Day At The Track

East Maitland thoroughbred training track Fairhall Park could be the future home of Hunter harness racing if Newcastle International Paceway is lost to the sport. The Herald understands Fairhall Park, on Raymond Terrace Rd, East Maitland, is a location harness racing authorities are looking at as a potential new headquarters for the code in the region.  The Herald reported on Friday that Wests Group had guaranteed to contribute at least $10 million towards a potential $20 million rugby league centre of excellence to be built on the Broadmeadow paceway site. The proposal has caused concern among pacing participants, who have enjoyed the top-class track and facilities at Broadmeadow since 1989. The multi-million dollar paceway is built on crown land, which Newcastle Harness Racing Club has a lease on until 2027.  Harness Racing NSW chief John Dumesny said on Monday that his organisation “will be doing everything we can to protect and grow harness racing in the area”. “Harness racing in the Hunter is an integral part of the whole network in NSW,” Dumesny said. He said the industry “wouldn’t be walking away from a property where we have a lengthy lease on” and the preferred area for the Hunter’s premier track was “right at the moment, it’s where it is, at Broadmeadow”. The Herald has reported the state government would build a new track for harness racing in or near Maitland if the Newcastle International Paceway was used for rugby league. The situation opens the door for HRNSW to add the Hunter to its list of industry-owned, redeveloped sites integrating training centres and racing tracks. “Harness racing’s focus in the Hunter is drawn quite easily from our strategies around NSW,” Dumesny said. The City of Maitland Society Of Aeromodellers set-up at Don Macindoe Memorial Flying Field in Fairhall Park. “We have a track and training centre at Menangle, we have a track and soon-to-be training centre at Bathurst. We’ve got land and are about to commence construction of a track and training centre at Wagga, and likewise in Tamworth, where we’ve purchased the showground, where a training centre can be quite easily be added.” Dumesny said there were no desire to move away from training centres at Cessnock and Maitland showgrounds. However, he said a redevelopment project similar to Tamworth at Maitland Showground was not feasible. “Maitland is a privately-owned property and very small, so we would not be building a new track on Maitland Showground,” he said. “The GBOTA have a lease of the track and we’re not in any mind to interfere with the greyhound industry at all. “Tamworth was a bigger property and we were able to buy it outright, it’s not flood affected and a totally different option altogether.” Cessnock City Council is also keen to provide a site for a potential new pacing headquarters. Councillors last week supported a motion to write to the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot Macdonald, and the Newcastle Harness Racing Club to set up a meeting to discuss plans. Dumesny would not comment on other potential sites, saying “we’re not at that place now”. “There’s no need to look at anything until we need to. We are nicely situated at Newcastle,” he said. Fairhall Park is a Maitland City Council-maintained crown land leased by the City of Maitland Society of Aeromodellers (COMSOA). Thoroughbred trainers, like Darryl Roberts, then sub-lease for use of the track. COMSOA secretary Jason Russ said his group had been on the 100-acre site for more than 20 years and had a five-year lease. Russ said the land was flood-prone and their clubhouse had been hit by water “five-feet” high in the past. Craig Kerry   Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

Trafalgar harness racing trainer Chris Hunter said he was relatively confident going into today's Yarra Valley trots meeting that his mare, Feel The Rhythm, could win if she put her best hoof forward. She did that, with Chris Alford aboard from the pole, the Elsu-Rhythmaka mare scoring her first ever win at start number 46, leading all the way over 2150m in a mile rate of 2:00.2. Hunter joined Trots Media's Cody Winnell to chat about the jubilation of Feel The Rhythm's maiden win. For the trivia buffs, it was the first time Alford has ever driven a free-legged pacer to victory. Hunter said he took the hobbles off Feel The Rhythm in her races recently and it hade a huge difference. He's always worked the mare free-legged and clearly she is enjoying the freedom. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The racing future of Hunter Cup winner Bling It On remains uncertain after a nasty fall in his comeback race at Albion Park on Saturday night. A pick-up drive for Kiwi reinsman Mark Jones from a thrill to a nightmare when Bling It On was looming into the race on the final bend, but copped a check and crashed heavily to the track. It was an ugly fall and Bling It On appeared to land heavily on his knees. The Craig Cross-trained star was rushed to the Gatton University veterinary section where his legs, especially his knees, were cleaned and treated. “In short, he’s got two badly injured knees,” owner Peter O’Shea said. “The left knee is in a splint and the right one is heavily bandaged. He will spend at least the next two weeks at Gatton University recovering. “The vets think he will be ok as long as there is no infection.” Stable spokesman and regular driver Luke McCarthy said making Bling It On comfortable and giving him every chance to recover was the first priority. “He’s obviously out of the rest of the Winter Carnival, but beyond that time will tell as far as racing again,” he said. The race was Bling It On’s first start since the Miracle Mile at Menangle in late February. Bling It On’s crash was just one ingredient of a truly odd race. The first twist came when experienced driver Chris Petroff, aboard the leader Hokonui Ben, appeared to mistake the laps and go for home when there was still a lap to run. Stewards suspended him for six weeks. Petroff’s drive played a big part in the race being run upside down with a 57.7sec middle half, which suited grand old stayer Avonnova who simply out-toughed his rivals in a 60.1sec last half and 30.6sec closing quarter. The rising 11-year-old Avonnova has posted two wins and two seconds from four runs since being plucked out of retirement by trainer Ian Gurney. Adam Hamilton

HANDICAPPING systems are a big talking point right now, whether it’s in NZ of Australia. Harness Racing NSW unveiled its new system late last week and leading trainer Shane Tritton immediately came out with lavish praise. “This will be the saviour of (harness) racing in NSW,” he said. “And metropolitan racing will become the place to be … horses will come from all over the country to compete at Menangle.” Despite Tritton’s support and that of most others trainers who compete regularly at Menangle, HRNSW stressed it was just being trialled for three months – July-September this year – for comparison against the same period last year. Betting turnover, field sizes, number of short-priced favourites and stakeholder satisfaction are the KPIs with which a longer term decision will be made. David Aiken is another training excited by the trial. “I’ve usually got five or six horses in my Menangle stable, but it could be up to 14 or 15 now with the new handicapping system,” he said. Handicapping systems are never easy to explain, but the keys to this NSW system are: * Horses placed in races based on stakemoney earned at their past five starts. * Barrier draws done within those races based on stakemoney earned at past five starts. * Up to six levels of races with staggered stakemoney down from level one to six. * 20 per cent discount on stakemoney earned for mares to aid them in barrier draws * 20 per cent discount on stakemoney earned for pacers when driven by concession drivers to aid them in barrier draws The NSW industry mood seems strong around this system and it will be interesting to see if has as positive effect as Tritton predicts in the three-month trial period. YOUNG Kiwi superstar Vincent survived a scare to win his NSW Breeders Challenge semi-final at Menangle last Saturday night. Most expected the NSW and NZ Derby winner to stroll to the front and win as he liked, but instead outsider Geldof overraced outside Vincent once he found the front and they scorched through a 54.9sec first half. Luke McCarthy steadied Vincent with a 28.9sec third split and ripped home in 27.2sec to hang on a win by 1.1m over the fast-finishing Pretty Hot in a 1min51sec mile. The Victorian raiders have certainly made their impact on the NSW Breeders Challenge semi-finals. Last Saturday week, Victorian-trained pacers won three of the six semis at Menangle and three-year-old colt Jilliby Bandit added to the strike when he caused a minor upset last Saturday night. The superbly-bred Marg Lee-trained colt – by Rock N Roll Heaven out of former top filly Keppel Bay – came from behind the leader in a hotly-run semi to win in a 1min52.4sec mile. The win thwarted a massive betting plunge on NSW Derby heat winner Atomic Red, who could only manage fourth after being backed from $4 into $1.60 and coming from a back row draw. In the Challenge 3YO fillies’ division, Dont Think Twice showed why she will dominate betting in the final with a dominant al-the-way semi win in a 1min53.1sec mile. The Breeders Challenge finals are on the same card as the Len Smith Mile at Menangle next Sunday. IT only took former Kiwi mare Supersonic Miss two comeback runs to show she still had some serious star power. The five-year-old strung together nine successive wins – the last six of those when switched from the Allstars barn to Kerryn Manning’s stable – before injury forced her off the track in March, last year. Supersonic Miss returned with a good second to reigning Breeders Crown champ Rocknroll Magic at Melton on June 9, then regained winning form at the same track last Saturday night. She smashed the clock, too. Despite sitting parked, she posted a 1min53.9sec mile rate for 1730m and ripped home in 55.9 and 27.5sec. ONE of Western Australia’s best pacers is heading to Victoria. Soho Tribeca, a placegetter in the big Group 1 WA and Fremantle Cups double earlier this year, is returning to the state where his career started to chase the Group 1 Vicbred 4YO final at Melton. Trainer-driver Kim Prentice confirmed the trip when Soho Tribeca returned from a spell with a gutsy third after doing all the work in slick times at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The other key race at Gloucester Park last Friday, the free-for-all, went to former Kiwi sit-sprinter The Bucket List, who swooped off a hot pace to win impressively for trainer Michael “Mouse” Brennan and driver Michael Grantham. The race was set-up for the backmarkers when Gary Hall Jr threw everything at easing favourite Beaudiene Boaz to try and cross Sheer Rocknroll at the start in a blazing 35.3sec lead time. He failed to get across, but spent plenty of petrol and dropped in behind the leader. Beaudiene Boaz did a good job to finish a distant third, while classy stayer Our Jimmy Johnstone caught the eye by flashing home late for a close second. Classy three-year-old Mitch Maguire continued his big season by posting his 10th win from just 13 starts this term in last Friday’s ninth event. ONE of Australia’s biggest “buzz” pacers, San Carlo, could be a surprise raider at the Queensland Winter Carnival. The Steve O’Donoghue-trained six-year-old has been restricted to just 16 starts by a string of injury issues, but he’s won 14 of those and looked elite at times. Arguably his best win yet came at Bendigo last Saturday when he sat parked and toyed with a strong field in a 1min55.4sec mile rate for 2150m. The line in the sand for a Queensland trip comes at Maryborough on Thursday when San Carlo tackles the Leo Crameri Memorial. “That’s his next target and it’s likely he will meet plenty of classy rivals but it will also tell us if Brisbane is on or off. A victory will go a long way in making the northern trip a reality, Brisbane will be tough but it looks a good opportunity for him,” O’Donoghue told harness.org.au “I don’t think he shocked us in anyway last week because we’ve known for some time how good he really is but to do it in the manner in which he did was the best part. He was really strong. “And that’s his best asset; he’s a very strong horse.” GIANT-KILLER Onlykidding snared her second Group 3 win this season when she swamped a strong field of mares to win the Frith Stakes in a slick 1min51.7sec mile at Menangle last Saturday night. Trained and driven by Dennis Picker, Onlykidding previous won the Group 3 Ladyship Pace at Menangle on March 10. The eye-catching run of the Frith Stakes came from former Kiwi mare Rocker Band, now in the care of Mark Jones. She rocketed home too late for a close third. In contrast, top class mare Cyclone Kate, the $3.70 favourite, finished last and stewards queried the run and ordered veterinary tests. IT’S not just Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark winning feature races for David Aiken’s stable. Aiken has always liked his trotters and snared a Group 3 win when the in-form Maorisfavouriteson won the Wagon Apollo free-for-all (2240m) in a slick 1min57.4sec mile rate last Saturday night. Adam Hamilton

David Aiken has a few words of warning for anyone doubting Lennytheshark ahead of next Sunday’s Group 1 Len Smith Mile. “He’ll be right. This is what he’s been set for. You’ll see the best of Lenny this week,” he said. Doubters emerged when the champ led, dictated and was easily rundown by Tiger Tara and Mach Doro in the Golden Mile at Menangle last Saturday week. “It turned out he needed the run a bit more than we thought and, in retrospect, Chris (Alford, driver) probably should’ve got going on him a bit earlier and made them chase him more than they had to,” Aiken said. “As much you’d love to win them all, you can’t. The Len Smith is what we’ve set him for.” To have Lennytheshark absolutely primed, Aiken will trial him at Menangle on Tuesday. “It won’t be a hard trial, but just gives me the chance to give him the hitout he needs to be spot on,” he said. “As he’s shown us so many times before, he thrives on racing and a trial this week will be close to another race.” Aiken again finds himself torn heading into the Len Smith with star stablemates Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay to clash again. Hectorjayjay scored his biggest win so far whennhe stormed home to upset Lennytheshark in last year’s Len Smith Mile, but Lennytheshark gained revenge when he beat a hot field, including Hector, in the Miracle Mile earlier this year. Aiken is a great position, but was quick to say it’s not just a matter of which of his stable stars wins this week. “I’ve got huge respect for Tiger Tara. He’s right in this race the way he’s going,” he said. Tiger Tara came from off the pace to beat Lennytheshark in the Golden Mile, then backed-up last Saturday night with a very gallant second to Hectorjayjay in the 2300m free-for-all at Menangle. Hectorjayjay settled in front of Tiger Tara after the start and driver Josh Aiken made an early move around the field to take the lead, while Tiger Tara moved last in the middle stages to sit parked. Hectorjayjay zipped home in 54.4 and 26.7sec to hold-off Tiger Tara and win by 2.4m in a 1min54.4sec mile rate for the longer 2300m trip. “Hector pulled-up like he needed the run after his first-up win at Melton which is why we backed him at Menangle. I’m glad we did, it should’ve topped him off nicely,” he said. Adam Hamilton

Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova proved triumphant in the Listed $25,500 Lucky Creed Open Pace at Albion Park tonight (Saturday) in the most dramatic circumstances. The mobile start 2680m mobile start feature was packed with action, largely owing to the fall of race favourite Bling It On at the home turn. The millionaire pacer was handled for the first time by stand-in driver Mark Jones and was making his move wider on the track before being checked by Watch Pulp Fiction and then falling heavily. Driver Pete McMullen was later suspended for three weeks. Having his first start since being unplaced in the Miracle Mile back on February 25, the Craig Cross trained star was taken off the gate at the start and settled towards the rear of the field while the pace was genuine throughout. Hokonui Ben led the event and repelled challengers from both Ideal Scott and Alleluia before giving ground quickly with a lap remaining. Driver Chris Petroff was later suspended for six weeks. Entering the back straight on the final occasion, Ideal Scott held a narrow lead from his stablemate Avonnova while Alleluia, Joys A Babe, Watch Pulp Fiction and Bling It On sat just off the pace. With many feeling the pressure at the top of the straight, Bling It On looked set to unleash his trademark sprint before coming to grief. Bling It On quickly got to his feet before being attended to by officials before then being sent to the Gatton University for further analysis on his knees. Sadly, his Brisbane winter carnival is now over. At the finish, Avonnova lasted by a 1m from Alleluia while Joys A Babe finished a neck away in third. The mile rate was 1:57.3. “It was tough performance but a race filled with drama, it got a bit crazy at the home turn.” Winning driver Shane Graham said. It was back to back victories in the Lucky Creed for the Ian Gurney trained free-legged star after winning last year in a nail biting finish over Ultimate Art. The ten-year-old Art Major gelding has now banked more than $900,000 in prizemoney and is exempt from ballot in the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15. Next week, the Listed $25,500 Wondais Mate will be staged over the 1660m. Hoofnote; Driver Shane Graham was suspended for two weeks for his drive aboard The Charging Moa from the $15,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final, race two on the program. Chris Barsby

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has tonight announced the Group 1 Victoria Cup will be run on Saturday night, October 14, next season. The Victoria Cup will carry prizemoney of $200,000 – reduced from $400,000 in 2016-17, with the $50,000 Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters Sprint run on the same night.  The $50,000 Smoken Up Sprint will be held on October 6 as the lead-in race to the Victoria Cup, which in turn complements timing for horses wishing to participate in the New Zealand Trotting Cup and Inter Dominion. HRV CEO David Martin acknowledged the scale of the change, explaining that the reduced prizemoney would enable the provision of more races to the industry, and thereby contribute to a continuation of an increased participation rate evident in recent months.  “Importantly, the Victoria Cup will retain its Grand Circuit status and remain a key feature of our racing calendar,” Mr Martin said. Mr Martin also said the alteration would allow the Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star to become the headline act on night one of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, January 27. “There will be multiple Group 1 events on the first night of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton, so it will remain an elite program with the Great Southern Star the main race, but also featuring the Victoria Derby and the Ladyship Cup,” Mr Martin said. “Night two of the Summer of Glory will feature the Group 1 A. G. Hunter Cup and the Group 1 V. L. Dullard Trotters Cup.  The Ballarat Cup is the week before Great Southern Star night and it made sense not to have three straight Group 1 pacing events of similar distances in three weeks. We wanted to ensure the Hunter Cup attracted the best field possible as part of our Summer of Glory.” Today’s announcement means the Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Cup will be the lead-in race to the A.G. Hunter Cup, with Grand Circuit horses likely to take a week off between the two events. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

A harness racing driver has been slapped with a ham-fisted three-month suspension because of a fundraising pig whose name “boar” similarities to that of a racing official. Dannielle McMullen was suspended for three months for “misconduct” after her prank at the recent BOTRA Charity race day in a penalty that left harness racing participants with disbelief. McMullen did not drive at the meeting, preferring to help raise funds for the charity, being a full-time employee of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club. One of the fundraisers on the day was a pig race, where participants could “buy” a pig. McMullen took up an offer to race one of the contestants, before deciding to give it a name that had a striking resemblance to deputy chief harness steward Kwan Wolsey. The pig, officially named Qualm, won the race and McMullen even took the winning ribbon to show Wolsey. Nothing further was said on the day. The “incident” took a turn for the worse two days later when McMullen was issued with a misconduct charge by stewards. Harness racing driver Dannielle McMullen. Picture: Dan Costello At a subsequent inquiry presided over by Joseph Elliott, Kerry Lathopolous and Robyn McCrae from the QRIC Integrity Regulatory Unit, McMullen was suspended and fined $500. The driver estimates the suspension could cost as much as $10,000. As she’s also a trainer, she has already relinquished horses in her care to other stables. Albion Park Harness Racing Club chairman David Fowler said the penalty was “over the top”. “Maybe Dannielle should have been more mindful, but the penalty is way out of kilter for a somewhat innocent mistake,” he said. “In her employ at Albion Park, I have never once had reason to question her respect or manners.” Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett vigorously defended the sentence on Friday and said he expected QRIC staff to be “treated with a high level of respect”. “This action was inappropriate and showed a lack of respect and disregard for common decency in relation to a QRIC staff member. Ms Wolsey felt disrespected by this regrettable incident,” Barnett said. McMullen is now awaiting the result of an internal review of the penalty before deciding if she will appeal the verdict to QCAT. By Nathan Exelby Reprinted with permission of The Courier-Mail  

The Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs, Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo and Harness Racing Victoria have run 23 concession drivers’ series races this season. The series, restricted to drivers who are yet to win 25 races, culminates at Bendigo on Tuesday night with a 10-horse C1 class event. There have been 195 horses contest the series and Tuesday night will see one lucky trainer who has been involved in the races drawn randomly for a $2000 cash prize. The concession drivers’ races have produced the following statistics: 41% of favourites have won at an average price of $1.97 50% of winners have come from barriers 4, 5 or 6 27% of winners have led The Bendigo club’s social media streams will announce the winner at Tuesday night’s meeting. Follow @BendigoTrots on Twitter for coverage and @HRVnews to stay up to date with the latest #Trots news from around Victoria. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Chairman Dale Monteith has congratulated HRV Board member Brett Clothier on his recent appointment as Head of the independent Athletics Integrity Unit, as advised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). In due course HRV will advise on Mr Clothier's role in consultation with the Minister for Racing. "I would like to publicly congratulate Brett and wish him well with his appointment," Mr Monteith said. "Brett is an outstanding administrator and sports integrity professional and has made a valuable contribution to HRV in the relatively short time he has been a director. On behalf of the Board I wish him well in his new position." In addition to his HRV Board duties Mr Clothier sits on the HRV Integrity Council, which is chaired by John Doherty. "Brett has been a tremendous member of the HRV Integrity Council with a strong background in the field and an attention to detail that is second to none. I wish him all the best in his new position," Mr Doherty said. CODY WINNELL

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards today announced an immediate amendment to its Change of Tactics policy. At the Harness Racing Australia (HRA) National Integrity Conference in May, the change of driving tactic requirements within the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) were again the subject of discussion. Following a review of the HRV COT Policy, which included consultation with the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA) and approval from the HRV Board, HRV stewards have amended the application of the HRV COT Policy with immediate effect. View the full details Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered a charge issued against licensed trainer Mr Boris Devcic under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 193(1) relating to a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 4 January 2017.  AHRR 193(1) states:  A person shall not attempt to stomach tube or stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event.  The particulars of this charge were that on 4 January 2017 Mr Devcic stomach tubed the horse ‘Flagbearer’ which was engaged to race at the Mildura harness racing meeting that evening.  Mr Devcic pleaded guilty to this charge and after considering submissions regarding penalty the HRV RAD Board imposed a 9 month disqualification, to commence at midnight on 18 June 2017.  In determining penalty the HRV RAD Board considered the following: Mr Devcic’s early guilty plea and co-operation with the Stewards. Mr Devcic’s awareness of the relevant rule Previous penalties for similar offences.  Specific and general deterrence.  That breaches of this rule are serious offences and the need to send a message that such offences are unacceptable. The Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board (RADB) is established under section 50B of the Racing Act (1958). The RADB is an independent Board established to hear and determine appeals in relation to decisions made under the rules to impose penalties on persons and to hear and determine charges made against persons for serious offences.  HRV RAD Board – Boris Devcic 

The Glenn Elliott-trained Soho Wall Street would have to be one of the most improved pacers going around in Western Australia. The Four Starzzz Shark gelding's biggest payday came more than 12 months ago when he led all the way for harness racing driver Chris Lewis to win the $25,000 3YO Colts & Geldings Sales Classic Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park. It was a strong win and there was much optimism in the horse's camp that he would progress to bigger and better things. However since his victory in the Sales Classic, Soho Wall Street has promised to deliver plenty, without actually delivering much at all. The horse had won twice in 21 starts since mid November last year - once at headquarters and once at Narrogin - and finished in the placings on a number of occasions. Soho Wall Street was frustrating Elliott, connections and punters, who had all but labelled the four-year-old as a "gay deceiver". That was, however, up until about six weeks ago. The turning point came at GP in early May when Soho Wall Street tramped three deep, then sat in the breeze before cruising home his last 400m in a slick 27.8 to annihilate his 11 rivals and Soho Wall Street has gone on with the job since then. At his very next start, Soho Wall Street was trapped three-wide throughout in a 1730m scamper, but had the audacity to take the lead at the top of the straight before being run down late. Two more sterling victories followed and then a gutsy second behind Naughty Maravu after doing all the work in the breeze. The Hopeland-based Elliott, considered to be non-committal around the media, opened up to GPTV's Gareth Hall last week when he was "ambushed" while watching a race on a TV monitor at Gloucester Park. "I'm pretty happy with him," Elliott said of Soho Wall Street. "He's definitely on the improve - we'll just see where it all ends. He's trained on well since his last run." While serious judges gave Soho Wall Street little chance of beating Chicago Bull last week, he didn't disgrace himself by finishing a workmanlike fourth behind the little champ. Elliott told Hall during the interview that he didn't really know how Soho Wall Street had "turned it all around". So to Friday night when Soho Wall Street goes around in the Gloucester Motel & Restaurant Pace (2130m) at the ribbon of light. Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, who has driven the horse to most of his wins, gets back in the spider after reining Chicago Bull to victory. Soho Wall Street, now an M3-class pacer, has drawn out wide in gate eight in the preferential barrier draw against a quality field and will probably have to work hard to win but it would take a brave man to suggest this much-improved pacer won't take the next step and progress to fast-class ranks. Wayne Currall

Young Harness Racing Club will be playing host to another great night of racing this Friday night at Young Paceway starting at 5.07 pm with cool and clear conditions expected. The opening race has some very consistent pacers engaged and the eventual outcome looks hard to predict.  Last start winner and front running Bathurst trained pacer Gregs Legacy is looking to secure a hat trick and with Amanda Turnbull at the controls, he looks the winner.  The Josh Turnbull trained Timmy May can spring a surprise if given a clear run through from gate six while Miles Above for Wendy and Emma Turnbull could make it a Turnbull trifecta.  A roughie in the race at good odds could well be Kyalla Luke for Amy Rees.  The second race is a Harness Breeders Bonus Scheme Pace and again has attracted a good quality capacity field.  Bold Outlaw has been around the money of late and again has the services of Amanda Turnbull from a favourable gate.  Back markers Keep Quiet and Ma Koo Loo Frankie are both last start winners and are racing in good form with the Wendy Turnbull trained Edge Of The Starzz also being a last start winner in good time, an interesting race to sat the least. Race three is an Encouragement Stakes with special handicap conditions, most noticeable that the trainer has not trained more than two winners this season.  With that in mind, local trainer Peter Hanson could spring a surprise with the improving Sway from gate one a definite chance if the race is run to suit.  Others with claims include Chivas Shark, Forest Fury and Rocketer at long odds.  The Wagga Wagga connection of Rob Woodhouse and Roger Strong have a great chance to take home the cash in race four with Padrisimo from gate four.  A winner of his last two races, this New Zealand import has shown improvement at every start and certainly looks the winner here.  Dangers include last start winner Dillon, the evergreen Beetson and possibly Holdonsu for Steve Turnbull. Trainers of three year olds have been given the chance to chalk up a win before their runners hit open company and the race has drawn together a very competitive field. Many keen followers of the sport will no doubt be watching with interest the Amy Day trained Two Real who will carry the colours once worn by Max McHillhatton who had great success with Billy Adios, Gregory Lee and Sir Ringo amongst others, black jacket with a red sash and white sleeves.  The form of this improving pacer could see it break through for a win with El Gran Senor, Abilene Shannon and Lucky Lyla the main dangers.  Local owner and breeder Peter Sykes has an opportunity to record another win with his home bred pacers in race six with Ma Koo Loo Hambo draw well in gate one. Having been placed in its last four starts, the opportunity to break through for a win here is highly likely.  Other chances in the race include Lucky Yo Make It from a wide gate and Black Magic Shannon for regular visitor Peter Bullock and McKayler Barnes.  The final race of the night has a small field of six and gives Dennis Picker the chance to claim another victory with last start winner Point Danger.  The small field should suit and Blake Hewitt will give this improving pacer every chance over the 2100 metre journey.  Dangers include Bee Bee Elle and Ma Koo Loo Queen with some thoughts for the pole marker Its Alltherightmoves for Wendy and Emma Turnbull. RACE FIELDS KEY: (f) Form (t) Trainer (d) Driver. Race 1 TAB PACE 5.07 pm – 2100 m  1 PONTE MILVIO NZ – (f) 3294s, (t) AS Turnbull, (d) Steve Turnbull.  2 ALABAMA TYSON – (f) 33993, (t) RV Lemon, (d) Rodney Lemon.  3 GREGS LEGACY: (f) 51811, (t) JS Turnbull, (d) Amanda Turnbull.  4 ALABAMA ACE: (f) 48657, (t) RV Lemon, (d) Michael Souden.  5 CAPTAIN COONEY: (f) 13548, (t) SG Hillier, (d) Cameron Hart.  6 TIMMY MAY: (f) 61167, (t) JS Turnbull, (d) John O’Shea.  7 MILES ABOVE: (f) 11519, (t) WJ Turnbull, (d) Emma Turnbull.  8 HARD TO HEAR: (f) 35448, (t) DG Picker, (d) Dennis Picker.  9 KYALLA LUKE: (f) 33103, (t) SL Rye, (d) Amy Rees. Race 2 AUSTRALIAN HOTEL HARNESS BREEDERS NSW BONUS SCHEME PACE 5.35 pm – 1720 m  1 SUNOFASIS – (f) 97057, (t) MW Johnson, (d) Maurice Johnson.  3 ALWAYS ANNIE – (f) 35688, (t) AF Garaty, (d) Aaron Garaty.  4 EDGE OF THE STARZZZ – (f) s9961, (t) WJ Turnbull, (d) Emma Turnbull.  5 HIGHVIEW STARZZZ – (f) 097s5, (t) SL Rye, (d) Monique Parsons.  6 HAKA SHANNON – (f) 42929, (t) PC Bullock, (d) McKayler Barnes.  7 KEEP QUIET – (f) s2431, (t) SG Hillier, (d) Blake Jones.  8 BETTORBETBIG –  (f) 53085, (t) AJ Turner, (d) Nic Dewar.  9 MA KOO LOO FRANKIE –  (f) s6361, (t) TJ Fletcher, (d) Nathan Hoy.  10 MOD CONNS – (f) 55769, (t) TG Powter, (d) Jessica Prior. Race 3 YOUNG HOTEL ENCOURAGEMENT STAKES 6.07 pm – 1720 m  1 SWAY – (f) 25345, (t) PL Hansen, (d) Peter Hansen.  2 SYLVIE RAINE – (f) 10689, (t) JG Brown, (d) Jeff Brown.  3 CHIVAS SHARK – (f) 60533, (t) AM Day, (d) Amy Day.  4 SPOOKY DREAMS – (f) 17426, (t) MR Turton, (d) Molly Turton.  5 ROCKETER – (f) 18336, (t) PL Phillips, (d) Paul Phillips.  6 CONCERTINA – (f) 60747, (t) MJ Prest, (d) Glenn Wilmot.  7 KINGOFTHERAINBOW – (f) 39500, (t) RN Turner, (d) Raymond Turner.  8 FOREST FURY –  (f) 23338, (t) JM Brown, (d) Nic Dewar.  9 HIJACKED – (f) 66505, (t) ER McDermott, (d) Eric McDermott. Race 4 NEWS XPRESS/JAYCAR YOUNG PACE 6.43 pm 2100 m  1 COOLA BAR BOY –  (f) 89757 (t) MH Souden (d) Rodney Lemon.  2 GO SCOTTY – (f) 14184 (t) TG Powter (d) Blake Jones.  3 CORRINYAH CONMAN – (f) 28747 (t) SG Hillier (d) Cameron Hart.  4 PADRISIMO NZ – (f) 26811 (t) RB Woodhouse (d) Roger Strong.  5 DILLON – (f) 437811 (t) AS Turnbull (d) Amy Rees.  6 INTRANSIT – (f) 661r9 (t) AS Turnbull (d) Amanda Turnbull.  7 HOLDONSU – (f) 82832 (t) AS Turnbull (d) Steve Turnbull.  8 FIOKI – (f) 357s6 (t) DG Picker (d) Nic Dewar.  9 BEETSON – (f) 51103 (t) PD Trevor-Jones (d) John O’Shea. Race 5 RAY WHITE REAL ESTATE YOUNG THREE YEAR OLD PACE 7.10 pm 2100 m  1 ABILENE SHANNON – (f) 346s3 (t) PC Bullock (d) McKayler Barnes.  2 LUCKY LYLA – (f) 91828 (t) JS Turnbull (d) John O’Shea.  3 DAENERYS – (f) 2s (t) BK Woodhouse (d) Brett Woodhouse.  4 EL GRAN SENOR NZ – (f) 57204 (t) AS Turnbull (d) Amanda Turnbull.  5 TWO REAL – (f) 724 (t) AM Day (d) Amy Day.  6 MAKO BAY – (f) 6034s (t) GR Wilmot (d) Glenn Wilmot.  7 PATTYS ANGEL – (f) 45268 (t) LA Primmer (d) Seryn Adams.  8 MASTERCHIEF – (f) 8 (t) CL Bourke (d) Jody Bryant. Race 6 YOUNG HOTEL PACE 7.44 pm 2100 m 1 MA KOO LOO HAMBO – (t) AS Turnbull (d) Amanda Turnbull. 2 BLACKMAGIC SHANNON – (t) PC Bullock (d) McKayler Barnes. 3 MAGIC SENSATION – (t) MJ Prest (d) Nic Dewar. 4 ALABAMA TIFF – (t) RV Lemon (d) Rodney Lemon. 5 CAESARS ASTRUM – (t) RN Turner (d) Raymond Turner. 6 LUCKY TO MAKE IT – (t) MH Souden (d) Michael Souden. 7 RAVE ON RABBITS – (t) DG Picker (d) Dennis Picker. 8 ONE TUFF MELODY – (t) NS Hoy (d) Nathan Hoy. Race 7 YOUNG CAR WASH PACE 8.14 pm 2100 m 1 ITS ALLTHERIGHTMOVES NZ – (t) WJ Turnbull (d) Emma Turnbull. 2 POINT DANGER – (t) DG Picker (d) Blake Hewitt. 3 MAH KOO LOO QUEEN – (t) TJ Fletcher (d) Nathan Hoy. 4 BEE BEE ELLE – (t) AF Garaty (d) Aaron Garaty. 5 JET ON ICE – (t) AS Turnbull (d) Amanda Turnbull. 6 CONROD KENZE – (t) PL Dennis (d) Blake Jones.   By Staurt Maxwell   Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness      

Fans have been dished-up an unexpected treat at Menangle on Saturday night. Trainer Kevin Pizzuto telegraphed early his plans to back-up Tiger Tara, but the twist in the race came when David Aiken opted to run Hectorjayjay as well. So, just eight days before the Group 1 Len Smith Mile, we get a mini preview with two of Australia’s best pacers locking horns in the Family Dun Day Sunday Pace (2300m). As impressive as Tiger Tara was storming home off a slow pace to beat Lennytheshark and others in last week’s Golden Mile, all the early money is for Hectorjayjay to beat him on Saturday. Amazingly, Hectorjayjay was smashed from $1.60 into $1.45 and then again in $1.35 within minutes of the Aussie TAB opening its fixed odds market. Tiger Tara has eased from $2.60 to $3. Both will start from the back row, but Hectorjayjay looks to be drawn better starting from two-out on the back as he can potentially through better and settle in front of Tiger Tara. Tiger Tara has the inside back row (gate 11) and follows out rank outsider Demolition Dave, meaning driver Todd McCarthy will surely snag and look to get straight away from the inside into the running line. It means he will settle near last. Against that, Tiger Tara’s great strength is his stamina and the stretch from last week’s 1609m to 2300m plays to his favour. The glamour pair are classes above their rivals and it promises to be a fascinating race of tactics and an ideal “teaser” to the best Len Smith Mile in recent memory. Saturday night’s Menangle card also features semi-finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge for three and four-year-olds. By far the biggest name stepping-out in them is NSW and NZ Derby winner Vincent, who is a $1.04 favourite from gate four in the second of the three-year-old colts and geldings division. Luke McCarthy is down to take the drive. Another highlight of the card is the Group 3 Frith Stakes (1609m) where the key players are Cyclone Kate (gate 14), Rocker Band (12) and Miss Riviera Belle (five). Kiwi mare Rocker Band has moved from Craig Demmler’s Victorian stable to Mark Jones’ Menangle satellite stable and Ashlee Grives is down for the drive on Saturday night. Rocker Band and Cyclone Kate share $3.40 favourite in the Aussie TAB’s early fixed odds market. Adam Hamilton

Boom pacer San Carlo is on trial for the Queensland harness racing winter carnival. The outstanding Victorian gelding, fresh from his success last weekend at Bendigo, is being considered for the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season – the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake on July 15. It’s the biggest event staged in Queensland, the 2680m mobile start feature takes place at Albion Park. And co-trainers Steve O’Donoghue and Rebecca Bartley are very interested in dipping their toe in the water with their rising star. A winner of 14 races from 16 starts, the Mach Three six-year-old gelding made a massive statement when he demoralised his rivals last Saturday night at Lords Paceway after sitting wide throughout before racing clear over the concluding stages. San Carlo scored easily by 5m while rating 1:55.4 for the 2150m. “That was a big step forward into making Brisbane a reality, he performed in such a great manner and Steve thinks the Blacks A Fake is a good target for him but he’s got to prove himself once more before any decision is made.” Bartley said. And that next assignment comes up next Thursday (June 22). San Carlo will start in the Leo Crameri at Maryborough, a race that has historically produced plenty of high quality performers. The event will be staged over 2190m. “That’s his next target and it’s likely he will meet plenty of classy rivals but it will also tell us if Brisbane is one or off. A victory will go a long way in making the northern trip a reality, Brisbane will be tough but it looks a good opportunity for him. “I don’t think he shocked us in anyway last week because we’ve known for some time how good he really is but to do it in the manner in which he did was the best part. He was really strong. “And that’s his best asset; he’s a very strong horse.” O’Donoghue, the boss of Morley Park (of Classic Garry fame), believes San Carlo is the best horse he has worked with and rates him higher than Barclay Court (23 wins – $99k) and Triple Vance (20 wins - $182k). San Carlo is raced by John Eichhorn. Chris Barsby