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The nominees for the 2013-14 Harness Horse of the Year have been released with the  winners to be announced at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on Sunday, October 19.   Im Themightyquinn, Im Victorious, David Hercules and Hokonui Ben are the four finalists who will battle it out for Horse of the Year honours.   Im Themightyquinn made a triumphant return to racing after injury threatened to end his  career when he won seven races including the Group 1 Blacks A Fake in Queensland.   “I’m excited about him being nominated especially after he was injured earlier in the  season,” said trainer, Gary Hall Snr.   “It is a great effort to come back and compete in the form and manner that he is.”   The Michael Brennan-trained Im Victorious claimed seven wins from his 12 starts with the  highlight the Group 1 Fremantle Pacing Cup.   Tragedy struck the gelding when he suffered a career-ending tendon injury after being  severely checked in the Group 1 Inter Dominion Final.   “It is a huge honour to be nominated considering the horses that have won this prestigious  award in the past,” said Brennan.   “It would be a privilege and an honour to win an award like this given the happenings of the  past 12 months.”   David Hercules raced on 16 occasions for seven wins and six placings and $181,150 in stake  earnings. He claimed the Group 3 Winter Cup and Group 3 Howard Porter Memorial.   Hokonui Ben earned Group 1 honours in the WA Pacing Cup and also enjoyed victories in the  Group 2 Village Kid and Group 2 RWWA Cup.   NOMINEES:   2YO FILLY                                       2YO COLT & GELDING   La Mia Juliette                                     All Aussie Boy Tricky Styx                                             Isaiah Artois Straittothehilton                                   Persistent Threat Major Reality   3YO FILLY                                      3YO COLT & GELDING   Im Bella Jay                                          Mister Jadore Libertybelle Midfrew                            Elegant Christian Majorly Foxy Styx                                  Three Blind Mice   HORSE OF THE YEAR                          AGED MARE    Hokonui Ben                                          Leda McNally Im Victorious                                          Famous Alchemist Im Themightyquinn                               Sensational Gabby David Hercules     Barry Hamilton Manager Harness Racing 94455311 Barry.hamilton@rwwa.com.au

Queensland warrior Destreos is hoping for a change of luck. The Ken Rattray trained veteran gelding lines up in his fifth Redcliffe Cup this Saturday night at the bayside club and victory is proving to be quite elusive. But this could be the year. The Gr.3 $40,000 Moreton Bay Regional Council Redcliffe Gold Cup has drawn together a very strong field highlighted by a huge representation from the leading stables of Grant Dixon who has five entrants including last year’s winner Only The Brave. While club officials were hopeful of attracting champion pacer Im Themightyquinn who swept all before him recently at Albion Park, a competitive field has been assembled. Destreos returns from a successful three start Sydney campaign and heads to Redcliffe in great form leaving connections hopeful of forward showing. The best result for Destreos so far was back in 2010 when a runner-up behind Nickys Falcon. “He’s returned from his Sydney trip in very good order and knowing that Im Themightyquinn and Avonnova are not starting gives me plenty of confidence. We’ll still need plenty of luck but you can’t knock his recent form, I thought he performed really well in all of his starts in Sydney including his latest effort behind Freyberg and Smoken Up in 1;51.7.” Rattray said. Destreos starts from a 10m handicap and will follow out last start winner and in-form pacer Majestic Major. Regular pilot Kelli Dawson will reunite with the Astreos gelding. “In recent times I’ve tried to restrict his racing to mile events but he’s performing really well currently and I thought he deserved his chance in this race again. We’ve been close on a few occasions in the past including his narrow second to Nickys Falcon so hopefully we can win it this time around. “He’s got a good record at Redcliffe and he’s never had any issues with the track despite boasting a great record at Albion Park. If we get a good trip from the draw, I think he’ll be right in this finish. “His last start sixth in Sydney was very good because we got left without cover and he was still in the mix until the final 75m and the time was very good on a cool night. We went to Sydney to avoid the winter carnival stars but still ran into the likes of Smoken Up and a few others.” Rattray was quick to highlight star mare Forever Gold as one of the hardest to beat despite the fact she must overcome a 20m back mark handicap. The Darren Weeks/Kylie Rasmussen prepared mare caught the eye last start when running on strongly behind Im Themightyquinn in the Gr.1 $100,000 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 19. “That mare went super last start at Albion Park and I’m sure she will prove very hard to beat, she’s such a professional and she always rises to the challenge. “It’s a very even field and most could win it with even luck, this is a race that can throw up a roughie.” The $20,000 Redcliffe Oaks is the other feature on the program and a strong field has also been gathered. Last start Queensland Oaks placegetters Charming Allie and Beef City Safari must overcome second-line draws while speedy fillies Heavenly Cullen and Morethanmeetstheye have drawn ideally. The first of nine races is scheduled to start at 5.35pm. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers.  Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (HRNSW)                                                                                                                                         

There will not be a dry eye at the track should the David Thorn trained Gamebreaker win Thursday night's The MonSTaR Foundation Danny Bergan Memorial at Penrith. One of Gamebreaker's owners in Danny Bergan's son, Daniel, and after an approach was made to Harness Racing New South Wales permission has been granted for the son of Mach Three to wear Bergan's old race colours. On the 10th March 2007 Danny Bergan passed away after a two year battle with Motor Neurone Disease and in his memory, Danny's son Daniel and good friend Stuart Jamieson set out to do all they could to ensure that Danny's wife was financially secure and they would do all they could to help raise awareness and research into the debilitating disease. In 2010, Daniel and Stuart took their fundraising efforts and linked up with the MonSTaR Foundation and since then all money raised at the Danny Bergan fundraisers has gone directly to the Foundation, a body that has raised over $1 million, all in the name of supporting sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease. Daniel and Stuart have raised a combined total of $320,000 over the last five years with the majority of the money going to the MonSTaR Foundation and Thursday's meeting at Penrith will be another fundraising event. Gamebreaker is only lightly raced, having had two starts for a victory, however the four year old has not raced since August of last year. "He is beautifully bred, he is out of a half sister to Blacks A Fake and we have had to be a bit patient because he has had a few issues," syndicate manager Mitch Lenaghan said. "If it could win on Thursday night for Daniel and his family, wearing Danny's colours, it would be a very special night." The MonSTaR Foundation Danny Bergan Memorial is race five at Penrith and is scheduled to begin at 8:17. By Greg Hayes  

Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn finished the Brisbane harness racing winter carnival the same way he started it. The Gary Hall trained nine-year-old once again captivated a massive crowd at Albion Park with a thrilling come from behind victory in the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake defeating tough local pacer Avonnova and Mach Beauty. Handled by regular reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, Im Themightyquinn sat mid-field in the moving line before sustaining a long sprint from the 900m marker while Mach Beauty led his stablemate Suave Stuey Lombo. With Mach Beauty charging down the back straight on the final occasion in a 26.5 second split, Im Themightyquinn was left working hard while Avonnova sat patiently in the trail. In the straight, Im Themightyquinn dug deep to fight his way past Avonnova to score by a half neck margin with Mach Beauty a further 3m away in third. The winning milerate was 1;56.1 – just outside of the track record of 1;55.9 held by Mr Feelgood. Winning trainer Gary Hall was overcome with emotion following the gutsy victory. “This is unbelievable; I thought he was all done at the top of the straight after such a strong back straight split but he showed why he is a champion and that was an effort of a champion. I’m so pleased for the horse and I’m thrilled with the way he’s been admired by the Queensland people.” Hall said. Im Themightyquinn won both open class features during the carnival, the Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint in track record time of 1;50.5 plus tonight’s Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake. Im Themightyquinn The Gr.1 $100,000 SKY Racing Queensland Derby was dominated by race favourite and star Sydney colt Bling It On who defeated Alleluia and Yayas Hot Spot. Driven aggressively by Luke McCarthy, Bling It On found the lead at the 2000m point and dictated terms in front thereafter before striding clear to win by 9.5m in a time of 1;57.2 for the 2680m event. The American Ideal colt remains unbeaten in Queensland winning all nine starts to date. Bling It On now heads to Victoria for the Australasian Breeders Crown series next month. Bling It On The Gr.2 $80,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour QBRED Triad 2yo Finals were thrilling contests. Jack Malone scored a nose victory over a gallant A Good Chance with Constantlysideways finishing third after leading. Trained and driven by Peter Greig, Jack Malone rated 1;55.9 for the 1660m event. The Cammibest gelding is raced by Patrice Madden. Jack Malone In the fillies final, the Shannon Price trained stablemates Bettorthanspecial edged out Bettor Promise by a short head margin in a time of 1;58.5. Brad Cowen took the winning drive. Bred and raced by Tony and Katy Price, both fillies are by super sire Bettors Delight. Bettorthanspecial The Gr.3 $45,000 Gurney Group of Companies 4yo Championship was taken out by former Kiwi pacer Five Card Draw who scored via the sprintlane to beat Majestic Major and Chevals Clivesdale in a driving finish. Five Card Draw rated 1;55.8 for the 2138m event. Trained and driven by Darrel Graham, Five Card Draw has now won seven races at Albion Park since being purchased by Dean Shannon earlier this year. Five Card Draw Champion pacer Blacks A Fake was another star attraction trackside tonight parading in front of the massive crowd on a number of occasions which was met by a great response. Harness fans Rob Johnston from Cedar Creek and Alan Lendrum from Toowoomba shared in the experience of a lifetime after being drawn as the lucky winners for the owners of Im Themightyquinn and Bling It On for the night. They took 10% ownership for the night with full owner’s privileges. Well done! by Chris Barsby

Let’s take a walk down memory lane. The feature event this weekend at Albion Park is the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake, a race named in honour of the greatest Queensland pacer of all time. And arguably, the best this country has ever produced. Born and raised on the lush soils on the Darling Downs at Egmont Park Stud at Toowoomba in Queensland, the rise to prominence for the horse affectionately known as ‘Blackie’ was meteoric and just like his tenacity to win, simply spectacular. Blacks A Fake was raced by Cheryl Rasmussen, the mother of the young trainer/driver plus Helen Pointer, the wife of Ron Pointer who shared in the ownership of Egmont Park Stud and Trevor Titcomb, a fish ‘n’ chip shop owner at Boonah, west of Brisbane. Partnered throughout his entire life with a talented young horseperson in Natalie Rasmussen, the pair combined to attract fans world wild as they dominated some of the biggest pacing events in the southern hemisphere and at times, on more than one occasion, and in a sport which is largely male dominated. But that never stopped the runaway success train of Blackie and Natalie Rasmussen as they plundered features throughout Australia year after year and in doing so, continued to re-write the record books. When the dynamic duo combined to win the first of their four record breaking Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Finals in Tasmania back in 2006, they became the first Queenslander and first female to win the prestigious event. The record books clearly show that Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen are Inter Dominion legends, they combined to win four titles starting with their initial success in Hobart back in 2006 followed by their victory in Adelaide in 2007 while completing the hat-trick in 2008 in front of a massive Moonee Valley crowd in Melbourne. In 2009, on his home soil on the Gold Coast, Blacks A Fake was run down late by former North American pacer Mr Feelgood to deny him an historic moment after he was savaged in front by a tear away Auckland Reactor. Sharing the record with Our Sir Vancelot as triple Inter Dominion winners lasted only another twelve months because in 2010 at TABCORP Park, Menangle, Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen created their piece of history as four time Inter Dominion champions after fighting off fierce rivals Monkey King and Smoken Up in an epic battle. The record of four Inter Dominion titles has never been broken but Im Themightyquinn is still a legitimate chance of equaling it if he remains sounds over the next twelve months but, as it stands, Blackie is the complete Inter Dominion king. A crown thoroughly and richly deserved. Fittingly, both Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen have been recognized in the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame. The record of Blackie in his home state of Queensland is also worthy of special mention. In Queensland, or more importantly Albion Park, Blacks A Fake and Natalie constantly thrilled the local fans winning many a race on the famed Breakfast Creek site. Blacks A Fake started 56 times at Albion Park (technically 52 but four races were staged at the Gold Coast in lieu of Albion Park including the Inter Dominion and 2009 QPC among other events) and won on 42 occasions while also managing 12 minor placings. He amassed more than $1 million in prizemoney at Albion Park. In other key stats with Blacks A Fake and Albion Park, his arch rival and dual Miracle Mile champion Be Good Johnny finished second to Blackie 6 times. His shortest winning margin was a half head victory over Slipnslide in the 3yo QBRED Triad Final. The biggest winning margin was 19.8m over Loud N Clear in a C9+ event in 2009. He never started in a ‘SS’ event at Albion Park, only 6 in his career. His most starts in a season at Albion Park came in his last with 14 runs while he never started during the 2004/05 season. Blacks A Fake won the Winter Cup three times, the race that now carries his name. Ironically, the favourite the for the 2014 Blacks A Fake is Im Themightyquinn, the wonder from the west who is rapidly closing in on his Inter Dominion record while looking certain to eclipse the Australian prizemoney record held by Blackie at $4, 575, 438. Im Themightyquinn requires another $67, 982 to pass the record. Fittingly, these two champion pacers, the two greatest of the modern era will come face to face on Saturday night as Blacks A Fake will lead out his race. Blacks A Fake – a living legend! By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Everything is in readiness. That’s the simple message from star Perth trainer Gary Hall in regard to his champion pacer Im Themightyquinn who lines up in Saturday night’s Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake at Albion Park. The brilliant pacer has made the Queensland winter carnival which started with his stunning track record breaking performance in the Sunshine Sprint back on July 5 and he’s looking to close the carnival with another sizzling display this weekend. Many fans, new and old, have returned to Albion Park this month to witness the amazing pacer go about his business and it’s obvious he’s left his legion of fans still craving more. After drawing wide off the front-line in his two starts to date, Im Themightyquinn must overcome a second-line draw to win the race named in honour of the greatest pacer of all time. But the gap is shortening between Blacks A Fake and Im Themightyquinn. The retired Queensland superstar currently holds the record for most Inter Dominions (4) won plus his earning capacity is still far bigger than any other harness horse. Ever so slightly, Im Themightyquinn has chipped away at both records with the speed machine collecting three Inter Dominion titles while he is only $67, 982 short of the prizemoney record. “Records are meant to be broken, isn’t that the old saying?” Hall quipped. In a fantastic boost for harness racing fans, the two greatest pacers of the modern era will both be at Albion Park this Saturday night. And while Hall is excited about his race, he’s just as excited about seeing Blackie. “I love Blacks A Fake; he was an absolute superstar on and off the track and I’m looking forward to seeing him again on Saturday night. Horses like Quinny, Blackie and Smoken Up are all just absolute heroes that deserve all the recognition they get, we need more of them. “It should be a great night on Saturday, Quinny is ready to go and everything has gone to plan during his Queensland campaign. He’s trained on really well since last weekend and we’re expecting another big effort this week. “Quinny thrives on racing and he certainly has enjoyed himself here in Brisbane, the warm sunshine has done wonders for him and it’s great to see so many fans of the horse here in this state.” Initially disappointed by the barrier draw, Hall believes his superior staying qualities will carry him a long way in the 2680m contest. “Just look at his record in races at 2600m and beyond, it’s outstanding and he just thrives on these big stages. He has the brilliant high cruising speed but then he can rattle off the sprint at the end of it which makes him so lethal. “Obviously the Shane Tritton runners loom as the dangers from their front-line draws and they will prove hard to catch, Suave Stuey Lombo proved last week he can beat us given the right run so it won’t be easy but I can’t fault my horse.” Im Themightyquinn is currently quoted at $1.65 with TattsBet to win on Saturday night. The champion pacer is due to fly out of Brisbane on Monday bound for Perth. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Hunter Valley harness racin trainer Shane Tritton is hoping he can go one better on his second placing in the Sunshine Sprint when he launches his attacking raid on the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park this Saturday night. Tritton has three runners in the race this weekend but his two main chances according to the bookmakers, Mach Beauty and Suave Stuey Lombo have drawn the same gates this week as they did in the Sunshine Sprint. "I'm happy with the draw for all three of my horses, obviously Mach (Beauty) drawing one is ideal because he needs to be on the fence, Suave Stuey Lombo can work forward this week from seven because he lost all winning chance in the Sunshine Sprint when he went back while Brave Wiggy should get a nice economical trip from barrier two," Tritton said. "Mach Beauty had a pretty tough run on Saturday night and was well beaten by Chilli Palmer but I think I have been a bit easy on him since I arrived in Queensland because I have been working on a new track. I will be really drilling the work into him this week and I expect him to be a much better prospect." Tritton acknowledges Im Themightyquinn is going to be incredibly hard to beat and deserves his favouritism. "He has been a great horse for so long and he has been in great form since he arrived in Brisbane including that huge win in the Sunshine Sprint when the track record was smashed." The Blacks A Fake has been a graveyard for short priced favourites since the race was elevated to Gr. 1 status, in fact three of the last four years has seen stars beaten. In 2012 Smoken Up was rolled by Terrorway, in 2011 Blacks A Fake tasted defeat at the hands of Georgetown while Mr Feelgood finished behind Rohan Home. The other Gr. 1 event on the night will be the Queensland Derby and the Tritton stable will be represented by Yayas Hotspot. "Gate three is good for him, he has been racing without the hood this time in and he hasn't been the same horse so I have decided to put the hood back on him and if his work early this week has been anything to go by I think he will improve a great deal." By Greg Hayes Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Queensland young gun Pete McMullen is counting down the days. Like sands though the hourglass. On Saturday night, McMullen gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he partners harness racing megastar pacer Im Themightyquinn in the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Open Pace at Albion Park. Only last week, McMullen took the lines behind the $4.5 million earner in a trial which prepped him for his stunning track record breaking victory in the Sunshine Sprint. Now, it’s the real deal and the talented third generation horseman can’t wait. “I have to keep pinching myself, I still can’t believe I’ve been entrusted with duty of driving this champion pacer under race conditions. It’s such a massive thrill and a huge honour, I can’t wait to get out there and get amongst it.” McMullen said. It would be understandable if McMullen was suffering from nerves but they have been erased following his trial triumph last week. The focused and dedicated horseman came to the attention of Gary Hall months ago after the Perth based trainer noticed similarities with his son, star reinsman Gary Jnr. “I like his style and he drives with controlled aggression just like Gaz and I had no hesitation in securing his services when I came to Brisbane. I told him after the trial last week that I would put him on if the race stood up this week and I’m happy to have him aboard.” Hall said. Since transferring to the stables of Hall back in October, 2008, Im Themightyquinn has had a total of six different drivers which includes Gary Hall Jnr, Clinton Hall, Kim Prentice, Nathan Jack, Shayne Cramp and Greg Bennett. On Saturday night, McMullen will become lucky number seven. “He’s not the easiest horse to drive because he has own little tricks and idiosyncrasies but I was thrilled when young Pete handled him perfectly in the trial, they both seemed very comfortable out there together. “Gaz was very keen to return this week and drive him but I’ve got Beaudiene Boaz set to trial this Sunday at Byford and I wanted him to drive him before he starts next week in the Golden Slipper. Gaz will be back to drive him next week in the feature. “He’s trained on very well since his victory last week and he’s really enjoying his time here in Queensland. I’m sure he will be very hard to beat again this weekend, the extra distance will actually suit him better.” Victory this weekend will take Im Themightyquinn closer to all time prizemoney record which is currently held by retired Queensland champion Blacks A Fake at $4, 575, 438. by Chris Barsby Queensland Harness Racing

Harness racing trainer Greg Franklin prepares a big team of two. Just two pacers. And both will start this Saturday night at Albion Park, his first runner Beef City Safari will contest the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks while his other runner Rakarebel will tackle champion pacer Im Themightyquinn for the second straight week. The popular figure prepares his pair of pacers at the Redcliffe Paceway, where Franklin is the track manager. “I’ve only got time for the two horses between my other commitments at the track but I’m lucky to have two handy types. The filly has been a strong improver all season long while Rakarebel keeps proving he’s got a real zest for racing.” Franklin said. The arrival of Beef City Safari into Franklin’s care came out of the blue following a missed call at Redcliffe on a racenight when Franklin was driving the water cart. Bernie and Carmel Clifton from Rockhampton left a message for Franklin and after making the return phone call, the filly was on her way to his stables. With four wins and nine placings from 21 career starts, Beef City Safari aims up for her shot at Group 1 glory when she locks horns with some of the best fillies in the country this weekend. “I’ve always liked this filly and I think she’s a good little stayer, she enjoys the races when the speed is on and I’m sure these fillies will be running from the start this weekend. Obviously Nike Franco is very talented but we’ll give it our best shot. “She’s trained on really well since her last and keeping her fresh in between runs has agreed with her. It was a very good effort in the Triad Final while her effort in the Gold Coast Oaks was also very strong. “We’re drawn directly alongside Nike Franco and I think Mathew (Neilson – driver) will give her a good run from there. I think she will perform well again and then we will look at the Redcliffe Oaks with her in a couple of weeks.” While Beef City Safari faces a big challenge getting over the top of Nike Franco, spare a thought for Rakarebel.   The well-travelled veteran was a former stablemate of Im Themightyquinn when previously prepared by Gary Hall before popping in and out of many stables since those glory days in Perth where he strung together eight straight victories at Gloucester Park. Last week, Rakarebel ran a cracking fourth in the Sunshine Sprint behind Im Themightyquinn in track record time after starting from a shocking second-line draw. “Everybody keeps telling me he’s past it but his form suggests otherwise, I know he still hasn’t won for me yet but his last couple of starts have been great in super time. “If he puts in another forward showing on Saturday night, he’ll back-up in the Blacks A Fake before we head to the Redcliffe Cup. He’s healthy and happy so we’ll keep chipping away with him." by Chris Barsby Queensland Harness Racing

Star Queensland mare Forever Gold is ready for a racetrack return. And the classy harness racing mare warmed up nicely for the Gr.3 $30,000 Southern Queensland Plumbing Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes with a stunning trial earlier this week. On Monday afternoon, Forever Gold was allowed to stretch out in the 1660m trial at Albion Park with a powerful front-running display in a mile rate of 1;53.7 scoring by close to 40m from Queensland Oaks bound filly Milly Perez. The Famous Forever mare has not started since disappointing in the Gr.1 $100,000 Queen of the Pacific at TABCORP Park, Melton on May 23 when ninth behind pocket-rocket mare Gumdrops. “I think she’s happy to be home and her trials (3 in total) since returning have been very pleasing, she’s ready to go on Saturday night and the race looks perfect to restart her campaign again. I think she got away on us a little and that probably best explains the uncharacteristic effort last start.” Trainer Darren Weeks said. Connections deliberately bypassed last week’s Sunshine Sprint preferring to concentrate on the mare’s only feature before graduating to the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake next week. The Gr.3 $40,000 Redcliffe Gold Cup on August 2 is also distinct possibility before another short let-up. “I’m sure we pulled the right rein skipping the Sunshine Sprint last week; she wasn’t ready to chase Im Themightyquinn in a track record time and her trial earlier this week just topped her off nicely. It was always our plan to go into the mare’s feature first-up followed by the Blacks A Fake. “This race looks ideal for her and the barrier draw looks very kind on paper so we should be able to control the race pretty quickly. Obviously she’s the class runner and looks very well graded against her own sex so she’ll prove tough to beat. “We’ll step her up against Im Themightyquinn and company next week because the staying distance will give her good opportunity to race well. Quinny is a champion horse and he proved that last week but we’ll give it our best shot.” Forever Gold is looking to repeat in the Fleur De Lil after staging a terrific battle with Torque In Motion last season in a time of 1;52.8 for the 1660m.. This year, the race will be staged over 2138m. Connections intend on campaigning again next season with the rising seven-year-old and the spring features in October loom as logical targets. “The big races later this year certainly make strong appeal and we intend on heading in that direction all going to plan, she thrives on racing.” Forever Gold is the winner of 35 races from 65 career starts while amassing more than $550,000 in prizemoney. by Chris Barsby Queensland Harness Racing

He’s arrived! Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn landed safely at Brisbane airport in the early hours in preparation for the Queensland Winter Carnival which officially starts next week. The $4.46 million earner will start in next week’s Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint before heading to the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake on July 19 and then possibly the Gr.3 $40,000 Redcliffe Cup on August 2. Trainer Gary Hall was on board the flight that left Perth last night that came via Melbourne before touching down in Brisbane at around 3am. “It was a long flight but we’re here and ready to go. We’re both seasoned travelers and everything went to plan and we both managed to rest up on the  initial leg from Perth to Melbourne.” Hall said. The dynamic duo is based at Logan Reserve on Brisbane’s southside, the property of Shannon Price and Scott Miller during their sunshine state campaign. It is expected that Im Themightyquinn will trial publically early next week at Albion Park with Queensland young gun Pete McMullen tipped to take the prized drive. “As long as he settles in well which I expect, I will take him to Albion Park for a trial which will keep him ticking over just nicely for the race next week. I’ve spoken to Pete and he will drive Quinny for me in the trial. “I’m a big fan of Pete and the way he drives so I was more than happy for him to handle Quinny; it will be great for the young kid. “I can’t be happier with the way he’s going and his last piece of fast work on Wednesday morning at home was phenomenal. He’s the horse to beat in next week’s feature.” Another highlight during his Queensland campaign is the possibility of breaking the prizemoney record which is currently held by champion Queensland pacer Blacks A Fake. Blacks A Fake retired with career earnings of $4, 575, 438 while Im Themightyquinn has banked $ 4, 468, 736. Blacks A Fake will be the special guest of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club on July 19 paving the way for a fantastic opportunity to witness the two greatest pacers of the modern era at the same time. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

The Albion Park Harness Racing Club is one week away from their winter carnival. Starting officially next week, July 5 and culminating on July 19, the metropolitan club will host some of the most exciting pacers in the country in a raft of Group One feature events. The headline act is champion Perth pacer Im Themightyquinn who arrives in BrisVegas tomorrow morning (Friday) while Albion Park track record holder and recent Menangle 1;49.6 winner Suave Stuey Lombo and a swag of his stablemates will arrive early next week. Local open class star Avonnova, a winner of 7 of his last 8 starts will have his final hit-out on Saturday night before progressing to the Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint next week followed by the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake on July 19. It’s important to point out that Miracle Mile/Inter Dominion champion Beautide is the only horse to conquer him during his winning streak. Beautide defeated Avonnova in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile on April 27. On Saturday night, a ten race program is scheduled with many talented pacers staking their claim for winter carnival features over the next three weeks. And gambling giant TattsBet are offering a $20,000 Trifecta carryover jackpot on the opening race. Trot Tips – the punters pal is here to assist again. “It’s another strong program slated for this weekend before the carnival gets underway next week with some outstanding racing expected. So, let’s get amongst the action so we can attack the next three weeks with confidence.” Trot Tips Mick Polster said. The opening race on Saturday is programmed for the 1660m and boasts a very talented field including exciting four-year-old Caesar Augustus. “There is many ways to assess this field but I’m coming back to a leader behind leader scenario with Usane Flash and Screaman Seaman. Both of these New South Wales trained pacers look well placed in this race from their good draws. “Usane Flash has trialed well recently at Bathurst in readiness for this campaign while Screaman Seaman continues to race in good form, I’m confident Usane Flash can hold-up from this inside draw. Other leading hopes in this race include Alberto Contador, Saucy Vision, Truly Blissfull and Caesar Augustus. “I’m prepared to give minor place hopes to Major Lefty and Ima Gucci Girl if you’re prepared to play wider. I will base my trifecta combinations around these runners for varying amounts.” TattsBet will also offer a $3000 First 4 carryover on race 2, the weekly Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final. And a fixed odds Drivers Challenge market will also be available. For further information from Trot Tips, visit the website – trottips.com The first race is scheduled to start at 5.00pm.   by Chris Barsby

Ian Gurney is hoping the good fortune continues. Still sporting a big grin after his recent success in the Gr.1 $100,000 Nursery Pace Fillies Final at Albion Park with exciting prospect Smooth Showgirl, the likeable owner/trainer has his stablestar Avonnova ticking along nicely in preparation for the upcoming Brisbane winter carnival. The Art Major gelding returned to racing last Saturday night following his courageous second in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle behind superstar pacer Beautide and delivered on all aspects. In a crushing display, Avonnova sat parked in the 2138m before racing clear in the home straight to score comfortably in a time of 1;54.8 – just outside of his track record time of 1;54.4. The free-legged pacer has proven himself as the benchmark open class performer in the sunshine state. And Gurney is looking forward to the coming months. “He’s just a great old horse that continues to surprise me, not in my wildest dreams did I envisage him doing what he’s currently doing when I purchased him but I’m loving the ride.” Gurney said. Avonnova will start again this weekend at Albion Park where he lines up in the Betta Home Living Virginia & Keperra Open Pace over the 1660m sprint distance. The challenge is not an easy one considering Avonnova must overcome a second-line draw while noted speedsters Lebron, Sign To Inverell and Holy Camp Boy all have front-line draws and more residual fitness on their side. “This won’t be any pushover on Saturday night but I’m happy with how my horse has come through last week’s effort. He had a good blow after the race last week but has since trained on very well so I’m happy. “Giving a horse like Lebron a start is not ideal but we can’t do much about the barrier now so we’ll just deal with it, I’m sure Bart (Cockburn – driver) will have some sort of plan in mind. You would expect this field to run about 1;53.5 give or take. “We’re aiming for the Sunshine Sprint and the Blacks A Fake in July, they’re the two biggest targets we have in mind and I’m sure he will perform at his best in both of those races. It’s exciting just to be competing in these types of races.” Avonnova has won 8 of his 14 starts under Gurney. The chances of Gurney having two runners in those winter carnival features were looking a distinct possibility with forgotten star Mach Alert on the comeback trail but plans have been slightly altered. The dual Gr.1 winner returned to the trials earlier this week at Albion Park, his first public outing since finishing fourth in the Gold Coast Cup behind Field Officer and Ideal Scott last October. “I was thrilled with his effort but it’s a big ask bringing a horse back to the track after such a long layoff, I just don’t think he will be ready for races like the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake. “He’s such a good horse and I’m not going to rush him for the sake of it, I’m thinking the spring features will suit his timing better. He needs a few more trials to bring him back up to speed but I won’t start him until I’m really happy. “He did what I wanted him to do the other day and importantly, he’s come through it really so that’s a good start. He will trial again next week.” Let’s hope the run of good fortune continues for Gurney. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Superstar Im Themightyquinn moved a step closer to becoming the greatest stake earner in the history of Australasian harness racing when he strolled to an effortless victory in the Abbott And Company Printers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred nine-year-old was completely unextended in winning by a length and a half from Polak, with Crombie back in third place ibn the 2536m mobile event. This took Im Themightyquinn's record to 104 starts for 53 wins and 32 placings for stakes of $4,404,736 and now it seems only a matter of time until he breaks Blacks A Fake's record as Australasia's highest-earning standardbred. The Queensland-bred Blacks A Fake was retired after having 105 starts for 72 wins and 24 placings for $4,575,438 in prizemoney. Im Themightyquinn will continue to race at Gloucester Park until champion trainer Gary Hall sen. takes him to Queensland to contest three feature events in July --- the $60,000 Sunshine Sprint, the $100,000 Blacks A Fake Championship and the $40,000 Redcliffe Cup. Im Themightyquinn's victory was one of five winners trained by Hall on the ten-event program. The others were Alta Christiano, Vapour, Our Arlington and Famous Alchemist, and Hall has an unassailable lead on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership and Statewide premiership. Hall has had 490 city starters for 121 wins, 71 seconds and 59 thirds this season for earnings of $2,002,722. He leads from Ross Olivieri (43 wins), Greg and Skye Bond (38) and Debbie Padberg (25). On the Statewide premiership table Hall has 149 winners and leads from the Bonds (92), Olivieri (57) and Andrew De Campo (54). Im Themightyquinn, making his second appearance after an absence of seven months, was favourite at 10/1 on from the outside barrier on the front line in Friday night's event and Gary Hall jun. eased him back to last in the field of nine as polemarker Whos Mistake set the early pace before Mark Reed sent Polak to the front after 600m. The first 400m section of the final mile was a dawdling 31.3sec. and Hall jun. patiently waited until the 950m mark before switching Im Themightyquinn three wide and sending him forward. Im Themightyquinn then got the three-wide trail behind Please Release Me 250m later and Hall was able to pop him into the one-out, one-back position briefly down the back straight before taking him three wide before the 300m post. Im Themightyquinn was untouched by Hall as he swept past Polak 90m from the finish. He rated 1.56.8 after final quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.1sec. HALL'S AGGRESSION PAYS DIVIDENDS Clint Hall's decision not to restrain Famous Alchemist back to the rear from her unfavourable barrier on the outside of the front line and to use aggressive tactics paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred five-year-old revealed wonderful strength and speed to win the 2130m TABtouch Breeders Stakes Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Many punters overlooked Famous Alchemist because of the wide draw and she started at the dream price of 15/2, with Leda McNally dominating the betting as the 10/9 on favourite, despite her awkward draw at No. 3 on the back line. Hall did not bustle Famous Alchemist when the mobile barrier sent the field on its way. But he did not ease her back to the rear, preferring to let her settle, three wide, while 33/1 chance Kristen Louise jumped to the front from barrier two. Famous Alchemist quickly gathered momentum and surged forward to move into the breeze after 500m. Hall then applied plenty of pressure on Kristen Louise, but Vance Stampalia was in no mood to relinquish the lead. Finally, Kristen Louise cracked and Famous Alchemist charged to the front 700m from home and then opened up a gap of almost three lengths on her nearest rival. The third quarter whizzed by in 28.4sec. and Famous Alchemist shortened stride in the home straight before holding on strongly to beat the fast-finishing Alkira Jetstar (20/1) by just under a length. Jungle Genie (11/1) finished strongly from 11th at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of Leda McNally, who was forced three and four wide in the final circuit. The last 400m was covered in a moderate 29.7sec. and Famous Alchemist rated 1.56.4. Owned by Karen Hall and trained at Serpentine by her husband Gary, Famous Alchemist boasts a fine record of 45 starts for 14 wins, 15 placings and stakes of $273,569. She had 17 starts in New Zealand for five wins and five placings and her 28 starts in WA have produced nine wins and ten placings. Leda McNally was gallant in defeat after covering so much extra ground and Alkira Jetstar was most impressive at her second appearance after an absence of nine months. Alkira Jetstar started from barrier four on the back line and she was driven skilfully by Tom Buchanan, who settled her down in tenth position on the pegs. Alkira Jetstar improved to be seventh with 300m to travel and she thundered home from sixth (five wide on the home turn. JONES CONTINUES TO SHINE Queensland teenager Lauren Jones maintained her splendid form in the sulky when she drove Our Arlington to a strong victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Our Arlington was a heavily-supported 2/1 favourite and the 19-year-old Jones gave the gelding's supporters little cause for concern once she had taken him past The Feather Foot (9/1) and into the lead 450m after the start. Onedin Crusader raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze. The first quarters of the final mile went by in 30.5sec. and 29sec. before Our Arlington made life tough for his rivals with brisk final sectionals of 28sec. and 28.7sec. Our Arlington, trained by Gary Hall sen., won at a 1.56.7 rate by just under a length from The Feather Foot, with Bronze Seeker, fighting on to be seven metres back in third place after racing three back on the pegs. El Machine, second fancy at 7/2, was eighth in the middle stages before starting a three-wide run 1100m from home. However, he did not threaten danger and finished sixth. Our Arlington had three starts in New Zealand as a three-year-old for two wins and then won 11 times in Victoria before arriving in WA with a losing sequence of 16 in late 2013. He has won twice from 11 starts in this State and now has earned $149,362 from 15 wins and 16 placings from 64 starts. Our Arlington is by Washington VC and his dam People's Princess (by Holmes Hanover) also produced good performers Hot Night In Paris (129 starts for 11 wins, 26 placings and $85,584) and The Forger (79 starts for 11 wins, 18 placings and $91,650). A CHANGE REFRESHES OHOKA Kentucky A change in training methods has refreshed Ohoka Kentucky and Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams predicted a bright future for the New Zealand-bred five-year-old after his easy all-the-way victory in the Slater Gartrell Sports Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I work my horses hard, but recently I found that Ohoka Kentucky was not producing his best in races after being hoppled in trackwork twice a week," Williams said. "So I have reduced his hoppled runs to once a week and he has responded by racing more enthusiastically," Williams explained. Ohoka Kentucky, drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was a firm 6/4 on favourite and he was not extended in leading throughout and rating 1.57 over the 2130m journey and beating 11/1 chance Will of Iron, by almost two lengths after that pacer had trailed him throughout. Fully Zapped (33/1) raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the pegs to be third. Ohoka Kentucky, a winner at two of his nine New Zealand starts, has had 16 starts in WA for Williams for six wins and six placings. The gelding, who has earned $48,929, is the second foal out of Millwood Touche, whose first foal Ohoka Texas has earned $174,342 from 12 wins and four placings from 37 starts. Ohoka Texas won a group 3 2700m classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Invercargill in April 2011. After the race the stewards held an inquiry into severe interference suffered by outsider Desirable Guy (Colin Brown) about 350m from home. Chris Voak, driver of 10/1 chance Don't Wanadie, was found guilty of causing interference to Desirable Guy, causing that pacer to break into a gallop, and he was suspended for 14 days. The stewards took into account Voak's good record when determining the penalty. Voak's previous suspension for causing interference was almost six months ago. Since then he has driven in almost 600 races. Voak was granted a seven-day stay of proceedings which will enable him to drive class mare Leda McNally in the $40,000 Breeders Stakes at Gloucester Park next Friday night. Voak has driven 115 winners this season from 859 drives and is second on the Statewide premiership behind Gary Hall jun., who has driven 119 winners in WA this season. NO FIXED ADDRESS DELIVERS AT GLOUCESTER PARK New South Wales-bred five-year-old No Fixed Address celebrated his first appearance at Gloucester Park with a fast-finishing, last-stride victory in the 1730m The West Australian Pace on Friday night. The son of former star West Australian pacer Saab is certainly well named. He is a much-travelled gelding who raced in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland before arriving in Western Australia. His 19 Victorian starts produced four wins and two placings and he had seven starts in NSW for two wins and one placing and three starts in Queensland for one win and two placings. He now has raced 15 times in WA for four wins and four placings. His 44 starts have produced 11 wins, ten placings and $59,842 in stakes. No Fixed Address, trained in Bunbury by Murray Hansen, had raced soundly on South-West and Great Southern tracks before venturing to compete at Gloucester Park. He was a 5/1 chance in an open betting race on Friday night when he began smartly from the No. 2 barrier, but was beaten out by My Lady of the Night (barrier five) and Ben Cartwright (four). Then the polemarker Extreme Bromac kicked up on the inside to take up the running, leaving Ben Cartwright, the 15/4 favourite, in the breeze. Chris Voak then made a winning move as he angled No Fixed Address across to the inside to assume the excellent position behind the pacemaker. Voak eased No Fixed Address off the pegs 400m from home, but Ben Cartwright appeared certain to win when Clint Hall dashed him to the front 230m from the post. Ben Cartwright surged to what appeared to be a winning advantage, but he wilted over the final 150m and 22/1 chance The Marble Ridge (eighth on the pegs at the bell) rattled home to get his nose in front five metres from the line. However, No Fixed Address sustained his powerful finishing burst to get his nose in front in the final stride. The final 400m was covered in 28.8sec. and No Fixed Address rated 1.55.7. No Fixed Address is closely related on his dam's side to former star WA mares Mazzini Magic (40 starts for 21 wins, 13 placings and $367,140) and Smooth sensation (41 starts for 15 wins, 16 placings and $249,419). The WA-bred Blushing Lombo has had six foals, but No Fixed Address is the only one to have raced. Blushing Lombo was retired as a three-year-old after winning four times in Victoria as a two-year-old. PACIFIC PLAYBOY GIVES JAMES EARLY SUCCESS Pacific Playboy, who entered the stables of Bernard James about three weeks ago, gave the Byford horseman an early success when Mark Reed drove the five-year-old to a surprise, but convincing victory in the 2503m Ross North Homes Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The prospects of Pacific Playboy, a 21/1 chance, were greatly enhanced when the 6/4 favourite That Is Correct galloped at the start and lost 20m. This enabled Reed to slot Pacific Playboy in behind 9/1 chance Bartowski, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and charged straight into the lead. That Is Correct recovered quickly and moved into the breeze in the first lap before he obtained the one-out, one-back sit 1350m from home when the 40m backmarker Shardons Rocket (5/2) assumed the position outside the pacemaker. Colin Brown sent Shardons Rocket to the front with 400m to travel, but the nine-year-old began to wilt after rounding the home turn and Pacific Playboy burst to the front at the 120m mark and went on to score by two lengths from Shardons Rocket. The Pacing Priest (9/1) ran on from seventh at the bell to be third. Pacific Playboy, who has earned $55,632 from nine wins and 14 placings from 57 starts, is the last foal out of former handy mare Maybe Rich, who had 65 starts for ten wins, 17 placings and $29,331. Pacific Playboy is a half-brother to former top-line performer Fac Et Spiro, who amassed $386,695 in prizemoney from 23 wins and 30 placings from 85 starts. LOOSE WIRE IS PROVING HIS WORTH Henley Brook trainer Darryl Howes has got Loose Wire firing and the six-year-old gave promise of better things to come when he unwound a spirited burst which carried him from sixth on the pegs at the bell to victory in the 2130m Alltools Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After being unplaced at his first six starts in WA for Howes, Loose Wire made most of the running to win easily at Kellerberrin on May 4 and he was at the surprisingly good odds of 12/1 on Friday night from the inside of the back line. This was mainly because of the heavy support for Shelby Cruzin, a handy Victorian pacer who was making his WA debut for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri. Shelby Cruzin was favourite at 10/9 on, despite the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. Sign In (13/2) dashed to an early lead and he set the pace from, first Te Rauparaha and then from El Sunami. Chris Lewis restrained Shelby Cruzin to the rear before sending him forward with a three-wide run from the rear approaching the bell. But Shelby Cruzin lacked sparkle and disappointed in finishing eighth in the field of nine. El Sunami got to the front 350m from home before Mark Reed sent 30/1 outsider Ace of Cards to the front 180m from the post. However, Morgan Woodley brought Loose Wire home with a strong well-timed burst to get to the front in the final 50m and win by a half-length from Ace of Cards, rating 1.59.4. Loose Wire has raced 69 times for 12 wins, 15 placings and $51,385 in prizemoney. VAPOUR KEEPS UP THE GOOD WORK New Zealand-bred four-year-old Vapour maintained his remarkable consistency when he proved too good for his rivals in the second heat of the Yes Loans the Pure Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven confidently by premier reinsman Gary Hall jun., Vapour, favourite at evens, won in fine style from stablemate Slick Chapel (6/1) and Finbar Abbey (11/2), rating a slick 1.56.2 over the 2130m journey after sprinting the final 800m in 56.6sec. This improved Vapour's record in WA for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. to nine wins and five placings from 16 starts. The son of American stallion Jeremes Jet has a good overall record of 32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $74,737. Vapour started from barrier four on the front line and raced outside the polemarker and pacemaker Trojan Bromac for the first circuit. He gained the one-out, one-back sit 900m after the start when Slick Chapel went forward and challenged for the lead. Slick Chapel eventually got to the front 550m from home, but just failed to hold out the fast-finishing Vapour, who forged to the front 80m from the post. Finbar Abbey, who settled in last position in the field of 12, sustained a strong burst to be an excellent third. ALTA CHRISTIANO SIMPLY TOO GOOD Alta Christiano, the youngest and least experienced runner in the 1730m Sully's Painting Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, gave further proof of his outstanding ability when he outclassed his ten rivals. His win by just over two lengths from veteran Black Pontiac boosted his earnings to $297,613from 12 wins and two placings from 17 starts. Four-year-old Alta Christiano, a star in the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen., gave ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. the first leg of a winning treble in successive events. Hall jun. followed with wins behind Im Themightyquinn and Vapour. Alta Christiano, favourite at 10/1 on, started from the outside of the front line and raced three wide for much of the first lap before taking the lead 750m from home. He was joined in the lead by 60/1 outsider Black Pontiac at the 400m mark, but was not extended in drawing away to win easily at a 1.54.2 rate, with the final 400m being covered in 27.8sec. FAST START THE KEY FOR ONEHEART TWOFISTS Frontrunning is the greatest asset of seven-year-old WA-bred gelding Oneheart Twofists and when he won the early battle for ascendancy with 5/4 on favourite Mantoman in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, the die was cast. Mantoman, drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was beaten for early speed by Oneheart Twofists, who got straight to the front from barrier two. Oneheart Twofists, trained at Millendon by Graham Bond, was sent out at the luxury odds of 10/1 despite a smart trial win at Byford the previous Sunday morning. Callan Suvaljko set a brisk early pace with Oneheart Twofists, who sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.6sec. Then after a second quarter in 30.2sec., Oneheart Twofists dashed over the final two sections in 28.3sec. and 28.7sec. Barkers Hall, a 20/1 chance, raced in the breeze and looked hard to beat when he got to the front, a neck clear of the pacemaker 420m from home. But Barkers Hall was unable to cross to the pegs and Oneheart Twofists regained the lead with 230m to travel. Barkers Hall fought on grimly and went down by a nose, with the winner rating a smart 1.55.3. Mantoman had every chance. Morgan Woodley got him off the pegs and into the clear 420m from home, but he just battled on doggedly, out three wide, to finish third. The WA-bred Oneheart Twofists, who ended a losing sequence of eight, has earned $49,833 from seven wins and eight placings from 53 starts. by Ken Casellas  

Evergreen pacer Chariot King will race at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night and trainer John Tapp is hoping the autumn form of his stable star continues. Since the beginning of March Chariot King has had seven starts for four wins and the only time when he failed to place was in the Gr. 1 Len Smith Mile when he finished a respectable fifth behind Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion winner Beautide. "He hasn't put a foot wrong recently, the barrier draw played against him in the Renshaw Cup at Penrith and it was a similar story in the Len Smith Mile as well," Tapp said. "His final 400 metres would have been pretty slick in the Len Smith, he made ground on the winner and after the run I must admit I was pretty tempted to give him a ten day break but he is absolutely thriving so we have pressed on." With the Queensland Winter Carnival only two months away, the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake are two logical targets that could tempt Tapp to head north. "After Saturday night I will sit down with his major shareholder Peter Welsh and we will discuss what options we have but to be honest I haven't even considered on where to go or what races he could compete in." "He has been doing cartwheels around his yard, he is feeling extremely well at the moment but there are a couple of smart horses engaged on Saturday night and he won't get things easy from barrier seven." Tapp ensures Chariot King does a lot of swimming to keep fit between runs. "He is such a good eater that I have to keep an eye on him because he can get away on me so quickly, he normally gets an easy day after racing but apart from that I have to ensure he gets plenty of work and that includes an extensive swimming programme." Chariot King will compete in race five on Saturday night with the event scheduled to begin at 6:50pm. By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing

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