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One of the greatest comebacks in harness racing history occurred on this day in 1984. After 11 months on the sidelines, the immortal Popular Alm returned to racing in stylish fashion for the late Bob and Vin Knight. Just a week after his Winfield Cup triumph at Moonee Valley the previous December, Popular Alm broke his pastern in a freak track work accident. “He was pacing along nicely then all of a sudden he dipped and galloped then he just stood there with his leg in the air. I could see he was in a lot of pain,” Vin said. Scans discovered the pastern had been split in two, meaning the injury was much worse than first thought. Two compression screws were inserted across the fractured off-hind pastern, and the leg encased in a plaster cast to the hock for six weeks. Despite a five-hour operation, there was no guarantee Poppy, as he was affectionately-known, would race again. After six months on the sidelines, the eight-year-old was put back into work, with the Knights growing increasingly confident Popular Alm would complete a comeback. To the delight of the adoring public, Popular Alm won a trial at Kilmore on October 11, with the Italian Cup at the Valley earmarked as his racing return. “He was never going flat out at any stage and he's still quite fat. We’re thrilled with the way he went,” Vin said after the trial. Back at the track he had made his own, Australia’'s greatest pacer gave the fans just what they wanted, a scintillating first-up victory. His popularity and drawing power was illustrated that night with a crowd of 13,199 in attendance - almost double the season’s average! A deafening roar erupted when Vin and Popular Alm began quickly to lead from barrier six as the excitement embraced everyone. With the crowd cheering his every stride, Popular Alm proved he still had a scintillating dash when he broke 25 metres clear of the field leaving the back straight. Although his lack of fitness began to show during the latter stages, the stallion was untouched to account for Barts Gamble and Black Armbro by seven metres, rating 2:00.4 for the 2400 metres. Knight described the moment as one of the highlights of his career. “I’d have to rate my first Kilmore Cup win on him and the night he went 1:55.9 at Harold Park as my biggest thrills, but this would equal them,” Vin declared. “He felt sensational and just wanted to bolt and I couldn’t believe it down the back straight. I started laughing. I thought ‘How easy is he going?’ I couldn’t hold him any slower.” To connections’ dismay, Popular Alm’s comeback was short lived. Successful at the Valley two weeks later, the son of Sovereign Adios pulled up sore from track work five days later. The problem was not in the hind leg he broke a year earlier, but in the off-side foreleg. The trouble appeared to be in the area of the suspensory ligament, which indicated Poppy could have been trying to ‘save’ the leg he injured originally, thereby putting additional stress on the one now giving trouble. A week later Bob announced Popular Alm’s problem with the injured foreleg was over and the champion would be back in work within a few days, with the hope of making the Miracle Mile. After suffering several setbacks during the next few weeks, Popular Alm was officially retired with a record of 49 wins and 10 placings from 62 starts and the title as the greatest pacer produced in the Southern Hemisphere. 1983 Miracle Mile Popular Alm -   PAUL COURTS

Recently retired star Im Victorious was announced the Western Australia’s Harness Horse of the Year for 2014 yesterday. Just a week after returning to his Pinjarra home, following his at times traumatic recovery from life-threatening injuries sustained in the Inter Dominion at Menangle, Im Victorious capped a remarkable career with an honour so richly deserved. During the 2013/14 season Im Victorious won seven of his 12 starts for earnings of $351,225 thanks to wins in the Group One Fremantle Pacing Cup, the Group Two Inter Dominion heat and Group Three wins in the GPHR Members Sprint, JP Stratton Cup and Village Kid Sprint. Trained by Michael Brennan, Im Victorious took the mantle ahead of fellow finalists Im Themightyquinn, David Hercules and Hokonui Ben. Brennan, a Gold Medallist with the Kookaburras at the 2004 Athens Olympics, completed a four-day float trip from New South Wales with Im Victorious earlier in the week. “He means everything to me”, Brennan said, “We went through a tough three or four days when it happened and it’s been a long six months to get him home.” The other awards presented were: 2YO Filly of the Year Award - Tricky Styx won five of her nine starts for Northam trainer Jesse Moore, including the Group One Diamond Classic and Group Two Champagne Classic for a bankroll of $110,435. 2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year Award - Isaiah Artois won five of his 10 starts for Byford trainer David Thompson for stakes of $90,818. The son of Modern Art’s biggest win came in the Group One Pearl Classic 3YO Filly of the Year - Libertybelle Midfrew won six of her seven WA starts for $143,340 in stakes for Hazelmere trainer Mike Reed. Her biggest win came in the Group One WA Oaks. 3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year - Elegant Christian won four of his six starts including victories in the Group Two Western Gateway Pace and Group Three Caduceus Club Classic for trainer Gary Hall. Aged Mare of the Year Award – Leda McNally won seven of her 24 starts, including the Group One Mares’ Classic and Group Two Norms Daughter Classic and a five metro class races for earnings of $182,220 for Pinjarra trainer Chris King. Youth Achievement Award - Matt Young was recognised for his achievements as the state’s youngest race-caller. Young ‘cut his teeth’ race-calling as a five-year-old using Matchbox cars on a racetrack mat before graduating to calling trials at Pinjarra as a nine-year-old and Non-TAB meetings on country tracks at 15. Young, now 23, began work at Racing Radio on the same day that he graduated from Pinjarra High School, and in addition to his studio work, has now called all three racing codes across the state including Sky Channel meetings. Garrard’s Junior Concession Driver Challenge Award - Kristy Sheehy amassed 60 points across the nine heats and three Finals of the Garrard’s Junior Concession Drivers’ Challenge to nose out Stuart McDonald who finished second with 59 points and Tom Buchanan and Cody Wallrodt tied for third on 57 points. Sheehy is a daughter of Tommy Sheehy, who represented WA in the 1990 Australian Young Drivers’ Championship, and a grand-daughter of Carol Sheehy, who trained Concord Crossing to win the Group Two Champagne Stakes in 1978. ALAN PARKER

IT was a tough night at the office for Tasmanian reinsmen Gareth Rattray and Ricky Duggan who were in South Australia last Saturday night to compete in the inaugural Australian Drivers' Championship at Globe Derby. Duggan was unable to find his way to the podium from drives in each of the six championship races but his charges were all outsiders with all but one starting from the second row. The other drew near the outside of the front row (six). Rattray made the most of his one good draw (barrier one) when triumphant aboard race favourite Winterfeel ($2) but he also managed to snare a second placing aboard 100-1 chance Nothingmuch. The series was designed to give drivers the opportunity to compete with the view of being selected to represent Australia at the World Driving Championships in Sydney next year. Drivers from other states were Grant Dixon and Peter McMullen (Qld), Blake Fitzpatrick and Amanda Turnbull (NSW), Chris Alford and Greg Sugars (Vic), David Harding and Ryan Hryhorec (SA) and Gary Hall junior and Chris Voak (WA). The drivers accumulated points across the six race series with performances factored into the selection of the drivers to represent Australia next year. Duggan and Rattray also had drives in two races that were not a part of the championship series in which Rattray secured a second and a fourth while Duggan finished fourth in the race in which Rattray finished second. Harness Racing Australia will announce soon the names of the drivers to represent Australia. PETER STAPLES

With several key harness racing targets on his schedule, Kvintet Avenger will be out to create a slice of history this summer. Carving an impressive Australian career, Kvintet Avenger has been aimed at features such as the V L Dullard Cup, Australasian Trotting Championship and Great Southern Star by trainer Brent Lilley. Success in any top shelf event will see Kvintet Avenger become the first European-bred performer to enjoy Group One success ‘Down Under’. “Races like the Dullard Cup and Great Southern Star are the aim, but he has to keep improving first,” Lilley declared. “That said, he has done everything asked of him so far and gives every indication there is more to come. “With the way he is progressing I can’t see any reason why he won’t make his way into that company and prove competitive.” Boasting four wins and a second from five local starts, Kvintet Avenger’s latest triumph came in Saturday night’s Swan Hill Trotters’ Cup. Driven confidently by Rodney Petroff, the son of Love You began well from his 10-metre mark to settle in the ‘death seat’ as Neville Vaughan worked to the lead. Striding to the front along the break straight as Neville Vaughan broke gait, Kvintet Avenger cruised to a strong two-and-a-half metre win from Wildenstein, with Monsieur Deville nine metres away third. “That was another good run from him,” Lilley said. “I wasn’t concerned about him sitting outside the leader as he is pretty strong. “Down the back when he rolled to the front I knew they wouldn’t catch him and Rodney just let him stride to the line as he pleased.” Originally purchased along with two other squaregaiters by clients of New Zealand trainer Tim Butt, Kvintet Avenger was then transferred to Lilley. “He’s a nice type…a really lovely horse,” Lilley said. “Tim bought three from Scandinavia, including him, but he didn’t work out as expected, so Tim sent him over here to see if I can get him straightened out. “He’s come along really well and should keep improving as he goes along.” PAUL COURTS

IF three-year-old filly Kyleasha can live up to the efforts of her half-brother Hexus then she should go on to win better races than the Kohnke Own Products Pace she contested in Launceston last night. Hexus (Classic Garry-Magi Lune) won a heat of the 2006 Inter Dominion series in Tasmania when in the care of Max Hadley and he ended his racing career with stake earnings in excess of $500,000. Kyleasha (Bettors Delight-Magi Lune) was having he first start this preparation and showed all of her half-brother’s fighting spirit to win. The filly led from gate three and travelled comfortably with her trainer Barrie Rattray in the cart while the well backed Gottalovefridays (Michael Castles) worked around the field early to face the breeze. In the home straight Gottalovefridays drew about a half-length clear of Kyleasha but Rattray’s filly refused to wilt and fought back to go on and score by a head from Gottalovefridays with outsider Rainbow Phoenix flashing home from well back to grab third. Rattray was delighted with the first-up win as he admitted she was rushed into the assignment. “This filly was underdone for this race but it came up and it was very suitable so we pushed forward and got the desired result,” Rattray said. “I’ve always had a bit of time for this filly and I was very happy with how she did during her spell after her two-year-old campaign.” Kyleasha had four starts last season for a debut second at Burnie before winning at Devonport prior to tackling the Big Park Stud Sweepstakes series in Hobart. The filly finished second in her Sweepstakes heat behind Jokers Wild Card, beaten a head, before ending her campaign with a fifth to her stablemate Fawzia in the Sweepstakes final at the end of May. “She was good last season but not quite forward enough to win a feature,” Rattray said. “She spelled well but she never came to hand as quickly as we would have liked.” Rattray says the filly has a tendency to brush her knee and that might determine how far she progresses. “That she hits her knee is a bit of a problem but we are working on ways of removing that glitch and if we can, then I believe she can go to the next level,” Rattray said. Kyleasha, owned by log time stable client Barry Stewart, is likely to have her next start in Launceston in a fortnight. PETER STAPLES

What a difference 12 months can make in harness racing. This time last year handy pacer Avonnova was plucked out of a Goulburn claimer by Queensland trainer Ian Gurney, who was hoping to win a few races at Albion Park. As of last night’s meeting at that exact venue, Avonnova is now the favourite for next week’s Grand Circuit opener – Queensland Pacing Championship. Under Gurney’s guidance, Avonnova has won 13 of his 21 starts, including the Gold Coast Cup. The son of Art Major also has five placings to his credit. In response to his Group Two success, Avonnova has been installed the nominal favourite for the $200,000 feature, with the barrier draw to be released on Tuesday. Driven by top reinsman Shane Graham, Avonnova began swiftly to lead from barrier two as Devil Dodger and then Majestic Major worked in the ‘death seat’. Fending off the initial challenge on the home turn, the gelding was untouched to score by five metres from New South Wales visitor Blazin N Cullen. Victorian raider, Abettorpunt, was two metres away third. Covering the last half in a brilliant 54.4 seconds, the eight-year-old rated 1:54 for the 2138 metres, slicing a tenth of a second off Fearless Leader’s track record established last July. Another highlight of the card was Our Overanova’s sensational victory in the Seelite Windows and Doors Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship. Trained and driven premier horseman Grant Dixon, Our Overanova overcame a 30-metre back mark to account for Mister Malakye and Goldstar Invasion. Boasting 17 wins and a second from 19 Australian starts, the son of Monarchy may also have earned a trip south later in the season. Thanks to his latest triumph, Our Overanova is guaranteed a berth in the Great Southern Star series at Melton in March. PAUL COURTS

Talented harness racing trainer Brooke Hammond had almost conceded that her mare Sum One might never break her maiden status but the six-year-old finally delivered the goods in Launceston last night. Sum One made the most of her pole position to lead and once in front her driver Troy Hillier ensured a solid tempo but at the same time sneaking a modest second quarter. Sum One scored comfortably from Busted that faced the breeze for the last 1200m with Supa Sunshine third. Hammond has had Sum One in her care for about two years and her only racing was at her previous outing in Launceston when third to Play Apple Tree and Robyn Scherbotsky in a C0-C1 over 2200 metres. “Her last start was good and had either Play Apple Tree or Robyn Scherbotsky been in this race tonight they would have been $1.10 chances,” Hammond said. “I’d almost given up on this mare but she finally did the job.” The mare had six starts last season for no result so this was most likely going to be her last preparation. Sum One is well bred, being by Blissfull Hal from Dreams of Eedee by The Unicorn that was well performed on the racetrack. The Unicorn won a Mildura Pacing Cup with the late Vin Knight aboard and he ran fourth in the 1992 Australian Pacing Championship behind three star performers in Franco Tiger, Westburn Grant and Halyer. At stud The Unicorn produced 543 live foals for 171 winners of 272 that started in a race. Their combined stake earnings is just over $6.5million with the average earned by each starter $24,005. PETER STAPLES

Today marks the dawn of an era for harness racing in New South Wales. Although the circuit underwent a ‘test run’ several nights ago, this afternoon is the official opening of the new Bathurst track. With an 11-race program scheduled, the event is destined to attract a large crowd as the club unveils the state-of-the-art facility. Excited by the prospect of growing the sport within the region as a result of the complex, club President Mark Collins believes the meeting promises to be a day to remember. “I just want everyone who is interested in top quality entertainment and a real sense of occasion to be a part of the fun,” Collin declared. “We will have something for everyone.” An opening ceremony will be conducted following the second race, with several special guests to be present, including Mayor Gary Rush, MP’s Paul Toole and Troy Grant, Harness Racing New South Wales chairman Rex Horne and Inter Dominion winning horseman, Steve Turnbull. “Our last meeting at the Showgrounds just a few weeks ago was a day full of nostalgia and reflection,” Collins said. “Sunday’s meeting at our new home will be full of excited anticipation as we welcome everyone to a place that I know the industry and the community will come to know and love.” PAUL COURTS

Harness racing’s very own Where’s Wally has been at it again… Named after the fictional character as a result of an exclusive Harnesslink article last week, astute horseman Graham McDermott continues to embrace his new stature as he travels around various Victorian tracks. In fact, Wally McDermott is already gaining a cult following! “I’ve been to a few tracks since the original article was on Harnesslink and I keep getting people referring to me as Wally,” Wally said. “I’m surprised it has caught on, let alone this quickly.” A third generation horseman, McDermott has been working for prominent mentor Chris Lang during the past couple of years, but with Lang’s pending retirement, Wally is preparing to rebuild his stable. Wally has enjoyed a solid rate of success throughout the years with his own team and remains a highly sought-after educator. Citing former feature race winner Romeo Castle as the best he has trained, Wally has broken in the likes of top shelf winners Artificial, Saint Flash, Waikare Patricia and Waikare Aristocrat to name a few. As for his latest Wally moment, the man himself was spotted at tonight’s Swan Hill meeting. If you happen to run into Wally, or discover him in one of your racetrack photos, please send them to - we'd love to see them! For the original article on McDermott’s ‘Wally’ transformation click below PAUL COURTS

Australian harness racing’s most exciting prospect – Guaranteed – will be out to equal a slice of history later this month. Fresh from his success in tonight’s Nyah Cup, Guaranteed has been aimed at the popular Kilmore Cup on October 26. Victory in the Group Two will see Guaranteed become just the second competitor to capture the two standing starts in the same season. South Australian star Nevada Smoke holds the benchmark having achieved the feat in 1974. Only two other pacers have won both provincial features, albeit different years, with Game Oro successful in the 1984 Nyah Cup before completing consecutive Kilmore Cup wins in ’85 and ’86. Bold Cruiser repeated the dose with a Nyah win in 2007 and a Kilmore victory the following season. As for Guaranteed, he will be kept fresh ahead of his next assignment according to co-trainer Emma Stewart. Stewart prepares her team with her partner, Clayton Tonkin. “He’ll go straight into the Kilmore Cup now,” Stewart said. “It’s only eight days away, so we’ll just keep him ticking over at home until then.” Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, the son of Artsplace registered his latest triumph by shrugging off a 10-metre handicap to score from Road To Rock and Savesomtimetodream. Rating 1:59.1 for the 2790-metre journey, Guaranteed was just seven-tenths of a second outside the track record set by his stablemate, Restrepo, in last year’s Cup. “We simply couldn’t be happier with the way he has come back,” Stewart said. “He won the Melton Plate first up a fortnight ago and now the Nyah Cup. “He is in sensational shape and has come back better and stronger this time in. “He will go on to the Kilmore Cup now, then after that, his main aim will be the Miracle Mile, then the Ballarat Cup.” Australasia’s premier sprint, the Miracle Mile is scheduled to be run at Menangle on November 29, with the Ballarat Cup a fortnight later. Stewart is no stranger to Ballarat Cup glory having won her local Group One with Safari in 2008 and Restrepo last year. She also prepared Guaranteed to annex the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle last season. “Both races are high on his agenda,” Stewart said. “After the Ballarat Cup he will be kept fresh before the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion.” PAUL COURTS

Western Australia’s two major mares’ events are firmly on the calendar for in-form harness racing star Sensational Gabby. A former outstanding youngster, Sensational Gabby has proven she is back to her best with victories at her last two outings, including Gloucester Park last night. A week after leading throughout the Members’ Sprint, the Ross Olivieri-trained mare has repeated the dose in the Stratton Cup. Thrilled with the daughter of Sensational Yankee, Olivieri has set his sights on the Norms Daughter Classic on November 21 and the Mares’ Classic the following week. “She has come up in top condition this preparation and still has a bit of improvement in her,” Olivieri said. “That was her third run back from a spell and will pretty much top her off for the rest of her campaign. “The two mares’ races in November are the obvious targets.” Driven by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, Sensational Gabby was never seriously challenged after finding the front from the pole as he accounted for Polak and Dredlock Rockstar. Covering the last half in 58.3 seconds, Sensational Gabby rated 1:56.4 for the 2130 metres, taking her record to 29 wins and six placings from 53 starts. The six-year-old’s triumph saw her become just the eighth member of the ‘fairer sex’ to capture the feature in its 65-year history. Star Queen was the groundbreaker in 1937, followed by Francisco (1940), Dainty’s Daughter (1969), Pyramus (1971), Virgil Queen (1977), Windy Jean (1978) and Whitby Heritage, who was successful in 1989 and 1990. As for Lewis, it was his seventh win the event having scored with Black Irish in 1983, followed by three wins with Village Kid (1985, ‘88 and ‘91), Ohoka Ace (2005) and Sneakyn Down Under (2009). Sensational Gabby’s win was the opening leg of a double for Lewis, who combined with Senator Whitby to secure the following race on the program. PAUL COURTS

Harness racing trainer David Lewis says there may be no better punt in tonight’s Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park than Abettorpunt. Drawn barrier four in the Group Two, Abettorpunt is second-up from a spell, having scored at his return a fortnight ago. Following a seven-month break, the seven-year-old resumed at Ballarat in a star-studded Lightning Mile, blousing favourites Maximan and Keayang Cullen in a track record-equalling 1:53.1 over a mile. John Caldow retains the drive behind Abettorpunt after timing his run to perfection at Ballarat, but Lewis says he is expecting his stable star to be more forward in the run than his previous outing. “Four makes it interesting. It allows us to be around the front in the run,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t like going wide on the corners, so the good draw is really handy. “I think once he gets to the ‘death’ he won’t be wanting to hand up to anything. He’s pretty strong when he’s right and I reckon if he’s not 90 per cent, he’s pretty close to it. “We’ll have him close to 100 per cent for his ‘grand final’ next week.” Lewis’ “grand final” comment is in reference to the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship, which doubles as the beginning of the Grand Circuit. As for the task at hand, Lewis described Abettorpunt as a “huge winning chance”. “Avonnova will probably lead and hopefully Luke (McCarthy, driver of For A Reason) will want to take a sit behind us,” Lewis declared. “He’s a great traveller and he travelled really well. I flew up with the horse this morning and he was straight into his tucker.” HRV Media

Plans will remain modest for time being with harness racing’s comeback star Philadelphia Man. Having his first start since July 2012 at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, Philadelphia Man produced a scintillating performance to win with ease for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Thrilled with the stallion’s effort, the prominent couple will wait to see how Philadelphia Man recovers from the outing before selecting his next target. “What can you say about that run?” Stewart said. “He went huge and to think he isn’t anywhere near fit. “On that run it would be easy to say it is all systems go ahead of the major races, but we’ll just wait and see how he pulls up. “You’ve got to remember, he’s been off for more than two years because of injury, so we are just more worried about him staying sound than anything else.” Should the son of Art Major remain injury free, key events such as the Miracle Mile, Ballarat and Victoria Cups, along with the Inter Dominion, are not out of the question. “Let’s just keep our fingers crossed going forward,” Stewart said. “If he is sound and racing well enough when those races come along, then we will look at them.” Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Philadelphia Man was given time to settle into his stride from the second row as Jilliby Master led from gate six. Sent to the ‘death seat’ during the middle stages, Philadelphia Man was angled onto the pegs behind the leader leaving the back straight before Lang pulled him back into the open at the top of the home stretch. Quickly sprinting to the front, Philadelphia Man was untouched to score by seven-and-a-half metres from Jilliby Master, with Sir Jaybe Hall 12 metres away third. “We really couldn’t be happier with the way he went tonight,” Stewart said. “The second row was always the biggest concern, but Gavin drove him perfectly and he did it easily in the end.” Covering the last half in 56.4 seconds, the six-year-old rated a slick 1:53.4 for the 1720 metres. Stretching his winning sequence to eight, Philadelphia Man’s tally sits on 15 victories and six placings from 31 starts. PAUL COURTS

Handy harness racing performer Easy On The Eye is heading to Australia. To be more precise, the son of Christian Cullen has been purchased by clients of premier New South Wales horseman Shane Tritton. Exciting to have the multiple feature winner in his stable, Tritton is confident Easy On The Eye is a ready-made Miracle Mile contender. Australasia’s premier sprint, the Miracle Mile is scheduled to be run at Tabcorp Park Menangle on November 29. Easy On The Eye is expected to arrive at Tritton’s property on Monday. “He has been vetted and cleared and the money is now being transferred,” Tritton said. “All being equal, he will get here on Monday. “I’ve got a lot of respect for this horse after competing against him in New Zealand when he sat outside Suave Stuey Lombo over a mile and was only beaten in the last stride by Pembrook Benny. “When he gets here I will give him a couple of days off, then get him ready for one of the Miracle Mile qualifiers.” In other news from the Tritton camp, the leading trainer revealed he is in negotiations to purchase an open class performer from America. Tritton’s long term vision is to buy “two or three pacers” from the United States in preparation for the three Western Australian Inter Dominions. Beginning in December 2015, the Perth-based editions of the Championship will conclude with mouth watering $1.3million Finals – the riches pacing events in the world! “I’ve got a few on the books, with one in particular already under negotiation,” Tritton revealed. “Without doubt I will be buying at least one from there, but am looking to get two or three. “The plan is to build up a team of top open class pacers which can compete in the next three Perth Inter Dominions.” PAUL COURTS

Harness racing’s very own Where’s Wally has been out and about… Named after the fictional character as a result of an exclusive Harnesslink article last week, astute horseman Graham McDermott has agreed to embrace his new stature as he travels around various Victorian tracks. In fact, Wally McDermott is already gaining a cult following! “I was at the track this morning and at least four people referred to me as Wally,” McDermott said. “I had no idea it would catch on, let alone that quickly.” A third generation horseman, McDermott has enjoyed a solid rate of success throughout the years with his own team and as a highly sought-after educator. Citing former feature race winner Romeo Castle as the best he has trained, Wally has broken in the likes of top shelf winners Artificial, Saint Flash, Waikare Patricia and Waikare Aristocrat to name a few. As for his latest Wally moment, McDermott was forced to resort to a ‘selfie’. “Everybody was too busy working, so Wally was on his own,” McDermott said. “But I’ll be out and about on the weekend crashing photos and welcome a crowd.” For the original article on McDermott’s ‘Wally’ transformation click below PAUL COURTS

The following is an update on inquiries being conducted by Harness Racing New South Wales: Trainer Bruce Dumesny – in relation to the findings of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that morphine was detected in a urine sample taken from SHIRAZ SHANNON following its win in race 4, the Tony & Jill McCarthy Pace (2250 metres) conducted at Peak Hill on Sunday 15 June 2015. Tuesday 21 October 2014: Trainer Glenn Hayward – continuation of an inquiry that was commenced on 1 September 2014 into the findings from the National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a urine sample taken from BIEN HOA following its win in race 4, the NTS Pace (1609 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 29 May 2014.    Wednesday 22 October 2014: Trainer Neil Day – in relation to the findings of the National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a urine sample taken from BENZI MARSH following its win in race 5, the Final Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Championship (1710 metres) conducted at Goulburn on 24 February 2014. Trainer Dean McDowell – in relation to findings of the National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in urine samples taken from CHEVALS CHARLIE followings its win in race 2, the Schweppes 30th Anniversary Pace (1740 metres) and THE TWILIGHT DANCER following its win in race 3, the Australasian Young Drivers Championship Heat Eight (2140 metres) conducted at Bankstown on 28 February 2014.   6 November 2014: Trainer Kim Hillier – reconvening of an inquiry that was commenced on 28 August 2014 and continued on 9 October 2014, into elevated TCO2 levels recorded in horses trained and presented to race during the period 1 January 2013 – 15 August 2014. HRNSW has also issued charges against the following: Trainer Rodney Pike has been issued with the following six charges; Five charges pursuant to Rule 190(1),(2) & (4);      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. CHARGE 1     That as the registered trainer did present SNAP TO IT to race in race 2 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 22 February 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 2     That as the registered trainer did present SNAP TO IT to race in race 4 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 6 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 3     That as the registered trainer did present IM A PLAYER to race in race 3 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 7 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 4     That as the registered trainer did present SNAP TO IT to race in race 2 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 14 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 5     That as the registered trainer did present MASTER FIREHAWKE to race in race 2 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 25 April 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. He was further issued which a charge pursuant to Rule 259 (g) 259. (1) A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – (g) enter any premises used for the purposes of the harness racing industry;   CHARGE 6     That Mr Pike, on Wednesday 27 August 2014, as a person recorded on the Harness Racing New South Wales Unpaid Forfeits List and subject to the same restrictions and penalties as a disqualified person, did enter harness racing stables at Cessnock Showground, premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry. Mr Pike is required to respond to these charges by 27 October 2014. Mr Noel Tyndall has been issued with the following charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4). That as the registered trainer did present EARLS REIGN to race in race 1 at the Albury harness meeting on 1 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. Mr Tyndall is required to respond to this charge by 30 October 2014. Trainer Mr Wayne Hancock was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 187(5), relating to his conduct towards HRNSW Steward, Mr Todd Clarke during trackwork at the Maitland showgrounds on 27 August 2014. Mr Hancock was stood down pursuant to Rule 183, and has answered the charge via written submissions. No decision pertaining to guilty or otherwise has been made at this stage. The inquiry into a charge laid against Mr Greg Bennett under Rule 187 regarding evidence given to HRNSW during its Investigation is still outstanding. HRNSW are awaiting further submissions from Mr Bennett’s legal representatives. Mr Bennett still remains stood down pursuant to Rule 183. No date has been set for this inquiry to be reconveyed. HRNSW Media

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