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Mick Lombardo has been involved as an owner, breeder and administrator since 1975 when he bought the Garry Rowan colt Yam Seng from the horse’s Victorian breeder Kevin Newbound. Yam Seng became Mick’s first winner when successful at Northam on 5th November 1977 for trainer Kevin Keys and driver Barry Street. Born on 17th April 1937, Mick Lombardo was first exposed to harness racing at the Richmond Raceway track in Fremantle in the 1950s as a teenager. His father Vince had jumped ship off the coast of Bunbury in 1929 after a journey from Siciliy and began to work as a fisherman. Mick joined his father in fishing for crayfish and then moved to trawlers fishing the Indian Ocean before he took a punt and built his first fishing boat in 1962. The steel boat was regarded as the best in Western Australia at the time and Mick contracted to carry out some seismic work off the North West Shelf. “We set off bombs in the ocean every three minutes while the seismic signals were recorded back at the American base at Exmouth”, he recalled some years later. In 1969 he began a ship-building business and for the next 25 years Lombardo ships were used by the Americans for off-shore exploration and by the oil industry for their work in Bass Strait. At their peak the Lombardo companies employed more than 1500 people throughout Australia and South East Asia and one of Mick’s boats was the first to fish for prawns in the Gulf of Carpentaria. In the early 1970s Mick and a partner purchased some 325 acres in the Margaret River region for the purpose of commercial marron farming and with the development of Mick’s passion for harness racing Notable Breeding Farms became the first home for his horse breeding operation. A decade later Mick purchased a property at Congupna near Shepparton in Victoria and established Concorde Park where his first stud stallion was Northern Lights. By 1998 he employed seven full-time staff to handle his harness racing business which at that time had 96 broodmares. He sold most of the colts he bred and kept a select band of fillies for broodmare purposes after their racing careers had finished. Mick has reduced his numbers of broodmares in recent years but the statistics relating to his contribution to the breeding of Standardbreds in Australia are worth noting. Under various banners Mick Lombardo has bred some 1440 foals of which 962 (67%) have raced and 626 (44%) have won. Those 1440 foals have had a total of 33,379 starts and won 4261 races and been placed a further 7502 times and earned total stakes of some $32,620,894. His famous White, red Maltese Cross colours derived from Mick’s football team South Fremantle with the red Maltese cross being the symbol given by the American Bureau of Shipping to the best and safest of ships. Mick Lombardo – Administrator Mick Lombardo became a member of the WA Trotting Association (Gloucester Park Harness Racing) in 1976 and served Gloucester Park as a member of committee for a total of 12 years (1984 – 1991) and (1998 – 2003) and was President between 1989 and 1991. He was made a Life Member of Gloucester Park in 1991. He represented Western Australia on the Australian Harness Racing Council (now Harness Racing Australia) for a total of six years and was chairman of the National Body between 2002 and 2004. He also represented Australia at the World Trotting Conference and was made a Life Member of the World Trotting Conference in 2009 in Norway. His contribution to Australian Harness Racing has been recognized twice with a Distinguished National Service Award in 2001 and in 2015 Mick Lombardo became just the eighth individual to be presented with the nation’s top award the J P Stratton Award for Significant Achievement, Leadership, Distinction, Eminence, Repute, Renown, Foresight, Initiative, Innovation, Creativity on an International or National Basis over a significant period of time. In 2011 Mick Lombardo was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to the Australian harness racing industry and his contribution as a breeder, owner and administrator. In announcing the award comment was made that “Mick is passionate about harness racing, the development of the Standardbred breed, animal welfare and the people who are involved in the industry”. Horses bred by Mick Lombardo have won a number of National Awards as set out below 2006 Lombo Pocket Watch – Australian Harness Horse of the Year 2004 Lombo La Fe Fe – Australian Aged Pacing Mare of the Year 2001 Lombo Rapida – Australian Aged Pacing Mare of the Year 2000 Tailamade Lombo – Australian Aged Pacing Mare of the Year 1999 Tailamade Lombo – Australian Aged Pacing Mare of the Year 1998 Concorde Lombo – Australian Aged Pacing Mare of the Year 2007 Lombo Pocket Watch – Australian 3yo Pacer of the Year    2007 Lombo Pocket Watch – Australian 3yo Colt Pacer of the Year         1998 Tailamade Lombo – Australian 3yo Pacer of the Year 1998 Tailamade Lombo – Australian 3yo Filly Pacer of the Year 1997 Concorde Lombo – Australian 3yo Filly Pacer of the Year 1992 Misty Maiden  – Australian 3yo Pacer of the Year 2010 Aussie Made Lombo – Australian 2yo Filly Pacer of the Year 2006 Lombo Pocket Watch – Australian 2yo Pacer of the Year 2006 Lombo Pocket Watch – Australian 2yo Colt Pacer of the Year 2002 Lombo La Fe Fe – Australian 2yo Pacer of the Year 2002 Lombo La Fe Fe – Australian 2yo Filly Pacer of the Year 2001 Lombo Skyrider – Australian 2yo Pacer of the Year 2001 Lombo Skyrider – Australian 2yo Colt Pacer of the Year 2001 Espeshlimade Lombo – Australian 2yo Filly Pacer of the Year 1998 Lombo Rapida – Australian 2yo Filly Pacer of the Year 1997 Tailamade Lombo – Australian 2yo Filly Pacer of the Year 1986 Mazzini Magic – Australian 2yo Pacer of the Year 2010 Tailamade Lombo – Australian Broodmare of the Year 2006 Misty Maiden – Australian Broodmare of the Year Alan Parker

THE Bathurst Harness Racing Club played host to coaching staff and players from the Panthers and St Pats Rugby League Football Clubs on Sunday afternoon. Formerly known as Group 10 Day, the meeting was very entertaining both on and off the race track with the highlight on the 10-race program being the Group 10 Rugby League Cup. Run over the 2260 metre journey, the small field didn’t disappoint as the fireworks went on from the outset. Bernie Hewitt was able to fire royally bred mare Make Mine Heaven ($2.50) out of gate three to cross the second elect Coolie Kid ($4.60) who was the likely leader as he had drawn inside the favourite. But after just 500 metres, driver Mitch Turnbull was having no part in allowing Hewitt to dictate terms and he came off the pegs to challenge strongly and take up the running. From there, Turnbull was taking no prisoners as he reeled off sub 30 second quarters. Leaving the back, Hewitt moved off Coolie Kid’s back to challenge and it was clearly evident that the leader was a spent force. Coolie Kid tried in vain to raise another effort but at the top of the lane, Make Mine Heaven sailed on by and Hewitt surged the mare to the line, scoring convincingly by almost 16 metres to post a 1.55-mile rate. Stablemate, Royal Story ($5, Scott Hewitt) who had sat back at the tail of the field for most of the trip got to the line strongly to finish second while Karloo Damajor ($15, Mat Rue) was aided by a soft run on the pegs and snuck into third just ahead of the tiring Coolie Kid. In his post-race interview, Bernie Hewitt said he was pleased with where the daughter of champion racemare Make Mine Cullen and Rock N Roll Heaven was at in her preparation and said that he would head back to Menangle with her on Saturday night. Make Mine Heaven has now raced on 28 occasions, winning eight races and placing six times, amassing more than $73,000 along the way. Sydney trainer, driver Michael Muscat took the honours on Sunday with a double aboard Ferdinand in the Ben Flick Memorial and Delilaah in the Bathurst Panthers Under 18’s League Tag Pace. Ferdinand ($1.85) was brave in his win as he worked forward early from his wide draw to eventually find the death chair and he simply proved far superior, going on the score by almost five metres in a 1.55.7-mile rating. Delilaah was returning to Bathurst for the first time since taking out the Star Trek Final back in November and the $2.25 favourite didn’t let her supporters down, leading throughout and cruising to victory with five and a half metres to spare. She posted a smart time of 1.55.2 in defeating Im Cool Harry (Nathan Xuereb). Third placed Misterfreeze (Tom Pay) was having his first run for the Gemma and Mat Rue camp and is one to put down in the black book as he flooded home from near last and appeared to be a touch unlucky. Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s next meeting is a midweek (Wednesday) fixture on February 27 where the feature race will be the $10,000 HRNSW Rewards Series Final. Craig Dumesny

Lightly raced harness racing pacer Vrai Amour proved too strong for his rivals in Friday night’s feature race, the Wellington & Reeves Sales RWWA Feature Series Westbred Pace (2258m) in Albany on Friday night. The $10,000 feature at Harold Reid Paceway had nine starters, and driver Jocelyn Young sped across with Vrai Amour from gate two on the front line to take up the lead. Young was able to dictate terms for the remaining journey on the $2 favourite, which found plenty in the concluding stages to win by 4m over Avivo on the line. Trained by Hopeland’s Debra Lewis, Vrai Amour is a seven-year-old that has had his fair share of troubles after winning on debut in Pinjarra back in 2015. After winning two successive races last July, the gelding was spelled and then returned to have two unplaced runs at Gloucester Park before his Albany success to make it four career wins in nine starts. It was a big evening for Lewis and Young as they scored a winning treble on the nine-race Albany card. Luis Alberto broke through for his first win since April last year when Young was able to save him up for a strong sprint home in the Harold Reid Memorial Pace (2258m). Lewis and Young then combined to round out their treble with the well-supported Lot Twenty One, who won a thrilling finish to the Peter Thompson Memorial (2242m). Lot Twenty One held off race favourite Disco Under Fire in the concluding stages to win by a neck. Disco Under Fire leads the pacer of the year standings after another minor placing. The Alfred Paganoni prepared runner sits on 17 points to be two clear of Marilyn Said. Peter Anderson has a 15-point lead over Barry Howlett in the trainers’ premiership despite Anderson not having a winner on Friday. Howlett continued his wonderful strike rate in Albany this season, making it 11 winners from 21 starters after Smart Fortune won the Tom Minchin Memorial (2683m). Albany Harness Racing Club has two meetings remaining this season. The penultimate fixture comes up this Friday night. By Cameron Newbold Reprinted with permission of The Albany Advertiser

Pinjarra Harness Racing Club and Community TAB are teaming up to fundraise for the Team Teal campaign at the Pinjarra Pacing Cup on Monday, March 4. The campaign raises funds and awareness for the Women’s Cancer Foundation. Pinjarra Harness Racing Club acting general manager Jessica Geach said the Community TAB program was a great avenue for clubs to gain additional exposure through new local charity partnerships. “Pinjarra Harness Racing Club has been involved with Community TAB for the past four years, fundraising for various charities on our premier day of the year, the Pinjarra Pacing Cup Day,” she said. “The club is excited to participate in fundraising for Team Teal; it allows us the chance to contribute financially to lifesaving research and treatment of women’s cancers, particularly ovarian cancer. “The Pinjarra Pacing Cup is our major race day of the year, where we have 10 exciting races, including the $50,000 Coolup Landscapes Supplies Pinjarra Pacing Cup, a free bouncy castle and Lions Train for kids, live music between races, a Punters Club, raffles and the Paceway Pavilion Restaurant, Garden Bar and Canteen facilities are all on offer.” Funds will be raised through donation tins at the paceway entrance gates and throughout the racecourse, fundraising competitions, sale of Team Teal awareness ribbons and wristbands, and the club will be donating $200 for every race won by a female driver on cup day. All funds raised and then matched by Community TAB will go to the Women’s Cancer Foundation. Racing and Wagering WA chairman Jeff Ovens said the positive effects of the Community TAB program had been extensive for regional WA. by Vanessa Schmitt Reprinted with permission of Community News

Three of New Zealand’s best pacers will miss their biggest targets of the season after shock errors ruled them out of Menangle features over the next fortnight. Star Galleria misses his shot at qualifying for next week’s A$1 million Miracle Mile and Utmost Delight and Elle Mac the Ladyship Mile after all missed the nomination cut off yesterday morning for the preludes at Menangle this Saturday.  Star Galleria needed to contest a $100,00 prelude of the Miracle Mile to have any chance of qualifying for the great race, while his stablemate Utmost Delight and the All Stars-trained Elle Mac had to start in a mares race this week and finish top four to qualify for the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile.  Trainer Steven Reid missed the nomination time for both Star Galleria and Utmost Delight by two minutes.  “I was buying a horse at the sales and thought I had plenty of time but when I went to nominate the free calling number you use doesn’t work from New Zealand,” explained Reid.  “By the time I googled the office number and then rang them, got through to the racing office via reception I was too late. “I tried to explain what happened but their boss John Dumesny told me he would check the phone records and if I was late they couldn’t bend the rules.  “He checked the phone log and I was two minutes later and they won’t let them start. So they are coming home.”  While Reid was disappointed, the owners of Utmost Delight, Paul and Mary Kenny, were pragmatic about the error.  “It is disappointing but people make mistakes,” said Kenny, who still has Dream About Me in the race.   Elle Mac was being nominated online but because she had never raced in Australia she was not already in their system so that couldn’t be completed and by the time the phone call was made to try and rectify that problem it was too late.  That leaves New Zealand with six potential Miracle Mile contenders, all from the All Stars, contesting preludes on Saturday while Dream About Me (Ladyship Mile), Princess Tiffany (NSW Oaks) and I’m Anothermasterpiece (NSW Derby) will contest preludes of those races. Michael Guerin

Tasmanian champion four-year-old Ignatius suffered from another horror draw in Saturday night's Group 1 $200,000 Chariots Of Fire. Trainer-driver James Rattray had no other option than to press forward in the early stages from a wide draw, but was trapped three-wide through the first turn in a scintillating first quarter of 26 seconds and drew up into the death seat through the second split of 27.9-seconds. The enormous effort started to take its toll in the home stretch as the Emma Stewart trained Poster Boy, with Chris Alford in the sulky, swamped the early speed setters to claim the Chariots Of Fire and record a mile-rate of 1:49.1. Ignatius battled on courageously in the straight to finish ninth, 15.3-metres from the winner.   Shane Yates

He’s had more leg problems than Ironside, and has made more comebacks than Lazarus, but you would never have guessed that following Beaver’s easy run-away victory at Albion Park on Saturday night. The 10-year-old pacer, who never stops trying and loves to race, nailed his first win in three starts this season in the sixth event – the $13,000 AQWA Construction Open Pace. The son of Art Major has now won 22 races from 116 starts ($173,151) in an ‘off-on’ career spanning back to his debut third at Goulburn in February 2012. “Even though he’ a bit lazy and very laid back at home, he’s definitely the family favourite. The kids love him. He always gives of his best on race-day, and is just a lovely horse to have around the stable. He’s the best of our four in work," trainer Melissa Gillies said.  “We’ve retired him a couple of times, but he gets restless and just wants to keep racing." The Wanora horsewoman, who has a share in the bay gelding, said Beaver had suffered from a lot of leg issues since they got him off Neil Day (NSW) five years ago. “Everything he does is a bonus. We have no expectations of him now. He suffered from front leg problems and was spelled and then we had to put him out again when his hind legs went," she said. “That’s when we thought his racing career was over, but he got keen again when we worked our babies, and we could tell he didn’t enjoy doing nothing in his paddock, so we gave him another prep. “To go 1:52 in just his third run back (since March last year), and to do it parked, was phenomenal." Beaver sat in the ‘death seat’ throughout and then at the 400m Trent Dawson let him down and they ran away in the straight to win 5.4 metres over the grey, Mandy Kriden and Brendan Barnes. He paced the 1660m mobile in 1:56.2 with a slashing 1:52.6 mile rate. His sectionals were 27.8, 29.6, 27.3 and 28.1. “He’s very much a day-to-day proposition and we are going to enjoy him while we can. We will keep lining him up at Albion Park until he tells us he’s had enough,” Gillies said. “At home he only ever des what he has to, but when he’s in front on race night, like he was last night, he tends to find another gear." Meanwhile, the ‘Team Teal’ campaign, which is raising money for Women’s Cancer Research, has now hit the $5400 after win 27 by Narissa McMullen aboard favourite Comply or Die in the second race last night. Lola Weidermann brought up the $5,000 for the Women’s Cancer Foundation on Friday at the same venue with race one winner Redriverdebba, and then McMullen (Narissa) added to the tally in race three with Miss Invasion. The campaign ends in early March.   Duane Ranger  for Racing Queensland

Champion Australian reinsman Chris Alford says taking on the most feared horse in harness racing could actually help Poster Boy win the A$1million Miracle Mile.  The Victorian four-year-old earned an automatic invite to Australasia’s richest harness race with a stunning display in the A$200,000 Chariots of Fire at Menangle on Saturday night.  He came from fourth last at the 600m mark to blow past some superstar opponents and had punters beaming after being backed in from $5.50 to start $3.80.  Trainer Emma Stewart was quick to accept the invite to the Miracle Mile on Saturday week so Poster Boy joins longshot Newcastle Mile winner Yayas Hot Spot as the only guaranteed starters with the other six spots to be decided from two preludes at Menangle this Saturday.  In one of those preludes will be the iron warrior of pacing Tiger Tara, fresh from adding the Hunter Cup at Melton to his Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup victories this season which has seen him ascend to the top of the Australian pacing ranks.  But while Tiger Tara remains the $3.50 Miracle Mile favourite with the Australian TAB compared with Poster Boy’s $6.50, driver Alford says the hard-running champ could aid Poster Boy.  “The harder they go in the Mile the better it will suit us,” said Alford, who tipped Poster Boy strongly last week.  “He will follow any speed and in fact his best chance of winning the Mile would be if they went really hard and he can sit off them just like he did tonight.  “I am glad Emma accepted the invite because he has developed into a really good Grand Circuit horse.  “He has always been fast but now he is strong enough to carry that speed longer and that is what you need for a Miracle Mile.” While Poster Boy has his spot in the great race the competition for the remaining six places has intensified as more big names eye the preludes.  Tiger Tara’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto will also have Majordan in them after he smashed some serious free-for-all opponents on Saturday night, leading from barrier nine to pace 1:49.5, which compares favourably with Poster Boy’s 1:49.1 considering Majordan did all the work in his race.  “He is a really good horse but Tiger is flying at the moment,” said Pizzuto comparing the pair.  Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon could have up to five prelude contenders, including Chase Auckland who was the luckless Chariots favourite after never getting clear in the straight.  Saturday’s meeting will also sees heats of the NSW Derby and Oaks as well as the open class mares chasing the final four spots in the Ladyship Mile, which will be run Miracle Mile night March 2.  Dream About Me and Elle Mac will make last minute trips to Sydney on Friday to contest the final lead-up to the Ladyship Mile, with the pair needing at least a top four finish to be guaranteed a start.  And they will be joined on the flight by Princess Tiffany, who was originally going to miss the NSW Oaks but after trialling well at Rangiora last week she will head to Menangle on Saturday night for the Oaks heats. Michael Guerin

AUSTRALASIA’S champion pacer Tiger Tara will headline a trio of Miracle Mile hopefuls Kevin Pizzuto will run at Menangle next Saturday night. Pizzuto confirmed star speedster Majordan and his Chariots of Fire fifth placegetter Picard would also tackle one of the Miracle Mile qualifiers this week. “Picard’s come through the Chariots and he’ll be fitter for the run as well. He’s going around this week again for sure,” Pizzuto said. “He did all the work and was only beaten five metres. I know he’ll be better for it.” Majordan’s turbulent campaign took a crucial turn for the better when he did everything right and blasted away a good field, headed by NZ Cup winner Thefixer, at Menangle last Saturday night. Pizzuto reaffirmed what he’s been saying for months that Majordan rates right along Tiger Tara as a Miracle Mile prospect. “Tiger Tara’s got all the form on the board, but over a mile at Menangle, Majordan is right at home,” he said. “He’s been a bit fresh and doing things wrong. I’ve changed his bit, got some more work into him and he won really well the other night. “I can assure you he’ll keep getting better now. When he’s galloped in this races, he’s missed the hitout. Last night will bring him on a lot more.” So what about Tiger Tara and his quest to complete a total dominance of our biggest races by winning the Miracle Mile? “He’s well. Really well. He his work was fantastic on Saturday and he’ll another strong workout at Bankstown this week,” Pizzuto said. “I’m glad now I skipped Newcastle and gave him a few quiet days after the Hunter Cup. “He’s freshened-up well and with a mile run under his belt this week, he’ll be absolutely spot-on on for the (Miracle) Mile.” The latest Aussie TAB Miracle Mile market shows Pizzuto’s key role with Tiger Tara $3.60 favourite, Majordan $7 third elect and Picard at $21. Adam Hamilton

Bob Pollock has one record that can never be eclipsed - as the first Western Australian to drive an Inter Dominion winner. With some 846 winners as a driver and 603 as a trainer Bob Pollock put together an outstanding career as both a trainer and driver between 1939 and 1998 when he retired. His tally of 483 Perth winners saw him fall agonizingly short of becoming a member of Perth’s elite 500 Club for drivers with 500 metropolitan successes and it was a number of quirks of fate that conspired to rob Pollock of a major milestone. In 1939 Pollock enlisted in the army and returned in 1945 with the rank of sergeant. In 1954 a horse Pollock trained returned a positive swab and he received the then mandatory five year disqualification. A similar occurrence now for a first offence would receive far less a penalty and probably a fine. In 1985 Pollock was forced from the sulky as he reached the then mandatory retirement age of 65 and he didn’t drive for 12 years. When the anti-discrimination laws changed in the late nineties Bob Pollock returned to race driving as a 77yo and won a couple of races driving the appropriately named Worth The Wait. Had Pollock remained active in harness racing for each of those missed 22 years there is no doubt he would have passed both the 1000 career wins and 500 Perth wins milestones. When forced from the spider in 1985 Bob Pollock ranked as the ninth most successful reinsman in the State’s history. What cannot be taken away from Pollock is that he was the first Western Australian reinsman to drive an Inter Dominion Grand Final winner when he was successful with Captain Sandy for trainer Dinny Nolan at the 1953 Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park. Champion New Zealand reinsman Freeman Holmes was the regular race-driver for both Captain Sandy and the outstanding New Zealand mare Blue Mist which had also qualified for the final. She had been far more impressive through the heats and she had won on the first two nights of the Championship. Pollock was quickest to realise that Holmes would drive the more fancied Blue Mist in the final and, urged on by a well-meaning mate, he approached trainer Dinny Nolan. A somewhat hesitant Nolan gave Pollock the drive on the 10yo gelding in a trial before engaging him for the Grand Final drive. The 1953 Inter Dominion was run in front of a huge crowd who crammed every vantage point to watch one of the all-time great finals. In addition to Captain Sandy which had won the 1950 Melbourne Inter Dominion, the field included the NSW champion Ribands (unbeaten in the heats), the dual WA Pacing Cup winner Beau Don and the first 2:00 performer on Australian soil in Avian Derby. Ribands led and Bob Pollock drove the race of his life to push Captain Sandy through the narrowest of gaps (beating Freeman Holmes and Blue Mist to the position) to have the gelding poised just three lengths behind Ribands and Kellett turning for home. Renowned for his vigour in a tight finish, Pollock asked Captain Sandy for an extra effort in the straight and the old warhorse responded as only a champion can to grab Ribands about 50 yards from the line and then draw away to win and become the first dual Inter Dominion champion in track record time. Blue Mist remained in Perth after the Inter Dominion carnival had finished and as Freeman Holmes had returned to New Zealand Pollock was engaged by trainer Claude Fairman to drive the mare. The pair combined to win two Free-For-Alls and the 1953 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park. Pollock’s father Robert H Pollock drove the first of his 50 Perth winners behind Otahuhu at the Claremont Showgrounds on 15th February 1913. Bob Pollock’s first win as a driver came behind Tommy Dillon which his father had purchased for £35 in the twilight of the horse’s career. Tommy Dillon, a 15yo when the 19yo Pollock saluted the judge behind the 50/1 chance, had won the WA Pacing Cup nine years earlier when in the stables of Arthur Gaukroger. While Pollock never won a Perth Drivers or Trainer’s Premiership he was placed on a number of occasions behind the likes of Hall Of Famers Jim Schrader, Frank Kersley, Fred Kersley and Phil Coulson. During the sixties Bob Pollock was a force to be reckoned with and during this period he won a WA Derby with the filly Hill Oro, two Sires Produce Stakes with Pagan Lord and Bank Street, a Brennan Cup with Tony Hall and a Christmas Handicap with the brilliant Chief Attain. In 1980 Pollock trained and drove the sensational 2yo Tommy Steel which set a new Australian Record for a 2yo over a mile with a time of 2:00.8. Tommy Steel was the most prolific of Pollock’s Gloucester Park winners notching 14 wins at Gloucester Park. Pollock has a somewhat unique record in the in addition to his win behind Captain Sandy in the 1953 Inter Dominion he also won races behind two other Inter Dominion winners in Binshaw and Preux Chevalier.   Alan Parker

Two more names were added to the growing list of Auckland Reactor-sired rising stars at the Swan Hill harness racing meeting this week. Thermal Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Ballygeana - Presidential Ball) trained by Zac Steenhuis and driven by Ryan Duffy gave a dominant front-running display to score by 18 metres in the Steven and Kyra Valentines pace.  To watch the replay click here. The win was followed up by another impressive performance in Quamby Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Lady Lunchalot - Armbro Operative) trained and driven by Chris Svanosio. To watch this video replay click here Both are four year olds and both amply demonstrated the depth in maturity that’s emerging in the Auckland Reactor progeny. “Quamby Reactor took a little while to put it all together as a young horse, but he has improved massively with each preparation,” an elated Svanosio said. “He’s a very big fellow and I think that was part of the problem in his first prep - he was gangly and took a while to get it all together. But once he worked things out he won his three year old and his Vicbred bonus and we gave him another break,” he said. “This time as a four year old he’s come back really strong and he won well at Swan Hill. I think he’ll have a few more wins in him yet.” Quamby Reactor posted a 1:55.8 mile rate thrilling the big crowd of owners and supporters at the Swan Hill meeting. The ownership group is made up largely of farmers from the nearby Kerang-Quambatook area, and who raced Quamby Reactor’s mother Lady Lunchalot.  “They’ve been a fantastic group to work with. When the horse was taking longer than I’d thought I asked them if they would like to try another trainer, but they were happy to wait for him to click,” Svanosio said. “They never miss his races and even his trials so it’s great to see him rewarding their loyalty.” The Svanosio stable itself is also “putting it all together” of late,  also notching up three second placings at Swan Hill and Chris getting another second as a driver. Based at Junortoun, Bendigo, Svanosio has a “essentially a full team” of 20 horses in work with the help of Michelle Phillips, Tara Youngson and Taylor French. The stable has had four winners and a swag of placings over the past two weeks. “Im lucky to have a fantastic team of staff and they do a great job.  The last few weeks things have been going nicely, which is great - it gives everyone a kick along,” he said. “We just need to keep things going and build from there.”  Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

A flashing finish from the tail of the field saw Victoria's next pacing superstar Poster Boy power past his harness racing rivals and win tonight's $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. While trainer Emma Stewart had suggested Poster Boy might be driven more aggressively and closer to the lead, champion reinsman Chris Alford simply never got the chance as the speed was on from the outset and from his wide draw Poster Boy was forced to settle near the tail of the field. Covering the mile in a stunning 1:49.1, Poster Boy edged out New Zealand visitor Ashley Locaz (Luke McCarthy) by two metres with despised outsider Hail Christian (Blake Fitzpatrick) a fabulous third 1.75m further away. That left Poster Boy's owners Bill and Anne Anderson with a massive decision to make as the win earned then an invitation into the $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile in two weeks' time. They have 48 hours to decide whether or not to accept the invitation but as Alford pointed out, Poster Boy was certainly up to the challenge and he felt co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin thought the same thing of their latest stable star. While they are tipped to accept the invitation, Alford suggested it would all come down to how the horse pulled up after such a mighty performance. The lightning speed took its toll on the favoured runners Chase Auckland ($3.10), Ignatius ($5.90) and early leader Picard ($6.80), who were all over-run in the straight after a 54.9s opening half took its toll. Ignatius was trapped wide from his wide barrier draw, although was able to work up outside the leader, he had nothing left in the run home. Poster Boy, on the other hand, sprouted wins in the final 100m (final splits of 28.4s and 26.8s) and is expected to join Yayas Hot Spot as the second horse in the first $1m Miracle Mile. 8 9:47pm CORDINA CHICKEN FARMS CHARIOTS OF FIRE (GROUP 1) 1609M $200,000 4YO. RBD. Mobile Final Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 POSTER BOY  $120,000   Fr7 8 Emma Stewart Chris Alford   $ 3.80   PRS SWAB   BAY HORSE 4 by SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE USA out of ASTON VILLA USA (ARTSPLACE (US))  Owner(s): Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd  Breeder(s): Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd 2 ASHLEY LOCAZ NZ  $ 30,000   Fr10 12 M Purdon, N C Rasmussen Luke McCarthy 1.90 $ 12.00   RAS HUE SWAB 3 HAIL CHRISTIAN NZ  $ 20,000   Fr9 10 Paul Court Anthony Butt 3.60 $ 101.00   RAS SWAB 4 ALL U NEED IS FAITH NZ  $ 10,000   Fr3 4 M Purdon, N C Rasmussen Mark Purdon 3.80 $ 18.00   PRWU 5 PICARD  $ 5,000   Fr2 2 Kevin Pizzuto Todd McCarthy 5.10 $ 10.00   GS L 6 THE BLACK PRINCE NZ  $ 3,000   Fr4 5 Roy Roots Jnr Chris Geary 7.40 $ 71.00   VXBR 7 CHASE AUCKLAND NZ  $ 3,000   Fr1 1 M Purdon, N C Rasmussen Natalie Rasmussen 8.80 $ 2.90 fav  GS HU QDT VXAR INQADJ 8 BOYD WRITER  $ 3,000   Fr5 6 David Hewitt Brad Hewitt 9.70 $ 81.00   RAS 9 IGNATIUS  $ 3,000   Fr8 9 James Rattray James Rattray 15.30 $ 4.20   PRS 3WE 3WM WF 10 RACKEMUP TIGERPIE  $ 3,000   Fr6 7 Michael Stanley Michael Stanley 15.90 $ 19.00   VXBR 3WE WF Scratchings   ROYAL GAMBLE NZ 3 JACK FARTHING NZ 11 Track Rating: GOOD   Gross Time: 1:49:1 Mile Rate: 1:49:1 First Quarter: 26 Second Quarter: 27.9 Third Quarter: 28.4 Fourth Quarter: 26.8   Mandy Madern

Impressive pacer Patrickthepiranha has landed the first blow in the run to April’s WA Derby, taking out last night’s Group 3 Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park. In what looks set to be a strong year for the three-year-old’s, Patrickthepiranha was able to make the most of barrier one to record his seventh straight victory. The Colin Brown-trained gelding looked to have the race well in his keeping on the turn for home, but reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green had to urge him over the closing stages as Eloquent Mach made up late ground. Gee Jay Kay finished third, while other star three-year-old’s Shockwave and Franco Edward were unplaced from the tough draws. Patrickthepiranha rated 1.56.1 and ran home in a time of 57.5. Egerton-Green said he was happy enough with the performance, but indicated there was plenty of improvement left in the Four Starzz Shark gelding. “We got it our own way,” he told RWWA Harness. “He wasn’t fully wound up and we’ve probably got a little bit more work to do. “I probably got a bit busy on him late, but that was probably more my fault because he switched off. “He hasn’t started for a month and the other horses are race fit. “When anything comes near him, I think he’ll put his mind to it.” The other feature event of the night, the Group 2 RWWA Cup, was taken out by Handsandwheels. Handsandwheels was able to get the perfect run on the back of Vultan Tin, who sat outside the leader Herrick Roosevelt. The 2017 WA Derby winner then swept to the front on the turn for home and held on by a head over Always Arjay. Always Arjay’s driver Shannon Suvaljko launched a protest against the winner, who he claimed shifted out in the final 100m. Stewards eventually dismissed the protest, but Handsandwheels reinsman Aiden De Campo was fined $300. Gary Hall Jnr, fresh from being unveiled as one of the 2019 West Australian Racing Hall Of Fame inductees during the week, recorded a winning treble on the night. Hall Jnr started the night with a winning race-to-race double with Soho Chelsea and Chok Chai. He then teamed up with progressive pacer Caviar Star later in the night to take out the Join The Caduceus Club Standing Start Pace. Caviar Star took his record in Australia to five wins from nine starts and trainer Gary Hall Snr was impressed by the gelding’s performance.   Tim Walker  

Todd and James Rattray have enjoyed a glorious run with their star pacer Ignatius, tonight at Menangle they plan another step in the successful journey with a tilt at victory in the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire. Ignatius earned his place in the $200,000 4YO feature with a sensational win in last week’s Group 2 Paleface Adios Stakes. “He couldn’t be better than he is right now, Todd has prepared him perfectly for this campaign, he has eased him through a slight setback in January and got him right for the trip,” said James. “His run last week to win the Paleface Adios Stakes was certainly one of his best ever performances and has him primed for an all-out assault on the Group 1 tonight against the best in the land.” Ignatius drew wide in the Paleface Adios and did some early work out three-wide through the first turn before James found the death-seat outside the favourite Chase Auckland. “Chase Auckland and Ignatius have drawn almost identical gates to last week, Chase Auckland is in one again we are again out wide in eight but Ignatius returned his career best mile-rate of 1:50.2 to beat him last time and he has felt even better at home during the week,” said James. “Chase Auckland, Poster Boy, Picard and Ashley Locaz are all topliners but they will know Ignatius is there when the pressure is on turning for home over 1609-metres, the winner receives an invitation to the Miracle Mile so there’s a lot on the line.” Todd made the trip to Sydney during the week and was there to keep a close eye on Ignatius as he was taken into the Retention Barn at Menangle Park on Thursday. “He’s looking and feeling great, he put up a great performance last week and that will have just topped him off perfectly for the Chariots,” said Todd. “Ignatius couldn’t be in better hands than James, we have a great relationship, racing to us has always been a family affair, we all share the ups and downs together and that’s the way it should be, let’s hope we all have something to celebrate tonight.”   Shane Yates

GUELPH, ON -- TheStable.ca, horse racing's fastest-growing fractional ownership stable, is heading Down Under for a two-week speaking tour. TheStable.ca is an award-winning fractional racehorse ownership business based in Guelph, ON operated by Anthony and Amy MacDonald. The couple participated in a similar tour hosted by Harness Racing New Zealand in September 2018. There are currently 135 Standardbred horses (including 70 two-year-olds) in TheStable.ca owned by more than 600 people from 11 countries worldwide. The Australian tour begins February 20 in Melbourne and concludes March 3 in Sydney and is hosted by Australian Pacing Gold (APG), Club Menangle and the NSW Standardbred Owners Association. "The growth of The Stable has been achieved by promoting the experience and enjoyment of being an owner," said Bruce Christison, Chief Executive of Club Menangle. "NSW and Victoria are the two strongest harness racing states in Australia and we have Anthony booked to speak in five major cities across these two states. "This is a great opportunity for the horsemen in Australia to listen to one of their own explaining how we can work together to grow our great sport," said Christison. "During their time in Sydney, our guests will also get to witness the Miracle Mile, Australia's richest and fastest harness race." The tour itinerary includes: February 25 - Presentation at 7:00 p.m. at Club Menangle February 26 - Presentation at 7:00 p.m. at Bathurst HRC February 28 - Presentation at 7:00 p.m. at Newcastle HRC MacDonald will also be attending several events, including: March 1 - Harness Breeders NSW/HRNSW/APG Yearling Parade at Inglis Riverside Stables Complex, Warwick Farm March 2 - Inspecting APG Yearlings at Inglis Riverside Stables and attending the Miracle Mile at Club Menangle March 3 - APG Yearling Sale at Inglis Riverside Stables The innovative and engaging model of TheStable.ca invites people to own a little and love it a lot. Clients can purchase as little as one percent of a horse, making the thrill of harness racing and racehorse ownership easy, accessible and affordable. The MacDonalds built this fractional ownership stable as a bridge -- a way to welcome newcomers to racehorse ownership with a very modest investment (as low as $80), low-risk, and completely accessible and transparent operations. The ownership experience with TheStable.ca includes: bi-weekly professionally produced broadcasts of the horses in training, delivered via livestream; weekly commentary videos about all horses; weekly email communications; special events, including Open Houses; and the open invitation to visit the horses at TheStable.ca base at Tomiko Training Centre in Puslinch, ON. From TheStable.com

The Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale in Melbourne on Sunday February 3rd was a great day for the Victorian breeding establishment Empire Stallions. In total, 84 of the 225 catalogued yearlings were sired by the Empire stallions and what a terrific group they were!   Sale numbers show that CAPTAINTREACHEROUS and his sire SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE gave the APG Yearling Sale more firepower than ever this year with their yearlings grossing $1,554,000. Seven of the top ten highest priced sale yearlings were by SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE or CAPTAINTREACHEROUS, and their yearlings have topped each sale in Australia so far this season.   The first Australian yearling crop from the USA 2YO boom sire CAPTAINTREACHEROUS led ALL sale sires with his average of $45,715.  In total, 9 colts and 5 fillies by the CAPTAIN went through the ring with his top-price selling for $82,500 for the outstanding colt out of BEHAPPYSAM NZ, the dam of two $150,000+ winners. Tim Bunning, who owns his promising 2YO brother by MACH THREE, signed for the colt.   Lot #135, another colt by the CAPTAIN, out of the ART MAJOR mare THE BAGGY GREEN was purchased by the U.S. partnership of Marc Hanover & Gordon Banks for $78,000. Selling for $70,000 was Lot #116, the CAPTAIN colt out of SLIP SLOP SLAP by PERFECT ART. The striking individual is a half-brother to the 2018 Chariots of Fire Champion JILLIBY KUNG FU (by FOUR STARZZZ SHARK) p,1:48.8 ($526,710).  Also selling for $70,000 was Lot #162, another CAPTAIN colt, out of ALWAYS A TARGET, a sister to the sensational FOUR STARZZZ SHARK (GR1) winning mare MILLY PEREZ p,1:52.7 ($343,882).   SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE also had an exceptional sale selling 23 lots including the top priced yearling of the day. The very impressive colt (PICTURED, top) out of the WESTERN IDEAL mare IDEAL PRIORITY, a full-brother to the Australian 2 & 3YO Filly of the Year & Breeders Crown Champion PETACULAR p,1:55.6 ($454,083), stole the show bringing $130,000. The colt, consigned by Durham Park of Victoria, was purchased by Tom Hogan.   Lot #206, a gorgeous SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt out of DREAMS OF HEAVEN by SAFELY KEPT, was sold for $95,000 by breeder Susan Wegmann and is a full brother to the multiple GR1 Winning Champion MENIN GATE p,1:54.3 ($574,758). The BEACH filly out of the 100% producing LIVE OR DIE broodmare PERFECT LIFE was knocked down at $80,000 and went to Justin Baker. Victorian trainer Mattie Craven was all smiles when he signed for Lot #197 for $70,000 – a stunning BEACH colt out of a half-sister to LAZARUS consigned by Benstud Standardbreds.   A list of all sales results can be found at apgold.com.au and for a wrap of the Melbourne event, take a look at Michael Howard's terrific summary HERE. Really, it's no surprise to see SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE and CAPTAINTREACHEROUSso popular in the sales ring given their results in North America:       Empire Stallions

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