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Following a sensational program of harness racing action, the field for the prestigious Bathurst Gold Tiara has been decided. Heat of the futurity were conducted last night, with the first two past the post – along with the two fastest thirds - guaranteed a berth in the Final. Bathurst’s favourite son, Steve Turnbull, has qualified three runners – Cherry Mahoney, Heavenly Shades and Pixies Parlour. Turnbull also prepares the emergency, All In Your Hands. Cherry Mahoney and Pixies Parlour captured their heats, while Heavenly Shades scraped into the field after finishing third behind Three Squared, which is one of two Belinda McCarthy-trained runners in the decider. McCarthy will also be represented by heat winner, Soho Madeleine. McCarthy’s winners were driven by her husband, Luke. The all-important barrier draw for the $100,000 Gold Tiara will be conducted on Monday. PAUL COURTS  HORSE TRAINER Allnight Mlady Bernie Hewitt Art Mistress Bernie Hewitt Cherry Mahoney Steve Turnbull Gracie Taljuice Michael Teuma Heavenly Shades Steve Turnbull Hot Shot Woman Rob Xerri Lettuce Reign Mat Rue Milias Ideal Michael Formosa Pixies Parlour Steve Turnbull Shot To Stardom Josh Turnbull Soho Madeleine Belinda McCarthy Three Squared Belinda McCarthy All In Your Hands  (1st EMER) Steve Turnbull

Victorian based harness racing owner/breeder Harvey Kaplan is a shrewd operator. His success in the sport is well documented and his passion is infectious, he’s bred some outstanding stars of the sport including Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling, Fly Like An Eagle, Arctic Fire and current star Bling It On. And his desire to find the next ‘star’ continues to burn brightly. The South African born and raised harness racing fanatic is constantly upgrading and improving his large broodmare band which is spread across both Australia and New Zealand while he’s always sourcing the best options for his racing team. Kaplan is not afraid to place his horses in the best position to maximize their returns. Enter Queensland. In recent times, Kaplan has been impressed with upgrade to prizemoney and the QBRED breeding scheme in the sunshine state and now has horses consistently heading north. “Queensland is on the up and their prizemoney structure is strong while their recent upgrade of the breeding schemes is very appealing. I’m happy to place my horses where they can best earn and I had no hesitation in sending horses to Brisbane, I’ll have at least five to six racing up there in the next couple of weeks.” On Saturday night, Kaplan has the promising Epaulette engaged in the opening heat of the C2/C5 $50,000 Silks Restaurant Cup series. Formerly prepared by Sydney trainer Belinda McCarthy, Epaulette will make his debut for Ian Gurney and draws ideally in gate two. “I know one thing; we’ll be leading because he’s a brilliant gate speed horse so that’s a good start. This series is the main reason we’ve sent him north and I’m hoping we can continue to target these series in the coming months. “We’ve deliberately taken our time with him because he was such a late foal, he’s a January foal and he’s always displayed very good ability so we’ve never rushed him. We think he’ll get through his grades quickly and this series is a great start point. “This heat boasts some very talented types including Alleluia who has raced against the best of his age group but we knew that he would draw well so we expect to be hard to beat.” Kaplan is also hoping for some luck with his recent New Zealand purchase Our Narissa Franco who lines up in the Listed $25,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final. The half-sister to current star Franco Nelson has drawn ideally in gate one and looms as a legitimate chance following her heat performance on Tuesday. “Her run on Tuesday was very good and her sectionals were impressive, landing the inside gate is a major bonus because she does possess very good gate speed,” “Originally I sent this mare to Brittany Graham but was forced to change stable owing to her nasty characteristics, she’s actually quite mad but she’s fitting in with Jack Butler now. It would be a great thrill to win a race like this with her and take a good time,” “I have just purchased Fon Design who will step out for Brittany next week so hopefully this is the start of a good week to come.” Kaplan also hinted that ‘stablestar’ Bling It On could be a Queensland winter carnival player in the coming months. Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 14 March 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 14 March 2015 by Chris Barsby  

Exceptionally-bred filly Makes Every Scents will be out to emulate one of her mother’s feats when she competes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. A member of the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable, Makes Every Scents is engaged in the New South Wales Oaks, a feature her dam – Scent – captured in 1997. Prepared by astute horseman Peter Walsh, Scent caused an upset by scoring at 15/1, with Dougals Dream (16/1) and Concorde Lombo, the 6/4 favourite, filling the placings. Like her mum, Makes Every Scents will have to upstage the favourite, Delight Me, with McCarhty's husband, Luke, in the cart. Although successful in her heat last weekend, Makes Every Scents is considered a $12 chance after drawing six. The daughter of Four Starzzz Shark will slot into four with the removal of the emergencies. Also successful in her heat, Delight Me is listed at $2.20 from the pole, with New Zealand raider Fight For Glory the second elect at $2.50. Prepared by champion Kiwi horseman Mark Purdon, Fight For Glory will begin from gate nine. Referring to the Blue Riband as one of the strongest on record, McCarthy is confident Makes Every Scents can join her mother on the honour roll. “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.” PAUL COURTS

It was hard to get any consensus among harness racing scribes this week about which filly would come out on top in the second heat of the New South Wales Oaks tonight at Menangle. Punters also had trouble sorting the field out with several runners at single figure odds. The Belinda McCarthy trained Makes Every Scents was the shortest of those in single figures and worked her way to the front from barrier seven for driver Luke McCarthy. There was no real mid race pressure with the well supported CC Chevron content to sit outside the leader and control the tempo. Passing the 400 metres mark Luke let the brakes off and Makes Every Scents shot clear as they straightened for the run home. CC Chevron didn't kick on and it was left to Du Vella with Anthony Butt in the bike to storm home late from midfield to make a race of it but Du Vella came up short by half a neck at the finishing line. A daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, Makes Every Scents is from the former smart Holmes Hanover mare in  Scent 1:57.9 ($122,082) Makes Every Scents paced the 2400 metres in 2:57.1, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with closing sectionals of 56.3 and 27.8. This heat was run over three seconds slower than the first heat won by Delight Me and both Makes Every Scents and Du Vella are going to need to lift to be serious winning chances in the Oaks final on Sunday week. Harnesslink Media 

He already has a growing reputation and tonight Bling It On showed why he is considered harness racing’s next big star. A member of the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable, Bling It On completed an eye-catching victory in the Honda Grattan Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As such, the four-year-old has earned a berth in Australasia’s premier four-year-old event – Chariots Of Fire. The Group One is scheduled to be run at the same venue on March 1- TAB.com.au Inter Dominion day. After racing midfield with McCarthy’s husband, Luke, holding the reins, Bling It On finished quickly to score from Victorian raider, Messini, and Iam Mr Brightside. “Now we just have to keep this bloke healthy and sound for the Chariots Of Fire,” said Luke as he celebrated the win with the legendary Tony Turnbull), who trained and drove Hondo Grattan. “Hondo Grattan was one of the greatest horses to look through a bridle, but the McCarthys are about the best drivers I have seen,” Turnbull declared. NSWHRC Media

Flying Isa took out the first of the first of the harness racing Group 1s on Hunter Cup night with a professional performance to win the Devondale Australasian Trotters Championship Final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Trained by Belinda McCarthy and driven by Luke McCarthy Flying Isa began well to find the front early and was never headed, the six-year-old son of Pegasus Spur / Sun Isa rating 2:03.5 and scoring an 8.5-metre win over Brunelleschi with Spidergirl third. Luke McCarthy dictated the tempo to suit himself aboard the winner, Spidergirl working to the breeze early before Vincennes boldly trotted around to give the favourite one-one cover. At the bell Sheemon was out three-wide on the move with Glenferrie Typhoon getting a nice trail on his back. The leader upped the tempo down the back straight with a 27.9 split and kicked away approaching the turn. Ripping home in 28secs, Flying Isa was never going to get caught. Runner-up Brunelleschi is in career-best form. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

In the spring of 2011 a young Jake McGeechan confidently announced to his father Michael that the newly born Artistic Fella and Kahlea Mac colt was the best of their 2011 foals. With a likely future in the sport, Jake never came to realise the progress of the colt born on family's property 'Highland Pride' as he was tragically killed in a motor vehicle collision outside Crookwell in the early hours of Friday morning 30th November, 2012. For Michael McGeechan, his involvement in harness racing and standardbred breeding began in the late 1990's, and it was only natural that Jake would follow. McGeechan's first purchase was Smooth Jes who he owned with his brother John. Following a successful racing career, the mare produced a number of winners including the Miracle Mile champion Divisive and also the unraced Kahlea Mac. Michael also purchased in-foal mares Maputo that produced the Pacing Gold winner Burling Game in 2000 and Blanc De Noir who foaled the sub 1:50 horse Highland Pride who went on to win in excess of $400,000 in the US. McGeechan mostly sells the foals he breeds, but out of those retained for racing he claims the best to date as being Susie Oneill. Michael is now hoping the 2011 selection by Jake can take over the mantle. "I don't know how he did it, but Jake could pick them the moment they were born" said Michael. In 2005, the then 9 year old had chosen Shes All Lady as their best and she went on to win more than $65,000 in prize money, and in the process recorded a personal best time of 1:53.8. "He wasn't born into the horses but he had a way with them" explained Michael. "We ended up keeping all of the 2011 foals and they have been named after Jake." At Jake's funeral the Adam Brand hit Hell Of A Ride was played; it symbolised the McGeechans' year and became a natural choice for the Kahlea Mac colt. Trained by Ian Wilson at Menangle, One Hell Of A Ride has drawn 9 in the first of the $20,505 heats of the VHRSC Victoria Derby. Whilst he may be on the second row, One Hell Of A Ride comes out behind fellow New South Welshman Aztec Bromac who possess good early speed. "It's the weakest of the three heats, so we have a chance" said McGeechan who is hoping the colt Jake selected as the best can continue the ride they are experiencing. Also heading south this week is Crookwell born Brad Hewitt. The young gun harness racing trainer now based at Goulburn will be campaigning the talented Spare Me Days. A last start winner at Goulburn on the 19th January, Spare Me Days was bred by Hewitt and is the first foal of Tolnikie, a Nikalong Shadow mare who was bred and originally owned and raced by Brad's grandfather, the late Tom Hewitt of Wheeo. With the colt carrying Tom's favourite exclamation as his racing name, Spare Me Days has drawn barrier 3 in what is doubtless the hardest of the three heats being decided Saturday night. Lining up alongside the Hewitt runner is last season's champion two year old and Breeders Crown final winner Follow The Stars, the Simpson Memorial winner My Field Marshal and the Cran Dalgety trained Art Union who last start defeated the star open class pacer Border Control. "It's the hardest heat of all but we have drawn the 3 gate so it gives us a chance" said Hewitt, who is enjoying his best season ever as a trainer and driver. "I've only ever had one or two in training before but we have kicked off this season really well" said Hewitt who has recently scored feature race wins with Sweet Molly OShea and Im Jay Tee who snatched a last stride win in Monday's $18,600 Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Rose. "He (Im Jay Tee) went really good at Goulburn, it was his first run in a month and just got there". Positioned perfectly in the one by one, Hewitt came with a well-timed run to claim victory on the line from the Belinda McCarthy trained pair of Mister Bling and Epaulette. Im Jay Tee will accompany Spare Me Days to Melbourne and is lining up in race 5 at Ballarat on Friday evening which is a heat of the Country Clubs Championships. by Mark Croatto  

For A Reason’s prospects of joining an elite harness racing fraternity have been hampered by a shocking draw in Saturday night’s Victoria Cup. A stylish winner of last season’s edition, For A Reason is aiming to become just the third champion to defend his title since the race became a Grand Circuit event in 1987. Bag Limit was the first to claim consecutive wins, having emerged triumphant for the late Bob and Vin Knight. Known as the Winfield Gold Cup at the time, Bag Limit’s second victory in 1988 was the foundation for Vin’s famous “yous who are booing” speech. New Zealand star Desperate Comment became the second back-to-back winner when he was successful in 1996 and ’97. The only other pacer to win the Grand Circuit event twice is Sinbad Bay, which scored in 1989 and 1991. Also a member of the Knight stable, Sinbad Bay missed the 1990 version through injury. Before the Cup’s acceptance on the Grand Circuit, Popular Alm – another Knight runner – won the 1982 and ’83 versions. Koala King is the true star of the feature, with his victories in 1978, ’79 and ’80. That brings us back to For A Reason, which will begin from barrier 11 for New South Wales trainer Belinda McCarthy. “The draw certainly makes life tough,” McCarthy said. “From there is he going to need a bit of luck. “His work has been great and we are very happy with him heading into this. “He just never got into the Shepparton Cup on the weekend from his 30-metre handicap, so you can forget he even went around. “He is going as good as he was when he won last year, he just hasn’t had much luck during his last couple of starts.” PAUL COURTS

What do harness racing trainer’s Mark Purdon, Belinda McCarthy and Emma Stewart have in common? The easy answer is prizemoney. To be more precise, Mark is the leading money earning trainer in New Zealand, while Belinda and Emma are the leading money earning trainers in New South Wales and Victoria.  If you look a little deeper, however, you’ll discover they share something else in common, which is undoubtedly an important factor in their success. Besides their outstanding ability with equines, and meticulous attention to detail, one of the key factors to their success is their ability to source quality horses from the APG yearling sales.  It is no coincidence New Zealand, Victoria and New South Wales’ leading three trainers are also the three most active buyers at the APG Yearling Sales. Importantly, statistics show the performance of these trainers’ APG Sales Graduates significantly exceeds the success they achieve with the other horses in their stable - quite an achievement considering the quality of horseflesh these trainers have in their team at any given time! A breakdown of all three trainers’ statistics for last season makes for some interesting reading:   Performance with APG Sales Graduates:   Trainer Starts Wins Earnings Average Earnings per Start Mark Purdon 62 32 $1,007,675 $16,253 Belinda McCarthy 146 32 $862,079 $5,905 Emma Stewart 124 36 $619,708 $4,998   Performance with remainder of Stable:   Trainer Starts Wins Earnings Average Earnings per Start Mark Purdon 477 140 $2,774,665 $5,817 Belinda McCarthy 547 122 $1,934,296 $3,536 Emma Stewart 396 112 $1,198,998 $3,028   Another amazing fact is Purdon, McCarthy and Stewart’s APG Sales Graduates which started last season already have combined earnings in excess of $7.2million, at an average of nearly $150,000 per horse. The figure is destined to grow as 60 per cent of their starters were only two or three-year-olds last season and have plenty of racing ahead of them, while many of their older horses are still in their prime. Of course, it is not just these three trainers who enjoy success with APG Sales Graduates.  The 50 leading trainers of APG Sales Graduates last season (based on total earnings) collectively earned almost $9.5 million in prizemoney with their APG Sales Graduates at an average of over $2130 per start. That last figure is more than two-and-a-half times the national average (which includes NZ-bred horses racing in Australia). So if you want to maximise your chances of success, make sure you’re at the APG Melbourne Sale on Sunday, February 1 to make your dreams a reality! Photos and videos of many of APG’s Melbourne Sale horses are already available for viewing by clicking here, and more are being added on a regular basis. Harnesslink Media

Sunday’s Horsham Cup promises to be an enthralling harness racing affair. The $60,000 provincial feature has attracted a top field headed by proven Grand Circuit performer For A Reason and rising stars Philadelphia Man and Bit Of A Legend. Drawn perfectly in barrier two, For A Reason has been installed a $2.20 favourite in early markets, with Philadelphia Man considered his main danger at $6. Bit Of A Legend is on the third line of betting at $12 for trainer Cran Dalgety. A last-start winner at Bathurst, For A Reason is in “great condition” according to trainer Belinda McCarthy, who has sent the son of Art Major south for a several key targets. Beginning with this weekend’s assignment, For A Reason will then defend his Victoria Cup title at Melton on January 31. “Horsham fits in perfectly with our plans,” McCarthy said. “He was first-up for a month at Bathurst and has trained on well since. “He is in great shape for the Cup and this run will top him off perfectly for the rest of his campaign. “The Victoria Cup is the main aim, but if I feel he needs another run I may put him the Bendigo Cup next week.” Ultra-impressive during his three starts this campaign, extending his winning sequence to 10, Philadelphia Man has drawn awkwardly in his first test against open class performers. Another talented son of Art Major, Philadelphia Man has drawn six, but will slot into five for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin with the removal of the emergency. Bit Of A Legend has received the visitors’ draw, with the Kiwi raider to come from the outside of the second row. “Philadelphia Man has looked very good this time in, but the draw has been tougher on him,” McCarthy said. “I expect For A Reason to lead from two, which will make him hard to run down.” McCarthy also has Flying Isa engaged in the Trotters’ Cup, with the in-form gelding a $2.80 favourite from his 10-metre handicap. The son of Pegasus Spur boasts two wins and two seconds from four starts this campaign, including the Group One Franco Australian Final at Menangle. Promising Victorian squaregaiter, The Boss Man, shapes as the biggest threat from the front line. Unbeaten from three starts this season, the Scott Dyer-trained and driven gelding has been posted at $3.50. PAUL COURTS

Rising star All Eyes On Us has been set for harness racing’s premier four-year-old event – Chariots Of Fire. Winner of his two starts this campaign – including Saturday night’s Inner City Pace at Maitland - All Eyes On Us will have his campaign based around the Group One according to trainer Belinda McCarthy. The rich feature is scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 1 – TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion day. During the interim, All Eyes On Us may be taken to Melton for the Bonanza on February 7, which doubles as the prized A G Hunter Cup program. “At this stage we are all about the Chariots Of Fire with him,” McCarthy said. “It’s a race he is definitely up to and that’s the way we are heading. “We’re considering heading down to Melton for the Bonanza, but a decision on that will be made when it comes closer.” Driven by McCarthy’s reinsman-husband, Luke, during his latest triumph, All Eyes On Us was caught three-wide from barrier four before working his way to the lead. Never seriously challenged, the son of Art Major cruised to a seven-and-a-half metre win from Im Jay Tee, with Megs Ferrari 10-and-a-half metres away third. “That was another good run from him,” McCarthy declared. “He missed his three-year-old season because he had a bone chip in his ankle and as such we gave him plenty of time off. “It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as he has come back in great shape. “He has always shown plenty of ability and now it he is making up for lost time.” PAUL COURTS

Reigning champion For A Reason will have two more ‘sparring sessions’ before heading to Melton for his harness racing title defence. Outclassing his rivals in last season’s Victoria Cup, For A Reason is being primed by trainer Belinda McCarthy for his return bout on January 31. Success will see For A Reason become just fifth winner to retain his belt since the Cup’s inception in 1974 when known as the Winfield Gold Cup. Koala King was the ground breaker, scoring in 1978, ’79 and ’80 to remain the only triple winner of the Grand Circuit gem. Popular Alm became the second consecutive winner thanks to his victories in 1982 and ’83, followed by Bag Limit in ’87 and ’88 and Desperate Comment in 1996 and ’97. Sinbad Bay is the only other dual winner, having emerged triumphant in 1989 and 1991. McCarthy revealed her plans following For A Reason’s win in last Friday night’s Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst. First-up for a month, the son of Art Major easily accounted for Monifieth and Shannonsablast in 1:58.1 for the 2260 metres. “That was a pretty handy run,” McCarthy said. “He had a few days off after the Miracle Mile, which has really brightened him up. “He will benefit from that run and will have two more up here before we head down for the Victoria Cup.” Following his trip south of the Murray River, For A Reason will return to McCarthy’s New South Wales base to prepare for the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion. Heats of the time honoured series are scheduled to be run throughout Australasia on February 14, with the Final at Menangle on March 1. PAUL COURTS

Former Kiwi trotter Flying Isa capped a marvellous night for the Luke and Belinda McCarthy harness racing stable with a stunning win in tonight’s ‘other’ Group One feature, the $50,000 Franco Australian Trotters Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. After mixing his gait slightly at the start, the six-year-old Pegasus Spur gelding was soon taken to the front by McCarthy and from there was allowed to dictate terms from the head of the field. Some experts had suggested Flying Isa might struggle to get the marathon 3009m journey – but they were left with egg on their faces when Flying Isa went for home with 400m to travel and left his rivals wallowing in his wake. Turning for home Flying Isa had kicked about five lengths clear of his main rival, the favourite Our Overanova and the star trotter proceeded to leave the rest of them in his dust as he cleared out to win by an ever-widening gap of 24 metres in a 2:05.2 mile rate and an overall time of 3:54.2 for the marathon journey. Theresa Park trainer Graeme Hartman received a mighty thrill when his only two trotters Idle Lea (Todd McCarthy) and Alta Rihannah (Glenn McElhinney) filled the placings. Amazingly Sydney’s most powerful stable, the McCarthy team from Cobbitty had just 30 starters for three winners since September until their big guns fronted up for tonight’s dominant performance which saw them prepare four winners, Courage To Rule, Our Hi Jinx, Bling It On with Flying Isa capping off a remarkable night’s harness racing. Indeed their only disappointment was For A Reason’s effort finishing unplaced behind Christen Me in the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile. After the race Luke commented that For A Reason didn’t feel on his game tonight and next year instead of taking the horse to Queensland, where he did win the Queensland Pacing Championship, they might look at setting For A Reason solely for the Miracle Mile. “We’ll wait and look at our options,” he said.  

Despite being the fastest competitor in the event, harness racing star For A Reason is quickly becoming the forgotten horse leading into Saturday night’s Miracle Mile at Menangle. Boasting a 1:49.4 mark – the second fastest in Australasian history - For A Reason has generated little, to no, publicity as the focus centres around his rivals, particularly Beautide, Christen Me, Suave Stuey Lombo and Terror To Love. Trainer Belinda McCarthy is hoping the trend will continue during the rich sprint, leaving For A Reason to “do his thing” as he chases a second Grand Circuit win for the season. For A Reason captured last month’s Queensland Pacing Championship with McCarthy’s husband, Luke, in the cart. Luke will partner the son of Art Major again this weekend. “We’re happy to just go along our own way and get ready for the race,” McCarthy said. “The important thing is the horse is in great shape and is ready to do his thing.” Drawn awkwardly in barrier five, For A Reason is likely to be eased away from the mobile as Luke avoids the early speed battle in preference for a handy position in the running line. “We would have preferred one or two, but the draw could have been worse out in seven or eight,” McCarthy said. “From there we will be looking to get into a nice trail and hope for a bit of luck at the business end. “He couldn’t be in better shape going into this, so now we just need that bit of luck.” Citing defending champion Beautide as the one to beat, McCarthy believes the winner will have to break the magical 1:50 mark. Smoken Up’s southern hemisphere record of 1:48.5 is safe according to McCarthy. “I think whoever wins will have to go 1:50 or just under,” McCarthy said. “It would be great for the industry if Smoken Up’s record was broken, but it probably won’t happen.” PAUL COURTS

Rising star Bling It On will take a step towards harness racing history at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Engaged in the Cordina Sprint, Bling It On’s owners are aiming for an invite into next week’s Miracle Mile. Should the Belinda McCarthy-trained entire earn a berth in the Grand Circuit gem, he’ll then be out to join his half-sister, Baby Bling, on the prestigious sprint’s honour roll. Even more impressive is the fact no mare has produced two Miracle Mile contestants. Bling It On and Baby Bling are from broodmare gem, Alldatglittersisgold. While Bling It On’s connections realise the prospects of gaining a Miracle Mile start “are pretty slim”, part-owner Harvey Kaplan pointed to Baby Bling’s win as the perfect example of “you never know!” Baby Bling, also trained by McCarthy, captured the April 2013 edition of the premier speed test as the rank outsider, paying $33.90 on the tote. “It maybe 12 months too soon, but we thought we may as well have a go and see what happens,” Kaplan said. “We’re looking at this week’s race from two angles…one, it would be fantastic to qualify for the Miracle Mile and two, it will be great education for him to compete against the seasoned horses. “We’ve got the Chariots Of Fire picked out for him later in the season and you pretty much have to run a similar time to the Miracle Mile to win that. “Guaranteed went 1:50.4 in last year’s Chariots, while Beautide went 1:50.2 in the Miracle Mile. “Baby Bling’s Miracle Mile win proved you never know what can happen in racing.” Successful at his two runs this season, Bling It On has also been set a tough task via the barrier draw, which will see the son of American Ideal start from gate six. Short course specialist and hot favourite, Suave Stuey Lombo, will come out of eight. “Suave Stuey Lombo is obviously the one to beat,” Kaplan declared. “In the past six months he has run the three quickest miles in Australia. “As much as we’d like to qualify for the Miracle Mile, Bling It On won’t be gutted and will be driven quietly. “This time around he will be the hunter and not the hunted.” PAUL COURTS

Australian harness racing star For A Reason will be sent across the Tasman tonight. Trainer Belinda McCarthy confirmed the multiple Group One winner will fly to the Shaky Isles for a two race campaign. Beginning with next week’s New Zealand Cup, For A Reason will then tackle the New Zealand Free-For-All three days later. Kept fresh since his Queensland Pacing Championship triumph a fortnight ago, For A Reason will travel with one of the world’s most trusted equine airline – IRT. “He is booked to leave Thursday evening,” McCarthy said. “We booked him with IRT, which is the only way to go. “He got through his Queensland campaign in perfect order and is ready for this New Zealand trip.” An Australian-based company, IRT has been transporting the industry’s stars around the globe for 42 years. Along with standardbreds, the transport giant is also trusted with champion gallopers and Olympians to special breeds and valuable family pets. Although founded in Australia by British-born Quentin Wallace, IRT also has offices in New Zealand, the UK , Germany and USA. Following his international quest, For A Reason will return via IRT to McCarthy’s New South Wales stable to be readied for the Miracle Mile at Menangle on November 29. The son of Art Major will then be given a short break before being taken south for his Victoria Cup defense in January. For A Reason will be joined by Seel N Print, which is prepared by McCarthy's brother-in-law, Todd. A multiple feature race winner, Seel N Print has been aimed at the same targets as For A Reason. PAUL COURTS

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