Young musicians giving their all and Harness racing at Globe Derby Park circuit all on Saturday April 1st. No fooling! The night will have a strong youth focus and hopefully be the first of monthly acoustic nights to be held at the park as part of a campaign to draw younger people to the sport. Local talent Billy Burns, who played his first gig at age 11, will be the feature artist fresh from the Fringe. Plenty of other local young musicians will be entertaining the crowd and these young musicians are some of the best in the land, already performing at major events. The event, held monthly over various Adelaide venues, promotes and gives experience to up and coming young bands and artists from all over the state. Niko Rallis is a young upcoming bass guitarist who will entertain the crowd with his amazing presence on the stage at such a young age. Adam Slater is another home brewed talent that has spent years playing gigs and touring the country with high energy performances. Georgina Mannion is a singer songwriter, has proven her talent playing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2016, as well as other South Australian Events. Tahlia Borg first played the drums at age 7 and has an unbelievable voice and proudly strong vocals will also be performing on the night. Supported by the whole music industry, we might just see the beginning of a new South Australian music icon, the likes of the Master’s Apprentices or Jimmy Barnes. SAHRC are focusing on the younger generation and will be supporting the night, hopefully making it a monthly gig. It will be the perfect night for anyone wanting to see the best next generation of musicians honing their skills. Entry is free and the fun starts at 7:00pm. Bookings for the restaurant are filling fast, so make sure you don’t miss out on what will be a great night. by Max Beasley for SAHRC
Goggo Gee Gee has gone from paddock pet to harness racing star in the eyes of his owner Adam Rattray. When Goggo Gee Gee was a foal playing amongst many in a paddock on the Rattrays' Karalta Pacing Stables at Pateena Road Longford he took a shine to Adam Rattray and they formed a bond. It isn't an odd occurrence but one that ensured plenty of emotion when Goggo Gee Gee emerged triumphant in the Harry Holgate Memorial final at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last Sunday night. With his trainer Todd Rattray in the sulky, the gelding worked home three-wide for the last lap with the favourite Courageous Jamane on his back. But when the driver released the deafeners and called on the Bettor's Delight gelding for the supreme effort he sprinted clear of the favourite and then outgunned race leader Christian Jaz over the final 100 metres to win narrowly with the favourite closing late to grab third. "I just sat there three wide and I knew the favourite was on my back and that he was the one to beat, so when he pulled out on the corner I went for home in an attempt to out sprint him," Todd Rattray said. It was Goggo Gee Gee's seventh win but clearly his best and his owner is hoping for more. "He came up to me in a paddock and we bonded and from then on he was pretty much a pet," Adam Rattray said. "He is a small horse with a big heart and I thought it was a tough win." Peter Staples
Buzz Aussie juvenile filly My Sweetchilliphilly made almost as many waves in NZ as she did in Australia with her stunning Bathurst Gold Tiara win last weekend. Lots of Kiwis tuned-up given Tim Butt’s filly Lady Chatto was backed into favouritism, but no matched for the juggernaut that is My Sweetchilliphilly. One of those Kiwis watching closely, but for a variety of reasons, was Harness Racing NZ’s Darrin Williams, the man who drives the Aussie invites to the Harness Jewels. Like everyone else, Williams was mightily impressed. “That’s one of the most impressives runs by a two-year-old filly you would ever see,” he said. “Of course we’d love to see her at the Jewels. I’ve already spoken to Shane (Tritton, co-trainer) and will stay in touch. “She’s tough and super quick. She looks ideal for a mile at Ashburton where, given the time she ran at Bathurst, she would clearly be capable of breaking the NZ record 1min53.3sec held by Dream About Me. “I’ve also got to say Shane and Lauren (Tritton) are terrific to deal with and always helpful with media and functions when here in NZ.” Tritton said the final call on an NZ trip would rest with the filly’s owners. “Her next run is the Pink Bonnet on Saturday week where she’ll run into Lady Chatto again,” he said. “After that we’ll have to decide whether we give her a break with a view to the Breeders Crown or go to NZ. “It’s a big call whether we do something like NZ with her because we think she’s a bit special and will be an Oaks filly next season and then a Ladyship Mile mare in future.” Adam Hamilton
Harness racing heats for West Wyalong’s award-winning Standing Start Final will be held next week in Dubbo and Wagga. Trainers and drivers are reminded of the need to qualify in a standing start trial prior to be eligible for the Bolt Sulky Innovations Standing Start Series valued at $16,000. Heats will be held at Dubbo on Wednesday April 5 and Wagga on Friday April 7, while the third heat is at West Wyalong on Easter Saturday, April 15, with the final at West Wyalong’s Carnival of Cups on Sunday April 23. As well as $7,420 prizemoney up for grabs, and $1000 cash for the winning driver, trainers will be vying for the latest $7,600 Insain Bolt sulky thanks to major sponsor Bolt Sulky Innovations who has joined West Wyalong Harness Racing Club (WWHRC) to make the event possible. Trainers and drivers are welcome to trial one of the innovative sulkies at the Dubbo and Wagga heats or at the Carnival of Cups meeting. The sulky can be used in a race, with several people trialling it recently at Penrith to try and confirm the claims that the Australian designed-and-built sulky has turned 50 to one long shots into winners. Company director Joe Watkins says it’s the pivoting shaft that gives horses the advantage: “particularly in the turns where direct tracking ability without fishtailing and zero torsional forces greatly assists with balance and speed," he said. WWHRC President Ray Moore welcomed the new sponsor, saying the Club was thrilled to be able to continue to offer the Standing Start Series, after last year’s inaugural event proved a major draw card for competitors. Moore said the final was expected to be a great spectacle for the crowd once again as horses being handicapped according to their grade, gives every entrant the opportunity to win, and usually means a close finish. Bathurst trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull’s Oh Jonny B Good, overcame a 70m handicap to win last year’s edition by 1.7 metres just beating a CO contender. The favourite Sporty Spook, who won the Wagga and West Wyalong heats, had to start off a 60m but was forced to run an exhausting race three wide and finished last. ”This exciting race almost saw the front marker Seenohearnospeakno get away with the chocolates, and this is what provides the spectacle where the favourite can run last, the pole marker almost gets home and the winner is forced to run four and five wide on the home turn to catch the leaders,” said Moore. The standing start series is already attracting plenty of interest with Amanda Turnbull mentioning at Young Carnival of Cups recently that she’s planning to return for a chance at another sulky and brother Mitch, who has been driving exceptionally well lately, says he’s also interested. The inaugural standing start event was introduced last year thanks to the assistance of Dubbo and Wagga Clubs who are on board again. “We put a lot of work into the event as a way of building up the program for our Carnival of Cups for both competitors and spectators,” said Moore. And the work paid off when the Club won the Harness Racing NSW Innovation Award for introducing the race to the program in an attempt to grow the race meeting. “It’s an exciting addition to our Carnival of Cups program that we hoped would prove a success,” said Moore. “West Wyalong only runs two race meetings a year but the track is in excellent condition and the racing is expected to be of high quality. “Small clubs like ours have to put in the extra yards to stay viable and keep our meetings on the annual racing calendar.” The nine race program is expected to attract a lot of interest after last year attracting 170 nominations. Races include the $12,240 S and C Clubs Pacers Cup (C4-C7) and two $10,000 Menangle heats. The lead up event on Easter Saturday April 15 is a restricted event, with heats for the standing start as well as C0- C1 four-year-old heats. By Melanie Sincock
More than 20 years have passed since John Wilkinson and some fellow harness racing owners won the 1995 Mildura Pacing Cup with Newsbreaker. This year, Wilkinson and some other members of the Newsbreaker crew are hoping their horse, Messini, can take out the time-honoured event. “It would be a great thrill to compete in the Mildura Cup given the history of the race and our involvement in the race with Newsbreaker a number of years ago when we were lucky enough to win it,” Wilkinson said. Messini bounced back to winning form at Ouyen on Sunday after a turbulent summer preparation, which saw the six-year-old entire battling to regain his best form. But trainer Brent Lilley persisted and had the two-time Vicbred Super Series winner in cherry ripe order for Sunday’s Greggs Electrical Ouyen Pacing Cup, Messini breaking the track record despite a wide run for the last lap – notching a slick mile rate of 1:56.0. Driven by Anthony Butt, Messini collared race favourite Im Corzin Terror metres before the post to win by a short half-head in the 2423-metre Group 3. The Mildura Cup Carnival starts April 4 with the Group 2 Mildura Cup run on Saturday April 8. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
Tina Sugarman, author of one of the top equine novels of 2016-2017, Horse Flesh, has agreed to share excerpts of her book with Harnesslink. Horse Flesh is a thriller mystery fiction novel based around a Standardbred racetrack in Ontario, Canada. It is the first novel ever penned by horsewoman, Tina Sugarman. Each week, Harnesslink will feature an excerpt from Horse Flesh. If you wish to purchase the book either in paperback or ereader formats, click here. Here is this week’s 4th excerpt from Horse Flesh! Horse Flesh by Tina Sugarman CORNERED Theo sprinted to his car through the pouring rain. He fumbled with the key, shaking like a leaf. He knew all about those guys in dark glasses. If they thought he hadn’t done his best to win, however untrue that was, he’d be in big trouble. He’d been feeling pretty low about losing with Heart of Darkness. That now seemed insignificant. Somehow, he got out of the horsemen’s parking lot without running into anything. Then he hit the road. The rain was cascading down like Niagara Falls. It had grounded every sane driver, so he was alone out there. The windshield wipers simply couldn’t cope with the torrent, but he desperately needed to put some distance between him and the racetrack. Moose had scared the shit out of him! Things were getting way too complicated at Iroquois Downs. There was plenty to worry about driving in a horse race without all that. He took the Indian Trail. It was slow going, as the road meandered through the bush. But Theo struggled on, using the blurred, watery house lights that appeared from time to time to guide him. At length, he reached open country and a straight road. The rain was easing up. He breathed a sigh of relief. He was almost home. Ferme Victoire, his Uncle Bernie’s place, was just around the corner. His relief was short lived. A pair of headlights materialized out of thin air. He had a fleeting glimpse of a vast combine harvester coming straight at him, as he slammed on the brakes. He put his hand down on the horn and held it there, but the headlights kept on coming. Was the maniac at the wheel deaf as well as blind? And what the hell was it doing out at this time of night, in this weather? Suddenly he knew. A split second later, another set of lights shone in his rear-view mirror, half blinding him. He was trapped! He had to get off the road! He swung left and instantly regretted his decision. An ugly looking barbed wire fence lay on top of a steep bank. He swerved to the right. His tires squealed in protest, but he put his foot down hard on the accelerator and prayed. There was a deafening crash. The air around him exploded. Theo watched, fascinated, as tiny air bubbles floated slowly across his line of vision. The car rocked violently, then landed right side up. Everything stopped. His headlights were shining on a sea of green corn. It was eerily quiet. The passenger door was pressing right up against his right arm. But by some miracle, he was still in one piece. He forced his way out and glanced up at the road. What he saw there made his heart stop. Two massive guys were silhouetted in the headlights streaming from a long black limousine that looked like a hearse. But the men looked nothing like undertakers. They were wielding powerful flashlights which, in their hands, looked like lethal weapons. But it was the sight of the long knives hanging from their belts which really scared him. He didn’t wait to find out more. He pushed his way through corn stalks, floundering on the heavy ground, ankle deep in mud. He’d heard stories about these guys, terrifying stories. He struggled on, his progress maddeningly slow, his imagination running riot. But despite his urgent need to put in as much distance as possible between him and them, he could feel that he was running out of steam. He and his cousin Lara had been in plenty of scrapes as kids, but this was no game! He hunkered down, listening intently. Smash! Bang! They were trashing his car, breaking the windows, slashing the tires. The headlights dimmed, then died. A piece of Theo died with it. Apart from his race bike, the car was the only thing he owned. Bastards, he cursed silently, afraid to make a sound. Suddenly everything went quiet again, a silence filled with menace. Now they were through with the car, they’d come after him, he guessed. He froze, peering through the rows of corn, hearing nothing, seeing even less. After what felt like an eternity, a powerful engine no hearse would ever possess roared into life, its dark outline menacing, even from a safe distance. This was no ordinary vehicle, Theo realized. Its front end was built like a battering ram. He shuddered as it rolled away down the road, its red tail lights glowing in the dark. Theo rose cautiously to his feet and looked about him, wondering what to do next. There was no sense going back to his car. It was a total write off. As he squelched through the mud to higher ground at the edge of the field, he realized the rain had stopped. He sat down and emptied the water out of his shoes. What now? he asked himself. Dave Bodinski waited for a break between cloudbursts before setting off for home, a one-bedroom walk-up on Erinsville’s east side. It didn’t bother him so much that he had to go see the judges in the morning. He and Scotty McCoy had to sing from the same hymn book, is all. But the rumour running around the Race Barn about some guys losing a big bet in the fourth, that had bothered him. Big time! He knew in his gut that Raiders Moon’s win had a lot to do with it and, thanks to the judges practically arresting him in the grandstand, there was a big fat finger pointing directly at him. Every couple of minutes he took a peek in his rear view mirror, looking out for a guy on his tail, even though he had no idea what he’d do if he was being followed. To his relief, he reached his building without incident. On his way up the stairs, the phone started ringing. He unlocked his front door in record time and ran inside, but the phone cut out, right after he picked up. Normally he’d have cared less, but he had to wonder. Who’d be calling at this time of night? And why? When no one called back, he assumed the worst. He locked all the windows and double bolted the front door. He was thankful that his apartment was on the second floor. It gave him a sporting chance. He decided to take Scotty McCoy with him to cash in the tickets. Scotty wasn’t big, but he was stronger than he looked. He was bull headed too. If anyone tried to jump them, Scotty wouldn’t take it lying down. Hoping for the best, Dave switched off his phone and barricaded himself in the bedroom. He fell into a fitful doze, listening to the sound of the rain on the window panes. The road was far too dangerous, Theo realized. He went in the opposite direction, walking along the narrow ridge of grass on the edge of the field, listening intently to every sound, trying to ignore the sinister rustling in the corn stalks. He was doing okay till an owl hooted in his ear. Eventually the corn field gave way to bush. He hesitated for a moment. Then he began fighting his way through the undergrowth, feeling very much alone. The moon, his only source of light, had disappeared behind the clouds. If he’d got it right, his uncle’s farm wasn’t far off. If not…he’d just have to hole up in the woods and wait till dawn. He’d reckoned without the coyotes. The first howl, too close for comfort, sent shivers down his spine. It was quickly joined by others. A deer came bounding towards him, nearly running him down. The pack was on the hunt. The clouds rolled back and he made out the shadowy forms of the coyotes snaking in and out of the trees, their eyes glinting. They were after something. He just hoped it wasn’t him! For the fifth time that night, Scotty McCoy left the pay phone and made his way back to his barn. He was cold, wet and worried sick. Where was Dave when he needed him? Raiders Moon wasn’t acting right. If she got any worse, he’d be forced to call the vet and that was the last thing he wanted to do right now. It was like calling the police after you’d committed a crime. Nevertheless, after looking over the mare one more time, Scotty knew he had to bite the bullet. Things had gone too far. Even Dave couldn’t help him now. Coyotes didn’t generally attack people, but they’d take a puppy or a pet cat in a heartbeat. Better safe than sorry, Theo reasoned, getting down on his hands and knees and groping around for something to throw at them. Eventually, his fingers closed on a dead branch. Pretty soon he spotted the coyotes’ intended quarry: a clutch of round eyed baby raccoons, trying to shimmy up a tree trunk, the picture of innocence. As the pack edged forward, he brandished his tree branch, yelling at the top of his lungs. To his relief, the coyotes turned tail and ran. Ousting them gave him a much-needed boost, but when he looked around for the raccoons they had disappeared. There’s gratitude for you, he thought. A hundred metres further on, the outline of his uncle’s hay barn loomed up, it’s reassuring light shining like a beacon through the mist. He was almost home! Then the barn light cut out, plunging him into darkness. Minutes ticked by. Theo was afraid to make a move. Was this an ordinary power cut, or were the Undertakers out there somewhere, waiting for him? Rain hit veterinarian Jay Winterflood smack in the face the moment he left the comfort of his truck. Getting to Scotty McCoy’s barn was like fording a swollen river, something he’d had plenty of practice at on the Cree Reserve in Quebec, where he had spent the first fifteen years of his life. Inside the barn, a man was sprawled on a rickety chair, half asleep. He jumped up when he saw Jay. “Doc!” he exclaimed. “Scotty McCoy?” Jay asked. Scotty nodded. “She’s bad, Doc, real bad,” he said hurrying over to one of the stalls and opening the door. The horse inside was obviously in distress. She’d backed herself into a corner. Her head was almost touching the floor and her flanks were heaving. There was a chill in the air which had nothing to do with the temperature. It clung to the hay bales stacked in the aisle way and lingered on the upturned jog carts and the harness bags hanging from the rafters. Involuntarily Jay shivered. “I don’t understand it!” Scotty said, scratching his head. “She raced great tonight. She won!” “How long has she been like this?” Jay asked, gesturing at the cowpat-like manure strewn around her stall. Scotty hung his head. “Two, three hours,” he confessed. “I figured she’d come out of it, see.” “I need to know exactly what she was given today,” Jay said gravely. “Nothing!” Scotty replied indignantly. “If you want me to save your mare, you’d better tell me the truth!” “Three boxes of baking soda,” Scotty mumbled. “An’ a box o’ cake sugar.” “You know,” Jay said, “you guys think that baking soda is harmless.” “I never used it before!” Scotty cut in. “And in small doses, it is harmless,” Jay continued “But you can see now, used in excess, it can have a devastating effect.” “You take cash?” Scotty asked, evidently anxious to put a stop to the lecture. “You need to bring her into the clinic right away,” Jay said firmly. “My preliminary diagnosis is intestinal distress and extreme dehydration. I can’t treat her here.” “The clinic!” Scotty exclaimed, looking horrified. “They killed the last one I sent in there. Stuck me with a bill for three grand anyway.” “Not on my watch,” Jay replied. “I’ll meet you there in twenty minutes.” He picked up his bag. “I’m hoping we won’t have to operate,” he added, walking towards the door. “Operate!” Scotty repeated. Time was slipping away, Jay could feel it. He was blessed and cursed by an uncanny ability, a sixth sense. The gift had come to him from his mother’s people. It made most Canadians uneasy, so he’d learned to keep it to himself. “I don’t want no trouble, Doc!” Scotty said. “Load her up,” Jay replied, losing patience. “The sooner I start treatment the better her chances.” “You mean she might not make it?” Scotty asked, looking terrified. “I’m not making any promises,” Jay replied grimly, heading out into the downpour. The house was pitch black. Even the porch light was out. Clawing his way through the dark, Theo clambered up the porch steps, trying to avoid the one that creaked, a legacy from his teenage days. Uncle Bernie used to leave an emergency key in a flowerpot. He groped his way towards it and felt around. To his surprise, it was still there, buried in the earth. Gingerly, he opened the heavy front door only to be bombarded by the thud of boots and blinded by a flashlight. This time there was nowhere to run. He was cornered! “Theo?” he heard Uncle Bernie’s voice ask uncertainly. “What’s going on? It’s two o’clock in the morning! Look at you!” he exclaimed. “Marta!” he called out. “It’s alright! It’s only Theo.” A few minutes later Theo was sitting at the kitchen table wrapped in a horse blanket, drinking hot milk with a slug of brandy. Shadows cast by the candlelight were dancing on the walls. The electricity was still out. “You look very bad,” Marta pronounced. “Tell him Bernie. It is true, yes?” “You got yourself in some kind of trouble?” Bernie asked, looking worried to death. “I’ll tell you,” Theo replied shakily, finishing off the brandy. “I’ll tell you the whole sorry story. You’re not going to believe this!” André Fontainbleu was sitting in his private study watching the video he had secretly made of him and Anya making love earlier that night. He was pleased with his performance. Two females had given him pleasure tonight: Anya and the filly, Jolie Dame. Stay tuned in to Harnesslink every week for another excerpt from Horse Flesh!
Talented three-year-old pacer Usain Jolt tuned up for this Sunday's harness racing Tasmanian Derby with an effortless win in a C2-C3 event over 2200 metres in Launceston on Sunday night. The Tony Petersen-trained gelding settled near the rear of the field in the one-out line before driver Ricky Duggan eased him out three-wide to make his move a lap from home. Usain Jolt crept into the race and when the leader Tiz A Jamane tried to kick clear at the top of the home straight Duggan released the reins and the three-year-old powered clear of the field and went on to score untouched by over 12 metres from Charlie James that tracked the winner all the way during the last lap. Usain Jolt and archrival Scooterwillrev will clash for the first time this season in next Sunday's $30,000 Tasmanian Derby and it would appear any interstate invader will have to be very good to deny either one of the Tasmanians the joy of victory. Usain Jolt has won six of his seven starts this season with an average winning margin of almost 19 metres with his only defeat coming in Launceston when beaten 1.8 metres by Buster William at what was his third start for the season. Scooterwillrev is unbeaten from five starts this season and overall he has an unblemished record from 13 starts in the state with his only defeats coming in Victoria while campaigning in the Breeders Crown 2YO series last year. The Craig Hayes-trained gelding's latest win was in a C2-C4 event in Hobart when driven by Gavin Lang who will make the trip from Melbourne to Hobart on Sunday to be reunited with the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Peter Staples
Talented two-year-old harness racing filly Vouvray Beach broke her maiden status in Launceston on Sunday night with an emphatic win in the $10,000 Premier's Blue Bonnet over 1680 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston. it was little more than a procession for the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere as she found the lead soon after the start with Ricky Duggan aboard and went on to score by15 metres from Invest with first-starter Modart Niadh over seven metres away third. It was only her second start but punters didn't miss the filly as she was backed in to start the $1.50 favourite and at no stage did she give her backers any cause for alarm. Trainer Rodney Ashwood said the filly was originally purchased at the Australian Pacing Gold yearling sale in Melbourne by his son Alex Ashwood who on-sold her within an hour to prominent Tasmanian standardbred owners Barry Cooper and Jamie Cockshutt. "We'll try and win another race and then probably look towards the 2YO Sweepstakes in Hobart or go to Melbourne for the Australian Pacing Gold sales series," Ashwood said. Duggan described Vouvray Beach as a nice horse that just needs to learn to settle in her races and if she achieves that goal the future looks very bright. Duggan had no need to release the ear plugs in the home straight which magnified the ease of the win. Peter Staples
If the infectious disease suspected or confirmed is one of the infectious diseases listed as notifiable to Agriculture Victoria then it is the veterinarian’s responsibility to report to Agriculture Victoria. If specimens are submitted to a registered veterinary diagnostic laboratory, the laboratory becomes responsible for reporting to Agriculture Victoria. Agriculture Victoria will then implement management plans developed by Animal Health Australia (AHA) in conjunction with horse industry professionals and the government. These plans attempt to prevent the introduction and the spread if an exotic disease was introduced. The key plan in disease prevention is the Australian Emergency Veterinary Plan (AUSVETPLAN). Serious exotic diseases are addressed in this plan, which guides the control and management of an emergency disease outbreak. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has an interest and responsibility in the welfare of all horses and the protection of the horse industry against infectious and contagious disease threats. What diseases does this notice refer to? This notice relates to all equine infectious diseases including those listed as notifiable by Agriculture Victoria and other contagious diseases not listed as notifiable to Agriculture Victoria yet have the potential to be spread between horses. Important examples of infectious disease threats include those that Australia is currently free from (known as exotic diseases) such as Equine Influenza. Other diseases such as Hendra, that to date, has only occurred in Queensland and NSW, Strangles, Equine Herpes Virus-1 and Salmonellosis that already occur in Victoria are important notifiable diseases. Contagious diseases that are not listed as notifiable diseases to Agriculture Victoria and do not cause severe disease or death may still be reportable to HRV if they have significant potential to spread between horses by direct contact or via contact with contaminated tack, for example fungal skin disease (‘ringworm’). What to do if you suspect an infectious disease in a horse or horses? Early detection of infectious disease is extremely important. If a trainer, owner or other industry participant suspects an infectious disease in a horse or horses they are advised to isolate the sick horse(s), implement standard procedures for horse hygiene, stop horse movement on and off the property and promptly call a veterinarian. Trainers should be familiar with these recommended procedures. HRV expects the caretakers or connections of the horse to obtain the services of a veterinarian to directly manage disease outbreaks promptly (within 24 hours), to attend the property and examine the affected horse/s and all other horses that have recently been in contact with the affected horse/s. HRV considers unnecessary delays by caretakers or connections of the horse in obtaining the services of a veterinarian and implementing appropriate management of a disease outbreak an animal welfare concern and to potentially constitute a breach of the rules and a serious threat to the industry HRV participants are reminded of the following rules under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR); AHRR Rule 90 A (2.10) a) A trainer is at all times responsible for the care, control and supervision of the horses in his stables b) A trainer is at all times responsible for the administration and conduct of his stables. AHRR Rule 104 (1) If a horse contracts or is suffering any contagious disease or condition specified by the Controlling Body, the connections of the horse must immediately and in any event within 24 hours of the horse being diagnosed as suffering from the disease or condition, notify the Controlling Body in writing of that fact. (2) A person who fails to comply with sub rule (1) is guilty of an offence. (3) The Controlling Body may take such action with regard to the horse as it may determine (4) Action under sub rule (3) may include ordering the destruction of the horse. What will HRV do to assist in the investigation and management of a potential infectious disease outbreak? Upon notification that a horse may have contracted or is suffering from any relevant contagious disease or condition in accordance with the provisions of AHRR 104, HRV Stewards require the compliance and cooperation of participants to so that they can implement and facilitate the following: Ensure relevant documentation is provided to the participant at the first available opportunity in relation to the infectious disease or condition, that will outline recommended guidelines and processes that will assist the participant in relation to their required management; Ensure that a veterinarian has been contacted so they can manage any such situation promptly (within 24 hours) and thus attend to the property to conduct adequate examination/s and any associated tests of the horse/s involved; HRV will provide a contact person to assist participants in their management of the infectious disease or condition; HRV will provide a biosecurity management spreadsheet to the participant to assist them and their Veterinarian in the management of the infectious disease or condition; HRV will provide any such directions or take any preventative measures that are considered necessary to attempt to confine the exposure and spread of any contagious disease or condition. Why is adherence to the policies in this notice important? Adherence to policies outlined in this notice will reduce the risk of an outbreak of an infectious disease that could affect animal health and welfare and have a significant economic impact on the industry. How can trainers and owners reduce the risk of infectious disease? Simple steps can be taken to reduce the risk of an infectious disease outbreak on your property. These are outlined in an attached fact sheet and include a quarantine or isolation area on your property where new arrivals or sick horses should be kept separate from other horses on the property until no longer potentially contagious. Implementing these steps will reduce the likelihood of introducing such a disease onto your property and reduce the chance of a horse being affected by or spreading a serious disease or one of the more common infectious viruses that cause ‘coughs and colds’ particularly in younger horses. Simple steps can also be taken to reduce the risk of exposing a horse or horses to an infectious disease at a trial or race meeting. These are also outlined in the attached fact sheet. Horses that appear unwell in any way should never be taken to a trial or race meeting under any circumstance. What authorities need to be notified if an infectious disease outbreak is suspected and whose responsibility is it to notify such authorities? As outlined in AHRR Rule 104 it is the responsibility of the connections of the horse to report the presence of a contagious or infectious disease to HRV. Trainers are advised of the following important expectations and requirements HRV appreciates that investigations into potential infectious disease cases and the subsequent management that is required may be challenging situations for industry participants and veterinarians to manage. However, HRV expects the full co-operation and compliance of industry participants in the management of disease outbreaks, which includes prompt veterinary intervention and thorough diagnostic investigation. Appropriate diagnostic testing, with detailed treatment and management plans must be implemented. While diagnostic testing for endemic infectious diseases may incur a cost to the owner/s of the horse, there are no Government charges for exotic animal disease investigations. In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, HRV requires that any person/s treating any horse/s maintain adequate and sufficient records in a spreadsheet format, and thus be able to provide, as directed, ongoing treatment reports on a regular basis. As outlined above, HRV will provide a spreadsheet template to assist participants in the management of any infectious disease via email or hard copy. Harness Racing participants in Victoria seeking any information in relation to this notice are encouraged to contact Brent Fisher at the HRV Integrity Department on (03) 8378 0287 Attached fact sheets for trainers: We recommend that these fact sheets are kept on hand or displayed in your stables 1. 10 Simple Steps to reduce the risk of infectious disease in horses and How to Disinfect 2. Infectious disease signs to watch out for (includes important phone numbers) 3. Normal vital signs for horses at rest Other useful information available for download from Agriculture Victoria http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/ 1. List of diseases that are notifiable to Agriculture Victoria (AG0753) 2. Information on the control of Strangles in horses (AG1363) 3. Mosquito borne diseases of horses (AG1440) 4. http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/animaldiseases/horses/information-of-the-control-of-strangles-in-horses 5. Equine Bio-security 10 Simple Steps to reduce the risk of infectious disease in horses 1. Train all staff in disease prevention, identification and hygiene procedures. Be well set up for staff, visitors and professionals (veterinarians, farriers and dentist) to wash and disinfect their hands and any equipment used on horses. You and your staff should wash their hands between handling groups of horses. 2. Regularly clean and disinfect stables, equipment and transport vehicles. A surface must be clean for a disinfectant to work. Remove as much dirt, manure and urine as possible before disinfecting. Clean and disinfect equipment such as bits, twitches and stomach tubes between use on different horses. 3. Control insects and rodents by ensuring good draining and manure management. Keep feed in rodent-proof storage containers, limit spots for pests to breed and hide, and empty the manure pit regularly 4. Vaccinate horses and keep records for diseases like tetanus and strangles. Verify proof of vaccination for new arrivals onto your property. 5. Isolate new arrivals for 2 weeks or introduce only horses from properties with a known high health status. Be cautious if horses have come from a sales complex, have used commercial or shared horse transport vehicles or have originated from properties with less than ideal standards of health status and hygiene. Be aware that a horse may be carrying an infectious disease, for example Strangles, without showing any signs. Monitor new arrivals twice daily for signs of disease 6. Isolate horses at the first sign of sickness until contagious disease has been ruled out. Keep all equipment used on isolated horses separate. Handle sick horses last. Use separate clothing or coveralls and boots when handling sick horses. 7. Do not move sick horses except for veterinary treatment or under veterinary supervision. 8. Take precautions when at an event such as a trial or race meeting. Avoid direct nose to nose contact with other horses and avoid the use of communal water troughs. Do not share buckets, tack or grooming equipment with horses from other stables. If other people touch your horse ensure they have washed their hands. Ideally, on returning home clean and disinfect your truck/float, tack and other equipment. 9. Be familiar with normal vital signs for horses. Monitor horses twice daily for feed and water intake, attitude and manure. Check the rectal temperature of any horses that do not display normal signs of health. 10. Increase perimeter security by keeping boundary fences in good condition. Double fences and tree plantations provide and excellent barrier. Electric fencing will not completely eliminate nose to nose contact with neighbour’s horses but it can deter horses if other options are not available. “Prevention is better than cure” Acknowledgement: This document was adapted from “Biosecurity for Horses-The Glove box Guide” which is based on “Horse Alert Victoria” and is available for download www.pir.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf.../HorseBiosecurity_GloveboxGuide_09.pdf How to Disinfect There are three steps in order for this process to be effective: Step 1 – Remove Loose Material Surfaces must first be cleaned in order for disinfectants to be effective. Ensure all manure and dirt is brushed off the surface. Step 2 – Clean the item or surface Wash the item or surface with warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly and dry. Step Three – Disinfect Tack can be wiped with a disinfectant wipe or can be sprayed with disinfectant. Horse Transport vehicles and floors of stables can be sprayed with disinfectant made up in a spray bottle. Weed sprayers are ideal for this use on larger areas. Using Disinfectants Always wear gloves when mixing up disinfectants, read manufacturer's instructions and be careful with your clothes and equipment. Bleach (any bleaching agent containing hypochlorite) – Mixing one part bleach to 10 parts water is a cost effective way to disinfect buckets, stable forks and shovels, and grooming equipment. Spray Disinfectants – Any quaternary Ammonium Compound can be used. Make sure you mix up as per instructions on label. These are good for disinfecting inside of transport vehicles and tyres, stable floors and walls, and stable equipment. Some are suitable for footbaths. Anti-bacterial/Alcohol Wipes – These are readily available in all supermarkets and chemists. Make sure they kill both virus and bacteria. Wipes are quick and effective for wiping over tack. Disinfecting hands Clean skin with soap and water. Waterless Antibacterial Hand Gels –available in gel or wipes at most supermarkets and chemists. Chlorhexidine – Any hand wash that has chlorhexidine compound used in most hospitals and veterinary surgeries. EMERGENCY INFECTIOUS DISEASE SIGNS TO WATCH OUT FOR Lethargy, dullness, loss of appetite or depression Increased body temperature (above 38.5°C) Dark pink or red gum colour Profuse diarrhoea Frequent dry, hacking cough Abnormal nasal discharge Swellings around the throat and/or under the jaw Laboured breathing, frothy and/or blood stained nasal discharge Neurological (nervous system signs) such as wobbly gait or lack of coordination Rapid onset of illness or rapid deterioration Rapid spread of signs and symptoms throughout the stable A high number of sick horses Sudden unexplained death Blisters, ulcers or erosions around the mouth or feet Be aware. Never assume that an exotic or reportable disease will not affect you. Be alert. Every day, routinely assess and compare current state of health of horses and behaviour from what you know is normal. Do not take a sick horse to a trail or race meeting. GET IMMEDIATE ADVICE-CALL YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY Important phone numbers Private Veterinarian…………………………………………office …………………………………………………mobile Harness Racing Victoria: (03) 92273000 Agriculture Victoria to contact your District Veterinary Officer: 136186 Animal Disease Watch Hotline: 1800675888 NORMAL VITAL SIGNS FOR HORSES AT REST Rectal temperature 37.0-38.4°C Heart rate 28-40 beats/minute Breathing 8-16 breaths/minute Gum colour- pale pink, moist, with colour gum colour returning in less than 2 seconds after pressing on the gum with a finger (known as capillary refill time). At least 7-8 piles of formed manure every day. Drinking at least 25 litres of water per day (more if water losses via sweating during exercise). Normal stance, alert and normal general behaviour.
Punting 101: Never rely solely on a horse’s figure form for an accurate reflection of its winning chances. Messini’s last 12 starts going into today’s Greggs Electrical Ouyen Pacing Cup read: 887d46439006. But the classy two-time Vicbred Super Series champion (at three and four) captured the harness racing silverware in the 2423-metre, Group 3, $30,000 race. Trained by Brent Lilley, Anthony Butt guided the six-year-old Art Major-Mesmerizing entire to the narrowest of wins after a stirring duel with Chris Alford’s Im Corzin Terror up the straight. Messini notched a new track record, a 1:56.0 mile rate ensuing after runners jostled aggressively for position around the tight 769m circuit. Early it was Egodan and Whenmechief who battled for the top with Egodan winning out. When Stormfortheboys came looking for a slice of the action mid-race Whenmechief kicked up to make him work, then Egodan also held him out. With a kilometre to go Alford made his move aboard Im Corzin Terror, circling the field to rush to the front. The bell had not long stopped ringing when Whenmechief put up the white flag and Lets Elope, who had looped to the breeze mid-race, was also in reverse. The fresh horse on the scene was Messini, Butt timing his run to perfection. Im Corzin Terror though is a tough horse to get past and he didn’t give up without one heck of a fight. But Messini’s head-down racing style saw him get the nod in the finish. Today’s second placing saw Im Corzin Terror (11 points) go to the top in the 2016-17 Own the Moment Trots Country Cups Championship. A $25,000 bonus awaits the Country Cups champion at season’s end, and Im Corzin Terror is in the box seat with Hectorjayjay (10 points and second) and Major Secret (nine points and third) not currently in action. Messini’s win took him to four points from five starts in the series. Shakahari for Rebecca Bartley finished third today, ahead of Egodan, whose effort was gutsy, and the same can be said for Stormfortheboys in fifth. Whenmechief was beaten 42.9m and Lets Elope 68.1m in last place. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
Suddenly Friday week’s Group 1 WA Derby looks a real contest. After buzz former Kiwi colt Mitch Maguire thrashed his rivals in a Derby prelude two weeks ago, most conceded the Derby final was his for the taking. That changed last Friday night. Mitch Maguire won and took his WA record with Greg and Skye Bond to 10 wins and a second from just 11 runs, but he was far from impressive. Driver Ryan Warwick didn’t have to spend much petrol to lead from the pole, went through a solid but far from daunting 59.4sec middle half and then had to pull out everything to win by a half-head. In another stride, the late swooping filly Maczaffair would have snatched victory for sure. On that run, trainer Mike Reed has every reason to push ahead with running Maczaffair against the boys in the Derby. And the run of third-placed Herrick Roosevelt was most encouraging. He sat parked, looked spent on the home bend, but kept finding to finish less than a metre from the winner. The upside for Mitch Maguire is that he still won and the 1min57.3sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip was solid, but others will give themselves a serious chance of beating him in the WA Derby final, especially if draws go against him. Staying with the three-year-old’s and Justin Prentice’s filly Im Stylish looks a serious WA Oaks player on the strength of her dominant Gloucester Park win last Friday night. The Kiwi-bred daughter of Bettors Delight made it three wins on end when she scored by almost nine metres in a 1min58.7sec mile rate for 2130m. THE next stage of Tiger Tara’s career looks exciting. It’s taken a few runs with new trainer Kevin Pizzuto, but genuine glimpses of the horse who a genuine star in NZ are coming back. Three starts back the six-year-old covered plenty of extra ground and won narrowly, but impressively at Menangle. But it was last Friday’s win at the same track which reminded us all how good the best version of Tiger Tara really is. Driver Todd McCarthy drove aggressively from a wide draw and kept pushing forward until he found the lead, but it appeared at what cost given the petrol he had to spend. Instead of looking vulnerable, Tiger Tara thrived on the challenge and absolutely thrashed a handy field. The son of Bettors Delight opened right up, put a 17m gap on runner-up Spare Me Days and posted a career-best 1min49.8sec mile. Tiger Tara’s had five runs for Pizzuto for two wins and two fourths. HEADING into the NSW Oaks, most felt there wasn’t much between Victoria’s two top fillies Petacular and Miss Graceland. As it turned out, Petacular looked a class above Miss Graceland given she easily beat Miss Graceland in a heat and then beat her out of sight in the final when second to Partyon. That may still be the case, but Miss Graceland has come back home and arrogantly won two much easier races. The latest came at Kilmore last Friday night when she led, was never out of second gear for Chris Alford and strolled away to win by 12.3m. Of course, Petacular did absolutely blitz her rivals winning at her only run back in Victoria since the NSW Oaks. The pair is headed to another showdown in the upcoming Victoria Oaks. WHEN Maximan came to Australia he was known as a dour stayer. Now the eight-year-old son of Armbro Operative has won the shortest semi-feature race test of speed in Australia. Maximan held-off buzz pacer Tee Cee Bee Macray to win the City of Melton Stampede over the 1200m scamper at Melton last Saturday night. In contrast to so many of his wins, the big gelding came from off the pace and to hold-off renowned big finishing Tee Cee Bee Macray was a fantastic effort. It’s a credit to the patience of Andy and Kate Gath they have him back firing after so many injury issues and more than 12 months on the sidelines. The other Melton feature, the Group 3 Sires 3YO Classic, went to much-travelled gelding Emain Macha in easy fashion in a 1min56.3sec mile rate for 2240m. THREE Eagles fantastic strike rate as a broodmare has continued with David Aiken’s exciting juvenile Higherthananeagle. The son of Mach Three was a certainty beaten on debut when he ran second after an early gallop, then he won as he liked at Ballarat last Wednesday night in a 1min56.1sec mile rate for 1710m. The colt is owned by Kevin and Carol Riseley, who race Lennytheshark and also have a share in Lazarus, among many other star pacers. Higherthananeagle is Three Eagles’ fifth foal to race and all have been winners, most notably former top young pacer Fly Like An Eagle – also by Mach Three – who posted 19 wins and earned $699,419. Her other foals include the ill-fated but gifted filly Three Squared (two wins, $62,045) and current NSW open-class pacer Mach Doro, who boasts 15 wins and $161,086 in earnings. YOUNG trainer Kyle Harper must often wonder how good Bettors Fire could have been. The eight-year-old has won 31 races and over $620,000, but so often injuries have interrupted his career at crucial times. Bettors Fire returned from another let-up an simply outclassed a handy field in the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night. In contrast to so many of his front-running wins, Bettors Fire drew wide, snagged back to last and blew his rivals away with a big sprint from last to first in the final lap to post a 1min55.4sec mile rate for 2130m. DURING last year’s Perth Inter Dominion series champion driver Chris Lewis nominated emerging pacer Im Full Of Excuses as a likely contest for this year’s Inter Dom. The Ross Olivieri-trained former Kiwi was roaring through the grades. Im Full Of Excuses, raced by Merv and Meg Butterworth, has continued to impress since. He made it 10 wins from just 15 starts in WA when he sat without cover – outside classy performer Our Jimmy Johnstone – and smashed the clock easily winning the Harvey Cup at Bunbury last Saturday night. His mile rate was a slick 1min56.1sec for the long 2569m. Adam Hamilton
Dreams can come true … just ask Geoff Simpson. The veteran Lithgow horseman drove in the first Bathurst Gold Crown – won by former Kiwi champ Master Musician – and has dreamt of winning it ever since. Despite Lithgow being just down the road from Bathurst, getting another opportunity in the Crown final has proven elusive for Simson. “After that first year where I finished ninth, I’d only had one other drive in before this (last night) and finished down the track as well,” Simpson said. It was a case of third time lucky, albeit after a 27-year wait, when Simpson trained and drove Castalong Shadow to an upset win in last night’s $104,000 Group 1 Gold Crown final (1730m). The race changed dramatically coming to the final bend when breakaway leader and $1.10 favourite Divine State went from cruising to gone and stopped abruptly. Maximus Red challenged, then came Mackeral, but it was Simpson’s $24.70 outsider Castalong Shadow who powered away to win by 7.3m in a 1min55.2sec mile rate. Divine State wilted to finish seventh, 28.6m from the winner and pulled-up distressed. “I haven’t had one pull-up that exhausted. He stopped short of the tie-up stall, put his head down to the ground and just stood there,” Divine State’s trainer Shane Tritton said. “Something was amiss, whether he’s got a virus or something. I could understand if he’d been beaten, but not like that. And not pulling up like that. “Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. He seems better today.” Putting his own disappointment aside, Tritton said he was thrilled for Simpson. “I feel a bit of a connection to his horse,” Tritton said. “Castalong Shadow sat outside Divine State as his first start, put some pressure on and held-on well for second. “Geoff came and congratulated us after that race and I said his horse went well. I actually asked if he’d sell his horse. To his credit he said no without even asking how much we’d offer. “He’s been rewarded by winning a Group 1 at what’s virtually his home track and creating a memory which will never go away.” PART-OWNER Kyle Mills summed-up it up best after wonderful mare Cyclone Kate won yet another feature race. “What a great mare she’s been for us all. We are so lucky!” he said. Cyclone Kate smashed the Bathurst 2260m track record with a 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2260m in the Bathurst Mayors Cup. She left class runners like Ultimate Art (second) Yayas Hot Spot (third) and Tact Tate (fourth) in her wake. Cyclone Kate, who has gone to another level since joining John McCarthy’s barn in Australia a couple of years back, now boasts 19 wins, 17 placings and $310,923 in stakemoney. IT was only a consolation, but trainer Nicole Molander was thrilled after Passions Delight won the opening race at Bathurst last night (Saturday). Owned by Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks, Passions Delight went into the Gold Tiara 2YO series one of the major players, but was buried in traffic and never looked happy when only third in her heat. Driver Mat Rue took her straight to the front in the consolation and despite copping plenty of midrace pressure, Passions Delight opened-up to win without being extended by 11.3m in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for 1730m. THE form through the recent NSW Oaks and NSW Derby during the big Carnival of Miracles at Menangle proved super strong at Bathurst. Not much went right for trainer-driver Jason Grimson and his classy filly Dont Think Twice in the NSW Oaks series. So dropping back slightly in grade and winning the Group 2 Bathurst Gold Bracelet was some consolation. Dont Think Twice might be a tad short of the class of megastars like Partyon and Petacular, but she’s already built a fantastic record with 16 starts for nine wins, four placings and $139,445. Atomic Red upstaged Ultimate Machete to win a heat of the NSW Derby then drew poorly in the final. The Steve Turnbull-trained colt just did enough to hold the front from the pole then dug deep to beat another NSW Derby finalists Astride in the Group 2 Bathurst Gold Chalice final. Adam Hamilton
HRV RAD Board Hearing – William Galea. The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Mr William Galea. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Galea related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Rocknroll Dancer’ at the Bacchus Marsh trials on 14 November 2015. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold. Note: Australian Harness Racing Rules definition of ‘Race’- means a race or official trial or official time trial or event in which harness horses race or participate. Mr Galea pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions were heard from HRV stewards and Mr Galea. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the general sentencing principles, the nature of the substance involved, other previous cases involving the substance throughout Australia, Mr Galea’s guilty plea and his co-operation throughout the investigation. Although noting that Mr Galea has had previous offences in relation to prohibited substances these were taking within the context of the sentencing principles outlined in the High Court decision of Veen v the Queen (No.2) . Mr Galea was subsequently fined $5000 of which $2500 was suspended for a period of 12 months. Rocknroll Dancer was also disqualified from the relevant trial under AHRR195. ................................................... HRV RAD Board Hearing – Allan Lousada The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Mr Allan Lousada. The charge related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Fiftyshadesofbrown’ after it won Race 2 at the Warragul harness racing meeting on 19 January 2016. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold. During the hearing, Mr Lousada and Ms Georgina Coram (owner of Fiftyshadesofbrown) requested an adjournment to enable them to obtain further advice in regard to the matter. After considering this submission, the RAD board adjourned the hearing to a later date. For more on Arsenic click here. And this is an interesting article!
My Sweetchilliphilly produced a harness racing performance that defied belief to win the Group One $104,000 Bathurst Gold Tiara at Bathrst last night.. The daughter of Betterthancheddar not only won but she did so in Australasian record time and won by almost seven lengths. Starting from the back row, My Sweetchilliphilly worked forward to the breeze to sit outside of race favourite Lady Chatto in the first half of the race. Those two cleared out from the field coming off the back straight. However My Sweetchilliphilly simply went by Lady Chatto and cruised to 20.9 metre win, giving driver Chris Geary his maiden Group One success. The time of 1:54.7 eclipsed the previous Australasian record time of 1:55 for two year old fillies over the distance which was jointly held by Dream About Me and Jossie James. The Team Tritton trained filly is now undefeated in three starts and those three wins have come by a cumulative margin of 102.9 metres. The ease of her wins makes it scary to think about just how good she can be. Betterthancheddar's oldest progeny anywhere in the World are two year olds in Australia and New Zealand, so to get a star such as My Sweetchilliphilly so quickly is quite special. My Sweetchilliphilly was bred by Melissa Tapp and is the eight foal out of the In The Pocket mare Tact Philly. All eight have raced with the following winners The Oyster Bar ($142,184) , Tactful Lady ($79,234), Eye Brow ($23,997) and Max Factor. ($68,520).
IT is often said that good things come to those who wait – and boy was Geoff Simpson’s wait rewarded with a good thing. Thirty-one years after the Lithgow trainer-driver took part in the first staging of the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Gold Crown series, he got his hands on the coveted trophy. He did it with a $24.70 outsider called Castalong Shadow and the 1:55.2 winning mile rate was the fastest in crown history. It was far different expression on his face than Simpson wore after the inaugural Gold Crown Final for two-year-old colts and geldings in 1987. In that decider his chance Too Rich finished 37 metres off the pace in ninth. “I waited long enough,” Simpson said. “Since Lithgow shut this has been my home track, so I am very grateful to win this race. It means everything to me.” While Simpson could not have dreamed of a better finish to the Group 1 final, the 1,730 metres trip was not all smooth sailing. His start from barrier six was not the best, but Simpson was able to duck across to the pegs. There he found himself in the trail behind Maximus Red. As the bell sounded hot $1.10 favourite Divine State – a horse who had already twice beaten Castalong Shadow – rolled up to take the lead, shuffling Simpson back into third. After a hot 56.4 seconds first half of the last mile, Divine State managed to put two lengths on the chasing pack. At that point Simpson thought the ‘Team Tritton’ gelding would go on to win. “I thought I might still battle on and get a place when I saw it go,” Simpson admitted. But Castalong Shadow did more than just snag a minor placing. Both Maximus Red and Castalong Shadow gave again and not only caught the favourite, but ran straight past him. Castalong Shadow continued to give and went on to win by 7¼m, the Shadow Play x Leslie Jay colt taking his record to three wins from five starts. In a local trifecta, the Bernie Hewitt trained, Mat Rue driven Mackeral ($50.70) found the line well to place second, with 4m back to Steve Turnbull’s Maximus Red ($9.50) with Amanda Turnbull in the gig. “I missed the start actually, he got out a little bit slow. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because Amanda’s horse and that one of Tritton’s went pretty hard in the first bit,” Simpson said. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate
A 1:56.3 run in last night’s Tabcorp Park Melton VHRSC Sires Classic (Group 3) saw Emain Macha further enhance his race record and give Naracoorte harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield a metro feature trophy. Scholefield has, in recent times, boasted one of the strongest strike rates in the sport and Emain Macha is his stable star, with stake earnings of over $107,000 after last night’s win, which was his 13th at start No.17. Emain Macha initially had a crack for the front but was held out by both polemarker Misterfreeze and Rocknroll Icon from gate two. Reinsman Greg Sugars slotted three-year-old gelding by Safari into third position on the pegs, following Chris Alford on Rocknroll Icon and Emmett Brosnan aboard pacesetter Misterfreeze. Inside the final mile Alford took Rocknroll Icon to the lead and at the 1200m Sugars angled Emain Macha away from the markers. You wanted to be on one or the other. Off the back the final time, Rocknroll Icon tried to pinch the race but Emain Macha always had the leader in his sights. At the home bend – after a 28.4 third split – Emain Macha swept to the front and opened up over the final 100m for a 4.3m win, sprinting home in 28.1secs. Rocknroll Icon finished second and Albarock ran his usual honest race in third. Meanwhile, Andy and Kate Gath finished with a winning treble at Melton, taking out the City of Melton Stampede with Armbro Operative-Clifton Beauty gelding Maximan, the Western Base Vicbred Pace over 1720m with Major In Art-Henin Hardenne five-year-old gelding The Culture, and the Choose Atherstone Pace Final over 2240m with four-year-old Courage Under Fire-Village Glow gelding Firenglow. Maximan added his name to the Stampede honour roll, the annual six-furlong dash at Melton seeing the Gath gelding edge out perennial fast-finisher Tee Cee Bee Macray by a half-head in a time of 1:23.5. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)