IX7C4560.jpg

More accolades for Harnesslink's recruit

Harnesslink’s new recruit and Australian Editor-In-Chief, Paul Courts, has received another accolade. Just last week, Courts was among the recipients of Harness Racing Australia’s “Joseph Coulter Media Awards”, capturing Best News Story for his piece titled “Trigger’s final shot”. At last night’s Hall of Fame Presentation Dinner at Tabcorp Park Melton, Courts’ article was recognised by Harness Racing Victoria. Veteran scribe Max Agnew and Lucy McCormick also followed their HRA awards with state recognition. In an evening to remember, Agnew was also inducted into the Hall Of Fame – a fitting tribute to a long and passionate career within the industry. HRV media and communications manager Cody Winnell stated the quality of nominations for this year’s HRV media awards was exceptional. “We were impressed with the strong quality of entries across all categories and we were also very pleased with the number of nominations we received,” Winnell said. “The media plays such a vital role in the success of our industry and we are blessed to have such knowledgeable and dedicated harness racing journalists, authors and presenters depicting our great sport across all media platforms. “Our media people are very passionate and this comes across in all their work.” This year’s winners were as follows: Best News Story (Print or Online): Paul Courts, Harness Racing Weekly – Trigger’s Final Shot Best Feature Story (Print or Online): Max Agnew, Track Bred – Broodmares Are Not Created Equal Best Country Story/Feature: Lucy McCormick, Harness Racer – Snake Island Best Radio Feature/Interview: Len Baker, Harness Review 979FM – Graeme Lang Interview Best Coverage of Harness Racing Event: Sunraysia Daily – Mildura Cup Coverage Best Current Affairs/News Coverage: RSN – Gait Speed with Nadia Horne Special Commendation Award: John Peck – Horsham Harness Racing History

Christen Me

Christen Me TAB's worst result

Punters continue to support New Zealand harness racing star Christen Me ahead of Saturday night’s SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Menangle. Posted at $5 earlier this week, Christen Me has firmed slightly to be $4.20 on TAB Fixed Odds, with defending champion Beautide remaining favourite at $1.70. With 31 per cent of the market bet on the Cran Dalgety-trained gelding, Christen Me shapes as the TAB’s worst result. Success will see Christen Me’s sire – Christian Cullen – become the first Miracle Mile champion to produce a subsequent winner. With plenty of betting time remaining, Beautide may still become a tragic outcome for the TAB, with twice as much money for him as Christen Me during the past 24 hours. A steady flow of wagers has seen Beautide’s market share increase to 27, with Victorian raider, Guaranteed next at 17 per cent. Surprisingly the fastest competitor in the field – For A Reason – is attracting little attention with son of Art Major commanding just four-and-a-half per cent of the market. Despite drawing ideally in the pole, Easy On The Eye is virtually friendless, with less than two per cent of the marketing in support of the gelding. Punters looking to splurge on the ‘multiples’ are in for a treat, with the TAB guaranteeing a $200,000 jackpot on the Menangle ‘Quaddie’ and $100,000 jackpot on the Miracle Mile First Four. 1 – EASY ON THE EYE (TAB’s fluctuation since draw $16 to $31) Percentage of market: 1.7 2 – AVONNOVA ($12 to $16) Percentage of market: 6 3 – BEAUTIDE ($1.75 to $1.70) Percentage of market: 27 4 – CHRISTEN ME ($5 to $4.20) Percentage of market: 31 Big bet: $3k at $5 5 – FOR A REASON ($6.50 to $7.50) Percentage of market: 4.5 6 – CHARIOT KING (2nd emergency, $101 to $151) Percentage of market: -- 7 – GUARANTEED ($7.50 to $12 back to $10) Percentage of market: 16 8 – SUAVE STUEY LOMBO ($12 to $16) Percentage of market: 6 9 – BETTOR BET BLACK (1st emergency, $151 to $301) Percentage of market: -- 10 – TERROR TO LOVE ($21 to $35 back to $21) Percentage of market: 6 Big bet: $200 x $400 at $41 PAUL COURTS

IX7C4560.jpg

George Gath awarded Legend status

At last night’s SEW Eurodrive Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame Awards evening at Melton, HRV Chairman Ken Latta announced one of Australia’s most famous identities, George Gath, had been elevated to Legend status. Gath’s elevation sees him join inaugural legends, Gordon Rothacker and Maori’s Idol. The posthumous honour was accepted by George’s eldest son Neville, who is a Hall of Fame member, who was visibly moved by the honour and spoke warmly about his father and his achievements. George was a remarkable horseman and remains the only driver to win at Richmond, Ascot, Melbourne Showgrounds and Moonee Valley as well as the first person to win 300 races in Melbourne. He won six Victorian driving premierships, four Melbourne driving premierships, two Adelaide premierships and was beaten by a victory in a Sydney drivers’ premiership. In addition, George won four Melbourne and thee Adelaide trainers’ premierships as well as training and driving Tara Meadow to record the first two minute mile in Victoria. George trained many great horses, including trotters Paddy McKinney, Bingen Redmond, Carlottas Pride and Delvin Dancer, while his best pacers were Joy’s John, Heroic Action, Gyro and Tara Meadow. The function also saw six inductees to the Hall of Fame, which now boasts 53 members. The latest additions are pioneering reinswomen Pearl Kelly, record breaking reinsman Chris Alford, the Abrahams family, journalist Max Agnew, True Roman and broodmare gem, Maori Miss. The overdue induction of Pearl Kelly was a highlight, with photographs and a remarkable life story having the audience in awe. Pearl Kelly was the first woman to win a metropolitan race against the men in Perth and Melbourne in a time when women were banned in the thoroughbred industry. At the peak of her career in 1927 officials also banned women in harness racing and it would be 50 years before they were would be licensed again to compete in races against the men. The attentive crowd included many Hall of Fame Legends and were entertained by the polished MC Rob Gaylard and internationally recognized comedian, Col Elliott. The Trainers’ and Drivers’ Association, which is an integral part of the Hall of Fame night, presented an award to Cliff Powell and a posthumous one to Neville Clarke. Also on the evening the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association presented their major award – Bob Cain Distinguished Service - to the “voice of Harness Racing” Dan Mielicki. Geoff Want, Chairman of Harness Racing Australia presented a number of national awards including one of the Joseph Coulter Awards for Best Book to Peter Collier for “ Manaroa – the People’s Champion” and Harnesslink’s Paul Courts for Best News Story for his piece title “Trigger’s Final Shot”. Harness Racing Victoria was also on stage to recognize the media with a series of state awards for journalism, radio, television and photographic excellence. JOHN PECK

2014-11-26_HRNSW Racing Wrap_Miracle Mile barrier.jpg

How fast will the mobile roll in the Miracle Mile?

Does the mobile go faster in the Miracle Mile than it does for other harness racing events at Tabcorp Park Menangle?  Harness Racing New South Wales chairman of stewards Reid Sanders has declared there will be no direction for the mobile to go faster than it has during the previous fortnight for the Coca-Cola and Cordina Sprints. “There is no intention to drive the mobile any faster than the normal,” Sander said. “Starter Todd Clarke will be instructed to have the mobile at a similar speed to the two lead up races.” That statement has pleased trainer Shane Tritton who believes Suave Stuey Lombo will be suited by those conditions. Tritton also has Easy On The Eye engaged in the Grand Circuit event. “I had Mach Beauty in the Miracle Mile last year, he drew three, and despite being such a fast beginner, he had no hope of crossing For A Reason and Smoken Up drawn inside him because they were all going at top speed to stay with the mobile,” Tritton declared. “He had no chance to accelerate like he normally would have. “Despite drawing gate seven in this year’s Miracle Mile, Suave Stuey Lombo should be able to do his usual thing and fire out from the barrier and take up a good position. “I envisage Easy On The Eye leading, with Stuey outside him, and that would be perfect.” Tritton will instruct drivers Lauren Panella behind Suave Stuey Lombo and David Morris, who will partner Easy On The Eye, to keep the speed on in an attempt to unsettle their rivals. “Beautide is the best horse in the race, and if the winning time is slower than 1:50.5, he will win,” Tritton said. “He will be too classy for every other runner. “He has proved it before, so we need to take him out of his comfort zone and set up a fast tempo and force him to chase. “People are forgetting Suave Stuey Lombo has sat in the ‘death seat’ at Menangle and broken 1:50 for the mile, so that will be the plan again.” GREG HAYES

Guaranteed will win harness racing’s premier sprint - SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile - at Menangle on Saturday night. That’s not a personal opinion, or a tip, but rather a guide by statistics and history. In what is destined to be an exciting edition of the time-honoured feature, Guaranteed ‘ticks all the boxes’ as far as the weight of numbers is concerned. Since its inception in 1967 when New Zealand mare Robin Dundee achieved the exact goal the event was created for, 47 editions of the Miracle Mile have been run and won. As a result of the Equine Influenza outbreak, 2007 is the only season Grand Circuit gem has been missing from the calendar. As for the Miracle Mile’s original ‘goal’, the mission of the new race was to see the magical two-minute barrier broken for the first time under race conditions in Australia. During the next five decades the Miracle Mile has established itself as the Southern Hemisphere’s ultimate speed test, but how does Guaranteed fit into the equation? A breakdown of the winners results in a five-year-old from interstate as the ultimate Miracle Mile candidate! Five-year-olds have been the most successful age group with 18 wins… six-year-olds are next on 10. The eldest winner is Double Agent, which was a true ‘greybeard’ at 12 in 1984 for Joe Isley. Visitors out score local competitors almost three-to-one, with only 13 New South Wales-trained horses emerging triumphant. As the only five-year-old raider in the field, Guaranteed ‘fits the bill’ for Victorian co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. “Let’s just hope the stats are a good indicator,” Stewart said. To be driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang – Australia’s most successful Group One driver – Guaranteed has drawn barrier seven, which may prove a blessing in disguise according to Stewart. The son of Artsplace slots into six with the removal of the emergency. “There is going to be plenty of speed early, so the draw may turn out in our favour,” Stewart said. “From there he will be eased out under his own steam and looking for a good trail. “He has proven how quickly he can sprint when coming off a fast tempo, so with a bit of luck that’s what he will be able to do. “This is another step up for him, but he won’t disgrace himself.” PAUL COURTS

Victorian harness racing trainer Brian Kiesey is poised to create history on Sunday. Crossing into South Australia for the Mount Gambier program, Kiesey-trained runners will complete the field in the Loddon Valley Trotters’ Handicap. While it’s believed to be the first time a stable has supplied the entire line-up in a trotters’ and open class event, it is not the only occasion a trainer has prepared every runner in a race. The most recent occurrence was on June 6, 2010 when Sam Torre trained each of the five entrants in Be Active Every Day Two-Year-Old Pace at Geraldton in Western Australia. Also in a WA-based two-year-old race, Graham Tindale had all eight starters in the Heart Foundation Stake at Northam on November 16, 1997. Playing down the milestone, Kiesey revealed his onslaught was a simple case of “helping out the club”. “The club rang me a month ago asking me to support their meetings, which I agreed to do,” Kiesey explained. “As such, I will make regular tips up there every fortnight, which I enjoy as it is a great place. “They particularly wanted help getting the trotting races going, so I’m just helping the club out.” With Its Not Dark Yet the early favourite, despite behing re-handicapped to 30 metres, Kiesey believes one of the contenders off easier marks shape as the likely winner. “She won at Terang last night, so she’s been put back to 30 metres,” Kiesey said. “I don’t think she can win from that far behind as it’s too hard to get around them on such a small track. “The Final Cut from 10 metres, or Master Kiesey from 20 both begin quickly and could find the front, which makes them the one to beat. “Once in front they will be too hard to run down and I can’t see the others getting around them. “But you never know in standing starts and I promise you they will all be out there trying and doing their best.” PAUL COURTS

Since its inception, the Miracle Mile has become the event that captures the imagination – and opinion – of the harness racing population. Developed in 1967, the Group One was designed with one mission in mind…creating a ‘miracle’. To be more precise the dream was to see the two-minute barrier broken for the first time under race conditions in Australia. To everyone’s delight, New Zealand wonder mare Robin Dundee achieved the feat during inaugural running, stopping the clock in 1:59. Almost five decades later, the Grand Circuit gem has been captured by the “who’s who” of the sport, with records tumbling on a regular basis. As we count down to Saturday night’s edition at Menangle, here are some statistics on the race that has become ultimate speed test on this side of the equator.   SEX OF WINNERS: 3 Mares - (Robin Dundee, 1967 - Norms Daughter, June 1996 – Baby Bling, April 2013) 21 Stallions - (Last winner - Christian Cullen, 1998) 23 Geldings - (Last winner – Beautide, November 2013)   AGES OF WINNERS: 4-Y-O - 5 5-Y-O - 18 6-Y-O - 10 7-Y-O - 7 8-Y-O - 5 9-Y-O - 1 12-Y-O – 1   SUCCESSFUL BARRIERS: 1 - 10 (Last winner, Smoken Up - 2011) 2 - 10 (Last winner, Be Good Johnny - 2005) 3 - 6 (Last winner, Baby Bling – April 2013) 4 - 10 (Last winner, Smoken Up - 2010) 5 – 7 (Last winner, Beautide – November 2013) 6 - 4 (Last winner, Double Identity - 2002) 7 - 0 8 - 0   FIVE FASTEST WINNERS: Beautide (November 2013) - 1:50.2 Smoken Up (2010) – 1:50.3 Baby Bling (2013 April) – 1:50.5 Monkey King (2009) – 1:50.8 Iraklis (December 1996) - 1:54.2   FIVE SLOWEST WINNERS: The Scotsman (1979) - 2:00.7 Bay Foyle (1972) - 2:00.6 Pure Steel (1978) and Locarno (1980) - 2:00.4 Chokin (1993) - 2:00   CONSECUTIVE WINNERS: Westburn Grant (1989 and ‘90) Chokin (1993 and ‘94) Holmes D G (1999 and 2000) Sokyola (2003 and ‘04) Be Good Johnny (2005 and ‘06) Smoken Up (2010 and ‘11)   MOST APPEARANCES: Paleface Adios - 7 1974 - 2nd (Hondo Grattan 1) 1975 - 5th (Young Quinn 1) 1976 - 1st (Don’t Retreat 2, Hondo Grattan 3) 1977 - 2nd (Royal Force 2) 1978 - 2nd (Pure Steel 1) 1979 - 2nd (The Scotsman 1) 1980 - 3rd (Locarno 1, Pure Steel 2)   WHERE WINNERS TRAINED: New South Wales - 14 (Last winner, Baby Bling – April 2013) New Zealand - 12 (Last winner, Monkey King - 2009) Western Australia - 7 (Last winner, Norms Daughter - June 1996) Victoria - 9 (Last winner, Smoken Up - 2011) Queensland - 3 (Last winner, Be Good Johnny - 2006) Tasmania - 2 (Last winner, Halwes - 1968)…debate over Beautide (November 2013) which was based in New South Wales!   FAVOURITES: 19 Successful - 28 Unsuccessful   BEATEN WHEN ODDS-ON: Preux Chevalier - 8/11 - Last in 1984 Village Kid - 4/9 - 3rd in December 1986 Il Vicolo - 4/5 - 2nd in June 1996 Iraklis - 9/10 - 3rd in 1997 Blacks A Fake - 4/7 - 5th in 2008 Excel Stride – 5/4 – 4th in April 2013   MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINERS: • Barry Purdon - Christopher Vance (1991), Chokin (1993 and ‘94) and Holmes DG (1999 and 2000) • Lance Justice - Sokyola (2003 and ‘04) and Smoken Up (2010 and ‘11)   MOST SUCCESSFUL DRIVERS: • Vic Frost - Lucky Creed (1970), Westburn Grant (1989 and ‘90) • Tony Herlihy - Christopher Vance (1991), Chokin (1993 and ‘94) • Lance Justice – Sokyola (2003), Smoken Up (2010 and ‘11) PAUL COURTS

Despite being the fastest competitor in the event, harness racing star For A Reason is quickly becoming the forgotten horse leading into Saturday night’s Miracle Mile at Menangle. Boasting a 1:49.4 mark – the second fastest in Australasian history - For A Reason has generated little, to no, publicity as the focus centres around his rivals, particularly Beautide, Christen Me, Suave Stuey Lombo and Terror To Love. Trainer Belinda McCarthy is hoping the trend will continue during the rich sprint, leaving For A Reason to “do his thing” as he chases a second Grand Circuit win for the season. For A Reason captured last month’s Queensland Pacing Championship with McCarthy’s husband, Luke, in the cart. Luke will partner the son of Art Major again this weekend. “We’re happy to just go along our own way and get ready for the race,” McCarthy said. “The important thing is the horse is in great shape and is ready to do his thing.” Drawn awkwardly in barrier five, For A Reason is likely to be eased away from the mobile as Luke avoids the early speed battle in preference for a handy position in the running line. “We would have preferred one or two, but the draw could have been worse out in seven or eight,” McCarthy said. “From there we will be looking to get into a nice trail and hope for a bit of luck at the business end. “He couldn’t be in better shape going into this, so now we just need that bit of luck.” Citing defending champion Beautide as the one to beat, McCarthy believes the winner will have to break the magical 1:50 mark. Smoken Up’s southern hemisphere record of 1:48.5 is safe according to McCarthy. “I think whoever wins will have to go 1:50 or just under,” McCarthy said. “It would be great for the industry if Smoken Up’s record was broken, but it probably won’t happen.” PAUL COURTS

The stage is set for another enthralling harness racing tussle between Sensational Gabby and Libertybelle Midfrew when they clash at Gloucester Park tomorrow night. The two top performers are engaged in the $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Mares Classic, with rival reinsmen Chris Lewis and Mark Reed poised for an intriguing cat-and-mouse duel. Lewis won the battle of tactics last week when he guided Sensational Gabby to a superb victory over Libertybelle Midfrew in the Norms Daughter Classic. Sensational Gabby, from the back line, settled midfield, two lengths in front of Libertybelle Midfrew, which was eased back to the rear after starting from the outside of the front line. Approaching the bell, with Deluxe Edition setting a fast pace, Lewis had Sensational Gabby ready to strike. He bided his time until Reed sent Libertybelle Midfrew forward three-wide at the 950-metre mark when he angled Sensational Gabby into a trail. Libertybelle Midfrew sustained her powerful burst to hit the front turning for home, but couldn’t hold out Sensational Gabby, which swept to the lead to rate rating a slick 1.54.4. This time Sensational Gabby has drawn awkwardly in barrier five, with Libertybelle Midfrew directly on her outside. Polemarker Bettor Dreams possesses good gate speed, but appears likely trail Dontdoubtme or Majorly Foxy Styx. There is a strong chance Dontdoubtme will get to an early lead before handing up to the speedy Majorly Foxy Styx. This surely will leave Lewis and Reed weighing up their options, whether to press forward or to restrain to the rear. Adding further interest will be Victorian mare Bellas Delight, which is unfavourably drawn on the back line. Driver Greg Sugars could wait until the bell before sending Bellas Delight forward with a three-wide burst. This could provide Sensational Gabby with a perfect trail. Much of this is pure conjecture in an event in which tactics are sure to play a significant part in the outcome. KEN CASELLAS

New Zealand harness racing star Christen Me has arrived in Australia early in an attempt to acclimatise ahead of Saturday night’s Miracle Mile. While trainer Cran Dalgety stayed at home in Christchurch, the son of Christen Cullen has settled in at the Sydney stables of Blake Fitzpatrick, where temperatures soared past 40 degrees. “I sent my travelling foreman over with Christen Me a little bit earlier than normal just to make sure he would be acclimatised to the Aussie weather,” Dalgety said. “They tell me it got pretty hot, but he has coped with it really well, and I thought it was better to get him over there and get him ready for the possibility of hot weather rather than turn up a few days before and have him melt when he got off the plane.” Christen Me will head home after the Miracle Mile, with Dalgety keen to return for next year’s Inter Dominion at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “He wasn't ready to race in everything last year and that’s why we missed the Inter Dominion, but we will be there with bells on next year.” GREG HAYES

As part of the Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup promotion, we will aid harness racing fans with their selections by providing profiles on each of the Cup’s 44 winners. The most popular provincial event on the calendar, the Ballarat Cup is scheduled to be run on December 13, with topliners such as Beautide and defending champion, Restrepo, being aimed at the feature. During its December 9 barrier draw breakfast, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club will conduct a ‘phantom call’ of the Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup based on the field selected by our panel of experts. Panellists will submit their top 12 members from the Cup’s honour roll, with a point system to decide the final line-up. The voice of the industry - Dan Mielicki – will then ‘call’ the race to determine which Cup winner can lay claim to being the greatest of them all! Enthusiasts are also invited to submit their fantasy field via the club’s Facebook page, with the person who correctly selects the most starters in the final fantasy field - including their finishing order - to receive a $1000 bet on this year’s Cup compliments of the Flying Horse Venue and hospitality on the night. 1975 Sporting Son (Typhoon Hanover – Cindoro) Won Ballarat Cup from front line in 1:19.5 1975 Stawell Cup Two Inter Dominion heats (3rd 1977 Final) 1976 Royal Gaze (Tarport King – Glenfern Observe) Won Ballarat Cup from 30 metres in track record 1:17 1975 A G Hunter Cup 1974 & 75 Shepparton Cup Four Inter Dominion hearts (3rd 1974 Final) PAUL COURTS

Harness Racing New South Wales conducted an inquiry yesterday into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from Artsu following its win at Tamworth on 1 September 2014. The “B” sample and associated control sample were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. Dean Chapple appeared at the inquiry. Evidence, including the Reports of Analysis and expert evidence from Harness Racing NSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Wainscott were presented. Evidence was also taken from Chapple regarding the training of Artsu, his husbandry practices and compliance with the Australian Harness Racing Rules. The inquiry also heard evidence (via telephone) from Ricky Thurlow regarding his husbandry practices and training of Artsu. Chapple pleaded guilty plea to a charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting his horse to race not free of a prohibited substance. Chapple was disqualified for a period of two-and-a-half years to commence from 22 October 2014, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty, Stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance and the level detected (250ug/L), the circumstances leading up to the race, the guilty plea entered and personal subjective facts including personal and financial hardship. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, Artsu was disqualified from the abovementioned race. HRNSW Media

Connections of outstanding New Zealand pacer Christen Me are hoping he can emulate his father by capturing harness racing’s ultimate speed test on Saturday night. Christen Me will contest the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Menangle, a race his sire captured almost two decades ago. Trained by Brian O’Meara, Christian Cullen blitz his rivals in the 1998 edition of the Grand Circuit gem when driven by Danny Campbell. An odd-on favourite at 11/8, Christian Cullen scored by 20 metres from Tailamade Lombo, with Our Sir Vancelot four metres away third. In a performance that drew comparisons to the great Popular Alm, Christian Cullen rated a brilliant 1:54.4 for the 1760 metres, with his time just two-tenths of a second outside Iraklis’ record established in two years earlier. Should Christen Me emerge triumphant, it will also be the first time a Miracle Mile champion has produced a subsequent winner. Drawn barrier four for astute trainer Cran Dalgety, Christen Me is in “perfect shape” for the 1609-metre dash. “I couldn’t be happier with him,” Dalgety declared. “He has come through his two runs during New Zealand Cup week in great condition and is primed for this. “Going into last year’s Miracle Mile when he finished second he hadn’t recovered from the New Zealand Cup week as well, so I’m expecting him to be even better this time.” Citing defending champion Beautide as the one to beat, Dalgety stated he will instruct driver Dexter Dunn to ‘stalk’ the locally-trained gelding. “Beautide is the one to beat and we will stalk him everywhere he goes,” Dalgety said. “From four we should have the chance to follow Beautide right from the start and hopefully get the drop on him and the rest of the field in the home straight.” PAUL COURTS

To say well-known harness racing studmaster Ian Slater is looking forward to seeing Shadyshark Hanover’s stock compete in 2015/16 would be an understatement. Slater stands Shadyshark Hanover, along with Tiz A Masterpiece and Western Edition, at his Victorian establishment – Goodtime Lodge. A well-bred son of Cam’s Card Shark and Shady Past, Shadyshark Hanover served 140 mares – with 129 returning positive tests – during his first American season at stud and has been a hit with Australian breeders. Along with the numbers, Slater is excited about the quality of mares which have visited Shadyshark Hanover’s court. “He has had some top bred mares and some top producers as well come his way,” Slater declared. “Given his exceptional bloodlines and the quality of mares served, I’m looking forward to seeing his stock hit the track. “As it is, he is leaving some great looking foals, which isn’t a surprise as he is a magnificent looking stallion. “He’s big, strong and has a presence about him…not to forget he has a top record at the track as well.” Alimar Star - dam of last season’s Horsham Cup winner, Keayang Steamer – was among the first mares booked into Shadyshark Hanover, along with Decethree Lombo, which boasts 10 winners from 11 starters. Dam of Lombo Skyrider, Decethree Lombo has produced a colt by the young stallion. Next Strike, dam of Goodtime Marjie – winner of seven of her 12 starts – is another waiting to foal to Shadyshark Hanover as is Graces Beach, whose son, Goodtime Bobby has won four of his last five starts. “I’ve got no doubt he will prove his worth and leave some very nice types,” Slater said. “Along with being a top racehorse, which went 1:47.8 at three, he has the breeding to match. “Couple that with some nice mares and there is plenty to look forward to.” Shadyshark Hanover - 2011 Oliver Wendell Holmes PAUL COURTS

Harnesslink’s new recruit and Australian Editor-In-Chief, Paul Courts, is among the recipients of Harness Racing Australia’s “Joseph Coulter Media Awards” announced yesterday. Courts captured Best News Story for his piece titled “Trigger’s final shot”, which appeared in Harness Racing Weekly last August. Courts’ article was a “topical story marking the retirement of Smoken Up”. Smoken Up proved to be a popular topic, with Nadia Horne’s tribute to the champion on RSN's digital channel "RSN Carnival" judged best Radio Feature To Air. Harness Racing Weekly grabbed a second award with Amanda Rando snaring Best Photograph with her “quirky photograph of Beautide, trainer-driver James Rattray and his partner, Fia Svensson” following their Inter Dominion win last March. Courts, along with Robbie O’Connell, was also ‘highly commended’ in HRA’s Award of Merit for Demonstrating Excellence in Promotion. The duo were recognised for the outstanding work they did in organising and promoting the TAB.COM.AU Charity Football Day last September, which raised more than $40,000 for the Childrens' Tumour Foundation while attracting “widespread publicity for our industry.” The full list of Harness Racing Australia’s awards: BEST NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR Trigger's final shot - a well written, topical story by Paul Courts marking the retirement of Smoken Up, published in Harness Racing Weekly on 7th August 2014. Highly Commended For the love of the game - The trots are back at the Ekka - Bernie Pramberg's entertaining look in the Brisbane Courier-Mail on 26th July at harness racing's return to the show arena. BEST FEATURE STORY OF THE YEAR For the love of the Game - a heart warming feature on the family influences that underpin harness racing and the passion, commitment and work ethic of the Lee/Craven clans from Victoria's western districts, written by Lucy McCormick and published in the Harness Racer April/May 2014 edition. BEST HISTORICAL FEATURE Broodmares are not created equal - an enthralling feature by Max Agnew in the Spring 2014 edition of Track Bred about breeder Max Allen and the achievements of his mare Ranji Maid, which began a family in the 1940s which is still producing black type winners today. BEST REGIONAL STORY Cramp's shot at history in pacing cup - an interesting story on prolific winning trainer/driver Shayne Cramp on the eve of his home town (Mildura) feature race, written by Matt Taylor and published in the Sunraysia Daily on 12th April 2014. BEST PUBLISHED ACTION OR STILL PHOTOGRAPH Where to now? - a quirky photograph of Beautide, trainer-driver James Rattray and his partner, Fia Svensson, taken by Amanda Rando and published on the front page of Harness Racing Weekly on 6th March 2014 following the Tasmanian pacer's outstanding win in the Inter Dominion final. Highly Commended Hitting the turn - taken by Cindy Hurley on 3rd August 2014 as the field negotiated the home turn at the first stand alone grass meeting staged in Queensland. Published on the Racing Queensland website. BEST BOOK MANAROA - The People's Champion - Peter Collier's latest book, published in May 2014, details the history of the popular New Zealand owned pacer Manaroa which raced with great success in New Zealand, Australia and America in the early 1970's. RADIO - BEST FEATURE TO AIR Tribute to Smoken Up - Nadia Horne produced and hosted this program on RSN's digital channel "RSN Carnival", dedicated to the wonderful career of Smoken Up prior to his retirement. TELEVISION/VIDEO/FILM - BEST FEATURE TO AIR Kathleen Mullan on the road to the Garryowen - A moving feature by reporter Pip Courtney on the ABC's Landline program in November 2013 on the challenge to equestrian stereotypes by Kathleen Mullen, as she took her beloved standardbred James to compete in the prestigious Garryowen at the Royal Melbourne Show. AWARD OF MERIT - DEMONSTRATED EXCELLENCE IN PROMOTION 2014 Inter Dominion Championship & Event ambassador Stephanie Rice - exceptional promotion of the event across all media, utilising the personable Olympic swimming champion, by Harness Racing NSW and the NSW Harness Racing Club. Highly Commended TAB.COM.AU Charity Football Day in Victoria - promoted by Robbie O'Connell and Paul Courts, this fun day in Bendigo in August 2014, supported by many harness racing participants and followers, raised over $40,000 for the Children's Tumour Foundation and attracted widespread publicity for our industry. AWARD OF MERIT - DEMONSTRATED EXCELLENCE IN SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE & INNOVATION Harness Racing New South Wales - HRNSW surpassed 2,000 followers on Twitter and significantly increased Facebook followers to more than 11,000 following a successful Inter Dominion and Carnival of Cups promotion in 2014. Congratulations are extended to not only each award winner but to all those who play an important role in promoting the sport of harness racing. Harnesslink Media

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Loader
Loader
Harnesslink’s new recruit and Australian Editor-In-Chief, Paul Courts, has received another accolade. Just last week, Courts was among the recipients of Harness Racing Australia’s “Joseph Coulter Media Awards”, capturing Best News Story for his piece titled “Trigger’s final shot”. At last night’s Hall of Fame Presentation Dinner at Tabcorp Park Melton, Courts’ article was recognised by Harness Racing Victoria. Veteran scribe Max Agnew and Lucy McCormick also followed their HRA awards with state recognition. In an evening to remember, Agnew was also inducted into the Hall Of Fame – a fitting tribute to a long and passionate career within the industry. HRV media and communications manager Cody Winnell stated the quality of nominations for this year’s HRV media awards was exceptional. “We were impressed with the strong quality of entries across all categories and we were also very pleased with the number of nominations we received,” Winnell said. “The media plays such a vital role in the success of our industry and we are blessed to have such knowledgeable and dedicated harness racing journalists, authors and presenters depicting our great sport across all media platforms. “Our media people are very passionate and this comes across in all their work.” This year’s winners were as follows: Best News Story (Print or Online): Paul Courts, Harness Racing Weekly – Trigger’s Final Shot Best Feature Story (Print or Online): Max Agnew, Track Bred – Broodmares Are Not Created Equal Best Country Story/Feature: Lucy McCormick, Harness Racer – Snake Island Best Radio Feature/Interview: Len Baker, Harness Review 979FM – Graeme Lang Interview Best Coverage of Harness Racing Event: Sunraysia Daily – Mildura Cup Coverage Best Current Affairs/News Coverage: RSN – Gait Speed with Nadia Horne Special Commendation Award: John Peck – Horsham Harness Racing History
Punters continue to support New Zealand harness racing star Christen Me ahead of Saturday night’s SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Menangle. Posted at $5 earlier this week, Christen Me has firmed slightly to be $4.20 on TAB Fixed Odds, with defending champion Beautide remaining favourite at $1.70. With 31 per cent of the market bet on the Cran Dalgety-trained gelding, Christen Me shapes as the TAB’s worst result. Success will see Christen Me’s sire – Christian Cullen – become the first Miracle Mile champion to produce a subsequent winner. With plenty of betting time remaining, Beautide may still become a tragic outcome for the TAB, with twice as much money for him as Christen Me during the past 24 hours. A steady flow of wagers has seen Beautide’s market share increase to 27, with Victorian raider, Guaranteed next at 17 per cent. Surprisingly the fastest competitor in the field – For A Reason – is attracting little attention with son of Art Major commanding just four-and-a-half per cent of the market. Despite drawing ideally in the pole, Easy On The Eye is virtually friendless, with less than two per cent of the marketing in support of the gelding. Punters looking to splurge on the ‘multiples’ are in for a treat, with the TAB guaranteeing a $200,000 jackpot on the Menangle ‘Quaddie’ and $100,000 jackpot on the Miracle Mile First Four. 1 – EASY ON THE EYE (TAB’s fluctuation since draw $16 to $31) Percentage of market: 1.7 2 – AVONNOVA ($12 to $16) Percentage of market: 6 3 – BEAUTIDE ($1.75 to $1.70) Percentage of market: 27 4 – CHRISTEN ME ($5 to $4.20) Percentage of market: 31 Big bet: $3k at $5 5 – FOR A REASON ($6.50 to $7.50) Percentage of market: 4.5 6 – CHARIOT KING (2nd emergency, $101 to $151) Percentage of market: -- 7 – GUARANTEED ($7.50 to $12 back to $10) Percentage of market: 16 8 – SUAVE STUEY LOMBO ($12 to $16) Percentage of market: 6 9 – BETTOR BET BLACK (1st emergency, $151 to $301) Percentage of market: -- 10 – TERROR TO LOVE ($21 to $35 back to $21) Percentage of market: 6 Big bet: $200 x $400 at $41 PAUL COURTS
At last night’s SEW Eurodrive Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame Awards evening at Melton, HRV Chairman Ken Latta announced one of Australia’s most famous identities, George Gath, had been elevated to Legend status. Gath’s elevation sees him join inaugural legends, Gordon Rothacker and Maori’s Idol. The posthumous honour was accepted by George’s eldest son Neville, who is a Hall of Fame member, who was visibly moved by the honour and spoke warmly about his father and his achievements. George was a remarkable horseman and remains the only driver to win at Richmond, Ascot, Melbourne Showgrounds and Moonee Valley as well as the first person to win 300 races in Melbourne. He won six Victorian driving premierships, four Melbourne driving premierships, two Adelaide premierships and was beaten by a victory in a Sydney drivers’ premiership. In addition, George won four Melbourne and thee Adelaide trainers’ premierships as well as training and driving Tara Meadow to record the first two minute mile in Victoria. George trained many great horses, including trotters Paddy McKinney, Bingen Redmond, Carlottas Pride and Delvin Dancer, while his best pacers were Joy’s John, Heroic Action, Gyro and Tara Meadow. The function also saw six inductees to the Hall of Fame, which now boasts 53 members. The latest additions are pioneering reinswomen Pearl Kelly, record breaking reinsman Chris Alford, the Abrahams family, journalist Max Agnew, True Roman and broodmare gem, Maori Miss. The overdue induction of Pearl Kelly was a highlight, with photographs and a remarkable life story having the audience in awe. Pearl Kelly was the first woman to win a metropolitan race against the men in Perth and Melbourne in a time when women were banned in the thoroughbred industry. At the peak of her career in 1927 officials also banned women in harness racing and it would be 50 years before they were would be licensed again to compete in races against the men. The attentive crowd included many Hall of Fame Legends and were entertained by the polished MC Rob Gaylard and internationally recognized comedian, Col Elliott. The Trainers’ and Drivers’ Association, which is an integral part of the Hall of Fame night, presented an award to Cliff Powell and a posthumous one to Neville Clarke. Also on the evening the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association presented their major award – Bob Cain Distinguished Service - to the “voice of Harness Racing” Dan Mielicki. Geoff Want, Chairman of Harness Racing Australia presented a number of national awards including one of the Joseph Coulter Awards for Best Book to Peter Collier for “ Manaroa – the People’s Champion” and Harnesslink’s Paul Courts for Best News Story for his piece title “Trigger’s Final Shot”. Harness Racing Victoria was also on stage to recognize the media with a series of state awards for journalism, radio, television and photographic excellence. JOHN PECK
Does the mobile go faster in the Miracle Mile than it does for other harness racing events at Tabcorp Park Menangle?  Harness Racing New South Wales chairman of stewards Reid Sanders has declared there will be no direction for the mobile to go faster than it has during the previous fortnight for the Coca-Cola and Cordina Sprints. “There is no intention to drive the mobile any faster than the normal,” Sander said. “Starter Todd Clarke will be instructed to have the mobile at a similar speed to the two lead up races.” That statement has pleased trainer Shane Tritton who believes Suave Stuey Lombo will be suited by those conditions. Tritton also has Easy On The Eye engaged in the Grand Circuit event. “I had Mach Beauty in the Miracle Mile last year, he drew three, and despite being such a fast beginner, he had no hope of crossing For A Reason and Smoken Up drawn inside him because they were all going at top speed to stay with the mobile,” Tritton declared. “He had no chance to accelerate like he normally would have. “Despite drawing gate seven in this year’s Miracle Mile, Suave Stuey Lombo should be able to do his usual thing and fire out from the barrier and take up a good position. “I envisage Easy On The Eye leading, with Stuey outside him, and that would be perfect.” Tritton will instruct drivers Lauren Panella behind Suave Stuey Lombo and David Morris, who will partner Easy On The Eye, to keep the speed on in an attempt to unsettle their rivals. “Beautide is the best horse in the race, and if the winning time is slower than 1:50.5, he will win,” Tritton said. “He will be too classy for every other runner. “He has proved it before, so we need to take him out of his comfort zone and set up a fast tempo and force him to chase. “People are forgetting Suave Stuey Lombo has sat in the ‘death seat’ at Menangle and broken 1:50 for the mile, so that will be the plan again.” GREG HAYES
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles