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Veteran harness racing pacer Finbar Abbey, a Metropolitan maiden performer, caused a major surprise when he celebrated his 100th start by working hard and winning the $40,000 Garrards Horse And Hound Easter Cup at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, a recent arrival at Ross Olivieri's Oakford stables, started from barrier five off the front in the 2902m stand and he raced three wide early and in the breeze at various stages before finishing with great determination to defeat the fast-finishing Polak (22/1) by a neck, with the 7/4 on favourite Alta Christiano in third place. Punters were stunned when Finbar Abbey surged past Alta Christiano 70m from the post. And then Polak, who had raced three back on the pegs, got clear and flew home to snatch second place from Alta Christiano. This was Alta Christiano's first defeat in six starts in Australia. Despite his lowly status, Finbar Abbey, an M0-class pacer, had many admirers after winning 2500m stands in moderate company at Northam and Gloucester Park at his first two starts for Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak. He went out fifth favourite at 12/1. Before entering Olivieri's stables, Finbar Abbey had managed just one placing (a third at Harvey) from his 11 previous starts. Finbar Abbey galloped out for a few strides and settled down in sixth position. Alta Christiano just walked away off the front and was almost 60m behind the early pacemaker and 7/1 chance Hez Got The Nod, with Clint Kimes getting Polak away to a flying start from the inside of the 10m line to move in behind the leader. Sanjaya galloped badly off the front and Rocket Reign met severe interference. Finbar Abbey raced three wide early before moving to the breeze. He gained the one-out, one-back sit after Alta Christiano dashed forward. But when Clint Hall sent Alta Christiano to the front 950m after the start, Finbar Abbey again was racing without cover. Finbar Abbey regained the one-out, one-back sit with two laps to travel when 33/1 chance Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze. Voak eased Finbar Abbey three wide 650m from home and the old gelding moved alongside the pacemaker Alta Christiano passing the 420m mark. Finbar Abbey gained the upper hand in the final stages and then held off the fast-finishing Polak, who flashed home after getting clear. The stewards suspended Kimes (Polak's driver) for 17 days for causing interference to Braemoor. The final quarters were run in 29.3sec. and 29.5sec. and Finbar Abbey rated 2.0.8 which was 0.1sec. outside the track record for 2902m set by Christian Spirit when he won the Fremantle Cup in January 2008. The only faster mile rates set by winners of the Fremantle Cup have been: Village Kid (1.59.8 over 2500m in 1987), Allwoods Chief (2.0.3, 2900m, 1998), (The Falcon Strike (2.0.3, 2900m, 2003) and Patches (2.0.4, 2907m, 2006). Scruffy Murphy rated 2.0.8 when he was successful over 2902m in 2008. The 25-year-old Voak admitted he was surprised at Finbar Abbey's excellent performance, saying: "Six months ago you wouldn't have thought that Finbar Abbey would be winning an Easter Cup, beating the horses he has tonight. "I guess the little bit of a burn (in the first lap) took the sting out of Alta Christiano. But you can't take anything away from Finbar Abbey. I punched the breeze for the best part of a lap and he was three wide from the 750m --- and he's actually outstayed Alta Christiano and then fought off Polak over the final 50 metres. "I have nothing but praise for this horse. I really didn't think he could do something like that, even though his two previous runs were really good. On the home turn he felt big and to his credit he just lifted and lifted and showed really good fighting qualities. Alta Christiano is a pretty big name, and he did a lot of work. But Finbar Abbey didn't have it that easy himself." The victory gave Olivieri his fourth success in an Easter Cup, after wins with Abmidas (1997), OK Windermere (who dead-heated with Patches in 2006) and Arma Harris (2010). Olivieri said that part-owner David Gravolin was holidaying in Hawaii and that three of his part-owners were away, working on oil rigs off the coast of Western Australia. Finbar Abbey, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is the third foal out of Miles McCool mare Casino Abbey, who won once from 11 starts in New Zealand. Finbar Abbey raced 63 times in New Zealand for five wins and 14 placings and his 37 WA starts have produced nine wins and nine placings. His overall record stands at 100 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $113,531. LIBERTYBELLE MIDFREW HAS WA OAKS AT HER MERCY Shannon Suvaljko was lavish in his praise for Libertybelle Midfrew after driving her to an effortless victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound On-Course Now WA Oaks prelude at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred filly simply annihilated her 11 rivals and appears to have the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 9 at her mercy. "She's probably one of the best horses I have driven," said the 45-year-old Suvaljko. "She's got gears, she's strong and is all class. I haven't let her go in her three wins (in WA) and we're just waiting for the Oaks now. She is really strong and tough and she will be scary if you let her go." Libertybelle Midfrew, purchased at a high price in New Zealand early this year by Albert Walmsley, has cruised to victory by an average winning margin of four lengths at her first three appearances in WA, rating 1.58.5 over 1730m at Gloucester Park and 1.57.8 over 2185m at Pinjarra before her win by 19.5m over The Parade on Thursday night, rating 1.58.1 over 2536m. The Christian Cullen filly is prepared at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and she appears classes ahead of all other three-year-old fillies in the State. On Thursday night she started from barrier four on the back line and was favourite at evens. Polemaker Harper Grace set the pace and Suvaljko was content to settle Libertybelle Midfrew in ninth position in the one-wide line. All About Pink dashed forward to move to the breeze after 600m and Suvaljko bided his time until he sent Libertybelle Midfrew forward, three wide, 1050m from home. She got a half-length in front of Harper Grace at the 650m mark before surging to a clear lead 470m from home. She then coasted to the line more than six lengths clear of 15/4 second fancy The Parade, who finished doggedly after enjoying the perfect one-out, one-back trail. Highest Royalty (8/1) trailed the pacemaker and finished a sound third, with harper Grace (9/2) in fourth place. Libertybelle Midfrew has earned $151,007 from four wins and four placings from 14 starts. SOHO VALENCIA IS A RISING STAR Victorian-bred five-year-old Soho Valencia gave further proof that he will be a star in feature events at the next Christmas carnival when he outclassed his rivals in the 1730m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Favourite at 5/2 on, Soho Valencia began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and gave a faultless frontrunning exhibition before coasting to a four-length victory over 18/1 chance Menelaus of Sparta, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Little Boy Blue (7/1) raced in the breeze and was a fighting third. Soho Valencia, produced in grand shape by leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint for owner Rob Watson, sped over the final 800m in 55.8sec. and rated a smart 1.55.1 to take his record to 21 wins and nine placings from 37 starts for earnings of $332,782. A winner of 13 races in Victoria, one in Queensland and four in New South Wales, he has had five starts in WA for three wins and two seconds. He is living up to the promise he showed when he was a star juvenile when his victories included the $100,000 group 1 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2011 and the $40,000 group 3 Bathurst Gold Chalice for three-year-olds a year later. By Art Major, he is the sixth foal out of Benelise (a mare by American stallion Vintner), who won at eight of her 14 Victorian starts in modest company in 2000-01. Soho Valencia's half-brother Yrubla (by Jet Laag) won the group 1 $100,000 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2007. "My guess is that Soho Valencia will get to an M4 or M5 mark and then go for a spell before coming back for the summer time," said Clint Hall. MIGHTY FLYING THOMAS A 2536m SPECIALIST For what he might lack in brilliance, Mighty Flying Thomas makes up for with his dogged determination, his stamina and fighting spirit. All these attributes were on display at Gloucester Park on Thursday night when he overcame the disadvantage of having to race without cover for almost two laps by scoring a splendid victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound One Stop Shop Pace. Favourite at 13/8 from the outside of the back line, Mighty Flying Thomas simply outstayed his 11 rivals in beating 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun by 4m, with Justlikelindt (28/1) sustaining a strong three-wide burst from fifth at the bell to be third. Mighty Flying Thomas, trained at Bickley by Peter Anderson, has proved to be a stout-hearted stayer since he arrived in WA from New Zealand in July 2012. He has proved to be a specialist over 2536m, the distance of Thursday night's event, having raced six times over that journey for five wins and a second (beaten a nose by Dashing Christian). He also won at his only appearance over 2569m (at Bunbury last November). It was a confident and aggressive drive by Morgan Woodley that paved the way for his latest victory. Mighty Flying Thomas settled down in ninth position and with Ideas Man setting a moderate pace Tom Buchanan vacated the one-out, one-back position with 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun to move into the breeze 650m after the start. Woodley then seized the initiative and sent Mighty Flying Thomas forward, out three wide, to assume the position in the breeze with just under two laps to travel. Woodley was able to get Mighty Flying Thomas to relax as Ideas Man ambled through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.9sec. and 31.6sec. The tempo then increased markedly, with the third quarter being covered in 28.8sec. Mighty Flying Thomas got to the front 250m from the post and easily held Mohegan Sun at bay, with a final quarter in 29.4sec. Mighty Flying Thomas had been placed at his three previous starts at Gloucester Park and Woodley said that the Falcon Seelster six-year-old deserved to break through for another win and break a losing sequence of 13. "He has been knocking on the door," Woodley said. "He's been going tremendously well and has been doing all the work in his races and just coming up short. The easy early sections really worked out well for him." Mighty Flying Thomas, a winner of six races from 27 starts in New Zealand, is proving a good buy for Ian and Hazel Brandon, Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney and Ken Casellas. The gelding cost a little more than $36,000 landed in Western Australia and his record in the State now stands at 36 starts for nine wins, 12 placings and stakes of $102,744. His career record stands at 63 starts for 15 wins, 19 placings and $142,783. Mighty Flying Thomas is the fourth foal out of Fleet's Pocket, who produced talented mare Flying Pocketlands, who has had 90 starts for 21 wins, 29 placings and $442,423. Mighty Flying Thomas is also related to good winners Our Graedy, Passion N Glory and Sparks Will Fly. COPAGRIN JUST LOVES LEADING Noted frontrunner Copagrin broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of eight when Callan Suvaljko drove him to a smart all-the-way victory in the 2536m Garrards Horse And Hound Open Daily Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Seven of his previous eight wins had come after he had set the pace and punters rallied to support him into favouritism at 5/2 when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Copagrin relished the pacemaking role and he sped over the final 800m in 57.1sec. to win comfortably by 5m from 5/1 chance Lord Lombo, who finished gamely after trailing the leader all the way. Copagrin went into the race as an M1 performer against several better-performed rivals, including M6-class runners Red Salute, Crombie and Passion Stride, Whose Mistake (M5) and Benjamin Banneker (M3). He had won once from his previous 25 starts and the strong support for him further illustrates the tremendous advantage horses have from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park. The WA-bred Copagrin, trained at West Swan by John Guagliardo, has been an excellent moneyspinner, with his 59 starts producing 14 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $124,328. By Grinfromeartoear, he is out of Red Hot Copper, whose first foal Copper Beach Girl earned $156,851 from 14 wins and 24 placings from 84 starts. Her wins included the group 3 WASBA Breeders Stakes in May 2011. HALL'S DARING DRIVE PAYS DIVIDENDS A daring drive by Clint Hall paid handsome dividends when Indomitable, the rank outsider at 55/1, scoring a brilliant victory in the Next Payments Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. In an action-packed event Hall took the bit between his teeth and set Indomitable alight as the field of 12 approached the bell. Indomitable, who had settled down in eighth position, charged forward and swept past 45/1 chance La Stella Del Mare, who had produced a lighting burst to charge past the 2/1 favourite Kanata Queen and into the lead 600m after the start. Hall gave Indomitable her head and she sped over the third quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. to leave her rivals floundering. The final section took 29.7sec. and Indomitable won by three and a half lengths from 11/4 second fancy Four Sisters, who finished determinedly from sixth on the pegs at the bell. Kanata Queen fought on to be third ahead of La Stella Del Mare. The winner, trained at Wanneroo by Barry Morrison, rated a slick 1.54.6 over the 1730m and she boosted her record to seven wins and 12 placings from 39 starts for earnings of $56,537. She is a full-sister to Indomitable Saab, who has amassed $154,491 from 16 wins and 12 placings from 59 starts. "She ran well the last time I drove her in town and they (the opposition) set it up tonight and I was happy to slide around to the breeze," Hall said. "She moved around so quickly that I decided to go on with it and I don't think it would have mattered if she had stayed in the breeze." KERSLEY SALUTES A GLOW BRIGHT EFFORT An exuberant, triumphant victory salute by trainer-reinsman Bill Kersley as Glow Bright passed the post an easy winner of the 2503m Garrards Horse And Hound Supporting Harness Racing Handicap at Gloucester Park on Thursday night was greeted with applause by punters who had supported the WA-bred five-year-old into favouritism at 7/4. Glow Bright, a last-start all-the-way winner in slow time in a 2503m stand nine days earlier, repeated the dose when he got away smartly from the inside of the front line and set a dawdling early pace with opening quarters of the final mile in 32.3sec., and 30.8sec. before Kersley released the brakes and the gelding sprinted over the final two quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.3sec. Glow Bright rated a slow 2.4.9 in beating Pacific Playboy (14/1) by one and a half lengths, with a half-length to Bartowski (16/1) in third place. Referring to the slow early sectionals, the 47-year-old Kersley said: "I'll take it if they give it to me. It's nice to get a winner on a Friday night (even though it was a Thursday night). I'm more than happy to salute every week. "He has done a really good job and is just shy of $100,000 and he's won an M0 tonight. You'd like a lot of them in your stable. I think he can keep earning. He's maturing and every time we give him a break and bring him back he's got mentally and physically stronger. Now he is right on top of his game." Glow Bright was placed twice in group 1 events for two-year-olds in the winter of 2011, finishing third to Major Catastrophe in the Pearl Classic and third to Cyclone Mitch in the State Sires final. NEW OWNERS CASH IN Henley Brook trainer Darryl Howes and his wife Tracey are more than happy that they encouraged a few of their friends to get involved in harness racing a few months ago. Tracey Howes, Wayne and Dianne Riekie, Brad and Rhonda Swinbourn, Barbara McGuire and Archie Laidlaw outlaid $7500 to purchase Senator Whitby when he was advertised for sale. And when Senator Whitby, driven by Chris Lewis, led all the way to score a decisive one-length victory over Last Cheque in the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound Thank You Loyal Customers Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night the WA-bred gelding had boosted his earnings to $8395 for his first-time owners. This was Senator Whitby's seventh start for Howes and the new owners and the small gelding has notched one win, two seconds and a third placing. "They're new owners to the industry and they're all happy," said Howes, who is confident Senator Whitby will continue to perform well. "He is still only young and is still an M0. And he's a little trier who keeps trying, and that's the main thing." Senator Whitby, whose career record stands at 48 starts for seven wins, ten placings and $49,769, is by Artiscape and is out of Zerina Whitby, who earned $107,827 from 15 wins and 13 placings from 53 starts. Senator Whitby is related to dozens of winners, including Fiscal Miss, Remit, Whitbys Miss Penny, Whitby Heritage, Whitby Timer, Whitbys Merit, Montana Anna, La Roya Whitby and Aikido Whitby. SAY IT NOW, FIRST-UP, IS TOO GOOD Hopeland breeder-owner-trainer Kevin Charles produced WA-bred five-year-old Say It Now in fine fettle for his first appearance for five months when the gelding made the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier to lead all the way in the third heat of the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound The Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Confidently handled by Chris Lewis, the well-supported 5/1 third favourite revelled in his pacemaking role and won decisively from The Black Lord (12/1) and Christian Banner (6/1). Ben Cartwright, the 5/4 favourite, worked hard without cover and dead-heated for fourth with What God Knows. Say It Now, having his first start for five months, contested two trials at Byford before Thursday night's assignment for a 22m fourth behind Mister Sheedy and a 14m third behind Lord Lexus. Say It Now followed quarters of 31.3sec., 30.8sec. and 30.4sec. with a smart final section in 28.3sec. to win well at a 1.59.5 rate. "Kevin thought we would go well, going on his latest trial," Lewis said. "But trials aren't races. It was a bit of a challenge early, but we were able to settle down pretty nicely. He does relax well and that was an advantage. "With a lap to go I didn't really know what I had. I hadn't asked him for an effort and he had travelled well, so I was confident that there was something left in the tank. But you never know until you hit the line." Say It Now, who was bred and is owned by Charles and his son Kody, has earned $80,161 from ten wins and ten placings from 42 starts. As a three-year-old in March 2012 he won the group 3 Country derby at Gloucester Park, beating Major Catastrophe by four lengths, after winning the South-West Derby at Pinjarra, beating Maggies Mystery. He raced 13 times as a four-year-old in New South Wales, winning minor races at Menangle, Newcastle and Penrith. He is related to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, whose 40 wins from 53 starts in the 1980s included the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley when he defeated Village Kid. VAPOUR IS LAUREN'S FAVOURITE Four-year-old gelding Vapour and 19-year-old driver Lauren Jones have formed a wonderful partnership in recent weeks --- and they kept up the good work with an exciting victory in the 2130m Sully's Painting Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Jones, a recent arrival from Queensland, has settled in well as a stablehand at leading trainer Gary Hall senior's Serpentine establishment and she has driven the Hall-trained Vapour seven times for four wins and three third placings. "Something clicks and he's my favourite horse in the stable," said Jones after Vapour had finished strongly to gain a last-stride victory by a nose over 5/4 favourite Tuapeka Kahu. Vapour, second fancy at 5/2, started from the outside of the front line and Jones restrained the gelding back to a conspicuous last, about 30m from the early leader Franco Jackson. Tuapeka Kahu was working hard in the breeze and Jones drove patiently. Vapour was ninth at the bell, following the three-wide run of Knight Crusader. Knight Crusader began to wilt in the back straight and Jones switched Vapour four wide 300m from home. Tupeka Kahu then took the lead with 220m to travel, but he was overhauled in the final stride by the flying Vapour, who sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and rated 1.58.8. Vapour, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is the first foal out of Christian Cullen mare Enjoy. He has had 13 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and five placings after racing 16 times in New Zealand for three wins and five placings. by Ken Casellas  

 The 2014 Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd at 11am on Sunday at the Bathurst Showground. The sale comprises 186 lots by 50 different sires including Australia’s champion sire Art Major, leading juvenile sire Courage Under Fire, former USA Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven and premier North American sire Rocknroll Hanover, along with leading first-crop stallions Sportswriter, Shadow Play, Always A Virgin, Changeover and Million Dollar Cam. Other well known stallions include American Ideal, Grinfromeartoear, McArdle, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Elsu, Four Starzzz Shark, Artistic Fella, Modern Art, Village Jasper, Tinted Cloud and Aces N Sevens. The catalogue includes yearlings out of Group winners including the Edgar Tatlow winners Katasopos and Lady Titian Lombo, the WA Oaks winner Onassis Legacy and Modern Day (QSBA Breeders Classic). Other Group heat or metropolitan winners include Jillette, Unspoiled, Ezy Lady, Ambre Solaire, Lite Energy, Nietta Lombo, Spirit Of Tara, Madusa Cam, Lombo Silhouette, Lockton Loaded, Love Nest, Touch Of Jerry and Dana Bromac. The majority of the yearlings are eligible for the $1.17-million NSW Breeders Challenge Race series for two, three and four-year-olds of both sexes. They are also eligible for rich futurity series such as the Australasian Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, Vicbred and QBred. The online catalogue for the Bathurst sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on (02) 6884 8355 or email gboard@dcco.com.au or the Bathurst Harness Racing Club on (02) 6333 5000. by Peter Wharton for Bathurst Gold Crown Sale

The Choice Hotels Carnival of Country Cups continued at Boort in Central Victoria on Sunday March 16, with the oldest surviving trotting club in the state (established 1891), staging their once a year event in front of a very large crowd. The feature of the day – the $14,505 Loddon Valley Stud Boort Pacing Cup for C5 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2612 metres on the small 712 metre circuit attracted a small field of eight, with Tontine winner Flaming Flutter an almost unbackable favourite ($1.20). Trained at Bannockburn by Geoff Webster, Flaming Flutter with regular reinsman Greg Sugars handling the ribbons scrambled slightly from barrier five, before being sent forward once balanced to tackle Flash Of Freedom for the front running, taking over at the judge on the first occasion. Although Narra Operative shadowed him most of the way, Flaming Flutter was coasting at the head of affairs and kicked clear on the home turn to register an untouched 5.2 metre victory over Narra Operative who stuck to his guns well in a new track record mile rate of 2-02.7 (last half mile 57.6 – quarter 27.4). Farmersntradies finished third 8.7 metres away after a one/one trip. Raced by Geelong residents Ron Anderson, Neil Richmond and Garth Allen, Flaming Flutter a Kiwi bred four year old entire by Bettors Delight from Twice As Hot has fronted the starter on 25 occasions for 12 wins and has plenty more to come his way. The other attraction of the afternoon being the $14,505 Doyles Boomspraying Boort Trotters Cup for T5 or better class (D-H) over 21612 metres which saw injury plagued seven year old pacing bred Grinfromeartoear / Hiclass Souix mare Paparazzi Snapshot successful in a mile rate of 2-07.4. Trained at Ararat by Brook Hansen for her family, Paparazzi Snapshot driven by Kerryn Manning stepped safely from barrier two on the second line to immediately possie outside the leader Gazoline which bounded clear from barrier five as the tapes released, whereas the red-hot favourite Unico Crown galloped away from barrier two refusing to settle and was tailed off. Keeping the leader honest all through the race, Paparazzi Snapshot crossed to lead approaching the final bend, with Theywannacallmesue (one/two – three wide at bell) joining her to issue a serious challenge and momentarily take a slender margin on the home turn. Under vigorous driving, Paparazzi Snapshot rallied in the straight to record a strong 5.8 metre victory over Enjoy A Coldie along the sprint lane after being held up by the weakening Gazoline which he followed throughout, with Theywannacallmesue dying on his run to be 1.4 metres away in third place. Len Baker  Harness Racing Victoria

Friday night was a red letter night at Gloucester Park for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg, who completed her first city treble when Shannon Suvaljko drove 9/2 chance Hez Got the Nod to a decisive all-the-way victory in the 2503m Carilley Estate Handicap. She had been successful earlier with The Feather Foot (11/2) and Franco Torres, a 57/1 tote outsider. Her three winners were in the first, second and fourth legs of the quadrella, which paid a massive dividend of $84,593. Her husband John, the managing part-owner of the trio, loves to dabble and he left the course rubbing his hands with typical unihibited glee. Debbie, far less extroverted than her ebullient husband, took the feat in her stride, but admitted it was a thrill to land her first Metropolitan treble after having held a trainer's licence for 30 years. "They're all nice horses, nothing too special, and they will just keep on racing and doing their job," she said. "I think I have had four or five trebles on country tracks." She attributed Hez Got The Nod's success to a return to standing-start racing, saying: "He was in mobiles and was going no good, so we returned to stands with him." This was Hez Got The Nod's second run in a stand after only one placing at his four previous starts in mobiles. He also led when he won a Gloucester Park stand before Friday night's race. He also won two stands at Gloucester Park in September and a stand at Northam in December. "We bought him for $25,000 after he had won once from 22 starts in New Zealand and four times from 11 starts in New South Wales," said John Padberg. The Grinfromeartoear five-year-old now has had 15 starts in WA for Padberg and Jodie Foster for five wins, four placings and stakes of $35,510. The gelding has graduated to an M1 classification with a record of 48 starts for ten wins, 20 placings and $66,216. "He's so reliable that he'll earn a bucket load of money out of the stands," said Padberg. Last-start winner Major Fury was a heavily-backed even-money favourite in Friday night's race, but he scrambled into his gear from the inside barrier and was beaten out by Hez Got the Nod, from the No. 2 barrier. Callan Suvaljko then trailed Hez Got The Nod, who covered the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 30.6sec. before sprinting over the final two quarters in 29.5sec. and 28.9sec. to win by just under two lengths from Major Fury, with just over a length to Pacific Black, who sustained a spirited three-wide burst from the rear. Hez Got the Nod's maternal granddam Janet Quill produced good winners Dartmoor and Mevagissey. Dartmoor, who won the Australian Pacing Championship at Gloucester Park in March 2008, beating No Blue Manna and Hayton Brain, is still racing in Victoria and has a record of 33 wins and 48 placings from 214 starts for earnings of $400,551. Mevagissey had 141 starts for 17 wins, 27 placings and $171,709. POLAK AND KIMES, A WINNING COMBINATION Five-year-old Polak and reinsman Clint Kimes are a winning combination and Kimes was more than happy to resume as Polak's driver in the $21,000 Mulberry On Swan Autumn Championship, taking over from champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who is enjoying a break, cruising the high seas. Kimes drove with considerable confidence and aggression to score an upset victory over the 10/1 on favourite David Hercules, who just failed to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at No. 6 and being forced to race wide. Kimes now has driven the Mike Reed-trained Polak six times for three wins, a second, a third and a seventh. Polak, second favourite at 10/1, started from barrier three and Kimes drove him hard, three wide, before getting past the polemarker Son of Fergie and into the lead after 300m. Morgan Woodley restrained David Hercules to last in the field of nine and when Gary Hall started a three-wide move with Passion Stride after 500m, Woodley followed with David Hercules, who went four wide at the bell in a bid to breach the gap from the pacemaker. David Hercules fought on with typical grit and determination and was beaten by 2m, with the winner rating a smart 1.54.6 after covering the final sectionals in 28.5sec., 29.3sec., 28sec. and 29.4sec. Passion Stride, who was switched to the pegs in the final few hundred metres, finished gamely into third place, just ahead of This Time Dylan, who sustained a strong finishing burst. Max Wimbridge, a part-owner of the winner, was excited at the win and said: "We've been looking for a good draw and we got it tonight. And I think we proved that good draws win races. "One of the owners (Roy Patterson) will be disappointed because he's on a cruise ship and the other one (Stephen Schmedje) is still down in Esperance county his money after selling his farm." Polak has been an excellent investment for Wimbridge, Patterson and Schmedje, having earned $177,695 from 16 wins and 16 placings from 58 starts. He was purchased for just $15,000 at the 2010 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale and is a full-brother to Schinzig Buller, who has earned $290,837 from 11 wins and 13 placings from 55 starts. His wins included the group 2 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings in February 2007 and the group 1 Golden Nugget in November 2008 when he defeated Mysta Magical Mach and Im Themightyquinn. Polak is also a full-brother to three-year-old filly Lipizzaner, who led and won a race at Gloucester Park last Tuesday. BIRTHDAY BOY EDWARDS NOTCHES FIRST CITY WINNER Luke Edwards celebrated his 24th birthday on Sunday in style by driving his first Metropolitan-class winner at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he gave a polished display to score an emphatic victory with The Feather Foot in the 2130m Tony O'Driscoll Pace. Edwards, who was granted a licence to drive in the city in January, had The Feather Foot in the breeze for the first 150m before gaining the one-out, one-back trail behind The Black Lord, who was forced to work in the breeze with the 5/4 favourite Chocolatto having an easy time in front with a dawdling lead time of 38.4sec. and a leisurely first 400m section of the final mile in 31.9sec. Edwards was forced to take off earlier than planned when Kristian Hawkins started a three-wide move with Pembrook Henry 700m metres from home, threatening to put The Feather Foot in restricted room. Edwards switched The Feather Foot three wide at the 650m mark and the WA-bred seven-year-old sprinted fast (with the third quarter whizzing by in 28.1sec.) as he charged past Chocolatto with 400m to travel. The Feather Foot covered the final quarter in 28.9sec. and won by more than two lengths from Pembrook Henry (15/1), with Veitchy (28/1) finishing strongly from the rear to be a close third. The winner rated 1.58.9. The Feather Foot, by former champion pacer The Falcon Strike, started at 11/2 and ended a losing sequence of 29. However, he has proved a wonderful acquisition for owners John Padberg, Edwards, his younger brother Isaac, Kiara Davies and Michael Tenardi. They claimed the gelding last July for a mere $4000 and his 20 starts for trainer Debbie Padberg he has won once and been placed eight times for stakes of $22,603. The Feather Foot now has amassed $157,471 from 13 wins and 21 placings from 89 starts. He won the $100,000 group 1 State Sires Series final for three-year-old colts and geldings in July 2010, beating Erris Lad and Thomas With Steam. His maternal granddam Maybe Rich (a winner of ten races) produced six winners, including Fac Et Spiro, who had 85 starts for 23 wins, 30 placings and stakes of $386,695. Edwards, who drove Myouri to victory in an $8000 Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park in mid-February, said he was confident that The Feather Foot would prove hard to beat on Friday night despite finishing ninth in a field of ten behind Rowchester the previous Friday night. "He had a soft run along the pegs and was climbing all over them, but didn't get a clear run," he said. "And at his previous start he was beaten a nose by Shifting Sand. We put him in the race tonight and he was good enough to do the job. I had to go a bit earlier than I would have liked, but if I hadn't he would have been in a pocket. "He will strip fitter at his next start and I reckon he's got another two or three wins in him." Edwards also is hoping for further successes with Gamblers Power, a filly he trains and has driven to two wins at Northam this season. Edwards has no family background in horses. "About four years ago my boss had horses with Kevin Keys and I had my first involvement with horses, working with youngsters with him," he said. "I started to go through the reinsmen's school and then John and Debbie offered me a job as a stablehand. "Debbie gave me a few horses to drive in trials and when I graduated from the reinsmen's school I started working full-time with the Padbergs." SOUTHERN LEGACY LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS Breeding suggests that Southern Legacy will continue her wonderful consistent form and win many more races for owner-trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice. Southern Legacy, a 10/1 chance, raced three back on the pegs before finishing powerfully to score an easy victory over 82/1 outsider La Stella Del Mare and Mene Jaccka (22/1) in the 2130m Sully's Painting Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was a dream price for the five-year-old, who was having her seventh start after a spell. Her previous six runs had produced two wins, one second and three thirds. Punters rallied to support the polemarker Bonsu, who was sent out at 6/4 on. Bonsu set the pace for Shannon Suvaljko before wilting to finish fourth, with Southern Legacy charging to the front in the final 50m to win at a 1.57.8 rate and take her record to 23 starts for five wins, ten placings and $69,911. Southern Legacy, by Canadian sire Northern Luck, is out of Lady Legacy. She did not race as a two-year-old and showed early promise when, at her third start, finished second to the brilliant Sensational Gabby in the WA Oaks in May 2012. Southern Legacy's dam Lady Legacy raced 23 times for five wins and one placings for stakes of $23,280 before producing six winners, including Scram jet (172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076) and Pride of Colorado (67 starts for 14 wins, 14 placings and $125,013). Lady Legacy's dam Fiscal Miss (15 wins and $53,854) produced star performers Whitbys Miss Penny (50 starts for 32 wins, six placings and $568,289) and Ace of Whitby (79 starts for 29 wins, 21 placings and $317,247). Fiscal Miss was out of smart mare Remit, whose eight winners included Whitby Heritage (66 starts for 22 wins, 18 placings and $201,758), Whitby Timer (44 starts for 23 wins, eight placings and $314,899) and Whitbys Merit (14 starts for ten wins, two placings and $168,598). FRANCO TORRES BUCKS ALL THE ODDS Six-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Franco Torres went into the 2130m first heat of the Burswood On Swan Clarke Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night as the rank tote outsider at 57/1 for three reasons: he had drawn out wide at barrier five, he had finished tenth at his most recent start and was an M2-class performer competing against three M3-class pacers and four M4 horses. However, he bucked the odds and caused a major upset when he stormed home from seventh at the bell to race away and score an easy victory, beating Danieljohn by more than two lengths, with Uppy Son (13/4) a half-length away in third place. Lord Coburn, an easy all-the-way winner at his two previous starts and drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was all the rage and started favourite at 10/9 on. Lord Coburn led easily, with Black Pontiac in the breeze, Uppy Son on the pegs behind the pacemaker and Mighty Flying Thomas one-out and one-back. The pace slackened after about 500m and Morgan Woodley wisely took off with Mighty Flying Thomas after 650m in a bid to move alongside the pacemaker. But the move was foiled when 25/1 chance Black Pontiac's hind legs contacted the sulky and made him pull hard. This left Mighty Flying Thomas out on a limb, three wide. Franco Torres was seventh at the bell and 50m later Shannon Suvaljko switched him three wide to follow Mighty Flying Thomas, who eventually got to second in the back straight. But he was a spent force and Franco Torres burst to the front 250m from home before racing away from his rivals. Uppy Son pulled up lame in the near foreleg. Suvaljko was fined $200 by the stewards for having crossed his hands to use the whip before the final 200m mark. Franco Torres, trained by Debbie Padberg and owned by John Padberg and David and Alison Wiggers, won twice in New Zealand and three times in New South Wales before being purchased for $25,000. He now has raced 67 times for 11 wins, 18 placings and $89,338. He is a half-brother to Franco The Man, who has earned $185,496 from 19 wins and 28 placings from 105 starts. He is also related to This Time Franco (36 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and $249,151), Franco Thunder (178 starts for 44 wins, 43 placings and $199,928) and Franco Tiger (116 starts for 43 wins, 36 placings and $991,387). VOAK'S TACTICS PAY OFF WITH BET THE MAX There was action aplenty in the 2536m Community Newspaper Group Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night before the innovative Chris Voak triumphed with 11/2 chance Bet The Max. The first surprise came when good frontrunner Waipawa Junior, the 13/4 second fancy from the No. 1 barrier, was crossed by 10/1 chance Elusive Courage, who began speedily from barrier three. Christian Banner, favourite at 2/1, was restrained from the outside barrier back to last in the field of ten. Bet The Max started from barrier two on the back line and settled down in sixth position before Voak vacated the one-wide position and urged the gelding forward in a dashing bid for the lead. Bet The Max sprinted fast and got a length and a quarter in front of Elusive Courage, but was unable to cross to the lead. Voak then restrained Bet The Max and tried to slot in behind the pacemaker. But Bet the Max broke into a gallop and Voak had to abandon that manoeuvre as Colin Brown kicked up with Waipawa Junior to retain the position behind the leader. Voak quickly got Bet The Max back into a pacing action and the gelding was left in the breeze. Elusive Courage then dawdled through the opening quarter of the final mile in 32.4sec. before Luke Edwards brought outsider Myouri with a fast burst from the rear to join the leader and stablemate Elusive Courage 1350m from home, thus providing Bet The Max with the one-out, one-back sit. Myouri got to the front 430m from home, but was unable to hold off the strong-finishing Bet The Max and Christian Banner. The final quarter was run in 28.5sec. and the winner, who is owned by Harry Capararo and trained at Northam by Lang Inwood, rated 2.1.8. Bet The Max surged to the front at the 100m mark and went on to win by 2m from Christian Banner, who finished determinedly, three wide, from seventh at the bell to be second, almost a length in front of Myouri. The New Zealand-bred Bet The Max ended a losing sequence of 15, stretching back to an all-the-way Albany win 14 months ago, and he now has had 61 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $49,064. Voak, who was driving Bet the Max for the first time, was fined $100 for careless driving in that he reduced the speed dramatically when he tried to restrain Bet The Max to obtain the run behind the leader. This caused the gelding to break into a gallop. WOTAVUGOT SHOWS THAT HE HAS GOT WHAT IT TAKES New Zealand-bred six-year-old Wotavugot certainly is not in the same league as his half-brother Chancellor Cullen, but he certainly gave a most impressive display when he outclassed his eight rivals in very modest company in the 2130m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven with extreme confidence by Chris Brew for Barragup trainer Laurie Groves, Wotavugot, a son of In The Pocket and a heavily-supported 5/2 on favourite, charged to the front 80m after the start and gave a bold frontrunning display to win by just under 11 lengths from Fully Zapped, rating 1.58.6 after final quarters in 28.4sec. and 29.1sec. This ended a losing sequence of 17, stretching back to a win in a stand at Narrogin in June 2012. Chancellor Cullen, who has had 43 starts for 16 wins, 11 placings and $363,752, is remembered by WA harness racing fans for his half-head victory over Bronze Seeker in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park in November 2012. Wotavugot had 24 starts in New Zealand for seven wins and seven placings. His four wins and four placings from 22 starts have boosted his earnings to $61,257. MANTOMAN TOO TOUGH FOR BOOFSHALFBROTHER New South Wales-bred seven-year-old Mantoman gave a strong staying performance to record a fighting victory over Boofshalfbrother and Franco Jackson in the 2130m Spices Group Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Michael Brennan-trained gelding was driven for the first time by Gary Hall jun. and was a well-supported 13/4 chance from barrier four on the front line. Boofshalfbrother (9/1) took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier and he set the pace, with opening quarters of the final mile in 31.6sec. and 30.7sec. Hall moved Mantoman into the breeze after 400m when Colin Brown switched Franco Jackson to take the trail behind the leader after being first out from barrier two, but being unable to cross Boofshalfbrother. After a third quarter in 28.4sec. Mantoman moved alongside Boofshalfbrother and got to the front 150m from the post. Boofshalfbrother fought back grimly and went down by only a neck after a final quarter in 29.1sec. Franco Jackson battled on into third place, with the 2/1 favourite Shnappy faded to eighth after racing three wide in the middle stages. Mantoman, by Art Major, is out of Pretty Inpink, a mare who earned $103,492 from 15 wins and ten placings from 47 starts. Mantoman won 12 times in New South Wales and he has had 16 starts in WA for two wins and one placing. His earnings stand at $89,427. SMOOTH CAESAR UPSETS SOHO JACKMAN Big eight-year-old gelding Smooth Caesar outmuscled the opposition when he finished with great spirit to beat 2/1 on favourite Soho Jackman in the first heat of the 2130m Red Pepper Catering Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Marie Bingham, and trained and driven by Pinjarra horseman Kim Young, Smooth Caesar started from the coveted No. 1 barrier, but was a 10/1 chance despite a last-start second at Pinjarra and a win on the same track three starts before that. Last-start winner and a 4/1 tote outsider Oneheart Twofists began brilliantly from barrier six and Matt White had the gelding in front after 220m, giving Smooth Caesar a favourable sit on the pegs. Soho Jackman, from the outside of the back line, settled down in 11th position before Gary Hall jun. took him three wide approaching the bell. Soho Jackman sustained his effort and took the lead 100m from the post. But he was unable to hold out Smooth Caesar, who got the upper hand in the final 50m and scored by 2m at a 1.56.7 rate. Smooth Caesar has had 82 starts for 11 wins, 21 placings and $87,487 in prizemoney. WHOS MISTAKE THE FIRST OF SIX WINNERS FOR HALL Veteran pacer Whos Mistake got leading reinsman Gary Hall junior's weekend away to a flying start when he led all the way in the 2130m Munja Gardens Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall completed a double later in the program when he was successful Mantoman and he travelled to Bunbury on Saturday night where he drove four winners --- Truckers Buckeroo, Rocky Pop, Pelusiac and Ben Cartwright. Whos Mistake, trained by Gary Hall sen., was favourite at 6/4 on and he gave punters little cause for concern as he set a solid pace and scored by 4m from 10/1 chance Pride of Colorado, who put up a great performance to fight on doggedly after racing three wide for most of the race. Whos Mistake, owned by Doug Webster, has been a most reliable performer who has earned $148,710 from 18 wins and 25 placings from 124 starts. by Ken Casellas  

It's only a $7500 event for Metropolitan maiden performers, but the final race at Gloucester Park on Friday night, the 2130m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace, is of significant importance to Chris Brew, who is confident of success with Wotavugot, a six-year-old with a losing sequence of 16 and unsuccessful since scoring at Narrogin in June 2012. "This could well be my final appearance at Gloucester Park and I would dearly love to win the race," said the 32-year-old Brew, who has decided to embark on a new career path. "I will be seen as a trainer for the final time when I drive Glenferrie Hood in the Manea Classic at Bunbury on Saturday night and debutant Dainty Diva at Collie on Sunday afternoon. I will leave Western Australia in two weeks and it's possible I might not drive again at Gloucester Park." The Victorian-born 32-year-old Brew would dearly love to end his career in this State the same way as he started it --- when he brought Long Shot Lou home with a powerful three-wide burst to win at Gloucester Park in December 2007 at his first appearance in the State. He will be moving home to Melbourne with his wife Kalina and children Olivia (six) and Toby (nine months) and will become a fly-in, fly-out truck driver in Karratha, in the far north of WA. "This is something I've decided I need to do for my family," he said. "I'll miss training and driving here in WA. I haven't got many regrets and I've enjoyed my time here over the past six and half years. I'd love to bow out with a winner or two." The pint-sized Brew has winning prospects with his two drives on Friday night --- Christian Banner in the Community Newspaper Group Pace and Wotavugot in the final event. Wotavugot, who is trained at Barragup by Laurie Groves, warmed up for this week's assignment in good style when he trailed the pacemaker Raza Sharp Lombo before finishing fast to be a close second to that horse over 2536m last Friday night. He is ideally drawn in this week's event at No. 2 barrier on the front line. "He was impressive last week and seems like a horse on the way up," Brew said. "I would like to think that he will lead and take catching." Wotavugot certainly makes strong appeal as the likely leader, with the moderate performer Big Shot Barbie (who has managed one placing from her past 21 starts) on his inside. "Even though he finished seventh at his previous start (behind Vertical Four at Bunbury at his previous start) Wotavugot impressed me," Brew said. "He came from a long way back and attacked the line very well. "Laurie Groves and his son Brad, David Hunter and Dennis Roche have been the biggest supporters I've had and it would be fantastic to drive a winner for them before I go home. "Christian Banner, who is trained by Hunter, has drawn the outside of the front line, but he is a winning chance. It wouldn't matter where he draws; he's always a chance because he's just a good, honest and consistent horse. He has a good turn of foot and if the race is run to suit he's always a chance. "His last-start fourth was in a good field at Harvey and they sprinted a fast last sectional. He will be suited over the 2536m. His record over 2500m is very good. He is a model of consistency and he came from last to win the Williams Cup over 2666m in December." Christian Banner has won twice over 2600m at Addington and over 2569m at Bunbury and two starts ago he finished with a powerful burst to be second to Clifford over 2597m at Bridgetown. Clifford franked that form with a strong victory at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Brew also is confident of strong showings from Glenferrie Hood in the Manea Classic at Bunbury on Saturday night and he said he expected Dainty Diva would produce a strong effort at her debut in a three-year-old maiden event at Collie on Sunday. " "Dainty Diva is very fast away from a stand and she's clean-gaited," he said. "I'm hoping she draws the front line, and if she does she should prove a good winning chance. Glenferrie Hood should go well at Bunbury. I'm hoping for a favourable draw. After the race Glenferrie Hood will leave for New South Wales where he will be trained by Luke McCarthy." Brew said that he had had his share of success and his share of heartbreak in WA and would leave with many happy memories. His major triumphs were winning the $100,000 group 1 State Sires Series final for three-year-old colts and geldings with The Feather Foot in July 2010, the group 2 $50,000 Binshaw Classic with Please Release Me in February 2012 and two group 3 events with Lucie Boshier in 2012 --- the John Higgins Memorial and the Norm's Daughter Classic. Brew's decision to quit harness racing will further deplete the ranks of talented young reinsmen. In the past month New Zealand-born drivers Chris Butt and Shane Butcher have left WA. Butcher has resumed driving in Auckland and Butt has gone to Paris to work in a stable there before going to America to gain further experience and then returning to his homeland. WOODLEY OUT TO MAKE AMENDS IN THE AUTUMN CHAMPIONSHIP Outstanding reinsman Morgan Woodley is hellbent on making amends for the defeat of David Hercules in last year's Autumn Championship by driving the David Thompson-trained gelding to victory in the $21,000 Mulberry Estate Autumn Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Twelve months ago Woodley chose to drive David Hercules in preference to Mysta Magical Mach when David Hercules, from barrier No. 4, worked hard in the breeze and battled on to be a well-beaten second to the pacemaking Mysta Magical Mach, who was heavily backed to start favourite at 6/4 on for star reinsman Chris Lewis. Woodley had driven Mysta Magical Mach to victory in the Autumn Championship in 2012, after having won the feature event with Scruffy Murphy in 2008. In a major change the Autumn Championship will be decided over 1730m after the race was run over 2536m last year and 2506m the previous year. David Hercules is a brilliant sprinter who holds the track record for 1700m (1.52.8) and 2130m (1.53.6). He proved far too good for the opposition last Friday night when he started from the outside of the front line (barrier seven)and worked without cover before surging past the pacemaker Truckers Ruffnut and into the lead 450m from home before winning by 5m from Red Salute, rating 1.55 over 2130m. He sprinted over the final 800m in 55.6sec. Woodley was full of praise for the seven-year-old, describing him as a tremendous performer with a high cruising speed and keen appetite for racing. David Hercules will start out wide again this week and Woodley is likely to send him forward from the No. 6 position immediately after the start or when the field settles down after 400m or so. Hokuri Handrail, who will be driven for the first time by Chris Voak, is favourably drawn at No. 2 and has sound prospects of leading. He has managed just one placing from his past 14 starts, but is a smart frontrunner, capable of considerable improvement. Polak, to be driven by Clint Kimes for trainer Mike Reed, will start from barrier three. He possesses sparkling gate speed and is likely to press forward at the start in a bid for the lead. The chief rival for David Hercules could be This Time Dylan, who is likely to be restrained at the start from the No. 7 barrier and be saved up for a powerful last-lap sprint. This Time Dylan, trained by Michael Brennan, has won at nine of his past 18 starts and is the leader in the Gloucester Park Horse of the Year award. STAND SPECIALIST LORD COBURN RETURNS TO MOBILE RACING Former Victorian pacer Lord Coburn, who has scored effortless all-the-way victories in 2503m stands at his past two starts, will return to mobile racing when he starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m first heat of the Burswood On Swan Clarke Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said that he had hoped Lord Coburn would continue contesting stands and was disappointed when the advertised 2503m stand for M4-class pacers was not included in the ten-event program because of insufficient nominations. "The mobile was my second choice and I still consider Lord Coburn will prove hard to beat," he said. "He is in terrific form and he should lead and play a big part in the race. I would have preferred for him to run in a stand because he is such a good beginner that he would've jumped 10 metres in front of his rivals. But he should still lead in the mobile." Lord Coburn, to be driven by Chris Voak, is a six-year-old gelding by Grinfromeartoear who has relished his pacemaking role at his past two starts in 2503m stands and has won by 13m and 7m. He has started 15 times in WA, with 11 of those events being a standing-start race over 2500m --- for four wins, two seconds and one third placing. "He wasn't sent to me as a stand horse; he was sent to me as a fast 1700m horse," Olivieri explained. "And I have found that he is a good standing-start horse over 2503m." Friday night's race looks sure to provide keen betting, with all eight runners having admirers. The Andrew De Campo-trained Danieljohn is knocking on the door after five placings from his past six starts and he looks set to fight out the finish. He set a fast pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 56.9sec. when second to truckers Ruffnut over 2130m last Friday week. Uppy Son is close to another win after his head second to Lord Lombo last Friday night when he finished with great determination after racing outside the pacemaker Midnight Dylan. He is the only runner on the back line and appeals as a major hope in a race in which Benjamin Banneker (trained by Gary Hall sen.) and stablemates Bronze Seeker and Mighty Flying Thomas (trained by Peter Anderson) must be considered. Benjamin Banneker was most impressive at his second appearance after a spell when he worked hard without cover before fighting on grandly to be second to Lovers Delight in the 2550m Harvey Cup last Saturday night. Olivieri also expects a strong showing from Shnappy in the Spices Group Pathway Pace over 2130m. To be driven by Voak, Shnappy returns to mobile racing after contesting 2503m stands at his past two starts for a win and a second. He will start from the outside of the front line, but looks hard to beat against moderate opposition. by Ken Casellas  

Always A Virgin gelding Blackntan remained unbeaten with his third win in three attempts in tonight’s $15,000 Kindergarten Stakes at Adelaide’s Globe Derby Park track. Blackntan won from the Grinfromeartoear filly Whats Emma Got and Go Go Red. Lot 38 in today’s WA Yearling Sale is the only Always A Virgin yearling in the catalogue and is a filly from the Million To One mare Our First Million. There are a pair of Grinfromeartoear fillies in today’s catalogue including one from the Group One winning 2yo filly Sheza Clout 1:58.1 $252,928. Lots 72 and 73 in the Western Australian sale are a colt and filly by Gotta Go Cullect who sired his 15th winner when the 3yo colt Gotta Go Chocolate won on debut at Bunbury last night in a smart 1:59.6 rate over the 2100 metres. Earlier in the day the 3yo Gotta Go Cullect filly Royal Counsel won her second race of the season at Wyndham in New Zealand at her sixth start in a time of 1:57.0 over the mile. The Group Three New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes for 2yos at the same meeting was won by the Bettor’s Delight filly Itz Bettor To Win which ran the mile in a scintillating 1:54.3 to win from the Art Major filly Say My Name. Itz Bettor To Win is from the Courage Under Fire mare Itz Queen Of Newyork. Lot 10 at today’s Gloucester Standardbreds WA Yearling Sale is a filly bred on the same cross being by Bettor’s Delight from the Courage Under Fire mare Priscilla Rocks. While Itz Queen Of Newyork won just one 3yo race in a moderate 2:03.0, Priscilla Rocks won four races as a 2yo and a further four as a 3yo including a prelude of the WA Oaks on her way to career earnings of $115,179. The 2014 Gloucester Standardbreds WA Yearling Sale gets under way at the Belmont Park Sales Complex at 1:00pm with a parade of yearlings commencing at 10:00am. The office at the complex will open at 8:00am for those wishing to make an early start on finding their champion.

After producing the 2013 Western Australian 2yo Colt of the Year Mister Jadore, Grinfromeartoear has maintained the standard this year with four individual 2yo winners already. His fourth individual 2yo winner for the season came in Saturday night’s Victorian Sapling Stakes at Tabcorp Park Melton when Luvumum rated a brilliant 1:57.6 over the 1720 metres to win by 15 metres from Viva Safari and Locks Of Gold. Gloucester Standardbreds have four colts and two fillies by Grinfromeartoear in their 2014 Western Australian Yearling Sale which will get under way at 1:00pm on Sunday 23rd February at the Belmont Park Sales Complex. One of the two Grinfromeartoear fillies being offered is from the outstanding 2yo filly Sheza Clout which included a Group One Diamond Classic among her nine wins at that age. Harness Racing Australia

The flagships of the Division are the Australasian Classic and New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales held in Auckland Monday 17th February and Christchurch Tuesday and Wednesday 18th and 19th of February. Billed as the “Sale of the Stars” their graduates include seven modern day New Zealand Cup winners, thirty two Harness Jewels winners and thirty one Australasian Breeders Crown winners. Unity under the PGG Wrightson organisation has been a major benefit to the sales. Especially in producing a top quality catalogue, funding a very successful inward buyer scheme and the $1 million Sales Race Series now in its 24th year. Harnesslink is running a short series on some of the yearlings on offer. Lot 269 Premier sale - GRACIOUS MACH SIRE - MACH THREE - A great sire worldwide who has left outstanding fillies where ever he has stood. His North American filly credits are headed by the brilliant pair of  Monkey On My Wheel (1:49.3s) and $1,334,934 in stakes and Mach You And Me (1:50.2m) $800,819, while his Australasian filly credits are headed by Joyfuljoy (1:51.2) $480,422, Millwood Meg ($336,795), Shake It Mama ($237 193), while this years star three year old filly, Venus Serena ($434,152) recently broke the New Zealand mile record for a three year old filly when winning in 1:52.2 and may end up the best of them all in Australasia. Mach Three also is proving himself a very good broodmare sire as well leaving the Sapling Stakes winner at Melton on Saturday night just gone Luvumum (Grinfromeartoear from Mach And Me by Mach Three) DAM - JARAGUA - She won three races in a brief race career. This is her second foal with the first Atomic Blonde qualifying at two. She is a full sister to Gracious Mach. Jaragua is by the Cam Fella sire in Camtastic, she is a half to six winners including the smart Kim Crawford $149,254 (1:53) and Sandrea's Fault ($86,418). The third dam is Moon Weave who left the talented Moonweave Motoring (1:58.6) and the dam of Speriamo $144,570 (1;58). She is a half to Blythbank Del (1:58.5) who at stud left the brilliant juvenile Benefactor $263,798. OVERVIEW -  Being a January foal puts her three months behind most of her sales rival but she still has the appearance of a filly that will run early. She is a lovely put together filly who is quite racy in appearance and should develop into a lovely type with maturity. This is a great opportunity to buy a quality Mach Three filly without breaking the bank. Catalogue pedigree Lot 319 Premier sale - FRANCO LAMAR SIRE - Another son of the first season sire, Changeover who is biggest stakes winner left by the super sire In the Pocket who has quickly established himself as a great sire of sires with both Christian Cullen and Courage Under Fire excelling at stud. They have been very prominent at the early two year old trials and workouts and everything looks very positive at this stage. DAM - Lewinsky Franco is by the leading brood mare sire in Falcon Seelster. She was a very smart race mare racing at the elite level as a two and three year old in New Zealand before ending up in North America as an older horse where she took a mark of 1:51.4 on her way to winning $167,508 returning to Nevele R for stud duties she has quickly established herself as a quality brood mare. Her son Franco Lordship 1:58.1 won six as a two and three year old in New Zealand while Lucca Franco (1:59.8) has already won three from a handful of starts. The grand-dam Look's the Part was placed in the New Zealand Oaks and has left ten winners including the full sister to Lewinsky Franco in Labretta Franco (1:58.5) who is the dam of the brilliant Lilac Stride $276,144 1:54.4. The third dam is the smart race mare and great brood mare, Living Doll. OVERVIEW - A colt by the biggest stake winning son of super sire In The Pocket from one of New Zealand's fastest ever race mares. It is not often that buyers in Australasia have the opportunity to buy the progeny of a mare that went 1:51.4 and with the strength of the family behind him, this colt looks a great  chance to further embellish this families record. Catalogue pedigree. Lot 347 Premier sale - FRANCO NIVEN SIRE - Another son of the hugely successful son of  the great Falcon Seelster in McArdle. He has sired the winners of well over $45,000,000 worldwide and continues to leave quality racehorses with the very smart two year old in Jay Dub the latest to create a favourable impression. DAM - Nature Franco (1:59.2) is a speedy daughter of the Western Hanover sire, Union Guy. This is her sixth foal of which four have already raced for three winners including Lively GNP (1:58.2),  Franco Nattai (1:55.6) and Franco Nepia (1:58). Their dam is a half sister to nine winners including Franco Natura $204,542, Napa Franco (1:58.6) and Franco No Fear (1:57.9) while two half sisters have starred in the brood mare barn with Universe leaving Universal Dream $277,906 (1:50) and Northern Franco leaving Pembrook Benny ($839,232). The grand-dam Natural Appeal was a very smart three year old winning five at that age and was a half sister to the very smart, Panyan (29 wins). OVERVIEW--- This is a family that is noted for leaving hard wearing and tough individuals and this mares three winners all fit that mold. Great pedigree of quality individuals means this colt has a great chance of joining his siblings in the winners circle. Catalogue pedigree JC

Mister Big is now on the board as a sire downunder, courtesy of the Tasmanian bred and raced 2yo filly  Safety Girl. Starting favourite, Safety Girl made her debut a winning one last Friday night at Launceston with a comfortable victory. After settling in behind the leader, Safety Girl popped off into the breeze with 900m to travel. Leveling up at the top of the home straight she kicked clear and hit the line strongly, winning by 3.6 metres. Bred and raced by Mick Maxfield, Safety Girl is the fourth foal and third winner from the Group One placed Safely Kept mare Safety Torado. Being out of a Safely Kept mare, Safety Girl carries a 3 x 3 cross to Jate Lobell and also a 6 x 6 cross to Shifting Sands (a daughter of Golden Miss). Duplicating the Golden Miss family has worked extremely well for Grinfromeartoear, so it interesting to note that Mister Big's first Southern Hemisphere winner contains this same breeding pattern.

The trip was sweet and the end result was even sweeter for Kendal Gustav who erupted for a 22-1 upset in Monday’s $11,000 Preferred 2 for pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Lorne House carved out a second over trip for Kendal Gustav in the featured event, and the gelding did the rest en route to an easy score in the eight-horse affair. Kendal Gustav got away fifth before slipping to the outside and grabbing cover for the back-half of the contest. Clic K steamrolled through solid panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:26 before coming to a walk by the time the field turned for home. Smokin Bear was first-over and driving at that leader in the final half of the mile, and hot on hisheels was the eventual winner. Kendal Gustav kicked home in :30 en route to winning by 2-1/2 lengths over Rays San in 1:56.2. Smokin Bear managed to hold on for third prize. Trainer Scott McNiven co-owns the five-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst and Shirley Griffin, and collectively they’ve watched the gelding racked up 19 lifetime wins while stashing away close to $130,000 in career earnings. Just two races earlier it was Slots Of Fun turning in a front-stepping score in the $7,350 Preferred 3 for horse and gelding pacers. Driver/co-owner Alfie Carroll hustled the six-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear-High Pressure through panels of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:29.2 before sprinting home in :29.3 to win by a half-length margin over Leafs And Wings in 1:59. Stoney Durkin, who was eighth at the head of the lane, came on strong to finish third. Richard Carroll trains the 18-time winner, who is now 2-for-3 this season. He boosted his overall cash stash to $115,223 with the win. Savthelstdancforme captured the $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters for the second week in-a-row, and he did so with authority for catch-driver Tyler Borth. The eight-year-old son of Striking Sahbra-Iam Worthy Too chopped out fractions of :29.2, 1:00.2 and 1:30 before coasting home in :30.3 to win by three lengths over Windsun Fireball in 2:00.3. Sonny Vale came first-over and finished a distant third. Ashley Duford trains the 14-time winner for Dennis Duford of Dresden, Ontario. The trotter has managed to bank $122,887 to date. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Pacer turned trotter, Action-Ear-To-Ear, was successful in his trotting debut in the opening race on Tuesday (January 14) at Northfield Park. Action-Ear-To-Ear began from post two and led at virtually every call, posting a winning time of 2:05.3. Action-Ear-To-Ear (Grinfromeartoear-Life With Mindy-Life Sign) began racing in Canada in 2010, winning one of five races as a freshman pacer. He was winless in six tries as a sophomore and won one of 12 races as a four year-old. His best year to date has been 2013 when he won two races and finished second seven times in 14 starts. He has a mark of 1:55.2, paced at Northfield Park, and has career earnings of $27,063. Action-Ear-To-Ear was claimed by Andrew Coblentz of Wooster, Ohio for $3,000 in August 2013. Coblentz placed him under the care of trainer John G. Wengerd. The horse looked to be a good claim, pacing in 1:53.2, finishing second in a $4,000 claiming race just two starts later. "That 53 mile really soared him up," said Wengerd. "So we put road shoes on him and let him pull a buggy to stay in shape until he was fully sound again." Pulling an Amish buggy around Wayne County, Ohio for several months did a lot of good for Action-Ear-To-Ear according to Wengerd. However, in that time it was noticed that the six year-old pacer never paced. He had trotted the entire time he was on the road. "He is a really smooth gated trotter," commented Wengerd. "He even looks like a trotter." When Action-Ear-To-Ear left his road duties and reentered training, Wengerd noted, "All he wanted to do was trot. So I called the owner and talked it over with him and we decided to take his hopples off for good." Action-Ear-To-Ear qualified December 27 at Northfield Park on the trot. "I was a little nervous that when he saw the gate he would switch to a pace, but he didn't," offered Wengerd. He left right up out of there like he was supposed to, got on top and won his qualifier easy." Action-Ear-To-Ear led at every call, besting his competition by 2 ¼ lengths in 2:04.2. Action-Ear-To-Ear's immediate future appears to be as a trotter. However, there is always a back-up plan, which may include hopples, in the wings if his current gate does not work out. Northfield Park Adds $7,500 Guaranteed Pick-5 Total Pool To Wednesday’s Card Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $7,500 Pick-5 total pool guarantee to Wednesday’s (January 15) program.  Beginning in Race 3, the $7,500 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $1,742.43. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.    Wednesday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratliff  

It is not often that a horse with four pari-mutuel wins is found competing against a group of maidens. Most horses with a quadruplet of victories would not be eligible for such a race. However, Action-Ear-To-Ear is just that horse whit fits the bill and will go to post on Tuesday (January 7) in the opening race at Northfield Park. Action-Ear-To-Ear (Grinfromeartoear-Life With Mindy-Life Sign) began racing in Canada in 2010, winning one of five races as a freshman pacer. He was winless in six tries as a sophomore and won one of 12 races as a four year-old. His best year to date has been 2013 when he won two races and finished second seven times in 14 starts. He has a mark of 1:55.2, paced at Northfield Park, and has career earnings of $27,063. Action-Ear-To-Ear was claimed by Andrew Coblentz of Wooster, Ohio for $3,000 in August 2013. Coblentz placed him under the care of trainer John G. Wengerd. The horse looked to be a good claim, pacing in 1:53.2, finishing second in a $4,000 claiming race just two starts later. "That 53 mile really soared him up," said Wengerd. "So we put road shoes on him and let him pull a buggy to stay in shape until he was fully sound again." Pulling an Amish buggy around Wayne County, Ohio for several months did a lot of good for Action-Ear-To-Ear according to Wengerd. However, in that time it was noticed that the six year-old pacer never paced. He had trotted the entire time he was on the road. "He is a really smooth gated trotter," commented Wengerd. "He even looks like a trotter." When Action-Ear-To-Ear left his road duties and reentered training, Wengerd noted, "All he wanted to do was trot. So I called the owner and talked it over with him and we decided to take his hopples off for good." Action-Ear-To-Ear qualified December 27 at Northfield Park on the trot. "I was a little nervous that when he saw the gate he would switch to a pace, but he didn't," offered Wengerd. He left right up out of there like he was supposed to, got on top and won his qualifier easy." Action-Ear-To-Ear led at every call, besting his competition by 2 ¼ lengths in 2:04.2. Action-Ear-To-Ear makes his trotting debut on Tuesday, drawing post position two and has been named the 5-2 morning line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcating Dave Bianconi. Wengerd named himself to drive the now trotter in his initial start. "I don't plan on driving him like a first-time starter," said Wengered. "He is not a regular maiden and has a lot of experience. I know it was on the pace, but he has been in 53." Wengerd gave his thoughts on Action-Ear-To-Ear's trotting debut: "I don't think he will be a maiden too long. I like our chances." by Ayers Ratliff for Northfield Park

It was Jim Phillips Memorial Cobram Pacing Cup Day on Friday December 28, with a bumper crowd of Murray River holiday makers enjoying the nine race harness racing card. Bannockburn trainer Geoff Webster having won three of the past five - Genuine Star (2008), Mister Zion (2009) and Lets Slash An Burn (2010), was looking to make it four with much travelled gelding Rakarebel, as was Melton based reinsman Greg Sugars aboard the Webster elect, after guiding Genuine Star, Lets Slash An Burn and Jaccka Clive to victory in 2011 for Avenel’s David Aiken. The $25,000 feature for M0 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2678 metres attracted a small but quality field, with prolific winning Jaccka Clive (one of four runners from the Aiken barn) the 20 metre backmarker. Last year’s successful trainer Tim Butt made it back to back cup victories, when five year old Grinfromeartoear - Against The Wind gelding Pass Them By with John Caldow in the sulky prevailed. Beginning brilliantly from barrier four, Pass Them By pounced on the lead, with Uncle Wingnut from outside the front line moving outside him, polemarker Washmepockets trailing the leader, Rakarebel (barrier two) one/one being followed by Wartime Sweetheart and stablemate Smudge Bromac from the 10 metre mark, with Jaccka Clive last. Composed settled three back the markers, with stablemates Lovable Larrikin and Jaydens Castle trailing him. With no moves being made until the last lap, Wartime Sweetheart was eased three wide to commence a forward move, giving Jaccka Clive a ride home and Smudge Bromac working between runners. Joining Pass Them By on the final bend, Wartime Sweetheart issued a strong challenge, however Pass Them By after a relative easy trip, rallied to gain the day by a head in a punishing finish, with Washmepockets using the sprint lane for third just in advance of Composed which also made use of the inside run. Rated to perfection by Caldow in quarters of 29.6, 30.1, 28.4 and 28.5 for the last mile, Pass Them By raced by a large number of stable clients returned a new track record mile rate of 1-59.5, bettering Mister Zion’s 1-59.9 by .4 seconds. The other highlight of the afternoon being the $15,000 Central Murray Credit Union Cobram Trotters Cup for TM0 or better class (D-H) over 2678 metres, with victory going the way of David Aiken’s all American bred seven year old Ken Warkentin - Kovel rig My High Expectations, obliterating the track record by two seconds. Well in on handicaps to start from a 20 metre backmark, My High Expectations stepped cleanly with old timer Oi You beginning best to lead from barrier three, before surrendering to the Kiwi Thanesan entering the front straight on the first occasion. Biding his time with most of the field ahead of him, My Expectations moved to be one/one mid-race when I See Icy Earl ahead of him eased away from the markers to lead up the outside division before taking cover on Bellingham from last. Taken four wide in the final circuit, My High Expectations quickly joined Thanesan on the home turn and raced away to score by 6.8 metres in a mile rate of 2-01.3 (last half 58 seconds – quarter 28.9) over Thanesan who was game in defeat, with I See Icy Earl (three wide last lap) third 5.1 metres away. It was My High Expectations 23rd victory from only 71 outings. David reaped all of the rewards, as apart from training and driving the winner, he also races him. An interesting winner on the day was nine year old Panorama - Regal Sarnel gelding Regalramapleasure for Chiltern trainer Peter Romero who despite winning eleven races (mostly in three year old and restricted events over the years), started in the C1 class Clydesdale Hotel Pace over 2170 metres thanks to the drop back system. Driven by Nathan Jack, Regalramapleasure led throughout from gate five, defeating Pelling and Smart Sista in a rate of 2-00.3 when having his first outing since Melbourne Cup Day. Videos of the two Cups are attached. by Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria

Maryborough in Central Victoria - home of the trotter held a 10 event card on Monday December 23 which featured no less than five events devoted to the squaregaiter. Redwood winner Daenerys Targaryen returned to the winners list in the Highland Heavy Games 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile over 2190 metres. Now in the care of Brent Lilley at Bolinda, Daenerys Targaryen with Greg Sugars in the sulky wasn't pushed at the start from gate six, before striding clear to lead for the majority of the trip, defeating Sister Of Sonoko (one/one at bell) from near last by 2.4 metres, with the first starter Maybelina using the sprint lane from four back the markers to finish third. The mile rate 2-06.4. St Arnaud trainer Brian Kiesey provided an upset result when six year old Life Sign/Abby Beach mare Apple Beach scored in the Showstoppers @ Princess Park New Years Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 2190 metres, paying Supertab odds of $59.00. Driven by Michael Bellman, Apple Beach having her first outing in almost 12 months (January 7 2013), galloped away from the extreme draw settling at the tail of the field along with The Yankee Clipper which was badly away and Pride Of Sundon who was slow to begin, with the hot favourite Rosemma leading from gate three. Still last prior to the home turn, Apple Beach produced a barnstorming finish out wide to blouse Rosemma by a head in 2-08.1 which surrendered to Pride Of Sundon mid-race before easing off his back on turning. Tommy Kay (three back the markers at bell) used the sprint lane to finish third. The Highland Dancing Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2190 metres went the way of five year old Goodboytruscott/Truscott Photo gelding Loveyougoodboy for Muckleford trainer Chris Angove. Trotting faultlessly on this occasion after making several mistakes in recent outings, Loveyougoodboy starting from a 40 metre equal backmark with Im Demimondaine, was immediately sent forward by Josh Duggan to park outside the front line pacemaker Kingofthedesert. Taking care of the leader approaching the home turn with Im Demimondaine issuing a challenge, Loveyougoodboy prevailed by 3.9 metres in a rate of 2-05.4, with A Stylish Jewel (three back the markers) third. Sutton Grange trainer Ross Graham's improving Zooma/ImaBarbie Girl five year old gelding Brother Of Sonoko broke his maiden status at start number six, when successful in the Side Show Alley New Years Day Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 2190 metres in a rate of 2-05.1. Given a lovely trip one/one from gate two for Daryl Douglas with the hot favourite Hachashaq leading from the pole, Brother Of Sonoko when eased three wide on the final bend, raced clear on straightening to record an easy 8.3 metre victory in advance of My Turn My Turn from last, with Redcavier third after following the winner throughout. Seven year old Grinfromeartoear/Hyclass Souix mare Paparazzi Snapshot recorded her 8th victory in 54 outings by taking the Chieftain Andy Brumby Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2190 metres. Starting from the 40 metre mark after taking a mares concession, Paparazzi Snapshot with Kerryn Manning in the sulky, wasn't bustled in the early stages, settling at the rear of the field as the polemarker Mygreekkalesa stepped to the front at barrier rise. Moving three wide in the last lap, Paparazzi Snapshot proved much too strong for Gluteus Major off a three wide trail last lap and Idle Suntime which followed the pair home. The mile rate 2-04.3. By Len Baker                                                            

Todd Woodward knows he could still be making a living from driving tractors both here in New Zealand and in Western Australia. But after doing exactly that for a couple of years, the 43-year-old was back in the winner’s circle on Sunday when winning the sixth event on the Rangiora grass. Outsider Full Of Options provided him with his first victory since the 2010-2011 season. The 4-year-old Presidential mare, who was having her first start, is trained by Woodward’s boss, Robbie Holmes at Leithfield Beach. Holmes drove stablemate Cyclone Kiwi into second, resulting in a $65.40 stable quinella. “It’s good to be back and having that winning feeling again. You can’t beat it. I guess you could say it’s a bit like I’ve got a second lease life. “I did drive a couple of winners for former Kiwi Graeme Bond when I was contracting in Australia though. I helped him out for three months. “From May to July on I was driving tractors in WA and working with various crops like wheat. I did that stint twice,” Amberley based Woodward said. Woodward left harness racing after driving for 20 years and training for 10 (1998-2008). He has won 226 ($1.6m) and 40 ($175,583) races respectively. “I got bored and I knew I could get a tractor contracting job the day after walked away from racing - and I did. It was time for a change. Things were going stale. “But I must admit it is good to be back amongst the horses again. Once it’s in your blood it’s there for good. It’s something I have always done,” Woodward said. “It’s good to know that I’ve always got tractor driving to fall back on though,” he added. The punters rated Full Of Options the seventh favourite of 12 in Sunday’s Country Feasts Catering 1950m maiden, and she surprised most of them by paying $24.70 to win. Woodward got her up in a tight finish to get the decision by three quarters of a length in 2:33 even (mile rate: 2:06.2). Final 800m and 400m sprints: 60.8 and 28 flat. “She’s coming to it nicely and the ways she’s going I think she can certainly win at least a couple more. Cyclone Kiwi is a pretty smart horse and she did well beating him. “I was rapt with her performance. It was a bit of a thrill alright,” Woodward said. Full Of Options, who is owned by her breeder Mike Bidwell, went into her first race-day assignment with a couple of trial placings. She is the second foal of four out of Live Or Die mare, Two options. She won three of her 32 starts for Holmes. Her first foal, and only other racehorse – Armbro Operative 6-year-old mare, Opting Options, won two of her 21 starts for Holmes. Woodward said Holmes was working a team of about 40 on the beach. He said he was enjoying his time with him. “He’s a quality horseman and I think we work well together. Between us we both have a little bit of experience to call on. “Robbie has also got a quality team. If I was to single out one it would be Smiling Star. He’s a son of Grinfromeartoear, won eight races, and is very smart,” Woodward said. by Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Hunter Valley trainer Shane Tritton is hoping Hawthornden can continue on his winning way this campaign after proving too strong in Friday night's Newcastle Cup. The son of Grinfromeartoear was having his first run since May and after trialling well in the lead-up to his return the stable was expecting a strong effort. "I've always had an opinion of him, I thought enough of the horse to give him a chance to qualify for the Chariots Of Fire by running him in the Hondo Grattan but I just lost him towards the end of his last preparation," Tritton said. "He went 1:56 at the trials at Newcastle and I was really happy with how he went, I've always wanted to give him a go from the standing start and I think he is capable of racing in a higher grade especially under those conditions." Tritton will now concentrate on Metropolitan racing with Hawthornden and expects him to handle the class rise. "He wasn't too far away last campaign at Menangle and I think he will be better this campaign, our dream would be to get him into a Hunter Cup, that might be shooting a bit high but We Will See how he handles everything in the next month or so." Meanwhile Tritton is working on travel arrangements for Mach Beauty and Suave Stuey Lombo after deciding on heading to Western Australia for the summer carnival. "I've spoken with Michael Radley from Gloucester Park, ideally we would like to arrive just before the Fremantle Cup and stay for the Western Australian Pacing Cup too, I'm really happy with how they are coming along." "Mach Beauty has had an easy time of it since the Miracle Mile but trialled on Wednesday, Lauren (Panella driver) returns from suspension soon too so everything is looking good for the stable." Former kiwi pacer Ardghal will be set for the Maitland Inter City Pace but is yet to race for Tritton on this side of the Tasman. The son of McArdle raced under Tritton's care in New Zealand after he was purchased by clients of the stable earlier in the year. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

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