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Harness racing from Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday the 26th of August 2016, the beginning of Breeder's Crown Weekend. Race 1 - DNR Logistics Pace PICOBELLO (Christian Cullen-Lynne Falcon) has won the DNR Logistics Pace to kick-start night one of the Breeders Crown weekend at Tabcorp Park Melton. The five-year-old mare paid $30.30 on the Victorian tote, no doubt blowing the majority of punters out of the early quaddie. Trained and driven by Glenn Douglas at Strathfieldsaye, Picobello turned her 3.4m fourth to Blurred Lines in the heat for this race around despite starting from outside the front row. Our Red Sky Knight finished second after finding the back of leader All Eyes And Ears early in a nice piece of driving by Allan McDonough (from gate three), jumping into the trail ahead of Destiny Warrior (barrier eight), who couldn’t muster quickly enough. Blurred Lines finished third after looking the winner at the top of the straight for Brad Chisholm, finishing on gamely, while All Eyes And Ears boxed on for fourth and Any Wonder ran fifth. Video replay Race 2 - Breeders Crown Graduate Pace KOTARE York (Mach Three-Kotare Yoyo) has pocketed his sixth win at start No.36 by taking out the Breeders Crown Graduate Pace. Trainer Geoff Webster is in great form and the four-year-old stallion appreciated comfortable early splits in the 2240-metre race (lead time 46.9secs, first and second quarters of 30.5 and 29.9), reinsman Emmett Brosnan only having to up the ante late with a 56.4secs last quarter to hold off fast-finishing Game We Play (who was last in the run before commencing a three-wide move from the 800m) – his run was super – and Iceobar in third. The winner rated 1:57.6. That’s two wins from Kotare York’s last three starts now. Video replay Race 3 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship 4YO Entires/Geldings Trotters ILLAWONG ARMSTRONG (Majestic Son-Lunar Landing) has taken out this year’s Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship for four-year-old trotting entires and geldings. Driven by trainer Jodi Quinlan, the gifted gelding was pushed out from the pole draw after long-time rival Eljaykay Phoenix (Josh Aiken) tested his mettle. Anthony Butt put Kyvalley Boomerang into the trail from barrier five, and Nathan Jack took second-favourite Fabrication around the field to the breeze. But it was all Illawong Armstrong in the 2240-metre race, always travelling well to notch his fourth win from nine starts this season with splits of 30, 30.9, 28.6 and 29.3 for a mile rate of 1:59.3. Illawong Armstrong’s stake earnings are now pushing $160,000. Will this be the only Illawong to win over Breeders Crown finals time? Jodi and Dr Martin Hartnett will team up again Sunday with the two-year-old Redwood Classic champ Illawong Byron, and he looks mighty hard to beat. “I didn’t have any confidence tonight,” Quinlan said tonight of Illawong Armstrong. “But his ability takes him a long way. “We’ve had our issues with him. That’s why he’s had eight starts in eight months.” Quinlan said if she had her way Illawong Armstrong would go the paddock for a spell. “But if Martin has his way probably not,” she said. We’ll see who wins that battle. Video replay Race 4 - Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown Graduate Trot  STUNNING JASPER (Village Jasper-Stunning Impact) was a fast-finishing winner of the Haras Des Trotteurs Graduate Trot tonight. Driven by evergreen Brian Gath Stunning Jasper ($31.90) overhauled race favourite Zhenya by a half-neck in 2:00.7. Sammy Charles led with Its Not Dark Yet in the chair. At the bell Stunning Jasper was three back on the pegs in the 2240-metre race. Its Not Dark Yet was battling approaching the home turn and dropped behind Sammy Charles (Chris Alford) who kicked in front, with Zhenya looming up strongly. Zhenya took the lead at the 150m but Stunning Jasper wouldn’t be denied, charging late to grab the win. “It took him a long time to wear them down but he always travelled like he’d make it,” Gath said. “If they raced over 2400m he would have won more. The 2100m is a bit short for him.” Gath said it was a pleasure to drive the winner for good mate Joe Vassallo. “Good fella, Joe, and Sam, they’re great people.” Video repay Race 5 Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pacers Free for All (Group 2)  ALL EYES ON US (Art Major-All Eyes On Me) won tonight’s Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pacers Free for All in extraordinary fashion tonight. The C11-M0 assessed five-year-old equalled the track record for the 2240-metre trip at Melton (joining Keayang Cullen at a mark of 1:53.2), lifting off the canvas after being headed by C25-M8 long odds-on favourite Hectorjayjay to score a half-neck win for trainer John McCarthy and reinsman Luke McCarthy. “We’ve always had a good opinion of him,” Luke McCarthy said. “He ran second in the APG as a two-year-old and missed his three-year-old season when he had a bone chip taken out of his ankle. “We purposely kept him out of the M0s so he’d draw well in this race. He’s got a big heart and we think he’ll take the next step. He’ll make a real good horse.” Undoubtedly he will if he keeps producing runs like tonight. Jilliby Jagger led early with Burning Cash in the breeze, All Eyes On Us leader’s back. Hectorjayjay ($1.25 favourite) settled back in the field in the running line but punters would not have been panicking with a swift lead time of 43secs flat recorded. The leader paced a 60.3secs first half before they scorched down the back in 26.9secs. Hectorjayjay eased to the outside to make his run and looked to have the race shot to bits for Gavin Lang before McCarthy and All Eyes On Us hit top gear, rallied back and took the win (final quarter 27.3, last half 54.2). The winner paid $27.20 and the first four paid almost twelve grand.  Video replay Race 6 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship 4YO Trotting Mares VAL GARDENA (Kadabra-Lets Be Happy) only won by 3.7m but the margin could have been more. She didn’t give her rivals any hope in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship for four-year-old trotting mares, rated a treat by the Candyman, Greg Sugars, to score in a mile rate of 2:00.9. The impressive mare from the Anton Golino stable at Cardigan fended off all comers in the run, her first half covered in 62.7secs before third and fourth splits of 29 and 28.6. Damien Burns trained/driven Itsgettingcalder produced another big run for second, she’s in great form, while Glenferrie Burn finished third for Blake Fitzpatrick. Glenferrie Burn is raced by Yabby Dam Farms, who also owned the winner. Video replay Race 7 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters FFA (Group 2)  SUPER ZECK (Modern Art-Me Dolli Kit) is this year’s Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown Graduate Trot winner. Trained by Darren Cole at Terang and driven by John Caldow, Super Zeck made it 11 wins this season from 32 starts with a 2.8m win over Maori Time (Anthony Butt) and El Paco (Chris Svanosio) third. Super Zeck took off three-wide from the back at the 1100m mark, getting to the breeze outside leader Vics Cheval, who was chasing back to back wins. Maori Time, who had crept around the field also was left one out and one back, while early leader El Paco, who quickly handed up to Vics Cheval, was travelling sweetly behind the pacesetter. Following early splits of 31.8 and 30.6, Super Zeck put more pressure on the frontrunner down the back (28.5secs third quarter) before going to the front approaching the home turn. Maori Time kept chasing and was game in defeat, while El Paco is one for the black book. He got carted back at the 300m when the leader gave ground and was savaging the line at the finish. Wins soon. Video replay Race 8 Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Cup STAR OF DIONYSIS (American Ideal-Star Of Venus) has captured the Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Cup for husband/wife team Andy and Kate Gath. The five-year-old went around $1.50 first-up on August 4 from a 50-metre handicap and finished fourth, and then ran seventh as a $2.40 favourite on August 19. Tonight he paid $14.20. Punters who stayed aboard can celebrate with a vino. Fun fact: Dionysus is the god of wine, theatre and revelry in Greek mythology (note, I’m getting that straight from Google as Greek mythology is not my strongpoint). Star Of Dionysis lobbed the one-one for Kate Gath over the 1720m trip and finished too powerfully for his rivals, holding off Art I Special, who was held up at the top of the lane and flew late once in the clear, with Mach Doro third. The winner went 1:55.5. Star Of Dionysis has won 10 races from 46 starts now and that was his fifth win this season. That wraps us up from Melton, so see you Sunday!  Video replay Results Facebook photos

Harness Racing New South Wales this week announced a no Withdrawal Policy for horses from set conditioned races. As of September 1 horses nominated for set-conditioned races cannot be withdrawn. However, this will not apply to Divided Stakes events where the Handicapping Panel frame race conditions and select race fields from the nominations received. After consultation with industry stakeholder groups, HRNSW chief executive officer John Dumesny believes this amendment will help races "stand up". "We tried an increased fee change over the last two months to help clubs and owners with assurance of what races will stand up but this has not assisted the situation," Dumesny said. "Races to be conducted on and after September 1, horses nominated in a set-conditioned race, for example a two or a three-year-old race or maiden race, trainers won't be allowed to withdraw between the close of nominations and the release of fields." Both the Harness Racing Clubs Committee and the Harness Racing Industry Consultation Group supported the amendment to the HRNSW Racing Policy 609.9-2.4. Trainers should make themselves aware of this Policy to which they have been directly alerted. Further assistance can be obtained from the HRNSW Handicapping Panel or head to AMANDA RANDO           Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government.       To arrange an interview or for further information please contact:   AMANDA RANDO   MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER       Harness Racing New South Wales   22 Meredith St Bankstown NSW 2200   T: (02) 9722 6600   W:              

Queensland Harness Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre race urine sample taken from MAFUTA VAUTIN prior to its winning performance in Race 5 The Qbred Triad Final for 4yo Horses and Geldings at Albion Park on Saturday, 30 May 2015 which had been opened and adjourned on 28 July 2016. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in the sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules. On 5 August, licensed trainer Mr Darrel Graham was charged pursuant to Rule 190(1) which reads:            “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Graham presented MAFUTA VAUTIN to race in Race 5 at Albion Park on 30 May 2015, when a pre race urine sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold. On 15 August Mr Graham pleaded not guilty to the charge as issued. Mr Graham today provided further submissions to support his plea of not guilty and consideration was given to these submissions in addition to other relevant cases and character references.           After due consideration Stewards were of the view that the charge could be sustained and formally found Mr Graham guilty. When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards gave consideration to the following: The serious nature of the substance concerned and the level of Cobalt recorded (342Ug/L); Mr Graham’s licence history of 30 years and his personal and financial situation; The particular circumstances of the case; The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing; Penalty precedents. Mr Graham was disqualified for a period of 15 months effective immediately. Stewards further directed that under Rule 195 MAFUTA VAUTIN be disqualified from its win in Race 5 at Albion Park on 30 May 2015 and all other placegetters be amended accordingly. Mr Graham was advised of his rights to internal review.   Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey Racing Queensland

Queensland Harness Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that a pre race urine sample taken from DESTREOS (NZ) prior to its performance at Albion Park on Saturday, 7 May 2016 was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substances Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone. Evidence was taken from trainer Mr Ken Rattray, who explained his feeding and husbandry regime associated with this horse. Evidence was also provided by Acting Manager of Veterinary Services Dr Karen Caldwell and Principal Analyst Samantha Nelis from the Racing Science Centre. After considering all the evidence tendered, Stewards issued Mr Rattray with a charge pursuant to Rule 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Rattray presented DESTREOS (NZ) to race at Albion Park on 7 May 2016 when a pre race urine sample taken from the gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substances Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone. Mr Rattray pleaded guilty to the charge as issued. In assessing the matter of penalty, Stewards considered: the forthright evidence of Mr Rattray; his personal and financial circumstances; his recent record in relation to this rule; the nature of the substance concerned; the need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing. Mr Rattray was disqualified for a period of 6 months effective immediately. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195 DESTREOS (NZ) was disqualified from its performance at Albion Park on 7 May 2016 and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Rattray was advised of his rights to internal review. Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey Racing Queensland

Brilliant seven-year-old Bettors Fire has returned to harness racing as good as ever and he looks set to become only the fourth pacer in the 66-year-history of the August Cup to be a multiple winner of the group 3 event by proving too strong for his rivals in the $35,000 Westralian August Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The winner of $465,000 Bettors Fire, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, overcame a wide draw to score an effortless last-to-first victory in the 2015 August Cup. This week he is much more favourably drawn at barrier No. 4 on the front line in the 2536m event. Harper produced Bettors Fire in great shape for a 1730m sprint at Gloucester Park last Friday week and the New Zealand-bred gelding was most impressive at his first appearance since finishing second to Cyamach in the Lord Mayor’s Cup on January 29. In his return to racing the Bettor's Delight gelding started from the outside barrier and raced in last position in the field of nine until Harper gave him his head with 250m to travel. The gelding was taken five wide on the home turn before he finished with a devastating burst to be second, a half-head behind Cyamach, rating 1.54.3. In last year’s August Cup, Bettors Fire was a 5/4 on favourite from out wide at barrier eight. Harper restrained him to the rear and he was still 12th and last with two laps to travel. Harper switched him three wide at the 1000m mark and Bettors Fire dashed into sixth position, three wide with cover, at the bell, before he took the lead on the home turn and coasted to an easy victory over the pacemaker Tuxedo Tour. The only other pacers to have won the August Cup more than once have been Tavis (1975 and 1976), Zakara (1991-92-93-94) and Shattering Class (1998 and 1999). Shattering Class was driven by Harper’s father Lindsay, who also won the August Cup with Ghost (2001) and Digger of Fortune (2003). Champion trainer Gary Hall sen., who prepared Zakara for his final three August Cup victories, has also been successful with Im Themightyquinn (2010) and Northview Punter (2014). He has three runners this year --- Cyamach (barrier six), Waylade (nine) and Run Oneover (No. 3 on the back line). Run Oneover, to be driven by Clint Hall, trailed the pacemaker Northern Assassin in a 2130m event last Friday night before he got off the pegs 500m from home and dashed forward to take a narrow lead 40m from the post. But he was beaten by a half-head by the fast-finishing Copagrin. Cyamach finished fifth and Waylade was 11th across the line. “Run Oneover is my best chance,” said Hall sen. “He got a flat tyre in the late stages and that didn’t help, while the other two were a bit disappointing.” Copagrin has returned to racing after a spell in fine fettle for owner-trainer John Guagliardo and reinsman Morgan Woodley. The WA-bred seven-year-old was seventh with 450m to travel before he flew home from fifth at the 100m to snatch victory from Run Oneover last week. He will start from barrier five on Friday night and will have many admirers. Five-year-old Libertybelle Midfrew, a winner of 16 races and $567,147, has the distinct advantage of starting from the No. 1 barrier as the only mare in the race under the preferential barrier draw. She has been unplaced at her past five starts, including her first-up tenth behind Ideal Justice over 2130m last week when she was restrained from a wide barrier and was always well back. Trained by Mike Reed, Libertybelle Midfrew will be driven by Mark Reed, who won the August Cup with Another Party in 2000 and Tricky Vic in 2005. Mike Reed trained and drove Manageable for his win in the 1989 August Cup. The in-form Phoenix Warrior, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, fared poorly in the draw and will start out wide at barrier eight. He will be driven for the first time by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, whose only success in the August Cup was behind the Andrew de Campo-trained Dasher VC, the 2/1 favourite who defeated Cromac Johnny and Sneakyn Down Under in 2012. Ken Casellas

It was harness racing’s feel-good story of the week when Colada Rose won the Hustler 104 Pace at Redcliffe Harness Racing Club last Thursday. The win gave trainer Max Olive his first as a trainer since 1987 when Buckle Parade was successful at the old Queen Street Paceway at the Gold Coast. Originally owned by Ken Parker, the bay mare was leased to good friend Olive after Parker suffered from health issues which prevented him from training. Olive has had Colada Rose for four weeks now, the win putting a smile on his face that was hard to move. “Yeah, it was great to get the win and she ran a pretty good mile rate as well,” said Olive. Slicing three seconds off her previous best mile rate, Colada Rose has never been in better form as she grabbed her second career win in 73 starts under the urgings of driver Amy Rees. “She’s going really, really well, and Amy’s our number one girl, she’s our number one driver and she did a good job,” said Olive. The depth of this feel-good story starts a couple years ago, when Parker drove the filly to a win in 2014 at Redcliffe. Parker was 82 years of age at the time and understandably caused a stir with his brilliant win, the first since 2008 for the on-and-off trainer, who could be the oldest driver to steer home a victory in Australian harness history. “It will take a month to take the smile off my face. I’ll have to have an operation to get rid of it,” Parker said at the time. And it was the same last week, when Olive, a friend of Parker’s for some 50 years, let him know the good news of another win at Redcliffe. “I’ve known Kenny for 50 years, he used to shoe a couple of horses for me and we’ve been friends ever since,” said Olive. “He was watching Sky1 and it was on Sky2, so he actually missed Colada Rose’s race “He’s seen it on the phone since and thought it was a fantastic run, I think we might have put a couple of years on him,” Olive joked. Racing Queensland The race can be seen below. It was Thursday the 18th race 7 on the replays.    

Promising American Ideal four-year-old American Boy finished last in a field of 12 last Friday night, but his trainer Gary Hall sen. is confident that he is capable of bouncing back and winning the $25,000 harness racing final of the Southern Cross Schrader final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. American Boy drew the prized No. 1 barrier and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. gave punters a strong lead by electing to drive the New Zealand-bred gelding ahead of stablemate Ideal Justice, a smart five-year-old he drove in preference to American Boy last Friday night. Ideal Justice, who won last Friday night, beating Im A Peregrine and Fernleigh Rebel, is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line this week and will be handled by Clint Hall. American Boy was restrained from the outside barrier (N0. 9) last week and raced in last position before racing three wide in the final circuit. He failed to flatter and finished last. Asked if American Boy could turn around a twelfth last week to a win this week, Hall sen. replied: “Absolutely. He’s an excellent frontrunner and is strong. He should go close.” Explaining the gelding’s last placing last week Hall said: “There’s nothing to think about; he couldn’t get into the race the way the race was run. Gary dictated the terms (with Ideal Justice) in the breeze; he walked and sprinted. “Forget American Boy’s last run. He’s a quick beginner and should hold out Northern Assassin (a fast beginner and strong frontrunner, drawn at No. 2).” Two starts ago American Boy set the pace and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.2sec. to beat The Odd Lover at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m. Four starts before that American Boy led and won at a 1.54.7 rate over 2130m. He rated 1.54.8 when he led and won over 1684m at Pinjarra in April. Northern Assassin, trained in Busselton by Peter Bell, will appreciate a drop back in class after he gave a solid display last Friday night when he set the pace and finished a close third to Copagrin and Run Oneover over 2130m. Northern Assassin’s regular reinsman Ryan Bell will drive the highly-promising New Zealand-bred four-year-old Risk, who looms as a major danger to American Boy. Ash Markham will handle Northern Assassin for the fourth time in a race. He drove the six-year-old three times last September and October for a close second to Phoenix Warrior in the 2100m Italian Cup in Bunbury, a win in the 2692m Alcoa Cup at Pinjarra and a third behind Soho Lennon and Mighty Flying Thomas over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Risk, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy victory from Kiwi Legend and Mattjestic Star at a 1.55.2 rate over 2130m last Friday night. The final quarters were run in 28.2sec. and 27.1sec . That improved the Changeover stallion’s record to 11 wins and eight placings from 32 starts. The Mike Reed-trained four-year-old Kiwi Legend is racing keenly, but will need a shade of luck to overcome barrier No. 8. Ken Casellas

Nowuseemegirl did not win from eight starts as a two-year-old and it took her 18 starts to break through for her first harness racing victory. But she has blossomed into a smart three-year-old, with six wins this year, three at Bunbury and one each at Bridgetown, Albany and Wagin. She will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the $18,000 Westralian Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and has sound prospects. Trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo and driven by his son Aiden, Nowuseemegirl notched her third win from four starts after a spell when she gave a splendid performance to win from Legendary Lou and Sea Me Smile in 1.54.6 over 1609m at Bunbury last Saturday night. She started from barrier five and raced wide early before bursting to the front after 200m. The 400m sections whizzed by in 28.2sec., 29.9sec., 28.3sec. and 28.2sec. She began fast from the No. 7 barrier and set the pace before winning over 2100m at a 1.58.9 rate at Bunbury a week earlier. Nowuseemegirl is by American stallion Rocknroll Hanover and she is following a strong family tradition. She is the first foal out of Christian Cullen mare Nowuseeme, who earned $287,234 from 23 wins (13 at Gloucester Park) and 25 placings from 88 starts. Nowuseeme’s dam Nowuseemenowudont (by Holmes Hanover) was also a smart performer who had 65 starts for 16 wins (nine at Gloucester Park), 20 placings and stakes of $116,931 from 65 starts. Nowuseemegirl looks assured of breaking through soon for her first Gloucester Park success. She has raced on that track five times for two seconds, one fourth and two fifths. There is plenty of exposed form in Friday night’s race in which the inexperienced and lightly-raced Ladys Are Ideal appears hard to beat. She will start from the inside of the back line and should enjoy a favourable passage behind Nowuseemegirl, the likely pacemaker. Ladys Are Ideal won once from two starts in New Zealand in June and impressed with her stylish pacing action and natural speed at her Australian debut, when she led and won convincingly from Eyes On The Money and Gunna Get Lucky over 2130m on Tuesday of last week. “She’s a bit light on, but I think she’s a winning chance if she can get a clear crack at them,” said trainer Gary Hall sen. “There’s quite a few chances and I think she is a better horse with a sit.” Trainer Ross Olivieri’s noted frontrunner Sheer Rocknroll has been an odds-on favourite at her past two starts in which she began from the No. 2 barrier and set the pace over 1730m and 2130m at Gloucester Park. She will be at a reasonable quote after drawing awkwardly at the No. 6 barrier on the front line. But the filly with a record of ten wins and eight placings from 29 starts cannot be underestimated.     Eyes On The Money (Shane Young) and The Shadow Knows (Ron Young) have drawn favourably at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively and should be prominent.  A case can be made for all 12 runners in an event which should get the ten-event program away to an exciting start. Ken Casellas

Outstanding Jereme's Jet mare Tricky Styx warmed up for her return to harness racing at Gloucester Park with a brilliant trial at Byford on Sunday morning when she rated 1.55.9 over 2150m and won by four lengths from smart pacer The Revolution. Tricky Styx, aimed by Northam trainer Jesse Moore at the Interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park late this year, was handled by her race driver Aiden de Campo in the trial in which she sped over the final quarters in 28.9sec. and 26.8sec. She will be having her first start since finishing fourth behind Run Oneover in the 2536m Winter Cup on July 1 when she contests the $23,000 Westralian Mares Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A week before her Winter Cup run Tricky Styx was a fast-finishing winner over Ideal Alice over 2130m. Tricky Styx will be a short-priced favourite and should not be extended in overcoming the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the $23,000 Westralian Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She is an M5-class mare who looks classes above her rivals, seven M0-classified mares and Lady Willoughby, who graduated to an M2 mark after finishing strongly from eighth at the bell to win by a head from the fast-finishing Jaxon Fella over 2130m last Friday night. Lady Willoughby, to be driven by Chris Voak for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, will start out wide at barrier eight. She will be fancied to finish second. Auctioneers Elsu, a veteran of 119 starts, has place prospects from barrier two. She caught the eye when she came from the rear with a spirited burst to finish fourth behind Tajies Girl over 1780m at Northam on Tuesday night. Ken Casellas

Harness Racing Inquiry: Trish McVeigh Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre race urine sample taken from ANGUS BROMAC (NZ) prior to it competing in Race 5 at Albion Park on Friday, 20 May 2016. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in the sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules. Today evidence was provided by trainer Ms Trish McVeigh, who explained the circumstances and possible explanation for the reading and her feeding and husbandry regime in the days prior to racing. After consideration, Ms McVeigh was charged pursuant to Rule 190(1) which reads:            “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Ms McVeigh presented ANGUS BROMAC (NZ) to race at Albion Park on Friday, 20 May 2016, when a pre race urine sample taken from that horse was found, upon analysis, to contain a prohibited substance, namely Cobalt, above the prescribed threshold. Ms McVeigh pleaded guilty to the charge. When assessing the matter of penalty, Stewards took into account: The nature of the substance concerned and the level of Cobalt recorded (239Ug/L) No previous offences under this rule The circumstances of the case The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing. Ms Trish McVeigh was disqualified for 18 months effective immediately. Stewards directed under Rule 195 that ANGUS BROMAC (NZ) be disqualified from its unplaced performance at Albion Park on 20 May 2016 and all other placegetters be amended accordingly. Ms McVeigh was advised of her rights to an internal review of this decision. Queensland Racing Integrity Commission 

Legendary harness racing horseman Vic Frost is heading to Tabcorp Park Menangle this weekend with a dual purpose. The highly decorated harness racing figure will present winning connections a trophy following the running of the race named in his honour, the Gr.3 $31,800 Lyn Kemp Conveyancing Vic Frost Cup for the open class performers. But before participating in official duties, Frost, 75, will send out his own runner in Back Page News in the Listed $26,000 AGL Energy Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Series Final. Following the invitation, Frost decided to look through the programs to make the trip worthwhile and found this series for his consistent intermediate grade pacer. Back Page News qualified after running a brave second behind Im Saint Anthony in the qualifying heat at Newcastle last weekend. “It’s a great privilege to be recognized by Harness Racing New South Wales and the Menangle Club and I’m really looking forward to the night. The race named in my honour looks a really good line-up while I’m happy to have a starter myself on the night.” Frost said. Back Page News will again be handled by Brad Cowen, a young reinsman well known to Frost and his partner Gail Geeson through his time spent in the sunshine state where they combined at times for success. The famous livery of white jacket with black stars will be on display when Back Page News and Cowen line-up in the fourth event. “I thought the horse went terrific at Newcastle last week and with some luck in running. I think he can feature again. I’m certain the big track will benefit him greatly, it’s a beautiful big track and very safe for both horse and driver. “While all my success was carried out at the inner-city track at Harold Park which was smaller and tighter, I think the bigger the track the better and Menangle has proven itself to be the number one track in the country. “Things are a lot different now compared to when I was back driving but I’m convinced it’s much safer and I think that’s paramount nowadays. I enjoy watching the races from Menangle through SKY channel but this trip away should be good fun.” Frost plans on leaving his Mooball base, near Tweed Heads, on Friday morning. And still roaming the property is former champion pacer Westburn Grant at the spritely age of 31. The Inter Dominion and dual Miracle Mile winner is thriving in his retirement. by Chris Barsby

Trots owners will receive the royal treatment at TAB Breeders Crown Super Sunday this weekend at Tabcorp Park Melton. The VIP owners’ enclosure will see owners, trainers and drivers congregating in luxurious surrounds, talking trots, cheering on their charge and watching the Race to Royalty trackside. “Elevating the ownership experience is a key theme for Harness Racing Victoria (HRV),” said HRV Ownership Manager Tori Glenister. “Owners are obviously such an important part of the industry. Racing a horse is fun and exciting, so the owners’ VIP enclosure is another way for connections to ‘Own the Moment’ on race day. “The enclosure is located between the Legends Café and the Sports Bar so our owners are looked after with some of the best views in the house.” AFL star Josh Jenkins is HRV’s TAB Breeders Crown ambassador this year. A racehorse owner himself, Jenkins will be in the owners’ enclosure throughout the day socialising. “Since I became interested in the trots, attending Breeders Crown day has been a goal,” Jenkins said. “The trots has quickly developed into a passion of mine and to be on track Sunday will be great fun.” Owners with a horse racing on Sunday can pick up their owners’ pack, which includes their VIP enclosure ticket for them and a guest, at the race day office. Finger food, scrumptious Breeders Crown cupcakes, decadent chocolates and Champagne will be just some of offerings in the owners’ enclosure. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness racing trainer Ben Yole has emerged as favourite to win this season's Halwes Medal. As at the end of June when voting moved into silent mode Yole was leading with 69 votes to be 14 clear of his younger brother Mark Yole who leads in the race for the driver's premiership. Trainer-driver Rohan Hillier was perched in third spot with 48 votes and only three clear of driver Ricky Duggan who was only three votes astern. However Duggan has dominated a few meetings since the voting was made silent and in particular last Sunday night in Hobart where he drove five winners and two minor placegetters from nine drives. Ben Yole has trained 107 winners to be 60 wins clear of his nearest rival Tod Rattray, so he will win the trainer's premiership while Mark Yole has driven 84 winners to lead Ricky Duggan by 10 with only one meeting of the season remaining. The Halwes Medal is determined on a point-score basis with a panel of judges asked to vote at a specific number of meetings throughout the season with six votes in each category (driver/trainer) up for grabs at each meeting. An interesting tussle exits in the Young Achiever Award as Dylan Ford and Matthew Howlett were tied on eight votes each when the voting switched to silent mode after the June 26 meeting. The winners will be announced at the annual Tasmanian Harness Racing Awards and Hall of Fame induction night in Launceston on September 24. Peter Staples

The 2016 Harness Racing New South Wales Industry Awards Night is just around the corner and the nominees for the Tabcorp Carnival of Cups Awards have been confirmed. With a number of new Awards to be handed out at the October 29 function at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, the HRNSW Board recently determined the following: Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $50,000 (but no less than $25,001) The nominations are: Bathurst, Eugowra, Maitland and Young. Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $25,000 (but no less than $14,001) The nominations are: Albury, Cootamundra, Parkes and Tamworth. Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $14,000 (but no less than $10,001) The nominations are: Broken Hill, Junee, Temora, and West Wyalong. Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of not more than $10,000 The nominations are: Coolamon, Cowra, Griffith and Peak Hill. Best Community Engagement Club The nominations are: Dubbo, Eugowra, Goulburn and Temora. Best Fraternity Engagement Club The nominations are: Junee, Leeton and West Wyalong. Best New Innovation Club The nominations are: Goulburn, Temora and West Wyalong. Categories for other Awards are yet to be determined. Tickets for the Awards Night are available for purchase - for more information please contact Kate Dumesny on (02) 9722 6672 or Date: Saturday October 29, 2016 Location: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney   AMANDA RANDO

Classy trotter Illawong Byron is due for a spell, probably overdue, says harness racing trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan. But the Parwan horsewoman also says she’s never trained a horse with his constitution and she is hopeful the Redwood Classic winner can produce another grand performance on Breeders Crown Day. has installed Illawong Byron $1.60 favourite to win the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown Final on Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings from gate two after his impressive heat win at Maryborough last week. “He was definitely not right in the Vicbred Final (when finishing second) and he took a couple of weeks to get over that,” Quinlan said. MARKETS: ILLAWONG BYRON IS $1.6 FOR THE BREEDERS CROWN AT TAB.COM.AU “He bounced back with a really good run in the Redwood and then he was probably even better in the heat last week. I just hope he didn’t run his race a week early. He'll go for a good break after Sunday.” Quinlan makes the point Illawong Byron has had a long season, literally given he ran in the very first two-year-old trot of the 2015-16 season. “I’ve never had a horse with a constitution like his.” Raced and bred by Martin and Kaye Hartnett, Illawong Byron – by Muscle Mass out of Illawong Blush – has won seven races from 11 starts and looks a shoe-in for Victorian two-year-old male trotter of the year. Quinlan has repeatedly expressed her appreciation for the Hartnetts, who she says are very loyal and supportive. “They’ve been fantastic supporters of mine through good times and bad and they put a lot of money into the game, so they deserve every success they get,” Quinlan said. VIDEO: ILLAWONG BYRON WINS THE REDWOOD CLASSIC AT MARYBOROUGH Mark Purdon-trained Custodian ($2.90 with TAB) has drawn barrier nine and will trail Illawong Byron out. “With Custodian following me I’ll probably have to do a bit to hold the front,” Quinlan said. Quinlan also puts the polish on three-year-old trotting filly Sky Majesty in the Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown Final (Race 1) on Sunday. Raced by passionate trots owners Michael Taranto, Rob Merola and Sam Godino Sky Majesty has drawn gate six and is a $61 outsider according to “She has had a fantastic year but she just can’t snag a decent barrier in a big race. From the draw Wilmas Mate looks unbeatable on paper, but they are three-year-old trotters so anything can happen.” Already a Breeders Crown winner in the sulky behind Ladyinred in 2005, Quinlan said the day held a special place in her heart. “I’ve been fortunate enough to win the Breeders Crown as a driver. If I could win one as a trainer that would definitely be special.” BOOK NOW: SECURE YOUR BREEDERS CROWN DINING PACKAGE BEFORE THEY SELL OUT Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 26 August 2016 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 26 August 2016

The prizemoney split for all claiming races across New South Wales is set to change in the new harness racing season. Mirroring the same stakes distribution as trotting races in the state, as of September 1 the prizemoney split for claiming races will be 50 per cent to the winner and so on (see table below). The Harness Racing New South Wales Board adopted this recommendation following consultation with the Harness Racing Industry Consultation Group (HRICG). Harness Racing NSW chief executive officer John Dumesny said the following: “After receiving a petition from owners of horses competing in claiming races, which was endorsed by the HRICG, the Board had no hesitation in confirming the proposal to convert the prizemoney split.” CLAIMING RACES STAKES DISTRIBUTION PLACE PERCENTAGE 1 50% 2 18% 3 12% 4 6% 5 4% 6 2% 7 2% 8 2% 9 2% 10 2% 11 2% 12 2% Amanda Rando

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