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If harness racing driver Anthony Frisby wasn't a believer in the superstition that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck before this year's Gold Crown Carnival, he certainly is now. Less than 24 hours after a black cat darted in front of his car when travelling home from the opening night of the Bathurst Harness Racing Club's annual carnival, the Bathurst driver was plagued by bad luck. "I had a real good night. I had four drives and three gallopers," Frisby said. "I'm not even joking about this, but on the Friday night when we were coming home, a black cat ran out in front of us. Dad said 'Geeze, I hope that doesn't mean anything', after Saturday I said 'Dad, I think it meant something.' "Hopefully these bad things only happen in threes." Two of those runners who galloped - $1.45 favourite Krafty Bart and $6.50 chance Steele - were considered good prospects to win their 1,730 metre Gold Crown heats. However, Frisby did have one piece of good luck that evening. He drove the John Boserio trained Mistery Road to victory in his Gold Crown heat to qualify for the two-year-old colts and geldings decider. Frisby will now aim to drive Mistery Road to his fifth consecutive victory in Friday night's Group 1 final, but he explained the path to getting there was not an easy one. "Leading into the carnival we just had a torrid week with him, he had a couple of feet problems and a couple of days out, you couldn't ask for a worse week to have going into these sort of series. So we were pretty surprised he went as good as he did in his heat," Frisby said. "We are hoping we can improve him from his heat, but it doesn't matter what happens, he's made it. "Once that gate folds back we'll know what he's doing, see how he feels. It's going to be a very hard race to win, but we're very happy to have made it. Fingers crossed." The Mr Feelgood x Ashuras Gold colt will go from barrier seven in the decider and while it's a tough draw, Frisby will carry the confidence of a good season with him. He snagged second in the Inter Dominion Grand Final and picked up his first Group 1 winning drive with Our Uncle Sam. "It's one of those things, everyone wants to be in the grade all the time. I've just been blessed to have the right horses at the right time ... I've had a super, super year and hopefully it continues," he said. "It helps anyone's confidence to be honest, you're not stressing as much because you've been there and done it. You're a bit more relaxed and it helps to be relaxed as you can for the horses ... if you're uptight then the horse is going to be uptight." Frisby will also drive Uncle Jord in the three-year-old colts and geldings Gold Chalice Final for his trainer-father Chris. He will go from barrier eight and as such, is an long shot. "He'll need a lot of luck from there, a bit better draw and he might have been in it, but he's going okay," Frisby said. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

IF EVER a horse had earned a Group One victory this season, it had to be Bathurst pacer Our Uncle Sam. After chasing home Tiger Tara in the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup finals, Our Uncle Sam and Anthony Frisby had no such hurdle tonight as the pair wore down the leader Majordan in the straight before going on to score a half-neck win over the fast-finishing Ellmers Image (Amanda Turnbull) with Majordan (Todd McCarthy) clinging on for third in the Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All. Settling in third and fourth place in the run, Frisby knew he had Majordan covered as they turned for home while Turnbull was angling through along the pegs to make a late dash at the winner. It was Western Districts reinsman Anthony Frisby's first Group One win and he gave their Perthville team full credit for the win. "Dad (Chris) has been down here all week with this horse and he settled in really well but I have to give full credit to the team back at home," said Anthony. "Without them success like this just wouldn't be possible. "Certainly this horse deserves a win like this." With fast time the order of the night, Our Uncle Sam rated 1:52.3 in his win with an overall time of 2:47.5. If there was a disappointment in the race it was the horse many thought should have been invited into the Miracle Mile, New Zealand's Ashley Locaz. Driven the perfect race by Mark Purdon, Ashley Locaz settled in the one-out and one-back trail but couldn't catch the leaders in the straight, finishing a disappointing fourth, just ahead of Buster Brady.   Sean Vella

Back in 2005, Chris Frisby realised one of his major harness racing dreams. His talented son of Fake Left, Dinki Di, a family-bred gelding, won the Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst. “For 18 years I have been trying to win this race,” Frisby said at the time. “I knew Shirley a long time before that and she was just a lovely, lovely lady.” Thirteen years later and Frisby still recalls fondly that victory, but says a TAB Inter Dominion start is challenging that day as a personal harness highlight. His five-year-old gelding Our Uncle Sam last night jumped into the ID18 pacing final courtesy of a slashing second behind Tiger Tara in the third-round heat at Cranbourne. “I’m so rapt. I have to slap myself in the face to tell if it’s real,” he said. “You always dream of an Inter Dominion runner. “I’ve always said Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup, Derbies, Oaks and the Shirley Turnbull Memorial are the races I want to win. “The last one some may not have heard of, but I won it with Dinki Di and that was probably my biggest thrill. We smashed the track record and it was a race I always wanted to win.” Our Uncle Sam qualified for the TAB ID18 final by running fourth on opening night at Melton, seven at Ballarat when covering ground throughout and a fast-finishing second on night three. Frisby's son Anthony drives the horse. And another stride and he probably would have pipped Tiger Tara at the weekend. “I might have took my head off and put a pumpkin on, but I’ve always thought that we’d be a chance in the Inter Dominion with the right run,” Frisby said. “He’s going good enough and I don’t think I’ve ever had him any better than he is now. He’s made the jump, but you always need luck in running.” Check out the full list of ID18 standings Trots Media - Cody Winnell

Team Frisby is flying! Literally and figuratively. The father/son combination of Chris and Anthony Frisby have enjoyed their best season to date, the Bathurst based combination have enjoyed great results in their home state while their annual Queensland winter campaign has netted stunning results. And that was evident on Friday night with quality pacer Our Uncle Sam dominating his rivals to claim the final feature of the 2018 Queensland winter carnival, the Listed $25,450 Chris Garrard’s Patrons Purse at Redcliffe. Starting as a clear punters elect, the Sportswriter four-year-old raced without cover for the bulk of the 2280m feature after starting from a second-line draw before holding Anychance and My Mastercraftsman in a time of 2:00.3. It was his second feature triumph during his northern campaign after claiming the Listed $25,540 Lucky Creed Open at Albion Park on June 23. Our Uncle Sam has also established a new personal best time of 1:52.6 at Albion Park when scoring first-up on June 9. “It’s easily been our best season, our previous best was 32 which came last season and when we passed that mark, Dad said let’s get to 40 and now we’re over 50 so it’s very satisfying and rewarding.” Anthony Frisby said. The Frisby combination has raced nine individual horses during their Queensland stint and all have won race/s during their time in the warmer climate. Queensland Oaks runner-up Major Occasion was the latest winner when successful at Albion Park on Saturday night and it was only her second start in the state. Currently based on the border at Tweed Heads, there’s a small community of New South Wales trainers at the same venue and they prepare over 30 horses as they escape the winter chills. “It’s been great; we have Dean & Rikki Cernovskis, Scott Hewitt, Dennis Picker and Katie Jenner and we’ve all had some success which is great. We’re based at the Tweed Heads Pony Club and we got permission to build our own jog track and the horses have thrived during their time up here. “We’re more than pleased with the way our time has performed up here and most have been multiple winners. We planned for some time prior to the trip making sure we had the right horses and we’ve worked the handicapping system to our advantage. “I’d say we’ll be here for another week or two before heading home, hopefully things are starting to warm up a little back home.” Team Frisby have three runners engaged at tomorrow’s (Tuesday) Albion Park meeting. Chris Barsby

The first of Albion Park’s winter feature races got underway last Saturday and the night was owned by the Frisby stable celebrating a winning treble. Our Uncle Sam driven by Anthony Frisby listed an outstanding victory in the 2018 Oakwood Capital Lucky Creed Open Pace for trainer Chris Frisby. He lines up again in this week’s listed event the Oakwood Capital Wondais Mate Open Pace. The feature race is named in honour of the legendary pacer, Wondais Mate who dominated the racetrack in the mid 1980’s. Trained by Merv Reinke and driven by Daryl Reinke, the pacer had an amazing record of in 121 race starts for 73 wins and 34 placings for $456,536 in prizemoney. He won many feature races at Albion Park including the 1986 Sunshine Sprint and Winter Cup (now known as the Blacks A Fake). This week Our Uncle Sam will be up against talented types including Hughie Green who posted an exciting victory last week being first up in almost a year owing to an injury. Others that look to be in the money include Mattgregor, Glenferrie Hood and Frankie Rocks. The Frisby stable were successful in both band 5 class races last week with Our Wall Street Wolf NZ and Holy Camp Clive. Both of these pacers get another shot at the same class, drawn into separate races, with concession driver Amy Rees on board. While Rees is situated in Bathurst and makes a special trip up for the Winter Carnival she’s a born and bred Queenslander that has driven multiple winners at Albion Park. Likewise, talented New South Wales horseman, Luke McCarthy, makes the trip north this weekend for almost a full book of drives. McCarthy is no stranger to Albion Park having begun his career in the sunshine state in 1999 and right through until his move south in 2010.  McCarthy’s standout drives for the meeting include Miss Graceland and Effronte for the Craig Cross stable. For the meetings full form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting: The race meeting has a number of exquisite betting propositions courtesy of wagering service provider UBET. Headlining these offers is a $25K First 4 jackpot Pool on race 1 scheduled for 4:58pm EST. Additionally, a $2.5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 5:32pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3, 4 and 5. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or  

ON a rather chilly Wednesday evening at Gold Crown Paceway in front was the place to be with all four Alabar Breeders Challenge three-year-old winners leading from start to finish in their respective heats. The first heat of the colts and geldings was a very open affair, with five of the nine runners figuring prominently in the betting. It was, however, the $2.90 favourite Maximus Red, trained and driven by Steve Turnbull, which found the front very easily from barrier seven, and ultimately proved too good in a mile rate of 1.59.9. Aphorism driven by Anthony Frisby, sat parked for the trip and battled on gamely to  finish second, with Brad’s Luck (Doug Hewitt), a neck away third. The Amanda Turnbull-trained and driven War Dan, found the lead very easily in the second heat of the colts and gelding, and despite a late challenge from Bella Ball Terror, (Dennis Picker), held on to win by a half head in a mile rate of 1.59.8. Mackeral, (Bernie Hewitt), held on well for third. Both placegetters did a great job to finish as close as they did with the closing quarter being run in 27.3 seconds. The fastest recorded on the night. The first heat of the three-year-old fillies division was won in fine style by the John McCarthy-trained and driven, Hows The Memory. A recent addition to the McCarthy stable, after previously being trained very successfully in the Riverina by Billy Trembath, Hows The Memory, cruised away to win by 19 metres in a mile rate of 1.55.4. Second placing went to Redbank Addi (KerryAnn Turner) with a further three metres to Art Series (Amanda Turnbull) which finished third. The three placegetters dominated the betting in what was a very strong heat, with the winning margin of 19 metres showing how dominate Hows The Memory was. The final heat was taken out by Callmequeenbee. Although, not a genuine leader, the daughter of Shadow Play, trained by Gemma Rue and driven by Gem’s husband Mat, did all that was asked of her up the straight to record a four metre victory in a closing 27.9 quarter. Second placing went to Cobbity Chic (Bernie Hewitt), which made good ground in the straight, with Bid For Red, a further five metres away. Outside of the Alabar Breeders Challenge heats, Mango Stride (KerryAnn Turner) was a very impressive winner in race one. Despite only recording one win in its previous seven starts, Mango Stride rated 1.55.1 after over coming barrier five on the second line. He assumed the lead at the 800 metre mark and cruised away with a solid 26 metre victory. They’re plenty more wins in store for this son of Rocknroll Hanover. Danny Dwyer

She began the month with a win in the Wagga Oaks, took out the Young Oaks on Saturday and now Major Occasion will be aimed at the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Gold Bracelet series. A member of Bathurst trainer Chris Frisby’s team, Major Occasion has been in good touch so far this season with four wins and a second placing from seven starts. It is form Frisby hopes his three-year-old filly by Art Major out of Fake Occasion can build on come the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival later this month. “She’s always been fairly tough, well she’s gotten tougher. She’s a lovely, big, strong mare,” he said. “She’s won her last two starts now and hopefully she can win her next two in the Gold Bracelet.” While Major Occasion’s win in the Wagga Oaks came in convincing fashion, finishing 26.8 metres clear of her nearest rival, on Saturday night in the Young Oaks (2,100m) things were much closer. Going from barrier nine, driver Anthony Frisby worked Major Occasion ($3.90) three wide before settling outside leader and $1.60 favourite War Dan Bad Girl (Amanda Turnbull). That pair battled it out to the post, with Major Occasion getting the nod by a half head. She clocked a 28.5 seconds split for the final quarter of the last mile. Third place, a further 1.9m back, was Paul Fitzpatrick’s Prophesy ($7.10) – a horse which Chris Frisby thought at one stage could have swooped to victory. “Geeze it frightened me, I thought we got beat,” Frisby admitted. “I looked at the wheels of Amanda’s [runner] and while her wheel was a little bit in front, I knew we were longer and I was just hoping we got there. We did so yeah, that was good. “She’s done a good job and the last two runs haven’t been easy either, she’s sat in the death seat, but that’s what she likes to do. “Amanda’s is a good horse and she didn’t lie down either, she was tough to beat. That one of the Fitzpatrick’s as well, I thought it was going to be tough to beat too. It sat on our back while Amanda and me did all the work.” While Major Occasion’s efforts at Wagga and Young will make her one to watch come the Gold Bracelet heats, her trainer also feels with some better luck, his filly could have made the rich NSW Oaks final as well. She ran last in her heat, but had been in a position to challenge for a win after galloping out of the barriers. Major Occasion recovered from that incident to be one out and three back at the 400m mark, but was checked and galloped once more. “She was a bit unlucky in the NSW Oaks ... I thought she was going to run a place as she was going that strong,” Frisby said. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate  

Some exciting things could be on the horizon for Major Occassion after the promising harness racing filly gave another example of her talents at Dubbo Paceway on Sunday. Major Occasion, driven by Anthony Frisby for Chris Frisby, took out the second of the day’s three feature events, the $8,160 Creenaune Family Three Year Old Silver Jug (2120m). The most positive aspect of the 1.8m win for Anthony Frisby was the fact there’s still plenty of ways in which Major Occasion can improve. Frisby and the filly, leaving gate five as a hot $1.50 favourite, set the pace early before John O’Shea showed some neat driving to get Karloo Bentwofifty ($12.60) to the lead on the bell. But Frisby got the job done in the run for home and scored in a milerate of 2:01;4.     Chris and Anthony Frisby combine with Major Occassion to win the 3YO Silver Jug at @DubboHRC. Had to work for it but impressive first-up win for this promising filly. “She felt really good but she’s just really green, running all over the place,” he said.   “We’ll hopefully fix all that but today when she had to do a job I pulled out at the back and put the foot down and she really went. “Out of the gate she was really casual, she’s usually blistering out of the gate, and in the run she was really casual but then John O’Shea put the pressure on with a lap to go. “She was still pretty casual but it didn’t really matter because there was no one there to block us in and she went really well.” She was still pretty casual but it didn’t really matter ... she went really well. Anthony Frisby on Major Occasion Major Occasion raced in Victoria last preparation, her last start before Sunday was a win at Melton on June 30, and Frisby was hopeful of more success this time out. Frisby also praised the Dubbo Harness Racing Club for running such a successful meeting, which was well-attended and had every race sponsored by Gilgandra families or businesses. “It’s always good to come up here and get a nice race like this and it’s a credit to the club to have races like this on,” he said. IMPRESSIVE: Major Occasion was too good for her rivals on Sunday.   By Nick Guthrie   Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

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