Day At The Track

Another $1m race for New South Wales

02:00 PM 05 Jul 2019 NZST
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one million dollar
Another one million dollar race for New South Wales

Last week the Tamworth Harness Racing Club received the good news that their Golden Guitar feature race will be elevated to a Group 2 $50,000 race from January 2020.

This week Harness Racing NSW chairman Rod Smith made another announcement: New South Wales will have a new $1 million race to go with the $1 million Miracle Mile.

The race will be funded from negotiated arrangements between the racing industry and Tabcorp, and it will include a new bet type, odds and evens. The $1 million final will be the culmination of a series of races across NSW.

The final concept for the series is slated to be endorsed by the HRNSW board this month.

"We have injected funding into established feature races and carnivals, and now I am proud to say we are giving participants an opportunity to race for high stakes with horses which are not at the top level of our code of racing," Smith said.

"This race provides for participants in the country, provincial and metropolitan areas, including as far away as Broken Hill, to compete in their own back yards.

"All the owners and trainers really need is the horse good enough to win the $1 million race."

****

THE HRNSW Rising Star Series has had a close finish, with Jake Hughes, who was representing the Hunter Valley and North West, finishing second to Metropolitan reinsman Joshua Gallagher.

Hughes was leading the series heading into the final two races at Menangle last Sunday.

Hughes had a winning drive at the Penrith meeting on Thursday evening, behind the Paul Fitzpatrick-trained Dee Double You. They raced to a 14-metre win.

On his home track of Newcastle on Friday night, 18-year-old Hughes picked up another win when he drove Tralee Rocks for Tamworth owners Ernie and Anthony Mabbott.

Gallagher finished on 82 points, just two points ahead of Hughes.

Jake's younger brother Blake drove a winner at last week's Tamworth meeting, behind Chevron Reward, for his boss Clayton Harmey.

Blake, at 16 years of age, has only had two drives at Tamworth. He finished last in his first start.

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AT LAST week's Tamworth meeting, siblings Tom and Emma Ison had a dead heat in the Tamworthharnessracing.com.au Pace.

Tom drove the Dwayne Brown-trained What A Flight while Emma handled Bailees Girl, for her father Andy.

"I thought he (Tom) had beat us," said Emma, whose previous winner was in January at Tamworth with Tepary.

For Tom, there was a second glance when he noticed his younger sister had joined him at the finish line.

"At that last second, I was surprised that it was Emma on the outside. But I thought she had beat me by a neck or so, as she was finishing that quick," he said.

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THE premierships are starting to take shape at Tamworth, with Dean Chapple leading the drivers premiership (25 points) - just five wins ahead of Lola Weidemann. 

Chapple last won the drivers premiership in 2013/2014, with 35 wins.

Weidemann leads the Hygain trainers premiership, with 27 wins. Narrabri trainer Jarred Hetherington is second with 16 wins.

The horse of the year premiership s a close one, with Narrabri pacer Kid Montana, from the Shepherdson stables, locked on 22 points with Too Goo For You, from the Weideman stables.

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READY To Bloom, from the Mitch Faulkner stables, will have a start in the $20,000 Multiquip Club Menangle Country Series Final at Menangle on Saturday night after finishing second in a heat at Peak Hill.

Harness racing will return to the Tamworth Paceway next Thursday.

By Julie Maughan

Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

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