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Queensland will have three representatives lining up in the prestigious Group One $150,000 Lazarus Victoria Oaks for the 3YO pacing fillies at Melton on Saturday night. The Sunshine State boasts the favourite and second favourite Belle Of Montana ($1.30) and Smart As Camm Be ($6), and $151 outsider, Betamerica. Belle Of Montana is owned by former Ladbrokes chief, Dean Shannon (Montana Park Pty Ltd); Smart As Camm Be is trained and driven by Kylie Rasmussen, and owned by Pam Smart and her son Chris; while Shannon Price and Raboki Pty Ltd own Betamerica. They have drawn one, six, and 10 respectively. Rasmussen was not perturbed by Smart As Camm Be’s wide draw. “The outside of the front row isn’t the worst possible draw for her because I think she prefers to win her races from back in the field. “Obviously the one-horse is the filly to beat, but if we can get a nice trip and can get one go at them, she has the gait, will, and ability to get close to the favourite – if not beat her,” Rasmussen said. Those comments came three days after Smart As Camm Be waltzed to an easy victory as the $1.50 favourite in the second Victoria Oaks heat at Melton’s Tabcorp Park on Saturday. The Cammibest filly also drew six that night and stopped the clock in 2:43.1. Her mile rate for the 2,240m mobile was 1:57.2. The Barry Purdon trained and Zachary Butcher driven Belle Of Montana beat Miss Streisand by half a neck in her first heat. The $1.20 NZ-based ‘hot-pot’ drew nine and won in 2:39.9 with a slashing 1:54.9 mile rate. “We can only focus on what our filly can do and not what the others have done, but I do know how good Barry’s filly is. “My girl travelled and settled in very well. She will be a lot stronger this week because she has adjusted to the surroundings well. This is her first trip away and I’m very proud of her. She can win,” Rasmussen said. Smart As Camm Be has now won 11 of her 13 starts and banked $148,135. The Stanmore horsewomen also brought her stable star, Lilac Flash, to Melbourne as a travel companion last week. However, that black Bettor’s Delight gelding proved to be more than just a travel mate. The 5-year-old notched up his 19th win in 52 starts ($142,231) in a $20,000 M1 to M2 Pace on Saturday. The $3.30 second favourite drew nine and won with a blistering 1:51.6 mile rate for the 1,720m mobile. He has drawn four in the $24,000 Captain Sandy Free-For-All at 7.30pm on Saturday. But all the attention will come two races later at 8.30pm when Australia and New Zealand’s best fillies will do the business. Price, who owns the American Ideal filly, Betamerica, couldn’t believe her brown pacer was paying more than $150 to win the coveted Oaks. “I thought her run last week was a cracker and I can’t believe that she is one of the outsiders in the field. She will need luck on her side but I am very happy with Larajay Farms’ performance with her so far this season,” Woolloongabba-based Price said. Betamerica is trained by Jess Tubbs and will be driven by Greg Sugars. He will start from three on the second row this week after finishing a close-up head second in the third heat behind the $2.60 favourite, Kualoa. TAB’s opening odds for Saturday’s 2,240m mobile are: Belle Of Montana $1.30, Smart As Camm Be $6, Kualoa $7, Two Times Better $21, Miss Streisand $23, Enchanted Stride $23, Victoria Brew $34, Tangoingwithsierra $51, Wellsaidlucy $71, Vena May $81, Swimsuit Edition $126, Betamerica $151, Single Tree Road $151.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Hot favourite Escalera ($1.35) didn’t let favourite backers down when winning the second annual $25,000 Listed Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series Final at the Marburg Showgrounds on Sunday. But it was a 75-year-old horseman, who has been training standardbreds for more than half a century, that epitomised the Marburg Pacing Association's (MPA) biggest day of the year. Purga trainer, Denis Smith, first climbed into a sulky back in 1964. Nineteen years later the MPA was established. “It’s a great day out and there should be more like it. Who said they couldn't win from back-marks on the 700m Marburg track? I wish they were all like him," Smith said. He was referring to his 5-year-old Down Under Muscles gelding, Northern Muscle, whom he steered to a 4.2m victory over stablemate, Norahs Fling (Adam Richardson) in the second event. "It was great to train the quinella, but I wish they were all like this fella (Northern Muscle). He's the best of the six I've got in work. He’s amazing really because he’s overcome a hock problem which couldn’t be cured. It was bred in him. He's so tough and never stops trying," Smith said. Northern Muscle had to be good to win from his 40m back mark on Sunday. Not only did he have to get around the entire field, but he had to negotiate 12 bends as he trotted the 2200m Nationwide Boring Handicap in 2:55.7 (mile rate 2:06.2). “To go that time on the small track he had to be better than average. His sire won Group races here and his grand-sire (Muscles Yankee) was one of the best going around in America at his peak, so he has good breeding. I think that's where he gets his toughness," Smith said. The punters obviously knew Northern Muscle's potential. He paid $5 to win in what was his 14th career victory ($53,916) since making his debut, ironically at the Marburg Easter meeting two years ago. He was bred and is owned by Kathryn McLachlan. The obvious highlight on Sunday was the Darrel Graham trained and driven Escalera’s ridiculously easy 15.3m win over the Graham Dyer trained Goalkicker (Lola Weidemann) in the feature event. Half-a-neck back in third was the Graham trained second favourite, My Ultimate Romeo (Adam Sanderson). “I always thought he might be tough to bowl from the nice draw (2) and the punters seemed to agree as well. That was a big effort to do what he did around this little track and still win with a 2.02-minute mile rate. "He's got good manners and he's a tough little fella. I wanted to run them off their feet and that's how it worked out,” Graham said. “I love coming here. It’s great to win grassroots racing events like this with a good little horse,” he added. Graham said he would now attack the Queensland Derby and a couple of Country Derbies with the talented three-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight. It was Escalera’s seventh win from 16 starts. He's also placed four times and banked $45,292 in stakes. He is owned by Tumby Park Limited and was bred by Dr Charles Roberts of Woodlands Stud in New Zealand. The talented bay gelding led from the outset and paced the 2200m stand in 2:46.8. His sectionals were 29.3, 31, 30.1, and 30.1. The other highlight of the meeting was the Chantal Turpin trained and Peter McMullen driven Argyle Beach's very easy 27.9m win in the $11,000 Stanley Road Construction Diamond Series Final. An aggressive drive by McMullen saw the five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare work hard for the lead from her 20m handicap with two laps remaining, and then at the 400m the duo said goodbye. That was her 17th win ($99,764) for owner Ross Patrick. "She's just a beautiful little mare who you can put anywhere in the race. You can make a move with her and she always gives. We all love her," the man nicknamed 'Leader Peter' said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

The McMullen sisters have pulled off what is believed to be an Australian, if not a world, harness racing first. At 5.30pm last Friday (April 12) the trio nailed their first ‘sister-trifecta’, when finishing one, two, three in the eighth event at Albion Park. Oldest sister, Narissa (25) trained and drove the winner,  Tom Me Gun. She had 3.6m to spare over second placed Danni-elle (23) and Speedie McArdle. Youngest sister and the cheekiest one of the McMullen four, Taleah (17) finished a head back in third behind the brown gelding trained by her father John, Weedons Express. “I’m very proud of what we achieved, but I would’ve preferred to beat my sisters,” said, Taleah, who is based with her parents at Glamorgan Vale. “All of us siblings are very competitive and definitely like to win. We’ve all had the same teacher (Dad) and that’s why we all drive a bit aggressive and love coming out of the gate,” she added. Oldest sister, Narissa, the current Australian Female Drivers champion, and winner of the 2017 Australasian Young Drivers’ title, said she was proud to have led the ‘eldest to youngest sister trifecta’. “It was good to beat my two younger sisters home, but Taleah was quick to tell Danni-elle and me that she would have won if we didn’t get in her way. “The family have had a few trifectas before with Peter, Danni-elle, and myself, but last week was the first sister trifecta with Taleah,” she said. Danni-elle was also proud, but did give her big bro a cheeky serve. “I think it’s great that it was the three of us girls, without the older brother getting in the middle. However, it would have been good if he ran fourth,” she said. All three said their next family goal was to run the ‘First Four’ with older brother Peter. Mind you the 27-year-old Glamorgan Vale horseman and his wife Chantal (nee Turpin) had weekend to remember themselves. They won three races on QBRED night at Albion Park on Saturday, including two Listed events. Chantal trained and drove Will The Wizard to win race three - the Listed $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing colts and geldings. A race later Peter drove the Turpin trained Amaya Becomes to nail the Listed $25,000 Breeders Classic Final for the 2yo pacing fillies. Then the husband and wife duo then combined to win the last event, the $13,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 2yo Fillies Consolation. Mother of the ‘McMullen four’, Jennette, said she was ‘oh so proud’ of her children, daughter-in-law and wider family. “It was so exciting to see their first sister trifecta. We just need a first four now. They are all good mates and were pretty wrapped with their feat. “I’m sure Taleah would love to repeat it with her having bragging rights, through being the youngest sibling.  Their grandma, my Mum - Beryl Dawson, 85, gets a great thrill out of their achievements. “No doubt that will be her story at the next CWA (Country Women’s Association) meeting. Eight of her 10 grandchildren all drive in races and another one is a trainer. Her life revolves around the Sky Channel following the Dawson-McMullen clan,” Mum said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

“Pressure? What pressure? I’m too old for pressure. I’m even too old to get excited these days,” joked Australia’s number one trainer, Grant Dixon. The Tamborine horseman was referring to his champion four-year-old pacer, Colt Thirty One, when asked how he felt when the TAB opened him $1.05 to win Saturday night’s Listed $25,000 QBRED 4YO Triad Final at Albion Park. "I don't take any notice of what the TAB says. If it I did I'd be a wreck. All I worry about is having my horses spot on come race-night, and so-far Colt Thirty One has done everything we have asked of him this preparation," 46-year-old Dixon said. Colt Thirty One, who is Queensland’s best pacer and the state’s current Horse-of-the-Year, has drawn three on the second line (10) in Saturday’s 2,138m mobile. However, the way he won his trial at Albion Park on April 2, he’d still be at minuscule odds, even if he drew 20. "That was his first hit-out since late January and Trista (Dixon) drove him confidently. It was what we needed going into Saturday night,” Dixon said. Dixon initially sat parked with the son of Mach Three before letting him loose down the back straight the last time. The pair then strolled up the home straight to win by an increasing 7.9m, under a hold. The winning time was 1:58.8 with a 1:55.1 mile rate. His sectionals were 28.6, 30.8, 28.7, and 27.1. “That was a nice run. He’s fit and ready to race. I’ll see how he progresses throughout autumn and winter and then take it from there. I’m not one to look too far ahead,” Dixon said. “Potentially this fella is up there with Majestic Mach as the best I’ve had.” That’s a big call considering Majestic Mach won 35 of his 94 starts, including four Group One events, between March 2012 and September 2017. He also placed 20 times, paced a 1:53.9 mile and banked $796,397. Colt Thirty One has so far won 23 of his 35 starts, placed in seven others, sprinted a 1:53.2 mile, and has banked $453,345. Both pacers were bred and owned by Kevin and Kay Seymour. "He's a bit of a dud isn't he. Not much at all really," joked Seymour. Then he switched to serious mode. "The reason he's done so well is because Grant has managed him perfectly. He's only four and he’s looked after him and not over-raced him. He once told me that to get a good long-term open grade horse you have to take your time with them. "For that reason I think Colt Thirty One will make a nice grand circuit horse one day and Grant should have a top Free-For-Aller for several years to come. “Mr Feelgood is the best horse Kay and I have raced and Colt Thirty One is the best that we have bred.” Colt Thirty One is seventh of nine foals of out of the 2000 maiden Vanston Hanover mare, Charm personified. His older sister, Charming Allie (by Mr Feelgood) recorded a 1:53.9 mile and won 18 races and $266,329. She also nailed four Group Two races and ran second in the Group One $75,000 Queensland Oaks in 2014. Colt Thirty One won his first Group One at Albion Park on July 15, 2017 when he was too smart in the $100,000 QBRED 2YO Triad Pace. He also won the QBRED 3yo Triad a year later under Group Two conditions. Colt Thirty One also cleaned up a quality Victoria Derby three-year-old field at Melton's Tabcorp Park on January 27 last year. That race was worth $200,000 pocketing his owners a cool $114,000 for that win. He also placed in the Breeders Crown 2 and 3yo Finals in 2017 and 2018. Dixon has won Queensland Horse-of-the-Year previously with Majestic Mach and the 1990 Jeremy Laurence black colt, Jeremy Lee (22 wins and $216,971). "I was working for Dad (Bill) when he trained Speed Ace (1991 Speed King gelding). He was Queensland Horse-of-the-Year as well. He won 15 races ($130,274)," Dixon said. Dixon is currently Australia's top trainer with 187 victories - 31 clear of second-placed Emma Stewart. He also sits fourth on the national driving premiership with 118 wins behind Chris Alford (228), Greg Sugars (138), Ryan Warwick (123).   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Queensland’s best juvenile filly of last season will vie for her 10th consecutive win in Saturday night's $50,000 Group 2 QBRED Three-Year-Old Fillies Triad Final at Albion Park on Saturday- the Group Two Q-Bred 3yo Fillies Triad Final. Thirty-two minutes earlier the 'boys' will also compete for $50,000 in the only other Group 2 race of the evening - the QBRED Colts and Gelding Final. There are also four other Listed $25,000 events on the 10-race card. “If she (Smart As Camm Be) performs well on Saturday, and there’s no reason why she won’t, then we may take her for a quick hit and run mission to the Victoria Oaks in a couple of weeks,” her Stanmore trainer/driver, Kylie Rasmussen said. “It all depends on flights and what her owners have to say,” she added. The Group One $150,000 Victoria Oaks will be run at Melton’s Tabcorp Park in a fortnight (Saturday April 27). Sadly for Smart As Camm Be’s 12 opponents, the brilliant daughter of Cammibest and Too Smart For You (by Famous Forever) has drawn (3), and looks set to lead them all the way over Saturday's 2,138m mobile. She's also in mint condition. “She’s never been better. She took a wee while to come back from her spell, because she did suffer a little setback early in the season when a virus went through the barn. “But now she is bigger and stronger than she ever has been,” Rasmussen said. Last July Smart As Camm Be won the equivalent 2yo Triad Final as the $1.80 favourite. She drew six in that $100,000 Group One event and got up by a neck with a sizzling 1:55.7 mile rate. Smart As Camm Be has won all four of her starts this season at Albion Park on February 26, March 19, March 27, and April 2. Don't expect to get a big win dividend this time around either. Her win prices so far in 2019 have been $1.20, $1.22, $1.08, and $1.30. “She trialed well in February too and has got stronger with each run since then. She had a great 2-year-old season but it took it’s toll on her. She suffered from bone chips in her knee and we had to put her out for a fair while to recover (July 21-February 12). “I’m just so pleased she’s a healthy horse and is now back to where we want her to be. I think she can only get stronger as the season develops. If her 3-year-old season is as good as her 2-year-old one, then we’ll be rapt,” Rasmussen said. The slow start to the season was largely why Smart As Camm Be by-passed the Group One $200,000 New South Wales Derby in Sydney on March 2, in preference for Group racing in the ‘Sunshine State’. “She just wasn’t ready – and now she is,” Rasmussen said. Last year's Queensland 2yo Pacing Filly-of-the-Year, had a brilliant first-up season in 2017-2018. She won five of her seven starts from March 27 until July 21 - the last five in a row. As well as her QBRED victory, Smart As Camm Be also won the $25,000 Listed Classic Q-Bred Breeders Classic. Rasmussen will be looking to emulate her feats of 2010 and 2011 with her former female star, the 2007 Famous Forever mare, Forever Gold. She won the Q-Bred 2yo Fillies Final in 2010, and then the following year nailed the QBRED 3yo Fillies Final and the prestigious Group One Queensland 3yo Oaks. “The (Group One) $75,000 Queensland Oaks (July 13) is her main priority after this month," Rasmussen said. Smart As Camm Be has so far won nine of her 11 starts and placed in one other for $105,560. “I’m working a team of about 30 at the moment and this girl is up there with Lilac Flash and Mr Kalypso as the best of them,” said Rasmussen.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Jake Davis not only drove his first winner at Albion Park on Saturday night (April 6) but he also kept up a family tradition dating back a couple of decades. Davis and his father Leigh made the 970km journey from their Browns Creek stable near Bathurst, to campaign six horses in Queensland. They were rewarded for their efforts when Studleigh Kristen, despite facing the breeze for much of the 2138m Pace (Race 11), careered away for a dominant victory over Call Me Yours and Caesars Astrum.  Travelling to Albion Park is something the Davis family have done since Jake’s grandfather, Ray, started racing standardbreds in Queensland a couple of decades ago. “Dad drove the 13 hours to get here with the team the week before last and I arrived here on Thursday night after the races. I will head home again next Sunday to do my main job on our dairy farm,” Jake said. The 26-year said he had been driving for almost a decade. “That was about the time when Dad last campaigned horses up here. He drove them back then. I’m over the moon. Tonight was my first drive at Albion Park and I loved it." Jake said. “I won’t forget the night in a hurry. It’s something I wanted to achieve when I knew we were coming up here. The team will stay for about four or five weeks, depending on how they go." Davis had two drives at Albion Park on Saturday. He finished a close-up second behind Rays Choice in the third event, and then thanks to a very confident drive he steered Studleigh Kristen to victory in the final event. “I don’t mind sitting parked with her. About 70 per cent of the time I’ve sat in the ‘death seat’ and she's gone on to win races. She’s as tough as old boots and can stay all day. I was delighted with that performance. She felt the winner a long way from home,” Davis Jr said. Studleigh Kristin drew six of seven and settled last early before Davis sent her to sit parked at on ‘Alan Border Field corner’ the first time. That's where they remained until the home straight. Davis then gave the mare some rein and she left them to it winning by an increasing 9.7m. She paced the 2,138m mobile in 2:37.2 with a 1:58.3 mile rate. Her sectionals were: 32.1, 30.5, 28.2, and 28.1. It was the Kenneth J 6-year-old mare's 11th win in 83 starts. She's also placed 22 times and banked $69,666 in purses. "She's a lovely, tough mare, who always gives her best. We paid $3,000 for her at the Sydney Yearling Sales. As a 2-year-old she wouldn't steer straight and Dad wanted to get rid of her, but there was no way Pop (grandfather) was going to let him do that," Davis said. "She started her career as a 3-year-old and has consistently been in the money since. She is always well backed. I think she will do well up here," he added. Davis Senior and Studleigh Sonny won at Redcliffe Paceway on Thursday, three days after Studleigh Stride and the same driver ran second at Albion Park (Monday). The Davis’ originally housed their horses at John McCarthy’s property, but these days they park up at Peter McMullen and Chantal Turpin’s barn at Patrick Estate. “We love it up here and our horses have already performed well with two firsts and two seconds from four starts. We also have another 12 horses at home, mostly yearlings and 2-year-olds, I have to get back and tend to,” Davis said. One of the other highlights on Saturday was the running of the Jack Waltisbuhl Memorial. His family on-course to watch the Darrel Graham trained and Kylie Rasmussen driven $38.50 outsider, Platinum Roulette, get up and win. Mr Waltisbuhl raced horses in the 1970s and 1980s and  enjoyed multiple successes with Penny Express, Bulltossa, and Fiery Tan. He raced and won at tracks all over Queensland including Amberley, Redland Bay, Lawnton, Capalaba, Cleveland Showgrounds, Redcliffe Showgrounds, Kedron Park, Rocklea and of course Albion Park.    Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

It was a moment that New Jersey horseman, John McDermott, had been longing for from the moment his champion pacer and stallion, Hurrikane Kingcole, left him in the USA three years ago. Hurrikane Kingcole’s co-owner and former trainer was in the Toowoomba region on Monday (April 1), and specifically came to Queensland to visit his beloved mate who is standing at Egmont Park Stud in Biddeston. He also attended the Albion Park Trots and the Redcliffe Sales on Saturday and Sunday. “Of course I shed a tear. I’m almost shedding a tear now - a day just later - just thinking about it," McDermott said. “It was a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life. You know I couldn’t sleep some nights thinking about my best friend. I was so worried about how he would look now. Everyone who knows me will tell you I love my animals. “I didn’t have to worry about a thing though did I?. What beautiful, healthy condition he is in! All my fears were allayed. Peter and Leann (Bell) have done a wonderful job with him. He’s exactly how I hoped he would look. I can’t thank them enough. “And you know what? He knew me. It was like old friends meeting up after such a long time. Forever mates reunited. It’s truly a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” McDermott said from the Sunshine Coast. Hurrikane Kingcole was a $10,000 yearling sales purchase. The son of Cam's Card Shark and Blazing Yankee then went on to win 14 of his 49 starts and earned $582,807 in an injury-plagued career.. His lifetime mark was 1:47.3. His crop of 2-year-olds are just starting to hit the ground running now in Australia, but McDermott loved the horse from the moment he saw him at the sales. “If you thought I loved him at first sight, try now. I remember the moment the hammer went down and we got him for a bargain $10,000. Then the phone rang at home and I was told (my dog) ‘King Cole’ had just died," he said. “’King Cole’ was my best friend back then. My 16-year-old Great Dane. From that moment on I believe the dog’s spirit moved into that yearling. That’s why he’s called Hurrikane King Cole and that’s why this horse has long been my best friend." He also explained that the term ‘Hurrikane’ came from his mother and his son. “Kane is my son. He’s 22 now. He was named after my mother’s maiden name which is Kane. Kane’s sister nicknamed him Hurrikane one day and it stuck," he said. McDermott said when he bought Hurrikane Kingcole the colt was a bit fat. “He was like a tubby little school kid and then within months he blossomed into the wonderful racehorse and now the striking stallion he is today. It’s just a shame he was injured and sick throughout his career," he said. “If he had been raised in Queensland he could have been anything. Your fresh air would have been amazing for him, but instead he was always cooped up back home recovering in boxes. “Sadly we only got to see glimpses of him at his very best because of his immune system issues, as well as his breathing difficulties." Apart from reuniting with his old mate again for the first time in three years, McDermott said one of the other highlights ‘Down Under’ was visiting Albion Park with Hurrikane Kingcole’s co-owners and lifetime friends, Scott Mangini and Carl Garafalo (pictured). “Yes I am an emotional kinda guy, but it completely blew me away to see Hurrikane Kingcole’s name in large letters along the back-straight," he said. “That was touching. What a great place to visit. It was so good to see so many young ones in their twenties having a great night out at the races. We could learn a thing or two from you guys back home." The day after the trots McDermott and his mates were under-bidders on Lot 35 at the  Redcliffe Yearling Sale - a Hurrikane Kingcole - Too Smart For You colt. “We really liked him too but had to let him go at $47,000. That was also a great day out. It was so heartening to know that he produced the top lot and there were eight others by him at the Sale," he said. “When he raced his gait was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. His front leg stood so far out beyond his nose when he was in full gear, it was ridiculous. “He was the reason I got up every day to go to the barn. l loved his personality. He was such a pleasure to be around. He liked us. He was just a happy-go-lucky horse – just awesome. It was so good to see him again." And that wasn’t owners bias either. One of North America’s best reinsmen also agreed Hurrikane Kingcole was something special. “He is the fastest and most powerful horse I’ve ever driven. His gait was effortless and sitting behind him was awe inspiring,” said Yannick Gingras. Now Hurrikane Kingcole is starting to make his mark as a sire in both hemispheres. His son and daughter Hurrikane Emperor and Hurrikane Empress are really making a name for themselves against the best company in North America. Hurrikane Emperor is the current New Jersey Horse-of-the-Year. They are both trained by McDermott. “I live in both New Jersey and Florida depending on the season, but have to be back in New Jersey on April 7 for our Stakes season. Believe me these two pacers are something special. They have competed and won against the best and you will hear a lot more about them this season. They have a lot of their father’s traits. “Also down here Vic Frost speaks highly of his Hurrikane Kingcole 2-year-old, Frost en Ice. That is a huge compliment. “I tell you Hurrikane Kingcole is the greatest bargain going, both back home, and Down Under. I just know his offspring will do well. “But I’ve leased him to Kevin Seymour, and he knows I want my old buddy back. I think it’s a 10-year lease, but Kevin is a great guy and he told me 'HKC' would be coming home to me one day. “That news made my day. I hated saying goodbye to him again,” McDermott said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Fake Left’s ghost was well and truly hovering around Albion Park last week. The 1992 Little Brown Jug winner has been dead since 2001, but that didn’t stop two of his progeny winning races three and six on Thursday’s seven-race card. The Grant Dixon trained and driven Saint Kilda Beach and the Chantal Turpin trained and Peter McMullen driven Timeless Appeal won by 2.8m and 5.2m respectively. It was their fifth and second career wins. However, Fake Left’s co-owner and prominent Queensland businessman, Kevin Seymour said the two pacers came about simply because he suddenly remembered he had the straws several years after freezing them. “We forgot we had a couple of straws tucked away and when we realised that we still had them we decided to make the most of them and impregnate Kelly Major (by Art Major) and Talented Tess (by Grinfromeartoear). That's how both Saint Kilda Beach and Timeless Appeal came about in 2015,” Mr Seymour said. "I'm just glad that we remembered the straws because it's quite remarkable to think that his frozen semen is still producing winners some 18 years after his death.” Seymour described Fake Left as a super sire and an even better broodmare sire. The Canadian bay, who stood in Australia for the first time in 1993, was also a quality racehorse, who recorded a 1:51.4 mile. All-up he had 51 starts for 17 wins,14 placings and $314,417 in prize money. By the end of the 2010-2011 season he was the only Australian-based stallion to have sired three millionaire pacers. They were three-times Interdominion champion and multiple Group One winner, Blacks A Fake (72 wins and $4.75m); dual Miracle Mile winner, Be Good Johnny ($48 wins and 1,656,489) and Miss Galvinator (60 wins and $1,148,446). Be Good Johnny had 16 classic wins, plus multiple Cup winners while Robin Hood recorded 11, and Safari 10. “I think he will be the leading broodmare sire here for many years to come. He has already proven that. There are no more straws out there that I know of, and sadly these two fillies are the last we will see by Fake Left,” Mr Seymour said. “He was an awesome stallion. He was very good to us and thankfully his memory will live on for many years to come yet.” Saint Kilda Beach is the first of three foals out of the two-win Art Major mare, Kelly Major. Timeless Appeal is the eldest (of four foals) out of the one-win Grinfromeartoear mare, Talented Tess. As for Fake Left, he was the 1989 son of the super sire Cam Fella (by Most Happy Fella) and was the second of five foals out of the 15-win ($164,845) 1977 Albatross mare, Madam Madusa. He sired 20-plus sub-1:50 milers. As a 2-year-old the colt won five times and placed in four races. It was as a three-year-old that in the words of his owners - "he's finally developed into the kind of horse we expected him to be" - after winning six races in the Midwest just prior to competing in the prestigious 1992 Little Brown Jug.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

With seven nice drives at Albion Park on Saturday driver Brendan Barnes should inch closer to what will be his best season in the sulky. The talented 21-year-old is currently 15th on the national driving premiership with 78 wins and 126 placings from 440 drives (just over $512,000 in stakes). "I drove some nice horses when I worked in Sydney for a couple of years and managed to get 82 winners one season. I'm on track to beat that, which is very satisfying. It’s been a good season. I’m rapt," Barnes said. Last weekend Barnes drove three Jack Butler-trained standardbreds at the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival in New South Wales.  They were 2yo Pet Rock filly, Cut From Rock; 7yo Framework trotting mare, Spirit Walker; and 5yo Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, Rock With Sam. "It was an ordinary trip to be fair. On the Friday Cut From Rock went amiss in the third heat of the Gold Tiara, and then on Sunday Spirit Walker did well to finish second after galloping in the Trotters Cup. “But the Smooth Satin Cup (on Saturday) didn’t go our way. I hit a wheel with Rock With Sam and we finished last, and for that I copped a seven-day suspension - starting this Sunday,” Barnes said. But you can’t keep a good man down for too long, and the Morayfield State High School old-boy should embark on his week-long holiday with some good results on his home track on Saturday night. Barnes labelled the Ron Wells trained Smiling Armada (2) in race four as his best drive of the night. Ironically all six of his other drives are for Logan Village trainer, Jack Butler. Here’s what he had to say about the seven: Race 2: The Jack Butler trained ZARA'S DELIGHT (9): “She’s a nice little mare who won well for my brother (Hayden) here last Friday. One on the second row is not too bad a draw for her. If she can get some luck she will be running on." Race 3: The Jack Butler trained MACH SAM (3): “He has dropped back in grades the last couple - where he's drawn six both times. He has a bit of gait speed and could reach the front. If he can get there, or get a good sit from three, he can go close. He won by a big margin at Redcliffe a few (four) starts back." Race 4: The Ron Wells trained SMILING ARMADA (2): "This gelding has good gate speed and is a good front-runner. He comes into this race with a nice last start placing (third) on the track last start. II think he's an each-way bet in this. My best drive on Saturday." Race 5: The Jack Butler trained CASINO TOMMY (2): "He's also drawn well and has consistent form. He is racing a lot better recently. He's a fence horse and it might be hard to get across from two.  He will need luck, but could be thereabouts." Race 9: The Jack Butler trained MANDY KRIDEN (1): “She doesn't really have a lot of gate speed and can get a bit rough in her gait. She has been racing well of late and if she can get one last go at them she has the sprint to win. She has a lot of speed. A last quarter specialist." Race 10: The Jack Butler trained GEE UP NEDDY (9): "He's drawn one on the 10m line and he won't get much room back there. If he can get in the running line he will be flashing home though." Race 11: The Jack Butler trained PAY ME INTEREST: “Consistent pacer who is good enough to get some of it from the widest second row draw. Runner-up on this track in his last two starts."   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Gold Coast businessman, Greg Mitchell, loves his current Queensland-Trotter-of-the-Year, Our Overanova so much, he’s now gone and bought her little half-sister. “I’ve been keeping close eyes on the family, and this horse, for a while now. Her name is Smokey Nova and she is a grey 5-year-old Monkey Bones mare. Like Our Overanova, she will be trained by Grant Dixon at Tamborine. She will have her first Queensland start next week," Mitchell said. “I also tried to buy her older (Pegasus Spur) half-brother Flyanova from New Zealand a while back, but he failed the vet test. It will be nice to have another grey trotter going around, but we bought her primarily for breeding purposes. Anything else she does is a bonus." In June 2013, Mitchell (G.M.S. Racing) paid $14,000 for the then named one-win Monarchy gelding, Overanova. He has since gone on to so far win 53 of his 140 starts and $406,509. The son of Monarchy is a Listed Classic and Group winner, and he also holds two track records at Albion Park. The 140-race veteran went a 1:59 mile rate when trotting 2:41.8 for the 2,138m stand on September 19, 2015. Then just over two years later (December 16, 2017) he went a 2:00.3 mile rate when setting a new mark of 3:20.8 for the 2,647m standing start. The bay gelding started from 40m behind that night and just got up by half-a-head. The 9-year-old's fastest mile is 1:56.2. "He's still toughing it out off long marks. He's a quality trotter who has put plenty of smiles on our faces. Hopefully 'Smokey' can win a few for us as well, but don't think she will be ever as good as him. However, if she leaves us some nice foals one day then Sharon and I will be happy," Mitchell said. “Our Overanova has been so good to us and we absolutely love him. That’s why I have bought this mare, so I can always have a part of his family with us. He’s special,” said Mitchell who has also imported other top-liners like Devil Dodger and Alleluia." Our Overanova is the third foal (of eight) out of the five-win 21-year-old brown Sundon - Kayla Novander mare, Kayla Nova. Smokey Nova is foal six. She was exported to Australia from New Zealand as an unraced 2-year-old in November 2015. The striking grey had her first race in Australia at Ballarat on Boxing Day 2016. She has now had 30 starts for one win one (Ballarat, October 2017) and four placings. She finished ninth at Tabcorp Park Menangle in her last start on March 5. "I've been watching her race in New South Wales and Luke drove her last start. I spoke to him and then Shannon (Hoffman) put her on the market," Mitchell said. "I gave him $6,000 for her." It’s not the first time Mitchell has imported a grey mare from New Zealand. “My wife Sharon loves grey horses and now lightening has struck twice. In 2015 (June) we bought Millicent from New Zealand. She's not from the same family as 'the Novas', but she is also by Monkey Bones and out of a (three-win) Gee Whizz II mare, Black Onyx," Mitchell said. When he bought her, Millicent had won five races in the South Island. When she retired in September 2016, the newly named Sharon’s Millicent had won 16 of her 87 starts, placed 18 times, and banked $99,675. "I named her after Sharon because of her love of greys. We are now breeding from that mare and we have a rising 2-year-old Brylin Boyz bay colt and a Majestic Son weanling bay colt," Mitchell said. “She missed to Majestic Son this year," said Mitchell who has owned and bred standardbreds for 12 years. Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Seventy-six lots will be up for grabs at Sunday’s Garrard’s sponsored Redcliffe Yearling Sale, but the annual sale will be much more subdued than the previous 11 sales at Redcliffe Paceway. The mid-day auction will be staged just seven days after an incident which saw horseman Gary Whitaker and his two children injured at the track. Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring said there would be an opportunity for attendees to keep the Whitaker family in their thoughts. “We did think about postponing it but after a lot of consultation we have decided to go ahead,” Mr Ring said. "Gary and his family are part of our harness racing family. Gary has bought at the sales previously and is a quality horseman. "They will be on our minds not only on Sunday, but everyday, and we wish Gary and his two children a speedy recovered.” He said his thoughts were also with Gary's wife Joedy, who had been brave throughout the ordeal. He wanted others to display that same braveness by seeking help. "It's been tough for a lot of people, especially those who witnessed the accident. Some members are struggling with this and have sought counselling,” Mr Ring said. "I strongly recommend that everyone takes up the counseling on offer. It needs to be addressed so the thought of it all doesn't come back to haunt people in years to come.” As a result he said there would be no racing at Redcliffe this week – but possibly next week. Ring termed Sunday’s auction as one which was lower on numbers than last year, but higher in quality. "It’s one of the best catalogues we have had. We are expecting buyers from other States. We have a half-brother to Queensland's best juvenile filly of last season, Smart As Camm Be. He is by Hurrikane Kingcole and is Lot 35,” he said. "He's just one stand-out. There are many more - and unlike the APG Sales, all out bidding starts at $1.” He also liked the look of Lot 50 – a colt out of a Down The Catwalk mare named Catwalk Beauty (2004 brown P B Bullville mare). He is by Mr Feelgood. Ring was proud that a strong selection of stallions would be represented, such as represented in the catalogue such as Bettor’s Delight, Somebeachsomewhere, Rock N Roll Heaven, Sportswriter, Roll With Joe, Well Said, Mr Feelgood, Grinfromeartoear, Changeover and Cammibest and the emerging sires Sweet Lou, Hurrikane Kingcole, Heston Blue Chip, Pet Rock, A Rocknroll Dance, Warrawee Needy, Sunshine Beach, He’s Watching and Follow The Stars. The sale also features half-brothers or half-sisters to a host of classic winners including Pub Blitz, Cha Ching Chaching, Smart As Camm Be, Bonnie Jujon, Wicked Style, Jack Malone, Celtic Cruza and Mathilda Diventa and progeny of the top race mares Too Smart For You, Catwalk Beauty, Cullen’s Jewel, Montana Tess, Bangkok Dancer and Riverboat Royce. "The big incentive about this Sale is that yearlings are eligible for the Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series with a minimum $100,000 prize money for two-year-olds in 2020 and the 3YO Sale Classic in 2021,” Mr Ring said. “They are also eligible for Q-Bred, Vicbred, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and NSW Breeders Challenge.” The Sale will be run in conjunction with Darren Ebert and Co. Auctioneers and Agents.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Warwick horseman, Richard March, has waited half a century for a horse like Clintal Do to come along. “He certainly makes the job worth getting up for. He doesn’t take much work. I just keep him fit and then race him. I’ve been training horses since I was 17 and I’m now 70. He’s by far the best horse I have had anything to do with,” March said. The former ‘3YO Horse-of-the-Year’ was in blistering form at Albion Park on Saturday night. He picked them up and put them away at the 400m mark in the $13,000 Changeover At Burwood Stud Pace. Driver, Nathan Dawson, had the now 5-year-old Dawn Ofa New day gelding in the one-one soon after the start and they then were then three back on outside before Dawson launched him. "He's got a very good turn of foot - easily the fastest pacer that I've ever trained. Nathan drove him perfectly. He set him alight at just the right time," March said. Clintal Do started from the outside of the second row (9) and paced the 2138m mobile in 2:33.1 with a 1:55.3 mile rate. His sectionals were 31.4, 29 even, 28 even, and 37.2. He won under a hold by 7.3m. The Space Invader (Narissa McMullen) was second, with 15.3m back to Sir Julian and John Cremin, in third. It was the talented bay's 23rd win in 56 starts. He’s also placed 15 times for just on $167,000 in purses. Clintal Do is also a Group Two winner having nailed the $50,000 QBRED Triad for 3yo colts and geldings in May 2017. Twelve months later he then nailed the $25,000 Listed equivalent for the 4yo entires and geldings. “I want to line him up next in the Armidale Cup in a couple of weeks. We won that race last year and I’d like to do it again. After that he will have a brief spell before being set for the Winter Carnival at Albion Park,” March said. “As for this week, I’m still weighing up whether to start him or not. He’s come through Saturday’s race real well." He said swimming was one way of keeping Clintal Do’s fitness up. “He doesn’t take much work. He’s just got so much natural ability. His speed around corners is one of his greatest assets. He seems to make up a lot of ground on the turns,” March said. Clintal Do is owned and bred by Trevor and Louise O’Reilly of Palmwoods (Sunshine Coast). He is the third of four foals out of the 2003 Perfect Art - Terry Lyn three-win mare, Shesgotemgood. “Shesgotemgood’s second foal named Hereiam (by Jeremes Jet – 1:56.1) earned over $50,000 and has a Racing Hill colt who was born last September. She didn’t meet our meet her reserve of $11,000k at the Brisbane APG Sale,” O’Reilly said. March said he enjoyed training for the O’Reillys. “They are good owners and leave me to make the decisions. We do communicate quite a bit. They know I’d like to start this horse at Menangle one day. I’m sure the big track down there would suit him,” said March. He said Clintal Do was now a much stronger and quicker horse than when he won his Queensland age group title. “He’s got better and better with age. We had a bit of a scare with him last season though. We had to cut half of his hoof away after it became infected," he said. “It’s now grown back and he’s recovered well and he is now back to where I want him. I thought he would be hard to beat after winning untouched at Inverell the week before. He’s my pride and joy."   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Albion Park record holder, Quietly Spoken, can go three-straight at Queensland Harness Racing Headquarters on Saturday night. That’s the opinion of her Alberton trainer, Stephen Cini. “She’s as bright as a button and has come through her last race very well. This mare likes to race and she is no slouch. Chris Alford told the previous trainers he liked her. That was good enough for me," Cini said. “She raced in Group races at Menangle (five - placed in one) before I got her and you have to be pretty good to hold a track record at Albion Park. “Yes she can get the hatrick but the (Grant) Dixon trained and driven Our Overanova will be the toughest for her to beat. He's a very good race horse – even from 50m behind. He's had a lot of starts (139) and won 53 races. My girl has won just 12 (96 starts). "In saying that I’m expecting Brian’s mare to be right in it again," he added. Brian is Brian Dorans, the owner and breeder of Quietly Spoken. A fortnight ago (March 9) he watched his 7yo Pegasus Spur mare set a new 1660m track record for trotters at Albion Park. Starting from the ace draw she sat in behind a torrid speed and then Narissa McMullen whipped her along the passing lane to win in 1:59.4 - mile rate, a slashing 1:55.7. Her sectionals were 27.3, 30.4, 28.7, and 29.6. And even though Saturday’s $13,000 Pryde-sponsored ninth race is a 2,138m stand, Cini still needs a slick pace. "If there's speed in the race it will suit the mare. She's started from one in both of her last two starts and now starts from 10m behind, so the race is going to pan out differently for her," he said. "I won't say anything to Narissa. She knows the horse. We just have to see where the horse ends up soon after the start. "If there's a slow pace and they dawdle, then that won't suit us. Hopefully they go hard and she can get into it at the right time. If she does then she's got the stamina and speed to get past them." He said Quietly Spoken was the type of mare who liked to race week in and week out. "She's very fit and enjoys racing. Brian doesn’t enjoy spelling them for too long. He likes to race his horses,” Cini said. Quietly Spoken had her last race for Joe and Mary Rando when 13th at Menangle 2017. Cini then won first-up with her at Albion Park on December 12 of that year. Seven of her 12 wins have now been with Cini. Her siblings have also performed well. Quietly Spoken is the last of five foals out of the one race (fifth) Sundon - Champagne Girl (by Plat Du Jour) mare, Kindava Hush. Her oldest sister, the 2003 Classic Adam mare, Une De Mai won 14 races and $85,805, while foal two, the 2003 Continentalman mare, Mystic Hush won 11 races and $94,943. But none of them have gone as quick as their little sister - Cini's first track record holder. “A lot of trotters don’t possess speed. This mare has speed. She’s proven that. She will continue to race on through the Winter Carnival," he said. “She will hold her own until then but when the visitors get here she won’t be up to them. I’m working 12 at the moment and she would be in my top three or four. She’s the best trotter of the three I’ve got." Quietly Spoken beat Our Overanova by 1.3m when they both started off the front on May 9. This time Our Overanova will give the mare a 40m head-start - but write the Dixon trainee off at your own peril. Our Overanova knows all about tracks records. The 9yo Monarchy gelding holds two at Albion Park himself - including one over tonight's distance three-and-a-half years ago. The 140-race veteran went a 1:59 mile rate when trotting 2:41.8 on September 19, 2015. Then just over two years later (December 16, 2017) he went a 2:00.3 mile rate when setting a new mark of 3:20.8 for the 2,647m standing start. The bay gelding started from 40m behind that night and just got up by half-a-head. Our Overanova has won $406,404 in career stakes - Quietly Spoken: $109,132.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Budgies and standardbreds are about as common as vinegar and oil, but for Linsun (Charlie) Chang, breeding the tiny bird species has ultimately led to his first training success. The 68-year-old cook and hobby trainer realised a dream at Redcliffe Paceway last Wednesday (March 13) when the Jacob (Jack) Colley-Presnell driven Riverleigh William won the Redcliffe Leagues Club Conditioned Pace. “I was rapt. Who would ever have thought this would have happened to someone like me who didn’t even know what trotting was really all about, six years ago," he said. “In 2013 I was breeding budgerigars at Redcliffe. I was at one of our shows, and my late mate, Neville Spencer, asked me if I wanted to go to the trots with him. He never missed a Wednesday meeting. He would sit in exactly the same seat every week – and before long I became hooked too." “It all snow-balled from there. I’m over the moon. I can now say I’ve bred trained a winner. I’m quite chuffed about that." It was a lovely drive from claimer driver, Colley Presnall. The 7-year-old Grinfromeartoear gelding stormed home from the rear to career away with his 13th win. "I've had him since September and I'll never forget him now will I? Jack took off at the 800m and I thought he went too early. I didn't think the horse would make it to the line," he said. "However Jack knew what he was doing. In the end he won easily (7.9m). Well done Jack. You made it happen!" Colley-Presnell, who is just 20 and in his first season of driving, has now registered 15 winners. Chang said the 1780m mobile was designed to cater for ‘hobby’ trainers and provide a way for people starting out to ‘cut their teeth’ without racing the professional trainers. There is usually one such race programmed each Wednesday night on the peninsula. “I only took out my trainer’s licence about three months ago. Late last year my regular trainer, Josh Moore, left and decided to join the Racing Queensland team,” Chang said. Chang could have searched for someone else to condition his team of three, but elected to jump in the deep end and have a crack at the training caper himself. Chang has now been a passionate owner and stablehand since 2014. “I learnt a lot from Darren Hooper and I’ve done a lot of mucking boxes in my short time in the game. I’m always learning. When Darren lost his licence I approached Josh at Redcliffe and he took over my small team,” Chang said. Up until Riverleigh William’s win, Chang had recorded six placings from 26 starts (two horses). “I’ve broken my duck now so watch out. I’ve learnt so much from so many people and I’m grateful to all of them for that,” Chang said. The Australian born horseman, whose Mum was Australian and his Dad Chinese, then paid a tribute to fellow horseman - the late Mick Daw. “Michael’s (Mick) son, Wayne, works for me and it was an absolute honour to win my first race in his father’s colours. In some ways the race was a dedication to him,” Chang said. Those colours are - yellow with the navy blue navy ‘M’. Footnote: Riverleigh William and Brendan Barnes will start from three on the second row (9) in the fifth event at Redcliffe Paceway at 7.52 tonight (Wed. March 20). Feature Image: Riverleigh William records a win at Albion Park in April 2017.    Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Kylie Rasmussen can read a race better most, but even she had given up all hope of getting her $61 outsider home in Saturday night’s inaugural Changeover At Burwood 2yo Classic at Albion Park. “I honestly thought I was running for second at the top of the (home) straight,” the talented Stanmore reinswomen said. Rasmussen was referring to her drive – the Vic Frost trained Frost En Ice, who was situated in the one-one down the back straight before they had to set out after the runaway $1.85 shot, Millwood Tilly. “The favourite had gapped us and had too much of a roll-on. She (Millwood Tilly) showed an immense turn of speed (400m) which I thought was the winning of the race. “Turning for home I thought the best Frost En Ice could do was finish second,” Rasmussen said. Millwood Tilly was several lengths clear of Frost En Ice at the 200m, but at the 150m mark she had too much momentum for her young head and rolled out of her gear. Driver, Peter McMullen then did a great job of getting her back down to run second. Frost En Ice had 1.2m over Millwood Tilly (Peter McMullen) at the line. Two metres back in third was the third favourite, Xaviers Hurrikane (Nathan Dawson). The Frost trainee paced the mile in two minutes flat with a 1:56.3 mile rate. Her sectionals were 28.5, 30.9, 28.1, and 29.1. She banked $12,534 for the triumph and has now amassed $18,273 for her two wins and a second from three starts. The older of the three highly regarded Rasmussen sisters (also Natalie and Vicki), couldn’t believe the Hurrikane Kingcole filly was the fifth favourite of eight - and paid $61 to win on the fixed odds market. She then reminded people who trained, owned and bred Frost En Ice. “Vic (Frost) has always been a master trainer and it’s great to see he has another nice horse. He has done an unbelievable job with this filly. “She hadn’t raced for a month and Vic has done a splendid job to get her where she is. Two-year-olds can be flighty and unpredictable at the best of times, but this girl already feels foolproof. She is very clean-gaited and has super manners. That won her the race,” Rasmussen said. “It all comes down to the training. Vic knows all about ringcraft. That’s why he’s had so many good horses over the years, and that’s why he is highly regraded everywhere in harness racing. It’s a pleasure to drive for him,” she added. Frost said he had liked Frost En Ice since day one. “Her mother, Frostiness, won 12 races and her sire was an absolute freak and superstar. The best I have ever had anything to do with in my long career," the 78-year-old Hall-of-Famer said. Of course the New South Wales horseman (Tweed Heads) was referring to the mighty Westburn Grant (1:55.6), who he trained and drove to win 38 of his 67 starts and placed in 18 others for $2,074,916 in stakes between July 1988 and March 1993. "But this girl is a big filly and has a lovely big pacing stride on her. I really like the Hurrikane Kingcoles. They have a lovely gait on them and he seems to be able to produce good horses that go early,” Frost said. For his training efforts Frost also won a ‘Rio Cobra” sulky courtesy of race sponsor – Garrards. Other highlights came in races five and eight from Callmequeenbee and Slice Of Heaven. The Gemma Rue (Bathurst NSW) trained Callmequeenbee sat three-wide and then parked to win the WCF Team Teal Female Drivers Challenge. Race winner, Chantal Turpin, said the 4-year-old Shadow Play mare felt the winner a long way from home. “I thought she would be too tough for this field and I drove her that way. She’s a nice mare all right. Hopefully she will be back next week for one more race. She’s quality,” Turpin said of the $1.40 favourite. Three races later the Donny Smith trained and Nathan Dawson driven Slice Of Heaven won his second race in four days in the Hyperstat Open Pace. That’s now 11 from 19 on the track and 18 from 40 overall ($108,708).   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

The best pacer that Anna Woodmansey has trained needs to be taught to slow down. That’s the opinion of the Chambers Flat horsewoman going into Saturday night’s feature event at Albion Park – the $21,000 Changeover At Burwood Stud 2yo Classic (Race 7). The 56-year-old said Pelosi had so much speed she needed to be taught to use it in a race. “She’s such a lovely gaited animal, who needs to be taught to race. She can go like a bat out of hell at times and just needs to slow down and use her speed appropriately,” Woodmansey said. The very well bred American Ideal - For Dear Life (Life Sign) filly is the only starter on the second line in Saturday's eight-strong 1660m mobile. She will be driven by John Cremin. Pelosi goes into the race with a first-up 1.3m victory when a $2.80 second favourite at Albion Park on February 26. The gifted bay then followed that up with an easy 4.3m trial win at the same venue on Wednesday (March 13). "I gave her that trial because last week's 2-year-old race was put off until this week because of the Australia Ladies Driving Champs," Woodmansey said. “She’s had two preps with Kylie Rasmussen and she really liked her. She’s a smart, sensible filly. She comes from a nice family, many of which have won Group races. However they can tend to be a bit loopy unless you keep them in work,” Woodmansey said. “But I must admit it’s been hard trying to treat this good girl equal to the others. She’s much better though, and makes the job worth getting up for,” she added. Pelosi paced a 1:56 mile rate (1:59.6 - 1660m) when winning from gate three on debut. She sat three-deep on the markers that day and then loomed up three wide at the 400m. In the straight she had too much sprint for the favourite Will The Wizard. On Wednesday she came from well back in the field to sit parked at the bell and then at the 700m took control of the race. From that point the battle was for second. Cremin had a big handful as his filly cruised to the line in 2:03.9 (mile rate 2:00.1). Pelosi hails from a quality family, and the daughter of American Ideal is well named. Her human namesake - Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American politician who has been the speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. "Wayne named her. He reckons Pelosi gives (Donald) Trump heaps. Her mother was also a very nice racehorse. In fact a lot of the family have done well," Woodmansey said. Wayne is Wayne Honan, Woodmansey’s partner and the owner/breeder of both Pelosi and her dam - For Dear Life (2005 Life Sign mare). Honan's Hall-of-Fame father, the late Jack bred the grand-dam, the 1992 Stature mare, Express Post. Between them, For Dear Life and Express Post won 25 races and just on $400,000. For Dear Life won 14 of her 28 starts ($322,331) and three Group One events, including the $125,000 Breeders 2yo Challenge in 2008; the $100,000 NSW Wales Oaks in 2009; and the $100,000 APG 3yo Fillies Final in 2009. The first two Group Ones were achieved at Harold Park and the latter at Albion Park. Woodmansey said Express Post won 11 of her 18 starts and $89,483. "I think that might be where Pelosi gets her speed from because Jack said Express Post was an exceptionally fast mare," said Woodmansey. Pelosi arrived at Woodmansey’s barn in November and she is one of three currently in work. The trainer said she would slowly build her up to the APG 2yo heats at Albion Park the end of next month. Toughest for Pelosi to defeat will be the also unbeaten Toanui Spirit (5) and Xaviers Hurrikane (7). Trained by KerryAnn Turner and Shawn Grimsey respectively, both 2-year-olds were impressive winners on debut. New South Wales Visitor Toanui Spirit comes into the race with a 2:01.6 winning mile rate at Newcastle on February 23, while  Xaviers Hurrikane, who has copped the outside front-row draw, made a statement when winning at Albion Park on February 12 by 5.3m with a quick 1:56.1 mile rate. Robert Morris and Nathan Dawson will drive Toanui Spirit and Xaviers Hurrikane respectively. Pelosi's impressive win at the Albion Park trials on Tuesday:   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

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