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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

Did Charlie Cini unearth a potential gem across the weekend at Albion Park? On a night where star performers Colt Thirty One and Speech Is Silver delivered in spades with their customary brilliance to win their respective events at Albion Park, it was the newcomer that had plenty talking. Cini is no stranger to working with quality stock and the astute Jacobs Well horseman produced former Newcastle pacer Roll With Lachlan to an audacious victory in the Mr Feelgood @ Egmont Park Stud Pace when he scorched the famous Breakfast Creek oval in a time of 1:53.0. He covered the 1660m in splits of 27.4, 29.4, 28.6 and 27.7 seconds when leading throughout and providing reinsman Shane Graham with an armchair drive. Across the mammoth 11 race program, it was the fastest time of the night. It was a stunning victory in what was his local debut. “This is a very smart horse; he’s got the looks, lovely manners and a big motor so he’s destined for bigger and better things during his time up here. I’ve only had him for a fortnight and I had no hesitation bringing him straight to Albion Park for his debut.” Cini said. With a drastically altered Queensland winter carnival starting to take shape owing to COVID-19, Cini is starting to weigh up his options with his latest recruit. Roll With Lachlan will bypass racing this weekend with the Redcliffe Club hosting the Saturday metropolitan program with several features planned. “He’ll have this week off from racing and we’ll go again the following week at Albion Park, he’s come through the race in great shape and was carrying on in a good way on Sunday afternoon so he’s feeling very well and Shane (Graham – driver) said he had gears left. “His record is impressive and he’s been carefully managed throughout his career and he’s ready to step it up a gear now that he’s up here but mind you, the racing up here is very hard and competitive so it won’t be easy but I like this horse. “I’m not sure what’s available for him next month with the carnival but I’ll sit down and check the programs and see if something suits, he’s destined to reach open class.” Cini was sent Roll With Lachlan from owner/breeders Geoff and Matt Harding after establishing a connection with the father/son partnership last year after buying Ima Birubi Boy from their stable. Roll With Lachlan has won 8 of his 29 starts with 10 minor placings while his earnings have now surpassed $63,000. Meanwhile, Tulhurst Santanna created a strong impression in his local debut when he scored in the $15,000 Open at Hoosier Park, Indiana in a time of 1:49.4 across the weekend. The Santanna Blue Chip enjoyed considerable success in Brisbane under the guidance of Cini and his wife Cristina Monte after coming from Bathurst horseman Nathan Hurst. Tulhurst Santanna is now prepared by Jamie Macomber.   Chris Barsby

Champion horseman Anthony Butt packs a mighty one/two punch combination. Butt, in partnership with Sonya Smith, prepare dual Derby winner Line Up, the country’s best three-year-old plus the richly talented Perfect Stride, placed in both the Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics behind his outstanding stablemate. Perfect Stride was placed in the Gr.1 $300,000 Breeders Crown last season as a rookie and was a runner-up in the Gr.1 $100,000 Bathurst Gold Chalice at his most recent start on March 28. Naturally, keeping both colts separated and not clashing in feature events takes some careful planning. So, with the revised Queensland winter carnival taking shape, Butt is monitoring the situation closely. With the Queensland border currently closed by State Government officials, Butt is hoping the July 10 reopening is on target. The Gr.2 $50,660 Garrards South East Derby on July 18 at Albion Park looms as a distinct possibility for Perfect Stride. The Bettors Delight – Chicago Blues colt ventured back to the Menangle trials this week (Wednesday) and enjoyed stretching his legs for the first time in months. “It was just a good wee trial to get him out and getting ready for competition again, there was no expectation and he just strolled through the trial and did what was required. We’ll trial him again next week and get more serious.” Butt said. The younger full-brother to champion pacer Chicago Bull (47 wins - $1.8 million) finished seventh in the Open trial won by Bettor Enforce over Alta Orlando in a slick time of 1:52.2. “I’m happy with the way he’s come through the trial and given that there’s not much around given the changes to the feature race calendar, the Brisbane race looks a possibility. “He’s not eligible for any Sires Stakes races so this race presents as a perfect opportunity to earn some good prizemoney, nothing set in stone but I’ll keep an eye on things. “Originally, I was going to attack the Brisbane carnival with both colts but obviously plans have changed so we’ve made some adjustments to their schedules.” The star local colt is Governor Jujon, prepared by Grant Dixon, and Butt is fully aware of his capabilities after clashing with him during both the Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics earlier this season. Governor Jujon beat Perfect Stride in a heat of the Victoria Derby at Ballarat before Line Up defeated both of them in the Gr.1 $200,000 Final the following week at Melton. In the NSW Derby, Line Up beat Perfect Stride while Governor Jujon failed to qualify for the Final. Meanwhile, Zeuss Bromac is very unlikely to head north for the Brisbane feature after disappointing on Tuesday at Menangle. Prepared by Paul and Gavin Fitzpatrick, the Bettors Delight led and weakened to fifth as favourite in a time of 1:52.6. Zeuss Bromac is being readied for the Breeders Crown in Victoria later this year. The talented colt was placed in the NSW Derby behind Line Up and Perfect Stride. 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   Chris Barsby

Chris Frisby is counting down the days. The Perthville (near Bathurst) horseman is waiting for the border to reopen so he can make his annual pilgrimage to the Sunshine State to campaign a number of his talented team. At this stage, the state border between New South Wales and Queensland is expected to reopen on July 10. And as soon as it does, Frisby will head north. “I’m ready to go, like many, I’m just waiting for the good news to filter through and I’m heading straight up.” Frisby said. Over many years, Frisby has enjoyed considerable success with his northern campaigns and is bringing a handy team with him once again. Stable star Our Uncle Sam is expected to make another trip north. The Sportswriter gelding hasn’t raced since finishing third behind Atomic Red and Conviction in the Gr.3 $30,600 Young Cup back on March 13. Two starts ago, Our Uncle Sam won the Gr.1 $100,000 Platinum Projex FFA (formerly Bohemia Crystal) on Miracle Mile night at TABCORP Park, Menangle. It was consecutive victories in the feature after scoring the previous year. “I’m thinking about giving him a light trial at Bathurst on Monday night, both Anthony and I are happy with the way he’s coming to hand and the trial will be a good opportunity for him. “The Blacks A Fake was going to be a major target for him but obviously that’s gone so we’ll just reassess his big race targets, there’s plenty of racing between now and the end of the year. “I’ve got some handy types coming up with me that should do a nice job; Jenden Strike will be set for the South East Oaks while I’ve got plenty of two-year-old’s on the truck. The warmer weather is always a major attraction too.” The Gr.2 $50,660 ‘Changeover’ South-East Oaks is scheduled for July 11. Jenden Strike, a filly by Betterthancheddar, has won 5 of her 10 starts to date and is a last start winner of the $20,400 Young Oaks back on March 13. The gifted filly will clash with star local fillies Pelosi and Jiggle And Jive. 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   by Chris Barsby

Astute Sydney horseman Rickie Alchin has made his way north. And he’s arrived in time for the much revised Queensland winter carnival. But first, he’s undertaking his mandatory two week quarantine period before he can participate in any official racing action. In recent years, the Menangle based conditioner has enjoyed solid success in the Sunshine State highlighted by his victory in the 2018 Gr.1 $100,450 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Final with Regulus. “I look forward to campaigning in Queensland every year, obviously we have a few obstacles to deal with this time around owing to Covid-19 but I decided to get in now and do the quarantine so I can get to work. Most were hopeful the border would reopen sooner rather later but there were no guarantees so I decided it’s now or never.” Alchin said. A large number of New South Wales stables are eager to head north but are waiting for the border restrictions to ease. In preparation for his annual northern campaign, Alchin sent a pair of his talented performers north to local trainer Graham Dwyer. Talented two-year-old trotter Aldebaran Selena commenced his campaign with an eye-catching effort yesterday (Tuesday) when fourth behind the unbeaten Okanagan. Aldebaran Selena lost valuable early ground before running on strongly at the finish. The Majestic Son filly will target the Springboard Trotting Series, the $15,000 Final is scheduled for July 31 at Albion Park. Two-year-old pacing filly Regina Elena starts this Friday night at Redcliffe in a heat of the Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series. The Roll With Joe filly has drawn gate four in the second heat (Race 8). If the filly qualifies for the $100,000 Final which is scheduled for Saturday week, Alchin will take the drive. “It looks a strong heat and this filly is still learning but she’s eligible and ready so we’re giving her a shot, if she qualifies that will be a good result. “I like the trotter, obviously she’s done a bit wrong to date but the ability is there so hopefully the trip away will bring her on and she’ll improve. “Once I’m up and going, I’ll rotate numbers around nine to twelve depending on results. I’d like to bring up Crunch Time for the South East Derby feature. I enjoy campaigning up here and hopefully we can have some luck again.” Alchin will be based at Redcliffe during his stay. 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   Chris Barsby

Outstanding filly Pelosi produced a slick trial at Albion Park today (Tuesday) to kick-start her latest campaign. The Anna Woodmansey trained three-year-old let down brilliantly for regular reinsman John Cremin over the latter stages to claim a nose victory from talented rivals Another Statement and Lilac Flash in the 1660m public hit-out. Star mare Smart As Camm Be finished fifth after being caught without cover. The winning time was 1:55.4. Sectionals were covered in 29.4, 31.0, 27.8 and 27.5 seconds. The dual Gr.1 winner has not raced since being beaten as an odds-on favourite at Albion Park on April 18 when fourth behind Cherrys The Best in a time of 1:53.1 Pelosi has won seven of her 11 career starts to date and banked more than $260,000 in stakes. Raced by her breeder Wayne Honan, Pelosi is expected back at the races in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, proven feature race winner Northview Hustler won his 2138m stand start trial when leading throughout in a time of 1:59.1. The Redcliffe Cup hopeful defeated talented performer and last start Albion Park winner Subtle Delight. The final half was covered in 55 seconds with a final split of 26.9 seconds. Trainer Alistair Barnes has nominated Northview Hustler for Saturday night’s meeting at Albion Park where he will contest the Garrards Horse & Hound Open Pace over 2138m. With regular reinsman Hayden Barnes currently suspended, Pete McMullen will take the drive behind the Bettors Delight gelding. Northview Hustler has drawn gate four. His key rivals include Colt Thirty One (10), Glenferrie Hood (7), Major Cam (6) and Clintal Do (5) among others.   Chris Barsby

They lack nothing in pacing power but now they’re adding to their trotting depth. The Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen Stanmore stables house some of the biggest names in the Sunshine State with the likes of speed machine Speech Is Silver, giant open class star Major Cam plus comeback performers Smart As Camm Be and Lilac Flash. But now the trotting talent within the stable is on the improve. Former New Zealand trotter Jeddy R Ya Ready is the current stable star in the trotting department and he’s done a commendable job with six Queensland victories to date but he’s got some new stablemates. Joining the stable is another former New Zealand performer in Eyre I Go, a young and richly talented son of star sire Majestic Son. Previously prepared in Christchurch by Mark Jones before relocating to the North Island under the care of Jeremy Young, Eyre I Go has built up a record of three wins and five minor placings from 23 starts to date. All three victories have been recorded at Alexandra Park, Auckland. Last season, Eyre I Go finished fifth behind Get Lucky in the Listed $73,125 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling 3yo Final at Addington. Eyre I Go ranks as a half-brother to Gr.1 winner Eyre I Come (10 wins - $162k) and Springbank Eden (16 wins - $130k). Coincidentally, Springbank Eden has recorded a bulk of his victories in Queensland. Also joining the stable is Rocket Nova, a one win son of Majestic Son that was previously prepared by Tim Butt in Sydney. Rocket Nova scored on debut at Menangle back on July 23 last year but has produced some indifferent runs since. At his most recent start on March 31, the four-year-old finished 11th behind Super Fast Pat at Menangle after making a break in running before switching stables. Meanwhile, former New Zealand mare Lady Hillary has joined the stables of Burpengary East horseman Daren Garrard. The four-year-old Muscle Hill mare scored once in seven starts before being purchased via Gavelhouse.com for a modest amount. Her sole victory came at Oamaru back in September. Lady Hillary will make her local debut on Thursday at Albion Park in the AQWA Constructions Trotters Discretionary Handicap.   Chris Barsby

Team Raboki are back. And they’re headed to the public trials tomorrow (Tuesday) at Albion Park. The combination of Shannon Price and Scott Miller are back in business following a hiatus which lasted almost two years following the sale of their Logan Reserve property. The bulk of their team of horses were moved to leading local horseman Grant Dixon while some were shipped to Victoria and joined the stables of Jess Tubbs and Greg Sugars. But the construction of a new property at Alberton, situated between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, is ready for action and the first of their team will trial tomorrow. “Following the sale of the other property, we took a step away and recharged our batteries while embarking on other projects. We sold a number of horses while still racing quite a few but we decided to have another crack once we found a property we liked and here we are with our own team of horses again.” Miller said. The familiar livery of red and black still featured in big race victories owing to the deeds of former New Zealand trotter Wee Man Trouble who scored in the Gr.1 $50,770 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final at Albion Park in December while just recently they claimed the Listed $25,660 QBRED Breeders Classic at Albion Park with Eternal Promise last month. Both winners were prepared by Dixon and driven by Adam Sanderson. “We’ve got most of the team back including Wee Man Trouble and Eternal Promise plus a number of younger stocks so we’re going to the trials with Another Statement and Specialandiknowit while we’re likely to trial more on Thursday too. “We can’t thank Grant enough for the job he’s done with the team during that period we took time out, he’ll still train a few for us because we don’t plan on having huge numbers. “The new property is different in ways compared to what we had at Logan Reserve, the track is smaller but it’s a good set-up on a twelve acre block and we’re happy with the way it’s turned out. I know Shannon is really excited and looking forward to getting back into it again.” The last official starter they produced was classy mare Bettorthanspecial on July 21, 2018 at Albion Park. And the last winner they prepared was the sensationally bred Betamerica who triumphed at Albion Park on July 6, 2018. Names like Caesars Folly, Three Of The Best, Secretagent Cullen, All Promises, Chevals Clivesdale, Terror Time and Bettor Promise among others were all developed by the skilled duo. Team Raboki purchased several yearlings from the sales earlier this year.   Chris Barsby

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