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Pachacuti extended his winning steak with an effortless harness racing victory in the $10,000 Governor's Cup over 2090 metres in Hobart on Sunday night.. Pachacuti ($1.30 favourite) was unable to hold the lead from gate two and was crossed by Modern Ruler and heading down the back stretch the last time it looked for a moment that the favourite might not get out of the pocket. But the seven-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding's trainer-driver Todd Rattray somehow eased off the fence from behind the leader at the point of the home turn and once in the three-wide line the gelding powered home to score by over 10 metres from Hugo Play with Sapphire Swayze a closing third. Pachacuti is being aimed at the $40,000 Easter Cup on April 16 and his next outing will most likely be in an Easter Cup heat in Launceston on Friday week, March 31. Rattray was hauled into the stewards' room after the race and subsequently suspended for four race dates on a dangerous driving charge and it could mean missing out on driving Pachacuti in an Easter Cup heat. "I will be appealing the suspension and that's all I want to say about it," Rattray said. It was Pachacuti's sixth win in succession this year and given the way he toyed with his rivals at this latest outing he should be a major contender when he arrives at his grand final in the Easter Cup. "I am very happy with how he's going but I'm sure there is a fair bit of improvement in him between now and the Easter Cup. "He had a short let-up after his previous run so I reckon he definitely was in need of this run." Peter Staples

New Zealand bred three-year-old filly Shartin powered her way to an emphatic harness racing win in the Cripps Waratah Tasmanian Oaks over 2579 metres in Hobart last night. The Victorian filly settled last from her wide front-row draw but inside a lap her driver Chris Alford sent the daughter of Tintin In America around the field to find the lead. From there on it was a procession with the filly forging clear turning for home and she went on to score by almost 12 metres from El Jays Mystery that faced the breeze throughout with Playing Arkabella a half-head away third. It was Alford's third drive aboard the filly and he said she was always travelling like the winner. "I was mindful that this filly can do a few things wrong if she has to race wide so I dropped her out to last and then whipped around them early on and she was able to find the front without having to spend too much gas," Alford said. "Dean Braun paid about $50,000 for this filly in New Zealand but I'm sure she will pay her way. "She is still learning what it's all about but tonight she did everything right and she had the race won a long way from home. Shartin is owned by a syndicate that includes Tasmanian Dean Richards who is overseas on business. Alford said Shartin was likely to head to the heats of the Victorian Oaks next month. Shartin has won three of her five starts with this latest her most impressive and the $15,000 prizemoney took her career earnings to just beyond $25,000. It was Alford's fourth Tasmanian oaks having been successful on Concorde Lombo in 1997, Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and last year aboard Dancingwithsierra. Peter Staples

Last season's top two-year-old pacer Playing Arkabella began her three-year-old season with a win in Hobart last week so she should only need to mirror that form to win again at Luxbet Park tonight. The Paul Hill-trained filly won the two feature two-year-old events in Tasmania last season, the Sweepstakes final and the Evicus Stakes to finish the season with four wins and as many minor placings from eight starts to be named Tasmania's best 2YO filly. She spent eight months away from harness racing and Hill says the long break did her the world of good but she put on so much weight that it took a long time to get her to the racing stage. "The filly was in the paddock for a lengthy spell but she got away from me a bit because she was grazing as well as being hard fed twice a day at one stage," Hill said. "I think she had five trials before I took her to the races. She fit now but still took a lot of benefit from that first-up run last week." Playing Arkabella has drawn awkwardly in gate seven on the outside of the front row. "I don't think the outside front-row draw is going to be a concern because there are no plans to lead and Ricky (Duggan) will just let her ease off the gate and find a spot and if it's last then so be it. "There is a bit of speed in the race and the first-starter of Juanita McKenzie's, Jaks Teller, is a lovely horse that goes well and I know that because I drove him in a trial the other night. Jaks Teller is a three-year-old colt owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have had a lot of success with horses they have purchased from New Zealand and this gelding could be another potential feature race winner. Swap Me is another in the race owned by Cockshutt and Cooper and he was an encouraging second to Playing Arkabella last week. The Rohan Hillier-trained Call Me Blondie has been placed three times since her first-up win at Scottsdale in early January so she must also rate an each-way chance in the field of seven. Hill said Playing Arkabella's main missions this time in are the Tasmanian Oaks and the Bandbox Stakes. Peter Staples

Warrior Mac produced a harness racing career best effort to score a last-stride win in a C1 Pace over 1609 metres in Hobart on Friday night. The Ben Rossendell-trained seven-year-old unleashed a powerful finishing burst from last to grab Frankie Falzoni right on the line. Warrior Mac was driven by Justin Howlett so it would have been an interesting conversation on the drive home as his younger brother Matthew Howlett was aboard the runner-up that looked home for all money 50 metres from the line To rub more salt into the wound, the runner-up is trained by their father Chris Howlett. Warrior Mac (McArdle-Lady Lisa) has been in great form this time in with this latest victory his third from his past five starts. The gelding notched his fist win of the season at Carrick on December 27 scoring narrowly in C1 event over 2150 metres and at his subsequent start he broke two minutes clocking a mile rate of 1,59.8 in winning a C2 in Hobart over 2090 metres But this latest win was clearly his most impressive as he led and shrugged off all challengers to go on and score by six metres and record a personal best mile rate of 1.58.7 over the 1609-metre trip. Peter Staples

South Australian pacer Capture Me produced a bold front-running harness racing performance to win a heat of the Allen Williams Memorial at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. The Ben Yole-trained mare began brilliantly from gate five to find the lead and once in front driver Mark Yole ensured a steady tempo while the well-backed favourite Falcon Harry ($2.20) settled worse than midfield from his second-row draw. Capture Me ($7) was allowed to stride along at her leisure without any pressure from Lockaway Kacie ($6.60) that faced the breeze but sat outside the second horse Hayleys Comet. In the back straight the last time Lockaway Kacie worked forward to challenge the leader but when they hit the home turn Capture had plenty in reserve and went on to score comfortably from Falcon Harry with Hayleys Comet battling on well for third. Capture Me was third at her Tasmania debut last week in Launceston behind Dasher Houli and it was on the strength of that effort that trainer Ben Yole thought the four-year-old mare could win. "Her first start in the state was more like a trial because she's only been with us for three weeks and I thought she did a good job," Yole said. "She's owned in SA by David Harding who thought she might be able to pick up a few wins over here so he sent her to me. "Because she has good gate speed and she's quite tough I'm sure there are more wins for her in the coming weeks." Peter Staples

Fortino is rapidly earning a reputation as the harness racing Country Cups king with his victory in the $10,000 New Norfolk Pacing Cup in Hobart last night his most emphatic win this season. Leading up to last night's triumph the gelding by Sutter Hanover had bagged the North-East pacing Cup at Scottsdale and the Burnie Cup. His trainer-driver Todd Rattray made the most of poor starts from his two main rivals Finn Mac Kee and Baldock were poorly away from the standing start which left a clear passage for Fortino to make his way to the lead without interruption. Fortino rallied in the home straight to score by 11 metres from Blackjackhanover that had to work three-wide for most of the last lap with Grinable a closing third about two metres away. Rattray ensured s solid tempo and allowed the winner to stroll home his last half (800m) in a handy 58.7 over the 3060-metre trip. Fortino's next start is expected to be in the Carrick Cup on February 18 in which he will have to give away a start of 10 metres owing to his improved class rating to C6. The New Norfolk Cup was run in Hobart last night owing to the Country Club failing to meet all the requirements (documentation) to have its license renewed. Peter Staples

Talented Hobart-based reinsman Rodney Ashwood is no stranger to driving multiple winners on a harness racing program but at Luxbet Park in Hobart last Friday night he dominated with three winners on the seven-race card. He opened his account with a win aboard the Eric Jacobson-trained Rusty Red Comet that stepped cleanly from the standing start and then enjoyed a cozy run on the leader's back. Ashwood waited until nearing the home turn to push out on the gelded son of Riverboat King and once in clear air the gelding powered home and grabbed victory in the shadows of the post to defeat Pushkin and Be Good Franklin over 2090 metres. Rusty Red Comet recorded a mile rate of 2.04.5 which wasn't too band from the stand. Ashwood again teamed up with Jacobson to score aboard War Chest in the C.U.B Pace over 2090 metres. After facing the breeze to the winning post the last time Ashwood urged his charge forward to assume control and it proved to be the winning move. War Chest booted well clear at the top of the home straight but he had to pull out all stops to withstand a powerful charge from eventual runner-up Falcon Harry that flashed home to miss by a half-head with Gaggle Coordinator a distant third. Ashwood ended a great night in the cart by guiding Remember Joe to victory in the Burger Me Campbell Town Claimer over 2090 metres. Remember Joe was backed in to start the $2.30 favourite and when Ashwood had the gelding settled in the one-out-two-back position punters would have been starting to line up to collect. When Ashwood was able to avoid a scrimmage leaving the bottom turn the last time Remember Joe quickly raced to the leaders and he went on to record an effortless win over Electric Ollie and Aninchofhislife. Peter Staples

Rocknroll Turbo was one of last season's better two-year-old pacers in Tasmania and from what the well-bred colt showed first-up at Luxbet Park Hobart last night he will be very competitive in feature three-year-old harness racing events this year. The Paul Hill-trained colt won at his first two starts as a two-year-old and ended that campaign with a second to Usain Jolt in the Dandy Patch Stakes final. Hill confirmed the colt suffered a stifle injury during his last start as a two-year-old and required plenty of time in the paddock to recover. "This Rock N Roll Heaven colt is the real deal so when he suffered the stifle problem we just topped him straight out and gave him all the time he needed to fully recover," Hill said. "I've taken my time with him since he came back into work because he's still growing into himself. "Tonight was just a glorified trial really because he's certainly capable of running really good times if required." Driver Rohan Hillier allowed Rocknroll Turbo to fall off the gate from barrier five and settled last but when Hillier called on him to sprint heading into the back straight the last time he hauled in the leaders quickly. However, Hillier halted his progress by slotting into the one-out-one-back position so as not to have the colt punching into a headwind. When they hit the home straight Hillier let the colt loose and he went on to score by over 15 metres from Safari Sunshine that faced the breeze for the last lap with Shesastandout a close-up third. Rocknroll Turbo clocked a mile rate of 2.02s over 1609 metres but it could have been a lot better had the driver so desired. Peter Staples

Veteran Tasmania harness racing trainer Paul Hill has enjoyed great success with juvenile pacers for many years having prepared the best two-year-olds in the state for the past two seasons. At Luxbet Park Hobart this week Hill produced another highly promising two-year-old in Feelin Dusty that made an impressive debut by winning against older horses. Feelin Dusty was nominated for a two-year-old event but when insufficient nominations were received the field was opened up to three-year-old and older non-winners which produced a field of seven. Hill had no qualms about running his juvenile against older and more experienced pacers and the end result revealed why. "They put the race on so that the two-year-olds could get race experience and I was only too pleased when it was kept on the program with older horses in the field," Hill said. "I've had a fair opinion of this horse from day one and I'm sure anyone who saw how he handled his debut would agree he shows great potential. "I've had some very god two-year-olds in the stable in recent times including Hillview Jake and Chica Bella that were named the state's best two-year-olds in their respective sex categories in 2015 and I reckon Feelin Dusty is right up there as far as ability is concerned." Hill partnered Feelin Dusty on debut and sent the well-bred gelding (Mr Feelgood-Maybe Elite) straight to the front from the pole position (gate 1). Once in front Hill allowed the colt to bowl along at his leisure and when he called on him to sprint turning for home he left is rivals in his wake. Feelin Dusty powered to the line to score by 7-1/2 metres from three-year-old filly Hayley's Comet with Tell Mia Story over two metres away third with the winner clocking a respectable mile rate of 2.02. Hill says Feelin Dusty will progress to the Debutante Stakes in Launceston next Friday. Peter Staples

Southern Tasmanian harness racing fans are in for a treat at Luxbet Park Hobart on Sunday night with the New Year's Day meeting boasting two of the Hobart club's best races. The eight-race card features the Hobart Pacing Cup and Eric Reece Memorial finals with both considered wide open affairs. The Hobart Pacing Cup will be run over 3060 metres and comprises a field of 14 that made it into the race through a series of heats. Likely favourite Resurgent Spirit has already been scratched from the race which paves the way for the emergency Idle Hands to gain a start. Victorian-owned Just Knew qualified for the final with a fifth in the first heat in Hobart four weeks ago but he has since scored two impressive wins, the latest in the Meander Valley Cup at Carrick on Tuesday. Just Knew is trained in Victoria by Keith Cotchin but he left the horse in Tasmania after the Hobart Cup heat to be prepared for the rest of his stay by Mellissa Maine who rates the six-year-old gelding a good chance of winning the final. "He has to back up from Tuesday's win but he has done all the right things since that run so hopefully he can have a bit of luck go his way on Sunday night," Maine said. Just Knew, a winner of 12 of his 68 starts, will be driven by Maine's life partner Gareth Rattray who also has a good opinion of the horse. The son of Mach Three hadn't won a race since June when he arrived in Tasmania for a tilt at the Hobart Pacing Cup. The Reece Memorial final over 2090 metres boasts an even field of 12 with heat winner Couta Rocks expected to start favourite given the way he delivered the knockout blow to his rivals in his heat last Sunday week. It was his fifth start in the state since arriving from Victoria in September and trainer Paul Hill says the gelding has thrived since his heat win. Couta Rocks is owned by Tasmanians who raced the horse in Victoria where he notched a win and four minor placings before landing in Hill's stables at Tea Tree. Peter Staples

Victorian pacer Lets Elope joined a small but elite harness racing group when he powered his way to victory in the $40,000 Luxbet Tasmania Cup over 2579 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart yesterday. In winning the Group 3 event he became only the third horse in the history of the race to win in consecutive years with Motu Crusader (2012-13) and Tailamade Lombo (1998-99) the only others to have achieved the feat. It also was a double for Tasmanian-born driver Josh Duggan who delivered a brilliant tactical drive to secure victory. Five Star Anvil was the short-priced favourite ($1.40) and when driver Zac Phillips sent him straight to the front those who took the prohibitive odds would have been content while Major Callum ($31) faced the breeze with Pachacuti ($13) on his back and Lets Elope ($3.90) settled last. When Phillips allowed the favourite more rein leaving the back straight the last time the 10-year-old sped clear but Duggan had Lets Elope would up and chasing hard and Pachacuti looked a winning chance when he peeled three-wide to challenge. But when Duggan called on Lets Elope for the supreme effort the Brent Lilley-trained eight-year-old dug deep and had enough in reserve to score by two metres. "It was always going to be a race of tactics and thankfully ours (tactics) paid off," Duggan said. "It was a great thrill last year to win the race because it's my home town cup but to win it again is a bit special." Lilley said eight-year-old gelding by Real Desire had been racing well without luck in his home state and was quietly confident he had the gelding in top shape for the assignment. "We had him in a few races where he had to be driven for luck and often things didn't pan out but just prior to sending him down here to Tassie I was confident I had him in as good a condition as he's been in this prep," Lilley said. "He's been a very good horse for his owners because that his 24th win and he's been placed more than 30 times and he's won almost $500,000. "I sent the horse to Paul Ashwood who has been looking after him here in Tasmania so I think we'll leave him here for a month or so and let him go around in some of the nice free-for-alls coming up." Peter Staples

Spitfire Rose gave her harness racing trainer-driver Rohan Hadley his biggest win in ages when she toughed it out facing the breeze to win the $20,000 George Johnson feature for mares at Luxbet Park Hobart yesterday. Spitfire Rose ($5) raced outside of the leader Angels of Demons that was backed in to start the $1.40 favourite but when Hadley asked his charge to extend turning for home she forged to the lead and went on to score comfortably from outsiders Modern Chic ($51) and Zumba Bromac ($17) while the favourite capitulated and finished a distant last. It was Spitfire Rose's second win in the race having been successful in 2014 when driven by Gavin Lang. "She is a very good mare and I'm sure she has plenty more to give," Hadley said. "Today was more a race of tactics because I thought that if I had my mare at the favourite all the way then my mare's toughness might shine through and that's pretty much how it panned out. "We've got a few plans for this Jereme's Jet mare next year and hopefully she can win another nice race." Hadley suffered an illness about two years ago that kept him sidelined for about eight months which is why he had to call on Gavin Lang to drive the mare in the 2014 George Johnson. Peter Staples

Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill received an early Christmas present when former Victorian pacer Couta Rocks stormed home to win a heat of the Eric Reece Memorial over 2090 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart yesterday. With ace driver Ricky Duggan in the sulky, Couta Rocks ($3.40 fav) settled beyond midfield from his wide second-row draw but looked to be travelling comfortably when Duggan sent him three-wide around the field in the back straight the last time. The leader Iden Amrak ($3.60) was placed under pressure turning for home with Pockets of Courage looming as the winner but when Duggan eased his charge to the outside of the field the gelding answered the call and powered home to defeat Entreemaindesert ($34) with Shesastandout ($4.80) working home well to grab third ahead of Pockets of Courage. It was the five-year-old Art Major gelding's first win for Hill and first in the state with his only other win coming at Shepparton in Victoria over a year ago. "I'm pleased with his effort today and even though Ricky (reinsman Duggan) said he knocked off a bit when he hit the front he is improving all the time and I'm confident he'll continue to win," Hill said. The Eric Reece Memorial final will be held in Hobart on New Year's Day. The first six home in each of the two heats qualified for a final berth. Peter Staples

Ancient Moonlight is lucky to be alive let alone winning races. The Juanita McKenzie-trained gelded son of Live or Die dodged death about a year ago but thanks to luck being on his side and some tender loving care from his owners and trainer the harness racing gelding looks set to realise the potential he showed when he first arrived in Tasmania. Ancient Moonlight was having his first start for a year when he came from last turning for home to score a runaway victory in the Talbot Hotel Pace for C3-C4 performers over 2090m metres at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. One of his part-owners Barry Cooper said the gelding virtually died on the operating table but somehow managed to survive the ordeal. "The horse's heart stopped and he was gone but he is a fighter and came back to us and here he is winning at his first start since the ordeal. It's quite amazing," an motional Cooper said after the win. Duggan was full of praise for the gelding that was purchased for an undisclosed sum in New Zealand as a four-year-old. He had only three starts in Tasmania as a four-year-old winning two after a debut second. The gelding resumed as a five-year-old with a win at Carrick in a heat of the Northern Tasmanian Light Harness Association Cup but he suffered an injury in the final and that was his last start before emerging triumphant last night. Duggan said the horse is bound for bigger and better things. "To come from where he was tonight and win is an amazing effort and I'm sure there are plenty more wins in store for him," Duggan said. Peter Staples

Marvilloso promised a lot as a young horse but couldn't quite make the grade but perseverance has paid dividends for his harness racing trainer and part-owner Adrian Duggan. The five-year-old powered home after enjoying a gun run to score comfortably from Marnu The Beast and Gaggle Coordinator in the CUB Pace over 2090 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart on Sunday night. He had a bunch of minor placings in his first preparation for Duggan before being sent to Victoria where he was bred with the hope of picking up some of the big prizemoney up for grabs through the Vicbred bonus scheme. "We bought this horse for $7000 and even though he hadn't won as a two or three-year-old we thought he might as well have a crack in Victoria so we sent the horse to Scott Dyer but we had no luck from three tries and brought him back home," Duggan said. Marvilloso developed a few issues that needed to be addressed but it was only when Duggan decided it was time to geld the horse that the improvement started. "We kept him an entire because he is such a lovely natured horse but in the end his manhood was presenting a few issues with his gait so we gelded him and it's made a big difference. "This is his first preparation as a gelding and he's been very competitive and this win will help his confidence." The Village Jasper gelding has started 27 times for this win and eight minor placings and while a lot of horses with such modest form might have been dispatched to a life at pony clubs or farm horse he has remained with Duggan for one prime season. "My wife Amanda absolutely loves the horse so we kept him going and that's why it's so great that he's finally won a race and I'm sure there are more wins left in him." Peter Staples

Major Callum came of age at Luxbet Park Hobart last night when the modestly-performed harness racing six-year-old delivered a career-best effort to win the Shadforths Financial Group Pace over 2579 metres. The Juanita McKenzie-trained gelding stepped well from the standing start but was forced to work hard to eventually find the lead while the odds-on favourite Resurgent Spirit also had to work three-wide for 500 metres before eventually finding a spot at the leader's wheel. Major Callum ($16) looked to be struggling 500 metres out when Resurgent Spirit applied the pressure but the gelded son of Art Major refused to wilt and fought back to edge out the favourite on the line with Macho Comacho ($35) working home well to grab third. It was Major Callum's 11th but clearly his best and McKenzie said the gelding had always had above average ability but too often had been the victim of bad luck in his races. "This horse tries so hard every time he goes around and had it not been for rotten luck in a lot of his races he would be a much higher rated horse," McKenzie said. "He is very good from a standing start so this type of racing suits him but at the end of the day he is my favourite horse and has been ever since he was a two-year-old. Duggan had not been a fan of Major Callum but he said after this win his opinion might change. "Let's say I'm starting to warm to the horse," Duggan said. "He is such hard work because you've got to be at him the whole time but tonight I wanted to make sure we had something outside of him because he tries so hard and goes best when he's tested. "He's done a good job to beat the favourite so I reckon he's going to be very competitive in these type of races looking forward." The connections of Resurgent Spirit ($1.60) weren't fazed by the loss. "My horse had to do a lot of work too so he's stuck to his guns well and I have no doubt he will be competitive in whatever he tackles next," said driver James Austin. Peter Staples

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