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He has broken 1:50 around Tabcorp Park Menangle before and now For A Reason will get his chance to do it again in the harness racing SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile on November 29. The glamour pacer earned an invitation to the $750,000 Grand Circuit event tonight. Following his stellar third-placed performance in Tuesday's Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup, Directors of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club wanted the multiple Group One-winner for their flagship event. Defending champion Beautide was the first to be issued an invitation to the 2014 edition and after taking out tonight's automatic qualifier at the principal track, the Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint, it gave NSWHRC Directors the opportunity to issue another invitation. The Miracle Mile conditions states that horses facing the difficulties of travel which may affect their performance in the Miracle Mile may be issued an invitation prior to the close of nominations for the Cordina Sprint (Monday). And luckily for connections, For A Reason fits this criteria. "Unfortunately we cannot issue an invitation to any horses from tonight's Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint until next week" NSWHRC chief executive Bruce Christison said. "Directors issued an invitation to For A Reason tonight and are still considering a couple of other horses that are in New Zealand" Only two other horses apart from Beautide and For A Reason have accepted invitations to the 2014 Miracle Mile and they are Newcastle Mile winner Avonnova and Kiwi star Christen Me. For more information contact NSWHRC Racing Manager David Wonson on (02) 4645 2200.

Star harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. has given punters a valuable lead by deciding to drive Soho Jackman in preference to Crusader Banner in the $22,500 TABtouch Cranley Memorial Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall drove both pacers to effortless victories last Friday night when Soho Jackman, at his first appearance for six months, came from tenth in the middle stages to race without cover before dashing away to score by more than a length over Walter James, rating 1.59.6 over 2536m, and Crusader Banner was equally impressive when he surged home from sixth and last at the bell to win by just under three lengths from Diamonds A Blaze, rating 1.55.5 over 1730m. The Cranley Memorial will be decided over 1730m and Hall is bubbling with confidence that five-year-old Soho Jackman will prove too speedy for his six rivals, including up-and-coming four-year-old Crusader Banner, who will be driven by his brother Clint. Both pacers are prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. "Soho Jackman is a good horse who begins fast and I expect him to lead from barrier one and win," Hall jun. said. However, Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is adamant that Soho Jackman is not a past-the post proposition. He gives his runner, the Victorian-bred six-year-old Real Hammer, a strong winning chance. Real Hammer, a winner at 13 of his 56 starts has been an erratic and hard-to-control pacer for much of his career, which included a stint under the care of Hall sen. when Hall jun. drove him eight times for two wins. Real Hammer has a history of racing erratically and pulling hard. Real Hammer has not appeared for six weeks, when he was inclined to hang in and raced at the rear before finishing last behind Zacs Nuggett over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Real Hammer, a noted frontrunner, charged home from the rear to win a race over 2185m at Pinjarra at his previous outing. He was an all-the-way winner, rating 1.55.6 over 1730m at Gloucester Park three starts before that. Olivieri said that Real Hammer was becoming far more tractable following some gear changes. "He went to Byford on Sunday morning and you wouldn't believe how well-mannered he was in his trial," he said. "He came out very well from behind the mobile and sat behind the pacemaker Sensational Gabby before finishing second to her, coming home in 57.8sec. and 27.1sec. "I was very pleased with the trial and the draw (No. 2) for Friday night. I'm using a new lugging bit on him and he raced tractably. Whether he does it in a race, I don't know. I have also made a change to his head gear and he will race with block blinkers. He ran with the blinkers in Sunday's trial and they are settling him down instead of stirring him up." Hall jun. said he considered Real Hammer to have no hope of beginning fast enough to wrest the early lead from Soho Jackman. "If Soho Jackman is to be beaten, it will be by Crusader Banner," he said. Crusader Banner has been untroubled to win at his past three starts in which his average winning margin has been 11 metres. Chris Lewis has chosen to handle Real Hammer in preference to speedy frontrunner Blissfull Boy, who will start from barrier three. Trainer Kevin Charles has engaged Dylan Egerton-Green to drive Blissfull Boy. The Hall camp has a third runner in the event, The Ragpickers Dream, who faces a tough task from the No. 6 barrier. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old has a losing sequence of 16 and will be driven by Kim Prentice. The Cranley Memorial has been run nine times and Hall sen. and Hall jun. combined to win with El Padrino, who raced without cover before getting to the front 520m from home and then holding on to defeat the fast-finishing Dhoni by a nose in 2012, after finishing second with Im Themightyquinn in 2008 and third with My Jasami in 2011. Lewis was successful with the Alan Bell-trained Mister Veejays Fella in 2009. Williams to drive Zacs Nuggett Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson has engaged Robbie Williams to drive Zacs Nuggett in the McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the eight-year-old should maintain his excellent form by proving too tough for his 11 rivals over his pet journey of 2536m. Zacs Nuggett is an M3-class performer and is able to contest Friday night's event restricted to M0 to M2-class runners with Howson taking advantage of Williams's concession as a junior reinsman. Zacs Nuggett has the ability to overcome the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. Williams, who will be having his first drive behind the West Australian-bred pacer, looks set to send Zacs Nuggett forward in the first lap to race in the breeze outside either Grand Cru or Tuapeka Kahu. Grand Cru (barrier two) and Tuapeka Kahu (three) are smart frontrunners, with the Mike Reed-trained Grand Cru bringing up his second win in a row with an all-the-way success over 2620m at Northam on Tuesday of last week and Tuapeka Kahu (trained by Greg and Skye Bond) finishing an encouraging second behind Jaccka Felix last Friday night after all-the-way wins in successive starts in August. Howson drove Zacs Nuggett at his most recent outing, last Friday week, when the hardy gelding raced three wide early and then in the breeze before winning from Bet Your Life and Romulus over 2130m. "He has thrived since that win and should again prove hard to beat," Howson declared. Williams also has bright prospects with Dashing Christian, who has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Gannon's Pacing Colours Pace. Williams will attempt an all-the-way victory with the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old who has been unplaced at his past two starts from back-line draws, following an all-the-way success with Williams in the sulky, over 2130m on August 29. Dashing Christian is one of five runners in Friday night's race who are prepared by ace trainer Gary Hall sen. The other Hall runners are Soho Highroller (Micheal Ferguson), Some Kinda Tactics (Stuart McDonald), Heez Orl Black (Tom Buchanan) and Jaccka Felix (Dylan Egerton-Green). Heez Orl Black is racing keenly and is capable of a bold showing from barrier two on the back line. The richly-talented Bettors Fire also makes strong appeal at his second appearance after a lengthy spell. Bettors Fire, to be driven by his trainer Kyle Harper, is the class runner and should fight out the finish, despite the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. He covered a lot of extra ground when a splendid first-up sixth behind Some Kinda Tactics over 1730m last Friday week. Three Blind Mice poised for first-up win Brilliant, lightly-raced pacer Three Blind Mice should make a triumphant return to racing and send punters home on a happy note by winning the final event, the 2130m Alltools Pathway Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Busselton trainer-reinsman Matt White said that Three Blind Mice was on target to contest the feature events for four-year-olds this season, including the McInerney Classic and Golden Nugget Championship. "That's the plan, to have him peaking for those big races," said White, who has taken over the preparation of Three Blind Mice from the gelding's part-owner Barry Howlett. White recently acquired his A-grade trainer's licence and has already prepared five winners. Three Blind Mice gave a superb performance to set the pace and win the WA Derby from Elegant Christian and Machtu early last April. He then led and won at Bunbury and Harvey at his following two starts before going for a spell. White took Three Blind Mice to Pinjarra to contest a 2185m trial on Sunday morning and was fully satisfied with his performance, finishing a head second to the pacemaker Awesum Teddy, rating 1.58 after dashing over the final two 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 27.9sec. "It was a good hit-out," White said. "Three Blind Mice sat behind the leader before finishing strongly," he said. "They rolled along a bit and he hit the line together with Awesum Teddy. "From barrier four on Friday night I'll probably roll forward and I'd like to think he will get to the front. He's only a C2-class pacer and his next start probably will be in the country." The only possible danger to Three Blind Mice on Friday night appears to be smart four-year-old High Courage, who will be driven by Gary Hall jun. for his father, leading trainer Gary Hall sen. High Courage, who has won at six of his 18 starts, will begin from the outside of the front line. An easy all-the-way winner over 2130m at Gloucester Park three starts ago, he had an extremely tough run in the breeze when a fighting third behind stablemate Crusader Banner over 1730m last Friday night. "He's race fit and will make a race of it with Three Blind Mice," said Hall jun. "However, the draw makes it tough for High Courage." Prentice hoping for winning run to continue Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice, fresh from winning with Tasmanian Bromac at Pinjarra on Monday and Kiralin and Bettor Dreams at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening, has high hopes of ending the week on a high note by driving promising four-year-old Where Dreams Grow to victory in the first heat of the Melbourne Cup Luncheon Preux Chevalier Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The WA-bred Where Dreams Grow has struck a purple patch with four wins and a second placing from her past six starts. She has fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the back line. However, Prentice is quietly confident that she will prove to be an excellent each-way chance, with her chief rivals Harriet Elisabeth (barrier three on the back line), Diamonds A Blaze (barrier seven) and Robyns C C (six) drawing poorly. "Where Dreams Grow has the ability to win from the No. 12 barrier," Prentice said. "She has been going very well and felt super at her latest outing, at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. "She felt really good and switched on at Pinjarra and repeating that performance she should finish in the money on Friday night and qualify for the final. She's reasonably strong and pretty quick as well. "She has got a tricky draw, but the three who appear hardest to beat have all drawn awkwardly. I'll see how things pan out early and then I'll probably put her into the race at some stage." Prentice said that he would nominate Kiralin for the second heat of this event in a bid to qualify her for the final. He has been training Kiralin, a five-year-old by Elsu, for four weeks and produced her in fine fettle for her first start since mid-August. Prentice is also looking forward to driving standing-start specialist Multibet for the first time on Friday night when the Jess Moore-trained seven-year-old begins from the inside of the front line in the Sky Racing Handicap over 2503m. Multibet ran home solidly on the inside from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Medley Moose and Bashful Compton in the group 3 Kalgoorlie Cup at huis latest outing. Earl of Charity a real bargain Young horseman Michael Young, Courtney Burch and Brett Archibald made a wise decision to out lay just $6000 six weeks ago to purchase Victorian-bred trotter Earl of Charity. The seven-year-old will start from the inside of the front line in the $17,500 Slater Gartrell Sports Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night and reinsman Gary Hall jun. is full of confidence that he will maintain his winning form. "If he gets away in the stand and leads I don't think they'll see which way he went," Hall said. "If he doesn't lead, he could still win. He's quite a nice horse and as long as he settles, he can come from anywhere." Earl of Charity is trained by Gary Hall sen. and he made an impressive debut for the Hall stable when he started from the 30m mark, and despite breaking in running, he was prominent throughout before winning from Keepyaguardup and Conquer All over 2503m last Tuesday week. "He was in good form when we got him, but had a few issues, with pulling," Hall jun. said. "I think that being in a big stable has helped him and he has settled down a lot. He never used to get away in stands. He got away at his first start for us, off 30m. And he did get away off the front in a trial. "Late in August Michael Young approached the owners, but he didn't really expect them to sell. However, they agreed to sell him for $6000." Young seized the opportunity to buy the gelding, who was due to contest a race at Pinjarra a couple of days later. He agreed to let part-owner Terry Wegner start him at Pinjarra, with the proviso that the two parties share any prizemoney. Earl of Charity, who had won at his previous start, repeated the dose with Wegner guiding the gelding to victory over Idle Maple and All Flair. The new owners had an immediate return and gained half of the $4485 first prize. Then Earl of Charity earned $4550 with his first-up success with the Hall camp. by Ken Casellas

If we could hear it 'from the horse's mouth', it's pretty obvious what harness racing superstar Smoken Up will be wishing for. With today (1st of September) the beginning of the Australian season, Smoken Up and his standardbred counterparts are celebrating their birthday. Marking his 12th birthday with a party and cake at trainer Lance Justice's stable in Melton, Victoria, Smoken Up is on the verge of retirement. To be more precise, the son of Tinted Cloud is due to have his last start at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Taking that into consideration, Smoken Up is likely to be wishing for a 'fairytale ending'...least that's what Justice and the gelding's connections are looking to achieve with the multi millionaire. Justice was fortunate to enjoy a perfect end to former stable star Sokyola's career at Moonee Valley on June 22, 2007 when the son of Soky's Atom accounted for The Warp Drive and The Phantoms Guest. "We were lucking enough to have a happy ending with Sokyola and with a bit of luck we can enjoy the same with Smoken Up at Tabcorp Park next Saturday night," Justice said. "We will know how our chances are shaping up a little better on Tuesday when the fields come out and can see where he has drawn. "I'm a realist and am fully aware it's unlikely to happen, but at the same time we can enjoy the ride, hope for a good draw and then hope for the best on race night. "Whether he wins or not, it's going to be a joyful and sad occasion at the same time as it's the end of an era." Successful upon debut for Justice at Yarra Valley on March 8, 2007, Smoken Up has registered a further 71 victories and 48 placings from 141 starts for earnings of $3,588,949 to be Australasia's third richest pacer behind Blacks A Fake ($4,575,438) and Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456). His wins include two Miracle Miles, four South Australia Cups, four Len Smith Miles and the Victoria Cup, with his best time of 1:48.5 coming at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 30, 2011. Smoken Up has claimed 13 Group Ones across the Southern Hemisphere, won at 15 tracks and set numerous records, including becoming the first standardbred on this side of the equator to better 1:50. PAUL COURTS

FOLLOWERS of star Tasmanian pacer Beautide should not be concerned about the Inter Dominion champion finishing last in a trial at Menangle on Tuesday. Beautide finished tailed out last in a field of six beaten over 34 metres but his trainer James Rattray says there is no cause for alarm. "This was his first time to the trials since his spell and I wasn't going to knock him about by running a slick time," Rattray said. "A couple of those horses had been to the trials two or more times and they ran along a bit, clocking a rate of 53 (1.53.49) but I only wanted my horse to run a rate of about 1.56 so that's what we did." "If that meant Beau finished last beaten about 30 metres then so be it." "He will be back to Menangle next week for another trial and he will go a bit quicker." "We'll wait until he gets into a race before we open him up," Rattray said. Beautide spent about six weeks in the paddock after he captured the Len Smith Mile at the end of his last campaign that also included victory in the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion Championship final. Peter Staples

STAR Tasmanian pacer Beautide will contest a trial at Menangle today over 1609 metres in what will be his first solid hit-out since winning the Len Smith Mile in April. Beautide had a stellar season winning the Miracle Mile-Inter Dominion double and capped his winning streak with victory in the Len Smith to give him three Group 1 victories for the season to ensure he will be voted Australasian Horse of the Year. The James Rattray-trained gelding will be set for a similar campaign that he endured this season. The rising seven-year-old has amassed stake earnings of $1.338 million with his record of 40 wins and 10 minor placings from 60 starts making him one of the best performed Tasmanian-bred pacers of all time. Beautide (Bettors Delight-Gorse Bush) was bred by the Rattray Family Trust at the family's trainer-breeding complex at Longford, just south of Launceston in central Tasmania. Beautide is expected to have three or four trials before he lines up in a race. His trial is scheduled to start at 5.40 pm today and is likely to be shown on Sky Channel 1 during a news bulletin. The trial field. By Peter Staples

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  

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