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A strong contingent of Parkes runners will be making the trip up the Newell Highway this Sunday to contest what is shaping up to be a very entertaining and tight harness racing meeting at the Dubbo Harness Racing Club. 17 Parkes trained runners are competing, headlined by five horses from the strong Malcolm Hutchings stable. The first race for the evening, the Join the NSWSOA Pace will see the Hutchings trained Caribbean Pat and Watch and Weep, who have both record wins in their past five starts, go up against the highest rated horse in the race - Shez on Target - for Brett Hutchings. Alectown's Stan Townsend has a pair of contenders in the Australian Pacing Gold Pace, with both Good Cop and last start winner Awesome Ollie both new additions to the stable. Awesome Ollie recorded a strong win as the $1.55 favourite here in Parkes last weekend for Eugowra trainer Grant Jones, and no doubt Townsend, a very skilled horseman, can help continue on that form. Jones, one of five owners of the gelding, will be very pleased with the current season that has seen three wins in 15 starts and $12,344 in prizemoney. The Red Ochre Mares Classic Dec 18 Pace will see seven Parkes runners compete for the usual $6,120 alongside Bathurst runner Dinosaurus Rex, though picking a winner will be a tough job out of the horses which are of a National Rating up to 45. Cuzin Pat, for Parkes' James Clyburn, was impressive when third at big odds last Sunday in Parkes, though the gelding will have to sift through the field from the second row. In the first maiden event for the day will see the Townsend trained Lady Pebbles look to record a first win in her fifth career start after three closely run second placings. The second maiden event sees veteran mare Poppy Franco look to finally break the maiden for Parkes father-son trainer and driver pair Andrew and William Cassell in start 39. Cowra pacer Joetomo will be looking for a hat-trick of wins when he lines up in today's Quayle Milling Young Cherry Cup. In the process the son of former top pacer Alitomo will be attempting to emulate the feats of his mother who took out the Cherry Cup in 1997 and his half sister Imatomo who saluted in the 2010 edition of the feature event. Owned and bred in Cowra by Peter and Anne O'Connor, Joetomo has hit a purple patch of form since Anne decided to take out her trainers licence again this year. Joetomo missed his three-year-old season with a leg injury and now under Anne's guiding hands Joetomo has had four starts, winning his past two at Young and Canberra. Racing returns to Parkes next Sunday evening for the running of the Dubbo Golden Gig Heat. By Kristy Williams Reprinted with permission of the Parkes Champion-Post

Swedish-born horsewoman Sofia Arvidsson has lost count of the hours she's spent working on her "special project", harness racing square gaiter Gus An Maori - but recently, there was no doubt it was worth every minute. The rejuvenated trotter had one hoof on the road to retirement when Arvidsson took him on at the Ecklin South stable of her partner Mattie Craven, and by Arvidsson's admission, they've "come a long way together". "I used to ride him - a lot! And all I used to think of when I was riding him was that 'one day he's gonna win a metro race, this horse, and it will all be worth it'," she said. Last Friday night the pair finally achieved Arvidsson's dream of metro success - and a first group victory for both in the Schweppes Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters Free For All (Gr 2). To watch the video replay of this race click here. "He is my number one, and has been for a long time. He is just a lovable horse. A bit of a show pony, but just a lovely boy and I'm just so proud of him," an elated Arvidsson said. "We always thought if we could just win one or two more with him - and now this!" she laughed. On the face of it, the pair made an unlikely combination. Arvidsson admits she knew nothing about harness racing before joining the Craven team and eight-year-old Gus An Maori (Angus Hall - Sumthingaboutmaori (Pine Chip) had been dogged by long periods on the sidelines, largely the result of bad feet. Sofia Arvidsson and Gus are planning a tilt at some country cups after their Group Two success Gus An Maori was more than three years without a win before his comeback victory at Horsham. Almost 12 months later to the day he recorded his first Group Two success - and, in between, another seven victories. Arvidsson said undoubtedly the key to turning him around was a dramatic change in training approach. "Mattie came back with me to Sweden and he spent some time there with trainers who use straight tracks. Also, the European style of training is not to work them so much, but when they do, they work them quite hard," she said. "It was something we wanted to try, and Gus was the guinea pig on the straight track. It doesn't work for every horse, of course, but for him it's really been the key to him." Arvidsson said Gus An Maori's training regime was based a lot on "feel". "Before, he used to jog every day and fast work every second day on the round track. Then I started with riding him and working him the more European way - fast work, a couple of days off, then fast work," she said. "So, before he won this time, he ran on the previous Saturday night. He had nothing the next day, I might have swum him once, then I gave him a fast work on the Wednesday, and he raced and won on the Friday. "Before, he would chicken out or have a gallop, but he has a lot of confidence this season. He isn't sore and he's stronger, and he knows he can do it. "I'm so excited for the owners, as well, who are massive supporters of Mattie and breed some lovely horses. Gus had been battling for a long time and now they're just so thrilled to enjoy watching him race again." Winning team: Sofia and partner Mattie Craven Teaming with Gus An Maori has also undoubtedly built the confidence of the novice driver, who became licenced only in October last year. Arvidsson recorded 20 wins from 110 drives in the 2019-20 season, and so far in the extended season she's been flying, with 14 wins from 49 starts. Although she was accomplished in dressage and jumping before she arrived at the Craven stable, Arvidsson had no experience at all in the harness racing game. "I was backpacking, travelling and living in New Zealand for a bit, then spent time in Melbourne. I had to do some farm work to get my visa extension in Australia, so I went to Alice Springs. Then to finish it off Kima Frenning (another expat Swede having success in the sport in Australia) suggested I come down here," Arvidsson said. "I'd always had riding horses but had never driven a horse before. But as soon as I started fast working I thought: why haven't I been doing this all my life? "I am very fortunate that Mattie gives me a good go, but I am absolutely loving it. It's such hard work, but the highs are just such highs and it's easy to keep going when you are having success." Arvidsson said Gus An Maori's success now has them looking to target more feature races in the months ahead. "I'm so happy to be able to put look at some country cups - we've climbed the ladder together and to take that step together would be very exciting." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When she won the $300,000 Breeders Crown at Melton last Saturday, Ladies In Red scored her seventh success from seven starts, and she is entitled to be rated as the season’s top two-year-old filly. Earlier in the season, she won the Tatlow Stakes and the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic at Melton. Ladies In Red’s two-year-old earnings totalled $227,490. Ladies In Red ranks as a sister to the Derby winner and dual Breeders Crown champion Our Little General 1:49.8 ($712,852) and a half-sister to the good Melton winner Kasbah Kid 1:53.1 ($185,520), being a filly by the Matt’s Scooter horse, Mach Three, from the American-bred mare Kabbalah Karen B 1:52.8 ($285,098), by Western Terror from Mib Hanover (1:55.6), by Tyler B. Mib Hanover was a most successful broodmare, being also the dam of the Dan Patch winner Cammibest 1:50 ($1 million), a successful sire in Queensland, It’s That Time (1:49.4), Tomy Terror (1:50.4), Only The Best (1:50.8) and Marietta Hall (1:51.2), all Stakes winners in America. Ladies In Red was bred and is raced by Melbourne breeders Bill and Anne Anderson. The Pantheist is tops The Pantheist, who won the $200,000 Breeders Crown for three-year-old fillies at Melton, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she finished second to Jemstone in the Vicbred semi-final. She has maintained her form in her three-year-old racing with six wins and three seconds in 10 starts. She is a filly by the Cam’s Card Shark horse, Bettor’s Delight, from the smart racemare Paintball 1:54.4 ($100,508), who left others in Holi Starzzz (1:56.1), a finalist in the 2YO Breeders Crown, and Ballterra. Paintball ranks as a sister to a grand pacer and Vicbred champion in Out To Play, being by Art Major from Play Ball, by Presidential Ball from Secret Life, by Safely Kept. This is the family which produced such winners as Ride High (1:49), the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Safe And Sound, the Breeders Crown champions Rocknroll Magic, Lovelist and Beauty Secret, Major Secret (NSW Derby) and The Good Times. The Pantheist Major Moth leading Victorian two-year-old When he won the $300,000 Breeders Crown last Saturday Major Moth proved himself the top Victorian two-year-old colt of the current season. It was his third success on end, and he outsprinted the best youngsters in the country after enjoying a saloon passage. In six starts Major Moth has now won four and been once placed for $175,565 in stakes for Maryborough breeders Len and Irene Parker, who also race the colt. By the Artsplace horse Art Major, he is out of a capable racemare in Macy Lila (1:58.6) and the second of her produce to race. Macy Lila, who won seven races and was a Vicbred finalist at 3, is a Presidential Ball mare from Majestic Moth (2:01.9), by Riverlea Jack (Group winning son of Bravado Hanover) from Mystic Moth, by Jerry Adios from the Kudos mare Moon Moth, who established a great winning line for the Parker family. Moon Moth, a Melbourne Showgrounds winner, left three winners including Mighty Moth (10 wins) and the unraced Mystic Moth, the third dam of Major Moth. Mystic Moth figured as the dam of Majestic Moth (11 wins) and the grand-dam of the high class juveniles Lively Moth 1:53.1 ($232,585) and Flying Moth 1:53.1 ($123,355). Major Moth was one of two Breeders Crown champions that can trace their origins back to the famed Adelaide Hill stud, Huntly, near Bendigo of Robert Matchett and Bob Crowe. Moon Moth was a granddaughter of the Great Derby mare Raywood Derby, who was from a Tennessee Direct mare from Victoria, by All Style, who were all owned by the Matchett’s. The Father Patrick filly Sangreal, winner of the two-year-old trotting fillies’ Breeders Crown, traces back to Lady Venture, a mare by the imported Directway, who also stood at Adelaide Hill stud. Major Moth Breeders Crown winner by Majestic Son Watts Up Majestic, a brilliant young trotter by Majestic Son from Rainbow Maori (a member of the same maternal line as the Inter Dominion champion Bay Johnny), notched his most important success when he won the $100,000 Breeders Crown at Melton. Watts Up Majestic is trained by Chris Svanosio and owned by Sydneysider Bradley Watts, who bred him.  By Majestic Son, who sired the Breeders Crown three-year-old winner Cover Of Darkness on the same night, Watts Up Majestic is out of the Maori’s Idol mare Rainbow Maori, who left other trotting winners in Rainbow Jay Jay (1:59.2, 14 wins) and Watts Up Maori (1:58.6). Rainbow Maori was out of the Harold Park winner Diamond Ski, who ranked as a half-sister to a NSW Carousel winner in Apre Ski. Rainbow Maori was 21 when she left Watts Up Majestic. Wolf Stride is Cups material Wolf Stride, who won the $60,000 Breeders Crown Graduate Free-for-all and is regarded as Grand Circuit material of the highest order, is a four-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven from Lilac Stride, a Breeders Crown winner who took a record of 1:54.4. He is a member of an old time family, which was represented by a winner at Gloucester Park in To Fast To Serious on the same night as Wolf Stride won.  Lilac Stride was an Art Major mare from Labretta Franco (1:58.5), by Falcon Seelster from Looks The Part, by Nero’s B B from Living Doll, by Lordship. Labretta Franco was the dam of a useful pacer in Gypsy Stride (1:54.9), who won five races and also of Always A Stride (1:55.1), a brother to Lilac Stride who won three. Miss Labretta, an Artiscape mare from Labretta Franco, left the NSW winners Four Starz Stride (1:54.4) and Yaya’s Hot Heart (1:54.8). Wolf Stride ranks as a three-quarter brother to the Group 3 winner Cherry Stride 1:51.2 ($129,830). Wolf Stride Star trotter by Imperial Count A four-year-old mare to take high ranking in Victoria is Keayang Livana, one of the first commercial crop sired by Imperial Count, who is now at the stud in New Zealand. Keayang Livana has won seven four-year-old races and been four times placed for $58,830, a worthwhile return for the $8,500 paid for her as a yearling. She won the Group 2 Breeders Crown Championship in the smart time of 2:00, and appears every bit as good as the Victorians rate her.  She is out of Poignant, by Sundon from a useful racemare in Be Positive, by Game Pride (son of Hickory Pride) and tracing back to the NZ mare Mavis Wood. Poignant was a half-sister to the cups winning trotters Posimistic 2:01 ($136,043), Exuberant (15 wins and $108,205) and Got It Show It. Keayang Livana was bred by former leading Goulburn Valley studmaster Kevin Newbound. Leonidas in 1:48 The Mach Three four-year-old Leonidas became the second Australian bred pacer to hoist a 1:48 record when he won the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway, Maryland recently. Leonidas, who won his way back to a NR111 mark in Australia – his last success was at Bendigo in June when awaiting shipment – and in America he has run up an outstanding score. From nine starts he has won five and been three times placed for $US103,310 in stakes. Raced in Australia by the Roger Bazley Syndicate, who also bred him, he is a four-year-old gelding by Mach Three from Roger’s Joy (1:58.1), a daughter of Bella Joy 1:55.8 ($109,849), dam of Group 1 winners in Supersonic Miss 1:52.6 ($373,722) and Goodtime Heaven 1:52 ($284,087) and others in Jukebox Music 1:53.6 ($334,301) and Bella Shine (1:55.5). Bella Shine, a Bettor’s Delight mare, won eight races in NSW and became the dam of Shineonucrazy Diamond, who took a mile mark of 1:50 in America, and the recent Albion Park winner Major Mucha (1:54.7). Bella Joy was out of Intrude, a noted producer by Fake Left from Avonali, by Toliver Hanover from Stormy Helen, by Stormyway and tracing to the taproot Buckland’s Mare (by Vancleve). Intrude produced a champion racemare in Make Mine Cullen (1:53, winner of 40 races and $874,178) and others in Roger’s Passion 1:56.6 ($136,446), Billy Badlands 1:55.7 ($122,805) and Intrusive (1:56.5). But the second generation of Intrude’s family has bred on with the same distinction as she did. She figures as the grand-dam of the SA Pacing Cup winner Sicario 1:53.8 ($435,825),     College Chapel (Bathurst Gold Crown), the NSW Breeders Challenge winner Obahma Joy 1:53.2 ($180,618), Make Mine Heaven (Young Cup) and Kingofthestars 1:53.5 ($134,414). Raider Stakes winner The Group 2 $50,000 Raider Stakes, one of Tasmania’s major four-year-old classics of the season, was won by Pardoe Plugga, a gelding by Western Edition from Hotline. Pardoe Plugga, who was making only his third appearance at Devonport, belongs to one of Australasia’s most successful classic winning families, that founded by the American bred mare Trix Pointer (2:09.4), by Demonio. Pardoe Plugga’s dam, Hotline, was by a crack Riverina youngster in River Khan (2:00.8, who traces back to the American bred mare Her Ladyship, by Abbedale), from Scepticism, by Safely Kept from the Young Dancer mare Queen Of The Fairies, dam of a useful trotter in Figment (2:06.1), who, in turn, left the Australasian Trotting Championship and Vicbred winner Fabrication 1:58.2 ($205,580). Queen Of The Fairies was a half-sister to the Derby winner Doubter, the top filly Precise and the unraced Hot Foot, who established one of the leading families in Australia today. Well related three-year-old Cant Top This, who won at Ballarat recently, leading throughout and scoring by the staggering margin of 50 metres, has now won three races and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. He ranks as a three-year-old half-brother by Rock N Roll Heaven to a brilliant but unsound pacer in Ideal For Real 1:54.4 ($324,600). Ideal For Real, an American Ideal horse, won 13 races including the NSW Derby and Vicbred Super Series, and had he been 100 percent sound there is no saying the form he may have produced.  Their dam, the American-bred Tamara Hall, a Real Desire mare from the Canadian 2YO Filly of the Year Tabloid (1:53.6), by No Nukes from the Albatross mare Next Chapter, has proved a most successful broodmare. Besides Ideal For Real and Cant Top This, others of her progeny have been The Deal 1:59.2 (8 wins), Cowgirlsnlace and recent two-year-old winner Dream The Dream (1:56.5). Unraced, Tamara Hall was a half-sister to The Globe 1:50.6 ($772,462), who stood stud in Queensland, the US Pacing Championship winner BJ’s Whirlwind (1:49.2) and True Blue Hall (1:49.2). Eighth winner from broodmare When the Captaintreacherous two-year-old Captain Wilson won in runaway fashion at Warragul last weekend, he credited his dam Saabette with her eighth individual winner. Captain Wilson, one of the first crop by Captaintreacherous, had finished on the heels of the placegetters at his previous four attempts. Others from Saabette to win have been Lierre Noir (1:54.4), a Group 3 winner at Melton, the dual Tamworth Cup winner Gottashopearly (1:53.1), Bettor’s Ace 1:56 (WA Champagne Classic), Plan Ce (1:53.6), Gozo Beach (1:55.2), Aces Running (1:58.9), Alashell and now Captain Wilson. Saabette, who is now in her 20th year, has since produced a yearling colt by Betting Line. Saabette (1:56.2) is a Classic Garry mare from the noted producer Soky’s Number (by Soky’s Atom), the dam of the WA Pacing Cup and Derby winner Saab, former 2YO of the Year Talladega, Saabella (Vicbred 4YO) and so on.  Peter Wharton

Im Ready Jet, a three-year-old harness racing filly by the Haras Des Trotteurs stallion Quaker Jet, and one of his first Australian crop, captured her second Breeders Crown title when she won the $80,000 Group 1 at Melton on Saturday night (November 21). Starting from inside the back row, Im Ready Jet slotted into the one, one trail in the early part before exploding to the front with 1300 metres to go. Despite being pressured in the last lap, the filly pulled out plenty in the home straight to land the thick end of the prize. The mile rate for the 2240 metres was a brilliant 1:57.2 with the final three sectionals in 28.7, 29.2 and 29.1. To watch the video replay click here Im Ready Jet ($153,870) is the richest of the 10 winners from Quaker Jet’s initial crop of 24 foals, 15 of which have raced. Cracker Jet, also sired by Quaker Jet, finished third in the Breeders Crown for three-year-olds colts and geldings. Orlando Vici, whose first Australian crop has made a huge impact, was represented by the Breeders Crown Final placegetters in Red White An Bloom (2nd – 3YO C&G) and Brandlo Prince (3rd – 4YO E&G). Dont Care, a two-year-old gelding by Used To Me, finished a brave second in his $100,000 Final. Used To Me was also represented by the two-year-old My Used To Me, who scored back-to-back successes at Globe Derby Park recently. Meanwhile, Love You, the sire of Quaker Jet, also led in a ‘new’ winner in Thank You, who scored at Manawatu Raceway, New Zealand. Brillantissime, a multiple Group winning son of the great Ready Cash, and who has been fully booked in his first season at Haras Des Trotteurs, was represented by the French-bred three-year-old filly Hopeful Beauty, a runaway winner at Charlton. Quaker Jet, Used To Me, Love You, Orlando Vici and Brillantissime are all members of the Haras Des Trotteurs sire roster for the 2020/21 season. Peter Wharton

Highly promising harness racing pacer Lip Reader will take another step towards some of Tasmania's biggest races when he contests the Discretionary Handicap in Devonport on Friday night. Next month's $30,000 Golden Apple at Mowbray and the $30,000 Devonport Cup in January are both on the radar for the five-year-old if he continues his good form. Beauty Point trainer Rohan Hillier said Lip Reader was well up to running in both races. "As it stands, he'll get 10m in the Golden Apple but that's not the worst thing in the world because he's not fast away anyway," Hillier said. "But he's a definite chance for sure." Hillier said the only reason he was taking Lip Reader to this weekend's secondary meeting, where the races carry lower prizemoney, was to space his starts. "I didn't want to go to Hobart next week because that would have meant him racing three weeks in a row," the trainer said. The heats and final of the Golden Apple are on the following two weekends. Lip Reader has won nine races since joining Hillier from the James Rattray stable in Sydney and the trainer admits he's been a real surprise packet. "In New South Wales he was a really fast beginner from the mobile but he was often found wanting over the last 200m," Hillier said. "You could say he was weak. "But he's certainly got stronger." Hillier said owner Marc Panton had no high hopes when he sent the horse to his old home state. "Marc's aim was to try to win a couple with him at Devonport - that's all he was expecting," Hillier said. Lip Reader is one of five runners in the Discretionary Handicap with a former connection to the Rattray family. Full Speed Ahead, Taurisi and Yatsenyuk Leis have all spent time with Todd Rattray while Black Centurian began his career with Kent Rattray. ANOTHER HILLIER TO FORE AT CARRICK Harness racing returns to Carrick for the first time since the shutdown on Sunday when another Golden Apple hopeful will be in action. Rohan Hillier's brother Troy has former Kiwi five-year-old Racketeers Boy engaged in a strong rating 60 to 70 race. Racketeers Boy was impressive winning his first two Tasmanian starts before working hard from a bad draw when placed at Devonport 12 days ago. Hillier will get a good idea on Sunday as to whether he's worth a tilt at the Golden Apple as he meets some handy opposition. By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

Charlton harness racing trainer Greg Norman will look to execute the first part of a potential two-stage hit-and-run raid in his former home state of South Australia this weekend with Belladonna Girl. The three-year-old filly will line-up in the first heat of the Southern Cross Series at Globe Derby on Saturday night in the hopes of qualifying for the following weekend's $50,000 final. She will head across the border in terrific form following an exciting fourth in last weekend's $200,000 Group 1 Breeders Crown final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Norman, who is prevented from accompanying the horse to Adelaide due to COVID-19 border restrictions and will instead be at Tabcorp Park Melton where Cee Cee In America and Zadaka will go to head-to-head in the opening race, could not have been prouder of Belladonna Girl's Breeders Crown campaign. "We were rapt; they were the best three-year-old fillies in the land, so to run fourth against those horses is very nice," he said. "She's getting better as she goes. She's another horse of ours, who has had a few issues in the last 12 months. She had a bit of a sore back, which took a bit of getting right. "We think we've got it right. All her runs in this time have been good. The numbers don't look that good in the Breeders Crown, but she was going well from bad draws. That makes it hard. "You look at the two runs in this time when she's led, that's her go; she's a very strong filly in front and hard to get past." Belladonna Girl will come from the outside of the second row on Saturday night after drawing 10, with Danielle Hill taking the reins. The daughter of Hes Watching and Mixed With A Twist was at odds of $142.50 for last Saturday night's final, won by the David Miles-trained The Pantheist, but plenty of her more fancied rivals home. Greg Norman and Blue Coman Norman already has a win to his credit this week courtesy of his grey trotter Blue Coman, who won the last race at Bendigo's Lords Raceway, on Tuesday night. The four-year-old gelding has plenty of ability with four wins from 26 starts and was brilliantly driven by champion reinswoman Kerryn Manning. "He's a nice horse; he's just had a few issues and he doesn't trot all the time, but when he trots, he's quite handy," Norman said. "There's just been a few niggling things in trying to get him right, but he was pretty good on (Tuesday). "Kerryn said that's the best he has trotted, so hopefully we are winning the battle with him. "I think we'll try and run through the country grades for a few runs, but I think he can measure up to winning a race at Melton at some point."   Blue Coman (Greg Norman and Kerryn Manning) wins at Lord's Raceway on Tuesday, November 24   Norman was confident both Zadaka and Cee Cee In America would give good accounts of themselves at Melton. Zadalka, to be driven by Greg Sugars, is chasing back-to-back wins at Melton after winning at harness racing headquarters on November 7. By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

There is a lot to admire and maybe expect from a harness racing horse named after a man of religion - in this case Reverend Stephen Heinzel – Nelson. Pastor Stephen the horse was admired when racing by his Trainer, the legendary Jimmy Takter …… and why wouldn’t he be after being voted the 2010 USTA Two Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year. It was because of his admiration of Pastor Stephen that Jimmy had the red carpet laid out for the arrival of his full brother Father Patrick some three years later. After a career of 22 starts for 10 victories, 8 placings and a bankroll of $1,048,607 Pastor Stephen was sold to European interests and so a new chapter in his story book began as a Stallion in Scandinavia. He has now sired 321 foals of racing age in Europe and 76.3% of these foals have made it to the racetrack. In fact his ratio of starters to foals in Europe is on par with his more illustrious brother Father Patrick. Pastor Stephen - 321 foals of racing age - 76.3% starters to foals. Father Patrick - 371 foals of racing age - 77.9% starters to foals. During the 2019 season Pastor Stephen sired 225 starters throughout Europe [ Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Holland ] with 28 of those being Stakes winners. In fact he finished in fourth position that season on the European Sires List ahead of his own champion Sire Cantab Hall and the French star Love You. This season, 2020, he again appears in the Top Ten on the Sires List ahead of Muscle Hill, Dream Vacation and Love You. Recently, 24th October, a European Breeders Crown for Aged male horses was conducted in Germany for a Stake of 51,000 Euros and the progeny of Pastor Stephen finished first and third - Officer Stephen, the victor and Inspector Bros in third. Pastor Stephen has now sired eight millionaires throughout Europe including Son Of God, Holy Water [from a S J’s Photo mare], Pastor Power, Reverend Wine, Religious and Global Takeover [from an Andover Hall mare]. After a lengthy courtroom battle Pastor Stephen is now owned by Taylor Made Stallions of Kentucky and has been returned to USA. He will commence his initial Breeding season in North America in February next year and will be based at Premier Acres in Indiana. Pastor Stephen is a glorious 16 hands individual and has a pedigree laden with Two Year Old speed. He himself was the 2010 USTA Two Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year – as well as; His sire Cantab Hall was the 2003 USTA Two Year Old Trotter of the Year His full brother Father Patrick was the 2013 USTA Two Year Trotting Colt of the Year. His Dam is a half sister to Chocolatier , the 2005 USTA Two Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year. The Service Fee for Pastor Stephen in Australia is $5,500 including GST - Pay on the Live Foal. Bookings are still available with Frozen semen from Northern Rivers Equine - 03 5852 2845 or call Dr Kath McIntosh 0427 497 429 / John Coffey 0429 278 279. ........................................................................................................................ The Service Fee for Pastor Stephen in New Zealand is $5,000 plus GST - Pay On Live Foal. Bookings are still available with Frozen semen from Woodlands Stud, Stacey White - 021 595 492 or Harnesslink Media

Well-liked Kyneton horseman Tony Xiriha doesn’t care one bit that he’s widely known in harness racing circles as “The X Man”. And there’s a simple reason for it. “Most people have trouble working out how to say my surname. It’s pronounced using Sh – but most people find ‘The X Man’ a bit easier!” he said. For the affable horseman, who celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday, he’s just grateful he is up and about and doing what he loves after getting “pretty smashed up” in a bad race fall at Stawell five years ago. “It’s hard to believe that one minute I was sitting upright behind a horse in a race and then I was out like a sling shot. We still don’t really know what happened. Perhaps I ran over another horse’s hoof...I really don’t know,” Xiriha said. After being air-lifted to Melbourne, Xiriha spent over a week in hospital. He suffered a broken right wrist (which is still held together by plates), a dislocated right shoulder, serious facial lacerations and a split forehead.  His injuries required 10 months of rehabilitation. “I was lucky that my wife Dale is a nurse, and our kids were great.  A good mate in Tony Trimboli was also fantastic. He would drop in to see how I was going, or give me a call,” Xiriha said. “One of the hardest things was that I lost my memory about a month after the racefall. It’s gradually got better, but I have to write things down or I’ll forget,” he said. “I still struggle every now and again. The pain in my arms and hand can be agonizing and my wrist still hurts if I get a puller to drive, but I’m doing what I love and that’s being around horses. “Next season I’ll renew my driver’s licence, but my plan is to give race driving away. I mainly want it so that I can keep driving my own horses at the trials.” Xiriha was introduced into harness racing in the mid-1980s by his uncle John Woodham.  (Woodham was still involved in the sport up until this season when he decided it was time to relinquish his licence.) “I worked at Broadmeadows at the Ford Motor Company and on my way home to Kyneton I would drive through Gisborne, where John had his trotting property,” he said. “I knocked off half an hour before John, who was a supervisor at a different factory. So, I’d harness up the horses and if John was a bit late getting away, more times than not we’d be doing them in the dark. There were quite a few occasions that I was hoping the horses could see okay! But we never had any worries at all. “John’s daughter Jody Woodham-Murdoch is keeping the family tradition going and still trains horses at Monegeetta.” When he bought his first block of land, a 12-acre property, Xiriha was just 18 years old. “My wife and I set it up and we then moved to our current 75-acre property, which has an 840m track. There’s always a heap of feed growing for the broodmares,” he said. “Our youngest in Ben has his stable hand licence and is enjoying doing fast work. Joel drove for three years and when he lost his claim, he gave it away.” Prior to his race meeting accident, “The X Man” had up to 24 horses in work. “I would do really well with horses that I’d get out of the claimers. I had a lot of them.  Now that I’ve slowed down a little, I’m only doing eight which includes three babies,” he said. Xiriha has held a trainer/driver licence since 1990 but didn’t work more than one or two at a time for the next decade. “I was operating an electrical contracting business and after finding it difficult to take even a few days of holidays, I closed it down in 2001,” he said. “It got to the point where I was unable to take even a day off and I was on the job seven days a week. I was just totally burnt out and I enjoyed the horses. So I decided to give them a go and if it didn’t work, I could always go back to my electrical trade. “I’m happy with the decision I made. As you get older you realise it’s not all about the money.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Two first starters at Ararat tonight is perhaps the first sign of a lot of firsts to come for trainer Mick Cole, who’s in the throes of a considerable stable expansion. The Bannockburn trainer-driver will debut Jasperine in the Ararat Pony Club 3YO Maiden Pace and Rocknroll Upton in the Pinky Point 2YO Pace, optimistic both will give a good show but also improve with racing. And they’ll soon be given every opportunity to flourish, with Cole moving stables at year’s end to greatly ramp up his training along with partner Laura Burnside (pictured with Rocknroll Upton) and stable manager Paul Warnock. “I am pretty excited about the next few years really,” Cole said, having recently purchased a new property to allow him to greatly upgrade his stables. “When I was kid growing up I was involved in harness racing. It was something I always wanted to get into later on in life as I slowed down with work.” Along with Burnside, his “partner of 11 years”, he did just that, establishing at Bannockburn and since 2014-15 training 269 starters for 28 wins, aided also by Warnock, who Cole said had been a “Godsend” and had a great “passion for harness racing”. “After five or six years in the industry (Laura and I) settled on this is what we want to do for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We are setting up a new training facility, which is five minutes up the road and we hope to be moving into that at Christmas time. “Over the next couple of years I want to expand the training business and the new property will give us the capacity to train 20-odd horses.” With their existing property recently sold, Cole plans to soon permanently relocate to the new stables at what was formerly Pinaroo Park’s breeding complex. In addition to the existing stabling they’ve built an 1100-metre fast track and most notably an 800-metre straight track, a crucial item on Cole’s wish list that was spawned after he spent a working holiday at Mark Purdon’s stables to “learn from the best”. “He was amazing,” Cole said. “He had a straight track and he showed us how to work on it. You can get the work into the horses without putting the stress into their legs and with the young horses you can teach them to stay in gait in the straight line.” Further time with the likes of Kerryn Manning, Geoff Webster and Anton Golino has also proven beneficial, learnings that Cole is ready to put into practice on a grand scale. It’s an uptick in activity that kicks off tonight. “I’d only had one or two horses racing recently, but seven have been at trials the last few weeks and five are racing this week, so it’s nice to be back at the track.” Cole’s first Ararat debutant is Jasperine, a three-year-old Artistic Fella filly out of Tiny Treasure for late owner-breeder Phillip Nott. Jasperine joined Cole’s team via trainer Tim Bolitho. “Tim had a fair few in work and asked me to get her ready to trial, which I did and so he said to keep and race her,” Cole said. “She is a really fast horse, she just has some manner problems that let her down a bit and she can get hot-headed in her runs. I just need to keep calm and the more experience she has racing the better she will get.” That education kicks off in race one tonight, which streams on Trots Vision at 6pm. “I wasn’t disappointed to see her off the second row. Hopefully she will settle down. We won’t be bustling her until there is a gap in the final straight,” Cole said. “If she’s holding it all together we’ll let her use her speed. It just depends on how she works on the day.” It will be a somewhat similar scenario for Rocknroll Upton, who has drawn inside the back row and will likely also be following others through with a quiet run before making his charge late. By A Rocknroll Dance out of Upton, the two-year-old gelding was sold by Rickie Alchin to Cole, who had previously snapped up and raced her sister, four-time winner Upton Girl. “She took a bit of time to come on but she raced really well until she had a stress fracture in her shoulder and had to be sent to the paddock,” Cole said. “I expect he will go better as he develops. He has shown already that he will probably be a better horse than his sister is. “He’s had two trials trials and sharpened up since his trial. He’s no superstar, but will be a good honest horse.” He debuts tonight behind gate one horse Danceforme for trainer Leroy O’Brien and reinsman Neil McCallum, and Cole is hopeful they will hold the front and give him an armchair ride into the race. “I think he should be thereabouts if he does everything right,” he said. “I don’t know if he can win it. He will need the one to lead and if he sits on his back he’ll be thereabouts.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Lively Shepparton horsewoman Donna Castles was taken to hospital after a heavy racefall on Monday, but says she'll be "all good to go again soon". Castles, who prepares a big team at Ardmona with partner Doc Wilson, was thrown into the air when another runner got its hoof wedged in her sulky during a scrimmage in race six at the Cobram meeting. "I did have a little sleepover in hospital for a night. They just wanted to keep me under observation because I landed on my back and hit my head," she said. "I felt like I was being flung about like a rag doll. I remember being really worried when my leg got stuck-but thankfully it was only for a split second and I got it free before I got tossed out." Castles was driving chestnut mare Dances in the Peter Enals Cobram Caravans Trot. They were positioned three back the pegs with about 450 metres to go and gave ground slightly before the trailing horse Itsarapt, who was racing fiercely for pint-sized Bec Bartley, put his front foot into the off-side wheel of Castles' sulky. Watch the race replay click here "I knew he was pulling hard and over-racing for Bec, but she was doing her best. His hoof jammed near the stay and I got thrown onto a shaft, then back to the seat, but then hit the shaft again and that was it for me," Castles said. "I really felt at one point that I was being dragged out to the front of Bec's horse, which could have been really bad." The popular reinswoman who is a regular at meetings in the Goulburn Valley region said it was only the second time she had ever been involved in a racefall in her career. "I've been pretty lucky. But I'm okay and hopefully I'll be back at it again soon. We've got two starters in the one race at Maryborough on Friday so fingers crossed I'll be there," she said. The Cobram event was won by father-and-son Steven and Ryan Duffy with four-year-old brown mare Majic Fair (Majestic Son-Clefairy (Extrovert), who has turned it all around this season with five wins and seven placings for over $27,000.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Jason Lee says he feels privileged to be the first reinsman awarded The Gav, a new award that honours late reinsman Gavin Lang and is bestowed upon the leading TAB Breeders Crown driver. Lee was dominant across Friday and Saturday nights, recording victories behind Keayang Livana (4YO trotting mares Championship) and Always Ready (4YO trotting entires and geldings championship) on Friday and Im Ready Jet (pictured) in Saturday’s 3YO trotting fillies final. Further second placings on Dance Craze and Jilliby Nitro made him a runaway winner of the award, with his 13 points some four clear of second-placed Kate Gath, with David Miles, Chris Alford and Jodi Quinlan equal third on seven points. “It’s a real privilege to be able to have my name down on that award,” Lee told SENTrack. “During the week when I first saw that announced, that the Breeders Crown was going to be a bit of a tribute to Gav and the award was there, I thought it would be cool to try and win that one day. “To be able to do that on the weekend is probably one of the biggest highlights out of the weekend and even throughout my career, I thought that was pretty cool and I reckon that award will be one that people will love to be able to win.” In addition to the new award, Lang was honoured on Saturday night with a trackside commemorative display and a presentation, which included a video tribute, a minute’s silence and his friend and fellow reinsman John Caldow guiding Lang’s trotter Pantzup for a lap of honour. “We know how great of a man he was and he might have been a man of a few words, but you always wanted to earn Gav’s respect or be able to link up a conversation with him, just to be able to talk to him,” Lee said. “I got close enough in the last few years of my driving career that me and Gav always got along really well and it was always good to have a bit of chat to him when you could, not just about racing, but whether it was football or stories of life, he was a great man and it was definitely a privilege to be able to take that award.” The Gav is awared to the driver who registers the most points across the Breeders Crown's showcase Friday and Saturday nights, with three points given to a win, two points to a second placing and one point to a third placing.  ‘The Gav’ standings: 1st: Jason Lee 13 2nd: Kate Gath 9 Eq 3rd: David Miles, Chris Alford, Jodi Quinlan 7 6th: Chris Svanosio 6 Eq 7th: Sofia Arvidsson, Anthony Butt, Amanda Turnbull, John Caldow, David Moran, Chris Lang 5 13th: Ryan Duffy 4 Eq 14th: Jack Laugher, Scott Ewen, Mattie Craven, Damian Wilson, Greg Sugars, Kerryn Manning, Daryl Douglas 3 Eq 20th: John Justice, Josh Aiken, Michael Bellman, Alex Ashwood 2 Eq 24th: James Herbertson, Darby McGuigan, Jayden Barker, Denbeigh Wade, Michael Stanley, David Murphy, Abbey Turnbull, Josh Duggan 1 CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO JASON LEE'S FULL INTERVIEW:     Harness Racing Victoria

Emma Turnbull knows only too well the highs and lows this sport can dish out to participants. But she admits nothing can prepare you for situations like she has endured over the past four months. In mid-July, Emma sustained a broken pelvis in a fall at Young and it has been a long recovery period for the talented driver. “It was a pretty simple incident really,” said Emma. “We had just come out of the gate and had only travelled about 100 metres when a horse to my inside hung out and got under my gig, tipping me out and I landed heavily on the track.” While all that drama might not have been forgotten, Emma was pleased to be back in the gig last Wednesday night to partner one of her favourites, Tuapeka Glory, who himself was making a comeback to racing after fracturing two bones in a leg and had not been sighted since December, 2019. “It was a relief for both of us to get through that race last week,” she said. “It was just great to be back after such a nasty injury and long rehabilitation process. “You could say we are both on the comeback trail.” Turnbull was pleased with Tuapeka Glory’s effort to finish second behind Maximus Red in a driving finish, beaten by less than two metres. “I was happy with his run first-up,” she said. “He found the line well and I am sure that with a few more runs under his belt here in the bush, he will be right to head back into town and have a crack at winning a metropolitan race. “Our short-term plan is race him out here to gauge how he stands up to things.  “He has won more than $70,000 and it would be nice if he could crack the $100,000 mark.” Turnbull pointed out that it was a good time of the year to have the horses performing well with feature race meetings coming up at Bathurst, Parkes and Dubbo. “Mum [Wendy] and Jason have had a good run of success while I was sidelined. They have worked hard to achieve that,” she said.    HRNSW MEDIA

Super Star Down Under Mare wins first race in her American harness racing career. Bettors Heart N didn’t waste any time when getting back into the winners circle since relocating to the US to purse her racing career. Friday night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey was the night, where the daughter of Bettors Delight wore down race rivals late in the home stretch to pick up a win in the $16,000 pace. With Down Under blood running through every part of her body the mare is handled by Down Under trainer/driver combination in Nifty Norman and Dexter Dunn. She is also still partly owned by her New Zealand breeders the Bagrie Family. Bettors Heart N showed her real toughness late in the race when getting into clear air at the top of the straight but really rallying late to win in 1:50.3. Finishing a very gallant 2nd place was another Down Under Pacer in Tango Dancer N for Kelvin Harrison. Bettors Heart N made a name for herself Down Under when visiting Menangle Raceway in Sydney where she won the $200,000 Lady Ship Mile in 1:49.7. Following that win she raced the $1 million Miracle Mile against the boys but not placing. Her Down Under career stats stand at 9 wins and 11 placings for over $270,000 in prize money. An intriguing note of this race was that of the 8 trainers contesting in this race, 7 of those were Down Under trainers and those 7 finishing from 1st to 7th. There were also 3 Down Under drivers and 3 Down Under horses in the race. Dexter Dunn sends Harness racing Equine masterpiece out in style. Saturday night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey was the running of the TVG Finals. Being the last big event for top stakes horses of the year in the US. It was a large night for Down Unders Dexter Dunn, with three of his superstar horses having their last career start before pursuing a career in the breeding sector. Todd McCarthy, Nifty Norman and Chris Ryder had a night to remember also. First came freakish trotting mare Manchego who competed in the $320,000 TVG Open Trotting Mares Final. Settling 4th of the pack she angled first over just after the half to make her move and getting to the outside into the stretch with hardly any persuasion from Dunn the daughter of Muscle Hill made a mess of rivals to salute in 1:51.3. Shortly after the win one of the greatest Harness Racing trainers Jimmy Takter labelled her, “In my opinion best filly ever.”.  Next up for Dunn came the mare on a win streak Kissin In the Sand in the $150,000 TVG Open Pacing Mares Final. Coming off the gate Down Under mare Shartin N was the leader but Kissin In the Sand soon took over the lead and that was that, she kicked away up the straight to win in a new stakes record of 1:48.0. Now in the $371,900 Governors Cup for 2yo Pacing Colts and Geldings Nancy Takter and Dexter Dunn picked up their third big win of the night with Always A Miki, a son of first season sire Always B Miki who scored a very tough win in 1:50.2. Motoring for the 2yos.  To really top off he night the Down Under duo of Chris Ryder and Dexter Dunn took Bettors Wish out for his last race start and he was as fast as ever. Dunn taking the Bettors Delight Colt to the lead off the gate saying post-race, “we weren’t going to die wondering tonight”. From then running even splits until three quarter where he powered away to win in fitting fashion of 1:48.1.     A personal favourite of Dunns the big salute over the line was appropriate.  A huge victory came on the night for Down Under Duo in Noel Daley and Todd McCarthy. The pair teamed up with 2yo trotting filly Anoka Hanover to win the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid in 1:53.2. A huge win for the pair and driver Todd McCarthy’s biggest win since relocating to the US. Down Under trainer Nifty Norman also scored a large success on the night in the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2yo trotting colts and geldings with a son of Muscle Hill, Bee Forever. The win came in 1:54.0 in a close finish to the line.  On the big night of racing Down Under trainers and drivers won 8 of the 13 races.    Monday 16th November Northfield Park OH Elrama N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $5,500 Rycroft N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $5,500   Pompano Park FL Risk N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $3,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Somwherenbrookln N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $9,500 Hudsen A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $14,000 Globaldomination N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $18,000 Abraxas Blues A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $11,000   Tuesday 17th November Monticello Raceway NY Ohoka Johnny N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $7,200 Kenrick N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $6,200 Im A Director N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $6,700   Northfield Park OH Strawb’s Chippie N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $4,400   Saratoga Harness NY Nerve Of Steel N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $5,200 Make A Statement A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $5,850 Pasultimatedelite N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $5,850 Down Under First 4 – 2nd Miss Irish Rose A, 3rd Bontz N, 4th Glenferrie Blade A   Yonkers Raceway NY Mossdale Lottee N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $12,000 Donegalartchokin N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $14,000 Demeter N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $17,000   Flamboro Downs CA Bettor Trix N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $10,500   Wednesday 18th November Dover Downs DE Western Secret A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $6,500   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Misty Memory N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $6,800 Its Mesmerise N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $10,000 Jossie James A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,800   The Meadows PA Dream Out Loud N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $9,500 Cocosfella A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,000   Thursday 19th November Dover Downs DE Glengarry Knight N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $6,500 Mister Ohanzee N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $6,500 Trojan Banner N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $8,000 Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $22,000   Monticello Raceway NY Alta Jerome N – Time: 1:58.4, Stake: $2,800   Plainridge Park MA Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $17,500 Mach Doro A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Seaswift Joy N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $20,000   Friday 20th November Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Bechers Brook A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $14,200   Meadowlands NJ Bettors Heart N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $16,000 Mighty Mr Sharkey N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $12,500 All American N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $10,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Kerford Road A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $11,000 War Dan A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $11,000   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA The Bandit Queen N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $22,000   Saturday 21st November Cal Expo CA Dependlebury A – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $4,600   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Majestic Player A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $21,500 Miss You N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $22,250   Meadowlands NJ Bracken Storm A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $15,000   Northfield Park OH American Empress N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $12,500   Scarborough Downs ME Holy Grail N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,400 The Bus A – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $5,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Speed Man N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $30,000 Raukapuka Ruler N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $17,500 Tin Roof Raider A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $17,500   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Mongolian Hero N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $16,000   Sunday 22nd November Harrahs Philadelphia PA Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $12,000 Let It Ride N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $8,800 Sevens Hope A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $8,800   Northfield Park OH Celestial Arden N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,200 Brigadierbronski A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $8,800     Click here for previous weeks articles     by Carter Dalgety  

Tonight may well provide something of a crowning moment for Rick Cashman, who’s rapidly improving filly is perfectly drawn to give her trainer a chance at a career best result. After lady luck had shunned her through the TAB Breeders Crown, Dancing With Flo gets her chance tonight in the Pryde’s EasiFeed silver pace for three-year-old fillies, drawing gate one while her lead rivals were disadvantaged. Cashman said a good result “would be huge”, adding “we got the draw, now she gets the opportunity to produce”. The $30,000 Group 3 would be clearly the trainer’s biggest result since he had his first starter on October 1, 2012, at Yarra Glen, when Modern Saint ran fifth and collected a cheque. Not long before Cashman attended Gippsland Harness Training Centre to learn the fundamentals of the sport and then, when Cranbourne’s training centre opened in September 2012, he had a pathway into training. “I had finished cricket and football and like many men and women I was looking for something to continue to drive me,” Cashman said. “I had never sat behind a horse until I was 45.” With the support of those around him he’s since trained 168 starters for 23 wins, and tonight Dancing With Flo presents the chance to carve out a career highpoint. Cashman bred the filly, having been given her unraced dam, Narree Rose, by Arthur Fulwood, who he paired with Rocknroll Dance. He welcomed “half a dozen new owners into the group” and they patiently waited as the filly readied for racing. “She was lightly raced as a two-year-old, when she showed she had ability but needed to strengthen up,” he said. “She had four starts earlier this year and then when Breeders Crown and Vicbred were pushed back we had another eight weeks to bring her up. She just got bigger, stronger and quicker.” She first won on her home track in April and again at Kilmore on May 13 before the freshen up, then returned to salute first-up on October 1. Dancing With Flo was then given her opportunity to shine in the $24,000 DNR Logistics Argent 3YO Classic at Melton on October 23, and shine she did, running second to Maajida. “I was certainly confident she was an above average horse, but it’s another thing to show it against the better ones,” Cashman said. “It was not until her race against them in the Argent Classic before she confirmed that. I wasn’t surprised, but it was just confirmation that she could produce given the right opportunity.” It meant Cashman and reinswoman Lisa Miles entered the Breeders Crown series with confidence she’d acquit herself well, and she was outstanding in her heat when flying late from the back of the field to advance to the semi-final. She then again drew poorly and on this occasion it would prove too difficult to overcome. “Her effort at Bendigo was sensational, it was just unfortunate that she couldn’t get the draw in the semis,” Cashman said. But her luck changed for tonight’s Silver Pace, when Dancing With Flo will start from gate one. “There are a couple of quick horses drawn outside, so she won’t get it all her own way,” he said. “The favourite for the Breeders Crown (Maajida) is in this race, there’s Iolanta, Rockingwithsierra has very good gate speed. We go in full of belief she’s well and given every opportunity she will be thereabouts.”   Michael Howard

It won’t really come as a surprise...but champion harness racing horseman Anthony Butt has declared that Victoria is once again home on a permanent basis. Butt, who has been preparing a big team at Menangle for Emilio Rosati and his wife Mary, headed south recently with some quality horses, predominantly trotters. And he’s been on fire! Butt, a former Kiwi, made no secret that the visit was aimed at the rich races that were on offer, saying it was easier to place horses at a plethora of meetings within one or two hours from his temporary base at Melton. “There are so many trotting races programmed down here and Emilio is heading more and more in that direction,” Butt said. “We thoroughly love Melbourne. We’ve made a lot of friends over the years here during our trips and then when we lived here.” When it comes to Butt’s Midas touch with square gaiters, the past champions in Lyell Creek and Take A Moment come to mind, both trained by his brother Tim. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Hard-working Romsey trainer-driver Chris Svanosio is sure to remember his last weekend’s Breeders Crown triumph for many years to come. The win with Watts Up Majestic (Majestic Son-Rainbow Maori (Maori’s Idol) was his first Group One success since relocating to his new base from Bendigo nearly 12 months ago. Watts Up Majestic, raced by his breeder Bradley Watts, finished full of running to claim the Skyvalley @ Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown $100,000 event for 2yo trotters. “He’s a lovely horse and I got him when his regular trainer Rickie Alchin couldn’t make it down due to the travel restrictions in Syndney,” Svanosio said. “I’ve been friends for years with Rickie and his brother Jarrod. I first met Jarrod when he was a junior driver and drove for a good mate in Bruce Morgan at Bendigo and Rickie was down in Victoria working there for a while with John Ryan,” he said. Svanosio, who worked as a scientist in Tasmanian aquaculture before getting the harness racing “bug”, has now landed four G1 winners in a successful career as well as being victorious with three he trained. “I’m on a lovely 40-acre property with girlfriend Elizabeth (MacLean) and we’re doing a team of 33 horses at the moment,” he said. “We’re lucky to have Michelle Phillips, Tayla French, my dad Peter and a few others giving us a hand because there’s also nearly a dozen rising two-year-olds that need to come in.” Svanosio drove 55 winners and 113 placings in 2019-20. He has won another 12 races and 22 placings in the extended season. In the training ranks, he chalked up 56 wins (12 metro) and 93 placings. The extended season has seen an additional 18 wins and 22 minor placings. Chris Svanosio and Watts Up Majestic (Photograph Stu McCormick)  ****************** Shepparton-based David Moran helped himself to a personal training/driving double at Cobram yesterday—and in addition landed three other winners for three different trainers. Meanwhile, 740kms away, champion South Australian reinswoman Dani Hill also posted five victories for the day at Globe Derby Park. For Moran, of Lochinvar Art fame, it was the second occasion in his career that he’s driven a “high five”. The first time he achieved the feat was at Albury, back in February of 2015. He was successful yesterday with Redbank Cooper (Art Major-Lettucedance (Western Ideal) and Angelic Miss (Shadow Play-Heavenly Hiraani (Fake Left), both prepared at his Kialla stables. Moran also tasted success with Russell Jack-trained Major Angel (American Ideal-Mattie Angel (Art Major); Geoffrey Allan bay mare Sassyfeet (Julius Caesar-Symphonic Jade (Strong Life); and a gelding trained by his partner Kasey Kent in Reckon Im Smart (American Ideal-Pacing Grace (In The Pocket). It’s incredibly the seventh time Dani Hill has bagged five at a meeting. And incidentally she has gone one better on three occasions, the most recent at Globe Derby in August with a big six. Dani combined with her father Gary to record a treble for the popular trainer-Bettaminethanyours (Alta Christiano-Bettainmypocket); Citysiren (Mr Feelgood-Ima Golden Girl) and The Queen Of Heart (Four Starzzz Shark-Couldbeagoodone). She was also successful with Shane Loone-trained pair Jake’s Sportswriter (Sportswriter-Tina) and Pay Me Interest (Gotta Go Cullen-Pay Me Girl). While over the Bass Strait to Tasmania, Ben Yole has kept kicking goals with four winners at Burnie on Friday, followed with a double at Hobart on Sunday. Seven-year-old gelding Jakes A Joy carried the winning flag at each meeting—firstly Taylor Ford got him home by a head, and then Mark Yole won by a neck on the pacer. “High five” for David Moran at Cobram. (Photograph Cobram HRC)   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Queensland’s signature event for square gaiters - the Darrell Alexander Memorial - will be run this coming Saturday night; with the 14 finalists decided after six heats. There were five winners of the six heats - Our Overanova, BD Khaosan, Musculus and Majestic Simon, with Gee Up Neddy the only finalist to claim victory in both heats he contested. However, if Neddy is to claim victory in the Group 2 Final, he will need to overcome history. The 2020 edition will be the 14th running of the DJA and in the previous 13 renewals, no trotter has been able to win both heat rounds and the Final. But this year has been a year like no other in so many ways, so will this be the year that a trotter can sweep the series? Gee Up Neddy has certainly found form at the right time to make it a reality, and from the 10-metre handicap combined with his great manners, has the chance to re-write history. In in the fifth heat on Saturday night, Gee Up Neddy was safely away to settle closer to the rear as Godofthunder moved up outside the leader Im The Commando to ensure an even tempo throughout. BD Khaosan had the one-by- one trail and looked poised to strike as the field swung for home, however, Gee Up Neddy kept coming down the outside to claim victory by a half-neck. That pair had broken away with the third placed Havana Magic a further 14 metres astern. Owner, trainer, and driver Hayden Barnes will be hoping that he can go one better than the 2019 Final. In last year’s series, Gee Up Neddy was a narrow 2nd in the Final after looming up strongly, only to be grabbed in the closing strides along the passing lane behind Wee Man Trouble. Versatility could be the key to victory in 2020, with Gee Up Neddy possessing that attribute. Clean manners from the tapes along with the ability to work or be saved for a closing sprint will hold the nine-year-old in good stead. Back in August, Barnes listed his season highlight as bringing up his 400th career victory aboard Gee Up Neddy. That statement may be up for debate later this Saturday night if Barnes can become the first to sweep the DJA Series. If by some bad luck Gee Up Neddy is runner-up again, there is probably only one horse that Hayden hopes can beat him home - Needabacardi. To be driven by his brother Brendan, the chestnut has been runner-up in both rounds of heats. Trained by Jack Butler, listed as a part owner - Hayden Barnes, it would certainly be a season highlight. THE BAD American politician Frank A. Clark once quipped “It’s hard to detect good luck — it looks so much like something you’ve earned.” That is a statement that certainly would resonate with owner Mick Andreadis. Owning horses in several states spread across various trainers, Andreadis has certainly had his resilience tested, and here in Queensland, the trotter I Asked Nicely is one such test. Starting just nine times since arriving in Brisbane with trainer Travis Mackay back in March, the eight-year-old has won two races. Yet such are his problems, he has trialled on 15 occasions in that same period under enforced embargos to correct his manners. Another horse owned by Andreadis is Major Mucha, a horse that has been plagued by bad luck in landing a good barrier in recent months. Joining the Mackay stable back in July, the four-year-old Art Major gelding has started on 20 occasions. Heading into his latest assignment, Major Mucha had started from gate 4 or wider in 17 successive starts. From gate one on Saturday, he made his own luck when leading throughout to claim victory with Dannielle Veivers taking the reins. Luck may be turning for Andreadis, with another of his pacers scoring at Mildura on Thursday. Laser Major - now a 10-year-old - was successful in the opening race, ending a win drought that had extended back to 2016 and over 50 race starts. With that sort of drought, it is fair to say that any luck has certainly been earnt.   THE MILESTONE There were three age track records at Marburg on Sunday, with the warm weather and settling track proving ideal for fast times. The first of those records came in the opening event of the day when the Peter Greig-trained Straytothepoolroom was successful. Marburg does not tend to have a great deal of two-year-old events on their programmes, however on Sunday a mixed age event was the catalyst of the new record. Driven by Angus Garrard, the Cammibest gelding was put on the front-end early and once in control, held on to take the victory and surpass a record that has stood since 2008. Maywyn Gold, trained and driven by Shane Sanderson, has held the record for 12 years, with the win of Straytothepoolroom taking 0.9 seconds off the old mark. Two weeks ago, Voodoo Fella provided Jordan Topping with her first victory as a driver and with his latest victory, Jordan can also boast the three-year-old colts and geldings record. Twice within a month this record has been bettered - Major Fernco setting a new mark on October 25, with Voodoo Fella eclipsing that mark with his victory at the weekend. Wide in the closing stages, it was a well-timed drive by Topping, arriving to claim a half-head margin and set a record of 1.58.4 with the win. It also provided the Russell family with a quinella - David training the winner with son Dan training the runner-up - Abercrombie Tab. The third and final record was the victory of Gina Tarantella, setting a new benchmark for the aged mares of 1.57.8, taking 0.3 seconds off the previous mark held by Ale Ale Kai.   THE WILDCARD Gina Tarantella was having her first start for Jonah Hutchinson after joining his stables from New South Wales. The four-year-old Million Dollar Cam mare arrived in Queensland after 20 starts that had failed to net a return down south. After a sound trial at Menangle in mid-October, she was on the move North where Hutchinson opted to send her straight to the races on Sunday at Marburg - without a further trial. Powering out of the pack from the start, Hutchinson had the mare freewheeling in front, running the opening splits in close to even time with identical 30.1 second quarters. Dialling it up down the back, Gina Tarantella put up a big margin on her rivals when running through the third split in 28.3 seconds. With the race shot to bits, Hutchinson had not moved on the mare, cruising home in 29.8 seconds for the last 400 metres, setting the 1.57.8 mile-rate for the 1850-metre trip and establishing a new aged mare track record. In the demolition process, the winning margin could likely be a new record for the Marburg track - the 73.2 metre margin back to second also close to a Queensland record. Searching through mountains of results, the victory could possibly be the second biggest in Queensland behind the 77-metre debut win of Viking Reign back in 1987. Stablemates Greg The Great and Archilles - trained by Graham Dwyer - both won races by 55.3 metres last season but hitting into 70+ metres looks rarefied air. That is not the only big win in recent weeks for the Hutchinson stable, with the arrival of some new horses to the barn bringing some good success. Rousey claimed victory by 51.7 metres at her first outing for the stable, the mare remaining undefeated in Queensland after four starts. With the manner of the win by Gina Tarantella, Jonah Hutchinson and connections could have some fun times ahead.   THIS WEEK The TAB Queensland Harness Racing Summer Carnival officially starts on Saturday at Albion Park with the night jam-packed with feature racing. Headlining the on-track excitement is the Group 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint where Colt Thirty One and Turn It Up look set to do battle. After two rounds of heats, the Darrel Alexander Memorial Trot at Group 2 level will see a capacity field of square gaiters look to secure Queensland’s biggest trotting event. QBRED three-year-olds are set to do battle, with a pair of Group 3 races - for the colts and geldings and for the fillies - in the new QBRED for Life race to be conducted at 2138 metres. Support races on the card include the APHRC Members Cup, the Changeover Queen of the Creek for mares and a two-year-old feature. The racing week will include the regular schedule of Tuesday through Saturday, with Albion Park on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday along with Redcliffe hosting Wednesday and Thursday. Sunday will see grass track action from Kilcoy where three races will be conducted alongside the gallops meeting at the track known as Moonee Valley of the North.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

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