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Integrity, rules as well as equine injury identification and care were just some of the topics discussed at last Saturday's Professional Development Course at Bathurst Paceway. Endorsed by Harness Racing New South Wales, three-day courses are being offered to junior participants to help further their knowledge of the sport and help them take that next step in their professional careers. Topics covered in the first session included sports psychology and goal setting, nutrition and social media to name a few. During the second session, the HRNSW integrity panel, consisting of stewards' Daniel Westwood and Michael Jasprizza and regulatory veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott, used short films and hands-on interaction with a horse to demonstrate their points. "The highlight of the day was the final topic delivered in the barn at the Bathurst track by Martin Wainscott," HRNSW Youth Development Officer Barry McColl said. "Martin's briefing around horse injuries, identification and care was excellent and featured hands-on interaction with a horse in the stalls. "Given that most of the participants work already as stablehands, this specific presentation was really connected to by the participants." Meanwhile, Miracle Mile winning reinsman Mat Rue also addressed the attendees on tactical driving. The third session in Bathurst is scheduled to take place on February 3, 2018, where participants will undergo media training, alcohol and social drug advice and working with owners. This three-day Professional Development Course will then head to the Riverina region and is scheduled to take place in Wagga on February 10, 17 and March 3. For more information please contact HRNSW Youth Development Officer Barry McColl on AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Harness racing trainer Bernie Hewitt holds a strong hand in this year’s Soldiers Saddle Series, after the bold showing by his stable in last Wednesday’s heats at Bathurst Gold Crown Paceway. Hewitt trained two of the three heat winners, driving one of those himself, and got a quinella result in both races for good measure. In all, he qualified seven runners plus a first emergency for this week’s semi-finals. With the centenary re-enactment of the famous Light Horse Brigade charge at Beersheba still fresh in our minds, one of the Hewitt heat winners Hez All Courage could well be the topical tip for the Bathurst RSL- sponsored series. The Courage Under Fire gelding, first up after the Breeders Challenge Three-Year-Old Regional Final in July, slotted into the one-one trail for Anthony Frisby, who was able to bide his time until turning in, and the combination charged down the centre of the track for a convincing win. In relegating the leader I'm With Lexy, for Hewitt, into second place, the combination rated a commendable 1:56.3 for the 1730 metres, with final quarters in 27.5 and 28.4 seconds. It was another quinella for the stable in the final heat, but this time Hewitt drove the winner, Little Bit Dusty, coming away from a pegs trail to overhaul the death-seating Taylor's Reason (son Doug Hewitt) close to the line. This heat, too, was no place for the faint-hearted, with the speed building up to final quarters of 28.2 and 28.3 seconds and a 1:56.8 mile rate. Hewitt has done a fine job with the winner, taking plenty of time to sort out his erratic running. After lots and lots of re-shoeing, a number of changes to his gear and four trips to the trials, the five-year-old is undeserving of that name, with two wins now from three runs for the stable. As impressive as those later winners proved to be, the standout performance came in the opening heat, taken out by Redbelly Jack for Londonderry father-son combination Michael and Nathan Xuereb. Nathan settled the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding at the tail of the field before commencing a three-wide move on entering the back straight. He showed blistering speed to clear the field in a 27.0 seconds third quarter, opening up a big break round the turn and showing resolute determination to hold on strongly for a 13 metres margin back to Dream To Share, in a 1:54.9 mile rate. His driver later explained that his original intention had been to park in the death seat, but the horse was feeling so good when he got there that he decided to let him loose. It was some run, brave for both horse and driver, and very much in keeping with the spirit of the night. Other winners at the meeting: Spare The Price (Amy Rees for Chris Frisby), an easy win in the C1-C3 opener, leading throughout and the 1:56.5 mile rate setting the standard for very slick times all evening. Sabrage NZ (Steve Turnbull), all-the-way in a C4-C7 sprint, Steve outsmarting this moody customer by not holding him up till the turn and instead letting him run freely, the 27.4 seconds third quarter setting up the 1:56.4 win. Double Event, 1:56.3 in the fast-class sprint, for the Menangle duo of David Morris and Harry Martin, the ownership trio of Gadsby, Lockwood and Martin reviving memories of Harry’s wonderful champ Double Identity. This bloke might not be that good, but it was a gutsy win. Switowski, the second leg of a training double for Steve Turnbull, with Mitch Turnbull leading throughout in the first division of the C0 sprint, and another to put the foot down along the back, with a 27.7 seconds third quarter. Always Mysterious, all-the-way in the second C0 division, for another father-son combination in David and Justin Reynolds, the second successive win for the Always A Virgin mare since resuming from a year-long break, and the eighth win for her modest driver. Aphorism (Anthony Frisby for Ben Settree), leading throughout the Kevin & Kay Seymour Evolution Series heat, bringing up a driving double for Frisby and a successive wins for the cleverly-named youngster whose dam is a half to Caribbean Blaster. Semi-Finals of the Soldiers Saddle take place at Gold Crown Paceway this Wednesday night, with the $15,000 Final the highlight on Friday week, December 15, to honour the Anzac Light Horse Brigade. Terry Neil

Whittaker, the classy New Zealand-bred four-year-old, has been creating headlines since his Aussie harness racing debut in late October, and he again provided plenty of copy options with a simply sensational effort in taking out last Friday’s Star Trek Final at Bathurst’s Group One Feeds Paceway. Impressive heat and semi-final wins had ensured he would start very short despite a second-row draw over the sprint trip, but the manner of the win - dominant, arrogant even - left the season’s biggest crowd to date thinking they might just have witnessed something quite special, from a very serious racehorse. Ashlee Grives had the $1.50 elect well away at release, settling mid-field in the running line, but with 1200 metres to go she sent the Sportswriter son three-wide around the field, and there he remained for the rest of the trip. Along the back, Bernie Hewitt and leader Im With Lexy upped the ante with a 27.8 seconds quarter, as Whittaker made ground out wide, then these two singled out from the pack turning in, with Whittaker asserting his dominance half-way down the running to draw away by almost four metres for what might almost be called a “soft” win. A final quarter of 28.1 seconds completed a 55.9 seconds last half and a mile rate of 1:54.8, good at any time but quite outstanding in the circumstances. Grives revealed at the race presentation that trainer Mark Jones and owner Greg Brodie- in whose Courage Under Fire colours the four-year-old races - are setting him for the Chariots Of Fire at  Menangle next February. He’ll have some races there, on his home track, in coming weeks. There’s a long way to go till that race and that sort of company, but the horse has been all quality in his runs to date and he looks capable of working his way to that level. His driver graciously corrected her mistaken view from the previous week that the horse was named for a cage fighter, confirming that the Sportswriter son is indeed named after the late racing writer Bill Whittaker, a name that Greg Brodie apparently went to considerable trouble to obtain from the N.Z. authorities. So Whittaker NZ is the real deal, in every sense! The win concluded a wonderful week for Grives. She trained and drove a double at Menangle the previous Saturday with My Lucky Belle and Isle Of Man, then a few minutes later enjoyed watching her wonderful mare Ameretto, in the care of Kerryn Manning, take out another feature at Melton, rating 1:51 after working three-wide over the final lap. She concedes, with a grin, that Kerryn Manning won’t be giving Ameretto back any time soon “without a custody battle”, and the same situation probably applies to herself and the driving duties with Whittaker. Chris Frisby, proprietor of Bedwells Feed Barn, the sponsor of the Star Trek series, had a successful night, taking the minor place in the final behind Whittaker and Im With Lexy with Chittybangbang NZ, then following up with a win by Spare The Price in C3 grade. The Star Trek Series marks the beginning of feature racing at Bathurst for the new season. Another traditional series - the Soldiers Saddle, for C1-C2 up-and-comers - runs through till mid-December, to whet the appetite for the feature Boxing Night Carnival of Cups meeting, featuring the $50,000 Group 2 Shirley Turnbull Memorial, the McCarthy Memorial and the Western Districts Derby. The Carnival of Cups rolls in to the western districts next Sunday, November 19, when Blayney conducts its feature meeting, highlighted by the running of the Bill Soo Memorial Blayney Cup. Terry Neil

Bernie Hewitt, along with wife Cathy, will be the proudest of parents at next Monday’s wedding of their daughter Gemma to leading driver Mat Rue, but he cast all sentiment aside, and put them firmly in their place, when successful in the final race at Wednesday’s Group One Feeds Paceway meeting. Just as Mat Rue, driving the Gemma Hewitt-trained Swift Bet, looked likely to score an all-the-way win in the C0 sprint, Hewitt charged home from the one-one with Cobbity Cardio for a strong win. And with Just A Kool Joe working clear down the running, the young couple had to settle for the minor place. There’ll be a very different script at next Monday’s ceremony, but perhaps the Port Douglas location, as well as all the regular “exes”,  figured in Bernie Hewitt’s reaction straight after his win: “ It’s okay for Gem and Mat, they’ve got all the time in the world to save up, but I’ve been going flat out the last few months to win as much as I can for this!” Tongue-in-cheek, or even slightly serious, it was accompanied by a wide grin which indicated genuine delight that the family could enjoy a win in what was the very last race before they all headed north the following day. A pre-wedding toast, from the father of the bride. Steve Martin couldn’t have done it any better! If this final race was a triumph for age and cunning, the earlier results were in large part a testament to youth and promise, with Mitchell Turnbull scoring a driving treble, for three separate family members. Lockton Luck, for brother Josh, resumed from a six-month break in a C2 Menangle Country Series heat, handing up to favourite My Bettor Bella NZ and reeling it in via the sprint lane, with a 27.4 second closing quarter to round out a 1:56.9 trip. In the C4-C7 sprint that followed, last season’s Horse-of-the-Year Sportygal, for father Steve, combined with the Junior Driver-of-the-Year for a tough win from the death-seat, just edging out Gotta Bewitched NZ, which had the drop on it for most of the trip. Those two winners started at each-way odds, in even fields, but that was certainly not the case with the final leg of the Mitch Turnbull treble. Quaint Glen NZ, for sister Amanda, started at odds-on in the Kevin and Kay Seymour Celebrating 50 Years  mares class, and the Pay Me Christian daughter earned her Queensland owners a free service to either Hurrikane King Cole or Gotta Go Cullect with an easy front-running win, slipping home in 56.8 seconds under wraps. Her youthful driver was naturally pleased by his treble, but especially so because it involved three other members of his close-knit family. Other winners on a true winter’s night at Bathurst: Panther Star, for Steve Jones and Nathan Hurst ( who earned the Drive-of-the-Night award from racecaller Anthony Manton), in a C0/C1 sprint, coming from a mile back and sustaining his effort right to the line in a very impressive win  for his Bathurst Panthers RL syndicate of owners; Ring The Till NZ (Steve Turnbull), maintaining his unbeaten record in this country with another tough effort, working to the death in C2/C3 grade and pulling away easily in the straight, with a soft 27.9 final quarter. His Dubbo part-owner Jack Shanks is reliving some of the fun he enjoyed with a very good pacer named Quamby’s Pride, a Queensland Derby winner in 1980; Cherry Sweet Peach, which won the C0  Menangle Where Horses Fly heat, Nathan Hoy cleverly dodging some home-straight disruption and coming with a strong run down the outside, to make up for her own bad luck with a flat tyre at her previous start; Miss Ives, in a C0 sprint that also featured some home-straight confusion as several runners locked wheels. It didn’t affect this result, with trainer-driver Greg Rue  merely observing the chaos back over his shoulder as he took the death-seating mare to a clear-cut win. This was a win for the uncle of-the-groom, and a nice lead-in to the father-of-the-bride. Terry Neil  

With three premiership wins for season 2016-17 and a host of trainers and drivers ranked in the top 10, Bathurst has once more proved to be a force of the Harness Racing New South Wales ranks. When the season concluded on August 31, Amanda Turnbull topped both the leading female driver and overall drivers’ state premierships with 187 winners. She also ranked fourth in the metropolitan drivers’ premiership, sixth in the trainers’ premiership and second in the leading female trainer battle. Her father Steve was once more crowned NSW’s leading trainer with 172 winners. It was the fourth time this decade he has won that title, adding to success in 2014-15, 2013-14 and 2013-12. On top of that, Mat Rue (100 winners) and Mitch Turnbull (64) both placed in the top 10 drivers, with Turnbull also picking up third spot on the concession drivers’ table. Angela Hedges (38), Emma Turnbull (27) and Ashlee Grives (25) rated amongst the most successful female drivers, while Grives (19) and Wendy Turnbull (24) ranked in the top 10 leading female trainers in the state. Georges Plains reinsman Bernie Hewitt (69) ranked amongst the leading trainers. “It just shows what a strong region Bathurst is for harness racing, we are very lucky,” Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Marianne Donnelly said. “It was great to see Mat get to 100, it came down to his last two drives for the season, but he got there. “Mitch has also won our junior driver premiership as well, he has done very well over the last season.” By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Bathurst will kick off a new season with a new harness racing series. The Evolution Series is a new initiative from the Harness Racing New South Wales designed to give NSW Breeders Challenge eligible and sustained three-year-olds more opportunities to race against each other. Races in the series are restricted to 3C0 and 3C1 graded horses who have not won more than $40,000 in their career. Bathurst will host a heat this Wednesday as the penultimate race of the meeting. The race is shaping up to be a two-horse battle between Chris Frisby’s Uncle Ryan and David Hewitt’s Madame Leza. The pair will likely be fighting for favouritism in the lead up to the event – and their no strangers to racing against one another. Frisby’s gelding has finished inside the top two across his last five starts while Madame Leza bested Uncle Ryan by just a head in her latest run at Menangle. Heats in the Evolution Series are worth $10,000 and will lead to a $20,000 final to be held at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The only months the Evolution Series will not be held are March, May, June and July due to the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival and the NSW Breeders Challenge. The series is a statewide initiative which involves tracks across the Metropolitan, Hunter/North West, South West Riverina and Western Districts areas. Separate fillies series and colts and geldings series will start from January. Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate    

It would have been well after midnight when Barry and Rhonda Lew arrived back home to Dubbo after racing at Bathurst on Wednesday night but Ronnie Lew had one more visit to make before turning in for a well earned rest. And that was to Karloo Mick’s headstone, close to the house in their back garden. She and Barry had “a yarn with Mick” earlier on, before setting off for the races, because it was 12 months to the day since his passing. Now, after scoring a double - and a third win for friend and travelling companion Peter Gavin- she wanted to say thanks to their champion and mate. “I might go and sit on his headstone and have a beer with him!” enthused Ronnie. The Lew double commenced with Karloo Damajor, which worked his way to the lead in the early stages of a 2260 metres fast class, off a quick lead time, before taking the field through an unusually slick middle half of 56.7 seconds, and fighting on strongly to hold off trailer Gotta Bewitched. It brought up a hat-trick for the four-year-old Art Major son, with driver Mat Rue (who earned Anthony Manton’s Drive of the Night award) noting they’d been scored from a trail, the death seat and now the lead, to underline his versatility. Three races later, it was the turn of Karloo Threeothree, in C4 class, after parking outside favourite Rocknroll Angel and showing plenty of Karloo Mick’s true grit to get the decision by a half-head margin. The win took the Mach Three gelding’s record this term to six wins from 15 starts and, more importantly, it gave him Juvenile Horse of the Year honours at Bathurst in the last few strides of the season, much like his victory in the race itself. In the following race, the first of two 3YO sprints, Peter Gavin’s lightly-raced Big Bill completed that Dubbo treble, and a Mat Rue driving treble,  by leading throughout. The win took Rue to 99 wins for the season, and with drives in each of the remaining three races, with an especially strong chance in the last, the odds looked stacked in his favour to grab a ton for the third time. Rue, a cricketing tragic, was not so sure, and commented after Big Bill’s win: ” I remember Michael Slater getting out on 99 so many times- I’m feeling pretty nervous right now!” That proved to be something of a premonition. He placed third, behind the death-seating Nicky Beau (Nathan Hurst for Mat McCarthy) in the second of the 3YO sprints; ran unplaced in the 2YO sprint taken out in superb fashion by Weona Luke (David Hewitt) which gave the field a start after an early gallop; and then led until the final strides in the last, a maiden, only to be collared on the line by Pretty Foxy, trained and driven by his uncle Greg Rue. (Mat Rue subsequently drove two runners at Penrith on Thursday night - the final meeting of the season- for his future father-in-law Bernie Hewitt, getting that prized century in the opening race. A quick single to win, off the second last ball of the match?) Angela Hedges had earlier scored an impressive win with the Nathan Hurst-trained Tulhurst Santanna in the C1-C2 Western Districts Championships Final. She charged the three-year-old out of the gate to clear the field by the first turn, then eased the speed through the first half before sprinting again in a 28.2 third quarter, and held on stoutly in 28.9 seconds to hold off death-seater Lethal Promise and Hez Razor Sharp. “He’s my favourite horse in the stable”, she declared, understandably given his excellent record of seven wins this season, including his last four in succession - “and this is a race I really wanted to win, to put Kevin in his place for giving me plenty of grief.” Kevin Hurst, after the race, recalled the little Santanna Blue Chip weanling colt, at an Alabar Broodmare Sale, poking his head out through the fence for a pat, a subsequent bid that doubled his purchases on the day,  and many explanations to the family when he returned home! He’s more than happy now, with how it all panned out. Mitch Turnbull had his first race drive behind Write About Me (for brother Nathan) in the opening C0-C1 sprint, and blasted from the gate in an 8.0s lead time to lead throughout for an easy win, to complete his season in characteristic winning vein. Ash Grives, on the other hand, is very accustomed to Isle Of Man, and in the earlier C4 class, drove him  the way that suits, running them along strongly with even quarters, and maintaining it right to the line as his opposition weakened. The perfect combination of a horse’s racing style and driver’s tactics, you’d have to say. A full list of all the 2016/2017 Bathurst HRC premierships will be published in next week’s report. by Terry Neil

David Hewitt mightn't have the numbers to challenge the domination of the Turnbull clan in the harness racing training and driving premierships at Bathurst but the Goulburn harness racing mentor is finishing the season in scintillating fashion with his juvenile runners. He was successful in the final two races at last Wednesday's Group One Feeds Paceway fixture - for the second week in a row - and trained the quinella in one of them, for good measure. Both were two-year-old races, emphasising the strength of his juvenile team, and he will undoubtedly be looking forward to further successes with them in the new season that beckons. The small field of just five runners didn't lessen the interest and excitement of a desperately close finish to the colts and geldings division, where Hewitt elected to bring trailer Boyd Writer to the outside at the top of the lane to challenge the leader Lifes A Jungle, just as his stablemate Weona Luke came with a strong run out wider after enjoying the one-one sit throughout. The three of them settled down for a real battle the length of the straight, with Boyd Writer winning the fight over his stablemate, not far ahead of the gallant Lifes A Jungle. At just his second start, following a debut third at the track three weeks earlier, the Sportswriter gelding rated a commendable 1:57.3 for the sprint trip, earning high praise from his trainer-driver who indicated that he hadn't asked him for much until quite recently. "I think a lot of him," was high praise indeed from the measured and normally understated Hewitt. In the fillies division, he dictated terms with Modern Art daughter Madame Leza, easily holding off the death-seating Alex Pollizzi, and rating just a touch slower than his stablemate earlier, though the final half of 57.7s was better. It was the third win in seven starts for the youngster, who will most likely have some time off now before taking on better races next season. That's an easy decision for Hewitt, who co-owns the filly with his wife Maree. This week's duo, and Stone Cracker, a heat winner who placed fourth in the Gold Crown Final back in March, will give him a strong hand in the new season's three-year-old events. Amanda Turnbull might have the bigger team, but she is also coming home with a wet sail, scoring a training/driving treble, and filling the runner-up spot in a further three races , at Wednesday 's meeting. She used the sprint lane to score a narrow win with Dream To Share NZ in C0/C1 grade and led throughout with Miss Vera Mac NZ in C2/C3 company, both of those in Menangle Country Series heats, and then led from mid-race with Our Apache Miss in a C0 sprint, to complete the hat-trick. The last-named is a recent newcomer to her stable, and when offered the roan Armbro Operative daughter by Blake Micallef, she jumped at the opportunity, mainly because of that colour. The "I love greys!" explanation will remind most people of Amanda Turnbull partnering one of her all-time favourites Im Blue Double Dee to a string of Cup wins en route to more than $200,000 in earnings. No wonder she was sporting a big smile as she said it! Her runners-up Sportygal (behind Casino Tommy, for Nathan Turnbull in C2-C4 class) and Hidden Courage ( to repeat winner Karloo Damajor, for John O'Shea in the fast-class) both sit just one win off the leaders in the Horse-of -the-Year and Juvenile Horse-of-the-Year titles, with just two meetings remaining this season. Stephanie Burley, who scored her third Bathurst win with Our Emancipation NZ, leading and holding on in a desperate struggle with Quaint Glen in a conditioned class for mares, received the Drive-of-the-Night award from racecaller Anthony Manton. Her Auckland-based parents, for whom she trains the Real Desire daughter, no doubt welcomed the win as a diversion from the week's Kiwi-Aussie political crisis! by Terry Neil Fields for Bathurst, Wednesday 23 August 2017 Form guide for Bathurst, Wednesday 23 August 2017

After all the excitement and glory of Group One success at the Breeders Challenge just three days earlier, Amanda Turnbull and Bernie Hewitt were happy to settle for "home ground" harness racing victories at Group One Feeds Paceway on Wednesday night. Before a much smaller crowd, and in true winter conditions that were a test for even the hardiest of souls, they accounted for three of the eight races, on a night dominated by the Turnbull and Hewitt clans. Amanda grabbed a double, to share driving honours with father Steve - between them, they won the first half of the program - while Bernie took out the sixth event before he and his son Doug supplied the placings for a Hewitt trifecta, behind brother Mark, in the 2YO race that closed out the meeting. And Bernie's nephew Dennis Picker added to the Hewitt-family tally by supplying one of Steve Turnbull's winners, Rave On Rabbits, in the 3YO race, where he drove the runner-up for a stable quinella,remarkably one of five for the night. Sunday's double success at Menangle clearly paved the way for a night full of doubles up in the cold country come Wednesday night! Steve Turnbull's mastery was on display in the opening C1/C2 sprint, where he allowed Annie Matilda to settle towards the tail of the field in a fast-run affair before tracking into the race on the turn and powering home for a 1:55.9 victory. And those who were prepared to forget the mare's inglorious effort in a Rising Stars heat at Young, and instead remember her win for Turnbull two runs back, must have been giggling to themselves at her $33.90 starting quote. In the fourth, a 3C0/3C1 sprint, Steve Turnbull got the best out of Rave On Rabbits, to overcome Showem Simon in a hard-fought finish, for that Picker quinella and a very jubilant track invasion by the well-known and popular Bourke family, who race the winner in between barracking for their beloved Rabbitohs. Amanda drove the intervening two winners, and for good measure Steve drove both runners-up, for stable quinellas. Hidden Courage sprinted sharply from the running line for a narrow but authoritative win over Sportygal in the 2260 metres C2/C3 second, making it three wins now from his last four runs, and earning praise from his driver: " a very good effort for a three-year -old to beat this class of horse." Smithstars Lexus was locked up three-fence in the 2260 metres conditioned third, and stormed along the vacated sprint lane for an easy win, with Steve trailing through behind her to grab second with Holdonsu. Racecaller Anthony Manton made it his Bathurst RSL Drive of the Night award. Chris Frisby - Steve Turnbull's brother-in-law, and a very good trainer in his own right - started three runners in the 2260 metres C1 fifth and - you guessed it - got a quinella result. Mat Rue rated Our Wall Street Wolf NZ to perfection, slipping home in 57s for an easy win from the trailer Sharon's Sheralee NZ ( Stephanie Burley). Ima Black Beauty isn't quite up to the likes of Bernie Hewitt's Breeders Challenge winner Royal Story, but she's pretty handy nevertheless, and Wednesday's all-the-way win for Bernie, in a C0 sprint,  was her fourth this season and took her earnings north of $50K. Doug Hewitt enjoyed a nice trail in the one-one with Gunna Cullect and chased hard down the straight for a fighting second and yet another stable quinella. Ace Of Cardens (Nathan Hurst for Steve Jones) outstayed favourite Volaticus in the sprint-trip Maiden seventh, to provide the most sentimental win of the meeting, for owner Shona Stewart who has retained several of the horses she raced with her  partner Mark Rawsthorne, who passed away tragically last year. The field had a collective 218 race starts, the winner being one of the least experienced runners, with just four previous starts. Nathan Hurst, who only sees the horse on race nights, believes he's capable of getting another win in the right race. Mark Hewitt, who's always been regarded as a dab hand with juveniles, lived up to his reputation when successful with Our Jack Starr NZ in the 2YO final event, improving from its debut second a week earlier to lead throughout in 1:59.3 with a 57.3s final half .The winner is a striking type by American Ideal, and should furnish into a magnificent three-year -old, with hopefully the ability to match .It was appropriate that Doug and Bernie Hewitt should drive the placegetters, for a Hewitt trifecta. Mark and Amanda Turnbull have their own family connection, of the equine kind. Amanda's Group One win last Sunday was achieved with four-year-old mare Eye See Diamonds, a half-sister to Two Eye See which Mark trained and drove to win the Seymour Classic a few years back,  both Group One winners being bred by the Gibson family. A well-timed night for two of our finest families, and what better venue than the appropriately-named Group One Feeds Paceway. by Terry Neil Race programme for Bathurst, Wednesday 05 July 2017

Mat Rue was more that happy with his double at Wednesday’s Group 1 Feeds Paceway (Bathurst) fixture but his mind was fixed on a more important  harness racing engagement later in the week. Mister Haywood produced a sharp sprint from the one-one to run away with the C2-C5 opener, for the Blayney Trainer Phil Bourke, and two races later Karloo Kix showed real bottom in working three-wide over the final stages for a gutsy win in the fast class, for Dubbo trainer, Barry Lew. Rue took his season’s tally to 50 with the first leg of his double, and has now taken the first step towards converting that to a full century - a feat Amanda Turnbull accomplished in the final race, with two-year-old filly Art Series. "I haven’t has as many outside drives this season as I’ve built my own team, so the winners have been fewer than in the past, but if I can finish this season with 75 or 80, I’ll be more than happy,” was his personal report card. His team this season includes the very promising Callmequeenbee, a finalist in the hometown Gold Tiara, and subsequently a heat winner, semi-final placegetter and now finalist in Saturday’s night Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park Melton. “We had to draw one or eight to have a place chance, realistically, in the race. We’ve drawn eight, so we’ll see how she goes," Rue said. “She’s been at John Caldow’s since the semi-final, and the Syndicate that races her will be heading down for the race – three of them made it down last week for the semi – and they’re all really excited to be in the race.” Rue, whose career highlights include a Miracle Mile win with Baby Bling when he was part of the Luke McCarthy’s stable, has more recently become equally known as an accomplished trainer, and is offered horses by some high profile owners. Callmequeenbee, though, is very much a Bathurst girl, purchased by a local syndicate from the Sydney APG Sale who are having the time of their lives. If they win or place on Saturday Night, the cheers at Melton will be heard all the way back to Bathurst. For more information:   Marianne Donnelly  Sponsorship & Marketing  E :  W : P : 02 6333 5000 F : 02 6331 4397

Now we have a contest. Kiwi raider Lady Chatto has the barrier draw advantage to really test unbeaten Aussie filly Mysweetchilliphilly in Saturday night’s Group 1 Gold Tiara final at Bathurst. Lady Chatto looked good winning her Tiara heat at Bathurst last Wednesday, but Shane and Lauren Tritton’s Mysweetchilliphilly looked even better in considerably quicker time. “If she’d drawn inside us, then we were in trouble, but now we’ve got our chance,” said Lady Chatto’s driver Anthony Butt. “I was impressed with Lady Chatto in her heat, She pinged out of the gate, raced like a real pro and did it easily. “Obviously Mysweetchilliphilly ran quicker time and looked very good doing it, but the draw gives us our chance.” If Lady Chatto shows the early speed she did in her heat, she should work across to lead from gate six. In contrast, the unbeaten Mysweetchillyphilly, is drawn the back row (gate 10). “We’ve got a huge opinion of our filly,” co-trainer Shane Tritton said. “The draw makes it a race now. We are following out behind some speed, so we should get amongst it early.” Amazingly, Butt said this would only be the second time he has driven at Bathurst Gold Crown final night. “The other time was obviously on the old track 10 or 15 years ago when I drove in both the Crown and Tiara finals, but didn’t have any joy,” he said. Team Tritton is the dominant force at Bathurst as they also have unbeaten colt Divine State in the Crown final. He’s been so impressive winning his three starts, not even an outside draw (gate eight) will prevent he from dominating the betting. “Drawing out there doesn’t bother us. We are very happy with the draw,” Shane Tritton said Adam Hamilton

The big Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival might not just be all about Shane and Lauren Tritton. For the past two weeks, all the Bathurst talk has been about the Tritton’s star duo – filly My Sweetchillphilly and colt Divine State. On what we’ve seen so far, whatever beats them will win their respective finals. My Sweetchillyphilly is the first of them to step-out in the heats of the Gold Tiara for two-year-old fillies at Bathurst on Wednesday night. The daughter of Betterthancheddar won her only start at Bathurst on February 19 by a staggering 59.7m … and rated a blistering 1min55.3sec mile rate for 1730m. Just for good measure, the filly she beat, Now Eye See, bolted in at Parkes at her only run since. My Sweetchilliphilly should work to the front from gate six and win her heat (race nine) on Wednesday night. Excitingly, Kiwi trainer Tim Butt’s decision to whisk impressive debut winner Lady Chatto across the Tasman to Bathurst has added another dimension to the series. Lady Chatto won her only start at Addington last Sunday week by almost three lengths at Addington and clocked a solid 2min0.5sec mile rate for 2000m. Butt, renowned to travelling and taking on challenges, is well aware of the buzz around My Sweetchillphilly and not afraid to take her on. Lady Chatto has drawn the pole and will dominate betting in race five on Wednesday night. The other Tiara runner with Kiwi interest is Passions Delight, who is trained by Nicole Molander, driven by Chris Alford and owned by the US-based Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks. As exciting as My Sweetchilliphilly looks, the hype around the Trittons’ colt Divine State is even bigger. And you can see why when he won by almost 20m on debut at Menangle in a 1min52.8sec mile on January 31. He then raised the bar against the best babies seen so far this season when he strolled home by 12.8m and broke the Australasian two-year-old mile race record with a 1min51.6sec dash again at Menangle on February 18. Fans will have to wait until next Saturday night to see him in action in the heats of the Gold Crown. Adam Hamilton

Good results at Bathurst tonight will top off a remarkable week for Western Districts-based harness racing horseman Mat Rue. The 27-year-old added another highlight to his resume when winning the Group 2 Miracle Mile Drivers Invitational with Queensland pacer Leos Best at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night. Rue was invited by Club Menangle to take part in the race after winning the 2013 Miracle Mile with Baby Bling. And driving in front of a large crowd at that very same track last weekend brought back some good memories for Rue. “It was great driving in front of a crowd like that again . . . the crowd was huge,” Rue said. “In the warm up I looked across at the crowd and reflected on how it all came about when I won the Miracle Mile with Baby Bling. “It was also nice to lob up on the night and drive in a race on a nice horse.” Rue will have a bit more work involved than just turning up and driving at Bathurst tonight. He has six drives and trains three of those horses himself. Originally having a two-pronged attack in the opening race, Rue has been reduced to just one runner, Bettor Ranger, with his other pacer Big In America being scratched. “I’m expecting a better run from Bettor Ranger even though he is drawn a bit wide,” Rue said. “He won two races as a two-year-old and this time in made a mistake first up and faced a hard race the following start at Penrith.” Rue’s next three drives are for other stables including the Barry Lew-trained Karloo Damajor. He is very familiar with this gelding having driven the son of art Major in all of his 15 starts which includes six wins. “He has started this campaign well with a win at Dubbo last week,” Rue said. “He faces an awkward draw but we will go back and hope there is a bit of speed on that we can tag onto.” Rue is then looking forward to racing his debutant Billy Braveheart later in the night following that pacer’s trial win at Bathurst on Monday. “He’s produced a couple of nice trials and should run a good race first up even though it is a pretty handy race,” Rue said. And rue is just as pleased with his filly Callmequeenbe in the last. “She goes quite well,” Rue said. “She got a long way back in her first start but ran home some good sectionals and has really tightened up after the run . . . I’m really happy with her.” AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • •  @Amanda_Rando Fields for Bathurst, Friday 03 March 2017 Form guide for Bathurst, Friday 03 March 2017

At 17-years-old harness racing reinsman Justin Reynolds enjoyed his first driving success at his home track of Bathurst last Friday night. And it was real family affair, with the winner, Presidential Dude, trained by his father David and from his grandfather’s outstanding matron, Satellite Dancer. Justin has been “knocking on the door” with a number of placings in recent months, and the win came as no surprise, but with sense of relief, for the Oberon youngster. Presidential Dude was given a good trip in the running line and challenged leader Machgower at the top of the straight, gaining the upper hand close to home and then holding off that horse’s last, determined lunge. Justin, a Year 11 Student who has plans to study Veterinary Science when he graduates, is the second youngster to enter the winners ranks, following the success of Holly Newson just a few weeks previously. Congratulations Justin! Two heats of the Graeme Board & Co Sales Race completed a big night of two-year-old racing (four events in all) with the Colts & Geldings heat taken out by Artistic Sam (Mitch Turnbull for Nathan) and the Fillies heat by Hannah Mae (KerryAnn Turner & Robbie Morris). A combined Final of $19,000 for the first five from both heats, will be the highlight of next Friday’s Bathurst meeting, with a $5,000 bonus for the first filly home. The Gold Crown Carnival beckons.

As an avid harness racing fan first and administrator second, Bathurst Harness Racing Club chief executive officer Danny Dwyer looks forward to a number of nights on the pacing calendar. Wednesday Memorial night is one of those occasions. The club will remember a host of influential figures, who made their mark both on and off the track, throughout the eight race program, kicking off with the Keith Colley Memorial from 6.03pm. Dwyer says naming races in honour of the likes of Colley, John and Margaret Donnelly, Don and Freda Callan, Norm and Gath Harkham, Harold Lonard, Kevin Doherty and John Clayton was a great way to bring the community together – in their droves, too. “The harness racing community is pretty solid as a family,” Dwyer said. “You run a night like this and you get immediate family members and all of the grandchildren come along as well. “It makes for a really great night.” Reprinted with permission of the Daily Liberal

Mojo Major passed another test in regaining his mojo with a gutsy harness racing win in last Friday's Oberon Cup, the feature at Bathurst's Group One Feeds Paceway. The Art Major son prevailed in a desperate finish from favourite Saloon Passage NZ, after the pair cleared away from the field over the final 600 metres and settled down to a stirring two-horse war, that recalled for some the Bonecrusher- Our Waverley epic 30 years ago. The battle continued into the stewards' room, with Nathan Hurst alleging interference at the point in the back straight where both horses made their runs, but stewards ruled otherwise, and the winning streak extended to three for the KerryAnn Turner-trained visitor. Driver Robbie Morris explained that the five-year-old "has a lot of ability, but he's not mentally strong, so we've decided to set him for some nice races away from Menangle as a way to build up his confidence.” Wins at Penrith, Maitland and now Bathurst have vindicated that decision, and judging by the way he knuckled down for the battle in the Bathurst home stretch, he's growing into a man. The mile rate for the testing 2260 metre trip was a solid 1:57.8 (last half 57.8 seconds), and Lexus On The Beach was a distant third, running home well after working clear. While part-owner and race sponsor Ray Mawhood was sorely disappointed not to score a "hometown win" in the Cup with Saloon Passage, several wins on the night by locals drew warm applause from the big crowd  of supporters who travelled in to Bathurst for the Oberon Community night. Miss Rodriguez, trained by Wayne White, responded to desperate driving from Jason Turnbull, her regular pilot, to nab leader Power Of Red right on the line in a C2- class Menangle Country Series heat, for her first win in three runs back this season. Mile rate for the sprint journey was 1:56.3. Rocknroll And Rolln made it a double for Oberon trainers named Wayne - in this case, Watterson - when he proved too strong in a C0/C1 sprint after sitting outside the lead, to hold off the sprint-laning Cherry Mahoney. The four-year-old is known as "Elvis" around the stable, and the win drew more than a few "thank-you-very-much" comments from punters who supported the second-favourite. That was also the response from Rebecca Walsh, the C.E.O. Of Ronald McDonald House at nearby Orange, the charity which benefited by more than $4,000 from the fund-raising on the night, through auctions of that celebrated Oberon lamb and beef, and a monster raffle. Other winners at the meeting were: Tuapeka Glory NZ (Wendy/Emma Turnbull), in a C0 Menangle Country Series heat, three-wide for much of the last lap and finishing strongly for an impressive win; Casino Tommy (Steve/Mitch Turnbull), in a C2 sprint, holding on by a half-neck after enjoying the run of the race in the one-one; My Lucky Belle NZ (Ash Grives), in a strong C3/C5 sprint, the night's longest-priced winner at $18.30, handing up early and getting a lovely run behind the speed; Royal Story (Bernie Hewitt), a most impressive winner on debut, in 3YO class, holding the lead and sprinting right away at the end, and earning Anthony Manton's Drive-Of-The-Night award; Spare The Price (Chris/ Anthony Frisby), in C0/C1 grade, sitting behind the lead and too strong over the concluding stages for her third win. Bathurst HRC will play host visitors from interstate this Wednesday, when former Gold Crown Honouree Chris Alford will lead a team of five drivers from Victoria competing against five of Bathurst's best, in the inaugural Interstate Drivers Challenge, between sister-clubs Bathurst and Bendigo. Terry Neil

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