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A highly-regarded pacer from north west Victoria's remote Mallee region will face the toughest assignment of his short harness racing career when he steps out at Kilmore this Friday night. Youngster Mallee Reactor (Auckland Reactor-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket) has established quite a reputation in a short time and is one of eight runners in a star-studded field assembled for the $25,000 Reg Withers Three Year Old Classic. Mallee Reactor, raced by a group of harness racing enthusiasts from around the Ouyen district, has developed a huge and loyal following through the deeds of father-son trainer-driver combination, Murray and Simon Jardine. Now the baton has been passed to Toolern Vale trainer Adam Kelly who's recently taken over the training of the gelding. Under the care of the Jardines, Mallee Reactor had a sensational form line of eight wins and two placings from 10 starts. The Withers Classic, the feature event on the big 11-race program at Kilmore, sees some of our brightest stars of the future, including a quartet from the all-conquering Emma Stewart-Clayton Tonkin stable. And how surreal would it be to have the likes of one of these in your barn: Centenario, Hurricane Harley, Fourbigmen or Demon Delight? The big four in the race have faced the starter on 57 occasions for 31 wins and 13 placings for a staggering combined purse of $725,570. Assuming ace Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford had first pick and has jumped on Centenario, that would have to be some sort of heads-up for punters. He's drawn the coveted pole position and prior to his uncharacteristic ninth in the NSW Derby last start, when something was obviously amiss, he has an entrancing form line. Mallee Reactor has drawn fortuitously with the eight marble and will start directly behind the exciting colt. Members of the ownership syndicate have enjoyed some good times through the deeds of a half-brother to Mallee Reactor in consistent racehorse Carload. A C4 and M1 pacer, Carload has 10 wins and 20 placings for over $88,000 and is now with Jarrod Alchin, of Glen Alphine, a suburb of Sydney. In somewhat of a fairytale, they were offered Carload's dam, the unraced broodmare Our Angel Flight, who was in foal at the time - the result being none other than Mallee Reactor. It would be a fair bet to say that most of the Ouyen boys and their family members will be trackside cheering on Mallee Reactor. They have been having an unbelievable ride so far and this would certainly be the icing on the cake if there was an upset result. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Stamina and speed were undoubtedly a major factor of former star Kiwi pacer Auckland Reactor’s dominance during his sensational harness racing career – and it’s now emerging through the progeny of the champ. Auckland Reactor sired his 50th individual Australian winner this season at Newcastle last Tuesday night. All up it’s the 87th victory for the “Reactor Factor” (as he was known to rival trainers and fans) for stakes of more than – this is not a misprint – $2.2 million. The pacer notching up the sire’s Oz half century was Stephens Spirit (Auckland Reactor NZ-Big Smiles Please (Grinfromeartoear USA), trained by Clayton Harmey, of Cessnock. “I really like the horse, and he’s only going to get better with more race experience,” Harmey said. “He likes to roll along, particularly with a consistent speed, and he’s got a future,” he said. Stephens Spirit certainly showed his depth, with the three-year-old being pinged out of the gate, then holding off Aspiring Stride (Michael Formosa) and Ultra Bliss (Glenn Bull) at the finish. Harmey said it was fortunate that Stephens Spirit took no harm in a race three days earlier when his driver Will Rixon was dislodged from the sulky. “I actually didn’t see the incident because I was busy with some other horses. But I think Will got tipped out after there was some tightening and locking of wheels. “The clerk of the course was apparently quick to grab our horse so there was no damage done, thankfully. “I gave him the following day off and then bowled him along a bit on the Monday to ensure there weren’t any problems with him.” Harmey said when Stephens Spirit was able to lead at Newcastle and coast along in 28.7, 31.8, 29.5 and 29.4, he thought he would take so catching. “But I wasn’t too sure at the 300-metre mark because he appeared to be under siege. But I was pleased at the way he fought on and held them all off,” he said. Stephens Spirit is the only live foal out of a former handy racemare Big Smile Please, who finished with nine wins and 10 placings for over $37,000. Harmey said before Stephen Sweeney died, he gave some money to his family. “Joel Sweeney and his mum Roslyn bought Big Smile Please. I was training her when she won a heat of the prestigious Inter-City heat at Newcastle, but injuries prevented her from showing her best,” Harmey said. “We all liked Auckland Reactor – we just thought he was an awesome racehorse (winner of his first 17 starts in a row and 24 of his first 27 starts), so it was decided to take Big Smile Please to get in foal to him and the resultant foal was Stephens Spirit.” Harmey said the win was a welcome reward for Joel and Roslyn for their help around the stables. “Joel cleans out all the boxes and helps with feeding up and Roslyn is there to do waters and other jobs,” he said. “Without those two, my life would be hell. They got a big kick out of the win and they deserve it.” Harmey trains at the Cessnock show grounds and despite reducing his numbers to 17 a while ago, there has been a sudden increase in numbers recently, and he’s now back up to a team of 27. He has a large proportion of youngsters, and Harmey has high hopes for a three-year-old Straddie, a winner of two races and five placings from just 10 outings. “He’s a half-brother to millionaire pacer For A Reason (27 wins for $1.1m) so the breeding is certainly there,” he said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

If ever there was a horse who shouldn’t have “made it”, Great Western Harness Racing trainer Michelle Wight reckons it’s her promising three-year-old Reactor Now (Auckland Reactor-Who’s Sorry Now (Western Ideal). Wight freely admits the accident-prone gelding has presented some challenges – but after two assertive wins in succession, it seems “Goose”, as he is known around the stables, might finally be repaying her dedication. “To put it bluntly, he sat on a post just before he was due to come back into work as a yearling and the injury he sustained was horrible.  We really weren’t sure he would ever race,” Wight said. And anyone who’s ever tended a serious equine injury wouldn’t dare argue. The 16-inch gash in the large muscle mass on the horse’s near side rump was deep and extremely difficult to manage.  But, over a period of four months, Wight and her husband Craig, with the assistance of their vet, managed to nurse Goose back into “one piece”. “We had a few setbacks along the way, including at one stage the internal stitches breaking open, but we got there in the end,” Wight said. But even after the prolonged recovery, the troubles weren’t over for Reactor Now. “We finally got him back into work as a two-year-old and there was another hiccup.  Because of the damage to the muscle, he was a little short in his action on that leg, which we were just working him through slowly,” Wight said. “One day he just worked a little bit lame on the leg and I got the vet to have a look and he’d somehow fractured a pastern bone. So, yes, he has been a project!” she laughed. Wight said Reactor Now’s three-year-old preparation had been necessarily and understandably slow. “We probably had him in work most of the last half of last year and have been mindful of allowing him to make a full recovery and looking after him,” she said. The gelding had his first start at Horsham in February but “got a bit excited” and proved a handful for Wight’s brother-in-law, reinsman Grant Campbell. But Campbell managed the gelding superbly when he returned to the track at Ballarat a month later, easing Reactor Now from the mobile barrier as the leaders poured on the speed.  At one stage in the first lap Campbell found himself 40 metres from the leaders, but unflustered tacked on with 1200 to go, slid into the death seat and applied the pressure.  He hit the front before the home turn and dashed away to score by 12 metres untouched. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. The pacer was just as impressive at Terang a fortnight later (March 19) when he was caught three wide early, for nearly half a lap, before working to the death-seat.  Approaching the bell, Campbell clicked the big fellow up a gear to surge to the lead.  When he pulled the plugs on the home corner, Reactor Now careered clear, eventually winning by 10 metres, with the last quarter in a sizzling 27.4 (half in 56.6). To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. “He’s always showed his potential, but he’s been a big, awkward, green fellow and he’s taken a lot of time to learn, and probably get the confidence to go fast,” Wight said. “When he’s within his comfort zone he is good, but if you push him beyond that, he can get a bit rough and break,” she said. “But in his two wins he has won well within himself and we haven’t pushed him, so we haven’t really found the bottom of him yet. I think if one came up beside him he would find a little bit because he has got a competitive streak. “It’s fair to say he’s done more than we expected at this stage.” Although horse and connections endured a torrid 18 months, Wight said Reactor Now ticked all the boxes when he was purchased after the APG Gold 2016 sale. “He’s owned by Graeme and Liz Old, their nephew Frank and his wife Robyn and their daughter Narelle Hall and her husband Steve,” she explained. “He was a bit of an afterthought at the sales because all the ones we liked were above our budget. So, at the end of the day we were looking at what had been passed in. “My husband Craig loves to go through the books and choose them from the breeding and Frank prides himself on picking them on looks.  So between the two of them they picked out Reactor Now. Reactor Now “He is a very natural athlete and pacer and even when I was long-reining him he was pacing.  But he was a big fellow and we knew he would take time – just probably not quite this much time!” But it’s no surprise Wight has managed to put the polish on “Goose”, with her reputation for finding a way with problem horses. “This group of owners are the same ones who had Frances Annie – aka ‘The Mad Trotter’,” she said. “We had a five-horse truck and she needed all the dividers out and to travel on her own just to get her to the races. Once we got there, she needed spare stalls either side of her. “Once the lease was up, the owners weren’t too keen on having her back immediately, so we have her out the back in foal (to Skyvalley).  She did test my patience, but she did win $100,000, so you never know!” Reactor Now is entered in the Group 3 Victoria Sires Classic $40,000 for three-year-olds race at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

A father and son harness racing combination from the small north west Victorian township of Ouyen teamed up with boom sire Auckland Reactor to steal the limelight in spectacular fashion at Mildura on Wednesday night. Astute horseman Murray Jardine produced highly-talented Mallee Reactor (Auckland Reactor NZ-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket) and Ian Raymond (Auckland Reactor NZ-Black Dress (Village Jasper) to post an eye-catching double. Both winners were handled by his reinsman son Simon, who drove copybook races to get “the chocolates” on the short-priced fancies. “I’m really enjoying it at the moment because dad has them flying,” a jubilant Simon said. “They’re the only two by Auckland Reactors in our stable, and we are now wishing we had a few more,” he said. “They are two nice horses and we aren’t rushing them, just bringing them along slowly and picking out suitable races in our area as we go. “I don’t know if dad will be tempted in a few months to make a trip south to Melton or not, but I reckon he should certainly think about it.” Mallee Reactor was at least 40 metres off the leaders in the early stages of the opening race on the Mildura program, the DNR Logistics Pace for C1 class pacers, after being caught wide and snagged back to second last. Come On Elvis and Friends set a blistering pace with a sharp lead time, followed by quick opening quarters of 28.6 and 29.7 secs. “I was actually wondering when they were going to ease up because they certainly weren’t waiting for anyone,” Simon said. Friends, a well-backed second-favorite, was pulled up out of the race with broken gear with a little over a lap to go, but Denbeigh Wade still kept her foot on the accelerator with Come On Elvis, recording closing splits of 29 and 29.6 secs. Mallee Reactor, three wide and three back with a lap to go, appeared to be cruising. And this was certainly the case, because when Jardine launched down the back straight, they charged to the lead on the home corner for a super win. While the mile rate of 1.56-4 was a few seconds outside the track record, it’s rarely posted by C1 class competitors on the not-so-spacious 805 metre Mildura circuit. “I think I might have made a bit of an error in running Mallee Reactor at Mildura on December 28 when it was so hot,” Murray said. “His next run about 10 days later when he got third was okay but he wasn’t as sharp as he could have been,” he said. “In saying that, I’m not taking anything away from the two who beat us. They were very good on the night.” Mallee Reactor now has the awesome career record of seven starts for six wins and a third placing for over $21,000. He will race at the Ouyen Cup meeting on Sunday week, March 24, then Mildura on April 2 with his major assignment, the $14,000 Mildura Guineas, on Mildura Pacing Cup night, April 13. The second leg of the Team Jardine/Auckland Reactor double came via four-year-old gelding Ian Raymond, who took out the Tasco Petroleum Pace, also for C1 horses. The pacer, raced by popular Ouyen identity Helen Chisholm, was bred by Helen along with her late brother Ian Raymond, hence the name. “He was always travelling comfortably and dug deep when I asked him for an effort,” Simon said. Ian Raymond lobbed in the sweet seat from the wide six draw and did look the winner a long way from home. After zipping out three wide at the bell, the gelding worked past the leaders on the home corner and cruised to the line with plenty in the tank. Former SA junior driver Jayden Brewin, now based in Victoria, drove a well-deserved double at Mildura, with Cashwrangs Smoker (Chief Marty-Glassawyne (Sports Town) and Ned’s Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Winter Rose (In The Pocket). Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The pure speed of excitement machine racehorse Auckland Reactor is clearly passing through to his progeny, with the promising sire having starters from his first crop in two of Australia’s top harness racing sprint races this weekend. Auckland Reactor’s oldest offspring are now just four, but he has a starter in both the $1,000,000 Group 1 Ainsworth Miracle Mile and the $200,000 Group 1 HQ Insurance Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle in Sydney on Saturday night, a rare achievement for a first crop sire.. Chase Auckland (Auckland Reactor - Delicata - Falcon Seelster) is a wildcard entry into the $1m Miracle Mile and has drawn barrier three, while the very good mare Soho Burning Love (Auckland Reactor - Soho Bordeaux - Western Terror) has drawn barrier 5 in the $200,000 Ladyship Mile. The pair have emerged as two of the leading lights in what has been a remarkably forward first crop for the former star Kiwi.  Auckland Reactor has recorded 74 winners from 218 starters to date, with just under $2 million in total stakes in the bank. Lining up in the Miracle Mile has Chase Auckland following in the footsteps of his sire, who also raced in the 2009 Miracle Mile won by Monkey King.  The four-year-old has won 10 of his 14 starts to date with over $425,000 in stakes and lines up as the lowest-assessed starter in the Miracle Mile, a modest C8 M2 assessment. Soho Burning Love has won 10 races from 36 starts with just under $200,000 in stakes to date. As a sire, Auckland Reactor’s Australian offspring are outperforming their New Zealand counterparts, with 41 winners to date. And while they’ve performed well as young horses, they’re now showing themselves to be maturing well, with Auckland Reactor having 40 individual starters lining up to race from this Friday to Monday. In New Zealand he has produced 33 winners and 119 qualifiers for just over $900,000 to date. Total stakes to date for Auckland Reactor as a sire has almost reached $2 million. In New Zealand, at Alexandra Park tonight, Aha Reaction (Auckland Reactor - Dreamy Delight - Bettor's Delight) won his third race from just nine starts and rating a very good 1:56.6 mile rate over the 2200 metres. Meanwhile, down South at Addington, Smoke N Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Smoke N Mirrors - Pacific Rocket) won her second race scoring easily over 1950 metres. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Champion harness racing horse and now sire Auckland Reactor got a double when 4yo pacers Smoke N Reactor and then Aha Reaction won their respective races in the South and North Islands tonight. At Addington in Race 3, Smoke N Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Smoke N Mirrors - Pacific Rocket) boomed home out wide from near last for driver Laura McKay to obliterate her opposition winning easily by more than 3 lengths. The Mark Jones trained Smoke N Reactor rated 1-58.9 for the 1980m mobile event and ran home her last 800m in 59.2 seconds. In a contrasting win at Auckland, Aha Reaction (Auckland Reactor - Dreamy Delight - Bettors Delight) had to endure a survival of the fittest to win his race at Alexandra Park. After holding the lead early from barrier one for driver John Dunn, Aha Reaction handed to the favourite Ideal Star with 1200m to go. The pace was cetainly on all the way and in the straight the Auckland Reactor gelding fought best in a thrilling three way battle to the line winning narrowly by a head. The time was a sizzling 2-39.3 for the mobile 2200m which equated to a 1-56.5 mile rate. The last 800m was cut out in 56.0 with a closing quarter in 27.7 seconds. Auckland Reactor has 34 winners and 119 qualifiers in New Zealand to date and in Australia he has produced 99 starters for 41 winners to date. He has total stake earnings for his progeny of just under $2 million and rising fast. Chase Auckland has made the $1 million Miracle Mile at Menangle on Saturday night and his best mare to date Soho Burning Love has a good chance in the $200,000 Ladyship Stakes at the same track. Aha Reaction winning in a 1-56.5 mile rate.   Smoke N Reactor booming home out wide to win at Addington Harnesslink Media  

Two more names were added to the growing list of Auckland Reactor-sired rising stars at the Swan Hill harness racing meeting this week. Thermal Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Ballygeana - Presidential Ball) trained by Zac Steenhuis and driven by Ryan Duffy gave a dominant front-running display to score by 18 metres in the Steven and Kyra Valentines pace.  To watch the replay click here. The win was followed up by another impressive performance in Quamby Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Lady Lunchalot - Armbro Operative) trained and driven by Chris Svanosio. To watch this video replay click here Both are four year olds and both amply demonstrated the depth in maturity that’s emerging in the Auckland Reactor progeny. “Quamby Reactor took a little while to put it all together as a young horse, but he has improved massively with each preparation,” an elated Svanosio said. “He’s a very big fellow and I think that was part of the problem in his first prep - he was gangly and took a while to get it all together. But once he worked things out he won his three year old and his Vicbred bonus and we gave him another break,” he said. “This time as a four year old he’s come back really strong and he won well at Swan Hill. I think he’ll have a few more wins in him yet.” Quamby Reactor posted a 1:55.8 mile rate thrilling the big crowd of owners and supporters at the Swan Hill meeting. The ownership group is made up largely of farmers from the nearby Kerang-Quambatook area, and who raced Quamby Reactor’s mother Lady Lunchalot.  “They’ve been a fantastic group to work with. When the horse was taking longer than I’d thought I asked them if they would like to try another trainer, but they were happy to wait for him to click,” Svanosio said. “They never miss his races and even his trials so it’s great to see him rewarding their loyalty.” The Svanosio stable itself is also “putting it all together” of late,  also notching up three second placings at Swan Hill and Chris getting another second as a driver. Based at Junortoun, Bendigo, Svanosio has a “essentially a full team” of 20 horses in work with the help of Michelle Phillips, Tara Youngson and Taylor French. The stable has had four winners and a swag of placings over the past two weeks. “Im lucky to have a fantastic team of staff and they do a great job.  The last few weeks things have been going nicely, which is great - it gives everyone a kick along,” he said. “We just need to keep things going and build from there.”  Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Goulburn horsewoman Amy Day had more than one reason to celebrate when she piloted Atomic Bombshell (Auckland Reactor-Art Asset (Artsplace) to a harness racing victory at Orange. Day, 28, drove a well-judged race last Sunday afternoon to break Atomic Bombshell’s maiden status; and the filly did it while racing on a grass track for the very first time. And if that wasn’t enough for some sort of celebration, the talented trainer-driver posted her 300th winner as a driver. “I didn’t realize I was close to such a nice milestone until a friend told me,” Day said. “I’d been stuck on 299 wins there for a while, so it was fantastic to finally make it, and I was so proud of the horse because she’s a bit of a favorite of mine,” she said. “She has a turn of speed, but without doubt her greatest attribute is an unbelievable attitude, she’s willing to do anything.  And along the way I’ve found that to be so important in a horse.” It was also an outstanding day for exciting Alabar sire Auckland Reactor, who, in his racing days, had the nickname “The Reactor Factor” because of his utter dominance.  Auckland Reactor progeny landed the quinella at the Orange event, with Whata Reactor finishing runner up to Atomic Bombshell.  Auckland Reactor has now sired 39 winners in Australia.  In New Zealand he has 34 winners with superstar Chase Auckland leading the way for stakes of $405,329. Day shares a property and training facilities owned by her father Neil to prepare her team of about 13 and has predicted a bright future for Atomic Bombshell. “I raced outside the leader to win on the grass at Orange and the mile rate of a tick over 1.58 was pleasing,” she said. “Racing on the grass is a bit different but the track is the home of the Orange gallops and it was in good condition. “We thought Atomic Bombshell would give us a good sight, because her form as a two-year-old was okay and she has come back stronger after a three-month spell.” Day has been driving for 10 years but has been involved in the training caper for five years. “I’m enjoying it and there’s always some family help in close reach when needed. I work in well with dad and my mum Vickie is always ready to lend a hand.  My brother Justin takes care of the farrier side of things,” she said. Day said being in Goulburn was a great base for harness racing in NSW. “It’s so central to a stack of tracks.  The Riverina racing is perhaps two or three hours away; Canberra is an hour down the road, and Menangle is around a one-and-a-half-hour trip.” And as for a favorite win during her short career? “Any success is a good one because there’s such a lot of hard work involved,” Day said. But she did say she fondly remembers May 5, 2012 at Wagga when she took out the Cup with 40/1 shot Marooned (Hare Hare – Greek Jewel (Golden Greek), trained by Frank O’Sullivan, and then landed the Derby with Armalife (Life Sign – Arma The One (Badlands Hanover), prepared by her father Neil. “Yes, that was surreal, but we didn’t get involved in any crazy celebrations of course – we probably all had horses to train or trial the following day!” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Experienced Victorian harness racing trainer Ron Francis has a sneaky feeling that three-year-old filly Hecs Elect (Auckland Reactor-Shes Elegant (Safely Kept) could just be the horse he’s long been looking for. Hecs Elect became Auckland Reactor's 73rd individual winner, with his oldest crop just four-year-olds. Francis, based at Woodstock, near Yan Yean, has been a hobby trainer pottering around with a small team for more than 40 years. During that time, he has had his fair amount of success with such pacers as Tibur Power (who finished with a wonderful record of 17 wins for $110,000); the injury-plagued Pacesetter (a winner of 12 races, eight of these at the old Victorian Moonee Valley headquarters); Ringtripleowe had 13 wins and 60 placings for $94,000 and Somedreamsomewhere (12 wins, 23 placings for nearly $75,000). “We do think Hecs Elect has the potential to perhaps be our best horse,” Francis said. “She is very strong and can peel off some excitingly quick quarters.” And Hecs Elect gave an exhilarating display of her capabilities on Monday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, with a last-to-first win in the Melton Toyota 3yo pace. After being eased out from her front barrier alley by master reinsman Gavin Lang, the filly sat at the rear before being asked for an effort going down the back straight for the final time. The Auckland Reactor-sired youngster dashed around three wide to be outside the leader and race favorite Allspark on the final turn. Given a bit of rein, Hecs Elect sprinted nicely to score from Final Chapter by 10.5m, with Allspark ($1.70 fav) a further 3.2m back in third spot in a handy 1.56-3 mile rate. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. While pleased by the win, Francis has been patient in waiting for his horse to show her true ability. “She is the quickest pacer I’ve had over the years.  I decided a while ago in a fast work hit-out to let her quicken up each quarter and the times she was doing were just crazy,” he said. “We’ve had a few glitches along the way as she kept growing and couldn’t handle her speed and then she started tossing her head all over the place. “I’m lucky I’ve got some experienced people in Gavin Lang and Greg Sugars who have driven her, to give me the best feedback and advice.” Francis said the first five times Hecs Elect faced the starter, she was racing in the top-class group. “At her latest effort she was probably in a lower division of her class, but I have to agree with Gavin who said afterwards that there are just no easy races now,” he said. Hecs Elect was purchased for only $7000 at the APG sales.  Her owners previously enjoyed racing her half-sister Somedreamsomewhere (now in foal to Yankee Rockstar), and from all indications, they are in for some more fun. Also, on the breeding side, Hecs Elect has a half-brother in Tightrope who posted 22 wins and 50 placings from 196 starts for $196,000. “We haven’t any big plans in mind at the moment and she will probably go around next week at Cranbourne. Hopefully she brings her best game along again.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Star harness racing four-year-old Chase Auckland was back in winning form at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Driven by Luke McCarthy, Chase Auckland went back early then whipped around to the front after half a lap before quickening over the last 800m in a slick 54.3 seconds to win easily defeating a brave Franco Landry by 2.7metres. Chase Auckland has now had 11 starts for 9 wins, a second and a fourth with $405,329 in the bank. Chase was back to his old habits on Saturday night of jumping around and not standing still after his win which is a good sign he is feeling well. "He only did what he had to and it was an easy win. I didn't have to ask him for a serious effort," said driver Luke McCarthy. Poi from All Stars who has been looking after Chase from Luke McCarthy's property, was also thrilled with how Chase went. "He has come on a lot during the week leading up to the race and he will only get better after this run," said Poi. Chase Auckland will now race in the $50,000 Paleface Adios race next Saturday in an attempt to qualify for the $200,000 Chariots of Fire the following week. The Auckland Reactor gelding has copped the best draw of the All Stars trio for the Gr2 Paleface Adios Stakes over 1609m at Menangle coming up with barrier (2). Stablemates Spankem (11) and All You Need Is Faith (9) were not so lucky with both drawing wide on the track with Tasmanian speedster Ignatius splitting them in barrier (10).  The top four home in the Paleface Adios will qualify for the $200,000 Group 1 Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire on February 16. Chase Auckland and some happy syndicate members  Harnesslink Media          

If ever a horse has had its hoof on the till for an overdue win, it just had to be West Australian harness racing  filly Delightfulreaction. Prepared at Capel, halfway between Bunbury and Busselton, by astute horseman Andrew De Campo, the Auckland Reactor-sired three-year-old broke her maiden status in style at Pinjarra on Monday. “I must say we went to the meeting with a fair bit of confidence because she certainly deserved a win after five consecutive second placings,” De Campo said. “She is lovely to have around the stable.  She never runs a bad race, she has gate speed, tries her heart out and hopefully should keep improving with racing,” he said. In addition, Delightfulreaction last season finished runner-up, beaten a half head, in a $100,000 Sires Stakes final at Gloucester Park. At Pinjarra, driver Aiden De Campo, son of the trainer, showed gate speed from barrier to take the lead and rated to perfect cruised home in 55.6 last half for a comfortable win. To watch the video click on this link. Aiden De Campo Delightfulreaction, with earnings of over $30,000, is raced by her breeder Mike Howie, who is one of the main owners with the De Campo team. “Mike was a very good trainer, but these days prefers to jog them up and when they are close to going to the races, he hands them over to us,” Andrew said. “It’s certainly a good deal because we know they are fit and ready to go when we get them,” he said. “We have another Auckland Reactor three-year-old in our team of 30 at the moment and it goes okay but is having a freshen up after a first-up placing.” Delightfulreaction was the 36th winner for Auckland Reactor in Australia and his 66th winner including some exciting types New Zealand. And there’s more to come if the exciting vibes from the sire’s first crop to the races (now four year olds) are on the money.   Chase Auckland from the “land of the long white cloud” (8 wins from 9 starts; 1.52-2. $392,330) is obviously a superstar and being set for all the big races in Australia. Australia’s own Soho Burning Love (1.52-6 $182,400) has won easily at her first three starts back this preparation.  De Campo, who is ranked in the top 10 trainers in the west, finished with 50 winners last season and is well on target to better that tally this season. “I reckon we have a nice team going around at present, so fingers crossed the victories keep ticking along,” he said. “And of course, you need great stable support and we have that in junior reinsman Mark Johnson and handyman and jack of all trades Ron McLachlan.” De Campo who was a polished reinsman in his day with 11 Group One wins as a trainer-driver, has no qualms in watching Aiden do all the race day driving. “He’s pretty good at it, but I wouldn’t be truthful if I said I’d never given him a spray for an ordinary effort on the racetrack. It’s okay cos we both then move on and look to the future,” he said. “I did enjoy driving, but if you don’t do it all the time, your reflexes just aren’t as sharp as they should be. To be honest, I’m enjoying the training part a lot more.” Undoubtedly one of Andrew’s finest driving exhibitions was piloting Son of Otara to victory in 1991 in the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final in Brisbane – the richest race in the country at the time. “Yes, I still remember that night pretty well, despite being a few years back now. It was a big trip from West Australia with a lot of planning, etc, but it was well worth it in the end.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The pin-up boy of Victoria’s Northern Region, the exciting Ouyen-based pacer Mallee Reactor, faces his biggest test when he lines up at the harness racing meeting at Swan Hill on Wednesday night. The three-year-old, who is undefeated in five runs for unassuming trainer Murray Jardine, has drawn barrier four in the prestigious feature event, the $9000 2019 Pearl Blue Classic. “We are all looking forward to it because there’s some nice horses in the race – it will be a good guide to find out just where we are at,” Jardine said. “The spacious Swan Hill track should suit Mallee Reactor, but in saying that he’ll still be driven quietly early and hopefully work home hard when it counts.” Jardine is a cool customer renowned for keeping his feet on the ground but is thrilled by the raw ability shown by the son of the emerging star sire Auckland Reactor. “Some of his closing sectionals in his races have been pretty good,” he said. Jardine never races a big team, preferring the breaking and educating side, has another handy Auckland Reactor at home in Ian Raymond. “He’s a four-year-old who has three wins from six starts and goes along quite nice.” After combining farming and successfully preparing horses for many years, Jardine and his wife Barbara made the decision nearly 30 years ago to concentrate on harness racing. The couple established a picturesque complex on the edge of town, featuring an impressive 900metre track and open, shady paddocks. “It was more a lifestyle thing for our children, but it has worked out well for Murray because he’s done well over the years with the horses,” Barbara said. Jardine certainly had one of the best mentors when he spent two years with legendary horseman Alf Simons as a teenager. “I wish I’d stayed with Alf longer, but I was a farm boy and came back home,” Murray said. The eight owners of Mallee Reactor must be pinching themselves as his half-brother Carload has already provided them with many thrills in recent years. The group was offered Carload’s dam, the unraced broodmare Our Angel Flight, who was in foal at the time – the result being none other than Mallee Reactor. According to Jardine, who broke in both racehorses, they showed ability from day one, with Mallee Reactor being more relaxed. And it seems there just could be another bright prospect on the horizon with a beautifully-conformed two-year-old full sister to Carload (by Village Jasper). When asked future plans for Mallee Reactor, Jardine said he would use a well-worn cliché and say “we’ll take it one run at a time”. “There’s a heats and final series coming up at Mildura in a few weeks and then we’ll have to sit down and go from there. He may be looking for a break because he’s still growing, but we’ll wait and see.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

There is real interest in the three-year-old Mallee Reactor going for his fifth straight win tomorrow night at the Mildura Harness Racing Club meeting. The Auckland Reactor gelding started twice as a late two-year-old for two wins and then was turned out to mature. Two exceptional winning runs back have got the locals talking up this Murray Jardine trained three-year-old as a possible Derby horse in the making. Winning by wide margins of 19 metres and 21 metres at Mildura in his two runs back, he is expected to win again from the outside post in a six horse race at 8:12 pm local time Friday night. This time Mallee Reactor has a new driver at the helm, Ellen Tormey. Previously Mallee Reactor has been driven by Simon Jardine who this time is driving a part owned stablemate first starter Not A Cracker. Murray Jardine told Harnesslink today that he is adopting a wait and see approach on whether Mallee Reactor comes through the race this week well, before he embarks on a possible South Australian Derby start. But to date he says that Mallee Reactor has done everything asked of him so far and more. The times he has run here at Mildura, 57 halves is as good as the Free For All horses do, it is a very tight track Mildura. At his last start driver Simon Jardine says that he still had another gear in him so I mean he shows all the signs of a top horse in the making but he is still lightly framed and is still growing so I do not want to put too much pressure on him too soon. He has not really been tested yet and he has gone very good times around the Mildura track but the competition is not strong here. He will be tested a bit this week as it is going to be 47 degrees here. This area is called Mallee in Northern Victoria and that is what Mallee Reactor is named after. It is the hottest place in Victoria but he is coming along very good, he is a lovely horse. If he keeps improving we are thinking about the South Australian Derby in early February. He is still a bit immature and lightly framed and that, he was only a little fella but he is growing at the moment and as I say I do not want to put too much pressure on him. If the owners here are patient they will end up with a very good horse. From the In The Pocket mare Our Angel Flight, Mallee Reactor is a half-brother to the good horse Carload 1:56.5, (10 wins 19 placings) with $86,503 in the bank to date. For the fields at Mildura click here. Harnesslink Media   Mallee Reactor - 11th of December Mallee Reactor - 29th November  

The Owners representative took a quick visit to All Stars Stable on Wednesday to see how Chase Auckland was progressing towards his return to harness racing and the news is very positive.  “We are looking at taking him to a trial in 3 or 4 weeks and then aim at a possible race at Cambridge followed by a suitable race in Auckland perhaps on Christmas Eve,” Mark Purdon said. He says "I do not think he would be ready for such a tough and demanding race like the Auckland Cup at this stage instead Id rather race him as much as possible against his own age group". This could involve such races as the $50,000 Futurity Stakes at Cambridge on January 24, and in Australia, the $50,000 Hondo Grattan Stakes on February 2, the $50,000 Paleface Adios Sprint on February 9 with the main one being the $200,000 Chariots of Fire on February 16 – all at Tabcorp Park in NSW. It would then be back to New Zealand for such possible races as the $50,000 Superstars Champs at Addington on March 29, the $100,000 Taylor Mile on April 26, the $100,000 NZ Messenger (both at Auckland) and $150,000 Harness Jewels at Addington. At the time of taking his New Zealand record in The 3YR Sires Stakes Final in 2017, Chase Auckland recorded the fastest ever time for not only three-year-olds but for all-comers rating a 1:52.2 mile rate over the 1950 metres. He also holds a second record at Auckland over 2700 metres in The Great Northern Derby rating 3:16.8 for the distance. This son of Auckland Reactor has had just the nine starts for eight wins and a second to date with $392,329 in the bank. His return to racing will be eagerly watched and waited for by his large numbers of Owners and Fans across the Country. The photos taken and shown here are spectacular to say the least. Chase Auckland - Group 1 New Zealand Sires Stakes Final 2017 Chase Auckland - Woodlands Great Northern Derby 2018 Harnesslink Media

Hello Hotshot, a two-year-old filly who is closely related to former champion pacer Auckland Reactor, will command considerable attention when she makes her debut in the Bridge Bar Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.  Purchased in Auckland for $15,000 as a yearling, the daughter of Canadian stallion Four Starzzz Shark has had two trials at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park this month for two wins for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who races the filly in partnership with his wife Lyn and their son Jimmy. She beat stablemate Rosies Delight, rating a very modest 2.7.9 in a two-horse educational trial over 1609m on August 11 before she set the pace and beat Rosies Delight by 11m in an eight-horse trial over 2185m on Sunday, rating 2.4.7, with final quarters in 28.3sec. and 29.5sec. Hello Hotshot will be driven by Chris Lewis and should make a bold bid for victory from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Rosies Delight, a $20,000 yearling owned by the Howlett family, will start from barrier five in the field of eight with Colin Brown in the sulky. She is by Bettors Delight out of Jessies Cullen, who earned $51,305 from nine wins and eight placings from 50 starts. She is related to Pazam, a winner at 19 of her 31 WA starts in a 41-start career of 22 wins and six placings for earnings of $136,113. The two Howlett runners are sure to be tested by the more experienced Fake News and Countess Grace, with Fake News, trained by Gary Hall Snr and to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, expected to be a short-priced favourite after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Fake News has had seven starts for one win and two seconds. She had a tough run last Friday week when she raced three wide in the early stages and then worked hard in the breeze before fading to sixth behind the Mike Reed-trained Countess Grace. Three days before that Fake News trailed the pacemaker Major Artist before finishing fast to win from that filly and Countess Grace. Countess Grace followed her fast-finishing third to Fake News with a brilliant all-the-way victory over Rocking With Donna and Majorpride over 2130m last Friday week. That was her first victory from seven starts and she looks set for a bright career. However, she will be tested from the outside barrier in a field of eight on Friday night. Hello Hotshot’s dam May Fly (by Mach Three) was retired after racing ten times for two wins, two placings and stakes of $12,980. May Fly’s dam Bishops Blessing is a half-sister to Auckland Reactor, who was retired to stud after amassing $1,837,043 from 32 wins and four placings from 53 starts. Bishops Blessing produced Devil Dodger, who had 231 starts for 38 wins, 61 placings and $718,692. He was third behind Russley Rascal and Five Star Anvil in the Group 1 Gt Northern Derby at Alexandra Park in March 2010 and second to Sir Lincoln in the Group 1 Emerald at Cambridge three months later before winning the Group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings at Melton in August 2010. Hello Hotshot is also related to Taihape Tickler, a winner of 11 races at Gloucester Park, and The Parade, who earned $425,999 from 22 wins and 15 placings from 55 starts. Her wins included the Group 1 $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park in December 2016 and the Group 2 Empress Stakes two months later. Ken Casellas

The heats of the Group 1 $100,000 WA Sales Classic for the harness racing two year olds were run at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. The Auckland Reactor filly, Cap In Hand was an impressive winner of the first heat for the fillies. A short priced favourite, she sprinted home in a slick 27.8 to win nicely by four metres in 1:59.4. The Kat Warwick trained and Gary Hall jnr driven filly is now unbeaten in both her race day starts. A winner on debut at Pinjarra in 1:59.7 she looks to have a bright future. The other heat for the fillies was won by Has No Fear (by Western Terror). The heats for the colts were won by Shockwave (by Mach Three), Patrickthepiranha (by Four Starzzz Shark) and Babyface Adda (by Rich And Spoilt) The $100,000 Sales Classic Finals for both the colts and fillies will be run at Gloucester Park on Friday the 2nd of March. Cap In Hand Harnesslink Media

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