Day At The Track
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A coveeted cup, a battle between man and horse and raising money for charity – the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Oberon Community Night is always a season highlight. This Friday night’s nine-race meeting at the Bathurst Paceway has not only drawn some quality runners, but is expected to attract a bumper crowd which reflects the passion Oberon residents have for the sport. “It would be our third biggest meeting of the year behind the Gold Crown finals night and Shirley Turnbull Memorial. It shows how much the Oberon community get behind it,” BHRC’s Marianne Donnelly said. “It is a big night because the Oberon community are just so great, they really get behind it every year. They also raise on the night around $4,000 for Ronald McDonald House which is an amazing effort for one night. “It’s a special night for the Oberon trainers too, they all like to race on the night. Russell [Reynolds] has got one in the cup, Wayne White’s got one in the race he sponsors and Geoff [Lawson] has got horses racing too.” READ MORE: Turnbull wins her sixth Oberon Cup READ MORE: Mojo Major wins the 2017 Oberon Cup READ MORE: Chris proves he can Be Quick for the Rues READ MORE: Frisby’s star draw gate 10 for Ballarat Cup The feature race is the Oberon Cup (2,260 metres), one which has showcased champions such as Smooth Satin and Karloo Mick in the past. Since its inception in 2002, The Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull has steered the most winners. When she goes from barrier one with Jonah Jones on Friday night, she will be seeking her seventh Oberon Cup win. However, she faces some stiff opposition with past victors Robbie Morris, Bernie Hewitt, Steve Turnbull and Ashlee Grives all in contention. “The honour roll is certainly impressive, there are some top horses on it and it’s a top race. This year there are some great horses in the field again - Royal Story, Imthevillagestar,” Donnelly said. Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here Aside from the cup, which offers $14,840 in stakes, the program also features the Oberon Council Ladyship Pace and Rewards Series Final. Then there is a race between horse and man. A horse will run two laps of the Bathurst Paceway track while the team of Tyler Colley and Nathan Voytilla-Borg attempt to cover one. First race is at 8.33pm. Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

“She's going to leave them all crying at the chapel”. That statement from harness racing race caller Craig Easey as he watched Tintin Naturally power down the home straight in the Elvis Championships Final (2,040 metres) on Wednesday might have been a little cringe-worthy, but the winning run was anything but. The Amanda Turnbull trained and driven $1.30 favourite led from start to finish in the annual Parkes Harness Racing Club feature. The five-year-old Tintin In America x Natural Hanover mare was rated nicely in front then kicked away from her rivals after turning for home, finishing 7.3m clear of second placed Reverse Psychology (Nathan Turnbull, $41). Easey, a man known for his entertaining calls across the Western Districts, embraced the spirit of the meeting which is part of Parkes’ Elvis Festival. As they ran down the back straight for the first time he quipped “They’re picking up their blue suede hooves and putting them down nicely” and later as contenders jostled behind the favourite he came out with “It’s now or never as they race down the back, Tintin Naturally out in front.” But the puns aside, Easey’s observations were spot on. Tintin Naturally got away well from barrier one to lead and travelled nicely throughout. A 52.2 first half of the last mile meant she was poised for a strong finish and she produced.  It was her fourth win from her last five starts. Wednesday night marked the fifth time Turnbull had lined up for a drive in the Elvis Championship Final, a race which first featured on the Parkes program in 2013. Turnbull placed third in that inaugural final aboard the $3 favourite Our Buller Boy and in the two years which followed, was off the pace with a 10th (Whispering Lass) and ninth (Cullectomatic). In 2017 the talented The Lagoon trainer-driver finally added an Elvis victory to her long list of feature race successes, Greenngold getting the job done for her as the $2 favourite. Turnbull did not get the chance to go back-to-back, not qualifying a finalist for the 2018 edition, but on Wednesday Tintin Naturally showed exactly why he held favouritism. While that feature win was the highlight of the meeting for Turnbull, it was not her only success. She took out the opening race of the evening, a Club Menangle Where Horses Fly Heat (1,660m) aboard My Secret Beach ($1.30 favourite). Turnbull then made it a winning treble for the meeting as Mach Le More ($1.40 favourite) won an Evolution Series Three Year Old Colts and Geldings Heat (1,660m). By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate Want to keep up to date with Bathurst sport? Sign up to our daily newsletter and breaking news alerts here:   FACEBOOKSHARE TWITTERTWEET EMAIL

Angela Hedges helped to produce the biggest upset of Sunday’s Forbes Harness Racing Club meeting when she steered Roseculledglasses the first win of her career. In the gig for trainer Adam Bellach, the Bathurst driver rated $10.90 chance Roseculledglasses nicely to make it an all the way win in the Kevin and Kay Seymour Celebrating 50 Years in Harness Racing Three Year Old Pace (2,060 metres). Prior to Hedges’ winning drive on Sunday, the closest the Artistic Fella x She Bites filly had come to success was when running a 16.7m third at the same track on April 25. Hedges used Roseculledglasses’ gate speed to see her cross from barrier three and once in front, there she stayed. While favourite Our Chateau Lafite ($1.40, Amanda Turnbull) mounted a challenge down the home straight, Roseculledglasses was a comfortable 5.3m winner in what was her fifth career start. She clocked splits of 29.8, 29.9, 29.5 and 29.8 seconds. Anya Whitelaw

Bathurst trainer Bernie Hewitt is on track for his most successful harness racing season this decade after a treble at Parkes on Wednesday night lifted him to 60 wins. As he steered both Little Bit Dusty ($3) and Taylors Mill ($8) to victory and Amy Rees got the job done for him aboard Lifes A Jungle ($4.60), Hewitt moved up to fourth spot on the Harness Racing NSW trainers’ premiership list. He is on track to not only better his 69 wins from last season, but better the mark of 89 victors in 2015-14. As well as having trained 60 winners as of Thursday morning – including College Chapel in last month’s Group 1 Bathurst Gold Crown final – Hewitt has enjoyed 46 runner-up finishes and 52 third placings. Hewitt’s effort aboard two-year-old filly Taylors Mill was arguably the highlight of his treble at Parkes given it was her maiden win. She showed gate speed to take the lead from barrier three and wasn’t headed in a 3.6m win recorded in a mile rate of 2:02:1. Dubbo trainer Barry Lew finished the meet with a pair of placings following Karloo Threeothree’s second-placed finish in the Terry Brothers Carpet Court Pace (2040m) while the returning Ben Twofifty finished third in the Harness Breeders NSW Bonus Scheme Three Year Old Pace (2040m). By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

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