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Luke McCarthy was over the moon last night after making a successful hit and run mission to his old hometown to collect one of NSW harness racing's most coveted trophies - one that carried a little more sentiment than most for the champion Sydney driver. McCarthy is based at Cobbitty, south west of Sydney, but made the three-hour road trip over the Blue Mountains to compete against a crack field at Bathurst in the Kriden Park Shirley Turnbull Memorial, run in honor of the respected matriarch of the Turnbull clan. "I've won the Shirley Turnbull Memorial race a couple of times now - and it's been a big thrill each time," McCarthy said. "We lived in Bathurst until I was 15 years old, and then mum and dad decided to shift to Queensland to try their luck with the horses, but we've stayed friends right through, so it's a nice race to win," he said. "We always try and have something go around at the Bathurst Boxing Day meeting, and I've been lucky over the years to travel up with some nice ones." McCarthy timed his run to perfection over the 2790 metre trip with eight-year-old Alta Orlando (Courage Under Fire-La Joconde (Totally Western) who continues to build on his giant-killer reputation. The $50,000 Group Two event was chock full of class and was certainly one of the most exciting in the 32 years it has been staged. Alta Orlando was up against such superstars as Tiger Tara, My Field Marshal, Our Uncle Sam, Make Way, and to a lesser degree Harjeet and Cruz. There was some pressure up front early as Harjeet assumed the pilot role, but Tiger Tara and Courtsinsession were keen to be up closer. Meanwhile race favorite My Field Marshal was near the rear with one behind him-Alta Orlando, and McCarthy watching everything unfold in front of him. "I sort of read the race early and could tell there was going to be a heap of speed on, so I was more than happy to drop out to near the tail. I didn't want to burn out," he said. "When My Field Marshal made his move with a lap to go, he was a pretty good horse to be following so I was quite happy." On the home corner, Tiger Tara, in the death seat, started to yield ground, while Alta Orlando, Our Uncle Sam, Make Way and My Field Marshal were in for the fight. Alta Orlando won by 1 1/2 m from Our Uncle Sam, with Make Way a close up third. Runners were spread across the track in the run to the finish of the Shirley Turnbull Memorial. Winner Alta Orlando is four from the inside. "The horse is very smart and the NZ owners, including John Dunn and his wife, were finding it hard to compete against the All Stars camp of Purdon/Rasmussen," McCarthy said. "I think (trainer) Craig Cross will be aiming the horse for the AG Hunter Cup in Melbourne and then back home for the Summer Carnival which includes the Miracle Mile." The Shirley Turnbull Memorial is run at the Bathurst Boxing Day night meeting each year and many members of the Turnbull family, including those still based at The Lagoon, were on track to watch the running of the feature race. The Lagoon is a rural community on the outskirts of Bathurst where childhood sweethearts Tony (AD) and the late Shirley Turnbull based their harness racing operations after they married in 1950. They raised their six children there, but tragically Shirley was only 55 when she suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died suddenly in December, 1985. The first Shirley Turnbull Memorial event was held more than 12 months later, in 1987. "When I was probably only about 10, I would go over to the stables of Steve (a son of Shirley and Tony) and his wife Jenny all the time. They were like a second family to me," McCarthy said. "And that friendship, along with Tony and all the other kids, has stayed ever since." The win by McCarthy was the second in quick succession to pay tribute to his friendship with the Turnbulls, following up his win in the Tony Turnbull Group Three event at Menangle last month. McCarthy has now driven nearly 60 winners for the season, while Cross is ticking along beautifully with 75 victories. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Usually winning a race means receiving all the glory, however at Bathurst on Wednesday night young Phoebe Betts was awarded the ‘Drive of the Night’ for running second. The 16-year-old took up the position behind the early leader but ended up buried four-back on the pegs with a lap to go. Patience paid off for Betts, following the fence as the runners ahead of her elected to pull wide, she was able to make good use of the sprint lane and only go down by a half-neck margin to the Peter Bullock trained – Mckayler Barnes driven Kyle Shannon. Race-caller Mark McNamara decided that the drive on Arma Augustus NZ should be rewarded and Betts received the ‘drive of the night’. Driver Isobel Ross and trainer Bernie Hewitt both had a good night, bringing up a double respectively.  Ross took out the first on the Amanda Turnbull trained Joe Batters NZ, having to sit outside of the leader the seven-year-old gelding was too strong in the run to the finish, drawing away to win by a comfortable five-metre-margin. Ross’s next win came courtesy of the Josh Turnbull trained Just Won More in the seventh on the card. Having to commence their run just prior to 400 metre mark, the gelding was able to sustain his sprint long enough to beat the Gemma Rue trained Hammertime Harley and Renee Dale NZ. Not having to wait most of the night, Hewitt was able to bring up his double early with Taylors Mill winning race two and Lord Denzel taking out the fourth. Drawing barrier one, Taylors Mill made the most of the favourite Beach Babe Nikky refusing to score up, able to lead all the way for driver Doug Hewitt. Lord Denzel was also able to utilise a barrier one draw, with driver Tom Pay electing to sit behind the leader and prove too quick for the favourite in the run to the finish. Meanwhile, Maximus Red was able to make it three wins in a row for Steve and Amanda Turnbull, making his record this season five wins from six starts. Of the rest, Matamua for Peter Trevor-Jones and Ashley Hart and Everybody Clap for Tony Hagney and Mat Rue both notched up their second career victories, with the Scott Hewitt trained and driven No Doubt NZ making it three wins from his six lifetime starts.   BATHURST HRC

BATHURST reinsman Mitch Turnbull reached the milestone of driving 250 winners last week which also saw him reach the end of his concession driving claim. The win came after Turnbull steered Phizzwizard home in the first race at Bathurst last Wednesday, making that the duo’s third win together. In Turnbull’s short career he has driven in 2031 races resulting in 250 wins and 505 placings, with one of his most memorable wins being the Enacon Group Bathurst Mayors Cup at this year’s Gold Crown Carnival aboard Courtsinsession. The six-year-old gelding has earnt his place as Turnbull’s favourite, providing him with five wins and five seconds out of the 10 times they have crossed the finish line together. “He’s been very consistent and is going really well at the moment,” Turnbull said. “Conviction is also another favourite of mine because we ran second in the Breeders Challenge Group 1 Final, he’s probably the best horse I have driven.” Although having spent time with leading trainers in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, Turnbull’s greatest influences have been his father Steve (Turnbull) and sister Amanda (Turnbull). Both leading trainers and drivers themselves, Steve and Amanda have helped Turnbull in his driving and training career. “Steve has been great to have as a father and a boss and both he and Amanda have been a massive help with driving and training the horses,” he said. Although he no longer has a claim, Turnbull has many goals still ahead of him including training his own team one day. With father Steve looking to slow down in the future, Turnbull hopes that he will be able to expand his career as a trainer. “Hopefully within the next three years I’ll have my trainers’ licence and a small team of horses, I’m hoping to slowly expand as Steve winds down,” Turnbull claimed.   by Amy Rees

MONDAY'S Bathurst Harness Racing Club meeting will be used as a means to spread awareness of the Autism Community Network's cause. The day came together thanks to the work of Autism Community Network's community engagement coordinator Amie Bateup, who has a proud history with the Bathurst harness industry. Bateup, a former harness driver and sister to current trainer Ashlee Grives, said it was wonderful to receive the full support of Bathurst Harness Racing to put the day together. "We want to spread out services into the Central West and given the relationships that I have with harness racing, and having the races on TV, I thought it would be a great way to hopefully get the word out there," she said. "They've allowed us to effectively take over the race meeting, naming races after what we see fit, that create inclusion and awareness of autism." Some of those names being used for the races include Paralympic swimmer Mitchell Kilduff and ACN president Warren Thompson. With Bateup's son Phoenix being on the spectrum it's a day that has added meaning for her. "I'd taken time off my full-time role to help with his development, spending four months at home with him. There had been some major breakthroughs and changes then we got the diagnosis. "I was lying in bed one night thinking 'I need to get back to work', and then this job come about. It's crazy that I get paid to do what I do because I'm learning so much about it, which in turns helps him develop. "We'd love to bring our organisation to town and venture through the whole Central West if we can. Everything we do is for free. It's a service focused on both the children and also their carers." Grives said the meeting promotes an important cause to get behind. "It's something close to our family at the moment. Harness racing is a great way to reach out for these things, so I'm more than happy to be on board and do my part," she said. Monday's seven race meeting at Bathurst starts from 2.05pm. Being the first Bathurst event since the Gold Crown Carnival's conclusion, the meeting is dominated by two and three-year-old events. The Autism Community Network's awareness campaign is also being carried over into Tuesday's meeting at Menangle. For those looking to reach out to Autism Community Network or learn more about their services visit "We've got 1500 families that we currently support and Bathurst is the next place that we're trying to tackle," Bateup said. By Alexander Grant Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

The 2019 Gold Crown harness racing Carnival at Bathurst delivered like no other. It was the first time in history the three-year-old legs were lifted to Group 1 status, giving last night's Grand Final night four Group 1 races worth $100,000 each. And the class in horseflesh certainly delivered to match this prestige. The fairer sex kicked off the first of the Group 1 Finals with the Craig Cross-trained No Win No Feed winning the Yirribee Stud Gold Bracelet Final. By A Rocknroll Dance and out of the Art Major mare Designer Rose, No Win No Feed gave reinsman Todd McCarthy his second win on Gold Crown night after he won last year's Gold Chalice Final with Lifeonthebeach. No Win No Feed led throughout rating 1:55.5. "I was surprised how quick she left the arm," said McCarthy. "I put the foot down when her main rival got close and that was the telling move." The next Group 1 Final was the Apsley View Estate Gold Tiara that was won by Michelle Lee Mac. The daughter of Bettors Delight and Duets gave trainer Kerry McDowell her first Group1 success and gave veteran reinsman Colin McDowell his second success in the race after winning the inaugural edition in 1987 with Loves A Dance. "We had plenty of luck at the top of the lane," Colin McDowell said following the race. "She is a very good filly and have always had a good opinion of her." The two Group 1 Finals for the boys went to Victoria. Classy three-year-old Lochinvar Art was too strong in the Gold Chalice Final clocking 1:54.5 with David Moran in the sulky. The colt overcame the tricky draw of inside the second row and a mid-race move won the race. "I had to put him into the race when I did," said Moran. "He gives 100 per cent every time he goes around. "We will aim him at the Breeders Challenge series now." The action did not stop there, with promising two-year-old Jilliby Nitro making a statement with his decisive win in the Tooheys New Gold Crown Final. Driven by Jason Lee, the Bettors Delight/Kiewa Valley colt set a new race record when leading throughout and clocking a scintillating 1:53.8. "He copped a fair bit of mid-race pressure and stuck to his guns well in the run to the line," said Lee. "We will aim him at the Australian Pacing Gold now." For the full results from this Bathurst Gold Crown click on this link. AMANDA RANDO

If harness racing driver Anthony Frisby wasn't a believer in the superstition that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck before this year's Gold Crown Carnival, he certainly is now. Less than 24 hours after a black cat darted in front of his car when travelling home from the opening night of the Bathurst Harness Racing Club's annual carnival, the Bathurst driver was plagued by bad luck. "I had a real good night. I had four drives and three gallopers," Frisby said. "I'm not even joking about this, but on the Friday night when we were coming home, a black cat ran out in front of us. Dad said 'Geeze, I hope that doesn't mean anything', after Saturday I said 'Dad, I think it meant something.' "Hopefully these bad things only happen in threes." Two of those runners who galloped - $1.45 favourite Krafty Bart and $6.50 chance Steele - were considered good prospects to win their 1,730 metre Gold Crown heats. However, Frisby did have one piece of good luck that evening. He drove the John Boserio trained Mistery Road to victory in his Gold Crown heat to qualify for the two-year-old colts and geldings decider. Frisby will now aim to drive Mistery Road to his fifth consecutive victory in Friday night's Group 1 final, but he explained the path to getting there was not an easy one. "Leading into the carnival we just had a torrid week with him, he had a couple of feet problems and a couple of days out, you couldn't ask for a worse week to have going into these sort of series. So we were pretty surprised he went as good as he did in his heat," Frisby said. "We are hoping we can improve him from his heat, but it doesn't matter what happens, he's made it. "Once that gate folds back we'll know what he's doing, see how he feels. It's going to be a very hard race to win, but we're very happy to have made it. Fingers crossed." The Mr Feelgood x Ashuras Gold colt will go from barrier seven in the decider and while it's a tough draw, Frisby will carry the confidence of a good season with him. He snagged second in the Inter Dominion Grand Final and picked up his first Group 1 winning drive with Our Uncle Sam. "It's one of those things, everyone wants to be in the grade all the time. I've just been blessed to have the right horses at the right time ... I've had a super, super year and hopefully it continues," he said. "It helps anyone's confidence to be honest, you're not stressing as much because you've been there and done it. You're a bit more relaxed and it helps to be relaxed as you can for the horses ... if you're uptight then the horse is going to be uptight." Frisby will also drive Uncle Jord in the three-year-old colts and geldings Gold Chalice Final for his trainer-father Chris. He will go from barrier eight and as such, is an long shot. "He'll need a lot of luck from there, a bit better draw and he might have been in it, but he's going okay," Frisby said. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Maitland harness racing reinsman Guy Chapple doesn't expect a group 1 victory at Bathurst on Friday night but he's hopeful of a consolation win and a taste of what's to come. Chapple will drive Roclea Star, which is trained by his son Mitch, in the listed Gold Crown Consolation and Barrett, for Singleton trainer Aaron Goadsby and Kiwi Mark Jones, in the group 1 Gold Chalice. Barrett was a fast-finishing third in his heat of the three-year-old colts and gelding series on Monday to secure a final spot but he has drawn the outside of the second line in a hot field featuring Victorian star Lochinvar Art and Amanda Turnbull's Shoobee Doo. A $31 shot with TAB Fixed Odds on Thursday, Barrett is the best of three Hunter hopes in the race.  Cessnock trainer Clayton Harmey's Straddie was a $71 chance out of gate two and Bobs Farm trainer Geoff Harding's Roll With Lachlan was $81 from 10 for the race which has been elevated to group 1 status and $104,000 this year. Chapple was hoping for a repeat of Barrett's heat effort.  "He goes good but he's drawn bad, and it's a cracking field," Chapple said. "It was a really good run to get in, he flashed home late, but it's going to be tough. "If things go his way and he has a bit of luck, he can probably fill a hole but I think that's about it." Roclea Star was fourth in his heat of the two-year-old colts and geldings series to miss a spot in the group 1 decider. He too has drawn the outside of the back row, but Chapple was more confident about his chances. Roclea Star was a $13 hope. "He goes really good but he did everything wrong in the heat," he said. "He pulled and he got outside the leader and they went 1:55. He got beat 25 metres but his run was super. "He's drawn bad Friday night and we've just got to hope he does everything right and I think he won't be far from the money. "Realistically, he probably couldn't win the final but he could win the consolation, so we're probably better off that way." Past Friday night, Chapple plans to return to Bathurst with Roclea Star for the Gold Crown Yearling Sales series next month. Chapple, Goadsby and Jones were second with Mister Finnigan at Bathurst on Wednesday night in the Gold Crown Bronze Consolation. On Friday night, Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa has Si Si Senor in the Honouree Stakes final from the outside of the second line. Former Hunter-based duo Shane and Lauren Tritton will vie for group 1 glory with Major Bob (Gold Crown) and Brooklyns Best (Gold Bracelet). By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of the Newcastle Herald

A GROUP 1 dream has come true for young reinsman Nathan Xuereb. The 22-year-old has booked not only his first Group 1 drive but two at Bathurst’s Gold Crown Carnival tomorrow night. Having recently achieved the feat of driving 100 winners, this season is certainly becoming one Xuereb will cherish for a long time. “It’s very exciting to have two Group 1 drives,” Xuereb said. “This is something everyone aspires to and to not only get one but two horses qualify for Group 1 races is a dream come true.” Xuereb’s first taste of Group 1 driving will come when he partners Bella Clare in the Gold Bracelet Final. The filly is trained by Xuereb’s father Michael and has drawn barrier one for the feature. “She is a lovely filly that had to do more work in her heat than what I wanted her to do . . . I was still happy with her fourth-placed effort, she wasn’t beaten far,” Xuereb said. “This week it’s a different story, she has the draw and she won’t have to do any work. “They will definitely know she is there. “I just brought her in from the paddock and she is feeling pretty well within herself.” Xuereb will have his next Group 1 drive a race later when he drives the Katie McGill-trained Katalytic in the Gold Tiara Final. Also giving McGill her first Group 1 starter as a trainer, Katalytic has drawn barrier seven for the $100,000 test. “The draw hasn’t made it easy for her but she goes well and truly deserves her place in the Final,” Xuereb said. “I’ll have to drive her quiet and if the speed is on, she will definitely be thereabouts.” Before Xuereb heads across the Blue Mountains again, the Londonderry-based horseman will drive for his father at Penrith tonight who has Sams Cam (5) and Redbelly Jack (6) engaged in race five. Xuereb will drive Sams Cam while Josh Gallagher has been nominated to drive the latter. Xuereb trains a handful of horses with his father whilst also working as a farrier for big stables including that of Craig Cross. “I was very fortunate that Craig put me on as a farrier at a young age,” Xuereb said. “I have been fortunate enough to shoe great horses like For A Reason, Bling It On and Mach Doro. “I’ve had a lot of glory shoeing horses like that and when Bling It On won the Hunter Cup it gave me a huge thrill, just as much if I drove him to win the race. “I love what I do.”   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. HRNSW MEDIA CONTACT: AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • •  @Amanda_Rando

Last year Bernie and Cath Hewitt were delighted to lay their hands on their maiden Gold Crown trophy, but now they have another career first to celebrate. The Bathurst Harness Racing Club has announced the Georges Plains couple as the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival honourees. The Hewitts are synonymous with the harness racing industry and undoubtedly had their greatest season last year with Group 1 success with College Chapel in the Gold Crown and Royal Story in the Breeders Challenge Finals. “My board’s selection of Bernie and Cath as the Gold Crown honourees for this year is a reward for their many years of service and dedication to the harness racing industry,” club president Wayne Barker said. “Any success in sport only comes about through sheer hard work and dedication to the cause and Bernie and Cath epitomise this, so it was a very easy decision for the board to select them this year as our honourees." Bernie Hewitt has trained and driven 1,400 winners since 1983 and rates Nikalong Shadow, Super Nik, Pretty Sassy and Read About Lexy as some of the best horses he has trained and driven. “I’ve been very fortunate to drive some great horses throughout my career. Nikalong Shadow was one of the best, he was trained by Dad, won 45 races and also contested the 1989 Inter Dominion in Perth. I have very fond memories of that year,” Hewitt said. “It seems such a long time ago now since I drove my very first winner, Smokey Comedy at Canberra back in the late 70s. "I would have only been out of school 12 months then, but that first win is something I’ll never forget. “This is a tough sport and a lot of long hours involved in the training and racing, however Cath and I love what we do and I couldn’t have got to where I am today without the love and support that Cath has given to me. Cath deserves the recognition as much as me.” The Hewitt family relocated to Bathurst in 2001 and had instant success, winning two Bathurst training and driving premierships. They eventually set up their home at Georges Plains, which now encompasses a magnificent establishment that can cater for up to 45 horses. “I have everything I need here at home. I can walk out the back door and basically start work straight away,” Hewitt said. “It is fantastic to see Jase, Doug and Gem all involved with harness racing. All three have been very successful in the training and driving ranks as well. I couldn’t be any more proud of them. “It’s was a shock to us both when we were informed of about the selection, and to be included in the list of Gold Crown Honourees, the who’s who of harness racing, it doesn’t get any better than that." By Danny Dwyer Reprinted with permission of The Central Western Daily

THE Bathurst Harness Racing Club played host to coaching staff and players from the Panthers and St Pats Rugby League Football Clubs on Sunday afternoon. Formerly known as Group 10 Day, the meeting was very entertaining both on and off the race track with the highlight on the 10-race program being the Group 10 Rugby League Cup. Run over the 2260 metre journey, the small field didn’t disappoint as the fireworks went on from the outset. Bernie Hewitt was able to fire royally bred mare Make Mine Heaven ($2.50) out of gate three to cross the second elect Coolie Kid ($4.60) who was the likely leader as he had drawn inside the favourite. But after just 500 metres, driver Mitch Turnbull was having no part in allowing Hewitt to dictate terms and he came off the pegs to challenge strongly and take up the running. From there, Turnbull was taking no prisoners as he reeled off sub 30 second quarters. Leaving the back, Hewitt moved off Coolie Kid’s back to challenge and it was clearly evident that the leader was a spent force. Coolie Kid tried in vain to raise another effort but at the top of the lane, Make Mine Heaven sailed on by and Hewitt surged the mare to the line, scoring convincingly by almost 16 metres to post a 1.55-mile rate. Stablemate, Royal Story ($5, Scott Hewitt) who had sat back at the tail of the field for most of the trip got to the line strongly to finish second while Karloo Damajor ($15, Mat Rue) was aided by a soft run on the pegs and snuck into third just ahead of the tiring Coolie Kid. In his post-race interview, Bernie Hewitt said he was pleased with where the daughter of champion racemare Make Mine Cullen and Rock N Roll Heaven was at in her preparation and said that he would head back to Menangle with her on Saturday night. Make Mine Heaven has now raced on 28 occasions, winning eight races and placing six times, amassing more than $73,000 along the way. Sydney trainer, driver Michael Muscat took the honours on Sunday with a double aboard Ferdinand in the Ben Flick Memorial and Delilaah in the Bathurst Panthers Under 18’s League Tag Pace. Ferdinand ($1.85) was brave in his win as he worked forward early from his wide draw to eventually find the death chair and he simply proved far superior, going on the score by almost five metres in a 1.55.7-mile rating. Delilaah was returning to Bathurst for the first time since taking out the Star Trek Final back in November and the $2.25 favourite didn’t let her supporters down, leading throughout and cruising to victory with five and a half metres to spare. She posted a smart time of 1.55.2 in defeating Im Cool Harry (Nathan Xuereb). Third placed Misterfreeze (Tom Pay) was having his first run for the Gemma and Mat Rue camp and is one to put down in the black book as he flooded home from near last and appeared to be a touch unlucky. Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s next meeting is a midweek (Wednesday) fixture on February 27 where the feature race will be the $10,000 HRNSW Rewards Series Final. Craig Dumesny

THE Bathurst Harness Racing Club plays host each year to the Oberon Community by conducting a harness racing meeting which promotes everything that the small community has to offer. On Friday night, on a hot balmy night, a good crowd, many of whom made the 50 kilometre trip from Oberon into Bathurst enjoyed a top night of racing. And it could not have kicked off in a more fitting way when the Oberon father and son combination of David and Justin Reynolds took out the opening event with handy mare Always Mysterious. Young Reynolds charged the five-year-old out fast from her wide draw but he was unable cross speedster Jedda Shannon, forcing them to race without cover for the entire trip. With 400 metres to run, Reynolds gave the mare more rein and she dashed clear to record an impressive win over Lucky Nutter and Lady Swiss. Always Mysterious is part-owned by Bathurst Club President, Wayne Barker who was thrilled to accept the winning trophy from Oberon Mayor, Kathy Sajowitz. The feature event on Friday night, the Elgas Oberon Cup (2260m) lived up to the high standard that has been set in fast class races held at Bathurst this season. In an action-packed affair, the speed was on from the outset and in a thrilling finish, Menangle visitor James Dean ($5.40) was able to prevail by a narrow margin. Driven by Robbie Morris for his partner, KerryAnn Turner, the former New Zealander worked forward with just over a mile to run and found the chair. But just when Morris thought he would control the race from that point on, Bernie Hewitt made a lightening move aboard Lets Katchmeifucan ($11.80) and caught the leaders napping as he sailed to the lead with 900 metres to travel. The race then developed into a two-horse war and in a soul stirring battle all the way down to the line, James Dean gained the upper hand to score by one and a quarter metres. Royal Story ($10.20, Doug Hewitt) got home well for third after enjoying a good trip inches ahead of Jonah Jones (Amanda Turnbull) who appeared a shade unlucky after being held up at vital stages. Following the post-race presentation, Robbie Morris was full of praise for his gelding and thanked the pacer’s Kiwi connections for entrusting him and Kerryann with the horse. Morris went on to say that the five-year-old will now be set for the Banjo Patterson Cup at Orange on February 10. Another highlight at the Oberon meeting was the win of Roseuponher ($20.80) in the HRNSW Rewards Series Final (1730m). Young Dubbo trainer, driver, Jacqui Ingham gained a big thrill just nine days earlier at Parkes when she broke through for her first winning drive at Parkes in a qualifying heat. But she was almost pinching herself on Friday night when she made it back to back wins with her mare in the $10,000 Final. The Oberon night provided a plethora of highlights which included a treble to inform trainer Bernie Hewitt. His stable star, Gold Crown winner College Chapel made a successful return to the track, rating 1.54.8 to just beat Masons Delight (Billy Muscat). Hewitt’s daughter, Gemma Rue and her husband Mat made it back to back wins with bonny mare Callmequeenbee whose next run will be at Tabcorp Park Menangle in a Country Series Final. Away from the track, five delightful Oberon girls contested the Princess Of The Paceway competition which was taken out by Nattalia Stapleton. The young ladies raised money for Ronald McDonald House by conducting a raffle. More funds were raised for the same cause later in the night when six lamb and beef packs were auctioned.   Craig Dumensy for Harness Racing New South Wales  

Ian Mutton was a man who loved horses, loved a chat and loved a good joke, so when the talented horseman died in 2017 is was a loss felt across the harness racing industry. But such was the personality of the man who Bathurst Harness Racing Club vice president Laurie Clifford calls the ‘mighty Mutto’, his memory is now honoured each year. This Wednesday night at the Bathurst Paceway the Ian Mutton Memorial (1,730 metres) will be staged as part of a special race meeting. The meeting features seven memorial races all up as the Bathurst club pays tribute to Mutton, John Clayton, Keith Colley, Kevin Doherty, BJ Turnbull, Harold Lonard plus Norm, Garth and Audrey Harkham. The Mutton family and their friends will be travelling from far and wide to attend, while there will be plenty of others track side who have fond memories of the The Lagoon legend as well. “Ian had a lifetime association with horses in many forms, from playing polo cross with his father and brother to a lifelong passion for harness racing. Ian wore many hats in his long career as a committee man, trainer, driver, owner, breeder and mentor to young up and coming participants,” Clifford explained. “He had a great relationship with the horse King Frost and his owners Norm and Audrey Harkham. They had many a tussle with the mighty Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan. “Ian, along with his hard working wife Barbara, had many successes with a number of horses that passed through their stables both at The Lagoon and Brook Lodge at Gormans Hill, Bathurst. “Some of their best performers being Another Country, Green Tree Helen, Bullion Bandit and Toltec in earlier years and over the past few decades, He Can, Garconnet, ZinZan Brook, Spooky Leigh, Money Chimes and his final winner as a trainer in December 2016, Captain Brook. “Ian was also a great mentor to young up and coming participants, with many young men and women spending time at Brook Lodge learning the ropes. “Ian was well known for his sense of humour and is sadly missed by many who enjoyed having a chat or seeking advice to improve the performance of their horses.” In terms of an emotional favourite for Wednesday’s Ian Mutton Memorial, there is no doubt that status belongs to a five-year-old mare called Josephine Brook. She is still owned by the Muttons. She is trained by Robert Clifford, a man who benefited from Mutton’s knowledge, and will be driven by one of the late horseman’s good friends in Tony Higgs. The Roll With Joe x Kassandra Brook mare will go from barrier two in what will be her 25th start at the Bathurst Paceway. Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here “Josie, as she affectionately known around the stables, was also bred by Ian and Barbara at their Brook Lodge Stables at Gormans Hill,” Laurie Clifford said. “Robert Clifford, who joined Ian and Barb at their Brook Lodge stables 24 years ago as a keen 15-year-old teenager, is hoping for success as Josephine Brook has shown consistent form over the past two seasons with 10 placing from 16 starts. “With a little help from above, Josephine Brook may just salute in the sixth and do Mutto proud.” The first race Wednesday night’s meeting will go at 5.54pm. Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

A coveeted cup, a battle between man and horse and raising money for charity – the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Oberon Community Night is always a season highlight. This Friday night’s nine-race meeting at the Bathurst Paceway has not only drawn some quality runners, but is expected to attract a bumper crowd which reflects the passion Oberon residents have for the sport. “It would be our third biggest meeting of the year behind the Gold Crown finals night and Shirley Turnbull Memorial. It shows how much the Oberon community get behind it,” BHRC’s Marianne Donnelly said. “It is a big night because the Oberon community are just so great, they really get behind it every year. They also raise on the night around $4,000 for Ronald McDonald House which is an amazing effort for one night. “It’s a special night for the Oberon trainers too, they all like to race on the night. Russell [Reynolds] has got one in the cup, Wayne White’s got one in the race he sponsors and Geoff [Lawson] has got horses racing too.” READ MORE: Turnbull wins her sixth Oberon Cup READ MORE: Mojo Major wins the 2017 Oberon Cup READ MORE: Chris proves he can Be Quick for the Rues READ MORE: Frisby’s star draw gate 10 for Ballarat Cup The feature race is the Oberon Cup (2,260 metres), one which has showcased champions such as Smooth Satin and Karloo Mick in the past. Since its inception in 2002, The Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull has steered the most winners. When she goes from barrier one with Jonah Jones on Friday night, she will be seeking her seventh Oberon Cup win. However, she faces some stiff opposition with past victors Robbie Morris, Bernie Hewitt, Steve Turnbull and Ashlee Grives all in contention. “The honour roll is certainly impressive, there are some top horses on it and it’s a top race. This year there are some great horses in the field again - Royal Story, Imthevillagestar,” Donnelly said. Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here Aside from the cup, which offers $14,840 in stakes, the program also features the Oberon Council Ladyship Pace and Rewards Series Final. Then there is a race between horse and man. A horse will run two laps of the Bathurst Paceway track while the team of Tyler Colley and Nathan Voytilla-Borg attempt to cover one. First race is at 8.33pm. Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

ALL of the action took place inside the Clubhouse when the awards for last season were presented at a highly enjoyable Gold Crown Paceway function last Friday. Guests included Harness Racing New South Wales Chairman Rod Smith, Board Member Peter Nugent, Bathurst Regional Council Mayor Cr Graeme Hangar and NSW Owners Association representatives Peter and Marie Neil, the current Gold Crown Honourees. The Chairman, in a brief address, touched on several current topics:  the $200,000 funding increase for the Gold Crown (which will provide four Group 1 finals in 2019, for the first time);  the decision to stage a  Group 1 series for both four and five-year-olds at Wagga next season (eligibilty for horses which were paid up as juveniles for the Bathurst Gold Crown) ; and the extension of the current drought assistance to participants. He then made the presentation for Trainer of the Year to Steve Turnbull, who trained 63 winners, including five trebles, 15 doubles and Group wins with Art Series in the Gold Bracelet and NSW Regional Final. Steve’s children Amanda and Mitchell completed a family trifecta of major premierships, by taking out the Senior and Junior Driver of the Year Awards respectively, to the evident pride and delight of their grandfather 'A.D.' Tony Turnbull, the legend himself. Amanda’s 49 winners included five winners at one meeting, back in October 2017, the Soldiers Saddle Final, Oberon Cup, Sales Graduate Final and both feature wins by Art Series. In making the presentation to Amanda, Mayor Hangar recalled his days as a teacher at Kelso High School, reminding Amanda that she still owed him a history assignment from back in Year Nine! Amanda’s focus then was clearly on the future, and not writing about the past, and nothing’s changed since. Mitchell was dux of a very strong class of Bathurst junior drivers  - the likes of McKayler Barnes, Justin Reynolds, Doug Hewitt and Jake Davis - with 17 wins for the season, which included a treble and several doubles. Three of his wins came courtesy of the Bathurst sprint lane. HRNSW Board Member Peter Nugent made presentations for Horse and Juvenile Horse of the Year and UDR Trainer and Driver of the Year. Bathurst couple Lester and Linda Hewitt accepted the trophy and rug for Horse of the Year. What A Jolt, a four-year-old Village Jolt gelding, registered seven wins during the season, including three consecutively at one point. Hewitt paid tribute to driver John O’Shea, who formed a strong connection with the horse, using his brilliant gate speed to advantage many times. Jenny Turnbull, mother of Amanda, received the award for Juvenile Horse of the Year Shoobee Doo. The two-year-old Shoobees Place colt lined up at Bathurst seven times for four wins, which included heat and final of the Graeme Board Sales Graduate series, and a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge. Bathurst was a regular destination for a number of metropolitan stables last season, including KerryAnn Turner and Robbie Morris from Menangle, and the UDR Trainer and Driver winners, Cobbity-based Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy. Luke drove a winner every 2.9 starts, including a number for other stables, while Craig was successful every 3.6 starts, with winners such as Majestic American, Blackened, Rocknroll Dude, Zahven Banner and Darkershadeofpale. With Craig and Luke lining up with  Mach Doro in the following night’s Victoria Cup, the awards were collected on their behalf by Matt McCarthy, a Bathurst HRC director and the uncle of Luke. Jake Davis, likewise, represented his grandparents Ray and Pat Davis in accepting their Owner of the Year award from NSWSOA representative Marie Neil. The Davis family milk 650 cows twice a day at their Browns Creek dairy near Blayney, yet still find time to race a nice team of horses, mainly at Bathurst, the likes of Browns Creek Boy, Studleigh Kristen and two-year-old winners Nifty Studleigh and Rainbow Comet. Jake, who expresses a hope of making a full-time career in harness racing, does most of the stable driving, alongside father Leigh and uncle Brett. Art Major was acknowledged as the leading sire of winners at Bathurst, with 28 individual winners during the season. Bernie Hewitt, runner-up in the Trainer and Senior Driver premierships, was acknowledged for his achievement in winning his first Bathurst Gold Crown, with College Chapel, and spoke about the outstanding season for the youngster, finishing with his hopes for the coming season. Which was possibly the thought uppermost in most minds as folk headed home after this year’s awards.   Terry Neil

AFTER taking out her first state trainers’ premiership, leading horsewoman KerryAnn Turner has her sights on Bathurst tonight. The Menangle Park trainer is taking five horses across to the Western Districts including last start Newcastle winner Hannah Mae. Turner is also taking Hot Flush for another assault on the 1000m circuit after winning at that venue last month. Turner trained 161 winners in New South Wales last season, defeating 12-time premiership winner Steve Turnbull. Turnbull had won the five previous trainers’ premierships and has found the front in the first two weeks of the new season. Turnbull has power in numbers tonight with seven horses nominated including recent back-to-back winner Karloo Threeothree.   Harness tips Bathurst Best bet Race5: Aintnobettor (1) Aintnobettor produced a strong effort to win at this track last week in career best time of 1:58.0. He has drawn much more favourably and should lead all the way from this draw.   Bathurst next best Race 7: Cullens Desire (2) Cullens Desire has the early speed to capitalize off this draw. The filly was a very strong winner at Dubbo last start, spacing her rivals by more than 33m after working to the lead. She should be able to find the lead much easier tonight.   The Bathurst quaddie Race 5: 1 Race 6: 3-9-4 Race 7: 2-1 Race 8: 6-1 $12 for 100%     Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government.   HRNSW MEDIA CONTACT: AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

RACECALLER Fred Hastings might not have used the precise term to summarise Amanda Turnbull’s 'Drive of the Night' at Bathurst Gold Crown Paceway on Wednesday but the horse’s name - Aintnobettor - perfectly summed up her winning effort. In the opening race of a new Bathurst season, a C0 Club Menangle heat over the sprint trip, she faced an awkward draw on the inside of the second line, but eased back following the start, got onto the three-wide train in the early stages and was actually in front for most of the last lap, dashing home in a 28s final quarter to hold off the on-pace runners Walk On Kimmy and Grosestar. The win - number two in 16 starts -broke a sequence of five seconds for the Bettors Delight gelding, his trainer-driver admitting “ I was beginning to wonder lately if he knew how to win, but to his credit he toughed it out tonight and finished the race off well.” If the win was well-deserved for the horse, and certainly for an outstanding drive, credit was also due to the owners, Adelaide-based couple Terry and Ros Cluse who have been very good supporters of Amanda Turnbull. In the following race, a C2 Country Series heat, Amanda completed a double when leading throughout with the short-priced favourite Executive Dash NZ, the Well Said four-year-old notching up his fifth win from just 11 career starts. The naming theme established by Aintnobettor was carried through to the back half of the meeting, with three appropriately-named winners. The field for the  C1-C3 Guaranteed Ladyship Pace included a Kitty, a Carly, a Suzie, a Porsha and a Ruth, but they all played second fiddle to favourite Nova Time NZ, a recent addition to Brad Hewitt’s stable. The come-from-behind winner was named for a star, perhaps, but we’ll stick with the female theme and opt instead for Nova Perris as the inspiration. A large and happy group of “senior cits” came onto the track for the presentation of the R0 grade South West Community Transport Pace, won by leader Young Cambo, for Emma and Wendy Turnbull. The winner is a Million Dollar Cam full-brother to Old Jack Cambo, named by former HRNSW chairman Graeme Campbell for his father, and Graeme’s since acquired a sister who’s to be named for his mother, so the win wasn’t as ironic as it might have seemed. Our Uncle Jim, trained by Chris “The Man from Uncle” Frisby, and driven by his son Anthony, scored an authoritative win in the 3YO Evolution Series heat. The Western Terror gelding charged home over the top of his rivals, marking a return to the Frisby home track after a very successful Queensland campaign which concludes this week. Peter and Marie Neil were on hand for the Owners Association bonus races, and presented $1,000 bonus cheques to the connections of Karloothreeothree -successful via the sprint lane in the fast-class event for Mitch Turnbull - and Our Little Digger, which bounced back to form in coming off the speed in the C0-C1 NSWSOA sprint, for Bernie Hewitt. NSWSOA subscriptions for the current season are due at the present time, and for just $55, represent wonderful value. The Bathurst HRC presentation night will take place on Friday, October 12 , following the excitement of the Bathurst 1000 race week,  when the Gold Crown Paceway will host two meetings including its own Shootout time-trial series, which proved such a hit last year Terry Neil

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