Day At The Track

Shepparton’s rising superstar pacer San Carlo has never failed to rise to the occasion throughout his harness racing career and he faces another giant step-up tomorrow night when he tackles the $200000 Victoria Cup at Melton. The seven-year-old son of Mach Three has come up with barrier seven — the extreme outside of the front row — in the 2240m Group One event. San Carlo’s trainer Steve O’Donoghue admits the horror draw is going to make San Carlo’s chances of landing his biggest win that much tougher. O’Donoghue said he was happy to be in the race, but conceded the barrier had made winning an unlikely prospect. ‘‘It’s like an under-18 footballer going up into the senior side for the first time; it’s going to be really tough. I’ll be happy to beat one home for a start,’’ O’Donoghue said. ‘‘You would like any of the horses in that field, wouldn’t you?’’ While Lennytheshark is favourite to win the feature, fireworks are expected at the start with the trainers of Major Crocker and NSW visitors Code Black (barrier three) and Tiger Tara (barrier five) declaring they won’t be taking any prisoners early. Lennytheshark’s reinsman Chris Alford has declared he “couldn’t be happier” with Lenny’s barrier one draw. Rivals are Shark bait He might be eight years of age now but you wouldn’t have thought it as Lennytheshark made a stunning return to racing at Melton last Friday night. The David Aiken-trained warrior humbled some smart pacers in winning the $50000 Smoken Up Sprint over the 1720m trip in his first race since finishing fourth to his illustrious stablemate Hectorjayjay in the Blacks A Fake feature at Albion Park in July. Driven by Chris Alford, Lenny did it at both ends, spearing from barrier seven across the face of the field at the start to take up the pacemaking role and then audaciously pulling away from his rivals in the dash home in a blistering 1:51.9 mile rate. He had more than 8m to spare over runner-up My Field Marshall at the finish, with Tee Cee Bee Macray a whisker away third. Lenny is Inter Dominion-bound to defend his crown in December, but he has another huge challenge tomorrow night when he tackles the $200000 Victoria Cup at Melton. He has drawn barrier one and it would take a brave person to say he couldn’t win it given what he did last Friday night. It’s McCool for Junior Wahring horseman Kevin Weidenbach Jr is certainly getting results with Lucy McCool. In only six starts for Weidenbach Lucy McCool has won two races and been placed second once. The six-year-old Miles McCool mare notched her latest win in a C1 Only event last week at Yarra Valley after a perfect Weidenbach drive. Lucy McCool is from the former smart Caprock racemare Play The Dice and her latest win, the third of her 29 starts, produced a PB mile rate of 1:58.6. From pillar to post Byrneside horseman Damian Wilson made full use of pacer Cobie Hall’s draw to win on debut last week at Echuca. Trained and driven by Wilson, the four-year-old son of Blissfull Hall came from barrier three to take over the early front running and led throughout over the 2160m trip for a comfortable win over NSW visitor Kamwood Izzy, with the locally-trained Our Dandy filling the minor placing. Cobie Hall is the first foal of the unraced Safely Kept mare Annie Angel to race and peeled off some slick final sectionals and a respectable mile rate of 1:59.2 to suggest there could me more wins in store. The Nod of approval Echuca trots stalwarts Norm and Joan Visca enjoyed a win on their home track last week with consistent performer Winkn Nod. Trained and driven by legendary Bendigo horseman Brian Gath for the Viscas, Winkn Nod was another pacer to utilise his barrier two draw and was another pillar-to-post winner at the meeting in a C1 Only class race. Pulling out a 28.7 final split, Winkn Nod proved too good for Oldseadog and the Brent Thomson-trained Arty Guy with a winning margin of 4m and a short half-head separating the minor placegetters. Winkn Nod, a six-year-old gelding by Grinfromeartoear, deserved the win as he ran second at his previous two starts at Shepparton and Echuca. It was his third win with seven placings from 23 starts. Winning scent to Rose A mid-race move by reinsman Daniel Rose proved a winner for smart Kyabram-trained pacer Scout Hall Road at Echuca. Rose took the six-year-old Village Jasper gelding around the field from last to the front at the 1100m and staved off challengers from top two chances Sir Briggen and A Special Dream in the run to the finishing line in the 2160m event. Despite an encouraging third to the smart Scotlyn Jack at his previous start at Shepparton on September 29, Scout Hall Road was a 16-1 shot on the tote. Trained by Rose’s father Bruce, Scout Hall Road has been a consistent performer for connections with 10 wins and 19 placings from his 70 starts. A Special Dream’s third placing in the race continued a string of top-three finishes for the Steve Duffy-trained and Ryan Duffy-driven seven-year-old son of Live Or Die. The pacer has not missed a top-three placing in his past 11 starts, which include three wins with four seconds and four thirds. Ellen’s skills on show The Shepparton-based Bartley sisters — Bec and Lisa — have been enjoying their share of success of late in the sulky and it was another sister’s turn to show her wares in Victoria last week. Coleambally (Riverina)-based trainer Ellen Bartley produced Begoodorbegoodatit for a win in restricted class at Echuca. Driven by leading Riverina reinsman Blake Jones and an odds-on chance, Begoodorbegoodatit went straight to the front from barrier two over the 1750m trip and had no worries holding off main challengers Megiddo and the Kyabram-trained Beyond A Shadow. Begoodorbegoodatit was coming off a second at her previous start at Shepparton on September 21 in fast time in a race won by Our Lady Madonna, so punters took note of that formline in supporting her into an odds-on chance. Begoodorbegoodatit is only the third foal of the Art Major mare Lose The Blues to race and the only winner so far with her 19 starts producing three wins and five placings. Sweet for Candyman Top reinsman Greg Sugars was the star at Echuca with a driving treble. Two of the winners, Fong Nien and Mar Nien, were for his trainer-father Ross, while the Allan McDonough-trained Bright Shadow was middle pin of the trifecta. Fong Nien is a half-sister of four winners from the winning Miles McCool mare Jane McCool, including the multiple winner Smooth Grin. Mar Nien is a five-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Armbro Operative mare Champagnesheffield, who was a winner of five races and has left two other winners. As swift as a Hare The Josh Aiken-trained and driven Audi Hare kept his perfect Australian record intact with another dominant win last Friday night at Melton. Joining the Aiken stable after 20 starts for two wins in New Zealand, the five-year-old gelded son of Mach Three had scored at Bendigo on his Australian debut on September 16 and followed up that win with another success at Shepparton on September 29. He completed the hat-trick with his Melton win in which he accounted for the Laura Crossland-trained and driven Charming Major and Time Keepa Lombo in 1:56.2 mile rate time for the 1720m. Aiken summed up the race perfectly when the pace slackened a lap out, working Audi Hare around the field to the front and from then on was never going to be beaten. Duke rules at Hill Four-year-old gelding Manbar Duke made a winning return to the racetrack in a family finish in a C0 Only class race at Swan Hill on Tuesday night. Trained by Kyabram horseman Brent Thomson and driven by Nathan Jack, Manbar Duke led throughout to beat Letsrockletsroll, trained by Thomson’s father Russell and driven by Craig Turnbull. Manbar Duke was a $2.10 favourite while Letsrockletsroll was a $5.30 chance. Taken straight to the front by Jack from barrier three, Manbar Duke ran his rivals ragged, particularly over the concluding stages with splits 28.7 and 27.4 for a last half in 56.1. Letsrockletsroll’s effort to come from last at the bell and get within 4m of the winner was also noteworthy given the third horse home and second favourite Tillys Desire was more than 20m astern. Manbar Duke was having his first start since March and was coming off successive wins at Yarra Vallley and Cobram. A son of Santa Blue Chip, Manbar Duke has had just the seven starts for three wins and three seconds. His dam Korobeit Princess, who is by little known sire Armbro Kojak, was a four-times winner and was out of the good racemare Korobeit Angel, a daughter of Denver Gift, who was bred by veteran Kyabram horseman Darky Meloury. Colbinabbin horseman Graham McDermott was also a winner at Swan Hill, scoring in a T0 or better trotters race with Justtentrumps who notched his fourth win from 19 starts. Building future The new trots track at Wagga is under way with the first sod turned at the new site last week. NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole was alongside Harness Racing NSW chairman Chris Edwards and his fellow board members for the significant milestone. “The journey has been a lengthy one from when we first called for expressions of interest in a Riverina Super Centre back in 2006,” Edwards said. “But now that we are finally at this stage, it is pleasing to know that in a year’s time we will have completed a strategy to install 1000m tracks in all the region’s Hunter, Western and Southern districts. “What is really positive for Wagga is that what we have learned from the other projects has been enhanced, corrected or improved with this last instalment.” The long-awaited project will have a 1070m track constructed with a width of 20m to accommodate 10 horses starting off the front row, if required. There will be a camber of 10° on the 110m radius turns to assist with equine welfare, driver safety and to enhance the speed performance of the horses, as well as a sprint lane to provide all horses a competitive opportunity. Alongside the track, public facilities similar to those at Bathurst will be constructed as well as race stalls that can accommodate 140 horses, including a designated area for mini trot participants. Harness Racing NSW’s long-term vision for the property is to also include a training centre. Coming up Today: Kilmore (n). Tomorrow: Melton (n). Sunday: Stawell (d). Monday: Warragul (d). Tuesday: Shepparton (n). Wednesday: Geelong (n). Thursday: Bendigo (n). The Shepparton News Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

The following is the current status of harness racing nominations for the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion.   HORSE Trainer 1st Ranking 2nd Ranking Paid LAZARUS NZ Mark Purdon 1 1 Y LENNYTHESHARK David Aiken 2 2 Y CHICAGO BULL NZ Gary Hall Snr 3 3 Y OUR DREAM ABOUT ME NZ Mark Purdon 4 4 Y HAVE FAITH IN ME NZ Mark Purdon 9 5 Y TIGER TARA NZ Kevin Pizzuto 5 6 Y MY FIELD MARSHAL NZ Tim Butt 6 7 Y OHOKA PUNTER NZ Gary Hall Snr 7 8 Y SOHO TRIBECA Kim Prentice 8 9 Y MAJOR CROCKER Vince Vallelonga 12 10 Y BEAUDIENE BOAZ NZ Gary Hall Snr 11 11 Y RUN ONEOVER NZ Gary Hall Snr 10 12 Y DEVENDRA Todd Rattray 13 13   MY HARD COPY NZ Clinton Hall 15 14 Y JOHN OF ARC NZ Clive Dalton 14 15   THE BUCKET LIST NZ Michael Brennan 17 17 Y OUR JIMMY JOHNSTONE NZ Skye Bond 18 18 Y YAYAS HOT SPOT NZ S P Tritton, L R Tritton 20 20 Y MOTU PREMIER NZ Ross Olivieri 22 21 Y JAMBIANI Ross Olivieri 23 22 Y SIMPLY SUSATIONAL NZ Skye Bond 27 23 Y TRICKY STYX NZ Jesse Moore 24 24   IM FULL OF EXCUSES NZ Ross Olivieri 21 25 Y MAJOR REALITY NZ Justin Prentice 25 27 Y JILLIBY JAGGER Glen Craven 28 28 Y GALACTIC STAR NZ Craig Cross 30 29 Y SHANDALE NZ Mike Reed 29 30 Y AMERICANBOOTSCOOTA Debra Lewis 33 31 Y MR MOJITO NZ Kerryn Manning 35 33 Y SPARE ME DAYS Brad Hewitt 36 34   CONDRIEU NZ Skye Bond 57 35 Y BETTOR REWARD Justin Prentice 37 36 Y VULTAN TIN Phil Costello 39 37 Y LETS CHASE THE DREAM NZ Gary Hall Snr 34 38 Y IDEAL TYSON Gary Elson 41 39 Y IDEAL FOR REAL Emma Stewart 40 40   SAN CARLO Stephen O'Donoghue 42 41 Y PACHACUTI Todd Rattray 43 42   CODE BLACK NZ Kevin Pizzuto 48 43 Y MAJORDAN Amanda Turnbull 59 44 Y AZTEC BROMAC NZ KerryAnn Turner 38 45   DASHOFLUCK NZ James Rattray 46 47   CONDAGEN KerryAnn Turner 47 48   EGODAN Kevin Pizzuto 71 49 Y STORMONT CZAR KerryAnn Turner 70 51   SMOKEY THE BANDIT Michael Callegari 50 53   NATURAL DISASTER Justin Prentice 51 54 Y NATHANS COURAGE Michael Brennan 53 56   SPRINTER NZ Gary Elson 55 57 Y EL HOMBRE Ross Olivieri 56 58   RUB OF THE GREEN NZ Michael Brennan 58 59   CUT FOR AN ACE Michael Brennan 63 60 Y TOMMY BE GOOD Kat Warwick 62 62   SOHO WALL STREET Glenn Elliott 61 63 Y JOHNNY DISCO Ross Ashby 64 64 Y THE ODD LOVER NZ Kim Prentice 66 66 Y NEW WORLD ORDER Ray Williams 67 68   ITZ BETTOR TO WIN NZ Ross Olivieri 73 70 Y DANIELJOHN Kristian Hawkins 76 77   RESURGENT SPIRIT Kate Hargreaves 82 79   CHARLAVAL KerryAnn Turner 80 80   TANAKA EAGLE Reg Phillips 83 81   HUGH VICTOR Clive Dalton 84 82   STRATHLACHLAN ANDY Geoffrey Harding 86 83   LIVURA NZ Nathan Turvey 87 84   SUPERFECTA NZ Sonia Zucchiatti 88 85   THE TRILOGY NZ Kristian Hawkins 89 86   PAY ME CULLEN NZ Kristian Hawkins 91 89   STROGANOFF NZ Kristian Hawkins 92 90   WALKINSHAW (NZ) Ray Williams 94 91                                                     SCRATCHED & WITHDRAWN       AMERICAN BOY NZ Gary Hall Snr 45 SCR   HECTORJAYJAY David Aiken SCR SCR   IDEAL ALICE NZ Gary Hall Snr 31 SCR   LADY DUPREE Tony Svilicich 97 SCR   MATCH POINT NZ Kevin Pizzuto 72 SCR   THE FAITHFUL NZ Kevin Pizzuto 90 87 SCR HEZA BROMAC NZ Kevin Pizzuto 95 92 SCR NORVIC NIGHTOWL NZ Gary Hall Snr 32 32 SCR MYSTA MAGICAL MACH NZ Tony Svilicich 68 69 SCR SHARDONS ROCKET NZ Tony Svilicich 93 88 SCR MASTER JAXON David Hunter 65 65 SCR OUR WAIKIKI BEACH Mark Purdon 16 16 SCR JOHNNY FOX NZ Ross Olivieri 60 61 SCR RABCHENKO Kevin Charles 77 75 SCR SHEER ROCKNROLL Ross Olivieri 44 46 SCR COURAGE TELLS NZ Skye Bond 69 71 SCR CLANCYS FOBWATCH Michael Doltoff 74 72 SCR SMO NZ Eric Chabros 96 93 SCR MOONROCK NZ Sonya Smith 79 67 SCR COSTA DEL MAGNIFICO NZ Ross Olivieri 75 73 SCR IDEALINDIAMONDS NZ Skye Bond 81 74 SCR DODOLICIOUS Skye Bond 54 55 SCR RED SALUTE Ross Olivieri 78 78 SCR RIVERBOAT JASPER Maree Caldow 85 76 SCR HEEZ ON FIRE Bill Horn 26 26 SCR BLAZIN N CULLEN NZ John McCarthy 49 50 SCR LORD ZIN ZAN NZ John McCarthy 52 52 SCR ULTIMATE ART Shannon Price 19 19 SCR

Harness racing trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Lewis have been a powerful and highly successful combination for 30 years and they will join forces at Gloucester Park on Friday night when they attempt to win three consecutive events with talented New Zealand-bred pacers Itz Bettor To Win, Motu Premier and Im Full of Excuses. These three pacers are raced by leviathan owner Merv Butterworth, who is hoping the trio will qualify for the rich TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series, starting on November 24. Butterworth makes no secret that he considers five-year-old Motu Premier a superior pacer to Im Full of Excuses and Itz Bettor To Win. Sharing his opinion is Lewis, who said: “Motu Premier is a nice horse who goes good. And now he’s got to step up to the next level if he’s going to be an Inter Dominion contender.” Motu Premier, whose six starts in Western Australia have resulted in five wins and a close second placing, will be making his first appearance for nine weeks when he starts from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the $22,000 Simpson Pace over 2130m on Friday night. Motu Premier is a strong and dour gelding who has won many races after working hard in the breeze and he is likely to have to endure a tough run again on Friday night when his chief rival looms large as the Olivieri-trained El Hombre. El Hombre will start from the No. 1 barrier and Chris Voak said he would be keen to set the pace. “He produced a powerful effort when he raced without cover before winning from Soho Chelsea and Mach Time last week,” he said. “He should go even better by leading this week and I give him a good chance of beating Motu Premier.” Lewis appreciates that El Hombre will be a worthy opponent on Friday night, saying: “That was one of his best runs and this will be a challenge for Motu Premier. However, all things being equal, I’d say Motu Premier is a better horse.”   Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s race will be the reappearance of Natural Disaster, an up-and-coming five-year-old who will be driven by his trainer Justin Prentice. Natural Disaster, who impressed in winning at eight of his 13 starts last season, will be having his first start for ten weeks. He faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. Motu Premier is at No. 21 in the second list of ranking for the Inter Dominion championship series. Stablemate Jambiani is ranked No. 22, with Im Full of Excuses at No. 25, El Hombre at No. 58 and Itz Bettor To Win at No. 70. Itz Bettor To Win will start out wide at barrier eight in the Celebrating Melissa Renouf Pace on Friday night and Lewis expects him to perform strongly at his second start in Western Australia. The six-year-old gelding was favourite at 6/4 when he dashed to the front from barrier three after 200m and set a brisk pace before wilting slightly in the closing stages to finish fourth behind Soho Tribeca, Bronze Seeker and Ideal Tyson. “I think he ran pretty well,” Lewis said. “He obviously needed the run and even though he’s not well drawn this week, he will be one of the main players in the race.” Im Full of Excuses will start from barrier four in the $25,000 Fred Doy Memorial Pace on Friday night in which he will clash with in-form pacers Simply Susational, Ideal Tyson and Cut For An Ace, as well as outstanding mare Major Reality, who will be having her first start since winning the Golden Girls Classic at Pinjarra on March 27. Im Full of Excuses will be having his second start after a spell. He resumed last Friday week when he started out wide at barrier nine and was restrained to the rear before dashing forward to race in the breeze outside the pacemaker Sheer Rocknroll before wilting to fifth behind Simply Susational. “I was happy with his first-up effort and I think he should step up and run a pretty good race this week,” Lewis said. Ken Casellas

Byford trainer-reinsman Callan Suvaljko is hoping for just a little bit of luck when he drives Bettor Bling in the $18,000 Retravision Pace for harness racing mares over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The five-year-old certainly deserves a bit of good fortune after she was a certainty beaten when fifth behind Bethany Aitch over 2130m last Friday night. She started from the inside of the back line and met with severe interference when Its My Lucknow galloped badly at the start. She was seventh on the pegs at the bell and was badly blocked for a clear passage until the very late stages when she flashed home out wide. The previous Tuesday Bettor Bling charged home, out wide, from ninth at the 300m to finish a close third to Bad Round and a week earlier she was a fast-finishing second to Chiaroscuro. “Her run last Friday night, when she got cleaned up at the start, was very good,” Suvaljko said. “And then, if she had got out at the 400m she would’ve been very hard to beat. She’s racing well and with a touch of luck she will be right there this week. “A 1700m journey is her pet distance. In races over 2100m you have to save her up for one kick. So, on Friday night I intend to come out from barrier three. If we can’t cross She Could Be Good (barrier one) I hope that the speed will be on and that we get the one-out, one-back trail and the last shot at the leaders.” Bettor Bling, bought for $18,000 as a yearling in 2014 by Sue and Graham Worrall, won the Group 1 WA Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies in April 2015 and she now has earned $112,836 from eight wins and 12 placings from 55 starts. By Bettors Delight, she is the last of Whitby Solitaire’s ten foals and is a full sister to the ninth foal Delightful Jade, who has raced 65 times for 22 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $223,577. Suvaljko is also delighted at the form of Skippy Rascal, who will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line in the $20,000 Electrolux Pace over 2130m. “He went to the line bolting and with nowhere to go last Friday night,” he said. “I kept kicking up between horses, but there wasn’t a run there. The opposition is tougher this week, so we’ll be virtually driving for luck.” Skippy Rascal will need all the breaks to defeat the polemarker Fifth Edition, who looks set to lead for Ryan Warwick and take a power of catching. Fifth Edition was unlucky last Friday night when he enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail but was hopelessly blocked for a clear passage until 130m from the line, when he surged home powerfully to finish second to Smoldering Ashes. He was terrorized in front when second to Jaxon Fella the previous week.   Suvaljko also gives another of his runners, Sightseeing Anvil, a good chance in the $20,000 Westinghouse Pace over 2130m in which the nine-year-old will start from the inside of the back line. “He’s a lot better horse in front, but this is a weaker field than the opposition he met when sixth behind Jaxon Fella last week,” he said. “It’s not over-strong and he has some chance.” Ken Casellas

Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr has declared lightly-raced New Zealand-bred pacers Tuas Delight and Extreme Prince fit and ready to be prominent first-up in harness racing metropolitan maiden company at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Each pacer has recovered from injury. Tuas Delight, who will start out wide at barrier eight in the $18,000 Dishlex Pace, suffered serious injuries to a hock soon after finishing a most encouraging second to Mister Versace at Gloucester Park in the first week of April this year. That was his second start in Western Australia after his first-up fourth behind Americanbootscoota at Pinjarra at his WA debut. “He hurt himself when he got caught up in a fence,” said Hall. “He is better now and the injury is not going to affect him.” Tuas Delight, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, has won at four of his 24 starts and should prove hard to beat on Friday night. However, he may have to lower his colours to the Nathan Turvey-trained and driven six-year-old Livura, a winner of 17 races and capable of overcoming the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Extreme Prince, a six-year-old who has won at five of his 19 starts, will begin from barrier four on the front line in the 1730m Kelvinator Pace. He has not appeared since finishing fifth behind Majorlicious at Pinjarra on May 1 this year. “He has now recovered from an infected pedal bone,” said Hall Snr. Extreme Prince revealed excellent gate speed when he began speedily from barrier six and set the pace before winning in 1.53.3 over 1609m at Menangle five starts ago, back in October 2016. The David Thompson-trained Rudimental Sol will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and he and Extreme Prince are likely to dominate betting on the race.  Ken Casellas

Early last year El Machine was classified as an M6 harness racing performer after winning the $50,000 RWWA Cup. A year earlier he won the Village Kid Sprint from Uppy Son, rating 1.55.8 over 1780m at Northam, and four starts before that he won the Manea Classic from Leda McNally at Bunbury, rating 1.56.5. He has lost form and at nine years of age is in the twilight of his 103-start career of 21 wins and 17 placings for stakes of $243,598. He also was the winner of a WA Derby prelude in April 2012. He has dropped back to an M2 classification in a moderate field of mostly veteran pacers and will start from barrier two on the back line with Luke Edwards in the sulky. It should be a wide-open betting race in which punters should consider El Machine’s superior record. The eleven runners have chalked up a combined total of 1043 starts for 145 wins. Six of the runners are nine-year-olds and there are one ten-year-old, one eight-year-old, one seven-year-old and two six-year-olds. The Clint Hall-trained and driven Yackandandah (barrier four) is the likely favourite, after working hard and winning at Gloucester Park four starts ago. Another major hope is six-year-old mare Sea Cider, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier five. Sea Cider has managed just one placing from her past 15 starts, but she is sure to take a power of beating. She revealed wonderful fighting qualities at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when she raced wide early and then without cover for almost two laps when an extremely close fourth behind Guns With Cows in a four-way photo. Sea Cider is prepared by Sarah Suvaljko, who will also be represented by ten-year-old Atlastalone. A fast-finishing winner at Gloucester Park three starts ago. Michael Grantham had the choice of driving Sea Cider and Atlastalone, who raced at the rear and then three wide in the final circuit before finishing eighth, ten lengths behind the winner The Trilogy in a 2503m stand on Tuesday evening. Grantham opted for the Michael Brennan-trained Ona Happy Note, who has a losing sequence of 21 (including just two third placings). Ona Happy Note was eighth at the bell and just plugged on along the pegs when a last-start fifth behind Im Rockaria at Narrogin. The drive behind Atlastalone has gone to outstanding South Australian 17-year-old reinsman Jayden Brewin, who drove 62 winners last season, 55 in South Australia and seven in Victoria.  Ken Casellas

When Damien Smith takes to the track at Friday night’s Tamworth Harness Racing Club meeting, it will be like a homecoming for the Maitland reinsman. As a 16-year-old, Smith made an impact at Tamworth when he drove his first winner on debut in April 2004.  The horse, Bush Eagle, was trained by his father Kenneth Smith Jnr. Smith went on to drive plenty more winners including a Glenn Tomlin Memorial and a Newcastle Cup. But then life got in the way and he stepped away from harness racing for seven years. “I brought a house, got married and Ashley and I have a little one due next month,” he said. “I wanted to make my comeback at Tamworth first up but it didn’t work out that way, but hopefully my luck will change tonight.” Smith will take the reins behind Double Dee and Our Midnight Mayhem for the Kristine Jackson stables. Upon making his return to racing in August, he was nearly in the winner’s circle first up with Double Dee at Newcastle. “Some how I got conned back into driving again,” he said. “I finished second on him my first drive back. I have only had the one winner [since then] and that was at the trials. It feels like I never left.” On Friday night, Smith will contest the Peter Jackson Bookmakers Membership Draw Pace behind Double Dee.      “I have had a couple of drives behind the horse but we will have to wait and see how the race pans out for him,” he said. Our Midnight Mayhem will have race start 141 in the Global Bloodstock Pace, with Smith taking the reins for the first time behind the Mach Three gelding. “He has been racing OK – just needs some luck in the race,” Smith said. Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 259(1) (g) & (h), 187(6), 187(2) and 187(1) against former licensed person Daryl Douglas.  Charge 1, under AHRR 259(1) (g) & (h), which reads as follows: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following –  (g) enter any premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry; (h) participate in any manner in the harness racing industry; The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas participated in the harness racing industry on 27 February 2017, while disqualified, by entering the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Marnie Bibby, exercising standardbreds and leading ‘Ubringthedrinks’ to the stable tie-up area. Charge 2, under AHRR 187(6), which reads as follows: A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017 when HRV Stewards approached Mr Douglas he ran and concealed himself in a dog kennel. Charge 3, under AHRR 187(2), which reads as follows:  A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017, when HRV Stewards located Mr Douglas, he refused to answer questions and subsequently left the property. Charge 4, under AHRR 187(1), which reads as follows: A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them.  The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas failed to attend an inquiry scheduled for 3 April 2017 to answer questions in relation to the previously mentioned matters.  This HRV RAD Board hearing had previously been adjourned on 24 May 2017 and 25 July 2017. Mr Douglas failed to appear on this re-scheduled date and the HRV RAD Board determined to conduct the hearing in his absence acting under Victorian Local Rule 50(1)(a). The charges were found proven and the HRV RAD Board heard submissions on penalty from the HRV Stewards. The HRV RAD Board also considered both specific and general deterrence along with penalties in previous matters with similar circumstances and issued the following penalties: Charge 1: 2 month disqualification Charge 2: $1000 fine Charge 3: $1000 fine Charge 4: Mr Douglas be warned off until he attends a HRV Stewards inquiry   HRV RAD Board Panel: Brian Collis QC (Deputy Chairman) Dr Hugh Millar / Rebecca Oliver (Members) Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild expect champion reinsman Chris Lewis and Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri to dominate Friday night’s nine-event harness racing card at Gloucester Park. The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has made Motu Premier - trained by Olivieri and reined by Lewis - his best bet. “Motu Premier is 21st in the second round of Inters rankings and he is primed to advance to the top bracket with a first-up win,” Manning said. “The gelding showed  class when a Chandon Final and Marathon Pace winner at his last two starts before going out in August for a let-up. He won eight races in New Zealand before scoring two victories during a brief NSW stint early this year. Since joining Ross Olivieri’s stable four months ago, he has won at five of six starts.” Manning likes Ona Happy Note as his value selection. “Ona Happy Note has not won in his past 21 starts, but he drew barrier three in moderate company and the Michael Brennan-trained gelding only needs to be somewhere near his best to figure prominently,” he said. “He won in New Zealand before recording eight Victorian victories. Three Queensland wins preceded his move to WA last year and he was a GP winner at his debut here.” Veteran tipster Bill Brindley believes the Lewis/Olivieri combination can win with Itz Bettor To Win and Motu Premier. “My best bet is Itz Bettor To Win,” Brindley said. “He’s a classy type who should have benefited from his first-up run and can win this race. I also like Motu Premier as a star bet. Brindley has selected King Lebron as his value for the night. “If he’s anyway near fit he could give them something to catch,” he said. TABradio announcer Matt Young has started the new season in “hot form” and is the current leader in the Media Guild’s tipping competition. Young is another expecting big things from Lewis. “My best bet comes up in the first with the Chris Lewis-driven Rockin The Boys,” he said. “She’s back to mares company and looks well placed here. She’s come on this preparation and I think she can win from the breeze ... pretty keen to start the night off well.” Young has opted for Cut For An Ace as his best value. “I think Cut For An Ace is racing super and has the gate speed to either lead or put himself in a top spot to get over the top,” he said. “His last run was very strong in FFA company off the pegs and this is a suitable race.” Longshot maestro Pat Harding, yet to tip his once-a-year-winner at cricket score odds, is also a fan of Rockin The Boys. “With another tough night coming up at GP on Friday and very few standouts, I thought punters could get off to a good start in the opening race with Rockin The Boys,” he said. “This mare has quite a bit of good form and Lewis should see her home.” Harding agrees with Manning about the chances of Ona Happy Note. “Not a great deal of form in the fourth, but with barrier three I thought Ona Happy Note might just provide that for punters,” he said. “Michael Grantham takes the drive for trainer Michael Brennan and that combination has had a good deal of success and it's certainly worth a bet.” Last year’s leading tipster Stuart Lowe has gone against some of his colleagues by throwing out Millview Sienna (in the same race as Rockin The Boys) as his best. “My best bet is the former New Zealander Millview Sienna, who has won two of her four WA starts,” Lowe said. “She covered plenty of extra ground, before winning here in 1.56.9, over 1730 at her last start. Drawn to lead and the one to beat.” Lowe likes Rycroft for his value selection. “My value bet is Rycroft, who has not enjoyed much luck at four starts this season and his form is better than it reads,” he said. “Should appreciate barrier two and will go well.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas has labelled Fifth Edition as his best bet. “Eight-year-old Fifth Edition is bursting at the seams to break through for another win and he gets a perfect chance to notch his 15th victory when he starts from the prized No.1 barrier on Friday night,” he said. “He is my star bet on the nine-event program.” Casellas is also keen on Rycroft. “Noted frontrunner Rycroft is my value bet when he takes on quality opposition in Itz Bettor To Win, Mach Time and Bronze Seeker in the Celebrating Melissa Renouf Pace,” he said. “Rycroft, to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko for trainer Mike Reed, is favourably placed at the No.2 barrier and he appeals as the likely pacemaker and gets an ideal chance to end a losing sequence of seven.” Media Guild president Wayne Currall has opted for the Nathan Turvey-trained and reined Livura as his best for the night. “Livura could only manage a third and a sixth at his past two starts, but that was against far superior opposition to what he meets on Friday night,” he said. “Despite starting from outside the front line, Turvey should be able to put his horse into the race at some stage over the longer journey of 2536m and prove the testing material.” Currall likes Rudimental Sol as his value selection. “This bloke has drawn the pole in the last and Dylan Egerton-Green will be attempting an all-the-way victory on the David Thompson-trained gelding,” he said. “Could prove hard to catch in a race where many runners are out of form.” To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Good punting. Wayne Currall

Equine millionaire Mysta Magical Mach, a forgotten harness racing star in recent years, will wind back the clock when he contests the $25,000 Fred Doy Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be the 13-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding’s first appearance for three and a half years. The son of Mach Three will start from the outside barrier in a field of seven and will be the rank outsider. Veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has never lost faith in Mysta Magical Mach, who has been troubled by leg ailments and spent a couple of years in the paddock. “He’s had bad legs, so I gave him a break,” the 71-year-old Svilicich said with a wry grin. “Demoralizer had similar leg problems --- and he kept going. So, I thought that Mysta Magical Mach could do it. I’ve had him back in work for about ten months to strengthen his legs. A horse has to be strong enough in the legs to compete.” Demoralizer was a wonderful money-spinner for Svilicich, retiring with earnings of $358,199 from 26 wins and 49 placings from 186 starts. Mysta Magical Mach, whose most recent appearance was when he finished last behind Im Themightyquinn at Gloucester Park on May 16, 2014. His record stands at 160 starts for 34 wins, 39 seconds and 15 thirds for $1,261,371 in prizemoney. Ben Millen drove Mysta Magical Mach in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when he led early and then took the sit behind the pacemaker Im Batman before fading to seventh and last, 32 metres behind the winner Johnny Disco. The final three sections of the final mile were run in 29.5sec., 28.5sec. and 28.7sec. “No horse could have run those sectional times at his first fast workout after such a long time,” Svilicich said. “And I told Ben not to push him. He could’ve gone quicker. He’ll improve a lot after Friday night’s run. He might run last, but next time he’ll be better and better.” The 30-year-old Millen, a farrier who also works occasionally as the catcher at Gloucester Park meetings, is hoping that Mysta Magical Mach will give him his first Gloucester Park success. “There’s a lot of good horses in Friday night’s race, but Mach will be alright,” Millen said. “He’ll get a lot better.” Mysta Magical Mach has been a wonderful pacer, winning nine group events, including the group 1 WA Pacing Cup. He also finished second in four other group 1 events, the 2012 Interdominion championship, the 2011 Australian Pacing Championship and WA Pacing Cup and the 2008 Golden Nugget. Ken Casellas

Punters will be looking to make a bright start to Friday night’s harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park by supporting Millview Sienna in the opening event, the second heat of the Retravision Preux Chevalier Pace for mares. Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams is confident the sparingly-raced New Zealand-bred five-year-old will prove hard to beat, particularly after she drew favourably at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 2130m event. She has won at two of her first four starts in Western Australia after winning at five of her 24 New Zealand outings. “She goes alright and the draw helps a bit,” said Williams. “She is still learning, but her latest run was good. She’s essentially a sit-and-kick horse, but she seems quite strong and I’d like to say that we’ll jump to the front. I know that Rockin The Boys gets out smartly. However, I’ll leave things to Ryan (Warwick); he can play things by ear.” At her most recent appearance, Millview Sienna began from barrier five and raced three wide early to move into the breeze before surging to the front 300m from home and winning easily from You Bettor Watch Me at a 1.56,9 rate over 1730m. Four-year-old Rockin The Boys, the youngest mare in the race, is in superb form for Hopelands trainer Debra Lewis, with her past eight starts producing five wins and two seconds to improve her career record to 29 starts for nine wins and eight placings for earnings of $50,834. She gave a bold frontrunning display and fought on determinedly to win from Ruling Gold and Abraxas Blues over 2130m last Friday night when she dashed over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.9sec. “This week’s race looks a little bit harder, but she’ll be around the place again,” said reinsman Chris Lewis. “She’s consistent and I expect her to run a nice race.” Williams also has high hopes for New Zealand-bred five-year-old Walkinshaw, who is unbeaten at two West Australian starts. The Mach Three stallion was untroubled to score an easy victory over Lightning Jolt in a C1-C4 event over 2130m on Tuesday evening. He started from barrier seven and dashed to the front after 400m and sprinted over the final 400m in 27.8sec. That was his eighth win from 39 starts. “We put our toe in the water and nominated him for the Inter Dominion championship,” Williams said. “In fairness to the horse, he probably needs this preparation and then a break. And then, hopefully, he comes back and turns into a nice horse. At the moment, we’re just happy with the way he’s going.” Ken Casellas

Riverina harness racing driver Cameron Hart drove 50 winners during the 2016/17 season and subsequently has been nominated for this year's Daily Form Service Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award. Hart started his driving career on a winning note in April 2016 and last season was honoured for his efforts when asked to represent the Riverina in the New South Wales Rising Stars Series. Alongside Hart in this year's nominees for the Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award is fellow Riverina reinsman Peter McRae who also represented his region in the Rising Stars Series. McRae steered 26 winners last season and drove a winner during the Rising Stars Series and finished third overall. Meanwhile, fellow drivers that competed in this year's Rising Stars Series and also nominated for the Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award are Brad Elder, Madi Young and McKayler Barnes. Brad Elder, had a memorable 2016/17 season driving 55 winners which included his first Group winner. Madi Young from Worrigee also has her best season to date, travelling throughout state and landing 19 winners while also being an ambassador for Team Teal. Bathurst based driver McKayler Barnes tripled her previous best season during 2016/17 driving 15 winners. The recipient of this Award will be given a travel scholarship to New Zealand where they will spend two weeks learning from leading trainers and drivers. Nominees for the 2016/17 Daily Form Service Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award are: Brad Elder Cameron Hart Madi Young McKayler Barnes Peter McRae Harness Racing New South Wales would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the nominees and look forward to the Award announcement on Saturday October 28 at the Hilton Sydney Grand Ballroom. For tickets to the event please contact Kate Dumesny at kdumesny@hrnsw.com.au or (02) 9722 6672. AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Young reinsman Will Rixon is the only male harness racing driver nominated for this year’s Lexus Of Parramatta Metropolitan Junior Driver Encouragement Award. Will only began driving in January this year and has already steered 35 winners. His older sister Ellen Rixon has also been nominated for this same award which will be announced at the Arthur J. Gallagher Industry Awards Night at the Hilton Sydney on October 28. Ellen began her driving career two years earlier than her brother and last season experienced her best results yet driving 44 winners and also taking out the New South Wales Rising Stars Series. Meanwhile, 2017 Rising Stars runner up, Stephanie Lippiatt, has also been nominated for this award. Stephanie is also fresh from having her best season in the sulky after driving 15 winners during the 2016/17 term. And the same can be said for fellow nominee Brooke Wilkins who drive six winners last season and also trained two winners. Riverstone reinswoman Katie McGill is also nominated for this award and she also drove six winners last term which was her best season to date. The recipient of this Award will be given a travel scholarship to New Zealand where they will spend two weeks learning from leading trainers and drivers. Nominees for the 2016/17 Lexus Of Parramatta Metropolitan Junior Driver Encouragement Award are: Brooke Wilkins Ellen Rixon Katie McGill Stephanie Lippiatt Will Rixon Harness Racing New South Wales would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the nominees and look forward to the Award announcement on Saturday October 28 at the Hilton Sydney Grand Ballroom. For tickets to the event please contact Kate Dumesny at kdumesny@hrnsw.com.au or (02) 9722 6672. Amanda Rando

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will become the first harness racing jurisdiction in Australia to implement a minimum bet policy with approved Wagering Service Providers (WSPs). Effective 1 January, 2018, WSPs will be required to: Accept a fixed odds win bet at odds which are publicly displayed by the WSP for Victorian harness race to stand to lose a maximum amount of $1000 for Victorian metropolitan meetings (Friday, Saturday or Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton) Accept a fixed odds win bet at odds which are publicly displayed by the WSP for Victorian harness race to stand to lose a maximum amount of $500 for Victorian country meetings Publish fixed odds on Victorian harness racing fields no later than one (1) hour prior to each applicable race HRV will implement a formal online complaint process for customers who believe a wagering operator has wrongfully refused their bet or excluded them in contravention of the minimum limit conditions. Quotes attributable to HRV CEO David Martin “I’m pleased to announce these significant wagering changes, which will enable harness punters to get on for a fair amount with authorised Wagering Service Providers in Victoria.” “This minimum bet policy and the recent $3.1m Integrity funding announcement, together with an increase in race numbers all give punters greater confidence in Victorian trots.” “It’s positive news for all Victorian harness racing industry participants, as wagering revenue helps drive investment across all areas of the sport.” Trots Media

Harness Racing fans have put forward their nominations and from this five drives in New South Wales in the 2016/17 season have been selected for the TAB Kevin Newman Award For Driving Excellence. The winner of this inaugural award will be announced at the Arthur J. Gallagher Harness Racing NSW Awards Night on October 28 at the Hilton Sydney. And those that vote for the winner go into the draw to win a $2000 Tabcorp account. The five drives in question are: Geoff Simpson – ‘Early move secures the win’ – CASTALONG SHADOW (Bathurst 25/03/17 – No.6) WATCH REPLAY   Brad Elder – ‘Patience pays off’ – DAYS END (Newcastle 6/05/17 – No.9) WATCH REPLAY   Darren Hancock – ‘Weaving magic in the shadows of the post’ – DON KEE (Menangle 20/02/17 – No.4) WATCH REPLAY Chris Geary – ‘The last stride’ – THE SYSTEM STRIDE (Penrith 8/12/16 – No.3) WATCH REPLAY   Ray Walker – ‘Early tactics pays dividends’ – OUR RED JACK (Wagga 25/7/17 – No.7) WATCH REPLAY To vote go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MZVK8NQ Voting closes on Wednesday October 18 at 5pm. Harness Racing New South Wales

Harness racing driver Chris Alford’s first Group 1 success came in the sulky behind Golden Reign (pictured) in the 1993 Victoria Derby. That superstar would go on to provide “the Puppet” with Treuer Memorial and Tasmanian Pacing Championship success in 1994 and a South Australian Cup win in 1995. Also in ’95, Golden Reign and Alford would combine for what to this day Alford says is his greatest thrill in the sport – his first Inter Dominion Pacing Championship success in 1995 at Christchurch in New Zealand. Today though, we’re rewinding to Moonee Valley on Saturday the 4th of February in the summer of ’95, when Golden Reign as favourite held out another Grand Circuit superstar in Master Musician to win the Healthy Diet Try It Victoria Cup over 2380m. VIDEO: RE-LIVE GOLDEN REIGN'S VIC CUP GLORY It was a night which opened with Kenkara successful for Don Dove and finished with Damian Wilson combining with trainer Tom Kett to win the last, the Pacers Handicap, at 33-1! Other winners on the night were the talented Lucky Camilla for Grant Campbell and Mick Carroll as a 1/5 shot, Rookies Boy at any old odds in the trot for Graham Lee, Late Bid (another gun) in the Caduceus Club 3YO Cup for Peter Walsh, Dark Paul for Andrew Peace in the Vic Cup Consolation over odds-on pop Liberty Jay Jay, New York Jet for Joe and Peter Cavallaro and the mighty Pride Of Petite for Barry and Mark Purdon in the Trotters Sprint over a mile. But it was the night’s feature show that goes down as one of the great Victoria Cups, Alford, Alexander and Golden Reign delivering a stellar performance to hold off a brave Master Musician, and an even braver Sinbad Bay in third for Stephen Dove – when you consider Sinbad Bay was 11 years old and had the won the Vic Cup in both 1989 and 1999. He had returned from injury and rattled home. From a back-row draw, Golden Reign (10/9 favourite) balanced up midfield in the early stages. Alford commenced his move at about the 1800m, when Golden Reign loomed to the chair outside stablemate Knight Rainbow (John Caldow) before heading him off. Once Golden Reign found the front, Robert Dunn launched aboard Master Musician, and at the bell Dunn and the Musician audaciously tackled for the lead. While it wasn’t there, this last lap wasn’t simply going to be on Golden Reign’s terms, and it was game-on. The two lead combatants staged a battle royal, neither relenting an inch. But there had to be a winner. Golden Reign booted a length clear at the top of the home straight, but like any Musician worth his salt, the Master still had an encore. With Dunn driving hard, Master Musician found another gear and started eating into Golden Reign’s margin once again. At the line, they’d closed the gap to just a neck. Brave, but not brave enough. Alford’s excitement was clear as he crossed the finish post – a Golden moment for connections as their champion Reigned supreme. Twenty-one years later Alford would add a second Victoria Cup to his trophy cabinet thanks to modern-day superstar Lennytheshark. This Saturday night he and Lenny will again team up as a commanding favourite, Alford out to become a three-time Vic Cup winner, which would draw him closer to clubhouse leaders Vin Knight (five-time winner of the great race) and Brian Gath (four Vic Cup triumphs). Book your dining package at this year's Allied Express Victoria Cup Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)