Day At The Track
Rocknroll Lincoln,Harness racing

Rocknroll Lincoln gives Hall Jnr his 8th WA Cup

Gary Hall Jnr has produced another masterful display of driving at Gloucester Park tonight, chalking up his eighth win in the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup (2936m) with the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln. Three months ago it looked as if Hall Jnr would struggle to add to his seven Pacing Cup wins when his father’s superstar pacer Chicago Bull injured himself in New Zealand. But on the state’s biggest Harness Racing stage, Hall Jnr showed his class with the horse that filled the breach left by Chicago Bull. There was some doubt as to whether Rocknroll Lincoln would be able to find the lead from barrier two, but that doubt was quickly dispelled within the first 100m of the race, as the five-year-old crossed Maczaffair with ease. Fremantle Cup winner My Field Marshal elected to ease back in the early stages and eventually found himself only slightly better than midfield on the back of Galactic Star. Vampiro was forced to settle outside the leader, which gave Galactic Star, the best chance of Greg and Skye Bond’s six runners, the perfect trail into the race. Despite the high quality of horses behind him, Rocknroll Lincoln fought on strongly to the line and rated 1.56.8 in the 1.3m victory. El Jacko ran on well for second, while Maczaffair held on for third. Hall Jnr said he had some small concerns heading into the race, but was full of praise for Prentice’s training performance. “I was confident and hopeful, but I think I was more hopeful than I was confident,” he said. “The horse was in such good order. “He warmed up really well and he was nice and relaxed. “Hats off to Justin because in his last two starts he hadn’t really got a good crack at them. “For him to turn him out again tonight and lead and run that trip, it was a pretty special effort.” Hall Jnr returned later in the evening to drive a further two winners in You Gotta Have Faith and Caviar Star. You can hear from the beaten drivers from the WA Pacing Cup below. Review all of the action of TABtouch-WA Pacing Cup night here.   Tim Walker

Gary Hall Jnr and Rocknroll Lincoln,Harness racing

Young guns combine to win WA Pacing Cup

It’s Prentice….again! Outstanding young horseman Justin Prentice has joined his father Kim as a winner of the state’s biggest event following the all the way victory of emerging talent Rocknroll Lincoln in the Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park tonight (Friday). The victory provides back to back triumphs for the Prentice family after Kim steered the Bryan Cousins trained Soho Tribeca to victory last year. Kim has also scored with Im Themightyquinn (2011 - driver) and Baltic Eagle (2003 – trainer/driver). But tonight was all about this young formidable combination. The Prentice prepared stayer was expertly handled by master reinsman Gary Hall Jnr who controlled the speed perfectly behind the five-year-old before holding off the fast finishing El Jacko and Maczaffair to claim the 2936m mobile start feature. For Hall Jnr, 35, the victory now provides him with his 8th Cup winner and he now passes legendary horseman Phil Coulson as the most successful driver in the events history. Amazingly, Hall Jnr has won 8 of the past 18 editions (The Falcon Strike x3, Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn x 2 and Chicago Bull). Starting front gate two, Hall Jnr pounced on the early lead from Maczaffair while My Field Marshal and Galactic Star both took up handy positions in the moving line. The lead time was covered in 97.8 seconds. With positions sorted quickly and Hall Jnr controlling the early speed, the lack of pressure was obvious and the race was unfolding perfectly for the connections of Rocknroll Lincoln. The first half of the final mile was covered in identical splits of 29.4 and 29.4 seconds. Rocknroll Lincoln remained the leader from Vampiro who raced without cover with Maczaffair behind the leader while Galactic Star and My Field Marshal sat close in the moving line. Entering the back straight for the final time, Hall Jnr increased the pressure while Vultan Tin got My Field Marshal moving three wide which in turn flushed Galactic Star from the one out, one back position. And that’s when Hall Jnr really quickened the speed. The third quarter was covered in 27.7 seconds. In the home straight, Rocknroll Lincoln kicked clear before holding the late challengers El Jacko and Maczaffair. At the line, Rocknroll Lincoln ($3.50) scored by 1.3 metres from El Jacko ($8.50) who used inside runs with a similar margin back to Maczaffair ($41) in third. Race favourite My Field Marshal ($2.75) finished fourth. The final quarter was covered in 28.7seconds. The mile rate was 1:56.8 and established a new race record but was outside of the track record of Smolda at 1:55.8. “It’s a massive thrill and it’s great to win for this group of owners who have supported me from the start, it’s quite surreal and I was really nervous before the race but it played out well and it was a great drive from Jnr.” Prentice said. Rocknroll Lincoln has now 14 of his 42 starts and takes his earnings in excess of $464,000. He now joins Tiger Tara (Victoria Cup & Inter Dominion), Thefixer (New Zealand Cup) and Turn It Up (Auckland Cup) as winners on the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit. The remaining legs for the current term include the Hunter Cup (February 2 - Melton), Miracle Mile (March 3 - Menangle) and the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship (Albion Park – July 20).   Chris Barsby

Lauren Tritton,Harness racing

Tritton excited to see what Factory can produce

LAUREN Tritton sat behind the fastest three-year-old pacer to ever grace a track in Australasia just recently. And now the top reinswoman is excited to see what Muscle Factory can produce against some of the nation’s best at Ballarat on Saturday night. Muscle Factory set a southern hemisphere record when clocking 1:49.6 in the Simpson Memorial at Menangle a fortnight ago. And on Saturday night south of the border the colt faces his next challenge in a heat of the Victoria Derby. “I’m really excited to see what Muscle can do against the best of them,” said Tritton. “It’s hard not to declare a horse that just won in 1:49. “I’m not worried about the smaller track either as we saw what he did at Albion Park.” However, there is an element Tritton is concerned about. “It is the hardest heat but we’ve drawn accordingly,” said Tritton. “It’s still going to be tough facing the locals on their home turf . . . some of those horses have been raised on that track their whole life so they have that advantage.” Some of those dangers include Lochinvar Art and Australian Pacing Gold winner Centenario. Meanwhile, the $1.65 TAB Fixed Odds favourite is the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained Im Another Masterpiece. Tritton does not have to face the powerful Purdon/Rasmussen combination in her other Victoria Derby heat with Petes Big Jim. The gelding is a $15 chance behind the $2.50 elect Max Delight and the Menangle Park horsewoman is full of praise of her drive’s latest effort at his local track. Petes Big Jim finished fourth to Muscle Factory in the scintillating Simpson Memorial. “He went into that race 50/50 after being sore and tender on his feet and he is only a little horse but has a heart of gold to push through and go as well as he did,” said Tritton. “He went 1:50 himself and I’ll drive him conservative now as he steps up with the big boys.” ‘Team Tritton’ will be represented on home soil at Menangle on Saturday night as well with seven runners nominated. This includes Tritton’s two recent Inter Dominion campaigners My Alpha Rock and Maximan. “Maximan and Alpha are super since the trip to Victoria,” said Tritton. “We private trialled them around Menangle and they worked the mile in 1:51. “It’s not easy for them coming back to racing in that grade but we are happy with how they have come back after their campaign.” Tritton trains her team of horses with her husband Shane Tritton and they have trained 264 winners since starting their partnership in the 2016/17 season.   Some fun facts: Mile Records – Australasian: http://www.harness.org.au/hra/annual/public/records/ausn_milep.pdf HRA’s Milestones – Pacers http://www.harness.org.au/hra/annual/public/records/mstonesp.pdf   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. HRNSW MEDIA CONTACT: AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

The Bus

The Bus claims Pub Group Gold Nugget

The wheels on The Bus were certainly rotating at a rapid pace when the four-year-old horse won the 2019 running of the Pub Group Gold Nugget at the Tamworth harness racing meeting on Wednesday night. In taking out the $10,000 feature, The Bus shaved 1.3 seconds off the track record held by Real Social of 1min 57.1sec for 1980 metres. The Bus set the new record with a mile rate of 1.56.1. “It was a super run – awesome effort by the horse,” said The Bus’ reinsman, Guy Chapple. “He is a serious race horse, this horse – tonight he just went unbelievable,” added the Maitland-based reinsman on returning to scale. “He would race again tomorrow as he has got a big ticker and he will be here on Sunday for the Golden Guitar heats.” Chapple has a grand association with the Tamworth Paceway, and looks forward to returning to the the club’s January racing carnival each year. “I think that is the third time I have won a Nugget race,” he said. “Tamworth has been the best place for me – I have won three Tamworth City Cups, two Golden Guitar finals and now three Gold Nugget races. “I won a couple of Sires Stakes races here as well.” From barrier rise, the Gold Nugget feature race developed into a speed battle, with The Bus from the three barrier, Royal Gamble from the one barrier and Lexy Can Wait from the six barrier all vying for the lead. “The horse went super,” Chapple said. “I knew the speed would be on and it was our plan to be where we were. It played into our hands – that was a freakish run by the horse, though.” Lexy Can Wait (Tom Ison) took the lead, with Royal Gamble (Jack Callaghan) racing in on the leaders’ back, while The Bus was poised racing out in the breeze. Support the local news keeping you informed At the 600m mark The Bus kicked clear, with local pacer Hedges Avenue from the Ernie Mabbott stables giving chase, and was soon joined by Royal Gamble as the field raced down the home straight on the final occasion. “He just kept giving,” Chapple said, when he asked The Bus to put a little more effort into his run. “He is just a strong horse.” The race was contested with quarters of 28.8sec, 30.7sec, 29.6sec and 29.4sec. “He was travelling massive within himself,” Chapple said. “I knew they were running in the race and when I was coming back to scale it was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it when they said the race time and [it was] a new track record.” The Bus went on for a 1.8m win over Royal Gamble (Jack Callaghan), with Hedges Avenue (Mitch Faulkner) 6.2m away in third place. “He is getting better and better,” Chapple said of The Bus, who has had 35 starts for nine wins and 12 placings. Have your say, send a letter to the editor  “I reckon he could have done another lap – he just felt so strong.  “We will be back on Sunday,” Chapple added. “We have drawn the seven barrier which is the only drawback, so it will have to be another big run again and hopefully we qualify for the final.” On Wednesday night, The Bus was supported by his New Zealand owners Grant and Kathy Hatton, who had travelled from Christchurch to see the run, and, of course, take in some country music before they head home. Julie Maughan   Reprinted with with permission of the Northern Daily Leader  

AN on-course veterinarian at this week’s Mildura Harness Racing Club’s meeting has moved to allay concerns about the welfare of horses due to extreme heat. The club pushed back the start time for the first race to 7.30pm when the temper­ature was still 41.6C and the mercury failed to drop below 35C until well into the eight-race meeting. Mildura GP Gerald Murphy described a decision to proceed with the meeting on Tuesday – which recorded a maximum daytime temperature of 45.8C – as “totally ­unacceptable”. By Allan Murphy Reprinted with permission of The Sunraysia Daily

Harness racing trainer David Jack confesses that he’s not a real fan of hot, uncomfortable summer weather, but he put that aside to make a successful hit-and-run visit to Mildura this week. “I reckon I changed my mind at least a half dozen times as to whether I was going to be brave enough to make the 500km road trip in the searing heat,” Jack said. The mercury was forecast to reach 45 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, and trainers are permitted to scratch without penalty if the forecast temperature is predicted at 38 degrees or higher. However, the professional harness racing trainer-driver, based at Euroa in Victoria’s cooler north-east region, decided that the feature event was ideal for his pacer Deeceeten. After leaving at 12.30pm to make the six-hour trek north west, Jack was actually still traveling on the road when Mildura reached its maximum temperature for the day at 5pm, a blistering 45.5 degrees (in the old terms 113.9 degrees Fahrenheit). “Fortunately, Deeceeten is an excellent traveller and that’s probably another thing that tipped the scales to do the trip,” Jack said. “We stopped at Swan Hill to give him a drink and check he was okay, and then continued on when we found him to be happy and relaxed. “I reckon we become a bit spoilt with the air conditioners in the car.  But horses seem to handle heat and I do think it’s humidity that can knock them about. “After arriving at the Mildura track, we gave him a long soaking under the cold hose and he was fine.” And Deeceeten (Rocknroll Hanover-Lombo Pow Wow (Million To One, USA) didn’t give those who took the short odds one moment of concern with an impressive all-the-way victory in the $10,000 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinium Country Series H Final. Jack virtually had a stroll in the park, with Deeceeten coasting in 30.6, 31.8, 29.7 and 29.3 over the 1790m journey. The winner was bred by Jack’s step brother Bill H. Thorn and the dam, Lombo Pow Wow, would be remembered by many for her deeds on the racetrack. The mare had 47 starts for 10 wins and 11 placings. David Jack races Deeceeten in partnership with his wife Anne. “I thought we’d placed him well and to come up with the number two saddlecloth helped out heaps,” Jack said. “We did some research and believe that we’ve only ever raced at Mildura on one other occasion —-and it wasn’t memorable as we finished 4th or 5th.” Deeceeten has now had only eight starts, but amazingly they have been in three different States. The gelding began his career in spectacular fashion with consecutive 2yo wins at South Australia’s Globe Derby Park, in Adelaide. “Bill, who bred him, lives over that way so it was fitting for the him to make his debut there,” Jack said. After four starts in 2016, the pacer was tipped out owing to some niggling problems. He came back two years later and was runner-up on two occasions at Leeton, NSW, then saluted at Swan Hill prior to the Mildura victory. Jack said they would have normally travelled home the following day after the races but with high temperatures forecast in the north west, decided it was best to travel in the cool of the night. “He is a very honest horse, but can go better than he shows at the races – hopefully the penny will drop soon,” Jack said. Other long distance travellers to make hot (but successful) trips to the Mildura meeting included Zac Steenhuis, of Portillo (936km round trip) near Ballarat who got a double with Jules Peach and Our Summer Bay; David Smith, of Salisbury, SA (734km trip) who was successful with Glider; and Aaron Bain, of Gawler, SA (690km trip), who got the money with Rocknroll Legend. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Trainer Mike Reed has declared Maczaffair will be doing everything she can to hold the lead in the early stages of tomorrow night’s Group 1 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup (2936m) at Gloucester Park. The sole mare in the field had her chances of winning increase following the barrier draw on Tuesday morning, when she drew barrier one, with fancied runners Rocknroll Lincoln and My Field Marshal to her outside. Earlier this week, Gary Hall Jnr, who drives Rocknroll Lincoln tomorrow night, indicated on TABradio he would look to lead from barrier two, but Reed told the same station this morning Maczaffair would look to utilise her advantage from gate one with his son Mark Reed engaged to drive. “I couldn’t be happier with her and she’s ready to rock and roll,” he said. “I will leave it up to Mark, but he said when he worked her ‘she’s the best she’s ever felt’. “The only one we’d be handing up to would be My Field Marshal, but Mark said yesterday ‘why hand up’. “If she gets a lot of pressure from My Field Marshal we may let him go.” Maczaffair drew barrier six in last week’s Fremantle Cup and had little luck in the closing stages, before she eventually finished sixth behind My Field Marshal. The five-year-old will be out to become the first mare since 1972 to take out the state’s most prestigious race. She will also be looking to become just the 20th mare to win the race. Reed said he was confident Maczaffair was back to the form from the start of her preparation that saw her run second to Vampiro in the Mount Eden Sprint. “She ran the quickest half she’s ever run at Gloucester Park yesterday,” he said. “She ran second in the Mount Eden Sprint first-up and it might have just taken the edge off her a bit. “The last couple of weeks we have freshened her up and she’s jumping out of her skin. “12 months ago she ran second to Ultimate Machete in the Golden Nugget. “If Ultimate Machete had drawn one, he’d most probably be favourite.” My Field Marshal remains a solid $1.85 favourite for the WA Pacing Cup, while Rocknroll Lincoln ($4.20) and Galactic Star ($4.60) are the only other runners in single figure odds. Reed’s Henley Brook stable also has the in-form Golden State engaged in the second heat of the Nights Of Thunder Series (1730m). Golden State won back-to-back races after his sixth placing in the Golden Nugget last month, before he finished second at his most recent start behind Neighlor last Friday. The smart four-year-old has drawn barrier four tomorrow night and Reed said he expected him to be driven quietly. “I expect Tanaka Eagle will lead and we will be outside him or in the one-one position,” he said. “If you don’t burn him out of the gate, he definitely comes home a lot better.” Each of the three Nights Of Thunder heats have nine runners engaged, with the fastest nine horses across the heats qualifying for next week’s Final. Tomorrow night’s Gloucester Park meeting gets underway at 5.50.   Tim Walker

A coveeted cup, a battle between man and horse and raising money for charity – the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Oberon Community Night is always a season highlight. This Friday night’s nine-race meeting at the Bathurst Paceway has not only drawn some quality runners, but is expected to attract a bumper crowd which reflects the passion Oberon residents have for the sport. “It would be our third biggest meeting of the year behind the Gold Crown finals night and Shirley Turnbull Memorial. It shows how much the Oberon community get behind it,” BHRC’s Marianne Donnelly said. “It is a big night because the Oberon community are just so great, they really get behind it every year. They also raise on the night around $4,000 for Ronald McDonald House which is an amazing effort for one night. “It’s a special night for the Oberon trainers too, they all like to race on the night. Russell [Reynolds] has got one in the cup, Wayne White’s got one in the race he sponsors and Geoff [Lawson] has got horses racing too.” READ MORE: Turnbull wins her sixth Oberon Cup READ MORE: Mojo Major wins the 2017 Oberon Cup READ MORE: Chris proves he can Be Quick for the Rues READ MORE: Frisby’s star draw gate 10 for Ballarat Cup The feature race is the Oberon Cup (2,260 metres), one which has showcased champions such as Smooth Satin and Karloo Mick in the past. Since its inception in 2002, The Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull has steered the most winners. When she goes from barrier one with Jonah Jones on Friday night, she will be seeking her seventh Oberon Cup win. However, she faces some stiff opposition with past victors Robbie Morris, Bernie Hewitt, Steve Turnbull and Ashlee Grives all in contention. “The honour roll is certainly impressive, there are some top horses on it and it’s a top race. This year there are some great horses in the field again - Royal Story, Imthevillagestar,” Donnelly said. Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here Aside from the cup, which offers $14,840 in stakes, the program also features the Oberon Council Ladyship Pace and Rewards Series Final. Then there is a race between horse and man. A horse will run two laps of the Bathurst Paceway track while the team of Tyler Colley and Nathan Voytilla-Borg attempt to cover one. First race is at 8.33pm. Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Harness Racing New South Wales has continued its commitment to excellence around the state by announcing a group 1 carnival for Wagga  from  2020. The races will be the first at group 1 level  in any code in the Riverina and will provide the new Wagga track to open  in March with a signature event. The four races will be restricted to four-year-olds and five-year-olds and split by gender.  Horses must be paid up for futurity series, the NSW Breeders Challenge or Bathurst Gold Crown series to be eligible. “The reason for announcing it now is to allow owners to pay up for the series, so they will be eligible for the races in coming years,” HRNSW chairman Rod Smith said. “We have made a significant investment in a track at Wagga and it needs a feature carnival for everyone to aim at. To read the full article written by Chris Roots click here.

Veteran pacer The Bucket List has finished in eighth position in 2130m mobile events on the past two Friday nights, but he should relish a return to standing-start conditions and a considerable drop in class when he begins off the back mark of 30 metres in the TABtouch Better Your Industry Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred nine-year-old has the credentials to bounce back to winning form: He has won eight stands in Western Australia and is the track record-holder for a 2503m stand. The Bucket List rated 1.57.2 when he started off the 50m mark and came from tenth at the bell and went five wide at the 400m to charge to the front 110m from home and win the BOTRA Cup from Always Arjay and Motu Premier last July. This gave him the track record for a 2503m stand, beating the 1.57.9 rate recorded by superstar Im Themightyquinn when he began from 30m and beat Christopher Three and Our Mercurio in July 2010. The Bucket List was not suited by the fast early tempo in a 2130m mobile event last Friday night when he started from the No. 4 barrier, raced three wide early and then in the breeze before gaining the one-out, one-back sit after a lap. He was left without any sting when the final quarters went by in 28.4sec. and 29.4sec., but he finished less than three lengths behind the winner Im Full of Excuses, who won from smart pacers Gotta Go Gabbana and Simba Bromac. The Bucket List, to be handled by Michael Grantham (who has won seven races with the Christian Cullen gelding), is sure to appreciate much inferior opposition this week. His most serious rivals loom as Always Arjay (20m) and frontmarkers Carrera Mach, Bright Diamond and Destined To Rule. The Matt Scott-trained Always Arjay is in splendid form and will take a power of beating. He impressed in a 2503m stand two starts ago when he worked hard in the breeze and finished determinedly to get up and win from the pacemaking Carrera Mach and Bettor Not Bitter. That followed Always Arjay’s fast-finishing second to Lord Willoughby in a 2130m mobile event a week earlier. His two previous runs were in stands at Narrogin (for a hard-working win by four lengths over dead-heaters Keeper of Keys and Gaz Wannabet) and a strong third from the breeze behind Crime Scene at Bunbury. Carrera Mach, a small New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Ross Olivieri, is extremely consistent, with seven wins and nine placings from 25 starts. He makes strong appeal as the likely pacemaker and will take beating if left alone in front. Bright Diamond, a four-year-old in the Greg and Skye Bond stables, returns to standing-start racing after a series of excellent efforts against quality opposition in mobile events. This will be his first appearance in a stand at Gloucester Park, but he has impressed at his two standing-starts runs in WA both off the 30m mark last October when he worked forward early to set the pace and win from Rum Delight and Rafaello at Bunbury and when a close second to Cut For An Ace, after final quarters of 27.7sec. and 27.1sec.   Ken Casellas

Champion horseman Tim Butt, who has prepared more grand circuit winners than any other harness racing trainer in Australasia, is poised to set more records when his brilliant seven-year-old My Field Marshal contests the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 51-year-old New Zealand-born Butt, who relocated from Christchurch to Menangle in New South Wales early last year, is confident that My Field Marshal will prove the best stayer and win the testing 2936m mobile group 1 classic in the stallion’s first attempt over a distance beyond 2700m. “He’s fantastic and has come through his wins in the Village Kid Sprint and Fremantle Cup absolutely terrific,” he said. Asked if the 2936m was a concern, Butt said: “It’s only 400m longer than last week’s Cup and I couldn’t be happier with the barrier draw (No. 3 on the front line).” Queried about the likely driving tactics to be employed by his elder brother Anthony, he said: “We haven’t done the form yet, but we’ve got options from that draw. “The horse hasn’t done a lot since he led and won the Fremantle Cup. He had a hoppled run this morning (Tuesday) and I just ticked him over like I normally do. He’s bright and he loves it here.” The Butt brothers are full of hope that they will be able to go one better than they did when Flashing Red finished second to Tealsby Karita in the 2007 WA Pacing Cup. Flashing Red, second favourite at 3/1 from barrier five, raced wide early and three wide again in the middle stages before working hard in the breeze. He fought on doggedly behind Tealsby Karita, the 11/4 favourite who made most of the running. “Flashing Red was a great horse and a great stayer, but My Field Marshal has got a bit more brilliance,” Tim Butt said. If My Field Marshal is successful this week, it will give the famous Butt family a special record, with the first set of brothers training a WA Pacing Cup winner. Roddy Butt, the youngest of the three Butt brothers, prepared Justaboyden, who was driven by Fred Kersley jnr and produced one of the most spectacular bursts of speed in a Pacing Cup when he was ninth at the 400m and sprouted wings to charge to the front at the 250m mark and career away to beat Southern Knight by more than three lengths in the big race in 1995. The WA Pacing Cup was first run in 1913 and the inaugural Fremantle Cup was in 1928 and, if successful, My Field Marshal will become only the eighth pacer to have won the WA Pacing Cup-Fremantle Cup double in the one season, a feat that has been performed by Black Bertha (1942), Pure Steel (1980), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), The Falcon Strike (2002 and 2004), Baltic Eagle (2003), Im Themightyquinn (2011 and 2012) and Chicago Bull (2017). My Field Marshal, bred and owned by Syd and Shona Brown (who also bred and owned the horse’s dam Foreal, a winner of 18 races and $664,800 in stakes. My Field Marshal has earned $1,324,712 from 26 wins and 21 placings from 61 starts, has won six group 1 features --- the Taylor Mile and Messenger Championship at Alexandra Park, the Four-Year-Old Emerald at Cambridge (in successive starts in 2016), the Len Smith Mile at Menangle in 2017, the Miracle Mile in 1.46.9 on the same track last February and last week’s Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park. Anthony Butt, who will return to Perth from Sydney on Friday, was full of praise for My Field Marshal after the horse’s exciting all-the-way victory in the 2536m Fremantle Cup last Friday night, saying: “To lead and cop that pressure just shows what a great horse he is. He did a mighty job; he had to burn out of the gate and then never got any peace. “He kept running fast quarters and it was a great effort. It won’t be easy this week when I’m sure it will again be a truly-run affair. But he has got that class on his side and no matter what race he’s in, he’s always hard to beat.” Tim Butt said that My Field Marshal would not contest the $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton on February 2 and that the horse’s main mission after the WA Pacing Cup would be the Miracle Mile at Menangle on March 3. “My Field Marshal will return to Sydney next Wednesday and he’ll probably have one lead-up run before the Miracle Mile.” With My Field Marshal starting from barrier three on Friday night, Anthony Butt will be ready to make snap decisions after the mobile barrier releases the quality field of 12 runners. He knows that Maczaffair (barrier one) and Rocknroll Lincoln (two) will come out flying in bids to take the early lead. Whether the speedy My Field Marshal can burst straight to the front is highly problematical. Sharing the Butt camp’s confidence is Mike Reed, the trainer of Maczaffair, and Gary Hall Jnr, who will be in the sulky behind the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln. Maczaffair is the only mare in the field and Reed is bullish about her prospects of becoming the first of her sex to win the WA Pacing Cup since Pyramus beat Chief Attain and Sir Alex in 1972. She will again be handled by Reed’s son Mark, who was most impressed with her effort when an unlucky sixth in the Fremantle Cup, only one and a half lengths behind the winner. She was ninth at the bell and was badly blocked for a clear passage before flying home along the pegs in the final few strides. Maczaffair, the winner of five group feature events, showed her class against all-male opposition when second to Ultimate Machete in the group 1 2536m Golden Nugget championship in December 2017. Hall, who has driven the winner of seven WA Pacing Cups, said that Rocknroll Lincoln was travelling strongly and was a sound winning chance before being badly checked approaching the home turn in the Fremantle Cup. Rocknroll Lincoln broke into a gallop and finished 11th. Hall said that the 2936m journey this week would not worry Rocknroll Lincoln. “Barrier two looks good on paper and he’s got genuine gate speed,” he said. “If we get to the front, and I think he can, I won’t consider handing up.” Galactic Star, a gallant second in the Fremantle Cup, is in peak form and must be considered, despite drawing awkwardly at barrier seven. Ryan Warwick looks certain to opt out of any early speed battle and is likely to drive conservatively before deciding when to send the six-year-old forward. Galactic Star raced in eighth position in the one-wide line in the Fremantle Cup before Warwick sent the gelding forward, with a three-wide, burst approaching the bell. He sustained the effort and his performance was full of merit. Galactic Star is prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who will also be represented in the Cup by Our Max Phactor (Dylan Egerton-Green), Vampiro (Colin Brown), Our Jimmy Johnstone (Michael Grantham), El Jacko (Aiden de Campo) and Saying Grace (Chris Lewis). El Jacko and Saying Grace will start from the back line and have sound place prospects after unlucky runs in the Fremantle Cup in which El Jacko, a smart sit-sprinter, was badly blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit before going across the line, full of running, in seventh position. Saying Grace, who trailed the pacemaking My Field Marshal throughout, went to the line, bolting under lock and key, in fourth place. Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr, who has won the WA Pacing Cup a record 11 times, is pinning his faith on Runrunjimmydunn, who will be driven by Clint Hall from barrier five. Runrunjimmydunn fought on from tenth in the middle stages to be a sound fifth in the Fremantle Cup. The WA-bred Vultan Tin, trained in Coolup by Phil Costello, is the only non-New Zealand-bred runner in the race. He will be driven by Chris Voak and will start from the outside of the back line. Vultan Tin was seventh at the bell in the Fremantle Cup before finishing fast, out six wide, to be an eye-catching third. Ace trainer Ross Olivieri, who prepared Saab for his WA Pacing Cup victory in 1999, has engaged Shannon Suvaljko to drive Im Full of Excuses from the awkward No. 6 barrier. Im Full of Excuses bounced back to form and ended a 22-month drought when he charged home with as three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to win narrowly from Gotta Go Gabbana in a 2130m mobile event last Friday night. He will again be at long odds this week.   Ken Casellas

Mister Bushido, a lightly-raced six-year-old, will make his Australian debut when he starts from barrier six on the front line in the $20,000 TABtouch Race Replays Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He arrived in Perth from New Zealand just over four months ago and is being prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr for his breeders and owners Syd and Shona Brown, who race champion pacer and Fremantle Cup favourite My Field Marshall. Mister Bushido was trained in New Zealand by Tim Butt, who said that the Bettors Delight gelding’s strength was his ability to produce a powerful finishing burst. “He’s a pretty handy sort of horse, is good and honest and should pay his way here,” said Butt. “He’s probably more of a finisher late in the race.” Mister Bushido, who will be driven by Stuart McDonald, has not been produced at trials. His latest appearance was in a 1980m event at Addington on August 17 last year when he was trained and driven by Jonny Cox. He was restrained from barrier seven, raced in seventh position and went five wide on the home turn before finishing sixth in a field of eight behind the brilliant pacer Ana Malak. His most recent win in a career of 21 starts for four wins and five placings was six starts ago when he rated 1.55.5 in beating Joey Maguire by a half-head over 1950m at Addington. It was a most impressive victory. He started from barrier 14 the outside of the back line and was a $23.80 outsider. He was 12th at the bell and 11th with 600m to travel before he charged home, out six wide, to get up and win in the final stride. He won at his previous start, also over 1950m at Addington, when he was restrained at the start from barrier eight, was eighth at the bell and seventh on the home bend before surging home, four wide, to get up and beat the favourite Cindy Bromac by a neck, rating 1.57.6, with a final; quarter in 27.7sec. Mister Bushido’s chief rivals on Friday night appear to be his stablemate Liberty Rose and the Colin Joss-trained eight-year-old Lagoon Stride. Liberty Rose was an odds-on favourite last Friday night when she started from the No. 2 barrier, set the pace, but was kept under pressure by Mary Catherine, who overraced in the breeze. She wilted after final quarters of 27.6sec. and 28.1sec. to finish third behind the fast-finishing Lady De La Renta and Mary Catherine. Liberty Rose is sure to enjoy a much more comfortable run this week and will take plenty of beating. Lagoon Stride has not been successful for 34 months, but he should pay to follow after he set the pace and refused to give in when a fighting second to Bronze Seeker over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week.   Ken Casellas

THE rise and rise of Buster Brady will be tested in Saturday night’s PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup as Kima Frenning’s debutant training experience dips its toe into the top tier of Australasian pacing. Plucked from New Zealand by new owners Stokie Racing Group after a career on the edge of the Kiwi’s elite, including a fifth in the 2017 New Zealand Trotting Cup, Buster Brady burst on to Australia’s scene with Geelong and Cobram cup victories. The only horse in Frenning’s care, the six-year-old was held back from the TAB Inter Dominion despite a late rankings rise that earned qualification, making Saturday night’s Group 1 his Australian debut against the big boys. “It’s definitely going to be a test for him to go out in the Ballarat Cup against a couple of the best ones and just see where we’ve got him,” Frenning told RSN 927’s Gait Speed. She will steer Buster Brady from gate five, outside race favourite Thefixer and directly inside TAB Inter Dominion placegetter Cruz Bromac, with the All Stars pair dominant in the market. At $4.40 with tab.com.au fixed odds, Buster Brady is the shortest priced challenger in a field of Victorians eager to put their case as the next big thing and boost their chances of getting a start in the February 2 Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup. “He’s pulled up really well from Cobram and seems really good,” Frenning said. “The draw looks a little bit tricky, but this probably gives us an opportunity to see if we can drive him with cover, just drive him for his speed and see how we go from there. He is very quick.” Frenning will also steer David Aiken-trainer pair Big Jack Hammer in the E B Cochran Trotters Cup and Malcolms Rhythm in the first Downbytheseaside Victoria Derby heat, the latter unbeaten in six starts since breaking his maiden status. “He’s just come through his races really, really well and keeps improving every single run,” Frenning said. “He’s still learning about racing, which is pretty scary. I would love to see when he actually switches on and starts to race. He’s just going really, really good and I’m super excited to go into the Derby heats with him.”   Trots Media

Reigning Miracle Mile champion My Field Marshal is looking to join a select group. The fastest pacer in Australasia (1:46.9) is set to join an exclusive club by winning the Miracle Mile one year followed by the WA Pacing Cup the following year. The members include Our Sir Vancelot (1997/98), Westburn Grant (1990/91) and Village Kid (1987/88) - three of the all-time greats with 179 combined victories and prizemoney in excess of $6.3 million. Another great in Preux Chevalier (40 wins - $790,331) achieved the feat in reverse, he won the Miracle Mile in 1984 before winning the WA Pacing Cup in 1985. And My Field Marshal is drawn to advantage after landing gate three for the 2936m mobile start feature. Fresh from his commanding victory in last week’s Fremantle Cup, the Art Major entire is looking to provide master horsemen Tim and Anthony Butt another Grand Circuit triumph. The Canterbury born brothers have won in excess of 100 Grand Circuit events, pacers and trotters combined! Interestingly, they’re yet to strike Grand Circuit event in Perth. Chicago Bull was the last horse to complete the Fremantle/WA Pacing Cups double (2017). The last time a winner came outside of the state’s border was Washakie back in 2010, prepared by then Queensland based John McCarthy. My Field Marshal is the only interstate trained runner contesting this year’s feature. The Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup is the fifth leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the staying feature is steeped in history after first being staged back in 1913 when Letty Lind proved victorious. The great race has been won by the likes of Beau Don, Radiant Oro, James Eden, Just Too Good, Don’t Retreat, Pure Steel, San Simeon, Gammalite, Preux Chevalier and Village Kid among others. In recent times, names like Westburn Grant, Our Sir Vancelot, The Falcon Strike, Baltic Eagle, Im Themightyquinn and My Hard Copy are listed as winners. Many of these great names listed above have won the Cup more than once. Last year, Soho Tribeca defeated Chicago Bull in an enthralling battle but sadly, neither pacer will start this year. Since 2002, the Hall stable have won the staying feature 11 times. The master conditioner has triumphed with The Falcon Strike (x3), Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn (x3), Hokonui Ben, My Hard Copy (x2) and Chicago Bull. This year, the Hall stable will be represented by Runrunjimmydunn. Team Bond, the leading stable in the state has weight in numbers and provide half the field, 6 of the 12 runners. Greg and Skye Bond will be represented by Our Max Phactor (Dylan Egerton-Green), Galactic Star (Ryan Warwick), Vampiro (Colin Brown), Our Jimmy Johnstone (Michael Grantham), El Jacko (Aiden De Campo) and Saying Grace (Chris Lewis). The impressive stable is chasing their maiden success in the Cup. Astute mentor Ross Olivieri, a winner of the Cup in 1999 with Saab, is represented by last start winner Im Full Of Excuses. Shannon Suvaljko, a winner of the Cup in 2008 with Vanlo Yorker is engaged to drive Im Full Of Excuses. Father/son combination of Mike and Mark Reed are chasing their first win in the Cup and line-up classy mare Maczaffair who starts from the inside gate. The last mare to win the state’s showcase event was Pyramus back in 1972 while Dainty’s Daughter won in 1970. Emerging open class force Rocknroll Lincoln will have plenty of followers after his unlucky effort last week in the Fremantle Cup. Prepared by brilliant young horseman Justin Prentice, Rocknroll Lincoln will be handled by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. Hall Jnr has won the Cup seven times previously. Rugged pacer Vultan Tin starts in the Cup for the second time for trainer Phil Costello and regular driver Chris Voak. Last year, they finished 10th. If My Field Marshal proves successful, he gains an excellent chance of being a major player for the title of Grand Circuit champion with a number of features still to come this term back on the east coast. Inter Dominion hero Tiger Tara currently leads the race with 260 points. The TABtouch WA Pacing Cup is scheduled as race 5 and listed to start at 7.58pm local time.   Chris Barsby

Queenslander Alistair Barnes is riding the crest of a wave at the moment, courtesy of a former Kiwi pacer destined for big things in harness racing. Barnes, a harness racing trainer-driver based at Marburg, admitted he is still “pinching himself” after watching his pacer Lincoln Road post his fifth consecutive win at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon. “When I flew over to New Zealand to drive the horse he felt like a nice type, but he’s absolutely blossomed here after taking a little time to settle in,” he said. Lincoln Road (Lincoln Royal-Tania Tandias) is raced by newcomers to the sport in Cesare and Maria Di Gregorio, of Melbourne. It was a chance meeting while holidaying in Fiji that brought Barnes, his partner Cassie Saunders and the Di Gregorios together. “We met at a resort and Cesare and his grandson Dion were both keen to go on a deep-sea fishing trip – something that we had also wanted to do,” Barnes said. “Anyway, it was a complete disaster. It was blowing a gale, with big waves and rough seas. We didn’t catch a thing and even worse, Cassie got horribly sea sick,” he said. “On our return, the boat owner couldn’t go too close to the beach, so he dropped us all off in waist deep water and we had to battle along to eventually get back to the resort. “That was when we struck up a friendship. Cesare told us he had always wanted to own and race some horses but didn’t know how to get involved.” The new partnership had some fun with one of their first horses in Bet Im Special who has earnt around $14,000 and were then lucky enough to get onto Lincoln Road as part of a $60,000 deal including Auckland winner, Miss Blue Glory. Barnes said he has high hopes for Lincoln Road who he described as “the complete package”. “He is so versatile, and this combined with his unbelievable will to win makes him a bit special,” he said. “I have no doubts whatsoever that he’s going to go places.” The purple patch of winning form kicked off at Redcliffe on December 20 and four impressive victories at Albion Park have followed for the son of Lincoln Royal. Lincoln Road in full flight winning the Egmont Park Stud Pace at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon Lincoln Royal was himself no slouch on the racetrack, competing under the name of Sir Lincoln (he was renamed in Australia to Lincoln Royal).  He won the Group One Auckland Cup in early 2012 and finished his career with 21 wins and 15 placings for over $660,000 from 57 starts. Sir Lincoln is by Mach Three, the sire of other notables in Auckland Reactor, Somebeachsomewhere and Fly Like An Eagle. In the breeding barn, Lincoln Royal has so far had 134 three and four-year-olds in NZ for 30 winners ($413,241), while in Australia he has 22 progeny on the ground for seven winners ($74,899). Two of his offspring in Aramiss and Abraham have been exported to North America with Aramiss having won nine for $83,318 and paced 1.53-1 on the half mile Yonkers Raceway. Barnes has been involved in harness racing for over 25 years but said nowadays he was happy to leave talented reinsmen sons Hayden and Brendan doing the bulk of the stable driving. “At the moment Hayden gets most of the drives, but if he’s unavailable Brendan, who is with Jack Butler at Logan Village, is next, and then it’s me – but only as a last resort,” he said laughing. But Barnes snr is probably playing down his capabilities as over the years he’s landed more than a few long shots, courtesy of some heady drives. “I suppose I learnt a bit when working in the USA and Canada, but I’m more than happy to be on the sidelines cheering for the boys,” he said. The Barnes team, with 17 in work at present, is prepared on a 70-acre property. “It’s a family affair with Cassie, Hayden and myself doing the training part. Cassie’s mum Gayle cleans the boxes, does the waters and all the other jobs that come with having a big team,” Barnes said. While he is excited by the potential of a 2yo Auckland Reactor filly related to smart Victorian based pacer Lochinvar Art (seven wins), and a 3yo, also sired by Auckland Reactor, and related to former top-liner Roman Ruler (14 wins from 34 starts), Barnes has another NZ trip in the pipeline. “Yes, I’m going back as soon as possible to try out a few more—-another one like Lincoln Road would be brilliant!” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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Gary Hall Jnr has produced another masterful display of driving at Gloucester Park tonight, chalking up his eighth win in the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup (2936m) with the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln. Three months ago it looked as if Hall Jnr would struggle to add to his seven Pacing Cup wins when his father’s superstar pacer Chicago Bull injured himself in New Zealand. But on the state’s biggest Harness Racing stage, Hall Jnr showed his class with the horse that filled the breach left by Chicago Bull. There was some doubt as to whether Rocknroll Lincoln would be able to find the lead from barrier two, but that doubt was quickly dispelled within the first 100m of the race, as the five-year-old crossed Maczaffair with ease. Fremantle Cup winner My Field Marshal elected to ease back in the early stages and eventually found himself only slightly better than midfield on the back of Galactic Star. Vampiro was forced to settle outside the leader, which gave Galactic Star, the best chance of Greg and Skye Bond’s six runners, the perfect trail into the race. Despite the high quality of horses behind him, Rocknroll Lincoln fought on strongly to the line and rated 1.56.8 in the 1.3m victory. El Jacko ran on well for second, while Maczaffair held on for third. Hall Jnr said he had some small concerns heading into the race, but was full of praise for Prentice’s training performance. “I was confident and hopeful, but I think I was more hopeful than I was confident,” he said. “The horse was in such good order. “He warmed up really well and he was nice and relaxed. “Hats off to Justin because in his last two starts he hadn’t really got a good crack at them. “For him to turn him out again tonight and lead and run that trip, it was a pretty special effort.” Hall Jnr returned later in the evening to drive a further two winners in You Gotta Have Faith and Caviar Star. You can hear from the beaten drivers from the WA Pacing Cup below. Review all of the action of TABtouch-WA Pacing Cup night here.   Tim Walker
It’s Prentice….again! Outstanding young horseman Justin Prentice has joined his father Kim as a winner of the state’s biggest event following the all the way victory of emerging talent Rocknroll Lincoln in the Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park tonight (Friday). The victory provides back to back triumphs for the Prentice family after Kim steered the Bryan Cousins trained Soho Tribeca to victory last year. Kim has also scored with Im Themightyquinn (2011 - driver) and Baltic Eagle (2003 – trainer/driver). But tonight was all about this young formidable combination. The Prentice prepared stayer was expertly handled by master reinsman Gary Hall Jnr who controlled the speed perfectly behind the five-year-old before holding off the fast finishing El Jacko and Maczaffair to claim the 2936m mobile start feature. For Hall Jnr, 35, the victory now provides him with his 8th Cup winner and he now passes legendary horseman Phil Coulson as the most successful driver in the events history. Amazingly, Hall Jnr has won 8 of the past 18 editions (The Falcon Strike x3, Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn x 2 and Chicago Bull). Starting front gate two, Hall Jnr pounced on the early lead from Maczaffair while My Field Marshal and Galactic Star both took up handy positions in the moving line. The lead time was covered in 97.8 seconds. With positions sorted quickly and Hall Jnr controlling the early speed, the lack of pressure was obvious and the race was unfolding perfectly for the connections of Rocknroll Lincoln. The first half of the final mile was covered in identical splits of 29.4 and 29.4 seconds. Rocknroll Lincoln remained the leader from Vampiro who raced without cover with Maczaffair behind the leader while Galactic Star and My Field Marshal sat close in the moving line. Entering the back straight for the final time, Hall Jnr increased the pressure while Vultan Tin got My Field Marshal moving three wide which in turn flushed Galactic Star from the one out, one back position. And that’s when Hall Jnr really quickened the speed. The third quarter was covered in 27.7 seconds. In the home straight, Rocknroll Lincoln kicked clear before holding the late challengers El Jacko and Maczaffair. At the line, Rocknroll Lincoln ($3.50) scored by 1.3 metres from El Jacko ($8.50) who used inside runs with a similar margin back to Maczaffair ($41) in third. Race favourite My Field Marshal ($2.75) finished fourth. The final quarter was covered in 28.7seconds. The mile rate was 1:56.8 and established a new race record but was outside of the track record of Smolda at 1:55.8. “It’s a massive thrill and it’s great to win for this group of owners who have supported me from the start, it’s quite surreal and I was really nervous before the race but it played out well and it was a great drive from Jnr.” Prentice said. Rocknroll Lincoln has now 14 of his 42 starts and takes his earnings in excess of $464,000. He now joins Tiger Tara (Victoria Cup & Inter Dominion), Thefixer (New Zealand Cup) and Turn It Up (Auckland Cup) as winners on the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit. The remaining legs for the current term include the Hunter Cup (February 2 - Melton), Miracle Mile (March 3 - Menangle) and the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship (Albion Park – July 20).   Chris Barsby
LAUREN Tritton sat behind the fastest three-year-old pacer to ever grace a track in Australasia just recently. And now the top reinswoman is excited to see what Muscle Factory can produce against some of the nation’s best at Ballarat on Saturday night. Muscle Factory set a southern hemisphere record when clocking 1:49.6 in the Simpson Memorial at Menangle a fortnight ago. And on Saturday night south of the border the colt faces his next challenge in a heat of the Victoria Derby. “I’m really excited to see what Muscle can do against the best of them,” said Tritton. “It’s hard not to declare a horse that just won in 1:49. “I’m not worried about the smaller track either as we saw what he did at Albion Park.” However, there is an element Tritton is concerned about. “It is the hardest heat but we’ve drawn accordingly,” said Tritton. “It’s still going to be tough facing the locals on their home turf . . . some of those horses have been raised on that track their whole life so they have that advantage.” Some of those dangers include Lochinvar Art and Australian Pacing Gold winner Centenario. Meanwhile, the $1.65 TAB Fixed Odds favourite is the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained Im Another Masterpiece. Tritton does not have to face the powerful Purdon/Rasmussen combination in her other Victoria Derby heat with Petes Big Jim. The gelding is a $15 chance behind the $2.50 elect Max Delight and the Menangle Park horsewoman is full of praise of her drive’s latest effort at his local track. Petes Big Jim finished fourth to Muscle Factory in the scintillating Simpson Memorial. “He went into that race 50/50 after being sore and tender on his feet and he is only a little horse but has a heart of gold to push through and go as well as he did,” said Tritton. “He went 1:50 himself and I’ll drive him conservative now as he steps up with the big boys.” ‘Team Tritton’ will be represented on home soil at Menangle on Saturday night as well with seven runners nominated. This includes Tritton’s two recent Inter Dominion campaigners My Alpha Rock and Maximan. “Maximan and Alpha are super since the trip to Victoria,” said Tritton. “We private trialled them around Menangle and they worked the mile in 1:51. “It’s not easy for them coming back to racing in that grade but we are happy with how they have come back after their campaign.” Tritton trains her team of horses with her husband Shane Tritton and they have trained 264 winners since starting their partnership in the 2016/17 season.   Some fun facts: Mile Records – Australasian: http://www.harness.org.au/hra/annual/public/records/ausn_milep.pdf HRA’s Milestones – Pacers http://www.harness.org.au/hra/annual/public/records/mstonesp.pdf   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. HRNSW MEDIA CONTACT: AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
The wheels on The Bus were certainly rotating at a rapid pace when the four-year-old horse won the 2019 running of the Pub Group Gold Nugget at the Tamworth harness racing meeting on Wednesday night. In taking out the $10,000 feature, The Bus shaved 1.3 seconds off the track record held by Real Social of 1min 57.1sec for 1980 metres. The Bus set the new record with a mile rate of 1.56.1. “It was a super run – awesome effort by the horse,” said The Bus’ reinsman, Guy Chapple. “He is a serious race horse, this horse – tonight he just went unbelievable,” added the Maitland-based reinsman on returning to scale. “He would race again tomorrow as he has got a big ticker and he will be here on Sunday for the Golden Guitar heats.” Chapple has a grand association with the Tamworth Paceway, and looks forward to returning to the the club’s January racing carnival each year. “I think that is the third time I have won a Nugget race,” he said. “Tamworth has been the best place for me – I have won three Tamworth City Cups, two Golden Guitar finals and now three Gold Nugget races. “I won a couple of Sires Stakes races here as well.” From barrier rise, the Gold Nugget feature race developed into a speed battle, with The Bus from the three barrier, Royal Gamble from the one barrier and Lexy Can Wait from the six barrier all vying for the lead. “The horse went super,” Chapple said. “I knew the speed would be on and it was our plan to be where we were. It played into our hands – that was a freakish run by the horse, though.” Lexy Can Wait (Tom Ison) took the lead, with Royal Gamble (Jack Callaghan) racing in on the leaders’ back, while The Bus was poised racing out in the breeze. Support the local news keeping you informed At the 600m mark The Bus kicked clear, with local pacer Hedges Avenue from the Ernie Mabbott stables giving chase, and was soon joined by Royal Gamble as the field raced down the home straight on the final occasion. “He just kept giving,” Chapple said, when he asked The Bus to put a little more effort into his run. “He is just a strong horse.” The race was contested with quarters of 28.8sec, 30.7sec, 29.6sec and 29.4sec. “He was travelling massive within himself,” Chapple said. “I knew they were running in the race and when I was coming back to scale it was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it when they said the race time and [it was] a new track record.” The Bus went on for a 1.8m win over Royal Gamble (Jack Callaghan), with Hedges Avenue (Mitch Faulkner) 6.2m away in third place. “He is getting better and better,” Chapple said of The Bus, who has had 35 starts for nine wins and 12 placings. Have your say, send a letter to the editor  “I reckon he could have done another lap – he just felt so strong.  “We will be back on Sunday,” Chapple added. “We have drawn the seven barrier which is the only drawback, so it will have to be another big run again and hopefully we qualify for the final.” On Wednesday night, The Bus was supported by his New Zealand owners Grant and Kathy Hatton, who had travelled from Christchurch to see the run, and, of course, take in some country music before they head home. Julie Maughan   Reprinted with with permission of the Northern Daily Leader  
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