last year by sitting off a hot speed, something which looks likely again on Saturday night. "I think they will go hard and we could be trailing, three deep or in the one-one behind a horse like Soho Tribeca," says Butt. "And that would give us a chance. He may not be as good as Lazarus but he may not have to be with him drawn eight. "I also have Ants (brother Anthony) driving and that is always a plus in a group one race so we will get our chance." While many rival trainers are buoyed by Lazarus's defeat last week and barrier on Saturday, Butt is not so confident the champ is ripe for the beating. "I have had those top horses before with a bug and they get beat because they are a fraction off their peak form but then they can bounce back very quickly. "Mark is a great trainer and if he gets him back to his best this week and they go really hard early then I still think he can win. His last 100m last Saturday we very good, very brave." My Field Marshal has been one of the few roughies heavily backed this week, being as long as $23 with some bookies after the draw but only $10 with the NZ TAB fixed odds now. Michael Guerin
Yesterday’s Gloucester Park harness racing meeting saw two of the Trotsynd horses gain a place in the $100,000 Clipsal by Schneider Electric 2YO Fillies Sales Classic Final. Has No Fear, trained by Justin Prentice, won her second race from three starts (with her first start being a second place), and Cosmic Horizons, trained by Skye Bond, came fourth in her first start after putting in a bold performance. Trotsynd Racing Manager Ross Waddell bought the horses on behalf of the Trotsynd Syndications at the 2017 Perth Yearling Sales and will be purchasing more yearlings for new Trotsynd Syndicates at the upcoming 2018 Perth APG Yearling Sales on Sunday 4th March at Belmont Racetrack.  “Due to the expense of owning a horse, syndication is a great way for people to be involved in the ownership experience” said Waddell “and being able to cheer on your horse with other joint owners is all part of the fun”. Waddell has had great success in the past with Pacing WA partnership horses, including Group One winners Red Hot Roxy, The Real Ideal and the Greg and Skye Bond trained Play The Boys. Trotsynd has also had its share of success, running ten syndications for the Western Australian Trotting Association, with the best performers being Group One winner Hail The Judge and open class pacer Franco Amon.  The horses that are purchased at the Yearling Sales will be syndicated into twenty shares each. “It’s an exciting opportunity” said Trotsynd Secretary Michael Radley. “Ross has done an excellent job over the past year with the Trotsynd horses and together we can help grow the ownership base through our syndication licence.” said Radley.  Once the horses have been secured by Pacing WA and Trotsynd a prospectus will be available on specific horses offered for syndication on the Gloucester Park website www.gloucesterpark.com.au and expressions of interest can be made through info@gloucesterpark.com.au  Further information contact Ross Waddell 0417 922 352 or Michael Radley (08) 9323 3555 
The heats of the Group 1 $100,000 WA Sales Classic for the harness racing two year olds were run at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. The Auckland Reactor filly, Cap In Hand was an impressive winner of the first heat for the fillies. A short priced favourite, she sprinted home in a slick 27.8 to win nicely by four metres in 1:59.4. The Kat Warwick trained and Gary Hall jnr driven filly is now unbeaten in both her race day starts. A winner on debut at Pinjarra in 1:59.7 she looks to have a bright future. The other heat for the fillies was won by Has No Fear (by Western Terror). The heats for the colts were won by Shockwave (by Mach Three), Patrickthepiranha (by Four Starzzz Shark) and Babyface Adda (by Rich And Spoilt) The $100,000 Sales Classic Finals for both the colts and fillies will be run at Gloucester Park on Friday the 2nd of March. Cap In Hand Harnesslink Media
Punters were left up in arms by the stewards’ decision to allow the result of an Albany harness race over the weekend to stand despite several harness racing drivers pulling their horses up thinking the race had been called off. In extraordinary scenes, the standing start of Race 5 at the West Australian racetrack on Friday night saw rank outsider Melton Express stand flat footed at the start before backing straight into the path of Crimson Floyd, with both drivers dislodged. The remaining five horses continued until some 600m after the start where in the mistaken belief that the race would be abandoned because of injured drivers or horses on the track, two drivers decided to pull their horses up. Jack Justins on $4.50 shot Chuck Norris was the first to pull up, and then Lang Inwood on Across the Way ($18) decided his race was also over, dropping back through the field. Chaos reigned for the next lap as caller Craig Morrison tried to make sense of what was going on. “I’ve been calling a long time, but this is one of the strangest races I’ve ever seen,” he said. He would then receive confirmation from the stewards that the race was progressing, with just the three horses in contention. Dredlock Rockstar, the $2.80 favourite, would go on to win the race, defeating Four Needed ($7.70) and Estocada ($3.40). Across The Way would fill the first four, some 380 metres (or around 30 seconds) behind the winner. Here is the race - You be the Judge The stewards report from the meeting said that after interviewing all the drivers, it was established that there were no reasons the race should be called off. No siren had sounded and the decision to pull the horses up was made by the drivers themselves. However, an inquiry was opened into their actions. Driver Wes Andrews, who was cannoned into at the start, was taken to Albany Hospital. The replay of the race and the full stewards report is below. By Bren O'Brien Reprinted with permission of punters.com.au site If Albany race 5 is not declared a no race Harness Racing is dead @Punters @HRNSW_Harness @racing_nsw   The Stewards Report: As the start was effected MELTON EXPRESS stood flat footed and then commenced to run backwards and as a result CRIMSON FLOYD which was trailing made heavy contact with the sulky of MELTON EXPRESS NZ resulting in drivers W. Andrews (MELTON EXPRESS) and T. Stone (CRIMSON FLOYD) becoming dislodged from their sulkies. As both horses and drivers had cleared the track the race continued. Prior to the all-clear Stewards questioned all Drivers in the event into the reasons for them appearing to restrain their horses during the early stages of the event. The drivers stated that they elected to restrain their runners as they were off the opinion that the race would be stopped due to the fall shortly after the start. In giving consideration to the evidence tendered by all drivers Stewards were of the opinion that at no stage were any warning sirens sounded to alert the drivers to restrain their runners, there was no interference suffered to any runner and that the track was clear of any obstruction and therefore clear to continue running the race. As a results Stewards declared the event and race gave the all clear on the judge’s numbers. As Driver W. Andrews was injured he was transported to Albany Base Hospital for observation. Due to the delay all races were put back 1 race with Race 9 re scheduled to start at 11.05pm. Stewards opened an inquiry into the actions of the following Drivers L. Inwood (ACROSS THE WAY), M. Young (ESTOCADA), T. Wheeler (FOUR NEEDED), J. Justins (CHUCK NORRIS), A. Markham (DREDLOCK ROCKSTAR) during the running of the event. After taking initial evidence the inquiry was adjourned to a time and date to be fixed. MELTON EXPRESS – Stood flat footed at the start and lost ground. Driver dislodged shortly after the start. In view of the performance stood down until it can complete one satisfactory standing start trial. CRIMSON FLOYD – Severely checked after the start and dislodged driver.  
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