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Astute South Australian harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield had every reason to show some emotion when cheering home his star pacer Emain Macha in Thursday’s feature race at Swan Hill. Scholefield, who is based at Naracoorte in the south east, spent two years as an Australian soldier nearly 50 years ago as part of the National Service Scheme - compulsory military service for the nation’s young men. Scholefield started his Army training in 1969 at Victoria’s Puckapunyal training facility and later spent time at Singleton Army base, in NSW. So it was a moving win by Emain Macha (Safari-Machabella (Mach Three)  in the Swan Hill RSL Anzac Day Cup. “Every Anzac Day is special. It means something to anyone with a sense of respect and loyalty to our country. I think it’s important to pay tribute to our forebears for the life we are all enjoying,” Scholefield said. It was Scholfield’s first trip to race at the Swan Hill circuit. “I don’t worry too much about travelling because I really enjoy getting around to the different places,” he said. “But Swan Hill is a super track. It’s a credit to the two codes of horse racing that they can share the one complex.” Driven forward from the wide six alley, gun Melbourne reinsman Greg Sugars rated the five-year-old to perfection at ahead of affairs, with an opening half of 59.5 secs, clicking the gelding up a gear in the latter stages with splits of 27.4 and 27.8. Emain Macha’s run equalled the track record and Sugars, who made the three-and-a-half-hour drive for just one engagement for his long-time friend Scholefield, was impressed by the win. “Schoey had the horse spot on and it showed in the times we ran.  I probably could have let him slide a bit more midrace, but it’s all about winning not breaking race records,” Sugars said. “I don’t drive very often at Swan Hill, but I wasn’t going to miss it because Emain Macha has been a good horse to me.” Scholefield races the pacer in partnership with Gail Davis, Peter Lamond and father and son John and Sean Penny. Trainer Greg Scholefield (right) with Swan Hill Trotting Club Gerry Maloney, Swan Hill RSL President Barry Townley and Vice Pres Peter Ritchie The likeable trainer purchased Emain Macha privately from Shepparton breeder and horse breaker Heath Redwood. “I didn’t hesitate to buy him because I’ve tried to stay with the same family. I’ve had lots of success with horses purchased from the Redwoods and Emain Macha is related to two of them,” Scholefield. “This family stems from Unique Icon (The Unicorn-Tender Reign (The Contender) who was a star in the early 2000s with 21 wins and 11 placings for $230,000,” he said. “Every horse I’ve tried from Heath has been good.” Scholefield, a former full-time builder, has been training horses on-and-off for the past 30 to 35 years. “When I retired from my trade about 10 years ago, it’s just been horses ever since.” But Scholefield has made the most of his opportunities, and despite training only a small team at any one time, his results are super impressive. “I aim to place them in the most suitable races, and I reckon we’ve had some success with doing that – if it means hitting the road then that’s what we do.” Scholefield said he was unsure where that road would take him next. “I won’t be doing anything for at least a fortnight, but I guess it’s about time to look at Melton again for Emain Macha and (stablemate) Kingofthestars.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

WHEN summing up his prospects for Saturday night’s super card at Globe Derby astute trainer Greg Scholefield believes he has gone from solid to sludge as a result of the draws. Using a slightly more common word for sewage to describe the various barriers his runners received, Scholefield has no doubt his team faces an uphill battle. Even taking that frame of mind into account, however, Scholefield remains optimistic his three runners can make their presence felt. “I got all ordinary draws,” Scholefield declared. “There was no fairy sitting on my shoulder when the marbles fell. “I have three horses going around on the night and they’ve all got to overcome bad barriers. “But what can you do? We’ll have to battle on and come up with a contingency plan now. “I would have preferred to draw a lot better, but it’s not the end of the world.” Handy pacer Kingofthestars will kick-start Scholefield’s evening in the second event. Runner-up during his last two starts – both in Victoria – Kingofthestars will need his share of luck from the back line. “King went really well at Horsham last time around and I expect a big run from him,” Scholefield said. “From the draw though he will need a few things to go his way. “If he can get a descent run at them he will be thereabouts.” Classy youngster Labella Rock will then search for a rare victory in the South Australia Derby. As the only filly in the Blue Riband, Labella Rock is aiming to become the seventh member of the ‘fairer sex’ to capture the classic since its inception in 1938. Carol Dillon was the ground breaker in 1954, with Medorina matching the feat the next year, followed by Pearl Queen (’57), Fiery Miss (’62), No Frolicking (’96) and CC Chevron in 2015. Making life extremely difficult for the daughter of Pet Rock is an outside of the second row draw. “Her draw is shocking,” Scholefield said. “It puts her in a lot of bother. “I am pleased with the way she is going and have no doubt she can surprise a few of them, but it’ll be hard to see her winning from there.” Scholefield’s stable star Emain Macha will then tackle the main event – the prestigious South Australia Cup. Clearly the best chance of breaking the interstate stranglehold on the time honoured feature, Emain Macha will come from gate six. Ryans Day was the last local to have his name etched on the honour roll after scoring an upset in 1999. Emain Macha heads into the feature as the winner of his last four starts, including the Wedderburn Cup a fortnight ago. “I’m confident enough with my bloke,” Scholefield said. “He has pretty much had a perfect preparation and is feeling terrific. “He is healthy, happy and ready to go…now we just need the right run from a tricky draw.”   Harness Racing South Australia

Leading Victorian harness racing driver Greg Sugars had an armchair ride when he was successful in the 2019 Wedderburn Pacing Cup on Sunday with rising star Emain Macha. After winning the start, Sugars rated the pacer to perfection over the marathon 2555m event, to post a new track record of 1.57, on the half mile circuit, in north central Victoria. “I didn’t know we were scooting along that quick – Emain Macha felt terrific and he really did it quite comfortably,” Sugars said. “When I heard the time, I was blown away. It was honestly a huge surprise.” In a strange twist, Perspective who was runner-up to Emain Macha, previously held the track record of 2.00-5, set in the cup 12 months earlier. Sugars said while the track was in excellent condition, Emain Macha is low-flying at the moment. “He has been going enormous with four wins and a second leading up to the Cup – and the second placing was at Shepparton behind a fairly handy performer in Buster Brady, trained by Kima Frenning.” Emain Macha (Safari-Machabella (Mach Three), prepared by Greg Scholefield, has an excellent race record of 24 wins and eight placings from just 37 starts for over $160,000. Sugars, who has now driven the five-year-old to 10 of his wins, said there was exciting times ahead for the horse, known around the stables as “Fritz”. “Greg (the trainer) has done a remarkable job with Emain Macha. He’s placed him well and has him in tip-top racing condition,” Sugars said. “There’s nothing mapped out for him at the moment. Greg told me he would now sit down and have a look at what’s around.” Sugars, who has won the Mildura Guineas and Mark Gurry and Associates Cup at the popular Mildura Pacing Cup carnival with Emain Macha, is hopeful the two may team up again in April for the “big one” in the Northern Region. The Mildura Pacing Cup, worth $60,000, is run in what is now a rare format for country cups – qualifying heats run on April 9 and the final on April 13. Sugars said that after winning the Gurry feature event two years ago, Emain Macha contracted a virus and ended up in a very bad way. The virus got worse and then Emain Macha came down with bronchitis. He lost a lot of weight, had swelling in all four feet and it was a battle to save him. Part-owner-trainer Greg Scholefield admitted at the time they were close to losing him but praised local vet Tony Tully who put “Fritz” on a course of drugs with which he slowly pulled through. Scholefield, who has a small team in training, has always been involved in horses, dating back to riding ponies in his younger days. The Wedderburn Cup victory was the second leg of a winning double for Sugars, who scored earlier in the day with Soul Writer (Sportswriter-Soul In Art (Art Major) for Justin Torney is in the Randall’s Foodworks Pace. Ballarat trainer Zac Steenhuis took out the $14,500 Wedderburn Trotters Cup when Jerichos Trumpet (Shadow Play-All In Good Time (Fake Left) landed the money following late support on fixed odds. Driven by junior reinsman Ryan Duffy, the trotter was most impressive, coming wide late after blowing the start. Club secretary Tom Nisbet said the meeting, one of only two conducted at Wedderburn each season, was a huge success. “The tote was up by $3000 on last year, while the bookies were up by $2000,” Nisbet said. “We had a big crowd with plenty of support from the locals and sold nearly 200 membership tickets.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

OR those thinking of backing Emain Macha in Saturday night’s Italian Cup at Globe Derby here is a piece of advice – wait until his half-sister races earlier on the card. If Labella Rock wins, back Emain Macha to win, if she runs a placing, back him for a placing, if she fails, give him a miss. Trained by Greg Scholefield, the duo have raced at the same meeting four times this season – for the same result! Successful at Globe Derby, Emain Macha and Labella Rock then finished second at Shepparton before winning their next two starts, including at Victor Harbor during their most recent outing. “They just seem to be in tune with each other,” Scholefield said. “One won’t let the other get the upper hand. “To have both win on a card is one thing, but for both to also finish second on the same night as well as winning on the other nights is something different.” To be driven by Wayne Hill, Labella Rock has drawn to lead from barrier three, with the daughter of Pet Rock a $1.10 favourite against her older rivals. “I’m extremely happy with the way she has come back,” Scholefield said. “I have a reasonable opinion of her. “She got sick during her last prep and didn’t go as well as can, which is just one of those young horse things. “She has come back very well and should have a bit of a future. Long term I will be aiming her at the Oaks.” Faring slightly better in barrier two, Emain Macha is also tipped to lead throughout with Hill in the cart. As such Emain Macha has been installed a hot $1.05 favourite. “He did it as he pleased in the Victor Harbor Cup, but this will be tougher again,” Scholefield said. “From that draw he is going to be very hard to beat, but there are a number of quality horses with good form in the field. “I just hope he can keep his form up a little longer as we take aim at the South Australia Cup on February 9.”   HRSA Media

It was a case of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ between sibling harness racing stablemates Labella Rock and Emain Macha at Globe Derby during the weekend. After his younger half-sister was successful towards the beginning of the card, Emain Macha annihilated his rivals at his second run from a spell. Driven by Wayne Hill, Emain Macha was caught three-wide early from the outside of the front row before making his way to the front. Experiencing little more than a training exercise, the son of Safari cruised to an emphatic 30-and-a-half metre win from Regal Lager, with Torque Of Courage a head away third. “That was a top run from him,” trainer Greg Scholefield said. “I expected him to be better after his first-up start as his work has been great. “He did it as he pleased and got to the line well. That run will sharpen him up for next time around. “I’m not sure where I will head with him next…either back to Globe Derby or even another trip to Victoria.” With Anthony Robinson holding the reins, Labella Rock also set the pace on her way to an 19-metre win from For The Corz, with I Wanna Rocknroll five-and-a-half metres away third. “I’m extremely happy with the way she has come back,” Scholefield said. “I have a reasonable opinion of her. “She got sick during her last prep and didn’t go as well as can, which is just one of those young horse things. “She has come back very well and should have a bit of a future. “Like Emain Macha, I’m not sure where I will head with her next, but no matter where that is, she will be sharper for her first-up run.”   HRSA Media  

The fairytale success story of harness racing pacer Emain Macha reached a new peak on Sunday when he was named South Australia’s Horse Of The Year for 2016/2017. Emain Macha had an illness-shortened three-year-old season, but still managed to score seven wins from nine starts to take out the award. Among the gelding’s wins were the Graham Head Memorial at Shepparton, the Victoria Sires Classic at Melton and the Mildura Guineas. Emain Macha is trained at Naracoorte in the South-East by Greg Scholefield who is a part-owner along with Peter Lamond, Gail Davis and father and son John and Sean Penny. For the Pennys, Emain Macha’s successes are quite emotional as both had the misfortunes to lose their wives several years ago, and harness racing is a release, but both are sad their partners cannot be around to enjoy the success. Mr Penny said he was shocked by the Horse Of The Year award. “I went along Sunday believing he had a chance of winning the three-year-old pacers colts and gelding award (which he did win), but never did I consider he would take out the overall award,” Mr Penny said. “He has taken us on a fabulous ride and we were very disappointed when Greg (Scholefield) said he had contracted a virus and would miss the Southern Cross.” Emain Macha became ill after his last win in the Mildura Guineas on April 7 and Mr Penny said there were fears the gelding could pass away. “He was really sick, and Greg sought advice from a few different sources and eventually an equestrian vet gave a suggestion which put the horse on the road to recovery. “Emain Macha is back in work now and we hope to have him back on the track in December. Greg has tentatively looked at races at Bendigo and Melton to start him off again. “I can’t give enough credit to Greg, to our family, he is a champion trainer. “His property is spotless, and the horses want for nothing. If they have the ability, he will get it out of them.” Graham Fischer

A 1:56.3 run in last night’s Tabcorp Park Melton VHRSC Sires Classic (Group 3) saw Emain Macha further enhance his race record and give Naracoorte harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield a metro feature trophy. Scholefield has, in recent times, boasted one of the strongest strike rates in the sport and Emain Macha is his stable star, with stake earnings of over $107,000 after last night’s win, which was his 13th at start No.17. Emain Macha initially had a crack for the front but was held out by both polemarker Misterfreeze and Rocknroll Icon from gate two. Reinsman Greg Sugars slotted three-year-old gelding by Safari into third position on the pegs, following Chris Alford on Rocknroll Icon and Emmett Brosnan aboard pacesetter Misterfreeze. Inside the final mile Alford took Rocknroll Icon to the lead and at the 1200m Sugars angled Emain Macha away from the markers. You wanted to be on one or the other. Off the back the final time, Rocknroll Icon tried to pinch the race but Emain Macha always had the leader in his sights. At the home bend – after a 28.4 third split – Emain Macha swept to the front and opened up over the final 100m for a 4.3m win, sprinting home in 28.1secs. Rocknroll Icon finished second and Albarock ran his usual honest race in third. Meanwhile, Andy and Kate Gath finished with a winning treble at Melton, taking out the City of Melton Stampede with Armbro Operative-Clifton Beauty gelding Maximan, the Western Base Vicbred Pace over 1720m with Major In Art-Henin Hardenne five-year-old gelding The Culture, and the Choose Atherstone Pace Final over 2240m with four-year-old Courage Under Fire-Village Glow gelding Firenglow. Maximan added his name to the Stampede honour roll, the annual six-furlong dash at Melton seeing the Gath gelding edge out perennial fast-finisher Tee Cee Bee Macray by a half-head in a time of 1:23.5. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Classy two-year-old Emain Macha had little more than a track trial in winning the Combined Transport/Mike and Nathan Woods SA BOTRA Two-Year-Old Colts & Geldings Prelude (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. Driven by Jock Dunlop, Emain Macha ($1.30 fav) was taken to the lead and was untouched in scoring a five metre win from Glenrae Hanover ($21.50) which chased him throughout, with Brohart ($63.50) 11-1/2 metres away third. Trained by Greg Scholefield at Naracoorte in the south-east of South Australia, Emain Macha now has the record of five starts for five wins – and he continues to run time. He rated 1:58.7 in winning with never really being extended. It was the gelding’s first run since rating 1:56.4 in scoring at Maryborough on April 21, and the trainer said the run would tighten the gelding up for this week’s final. Glenrae Hanover, back with trainer Dale Afford who had returned from a New Zealand holiday, trailed the winner throughout but just couldn’t catch him. The disappointment of the race was the talented Stars Of Courage ($5.10) which over-raced, sat outside Emain Macha, then dropped out to finish seventh beaten 64.2 metres. Trainer Ray Holberton said he thought the two-year-old may have got his tongue over the bit which caused him to race so fiercely. Graham Fischer

“Keep yourself in the best company and your horse in the worst.” Naracoorte harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield lives by those wise words, which his uncle – trots man Harold Moody – passed on to him. The philosophy is working. Scholefield presented two horses to race at Mildura on Thursday night, unbeaten two-year-old Emain Macha and consistent three-year-old Livingston Bay. Both won. EMAIN MACHA WINS HIS THIRD RACE AT START NO.3 The two-year-old especially is exciting, says Scholefield. “He’s very promising. He’s been very easy to get going, just such an easy natured horse. A real competitor, too,” he said. Asked how Emain Macha, a son of Safari, came to be in his stable, Scholefield spoke glowingly of Dennis Wills. “He sources horses for me and does a great job,” Scholefield said. “He found Limestone Bay as well. He’s a good fella. “I’d gotten horses off Heath Redwood before and with Dennis’s help we purchased Emain Macha off Heath and brought him home. From there I haven’t had any problem with the horse.” So far in season 2015-16 Scholefield has presented 19 starters for seven wins and nine minor placings. However, a look back through the last decade’s results reveals the South Australian horseman’s success rate is no flash in the pan. Since season 2004-05 Scholefield’s results are astonishing. He has presented 265 starters at the races for 93 wins (35%), 51 seconds, 34 thirds and 21 fourths. Just 66 times his horses have finished outside the top four in 11 years. “Can I just grab a biro?” Scholefield said when his statistics were being read out, following up with: “That’s not bad” when told 54% of his runners have finished top-two since 04-05. At 67, Scholefield, a former full-time builder, is now retired and thus doesn’t mind hitting the road with a horse if it means placing one of his horse’s in a winnable race. “I don’t mind. I know a lot of good people around the industry and they’re always willing to help me out. I enjoy getting around to different places,” he said. Although he only trains a small team at any one time Scholefield has a strong list of prolific winners, including Glenferrie Rustler (who he trained to win 19 races), Mighty Maurie (10 wins), Mad House (nine wins) and The Lucky Break (six wins) just to name a few. “I named him after my dad,” Scholefield said of Mighty Maurie. In addition to his training record Scholefield has also enjoyed good success as an owner, mentioning Alesco, who he raced with Alan Tubbs, and The Rattler, who won the 1984 Inter Dominion Consolation for trainer Jim Hurley. WATCH THE RATTLER WIN HIS 1984 INTER DOMINION CONSOLATION The three-year-old son of Major In Art he had success with at Mildura last night, Livingston Bay, will now be spelled and Scholefield is confident “he’ll come back a much better horse”. And while he’s camping at Mildura for the Carnival the trainer has one more runner, Limestone Bay, who is shooting for a hat-trick tomorrow night in Race 2. Cody Winnell

Harness racing owner John Penny is glad he listened to advice from his grandmother because it led to success in South Australia’s first feature two-year-old race of the season, the 2016 Trotsguide.Com.Au Kindergarten Stakes (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. Penny, and his son Sean (named after Sean Connery, 007) are part-owners of Emain Macha, a brilliant winner of the Kindergarten Stakes. Solid in the market at $4, Emain Macha led throughout to beat the heavily backed $1.50 favourite Stars Of Courage by three metres with Glenrae Hanover ($128.40), 22-1/2 metres away third. The gelding son of Safari from the Mach Three mare Machabella is trained by Greg Scholefield at Naracoorte. The Penny father and son share ownership of Emain Macha with Gail Davis, Peter Lamond and the trainer. “My grandmother Dulcie Scholefield, ran the tea room at the Naracoorte railway station about 50 years ago and the bread was delivered by the baker, her brother and Greg’s father,” Penny explained. “I was only about 17 at the time and I remember her saying that one day to make sure I gave a horse to Greg because he would be a top trainer. “It didn’t happen until about three years ago when, through the loss of my wife, I found I had some time and set about making contact with Greg and found myself with a share in Emain Macha. “Just over a year ago, Sean had the misfortune to have his wife pass away, so I got him involved in the horse as well to try and take his mind off the loss. “Tonight has been a great thrill.” Greg Scholefield revealed he purchased Emain Macha privately from Shepparton breeder Hugh Redwood. “I have had good success with horses I have obtained from the Redwoods and this horse is related to two of them,” Scholefield said. “He showed promise from the first time I had him in work. “I took him to Mount Gambier for his debut in a Kindergarten Prelude and he led throughout to win well and while the time looked okay, it was run on a very soft track so was better than it appeared.” In the Kindergarten final, driver Jock Dunlop took Emain Macha to the front from gate three while Stars Of Courage, which had won its only two starts, came across from gate seven to challenge for the lead but Dunlop was not letting it lead. Dani Hill, on Stars Of Courage, kept the pressure on but Emain Macha responded. Past the 600, Hill really put the pressure on with a 28.4 third quarter but the leader kept finding and holding out the challenge. Rounding the home turn, Emain Macha drifted off the inside and Hill took Stars Of Courage back to the inside for a last surge but it was to no avail as the leader prevailed. Scholefield said he would give Emain Macha only another two or three runs before a break. by Graham Fischer

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