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Art Major filly sets Aussie mile record upon debut

Just days after New Zealand wonder mare Adore Me became the fastest harness racing performer in the Southern Hemisphere with her 1:47.7 triumph, Hazels Girl has broken an Australian record. Making her racing debut for prominent trainer Robert Xerri, Hazels Girl lowered the national two-year-old fillies’ mark at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday. Leading throughout from barrier three, Hazels Girl covered the mile in 1:54.5, with quarters of 28.6, 29.9, 28.2 and 27.8 seconds. The debutante’s time sliced a tenth of a second off the previous mark shared by Read About Lexy and Alabama Shakes. Read About Lexy stopped the clock in 1:54.6 at Menangle on July 12 2014, with Alabama Shakes matching the record at the same venue last month. Lettucerockthem is the quickest freshman thanks to his 1:52.1 at Menangle on April 28, 2013. Excited by the youngster’s prospect, Xerri described Hazels Girl as a “serious filly”. “There is a lot to like about this one,” Xerri declared. “She has so much speed and a bit of stamina to go with it. “I knew she was ready to run a big race, but you don’t go out there expecting to break records. “At this stage of her preparation she is actually better with a sit as she can be a bit touchy in the mouth, but she did well. “She’s a serious fill and once she learns how to race I’m tipping she will be a lot better.” By Art Major, Hazels Girl is from former Group One winning filly, Miss Hazel, which won 15 of her 29 starts, with eight placings also to her credit. Miss Hazel’s best time of 1:57 was registered at Moonee Valley in May 2008. Miss Hazel is from broodmare gem My Ami Lee, the dam of three Group One winners including Renaissance Man and Louvre. As for Miss Hazel, Xerri has aimed her at the Bathurst Tiara, followed by the Australian Pacing Gold, New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge and Australasian Breeders’ Crown. “Bathurst is next then we will look at the other major races,” Xerri said. “You can’t go in everything so she won’t do much between the various heats and Finals. “Even then that’s another 10 or so races before the end of the season. “I’ve got a big opinion of her, so I want to look after her, not cook her.” PAUL COURTS

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Vic Trot Sale has plenty to offer

An exceptionally strong line-up of race winning and winner producing mares augurs well for the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton on Sunday. Of the 46 lots to be presented, 23 are from winners, with 18 from successful broodmares, including a host of ‘black type’ performers. Heading the list are the dams are the Trotters’ Oaks winners Maori’s Dream (Vic) and Queen’s Rhapsody (NSW), The Redwood winner Elusive Charm, the NZ Jewels runner-up Gladys Emanuel and the HRI Gold Bracelet and Breeders’ Crown runner-up Aldebaran Maori. The Group race placegetters Flaming Action, Aldebaranfavourite, Countessa Hest, Arnika’s Pride and Redwood Consolation winner Aldebaran Breeze also have yearlings in the sale. While metropolitan winning racemares represented include Calder Fury, Speedy Naomi, Im Mumbo Jumbo, Mystic Jewel and Strapon. The catalogue comprises the dams of 31 winners, which have amassed more than 160 wins, including dual Oaks and Vicbred champion Claudys Princess, Calder Sensation, Aldebaran Maori, Pride Of Sundon, Val Gardena, Atego Lilly, Bohemian Queen and last Sunday’s Kapunda Cup winner Nico Serrano. There are yearlings closely-related to Inter Dominion champions Sumthingaboutmaori and Our Real Force, and other top trotters such as Kyvalley Road, Blitzthemcalder, Galleon’s Assassin, The Fiery Ginga, Sunny Elegant, Mister Castelton, Merinai and Noopy Kiosk to name a few. Interestingly, no less than 10 yearlings hail from the famous tribe founded by Maori Miss, while 15 are from the New Zealand-bred dams and two from American-bred mares. For a copy of the catalogue visit Harness Racing Victoria during office hours, Tabcorp Park Melton, your local country club or email ahavelberg@hrv.org.au Pedigrees are available at www.austrottingsale.com.au PETER WHARTON

Franco Sheffield (Ricky Duggan) after his C2-C4 win in Hobart

Franco Sheffield scores overdue win

WELL bred pacer Franco Sheffield broke through for an overdue but deserving win when he led throughout to take out a C2-C3 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Monday night. Franco Sheffield won five of eight outings last season but this time in he has taken a while to find the winner's circle with this his first win from six tries. He went into the race on the back of consecutive seconds in Hobart last month and it was the most recent second that gave trainer Juanita McKenzie confident going into Monday night's race. "I thought his previous run was really good, coming from well back and being taken very wide turning for home yet he kept giving in the run home," McKenzie said. "Going into that race I thought his efforts were a shade disappointing compared to what he did last season but sometimes when four-year-olds come back to racing they need a bit of extra time before they hit their straps," she said. Franco Sheffield (Live or Die-Showy Franco) had eight starts last season for five wins and two minor placings. McKenzie expects the gelding to continue to perform well in whatever he tackles in the coming weeks. "We will keep doping what we are doing with him and see how he performs and if he measures up well we will look at a couple of feature races otherwise we'll just keep plodding along in these C4-C5 races," she said. Franco Sheffield was purchased as an early a two-year-old in New Zealand by his owners Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have about 10 horses in work with various trainers. McKenzie said Franco Sheffield is likely to have his next start in Hobart in a fortnight. Peter Staples  

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Beautide the pride of Tasmania

Beautide remains the pride of Tasmanian harness racing following his brilliant win in yesterday's Group One $750,000 Inter Dominion over 3009 metres at Menangle. Beautide toyed with his rivals in Australasia's premier event for the second successive year to become part of an elite group which have won the race in consecutive years. It was only his third start this time in, and given he has had such a short preparation leading up to the series, trainer James Rattray expects the gelding to continue racing in the short term. Winning two Inter Dominions elevates Beautide to legend status and arguably the best Tasmanian-owned and bred pacer to have contested the time-honoured Championship. What he has achieved in the space of a year sets him apart from any other Tasmanian-bred standardbred. Yesterday's effortless win also delivered a message that the seven-year-old still has plenty to offer at Grand Circuit level. Beautide will be given the chance to become the fourth triple Inter Dominion winner in Perth later this year. PETER STAPLES

She has long been the Queen of New Zealand harness racing, but given her performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago, Adore Me may well be the best pacing mare in the world. Not only did the Mark Purdon - trained wonder embarrass a strong field in the prestigious Ladyship Mile, she did so in Australasian record time – after racing in the ‘death seat’. Driven by Natalie Rasmussen, Adore Me covered the 1609-metre sprint in a breathtaking 1:47.7. Becoming the first member of the ‘fairer sex’ to better the magical 1:50 mark, the daughter of Bettors Delight slashed eight-tenths of a second off Smoken Up’s Southern Hemisphere stance. Smoken Up became the first pacer on this side of the equator to break 1:50 when he stopped the clock at 1:48.5 at Menangle in April 2011. Before Adore Me’s record run, Baby Bling held the mares’ crown with her 1:50.5 performance in April 2013 when triumphant in the Miracle Mile…also at Menangle. Shebestingin – also a daughter of Bettors Delight – is the world's fastest pacing female thanks to her 1:47 effort at Lexington in 2013. Put On A Show, by Rocknroll Hanover, is the quickest mare after covering the mile in 1:47.6. As for Adore Me’s moment of glory, she covered the last half in a scintillating 53.7 seconds to score by 18-and-a-half metres from Beauty Secret, with Laterron four metres away third. Adore Me will return to the Shaky Isles this week, with Purdon is expected to decide on an Auckland Cup start within the next couple of days. The Auckland Cup is scheduled to be run on Friday. Adore Me’s success was the third leg of a treble for Rasmussen from the first four races on the program. Capturing a Drivers’ Invitational event with Ive Gottalife, Rasmussen and Purdon also combined to annex the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory. PAUL COURTS

Reigning Great Southern Star champion Keystone Del is well-positioned to defend his harness racing title at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Back to his best following some minor setbacks, the Nicole Molander-trained trotter has drawn to lead throughout the opening heat. In what should prove little more than a training exercise for the son of Dr Ronerail, the gelding will begin from barrier three. Along with having an extra half-hour rest before the Final than those in the second heat, on paper Keystone Del’s qualifier also appears to be the weaker of the two. The extra rest and likely softer run make Keystone Del the one to beat in the series yet again. New Zealand raider Stent, which beat Keystone Del in the Grand Prix a fortnight ago, faces a tougher task in the second heat. The Colin De Filippi-trained squaregaiter will come out of barrier six, with handy types such as My High Expectations, Spidergirl and Neville Vaughan among those drawn on his inside. Unbeaten from three Aussie starts this campaign, Stent will need to be at his top against a solid assembly. Stent and Keystone Del dominated last season’s heats before the latter claimed the Group One decider in which the Kiwi visitor was runner-up. Although still in its infancy, the Great Southern Star has quickly developed into the nation’s premier trot, with the $300,000 Final scheduled for 10pm PAUL COURTS

Consistent harness racing mare Ebabe delivered another courageous performance to score an impressive win at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night. The Zeke Slater-trained pacer faced the breeze for most of the 2090-metre trip from her outside front row draw, and when driver Adrian Collins sent her to the front along the back straight, she powered home to score comfortably. Slater said Ebabe had been a good money spinner for owners Merv and Marjory Butterworth who have been big supporters of his stable. “Ebabe has been very consistent, and while she races in these lower grades, she will be very competitive as she showed tonight,” Slater said. “She has won four, but placed nine times from almost 30 starts, so she has paid her way. “I’m not sure how much further she will go here in Tassie, but while she’s in this sort of form she will be very competitive.” Collins said he was confident a log way out that the mare would win. The daughter of Union Guy ratdd 2:04.2, with the final 800 metres covered in 59.6 seconds. PETER STAPLES

The Carnival Of Cups heats up in March with five feature harnss racing meetings being conducted across the state during the month with the first being at Wagga this Saturday night. The main race is the Wagga Pacers Cup, an event won by 2015 Inter Dominion finalist Teo Enteo twelve months ago and Wagga Harness Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Graeme White is expecting another big night. "We will have eight races this Saturday night and there is some good momentum in the local region for harness racing after an exciting month," White said. "The club had a non-TAB meeting on Sunday in conjunction with the Inter Dominion in Sydney and we also hosted seven heats of the World Driving Championship last week which was a roaring success for us too." There will be exciting action on and off the track this Saturday night with the club looking to attract a big crowd. "Australian Idol runner up Luke Dickens and his band will be performing on Saturday night, Luke was a shearer in Young before he was on Idol back in 2008 and he has a strong following." "We've got an hour break in the middle of the meeting for Luke to perform and apart from the Cup the club will also be running the Oaks and the Derby." Heats for two finals were run at the club's meeting on Sunday and White expects those events to be very competitive. "The heats were good races on the weekend and the club is also looking forward to the two year old Rising Star, with the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival just around the corner, the club thought it would be timely to give horses a chance to have a good hit-out before heading to Bathurst." "We also have a drivers' invitational which will see people like Steve and Amanda Turnbull, Nathan Jack and David Moran compete against one another." Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

Australian harness racing’s Leigh Plunkett Foundation Scholarship has been split between to winners. New South Wales horseman Robbie Morris and Queensland’s Narissa McMullen will share the $20,000 grant, with the LPF’s Vaughn Lynch full of praise for the recipients. “Ellen Tormey was the inaugural winner of the Leigh Plunkett Foundation Scholarship and as such spent six weeks travelling internationally, learning a great deal about the industry, which will enable her to further her career here in Australia,” Lynch said. “This year after the panel of nine voted, there was a tie between Robbie and Narissa, so it was decided a joint scholarship will be awarded. “Both will get the opportunity to travel internationally to learn more about the industry.” Lynch praised the Foundation’s supporters and explained without them the scholarship would still be a pipedream. “A lot of money is raised through a stallion auction and most of the studs support us,” Lynch explained. “We would also like to thank a few of the state’s controlling bodies, like HRNSW, that support the foundation and the concept. “It was also great that on behalf of the foundation we could give Alex Tout from Success Stud, the Breeding Encouragement Award. “Alex will be able to travel overseas to further his knowledge and career.” HRNSW Media

They said he was unlucky not to make it; they said he deserved to be a wildcard and the experts hollered he should just have been in the ‘Big One’ - the Inter Dominion. And former Kiwi pacer Franco Ledger proved all those ‘armchair experts’ were right, when he blew his rivals away in yesterday’s Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Geoff Webster-trained and driven son of Falcon Seelster strolled away from a quality field, rating 1:55.4 for the 2400 metres to beat outsider Lochinver and Bit Of A Legend. It completed a great day for Webster, who prepared the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion runner-up Flaming Flutter, beaten by the mighty Beautide earlier in the afternoon. While Webster handed the drive behind Flaming Flutter to Greg Sugars, he was happy to pilot Franco Ledger. Settled towards the tail of the field, Franco Ledger took off three-wide with 800 metres to travel as Webster slowly made his way towards the head of the field. Turning for home the stallion darted clear to register an impressive victory. Webster paid tribute to part-owner Hamish Hunter who sent him a “ready-made” racehorse from the South Island of New Zealand. “He’s just a terrific little horse and to win a race like this with the prestige attached to it is a real thrill,” Webster said. “I have to thank my staff, especially ‘Skinny’; who brought both my horses up here and has looked after them all week. “They’ve all done a great job.” HRNSW Media

Talented harness racing driver David Moran enjoyed his most successful night in the sulky when he won five of the eight races at Albury’s Carnival Of Cups meeting last Saturday.  Moran had driven four winners at a meeting previously, and while proud of his achievement, thought it could have been even better. “I have driven four winners at a meeting three times before,” Moran said. “I did it at Wagga not that long ago and I’ve also had four at Leeton and Shepparton, but to get five on the one card was my best. “I went to the meeting at Albury and I thought I could get four and with a bit of luck maybe one or two more. “I thought Grand Anse was one of my better drives on the night in the String Of Pearls and she just didn’t handle the track but it was still a great night.” Two of Moran’s winners were for leading horsewoman Amanda Turnbull, with both Chumlee and Hes Okey Dokey were very impressive. “It was good to get a couple of drives for Amandaand Nathan (Jack), they were in Sydney at the APG sales on Saturday and then had the races at Menangle on Sunday,” Moran explained. “I was just helping out and they will be back doing the driving, but getting a couple of winners for them means that next time they are away I might get the chance to drive a few more.” Another feature meeting will be run this Saturday night at Wagga and Moran expects to be driving at the meeting. “Yeah I’m based near Shepparton and have been doing a lot of travelling lately,” Moran said. “Probably a little too much, but you have to do what you have to do. “With the Wagga Cup meeting this Saturday night I will be back over the border by the looks of it.” I’m working a team of around 10 horses, it is enough to keep us busy.” HRNSW Media

The World Driving Championship has been completed after the final heat was run at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Inter Dominion day.  The afternoon consisted of ten races with seven of them being Gr. 1 events.  The remaining three were run at Gr. 2 level including the final heat of the WDC. France’s Tony Le Beller drove the favourite Our Hi Jinx and was expected to be involved in the battle for the early lead but with a lot of speed coming from horses drawn wider on the track he got shuffled back early.  Heza Thrill driven by Spain’s Guillermo Adrover worked from the widest draw to find the front and led turning for home but after a strong tempo it was a horse racing just off the pace that proved too strong. New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn brought Global View with a well timed run to win the race and it was no surprise considering the success that Dunn has had during the Championship.  Global View broke the track record for 2400 metres recording a mile rate of 1:53.4.  Second was Heza Thrill and Guillermo Adrover, El Rama finished third with Norway’s Vidar Hop while Im Blue Double Dee was fourth with Pierre Vercruysse in the sulky. It was a remarkable performance by Dexter Dunn.  After five heats he was in ninth position but a strong performance at Wagga Wagga on Tuesday night saw him climb the leaderboard. Here is the 2015 World Driving Championship completed point score Name WDC Dexter Dunn 200 Tony Le Beller 146 Tim Tetrick 142 Mika Forss 139 Jody Jamieson 132 Knud Monster 122 Chris Alford 119 Pierre Vercryusse 119 Guillermo Adrover  101 Vidar Hop 100 Peter McMullen Australia (travelling Reserve)   For all of the latest news and replays log onto https://Vimeo.com/channels/wdc15 USA representative Tim Tetrick picked up a drive in the Gr. 1 Ladyship Mile and drove Laterron into third placing behind the Mark Purdon trained Adore Me.  Adore Me set a new Australasian mile record when she stopped the clock in 1:47.7 for the mile. Tetrick finished second in the final event on the program as well. Thank you to all of the drivers that competed in the World Driving Championship.    Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

Top pacer Beautide has joined an elite harness racing fraternity thanks to his scintillating victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. The James Rattray - trained gelding trounced his rivals to successfully defend the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion title he won last year. Reminiscent of his first victory in the time-honoured Championship, Beautide worked in the ‘death seat’ before sprinting clear along the home straight to score by 14 metres from Flaming Flutter. After filling the minor placing last year, For A Reason was third again for trainer Belinda McCarthy. Despite being reshod just before the beginning of the $750,000 Group One, Beautide rated a brilliant 1:55.8 for the 3009-metre marathon, with this time just three-tenths of a second outside the track record he established during last year’s Inter Dominon. "It wasn’t ideal, he threw a shoe, he was feeling above himself, but that’s the way we like to race him,” Rattray said. “After the way he won his heat, I was confident we’d go well today. “This horse looks to be labouring until you ask him to go.” Beautide’s latest triumph – his 44th from 72 starts – makes him just the sixth champion to retain his title. Former super star Hondo Grattan was the ground breaker in 1973 and ’74, with his second victory coming in one of the most action-packed Finals on all-time. A fall soon after the start saw half the field knocked out of contention before Hondo Grattan achieved immortality on the tight Gloucester Park circuit. Dour stayer Gammalite followed suit in 1983 and ’84 before being joined by Our Sir Vancelot in 1997, ’98 and ’99, Blacks A Fake in 2006, ’07 and ’08 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011, ’12 and ’13. Former warhorse, Captain Sandy, is the only dual Inter Dominion winner, having scored in 1950 and 1953. As for Beautide, the locally-trained son of Bettors Delight will be given a short break before tackling next month’s Len Smith Mile. Beautide won last season’s edition of the Group One sprint in 1:53.1. The seven-year-old will then spend an extended stint in a paddock before being readied for the Perth Inter Dominion in December. “The $1.3million prizemoney is a tremendous incentive and the three-week carnival will also suit Beau as it gives me time to prepare him for each heat and the Final,” Rattray said. PAUL COURTS

Leading Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart claimed consecutive New South Wales Derby victories thanks to Ideal For Real’s gutsy performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. Outstaying his rivals with master reinsman Gavin Lang in the sulky, Ideal For Real follows on from Major Secret’s success last season. Naturally thrilled with the performance, Stewart will give the son of American Ideal a short break before embarking on another feature race campaign. “To win this race two years in a row is a great thrill,” Stewart declared. “Major Secret went terrific last year and now Ideal For Real has put in a huge ran. “It was tight at the finish, but I knew he’d got there in time. “He will go home now for a short spell, then we will get him revved up again for some of the majors later in the season.” Matching strides with the leader, Hug The Wind, along the home straight, Ideal For Real grabbed the front in the last stride to score by a half-head, with Sporty Spook seven metres away third. In an amazing performance from both stables, Stewart and New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon has filled the quinella in the first three Group Ones of the day. Purdon captured the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory and the Ladyship Mile with Adore Me, while Stewart finished second with Delight Me and Beauty Secret. “Yeah it is good to turn the tables on Mark and win one of the Group Ones,” Stewart said. PAUL COURTS

Australians haven’t seen the last of star Kiwi harness racing performer Our Sky Major. Although part-owned on both sides of the Tasman, the son of Art Major is trained in New Zealand by champion horseman, Barry Purdon. As for his latest Aussie adventure, Our Sky Major captured the Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. Driven by Zac Butcher, Our Sky Major accounted for Bling It On and Isaiah in 1:51.5 for the 1609-metre trip. Pleased with the four-year-old’s performance, Purdon revealed Our Sky Major will return to Australia – Victoria to be precise - later in the season for another shot at Breeders’ Crown glory. Our Sky Major finished third in the two-year-old division and fourth last season. First, the entire will return to the Shaky Isles for the Taylor Mile, Messenger and Harness Jewels. “He will go home now for our major four-year-old races, but will be back for the Breeders’ Crown in August,” Purdon said. Our Sky Major’s victory provided Purdon with his fourth triumph in the Chariots Of Fire since its inception in 1995. Capturing the inaugural running with Gingerman, Purdon also scored with Franco Hat Trick in 1998 and Holmes D G ’99. PAUL COURTS

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Just days after New Zealand wonder mare Adore Me became the fastest harness racing performer in the Southern Hemisphere with her 1:47.7 triumph, Hazels Girl has broken an Australian record. Making her racing debut for prominent trainer Robert Xerri, Hazels Girl lowered the national two-year-old fillies’ mark at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday. Leading throughout from barrier three, Hazels Girl covered the mile in 1:54.5, with quarters of 28.6, 29.9, 28.2 and 27.8 seconds. The debutante’s time sliced a tenth of a second off the previous mark shared by Read About Lexy and Alabama Shakes. Read About Lexy stopped the clock in 1:54.6 at Menangle on July 12 2014, with Alabama Shakes matching the record at the same venue last month. Lettucerockthem is the quickest freshman thanks to his 1:52.1 at Menangle on April 28, 2013. Excited by the youngster’s prospect, Xerri described Hazels Girl as a “serious filly”. “There is a lot to like about this one,” Xerri declared. “She has so much speed and a bit of stamina to go with it. “I knew she was ready to run a big race, but you don’t go out there expecting to break records. “At this stage of her preparation she is actually better with a sit as she can be a bit touchy in the mouth, but she did well. “She’s a serious fill and once she learns how to race I’m tipping she will be a lot better.” By Art Major, Hazels Girl is from former Group One winning filly, Miss Hazel, which won 15 of her 29 starts, with eight placings also to her credit. Miss Hazel’s best time of 1:57 was registered at Moonee Valley in May 2008. Miss Hazel is from broodmare gem My Ami Lee, the dam of three Group One winners including Renaissance Man and Louvre. As for Miss Hazel, Xerri has aimed her at the Bathurst Tiara, followed by the Australian Pacing Gold, New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge and Australasian Breeders’ Crown. “Bathurst is next then we will look at the other major races,” Xerri said. “You can’t go in everything so she won’t do much between the various heats and Finals. “Even then that’s another 10 or so races before the end of the season. “I’ve got a big opinion of her, so I want to look after her, not cook her.” PAUL COURTS
An exceptionally strong line-up of race winning and winner producing mares augurs well for the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton on Sunday. Of the 46 lots to be presented, 23 are from winners, with 18 from successful broodmares, including a host of ‘black type’ performers. Heading the list are the dams are the Trotters’ Oaks winners Maori’s Dream (Vic) and Queen’s Rhapsody (NSW), The Redwood winner Elusive Charm, the NZ Jewels runner-up Gladys Emanuel and the HRI Gold Bracelet and Breeders’ Crown runner-up Aldebaran Maori. The Group race placegetters Flaming Action, Aldebaranfavourite, Countessa Hest, Arnika’s Pride and Redwood Consolation winner Aldebaran Breeze also have yearlings in the sale. While metropolitan winning racemares represented include Calder Fury, Speedy Naomi, Im Mumbo Jumbo, Mystic Jewel and Strapon. The catalogue comprises the dams of 31 winners, which have amassed more than 160 wins, including dual Oaks and Vicbred champion Claudys Princess, Calder Sensation, Aldebaran Maori, Pride Of Sundon, Val Gardena, Atego Lilly, Bohemian Queen and last Sunday’s Kapunda Cup winner Nico Serrano. There are yearlings closely-related to Inter Dominion champions Sumthingaboutmaori and Our Real Force, and other top trotters such as Kyvalley Road, Blitzthemcalder, Galleon’s Assassin, The Fiery Ginga, Sunny Elegant, Mister Castelton, Merinai and Noopy Kiosk to name a few. Interestingly, no less than 10 yearlings hail from the famous tribe founded by Maori Miss, while 15 are from the New Zealand-bred dams and two from American-bred mares. For a copy of the catalogue visit Harness Racing Victoria during office hours, Tabcorp Park Melton, your local country club or email ahavelberg@hrv.org.au Pedigrees are available at www.austrottingsale.com.au PETER WHARTON
WELL bred pacer Franco Sheffield broke through for an overdue but deserving win when he led throughout to take out a C2-C3 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Monday night. Franco Sheffield won five of eight outings last season but this time in he has taken a while to find the winner's circle with this his first win from six tries. He went into the race on the back of consecutive seconds in Hobart last month and it was the most recent second that gave trainer Juanita McKenzie confident going into Monday night's race. "I thought his previous run was really good, coming from well back and being taken very wide turning for home yet he kept giving in the run home," McKenzie said. "Going into that race I thought his efforts were a shade disappointing compared to what he did last season but sometimes when four-year-olds come back to racing they need a bit of extra time before they hit their straps," she said. Franco Sheffield (Live or Die-Showy Franco) had eight starts last season for five wins and two minor placings. McKenzie expects the gelding to continue to perform well in whatever he tackles in the coming weeks. "We will keep doping what we are doing with him and see how he performs and if he measures up well we will look at a couple of feature races otherwise we'll just keep plodding along in these C4-C5 races," she said. Franco Sheffield was purchased as an early a two-year-old in New Zealand by his owners Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have about 10 horses in work with various trainers. McKenzie said Franco Sheffield is likely to have his next start in Hobart in a fortnight. Peter Staples  
Beautide remains the pride of Tasmanian harness racing following his brilliant win in yesterday's Group One $750,000 Inter Dominion over 3009 metres at Menangle. Beautide toyed with his rivals in Australasia's premier event for the second successive year to become part of an elite group which have won the race in consecutive years. It was only his third start this time in, and given he has had such a short preparation leading up to the series, trainer James Rattray expects the gelding to continue racing in the short term. Winning two Inter Dominions elevates Beautide to legend status and arguably the best Tasmanian-owned and bred pacer to have contested the time-honoured Championship. What he has achieved in the space of a year sets him apart from any other Tasmanian-bred standardbred. Yesterday's effortless win also delivered a message that the seven-year-old still has plenty to offer at Grand Circuit level. Beautide will be given the chance to become the fourth triple Inter Dominion winner in Perth later this year. PETER STAPLES
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