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TALENTED harness racing trainer Melissa Maine and her partner, reinsman Gareth Rattray, celebrated a double in Hobart last Sunday night. The duo’s moment came courtesy of impressive wins by Faithful Jet and a first-starter for the stable Notimetothink. The lightly-raced gelding arrived at Maine’s Latrobe stables about five weeks ago having had 19 starts for a win and two placings. But the change of environment and a different training regime appears to have worked wonders for the son of Metropolitan. Rattray urged Notimetothink forward at the start and he had no trouble finding the lead in a C1 Pace over 2090 metres. When Rattray called on Notimetothink to extend in the back straight the last time he forged clear and went on to defeat Angkristy by over 12 metres, with Sir Yoie a close-up third. “The owners that I train for had this horse and he wasn’t getting very good draws or having much luck in his races, so they decided to give him a go with us and we’ve been able to win first-up,” Maine said. “I picked this race out for him knowing that he didn’t have many points and then a good draw (gate three) also helped. “I think he can improve on this run, but how far he can go I’m not quite sure. “We'll play around with him for a bit longer and see what happens.” Faithful Jet produced a strong effort after he was forced to face the breeze outside of the heavily backed favourite Im Dens Boy. Im Dens Boy looked to be travelling well at the bell, but when Rattray applied the pressure nearing the home turn it was obvious those who took the short price about the favourite were about to turn their betting tickets into confetti. “This horse went really well tonight and I'm sure he has turned the corner,” Rattray said. “They thought the leader was a pretty good chance, but my horse sat outside of him and proved to be too good on the night. “We have had a few little problems with him and he’s taken a while to come to hand. “We were hoping he would mature as he got older and that seems to be the case, so he might realise his potential.” Maine and Rattray have spent the last year establishing a training complex at Latrobe that boasts an 800-metre training track and refurbished stabling facilities. PETER STAPLES

IT was a tough night at the office for Tasmanian reinsmen Gareth Rattray and Ricky Duggan who were in South Australia last Saturday night to compete in the inaugural Australian Drivers' Championship at Globe Derby. Duggan was unable to find his way to the podium from drives in each of the six championship races but his charges were all outsiders with all but one starting from the second row. The other drew near the outside of the front row (six). Rattray made the most of his one good draw (barrier one) when triumphant aboard race favourite Winterfeel ($2) but he also managed to snare a second placing aboard 100-1 chance Nothingmuch. The series was designed to give drivers the opportunity to compete with the view of being selected to represent Australia at the World Driving Championships in Sydney next year. Drivers from other states were Grant Dixon and Peter McMullen (Qld), Blake Fitzpatrick and Amanda Turnbull (NSW), Chris Alford and Greg Sugars (Vic), David Harding and Ryan Hryhorec (SA) and Gary Hall junior and Chris Voak (WA). The drivers accumulated points across the six race series with performances factored into the selection of the drivers to represent Australia next year. Duggan and Rattray also had drives in two races that were not a part of the championship series in which Rattray secured a second and a fourth while Duggan finished fourth in the race in which Rattray finished second. Harness Racing Australia will announce soon the names of the drivers to represent Australia. PETER STAPLES

It is rare for star harness racing driver Gareth Rattray to salute as he scores with an outsider, but that’s how the Pack And Send Pace panned out at Hobart tonight. Rattray’s elated state was the result of La Ebony Kita’s success after the four-year-old finished stoutly to beat Blitzemgamble and Barooza over 2090 metres. The Ivan Belbin-trained mare has been plagued by injuries and illness almost from the day she came into work as a yearling. By Artistic Fella from La Nikita, La Ebony Kita’s problems began after she had a fall as a two-year-old and opened both knees in the training track mishap. “When she came into work as a two-year-old I was confident she would be very good against the best but everything went wrong,” Belbin said. “She opened both knees up twice in track accidents and then she got foot ulcers that took forever to heal.” Off the scene for 15 months, La Ebony Kita returned to racing last August with an inglorious tail of the field finish at Hobart. She then lifted her game at her subsequent outing when third at the same venue, with Belbin confident a win wasn’t far away. “I put Gareth on tonight and he drove her a treat,” Belbin said. “Gareth used to drive her mother and he says this mare has some of her mother’s old traits. “This mare hangs in when she gets tired just like her mum, but she also has her dam’s good turn of foot and I reckon that’s going to allow her to win more races.” La Ebony Kita’s maiden victory came at her fifth start, having made her debut in April 2013.          PETER STAPLES

Top Tasmanian harness racing drivers Ricky Duggan and Gareth Rattray will represent Tasmania in the inaugural Australian Driving Championship. The pair will be among 12 of the nation’s best drivers competing for the title of Australia’s Top Driver in South Australia on October 18. Each state will select two representatives. Just last weekend Duggan was announced the Halwes Medal winner – Tasmania’s highest individual honour. Duggan polled 66 votes – including five at the final meeting of the season - to edge out defending champion Rattray on 63. Rattray was also successful in 2012. Tasracing chief executive Eliot Forbes is confident Duggan and Rattray will perform on the other side of Bass Strait. “Gareth has won the past nine Tasmanian driving premierships, while Ricky has won more feature races than any current driver,” Forbes said. “Ricky also has 1303 wins and is fourth on the all-time list.” Rohan Hiller, who finished second in the driving premiership in 2011/12 and 2012/13, is the emergency. PAUL COURTS

At the end of June dual Halwes Medalist Gareth Rattray held a slender three point lead over Ricky Duggan in the race for the 2014 Halwes Medal. At the end of June, Rattray had 58 votes from Duggan on 55 with Todd Rattray in third place on 45. The top ten also includes Barrie Rattray (34), Nathan Ford (32), Rohan Hillier (27), Juanita McKenzie (23), Dylan Ford (21), Craig Hayes (21) and Zeke Slater (21). As Gareth Rattray has been sidelined for the past six weeks owing to a necessity to have major surgery, the voting for the Halwes Medal promises to be very interesting up to the final meeting of the season last Sunday night. The Halwes Medal is sponsored by BOTRA Tasmania and Jamie Cockshutt. The award recognises excellence in horsemanship and operates under the following format: A panel of nine members is rostered to vote throughout the harness season (September 2013 to August 2014). Panel members are Jamie Cockshutt, Peter Cooley, Greg Mansfield, Kevin Neilson, Matt Robertson, David Sales, Damien Seaton, Peter Staples and Shane Yates. A panel member votes on each meeting and has 10 votes to allocate. The 10 votes can be allocated at the panel member's discretion with a maximum of five votes for any trainer or driver. Only Tasmanian registered licensed persons are eligible to receive votes.   Halwes Medal votes for the last 13 meetings (July and August) will be announced at the Tasracing Harness Awards Dinner at Country Club Tasmania, Launceston on Saturday 13 September.   The BOTRA Young Achiever Award is run in conjunction with the Halwes Medal and is restricted to licensed persons aged 24 or under as at 1 September 2013. Dylan Ford leads with 21 votes followed by Nick Brockman (19), Duncan Dornauf (11), Lyarna Graham (11), Matthew Howlett (9), Tim Yole (6) and Brady Woods (5).   Halwes Medal votes to 1 July 2014 are: 58 Gareth Rattray 55 Ricky Duggan 45 Todd Rattray 34 Barrie Rattray 32 Nathan Ford 27 Rohan Hillier 23 Juanita McKenzie 21 Dylan Ford 21 Craig Hayes 21 Zeke Slater 19 Nick Brockman 16 Adrian Duggan, Dick Eaves, Grant Hodges 15 Troy Hillier 13 Steve Davis, Andrew Rawlings 11 Duncan Dornauf, Lyarna Graham 10 Paul Ashwood, John Walters, 9 Matthew Howlett 8 Kate Macleod 7 Justin Campbell, Erin Hollaway, Heath Szczypka, 6 Adrian Collins, Rohan Hadley, Brooke Hammond, Tim Maine, Zane Medhurst, Tim Yole 5 Chris Howlett, David Mace, Kent Rattray, Christian Salter, Andrew Thornton, Brady Woods, Ben Yole, Mark Yole 4 Rod Ashwood, Kevin Denny, Matthew Dwyer, Natalee Emery, Sam Freeman, Brian Mackrill, Paul Medhurst, Ben Rossendell, Wayne Watson, Roger Whitmore, Paul Williams 3 Shelley Barnes, Eric Blomquist, Mark Butler, Taylor Ford, Paul Hill, Braden Howlett, James Johnson, Geoff Smith, Keith Toulmin, Campbell Watt, Scott Woods 2 James Austin, Daryl Bates, Roger Brown, Rod Burgess, John Castles, Mike Castles, Michael Dornauf, Kevin Gillies, Kristy Grant, Eric Jacobson, Steve Lukac, Melissa Maine, Brent Parish, Greg Scott, Damien Spring, Chris Viney, Bradley Walters, Allister Woods, Clinton Woods, Robert Woods 1 Jim Allen, Andrew Arnott, Chris Aylett, Phillip Aylett, Barry Close, Bill Dornauf, Leigh Dornauf, David Dwyer, Robert Gillie, Max Hadley, Cleone Hill, Justin Howlett, Max Jacobson, Brett Jaffray, Geoff Madden, Clayton Miller, Ben Parker, Nick Perotti, Phil Rawnsley, Brian Stanley, Ian Swain, Lindsay Tatnell. Peter Staples

TALENTED harness racing trainer-driver Justin Campbell prepared his first treble on the Launceston circuit in 12 years when he dominated at yesterday's rescheduled Launceston Pacing Club meeting. Campbell won aboard John Snow and Damitsam that he also trains and he opened his account for the day aboard the Steve Lucak-trained Stoner Rainbow. It was almost 12 years to the day that Campbell prepared his first treble in Launceston with Really Mal, Itsalongwalkhome and General Kiev. However that trio gave Campbell a record that might never be equaled. The same three horses won at three consecutive meetings in Tasmania in August 2002. "Itsalongwalkhome, Really Mal and General Kiev won at two consecutive meetings at the old Hobart Showground and again at Mowbray so it was a fairly unique effort,' Campbell said. Campbell's treble on Tuesday also had an omen-like tint to it as one of the races he won 12 years ago was the Gareth Rattray Stakes and yesterday Damitsam won the Get Well Gareth Rattray Stakes. "Had we had the information before the meeting started we might have had a little something all-up especially on the Gareth Rattray Stakes won by Damitsam," Campbell said. Campbell said the circumstances surrounding yesterday's meeting - originally scheduled for last Sunday but postponed because of the state of the track caused by heavy rain, meant his horses hadn't been hoppled for eight days. "A lot can be said for not hoppling the horses for eight days because they all ran really well," he said. Campbell was full of praise for his two-year-old John Snow, named after a character from the pay TV show Game of Thrones, but he was particularly impressed with the win of Damitsam. "I just love this horse (Damitsam) because he tries his guts out every time he comes to the races," he said. Peter Staples

Champion Tasmanian reinsman Gareth Rattray  is expected to return to race driving next month following major surgery. Rattray has been sidelined for almost a month after having an operation to relieve recurring headaches. He was heading for a record season in the sulky notching 95 wins up until July 20 so he had his record of 115 wins that he recorded in 2009-10 well and truly in his sights. Rattray's other 100-plus season was in 2007-08 when he drove 113 winners. He left hospital last week and is taking it easy at home with partner Melissa Maine who said he was "getting better but still not doing a lot". "He might start driving trackwork again in a week or so and is aiming to be back driving at the first race meeting of the new season (September 7)," Maine said. Rattray will still win the driver's premiership which will give him his ninth title in succession. Peter Staples

TALENTED Tasmanian harness racing trainer Heath Szczypka pretty much heaved a sigh of relief when his eight-year-old gelding Rorybeebellows scored a game win in division one of the Iris Computing pace over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart tonight. With premier reinsman Gareth Rattray aboard, Rorybeebellows settled near the rear of the field from his inside second-row draw and had to be content to remain there until well into the back straight the last time. Blitzemgamble (Justin Campbell) led from gate two while the odds-on favourite Supa Sunshine ($1.90) was eased to take the trail from the pole position by driver Mark Yole. The driver of Billy Khan, James Austin, was caught three-wide at the back so instead of easing out he pushed forward to set his charge a task facing the breeze. Billy Khan edged clear of the leader 500 metres out but when they straightened for the run home Blitzemgamble (Partywiththebigdogs-Tuatahi Classic) regained the lead but he was unable to hold out Rorybeebellows. Listen to what trainer Heath Szczypka had to say about the win of Rorybeebellows. By Peter Staples

TOP class Tasmanian reinsman Rohan Hillier has been enjoying life in the fast lane of late with his association with the Dick Eaves-trained star filly Barynya that won her way onto the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series in Victoria last Friday night. Back home in Launceston two nights later he was back in the winner's circle, this time aboard his own three-year-old Chopstix Boris that caused a major upset to win the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes. It was a hot field and one that would not be out of place in any feature three-year-old race around the country. Resurgent Spirit was sent out favourite ($3.80) but there was plenty of smart money for Estevao ($4), Rusty Red Comet ($4.60) and the in-form Vande Velde ($5.10) with Chopstix Boris getting into $11.80 after touching $16 midway through betting. Estevao (Gareth Rattray) was able to hold the lead but when Resurgent Spirit was unable to find a spot with cover from his outside front-row draw driver James Austin had no option but to go forward and park outside of the leader. Chopstix Boris settled near last in the one-out line with Vande Velde at the rear on his back. Estevao looked set to steal the race when Rattray urged him to extend turning for home but his lesser fancied stablemate Ektoras that had trailed the leader throughout, came off the fence to challenge and looked set to win. But that's when the tailenders started to swoop and so fast did Chopstix Boris finish he swamped the leaders close to home to score by almost a metre from Ektoras with Estevao a half-head away third. It was a masterful drive and a brilliant performance by the gelded son of Jeremes Jet from Flo Jo Fernandez that won the 2001 bandbox Stakes for 3YO fillies. Chopstix Boris is owned and raced by Hillier in partnership with his wife Katrina and two of the driver's mates Danny Bennett and Andrew Baxter. He was originally trained by Hillier who opted to send the gelding to Paul Ashwood to train. "He was working well for Rohan but not producing his best on race day and Rohan thought a change of environment would suit him so he sent him to me," Ashwood said. "Tonight he showed what he could do, although I wasn't that confident with the slow early pace," he said. Resurgent Spirit ($3.80) battled away in the home straight to finish sixth for what was his first time out of a place in 17 starts. By 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    

QUALITY Tasmanian pacing mare Tessanzo made a huge impression at her interstate debut at Tabcorp Park Melton last Friday night. Tessanzo lined up in a $16,000 heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship over 2240 metres and while she was without her regular driver Gareth Rattray the Melissa Maine-trained five-year-old toyed with her rivals scoring by over six metres and clocked a slick mile rate of 1.56.9, running home her last half mile (800m) in 56.6 sec. With the exception of a sixth at her start prior to leaving the state, Tessanzo went into the Melton race with good form comprising two wins and three seconds at her five previous outings. Rattray was meant to drive the mare but when his flight out of Launceston was delayed slightly and he encountered a traffic jam on the way to the track he had to be replaced in the sulky by Chris Alford. Rattray arrived at the track just in time to see the start of the race but the end result helped ease the pain of missing the drive. Tessanzo joined Maine's stable in November last year and has since won three and been placed six times from 13 starts. Tessanzo won the first race ever held on the synthetic surface at Spreyton Park in Devonport in July 2012 and soon after her then trainer Rod Burgess declared she had the ability to go right through t open class. Tessanzo will line up in the $30,000 final at Melton on Friday night and Rattray is expected to be reunited with the mare. By Peter Staples

LIGHTLY raced pacing filly Fawzia delivered the goods in the fillies' division final of the Big Park Sweepstakes in Hobart on Sunday night. With Todd Rattray in the cart the filly trailed the leader for most of the 1609-metre journey before easing out in the home straight to stake her claim. The leader and race favourite Jokers Wild Card looked to be travelling well nearing the home turn but when her driver Gareth Rattray released the deafeners and went for home it opened the door for Fawzia to issue her challenge. Fawzia moved alongside Jokers Wild Card and eventually gained the upper hand with the judges winning margin 1-1/4 metres on the line. Jokers Wild Card battled gamely while Grace Campbell (Adrian Duggan) worked home nicely for third but over five metres astern. Fawzia (x Sportswriter) is trained by Barrie Rattray who also bred the filly from his former handy race mare Public Persecution that probably never realised her full potential because of her attitude to racing. Rattray said Fawzia also has attitude but thankfully not as many unsuitable traits as her mother. Listen to the audio above to what driver Todd Rattray had to say about Fawzia's win. Peter Staples

UNBEATEN Tasmanian two-year-old pacer Jerrys Jet stamped himself as a genuine star when he stormed home to win the $17,000 Big Park Stud Sweepstakes final for colts and geldings at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. It was one of the best performances seen on the Hobart circuit and clearly the best of his age group. Jerrys Jet was worse than midfield in the three-wide train in the back straight the last time and he was still near last and five-wide turning for home. The leader Mister Lennox (Gareth Rattray) kicked clear at the top of the straight and looked to have a winning break but Boasson Hagen and Jerrys Jet knuckled down to their task at the business end of the race. Boasson Hagen (Christian Salter) began his move three-wide at the bell and he was responsible for keeping Jerrys Jet in a pocket when the favourite was trying to get into the three-wide line. Boasson Hagen (Art Major-Allsorosie) was first to issue a serious challenge to the leader in the straight and he looked set to win close to home until Jerrys Jet arrived on the scene to snatch victory in the very last stride. Jerrys Jet (Jeremes Jet-Laagirl) is trained by Paul Hill and owned by his breeders Charlie and Connie Beadman. The win kept Jerrys Jet's unbeaten record from four starts intact and both trainer and owners were ecstatic after the race. The gelding scored by a short half-head with Boasson Hagen and New Zealand-bred Mister Lennox (Changeover-Tuapeka Osprey) dead-heating for second but a protest lodged by Salter claiming interference in the home straight was upheld giving Boasson Hagen outright second place. Jerrys Jet will have a couple of days off and is likely to resume racing in a heat of the Dandy Patch sires stakes series in Hobart next month with the final on July 6. Listen to what trainer Paul Hill and owner-breeder Charlie Beadman had to say about Jerrys Jet's Sweepstakes win. By Peter Staples    

CALL THE MARSHALL gave an indication that he will be competitive in next Sunday's $40,000 Easter Cup final with an impressive all-the-way win in his heat over 2698 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight (Sunday). With leading reinsman Gareth Rattray in the sulky, Call The Marshall ($2.90) stepped brilliantly from gate four to find the lead and he was never headed on his way to a comfortable win over the heavily backed Dapper Dana ($2.05 fav) with Falco Peregrinus ($8.50) doing his best work over the concluding stages for a close-up third. Call The Marshall was coming off a win over last year's Easter Cup winner Biggernbettermax in a discretionary handicap in Launceston but this latest victory was even more impressive. The other heat was taken out by the Dick Eaves-trained mare Arts Bliss that also led all the way but at the sweet odds of $13. Arts Bliss has been a consistent mare in lower grades but eaves has said all along that he was keen to get her to the Easter Cup because she is tough and that she was just starting to deliver in her races. The mare by Blissfull Hall from Arts Darling (x Perfect Art) won the Scottsdale Cup in January and followed up with a game win in a discretionary handicap in Launceston about four weeks later. She went into this race on the back of a game second in the Sylvan Lass over 2090 metres in Hobart behind Dapper Dana. Arts Bliss held on to defeat dead-heaters Our Chain of Command and back marker (off 40m) Motu Crusader. But the biggest run in the race was that of fourth-placed Saab Quality that missed the start at least 60 metres. The Daryl Bates-trained gelding made up the lost ground and crept along the rails once he tacked on and when driver John Walters called on him for an effort in the home straight he flashed home along the rails to finish fourth. The $40,000 Examiner Easter Cup will be run over 2698 metres in Launceston next Sunday night (Easter Sunday). By Peter Staples

PROMINENT Tasmanian harness racing owners Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper have never been shy about spending a decent amount on horseflesh from New Zealand and it looks as if another of their purchases will at least pay his way. Something Eyre (Ohoka Arizona-Glentara) faced the breeze for most of the race in Hobart last Sunday night but made light of the task to go on and score a comfortable win in a 3C0-3C1 over 2090 metres. Lade Elaine made full use of the pole position to lead and with Gareth Rattray aboard she set a solid tempo in front while Ricky Duggan allowed Something Eyre to sit three-wide early as he gradually made his way to the spot outside of the leader. Duggan didn't allow his charge to eyeball the leader until he wanted to apply the pressure about 500 metres from home. By doing this he ensured the favourite Soho Wonder, that trailed the leader, was kept in a zip-fastener pocket until well into the home straight. It proved to be the winning move. Something Eyre forged clear 200 metres out and he had a big enough break to stave off Soho Wonder that flashed home late to go down by only a half-neck with the leader Lady Elaine clinging to third spot three metres away. It was Something Eyre's second win from only four starts in Tasmania but it was clearly his best effort. Duggan was impressed with the performance and believes the gelded son of Ohoka Arizona has a bright future. Listen to what driver Ricky Duggan had to say about Something Eyre's latest performance. By Peter Staples

The first Australian crop of Cam’s Card Shark harness racing stallion Million Dollar Cam have been making quite a big impression in Australia of late and that was highlighted by the two Bathurst Gold Tiara heat winners that the former Little Brown Jug winner sired yesterday. The first of those two winners was the Gareth Rattray trained Karalta Impulse, who made it two wins from four starts when leading all of the way to win the second heat of the series, while Amaretto (Ashlee Siejka) remained unbeaten when winning the sixth heat in emphatic style. Interestingly, both of Million Dollar Cam’s Tiara Gold heat winners are out of mares from the Direct Scooter line. The other Bathurst Tiara Gold heat winners were: Makes Every Scents (Four Starzzz Shark), Looks Look Heaven (Lombo Mandingo), Sally Fletcher (American Ideal), and Bamako Mali (Art Major). Million Dollar Cam, who took a record of 1:50.2 at 3 years and won almost $970,000 in stakes, has a foal crop of only 60 and already 14 have started and three have won and a further six have been placed. With 14 starters from 60 foals, Million Dollar Cam is off to a sensational start, being the leading NSW first-season percentage sire in that category, while he ranks second on a winners-to-foals percentage basis, according to the Harness Racing Australia computer on March 17. In North America, Million Dollar Cam’s stock has earned more than $20-million to date and he has sired seven in the 1:50 list. Million Dollar Cam stands at Yirribee Stud in Wagga. By Mitchell Robertson Makes Every Scents Karalta Impulse   Looks Like Heaven Sally Fletcher Bamako Mali Armaretto

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