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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)

Goulburn harness racing trainer Brad Hewitt celebrated the biggest win of his career when his two year old Spare Me Days won the Breeders Challenge Blue Final for two year old colts and geldings on Saturday night. Unfortunately for Hewitt he was unable to be trackside for the victory as he was in Queensland with his smart three year old Im Jay Tee. "Yeah it was really good to win a race like that, it was my first group win as a trainer and to see Dad (David Hewitt) drive him and win a nice race like that made it even more special," Hewitt said. "Dad had only had three or four drives back from a nasty fall at Canberra and it was actually his first night back driving at Menangle." Hewitt bred and owns Spare Me Days and has now decided to spell the son of Ifihadyourluck. "He's going to the paddock, he had a few little niggling issues in the lead up to the main Breeders Challenge final and his run in that race was huge, he galloped at the start and probably lost 30 metres and was only beaten about three. "There's not a whole lot of him so I think the spell will help him. He is a beautiful natured horse but once you take him to the races he turns into a machine." Stablemate Im Jay Tee will compete in Saturday night's Queensland Derby and Hewitt was impressed by his performance in last Saturday's Gold Coast Derby. "He ran fifth in the Futurity in his first run in Queensland and I was pretty disappointed with that but he did have to travel up from home so maybe that flattened him a bit." "The run on Saturday night was much better. He hit the line really well and was taking ground off horses like Bling It On and Alleluia so if he gets the right trip this week I don't think he will be too far away." By Greg Hayes  | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

As a part owner of the dual Miracle Mile winner Smoken Up, Peter Gadsby has enjoyed some tremendous highs in the sport of harness racing. However when Smoken Up races at Tabcorp Park Menangle for the final time this Saturday night, Gadsby acknowledges it is going to be difficult to comprehend. "I've lived at Menangle for nearly 30 years and to own a horse that has brought people such great pleasure especially just over the road at the track is something that is very special to me," Gadsby said. "Menangle has been such a happy hunting ground for Lance and Trigger and it is going to be a shame to think that we won't get the opportunity to see Smoken Up here in Sydney again." Gadsby believes the reason Smoken Up races so well in Sydney is because of the spacious surrounds. "It is no secret that he has struggled to get around some corners but here at Menangle it is totally different, the bends and the camber aren't an issue and he just loves to power down the big long straights." Smoken Up has won a number of feature races over the mile at Menangle but the one that sits above the rest for Gadsby is the Len Smith Mile victory in 2011 when the son of Tinted Cloud recorded his track record of 1:48.5. "That night was pretty special for everyone and the number of calls I received afterwards was unbelievable, people had never seen anything like it before." "He's still working well according to Lance and is still keen to be a racehorse but time doesn't wait for anyone or anything and for him to still be competing against top opposition at eleven is a credit to the entire stable." Smoken Up will compete in race seven on Saturday night, the Sew Eurodrive Pace which is scheduled to begin at 8:22 and will start from barrier eight. By Greg Hayes  (Harness Racing NSW)  

Hunter Valley harness racin trainer Shane Tritton is hoping he can go one better on his second placing in the Sunshine Sprint when he launches his attacking raid on the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park this Saturday night. Tritton has three runners in the race this weekend but his two main chances according to the bookmakers, Mach Beauty and Suave Stuey Lombo have drawn the same gates this week as they did in the Sunshine Sprint. "I'm happy with the draw for all three of my horses, obviously Mach (Beauty) drawing one is ideal because he needs to be on the fence, Suave Stuey Lombo can work forward this week from seven because he lost all winning chance in the Sunshine Sprint when he went back while Brave Wiggy should get a nice economical trip from barrier two," Tritton said. "Mach Beauty had a pretty tough run on Saturday night and was well beaten by Chilli Palmer but I think I have been a bit easy on him since I arrived in Queensland because I have been working on a new track. I will be really drilling the work into him this week and I expect him to be a much better prospect." Tritton acknowledges Im Themightyquinn is going to be incredibly hard to beat and deserves his favouritism. "He has been a great horse for so long and he has been in great form since he arrived in Brisbane including that huge win in the Sunshine Sprint when the track record was smashed." The Blacks A Fake has been a graveyard for short priced favourites since the race was elevated to Gr. 1 status, in fact three of the last four years has seen stars beaten. In 2012 Smoken Up was rolled by Terrorway, in 2011 Blacks A Fake tasted defeat at the hands of Georgetown while Mr Feelgood finished behind Rohan Home. The other Gr. 1 event on the night will be the Queensland Derby and the Tritton stable will be represented by Yayas Hotspot. "Gate three is good for him, he has been racing without the hood this time in and he hasn't been the same horse so I have decided to put the hood back on him and if his work early this week has been anything to go by I think he will improve a great deal." By Greg Hayes Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

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

Congratulations to the father/son combination of Ross and Greg Sugars who trained and drove the first 3 winners at Tabcorp Park last Friday night (July 11). I wonder when was the last time that happened at a metro meeting? And Lance Justice has announced that Smoken Up will travel to Sydney for the last time this Saturday night (July 19). We look forward to celebrating his career in Melbourne soon. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews   Additional $1.7m in Stakes in 2014/15 The HRV 2013/14 financial year was completed on June 30 2014. The financial results are not yet formally audited, however the Board is anticipating announcing a profit for the 2013/14 year in excess of $1m.   The $1m result follows a $2m profit the previous year, on the back of which HRV then announced stakes increases of $2.5m for the 2013/14 year. Stakes of $36m were paid out for the year, up from $33.5m the previous year. The profit result in 2013/14 was assisted by wagering revenue growth of $2m, largely due to HRV's increased race field fees from corporate bookmakers and interstate TAB's. Revenue from our Joint Venture partner Tabcorp declined by $1m as we see the continued shift from the more lucrative parimutuel betting to the increasingly popular, but lower margin, fixed odds. Of the total betting through Tabcorp, fixed odds now comprise nearly 25%, compared to 14% for the previous year. The HRV Board has also approved the budget for the 2014/15 year. The budget takes into account another tough year for Tabcorp wagering turnover which is again predicted to decline. However HRV has structured the business such that it is forecasting another profit of $1m. That profit will come after providing for an increase in stakes of $1.7m, up from $36m to $37.7m. The main features of the stakes rises are: An increase in the Vicbred 1st win bonus from $5,000 to $7,000 for 3yo's in the new season (continues to apply for the 2yo's); $300,000 additional stakes for the Vicbred Platinum program; Full year impact of the staged increases through the previous year. Stakes will then have risen by $4.2m (12.5%) in the past two financial years.   Wagering Data Wagering revenue remains HRV's single most important source of income ($57m in 2013/14) and we are now receiving much more detailed information from wagering service providers, such as the Victorian TAB, Interstate TAB's and corporate bookmakers. Inclusive of all wagering operators, the year's highest wagering turnover races were: Victoria Cup - $923,000; Hunter Cup - $875,000; Inter Dominion Heat - $735,000; Victoria Derby - $601,000. In regional Victoria the highest ranked races by turnover were: Cranbourne Cup - $612,000; Ballarat Cup - $559,000; Kilmore Cup - $470,000. Apart from Melton, the track with the highest average turnover was Swan Hill ($194,000) per race, followed by Bendigo ($185,000) and Ballarat ($184,000). There is very little difference in punter preference between pacers and trotters. For the year the average turnover per race was: Pacers - $186,000; Trotters - $174,000.   Vicbred Trotters Exported A hugely successful weekend of Vicbred Finals was conducted on July 4 and 5. I would like to sincerely thank Empire Stallions, and in particular Donna Egan, David James and Les Joslin, for their support of the Series. It was very gratifying for them to see their stallions Modern Art (twice) and Four Starzz Shark represented in the Group 1 winners stall. Congratulations go to the connections of all horses involved in the two nights' Finals. The racing was exceptional and was an excellent promotion of our sport nationally and internationally. The six Group 1 Trotters Finals were telecast into France by Sky Racing (Friday morning French time) with wagering conducted by the French Tote (PMU). It is anticipated that the wagering turnover in France will be well in excess of $1m, given that the previous 12 races beamed into France averaged turnover of $155,000 per race.   Gordon Rothacker Medal (Industry Awards Night) For the first time, HRV will this year celebrate the 2013/14 season with one gala evening on Wednesday October 8. The Industry Awards Night will celebrate season premiership winners, Horse of the Year and Country Club awards, with the pinnacle of the evening being the Gordon Rothacker Medal.   Vale Over the past month HRV mourned the loss of several participants:   Bill Hanson A large crowd gathered at Kyneton for the funeral of Bill Hanson. Bill passed away on July 4. It was a fitting tribute to Bill that so many industry people were in attendance to hear of Bill's love for breeding trotters. On the Chapel wall hanging proudly was a picture of the great Maori's Idol, which was acknowledged by Father Brain Glasheen before his tribute to Bill. Bill had purchased Maori's Idol in 1990 for stud duties at his Homevale Stud in Fern Hill, where he stayed until his death in 2006. Bill was a life member of Harness Breeders (Vic), the VHRSC and the Bendigo club. He was an inaugural inductee into the VHRMA Hall of Fame in 2009. Our condolences go out to Margaret and the family.   Mick Lacey Mick trained and drove many horses in Victoria before moving to Queensland over a decade ago. Several staff at HRV who remember Mick commented to me that he was always a gentleman, who never had a bad word to say or did anything wrong by anyone. Some may remember Mick's good horse, Duke Of Broadway.   Judith Astbury Judith passed away in late June. She will be remembered for her work in the Hamilton Secretary's office for many many years. From what I am told she would go out of her way to help anyone in the industry and certainly the stewards would always look forward to a freshly baked cake by Judith when they arrived at Hamilton. I am also reminded that Judith's husband Rex was very proud of a horse he raced named Mockingtheclassics.   Did You Know? Former trainer Alan McLean celebrated his 100th birthday with his family at Tabcorp Park on Vicbred Finals weekend. On July 4, Alan presented the trophy to connections of One Over Da Moon for winning the "Alan McLean 100th Birthday" Trot. Copyright © 2014 Harness Racing Victoria, All rights reserved.   Harness Racing Victoria  

Strong crowds brave wintry conditions and are rewarded with action-packed nights of harness racing. Tabcorp Park Melton hosted two huge nights of Group 1 action on Friday and Saturday nights with strong crowds braving the wintry conditions to see top-class racing. Leading trainer David Aiken, who has 34 metropolitan wins this season and an unassailable lead on the Victorian metropolitan trainers’ premiership table, was the star of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals nights, training three Group 1 winners.   Aiken finished with four winners overall – a double both nights – and his son, Josh, drove his first Group 1 winner aboard the stable’s gun juvenile trotter Eljaykay Phoenix, which took out the two-year-old trotters’ Super Series final.   “It was unreal. We went in with one of the two winning chances in the race and I suppose the barrier draw really put things in our favour,” said Josh.   The 21-year-old reinsman delivered the perfect drive aboard Eljaykay Phoenix, working the son of Sundon to the lead early before handing up to Jodi Quinlan’s Illawong Armstrong with a lap to go.   Eljaykay Phoenix worked away from the inside approaching the home turn and put Illawong Armstrong to the sword, Aiken guiding the gelding to a 5.4m win.   The Aiken stable’s exciting four-year-old Lennytheshark provided many punters with their weekend highlight, the rising superstar defeating Guaranteed on Saturday night to capture the four-year-old males’ Vicbred crown.   Driven by Bolinda reinsman Chris Alford, who steered home three Group 1 winners over the two nights, Lennytheshark scored by 6.1m over his arch nemesis Guaranteed, that pair coming away from the rest of the field by almost 20m.   The crowd was clearly thrilled with the result, cheering loudly as Lennytheshark crossed the line in a mile rate of 1:56.0.   Kerryn Manning suffered a fall in the race, catapulted out of the cart when Boyz Torque fell at the first turn.   Typically tough Manning walked away from the incident with just a bloodied nose, while the horse galloped on and was quickly brought under control by the clerk of the course.   The Aiken stable’s other Group 1 winner was champion mare Spidergirl in the four-year-old female trotters’ final.   Again driven by Alford, Spidergirl defeated Paris Pepperell by 7.3m on Friday night, with that pair spacing the remainder of the field.   Alford’s third Group 1 victory came aboard Messini in the three-year-old pacing boys’ final for trainer Brent Lilley on Saturday night.   Gun drivers Gavin Lang and Greg Sugars walked away from the weekend with a Group 1 double, Lang piloting Claudys Princess to victory for trainer Mick Blackmore in the three-year-old fillies’ final and My Bella Starr home for trainer Adam Kelly in the three-year-old fillies’ pacers, while Sugars caused an upset aboard Peter Cormican-trained Imamenace in the three-year-old male trotters’ final on Friday night and backed it up the next night aboard Niki No No from the Kari Males stable in the two-year-old fillies’ pacers final.   Other Group 1 winners were Feeling Arty for Euroa trainer-driver Cameron Maggs in the two- year-old pacing boys’ final, Pressplay for trainer Rebecca Cartwright and driver Amanda Turnbull in the four-year-old mares pacers’ final, Endsino for Andy and Kate Gath in the two-year-old trotting fillies’ final and Vincennes for New South Wales trainer-driver Blake Fitzpatrick in the four-year-old males’ trotting final.   Twelve Group 1 races were contested over the two nights.   CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA

After controlling the terms throughout, War Cry Hall ($3.80) gave everything he had in the final hundred yards to prevail in Sunday (July 6) afternoon's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall wasted no time achieving the lead, sprinting clear of Marion Mayflower (Aaron Byron) and maintaining a steady yet strong pace through a :56.3 half mile. On the backstretch, In Your Room (Mike Simons) commenced a first-over rally, pushing War Cry Hall to his limit on the far turn. Through the stretch, Howard Parker called upon War Cry Hall for every last ounce of energy, and the favorite did not disappoint, digging in to stave off not only the persistent In Your Room, but a belated stand-side charge from Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter), who rallied strongly to take second.   Jim Raymer trains War Cry Hall for the Harbor Racing Stable, LLC.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (July 7), with the first of 11 races on the special weeknight card scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media  

Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile winner Beautide has been back in work for about a month and trainer James Rattray is confident his stable star is on track to defend his sprint title in November. Beautide has already had a few strong gallops after his month long spell after winning the Len Smith Mile. "I'm extremely happy with him at the moment. He came back from his spell and had put on some condition and looks really strong so I'm looking forward to getting him back to the races," Rattray said. "In saying that, I'm in no rush to get him back. At this stage I think he would only have one or two runs before going around in a race like the Newcastle Mile. I might take him to the trials once or twice as well just to make sure he was ready to go." Fresh from a break in Europe, Rattray is currently only working a small team. "I've only got a few in work at the moment but it is a good time of the year to be working a small team, we got back from Sweden after going to the Elitlopp for ten days and had a really good time." "I got the chance to catch up with some of my American friends who were also in Sweden at the time and there were a few Aussies over there that I spent some time with as well." Rattray drove the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg to victory in Sunday's Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "Freyberg is a really nice horse, he has been racing against some quality horses lately but he proved he is tough horse over the weekend with the win over the 2300 metres." "He loves leading in his races and when he got left alone in front he was always going to be very hard to beat. I think his recent runs have all been pretty good." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

TOP class Tasmanian reinsman Rohan Hillier has been enjoying life in the fast lane of late with his association with the Dick Eaves-trained star filly Barynya that won her way onto the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series in Victoria last Friday night. Back home in Launceston two nights later he was back in the winner's circle, this time aboard his own three-year-old Chopstix Boris that caused a major upset to win the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes. It was a hot field and one that would not be out of place in any feature three-year-old race around the country. Resurgent Spirit was sent out favourite ($3.80) but there was plenty of smart money for Estevao ($4), Rusty Red Comet ($4.60) and the in-form Vande Velde ($5.10) with Chopstix Boris getting into $11.80 after touching $16 midway through betting. Estevao (Gareth Rattray) was able to hold the lead but when Resurgent Spirit was unable to find a spot with cover from his outside front-row draw driver James Austin had no option but to go forward and park outside of the leader. Chopstix Boris settled near last in the one-out line with Vande Velde at the rear on his back. Estevao looked set to steal the race when Rattray urged him to extend turning for home but his lesser fancied stablemate Ektoras that had trailed the leader throughout, came off the fence to challenge and looked set to win. But that's when the tailenders started to swoop and so fast did Chopstix Boris finish he swamped the leaders close to home to score by almost a metre from Ektoras with Estevao a half-head away third. It was a masterful drive and a brilliant performance by the gelded son of Jeremes Jet from Flo Jo Fernandez that won the 2001 bandbox Stakes for 3YO fillies. Chopstix Boris is owned and raced by Hillier in partnership with his wife Katrina and two of the driver's mates Danny Bennett and Andrew Baxter. He was originally trained by Hillier who opted to send the gelding to Paul Ashwood to train. "He was working well for Rohan but not producing his best on race day and Rohan thought a change of environment would suit him so he sent him to me," Ashwood said. "Tonight he showed what he could do, although I wasn't that confident with the slow early pace," he said. Resurgent Spirit ($3.80) battled away in the home straight to finish sixth for what was his first time out of a place in 17 starts. By Peter Staples      

Munster businessman Tom Erceg and harness racing owner snapped up a wonderful bargain when he paid just $6000 for a Rich And Spoilt filly at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale in February 2013. The filly named Straittothehilton and raced by Erceg in partnership with Byford trainer Katja Warwick, boosted her earnings to $88,330 when she gave a dashing display to score an easy victory in the $100,000 group 1 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Straittothehilton, third favourite at 9/2, was driven in masterly fashion by Morgan Woodley and the win completed a double for Woodley and the Warwick family in the Westbred Classic. Former champion trainer-reinsman Trevor Warwick, husband of Katja, prepared 14/1 chance Sweet Atomic when Woodley drove her to a thrilling victory in a three-way photo finish from Hermattjesty Mulan and Flirtalicious in the 2011 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies. Straittothehilton jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier before Aiden De Campo sent 3/1 second fancy Delightful Jade (a winner at six of her seven starts) into the lead after 100m, leaving the heavily-supported 9/4 favourite Massive Attack in the breeze. After a leisurely lead time of 38.7sec. and a slow first quarter of 31.6sec., de Campo increased the tempo and Delightful Jade sprinted over the second section in 28.8sec. This was followed by a 29.2sec. quarter before Gary Hall jun. sent Massive Attack to the front 270m from home. Woodley had eased Straittothehilton off the pegs with about 600m to travel to follow the run of Massive Attack. Straittothehilton burst into the lead 100m from the post and won by two lengths from Massive Attack, who put up a tremendous performance to finish second. The final quarter was a modest 30.8sec. and Straittothehilton rated 2.01 over the 2130m journey. Soho New York (40/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to finish a further two lengths back in third place, in front of Sea Me Smile. Delightful Jade wilted to finish sixth. Katja Warwick has given Straittothehilton a splendid preparation and the filly went into the classic as the most experienced runner, with 13 starts under her belt. Straittothehilton, who has been driven by Woodley in all her starts, has now won three races and been placed eight times. Her dam Made of Dreams (by Parsons Den) raced 49 times for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664. Made of Dreams is out of unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow, whose five winners included Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515). Amongst Royalty, a full-sister of Made of Dreams, won two group 1 and one group 2 classic as a two-year-old and retired with a record of 86 starts for 23 wins and 27 placings for earnings of $570,820. Arctic Glow's dam Broncroft Castle produced star pacer Mon Poppy Day, who amassed $318,558 from 20 wins and 16 placings from 50 starts. His wins included the WA and Tasmanian Derbies in 1996, the 1996 Golden Nugget, the 1997 Christmas Gift and the 1998 Mount Eden Mile. Straittothehilton also is related to former champion mares Under Cover Lover (70 starts for 21 wins, 22 placings and $864,923) and Bettor Cover Lover (39 starts for 19 wins, 14 placings and $1,026,427). Straittothehilton is the latest of the progeny of Rich And Spoilt to win juvenile classics. His previous classic winners include Silver Tail Adda, Shipwreck, Batavia Touchngo and Adda Cool Mil. Rich And Spoilt won the 1999 Pearl Classic, the State Sires Series Classic and Caduceus Club Classic in 2000 and finished a nose second to Seelster Sam in the Gold Nugget Championship in December 2000. Straittothehilton Erceg also purchased a colt for $9500 at the 2013 sales who is trained by Katja Warwick. The colt, named Out of the Shadow, won at his debut, at Harvey in January this year and again at Bunbury in February. Veteran lands first group 1 winner Veteran Bunbury trainer Bob Wood landed his first group 1 winner when Kyle Harper drove All Aussie Boy to an all-the-way victory in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All Aussie Boy, equal second favourite at 13/4, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier, but had to survive a spirited early challenge from 5/4 favourite Persistent Threat before setting the pace and holding on grimly to defeat 11/1 chance A Force In Action by a metre, with a length and a half back to 66/1 outside Captain Oats in third place. The 23-year-old Harper had some anxious moments in the final stages when All Aussie Boy began to shift up the track. The left-handed Harper then used the whip in his non-preferred right hand to prevent the colt from veering out. He responded gamely to Harper's urgings and just held out the fast-finishing A Force In Action, who had enjoyed an perfect trip behind the pacemaker until Mark Reed got him off the pegs approaching the home turn and brought the colt home with a strong three-wide burst. After the race the stewards fined Harper $200 for incorrect use of the whip in that he used more than a wrist and elbow action. Persistent Threat began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Tom Buchanan made a spirited bid for the lead. Persistent Threat got almost a length and a half in front of All Aussie Boy, but just failed to muster sufficient speed to cross to the front, with Harper driving All Aussie Boy hard to retain the lead. Buchanan took hold of Persistent Threat after 200m and the gelding broke into a gallop. However, Buchanan quickly got Persistent Threat back into a pacing action. Morgan Woodley then dashed Thatlebe forward with a fast three-wide burst to move into the breeze after 550m. Then, after 600m, Colin Brown sent the 13/4 equal second fancy Isaiah Artois forward from the rear with a three-wide charge to assume the position outside the pacemaker. Persistent Threat then was sixth win the one-wide line. The first quarter was run in 31.8sec. before final sections in 29.9sec., 29.9sec. and 29.2sec. Buchanan eased Persistent Threat three wide approaching the 400m mark, but the gelding lacked sparkle and wilted to finish in eleventh position. Isaiah Artois was a gallant fourth. The winner rated 2.0.2 over the 2130m. All Aussie Boy looks like developing into the best pacer prepared by the 71-year-old Wood since he trained Pataz in the early 2000s. Pataz, who reached an M7 mark in 2003, raced 66 times for 20 wins, 13 placings and $144,878 in stakes. All Aussie Boy has earned $78,345 from three wins and three placings from eight starts. He is by Allamerican Ingot and is out of Parsons Den mare Like Royalty, who was unplaced at her 12 starts, earning just $183 from her fourth placing in a two-year-old event at Gloucester Park in July 2005. All Aussie Boy is a half-brother to Paramedic, who notched his tenth victory when Harper drove him to an all-the-way win in a Pathway at Gloucester Park last month. All Aussie Boy Hall's tactics succeed with Our Arlington A bold move by Clint Hall to send Our Arlington forward from the awkward No. 4 barrier, instead of restraining him, paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old scored an upset win at 14/1 in the $25,000 LED Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was generally considered that Please Release Me would set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and Hall drove Our Arlington hard early, out three wide for the first 300m, before getting to the breeze. Two hundred metres later Our Arlington settled in the perfect one-out, one-back position when Dundee Three sustained a three-wide early burst to take up the position outside Please Release Me. After a reasonable lead time of 37.6sec., Please Release Me coasted through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before he covered the next quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.3sec. Hall switched Our Arlington three wide with 300m to travel and the gelding finished full of running to hit the front 120m from the post. He held on to defeat the gallant Dundee Three (13/4) by one metre, with Please Release Me (11/4) a nose away in third place after a final quarter in 28.6sec. My Hard Copy, a well-supported 11/8 favourite, started from the inside of the back line and he got into the clear leaving the back straight the final time before finishing solidly, out wide, to be a head away in fourth place Our Arlington gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. his second success in the Past Presidents Cup. He was successful with The Falcon Strike in 2006. Our Arlington, by Washington VC, won twice from three starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in March 2011 and 11 times in Victoria. His three wins from 15 WA starts have taken his record to 68 starts for 16 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $169,942. Voak's birthday surprise Chris Voak wasn't optimistic about his chances with eight drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he gave himself a pleasant birthday surprise when he drove 45/1 outsider Say It Now to a stirring victory in the 2130m Cable Joining Supplies Pace. Voak, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Friday, continues to drive winners every week and is a clear second behind Gary Hall jun. in the Statewide drivers' premiership table. Hall has 147 winners and Voak has had 951 drives in the 2013-14 season for 124 wins, 120 seconds and 94 thirds. Say It Now gave Voak his 43rd city success this season and he is in fifth place on the Metropolitan list behind Hall (99 wins), Chris Lewis (59), Colin Brown (57) and Morgan Woodley (45). Say It Now was a 7/4 chance the previous Friday night when Chris Lewis drove the noted frontrunner to a head victory over Bettor Party over 1730m. But punters disregarded his chances on Friday night when he rose in class and started from barrier two on the back line over a longer journey. Voak was driving the pacer for the first time. Polemarker Black Aquila was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on, with stablemates Vapour (11/4) and Notabadexcuse (11/1) next in betting. Michael Young got Black Aquila away smartly and the five-year-old set the pace, with Notabadexcuse (Micheal Ferguson) in the breeze and Love In The Dark sitting behind the pacemaker. Say It Now raced three back on the pegs and was eighth at the bell. Voak got Say It Now off the inside in the final circuit and the stallion charged home, out wide, to gain a last-stride victory by a neck from Notabadexcuse, who had taken the lead 80m from the post. Black Aquila was a wilting third. The final sections were covered in 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. and Say It Now rated 1.57.6. He has been an excellent moneyspinner for Hopeland trainer Kevin Charles and his son Kody, who bred the horse from Promising Gift, a mare gifted to them by breeder Tom Keating. Say It Now has earned $101,981 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 52 starts. Desirable Guy breaks through for first WA win New South Wales-bred five-year-old Desirable Guy completed a double for reinsman Colin Brown in the first two events at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he relished his pacemaking role to score an easy victory in the 2130m Bambach Cables Pathway Pace. Brown, who trains the gelding at Banjup, had won the opening event with the Dick Moore-trained Macintosh. Desirable Guy, second fancy at 3/1, jumped straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and Brown rated him perfectly to score by four metres from polemarker Justlikelindt, a 13/1 chance who trailed the leader all the way. A half-head away in third place was the 2/1 favourite Algranco Under Fire, who raced three wide early and then without cover. The win was Desirable Guy's first from seven WA starts and it ended a losing sequence of 13. He now boasts an enviable record of 70 starts for 15 wins and 22 placings for earnings of $105,388 and he looks capable of more city successes for owners Geoff and Ben Waters, John Galluccio, Grahame Searle and Paul Whyte. Desirable Guy showed early promise and at Melton in May 2011 he finished fourth behind Mr Nickel, Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia in the $305,000 group 1 Australian Pacing Gold. By American stallion Real Desire, Desirable Guy is the first foal out of Atworthy Maid, who was unplaced at her four starts in Victoria as a two and three-year-old in 2005-06. Atworthy Maid's dam Crown Velvet produced five winners, including Velvets Bee gee (29 wins and $134,600) and Croesus (13 wins and $253,050). Am Opulent relishes frontrunning role Few mares in Western Australia possess the sparkling early speed of Am Opulent and when Ryan Warwick dashed the New Zealand-bred four-year-old straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier her 11 rivals faced an extremely difficult task in the $25,000 final of the Nexans Olex Lombardo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Warwick stole a march on the opposition when he got Am Opulent to relax and coast through the lead time in 38.2sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 31.7sec. Warwick gave the mare more rein in the final 800m and she sped over the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.2sec. to win by one and a half lengths from 66/1 outsider Tis A Charmer, who enjoyed a good trail three back on the pegs. Polemarker Ace of Cards (22/1) trailed the leader for much of the way before finishing with a spirited burst. Selkie, the 2/1 favourite, was never in contention. Chris Lewis restrained her back to the rear from her wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line. She started a three-wide run approaching the bell, following Lucky Joy, But she floundered in the back straight and dropped back to finish in eleventh position. Am Opulent, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has earned $188,047 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. She is related to Smart Son (41 wins and $347,805) and Vanderel (14 wins and $164,163). My Samantha Jane turns the tables Consistent filly My Samantha Jane turned the tables on The Parade when she gave a bold frontrunning display and carried too many guns in the final stages for her rival in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A fortnight earlier My Samantha Jane started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Harper Grace before finishing a sound second to The Parade, who sustained a powerful burst from last to take the lead 250m from home. Under the preferential barrier draw conditions on Friday night, My Samantha Jane drew ideally at No. 2 on the front line and The Parade had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. My Samantha Jane was a strongly-supported 2/1 second fancy, with The Parade favourite at 6/4. Trainer Mike Reed, anxious to have My Samantha Jane's mind on the job from the outset, changed her gear, removing the Dolly Varden blinkers and replacing them with hood-type blinkers. This did the trick and the filly began like a shot. After first quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.1sec., My Samantha Jane dashed over the final sections in 29.3sec. and 29.2sec. and she won by five metres from the gallant The Parade, rating 1.58.4. Polemarker Major Flirt finished third after trailing the pacemaker all the way. The Parade settled down in eleventh position before Justin Prentice dashed her forward with a fast three-wide burst after 700m. The filly moved into the breeze with 1050m to travel and she fought on with typical determination. My Samantha Jane, unplaced at her three starts in New Zealand, has had 16 starts in Western Australia for four wins and six placings and now has earned $44,620 in stakes. El Machine a winter cups prospect Bargain pacer El Machine graduated to an M5 mark with his stylish victory in the Hydraulic Energy Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and will be a valuable addition to open-class feature Cup events over the winter months. He was a 10/1 chance from the outside of the back line and made light of this disadvantage by unwinding a typical powerful finishing burst to easily defeat 3/1 second fancy Slick Chapel and Wrongly Accused (6/1), rating 1.57.4 over the 2130m trip. Last-start winner Real Hammer (5/1) began with his usual alacrity to burst straight to the front from the polemarker and 5/2 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze. El Machine settled at the rear before his trainer Kade Howson started a three-wide move approaching the bell and appreciating a cart up behind Rodrigo. Real Hammer, who pulled hard, began to tire badly half-way down the back straight and Howson shot El Machine to the front 260m from home. Slick Chapel was tenth at the bell and following El Machine in the three-wide line. Gary Hall jun. switched him four wide with about 420m to travel and he finished powerfully to be second. Mighty Flying Thomas was hampered behind the fading Real hammer and even though Tom Buchanan was able to ease the gelding off the pegs, he was blocked for a clear passage in the final stages and finished eighth. The West Australian-bred El Machine, bought for a mere $5000 as a yearling by Howson and fellow trainer-reinsman Michael George, has earned $156,489 from 18 wins and 13 placings from 47 starts. Claimers the aim for Pride of Colorado Darling Downs trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi has high hopes that Pride of Colorado will follow in the footsteps of his half-brother Scram Jet and develop the reputation as a King of the Claimers. Scram Jet enjoyed racing in claimers in the twilight of his career and he was retired after winning ten times in that company and with a career record of 172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076 in prizemoney. Pride of Colorado, a West Australian-bred seven-year-old by former star pacer Saab, has an M4 classification and Cortopassi considers he is not quite up to top class and he is planning a continuing career in claiming events. Pride of Colorado won his second claimer when Cortopassi drove him aggressively before he won the 2130m Scholz Electric Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pride of Colorado started from barrier six in a field of seven and was a firm 5/4 favourite. Cortopassi was keen to control the tempo of the race and he dashed Pride of Colorado forward in the early stages to race in the breeze, with 12-year-old Tee Pee Village (6/1) setting the pace. After an opening section of the final mile in a slow 31.3sec., Tee Pee Village ran the next quarters in 29.8sec., 28.7sec. and 28.8sec. However, he was unable to keep Pride of Colorado at bay, with the favourite forging to the front 80m from the post and winning by just over a length. Pride of Colorado, owned by Stephen Schmedje, has earned $148,967 from 17 wins and 18 placings from 81 starts. Northern Lights mare Lady Legacy, dam of Scram Jet and Pride of Colorado, won at five of her 23 starts in the mid-1990s. She is out of Fiscal Miss, a winner of 15 races and the mother of star performers Whitbys Miss Penny (50 starts for 32 wins, six placings and $568,289) and Ace of Whitby (79 starts for 29 wins, 21 placings and $317,247). Macintosh makes it eight from ten in WA Up-and-coming New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh continued his rise to prominence when he overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line with an impressive victory in the 2536m Apec Cables Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A week earlier Colin Brown brought Macintosh home with a powerful last-lap last-to-first effort. But on Friday night Brown made his move earlier. Polemarker What God Knows led for the first lap, during which he withstood a spirited challenge from Mr Nickel. Brown seized the initiate after a lap had been covered by sending Macintosh forward from the rear with a strong three-wide burst. Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, moved to the breeze 1300m from home and Brown was content to remain there until be shot the son of Mach Three to the front with 470m to travel. The third quarter of the final mile was covered in a brisk 28.3sec. and Macintosh sprinted the final section in 28.4sec. to win by just under a length from 11/4 second fancy Ohoka Kentucky, who sustained strong burst from the rear. Dearborn (12/1) followed the run of Ohoka Kentucky to finish an encouraging third. Macintosh, trained at Forrestdale by Dick Moore, looks set for many more wins. After winning at two of his ten starts in New Zealand the gelding has won eight times from ten starts in WA. by Ken Casellas  

Now for the Lombardo final for Jungle Genie Classy New Zealand-bred pacer Jungle Genie leapt the first hurdle in her quest to win two feature events in the space of eight days when she produced a powerful burst to score a narrow victory in the $30,000 Clipsal And Schneider Electric Pace for four-year-old mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her strong performance boosted the confidence of Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond that she will complete the double by proving too good for her rivals in the $25,000 final of the Lombardo Pace next Friday night. Jungle Genie, second favourite at 9/2, overcame the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when she relished the solid pace set by 9/1 chance Loving You. Colin Brown was content to keep Jungle Genie ninth position before starting a three-wide move in the final circuit. Miss Atomic, the 10/9 favourite, surprisingly was easily beaten out at the start when she was lethargic and lacked sparkle. Stablemate Loving You burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and then was able to withstand an early challenge from Am Opulent. Miss Atomic slotted in behind the pacemaker and gained a fortuitous inside passage when Loving You, despite the efforts of reinsman Morgan Woodley, drifted off the pegs passing the 450m mark. Miss Atomic then took lead 150m later and Chris Lewis drove her vigorously in the home straight. But she was unable to hold out the fast-finishing Jungle Genie, who got to the front 120m from the post and won by a head from Miss Atomic, with 20/1 chance Bettor Dreams running on from tenth at the bell to be third, a head in front of Cielito. The final 800m was covered in 58.5sec. and Jungle Genie rated 1.57.2 over the 2130m. She has been wonderfully consistent for owners Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson since arriving in Australia 13 months ago after managing just one third placing from five starts in New Zealand as a three-year-old. Her 34 WA starts have produced 14 wins and 13 placings and her win on Friday night boosted her earnings to $101,412. She is by Bettors Delight and is the second foal out of the Live Or Die mare Jungle Jane, who raced 43 times for six wins, ten placings and $58,371 in prizemoney. Im Themightyquinn on target for Queensland It's all systems go for Im Themightyquinn, who will enter the next phase of his remarkable career when he contests feature events at the annual Queensland winter carnival in Brisbane next month. The champion pacer rounded off his preparation with a thrilling last-gasp victory over stablemate My Hard Copy in the 2130m Clipsal Powerhouse Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he will travel by air to Brisbane on Thursday, with his driver Gary Hall jun. full of confidence. "I know that a lot of people will think that he hasn't come back anywhere near his best (after a nose victory over Crombie in the Pinjarra Cup followed by a two-length second to David Hercules at Gloucester Park)," Hall said. "But I'm glad that they are sort of writing us off again before we go to Queensland. "I've got no worries. He'll be excited because it will be a new place and once he gets into a genuinely-run race and is driven the way he likes to be driven, he'll prove his worth. "There aren't many horses capable of doing what he did tonight. I think that people expect him to just beat those horses easily because they consider those horses are not in the same class as he is. But those horses are hard to beat round here (the 805m circuit at Gloucester Park) when they run a slow lead time (69.9sec.) and then walk around the next half (60.9sec.) and then run a 55sec. last half. "That makes it almost impossible to come from the back in the field. Around the bend out of the front straight in the last lap I had a good hold of him and he was going pretty much as fast as he can go. That was a quarter in 27.6sec. off the front and he would have gone 27sec. "I think that in his old age he has got a bit dour. Tonight I just wanted to creep up on the others, nice and relaxed, but he's gone back to pulling a bit. It's always hard to do that (remaining relaxed) when he is out of his comfort zone and they're running 55sec. halves. "However, I always felt that he was going to win. I was still holding him a bit down the back straight. When we got to the breeze he thought that his job was done. But he knuckled down in the straight when I gave him two cuts with the whip. He dug in as deep as he ever has. "He's having a bit of trouble in recent races because they are so slow early and are not really genuine fast-class races. Generally there is no pressure put on the leader and he's finding it a bit tough with that. And the way the track is, horses from behind are having trouble getting past the leader when they're running quick times in the last lap. "I don't think that he's a hundred per cent fit yet. He's come in tonight a bit big, but that's not too much of a worry. He's got a lot ahead of him. He leaves by plane on Thursday and will be on the tarmac for an hour in Melbourne before continuing to Brisbane. "Once he gets over there he can really tighten up. I have no doubts that he has come back as good as ever." Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. will remain with Im Themightyquinn and prepare him at Shannon Price's property. Hall jun. will fly in and fly out to drive the nine-year-old in the $60,000 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on Saturday week (July 5) and the $100,000 Blacks A Fake Free-For-All a fortnight later. Providing that he performs strongly in those events, Im Themightyquinn will wind up his Queensland campaign in the $40,000 standing-start Redcliffe Cup on August 8. Im Themightyquinn was favourite at 10/1 on in Friday night's race in which he started from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. He was restrained back to last, while stablemate My Hard Copy, second fancy at 6/1 from the No. 2 barrier, bounced straight to the front for Clint Hall, with Shardons Rocket moving to the breeze after 450m. Hall jun. started a three-wide run with Im Themightyquinn with 900m to travel and the champion sustained his spirited finishing burst to get up and score in the final stride, rating 1.58.5 over the 2536m journey. Im Themightyquinn boosted his earnings to $4,468,736 from 56 wins and 33 placings from 108 starts. Pacific Black proving a wonderful bargain Baskerville trainer Sonia Zucchiatti and Adam Kirke made an inspired decision six years ago when they outlaid $20,000 to purchase Victorian-bred three-year-old Pacific Black. Now a nine-year-old, Pacific Black, ended a losing sequence of 27 when he sprinted home fast to score a surprise win at 18/1 in the 2503m Schneider Electric Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This boosted Pacific Black's earnings for Zucchiatti and Kirke to $167,609 from 16 wins and 38 placings from 122 starts to take his career record to 143 starts for 21 wins, 46 placings and $190,684. As a three-year-old, Pacific Black won four races in a row in the month of August 2008, one at Shepparton and three at Wagga, before being advertised for sale. "I saw him advertised on the internet, on the Trading Ring, for $20,000," Zucchiatti said. "He had won four in a row and I thought that was a good enough reason to buy him. He had one start for us and won at Harold Park and now has won five city-class races at Gloucester Park. " Pacific Black certainly has made the most of the drop-down regulation which enables a pacer assessed M2 or better to drop down a classification every time he has a losing sequence of ten. Pacific Black has gradually dropped down in class and went into Friday night's race as an M1-class performer. He is now back to an M2 mark. Zucchiatti credits Pacific Black's longevity to racing almost exclusively in stands. His five city wins have been in stands and he has contested a mobile race only twice in his past 50 starts. "He pulls in mobiles and I've had to restrict him to stands in the past few years," she said. "He is getting old and basically he needs to race back on the fence. He travels better on the fence and if he gets the right run he'll finish thereabouts." Pacific Black started off the 10m mark on Friday night and Kim Prentice quickly manoeuvred the old gelding to the pegs, with 11/1 chance Telham Lane setting the pace. Pacific Black gained a split half-way down the home straight and he sprinted fast to gain the upper hand in the final couple of strides. Heez Orl Black bred to be a star It is little wonder that Heez Orl Black is developing into a smart performer. He is closely related to former champion pacer and highly-successful sire Christian Cullen. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old is by In The Pocket out of the unraced Holmes Hanover mare Cracker Kate, who is a half-sister to Christian Cullen, who earned $1,249,150 from 22 wins and four placings from 31 starts before developing into an outstanding sire. Cracker Kate is also a full-sister to Kates First, who had 65 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $624,023 in prizemoney. Kates First's successes included the New Zealand Oaks at Addington and the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park in 1997 when she defeated Concorde Lombo. She finished second to Holmes D G in the $250,000 Victoria Cup at Moonee Valley in January 1999 when she finished in front of Our Sir Vancelot, Tailamade Lombo and Iraklis. Heez Orl Black, owned by Max Grynberg, Bill Paterson, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl, Karen Hall, Frank Borrello and Trudi Spiniello, revealed tremendous pace to score an effortless victory in the Clipsal Saturn Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. the first leg of a double and reinsman Kim Prentice the second leg of a double after an earlier success with Pacific Black. Heez Orl Black, favourite at 10/9 on from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line, had no difficulty in jumping straight to the lead. After a slow lead time of 8.6sec., the tempo increased when outsider Empire Flame began to overrace badly in the breeze and the first 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 27.5sec., followed by a quarter of 28.8sec. Gary Hall jun. eased 4/1 third fancy Vapour from the one-out, one-back position to start a three-wide move 650m from home. The third quarter was covered in 29.2sec. and Heez Orl Black appeared vulnerable after such a hectic pace. However, Heez Orl Black revealed sparkling speed and great resilience to dash over the final quarter in 28sec. and win by five metres from Vapour, with Slick Chapel (7/2) running on from sixth at the bello to be third to give Hall sen. a trifecta result in the 1730m event. Heez Orl Black rated a sparkling 1.53.6 to improve his record to 59 starts for 14 wins, 16 placings and $190,065. He has had 27 starts in Western Australia for eight wins and eight placings. Macintosh surges from last to first New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh looks well and truly on the path to many more wins when he impressed with a splendid last-to-first victory in the 2536m Clipsal Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in fine fettle by veteran trainer Dick Moore, Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, was driven with supreme confidence by Colin Brown. Macintosh started from the outside of the back line and Brown was quite content to let the Mach Three gelding lob along in last position in the field of eleven. Four Grinners (15/1) set the pace and Brown had Macintosh travelling easily at the rear until Chris Voak started a three-wide move with Barkers Hall 1100m from home. Brown then followed the run of Barkers Hall and Macintosh exploded to the front 60m from the post to win easily by four metres from Four Grinners, with Barkers Hall three lengths away in third place. Macintosh rated 1.59.2 and took his West Australian record to seven wins from nine starts after having raced ten times in New Zealand for two wins and three third placings. Macintosh is the second foal out of Style By The Mile, who won once from 17 starts. Style By The Mile is a full-sister to Gomeo Romeo, who earned $340,193 from 13 wins and 12 placings from 52 starts. He was the winner of one group 1 and two group 2 events in New Zealand. Olivieri consolidates second place Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri maintained his recent run of successes with a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night and consolidated his spot in second place on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table. Olivieri now has trained 54 city winners this season and trails Gary Hall sen. (143 wins), with Greg and Skye Bond in third place with 43 winners. Olivieri's winners on Friday night were Real Hammer and Finbar Abbey. Real Hammer, a Victorian-bred five-year-old, was second fancy at 9/4 who enjoyed the ideal passage behind the pacemaker and 11/4 chance Well Hello Dolly in the 1730m Schneider Acti 9 Pace before gaining a late split and finishing strongly to beat that mare by one metre, with 6/4 favourite Black Aquila a fighting third after working hard in the breeze. This gave Chris Lewis the first leg of a double, which he completed with the all-the-way win of Say It Now in the final event. Real Hammer, a recent addition to the Olivieri stable, has now raced 23 times in Western Australia for four wins and five placings to improve his career record to 12 wins, 14 placings and $100,062 from 52 starts. Finbar Abbey, driven by Chris Voak, was a 11/2 chance off the 20m mark in the 2503m Clipsal Lighting Handicap, in which former New Zealand performer Robyns Raider dominated betting and was favourite at 5/4 at his first appearance at Gloucester Park. Punters groaned when Robyns Raider galloped from the outside of the front line and lost several lengths. However, Colin Brown quickly got Robyns Raider back into a pacing gait and the four-year-old surged forward to assume control after 450m. Finbar Abbey settled down in ninth place before Voak sent him forward, three wide, after a lap to move to the breeze 1450m from home. The eight-year-old appeared under considerable pressure 250m from home when he was not responding particularly strongly to heavy punishment. However, he ran home with dogged determination to hit the front 50m from the post and win by a neck from 16/1 chance Thumpem, who was eighth on the pegs at the bell before finishing fast. Robyns Raider was a close third. Finbar Abbey, who has won at five of his nine starts for Olivieri, has earned $138,831 from 16 wins and 24 placings from 106 starts. $400 pacer takes earnings to $96,870 Four-year-old West Australian-bred mare Lucky Joy, unwanted as a yearling before being picked up for a mere $400 at a dispersal sale, boosted her earnings for Raelene and Ian Williams and their son Robbie to $96,870 when she stormed home to win the 2130m third heat of the Clipsal 56 Series Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Robbie Williams, who trains Lucky Joy at Henley Brook, drove a typical patient race with the talented sit-sprinter, who started from barrier two on the back line and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before unleashing a powerful finishing burst, out wide, to hit the front 70m from the post and win by a half-length from the fast-finishing 16/1 chance Ace of Cards. Hoylakes Firstlady, second fancy at 3/1, had a tough run in the breeze before fighting on to finish third, with the heavily-backed 6/4 favourite My Lady of the Night setting the pace and fading to finish sixth. Lucky Joy, by Canadian stallion Northern Luck, was third favourite at 9/2 and she impressed in dashing over the final 400m in 28.9sec. Her 30 starts have produced seven wins and 11 placings. Smooth Caesar is a giant-killer Giant pacer Smooth Caesar, a generally unfancied 21/1 chance, caused an upset when he stormed home from tenth and last 350m from home to beat 6/4 favourite Pride of Colorado in the 2130m Clipspec Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The powerfully-built eight-year-old has certainly been a great buy for Marie Bingham, who claimed him for $10,000 last November. Since then Smooth Caesar has won four races and been placed nine times for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kim Young, earning $46,985 in stakes to take his career record to 91 starts for 13 wins, 24 placings and $115,039. Polemarker Heavens Delight (7/4) set the pace from Pride of Colorado in the breeze, with Our Gent trailing the pacemaker and Elite Under Fire enjoying the one-out, one-back trail after having been fastest into stride from barrier five, but being unable to cross to the lead. Smooth Caesar, who started from the No. 3 barrier, was tucked away on the pegs and did not get into the clear until 420m from home. He was still last at the 350m mark when Young switched him five wide. After a third quarter in a slick 28.8sec., the final section was a considerably slower 30.2sec. and Smooth Caesar burst to the front 50m from the post before defeating Pride of Colorado by two metres. Veteran The Oyster Bar was a half-length away in third place. Say It Now has the last say Noted frontrunner Say It Now further illustrated the great advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Chris Lewis drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Clipsal and Schneider Electric Westbred Pathway Pace on Friday night. Say It Now was a well-fancied 7/4 second fancy, but many punters preferred the highly-promising four-year-old Bettor Party, who was favourite at 5/4 despite the marked disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line of seven. Bettor Party was wisely eased back to last by Colin Brown, while the lack of any great pressure in the early stages enabled Lewis to rate Say It Now expertly in front, with modest opening quarters of the final mile in the sprint trip in 30sec. and a casual 31.1sec. This proved the decisive factor in the result. Brown started a three-wide move with Bettor Party approaching the bell and the gelding moved to seco0nd 320m from home and fought on with great determination. But after a third quarter in 29sec. Say It Now was able to sprint the final section in 28.4sec. and just hold Bettor Party at bay to score by a head at a 1.57.7 rate. Leftrightgoodnight tracked Bettor Party in the final lap and ran home strongly to be a close third. Say It Now, bred and owned by Kevin Charles and his son Kody, is prepared at Hopeland by Kevin Charles and the stallion showed early promise with wins in the 2012 South-West and Country Derbies. He has now earned $90,431 from 11 wins and 11 placings from 51 starts. He is related on his dam's side to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, who won the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley, beating Village Kid, before being retired with earnings of $791,331 from 40 wins and nine placings from 53 starts. by Ken Casellas  

Stylish gelding Isaiah Artois has the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 firmly in his sights after giving a bold frontrunning display to score a decisive victory in a drama-filled International Health Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All honours were with Isaiah Artois, third favourite at 15/2 who was produced in great shape by Byford trainer David Thompson and was driven with aggression and confidence by Colin Brown. But there was a sad tale of woe, with the 2/1 on favourite The Odd Lover having his off-side sulky tyre punctured 100m after the start. In Nyrobi overraced badly when the mobile barrier released the field and Gary Hall jun. had a hectic time trying to settle the youngster who was virtually uncontrollable. Hall had a battle in trying to steer In Nyrobi as he attempted to guide him towards the outside fence. As he desperately tried to manoeuvre In Nyrobi away from behind The Odd Lover (racing three wide) In Nyrobi's near front leg clipped the wheel of The Odd Lover's sulky. Kim Prentice then dashed The Odd Lover forward to move into the breeze after 550m. Mister Atomic had galloped at the start and Morgan Woodley sent Nitro Lad into the lead before Isaiah Artois surged to the front after 200m. Punters realised that there was a serious problem when Prentice took a sustained look at The Odd Lover's off-side sulky wheel as the field raced down the front straight to receive the bell. The tyre was flattened, but stayed on the rim. However, the tube had become loose and had become wrapped around the axel. The Odd Lover, under the massive disadvantage of having to pull his disabled sulky, began to wilt half-way down the back straight in the final circuit and as Prentice was easing him back towards the rear approaching the home turn The Odd Lover was tightened and broke into a gallop. He finished 105m behind the winner in eleventh position. Steve Johnson, the breeder and owner of Isaiah Artois, was delighted with the victory and paid tribute to the professional care of Thompson and his wife Karen as well as the skill of Brown. "We came here tonight expecting that the Odd Lover would be extremely hard to beat," he said. "And I feel a little bit sorry for Kim Prentice, having to carry a flat tyre." After a reasonable lead time of 37.7sec., Isaiah Artois had the luxury of coasting through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.4sec. before covering the next quarters in 29.4sec., 29.8sec. and 30.1sec. He rated 1.59.7 over the 2130m and defeated 11/2 second fancy Artillery Major by a length, with almost a length to Kasey Kahne (15/1) in third place. Artillery Major finished solidly from fifth on the pegs at the bell and Kasey Kahne came from seventh with a lap to travel. Isaiah Artois has had six starts for four wins and two thirds for stakes of $74,698. He is by Art Major and is the second foal out of Endless Journey (by American stallion Die Laughing) who had nine starts in Western Australia as a two and three-year-old in 2006 and 2007 for two minor placings and stakes of $2560. Endless Journey is a half-sister to Like A Dame, the dam of top-flight seven-year-old David Hercules, who had set the pace and beaten Im Themightyquinn 30 minutes before the win of Isaiah Artois in the Pearl. Endless Journey is out of Victorian-bred mare Hold Tight, whose five winners included Fake Embrace, winner of the Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in March 1994. Fake Embrace earned $240,249 from 37 wins and 40 placings from 178 starts. David Hercules claims a mighty scalp In ancient times the mythical Greek divine hero Hercules was famous for his strength and was acclaimed for slaying, bare-handed, the ferocious Nemean lion, a vicious monster who was considered indestructible. The modern-day Hercules appeared in the form of David Hercules at Gloucester Park on Friday night when his victim was Australasia's greatest pacer Im Themightyquinn. Im Themightyquinn was considered a certainty by most pundits, but he had his colours lowered by David Hercules, who proved too speedy for his illustrious rival in the 2130m KA Cleans And Flushes Pace. David Hercules, resuming after a spell, charged straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he relished his pacemaking role before beating Im Themightyquinn by just over two lengths, with Dundee Three finishing strongly from seventh on the pegs at the bell to be 10m away in third place. Im Themightyquinn, favourite at 2/1 on, started from barrier three and raced without cover for the first 550m before Toretto assumed the position in the breeze. Morgan Woodley rated David Hercules perfectly, and after opening quarters of the final mile in 30.9sec. and 29.1sec. the West Australian-bred seven-year-old gave his rivals very little chance by sprinting brilliantly over the final two quarters in 27.3sec. and 27.6sec. Im Themightyquinn, driven for the first time in a race by Clint Hall, started a three-wide move towards the end of the back straight in the final circuit. He finished solidly, but found the task beyond him. Woodley admitted he was more than pleasantly surprised at the splendid first-up performance from David Hercules, a clear second favourite at 5/2 at his first appearance for just over three months. "He exceeded my expectations," he said. "I went out thinking that if I could pinch an easy time early he might have a good chance of finishing close with Im Themightyquinn. My suspicion was that Im Themightyquinn, with race fitness under his belt and the way he has been racing in such a rich vein of form, would prove a little bit too good for us. "The lead time (37.6sec.) and the leisurely first quarter (30.9sec.) allowed me to be really up tempo from the 1200m and make it very hard for anything from behind. He certainly did exceed my expectations and I was very happy with him and the most positive thing to come out of it is that I think that he will improve. "I believe it was the winning move, sprinting the third quarter in 27.3sec. It wasn't premeditated, it wasn't a plan; it just seemed like the right thing to do. So I rolled the dice and threw caution to the wind down the back straight and tried to pinch a good break. "As we turned into the back straight the last time I had a look over my shoulder and saw that Im Themightyquinn still hadn't pulled out off the back of Toretto, and I thought, well now's my chance. If I can pinch a couple of lengths here and he has to be going sideways while I'm going forward, well I can really make a race of it. "Fortunately David Thompson had the horse right, and this made my drive look good. A lot of times you can try things like that, but if the horse isn't up to the mark they will wilt over the final stages and you will have egg on your face. So credit is due to David for having the horse so forward. "David Hercules ran out a little bit in the home straight, but that is not something that's of great concern. If it was the first time he had done it, then I would be worried. It seems to be quite a consistent thing with him. He has raced with block blinkers on from time to time and, who knows, moving forward, it might be the case that he goes back and has some form of eye-wear to keep him a little more focused and straight. "He's quite a large horse and I think that some of this is probably because he is running too quickly for his frame. Im Themightyquinn is pint-sized compared to David Hercules." David Hercules, owned by David Botha and Jeneen Johnson, has amassed $820,304 in prizemoney from 30 wins and 31 placings from 88 starts. The Parade, a model of consistency A wide barrier did not prove a disadvantage for talented filly The Parade, who maintained her wonderful consistency when she sustained a powerful burst from last to win the 1730m Electromix-Electrolytes And Sweat Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Despite her excellent form, including her second to the brilliant Libertybelle Midfrew in the WA Oaks last month, many punters overlooked her claims and she started at a gift price of 7/1 from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice wisely restrained The Parade back to last at the start, while polemarker and 5/4 on favourite Harper Grace was put under plenty of early pressure, first from Maddy White (5/1) and then Jungle Jewel (8/1). This resulted in a fast opening quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. After a second section in 30.1sec., Harper Grace led from Jungle Jewel at the bell, with My Samantha Jane (11/1) next on the pegs and Maddy White in the one-out, one-back position. Prentice started a three-wide move 950m from home and The Parade sustained a strong burst to take the lead with 250m to travel. The final sections went by in 28.9sec. and 29.8sec. and the winner rated a slick 1.56.3. She won by 2m from My Samantha Jane, with 5m to Maddy White in third place. Harper Grace weakened to finish fourth. The Parade has earned $108,144 from seven wins and eight placings from 20 starts. She is by American stallion Real Desire and is the first foal out of unraced Badlands Hanover mare Hearty Lass, whose dam Atomic Lass produced former champion Auckland Reactor (53 starts for 32 wins, four placings and $1,837,043) and Taihape Tickler, who had 113 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $183,919. The Parade's win completed a double for Prentice, who was successful earlier in the night with the Ken Kirke-trained The Pacing Priest. Finbar Abbey and Arousing win for Olivieri and Voak Veteran New Zealand-bred pacer Finbar Abbey, who holds the unique distinction of being the only horse to have won a race in Australia in which outstanding four-year-old Alta Christiano tasted defeat, gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak the first leg of a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he finished strongly to win the 2503m Ironvita Blood And Oxygen Handicap. The pair completed the double when Arousing was successful in the second qualifying heat of the Neutra Syrup Netralises And Removes Lombardo Pace. Finbar Abbey, a 4/1 chance, began speedily from the 10m mark, and after racing wide early, slotted in to the one-out, one-back position, with Bartowski setting the pace from Gallileo in the breeze. Shardons Rocket, the 30m backmarker, surged forward, three wide, in the first lap before eventually getting to the front 1270m from home. This relegated Finbar Abbey to sixth in the one-wide line, but Voak remained patient before he switched Finbar Abbey three wide at the 600m mark. Finbar Abbey dashed to the front 50m from the post and won by a length from 5/1 chance Ohoka Courage, who was eighth at the bell and followed the last-lap three-wide run of the winner. Heez Orl Black, the 6/4 favourite, who moved to the breeze 950m from home, wilted to fifth. Finbar Abbey, who won the 2902m Easter Cup from Polak and Alta Christiano on April 17, has flourished under Olivieri's care and looks set for further successes. The eight-year-old has had 105 starts for 15 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $127,281. He had 63 starts in New Zealand for five wins and 14 placings before arriving in Australia. Arousing, second fancy at 4/1, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when she set a moderate early pace before covering the final 800m in 57.5sec. to beat 5/4 favourite Jungle Genie by one and a half lengths. This ended a losing sequence of nine and boosted her earnings to $102,696 from ten wins and 24 placings from 92 starts. Jungle Genie was not suited by the dawdling pace and did a good job to come from seventh at the bell. Olivieri and Voak kept up the good work at Gloucester Park on Saturday night when 5/2 chance Hes Ritehererightnow finished strongly to win a 2503m stand from Ardens Southee. Elson and Young strike purple patch Owner-trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Kim Young completed a wonderfully successful week when they combined to score an upset victory with 44/1 outsider Reuben Brogden in the2536m Min-A-Vit Racing And Breeding Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This followed wins with two-year-old Mister Ardee and three-year-old Class of Tara at Pinjarra on Monday and two-year-old Arturus at Gloucester Park on Tuesday. Reuben Brogden, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, started from the outside of the back line and he was last in the field of 12 after a lap before storming home from the rear at the bell to snatch a last-stride victory by a head from 5/4 favourite Slick Chapel, with Vapour (9/4) a close third after appearing certain to win when he led clearly on the home turn. Polemarker Im Terrific set the pace until Lauren Jones sent Vapour (sixth at the bell) to the front at the 400m mark. Gary Hall jun. then issued a spirited challenge with Slick Chapel, who had followed Vapour's three-wide run in the final circuit. Vapour began to wilt in the closing stages and was overhauled by Reuben Brogden and Slick Chapel. The final 800m was covered in 59.5sec. and Reuben Brogden rated 1.58.4. Young drove vigorously in the home straight and earned a $400 fine from the stewards for an incorrect whip action. Reuben Brogden, who finished third to Im Victorious in the Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park in December 2012, has been lightly raced and his win on Friday night improved his record to 36 starts for 14 wins and ten placings for stakes of $114,936. The son of American stallion Real Desire, Reuben Brogden was placed twice from three starts in New Zealand in October 2011 before coming to WA. He is the first foal out of Presidential Ball mare Ruby Choozday, who had eight starts for one win, two placings and $5970. Spectacular debut by Spectactular New Zealand-bred five-year-old Spectactular, a standing-start specialist in his home country with five wins in stands, revealed sparkling early speed from behind the mobile at Gloucester Park on Friday night when made an impressive Australian debut with an effortless victory in the 2130m Mecworma And Bot Worming Paste Pathway Pace. Produced in fine fettle by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., Spectactular, hot favourite at 3/1 on, gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive as he bowled along in front before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to win by just over four lengths from polemarker Kristoff, who had trailed him throughout. Spectactular rated 1.57.4 to improve his record to nine wins and six placings from 37 starts for stakes of $64,862. By Christian Cullen, he is the eighth foal out of New York Motoring mare Tact Hayley, who was placed at five of her 11 starts before being retired to the breeding barn. Halls maintain their dominance with two trebles The all-conquering combination of master trainer Gary Hall sen. and champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. maintained their outstanding form with another three winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They were successful with Black Aquila (5/2), Spectactular (3/1 on) and My Hard Copy (2/1 on) and then they combined with another treble at Gloucester Park on Saturday night, scoring with Massive Attack, VC Manoeuvre and Soho Lennon. Black Aquila, a newcomer to the Hall stable, gave a powerful display to win the 1730m Protexin Multi Strain Probiotic Pace from Desirable Guy and Roy Bolt. He started from the No. 5 barrier on the front line and raced three wide for the first 550m before moving into the breeze outside the pacemaker Roy Bolt. Black Aquila moved on terms with the leader 450m from home before taking a clear lead 150m later and racing away to score by a length and a half at a 1.56.8 rate after the final 800m was covered in a slick 57.3sec. Owned by Michael Young, Courtney Burch and John Young, Black Aquila showed early promise when he won the group 1 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in April 2011 when he defeated Polak and El Machine. The son of Totally Ruthless, he is bred to be a good winner. He is the first foal out of the unraced Il Vicolo mare My Date With Destiny, whose dam Baltic Flight produced Baltic Eagle, whose 40 starts produced 21 wins, seven placings and stakes of $746,980. Baltic Eagle's wins included the WA Pacing Cup, Fremantle Cup and interdominion championship in Christchurch early in 2003, the FTC Members Sprint in November 2003 and the Celebrity Mile at Gloucester Park in December 2004. New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Hard Copy maintained his outstanding form when he was untroubled to set the pace and win easily from strong-finishing stablemate Our Arlington and Black Pontiac in the 1730m Horsport Rehydration And Recovery Pace. My Hard Copy set a cracking pace and reeled off quarters in 28.4sec., 28.9sec., 29sec. and 27.9sec. He now has earned $146,047 from 14 wins and 13 placings from 40 starts. The Pacing Priest prevails A pre-emptive strike by reinsman Justin Prentice paid dividends when he guided the injury-plagued The Pacing Priest to a narrow victory in a punishing finish to the 2503m Sootha Nerves And Stress Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The well-supported New Zealand-bred eight-year-old (9/2) started from the inside of the 10m line and settled down in tenth position on the pegs before Prentice seized the initiative by dashing the gelding forward, three wide, after 750m to move outside the pacemaker Turbo Gold (40/1) with 1450m to travel. Prentice was content to leave The Pacing Priest in the breeze until he urged the gelding forward to take the lead 250m from home. The Pacing Priest then fought on doggedly to score by a metre from 9/2 chance Bubbles And Bling, who came from 11th at the bell and followed the three-wide run of Trojan Bromac before going four wide at the 300m mark and finishing strongly. Turbo Gold held on to finish third. The Pacing Priest, who is trained at West Swan by Ken Kirke, ended a losing sequence of ten and improved his record to 45 starts for ten wins, 13 placings and $110,451 in prizemoney. by Ken Casellas  

After a couple of unruly performances and some on the run gear changes made by harness racing trainer Darren Billinger Lombo Del Rosso appears set for a bright future.   The son of Four Stazzz Shark commenced his career back in March when he looked to be the winner on the home turn but fell after casting a shoe and in his comeback race at Betezy park Globe Derby he finshed third before embarking on a trip to Melbourne to try to qualify for the APG Finals.   In his heat he finished second before finishing down the track in the semis then did a good job to finish fourth in the consolation before returning to South Australia and winning first up at Port Pirie.   A good second to the unbeaten Hez The One in the BOTRA Golden Nursery heats saw him one of the main players going into the final on the last Saturday in May but after locking wheels on the first turn he was never a threat.   Billinger then took the big horse to Strathalbyn and he found the line well after doing some work in the final lap and not looking that comfortable on the small track.   Then at his second run in six days Lombo Del Rosso went back to headquarters on Saturday night to beat a small but quality field in the Nevele R Stud 2yo Pace.   Lombo Del Rosso is a son of Gloria Lombo who won 12 races and over $100,000 in prize money and she is a daughter of champion race mare Lombo Rapid who claimed the Chariots Of Fire in one of her 27 victories.   In the Free For All, Mildura pacer Timeless Era found the front and driver David Harding dictated terms running the first half of the last mile in 62.5 seconds before buzzing home in 56.5 giving odds on favourite Come On Frank little chance of running him down.   by Gary Newton  

RECORD breaking three-year-old Tasmanian pacer Resurgent Spirit had his colours lowered for only the second time when he had to settle for third in a heat of the Globe Derby Stakes over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston last Friday night. Resurgent Spirit won his first 13 starts to equal Halwes' record of the most number of consecutive wins in Tasmania before suffering his first loss in the Tasmanian Derby in April. Last Friday night the Roger Whitmore-trained gelding was forced to do a lot of work early to retain the lead but as it was his first start for almost two months and coming off a knew injury he was exposed at the business end of the race. Estevao came off a cozy run in the one-out-one-back position to finish powerfully to win by a long neck from Rusty Red Comet that faced the breeze for the duration with Resurgent Spirit weakening into third spot five metres away. Estevao (x Art Major) is a half-brother to this year's Devonport Cup winner Devendra (x Bettors Delight) with the only other of the mare Queen Carey's progeny being Benediction (a full sister to Devendra) that won 19 of her 56 starts including multiple features at two and three. Estevao is owned and raced in partnership by trainer Barrie Rattray and long-time stable client Ian Dunham who also raced last season's Easter Cup-Devonport Cup winner Biggernbettermax. By Peter Staples

This is the time of the season for Vicbred horses to shine. Over the next few weeks you will see many heats for Vicbred eligible horses leading into a fantastic weekend of Group 1 Finals on July 4 & 5. Our appreciation to sponsor Empire Stallions who do a great job in promoting themselves during this series.   Growth of 2YO Trotters The growth in trotting ranks has been highlighted by the number of two-year-olds who have presented at the races so far this season. By the end of May, 55 two-year-old trotters had raced (of which 50 are Vicbred). At the same time last year 33 two-year-old trotters had raced. A 67% increase in the number of starters can in part be credited to the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown series which recently boasted separate $50,000 finals for both colts and fillies. Those two finals included five graduates from the inaugural Australasian Premier Trotting Sale (APTS) in March 2013. The first winner purchased from the APTS was Dream Vacation gelding Livin The Life which won at Kilmore on June 10. Well done to all involved at the Cranbourne Club. Fastest Last Half Ever David Lewis trained Amajorjo may not have won a major race yet, but he does now lay claim to the fastest last half mile in Australian history. At Maryborough on May 16, Amajorjo won The Leo Crameri, finishing off in a last half mile of 53.3 seconds, the quickest on record. Victorian tracks hold the first five places on the national speed chart with Chilli Palmer, Ideal Scott, Macha and Bling It On all recording sub 54 second last halves at Tabcorp Park Melton. Harness Racing worth $422m in Victoria During May the Premier and Minister for Racing Dr Denis Napthine released a Size and Scope Study into the Victorian Racing Industry - conducted by experts IER. The report concluded that harness racing in Victoria generates $422m for the Victorian economy - a 63% increase since the previous study eight years ago. Some of the other highlights specific to harness racing in the study included: 4,000 full time equivalent jobs; 19,000 people involved as employees, participants or volunteers; 8,000 owners and syndicate members; 3,000 breeders; Highest Regional Contribution comes from the Goulburn Valley ($58m) followed by Loddon ($50m). A full copy of the 96 page study is available by clicking here. Ballarat Stakes Reduction The Ballarat & District Trotting Club is the first Club to announce a reduction in its contribution to stakes due to the impost of a new State Government gaming tax. The new tax will cost the Ballarat Club an extra $200,000 per year so the Club has decided to cut approximately $100,000 from its contribution to stakes. Most affected will be the Ballarat Pacing Cup, which reduces from $175,000 to $100,000. Admirably, the Ballarat Club will continue to invest heavily in its community and charity work, neither of which will be impacted by the new gaming tax. For the full statement from Ballarat click here. Incidentally, the new tax will have a $400,000 impact on HRV. Management is currently working through next year's budget in order to minimise the impact on overall stakes. Queen's Birthday Honours A pair of harness racing identities were awarded Queen's Birthday Honours earlier this week. Keith McGowan OAM Keith received an OAM for services to the media, however the honour also recognised his "ownership of Harness horses for in excess of 25 years and his support for the industry over many years". Despite Keith's passing late last year we are all proud of Keith's award, and in particular for his family, including son Nathan. John Ballestrino OAM John received an OAM for services to the community, particularly sporting organisations. One of the sports John is associated with is harness racing, in his role as Vice President of the Geelong Harness Racing Club. Congratulations to John and the McGowan family on being recognised in such a way. Vale HRV was saddened to learn of the passing of two industry stalwarts. Norm Fear Norm was a trainer back in the 60's and 70's and later a HRV Board member from 1984 to 1988. He loved harness racing and was always positive about the sport. The most appropriate comment I have read is from Russell Edwards on Facebook. Quote "Norm was a true gentleman who volunteered countless hours to the game he loved....I never heard anyone utter a bad word about him". And as the Shepparton Club said on their Facebook page "Norm was simply the best". Edo Bettiol Edo had a long term interest in harness racing and previously owned several horses. He was also an esteemed member of the Caduceus Club. His son Greg is equally passionate about the sport and is a member of HRV's Pegasus Club. Our condolences to Greg and Edo's family. First Winners Harness racing in Victoria continues to be the breeding ground for young participants becoming involved in the sport. During the month of May a couple of young drivers experienced the thrill of driving their first winners: Robert Caton (19) drove his first winner on Lombo Mini Lamouch at Bendigo on May 8; and Zac Steenhuis (16) drove his first two winners, Village Spirit and Tallulah Bay, at Terang on May 18. Not so young, but still enjoying his first win was Darren Manton on Prettyboytoby at Ballarat on May 10. Josh Aiken Josh is quickly becoming a young star of the industry. Son of David, Josh has had a roller coaster ride over the past two weeks. Here is a summary: Drove his first Metropolitan winner at Tabcorp Park on May 30 on Composed; Became the youngest person (at 20 years of age) to drive a treble at Tabcorp Park on June 6; Celebrated his 21st birthday on June 10; Appeal against a three week suspension dismissed by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on June 10. Milestones Amanda Turnbull With her win on Tezz Khora at Charlton on June 12 Amanda, now residing in Victoria, has driven 999 winners. If she makes it to 1,000 in the next couple of days, she will become the youngest ever to achieve the feat in Australia. Brian Kiesey Brian trained the first two winners at Charlton on June 12, his first double since Elmore in 2001. The first of the double was Candy Digger, which hadn't won since March 2012 at Warragul. Since then she had 132 starts without success. Second placegetter in the same race Master Kiesey, also trained by Brian, achieved the milestone of 300 starts in a race. Geoff Kay Dr Napthine has advised that Board member Geoff Kay's term has been extended for a three year period - until May 2017.

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