Darrell Graham

Graham meets Peter Moody on Cobalt positives

LEADING Queensland harness racing trainer Darrel Graham has met Peter Moody to discuss their collective bewilderment over positive tests to cobalt. While not formally charged, Graham has been notified his stable star Mafuta Vautin returned a positive test to cobalt in winning the $50,000 Qbred Triad final at Albion Park on May 30. Leading thoroughbred trainer Moody is fighting a case where Lidari tested positive when placing in the Turnbull Stakes last October. Graham was two days into a recent US holiday when he received news of the swab. Mafuta Vautin, named after colourful rugby league identity Paul Vautin, returned a cobalt reading of 342 micrograms a litre, well above the permitted reading of 200. “I am bewildered,’’ Graham said. “I don’t know anything about the stuff. I wouldn’t even know how to use it or have a clue what it looks like.’’ Representatives from the Day and McDowell families, harness racing licensees who faced cobalt charges, were also present at the meeting with Moody and Graham in Sydney on. Dean McDowell and Neil Day have been suspended for four years on cobalt charges and another three years for failing to attend the hearings. The meeting was also attended by former leading jockey turned trainer Kevin Moses, recently banned for a year for presenting a horse with an elevated cobalt reading. The meeting discussed if horses could have a cobalt level of more than 200mpl by accidental use of supplements. Cobalt use was originally detected in harness horses in the US and tests revealed that it was performance enhancing and a threat to a horse’s heart and nervous system.  

Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper

Strategic plan 2020 consultation paper launched

HRV has today released the "Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper" which will be the blueprint to take Victorian harness racing into the future. The plan is designed to revitalise harness racing in Victoria and create a dynamic and world class industry that will serve as a national and global leader. The plan will cover such key issues as integrity and animal welfare, horse population, innovation of the racing product, wagering, industry participation and growth, marketing and communications to name a few. HRV Chairman Ken Latta PSM said: "For the Plan to achieve its objectives the input, ideas and support of the industry is critical." Mr Latta invites all participants passionate about harness racing to become involved. HRV proposes to engage widely and embark on a rigorous consultation process to discuss the plan. In the coming month HRV will: * Hold sessions with formal industry consultation groups * Conduct forums with participants across Victoria * Receive feedback via written submissions Harness racing makes a significant contribution to the social fabric of Victoria and currently contributes $422 million to the Victorian economy, $226 million in household wages and is responsible for the employment of 4000 FTE jobs. With fresh ideas and industry input the 2020 Plan will ensure that harness racing continues to make its mark in Victoria well into the future. The timetable for the consultation process is: * Release of Consultation Paper - August 27 * Stakeholders consultation and forums to take place during September 2015 * Written submissions close September 30, 2015 * Strategic Plan 2020 released late 2015 The consultation forums will be conducted at the following locations, commencing at 7pm: * Bendigo Harness Racing Club September 15 * Shepparton Harness Racing Club September 22 * Tabcorp Park Melton September 23 To access the Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper and written submissions form click here CODY WINNELL, COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Gloucester Park, Perth

Condrieu the best of the Bond's five runners

Greg and Skye Bond, poised to be the State's leading trainers for the 2014-15 season, dominate the $25,000 Happy Birthday Luciana Walton Schrader final at Gloucester Park on Friday night with five of the 12 runners. All five are in sparkling form, and even though Condrieu is awkwardly drawn on the inside of the back line in the 2130m event, he makes strong appeal as the stable's main chance. The Bonds dominated the 2014 Schrader final in which they were successful with Tuapeka Kahu, with their other runners Jay Bees Grin finishing third, Lunar Tide fourth, Condrieu fifth and Im Terrific sixth. Apart from Condrieu the stable will be represented this year by Ohoka Squire (barrier one), Lunar Tide (three), Jungle Jewel (five) and Phoenix Warrior (No. 3 on the back line). Looming large as the horse most likely to spoil the Bond party is the talented Norvic Nightowl, a newcomer to the stables of champion trainer Gary Hall sen. who has been most impressive at his first four starts in Western Australia after arriving from New Zealand. Those four outings produced three stylish victories and a head second to Chief Thundercloud in the 3309m Marathon Handicap. Condrieu possesses dazzling gate speed and has set a brisk pace in winning at three of his past four starts. From the inside of the back line this week, reinsman Colin Brown will have to adopt different tactics. However, Condrieu has shown in the past that he can unwind a devastating finishing sprint after racing back in a field. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old was not extended in bursting straight to the front from barrier nine last week, setting the pace and coasting to victory over Cyamach in a 2536m event. A week earlier Condrieu had a tough run in the breeze before taking the lead 470m from home. However, he had to lower his colours to stablemate Ohoka Squire, who flashed home to snatch a last-stride victory after enjoying a soft run in fifth position on the pegs. Ohoka Squire's prospects in this week's final soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line. Lauren Jones should have the six-year-old in a commanding position throughout the race. The other Bond runners also have been in fine form, with Lunar Tide's past five runs producing two wins, a second and a third. Jungle Jewel is in magnificent form. She has sprinted home brilliantly to win over 2130m at each of her past three starts. Phoenix Warrior's current campaign has produced eight wins, two seconds and two fourths from 12 starts. Back mark no problem for Chief Thundercloud Standing-start specialist Chief Thundercloud looks a star bet on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he starts off the back mark of 20 metres in the 2503m Brear And Doonan Handicap. He is favoured by the conditions of the race and as an M4-class performer he meets all 11 rivals on extremely favourable terms. Chief Thundercloud, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, met far tougher opposition when he started off 20m and sustained a spirited three-wide burst from sixth at the bell to get up and beat the smart New Zealand-bred five-year-old Norvic Nightowl in the 3309m Marathon Handicap last Friday week. A fortnight earlier he raced three wide for much of the way and did very well to finish fourth behind quality pacers in Classic American and Elegant Christian. At his previous start he beat home Elegant Christian when second to Classic American. Olivieri admires Chief Thundercloud's fierce competitive spirit and will to win. He describes him as tough as old boots and has nominated him for the TABtouch interdominion championship at Gloucester Park and Bunbury in November and December. "He could be a bit of a surprise packet in the tough grind of an interdominion championship," he said. Sonic Classic and My Good Deed are racing soundly and look likely placegetters behind Chief Thundercloud. Sonic Classic, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, has been unplaced at four outings since resuming from a spell. He was an unlucky seventh behind Barrow Street in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park last Saturday night when he raced in fourth place on the pegs, but was blocked for a clear passage in the closing stages. He caught the eye a week earlier when he was tenth at the bell and raced three and four wide in the final circuit when an encouraging fourth behind Christian Banner. My Good Deed, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, was a 6/4 favourite in a 2503m stand last Saturday night. But he ruined his chances by galloping at the start and then racing in the breeze on the outside of Bashful Compton. He faded to finish ninth behind Barrow Street. He has won 11 times from only 32 starts and if he begins smoothly from the outside of the second line he should figure in the finish. Nuala gets a chance to atone Star filly Nuala, a beaten favourite at 7/4 on when she resumed racing last Friday week, gets a chance to make amends when she clashes with another outstanding filly, Tricky Styx, in the Samuel Smith and Son Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Nuala will start from the outside in a field of eight, with Tricky Styx next to her at barrier seven and their clash will be a highlight of the ten-event program. Nuala, trained by Gary Hall sen., tasted defeat for the first time when she resumed after a four-month absence last Friday week. She started from barrier eight in a nine-horse field and was restrained back to last by Clint Hall. Shed dashed forward to be fifth, three wide, at the bell and sustained her sprint to take the lead on the home turn. But she faded to finish third behind the fast-finishing Lady Willoughby and Foxy Dame after the final 400m was covered in 30sec. after slick middle quarters of 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. That followed impressive wins at her first seven starts. Tricky Styx, winner of the WA Oaks and second to the brilliant Beaudiene Boaz in the WA Derby earlier in the season for Northam trainer Jesse Moore, is sure to prove very hard to beat and she will have a host of admirers. She resumed after a spell with an easy all-the-way victory at a 1.59.7 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. That boosted her career record to 20 starts for ten wins and six placings for stakes of $200,453. Tricky Styx, to be driven by Nathan Turvey, is a brilliant sit-sprinter and the race could develop into a battle of tactics between Hall and Turvey. Hall sen. has a good second string to his bow in Giuliana Rancic, a winner of four races who will be making her first appearance since mid-May. Giuliana Rancic will be driven by Kim Prentice and should be prominent from the favourable No. 2 barrier in the field of eight. Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis holds a strong hand with smart fillies Massive Attack (seven wins) and Sea Me Smile (six wins). Massive Attack possesses good gate speed and appeals as the likely pacemaker. Treble for Hawkins and Sheehy Trainer Kristian Hawkins and young driver Kristy Sheehy stole the show at the meeting at Northam on Tuesday night when they combined to land a treble on the eight-event card. They were successful with Just Jamie, Danieljohn and Brave Stranger. The treble was a notable triumph for Hawkins, a former successful jockey, who has just taken over the preparation of the three horses from his father Bruce. The three runners were having their first start for Kristian Hawkins and were capably handled by Sheehy. Ken Casellas

Qld's champion concession driver Narissa McMullen.

Nariissa McMullen reaches 100 wins again

Champion harness racing driver Pete McMullen scored a treble of wins at Albion Park yesterday but his performance was overshadowed by his younger sister Narissa McMullen reaching the 100 win milestone for a second consecutive season. Pete steered a race to race trotting double on Thumbs Up Jerry and Ode to Success then won the Rising Stars Championship Heat on Floyd Mayweather while Narissa saved the best for last and took family bragging rights, taking out the meeting closer on her father John’s horse Blessed Is The Boy. Making a one act affair of the Virginia Pace Mile (1660m), Blissful Hall five-year-old gelding Blessed Is The Boy scored by 7.4 metres from Chevals Diamond and Smiling High. It was the 10th career win for Blessed Is The Boy and career best mile in 1.58.4. Narissa was at her brilliant best and displayed the top form that she has shown also season with a tremendous strike rate over the last 12 months. Her strike is particularly impressive when the win and place form are considered together. Narissa has had 867 drives winning 100 races, placing 209 times and finishing fourth 96 times which means that she was a top four finisher 47% of the time and has a UDRS of 0.2231, her best in five seasons of race driving. 20-year-old Narissa's total stakes winnings so far for 2014/15 are $650,562. Last season Narissa drove 139 winners from 1064 drives and failed by just four wins to reach the ton in 2012/13. Narissa joins Shane Graham (249 wins), Grant Dixon (213 wins), Pete McMullen (170 wins) and Gary Whittaker (106 wins) as the only Queenslanders to reach the century of driving victories this season. She is also the State’s number one female driver, ranks fifth on the overall state premiership, fourth on the state’s metropolitan premiership and first on the state concession driver’s premiership. In another high point for the year, Narissa also won a half share in the Leigh Plunkett Foundation Scholarship. She dead-heated for the award with NSW’s Robbie Morris. For her share of the prize Narissa received a $10,000 travel study voucher. Narissa is also a contender for Queensland’s 2015 Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Young Achiever Award winning a monthly nomination in October last year. David Aldred

Bendigo trots are the place to be on Saturday night as the club holds a special evening to raise funds for Kez’s Hideaway, a retreat for women living with the challenges of breast cancer. Gates open from 5pm for the 10-race card with a special Lady Drivers Race featuring some of harness racing’s female participants donning pink driving pants to show their support for the cause. Reinswomen Monique Burnett, Amanda Turnbull, Ellen Tormey, Kate Gath, Donna Castles, Tanya Cavallaro, Kerryn Manning, Jodi Quinlan, Lisa Miles and Rebecca Bartley will all compete in the Kez’s Hideaway Lady Drivers Pace, Race 3 at 6.32pm. “The Bendigo club in conjunction with the OTIS Foundation are very proud to be supporting the Kez’s Hideaway Memorial Race Night,” Bendigo Harness Racing Club Sales and Marketing Manager Brendan Baker said. “Here at BHRC we think it is very important to support local causes and organisations.” Karlee Thorpe, the Bendigo Bank OTIS Ambassador, will be a guest speaker on the night, which will also feature the OTIS Foundation Pace (Race 4 at 7pm). A special auction will be held with money-can’t-buy experiences, including a mobile barrier ride at the trots and a double-seater sulky ride on the night! “We’re really looking forward to seeing the lady drivers race where all drivers will be wearing the OTIS Foundation/Paul Gray Builders/Kez’s Hideway Pink Pants,” Baker said. “Local builder Paul Gray is the driving force behind the build of Kez’s Hideaway, in memory of Paul’s late wife Kerri Gray.” Fantastic race night packages are still available by phoning Tracey on 03 5449 3205 or 0447 599 859. Alternatively you can email tmcmaster@bhrc.com.au for more details. Harness Racing Victoria Related Links Fields for Bendigo, Saturday 29 August 2015 Form guide for Bendigo, Saturday 29 August 2015

Fathers and sons have a wonderful record in the time-honoured Westral August Cup and Kyle Harper has bright prospects of adding his name to the honour roll by driving the brilliant Bettors Fire to victory in the $35,000 feature event over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper’s father Lindsay won the August Cup with Shattering Class (twice), Ghost and Digger of Fortune and he shares the record of four wins with Phil Coulson, Lyle Lindau and Fred Kersley jun. Kersley’s father Fred sen. won the August Cup twice, with Beverley Boy (1951) and Mercedes (1968) and his younger son Bill was successful with Mondello in 1959. The other successful father and son combinations to have won the August Cup are Jim and Peter Schrader, Trevor and Justin Warwick, Gary Hall sen. and Gary Hall jun., Mike and Mark Reed and Kim and Justin Prentice. In total, fathers and sons have won the August Cup 27 times. Apart from Kyle Harper aiming to join this illustrious list, Clint Hall (Indomitable) is hopeful of adding his name to the father and son August Cup winners. Harper has Bettors Fire flying and the New Zealand-bred six-year-old simply sizzled last Friday night when he unwound a dazzling sprint to charge home from a distinct ninth and last at the bell to burst to the front at the 100m mark and score an effortless victory over the pacemaking Northview Punter, rating 1.55.2 over 2130m. Bettors Fire is drawn out wide at barrier eight on the front line and Harper looks set to adopt similar tactics to those of last week when he restrained the gelding back to the rear at the start and relied on his sparkling finishing speed. Bettors Fire, who has won 25 times from 60 starts and has amassed $385,552 in prizemoney, is being set for the $1.8 million TABtouch interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park and Bunbury in November and December. Harper freely admits that Bettors Fire is not at his peak and the impressive son of Bettor's Delight is rapidly developing into one of Western Australia’s best championship hopes. He is an M9-class performer and looks considerably superior to his 11 rivals. Apart from Northview Punter (M9) and This Time Dylan (M7) the other runners have much easier classifications. Northview Punter, to be driven by Kim Prentice for Gary Hall sen., showed a welcome return to form last Friday night when he set the pace and battled on to finish second to Bettors Fire. He will start from barrier two on the back line is capable of being placed again. He started from the No. 1 barrier when he set the pace and won last year’s August Cup by four lengths from Ima Rocket Star. Eleven-year-old Rocket Reign, trained by Debbie Padberg, will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. A winner of 24 races from 176 starts, he is in the twilight of his career. Four years ago, in the 2011 August Cup Rocket Reign raced in sixth position on the pegs before flying home, three wide, to be third to Lombo Navigator and Has The Answers in a thrilling three-way photo finish. One of the fancies this year will be Our Jimmy Johnstone, a six-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who will be handled by Colin Brown, who has been successful in the August Cup with Governor Guinness in 1986 and Mister Odds On in 2009. Our Jimmy Johnstone started equal favourite at 6/4 with Bettors Fire last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze before wilting to eighth. His previous form was most encouraging. Adding interest to the race will be the reappearance of Ti Amo Franco, a winner of four races earlier in the season. He has not raced since his fast-finishing victory over Tuapeka Kahu at Gloucester Park at a 1.54.7 rate over 1730m late last March. He was an all-the-way 2536m winner over Our Major Mark and Dearborn three starts before that. by Ken Casellas

Queensland harness racing trainer Ian Gurney has had a change of heart and will now target the $1.8 Million TABtouch Perth Inter Dominion later this year with his star pacer Avonnova. Avonnova has been one of the true fairytale stories in the sport since Gurney claimed the gelding for just $20,000 in 2013. During the recent Queensland Winter Carnival the pacer that wears no hobbles, finally broke through for his maiden Group 1 success in the Sunshine Sprint, which took his earnings since joining the Gurney stable to nearly half a million dollars. “He’s just been a wonderful horse to me. I just love him and he had been so close in a few Group 1’s behind champions such as Im Themightyquinn and Beautide, so it was great to see him win the Sunshine Sprint,” Gurney said. Gurney initially was concerned Avonnova would struggle with the Inter Dominion format of three runs in a week, but after working the son of Art Major on Wednesday he quickly changed his mind. “I couldn’t believe the way he worked and then I had a look at the calendar and there was nothing for him here, so I got onto the phone to Mick Radley (Chief Executive of Gloucester Park) and organised travel arrangements. “Gloucester Park should suit him and if he draws to lead in his heats he will be more than competitive and you can’t bypass a series worth $1.3 million dollars when you have a horse like Avonnova in your backyard,” Gurney said. Gurney will now prepare his star for the Queensland Spring Carnival in October before flying to Perth a couple of weeks before the series starts. “I’m also going to take Mach Alert across to Perth, and I think he will also be really competitive. He’s starting to find his best form and is another with a gate speed that should be suited to WA racing.” “I went to Perth a few weeks ago and loved it, so I can’t wait to get over there,” Gurney said. Regular driver, and Queensland’s best, Shane Graham, will drive Avonnova in the Inter Dominion. by Gareth Hall

Harness racing fans will only have to wait a few months until the TABtouch Perth Inter Dominion carnival to see the much anticipated clash between star three year olds Menin Gate and Beaudiene Boaz. It was tipped the two stars would meet in the upcoming Breeders Crown series, before Gary Hall Snr decided to keep his WA Derby winner at home. Menin Gate’s trainer Larry Eastman will give his three time Group 1 winner a short break after the Breeders Crown before preparing the ‘Birchip Bull’ for the $125,000 4YO McInerney Classic and the $200,000 Golden Nugget Championship. “The money is too good to bypass and this will be his major aim in his four-year-old campaign, which means I will bypass the Chariots of Fire in Sydney because he will go for a big spell after Perth,” Eastman said. Menin Gate has become one of the most popular horses in the sport thanks to his group of owners, who come from the Mallee towns of Birchip and Wycheproof in country Victoria. “It’s been a tough couple of years for the country towns in the Mallee." "The drought has hit a few of those towns pretty hard and Menin Gate has been able to put a smile of the faces of the locals and has given them something to look forward to." “The whole town of Birchip especially has fallen in love with him. They all think they own him and the owners shout the bar when he wins". "Even Father Eugene stops his service to listen to Menin Gate’s races,” Eastman said. The clash between Beaudiene Boaz and Menin Gate is set to be one of the highlights of the season and both Hall Snr and Eastman are looking forward to the clash. “It’s great for the sport to build up these kind of rivalries and I have so much respect for Beaudine Boaz and he’s trained by the legend Gary Hall Snr, so Menin Gate will have to be at the top of his game”, Eastman said. Hall Snr is also looking forward to testing his star against a top quality pacer, who has proven he can mix it with the best in Australasia. “We usually have to travel across to them to take on the best, so I think its great Larry has decided to send Menin Gate for the carnival." "It will be great for the carnival and I suppose the draws will decide which horse starts favourite," Hall Snr said. Gareth Hall

Sample Irregularities Harness Racing South Australia has been advised by Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) of sample irregularities. THE NATURE BOY – Trainer R. Lemon. RASL have advised HRSA that arsenic has been detected in the urine sample taken from THE NATURE BOY following its win in Race 2, The Pirie Fodder Supplies Pace, conducted at Port Pirie on Friday 10 July 2015. The ‘B’ sample has been sent to the Chem Centre in Western Australia. Acting under Rule 183A, THE NATURE BOY has been stood down and shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. A date for the inquiry has not been set. Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards

Sample Irregularities Harness Racing South Australia has been advised by Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) of sample irregularities.   LIVINGISFUN – Trainer S. Loone. RASL have advised HRSA that Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from LIVINGISFUN prior to it competing in Race 2, The Arclight Photography Claiming Pace, conducted at Globe Derby on Saturday 8 August 2015. The ‘B’ sample was sent to the Chem Centre in Western Australia where TCO2 was detected at the threshold level. Trainer S. Loone is required to attend an inquiry which will be held at 1pm on Friday 28 August 2015. Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards

Imagine being middle aged, still competing at the elite level of your sport and still winning with career best performances. Perhaps it’s a pipe dream for most of us and definitely unheard of for most racehorses, but not for veteran Queensland harness racing standardbred, Destreos. Ken Rattray’s super pacer Destreos today led all the way at Albion Park to record its 81st race victory, its 62nd win at Brisbane’s main track, ran a lifetime best mile and equaled Hal Thomas' modern-day career record of 377 starts. Both Hal Thomas and Destreos have raced an astonishing number of times but hands down the Sally Stingel owned Destreos’ performances eclipse those of Hal Thomas. Destreos officially celebrates a 12th birthday in one week, that’s 40 human years.  He started racing in 2006 and has now won more than $660,000. Hal Thomas which was trained by Brisbane’s Mark Dux raced between 1998 and 2010 won 65 times earning $261,443. Both Destreos and Hal Thomas fall short of the all time Australian record number of race starts and wins held by north Queenslander Cane Smoke which before computer form records were being kept reportedly raced 400 times over 11 years, mostly during the 1980's in Mackay and won 123 times. Driven a treat in front today by regular driver Kelli Dawson, tough Astreos gelding Destreos left the machine like a rocket and posted a 26.8 first quarter to stave off an early challenge from Lebron (Pete McMullen). The second sectional was covered in 29.5, the third in 27.4 and he charged home the final quarter in 28.5 for a gross time of 1.55.5 and a stunning mile rate of 1.51.9. Destreos held a 3.1 metre break on its nearest opponent, Ohoka Colorado (Shane Graham) at the end of the 1660 metres with Majestic Mach in third place for Grant Dixon. Lebron which tried to burn off Destreos at the start faded to finish fifth 6.4 metres astern. by David Aldred

In the last few weeks Harnesslink has begun to update all of our stallion reviews on the Stallion Sphere. Even though it is only twelve months since we did the initial stallion reviews, the changes in the statistics is quite pronounced with the four stallions we have updated to date.   Mach Three is a good example with the son of Matts Scooter having added over $15,000,000 to his bankroll in that time.   He has also added a couple more millionaires on the card in that period and all of a sudden the statistics from twelve months ago look terribly outdated.   That is often the way with the more established stallions who once they have reached the elite level at stud tend to get overlooked a bit with the emphasis mostly centered on newer stallions trying to get established.   The statistics we updated for the other three stallions had changed just as much.   Somebeachsomewhere continues to be the benchmark as a stallion with his first crop closing in on $19,000,000, which is an increase of nearly $6,000,000 in twelve months.   Shadow Play and Sportswriter are two young sires we have updated and again the changes in their averages and percentages are quite significant.   Both have made big strides in the last twelve months and the extent of that change did surprise us.   Harnesslink has two more updates on stallions in the next issue of Insider Access which is free to Harnesslink followers as long as you have signed up to receive it.   You can do so by signing up below; Sign up to "Insider Access" Full Name Email Subscribe

Pepper Tree Farm has kindly donated a service to impressive harness racing stallion Roll With Joe to the Jim Webb fundraising effort. Roll With Joe's book for the upcoming breeding season has been closed for a number of months and there is a lengthy waitlist of broodmare owners waiting for an opportunity to send their mare to the Meadowlands Pace winner. Roll With Joe stands for $6,000, was the 2011 USA three-year old of the year and is a full brother to Bettors Delight. Pepper Tree Farm is hoping interested breeders will get involved with all money raised from the auction going directly to Jim Webb and his family. Jim suffered a spinal cord injury after a trackwork fall in June and has no movement in his legs and very little movement in his arms and hands. A fundraising night will be held at the Bankstown Club on Thursday to raise further funds. To bid on the Roll With Joe service please send an email through to HRNSW's Media Manager Greg Hayes confirming your bid and details. Greg's email address is ghayes@hrnsw.com.au The auction will close at 4pm on Friday September 4 2015. A daily auction update will be provided on the HRNSW website and various social media platforms. Please note the service is for mares based in Australia and must be used during the 2015/16 season. Greg Hayes

John Gibson, one of the best known figures in harness racing in Australasia, died on Saturday after a short illness. Mr Gibson, who was 82, was a pioneer in the importation of stallions from North America. In his own right or in partnership with Brisbane trainer/driver John McMullen, Mr Gibson was responsible for importing nearly 50 stallions to Australia and New Zealand. Independent of that, the former trainer/driver who cut his teeth on the eastern show circuit, conducted the successful standardbred nursery, Success Stud, initially on the Queensland Darling Downs and in more recent years at Young, in New South Wales. Mr Gibson, his wife Mary and daughter Jackie through Success Stud have given much back to the harness racing community through sponsorship and have also bred and raced many top line performers including recent standouts Two Eye See and Makes Every Scents. There was a massive outpouring of love for Mr Gibson and his family on social media over the weekend and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and the New South Wales Harness Racing Club arranged for black armbands to be worn in his honour at meetings over the weekend. Mr Gibson died peacefully in hospital at Young. His funeral details have not been finalised but will be advised once they have been confirmed. Greg Hayes

Tonight at Ballarat in the second Australasian Breeders Crown semi final for three year old fillies, Australian harness racing fans got their first look at New Zealands best three year filly in The Orange Agent who has been in stunning form all season. Starting from barrier four after a scratching, The Orange Agent and regular pilot Maurice McKendry were caught four wide into the first corner but Maurice continued to press on and reached the front after 400 metres. From that point on it was just a matter of what she would win by as Maurice dropped the speed appreciably after the early burn. Passing the 800 metres Maurice upped the tempo and scooted the quarter down the back in 27.6 with Start Dreaming and Barry Purdon looming up outside The Orange Agent passing the 400 metres mark. Maurice gave her a bit more reign and she brushed home in a brilliant 26.9 to win comfortably from a very game Start Dreaming with Soho Tokyo holding on well for third after breezing the whole race. It was the daughter of American Ideal 15th win at just start 21 and took her earning to $371,512. The Orange Agent paced the 2200 metres in 2:42.4, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with electric closing sectionals of 54.5 and 26.9. Tonights race was a perfect lead in for The Orange Agent heading into nexts week Breeders Crown final and she will be terribly hard to beat regardless of where she draws. The two obvious dangers are Ameretto, who won the first semi final in impressive fashion and Start Dreaming who has been placed behind The Orange Agent several times this season already. Harnesslink Media

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Loader
Loader
LEADING Queensland harness racing trainer Darrel Graham has met Peter Moody to discuss their collective bewilderment over positive tests to cobalt. While not formally charged, Graham has been notified his stable star Mafuta Vautin returned a positive test to cobalt in winning the $50,000 Qbred Triad final at Albion Park on May 30. Leading thoroughbred trainer Moody is fighting a case where Lidari tested positive when placing in the Turnbull Stakes last October. Graham was two days into a recent US holiday when he received news of the swab. Mafuta Vautin, named after colourful rugby league identity Paul Vautin, returned a cobalt reading of 342 micrograms a litre, well above the permitted reading of 200. “I am bewildered,’’ Graham said. “I don’t know anything about the stuff. I wouldn’t even know how to use it or have a clue what it looks like.’’ Representatives from the Day and McDowell families, harness racing licensees who faced cobalt charges, were also present at the meeting with Moody and Graham in Sydney on. Dean McDowell and Neil Day have been suspended for four years on cobalt charges and another three years for failing to attend the hearings. The meeting was also attended by former leading jockey turned trainer Kevin Moses, recently banned for a year for presenting a horse with an elevated cobalt reading. The meeting discussed if horses could have a cobalt level of more than 200mpl by accidental use of supplements. Cobalt use was originally detected in harness horses in the US and tests revealed that it was performance enhancing and a threat to a horse’s heart and nervous system.  
HRV has today released the "Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper" which will be the blueprint to take Victorian harness racing into the future. The plan is designed to revitalise harness racing in Victoria and create a dynamic and world class industry that will serve as a national and global leader. The plan will cover such key issues as integrity and animal welfare, horse population, innovation of the racing product, wagering, industry participation and growth, marketing and communications to name a few. HRV Chairman Ken Latta PSM said: "For the Plan to achieve its objectives the input, ideas and support of the industry is critical." Mr Latta invites all participants passionate about harness racing to become involved. HRV proposes to engage widely and embark on a rigorous consultation process to discuss the plan. In the coming month HRV will: * Hold sessions with formal industry consultation groups * Conduct forums with participants across Victoria * Receive feedback via written submissions Harness racing makes a significant contribution to the social fabric of Victoria and currently contributes $422 million to the Victorian economy, $226 million in household wages and is responsible for the employment of 4000 FTE jobs. With fresh ideas and industry input the 2020 Plan will ensure that harness racing continues to make its mark in Victoria well into the future. The timetable for the consultation process is: * Release of Consultation Paper - August 27 * Stakeholders consultation and forums to take place during September 2015 * Written submissions close September 30, 2015 * Strategic Plan 2020 released late 2015 The consultation forums will be conducted at the following locations, commencing at 7pm: * Bendigo Harness Racing Club September 15 * Shepparton Harness Racing Club September 22 * Tabcorp Park Melton September 23 To access the Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper and written submissions form click here CODY WINNELL, COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER
Greg and Skye Bond, poised to be the State's leading trainers for the 2014-15 season, dominate the $25,000 Happy Birthday Luciana Walton Schrader final at Gloucester Park on Friday night with five of the 12 runners. All five are in sparkling form, and even though Condrieu is awkwardly drawn on the inside of the back line in the 2130m event, he makes strong appeal as the stable's main chance. The Bonds dominated the 2014 Schrader final in which they were successful with Tuapeka Kahu, with their other runners Jay Bees Grin finishing third, Lunar Tide fourth, Condrieu fifth and Im Terrific sixth. Apart from Condrieu the stable will be represented this year by Ohoka Squire (barrier one), Lunar Tide (three), Jungle Jewel (five) and Phoenix Warrior (No. 3 on the back line). Looming large as the horse most likely to spoil the Bond party is the talented Norvic Nightowl, a newcomer to the stables of champion trainer Gary Hall sen. who has been most impressive at his first four starts in Western Australia after arriving from New Zealand. Those four outings produced three stylish victories and a head second to Chief Thundercloud in the 3309m Marathon Handicap. Condrieu possesses dazzling gate speed and has set a brisk pace in winning at three of his past four starts. From the inside of the back line this week, reinsman Colin Brown will have to adopt different tactics. However, Condrieu has shown in the past that he can unwind a devastating finishing sprint after racing back in a field. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old was not extended in bursting straight to the front from barrier nine last week, setting the pace and coasting to victory over Cyamach in a 2536m event. A week earlier Condrieu had a tough run in the breeze before taking the lead 470m from home. However, he had to lower his colours to stablemate Ohoka Squire, who flashed home to snatch a last-stride victory after enjoying a soft run in fifth position on the pegs. Ohoka Squire's prospects in this week's final soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line. Lauren Jones should have the six-year-old in a commanding position throughout the race. The other Bond runners also have been in fine form, with Lunar Tide's past five runs producing two wins, a second and a third. Jungle Jewel is in magnificent form. She has sprinted home brilliantly to win over 2130m at each of her past three starts. Phoenix Warrior's current campaign has produced eight wins, two seconds and two fourths from 12 starts. Back mark no problem for Chief Thundercloud Standing-start specialist Chief Thundercloud looks a star bet on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he starts off the back mark of 20 metres in the 2503m Brear And Doonan Handicap. He is favoured by the conditions of the race and as an M4-class performer he meets all 11 rivals on extremely favourable terms. Chief Thundercloud, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, met far tougher opposition when he started off 20m and sustained a spirited three-wide burst from sixth at the bell to get up and beat the smart New Zealand-bred five-year-old Norvic Nightowl in the 3309m Marathon Handicap last Friday week. A fortnight earlier he raced three wide for much of the way and did very well to finish fourth behind quality pacers in Classic American and Elegant Christian. At his previous start he beat home Elegant Christian when second to Classic American. Olivieri admires Chief Thundercloud's fierce competitive spirit and will to win. He describes him as tough as old boots and has nominated him for the TABtouch interdominion championship at Gloucester Park and Bunbury in November and December. "He could be a bit of a surprise packet in the tough grind of an interdominion championship," he said. Sonic Classic and My Good Deed are racing soundly and look likely placegetters behind Chief Thundercloud. Sonic Classic, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, has been unplaced at four outings since resuming from a spell. He was an unlucky seventh behind Barrow Street in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park last Saturday night when he raced in fourth place on the pegs, but was blocked for a clear passage in the closing stages. He caught the eye a week earlier when he was tenth at the bell and raced three and four wide in the final circuit when an encouraging fourth behind Christian Banner. My Good Deed, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, was a 6/4 favourite in a 2503m stand last Saturday night. But he ruined his chances by galloping at the start and then racing in the breeze on the outside of Bashful Compton. He faded to finish ninth behind Barrow Street. He has won 11 times from only 32 starts and if he begins smoothly from the outside of the second line he should figure in the finish. Nuala gets a chance to atone Star filly Nuala, a beaten favourite at 7/4 on when she resumed racing last Friday week, gets a chance to make amends when she clashes with another outstanding filly, Tricky Styx, in the Samuel Smith and Son Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Nuala will start from the outside in a field of eight, with Tricky Styx next to her at barrier seven and their clash will be a highlight of the ten-event program. Nuala, trained by Gary Hall sen., tasted defeat for the first time when she resumed after a four-month absence last Friday week. She started from barrier eight in a nine-horse field and was restrained back to last by Clint Hall. Shed dashed forward to be fifth, three wide, at the bell and sustained her sprint to take the lead on the home turn. But she faded to finish third behind the fast-finishing Lady Willoughby and Foxy Dame after the final 400m was covered in 30sec. after slick middle quarters of 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. That followed impressive wins at her first seven starts. Tricky Styx, winner of the WA Oaks and second to the brilliant Beaudiene Boaz in the WA Derby earlier in the season for Northam trainer Jesse Moore, is sure to prove very hard to beat and she will have a host of admirers. She resumed after a spell with an easy all-the-way victory at a 1.59.7 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. That boosted her career record to 20 starts for ten wins and six placings for stakes of $200,453. Tricky Styx, to be driven by Nathan Turvey, is a brilliant sit-sprinter and the race could develop into a battle of tactics between Hall and Turvey. Hall sen. has a good second string to his bow in Giuliana Rancic, a winner of four races who will be making her first appearance since mid-May. Giuliana Rancic will be driven by Kim Prentice and should be prominent from the favourable No. 2 barrier in the field of eight. Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis holds a strong hand with smart fillies Massive Attack (seven wins) and Sea Me Smile (six wins). Massive Attack possesses good gate speed and appeals as the likely pacemaker. Treble for Hawkins and Sheehy Trainer Kristian Hawkins and young driver Kristy Sheehy stole the show at the meeting at Northam on Tuesday night when they combined to land a treble on the eight-event card. They were successful with Just Jamie, Danieljohn and Brave Stranger. The treble was a notable triumph for Hawkins, a former successful jockey, who has just taken over the preparation of the three horses from his father Bruce. The three runners were having their first start for Kristian Hawkins and were capably handled by Sheehy. Ken Casellas
Champion harness racing driver Pete McMullen scored a treble of wins at Albion Park yesterday but his performance was overshadowed by his younger sister Narissa McMullen reaching the 100 win milestone for a second consecutive season. Pete steered a race to race trotting double on Thumbs Up Jerry and Ode to Success then won the Rising Stars Championship Heat on Floyd Mayweather while Narissa saved the best for last and took family bragging rights, taking out the meeting closer on her father John’s horse Blessed Is The Boy. Making a one act affair of the Virginia Pace Mile (1660m), Blissful Hall five-year-old gelding Blessed Is The Boy scored by 7.4 metres from Chevals Diamond and Smiling High. It was the 10th career win for Blessed Is The Boy and career best mile in 1.58.4. Narissa was at her brilliant best and displayed the top form that she has shown also season with a tremendous strike rate over the last 12 months. Her strike is particularly impressive when the win and place form are considered together. Narissa has had 867 drives winning 100 races, placing 209 times and finishing fourth 96 times which means that she was a top four finisher 47% of the time and has a UDRS of 0.2231, her best in five seasons of race driving. 20-year-old Narissa's total stakes winnings so far for 2014/15 are $650,562. Last season Narissa drove 139 winners from 1064 drives and failed by just four wins to reach the ton in 2012/13. Narissa joins Shane Graham (249 wins), Grant Dixon (213 wins), Pete McMullen (170 wins) and Gary Whittaker (106 wins) as the only Queenslanders to reach the century of driving victories this season. She is also the State’s number one female driver, ranks fifth on the overall state premiership, fourth on the state’s metropolitan premiership and first on the state concession driver’s premiership. In another high point for the year, Narissa also won a half share in the Leigh Plunkett Foundation Scholarship. She dead-heated for the award with NSW’s Robbie Morris. For her share of the prize Narissa received a $10,000 travel study voucher. Narissa is also a contender for Queensland’s 2015 Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Young Achiever Award winning a monthly nomination in October last year. David Aldred
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles