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Star Tasmanian reinsman Gareth Rattray wrapped up another great season by winning the Tasmanian harness racing driver's premiership but this latest crown was special. Despite missing the first two months of the season through illness Rattray powered his way to the lead mid-season and a treble at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night gave him 100 wins for the season. His treble came courtesy of Fioki winning a C2-C3 over 2090 metres; rank outsider Cardinal Eddy scoring in a nail-biting finish in a 3C1-C0 and he finished with a heady drive to win aboard the Matthew Dwyer-trained Original Art in a C4-C5 . It was the third time he has reached the magical century of winners and this latest title is his 10th in succession. To say Rattray has dominated this past decade would be an understatement with his feats so far ranking him amongst the greatest drivers of all time. The first time he topped the century was in the 2007-08 season when he drove 113 winners but two seasons later he bettered that by snaring 115. His father Barrie also achieved the feat three times driving a state record 118 winners during the 1989-90 season; 100 in 1995-96 and 109 the following season. The father and son are the only two to reach the 100 milestone in Tasmania's driving ranks. This season Gareth passed another milestone of reaching the 1000 winners mark and he now sits fifth on the all-time list with 1040 winners but he still has a way to go to catch his father who has amassed 1566 winners and is still driving competitively. Ricky Duggan had another good season in the caret to end with 68 winners to take his career tally to 1370 to take over second place on the al-time list from Neville Webberley (1369). All-time driver's record: Barrie Rattray          1566 Ricky Duggan          1370 Neville Webberley   1369 Darrell Alexander    1315 Gareth Rattray          1040 Scott Ford                    891 Jack Stamford             848 Rohan Hadley            794 Don Peck                     661 Mark Stanley               638 Terry Knowles             572 Tony Petersen            569 Len Moriarty                556 Terry Peck                   556 Ken Austin                   551 Webb Jones                544 Hec Baker                    516 Meanwhile Beauty Point horseman Rohan Hillier captured his first trainer's premiership ending the season with 43 winners from only 100 starters which must rank as one of the best strike rates of all time. Hillier finished ahead of Barrie Rattray (41) and Juanita McKenzie (37) who won her fourth female trainer's title ahead of Melissa Maine (33). McKenzie and Maine proved beyond doubt that they can hold their own amongst the male trainers. Dylan Ford was the leading junior driver finishing with 34 wins for what was his third consecutive title while his younger sister Tayla Ford and Wade Rattray dead-heated for second with 16 wins apiece. However Ford was a clear winner in the female driver award winning from Natalee Emery (12) and Erin Hollaway (11). Peter Staples

Well-bred two-year-old pacer Kvitova Leis will head to the spelling paddock this week with her confidence high following an impressive win in a 2C0-2C1 over 1609 metres last nigh at the harness racing meeting at Ubet Park, Hobart. The Barrie Rattray-trained filly was sent around the field from last to find the front a lap from home and went on to score by almost seven metres from first-starter Reason To Grin with the well-backed Shadow Blue two metres away third. "This filly has done a good job winning two of only four starts but we'll turn her out for a break and hopefully she will come back and be very competitive in some of the feature three-year-old races," Rattray said. Kvitova Leis (Bettors Delight-Levina Leis) won in Hobart two starts back after her debut second at the same venue to suggest she might have a future. The Trevor and Marjorie Leis-owned and bred filly has improved at each outing. Rattray ended the meeting with a double courtesy of Devendra scoring another impressive win. Devendra won in Hobart two starts back but this latest victory proved he is back to his best. Rattray said a virus that swept through his stable had led to a lean time for a few months. "The virus cost the stable and to be honest we've had a horrid season compared to what we normally experience," he said. "But the horses are starting to come good and that has been evident with us producing a few winners of late," he said. Rattray was delighted with the run of his former Devonport Cup winner Devendra that scored impressively win in the The Warp Drive FFA over 2090 metres. Devendra began brilliantly from the outside barrier (7) to cross and lead and once in front driver Gareth Rattray rated the five-year-old well. The leader was pressured by All I Can Be for the last lap but when Rattray gave his charge more rein turning for home the gelding sped clear and had almost 12 metres to spare over Motu Crusader with Jukebox Magic flashing home from well back to grab third 3-1/2 metres away. Devendra produced a mile rate of 1.58.3 on a heavy track and ran home his last 800m in 57.4. Peter Staples

Ricky Duggan might have to be content with finishing second on this season's driver's premiership but he managed to reduce the margin on Gareth Rattray by two at the harness racing meeting at  UBET Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Duggan drove a treble at the meeting starting with Tales of the City for Tony Petersen that was forced to go back from his wide draw (6) but had enough on his rivals to forge clear over the concluding stages to defeat Fortino with a triple dead-heat for third comprising Glamour Art, Cemento Rapido and Master Paige. Duggan then combined with trainer Juanita McKenzie to win aboard quality mare Queens Advocate and the much improved No Undies Sundie. Queens Advocate has won her past five starts and is unbeaten only once in seven outings since joining McKenzie's stable. The former New Zealand mare has now had 39 starts for nine wins and eight minor placings and if she continues to improve as McKenzie expects then she could shape as a contender for the feature mares' races over the Christmas-New Year period including the George Johnson. She has been well placed by McKenzie who has a good opinion of the four-year-old by McArdle from Genes West(NZ). No Undies Sunday has been quietly going about her business with this latest win her third from 10 starts and she also has notched three minor placings. The treble took Duggan's season tally to 65 but still 25 off Rattray who is attempting to make it to 100 winners. Rattray kept his hopes of notching 100 winning drives alive by winning aboard Our Percius in the Time Stands Still Pace (division 1) over 2090 metres. With four meetings remaining Rattray will need to be at his brilliant best in the cart to achieve the feat. Peter Staples

Star Tasmanian pacer Mister Lennox proved he has lost none of the magic that secured him the Tasmanian Derby earlier this year with an emphatic first-up win in the Ardstraw Pace over 2090 metres at the harness racing meeting at UBET Park Hobart last night. Mister Lennox was having his first start since winning the Derby in March and while he started at the prohibitive odds of $1.30 he endured a tough run to emerge triumphant. With Ricky Duggan aboard, Mister Lennox was taken back to last from his outside front-row draw but when the leader La Ebony Kita (Gareth Rattray) slowed the tempo with a lap to go Duggan sent his charge burning around the field to face the breeze. Duggan was content to allow his charge to race outside of the leader for as long as required but when Belliciouslips (Rodney Ashwood) unleashed a powerful sprint from near last at the 5000-metre peg to join the leaders turning for home. Mister Lennox was in for a battle and Duggan knew it and the pair drew clear of the field to engage in a two-horse war. Mister Lennox was likely to be vulnerable first-up but the Juanita McKenzie-trained three-year-old was up to the challenge and drew clear over the concluding stages to go on and score comfortably from Belliciouslips with outsider Jodila rattling home to grab third. Mister Lennox has won seven of eight starts this season and is the favourite to take out the three-year-old of the year title. Peter Staples

Evergreen harness racing pacer Motu Crusader continued his winning streak by capturing his third win in succession in the $10,000 Plunkett Family Ascot Gold Cup over 2579 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Motu Crusader was the sole handicapper off 30 metres but the gallant eight-year-old made light of the task. With Gareth Rattray aboard he stepped brilliantly from the standing start and quickly made up ground to tack onto the main body of the field. When Rattray made his move down the back straight the last time he had the leaders in his sights turning for home and then powered up the home straight to score comfortably from Ardlussa Express and Outback Mach. The Zeke Slater-trained Courage Under Fire gelding won the $10,000 Elite in Hobart three starts back and followed up with an impressive win in the $10,000 Golden Mile in Launceston. "That's three feature race wins in a row for this horse so it proves he is definitely back to his best," Slater said. Motu Crusader will attempt to extend his winning sequence in the Brighton Cup in Hobart next Sunday night. Peter Staples

Evergreen pacer Motu Crusader delivered another stellar performance to win the $10,000 Golden Mile (1680m) at the harness racing meeting at the UBET Racing Centre Launceston on Sunday night.   With champion reinsman Gareth Rattray aboard, Motu Crusader enjoyed a cost run in the one-out-two back position while his main dander Something Eyre was forced to face the breeze outside of the leader Run Ripalong.   When Rattray eased Moto Crusader three-wide to start his run at the bell the eight-year-old edged his way to the leaders and when Rattray called on his horse for the big effort he stormed past Something Eyre and went on to defeat that horse comfortably.   “He was going to win the race a long way from home,” Rattray said.   “When he settled where he did and our only real danger was parked outside the leader, I couldn’t have been happier,” he said.   Moto Crusader went into the race on the back of another impressive win with this latest victory his fifth with Rattray in the sulky.   Rattray’s biggest win aboard Motu Crusader was in the 2013 Tasmania Cup in Hobart.   “At his best he’s just too good for the local horses here in Tassie.”   “And this win is what we should have expected because he is an M9 horse going around against M0 and M1s,” he said.   Motu Crusader has started 75 times for 25 wins and 21 minor placings for $344,273 in stakes.   Peter Staples

Faithful Gabby’s emphatic win in last night’s $30,000 Granny Smith Stakes was a gratifying result for multiple premiership-winning driver Gareth Rattray and his partner-trainer Melissa Maine. Faithful Gabby started a short-price favourite against top opposition, but once she rolled to the front early in the race, it was always going to be a matter of ‘how far’. The daughter of American Ideal scored by 23-and-a-half metres from Jane Grant, with Pharaohs Wrath a metre away third in 2:03.7 over 2665 metres. The mare has been dominant in everything she has tackled this season and it was just reward for the couple. A year ago Rattray and Maine made a decision to branch out on their own by buying a property at Latrobe and have developed it into a great training complex. “It’s been a long 12 months…for Melissa and I to do this by ourselves makes it very special,” Rattray said. “This is probably the best horse we’ve trained and we’ll now give her a break before we take her interstate. “We’re looking at either the Breeders Crown in Victoria or some mares’ races at Menangle.” Rattray has dominated Tasmania’s driving ranks for the past decade, winning the drivers’ premiership since the 2005-06 season and this year is on target to collect his 10th consecutive title. Maine sits second on the trainers’ premiership table with 25 wins courtesy of a double last night. She is only two behind Rattray’s father, Barrie. Rattray has 72 wins on the board, with his nearest rival Ricky Dugan sitting on 38. PETER STAPLES

Latrobe harness racing trainer Melissa Maine has enjoyed a lot of success in recent timed and that continued in the opening race at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. Young Bruiser, a horse that only arrived in Maine's stale three weeks ago, gained a needle-eye opening about 80 metres from home to get up in the past few strides to defeat race leader and favourite Barooga Minnie ($1.70) in a nail-biting finish. The Cardmaster Hanover three-year-old gelding was well away from the inside of the second row and driver Gareth Rattray had the gelding travelling sweetly on the back of the favourite that led from the pole position. It looked for certain that Young Bruiser would fail to get clear in the home straight but when the leader shifted up the track under pressure in the closing stages Rattray sooled his charge through the gap. "I was happy to be where we were behind the favourite and to be honest I would have been happy had he been able to run a place," Rattray said. "He was travelling keenly and he surprised me a bit the way he travelled in the race and when the gap came he really dashed up nice and hit the line strong." "On that run you would have to say he has improvement in him so I think his future looks bright," Rattray said. Young Bruiser was backed late in betting firming from $9 to $6.50 on fixed odds with Tattsbet and he also shortened considerably on the Tote into $7.80 while the favourite tumbled in from $2.10 just prior to race start time into $1.70. The winner ran the 2200 metres in 2.48.7 and recorded a mile rate of 2.03.1. Peter Staples

Star Tasmanian harness racing participant Gareth Rattray reached a great milestone in Launceston last night where he notched his 1000th win. Rattray ended the program with a double to expand to take his season total to 59 wins. It was Holme On The Bayou which provided Rattray with the magical milestone. Reaching such a mark at the age of 29 is quite a remarkable feat and it is clear Rattray is already is one of the greatest Tasmanian reinsmen. Last December, Queenslander Peter McMullen became the youngest Australian driver to record 1000 wins when successful behind Ezi Days at Albion Park. McMullen was 23 years, four months, and 18 days old. Popular reinswoman Amanda Turnbull set the previous mark when she partnered Forever Texas to glory at Peak Hill last June. Turnbull was 24 years and 4 months, which bettered Morgan Woodley 24 years and eight months. Others to reach 1000 wins at a young age include Luke McCarthy (25 years, one month and two days), Kerryn Manning (25 years, eight months and seven days), Gary Hall junior (26 years, seven months and 17 days) and Greg Sugars (26 years, eight months and seven days). As for Rattray, he is just the fifth Tasmanian to achieve the feat – the others being is father Barrie Rattray (1567 wins), Neville Webberley (1369), Ricky Duggan (1332) and the late Darrel Alexander (1315). Rattray is on target to win his 10th consecutive drivers’ premiership given he is 25 clear of his nearest rival Ricky Duggan. Rattray, twin to Inter Dominion winning horseman James, began driving in 2001, and after winning his first driver’s premiership in 2005/06, has dominated the state’s driving ranks. If he wins this season’s drivers’ title he will be only three premierships behind the great Jack Stamford. Gareth’s father Barrie won 11, while Neville Webberley and Bert Lewis each won seven. Along the way Rattray has represented Tasmania on numerous occasions, winning the Australasian Young Driver’s Championship twice. He also represented Australia at the World Driving Championships in Europe in 2009. Rattray is no stranger to winning feature races with the following just a few of his major successes:  •Tasmania Cup 2012 (Motu Crusader) and 2013 (Motu Crusader). •Tasmanian Derby 2015 (Mister Lennox). •Hobart Pacing Cup 2005 (The Grouse), 2009 (Yakuza), 2013 (Benediction) and 2014 (Spot Nine). •Evicus Stakes (2YO fillies) 2008 (Karalta Crown) and 2010 (Benediction). •Dandy Patch (2YO colts and geldings) 2008 (Cody Maverick). •Globe Derby (3YO) Stakes 2011 (Beautide). •Raider Stakes (4YO) 2010 (Babyitsu). •Granny Smith (4YO Mares) 2007 (Death and Taxes). •2YO Sweepstakes 2010  (Benediction), 2011 (Cloudy Delight) and 2012 (Pachacuti). PETER STAPLES

James Rattray, trainer of star Tasmanian-owned and bred pacer Beautide, yesterday confirmed the gelding has been passed fit to proceed with his campaign to defend the harness racing  Inter Dominion title he won at Menangle last year. Beautide was unplaced in last Saturday night's Victoria Cup at Melton after which stewards stood the pacer down while stating he was making a roaring noise which suggested he may have a respiratory problem. Beautide underwent a veterinarians examination yesterday and he was given a clean bill of health. "I thought the horse ran a great race, and to be honest, I was a little bemused as to why it was suggested he may have a respiratory problem, but I accepted what the stewards said and we had a vet go right over him today," Rattray said. "The vet couldn't find anything wrong with him and gave him the all clear so we are able to proceed with plans to run in a heat of the Inter Dominion at Menangle on Saturday week." Beautide had not started since finishing second to Christen Me in the Miracle Mile at Menangle last November. Rattray stated he is far from disappointed with Beautide's effort in the Victoria Cup. "He hadn't raced for over two months and he worked three-wide with no cover for some fair part of the race and he was coming again over the concluding stages," Rattray said. "He is a much better horse on the Menangle track, which is bigger and has a different surface to Melton, so back there I expect him to be spot on for his Inter heat." Peter Staples

Almost two years ago harness racing owner Malcolm Campbell and his son Justin's life partner Maree Fasoli attended the 2013 Tasmanian Standardbred yearling sale in Launceston with the hope of buying a pacer that would race at two. They ended up buying a filly for a modest $2000 and had no idea whether it would develop into the horse of their dreams. On the way home they stopped at Campbell Town because they were really thirsty and it was then that they agreed to name the filly Really Thirsty. With no transport arranged for the yearling to be taken fmro the sale yard they accepted an offer from Gareth Rattray to deliver the filly to the Hobart harness meeting the following night and it was there that Justin Campbell, the filly's designated trainer, caught first sight of her. He admits to not being pleased with what he saw and the first year of training resulted in multiple disappointments for both trainer and owners. But the perseverance factor kicked in and in Hobart last night Really Thirsty delivered a stellar performance to win a heat of the Allen Williams Memorial series at only her third start. She did enough at her first two starts for minor placings to suggest she had a future and punters were keen to back her into near favoritism ($4) on the strength of those two previous efforts. Campbell had Really Thirsty well placed in the one-out line but when he sent her three-wide to attack for the lead and found the front turning for home she tried to pull up. But under strong driving the now four-year-old mare regained the lead and powered clear of her rivals over the concluding stages to win comfortably from Kirbyelle and Acey Boy. "To say Really Thirsty is a work in progress would be an understatement," Campbell said. "If you rated a horse's ability based solely on endeavor on the training track she would never have made it to the racetrack." "I think she has just been a slow learner but on tonight's effort she has now shown some ability where it counts." "I'm not saying she will win a lot of races but she definitely has shown vast improvement since she started racing so we are optimistic about her immediate future," he said. Peter Staples

Underrated pacer Ciskei powered his way to an impressive win in the Carrick Cup on Saturday to make it back-to-back wins in the feature race for harness racing premier trainer Barrie Rattray. With trainer's son Todd in the sulky, the Bettors Delight gelding began brilliantly from the standing start to settle outside of the leader and when Gareth Rattray sent his charge Driller Mac around the field to attack for the lead about 1600m out, Todd Rattray urged Ciskei forward tom assume control in front and the pair matched motors to the home turn. Ciskei kicked clear and had enough in reserve to stave off a powerful finish from Whisper Jet (Zeke Slater) to defeat that horse by a nose with the well backed Vande Velde (Christian Salter) a head away third. It was a popular win as Ciskei was well backed to win the New Norfolk Cup on Australia Day but he broke gait at a crucial stage of the race that may have cost him victory. "He's racing very well and should have won the New Norfolk Cup," Rattray said. "He was jogging going down the back straight when I think he got onto his bumpers and broke." "But the Carrick Cup was always his main aim so it's mission accomplished," he said. It was the trainer second success in as many years having won the 2014 edition with Devendra that went on to win the Devonport Cup. Devendra eventually made his way to the James Rattray stable in NSW where he performed brilliantly winning multiple races at Menangle and while Barrie is hopeful that might happen with Ciskei, he isn't counting on it. Peter Staples

Stowport harness racing trainer Andrew Rawlings celebrated his biggest win this season when Musselroe Bay stormed home to capture the Norske Skog New Norfolk Cup over 2950 metres at Kensington Park yesterday. With premier reinsman Gareth Rattray in the cart, the son of Metropolitan settled worse than midfield despite stepping cleanly from his front two, while a hot pace was set by Put Mback, while The Dip faced the breeze ahead of Whisper Jet, which began brilliantly from his 20-metre handicap. It was Rattray’s second New Norfolk Cup win in succession having been successful with Put Mback the previous year. Put Mback started at $31, while Musselroe Bay was more fancied starting at $9. When the tempo quickened at the bell, the back markers struggled to get into the race down the back straight the last time, and turning for home it looked likely the leaders would fight out the finish. But Musselroe Bay emerged from the pack to set sail after the leaders, and once balance at the top of the straight, he powered home to overhaul the leaders close to home to score narrowly from Whisper Jet, Damitsam and The Dip. A big crowd ventured to New Norfolk for the club’s only meeting for the season that boasted seven races, with the Cup and the Ted Plunkett Memorial the features on the card. The Ted Plunkett was won by the David Pennicott-trained Strange Conduct which also was driven by Rattray. Strange Conduct powered home to score by 10 metres from Grinable, with Helen Wheels, which started off a 10-metre handicap, three-and-a-half metres away third. PETER STAPLES

TALENTED Tasmanian harness racing trainer Shelley Barnes celebrated a first at the meeting at Carrick in the North of the state on Friday. Barnes has trained hundreds of winners and driven probably twice as many but when Angel or Demon (Safari-Ima Merry Jasper) led throughout to win the Island Block & Paving pace on debut it gave Barnes her first winner that she bred herself. The four-year-old mare showed great gate speed to easily find the front and when driver Gareth Rattray called on her to extend in the home straight she powered clear and went on to score comfortably from Helenshall and Really Thirsty that flashed home from well back. "She's always shown a bit but has had problems and I was starting to worry that I'd never get her to the races," Barnes said. "They've only been minor injuries but they have meant that she has been in and out of work many times," she said. Barnes was confident the mare could win following an impressive trial win a week earlier and punters also were keen to get on, backing her in to start the $2.20 favourite. While Angel or Demon was impressive the minor placegetters also showed ability and it might not be long before Helenshall and Really Thirsty find their way into the winner's circle. Peter Staples

THE harness racing connections of talented pacer Star Chamber had a change of luck in Launceston last Sunday night when the gelding scored an emphatic win in the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup. It was arguably Star Chamber's best win since arriving in Tasmania just over a year ago and it made up in some way for the horse's disqualification from winning a race at the same venue in October. Star Chamber was first past the post in the Show Cup but was disqualified when stewards deemed the horse had gone inside the marker pegs during the race that also constituted a four-meeting suspension for the horse's trainer-driver Nathan Ford who appealed the severity but lost the appeal. But on Sunday night the state's top reinsman Gareth Rattray was given the re sponsibility in the sulky and he never let connections down. Rattray had Star Chamber was able to enjoy a charmed run in the one-out-one-back position and when Rattray eased his charge three-wide to make his move turning for homer the gelding let down brilliantly to go on and defeat race leader Truly Blissfull with Shanghai Knight running on well to grab third and only a head astern. "Nathan has done a wonderful job with this horse to get him as far as he has," said part-owner Bianca Heenan. Star Chamber had won two races when he arrived in Tasmania but this latest victory was his ninth and Ford has high hopes he can pick up at least one of the country Cup s around Christmas-New Year. Peter Staples

Multiple harness racing premiership winning reinsman Gareth Rattray missed the last two months of the 2013-14 season due to illness, but he has been making up for lost time of late. Rattray registered a treble at Devonport last Thursday night to take his tally to seven wins from three meetings in the space of 10 days. While he was winless in Hobart on Sunday night he managed two minor placings. At Devonport his drive behind Hello Good Shanks for his partner-trainer Melissa Maine was outstanding and testament to why he has won the past eight Tasmanian drivers' premierships. Rattray had Hello Good Shanks settled near the rear of the field from his wide second-row draw and waited for the perfect time to send his charge around the field. Hello Good Shanks rounded up the leaders and burst clear close to home to score impressively from Carly Seelster, while race leader Aventador tired over the concluding stages to finish third. It was a race-to-race double for Rattray who also scored with Jazzy Jane for his uncle Kent Rattray Jazzy Jane showed early brilliance to cross to the front from barrier five, and once in the lead, Rattray dictated the pace to suit and she went on to win convincingly. The trainer was delighted with the win and suggested he might target races at Devonport for the mare in the immediate future. “This mare has been struggling in races in Launceston and Hobart, so we'll probably poke around down here from now on,” Rattray said. “We’ll also look at races on the country circuit over Christmas - New Year.” Jazzy Jane is raced by the trainer’s children Wade (22) and Tori (21). PETER STAPLES

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