Day At The Track

A ticket to the big dance won't come easy for the fine crop of fillies who will step out in Saturday night's third Lazarus Victoria Oaks heat. The random draw has coupled Victorian two-year-old filly of the year Kualoa with fancied Arabella Star and Tangoingwithsierra, who drew gates one and two respectively and opened $4.40 with TAB.com.au. Lob in a multitude of pacers with winning form lines, in particular Soho Nolita, Mach Jodenkrist, Wellsaidlucy and Rise Above This, and a top four finish will be a mighty achievement in itself. That prospect is front of mind for reinsman Greg Sugars, who will steer trainer Jess Tubbs' three-year-old Betamerica from gate five in the 8.30pm feature. "I'm very happy with her," Sugars told RSN 927's Gait Speed today. "She showed as a two-year-old she wasn't too far off the best of her age group. "She's progressed nicely through this preparation. We decided to leave her home from Sydney (NSW Oaks), just didn't think she was quite ready to compete in a race like that. "This was always in the background, we wanted to try and have her the best we can for the Vic Oaks and we are very happy with her leading into it." But Sugars admitted the task at hand was a tough one given the strength of the heat. "She's going to have to be on top of her game just to even qualify because it's a pretty tough heat she's drawn," he said. "The (barrier) draw is probably not a great help either, but I think she's ready to stand up and be counted against these ones for sure."   HRV Trots Media

Happy-go-lucky Central Victorian harness racing trainer Tony Berg has every reason to be wearing a bigger smile than usual. Berg, based at Timor West in the Goldfields region, just a stone’s throw from Maryborough, won’t be paying for too many stallion service fees in the near future, thanks to his six-year-old bay mare Rose Cooper (Safari - Eyesign (Stoneridge Scooter USA). “I’m not aiming her specifically for races that carry free service fees, but she’s now won two for us so we’re pretty excited,” Berg said. The latest was at Stawell on Monday afternoon when the mare was driven a treat by Ballarat-based junior driver James Herbertson, who is “going like a house on fire” at the moment. After being eased out of the action at the start from the wide seven alley, Rose Cooper settled at the rear of the field in the Egmont Park Stud Pace for C0 and C1 mares. When $3.20 favorite Real Dutchess (Matt Horsnell) took off three wide with 1100 metres to go, Herbertson wasn’t tempted to follow. In hindsight, it was a great decision as Real Dutchess found itself planted wide for the remainder. Race leaders Aldebaran Jazzi and Power and Torque looked like they had it between them, but the race changed complexion at the 400 metres when fresh horse on-the-scene Rose Cooper launched. Rose Cooper hit the finish line with a 1.8m advantage over Aldebaran Jazzi, with a further six metres back to Abbeydale Road. Berg said the sections of 30.7, 30.1, 30 and 31 (mile rate 1.59-7) suited his horse down to the ground. “With the run she had and the way the race unfolded, she probably should have won quite easily,” he said. “In years gone by, a time of 1.59 was flying, but the reality is, it’s not anymore. The time could be classified as ‘walker’s speed’ these days,  but we got the money and that’s what counts I guess!  “I told our driver James Herbertson to do no work at all in the run...and the rest was up to him. And I must say that it was a great drive; just another gem from James, who is in fine touch.” Berg said Rose Cooper was “a dream horse to train”. “She does everything you ask and hardly wears any gear. Her only hiccup is she sometimes doesn’t have the killer instinct come race days,” he said. Berg, who shifted from Queensland over 30 years ago, is a noted horse breaker and also does pre-race jogging up for a number of stables. “I actually broke in Rose Cooper and she could work the place down. It was then that a mate of mine from Maryborough, Dennis Drury, watched her and decided to buy her,” he said. “We now race her in partnership and there’s been a fair bit of fun.  Apart from wins at Boort and Stawell, she finished fourth at Melton one day at 100/1.” Berg said Drury had enjoyed a fair share of success over the years in the sport. “I remember in the late 80s he had a mare named New York Drive who won 12 races and 14 placings for nearly $50,000.” Following her racing career, New York Drive (New York Motoring-Rothley Meadow (Meadow Vance) produced some well above average performers in Classic Drive (11 wins, 24 places), Big Town Drive (10w, 18p) and lightly raced Danehill Drive (2w, 4p). The Boort victory by Rose Cooper earnt her owners a free service to Hurrikane Kingcole.  They also now have a choice after the Stawell success between Hurrikane Kingcole, Mr Feelgood and Gotta Go Cullect. So while Berg appears to have the breeding side of his operation well in hand (thanks to Rose Cooper), he can now direct his attention to a couple of 3YO colts and two 2YO fillies who are all shaping as bright prospects. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura    

Young Bendigo harness racing reinswoman Michelle Phillips landed her maiden double at the Mildura Pacing Cup Carnival last week -but had to wait two nights to celebrate.   Phillips and her partner, talented horseman Shaun McNaulty, got home from Mildura to their stables at Marong at 3am after the second night of the carnival on Thursday, and, not surprisingly, weren’t in the mood to put their party pants on!   “It sounds crazy, but I suggested to Michelle that we could head back to Mildura for the Cup final on the Saturday night and do some celebrating then!” McNaulty said.   “Michelle decided it was a perfect idea so that’s what we did – and it was a huge night, combined with a few drinks, of course, and the karaoke at the track after the last,” he said.   “We have already booked our accommodation and stabling for the three-night carnival next year!”   The stable double was also momentous for McNaulty, as it was the first time he’d brought his own team to race at Mildura.   “I’d been to the trots there years ago with my brother, and I’d always had an ambition to race during the carnival,” he said.   The McNaulty-Phillips combination landed their winning double in consecutive races, with Gobsmacked (Auckland Reactor-Respected (Art Major) and It’s All Business (Sportswriter USA-In The White House NZ (Presidential Ball USA).   They also ran third in the Mildura Trotters Cup with their consistent square gaiter Fratellino (Monarchy USA-Solar Fire NZ (Yankee Reb USA), the winner being Endsin A Party, driven by Phillips’ boss Chris Svanosio for trainer Brad Stevens.   McNaulty said three-year-old gelding Gobsmacked always had ability, but just wasn’t putting it together.   “He may have just turned the corner now because that’s two wins in his past three starts,” he said.   “I thought the drive was brilliant by Michelle - I’m very proud.”   Phillips comes from a family background with horses, with her grandfather, Max, a Clerk of the Course in Gippsland for many years.   She is a graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre at Warragul and was awarded the inaugural HRV-Community College Gippsland Trots Internship in 2016. The internship gave Phillips 12 months of experience across the industry and in leading stables, which she is now putting into practice.   The runaway win by Its All Business in the 3YO Pace was reward for patience for McNaulty.   “We’ve had our share of problems with him lately, but I have to admit that I’ve got a lot of time for the colt,” he said.   “He showed exceptional ability from day one when he got beaten last season at Bendigo in a 2YO race running a tick over 1.54.   “I would have loved to have contested the Sydney derby with the horse, simply to gain some experience. In hindsight he probably would have been lucky to qualify, but it would have done him the world of good.   “Anyway the timing wasn’t right as he had a bit of a bunged-up knee and I’ve really only just got the swelling down.”   McNaulty has his pair of in-form runners competing at Kilmore on Thursday, while trotter Fratellino will contest the $14,500 Eddie Edison Memorial Trotters Cup at Warragul on Sunday.   “Fratellino is the leader by eight points on the Country Cup Trotters Championship so that’s a big bonus if he could hang and grab that,” McNaulty said.   “We’ll be out there trying our best, that’s for sure!” he said.   But if Fratellino does get the job done, hopefully the pair can find somewhere a little closer to home to celebrate!     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

IF you’re a fan of the NZ Cup, then make sure you tune in a race at Penrith in suburban Sydney on Thursday night. One of Australia’s most exciting young pacers Ignatius kick-starts a campaign which will see him tackle the NZ Cup and then the Auckland Inter Dominion. “We’re very keen on the NZ Cup, especially with the Inters starting just a couple of weeks later,” trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray said. “Plus, Gareth (Rattray, Jimmy’s brother) gave him a few standing-start runs back in Tassie and he really handled it well.” Ignatius won his Chariots Of Fire lead-up then drew poorly in the big one itself and finished down the track. He’s been freshened since. “He’s been working well at home, pleased with a strong trial win in 1min53sec and change last Tuesday and he’s ready to go,” Rattray said. “The problem we have at Penrith is the draw. Inside the back around that tight track could be tricky. “But the time I took him to Penrith he went as good as he ever has in any race, anywhere. It was an amazing win, so I know he loves the little track.” Ignatius has opened $3 second elect on the Aussie TAB with the older and in-form Ellmers Image $2.80 favourite from outside the back row. This Renshaw Cup is a ripper with other class runners including Brent Lilley’s recent Kiwi import Sicario (gate five, $5) and Kevin Pizzuto’s Harness Jewels hopeful Picard (six, $5). Beyond Penrith, Ignatius will head to the one-time Grand Circuit race – the $65,000 Group 2 Treuer Memorial – at Bankstown on April 26. “Then it’s into the Breeders Challenge series before we decide on whether to take him to Queensland for their winter features or rest him and focus just on NZ. He could do both,” Rattray said. “He really enjoyed that little freshen-up after the Chariots and it’s exciting to have him back racing again.”   Adam Hamilton

Ben Yole cranked up his bid to smash his own state training record of 124 wins by successfully preparing 50% of the 6-race card in Devonport on Sunday night, taking his 2018/2019 tally to 111. The Sidmouth trainer snared three winners, Black Ops (pictured - No 6) backed up from its outstanding victory in Launceston on Friday night, Ready To Fire and Blacklist, on debut in the state. "Black Ops has a new lease of life, we have just bought another property with areas of bush on it and we've been working him up through there, he has already won three races in April and we are only half way through the month," said Ben. "His win on Friday night was tremendous, he found the front with good gate speed and Troy (McDonald) rated him well from there, the tempo lifted in the third quarter running 29.3 seconds and he was pulling hard but when Troy went for him at the top of the home stretch he still had enough in the tank to hold them off." Black Ops drew poorly outside the front line in Devonport in the John McKenna Race Night Vet Pace over 2297 metres. "Troy had no option but to ease back at the start and he was able to find cover just worse than midfield before hooking three-wide going down the back a lap and a half out, Troy has a good feel for him and they sat three wide to the 400 before finding the death and hitting the front turning for home, he doesn't respond to the persuader so Troy just had to urge him to the line and he got home by half-neck," Yole said. "Ready to Fire scored a soft win for Samantha Gangell, she found the one-out one-back position and cruised up to them in the home straight and Blacklistshowed early speed to lead and raced home to score impressively by six metres." Kent Rattray and John Walters continued their winning run with Karalta Moondance winning the first after coming in for solid support, Yodellin Cowgirlheld off the fast-finishing Mostly Spirit to win by a head for Kristy Butler and Gareth Rattray with Flashy Ruler cruising home in the last for John Castles and Rohan Hillier.   Shane Yates

The McMullen sisters have pulled off what is believed to be an Australian, if not a world, harness racing first. At 5.30pm last Friday (April 12) the trio nailed their first ‘sister-trifecta’, when finishing one, two, three in the eighth event at Albion Park. Oldest sister, Narissa (25) trained and drove the winner,  Tom Me Gun. She had 3.6m to spare over second placed Danni-elle (23) and Speedie McArdle. Youngest sister and the cheekiest one of the McMullen four, Taleah (17) finished a head back in third behind the brown gelding trained by her father John, Weedons Express. “I’m very proud of what we achieved, but I would’ve preferred to beat my sisters,” said, Taleah, who is based with her parents at Glamorgan Vale. “All of us siblings are very competitive and definitely like to win. We’ve all had the same teacher (Dad) and that’s why we all drive a bit aggressive and love coming out of the gate,” she added. Oldest sister, Narissa, the current Australian Female Drivers champion, and winner of the 2017 Australasian Young Drivers’ title, said she was proud to have led the ‘eldest to youngest sister trifecta’. “It was good to beat my two younger sisters home, but Taleah was quick to tell Danni-elle and me that she would have won if we didn’t get in her way. “The family have had a few trifectas before with Peter, Danni-elle, and myself, but last week was the first sister trifecta with Taleah,” she said. Danni-elle was also proud, but did give her big bro a cheeky serve. “I think it’s great that it was the three of us girls, without the older brother getting in the middle. However, it would have been good if he ran fourth,” she said. All three said their next family goal was to run the ‘First Four’ with older brother Peter. Mind you the 27-year-old Glamorgan Vale horseman and his wife Chantal (nee Turpin) had weekend to remember themselves. They won three races on QBRED night at Albion Park on Saturday, including two Listed events. Chantal trained and drove Will The Wizard to win race three - the Listed $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing colts and geldings. A race later Peter drove the Turpin trained Amaya Becomes to nail the Listed $25,000 Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing fillies. Then the husband and wife duo then combined to win the last event, the $13,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 2yo Fillies Consolation. Mother of the ‘McMullen four’, Jennette, said she was ‘oh so proud’ of her children, daughter-in-law and wider family. “It was so exciting to see their first sister trifecta. We just need a first four now. They are all good mates and were pretty wrapped with their feat. “I’m sure Taleah would love to repeat it with her having bragging rights, through being the youngest sibling.  Their grandma, my Mum - Beryl Dawson, 85, gets a great thrill out of their achievements. “No doubt that will be her story at the next CWA (Country Women’s Association) meeting. Eight of her 10 grandchildren all drive in races and another one is a trainer. Her life revolves around the Sky Channel following the Dawson-McMullen clan,” Mum said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Back in 1971, a single was written and recorded by American musician and actor Jerry Reed that’s been a well-worn catchphrase ever since.   That song was “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”. It provided Reed (1937-2008) with a Grammy in 1972 and it’s become a maxim for card-sharks, punters and athletes.   So our usage of the lyrics won’t come as a surprise in relation to Shepparton superstar pacer San Carlo (Mach Three-Bridge Player (Classic Gary), known around the stables as “Murray”.   The eight-year-old is ultra-hot at the moment, and connections have indicated they are now headed to the Group Three $35,000 Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup next Sunday afternoon.   San Carlo is described by his reinswoman Bec Bartley as “a once in a lifetime horse”.   He already has a host of cups to his name this season. Last week it was a heat and final of the Mildura Pacing Cup after earlier picking up the Bendigo, Yarra Valley and the Cranbourne Gold Cups during the season.   Long-time Mildura trainer Noel “Lucky” Cameron hosted the San Carlo team during their carnival stay – and got the pre-race “warm up” duties on the cup contender! Bartley said trainer Stephen O’Donoghue, was keen to head to Warragul.   “But the decision hinged on how well the horse pulled up after the Mildura carnival,” she said.   “He didn’t leave a crumb from Sunday night’s tea and the following day was zipping around his paddock full of beans, so the final decision was really pretty easy.”   Bartley said San Carlo was impressive in Saturday’s Mildura Cup, and once he found the lead he relaxed in the race and didn’t knock himself around.   “It was quite the contrary to Tuesday in the qualifying heat when he over-raced and got all wound up,” she said.   That particular event is still being talked about and will be for some time to come. A proud Bartley later described that effort as “probably close to his best performance”.   “If you take the sections into account of 29.3, 29.7, 28.7 and 30.4 for a mile rate of 1.58-5 for 2600 metres on a track just 805m in circumference, it was a monster effort,” she said.   Bec Bartley (Courtesy Cobram Harness Racing Club) San Carlo and Brallos Pass went head and head in a gruelling battle for the final 250 metres with neither “giving an inch”.   San Carlo got the honors after a late dive right on the post.   When you’re hot, you’re hot!   Play it again San Carlo...   Hoofnote: And just for the music buffs who crave a bit of history and context, a little bit more trivia on that 1970s Grammy hit. The song describes an illegal game of craps, in a back alley. The protagonist is on an uncanny winning streak, which ends when a cop arrests all the players and takes the money as evidence. Undeterred, our hero believes his lucky streak will continue and tells the cop: “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”. The third verse describes the court case. The singer is delighted to see the judge is an old fishing buddy, to whom he owes money. But a bribe to pay back the money for a lighter sentence backfires. The judge grins and does the opposite: giving the others small fines, and a 90-day jail sentence for the singer…accompanied by an ironic summation by the Judge: “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”!     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchase First String added another feature to his collection when triumphant at Albion Park last night. Winner of last season’s Group One Qbred Triad Final, First String returned to successfully defend his title for trainer Craig Cross. Pleased with the three-year-old’s performance, Cross has elected to extend First String’s Queensland campaign. “He will stay up there for another run to try and pick up his bonus,” Cross said. “We’ve got two-year-old which will be going up for the APG series in a few weeks, so he will stay until then and come back with those. “After that he will have a short freshen-up before we take aim at the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge.” With Luke McCarthy holding the reins, First String settled midfield from his second row draw as Left A Terror led from the pole. Angled three-wide during the middle stages the son of Roll With Joe was sent forward to test the pacemaker from the ‘death seat’. Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, First String staved off a late challenge from Lifes Black to score by a head, with Left A Terror three metres away third. Rating 1:57.3 over 2138 metres, the gelding stretched his record to seven wins and three placings from 16 starts for earnings of $121,860. “He went enormous,” Cross said. “It was good to see him bounce back last night as he went terrible in Bathurst, but I discovered after the race he had an abscess in his foot. “With his foot fixed and the way he worked on Tuesday before heading up, I knew he was ready to win.”   APG Media

Popular pint-sized Shepparton harness racing driver Bec Bartley, 27, stood tall at last night’s Mildura Pacing Cup.   Bartley showed poise and the utmost trust in eight-year-old gelding San Carlo (Mach Three-Bridge Player (Classic Garry) to take the spoils in the $60,000 Group Two Tasco Petroleum Mildura Pacing Cup Final.   “He really is a once in a lifetime horse – even though he was a bit of a problem child in his early days,” Bartley said.   The talented horsewoman was well aware San Carlo was primed and super fit for the big occasion and wasn’t afraid to put her confidence in him on the line.   “I decided if the chance came to get to the front in the early stages, I was going to put him in the race there and then,” an elated Bartley said.   “And from that point he felt as good as he ever has in his races – he seemed to relax, but he was strong and switched on. I was pretty confident that we were going to take some running down.”   A hectic first lap in the feature event saw the lead change three times. Lucky Lombo led early, then Emain Macha assumed control before San Carlo powered to the head of affairs.   It was then up to World champion reinswoman Kerryn Manning to keep some spice in the cup, and she wasted no time in accelerating around to the death-seat with second top fancy Reciprocity.   Bartley admitted afterwards that she had “a brief moment of anxiety” when she thought Wayne Hill, driver of Emain Macha, was going to hold her out and not hand up the lead.   “I was mindful that we’d had a pretty hard run winning the qualifying heat on the Tuesday night, and he’d seemed to pull up well, but I didn’t want to be working overtime if I could help it,” she said.   But Bartley had no reason for concern, as it turned out, rating the big-striding gelding to perfection with splits of 31, 30.6, 28.8 and 28.2 for a super mile rate of 1.58-5 for the gruelling 2600 metre trip.   On the home corner it was left to Reciprocity to lift, along with perhaps Emain Macha, but the honors were clearly with San Carlo who held a five-metre advantage over the other pair.   Bec Bartley gives the victory salute as she crosses the line with San Carlo   Kerryn Manning, who ran third with Reciprocity, said all honors were with San Carlo.   “He’s a very good horse. The home straight was slightly too long for me,” she said with her trademark smile.   Victorious trainer Stephen O’Donoghue, who pencilled in the Mildura Cup as a target for his charge a few months ago, said it had been a long journey with San Carlo.   It’s well documented that O’Donoghue and Bartley spent countless months trying to get the horse educated and pacing properly.   “I think he was a five-year-old when we finally got him going,” an emotional O’Donoghue said. “My name is in the racebook as the official trainer, but it’s a credit to Bec that we are here through her hard work and dedication.   “He’s a special horse. We are very lucky.”   O’Donoghue said he started coming to Mildura for the Cup carnival about 10 years ago.    “It’s a really good excuse for a holiday by the river,” he said.   “But this is what we’ve always wanted to do, to win the cup and we came close last year with Shakahari so it’s great to get there this year.”   San Carlo was owned by Jack Eichhorn who followed the pacer everywhere up until his death last year. Jack’s children Michael (who accepted the cup), John, Maureen and their families now race the superstar.   San Carlo trainer Steve O’Donoghue, Mildura Harness Racing Club President Alan Lister, driver Bec Bartley, owners representative Michael Eichhorn and Bec’s grandfather, John Bartley   Bartley said she always held Mildura close to her heart after competing at the track many times as a junior driver.   “I’ve got a lot of friends down here and tonight is special because my grandfather (John Bartley) has been down from Broken Hill all week with me,” she said.   The Mildura Cup victory was San Carlo’s fourth this season, having won the Cranbourne Gold Cup, and Bendigo and Yarra Valley Pacing Cups. Bartley said that providing the pacer pulled up okay, his next mission would be the $35,000 Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup on Easter Sunday.   San Carlo and Bec Bartley return to scale   Another feature event on the program was the Tankard Dental Mildura Guineas. Kerryn Manning bounced back into the winner’s circle with a masterful drive on I’m Sir Blake, trained by the O’Brien team at Ararat.   Manning slotted I’m Sir Blake into the one-one spot beautifully mid-race, then waited her chance over the concluding stages. The pacer posted an impressive 18m win over the talented local youngster Mallee Reactor in 1.58-7.   “He’s a lovely little fella and I felt he had a bit of class on his side tonight,” Manning said.   “I would probably rate him just below the very best going around in Victoria at the moment.”   Driving honors for the night went to Bartley and talented youngster Darby McGuigan who shared winning doubles.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Shepparton harness racing trainer-driver Damian “Damo” Wilson was in two minds this week whether to make the demanding road trip to Yarra Valley – but he was glad he did in the end.   “It’s not a big or long trip, probably about 170 Kms, but a major part of it is winding roads and that sort of stuff, so you have to keep your eyes open,” Wilson said.   But Wilson had the last laugh when bay gelding Winkn Nod (Grinfromeartoear-Mull of Kintire (Chandon) impressively took out the Hargreaves Hill Brewery Pace.   Winkn Nod was ignored in betting starting a 20/1 chance. He scored from the Jayne Davies-trained pair Betterman Stride ($2 fav) and British General ($49 chance). The mile rate posted by the winner of 1.55-5 was just 1.4 seconds outside the track record.   “He has turned out to be a good money-spinner for the owners, who are Norm and Joan Visca from Moama,” Wilson said.   Norm Visca       Cobram Harness Racing Club photos   “I reckon I’ve given him 11 starts for two wins and eight placings – the other start he was unplaced after having absolutely no luck at all one day at Cobram,” he said.   “It would be great to have a few more like Winkn Nod because he just gets out there and tries his heart out.”   Wilson said the enthusiastic Viscas were “good people with an unbelievable love for harness racing”.   “They never miss a meeting when I’m racing a horse they own, which is great. And the way they support the industry is really good,” he said.   “Norm has been around horses for years. He usually breeds a few, but, also, if he sees a horse he likes he’ll buy it.   “You would go a long way to find people with more passion than the Viscas, that’s for sure.”   Starting from the outside of the front row, Wilson eased Winkn Nod back at the start. He popped into the one-out, two-back spot, but after a few forward moves by some of his rivals, he was again near last at the bell.   “I wasn’t overly-concerned because they’d set a solid pace up front (quarters of 29.9 and 29.5 for a first half of 57.4) and that suited me. I thought I would have something left in the tank because we hadn’t done much in the run,” Wilson said.   And his assessment was spot on as Winkn Nod worked stylishly around the field down the back straight. The gelding joined Betterman Stride on straightening and the two settled down to a ding- dong battle.   Winkn Nod did best, by a narrow margin, to the cheers of lucky punters who collected $20.90 for a win ticket on the TAB.   View the race replay here   Wilson, who trains on a 50-acre property at Byrneside, near Shepparton, has a team of 10 horses in work.   “I’ve got another racehorse in Miss McManus, who’s also owned by Norm and Joan. She was pretty consistent late last year and early this year,” he said.   “We had two wins and seven placings, but her last few have been a bit below par. They also have a three-year-old and a trotter so hopefully there will be a lot more trips to the races for them.”   Wilson said his trip to Yarra Valley was a rare occurrence.   “I haven’t taken a horse there ever since I’ve had my place at Byrneside, and that’s over two-and-a- half years,” he said.   “I probably shouldn’t leave it that long until my next visit, because the hard drive home didn’t worry me one bit after the win!”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

“Pressure? What pressure? I’m too old for pressure. I’m even too old to get excited these days,” joked Australia’s number one trainer, Grant Dixon. The Tamborine horseman was referring to his champion four-year-old pacer, Colt Thirty One, when asked how he felt when the TAB opened him $1.05 to win Saturday night’s Listed $25,000 QBRED 4YO Triad Final at Albion Park. "I don't take any notice of what the TAB says. If it I did I'd be a wreck. All I worry about is having my horses spot on come race-night, and so-far Colt Thirty One has done everything we have asked of him this preparation," 46-year-old Dixon said. Colt Thirty One, who is Queensland’s best pacer and the state’s current Horse-of-the-Year, has drawn three on the second line (10) in Saturday’s 2,138m mobile. However, the way he won his trial at Albion Park on April 2, he’d still be at minuscule odds, even if he drew 20. "That was his first hit-out since late January and Trista (Dixon) drove him confidently. It was what we needed going into Saturday night,” Dixon said. Dixon initially sat parked with the son of Mach Three before letting him loose down the back straight the last time. The pair then strolled up the home straight to win by an increasing 7.9m, under a hold. The winning time was 1:58.8 with a 1:55.1 mile rate. His sectionals were 28.6, 30.8, 28.7, and 27.1. “That was a nice run. He’s fit and ready to race. I’ll see how he progresses throughout autumn and winter and then take it from there. I’m not one to look too far ahead,” Dixon said. “Potentially this fella is up there with Majestic Mach as the best I’ve had.” That’s a big call considering Majestic Mach won 35 of his 94 starts, including four Group One events, between March 2012 and September 2017. He also placed 20 times, paced a 1:53.9 mile and banked $796,397. Colt Thirty One has so far won 23 of his 35 starts, placed in seven others, sprinted a 1:53.2 mile, and has banked $453,345. Both pacers were bred and owned by Kevin and Kay Seymour. "He's a bit of a dud isn't he. Not much at all really," joked Seymour. Then he switched to serious mode. "The reason he's done so well is because Grant has managed him perfectly. He's only four and he’s looked after him and not over-raced him. He once told me that to get a good long-term open grade horse you have to take your time with them. "For that reason I think Colt Thirty One will make a nice grand circuit horse one day and Grant should have a top Free-For-Aller for several years to come. “Mr Feelgood is the best horse Kay and I have raced and Colt Thirty One is the best that we have bred.” Colt Thirty One is seventh of nine foals of out of the 2000 maiden Vanston Hanover mare, Charm personified. His older sister, Charming Allie (by Mr Feelgood) recorded a 1:53.9 mile and won 18 races and $266,329. She also nailed four Group Two races and ran second in the Group One $75,000 Queensland Oaks in 2014. Colt Thirty One won his first Group One at Albion Park on July 15, 2017 when he was too smart in the $100,000 QBRED 2YO Triad Pace. He also won the QBRED 3yo Triad a year later under Group Two conditions. Colt Thirty One also cleaned up a quality Victoria Derby three-year-old field at Melton's Tabcorp Park on January 27 last year. That race was worth $200,000 pocketing his owners a cool $114,000 for that win. He also placed in the Breeders Crown 2 and 3yo Finals in 2017 and 2018. Dixon has won Queensland Horse-of-the-Year previously with Majestic Mach and the 1990 Jeremy Laurence black colt, Jeremy Lee (22 wins and $216,971). "I was working for Dad (Bill) when he trained Speed Ace (1991 Speed King gelding). He was Queensland Horse-of-the-Year as well. He won 15 races ($130,274)," Dixon said. Dixon is currently Australia's top trainer with 187 victories - 31 clear of second-placed Emma Stewart. He also sits fourth on the national driving premiership with 118 wins behind Chris Alford (228), Greg Sugars (138), Ryan Warwick (123).   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Last Sunday was an eventful night with the Stan Leedham Memorial Launceston Mile producing a great battle between Ryley Major and Harjeet over the concluding stages, with Ryley Major doing enough to win the $12,000 feature. In Hobart last Friday there were a couple of first wins with Pipers River-based driver Andrew Freeman registering his first win in the sulky, while Bitoscotty recorded the first winner for sire Bitobliss. Two heats of Northern Tasmania’s premier race, the Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup, will be staged in Launceston on Friday night, along with the Golden Slipper for the two-year-olds. The Stars Rohan Hillier - prepared a training double in Launceston on Sunday evening including Ryley Major, whom he drove to victory in the $12,000 Stan Leedham Memorial Launceston Mile. The gelded son of Art Major recorded a mile rate of 1m 56.6s which was a brilliant time given the strong winds and rain-affected track. Hillier also prepared the first race winner Awayandrideyourself. 18 of Hillier’s last 30 starters on the Launceston track have been able to take home the first prize money cheque and no doubt the Beauty Point trainer will be hoping that strike rate can continue on the eve of the Easter Cup. Izaha - continued on his path to the Raider Stakes in June at the Devonport Showgrounds when he won his third race of the season. The Roll With Joe entire was well handled by concession reinsman Lachlan Dakin who worked forward to find the lead after the first 600 metres of the race and dictate the race from that point to win by 12.5 metres. Tisu Spirit - is another Tasbred four-year-old gelding that will be set for the Raider Stakes after he chalked up his first win of the season. The Melissa Maine-trained pacer was stepping out for only the third time this season with her fiancé Gareth Rattray in the sulky. Miss Condoleezza - recorded a weekend double after she won in Hobart on Friday evening and again in Launceston on Sunday. On both occasions she was able to lead all the way to score with Samantha Gangell driving her to victory on Friday and her life partner Troy McDonald was in the sulky for Sunday’s win. Miss Condoleezza has now had 25 starts this season for four wins and three placings. Andrew Freeman - it has taken a while but the 20-year-old concession driver was able to notch up his first win on the Ben Yole-trained Hez The One in Hobart on Friday. It was the 33rd race drive for Freeman who had to put his race day ambitions on hold just prior to gaining his license to drive in trials after a track work accident caused him to have 12 months off the scene when he ruptured his ankle and opened up his knee. Andrew is the son of trainer Gary Freeman. Bitoscotty - caused a minor upset when he won the last race in Hobart which was for the two-year-olds. Driver Paul Hill was keen to hold the lead which proved to be the winning move as the gelding was able to hold off the short-price favourite Watchmylips by a neck. Bitoscotty is the first horse to race by multiple Group 2 winner Bitobliss. There is no doubt trainer Campbell Watt and his wife Pam would have celebrated back at their Mt Seymour base. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening Bianca Heenan - training double; Statement Please and Drifting Away. Ben Yole - training quartet; Hez The One, Im Full Tilt, Miss Condoleezza and Black Ops. Samantha Gangell - driving double; Im Full Tilt and Miss Condoleezza Launceston – Sunday evening Rohan Hillier - training double; Awayandrideyourself and Ryley Major. Ben Yole - training treble; Miss Condoleezza, Tarleton Riley and Karalta Dazzler. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening Good Feelings 57.27s, North Star Lad 57.45, Black Ops 57.80s, Ifbutzandmaybes 57.81s and Hez The One 57.81s. Launceston – Sunday evening Awayandrideyourself 56.43s, Resurgent Storm 56.93s, Cool Water Paddy 57.07s, Northview Dave 57.22s and Dusty Martini 57.25s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hits: La Toiso Dor $17 into $12, Statement Please $2.50 into $1.95 and Miss Condoleezza $3.00 into $2.30. Defied The Drift: Hez The One $4.40 out to $5.50, Drifting Away $3.00 out to $3.60, Black Ops $2.10 out to $2.45 and Bitoscotty $8.50 out to $13. Missed: Navua Pixie $13 into $9.00, Ready To Fire $13 into $7.00, Chasing Cheetahs $8.00 into $5.50, Give Me The Night $12 into $5.50 and Good Feelings $5.00 into $3.80. Launceston– Sunday evening Hits: Western Glory $2.50 into $1.85, Izaha $2.50 into $1.85 and Tarleton Riley $26 into $15. Defied The Drift: Awayandrideyourself $3.50 out to $4.20, Miss Condoleezza $26 out to $51, Tisu Spirit $2.70 out to $3.50 and Karalta Dazzler $6.00 out to $6.50. Missed: Resurgent Storm $4.00 into $3.30, Highview Starzzz $26 into $17, Give Me The Night $20 into $14, Dufrense $2.70 into $1.90, Our Quinn $18 into $11, No Spring Secrets $81 into $41, Mister Lennox $61 into $26, Sheza Bettormak $3.00 into $2.00, El Jays Monday $26 into $12 and Smilin Geoff $2.10 into $1.70. Trial File Carrick Park - Saturday morning Five-year-old Live Or Die mare El Jays Mystery recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the session when she recorded 2m 7.3s for 2150m. From barrier three driver John Walters took the Dick Eaves-trained pacer to the lead in the C4 and better class trial and she proved too good for All Style Sammy by one metre. The final second quarter of the trial was run in 29.3s and 28.6s. Two two-year-old trials were staged with Kadar, who is a half-sister to Bettor Bet Black and Taurisi defeating Kens Chips by one-metre. The mile rate for the 1670-metre trip was 2m 9.6s. The second two-year-old trial was won by Artyboy Glenwood who won his second trial in a row when he defeated She Will Rocknroll by one metre in a mile rate of 2m 13.5s. Other winners included Mi Ju Dan who defeated Art Edition by three metres in a mile rate of 2m 10.8s, Sea Sky was a 15-metre winner of a 3C0 to C0 trial in a mile rate of 2m 9.9s. Menangle (NSW) - Tuesday afternoon Tasmanian star Ignatius returned to the trial track for the first time since mid February when he led all the way to win a C0 or better trial over 1609m. Trainer-driver James Rattray allowed the gelded son of Roll With Joe to burn out of the mobile from barrier six and recorded quarters of 28.6s, 29.9s, 28.8s and 26.5s with the time for the mile recorded in 1m 53.8s. To view a replay of the trial, click here. Week Ahead Launceston The heats of the Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup will be held at TAB Racing Centre in Launceston on Friday evening. Heat One is race 2 and sees three main chances with last year's winner Harjeet who has won two Group 3 events in the past year. He was forced to do a little bit of work in the early stages in the Tasmania Cup two starts ago after beginning well from his 30-metre handicap. He contested the Launceston Mile in Launceston on Sunday where he drew the second row and was out three-wide over the final 900 metres, he hit the line well but threw the race away when he shifted out noticeably in the home straight, if he went straight he may well have been able to put his head in front of Ryley Major. Sccooterwillrev galloped out hopelessly in the Tasmania Cup two starts ago when he was sent out the race favourite. He should step cleaner off the 10-metre handicap. He finished 3rd in the Launceston Mile on Sunday where he was crossed by Ryley Major early and had the gun run on his back before finishing a clear third. The other winning chance appears to be Franco Tristian, who is a six-year-old gelding from the Gavin Lang stable. He broke his M0 status at Melton four starts ago where he settled back second last in running and was still in that position at the 400-metre mark before flying home in the straight, in what was the drive of the season by Gavin Lang, to get the cash with a 1m 52.9s mile rate. He has been placed in second position his last two outings where he has performed well. Heat Two is race three on the card and it looks to be a Tasmania vs Victoria clash. In the Tasmanian corner is Ryley Major who has been awesome since returning from his injury-forced lay off winning all three of his starts this preparation. He led all the way here on Sunday to take out the Launceston Mile in 1:56.7, and that race was run on a rain-affected track and in strong winds. This is his first standing start race and can’t recall seeing him behind the tapes in any trials. We all know the hopes Rohan Hillier has on the horse who has won 13 of his 18 starts. In the Victorian corner is War Dan who was runner up to Shelby Bromac in the Tasmania Cup two starts ago, he went back to his trainer Dean Braun’s Victorian stable where he was runner up to Duke Of Wellington in the Group 2 Melton plate last time out and he is clearly the main danger here. Another feature on the Launceston card is the $12,000 Golden Slipper where the Dean Braun-trained Topzavski takes on five locally trained rivals. Punters are reminded to check their wagering service provider for the fields of races one and five as those races have been redrawn since their release on Tuesday, and punters can catch the action on Sky Racing 2 plus a hosted Live Stream coverage on tasracing.com.au. Devonport The Devonport Harness Racing Club will stage the Sunday evening meeting with only six races set down for decision. Race five, the Sky Racing Pace, is the fast class race of the night with the C5 to C7 pacers doing battle over 2297m. The Ben Yole-trained Hez The One has drawn outside of the second row as he is a RODM horse and is the winner of three races out of his last four starts. While the Roger Whitmore-trained Resurgent Dream has drawn barrier two on the second row and comes into the race off a last-start second behind Izaha in Launceston. The first of six races kick off at 17:28 and can be seen on Sky Racing 1 and also on TasracingTV's Live Stream. Interstate Interstate this week we see the Hobart and Tasmanian Trotting Cup winner Trumps Golden Boy line up in the Seelite Windows & Doors Mildura Trotters Cup tonight. The gelded son of Tennotrump is still raced by Bianca Heenan who has sent a small number of horses to the Zac Steenhuis. The Mildura Trotters Cup is set down for 20:45. Also racing at the Mildura meeting on Thursday night is King Island-owned Stevie Jolt who will contest the opening race. On Friday night at Melton, we see Tasmanian-owned No Apachemee chase back-to-back wins in the opening race. The winner of seven races this season will start from barrier one in the opening race. Saturday night at Menangle sees expat Tasmanian trainer James Rattray with a couple of Tasmanian-owned and bred pacers going around including Pachacuti in race one and Rykov Leis in race three. At Mildura on Saturday we see Tasmanian-owned and bred Resurgent Spirit go around in the Group 2 Tasco Petroleum Mildura Pacing Cup Final, the gelded son of American Ideal scraped through for the final in his heat on Tuesday night when running fifth. Another pacer who is partly owned by Bianca Heenen that is going around is Braeview Bomber who will line up in the Tenderprint Australia Cup Final, a $25,000 race for C4 to C8 assessed pacers.   Duncan Dornauf

Lightly-raced four-year-old Quick Stride has been shining on country tracks and he has bright prospects of extending his winning sequence to six when he contests the $18,000 Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night at his first appearance in the city. Trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice and driven by Gary Hall Jnr, Quick Stride has won twice at Narrogin and four times at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park track. He is versatile, possessing good gate speed and powerful finishing burst. At his latest outing he charged home, out wide, from eighth at the bell to win by four lengths from It Aint Royal over 2569m at Donaldson Park last Saturday week. By American sire Live Or Die, Quick Stride is out of the unraced Northern Luck mare Lucky Stride, whose dam Jessica Clare had 118 starts for 11 wins, 39 placings and stakes of $81,285. Hall drove Jessica Clare to two Gloucester Park victories when the mare was trained by Ross Olivieri. Jessica Clare is the dam of the Olivieri-trained Back To The Beach, who looks a strong winning chance in the Bridge Bar Pace on Friday night. Toughest for Quick Stride to beat on Friday night is likely to be five-year-old Heez Manly, who will be having his third start after an absence 11 months. Heez Manly, to be driven by Stuart McDonald for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr, impressed last Friday night when he settled down in eighth position before dashing forward to race in the breeze with two laps to travel. Heez Manly challenged the pacemaker Liam Neil strongly before taking a narrow lead 270m from home and fighting on grimly when a close second to Liberty Rose. The Prentice-Hall Jnr combination will be strongly fancied to win the Christmas in July at the Beau Rivage Pace with Warfare, a New South Wales-bred six-year-old by Courage Under Fire who impressed at his West Australian debut at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when he  raced in the breeze before surging away to win convincingly from Vincenzo Peruggia at a 1.53.6 rate over 1730m.  Warfare has good gate speed and is perfectly drawn at barrier one in the 2536m event. A winner of one race (at Penrith) in New South Wales, Warfare has won 11 times in Victoria. He is the first foal out of the Ultimate Falcon mare Flamin Yomax, who earned $123,609 from 15 wins and 18 placings from 61 starts. One of Warfare’s most serious rivals could well be Warriors Code, who caught the eye at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when he charged home from last at the bell to be second to Mistersandman over 2130m. Friday night’s program should open with a spirited tussle between polemaker The Art Form and Im Soxy, who will start from the No. 5 barrier. Im Soxy, to be handled by Ryan Warwick for Bunbury trainer Brian Clemens, revealed excellent fighting qualities last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze before taking the lead 100m from the post and winning by a head from the pacemaker Mighty Flying Deal. Warwick was full of praise, saying: “He did it really easily. He’s getting better and better and is not finished with yet.”   Ken Casellas

Promising four-year-old Marquisard has been unplaced from unfavourable barriers at his past 11 starts, but he gets a great chance to break his recent run of outs by winning the Direct Trades Supply Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Part on Friday night. Marquisard, trained at West Swan by Craig Abercromby, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and Chris Lewis looks set to attempt an all-the-way victory. The Mach Three gelding has started from the inside barrier only three times from his 52 starts and has led and won over 2190m at Northam on each occasion. He has also won when leading at Narrogin and twice at Pinjarra, as well as scoring three times after working hard without cover. He had no luck at all last Friday night when he started from the back line and raced in eighth position before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He moved to sixth with a lap to travel, but continued to be forced to race wide before wilting to finish tenth behind outsider Bob Wheel. Marquisard’s chief rivals appear to be the David Thompson-trained pair of Liam Neil and Jasmin Amal and Ideal One, who is trained by Gary Hall Snr. Ideal One, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, is the only runner off the back line and is capable of gaining a perfect trail behind Marquisard, the likely pacemaker. Two starts ago, Ideal One raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly to win from Presidentmach at a 1.56.5 rate over 2130m. Then he was restrained from the No. 9 barrier and raced in 12th position before finishing gamely to be an encouraging sixth behind stablemate Liberty Rose. Dylan Egerton-Green has given punters a good lead by electing to drive Liam Neil in preference to Jasmin Amal. Liam Neil is a promising four-year-old who will start from barrier four, with Jasmin Amal, a six-year-old mare to be driven by Michael Grantham, starting from the No. 5 barrier. Egerton-Green has driven Jasmin Amal at nine of her past ten starts for three wins and five placings. He has been in the sulky for nine of Liam Neil’s 11 victories. Jasmin Amal trailed the pacemaker Our Major Mama before finishing strongly to be third behind Rosies Ideal and Miss Sangrial over 2130m last Friday night at her first appearance after an absence of just over three months. Liam Neil gave a strong performance last week when he raced wide early, burst to the front after 450m and fought on grandly to finish a close third behind Liberty Rose and Heez Manly. At his previous start, over 2185m at Pinjarra, he trailed the pacemaker Our Perkins before finishing fast along the sprint lane to win easily from the fast-finishing Cott Beach.   Ken Casellas

New Zealand-bred filly Balcatherine will begin her WA Oaks campaign when she starts in a prelude of the classic, the Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and she has the raw ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the inside of the back line in the 2130m event. She is unbeaten at her only two starts in New Zealand when she was not fully extended in moderate company in winning at a 2.1.1 rate over 2200m at Gore on December 27 and at a modest 2.6.6 rate over 2200m at Invercargill on January 21. Now prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr, Balcatherine will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr. “She’s got high speed and is going great at home,” said Hall Snr. “She’s probably a little bit underdone with a rushed preparation. This is a bit of a test for her, but she’s up to the task.” Balcatherine was not bustled at the start at her two runs in New Zealand and she revealed excellent sprinting ability to finish powerfully. At her debut at Gore she ran on from seventh (one-out and one-back) at the bell to move to the breeze 500m from home and then take the lead with 150m to travel. She beat the pacemaker Star Ruler by just over a length, with final quarters of 29.3sec. and 27.9sec. Then at Invercargill she started from barrier five in a field of seven and raced in fifth position, four back on the pegs, before going four wide on the home turn and bursting to the front 80m from the post to win, unextended, by two and a half lengths from Myrcella. Balcatherine’s rivals include several fillies aimed at the $150,000 Gannon’s WA Oaks on May 3. The Hall stable will also be represented by Fake News, a winner at six of her 15 starts. She will be driven by Stuart McDonald from barrier five and can improve on her seventh behind the brilliant Dracarys last Friday night when she had a tough run in the breeze. Justin Prentice, trainer of Dracarys, has two runners in Friday night’s event Majorpride (Michael Grantham) from barrier one and Fulfil The Dream (Nathan Turvey) from barrier three. Fulfil The Dream has blossomed this season, winning at three of her five starts. She gave a solid frontrunning display to win from The Royal Lady over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. That followed a sound third behind Dracarys and Majorpride at her previous outing. Busselton trainer Barry Howlett’s promising filly My Prayer will have admirers from the No. 4 barrier after her strong finishing wins at Pinjarra at her past two starts. And Annie Belton’s La Roue De Lamour is showing steady improvement with a good win from the breeze at Bunbury, followed by her good frontrunning display when a fight last-start second to Dracarys.   Ken Casellas

Outstanding young mare Our Angel of Harlem is fit and ready for a strong first-up effort in the $22,000 Retravision Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ace trainer Mike Reed was pleased with her impressive performance in a 2550m standing-start trial at Byford on Sunday morning when she began brilliantly, strode out boldly as she set the pace and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 28.5sec. “She has now qualified to contest standing-start events and her main mission now is the Race For Roses, a stand over 2503m on May 3,” Reed said. “She flew the stand in her trial and ran home in 56.6sec. It’s a big ask for her to win, first-up, but she is sure to go well this week, judged by the way she trialled. She pulled up a bit big and will improve on whatever she does.” Mark Reed will have a few options when he drives Our Angel of Harlem from the No. 6 barrier in Friday night’s mobile event. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old is a dashing frontrunner and she led and won from favourable barriers at her two most recent runs, both over 2130m at Gloucester Park last December. At her latest start she was untroubled to win by just over two lengths from Our Major Mama and Innocent Affair in the group 3 Coulson final on December 28. That improved her record to 30 starts for ten wins and nine placings for earnings of $192,154. Several runners, including Our Angel of Harlem, will be solidly supported in Friday night’s event. New Zealand-bred mares Our Alfie Romeo and Eden Franco look set to fight out the finish, despite starting out wide at barriers eight and nine, respectively. And Rosies Ideal (barrier No. 4) and Lady De La Renta (No. 6) are in excellent form and have strong claims. Four-year-old Our Alfie Romeo has won at 12 of her past 19 starts and is in splendid form. She started out wide at barrier eight in the 2536m Empress Stakes last Friday week when she raced wide early and then in the breeze before taking a narrow lead 400m from home and finishing a grand second, a head behind the fast-finishing Miss Sangrial, with a final quarter of 27.6sec. Four days before that, Our Alfie Romeo dashed to an early lead, set the pace and finished second to Sarah Goody in the 1684m Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra. Our Alfie Romeo won at two her eight starts in New Zealand and has a marvellous record of 15 starts for ten wins and two seconds in Western Australia for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and leading reinsman Ryan Warwick. Eden Franco, trained and driven by Colin Brown, cannot be underestimated, even from the outside barrier. She has had 35 starts for 14 wins, 11 seconds and four thirds. She is poised to bounce back to her best form at her third outing after a spell. She was a hot favourite from barrier two in the Empress Stakes when she raced in the breeze for the first 550m before assuming the role of pacemaker. She battled on gamely when a close-up fourth behind Miss Sangrial. Rosies Ideal and Lady De La Renta are in peak form, with the Shane Young trained and driven four-year-old Rosies Ideal notching her tenth victory from 23 starts when she settled in fifth position before dashing forward into the breeze after a lap and taking the lead on the home turn and winning from Miss Sangrial and Jasmin Amal over 2130m last Friday night. The Annie Belton-trained Lady De La Renta, a winner at 12 of her 33 starts, impressed last Friday night when she settled down in ninth position and sustained a powerful three-wide burst to finish a neck second to As Happy As Larry. Ken Casellas