Day At The Track
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Over the years the mare Gallavance has developed into the matriarch of the Stowport stable of Craig Hayes. The latest of her progeny to hit the track Brookwillrock (pictured – No 1 inside) won on debut at Devonport on Friday in the CUB Devonport Belmont. “I was happy with the effort any win is a good win, she still has a lot to learn about the caper, that’s why she had six trials before last night’s debut run, she is just running along in her races at the moment she’s not racing, she’s always shown us she has the ability but she still needs to learn to race and she appears to be a slow learner,” said Craig. “We are going to give her a little break and see how she comes through the run and if all goes well and she continues to work well at home we will consider giving her a hit out in the Sweepstakes and Evicus in Hobart.” Craig has a soft spot for his broodmare Gallavance and with good cause. “She has been awesome for us over the years, she helped establish the stable and has continued to produce for us year on year,” said Hayes. “Mister Tehaych was the best-performed of her progeny he won over $100,000 in prizemoney for us while Mister Sumna had the most ability but we never got to see the best of him due to a stifle injury he incurred as a two-year-old but he still won 11 races and $72,000, she has also thrown Tania Maree and Semose Twenty and both won over $40,000.” Ryley Major showed his undoubted ability to come from last over the 1930-metre in the Degree C Quality and storm to victory over Alta Surreal and Blackbird Power, notching up his 14th career win and his fourth from six starts since returning from injury.   Shane Yates  

The Todd Rattray trained and driven eight-year-old gelding Full Speed Ahead last night claimed the first major Cup of the season in Launceston. The Tasmanian Horse Transport Launceston Show Cup drew a quality field with the Craig Hayes prepared Scooterwillrev the backmarker off 30-metres but it was to be Full Speed Ahead (pictured) that pulled of a courageous victory over the 200-metre trip. “We are rapt with his effort tonight in the Cup, he’s a good beginner from the stand, Todd had the confidence in him to sit up in the death seat and the move paid off,” said part owner Brett Collins. “He ran to the front at the 500-metre mark and was strong enough to hold off the challenges from Another Swinger and Scooterwillrev, he just keeps on finding and was going as well if not better than any other runner on the line. ” Full Speed Ahead enjoyed a highly successful first season of racing in Tasmania winning six races prior to a spell including victory in the St.Marys Cup, deadheating with Solid As A Rock, followed by a win in the the North Eastern Pacing Cup. “My father Ian and a good mate Peter Jones and I bought him after his St. Marys effort and almost recouped our investment a few days later at Scottsdale, Full Speed Ahead won a couple more for us during the year and then Barrie (Rattray) suggested it may be time for a spell so he’s been off the scene for five months,” said Brett. “He ran a fast-finishing first-up third to Jacks Command a few weeks back in Hobart followed by his super effort on Friday night so it looks as if he’s come back stronger than ever and may well pick up another few wins for us this season, our long term hope is for him to gain a start and perform well in our hometown Devonport next year.”   Shane Yates

Scooterwillrev stamped himself as an outstanding pacer in both his two and three-year-old seasons but his trainer, Craig Hayes, has sounded out an ominous warning to his rivals after another sensational victory in Launceston on Sunday night. “Scooterwillrev is getting better and better with every run, he’s putting it all together now,” said Craig. “He is doing everything right on the training track, pacing a lot smoother stronger and going straight, all his little issues seemed to have sorted themselves out and he has really hit his straps.” The Somebeachsomewhere-Karamea Toastime four-year-old gelding showed his class in the Resurgent Storm Pace, exploding away from the field at the 600-metre mark to record a crushing 29.2-metre win as the long odds-on favourite at $1.20. “It was a great effort, we thought Gareth (Rattray) may have led early with Another Swinger and handed up to us knowing how well he’s been going but Call Her Julie found the top and Rohan (Hadley) was content to sit up outside her before running to the front down the back straight,” said a delighted trainer and part owner. “He ran his last mile in 1:56.6 and there still something left in the tank so if you don’t get excited by that then you’re in the wrong game.” Scooterwillrev has now won 19 of his 31 starts including his last three on the trot and has amassed stake money of $117,000. “We haven’t made a firm decision on whats next for ‘Scooter’ but there is every likelihood we may take him to Victoria for the Breeders Crown heats,” said Craig. “There is another race on the day worth $20,000 so we have a few options open to us, he deserves his chance given the way he is racing at the moment that’s for sure.” Rohan Hiller snared a treble on the card with two of his stable stars saluting, Im Compliant and Rocknroll Turbo in the first two races on the Launceston Pacing Club programme before capping off his successful night behind the heavily backed Paul Ashwood prepared Max Delight in the Olympus Feeds Golden Slipper Two-Year-Old Feature. Shane Yates for Tas Racing

Former star juvenile Scooterwillrev returned to his brilliant best in Launceston on Sunday night with a runaway victory in the Longford Equine Clinic Stakes. The Craig Hayes-trained Somebeachsomewhere-Karamea Toastime four-year-old was backed off the map by punters who snapped up the early fixed odds on offer of $3 and they were still taking $1.60 as the field scored up behind the mobile. “It’s great to have him back in the winner’s list for the first time this season, he hasn’t had a lot of luck this campaign but he scored impressively which is good to see,” said Craig. “He won 12 of 16 starts last season as a three-year-old last season and he came back well but things just haven’t gone his way.” Scooterwillrev returned from a nine-month layoff with a first-up placing behind No Spring Secrets before galloping in a stand start event at Devonport. “It was a surprise to see him out of his gear at Devonport and we went over him with a fine tooth comb in the week after the race looking for a problem but we couldn’t find anything,”said the Stowport trainer. “I backed his work off between then and his next start and I reckon he was underdone when he tired to finish third after sitting in the death outside Emma Stewart’s Another Safari and then last run he was hemmed in on the pegs before flashing through late in the race won by Plata O Plomo.” Rohan Hadley took no chances with the heavily backed favourite over the 2200-metre trip sitting up in the breeze before dashing clear in the straight to record a 13.6-metre victory and recording a mile-rate of 1:57.8. The State’s leading trainer Ben Yole showed no signs of being in the nervous nineties, winning three of the first four races on the card to take his Tasmanian winning tally for the season to 101. Pushkin got the ball rolling in the first with a gutsy win from the death seat before No Apachemee made it back to back wins in Launceston with a powerful finishing burst to bring up the magical three figures before victory number 101 was racked up by Stylish Trend. Rohan Hillier produced another potential topliner in Sheza Bettormak, the three-year-old Bettors Delight-Shez Ryleymak filly rolled to the top early and dictated terms before cruising to an 8.5-metre victory.   Shane Yates

Talented three-year-old pacer Semowillrev produced another brilliant performance in Launceston on Sunday night to easily keep his unbeaten harness racing record intact. It was the Craig Hayes-trained gelding's fourth win from as many starts and arguably his best. Krafty Boy set up a big lead early while Hayes had to extricate his charge from the pack in order to avoid interference soon after the start. But when clear and in the three-wide line Semowillrev scorched around the field and rushed past the leader as if he was treading water. Once in front the Sportswriter gelding was allowed to bowl along at his own leisure and when Hayes released the reins at the top of the straight he powered clear and went on to defeat Krafty Boy by almost 11 metres with Volkova Leis 14 metres away third. Semowillrev clocked a mile rate for the 1680-metre trip of 1.57 which was a personal best and the winning margin was just a shade below his average of 10.25 metres. "I'm very happy with how the horse has come back as a three-year-old," Hayes said. "I'll give him one more run then tip him out for a two or three-week let-up. "He has shown me enough to suggest he will be up to tackling the feature three-year-old races here in Tasmania this season." Peter Staples

Star Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Scooterwillrev will embark on his next interstate sojourn in top form following the harness racing gelding's impressive win on Sunday night. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere raced with cover in the one-out line before latching onto the back of Call Her Julie for a ride home three-wide. When trainer-driver Craig Hayes eased his stable star four-wide to challenge nearing the top of the home straight the gelding quickly put the end result beyond doubt and went on to defeat Another Swinger by almost 121 metres with Modern Chic about two metres away third. "I couldn't be happier with the horse's effort on Sunday and he's pulled up great from his run," Hayes said. "He ate everything in his feed bin when he got home and he's right where I want him to be, fitness wise, at this stage of his preparation. "He will head to Melbourne on the boat next Tuesday night and he'll race at Kilmore on the Thursday night (June 22) in a heat of the Vicbred series. "Provided he races well in his heat he should make it to the semi-final stage at Melton eight days later and all going well he'll be in the final at Melton a week later." Peter Staples

Well-bred juvenile Semowillrev made an impressive harness racing debut in Launceston on Friday night to take out the Debutante Stakes over 1680 metres. The Craig Hayes-trained and driven two-year-old settled third while the favourite Feelin Dusty ($1.65) led and set a solid tempo but when another first-starter Invest cruised up to face the breeze, Hayes was quick to latch onto that horse's back to take cover from a strong headwind. Feelin Dusty kicked clear on the home turn and looked set to keep his unbeaten record intact but when Hayes released the brakes Semowillrev charged to the lead and went on to defeat Feel Dusty by a comfortable margin with Invest a distant third and just ahead of Maybe Jack. Semowillrev is by Sportswriter from the unraced mare Sur La Page (x Somebeachsomewhere) and he was knocked down to Hayes at the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling in Melbourne last year for $35,000. The gelding had trialled brilliantly on three occasions leading up to his debut, which is why punters backed him in to start the second-elect at $2.50. Last season Hayes had a lot of success with another two-year-old Scooterwillrev and if Semowillrev can match that horse's juvenile feats he is destined to win more races. Scooterwillrev was unbeaten from six starts in Tasmania last season but he failed to flatter in the Breeders Classic series in Victoria. Peter Staples

Tasmanian two-year-old pacer Scooterwillrev qualified for a berth in next Sunday's $280,000 Group 1 Breeders Crown final when he finished a game fifth in his harness racing semi-final at Bendigo on Saturday night. Scooterwillrev, prepared at Stowport by Craig Hayes, went into the semi-final undefeated from six starts in his home state but he had to contend with an outside back-row draw at his first start interstate. The gelding was driven by Greg Sugars and finished 10.8 metres from the winner Our Little General ($4.30) from the Emma Stewart stable with kiwi colt Pacing Major second as the $1.70 favourite. Scooterwillrev has drawn the inside of the second row in the final at Melton next Sunday and if the pole marker Scotlynn Beach doesn't gain a start as the emergency then the Tasmanian will follow out the likely favourite Tingara Beach (2). Miss Graceland was bred in Tasmania by Rick and Naomi Hinds and she secured her place in the 2TO Fillies final with a game second in her semi-final. Miss Graceland, trained by Emma Stewart and to be driven by Gavin Lang, has drawn gate four on the front line in the final. Three-year-old filly Nikkibadwagon that is owned by Tasmanians Robert Groenewegen, Bryan Dunn and Nic Bauld, clinched her berth in the 3YO Fillies final with a gallant second in her semi-final. Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian pacer Scooterwillrev will head to Melbourne this week at the top of his game and ready to take on some of the best harness racing juveniles in Australasia. The Craig Hayes-trained two-year-old will tackle a semi-final of the rich Group 1 Breeders Crown series at Bendigo on Saturday night and he goes into the race undefeated from six Tasmanian starts with is latest effort producing a resounding win in Launceston on Sunday night. In a 2C0-2C1 event over 2200 metres, the well-bred youngster worked to the lead midrace and when driver Rohan Hadley asked for an effort turning for home the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere burst clear of the undefeated Hafter and went on to defeat that gelding by 15 metres. Scooterwillrev (Somebeachsomewhere-Karamea Toastime) clocked a mile rate of 1.58.75 and sizzled home his last half (800m) in 58.68 but with something in reserve. It was a state 2YO record with the previous best by a two-year-old of 1.59.4 produced by Cody Maverick in Hobart (2090m) June 2008 and obliterated the Launceston 2YO record of 2.00.6 set by Quastor Centurion in July 2010. It was the second time Hadley had driven the gelding and he was impressed with this latest performance. "This is a serious horse. He felt enormous throughout the race and when I gave him just a bit of rein turning for home he just slipped clear and there was quite a bit left at the finish," Hadley said. It was exactly what Hayes was hoping for given his stable star is about to go up against the best juveniles in Australasia. "When you've got a horse as god as this you are always worried whether you are doing all the right things so that's why I had Rohan (Hadley) drive him in this race," Hayes said. "I have driven him in all but one of his wins (Burnie) so it was quite nerve wracking sitting in the stands watching the race. "The horse has been open to every challenge I've put in front of him and tonight he really delivered but he had to if he is going to be competitive when he tackles the Breeders Crown semi. "I'm happy that he produced his best mile rate and that he did it with a bit in reserve." Scooterwillrev is a half-brother to former star juvenile filly-mare Jadah Rose (x Totally Ruthless) that won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series in her gender category at two and three as multiple Group placings. She also won the 2007 Mother of Pearl for four-year-old mares at Devonport before finishing third in the Group 1 George Johnson behind No More Trouble and star Tasmanian mare Deanna Troy. "When we went to the Melbourne yearling sale we were keen to get this horse and we had a budget of $40,000 but when we saw him we were committed and we had to go to $42,000 but reckon he was worth it," Hayes said. Scooterwillrev will most likely be driven on Saturday night by top Victorian driver Kerryn Manning. Peter Staples

Talented harness racing horseman Craig Hayes regards Mickwillrev one of the best he has in his stable, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, Hayes originally rejected the gelding when offered to him by prominent owner Mick Filleul. It was a great decision for Hayes to change his mind because Mickwillrev notched his 10th win when he powered his way to victory in the Northern Tasmanian Light Harness Association Cup in Launceston last Sunday night. With Hayes in the sulky, Mickwillrev showed brilliant early speed to lead and had no trouble staving off challengers in the home straight to score from Major Callum and Double Dee. Filleul bought the son of Live Or Die in Melbourne as a yearling, but it was always intended for him to race in Tasmania. “I paid $20,000 for him after David Miles picked him out for me at the Melbourne sale,” Filleul said. “When I rang Craig to tell him that the horse was coming he said he didn’t have any room for him as his stable was full. “He agreed to take him for a few days while I found somewhere else to send him. “But the horse had only been there a day when Craig rang to say he would make room for the horse and he even asked to take a share in him because he reckoned he was the best horse I’d bought. “I ended up selling three more shares to friends and ended up with only one share for myself.” Filleul revealed Mickwillrev’s main mission this preparation is his home town Burnie Cup in January. “He needs to win one more race to qualify for a start in the Burnie Cup, but there’s a C4-C5 in a fortnight and if he draws well enough to lead he could be very hard to beat,” Filleul said. PETER STAPLES

STAR Tasmanian three-year-old Resurgent Spirit will make his ling awaited return to racing in a heat of the Globe Derby Stakes over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre (Race 5) in Launceston tomorrow night Friday). Resurgent Spirit won his first 13 starts to equal Halwes' record of the most number of consecutive wins in Tasmania and he then stepped out in the Tasmanian Derby and had his colours lowered for the first time when third to Outrageous El and Lake Eyre in Hobart. But he bounced straight back with a convincing win in Launceston three weeks later after which his trainer Roger Whitmore opted to freshen him up. Whitmore then admitted this stable star had encountered a problem with brushing his knee but the farrier came to the rescue and last season's two-year-old of the year is back on track. It would be hard to see any of the other six runners emerging triumphant if resurgent Spirit enjoys a trouble-free run in the race. The remaining heat (race 6) looks a match between the Christian Salter-trained Vande Velde and last-start winner Hustler Halo from the in-form Dick Eaves stable. There weren't enough nominations for heats of the Bandbox Stakes for three-year-old fillies but enough to program a Bandbox Prelude (race 2) that boasts a field of 10. It looks an open race on paper but if Tania Maree from the Craig Hayes stable can overcome her outside second-row draw she is the one to beat. Tania Maree has won seven of her 10 starts this season along with two seconds and a third. By Peter Staples

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Geoff Smith has been riding the crest of a wave of late and it has a lot to do with a couple of horses that recently arrived at his Port Sorell stables. At Devonport on Monday night one of those new stable tenants Stareeshar scored an impressive win in the Maxfield Drilling Pace for C1+ pacers over 2286 metres. With Craig Hayes in the sulky, Stareeshar set a cracking pace and at one stage had established a 40-metre lead without seemingly being pushed hard to achieve that goal. The chasers closed in over the final 300 metres but the gelding was still able to find a bit more when seriously challenged in the home straight to go on and score by 3-1/2 metres from Next Sound with Touchwood Topsta a close-up third. It was Stareeshar's second win from only three starts for his new stable, having won first-up at Burnie at that club's first meeting under lights on May 16. The horse had been sacked from two other stables before landing in Smith's care. "I can't explain his improvement," Smith said. "I have done nothing different with him than I have with any other horse in the stable." "I've put a hood on him and let his hopples out a couple of inches, but that's it," he said. Smith was very impressed with Stareeshar's recent effort. "It might have looked like he had a hard run in front tonight but he wouldn't have blown a candle out after the race," Smith said. Peter Staples  

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