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IF EVER a horse had earned a Group One victory this season, it had to be Bathurst pacer Our Uncle Sam. After chasing home Tiger Tara in the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup finals, Our Uncle Sam and Anthony Frisby had no such hurdle tonight as the pair wore down the leader Majordan in the straight before going on to score a half-neck win over the fast-finishing Ellmers Image (Amanda Turnbull) with Majordan (Todd McCarthy) clinging on for third in the Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All. Settling in third and fourth place in the run, Frisby knew he had Majordan covered as they turned for home while Turnbull was angling through along the pegs to make a late dash at the winner. It was Western Districts reinsman Anthony Frisby's first Group One win and he gave their Perthville team full credit for the win. "Dad (Chris) has been down here all week with this horse and he settled in really well but I have to give full credit to the team back at home," said Anthony. "Without them success like this just wouldn't be possible. "Certainly this horse deserves a win like this." With fast time the order of the night, Our Uncle Sam rated 1:52.3 in his win with an overall time of 2:47.5. If there was a disappointment in the race it was the horse many thought should have been invited into the Miracle Mile, New Zealand's Ashley Locaz. Driven the perfect race by Mark Purdon, Ashley Locaz settled in the one-out and one-back trail but couldn't catch the leaders in the straight, finishing a disappointing fourth, just ahead of Buster Brady.   Sean Vella SVella@clubmenangle.com.au

A fifth placing in the Canadian Club Sprint last week wasn't enough to secure former Kiwi harness racing pacer Franco Nelson a spot in tonight's $750,000 AInsworth Mirale Mile. Yet Franco Nelson made up for that disappointment with a fabulous win in tonight's $100,000 Group One Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Tabcorp Par Menangle. This race is traditionally won by the horse that was unlucky not to be selected in the big race and Franco Nelson's 1:53.2 win proved he could have held his own against the best pacers in Australasia with a superb effort. Victorian visitor San Carlo tried hard to lead all the way but couldn't hold off the flying feet of Franco Nelson in the run to the line, finishing by a half neck with Mach Doro two and a quarter metres away third. Part-owner Ron McKay sang the praises of the Trittons for their efforts with Franco Nelson: "When we came from New Zealand we had great expectations for this horse and by giving him to Shane and Lauren we knew they would bring out the best in him," he said. "It was a magnificent drive by Lauren and the horse didn't disappoint - for the McKay family it is our first time here but it won't be our last - it was so great to win a race like this." Reinswoman Lauren Tritton agreed: "It's a great night tonight and Franco is something special to me," she said. "A lot of people didn't have the faith in us here but he has gone on and won a Group One for us so we couldn't be prouder of him. "Shane's done a super job with this horse." Franco Nelson   6 8:48pm BOHEMIA CRYSTAL FREE FOR ALL (GROUP 1) 2400M $100,000 RBD. Mobile Final Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 FRANCO NELSON NZ  $ 60,000   Fr1 1 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton   $ 1.70 fav      BAY HORSE 8 by CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ out of NOTAFELLA FRANCO (NZ) (FALCON SEELSTER USA)  Owner(s): C L McKay, R L McKay, M S McKay  Breeder(s): Spreydon Lodge Ltd 2 SAN CARLO  $ 15,000   Fr8 9 Stephen O'Donoghue Rebecca Bartley HFNK $ 8.00     3 MACH DORO  $ 10,000   Fr6 7 Craig Cross Luke McCarthy 3.00 $ 25.40     4 AZTEC BROMAC NZ  $ 5,000   Fr2 2 KerryAnn Turner Robert Morris 4.10 $ 11.40     5 MY GENERAL LEE  $ 2,500   Fr10 12 Michael Doltoff Josh Willick 9.20 $ 129.10     6 MY ALPHA ROCK NZ  $ 1,500   Fr3 3 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Natalie Rasmussen 15.20 $ 5.60     7 YAYAS HOT SPOT NZ  $ 1,500   Fr4 5 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Jack Trainor 19.40 $ 48.20     8 MOONROCK NZ  $ 1,500   Fr9 10 Sonya Smith Anthony Butt 26.80 $ 17.20     9 ATOMIC RED  $ 1,500   Fr7 8 Steve Turnbull Steve Turnbull 27.90 $ 14.50   (L) f MONIFIETH NZ  $ 1,500   Fr5 6 John McCarthy Andy McCarthy   $ 38.20     Scratchings   LET IT RIDE NZ 4 CROCKETS CULLEN NZ 11 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:48:8 Mile Rate: 1:53:2 Lead Time: 56.0 First Quarter: 30 Second Quarter: 28.3 Third Quarter: 27.8 Fourth Quarter: 26.7 Margins: NK x 2.2m   Sean Vella        

Exciting Queensland pacer Mattgregor is ready for another big test this weekend. Fresh from his excellent effort in the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire two weeks ago when fifth behind champion pacer Lazarus in 1:49.0 after drawing the ten hole, he gets another chance at cracking it in a feature harness racing event. On Saturday night, the fresh faced four-year-old takes on seasoned rivals in the Gr.1 $100,000 Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at TABCORP Park Menangle. His rivals include last year’s Miracle Mile winner Have Faith In Me, Tiger Tara, Hug The Wind, Aztec Bromac, Major Crocker and Tact Tate among others. Amazingly, Mattgregor is still assessed as a C5 MO, meaning he is eligible for much easier races. Mattgregor is the veteran of 14 career starts to date but has won 8 of those starts. But connections don’t feel out of place in the open class feature. “He deserves his chance and he’s drawn much better this week compared to his past couple of starts so we’re optimistic about his chances. His latest run in the Chariots was the best run of his short career to date; we were absolutely delighted with the effort.” Co-owner Karen Turpin said. The Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding will immediately return to Brisbane after the weekend for a deserving break before being set for the winter carnival at Albion Park. During his Sydney campaign, Mattgregor scored an easy first-up victory in a career best time of 1:51.6 before a slashing second behind Dashofluck in the Paleface Adios Stakes while finishing fifth in the Chariots of Fire at his most recent start. Prepared by Karen’s daughter Chantal Turpin and her husband Pete McMullen, Mattgregor continues to develop and looms as a serious future prospect which has his connections excited. “The main aim for this southern campaign was to give him his chance to contest the Chariots and he did himself well in that series, this is obviously a very strong race this weekend but we’re in with a chance. We think he’ll be mixing at this level in time to come. “The kids have done a great job in Sydney and it’s been a great learning experience for them, it would be nice to end the stint with a big race victory this weekend. “All the family will be there on Saturday night, Jake has the weekend off before the footy season starts next week and he’ll be trackside to cheer on his horse. I’m really looking forward to the night in so many different ways.” Mattgregor is raced by Denis Golinski, Karen Turpin and her son Jake. Jake Turpin is a contracted NRL player with the Melbourne Storm. Chris Barsby

Little fish might be sweet but many harness racing fans at Tabcorp Park Menangle today were left thirsting for more. More Smolda that is, after the magnificent son of Courage Under Fire obliterated Global View’s world record of 1:53.4 set in March 2015 in accounting for his rivals in the $100,000 Group One Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All. Smolda (Mark Purdon) rated 1:52.7 for his last mile over the 2400m journey to leave many racegoers wishing he was lining up in the Miracle Mile later that afternoon. After drawing the inside of the second row, Smolda eased in the market just before the jump and looked in danger of being stuck in a pocket behind Major Crocker going up the back the last time. Still when Our Sky Major, trained by Mark’s brother Barry and driven by leading reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick, began to drop off before the home turn after a tough run, Smolda and Mark Purdon found a path away from three-back on the pegs and surged into calculations as they headed for the home turn. Purdon had no hesitation urging Smolda into the death seat and turning for home Smolda finished full of running to account for the surprise packet of the race Iam Mr Brightside (Robert Morris) with Major Crocker (James Rattray) showing something like his best form to hold third after leading. Smolda’s splits for the final mile were 29.5s, 28s, 27.6s and 28s for a 2.7m win and a deserved place in history . . . unfortunately not as a Miracle Mile winner but nonetheless still one of the best horses in Australasia. Purdon couldn’t hide his admiration for the seven-year-old gelding: “It’s a time-honoured race and there’s a lot of great horses here. “He’s a great horse and I knew we were rolling all the way. He felt great in the race and I was worried about our position but the chance came to get off and I had to take it. “This horse means a lot to us. We bought him from Australia and he’s always had a special place in our hearts. “He’s had his problems along the way but he’s come back every time. We just love him.”

The barrier draw for the Bohemia Crystal FFA has been conducted at the offices of Harness Racing New South Wales this afternoon. Here is the draw for the Group 1 $100,000 event to be conducted on Sunday February 28  at Tabcorp Park Menangle with the race to be run over 2400 metres.    1. JOYS A BABE (EM 2)  2. EASY ON THE EYE  3. OUR SKY MAJOR  4. SUAVE STUEY LOMBO  5. OUR HI JINX  6. TACT HAYLEYS DELIGHT (EM 1)  7. CONDAGEN  8. COLD MAJOR  9. LOCHINVER  10. MAJOR CROCKER   SECOND ROW    11. SMOLDA  12. MACH BEAUTY  13. IAM MR BRIGHTSIDE                   14. MY GENERAL LEE   Greg Hayes  

The barrier draw for Sunday’s Gr. 1 Bohemia Crystal Free For All was conducted this afternoon Monday the 23rd February.   1. WARTIME SWEETHEART 2. BETTOR DRAW 3. CHARIOT KING                EMERGENCY 2 4. BETTOR BET BLACK 5. LOCHINVER 6. SEEL N PRINT 7. FRANCO LEDGER 8. FOREVER GOLD 9. MAJESTIC MAJOR 10. BIT OF A LEGEND 11. PUB BLITZ                       EMERGENCY 1 12. SUAVE STUEY LOMBO Suave Stuey Lombo has been installed the opening favourite with TAB.COM.AU despite galloping out in his Inter Dominion heat and is the $2.25 favourite.  Franco Ledger is the second favourite at $2.80. The Inter Dominion 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Greg Hayes Position: Media Coordinator Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: ghayes@hrnsw.com.au

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