Search Results
1 to 16 of 445
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Sound the shark warning, Lenny is lurking in the shallows and after drawing barrier number two in Sunday afternoon's Len Smith Mile, the reigning harness racing Inter Dominion champion and Miracle Mile runner up is set to start well into the red at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Stablemate Hectorjayjay has not fared as well in the draw and will start outside the second row in barrier fourteen. Here is the full barrier draw 1 Yayas Hot Spot 2 Lennytheshark 3 Mach Beauty 4 Alta Jerome 5 Jilliby Jagger Emergency 2 6 Ohoka Punter 7 Frith 8 Blazin N Cullen 9 Bettor Bet Black 10 My Jellignite 11 Lochinver Emergency 1 12 It Is Billy 13 Monifieth 14 Hectorjayjay Greg Hayes

The barrier draw for the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge for harness racing three year old colts and geldings was conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night.  The colts and geldings qualified in semi finals earlier in the evening. The $153,000 Final is one of seven Group 1 events to be run on Sunday June 26 at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The barrier draw is 1 Thats Ideal Amy Day 2 Captain Rockey 1st Emergency David Grant 3 Shape Up Mike Michael Teuma 4 Arma The Gun Brad Hewitt 5 Effronte Belinda McCarthy 6 Rock Of America Michael Doltoff 7 Imthevillagestar Russell Reynolds 8 Uncle Peter Anthony Frisby 9 Sams The Master Nathan Turnbull 10 Si Nadore Kerry Ann Turner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 SECOND ROW 11 Charlaval Kerry Ann Turner 12 Old Studley Road 2nd Emergency John Ogden 13 Fouroeight Mat Rue 14 Match In Heaven Paul Fitzpatrick     The fillies qualified in semi finals earlier in the evening. The $153,000 final is one of seven Group 1 events to be run on Sunday June 26 at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The barrier draw is 1 Rockmemama Darryl Thomas 2 Sportygal Steve Turnbull 3 Jilliby Jitterbug Margaret Lee 4 Heavens Trend Emma Stewart 5 Eye See Diamonds Nathan Jack 6 Mist You Brad Hewitt 7 My Mackenzie Mark Purdon 8 Sport Report 1st EMERGENCY Mark Hewitt 9 Art Mistress 2nd EMERGENCY Bernie Hewitt 10 Ima Mystery Girl Jarrod Alchin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 SECOND ROW 11 Rainbow Flash Kerry Ann Turner 12 Pixies Parlour Steve Turnbull 13 Merrywood Ruby Wayne Dimech 14 Cherry Mahoney Steve Turnbull     Greg Hayes

Unraced two year old Karloo Threeothree has already suffered a serious injury but has fought his way back and harness racing trainer Barry Lew is hoping the son of Mach Three shows just as much fight when he debuts on Sunday at Peak Hill. The youngster broke a bone in his leg after getting caught under a post in his yard and needed the best part of nine months to recover. "I had him at home and he was going very nicely but I found him caught up in his yard and the vets found that he had broken a bone in his leg near his stifle joint," Lew said. "He's going well enough to go to the races but he still needs to learn a bit more and Sunday's experience should do him the world of good. I even thought about making a comeback to the sulky to drive him because my regular driver Mat Rue is driving one for Bernie (Hewitt) but I had second thoughts and the first person I rang (Amanda Turnbull) said she'd drive him for sure." While Lew is missing race driving and he would love to experience the thrill again he is concerned about the damage he could do if he was involved in a fall. I'm 63 now and if I got thrown out and got busted up then it might mean I would have to give away the training and while I'm getting a bit long in the tooth, I'm not ready to give away training the horses just yet. "I've still got a few in work including Courage To Rule and I'm hoping to get him back to the races. I had him nominated for Peak Hill but he didn't get a run so hopefully he will get a start at Bathurst. I've got an American Ideal youngster and a Somebeachsomewhere out of Karloo Ronnie that I'm breaking in as well so I'm keeping myself pretty busy." Karloo Threeothree was purchased from the Sydney APG sales and was bred by New Zealand race caller Mark McNamara and close friend Aaron Goadsby. Lew had always wanted a horse by Mach Three but when it came to naming him he found the job difficult. "It is a funny story because he was my first Mach Three but I already had a horse called Karloo Mac. He wasn't by Mach Three but named after a Mack Truck. This bloke was the third yearling I was working with that season so I called him Three and thought about calling him Karloo Three but it just didn't sound right. "So Ronnie was looking through his papers and said his brand ended in 303 so I thought that had a good ring to it, so he became known as Karloo Threeothree. The funny thing is the number 303 on his papers had nothing to do with his brand but that's his name now anyway!" Lew is confident that in time Karloo Threeothree will develop into a nice horse. "With some experience and then some time to develop I think he could develop into a really serious horse, I really like him." Lew still gets great pleasure watching his pride and joy Karloo Mick playing in his paddock. "He is in a paddock that is alongside my track and when I'm working a couple he still likes to race me down the fenceline. His paddock ends so he has to wheel around and sure enough by the time I get around to his paddock again he is ready to race me. "He is rising 16 but still looks a million dollars and I reckon he would still love to be in work." Greg Hayes

Sportswriter mare Niki No No will compete in the Alabar Breeders Challenge this season for the first time. Connections of the Group 1 winner have decided to target the Breeders Challenge series rather than Harness Racing Victorian features with the conditions of the NSW series more suitable to the four year old mare. Part owner Rob Auber confirmed there had been some discussion between connections on whether they would aim at the Breeders Challenge. "She won the Vicbred as a two year old and finished second in it last year at three but the mile racing is ideal for her so the Breeders Challenge was the way we decided to go this season and we're looking forward to seeing her compete at Menangle," Auber said. "Her recent form has been against very good opposition and sometimes racing mares out of their grade helps them take that next step in their development. Importantly she is very fit going into the series and Kari and Paul Males are experts at having horses peak for a particular series." Niki No No will compete in the first of Saturday night's Alabar Breeders Challenge semi finals for the four year old mares and has been installed second favourite for the race behind the Belinda McCarthy trained Makes Every Scents. According to Auber, Niki No No's gate speed should negate the effects of the wide barrier draw. "Her versatility is a huge bonus, she has got the acceleration at the start so she can come out of the gate and she can also come with a run but because she is so fit on Saturday night she will go forward early on. "Makes Every Scents is a very good mare and Dolly Braveheart has been racing well too, I have a lot of respect for the opposition but she has had the perfect lead up to the series and there will be no excuses." Niki No No had nine starts as a two year old, ten at three and is lining up on Saturday for her tenth at four. "She won't have many more starts this season. Hopefully the final of the Breeders Challenge and maybe one more and she will deserve a good long break. "The Mares Classic in Perth at the end of the year might be twelve months too soon but I won't rule it out totally because one of her owners is WA trainer Gary Elson. If she measures up, the Ladyship Mile next year could be the agenda for her." Auber also owns a share in stablemate Bella Sainz and she will compete in the second of the semi finals. "Bella Sainz has all the ability in the world but she is a stress head and her worst enemy in the world is herself. She hasn't had a lot of racing because she has never been mature enough mentally. "I'm quietly confident she can qualify for the final by running well on Saturday night. She is a fast beginner and her two victories she has led from start to finish." The mares will travel up from Victoria on Saturday morning and Auber is hoping the trip away helps Bella Sainz take the next step. "They will head up on Saturday morning, stay at Menangle on Saturday night and head home on Sunday morning. I'm hoping the trip away from home might just make her grow up. "If you go back through her career you will see that she only has about four runs each campaign because of her immaturity. Stepping up to race mares the calibre of Ameretto might just help with her development." Auber has an affinity with mares having also raced Group 1 winner Bellas Delight. The daughter of Bettors Delight was retired in November last year and is enjoying winding down from a career that saw her earn more than $442,000. "Bellas Delight is at Benstud, she is enjoying her retirement and will be put in foal this breeding season. At this stage we will be going to Somebeachsomewhere." Greg Hayes

Following the endless commitment to fight against the use of illegal substances, Harness Racing New South Wales collected over 40 samples from horses around Bathurst on Monday. Samples were taken at stables and from horses competing at the Bathurst trials. HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny confirmed the controlling body would continue to provide confidence to participants and punters using a number of different strategies. "HRNSW will continue to implement strong equine drug control procedures to ensure that all horses are competing on their merits. The integrity of the sport is crucial to its success and all stakeholders should be confident in the strategies being taken," Mr Dumesny said. Greg Hayes

Successful harness racing owners Emilio and Mary Rosati have raced some very talented horses around the world. When questioned about the best horse he has owned he quickly answers Excel Stride, but the gelding's ranking could be under threat due to the emergence of impressive American filly Blue Moon Stride. The Mark Harder trained filly won the $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes Final at the Meadowlands over the weekend and Rosati believes this is just the beginning for the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover. "I spoke to her driver Andy McCarthy after the win and he told me she cruised home and he never touched her, I think she might be something special," Rosati said. "She ran 1:50 and two fifths at her run prior and Andy told me he thought she could have broken 1:50 if he had asked her to. She is staked for a lot of big races over there and Pocono will be her next stop." Blue Moon Stride's dam is Classic Star, a full sister to superstar sire Bettor's Delight and Rosati was very keen to buy into the family. "They don't come much better bred than her, it is an interesting story because she had a full sister go through the sales before I bought her. I looked at the full sister but I wasn't 100% happy with her confirmation and she ended up going for $120,000 at auction. "When Mr Perretti died the family sold all of his horses including the weanlings so I rang Mark Harder about the weanling. He went and had a look at her and told me she was very small but very correct, I was very keen to buy into the family so I told Mark to go and buy her." Harder purchased the weanling filly at auction and contacted Rosati to pass on the good news. "When Mark rang he told me he had purchased her but I was shocked when he told me the price, I couldn't believe it when he said he only paid $27,000 for her. The Americans just don't like buying weanlings, they like to see the yearlings stride out and because she was small I think that's why I got her so cheap. "I sent her straight to a farm that I have sent horses to before where the grass is up to the horses' knees and told them to take care of her. She continued to grow and she is now the best part of 16 hands." Rosati is hoping to see Blue Moon Stride compete in Delaware and Lexington. "I'd love to see her race in the Jugette and then go to the Red Mile, if that was the case Mary and I would go over to watch her. "We aren't going to Canada, she picked up an allergy when she went last year and while there are some nice races there for her, it took too long for her to get over the problems last season." Blue Moon Stride was a tall lean two year old but has developed as an early three year old. "She really filled out and has matured a lot, if she stays sounds then who knows where she may end up, I'd like to bring her to Sydney to race in the 2018 Miracle Mile but there is a lot to happen between now and then." "She hasn't done as much as Excel Stride did yet but she has the potential to be my best." Rosati confirmed the filly will end up coming to Australia whether it is to race or breed. "All of my broodmares are here in Australia so at some stage she will be here too. I'd love to see her come here and race but when I bought her I wanted to buy into the family and her bloodlines are so good that I'm excited by what she could do as a broodmare." Greg Hayes

The harness racing meeting scheduled for Menangle on Monday afternoon has been transferred to Wednesday. A number of race meetings have been called off in New South Wales since the arrival of the east coast low weather pattern on Friday and after discussions with TAB and Sky Racing, the decision was made to move the meeting to Wednesday. The meeting will be covered by Sky Racing 2 with the new race times confirmed. Race 1 1:59pm   Race 2 2:29pm   Race 3 2:59pm   Race 4 3:26pm   Race 5 3:56pm   Race 6 4:26pm   Race 7 4:57pm   Race 8 5:30pm Harness Racing New South Wales Chief Executive John Dumesny knows the Menangle track and it surrounds and has only witnessed water levels as high on one other occasion. "When I first arrived in 1988 there was a bad flood and the water got up quite high but this is the worst it has been since the new track has been built," Mr Dumesny said. "The track itself is fine, with a little bit of work it is right to go but unfortunately getting the horse onto the course is a different matter. The river that flows behind the track is yet to peak but the water should drain away reasonably quickly anyway." The New South Wales Harness Racing Club's Chief Executive Bruce Christison confirmed the rain gauge used to measure rainfall at the track had overflowed meaning more than 255mm had fallen since Saturday morning. "We need a new gauge, I've never seen rain like it and I've been with the Club for 20 years but there is no rain now and the clouds are clearing," Mr Christison said. "Most would understand the volume of rain parts of New South Wales and Queensland have received over the weekend and the Menangle track definitely got its share." Track staff have already started to work on the track in preparation for this week's racing. "There is a spot over in the back straight that needs some work but there was no actual flooding to the track itself. Because of all the rain the track is on the hard side but the team will ensure it is ready to go. "There is a lot of water at the entry to the track, that may take awhile to drain fully but it has already started to go down. For those that know the Menangle track, you can see the river got halfway up the embankment behind the track but has already gone down a metre or so in a couple of hours." Greg Hayes

After spending the best part of May overseas enjoying a rare holiday and getting married, Shane and Lauren Tritton have arrived back in Australia and are hoping for a strong finish to the harness racing season. Shane confirmed star mare Arms Of An Angel was given the all clear to return to work on Thursday and is looking forward to getting her back to the races before the end of the August. "We are slowly getting back into the swing of things here, it took us a few days and we both picked up colds in the final couple of days in Hawaii but it is good to be back," Tritton said. "The first week and a half was stressful because of what was happening with Arms Of An Angel back in Australia but we were really able to relax and unwind in the second half of the holiday. We've received good news with Arms Of An Angel and she's back in work but I'm not going to target anything specifically with her." Tritton is hoping the Miracle Mile placegetter comes to hand quickly. "She hasn't lost too much in the way of fitness, she is lightly assessed considering the races she has competed in so I'd like to get her back to the track and racing through her grades. "Once she is back racing constantly then I will sit down with the owners and work out what races we are going to target with her." Talented two year old filly High Rolling is yet to qualify for the Alabar Breeders Challenge but looks a strong chance to be included in the semi finals on June 11. 22 horses have already qualified and while she isn't among them her form should see her scrape in. "I'm still not fully happy with her. Even on Tuesday in her heat she didn't want to go through the gap on the inside and wanted to switch on and off in the straight. We are trying to drive her off the speed, but if she doesn't click then we might have to go back to the old tactics of running them off their feet." "I would think she would get through to the semi finals on her effort in the heat and the extra time to get her spot on will be a blessing. If she qualifies for the final then the aim will be to have her peak on that day." While the stable hasn't had many runners since the couple arrived back in Australia, it will not be too long before the stable has its full complement of runners competing. "15 horses had a week off, I'd think it will be the end of the month before we have everything back running as normal. Mach Beauty might be ready for the Len Smith Mile and I'd like to take Blue Moon Rising to Victoria but I'll wait and see how it plays out." Greg Hayes

Popular harness racing horseman Chris Robinson made a surprise return to the sulky at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday afternoon when he drove the Rickie Alchin trained Decapria to victory in a heat of the Alabar Breeders Challenge. Prior to last Tuesday, Robinson's last drive in a race was on January 11, 2014 when Major Post finished seventh behind Lettucefib. It was 1165 days between race wins for Robinson with Major Post's win at Menangle on March 23, 2013 his last. "I was pumped, it was great to be back driving in a race and it was great for Decapria to win as well," Robinson said. "I have known her owner Jamie (Durnberger-Smith) for years, he actually travelled up with us when White Thunder won the Australian Pacing Gold in 2004 and he rang me on Saturday night to see if I was interested in taking the drive on Decapria." The two year old filly needed a driver with trainer and regular driver Rickie Alchin suspended. "I told Jamie I would have a think about it and get back to him. I went to the gallops the next day at Moruya and had a chat to my brother and sister and asked them what they thought. "My first inclination was to tell Jamie to use one of the regular drivers who compete at Menangle every week but after I had a chat to the family, I thought why not have a drive." While Robinson has kept his training and driving licences in recent years, he has been enjoying life away from fulltime involvement in the sport. "I like to pre-train one or two so I have always kept my licence but in terms of being fulltime in the industry I have 'been there done that'. I work for a plumbing business and I know there will be a wage for me at the end of every week and I have been enjoying more time with the family. "It has also given me time to go to the football or have a holiday without the pressure of knowing the horses are at home and need to be worked." Robinson admitted he still has a passion for the sport and still bought his National Trotguide every week. "I still follow the sport, I like to keep a close eye on what is making news and I get the Trotguide each weekend to catch up with stories from across the country. "Being a fulltime trainer is a grinding job, stables and trainers that can stay at the top for years do a great job. I don't think people realise how hard trainers like Steve Turnbull work. It is a 24 hour, seven day a week job every month of the year." After Tuesday's victory Robinson was buoyed by the number of mates who had contacted him to congratulate him on the win. "Even before the race when people saw I was having a drive I heard from people like Dennis Wilson, Darren Binskin, David Aiken, even Blake Fitzpatrick texted me." Alchin has announced Robinson will retain the drive in the semi finals of the Alabar Breeders Challenge and will also be given the option of driving her in the final should she qualify. "At this stage the plan is for Chris to take the drive in the semi final on Saturday week and if he does qualify Decapria for the final it would be very hard to take him off for the Group 1, so yes at this stage Chris will drive her," Alchin said. "I'll see how she gets through the series but I'm considering having a shot at the Breeders Crown as well but I'll just let her tell me if she is ready for that." Greg Hayes

Harness racing reinsman Chris Geary is enjoying the best season of his short career. The 18-year-old is in his second full season of driving and brought up his 100th winner for the current term at Goulburn on Monday afternoon. With the best part of three months remaining, Geary is aiming to remain in the state's top three leading drivers. While not aiming to drive 100 winners during the season, Geary admitted it may have become too much of a focus for him in the past fortnight. "I didn't start the year wanting to drive 100 winners but when I started to get closer to it I think I put a little bit too much pressure on myself and maybe tried too hard but I'm relieved that I can put that behind me now." Geary has a strong book of drives going into Saturday night's meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle and although he doesn't have a standout hope, he believes most have a realistic chance. "Ask Me Mach in the third has been going really well, there was just too much speed in the race last time and she actually hit the line really well despite being well beaten. Her form is better than it reads on paper. "I think she'll settle closer on Saturday night and if that is the case I think she has a good each way hope in that race." The Kevin Hayes trained Miss Artistic Tara is Geary's drive in the fourth event. "I thought her run last start was really good, I didn't drive her but she got caught outside the leader and battled it out right to the line. I thought she might be able to find the front and if she does she is another one that should be right in the finish. "I like to do the form on the horses I haven't driven previously or if a new horse comes to the area but I also like to keep an eye on which driver is driving each horse." Geary's association will continue with trainer Darren McCall in the feature race as he will drive Sevens Hope for the Menangle horseman in the Group 3 Mount Eden Stakes. "The horse had a really hard run on Tuesday but that doesn't worry him too much because he normally thrives off a run like that. I'm more concerned by the step up in class, he is a handy horse but has bumped into some very nice horses." Trainer David Aiken will provide Geary with his final two drives of the night, Composed in race seven and Peking Duck in the last. "Composed looks really well placed in the claiming race and despite the wide draw I think he can be a very good chance. If he goes forward and is able to find a good spot I think the race looks very suitable for him." "Peking Duck is my best chance of the night though. He is a bit one-dimensional but I think he should lead and if he repeats what he did last time out then he will go close." Without the support of a leading stable, Geary's efforts this season have been very impressive. "I work for Belinda and Luke (McCarthy) and they are very understanding if I have to travel away to drive in races and they have also given me plenty of drives too. Darren McCall has also given me a number of opportunities in the last few months and they have helped me as well. "However the majority of my drives come from smaller stables and I would like to thank all of the owners and trainers that have given me the chance this season. I'm really enjoying everything and I think my results show that." Greg Hayes

Expressions of Interest are being sought to participate in the selection of suitably experienced and qualified Building Contractors and Earthworks Contractors for the construction of the new harness racing facility at Wagga. Harness Racing New South Wales has placed advertisements in the Riverina and is keen to see the building process begin on time. HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny believes the announcement should be exciting for the industry in the local area. "It is very fulfilling we are edging closer to turning the first sod of soil on the new harness racing facility at Wagga Wagga," Mr Dumesny said. "The Riverina deserves a racing complex equal to what HRNSW has provided at Bathurst and when completed it will be a benefit not only for the industry but for the community of Wagga Wagga." The EOI's will be used to determine a select tender list for the project and must be received by McKinnon Design before 5pm Monday June 6. "This is going to be a state of the art complex, a new clubhouse, grandstand, race stalls and track will be built and it should be good news for all of the participants in the region." EOI's can be sent to McKinnon Design at PO Box 1929, Orange NSW 2800. For more information contact McKinnon Design on (02) 63631780 or info@mckinnondesign.com.au Greg Hayes

Parkes trainer Ricky Hunt is hoping Mossdale Bill can send him off a winner at Cowra on Sunday as the talented harness racing horseman is set to move to Sydney. Hunt has previously worked for trainers Shane Tritton and Michael Formosa in the Hunter Valley but will make a leap to life in Sydney as he takes up a role with the Rickie Alchin stable. Hunt has been back in Parkes for the past seven months and while he hasn't had a lot of runners in that time, he has been working up a lot of horses for other trainers in the area. It will be a big change for Hunt as he freely admits he hasn't worked with young horses a lot in the past, something that Alchin excels in. "I am looking forward to the move, it is definitely going to be something different for me because working for Shane and Mick I have worked mostly with horses already at the races," Hunt said. "Rickie breaks in a lot of young horses and I'm looking forward to learning that side of things, he also has some young trotters and I haven't worked a lot with trotters either so it will be a good learning experience." Hunt is hoping Mossdale Bill can give him the best farewell present on Sunday afternoon when the six year old gelding lines up in the feature event, the Jack Honan Memorial. "He has drawn barrier six which is going to make things tough and it means I will have to go back and hope for some luck but I was really happy with his run last start. "He was a very handy three year old but he got very sick and he lost all form for the best part of two years, he is just starting to show something again so if they go hard on Sunday he should be hitting the line well." Mossdale Bill last won a race in September 2014 when he proved too strong in a C0/C1 event when driven by Jack Trainor. "I thought he was going to be a pretty handy horse so it was disappointing when he got so sick and lost all form. "I'm not sure whether I will take him to Sydney with me or not, it will probably depend a lot on how he performs at Cowra because the competition in Sydney is pretty tough." Greg Hayes

What does Golden Slipper winner Sebring, five time Group 1 winner Theseo, Magic Millions winner Driefontein and Flight Stakes winner Danglissa all have in common? They were all syndicated by Star Thorougbred's Denise Martin and Denise will make a presentation about growing ownership in today's harness racing landscape at the HRNSW Conference - Harnessing Our Future. Star Thoroughbred has been in business for more than 20 years and continues to deliver quality service and exceptional customer care ensuring that owners receive individual attention at every stage of their racing experience. Denise Martin will discuss the best way to attract new customers and retain loyal ones in regards to horse ownership. HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny is looking forward to Denise's presentation on the first day of the two day conference that will be held at the Campbelltown Catholic Club on June 24 and 25. "Harness racing can learn a lot from the success stories in the thoroughbred industry and Denise's Star Thoroughbreds is definitely one of those stories," Mr Dumesny said. "Prize money in this state is at an all time high, currently more owners are winning races than ever before and we need to learn how to market the industry to potential owners and what should be delivered to them, it will be a very important session at the conference." People are invited to attend Harnessing The Future and can register for the two day conference by visiting the website www.hrnsw2016.com.au The cost is $110 and it includes a ticket to the Gala Dinner at the Catholic Club on the Friday evening. People will be travelling from all parts of the country to attend and anyone interested in the future of the industry should register. Greg Hayes

Morriset trainer Mark Callaghan makes a habit of winning the Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Finals, in fact he has won six previously. The $26,000 events are open to horses trained outside of a 100 kilometre radius of Menangle, that qualify in $10,000 heats across the state and Callaghan confirms that without the Country Finals he would find it tough being a fulltime harness racing trainer. There are two $26,000 finals on Saturday night and Callaghan will have a runner in both. Ima Grumpy Possum will compete in race three while Franco Salisbury will contest the fifth. "The Menangle Country Finals are great for the trainers outside of the metropolitan area because it allows them to target these races and earn great prize money," Callaghan said. "Without them I would be in a worse financial position and it also gives owners a good chance to get a return on their investment when they purchase a horse. You have to make it viable for owners because you can't expect them to keep buying horses if they're not getting a return." Ima Grumpy Possum qualified for a Country Final last month but drew poorly in the final and was forced to do a lot of work in the early stages. "She has drawn a lot better this time around and I think she would have to be my best chance on Saturday night. She was impressive in her heat and she has done a really good job for me since arriving at the stable." "I had a horse for the owners called Major Dancer and we had a fair bit of luck and won a few races. They sent me up Franco Salibury and I won five of the first seven starts I gave it, so they sent up Ima Grumpy Possum too, it has worked out really well." Franco Salisbury is set to take on Carousel winner Hez A Dude. "Franco Salisbury has drawn one and while his gatespeed is getting better with every run, I'm not sure whether he is going to be able to hold the lead. Even if he is crossed he should get a nice run throughout, but I think there is a bit more depth in his race. "Both Franco Salisbury and Ima Grumpy Possum have won two heats of the Country Series and it would great to see one of them win a final." Callaghan added he liked the way the prize money is distributed in the series. "It would be great to think harness racing could progress to the stage where the prize money that is offered in the heats of the Menangle Country Series could be offered in all races in the country. I think the way the money is split in these heats and finals is a really good thing as well. "Because they distribute the money more evenly and although the winner may only get half of the money on offer there is a better spread to the beaten horses and therefore other owners and trainers are still earning even though their horses aren't winning." Greg Hayes

The final driver in this year's New South Wales Rising Stars Series has been confirmed with Western Australian representative Stuart McDonald winning the Garrad's Junior Concession Challenge. The winner of the WA series is invited to compete in the NSW Rising Stars Series with harness racing drivers Kristy Sheehy, Dylan Edgerton-Green, Chris Voak and Justin Prentice all enjoying the experience. New Zealand born McDonald will wear the black and gold silks for the first time when the Rising Star Series begins next month. "I'm excited to be representing Western Australia and I'm very happy to go," McDonald said. "I've gone close to winning the Garrad's Junior Concession Challenge in the past, so it's good to get across the line and take one out. It's a terrific series and gives all drivers an equal opportunity with the horses balloted." McDonald won his local series with 74 points. Michael Grantham and Jocelyn Young finished in a tie for second. McDonald has improved noticeably since arriving from New Zealand and was rewarded with the drive on Ross Oliveri's Our Blackbird in the Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park last year and finished fifth. McDonald joins other NSW junior drivers - Ellen Rixon, Martelle Maguire, Ellen Bartley, Jason Grimson, Mitch Turnbull, Tom Pay, James Harding, Brad Elder and Tom Ison. The ten drivers will compete over ten heats at tracks across the state including Young, Bathurst, Penrith and Newcastle. The final heat will be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on NSW Alabar Breeders Challenge Finals Day on Sunday June 26. Reigning champion Jack Trainor decided to give up his position in the series to another young driver as he had already competed in the previous two years. Other previous winners include Robbie Morris, Max Hughes, Sam Hewitt, Chris Geary, Stacey Towers and Ashlee Grives. Greg Hayes

Eight heats of the Alabar Breeders Challenge for two year olds have been conducted across New South Wales.  The four winners of the colts and gelding heats were:         Bullet Stride - (Major In Art x Exotic Stride) Trainer Belinda McCarthy, Driver Todd McCarthy         Awesome Stride – (Art Major x Labretta Franco) Trainer Belinda McCarthy, Driver Todd McCarthy         Paternity Suit – (Rock N Roll Heaven x Rekindled Flame) Trainer/Driver Steve Maguire         Maxentius – (Mach Three x Eutropia) Trainer/Driver Blake Fitzpatrick The four winners of the heats for the fillies were:         Im With Lexy (Roll With Joe x Lexys Laughing) Trainer Bernie Hewitt, Driver Robbie Morris         Shez Sugarsweet (Somebeachsomewhere x River Valley Romance) Trainer/Driver Blake       Fitzpatrick         Dont Think Twice (Armbro Operative x Nikalong Boulevard) Trainer/Driver Jason Grimson         Rocknroll Emma (Rocknroll Hanover x Maristella) Trainer/Driver Michael Formosa Another round of heats will be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday May 31 with the two year olds attempting to qualify for the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Semi Finals.  In an attempt to clarify the situation, HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny has again stated there will be twelve runners in the semi finals and final. “There has been some confusion however it is important for all stakeholders to understand there will be twelve runners and a further two emergencies drawn in the Alabar Breeders Challenge heats (if applicable), semi finals and final for two year olds,” Mr Dumesny said. “A new two year old policy has been adopted and from the start of January a maximum of ten runners (and reserves) will be drawn in two year old races across New South Wales.  As it stands there will be twelve two year olds drawn in fields where applicable for the remainder of this season” The three year old Breeders Challenge heats begin this week and Mr Dumesny is excited by the upcoming racing. “The Alabar Breeders Challenge Final Day will be a great afternoon of racing on Sunday June 26 and I’m hoping the weather is as good this year as it was last year. “There is a lot of talent spread amongst the different age groups and divisions so the next month of racing will see the best NSW has to offer, compete for some great prize money.” Greg Hayes

1 to 16 of 445
1 2 3 4 5 Next »