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One of the most impressive winners on the nine-event harness racing program in Tasmania at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night was the Tommy Jackson-trained Finn Mac Kee (Stonebridge Regal-Scarlett Finn) who led throughout to easily win a C2 event over 1609 metres. It was Finn Mac Kee’s fifth win from only 13 starts but arguably his most impressive. The four-year-old is expected to have one more start in a C-2C3 in Launceston in a couple of weeks before being sent for a spell. “I’ll most likely give him one more start and then spell him but when I bring him back I’ll get him qualified from a standing start because I’d like to aim him at a few of the country cups over the Christmas-New Year period next season,” Jackson said. Finn Mac Kee has been a model of consistency this season winning four and being placed as many times from his 11 starts this time in. “I said early on that this horse could be the best I’ve had and he’s done nothing to change that opinion. “I don’t think he’ll have any problem with qualifying for standing start races and if I’m right he will be very compeitive in a few of the country cups. I’m not saying he’s up to the best but he is improving all the time and he loves to race,” he said. ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill has always had a knack with producing top flight young horses and this season has been no exception with his star filly Playing Arkabella scoring an emphatic win in the $30,000 Evicus Stakes final over 1609 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Hill won the race last year with his filly Chica Bella and while she was impressive throughout her two-year-old season there was as much to like about how Playing Arkabella went about her business in the last major feature juvenile race of the season. With Ricky Duggan aboard, Playing Arkabella ($1.50) was forced to work hard early from her outside front-row draw but eventually she was sent around the field to face the breeze outside of Harshali with the well-tried El jays Mystery on the back of the leader. When Duggan called on his filly for the big effort in the home straight she sped clear and went on to score by over 10 metres from El Jays Mystery ($7.80) with Harshali ($7.70) a short half-head away third. It was the filly’s fourth win from eight starts this season and she filled minor placings at her other four starts with this prizemoney from this latest win taking her career earnings to almost $46,000.. Hill prepared the favourite Rocknroll Turbo in the Dandy patch final but he had to settle for second to the highly promising Usain Jolt, depriving Hill of a record of preparing the winner of the Dandy Patch and Evicus two years in succession as he trained Hillview Jake to win last season's Dandy Patch. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ A Tasmanian harness racing star may have emerged at UBET Park Hobart last night when Usain Jolt, a well-bred two-year-old prepared by astute horseman Tony Petersen, delivered a brilliant performance to win the $30,000 Dandy Patch Stakes over 1609 metres. Usain Jolt (James Austin) went into the race having not won from four previous starts while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo was aiming to keep his unbeaten record intact having won at his only two outings, including an effortless win in the Dandy Patch Prelude two weeks earlier. But Petersen was able to iron out a couple of little problems that were impeding the gelding to race truly and it made all the difference. Harjeet showed brilliant early speed to lead but he was then taken on by the second-favourite Williamtell (Gareth Rattray) that rolled to the front and set a slid tempo while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo faced the breeze. Rocknroll Turbo hung badly throughout the race and that didn’t help his cause but when Ricky Duggan gave Usain Jolt his head racing down the back the last time he loomed as a genuine contender. But when the gelded son of Village Jolt balanced for the run home he powered past the leaders and went on to defeat Rocknroll Turbo by eight metres with a similar margin to Williamtell. “This horse has always shown us good ability but he’s just been a little bit wayward in is action but I sorted that out leading up to this race,” Petersen said. “He is very well bred and his breeding goes back to Chamfer Star and that’s really solid.” Austin was thrilled with the win and predicts a bright future for gelding. “The way this horse ravelled into the race tonight he was never going to lose. Tony has been able to straighten him out and I reckon there’s still plenty of improvement in him,” Austin said. Usain Jolt is owned by Jacinta Webb, Deb Carlton and life partners Tammy Carlton and Sam King. Peter Staples

Smart harness racing youngster Bettor Not Bitter should prove to be the bet of the night at Gloucester Park on Friday evening by proving the master of his 11 older and more experienced opponents in the 2130m Led Goldfields Westbred Pace. “He’s a nice horse who is being set for the $100,000 Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings the following Friday night,” said Forrestdale horseman Greg Bond, who prepares the gelding in partnership with his wife Skye. Bettor Not Bitter will be driven by Colin Brown and will start from the No. 5 barrier. He has had 15 starts for four wins and five placings and should be too smart for his rivals, who have managed just 55 wins from a combined total of 633 starts. At his most recent outing Bettor Not Bitter set the pace and finished second to It Aint Royal over 2130m at Gloucester Park on May 27. That followed wins at Narrogin and Bunbury and a fighting second to Mach Time at Gloucester Park after working hard out three wide and then in the breeze. “He’s had a couple of easy weeks and this will be his tune-up for the Westbred final,” Bond said. “To have a chance of winning that race or if you’re going to be in the cut-up you would like to think that he’s got to be hard to beat this week. “All’s good at home with him. He had a few runs as a two-year-old and you could see he was going to improve with time. And he has done that. He’s a developing horse who is going to do a nice job.” Ken Casellas

A wet day couldn't douse the harness racing at Warragul Pacing Bowl on Monday afternoon, when Melton pacer Crockets Cullen set a solid tempo to be among the day's most eye-catching winners. Contesting the third heat of the Eastern Challenge race, Crockets Cullen's winning time was less than a second outside of the course record. Lance Justice bought up his second victory of the afternoon with Crockets Cullen, after Rosehill Rose Hill's earlier win. Crockets Cullen also created a big impression on Warragul Cup day, when the Kiwi-bred horse won his first Australian race by 24m. He won again at Warragul on Monday by 28m, and should win further races for Justice and owner Chris Mifsud. Croydon pacer Temporal Join scored an overdue victory in the sixth event. Paul Stokes trains the five year-old, who has only won two races from 31 starts, but has also recorded 17 minor placings, so the mare has probably been unlucky not to have won sooner. Temporal Join held off her rivals courtesy of an all-the-way victory by driver Matt Ablett. Local trainer Michael Hughes continued his recent run of success, when Mygoldengrinner won the two-year-old race. A most consistent youngster, courtesy of two victories and five minor placings from only nine starts, Mygoldengrinner scored a very easy victory after sprinting clear of his rivals at the 400m mark. Fellow local Courageous Desire turned in a good debut performance to finish second after making a mistake in the early stages of the race. Clyde trotter Soho Ledger ran his rivals ragged in the handicap. Well handled from a 40m handicap by driver Chris Alford, Soho Ledger dashed away from the field at the 400m mark and went on to record a 40m victory, one of the biggest seen at Warragul for some time. Giant Steps produced the upset of the day, winning the final race as a $20.50 chance with punters. The longest priced winner at Warragul so far this year, Giant Steps found the lead in the middle stages of Monday's race and kept on running for driver Troy McDonald, to score win seven at start 78. The next trots meeting at Warragul is on Monday, July 4. Kyle Galley

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

Star Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Ryley Major will most likely head to Queensland next month to tackle that state's harness racing Derby following his impressive win in the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes in Launceston on Sunday night. Ryley Major made it seven wins in succession when he led throughout to easily take out the prestigious sires stakes event over 2200 metres scoring comfortably from Hillview Jake and Spot Eight. The gelding's trainer-driver and part-owner Rohan Hillier said Ryley major had missed an opportunity to contest the rich Group 1 sires stakes series in Victoria for which he was qualified but that the $75,000 Queensland Derby has become a possible target. "There's no doubt this horse would be competitive against what is likely to go around in the Queensland Derby so I just have to wait and see how the horse is in the next week or so before I make a final decision on travelling him to Queensland," Hillier said. "He's unbeaten from eight starts this season so he's definitely earned enough to warrant making the trip and if I go I'll take the family and make a holiday of it. "If we go I'd also run him in the $25,000 Gold Coast Derby on July 9 which is a week before the Queensland Derby and they are both run at Albion Park. "He's won this race (Globe Derby) by leading but that's not his go. He has really learned how to race this time in but he is much better horse when he doesn't lead. This season's Tasmanian Derby winner was competitive against the best two-year-olds last season but he has gone to another level this season and Hillier is confident he will be even better as a four and five-year-old. Peter Staples

Harness Racing Junior reinsmen Ross Druitt and Sam Ison have been added to the list of this year's Rising Stars competitors after the withdrawal of Tom Ison and Ellen Bartley. Both Tom Ison and Ellen Bartley competed in the 2015 Rising Stars series but have withdrawn for different reasons. Tom Ison has been forced out of the series after he was suspended in a race at Tamworth and has been replaced by his brother Sam. "There is nothing like a bit of brotherly love, but it is unfortunate Tom was suspended and Sam will now take his place in the series," HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny said. Ellen Bartley has withdrawn from the series with Ross Druitt taking her place. "After speaking with Ellen it was obvious that she was torn between her commitment to her stable and the opportunity given to her through the Rising Stars. On this occasion Ellen has decided to withdraw and a very capable junior driver Ross Druitt will take her place," Mr Dumesny added. Sam Ison has won 12 races and has driven in 218 events. Sam is currently enjoying the best season of his career which started in 2011/12. Ross Druitt has driven 12 winners in his career and has competed in 228 races. He first started driving in the 2011/12 season. The other drivers competing in this year's Rising Stars are Ellen Rixon, Martelle Maguire, James Harding, Brad Elder, Mitch Turnbull, Tom Pay, Jason Grimson and Western Australia's Stuart McDonald. Greg Hayes

Racing and Wagering WA is at odds with Perth Racing over its push for the State Government to contribute to its multi-million dollar development of Belmont Park into an entertainment centre. PR is urging the government to contribute to the $74 million required to construct a new grandstand, which will have space for a convention and exhibition floors, restaurants, cafes and Perth’s biggest rooftop bar and garden. The overhaul is aimed at turning Belmont in a 24-hour facility. Part of the redevelopment will have a 1300-bay carpark, which could take the overflow from the nearby Perth Stadium, which is due to be finished by January 1, 2018. PR is looking for the government to provide the money from the proposed sale of the State TAB, which has a reported value of $250 million. RWWA established the Metropolitan Equine Asset Review Taskforce in 2014 to review the metropolitan thoroughbred and harness racing and training assets so it can provide for the industry’s future needs in a highly competitive wagering, leisure and sporting market. Last September, independent consultants GHD recommended to MEART that Lark Hill be developed into a multi-use racing and training venue and to keep Ascot racecourse. GHD identified the multi-purpose use of Ascot for training, racing and stabling as a more effective use of resources in the long term than Belmont Park, which will be a racing-only venue. RWWA chief executive Richard Burt acknowledged PR, as the owner of Belmont, had the right to develop the venue, but questioned why it was asking for government funds to back its redevelopment. “MEART raised a number of concerns associated with the redevelopment of Belmont both in terms of the venue being single use and whether PR has the capacity to operate two major city racetracks on a sustainable basis,” Burt said. “RWWA has not seen a detailed business plan to justify the development and in the absence of that information is not convinced that the scale of this development would be a good use of scarce industry resources. “RWWA will wait on advice from PR on the club’s future business model prior to RWWA commenting further on the appropriateness of the redevelopment. “In respect to the sale of the TAB, RWWA believes the industry should work collectively in the process of engaging the government and not pursue individual club interests. “It also considers premature the presumption that funds from a proposed sale of the TAB would be directed towards the Belmont redevelopment ahead of other metropolitan and regional racing infrastructures requirements.” By Robert Edwards - The West Australian Reprinted with permission of the site

Lagoon harness racing trainer Nathan Turnbull has been looking forward to the Gold Chalice series at the Alabar Gold Crown Carnival with his promising three-year-old Sams The Master, the current track record-holder at Group One Feeds Paceway at Bathurst. But following the win of Sams Express in the $18,000 Sales Graduate Final at the track last Wednesday, he and owner Rod Smith will have more than a passing interest in the 2YO Colts and Geldings Gold Crown, hoping to improve on the older Sam's  desperately close third in last year's final. Play it again Sam, just a tiny bit better. Sams Express ($13.40 ) was positioned in the one-one by Steve Turnbull, and after the leader Lockton Luck tried to break up the field with a sharp 28.2 third quarter, Sams Express asserted his authority on straightening, and outstayed favourite Machgower, which had tracked him throughout, and Outta Crossgar, which came along the sprint lane for a good third. The closing quarter of 29.7 completed a mile rate of 1:57.9 for the 1730 metres trip By Dawn Ofa New Day from a half-sister to APG champion Rosa Mach, he was a $10,500 purchase by Smith at last year's Bathurst Sale, and his win will no doubt draw attention to his Artistic Fella half-brother, an early lot in the 2016 sale, to be held this coming Sunday. Fastestgirlintown ($1.50 favourite ) led throughout for Dennis Picker to score easily in the corresponding fillies final last Wednesday, zipping home in 57.0 seconds for her last half, to match that 1:57.9 overall mile rate. On the pegs proved the place to be, with The Secrt Mouse finishing strongly from three back to just edge out trailer Begoodorbegoodatit for second. The Sportswriter filly was a $13,000 buy last year, and the win brought off a notable double for her dam Bushy Tail, whose previous foal Bright Eyed was successful in the same race last season. Fastestgirlintown takes a record of three wins from four starts into Thursday's Gold Tiara heats, and there's no doubt she'll be very competitive in the series. Her Crookwell connections, who had a deal of fun in naming her, will be hoping she's not just the quickest from that town, but the swiftest at Bathurst also. Two additional 2YO races were run on Wednesday, to cater for connections requiring the necessary start before the Crown series. They were won by Rainbow On Fire ($6.40, Steve Turnbull, who made it a treble with Dillon in the following race ), and San Domino ($1.30 favourite, Ben Settree/ Mat Rue ), who matched the 1:57.6 mile rate of that winner, in a dominant display. In the opening C1-C2 event, won by Geoff Simpson's tough customer Puffnstuff ($9.00), a nasty fall resulted in popular reinswoman Casey Williams being transported to hospital for precautionary X-Rays. Clerk-of-the-course Tony Hagney displayed wonderful horsemanship and courage in extracting the driverless The Escape Plan from the field, to impress on everyone just how vital that role is, and how we should never take it for granted. Bathurst HRC officials were delighted by the strong entries for the Crown and Tiara, with a total of 140 youngsters paid up, well in excess of last year's figures, and a pleasant surprise in these days of declining foal numbers. Numbers for the Chalice and Bracelet 3YO series are a touch lower this year, with 76 final payments, but they're not lacking for class - last year's Crown and Tiara winners Shadow Runner and Pixies Parlour are back to defend their titles, and they'll face strong challenges from the likes of Charlaval, Power Of Red, Fouroeight, Sams The Master, Art Mistress, Cherry Mahoney, and a number of others. "The best week in harness racing" gets underway on Wednesday night, with heats of the Honouree Stakes, followed by Tiara heats Thursday and Crown heats on Saturday, then Chalice and Bracelet  heats on Monday, Ladies Night Wednesday and the bumper Finals Night on Saturday week, featuring the Group One Crown and Tiara finals, and the Group Finals for the Chalice and Bracelet. The Gold Crown Yearling Sale takes place next Sunday, and the Honourees Dinner( for the McCarthy family ) on Tuesday night, plus the Golf Day and the Cocktail Party, both on Thursday, complete a wonderful time in the home of juvenile racing. Terry Neil

Racing Victoria has been having meetings with thoroughbred trainers throughout the state to canvass their views on a proposal to implement lifetime bans for trainers found guilty of adminstering prohibited drugs to horses they train. The proposal first surfaced in a report produced by the Irish Thoroughbred Anti Doping Task Force “Illegal performance-enhancing drugs have no place in the Irish racing and breeding industries,” the task force said in a statement. “In particular, the task force supports the position of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities that the use of anabolic steroids should not be permitted in or out of competition.’’ RV chief steward Terry ­Bailey said on Friday he had read the report and he would table it for discussion at the next dug strategy meeting. He said he was waiting for an opinion from Racing Victoria vets before taking the matter further. "That should give us a better idea wether this is something that should be considered here,” Bailey said. “It would certainly put the responsibility on the owners to choose their trainers carefully.” Terry Bailey is very supportive of a proposal by Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent for the cobalt and bicarbonate levels of every horse in training to be published on an industry website. Harness racing authorities in New South Wales have been publishing lists of cobalt and bicarbonate levels recorded by horses for the past two years and Kent says it would name and shame trainers who are cheating. Bailey is being accompanied at the consultation meetings by RV chief executive Bernard Saundry, chief vet Brian Stewart and racing manager Greg Carpenter. Harnesslink Media

The annual Victorian Harness Racing Breeding Awards were held on Saturday for season 2014-15 at Shepparton Harness Racing Club. Benstud Standardbreds Victorian Pacing Broodmare of the Year was presented to Lauriston Bloodstock for Aston Villa, who has produced Yankee Rockstar (Rocknroll Hanover), Yankee Showgirl (Bettors Delight) and Born To Rocknroll (Rocknroll Hanover) to date. The Niota Bloodstock Victorian Trotting Broodmare of the Year was awarded to Dr Martin Hartnett for Lunar Landing, the famed dam of Spidergirl, Illawong Moonshine and Illawong Armstrong. The Metro Printing Ian Daff Memorial Award was presented to Duncan McPherson, while Sue Wegmann won the prestigious Victorian Breeder of the Year Award sponsored by Woodlands Stud. The Pacing and Trotting Sire of the Year Awards were presented by Pryde’s Easifeed and Niota Bloodstock. Somebeachsomewhere took out the Victorian Pacing Sire of the Year honours, presented to Empire Stallions, while Stonegate Farm took out Trotting Sire of the Year with Armbro Invasion. >> Visit Harness Breeders Vic on Facebook for photos from the night FULL AWARD WINNERS LIST Benstud Standardbreds Victorian Pacing Broodmare of the Year: Aston Villa USA Niota Bloodstock Victorian Trotting Broodmare of the Year: Lunar Landing Metro Printing Ian Daff Memorial Award:    Duncan McPherson Woodlands Stud Victorian Breeder of the Year:    Sue Wegmann Pryde's Easifeed Victorian Pacing Sire of the Year:    Somebeachsomewhere Niota Bloodstock    Victorian Trotting Sire of the Year:    Armbro Invasion IRT    Victorian 3YO Sire of the Year:   Somebeachsomewhere A Rocknroll Dance @ Alabar    Victorian 2YO Sire of the Year:    Art Major Renown Silverware    2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year:    Our Waikiki Beach Renown Silverware    2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year:    Charlie Runkle Minitube Australia    2YO Pacing Filly of the Year:    Rocknroll Magic Minitube Australia    2YO Trotting Filly of the Year:    Princess Phoenix Olympus Feeds    3YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year:   Menin Gate Olympus Feeds    3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year:    Illawong Armstrong PacificVet    3YO Pacing Filly of the Year:    Morton Plains PacificVet    3YO Trotting Filly of the Year:    Endsino    Aged Pacing Horse of the Year:    Guaranteed    Aged Trotting Horse of the Year:    Brunelleschi Nevele R Stud    Aged Pacing Mare of the Year:    Beauty Secret Nevele R Stud    Aged Trotting Mare of the Year:    Claudy's Princess Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 2YO Pacing Colts & Geldings Final:  Shadow Sax Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 2YO Pacing Fillies Final:   Flojos Gold Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 2YO Trotting Fillies Final:    Princess Phoenix  Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 3YO Pacing Colts & Geldings Final:   Menin Gate Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 3YO Pacing Fillies Final:    Morton Plains Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 3YO Trotting Colts & Geldings Final:   Fabrication Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 4YO Pacing Entires & Geldings Final:   Messini Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred 4YO Trotting Mares Final:    Claudys Princess Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 2YO Trotting Fillies Final:    Princess Phoenix  Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 2YO Trotting Colts & Geldings Final:   Charlie Runkle Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 3YO Trotting Colts & Geldings:    Aimforthemoon Harness Racing Victoria    Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 3YO Trotting Fillies:    All Under Control Mountain View Stud    Cordina Chickens Farm Sprint:    Suave Stuey Lombo Mountain View Stud    2015 South Australian Pacing Cup:   Guaranteed Mountain View Stud    2015 Camarda & Cantrill NSW Derby:     Ideal For Real Shepparton Harness Racing Club    Len Smith Mile:    Smolda Shepparton Harness Racing Club    2015 Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks:    Niki No No Shepparton Harness Racing Club    2015 Pepper Tree Farms NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO Entires & Geldings:    Lettucerockthem Shepparton Harness Racing Club    AG Coombs Need For Speed Prince Final:    Eljaykay Phoenix Trackbred    2015 UBET The Blacks A Fake:   Philadelphia Man Trackbred    2015 VHRSC Victoria Derby:   Menin Gate Trackbred    2015 IRT Breeders Crown 3YO Colts & Geldings Final:    Menin Gate Trackbred    2015 Queensland Derby:     Menin Gate Australasian Standardbred Stallion Guide    2015 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Colts & Geldings Final: Our Waikiki Beach Australasian Standardbred Stallion Guide    2015 Pepper Tree Farms NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO Colts & Geldings:    Our Waikiki Beach Australasian Standardbred Stallion Guide    2015 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 2YO Colts & Geldings Final:   Our Waikiki Beach by Cody Winnell

It was Ireland and Meadowbranch Stables who dominated the first leg of the Anglo-Irish Inter Dominion series. The curtain raiser to the inaugural competition was held at York Harness Raceway on Saturday over 2400m where Meadowbranch Dj (5-1) stamped his authority on the high-class field with a ten-length victory in a new British record of 3’00”08. Drawn three, the winner took up the running early for driver John Richardson and held his position throughout, making his race-winning move with half a lap to go when surging clear in record-breaking fashion. Brywinsmagicpotion (drawn 6) – who finished a well-beaten second – could be considered unlucky as, while the winner broke clear, he was trapped last with seven lengths to make up. Meadowbranch Romeo, stable companion of the winner, fended off Saunders Mach 3 for third who failed to justify his short price. The disappointment of the race was Sepia Sands who, despite being popular in the betting, struggled throughout from the worst draw of all and was already two lengths down after the first turn. After the race, winning driver John Richardson said, “He’s always been a stayer, he hasn’t been on form but he’s come back good today”. When asked about his confidence going forward co-trainer Mark Flanagan confirmed “There are some good horses in the series and you don’t just win it over one race. Four races to keep a horse on the boil, it’s going to be tough.” He also said both of his horses hadn’t quite been on form coming into York which suggests there could be even more improvement over the coming heats.  This isn’t the first opportunity for the Flanagan team to send a pacer over to the Australasian Inter-Dominion, who had Sable Matters entered in the 1997 renewal. Three weeks before, Mark Flanagan tells the story, the future three-time winner of the series Sir Vancelot was actually beaten in a workout by Sable Matters, however Flanagan’s charge unfortunately failed to make the race due to breaking a side bone. Meadowbranch Stables are now in a very strong position going into the second heat where they will also have home advantage at Portmarnock on July 26th. Meadowbranch Dj receives the maximum eight points for his clear-cut success with Brywinsmagicpotion snatching six points and MEADOWBRANCH ROMEO four. Saunders Mach 3 picked up two while all four other runners collect one each. Unfortunately both Meadowbranch Josh and Meadowbranch Demon were withdrawals early on in the card and will face an uphill struggle in the next three legs. The overall heats winner, decided in the finale at Portmarnock on 9th August, will represent Great Britain and Ireland at the $1.8 million TABtouch Inter Dominion series ran at Gloucester Park, Perth Australia in December. Result – Anglo/Irish Inter-Dominion 2015 – Round One 1st        MEADOWBRANCH DJ             7yr old; Real Artist x Search for Cam             Owner: Meadowbranch Stables & Noel Cowden             Trainer: William Flanagan             Driver: John Richardson   2nd       BRYWINSMAGICPOTION             8yr old: Camotion x Life’s Magic Girl             Owner: James Gammie             Trainer: Theresa Haythornthwaite             Driver: Alan Haythornthewaite   3rd       MEADOWBRANCH ROMEO             7yr old: Fantastic Western x Churchill Queen Owner:  Meadowbranch Stables & Watson             Trainer: William Flanagan Driver: Noel Ryan By Michael Andrews British Harness Racing Club      

Before he was a teenager Anthony Essex was considering a career in harness racing. He fondly recalls going to Albion Park trots as a ‘little tacker’, with his father Rob, now a greyhound trainer, sparking his interest further when he started racing standardbreds. When those horses had success Anthony confesses he was hooked on the sport of racing. Anthony is Racing Queensland’s newest operations employee, winning selection for the harness racing handicappers job after a national search for the position. Anthony started in his new role on Monday, replacing handicapper Darren Clayton who left RQ to travel overseas. The handicapping role is a new challenge for Anthony after working in casual roles at RQ in greyhound racing administration and integrity as well as formerly managing the Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club.  The 42-year-old is well versed in procedures at the Deagon racing office and with the rules of racing. “My previous roles at RQ have been a great step towards my future within the racing industry and I’m now keen to expand my knowledge and skills within the harness racing industry,” Anthony said. “I’m sure the handicapping role will be a steep learning curve but I am certain I will enjoy the challenge and I’m eager to learn the craft from (chief handicapper) Brett Rail. I’m really looking forward to being a member of the team” Anthony believes that he has had a good foundation for the handicapper job and says his family history in the sport has given him a good insight. “Going to the trots was a normal thing for me to do when I was younger, I loved to watch the races and I reckon harness racing is the most exciting racing to watch,” Anthony said. “Rob (Dad) raced successful pacers Badge Of Honour; Dinnygone; Group 1 winner Maywyn Jasper and Maywyn Tonz, a dual Group 2 race winner so there is plenty of fond memories there as well,”. Multi-skilled, entrepreneurial, with an artistic flair Anthony had other options for his career path but he firmly believes that he has made the right choice and that there has never been a better time to be involved in harness racing. “Harness racing in Queensland has increased prizemoney and new industry initiatives, it’s pretty positive at the moment,” Anthony said “I am really looking forward to seeing and handicapping the quality races with our top locals taking on the might of the southern states and New Zealand during Queensland Winter Racing Carnival. Let’s hope there is fantastic racing with close finishes that can excite everyone on and off the track.” by David Aldred

National Trotguide’s Amanda Rando has looked at Saturday night’s harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle and believes there are a couple of good bets.  The quaddie looks an attractive option too with a $20,000 jackpot courtesy of the TAB.  The feature race is the sixth event, the $40,000 Gr.1 NSW Trotters Oaks with some very talented fillies engaged. Amanda’s best bet, Arboe will compete in race seven the Gr. 3 La Coocaracha.  The lightly raced Arboe is trained by Anton Golino and has already won three of her four race starts.  This will be her toughest test to date with strong opposition from Claudys Princess and Spidergirl. For more value Amanda suggests following the Kerryann Turner trained Stormont Czar in race three.  The son of Bettors Delight has won five of his last six starts with his only defeat in that period coming in the Gr. 2 Carousel.  Regular driver Robbie Morris will return to the sulky. BEST BET – Race 7 Number 4 Arboe NEXT BEST – Race 3 Number 5 Stormont Czar AMANDA’S JACKPOT QUADDIE –    Leg 1       2. Blazin N Cullen. 4. Bettor Bet Black, 8 Smolda Leg 2       4. My Tribeca, 7. My Arya, 8. Fiery Mountain Girl Leg 3       3. My Valerie, 4. Arboe, 9. Claudys Princess Leg 4       2. On Thunder Road, 3. Vincennes, 4. Supper Waltz Wilson Greg Hayes  

Thursday 21st May 2015 - Bankstown Harness Racing and Agricultural Society president Les Bentley will look to boost prize money for the club’s flagship race, the M.H Treuer Memorial, after winning a lengthy court battle.  Bentley confirmed a court ruling meant the club would receive more than $1 million from the Bankstown Trotting and Recreational Club. “We have been working on this case since 2010, it has been a long haul but it is a great result for Bankstown with the news that we will receive $1.1 million in back rent up until today (Thursday),” said Bentley. “We are also entitled to interest on that money which goes back to May 2010 and we were awarded full legal costs and they are somewhere in the vicinity of $400,000 so it a great result for the Bankstown Paceway.” Bentley praised the solicitors involved in the legal action. “The team at Thurlow Fisher did a marvellous job and they need to be thanked for all of their hard work, we have two weeks to submit our costs to the judge and he will then order the Bankstown Trotting and Recreational Club to pay the amount within 28 days. “The good news for the Bankstown Paceway is that we can pay our debts and they have been growing because of this matter and then we can look to boost prize money.” Plans include lifting the prize money for the Treuer Memorial to $120,000. “The committee has discussed lifting the money and are looking to make it a race for three year olds rather than for the open horses and that proposal will be submitted to HRNSW soon. “We are hoping to introduce a few Gr. 3 races to our calendar as well.”    Greg Hayes

The David Aiken stable had a hugely successful night at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday with four harness racing winners. While David trained four winners, son Josh drove three of them and finished the night with a perfect three-from-three record thanks to wins aboard Cold Major (Art Major/Vangold) in the Bold David Free-for-All, in-form Bryce Cooper (Four Starzzz Shark/Lombo Heart Beat) in the Homestead Stud Pace, and absolute trooper Composed (Our Sir Vancelot/Troys Dream) in the SEW-Eurodrive Claiming Pace. The stable’s other winner came in the Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Consolation Final with Rockstar Angel (Rocknroll Hanover/Arty Alice) scoring an impressive triumph with David in the sulky. Rockstar Angel, heavily backed with fixed odds markets, officially started a $3.50 second favourite but defeated $3 shot Love And Desire by 7m in a mile rate of 1:58.0 for the 1720m trip. Cold Major and Bryce Cooper it could be said won their races at the start, Josh taking both runners to the front in their respective events from barrier four. Cold Major defeated The Good Times by 5.1m in a mile rate of 1:57.8 over 2240m, while Bryce Cooper – who last week found the top from the back row – held out Classy Guy at the end this time to win by 1.1m in a 1:55.6 mile rate over 1720m. Composed took a while to get the better of leader Ardle Mcardle at the end of the 2240m claimer, but eventually the eight-year-old was able to draw clear, rating 1:57.1 over 2240m to notch his 30th career victory. Our White Knight got home late to run second from a tired but brave Ardle Mcardle. Meanwhile, trainer Emma Stewart also picked up a winning double at Melton courtesy of Berisari (Safari/Beris Holmes) scoring an impressive win in the Harness Breeders Vic Chalice over a brave Just Cala, who worked hard in second place, and Fremarks Ceejay (Village Jasper/Fremarksjodie), who got around stablemate Bit Of A Babe early before controlling proceedings in the GBL Property Constulants Pace over 1720m. The feature trot for the night went to Kyvalley Blur (Chocolatier/Duo Val Car) for Brent Lilley and Anthony Butt, while other winners were Jilliby Jitterbug (Rock N Roll Heaven/Keppel Bay) in the Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final for Marg Lee and Jason Lee, Tallulah Bay (Metropolitan/Bye The Deep South) for Sebastian Steenhuis and Zac Steenhuis in the Del-Re National Food Group Pace Final and flying mare Illawong Helios (Majestic Son/Shining Sun) in the Mittys Trot for trainer Ross Sugars and driver Greg Sugars. Re-live Aiken's Saturday night successes Rockstar Angel Cold Major Bryce Cooper Composed - HRV Media

The World Driving Championship headed to Penrith tonight for three harness racing heats.  Penrith is a suburb and a major centre in the metropolitan area of Sydney.  Penrith is located 60 kilometres west of Sydney on the banks of the Nepean River.  The Penrith track is 804 metres in circumference.  New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn took a 39 point lead into the night over his nearest rival USA’s Tim Tetrick. Canada’s Jody Jamieson dominated the evening’s proceedings winning two heats but it was his patience that was rewarded in heat seventeen.  Driving the favourite, Strawberry Courage from gate one, he got buried on the marker pegs.  Showing a lot of skill to get away from the inside Jody Jamieson charged home over the top to beat Emerging Art and Finland’s Mika Forss.  Just Pit Boss and Dexter Dunn finished third with Diesel Shannon and Denmark’s Knud Monster fourth. Heat 17 Knud Monster brought up his second win of the Championship when he brought Midnight Lights with a well timed run to win heat eighteen but when Dexter Dunn held onto second placing driving Lombo Final Touch it all but sealed the Championship for New Zealand.  France’s Tony Le Beller weaved through to get third with Flying Crusa while Billion Smiles and Mika Forss finished fourth. Heat 18 Jody Jamieson made it a double when Katsidis charged home late to score a narrow victory in heat nineteen.  Katsidis raced behind the leader for most of the race but when Marquez started to tire, Jamieson was able to extricate away from the marker pegs and build race winning momentum.  Marshal Dale and Tony Le Beller was second.   Norway’s Vidar Hop was third driving Tralee Bromac and Satu for France’s Pierre Vercruysse grabbed fourth. Heat 19 So with one heat remaining in the Championship the point score is as follows   Name Point Score After 19 Heats Dexter Dunn 183 Tony Le Beller 140 Tim Tetrick 137 Mika Forss 135 Jody Jamieson 131 Knud Monster 120 Chris Alford 116 Pierre Vercryusse 112 Vidar Hop 91 Guillermo Adrover 89 Peter McMullen Australia (travelling Reserve) For all of the latest news and replays log onto While Dexter Dunn cannot be beaten in the Championship, four drivers are still in contention for second place.  Tony Le Beller, Tim Tetrick, Mika Forss and Jody Jamieson will battle it out to be the runner up. Australia’s travelling reserve Peter McMullen picked up a drive in a non Championship race at Penrith and went onto win the event. The drivers will spend the next two days resting and enjoying the sights of Sydney before returning to Menangle on Sunday for the final Championship heat.  Sunday’s race will be run at Gr. 2 level. Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

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