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Frith is no stranger to the Young Paceway and will be out to record her fifth harness racing victory on the circuit when she competes in this Saturday night’s Group 3 Cordina Chicken Farms Young Cup.  Frith won last year’s Cup in track record time and while owner Bernie Kelly is expecting another strong showing this weekend, he hasn’t always been so confident of her performing well on the half mile track. “Frith has won all of her four starts on the track but I remember she had her first start in a race at Young and I had two in the race and thought my other one The Baggy Green was my better chance,” Kelly said. “Bruce (Harpley) drove The Baggy Green and she started second favourite while Frith was driven by Jake Stockton and started about $10, if only we knew how good she was going to be when she made her debut.” Kelly has confirmed there are no immediate plans to retire Frith and will take plenty of advice from Belinda and Luke McCarthy. “I wouldn’t think about retiring her until the end of next season but she’ll tell us with the way she is racing and obviously what Belinda and Luke have to say will have a big bearing on how much longer she races for. “I wouldn’t mind taking her to Perth for the Inter Dominion later this year but again I’ll speak with Belinda and Luke to see what they think and if she is ready to be thrown in the deep end against the boys.” Frith became the seventh pacing mare in the southern hemisphere to win more than $1 million when she won the Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle last start.  Other mares to have achieved the feat include Adore Me, Tailamade Lombo, Blossom Lady, Miss Galvinator, Fleur De Lil and Bettor Cover Lover. “She’s my first millionaire, Lady Waratah won more than $500,000, Greg Kelly might have given a million a shake if he hadn’t had his problems and Albert Kelly won over $300,000 too.” Frith’s mother Jackie Kelly is currently in foal to Bettor's Delight and there is also a filly foal by Bettors Delight that was born as the result of an embryonic transfer. “It was getting so late that we just decided to take an embryo from Jackie Kelly early last year and put it in a surrogate mare.  That gave Jackie Kelly plenty of time to get in foal this season and everything has gone well so far.” Saturday night’s Cordina Chicken Farms Young Cup is also another leg in this season’s Carnival Of Cups bonus series with $20,000 on offer to connections of the leading horses over six feature races.  Current series leader Condagen will miss this weekend’s event and is competing at Menangle on Friday afternoon instead. Greg Hayes

Mighty mare Frith bounced back to her brilliant best with an all-the-way win to take out the first feature of a stellar night's harness racing at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight, the $50,000 Group Two Therese Cordina Sibelia Stakes. Blessed with the gate speed to easily cross and find the front from gate three for star young reinsman Todd McCarthy, Frith reeled off a 27.7s first quarter of the mile to ensure nothing was going to challenge the six-year-old mare for the lead. After a 29.5s second split, the race was always going to be Frith's for the taking, so McCarthy lowered the handlebars and the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark posted a 27.8 third split to test her rivals to the max. Frith saved her best for last as she romped home the last quarter in an even 27 seconds to score by 1.5m from Nike Franco (Luke McCarthy) with $1.80 favourite Fight For Glory a fighting third. Natalie Rasmussen angled Fight For Glory away from the pegs turning for home and she had ever chance in the long Menangle straight to run down Frith, while Nike Franco came from three-back on the pegs to surge up the inside and briefly looked a chance of getting to Frith before pacing roughly about 50m from the finish. Still all honours were with Frith with the mighty mare now guaranteed a berth in the $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Ladyship Mile, one of many features to be run on Miracle Mile Day, February 28. While owner Diane Kelly was trackside to acknowledge her great mare, reinsman Todd McCarthy, one of the form drivers at Menangle in recent months, said hopping behind a horse of the calibre of Frith made the big nights like these memorable ones. Trainer Belinda McCarthy commented that the real Frith stood up tonight after she had finished a close and unlucky fourth to Easy On The Eye a week ago at the same track. Belinda will no doubt put the great mare on ice now as she edges towards that magic million dollars in earnings. Tonight's success put Frith a mere $25,000 short of the historic mark. Michael Court            

One of the leading harness racing female trainers in New South Wales Belinda McCarthy has thrown her support behind the ovarian cancer awareness campaign currently underway. Belinda offered for some of her horses to carry the Women's Cancer Foundation colours during the campaign and went one step further offering to donate money to the cause. "I caught up with Duncan McPherson at Melton last weekend and I told him as a female trainer I was keen to be a part of Team Teal so he offered to get the stable a set of Women's Cancer Foundation silks," Belinda said. "I then spoke with Harness Racing NSW boss John Dumesny and said that I would donate $100 to the Women's Cancer Foundation each time one of my horses won carrying their silks and he agreed to match my donation." The Women's Cancer Foundation silks will be the reverse of those worn by ambassadors Lauren Panella, Emma Turnbull and Ellen Bartley. The silks will be teal with a Women's Cancer Foundation logo. "It is a fantastic cause and it is great to see the sport involved and raising money. Many of our owners are contributing by allowing the drivers to wear the colours and donating money." The McCarthy stable also confirmed the connections of Bling It On had agreed to donate five percent of the money he earns on Saturday night to the Women's Cancer Foundation. Bling It On will compete in the $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint and is the $1.70 favourite. Should he win it would mean a donation of $6,000. "A big thank you to the owners of Bling It On - Harvey Kaplan, Peter O'Shea and Sammy Kilgour are right behind the idea and hopefully he can do a great job for the foundation this weekend." Greg Hayes

A strong connection between two famous families was further cemented when they each took the harness racing honours in the other's memorial race at Bathurst's Carnival of Cups meeting on Boxing Night. Bling It On, for Luke and Belinda McCarthy, dominated in the feature Group 2 Shirley Turnbull Memorial, an hour or so after Nathan Turnbull had been successful in the Ray and Olive McCarthy Memorial, with promising three-year-old Sams The Master. The Turnbull and McCarthy families have been strong racetrack rivals but firm friends for three generations now, from Tony and Ray, and then sons Steve and John, through to the current generation of Nathan, Josh, Amanda and Mitch, and Luke, Andrew and Todd.  How fitting that the races named for such well-loved figures, responsible for these modern dynasties, should be won by their grandchildren. Bling It On, as a $2.10 favourite, was expected to win the Shirley Turnbull Memorial, but the manner of the victory - by 16 metres, in near-record time of 1:56.3 for the 2260 metres - drew spontaneous applause from the bumper crowd. Much of that was for Luke McCarthy's drive, which was an absolute masterclass. Confronted with a tricky inside draw on the second line, he negotiated a passage off the markers going into the first turn, and then launched a blistering sprint in the back straight the first time to seize the lead, leaving main rival Keayang Steamer no option but to work to the death seat to stay in touch with him. He opened the field up down the back straight the final time, and closed out with a 28.1 quarter, with seemingly something in reserve. It was a superlative performance, from horse and driver, and took the five-year-old's earnings to $975K, with a number of rich plums such as the Victoria Cup and the Miracle Mile on his agenda over the next eight weeks. Sams The Master mightn't occupy such dizzy heights - so far, at least - but his performance to lead all the way in a very strong Ray and Olive McCarthy Memorial for three-year-olds, was highly impressive. Turnbull took him straight to the front, parking Luke McCarthy on odds-on favourite Born To Rocknroll, a move that proved decisive, when he held on strongly in a last half of 56.6 seconds to hold that combination at bay by almost three metres. The win was quite a thrill for owner and Board member Rod Smith, whose Kriden Park establishment was the sponsor of the subsequent Shirley Turnbull Memorial, in yet another link between the two races, and families. At the presentation, unfortunately conducted in driving rain which saw a large contingent of McCarthy family members sheltering under brollies and race rugs, Nathan Turnbull recounted a story of an earlier "race" between himself and Luke. On their annual winter holidays racing horses in Queensland, Steve Turnbull and John McCarthy allowed their boys, then barely teenagers, to drive fast work around the Tweed Heads track. They held no concerns, because the horses weren't very good, and they figured the boys would be a little bit frightened anyway. But the further the workout went, the faster they went, to the point where both dads were too scared to look, turning away as their boys raced into a tight home turn. From which they emerged safely. Nathan remembers the story with evident pleasure, and it's one that Steve and John have both told over the years, but it surely marks the moment when both of them knew, if they'd ever had any doubts that their boys would be following in their footsteps. Getting back to Bathurst on Boxing Night, for that annual reunion, is important for the McCarthy’s, and to win the feature race (for the third year in succession) as well as several others, made this year quite special. Luke and Belinda achieved a treble, their other winners All Eyes On Us ($3.80, in a C4 Turnbull Memorial consolation) and Downunder Stride ($1.20 favourite, in C0 grade ) delivering a double to  Emilio Rosati, and several co-owners in that  first-named winner. John McCarthy scored with Cyclone Kate NZ ($1.30 favourite, in C1/C2 class), first up in Australia and headed towards a possible Ladyship Mile campaign, which doesn't look beyond her judging by her easy 1:54.1 effort, on a night where curator Tony Hagney produced a brilliant race strip despite sometimes appalling conditions. And Todd McCarthy was in on the act as well, with Webb Ellis NZ ($5.50, for Kevin Pizzuto, in C2/C3 grade ), the fifth successive win for the four-year-old, taking advantage of the sprint lane to nab Amanda Turnbull on Happy To Go. Revenge came for Amanda in the sixth, the second C4 Turnbull consolation, when she dashed Intransit ($5.50, for Steve ) into the trailing spot vacated by Todd just before straightening, to use the sprint lane to overhaul his runner Epaulette very close to the line. Another Turnbull/McCarthy result, five out of the first six races, and the Bling It On display in the following race capped off a special night for these iconic Bathurst clans. Hewitt is another name familiar to everyone who follows the sport, and brothers David and Mark grabbed a Carnival of Cups win. Our Nero Star NZ (4.90 ) sat in the death seat before running away with a C1 sprint, at just her second Australian run, to maintain David Hewitt as the leading strike rate trainer at Bathurst this season. It was a nice consolation for losing Sweet Molly OShea NZ, through injury, from the feature race. Mark Hewitt was able to put the frustration of assorted injuries which have restricted Sport Report's career to date, when the $5.80 chance came with a strong run to take out a C0 Ladyship sprint, recording her fourth win from just five starts. Mark plays down his success, achieved with just a small team, and is especially successful at getting juveniles up and going. Another of the smaller stables to get among the spoils on a big night was the Portland (near Lithgow ) team of Ray and Brett Field, with $69 outsider Jimmy Jasper, in C1 company. Brett sprinted home out wide to plenty of loud support from the crowd, which at that late stage unfortunately didn't include his family who'd been dispatched home earlier because of the wet conditions. Hopefully they caught the win on Sky. So it was a night that had just about everything: outstanding fields; some brilliant training and driving performances; unkind weather but a top racing surface and consistently fast times; and a massive crowd that got right into the action. And above all else, confirmation of the view that harness racing is the ultimate family sport. by Terry Neil

The drive was inch perfect…..brilliant! The Gr.1 $100,000 Hurrikane Kingcole Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park was taken out by former brilliant juvenile Bling It On ($26.50) and defeated star Victorian Philadelphia Man ($2.10 fav) and Our Hi Jinx ($12.50) in the 2138m harness racing feature. Winning reinsman Luke McCarthy drove a masterful race after obtaining the back of Philadelphia Man soon after the start and remained in that position before unleashing the trademark sprint of Bling It On at the top of the home straight. Bling It On smashed the track record and set a new mark of 1;52.4, the previous mark was held by Avonnova at 1;54. With a frantic early speed being set by Sydney visitor Modern Ruler, the lead time was recorded in 34.7 seconds, the fastest ever section for a 2138m mobile start. The last mile was covered in 29.5, 29.6, 28.1 and 27.4 seconds. With many questioning Bling It On in recent times, the American Ideal – Alldatglittersisgold entire responded in the best possible manner with a decisive victory against high powered opposition. “We’ve been happy with the way he’s performed so far this campaign and we got lucky tonight and grabbed the right position, once we got the back of Gavin (Lang – Philadelphia Man) I thought we’d give it a real shake and he finished really well.” McCarthy said. With over 50 Gr.1 victories during his career to date and multiple drivers’ premiership titles at Albion Park, the victory of Bling It On provided McCarthy with his maiden Gold Coast Cup success. Bling It On has now won 10 from 14 at Albion Park including three victories at Gr.1 level. The Belinda McCarthy trainee will start next week in the opening leg of the 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, the $200,000 Gr.1 Queensland Pacing Championship which will be staged over the staying distance of 2680m. The McCarthy stable have dominated the QPC in the past decade winning it 8 times, Luke has driven 7 of the last 10 winners while his wife Belinda has trained the past two winners. Only champion pacer Blacks A Fake and his back to back triumphs (2008/09) have thwarted the McCarthy stranglehold. In the Gr.1 $50,000 Statewide Group Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final at 2647m, the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and Pete McMullen driven My Valerie ($10) finished best to beat the heavily backed Cyclone Lucky Seven ($1.90 fav) and Ivanov ($71.30). Beginning quickly from a 10m handicap, McMullen drove a canny race aboard My Valerie and made sure the Majestic Son – Xena Hest mare was within striking distance of the favourite. The victory provided both My Valerie and McMullen with their first Gr.1 success. My Valerie recorded a time of 2;01.8. As an added bonus, My Valerie gains automatic entry into the Gr.1 $300,000 Great Southern Star series at TABCORP Park, Melton on March 12. Racing Queensland

Together Belinda and Luke McCarthy have prepared 40 Gr. 1 winners, more than any other trainer since the start of the century. The couple have forged a remarkable record in a short period of time and have won some of Australia's biggest races including the Miracle Mile. Trots TV recently spent a day at the McCarthy property on the outskirts of Sydney and spoke in depth with Luke and Belinda about their careers, childhood and future plans. Inside Our Stable with Belinda and Luke McCarthy has been separated into three parts. To watch Inside Our Stable please click on the following links.   Part 1 - Luke talks about the property and his childhood   Part 2 - Luke discusses his time in America and also the transition to Sydney   Part 3 - Belinda talks about her life and her biggest thrills in harness racing while Luke speaks about their future Greg Hayes                                    

South Merbein harness racing trainer Ian Watson and son reinsman Luke made the long trip south worthwhile by taking out the Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final for two-year-old fillies at Melton on Saturday night. “I usually sit at home and watch these races on telly." "To win it is just an absolute miracle to me,” declared Luke after steering well-bred Flojos Gold to victory in the 2240-metre event. At odds of over 50-1, Flojos Gold – by Mach Three out of former smart race mare Jasper Jo – made it three wins from four career starts by upstaging hot favourite Soho Madeleine for Belinda and Luke McCarthy by a head in a mile rate of two minutes. “I thought she could run a good race if she landed like she did." "If you had have told me we’d land behind the leader then I’d say we’d end up in the top few,” the winner’s driver said shortly after the race when asked about his thoughts going in. “It definitely makes up for all those ones you think were good enough but might have had a little bit of bad luck here or there not to win a Group 1." "It’s definitely a great thrill.” Rocknroll Magic ran third for Emma Stewart and Gavin Lang, while Just Wantano was fourth for Kevin Brough and Michael Bellman. Luke Watson said the filly had only travelled down to Melton in the hours leading up to the race. “We arrived a couple of hours before we had to be here … with the babies we always reckon they’re best off at home in their own environment until they have to leave and I think it’s paid dividends,” he said. “I knew this filly got out pretty quick, we just wanted to come out early and find a spot." "To end up where we did was probably just good luck more than good management,” Luke said. Re-live Flojos Gold winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final Cody Winnell

Rocknroll Magic overcame an outside back row draw to win the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for harness racing 2YO Fillies third heat on Friday night at Kilmore. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic drew away to win by 9.8 metres over Our Odette in the 2180-metre race, rating 2:01.5. Gavin Lang drove the winner, who is trained by Emma Stewart at Smythes Creek. Odds-on race favourite Dancingwithsierra finished last but was clearly not 100 per cent and was stood down pending an endoscopic report. Meanwhile, two heats of the three-year-old fillies Super Series were run on the night with David Aiken and son Josh Aiken combining with Glory Daze in the third heat, winning from the pole in 2:02.0, defeating Brighty Valentine by a half-head, and Belinda McCarthy-trained Smooth Showgirl taking out the fourth heat for reinsman Nathan Jack in a rate of 1:57.3, holding out Boadiceas Fury by a half-head. 2YO FILLIES 3rd HEAT Finishing order Video replay 3YO FILLIES 3rd HEAT Finishing order Video replay 3YO FILLIES 4th HEAT Finishing order Video replay Cody Winnell

Since it was first run in 1954, several top-line pacers have taken out Harness Racing Victoria’s Italian Cup.   The likes of My Lightning Blue (1986), Il Vicolo (1996), Tailamade Lombo (2000), Sokyola (2002) and Smoken Up (2009), just to name a few, adorn the race’s honour roll.   On Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, another pacer’s name will be etched on to the Del-Re National Food Group Italian Cup trophy.   This year’s field consists of 11 runners, including reigning race champion Cold Major from the David Aiken stable at Avenel.   In-form Glenferrie Hood has drawn barrier two and looks sure to line up as one of the favourites after back-to-back wins at Headquarters for trainer Belinda McCarthy.   Driven by Joe Taafe, who won aboard the five-year-old gelding two starts back, Glenferrie Hood has won five of his last six races – his only defeat in that time coming in the stand-start Melton Pacing Cup when he began badly.   Lance Justice has won the Italian Cup on multiple occasions and has Im Barney Rubble in this year’s renewal.   Michael Stanley’s impressive four-year-old Young Modern will be chasing his first victory this time in after two strong seconds in recent starts.   Jason Lee will pilot Metro Mike, one of two Emma Stewart-trained horses in the race – the other being six-year-old mare The Good Times for reinsman Anthony Butt.   Like Glenferrie Hood, Metro Mike is a recent back-to-back Melton winner.   Six-year-old gelding Exciteusinthecity has drawn awfully in barrier seven but has produced two excellent runs for third since resuming from a spell for Terang trainer Darren Cole.   As well as lining up the reigning race winner Cold Major, who has gate 11, Aiken will also have veteran Smudge Bromac in the Italian Cup from barrier nine.   Country Cups king Arber has gate 10 for trainer Tim Bolitho and reinsman Michael Bellman, while Bellas Delight (barrier five) and Five Star Anvil (six) round out an even line-up.   The Italian Cup is Race 5 at Melton on Saturday night and will be run at 7.30pm.   CODY WINNELL

A quick look at the Reg Withers Classic honour roll reveals truth in the adage “it is a good horse’s race”. From Henschke’s pioneering win in 2002 in the inaugural classic at Kilmore right through to Follow The Stars’ triumph on Saturday night, the honour roll is adorned with top-line talents. Henschke won 34 of 157 races and pocketed connections over $400,000, with the two-year-old Breeders’ Crown Final at Bendigo his crowning moment. The 2003 Reg Withers Classic winner Maggies Son won 42 races from 168 starts for $368,719. Maggies Son’s biggest victory came in the Vicbred Super Series final at four. In 2005 the Classic again produced a genuine free-for-aller with Tactical Dreamer taking it out before going on to win a Melton Plate and the Preux Chevalier Free-For-All to finish with 21 wins from 100 starts for almost $200,000 in stakes. Garnet River won the Reg Withers Classic in 2009 after winning APG heats and the Youthful Stakes at two and finishing runner-up in the Breeders’ Crown Final. In 2011 Caribbean Blaster was Reg Withers Classic champion, with the Andy Gath-trained son of Bettors Delight etching a name for himself with wins in the Chariots Of Fire, Breeders’ Crown Final, Victoria Cup and the 2014 SA Cup. Caribbean Blaster had 79 starts for 24 wins for over $1.1 million in stakes. In 2012 it was Philadelphia Man who delighted Kilmore fans in the Reg Withers Classic.  He went on to win the Vicbred Super Series Final at three. Flaming Flutter won the 2013 Reg Withers and has gone on to run second in this year’s Inter Dominion, while Smokey Quartz took out the Kilmore feature last year and has just recently resumed from a spell. Back to Saturday night’s winner, Follow The Stars. He’s already considered a top-liner with 16 wins from 22 starts…so watch this space. Trained by Belinda McCarthy, Follow The Stars defeated Burnaholeinmypocket in 1:57 over the 2180-metre trip. HRV Media

Outstanding mare Frith appears to have made a smooth transfer to the Belinda McCarthy stable. Trained to win a host of feature events by astute horseman Bruce Harpley, Frith joined McCarthy’s team following her victory at Menangle a fortnight ago. Harpley made the tough decision to send Frith to champion New Zealand mentor Mark Purdon, with the daughter of Four Starzz Shark staying with McCarthy during the interim as she embarks on a Victoria campaign. Making her debut for McCarthy at Tabcorp Park Melton last night, Frith registered an effortless triumph in The Make Mine Cullen. Driven by McCarthy’s husband, Frith led throughout to score by four metres from Just Cala, with The Good Times a metre away third. “She has always been a high class mare and came to us in terrific shape,” McCarthy said. “Bruce did a wonderful job with her and hopefully we can keep her at that high level. “She just did it so easily and was never out of second gear.” Covering the last half in a brilliant 55.2 seconds, the five-year-old rated 1:55.3 for the 1720 metres, taking her record to 33 wins and eight placings from 45 starts for earnings of $883,245. Frith will return to the home of Victorian harness racing next Friday night for the Angelique Cup, followed by the Queen Of The Pacific in a fortnight. PAUL COURTS

The last pacer to win the Victorian “Mares Triple Crown” was the harness racing star whose name adorns the sprint feature at Tabcorp Park Friday night. Make Mine Cullen, a daughter of the mighty Christian Cullen, achieved the feat in 2012, winning the Cinderella Stakes, the Ladyship Cup and the Queen of the Pacific off 20 metres. The Mares Triple Crown these days, bearing in mind it is an unofficial term, consists of the Harness Breeders (Vic) Make Mine Cullen, a $25,275 1720-metre random barrier draw sprint, the Angelique Club Cup next Friday, a preferential barrier draw race worth $25,275 over 2240m, and the jewel – the $100,000 Group 1 Queen of the Pacific, a stand start 2760m race on Saturday, May 23. Before Make Mine Cullen, the last mare to achieve the Triple Crown was Golden Flyin for David Aiken in 2005. Tomorrow night’s Make Mine Cullen looks a tantalising contest on paper with proven five-year-old Frith the benchmark from barrier six up against rising star four-year-old Just Cala from the pole, and stalwart top-line mares Gumdrops (barrier three), Steam Washed (barrier five) and The Good Times (barrier eight) all capable of landing the knockout blow with the right run. Frith, by Four Starzzz Shark out of Jackie Kelly, boasts an extraordinary strike rate, having won 32 of her 44 career starts for $866,572 in prizemoney. Tomorrow night Frith lines up under the tutelage of Belinda and Luke McCarthy for the first time after transferring from the stables of Bruce Harpley. “She has settled in really well,” reinsman Luke McCarthy said of tomorrow night’s $1.35 TAB fixed odds favourite. “She’s been a champion at two, three and as a four-year-old and earned over $800,000 so she’s got a great record.” Just Cala is bound for the Harness Jewels in New Zealand after securing a coveted invite, the four-year-old by Art Major out of Lilsistar a winner of two of her past three assignments. She took out the HBV Ian Daff Memorial over Steam Washed by 2.2m over 1720m in 1:55.4, using the sprint lane from behind the leader to win with a 56.5secss last half and followed that up with a 1.4m win over Lierra Noir in an M0-M1 race over 2240m in a rate of 1:58 (last half 57.5secs), coming with a strong run late. Last start in the HBV Silver Chalice Just Cala sat outside the leader throughout before going down fighting by 3.1m against rising star mare Berisari, who nominated for tomorrow night’s race but didn’t accept. Asked where he thought Frith was compared to Just Cala, McCarthy said the fact his mare was a five-year-old probably tipped the ledger in her favour. “Just that year older, she’s a bit more seasoned I’d say.” Meanwhile, Chris Shinn is going in confident about Steam Washed from gate five. The tough mare has had a superb preparation this time in with wins in the HBV Jodies Babe over Goodtime Marjie and Beauty Secret in 1:53.5 at Melton and seconds in the Terang Cup behind Arden Rooney, the Ladyship Cup behind Majorly Foxy Styx and a third behind Guaranteed and Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter in the SA Cup. “I think she’d be up there with the top ones in Victoria,” Shinn said modestly of Steam Washed. “She’s got that form around the colts too, not just the mares. “We’ve had a lot of fun with her. She always earns a cheque.” Shinn had a word of warning race favourite Frith, who would love to find the lead unchallenged. “I think mine’s going real good, she gets out of the gate good so I think if we landed the front and Frith was parked, I’d give us a good chance (of upstaging Frith),” he said. “Unless there’s been a heap of pressure on I think we’d be hard to beat if we were in front at the corner.” by Cody Winnell Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 08 May 2015 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 08 May 2015

Team McCarthy is heading back to Brisbane for next week’s $75,000 Seymour Nursery Pace series. Heats are scheduled for next Tuesday, with the Finals will be staged on May 16. Locally-owned pacers Smooth Showgirl and Birdy Mach will represent the power stable in their respective divisions and both will command strong respect. Smooth Showgirl is the defending champ following her dominant performance in last year’s Final when she defeated Feel The Faith and stablemate Bamako Mali, while Birdy Mach is very highly regarded within the Belinda and Luke McCarthy stable. “We’re looking forward to heading back to Brisbane next week for the Nursery Pace,” Luke said. “It’s a series that has been very good to me over the years and we believe we have the right horses to give it a good shake. “There’s nothing better than a Brisbane autumn/winter campaign.” Smooth Showgirl has raced in strong form this season, winning four of her 10 starts and setting a personal best time of 1:53.2 when successful at Menangle last month. The daughter of Art Major was unplaced as favourite last week at Menangle behind Image Of Courage after racing without cover in a time of 1:53.4. Birdy Mach has raced just once this term when unplaced at Menangle on December 30. Following a freshen-up, the son of Mach Three has undertaken an extensive trial campaign in preparation for his Brisbane trip, with his trial yesterday resulting in a comfortable victory in 1:56.4 when leading throughout. He paced the mile in sectionals of 29.6, 30.4, 28.5 and 27.9 seconds. “Both horses are fit and well and we’ve deliberately set both horses for this series,” Luke said. “It’s been one of their major targets all season. “The local talent looks pretty handy so it won’t be easy, but we’re confident both will perform at the required level. “Smooth Showgirl has been solid this season. She got left parked last week in fast time and she only just missed a placing in the end, so I was more than happy with her effort. “She can sustain her speed and she’s quite tough, so the style of Brisbane racing will suit her down to the ground. “We discovered a few little issues with Birdy Mach following his first-up effort and worked on those during his down time. It wasn’t anything major and time has helped him. “His trials have been good and he felt sharp yesterday, he pulled up in good order and I’m keen to test him during this series.” Both horses will be based at the property of co-owner Ian Gurney during their Brisbane campaign. McCarthy is no stranger to success in the Nursery Pace with victory behind Smooth Showgirl and Waves Of Fire (2014), Bling It On (2013), Aussie Made Lombo (2010), Fleur De Lil (2006), Tip Your Hat (2005) and Slipnslide (2003). He also won the three-year-old colts’ and geldings’ Final last year with Bling It On. HRQ Media

Exceptionally-bred filly Makes Every Scents will be out to emulate amend a blemish on her mother’s record when she competes at Tabcorp Park Melton Saturday night. A member of the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable, Makes Every Scents is engaged in the Victoria Oaks. The youngster’s dam – Scent – finished third in the 1997 edition of the Blue Riband. Prepared by astute horseman Peter Walsh, Scent managed to capture the New South Wales Oaks. Second in her heat last weekend, Makes Every Scents has drawn awkwardly in barrier six, with McCarthy stating the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark “will need a bit of luck”. “We are very happy with her and she is in perfect condition for this,” McCarthy said. “It’s a tremendous Oaks, with so many wonderful fillies engaged. “The draw is a little tricky, but with a touch of luck and the right run she will be right in the finish. “She went well in her heat and her work has been terrific this week.” Ironically, Walsh prepares Makes Every Scents’ biggest danger, Delightful Lana. A strong winner of her qualifier, the daughter of Bettors Delight is expected to settle in, or close to, the lead from gate four. Following her southern trip, Makes Every Scents will return to New South Wales for a short spell before embarking on another feature race campaign. PAUL COURTS

Spudvegas is the 13th foal from broodmare Colada Hanover to race, but when he won on debut at Goulburn yesterday, he did something most of his siblings have been unable to do.  Of his 12, only two have won at their first race start. Left Stranded scored at Gloucester Park in 2006, while the first horse in the family to achieve the feat was the quadruple Inter Dominion winner Blacks A Fake. Blackie, as he was affectnionately-known, debuted at the Gold Coast on August 6, 2003. Spudvegas is owned by Wayne and Ann Lamb and was bred by popular breeder Eric Basham.  Basham enjoyed the victory and watched the races on the television from his home in Young. “My wife Rosemary and I watch all of the horses race that we breed,” Basham said. “Rosemary even gets the trials off the internet so we can watch them too, they are still our babies. “There are only two more foals after Spudvegas, the next filly is named Goinsenial and she was purchased by the Rattray family, while I have leased out the last filly out of Colada Hanover.” Colada Hanover died within 24 hours of giving birth to Colada Hanover, and while Basham could not have saved the mare, he still questions himself. “She had the foal just before sundown and she was fine, my son got up to check on her at 1am the next morning and she was ok, but when I went to check on her at dawn, she was dead,” Basham explained. “The vets told me there was nothing I could have done and she most likely suffered an internal bleed after giving birth, but it was still very traumatic at the time.” Since then Basham has had some issues of his own including a broken back. “In August last year I had two young horses in a yard and I was trying to put a headstall on one of them, and while I was doing that, the other horses bit the one I was working with on the bum and I was thrown to the ground, the sound my back made was like that of a whip being cracked,” Basham said. “I managed to get up, but it has been a long recovery. There was a lot of pain, and while it has now healed, I find it difficult to stand or sit in the one position for long periods of time.” Basham confirmed he decided to lease the final foal from Colada Hanover to a vet from Young after she provided him and Rosemary with a lot of help. “The filly was a poddy foal and she was a bit backward, I had her running with the colts as a weanling and Jantien Saltet my vet said to me I’m going to take that filly and feed her up,” Basham said. “She did that and it has made a great difference to the filly, so I offered to lease her to Jantien for all of her help. It was the least I could do.” By Art Major, Spudvegas is trained by leading horsewoman Belinda McCarthy. HRNSW Media

Exceptionally-bred filly Makes Every Scents will be out to join an elite harness racing sorority at Bathurst on Saturday night. A member of the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable, Makes Every Scents is poised to become the fifth youngster to complete the Gold Tiara/Bracelet double. The two feature haves been run simultaneously since the Bracelet’s inauguration in 2000. Nemeeshar was the ground breaker in 2003 and ’04 for leading Victorian horsewoman Jayne Davies. Lady Euthenia followed suit the 2009 and ’10 before being joined by Aussie Made Lombo in 2010 and ’11 and Frith in 2012 and ’13. As for Makes Every Scents, she moved closer to becoming a member of the group when she captured her heat yesterday. Driven by McCarthy husband, Luke, Makes Every Scents embarrassed her rivals as she cruised to a 19-metre win from Sally Fletcher, with Catalina Rainbow 10-and-a-half metres away third. “She’s a very nice filly and will be hard to beat in the Final,” McCarthy said. “Hopefully we will have a bit of luck with the draw as well.” Covering the last half in a slick 56.4 seconds, the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark rated 1:57.2 for the 2260 metres, with her time the quickest of the four heat winners. McCarthy also secured a heat with classy filly Smooth Showgirl, which worked to the lead before registering a soft win from Lombo Medlyn Miss and Lettucesomewhere. “She is a very capable filly, which is right in the mix,” McCarthy said. “We will just have to wait and see how the draw unfolds.” McCarthy will also contest the Gold Chalice with Show Me The Bling, which won is heat in stylish fashion. After working to the lead with Luke in the cart, the well-bred colt was never fully extended to score from Sonny Studleigh and Lombo Idle Belief. By Grinfromeartoear, Show Me The Bling is from broodmare gem Alldatglittersisgold, dam of Baby Bling and Bling It On. PAUL COURTS

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