Day At The Track

Next months Devonport Pacing Cup is on the radar for Ideal World after he scored a six-metre win in the Good Sports North Eastern Pacing Cup at Scottsdale yesterday. Trained in South Australia by Aaron Bain, the seven-year-old gelded son of American Ideal has called Tasmania home for the past month, and was well driven by Mark Yole in last nights $12,000 feature. Sent out as the $2.70 second elect in the market, Yole was able to settle close to the speed in the 2692 metre event. “He lobbed handy early, El Jays Mystery was looking for a bit of cover so I worked around her and got it easy during the middle stages,” said winning driver Mark Yole who was happy to race outside the leader on the rain-affected track. “I think that was key, it looked really hard to make ground all day,” added the driver. The heavy track was also reflected in the mile rate of 2m 10.7s, the slowest mile rate recorded in the race since Tyne Playboy scored in 2m 11.6s in 2000. Ideal World was sent to the state to contest last months Tassie Golden Apple series where he finished second in the final behind Ryley Major before running down the track in the Meander Valley Cup at Carrick Park on 29 December, and the plain is for the pacer to tackle another Tasmanian feature race. “Talking with Aaron (Bain) after the race he plans to race him in Devonport next Sunday and then press on to the Devonport Cup next month and he will assess things from there,” said Yole. The $30,000 Devonport Pacing Cup will be held on 2 February. Yole was the standout driver on the card with a driving treble. He scored in the Enzed Pace with Oneofthelads who is trained by his brother Ben. “He was very well placed, I was really happy with his run in Launceston last week and he was able to just miss all the carnage early in the race,” said Mark who also scored on Stylish Trend in the Lords Hotel Pace. “The key to him was his good standing start manners on the tight track, his trial last Monday suggested he was starting to find some of his better form,” explained the driver. Some much-needed rain fell throughout the meeting with Yole full of praise for the officials to get through the entire seven-race card. “It was a credit to all to get through the meeting with the heavy rain that fell in the region,” he said.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

A revitalized Kima Frenning was wearing a bigger smile than usual after winning the feature event at this week's Swan Hill harness racing meeting, the Kiel Tiling 2020 Blue Pearl Classic. The champion reinswoman has just returned to Australia after a two-week holiday back home in Sweden and said she was thrilled to win the female-drivers' race. "I've driven in this race once previously and I haven't happy memories because I got suspended for three weeks for an unacceptable drive," Frenning said "So, I suppose I could look at this result as a little bit of sweet revenge!" she laughed. Frenning combined with all-conquering Ballarat trainer Emma Stewart to win with three-year-old filly Shesskylah (Alta Christiano-Yeronga Songbird (Classic Garry). The annual Blue Pearl Classic was being held for the fourth time by the Swan Hill club, and aims to highlight the contributions of reinswomen in the sport. The $9000 race also carries a $1000 blue pearl necklace for the successful driver and an inscribed rug for the winning owner. Ellen Tormey on Ajay Breezy Rose was the pilot after beginning fast off the gate. Frenning landed one-one into the first turn, then got shuffled back one spot when Bec Bartley worked Rockon Locksley around to the death-seat. Travelling down the back for the final time, Frenning made her move on Shesskylah and rounded them up quickly to get outside the leader in the blink of an eye. She slipped into overdrive up the straight-the last half being run in a sizzling 55 secs flat. The classy filly has now had four starts for four impressive wins for Stewart. Blue Pearl race drivers: Stacey Towers, Ellen Tormey, Kerryn Manning, Tina Ridis, Jackie Barker, sponsor Tony Kiel, Kima Frenning, Katrina Cain and Rebecca Bartley (Photograph: Brook Shaune-Bould) The win was the first leg of a winning treble for the Frenning-Stewart combination at Swan Hill. The others were Like A Wildfire (Big Jim-I'm Against The Wind (D M Dillinger) and Minuscule (Bettors Delight-Our Petite Soeur (Grinfromeartoear). "It's always a pleasure to drive for Emma. Her horses are so well prepared, and they really make you look good-it's a bit hard to muck up on them," she said. "I just point them in the right direction, and they do the rest!" Frenning said she had regained her keenness after a short holiday. "I was getting a little tired and needed a good break. I didn't even wander down to the horse stables or do anything like that while I was home," she said. "I just relaxed and probably ate too much. But I caught up with family and friends and it was special to see my grandmother because she's 93 and my last visit home was in mid-2018." Frenning said she was excited to get the three wins at Swan Hill after "not doing much good" at her return to driving a few days earlier at Cobram Cup day. The gifted horsewoman has driven over 60 winners for the season-10 of these being at city meetings. She has recently lost her junior concession claim, but is hoping to still get the support of owners and trainers. "I just love it, and I'll make sure I am doing my best with the opportunities I get," she said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North American every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound.   Bendigo Cup winner’s family background   The Terang horse Code Bailey, the track record-breaking winner of the Group 2 $70,000 Garrard’s Horse & Hound Bendigo Pacing Cup, is a member of New Zealand’s top ranking standardbred families.   To watch the video replay click on this link.   Code Bailey, who has won 16 races and $169,585 in stakes, is a five-year-old entire by the In The Pocket horse Christian Cullen, a legendary pacer who topped the sire’s list in both Australia and NZ.   Taffeta Bromac, the dam of Code Bailey, was by the American import Badlands Hanover, from Trapiche, by Pacific Rocket from the Noodlum mare Burgundy Lass, dam of the dual NZ Cup winner, Horse of the Year and successful colonial sire Il Vicolo.   The winner of three races, Taffeta Bromac also ranks as the dam of the Gloucester Park winner Trust My Judgement 1:58 ($95,650 to date). Burgundy Lass founded a most successful branch of the Regina family. She was the grand- dam of Stunin Cullen ($1.3million), Gotta Go Cullen ($1.1million) and Coburg, all Group 1 winners, and the third dam of the Caduceus Club Classic winner Veste (dam of recent 2YO winner It’s All About Faith), Match Point 1:51.6 ($194,501) and The Culture (1:51.6).   Our Triple Play, a multiple Group winner in NSW, is also a member of this fine family.     Brother to Smolda   Scorcha, a three-year-old brother to the Inter Dominion champion and A. G. Hunter Cup winner Smolda, made an auspicious debut at the Cobram Cup meeting.     Forced to sit parked from the outset, the gelding careered away in the closing stages to score by 11 metres in a 1:57.8 rating over 1670 metres. Bred and raced by Paul Blackshaw, of Wangaratta, Scorcha is a gelding by Courage Under Fire out of Under The Mattress (1:58), a capable racemare by Safely Kept from Lotsa Wealth, by Entrepreneur from the Golden Wealth mare Tara Wealth.   Under The Mattress, who won 17 races and earned $105,711, ranked as a half-sister to seven winners including the Tasmanian Derby winner Ginger Bliss 1:53.7 ($191,917), her dam, Lotsa Wealth, being a half-sister to the Gloucester Park winner Balthazar.     Won Simpson Memorial   Winner of the Paleface Adios Classic as a two-year-old last season, Governor Jujon downed the top three-year-olds in the Group 2 $50,000 Simpson Memorial at Menangle on Monday.   Governor Jujon pictured in a previous win                       --Dan Costello photo   Governor Jujon has been sparingly raced but has proved himself a young pacer of great ability. By Cammibest, who stands at Burwood Stud in Queensland who bred the Simpson winner, Governor Jujon is out of a capable racemare in Fifth And Broadway (1:56.7), by Western Terror from the Muckalee Strike mare Broadway Gal, who left a string of classic winners including the Victoria Oaks winner and dual Sires Stakes champion Broadway’s Best ($643,091).     A Star from top WA mare   One of the most consistent mares in Victoria so far this season is All Starzzz Megan, who downed a handy field in the Graham Goffin Memorial at Melton.   All Starzzz Megan                                                         --Ararat Harness Racing photo   An eight-year-old mare by Four Starzzz Shark, she is out of a top flight WA racemare in Lady De Beau and the second of her produce to race. Lady De Beau, who totted up 15 wins and $206,097, was by Million To One from Perfect Lass, by Cadillac from the El Patron mare Imapet, and tracing to a noted foundation mare in Free Advice, ancestress of horses the calibre of Welcome Advice, Rip Van Winkle, Dale Spring and Allwood’s Chief.     Half-brothers win at Penrith   It was no mean feat for the half-brothers Chewalla (by American Ideal) and Tupelo Beach (by Somebeachsomewhere) to win consecutive races at Penrith recently.   Both were bred and are raced by American cousins Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks and are trained by Kevin Pizzuto.   My Tupelo Honey (1:59.8), the dam of Chewalla and Tupelo Beach, was out of a champion racemare in Tupelo Rose, who took a record of 1:51.4, earned $879,867 and won 35 races including a record four Oaks classics. Besides My Tupelo Honey, she was also the dam of Willy Mucha 1:50.2 ($390,400), the Addington winner Tupelo Mississippi and the three year-old Gracelands Rose, who qualified in September.   Two of Tupelo Rose’s daughters, Kiwi Rose and Capelo Rose, bred on with marked successes. Kiwi Rose left the Tasmanian Derby and Terang Cup winner Maraetai 1:52.3 ($157,710) and the Melton and Albion Park victor Glenferrie Boss 1:53.6 ($87,740), while Capelo Rose is the dam of the Ontario Sire Stakes champions Machapelo 1:51.4 ($653,082) and Capela 1:52.8 ($254,115) and the Little Brown Jug heat winner Resistance Futile 1:49.2 ($402,109).   Other members of this family have been The Tupelo Flash 1:52.2 ($169,800), Our Ideal Act (Northam Cup) and Mayhem Seelster 1:51.6 ($300,709).     Group winner from top American family   Our Millionaire, who has won seven races in quick time this season, and has graduated to a NR 85 mark, is regarded as one of the best young pacers in the country. He notched his sixth win on end when he outclassed a smart lineup in the Group 3 $30,000 Metropolitan Pace Final at Melton last Saturday.   Our Millionaire                                                          --Stuart McCormick photo   Our Millionaire has an all-American breeding background and one which has been most successful. By the Little Brown Jug winner Million Dollar Cam (son of Cam’s Card Shark), he is out of the Western Ideal mare Rarified Air, who was unraced and first bred from in America.   Rarified Air, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, was out of the studbook gem Rich N Elegant, by Direct Scooter from Proven Perfect, by Abercrombie from the Shadow Wave mare Shifting Sands, who founded a noted branch of the Golden Miss family.   Rich N Elegant was the dam of seven classic winners, five successful siring sons and the winners of around $6 million including Rocknroll Hanover, Royalflush Hanover and Red River Hanover.     Noted family of trotters   Mr Sundon, who won the $50,000 Trotters Cup at Gloucester Park in track record time and has now won his last three races, is a six-year-old gelding expected to graduate far beyond his present rating.   A member of Ross Olivieri’s Oakford team, he has a good deal more in his favour on the score of blood than most. By Sundon, the leading sire on both sides of the Tasman for over a decade, Mr Sundon is out of the Gee Whiz II mare Geena Hest, a capable racemare who is proving a very successful broodmare.   Besides Mr Sundon, she is also the dam of The Redwood winner Maidstone Miss, Countessa Hest Tr 2:01.5 ($137,858), Dreamit (Tr 2:00.8), Geena’s Success (Tr 1:59.6) and the Pine Chip mare Anreca Hest, dam of the NZ Trotting Stakes and Inter Dominion heat winner The Fiery Ginga Tr 2:00.1 ($397,927).   Another daughter, Rosedorae, is the dam of the talented Victorian square-gaiter BD Khaosan Tr 2:01.2 (11 wins and $93,238 to date).   Mr Sundon is the tenth and last foal of Geena Hest. By the Speedy Crown horse Gee Whiz II, Geena Hest was out of Lisa Hest (Tr 2:03.7), by Count Bay from Den Hest (4 wins), by Johnny Globe from Mocassin, the dam of the Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final winner Stylish Major and his full brother, the ID Consolation winner Le Chant.       Tasmanian yearling sale on February 15   The 2020 Tasmanian Harness Yearling Sale will be held at Carrick Park, near Launceston, on Saturday, February 15. The sale has attracted 21 entries from many of the State’s leading breeders.   The on-line catalogue can be viewed at tasracingcorporate.com.au Hard copy cataloguesare available from all tracks.     First winner by trotting sire   The Sundon horse, Red Samurai, a cups winning trotter and who stood stud in Victoria, was represented by his first winner when Peachee was successful at Pinjarra (WA).   Peachee has been placed twice from six starts as a three-year-old last season. Raced and trained by his breeder, Nigel Johns, Peachee is out of the Continentalman mare Continentalcastleton (Tr 2:06.1), whose dam, Gee Castleton was by Gee Whiz II from the Tarport Coulter mare Margaret Castleton, who left several useful winners including a Free-For-All trotter in Boy Castleton, who won in 2:00 in America.       Art Meeker’s death   One of Tasmania’s best known standardbred veterinarians and studmasters, Dr Art Meeker, of Hobart, died last Saturday as a result of an injury sustained in a fall aged 79. Meeker, an American native, conducted the Neptune Stud for almost 20 years.   The stud stood the imported stallions Holly Sand, Scotch Luck and Duke Duane, who sired more than 360 winners between them and made a substantial mark on Tasmanian breeding and racing.   When Neptune Stud closed down in 1990, he established a mobile veterinary clinic, making up to 20 visits in a day in southern Tasmania. Meeker was recognised for his services to the industry by being awarded the Edgar Tatlow Medal in 2015.     USA Dan Patch Award winners   The divisional winners for the 2019 Dan Patch Awards were announced recently. The winners were: 2YO Colt/Gelding: Tall Dark Stranger (Bettor’s Delight-Precocious Beauty-Art Major) 2YO Filly: Lyons Sentinel (Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover-Western Ideal) 3YO Colt/Gelding: Bettor’s Wish (Bettor’s Delight-Lifetime Star-Western Ideal) 3YO Filly: Warrawee Ubeaut (Sweet Lou-Great Memories-Apache’s Fame) Aged Horse/Gelding: McWicked (McArdle-Western Sahara-Western Ideal) Aged Mare: Shartin N (Tintin In America-Bagdarin-Live Or Die) 2YO Trotting Colt/Gelding: Real Cool Sam (Muscle Hill-Cooler Schooner-Broadway Hall) 2YO Trotting Filly: Ramona Hill (Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy-Lucky Chucky) 3YO Trotting Colt/Gelding: Greenshoe (Father Patrick-Designed To Be-Donato Hanover) 3YO Trotting Filly: When Dovescry (Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove-Andover Hall) Aged Trotting Horse/Gelding: Six Pack (Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady-Cantab Hall) Aged Trotting Mare: Atlanta (Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip-Cantab Hall)     by Peter Wharton

After nearly 30 years at the echelon of harness racing Down Under, you'd be forgiven for thinking Menangle trainer Tim Butt's passion might be a little dulled. But nothing could be further from the truth -he's bubbling with anticipation as he finalises plans for a trip to France later this month on a mission to find Australasia's next boom trotter. Butt already has a cornerstone investor on-board with his plan to source an elite French stallion to race and then stand at stud in Australasia, but he's excited that smaller shares still available could possibly bring serious new investors into the sport he loves. "I've never really thought about doing anything other than harness racing. My parents did it, and my grandparents on both sides of the family were in harness racing, so I've just always loved going to the races and wanted to be good at it," Butt said. "I love the sport and the competitiveness, but for me, it's the challenge of finding that next top-liner. Having a good horse and winning the big races drives me and keeps me excited for what's ahead," he said. "I'm heading to France to look at the best trotting stallions in the world and that's exciting for me, but also an opportunity for investors who want to be part of it." Butt is unrivalled in the Southern Hemisphere for his Group One success - he's won more than 90 Group Ones, including the Miracle Mile, InterDominion Pacers and Trotters final (4), NZ cup (2), Auckland Cup (2), Hunter Cup (2), Dominion Handicap (8) and the list goes on. "We don't have a big team - we aim for quality and hold our numbers at about 24 so we can aim primarily at those big races," Butt said. "That's what our goal is in France. To identify the best modern bred trotting stallion we can afford, race him down here in those good races, with the goal of setting him up for a stud career. So for the people who come on board it's a long-term investment and we're hoping a profitable one." The idea for sourcing Northern Hemisphere trotting blood began when the Butts campaigned with their champion trotter Lyell Creek during their early 2000s. "Lyell Creek was no doubt the best horse I've been associated with - he was brilliant," Butt said. "But this idea really stemmed from when we took him to the Elitloppet in Sweden and it was clear to me just how far ahead of us their trotters were," he said. "We've previously brought three European horses to race down here, in Peak (Denmark), Kvintet Avenger (Finland) and Daryl Boko (Finland) and they had two group one wins and a placing between them. We also brought out Mr Feelgood from America, who was probably the most successful pacer to come out from the States, so I know the qualities I'm looking for," he said. "I've done a lot of homework and have a good relationship with (premiere French horseman and trainer, and owner of Love You) Jean-Pierre Dubois' son Jean Dubois, who is now a gallops trainer out here, at Mittagong. "I've spent a fair bit of time with him talking about my ideas and going through catalogues and we've identified some good options - it's just a case of being able to afford the one you want, taking into account the exchange rates." The Butt team also has a profile in Europe through their hosting of a number of young Swedish horsemen and women to work in Australia. Butt is joining a La Trot (French trotting authority) sponsored tour of about 25 potential buyers and investors being organised by Harness Racing Australia. The week-long tour leaves on January 23 and will be based in the horse-racing region of Normandy. The key focus for Butt will be horse auctions during the initial days of the tour, including broodmare, ready to run, yearling and stallion shares. But the tour will also take in key racing and breeding establishments in Normandy - studs including Le Haras du Pin, the Haras de Sassy training centre, Ecurie Guarato training centre (home of Bald Eagle) and the property of Jean Pierre Debois to view renowned stallion Love You. The tour will also visit the historic Grosbois training centre, on the outskirts of Paris - a harness racing community that includes a castle, trotting museum and 1500 horses in training, utilising numerous straight, forest and qualifying tracks, a restaurant, cinema and veterinary clinic. HRA delegates are also presenting at the Stallions Exhibition, an industry trade fair that is a fixture on the French racing calendar and will be showcasing the innovative Australian BestSeat 360 concept - immersive technology that provides interactive driver's-eye view of the racing action.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

IT is looking likely the two stars of tomorrow’s (Friday) Group 1 Fremantle Cup won’t make the race. NSW-trained pair My Field Marshal, the defending champion, and in-form Alta Orlando are still stranded in Victoria. A string of planned flights have been scrapped and the last hope is a midnight flight tonight (Thursday) from Melbourne to Perth, but that’s far from a lock. “I’m told it’s 50/50, but I think that’s even being optimistic,” Alta Orlando’s co-trainer and driver Luke McCarthy said. “They were supposed to go across Monday and they’re still here. I think it’s had something to do with the smoke and the fires.” Both McCarthy and My Field Marshal’s trainer Tim Butt aren’t fussed by such a late flight, if it eventuates. But, if they don’t get across tonight, it’s likely only My Field Marshal will still go to Perth for next week’s Group 1 WA Pacing Cup. “Tim’s still going if we don’t get to the Freo Cup, but I’m leaning towards staying here and taking him (Alta Orlando) to the Ballarat Cup on his way to the Hunter Cup,” McCarthy said. “The problem is if we nominated for the WA Cup and don’t get there for some reason, we can’t run at Ballarat instead. We have to make a choice.” Making matters worse is good barriers for the star pair has them heading the market. My Field Marshal is $2.80 favourite from gate four with Alta Orlando at $4.40 second elect from gate five. ________________________________________________________________________________ VICTORIA Cup winner Bling It On is back on song after his failed Auckland Inter Dominion raid. Luke McCarthy said his stable star worked superbly in a private hitout at Menangle during the week. “He’s flying and could’ve run at Menangle this weekend, but I’ll take him to the Goulburn Cup (Sunday week) instead because it’s a random draw,” he said. “It’s then two week’s from that straight into the Hunter Cup.” McCarthy said he could have as many as three Hunter Cup runners. “Bling and Alta (Orlando) are headed there and if King Of Swing wins well for us at his first run for us (Menangle, Saturday night), then we’d consider taking him down as well,” he said. “Cash N Flow is another good enough, but the 2760m doesn’t suit him as well, so we’ll keep him at home for the mile racing at Menangle.”   Adam Hamilton

How much yeast is in the rise and rise of Lochinvar Art will get a thorough examination this Saturday night when David Moran's four-year-old faces a deep and talented field in the coveted Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup. Enlisted a $2.30 favourite by TAB.com.au at opening, which has since shortened to $2, there is plenty of support for the Group 1 winner to secure a second Trots Country Cup in six days, having zipped past Sicario to win Sunday's crown at Cobram. While Moran admits Saturday night's star-studded cup field presents a greater challenge, he told Trots Talk Lochinvar Art should only be stronger second-up. "We thought he'd go extremely well (at Cobram), but there's always a little bit of the unknown when you go into a 2600-metre race first up," Moran said. "We seemed to have him forward enough to get the job done there and he should be a lot better this week. I know it sounds funny off a six-day back up, but it's amazing how the horse handles himself the following week, race-to-race. He's just always better again the next week." Moran said it could be "tricky" transitioning to open age racing, but that Lochinvar Art was well placed after a testing three-year-old season when he raced over varying distances and against quality competition, meaning he entered 2019-20 "reasonably well seasoned". That will be put to the test from 9.35pm on Saturday when he steps out in the $60,000 Group 2 Cup. "I don't expect him to be too dominant and I don't think he should be too short-priced a favourite, but I think he will acquit himself well and it will just depend on what happens throughout the run," Moran said. "San Carlo and Our Uncle Sam and My Kiwi Mate, those sorts of horses are pretty well seasoned, and then you've got Code Black and Phoenix Prince, who are going really well at the moment." The hit-out will give a valuable insight into what lies ahead for Lochinvar Art, with the riches of the TAB Summer Of Glory to get underway with the January 18 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. Among the lures is the Alabar 4YO Bonanza, a $100,000 Group 1 at Tabcorp Park Melton on January 25, but Moran said he would tread a cautious path through the summer. "The horse will tell me how he's going, we will get through this week and see how he backs up racing week-to-week in the open grade," he said. "We are up in the air with the Bonanza, I think it will be an extremely strong race and we don't want to cook him too early." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN IN TO TROTS TALK:     Michael Howard   HRV Trots Media 

Punters, take heed! Jump on polemarker Braeview Bondi to open his winning account at Gloucester Park when he steps out in race seven at headquarters on Friday night. Gary Hall Jr jumps in the bike behind the Michael Brennan-trained five-year-old gelding and the champion reinsman looks certain to bid for an all-the-way victory. Braeview Bondi is a unanimous selection from WA Trotting Media Guild members, with The West Australian’s Ernie Manning, TABradio’s form analyst Hayden King and TABradio’s racecaller Matt Young all banking on the bay as their best bet on Group 1 $300,000 Fremantle Cup night. “Braeview Bondi should be hard to beat with the advantage of barrier one after he started from gate seven, faced the breeze and finished a close second on New Year’s Eve,” Manning said. ”He has run Gloucester Park seconds in three of his past five starts and is due to open a winning account at the track.” King agrees. “Braeview Bondi has been racing superbly and now gets his chance to lead,” King said. ”I would be very disappointed if he didn't win.” Young rounds out the trio of support. “Braeview Bondi has come up with the prized pole position and over the 2536m he should lead, roll along and win with a leg in the air,” Young said. Guild president Wayne Currall thinks punters can bank on Its Rock And Roll in the opening event. “Colin Brown should have this bloke primed to produce his best against a moderate line-up,” Currall said. “Its Rock And Roll hasn’t been at his dominant best this season, but he loves to roll along in front and will definitely give them something to catch. Can act as a banker for all-ups.” Longshot guru Pat Harding and The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft are in star mare Our Alfie Romeo’s corner. “My best bet of the night comes up in race nine with No. 3 Our Alfie Romeo,” Harding said. “While she was a little disappointing last week, I think she can bounce back for a good win. With only a small field of eight, I think she can bring some joy to punters.“ Havercroft agrees. “Our Alfie Romeo suffered a gear failure at her last outing, a close-up fifth when breezing on New Year’s,” Havercroft said. “She might have to work to get the top here with Talkerup drawn the inside, but her consistent recent form suggests she can still win from the breeze.” Radio Great Southern’s form expert Warren Wishart has nominated Pick My Pocket as his best. “My best bet is in race eight with No. 3 Pick My Pocket,” Wishart said. “This looks a good race for her. I thought her last run was very good against the males, so back to a conditioned mares race she looks well placed.” Veteran trotting man Ken Casellas is keen on Anime in the sixth. “Honest seven-year-old Anime has managed just one win from his past 25 starts and two wins from his past 50 starts, but he is my best bet on Friday night,” Casellas said. “Shannon Suvaljko should have the Phil Costello-trained gelding dictating terms in front or in a commanding position close to the leaders and he should fight out the finish.” VALUE BETS ERNIE: Back To The Beach has been beaten at his past 10 starts, but a second placing last Friday night indicated he is near form which has won him eight Gloucester Park races. Barrier nine is likely to ensure he starts at value prices. HAYDEN: Crocodile Kid could be at OK odds from the inside of the second row. He is a powerful sit-sprinter who can run over the top late. MATT: Theo Aviator wasn’t a bad effort last run and this race looks hot early. Could suit him coming down in grade slightly. WAYNE: Marquisard, a 40/1 winner at headquarters two starts ago, looks set to receive all the favours behind likely leader Courage Tells in the third. Can surprise in an open race. PAT: My value bet of the night comes up in the main race, the Fremantle Cup. While My Field Marshall will be all the rage, I have a feeling that the Gary Hall-trained Caviar Star from barrier three might just pop up.  Certainly I believe he’s a good each-way bet. RYAN: Courage Tells grows a leg from this draw and won when last drawing the pole here over this trip. That was a while ago, but history doesn’t lie. WARREN: Crocodile Kid’s recent form is strong and this looks a weaker race to what he has been competing against in recent runs. With nothing drawn to his outside, he has options and the indicative price of $5 looks great each-way value. KEN: For value, I suggest Gee Jay Kay, who looms as a major player in race three in which he will start from barrier two on the back line. He had little luck last Friday night when hampered for room in the final lap when seventh behind Hy Leexciting. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here.   Wayne Currall

Gloucester Park Harness Racing vice-president Kevin Jeavons is a realist, but he has high expectations that Shockwave has the ability to buck considerable odds and win the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Jeavons, who races Shockwave in partnership with his son Kyle and Howard King, is hoping the stallion will become only the fifth four-year-old to win the prestigious Group 1 feature event in the 90-year history of the race. And he is also looking for Shockwave to break the stranglehold of New Zealand-bred pacers who have won 13 of the past 14 and 17 of the past 19 Fremantle Cups. Shockwave, bred by Kevin and Annette Charles and sold for $46,000 as a yearling, is one of three West Australian-bred pacers in the field for the 2536m Cup, the others being Handsandwheels and Vultan Tin. The only WA-bred pacer to have won the Fremantle Cup in the past quarter of a century is David Hercules, who led and beat Northview Punter in January 2015. “Whether a four-year-old can measure up and beat his more experienced rivals, that’s the question,” said Jeavons after Shockwave had drawn favourably at barrier No. 2 on the front line. “But I think he’s up to them; I wouldn’t start him if I didn’t think he was on the way up.” Shockwave, trained by Ryan Bell, will be driven by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, who has won the Fremantle Cup a record eight times scoring with The Falcon Strike (2002 and 2003), Im Themightyquinn (2009-10-11), Im Victorious (2014), Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017). The Falcon Strike, Im Themightyquinn, Beaudiene Boaz and Chicago Bull are the only four-year-olds to have won the Fremantle Cup. Regarding tactics, Jeavons said he would leave Hall with making the decisions. “I think we’ll leave it to Gary to plan his tactics after seeing what eventuates out of the gate,” he said. “Gary has driven Shockwave eight times as a three-year-old for four wins and two thirds. Twice he led (from barrier five) and won (beating Eloquent Mach and Gee Jay Kay over 1730m and beating Robbie Easton and Eloquent Mach over 2130m). So, there’s nothing wrong with leading.” Shockwave has thrived since he stormed home from 11th at the bell to snatch a head victory over the pacemaker Patrickthepiranha in the 2536m $200,000 Golden Nugget four Fridays ago. He then impressed greatly in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week when he trailed the pacemaker Mighty Conqueror, surged to the front 420m from home and won by 2m from his talented rival after a scorching final 400m in 25.8sec. “We were hoping for a good, solid trial, like a race,” Jeavons explained. “And as it turned out, Shockwave and Mighty Conqueror had a good battle and they ran good time.” The toughest opponents to Shockwave loom large as the New Zealand-bred New South Wales performers My Field Marshal and Alta Orlando and the brilliant WA pacer Galactic Star, one of four runners from the outstanding Forrestdale training establishment of leading WA trainers Greg and Skye Bond. Galactic Star, to be driven by WA’s leading reinsman Ryan Warwick from barrier No. 10 (inside of the back line), is in peak form and gave a superb performance in the 1730m Village Kid Sprint last Friday week when he started from the outside of the back line, was seventh at the bell and unleashed a withering finishing burst, out five wide on the home turn, to be an eye-catching third behind stablemate Vampiro and the pacemaker Herrick Roosevelt. Two starts before that, Galactic Star raced in the breeze for 1150m before taking the lead in the home straight and winning from Vultan Tin and Ana Malak. Galactic Star, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, has amassed $488,947 in stakes from 26 wins (four in New Zealand, two in New South Wales, one in Victoria and 19 from 46 starts in WA). He also started from the inside of the back line in last year’s Fremantle Cup when Warwick got him off the pegs immediately after the start. He then raced in eighth position before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst to finish a half-length second to My Field Marshal.  Skye Bond was eloquent in her succinct appraisal of Galactic Star’s prospects on Friday night, saying: “He has proven himself at this level and all his runs back (after a spell) have been fantastic.” The Bonds will also be represented by Ana Malak (Michael Grantham, barrier seven), Vampiro (Colin Brown, barrier nine) and El Jacko (Dylan Egerton-Green, barrier 11). El Jacko also started from barrier 11 in last year’s Fremantle Cup when he raced in sixth place, three back on the pegs, and was hopelessly blocked for a run when an unlucky seventh behind My Field Marshal. He is a brilliant sit-sprinter and capable of causing an upset. Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has prepared a record eight winners of the Fremantle Cup, and without injured stable stars Chicago Bull and Major Trojan he will be pinning his hopes on Caviar Star (Stuart McDonald, barrier three) and Herrick Roosevelt (Maddison Brown, barrier eight).     “It looks a very even field in which I think Galactic Star is the best horse, with My Field Marshal a bit suspect over this journey and Shockwave facing a task at his first appearance in top company,” Hall said. “Caviar Star did all the work in the race and was brave in defeat when second to Bill Haley last week. “Obviously, Caviar Star is not the best horse in the race, but he’s very tough and never runs a bad race. I think he’s equal to most of the horses in the race. Herrick Roosevelt did a fine job, racing wide in the last lap and finishing third behind Bill Haley. He has had a lot of injuries and hardly ever runs a bad race.” McDonald is upbeat about Caviar Star’s prospects, saying: “I know he’s good enough to be in this grade. He ran fast time over 2130m last week and the longer trip (2536m) this week will suit him down to the ground.” The Debra Lewis-trained five-year-old Bill Haley bounced back to his best form last Friday night when he sprinted home strongly from tenth and last the bell to win from Caviar Star and his owners are delighted at drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis is sure to take full advantage of the draw and the gelding’s excellent gate speed. My Field Marshal, trained by Tim Butt and to be handled by his brother Anthony, has drawn barrier No. 4 and has bright prospects of repeating his all-the-way victory (from barrier two) in last year’s Fremantle Cup after setting the pace and winning the Village Kid Sprint at his previous outing. My Field Marshall has raced superbly at his two starts last month after resuming racing after a nine-month absence. He reappeared in a group 3 2300m Free-For-All at Menangle on December 14 when he started from the outside barrier (No. 10) and raced in ninth position before charging home to finish second to Alta Orlando. Then, on December 26 Mr Field Marshal contested the group 2 Shirley Turnbull Memorial over 2790m at Bathurst when he started from the outside of the back line and was in 11th position when he started a three-wide move at the bell. His run was followed by Alta Orlando, who finished strongly to win from Our Uncle Sam, with My Field Marshal a close-up fourth. There was a significant omen for the Butt brothers when they combined to score a thrilling last-stride debut victory for four-year-old Surreal in 1.53.6 over 1609m at Menangle on Tuesday afternoon. Surreal is a full-brother to My Field Marshal, who has raced 66 times for 26 wins, 22 placings and $1,373,612 in stakes. Also, at Menangle on Tuesday trainer Craig Cross and reinsman Luke McCarthy joined forces to win with 9/2 chance Flingandwingit. Cross and McCarthy have high hopes that eight-year-old Alta Orlando will complete a winning hat-trick when he starts from barrier No. 5 on the front line in the Fremantle Cup.   Ken Casellas

Outstanding fillies Double Expresso and Tiffany Rose should provide one of the highlights at Gloucester Park on Friday night when they clash in the 2130m Retravision.com.au Pace. The New Zealand-bred Tiffany Rose, trained by Mike Reed and to be handled by Michael Grantham, will start from the outside barrier (No. 9) in a field of nine as she attempts to stretch her winning sequence to six after winning at her first five starts in Western Australia by an average margin of 10.5 metres. The West Australian-bred Double Expresso, prepared by Ross Olivieri and to be driven by Chris Lewis, will start out wide at barrier eight at her second appearance after an absence of six months. She resumed in the Group 3 Coulson final on New Year’s Eve when pitted against ten older and more experienced mares. From barrier six, she quickly slotted into the one-out, one-back position and fought on doggedly to be third behind the five-year-old pacemaker Vivere Damore, who dashed over the final 800m in 56.8sec. She was gallant in defeat and should have derived great benefit from the first-up outing. That was Double Expresso’s first appearance since she set the pace from barrier two and scored a convincing victory over Some Copper Beach in the 2130m $100,000 Group 1 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies. She was most impressive in scoring easy victories at her first five starts in a race before the winning sequence was broken when she finished third behind smart colts Jaspervellabeach and Secret Operation in the Group 2 Champagne Classic late last April. Double Expresso now has the ideal chance to end Tiffany Rose’s winning sequence of five. Tiffany Rose, who raced eight times in New Zealand as a two-year-old for four seconds, three thirds and one fourth placing, has not been extended in generally modest company in WA. She is a versatile pacer with a sparkling turn of speed. At her most recent appearance, against moderate company over 2190m at Northam on December 21, she was last in a field of 12 at the bell before quickly putting paid to the opposition and winning by almost five lengths from Yankee Boots. Six of Tiffany Rose and Double Expresso’s seven rivals this week have won races, with the Justin Prentice-trained Suing You winning at four of her eight starts. Colin Brown trains and drives the promising Farawayeyes, who is sure to be prominent from the No. 3 barrier. She won for the second time from eight starts when she set the pace and held on to score narrowly from smart geldings My Agera and Dissertation over 2130m at Gloucester Park three Mondays ago.   Brown also has bright prospects in the opening event, the 2130m Retravision 60 Day Price Promise Pace, with speedy four-year-old Its Rock And Roll, whose 26 starts have produced six wins, nine seconds and five thirds. Its Rock And Roll, who covered a lot of extra ground when a last-start second to Iconic Valor at Gloucester Park, will start from No. 4 barrier on the front line and the sparks are sure to fly in the early stages with speedy beginners La Suleiman and Grinny Vinnie ideally drawn at barriers two and three, respectively   Ken Casellas

Tough and talented mare Gotta Go Gabbana warmed up for her clash with the speedy Our Alfie Romeo in the $22,000 Retravision For All Your Back To School Needs Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night in fine style with an impressive win in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. After starting from barrier four, Gotta Go Gabbanna, with Chris Voak in the sulky, surged to the lead after 250m and was not extended in bowling along in front. She dashed over the final quarters in 27.3sec. and 28.1sec. and beat Sangue Reale by more than two lengths, rating 1.56.2. The Annie Belton-trained Gotta Go Gabbana will start from the outside in the field of eight on Friday night, with the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Our Alfie Romeo far better placed at the No. 3 barrier. Our Alfie Romeo, with a fine record of 17 wins, seven seconds and two thirds from 35 starts, will be popular with punters who will be looking for Ryan Warwick to use the mare’s splendid gate speed and dash to an early lead. Our Alfie Romeo should have too much pace to thwart the prospects of the enigmatic Tony Svilicich-trained Talkerup of setting the pace from the No. 1 barrier. If that is the case, Voak is likely to send Gotta Go Gabbana forward in a bid to apply considerable pressure on Our Alfie Romeo, who finished fifth behind Dracarys over 2130m last Friday night when she started from the back line and raced three wide early and then in the breeze on the outside of Miss Sangrial. Dracarys ran on strongly from fifth on the home turn to win from Miss Sangrial, with Our Alfie Romeo wilting to fifth. But there were excuses for Our Alfie Romeo’s defeat. She was at a disadvantage when one deafener failed to release. At her previous outing, Our Alfie Romeo led from barrier eight and won from stablemate Infinite Symbol, with Gotta Go Gabbana wilting from the breeze to finish a disappointing eighth. Two weeks before that, Gotta Go Gabbana led from the No. 1 barrier and won a 2536m event by two lengths from Our Alfie Romeo. Two starts before that, Our Alfie Romeo was untroubled to lead from barrier one and win by two lengths from Arma Indie over 2130m, with Gotta Go Gabbana (barrier nine) finishing fourth after racing three wide for much of the 2130m journey.   Ken Casellas

WHILE the smoke haze at Cobram last weekend provided a sad reminder of how our country is burning up, a pacer making its harness racing debut certainly "lit up" the track. Three-year-old gelding Scorcha (pictured), a full brother to InterDominion winning superstar Smolda (Courage Under Fire-Under The Mattress (Safely Kept), posted an impressive runaway victory in the Cec Berger Memorial 3yo. The business-like manner that Scorcha stopped the clock in 1.57-8 certainly augurs well for owner/breeder Paul Blackshaw. He's destined for bigger things, that's for sure! Scorcha is trained by Peter Romeo at Chiltern and was reined by Cameron Maggs. In what has been described as a most fitting result, it saw two legendary north-east harness racing families in the spotlight. Peter Berger donated a beautiful canteen of cutlery in memory of his father Cec, to the Blackshaw family. Cec was a staunch supporter of the sport. Peter and Matt Berger are now following in his footsteps. Smolda had 32 wins for $2.4M in a sensational career. Apart from winning the 2016 Inter, the champ also claimed the NSW Derby, Len Smith Mile, Melton A.G Hunter Cup, Bohemia Crystal FFA, SA and Ballarat Cups and was narrowly beaten by Lennytheshark in the $750,000 Miracle Mile. __________________________________________________________________________________ STAR big gun NSW pacers My Field Marshal (Tim and Anthony Butt) and Alta Orlando (Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy) have had travel plans disrupted on the eve of Friday night's $300,000 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park, Perth. My Field Marshal, who won the Group One event 12 months ago, and last-start Shirley Turnbull Memorial winner Alta Orlando were due to fly out Monday. It's believed an air-freighter was delayed and threw the travel plans into chaos. The two horses eventually left Sydney for Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon and the next leg from Melbourne to Perth was scheduled for 3am today (Thursday). Millionaire pacer My Field Marshal, the Miracle Mile winner in 2018, has been installed favorite to make it back-to-back wins in the Cup. Luke McCarthy's drive Alta Orlando shares equal second favoritism with Galactic Star. The visiting pair were among those chosen by a Racing and Wagering WA selection panel. Officials received more than 30 entries. HoofNote: My Field Marshal's little brother, four-year-old Surreal won at his race debut at Menangle on Tuesday. The pacer rated 1.53-6 and was bred and owned by Syd and Shona Brown, who were trackside to celebrate. __________________________________________________________________________________ ACCOMPLISHED Hamilton reinswoman Jackie Barker obviously doesn't suffer from travel sickness-which is just as well! In true Barker family form, the youngster is prepared to clock up the kilometres to fulfil any driving commitments that come her way. Back in the day, her grandfather Jim and father Rod would bob up here, there and everywhere, whether it was just a short trip from their Hamilton base, or a five- or six-hour road journey. And win, lose or draw, their trademark broad smiles were always there. And Jackie is is certainly a "chip off the old block(s)"! Let's take a look where she competed in the first week of 2020: Leeton 652 kms; Terang 111; Bendigo 264; Melton 259; Cobram 449; Boort 285 and Mt Gambier 125. That's round trips totalling 4290kms. Asked about all the travelling, Jackie replied: "Crazy...but I don't think anything of it. I'm really just doing what I love". __________________________________________________________________________________ IT didn't take long for the "comeback kid" to return to the winner's circle. Competent South Australian freelance reinsman Mark Billinger combined with well-known trainer Paul Cavallaro to win the opening event at Globe Derby on Monday. Billinger scored on 3yo filly Miss Iconic (Art Major-Lucille Franco (McArdle) in the Amos Vac pace. He had seven drives at the Saturday night fixture and warmed-up nicely with two placegetters. "Fortunately, I've become a bit of a gym-junky lately and that certainly helped get back into the swing of things," Billinger said. Another to re-ignite their career was colorful horsewoman Gaita Pullicino, now based at Mallala, near Gawler. And it probably won't be too long before the highly experienced driver greets the judge, either.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) is once again proud to partner with the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group for the February-March Team Teal campaign. For six weeks through February and March the Team Teal campaign will see all reinswomen in Victoria race in teal driving pants to raise awareness and much-needed funds for ovarian cancer research. HRV and wagering partner Tabcorp commit $200 each per Team Teal winner for the campaign period, delivering $400 towards programs such as the ANZGOG Research Nurse Grant Program and the Survivors Teaching Students Program for every victory. HRV has been a key driver of the Team Teal campaign since its inception in 2014. In addition to the money raised on the track, HRV’s wonderful Team Teal ambassadors drive other fundraising and promotional efforts during the campaign. The ambassadors this year are Jodi Quinlan, Kate Gath, Kerryn Manning and Jackie Barker, who will wear Team Teal silks for each of their drives from February 1 to March 15, Monique Burnett and HRV Board member Judy Rothacker, who will be Team Teal spokeswomen, appearing on a range of media coverage during the campaign, and, for the first time, a Pony Trots Team Teal ambassador has been named in Courtney Laker. “The significant growth of Team Teal over the years is testament to the commitment of the people driving it, supporting it – especially our women participants who don the teal pants for the six weeks – and all who donate time and money,” HRV CEO Dayle Brown said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the teal silks and driving pants out on the track making a statement, raising funds and awareness for ovarian cancer research and I’m proud HRV and TAB have again teamed to donate $400 for every winner.” The Team Teal story The Team Teal campaign was created by Duncan McPherson OAM, who lost his wife Lyn to ovarian cancer in 2010. In failing health, Lyn and her family began fundraising for ovarian cancer research and nurses supporting women in the research units, an initiative that Duncan McPherson connected with his passion for harness racing, co-founding Team Teal with fellow owners and trainers, Michael Taranto and Jim Connolly. The campaign expanded from Victoria to New South Wales in 2016, to all Australian states in 2017 and internationally to New Zealand in 2018.  The vision of Team Teal Is to continue to expand our efforts in raising awareness and much-needed funds for ovarian cancer research nurses and Survivors Teaching Students – Savings Women’s Lives.   Media enquiries: cwinnell@hrv.org.au or 03 8378 0288   HRV Trots Media

Locally trained horses Bill Haley and Shockwave have received a significant boost of winning Friday night’s Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park following last night’s barrier draw. Bill Haley, who booked his spot in the race with a win in last week’s Free-For-All, drew barrier one, while last month’s Retravision-Golden Nugget winner Shockwave drew barrier two. Gary Hall Jnr, a winner of the race on eight previous occasions, reunites with Shockwave for the first time since the 3YO Sales Classic last March with regular driver Aiden De Campo teaming up with Handsandwheels. Chris Lewis, who has won the race six times, retains the drive on former Queenslander Bill Haley. Defending champion My Field Marshal, who is yet to land in Perth for the $300,000 event, drew barrier four and retained favouritism with TABtouch at $2.75. The other east coast representative in the race Alta Orlando drew barrier five and is the $4.40 second elect. Bill Haley ($4.60) and Shockwave ($5.50) are the leading local chances in the market. The training partnership of Greg and Skye Bond have four runners in the Group 1 race, after they had seven in it last year. The quartet had contrasting fortunes at the draw, where Galactic Star ($7.50) fared the best with barrier 10. Village Kid Sprint winner Vampiro will start from the outside of the front row in barrier nine, while Ana Malak will have the job in front of him from barrier seven. El Jacko, second in last year’s WA Pacing Cup, drew barrier 11 alongside Galactic Star on the second row. Meanwhile, Maddison Brown is set for one of the biggest moments in her short driving career to date when she teams up with the Gary Hall Snr-trained Herrick Roosevelt. Brown, whose father Colin won the race in 2006, will have her first drive in the Group 1 event on Friday night. Brown said she didn’t expect she would get the opportunity to drive in this year’s feature and was hopeful Herrick Roosevelt could overcome barrier eight. “It was a bit of a surprise,” she told TABradio. “Senior said he’d like to have me on, but obviously he had to speak to the owners. “From the draw we will definitely be going back and if the two horses from the east come over it probably helps our cause. “His form has been outstanding and I think that’s what got him into the race.” Caviar Star is the other Hall Snr-trained runner in the race and has drawn nicely in barrier three for reinsman Stuart McDonald. Friday night’s Fremantle Cup gets underway at 7.10.   Tim Walker

The annual Hewitt Memorial race day will be held at the Goulburn Paceway this Sunday afternoon, January 12. Celebrating the memory of Tom and Angela Hewitt, the afternoon also provides the Crookwell community with an opportunity to raise funds for the charitable works of the Crookwell Community Trust. What started off as a race to honour two great stalwarts of the harness racing industry, the Hewitt Memorial race day has evolved into an afternoon of high class harness racing action and community engagement. "The Crookwell Community Trust raises money that is used to provide immediate support to Upper Lachlan residents who may suffer extreme difficulties due to personal and or natural disasters," club treasurer Mark Croatto said. With the current bush fire emergency ravaging country side throughout eastern Australia, the role of the Crookwell Community Trust is brought to the fore. "Fortunately the Upper Lachlan has been spared, so far the catastrophe other areas have experienced" Croatto said, "however, with the threat of fire ever present, it is reassuring for local people to know support is available should it be needed." As in previous years, Trust members will conduct a major raffle with multiple prizes including a $150 dinner voucher at The Argyle Inn, Taralga where patrons can delight in the delicacies of the world class kitchen. Other prizes include a JD's Hardware Rural Supplies gift voucher, a Meats A Treat voucher and a carton of quality wine bottles. Community Trust members will set up inside the Grace Millsom Function Centre and the harness club encourages all those attending the race meeting to generously purchase tickets in the raffle. All funds raised on the day will be used to bolster a pool of money that can instantly be made available to people who are in distress, when they needed it the most, which is usually immediately after the emergency has arisen. To meet the needs of those who require help, the Trust must remain financial and Sunday's raffle is but one of the annual fund raising efforts the trust conducts.Sunday's meeting will also celebrate the memory of Aubrey Frost and Robert Allport, two other harness racing trainers both of whom were heavily involved in the harness racing sport in Crookwell. For the pleasure of those attending, further entertainment will be provided throughout the afternoon by brothers Lachlan and Thomas Bensley who perform as Short Notice. The brothers debuted at last year's Hewitt Memorial day and will show their singing talents in between races. On the racing front, Bathurst based trainer Bernie Hewitt will be aiming the well performed mare Write About Lexy at the $12,720 Tom Angela Hewitt Memorial. Hewitt has won the last two editions of the Hewitt Memorial with Royal Story in 2018 and Katchmeifucan last year. "She's a nice mare who finished second in the Hanlon Sprint at Parkes last start. We'll be nominating her and she should get a run" Hewitt said. Goulburn training team of David and Brad Hewitt will be pinning their hopes on Im Bruce Almighty and The Texas Ranger. Both pacers will be resuming from spells however they established their credentials for Sunday's race with sound race performances last season. The Goulburn Harness Racing Club thanked its sponsors for their continuing support, which makes the race days possible. For all the latest Goulburn harness racing news visit the club's website at www.goulburnpaceway.com.au and don't forget to like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/goulburnpaceway/ or follow the club on Twitter https://twitter.com/GoulburnHarness. Goulburn Harness Racing Club Reprinted with permission of the Crookwell Gazette

Talented young harness racing reinsman Reece Maguire is thoroughly enjoying his time in Queensland, but he's not quite ready to call it home just yet. "I've just come back north after a fortnight with my parents and friends at Leeton in the NSW Riverina. I must admit that it did get me a little homesick," Maguire said. "My girlfriend Madi Dux was with me, so that was special. And without doubt another highlight was landing a winner for my dad (Philip) at their home track on Boxing Day," he said. Maguire, who decided to try his luck in the Sunshine State in late 2018, is now working with the Dux team at their picturesque Woongoolba property. Woongoolba, situated on the northern part of the city of Gold Coast, was a former farming district, predominantly growing sugar cane. "I'll be staying there for at least three to six months to help out while Madi's dad Mark recovers from an operation. Then we'll see where it goes from there. Madi is the number one stable driver, so I'm hoping I get to be the second string," Maguire said. "They have some nice horses so fingers crossed I can do well when I get the chance," he said. Maguire said he loved driving but was now not getting as many opportunities. "There's a few like myself with three-point concession claims and we are being overlooked because trainers are opting for those juniors with a five-point claim," he said. "You can't blame the trainers for their decision, but I feel the system is sort of letting us down. I'm just so grateful to every owner and trainer who puts me on their horses." Maguire, who has driven more than 130 winners, worked for Darrell Graham for three months and then was with Pete and Chantal McMullen stable, prior to recently shifting to the Dux camp. "It's been good because back home we would sometimes race only once a week. Dad has cut back with numbers because my sister Martelle is combining teacher's aid work at Bathurst and race driving so she's also not around to give him a hand," he said. "But dad is enjoying himself because he has a smart former Kiwi horse in Demeter." Maguire scored on four-year-old mare Demeter (Art Major-Weka Lass (Badlands Hanover) at Leeton, running 1.58-2 to take out The Irrigator Pace. In doing so, Reece beat girlfriend Madi (fourth on Cavalryman) and sister Martelle (seventh on Dawn Magic). Maguire has harness racing running through his blood and was around horses from a very early age. "Dad has had horses for as long as I can remember and then there's mum's side of the family. Dad and my Pop, Norm Diebert senior, have been huge influences in my career," Maguire said. "Pop is in his late 70s but is still going flat-out. He breeds heaps each year, does the breaking-in and trains a good few. He got a winner when I was home," he said. Maguire himself recently trained a winner-his first ever! "I just decided one day to get my trainer's licence as a bit more of an incentive. Then a horse named Tiges Apprentice, with a Qbred bonus, came up for sale," he said. Reece Maguire and Tiges Apprentice after their success at RedCliffe (Dan Costello photo) "I knew some of the guys back home that owned the horse and he'd run some nice races for them, including a Leeton win. It took me awhile to get him firing, but we eventually won at a Redcliffe meeting and got the $10k bonus, which was the whole idea. "He's now up for sale, but there's no reason why he won't keep racing competitively."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Air quality is being monitored daily prior to scheduled Victorian harness racing meetings due to the state’s current bushfire crisis. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager of Integrity Brent Fisher confirmed air quality checks were being conducted and added that wherever possible two veterinarians were currently present at race meetings to monitor the welfare of horses. “Additional measures are in place and we will continue to listen to the advice of our veterinarians to ensure all decisions are informed and in the best interest of our human and equine participants,” Fisher said. HRV recently cancelled a scheduled Echuca race meeting due to a Code Red fire day, while other meetings have been rescheduled due to predicted extreme heat. Fisher encouraged trots participants to familiarise themselves with this notice issued by VicEmergency and said HRV would communicate any schedule changes as early as possible. “We’ll use the text message alert system to inform participants of any significant changes to the schedule. We’ll also advise via social media and our website,” Fisher said.   HRV Trots Media