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Harness racing returns to the Bega Valley for the annual exhibition races at the 2018 Bega Show.  A five race program is planned for Saturday, February 17 starting at 6pm at the Bega Showgrounds.  The sport has experienced a resurgence in the Bega region over the last five years after insurance restrictions forced a decade-long hiatus in the early 2000s.  Race sponsor and harness racing enthusiast Norm Pearce said it was fantastic to see the return of the sport, as the Bega Valley had a rich history of harness racing in its past, and many trainers and riders hail from the region.  Harness horses are expected to descend on the Bega Show from Dapto, Young and Canberra and maybe Coolamon to put on a fine display of their talents. Four horses take part in each race, with six breeders expected to take part in the annual competition. Frank O’Sullivan from Wallaroo, just north west of Canberra, is one of the harness enthusiasts who supports harness racing in Bega each year.  O’Sullivan grew up close to the Canberra Showground and always had horses on his parents property, giving him plenty of experience breaking them in and working with horses.  When O'Sullivan left school he juggled his passion for racing with an electrical apprenticeship he undertook in Canberra. The rider and trainer has had a long involvement with the Bega Valley. One of his first horses was Buck Fifty, purchased from the McPauls at Wolumla. Buck Fifty was one his first harness horse he drove as a winner.  O’Sullivan has gone on to drive harness horses all over Australia and regularly races at Melbourne, Menangle and Canberra.  He has travelled as far as New Zealand driving horses and searching for the elusive winning horse to buy.  He also enjoyed driving at the Perth Paceway. He other favourite track is the Orange Paceway as it is a tight track, similar to the Bega Showground. O’Sullivan is bringing three horses to the 2018 Bega Show from his farm which features a training circuit resembling the Canberra paceway, a large dam for swimming the horses and numerous stables and out paddocks for the young horses for future sales around Australia. Jason Sirl Excavations will prepare the race track, while Don Spence will act as resident race caller, Greg Grant will be the official time keeper, Stu McPaul and Gerry Bateman are course supervisors and Raymond Grant and Scott Dunn are clerks of the course.  Avid supporter of all equine racing, Jim Salway will have his eagle eye on the winning post. Mr Pearce thanked Dennis and Brenda Whiffen; the O’Sullivan and Hodgson families; the Watling family; the Hayes and the Matthews families; Carmel Rixon and family and John and Margaret Jessop for supporting this year’s harness racing in Bega this weekend.  Reprinted with permission of The Bombala Times

There is a new young talent in town and her name is Codi Rauchenberger. The recently turned 18-year-old had her first harness racing drive at Canberra last night and won! Bringing an even bigger smile to her already smiling face, Rauchenberger achieved the milestone with the Daniel Rowell-trained unhoppled pacer Boobalaga Road. "It was amazing," Rauchenberger said on Sky Sports Radio this morning. "I thought the horse had a really good chance and he did it really easy." Rauchenberger took the four-year-old Sportswriter gelding straight to the front from barrier two. The pair remained there and crossed the finish line with more than 13 metres to spare over their rivals. For many of those watching the event, it looked as though Rauchenberger had driven in many races before. And technically that is correct, amongst the Mini Trot ranks. Rauchenberger participated with Mini Trotters for many years and even represented New South Wales internationally. "I was selected to go to New Zealand and represent NSW in the Kidz Kartz series . . . I learned a lot over there," Rauchenberger said. "I think the Mini Trots helped me change through to driving (racehorses). "Kristin (Cunningham) and Daniel have also helped me a lot changing from Mini Trotters to the big horses . . . they gave me my first trial drive too. Growing up in the Boorowa region, Rauchenberger now works as a stablehand for James Rattray in Exeter. Rauchenberger grew a liking to the sport after her mother Maxine had an interest. "Cathy and Peter Carson were also a big influence for me," Rauchenberger said. "I was always over at their placing helping them until I found Mini Trotters and then I was racing all over the place." Amanda Rando

The Canberra and Goulburn Harness Racing Clubs have unveiled plans for a combined $300,000 summer carnival of harness racing to be run over four consecutive Sundays in January and February of 2017. Headlining the racing are the $31,800 Frank and Edna Day Goulburn Cup, the $25,000 Canberra Cup, and the $19,080 Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Rose. Both clubs have also introduced new feature races for three-year-old pacers, spearheaded by the $15,000 Canberra Derby and the $15,000 Canberra Oaks. Commencing on January 15 with the Hewitt Memorial and Walla Walla Stakes race day at Goulburn, the action turns to Canberra on the January 22 where the Canberra Oaks and Derby will be decided. The focus then returns to Goulburn on the January 29 for that Club's TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups race day, before winding up on February 5 with the Canberra Cup meeting. Both Clubs have coordinated their programmes to maximise the opportunities for participants and fans alike according to Goulburn secretary Mark Croatto. "This is only the start for what we hope will be a very productive season for both clubs," Croatto said. Canberra Club President, Wayne Gowland, is hopeful the summer carnival will bring a renewed interest to harness racing in Canberra and Goulburn, attracting owners, trainers and horses from far and wide to the region. "The on-course stabling and training facility in Canberra allows us to accommodate trainers for as long as they wish at a very affordable price," Gowland said. "They can race in Canberra and Goulburn during the Carnival and take in the many sites and tourist destinations of the Canberra region during their stay." With the two Clubs only 50 minutes apart it makes common sense for the two organisations to work closely together in not only providing the very best product for the harness industry but to take full advantage of the benefits in promoting racing across the Canberra and Southern Tablelands Region under one banner. Canberra and Goulburn race a total of 30 meetings per year with racing commencing in November and winding up in June. ...................................................... HIGHLIGHTS - GOULBURN CANBERRA SUMMER CARNIVAL Sunday 15th January - $64,520 Hewitt Memorial C2-C4 $12,720 (Winner exempt ballot Canberra Cup) Walla Walla Stakes C4 & better $12,720 AGL Menangle Country Series 4YO C0 only $10,000 AGL Menangle Country Series 4YO C2 only $10,000   Sunday 22nd January - $56,000 TAB Canberra Derby 3CO & better (C & G) $15,000 TAB Canberra Oaks 3CO & better (Fillies) $15,000 Heats Henry Rixon Memorial 4YO C0 only $3,500 Heats Ackie Hawke Memorial C1-C2 $3,500 Heats Canberra Cup C3-C6 $6,000   Sunday 29th January - $101,760 Frank & Edna Day Goulburn Cup C6 or better $31,800 Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Rose C2-C4 $19,080 Goulburn Guineas 3CO or better (C & G) $12,720 Goulburn Mulwaree City 3YO Fillies Stakes $12,720   Sunday 5th February - $75,000 TAB Canberra Cup C3-C6 $25,000 Ackie Hawke Memorial C1-C2 $10,000 Henry Rixon Memorial 4YO C0 only $10,000 Len Cornock 2YO Canberra Sapling Stakes $10,000   MEETING PROGRAMS: Goulburn Canberra Goulburn Canberra AMANDA RANDO

The Canberra Harness Racing Club kicked off the season with a well-supported meeting last Tuesday night in what promises to be one of the most exciting seasons for harness racing in the Capital Region. Newly elected Club President Wayne Gowland was impressed with the number and quality of nominations received. “We were not really sure what to expect numbers wise so early in the season,” he said. “There is a strong pool of horses around the region and we are working hard to co-ordinate our racing program across the broader regional clubs including Young, Wagga and Goulburn.” It was a strong seven-race program to kick off the season and great to see trainers Paul Kahlefeldt, Shane Hallcroft and Trevor Sutherland come from the Riverina area to support the meeting. “We were as equally pleased to see Sydney based trainer Shane Sanderson make the trip down the highway to race in Canberra for the first time since moving to Menangle from Queensland,” Gowland said. The Club has established its Strategic Plan and key initiatives aimed at increasing the participation across all areas across the region. This will include a feature race Carnival in partnership with the Goulburn Harness Racing Club that will see the return of feature races to the Canberra program including the Canberra Oaks and Derby as well as a number of heats and final races throughout the season. “We are focused on improving racing and the overall racing experience for our owners, trainers and spectators,” Gowland said. Last year Canberra Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker, who is no stranger to harness racing having raced more than half a dozen horses with Goulburn trainer Brad Hewitt, has made the investment in several more horses for this season. Equally as keen is his former team mate Sam Williams also enjoys dabbling in the ownership of some pacers but with the arrival of a new mare into the Hewitt stable, several more Raiders have become owners. As a Club it’s great to see more people getting involved in the sport. The Club is delighted to confirm that the Canberra Harness Racing Club will host 20 race meetings in the 2016/17 racing season. by Canberra HRC

Modern Maestro has had a stellar start to his harness racing career. The son of Modern Art has won eleven of his fifteen career starts and with the season over in Canberra, the gelding's trainer Michael Hawke will look to target racing at Menangle in the short term. After racing through the season at Canberra undefeated in seven starts, Modern Maestro was declared the Horse Of The Year in the nation's capital. The seven wins also helped secure Hawke's second trainers' title and Melissa Hawke her first drivers premiership. "At Canberra they have a local premiership for the leading trainer and driver and they also have an overall leading trainer and driver," Hawke said. "It was great to win the overall leading trainer for a second consecutive season but I was immensely proud of my daughter Melissa when she won the overall leading driver. Liss has won local premierships before but to win the overall driver's title is a great achievement and a good reward for all of her hard work." Modern Maestro finished second in the Group 2 Carousel earlier in the season and Hawke believes it was during that series he realised he had a nice horse. "He won nine of his first ten starts but his wins had been at Canberra, Wagga and Bathurst so there were a few question marks on the form. I think his run in the heat of the Carousel at Penrith when he led and Kept Under Wraps only picked him up in the shadows of the post proved to me that his record was legitimate. "Off the back of that run, Modern Maestro finished second in the Carousel final behind Hez A Dude and he fought right to the line on that occasion as well." Saturday night's assignment at Tabcorp Park Menangle will not be an easy one with several well performed runners engaged in race four. Runner up in Sunday's Group 1 4YO Breeders Challenge final Egodan has drawn the second row while Tact Hayleys Delight will start from barrier three. "I haven't done the form yet and only glanced at the fields when they first came out but my initial thought was Darren's (Binskin) mare was well placed. Those C3 to C5 races are very strong at Menangle every week so I'll keep bringing him back until he can snare one. "Most of the horses around Canberra go for a spell at the end of the local season but I've kept a few of mine in. I might even bring a horse like Huge Attitude to Menangle at some stage." Despite wrapping up their respective premierships at the Canberra meeting last weekend it has been a tough week for the stable. Rookie Error died after suffering from colic last weekend. "She was no star but she won seven races in her career and she tried her heart out every time she stepped onto the track. She was one of Melissa's favourites so she has been a little bit upset." "Hopefully Modern Maestro can pull out a good run on Saturday night and help Liss feel a little bit better." Greg Hayes

Victorian horses will have the chance to race for metropolitan prizemoney in a country penalty race thanks to a new deal between Canberra Harness Racing Club and Harness Racing Victoria (HRV). HRV has welcomed the opportunity to bolster ties with the Canberra club to help promote the 2016 Canberra Cup. This season’s Canberra Cup will be a heat and final format series with the first heat in Canberra on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, and Heat 2 going to Shepparton Harness Racing Club on Thursday, January 28. The third and final heat will take place at Goulburn Harness Racing Club on Monday, February 1, before the final is held at Canberra on Sunday, February 7. The Cup is worth $25,000 and is a C2-C5 race. An exciting trainer’s bonus has been attached to the race this year with the Canberra Cup winning trainer to receive a trip to the 2016 Little Brown Jug held in Delaware, US. Canberra’s dynamic committee decided it needed to find ways to make the cup an attractive racing proposition for trainers and connections to fill a niche in the country cup calendar. With limited funds available to put on 20 race meetings a year, the challenge for the committee was to maximise bang for buck. The Canberra club’s General Manager Greg Nugent said: “The uniqueness of the cup format would not have been possible without the assistance of HRV and the Shepparton club. Also we extend thanks to our friends at Goulburn. We would also like to acknowledge the support of in helping us get this concept off the ground. To have a Cup format that covers three jurisdictions is very unique and to my knowledge has not been done before.” Mr Nugent added: “Since our deletion from the Harness Racing New South Wales Carnival of Cups circuit we have struggled to find a place for our Cup in the racing calendar. Hopefully this new approach will reinvigorate our Cup and allow us to once again showcase our feature race. The C2-C5 format allows the local and hobby trainers to participate and with the added bonus of a trip to the Little Brown Jug, trainers will have an opportunity to reap the rewards of this trip which is high on trots fans’ bucket lists.” The Canberra Cup program also sees the running of the annual ‘Ackie Hawke’ and the Capital 3YO Championship. “Hopefully the support card will encourage visiting owners and trainers who may have qualified for the Cup to throw a couple of extra horses on the support card,” Mr Nugent said. HRV CEO John Anderson said Victoria welcomed the opportunity to support the Canberra club. “It’s a great fit for Canberra to become closer to HRV and some of our trainers here in Victoria will jump at the opportunity to race for good prizemoney in a $25,000 Cup as well as a potential trip to the USA for the Little Brown Jug.”   CODY WINNELL

Goulburn harness racing trainer Brad Hewitt celebrated the biggest win of his career when his two year old Spare Me Days won the Breeders Challenge Blue Final for two year old colts and geldings on Saturday night. Unfortunately for Hewitt he was unable to be trackside for the victory as he was in Queensland with his smart three year old Im Jay Tee. "Yeah it was really good to win a race like that, it was my first group win as a trainer and to see Dad (David Hewitt) drive him and win a nice race like that made it even more special," Hewitt said. "Dad had only had three or four drives back from a nasty fall at Canberra and it was actually his first night back driving at Menangle." Hewitt bred and owns Spare Me Days and has now decided to spell the son of Ifihadyourluck. "He's going to the paddock, he had a few little niggling issues in the lead up to the main Breeders Challenge final and his run in that race was huge, he galloped at the start and probably lost 30 metres and was only beaten about three. "There's not a whole lot of him so I think the spell will help him. He is a beautiful natured horse but once you take him to the races he turns into a machine." Stablemate Im Jay Tee will compete in Saturday night's Queensland Derby and Hewitt was impressed by his performance in last Saturday's Gold Coast Derby. "He ran fifth in the Futurity in his first run in Queensland and I was pretty disappointed with that but he did have to travel up from home so maybe that flattened him a bit." "The run on Saturday night was much better. He hit the line really well and was taking ground off horses like Bling It On and Alleluia so if he gets the right trip this week I don't think he will be too far away." By Greg Hayes  | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

The annual Canberra Harness Racing Club Presentation night signalled the end of another stellar season of racing in the nation's capital. The evening's biggest winner was local trainer Michael Hawke who took home four awards including the coveted Trainer Of The Year Award. "The stable had a really good year and to win 14 races this season and pick up the Trainer Of The Year title and the Local Trainer Of The Year has been a great effort by everyone who comes and helps out at the stables," Hawke said. "I had a bad race fall during the season which meant I wasn't able to do as much as I wanted to do for a little while but my daughter Melissa made sure everything ran smoothly and it was great to see a couple of horses she drove for me during the year receive awards too." Perfect Trouble trained by Hawke, won Horse Of The Year winning five races throughout the season and also placed a further four times. Stable mate Runs On Attitude won the Juvenile Horse Of The Year thanks to three wins and five placings throughout the season from thirteen starts. Scott Osmond made a clean sweep of the driving awards picking up Driver Of The Year and Local Driver Of The Year. "It was great to get so much support this season from outside stables and if it wasn't for that type of support then I couldn't have won the awards," Osmond said. Osmond finished the season with 10 wins and 29 placings from 95 drives. The John Platts Appreciation Award was won by Leanne Nugent for all of the help she provided the club throughout the year while Shelly and Paul Evans won the Encouragement Award. By Greg Hayes | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

The Australian Department of Agriculture (DA) is currently reviewing their cost recovery arrangements for the exporting of live animals, which also includes reproductive products.   There has not been a fee increase for the exporting of these commodities since 2009. The Live Animal Exports (LAE) program facilitates the export of livestock, horses, companion animals and animal reproductive material from Australia by verifying their fitness for export, ensuring compliance with the relevant Australian standards and regulations, and certifying that the requirements of the importing countries have been met. Harness Racing Australia (HRA) were invited by DA to a hastily convened series of meetings, the first of which was held on April 2nd , the second on the 22nd April with the final meeting scheduled for 30th April in Canberra.   These meetings are conducted under strict confidentiality. This confidentiality agreement has been varied in order to seek feedback and as a result HRA has spoken with a range of stakeholders who will be directly affected by any changes.   DA have issued two documents outlining the current review: Live Animal Export Fee Review Live Animal Export Advisory Notices HRA are in the process of compiling industry feedback for a submission about the proposed fee increases and the effect that this may have on the wider industry, including breeding.   This submission will initially focus on the totally unreasonable consultative process being undertaken by the Department, as well as the clear detrimental effects it will cause our industry. Initial indications are that proposed increases in fees could kill an entire export industry, causing irreparable damage and widespread repercussions to the harness racing industry as well as the employment and economic benefits which flow to rural and regional Australia. HRA will be highlighting concerns about the viability of exporting horses for sale or racing, the effect on New Zealand horses that race in Australia and then return, Shuttle Stallions and the export of semen. The fee increases as proposed by DA are in the order of 38% for the costs associated with the export of horses, and up to 238% for the costs associated with the export of reproductive material. In addition to the Standardbred Horse industry, HRA, as a member of the Australian Horse Industry Council is also seeking views from other horse associations about the impact that any fee increases may have. To provide feedback and opinions on this issue please contact HRA Operations Manager, Gary Kairn,  or 03 9227 3003 urgently. Harness Racing Australia

Noted frontrunner Courage On Fire has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the $50,000 Community Newspaper Group Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night to boost Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg's hopes of winning the group 2 feature event for mares for the second time. She trained Glitzy Miss for her dramatic victory in the Empress Stakes in April 2008 when the five-year-old was tenth with 550m to travel and seventh at the 100m before flying home, out wide, to defeat the pacemaker Alkira Jet. The New Zealand-bred Courage On Fire has won ten races in Australia, with five of those wins coming when she has set the pace --- over 1720m and 2125m at Penrith, over 1609m at Menangle and over 1730m and 2130m at Gloucester Park. The Empress Stakes will be decided over 2536m and this should not seriously trouble Courage On Fire, who has raced four times over that distance at Gloucester Park for a fourth, a fifth, a second and a win (when she sat behind the pacemaker and ran on to win narrowly from Next Dawn and Chocolatto early last December). Mrs Padberg is delighted with the favourable barrier and said that Courage On Fire was "very good" in front. The seven-year-old led and won easily from Aristocratic Glow over 2130m three starts ago before starting from the outside of the back line and finishing strongly to be third to Aristocratic Glow and Deluxe Edition. She was sixth at the bell and finished seventh behind Leda McNally in a 2130m prelude of the Empress Stakes last Friday night. Mrs Padberg, who is in fourth place in the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table, said that she was undecided on what tactics reinsman Michael Tenardi would adopt. Much would depend on whether Courage On Fire was challenged strongly in the early stages. Two speedy beginners are on the outside of Courage On Fire --- four-year-olds Askmenow (barrier two) and Kristen Louise (three). Askmenow has been unplaced at her past six starts and has a losing sequence of eight, but her trainer Gary Hall sen. said that if she was able to lead she would be very hard to beat. Hall has a higher opinion of stablemate Famous Alchemist, who will start from the inside of the back line, immediately behind Courage On Fire. "It's a tricky draw, but she can certainly win," he said. Famous Alchemist has had only 38 starts for 12 wins and 13 placings. Famous Alchemist charged home from last at the bell to finish third behind her stablemate Aussie Made Lombo in the Empress Stakes last March to give Hall his third success in the race which he first won with Moray Miss in 1991. Vance Stampalia, who drove Glitzy Miss for her win in this race six years ago, is the regular driver of four-year-old Kristen Louise, who is prepared at Wanneroo by his sister Tonia. Stampalia stole a march on his rivals when he got Kristen Louise away to a flying start from the No. 5 barrier in the second prelude of the Empress Stakes last Friday night. Kristen Louise charged to the front after 100m and was not extended in winning from Selkie and Ace of Cards. "She crossed them easily last week," he said. "And it would be nice to be able to lead again this week. Kristen Louise has improved since her win last week and is thriving on a preparation of mainly swimming in the pool." Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has cured speedy mare Sensational Gabby of her habit of overracing and he has sound prospects of winning the event for the third time, after scoring with Elysees Crest in 2010 and Ima Spicey Lombo the following year. Olivieri also trained Live High when she surged home from 11th at the 600m to finish second to Aussie Made Lombo last year. Sensational Gabby raced without cover when second to Famous Alchemist over 1730m two starts ago before she started from the outside of the front line, was restrained to last and then sprinted fast after 700m to join the leader Leda McNally last Friday night when she fought on to finish second to that mare. HALL SAYS NORTHVIEW PUNTER CAN OVERCOME BACK-LINE BARRIER Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. was naturally disappointed when speedy New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter drew badly at barrier four on the back line in the $25,000 Fremantle Gazette The Lewis final at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but defiantly declared that all was not lost and that the horse was capable of overcoming this disadvantage and winning the 2130m event. "It was a phenomenal run by Northview Punter when second to Hokonui Ben last week and he can win from the back line," said Hall, who will be in Sydney on Friday night keeping his eye on Livingontheinterest before that pacer contests the interdominion championship final at Menangle on Sunday. Hall makes no secret that he considers that Northview Punter is far better suited to leading in his races than coming from behind. But he believes that the horse is gaining in experience and is capable of proving more versatile. Northview Punter began with great dash from barrier three to set the pace in the 2536m RWWA Cup last Friday night and he fought on grandly when beaten by only a neck by the fast-finishing Hokonui Ben, rating 1.55.8 over the 2536m. At his previous appearance, two weeks before last Friday night's run, Northview Punter worked hard for the first 500m before taking up the running and going on to win by more than two lengths from Pacific Warrior over 2130m. A week later Pacific Warrior led from the No. 1 barrier and won easily from Mighty Flying Thomas and Uppy Son over 2130m. He will start from barrier five on the front line this week and looks set to fight out the finish. The Matt Scott-trained Marooned has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and even though the seven-year-old's best performances in Western Australia have been when he has produced a powerful finishing burst reinsman Chris Voak will be strongly tempted to attempt an all-the-way win. Marooned does possess good gate speed and has led and won at two of his 16 wins, over 1609m at Menangle and 2170m at Canberra. Mohegan Sun (barrier two) and Menelaus of Sparta (three) have each won twice when leading all the way. But they are not noted frontrunners, and this could make it easier for Marooned to set the pace. Marooned was most impressive last Friday night when he started from the back line and trailed the pacemaker Mach Banner before flashing home with a sparkling late burst to finish a half-head second to Mach Banner. TRUCKERS RUFFNUT WORKS WITH DASH BEFORE HIS CLASH WITH DAVID HERCULES A sizzling final 800m in 56sec. in a track workout at Donaldson Park in Bunbury on Tuesday morning greatly impressed his trainer Murray Hansen, who is confident the eight-year-old can cause an upset and beat star performer David Hercules in the $21,000 Stirling Times Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In the random draw, Truckers Ruffnut gained the prized No. 1 barrier, while David Hercules fared poorly and will start from the outside of the front line (No. 7) in the small field of eight. "Our one big advantage over David Hercules is the barrier draw," Hansen said. "We've drawn one and will be utilising it and holding up to lead. Truckers Ruffnut has always possessed good gate speed and in previous campaigns was always a very hard horse to beat when he was in front. "David Hercules will have to be right at the top of his game to beat Truckers Ruffnut. I feel sorry for David Hercules, with all the bad barriers he has been getting. I think that my horse can run a really good time." Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. will be reunited with Truckers Ruffnut after the horse has been driven at his first five starts after an injury-enforced absence of 39 months by Ryan Bell, Shane Butcher (three times) and Dylan- Egerton-Green. Hall has an outstanding record with Truckers Ruffnut, having driven him 24 times for 11 wins, nine seconds, two thirds, one seventh and one eighth. Truckers Ruffnut has finished strongly to win at two of his past three starts at Gloucester Park. He raced three back on the pegs in fifth position before charging home brilliantly to win from Danieljohn and Mighty Flying Thomas last Friday night. Hansen drove Truckers Ruffnut in his workout on Tuesday morning when the horse was clocked over the 1200m trip in 3min. 5sec. and sprinted the final 800m in 56sec. "He worked really well and I feel he is better than he was when he won last week. He does all his trackwork on his own and he works free-legged," Hansen said. "He's that good a pacer that he could race without hopples. He has run a half in 55sec. free-legged without putting a foot wrong." Byford trainer David Thompson said that he was becoming resigned to receiving wide draws for David Hercules. But he was full of praise for the even-year-old's splendid third behind Hokonui Ben and Northview Punter in the 2536m RWWA Cup last Friday night. David Hercules started from barrier seven and was restrained to the rear by Morgan Woodley before he dashed the gelding forward in the first lap to work hard outside then pacemaker Northview Punter. David Hercules fought on grandly to finish only a length behind Hokonui Ben. An improver in Friday night's race appears certain to be the Ross Olivieri-trained Red Salute, who is sure to appreciate the favourable No. 2 barrier on the front line in the field of eight. Red Salute has been dogged by unfavourable draws in recent outings. DON'T DISREGARD THE BEAU BRUMMELL, ADVISES MELLSOP Waroona trainer-reinsman Bob Mellsop offered some sound advice to punters when he said that they should completely disregard The Beau Brummell's last-start seventh behind Earl Harbour at Gloucester Park last Saturday week when assessing the five-year-old's chances in the $30,000 Happy Birthday Alison Ward Discreet Romeo Sprint for trotters on Friday night. "He met with severe interference soon after the start before making up a great deal of ground," Mellsop said. "He will start on the inside of the back line this week and should get a good run behind the polemarker Ushaka Bromac." The Beau Brummell's form before his unlucky last-start effort was very good. His six previous starts, after resuming from a spell, produced two wins (including the WA Trotters Cup), two seconds, one third and one fifth placing. Vance Stampalia, driver of the Bruce Stanley-trained Ushaka Bromac, and Gary Hall sen., trainer of Prince Eddie, are both confident of success. Stampalia believes that Ushaka Bromac will have the early speed to lead from the No. 1 barrier in the 1730m event. She led early and then sat behind the pacemaker Idle Maple before finishing solidly to be a close second to Earl Harbour over 1730m last Saturday week. Prince Eddie, whose past eight starts have produced four wins, one second and two thirds, looks nicely placed from the No. 2 barrier. He raced without cover when third to Earl Harbour at his latest start. He finished powerfully to win from Sandakan Lombo in a 2503m stand at his previous start. by Ken Casellas  

Goulburn trainer Neil Day will be looking for his seventh success in the Canola Cup at Eugowra on Monday when Armalife competes in his second straight final. The five year old only raced twice last season, winning a heat of the Canola Cup before finishing seventh in last year's final behind the Peter Trevor-Jones trained Beetson. "Armalife is a very nice horse but he has had an issue with his feet which forced him to have some time off," Day said. "He suffered a quarter crack twelve months ago so he had to have a fair break to recover and then I thought I might as well give him a little bit longer and bring him back for the Canola Cup again." Armalife won the Riverina Derby in 2012 at Wagga accounting for the multiple Gr.1 winner Grand Stride. "We've had a bit of success with him and he's beaten a couple of nice horses, the horse was well supported when he won the Derby at Wagga and he also was impressive at Canberra when he beat Macca Kelly earlier in his career." "Ideally he would have had another couple of runs under his belt but because Canberra aren't racing at the moment I was forced to abandon the restricted races I was targeting but the run in the heat would have done him the world of good and I'm expecting him to strip a lot fitter on Monday." Eugowra is one of the TAB Carnival Of Cups meetings run across New South Wales and Day believes it is the strongest Canola Cup he has seen and was just happy to qualify one for the final. "The series gets better and better every year and the club should be applauded for what they have done with the race, I like to support the club every year if I can." "It's very hard to narrow it down to one main danger because there are probably six or seven realistic hopes in the race but I thought the Victorian horse Almost El Eagle was very good in front and ran a pretty slick last half." Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Junee trainer Steve Harris will spend the remainder of the week in Sydney after his unbeaten four year old Majorlicious trialled at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday night's Country Series Final. Majorlicious has won his first five races including an all the way victory in a heat of the Country Series at Wagga last start and Harris is hoping to keep the unbeaten record intact this weekend. "I've always had an opinion of the horse, even the first time I put him in the cart I thought he would make a very nice horse, he was a big and gangly type but he has really grown into himself in the past twelve months," Harris said. "The plan was to trial him at Menangle on Tuesday and spend the rest of the week up here in preparation for his race this Saturday because he hasn't done a lot of travelling in his career but he isn't the only horse I have brought up, there is a few of them that have made the trip as well." Majorlicious won his first three races at Canberra in 2011 before being turned out for a lengthy spell and resuming in May this year. "He was a really big horse and I knew he wouldn't make it as a two year old but when he won his first three races it was during the drought at home and my track had become quite hard and he jarred up in all four fetlocks so I decided to give him a break to let him get over that." "The six month spell turned into a twelve month break and in the end it did him the world of good because he grew into himself and then when he resumed and won a Country Series heat at Young in May he came down with a virus and I just had to back off him again but he's on top of his game again now." Majorlicious is out of the talented racemare Bootylicious and is a half sister to the twelve time winner Blissfulicious. "Majorlicious is stronger than his mother and his sister, they could both do a little bit of work in their races but this bloke is better." Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Sunday the 28th July will see the Goulburn Harness Racing Club host this season’s Breeders Challenge Regional Finals for 2yo, 3yo and 4yo pacers of both sexes.  With six $20,000 races, the best available young pacers will be in action and the club is leaving no stone unturned to make the day a great success. The racing will be supported by an afternoon of entertainment for all the family and features the last of the very popular Shannon Noll concerts.  The musical support will be enhanced by local Goulburn singer Kerri O’Keefe whilst Shoalhaven mini trots will compete between races. For children, the club has organised a jumping castle, face painting, free show bags and street theatre by the Lieder Youth Theatre. “We’re hoping the weather is kind, but irrespective, with the racing and entertainment on offer the day should be a great Sunday outing, “said club secretary Mark Croatto. The club is also opening its sponsor’s marquee to the public and entry can be purchased by contacting Dennis Day on 0412525935.  The entry of $50 includes gourmet finger food, beer, wine, soft drinks and tea and coffee. Harness fans attending on the day will not only enjoy a program of top class juvenile racing and on-course entertainment, but will also see the progress of works on the multi-use centre commissioned by Goulburn Mulwaree Council. With the refurbishment of the 1040m circuit in November 2011 making it one of the best tracks in New South Wales, the construction of the centre will provide racing fans with a much needed multi-million dollar viewing area. Spanning a distance of 67.5 metres between the greyhound and harness winning posts, the viewing area is raised well above ground level and is housed behind a covered balcony and full glass front.  Within air conditioned comfort, it will provide patrons with all the necessary facilities including full TAB and Bookmaker services, a commercial kitchen and dining area, function room, ample seating and most importantly, an outstanding view of the racing which previously was never possible. Work on the project commenced earlier this year, but following a few delays, it is now on schedule to be opened in December prior to the Goulburn Harness Racing Club hosting the majority of this seasons’ racing.  “Council is very supportive of racing in Goulburn and the multi-use centre will provide harness and greyhound fans a modern and very comfortable, fully enclosed grandstand.  It can get quite cold, and hot, in Goulburn, so this facility will be very much appreciated and will make an outing to the trots at Goulburn all the better,” said President Dennis Day. Completion of the project continues the transition of the Goulburn Paceway into a modern racing precinct with further key projects including a significant upgrade of race day stalls and the development of a training centre on industry owned land adjoining the Goulburn Paceway.  Croatto said the club is always working at improving the Goulburn Paceway for both participants and fans. “It’s a strong harness area, ideally placed with easy access to Menangle and south western tracks such as Canberra, Young and Wagga, so this latest development by Council is a wonderful addition to what we can offer as a club,” he said. A ‘fly through’ of the building can be accessed via the following website Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW  

Semen that was collected 14 years ago provided the late American harness racing stallion - Troublemaker - with his last ever victory at Canberra on Monday night February 11th.

Talented harness racing driver Amy Day should have a better idea later this week of when she will be ready to return to the sulky after suffering a serious race fall at Canberra on Monday June 18. Day is currently running fourth on the New South Wales female drivers' premiership and is still very stiff and sore in the lower back and legs.

Harness Racing New South wales today (Monday December 18) conducted an inquiry to the reasons that a post race urine sample taken from Emilys Dance following Race 5 at Canberra on Monday, 19 September 2011 until analysis reported the presence of "Morphine".

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