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Loyalty means everything to champion trainer-driver Kerryn Manning. That’s why she won’t be at Melton when she has two runners in the rescheduled $200,000 Group One Victoria Cup (2240m) at Melton on October 14. Many months back – long before Harness Racing Victoria shifted the Victoria Cup to its new timeslot – Manning gleefully accepted the Maid of Honour role at the wedding of harness identities Vic Frost and Gail Geeson.  And nothing will change that.  Manning expects to have her two stable stars, Mr Mojito and Ameretto, in the Victoria Cup.  “Obviously the timing isn’t great where they moved the Victoria Cup to, but I’m comitted to the wedding and Vic and Gail are great people. That’s where I’ll be,” Manning said. Manning spoke with Ameretto’s former trainer-driver and part-owner Ashlee Grives about partnering the mare in the Victoria Cup.  “Ash didn’t say no, but didn’t confirm it either. I’d love her to drive her mare, she knows her better than anyone does,” she said.  Grives confirmed via social media last Saturday night that she would take the drive.  Ameretto looked fantastic winning her sixth race on end in a scorching 1.51.5 mile rate for 1720m in the Group Three Tailamade Lombo at Melton last Friday night.  “She did it pretty comfortably,” Manning said. “She did so much work early, I didn’t want to go for home too early. She’s going so well she deserves a go at a race like the Victoria Cup.”  The key was Ameretto’s win against “the boys” in the Group Two Breeders Crown Graduate free-for-all in late August.  Manning is uncertain whether she will run the mare again before the Victoria Cup.  “The only option is the Smoken Up Sprint in two weeks, but that means running against the likes of Lennytheshark, My Field Marshal and others,” she said. “She’s really fit and might not need another run. I’ll wait and see.”  It’s a similar situation with Mr Mojito, who also ran blistering time winning his third race on end in the free-for-all last Friday night. His mile rate was 1.52.0 for 1720m.  “He’s improving with every run, but he is still green. He’s an M5 now and has only raced 20 times. I’m not sure he’ll ever grow out of some of quirks,” Manning said.  “He’s such a bad steering horse at times. And one day he works really well in training, but the next he feels like an average maiden.  “But he’s putting it together consistently at the races and should get a start in the Victoria Cup on what he’s done in his past few runs.  “I might take him straight into the Cup now. But the option of the Smoken Up Sprint is there for him as well.”  Manning’s husband and co-trainer Grant Campbell has first dibs on the Mr Mojito drive in the Victoria Cup, but no final decision has been made.  Beyond the Victoria Cup, both Mr Mojito and Ameretto could head to Perth.  “Ameretto will go for the mares’ races over there. I’m also taking Motu Meteor for the four-year-old races,” Manning said.  “Mr Mojito is not certain because he’s still raw and the (tight) track must be some query, but if we take Ameretto and Meteor, then we will probably take Mr Mojito across as well.  “Let’s see how he goes against the really good ones in the Victoria Cup and then make a decision.” Adam Hamilton

Shane Tritton’s been trying to get his speedstar Yayas Hot Spot to the Perth Inter Dominion for three years. And now he’s sure he will finally get there. “I feel like it’s unfinished business,” Tritton said. “He’s finally ranked high enough and we’re going across. “First it’s down to Melbourne for the Victoria Cup.” Yayas Hot Spot confirmed a two-race Melbourne raid after Yayas Hot Spot smashed the clock in a solo workout at Penrith. He ran a 1.53.6 mile, which was 1.4sec inside the official track record. “He won’t run before Melbourne. He’ll go first-up into the Smoken Up on October 6 at Melton,” Tritton said. Then comes the $200,000 Group One Victoria Cup at Melton eight days later. In other stable news, Shane and Lauren Tritton combined with their classy six-year-old mare Miss Riviera Belle to win the $30,600 Group Three Piccadilly Princess in a 1.53 mile at Menangle last Saturday night. _______________________________________________________________________________________ When Hunter Cup winner Bling It On crashed to the track a few months back and was ruled-out of the Victoria Cup and Perth Inter Dominion, Luke McCarthy’s hopes of competing in those races looked slim. Maybe Mach Doro or Allblack Stride could step-up, but instead it has been new stable addition Galactic Star who emerged. The former WA-trained five-year-old has looked terrific winning both starts for Craig Cross with McCarthy in the bike. Galactic Star won narrowly but impressively after sitting parked for much of the race in a 1.55.9 mile rate for 2300m at Menangle last Saturday night. It was enough for connections to label the Victoria Cup (Melton, October 14) a target. Galactic Star was bought from NZ by Greg and Skye Bond and won 13 of his 19 WA starts for them before being sent to NSW. Adam Hamilton

Further to the Harness Racing New South Wales Official Notice concerning the review of the NSW Breeders Challenge Terms and Conditions in relation to Owners Bonus Certificates, HRNSW can now advise the new Conditions are as below: Breeders Challenge Owner’s Bonus Certificates are redeemable against; i.       The service fee of a stallion nominated for the NSW Breeding Schemes to a NSW based mare upon confirmation of a positive 35 day pregnancy test  ii.       In relation to having a broodmare served, upon proof of invoice the cost of semen transport, veterinary expenses and insemination charges (up to 31 December).    A broodmare that has not produced a live foal from its last three seasons of service will not be eligible to redeem against this clause iii.       In relation to the health and well-being of a broodmare while in foal, upon proof of invoice the cost of agistment and veterinary expenses (for 35 days from the date of service up to 31 December).     A broodmare that has not produced a live foal from its last three seasons of service will not be eligible to redeem against this clause iv.       The purchase price of a NSW Breeders Challenge eligible yearling at a registered Australian sale v.        The purchase price of a NSW Breeders Challenge eligible horse at a registered trialling sale conducted in NSW.  vi.       NSW Breeders Challenge Series Fees and Sustaining Fees.  With respect to clause ii.: The maximum redemption for each segment is as follows: Semen Transport $150.00                              $165.00 (return service) Insemination (Breeding Fee) $900.00  Veterinary Charges On application – must be itemised  With respect to clause iii.:  Agistment $11.00 (per day – dry mares)                  $13.20 (per day – mare with foal)  Veterinary Charges On application – must be itemised Conditions of Redemption with respect to clauses ii. & iii.:  1) When a broodmare is delivered on farm the broodmare owner is to advise the Stud/Insemination Farm that that are going to be redeeming their fees with a NSW Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus Certificate. 2) Within 24 hours of a mare arriving on farm, the Stud/Insemination Farm is to send an email to futurities@hrnsw.com.au advising that they have a broodmare on their Farm which will be redeeming fees with a NSW Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus Certificate.  3) All fees are payable in arrears upon the confirmation of a 35 day positive pregnancy test. 4) An itemised Tax Invoice must be submitted with the Certificate Redemption.  5) HRNSW will pay the Stud/Insemination Farm directly on behalf of the Broodmare owner.  6) All Veterinary Charges are considered on application.                i. An itemised Tax Invoice must be submitted with the Certificate Redemption.               ii. If approved, HRNSW will pay the Veterinary Practice on behalf of the Broodmare Owner.  Should you have any queries please contact Adam Fairley on 02 9722 6614 or at afairley@hrnsw.com.au.  John Dumesny Chief Executive

Clear the runway, the Cain plane is taking off. Harness racing driver Leonard Cain, 18, is keen to keep building on his stellar rookie season and has set himself key targets for the new season. Last night (Saturday) at Albion Park, Cain landed his first metropolitan winner of the new season (2017/18) when successful aboard Wicked Time in the Gotta Go Cullect @ Egmont Park Stud Mares Pace in a time of 1:55.9 defeating Katniss by a half head margin. “At first I thought I had been nipped right on the line but wasn’t completely sure so I was relieved when the number was semaphored. It’s a great feeling winning on a Saturday night, she looked well-placed and felt awesome the whole way and she tried all the way to the finish and had her ears pinned back because she wanted to win.” Cain said. Punters were also relieved; Wicked Time was the $2.10 favourite. The victory was his second on the Saturday night circuit following his maiden triumph behind Border Cross last month (August 19). And the dedicated fresh-faced horseman is keen to keep racking up the winners, at all tracks including the Saturday night venue. In his opening season (2016/17), Cain landed 55 winners from 535 drives and therefore created a new record by a Queensland driver for most wins in a maiden term. That’s more than the likes of Grant Dixon, Luke & Todd McCarthy, Shane Graham, Natalie Rasmussen plus Pete & Narissa McMullen among many others. The previous record belonged to Brittany Graham at 40. Cain displayed natural poise and skill during that opening term which resulted in success at all three harness venues in the Sunshine State - Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg. The son of Errol and Debra Cain, a graduate of the mini-trotting ranks, took on a role with the leading stable of Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham around eighteen months ago and remains their today. And he’s grasped the opportunities, both on and off the track. “Both Shane and Vicki have been tremendous, apart from family support; they’ve been the best thing for my career and gave me the best kick-start possible with a host of opportunities, advice and support. “Naturally, I was absolutely thrilled with my results during my first season. I had a dream run to reach 50 winners let alone exceed that, it wasn’t even in my thoughts when I was first granted my licence. “Shane has been a massive influence and is endlessly working to make me better, the amount of advice and experience he has given me over the last year has been fantastic and something I don’t take for granted.” With 3 winners on the board for the current term, Cain is mindful he is well short of the record figure he set himself last season but is determined to improve on that figure again. But he won’t make any bold predictions on what he’s hoping to achieve. “To reach the same figure as last season would be huge but obviously I would like to expand on that number. The main focus will be to showcase improvement. “I’ll be checking in with Shane as always while I like to watch and take in the techniques and tactics from guys like Chris Alford, Luke and Todd McCarthy plus Chris Geary among others.” So, here’s hoping for another productive season. Chris Barsby

Night-time horse racing will be introduced on the Gold Coast, and two greyhound tracks opened, in a $200 million plan to stimulate the industry. An infrastructure plan, to be released by Racing Queensland today, sets out how the biggest cash injection for the sport in the state’s history will be spent. Priority projects for the next two years include a top-class lighting system for the Gold Coast Turf Club that will enable night-time events, seen as a big drawcard for locals and tourists. Racing Queensland said it was close to selecting two sites to drive the growth of greyhounds in the southeast: a purpose-built replacement home for Ipswich and a new venue for the Brisbane club. The Sunday Mail understands locations being considered include Rocklea and Bundamba. The Eagle Farm track will be improved and Townsville’s greyhound facility refurbished. Racing Queensland CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said the plan would lay the foundation for the industry’s success and growth of all three codes for future generations. “Our vision to connect people through the thrill of racing can only become reality if we deliver on the wide range of infrastructure needs and grow racing and non-racing revenue.’’ The long-term vision for trotting is to build two key locations. One will be a “state-of-the-art harness racing facility that will serve as the code’s peak metropolitan venue” with high-quality dining and bars, and cutting-edge broadcast technology, including the use of drones and go-pro cameras on each horse and driver. The other will be “a landmark secondary racing and training venue’’. The document is vague on details of the future of Albion Park. The industry’s governing body and the local Harness Club are at odds over whether it should be retained and revamped as a racetrack or redeveloped as a commercial centre to raise funds. But the infrastructure plan does say: “There would be higher potential uptake and engagement with both greyhound and harness in locations other than Albion Park.’’ Research by Roy Morgan found Albion Park was underused, with a low percentage of locals potentially interested in harness or greyhound racing. The key growth areas for patronage have been identified as the western and southern corridors between Brisbane and Ipswich and Logan/Gold Coast. The plan has identified $198 million of projects. The Racing Infrastructure Fund, held by Queensland Treasury, has $120 million available; $63 million now and the rest between 2020 and 2023. Racing Queensland aims to meet the $78 million shortfall between the RIF and the infrastructure spending target through increased betting, commercial agreements and developing assets. An example is a subdivision of the Ipswich Turf Club site to build a commercial and retail centre, including a supermarket, a service station, fast food outlets and a possible motel and/or childcare centre. “The focus is on fulfilling the infrastructure needs of industry and generating commercial income from industry assets,” Dr Forbes said. The three codes of racing contribute more than $1 billion a year to the state’s economy. But nearly 40 per cent of events in Queensland are so-called “picnic races’’ in regions, which are non-TAB events. Daryl Passmore, The Courier-Mail Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail

It's a long way from Perth to Brisbane, but ex-Western Australian harness racing trainer/driver Michael Tenardi is probably thinking he has pulled the right rein in coming this way. The stable rep, Top Flight Cruize, has had two starts at Redcliffe on successive Wednesday nights for an eye-catching second followed by an impressive "all the way” victory on Wednesday. The winning margin was a widening 11.7 metres, the mile rate 1-58.7. The five-year-old gelded son of Mr Aviator and Lucinda Lombo boasts stats of 20 starts for three wins, four seconds and three thirds with a bank roll of $18,643. All in all, the trainer/ driver/horse combo looks set for a bright future in south east Queensland. Tenardi must have made a geographical study of the area. He has chosen to settle in the lower Brisbane Valley, the land of winners. It's a great start and we wish him well. One for the diary MODERN folk live a busy life and tend to plan their weekend social activities well in advance. To this end, keep Sunday, October 22 aside for the Graham Harriott Memorial meeting at Marburg. This will be great family fun day, incorporating "Octoberfest” with beer tasting from two boutique breweries, specialty food stalls, craft stalls and a super program of country trotting. Whip debate latest THE much debated whip use issue continues to tread water with a final rule somewhere in hazy future. The following is an update from Harness Racing Australia's Geoff Want. "There is no doubt whip use is now an issue throughout the harness racing world, with administrators in most member countries of the International Trotting Association expressing their concern at the recent World Trotting Conference in Canada. "Apart from Norway, where whips have been banned in racing for many years, most countries concede reform of whip actions is imperative. "In Sweden, there was a huge outcry after the Hambletonian was televised recently, even though the iconic race at the Meadowlands was won by a Swedish horse, Perfect Spirit. "Viewers felt the Swedish driver used the whip too much and staged a protest at their major track, Solvalla, the first such protest in Swedish harness racing in more than a decade. "As a result, Swedish authorities are considering a ban all coverage of United States harness racing in what is a lucrative market for the American product. "Significant voices in the US are now also acknowledging that community expectations are relevant to whip use. "One of the most highly regarded and awarded drivers in North America, the recently retired John Campbell, speaking at the Conference Symposium, explained that while he believes strongly in retaining the whip for safety purposes, it had been his long held view that one handed whipping should not be allowed - nor should raising the whipping arm above the shoulder. "No one country is immune to global community expectations and we must continue to explore means of securing the sustainability of our industry. I'm sure that, with the same foresight and goodwill already shown in Australia, we will continue to grapple with this difficult but vital issue. "As we put the detail to a possible wrist-only rule, we should keep in mind that our decisions are for the sake of our industry, to attract new young entrants, and to stay vibrant and viable.'' My view is we have explored enough. HRA should put in place a rule combining hand, rein and restricted wrist action with severe penalties for abuse of the rule. We have excellent patrol films to identify this abuse. All we need now from our stewards panels is the will to stamp out the practice, now and in the future. An interesting issue on the matter of risk emanating from use of the angled mobile barrier is the need to widen the gap between the number brackets on the arms to compensate for the reduction in width when the barrier is angled across the lines of travel of the barrier vehicle and the horses, which are a series of parallel lines. Check it out. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Karloo Ten Seventy (C. Owen)-Written In Red (Madi Dux)-Likeallofus (L. Cain). R2: E/w 2: The Charging Moa (P. McMullen). R3: E/w3: Majestic Mach (T. Dixon). R4: E/w 1: Lenny The Legend (C.Owen). R5: Quinella 2-3: Sports Chaton (T. Dixon) and Living Grand (H. Barnes). R6: Quinella 1-4: Crowning Glory (M. Elkins) and Surface To Air (G. Elkins). R7: E/w 1: Wicked Time (L. Cain). R8: Quinella 2-3: Secret Smile (D. McMullen) and Midnight Prowler (M. Neilson). R9: Quinella 1-7: The Space Invader (N. McMullen) and Avonnova (P. McMullen). R10: Box trifecta 2-4-6: Giacomo (I. Ross)-Our Overannova (T. Dixon)-Monorail (R. Jenkins). Honour board The leader board shows Darrell Graham to be the top trainer with five winners for the week. Nathan Dawson clawed his way back onto the drivers podium at seven wins, on schedule for another century-topping season. Meanwhile, with 28 of the 40 races run and won this week, the Ipswich footprint had a 70% presence in Victory Lane. Albion Park, September 15: Soi Cowboy (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen); Culley Backy (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Ferdinand (Chantal Turpin); Horace Foxley (Trent Dawson for Tahn Camilleri); Ocean Predator (Nathan Dawson for Greg Elkins). Albion Park, September 16: Watch Pulp Fiction (Chantal Turpin); Franco Totem (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Blue Pointer (Matt Elkins for Mark Dux); Tallyho Bromac (Nathan Dawson for Ian Gurney); Rory Mach (Darrell Graham); Annika Magic (Matt Elkins for Kerry Smith); Riverleigh Jeff (Steven Doherty for Tess Neaves). Albion Park, September 19: The Charging Moa (Pete McMullen for Shane Graham); Django Mach (Narissa McMullen); Subtle Delight (Nathan Dawson for Terry Hancock); Glenferrie Boss (Gary Whitaker for Trevor Lambourn); Jack Hammer (Trevor Lambourn). Redcliffe, September 20: Win Or Die (Nathan Dawson for Gary Vernon); Riverleigh William Hayden Barnes for Josh Moore); Little Lizzie Jove (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson); Top Flight Cruize (Michael Tenardi); Flashing Good Time (Hayden Barnes for John McMullen). Redcliffe, September 21: Got The Moon (Nathan Dawson for Donny Smith); I'm rolling Stoned (Narissa McMullen for Richard Hutchinson); Drive The Dream (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Vanto Hanover (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Ernie Barrasso (Pete McMullen for Nick Pugliese); Razen Trouble (Adam Richardson for Darrell Graham). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Shepparton horseman Mark Pitt has had some good days and nights in the sulky during the past two or three years and last Friday night’s Melton harness racing meeting was right up there with the best of them. Pitt landed a driving treble — his first metropolitan hat-trick — which included the $50000 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown final for three-year-old fillies with a pacer close to his heart, Shez All Rock. The Emma Stewart-trained Shez All Rock is owned by Pitt’s parents Ian and Leanne. A Rock N Roll Heaven filly, Shez All Rock had trots fans in awe when she won her heat on debut at Bendigo in scorching 1:53.7 mile rate time. She was too good again for her rivals in the final last Friday night, rating 1:55 and beating Soho Burning Love, Seattle Trace with the local hope, the Brent Thomson-trained, Sheer Modern filling fourth placing. Signs were promising early that Pitt could be in for a good night when he drove the Amanda Turnbull-trained Carter Bromac to victory in the opening event. After completing the driving double on Shez All Rock in the feature he then completed the hat-trick on the Dean Braun-trained Carlas Pixel. The win of Carlas Pixel also completed a hat-trick for the Courage Under Fire mare who had won at her previous two starts at Geelong and Melton when also driven by Pitt. “I’ve had a treble at Bendigo and I have driven four winners at meetings at Albury and Wagga, but this is the first treble I’ve had at Melton,’’ Pitt said. Pitt’s partner Lisa Bartley also enjoyed a win at the meeting, reining the extra-smart Majordan to victory which completed a training double for Turnbull. Majordan has now won five of his last eight starts with Bartley in the sulky for two of these wins. Pitt and Bartley are now preparing a team of 11 horses at Ross Pyke’s training establishment at Lemnos near Shepparton. Back on top of game Star pacer San Carlo did not take long to return to doing what he does best — winning. The Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven seven-year-old, who lost no admirers when he finished third at his previous start to the well-performed Ameretto and Tee Cee Bee Macray at Melton, had an effortless win at Bendigo last Saturday night in a C6 or better class race, taking his record to 18 wins in 21 starts. Bartley gradually worked San Carlo to the front and he was never threatened after that, rating 1:56.2 for the 2150m trip. O’Donoghue is aiming the exciting pacer at the $200000 Victoria Cup on October 14 at Melton, but will look for a suitable race to top off his preparation in the build up to that feature. Perth Inter Dominion plans are also still on San Carlo’s agenda, all going well, O’Donoghue said. ‘‘He is down a bit in the noms (order of preference to get a run) at the moment, but we’ll just have to see what happens.’’ Kima’s on a roll There is an old Aussie saying that goes ‘‘you can’t keep a good woman down’’. It may not be as fashionable in Sweden as it is here, but it’s certainly applicable to one of its own at the moment. Swedish horsewoman Kima Frenning has been making her presence felt since adding driving to her monte riding in the past few months and continues to chalk up the winners. Frenning reined Epaulette to victory for trainer David Aiken with a patient drive in an M1-M2 class event at Melton last Friday night and then partnered another Aiken-trained pacer, Ima Rocknroll Diva, to victory the following night at Bendigo. A seven-year-old Four Starzz Shark gelding Epaulette has been around a bit with 60 starts in Queensland and NSW before coming south to join the Aiken barn. Epaulette was having just the fourth outing for Aiken but had 17 wins before coming south. Frenning had Epaulette locked away four back on the pegs and he stormed home along the sprint lane to claim victory. Epaulette’s dam French Flair is by the former great pacer Preux Chevalier. Ima Rocknroll Diva was having her fifth outing and has now won successive races after winning at her previous start at Shepparton on August 31. Well worth the miss Kyabram trainers have had another good week. Mark Watson even gave up watching his beloved Kyabram Bombers reserves and thirds football teams book their spot in Sunday’s GVL grand finals to take two pacers to Swan Hill. It ended up being a big day with one of his pacers, Recork, saluting and his other runner, Fleeting Grin running third. Both were driven by Watson’s brother Luke. Another mad Kyabram footy fan and trots trainer Graham Lyon was in the winners’ circle at Kilmore on Monday with five-year-old pacer Mana Master notching his third win from 19 tries. Byrneside horseman Damian Wilson had Mana Master take the sit on the pacemaker before sprint laning to victory. Places has the paces Pacer Hes Going Places certainly went places — and fast — at Bendigo last Saturday night. Trained at Lancaster by Rod Woods Sr and raced by family members Hes Going Places ran his rivals off their legs in an 1150m dash for RO Only class pacers. Driver Chris Alford utilised Hes Going Places’ barrier one draw over the extra short trip and sent him straight to the front where he dictated terms in 1:54.7 mile rate time with a 57.2 last half. Although a seven-year-old entire Hes Going Places, who is by Totally Ruthless, was having just his ninth race start. Prior to breaking his duck at Bendigo he had run four minor placings, including two of these at his last three starts, which convinced punters he was overdue for a win and they sent him out a $2.30 favourite. Dream run continues Shepparton pacer A Special Dream can’t do much wrong at the moment. The seven-year-old warrior of 121 starts is racing in career best form and has not missed a top three placing in his last nine starts with three wins included in this formline. A Special Dream’s latest win was achieved at Monday’s Kilmore meeting when he was driven to victory in a C1 Only class race for concession drivers by Ryan Duffy. Duffy drove a patient race in the six-horse field, settling three back on the pegs before pushing through gaps which opened up turning for home to get into clear running. A Special Dream did the rest, running all over his rivals in the concluding stages. Ryan Duffy has now driven A Special Dream to his last three wins and has been on the pacer for five of his six placings. It’s a real family affair with Ryan’s father Steve training the pacer which was bred by Sharon Britten and is owned by her and her mother Lorraine Duffy and Bryan Johnstone. Rocking along nicely The David Aiken-trained pacer Hot To Rock reached a monetary milestone with his win at Monday’s Kilmore meeting. The Rocknroll Hanover five-year-old took his prizemoney earnings to more than $50000 with the win, the seventh of his 41 starts. There have also been 16 minor placings. Hot To Rock was reined to an all-the-way victory by Josh Aiken who has driven the pacer to six of his wins. Lisa Bartley was aboard for the other win. Hot To Rock had his previous win several starts previously when he scored at Shepparton in early July. A Radical decision Congupna horseman Shane Gilligan’s decision to make the trip to Leeton last Friday with handy pacer Radical Art proved a wise one. Clearing her rivals from barrier five at the start Radical Art led throughout to win at odds of nearly 20/1 despite having finished third at his previous start at Shepparton on September 6. The win was achieved at the daughter of Art Major’s 50th start and broke a run of 16 starts away from the winners’ circle. Her previous win was achieved at an Albury meeting in February. Owned by Marianne Barca it was Radical Art’s fourth win, but there have also been 14 minor placings. Certainly no spoil Those punters who backed Spoilt Dillinger on the Ubet tote to win at Northam in Western Australia last Saturday night would have been gutted after the race. Spoilt Dillinger duly got the spoils and on Ubet paid just more than $11 for the win. But on the TAB he paid $99 and on the NSW tote $106. But those Ubet punters who took the fixed odds would have been content as he paid 100/1. Who will be best? David Aiken-trained superstars Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark are among finalists in this year’s prestigious Harness Racing Victoria Horse of the Year awards. The pair has been nominated in the aged pacers section in the awards with the winners to be revealed at the Gordon Rothacker Medal Night on Sunday October 22. Aiken also has a nomination, Maorisfavouritesun, in the aged trotters entires and geldings section, while Seymour horseman Bill Morgan’s star trotter Maori Law is in the field for the four-year-old trotting entires and geldings gong. Horse of the Year contenders are judged on their performances anywhere while trained in Victoria. This year’s Victorian Horse of the Year finalists are: 2YO pacing colts and geldings: Lumineer, Poster Boy, Tam Major. 2YO pacing fillies: Molly Kelly, Nostra Beach, Nostra Villa. 3YO pacing colts and geldings: Jilliby Kung Fu, Our Little General, Stars Align. 3YO pacing fillies: Miss Graceland, Petacular, Tell Me Tales. 4YO pacing entires and geldings: Dont Hold Back, Mr Mojito, Rock Of America. 4YO pacing mares: Heavens Trend, Rocknroll Magic, Whirily School. Aged pacing entires and geldings: Hectorjayjay, Lennytheshark, Major Crocker. Aged pacing mares: Ameretto, Bettor Downunder, Milly Perez. 2YO trotting colts and geldings: La Grange, Smashthemcalder, Wobelee. 2YO trotting fillies: Aleppo Jewel, Moonlight Dream, Moonshine Linda. 3YO trotting colts and geldings: Deltasun, Magicool, War Spirit. 3YO trotting fillies: Dance Craze, Kinvara Sue, Une Belle Allure. 4YO trotting entires and geldings: Conon Bridge, Enrolled, Maori Law. 4YO trotting mares: Aldebaran Eve, Into The Unknown, Red Hot Tooth. Aged trotting entires and geldings: Glenferrie Typhoon, Maorisfavouritesun, The Boss Man. Aged trotting mares: Heavenly Sister, Maori Time, Sunny Ruby. Coming up Tomorrow: Cranbourne (n). Sunday: Mildura (t). Monday: Hamilton (d). Tuesday: Ballarat (n). Wednesday: Bendigo (n). Thursday: Melton (n). Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

ON Monday August 21, 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester, metabolites of cocaine, had been detected in the post-race urine sample taken from DESTINY WARRIOR following its win in Race 5 DUBBO RSL CLUB FINAL (2120m) at Dubbo on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.  Licensed trainer Mr Nathan Turnbull appeared at the inquiry accompanied by his legal advisor who sought and was granted permission for the trainer to be represented by D Sheales Barrister.  Evidence was heard from and on behalf of Mr Turnbull, from licensed trainer A Williams and a person known to Mr Turnbull who accompanied the trainer to the Dubbo races.   Evidence was also heard from HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian, Dr Martin Wainscott. After fully considering all the evidence Stewards issued a charge against Mr Turnbull pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2) & (4) as follows: AHRR 190.  (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence. (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. Mr Turnbull pleaded guilty to the charge laid.  On the trainer’s behalf Mr Sheales then presented submissions in regards to penalty. Having regards to certain detailed aspects of the Barrister’s submission on penalty, Stewards adjourned to fully consider the submission and examine references tendered on behalf of the trainer as being relevant. On Monday September 18, 2017, Stewards announced that taking all the circumstances into consideration they had determined that Mr Turnbull be disqualified for a period of two years and six months to commence at midnight on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. In determining penalty Stewards acknowledged the following: The serious nature of this offence; Mr Turnbull’s guilty plea; Cocaine, including its metabolites, as being a Class 1 Prohibited Substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines; Mr Turnbull’s previous record noting no previous prohibitive substance offences; and Mr Turnbull’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. HRNSW Stewards acting under the provisions of AHRR 195 being satisfied that benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester, metabolites of cocaine, were substances prohibited under the rules, ordered DESTINY WARRIOR be disqualified from the abovementioned race. Mr Turnbull was advised of his right to appeal these decisions.  HRNSW are advised the trainer has exercised his right to appeal the penalty imposed.   MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gloch@hrnsw.com.au

Owners' grand moments are being thrust into the harness racing spotlight with tonight's launch of OTM TV, a Trots Media production hosted by Larni Salathiel. The program, which is backed by Trots Media's digital sponsor Alabar, celebrates all things ownership and began with a special TAB Breeders Crown feature. Larni was trackside to get the first word from owners, including following two-year-old trotting star Wobelee, his owner Colin Murphy and the Alford family as Wobelee attempted to cap his brilliant season with a 10th consecutive win. The pre-race nerves and post-race ecstasy were captured throughout the day as eight Group 1s were decided at Tabcorp Park Melton. Relive the magic through episode one of OTM TV:   Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Former northern trainer and reinsman Len Clement hit the limelight at last Friday’s Leeton harness meeting when he trained and drove LettucefireHarvey to a win in the TAB Rewards Pace. It was Len’s first winner in four years, and the first for the Courage Under Fire four-year-old. The win paid $107. Len, along with his wife Chris, completed their bucket list earlier this year in driving on every track in NSW and have headed down to the Riverina for a while to set up training. ELLEN Rixon, ambassador of the NSW Standardbred Owners Association, handled her seven driving engagements last Friday at Tamworth Paceway and left the grounds a winner after taking Merry Jasper to the line for Tamworth trainer Brendan Hunt. The NSWSOA race colours appeared on six winners on the eight-event program. Stacey Weidemann won three races in succession and may end up with the NSWSOA “B” colours as one of the most successful to wear the silks on one day. Newcastle will host their NSWSOA meeting on Saturday. COMMANCHE is looking like a horse to follow this season after notching up his fourth win for the Dwayne Brown stables from six starts. Driven by Scotty-Jon Welsh, the five-year-old gelding raced three wide around the home turn before coming away for a 2.7 metre win over race favourite Sea Kingdom (Peter Hedges) and Purple Shades (Anthony Varga).  “He has been going super for us,” Welsh said. HARNESS racing is at the Tamworth Paceway on Wednesday night with the feature race being the Kevin & Kay Seymour Celebrating 50 Years Mares Pace. The winning owner will receive a free service to either Hurrikane Kingcole USA or Gotta Go Cullect NZ. The name Seymour has been associated with harness racing in Queensland for over 50 years. The are pleased the Seymours are supporting the industry in NSW, which includes the Evolution Series. Tamworth will to be advised of its Evolution Series race date. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

Talented but injury-plagued Heez On Fire will break fresh ground when he contests a standing-start event for the first time in a distinguished 45-start harness racing career which has produced 19 wins and eight placings. The West Australian-bred eight-year-old is an M6-class performer who is well handicapped off the back mark of 30m in the 2503m Italian Fireworks Night on December 1 Handicap, the fourth event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Aldo Cortopassi, who drives the Courage Under Fire gelding for 85-year-old trainer Bill Horn, is confident he will prove very hard to beat. “I have driven him in a stand at trials, just after Bill got him,” Cortopassi said. “He stepped away nice and cleanly. He’s such a good pacer and such a gentleman of a horse that I don’t see any problem for him in a stand. “He’s got only 30 metres and he’s there on his own. And he should step away pretty well. He’ll be sitting last and as everyone knows he can really roll off a fast-final quarter. If he can get a nice cart into the race at some stage, they’ll know that he’s right there. He runs home in 55sec. every week and I give him a good chance. “His first-up run (when he faded to 11th behind Jambiani three Fridays ago after racing wide) was a bit average, but he was probably a bit underdone. His run a fortnight ago (when he ran on from sixth in the middle stages to be third behind Shandale and Ideal Tyson) was just spot on. “I hoppled him at Byford this morning (Tuesday) for Bill and he was spot on. He worked by himself and he felt good. I’ve driven him in most of his trackwork for Bill and this is as good as he’s felt. When he got up and beat Erskine Range and Ohoka Punter in races at Gloucester Park last April and May, he felt just as good then as he felt today. If he takes that into the race on Friday night he’s going to be hard to beat.” Heez On Fire struck a purple patch in the autumn this year with three fast-finishing victories on the trot beating Erskine Range, Ohoka Punter and Run Oneover. He contested last year’s Interdominion championship series late last year and was unplaced in three heats and the consolation.    Cortopassi hinted strongly that Heez On Fire would not run in this year’s Inters, saying: “Three runs in a week is a bit hard for an old horse with suspect legs.  Bill now runs him only every second week and occasionally only every three weeks. I think Bill will be looking at running him in the WA Pacing Cup after the Inters.” Ken Casellas

Trainer Skye Bond and reinsman Ryan Warwick have made a flying start to the 2017-18 harness racing season and their golden run looks set to continue at full tilt at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They appear likely to dominate proceedings with a powerful line-up of high-quality pacers. Bond’s past 11 starters have produced nine wins, a second and a third and Warwick’s past 12 drives have resulted in ten wins, a second and a third. Bond is the leading trainer this season with 15 wins and nine placings from 28 starts and Warwick is a clear leader in the drivers’ premiership with an identical record of 28 drives for 15 wins and nine placings. Warwick had two drives for two wins at Pinjarra on Monday and three drives for three wins at Gloucester Park on Tuesday and he has outstanding prospects of increasing his remarkable winning sequence by scoring with his first two drives on Friday night when he will be in the sulky behind hot Bond-trained favourites Dodolicious (race two) and Mighty Mr Sharkey (race three). Dodolicious has won in grand style at her first two appearances after a spell and she should carry too many guns for her ten rivals in the 2130m TABtouch Interdominion Starts November 24 Pace for mares. In a good field, she will clash with smart last-start winners Forever Remembered and Foxy Dame and the in-form duo of Donegal Rundlescreek and Shes Artful. Four-year-old Mighty Mr Sharkey is in dazzling form and will take a power of beating in the 2130m TABtouch Interdominion Heat Night Two Pace. He has set the pace and won convincingly at each of his past three starts and Warwick is expected to get him away speedily from the No. 3 barrier in a bid to take up the running. Corey Peterson, who turned 17 on Wednesday, hopes to celebrate his birthday with a forward showing from the Peter Anderson-trained polemarker Bronze Seeker, who will be improved after his first-up eighth behind Dredlock Rockstar last week after starting out wide at barrier eight and racing at the rear. Bond and Warwick also have strong winning chances later in the program with Fifth Edition (race four), Gaz Wannabet (race five), Simply Susational (race seven), Vampiro (race nine) and Bettor Not Bitter (race ten). Warwick will also handle last-start winner Yackandandah in race six, the Maureen Clement Memorial Pace. Yackandandah overcame the difficult No. 7 barrier when he worked hard in the breeze before winning narrowly from the pacemaker Brookies Jet over 1730m last Friday night. Yackandandah is prepared by Clint Hall, who has opted to drive stablemate Fernleigh Rebel in preference to Yackandandah this week. Vampiro and Bettor Not Bitter are outstanding prospects for the Bond-Warwick combination in the final two events on the program. Vampiro, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old by Bettors Delight, chalked up his fifth successive victory when he raced wide early and then without cover before hitting the front 350m from home and scoring by just under a length from Responder, rating 1.57.6 over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Five-year-old Bettor Not Bitter, a winner at nine of his 32 starts, is a strong stayer capable of overcoming the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier nine in the 2536m TABtouch Pace. He had a tough run in the breeze and fought on gamely when second to the talented Livura over 2130m last Friday night. Ken Casellas

Hall of Fame harness racing trainer Gary Hall Snr holds the whip hand in the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park tomorrow night with five of the 12 runners. But he predicts stable star Chicago Bull faces a stern test from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the 2130m feature event. “He will obviously improve on his first-up fourth two weeks ago,” he said. “But he will have the job ahead of him from the wide draw and it’s not going to be easy. “I was disappointed with his fourth behind Jambiani in the Porter Memorial last Friday week; I wasn’t over enamoured with it. It wasn’t that strong a field. “Before his first-up run, he did tie up a bit on the Monday. But the vet said he was right to go, and I don’t know whether that had anything to do with his performance. For him, it wasn’t a top performance, not for a horse who is second favourite for the Inter Dominion. “However, he is still my best hope of winning on Friday night. He’s never been a terrific track worker; he’s a bit lazy.” In summing up his five Navy Cup runners, Hall nominated Chicago Bull (to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr) on top, ahead of Beaudiene Boaz and Run Oneover. His other runners are American Boy and Norvic Nightowl. Beaudiene Boaz was a 7/1 chance when he surged home from last at the 1050m to hit the front 680m from home and win the 2016 Navy Cup by two and a half lengths from the 9/4 on favourite Bettors Fire. He warmed up for this week’s assignment with a splendid second, a half-head behind Condrieu in the Spring Pace last Friday night when he ran on from fifth, three back on the pegs at the bell. Kim Prentice is under suspension and this week Michael Grantham will drive Beaudiene Boaz, who will start from the inside of the back line and should enjoy a perfect trip behind the likely pacemaker My Hard Copy. “Beaudiene Boaz improved out of sight with his run last week, a week after his first-up tenth behind Jambiani in the Porter Memorial when he was a bit big in condition and ran out of legs,” Hall Snr said. Run Oneover, to be driven by Stuart McDonald from barrier six, maintained his excellent form when he set the pace and finished a half-head second to Jambiani last Friday week. That followed his all-the-way victory over Our Jimmy Johnstone and Ideal Alice a week earlier. “If Run Oneover had drawn to lead he would’ve been a good thing,” said Hall. “American Boy (Lauren Jones) needs to be close handy to be any chance; he’s strong enough, but just lacks a bit of point-to-point speed. Norvic Nightowl (Aiden de Campo) is a very good horse. But he’s been out for a long time and will take a little while to hit his top.” Hall Snr is seeking his fifth winner as a trainer in the Navy Cup, after successes with Abit Rich (1997), Real Life (2009), Hokonui Ben (2012) and Beaudiene Boaz (2016). He also prepared Navy Cup placegetters Facet Spiro (2007) and Talk To Me Courage (2010). Hall’s elder son Clint is training and will drive dual WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy, who looms as a major chance in Friday night’s Cup after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. The eight-year-old stallion is a capable frontrunner who is sure to take plenty of catching. My Hard Copy impressed last Friday night at his third outing after an absence of 13 months when he ran home boldly from eighth at the bell to be a close fourth behind Condrieu, Beaudiene Boaz and Ideal Alice Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed has high hopes of continuing his dominance of the Navy Cup by winning with the up-and-coming star Shandale, who will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko from out wide at barrier eight. Reed has won the Navy Cup a record six times --- with Sylvies Secret (1986), Manageable (1989), Time Symbol (1992), Golden Resonator (2001), Tricky Vic (2002) and La Valiente (2004). Shandale is in peak form, winning in fine style at his past two starts.          Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who has won the Navy Cup with Chipmont (1991), Mark Craig (1995) and Super Strike (1996), will be represented with giant-killer Jambiani, who has unwound devastating late sprints to win at odds of 95/1 and 45/1 at his past two appearances. Jambiani will be driven by Morgan Woodley, who is sure to bide his time from the outside of the back line and rely on the seven-year-old’s flying finishing burst. Ken Casellas

The South Australian Racing Appeals Tribunal today heard an appeal filed by Mr Donald Moore with respect to a decision of the Stewards to disqualify him for a period of five years following a conviction under Rule 218 of the Rules of Harness Racing. The particulars of the case being that Mr Moore failed to properly care for the horse ‘MAX’ when it was domiciled at his stables at the Whyalla race track. Mr Moore also appealed the severity of the penalty imposed. The outcome was that the Tribunal dismissed the appeal against conviction and reserved its decision with respect to penalty. Harness Racing South Australia

The Todd Rattray trained duo Devendra and Pachacuti look set to continue their mission to the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion after a strong performance in the harness racing fast class event in Hobart last Friday evening. Ben Yole and Robert Walters teamed up for a training and driving double with Liv Lavish and Hear The Call. This week Destreos the winner of 96 races will join the Tasmanian free-for-all ranks when he lines up in the sixth race in Launceston this Sunday evening. The Stars Barrie Rattray – His son Todd has done a great job training the trifecta in the event but the brilliant front-running drive from Barrie aboard Devendra has slipped under the raider with the win. Matthew Cooper – Oatlands based trainer-driver has Call Her Julie flying at present with another brilliant performance in Hobart on Friday. Marc Butler – Great training performance from first starter Peaceful Thomas who won easily by 30-metres. Henry Pullen – Produced The Badlands first up from a three-month spell to win on Friday. Black Booker Taurisi He is only assessed as a C5 pacer but there was a lot to like about his first-up effort in Hobart last week when he took on some of the state’s best pacers. Driver Ricky Duggan positioned the gelded son of Always A Virgin four back along the pegs and was only 14 metres behind the winner of the race. The Tasracing Calculated sectionals recorded Taurisi running his last half mile in 57.36secs and he is definitely a horse to keep an eye on when he races back in his own grade. Watch the replay here. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Hobart on Friday. Roger Ramjet 57.08, Pachacuti 57.13, Devendra 57.30. Outside of race three; Peaceful Thomas 58.54, War Chest 58.63 and Washies Chance 58.63. View all sectional data here. Trial File Three trials were held at Carrick Park where the Mark Yole trained and driven Black Ops recorded the quickest time of the morning when recording a mile rate of 2:06.8 when winning a C0/1 trial. Yole also prepared the winner of the fast class trial of the morning with Fernco Bobby G who recorded a 2:08.7 mile rate. The other trial was won by Albayzin who won by 25-metres and ran his last half mile in 63.5. Week Ahead This week one of Australia’s most well-known pacers, Destreos, will have his first Tasmanian start, the winner of 96 races looks poised to become only the third horse in Australian harness racing history to chalk up 100 career wins. The most recent pacer to win over 100 races was Cane Smoke who retired from racing in 1991. Kelli Dawson who has driven the 14-year-old gelding to 51 victories will fly to Launceston this Sunday to take up the reins again. Dawson, who had her first race drive in September 2006 has won in excess of 360 races in her home state. Destreos has had 434 career starts and only 23 of them have been in Standing Start races and this Sunday will be the first time since August, 2, 2014 that he has competed in a standing start event. Duncan Dornauf

Harness Racing Australia has today announced its 2017 Horse of the Year Awards, headlined by Smolda as the 2017 Harness Horse of the Year. The Horse of the Year Award caps off an amazing career for the recently retired Smolda, with his 2017 season highlighted by his wins in the Inter Dominion and the South Australian and Ballarat Pacing Cups. Trained in New Zealand by Mark Purdon and predominantly driven by Mark, Smolda retired as the 6th richest Australasian bred pacer of all time for owners G & P Kennard, N Pilcher and M Kirkwood. Smolda also won the Pacer of the Year title and the Aged Horse/Gelding Pacer of the Year. Two year old trotting gelding Wobelee became the first two year old trotter to win Australian Trotter of the Year. His record-breaking year included four group ones, 10 wins from 12 starts and $180,330 in seasonal earnings. It was a phenomenal year for Wobelee and his owner Colin Murphy, drawing comparisons with champion trotter, Noopy Kiosky, who was also driven by Chris Alford. Of course, Chris’ wife Alison trains Wobelee. The performance criteria for the HRA Awards is for performances by Australian trained horses, as well as for the Australian performances of New Zealand trained horses. The HRA Australian Horse of the Year Awards are voted upon by over 60 judges including media and administrators spread across the country.  The full list of Australian Horse of the Year winners and their performances across all categories is attached:             Lawn Derby Awards – Pacers             Vancleve Awards – Trotters For details of previous winners see: Harness Horse of the Year Lawn Derby Awards Vancleve Awards For more information, contact Andrew Kelly on 03 9227 3000.

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