Veteran harness racing pacer Finbar Abbey, a Metropolitan maiden performer, caused a major surprise when he celebrated his 100th start by working hard and winning the $40,000 Garrards Horse And Hound Easter Cup at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, a recent arrival at Ross Olivieri's Oakford stables, started from barrier five off the front in the 2902m stand and he raced three wide early and in the breeze at various stages before finishing with great determination to defeat the fast-finishing Polak (22/1) by a neck, with the 7/4 on favourite Alta Christiano in third place. Punters were stunned when Finbar Abbey surged past Alta Christiano 70m from the post. And then Polak, who had raced three back on the pegs, got clear and flew home to snatch second place from Alta Christiano. This was Alta Christiano's first defeat in six starts in Australia. Despite his lowly status, Finbar Abbey, an M0-class pacer, had many admirers after winning 2500m stands in moderate company at Northam and Gloucester Park at his first two starts for Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak. He went out fifth favourite at 12/1. Before entering Olivieri's stables, Finbar Abbey had managed just one placing (a third at Harvey) from his 11 previous starts. Finbar Abbey galloped out for a few strides and settled down in sixth position. Alta Christiano just walked away off the front and was almost 60m behind the early pacemaker and 7/1 chance Hez Got The Nod, with Clint Kimes getting Polak away to a flying start from the inside of the 10m line to move in behind the leader. Sanjaya galloped badly off the front and Rocket Reign met severe interference. Finbar Abbey raced three wide early before moving to the breeze. He gained the one-out, one-back sit after Alta Christiano dashed forward. But when Clint Hall sent Alta Christiano to the front 950m after the start, Finbar Abbey again was racing without cover. Finbar Abbey regained the one-out, one-back sit with two laps to travel when 33/1 chance Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze. Voak eased Finbar Abbey three wide 650m from home and the old gelding moved alongside the pacemaker Alta Christiano passing the 420m mark. Finbar Abbey gained the upper hand in the final stages and then held off the fast-finishing Polak, who flashed home after getting clear. The stewards suspended Kimes (Polak's driver) for 17 days for causing interference to Braemoor. The final quarters were run in 29.3sec. and 29.5sec. and Finbar Abbey rated 2.0.8 which was 0.1sec. outside the track record for 2902m set by Christian Spirit when he won the Fremantle Cup in January 2008. The only faster mile rates set by winners of the Fremantle Cup have been: Village Kid (1.59.8 over 2500m in 1987), Allwoods Chief (2.0.3, 2900m, 1998), (The Falcon Strike (2.0.3, 2900m, 2003) and Patches (2.0.4, 2907m, 2006). Scruffy Murphy rated 2.0.8 when he was successful over 2902m in 2008. The 25-year-old Voak admitted he was surprised at Finbar Abbey's excellent performance, saying: "Six months ago you wouldn't have thought that Finbar Abbey would be winning an Easter Cup, beating the horses he has tonight. "I guess the little bit of a burn (in the first lap) took the sting out of Alta Christiano. But you can't take anything away from Finbar Abbey. I punched the breeze for the best part of a lap and he was three wide from the 750m --- and he's actually outstayed Alta Christiano and then fought off Polak over the final 50 metres. "I have nothing but praise for this horse. I really didn't think he could do something like that, even though his two previous runs were really good. On the home turn he felt big and to his credit he just lifted and lifted and showed really good fighting qualities. Alta Christiano is a pretty big name, and he did a lot of work. But Finbar Abbey didn't have it that easy himself." The victory gave Olivieri his fourth success in an Easter Cup, after wins with Abmidas (1997), OK Windermere (who dead-heated with Patches in 2006) and Arma Harris (2010). Olivieri said that part-owner David Gravolin was holidaying in Hawaii and that three of his part-owners were away, working on oil rigs off the coast of Western Australia. Finbar Abbey, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is the third foal out of Miles McCool mare Casino Abbey, who won once from 11 starts in New Zealand. Finbar Abbey raced 63 times in New Zealand for five wins and 14 placings and his 37 WA starts have produced nine wins and nine placings. His overall record stands at 100 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $113,531. LIBERTYBELLE MIDFREW HAS WA OAKS AT HER MERCY Shannon Suvaljko was lavish in his praise for Libertybelle Midfrew after driving her to an effortless victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound On-Course Now WA Oaks prelude at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred filly simply annihilated her 11 rivals and appears to have the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 9 at her mercy. "She's probably one of the best horses I have driven," said the 45-year-old Suvaljko. "She's got gears, she's strong and is all class. I haven't let her go in her three wins (in WA) and we're just waiting for the Oaks now. She is really strong and tough and she will be scary if you let her go." Libertybelle Midfrew, purchased at a high price in New Zealand early this year by Albert Walmsley, has cruised to victory by an average winning margin of four lengths at her first three appearances in WA, rating 1.58.5 over 1730m at Gloucester Park and 1.57.8 over 2185m at Pinjarra before her win by 19.5m over The Parade on Thursday night, rating 1.58.1 over 2536m. The Christian Cullen filly is prepared at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and she appears classes ahead of all other three-year-old fillies in the State. On Thursday night she started from barrier four on the back line and was favourite at evens. Polemaker Harper Grace set the pace and Suvaljko was content to settle Libertybelle Midfrew in ninth position in the one-wide line. All About Pink dashed forward to move to the breeze after 600m and Suvaljko bided his time until he sent Libertybelle Midfrew forward, three wide, 1050m from home. She got a half-length in front of Harper Grace at the 650m mark before surging to a clear lead 470m from home. She then coasted to the line more than six lengths clear of 15/4 second fancy The Parade, who finished doggedly after enjoying the perfect one-out, one-back trail. Highest Royalty (8/1) trailed the pacemaker and finished a sound third, with harper Grace (9/2) in fourth place. Libertybelle Midfrew has earned $151,007 from four wins and four placings from 14 starts. SOHO VALENCIA IS A RISING STAR Victorian-bred five-year-old Soho Valencia gave further proof that he will be a star in feature events at the next Christmas carnival when he outclassed his rivals in the 1730m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Favourite at 5/2 on, Soho Valencia began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and gave a faultless frontrunning exhibition before coasting to a four-length victory over 18/1 chance Menelaus of Sparta, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Little Boy Blue (7/1) raced in the breeze and was a fighting third. Soho Valencia, produced in grand shape by leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint for owner Rob Watson, sped over the final 800m in 55.8sec. and rated a smart 1.55.1 to take his record to 21 wins and nine placings from 37 starts for earnings of $332,782. A winner of 13 races in Victoria, one in Queensland and four in New South Wales, he has had five starts in WA for three wins and two seconds. He is living up to the promise he showed when he was a star juvenile when his victories included the $100,000 group 1 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2011 and the $40,000 group 3 Bathurst Gold Chalice for three-year-olds a year later. By Art Major, he is the sixth foal out of Benelise (a mare by American stallion Vintner), who won at eight of her 14 Victorian starts in modest company in 2000-01. Soho Valencia's half-brother Yrubla (by Jet Laag) won the group 1 $100,000 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2007. "My guess is that Soho Valencia will get to an M4 or M5 mark and then go for a spell before coming back for the summer time," said Clint Hall. MIGHTY FLYING THOMAS A 2536m SPECIALIST For what he might lack in brilliance, Mighty Flying Thomas makes up for with his dogged determination, his stamina and fighting spirit. All these attributes were on display at Gloucester Park on Thursday night when he overcame the disadvantage of having to race without cover for almost two laps by scoring a splendid victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound One Stop Shop Pace. Favourite at 13/8 from the outside of the back line, Mighty Flying Thomas simply outstayed his 11 rivals in beating 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun by 4m, with Justlikelindt (28/1) sustaining a strong three-wide burst from fifth at the bell to be third. Mighty Flying Thomas, trained at Bickley by Peter Anderson, has proved to be a stout-hearted stayer since he arrived in WA from New Zealand in July 2012. He has proved to be a specialist over 2536m, the distance of Thursday night's event, having raced six times over that journey for five wins and a second (beaten a nose by Dashing Christian). He also won at his only appearance over 2569m (at Bunbury last November). It was a confident and aggressive drive by Morgan Woodley that paved the way for his latest victory. Mighty Flying Thomas settled down in ninth position and with Ideas Man setting a moderate pace Tom Buchanan vacated the one-out, one-back position with 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun to move into the breeze 650m after the start. Woodley then seized the initiative and sent Mighty Flying Thomas forward, out three wide, to assume the position in the breeze with just under two laps to travel. Woodley was able to get Mighty Flying Thomas to relax as Ideas Man ambled through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.9sec. and 31.6sec. The tempo then increased markedly, with the third quarter being covered in 28.8sec. Mighty Flying Thomas got to the front 250m from the post and easily held Mohegan Sun at bay, with a final quarter in 29.4sec. Mighty Flying Thomas had been placed at his three previous starts at Gloucester Park and Woodley said that the Falcon Seelster six-year-old deserved to break through for another win and break a losing sequence of 13. "He has been knocking on the door," Woodley said. "He's been going tremendously well and has been doing all the work in his races and just coming up short. The easy early sections really worked out well for him." Mighty Flying Thomas, a winner of six races from 27 starts in New Zealand, is proving a good buy for Ian and Hazel Brandon, Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney and Ken Casellas. The gelding cost a little more than $36,000 landed in Western Australia and his record in the State now stands at 36 starts for nine wins, 12 placings and stakes of $102,744. His career record stands at 63 starts for 15 wins, 19 placings and $142,783. Mighty Flying Thomas is the fourth foal out of Fleet's Pocket, who produced talented mare Flying Pocketlands, who has had 90 starts for 21 wins, 29 placings and $442,423. Mighty Flying Thomas is also related to good winners Our Graedy, Passion N Glory and Sparks Will Fly. COPAGRIN JUST LOVES LEADING Noted frontrunner Copagrin broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of eight when Callan Suvaljko drove him to a smart all-the-way victory in the 2536m Garrards Horse And Hound Open Daily Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Seven of his previous eight wins had come after he had set the pace and punters rallied to support him into favouritism at 5/2 when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Copagrin relished the pacemaking role and he sped over the final 800m in 57.1sec. to win comfortably by 5m from 5/1 chance Lord Lombo, who finished gamely after trailing the leader all the way. Copagrin went into the race as an M1 performer against several better-performed rivals, including M6-class runners Red Salute, Crombie and Passion Stride, Whose Mistake (M5) and Benjamin Banneker (M3). He had won once from his previous 25 starts and the strong support for him further illustrates the tremendous advantage horses have from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park. The WA-bred Copagrin, trained at West Swan by John Guagliardo, has been an excellent moneyspinner, with his 59 starts producing 14 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $124,328. By Grinfromeartoear, he is out of Red Hot Copper, whose first foal Copper Beach Girl earned $156,851 from 14 wins and 24 placings from 84 starts. Her wins included the group 3 WASBA Breeders Stakes in May 2011. HALL'S DARING DRIVE PAYS DIVIDENDS A daring drive by Clint Hall paid handsome dividends when Indomitable, the rank outsider at 55/1, scoring a brilliant victory in the Next Payments Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. In an action-packed event Hall took the bit between his teeth and set Indomitable alight as the field of 12 approached the bell. Indomitable, who had settled down in eighth position, charged forward and swept past 45/1 chance La Stella Del Mare, who had produced a lighting burst to charge past the 2/1 favourite Kanata Queen and into the lead 600m after the start. Hall gave Indomitable her head and she sped over the third quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. to leave her rivals floundering. The final section took 29.7sec. and Indomitable won by three and a half lengths from 11/4 second fancy Four Sisters, who finished determinedly from sixth on the pegs at the bell. Kanata Queen fought on to be third ahead of La Stella Del Mare. The winner, trained at Wanneroo by Barry Morrison, rated a slick 1.54.6 over the 1730m and she boosted her record to seven wins and 12 placings from 39 starts for earnings of $56,537. She is a full-sister to Indomitable Saab, who has amassed $154,491 from 16 wins and 12 placings from 59 starts. "She ran well the last time I drove her in town and they (the opposition) set it up tonight and I was happy to slide around to the breeze," Hall said. "She moved around so quickly that I decided to go on with it and I don't think it would have mattered if she had stayed in the breeze." KERSLEY SALUTES A GLOW BRIGHT EFFORT An exuberant, triumphant victory salute by trainer-reinsman Bill Kersley as Glow Bright passed the post an easy winner of the 2503m Garrards Horse And Hound Supporting Harness Racing Handicap at Gloucester Park on Thursday night was greeted with applause by punters who had supported the WA-bred five-year-old into favouritism at 7/4. Glow Bright, a last-start all-the-way winner in slow time in a 2503m stand nine days earlier, repeated the dose when he got away smartly from the inside of the front line and set a dawdling early pace with opening quarters of the final mile in 32.3sec., and 30.8sec. before Kersley released the brakes and the gelding sprinted over the final two quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.3sec. Glow Bright rated a slow 2.4.9 in beating Pacific Playboy (14/1) by one and a half lengths, with a half-length to Bartowski (16/1) in third place. Referring to the slow early sectionals, the 47-year-old Kersley said: "I'll take it if they give it to me. It's nice to get a winner on a Friday night (even though it was a Thursday night). I'm more than happy to salute every week. "He has done a really good job and is just shy of $100,000 and he's won an M0 tonight. You'd like a lot of them in your stable. I think he can keep earning. He's maturing and every time we give him a break and bring him back he's got mentally and physically stronger. Now he is right on top of his game." Glow Bright was placed twice in group 1 events for two-year-olds in the winter of 2011, finishing third to Major Catastrophe in the Pearl Classic and third to Cyclone Mitch in the State Sires final. NEW OWNERS CASH IN Henley Brook trainer Darryl Howes and his wife Tracey are more than happy that they encouraged a few of their friends to get involved in harness racing a few months ago. Tracey Howes, Wayne and Dianne Riekie, Brad and Rhonda Swinbourn, Barbara McGuire and Archie Laidlaw outlaid $7500 to purchase Senator Whitby when he was advertised for sale. And when Senator Whitby, driven by Chris Lewis, led all the way to score a decisive one-length victory over Last Cheque in the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound Thank You Loyal Customers Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night the WA-bred gelding had boosted his earnings to $8395 for his first-time owners. This was Senator Whitby's seventh start for Howes and the new owners and the small gelding has notched one win, two seconds and a third placing. "They're new owners to the industry and they're all happy," said Howes, who is confident Senator Whitby will continue to perform well. "He is still only young and is still an M0. And he's a little trier who keeps trying, and that's the main thing." Senator Whitby, whose career record stands at 48 starts for seven wins, ten placings and $49,769, is by Artiscape and is out of Zerina Whitby, who earned $107,827 from 15 wins and 13 placings from 53 starts. Senator Whitby is related to dozens of winners, including Fiscal Miss, Remit, Whitbys Miss Penny, Whitby Heritage, Whitby Timer, Whitbys Merit, Montana Anna, La Roya Whitby and Aikido Whitby. SAY IT NOW, FIRST-UP, IS TOO GOOD Hopeland breeder-owner-trainer Kevin Charles produced WA-bred five-year-old Say It Now in fine fettle for his first appearance for five months when the gelding made the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier to lead all the way in the third heat of the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound The Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Confidently handled by Chris Lewis, the well-supported 5/1 third favourite revelled in his pacemaking role and won decisively from The Black Lord (12/1) and Christian Banner (6/1). Ben Cartwright, the 5/4 favourite, worked hard without cover and dead-heated for fourth with What God Knows. Say It Now, having his first start for five months, contested two trials at Byford before Thursday night's assignment for a 22m fourth behind Mister Sheedy and a 14m third behind Lord Lexus. Say It Now followed quarters of 31.3sec., 30.8sec. and 30.4sec. with a smart final section in 28.3sec. to win well at a 1.59.5 rate. "Kevin thought we would go well, going on his latest trial," Lewis said. "But trials aren't races. It was a bit of a challenge early, but we were able to settle down pretty nicely. He does relax well and that was an advantage. "With a lap to go I didn't really know what I had. I hadn't asked him for an effort and he had travelled well, so I was confident that there was something left in the tank. But you never know until you hit the line." Say It Now, who was bred and is owned by Charles and his son Kody, has earned $80,161 from ten wins and ten placings from 42 starts. As a three-year-old in March 2012 he won the group 3 Country derby at Gloucester Park, beating Major Catastrophe by four lengths, after winning the South-West Derby at Pinjarra, beating Maggies Mystery. He raced 13 times as a four-year-old in New South Wales, winning minor races at Menangle, Newcastle and Penrith. He is related to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, whose 40 wins from 53 starts in the 1980s included the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley when he defeated Village Kid. VAPOUR IS LAUREN'S FAVOURITE Four-year-old gelding Vapour and 19-year-old driver Lauren Jones have formed a wonderful partnership in recent weeks --- and they kept up the good work with an exciting victory in the 2130m Sully's Painting Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Jones, a recent arrival from Queensland, has settled in well as a stablehand at leading trainer Gary Hall senior's Serpentine establishment and she has driven the Hall-trained Vapour seven times for four wins and three third placings. "Something clicks and he's my favourite horse in the stable," said Jones after Vapour had finished strongly to gain a last-stride victory by a nose over 5/4 favourite Tuapeka Kahu. Vapour, second fancy at 5/2, started from the outside of the front line and Jones restrained the gelding back to a conspicuous last, about 30m from the early leader Franco Jackson. Tuapeka Kahu was working hard in the breeze and Jones drove patiently. Vapour was ninth at the bell, following the three-wide run of Knight Crusader. Knight Crusader began to wilt in the back straight and Jones switched Vapour four wide 300m from home. Tupeka Kahu then took the lead with 220m to travel, but he was overhauled in the final stride by the flying Vapour, who sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and rated 1.58.8. Vapour, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is the first foal out of Christian Cullen mare Enjoy. He has had 13 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and five placings after racing 16 times in New Zealand for three wins and five placings. by Ken Casellas
From Norway, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Italy, most every state and provience in the USA and Canada, Europe to South America, names for the harness racing Standardbred filly by Somebeachsomewhere from the mare, Put On A Show, are flying in from around the world. It is not too late for anyone who has yet to enter the contest to get their name choice submitted to try and win the $2,500 cash prize in Harnesslink’s “Name the Foal Contest.” So far nearly 600 names have been submitted for the foal. Her caretakers at Hanover Shoe Farms say, “She is a bold and brassy filly who has a mind of her own. She is very playful but never strays too far from her mother’s side.” There are new photos and also a video of the filly with this story so you can check her out while coming up with the prize winning name. The prize money has been sponsored by the owners of Put On A Show, Richard and Joanne Young of Florida, along with the Somebeachsomewhere Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms in Hanover, PA. There is no purchase necessary to enter the contest. You must be age 18 or older and a legal resident of the country you live in. All entries must be submitted in English. Just click on the link below and fill out all the required information. The name cannot be more than 18 letters and/or spaces combined per the rules of the United States Trotting Association (USTA). Any name that has been used in the past 15 years cannot be entered. You can check on your name suggestion to make sure it has not yet been used by going to the free service at the USTA by clicking this link http://pathway.ustrotting.com/search/. Just type in the name of the horse and click. You will then see if the name is already being used. Contestants have until midnight on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 to enter the contest. Contestants are allowed to enter only one name for the foal per email address and only one winner will be allowed per household. Within one week after the deadline date, owners Richard and Joanne Young will select up to five (5) approved names for the foal. They will draw by lot to declare the official name of the foal. If there is only one person that submitted the winning name, that contestant will be declared the official prize winner and receive the entire $2,500. If there are four (4) entries or less with the same name, there will be a drawing in descending order with those entrants dividing $1,000 evenly and the final name drawn being the ultimate winner and get $1,500. If there are more than 5 entries of the same name, all those entries will be placed in a drawing and the first four (4) names drawn will receive $250.each and the final name drawn will receive $1,500. To enter the “Name the Foal Contest” click on this link. The official rules for the competition (in detail) can be obtained by clicking on this link. Please take a moment and read the official rules so you are familiar with the regulations. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Qualifiers for the harness racing $100,000 Western Australian Sales Classics on the 25th of April. Colts and Geldings Horse Purchase Price Blacklist $14,000 Bettor Twisted $46,000 Affluent Bell $20,000 Persistent Threat Non Sale Entry Lot Twenty One $11,000 Captain Oats $6,500 Ezygatboy $5,000 Nitro Lad $22,000 Itzjustdawayitis $12,000 The Revolution Non Sale Entry (Fastest 4th 2:08.708) Alldollarsnosense $7,000 (1st Emergency 2:09.035) Frankie Dancer $7,000 (2nd Emergency 2:10.380) Fillies Horse Purchase Price Isabella Jane $37,500 Choccywoccy $17,000 Straittothehilton $6,000 Maddyann Maree $25,000 Cherry Pink $9,500 La Mia Juliette $8,000 Lovers Prayer $8,000 Just Visiting Non Sale Entry Sheez Red Hot $15,000 Playing With Magic $13,000 Bullsbrookbullett $12,000 (1st Emergency 2:10.923) Borocay $9,000 (2nd Emergency 2:11.211) Barriers for both races will be drawn on Tuesday 22nd April Alan Parker
Harness Racing NSW has been advised by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that phenylbutazone and oxphenbutazone has been detected in the post race urine sample taken from MAGICAL TELF NZ after it raced and won Race 3, the Slingsby Holdings Australasian Young Drivers Heat 2 (2300 metres) at Tabcorp Park Menangle Harness meeting on 15 February 2014. This finding has been confirmed by the Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Melbourne. An inquiry into these findings will be held on Thursday 1 May 2014. Mr D Braun the trainer of MAGICAL TELF NZ has been advised. HRNSW
Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards today opened inquiries into the results of analysis from two approved laboratories that the prohibited substance Cobalt above the threshold of 200mg/Litre in urine samples collected from the following horses; COOGEE COOGEE (Trainer M Hardy) following its win in race 7, the Uranquinty Hotel Ladyship Pace (1,755 metres) conducted at Wagga on 24 January 2014 THE BIG MARN (Trainer R Nicholson) following its win in race 11, the Flying K Final (1000 metres) conducted at Menangle on 21 January 2014. MAJOR DENIAL (Trainer R Nicholson) following its win in race 1, the Tattersalls Hotel Pace (1710 metres) conducted at Goulburn on 27 January 2014 Mr M Hardy was issued with a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4), in that as the trainer of COOGEE COOGEE he did present that horse to race at Wagga on 24 January 2014, not free of a prohibited substance, namely cobalt above the threshold. After being issued with the charge Mr Hardy was granted an adjournment to enable him to present further evidence in defence of the charge. The inquiry was adjourned until 30 April 2014 commencing at 11am. Mr R Nicholson sought an adjournment at the opening of the inquiry to allow him further time to present his case. After some evidence was taken from Mr Nicholson and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr M Wainscott the inquiry was adjourned until 30 April 2014 commencing at 1.30pm. HRNSW
Rising Ballarat trainer Mick Stanley has been involved with one or two good pacers in his relatively short career to date but it’s his life lessons in the sport that are now moulding Hilltop Hustler into potentially his best ever horses. Because temptation has been lingering to shoot for the stars with the talented gelding. He has shown potential that matches almost any horse in the state but Stanley’s cool hand has yet to release the breaks. A tilt at the Mildura Cup was his first Free For All foray but it didn’t end the way connections would have been hoping. In saying that, his trainer took plenty from the run. “Even after Mildura, where we didn’t have the best of luck, one thing Gavin (Lang) did say to me after the race was that you may have missed out on the cheque tonight but make sure you look after him and he will have a good future next year,” Stanley said. “To hear that from a guy like Gavin who has driven so many group horses and great horses, it just gives me a bit of confidence that we’re heading in the right direction with him.” For now though, Hilltop Hustler will push on to the Warragul Cup where he will have to take on potential Country Cup Kings Arber and Savesomtimetodream. And even Stanley knows that the expected drop in grade will still present its own problems. “I wouldn’t say any Cup around Victoria is a step down, they’re all hard to win but my fella is racing in good form and Warragul was a target because it’s drawn on class so he should draw better than a few of his rivals which makes it a nice race for him,” he said. “I’ve always had a big opinion of him and looked after him so I can get the best out of him.” Sunday might be the conclusion of a big weekend for the stable but Saturday is where everything begins. Smart two-year-old filly Soho Tokyo heads to Menangle in the hope of moving through to the final of the APG. The rich feature race has been on the radar for Stanley for quite a while and his opinion of the filly suggest she will be hard to beat in both heat and final. “I do love this filly, she’s just a beautiful filly to deal with, there’s no fuss about her. She’s a real professional and she just gets the job done,” he said. “I was rapt with the heat run and I think I have her peaking at the right time. We’ve got a nice barrier for the semi-final so hopefully we can progress through and I think I’ve got a filly that’s a live chance to win the final that’s for sure.”
It is not every day a winner of the famous Miracle Mile harness race competes at Warragul, but that is the case on Sunday when Baby Bling lines up in The Linc Group Warragul Cup. Baby Bling has won over $800,000 in stakes from just 47 starts, including the 2013 Miracle Mile in Sydney, plus a host of other feature races including the Goulburn Cup, Australian Oaks, Gold Coast Oaks and WA Mares Classic. Connections transferred the mare to Lara trainer Dean Braun recently, and one start in Victoria so far netted a recent placing at Melton. Sunday's Cup has attracted one of the strongest fields in the history of the race. The first Warragul Cup to be run from behind the mobile barrier is the last race in the annual Victorian Country Cup Championship, and the result of this weekend's race determines which horse wins the coveted Championship title. Arber and Savesomtimetodream, both engaged Sunday, have won three Country Cup races each this season. Arber heads the Championship points, however if he misses a place on Sunday and Savesomtimetodream wins, the award will be a tie. Seven of the 11 drivers in Sunday's race have won the Cup before. Among those trying to add his name to the Cup honour roll will be Trafalgar horseman Glenn Hunter, who steers Astronaut in the event. Glenn will also drive Dawn Tears for his dad Chris in the other feature race, the Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Cup. Fellow local Gatesys Girl will also be looking to improve its recent form in this event. With good weather forecast a bumper crowd is expected to converge on Warragul for this Sunday's race. Racing and activities commence at around 12:55pm with the Warragul Cup timed to go at 4:35pm. By Kylie Galley
LEXINGTON, KY - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) recently named Marc Laino, Executive Director of the Illinois Racing Board (IRB), the recipient of the 2014 RCI Len Foote Award. The Len Foote Award is the highest honor bestowed on racing commission executive directors in North America. The award was presented at the annual awards luncheon held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, KY. Laino has been employed in various capacities since 1987, including Deputy Director, State Director of Mutuels, and Board Investigator. He has served as the Executive Director since 2003, and currently chairs the RCI Wagering Systems Security Committee. "Marc has been a tremendous asset to the Illinois Racing Board and to RCI, and there is a pleasure to honor him with the Len Foote Award," said RCI President Ed Martin. "Marc is not only an expert on flat and harness racing, but his knowledge of wagering security is rivaled by few." RCI also honored James P. Gowen, Vice President and Secretary for the Thoroughbred Racing and Protective Bureau (TRPB), with the 2014 William H. May Award. The award is presented annually to an individual or group who has shown "meritorious service" to the pari-mutuel racing industry. Past recipients include Stanley Bergstein, John Gaines, and Steve Barham, the 2013 recipient. Gowen, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, has been involved in racing investigation since joining the TRBP as a field investigator in 1973. Gowen has worked at numerous racetracks across the United States, and was promoted to the TRPB Vice President position in 1996. Longtime friend and colleague John Wayne, the Executive Director of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, noted that "Racing is better on a day-to-day basis because of the countless hours that Mr. Gowen has dedicated to the industry". At the luncheon Martin also honored the following individuals with the RCI President's Award for Exemplary Service: David Loregnard, Executive Director, Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority Vince Mares, Executive Director, New Mexico Racing Commission Dr. Mary Scollay-Ward, Equine Medical Director, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission John Wayne, Executive Director, Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission by Steve May, for
It is more than a month since Im Victorious suffered a serious tendon injury in the Inter Dominion Grand Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The healing process has been a slow one but trainer Michael Brennan is extremely happy with the progress his stable star has made since the incident and is looking forward to being reunited with him in the future. "Snoop (Im Victorious) is getting daily physio on the injury, he is being looked after over there in Sydney by a great team of people and they are trying to ensure they keep some mobility in his leg despite the excessive scar tissue," Brennan said. "He will continue the treatment in Sydney for another six weeks or so and after that he should be ready to make his way back home to Perth and live out his days in a paddock on my property, I think he deserves it." While there had been some speculation that Im Victorious could make a miraculous comeback and return to the racetrack, Brennan believes that it would be highly improbable. "More than likely he will never be able to race again but to be honest I'm just hoping that he will be 'paddock sound' so I can get him home and spend time with him again." "His injuries have healed to the point where the vets are no longer concerned with regards to infection in the tendon and now they are just making sure through the physio that too many adhesions don't form and create issues for us." It has been a tough time for everyone concerned with Im Victorious but Brennan admits he has come to the realisation that he has to move past the devastating loss of the Western Australian Derby winner. "I had arrived at the point where I just had to move on, there was no point in dwelling on it, the whole situation was very devastating for all of us and now I have to try and find my next star." Im Victorious won more than $750,000 in his 34 start career and won 22 races. By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing Harness Racing New South Wales Warning to recipients: This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.
An Introduction From The CEO I wish everyone involved in the industry a happy and safe Easter. On Easter Sunday, the Warragul Club hosts the final Cup for the Country Cup Season. The race will determine whether Arber or Savesometimetodream is the Choice Hotels Country Cups Champion. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews Mildura Carnival Once again congratulations go out to Barry Bottams, Mark Kemp and the Mildura Club for another successful Carnival. Initial figures I have received indicate that on course wagering through the tote were similar to last year - at approximately $250,000 over the three nights ($140,000 on Final night). On course bookmakers also held strongly, so overall the numbers are pleasing given that the increase in betting by punters on mobile devices while on course is not included in the above numbers. Amanda Turnbull became the first ever female to drive the winner of the Pacing Cup when Im Blue Double Dee saluted at $29 from favourite Flaming Flutter. Amazingly Shayne Cramp and Ryan Hryhorec drove seven winners on Final night between them. Shayne also drove four winners on heat night for a total of eight for the Carnival. I also pay tribute to the Sunraysia Daily for its outstanding coverage during the Carnival. HRV appreciates the efforts of Sports Chief Matt Taylor and Darren Davis. Great Southern Star (GSS) I would like to say thank you to several people now the dust has settled on the GSS: Pryde's Easifeed has been an excellent sponsor for the two years of the event and I pass on my appreciation to Peter Pryde, David Owen and Grant Bole for their support; The Women's Cancer Foundation - in particular Board Member Duncan McPherson OAM. Duncan's energy has assisted in the growth of the GSS and the connection with the Ovarian Cancer Institute has lifted the profile of the event; The female drivers who enthusiastically wore the teal pants through the month of March to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer; All those who attended the night and contributed $85,000 toward the Women's Cancer Foundation; Congratulations to connections of Keystone Del who took home the lion's share of the $400,000 on offer for the GSS. Finally, for a two minute look at the highlights of the big night, click here. Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Appeal i) Race for the Appeal Thanks go to HRV staff member Jess Tubbs who last Friday night pulled together a highly successful Sulky Race as a fundraiser for the RCH. Young Nathan Fino has Down Syndrome requiring regular treatment at the hospital and the Fino family is raising funds for the RCH Appeal. At Melton, Victoria's leading drivers sprinted up the home straight carting the sulky behind carrying a young child, including Nathan. It was a great thrill for the youngsters who ignored the rain and had a ball. The winning combination was Greg Sugars "driven" by Katie Alford. Ironically Katie's Dad Chris was tailed off, displaying a distinct lack of speed! Click here to watch the race. ii) Drivers at Appeal I would also like to thank industry leaders Gavin Lang, Chris Alford and Ellen Tormey who will be taking part in the RCH Good Friday Appeal on Channel 7. They will be answering phones and be interviewed at approximately 2.15pm. I appreciate the effort these three will make to represent our sport on this important day. Hot Shots A new concept in harness racing will be launched next month with the introduction of 'Hot Shots'. Hot Shots is a collaborative initiative between HRV, Sky Racing, Harness Racing Australia, Harness Racing NSW, Racing QLD and Racing and Wagering WA. Over eight Tuesday nights commencing on May 6, harness racing will take centre stage on Sky Racing with a dedicated exclusive coverage of speed racing from four States over a two hour period between 5pm and 7pm. Races will be over approximately 1000 metres featuring distinctive colours, eight horse fields with a Hot Shot race every few minutes on Sky Racing 2. A detailed launch of Hot Shots will take place shortly. Hot Shots has its own twitter feed @HotShotsRacing. Summer Carnival In releasing the race dates for the 2014/15 season, HRV has determined that it will conduct its major Summer Carnival in late January/early February, to include the SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup and the Del Re National Food Group Hunter Cup in successive weeks. The Carnival will also include the time honoured Victoria Derby. Following the Victorian Carnival (not yet branded) will be the Inter Dominion Heats in mid-February before moving to Sydney for the Inter Dominion Final in early March. HRV thanks the Ballarat Club, which was consulted along the way, for agreeing to shift its Cup to mid-December. HRV is now able to promote a major regional carnival of the Group 1 Cranbourne and Ballarat Cups in successive weeks. Milestones Daryl Douglas is closing in on being the third driver to reach 5,000 winners. At Mildura on March 30, he brought up win number 4,500 behind Hayabusa Flyer; Matt Craven drove his 500th winner at Melton last Friday behind Weallwantano; Haydon Gray drove his 100th winner on April 3 at Maryborough behind Courageous Emm. HRV Receptionist Jenny Mugavin completed 10 years' service in March. Did You Know? HRV will be racing at Tabcorp Park on the night of Anzac Day. It is a big night that will include the 2YO Colts & Geldings Semi Finals of the $300,000 APG Series, as well as appropriate recognition of this significant day. Copyright Â© 2014 Harness Racing Victoria, All rights reserved.
Seryn Adams has already driven 30 winners but her career away from the racetrack is looking even brighter after being awarded a HRNSW Media Scholarship. Her six month placement sees Seryn undertake formal media training, she spends a day each week at Sky Racing, working on harness racing programme 'In The Gig' and she also spends one day at Tabcorp Park Menangle working with Trots TV. "I didn't plan on working in the media when I was younger, it is a new interest for me but I am really enjoying the opportunity I am getting at the moment and I am learning a lot," Adams said. "I turn 20 next Monday and this opportunity is a tremendous one for me, after I have completed the six months I am hoping to get some more work in the media." Adams will continue to drive her own horses when they compete in races despite her new interest. "At this stage I will be driving my own horses, I've got two in work at the moment but I won't be chasing outside drives going forward." "I really just want to make a difference for the sport and show the industry in a positive light, I must admit when I first started I was very nervous but with a bit of practice I have become a lot more relaxed and I am really enjoying it." After completing school in 2009, Adams decided to further her studies in Childcare. "When I left school I concentrated on working the horses but I also studied my Certificate III in Childcare to ensure that I had something to fall back on should I need it at a later stage but hopefully now I am heading in a different direction." "I am about one month into the scholarship already and I really enjoy it, I'd love to work for Sky Racing one day on a fulltime basis." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing Harness Racing New South Wales |
Trainers are warned that some plants of the Datura species including Thornapple and Jimson Weed, and the closely related Angels Trumpet contain the alkaloids atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine. HRNSW has detected some of these plants in and around stables in recent time. Ingestion of these plants by horses may lead to the alkaloids being detected in race day samples and the declaration of a positive swab. The detection of hyoscine has been traced to contaminated sunflower seeds and clover hay sourced from North Western New South Wales and also in some pre-mixed feeds. Trainers are advised to ensure that their horses do not have access to these plants and to check all feeds and supplements for the presence of unusual plant material. photos are displayed above If anyone requires further information please contact HRNSW Integrity Department. Reid Sanders Manager- Integrity & Chairman of Stewards.
LATHAM, N.Y.-A seminar for new and prospective owners sponsored by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and hosted by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State will be held at Buffalo Raceway in Hamburg, New York. This seminar will provide valuable information for prospective or rookie owners and focus on all aspects of horse ownership. The seminar is scheduled for Saturday May 10th, 2014 at Buffalo Raceway The seminar will start at 1:30 p.m. and include a meal and live racing. Seminar will cover the rewards and risks of horse ownership, actual costs, choosing young horses or claimers and how to choose a trainer. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the racing facility and meet the Race Secretary and the Presiding Judge. They will also visit a trainer's stable and talk with owners. Tuition is $20 per person or $30 per couple and includes the seminar and materials, dinner, live racing, a pathways certificate, membership to HHBNYS and follow-up services. Seminar requires advance registration. For more information or to register for the seminar, please call Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. by Betty Holt, for the Harness Horse Breeders of NYS Harness Horse Breeders of New York State 400 Troy-Schenectady Road Latham, New York 12110 Tel: 518-785-5858 Fax: 518-785-5848 email@example.com hhbnys.com
The Shannon Price stable will start two horses in Thursday's $50,000 Renshaw Cup at Penrith Paceway. American Legend and Terror Time have both performed well in their home state of Queensland and stable representative Scott Miller is expecting a big performance this week. "Both of the horses have been racing really well in Queensland and under the grading system up here a horse like Terror Time will have to start competing against the free-for-allers so we have taken the option to get them both to Sydney where they are better assessed and the Renshaw Cup is a great starting point," Miller said. "We are unsure how long we will stay at this stage, it all depends on how Chevals Clivesdale goes in the heat of the Carousel on Thursday night, if he happened to win his way through to the feature on Len Smith Mile day then we would stay for the fortnight." Terror Time has won more than $250,000 in his career and has already won 20 races. "He has won four of his last five starts and his last win saw him break 29 seconds for his final three quarters, he is a really tough horse and Brad Cowen his regular driver will stick with him." "American Legend on the other hand is a totally different type of horse, he is a speed horse that has to be saved up for the final shot but when driven like that he can be very effective, Blake Fitzpatrick will take the drive on him for us." Chevals Clivesdale has been in great form in Queensland too and has earned a trip south. "The Rising Stars series has seen horses moving through the grades race for good prize money but unfortunately there wasn't anything coming up for Chevals Clivesdale so we thought the Carousel looked a good series for him." "He has got really good speed but he is very versatile as well, he has won four of his last six and his last win he rated 1:57.6 for the 2138 metres." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing Harness Racing New South Wales |
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) today handed down its decision with regard to the penalty review hearings of Mr Eric Anderson and Mr Glenn Douglas against the decision of the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board to disqualify Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas for 6 months for offences against the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) relating to an investigation concerning the horse Talk To The Hand. Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas, through their legal representative Mr Sandy Robertson, argued the penalties imposed upon them were excessive. These review hearings were held in conjunction with review applications of the HRV Stewards who argued through their legal counsel, Mr Neill Murdoch SC, that the penalties applied by the HRV RAD Board were inadequate. His Honour Judge Nixon, in delivering his decision, announced that he considered the offence seriousness to be in the high category and that he considered the most critical principles requiring consideration in the case to be denunciation, general deterrence and the preservation of the integrity of the harness racing industry. His Honour stated that public confidence in the harness racing industry is critical and that the giving of false evidence to Stewards could not be tolerated and must result in significant penalty being imposed. His Honour remarked that the lies told by Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas surrounding the death and disposal of the horse Talk To The Hand were maintained until the bitter end and that such lies were told to deceive the Stewards. His Honour indicated he gave consideration to the numerous references supplied in support of Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas which described their extensive involvement and success in the harness racing industry over a lengthy period of time, references which were not before the HRV RAD Board on 5 March 2014 when Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas appeared unrepresented. His Honour found that in all of the circumstances of the case, the penalty of 6 months disqualification imposed by the HRV RAD Board upon Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas for their respective conduct was a just and appropriate penalty. His Honour confirmed the imposition of these penalties and taking into account time served (8 days), such periods of disqualification will expire as at 8 October 2014. In arriving at this decision, His Honour noted that it should not be assumed in the harness racing industry that a period of 6 months disqualification is the ‘ceiling’ for penalties that may be handed down in circumstances where false evidence is provided to the Stewards or where persons frustrate or endeavour to frustrate investigations of the Stewards. His Honour also noted that in addition to the powerful references supplied, His Honour was also required to consider the evidence of Dr Sarah Jalim, as a result of the position of Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas that their conduct was in order to protect the interests of Dr Jalim. His Honour indicated he considered the evidence of Dr Jalim, both before the HRV RAD Board and the VCAT, regarding her inactivity (in reporting matters to the HRV Stewards) at a relevant time on the evening of 21 August 2013 at the Bendigo harness racing meeting, which resulted in her pleading guilty to a charge before the HRV RAD Board on 5 March 2014. Glenn Douglas, Eric Anderson and Sarah Jalim The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to various charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) against licensed trainer/driver Mr Glenn Douglas, licensed stablehand/registered owner Mr Eric Anderson and veterinarian Dr Sarah Jalim. The charges were issued in connection to the conduct of the relevant parties concerning the Glenn Douglas trained horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ which was scheduled to compete at the Bendigo harness racing meeting conducted on 21 August 2013. After arriving at the racecourse, the horse became unwell and its health quickly deteriorated resulting in the horse being assisted onto a float by Mr Anderson, Mr Douglas and Dr Jalim before the horse was euthanized by Dr Jalim. The fact that the horse was euthanized was not brought to the attention of the attending HRV Stewards on the night by Mr Douglas, Mr Anderson or Dr Jalim. Mr Eric Anderson Mr Eric Anderson pleaded guilty to 6 charges issued by HRV Stewards. Charge 1 – ARHR 187(6) A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 1 were that Mr Anderson frustrated the investigation of the Stewards by not ensuring the immediate notification of the death of the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ and by arranging and conducting the burial of the horse in Boundary Bend, Victoria, with asbestos piping, actions which inhibited the extent of the post-mortem autopsy conducted upon the horse. Charge 2 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 2 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse had been alive when it was removed from the Bendigo racecourse and also alive when it arrived at the stables of Mr Glenn Douglas after being transported by Mr Anderson in a float. Charge 3 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 3 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, falsely advised that Mr Glenn Douglas whilst checking on the welfare of ‘Talk To The Hand’ in the night of 21 August 2013 had found the horse to be alive and that Mr Anderson had only discovered the horse to be deceased at the stables of Mr Douglas on the morning of 22 August 2013. Charge 4 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 4 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by denying that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been euthanized in the vicinity of the Bendigo racecourse on 21 August 2013. Charge 5 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 5 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by advising that the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been burned at Boundary Bend, Victoria, when the horse had in fact been buried at this location. Charge 6 – ARHR 105(5) The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Stewards The particulars of Charge 6 were that Mr Anderson disposed of the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ without the permission of the HRV Stewards. After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Anderson in relation to charges 1-6 and ordered such disqualification to commence immediately. Harness Racing Australia
LONGFORD harness trainer Barrie Rattray has what some might consider a stranglehold on the Raider Stakes final for home grown four-year-olds at Devonport next Sunday week. In Launceston last night two heats of the sires' stakes classic were run and won by Rattray-trained four-year-olds and he also snared the quinella in one of the heats and a minor placegetter in the other to give him four genuine winning chances in the final. Pachacuti delivered a message that he will be very hard to beat in the final by defying a tough run facing the breeze for the last lap to go on and score convincingly over Melolyn and another of Rattray's band of talented four-year-olds Diva's Delight. Pachacuti spent a couple of months at James Rattray's stables in NSW where he failed to flatter in three of his five starts at Menangle. The gelding won a heat of the 3YO Breeders Crown last season and finished a gallant second to super star Bit Of A Legend in the $175.000 final. He was then transferred to James Rattray's care at Cobbitty and was placed at his first two attempts but his form went south and after he galloped away in a 4YO feature race on Inter Dominion day he was sent home to Tasmania. His first-up win in Hobart was solid but he confirmed he was back to his best with this latest victory on Sunday night. Lickyalips led and looked to be travelling comfortably turning for home but when driver Todd Rattray called on Pachacuti to extend he delivered the goods and went on to score by almost five metres from Melolyn that ran home strongly with Divas Delight doing his best work late. Rykov Leis (Ricky Duggan) then led his rivals a merry chase to score a strong win over stablemate Devendra in the remaining heat. Duggan ensured a solid tempo while Todd Rattray was content to allow his charge to travel in the one-out-one-back spot to the 400-metre peg. He had to wait until straightening to get the run three-wide to challenge but when Duggan called on Rykov Leis to sprint he sped clear and had enough in reserve to stave off a late surge from his stablemate. By Peter Staples