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Harness Racing New Zealand bosses say there are no immediate plans to ban whips here after a shock decision to remove them from Australian harness racing. Australian harness racing officials dropped a bombshell today when they announced drivers will not be able to use whips in races or trials from September next year. Harness Racing Australia chairman Geoff Want said the ban was being implemented to aid the future sustainability of the industry because times have changed, the public tolerance for whip use on horses was coming to an end and that the welfare of the horses was paramount. The ban was also touted as a way to brand the industry as a leader in animal welfare in Australia. So HRA will remove all whips from racing and public training tracks from the start of next season and they will be replace by a “guiding tool” which can be used to ensure driver safety with wayward horses but not to make a horse run faster. “We are looking toward the future and want to stay ahead of the animal welfare issue,” said Mr Want. Whips are already banned in harness racing in several Scandinavian countries and today’s announcement was praised by the Australian RSPCA, who said they are not against horse racing but the whip ban was a huge step in the right direction. Not so enthusiastic will be some of the horsepeople in the industry, with some immediately suggesting the banning of the whip could jeopardise the safety of both horses and their drivers. But leading driver Chris Alford, one of only two reinspeople in Australasia to partner over 5000 winners, said the ban was inevitable. “I think it has been coming for a while and now we have to deal with it,” said Alford. “But we will definitely need the guider, or whatever it is going to be called, for safety and to have control over the horse.” HRA believe the ban will put pressure on the thoroughbred industry to also look at banning whips but the heads of that code are believed to already be circling the wagons to fight off such suggestions. Harness Racing New Zealand chief executive Edward Rennell, who was at the Perth announcement today, said there are no immediate plans to ban whips in this country. “We have recently made changes to our whip policies pertaining to how often they can be used so we will see how they go and continue to monitor the situation both at home and in Australia,” said Rennell. Michael Guerin

The Chairman of Harness Racing New South Wales Graham Kelly today announced the strategy for the delivery to the New South Wales harness racing industry of almost $38million in tax parity funding over the next five years. The funding will be delivered from July 1 commencing with $5.7million in FY17 and increasing to an estimated $11.5 million in FY21. Following extensive consultations with industry stakeholders and review within HRNSW, the Board has approved the creation of a Tax Parity Fund Strategy that it believes will restore New South Wales to being the premier harness racing state in Australia. The Board believes the proposed distribution of the funding is in accordance with the needs of the harness racing industry. Mr Kelly congratulated the Baird - Grant Government for securing the legislation which will, over time, return wagering tax to the New South Wales racing industry in-line with the Victorian model. “On behalf of the participants in our industry, I wish to thank the Premier, the Honourable Mike Baird, and his parliamentary colleagues for their foresight,”Mr Kelly said. “In particular I wish to thank the Deputy Premier and Racing Minister, the Honourable Troy Grant, for his determination in restoring the pari-mutuel funding in New South Wales to the level of Victoria, over the next five years.” In accordance with submissions received by HRNSW during the consultative process the key areas for funding from Tax Parity are: Prize money Club Administration Marketing Breeding Industry Development (Equine Welfare & Youth Development) Infrastructure Integrity “The Board and Management sought submissions from stakeholders and it was clearly obvious what their requirements were,” Mr Kelly said. “Prize money to participants drives demand for breeding whilst efficient and effective Clubs deliver our code of racing to the community. “Marketing harness racing is essential at all levels, whilst a solid integrity strategy gives both players and punters confidence in the competition. “Equine welfare and youth development strategies, whilst already in place, are to be enhanced. “Minimum standards and best practices through infrastructure developments are long overdue even though the proceeds that flowed on from the sale of the Harold Park property have certainly helped propelled harness racing in New South Wales well into this modern age. “Training facilities at the major racing centres are vital to the growth of harness racing in the various regions around the State. “The Board of HRNSW believes that, overall, the proposed application of the Tax Parity Funds made available by the Government amounts to a strategic use of the funding over the next five years, in a way that should see harness racing continue to contribute strongly to the economy and community of the State. “Finally, I would like to thank all those dedicated participants and industry associations that contributed to the process, as well as my fellow Board Members and the Management of HRNSW, for their efforts in creating a strategy that I believe will fairly and sensibly benefit all aspects of harness racing in New South Wales.” Greg Hayes

One of Tasmania's most popular harness racing protagonists Chester Bullock was this week honoured for his service to the industry. A long term active participant in many aspects of Tasmanian harness racing including ownership, breeding, training, and administration and sponsorship has been honoured with a Distinguished Service Award from Harness Racing Australia (HRA). Bullock was born at St Marys in 1948. His father, Keith (Cardinal), was the St Marys Trotting Club Treasurer and his mother, Doris, loved to have a small wager on horse racing. With that background, Bullock quickly developed a passion for racehorses. He spent much of his youth at St Marys at the harness stables of Linton Bullock and Eric Bean. Bullock moved to Launceston when he was 16 years of age. His first purchase was a harness yearling, Thunder Fame, which eventually won two races in 1984 when trained by Eric Bean. Bullock acquired more mares, yearlings and racehorses and in 1986 decided to buy some land at Riverside to accommodate his rapidly expanding harness operation. A 1,100 metre track was constructed on the flats adjoining the Tamar River, where Jack Stamford previously trained, and the first of many prominent trainers took up residence at the Bullock training establishment. David Angus was the initial trainer and Mark Stanley, Rohan Hadley, James Rattray, Todd Rattray, Sam Freeman and Tim Yole all had stints training from the Bullock property. Bullock acquired his training license in 1990 and has prepared many winners from the complex. They include Cardinal Nelson (10 wins) and Cardinal Tucker (7 wins). Another, Cardinal Phoenix, showed enormous potential at his only race start as a two year old defeating Prodigious (2001 Tasmanian Pacing) Championship and Mountain Glory (Dual Tasmanian Horse Of The Year). Bullock is training approximately 15 horses at present with assistance from Duncan Dornauf, Wade Rattray and his daughter Julia Bullock and son-in-law Ryan Wilkinson. In 1998, Bullock and his daughter Julia established an AI Breeding Station at the Riverside property. Since then, Fred and Pauline Barker, Trevor Leis, Doug McKillop, Lloyd Whish-Wilson, Rick and Naomi Hinds and Dennis Mahoney have been some of the many prominent Tasmanian breeders who have used the facility. Bullock has also had a significant role in racing administration. It commenced at the Launceston Pacing Club (LPC) at Elphin in 1984. Three years later he resigned from the committee while he filled the position of Project Manager for the new Mowbray Racing Complex including the 1,000 metre harness track. He returned to the LPC committee in 2000 until the present day and has recently been appointed President. He is also the current Patron of the LPC as well as Patron of the Carrick Park Pacing Club. He joined the Northern Tasmanian Light Harness Association in 1995 where he has served 21 years as President. In 2006, he joined a group of participants to establish the Tasmanian division of the Breeders, Owners, Trainers and Reinspersons Association (BOTRA) and he was immediately elected President and served seven years in the role. Since 2009, Bullock has represented the LPC and/or NTLHA at the quarterly Tasracing Harness Industry Forum meetings and he is also a member of the Tasracing Harness Yearling Sale Working Group. Bullock, through his company Bullock Consulting (now 6tyo), has been one of the major harness sponsors in Tasmania over the last 16 years. His sponsorship has extended to all clubs in North and North West Tasmania with some of his more prominent exposure being through the Bullock Consulting Youngbloods series (16 years), the Bullock Consulting Bandbox at Launceston (21 years), the Bullock Consulting Devonport Cup, the Bullock Consulting Burnie Cup, the Bullock Consulting Country Guineas (St Marys) and many other races and the Fashions of the Field (Scottsdale and Burnie). Peter Staples

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced drivers will receive superannuation payments in accordance with legislative requirements. From July 1, drivers’ fees will be $71.18 per race, an increase from the current $65 payment to allow for a 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee. The decision, made in conjunction with Harness Racing New South Wales, was welcomed by Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association president Lance Justice. “Drivers have been pushing for this for a long time. It’s great that it has got up,” Mr Justice said. “Driving is like any job. The industry is up and down and a driving career can come to a finish at any moment. Moving forward, it’s a great announcement and I applaud HRV’s effort to better support drivers.” HRV CEO John Anderson said whilst the decision to introduce superannuation payments was enforced on HRV, it would give drivers greater long-term financial surety. “HRV continues to support industry participants where possible and we have made changes to our processes within our finance system to cater for this,” Mr Anderson said. Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs CEO David Brick said support and care within the industry was “a core strength of Victorian harness racing”. “Assisting drivers to ensure they have savings for later in life is an extension of the industry’s support for one another,” Mr Brick said.  Michael Howard

Tabcorp Holdings Limited and News UK have today announced the signing of an agreement to partner in the launch of a new online wagering and gaming business in the UK and Irish markets. The business will be known as Sun Bets and will launch in 2016. The new business will bring together Tabcorp’s capability in global wagering with News UK’s vast customer base and market-leading media assets, including The Sun newspaper (print and digital properties) and associated sports and racing products (such as Dream Team FC, Favourite and Goals). The agreement is structured as a revenue share arrangement with News UK undertaking internal and external media promotion of the business. In return, Tabcorp will provide News UK with a share of the revenue from the new business each year. The agreement is subject to Tabcorp obtaining the necessary licences and regulatory approvals and runs for an initial term of 10 years, with extensions subject to performance. Tabcorp Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer David Attenborough said: “Entering the UK market in partnership with News is an exciting opportunity for Tabcorp as we take our capability into the A$7 billion UK online gambling market. The Sun has more than 10 million readers per week and over 1 million football fans actively engaged through The Sun Dream Team FC fantasy football competition. “This partnership provides us with the opportunity to create a leading online bookmaker in the UK market under the Sun Bets brand over the coming years and fits with our strategy of pursuing close-to-core international opportunities.” Rebekah Brooks, CEO, News UK said: “This deal with Tabcorp marks a pivotal moment in the digital transformation of the company, creating a world-class online sports book that will engage and entertain the betting public in the inimitable style of The Sun. “The two powerful brands of The Sun and our Dream Team fantasy football competition already have incredible reach and I have every confidence that this will be a rewarding partnership, which will see Sun Bets firmly established as a key player in the online betting business.” For more information: Tabcorp - Nicholas Tzaferis, GM Corporate Affairs, +61 3 9868 2529 Lachlan Fitt, GM Investor Relations and Strategy, +61 2 9218 1414 News Corp  - Jim Kennedy, Corporate Communications, 212-416-4064 / jkennedy@newscorp.com and Michael Florin, Investor Relations, 212-416-3363 / mflorin@newscorp.com  News UK - Helen Collier, Head of Communications, +44 7788 364936 / Helen.collier@news.co.uk

Five men have been arrested in raids over race-fixing allegations in Victorian harness racing. Police hit properties in Merbein, Birdwoodton, Irymple, Mildura and Bolinda about 6.45am on Monday, seizing documents and other items. Superintendent Peter Brigham said the 10-month investigation involved owners, trainers and drivers. "Match or race fixing is a crime and police will actively work to target and disrupt it right across the state," Supt Brigham said on Monday. "It doesn't matter if it's happening at major events in Melbourne or events at our smallest country towns." A 29-year-old Merbein man, a Birdwoodton man, 57, a Bolinda man, 54, an Irymple man, 52, and a Mildura man, 34, were arrested and will be interviewed. Reprinted with permission of AAP

Integrity will be at a premium for the annual Garrards 2YO Trialling Sale to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Sunday. HRNSW will take a select number of samples in consultation with the Sales organisers including the fastest horse of the morning. In addition to this any buyer will be able to have their purchase tested for Steroids by notifying the HRNSW representative at the sale and paying the appropriate fee. This is the first sale in which buyers have had this opportunity. The 51-head catalogue has brought together two-year-old colts, geldings and fillies from every Australian eastern Mainland State as well as New Zealand. Included in the draft are sons and daughters of such notable sires as Beautide's sire, Bettors Delight, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three, Rocknroll Hanover and Rock N Roll Heaven. HRNSW CEO John Dumesny said the controlling body want to make it clear that all prospective owners, stakeholders, participants and supporters that they can have faith in harness racing in NSW. "As has been acknowledged nationally HRNSW has the strongest approach of any jurisdiction to integrity processes." "The HRNSW commitment covers every aspect and it is with the support of the Ready To Race Sale organisers that swabs will be taken, tested and if required stored for future analysis." Only graduates are eligible to nominate for the associated Group Three feature, the C.J. Garrard Classic, to be held at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, next August. NSW Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus certificates can be used as legal tender at the sale. By Dale Walker  

  TAB has put together a series of jackpots for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound punters this weekend. It all gets underway tomorrow night for the huge Black Top meeting from The Gardens. TAB has boosted the card with a sensational $25,000 Quaddie jackpot! Being held on races 5-8, the lids will fly on the opening leg at 8:40pm. Racing at Rosehill this Saturday is sure to excite fans of the First 4. The feature event on the program is the MTA NSW Run To The Rose and TAB has kick-started the First 4 pool on the race to the tune of $50,000! It is sure to be a keen betting affair with punters likely to include the well-supported Almalad and Nostradamus high up in their selections. Finally, every race at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night has a guaranteed First 4 pool of $20,000! With 10 races on the card and almost full fields throughout the evening, there is sure to be some spirited betting to be had. TAB JACKPOTS Date Code Venue Bet Type Jackpot Guarantee* Races Fri 29 Aug CG THE GARDENS GREYHOUNDS Quaddie $25,000.00   5,6,7,8 Sat 30 Aug SR ROSEHILL GARDENS RACES First 4 $50,000.00   6 – Run To The Rose Sat 30 Aug SG TABCORP PARK MENANGLE HARNESS First 4 $5,000.00 $20,000.00 Every Race            

A reminder, as we close in on the end of season 2013/14, that for the first time Harness Racing Victoria will conduct just one industry awards night, the Gordon Rothacker Medal, including Horse of the Year, on October 8. ......................................................................   Breeders Crown The Australasian harness racing spotlight will be squarely on Tabcorp Park Melton this Sunday as the rich Breeders Crown series culminates with a $1.6m "Super Sunday". 10 Group 1 finals will be contested on what has become arguably the best day's racing on the harness racing calendar. The Breeders Crown is the real trans-Tasman battle, with New Zealand's best two, three and four-year-old horses heading across the ditch to take on the Australians. I particularly like the $297,000 two-year-old fillies' final with Kiwis Katy Perry, Cyclone Kate, Linda Lovegrace, Joannes A Delight and Big Lucy dominating the early fixed odds betting charts. But don't tell a couple of the Aussies that the Kiwis are set for an easy ride, as Mick Stanley (trainer of Soho Tokyo) and Rob Auber (owner of Niki No No) have both declared they're not running scared. Probably the battle that has punters salivating most is the rematch between three-year-old semi-final combatants Our Sky Major and Bling It On. Punters are also reminded of a $25,000 first four pool guarantee on all races at Tabcorp Park on Sunday thanks to the TAB. Super Sunday kicks off at 12.05pm, with 11 races to be contested. Ballarat HRV's thanks goes to President Greg Moy and CEO Paul Rowse for yet again doing a great job in hosting an important industry event, the Breeders Crown Semi Finals last Saturday (August 16). As always a job well done. .......................................................................................... Interesting Statistics (Season) Plenty of highlights this season as we near the end of another racing year: Chris Alford's drives earned over $1m for the second time in his career; Chris Alford, Greg Sugars and Gavin Lang have all driven over 200 winners nationally this season; David Aiken is the first trainer to have trained 50 winners in a season at Tabcorp Park. Next best is Lance Justice with 49 in 2010/11; David Aiken has also smashed the trainers stakes earned at Tabcorp Park in a season, currently sitting just under $1m. Speaking of Greg Sugars, if you click here you will see a nice segment featuring Greg with Jaimee Rogers from Tabcorp called "Behind the Moment" where Greg talks of his relationship with the great Sushi Sushi. ............................................................................................. Smoken Up We are building toward a big farewell for Lance Justice's champion Smoken Up's last ever run at Tabcorp Park on September 6. For the record, before his final run, he will have had 152 starts for 74 wins and career stakes of $3.6m Included in his 74 wins have been 21 wins at Tabcorp Park, from which he has earned $700,000. The horse to have won the most at Tabcorp Park is Make Mine Cullen with 29 wins at the new headquarters. The occasion is being generously supported by the State Government's Raceday Attraction Program and the Premier Dr Denis Napthine will be in attendance. ............................................................................................... Red Balloon Experience for Father's Day The State Government recently approved a grant for the promotion of a Mobile Barrier Ride and dining package offered through Red Balloon. Participating venues are offering a 25% discount ($165 down from $220) as part of Red Balloons Father's Day promotion which runs from August 18 to Father's Day on September 7, where people can purchase the package as a gift for use over the next 12 months. The Package includes the usual dining and drinks for two plus two mobile barrier rides. Click here for the link to the package on Red Balloon. ......................................................................................... Youth Policy People often associate the trots with an ageing demographic. It is pleasing to see that this is now becoming a myth as we see the rise to the top of our gun young drivers, who are knocking on the door of the likes of C Alford and G Lang. In recent months names such as Josh Aiken, Matt Craven, Jason Lee, Rebecca Bartley, Ellen Tormey, Glen Craven, Emmett Brosnan, Zac Phillips, Alex Ashwood, Josh Duggan and plenty of others have tasted regular success and are hot on the heels of more seasoned youngsters, such as Greg Sugars, Amy Tubbs and Nathan Jack. It is important for administrators to manage the business in such a way that this new generation of participants see a long term future in this great sport. ..................................................................................... Don Dove Since the last CEO News, HRV was saddened to hear of the passing of the one and only Don Dove. Below is copy penned by Len Baker following his funeral service at Kilmore: A large number of trainers, drivers, owners and harness racing people in general were in attendance at Kilmore's Trackside Tabaret on Tuesday July 29, to celebrate the life and times of iconic Victorian trainer/driver Don Dove who passed away in his adopted state Queensland on July 14, 2014 at the age of 86. The memorial service was conducted by the "Pacing Priest" Father Brian Glasheen and numerous stories were told during the service. Don was a legend of the sport and was associated with horses such as Kol's Idol, Monara's Image, Nelson's Report, Playalong, Amlin, Jaygo, Missing Charm, Jay Ar Ewing, Just Money and Victoria Derby winner Kelly Kid just to name a few, with his best being prolific winner Monara which finished second to Welcome Advice in the 1972 (Brisbane) Inter Dominion when driven by Neville Welsh. Originally training in Heatherton where he was based for many years in an area which was also home to G.D. (Dave) Wilson and several other trainers including Lloyd and Bruce Coram, the trio would conduct trials on a rotation basis at their property's each weekend prior to the formation of Southern Speedways where Don was a regular competitor at the weekend trials called by at one stage by Trackbred editor Peter Wharton. Dove then moved to Kilmore and further north to Avenel, before relocating to Queensland. A master reinsman with wonderful hands who was great in getting horses away from the tapes, there was no better driver at the head of the field in a trotting or pacing race than Don Dove. Harness Racing Victoria

HRNSW today launched the Development and Support Program (DASP) for the NSW harness racing industry. This program has been developed to provide industry participants with access to professional assistance for matters affecting their mental wellbeing through a 24 hour a day confidential counselling and advice service. The Program can assist with strategies to deal with your work and life journey and offers short term, solution focussed counselling and advice. The sessions are informal, friendly and focussed on your individual needs. It can be provided face-to-face or over the telephone, whichever is more convenient. The costs associated with this program are covered by HRNSW. HRNSW has engaged Grant Brecht and his company Insight Elite Performance Psychology to deliver this program. All counsellors are qualified, experienced professionals who have extensive training and experience in counselling, coaching and elite sports consultation. They provide similar services to Racing NSW and the NSW Jockeys Association, Sydney Swans AFL club, Sydney Roosters NRL club and Melbourne AFL club. Access to the program can be made directly to Insight Elite Performance Psychology on (02) 9929 8515 or 0403 944 900, or via HRNSW or the UHRA. For further information please visit the HRNSW website at www.hrnsw.com.au or at the following link, http://www.hrnsw.com.au/hrnsw-notices.html Posters and leaflets will be available at all clubs. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Reid Sanders Position: Manager - Integrity Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: rsanders@hrnsw.com.au Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

There will be no love lost between Queensland's top young harness racing drivers and their New South Wales counterparts when they go head to head in the inaugural Young Drivers State of Origin Series later this month. The Queensland team of Peter McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Trent Moffatt, Narissa McMullen and Amy Rees will travel to Menangle for the series opener on August 26 before returning to their home turf at Albion Park on August 29. The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM. Racing Queensland Chief Executive Darren Condon said the state had some outstanding talent in its junior ranks and the six-race series would provide invaluable experience for both teams. "To take these young drivers down to New South Wales and compete at a venue like Menangle is an experience they could well have had to wait many years for and this series gives them the opportunity to do it now," Mr Condon said. "Being able to compete on different tracks against the best young drivers in other states does wonders for a young driver's confidence, but they can also build a network in another state that could open up opportunities for them in the future. "Harness Racing certainly has a high rate of younger participants in Queensland and we are proud to able to give the Young Guns this opportunity and be part of such a great initiative." The New South Wales team consists of Cameron Jones, Chris Geary, Kasey Hocking, Kylie Barnes and Todd Prest. Harness Racing NSW Chief Executive Sam Nati said providing opportunities like this for the young participants in his state is vital for the future of the sport. "We are all acutely aware of the need to nurture the next generation of trainers and drivers, "Mr Nati said. "Giving them the opportunity to participate in showcase events such as this not only provides a great incentive, but just as importantly, valuable learning opportunities. "Additionally it's very satisfying to achieve an outcome with another state controlling body which is mutually beneficial to our respective longer term objectives." Racing Queensland and Harness Racing NSW have confirmed a boost to the prize pool for the six races with each worth $10,000. New South Wales will launch the series with three races scheduled on Tuesday 26 August at Menangle, with the Queensland final scheduled for Friday 29 August at Albion Park. For further information please contact: Queensland Lucy McIntosh (Brand Manager - Harness, Racing Queensland) 0457 743 908 New South Wales Sam Nati (CEO - Harness Racing NSW) 02 9722 6600                  

Tabcorp Holdings Limited (“Tabcorp”) today announced that it has agreed with the ACT  Government to acquire ACTTAB for $105.5 million.  ACTTAB is a Territory-owned provider of totalisator and fixed odds wagering, Keno and  Trackside products. The business offers its services and products through a distribution  network comprised of 53 retail outlets located throughout the ACT as well as telephone  and internet platforms.  As part of the acquisition, the ACT Government will issue to Tabcorp a 50 year exclusive  totalisator licence, a sports bookmaking licence for an initial term of 15 years with further  rolling extensions to a total term of 50 years, and ongoing approvals to offer Keno and  Trackside products for 50 years.  The ACTTAB totalisator and sports bookmaking licences are highly attractive. Ongoing  payments to be made by Tabcorp in respect of the totalisator are limited to an annual  licence fee of $1 million and CPI increases. There is no wagering tax payable to the  Territory on the totalisator licence. The wagering tax payable to the Territory on the sports  bookmaking licence currently has an expected effective tax rate of less than 1% of turnover.  Tabcorp's close proximity to the ACT market, as well as existing pooling and fixed odds  management arrangements with ACTTAB, provide operational alignment and a deep  understanding of ACTTAB's market.  Tabcorp's Managing Director and CEO, David Attenborough, said: "The acquisition of  ACTTAB presents a unique opportunity for Tabcorp to secure long-term licences on highly  favourable terms in a jurisdiction that is complementary to our existing Wagering and  Keno businesses in Victoria and New South Wales. We look forward to leveraging our  capabilities to strengthen the product offering available to ACTTAB customers and to  deliver the best outcome for the racing industry and other stakeholders including our  venue and community partners."  Tabcorp intends to fund the acquisition from existing bank facilities. Tabcorp expects the  acquisition will generate EBITDA of approximately $14 million in the year following  completion of integration of the business and will be EPS accretive. Integration is  expected to take around 12 months.  The ACT Government has agreed to certain protections which provide greater regulatory  certainty in respect of the key terms of the licences.  The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals, including ACCC clearance. Tabcorp  expects to announce completion of the acquisition within the next few months.  Tabcorp is recognised as a world leader in sustainability and in the responsible service of  gambling. The 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability Index has ranked Tabcorp as the global  gambling industry leader for eight of the past nine years.  NICHOLAS TZAFERIS GENERAL MANAGER CORPORATE AFFAIRS

Hunter Valley harness racing trainer Shane Tritton enjoyed plenty of success during his recent trip to Queensland for the Winter Carnival and with the Breeders Crown series in Victoria less than a month away, he has confirmed he will be taking a strong team south. However before heading off Tritton has a large contingent in at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night including two exciting prospects, Lombo Kotakinabalu and Fearless Leader. "We have a big team in on Saturday night and I'm looking forward to producing a couple of horses that look to have big futures going forward," Tritton said. "Fearless Leader was sent to us with the idea of getting him on the big track at Menangle and so far we haven't even given him a start there because we took him to Queensland for the carnival but I really think he is going to be suited on the 1400 metre track." Fearless Leader has already had three starts at Menangle in his career and has only been placed on one occasion. "He's only little but he has got a tremendous attitude and Lauren (Panella) has told me that he really likes to find the line in his races so I'm expecting a big performance this weekend." "The plan is to take him back to Melbourne for a Breeders Crown graduate race next month." Lombo Kotakinabalu has only had one start at Menangle and he was a big winner on that occasion, taking out a Country Series Final on Breeders Challenge Final Day. "He is a very exciting horse, he has been winning his races very easily and he is a free rolling type which I think will be better suited over the mile so the 2300 metres will be something different this weekend." "The plan is to take him to Melbourne as well. I'm planning on taking eight at this stage including horses like Suave Stuey Lombo, Controversial, Marty Monkhouser and Im Supersonic." By Greg Hayes  | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

The 2014 Breeders Crown promises to be bigger than ever with a huge schedule of harness racing events set to showcase Australasia's premier age-restricted pacing and trotting talent. Breeders Crown Semi Finals Saturday night 16th August at Bray Raceway, Ballarat. After a successful return to the country last year, the Breeders Crown Semi's are again hosted by the Ballarat and District Trotting Club this year. Hospitality options range from a 2 course Carvery in the Draught Room for $30; or 3 courses for $35 in the Terrace restaurant or for $40 on the Finish Post. Reserve your place by calling Paul O'Donnell on 5335 9041 or email pod@ballarattrottingclub.com.au Breeders Crown Barrier Draw Sunday 17th August Legends Café, Tabcorp Park Melton Experience all the drama and the tension of the Breeders Crown Barrier Draw. Book yourself a table in the Bistro or grab a quick bite in the Legends Café where all the action will take place. For Bistro bookings call 8746 0600. Breeders Crown Gala Dinner Thursday Night 21st August Toolern Room, Tabcorp Park Melton Fast becoming one of the social events of the year, the Breeders Crown Gala dinner is the ultimate place to be seen during Breeders Crown week. Featuring a live band and three-course dinner with beverages for just $75, you'll dance the night away in preparation for one of our greatest race days while listening to the good oil from the major players and form experts. For bookings please contact Jackie Dobson at Tabcorp Park on 8746 0604 or email jdobson@tabcorppark.com.au Breeders Crown Finals A Race Day for the Ages, Sunday 24th August Tabcorp Park Melton. Tabcorp Park comes alive for the biggest day of Group 1 racing on the calendar as the stars of the Trots battle it out for the Breeders Crown. Enjoy a premium 3-course buffet luncheon, afternoon tea and beverages in the exclusive Toolern Room for $110 or feast on the Home Straight Bistro buffet for just $75. For bookings please contact Jackie Dobson at Tabcorp Park on 8746 0604 or email jdobson@tabcorppark.com.au  

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers. Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

Birdy Mach might be the best two-year-old Luke McCarthy has ever driven, the champion harness racing reinsman says.  The unbeaten Mach Three colt went 1:53.8 to win on debut last month before making it two from two at Menangle on July 1.  Birdy Mach will contest the colts and geldings' Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes (Group 2) this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. He has drawn gate two for the 2240m event, alongside unbeaten polemarker Burnaholeinmypocket from the Andy Gath stable.  “He’s really good. On raw ability he’s right up there with the best two-year-olds I’ve driven,” McCarthy said. “He’s pretty special. “He’s still got a bit to learn but we wanted to get him down to Melbourne to settle in before the Breeders Crown and the Tatlow looks a really nice race.”  Birdy Mach's first lifetime start Smooth Showgirl will also head to the Breeders Crown via the Tatlow Stakes for fillies, the Art Major youngster put away for a spell after winning the Group 1 Nursery Final at Albion Park in May.  “We turned her out after the Nursery, elected to bypass the Vicbred and head straight to the Breeders,” McCarthy said.  “She’s had a couple of trials at home and won them both. She’ll be in good order.”  Todd McCarthy will steer both horses at Melton this weekend while Luke pilots stable big guns Chilli Palmer and Bling It On at Albion Park.  Bling It On has won eight straight races and will be a hot favourite in the Queensland Derby on Saturday night.  “He’s a great horse. Let’s hope he can make it nine from nine this week and then we’ll head to the Breeders Crown head up there next Friday,” McCarthy said.  Chilli Palmer will race in the Group 3 4YO Championship after his last-start win last Saturday night at Albion Park.  By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

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