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The first harness racing training partnership in New South Wales will have its first starter this Friday afternoon at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  Husband and wife combination Joe and Mary Rando have become the first recognised training partnership in the state. Mary has worked alongside Joe for more than a decade and is looking forward to watching Sundons Comet race for the partnership in race three on Friday afternoon. “I had no idea that Joe and I were going to be the first partnership in the state, we have worked together for years and I wasn’t really worried that my name didn’t appear as the trainer,” Mary Rando said. “Joe spoke to me and thought it was the best thing to do because we both put in the same amount of work around the stables and at the races.  It was worthy recognition for what I do and now that it is all about to happen I’m getting quite excited.” Mary is surprised by her excitement levels and enjoyed watching horses trial for the new partnership on Tuesday afternoon. “I didn’t think I would get too worried by it because nothing has really changed at home, we are still doing the same jobs we have done since we started out in 2000 but I’m looking forward to Friday. “When the process all started I had to complete some study online, attend the police station for a record check, have an interview with a steward and everything else that goes along with getting a trainers’ licence and I thought what have I got myself into, but now I’m proud that I have gone through the process. “Joe and I have always bounced a lot off each other.  At home I gear the horses up and Joe works them, it works well because we get a cycle going.  When we take the horses to Hawkesbury for work we will work them together.” A policy from HRNSW is available should other participants be interested in forming a partnership.  Some of the important factors effecting training partnerships include: Each partner shall be subject to any disability, fine suspension, disqualification or other penalty that may be imposed under the rules on any partner HRNSW may licence up to three persons to train as a training partnership A person who is licensed to train as a member of a training partnership in NSW shall not train as an individual or in another partnership in Australia or elsewhere An application for permission to train in a partnership shall be made by submitting the required application form completed in full, providing such information as required by HRNSW . Greg Hayes

The field for Saturday night’s harness racing Group 3 $31,800 Ave Technologies Ross Gigg Newcastle Mile has been released.  Ten runners will start off the front row. 1.           SHANNONSABLAST 2. IMAGE OF COURAGE 3. STRATHLACHLAN ANDY 4. DYNAMITE DENN NEE 5. ALTA JEROME 6. MY JELLIGNITE 7. MACH BEAUTY 8. YAYAS HOT SPOT 9. BETTOR BET BLACK 10. BLAZIN N CULLEN 11. EXPRESSIONIST Nominations for all other races have been extended until 9:30am Tuesday morning. Greg Hayes  

When Park Life arrived at the stables of Queensland trainer Wayne Graham, the veteran harness racing horseman was just hoping to get the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven to the racetrack. Park Life was one of three fillies Graham had in work and was the slowest of the trio. The thought of contesting the Australian Pacing Gold hadn't entered Graham's mind but he nominated her for the Group 3 Paleface Adios Classic and despite being the stable's second elect, finished third behind Maestro Bellini. "I didn't think much of her when we first got her and to this day she's a different horse off the track," Graham said. "We've got three fillies at home and she's eight to ten seconds slower than them on her trackwork but when she gets to the races it's like she is a totally different horse." Even after winning her third start in a mile rate of 1:55.7 at Albion Park, Graham was still unsure whether Park Life would measure up to the APG in Sydney. "I didn't even know when we left Queensland whether she had a 27 second quarter in her. Her first win was very good but she did no work early and came with a late run. "While I knew she'd be competitive I wasn't sure whether we were a realistic chance in the APG." Graham stayed with John and Narelle McCarthy in Sydney and worked the filly at the property of Luke and Belinda McCarthy and was still unsure he had made the right decision to head south. "I asked Luke what a two year old should work and he gave me an indication and we worked for the first time. Lyn (Graham's wife) drove her and told me she felt good but then I looked down at my stopwatch and thought what am I doing here, I should just pack up and go home." Park Life performed well in her semi final finishing second behind Petacular and went one better in Saturday's $322,000 final and stopped the clock in 1:53.2. "That was the biggest shock, I never thought she would go within coo-ee of that time, I am so proud of her and now we can take her home and get ready for the Breeders and the Triad. "Jossie Jones won the APG race at Albion Park on Saturday night. She was meant to compete in the Brisbane heat won by Park Life but she had a hissy fit going onto the track and had to be scratched. I could have had both of them here in Sydney in hindsight but it was great to get the victory." Greg Hayes

The 2015/16 Carnival Of Cups bonuses were finalised and presented on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Spare Me Days was declared the leading horse in the six feature races run during the Carnival Of Cups and won his harness racing owners Brad Hewitt and Milly Marmont $15,000. Spare Me Days won two of the six legs of the bonus - the Young Cup and Saturday night's Bulli Cup. The four year old also ran second in the Goulburn Cup, Penrith's Renshaw Cup and Bankstown's Sydney Cup. Horses scored points in the series depending on finishing positions in each of the six legs while owners could earn their horse a bonus four points by attending the event and reporting to the Club Secretary. The final Carnival Of Cups bonus points tally (including owners bonus points) Spare Me Days 77 Condagen 43 Yayas Hot Spot 42 Beetson 24 Tact Tate 20 Betabcool 19 Pachacuti 17 Bling It On 16 Lochinver 16 Freyberg 15 In addition to the major Carnival Of Cups bonus there was a $5,000 participation bonus.  Horses became eligible for the participation bonus by competing in a minimum two of the six feature races and were rewarded with a ticket in the draw for every race feature meeting they competed at.  Therefore after earning five tickets in the draw, it wasn’t a shock when Spare Me Days won another $5,000 for his owners Brad and Milly. After the announcement on Saturday night, Milly confirmed winning the money was well timed with an overseas trip coming up later this year. “Brad and I are off to America later in the year so winning the $20,000 has come at a perfect time for us,” Milly Marmont said. “When it was announced there was going to be bonuses for competing in the big races during the Carnival Of Cups we made the decision to target the races and it couldn’t have worked out any better.” After competing in five of the six legs of the Carnival Of Cups bonus, Spare Me Days amassed $64,500 in prizemoney and won another $20,000 in bonuses.   Greg Hayes

Luke and Belinda McCarthy are one of the strongest partnerships in Australian harness racing. The McCarthy stable trained its 1000th winner on Wednesday night at Bathurst when Bullet Stride scored. It is a milestone that the couple are proud of with Luke training 440 of the winners and Belinda the remaining 560. Luke began training in the 2002/03 season with Belinda taking over in 2012/13. The stable enjoyed its best season in 2011/12 when training 217 winners. The Cobbitty property where the McCarthy's call home is state of the art and Luke confirmed they had pumped a lot of money into it. "Everything we have earned since we have moved to Sydney has gone straight into the property and when we reached the milestone it makes all of the hard work worthwhile," Luke McCarthy said. "The stable is well represented at Menangle this Saturday night and hopefully we can have a good night with so many big races being run." The McCarthy stable will have three runners in the Group 2 Carousel with Kept Under Wraps the leading chance. "Kept Under Wraps has been set for this race and while he has drawn awkwardly I'll be looking to get off the inside as soon as possible and from there I will look to put him into the race. Admiral Bronski has hit his straps at the right time and looks well placed off the front row. "Tintinara needs to keep on improving but I think she has done a good job since she has arrived from New Zealand. From her draw she will need a bit of luck and a solid speed. I think Cyclone Kate and Alotbettor are the two horse to beat." Frith will compete in the Bulli Pacers Cup and McCarthy is expecting another solid performance. "She just keeps on improving, her run last start was super and she is on target for a trip to Melbourne for the Queen Of The Pacific. The plan is to take her to the Newcastle Mile and then that will give us two weeks to have her right for Melbourne. "I am driving She Envy for David Aiken in the Australian Pacing Gold final, she needs to be at her best and have a bit of luck to win it but she is an improving filly and I don't think she will be all that far away at the finish. High Rolling has got a nice draw but I think Petacular seems to be the forgotten horse in the race, she was very impressive last week in the semi final." Greg Hayes

He is the voice of the gallops in northern New South Wales but a passion for harness racing will see Anthony Collins behind the binoculars at Inverell's Carnival Of Cups meeting this Sunday. The seed for Collins' harness racing passion was planted many years ago at the Warwick Show and despite growing up on a property with thoroughbreds he was determined to become involved in harness racing from then on. After speaking with countless people and reading as many books as he could get his hands on, Collins immersed himself in harness racing and spent a lot of time with renowned horse chiropractor and horseman Gordon McCrae learning the finer points of training. Collins had his first starter in 2004 and celebrated his maiden victory as a trainer on New Years' Day 2005 with a pacer called Regal Drum. He drove his first winner soon after and although he no longer holds a trainers or drivers licence he plans on getting them back next season. "I have been very busy with race calling and travelling between tracks has taken up a lot of my free time," Collins said. "I'm also the President of the Darling Downs Harness Racing Club that formerly raced at Toowoomba and now race at Warwick on Fathers' Day each year." From the time Collins was in the fifth grade he dreamed of being a race caller and his idol growing up was the former Toowoomba broadcaster Pat O'Shea. O'Shea recently passed away and Collins was given the opportunity to call the Toowoomba races. "Pat O'Shea was an idol of mine and I think he was an idol of many young kids growing up around Toowoomba that wanted to get involved in sports broadcasting. He had a huge influence on the region. "I can remember as a kid I would hear him on his breakfast radio show before he would head out and call the Toowoomba trots and then go back in and read the sports news at the local television channel. Then on the weekend he would go out to call the races and the footy, he was just a local legend." Collins called harness racing at Rocklea before its demise and also called a few galloping meetings at tracks like Dalby and Warwick. He was also calling the non-tab harness racing at Redcliffe on a Saturday before it ceased in 2012. "When the non-tab meetings stopped at Redcliffe it put a big hole in the number of meetings I was calling each month and I had basically gone from a part time caller to a casual one. Out of the blue I received a call from Sky Racing's Rod Gallegos and he asked if I was available to call the Bangalow Cup meeting at Ballina on October 1. "I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and was soon given the chance to call other tracks like Lismore and Murwillumbah. I had been working as a furniture salesman but calling races was something that I really wanted to do." It didn't take long for Collins to establish himself as a caller and he now is employed on a full-time basis by Sky Racing and that's how the opportunity to call Inverell arose. "Andrew Bensley rang me recently and asked if I would be interested in calling the Carnival Of Cups meeting at Inverell, I normally make the trip to all of the Carnival Of Cups in northern NSW and strap for the Weidemann stable." "I jumped at the chance, I have actually raced horses at Inverell before without much success so it will great to be back there on Sunday in a different role." At only 29 years of age, Collins is a long way from giving up calling but he is keen to be involved in racing administration later on in his career. "You can't call forever and I would like to work in administration at some stage, I really enjoy my role as President of the Darling Downs." When asked what he prefers to call - whether it is gallops or harness racing, his answer is very diplomatic. "I have been asked this recently and my answer is the same. I don't care what I am calling as long as I am calling races." The first at Inverell on Sunday afternoon is due to begin at 12:06pm. Greg Hayes

The harness racing drivers selected for this year’s NSW Rising Stars have been announced with the cream of the up and coming talent in New South Wales competing over a series of heats run throughout the state.  The drivers will gather at the offices of HRNSW on Monday June 20 before competing in a ten heat series at Young, Bathurst, Penrith, Newcastle and Tabcorp Park Menangle. The competing drivers are: Ellen Rixon Metropolitan Martelle Maguire Metropolitan Ellen Bartley South West & Riverina Jason Grimson South West & Riverina Mitch Turnbull Western Districts Tom Pay Western Districts James Harding Hunter Brad Elder Hunter Tom Ison North West STILL TO BE ANNOUNCED Western Australia The NSW Rising Stars selection criteria can be read in full by clicking here. It is important to note that to be eligible for the series drivers must be under the age of 23 prior to the start of the racing season, can’t compete in more than two series unless returning as the defending champion and must have driven less than 100 winners at the start of the current season. The Rising Stars gives junior drivers from all parts of the state the chance to spend a week together building friendships while enjoying the competition on the track.  As a group they will meet with the Chairman Of Stewards Graham Loch for an information session and will also undertake some media training with Media Manager Greg Hayes.  The Rising Stars will also get the opportunity to attend a game of football and will be attending the second day of the HRNSW Conference on Saturday June 25 before competing at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Alabar Breeders Challenge Day the following day. HRNSW CEO John Dumesny congratulated all of the selected drivers and wished them the best of luck. “When you look back at this series over the years, so many of our top drivers in New South Wales competed in this series at some stage,” Dumesny said. “It also gives these young drivers a chance to meet one another and build friendships that will last a lifetime, a lot of planning goes into the Rising Stars series and I am sure they will enjoy all of the activities that have been scheduled. “I would like to make special mention of Jack Trainor, last year’s Rising Stars winner, who has decided to relinquish his spot this year to allow another driver to compete.  Jack has competed in 2014 and 2015 and would like to see another junior driver given the opportunity to compete in this series in his place.” Greg Hayes

New South Wales Rising Stars defending champion Jack Trainor has offered up his position in this year's harness racing series to another junior driver. The 21-year-old admitted it was a tough decision to make and he has thoroughly enjoyed competing in the series over the past two years but believed it was the right thing to do. "Through participating in the Rising Stars I was able to meet a lot of people and it helped further my career as a driver," Trainor said. "I am fortunate enough to have been able to establish myself as a junior driver, I have a number of drives each week at different tracks and also get the opportunity to compete in some of the feature races in Sydney. I would like to see my spot given to a driver who is younger and would use the opportunity to further their career as I have been able to do in the past two years." Trainor confirmed his success in the series last year increased his number of opportunities and believes the quality of the drivers that have competed previously proves what a success the Rising Stars has been. "Amanda Turnbull, Robbie Morris, Lauren Panella and Chris Geary have all competed in the Rising Stars and they are some of the best drivers in NSW. The series gives young drivers from across NSW a chance to meet and compete with one another, it really is a grouse week. "In 2014 I represented the Newcastle region, last year I was selected to represent the metropolitan area and after winning the series it opened up a lot more opportunities for me." Recently Trainor has started working for Blake Fitzpatrick and is enjoying working with a number of quality trotters. "I have worked for stables before that have had one or two trotters but working for Blake is something different because he has a number of high quality trotters. It is something new for me and I really like it. "Working for Blake has also helped me with my driving because while you have to ask for his feedback he is always happy to give you some advice and he is one of the top of drivers in Australia." Ten drivers are selected to compete in the NSW Rising Stars series each year. The defending champion and a Western Australian representative are normally automatic selections with the remainder of the junior drivers picked from across the state. The list of drivers competing in this year's Rising Stars series will be announced later today. Greg Hayes

Leading Canberra trainer Michael Hawke knows Modern Maestro is facing the biggest test of his short career. On Saturday night Modern Maestro will line up in the $50,000 Group 2 Carousel at Tabcorp Park Menangle and will travel up the Hume Highway during the afternoon. The harness racing four year old gelding has won nine of his eleven starts - the two defeats coming when the horse has travelled to Sydney. Hawke has been proud of Modern Maestro in both defeats and is expecting the son of Modern Art to put in another solid performance this weekend. "His first defeat came at Menangle, he charged home and ran fourth but not everything was right with him and he bounced straight back at his next start," Hawke said. "When he ran second at Penrith in the heat of the Carousel I thought he was outstanding. The lead time was fast and he really made Kept Under Wraps work for the win and while there would have been a fair bit of improvement in the McCarthy trained horse, I think it proved that my bloke isn't too far away." Modern Maestro holds the track record for the 2170 metres at Canberra suggesting the 2300 metres on Saturday night will not be a concern. "His versatility is one of his biggest attributes, he tries very hard and he'll have no problems handling the 2300 metres. As a result of his assessment he was always going to draw well and I think when you draw well in big races you have to make use of the good gate. "We'll go forward early and try to get to the marker pegs, it makes it hard when you settle in the running line because there will be a lot of moves in the middle stages and the horses racing off the pegs could end up near the tail of the field." Hawke's daughter Melissa will drive the gelding in what will be the biggest race of her career. "I'm sure she'll be nervous but young kids just deal with nerves and once they get out on the track she'll be fine. I'm worse than her, I get very nervous and I like to watch the race by myself. "Melissa and Fred (Modern Maestro) get on so well together. He is a really good natured animal but he doesn't like getting beaten." Modern Maestro is raced by a group of people including Wayne and Joy Gowland, Sue and Andrew Marbrow and Mark Lees. "Wayne is a great bloke and his mother Joy has a share in the horse. Andrew Marbrow works for Wayne and he and his wife are in their first horse and Mark Lees is a good family friend of Wayne's. They are a great group of people to go racing with. "I was speaking with Wayne and he would be wrapped if Modern Maestro could finish in the top four. I really think he will be a better horse in twelve months once he has had the opportunity to go to Menangle constantly." The Lands Legal Carousel is race seven at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night and is scheduled to begin at 7:24pm. Greg Hayes

Harness Racing New South Wales was saddened to learn of the passing of horseman Lyle Jones over the weekend, aged 80. Born in Queensland, Lyle grew up in shearing sheds watching his father and quickly earned himself a reputation as a top shearer before moving to Sydney. While in Sydney he didn't have a lot to do with harness racing, but always enjoyed a trip to the trots. Lyle and his wife Janet moved to Young and bought a property adjoining the showgrounds and it was during this time he became interested in becoming involved in the sport as a trainer. Lyle was a very good horse breaker and "Mr Inter Dominion" trainer Brian Hancock sent him a number of yearlings over the years during his golden run. Lyle trained Four Penny Dark in her two and three year old seasons and won races like the Bathurst Gold Tiara, the NSW Sires Stakes and the Raith Memorial. The mare was subsequently sent to Hancock and retired with earnings of more than $300,000. Lyle is survived by his wife Janet and will be sadly missed by his children and grandchildren. Greg Hayes

Harness Racing New South Wales was saddened to learn of the passing of respected Trundle participant Johnny Jones on the weekend. Jones was involved in the sport for more than 50 years as a trainer/driver. In more recent times Mr Jones had spent time helping his step-son Gary Eyre, who continued to train a team of horses. Mr Jones battled cancer for a number of years and unfortunately his wife Jenny also passed away from the disease during his long fight. A hardworking committeeman of the Trundle Club, Mr Jones was a quiet achiever who lived for the trots and enjoyed all aspects of the industry while working hard on his farm. HRNSW would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the family of Johnny Jones. Greg Hayes

To help drivers understand how Stewards in NSW will regulate the new Australian whip rules, Harness Racing New South Wales has produced a full breakdown of the new interpretation.  HRNSW has developed penalty guidelines to impose penalties for those that breach the rules and encourage drivers to curtail their whip action to reduce the risk of infringing again. The follow penalty structure will be in use in NSW and is a reflection of the national policy. 1st Offence Fine $200 2nd Offence – if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 1st Offence Fine $400 3rd Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 2nd Offence Fine $400 and 7 days suspension 4th Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 3rd Offence Fine $1,000 and/or 14 days suspension (at the discretion of the Stewards) 5th Offence - if a driver reoffends in a period of 60 drives or a period 60 days, whichever occurs first, of the 4th Offence 21 days suspension HRNSW interpretations of Rule 156(4), which essentially explains the correct use of the whip, are as follows: A Driver who drives (apart from activating approved gear), or uses the whip, with a free hand or in any or all of the following would be in breach of the whip Rules, that is using the whip in “an unapproved manner”. Draws the tip of the whip further than the Drivers shoulder. If the whip hand is drawn back further than or above the Driver’s shoulder. If the whip action involves more than a wrist or elbow action. If the reins are lengthened so as to result in loose reining regardless of whether the whip is being used at the same time.“Loose reining” is considered to occur, but not exclusively, when the reins act in a “whipping motion” on the hindquarters of the horse. If the whip is used other than in a flicking motion. If the whip continues to be applied to a horse which is considered to;                         (i)         not be visibly responding;                         (ii)         be out of contention;                         (iii)        no longer be maintaining or improving its position;                         (iv)        be winning clearly;   Use the whip in a "side" action so as to be outside the confines of the sulky Use of the whip irrespective of whether the whip is striking the splash sheet or sulky shaft, a driver's whip action can still warrant a charge under the rules In instances where a Driver is found to have breached the “Whip Rules” on more than eight (8) occasions in any twelve month period HRNSW may require the Driver to show cause as to why he remain licensed by the Controlling Body. In the event a Driver is required to show cause the Controlling Body may direct that the Driver not be permitted to drive pending the said Driver responding to such Notice. Greg Hayes

Former Queensland harness racing trainer Shane Sanderson was the first interstate trainer to make the move to the new Menangle Training Centre earlier this year. In total Sanderson has had 45 starters since making the fulltime move to Sydney and broke through for a metropolitan winner at Tabcorp Park Menangle when My Jellignite won Saturday night's Free- For- All. Ironically Sanderson was at Brisbane's Albion Park on Saturday night cheering home his children as they competed on their mini-trotters and missed the win. "My wife and kids are still in Queensland and it is very hard being away from them," Sanderson said. "Last weekend was one of my trips back to Brisbane to catch up with them so I actually missed my first Saturday winner but it was great to see My Jellignite win." Sanderson confirmed he was a little surprised by the victory but the small field suited My Jellignite and he got the perfect run throughout. "I was a bit surprised by the win but in saying that, at his best, he's never far away from the open company horses. He has won a couple of Free-For-All races in Brisbane with the right run, he can be dangerous in those sort of races especially when the best horses aren't there. "My Jellignite hadn't raced for a month, he had some vet work done during that time because he does have a few maintenance issues as he is getting older. He has been competing mainly at the Tuesday meetings and therefore been drawing poorly because of his assessment but has been getting back and running home quite well." The decision to make the move to Sydney was a difficult one for Sanderson and he is giving himself twelve months to establish himself. "I hope to be in Sydney for good. It is a 'suck it and see approach' and at the end of the year I will talk with my family and see how things are going. I'm happy with how everything is going - I think I've started quite well. " "I've run a lot of placings and have had three or four winners. I've lost count of the number of close seconds I've run but it has been good for the owners so far." From Sanderson's 45 starters he has trained four winners, ten seconds and four thirds. "I bought ten horses down with me and I currently have eleven on the books. I'm hoping to slowly increase the numbers with some good results. "The opportunities that could present themselves in Sydney, the prize money and the state of the art facilities were the reasons I decided to make the move and hopefully the decision turns out to be the right one." Greg Hayes

Leppington trainer Kevin Pizzuto is glowing in his praise for lightly raced three-year-old Heza Bromac.  The son of Rob Roy Mattgregor has won four of his five career starts and harness racing trainer Pizzuto expects the gelding to make it five from six after he competed at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Pizzuto is pleading with NZ Jewels organisers to give Heza Bromac an invite to the series and is confident the horse would represent Australia proudly. “He by far and away is the best horse I have ever had in my stable, I’ve had some nice horses over the years but there is daylight between Heza Bromac and the rest,” Pizzuto said. “I’ve got no doubt given the right conditions and on the back of a good speed he could run a 1:48.0 mile, he is just a freak of a horse and has done everything I have asked him to do.” Heza Bromac was purchased by Pizzuto out of New Zealand for some clients but it took him a while to settle into his new surrounds. “He wasn’t right when he came over, he was lame and then he wanted to hang so I gave him four and a half months off and it did the trick with him.  His owner Danny (Zavitsanos) puts a lot of money into the game and I’m really happy that he has got such a good one. “Heza Bromac is one of those horses that takes a lot of work to keep him up to the mark, the harder you work him the better he goes.” Heza Bromac will be looking for his second win at Menangle this week after winning on Tuesday afternoon.  He produced a blistering turn of foot when racing off the speed and recorded a career best 1:52.5.  He also produced a stunning 25.6 final quarter when winning at Menangle three starts ago. “He should be winning again on Saturday night.  He is so versatile and so strong, I’ve looked after him and while he won’t be out to set any records this weekend, we have to be mindful that the Jewels organisers will be watching so I hope he’ll go well. “If we get the invite Todd (McCarthy) will retain the drive in New Zealand, none of the stars in New Zealand worry me and I think he would be right up there with them.” Stablemate Alta Jerome will race for the first time in four weeks on Saturday night but will have to topple Beautide if he is to be victorious. “I’m happy with where he is at, I think he is on his way back to his best and I’d like to think he could squeeze into the Len Smith Mile in a couple of month’s time.” Pizzuto’s winning strike-rate continues to be healthy and a lot of his stable’s success he puts down to the staff he has working for him. “Karen (Crouch) is great with the horses, so too is my daughter and then I’ve got Joe working for me as well.  Brendan Barnes has come down from Queensland and I think he is going to be one of the leading junior drivers in NSW.” Greg Hayes

Cobbity harness racing trainer John McCarthy made the Treuer Memorial his own with talented pacer Washakie when he won the event on five successive occasions.  History also shows McCarthy has a dominant record in Penrith’s flagship race, the Renshaw Cup.  The Miracle Mile winning trainer has won three of the past four Renshaw Cups and could add another to his collection this Thursday night. The McCarthy stable will be represented by giant-killer Blazin N Cullen in this week’s $50,000 Group Two event.  The gelding became the first pacer to defeat Beautide over 2300 metres at Menangle last Saturday night handing the dual Inter Dominion winner just his second loss in races further than a mile at the track. Blazin N Cullen won the 2014 Renshaw Cup for McCarthy and was a fast finishing third behind New Zealand star Smolda in last year’s event.  Washakie won the race in 2013 while Terrorway won it in 2012.  The son of Christian Cullen is well bred.  His mother Rye Hanover is a full sister to stallions Red River Hanover, Rustler Hanover and Righteous Hanover while her half brother was $3 million winner Rocknroll Hanover. Punters should not be concerned about the recent workload for Blazin N Cullen as it will be his third run in the space of twelve days.  He came through an arduous Inter Dominion campaign late last year and raced four times in the space of seventeen days.  The final run of his Inter Dominion campaign saw him finish fourth in the Inter Dominion Consolation. Yayas Hot Spot looks the hardest to beat for Blazin N Cullen after the five-year-old gelding drew the front row.  The son of Jeremes Jet has the speed to cross to the front should Lauren Panella choose to fire him out of the gate.  He led for most of last year’s Renshaw Cup before being collared in the shadows of the post by Smolda.  Spare Me Days will start from barrier one if the emergencies are withdrawn.  The Brad Hewitt trained four year old defeated Frith in the Young Cup two starts ago and looks to be another of the winning chances in Thursday’s event. TAB has Blazin N Cullen equal favourite for Thursday’s race with last year’s runner up Yayas Hot Spot at $3.50.  Spare Me Days is next in the market at $4.60 while My General Lee is priced at $5.00. Greg Hayes  

Goulburn trainer Brad Hewitt admits he is unsure which Spare Me Days will turn up to compete in the haarness racing  Renshaw Cup at Penrith on Thursday night.  The four-year-old Ifihadyourluck gelding can look like a ‘world beater’ one week and struggle the next and Hewitt finds it impossible to predict in what mood the gelding will be in. After winning the Young Cup two starts ago defeating Group One winning mare Frith in the process, Spare Me Days performed well below his best at Bathurst at his next run. “I never know what I’m going to get with him, his run at Young was so good and he felt so strong but then at Bathurst he was plain and I could tell after I made the move to the chair that he was having one of his off nights,” Hewitt said. “What makes it harder to predict is that he is a dreadful track worker so you never get a clear indication whether he is going well or not because his work is poor.” Hewitt believes the Shane Tritton trained Yayas Hot Spot has the pace to cross from out wide on the front row in the Renshaw Cup which would put Spare Me Days behind the leader.  However Hewitt does not want to get shuffled back any further. “Yayas Hot Spot has got the speed to cross us all and if Spare Me Days can race on the back of the leader I think he has a great winning chance but they have been driving Yayas Hot Spot with a sit so if he crossed and then handed up to something else we’ll find it tough. “From three back on the pegs he would need a lot of luck.  He handles the small tracks really well as he proved at Young, the half mile track is no concern at all.” Thursday’s trip to Penrith will be a rare one for Hewitt especially during the colder months as he is normally training with his rugby league team the Goulburn Bulldogs. “Thursday night is normally training but I was lucky this week because the coach had a coaching clinic to go to so he transferred training to Friday night. “I normally start the year in first grade but I miss a few training session and a couple of games because of the horses and I end up getting dropped back to reserves.  I play in the centres, we’ve had one game this year and had a win so it has been a good start.” Spare Me Days will need to compete in one of the two remaining Carnival Of Cups feature races to be eligible for the $20,000 bonus that is up for grabs.  Horses must compete in four of the six events to qualify for the Carnival Of Cups bonus and after racing in the Goulburn and Young Cups he has already earned vital points.  After Thursday night’s Renshaw Cup, the final two legs will be conducted at Bankstown and Menangle. Greg Hayes

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