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Electrifying two-year-old harness racing filly Pelosi, who has set tongues wagging with some astonishing performances in recent weeks, has pulled up as bright as a button from her first Group One success. Owner-breeder Wayne Honan said the horse would now be aimed at the New South Wales Breeders' Challenge series, which culminates with a $125,000 final at Menangle on June 30. "There's heats at Newcastle and then semi-finals leading into the big one. So, all going well, there's exciting times ahead. After that she will head for a spell," Honan said. "We always thought she would be something special because she looked the goods from day one, being well-gaited and unlike a few others in that breeding, didn't brush her knee. "Anna (Woodmansey) has done an exceptional job in training Pelosi. She only has two in work (the other being Photozen), but she is so thorough and spends every spare minute with them. And I have to say that both horses can be a bit 'different' at times." Owner-breeder of Pelosi Wayne Honan with trainer Anna Woodmansey --Dan Costello photo The impeccably bred Pelosi (American Ideal USA-For Dear Life (Life Sign USA) is now the fastest filly Queensland has ever produced. She scored the biggest win of her short career when successful in last Saturday night's $150,000 APG 2YO final at Albion Park. Prepared at Chambers Flat by hobby trainer Anna Woodmansey, who works in a high school administration office, Pelosi has now won four of her five lifetime starts. While the win provided Woodmansey and popular reinsman John Cremin with their first ever Group One victories, Honan has been one of Australia's most successful trainer-drivers over the years. In the heady days of the 1970s and 80s, Honan and his late legendary father Jack, of Killarney Stud, Canowindra, were a formidable team, preparing big teams of up to 35 horses. "One of our first decent horses I can recall was a mare named Fine Jade. She won the Queensland Oaks and then went onto be the dam of Prince Jade ($114,921), Genesee ($58,211), Glens Fine Jade ($25,110) as well as some others," Honan said. "As well as the Canowindra stables, we also had a property near the late and great Ron Peace at Donnybrook, near Melbourne. "The recent Brisbane wins brought back some fond memories because we made many trips north with our horses to the annual Winter Carnival over the years. We'd be based at Albion Park, but would also compete at Redcliffe and even down to Tweed Heads on the Queensland/New South Wales border. "We made a lot of friends and won some nice races during those campaigns." Pelosi comes from a successful family line boasting outstanding Group race victories, but gets her name from American congresswoman, the energetic and determined Nancy Pelosi. The 79-year-old was first elected in 2007 and is now in her third term as the speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Honan said the name seemed a fitting one for the feisty daughter of American Ideal. "From what I can see, Nancy gives President Trump heaps - she goes hard and wants to be the best. So there's a bit of meaning there," he said. For Dear Life, dam of Pelosi, was a brilliant racehorse, winning 14 races from 28 starts for over $322,000. And grand dam, the Stature mare Express Post, was exceptionally fast. "When I won the Pink Bonnet with her at Harold Park, she lowered the previous race record by three seconds. She was awesome and ended up with 11 wins from 18 starts," Honan said. In the breeding barn, Express Post was a sensation. Petousa (by Western Hanover) won $180,000 in stakes, stallion Flightpath (Artsplace) won nearly $290,000 before retiring to stand at stud and For Dear Life (Life Sign) won $322,000. Honan retains Petousa, while Moama horseman Tony Peacock has For Dear Life at his St Fort property. For Dear Life has an Always B Miki weanling colt and will be served by American Ideal this coming season. Pelosi, driver John Cremin, Anna Woodmansey and Wayne Honan --Dan Costello photo  For John Cremin, recognized as one of the Sunshine State's favorite sons, the APG Group One win was much deserved. "Cremmo", as he's known, who turns 56 next Sunday (coincidentally the same day wife Tanya celebrates her birthday) got an early present he won't forget for a long time. "I've probably been driving for nearly 40 years, so I was overdue for a win in a Group One. I guess Pelosi is proof that you're never too old as far as a driver goes!" he said. "Perhaps some might say that my years of experience are now paying off. But as a young fella I wouldn't have handled horses with little idiosyncrasies like her. With a little bit of age and experience it's finally come to me!" Cremin was quick to label Pelosi as the best of her age that's he's ever driven. "She's definitely by far the best - the complete package. She relaxes beautifully and is so versatile. My only worry is to keep her out of trouble," he said. Cremin, who trains a team of six as well as being a respected farrier, is looking forward to the coming NSW campaign for Pelosi with the memory of a Newcastle win under his belt with Home of Jack in the Cup in December 2005. Watch the Pelosi win video replay here!   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

YET to return home from his current one, Jilliby Nitro is already on target for another interstate trip. Speaking after Jilliby Nitro’s Australian Pacing Gold triumph at Albion Park just moments ago, trainer Marg Lee outlined her plans for the boom freshman. Set to embark on a long float trip to Victoria, Jilliby Nitro will be given a light week before being prepared for the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge. The futurity culminates in a $125,000 Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle on June 30. Menangle’s Training Centre is also part of Lee’s itinerary on the way home. “The long float home won’t seem so bad now after that win,” Lee said. “We will stop Menangle to use the Aquagait on the way home as we have had a few little issues with him like a bit of a sore back and couple little things. “We’ll see how he pulls up from tonight, but all going well, he will be back in Menangle next month for the Breeders’ Challenge.” Driven by Lee’s son Jason during his latest Group One success, Jilliby Nitro began quickly to lead from barrier two as Be Happy Mach worked overtime on his outside. Fending off the initial challenge at the top of the home straight, Jilliby Nitro sprinted to a three-and-a-half metre win from Yejele Hammer, with Be Happy Mach battling on bravely to be a half-head away third. Rating 1:53.6 over 1660 metres, the son of Bettors Delight stretched his record to four wins and a second from five starts for earnings of $210,095. “It was a super win,” Lee said. “He did it so well. “He has done a terrific job to win the Bathurst Crown and now this. “He’s got a good nature and settles anywhere he goes which is great and is just a lovely horse.” Lee’s trek home was made even more pleasant in the following race when Jilliby Bandit - also an APG purchase - scored from Saloon Passage and Colt Thirty One. “Bandit and Nitro are friends at home, plus this was a suitable race for him, so he made the trip as a companion,” Lee said. “He might also go to Menangle with Nitro too.”   APG Media

He won the Bathurst Gold Crown Final in exciting fashion and now Jilliby Nitro will hunt for his second Group 1 prize when he heads to Albion Park on Saturday night. A brilliant winner of the Bathurst Harness Racing Club's annual two-year-old colts and geldings feature on March 29, the Victorian youngster has been sent north for the rich Australian Pacing Gold Final. Second in his heat at Melton when first-up for a month, the previously unbeaten colt has drawn barrier two in the $350,000 decider. Jilliby Nitro will slot into the pole for trainer Marg Lee once the emergency is removed from the equation. "It is a good draw and hopefully we can take full advantage of it," Lee said.  "He has gate speed and will go forward from there." Arriving in Queensland on Tuesday afternoon, Jilliby Nitro is expected to improve from his qualifier with Lee confident she can capture her second APG Final. Lee prepared Jilliby Jitterbug to secure the fillies' division in 2005. Jilliby Jitterbug was driven by Lee's son, Jason, who will take the reins behind Jilliby Nitro. "He arrived in Queensland with Jason today and seems to have handled it okay," Lee said.  "He's had bit more work into him since the heat and that run has also done him good. "He's going very well and will be ready for this." Lee has also sent Jilliby Bandit to the Sunshine State as a travelling companion, with the five-year-old drawn barrier six in the following race on the card. Successful in Melton last weekend, Jilliby Bandit is a brother to Jilliby Jitterbug with the pair by Rock N Roll Heaven from 2008 APG champion, Keppel Bay. "Jilliby Bandit is in good form and went well last week," Lee said.  "He and Nitro are friends at home, plus there was a suitable race for him, so he made the trip as a companion to make Nitro feel relaxed. "He will also be hard to beat." Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Former Riverina young gun Cameron Hart is happy to call Sydney home at the moment – and it appears city life is agreeing with him.   The junior driver posted the 200th winner of his relatively short harness racing career at Brisbane’s Albion Park last Saturday and he’s a model of consistency in the sulky, with his win-place ratio running at more than 50 percent.   And the 20-year-old showed particularly fine touch over the past week.    An enviable winning streak kicked off at Penrith on Thursday when Hart landed the win with eight- year-old gelding Raffaella (Mach Three-Slipinn (Holmes Hanover) for his boss Shane Sanderson.   He then got the money in Brisbane on Saturday, again for Sanderson, with Castalong Shadow (Shadow Play-Leslie Jay (Grinfromeartoear) and followed up at Sunday’s Wagga Cup meeting with a win on Beetson (Art Major-Erin Jean (Classic Garry) in the feature event.   “I’ve been clocking up a few airline frequent flyer points with the travel I’m doing, but I’m not complaining because travel is a big part of the industry and we all have to do it in one way or another,” Hart said.   “It was a bit of a pain when there were no suitable flights to get back to Wagga for the cup, and I had to do a four-and-a-half hour road trip after getting back from Brisbane,” Hart said.   “But it’s worth it when you get the win.”   Hart is hitting the road again today (Thursday) for another Carnival of Cups meeting, hosted this time by Coolamon. He is booked to drive Brobenah Boy for Guy Retallick in the $10,200 Cup and Flaneur for Gary Lang in a C1 event.   “It will be a huge day. It always is at Coolamon and I’m going to enjoy being there, that’s for sure,” Hart said.   The trip to Coolamon will be almost back on home turf. The rising star reinsman grew up at Junee, just 30 kilometres down the road and it seems a career in harness racing was almost inevitable.   Hart’s mother Michelle is a niece of the late Alan Harpley who steered the mighty Welcome Advice to a 1972 Inter-Dominion grand final win. And it also didn’t hurt Hart’s prospects that Junee and the wider Riverina is home to some of Australia’s best horsemen and horses.   “There’s certainly a good bit of pedigree there and in addition, Bruce Harpley, a well-known trainer- driver, is my second cousin,” Hart said.   “So, I guess it was pretty much a sure thing that I was going to head into the sport,” he said.   The pathway to a harness racing career began at the age of five when his parents purchased a pony and the youngster got heavily involved in the mini trotters.   “That was a great learning ground and all of us had heaps of fun,” he said.   Later on, Kim Hillier loaned Hart a pony called Energizer and the pair took all before them.   “We won all the big ones. The Inter-Dominion, Miracle Mile and State Championships for the ponies. I can still remember the first time I competed at Menangle with Energizer and it seemed like a huge circuit,” Hart said.   Flashback to 2014 – young Riverina pony trots competitors Tegan Judd, Jordan Seary (who is also a promising young driver) and Cameron.   As he got older, every spare minute at home would be spent off helping his uncle, Michelle’s brother, Trevor White, a household name in harness racing circles in the Riverina.   “I would help Uncle Trev with trackwork when I was only 12, and three years later mum and dad agreed to let me go there and work full-time,” he said.   “It was an awesome time and I learnt so much about training, care and feeding.   “Uncle Trev also showed faith in me as a driver as well, and he gave me my first race drive on a horse called Ideal Investment at Albury in April, 2016.”   The horse won, two days later, at his second drive, Hart tasted more success at Canberra with Ravishing Girl for Sloys Company and trainer Noel Morris.   “I suppose I could say that it went downhill from there!” he laughed.    It obviously wasn’t the case, but the popular young reinsman’s good humor, along with his natural ability, provided him with plenty of opportunities.   He showed rapid improvement and a cool head beyond his years racking up an eye-catching tally of 60 wins in his first season of driving . “While I enjoyed driving at country meetings, it was always on my mind to get to the city when the time was right,” Hart said.   It was a matter of waiting for a break and it came when Cameron’s sister Ashley, 21, also a driver (now in Victoria with Andy and Kate Gath) approached Menangle-based Shane (Sanderson) regarding job vacancies.   “That was my lucky day because I couldn’t have wished for a better place to work – Shane and his wife Naomi have been awesome,” Hart said.   Hart is now the stable driver for the Sanderson team, and says the timing for him was fortunate.   Shane Sanderson and Cameron Hart (Courtesy Ash Brennan Photography)   “Shane and Naomi have kept building the team and getting stronger horses, so that’s been fantastic for me. It’s not only driving good horses that helps you to be a better driver, but also driving against the best as well.   “While Shane provides me with the most driving opportunities, David Waite is also good and several other outside stables.   “The recent Wagga win was my third Group 3 success, with the other couple at Menangle. I’m just so glad I made the move.   “Sydney is a fantastic city and I’m really enjoying the racing side of it. And in my leisure time I’m finding my golfing is improving!”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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

Queensland’s best juvenile filly of last season will vie for her 10th consecutive win in Saturday night's $50,000 Group 2 QBRED Three-Year-Old Fillies Triad Final at Albion Park on Saturday- the Group Two Q-Bred 3yo Fillies Triad Final. Thirty-two minutes earlier the 'boys' will also compete for $50,000 in the only other Group 2 race of the evening - the QBRED Colts and Gelding Final. There are also four other Listed $25,000 events on the 10-race card. “If she (Smart As Camm Be) performs well on Saturday, and there’s no reason why she won’t, then we may take her for a quick hit and run mission to the Victoria Oaks in a couple of weeks,” her Stanmore trainer/driver, Kylie Rasmussen said. “It all depends on flights and what her owners have to say,” she added. The Group One $150,000 Victoria Oaks will be run at Melton’s Tabcorp Park in a fortnight (Saturday April 27). Sadly for Smart As Camm Be’s 12 opponents, the brilliant daughter of Cammibest and Too Smart For You (by Famous Forever) has drawn (3), and looks set to lead them all the way over Saturday's 2,138m mobile. She's also in mint condition. “She’s never been better. She took a wee while to come back from her spell, because she did suffer a little setback early in the season when a virus went through the barn. “But now she is bigger and stronger than she ever has been,” Rasmussen said. Last July Smart As Camm Be won the equivalent 2yo Triad Final as the $1.80 favourite. She drew six in that $100,000 Group One event and got up by a neck with a sizzling 1:55.7 mile rate. Smart As Camm Be has won all four of her starts this season at Albion Park on February 26, March 19, March 27, and April 2. Don't expect to get a big win dividend this time around either. Her win prices so far in 2019 have been $1.20, $1.22, $1.08, and $1.30. “She trialed well in February too and has got stronger with each run since then. She had a great 2-year-old season but it took it’s toll on her. She suffered from bone chips in her knee and we had to put her out for a fair while to recover (July 21-February 12). “I’m just so pleased she’s a healthy horse and is now back to where we want her to be. I think she can only get stronger as the season develops. If her 3-year-old season is as good as her 2-year-old one, then we’ll be rapt,” Rasmussen said. The slow start to the season was largely why Smart As Camm Be by-passed the Group One $200,000 New South Wales Derby in Sydney on March 2, in preference for Group racing in the ‘Sunshine State’. “She just wasn’t ready – and now she is,” Rasmussen said. Last year's Queensland 2yo Pacing Filly-of-the-Year, had a brilliant first-up season in 2017-2018. She won five of her seven starts from March 27 until July 21 - the last five in a row. As well as her QBRED victory, Smart As Camm Be also won the $25,000 Listed Classic Q-Bred Breeders Classic. Rasmussen will be looking to emulate her feats of 2010 and 2011 with her former female star, the 2007 Famous Forever mare, Forever Gold. She won the Q-Bred 2yo Fillies Final in 2010, and then the following year nailed the QBRED 3yo Fillies Final and the prestigious Group One Queensland 3yo Oaks. “The (Group One) $75,000 Queensland Oaks (July 13) is her main priority after this month," Rasmussen said. Smart As Camm Be has so far won nine of her 11 starts and placed in one other for $105,560. “I’m working a team of about 30 at the moment and this girl is up there with Lilac Flash and Mr Kalypso as the best of them,” said Rasmussen.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Warwick horseman, Richard March, has waited half a century for a horse like Clintal Do to come along. “He certainly makes the job worth getting up for. He doesn’t take much work. I just keep him fit and then race him. I’ve been training horses since I was 17 and I’m now 70. He’s by far the best horse I have had anything to do with,” March said. The former ‘3YO Horse-of-the-Year’ was in blistering form at Albion Park on Saturday night. He picked them up and put them away at the 400m mark in the $13,000 Changeover At Burwood Stud Pace. Driver, Nathan Dawson, had the now 5-year-old Dawn Ofa New day gelding in the one-one soon after the start and they then were then three back on outside before Dawson launched him. "He's got a very good turn of foot - easily the fastest pacer that I've ever trained. Nathan drove him perfectly. He set him alight at just the right time," March said. Clintal Do started from the outside of the second row (9) and paced the 2138m mobile in 2:33.1 with a 1:55.3 mile rate. His sectionals were 31.4, 29 even, 28 even, and 37.2. He won under a hold by 7.3m. The Space Invader (Narissa McMullen) was second, with 15.3m back to Sir Julian and John Cremin, in third. It was the talented bay's 23rd win in 56 starts. He’s also placed 15 times for just on $167,000 in purses. Clintal Do is also a Group Two winner having nailed the $50,000 QBRED Triad for 3yo colts and geldings in May 2017. Twelve months later he then nailed the $25,000 Listed equivalent for the 4yo entires and geldings. “I want to line him up next in the Armidale Cup in a couple of weeks. We won that race last year and I’d like to do it again. After that he will have a brief spell before being set for the Winter Carnival at Albion Park,” March said. “As for this week, I’m still weighing up whether to start him or not. He’s come through Saturday’s race real well." He said swimming was one way of keeping Clintal Do’s fitness up. “He doesn’t take much work. He’s just got so much natural ability. His speed around corners is one of his greatest assets. He seems to make up a lot of ground on the turns,” March said. Clintal Do is owned and bred by Trevor and Louise O’Reilly of Palmwoods (Sunshine Coast). He is the third of four foals out of the 2003 Perfect Art - Terry Lyn three-win mare, Shesgotemgood. “Shesgotemgood’s second foal named Hereiam (by Jeremes Jet – 1:56.1) earned over $50,000 and has a Racing Hill colt who was born last September. She didn’t meet our meet her reserve of $11,000k at the Brisbane APG Sale,” O’Reilly said. March said he enjoyed training for the O’Reillys. “They are good owners and leave me to make the decisions. We do communicate quite a bit. They know I’d like to start this horse at Menangle one day. I’m sure the big track down there would suit him,” said March. He said Clintal Do was now a much stronger and quicker horse than when he won his Queensland age group title. “He’s got better and better with age. We had a bit of a scare with him last season though. We had to cut half of his hoof away after it became infected," he said. “It’s now grown back and he’s recovered well and he is now back to where I want him. I thought he would be hard to beat after winning untouched at Inverell the week before. He’s my pride and joy."   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Egmont Park Stud will become the naming rights sponsor to four prominent juvenile feature races to be run at Albion Park, including the 2-year-old Group 1 QBred Triad Finals for both sexes set to be run on July 20, the final night of the TAB Winter Carnival. Egmont Park Stud Master, Peter Bell said in signing the sponsorship agreement “we are always happy to encourage and support harness racing in Queensland.     The other two Egmont Park Stud sponsored races will be the 2-year-old QBred Breeders Classic Finals scheduled for April 13. “The Albion Park Harness Racing Club is delighted to secure Egmont Park Stud’ sponsorship for these prestigious races,” APHRC Chairman David Fowler said. “These races regularly promote the best in our younger ranks and are often a springboard to bigger and better things.” “Egmont Park has long been the trail blazer in Queensland breeding and the club has also enjoyed a close association with the nursery.” “It's wonderful for their brand to be associated with these feature races", Fowler said. As part of the sponsorship, Egmont Park Stud will also play host to a special function for owners that have qualified starters for the 2-year-old Triad Finals to be held at Albion Park on Blacks A Fake night July 20.   Albion Park

Kylie Rasmussen can read a race better most, but even she had given up all hope of getting her $61 outsider home in Saturday night’s inaugural Changeover At Burwood 2yo Classic at Albion Park. “I honestly thought I was running for second at the top of the (home) straight,” the talented Stanmore reinswomen said. Rasmussen was referring to her drive – the Vic Frost trained Frost En Ice, who was situated in the one-one down the back straight before they had to set out after the runaway $1.85 shot, Millwood Tilly. “The favourite had gapped us and had too much of a roll-on. She (Millwood Tilly) showed an immense turn of speed (400m) which I thought was the winning of the race. “Turning for home I thought the best Frost En Ice could do was finish second,” Rasmussen said. Millwood Tilly was several lengths clear of Frost En Ice at the 200m, but at the 150m mark she had too much momentum for her young head and rolled out of her gear. Driver, Peter McMullen then did a great job of getting her back down to run second. Frost En Ice had 1.2m over Millwood Tilly (Peter McMullen) at the line. Two metres back in third was the third favourite, Xaviers Hurrikane (Nathan Dawson). The Frost trainee paced the mile in two minutes flat with a 1:56.3 mile rate. Her sectionals were 28.5, 30.9, 28.1, and 29.1. She banked $12,534 for the triumph and has now amassed $18,273 for her two wins and a second from three starts. The older of the three highly regarded Rasmussen sisters (also Natalie and Vicki), couldn’t believe the Hurrikane Kingcole filly was the fifth favourite of eight - and paid $61 to win on the fixed odds market. She then reminded people who trained, owned and bred Frost En Ice. “Vic (Frost) has always been a master trainer and it’s great to see he has another nice horse. He has done an unbelievable job with this filly. “She hadn’t raced for a month and Vic has done a splendid job to get her where she is. Two-year-olds can be flighty and unpredictable at the best of times, but this girl already feels foolproof. She is very clean-gaited and has super manners. That won her the race,” Rasmussen said. “It all comes down to the training. Vic knows all about ringcraft. That’s why he’s had so many good horses over the years, and that’s why he is highly regraded everywhere in harness racing. It’s a pleasure to drive for him,” she added. Frost said he had liked Frost En Ice since day one. “Her mother, Frostiness, won 12 races and her sire was an absolute freak and superstar. The best I have ever had anything to do with in my long career," the 78-year-old Hall-of-Famer said. Of course the New South Wales horseman (Tweed Heads) was referring to the mighty Westburn Grant (1:55.6), who he trained and drove to win 38 of his 67 starts and placed in 18 others for $2,074,916 in stakes between July 1988 and March 1993. "But this girl is a big filly and has a lovely big pacing stride on her. I really like the Hurrikane Kingcoles. They have a lovely gait on them and he seems to be able to produce good horses that go early,” Frost said. For his training efforts Frost also won a ‘Rio Cobra” sulky courtesy of race sponsor – Garrards. Other highlights came in races five and eight from Callmequeenbee and Slice Of Heaven. The Gemma Rue (Bathurst NSW) trained Callmequeenbee sat three-wide and then parked to win the WCF Team Teal Female Drivers Challenge. Race winner, Chantal Turpin, said the 4-year-old Shadow Play mare felt the winner a long way from home. “I thought she would be too tough for this field and I drove her that way. She’s a nice mare all right. Hopefully she will be back next week for one more race. She’s quality,” Turpin said of the $1.40 favourite. Three races later the Donny Smith trained and Nathan Dawson driven Slice Of Heaven won his second race in four days in the Hyperstat Open Pace. That’s now 11 from 19 on the track and 18 from 40 overall ($108,708).   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

A promising trotter who last raced for the powerful Kiwi training duo of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen impressed at the Albion Park Trials yesterday (Tuesday). The now Brad Connelly-trained Musculus, bled as a $1.10 favourite (sixth) in his only Australian start at Redcliffe on August 22 last year. He was put aside for three months and has now come back big and strong. After breaking and finishing a lonely last in a standing start trial at Albion Park on February 15, the five-year-old Muscle Mass gelding proved his worth at the same venue yesterday. "I asked Nathan (Dawson - driver) to give him a quiet run, because we now know he's a bleeder and he does have a tendency to break,” Connelly said. "But yesterday he was safe and trotted well and when Nathan came back he said he felt good all the way - and did it easy. That is encouraging because I know Mark and Natalie wouldn't have taken him on if he wasn't much.” Musculus bobbled slightly at the start from gate four, but recovered quickly to lead going out of the home straight the first time. Dawson then controlled all the pace in front to beat his four opponents by 6.5m and 1.6m respectively. His winning time for the 2,138 stand was 2:44 even with a 2:03.4 mile rate. Musculus's sections were 29.8, 31.7, 30, and 29.4. “I’m delighted with the way he has bounced back. He trots along nicely and should progress his way through the grades to open company,” Connelly said. “In saying that I still don’t think he’s as good as his stablemate, Needle, who is also a New Zealand-bred trotter.” Musculus was originally trained by Philip Iggo in Canterbury before Purdon and Rasmussen took him on for his last two starts in New Zealand. He finished second for them first up and then he broke in the 4yo (ruby) Jewels Final at Cambridge Raceway on June 2. That's when he went on the market," Connelly said. Musculus had 20 starts in New Zealand for three wins and 11 placings. He banked just over $50,000 in stakes. His mother Sheez Speedy (by Sundon) won six races for master Templeton trainer, Peter Jones. Musculus, who was exported from New Zealand on June 15 last year, is the last of Sheez Speedy’s 10 foals. His best performance came at Addington Raceway on March 23 last year when he was too good for his 12 opponents bolting away to with a $20,000 Haras des Trotteurs 3yo and over Trot by more than five lengths. "Jeroen (Nieuwenburg) bought him. He owns most of the horses in my stable. I’m currently working 10 and Needle would be the best of them,” Connelly said. “But I have a bit of an opinion of this fella. If he does what he’s capable of then he could be right up there in my top couple.” The 58-year-old, who got his trainer’s licence before he was 20, said Musculus would line up at Albion Park on Tuesday week. “If we can stay on top of his bleeding then I think he has the potential to go to the top class. He did it easy yesterday without being touched. That was encouraging,” the Tamborine Village horseman said. For the record Musculus is Latin for muscle. Musculus winning at yesterday’s trial: http://www.harness.org.au/racing/fields/race-fields/?mc=AP120319N   Duane Ranger

She won the Australasian Young Drivers Championship in 2017 and now Queensland’s recently crowned Australian Female Drivers champion, Narissa McMullen, has another burning ambition. “I want to drive a Group One winner now. That’s my next goal. In the meantime I just want to keep driving winners and become a better driver,” the Fernvale resident said. The talented 24-year-old reinswoman finished top of the 12-strong table with 79 points at Saturday's Australian Female Drivers Championship at Albion Park. Her points came via wins behind Annika Magic and Subtle Delight in heats two and five; and she also finished second and fourth behind Shards Halo (Heat 1) and Cool Scoter (Heat 3). KerryAnn Turner (NSW) was runner-up with 75 points, while Victorian harness racing legend Kerryn Manning, and McMullen’s cousin Kelli Dawson, finished tied for third with 54 points apiece. McMullen said it was always good to get one over family members, especially brother Peter. “He’s my only brother and the only one older than me. I’m probably more competitive with him and my sisters than I am my cousins," she said. “It was great to see Kelli do so well. Nathan (Dawson) is also a cousin so there’s a few of us out there. I’ve only just started to take it all in. I’m so happy,” McMullen said the morning after her nailing her first Australian title." McMullen and her siblings, Peter and Danni-elle have all won BOTRA Queensland Juniors Driving titles as well. McMullen, who works at her parents – John and Jennette’s stable at Glamorgan Vale, said she celebrated with a night out. “It was an amazing feeling and even though I was 13 points ahead going into the last heat I never took anything for granted. I just had to focus,” McMullen said. “Only this morning has it really started to sink in. I’m so proud." There were seven heats of the AFDC on Saturday and two other tote races. McMullen carried on her winning ways in the ninth event – in track record time. She steered the Stephen Cini trained Quietly Spoken along the passing lane to win the feature 1660m trot in 1:59.3, which equated to a 1:55.6 mile rate. “It’s been a night to remember. Stephen had this mare spot on tonight,” McMullen said immediately after the $9,000 trot. According to Saturday's racebook, McMullen has now driven 726 winners and had 6,560 drives. She vividly remembers her first win. “That was Miniature Classic for Ron Sallis at Albion Park (October 18, 2010). My brother ran second (Southern Pacific),” she said. Dad - John, who won the Australasian Junior Driving title in 1986, and Mum - Jennette were “super proud”. “All four of our kids (including Taleah) are fierce rivals on the track and enjoy bragging rights at the Monday night family dinner," Jenette said. “Pete, Narissa and Danni-elle have always been competitive since their pony trot days. Pete was very proud last night though, ringing me on his way home to tell me Narissa proved she is the best female driver in Australia. “He said she drove six out of seven ‘top races’, and the only bad drive for the night was on his horse." She said doing the hard yards and driving ordinary horses had taught Narissa to be a good driver. “Her hard work and has dedication paid off’. Dad’s (John) quote is: ‘All his years of advice have finally paid dividends’. That’s tongue in cheek as he is a very hard task master as everybody at the track knows,” Jenette said. She said her daughter studied Science and Journalism for a year after leaving school and gave that up for her love of horses. “Narissa trained and owned a top horse called Bettor Draw who finished third in an Interdominion heat in Brisbane in 2015. Then he ran fourth in the Bohemia Chrystal at Menangle a few weeks later," Jenette said. “He was a super horse to her and led Narissa to move to Sydney for six months to train. Murano was another nice horse that Narissa had. He won great horse about 15 races. “In 2015 she won the Lady Drivers Group 2 Invitation race on Inters day as well. That was probably her most successful year. “As you can tell, I am very proud of all my kids." Meanwhile, McMullen’s three wins added another $600 to the Women’s Cancer Team Teal Fundraiser. She finished the February 1 to March 9 campaign with the most wins (23). Women in fact won eight of the nine races carded last night, ensuring another $1600 was added to the final pot, which totalled more than $11,000. Competitors in last night’s 2019 Australia Female Driving Championship were: Narissa McMullen and Kelli Dawson (QLD), Hannah Vandongen (TAS), Samantha Gangell (TAS), Kerry Ann Turner (NSW), Ellen Rixon (NSW), Madeline Young (WA), Emily Suvaljko (WA), Lisa Ryan (SA), Kaela Hryhorec (SA), Kima Frenning (VIC), and Kerryn Manning (VIC). Duane Ranger

The first siring winner by three-time New Zealand Cup champion, Terror To Love, will contest the Paleface Adios 2yo Wayne Wilson Pace at Albion Park on July 6. The Mark Jones trained Millwood Tilly was Terror To Love's first triumph in a $6,000 two-year-old pace at Newcastle on February 23. That was the bay filly's debut run. She then finished fourth in the Group Two $50,000 Sapling Stakes at Tabcorp Menangle last Saturday (March 2). Millwood Tilly is owned by Tony and Karen Turpin of Haigslea, their daughter Chantal, and Denis Golinski. The same owners also own the closely related Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding, Mattgregor, who has won 16 of his 38 starts and $141,374. In human terms they are cousins. Millwood Tilly's dam (Miss Sunshine) and Mattgregor's dam (Albuquerque) are both out of the 2000 Albert Albert six-win New Zealand mare, Princess Alberta. Princess Alberta also left Alberto Contador (1:49.8) who won 44 races and $664,218. “Millwood Tilly will have one more start on Saturday in Sydney with ‘Jonesy’ in the Group Two race ($50,000 Pink Bonnet), and then she will be spelled for the Winter Carnival here in Brisbane,” Turpin (Tony) said. “I’ve never seen her, other than in a photo, but we were looking through the Sales catalogue and I wanted her because she was closely related to Mattgregor,” he added. Jones paid $13,000 for the filly, on behalf of his clients, to Canterbury breeder Katie Carville at last year’s Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka (South Auckland). On debut Millwood Tilly drew five (of six) and Jones shot the $1.45 favourite to the lead soon after the start. That was the winning of the race. She bolted in by 6.2 and 28.6 metres, pacing the mobile mile (1609m) in 2:00.8. Her sectionals were 30.3, 33.3, 28.9, and 28.3. “I’ve never had a starter in the ‘Paleface’ before so that will be quite a thrill. In fact I haven’t had too many smart 2-year-olds over the years. She’s certainly one of the better juveniles I’ve had – and I've never laid a finger on her. “Mark tells me she is a progressive type and that the ‘Terror To Loves’  go okay early. I’m looking forward to seeing her in the flesh,” Turpin said. He said the bay would be trained by Peter and Chantal McMullen (daughter) when she gets to Queensland. “There’s a real ‘Mattgregor’ connection here. It all started through my mate Chris Barsby one day when we were chatting. He told me ‘Jonesy’ had an unraced 3-year-old pacer named Mattgregor. “He never raced in New Zealand, but we bought him on the trainer’s word. That was more than good enough because Mattgregor has won a lot of races and more than $100,000. he even ran fifth in the Chariots Of Fire. “It’s quite ironic really because I’ve never been to New Zealand. I don’t even have a passport. I’ve bought a few off Mark now. He’s a quality horseman, a good friend, and a great judge,” he said. Turpin said he had also purchased Mattgregor's little 2-year-old half sister (by Sunshine Beach) named Miss Ruby Sunshine from Jones. "She finished second in her only start for Mark in New Zealand last Sunday. That was a Group Three race. That filly will end up here too. "According to Mark, he believed Peter would be suited by ‘Tilly' and Chantal - 'Ruby'. Who knows what horse they will drive. They will have to argue over that one," Turpin joked. Queensland’s two-year-old racing program now features six Group 1 races. Millwood Tilly’s winning debut run at Newcastle last month: https://www.hrnsw.com.au/trotstv/replays/39842   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Saturday night’s Australian Female Drivers Championship at Albion Park could create a couple of milestones for ‘Team Teal’ pace-maker, Narissa McMullen, but the Fernvale 24-year-old knows exactly where it’s at. “I have had family members with cancer and I’ve known other people who have had it too. It’s such a nasty disease. I am honoured to be able to help women cancer sufferers," McMullen said. “I’d love to raise the most money for them. That would mean a lot." McMullen is well aware that two out of every three women who suffer from ovarian cancer will die. “Of course I want to win the Australian title, but I also want to do as much as I can for the Teal Campaign. We have had stalls and I’m also selling teal Hygain caps, with the $15 goes to the Women’s Cancer Foundation. I’ve also got them at Albion Park and Redcliffe. So winning more races on Saturday means a great deal to me,” McMullen said. McMullen leads the national ‘Team Teal’ tally to date, with 20 winners since February 1, helping the Queensland campaign raise $9,800 going into the Thursday Redcliffe meeting. At least another $1400 will go into the pool with seven heats of the Australian Female Drivers Champs scheduled for Saturday’s 9-race programme. McMullen would also like to record two more wins at Albion Park. “I think I’ve driven 698 winners in Queensland and more than 700 all-up. Luck will play a big part on Saturday night,” the modest horsewoman said. McMullen, who swaps the teal for the maroon on Saturday, has a splendid book of drives and should end the 2019 ‘Team Teal” campaign as outright winner. “Track knowledge might help a bit but I think it comes down to luck in the running. I have some nice drives. It would be a dream to win the Australian Women’s Drivers Champs after running midfield in Tasmania last year," she said. “I love competing against the best and always want to win no matter where I’m driving, or who against." She said she liked the drive behind the Kelli Dawson trained Cool Scooter in race three. Dawson, ironically, is Queensland’s other competitor in the 12-strong Ladies Championship. “He went well last week winning first-up for Kelli after a three month spell. He should be improved by that run because this will be just his second run here since arriving from New Zealand," McMullen said. She also though the Jack Butler trained Shards Halo had the economical second row draw to go close in race one and then a race later said the consistent Kerry Smith trained Annika Magic had the nice front-row draw (4) to be prominent. "It's hard to single any one of them out really because they all have good form. The drawers were good to me," McMullen said. "Left A Terror, who is going for his fourth straight win, is also a chance despite his wide draw, in race seven," she said. McMullen, the second eldest in a prominent McMullen harness racing family, lives in Fernvale and works from her parent’s, John and Jennette’s stable at Glamorgan Vale. She will be up against: Kelli Dawson (QLD), Hannah Vandongen (TAS), Samantha Gangell (TAS), Kerry Ann Turner (NSW), Ellen Rixon (NSW), Madeline Young (WA), Emily Suvaljko (WA), Lisa Ryan (SA), Kaela Hryhorec (SA), Kima Frenning (VIC), and Kerryn Manning (VIC). In addition to the prestigious Australian title, the winner will also receive a trip for two to Hamilton Island thanks to the support of long-time industry supporters, Kevin and Kaye Seymour.   Duane Ranger

The career of one of Queensland’s best mini trot drivers came to an end at Tabcorp Menangle last Saturday night. After winning about 100 races and three Mini Miracle Miles in 2013, 2016, and 2018, Brisbane’s Angus Garrard is now ready to take on the men and women in the open driving ranks. In fact the talented 15-year-old has all his trials licenses and now only has to wait until his 16th birthday in June to fulfil his lifetime dream. “I’m really looking forward to becoming a driver against some of the people I’ve always Iooked up to, but I’ve loved driving the ponies. It’s something I’ve done since I was six,” Garrard said. The talented teenager leaves the mini pony ranks with a second placing in his last ever mini trot drive in the 2019 Mini Miracle Mile in Sydney on Saturday (March 2). Fellow Queenslander, Wayne Dwyer, finished third behind Danielle Dash. Garrard was driving Sparkling Star, the same pony he recently trained to win the New South Wales Mini Trotting Championship. In fact Garrard can train the Shetlands as good as he can drive them. His career training record is 13 starters for three wins and six placings. But to the young fella’s credit he’s in no hurry to leave St Paul’s School in Bald Hills. “I’ve got a couple of years before Year 12 so I’ll probably stay at school until then end, and hopefully still work the horses at the same time," he said. “I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had some really good horsemen and women help me over the years. Dad (Daren) and Dad (Gayle) have been a huge help and so have Darrel Graham and Luke McCarthy when he worked up here. “Because of them I want to make a real good go of it." Garrard was brought up around horses. His family have been huge sponsors of harness racing over the years via their international company – Garrard’s Horse And Hound. Asked if he had any one major ambition in the sport, Garrard replied: “I’d love to drive an Interdom winner one day. That would be a great race to win.” Garrard is also the grandson of Chris Garrard (OAM), who was bestowed with an Order of Australia Merit on Australia day this year for his services to harness racing. Garrard’s Mini Miracle Mile performances have been impressive since April 2013. In fact there would be few who could match this record: 2013 (April): Three starters – trained and drove Twebby Twotter to win, while Sparkling Star finished second. 2013 (November): Three starters for a second, fourth and 10th. 2014: Two starters for a second and a third. 2015: No Miracle Mile. 2016: Two starters – trained and drove Twebby Twotter to win. Sparkling Star was third. 2017: One starter - Twebby Twotter ran second. 2018: Two starters – trained and drove Twebby Twotter to first. Sparkling Star fifth. 2019: Trained and drove Sparkling Star to second. Garrard has also raced across the Tasman where he finished midfield in the New Zealand Kidz Kartz Cup.   By Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Birnam trainer Wayne Graham has about 20 horses in work and on Saturday at Albion Park his two best pacers won races seven and nine respectively. Peter McMullen steered Glenferrie Hood to victory in the $21,000 Kevin and Kay Seymour Open Pace, and then just over an hour later Jossie James and Adam Sanderson got the chocolates in the $13,000 Changeover At Burwood Stud Mares Pace. “They are my best two by a long way. They both needed the trip to suit and both got exactly that. It was a couple of nice drives by Peter and Adam,” the ‘top 10’ Queensland trainer said. Graham’s two wins saw his season tally lift to 26 wins from 186 starters this season. He has amassed $230,736 in stakes. Eight of those wins have come from 50 Albion Park starts. Graham now sits ninth on the state’s training premiership and sixth at Albion Park. He said he would continue to race both pacers monitoring them through until the Winter Carnival. “They are both nice horses without setting the world on fire. The others aren’t really up to city Saturday night racing just yet. Glenferrie Hood is almost all done though. He’s rising 10 now and had a few trainers before me, but he has always given his best," Graham said. “Like Jossie James, this fella needs the run to suit. ‘Jossie’ is a sit and sprint type of horse. She has very good high speed and can get over the top of them if saved for a run." Glenferrie Hood lobbed the one-one in last night’s 1660m mobile and then in the straight he proved way too powerful for Mach Alert and Bodhi Tree. The Christian Cullen gelding paced the 1660m in 1:57.2 (mile rate: 1:53.6) with 27.8, 30.4, 27.2 and 28.6 sectionals. He won by 4.2 metres. “Peter drove the horse well. He won from in front here last week and then tonight he sprinted home strongly. He will tell me when he’s had enough,” Graham said. Jossie James was scintillating recording her 13th win form 40 starts – all of them with Graham. Sanderson sat near the rear with the 5-year-old Big Jim mare and then they pounced at the 400m. The $1.95 favourite then left her opposition to it, winning by more than eight metres in 1:59.1 (mile rate: 1:55.4). Her sectional were 27.8, 29.6, 29.1, and 29.1. “The race panned out nicely for her. She’s one of the fastest horses I have sat behind over a quarter. She has amazing speed. I think you saw that tonight,” Sanderson said post-race. Graham said he broke Jossie James in after owner/breeder, Trevor O’Reilly bought her back from the APG Yearling Sales in 2015. She won four races last season and has won three so far this year. She’s always been a fast mare, but she as to be driven accordingly. “She goes okay. She won the AG Consolation when she was two and Adam knows her well and gets on real good with her," Graham said. “However, this could be her last season. She will most likely be put to a stallion at the end of the year, but that’s up to the owners." Meanwhile, the “Team Teal’ campaign which is raising money for Women’s Cancer has now hit the $7,400 mark after Chantal Turpin and Kyle Rasmussen added another $200 each with their wins in races two and six last night. Turpin trained and drove Imthe Golden Child to score in the second event, while Rasmussen won the sixth race with her quality pacer, Lilac Flash. It was their 12th and 16th wins, and they paid $26 and $3.60 respectively. The campaign ends in early March.   By Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

What legendary Sleepy Hollow horseman Vic Frost doesn't know about 2-year-olds isn't worth knowing. And one thing the spritely 78-year-old certainly does know is that he's got a nice Hurrikane Kingcole filly named Frost En Ice in his stable. "I like her a lot. Her mother, Frostiness, won 12 and his grandfather was an absolute freak and superstar. The best I have ever had anything to do with in my long career," Frost said. Of course the New South Wales horseman (Tweed Heads) was referring to the mighty Westburn Grant (1:55.6), who won 38 of his 67 starts and placed in 18 others for $2,074,916 in stakes between July 1988 and March 1993. "He's just walked around the corner now as we speak. He's still in good condition and has always had free-run of our place. He's an absolute gentleman who we will cherish forever," Frost said. But Westburn Grant's grand-daughter does have one thing over the legendary 34-year-old. "I've driven thousands of horses over the years and she's the first one that doesn't wear any form of knee boots," Frost said. "She's a big filly and has a lovely big pacing stride on her. I really like the Hurrikane Kingcoles. They have a lovely gait on them and he seems to be able to produce good horses that go early. “Economically that is a big plus for owners who don’t have to wait until their horse is say four or five to race. Unlike other stallions this fella’s first crop seem to be really firing early. I like him. I’m working about eight to 10 horses on my property, and have nine foals by him." After finishing a five-metre second behind Xaviers Hurrikane (Nathan Dawson) at Albion Park on February 12, Frost En Ice and Kylie Rasmussen yesterday (Feb 19) won their first TAB race at Albion Park. The $1.50 favourite flew the gate and led all the way pacing the 1660m mobile in 2:02.3. The bay filly's sectionals for the Burwood Stud 2yo Pace were: 29.6, 31.3, 29.7, and 28.2. Her winning mile rate was 1:58.6. Will The Wind and Chantal Turpin were 8.4 metres back in second. Three of the five starters in the first event yesterday were by Hurrikane Kingcole. "They are very clean going animals and I have high expectations of this big girl without getting too carried away too soon. She doesn’t cross-fire like most, which is a huge bonus," Frost said. "I think she is good enough to race inter-state, but for now I just want to monitor her progress and see how she develops before throwing her in the deep end with premature plans." Frost said because of her early development he believed Frost En Ice would not only make a good racehorse, but also a nice broodmare one day. “She had two to three preps before her first trial and I couldn’t be happier with the way she is going. If she just shows glimpses of what her freakish grandfather did, then I will be one very happy man,” Frost said. Frost En Ice is trained, owned and bred by Frost and his wife and Gail Geeson.   by Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

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