Defending champion Keystone Del is among the list of horses being considered for the Australian team for the Glenferrie Farm Trotters Challenge at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 2. With five Australian trotters and as many from New Zealand to be invited to contest the $200,000 Group One, the Nicole Molander-trained gelding is one of nine that could possibly line-up for what already looks to be a strong Australian team. Others dominate in the minds of selectors include the David Aiken-trained duo My High Expectations and Cold Sister as well as star squaregaiter Blitzthemcalder. Kyvalley Blur who is trained by master trotting conditioner Chris Lang senior, former pacer Mister Zion as well as Elegant Image, Aleppo Midas and Stoned I Am are considerations also. While the Australian team will be finalised in the coming weeks following the results of races, the New Zealand representatives have been selected. The New Zealand team being selected early to allow for travel are Dullard Cup winner Habibti, Danish Derby winner Peak, Anzac Cup victor Stent, Hellers Dominion winner Master Lavros and recent National Trot winner Irish Whisper. Three reserves have been added to the team being Vulcan, The Fiery Ginga and Sovereignty who could be called upon if neccessary. Team New Zealand: Master Lavros (trainer Mark Jones) Stent (trainer Colin De Filippi) Peak (trainer Tim Butt) Irish Whisper (trainer Tony Herlihy) Habibti (trainer David Butt) Reserves Vulcan (trainer Tim Butt) The Fiery Ginga (trainer Alan Clark) Sovereignty (Trainer Sean McCaffrey) Team Australia*: My High Expectations (trainer David Aiken) Kyvalley Blur (trainer Chris Lang) Mister Zion (trainer Geoff Webster) Keystone Del (trainer Nicole Molander) Elegant Image (trainer Andy Gath) Blitzthemcalder (trainer Dean Braun) Aleppo Midas (trainer Michael Eastman) Cold Sister (trainer David Aiken) Stoned I Am (trainer Bill Walker) *Five to be selected and one reserve
It was Jim Phillips Memorial Cobram Pacing Cup Day on Friday December 28, with a bumper crowd of Murray River holiday makers enjoying the nine race harness racing card. Bannockburn trainer Geoff Webster having won three of the past five - Genuine Star (2008), Mister Zion (2009) and Lets Slash An Burn (2010), was looking to make it four with much travelled gelding Rakarebel, as was Melton based reinsman Greg Sugars aboard the Webster elect, after guiding Genuine Star, Lets Slash An Burn and Jaccka Clive to victory in 2011 for Avenel’s David Aiken. The $25,000 feature for M0 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2678 metres attracted a small but quality field, with prolific winning Jaccka Clive (one of four runners from the Aiken barn) the 20 metre backmarker. Last year’s successful trainer Tim Butt made it back to back cup victories, when five year old Grinfromeartoear - Against The Wind gelding Pass Them By with John Caldow in the sulky prevailed. Beginning brilliantly from barrier four, Pass Them By pounced on the lead, with Uncle Wingnut from outside the front line moving outside him, polemarker Washmepockets trailing the leader, Rakarebel (barrier two) one/one being followed by Wartime Sweetheart and stablemate Smudge Bromac from the 10 metre mark, with Jaccka Clive last. Composed settled three back the markers, with stablemates Lovable Larrikin and Jaydens Castle trailing him. With no moves being made until the last lap, Wartime Sweetheart was eased three wide to commence a forward move, giving Jaccka Clive a ride home and Smudge Bromac working between runners. Joining Pass Them By on the final bend, Wartime Sweetheart issued a strong challenge, however Pass Them By after a relative easy trip, rallied to gain the day by a head in a punishing finish, with Washmepockets using the sprint lane for third just in advance of Composed which also made use of the inside run. Rated to perfection by Caldow in quarters of 29.6, 30.1, 28.4 and 28.5 for the last mile, Pass Them By raced by a large number of stable clients returned a new track record mile rate of 1-59.5, bettering Mister Zion’s 1-59.9 by .4 seconds. The other highlight of the afternoon being the $15,000 Central Murray Credit Union Cobram Trotters Cup for TM0 or better class (D-H) over 2678 metres, with victory going the way of David Aiken’s all American bred seven year old Ken Warkentin - Kovel rig My High Expectations, obliterating the track record by two seconds. Well in on handicaps to start from a 20 metre backmark, My High Expectations stepped cleanly with old timer Oi You beginning best to lead from barrier three, before surrendering to the Kiwi Thanesan entering the front straight on the first occasion. Biding his time with most of the field ahead of him, My Expectations moved to be one/one mid-race when I See Icy Earl ahead of him eased away from the markers to lead up the outside division before taking cover on Bellingham from last. Taken four wide in the final circuit, My High Expectations quickly joined Thanesan on the home turn and raced away to score by 6.8 metres in a mile rate of 2-01.3 (last half 58 seconds – quarter 28.9) over Thanesan who was game in defeat, with I See Icy Earl (three wide last lap) third 5.1 metres away. It was My High Expectations 23rd victory from only 71 outings. David reaped all of the rewards, as apart from training and driving the winner, he also races him. An interesting winner on the day was nine year old Panorama - Regal Sarnel gelding Regalramapleasure for Chiltern trainer Peter Romero who despite winning eleven races (mostly in three year old and restricted events over the years), started in the C1 class Clydesdale Hotel Pace over 2170 metres thanks to the drop back system. Driven by Nathan Jack, Regalramapleasure led throughout from gate five, defeating Pelling and Smart Sista in a rate of 2-00.3 when having his first outing since Melbourne Cup Day. Videos of the two Cups are attached. by Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria
Melton trainer/driver Lance Justice’s 7-Y-0 Christian Cullen/Flying Flo gelding Alchemy showed vast improvement to land the Graeme Lang Free For All for C7 or better class over 2240 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton on Thursday November 21. One of four runners from the Justice stable – the others being Dominus Vobiscum, The Smiler and Because I Can, Alchemy which had been racing in much weaker grade over the past few weeks was sent forward to cross the pole marker Giveusagrim shortly after the start. With a number of more fancied runners making forward moves including Jaccka Clive, Youranut, Mustang Mach and Broadways Best prior to the bell with Youranut first up since July occupying the breeze for the final circuit, leaving Mustang Mach on a limb three wide with Broadways Best on his back and Jaccka Clive one/one after surprisingly handing over the death-seat. Tackled strongly by Youranut on straightening, Alchemy ($16.80) fought back like a caged tiger to gain the day by a head after being momentarily headed in a rate of 1-57 (last half 56.2 – quarter 27.2), with Broadways Best third after peeling wide halfway up the running. Brother John Justice was also a winner on the program, snaring the Reg Cooper Claiming Pace over 2240 metres with $56.80 chance Whodareswins, a 7-Y-0 daughter of Presidential Ball and Mumtaz Mahal who registered her first success since July 2012 when successful at Spreyton (Tasmania). Given a sweet passage from the pole trailing the pacemaker Astral Flight after leading out, Whodareswins in a punishing finish prevailed by half head in 1-58.8 after using the sprint lane to defeat Astral Flight trained by sister Joanne Justice with Brian Gath in the sulky, with Run Forrest close up in third place after racing in the open from the bell. Bendigo’s Matt Gath was in the winners stall when promising Yankee Spider/Kingsford Ado 4-Y-0 mare Ifu Seek Flight greeted the judge in the Gus Underwood Trotters Mobile for T1 & T2 class over 1720 metres in a rate of 2-03.2. Enjoying an easy trip from the pole following the pacemaker Marios Dream, Gath angled Ifu Seek Flight away from the inside on straightening and she finished best to score by 2 metres in advance of Mallee Trapper which raced wide from the bell. Drop Us A Line ran her usual honest race to finish third after trailing the winner and using the sprint lane. Raced by Michael Taranto of Seelite Windows & Doors fame, Ifu Seek Flight has raced 12 times for 4 wins. Rochester trainer Mark Thompson has an impeccable record when taking a horse to the races and landed the Rob Merola 3-Y-0 Pace over 2240 metres with Total Truth/Karamea Toastime filly Lies. With stable reinsperson Ellen Tormey in the sulky, Lies raced by Mark and wife Sue having her first outing since July, led throughout from the pole, defeating Geoff Webster’s Tuscan Breeze which shadowed her and Phoebe Jack (three back the markers) in a rate of 2-01.5. Parwan part-owner/trainer Jaime Madruga combined with Gavin Lang to snare the Gunbower Cup Sunday Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2240 metres with 5-Y-0 D M Dilinger/Jaja gelding Amazing Kano who can put a run in every so often. Despite racing in the open from gate five outside Discrimination, Amazing Kano surged clear on turning to win by 6.4 metres in 2-00 even over Nimble Jack off a three wide trail last lap on the back of the third placegetter Jasmine Sheffield. Gisborne’s Brendan Said provided a shock winner in 6-Y-0 Jaguar Cam/Meadow Glory mare Dainty Cloud who took out the Lisa Miles Pace for C2 class over 1720 metres in a rate of 1-57.4. Taking advantage of a mares concession, Dainty Cloud was given every opportunity one/one from gate two, with Lance Justice’s Medonc crossing This Is Your Life shortly after the start leaving Our Miss Vivienne in the breeze. Taken into the clear halfway up the running, Dainty Cloud ($42.80) finished too well for a game Our Miss Vivienne, scoring by 1.1 metres, with Medonc third. Geoff Webster and Emmett Brosnan combined to land the Harness Breeders (Vic) Pace for C1 class over 1720 metres with ultra consistent 4-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Big Time Babe mare Bit Of A Babe, leading all of the way from gate four in accounting for Union Belle (one/two) and Lady Suffragette which raced in the open from the bell. The mile rate 1-57.5. By Len Baker
Dean Braun and Chris Alford took out the 2013 Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup with rising star Chancellor Cullen on Sunday. Starting second favourite on the day, last week’s Nyah Cup runner-up made amends in almost track record time when blistering around the course in a 2:01.2 mile rate with a slashing 55.8 last half. Restrepo, from the Emma Stewart team, was a brave second just over seven metres away whilst Mustang Mach finished third. The win was Chancellor Cullen’s 10th in just 15 Australian starts and moved him one step closer to Grand Circuit glory which he now looks set to tackle later this season. Race favourite Bitobliss worked from his 20-metre handicap to find the death seat in the middle stages but faded late to finish last of the main brigade. The Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club Kilmore Trotters Cup went to Group 1-winning pacer turned trotter in Mister Zion as he rolled odds-on favourite Elegant Image. Starting from the 40-metre back mark, Geoff Webster’s son of Red River Hanover worked three wide in the last lap to take it up to Prettylilangeleyes and Elegant Image who worked to the chair mid-race. The two tote elects raced away from their rivals in the straight with Mister Zion getting the upper hand by two metres at the post from Elegant Image with Prettylilangeleyes a further four metres away in third. The race was completed in a mile rate of 2:03.9 with the last half coming in 61.4secs. Catch Your Breath caused an upset in the days other feature race, the Grange Cleveland Popular Alm Sprint. Race favourite Five Star Anvil, who was well backed during the week, led from the pole before handing over to Smoken Up who made a mid-race dash around the field despite starting from inside the second row. After being afforded a lovely run by in-form reinsmen Chris Alford in the middle stages, Catch Your Breath raced up and grabbed the lead from Smoken Up in the straight to win by 1.7 metres with Born Again Sassy just under two metres away in third. The mile rate came in a speedy 1:53.9 with the last half split in 28.1sec quarters. The major achievement on the day came however after the main race with Chris Alford driving his 5000th career winner behind Macho Camacho, again for Dean Braun. Alford’s run to the magical figure has sped since the start of August and despite being out for a time with injury, he has officially become just the second driver, behind Gavin Lang, in the southern hemisphere to reach the milestone. Videos attached by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria
A neat and compact meeting was held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday September 27, featuring the $20,000 Claiming Masters Final and the $16,000 tab.com.au Pace for M2 to M4 class. Smiles of joy turned to disappointment following the victory of six-year-old Aces N Sevens/Alesco gelding Cut For An Ace in the University Foods Claiming Masters Final over 2240 metres. Trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs, Cut For An Ace driven by daughter Amy was sent forward from gate five to stroll past Thats Mister Ali inside him shortly after the start and proceeded to run his rivals ragged. Kicking away on straightening, Cut For An Ace (claiming price $25,000) scored by an untouched 12.7 metres in a brilliant mile rate of 1-55.7 over Smudge Bromac from near last and Kotare Roland (one/one) which trailed the heavily supported favourite Catch Your Breath. Cut For An Ace who in winning chalked up his 13th victory in 62 outings, was claimed in the race and will do his future racing in the care of Geoff Webster at Bannockburn in the Geelong area. Hamilton part-owner/trainer David Lewis’ quality six-year-old Bettors Delight/Frosty Mattina gelding Abettorpunt resumed from a short break with a brilliant near last to first performance to take out the fast class event over 2240 metres. Driven by Matt Craven, Abettorpunt starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with the roughie Pinevale Willpower leading from gate four. Although wide in the final circuit, Abettorpunt raced away on straightening to record a 7-metre victory in advance of Saint Flash and Victors Delight in a mile rate of 1-57.9. It was Abettorpunt’s 19th victory in 45 outings. Bolinda co-trainers Kari and Paul Males brought up another Melton victory with nine-year-old Sundon/Tender Annie gelding Tender Don listed in the racebook as being trained by Kari, taking out the $16,000 Glenferrie Farm Trotters Mobile for TM1 to TM3 class over 2240 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.8.. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tender Don (gate five) had little difficulty in crossing Jingling Silver (gate two) shortly after the start, before coasting to the wire 10.4 metres in advance of a game Prettylilangeseyes (one/one – outside winner home turn) after galloping in the score up. Armed Guard finished third. Avenel horseman David Aiken has been having a great run in recent weeks (especially around the provincials) and landed the Aldebaran Park Trotters Mobile for TMO class over 1720 metres at Melton with Kiwi bred mare Brylin Crescent in a slick rate of 1-59.5. Driven by David, Brylin Crescent a seven-year-old daughter of Brylin Boy and Another Starlet led virtually throughout from gate two, easily accounting for Goldstar Invasion (one/one) which raced outside her for the last lap. Just Call Me Earl came from last to finish an eye catching third. Next Friday’s Melton program will feature the $50,000 (Group 2) City Of Melton Plate for four and five-year-olds over 2240 metres and promises to be one of the highlights of the season. Len Baker
Local (Dunnstown) trainer/driver David Murphy snared a stable double at Bray Raceway Ballarat on Wednesday September 25, with a pair of Modern Art four year old entires - much improved Desdon Murruffy taking the Megamerch Rural Merchandise Pace for C0 class over 2200 metres and Super Zeck the Peter McErvale Real Estate Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over the same distance. Desdon Murruffy a daughter of the Smooth Fella mare Spellmaker was driven forward from gate six to cross the leader Bazzas Art (Art Major) inside him and travelled beautifully throughout, safely holding a margin to the wire in defeating Bazzas Art by 1.9 metres in a rate of 1-58.3, with Doey Doeback third after following the pair. Super Zeck from the Beach Towel mare Me Dolli Kit a winner of eleven races, began safely from outside the front row, with Murphy immediately sending him forward to park outside the pacemaker Ballan Road (gate three). Applying plenty of pressure to the leader approaching the home turn, Super Zeck unplaced in 12 previous outings outstayed his rivals to record a half head victory over Tribal Fella which trailed the leader gaining a late split in a rate of 2-03.4, with Ballan Road fighting on strongly to finish third 1.2 metres away. Great Western trainer Michelle Manning’s tough Elsu/Whatsonyamind 5-Y-0 gelding Pacquiao adapted to claiming company by winning the Tradelink Ballarat Claiming Pace over 1710 metres in 1-56.4 and in doing so made it three wins from his past four outings. Driven by Matt Craven, Pacquiao (Claiming price $7,000) raced in the open throughout from gate five, before outstaying the pacemaker Highview Spirit to score by 4.3 metres. All Honour (four wide home turn) came from last to finish third. Bannockburn (Geelong) trainer Geoff Webster has Kiwi bred 6-Y-0 Sierra Kosmos/Roydon Action gelding Action Kosmos racing in peak form and was rewarded by taking the National Tiles Trotters Handicap for T2 or better class over 2200 metres, bringing up his 3rd victory in 32 outings. Driven by the stable’s Emmett Brosnan, Action Kosmos after starting from outside the front row was sent forward shortly after the start to cross Mother Nature which pounced on the lead from barrier two as the tapes released. Travelling boldly, Action Kosmos defied all challengers to register a 3 metre victory in an easy 2-05.1 from the ever reliable Happy Hombre which raced in the open, with Rostevarren (four back the markers last lap) flashing home late to finish third just in advance of Mother Nature which was held up all the way to the wire. Smythes Creek trainer Emma Stewart was also to chalk up a stable double with Bettors Delight/Party Baby gelding Fearless Leader (Ian McMahon) taking the Matthews Joinery & Kitchen Centre Pace for C5 & C6 class over 2200 metres and Village Jasper/Childers Vision gelding Goodtime Veejay (Michael Stanley), both leading virtually throughout. by Len Baker
Caribbean Blaster has been named the 2012/13 Victorian Horse of the Year. In a unanimous decision, the horse from Andy and Kate Gath's Long Forrest stable enjoyed a breakout season on the Grand Circuit which saw a string of Group 1 performances. His win in the Victoria Cup will long be remembered as a triumph against adversity; starting from the extreme gate he was sent out a 30/1 chance but blew his rivals apart in the Tabcorp Park Melton straight. Leaving champions Im Themightyquinn and Smoken Up in his wake, he continued his brilliant early season form which saw him unplaced only three times in 14 starts. His Inter Dominion heat win was followed by an unlucky fifth in the Grand Final at Menangle. Many might have thought that would see him out for the season, but that wasn't the case. He returned to Melton in the Hot To Trot Stampede and produced a breathtaking performance to defeat his rivals by over 10 metres in the 1200-metre dash. Caribbean Blaster's season throughout 2012/13 demonstrated he has transformed into one of Australia's leading pacers. With a racetrack return not far off, the son of Bettors Delight is sure to be mixing it in each of the Grand Circuit races he contests in the next 12 months. Andy Gath spoke glowingly the morning after his superstar pacer received the honour. "It's not something you train horses to do, win awards, but it's a massive thrill when it comes up," Gath said. "We didn't really think about it until the nominations came out and then we thought we actually might win Horse Of The Year. "He'll come back this season and we all know how good he is, make no mistake there are some top horses out there like Bitobliss and Im Themightyquinn, it's just exciting to have our guy back next Friday." For the second year running a two-year-old has taken the Trotter of the Year award. Im Stately thoroughly dominated his juvenile squaregaiting rivals through the Vicbred Super Series and Breeders Crown. His flawless gait and high cruising speed made him a joy for punters and participants to watch as he crushed his competition in the season's biggest races. Last term's Trotter of the Year, Blitzthemcalder, took out the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year to make it consecutive wins in his age and gender category. A winner of the Great Northern Derby in New Zealand, he continued to carve out brilliant times and made it clear that when he is on song, there aren't many better squaregaiters in the land. The Industry Awards were also distributed for the participants who work tirelessly all year round and there weren't too many shocks. Based on premiership results, the Victorian State Trainer of the Year was taken by the Sunraysia's leading light, Shayne Cramp. Cramp took domination to a new level last season, training 155 winners at a strike-rate of over 30%. He was joined by Lance Justice who took the award for the Leading Metropolitan Trainer, one win clear of Geoff Webster. Chris Alford (Leading State Driver), Gavin Lang (Leading Metropolitan Driver) and Ellen Tormey (Leading Concession Driver) shared the honours driving honours for the past 12 months. The full list of award winners on the night has been compiled below. COMPLETE WINNERS LIST Victorian Horse of the Year - Caribbean Blaster Victorian Trotter of the Year - Im Stately Aged Pacer of the Year - Caribbean Blaster Aged Trotter of the Year - I Didnt Do It Mare of the Year - Blucolla Tigerpie 2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Major Secret 2YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Mindarie Priddy 2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Im Stately 2YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Claudys Princess 3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Guaranteed 3YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Itz Nosurprisesthere 3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Blitzthemcalder 3YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Spidergirl Victorian Trainer of the Year - Shayne Cramp Metropolitan Trainer of the Year - Lance Justice Victorian Driver of the Year - Chris Alford Metropolitan Driver of the Year - Gavin Lang Victorian Concession Driver of the Year - Ellen Tormey Harness Racing Victoria
Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton provided what was to be the exclamation point on what has been a memorable season for both Chris Alford and Dean Braun as a duo, and individually. They combined the take the feature race of the night, the Harness Breeders (VIC) 3YO Classic with promising filly Tandias Bromac. It wasn’t all plain sailing however, the $1.80 favourite had to work to find the top in the early stages and in a field of more than handy fillies she ripped out early quarters of 29secs and 29.3secs before putting the foot flat to the floor in a 27.2sec third quarter. Our Femme Fatale, who was planted three wide for much of the journey, wasn’t about to give it up either, challenging the leader off the back. Alford gave his filly a little more rein however and she looked to be off and gone as they shot for home; that was until the closers started to emerge out of the pack. Rogers Passion, Rogers Joy and Snow Cone all loomed large as Our Femme Fatale cut into the margin late however they couldn’t catch the brilliant winner who rated 1:54.4 for the mile. Our Femme Fatale was officially two metres away in second with Rogers Passion grabbing third. Tandias Bromac has now won four from five in Australia and looks set for a big season. The winner was the second of four on the night for Alford who has had the most outstanding month of his career, clearing out in the State Drivers race to be the only contender. Lance Justice held on to the Metropolitan Trainers’ title just ahead of Geoff Webster with neither mustering a win by Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)
The final calendar month of the racing season has all but drawn to a close and with one Metropolitan meeting left this Friday there is still a battle going on for the TaylorsMetropolitan trainer’s premiership. Lance Justice has continued to hold his rivals at bay all year but Geoff Webster has slowly eroded the margin and heading into the final meeting he is just one win behind the six-time premiership winner. Although Justice will likely have a larger number of runners on the night, Webster will also play his hand with Have A Bender and Kotare Roland both engaged in the nominations. Greg Sugars and Chris Alford were locked in a tussle to determine who would be the Melton Saddlery leading Victorian driver however with a string of victories inside the last three weeks, Alford has gone clear to hold an unassailable margin in the lead-up to the last meeting Saturday night. The Norfolk Food Services leading concession driver had been a battle for much of the season between Ellen Tormey and David Moran. Tormey however held her advantage over the last month and edged further in front to all-but seal the award with five days left this term. Shayne Cramp is set to be crowned The Renown Silverware’s Victorian leading trainer for the first time. With a stranglehold over the Sunraysia area, Cramp has rarely had to travel far to secure the bulk of his 151 Victorian winners so far this season. Last year’s state trainer of the year, Glenn Douglas, holds down second with 118 winners from Emma Stewart who has 110 victories under her belt. The SBG Accountants leading Metropolitan driver has been a tense battle all season but Gavin Lang holds sway with 40 winners in the big smoke, ahead of Greg Sugars on 35 and Chris Alford on 33. This year the end-of-season industry awards night won’t coincide with a Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting, giving participants the chance to let their hair down and enjoy the frivolity of a night that will see champions crowned in equine and human form. To be held at Tabcorp Park Melton on September 12, the industry awards will be a spectacular way to finish what has been an exciting season in the trots as the horse of the year awards will be decided on the night. Tickets are $65 each and include a three course meal as well as beer, wine and soft drink for the night. Those making the trek out to Melton will be able to secure a room in the hotel at the special price of $110. For more information on tickets or to book to be a part of the action call Tabcorp Park Melton on (03) 8746 0631. Harness Racing Victoria
The Ballarat & District Trotting Club Inc. is about to expand its highly successful “Standardbred Group” syndications. Formed around seven years ago, The Ballarat & District Trotting Club Standardbred Group is made up of trots lovers who have come together to enjoy ownership of a pacer. Each horse raced by the syndicate has around 80 plus “owners” and this keeps the individual cost to a minimum. Syndicate Manager, Mr Neil Stevens said “We are not expecting to make our fortune from the syndicate, but we have a lot of fun, hopefully get a photo for the wall and have a great time at the trots each time one of our horses is racing.” In recent years the syndicate has provided exciting racing for its members at little cost, with current horses: “Bit of a Babe” three-year-old filly trained by Geoff Webster, a grand finalist in the APG and Breeders Crown as a two-year-old, with four wins and earnings in excess of $40,000.00. “Nobetterthanthis” three-year-old filly trained by Jodi Quinlan which has just started racing and has three placings from her first six starts. Mr. Stevens said that a new rising two-year-old filly has been leased and the Club is inviting interested people to join the new syndicate. The filly is by Grinfromeartoear out of Lavish Franco making her a half sister to quality three-year-old “Lavish Art”. The filly will be trained by Geoff Webster. An initial outlay of $100.00 is all that is required, with ongoing costs then being dependant on how much stake money the horse earns. Mr. Stevens said that a cost of around $200.00 per person per year has been the maximum outlay required in recent years, which equates to no more than $4.00 per week for a great interest in the sport. Trotting enthusiasts interested in joining the syndicate are advised to contact the Syndicate Manager, Neil Stevens on 0400 206 463 or the Ballarat & District Trotting Club on 5335 9041 for full details. Harness Racing Victoria
Advancing years have not dimmed the brilliance of rising 11-year-old Sneakyn Down Under, who gave a typical powerful frontrunning performance to crush his rivals in the $35,000 Howard Porter Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven with supreme confidence by part-owner and trainer Darren Duffy, Sneakyn Down Under earned a reprieve from a proposed retirement when he stormed to victory by just over a length from Franco Renegade, rating 1.56.8 over the 2130m journey. This ended a losing sequence of ten and boosted Sneakyn Down Under’s earnings to $421,364 from 25 wins and 16 placings from 82 starts. It was the gelding’s first success for eight months and his impressive return to form prompted Duffy to reconsider his retirement plans for the big, rangy New Zealand-bred gelding. It was an historic victory, with Sneakyn Down Under maintaining his dominance in the Porter Memorial, a race he won in 2009 and 2012. No other pacer has won the group 3 event more than once since Pure Steel won the inaugural Porter Memorial in 1978. Sneakyn Down Under, favourite at 2/1, began with his usual brilliance from barrier four and dashed past Shardons Rocket to take up the running after 120m. After covering the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.6sec., Sneakyn Down Under gave the opposition little chance of overhauling him as he sped over the final three quarters in 28.8sec., 28.3sec. and 28sec. Franco Renegade (13/4) raced three back on the pegs before finishing strongly to deprive Shardons Rocket of second place. Has The Answers raced four back on the pegs and ran home gamely to be fourth. Sneakyn Down Under raced 11 times in New Zealand for two wins over 2700m as a three-year-old at Forbury before arriving in Western Australia. By American stallion Badlands Hanover, he is out of Sneaky Peak, the dam of Countess Kala, winner of the Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park in December 1999. OHOKA ASSASSIN BOOSTS STABLE’S HOPES IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred three-year-old Ohoka Assassin emerged as an excellent second string runner for the powerful Greg and Skye Bond stable in the rich Golden Nugget Classic late this year when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2536m Premier Suzuki Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Bonds have high hopes with Condrieu in the Golden Nugget, and Ohoka Assassin, fit now after being laid low by a leg problem earlier this year. “Ohoka Assassin has had a few little hiccups along the way and he damaged a hock soon after arriving in WA,” said Greg Bond. “We haven’t probably seen the best of him yet and I’m hoping that he will measure up for the Nugget. He’s got more than his share of ability.” Ohoka Assassin, favourite at 5/2 from the No. 1 barrier on the front line, was sent straight to the front by Ryan Warwick and he relished his pacemaking role. He sprinted over the final 800m in 56.9sec. and won by 1m from 4/1 third fancy Another Vinnie, who finished strongly from tenth in the middle stages and sixth at the bell. Conniving Major Dave impressed at his Gloucester park debut in finishing boldly from eighth at the bell to be third, with Slick Chapel, second favourite at 11/4, a fighting fourth after working hard, three wide and then in the breeze. Rocky Marciano also lost few admirers when he sustained a strong finishing burst from the rear to finish fifth. Ohoka Assassin won once from seven New Zealand starts and his two wins from seven WA appearances have taken his record to 14 starts for three wins, five placings and $30,575. His win came three nights after his four-year-old full-brother Ohoka Colorado was successful at Menangle to improve his record to nine wins, 13 placings and $74,725 from 42 starts. Ohoka Assassin’s dam, the Falcon Seelster mare Millwood Krystal has also produced Ohoka Arizona (20 starts for eight wins, four placings and $273,498), Ohoka Samson (29 starts for 12 wins, eight placings and $91,164), Ohoka Detroit (28 starts for four wins, six placings and $14,845) and Millwood Manhattan (19 starts for three wins, three placings and $40,364). Ohoka Arizona was an outstanding juvenile in New Zealand in 2007 when he finished well ahead of Im Themightyquinn in several races. His wins included a group 1 classic at Addington, two group 3 events and a win in the $200,000 Emerald for colts and geldings. He also finished a close second in the group 1 Sires Stakes at Addington. UNSOCIABLE MIGHTY FLYING THOMAS BECOMES A GENTLEMAN Mighty Flying Thomas is an unsociable gelding, generally unfriendly and ill-tempered and with a mind of his own. But he is a favourite at the Bickley stables of Peter Anderson because of his fierce determination, his tenacity and tremendous will-to-win. He was at his cantankerous worst when Anderson took him to Narrogin for his Western Australian debut in July of last year. He simply refused to score up at two attempts and was withdrawn by the stewards. Not amused at this punishment, Mighty Flying Thomas then dug his toes in and required a great deal of persuasion from reinsman Morgan Woodley to eventually leave the track and return to his stall in the birdcage. It was a long, wet and cold night for all concerned. However, Mighty Flying Thomas has responded to Anderson’s patient care and Woodley’s skill in the sulky to develop into an almost perfect gentleman on the track, invariably getting away swiftly and racing with tremendous zest. His speed, strength and wonderful fighting qualities have enabled him to become a shining light in his current campaign and he kept up his fine work with a notable triumph over 2/1 on favourite Pacific Warrior in the 2536m Nepean Conveyors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Mighty Flying Thomas, second fancy at 11/2, began speedily from the No. 4 barrier and after racing four wide in the early stages Woodley deftly manoeuvred the gelding into the one-out, one-back position as Showdownatmidnight worked his way past the polemarker I Am legend to take up the running after 300m. Woodley then seized the initiative, vacating the prime one-out, one-back spot after 500m and dashing Mighty Flying Thomas forward, three wide, before bursting to the front 150m later. Woodley gave Mighty Flying Thomas a breather with a leisurely first 400m section of the final mile in 32.1sec. and then he increased the tempo, reeling off quarters in 28.9sec., 28.7sec. and 28.6sec. as he kept Pacific Warrior (in the breeze) at bay on the way to recording a splendid victory by just under a length, rating 1.58.7. To maintain such a high speed and cover the final 1200m in 1min. 26.sec. was an outstanding effort by the five-year-old Mighty Flying Thomas. That time certainly compares favourably with the final 1200m in 1min. 25.1sec. recorded by open-class star Sneakyn Down Under when he won the Howard Porter Memorial, over the shorter 2130m journey later in the program. Mighty Flying Thomas is undefeated at three attempts over 2536m at Gloucester Park. Not only is he a redoubtable stayer, but he is a very smart sprinter who is being set for the $10,000 Mount Eden Golden Mile over 1750m at Kalgoorlie on September 17. Mighty Flying Thomas has had 13 starts in WA for six wins and three placings and his career record stands at 12 wins and ten placings for stakes of $87,213 from just 40 starts. While he is performing strongly, so, too, is his six-year-old half-sister Flying Pocketlands, who took her record to 21 wins, 29 placings and $442,423 from 90 starts when she won the listed classic, the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Mares Free-For-All at Ballarat on Saturday of last week. IM ELSA ENDS LOSING RUN OF 20 AND GIVES ANDREWS A DOUBLE New Zealand-bred mare Im Elsa bounced back to her best form and ended a losing sequence of 20 when she scored an impressive all-the-way victory in the 1730m Gannon’s Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She started favourite at 7/4 and her win over Sovereign Grange (11/1) and Bettor Whitby (15/1) completed a training double for Wes Andrews, who was successful earlier in the night with It And A Bit. Aiden de Campo got Im Elsa away speedily from barrier three and the six-year-old got past polemarker Siena Franco and into the lead after 200m. She set a solid pace and was never seriously threatened. She covered the final 800m in 58.3sec. and rated 1.57.1. This took Im Elsa’s record to nine wins and 19 placings for stakes of $112,632 from 63 starts. A winner of four races in New Zealand, she has raced 32 times in WA for five wins and seven placings. At her third start in WA she won the group 3 $35,000 WA Mares Mile from Artemis Belle at Gloucester Park in December 2011. By former star pacer Elsu, Im Elsa is out of Champagne Party, who won at 14 of her 40 starts and earned $152,445. Her wins included the group 2 Queen of the Pacific at Moonee Valley in June 2002. Champagne Party’s dam Bee Gee’s Dream produced star performers in Party Party (45 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and $251,236) and Another Party (149 starts for 31 wins, 42 placings and $888,678). AIDEN de CAMPO BRINGS UP HIS CENTURY Outstanding young Capel reinsman Aiden de Campo notched a century of winners in a season for the first time when he drove The Black Lord to victory in the 2100m Happy 50th Johnny Ryan Pace at Bunbury on Saturday night. The Black Lord, trained by Chelsey Harding, was favourite at 6/4 and he surged home from sixth at the bell to win in fine style from Off The Chain. BLACK PONTIAC RELISHES HIS FRONTRUNNING ROLE Victorian-bred pacer Black Pontiac has struck a purple patch for Orange Grove trainer-reinsman Donald Harper and he notched his fifth win from his past 12 starts when he set the pace and held on grimly to defeat the fast-finishing Imtheguy by a head in the 1730m West Australian Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper made the most of the perfect No. 1 barrier and Black Pontiac set a fast pace, recording a slick rate of 1.55.3 after sprinting over the final 800m in 56.9sec. Black Pontiac was second favourite at 9/4 and he defied the pressure applied by 11/8 favourite Real Hammer, who got his head in front at the bell, but was unable to forge to a clear lead. Imtheguy(6/1) enjoyed a perfect run behind the pacemaker before issuing a spirited late challenge. Lewis Hamilton (33/1) raced three back on the pegs and finished strongly to be third. Real Hammer wilted to finish fourth after working without cover throughout. Black Pontiac, owned by Tara Sweet, had 11 starts in Victoria for five wins and three placings before arriving in WA where his 63 starts have produced ten wins and seven placings. By Grinfromeartoear, Black Pontiac is the second foal out of Short And Black, who had 47 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and stakes of $53,619. Short And Black’s first foal Falcons legend is still racing in Queensland where he has earned $63,860 from 14 wins and 24 placings from 118 starts. Short And Black is one of the nine winners out of Gaviston, a daughter of Gavigold, whose nine winners included No Damage (294 starts for 46 wins, 94 placings and $240,428) and Natures Fury (317 starts for 48 wins, 104 placings and $422,193). BULLDOZER CONTINUES ON HIS MERRY WAY Victorian-bred pacer Bulldozer, claimed for $9000 by Banjup trainer Annie Belton 13 months ago, is proving a wonderful bargain. The six-year-old maintained his sound form when he surged to the front after 300m, set a brisk pace and held on to score a narrow win in the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A warm favourite at 5/4, Bulldozer had to be driven right out by Chris Lewis to hold on and beat Ohoka Samson (11/1) by a nose after a photo-finish malfunction left the judges to make a decision in a desperately close finish. The judges were unanimous in their declaration that Bulldozer had hung on by the barest possible margin. Ohoka Samson started from the outside of the front line and Kade Howson restrained him back to last in the field of 11 before he dashed the gelding forward after 700m. Ohoka Samson moved outside the pacemaker at the 1100m mark and he sustained a spirited finishing effort to cross the line locked together with Bulldozer. Wrongly Accused (9/2) ran home solidly along the pegs to be a close third after trailing the pacemaker. Bulldozer, a Courage Under Fire gelding, was acquired by Belton after contesting a claimer at Warragul in August of last year and he now has raced 21 times for his new owner for five wins and five placings for stakes of $57,521. His career record now stands at 99 starts for 15 wins, 28 placings and $118,677. A half-brother to The Sentry, who earned $452,452 from 23 wins and 13 placings from 61 starts, Bulldozer looks set to continue to be a good moneyspinner. KOTARE ASH CHARGES HOME FROM A “HOPELESS” POSITION Kotare Ash, seemingly in a hopeless position when locked in on the pegs in sixth position 250m from home, was eased into the clear by Kaiden Hayter on the turn and sprinted brilliantly to get up and snatch a thrilling last-stride victory over Riverboat Ning in the 1730m Brear And Doonan Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hayter, who was having his first drive behind the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old mare for Serpentine trainer Chris Brew, had her travelling well three back on the pegs all the way while polemarker and 5/4 on favourite Libra Belle was bowling along in front for Dean Miller. Riverboat Ning (8/1) trailed the pacemaker and when Peter Tilbrook eased her off the pegs 225m from home, Hayter was able to get off the pegs and follow Niverboat Ning, who looked certain to win when she swept to the front 70m from the post. But Kotare Ash sprouted wings to overhaul Riverboat Ning right on the line. Arch On Fire ran home gamely to be third, while Libra Belle wilted to fifth. Kotare Ash, a 17/1 tote chance, rated 1.57.3 and ended a losing sequence of 18 and improved her record to 42 starts for nine wins, nine placings and $85,047. Kotare Ash’s victory was the beginning of a great weekend for Hayter, who landed a double at Bunbury on Saturday night. He was successful with the Brian Clemens-trained Asbo (5/2) in the Sky Channel Pace and 30 minutes later he drove his own nomination Pacific Playboy (20/1) to a fast-finishing victory over Tate Gully Gold in the GWN7 Handicap over 2500m. KISS CHASEY ENDS A GOOD NIGHT FOR LEWIS Champion reinsman Chris Lewis completed a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night when 11/1 chance Kiss Chasey proved too strong for his 11 rivals in the final event, 2130m SEW-Eurodrive Westbred Pathway Pace. Kiss Chasey, a five-year-old by Yankee Sensation trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri and owned by Lewis’s wife Debra, raced three wide early before charging to the front in the first circuit and then setting a solid pace, with Smooth Caesar working hard in the breeze. Moonlight Rockhole finished strongly from eighth at the bell to be second, a length behind the winner, with the 7/4 on favourite Sparkling Seelster a fast-finishing and unlucky third. Sparkling Seelster lacked dash from the No. 1 barrier, with Loaded Aussie beginning speedily from barrier five to take up the early running. Sparkling Seelster was hemmed in on the pegs in seventh position at the bell and did not obtain a clear passage until late in the race. Kiss Chasey has been a good performer for Olivieri, with the gelding’s 25 starts producing seven wins, seven placings and $52,969 in prizemoney. Lewis was successful earlier in the night with Bulldozer in the Yes Loans Pace. Kiss Chasey is out of former smart performer Hello Boys, who raced 55 times for 12 wins, 17 placings and $89,541. Hello Boys, a half-sister to former top-flight mare Party Date, is out of Boom Or Bust, a winner at eight of her 36 starts. Party Date earned $256,003 from 25 wins and 27 placings from 111 starts. Her victories included the 2004 Ladyship Cup at Moonee Valley and the 2005 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park. IT AND A BIT GETS THE JOB DONE IN FINE STYLE Victorian-bred pacer It And A Bit, related to 1990 WA Derby winner Pappy McCoy, showed that he should win more races for Brookdale trainer Wes Andrews when Ben Keiley drove him to a convincing all-the-way victory in the 2130m Del Basso Smallgoods Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A heavily-supported 9/4 favourite, It And A Bit was smartest to begin from the No. 1 barrier and he won by one and a half lengths from Cup of Life (who trailed him throughout), with 40/1 chance Veitchy running into third place after racing three back on the pegs. Franco Hendrix, who raced four back on the pegs, rattled home along the inside from ninth at the 300m to be fourth. It And A Bit dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and rated 1.57.7. It And A Bit, a winner of nine races in Victoria, has had 28 starts in WA for four wins and seven placings. He is still eligible for metropolitan maiden events with a handy record of 13 wins and 39m placings for stakes of $88,202 from 107 starts. It And A Bit’s maternal granddam Meagan Brooke produced talented South Australian pacer Pappy McCoy, who included the 1990 WA Derby among his 31 wins in a splendid 111-start career which netted $327,932 in prizemoney. WHOS MISTAKE, CLAIMED FOR $8000, CONTINUES HIS WINNING WAYS When Victorian horseman Geoff Webster outlaid $8000 to claim Whos Mistake at Melton in June 2012 he certainly did not predict that the Victorian-bred pacer would be such an outstanding moneyspinner. Webster sent Whos Mistake to Western Australia to be prepared by ace trainer Gary Hall sen. But Whos Mistake managed just one third placing from his first seven starts for Hall before being sent for a spell. Hall revitalised the gelding who resumed racing after a four-month absence with a runaway 11-length victory in moderate company in Albany last January. At Gloucester Park on Friday night Whos Mistake maintained his splendid form with a narrow victory over Gday Mate in the 2503m Alltools Handicap. That took his record for Webster and Hall to 28 starts for six wins and ten placings for stakes of $82,735. His career record now stands at 114 starts for 16 wins, 23 placings and $122,600. Whos Mistake started from the 10m mark and second fancy at 7/2 on Friday night and Gary Hall jun. got him away brilliantly, while the 5/4 on favourite Balleybofey galloped badly on the front line. Whos Mistake surged to the front after 280m and Hall rated him well in front before the seven-year-old sprinted over the final 400m in 28.3sec. He held on doggedly to beat 20/1 chance Gday Mate by a nose, with Johnny Diamond a solid third after trailing the pacemaker. Balleybofey made up a great deal of ground and ran on along the inside from ninth on the home turn to finish fifth. by Ken Casellas
TURVEY CELEBRATES HIS CENTURY WITH LAST-STRIDE HIGGINS TRIUMPH Nathan Turvey celebrated his achievement of driving 100 winners in a season for the first time by producing a perfect exhibition in the sulky to land Pacific Warrior a dramatic final-stride winner over odds-on favourite Condrieu in the $35,000 John Higgins Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 35-year-old Turvey, a former Hawthorn footballer, brought up his century when Banned For Life completed a winning double for him at Northam the previous Tuesday night. Pacific Warrior, third favourite at 4/1, started from the inside of the back line in the group 3 Higgins Memorial and Turvey drove patiently with the New Zealand-bred five-year-old three back on the pegs in eighth place for most of the 2130m journey. Pacific Warrior was still eighth when Turvey eased him back to get off the pegs and into the clear 320m from home. Turvey then switched Pacific Warrior five wide and the gelding was ninth, out six wide on the home turn before charging home to get up and snatch victory by a nose from Condrieu (5/4 on), with the gallant Mighty Flying Thomas (25/1) a head away in third place. Pacific Warrior was produced in tip-top shape by Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams, who prepares the gelding for Rob Tomlinson’s Oz-West Pacing Syndicate, Phil Eaton’s Northam Alliance Pacing Syndicate and co-owners Bruce Greenwood, Greg Richens, Joseph Lawrence, Reegan Buswell and Ian Gillespie. The final 800m was covered in 57.7sec. and Pacific Warrior rated 1.58.6 in taking his record to 45 starts for 16 wins and 11 placings for earnings of $109,774. He won at four of his 27 New Zealand starts and he was excelled under the care of Williams, with his 18 WA starts producing 12 wins and four placings. He is a Pinjarra specialist, having 11 starts there for nine wins, one third and one 11th placing. He was making only his fourth appearance at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Condrieu, trained by Greg and Skye Bond and the only three-year-old in the race, began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and Brown had him in front after 120m. Soho Aintree pressed forward to move into the breeze before Our Major Mark surged forward to assume the position outside the pacemaker after 550m had been covered. Colin Brown then was able to give Condrieu a welcome breather and the gelding was able to coast through the first two sections of the final mile in 31.2sec. and 31.1sec. No moves came from the rear and the moderate pace saw Morgan Woodley seize the initiative by sending Mighty Flying Thomas forward, three wide, from well back with 1200m to travel. This run was followed by Heez Orl Black (Kim Prentice). The tempo of the race lifted dramatically and Condrieu sped over the third quarter in 28.7sec. as Mighty Flying Thomas continued his three-wide surge forward. Condrieu and Mighty Flying Thomas were locked together in a titanic duel all the way in the home straight before they were overhauled by the flying Pacific Warrior. GIANTKILLER LIVINGONTHEINTEREST BEATS IM THEMIGHTYQUINN AGAIN Lightly-raced five-year-old Livingontheintrest caused a major upset at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and carried far too many guns for champion Im Themightyquinn in the 2536m George Maloney Memorial Pace. Livingontheinterest was second favourite at 15/2, with Im Themightyquinn at 5/1 on. Livingontheinterest began with his usual speed from barrier two on the front line and Kim Prentice rated the gelding perfectly in front while Im Themightyquinn, who started from barrier two on the back line, raced in eighth position in the one-wide line. Livingontheinterest went through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 29.7sec. and 30.3sec. and Gary Hall jun. started a three-wide move with Im Themightyquinn with 950m to travel. Im Themightyquinn was sixth, three wide, at the bell and he sustained a strong burst. But at no stage did he appear likely to overhaul Livingontheinterest on the rain-affected track and he finished second, 4m behind his stablemate, with another stablemate Hokonui Ben (Shane Butcher, 33/1) finishing an excellent third after racing without cover in the final two circuits. This gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. a rare trifecta result. Hall just missed landing the quartet, with his fourth runner Bettor Reason (100/1, Justin Prentice) running on from ninth at the bell into fifth place. Uppy Son was a sound fourth after racing wide early and then one-out and one-back in the final two circuits. Livingontheinterest made Im Themightyquinn’s task extremely difficult by sprinting over the final two quarters in 28.3sec. and 28.2sec. He rated 1.59 and took his record to 32 starts for 17 wins and seven placings for earnings of $184,185. He won at seven of his 15 starts in New Zealand and has been a star for the Hall stable, with his 18 WA starts producing ten wins and two minor placings. This was the second time this year that Livingontheinterest had proved the master of Im Themightyquinn. Prentice drive him to an all-the-way victory at 7/1 over 2130m at a 1.55.6 rate at Gloucester Park on January 4 when Im Themightyquinn started from barrier four and at 5/1 on. Im Themightyquinn ran on from tenth at the bell to finish fourth, 17.7m behind Livingontheinterest. PLAYLE WINS RISING STARS WITH BENJAMIN BANNEKER Chris Playle was rewarded with his confidence and aggression by landing Benjamin Banneker an easy winner of the $25,000 RWWA Rising Stars Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Benjamin Banneker, trained by Gary Hall sen., was hot favourite at 5/2 on and the 23-year-old Playle drove the New Zealand-bred four-year-old like the best horse in the race. Playle sent Benjamin Banneker forward from the No. 5 barrier and the gelding raced three wide until moving outside the pacemaker Looks Promising after 650m. Benjamin Banneker surged to the front 550m from home and went on to win by one and a half lengths from 14/1 chance Wrongly Accused, rating 1.58.8 over the 2130m. Wrongly Accused, driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, impressed in finishing strongly from eighth at the bell. Max Hughes, winner of the New South Wales Rising Stars series this year, brought 16/1 chance Bettor Still home with a solid burst to be third after trailing the pacemaker throughout. Marooned (Kaiden Hayter) was fourth after racing without cover early and then enjoying the ideal one-out, one-back trail. Benjamin Banneker, unraced in New Zealand, has had 18 starts in WA for Hall for nine wins, three placings and stakes of $80,270. By Washington VC, he is the fifth foal out of the Soky’s Atom mare Lavish, who failed to win a race from 21 starts, but was placed nine times. Benjamin Banneker has graduated to an M3 mark and is destined to make his mark in open-class events. He is certainly on track to emulate the deeds of his half-sister Pacific Playgirl, who has amassed $206,696 in prizemoney from 18 wins and 24 placings from 91 starts. MISS ATOMIC GIVES OWNER, TRAINER AND DRIVER FIRST LEG OF A DOUBLE Improving three-year-old filly Miss Atomic gave promise of better things to come when she completed a winning hat-trick with an effortless victory in the 1730m TAB Touch Pace at Gloucester park on Friday night. Her win was the first leg of a double for owner Neven Botica, trainer Peter Tilbrook and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko, who combined to win the Tom Thompson Memorial Claiming Pace with Tee Pee Village. Miss Atomic, an easy winner at Pinjarra at her two previous starts, was favourite at 5/4 for Friday night’s event and Suvaljko gave her supporters little cause for concern after dashing her to the front (from barrier four) after 150m. Miss Atomic sprinted over the final 800m in 57.3sec. and won by 8m from 45/1 chance Eselar, who ran home solidly after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Four Legged Frenzy (8/1) was third after trailing the pacemaker. Suvaljko now has driven Miss Atomic five times for four wins. The filly has earned $24,130 from four wins and two thirds from eight starts. Miss Atomic is by Grinfromeartoear out of the Badlands Hanover mare Atomic Dusk, who earned $18,889 from four wins and three placings from 18 starts, including two wins from 15 starts in WA in 2005-06. Atomic Dusk’s dam Tender Is The Knight has produced several winners, including Clear Atomic Day, who had 55 starts for 18 wins (three in New Zealand, one in Queensland and 14 in New South Wales) from 55 starts. After the TAB Touch Pace the stewards fined reinsman Bob Mellsop $200 for careless driving. Mellsop drove Mississippi Bell, who was retired in the first lap after contacting the sulky of Too Exceed and receiving a flat tyre. The stewards ruled that Mellsop had shifted into a position when he was not sufficiently clear. The 11-year-old Tee Pee Village appreciated a favourable barrier and he set the pace in Friday night’s 2130m claimer before dashing away to win by four lengths from Shardons Rocket, rating 1.57.6 over 2130m. Tee Pee Village shared favouritism at 7/4 with Rakarebel and he relished his frontrunning role, with Shardons Rocket in the breeze. Tee Pee Village was purchased by Botica as a yearling in New Zealand for just $20,000 and now the Tinted Cloud gelding has earned $224,407 from 21 wins and 24 placings from 92 starts. Tee Pee Village’s dam Village Green is out of Totara Road, whose dam Totara Valley produced former champion pacer Village Kid, who amassed $2,117,870 from 93 wins and 37 placings from 160 starts. There was one claim lodged in Friday night’s race, with Jason Restagno, of Sydney, outlaying $20,000 to claim Rakarebel, who fought on from seventh, three wide, at the bell to be fourth. GENERALLY OUTSPOKEN FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR STRETTO Smart two-year-old Generally Outspoken completed a hat-trick of wins when successful in the 1730m Colin Hamersley Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to replicate the deeds of her maternal great granddam Our Stretto. The New Zealand-bred Our Stretto had six starts as a two-year-old at Brisbane’s Albion Park in June and July 1985 for four wins and two seconds before developing into a quality mare who ended her 103-start career with a record of 35 wins and 32 placings for earnings of $167,950. Generally Outspoken, trained at Northam by Glenn Elliott, looks set to become a leading candidate for the rich WA Oaks next season. Her easy victory on Friday night improved her record to 11 starts for four wins and two seconds for stakes of $44,120 for owners Robert Watson and Grace Inwood. Generally Outspoken is the first foal out of Return To Gold, a granddaughter of Our Stretto who raced 31 times for four wins, seven placings and $40,057. Generally Outspoken, favourite at 6/4, started from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line in Friday night’s race and Gary Hall jun. wisely let her settle down at the rear before sending her forward, three wide, after 500m to work in the breeze outside the pacemaker Reckless Abandon (9/2). Hall got Generally Outspoken to a narrow lead 570m from home and he nursed her to score by a neck from 2/1 second favourite Maddy White, who fought on doggedly after racing in the one-out, one-back position. Major Flirt was third and Reckless Abandon wilted to finish fifth. WHOS MISTAKE PROVING A SPLENDID BUY FOR Geoff Webster There are plenty of bargains in claiming events around Australia and Victorian horseman Geoff Webster made no mistake when he spent just $8000 13 months ago to claim Whos Mistake. Whos Mistake won that 1720m claiming event at Melton and Webster sent the Victorian-bred pacer straight to Western Australia to be prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. Whos Mistake was disappointing and managed just one third placing and earnings of $850 from his first seven starts for Hall. Hall then sent Whos Mistake for a spell and the seven-year-old has raced consistently since resuming racing. Now Whos Mistake has had 26 starts for Webster and Hall for five wins and ten placings for earnings of $71,665. Whos Mistake started at 15/2 when he won the $25,000 Ron Gallop Memorial final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Whos Mistake started out wide at No. 5 on the front line and Gary Hall jun. restrained him back to the rear. Whos Mistake was in tenth position when Hall sent him forward, three wide, 1150m from home. Whos Mistake moved to fifth at the bell and sustained his strong effort to get to the front 120m from the post before winning by just under a length from 26/1 chance Sir Swanky, who flashed home late for Morgan Woodley. Seven Wishes, the second favourite at 6/1 who trailed the pacemaker and 5/2 on favourite Me Old Mate, was third, with Me Old Mate fading to fourth. The final 800m was covered in 57.3sec. and Whos Mistake rated 1.58.5. He now moves to an M3 classification. BRAEMOOR IS MAKING HIS MARK FOR PRENTICE Two years ago Lovers Delight was a strong performer in Western Australia when he was placed in five group events. And now his older half-brother Braemoor is making his mark for Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice. Braemoor, a six-year-old Christian Cullen gelding, started at 11/2 and gave a strong frontrunning display to win the 25034m Bill Steer Memorial Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was his fifth win from 16 WA starts and improved his record to eight wins and 12 placings and stakes of $68,286 from 47 starts. He is a son of New Zealand mare Love Isin The Air, who produced Lovers Delight, who in 2011 finished second in the Caduceus Club Classic, second in the Western Gateway and third in the WA Derby as a three-year-old and second in the Four-Year-Old Championship and second in the McInerney Ford Classic later in the year. After the polemarker Nipperinghall had begun tardily in Friday night’s stand, Prentice dashed Braemoor straight to the front and after going through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31sec. and 30.5sec. he increased the tempo. Each of the final two quarters was covered in 28.9sec. and Braemoor fought on determinedly to win by 1m from 5/1 chance Nipperinghall, who finished strongly after trailing the leader. Courageous Ned came from three back on the pegs to be third. Western Cullen, favourite at 2/1 from the back mark of 20m, settled down a distant last before starting a three-wide run with 1200m to travel. He moved to seventh (three wide) at the bell and just plugged on into seventh place. NO TROUBLE FOR OUR CLASSIE MACH FROM THE INSIDE BARRIER The great value of starting from the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park was further illustrated on Friday night when Matt White drove Our Classie Mach to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2536m Cyril Lilleyman Memorial Pathway Pace. Our Classie Mach, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo for Merv and Meg Butterworth, was a firm 7/4 on favourite and was not fully extended in beating Sparkling Seelster and The Black Lord, who dead-heated for second. The Black Lord (11/1) trailed the pacemaker all the way and ran home along the inside, while Sparkling Seelster, a 23/1 chance, was most impressive after being trapped three wide in the early stages. Justin Prentice eased Sparkling Seelster back to last in the field of 12 before he began a three-wide move approaching the bell. The Falcon Seelster five-year-old finished powerfully and will pay to follow. Mosquito Buzzin, the second favourite at 13/2, raced in ninth position before dashing forward in the middle stages to move into the breeze at the bell. Mosquito Buzzin got on terms with Our Classie Mach 500m from home before wilting slightly to finish a close-up seventh. Our Classie Mach’s dam, the unraced Heathvale has also produced a good performer in five-year-old Classievale, who has had 16 starts in Victoria for nine wins, three placings and $65,138. LEWIS MAKES THE MOST OF AN UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITY Champion reinsman Chris Lewis made the most of a late call-up to guide The Dragons Den to victory in the 2503m TAB Touch.Mobi Trotters handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lewis replaced Wanneroo trainer Bob Fyfe’s regular reinsman Terry Wegner, who became ill on Friday. The Dragons Den, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old making his second Australian appearance, was a solidly-supported 10/9 on favourite and Lewis rated him perfectly in the breeze while polemarker Sandakan Lombo set the pace. The Dragons Den got his head in front with 600m to travel and he went on to win by a half-length from Conquer All, who finished gamely from fifth at the bell. Ushaka Bromac, the backmarker off 30m, improved from sixth at the bell to be a close third. The Dragons Den has earned $77,171 from seven wins and 13 placings from 54 starts and should win more races in Western Australia. His dam Sunny Ilsa had 21 starts for two wins, four placings and $21,494. by Ken Casellas
Very seldom two four horse races are a highlight on any harneess racing program but on Friday night the heats of the Breeders Crown are interesting the colts & geldings heat has a Victorian boarder hopper in the Geoff Webster trained Mardy Bicken who won at his first start at Hamilton before two unplaced runs since.
The second night of the Mildura Cup Carnival on Thursday April 11 was highlighted by two trotting races which are only held once a year in Sunraysia.
Flaming Flutter has drawn the extreme barrier for the harness racing 'Tankard Dental Mildura Guineas', but it hasn't stopped TAB fixed odds opening him at $1.40.
It’s rare that a metropolitan meeting goes by where harness racing trainer/driver Geoff Webster doesn't have a handful of steers but that scenario will play out Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton.