WHEN a harness racing horse notches five consecutive wins there is a little bit of fanfare, but when the fifth comes about three years after the fourth it is makes for an amazing story! Hesa Prospect returned to racing in Launceston last Sunday night after spending almost three years recovering from a tendon injury which surfaced following his fourth win in succession as a two-year-old. After capturing the $30,000 Dandy Patch Stakes the gelding was being hailed a potential star, but two wins later, he suffered the leg injury. “He injured his tendon in his nearside foreleg after his last win as a two-year-old,” trainer Bill Dornauf said. “I’ve made a couple of previous attempts to get him back to the racetrack but have had to pull the pin. This time around I’ve just been following the advice of my brother Ian, who probably should be credited with the training, not me. “He had a good horse in Melbourne come back from a similar injury." Given the long, agonising road back to the races, Dornauf is not taking the comeback win for granted. “We just have to see how he pulls up after this race,” Dornauf said. Hesa Prospect was driven by Dornauf's son Duncan, who made an attempt to lead, but after being caught three-wide, eased out of the early action to settle in the one-out, one-back position. Taken there-wide along the back straight, Hesa Prospect quickly dashed to the front before scoring by two-and-a-half metres from the fast-finishing Billy Khan, with Mailie Rosa a head away third. Hesa Prospect is part-owned by Dornauf and his long-term stable client and good friend Doug McKillop, who has bred and owned some of the best pacers to step foot on a Tasmanian track. PETER STAPLES
YOUNG Tasmanian harness racing reinsman Duncan Dornauf celebrated his biggest win in the sulky when he partnered talented three-year-old filly Miley Rose to victory in the $30,000 Bullock Consulting Bandbox Stakes over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Miley Rose ($5.80) proved too strong for odds-on favourite Faithful Gabby ($1.50) in a close finish and it gave prominent owner-breeder Doug McKillop another feature race win. Miley Rose was quick to leave the mobile and had no trouble leading but Dornauf was content to let Faithful Gabby (Gareth Rattray) roll to the front 1400m from home to give his charge a cushy run on the favourite's back. Faithful Gabby, that had won four of her previous five starts going into the bandbox final, travelled comfortably to the home turn but Dornauf always had his filly breathing down Rattray's neck. When Rattray released the deafeners at the top of the home straight his filly shot clear but Dornauf was able to get the most from Miley Rose and she gradually erased the margin and went on to grab victory in the last few strides. Itswhatilikeaboutu (Christian Salter) came from last to run third but 20 metres from the first two placegetters with the judge unable to separate Tania Maree and Jane Grant for fourth. By Peter Staples
Tim Yole and Samantha Freeman ended up squaring the BOTRA Novice Driver Series in Launceston on Sunday night. Yole took a five-point lead into the final two heats of the series over Freeman and Lyarna Graham but the best Yole could manage from his only drive was a third aboard Helen Wheels in heat five and he was restricted to a mandatory six points in the final heat as he didn't have a drive. Freeman had to win the last heat to square the series and she had no trouble in guiding long odds-on favourite Mickwillrev to an effortless all-the-way win to earn maximum points (16). It was Freeman's second win in the six-race series. Matthew Howlett finished third with 53 points courtesy of a win aboard Robyn Scherbotsky in heat five that put him in a winning position going into the last heat but he could only guide Little Jethro into fifth place in a field of seven. Final standings after six heats: 56 - Samantha Freeman and Tim Yole. 53 - Matthew Howlett. 48 - Lyarna Graham and Kristy Grant. 44 - Duncan Dornauf. 41 - Braden Howlett. 36 - Shane Boon. 33 - Nicholas Brockman. 29 - Adrian Collins. By Peter Staples
Tim Yole retains a handy lead following another two heats of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series at Devonport last night but two of the state's leading female drivers are hot on his heels. Despite not winning a heat Yole snared second in the fourth heat of the series aboard Animi Sub Ignis and as he did not have a drive in heat three earlier in the night he was allotted six points in accordance with the conditions of the series. Any driver who misses a drive through insufficient starters or through a scratching is awarded six points. Yole won a heat on the opening night of the series in Hobart last Sunday to earn 16 points and his other drive finished fourth to earn seven points to give him the lead with 23 points after the first two heats. He leads Lyarna Graham and Samantha Freeman who has accrued 34 points. Freeman won heat four with a clever front-running drive aboard Apple that she also owns and in heat three she drove Gottalovefridays into third place. Graham partnered Kinda Cute As into second lace in heat three last night and she didn't have a drive in heat four. Braden Howlett put himself into contention by winning heat three aboard Barrys Best to take his tally to 29. The winner of the series is determined on a points score basis with 16 points awarded for first; 12 for second; nine for third and seven for fourth reducing by one through to one point for last place (10th). The series concludes with two more heats in Launceston on Sunday night. Points tally after four heats: 41 - Tim Yole. 34 - Lyarna Graham, Samantha Freeman. 31 - Matthew Howlett. 29 - Braden Howlett. 27 - Krysty Grant. 26 - Duncan Dornauf. 24 - Shane Boon. 23 - Nicholas Brockman. 20 - Adrian Collins. By Peter Staples
Tim Yole will take the lead into tonight's second round heats of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series at Devonport Showground. Yole scored a great win aboard Aninchofhislife in them opening heat in Hobart on Sunday night, taking daring inside runs to secure victory aboard the Christian Salter-trained five-year-old. Aninchofhislife rattled home along the rails to score by 1-1/2 metres from Fletch Davis (Duncan Dornauf) with Krysty Grant's charge Tinkers Taxi a close-up third. All three placegetters were driven superbly along with four-placed Mes Elsu that was handled by Lyarna Graham who set a solid clip in front and was only overhauled in the closing stages. The second heat was won by the Brent Parish-trained The Family Guy that was driven by Matthew Howlett. The Family Guy started the $2.10 favourite but his backers had some anxious moments over the concluding stages with the favourite getting up by only a half-head from the Shane Boon-driven Island Disco for Brighton trainer Christian Salter. Scruffy Jake ran third in advance of Yole's charge Lucky Dave. The series continues at Devonport tonight with two more heats but unfortunately only six horses have accepted in each heat. This means that only two drivers will have had four drives from the four heats with all other drivers to have had only three drives. Those drivers who do not get a drive in either of the heats at Devonport tonight will be allocated six points. The winner is determined on a points score basis with 16 points awarded for first; 12 for second; nine for third and seven for fourth reducing by one through to one point for last place (10th). The series concludes at the Launceston meeting on Sunday night. Points score after two rounds: 23 - Tim Yole. 18 - Matthew Howlett. 16 - Lyarna Graham. 14 - Duncan Dornauf. 13 - Shane Boon. 12 - Krysty Grant. 10 - Nicholas Brockman. 9 - Samantha Freeman. 8 - Adrian Collins. 7 - Braden Howlett. Peter Staples Jamie Cockshutt's tips and form analysis on tonight's meeting at Devonport.
TALENTED young harness racing drivers Alex Ashwood and Dylan Ford produced only the second tie in the 28-year history of the Bullock Consulting Youngbloods Challenge series at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. The only other tie was shared by Tammy Mollross and Tamra Fawdry in 1998. It was a thrilling finish to the series with Ashwood holding a six-point lead going into the final heat. Ford partnered Livia Degerolstein into second place in the last heat to earn enough points to draw level with Ashwood who guided Elsudoku into fifth place. Ashwood is now domiciled in Victoria where he has driven 19 winners this season and is earning a reputation as one of the most promising young reinsmen in that state. Ford has gone from strength to strength since he acquired his driver's licence talking out the novice driver's premiership in Tasmania last season. He is on his way to achieving that feat again with 28 winners so far this season that also places him sixth on the overall drivers' premiership table. Ford also has just returned from NSW where he finished second in the 2014 Australasian Young Drivers' Series held in conjunction with the Inter Dominion. Justin Howlett ended the series by winning the final heat aboard Chopstix Boris for Beaconsfield trainer Rohan Hillier. Final points tally for the 2014 Youngbloods Challenge series: 46 - Dylan Ford, Alex Ashwood. 41 - Matthew Howlett. 39 - Duncan Dornauf. 35 - Nichols Brockman. 34 - Justin Howlett. 33 - Lyarna Graham. 32 - Samantha Freeman. 27 - Braden Howlett, Brady Woods. By Peter Staples
THE popular Bullock Consulting Tasmanian Youngbloods Challenge continues at Devonport tonight with the second round of heats of the six-race series to be staged on the seven-race card. Dylan Ford and Duncan Dornauf share the lead on 23 points going into the third and fourth heats tonight and Ford could hand rival driver Nichols Brockman a winner as Ford trains Cooked Books that has drawn gate three in the first of tonight's two heats while Ford will drive outsider Inner City for Northdown trainer Geoff Smith. There is not a lot of solid form around the eight runners but Cooked Books was an improved second at his most recent outing and would be hard to beat of Brockman can urge him to find the front. The second heat also comprises eight starters and it would be an ironic result of Dornauf can win on the Dylan Ford-trained Stareeshar that has drawn gate four on the front line. But the favourite should be the Scott Woods-trained Jane Grant (barrier three) that has won its past two and will be driven by Victorian-based Tasmanian reinsman Alex Ashwood. The Youngbloods Challenge series is open to all Tasmanian drivers who are aged under 23 years at the start of the 2013-14 season. Tasracing has selected 10 drivers to contest the series, Alex Ashwood, Nicholas Brockman, Duncan Dornauf, Dylan Ford, Samantha Freeman, Lyarna Graham, Braden Howlett, Justin Howlett, Matthew Howlett and Brady Woods with Taylor Ford the emergency. In races where there are less than 10 starters those drivers whop do not gain a drive will be awarded six points in accordance with the rules of the series. The final two heats will be run in Launceston on Sunday night. By Peter Staples
Duncan Dornauf and Dylan Ford share the lead after the first two rounds of the Tasmanian Youngbloods Challenge that began at the Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. The Youngbloods series is for drivers under the age of 23 at the start of the 2013-14 racing season and it has been sponsored by Bullock Consulting for the past 14 years. Dornauf won the opening heat aboard long odds-on favourite Ramplestiltskin for Beauty Point trainer Rohan Hillier with the remaining heat taken out by Ford aboard Ektoras for the Barrie Rattray stable. They both finished fourth in their other heats. Dornauf sent Ramplestiltskin straight to the lead in the opening heat and ensured a solid tempo. The daring tactics paid off with the gelding holding on to score by a narrow margin from I Am Mister Red (Alex Ashwood) with The Matthew Howlett-driver Elsudoku over six metres away third but well in advance of Ford's charge Karoola Town. But Ford made the most of partnering the odds-on favourite in the remaining heat that had only six starters. Ektoras worked hard early from his wide front row draw but eventually found the lead and from there on the end result was never in doubt. Ektoras scored by almost two metres from Helen Wheels (Nicholas Brockman) with Samantha Freeman's charge Cardinal Art only a metre astern. In the case of a race having less than 10 starters in a heat, the drivers who miss a drive will be awarded six points which is in accordance with the rules of the series. The winner is will be determined on a points-score basis with 16 points awarded for first, 12 for second, nine for third, seven for fourth and then a reduction of one point for each subsequent placegetter down to one point for tenth. The Youngbloods series comprises six heats with the next round of heats to be run at Devonport tonight (Monday) and the final two heats will be run in Launceston next Sunday night. Points tally after two heats: 23 - Duncan Dornauf and Dylan Ford. 18 - Alex Ashwood. 16 - Nicholas Brockman. 15 - Matthew Howlett and Samantha Freeman. 10 - Justin Howlett. 9 - Lyarna Graham. 8 - Braden Howlett. 7 - Brady Woods. By Peter Staples
One of Tasmania’s most prominent standardbred owner-breeders Doug McKillop almost heaved a sigh of relief when his lightly raced three-year-old Miley Rose scored her first win in the Botra Stakes (3C0) at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. At her debut in Launceston last month the filly by Four Starzz Shark made an inglorious debut by galloping in the run and she was so erratic she failed to complete the course. Then in Hobart at her only other start she broke in the run and that forced stewards to put her on her last chance on Sunday night. Her trainer Bill Dornauf and her regular driver Duncan Dornauf spend most of the week working on different bits of gear to try and encourage her to stay in her gear. Duncan Dornauf had to forego the drive owing to an injury he sustained during the week resultant of a horse kicking him in the knee. Nathan Ford was booked for the drive and he ensured she was allowed every chance. Ford allowed the filly to work to the front about 1400 metres out and she had no trouble fending off all challengers in the home straight to go on and record a comfortable win over outsider Rampling and the well-backed Chirac. McKillop said the filly had shown a lot of promise but has been a handful for her trainer. “It is so nice to see her do the right thing,” McKillop said. “Her grand-sire is Commandaway and that breed can be a bit touchy.” “That’s why Nathan (Ford) allowed her to run along tonight rather than try and hold her up,” he said. McKillop bred Miley Rose from one of his former talented race mares Terrific Lass that won the 2006 Devonport Cup. Miley Rose is the mare’s third foal. The first, Another Harry, was a trotter and didn’t win in 28 starts while her second foal is Stylish Ruler that has won twice from 26 starts and is now racing in Victoria. Peter Staples
Tenager Matthew Howlett became the youngest novice driver to win a Bullock Consulting Youngbloods Challenge when he partnered the aptly named Deliverthegoods to victory in the final heat of the popular harness racing series at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston last night.
Duncan Dornauf was raised in a harness racing environment so it came as no surprise that he has embarked on a career in the industry. Dornauf is the son of top Tasmanian trainer Bill Dornauf and his wife Sonya and for the past two years he has been working with a couple of the nation's best trainers in Victoria.