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MENANGLE Park trainer Jarrod Alchin will make the trip to Newcastle tonight with just one horse . . . but he’s confident that it will be all worthwhile. The astute trainer will have to wait patiently until Race 7 when My Ultimate Byron, a two-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere will be making his debut, taking on horses that are much older. But none of that fazes Alchin, who believes that the gelding could be the makings of a very smart pacer. “Going on his trials to date at Tabcorp Park Menangle, I think he will be very hard to beat, despite not having race fitness under his belt,” said Alchin. “In just one week, from his first trial on March 24 to a stronger hit out on March 31, he shaved three and a half seconds off his time for the mile trip and won by a widening 30-metre margin. “He is definitely above average in ability and if all goes well tonight, I have some optimistic plans for him. “Coming through from his early preparations I told Cameron (Hart) that I really liked this bloke and asked that he drive him even in the educational trials.  “After Cam got a feel of him, I did not have to ask again as he shared my high opinion of the gelding. “Scott Whitton of Tumby Park paid $36,000 for My Ultimate Byron at last year’s Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Sydney so hopefully the horse can start repaying him tonight.” In pre-post markets, My Ultimate Byron was quoted at $1.25, despite him meeting much more experienced horses, such is the reputation the youngster has already forged. It has been a busy week for Cameron Hart, which kicked off at Riverina Paceway Wagga last Sunday when he took out the Group 1 Mares Championship with Techys Angel. The 22-year-old spent the night in Junee with his parents before heading back to Sydney on Monday to drive at Bankstown, where he landed a winning double. His first success was aboard another Alchin trained two-year-old in My Ultimate Cobber and he followed that later in the afternoon when he partnered So Jack to victory for David Waite. Hart’s stocks continued to rise at Tabcorp park Menangle on Tuesday when he went one better again by landing a winning treble, scoring with Alluring Tyron, Hammertime Harley and Island Fire Dance.   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL DUMESNY

BATHURST’S Chris Frisby is undoubtedly one of the hardest working trainers in New South Wales but last weekend the “bigger than life” character showed how committed he is after making trips to Dubbo on Saturday night with two of his youngsters before returning home and then heading to Wagga Wagga the next day for the Ladex Riverina Mares Championship Consolation with his stable star Jenden Strike. “Anthony and the rest of my staff were all away for Easter, so I had no alternative but to make the trips myself,” said Frisby. “While we did not win a race at Dubbo, I was happy enough with Rosarito which ran second behind inform colt Falcons in a heat of the Parkes/Dubbo Series and Our Aunty Ash in the two-year-old.” But on Sunday at Wagga, Frisby had plenty to smile about when Jenden Strike produced a top staying effort to win the Mares Consolation while Uncle Jord, which he part owns, scored a narrow win in the consolation of the Milbrae Quaries Riverina Championship for the Entires and Geldings. “I was very happy with Jenden’s performance as after having a hard run early, she fought on so well to win,” Frisby said. “Even though she was challenged by the runner up, Amanda (Turnbull) never panicked, and I thought our mare showed just how classy she is. “I really feel she was unlucky not to have been in the big one after a making a mistake in her heat.” Jenden Strike is now on her way to Queensland and will have a two-week let up before Frisby heads to the Sunshine State with a team of eight horses for their carnival. “I was pleased with Uncle Jord’s effort too . . . Craig and Abbey Turnbull have done a great job with Jord, Abbey summed up the race perfectly and made her winning run at the right time,” Frisby said. “It is a nice feeling knowing that I can send my better horses to other trainers like Craig, confident that they will be looked after and well placed in races. “At Bathurst tonight, I thought that Aunty Bella and The Grogfather are my best chances of winning. “Bella’s run in the Bracelet consolation on Crown night was enormous to finish third from the bad draw while The Grogfather won well last week and should be too classy with Amanda aboard.”   HRNSW MEDIA | Michael Dumesny

IT is a day top young driver Cameron Hart will never forget. Winning his first Group 1 in front of his home crowd fulfilled a dream that many drivers never get to experience. Yet, at the age of 22, Hart achieved the feat at Riverina Paceway last Sunday when claiming the Riverina Championship with Techys Angel for trainer Emma Stewart. Watch the race replay click here! “It took a little while to sink in but as I was returning to scale it hit me that I had just won my first Group 1,” said Hart. “It was pretty exciting and I got to do it at Wagga, where I grew up, and in front of all of my family too. “It was definitely one of those special moments I won’t be forgetting.” Riverina Paceway has been significant landmark for Hart. He drove his first Group winner there when claiming the Group 3 Wagga Pacers Cup with Beetson in 2019. Beetson set a track record that day clocking 1:52.9, which ironically was broken by Techys Angel on Sunday when she rated 1:52.2. Not only has Hart held the key to the track records at Riverina Paceway, he also won his first Group 2 race at that track. That was also in 2019 when winning the Breeders Challenge Regional Final with Western Secret, a pacer trained by his Uncle Trevor White. “I’ve had a lot of luck there,” said Hart. Yet despite this fortune at his home track, Hart is used to the “fast-paced lifestyle” of Sydney. He heads to Tabcorp Park Menangle today for seven drives. Hart is the third-top driver at that track behind the likes of Luke McCarthy and Jack Trainor. The reinsman believes he has some strong chances of adding to his record today. “Hopefully the luck continues,” he said. One horse Hart highlighted was three-year-old trotter Alluring Tyron in race three. “Alluring Tyron for Russell Commens is a strong chance,” he said. “She is first up from New Zealand and hasn’t been here long but has trialed well and feels like she has plenty of ability.” Sticking with the trotters, Hart is also keen on the Joe and Mary Rando-trained Sobomba. “I also like Sobomba who should be able to roll to the front,” said Hart. “He is well graded in his race.” Hart’s other drives include Critical Advantage (race one), Hammertime Harley (race six), Island Fire Dance (race eight), Presidentialattack (race nine) and Vinny Chase (race 10). Following last Sunday’s result, Hart extended his record to 427 wins and 776 placings in 3093 drives.   HRNSW MEDIA | AMANDA RANDO

AFTER being cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Riverina Four and Five-Year-Old Championships are finally here and will be conducted at Wagga Wagga this afternoon. The series, which was announced shortly after the completion of the state-of-the-art Riverina Paceway, was met with much enthusiasm by participants and today’s meeting brings together some of the best pacers racing in the eastern states. “Everything is shaping up nicely for today’s inaugural running of the Riverina Four and Five-Year-Old Championships,” Harness Racing NSW Chief Executive John Dumesny said. “Unfortunately, last year we were all set to run the inaugural series but then COVID-19 struck.  “We got away with running the Bathurst Gold Crown, however the travel restrictions made it far too difficult for all concerned, leaving us with no alternative but to call the Wagga Carnival off.” Two $100,000 Group 1’s will be decided this afternoon, each final bringing together very smart pacers that qualified in heats conducted last Tuesday evening. “If the heats are anything to go by, today’s racing should be outstanding,” said Dumesny. “The racing was keenly contested on Tuesday night and the fields that have been brought together will make for even racing. “One of the great stories of the day has to be that of the Johnson family who race the highly talented mare Maajida who will be well fancied to take out the Mares Championship Final.  “The Johnsons have been in the game for many years and hail from The Rock, a small town just 30 kilometres from Wagga Wagga itself. “They bred her themselves by mating their mare, Arterial Way with Somebeachsomewhere and have enjoyed a great ride with Maajida.” From 26 starts, she has won 19 races and amassed almost half-a-million dollars in stakes. Trained in Victoria by Emma Stewart, Maajida has won feature races including both the two and three-year-old Vicbred Series Finals and the Breeders Crown Final for two-year-old fillies. The Johnsons have a second runner in the final, Two Times Bettor which is trained by Belinda McCarthy. The Entires and Geldings Championship Final sees a star-studded line up headed by Miracle Mile placegetter, Wolf Stride for co-trainers Anthony Butt and Sonya Smith. Between them, the 10 runners in the final have won 124 races and prizemoney of more than $2.2 million.   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL DUMESNY

Trainer Clayton Harmey has achieved many highlights in the Hunter Valley but one race that has eluded him is the iconic Maitland Inter City Pace. Today will see the 58th running of the time-honoured series that culminates in a $20,000 Final on Easter Saturday. “I am yet to win this race and also the Newcastle Mile,” said Harmey. “We have come close a couple of times at Maitland and feel that maybe this year I might be able to get the monkey off my back as I have ten runners in the heats, most of which have a bit of class on their side.” Looking at his runners it appears that Major Bob (race eight) and Big Black Diamond (race nine) are the most likely to lead the charge for Harmey to capture his first Inter City Pace victory. “Major Bob is a really speedy little fella who will handle the 2422 metre trip,” he said. “He has come back in good order following a spell and is ready to run well. “If there is speed on early in the race, he will relish the longer journey and be getting over the top of them in the end.” Major Bob has not raced since November when he ran a cracking race to finish third behind Crunch Time in the NSW Breeders Challenge Eastern Region Final after doing plenty of work outside the leader in a fast 1:52.3. The son of Art Major has won nine of his 22 career starts and has placed on three other occasions. “Big Black Diamond is also first up following a spell and I have been happy with his work leading into today’s race,” said Harmey. “We took him to Victoria for the Breeders Crown and although he did not run up in the placings, I was not overly disappointed with him as it was a very strong series. “His form before that was very strong and I think we will see the best of Big Black Diamond this time in”. “This series is right up his alley and he should go close to winning this afternoon.” While Harmey has named Major Bob and Big Black Diamond as his main hopes, his other eight runners are all very well supported in early betting markets and it would not surprise to see him qualify many of them for next week’s final.   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL DUMESNY

THE recipient of Harness Racing NSW’s highest accolade, the Don Clough Award, is Bathurst Chief Executive Danny Dwyer. The Award, given for voluntary contribution to the industry over a sustained period, was fitting considering Dwyer’s commitment to the harness racing industry beyond his role at the Bathurst Club.  His voluntary roles are expansive. Dwyer was the honorary secretary of the Harness Racing Clubs Committee for the past decade and remains the honorary secretary of the Western Districts Association, a position he has held for a longer period.  He is also the HRCC delegate to the Harness Racing Industry Consultation Group and is on the HRNSW Education and Welfare Committee both of which a voluntary.  Another voluntary role Dwyer partakes in is with the group formed to review venue and workplace safety for participants, officials and patrons at racetracks across the state. In presenting the Award HRNSW Board Member Peter Nugent could not speak more highly of Dwyer. “Danny is a leader in our industry who has achieved this distinction purely through his dedication and commitment to our wonderful sport,” Mr Nugent stated. “The hours, days, weeks and years he has contributed to harness racing over such a lengthy period may never be tallied and I am so honoured to make this presentation on behalf of the Board.” In accepting the Don Clough Award recipient Danny Dwyer was humbled by the occasion. “It is an absolute honour to be the recipient of this Award especially as it is named after Don Clough,” said Dwyer.  “Whilst there are so many people, I should thank my wife Dianne and daughters Mel and Sarah for giving me the time and support to contribute to our great industry.” It is also a fact that without Dwyer’s strong relationships with the Bathurst Regional Council and the local Member of Parliament the Hon Paul Toole MP, aspects of the development of Gold Crown Paceway would have been an additional cost to the industry.  The Board of HRNSW would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Danny Dwyer on being the recipient of the Don Clough Award.   HRNSW Media | Amanda Rando

STAN, Nancy and Tony Dumesny operate one of the oldest breeding operations in Australia – Ruby Vale Stud – and have been recognised for their significant contribution to the NSW harness racing breeding sector over a sustained period of time. They are the recipients of the 2021 NSW Outstanding Contribution to Breeding Award. It was in 1912 that the Dumesny family first started in ‘trotting’ at Parkes. Then three decades later in 1943, William Dumesny, Stan’s father, established Ruby Vale Stud where he stood the very first stallion in champion pacer Master Dixie. Stan and Nancy took over the stud operation in 1956 and through a colt purchased in New Zealand named Southern Brigade continued the service to the NSW breeding industry which continues almost eight decades later. Southern Brigade became a leading stallion but at that time the family also purchased a number of fillies and one of those fillies, Lady Tuptin, is officially recognised as a NSW foundation mare. As a school boy Tony joined the operation through necessity when a race accident severely injured his father Stan in the height of the breeding season. It was not uncommon for 400 mares to be on the stud property before the advent of artificial insemination. Ruby Vale Stud has stood 25 stallions, amongst those leading NSW stallions that have sired winners well into the thousands.  Stan, Nancy and Tony have bred winners well into the hundreds and rarely does a week go past when a winner somewhere in NSW was not bred by the family. In presenting the Award to Tony Dumesny HRNSW Board Member Peter Nugent acknowledged the contribution of the Dumesny family at the function in Bathurst. “It is likely that every person in the room tonight has had a Dumesny connected horse,” Nugent said. “There would be very few breeders in the NSW who would have not been assisted by Stan, Nancy or Tony over the past decades. “They are the very foundation of our breeding industry they are a credit to the industry at large.” On accepting the Award on behalf of his parents and himself, Tony was emotional. “To be recognised in the same company as the wonderful people who have been awarded this in the past is recognition in itself,” Tony said. “Without father and mother and the grounding in life they gave me and in turn then being able to give to our industry I would be here to represent them tonight. “I would sincerely like to thank HRNSW for the Award but more so all the breeders across NSW, Queensland and Victoria who have help us over the years.” The Board of Harness Racing New South Wales would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Stan, Nancy and Tony Dumesny on being the recipients of the HRNSW Outstanding Contribution to Breeding Award.   HRNSW Media | Amanda Rando

LOOKING onto his paddocks as the floodwaters continue to submerge his property, Windsor horseman Troy Williams had to act quickly. With close to 20 horses to evacuate from his Grinner Lodge Racing Stables, Williams’ mind scrambled to think of a plan of how to move them. A sick feeling went through his stomach.  He felt helpless. How could he possibly move all his racing stock? And rapidly as water levels continued to rise. It only took a few phone calls that gave Williams some optimism, in this day he would much rather forget. “I’ve lived at my place for more than 10 years and have never seen water like this,” said Williams. “I didn’t know if I was jumping the gun or not but the water continued to rise and I had to do something. “I spoke to Rob Morris and he said to give David Wonson from Club Menangle a call and see if they had any space on track for my horses. “Thankfully David said I could move my horses to the Retention Facility. “Within the hour I had Rob at my place with his float and we took the first load of horses to Menangle.” Working through Sunday night, Williams was able to get 95 per cent of his horses off his property by Monday morning. “You can laugh or you can cry but as long as everyone is safe, that’s all that matters,” said Williams. “In these times it’s amazing the people that come through to help and the amount of phone calls of support there have been . . . there’s a great spirit within the harness racing fraternity. “I slept on my friend’s couch, had dinner at Rob and Kerry’s (KerryAnn Morris) place, everyone has been so accommodating. “The horses are in dry boxes and are happy too.” Fortunately, not only are Williams’ horses safe, some can still fulfil their race commitments at Menangle on Tuesday. Williams has three horses engaged with Iona Grinner in race one, Lord Lohki in race two and last start winner Major Statement in race seven. “I was able to give my horses a run around the Menangle track,” said Williams. “Through all of this, I’m fortunate my horses are not only all safe but also can still race. “It wasn’t that long ago I didn’t know what I was going to do with them.” If all three horses were to win on Tuesday, that would give Williams 50 winners as a trainer.    HRNSW MEDIA | AMANDA RANDO

THEY have been a formidable combination in harness racing and now they are being recognised by the Bathurst Harness Racing Club for what they have achieved together. Riverina pair Bruce Harpley and Bernie Kelly have been named honourees for this year’s Gold Crown Carnival. Both men sit among a plethora of great names in the sport on Bathurst’s honour role.  The honouree concept not only recognises people who have contributed to the success of the Gold Crown Carnival but also for having made a significant contribution to the sport throughout Australia. “This is such an awesome honour that has been bestowed upon Bernie and me,” said a humble Bruce Harpley.  “And it is not just the two of us, our families are so ecstatic that the Bathurst Club has seen fit to choose us.  “The Gold Crown, Tiara, Chalice and Bracelet are races that we have yearned to win ever since the series kicked off way back in 1987.  “Originally it was Norm Diebert senior who drove the horses for Bernie then, once I got my license, I took over as his regular driver. “Bernie and I have been lucky enough to have taken some lovely horses to Bathurst since then. “We have run quite a few placings over the time but winning the Gold Tiara with Frith in 2012 will remain fresh in my memory for as long as I live.  “Frith meant so much to us and she was such a lovely horse.  “She ended up winning 39 races and almost $1.2million in stakes and the Tiara was the first of many Group 1 victories for her.” Bernie Kelly and his wife Diane were farmers from Colleambally and established their Illinos Stud as a sideline, breeding plenty of top horses over the years.  So, to get such a top mare as Frith in their senior years has been the icing on the cake for them. Harpley, who grew up and still resides in Junee is best known as “the postman” given his long working career with Australia Post. “We have certainly had a great ride, mixing with the best in the sport and I guess it is a big achievement for a pair of hobby trainer-drivers,” said Harpley. At Bathurst tonight, four qualifying heats of the Honouree Stakes will be run along with five heats of the Gold Tiara.   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL DUMESNY

Harness Racing NSW Chief Steward Mr Grant Adams has tendered his resignation to the controlling body. Mr Adams attained the role of Chief Steward in 2018 having first commenced with Harness Racing NSW in 2010 as a Cadet Steward. HRNSW Chairman Ken Brown AM acknowledged the role Mr Adams had played in the organisation. “Grant has been our leader of the regulatory panel and has brought about positive and progressive change to stewarding in our State.” “He has been an asset to the Authority who won’t be readily replaced.” “On behalf of the Board I wish Grant, his wife and their young family all the best for the future.” Harness Racing NSW will now embark on replacing Mr Adams who finishes in the role of Chief Stipendiary Steward in June.   Harness Racing NSW

COLLEAMBALLY-BASED reinsman Blake Jones has never shirked the task of travelling to race meetings to take drives from the many trainers who are keen to use the lightweight freelancer. And this week is no exception as he will travel to Bathurst on Wednesday night, where he will partner Nomorelying for his partner Ellen Bartley in a heat of the Honouree Stakes. “Yes, I am off to Bathurst for the one drive,” he said. “It is a long way, but I do think our bloke is going well enough to make it through and then be competitive in the final.” But before that, Jones will make the long trek to Canberra tonight where he has four drives on the eight-race program. “Mick and Melissa Hawke have been giving me quite a few drives of late and I am aboard two of their horses tonight and will also drive one of our own,” he said.  “It takes more than four hours over there and I have made the trek to Canberra quite a lot over the past few months as the second string driver for the Hawkes’ team, but I do enjoy helping them out. race four and I would have to rate her as my best winning chance.  “I cannot get too excited about the draw (barrier six), but I will push forward off the arm and see what happens early in the race.  “I was happy enough with her last run when she won at Leeton. “She worked hard early to eventually find the lead and held on strongly.  “If she can reproduce that effort, I think she will go close tonight.  “Mini Major appears to be my best drive for Mick in race three.  “I drove her last week and was happy with the way she got to the line to finish second.  “I will drive her with a sit again tonight and I am confident that she will be steaming home at the end.” Jones’ third drive is aboard Toldyaso (Race 2), a filly that is yet to win a race from nine starts during the past three months. “She is honest and has been placed three times,” said Jones. “I did like her effort when she ran second back on February 1.  “At best she is probably only a place hope in a handy field.”  Jones has also picked up a late drive on Harpers Spirit in race six.   HRNSW Media - Michael Dumesny

GOULBURN horseman Brad Hewitt knows what it takes to win the Young Cup.  He has won three of the past five editions.  And with a two-pronged attack aimed at tonight’s feature, Hewitt has chosen to drive Our Triple Play over his other pacer Send It.  Our Triple Play has raced in the Young Cup before when fourth to stablemate Spare Me Days in 2018. Spare Me Days won the Young Cup in three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018. “This is a very strong country cup race tonight, but I am happy enough with my blokes who are coming off the back of competing against top company at Tabcorp Park Menangle,” said Hewitt. “Both of them finished on the backs of the placegetters and were not beaten all that far.  “They are fit and well going into the race so I do expect them to be in the finish. “No doubt luck in running will have a huge bearing on the outcome.” Hewitt has his smart filly Arma Renegade going around in the Donges Supa IGA Young Oaks and again a smart field will assemble to contest the co-feature. “I am really happy with Arma Renegade heading into the Oaks, and I was pleased with her effort to finish fifth in the NSW Oaks after sitting on a hot speed,” said Hewitt. “Drawing gate 10 tonight does not concern me all that greatly as I can let her settle early and then decide when to make a move, which will depend on whether the leaders back off or not.” Hewitt does not have a runner in the SWSCU and Young Services Club Derby, however his cousin Gemma Hewitt has Kashed Up engaged in the third feature of the night.  Kashed Up will be driven by Gemma’s father Bernie Hewitt. Outside of the winner (Patsbeachstorm), Kashed Up was the eye-catching run in last weekend’s $200,000 NSW Derby at Menangle as he flooded home from near last to grab fourth placing, less than nine metres in arrears. Meanwhile, the Broken Hill Carnival of Cups meeting is on tonight as well as racing at Newcastle. iForm Young best bet  Race 6: Substitooth (2) Will prove hard to toss showing noticeable improvement since changing stables. Around the tracks Newcastle best bet Race 1: Muscle Bart (7) Excellent prospects once again following a tough display here on debut. Broken Hill best bet Race 2: Dribblabill (1) Well performed local who looks to have their measure drawn the pole. The Young Quaddie Race 5: 1-10-11 Race 6: 2-3-5 Race 7: 1-9-7 Race 8: 8-4-7 $81 for 100%   HRNSW MEDIA

MITCH Chapple is very popular among the young participants in harness racing and even when he does not have a runner at the big carnivals the Maitland trainer-driver is usually there socialising. So, it is no surprise that Chapple is quite excited to have his pacer Yoha competing on the night of night’s at Tabcorp Park Menangle tomorrow evening. Mitch will be heading south with his stable star to contest the Condell Park Produce Club Menangle Country Series Final, a race reserved for country-based horses. “It is an absolute thrill to have a horse engaged on Miracle Mile night and to be able to secure the services of Luke McCarthy to drive our mare makes us have some added confidence going into the race,” said Chapple. “She snuck in to win by a half-head in her qualifying heat, but I did let her run along and she posted 1:52, running the first half in 55.6 seconds and the second in 56.4.” Those times were not that much slower than The Black Prince posted in the Newcastle Mile on the same night with his time of 1:51.1 being just nine tenths of a second faster. “She really earned the winner’s cheque on Newcastle Mile night as she made all the running and was brave to hold on at the end,” he said. Chapple explained that Yoha did not have a lot of luck last Friday night when she finished second, beaten by one and a half metres. “Brooklyns Best crossed me at the start then my mare was held up until they straightened for home and we simply ran out of time to catch the winner,” he said. “She has worked the place down since then and I do think with a favourable gate two draw and having Luke aboard, Yoha will be hard to beat tomorrow night.”  Mitch heads into Newcastle tonight where he has two drives on the nine-race program and believes La La Bron is his best winning chance. “I am driving La La Bron for Aaron Goadsby in Race 6 and she has drawn well in gate two.  “She has the speed to lead but races better with a sit so I will most likely hand up to one of the runners to our outside and then look to out dash them in the lane.” View the full fields for Tabcorp Park Menangle click here!   MICHAEL DUMESNY

THE Bathurst district has been renowned for producing top horsemen and to list all the champion trainers and drivers would be endless. But there is one quiet achiever who last Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle reminded those who follow the sport that he has still got the talent that has seen him grab a piece of the limelight during the past 30 years. Tony Higgs began his involvement in harness racing at the age of 10 alongside his father Mick and then worked for the legendary A. D. (Tony) Turnbull where he gained much of his skill and was a regular in the winner’s circle at Harold Park as a teenager. After leaving The Lagoon, Tony and his wife Leanne branched out on their own. Winners came at regular intervals, but their lucky break came about 15 years ago when they paid $10,000 for Hannah McKenzie from a Bathurst Yearling Sale. “We have been so fortunate to have had some nice horses, but Hannah won us a Group 1 Sires Stakes race among other good races, and she hold a special place in our hearts,” said Higgs. On Saturday night, Higgs captured another feature win, the $50,000 Group 2 Pink Bonnet at Tabcorp Park Menangle with Silk Cloud, who was only having her second race start. “I was so excited to win another special race, it is really feeling like a touch of déjà vu. “It is hard to compare this filly with Hannah as she was so good for us but if Silk Cloud can keep doing what she is doing, hopefully we will have just as much fun.” Higgs paid $13,000 for Silk Cloud at last year’s Bathurst sale, which has now proven to be a bargain buy. Driven by Luke McCarthy on Saturday night, Silk Cloud raced back off the speed and then swept to the lead rounding the home turn before racing clear to win by more than nine metres. “She has a funny temperament and is a bit flighty, which caused me some concern about taking her to town,” said Higgs. “But she really behaved well . . . and the rest is history. “She is a real professional on the training track and does not need to be worked that hard.  “Now that I have her spot-on, she should be ready for a crack at the Gold Tiara later this month.”   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL DUMESNY

NO-ONE IN NSW has driven in better form than former Kiwi reinsman Jack Trainor this season. His skills were rewarded with two Group 1 wins in the space of about 40 minutes on Saturday night when he took home the two big races at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the Ladyship Mile (Stylish Memphis) and the NSW Oaks (Anntonia). And while he might feel like celebrating the biggest night of his life, Trainor now finds himself with one more major mission, the $1m Garrards Miracle Mile after Ladyship Mile winner Stylish Memphis earned an invitation into Australasia’s biggest sprint race. “It was a crazy half hour; it was just a dream come true,” said Trainor. “This mare showed she was right up there with the best of them, she was bright in her training during the week and we were quietly confident she could do the job on Saturday night. “During the run I was half thinking ‘this is too good to be true’ and I kept looking to my inside thinking something was going to be coming up on our inside, but we were too good.” As much as Trainor would love to go into celebration-mode he is just as elated to be a part of the build-up and then the Miracle Mile. “Owner Wayne Higgs and trainer Mark Jones showed a lot of confidence in me by sending Stylish Memphis here for the Ladyship and everything else has been a bonus,” he said. “There’s no doubt King Of Swing is a superstar, and our wide draw does make our task that little bit harder, but you have to be in it to win it and we’re excited to be there.” Meantime Trainor heads for Menangle today with just three drives on the nine-race program. The best of those appears to be Fox Trot Hill, chasing his fourth win from his past five starts when she goes around in Race 4, a heat of the four-year-old Trotters Foundation. Still, such is Trainor’s form that Janalan (Race 6) for trainer Jason Grimson, also looks an undoubted chance. And Trainor will also fancy his chances with veteran gelding Makoa in Race 9. While he has 20 wins from 116 starts, Makoa’s last five wins have all been at Menangle and nicely drawn in gate eight today, Trainor may elect to use some of Makoa’s gate speed and get into the action early over the 1609m. View the full Menangle fields click here! iForm Menangle best bet Race 5: Bettor Vision (6) Tidy victory in similar grade here two starts ago. Suggest he will prove hard to stop. Menangle next best Race 9: Double Encounter (9) Can go one better after just missing against quality opposition last time. Around the tracks Albury next best Race 6: Josie Ella (9) Out for redemption after going off stride when in a winning position at Wagga. Play the exotics The Menangle Quaddie Race 5: 6-7-8 Race 6: 6-9-10 Race 7: 4-6-10 Race 8: 8-7-6 $81 for 100%   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL COURT

FIVE winners in one night at Newcastle recently confirmed the undoubted talents of young reinsman Jack Callaghan. Amazingly, that was the second time Callaghan had achieved the feat, which is a testament to his talent in the sulky. What was even more impressive about what Callaghan achieved was that those winners came from the stables of four different trainers. “I drove five winners in April last year when regionalisation was in place so to achieve the feat when up against both local and Sydney drivers makes it all the more satisfying,” said Callaghan, whose father Mark was a star young driver back when he was a regular in the winner’s circle at Harold Park. Jack is heading into one of the biggest weekends he has faced in his short driving career as not only does he have five drives at Newcastle tonight, but he will head to Tabcorp Park Menangle where he also has five drives, three of which are in Group 1 races. “It is so flattering to be given the opportunity to take part in the big races tomorrow night,” he said. “I am driving three for my boss, Belinda McCarthy. “The team at Cobbitty has given me some massive opportunities in town and placed a lot of trust in me as a driver. “You just cannot under-estimate how the experience driving good horses against top drivers improves your own driving ability . . . and now that is all paying off for me.”  Callaghan heads back to Newcastle tonight, confident that he has a strong book of drives. “I am heading home where I will drive three for my Dad, all of which I feel have good each-way chances”. “Courageous Dancer (Race 3) does appear to be my best chance of winning even though his form doesn’t appear that flash.  “I also fancy Royal Gamble (Race 5) as his first-up run after a spell was pleasing.  “He is drawn wide tonight but I think he can overcome that.” Callaghan said that the Ladyship Mile was the race he is most looking most forward to driving in this weekend. “It is the most recognised feature race for mares in Australasia,” he said. “My drive Dracarys will be at big odds but it is just awesome to be involved.  “I will be going out there hoping to do my family proud.”   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL DUMESNY

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