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A son of Auckland Reactor who should be familiar to regular readers of the Alabar website and social media channels scored an impressive win at the Bendigo trials earlier last week. You Ninety Two faced the breeze the entire trip and despite doing all the work he hit the line hard to win. He cut out the final half and quarter in 60.4 and 29.9. You Ninety Two should be familiar to Alabar readers as he was one of the award winners in the Auckland Reactor Foal Photo competition back in 2014. As you can see in the picture he was a great looking foal. Bred by Peter Salathiel, Your Ninety Two is out of the Elsu mare Numismatic. While unraced Numismatic is a half sister to five winners including the very good mares Giggling Girl $136,219 and Aye Tee Em $117,865. Being out of an Elsu mare, You Ninety Two is bred on the successful Direct Scooter line / Falcon Seelster line cross and also of interest is that he carries a 3 x 4 cross to Soky's Atom. On speaking to Peter Salathiel today he informed us that he is really pleased with You Ninety Two as the Bendigo trial last week was the first time he had taken the horse to any workout or trial and what he did winning that trial parked out was on his sheer ability. Peter says You Ninety Two is not a big horse but is well put together. You Ninety Two went around again on Sunday just gone at Bendigo trials against all ages and ran a very good closing third without any pressure. The mile rate was a very good 1:58.7 over 1650 metres, last mile in 1:58.4 and You Ninety Two was making good ground up over the final stages and was the first two-year-old home. Peter was so impressed with the run that he is planning to start You Ninety Two on the 28th of January at Ballarat in a $10,000 two-year-old race. How did You Ninety Two get his name? Well Peter told us that You Ninety Two is the name of Uranium. 92 is the number of Uranium on the periodic table of Elements. This is real interesting as You Ninety Two's grandmother is called Atomic Fusion and Auckland Reactor's mother is called Atomic Lass. You Ninety Two

Kiwi superstar Lazarus has drawn widest on the front row, outside fellow top liners Smolda and Lennytheshark, but retains harness racing favouritism for the $120,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. Lazarus opened a $1.30 favourite with tab.com.au and trainer-driver Mark Purdon said while the champ might not be quite at his peak first-up in Australia he would take some beating. “Lazarus had 10 days off after the NZ Cup week,” Purdon said. “I don’t think he’s back to where he was in the NZ Cup, but he’s going to be hard to beat.” Purdon revealed at Monday’s barrier draw he would pilot Lazarus and Anthony Butt would be offered the drive on the Inter Dominion champion Smolda, who opened a $6.50 shot. “(Smolda) could be a chance. He’s certainly going very well, he trained very good this morning,” Purdon said. “He is going well coming off the SA Cup and Inter Dominion and won the Hunter Cup last year, so we all know how good he is.” Good Form analysts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden agreed it was a race in three, with Smolda drawn in three and Lennytheshark four. “Mark Purdon holds the key,” Bonnington said. “Lennytheshark and Smolda get away very quickly, but I still think Lazarus will be a fairly dominant favourite.” Those at the pointy end may have been a deterrent for some and leading to the less than capacity field, but it did little to dampen Ballarat and District Trotting Club chief executive Paul Rowse’s excitement. “We are very happy to have the top quality that we have in the cup and when I heard Lazarus was going to be in there I almost jumped out of my seat,” Mr Rowse said. The Good Form analysts broke down the field in the wake of the barrier draw. This is a summation of their thoughts. Young Modern (Gate 1): Probably racing for place money. Could try to hold the lead initially to get leader’s back when the big guns come across. Racing well and likes the distance. It Is Billy (Gate 2): If he can get across Young Modern early that’s a big plus. Every opportunity to run into the money, just wants to get the front and then hand over to one of the big guns. Smolda (Gate 3): He’s constantly put below a couple of more glamorous horses, but his last 12 months have been extraordinary. He’s a wonderful horse who loves the trip. He’s drawn to advantage and has to be a winning hope. Lennytheshark (Gate 4): He might lob one-one behind Lazarus. He does have terrific gate speed and could put the pedal to the mettle to find the front, but it’s just a fitness issue. There’s a really big chance he will keep going until he finds the front and is one of three winning chances. Major Secret (Gate 5): Not an ideal draw, will probably be playing for luck. A very, very good horse, but he is most effective when he can use his gate speed and find the front. He couldn’t be racing in any better form. Can he win on Saturday night? Probably can’t but will give a good account. Adam Cartwright (Gate 6): Ran a great race at Shepparton. He’s a good consistent horse, potentially a top four hope but probably not much more than that. If he has any luck he’ll be hitting the line. Lazarus (Gate 7): He is an outstanding pacer. He’s progressed and progressed and to see what he’s done in New Zealand he is the best horse in Australasia, and could be the best horse we’ve seen in Australasia for several years. It’s great he’s chosen the big dance and Ballarat and should win, but Smolda is constantly underrated and Lennytheshark is reigning horse of the year. It’s great for the race that he’s drawn seven, but he's still the one to beat. Savesometimetodream (Gate 8): He should get a good cheap run early from the eight and be an outside place chance at big odds.  Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Race programme for Ballarat, Saturday 21 January 2017

The successful harness racing training team of Jake Webster and Aaron Bain landed a double at Globe Derby Park on Saturday with the two winning drivers being delighted for different reasons. The first of the team’s winners was in-form mare Gallifrey Mystique in the Trotsguide.Com.Au Pace, a race for SA Young/Concession drivers. A drifter from $4.50 to $9.50, Gallifrey Mystique sat parked before dashing away an 8-1/2 metre win for teenage driver Kaela Hryhorec. Hilltop Sophia ($5.50) came home to finish second, a metre in front of Royal Safari ($6.20). The win brought up a double for Hryhorec who scored in the opening event on Crafty Old Fox for her uncle Ryan Hryhorec. In a stable change, Kaela Hryhorec, who started her career in harness racing working for Ryan Hryhorec recently moved to join the Webster-Bain stable. “I’m keen to learn as much as I can,” Kaela said. “It was great to start off with Uncle Ryan and he taught me so much, but I felt for my own development it was good to try another stable and Jake and Aaron were good enough to give me a chance. “I’ve only been with them for just over a week but already feel it was the right move.” Aaron Bain said there was no doubt Gallifrey Mystique was a smart mare. “That is three wins in three runs from a spell,” Bain said. “Unfortunately, she has a few issues and really is a day-to-day proposition but for the present we have been able to keep her going. “She really has a will-to-win. We’ll just keep trying to place her to advantage but there is no doubt she will prove a great broodmare.” The double came up with Arrokeefe, a red hot $1.40 favourite, in the Maughan Thiem Ford Mondeo Pace (1800m) for driver Brodie Webster. “I hope I am back in the good books with the win,” Webster said. He was referring to being beaten on Two Tatz Patz as a $1.40 favourite at Mildura on the previous Wednesday which lost its chance by galloping at the start. There were a few worries thought before Arrokeefe sprinted through to score by 2-1/2 metres from Doubledipofheaven ($5.40) with Cyclone Mach ($15.10) a half-head away third. “I had hoped to lead from gate one but Ryan’s horse (Doubledipofheaven) was too quick. “When Ryan ran 32.6 and 32.4 for the first two quarters I was worried I might be in trouble because I know his horse can sprint while my bloke is not that sharp.” Webster’s concerns were eased when the leader drifted out allowing a clear run through and Arrokeefe was good enough to dash through and eventually win comfortably.  The six-year-old has been another astute purchase by Webster and Bain and Saturday night was his fifth win for the dynamic duo. Graham Fischer

It took only three runs for top trotter Rejuvenation to return to the winning list in South Australia. At Globe Derby Park on Saturday night, Rejuvenation ($11.40) came off a 40-metre handicap for harness racing driver Danielle Hill to score a long head win in the Lion Pty Ltd Trotters Discretionary (2230m) beating Our Solar Flare ($19.70) with Emilys Vacation ($10.20), a metre away third. It was a fantastic effort by the nine-year-old who sprinted powerfully in the home straight and scored despite wanting to hang in close to home. Trainer Ray Goble was delighted to have his favourite back in winning form. “I have been happy with the way he is going but felt it might be too much of an ask coming off 40 metres,” Goble said. “I sent him to Victoria last year because of a lack of races and the fact he was basically being handicapped out of the ones he could contest. “Now he was won again I will have to look at what to do with him. “I might freshen him up and get him ready for the major races during March and April such as the Fred Jones, Hambeltonian and Gramel.” Bred locally by David Shammall, Rejuvenation has been a wonderful trotter for owner Angela Goble winning 30 races from just 97 starts. Graham Fischer

Harness racing trainer Ryan Hryhorec came away with a winning treble at Saturday’s Globe Derby Park meeting but it was an emotional night with two of his winners leaving the stable. Hryhorec’s winners were Crafty Old Fox, Star Brutus and Glenferrie Bunter but post-meeting the trainer revealed the latter pair were both headed for New South Wales. “Star Brutus and Glenferrie Bunter are both special to the stable, each in different ways, but realistically they need to head interstate for their own careers,” Hryhorec said. “Kerry (partner Kerry Stauwer) and I love Star Brutus – he was basically the first horse to come into the stable when I set up at Angle Vale. “Tonight’s win was his 21st for me so there is no doubt he has been a wonderful part of my training career.” Ironically, the six-year-old came into Hryhorec’s stable when he was setting up at Angle Vale, now the trainer is in the process of moving to a new stable he is building at Two Wells so will be looking for another Star Brutus to kick off his new venture. On Saturday, Hryhorec drove hard from gate two on Star Brutus ($3.40 fav) to take the lead in the Modbury Junior Football Club Claiming Pace (22340m) and ultimately lead throughout for a four-metre win from My Man Dan ($4.80) with Soho Monza ($8.30) a half-head win away third. “The owners are keen for him to go to Sydney for claiming races and while he has been a great horse for us, I felt he had earned a chance at the better prizemoney,” the trainer said. Hryhorec stated last week he felt Glenferrie Bunter would be better suited around bigger tracks with the gelding having trouble getting around the home turn when out wide and, after discussion, the owners decided to send him to Rob Morris in Sydney. However, Hryhorec had one more run and Glenferrie Bunter came up with gate one in the PFD Food Services Pace (1800m). He was a well-backed $1.10 favourite and led comfortably before dashing away for a 13-metre win from The Commander ($9.70) which chased him throughout with Whata Escape ($38.20), five metres away third. Hryhorec set comfortable quarters of 30.8, 30.7 and 29.3 before dashing home in 28.1 for a 1:58.4 mile rate. “It is sad to lose this bloke because he is potentially a star,” Hryhorec said. “What I am so pleased about with him is that early on he beat himself some times by over-racing and proving hard to control but now he leaves at the top of his game and a much more mature. “Realistically he was always going to race his way out of South Australia but losing him is going to leave a massive hole in my stable – I guess I just have to try and find a good one to replace him.” His first winner was Crafty Old Fox, driven by his niece Kaela. A $3.10 chance, Crafty Old Fox was well driven by the teenager to drop down behind the leader Jennas Fling ($11.20) early in the Ubet Pace (1800m). Wayne Hill rated the leader perfectly and dashed for home at the top of the straight but Crafty Old Fox was able to use the sprint lane and come through to score by a metre with Hardly A Grin ($26.50), four metres away third. “He came to us as a maiden and now won three of his last four, including picking up a Vicbred bonus, so has been a good buy for the owners. “He’s no star but still has as few more wins as he goes through the classes.” Graham Fischer

After no shortage of drama and intrigue Hectorjayjay unleashed the shackles and produced a stirring Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup win. And David Aiken's superstar pacer did it in style, rattling off a 56.4-second final 800m to cruise to the harness racing Group 2 $60,000 crown, giving connections a night to remember. If Hectorjayjay’s triumph wasn’t impressive enough, with the speed machine defeating his rivals by more than 8m, then the drama that preceded the victory fortified its mystique. In a story unfamiliar to the traditions of racing, Hectorjayjay’s place in the Shepparton Cup was put in serious doubt just 33 hours before its renewal after tests revealed an elevated white cell count. Fearing the presence of a virus, Aiken advised Harness Racing Victoria stewards of his concerns and by Friday night the dominant consensus was that the $1.10 favourite would not run. By Saturday morning, however, Hectorjayjay’s clinical presentation had improved and after a clean bill of health by HRV vets he elevated Eynesbury Victoria Cup anticipation to new levels with an awesome, arrogant win for driver Josh Aiken. “He (Hectorjayjay) gave us a scare but I knew when we went on track tonight what he was capable of and what you saw tonight was just how naturally talented he is,” Josh Aiken said. “I’d hate to think what he could do with a perfect preparation. “I think right now when you look at the top six free-for-allers in Australasia we are going through a golden era but he is capable of mixing it with anyone, anytime. Bring on the Victoria Cup. Bring on Lazarus.” Hectorjayjay delivered Aiken the last of four consecutive winners, with outstanding four-year-old Roll With It outclassing his rivals, Vics Cheval regaining her best form at giant odds in The George Gath and classy stable recruit Magic Oats also saluting. The victory propelled Hectorjayjay to the top of the $25,000 Trots Country Cups Championship, one point clear of Geelong and Horsham cups winner Major Secret and two clear of Cobram and Hamilton cups winner Cruz Bromac. by Jason Bonnington Harness Racing Victoria

The $400,000 Group 1 Eynesbury Victoria Cup is the next scheduled stop for exciting harness racing five-year-old Cruz Bromac after his all-the-way Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup win yesterday. Moments after his 4.7-metre victory over gun mare Berisari in the south-west Victoria club’s annual pacing feature, Braun said  Cruz Bromac (Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender) would be set for the Summer of Glory’s night one jewel on Saturday, January 28, at Tabcorp Park Melton. Driven by Chris Alford, Cruz Bromac toyed with his rivals yesterday to lead from barrier three, delivering Braun back-to-back Hamilton Cups, the Lara horseman having won the race last year with Im Corzin Terror. Cruz Bromac rated 1:57.3 for the 2660-metre trip, reeling off sectionals of 30.4secs, 30.3secs, 27.5secs and 27.3secs. Braun said Cruz Bromac, a winner of 12 of his 21 starts for stakemoney in excess of $152,000, was still learning the caper at the top level but was an exciting prospect moving forward. “I’ve always said I’ve got a big opinion of him,” Braun said. “He’s still got plenty to learn. He’s a big baby out there. He’s very immature and plays around.” Alford said Cruz Bromac travelled sweetly in the run yesterday and added he was confident Cruz Bromac would continue to improve as he matures. “If you have a look through the other runners in the field today they’ve all had plenty of starts, but he’s only had 21. He’s still learning. He’s untapped really at this level and he’ll keep getting better.” Yesterday’s win moved Cruz Bromac into outright third place on the $25,000 Own the Moment Trots Country Cups Championship ladder, two points behind Hectorjayjay and one behind Major Secret. The winner of the Trots Country Cups Championship at the end of the Country Cups season picks up $25,000, with $15,000 going to the winning connections and $10,000 to the winning trainer. Six-year-old mare Berisari from the Emma Stewart stable was game in second place yesterday and will likely head towards the $100,000 Alabar Ladyship Cup on Hunter Cup Night (which doubles as a qualifier for the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle). Idea Success was beaten 7.9m by the winner in third place for reinsman Grant Campbell, that six-year-old from the Kerryn Manning camp at Great Western now in equal fourth place for the Trots Country Cups Championship on six points. Meanwhile, Matthew Craven prepared El Paco (Yankee Paco-Kellybrooke) scored a tough win in the Mountain View Stud Hamilton Trotters Cup over 2660m. Driven by Glen Craven, El Paco moved to the breeze in the early stages of the race outside favourite and stablemate Uncas. El Paco softened up the leader during the third quarter, applying the pressure for a 28.1secs split, and kicked to a clear lead at the top of the straight before fending off fast-finishing Zedalite (Rod Petroff) in second, with Ainthatrightmacca third beaten 4.1 for Denbeigh Wade. “This is a terrific result for the stable and I’m really thankful for the whole team and the work they put in,” Matt Craven said post-race. “(El Paco) had run a nice race off 30m in Adelaide last week but wasn’t able to get the job done there, so to win today and for mum to own this one is pretty special.” El Paco is likely to head to Sydney to contest the NSW carnival features, with Craven saying “he is probably just a rung below the really top ones in Victoria”. The Hamilton Club slashed admission costs and had local market traders on track in a bid to attract new people to their big day. It worked, a strong crowd enjoying the action throughout the eight-race card, with plenty of positive feedback coming from happy patrons. The Trots Country Cups spotlight turns to Ballarat now for the running of the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting on Saturday night. Check out http://www.trotscountry.com.au/ for the videos. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Star pacer Hectorjayjay’s return race itself was hassle-free, but the days leading-up to caused connections angst. The six-year-old made a winning return to race when he led throughout and scored by 8.3m in the $60,000 Group 2 Shepparton Cup (2690m) last Saturday night. It was his first run since the brave second to Smolda in the Perth Inter Dominion final on January 9. But it was a race he almost didn’t start in. Driver Josh Aiken said Hectorjayjay sent a scare through the camp when he “wasn’t quite himself” during the week. “That’s why we got his blood tested and it came back about 80 per cent right,” he said. “We then waited and had our vet (Simon Robinson) check him again on the morning (of the Cup) before making the final decision on running him. “I went into the race confident. I saw him bouncing all around his paddock in the morning (Saturday) and that was enough to tell me he was ready to go.” Aiken said Hectorjayjay felt his old self once he speared to the front at Shepparton. “He won well and wasn’t fully extended, but he felt like he just needed the run a bit in the final stages,” he said. “It’s good to get that run into him.” Aiken said connections were considering running Hectorjayjay again in the sprint – the support race to the Ballarat Cup – at Ballarat next Saturday night. Maybe it’s a long shot, but there is some chance Lazarus could also head to that race. If they don’t meet at Ballarat, the megastar pair will clash for the first time in the Group 1 Victoria Cup at Melton on Saturday week. In other stable news, Lennytheshark will definitely resume in the Ballarat Cup against Smolda and others. “Dad was really, really happy with his work (over the weekend) and he’s set to go. His foot is fine,” he said. “We’re actually taking him to the (Melton) trials on Tuesday so Chris (Alford) can hop on and have a drive of him before Ballarat.” Adam Hamilton

One of last season's top harness racing two-year-olds Usain Jolt returned to racing with a brilliant win in the Bevan Lee's Butchery Pace over 2200 metres in Launceston on Friday night. Usain Jolt won the Dandy Patch Stakes final in Hobart before ending his two-year-old campaign with a game second to Offthetopofmyhead in Launceston in early July last year. His trainer Tony Petersen gave the gelded son of Village Jolt plenty of time off and while his trial form leading up to his return wasn't flash the three-year-old relished being back in racing mode. Driver Ricky Duggan allowed Usain Jolt ($1.80) to settle midfield from his second-row draw but when the pace slackened over a lap from home Duggan sent his charge around the field to face the breeze outside of the leader Entreemaindesert ($10.50). The second elect Buster William ($4.30) had enjoyed a cosy run in the one-out line so when his driver Mark Yole eased out to make his charge and he joined Usain Jolt turning for home. The pair drew clear of the rest and for a fleeting moment it looked as if Buster William would have the edge but when Duggan called on Usain Jolt for the big effort he drew clear and went on to score by about eight metres from Buster William with near rank outsider Blues Ace ($81) a closing third. Peter Staples

Well-bred juvenile Semowillrev made an impressive harness racing debut in Launceston on Friday night to take out the Debutante Stakes over 1680 metres. The Craig Hayes-trained and driven two-year-old settled third while the favourite Feelin Dusty ($1.65) led and set a solid tempo but when another first-starter Invest cruised up to face the breeze, Hayes was quick to latch onto that horse's back to take cover from a strong headwind. Feelin Dusty kicked clear on the home turn and looked set to keep his unbeaten record intact but when Hayes released the brakes Semowillrev charged to the lead and went on to defeat Feel Dusty by a comfortable margin with Invest a distant third and just ahead of Maybe Jack. Semowillrev is by Sportswriter from the unraced mare Sur La Page (x Somebeachsomewhere) and he was knocked down to Hayes at the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling in Melbourne last year for $35,000. The gelding had trialled brilliantly on three occasions leading up to his debut, which is why punters backed him in to start the second-elect at $2.50. Last season Hayes had a lot of success with another two-year-old Scooterwillrev and if Semowillrev can match that horse's juvenile feats he is destined to win more races. Scooterwillrev was unbeaten from six starts in Tasmania last season but he failed to flatter in the Breeders Classic series in Victoria. Peter Staples

Underrated Falcon Seelster mare Zumba Bromac broke through or an overdue harness racing win when she emerged triumphant in a thrilling three-way photo-finish in C3-C4 pace over 1680 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. The Juanita McKenzie-trained mare was slotted into the one-out-two-back position by driver Ricky Duggan from a second-row draw and she travelled sweetly to the home turn where Duggan was the first to ease into the three-wide line. But Gareth Rattray aboard Jetcraft, that had enjoyed the one-out-one-back position for most of the race, went ahead of Duggan's charge forcing Zumba Bromac four-wide at the top of the home straight. Race leader Deploy surrendered when Jetcraft swept to the lead and while the Deborah Williams-trained gelding gave his all over the final 100 metres Zumba Bromac was able to find enough to make last-ditch lunge to win by a nose with Deploy fighting on gamely to grab third only a half-head away. It was Zumba Bromac's second win for the season from 10 starts but it was her eighth career win from 28 outings. Peter Staples

The father of harness racing trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull says his daughter will strenuously fight allegations she was involved in race fixing in northern Victoria. Amanda Turnbull, currently NSW’s leading female driver, and previous winner of the NSW Driver of the Year Premiership, was one of four people charged by Victoria Police on Wednesday following alleged harness race fixing. Ms Turnbull, along with a 30-year-old man from NSW, a 22-year-old woman and 22-year-old man from Shepparton, has been charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome and other offences. They have all been summonsed to appear before Shepparton Magistrate’s Court on February 20. The investigation was initiated following information reported to Victoria Police by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV). In June 2015, HRV’s Integrity Unit initiated an investigation into matters relating to the conduct of a race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, in particular with respect to the training arrangements and associated betting activity surrounding the relevant race. The investigation was referred to the Victoria Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit in November 2015. In August last year, Ms Turnbull, her boyfriend Nathan Jack and two other people were arrested for questioning, and later released without charge. The investigation continued under Victoria Police, with Ms Turnbull and another three people being charged on Wednesday. Her father, harness racing legend Steve Turnbull, said on Thursday the family were “devastated” by the latest development, but said his daughter would fight to clear her name. “We’re going to fight these charges,” he said. He said the family were rallying around Ms Turnbull, supporting her at this difficult time. “This is hard on us all. She’s never been charged with anything [before],” he said. “When she was first arrested [last August] we’ve since found out she should have had a solicitor with her then, but we didn’t know. “Everything is in the hands of the solicitor now, but she is going to fight this.” By Jacinta Carroll Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate  

A deadheat in harness racing is not uncommon. But when it’s a father/son combination that can’t be split, that’s a little out of the ordinary. At Albion Park yesterday (Friday), Greg and Matt Elkins hit the line together when Crowning Glory and Surface To Air fought out the finish in the Mercedes Benz Toowong Pace. Judge Jason Suli couldn’t separate the pair and a deadheat result was posted. It’s the first time a deadheat has been called between father and son at Albion Park. And given the huge family involvement within the industry, it comes as a major surprise to most. There have been plenty of quinella results and even trifecta results between family members, for instance, the McCarthy family have provided plenty of one-two-three results and that’s the same for the McMullen family too but never before have they deadheated for first at Albion Park, the state’s premier track. In the run, Crowning Glory (Matt) led initially before handing over to the hard running Surface To Air (Greg) who maintained a solid tempo throughout. In the straight, Surface To Air kicked strongly while Crowning Glory went to the sprint lane. Both pacers are former South Australians, both bred by Peter and Lesley Medhurst. The Medhurst couple have been prolific breeders and enjoyed great success over many decades including the likes of Purple Royale, King Grin, Forty Seven Flash, Mister Seelster, Paris To Berlin, Devil Fish, Indigo Rose, Catch A Bouquet, Thorninmyside, Petes Elect, Flaming Hero and Floral Edge among many others. The association between both families’ spans over 20 years after Elkins purchased Merodach. And only last season, the enjoyed great success through the richly talented mare Purple Royale who was crowned the Albion Park Mare of the Year. Purple Royale has won 24 of her 60 career starts to date while 7 of those victories have come via Albion Park. The Royal Mattjesty mare was a runner-up in the 2016 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes behind Barynya, now based in North America. The next target for the Elkins family is to land a triple deadheat result with Justin, Matt’s younger brother.   Chris Barsby

The remarkable run continues. Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall has won his 11th TABTOUCH WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park after pint-sized pacer Chicago Bull sat without cover for the bulk of 2936m event to defeat John Of Arc and Soho Tribeca. Amazingly, the Hall of Fame horseman has now won the past seven editions. Chicago Bull now joins The Falcon Strike (x3), Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn (x3), Hokonui Ben and My Hard Copy (x2) as Hall trained WA Pacing Cup winners. The victory provides winning reinsman Gary Hall Jnr with his 7th Cup winner and he now joins legendary horseman Phil Coulson as the most successful driver in the events history. Bettors Fire, considered by many as a main challenger was declared a late scratching earlier in the day which forced massive changes to speed maps. Taken back at the start from his wide draw, Chicago Bull was allowed to settle at the rear of the field while the classy mare Major Reality set the early temp before being joined by Beaudiene Boaz. Soon after, Beaudiene Boaz fired up and started to over race which forced driver Clint Hall to challenge for the lead. The lead time was covered in 98.1 seconds. With a moderate speed being set by Beaudiene Boaz, Hall Jnr pounced on the opportunity to make his move and sent Chicago Bull three wide before parking outside his stablemate. The first half of the final mile was covered in 29.5 and 30.4 seconds. Despite racing without cover, Chicago Bull was able to control the race outside the leader. Soho Tribeca pulled three wide at the 1000m point and took up the fight to the Hall stablemates who continued to control the speed. The third quarter was clocked in 27.9 seconds. Racing off the back straight, Chicago Bull raced past Beaudiene Boaz while Soho Tribeca continued to chase strongly. In the straight, Hall Jnr urged Chicago Bull and the gritty four-year-old dug deep and held the fast finishing John Of Arc while Soho Tribeca fought tenaciously for third.  The last quarter was posted in 28.3 seconds. The overall time was 3:34.2 which gives the winner a mile rate of 1:57.4. The victory completes a sweep of the Fremantle/WA Pacing Cups double and Chicago Bull becomes the first pacer since the incomparable Im Themightyquinn (2102) to complete the double in the same season while he joins The Falcon Strike to win the Cups double as four-year-olds.  “He’s a great little horse, his versatility is so good and that makes him such a great racehorse. I made the move once they backed off and I knew that Beaudiene Boaz worked hard early, I was fairly confident once I got outside the leader.” Winning driver Gary Hall Jnr declared. Following four legs of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit this season, Chicago Bull joins Lazarus and Dream About Me on 100 points while Inter Dominion winner and New Zealand Cup placegetter Smolda leads the way with 120 points. Interestingly, the Grand Circuit takes on a refreshing look with youth given that Lazarus, Dream About Me and Chicago Bull are all four-year-olds. The next leg of the APG Grand Circuit is the $400,000 Eynesbury Victoria Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton on January 28. Chris Barsby

The New Zealand bred harness racing four-year-old, the Bettor's Delight gelding Chicago Bull, proved to be one of Australia's best pacers tonight in taking out the $450,000 Tabtouch WA Pacing Cup run over 2936 metres, on the half-mile Gloucester Park track in Perth, Western Australia. The late scratching of Bettors Fire left a field of 11 going to the post. Nine of the 11 pacers were New Zealand bred. The only mare in the race Major Reality led early with not much pace on until the Hall team came looking first with Beaudiene Boaz who took the lead with Cyamach sitting parked out then Chicago Bull with Gary Hall in the sulky came around the field to sit parked out to give the Hall team a three pronged attack in front with a round and a half to go. Joan Of Arc (Courage Under Fire) had an easy trip following Major Reality in the trail early and then three back before flashing home to get second with Soho Tribeca (American Ideal) holding on for third after making a big run with a round to go to sit parked out three wide. Chicago Bull, regarded as one of the smallest pacers in commision, barely 14 hands high, has now taken his record to 30 starts, 18 wins, four seconds and four thirds for $871,329 in stakes. The gross time of the race was 3.34.2 with a mile rate of 1:57.4. Amazingly the trainer Gary Hall senior has now won eleven WA Pacing Cups with the last seven of those in a row. Harnesslink Media

"Forward" - that is how Singleton-based harness racing filly Takara Truffle will be driven in one of her biggest tests to date at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. The three-year-old has only been beaten once in her career as she heads into the Group Three $31,800 Garrards Horse and Hound J L Raith Memorial. And trainer Aaron Goadsby does not want to leave any stone unturned as he plans to aim the daughter of American Ideal at even bigger races. "It's a very strong field but we will be going forward," Goadsby said. "This is the type of race she has been looking for and I'll be using it as a stepping stone to see if she is good enough to compete in the bigger races." With the New South Wales Oaks on February 25 earmarked, Goadsby realises the enormity of Saturday night's task, particularly racing against unbeaten horses and Group One winners. This includes the Mark Purdon-trained Partyon who is unbeaten in five starts and is the $2.40 second favourite with TAB Fixed Odds. The $1.90 favourite is Don't Think Twice, last season's Bathurst Gold Tiara winner, who has drawn in barrier one. "Mark Purdon's filly is one of the obvious dangers as she is unbeaten while the filly drawn the pole has good runs on the board as a two-year-old," Goadsby said. "It's going to be hard especially because my filly has drawn wide but she has done everything right since she has come over from New Zealand and keeps improving with every run." Takara Truffle will begin from barrier seven and is currently rated as a $10 third equal pick with Sparkling Tachyon. The only time Takara Truffle has tasted defeat in seven starts was at this track was against the boys in the Group Three Chokin Stakes. She was a fast-finishing fourth on that occasion, only beaten a metre-and-a-half in a mile rate of 1:53. **** SOME big names are making their racetrack returns at Menangle on Saturday night. This includes the Purdon-conditioned Our Waikiki Beach in race four. The Australian bred and part-owned gelding has only been beaten once in 24 starts and is first up since winning the Breeders Crown in August. Local hero Bling It On is also making an appearance in race five. The $1.2million earner is having his first start back since racing in the Inter Dominion series in Perth late last year. Bling It On is the $1.30 with TAB Fixed Odds for the event ahead of Clancys Fobwatch at $5. AMANDA RANDO

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