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Regionalisation measures have paid off. Bathurst's leading harness racing pacers will be able to travel to Menangle Saturday meetings from July 13, as zone restrictions to combat COVID-19 are slowly being wound back. By July 1 Harness Racing New South Wales will have removed all zone restrictions in the state, allowing trainers to send their horses to any track they wish with no constraints. Regionalisation was came into effect during March as the coronavirus threatened to put a stop to the industry. The measures prevented trainers from sending their horses outside of their own zone, and in the western region Bathurst was the only track hosting events. The Lagoon's Steve Turnbull said the restriction easing couldn't have come at a more crucial time for the stable, as they faced pressure to shift their stronger horses to Sydney trainers in order to race for bigger prizemoney. "They wanted us to send horses down to Menangle to race and we didn't really want to do that because you can lose your clients," he said. "There's different things we do with our horses that just wouldn't suit them in the environment down there. Being able to hold onto those horses instead of sending them to other trainers is great news. "Atomic Red is a prime example of that. He needs a lot of attention given to his legs. He's the sort of horse you strive to get in this game, and you'd hate see him move to another trainer." The path opening to Menangle gives the western region's best horses a shot at bigger prizemoney. After the recent 20 per cent cut to prizemoney across the state Bathurst currently races for a maximum of $6,000 in regular events while horses at Menangle are regularly racing for $18,000 - or more for Group races. The Menangle change is one of several big steps being taken by the industry over the coming month. From Monday Bathurst will no longer be the only track in the western region hosting meetings, as racing gets set to return to Dubbo, Young and Parkes. Turnbull said that's a massive plus for those tracks and for trainers struggling to find appropriate events for their horses. "Our tighter assessed horses are only getting a run only every two to three weeks so that's going to be really good," he said. "We've all got horses who like racing in the bush on the smaller tracks and that will be a good change. "We've been getting a bit slack on the travelling part. The only worry is if we're only racing for $4,000 then you've got the travel costs on top of that, but in saying that guys from Parkes and Dubbo have had to travel here racing for less money." The removal of restrictions still comes with strict measures being taken at tracks to ensure everyone's safety. "Established COVID-19 Protocols will be retained at all tracks until such time as rescinded by NSW Health," the statement from HRNSW said. "HRNSW will monitor health concerns and continue to follow the lead of Government in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic." By Alexander Grant Reprinted with permission of the Western Advocate

Rocky Creed’s victory in the TAB Riverina Championship Final was another all in the family affair replicating the team effort in the Western Region Final. The McPherson family who have wide ranging vocations of logging truck driver, nurse and Bunnings worker combined to cause an upset and deliver a dream come true with Rocky Creed at Wagga on Friday. Rocky Creed even starting in the $100,000 TAB Riverina Regional Final on Friday afternoon was the career highlight for trainer Chris McPherson and his brothers and fellow owners Shane and Scott McPherson. The fact he shocked harness racing punters by winning it is still sinking in for Chris McPherson. “We can’t believe it,” said Albury-based McPherson. “I had never even had a group one starter before let alone a winner. “With us drawing the second line and Whereyabinboppin (the $1.10 favourite) drawing the front we considered we were running for second or third.” But as racing can so often deliver the favourite was caught parked outside the leader and the 1:54.4 mile rate for the 2270m didn’t assist thus leaving it to Rocky Creed to deliver the knockout punch in the hands of driver Thomas Gilligan. Gilligan is also McPherson’s farrier and that connection sums up the Rocky Creed story. “We all chip in to help out here,” said trainer McPherson “I work him a lot of the time but I drive a logging truck for a job so my brother Scott helps out but he also has a full time job as a nurse. “And our nephew James, who works at Bunnings, also pitches in with the eight horses we have here and he usually drives Rocky at the races. “But he wasn’t licenced to drive in a group one race so Tom, our farrier, got the job of driving him.” The Riverina final was the second of the four $100,000 regional finals run across NSW and McPherson was inspired by fellow part-timer Malcolm Hutchings training Terryrama to win the Bathurst final on Wednesday night. “I was reading about Malcolm and their win on Wednesday at Bathurst and I thought, good on them, small time blokes getting a group one. “I even allowed myself to think, jeez, it would be great to be part of something like that. But I didn’t think it would actually happen. Now that it has wow what a feeling.” “So we got home after the races and stayed out at the stables celebrating till 2am, sitting around the fire laughing. I still can’t believe it happened. “But it is great these races were put on in the regions for people like us to at least have a chance and I must thank the TAB and Harness Racing New South Wales for continuing with the Championships.”   Harness Racing New South Wales

Dear Participant, In a follow up to my Message of April 3 relative to the impact on the Industry of the Covid-19 pandemic, I write on this occasion to bring to your attention what might best be described as good news and unfortunately not so good news. On the positive side, as a result of the Regional Racing Plan now in place and strict and responsible compliance by all arms of the Industry with the Covid-19 protocols introduced through requirements of Government, as opposed to a shutdown, we continue to race. In fact since April 1, all scheduled race meetings have been held throughout the State providing some $2.5 million in prizemoney for industry participants. However now faced with a dramatic downturn in wagering revenue [the very lifeblood of the Industry] forecast to be in the order of $7 million and $19.7 million for the years ended 30 June,2020 and 2021 respectively should the current circumstances persist, the Board of HRNSW, in addition to drawing down on available funds within its Future Fund, has reluctantly found it necessary to impose a raft of savings measures designed to ensure a continuation of racing and in turn a revenue flow to industry participants. To that end, as from May11: Base Prizemoney will be reduced by 20%, Savings in HRNSW operational costs implemented, Feature race funding will be reduced, Drought Assistance funding will be withdrawn; and Infrastructure developments suspended. As will be appreciated the impact on wagering turnover arising from the outbreak of the Coronavirus is unprecedented. NSW TAB has been directly and materially impacted by the restrictions put in place, in particular the need to close its various retail outlets throughout Australia. Compounding the issue is the closure of hotels and clubs where it was customary for punters to meet mates and enjoy a drink and a bet. There are some 3850 outlets currently closed with no indication from Government as to when these premises will re-open. HRNSW is resolute in its endeavours to continue racing and will of course monitor very closely the impact of Covid-19 on the future viability of our Industry and, as and when wagering opportunities permit, will take the necessary action to put aside the savings measures which have by necessity been put in place. In that regard the priority will be to re-instate the base prizemoney levels to at least that which were in place prior to the pandemic. Yours faithfully   Ken Brown AM Chairman

Due the profound impact on wagering revenue brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic HRNSW has reluctantly taken the measure to reduce base prizemoney levels by 20% and cut operational costs. “This was a difficult decision to make however with the significant downturn in wagering revenue what with the TAB retail outlets closed as well as agencies in Clubs and Pubs, HRNSW had no other alternative but to reluctantly reduce prizemoney and cut other non essential costs.” Chief Executive John Dumesny explained. Other cost savings which have or will be undertaken are: HRNSW administrative (staff) and operations costs reductions. Major infrastructure projects such as the Bathurst Training Centre Development, Tamworth Training Centre Refurbishment and Gold Crown Paceway property purchase will be put on hold. Industry Drought Assistance will cease from May 3. Discretionary funding arrangements with Clubs will be addressed with those respective Clubs however these have either been reduced or withdrawn. “With respect to major races such as the Miracle Mile the $300,000 funding provided by HRNSW unfortunately has been withdrawn.” “The Board Members of HRNSW however elected not to reduce the administration funding and subsidies for Clubs but a stakeholders’ review of the breeding schemes will be commenced in May.” “HRNSW will also call on Club administrators and Association leaders to consider and propose a plan with respect to an appropriate difference in the levels of the prizemoney categories.” “When wagering revenue has recovered at a sustainable level base pizemoney will be restored.” Dumesny added. Commencing from race meetings conducted on Monday 11th May 2020 category A meeting races will carry base prizemoney of $5,200 and category B meeting races will be contested for $4,800. This represents a 20% reduction in base prizemoney. There are 1,588 A category meeting races and 1584 B category meeting races conducted in NSW each year.   Prizemoney offered for Metropolitan and Tuesday Meetings at Tabcorp Park Menangle will be determined by the Directors of Club Menangle.   HRNSW

HRNSW announces that the 2020 NSW Breeders Challenge Series will retain the established structure however will be transposed to the months of September through to November. The Finals of the Major Series will be conducted on Saturday 24th October at Tabcorp Park Menangle. In arriving at the decision to move the Breeders Challenge Series, taken into consideration was the uncertainty of the length of time the COVID-19 restrictions will be in place. These restrictions have caused regionalisation which does not allow for a Series conducted in the traditional manner. The retention of the structure of the Series which stakeholders have an expectation to compete under was paramount in the decision. The delivery of a decision to stakeholders was also a priority so that owners and trainers can plan a path to the NSW Breeders Challenge taking into account the current environment. “The decision to move the Breeders Challenge Series was taken following lengthy discussions between Board Members and Management so as to provide the opportunity as equally as possible to all eligible two and three year olds.” Chief Executive John Dumesny said. “Regionalisation and not being permitted to cross the State borders certainly didn’t provide that opportunity on the traditional dates.” “These are unprecedented and difficult circumstances that the Industry finds itself in and the transfer of the Breeders Challenge was the only feasible option to adopt at this time.” “As these dates are past the end of the racing season HRNSW will address the ramifications of the ratings system at a national level but a suitable outcome will undoubtedly be achieved in this respect.” “Simply transferring the entire series to 2021 and extending out for another year was an option but on an already congested racing calendar there were identified difficulties.” “The option of a regionalised series was open for consideration but the consensus was clear it would only be addressed if the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt movement around the State.” The Blue Finals and Regional Series will be held in October/November to fit in and around the Victorian Breeders Crown Series. HRNSW will advise of the new dates and other material considerations for the NSW Breeders Challenge Series and make further announcements in due course. For further information on this matter contact: Alana Toulmin atoulmin@hrnsw.com.au 02 9722 6600

Newcastle Paceway will host a second harness racing Group 1 race this year after four new regional series, each with a $100,000 final, were announced on Tuesday to replace the Million Dollar Pace. A regionalisation of the industry, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and government regulations, forced Harness Racing NSW to abandon the new Million Dollar Pace, which was to include statewide heats and a final at Menangle. In its place, HRNSW has introduced the Regional Championships. The metropolitan, western districts, Riverina and Hunter regions will each conduct two rounds of $9500 heats and a final. Menangle, Newcastle, Wagga and Bathurst will host each series, which will have a maximum of five heats per round and also a $14,500 consolation final. HRNSW chief John Dumesny said the new races would give trainers the chance to place horses set for the now abandoned series. "From last February all eligible horses must have been located and trained in a specific region, so this aspects remains in place," he said. "The championships dates have been held to the schedule previously set for the Million Dollar Pace so the training of horses specifically set for that race series is not affected." Heats start at Menangle on May 5, Bathurst on May 6, Wagga on May 8 and Newcastle on May 9. The Newcastle second round of heats are on May 15, with the final on May 23. The race, at least for this year, will give the track two Group 1 features. The Newcastle Mile was elevated to $100,000, Group 1 status last year. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permision of The Newcastle Herald

Effective immediately. HRNSW advises that the following requirements relate to all harness meetings:   Each person seeking entry to a venue MUST complete the Infectious Disease Declaration form and provide this form at the point of entry to the venue- NO DECLARATION NO ENTRY; As part of the Infectious Disease Declaration Form, all persons will be required to sign a release and waiver agreement indemnifying HRNSW and the relevant harness racing Club.   HRNSW Declaration Form and Australian Government Department of Health Facts Sheet   To facilitate seamless entry to the venue, it is desirable that the form is completed prior to attending each venue. All licensed participants are required to produce their physical harness racing licence cards or electronic version prior to entry to the venue being granted- NO LICENCE NO ENTRY;   Trainers are limited to ONE (1) stablehand- Upon application to HRNSW an exception may apply in the case of a Trainer with three (3) or more horses entered at a race meeting;   Trainers are required to provide the details of ALL stablehands for each race meeting to HRNSW prior to 10.30am, two (2) days before each race meeting;   Participants MUST leave the track immediately after fulfilling their obligations in accordance with the Australian Harness Racing Rules;   For further information on this matter contact: Integrity Manager Michael Prentice or Chairman of Stewards Grant Adams  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au (02) 9722 6600 gadams@hrnsw.com.au (02) 9722 6600  

Yesnomaybeso was a good name for a horse, and it is a good way to describe NSW harness racing at present. The industry has been in suspension mode since Tuesday after an official at last Thursday's Penrith meeting tested positive to Covid-19. The harness racing industry has been brought to a complete halt until more people from the meeting have been tested, with it obviously hoped the results come back negative. On Friday, Harness Racing NSW will make a decision on the immediate future of racing. If the all-clear is given, it will be full on for the Inverell Harness Racing Club, which is scheduled to host the Carnival of Cups TAB meeting on Sunday afternoon. The meeting would involve a seven-race program - with no Queensland horses in action after that state closed its borders this week. The feature race on the Inverell program is the $10,000 Inverell Cup, which would involve four last-start winners from Tamworth's meeting last week. They are Corsini (the Graham Moons stables), Tiger Courage (the Ernie Mabbott stables), Manly Boy (trained in Dubbo by Ty Robson) and Bongiorno Boys (trained in Sawyers Gully by Stacie Elliott). Sadly, I can report that the Narrabri Harness Racing Club has lost its non-TAB meeting on April 5. However, its Carnival of Cups TAB meeting is scheduled for April 13. Newcastle is listed to host a meeting on Saturday night, with a few North West contenders set to race, including Narrabri pacer Kid Montana. The State Mini Trot Championships, which were to be held at Paceway Tamworth over Easter, have been called off because of the epidemic. +++ ON A brighter note, the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of NSW held its championships last week in Tamworth. This organisation rehomes ex-pacers and trains them to take part in equestrian and other activities. Cooper James, who is a member of Tamworth Mini Trots, took part in the championships and had a great time helping Tamworth trainer Sarah Rushbrook show off her stable. Young Cooper handled Jackeroo Shannon in the Harness Class. And judging by the smile on his face, he enjoyed collecting ribbons. Cooper also picked up second prize in best dressed contest. There was plenty of praise for Cooper's ability. Harness racing is in his genes. His father, Brendan, is a trainer and driver at Tamworth, and his grandfather, Rod, is a trainer and driver at Newcastle. His great grandfather, Laurie James, was a secretary of Tamworth harness racing.   +++ BATHURST harness racing folk are keeping their fingers crossed that racing resumes, as the city's big finals night is slated for Saturday. The program would include the Group 1 $100,000 Gold Bracelet Final (for three-year-old fillies), the Group 1 $100,000 Gold Tiara Final (for two-year-old fillies) and the Group 1 $100,000 Gold Chalice (for three-year-old colts and geldings). By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

HRNSW advises that the person who was in attendance at the Penrith Harness meeting on Thursday 19 March 2020 who had previously been in direct contact with another individual outside of the harness racing industry who was confirmed to have contracted the COVID-19 virus, is an employee of the Penrith Harness Racing Club. HRNSW also advises that the Penrith employee has since tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Further, it has been established by HRNSW that the employee of the Penrith Harness Racing Club was not in physical contact with any trainers, drivers or stablehands at the Penrith harness meeting on Thursday 19 March 2020. For clarity, there was no opportunity for any contact to occur between the Penrith employee or any licensee before, during or after the race meeting. Until the results of a COVID-19 test taken from a HRNSW Steward are known, HRNSW will continue to treat this matter with the utmost priority for the wellbeing of participants, personnel and the wider community. HRNSW will provide further updates once all consequential information is known. HRNSW reminds all industry participants of the available industry support program. https://www.hrnsw.com.au/industry-integrity/development--support-program-dasp Information provided to the community in relation to COVID-19 can be found at the following link: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Government appointed Board of Directors which is independent of Government. For further information on this matter contact: Integrity Manager Michael Prentice or Chairman of Stewards Grant Adams mprentice@hrnsw.com.au (02) 9722 6600 gadams@hrnsw.com.au (02) 9722 6600

Harness Racing Australia’s “tweaking” of its controversial new National Ratings system will bring some small consolation to industry participants frustrated their views are not being heard. But the sport’s peak body has missed the opportunity make the more significant changes this contentious system so desperately needs to regain the confidence of passionate industry participants. Harness Racing New South Wales chief John Dumesny is so far the only State chief to report back to industry participants on the outcomes of last week’s HRA Executive meeting, and the intense debate at the Ratings Review team meeting that preceded it. It was the job of the Review Team three weeks ago to make recommendations on any changes required, six months after the NR system was rolled out – and the executive, reportedly, duly adopted the review recommendations last week. The decisions of the HRA executive can be read here:  While other State bodies have had little to say to their constituencies about the impact and timing of the amendments, Dumesny was frank in his HRNSW Blog last week. “Is it absolutely what we wanted in NSW?  No, but we got somewhere towards the requests of our participants and that is not always easy as these meetings go.  And I’m talking about a meeting that lasted six hours, of pretty deliberate discussions,” he said. “Some states rely heavily on the data and that is pertinent…but there is another point that always must be respected, and that is your stakeholder satisfaction -- it is a balance,” he said. “We want wagering turnover, we want to provide even racing but without participants we don’t have a sport. Certainly, I played that card within reason at the Ratings Review team meeting.” Industry participants in Victoria, in particular, have been enraged by the lack of consultation by the State body.  Debate on social media about the NR system has been “white hot”, but Harness Racing Victoria has provided no formal process or opportunity for industry to provide feedback to inform its position at the Ratings Review. And while the HR executive might not have been receiving the grass roots input via some State bodies that many industry participants wanted, there were some concessions to appease critics. The major change relates to the iniquitous “points for second place” conditions of the new NR system, and there are some welcome amendments to the NR matrix. Now, for races less than $10,000 the NR point for second place will disappear.  In addition, horses winning races with lower levels of stake money will be awarded fewer NR points. But Dumesny’s blog comments indicate, despite the compromise, not all States were fully on board to the level of NSW. “This was a concern across Australia that for running second you are actually penalised a point and while some didn’t want to lift the prizemoney level higher than $10,000, everyone was sensible about the end result,” Dumesny said. John Dumesny The Executive also approved a significant and common sense change for two year old racing, in that the system will be modified to reduce the starting point rating from 40 to 35 National Rating Points. However, efforts to get a similar concession for three year olds failed. The impact on three year olds, and the lack of protection they are provided in their juvenile season, has been one of the most hotly-debated issues around the new NR system. But Dumesny indicated the solution required by participants for three year olds was not going to get past all members of the review team. “The easiest outcome from our participants’ point of view for three years olds was to drop down (the three year old ranking) from 50 points to 45 points,” Dumesny said. “I didn’t get much traction on that with the other States – but we came up with a pretty good compromise in my opinion.” The “compromise” solution allows States to “potentially” program races that allow for a five-point concession for three year olds racing against older horses. “It was about the experience and maturity of horses, so when these three year olds do win their three year old races and they have to race against the older horses they will get a five point concession,” Dumesny said. The frustration for many industry participants currently racing three-year olds (already mid-way through their 3YO season), will be in the likely lag time for adoption of the compromise conditions. Dumesny pointed to likely further delays in the rollout, due to the time necessary for modifications to the national industry database. That is, the time it takes for RISE to change the HARVEY System. “It’s a bit of a case of when we can get it into the system – there needs to be changes to the HARVEY system because we really want it to be all automatic.  We don’t want it to be a manual system because errors will occur,” he said. It will then be up to the States (particularly those not necessarily enthusiastic about amendment of the conditions) to enact the new policy. Amendments to programming necessary to accommodate the new three-year-old concessions will also become a State-by-State responsibility.  A separate issue is how effectively the race conditions are amended to provide enough realistic racing opportunities for three year olds. Dumesny said he was “quite prepared” for further feedback on the system from industry participants. Harnesslink Media

Harness Racing fans have put forward their nominations and from this five drives in New South Wales during the 2018/19 season have been selected for the TAB Kevin Newman Award For Driving Excellence. The winner of this Award will be announced at the Arthur J. Gallagher Harness Racing NSW Awards Night on September 21 at the Four Seasons, Sydney. The five drives nominated are: Cameron Hart – ‘Weaving magic secures the win’ – CODY SHANNON (Bankstown 21/12/18 - No.7) - Replay Anthony Frisby – ‘Patience, tactics and control seal the Group 1’  – OUR UNCLE SAM (Menangle 2/3/19 - No.7) - Replay Colin McDowell – ‘Patience pays off at the highest level’ – MICHELLE LEE MAC (Bathurst 29/3/19 - No.3) - Replay John O’Shea – ‘Nothing could get in the way of this win’ – SAMS EXPRESS (Menangle 25/5/19 - No.7) - Replay Brad Hewitt – ‘Inch perfect drive takes out the Group 1’ – ROCKIN MARTY (Menangle 30/6/19 - No.2) - Replay   To vote go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X2BNJ36   Voting closes on Friday September 13 at 5pm. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES

Seldom does a sixth placing mean so much. Yet a well-beaten sixth at Menangle today was just enough points to secure the 2019 Harness Racing New South Wales Rising Stars Series for Menangle-based reinsman Josh Gallagher. Gallagher's sixth with Muscle Mach was just enough to hold off Maitland reinsman Jake Hughes and take the series. The race was taken out by Thatswhatisaid (Jack Callaghan), beating Santannas Rocket and Rocking in a race marred by a three-horse fall that ended any hopes three drivers, Sean Grayling, McKayler Barnes and Jordan Seary had of ending the series on a winning note. Gallagher knows Tabcorp Park Menangle better than anyone as he works fulltime for the KerryAnn and Robert Morris stable, just outside the front gates of the track, so seldom does a day go by when he's not spotted working a horse there. "Winning this series was really something special," said Gallagher. "I've watched the drivers in other series and something like this can really help your career. "I drove a handy horse today in Argyle Beach, who went 1:52 and raced really well to win the first of today's two heats. "Hopefully I'll get a few more offers of some good drives out of this. "Long-term I'd like to train a couple myself but I have met a lot of good people this week and gone to some areas I've never visited before. "I landed three winners this week so that can only help my career in the long-term. "But it has been a week I'll always remember and I have made a lot of new friends of out of it as well." Going into the final two races today, the series was well and truly up for grabs and after Gallagher scored in the opening race, it came down to a race in two between he and Jake Hughes. But the best Hughes could manage in the final race of the series was fifth, while Gallagher was right behind him in sixth, to take the title. Sean Vella

IN welcoming news for owners and trainers Harness Racing New South Wales has announced a $20,000 Cups Bonus for Sydney’s upcoming Carnival of Cups doubleheader at Penrith and Bankstown. The bonus will be eligible to owners and trainers of horses that race in both the Renshaw Cup and Treuer Memorial, two time-honoured raced on the NSW harness racing calendar. The first leg of the HRNSW Cups Bonus will take place with the Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith on Thursday April 18. Carrying prizemoney of $50,000 plus the additional bonus will be enticing according to Penrith Paceway chief executive Lorraine Pozza. “This $20,000 Bonus is an excellent incentive for owners and trainers,” Pozza said. “It brings the two races together to make for some great racing and it gives connections of those horses a fantastic opportunity to race for good money at this time of the year.” The second leg of the HRNSW Cups Bonus will be at Bankstown on Friday April 26 with the $65,000 Treuer Memorial. Bankstown Harness Racing Club President Les Bentley is optimistic of the bonus and also that this Group 2 has increased in stakes from last year. “It’s great that both Bankstown and Penrith Clubs can jointly promote these races through the generosity of Rod Smith and his Board at HRNSW with this Bonus,” Bentley said. “With the feature races only being a week a part, this Bonus should be able to attract horses from all over. “It is the Club’s long-term goal to take the Treuer Memorial back to Group 1 status.” The $20,000 HRNSW Bonus will be split with $12,000 going to the owner/s and $8,000 to the trainer of the horse with the most points after the two features. A horse must race in both the Renshaw Cup and Treuer Memorial to be eligible with points starting from 10 for first working back a point per finishing position.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HRNSW

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry today in relation to a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that altrenogest, trenbolone and trendione were detected in the post-race urine sample taken from ELLEN LOUISE following its win in Race 2, the QUEANBEYAN CARPETS PACE (1770m) at Canberra on Monday 4 November 2018. The substances altrenogest and trendione were confirmed in the ‘B’ sample by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Mr Cooper appeared at the inquiry and presented evidence in relation to the horse ELLEN LOUISE, his husbandry and veterinary advice received in relation to the product Ovumate. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis was presented to the inquiry. HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott also presented evidence to the inquiry. A notice issued by HRNSW on 25 June 2018 advising trainers and veterinarians to immediately stop the use of products containing altrenogest was also entered into evidence. HRNSW Stewards issued a charge against Mr Cooper pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2) & (4) as follows: AHRR 190.  (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence. (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. Mr Cooper pleaded guilty and was disqualified for a period of three months to commence from 7 January 2019, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: Mr Cooper’s involvement in the harness racing industry, his licence history and offence record; Class 1 Prohibited Substances; The nature of the prohibited substances and circumstances relevant to this matter; The fact that this offence occurred after HRNSW had published notices advising trainers and veterinarians to immediately stop using products containing altrenogest; No previous prohibited substance matters; Mr Cooper’s personal subjective facts; Mr Cooper’s guilty plea. Acting under the provisions of AHRR 195, ELLEN LOUISE was disqualified from the abovementioned race. In addition, in accordance with AHRR 190AA (4), HRNSW Stewards ordered that ELLEN LOUISE is not permitted to start in any race for a period of 12 months from 4 November 2018 Mr Cooper was advised of his right to appeal these decisions.     Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. HRNSW INTEGRITY CONTACTS: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gadams@hrnsw.com.au

CHRISTIANO Rose has sent out the first signs to Gold Crown candidates with a brave win in the Harness Racing NSW Pace at the Gold Crown Paceway at Bathurst on Wednesday. Bouncing off the arm over 1730m for the two-year-olds, Christiano Rose on the back of strong trials surged to the early lead challenged by Crunch Time and the pair made the running at a solid tempo. Trainer-driver Rickie Alchin soon had his talented Crunch Time pushing quickly to the lead with Chrisitiano Rose in hot pursuit. The sprint to the finish was enough for Christiano Rose to bravely get the lead and go on and win by five metres. Crunch Time stuck on gamely for secodn with Lord Heston finishing off well for third in a mile rate of 1.58.1 and the final quarter in 27.8 seconds. Reinsman Mat Rue said he was pleased with the Alta Christiano – Miss Aqua Blue filly. Zanadu produced a good front running exhibition in the three-year-old  again using good gate speed. Driver Colin McDowel piloting a victory in 28 seconds last quarters. "She’s going well and we’ll be looking at the NSW Oaks," he said. Eccentric hit the line well seven metres from the winner, Whata Reactor filling the minor prize . Rockin Marty rated a strong last quarter for Brad Hewitt in the other three-year-old pace making it back-to-back wins. Meanwhile, Lettucefirestar and Life Lavros couldn’t be split in the Group 10 Rugby League Pace, sparking a dead heat. Farren Hotham

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry on Monday February 4, 2019, in relation to a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that cocaine was detected in the urine sample taken from MY WHISKEY LULLABY NZ following its win in Race 5, the NAVAL ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA PACE (2125m) at Penrith on Thursday October 18, 2018. The ‘B’ sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Licensed trainer Mr Richard Baverstock and stablehand Mr Adam Baverstock appeared at the inquiry. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis were presented and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott also presented evidence to the inquiry. HRNSW Stewards issued the following charge against Mr Richard Baverstock pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2), (3) & (4) as follows: AHRR 190.  (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence. (3)  If a person is left in charge of a horse and the horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1), the trainer of the horse and the person left in charge is each guilty of an offence. (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. Mr Richard Baverstock was found guilty and disqualified for a period of two years and six months commencing from December 21, 2018, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: Mr Richard Baverstock’s involvement in the harness racing industry, his licence history and offence record; Class 1 Prohibited Substance; The seriousness of the offence; No previous prohibited substance matters; Mr Richard Baverstock’s personal subjective facts; Mr Richard Baverstock’s not guilty plea. Acting under the provisions of AHRR 195, MY WHISKEY LULLABY NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Mr Richard Baverstock was advised of his right to appeal. HRNSW Stewards issued a charge against Mr Adam Baverstock pursuant to AHRR 190(1), (3) & (4) in relation to the results of the urine sample obtained from MY WHISKEY LULLABY NZ. Mr Adam Baverstock was found guilty and disqualified for three years nine months to commence from January 22, 2019, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering that penalty, Stewards were mindful of the following: Mr Adam Baverstock’s involvement in the harness racing industry, his licence history and offence record; Class 1 Prohibited Substance; The seriousness of the offence; No previous prohibited substance matters; Mr Adam Baverstock’s personal subjective facts; Mr Adam Baverstock’s not guilty plea. In addition, HRNSW Stewards issued a charge against Mr Adam Baverstock pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 250A(1)(a) as follows: 250A.  (1)  A person carrying on or purporting to carry on an activity regulated by licence at any time or carrying on official duties at a meeting commits an offence if: (a)  a sample taken from him or her is found upon analysis to contain a substance banned by Rule 251A. That charge related to a urine sample taken from Mr Adam Baverstock on Monday December 17, 2018. A report from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) certified the presence of the cocaine metabolites Ecgonine Methylester and Benzoylecgonine. The ‘B’ sample was confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. In relation to that charge, Mr Adam Baverstock was suspended for a period of six months to commence from January 22, 2019, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering that penalty, Stewards were mindful of the following: Mr Adam Baverstock’s involvement in the harness racing industry, his licence history and offence record; The seriousness of the offence; The prohibited substances involved; No previous prohibited substance matters; Mr Adam Baverstock’s personal subjective facts; Mr Adam Baverstock’s not guilty plea. The Stewards ordered that the penalties imposed upon Mr Adam Baverstock are to be served concurrently. Mr Adam Baverstock was advised of his right to appeal.     Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. HRNSW INTEGRITY CONTACTS: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gadams@hrnsw.com.au

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