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Have fond memories of harness racing Harold Park and would like to hang on to them? Well, there is one last opportunity to obtain copies of general races as well as features such as Miracle Miles and Harold Park Inter Dominions and other memories from the Golden Era of harness racing under the 'Ribbon of Light'. Shadow Productions has a number of archival film races at Harold Park from the early 1960's to the late 1970's along with races on video tapes from the 1980's to 2010 that will shortly be dispensed with. These memorable and historic films can be transferred to DVD, at a cost. Harness Racing New South Wales chief executive John Dumesny urges people to obtain copies of races that are of significance to them before time runs out. "This is a unique opportunity but a final opportunity for people to perhaps get a copy of a race that holds fond memories for themselves or their families," Dumesny said. "I strongly urge all harness racing participants to make the call at whatever cost." For more information contact Shadow Productions on (02) 8353 2799 or to enquire about availability and a quote, supply the winning horses' name and race date by emailing   AMANDA RANDO

The Board of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club met yesterday and decided to offer the position of Chief Executive Officer to Mr Bruce Christison.  The Board is delighted to announce that Mr Chistison has accepted this position effective from today. Mr Christison first joined the administrative staff of the Club in January 1994 as Financial Controller, and has been the Business Operations Manager since March 2004. Mr Christison has been an integral part of the Club’s management for many years and will bring extensive business and administrative skills combined with a detailed knowledge of the Club’s operations to the position of Chief Executive.  The Board believes that this appointment will continue the development of the Club following the sale of Harold Park and development at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Mr Christison will work with departing Chief Executive Officer Mr John Dumesny to ensure a seamless handover before Mr Dumesny assumes his position with Harness Racing New South Wales on 1 September 2014.  The Board believes that this transitional process will be of mutual benefit to all parties and the industry. For further information please contact NSWHRC Chairman Ray Sharman on (02) 4645 2200.

Junee trainer Bruce Harpley only has three horses in work currently.  Frith is the star of the team and she has been entered at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night but Harpley's other two horses, Sokys Bigbullet and Justanotherslippa were able to provide him with his first metropolitan double at Menangle when they won their respective races on Saturday night. "I'm pretty sure that is my first metro training double, it definitely is my first metro training double at Menangle, I've driven a few winners for Bernie Kelly at Harold Park and Menangle but to train a double was very exciting," Harpley said. "What made it even better was that both races were Country Series Finals which means all three of the horses in my stable have won $25,000 feature races in the past couple of weeks which makes it a lot easier to get up and work them in the morning, that's for sure." Sokys Bigbullet proved too strong for short priced favourite Millwood Liberty rating 1:55.6 for the mile. "There was a bit expected of him after he made such a good start to his career but what a lot of people don't know is that he had a soft palate operation last season and it has taken him a while to put it all together." "Actually it has only been in the last month or so that he has really started to feel like his old self again, I have nominated him again for Menangle on Saturday night and then he can have a spell." Justanotherslippa brought up the second win of his career when he took out race six. "It wasn't an overly strong race and I thought it was going to come down to who got the most luck and it all worked out nicely for me." "These country finals are great for us country trainers, up until I won two heats at Bathurst before these finals I had never won a heat, let alone a final so it was nice to win a couple on the same night." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

Mark Colin Packaging and will bring up ten years of continuous sponsorship of the Newcastle Derby this Saturday night. They have supported harness racing in the region for some time having sponsored the Inter City pace at Maitland for a number of years. Owner Barrie Sponberg, who passed away several years ago, had a strong link with harness racing particularly in the Hunter Valley area. John Downing was instrumental in initially getting Mark Colin packaging as sponsors of the inter City Pace and then sowing the seed for the Newcastle Derby sponsorship. Barrie had purchased horses off John and his wife Helen and they became close friends. The Hunter based Carmody family were also good friends with Barrie and they bred a number of horses that Barrie or his family raced. Barrie raced a number of good horses over the years including Star of Darkness who won 15 of 30 races including a NSW sires stakes 2YO fillies final at Harold Park in 1992. Negi Negi was another good horse. The ill fated pacer Howard Ino who won the first Newcastle Derby sponsored by Mark Colin packaging in 2004 defeating the mighty Karloo Mick was owned by Barrie's partner Janet and two of his daughters Anita and Lisa, Mary Rando was also part owner, and her husband Joe Rando trained many horses for Barrie. The club runs the Barrie Sponberg Memorial for the two year old division on Derby night each year. The Mark Colin Packaging Newcastle Derby is the feature 3YO event at Newcastle and is worth $20,000. Each year the company brings over 100 guests to the paceway for the night and they have booked into the Apollo International Hotel and are sure to make a big weekend of it. The first race on Saturday night will jump at 5.12pm Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW                     Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E:| W: &               Warning to recipients:   This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.          

Former Wagga Harness Racing Club president and life member Robbie Jack passed away this morning in Wagga Base Hospital. Robbie was a stalwart of harness racing in the region winning multiple training and driving premierships. There were few better front running drivers than R D Jack. He has left a generation of trainers and drivers with two of his sons, David and Russell, and grandsons, Daniel, Nathan and Royce, all involved in harness racing. Robbie trained some of the best pacers to come from the region including Yeronga Songbird, Direct Silver, Liret, Sheza Haze, Incandescent and numerous others who won feature races at Harold Park, Moonee Valley and beyond. Robbie was 81. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |    

'Sydney's Bankstown Paceway harness racing club has one of the strongest ever boards in more than half a century - with the addition of two new faces to the leadership team,' Bankstown Paceway president Les Bentley told Harnesslink this morning.   The Paceway's longest serving president was re-elected by members at last night's (Wednesday, November 27th, 2013) annual general meeting along with vice president John Waite, treasurer Loretta Dewsbury and directors Neil Costello, Vanessa Gauci, Andrew Ho, Megan Lavender and Garry Leonard.   'I pay tribute to retiring directors, harness racing horse trainers Anthony Gorrell and Michael Watkins, who did not seek re-election and, consequently, have retired from the board after many years of dedicated service to our race club,' Mr Bentley said.   'Their seats have been filled by Michael Wilson, who is the rail division general manager of Padstow based Chess Industries, and Robert Caruana, who is the general manager of the AMP's Macquarie Centre at North Ryde,' he said.   'The son of former Orange Harness Racing Club president Raymond Wilson, Michael's family have been involved in trotting for more than sixty years - with links to the Parkes, Forbes, Dubbo, Orange, Junee, Harold Park and Penrith harness racing clubs.   'An owner and former harness racing horse trainer himself, Michael is already a great asset to Bankstown Paceway - with his company sponsoring the 2013 Chess Industries World Cup of Harness Racing, which took place on the night before the Interdominion.   'Also introduced to Bankstown Trots by his father, Robert Caruana has been an infrastructure, redevelopment and facilities management expert for the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Colliers International, Mirvac and Lend Lease, where he was responsible for the strategic direction of its portfolio of regional shopping centres, including Macarthur Square, Penrith Plaza, Wollongong Central, Cairns Central, Canelands, and, of course, Bankstown Square.   'Robert is currently overseeing the $420 million redevelopment of Macquarie Centre, for AMP, into second largest shopping centre in New South Wales.   'With experience, passion and talent, the Bankstown Paceway board looks to continuing to serve our members, racecourse patrons and, of course, all fans of the trots,' Mr Bentley added.   Bankstown Paceway    

It has been 10 years in the works and 18 months of construction, now Tabcorp Park Menangle is off and racing. The new facility, with a capacity of 20,000 people, was unveiled to the Macarthur community on the weekend. It includes new grandstands, a 1400-metre track regarded by experts as the best in the world, a 300-seat dining room, TV studio, open-air function area, sports bar and 6600 square metres of race day stalls for 107 horses. And it's the Macarthur community that the NSW Harness Racing Club wants to impress. "[Menangle Park] is now the mecca of the sport in Australia," chief executive of NSW Harness Racing Club John Dumesny (pictured below) told the Advertiser. "Macarthur is just a fantastic region . . . and we are proud to be a part of it." "This track and its facilities are for the Macarthur — this is for the community. "We want to offer the community a place to go. "We've spared no expense and the place is architecturally beautiful. "In five years' time, Menangle Park will go from a village to a thriving suburb of Macarthur." The NSW Harness Racing Club has spent a total of $43 million after selling the Sydney headquarters of harness racing at Harold Park to set up at Menangle Park. "You don't spend money like that if you're not confident in the area or what we have to offer," Mr Dumesny said. "We aren't here to be in competition with anyone, we are our own entity." Tabcorp Park Menangle holds 130 race meetings a year, including the "Melbourne Cup of harness racing" — the Inter Dominion — for the next two years. The first big event for the completed facility will be the Carnival Of Miracles, which will conclude with the famous Miracle Mile meeting on Saturday, November 30. "It's easily the best track in the southern hemisphere," Mr Dumesny said. "The track holds 90 per cent of the records at the moment including a 1 minute 48 for the mile. "In the '60s they wanted to break 2 minutes, that happened at Harold Park in 1967, so it's fitting the record is now here at Menangle." Another $10 million will be spent on a training facility which will complete the precinct. "It will have employment opportunities for anyone wanting to be involved in harness racing," Mr Dumesny said. The whole family can be involved in the sport; from trainers, drivers, strappers, owners and breeders." The main grandstand was named after retiring chairman Rex Horne on the weekend. He was also given the JP Stratton Award — which is recognised as the highest honour in harness racing in Australia — for his contribution to the sport. Courtesy of the Wollondwilly Advertiser

THE Macarthur region owes a debt of gratitude to the inspirational leadership of Rex Horne.   Mr Horne’s vision and drive were behind the NSW Harness Racing Club’s move from its traditional home, Harold Park in inner-city Glebe, to rural Menangle Park in 2008.   It was a gut-wrenching move for many harness racing officials, owners, drivers and the sport’s supporters at the time.   But Mr Horne, who was convinced the shift to Menangle Park would lead harness racing into a new modern era, retired as chairman of the club on Sunday knowing his vision was being fulfilled.   With the support of chief executive John Dumesny and the board of directors, Tabcorp Park Menangle has been transformed into harness racing’s Mecca.   The view from the newly opened $30 million grandstand across the rural vista of Menangle Park is stunning. It must surely be the best view of any racetrack in the world. To Mr Horne, Mr Dumesny and the countless others involved in the rejuvenation of Tabcorp Park Menangle – take a bow.   The grandstands, racing stalls with public viewing areas and the improvements to the 1400m track are part of the club’s long-term strategy to forge its position as a leader of national and international harness racing. All this is just the beginning. After Harold Park was sold for more than $180 million the club had the money to invest in its future, and at Menangle Park it has the space to do it. Many of us remember the dusty racecourse and the small grandstand, used annually for the Campbelltown Show. Visitors to the new complex will be amazed at the transformation.   On Friday night at a gala event to open the new grandstand, architect Chris Dunkerly said he wanted to achieve the “wow factor’’.   My first word as I walked into the grandstand entrance was “wow’’. While harness racing is the winner in Tabcorp Park Menangle’s transformation, so is the Macarthur region.   The investment of millions in our area offers a significant economic boost. As well as job creation, race meetings such as the Miracle Mile and the Inter Dominion attract thousands of visitors to the region, many enjoying the hospitality of our restaurants, cafes and hotels.   Mr Horne, thank you for seeing the potential of the Macarthur region. It was a privilege to be among the 350 guests who gave the visionary former chairman a standing ovation when club officials announced the new grandstand would be named in his honour.

Sydney’s harness racing past will be preserved as part of the City of Sydney’s plan for a vast new public space just kilometres from the city centre. The Johnstons Creek Parklands Master Plan, centred on the Glebe peninsula, celebrates the rich historical layers of the area, from its Aboriginal heritage to the working waterfront, former transport depot, and the Harold Park Paceway. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said a total of 19 hectares of public lands would be consolidated, including the existing Bicentennial Park, Federal Park and Jubilee Park, Pope John VI Reserve, “The Hill,” The Crescent and new open space from the redevelopment of the former Paceway. To view the rest of this story click here.  

Bathurst becomes an entirely different city in the week leading up to the famed Bathurst 1000 “Great Race”. Thousands of visitors, street parades,and a lot of celebrity-spotting, all make for a buzz that you can actually feel. Many of the visitors made it to last Wednesday’s harness meeting, to experience- or perhaps re-discover- horse power of that other kind. The meeting was part of the official program of community activities for Race Week, and free entry for those presenting car racing entry passes ensured a large crowd. With races named for the competing teams up on the mountain, and winners’ sashes presented by visitors selected from the crowd, the fixture had an appropriate motor racing theme. Cousins Emma and Amanda Turnbull scored driving doubles, in a demonstration of female capability that’s taken for granted in harness racing but quite foreign to motor racing. Emma Turnbull’s double, maintaining an excellent strike-rate this year, came in the final two races, both for R 0 class, with Premium Angus and Queen Leianne. Both winners are trained by her mother Wendy. Premium Angus ($8.90) was quite impressive, taking off three-wide coming to the bell and maintaining the run for the entire lap, including a sharp 28.4 third quarter. He was too strong for leader Sunnyside Magic and pegs runner Blazing Boris. It was just the fourth start for the four-year-old son of Patirra, a handy mare for this stable which won 13 races including several at Harold Park. Queen Leianne ($2.60 fav.) scored in contrasting style, setting a moderate tempo throughout, for an overall 2:04.4 rate, in defeating Tulhurst Daydreamer, three-wide from the bell, and Stylish Number. The winner, a $3000 purchase for Winton Sanders at the 2011 Gold Crown Sale, was having just her third lifetime start. She’s a close relative of multiple Oaks and classics winner Yada Yada Yada. Amanda Turnbull’s winners Pevensey and Mercy Mercy were provided by brother Josh and father Steve, respectively. Pevensey ($2.20 fav.) occupied the death in the 2130 metres C0-C1 King of the Mountain Pace until obtaining cover at the 1300 metres point. She pulled out too many guns in the straight to hold off Hand For Tilly, which sat in the running line, and leader Why So Serious. It was the third career win, but the first in six starts this term, for the half-sister to Dinki Di. Mercy Mercy ($1.70 fav.) justified the decision of her owner and former trainer Belinda McCarthy to place the filly in easier country racing, when successful in a 3C0 sprint event. She led throughout, defeating Beau Savant which sat outside her all the way in a gallant effort, and Colonel Brook, one of three placegetters on the night for Ian Mutton/Robert Clifford. Steve Turnbull completed a training double when he drove Hes Magic Red ($7.80 ) to a narrow and exciting win in the R4+ Erebus Motor Sport V8 Pace, over 2130 metres. Leader The Wifes Calling was fighting strongly and looking likely to hang on, when she broke stride at the fifty-metres point, enabling Hes Magic Red, which had enjoyed the one-one throughout, to grab the lead and hold on in the night’s best finish from stablemates Western Spirit and Veracity Red. Earlier in the meeting, On China Beach NZ ($4.10) made it two wins from three starts this season when she led throughout for trainer-driver Wayne Watterson in a C1-C2 mares class over 2130 metres. Jay Peez Knight and Miss Ellie Shannon, which formed the three-wide train, filled the placings. The speed was solid throughout, with a last half in 59.4 and the mile rate 2:01. The daughter of Courage Under Fire has good gate speed, and a similar front-row draw should see her strongly fancied in this Friday’s $8,000 final for the mares. Essayist ($11.30 , John O’Shea ) relished the blistering early pace of a 2130 metres R0-R3 Holden Racing Team Pace, coming off the pegs on the turn and running out a strong winner in a 2:00.6 mile rate. Runner-up Giannis Bromac NZ, having its first Australian start, held on well for second after withstanding a sustained challenge early from Stevie Wander, and Crackerjack Jo came three-wide from the bell for third, maintaining its recent form. Race week visitors from as far away as Geraldton, Perth, the Sunshine Coast, Buderim and Brisbane, got to present sashes to the winners, and then share some of their Bathurst history with an interested crowd. Some have made their pilgrimage to “The Mount” for many years, while a few were in Bathurst, finally, for the very first time. They’ve all declared they’ll be certain starters for the trots this time next year. Marianne Donnelly  

North-West Coast harness racing stalwart Rod Burgess has been rewarded for his dedication to the industry by being awarded the 2013 Edgar Tatlow Medal. The award was presented at the Tasmanian Harness Awards Dinner at Wrest Point Hotel, Hobart on Saturday night. The Edgar Tatlow Medal commemorates the major influence of the Tasmanian pioneer breeding legend Edgar Tatlow, whose stallions and their progeny have dominated Australasian Harness Racing since the 1930’s. Burgess was born at Wynyard in 1948 and spent his formative years at Smithton. He started driving track work at 14 and, at 17, drove his first winner at Spreyton. Over the years Burgess became involved in most areas of the industry – trainer, driver, owner, breeder and administrator. From his base at Smithton on Tasmania’s far North West, he quickly established a reputation as a quality conditioner of horses. He travelled statewide to compete in Tasmania’s best races with the trip from Smithton to Hobart taking a minimum of 6 hours one way and, in the early days, having an overnight stop at Hagley on the Friday and Saturday nights – a three day venture. His best horses included Byatic, Vespasian and Captain Byrd.  Vespasian won the Easter Cup in 1972 and won twice at the Melbourne Showgrounds at Ascot Vale the same year. In 1973 he moved to Ulverstone and the winners continued. Burgess was the state’s leading trainer for two consecutive seasons (1974/75 and 1975/76) and he was the state’s leading driver in 1975/76. His best performers were Captain Byrd, Fringe Benefit (Tasmanian Derby), Ben Ean (Carrick Cup and second in every major cup that season including the Tasmanian Pacing Championship) Junee Royal (City of Glenorchy Cup), Junee Princess, Karlindon (Devonport Cup) and Our Lady Lindy (Scottsdale and Hobart Metropolitan Cups). Nubeena won consecutive Easter Cups at Elphin in 1982 and 1983. Burgess represented Tasmania in driver’s invitation races in Sydney and Perth, winning the Sydney event at Harold Park. He was a professional farrier and he continues to successfully train a small team at his Ulverstone property. His contribution to harness racing includes administration where he has demonstrated his commitment to improving harness racing statewide. He joined the North West Tasmania Light Harness Association at age 17 where he is Life Member and he served as President for a total of 30 years. Burgess also is a past President and committee member of the now defunct Tasmanian Light Harness Association. In 2006 he received a Meritorious Service Award from Harness Racing Tasmania.   Rod was an active volunteer at the Ulverstone track when it existed and fought hard to maintain the track for the sake of the industry. He has driven the mobile at trials, and occasionally at race meetings, at Devonport and Burnie. He has assisted with track maintenance at Devonport and was a committee member of the Burnie Harness Racing Club for six years. He has been a member of the Harness Advisory Group for the last six years.   Previous winners of the Edgar Tatlow Medal reads like a who’s who in Tasmanian harness racing – Doug Martin (2001), Peter Cooley (2002), Keith Stanley (2003), Pauline Barker (2004), Darrell Rockliff (2005), Don Cornish (2006), Eric Fleming (2007), Eric Bean (2008), Tem Fish (2009), Henry Pullen (2010), Doug McKillop (2011) and Gerald Gee (2012) Peter Staples

50 years in the sport, a win over Paleface Adios and a bout of Prostate Cancer was enough for the likeable Western Districts horseman Ian Mutton to hang up the reins at Bathurst Paceway last night. "Not too many people can say they had a look over the shoulder and Paleface Adios was behind them at the finishing post," said Mutton. The 1978 Australia Day Cup win on King's Frost at Harold Park is the highlight of Mutton's career. Now 73 years of age and over 50 years of driving, Mutton knew it was time to stick to the training side of things when he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in March this year. "I was at the trials one night and my back was giving me terrible pain,' said Mutton. "I let it go for a few days but decided to go to the Chiro, then the Physio and they advised that I get some scans done. "The news came through of the Prostate but the cancer had spread to the bones and that's where all the pain was coming from. "It was certainly tough at the time but we are on top if it now. In saying that I need to take a backward step and Robbie (Clifford) will take the driving duties." Mutton has the utmost respect for Clifford. "He's been working in my stables for about 15 years, he's been here since his school days, he said. "I'd actually been getting him to do a lot of the driving before last night but he became ill so I decided to take the reins and have my last hurrah. "It didn't go off as well as I liked but I certainly had a ball." Mutton grew up on his parent's farm and is a Motor Mechanic by trade. Some 25 years ago he decided to take a job as a local taxi driver as in the winter months it was a little slow with the horses. "I thought I'd get a job with the taxis to make ends meet over the winter, but I loved it that much I was still there 25 years later," said Mutton. "I gave it up in March when I was diagnosed with the Prostate Cancer." Like most members of society when we meet a taxi driver, more often than not, the question will be posed "I bet you've got a few stories to tell driving the taxis haven't you? And guess what, I asked. Mutton tells the story that occurs with many taxi drivers apparently. "This lady hopped in the cab and immediately told me to 'follow that car," he said. "So I followed the car and person for half the day. Seems she wasn't so trusting of her husband so I became part of her surveillance team for a while. The funny thing was I saw them both then next day walking arm in arm down the street, I'm presuming her suspicions may not have been correct." Mutton was a proud taxi driver and although he'd heard of many stories he played his role by the book. "I often heard drivers being propositioned by the ladies to get out of paying, but that never happened to me,' he said. But according to Mutton harness racing in NSW has got its mojo back and heading in the right direction. "The green light scandal has certainly cleaned the sport up, you can go to the track with confidence nowadays," he said. "There's so many good kids coming through the system and as long as they stay level headed they will have a big future." Mutton will still be involved in the sport and is currently working a team of ten. "I've got a nice one called Captain Brook who is ready to come back, I'm looking forward to his upcoming campaign, he said. Christian Cullen was his favourite horse to watch and Kevin Robinson had the best set of hands in the game according to Mutton. A thorough gentleman, respected by all his peers; Ian Mutton - We Salute You. Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Ever wondered what it would be like to have your very own Inter Dominion trophy sitting on your mantelpiece. Well dream no more the 1960 Inter Dominion Cup won by harness racing giant Caduceus could be yours - at a price.

It was a sad moment in harness racing history when Sydney's Harold Park in Australia closed its doors for the last time in late 2010. Relive the memories of this once great establishment in this moving video.

Take a look at the champion pacer Popular Alm and the late Vin Knight as they take out the Spring Craven Filter Cup at Sydney's Harold Park Paceway in 1982.

Harness racing drivers Tony Turnbull, Leanne Beynon, Greg Sarina, Julian Muscat, Brett Thompson, R.Hoskins and Grant Sherwood are involved in an ugly accident in Apriol 1997.

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