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New season, new hope. That’s the approach harness racing connections will adopt for former New Zealand pacer Watch Pulp Fiction following his dominant victory in the UBET Pace at Albion Park on Saturday night. The Art Major entire recorded a mile rate of 1:55.2 for the 2138m event. But it was only his third victory from 19 starts on Australian soil following his purchase last season for a hefty price. It was his second victory at Albion Park while he scored at Tabcorp Park Menangle back in February earlier this year. There have been glimpses along the way but the frustration continues to build. “Obviously he hasn’t been easy to sort out and we haven’t seen the best of him since he’s been in our care but we keep working with him and trying different things. He felt great the other night and was suited by a genuine speed; he was really strong through the line.” Trainer/driver Chantal Turpin said. Upon his arrival in November last year, expectations were there to match his price tag and his campaign started well following his eye-catching effort in the Gr.2 $50,000 Gold Coast Cup when fourth behind Avonnova in a time of 1:53.3 for 2138m. An easy victory at his next start at Albion Park indicated he would be a great companion for his stablemate Mattgregor who was being readied for a Chariots of Fire campaign in Sydney. It was anything but. Watch Pulp Fiction managed one victory from six starts before returning to Brisbane where his inconsistent form continued leading into and during the winter carnival. “We couldn’t get two good runs out of him and it proved very frustrating, the efforts weren’t bad but we expected more from him. His work at home was good and he looked in terrific order but he just couldn’t get any consistency going. “Before his start on Saturday, Pete (McMullen – husband) and I went back to square one and changed things around with him and that appears to have worked because he was very genuine, probably the best he’s felt. “We’ll just keep ticking him over in the coming weeks and then we might look at a Victorian campaign in November when Mattgregor heads south. That’s the plan at this stage but that will depend on his form and performances.” Meanwhile, Mattgregor is back in work and building towards his next campaign which will take in the Gr.2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton on November 11. by Chris Barsby

JK Panache and harness racing driver Chris Lems go gate to wire to win the $7,500 feature at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 26). JK Panache (Art Major) would charge out of the gate and control all the times, :27.1, :56.0, 1:23.2, 1:51.0. The 7 year-old who is owned by Phiilip Hale and Trainer David Dewhurst, would be tough in the stretch holding off the late charge of Oh My Joepa (John Macdonald). Oh My Joepa would finish second with Calvin B (Truman Gale) finishing third. JK Panache ($3.10) would win for the seventh time this season. He would notch his 53rd win. Truman Gale and Jimmy Whittemore would each win a couple on the night. Gale would first win with The Time To Win ($2.90). Winning easily by six lengths in 1:54.4. His second win was with Stonebridge Bonus ($11.60) in 1:54.0. Whittemore went to the winners circle with Skip Jive ($12.20), who won in 1:52.4. His second win was with Arsenal ($5.80) in 1:52.3 Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 31) at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs

JK Panache with harness racing driver Chris Lems at the controls, wins the Saturday night (August 19) featured pace at Vernon Downs. Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) would lead them to the first quarter in :26.3. Oh My Joepa (John Macdonald) would then takeover hitting the half in :56.0 and three-quarters in 1:24.3. JK Panache (Art Major), who is owned by Phillip Hale and trainer David Dewhurst, would make a late bid to fly right by to win in 1:52.2. Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover) would hang on for second best. Energy Shakes (Jimmy Whittemore) would finish third. JK Panache ($5.10) won for the sixth time this year. The 8 year-old gelding now has 52 lifetime wins. The best race of the night featured the top two drivers. John MacDonald and Dragon Fever (Dragon Again) battled Chris Lems (Somebeachsomewhere) all the way down the stretch. In the end Dragon Fever ($9.80) would win by a nose. Chris Lems would win two other races on the night. He would win with Golden Brit (American Ideal), going gate-to-wire, holding off a late charge by McDan (Josh Kinney). Golden Brit paid $15.80 for the win. His third win of the night came with Pramatic Life ($17.80). Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (August 24) starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs        

Quick Draft A (Art Major) came from off the pace to record a victory in the Friday night harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Al Annunziata-trained mare has dabbled in the local Open for fillies and mares this year even prevailing in one back in February but the Australian-bred has done most of her winning when in a class similar to the one she competed in on Friday. Quick Draft A went off at odds of 4-1 in the $10,500 feature for distaffers and got a second over journey in a race that saw fast first half fractions of 27 and 55.1. The race's favorite Gracie's Parade (Jordan Derue) got shuffled back before shaking loose late and by that time, Quick Draft A had hit the line first. The win time of 1:53 matched the lifetime mark of the seven year old mare who was piloted to the victory by Bruce Aldrich Jr. Gracie's Parade finished second in her local debut while Robin J (Brian Cross) came on for third. Quick Draft A paid $10.20 in what was her third win of the season. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

Star harness racing filly Nostra Villa remained unbeaten last night at Shepparton and will take an imposing seven-from-seven career record into TAB Breeders Crown semi-final night at Bendigo on August 19. Driven by Chris Alford, Emma Stewart-trained Nostra Villa (Art Major-Crystal Journey) had no trouble running to the lead after 500m when initial leader Amelias Courage took the trail. Once in control the $1.40 starting price for Nostra Villa appeared overs, especially after a 33.9secs first quarter and 31.2secs second split (65.1 first half). Nostra Villa only had to marginally increase the tempo down the back (29.9 third quarter) before sprinting up at the finish (27.2) and holding Amelias Courage at bay by 3.2m at the wire. Her winning mile rate of 2:01.8 was Nostra Villa’s slowest career triumph so far. Amelias Courage has finished second to Nostra Villa now on three occasions and will be hoping to turn the tables in coming weeks as the Race to Royalty riches increase through the Semis at Bendigo on August 19 and the Super Sunday finals on Sunday August 27 at Tabcorp Park Melton. Dougs Kitty finished third but was beaten 18.5m from three-the-pegs, while Gwendalion ran fourth and was the first horse off the pegs over the line. Bill Trembath trained and driven Hows The Memory (Mach Three-Distant Memory) captured tonight’s second Breeders Crown heat, upsetting the $1.10 favourite Nostra Beach by a half-neck in 2:01.1. After trailing the favourite throughout, the Leeton-trained filly extended in style up the home straight and made it three straight odds-on defeats for Nostra Beach. Loveyoubabe finished third, with Angel Of Arts fourth. And Kiwi raider Our Bettor Joy (Bettors Delight-Joyfulbelle) won the final heat tonight for trainer Cran Dalgety and reinsman Anthony Butt. Race favourite Molly Kelly led with Our Bettor Joy stalking on the fence. The leader carved out comfortable fractions of 32.6secs, 31secs and 30.8secs before the fillies flew up the straight in 27.5secs. Our Bettor Joy rated 2:02.3. Passions Delight finished third after racing three-pegs throughout, while Art Series boxed on from the chair for fourth. Don’t miss securing your Super Sunday Breeders Crown dining space, book today Breeders Crown Heats this Week August 9 Kilmore (Victoria) 2YO pacing colts and geldings Thursday August 10 Ballarat (Victoria) 3YO pacing fillies Friday August 11 Bendigo (Victoria) 3YO pacing colts and geldings   Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Courtly Choice (Art Major) matched the track record for harness racing two-year-old pacing colts on Wednesday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as he prevailed impressively in New York Sire Stakes competition. Canadian trainer Blake Macintosh brought Courtly Choice south to compete in New York for the first time and the freshman had the daunting task of overcoming post position eight in his debut in stakes competition. Mark Macdonald piloted the two year old and wound up pulling him first over after finding a spot midpack in the early going. Courtly Choice overpowered the race's favorite before kicking away late to win in 1:53.1, a time that matched the track record set for freshmen in NY Sire Stakes competition in 2015 by Joe Larry Curly. Courtly Choice was dismissed at odds of 17-1 and returned a hearty $37.40 to win in his division of the $42,025 NYSS on Wednesday. Locally-based gelding Jersey Jim (Artiscape) was another who soared to a first-over victory in Sire Stakes competition on Wednesday as the Perry Simser-trained freshman scored in 1:54.1 with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. First over was the trip de jour on Wednesday as Jimtastic (Art Major) was yet another Sire Stakes winner to score via the first over journey as the Andrew Harris-trained two year old cruised to an open length victory in 1:54.1 with Jason Bartlett in the sulky. In fact, of the four winners of the $42,025 races on Wednesday, only Paprike Blue Chip (Roll With Joe) prevailed with a journey other than first over. The John Butenschoen trainee parlayed the pocket trip to his first career Sire Stakes score, stopping the timer in 1:55 with Jim Morrill Jr sitting behind. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 28, 2017--Yonkers Raceway Friday night (July 28th) offered up the $167,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-old fillies. A trio of equally-parsed ($55,833) six-horse fields comprised the event, which again honored the memory of the former publicity director of both Yonkers Raceway and NBC Sports. Any number of Cohen family and friends joined in for the winner's circle presentations, with just one public choice returning for the meet-and-greet. Roaring to Go (Brett Miller, $3.40) won the evening's final event in a night's-fastest 1:52.4. From the pole, she retook from Planet Rock (Dan Dube), then had few issues (:27.4, :57, 1:24.4). She owned a 2¼-length lead into the lane and a comfy length-and-a-quarter at the wire. Touchamatic (George Brennan) was a second-up second, with Artrageous (Jordan Stratton) a first-up third. For Roaring to Go, a daughter of Art Major owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, it was her first win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $9.50, with the triple returning $33. One of the faster frosh a year ago (she crossed the line first in last season's final of the New York Sire Stakes, but was set down for a pylon violation), Roaring to Go has won eight of her 21 career starts. "She was sick in the (last season's) Breeders Crown, and she never really recovered," Miller said. "Before that, I thought she was as talented as anyone in her division.. "Tonight, she was very good...not quite the way she was last season, but close." Friday's opening NYSS event saw Clear Idea (Brennan, $13.80) stalk 1-10 fave Tequila Monday (Brian Sears), then pick her off in the passing lane by a desperate nose. Candlelight Dinner (Miller) was a charging third, beaten just three-quarters of a length. From post No. 2, Clear Idea saw Tequila Monday set unpressured intervals of :27, 56.1 and 1:25.1. She had a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, only to get snapped on the money in 1:53.1. For second choice Clear Idea, an American Ideal miss co-owned by (trainer) Blake MacIntosh and Hutt Racing, it was her seventh win (five consecutive, fourth in NYSS) in 13 '17 tries. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple returning $121. The second statebred grouping saw the longest shots on the boards, 26-1 Gurl Band K (Dan Dube) and 15-1 Winsun Brooklyn (Pat Lachance), roll home first and second, respectively, in 1:56.1. The latter won the battle, dueling 3-5 pace-setter World Apart (Jason Bartlett) into submission after that one couldn't hold sway (:27.4, 57.4, 1:26.4) despite pokey fraction. A reserved--from post No. 3--Gurl Band K, a seasonal 0-fer entering the evening, was fifth in the stretch before winning by 2½ widening lengths. Marquesa Seelster (Stratton) was third as World Apart tired to fifth. For sixth choice Gurl Band K, a Rock N Roll Heaven homebred ma'am owned by Robert Key and trained by Andrew Harris, it was that first win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $402, with the triple returning $1,885. Friday night's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Betabcool (Bartlett, $9.80) in 1:52.4. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

The rub of the green hasn’t gone the way of the Kiwi’s leading into the 2017 Brisbane harness racing winter carnival. Brilliant open class mare The Orange Agent was ruled out earlier this month owing to a hairline fracture of the fetlock joint which was quickly followed by the news that star filly Spanish Armada was out of the Oaks features with a leg bump. And the news goes from bad to worse. Giant pacer Hughie Green is the latest casualty after suffering a cracked pedal bone to his offside front yesterday (Thursday). Naturally, trainer/driver John Cremin was left gutted by the news. “He was out having a canter and just ticking over nicely for his assignment this weekend and he took an awkward step and I knew straight away it wasn’t good. Once the vet arrived, he confirmed the worst news possible.” A dejected Cremin said. Hughie Green has been luckless in his past two starts but was heavily favoured to bounce back this weekend at Albion Park after drawing the inside gate in the Listed $25,500 Mr Feelgood Open Pace. The Art Major gelding was being set for the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint next week followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake the following week. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for managing owner John Green given he shares in the ownership of both Hughie Green and The Orange Agent. The Orange Agent was being set for the same features. “Greeny has been around long enough to know that it can be a fickle game and unfortunately the timing couldn’t be worse, it’s just shocking luck. “I know he was looking forward to having both compete in the upcoming features and suddenly, he’s left with no representation. “He’s overseas currently and this is not the news I wanted to pass on, we’re looking at least twelve months on the sidelines at this early stage.” Since arriving from New Zealand, Hughie Green has won 4 of his 10 starts while winning 3 from 6 at Albion Park. Millionaire Bling It On and the regally bred Rocker Band are other casualties of the carnival. The chances of New Zealand pacers landing feature race glory still remain high through the deeds of outstanding three-year-old fillies Delightful Memphis and Partyon in the Queensland Oaks while The More The Better looms as the horse to beat for the Queensland Derby on July 15. Chris Barsby

The harness racing fans turned out in force to see what was hailed as a match-race. But feature-race specialists Tim Butt and Anthony Butt spoiled the party when five-year-old My Field Marshall scored a race-record win in today's $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The son of former champion mare Foreal, by Art Major scored an amazing win in the Group One feature, nailing another surprise packet Mach Doro near the line to score in 1:50.2, breaking Hectorjayjay's race record set last year. The plucky Lennytheshark raced outside the leader Hectorjayjay and held on manfully to take third place, but had no answer to the sprint of the first two placegetters in the straight. Part-owner of My Field Marshall Syd Brown said he had looked at the list of previous winners including the likes of Smoken Up (four times), Changeover, Beautide, Smolda and Hectorjayjay and said he dreamt of just having a horse good enough to compete against the Grand Circuit stars. The rest was left to the Butt brothers . . trainer Tim has been in Sydney for almost a month preparing the Christchurch pacer for his shot at glory while Anthony, who is now domiciled in Melbourne, he has become one of that state's leading reinsman with a string of winners. But Anthony admitted this might be his biggest win on the Menangle circuit and was certainly something special against some of the best horses in Australasia. Hectorjayjay (Josh Aiken) showed his normal extraordinary turn of foot to easily find the front in the 1609m sprint while Lennytheshark (Chris Alford) never shirked the task and gradually made his way around the field to sit outside of his stablemate for most of the race. Turning for home it became obvious 'Hector' couldn't shake off his stablemate, but that didn't matter as first Mach Doro and then My Field Marshall made their moves out wide. Butt had something in hand as he easily picked up his rivals to score in 1:50.2 after sectionals of 26.9s, 29.4s, 26.8 and home in 27.1 for a win that stunned most of those present - except the Butts, who knew they had a horse that was up to the task. . . . and one whose name will look quite at home in the record books beside some of the greats of the sport. Amanda Zammit  

He's been hailed as the next Lazarus . . . and the greatest three-year-old pacer in Australasia. And this afternoon at Tabcorp Park Menangle Vincent proved just that as he cruised to an Australasian record 1:50.2 mile win in the Breeders Challenge final for harness racing three-year-old colts and geldings. The Art Major-Kept For Pleasure colt gave Mark Purdon his lone Group One for the day when he beat a plucky Atomic Red with outsider Joes Star Of Mia third. Some suspected Vincent might be vulnerable after he had to pull out all stops to hold off Pretty Hot and Jakes Sportswriter in his Breeders Challenge semi-final the previous week, when he rated 1:51 to score by just a metre with Luke McCarthy in the bike. Yet Purdon admitted Vincent needed that run and would be improved out of sight for the $153,000 final against some of the best three-year-olds in the land. As usual, he was right as Vincent showed he would easily fit into the big pair of shoes that Lazarus currently fills for Purdon's All Stars New Zealand stable. He easily ran down pacemaker Atomic Red in the straight to win almost untouched after splits of 26.2, 29s, 27.6s, 27.4s for a 1:50.2 mile rate, breaking stablemate Our Waikiki Beach's record of 1:50.6 posted early last year. So impressive was Vincent both in appearance and talent that this three-year-old already looks to be Purdon's next New Zealand Cup winner . . . after Lazarus steps down from the podium, of course. Vincent * Earlier the three-year-old fillies' Breeders Challenge final saw another minor upset, of sorts . . . albeit a historic one when Georges Plans [Bathurst] trainer-driver Bernie Hewitt broke through for his first Group One success when Royal Story scored. The draw told the story of the race when Royal Story (Always A Virgin) was quick to find the front from gate four and defied all attempts to run her down. Once again it was the two second-row runners Don't Think Twice and Shezallapples that had to do it tough if they were to beat Royal Story, who was well found in the betting as the $5 second favourite. "We'd never send our horses anywhere else," said owner Gary Meredith. "We call Royal Story 'Big Girl' around the stables but this is actually our 20th win with them as owners and we couldn't be happier with the way we've been treated." Hewitt was naturally ecstatic with his breakthrough win. "We put a lot of work into working with juveniles and to come here and win a race like this makes it all worthwhile," he said. "But just to be able to train and drive a filly likes this is a great thrill and today she showed us how good she is. "A lot of people in our stable can take some of the credit for this - mostly my wife Cathy who holds us all together and makes wins like this all the more worthwhile." Don't Think Twice had to do it tough from the second row and failed by a mere half-head from running down Royal Story after racing three-wide earlier in the race as young trainer-driver Jason Grimson sought to put him into the action. In contrast, last year's two-year-old fillies' winner Shezallapples settled near last and, similar to 2016, came with a flashing finish 1.4m away in third place in a 1:53 mile rate. Royal Story Amanda Zammit

Classy mare Joys A Babe has stamped her ticket to the big dance. And the big dance takes place on July 15, the final night of the 2017 Brisbane harness racing winter carnival with the running of the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake – the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season. Prepared by leading trainer Grant Dixon and driven by his wife Trista, the Art Major mare used the inside draw to full advantage to claim the Listed $25,500 Wondais Mate at Albion Park tonight (Saturday). Joys A Babe showed speed from the inside draw before handing over to the in-form Kept Under Wraps before using the Egmont Park Stud sprintlane over the concluding stages in a time of 1:53.1. The 1660m sprint feature was covered in 27.1, 29.7, 27.9 and 28.6 seconds. Joys A Babe ($2.90 fav) was able to run down Kept Under Wraps ($3.90) while Majestic Major ($10) battled into third placing. “We got a good run from the draw and she was able to finish off nicely in the straight, her form is really solid at the moment.” Winning driver Trista Dixon said. It was the 6th time the pair has combined to win at Albion Park. The winner of tonight’s feature is exempt from ballot from the Blacks A Fake in three week’s time. Bred and raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour, Joys A Babe has now won 30 races while banking more than $360,000 in stakes. The Art Major – Joy To Behold six-year-old has won 24 races at headquarters. The unlucky runner of the event was former New Zealand pacer Hughie Green who never saw any daylight over the concluding stages after starting from the outside of the second-line. In the end, Hughie Green finished at the rear of the field. Next week, the 2017 Brisbane winter carnival officially commences with a number of features including the Listed $25,000 Mr Feelgood is the feature, the open class event is likely to attract a high quality field which will be staged over the 2138m. Other highlights include the Gr.3 $30,000 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4yo Championship, the Gr.3 $30,000 Premiers Cup and the Listed $25,000 Egmont Park Stud Provincial Oaks. Chris Barsby

Plainville, MA---Although having a very solid body of work this year, Quick Shot has been lightly regarded at the windows of late. Well those harness racing fans who kept the faith were rewarded on Monday (June 12) as the big gun fired and won the $14,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park. With four horses leaving hard off the gate, Quick Shot (Eddie Davis Jr.) was taken back to fifth and safely tucked to the wood where he observed the proceedings for most of the mile. He watched He's Marvelous (Nick Graffam) scorch the stonedust on the point while setting fractional times of :25.4, :53.4 and 1:21.2, pacing loosely on the lead. As the race approached that third panel, the heavily favored Givenupdreaming (Kevin Switzer Jr.) had pulled from fourth, first over and Qucik Shot snuck out right behind him and gained a perfect striking position. When the field came off the last turn, Quick Shot tipped three-high around Givenupdreaming and overtook the tiring He's Marvelous for the lead. While a highly animated Davis was bouncing in the bike like he was sitting on a spring, Quick Shot was responding to the rhythm and paced away from his foes to win by a length in 1:51.2. It was the third win in 19 starts this season for Quick Shot ($48.80) and it fattened his wallet to $43,833 for the year. The 5-year-old gelded son of Art Major is owned By Kathleen Brewer and is trained by Arthur Brewer II. In the $12,000 co-feature for conditioned pacers, American Rock (Jim Hardy) took advantage of a perfect two-hole trip behind Madiba Magic (Greg Merton) before shaking cover at the top of the lane to score a one-length victory in 1:52.1. It was the third win of the year for American Rock ($8.20) but first since coming to Plainridge. The winner is owned by Stephen Zajchowski Jr., David Thibault , Christine Thibault and Jim Hardy, who also trains him. Kevin Switzer Jr. and Greg Merton each doubled-up in the win column as did trainer Jackie Greene. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park at 4 p.m. on Tuesday (June 13).   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Exciting harness racing filly Nostra Villa has joined Australian Pacing Gold’s ever-growing list of feature winners. Trained by Emma Stewart, Nostra Villa captured last night’s Youthful Stake at Tabcorp Park Melton at just her second start. Thrilled with the two-year-old’s progress, Stewart has set her sights on the Vicbred Super Series, which begins with heats at Bendigo on June 20. Should all go according to plan, the daughter of Art Major will progress to the $120,000 Final at Melton on July 8. “That’s two wins from two starts, so you can’t ask for more than that,” Stewart said. “She is a very nice filly, which can a string a few more wins together as she goes along. “She will keep ticking along now as she works towards the Sires’ in a couple of weeks.” Driven by premier reinsman Chris Alford during her latest victory, Nostra Villa led throughout from barrier two to score from the Nicole Molander-trained pair Saphirique and Passion Delight in 1:55.1 over 1720 metres. With Nostra Beach fourth, the first four fillies across the line were all APG graduates. A half-sister to Group One winner Mister Jadore, Nostra Villa was purchased at last year’s Melbourne leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Sales. APG Media

It’s time to shine for Watch Pulp Fiction. The former New Zealand harness racing pacer has traveled a rocky road since crossing the Tasman late last year following his purchase which came at a hefty price. His new connections held lofty aspirations and dared to dream big. The Art Major entire has won 2 from 11 on Australian soil, hardly earth shattering but far from a complete bust. It’s been steep learning curve for all involved. Prepared by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, the talented young couple has faced a number of challenges along the way and still feels the five-year-old has plenty to give. And it starts with the Gr.3 $30,000 Moreton Bay Regional Council Redcliffe Gold Cup tomorrow night (Friday). “It hasn’t been smooth sailing with him since he arrived, he’s been an interesting horse to sort out but we think we’re starting to get on top of those little issues we’ve encountered along the way. We know he’s got the talent, his record proves that and this race looks a good fit for him.” Turpin said. Watch Pulp Fiction ventures to Redcliffe for the first time and will start from the inside in the 2613m stand-start feature, a race that boasts strong talent headed by giant former New Zealand pacer Hughie Green among others. A proven stand-start performer in his homeland, Watch Pulp Fiction caught the eye in his only local stand-start race when an eye-catching fourth behind Hughie Green in the Flashing Red three starts ago. At his most recent start, he finished a pleasing fourth in the Rising Stars Championship Final at Albion Park behind another Redcliffe Cup rival in Kept Under Wraps in a scorching time of 1:51.8 “He’s been responsible for a number of really good runs in a lot of his races but luck just hasn’t been on his side, he should have a few more wins against his name. “His last few starts have been really pleasing but draws haven’t been kind, he made good ground in brilliant time last start after coming from a shocking draw. He’s trained on well since and the draw this week gives us an excellent chance. “He’s a safe beginner and loves sitting close to the speed, this is a race well within his reach. We’re hopeful he can build from this race and head into some of the bigger races during the winter carnival at Albion Park high on confidence.” His two victories on Australian soil have come via Albion Park and Menangle. Watch Pulp Fiction is quoted as an $11 chance with UBET. The Redcliffe Gold Cup is listed as race 5 and is scheduled to start at 8.34pm local time. Meanwhile, stable star Mattgregor has arrived back in Brisbane following his two start southern campaign. The richly talented four-year-old finished second behind My Field Marshal in the Gr.2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton on May 20 followed by his third placing behind Fouroeight and Anything For Love in the Gr.3 $31,800 Mount Eden Championship at TABCORP Park, Menangle last week. Mattgregor will be set for the Gr.3 $30,000 4yo Championship at Albion Park on July 1 before a break. Chris Barsby

Regally bred two-year-old filly Miss Sangrial has improved since her last-start win and Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan expects her to lead all the way in Friday night's Group 1 harness racing $100,000 2YO Diamond Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park. The Art Major-Christisimo filly, whose name in old French means "royal blood", recorded a hat-trick of wins when she easily accounted for her rivals late last month in a heat of the Diamond Classic. Reinsman Michael Grantham, Brennan's nephew, sent Miss Sangrial straight to the front from gate two and she was never fully extended to defeat De La Tourbie and Captured Delight. Prior to her heat win, Miss Sangrial accounted for classy filly Cott Beach, who won the $50,000 Champagne Classic at headquarters in April and, according to Brennan - a member of the Australian men's hockey team that won gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004 - Miss Sangrial is right on target for her biggest payday. "She's pretty much spot on for the Diamond," Brennan said. "She's improved again since her win in the heat and from the pole I think she can go all the way. I don't think there's a filly in the race that can cross her from her good draw. I couldn't be happier with her." Miss Sangrial has really hit her straps recently with four wins from her past five starts. She was always going to start favourite in the Diamond Classic regardless of where she drew, but once she drew the pole then it was a matter of how deep in the red she'll start. "I bought Miss Sangrial from my best mate, Daniel Jack in Melbourne," Brennan said. "She had three starts in Victoria before she came across to WA. She won once over there, but since she's been here she's only been out of the money once. We syndicated Miss Sangrial and she's owned by the Naughty syndicate - the guys who own Naughty Maravu - and a few others, including my wife Lara. The Naughty Maravu guys are all in Sydney, but I think three or four of them are coming over for Friday night's race." Brennan said he would wait until after the Diamond Classic to see what he'll do with Miss Sangrial going forward. "We'll see how she pulls up after Friday night's race," he said. "The Slipper could be on the cards if she comes through OK. Otherwise we'll tip her out and give her a break before getting her ready for the Oaks next season." FOOTNOTE: Brennan gave punters a great lead when he suggested Naughty Maravu would be hard to beat in Friday night's Westral Pace (2536m). "He's been knocking on the door and he's a brilliant frontrunner," he said. "He's drawn gate two and he'll be hard to get over if he finds the top. The 2536 metres won't worry him at all." Wayne Currall

JK Panache (Chris Lems) won the Open Pace ($9,500) Saturday night (May 27) at Vernon Downs. The 8 year-old Art Major gelding took over at the quarter mark and never looked back. Owned by Phillip Hale and trainer David Dewhurst, JK Panache ($2.90) held off a late charge by Sassy Hanover (Claude Huckabone Jr.) to win in 1:51.2. Modern Gesture (Jimmy Wittemore) would finish third. Vernon Downs returns to live action on Monday (May 29) when they host the New York Sire Stakes for 3 year -old trotting colts at 1:05pm. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs.

65 to 80 of 1884