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Plans have been shelved for star colt Perfect Stride. The Anthony Butt prepared three-year-old was being readied for this week’s Gr.2 $50,660 Garrards South East Derby at Albion Park, the second night of the much revised 2020 winter carnival. But his unplaced effort last night (Saturday) has forced the cancellation of his trip north. Perfect Stride finished 8th behind exciting prospect Whereyabinboppin in the Gr.3 $30,600 Farmer Joes Outlet Final in a time of 1:50.5 and never raised the hopes of his backers. And that left Butt perplexed. “I expected a lot more and after talking it over with Emilio (Rosati – owner) earlier today we’ve decided to bypass on Brisbane and get him thoroughly checked over by the vets and see if anything turns up.” Butt explained. The younger brother to millionaire pacer Chicago Bull has been placed in both the Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics this season behind his stablemate Line Up while also being placed in the Gr.1 $100,000 Gold Chalice Final at Bathurst. Star local Governor Jujon now looks the horse to beat following his outstanding form this season for trainer/driver Grant Dixon. The Cammibest colt was primed for the South East Derby with a sharp trial at Albion Park on Friday in a time of 1:53.9. The fields for Saturday night’s program will be released on Tuesday.   Chris Barsby

Have helmet, will travel. Promising young reinsman Will Rixon has headed to Queensland to join his boss as they build on the winter carnival campaign. Rixon, 19, is the stable foreman for Menangle horseman Jarrod Alchin. Fresh from completing his driving duties last night (Saturday) at TABCORP Park, Menangle, Rixon immediately headed north to join Alchin as they prepare for tonight’s Redcliffe meeting. Rixon will take two drives on the ten race program. It’s the first time he has driven in the Sunshine State. “I’ll be up here for the next couple of weeks and I’m really looking forward to it, Jarrod has the team going along nicely plus I’m looking to do as much driving as possible.” Rixon said. To date this season, Rixon has driven 47 winners while he is approaching 200 for his career which commenced back on January 12, 2017. He currently has a C3 concession claim. Last year, Rixon combined with the Wayne Sullivan trained Cee Cee Ambro to win the Gr.2 $50,000 NSW Breeders Challenge 3yo Fillies True Blue Final at Menangle. “This season has been pretty good and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’m getting but I’m keen to keep building on my numbers. “I enjoy driving at Menangle but I like getting around to different tracks, it’s great for the experience and that’s why I’m looking forward to the Brisbane trip. They’ve got a great colony of drivers and I’m excited about driving at Albion Park, I went to Victoria last year and took some drives down there and really enjoyed it. “Jarrod has some nice horses in his care and I’m hoping I might get a drive behind Mohs Em Down, he’s my favourite horse in the stable and I believe he’s got a real future.” Rixon hails from a famous harness racing family, he is the son of Peter and Cindy (of Divisive fame) while his grandfather is the legendary A.D (Tony) Turnbull. Naturally, Rixon rates the Miracle Mile as the race he would most like to win in the future. His father won the event in 2008, his Uncle Steve (Smooth Satin) scored in the race back in 2001 while his grandfather won it back in 1974 (Hondo Grattan). And like many, Rixon is a graduate of the mini-trotting ranks. “It’s such a great grounding and so many good drivers are graduates of this pathway, I’ve made some really good friends from it too. “I admire so many drivers but I believe Blake Fitzpatrick is the most underrated driver going around, he’s so polished.” Rixon will drive again on Tuesday at Albion Park while he’s looking for more drives later in the week.   Chris Barsby

Star Queensland three-year-old Governor Jujon fined tuned his preparation for next week’s Gr.2 $50,660 Garrrards South East Derby with a sparkling trial at Albion Park last night (Friday). The Grant Dixon trained and driven colt led throughout in the 1660m public trial in a time of 1:53.9. He paced sectionals of 27.7, 31.1, 27.8 and 27.4 seconds. Governor Jujon scored by a widening margin of 22.5m defeating former New Zealand pacer Jive and Convair Hustler. “It was a nice trial; I needed to give him a decent hit-out before next week and he was comfortable doing that so hopefully he’s ready because it’s hard to gain a race start with his rating.” Dixon said. The John Mammino owned pacer has not started since winning the Gr.3 $35,550 Redcliffe Yearling Series Final on June 19. A winner of 9 of his 13 starts this term; Governor Jujon has already feature race trophies following victories in the Gr.2 $50,000 Simpson Memorial at Menangle, Gr.2 $50,660 QBRED Triad Final and the $21,170 APHRC Members Cup. Governor Jujon was a runner-up behind Line Up in the Gr.1 $200,000 Victoria Derby following a heat victory. Last start Breeders Classic winner Big Wheels also stepped out in a trial and finished second behind Amarone in a time of 2:01.6. The gelded son of A Rocknroll Dance is being readied for the Gr.1 $100,550 QBRED Triad Final on the final night of the Albion Park winter carnival, July 25. Prepared by Chantal Turpin, Big Wheels is the winner of 2 races from 6 starts to date. And quality trotter Majestic Simon also looked sharp winning a 2138m stand start trial easily defeating Shegotsass and Il Pirata in a time of 2:03.8. The Chantal Turpin trained performer started from a handicap of 50m. Il Pirata made a break at the home turn. Over the next two weeks, Majestic Simon will contest the Gr.3 $21,270 Trotters Cup and the Gr.3 $25,770 Queensland Trotters Cup.   Chris Barsby

Smart pacer Feelingforarainbow has returned to work this week. Prepared by father/son combination of David and Dan Russell, the four-year-old hasn’t started since finishing third as favourite behind Little Bolt and Commodore Jujon in the Listed $25,660 QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park on May 23. With the 2020 Racing Queensland winter carnival much revised owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, connections opted to spell their gelding rather than keeping him in work. And connections are thrilled with his current condition. “He did extremely well during his break, he’s returned in really good order and we’re very happy we pulled the pin when we did. He did a big job getting to the Triad and probably raced a little tired in the final so giving him the break was the best thing for him.” Dan Russell said. A winner of ten races already this season, Feelingforarainbow will be brought along steadily with a view of a southern campaign an option moving forward. The Mr Feelgood gelding has been a great improver with maturity and looks like the open spaces of Menangle will suit him ideally. “It’s definitely an option, we haven’t locked in any plans yet but I know Dad and I have spoken about taking him to Sydney to win his ‘MO’ race so we’ll weigh things up when he’s getting closer. “He goes on all sized tracks but he really enjoys Albion Park so Menangle would be great for him, he can follow good speed and he can still produce good sectionals. “We’ve always believed in him and now he’s coming into his own so we’re hopeful he’ll keep improving, Dad trained his mother for a period and she was a good race mare with a very solid pedigree. He’s our current stable star and he’s given us plenty of fun to date.” Feelingforarainbow has won 15 of his 56 starts while banking more than $70,000. Meanwhile, the stable has taken over the training of talented mare RNR Windermere. And next week’s Listed $25,660 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes at Albion Park could be an early target. “We’ll see how she handles the trip north but it’s definitely an option, her record is very impressive and she looked very good last start.” The Rocknroll Hanover mare scored an impressive victory at her most recent start at Kilmore on June 25 when rating 1:55.5. Previously prepared by Amanda Turnbull, RNR Windermere has won 7 of her 17 starts this season. The regally bred seven-year-old has won 13 races to date with over $70,000 in stakes.   Chris Barsby

With the Queensland winter carnival now in full swing, a number of talented types were fine tuning their skills at the trials today (Tuesday). The opening night of the Albion Park features gets underway this weekend while the following fortnight will also see plenty of talent on display, both equine and human. Improving three-year-old Gleneagle Warrior is being set for next week’s Gr.2 $50,660 Garrards South East Derby, a feature event to be staged over 2138m. Raced by Graeme Harris who recently transferred the Shadyshark Hanover gelding to the care of Vicki Rasmussen and the big striding type has thrived with the change of routine. Under the care of Rasmussen, Gleneagle Warrior has recorded three wins from five starts while his overall record now stands at five wins from 24 starts to date. At his most recent start, Gleneagle Warrior finished a brave second to Governor Jujon in the Gr.3 $35,520 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series 3yo Final on June 19. In his 1660m public workout today, Gleneagle Warrior produced a withering sprint over the final 600m to score a decisive victory in a time of 1:55.4. The trial was covered in splits of 28.8, 31.5, 28 and 27.2 seconds. Leading reinsman Shane Graham again took the drive. Meanwhile, promising two-year-old filly Sheza Bonny Sheila caught the eye with a fast finishing third placing behind This Ones For You and Not The Kingswood in a 1660m trial. The time was 1:58.8 with the final half covered in 57.4 seconds. Prepared by Barb Barry, Sheza Bonny Sheila has not raced since making an error as favourite in the Listed $25,550 QBRED Breeders Classic Fillies Final at Albion Park on May 23 when fifth behind Vanish Hanover in a time of 1:56.8. The Betterthancheddar filly is already a feature race winner this season when scoring in the Changeover Classic at Albion Park on March 28. Regular reinsman Adam Sanderson took the drive. Sheza Bonny Sheila is being readied for the Gr.1 $100,550 QBRED Triad Fillies Final is scheduled for July 25.   Chris Barsby

Talented Queensland mares Demeter and Laughing Emoji are the latest recruits bound for the ever increasing North American market. Buoyed by the deeds of world champion pacing mare Shartin, the appetite for ‘downunder’ pacing mares has hit fever pitch. And the performance across the weekend of former Victorian mare Soho Burning Love at the Meadowlands winning the Mares Open in 1:48.1 has further underlined the quality heading north in recent seasons. Connections of both Demeter and Laughing Emoji accepted offers they couldn’t refuse. Demeter, trained by former Leeton horseman Reece Maguire has proven to be an outstanding money-spinner since coming to the Sunshine State where she has won four of her nine starts. All four victories took place at Albion Park. Overall, Demeter has won 10 of her 40 starts to date. In her first start at the famed Breakfast Creek oval, the Art Major – Weka Lass mare took a personal best time of 1:54.2. At her most recent start, Demeter finished second behind boom pacer Speech Is Silver at Albion Park on June 6 in a time of 1:56.9 for 2138m. Demeter is a half-sister to talented Victorian based mare Reciprocity (16 wins - $158k). Meanwhile, Laughing Emoji also created a tidy record in Brisbane following her purchase from New Zealand as a three-year-old. The big striding Mach Three mare was prepared by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen and all of her 11 (from 53 starts) were recorded on Australian soil. Laughing Emoji was purchased from the south island of New Zealand following her second start. Nine of her victories took place at Albion Park while she also registered a victory on the half mile Redcliffe circuit. Her best winning mile rate of 1:52.9 took place at Menangle during a Sydney campaign back in 2018. This season, Laughing Emoji has won seven races. At her final Australian start, Laughing Emoji finished fifth at Albion Park behind Corsini in a time of 1:57.1 after being caught without cover.   Chris Barsby

Boom pacer Speech Is Silver has continued with his terrific form. Fresh from registering his seventh successive victory in the Badcock Group of Companies Pace at Albion Park on Saturday night, the Darren Weeks trainee recorded brilliant closing sectionals yet again. In fact, his closing half of 55.2 seconds (leader to winner) was the fastest of the night. His splits were even quicker than reigning Horse of the Year Colt Thirty One who scored an all the way victory in the Westburn Grant Open Pace two races later. And with the revised Brisbane winter carnival commencing this week, there’s an obvious question that most, if not all, are asking. Will Speech Is Silver take on the Open class performers? Obvious targets include the $21,160 Wondais Mate Open Pace (1660m) this Saturday night followed by the $25,660 Mr Feelgood Open Pace (2138m) the following week while the $25,660 Lucky Creed Open Pace (2680m) is another option for the gifted pacer. “He’s come through Saturday night in great shape; he’s actually jumping out of his skin and very well within himself so we’ll assess our options. I thought that victory was one of his best because he was exposed three wide for the final 800m and the splits were fast, that’s not easy to do.” Weeks said. His winning mile rate of 1:54.5 was also the quickest of the night for races staged over the distance of 2138m. The former member of the All Stars operation (Mark Purdon & Nat Rasmussen) in Christchurch has been a revelation since arriving in the Sunshine State winning 13 of his 15 starts. This season, the gelding has won 11 of his 13 starts to date. His only local defeats came when he fired up in front and struck the sulky footrests in the Rising Stars Final last October when sixth behind Tin Roof Raider while he finished as the runner-up behind Arthur Lowe after breaking at the start back on April 28. A majority of his victories have come via his frightening and powerful finishing bursts, time and time again he has sailed down the straight at Albion Park while his rivals have been left to deal with the remnants of his speed burn. It will be fascinating to see if he tackles the open class features during the carnival. Whether he does or doesn’t, the stable will have representation through the likes of Major Cam and Lilac Flash who both performed admirably across the weekend. Meanwhile, stablemate and classy mare Smart As Camm Be will miss the carnival features owing to a recent setback following her most recent trial at Albion Park on June 16 when unplaced behind star three-year-old filly Pelosi. “It’s nothing major and more the effect of jarring up so we backed off for a while there but she’s now back in work so we’ll build her up again.” Weeks said. In her first trial back, Smart As Camm Be finished a pleasing third behind Redcliffe Cup runner-up Northview Hustler in a time of 1:53.2. The Listed $25,660 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes on Saturday week loomed as a key target for the multiple feature race winner. Smart As Camm Be has won 12 of her 15 starts to date while banking more than $162,000. The Cammibest mare hasn’t raced since winning the Redcliffe Oaks last June.     Chris Barsby

Goulburn horseman Brad Hewitt is just another eyeing off the warm Queensland winter carnival. The outstanding horseman is keen to head north and take part in the much revised Albion Park features which officially kicks off next week. The metropolitan club will conduct three quality meetings on July 11, 18 and 25 with a raft of features spread across the three nights. And following the news from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday who outlined the reopening of the state border on July 10, Hewitt is now planning and confirming his team. It’s likely it will be a team of 8 to 10. “I’m keen to get up there but I’ve been waiting on news regarding the border and when it will reopen, now that we’ve got a date, it will be all systems go and I’m looking forward to the challenge.” Hewitt said. A likely contender for the Queensland campaign is stable newcomer Nostra Villa, a former Australian Two-Year-Old Filly of the Year when prepared by Emma Stewart in Victoria. Recently purchased by Phil and Denise Thurston, the Art Major five-year-old was placed in the care of Hewitt and makes her debut for the stable this weekend at TABCORP Park, Menangle in the Success Stud Spelling Farm Pace. A winner of 18 of her 37 starts to date and earning in excess of $444,000, the quality performer looked sharp in a recent trial at Goulburn last weekend. Nostra Villa defeated talented type Game Set Major in a time of 1:54.2 for the 1710m event. The Listed $25,660 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes on July 18 is an obvious for the mare. “We’ll know more after the weekend but I was happy with her trial but under race conditions is a bigger test, she’s a great addition to the stable and if she performs at the required level then we’ll look at the Fleur De Lil. “I’m going to take Spare Me Days up, he always goes well in Queensland and there are some nice options for him while The Texas Ranger will also head up. “I’ll confirm the rest of my team across the weekend. I’m booked in with Wayne Graham again so everything is in readiness.” Hewitt has enjoyed considerable success in Queensland in recent times.   Chris Barsby

Star local fillies Pelosi and Fond Memories are in perfect shape ahead of their next assignment. The classy pair fought out the finish of the AQWA Constructions Pace yesterday (Tuesday) at Albion Park with only a head separating the two rivals in the 1660m event. Pelosi rated 1:55.0 winning the 1660m event while the final quarter was timed in 26.8 seconds after sitting parked. Prepared by Anna Woodmansey and handled by regular reinsman John Cremin, the American Ideal filly is unbeaten this preparation winning both starts to date and will now head to the Gr.2 $50,660 Changeover South East Oaks at Albion Park on Saturday week (July 11), the opening night of the revised 2020 Queensland winter carnival. Pelosi is owned by her breeder, Wayne Honan. The dual Gr.1 winning filly looks to have returned in sparkling form and will command plenty of respect for her home state feature. But key rivals will include Fond Memories, a winner of the Gr.2 QBRED Triad feature two starts ago while her stablemate True Stepper will also be strongly considered. Both fillies are prepared by Grant and Trista Dixon. Another local filly chasing the South East Oaks next week is proven Gr.1 performer Jiggle And Jive, an easy last start winner at Albion Park in 1:53.8. Prepared by Aileen Smith at Redcliffe, the Bettors Delight filly will have her final lead-up run this Friday night at Albion Park when she tackles the Changeover @ Burwood Stud Pace over the Oaks distance of 2138m. Back in May, Jiggle And Jive finished third behind Fond Memories and True Stepper in the QBRED Triad 3yo Fillies Final. Last season, Jiggle And Jive won the Gr.1 $100,830 QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park. Interestingly, Bathurst filly Jenden Strike makes her local debut this weekend in preparation for next week’s South East Oaks. The Chris Frisby trained filly will tackle Jiggle And Jive on Friday night. A last start winner of the Young Oaks back on March 13, the Betterthancheddar filly has had two recent trials at her home track in readiness for her return. Jenden Strike qualified for both the Victoria and New South Wales Oaks this season. Meanwhile, the Chantal Turpin trained duo Miss Ruby Sunshine and A Rainbow Delight have been kept up to the mark with a recent trial at Albion Park. Miss Ruby Sunshine defeated open class mare Justalittle Torque and A Rainbow Delight when leading throughout in the 1660m trial in a time of 1:56.7. The final split was timed in 26.5 seconds.   Chris Barsby

Exciting rookie filly This Ones For You is back in action. Following her explosive debut at Albion Park back on February 29 when rating 1:56.8, the Jack Butler trained two-year-old hasn’t been sighted since. Until yesterday (Tuesday). The Australian Pacing Gold graduate ($22,500 – Sydney purchase) returned for a low-key public trial at Albion Park and followed the field around while able to stretch her legs in the process. Officially, This Ones For You finished 7th beaten 18m behind Delightful Reason in a time of 1:57.2. Regular reinsman Chris Geary was thrilled with the effort. “It was exactly what she needed given where she is at currently, it was a no stress trial and just about getting her back out there again, it wasn’t about competing.” Geary said. While not eligible for any local futurity schemes, This Ones For You was put away following her debut victory but became sick during her break. The filly contracted a virus that made her legs swell significantly. “Whatever it was it made her quite sick and the swelling took some time to disappear, luckily, she wasn’t in work and being readied for anything in particular so she got treated and had more time off which obviously helped her in many ways. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, all features have been wiped or delayed so that’s given Jack plenty of time to bring her back-up and everything is coming along well. “With the time away, she’s really grown into her big frame and still has plenty of filling out to do, she’s got style and real presence about her and I’m excited about her future.” The main target for the A Rocknroll Dance – Onedins Pocketgirl filly is going to be the New South Wales Breeders Challenge Series which have been rescheduled HRNSW has confirmed the 2020 Breeders Challenge Finals will be conducted from Tuesday 15th September with the four Group One Finals on Saturday night 24th October at TABCORP Park, Menangle. Heats will be conducted at Gold Crown Paceway Bathurst, Riverina Paceway Wagga, Newcastle International Paceway and TABCORP Park, Menangle in line with the original schedule. Traditionally held on the last Sunday in June the Major Finals consisting of four Group One events for two and three year old pacers were disrupted by regionalisation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. “That’s the aim, the Breeders Challenge is the main focus and the date change suits us nicely so hopefully she’ll keep improving and be ready. “It’s going to be a really strong series, it always is but we have always rated this filly and her debut didn’t shock us at all. She hails from a great family and it looks like she has inherited the family’s ability.” This Ones For You is expected to have another trial before resuming.   Chris Barsby

The Queensland winter campaign couldn’t have started much better for Rickie Alchin. Fresh out of the mandatory quarantine/isolation period, Alchin ventured straight to Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday) and struck pay dirt immediately. The astute Menangle based horseman won the opening race, the Rio Cobra Sulky 2yo Trotters Handicap with the talented Aldebaran Selena. The Majestic Son filly led throughout while key rivals made early errors and proved too strong rating 2:03.9 which shattered the track record for two-year-old trotters. Her winning time took 2.9 seconds off the previous mark. The overall track record time for a 1628m stand start event is held by Ivanov at 1:59.7. Aldebaran Selena is on loan to local trainer Graham Dwyer while Alchin completed his COVID-19 protocol. “She’s a nice little filly with good speed and it was very pleasing to see her put it all together, hopefully that’s the first of many victories.” Alchin said. Aldebaran Selena is being aimed at the Springboard Trotting Series, the $15,000 Final is scheduled for July 31 at Albion Park. Meanwhile, Alchin was thrilled with the effort of his richly talented three-year-old Crunch Time who scored an easy trial victory between races. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding defeated older rivals while rating 1:56.9 – he covered his final half in splits of 27.9 and 27.2 seconds. “I was pleased with that trial, he did it comfortably and his final half was sharp so we’ll look for a race next week with him now.” Crunch Time is being readied for the Gr.2 $50,660 Garrards South East Derby at Albion Park on July 18. A winner of 5 of his 24 starts to date, he has banked more than $72,000. Crunch Time is raced by Brisbane based breeder, Alf La Spina. Alchin had three other starters yesterday with Blackwhiteandblue (2nd), Jamaican Resort (5th) and Phil Bromac (5th) all expected to improve off the run. The stable have two runners at Friday night’s Albion Park meeting, Mount Hercules (Race 5) and Black Hawk Joe (Race 7).   Chris Barsby

Last start Breeders Classic winners are back in work. And being readied for their big assignment. Vanish Hanover and Big Wheels both scored decisive victories in the Listed $25,550 QBRED Breeders Classic Finals at Albion Park on May 23 and both were given a chance to freshen-up in preparation for the Gr.1 $100,550 QBRED Triad Final next month. The two-year-old features are scheduled for July 25. Vanish Hanover, sent north by original trainer David Thorn to Charlie Cini, produced a well-timed finish to take the Fillies feature when downing Talent To Spare and Jasper in a time of 1:56.8 when handled by Brendan Barnes. Raced by her breeders Murray Cole and Beau Watson, the Hurrikane Kingcole – Vogue Hanover filly has won two of her five starts to date. Rather than returning to Sydney, connections decided to keep her in the Sunshine State. “We gave her two weeks off after the Breeders and the focus is clearly the Triad now, she’s back in work and progressing nicely so I’m happy with the ways things are going right now.” Cini said. Big Wheels led throughout to claim the Colts and Geldings feature when holding off stablemate Justa Little Bit and Glitter Strip in a time of 1:56.8. Subsequent winners from that race include last start Redcliffe feature race conqueror Manila Playboy plus Dynamic Dan, Glitter Strip and Frontliner. Raced by his breeder John Polson, Big Wheels is a gelded son of A Rocknroll Dance from the former talented mare Washington Lass. Big Wheels is a younger full-brother to handy type Blacksadance (5 wins - $37k) Prepared by Chantal Turpin, the talented youngster has won two of his six starts to date. “We gave him a couple of easy weeks immediately after the Breeders Classic and now he’s back fast working in readiness for the Triad, I’m happy with where he’s at.” Turpin said. With owners and members allowed back on track this weekend at Albion Park, the much revised winter carnival features commence on Saturday week, July 11.   Chris Barsby

Harness racing is mourning the loss of a true champion. Westburn Grant. At the ripe old age of 34, he has entered horse heaven. In this fast moving world and society in which we live, the word ‘champion’ is often tossed around with reckless abandon, not doing justice to the true meaning of the word. But in the case of Westburn Grant, he is the epitome of a champion…..and some! Affectionately known as ‘Spot’, the Vic Frost trained and driven superstar was a game changer, a pacer that revolutionized the sport with blinding speed coupled with such fierce tenacity. He was poetry in motion. And he sustained those outstanding qualities for his entire career on the racetrack. Unbeaten at two, he won all three starts he contested. Returning the following season, Westburn Grant furnished into of the finest three-year-olds the country has ever produced, victories in both the New South Wales and Victoria Derby classics while finishing third behind Rockleigh Victory and Double Wipe in the Australian Derby. Frost campaigned his mighty colt in New Zealand; he won all three starts including the New Zealand Derby at Addington by a massive margin. Naturally, he was crowned the Australian Harness Horse of the Year. As a four-year-old, Westburn Grant would win the Miracle Mile after engaging Thorate in a titanic speed battle before backing up to win the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Frost and ‘Spot’ then headed west, he would capture the Golden Nugget while unplaced in the WA Pacing Cup before bouncing back in the South Australian Cup and then finished fourth in the Victoria Cup. During the Inter Dominion Series in Adelaide, he was placed in all three heats but was unplaced in the final. Returning for his five-year-old season, Westburn Grant won the Queensland Pacing Championship, the Legends at Moonee Valley rating 1.57.0 for 1940 metres and the Italian Cup at Harold Park in track record time for 2700 metres defeating Thorate before being unplaced in the Australian Pacing Championship. He then won the Miracle Mile again in a track record of 1:55.6 defeating Almeta Boy and Defoe. Heading west again, Westburn Grant won the WA Pacing Cup by 20 metres before suffering a broken pastern in a freak track work accident. He won 9 of 13 starts for the season and $606,300. Despite missing the final two grand circuit races due to injury he was still crowned Grand Circuit Champion and also awarded the honour of being named Australian Harness Horse of the Year for a second time. Westburn Grant returned from injury with a track record win at Newcastle. He was second in the QPC at Albion Park when outstayed by Franco Ice in a record 1:55.1 rate for 2100 metres and won the Australian Pacing Championship at Launceston in Tasmania. He was third in the Miracle Mile behind Christopher Vance before an emotional win in the WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park not long after the sudden death of trainer-driver Vic Frost’s son Gary.  At Moonee Valley he won the 1992Inter Dominion Grand Final from Franco Tiger and Blossom Lady and at seasons end, he was crowned as the Grand Circuit champion for the third straight season while also landing the title of Australian Harness Horse of the Year for the third time. He was retired after an unplaced performance behind Jack Morris in the 1993 Inter Dominion in Brisbane. And as the record proves, Westburn Grant traveled extensively and rarely missed a feature event but won more than he lost. Westburn Grant was trained throughout his career by Frost and raced for his breeders, Barney and Collen Breen, he was by the Queensland based Land Grant from the Lumber Dream mare Westburn Vue. He finished with a record of 38 wins from 67 starts and earnings in excess of $2 million. A stud career beckoned for the champion performer and he enjoyed good success over many seasons before retiring from active duty and spending the remainder of his life at the property of Vic Frost and Gail Geeson at Mooball in northern New South Wales. During his retirement, he had full access across the property and clearly loved life to the fullest. It was pure bliss for a horse that gave so much throughout a truly remarkable career. ‘Spot’ was cared for deeply by Frost and Geeson, after all, he was part of the family and as a result, they always made sure he was in the best possible condition. Rest in peace ‘Spot’. A TRUE CHAMPION.   Chris Barsby

It’s official, brilliant pacer Hectorjayjay has hit a hurdle…again. Hectorjayjay was unplaced at his most recent start back on June 6 when a lacklustre fifth behind Glenferrie Hood in a time of 1:51.9 at Albion Park which then forced QRIC Stewards to stand him down acting on veterinary advice. At his previous start at the same track, he scored an explosive victory in a time of 1:52.8. And the much revised Queensland winter carnival features next month at Albion Park are now off the table. Obvious targets included the $21,160 Wondais Mate Open Pace (1660m) on July 11 followed by the $25,660 Mr Feelgood Open Pace (2138m) the following week while the $25,660 Lucky Creed Open Pace (2680m) was another option. “He’s just got a little issue with a joint and we’re not going to take any chances so we’ll back off now and aim at the bigger money events later in the year,” Butler said. “It’s not a suspensory issue so this setback is a much better problem to deal with so I’m confident he can return during the summer.” He added. But the state’s biggest race, the Group 1 TAB Blacks A Fake, will headline the new-look Summer Carnivalthis year alongside the Gr. 2 Queensland Cup and the Gr. 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint and Butler is hoping his star performer can claim the race again. The millionaire gelding won the event back in 2017. Another event that Butler is keen to attack with Hectorjayjay is the Shirley Turnbull Memorial on Boxing Day night at his former home track of Bathurst. The nine-year-old gelding has raced only three times since being transferred to Butler last year. Overall, Hectorjayjay has won 44 of his 83 career starts with earnings in excess of $1.1 million.   Chris Barsby

Talented trotter Il Pirata is now a Queenslander. And the $25,660 Queensland Trotters Cup next month at Albion Park is an immediate target. The Love You – Cipollini gelding will join forces with Team Graham Racing, the stables of Stephanie and Brittany Graham at Fernvale, west of Brisbane. Il Pirata boasts 12 victories and 38 minor placings from 102 starts with earnings in excess of $157,000 and looks like being an intriguing addition to the local ranks. The bulk of his deeds were achieved in his homeland under the care of Cambridge trainer Ross Paynter before a short stint in the south with Colin and Julie DeFilippi. In his final start in New Zealand, Il Pirata was a runner-up behind boom trotter Sundees Son at Addington under the Cheviot Harness Racing Club banner. In total in New Zealand, Il Pirata won 7 of his 71 starts while being placed in another 31 starts before being sold to Australia. Il Pirata joined the stables of leading Victorian based horseman Andy Gath and the success continued with another five victories from 27 starts. The veteran performer won two races at TABCORP Park, Melton including a personal best effort in 1:57.6. In his most recent start on May 9, he finished sixth behind his stablemate Scallywag Sam at Melton. Il Pirata leaves Melbourne today (Wednesday) bound for his new home.   Chris Barsby

The list keeps growing. A number of New South Wales horsemen are currently undertaking the mandatory two week quarantine in preparation for participating in racing action for the much revised Queensland winter carnival. And now the biggest Sydney stable wants in on the action. Enter Craig Cross. Fresh from another terrific night at Menangle last weekend where the stable snared half the program, winning four of the eight races, they’re setting the sights on Albion Park next month. “We’ve sent up one of our foreman Matt Coffee to undertake the isolation period for the fortnight before we send up our team. We were always keen to be part of the carnival and then COVID-19 tossed all our plans up in the air but we’re committed now and looking forward to the challenge next month.” Cross said. The Queensland State Government has announced the border will reopen on July 10. Back in April, Racing Queensland advised the 2020 TAB Queensland Constellations Carnival will not proceed this year due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. However, with strict biosecurity measures currently in place, certain features will be staged over the winter months. Features that will be staged include; Date Race Division Track Distance Prize money 27/06/2020 Redcliffe Gold Cup Open Disc Hcp Redcliffe 2613m $25,630 11/07/2020 Wondais Mate (Open) Open Disc Hcp Albion Park 1660m $21,160 11/07/2020 South East Oaks 3YO Fillies Albion Park 2138m $50,660 11/07/2020 Queen Of Hearts Pace Open Mares Albion Park 1660m $21,660 18/07/2020 Mr Feelgood (Open) Open Albion Park 2138m $25,660 18/07/2020 South East Derby Open 3YO Albion Park 2138m $50,660 18/07/2020 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Open (F & M) Albion Park 1660m $25,660 18/07/2020 Trotters Cup Disc Hcp Albion Park 2647m $21,270 25/07/2020 Lucky Creed (Open) Open Albion Park 2680m $25,660 25/07/2020 QLD Trotters Cup Open (MS) Trot Albion Park 2138m $25,660 The Cross stable boast plenty of strike power currently with a number of talented types spread throughout the stable and several are likely to head north in the coming weeks. “Some of the horses we’ve earmarked include Culture King, Delightful Tara, Love My Sister, Moraeu Drive, First String and Roll One Over. “It’s a nice mix with several nice mares included so we’re hoping to make the most of the opportunities with them and the system up there.” Cross is the leading trainer in New South Wales this season with 153 winners to date while he dominates the metropolitan premiership race with 88 winners, some 72 winners clear of his nearest rival Tim Butt.   Chris Barsby

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