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Slice of Heaven has 100,000 reasons to maintain his solid form-line at Albion Park on Saturday night. Trainer Donny Smith, said he was now on top of the five-year-old gelding’s feet problems, and if he continued to race the way he has been, then a trip to Sydney was on the cards. “I’ve had him for just on a year now and he’s never felt this good. There’s a $100,000 race on Miracle Mile night at Menangle I’d like to take him south for that,” Smith said. “But for him to get there he’s going to have to keep doing what he’s been doing – and I think he can." The $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile will be held on Saturday March 2. On Saturday Slice Of Heaven will make his open class debut in the richest race - the $14,580 Congrats C. J. Gerrard Oam C/7+ Pace. The son of Rocknroll Hanover has copped the widest second row draw (12). "(Glenferrie Hood) and Lilac Flash are the horses to beat, but my fella can win if things go his way," Smith said. "Drawing 12 isn't so bad because we might be able to get on 'Glenferrie's' back and get into the race that way. I'm looking forward to his open class debut because there's some nice horses in the race and I know he can measure up." Slice Of Heaven has won three of his last four starts including a close-up victory over last season’s Horse-of-the-Year, Colt Thirty One, at the same venue seven days ago. "He's had a few niggles over the years and when he came to us (from J J Alchin – NSW) I knew within a month he was better than average. He’s come ahead leaps and bounds," Smith said. “I told the staff he’s the best we’ve got. That was last April and he’s gone on to prove us right. He did have soft feet and it's taken a while for them to harden up, but I seem to be on top of that, which really pleases me." Smith said he didn’t train Slice Of Heaven like a champion. "He's got quite a bit of untapped potential. I just train him like I do any of the other horses. He’s yet to be tapped into," he said. “Yes he can win on Saturday. We need him to warrant a trip to New South Wales." Slice of Heaven, the winner of 14 of his 34 starts (and $77,653), was bred in New Zealand by Harvey Kaplan of the Jordash Breeding Trust. He was the fifth foal of 10 out of the unraced 2003 Kiwi mare, Pacific Rocket - She's Mighty. Smith said he was sold to Alchin and his clients for $52,000 at a Ready To Run Sale before he was two. Alchin trained him to win five of his 22 starts before Smith took over the training duties in March last year By Duane Ranger For Racing Queensland

Tomorrow is the day lady drivers all around Australia and New Zealand will hang up their traditional white driving pants and replace them with Teal pants for a very worthy cause. For the next six weeks (between February 1 and March 10) these ladies will form “Team Teal”, an awareness and fundraising campaign that connects the harness racing industry with Women’s Cancer Foundation. Each time a female driver wins a race they secure funds for ovarian and gynaecological cancer research conducted by the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG). While the campaign initiated in Victoria in 2014, it has since grown to an international status with hundreds of reinswomen wearing teal driving pants last year, securing a total of 315 winners and close to $200,000 in donations. This year they strive for more with the fundraising goal set at $250,000. As in tradition the campaign ends with the Australian Female Drivers Championship, this year being staged at Albion Park on March 9. Narissa McMullen and Kylie Rasmussen will represent Queensland in the multi-race series and therefore have been selected as Queensland’s Teal Ambassadors who will also wear Teal driving silks throughout the campaign. McMullen has been the most successful Queensland female driver while driving in her teal pants for the past two campaigns, in which she has accumulated a total of 19 winners. “It’s great that we are back driving in the teal pants again this year, getting a winner is always great but to raise money for such a worthy cause while doing so is even better,” McMullen said. The harsh reality is that this year, more than 1400 women in Australia alone will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Over 900 of these same women will die from the disease. The Women’s Cancer Foundation strives to change these statistics, however we need your help to raise much needed funding to support their research projects and raise awareness. Donation buckets and Teal merchandise will be available at Albion Park as well as many other harness clubs. You can also donate directly at https://donate.everydayhero.com/d/XS0leTYXVguOJ1_hqCb5_w/amount   Albion Park

In-form pacer Lincoln Road will remain local. The former New Zealand pacer was purchased last year with aspirations of being a contender for the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire, the pinnacle event for four-year-old’s staged at TABCORP Park, Menangle next month. An impressive winner of his past five starts, the latest comes on Tuesday afternoon at Albion Park when leading throughout in fast time. And while his current form lines read impressively, connections will resist the temptation of an interstate trip. “We’re thrilled with his efforts of late and he’s clearly performing at a very high level but a trip south is not the right thing for the horse. It’s his first campaign and he’s become a little stirred up and I think it could tip him over the edge.” Trainer Alistair Barnes said. A winner of 9 races from 21 starts, the versatile gelding has won 5 of his 8 starts in the Sunshine State. But Barnes is looking long term with his stable star. “I think the Brisbane winter carnival is a better option, we can give him an ease up and build nicely to those features rather than putting him in the deep end by chasing the Chariots. “He’s a horse we’re hoping can reach open class grade and have plenty of fun with along the way, he’s only a young horse and still very inexperienced. He’s still got plenty of upside and should continue to develop. “He has led, parked out and come from behind in his victories to date and I honestly feel his best option is sitting off the pace and coming with one run. As he rises in class, we may have to drive him more that way so that’s a nice problem to have.” Lincoln Road is raced by Victorian based couple, Cesare and Maria Di Gregorio. And they’re racing a number of prospects through the Barnes stable. Handy performer Bet Im Special was their maiden purchase while they’ve added Miss Blue Glory and the trotter Whataboyz. Barnes, a dual licence trainer, currently has a team of 17 in work.   RQ Web News

Queenslander Alistair Barnes is riding the crest of a wave at the moment, courtesy of a former Kiwi pacer destined for big things in harness racing. Barnes, a harness racing trainer-driver based at Marburg, admitted he is still “pinching himself” after watching his pacer Lincoln Road post his fifth consecutive win at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon. “When I flew over to New Zealand to drive the horse he felt like a nice type, but he’s absolutely blossomed here after taking a little time to settle in,” he said. Lincoln Road (Lincoln Royal-Tania Tandias) is raced by newcomers to the sport in Cesare and Maria Di Gregorio, of Melbourne. It was a chance meeting while holidaying in Fiji that brought Barnes, his partner Cassie Saunders and the Di Gregorios together. “We met at a resort and Cesare and his grandson Dion were both keen to go on a deep-sea fishing trip – something that we had also wanted to do,” Barnes said. “Anyway, it was a complete disaster. It was blowing a gale, with big waves and rough seas. We didn’t catch a thing and even worse, Cassie got horribly sea sick,” he said. “On our return, the boat owner couldn’t go too close to the beach, so he dropped us all off in waist deep water and we had to battle along to eventually get back to the resort. “That was when we struck up a friendship. Cesare told us he had always wanted to own and race some horses but didn’t know how to get involved.” The new partnership had some fun with one of their first horses in Bet Im Special who has earnt around $14,000 and were then lucky enough to get onto Lincoln Road as part of a $60,000 deal including Auckland winner, Miss Blue Glory. Barnes said he has high hopes for Lincoln Road who he described as “the complete package”. “He is so versatile, and this combined with his unbelievable will to win makes him a bit special,” he said. “I have no doubts whatsoever that he’s going to go places.” The purple patch of winning form kicked off at Redcliffe on December 20 and four impressive victories at Albion Park have followed for the son of Lincoln Royal. Lincoln Road in full flight winning the Egmont Park Stud Pace at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon Lincoln Royal was himself no slouch on the racetrack, competing under the name of Sir Lincoln (he was renamed in Australia to Lincoln Royal).  He won the Group One Auckland Cup in early 2012 and finished his career with 21 wins and 15 placings for over $660,000 from 57 starts. Sir Lincoln is by Mach Three, the sire of other notables in Auckland Reactor, Somebeachsomewhere and Fly Like An Eagle. In the breeding barn, Lincoln Royal has so far had 134 three and four-year-olds in NZ for 30 winners ($413,241), while in Australia he has 22 progeny on the ground for seven winners ($74,899). Two of his offspring in Aramiss and Abraham have been exported to North America with Aramiss having won nine for $83,318 and paced 1.53-1 on the half mile Yonkers Raceway. Barnes has been involved in harness racing for over 25 years but said nowadays he was happy to leave talented reinsmen sons Hayden and Brendan doing the bulk of the stable driving. “At the moment Hayden gets most of the drives, but if he’s unavailable Brendan, who is with Jack Butler at Logan Village, is next, and then it’s me – but only as a last resort,” he said laughing. But Barnes snr is probably playing down his capabilities as over the years he’s landed more than a few long shots, courtesy of some heady drives. “I suppose I learnt a bit when working in the USA and Canada, but I’m more than happy to be on the sidelines cheering for the boys,” he said. The Barnes team, with 17 in work at present, is prepared on a 70-acre property. “It’s a family affair with Cassie, Hayden and myself doing the training part. Cassie’s mum Gayle cleans the boxes, does the waters and all the other jobs that come with having a big team,” Barnes said. While he is excited by the potential of a 2yo Auckland Reactor filly related to smart Victorian based pacer Lochinvar Art (seven wins), and a 3yo, also sired by Auckland Reactor, and related to former top-liner Roman Ruler (14 wins from 34 starts), Barnes has another NZ trip in the pipeline. “Yes, I’m going back as soon as possible to try out a few more—-another one like Lincoln Road would be brilliant!” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Last start APHRC Members Cup winner Mr Kalypso is close to a return. The hulking stallion remains unbeaten in the Sunshine State after seven starts for Kylie Rasmussen and Darren Weeks highlighted by his feature race triumph at his most recent start last month. In the Members Cup, the Art Major – Kalypso pacer crushed his rivals after starting from a tough second-line draw. Following a freshen-up immediately after that performance, the rising star is set to return next week. “We’re looking at giving him a trial next week before looking at a return race, we’re really happy with the way he’s training and looking forward to getting back to the track with him. He pulled a muscle in his chest a week after winning the Members Cup but he’s completely over that.” Weeks said. Previously prepared in New Zealand by the All Stars stable (Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen), Mr Kalypso has quickly developed a big following in his adopted state. The regally bred entire has charged through his grades and looks destined for bigger and better things which may include the Brisbane winter carnival later this year. “We really like him but we haven’t confirmed any plans at this stage, we’ll just take it race by race at the moment before making any firm decisions. “He’s done everything asked of him at this point and we’d like to think he could step into the better races in time to come.” Mr Kalypso has won 8 of his 14 starts while his earnings have surged beyond $50,000. Meanwhile, another former Kiwi pacer is close to a return in the shape of Lilac Flash. The Bettors Delight gelding has proven to be a great money-spinner since landing on Australian soil last year. A winner of 12 races from 21 starts which included a winning sequence of 8 races, the speedy performer has not raced since he finished second behind The Space Invader in 1:53.3 at Albion Park on December 1. Lilac Flash is also expected to trial next week. Overall, he has won 14 of his 41 starts while banking in excess of $89,000.   Chris Barsby

Owner Matt McLellan has just one wish for 2019. He wants to return for the Brisbane winter Carnival in July at Albion Park. Naturally, he wants to be part of the action again with his millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay. His memories are so joyous and so vivid, he’s often reliving the glory days when his brilliant pacer took the state’s biggest events. Back in 2016, Hectorjayjay produced one of the greatest performances of all time when he came from a near impossible position to win the Sunshine Sprint before going down as favourite a week later in the Blacks A Fake on a rain sodden track. He returned the following year and won both features, sublime efforts of both occasions. “There’s no doubt Brisbane holds a lot of special memories for me and the guys that race Hector, we’ve been lucky enough to win so many good races but his Brisbane efforts just stand out for me. It’s a great track nestled amongst a fascinating backdrop and the people are so great up there, I really look forward to getting there as much as possible.” McLellan said. As fate would have it, things have turned sour with Hectorjayjay developing some major injury setbacks which ultimately cost him a chance of returning to Brisbane last year. After enjoying so much success with star trainer David Aiken, he was transferred to Gavin Lang where he left with a perfect record after winning his only start for the master horseman when triumphant in the Popular Alm Sprint at Kilmore last June before going amiss again. Nowadays, Hectorjayjay is based with Ecklin South horseman Mattie Craven who makes full use of the nearby Warnambool beaches. And the signs of improvement are looking better each and every day. “His latest scan, which occurred days prior to Christmas, was really encouraging and it’s given us a lot of confidence moving forward with him. “We can now increase his workload but we’re not going to overdo it with him, rather than pushing him for a race like the Miracle Mile, I’d rather wait and be ready for Brisbane and make sure he’s proper ready. “If we can return to Brisbane and win those two big races again, that would just be absolutely amazing, a dream come true for me personally and hopefully we can get that opportunity.” The Brisbane winter carnival takes place at Albion Park throughout the month of July and the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship is the final leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit. Racing Queensland has recently announced some cash bonuses for horses aiming at the staying feature. Last year, Mattie Craven enjoyed tremendous results throughout the carnival after claiming both the Queensland Derby (Master Moonlite) and Queensland Trotters Cup (Our Dreamlover). Chris Barsby

In-form pacer Sams A Champ has run his final race on Australian soil. The Jack Butler prepared pacer has claimed three straight victories including the Redcliffe Christmas Cup followed by back to back Albion Park triumphs in recent weeks. But his form surge has caught the eye of several agents. And a deal has been struck which will see his future racing days completed in North America. “That was actually his last start for us last weekend and he won’t race again in Australia, he’s going straight to the States.” Butler said. During his past three victories, the Dawn Ofa New Day gelding has shown great versatility in which he led throughout at Redcliffe before coming from near last at Albion Park at his next start. Last week, in the Remembering ‘Hes Poplar’ Open Pace, he again showed his high gate speed and led throughout defeating in-form mare Our Millwood Maizie in a time of 1:55.1 for the 2138m distance. His final splits were covered in 27.8 and 26.9 seconds. “He went great but it came as no surprise given his two previous efforts, he’s right in the zone at the moment but it was nice to see him do it at the open class level. “We’ve always liked him and his overall record is very good so hopefully he carries this good form with him in North America for his new connections.” Sams A Champ has won 20 of his 80 starts while earning in excess of $120,000. He was raced by Harness Racing New South Wales Chairman, Mr. Rod Smith.   Chris Barsby

Form guide for Harness Racing at Albion Park Tuesday 8th of January RACE ONE MISTER OZ (5) is knocking on the door with placings in 3 of his past 5 starts the latest in open company on Sat night. Finding the pocket trail he was solid to the line when 8m from the winner IVANOV. He closed strongly here 2 starts back and from the 30m tape can cash-in. NORTHERN MUSCLE (6) will strip fitter after returning from a freshen here over the 2138m last start. Starting fav he was working home in good order wide out but was no match for the winner who skipped clear. Putting together a stretch of 4 wins in his past 6 he looms as a danger in this. JUSTABITLIKEMUM (2) will take further benefit from her latest run when 2nd up from a break. Her return run had merit after striking trouble and with a safe getaway can give some cheek here. EL SWAVO (4) went back-to-back with success in similar races before meeting some tougher types at his past 3 runs. His run last start was a nice effort against open performers and he can chime in here. SELECTIONS: MISTER OZ (5), NORTHERN MUSCLE (6), JUSTABITLIKEMUM (2), EL SWAVO (4) SUGGESTED BET: MISTER OZ (5) to win   RACE TWO OUTLAW FELLA (1) will be tightened from his latest start when returning from a break. Starting from gate 5 he worked forward to find the breeze and was in for the fight when only 4m from the winner. He finds his best gate in recent outings and can look to capitalise. LUCIFERS LEGEND (4) is also 2nd up from a break and comes out of the same race as OUTLAW FELLA. Starting from the 2nd line in that contest he was angled to the pegs for a cosy trip and was hitting the line in good order when 7m from the winner. Fitter he can find position and be closing late.   IMA GRUMPY POSSUM (8) did some early work in a slick opening panel on Sat night and after finding cover was strong to the line when only 4m from the winner. With a cosy trip on offer here look for her taking a closing shot. LANCELOT BROMAC (9) has started to work his way back into some form after going through a lean patch. He found the line nicely last start behind SIR JULIAN and with early options is in the mix here. SELECTIONS: OUTLAW FELLA (1), LUCIFERS LEGEND (4), IMA GRUMPY POSSUM (8), LANCELOT BROMAC (9) SUGGESTED BET: OUTLAW FELLA (1) to win     RACE THREE GOD SAKE (1) chased gamely to hold 3rd behind MAJOR CROCKER at Menangle 2 starts back and then when returning to Qld didn’t have many things in his favour when down the line behind COURAGEOUS LEO. He started fav last time out and from the ace gate here he looks to get his chance to atone. THE MUSE (8) will be sweating on the 1 looking for an all the way effort as that will bring her right into contention. Finding the pocket trail last start she chased hard when holding on for the bronze behind the in-form LINCOLN ROAD. With the cosy trip available she will be ready to strike. EVERYTHING (9) had a dip for the front last start and despite looking to have crossed couldn’t get to the pegs. Takin cover in the run he then never had a shot at them. Racing tough in previous starts he can throw down a challenge in this. GRINVIL (6) took on mares company on Saturday when chasing home well to be 4m from the winner DARKERSHADEOFPALE. The wider gate hurts her chances but she can be thereabouts with even luck. SELECTIONS: GOD SAKE (1), THE MUSE (8), EVERYTHING (9), GRINVIL (6) SUGGESTED BET: GOD SAKE (1) to win     RACE FOUR MONTANA CHIEF (1) was after a hat-trick of victories last start when forced to work hard in the breeze from gate 4. With the solid tempo he couldn’t see it out when fading in the closing stages to finish mid-field. He took them all the way from this gate over the 2138m 2 starts back and can dictate here. JUST DEAL IT (10) made her debut back on Dec 18 when starting from gate 1 she was given plenty of time balance up and take a trail. When sent into space she hit the line nicely and extended away in good style to victory. With the experience from that run she will be a big threat in this. PINUP BOY (8) was working home wide off the track last start and hitting the line in good order to grab the silver when 5m from the winner TUESDAYS FELLA. He will be coiled and ready to strike after a soft trip. ONE OFF (6) has been down the line at his past 2 starts after finishing in the top 3 in 7 successive starts when arriving in Aus. Finding a spot without being too far back will be key here and he can chime in late. SELECTIONS: MONTANA CHIEF (1), JUST DEAL IT (10), PINUP BOY (8), ONE OFF (6) SUGGESTED BET: Flexi trifecta 1-6-8-10     RACE FIVE STEVIE DEE (3) had been struggling to show her best until her last start when finding a suitable target and from a long way back in the pack was able to finish over the top to score. Only 6m from VALTONA in a mares qualifier the start prior, she can go back-to-back in a wide open contest.   IMA TOP TYCOON (9) was closing out in good order from a long way back at Redcliffe 3 starts back to be 3m from the winner in solid time. He finished best through a strong closing 800m split to score at Marburg 2 starts back and was tough from the breeze last start. Despite the gate he can feature.   MACHIN OUT (10) went back from a wide gate last start and then was never in the hunt against the closing tempo. That followed a run where he didn’t have a great deal of luck and he can be sharper here. GOODTIME STRIDE (4) has been 5m from the winner at each of her past 2 starts with the latest a tidy effort from the 2nd line over the Redcliffe 2040m. With the right trip she will be in the mix. SELECTIONS: STEVIE DEE (3), IMA TOP TYCOON (9), MACHIN OUT (10), GOODTIME STRIDE (4) SUGGESTED BET:     RACE SIX BALLYMORE BOY (9) took on a qualifier last start and after racing wide to find the position outside the leader he was in for the fight when 6m form the winner COURAGEOUS LEO. Absolutely luckless the start prior when probing for space that never arrived. With a nice trail through early he can break a run of frustrations. MARETTI (5) features in a stable change and will line up for Cristina Monte for the 1sttime. His run 4 starts back was strong when fighting in the breeze and only beaten a half-neck and last start he was grabbed late after doing some early work. Despite the tricky gate he will be right in the fight. MACHEASY (4) made the most of the passing lane on Sat night to claim a 2nd division qualifier. Finding the front form gate 6 the start prior he was grabbed right on the line and will be close here. KEY LARGO (2) started fav on Sat night and was forced to do the heavy lifting after pressing ahead from gate 6. He can hold an early spot here and if limiting the work can be in a great spot to strike. SELECTIONS: BALLYMORE BOY (9), MARETTI (5), MACHEASY (4), KEY LARGO (2) SUGGESTED BET: BALLYMORE BOY (9) to win     RACE SEVEN LIFEONTHEBEACH (11) rolled forward from gate 7 over the 2138m here 2 starts back and was working in the run when fighting gamely to claim the silver behind CHARMING MAJOR. He started fav last start and after easily holding the lead threw his chances away with a gallop. With some good temp in this he can atone. TOM ME GUN (10) is racing in good touch and has been in the money at 5 of 7 starts since returning from a spell. He closed out strongly last start when a 2m 2nd to the in-form LINCOLN ROAD which followed a tough run from the breeze. With even luck from the tricky gate he can challenge. SOMWHEREOVARAINBOW (4) will take further benefit from his latest run when 2nd up from break. Beaten for early speed from gate 2 he was closing out strongly when 2m from the winner. He will be in the mix. MY SECRET TORQUE (1) will be 2nd up after returning at Redcliffe when using the passing lane following a cosy run to grab a 1m 2nd to LIFEINHEAVEN. With the options from the gate she looks a place contender. SELECTIONS: LIFEONTHEBEACH (11), TOM ME GUN (10), SOMWHEREOVARAINBOW (4), MY SECRET TORQUE (1) SUGGESTED BET: LIFEONTHEBEACH (11) to win   Racing Queensland    

Star horseman John McCarthy is not getting ahead of himself. The former multiple Albion Park Premiership winner has recently returned to take part in the 2018 Racing Queensland Summer Carnival at Albion Park where he grabbed the spoils on the opening night when Rakarolla proved too classy in the Gr.3 $31,400 Be Good Johnny Sprint on December 1. It has been the one and only start McCarthy has given the giant gelding in Brisbane. Until now. McCarthy will head back to Albion Park this Saturday night searching for another feature race victory when Rakarolla takes his place in the Gr.2 $50,660 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup, the final feature of the carnival. The 2138m mobile start event features rising star Colt Thirty One, the reigning Queensland Horse of the Year and McCarthy believes he’s the real deal. The Grant Dixon prepared Mach Three four-year-old had his first taste of open company last week when he quickly dispatched a tidy field in the Christmas Cup in race record time when coming from near last. “He’s a very good horse; he was brilliant last week and despite a nasty draw this weekend, he’s the horse we all have to beat. I had a good look at him at the wash bay and he’s a good looking horse, he’s got class written all over him.” McCarthy said. Colt Thirty One has drawn the outside of the second-line (gate 13) while Rakarolla has drawn nicely in gate four which gives McCarthy several options. Rakarolla took inside runs to win the sprint feature two weeks ago but McCarthy is adamant his versatility will have him as a key rival. “Despite his age, he’s actually quite an immature type who’s still learning but he’s adaptable to different situations. I think he’ll be even better next year and could measure up for some better races. “The fact he raced week in and week out in lead-up to the Brisbane trip has worked to his advantage, he raced six weeks straight and was really fit for the Be Good Johnny. “He’s trained on well since that victory and should prove competitive again, I was happy to bypass last week and focus on this week’s event.” UBET has listed Colt Thirty One at $1.90 while Rakarolla is quoted at $6.50. Rakarolla is raced by his New Zealand based breeder, Brendan Fahy. The Queensland Cup is listed as race 8 and is scheduled to start at 9.37pm local time.   Chris Barsby

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Reigning Queensland Horse of the Year Colt Thirty One solidified his position as the state’s best pacer with a brilliant come from near last to first victory in the $21,160 AQWA Constructions Christmas Cup at Albion Park last night (Saturday). The Grant Dixon trained and driven four-year-old was having his first official open class start when tackling the 2680m mobile start feature and many proven and seasoned stars. Starting from a tricky second-line draw, Dixon sat patiently towards the rear of the field with Colt Thirty One ($2 fav) before gaining perfect three-wide cover over the concluding stages before unleashing a devastating sprint to easily beat Aztec Bromac ($8.50) and Alleluia ($16). The Mach Three entire created a new race record when posting a winning mile rate of 1:56.4. The lead time was covered in 77.5 seconds; sectionals for the final mile were covered in 28.8, 30, 29.1 and 28.4 seconds. Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova led the way from his inside draw before being overpowered over the concluding stages. “We’ve waited an entire life time to breed a horse like this and we’re so thrilled with the way he keeps stepping up to the challenge. It looked to be a tough challenge from the draw but Grant gave him another perfect drive and it was fantastic to see him round them up as easily as he did.” Winning owner/breeder Kevin Seymour said. Trading under the banner of Solid Earth Pty Ltd, Seymour shares ownership with his wife Kay. The victory of Colt Thirty One takes his record to 22 wins from 32 starts while banking more than $420,000. Colt Thirty One will back-up in next week’s feature, the Gr.2 $50,660 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup, a feature over the distance of 2138mbefore embarking on a Sydney campaign centred around the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle on February 16. In the other feature, the $21,160 AQWA Constructions ‘Forever Gold’ Mares Open Pace, race favourite Smooth Showgirl ($1.60) led throughout to beat a game Eleniark ($2.60) and Annika Magic ($71) in a time of 1:55.7. The Art Major mare posted sectionals of 28.6, 32.1, 28.5 and 26.7 seconds. Prepared by Ian Gurney and handled by young Sydney reinsman Chris Geary, Smooth Showgirl registered her 20th victory from 69 starts while taking her career earning past the $300,000 mark. Next week, the Queensland summer carnival comes to a climatic ending with the running of the Gr.2 $50,660 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup, the Gr.2 $40,770 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final, the $21,160 C2/C5 feature plus the $14,999 King of the Claimers Final. It promises to be another exciting night of action. Chris Barsby

Albion Park Summer Carnival has attracted many talented types and they will be showcased in tomorrow night’s AQWA Constructions Christmas Cup and AQWA Constructions Forever Gold Mares Open. Continuing Christmas Cup night tradition, a visit from Santa has been arranged after race 3 at approx. 6.45pm. The carnival opening night was staged last Saturday where the John McCarthy trained Rakarolla NZ sailed to victory in the AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint. It was the second time McCarthy has prepared the winner of the feature race named in honour of his former champion, the previous was Washakie in 2011. Mr Kalypso and trainer/driver Kylie Rasmussen were successful in the AQWA Constructions 2018 APHRC Member’s Cup. This was the horse’s seventh consecutive victory. Punters will appreciate that wagering service provider UBET is offering a number of attractive exotic betting propositions for this Saturday night’s meeting, spearheaded by a $25,000 First 4 Jackpot Pool on race 1 scheduled for 5:42pm EST. Additionally, $3,000 jackpot Trifectas are listed on races 3, 4 and 5 as well as a $2,500 Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5. For the most up to date form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting: http://www.harness.org.au/punting/punters-corner/form-analysis/?keyNum=234308 The opening event on the huge value packed 10 event card gets under way at 5:42pm EST. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or info@aphrc.com.au Visit the Club website at www.aphrc.com.au   Albion Park Harness Racing

It was a fitting result with leading horseman John McCarthy returning in style. The former multiple Albion Park Metropolitan Trainers Premiership winner returned back to his old stomping ground and claimed the Gr.3 $30,660 AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint last night (Saturday), the opening night of the Queensland summer carnival. McCarthy guided giant New Zealand gelding Rakarolla ($9) to victory in the 1660m feature after racing three back against the pegs before sprinting past the Ian Gurney duo of Mach Alert ($3.30) and Our Hi Jinx ($7.50) in a scorching time of 1:51.9. Sectionals of 27.3, 28.4, 28.3 and 27.9 seconds. The winning time is well outside of the track record of 1:50.4 set by champion pacer Im Themightyquinn back in 2014. It is the second time McCarthy has prepared the winner of the feature named in honour of his former champion after Washakie scored back in 2011. Now based at Cobbitty near Menangle, the highly decorated horseman prepares a team of around 20. “It’s great to win a race that’s named after my best ever pacer, I got a good run against the inside and that’s the best place to be when the running that sort of time. He finished off really well and we’ll start in the Christmas and Queensland Cups,” McCarthy said. “Earlier this week, I sat and thought about taking my horses to Newcastle and then thought I should drive a little further north and take in the Brisbane features. So I headed up with a small team and it’s been a good start.” He added. Rakarolla is raced by his New Zealand based breeder, Brendan Fahy. In the other feature, race favourite Mr Kalypso ($1.75) accounted for the Grant Dixon duo of Aqua Miss ($14) and Red Charmer ($7.50) in the AQWA Constructions APHRC Members Cup. The Kylie Rasmussen trained and driven pacer rated a strong 1:57.1 after racing without cover for the bulk of the 2138m event. Mr Kalypso remains unbeaten in seven Queensland starts. The Art Major – Kalypso five-year-old entire looks destined for bigger and better things in the future. Next week, the features include the $20,660 Christmas Cup and the $20,660 Forever Gold Mares Open Pace. RQ Media

Reigning Queensland Horse of the Year Colt Thirty One made a triumphant return to Albion Park last night (Saturday). Starting at prohibitive odds in the Gotta Go Cullect @ Egmont Park Stud Pace, the Mach Three entire quickly circled the field from his second-line draw before controlling the race outside the leader Our Major Day. The brilliant four-year-old quickly gained the upper hand soon after straightening and drew clear from a game Our Major Day while Top Flight Cruize filled third placing. The winning mile rate for the 2138m event was 1:57.2 while covering the final half in 55.6 seconds. The victory took his earning past $400,000. It was the first full metropolitan meeting staged at Albion Park since September 22 after the track underwent major remediation works following a spate of cancellations owing to poor weather. The Grant Dixon prepared pacer was having his first start since finishing second behind Ride High in the Gr.1 $195,000 Breeders Crown Final at TABCORP Park, Melton on August 25. And without the benefit of a public trial. “Obviously we couldn’t trial him at Albion Park in preparation for his return but we have plenty of handy types that can make him stretch out at home, I was really happy with where he was at prior to his return and he didn’t disappoint and felt like his normal self.” Dixon said. The Queensland summer carnival over the next three weeks has been added to his program as they build towards their main target, the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle on February 16. “We’re definitely going to have a look at some these local features in the coming weeks, he won’t start in all of them but he will be tested at some point against the open class performers. “He’s destined for open class and this looks the right opportunity to dip his toe in the water, it fits his schedule nicely.” The Gr.3 $30,660 Be Good Johnny Sprints kicks off the carnival on December 1 followed by the $20,660 Christmas Cup (December 8) and then the Gr.2 $50,660 Queensland Cup (December 15). The trio of open class features will be raced over the distances of 1660m, 2680m and 2138m. With the return of racing to headquarters, Dixon enjoyed a great night preparing five winners. His haul included Eleniark, Fioki, Colt Thirty One, Alleluia and Our Overanova. It is the 10th time he has achieved the feat. And it’s the 7th time he’s achieved it at Albion Park. The previous occasion came earlier this year when preparing five winners on May 12. Chris Barsby

Reigning Albion Park Horse of the Year Glenferrie Hood is on target for the upcoming Racing Queensland summer carnival features. A winner of three races from five starts this term, the Christian Cullen gelding has not raced since disappointing at Redcliffe back on October 27 when finishing at the rear of the field behind millionaire pacer Ohoka Punter in the Stevie Redback Pest Control Open Pace. Trainer Wayne Graham elected to freshen his star performer in readiness for the open class features at Albion Park. “It was established he was suffering from a virus so I backed off on him with the view of having him ready for the features next month. He went off his tucker which is very unlike him but he’s back to full health now and I’m happy with his condition,” Graham said. “I could’ve started him this week but elected to give him the extra week; at this stage he’ll probably contest two of the three features. The $50,000 Queensland Cup is the main target and he’ll appreciate being back on the bigger track like many others.” He added. Glenferrie Hood won 9 races last season and all of those victories came via Albion Park. *********************************************************************************************   Talented mare January has been sold and will do her future racing in North America. The Kylie Rasmussen prepared mare was scratched from her event last weekend at Redcliffe owing to the sale. Highly respected Perth based agent Frank Rinaldi negotiated the deal. January won 14 races and managed 23 minor placings from her 64 starts while banking more than $112,000 in stakes. *********************************************************************************************   Young Brittany Graham is heading to Sydney to take up a position with SKY Channel. The daughter of respected trainer Darrel and Albion Park committee member Linda, Graham has taken on a permanent role with the race broadcasting giant after coming their academy. Graham has forged a tidy career in the sulky and enjoyed good success with the likes of Montana Falcon plus her own pacers The Next Star and The Falcon Ute. Last season, Graham won the Seymour Group Lady Drivers Invitation Series at Albion Park.  Graham will be trackside this weekend at Albion Park in a hosting role with Greg Hayes for SKY. *********************************************************************************************   Up and comer Slice Of Heaven looks set for an exciting campaign following a stylish trial at Redcliffe on Wednesday. Prepared locally by Donny Smith, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding dominated his 1780m public trial in a time of 1:59.0 defeating Courageous Leo and Bangkok Bravado. Slice Of Heaven has not raced since winning at Albion Park on August 18 in a time of 1:55.4. The five-year-old has won 11 of his 28 starts to date including his past three. The summer carnival features next month could be a temptation for connections but another trial next week will determine future plans. *********************************************************************************************   Willowbank trainer John Edmunds and owner Tony Veivers are focused on the Gr.2 $40,770 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship series starting next week at Albion Park. Edmunds will take a trio of talented trotters to Albion Park tomorrow night in readiness for the series when Lavros Jack, Any Old Way and Spud contest the Pryde’s Easifeed Mobile Trot, the final race on the big program. The 2138 mobile start event also features reigning Queensland Trotter of the Year Our Overanova and Melpark Royal Son, the 2016/17 Queensland Trotter of the Year. The Edmunds trio have drawn well with Lavros Jack starting from the inside gate with Any Old Way drawn handy (gate 3) while Spud has landed the inside of the second-line, directly behind his stablemate. Both Lavros Jack and Spud have displayed strong ability since joining the stable; Any Old Way is having his first stable for his new connections. Previously prepared by Brent Lilley, the Sundon gelding gelding boasts a recent placing behind Kyvalley Blur in 1:58.1 for the 2240m distance at TABCORP Park, Melton. Overall, Any Old Way has won 14 of his 84 starts while earning in excess of $140,000. The DJA series starts next Friday with the opening round of heats at Albion Park over the distance of 2647m before switching to the 2138m the following week. The 2647m final is scheduled for December 15. *********************************************************************************************   Young James Herbertson went home a winner after driving Honey Please to victory at Redcliffe on Wednesday night. Born and bred in Queensland, James is the son of respected horseman Ashleigh and Jody Herbertson. The 18yo was enjoying a week’s holiday and catching up with family and friends and landed the drive on the Ray Cross trained trotting mare. Starting favourite, Herbertson gave the Yankee Spider mare a perfect trip and proved too strong at the finish defeating Somedash and No Transactions in the 2280m stand start event. It was the third time the pair has combined for success after scoring at Maryborough and Bendigo earlier this year. “It was a great opportunity to take a few drives during my trip up here and I’m pleased for Ray that the mare performed to the level that I know she is capable of, she’s more than handy.” Herbertson said. The in-demand reinsman returns to Melbourne today and will head to TABCORP Park, Melton tonight to drive the Bill Milner trained Opia in the Blue Pace Trot. In the coming days, he takes drives at Horsham, Bendigo and Echuca. Herberston landed his maiden winner at Terang back in March, 2016 when successful aboard Tearitup for his father Ashleigh. “The family has recently moved farms and we’re mixing the horses with some sheep farming, we currently have around 10 in work. “The best horse that I’ve driven so far is probably Vapar Grin while my winner at Melton (Upanatom) winner was pretty handy too. “My goal is to drive 100 winners in a season while it would be great to drive a metro winner for Dad.” Herberston has driven 15 winners to date this season. *********************************************************************************************   Louth Park trainer Darren Elder is heading to Brisbane for the summer carnival. But unfortunately, his stables Shannonsablast and Bright Energy won’t be making the trip north after succumbing to injury. However, Elder is bringing four pacers north with Sports Bounty, Days End, Hosier Lane and Justarumour. All four pacers are engaged this Saturday night at Albion Park. “The pick of them is Hosier Lane, he went great last start at Menangle and looks well placed this weekend despite a bad draw. We’re happy to support these young drivers and happy to have Deni Roberts driving for us,” Elder said. “Shannonsablast got injured after his last start and is having some time off while Bright Energy was ready to go late last week before sustaining another injury. It was a shame because we have a big opinion of him.” He added. Bright Energy was a winner of the Gr.3 $30,600 Simpson Memorial at Menangle in 1:52.0 last season. The Elder family is chasing a two state double with Ashark starting in the $20,000 Club Menangle Where Horses Fly Final. Prepared by Melanie and driven by Brad (Darren’s children), Ashark is a last start winner at Newcastle.   Chris Barsby

Some of the world’s best young harness racing drivers have arrived in Queensland ahead of the 2018 Garrard’s Australasian Young Driver’s Championship to be staged in Brisbane between Thursday and Saturday. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said if last year’s series was anything to go by, the 2018 edition would provide plenty of thrills.  “The drivers from across Australia and New Zealand are not only recognised as the best young talents in harness racing, but as some of the most well-known names in the sport,” he said. “The 10 drivers have amassed a combined 2359 winners and more than $15 million in stakes, despite all being aged under-25.” The series returns to Queensland for a second-straight year where defending champion and Queenslander Narissa McMullen will join cousin and leading Queensland driver Nathan Dawson to try and keep the trophy in the Sunshine State. The points-based series will be determined over nine heats (four at Redcliffe on Thursday, two at Redcliffe on Friday and the final three heats at Albion Park on Saturday) with the leading point-scorer earning themselves glory for their state or country and, a new Rio Mark 2 sulky thanks to major sponsors Garrard’s – long-time supporters of harness racing in Queensland. Mr Brick said the young drivers had again agreed to throw their support behind a charity through the donation of their driver’s fees and raising funds throughout the series. “This year the young drivers will be racing in support of Youngcare,” he said. “The drivers will visit a Youngcare facility to meet some of the residents during their stay in Brisbane and have set a fundraising goal of at least $4000 to help provide appropriate housing for young people with high care needs.” The drivers will be welcomed to Queensland at an opening function at the famous Breakfast Creek Hotel – just steps away from the Albion Park club – on Thursday morning. To follow the series head to www.racingqueensland.com.au or follow Racing Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@racing_qld) or the event Twitter handle @AustralasianYDC               Driver State Drives Wins Places Stakes ($) Narissa McMullen QLD 6139 669 1345 $3,658,885 Deni Roberts   WA 1221 83 243 $697,257 Chris Geary   NSW 3711 501 914 $4,369,376 Nathan Dawson QLD 4688 549 1045 $2,549,854 Jack laugher   TAS 901 74 185 $555,994 Darby McGuigan VIC 1298 135 333 $929,157 Jayden Brewin   SA 1246 154 314 $664,869 Benjamin Butcher NZ (Nth Island) 1374 103 260 $988,218 Sheree Tomlinson NZ (Sth Island) 976 75 145 $840,111 Alicia Harrison   NZ (Nth Island) 128 16 22 $142,387   Racing Queensland

For the second year in a row Queensland will host the Garrard’s Australasian Young Drivers Championship and defending champion Narissa McMullen looks to make it back to back wins. The series, beginning tomorrow (22nd November), showcases 10 of the best junior drivers, one from each state of Australia, one from each New Zealand Island, an overall New Zealand representative, as well as the defending champion. Last year racing enthusiasts saw a nail-biting finish on the concluding night at Albion Park where McMullen went into the final round just 2 points ahead of her nearest rival, New Zealand’s Dylan Ferguson. While McMullen led throughout the race, Ferguson swooped right on the post. A photo finish declared McMullen the 2017 winner and she was presented with a Rio Meter Race Sulky curtesy of Garrard’s. Alongside McMullen, Nathan Dawson represents Queensland in this year’s series. Other drivers are Chris Geary (NSW), Darby McGuigan (VIC), Jayden Brewin (SA), Deni Roberts (WA), Jack Laugher (TAS), Sheree Tomlinson (NZ South Island), Ben Butcher (NZ North Islander) and Alicia Harrison (NZ). The series kicks off tomorrow (Thursday 22nd) at Redcliffe with heats 1-4, followed by heats 5-6 at Redcliffe on Friday night before the series concludes at Albion Park on Saturday night with the final 3 heats. While the series will be very competitive on the track, the drivers will enjoy a number of social outings and activities including visiting the 2018 AYDC Charity partner Youngcare. For the meeting fields and form guide visit http://www.harness.org.au/racing/fields/   Albion Park Harness Racing  

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