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Punters in recent weeks have been lining up trial form, first-up form, and this weekend they have another variable to consider for Friday’s Hobart harness card. Some southern-based trainers have reported that anywhere between 40mm to 150mm of rain has fallen on their properties during the week, which has forced them to adjust their training regimes. Friday night Pontville trainer Wayne Rainbird will take his stable of two to the track including three-year-old Nobeer Nomore who lines up in the final race of the night. The gelded son of Auckland Reactor has been placed in one of his five starts to date. That placing was in Hobart on 27 March when defeated 9.8 metres by the smart Victorian Dyslexic. At his most recent start on 14 June Nobeer Nomore chased home some of the best three-year-old’s in the state when fourth behind Watchmylips, Kohanah and Colby Sanz. On Friday night, Nobeer Nomore lines up in the final race of the night, a national rating 30 to 49 event for horses with lifetime earnings of less than $25,000, a significant drop in class on his recent efforts. After going around at $101 and $61 his last two starts, bookmakers are keeping the pacer safe Friday, opening him up as the $5.00 second favourite behind Sermac and trainer Wayne Rainbird is going into the race with confidence. “I think he will go very close,” said Rainbird Nobeer Nomore hasn’t been driven to lead in his five starts to date, but the trainer believes the pacer has the early speed to lead. “I think if Smiley gave him a flick with the stick, he would be able to lead them out,” the trainer said. Rainbird was full of praise for Hill’s brother Kerry who has spent a bit of time working on the pacer. “Kerry Hill re-educated him for me, and he does help me fast work them at New Norfolk, and he said to me that he was surprised how quick he is,” explained Rainbird. Whatever Nobeer Nomore does this season the trainer expects him to improve on. “Next season when he is a bit older and a bit stronger, he will probably go a long way I hope,” said the trainer. Hyde Park in the opening race is the other runner from the Rainbird stable to compete Friday, and the trainer had his doubt’s early on in the pacer’s career if he would make it to the track. “Kent Rattray broke him in, and when I got him, we didn’t think he was going to make the grade at all early on,” Rainbird said. The four-year-old gelding has only had two starts and he ran an improved race last start on 19 June when fifth behind Betterthanfetta. Hyde Park looked gone at the 600-metre mark, but the pacer battled on well to only be defeated 6.7-metres. “I was very pleased with him. He showed me what I thought he had,” added the trainer. Friday night’s meeting commences at 17:28 and will be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Harness racing is mourning the loss of a true champion. Westburn Grant. At the ripe old age of 34, he has entered horse heaven. In this fast moving world and society in which we live, the word ‘champion’ is often tossed around with reckless abandon, not doing justice to the true meaning of the word. But in the case of Westburn Grant, he is the epitome of a champion…..and some! Affectionately known as ‘Spot’, the Vic Frost trained and driven superstar was a game changer, a pacer that revolutionized the sport with blinding speed coupled with such fierce tenacity. He was poetry in motion. And he sustained those outstanding qualities for his entire career on the racetrack. Unbeaten at two, he won all three starts he contested. Returning the following season, Westburn Grant furnished into of the finest three-year-olds the country has ever produced, victories in both the New South Wales and Victoria Derby classics while finishing third behind Rockleigh Victory and Double Wipe in the Australian Derby. Frost campaigned his mighty colt in New Zealand; he won all three starts including the New Zealand Derby at Addington by a massive margin. Naturally, he was crowned the Australian Harness Horse of the Year. As a four-year-old, Westburn Grant would win the Miracle Mile after engaging Thorate in a titanic speed battle before backing up to win the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Frost and ‘Spot’ then headed west, he would capture the Golden Nugget while unplaced in the WA Pacing Cup before bouncing back in the South Australian Cup and then finished fourth in the Victoria Cup. During the Inter Dominion Series in Adelaide, he was placed in all three heats but was unplaced in the final. Returning for his five-year-old season, Westburn Grant won the Queensland Pacing Championship, the Legends at Moonee Valley rating 1.57.0 for 1940 metres and the Italian Cup at Harold Park in track record time for 2700 metres defeating Thorate before being unplaced in the Australian Pacing Championship. He then won the Miracle Mile again in a track record of 1:55.6 defeating Almeta Boy and Defoe. Heading west again, Westburn Grant won the WA Pacing Cup by 20 metres before suffering a broken pastern in a freak track work accident. He won 9 of 13 starts for the season and $606,300. Despite missing the final two grand circuit races due to injury he was still crowned Grand Circuit Champion and also awarded the honour of being named Australian Harness Horse of the Year for a second time. Westburn Grant returned from injury with a track record win at Newcastle. He was second in the QPC at Albion Park when outstayed by Franco Ice in a record 1:55.1 rate for 2100 metres and won the Australian Pacing Championship at Launceston in Tasmania. He was third in the Miracle Mile behind Christopher Vance before an emotional win in the WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park not long after the sudden death of trainer-driver Vic Frost’s son Gary.  At Moonee Valley he won the 1992Inter Dominion Grand Final from Franco Tiger and Blossom Lady and at seasons end, he was crowned as the Grand Circuit champion for the third straight season while also landing the title of Australian Harness Horse of the Year for the third time. He was retired after an unplaced performance behind Jack Morris in the 1993 Inter Dominion in Brisbane. And as the record proves, Westburn Grant traveled extensively and rarely missed a feature event but won more than he lost. Westburn Grant was trained throughout his career by Frost and raced for his breeders, Barney and Collen Breen, he was by the Queensland based Land Grant from the Lumber Dream mare Westburn Vue. He finished with a record of 38 wins from 67 starts and earnings in excess of $2 million. A stud career beckoned for the champion performer and he enjoyed good success over many seasons before retiring from active duty and spending the remainder of his life at the property of Vic Frost and Gail Geeson at Mooball in northern New South Wales. During his retirement, he had full access across the property and clearly loved life to the fullest. It was pure bliss for a horse that gave so much throughout a truly remarkable career. ‘Spot’ was cared for deeply by Frost and Geeson, after all, he was part of the family and as a result, they always made sure he was in the best possible condition. Rest in peace ‘Spot’. A TRUE CHAMPION.   Chris Barsby

Club Menangle wishes to update the harness racing industry as to the current status of discussions with Nutrien Equine with regard to a request for Club Menangle to host three futurity races to be run in conjunction with a proposed yearling sale in 2022. As there are a number of rumours circulating within the industry, Club Menangle wishes to ensure transparency as to the current situation. Nutrien Equine approached Club Menangle in May 2020 seeking agreement to conduct three races in 2022 as part of a proposed futurity series. Club Menangle responded on 22 May, 2020 and formally advised Nutrien Equine the dates proposed conflicted with the Sky Carnival of Miracles, the Bathurst Gold Crown Series and other existing race commitments through until the end of April 2022. Accordingly, Club Menangle asked Nutrien Equine to submit potential dates post April 2022. A further request was received from Nutrien Equine dated 19 June, 2020 seeking Club Menangle’s consideration to hosting its proposed Futurity Races between 11 March and 29 April, 2022. The Board of Club Menangle considered the 19 June request at the Board meeting held on 25 June, 2020. Club Menangle has reiterated the comments made in the earlier letter to Nutrien Equine indicating the dates requested are unavailable in the metropolitan racing calendar at Club Menangle, for the reasons originally advised.  In its response, Club Menangle emphasised no racing at Club Menangle would be countenanced in March of any year, which might impact on the promotion and conduct of the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival. Club Menangle remains committed to supporting the Bathurst Gold Crown as the first Group One 2 Year Old race series held in the New South Wales Racing Calendar. Nutrien Equine has been again asked to submit potential dates, post April 2022. A number of other requests for information have also been sought from Nutrien Equine. Club Menangle is the premier harness racing track in New South Wales and accordingly it is our desire to conduct any race series of significance at our venue. However, in order for this to occur, the placement of any new series must work in with existing commitments. As at this time, in the absence of potential dates post April 2022 and the additional information requested by Club Menangle, the harness racing industry should note the Nutrien Equine request currently remains unresolved. For more information in relation to this media release please contact Club Menangle Chief Executive, Bruce Christison, on (02) 46 45 2200 Club Menangle

One of Dr Albert Schweitzer's most notable quotes was: "If you love what you are doing, you will be successful". And the German-born philosopher, if he was still alive, would certainly have a compelling example in passionate Ballarat region harness racing trainer Katrina Fitzpatrick. Perhaps Katrina's nickname in the industry, "Smiley", is also a bit of a giveaway! "I just love the horses. I could honestly spend all day mucking around with them," the livewire Ross Creek horsewoman said. "I've been in the sport for a long time. There's always been at least one horse around probably every day of my life," she laughed. Katrina's patience with four-year-old Dream Over paid dividends on Wednesday afternoon when he scored a well-deserved win in the Hillcroft Stables Trotters Handicap at Stawell. To watch the video replay click here. Driven perfectly in front by leading Ararat freelance reinsman Michael Bellman, Dream Over (Andover Hall-My Dreamweaver (Lindy Lane) won well from Show Me The Moola and Allawart Bob. "He had been placed in seven of his past nine runs and I'm pretty certain his previous win was at Stawell, so it's becoming a favorite track of mine!" Katrina said. "There's some big improvement in him yet because he's still learning. What we love about him is the way he knuckles down when the others come at him," she said. Katrina and Darren Fitzpatrick with reinsman Michael Bellman after Dream Over’s win at Stawell Katrina most definitely has a soft spot for the square gaiters, and obtained Dream Over through helping out Pat Driscoll, of Yabby Dam Farms. "When we got him, Pat did tell us that he was very immature and would take a while. In the early days, he was naughty as well, but we've really looked after him," she said. "Time is so important and sometimes you just have to be so patient with them. Pat actually gave us the horse because I'd been looking after some that needed care like changing bandages and that sort of thing." Katrina said she was happy with training only a small team of two these days, which is a far cry from the dozen she would prepare years ago, along with jogging up horses for trainers including the late Graeme Lang. "When we started a family, I think that was the right time to cut back. We have two lovely children in Jason and Kylie, and my husband Darren, is really supportive," she said. "We've just finished building a brand-new walk-in, walk-out shed for the horses!" Katrina admits she has had her share of luck with trotters over the years, having been involved with such smart performers as Irish Rhapsody, Hurricane Truscott, Reasons To Rule and Beau Bradie, But she's also enjoyed being associated with some handy pacers in Reasons, Chasing Chelsea and Docile Joe. And while she known mostly as a trainer, Katrina's driving career had some highlights as well, including getting off "to a flyer" when she tasted success at her very first drive. "It was at Kilmore on August 13, 1979, on a pacer named Michaels Joy trained by my late brother-that was such a special win and now means just so much," she said. Katrina went on to drive another five winners, but still rates a fifth placing at a night meeting at Moonee Valley as a big highlight. "I represented Victoria in the first-ever male and female invitational challenge. This included Deb Quinlan and Roma Pocock. That was a big privilege," she said. A race fall at Ballarat, which hospitalized her for a fortnight with a broken pelvis and other injuries, put a halt to her driving career. "I also got both my hands smashed up badly six years ago when a horse suddenly pulled back out of the float. That meant having plates and a lot of therapy. I'm now just sticking to the training part which I really love," she said. "Apart from Dream Over, who is our little champ at the moment, we have a well-bred yearling trotter that we're very happy with. "My love is for the trotter-but I do have hopples hanging up in the gear shed!" Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

PART-OWNER Rob Gartrell has strongly hinted at a Menangle stint for exciting WA pacer Ocean Ridge. Speaking on Perth’s TAB Radio this morning (Thursday), Gartrell said it was an attractive option to send the Kiwi-bred Ocean Ridge to race at Menangle in future. “It’s something we’ve talked about, to give him the chance to see what sort of time he could run there. We also think the style of racing there would suit him.” More immediately, Ocean Ridge (gate two) will try and beat Chicago Bull (five) for the third time in six starts when they clash in the Past Presidents Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park tomorrow (Friday) night. It’s certainly not a two-horse race with in-form veteran Our Jimmy Johnstone in gate three and Motu Premier resuming from the pole. The Aussie TAB has Chicago Bull, who was just nosed-out by Ocean Ridge, the $1.85 favourite to atone. Ocean Ridge is $3.50, Motu Premier $4.40 and Our Jimmy Johnstone $4.60. Gartrell also revealed a couple of the other open-class stars he races, Vampiro and Galactic Star, were also progressing well after spells. “They’re coming up well together,” he said. “Vampiro really took the next step last campaign and that’s despite his owner drawing some bad barriers for him.” _________________________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER classy Kiwi pacer Northview Hustler looks the one to beat in Saturday night’s Redcliffe Gold Cup. The Alistair Barnes-trained pacer returned with a terrific second to Queensland’s best pacer, Colt Thirty One, last Saturday night at Albion Park. He will need some luck and to step well from inside the runners off a 10m handicap., but looks the class factor. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ BUDDING star The Black Prince gets his chance to snag a Menangle free-for-all with Cash N Flow staying at home this week. The Roy Roots Jr-trained pacer won two in a row at Newcastle during NSW’s strictest regional racing then did all the work when a fighting second to Cash N Flow in a 1min50.2sec Menangle Mile last Saturday week. He packs early speed, should be suited by the stretch to 2300m and is a $1.85 Aussie TAB favourite. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE time is gone where training trotters in Victoria means you can escape the dominance of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. They won their first Group 1 trotting race with the monstrous and very talented Alpha Male in late, 2018. He’s very close to a comeback from injury. And, according to Clayton Tonkin, he’s ready to pick-up where he left off. More recently, they’ve unveiled the nicely-bred Majestic Son three-year-old colt Cover Of Darkness to win both runs, the most recent by a big pace at Terang on June 18. But the best could be yet to come and soon. Those allowed trackside for the Melton trials last Tuesday had a glimpse of why the stable thinks so much of two-year-old trotter Utopia. The colt, by Trixton out of former talented racemare Gluteus Maximus, won his first trial by 52.5m and trotted faultlessly throughout for driver Jodi Quinlan. Utopia trotted a 2min3.5sec mile rate for 2240m, but it was the ease with which he buzzed home in 28.5sec which most impressed. Gluteus Maximus won 14 races and $104,855 and Utopia is only her third foal, the best of the others being Derrie Aire (seven wins and $68,730). _________________________________________________________________________________________________ AS Lauren Tritton gets ready to launch her North American driving career, her little sister Grace landed her first win at Menangle this week Grace Panella teamed with trainer Darren Binskin and veteran trotter Scenic Sky for an upset win in the second race on Monday. “Everyone at Team Tritton is super proud of Lauren’s sister Grace at her first win today in the sulky,” Team Tritton tweeted after the victory. Meanwhile, Team Tritton stretched it’s awesome US start to six wins from just eight starters when old-timer Yayas Hot Spot won easily at Yonkers on Wednesday morning (NZ time).   by Adam Hamilton

Trainer David Hayes has entered a new chapter of his harness racing career after joining forces with leading owner Mick Maxfield at his East Devonport stables. Hayes took over the Maxfield team about a month ago and has 12 horses in work "at various stages of their preparations". Two of them, Krafty Boy and Shaun To The Max, will run at Mowbray on Sunday night. Krafty Boy had his first start for Hayes at the same track last week and the trainer thought he was a little unlucky. "He was up there early but got shuffled back then didn't really get a run at them," Hayes said. "But he's drawn bad in a pretty tough race this week." Two-year-old Shaun To The Max had three unplaced runs for Maxfield's former trainer Paul Ashwood earlier in the year. "We haven't been able to trial him but he's had those previous starts so we decided to put him in," Hayes said. "All the horses have been well educated by Paul - I've just had to work out my own way of working them. "They were kept jogging during the shutdown and they all seem to be ticking along pretty well." Hayes said he was looking forward to the challenge of training for one of the state's biggest-ever owners. "It's another chapter for me - I'm working on a beautiful property with great facilities," he said. "And, Mick is a great supporter of harness racing - he has bought and bred a lot of nice horses." Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

A chance to expand operations has led Mick Gadsden and Denbeigh Wade on a move to Charlton. The Ararat couple will be the latest harness racing industry participants to set up camp at Charlton's increasingly appealing training centre. It's another shot in the arm for the Charlton Harness Racing Club, following the unveiling of its new $2.4-million multi-purpose centre last last year and the long-awaited return to racing on home soil following an 18-month hiatus. Far from displeased during their tenure at Ararat, Gadsden said the trainer-driver combo simply did not have the space to accommodate an expanding number of horses. "We just outgrew the current set-up we have here in Ararat, and the Charlton complex seemed like a good way to expand without having to fork out copious amounts of money and investment, where if things don't work out we are lumped with financial hassles," he said. "We got talking to Joe Thompson and Greg Norman and learned about the ins and outs of it and it seemed like a perfect fit for us. "We are currently working six (horses), but it looks like we will be up to between 11 and 14 when we get into the swing of things in a couple of weeks." Gadsden, who is originally from Robinvale, moved to the Wimmera region in 2011, initially working for Peter Manning at Great Western. He and Wade eventually purchased property close to the Ararat harness racing track about four years ago, where they remained until the move north. "It was just big enough to be working four to five horses and we've hit that number now, and with a few more horses looking to come in, it's either we knock back horses or try something different," Gadsden said. "I'm a farrier full-time, but I am trying to get away from that a bit and more into the training of the horses." Their small team of horses has produced nine wins and 16 placings from 57 starts this season. Six of those wins and five placings can be credited to the stable's undoubted star Maorishadow, who was trained in the early part of his career by David van Ryn at Marong. The five-year-old mare has this season achieved back-to-back wins at Melton twice, with the highlight her success in the $30,000 Group 2 VicBred Platinum Trotting Mares Sprint Championship in January. Gadsen said the couple was grateful for the continued support of owners for allowing them to pursue their dream of expansion.  Maorishadow, driven by Denbeigh Wade, wins at Tabcorp Park Melton in December.  Stuart McCormick Photo   "Stephen Blacker has looked after us really well, he brought Maorishadow in with us and a couple of others, and with a couple of other outside interests, we've done well," he said. "We've had a good run the last couple of years, a couple of country cup wins and Group 2 wins with Maorishadow "Momentum and interest in the stable has really been building in the last 18 months. "Hopefully we can get the horses all settled before the end of this regional racing period and they are ready to hit the ground running when the racing opens up." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of the Bendigo Advertiser

Friday night’s blockbuster meeting at Gloucester Park features two Group 1 events for the “babies”. The $80,000 Westbred Classic for 2YO Fillies (2130m) and the $80,000 Westbred Classic for 2YO C&G (2130m) highlight a star-studded night of pacing under the ribbon of lights. Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have found several best bets on the 10-event card, with Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart believing classy filly Black Jack Baby can prove a reliable banker in the first of the Group 1s. “Black Jack Baby’s recent efforts have been absolutely outstanding and from this draw she will lead and win again,” Wishart said. “Then on to the Slipper where she is a strong winning chance.” Veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas and longshot guru Pat Harding have labelled Lightning Jolt as their star bet for the night. “Versatility is a key attribute of Lightning Jolt’s make-up and the John Oldroyd-trained seven-year-old should appreciate a slight drop in class on Friday night,” Casellas said. “Recent placings behind Mister Bushido and Valentines Brook have earned him the accolade of my best bet this week. He led and sprinted the final 400m in 27.6sec. when a splendid last-start second to Valentines Brook, two starts after his fast-finishing third behind Mister Bushido.” And Harding agrees. “Tipping and punting continues to be a challenge at the Friday night Gloucester Park meetings and this week is equally challenging,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race two with No.4 Lightning jolt. He has run a couple of good places and with Ryan Warwick aboard I think he can give a much-needed win to trainer John Oldroyd.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on Mandy Joan in the last race. “Mandy Joan, who faced the breeze when winning at Gloucester Park on June 12, has hit top form since a recent transfer to trainer Aiden De Campo’s team and looks hard to beat again,” Manning said. “The mare was placed  at her first two starts for De Campo, ahead of winning at her third appearance after the stable change. She has won eight races, including four at Gloucester Park. Barrier two is a key advantage for her.” TABradio’s form expert Hayden King has earmarked Robbie Easton as his star bet. “Robbie Easton worked like a train last week and fought on doggedly,” King said. “Providing that effort didn't gas him out, he will take all the beating this week with the draw advantage over Ultimate Offer.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is confident Millwood Gucci can return to winning form in race seven. “Millwood Gucci registered consecutive placings before a last-start failure when facing the breeze 11 days ago,” Havercroft said. “She forged to the front at those two seconds and I expect Im Batman to be happy to take the trail in a race where most runners have a long run of outs to their names.” TABradio racecaller Matt Young believes punters can start the night on a winning note by supporting The Black Cardinal in the first race. “The Black Cardinal has the perfect draw to start your night off right,” Young said. “He was unlucky last start and with a few runs under his belt he looks to lead and control the opener and add some extra dollars to your pocket for the exciting night ahead.” Guild president Wayne Currall says punters will be dancing with joy if they back The Bird Dance in race four. “The Bird Dance has won 15 of his 22 starts and is destined to progress to better races than this,” Currall said. “This is the best field he has met, but leading driver Ryan Warwick has options from gate six and the horse’s class should get him home in what appears to be a highly competitive event.” VALUE BETS WARREN: Things just haven’t gone right for Pradas Ideal Dahling lately and while the draw is a big blow this is about as weak a field as he has ever met. Worth a big each-way play at the indicative price of $21. KEN: For value, I suggest 10-year-old Bettor Party in race eight, in which he will start from the No. 1 barrier. The veteran of 210 starts has a losing sequence of 21 and has managed just one win from his past 41 starts. But his recent efforts have been excellent and point to a win in the very near future. PAT: My value bet comes up in race three with the Garry Hall-trained Our Rhythm N Blues. He had a good win two starts ago and with Junior aboard should give punters a good sight. ERNIE: Neighlor has been unplaced at his past eight starts, but he possesses more ability than his form suggests. A winner of six Gloucester Park races, he is capable of figuring prominently if having luck. HAYDEN: Bad Round is drawn to get a soft run on the pegs in a race where they should roll along. He is racing soundly and when the breaks arrive, he can shoot to victory. RYAN: Caruba has drawn well for her return to racing and won from this draw before going out for a spell. Has gate speed and will be up on the tempo. MATT: Bad Round was eye catching last start and has a beautiful trailing draw. Looks to be perfectly placed and just in need of some luck, but if he gets the breaks I think he’ll sweep over the top late for victory. WAYNE: Euphoric Moment has two “duck eggs” next to his name, but his form is much better than that suggests. Should get a lovely run from the pole and looks a safe each-way investment in race two. Good punting from home. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting from home.   Wayne Currall

Talented driver Jocelyn Young and four-year-old gelding Pierre Whitby have formed a wonderful combination over the past 15 months and Young is looking forward with a good degree of confidence to winning the opening event, the 2536m TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Young drove a splendid patient race to land Pierre Whitby a smart winner over 2130m on Tuesday evening and she is hoping to repeat the dose three nights later. From barrier five, Pierre Whitby raced in seventh position in the one-wide line before Young sent him forward, three wide 400m from home. He went four wide on the turn and burst to the front in the final 50m to win decisively from Soho Wonder. That took Pierre Whitby’s record to 60 starts for nine wins and 20 placings. Young has driven the gelding 52 times for eight wins, eight seconds and seven thirds. He is very consistent, and I love driving him,” said Young. “I drove him (four times) for Ed Dewar as a three-year-old early last year and I was able to stick with him after he was sold.” Pierre Whitby was sold to Mark Lewis and has been trained for his past 54 starts by his mother Debra. Though he has won over 2100m and twice over 2130m, Pierre Whitby excels over longer journeys, having won over 2242m, 2536m, 2569m, 2620m, 2690m and 2692m. “Generally, he is a better horse over 2500m,” said Young. “He’s always driven cold and always has that good sprint. If the tempo is on, he’s even better. Hopefully, we’ll be able to settle close to the lead on Friday night.” Young is also looking forward to driving Just For Love in the Group 1 Westbred Classic for fillies, Powerplay in the Westbred Classic for colts and geldings and veteran Bad Round in the Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace. Powerplay, a winner at his past two starts, will begin from the No. 4 barrier. “The draw is a bit awkward,” Young said. “But he’s going really well and with the right run he should finish in the top five. Bad Round came from last when third last week and this week from the inside of the back line we should race closer to the lead.” Baskerville trainer Ryan Bell is looking for further improvement from Blue Blazer, who will start from barrier four in the TABtouch Pace and looks a danger to Pierre Whitby. Bell brought Blue Blazer from last with a strong finishing burst to win easily from Maximum Demand over 2569m at Bunbury last Friday night. “It’s taken a while, but he showed his trackwork form in the win,” Bell said. “He has had a few feet issues and mental issues and it will be interesting to see how he backs up. “I’m a bit of an old school trainer with him. I work him on the lead and give him pacework instead of full hard hopple work. He just does two-mile pacework and that seems to be working for him. It wasn’t the strongest form race at Bunbury. The 2500m will suit; he’ll be doing nothing or as little as we can and hopefully, he will sprint home.” Bell will also be looking for a solid effort from Radiant Amber in the Lombardo Pace for fillies and mares. The four-year-old, who will start from barrier three, was a fast-finishing winner two starts ago before she set the pace and faded to finish a half-length third behind Tiffany Rose and Major Shard last Saturday night.  “I was a bit disappointed when she was beaten last week, but she lost to a pretty handy mare,” Bell said. “This week it’s a jump up in class, but the better field might suit her.” Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is hoping that star pacer Chicago Bull can overcome the awkward draw at No. 5 in the field of seven to contest the Direct Trades Supply Past Presidents Cup over 2130m. Chicago Bull also started from barrier five in the 2536m Winter Cup last Friday night when he raced in last position in the field of six before starting a three-wide run at the bell and eventually getting to the front 100m from the post before being beaten in the final stride by a nose by the fast-finishing Ocean Ridge. Ocean Ridge, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for ace trainers Greg and Skye Bond, has an advantage over Chicago Bull this week, starting from the No. 2 barrier. “Chicago Bull has been getting no favours with the random barrier draws,” Hall said. “But he’ll go well this week. He had a little break before last week’s run and was quite fat. It was a good run last week.”   Ken Casellas

The much-travelled and handy Victorian performer Stroke of Luck ran a sparkling trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning and is poised for a strong performance in the Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He raced three back on the pegs in an Indian file five-horse trial before being switched three wide approaching the home turn and finishing strongly to get up and win narrowly from stablemates Motu Premier and Space Junk, rating 1.57.1, with final 400m sections in identical 27.5sec. Stroke of Luck, a seven-year-old by American stallion Major In Art, will be driven by Chris Voak from the inside of the back line in Friday night’s event in which he will clash with his talented Ross Olivieri-trained stablemate Gee Jay Kay and in-form pacers Parisian Partygirl, Our Rhythm N Blues and Ideal Investment. Stroke of Luck has had 52 starts for 12 wins (six in New Zealand and six in Victoria) and 16 placings. He has also raced once in Adelaide when fourth behind Kerryn Manning-trained stablemate Pat Stanley in the group 2 South Australian Pacing Cup over 2645m at Globe Derby park on February 8 this year. Keen harness racing enthusiasts will recall when Manning brought the gelding to Perth to contest a heat and the final of the San Simeon Pace late in 2017. He finished second to El Jacko in the heat and worked hard in the breeze before fading to eleventh behind Mista Shark in the final. He has had 11 starts in his current campaign which has produced one win (beating Murranji Track by a head in the 1790m Italian Cup at Mildura on March 6), two seconds and one third placing. At his most recent appearance Stroke of Luck was restrained from barrier six and finished powerfully from last at the 550m mark in the field of seven to finish a half-length third behind Im Sir Blake over 2180m at Stawell. At his previous outing he started from the outside barrier in a field of seven, was last at the bell and sixth 450m from home before running on strongly to finish second to Crime Writer over 2180m at Terang. “He’s found a nice race to start off with, which is nice,” said Olivieri. “We are happy with the trial. The three of them split the line. Going into the trial Stroke of Luck was slightly fitter than Motu Premier and Space Junk. He’s come off a racing campaign in Victoria and has been here for five weeks. “He’s got all that race fitness, whereas Space Junk and Motu Premier, who will be resuming racing on Friday night after a spell, will have to start from scratch.” Olivieri said that he fancied Stroke of Luck ahead of talented four-year-old Gee Jay Kay, who resumed after a spell last Friday night when he raced three wide early and then in the breeze before wilting to finish eighth behind Cyclone Banner. “I was disappointed with the run,” said Olivieri. “This week he will be driven differently; he won’t be used up early and will save his best for the second half of the race.” Kyle Harper, who will drive polemarker Parisian Partygirl, advised punters to disregard the mare’s seventh in a field of eight behind Typhoon Tiff last Friday night when she started from the outside barrier and raced in last place in an Indian file affair in which Typhoon Tiff dawdled through the opening quarters of the final mile in 33.3sec. and 30.3sec. “Parisian Partygirl had no chance of getting into the race,” said Harper. “She should go much better from the inside draw.”   Ken Casellas

Breeder-owner-trainer Shane Quadrio and star reinsman Chris Voak agreed after Black Jack Baby’s effortless all-the-way victory in the Westsired Pace for two-year-old fillies last Friday night that the daughter of Follow The Stars was not simply a frontrunner but was ideally suited as a sit-sprinter. But they will abandon that tactic after Black Jack Baby drew perfectly at barrier No. 2 in the $80,000 Allwood Stud Farm Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “She’s got fantastic gate speed and I’d say she will go straight to the front,” Quadrio said. “Hopefully, she will stay there. She has pulled up well after last week’s win and is feeling a million dollars. We’re lucky enough to get a good draw.” Quadrio and his son Dylan, who selected Black Jack Baby’s dam What A Card from New Zealand, paid special tribute to Pinjarra horseman David Young for his exemplary work in breaking in and educating Black Jack Baby. Black Jack Baby, with six wins and a close second placing from seven starts, looks outstanding on Friday night and it is difficult to envisage any of her 11 rivals extending her. One of her main opponents is likely to be the Barry Howlett-trained Just For Love, who has been driven by Voak at her past six starts for an easy last-start win over Bettor Beach Belle at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week as well as close seconds to Minor Catastrophe and  Always An Angel. Howlett has engaged Jocelyn Young to drive Just For Love for the first time. “I’m pretty happy to get the drive, particularly from barrier one,” said Young. “I should imagine that Barry will be more than happy for me to take the sit behind Black Jack Baby.” Minor Catastrophe, bred, owned and trained by David Young, is handily drawn on the inside of the back line and the filly who has won at two of her three starts, should enjoy an ideal passage and is capable of figuring in the finish. Minor Catastrophe was an impressive trial winner at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when she settled down in last place in a field of five. After very slow quarters of 33.7sec. and 33.9sec. the final 400m sections were covered in 28.1sec. and 29.3sec. with Minor Catastrophe coming from last at the 800m to burst to the front 100m later and stroll to an easy win over the pacemaker Nomorepintsforyou.   Ken Casellas

A horror run of wide barriers for Give Us A Wave has ended with the Mach Three colt drawing the prized No. 1 barrier in the $80,000 Allwood Stud Farm Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This change in fortune will give star reinsman Ryan Warwick an excellent chance of victory and emulating the performance of his father Colin, who drove Whistling Eagle to victory in this event in May 1994 when the race was known as the State Sires Series Classic. Already, in the 27-year history of the race there has been two father-son victors, with Lindsay Harper winning with Disco Force (2000), Hydroflyte (2001) and Your Call Lombo (2002) and his son Kyle winning with All Aussie Boy in 2014, and Kim Prentice succeeding with Soho Monza in 2011 and his son Justin winning with Highroller Joe in 2017. Give Us A Wave, prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond, drew barrier No. 1 on debut at Pinjarra on February 3 when he led and finished a short half-head second to Machnificent over 1684m. Since then Give Us A Wave, a $60,000 purchase at the 2019 APG yearling sale in Perth, has enjoyed little luck, starting out wide at barrier eight twice and from barriers nine, six and five. He has revealed excellent gate speed in all those races, which include a win over The Swiss Maestro from barrier nine and working in the breeze, and seconds to Overjoyed and Carabao. At his most recent appearance Give Us A Wave was restrained at the start from barrier eight in the $100,000 Pearl Classic last Friday week when he battled on three wide from the rear to finish seventh behind brilliant stablemate Jett Star. Lavra Joe, who like Give Us A Wave was bred by Kevin and Annette Charles, looms as a strong winning chance, particularly after drawing favourably at barrier two for Greenbushes owner-trainer Ray Jones and champion reinsman Chris Lewis. Lavra Joe possesses good gate speed, but it is debatable whether he will be capable of wresting the early lead from Give Us A Wave. Lavra Joe has impressed greatly with his six wins and four placings from 13 starts. In the Pearl he started from barrier three and took the lead after 350m. The final quarters were covered in 28.1sec. and 27.5sec. and he finished a gallant second to the New Zealand-bred Jett Star. Lavra Joe warmed up for this week’s assignment with an easy win in a 2100m trial at a 2.1 rate last Friday night. He led from barrier three and dashed over the final 400m sections in 28.5sec. and 27.3sec. in winning by three lengths from Tempt Me Once More. Lewis has won the Classic three times, scoring with Hail The Judge (1996), Mista Tigga (2004) and Johnny Disco (2015). Kim Prentice has formed a good association with the Bryan Cousins-owned and trained Carabao, who is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line. Carabao sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth at the bell to finish third behind Jett Star and Lavra Joe in the Pearl after leading and winning by more than two lengths from Give Us A Wave and Mighty Ronaldo at his previous outing. Mighty Ronaldo, prepared at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, will be handled by champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr from barrier No. 2 on the back line. Mighty Ronaldo raced three back on the pegs when a most unlucky eleventh in the Pearl when he has hopelessly blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit when cast back along the pegs by a tiring runner. “Hopefully, we’ll get a crack at them this time,” Hall said. “The map is good for him and if Give Us A Wave holds up, we should be able to follow the likely breeze horse Lavra Joe. “It was pretty disappointing in the Pearl. The race was run to suit, but we never got clear. I don’t know whether he would have won, but he was travelling well enough to give it a shake.” The Good Life, who ran on from eighth at the bell to finish fourth in the Pearl, looks set to be prominent from the No. 3 barrier for Capel trainer Aiden de Campo, who is driving in devastating form.   Ken Casellas

It’s official, brilliant pacer Hectorjayjay has hit a hurdle…again. Hectorjayjay was unplaced at his most recent start back on June 6 when a lacklustre fifth behind Glenferrie Hood in a time of 1:51.9 at Albion Park which then forced QRIC Stewards to stand him down acting on veterinary advice. At his previous start at the same track, he scored an explosive victory in a time of 1:52.8. And the much revised Queensland winter carnival features next month at Albion Park are now off the table. Obvious targets included the $21,160 Wondais Mate Open Pace (1660m) on July 11 followed by the $25,660 Mr Feelgood Open Pace (2138m) the following week while the $25,660 Lucky Creed Open Pace (2680m) was another option. “He’s just got a little issue with a joint and we’re not going to take any chances so we’ll back off now and aim at the bigger money events later in the year,” Butler said. “It’s not a suspensory issue so this setback is a much better problem to deal with so I’m confident he can return during the summer.” He added. But the state’s biggest race, the Group 1 TAB Blacks A Fake, will headline the new-look Summer Carnivalthis year alongside the Gr. 2 Queensland Cup and the Gr. 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint and Butler is hoping his star performer can claim the race again. The millionaire gelding won the event back in 2017. Another event that Butler is keen to attack with Hectorjayjay is the Shirley Turnbull Memorial on Boxing Day night at his former home track of Bathurst. The nine-year-old gelding has raced only three times since being transferred to Butler last year. Overall, Hectorjayjay has won 44 of his 83 career starts with earnings in excess of $1.1 million.   Chris Barsby

The Team Tritton harness racing juggernaut rolled into Yonkers Raceway just before midday yesterday (AEST) - and a sentimental favorite brought home the chocolates at the Aussie stable's first look at the famed New York Raceway. Shane and Lauren Tritton have now won six of their eight starts since hitting the American tracks for the first time a little over a fortnight ago. Yesterday it was a stable favorite, the consistent Yayas Hot Spot (Jeremes Jet-Star Of Heaven (In The Pocket) posting a first-up US win and taking his career victories to 27. "He went super because he was up a bit in grade. Our driver Jordan (Stratton) thought the horse was day-dreaming and could have gone a little faster," Shane said. "We were very pleased with it. He went into the race a bit fat, so hopefully there's some improvement to come with more racing," he said. Yayas Hot Spot has been a great old horse for the Trittons, winning more than $620,000 so far in his career. "He won his first 10 starts with Lauren driving in seven of them, then he's been in two Miracle Miles and won the ($100,000 G1) Newcastle Mile early last year, so he's a pretty special horse for us," Shane said. "The half mile tracks just suit him down to the ground. When we were back home, we were always wanting to send him across to see how he'd go, but it just never worked in, so it's terrific to now be over here with him ourselves." The former Sydneysiders headed off in March this year with a team of a dozen horses to try their luck in the US. And while all the preparation work had been done, the couple is no doubt pinching themselves at how well their relocation is playing out so far. Yayas Hot Spot was their sixth winner, adding his name to a list of Meadowlands successes in Gods Spirit (1.50-1); My Ruebe Star (two wins - 1.50-1 & 1.50.3); Flaming Flutter (1.49-1); and Letspendanitetogtha (1.51). They have had another two starters. Ohoka Johnny ran third in 1.49-3, while Im A Director lost any chance when checked with 800 metres to go and suffering a flat tyre. "We've had an unbelievable start but we realize that it's going to get tougher from here," Shane said. "There's a few bad barrier draws coming up in our next couple of meetings and one of our starters in Foo Fighter is nearly in the open class," he said. "But we have to just aim on being consistent. All we can do is build on what we've learnt so far, putting in the work and doing our best." Tritton said they had received some enquiries from potential owners in recent weeks. "There's been a few reaching out to us and we'll have to sit down and weigh things up at some stage but our first priority is always to our loyal owners," he said. "We arrived here with a stable of 12 and then we've picked up another six since. We've got a few staff with us now and after knowing nothing about horses, they've come a long way!" Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

Louise Toulmin is taking on a new role with Haras des Trotteurs. She has been appointed general manager, based at the Australian arm of the harness racing stud at Cardigan near Ballarat. Louise is vastly experienced and widely known in the standardbred breeding industry. Louise and her husband Gary operate agistment property Oakbank Estate at Clarendon near Ballarat, and have been breeding, breaking in, preparing yearlings and raced horses for the past 30 years. "My involvement in harness racing began when I met Gary. "His family had been involved all his life and my early days were blessed with Gary’s first horse he bred and raced being group one-winning filly Handibank,” Louise said. Louise joins Haras des Trotteurs after 12 years with Australian Pacing Gold, with her latest role being administration/sales manager. “It was a position I  thoroughly enjoyed and which enabled me to build lifelong friendships with both vendors and buyers. "Harness racing is my passion and I am excited to be joining the team at Haras des Trotteurs and further developing my relationships with industry participants in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe,” she said. Haras des Trotteurs principle Pat Driscoll, in welcoming Louise to the position, said it was great to have such an experienced and passionate operator to head up the stud. Harnesslink Media

It was another successful weekend of harness racing in the Apple Isle. Hobart on Friday produced a rough night for punters with four of the seven winners starting at double figures. Sunday in Launceston saw many strong performances and brilliant drives across the 10-race card. The Stars Conor Crook – continued his excellent form since the return of Tasmanian racing from the COVID shutdown when he drove five winners across the two meetings. Bridwood Bella – produced a dominant display when leading all the way to score on debut in Launceston on Sunday night in a slick 1m 57.4s. Mister Gently – didn’t have a lot of luck in the run where he was forced to race three-wide over the final mile and despite the tough run he was too strong for his rivals. Todd Rattray – walked away from the Launceston card with a training double, with the win of Feel the Burn being his 250th as a trainer. Taylor Ford – enjoyed a night out in Hobart on Friday with a driving treble, with two of those winners coming from her stable. The win on the Zane Medhurst-trained Just For Dave delivered an emotional win for many including Ford with the pacer named after her late mate David Medhurst. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening Taylor Ford – driving treble; Just For Dave, Statement Please and Belligerence. Taylor Ford – training double; Statement Please and Belligerence. Launceston – Sunday evening Conor Crook – driving quadruple; Bridwood Bella, Our Percius, Laid Back Kenny and Perfect Mach. Todd Rattray – driving double; Feel The Burn and Jigamaroo. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening Sign Of Oro 59.26s, Just For Dave 59.39s, Kermadec 59.43s, Iden Gorgeous 59.79s and telex Nikita 59.84s. Launceston – Sunday evening Somedan 55.60s, Similan Beach 55.69s, Reign Of Pain 55.75s, Black Centurian 55.85s and Blackbird Power 55.89s. Outside of race five; Bring The Flave 56.62s, Kosimo 57.12s, Bridwood Bella 57.50s, Murry 57.53s and Lockaway Kacie 57.55s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hit’s: Sign Of Oro $21.00 into $15.00 and Armchair Drive $4.20 into $3.70. Defied the Drift: Gipsy Treasure $6.00 out to $6.50, Just For Dave $21.00 out to $31.00 and Statement Please $6.00 out to $10.00. Missed: Debt Till We Part $4.40 into $3.30, Insulting $2.90 into $2.20, Em Jays Black Chip $6.00 into $4.80, Capitallee $3.00 into $2.40, Mi Ju Dan $21.00 into $12.00, Tisu Spirit $8.50 into $6.00, Navua Pixie $4.00 into $3.20 and Cold Crusher $3.50 into $2.70. Launceston – Sunday evening Hit’s: Mister Gently $3.60 into $2.70 and Blackbird Power $3.00 into $2.10. Defied The Drift: Feel The Burn $3.50 out to $4.20, Our Percius $17.00 out to $21.00, Jigamaroo $3.50 out to $4.00 and Perfect Mach $6.50 out to $11.00. Missed: Bold Centurian $21.00 into $7.00, Kosimo $8.50 into $5.50, Kiavino Stride $6.00 into $4.80, Peaceful Thomas $2.50 into $1.80, Joogle $2.70 into $2.30, Karalta Kruise $21.00 into $11.00, Remember Joe $2.80 into $2.00 and Jeans Mattjesty $6.00 into $4.00. Trial File Hobart – Friday afternoon Spooky Girl easily accounted for her rivals in a trial before the first race in Hobart on Friday. The three-year-old filly by Safe and Sound was taken straight to the lead by her driver Ricky Duggan and the filly demolished her rivals to score by 35.5 metres. Danny Malone trains spooky Girl and the filly is the first foal to race out of the unraced mare Mint Tan. The time for the mile trip was 2m 4.4s with the last half mile recorded in 60.0s. Menangle – Wednesday morning Ignatius had his first public outing this campaign Wednesday morning in a Menangle trial. The Tasmanian bred and owned pacer looked to have a bit left in the tank when he crossed the line in third spot, 3.6-metres from the winner in 1m 53.1s. Ignatius’ trainer James Rattray took the drive in a trial that can be viewed here. Trial Replays You can view all of the weekend’s trials and trials over the past few weeks by clicking here. Week Ahead Hobart Friday sees an eight-race card set down for decision. Race four is the fast class race of the night where a number of runners get into the race with concession claims, which is great for the junior drivers to get an opportunity after missing out in recent weeks. Jeans Mattjesty, Poker Storm, Sea Double Ugrant and Blackbird Power are the horses in question and all have drawn the second row in the 2090-metre event. All races will be shown on TasracingTV and Sky Racing 2 with the first race set down for 17:29. Sunday in Launceston sees a nine-event card. After partnering Bridwood Bella to victory in last week’s two-year-old, driver Conor Crook will be hoping to add another two-year-old winner on Sunday. Crook trains and drives the Sunshine Beach gelding Cedric Seymour who will be on debut and looks to be a strong player in the event after two recent trial wins. Sunday’s card commences at 17:17 and will be shown on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Bendigo – Friday night Race 7 Horse 6 Streitkid. Race 8 Horse 11 Blingittothemax. Menangle – Saturday night  Race 1 Horse 10 Harjeet.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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