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Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill celebrated one of his best nights at the races when his talented two-year-olds Hillview Jake and Chica Bella won their respective 2YO Sweepstakes finals over 1609 metres at UBET Park Hobart last night. Hillview Jake also set a new state mile rate record when he stopped the clock at 1.57.83 which carved six-tenths of a second off the previous best set by Make A Memory in April 2008. And to make it a perfect night Hill's smart filly Chica Bella demolished her opposition to win the Sweepstakes fillies division. "This is a night I'll remember for a long time," Hill said. While Chica Bella was impressive the night belonged to Hillview Jake that settled fourth off a hot pace set by Riley Major and Pockets of Courage with that pair relentless in their pursuit of the lead, clocking a sizzling 26.4 for the first quarter (400m). When the pace slackened at the half-way mark Hillview Jake's driver Gavin Lang seized the opportunity and urged Hillview Jake ($2.70) forward to face the breeze outside of the leader Riley Major ($2.40). Origin Cronk ($14) was poised behind the leader and when Hillview Jake lobbed outside the leader it gave Pockets of Courage ($6.50) much needed cover in the one-out line. Riley Major and Hillview Jake slipped clear nearing the home turn the last time while Duggan eased Origin Cronk off the fence and appeared to have plenty to offer. But when Lang asked Hillview Jake for the supreme effort the gelded son of Cardmaster Hanover dug deep and forged clear and go on and score comfortably from Origin Cronk with Riley Major tiring to finish third ahead of outsider Rockin An Runnin. "This win means a hell of a lot to me for so many reasons," Hill said. "He is such a lovely horse to work with and whatever I ask of him he delivers. He's just a treat to train," he said. Lang said Hillview Jake was the "real deal". "This horse is quite advanced for a two-year-old and he showed me a lot more about himself tonight. He is quite a talent," he said. Chica Bella raced outside of the leader Shadow Blue that set a modest tempo and they cleared out nearing the home turn. But when her driver Ricky Duggan asked for the big effort she responded brilliantly and burst clear to go on and win by seven metres from Shadow Blue with Angelina Rainbow third ahead of Twentythreered. Chica Bella is unbeaten from four starts this preparation and is likely to dominate the remaining fillies features. "The Cardmaster Hanover filly is very smart and while not in the same league as Hillview Jake she is all class," Hill said. Peter Staples

2011 Queen of the Pacific harness arcing champion Life Inthefastlane produced her first winner as a broodmare last night at Tabcorp Park Melton with three-year-old filly Ebonyallstarzzz saluting for John Yeomans and Gavin Lang.   Ebonyallstarzzz, whose sire is obviously Four Starzzz Shark, rated 1:59.1 to win over 1720m in the TAB.com.au 3YO Pace at odds of $3.30, defeating Lils Angel by 7.8m.   Life Inthefastlane is by Life Sign out of Indigenous and won 18 races from 74 starts for $264,566 in stakes.   She defeated Pacific Playgirl by 4.3m in the 2011 Queen of the Pacific to score her maiden Group 1 success, but she had finished third the 2009 Victoria Oaks and the 2009 APG Final on the Gold Coast.   Ebonyallstarzzz’s win was one of two for trainer Yeomans on the night, the stable also successful in the last race, the Del-Re National Food Group Trot over 2240m with homebred Im Havinaball (Presidential Ball/Starlitestarbright) saluting over Trottn The Catwalk.   - HRV Media

Three Victorian harness racing stalwarts shared the spoils at Cranbourne yesterday.   Chris Alford, Gavin Lang and Lance Justice are synonymous with success and yesterday the three horseman were at it again with winning doubles.   Alford kicked off proceedings with a win to his mare Pipe Me Home (Framework USA/ Our Shady Lady) breaking her maiden status with a 2.1-metre victory over Lazy Sunday in the Aldebaran Park Trot (1st Heat) over 2080 metres.   From the pole Pipe Me Home sat behind leader Lazy Sunday in the run before using the sprint lane to gain the spoils in a rate of 2:04.6 at odds of $3.90 at career start No.3 . The $2.80 favourite Jimbo Johnson blew his chances by galloping away at his Australian debut.   Whittlesea trainer Charlie Farrugia combined with driver Darren Pace to land victory in Race 2, the Decron Horse Care Pace, with five-year-old Attorney General/Gay And Bright gelding Major Minor leading all the way in the 2080-metre race for a 2.9m win over Arma Augustus in a rate of 2:02.7.   Favourite punters trying to lift themselves off the canvas after the first were poleaxed again, this time even-money shot Mikoney Courage breaking gear early and having to be pulled up.   Lang’s first winner was also the first leg of a winning double for Smythes Creek trainer Emma Stewart as four-year-old mare Our Petite Soeur (Grinfromeartoear USA/Aluring) scored a 1.6-metre triumph over Partnersinvancelot in the Ade Turf Equipment Pace over 2080m.   Sent out a prohibitive favourite at $1.10, Our Petite Soeur ran to the lead early and was never headed, rating 2:01.9.   Justice’s first leg of a winning double came in Race 4, the Trios After The Last Pace over 2080m with five-year-old JR Mint USA/Higher Calling mare Blacks A Beauty dashing home from barrier two.   The $2.80 shot held off $1.90 favourite Jambiani at the finish and rated 2:00.7, sprinting through her final 800m in 58.2secs after a 62.7secs first half.   Next up the hugely successful Stewart/Lang combo was victorious again in the Seelite Windows & Doors Pace over 2080m, ultra-talented four-year-old entire Major Secret notching his 14th win at start No.26.   The last-start Mark Gurry and Associates Cup winner at Mildura got the job done again, this time by 2.5m over Nowitzki in a mile rate of 1:58.9.   Major Secret (Art Major USA/Secret Life) has now won four of his past five starts and his prize money is zooming towards $300,000.   Justice delivered again in Race 6 with honest five-year-old Extreme Three CA/Sacajawea gelding Jean Baptiste overcoming a back-row draw for a 6.1m over 1609m.   Jean Baptiste defied a betting drift and paid $5.10 as he defeated Liculia and early leader and race favourite Lanista in a rate of 1:58.5.   Alford was back in the winners’ stall after Race 7, the Hyland Sportswear Pace, guiding outsider Mister Rufus (Young Rufus/Exotic Flash) to a 1.9m win over Phil Monty in a rate of 2:02.2.   Trained by Frank Cauchi at Parwan, eight-year-old Mister Rufus put the writing on the wall with a last-start third at Melton but still paid $31.20 today and fattened the quaddie dividend.   Romsey’s Leigh Miles finished the meeting victorious with three-year-old Sportswriter USA/Wemen Wendymae colt Wemen Sporty scoring a 1.1m win over Phantom Rockstar.   Wemen Sporty, driven by Greg Sugars, finished strongly and recorded a 2:02.1 mile rate.   The quaddie paid $2,543.80 and followers of Good Form might be shouting Blake Redden a drink after he landed it at goodform.trot.com.au for a full unit.   - HRV Media

Kerryn Manning and Arden Rooney captured Cup No.4 this season as the former Kiwi gelding scored his seventh straight harness racing win in Saturday night’s Group 2 Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup. The brilliant son of leading sire Bettors Delight, who leads Art Major and Christian Cullen on the national top-20 sires table, ran to the lead inside the 1200m before coming right away for a 16.4-metre success in the 2600m, $50,275 feature. Manning piloted Arden Rooney, who started $1.60, an absolute treat – keeping him out of the early trouble when Hotasel galloped and unsettled the field – before dictating the second quarter (32.2secs) and then sprinting home in 56.4secs (28.5secs and 27.9secs third and fourth splits). The winner rated 1:58.6 – his mile rate second only to Safari's in 2007 in the race's record books. >> Arden Rooney takes out yet another cup Hotasel, driven by Simon Jardine, ran second from his pole draw at $43.20, hitting the line hard in the final 50m. His run was encouraging given he galloped early, while Major Crocker led from two before trailing Arden Rooney and battled on for third at odds of $7.20. Lets Elope ran fourth, Beachstar was brave in fifth and Uncle Wingnut was also courageous after a tough run to finish sixth. Of the beaten brigade Chilli Palmer had no luck in transit, working double-time in the run after getting caught wide around the galloping Hotasel early, while Franco Ledger was also inconvenienced early and failed to run on late. The Tankard Dental Mildura Guineas went to Glenferrie Bunter (Somebeachsomewhere/Laugh Out Loud) for trainer/driver Ryan Hryhorec, who took the colt to the lead early. The winner got away with a 31.3secs first quarter before pacing through the second split in 30.3secs. Glenferrie Bunter upped the tempo significantly down the back, racing well clear with a 28.3secs third stanza, and when he headed down the side it was game over for rivals – the South Australian pacer in a world of his own. Coming home with a 28.7secs final quarter (57secs last half) Glenferrie Bunter scored by 42.9 metres. It felt like an eternity waiting for the second horse to clock in, Big Shot Bob working home at $16 for Greg Sugars, with Riley James also hitting the line strongly for Michael Bellman at $15.10 in third. >> Re-live Glenferrie Bunter's enormous Mildura Guineas win Emma Stewart and Gavin Lang combined to take out the annual Mark Gurry & Associates Cup with four-year-old Art Major entire Major Secret, who defeated runner-up Sapphire Swayze by 4.9 metres. From the pole, Major Secret started $1.30 with the bookies and controlled the race with a winning mile rate of 1:59.9. Ryan Hryhorec took driving honours on Cup night with a winning double courtesy of the abovementioned Guineas triumph and victory on Franck Mercieca-trained Vee Rock – by Universal Rock out of Sands A Flyin Kiwi mare Annie Teaghan – in the Loddon Valley Stud Free-for-All at $13.80. Boris Devcic finished with a training double, Captain Under Fire (Courage Under Fire/Awakemecate) taking out the Mallee Bearings Pace at $6.40 and striking gelding Soho Jagger (Art Major/Chip And Gale) causing a boil-over in the Mildura Working Man’s Club Pace Final over 2190m, winning at $55.20. Other winners were Freds A Safari (by previous Mildura Cup winner and race record holder Safari out of Monaloo) in the DNR Logistics Pace, Barnbougle Jack in the Mildura Rural City Council Pace for Ken Tippett (the gelding by Gotta Go Cullect out of Phoebe Mae), Outback Hall (Blissful Hall out of Stoneridge Connie) for Damian Wilson and Tim Mortlock at $18 in the Sunraysia Daily Pace, and Bettors Delight/Morcheeba five-year-old Angus T Jones for Geoff Webster in the Zilzie Wines Pace. Art Major and Bettors Delight, like they’ve done on numerous prior occasions, shared the breeding honours on the night, each notching a winning double. The Mildura quaddie paid $328.80 (get full TAB results) by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

At his 10th country cup start this season, Road To Rock won his second trophy.   The Keith Cotchin trained seven-year-old edged out Macho Comacho in a thrilling finish to Saturday night’s Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup – adding the victory to his feature race CV alongside his St Arnaud Cup triumph earlier this season.   The gelded son of Village Jasper/Diva La Diva ran to the front after Macho Comacho and Ardle McArdle both held interim leads early.   Ardle McArdle stepped strongly from seven to tackle early leader Macho Comacho out of three, working to the front when Macho Comacho galloped.   Macho Comacho (Chris Alford) quickly got back into stride and hooked off the markers to retake control at the head of affairs, Nathan Jack then seizing the initiative to grab the front aboard Road To Rock when Macho Comacho slowed, which pocketed Ardle McArdle (Amanda Turnbull) three-pegs.   Reigning Ararat Cup winner Savesomtimetodream with Jodi Quinlan aboard then made his move to work to the breeze, giving 2013 Ararat Cup winner Jukebox Music (Glenn Douglas) one-one cover.   Kotare Roland (Neil McCallum) was four-back the markers, Weallwantano (Matthew Craven) on his back, with Turnpike Cruiser (Zac Phillips), Hilltop Hustler (Michael Stanley) and Farmersntradies (Michael Sullivan) in the running line, while Narra Operative (Kerryn Manning) was second-last and Arber (Gavin Lang) made an uncharacteristic bad getaway and settled at the back of the field.   Road To Rock comfortably navigated the opening half of the last mile (31.4 and 30.4 for a 61.8 half) before Jack upped the ante when challenged by Savesomtimetodream down the back.   Road To Rock was still travelling well to the home turn though, shaking off the reigning champ’s challenge with a 28.8 third split.   In the home straight Macho Comacho angled into the sprint lane and charged hard, while Hilltop Hustler and Ardle McArdle were winding up out wide.   But the leader dug deep, Road To Rock holding off all the challengers to score a victory by a head over Macho Comacho, with Hilltop Hustler up for third beaten 3.5 metres.   The winner got home in 29.2 for a 2:02.9 mile rate (last half 58).   Ardle McArdle ran fourth while Kotare Roland showed he was working back into some kind of form with an eye-catching fifth beaten 7.5 metres.   Savesomtimetodream weakened out of the action late to finish sixth beaten 8.2 metres, with Weallwantano heading up the rest in seventh place.   Earlier in the evening father and son Neville and Clinton Welsh combined for victory in the Clive Reid Memorial Ararat Trotters Cup with consistent six-year-old Sundon/Wheels To Go gelding Wildenstein, who led and rated 2:07.2 for the 2570-metre trip.   Wildenstein defeated Death Defying by 3.3 metres with Maorisfavouritesun third.   Meanwhile, trainer Emma Stewart and reinsman Gavin Lang combined with Our Petite Soeur to take out the Angelique Club Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship (18th heat) by 2.3m over So Demanding with Graceful Affair third.   ROAD TO ROCK’S COUNTRY CUPS RECORD Ararat Cup 1st Echuca Cup 3rd Boort Cup 4th Wangaratta Cup 2nd Stawell Cup 2nd Gunbower Cup 2nd St Arnaud Cup 1st Maryborough Cup 6th Kilmore Cup 8th Swan Hill Cup 2nd   Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria    

Well bred two-year-old pacer Hillview Jake gave New Norfolk harness racing trainer Paul Hill successive wins in the Island Block & Paving Golden Slipper (1680m) when he led throughout to take out the prestigious juvenile event at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. With champion Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang in the Sulky, Hillview Jake ($3.50) showed good early speed to lead from gate three after a stoush with the odds-on favourite Soho Shanghai ($1.50) and they cleared out from the rest nearing the home turn the last time. The son of Cardmaster Hanover was always travelling like the winner and had no trouble holding the favourite at bay all the way up the home straight. The mile rate for the 1680 metres was a  good 2:00.1 Hill won the race last year with Jerrys Jet that he says is the best two-year-old he has ever trained. "Hillview Jake is not as good as Jerrys Jet was at this stage of his racing career but he's the next best I've ever trained," Hill said. "His work through the week was outstanding and I told Gavin (Lang) that if he led tonight they wouldn't beat him and that's how it panned out," he said. Lang was upbeat about the two-year-old's future. "He is quite a big horse that did what he had to do to win tonight," Lang said. "I had to burn him up early to lead but he came back to me quickly and was very strong on the line so I'd say he has a future," he said. Peter Staples    

Gallant harness racing gelding Motu Crusader is on target to win consecutive Easter Cups following his impressive heat win at Launceston last Sunday night. Motu Crusader over came off a 40-metre handicap to score in style, suggesting he has lost none of the power he showed to win last year’s Easter Cup. With Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang in the sulky, the eight-year-old stepped well and made up ground gradually before unleashing a powerful sprint to emerge triumphant over Riverboat Jasper and rising talent Ardlussa Express. Trainer Zeke Slater was thrilled with Motu Crusader’s effort. “If I had have been asked two weeks ago whether the horse was going as well as last year I would have said no, but in the past week he has come on really well and tonight he showed me he’s back to where he needs to be to win another Easter Cup,” Slater said. Motu Crusader dead-heated for second in his heat last year before going on to win the Final convincingly. The remaining Easter Cup heat was won by Victorian-owned gelding Rule Like A King, which is being prepared for the feature by Beauty Point trainer-driver Rohan Hillier. Driven by Hillier, Rule Like A King rolled to the front soon after the start, and when challenged along the home straight, he had no trouble fending off his rivals. The son of Mach Three scored comfortably from another Victorian, Outrageous El, with Tasmanian Cup winner Star Chamber third. PETER STAPLES

After failed attempts in 2012 and 2013 to contest the Great Southern Star highly-credentialed American squaregaiter Imperial Count will finally make his Australian harness racing debut at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night. Raced by prominent owner Neven Botica, Imperial Count will debut for the David Aiken camp in the race named after Botica’s former champion, the Aldebaran Park Sundons Gift Trotters Free-for-All over 2240 metres. Imperial Count is a seven-year-old stallion by Angus Hall from Miss Imperial and boasts a rate of 1:53.2 in North America. The 17-time winner has had one start in the Southern Hemisphere, finishing last behind Sheemon in September 2014 when he bled and was stood down afterwards. Aiken has given the trotter three trials, but says he will most likely need the run. “His trials have been really good. We’ll see how he goes but he’ll need the racing,” Aiken said. “At home he works like a nice horse and he’s great to have around the place.” It was reported in October 2013 that Imperial Count could line up in the 2014 Great Southern Star after missing the 2013 series due to a “last-minute hiccup”. He stood at Lemon Tree Stud in Shepparton for a season before joining the Aiken camp at Avenel. Aiken’s latest stable acquisition will start from gate seven and gives the trainer two former Americans in the Group 3 trot, the other being My High Expectations, which will begin barrier 10. Master reinsman Gavin Lang will steer Imperial Count, with David to take the reins on My High Expectations. HRV Media

Harness racing’s recently-crowned World Champion reinsman Dexter Dunn will be competing in the time-honoured Noel Smith Memorial Invitation Drivers’ Championship at Horsham on Monday. Dunn, who was presented with the World Championship trophy at Menangle last Sunday, will be contesting his fourth Noel Smith Series having won in 2012 and 2013. Defending champion Gavin Lang, one of four Victorian representatives, will be attempting to win a record fifth title. As it stands, Lang shares the record with Daryl Douglas. Chris Alford, who along with Lang is the only reinsman to win more than 5000 races in the Southern Hemisphere, is chasing his third victory. Greg Sugars and Kate Gath complete the Victorian contingent. This is the eighth time the Noel Smith Memorial has featured representatives from every state, the fourth to also include a Kiwi, and not surprisingly the is recognised as Australasia’s premier driving tournament. Fresh from last weekend’s Inter Dominion victory with Beautide, James Rattray will make the trip from New South Wales, Colin Brown will cross the Nullarbor from Western Australia, Ryan Hryhorec will jumper the border from South Australia, while Rohan Hillier will journey over Bass Strait from Tasmania. Queensland's Bart Cockburn, who engineered a major upset with Majestic Mach over Avonnova in Queensland’s Inter Dominion heat last month will complete the line-up. Incredibly the 10 drivers have cumulative 20,085 wins and more than $151.4million in prizemoney. They will be competing over four races for a $1500 travel brochure, while fans on course will also have the opportunity to be matched to a driver and win accommodation packages. First prize is at Deeluxe Riverspa Moama, second is the Melbourne Parkview, third is Elm Tree Warrnambool and there is also one for Victoria’s trotting home, Tabcorp Park Melton. The Championship recognises the contribution of the late Noel Smith, a Wimmera icon who was dedicated to harness racing at grassroots level. Along with the popular series, the program includes the Trotters’ Tontine Final and The O’Keeffe. JOHN PECK

Leading Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart claimed consecutive New South Wales Derby victories thanks to Ideal For Real’s gutsy performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. Outstaying his rivals with master reinsman Gavin Lang in the sulky, Ideal For Real follows on from Major Secret’s success last season. Naturally thrilled with the performance, Stewart will give the son of American Ideal a short break before embarking on another feature race campaign. “To win this race two years in a row is a great thrill,” Stewart declared. “Major Secret went terrific last year and now Ideal For Real has put in a huge ran. “It was tight at the finish, but I knew he’d got there in time. “He will go home now for a short spell, then we will get him revved up again for some of the majors later in the season.” Matching strides with the leader, Hug The Wind, along the home straight, Ideal For Real grabbed the front in the last stride to score by a half-head, with Sporty Spook seven metres away third. In an amazing performance from both stables, Stewart and New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon has filled the quinella in the first three Group Ones of the day. Purdon captured the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory and the Ladyship Mile with Adore Me, while Stewart finished second with Delight Me and Beauty Secret. “Yeah it is good to turn the tables on Mark and win one of the Group Ones,” Stewart said. PAUL COURTS

Most harness racing pundits previewing this afternoons New South Wales Derby saw it as a two horse war with Hug The Wind from barrier one preferred over Ideal For Real who had landed the dreaded barrier of nine. The early races had the All Star barn runners on fire with Fight For Glory and Adore Me both being brilliant winners and punters thought the streak would continue in the Derby making Hug The Wind a clear favourite. Sporty Spook flew the gate as he can and grabbed the early lead while Natalie Rasmussen let Hug The Wind find his feet early before sending him forward to the lead. Gavin Lang on Ideal For Real settled second last in the running line early while the other well supported runner in Art Union with Dexter Dunn in the bike was parked outside the leader. With just over a lap to go Gavin Lang sent Ideal For Real around the field and he landed in the death seat outside Hug The Wind with 1100 metres to go. Natalie held the leader back to the field in the quarter down the back in 28.1 before going for broke as they turned for home. Gavin Lang never panicked and slowly but surely got to Hug The Wind with Ideal For Real nailing him by half a head in the last stride. What made the victory even meritorious was the last quarter was cut out in a blistering 25.8 Sporty Spooky fought on for third just in front of Art Union. The Emma Stewart trained colt is an all American bred being by American Ideal from the imported Real Desire mare in Tamara Hall. Noted previously for his high speed off a sit, Ideal For Real showed today that he has developed an all round game as the season has progressed. Harnesslink Media

The first of the features on harness racings big day at Menangle today was the New South Wales Oaks and all week it was touted as a two horse war between Delight Me and Fight For Glory. Both of these runners had been super impressive in the heats last week but the draw had treated Delight Me really well with her drawing barrier one where as Fight For Glory had been given the visitors draw of eleven. The pair were even money earlier in the week but as we got closer to the race the money continued to come for Fight For Glory and she started the favourite today. As expected Delightful Lana and Dexter Dunn flew the gate and grabbed an early lead from barrier nine with Makes Every Scents and Luke McCarthy settling into the trail. Delight Me and Gavin Lang were slow out from barrier one while Fight For Glory and Natalie Rasmussen came out fast and ended up in the death seat early with Delight Me getting onto her back. After 600 metres Natalie pushed the go button and surged to the front but not before Dexter made her work for it. That left Delight Me parked and Natalie kept Fight For Glory running making Delight Me's job even harder.  Passing the 800 metres mark Natalie gave Fight For Glory her head and she roared down the back in 27.2 with Delight Me and Delightful Lana starting to feel the pinch a bit. Just when you would think Fight For Glory would be vulnerable she paced away from her competition with another quarter of 27.2 to win with a breathtaking performance. Delight Me fought on gamely for second with Delightful Lana fighting just as strongly for third with Smooth Showgirl finishing on late for fourth. Not only was the performance of Fight For Glory to win from barrier nine super impressive but her overall time of 2:50.3 was a new race record to boot. Fight For Glory is a daughter of Art Major from the former New Zealand record holder Breath Of Life 1:56.9 ($109,034) and has hit a purple patch of form with todays victory her fourth in a row. Harnesslink Media  

The holy grail of harness racing in Australasia has always been the Inter Dominion series until some brightspark changed the format three years ago and shifted the date. What we have been left with since then is a series that is a shadow of what it use to be and due to its timing it is devoid of most of the major players on the Grand Circuit in Australasia. The outstanding Beautide is back to defend his title against a field severely weakened by withdrawals or no shows. Still Beautide can only beat what is placed in front of him and barring accidents that is exactly what he will do tomorrow afternoon. So here is our runner by runner preview of the Inter-Dominion Grand Final. 1) Lennytheshark - Starts 33 - Wins 16 - Seconds 10 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $468,,550 A genuine Grand Circuit horse who has come back at five in great touch. From the draw he can make his own luck but hard to see how going to war with Beautide will help his winning chances. Second looks his for the taking from the draw but not if he gets sucked into a arm wrestle with Beautide. The likely winner if anything goes wrong with the hot favourite so include in all bets. 2) Blazin N Cullen - Starts - 55 - Wins 15 - Seconds 8 - Thirds 7  -  Stakes $199,672 Surprisingly given a wildcard even though he only ran fourth in the weakest heat in the series. Did run second in the Gold Coast Cup and fourth in the Queensland Pacing Championship but both fields only had two genuine Grand Circuit horses involved in For A Reason and Avonnova so hard to give those results any weight in our view. Too many here going better so not for us 3) Flaming Flutter - Starts - 47 - Wins 16 - Seconds 10 - Thirds 8  -  Stakes $267, 395 In our view Flaming Flutter is in career best form and has run some great races this campaign. Has been racing regularly since August but he seems to be thriving on the long campaign. Really good sixth in the Hunter Cup followed by second in his heat to Lennytheshark shows us that Flaming Flutter from his handy draw is ready to run the race of his life tomorrow. A definite trifecta and first four player for us. 4) Ultimate Art - Starts 44 - Wins 19 - Seconds 8 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $305,753 Won the supplementary heat which was the weakest heat in our view and only after getting every possible advantage during the running. He is very honest but too many here have the class edge in our view. Not for us 5) Beautide -  Starts 71 - Wins 43 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $1,562, 212 Just a class above this field. When right he only has two challengers on the Grand Circuit in Christen Me and Adore Me and with neither of them here this is his for the taking. Had a few issues leading into the Victoria Cup but heat win showed he was back to his best when he absolutely bolted in. Barring accidents Beautide just wins. 6) I'm Corzin Terror - Starts 66 - Wins 18 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $329,982 Ran tough third in the Melton heat but  still hasn't convinced us that he is a player here That was the first show of form for a few runs after a poor tenth in the Victoria Cup and an ok seventh in the Hunter Cup. Gavin Lang is a notable help in the bike but still only an outside first four chance for us. 7) Monifieth - Starts 59 - Wins 17 - Seconds 8 - Thirds 7  -  Stakes $249,363 Ran a good third to Beautide in his heat but was a fair way from the first two. Very competitive at the level just below the Grand Circuit but a few here would seem to have his measure in our view. Even though he is as honest as they come, we struggle to see him being a player in the final. Not for us. 8) Majestic Mach - Starts 49 - Wins 32 - Seconds 6 - Thirds 5  -  Stakes $731, 354 Former outstanding two and three year old who has found the transition to the Grand Circuit a lot harder. Did go really well in his heat in Brisbane but we are convinced the reason for that was the manner in which he was driven. For once he was driven with a sit and as a result he rounded the race off really well. This track suits that style of racing but not convinced that is how he will be driven. Driven cold Majestic Mach is an outside trifecta and first four player 9) Terror To Love - Starts 73 - Wins 31 - Seconds 16 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $2,353,353 The enigma of the field in every sense. If the real Terror To Love fronted tomorrow then Beautide would have some serious competition. But he has a terrible record at Menangle for a horse of his ability and to make matters worse he appears to be several lengths off his best at the moment. A career worst run in the Hunter Cup followed by a battling third in his heat against horses he would normally beat easily tells us that he will struggle tomorrow. Not for us. 10) David Hercules - Starts 99 - Wins 37 - Seconds 17 - Thirds 15  -  Stakes $1,189,419 Old warhorse from the west who has had a new lease of life this season now I'm Themightyquinn is not around in Perth. Sound sixth in the Victoria Cup in his only start in the east this season although he did race three back on the inner the whole trip. Draw makes it really tough for him but has more ability than quite a few here. Track will suit but needs to be driven cold in our opinion to come into play for trifecta and first four players at big odds. 11) For A Reason - Starts 50 - Wins 27 - Seconds 9 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $1,046,240 One of only two horses in this field that we think could possibly trouble Beautide if the favourite was to strike big trouble during the running. He is a proven Grand Circuit performer and followed an unlucky seventh in the Victoria Cup with a good second to Beautide in his heat. Was clear of the rest of the chasing pack that night and from one on the second line he should get a very economical run on Lennytheshark's back. Goes his best races with one run at them and drawn to get just that run. Major player for quinella, trifecta and first four takers. 12) Easy On The Eye - Starts 58 - Wins 17 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 10  -  Stakes $433,250 Only run of any note for us in this campaign was his good run for third in the Hunter Cup over 3280 metres so distance shouldn't be a worry you would think. However did get a beautiful run that night three pegs and draw here makes his task a huge one In New Zealand he had a reputation as a sprinter and was favoured over trips a lot shorter  than tomorrows. Run over in his heat over 2400 metres and that confirmed to us that he will struggle to be a major player here. Not for us. 13) Avonnova - Starts 121 - Wins 41 - Seconds 23 - Thirds 12  -  Stakes $588,569 Very under rated horse who has hardly put a foot wrong all season except when Shane Graham  had a brain fart in the Miracle Mile and went crazy early. Second line draw means he can stay out of the early speed duels for once and that gives him a place chance in our view. Tough as teak and track and distance will suit down to the ground. Trifecta and first four player for us. 14) Teo Enteo - Starts 62 - Wins 18 - Seconds 14 - Thirds 7  -  Stakes $217,827 Has had just a passable season at best and just battled into fourth in his heat. Stronger field and poor draw makes this mission impossible for him. Best we can see him finishing is midfield so not for us. 15) Franco Ledger (1st Emerg) - Starts 74 - Wins 22 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $546,553 A combination of events led to him not getting one of the wildcard entries and it was nothing to do with the racing performances of Franco Ledger. It is a real shame because the track is perfect for his style of racing and he would have been a big trifecta and first four player in our opinion. If he somehow makes it into the race through a late scratching, then you need to include him in all your multis. 16) Wartime Sweetheart - Starts 135 - Wins 21 - Seconds 17 - Thirds 14  -  Stakes $268,376 Really hard to see her being competitive even if she did make it back into the field. Operates well at the level beneath the Grand Circuit but this is a bit rich for her. Not for us. SELECTIONS  Barring accidents Beautide appears to have a mortgage on the race. He made a real statement in his heat and looks yards better than the rest. Second is a toss up between Lennytheshark and For A Reason and we couldn't separate them. After that it gets real interesting and for trifectas and first fours we would include Flaming Flutter, David Hercules and Avonnova. For those wanting a wider coverage add in Im Corzin Terror and Majestic Mach. Harnesslink Media

We continue our previews of harness racings big day at Menangle Inter Dominion day on Sunday and this time the focus is on the three year olds in the New South Wales Derby.  New South Wales Derby 1) Hug The Wind - Starts 12 - Wins 5 - Seconds 5 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $202,234 One real classy three year old who has the draw to dominate this race. Won his heat from the death seat in what was his first run for seven weeks so natural improvement makes him very hard to beat. Has real gate speed as he showed at Auckland on New Year's eve and the all round game to take advantage of his draw. Natalie is driving in super touch at the moment so this combination looks terribly hard to beat. 2) Kilcullen - Starts 10 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 0  -  Stakes $48,173 Kilcullen has been disappointing in the main when lined up against the better three year olds. Kilcullen was poor in his heat of the Victorian Derby from barrier two and although he death seated for the last round in his Derby heat last Saturday, the first three got away on him the last bit. Doesn't look to get off the gate at all in his races so two draw is not a big positive Not for us. 3) Art Union - Starts 21 - Wins 12 - Seconds 5 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $130,555 Was a touch down on his best in his heat last week in our opinion. At his best he would have won that heat from in front but was under pressure a fair way out. Does have an all round game and great trainer/driver combination in his corner so can turn it around. Hard to see him beating Hug The Wind but big chance to run the quinella and a must have for trifecta and first four takers. 4) Burnaholeinmypocket - Starts 9 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $29,252 (2nd Emerg) He had only had one run this season leading into his heat last Saturday night and he didn't do himself any favours by over racing badly through the first 800 metres. Never left the inner in getting home well for sixth in a fast run last quarter and hard to see how he could improve enough to be a player in this even if he made it back into the field from the ballot. Not for us. 5) Sluggem - Starts 6 - Wins 2 - Seconds 1 - Thirds  -  Stakes $15,898 Very inexperienced horse but does have a big future. Settled last in his heat and made ground stylishly late in the piece. Formerly with the All Star barn in New Zealand and showed plenty of ticker when winning for them at Auckland at Xmas time. Hasn't got the all round game yet to challenge a few here but will be running on. Outside first four player for us. 6) Lets Cut Loose - Starts 11 - Wins 2 - Seconds 4 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $18,854 He had nine starts in New Zealand before coming to Australia and none of them were in top three year old company which raises questions for us. He had the run of the race last week on Hug The Wind's back but couldn't stay with him in the straight after drawing barrier one which doesn't instill confidence either. Harder draw and field this week in the Derby means we struggle to see him as a major player. Not for us 7) Corporal Luna - Starts 15 - Wins 6 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $34,582 Built up a strong record in Queensland but was only ok in his Derby heat last Saturday night at Menangle. Didn't take advantage of his barrier draw of two and ended up four back on the inner and even though he ran home well in a quick last quarter, he was still a fair way from the winner. Stronger field and worst draw makes it mission impossible in our view. Not for us 8) Sporty Spook - Starts 17 - Wins 9 - Seconds 4 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $83,050 Showed blinding gate speed to lead from barrier nine last week but did badly check a horse coming across which the driver copped three weeks for. Fought on well when clear so plenty of merit in the run for us. Plenty of gate speed inside him in the Derby so not sure same strategy of burning the gate will work this week. First four chance if driven a bit more conservatively this week in our view. 9) Padrisimo - Starts 10 - Wins 6 - Seconds 2 - Thirds 0  -  Stakes $75,505 High class colt who has not had the ideal preparation for a gruelling 2400 metres. His run in the heats last Saturday night was his first for nine weeks and only his third in eleven months which makes it very hard to see him being a major player here. Should have improved bigtime with the run but too many questions remain in our view. Not for us 10) Ideal For Real - Starts 9 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $52,185 Not the draw his connections would have been hoping for. Does pocess blinding speed if held up for one run as he showed in his Derby heat last Saturday night and in his heat of the Victorian Derby before that. Gavin Lang is just the man to get this American bred colt the run he needs but he is going to need Hug The Wind to have a run from hell to get him home over the top of that horse from barrier nine in our opinion. A winning chance and a must for quinella, trifecta and first four takers.  11) Aztec Bromac - Starts 8 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes If this horse had drawn better he would be a huge trifecta and first four player. Won his Victoria Derby heat beating Ideal For Real before being flattened in the final. Pushed Hug The Wind for a long way in his heat and was well clear of the pack in second. Draw makes it hard but we have a lot of time for this horse. Definite trifecta and first four player even from the draw. 12) Spare Me Days - Starts 14 - Wins 6 - Seconds 0 - Thirds 5  -  Stakes $98,940 (1st Emerg) Picked a bad time in his Derby heat to run off on the last bend costing himself a couple of lengths which cost him his starting spot in the Derby. From the draw and on last weeks run, he would be up against it in our opinion if he did make it back into the field. Has a great overall record but not for us in this field  Selections Hard to go past Hug The Wind in one for us The danger is undoubtedly Ideal For Real This two look a wee bit better than the rest of the field on last weeks runs. The horses to make up the trifectas and first fours are Art Union, Sluggem, Sporty Spook and Aztec Bromac   Harnesslink Media    

Harness racings big day on Sunday at Menangle features several great clashes and we thought we would preview them all this week with a runner by runner assessment First up is the Ladyship Mile. 1) Frith - Starts 40 -  Wins 30 - Seconds 6 -Thirds 2  -  Stakes $819,572 Frith is surprisingly only having her third lifetime start over a mile, all of which have been at Menangle with her best time to date being 1:53 We are not convinced the one draw suits her that much as say two or three as there is plenty of gate speed outside Frith and she may end up getting crossed at the start. She is a great stayer but hasn't had a run for a month so question marks remain about her race fitness but her class will take her a long way. One of Adore Me's two biggest  threats. 2) Pas Ultimate Delight - Starts - 41 - Wins 12 - Seconds 4 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $134,411 Has continued to improve since coming to Australia but this still looks a bit rich at this stage.  Does have a best time of 1:52.3 and from her draw of two we think Lauren will make a serious play for the front early but we are of the opinion Pas Ultimate Delight is better driven with a sit and we give her an outside first  four chance if she is driven like that. 3) Dynamite Denn Nee - Starts 90 - Wins 17 - Seconds 15 - Thirds 12 - Stakes $181,628  (2nd Emrg) Has been in good touch lately including a second to Frith two starts back so probably unlucky to be on the ballot but is unlikely to get a start. Rough first four player if she did. 4) Beauty Secret - Starts 54 - Wins 24 - Seconds - 9 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $ 393,451 Will come into barrier three if there are no scratchings and from there she is a real danger to the two favourites.  Has real gate speed if Gavin Lang wants to use it and can also run a big half if held up as she showed in the Robin Dundee on Miracle Mile night where she brushed home in 54 flat in front. Has the all round game to trouble the two favourites and with Gavin in the bike you just know he will give her the run that she needs. 5) Major Foxy Styx - Starts - 24 - Wins 11 - Seconds 4 - Thirds - 1  -  Stakes $197,830  Has built up a great record in Perth and stamped that form with a win in the Ladyship Cup at Melton on Hunter Cup night beating amongst others Beauty Secret.  However  she did get a dream run that night and even with the mercurial Luke McCarthy in the bike we can't see her winning the race on Sunday with the three favourites having a class edge but she is still a definite first four player for us. 6) Tact Hayleys Delight - Starts 72 - Wins 11 - Seconds 15 - Thirds - 6  -  Stakes $160,016 In career best form at the moment but from the draw we think she has a hard job to get some of this. We think she will have to go back from the draw and try to have one run at them late in the race but we can't see her rolling over the top of  the favourites and for us she is an outside place chance at best. 7) Laterron - Starts 82 - Wins 16 - Seconds 16 - Thirds 11  -  Stakes $173,515 - ( 1st Emer ) Produced a great run when a handy fourth to Adore Me in the Brian Hancock Cup on Saturday night and her connections must feel slightly aggrieved to be on the ballot.  Laterron has beaten Elusive Chick home the last three times they have met and that combined with the run in the Brian Hancock Cup should have seen her make the field. Great place chance if she gains re-entry into the field. 8) Courageousnquick - Starts 42 - Wins 16 - Seconds 6 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $204,352 Quality mare who has just had two runs back from a spell but the draw has negated her biggest asset which is her blinding gate speed. We still think that Anthony Butt will press the go button early and if she happened to get the front she would present all kind of problems for Frith. Definite place chance if "Ants" can work his magic early 9) Rathmore Lady - Starts 76 - Wins 17 - Seconds 19 - Thirds 8  -  Stakes $147,976  On her day a very handy mare but is inconsistent and can throw the toys out of the cot every now and again. On her best behaviour she would be a rough first four chance but the draw and the quality of the field leads us to think she has a mountain to climb.  Not for us. 10) Pemberton Shard - Starts 55 - Wins 11 - Seconds 7 - Thirds 11  -  Stakes $212 997 If there is a smokey in this years race then Pemberton Shard is it for us. A mile is maybe a touch short of her best but she is a super tough mare who needs the speed on and that's exactly what she will get on Sunday. Has struggled to cope with Adore Me in New Zealand but then again who hasn't  and has gone some great races in behind her in mares races. Dexter Dunn in the bike is a big plus and she is a big first four player for us. 11) Elusive Chick - Starts 57 - Wins 13 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 11  -  Stakes $389,147 A high quality mare who was in good form earlier in the season but whose form has tapered off badly with her only placing in her last six starts a win in a five horse field just before Xmas. Throw in the draw for a mare who likes to race on the speed and we struggle to see her running in four. Not for us. 12) Adore Me - Starts 34 - Wins 25 - Seconds 4 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $1,503,429  A great racemare who has the same visitors draw as she had last year when she was beaten. The field this year is stronger in our opinion but Adore Me has gone to another level this season as well. This year the All Stars team have arrived earlier and given her a run leading into the race which is all a positive in our book. The change of driver took us by surprise a bit but Natalie has been in unbelievable form this season in New Zealand and the change is a plus not a minus in our view. Clear first pick for us even from the draw. Selections Adore Me is a clear first pick for us In the end we couldn't separate Frith and Beauty Secret for second even if logic said Frith Others to throw into multiples include Courageousnquick, Pemberton Shard, Major Foxy Styx and if you are going a bit wider Tact Hayleys Delight. Harnesslink Media

Sky Racing’s Andrew Bensley is normally the person holding the microphone and asking the winning harness racing connections how they feel after a big race victory. However this Sunday afternoon he is hoping he is the one being asked the questions.  Bensley is the part owner of Yankee Rockstar and the talented four year old will line up in the Gr. 1 FORM 700 Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. While Bensley feels no nerves before conducting important interviews with racing royalty, he admits there will be a ‘few butterflies’ this weekend. “I’m normally pretty quiet when I watch Yankee Rockstar race and let it all unfold but I did get a little bit excited last start in the Bonanza because I knew that if he won that race, he qualified for the Chariots,” Bensley said. “I rode him home from the 100 metre mark that night and this weekend’s race is a much bigger one.” Yankee Rockstar has drawn barrier eight but will move into gate seven if the emergencies fail to get a start. “We would have loved to have drawn a barrier so he is going to need a lot of luck from where he has drawn, especially considering Bling It On has drawn inside him.” “The best thing about his Bonanza win was when Gavin Lang put one on his tail in the straight he knuckled down and found a little bit more, because up until then he hadn’t really been in many situations where he has had to find under pressure.” Bensley will be trackside at Menangle on Sunday afternoon with his beloved Stetson hat. “My Stetson was an amazing gift from an amazing lady in Gai Waterhouse and I know that she likes to see me wearing it because she told me to make sure that I had it on if Yankee Rockstar won at Melton so I know she will be watching on Sunday.” “I love harness racing, I am in a syndicate with Tim Bunning and we have five horses, I had a horse many years ago called Dunme Dough that did a good job but I’m really enjoying being back in the sport again as an owner.” The Inter Dominion 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Greg Hayes Position: Media Coordinator Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: ghayes@hrnsw.com.au Related Links Fields for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015 Form guide for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015

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