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In the spring of 2011 a young Jake McGeechan confidently announced to his father Michael that the newly born Artistic Fella and Kahlea Mac colt was the best of their 2011 foals. With a likely future in the sport, Jake never came to realise the progress of the colt born on family's property 'Highland Pride' as he was tragically killed in a motor vehicle collision outside Crookwell in the early hours of Friday morning 30th November, 2012. For Michael McGeechan, his involvement in harness racing and standardbred breeding began in the late 1990's, and it was only natural that Jake would follow. McGeechan's first purchase was Smooth Jes who he owned with his brother John. Following a successful racing career, the mare produced a number of winners including the Miracle Mile champion Divisive and also the unraced Kahlea Mac. Michael also purchased in-foal mares Maputo that produced the Pacing Gold winner Burling Game in 2000 and Blanc De Noir who foaled the sub 1:50 horse Highland Pride who went on to win in excess of $400,000 in the US. McGeechan mostly sells the foals he breeds, but out of those retained for racing he claims the best to date as being Susie Oneill. Michael is now hoping the 2011 selection by Jake can take over the mantle. "I don't know how he did it, but Jake could pick them the moment they were born" said Michael. In 2005, the then 9 year old had chosen Shes All Lady as their best and she went on to win more than $65,000 in prize money, and in the process recorded a personal best time of 1:53.8. "He wasn't born into the horses but he had a way with them" explained Michael. "We ended up keeping all of the 2011 foals and they have been named after Jake." At Jake's funeral the Adam Brand hit Hell Of A Ride was played; it symbolised the McGeechans' year and became a natural choice for the Kahlea Mac colt. Trained by Ian Wilson at Menangle, One Hell Of A Ride has drawn 9 in the first of the $20,505 heats of the VHRSC Victoria Derby. Whilst he may be on the second row, One Hell Of A Ride comes out behind fellow New South Welshman Aztec Bromac who possess good early speed. "It's the weakest of the three heats, so we have a chance" said McGeechan who is hoping the colt Jake selected as the best can continue the ride they are experiencing. Also heading south this week is Crookwell born Brad Hewitt. The young gun harness racing trainer now based at Goulburn will be campaigning the talented Spare Me Days. A last start winner at Goulburn on the 19th January, Spare Me Days was bred by Hewitt and is the first foal of Tolnikie, a Nikalong Shadow mare who was bred and originally owned and raced by Brad's grandfather, the late Tom Hewitt of Wheeo. With the colt carrying Tom's favourite exclamation as his racing name, Spare Me Days has drawn barrier 3 in what is doubtless the hardest of the three heats being decided Saturday night. Lining up alongside the Hewitt runner is last season's champion two year old and Breeders Crown final winner Follow The Stars, the Simpson Memorial winner My Field Marshal and the Cran Dalgety trained Art Union who last start defeated the star open class pacer Border Control. "It's the hardest heat of all but we have drawn the 3 gate so it gives us a chance" said Hewitt, who is enjoying his best season ever as a trainer and driver. "I've only ever had one or two in training before but we have kicked off this season really well" said Hewitt who has recently scored feature race wins with Sweet Molly OShea and Im Jay Tee who snatched a last stride win in Monday's $18,600 Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Rose. "He (Im Jay Tee) went really good at Goulburn, it was his first run in a month and just got there". Positioned perfectly in the one by one, Hewitt came with a well-timed run to claim victory on the line from the Belinda McCarthy trained pair of Mister Bling and Epaulette. Im Jay Tee will accompany Spare Me Days to Melbourne and is lining up in race 5 at Ballarat on Friday evening which is a heat of the Country Clubs Championships. by Mark Croatto  

If you build it, they will come. Bringing together Victoria’s two biggest summer gems – the TAB Victoria Cup and the Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup – has resulted in what long-time harness racing pundits are describing as the greatest ever Victorian Cup field. Long-time trots form analyst and scribe Bill Hutchison remarked at the TAB Victoria Cup barrier draw this morning at Eynesbury Golf Club that: “Depth wise this is the best Victoria Cup field I’ve ever seen.” Master of Ceremonies, Adam Hamilton, agreed. “It’s definitely the best overall Victoria Cup field I’ve seen in my time,” Hamilton said. The Australasian harness racing world is abuzz ahead of the Group 1, $400,000 feature race to be run over 2240 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. The best from New Zealand, including three-time New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love, reigning NZ Cup champion mare Adore Me and Miracle Mile hero Christen Me, will be hoping to take the cup back across the ditch, but the Australian brigade – spearheaded by Tasmanian superstar Beautide and a three-pronged Emma Stewart attack – Guaranteed, Philadelphia Man and Restrepo – will provide fierce resistance. “This race won’t be for the fainthearted,” said champion reinsman Gavin Lang, who is expected to pilot Guaranteed on Saturday night. Impressive five-year-old Lennytheshark, who took all before him as a four-year-old last season, drew the coveted pole for the Victoria Cup. Drawn alongside the David Aiken trained runner will be Geoff Webster’s last-start Shepparton Cup winner, Franco Ledger, who stunned Philadelphia Man and Lennytheshark to win last weekend. The race favourite, and a heavily backed one at that, is Beautide from gate three for trainer/driver James Rattray. Beautide hasn’t raced since finishing second to Christen Me in November’s Miracle Mile but has trialled impressively in recent times. Trainer Amanda Grieve drew gate five with her Ballarat Pacing Cup winner Im Corzin Terror. Grieve also has Chilli Palmer, the first emergency, in the race, who drew gate eight. Cran Dalgety’s superstar Kiwi Christen Me will come from gate six, while Terror To Love and Ricky May will be hoping to emulate their Cranbourne Cup win from December but will have to overcome a barrier seven draw here. West Australian star David Hercules comes out of nine, drawn to trail through nicely on the back of Franco Ledger for Victoria Cup winning reinswoman Kate Gath. Guaranteed and Gavin Lang have drawn gate 10, reigning Victoria Cup winner For A Reason is coming out of 11, superstar New Zealand mare Adore Me is in gate 12 and last-start Hamilton Pacing Cup winner Restrepo rounds out the field in gate 13. The trots world will pause for the big race at 9.32pm on Saturday.  Race 7 TAB VICTORIA CUP (GROUP 1) 9:32 PM  M0 Or Better. * The winner of the following races in 2014 will be exempt from ballot for this race - New Zealand Free For All, Miracle Mile, Cranbourne Pacing Cup and Ballarat Pacing Cup. * This race is a leg of the Pacers Grand Circuit. * Acceptance Fee - $2, 000. * Stakemoney of $3, 375 per horse to be paid to the 6th to 12th placegetters respectively. TRAINERS NOTE: * Nominations for this race close at Noon on Friday, December 19. * Late nominations for this race close at Noon on Monday, January 19. A late nomination fee of $2, 000 will be applicable. RBD. Prizemoney: $400,000 2240 METRES 2ND LEG DAILY DOUBLE, 3RD LEG QUADDIE, 5TH LEG BIG6 MOBILE START   Form Horse Trainer Other Eng. Driver   Class  Hcp 1 111s3 LENNYTHESHARK  D Aiken   Chris Alford   C10 M4  FR1 2 89151 FRANCO LEDGER NZ  G F Webster   Geoff Webster   C20 M14  FR2 3 4112s BEAUTIDE  J R Rattray   James Rattray   C37 M13  FR3 4 11112 PHILADELPHIA MAN  E J Stewart   Gavin Lang   C13 M4  FR4 5 61264 IM CORZIN TERROR NZ  A J Grieve       C16 M9  FR5 6 51121 CHRISTEN ME NZ  C T Dalgety   Dexter Dunn   C22 M14  FR6 7 44412 TERROR TO LOVE NZ  G T Court   Ricky May   C27 M21  FR7  ---------- Second Row ----------  8 020s3 CHILLI PALMER NZ (Em 1)  A J Grieve Balarat 30/01/2015     C9 M5  SR- 9 s1112 DAVID HERCULES  D A Thompson   Kate Gath   C33 M23  SR1 10 11231 GUARANTEED  E J Stewart   Gavin Lang   C16 M6  SR2 11 35177 FOR A REASON  B J McCarthy   Luke McCarthy   C20 M9  SR3 12 12111 ADORE ME NZ  M Purdon   Mark Purdon   C22 M12  SR4 13 s4421 RESTREPO  E J Stewart   Gavin Lang   C12 M5  SR5 BY CODY WINNELL 

Exciting prospect A Good Chance is nearly ready to kick start his latest harness racing campaign. The Donny Smith trained colt is expected to trial within a fortnight as he gears up for a lucrative and busy campaign. The reigning Queensland Two-year-old of the year performed with great distinction last season and never missed the board during his ten start campaign which netted four victories. His crowning glory came in the Gr.3 $35,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Final at Albion Park while he finished an agonisingly close second in the Gr.2 $80,000 QBRED Triad Final behind Jack Malone at his final start of the season. The Mr Feelgood – Chance The Walk colt also notched a placing in the Gr.1 $100,000 Seymour Nursery Pace Final behind Waves Of Fire and Artistic Flite. “He’s just about ready to go again and I can’t be any happier with him, I was deliberate in giving him a lengthy break and I’m thrilled with his current condition because he’s really muscled up and filled out in key areas of his body.” Smith said. A Good Chance will trial at Albion Park in the coming weeks and a raft of feature events have been penciled in for his upcoming campaign. His first major mission will be a title defence of the Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic at Albion Park on March 27 before looking at the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad in late May before concentrating on THE Brisbane winter carnival. “It’s going to be a long season with so many features but we will carefully manage him just like last year and hopefully get the best from him. I’m convinced he’s grown and filled out compared to last season, I would say he’s 30kg to 4okg’s heavier but its all muscle. “He’s enjoyed a really good foundation and he continues to improve with his times so a trial will bring him on even further. I’m likely to give him two trials but I will just monitor him after his first hit-out.” Since Smith and his wife Maureen made the switch to their current Redcliffe base from Hendra last year, the numbers have swelled and the results have also been very pleasing. The couple are currently working a team of twelve while a few a more are currently in pre-training as they prepare for their next campaign. “We love it here at Redcliffe; with the extra room and stables we have been able to expand our numbers and things are going along nicely. It’s very trainer friendly and the track is well looked after by Greg Franklin and his team. “Maureen and I get some good help every morning and the system is working, I’m back doing the bulk of the shoeing but I haven’t made my mind up about race driving again yet. “My foot is getting better all the time but I’m still undecided on which way I’ll go with the driving.” Smith has been out of action for the past four months with a broken foot after he was stood on by a pacer he was shoeing at his new property. Just recently, Smith gained a medical clearance to resume race driving but is yet to get back in the bike on raceday. “I’ve got my clearance but I’m happy with the way things are going currently, we have the services of Chris Petroff and he’s a good driver who drives regularly which is important. “We may even offer him the drive on A Good Chance this season, but we’ll make that decision soon.” Smith has already trained 12 winners this season with the promise of plenty more to come. by Chris Barsby  

Kapunda Harness Racing Club president Marcus Hearl celebrated his club’s season start with a winner of his own on Sunday. Boundary Row, of which he is a part-owner and trainer, thrashed his rivals to win the Specialty Foods Trotters Handicap. Driven by Michael Smith, Boundary Row, the $2 favourite, trotted away from his rivals to score by 24.6 metres. It was the 10th career win for the four-year-old from just 31 starts. Another Kapunda trainer, Paul Smith tasted success with Righteous Boy in the final event, the Northland Packaging Pace, driven by his son Matthew. An excellent crowd of in excess of 500 enjoyed the day’s action. The racing was keen in all events, while the weather was fine and sunny. Race commentator Ray Fewings made mention of the great day and crowd, and the need for these country meetings. There were also three pony races conducted by the SA Harness Racing Pony Association. The ponies will be in attendance at all Kapunda meetings. The club’s next meeting is on Sunday, February 1, with the Kapunda Cup the main event. Sunday’s abbreviated result; Race 1 - Laucke Mills Pace. 1st: Darcy Tee driven by Ashley Manton and trained by Scott Garraway   of Mildura; 2nd: Captain Brannigan; 3rd: Live n Reality.   Race 2 - Wheatsheaf Pub Pacers Dash. 1st: Nevada Blackjack, driven by Wayne Hill and trained by Jill Nielson; 2nd: Jaccka Twain; 3rd: Blow Torch. This was a speed event over the short journey of 980 metres (one lap of the track), run in the time of 1.53.5. It was a very tight finish, with four horses going across the line together. Race 3 - Judy Chappell Pace  - SA Young Drivers Series. 1st: Thats Rite, driven by Shane Turner and trained by Frank Cavallaro from the Mildura region; 2nd:  Android; 3rd: Kilbirnie North View. Race 4 - Angast Park Hotel Claiming Pace. 1st: Recede, driven by David Harding for trainer Shane Loone; 2nd: Mister Manhattan; 3rd: Austral Flight. Race 5 - Speciality Foods Trot. 1st: Boundary Row, driven by Michael Smith and trained by Marcus Hearl; 2nd: Earl of Parwan; 3rd:  Matareka. Race 6 - Northland Packaging Pace. 1st: Righteous Boy, driven by Matthew Smith and trained by Paul Smith; 2nd: Cup Cakes; 3rd: One Seven I. This was another close finish, with a nose the winning margin and a short half head to third. Reprinted with permission of the site  

Harness racing driver Clinton Hall and the five-year-old American Ideal horse My Hard Copy NZ produced an outstanding run from last to first to win tonight's spectacular $400,000 TABTOUCH WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park in Perth. The time for the 2936 meter race was 3:34.1 with a mile rate of 1:57.4. My Hard Copy NZ won going away from a brave David Hercules who sat parked out for most of the race and then followed Northview Punter third and Our Jimmy Johnson NZ only a nose away fourth. It was start number 52 and win number 18 for the former New Zealander My Hard Copy NZ who now has won $446,497 in stake money won. My Hard Copy NZ was bred by Woodland Stud and is owned by S. K. Champman, C. Champman and D. Champman. He paid $18.20 to win. The win was also one of six winners on the ten race program for the Gary Hall stable for the evening, the others were Soho Lennon, Some Kinda Tactics NZ, Beaudiene Boaz NZ, Ben Cartwright and Classic American NZ. Harnesslink media

Leading harness racing driver Robbie Morris has had some success since returning from a broken ankle earlier this year but believes the past week has been his best since returning from injury. In the space of three days last week Morris drove eight winners including four at Bathurst last Wednesday night and is hoping he can continue the good form when he drives Alchemy in the Max Laughton OAM Carnival Of Cups feature at Penrith on Thursday night. "It has been a good week, I haven't had a week like this since I've come back from the broken ankle and it is nice to be getting on some nice horses and getting some nice results," Morris said. "Kerry Ann (Turner) has nominated Alchemy for the feature race at the Carnival Of Cups meeting at Penrith on Thursday night and after drawing well if he can find the front I think he is going to be very hard to beat." Alchemy was formerly trained by Lance Justice and has now had four runs for the Turner stable. "His first up run was his best effort for KerryAnn, he finished second behind Bling It On and the overall time was very quick so if he can get to the pegs this week and repeat that then he will be in the finish." "It won't be an easy race, obviously the two horses off the back line are the class runners, Monifieth and Living Lord are the horses that have been competing in the strong races but I wouldn't even rule out a horse like Itsnewstome, he was very good winning two starts back." Morris also confirmed Turner has been cleared to return to race driving after suffering injuries from a fall at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Miracle Mile night. "Yeah the good news is that KerryAnn received the clearance from the doctor on Monday so she will be right to drive later in the week, I think she may even be going to Bathurst to drive on Friday." "KerryAnn has driven sixteen winners this season so hopefully she can get straight back into the winners' list." By Greg Hayes 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.

A horse trainer has told how he was at a harness-racing meeting on Friday night when his mother was fatally struck by a hit-run driver only a short distance away. Earlier, Betty McArthur, 84, had watched her son Mick Darling’s horses in two races on the program at Phoenix Park in Port Pirie. She was walking back to her car parked in its usual spot outside a friend’s house, in Grey Terrace, when she was hit by the vehicle about 9.30pm. This is only about 100 metres from the entrance to the trotting park – and Mr Darling was still at the track when he got the news that someone had been hit. “It was straight after race five,” a shocked Mr Darling told The Recorder Editor Greg Mayfield on Saturday afternoon at his home at Bungama on the outskirts of Port Pirie. He spoke just after police released the news that a suspected offender was being interviewed over the hit-run. Mr Darling said he had ”mind-boggling” support from the community after the tragedy. “You don’t know how many friends you have got,” he said. He said it would be difficult on Christmas Day with an empty seat being there for Mrs McArthur. “All Christmases are special,” he said. Mrs McArthur is a former president with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary and used to make dinners for drivers and trainers at the trotting track until a few years ago. She was a regular supplier of delicious nut rolls to a local delicatessen. Mr Darling agreed his mother was proud of him and always watched his horses go round the track. “I drove one horse in one race and another driver drove one of my other horses in the other race. They were the fourth and sixth races on the program and she watched them both,” he said. Mr Darling is president of the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club and president of the South Australian Country Harness Racing Clubs. “Mum and Dad had horses when we were kids. I originally raced her horses,” he said. “We went to school at Snowtown and Lochiel and shifted to Port Pirie for the last year of high school. “Mum didn’t work – looking after six kids was a big enough job.” It is not the first time that tragedy has truck the family. Mr Darling’s brother Robin died 17 years ago from an asthma attack. Later, Mr Darling’s mother remarried and became Mrs McArthur. “When she remarried there were 13 of us,” he said. “It was a big Christmas and a big day at tea-time. “Everyone knows her. She worked so hard for the trotting club. “She had been president of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary for eight or nine years. “She was inspired to do this by her two disabled grandchildren. One of them can’t speak, but recently had a long “conversation” on the phone with Mum’ and was laughing and smiling. “Because my wife and I are shifting to Moonta, Christmas celebrations were going to be at Moonta. “I asked my mother when she wanted to be picked up to travel to Moonta and she said she was going to drive down - at the age of 84 - but we would have driven her anyway.” He said his mother always attended the trotting meetings. “She was actually a life member of the harness racing club,” he said. “I suppose that indicates how much work she did for the club. “She always made nut roll for the delicatessen – one of her loves was cooking. “She was proud of all of us.” A 40-year-old Port Pirie man was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and render assistance at a collision, and leaving the scene of a collision.  He will be granted bail to appear in court at a later date. by Greg Mayfield Reprinted with permission of the   Major Crash investigators continue to examine the circumstances surrounding the collision, and ask anyone that may have seen a dark-coloured Ford station wagon in the area to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or online at  

TOP Tasmanian harness racing trainer Barrie Rattray had hopes for Blue Pointer last season and while he performed well he didn't quite live up to expectations. But at the TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night Blue Pointer finally delivered on the promise he showed early on by winning the $20,000 City of Launceston Cup over 2698 metres and in track record time. Blue Pointer recorded a mile rate of 1m.59.07 that smashed the previous best set by star New Zealand three-year-old Elect To Live that clocked a rate of 1m.59.7 seconds in the 2002 Australian Derby. Rattray said he was not surprised by the son of Four Starzzz Shark's win, despite starting at double figure odds, but the time was quite unexpected. "I was concerned that he might not have enough high speed but I knew that he'd stay the distance," Rattray said. "He's a horse that promised a lot as a three-year-old but didn't really deliver." "Now he's finally going like he should," the trainer said. Blue Pointer paid $12.50 but won like an odds-on chance. It was a perfect drive from the trainer's son Todd Rattray. "Todd made all the right moves at the right times - it was a great drive,' Rattray said. Todd had Blue Pointer settled three-back the fence but midrace he eased into the one-out line and made his move three-wide heading down the back straight and cruised to her front 400 metres from home. The five-year-old then staved off all challenges and went on to score by 3.9 metres from Outback Mach (Gavin Lang) with Riverboat Jasper three metres away third. The trainer is undecided as to whether he will back Blue Pointer up in next Sunday's $40,000 Tasmania Cup in Hobart. "I'm not sure about taking him to the Tasmania Cup - the horse has already come a long way in a short space of time (this preparation)," he said. Blue Pointer began his racing career as a three-year-old and won five times with three in successive wins coming at the end of the 2012-13 season. He won his next two starts as a four-year-old before being sent for a four-month spell. But after three starts he was dispatched to the spelling paddock in February and didn't return to the racetrack until October. This time in he has won five from seven and recorded sub two-minute mile rates four times with his best a 1.58.3 in winning a C5-C7 pace in Hobart over 2090 metres on November 09. Peter Staples

The number “63” has taken on a special significance for many Australians in recent days. And last Wednesday it was instrumental in the timing of the Bathurst HRC tribute to the late Phillip Hughes, with a simple and respectful tribute conducted just prior to the fifth, race number 63 conducted at the new Bathurst facility. A one-minute silence, observed by all of the crowd in attendance, provided the formal recognition, while a simple grouping of bats and a baggy green cricket cap, as well as an on-screen portrait of Hughes displayed between races, provided continuing recognition during the course of the meeting. That fifth race, a 3C0 run over the 1730 metres sprint trip, was won by Mouse In The House, one of last season’s better juveniles, at his second run back this term. Steve Turnbull allowed the even-money favourite to find his feet from outside the second line, before coming three-wide in the middle stages to assume the lead, and he slipped home in a sharp 27.6, for a soft win over early leader Mod Conns and Gargzdai Girl, which raced mid-field. He was one of only two favourites to succeed at the meeting, and Turnbull’s sole winner , on a night where eight individual trainers took out the eight races, quite unusual anywhere and especially rare at Bathurst. John Thomas O’Shea – “J.T.” to most – took driving honours for the night, with his double to open and close the meeting. Keep On Moving ($3.70, for Josh Turnbull) led throughout in the 2260 metres C1 first, to hold on in a photo from Promises Galore and Regal Point, both of which raced in the running-line. A solid tempo throughout, with a last half in 57.9, resulted in a good mile rate of 1:59.9 to the winner. Jacks OnThe Beach ($9.40, for Jack Butler) overcame his ODM barrier in the 2260 metres C0 which concluded the meeting, working three-wide around the field to the death, then showing toughness to hold off Master Macca, which enjoyed a pegs trail, and Art Of Ear, which ran on from the second half of the field. J.T. was very impressed by the winner, which boasts impeccable breeding – by Somebeachsomewhere, he’s from a full-sister to the Chariots winner and now sire, Lanercost. He could well go a long way when he learns to race truly, and in the meantime, he and his trainer are set to do just that, to a new training set-up not too far from the Gold Coast. Hence the clever name. Signory Shannon ($7.10), winner of the 2260 metres C1 second event, had impressed with a tough run at his previous start, and ran right up to that by leading throughout, over trailer Jester Oh Jester and Count Montecristo, midfield in the running line. There were no really fast quarters, just a good strong speed throughout, for a 2:00 mile rate. Trainer Peter Bullock had warned driver Murray Sullivan:“You’ll be exhausted by the time you finish!” Sullivan readily agreed afterwards. Signory Shannon lets horses come to him, then settles down to the fight, and responds to hard driving. He requires a lot from his driver, but gives plenty back. On the other hand, Crackerjack Jo ($5.20, Peter Trevor-Jones  (Mat Rue) , winner of the 2260 metres C2-C4 third, loves nothing better than being buried away in the field, and saved for one big sprint. He enjoyed a one-one sit before Rue let him loose over the final 800 metres, run in 57.0 , and sprinted away from Cogeday and Trikala, which followed him throughout but were left in his wake by an ever-widening 12. metres margin. “He’s got wicked speed, this bloke, and I think he’s capable of winning in good company at Menangle,” was Rue’s encouraging assessment. Pat McCarthy hadn’t been seen in action for quite a long time, but thought he “might have a drive on the new track to see what it’s like” . He had good reason to be pleased with his decision, following the win of Makin Memories ($29.10) in race four, a conditioned class sprint. Buried away on the markers, McCarthy found room turning for home and finished over the top of Jerulas Mate and favourite Slick La Jazz, in a 1:58.1 mile rate. The four-year-old Trump Casino daughter is named for Pat’s deceased parents Ray and Olive, and races in Ray’s old colours of blue and green stripes, a colour scheme followed by all the McCarthy clan. Run of the night was Magic Bliss (Amy Day), the $2.20 favourite in a six-horse field contesting the 2260 metres fast class. The overall rate of 2:02.6 resulted from a very slow lead time and opening quarters, but with final quarters of 28.3 and 27.5, and the winner coming from last on the home turn to get up in a three-way photo from leader Smart Major and sprint-laner McArdles Chance, it was a superb run by Magic Bliss, his final half run in 55.0 or better. Poppy Cee ($5.60, Andrew Cassell) kicked through to hold the spot on the back of leader Dawn Magic, and overhauled that horse to take out the 2260 metres C0 class race seven. Zirconia followed through on the pegs when Cassell pulled out at the top of the straight, to claim the minor prize. Raced by WDHRA president Geoff Cole, he’s one of just a handful in the stable of the underrated Parkes district trainer, the final of the Soldiers Saddle series will headline the meeting next Friday, December 19, and then it’s just a week to the fantastic Carnival of Cups meeting on Boxing Night, featuring the Shirley Turnbull Memorial. By Terry Neil    Bathurst Harness Racing Club Ph: 02 6333 5000 Fax : 02 6331 4397        

CARDINAL ART is no stranger to winning races but when he scored an impressive all-the-way victory at Carrick on the Northern region of Tasmania on Friday it may have marked the beginning of a best ever campaign. With Todd Rattray in the cart, the Chester Bullock-trained six-year-old showed plenty of early speed to rush across the field to lead. Once in front Rattray rated the gelded son of Modern Art superbly and when the more fancied runners made their charges in the home straight Cardinal Art was up to the task and went on to win convincingly from Baragoola and Santanna Night. It was a great result for Bullock who was keen to put Rattray aboard given his regard for the talented reinsman who spent a couple of years working for Bullock at his training and breeding complex at Riverside in the North of the state. "When this horse drew barrier one I was very keen to put Todd on because in my opinion there is no better front-running driver in the state," Bullock said. While the trainer was all smiles after the race he also was quick to remind Rattray of a comment he made about the horse five weeks earlier. "Five weeks ago Todd was at my place and he saw Cardinal Art and asked me when she was due"(thinking that he was a pregnant mare)." "That's how fat he was at the tome but I changed his work around since then and it had the desired effect," Bullock said. It was the Carrick club's first of three meetings for the season but heavy rain during the day ended up cutting the meeting short. While the racetrack was still safe after a couple of deluges it was water running off a side road leading to the track that led to the last three races being abandoned. Dirty water running off the nearby road flowed onto the track and because it was orange in colour horses were jumping it during their preliminaries prior to race seven. The meeting was delayed by stewards as attempts were made to rectify the problem but eventually chief steward Adrian Crowther had to abandon the rest of the program. Peter Staples  

Twelve months ago harness racing driver Jimmy Douglass nearly pulled off a huge boilover when 90-1 chance Scandalman finished second behind Washakie in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Fast forward to this Saturday night and Douglass believes he is driving the right horse in Chariot King to go one better this year. "I've run a couple of placings in the Treuer Memorial from memory, Scandalman wasn't far away last year and Hesa Buzzin ran third behind Washakie too but that was back in 2011," Douglass said. "Chariot King is going to be a good chance on Saturday night, he has drawn barrier one and around the tighter tracks the closer you can draw to the inside the better especially when you are driving a horse that has speed to make use of the draw." Chariot King won Saturday night's Kevin Newman Cup at Tabcorp Park Menangle and Douglass was extremely pleased with the performance. "Before the race John (Tapp) just told me not to get involved in an early speed battle but from the wide draw I couldn't slot in so I had to go right back and because I knew they were walking I decided to head to the pegs because the horses from the back weren't going to get into it." "From about the 600 I thought I was going to get into the clear and when they all left the inside turning for home I just stayed to the pegs and he sprinted so fast." Douglass has formed a good partnership with the son of Badlands Hanover and he believes it was Chariot King's best performance since he has taken the reins. "He was really good, just so sharp when Seel N Print pulled off the inside and he saw the opening and with that sort of speed and acceleration if he gets things run to suit on Saturday night in the Treuer Memorial then he is going to be a contender for sure." By Greg Hayes Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |

Nominations for the 2015 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Pacing Championship close at 12pm AEDST on Monday, 8 December 2014. To download the full Terms and Conditions click here To download a nomination form click here For all information about the 2015 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Pacing Championship go to the website The structure of the 2015 Series remains as per the previous two years however if there are fewer than 14 nominations received for a designated heat then that heat will be deleted and those horses may race in the Supplementary Heat to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As per last year there is no nomination, first acceptance or second acceptance fee applicable. The list of nomination and acceptance dates is as below: ITEM FEE $AUS DATE Nominations $0 12pm – Monday, 8 December 2014 First Acceptance $0 12pm – Monday, 12 January 2015 Second Acceptance $0 12pm – Monday, 9 February 2015 Late Entry Fee $25,000 plus GST 12pm – Monday, 9 February 2015 Qualifying Heat Starters Fee $2,000 GST inclusive N/A Grand Final Starters Fee $10,000 plus GST N/A Should you have any queries please contact Mark Read, HRNSW Senior Handicapper on 1300 712 612 or David Wonson Jnr, NSWHRC Racing Manager on 02 4645 2200.   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 & Chairman of Stewards Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email:

  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            

Step right up now is your chance to get back (if you think you need to!) at recently appointed Harness Racing New South Wales CEO John Dumesny. He has been nominated to take the Ice Bucket Challenge at HRNSW headquarters on Monday 1 September, and the more donations, the more ice water that will be poured over his head! And it's all for a good cause. All monies raised will be donated to Motor Neurone Disease Australia, so dig deep. If you don't think he deserved it from the past, think of the future! Please click on the below link to donate: Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Young Gippsland reinswoman Mary Elliott celebrated her first race winner when Zoes Dream won at Yarra Valley harness racing meeting on Monday afternoon. It was Mary's second race drive behind the mare after finishing third last week. She normally drives stablemate Drop Of Paradise, who also ran in Monday's race. Mary started race driving in January and had driven many placegetters before her first win on Monday, including a second placing at Shepparton over the weekend. A graduate of the Gippsland Harness Racing Training Centre, based at the Warragul harness track, Mary works for local horseman Michael Hughes, and also has her own trainers' licence. On Monday, Zoes Dream overcame interference early in the race, and led home a top four finish for Gippsland horses in the Oaks Day Trotters Handicap. A natural in the sulky, Mary has driven for several local trainers and her first victory will no doubt do her confidence the world of good as she forges a career in harness racing. Zoes Dream is raced by the Lets Go Trotting syndicate of owners, many based in Gippsland, and Monday's win was her fourth.  

TALENTED harness racing trainer-driver Justin Campbell prepared his first treble on the Launceston circuit in 12 years when he dominated at yesterday's rescheduled Launceston Pacing Club meeting. Campbell won aboard John Snow and Damitsam that he also trains and he opened his account for the day aboard the Steve Lucak-trained Stoner Rainbow. It was almost 12 years to the day that Campbell prepared his first treble in Launceston with Really Mal, Itsalongwalkhome and General Kiev. However that trio gave Campbell a record that might never be equaled. The same three horses won at three consecutive meetings in Tasmania in August 2002. "Itsalongwalkhome, Really Mal and General Kiev won at two consecutive meetings at the old Hobart Showground and again at Mowbray so it was a fairly unique effort,' Campbell said. Campbell's treble on Tuesday also had an omen-like tint to it as one of the races he won 12 years ago was the Gareth Rattray Stakes and yesterday Damitsam won the Get Well Gareth Rattray Stakes. "Had we had the information before the meeting started we might have had a little something all-up especially on the Gareth Rattray Stakes won by Damitsam," Campbell said. Campbell said the circumstances surrounding yesterday's meeting - originally scheduled for last Sunday but postponed because of the state of the track caused by heavy rain, meant his horses hadn't been hoppled for eight days. "A lot can be said for not hoppling the horses for eight days because they all ran really well," he said. Campbell was full of praise for his two-year-old John Snow, named after a character from the pay TV show Game of Thrones, but he was particularly impressed with the win of Damitsam. "I just love this horse (Damitsam) because he tries his guts out every time he comes to the races," he said. Peter Staples

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