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Timing can be everything. And the fact that leading Queensland harness racing trainer Darrel Graham is headed to Sydney this weekend is quite interesting. It’s Chariots of Fire race night at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night and Graham slips into town with pint-sized pacer Broadway Playboy. Understandably, Graham has fond recollections of the Chariots of Fire following his success with his best pacer Lanercost who blew away his rivals in a time of 1:52.5 back in 2011. Graham has also been represented by Rollon Bigred and Sign To Inverell in past Chariots, the biggest four-year-old feature on the eastern seaboard. With no runner in the main event this year, Graham is hoping his in-form pacer Broadway Playboy can earn his way into the $50,000 MO Final scheduled for February 25, Miracle Mile race night. “This little horse deserves his chance; I’ve been wanting to get him down to Sydney for his MO for some time now and given his recent form surge, now was the time and this looks a good target for him. He’s been winning against the open class grade here in Brisbane and doing it well, now is the time.” Graham said. Broadway Playboy starts in the Freedom Farms Lexus Championship Heat 1, the third race on the program and will start from gate five. The former Victorian gelding has won his past three starts at Albion Park, the latest coming last weekend when handled by Adam Sanderson. “He looks a good chance on paper, Adam is actually taking him down and he will be taking the drive again this weekend. He left today (Thursday) and will do the trip in a few stages given how hot the weather is right now. “I think it’s great for Adam to get away with one horse and take in the experience, hopefully we will be able to send a few more south on our next trip. “He’s been great for the stable since coming north from Victoria, he’s got good gate speed and he’s proven he is versatile with some of his recent victories. I think he’s earned more than $120,000 since being up here in Brisbane which is great for his connections.” Many of his rivals this weekend are no strangers with many in the field having raced at Albion Park previously. Broadway Playboy scored a decisive victory last week at Albion Park coming off the speed before downing Joys A Babe and Jackaroo Bromac in a time of 1:53.6. The Jeremes Jet gelding has been placed 13 of his last 15 starts which includes 6 victories. Graham will remain in Brisbane this weekend and drive at Albion Park where he is listed for 5 drives at the meeting. And the countdown continues for Graham to register his 2000th career driving victory, he currently sits on 1996. Chris Barsby

Just days after one of the richest wins of his harness racing career Luke McCarthy has been handed a surprise Chariots Of Fire drive. The master of Menangle will pilot New Zealand pacer Chase The Dream in the $200,000 Group 1 on Saturday night for trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. The Kiwi pair have three in the race, with Purdon obviously sticking with $1.45 TAB favourite Lazarus and Rasmussen choosing to drive Our Waikiki Beach, even after his slower than expected start to the season. That means McCarthy, who reined Bling It On to win the $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton last Saturday, gets the bonus drive on Chase The Dream. The muscly little pacer has been impressive winning both his Menangle starts but has drifted to $21 in the markets after drawing wide. But McCarthy is a boost to his chances as Menangle’s pre-eminent drivers of group one since the track’s opening almost a decade ago. “Luke has driven a lot for us in the past so to get him on Chase The Dream is a real bonus,” said Purdon. Purdon was also pleased with Lazarus’s barrier of four but warned punters it may not be the fancied scenario of a hot favourite jumping to the lead. “There looks to be a lot of speed there but from the draw we have options,” said Purdon. “He has gate speed, as we saw in the Victoria Cup, but we don’t need to make any firm plans yet. “I can see it being a 1:50 mile, even quicker so even our other two being drawn out wide doesn’t bother me too much.” Purdon was still pleased with Lazarus’s win in the $100,000 Bonanza at Melton on Saturday even though it wasn’t as dramatic as his Victoria Cup demolition job a week earlier. “They ran a fast last half (800m) and his class came to the fore but he isn’t going to win by a big margin every time. Meanwhile, the stable has taken a cautious approach with champion mare Dream About Me, nominal favourite for the $200,000 Ladyship Mile on February 25. Last season’s NSW Oaks winner was scratched from the Brian Hancock Cup last Friday with a minor virus and is not entered for Menangle on Saturday. “I didn’t want to enter and then not be entirely happy with her later in the week so she can have her lead-up race to the Ladyship next week instead.” MICHAEL GUERIN | @GuerinSports

The Turpin/McMullen harness racing stables are hoping to finish the week better than it started. The young Queensland couple of Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen are preparing a large team in Sydney at Menangle headlined by their classy four-year-old pacer Mattgregor who starts in Saturday night’s Gr.1 $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots of Fire. This was the main focus of their maiden southern campaign. But it could’ve been over before it started. On Monday, McMullen was working recent New Zealand purchase Fire One when the three-year-old filly became erratic and uncontrollable before crashing heavily. The filly was sent to the nearby Camden Veterinary University while McMullen was left to dust himself off and hobble along nursing a sore ankle. “The filly put on a bucking display and crashed into the fence and dumped Pete quite heavily, the filly ended up with a number of cuts and abrasions while Pete hurt his ankle. I was worried Pete might have done some serious damage but he said it was ok, he took drives on Tuesday and he’s not going to miss driving Bear (Mattgregor) this weekend.” Turpin said. Mattgregor is the stable star, the New Zealand bred gelding has won 8 of his 13 starts to date and qualified for the feature after coming from last to run a half neck second to Dashofluck in the Paleface Adios Stakes in a time of 1:50 two weeks ago. This weekend, Mattgregor will start at big odds after being slammed with the worst draw, gate 10, the outside draw in the 1609m sprint feature. Most experts are predicting a sub 1:50 mile rate. “Our mission was to qualify for this race, that’s been the target since he started in the Queensland Derby last July and we’ve made it so that’s an effort in itself. After being made an emergency in the Hondo Grattan we were left wondering if we would even get a chance to prove ourselves but we got there in the end. “His last start second in the Paleface Adios was his best run to date, he had no right to get as close as he did that night and his sectionals were just unbelievable.  He’s trained on well since and now we’re just relying on luck from the draw. “It’s a great field headed by Lazarus who looks freakish, the Purdon/Rasmussen have three excellent chances while all other runners boast excellent credentials. Bear has only had 13 career starts and we’re super proud of what he’s achieved to date and he’ll be better for this campaign going forward.” Mattgregor is raced by Denis Golinski along with Karen & Jake Turpin after being purchased from the leading Christchurch stables of Mark Jones. Queensland trained winners of the Chariots of Fire include Slipnslide (2005) and Lanercost (2011). Other Queenslanders to contest the great race include Majestic Mach & Brigadier Bronski (2014 - Guaranteed), Sign To Inverell (2012 – Caribbean Blaster), Matai Zinga (2011 - Lanercost), Fleur De Lil & Be Diligent (2008 – Ebony Gem), Secretagent Cullen & Sir Galvinator (2006 – Innocent Eyes), Mister Martini (2005 - Slipnslide), Rollon Bigred (2004 - Elsu), Sparkling Melody (2003 – Oaxaca Lass), Five Star Comfort (2002 – Manifold Bay) plus Aquagold and Sailors Corner (2001 – Smooth Satin). Chris Barsby

Harness Racing New South Wales advises that it will utilise the HRNSW Retention Facility for all horses, including emergencies, entered in the Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday February 11, 2017. Horses entered in the Group 1 will be housed within the HRNSW Retention Facility and must be presented at the facility prior to midday on Thursday February 9, 2017. All trainers with horses entered for this race have been notified by HRNSW of the requirements for presentation of their respective horses. Horses will remain under the supervision of HRNSW until released to the raceday stables two hours prior to the race.   MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER

The all-important barrier draw for the Group 1 Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire will take place next Monday at 11am at the Harness Racing New South Wales office. Connections of horses qualified for the $200,000 feature are invited to watch the draw take place. The 2017 edition of the Chariots Of Fire will be held at Tabcorp Park Menangle on February 11. Since the race’s inception in 1995, the Chariots Of Fire has been a stepping stone into the Grand Circuit for many great pacers. And last year was the first time the winner automatically qualified for the Miracle Mile. An invitation to the 50th Miracle Mile is on the line for this year’s winner of the Chariots Of Fire too. See full conditions of the 2017 Chariots Of Fire here:  Amanda Rando

Leading harness racing horsewoman KerryAnn Turner and partner Robert Morris will cover a lot of miles this weekend but their most important mile is on track this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As the countdown to the Chariots Of Fire ramps up, Turner and Morris' gun pacer Charlaval will take on some of Australasia's best four-year-olds to earn a spot in the Group One on February 11. Going head-to-head with the likes of last season's Horse of the Year Our Waikiki Beach and this term's unbeaten star Salty Robyn in Saturday's Hondo Grattan Stakes, Charlaval is bringing his best form into the Group Two. The gelding is unbeaten in four starts and that includes his personal best winning mile rate of 1:51.9 set at Menangle last weekend. "Every time he has a break he comes back stronger and better and his preparation has been faultless," Morris said. "He has become more confident with each run." But will that be enough to wear down his classy rivals? According to the TAB Fixed Odds market, Charlaval is currently ranked as a $21 chance and the only two horses in single figures are Our Waikiki Beach ($1.90) and Salty Robyn ($2.30). "The faster they go and the harder they go the better it will be for Charlaval," Morris said. "We believe he is a lot better sitting off the speed and drawn in barrier four, hopefully we can slot straight into the running line and keep our fingers crossed. "It's a hard race . . . I can't split Our Waikiki Beach and Salty Robyn who has been a revelation this season. "Our Waikiki Beach doesn't need any recommendations, he's a good horse . . . a lot of people said he was plain last week but I thought his run was the best of the night. "I've driven a lot of horses at Menangle and horses just don't do what he did and the only thing that beat him was his barrier." Our Waikiki Beach finished third and it was just his second defeat in 25 starts while Salty Robyn has won his eight starts this season and last start sat parked and clocked 1:49.2. And it is for this reason that trainer Shane Tritton believes Salty Robyn should be the favourite for this feature. "If you go on latest form, no reputations, then Salty Robyn has to be the one to beat," Tritton said. "I hope Johnny (McCarthy) can get Waikiki away quickly enough to lead . . . I'd like Salty to sit outside him." With trainer-driver Mark Purdon in Victoria driving Lazarus in the Group One Ballarat Cup on Saturday night, the leading New Zealand conditioner has engaged John McCarthy to drive Our Waikiki Beach. Purdon also has Have Faith In Me engaged on the night. It is also a busy time for Morris and Turner too who on Friday split their team between Bathurst and Newcastle, are racing at Menangle on Saturday and then are heading to Canberra on Sunday. "It will be a busy couple of days but we have good owners and a lot of nice horses and we try to place them as best as we can," Morris said. Morris is just two wins behind Chris Geary in the New South Wales Drivers Premiership having driven 51 winners this season and Turner is also in second place in the NSW Trainers Premiership with 55 winners. AMANDA RANDO

McMullen duo Peter and Chantal will be looking for two sought-after pacing victories in Sydney next month. The Patrick Estate harness racing team are currently in Sydney, aiming to qualify New Zealand imports Mattgregor in the $200,000 invitational Chariots of Fire and Watch Pulp Fiction in the Miracle Mile. Although the races aren't until February, driver and co-trainer Peter said despite Mattgregor's lack of race starts, the gelding was showing plenty of potential to race in the biggest four-year-old race in Australasia. He raced last week at Menangle as favourite, winning by a solid three metres, taking his tally to eight wins from 12 starts. "It was nothing special, but hopefully that gives him enough to get into the lead up to the qualifying races,” Peter said. "He hasn't had a lot of race in him yet and we haven't seen the best of him yet.” Both Mattgregor and Watch Pulp Fiction will both need to qualify for the invitational feature races which will test the best horses in their category. If Watch Pulp Fiction doesn't make the qualifiers for the Miracle Mile, Peter said they would aim to enter him in the Bohemia Crystal, held during the same meet. "We've only had him about a month... it's a bit out of reach but we're hoping he can make the Miracle Mile,” he said. The duo have trained some 54 winners this season, putting them squarely in second place on the trainers board behind the black and white army of Grant Dixon. And in the driver's seat, Peter holds a solid third place on the state drivers table with 55 wins, 46 seconds and 40 third from 363 starts. If the two lead horses don't finish in the top two for their qualifying races, Peter said the experience and connections from New South Wales which will add to their southern venture. "We're looking to expand a little, broaden the horizons and the other horses we took with us,” Peter said. "They're all nice horses, they're the best of our bunch in Queensland, but its stronger racing in Menangle. "But if we can make new connections from the horses and broaden our stable at home that would be great.” The McMullens have spent the last couple weeks in Menangle, based at the track in the lead up to the Chariots of Fire and Miracle Mile. By Rob Williams Reprinted with permission of The Gatton Star

There are eight last start harness racing winners going head-to-head in Saturday night's Cordina Chicken Farms Hondo Grattan Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle and surprisingly that does not include Our Waikiki Beach. Out of the 10 horses engaged, not including the emergencies who are actually both last start winners also, Our Waikiki Beach is one of two horses not to have graced the winners' circle last start. However, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained gelding is the favourite with TAB Fixed Odds at $1.85 after drawing barrier one. The second favourite is Salty Robyn at $2.40 with all other runners at double figure odds. The winner of this $50,000 Group Two will automatically qualify for the Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire on February 11 and will join Soho Tribeca (Western Australia) and Chase The Dream (New Zealand) as qualified horses for that event. The Chariots Of Fire conditions allow for the winners of the Golden Nugget (WA), the Four and Five-Year-Old Futurity (NZ), the Four-Year-Old Bonanza (Victoria) as well as the Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios Stakes (Menangle) to automatically qualify for the Chariots Of Fire. The remainder of the field for the Chariots Of Fire will be selected only from horses that competed in the Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan Stakes on overall finishing positions. Based on the presumption that all automatically qualified horses nominate for the Chariots Of Fire, the second and third-placed horses in the Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios Stakes will gain entry into the $200,000 feature. The winner of the 2017 Chariots Of Fire will be invited to contest the Ainsworth Miracle Mile on February 25, 2017. CLICK HERE for the TAB Fixed Odds on the Hondo Grattan Stakes   AMANDA RANDO

Catcha Lefty is going to take his shot. The Queensland Derby winner will head south this week (Wednesday) in preparation for the harness racing Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle scheduled for February 11. The two qualifying races, the Gr.2 $50,000 Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios Sprints are slated for January 21 and 28, both to be staged at Menangle. Husband and wife combination of Charlie Cini and Cristina Monte are willing to contest both lead-up events if required but are hopeful of securing a start in the four-year-old feature. “This is what we’re in the business for, to get a nice and contest the bigger events so we’re going to give him his opportunity. Obviously this crop is outstanding headed by the New Zealand horses but we’re hopeful of gaining an invitation for the big race.” Co-trainer Cini said. Since returning from his biggest triumph during the Brisbane winter carnival, Catcha Lefty has shaped nicely in two runs back from the break and heads south in peak condition. The Village Jasper gelding was beaten but far from disgraced first-up on December 17 when speedy mare Cherish The Moment led throughout at Albion Park in a time of 1:53.1. Catcha Lefty sat without cover on that occasion and went down by a shot half head margin. In his latest effort on January 3, Catcha Lefty scored a clinical victory at Albion Park in a time of 1:55.8. “He’s in great shape; the first-up run was excellent and Shane (Graham – driver) was absolutely thrilled while his latest effort was very good and they were running into a strong head wind that day. It was a perfect run given his tough first-up effort and he’s trained on since. “We have no doubt he goes best with a sit, coming off cover and unfortunately we don’t get many opportunities to drive him that manner up here but we will when he races in Sydney. He came off cover when he won the Queensland Derby last season. “His first start will come in the Hondo Grattan and then we’ll reassess after that, the news that Lazarus is heading to Melbourne now rather than contesting this event is a bonus. He’s come back in great shape, he grew a touch taller and definitely filled out a little more, I think he’s set for a good campaign.” Regular reinsman Shane Graham is currently suspended after incurring a two week driving suspension at Redcliffe last week but will be back to drive him on Saturday week. Catcha Lefty has won 14 of his 28 starts to date while banking more than $177,000. Also joining Catcha Lefty on the trip south are talented stablemates Bring On Lefty and Firebby while Cold Ideal, Stonebridge Royal, Armbro Teehee and Marshal Dale are also on board. The Cini/Monte team will be based with Daryl New on course at Menangle during their campaign. by Chris Barsby

After ending last season with a Group One win to his name 10-time winner Charlaval looks set to have another big harness racing season ahead of him. With the Chariots Of Fire the main aim for the four-year-old, connections are undecided if he will trial or race next according to the gelding's regular reinsman Robbie Morris. Charlaval has won his two trials back this preparation. "He's trialled twice now and has had two good hit-outs but Kerry (KerryAnn Turner-trainer) is still undecided if she will give him another trial or just race him," Morris said. "He trialled nicely at Menangle on Tuesday - he led and was a bit docile in front waiting for the other horses but hit the line well." Charlaval rated 1:55.4 in his most recent trial and when ready to make his debut for the season will be assessed as a C6. "He is a good horse and has earned the right to have this assessment," Morris said. "Being that grade won't affect him as he is usually driven back with a sit and if they go 1:50 or 1:51, the harder they go the better for him. "The Chariots is the real aim with him but he is eligible for the Breeders Challenge and Breeders Crown also so he has a big season ahead." Charlaval won a Breeders Challenge Final last season in a career best mile rate of 1:51.9. The son of Four Starzzz Shark has a record of 10 wins and 11 second placings in 29 starts and earnings of $199,025 AMANDA RANDO

Brilliant New Zealand-bred five-year-old Our Sky Major, a winner of five group 1 feature events and $777,717 in stakes, will make his Gloucester Park debut when he starts from the No. 2 barrier in the Nexans Olex Pace, a C10 to C15 event in which his clash with up-and-coming star American Boy will be a feature of the ten-event harness racing program. Our Sky Major, a winner at 15 of his 53 starts, is prepared at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, who took over the preparation of the horse just over two months ago. Prentice drove Our Sky Major at his West Australian debut when he was a 10/1 on favourite in a 1609m at Bunbury on June 4 and was surprisingly beaten. After starting from barrier five, Our Sky Major raced three wide early before taking the lead at the bell. He sprinted over the third quarter of the final mile in a sizzling 26.9sec. before wilting in the final stages to finish third behind Lord Lombo and Northern Assassin. The winner rated 1.53.6 after a final quarter of 28.2sec. That was Our Sky Major’s first run since he finished sixth in a 3200m stand at Addington on March 26. Our Sky Major has had 13 starts this season for just one second and two thirds. He shone as a four-year-old, winning at four of his eight starts, including the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle in March 2015 (recording a time of 1.51.5 over 1609m) and the Four-Year-Old Emerald at Ashburton two months later. Our Sky Major, who finished a head second to Our Maxim in the 2240m Victoria Derby at Melton in February 2014, is sure to prove a worthy opponent for American Boy, who has shown tremendous promise in winning at 11 of his 14 starts. American Boy has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and Gary Hall jun. will be determined to set the pace. Trainer Gary Hall sen. said he was looking forward to American Boy clashing with Our Sky Major. “It’s a strong field, but American Boy is in good form,” he said. “American Boy has good gate speed and will lead and prove hard to beat. His past two runs have been outstanding.” Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 24 June 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 24 June 2016         Ken Casellas

Once in a generation a harness racing racehorse comes along that redefines the breed with displays of power and speed that lifts the overall standard to the next level. Last night at Tabcorp Park Menangle, Have Faith In Me gave a performance for the ages with a stunning win in the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire and in doing so the lightly raced four year old lay down the gauntlet to the established grand circuit stars ahead of the $750,000 Miracle Mile on February 28th. Plenty of the form analysts questioned weather Have Faith In Me from the outside gate of 10 could give all his rivals a start and beat them last night in Australia's premier four year old race. The former New Zealand mare Arms Of An Angel was the main pick of those analysts to puncture the Have Faith In Me bubble. Before the race had barely started, the whole complexion of the race had changed. Arms Of An Angel had blown the score up and was eight to ten lengths behind the bunch early in the race. Meanwhile Natalie Rasmussen had sent Have Faith In Me forward on a mission as the soon as the gate hit the starting point and was three wide with cover handy to the pace after the first 400 metres was cut out in a quick 26.6. Following Cruz Bromac around, Have Faith In Me found the death seat outside him at the 800 metres in 55.1 after a 28.5 second quarter. Natalie applied more pressure down the back straight and the third quarter whizzed by in 27 seconds and it was apparent at that point that Have Faith In Me had his rivals in serious trouble. When Natalie gave him a little bit of rein at the top of the straight, Have Faith In Me absolutely bolted away and went down to the line under double wraps for a victory that will live in the memory for a long time. Cutting the last 400 metres out in a slick 26.9, Have Faith In Me stopped the timer in a brilliant 1:48.8, the first four year old to break 1:50 in Australasia. Lord Zin Zan after trailing most of the way ran into second 10 metres away while the early breaker Arms Of An Angel made ground late from last to run third, another four metres behind Lord Zin Zan. Co -trainer Mark Purdon is never one to hype up one of his many stars to the media but his praise for the son of Bettor's Delight was  instant and left nobody in any doubt of how the champion trainer sees his latest star when he stated that Have Faith In Me was as good a horse as he has ever handled. Speaking to Sky commentator Adam Hamilton post race, Mark Purdon said the scary thing was that Natalie reckoned Have Faith In Me had a few gears left yet at the finish. The only disappointing aspect to the ground breaking win by the New Zealand trained and owned champion was the response of the local media. They became fixated on the performance of Arms Of An Angel to run third and the following line was repeated again and again over the next 60 minutes. " While not wanting to take anything away from the performance of Have Faith In Me, the run of Arms Of An Angel was unbelievable." So while stating they didn't want to take anything away from the brilliant performance of Have Faith In Me, they then proceeded to do exactly that again and again and again. The performance of Have Faith In Me in absolutely destroying a quality Chariots Of Fire field in 1:48.8 should have seen all the kudos and spotlight focussed on him post race. The fact Have Faith In Me had to fight for the spotlight with a mare who ran third was disappointing to say the least. Harnesslink Media

The events of April 12, 2014, set a foundation that has a harness racing owners' syndicate’s more than a good hope of winning tonight’s $200,000 Form 700 Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. On that day, almost two years ago, Im Blue Double Dee won the Group 2 Mildura Cup, claiming a $33,000 share of the prize, his biggest haul among a career that spanned 143 starts and yielded 27 wins among 70 placings. The $245,649 career prizemoney gave owner Jennifer Turnbull more than a little joy, a pay-off that continues today. “(Im Blue Double Dee) started the (ownership) ball rolling,” Jennifer said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to buy some nice types because of Dexter (his stable name).” Jennifer and her husband, Steve, have enjoyed a long and successful training career, which included champion Smooth Satin, winner of $1.5 million in stakes including the 2001 Chariots Of Fire. They return to Menangle tonight for the great race's 2016 staging, this time with Jennifer having a healthy share in Tact Tate, the exciting Victorian four-year-old that lit Tabcorp Park Melton last week when it won a hotly contested bonanza. WATCH GOOD FORM ANALYSTS JASON BODDINGTON AND BLAKE REDDEN DISSECT TONIGHT'S RACING AT MENANGLE The night was Tact Tate’s coming out party, having won despite a step up in class, just reward for Victorian trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull, daughter of Jennifer and Steve. It was Amanda’s influence that lured Jennifer in. “Amanda called and said I’ve got a good one, reckon you should get a share,” Jennifer said. “She liked him from the word go. We are extremely proud of her. She just doesn’t stop.” Tact Tate joined Amanda Turnbull’s camp after 11 starts across the Tasman, which had yielded three wins in largely modest stakes. In Amanda’s care the four-year-old gelding won from its first three starts in Victoria, then was spelled for almost four months before returning at Shepparton and again saluting. Last Saturday’s victory in the Nestle 4YO Bonanza at Melton followed, where Amanda handed up to an aggressive Mark Purdon, then used the sprint lane to account for Purdon’s $3.10 favourite Itz Bettor To Win. “We spelled (Tact Tate) for a while then he come back and made the step up nicely,” Jennifer Turnbull said. “I’ve been in the trots all my life and you get excited just to have something you can nominate for these races. We had no expectations, just hoped to have a good run and we got it. “Another gentleman who had a five per cent share in the horse was in tears after it won he was so excited. “I’ve not been in a lot of syndicates, but it is so lovely to see that and share the success. Watching people get that excited at the trots is lovely and what it’s all about.” That shared experienced will only be elevated tonight when the proud group of owners heads to Menangle for the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire. “We have a harder draw, but you never know what might happen,” Jennifer said. “It is so exciting just to get that far. There are no expectations except to have a good day and hope everything goes well.” Tact Tate is one of many horses heading north of the border in pursuit of success tonight, when many trainers, drivers and owners will have their fingers crossed, and a few their dreams released. VICTORIAN RAIDERS Race 1 12 Smudge Bromac (trainer David Aiken and driver Josh Aiken) Race 2 7 Stunning Grin (Vince Vallelonga and Anthony Butt) Race 3 6 Fernco Bobby G (Glenn Douglas and Luke McCarthy) 7 Almost El Eagle (Steven Duffy and Nathan Jack) Race 4 2 Nike Franco (Dean Braun and Luke McCarthy) 10 Betabcool (Amanda Turnbull) 12 Juliette Bromac (David Aiken and Josh Aiken) Race 5 2 Five Star Anvil (Adam Kelly and Zac Phillips) Race 6 5 Cold Major (David Aiken and Josh Aiken) 7 Major Crocker (Vince Vallelonga and Mark Purdon) Race 7 (CHARIOTS OF FIRE) 4 Cruz Bromac (Dean Braun and Luke McCarthy) 10 Tact Tate (Amanda Turnbull) 12 Wingara (2nd emerg Peter Romero and Nathan Jack) Race 8 12 Egodan (Beau Tindale and Gavin Fitzpatrick) Race 9 3 Highview Ember (Peter Salathiel) 6 Nimble Jack (Glenn Douglas and Robert Morris) 9 Oh Jonny B Good (Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack) Race 10 7 Emmanuel (Matt Craven and Todd McCarthy) by Michael Howard

Harness racing owner Harvey Kaplan will be like the proverbial ‘cat on a hot tin roof’ this Saturday night as he watches three of his horses compete on the biggest stage at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  All three are well in contention according to the bookmakers although multiple group one winner Bling It On priced at $1.70 is the shortest of the trio. Bling It On will compete in the $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint and the race will also double as a Miracle Mile qualifier.  Nike Franco will contest the Sibelia Stakes, an important lead up to the Ladyship Mile while Cruz Bromac will race in the Chariots Of Fire. “I think Bling It On is going to be very hard to beat, looking at the draw he looks set to lob in the one-one or one-two at worst and Luke (McCarthy) has a couple of options up his sleeve,” Kaplan said. “He can drive him cold and save him up for the one last dash at them or he can turn it into an 800 metre race by taking off at the half and forcing the speed.” Kaplan and the other part owners of Bling It On have not wanted to overtax the five year old and deliberately missed the Inter Dominion last year in Perth. “This season was all about getting him ready for the Grand Circuit but if there was one feature race I thought he could win it was the Miracle Mile because it is on his home track. “It is a race where if he was to draw well and sit behind the leader I think he is a definite winning chance.” Nike Franco has already qualified for the Ladyship Mile and has drawn perfectly this week in barrier two. “I think she is the forgotten horse in the race, she looks like she is going to get a great run and most importantly there is no pressure on us, we’re already in the Ladyship. “She proved in Perth that from a good draw she can compete with the best mares and she’ll be right in the finish on Saturday night.” Cruz Bromac is one of five winning chances in the Chariots Of Fire according to Kaplan. “I think it is a bit more open than people are suggesting, it is very possible Have Faith In Me will have to run 1:49 to win the race from barrier ten and that isn’t an easy task. “It is an outstanding race and Cruz Bromac will just have to slot in early and hope everything works out for him.” If Kaplan’s three horses win this Saturday night they would earn $250,000 between them.  Not a bad night’s work for anyone. Greg Hayes

After a warning from Shane Tritton and Lauren Panella to their harness racing rivals about Arms Of An Angel being prepared to run another 1:50 mile this Saturday night in the Form 700 Chariots Of Fire, leading New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon has offered his own pre-race prediction. Purdon’s Have Faith In Me is the favourite for Saturday night’s Group 1 feature after winning the Auckland Cup against the older horses in his homeland on New Year’s Eve. “I’d be very confident (a mile rate of) 1:50 is realistic from Have Faith In Me,” Purdon said. “He is certainly the right type of horse to sit parked, it is more his forte to maintain a strong clip all the way.” When questioned about what time Have Faith In Me could run in the right conditions, Purdon was quick to respond. “I wouldn’t say he’d do it from an outside draw but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go 1:48.” Have Faith In Me is the younger brother of Australasian mile record holder Adore Me.  The mare set the mile record of 1:47.7 in last year’s Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “You’d think looking at Have Faith In Me, he still needs to mature more, gauging by what he has done to date you’d think if he does improve along the way he’s certainly going to be up with Adore Me.” While Natalie Rasmussen will drive Have Faith In Me on Saturday night, Purdon confirmed he will be driving in some of the feature races during the carnival at Menangle. “I’ll be hoping Smolda gets a start on Miracle Mile day, even if it is in the Bohemia Crystal Free For All and I will be driving him.  I’m also planning on driving the three-year-old filly Our Dream About Me.” Greg Hayes

It's shaping as a match-race between two of the quickest harness racing pacers to race in Australasia. And two of the best reinswomen ever to grace the Tabcorp Park Menangle circuit will be in the ˜hotseats". The $200,000 Form 700 Chariots Of Fire should ensure a big crowd at Menangle on Saturday night as Miracle Mile invitations go on the line. Star New Zealand-based driver Natalie Rasmussen is here to partner one of Mark Purdon's stable stars in Have Faith In Me, who has drawn gate 11 and should come into 10 when the first emergency, Admiral Bronski is withdrawn. And the Kiwi colt may have to break 1:50, or go very close to that mark if he is to come from the wide draw and account for flying four-year-old former Kiwi mare Arms Of An Angel. Arms Of An Angel will be partnered by premier reinswoman Lauren Panella. This daughter of former Inter Dominion champion Elsu is unbeaten since crossing the Tasman to join the Shane Tritton barn, winning seven in succession with ridiculous ease. Indeed Arms Of An Angel is already a triple record holder at Menangle, with two incredible times of 1:50.7 and 1:50.3 among her string of wins. And her winning margins in Australia add up to an even-more-impressive 114.6m. Panella will be looking for a quick getaway when she comes out of the eight barrier on Saturday night and is expected to cross and find the lead. From there it might be catch-me-if-you can – and break 1:50 if you have to – if you want to beat this dynamic duo. While it shapes as a match race, the presence of Tact Tate, Ameretto, Cruz Bromac and several other smart performers ensures it will be a race to remember . . . with an invitation to the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile awaiting the winner. There are at least four other invitations up for grabs on the night with the first two home in the Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint as well as the Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint guaranteed spots in the Miracle Mile on February 28. For further information telephone NSWHRC Racing Manager David Wonson on (02) 4645 2200.

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