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N late 2007 Broadmarsh trainer-driver Heath Woods walked away from harness racing instead deciding to concentrate on his young family. A few years ago, his son Aaron showed interest in racing and Heath didn’t need much temptation to get back into the industry that he loved and what an enjoyable ride back it has been. Since his first start back with The Shallows on 26 January 2019, Heath has had 28 starters for 11 wins and eight placings with his latest winner being with the impressive four-year-old gelding The Shallows in Hobart on Sunday night. Settling one-out and six-back in the early stages Heath was able to gain a three-wide and two-back cart into the race from the bell before having to peel out four and five wide on the home corner to score by 1.2 metres over the well supported Resurgent Storm with Frostyflyer third. The mile rate for 2090 metres was 2m 0.0s with the last half-mile leader to winner recorded in a slick 56.7, and trainer-driver Heath Woods was impressed with the win. “He went really good, we knew he was pretty fit, but as he hadn’t raced for five months, we knew he would need the run,” said the winning trainer-driver. “I just had a little query that drawn so bad he would have to do a bit of work, but luckily we got a bit of a cart into it, he pulled up pretty well and no doubt he will take benefit from the run,” added Woods. “When he got to them on straightening up he just knocked off a little bit, so I had to keep him going up the straight,” explained Woods who said that he hadn’t looked too far ahead with the pacer who has now won 10 of his 21 starts to date. Pipers River trainer Marc Butler believes any pre-race media interviews are detrimental to his horses chances, but followers of Tasracing’s From the Stables Podcast would have been cashed up last night when the trainer increased his excellent strike rate. Butler was represented by four runners on the Hobart card across three races, and he won them all. Bettabrown Tiger was first-up for the Butler stable, and the gelded son of Betterthancheddar raced up to his terrific form on the Hobart track, winning his fifth race at the venue from seven starts and he has been runner-up at his other two starts on the track. Peaceful Thomas was well-graded when winning race seven, all the gelded son had to do was bring his racing manners after disappointing punters by galloping in his three starts prior. He was the 100th career win for reinsman Conor Crook. The victory of Armchair Drive in the trotters event rounded out Butler’s treble. One of Butler’s former pacers Full Speed Ahead was the winner of last night’s fast class event. The gelded son of Art Major was claimed by a client for the Zeke Slater stable after his last start third in Hobart on 24 July. From outside of the front row on Sunday he was able to ping straight to the early lead in the standing start event. Full Speed Ahead was rated a treat in front by last season’s leading driver Mark Yole, to lead all the way and score by 4.2 over Ryley Major and Sea Double Ugrant. The race favourite Scooterwillrev finished fifth. The mile rate for the 2090-metre trip was 1m 59.1s, just 0.4s outside the track record which is held by Resurgent Spirit who won off a 30-metre handicap in October 2016.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Longford reinsman Todd Rattray notched up a milestone win in the sulky in Hobart last night, when he scored in the Carlton Draught Pace aboard Delightful Junie who he also trains. It was win number 650 for Rattray who had his first race drive on September 24, 2006, in Launceston. Delightful Junie, a seven-year-old mare by Jr Mint had only won three of 36 starts before last night’s win, but she was second-up in the care of Rattray after her former trainer and owner Shaun Kennedy transferred the horse to Rattray’s Longford stables. “Shaun was having trouble juggling his few horses and Uni and wanted some help, at the time we had a few horses in work and knocked him back but a few weeks after there was room for her and he was delighted with the win,” said Rattray. From barrier three Rattray positioned the mare one-out and one-back in the 2090 metre event before peeling three-wide at the 700-metre mark. “She slid in alright at the start and had a good run, I probably went a bit hard down the back, but she wanted to run, so I let her, she still had the earplugs in at the finish,” said Rattray. It is rare to see a two-year-old defeat the older and more experienced horses, but with the new national rating system that seems to be slightly changing nationally. The latest winner to add to that list is the Heath Woods trained and driven filly Stepping Stones who scored in the Rexel North Hobart Pace for horses with a national rating of 30 to 49 over 1609 metres. Instead of heading to a two-year-old maiden event in Launceston worth just under double the prize-money on Sunday, Woods elected to stay a bit closer to home. “We knew we would draw well in the first two or three over the mile, plus she isn’t a good traveller so we thought we would keep her down here with the same routine,” said the Broadmarsh based trainer. From barrier one, Woods positioned the filly behind the leader before using the sprint lane in the home straight to record the filly’s first win in a time of 1m 59.8s. “It worked out really good, she travelled well all the way, down the back and around the turn I thought she was in with a strong show as long as we got to the sprint lane,” Woods said. “She has always had a bit of ability but has always done a few little things wrong and she is still learning to race,” he added. The filly was a $4,500 purchase from last years Carrick Park Yearling Sale, and being Tasbred, connections were able to take home there $10,000 first win Tasbred bonus. Stepping Stones wasn’t the only pacer to break their maiden on the card with the Ivan Belbin trained Telmax Nikita scoring in the opening race.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Campania trainer Ivan Belbin is hoping that four-year-old gelding Telmax Nikita can break his maiden status when he lines up in the opening race in Hobart on Friday, the Nutrein Ag Sprint Lane Pace. The gelded son of Tell All has registered five placings to date with four of those coming in the pacers four starts back since the COVID-19 shutdown. “He is going really good; he is just starting to grow into himself. He is such a big horse so we didn’t do a lot with him early, he has had a few problems and he has been a bugger to train I tell you, but he is starting to go good now and earn us a bit of money,” explains trainer Ivan Belbin. Telmax Nikita finished third in Launceston last start where he did plenty of work to hold the lead in some quick early sections before handing up at the 1100-metre mark. “When they took him on early it took a bit out of him. Rohan (Hillier) was happy with him, he just got beat in a photo finish for second,” said the Campania based trainer who is happy with the way the pacer has come through the run. “He’s real good, he is better than ever,” he said. Belbin elected to not start the pacer as a two-year-old, instead, he decided to give the now four-year-old time to develop. “He was just like a big kid early on, he was looking around and wasn’t racing properly but now he is, I think he will be better next year as a five-year-old.” Tonight’s event is for horses that are aged four-years and older with prizemoney earnings of $15,000 or less over 2090 metres. “He has drawn bad in the middle tonight, but he still should go good,” said Belbin about the only pacer he has in work at present. Rohan Hillier who is four wins away from registering his 50th win in the sulky for the season has been booked for the drive again tonight. “Up in Launceston last start Rohan was pleased with him and he was keen to know when he was in next as he wanted to stick with him,” Belbin said. Telmax Nikita is also owned and bred by Ivan along with his wife Judy and is the second foal to race out of La Nikita who won 13 races, the bulk of those victories coming when purchased by the Belbin’s in early 2005. Punters have installed the Samantha Gangell-trained and driven Navua Pixie as the favourite for tonight’s event, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven was placed in Launceston last time out behind Sermac but does have an outside of the second-row draw to overcome. Friday’s eight-race Hobart card commences at 17:04 and will be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It is hard to believe that three-year-old filly Missin Rock hadn’t won a race in 10 starts this season until Sunday night’s victory in Hobart. The daughter of Pet Rock had registered five placings for the season including a second in the Three-Year-Old Fillies Championship and the Group 3 Tasmanian Oaks. On Sunday the Eric Jacobson-trained pacer was sent out as the $1.75 favourite in the Tasmanian Equine Veterinary Services Pace, and the filly didn’t let favourite punters down leading all the way to score by 3.5-metres over Shady Story with Gauci a further 12.5-metres away third in a mile rate of 2m 1.6s for the 2090-metre trip. “She had a good run behind Watchmylips last start and was hitting the line well, and I thought she would go close tonight,” said Eric Jacobson after the race. The filly has been noted to pull in her races but relaxed well in front for her driver Troy McDonald. “Troy got off her tonight and said she was like a professional tonight,” said the winning trainer. “She has got a bit of gate speed, and that gets her out of trouble, that’s what I like about her,” added Jacobson who has taken a step back from the large number of horses that he once trained. The filly takes another four rating points with the win which is going to cause some headaches for Jacobson. “She is rated 58 now, and it is going to be very hard to place her,” he said. One race on the radar is the Group 2 Bandbox with the heats of that race scheduled for 1 November in Launceston. “I will probably give her one more start and see what happens and worry about those big races as they come,” the trainer said. Ricky Duggan was the standout driver of the Hobart card with a treble. He drove the Paul Hill-trained Rocknroll Nitro to victory in the two-year-old event, before driving Still Hungover and Full Speed Ahead to success. The win of Full Speed Ahead capped off a massive weekend for trainer Marc Butler who also put the polish on Raymonds Judge who scored earlier in the night to give the trainer four winners for the weekend. Taylor Ford is another in-form driver, and she scored with Big Bang Raj, who she also trains, in the third event. Jocund scored in a rating 52 to 54 event for trainer-driver Todd Rattray, which continued a good weekend for the Rattray family after the win of Ignatius at Menangle on Saturday night. While Paul Williams was back in the winners stall with Debt Till We Part who scored his first win since February 2018 in the Nutrien Ag Supplies Sprint Lane Pace.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Punters in recent weeks have been lining up trial form, first-up form, and this weekend they have another variable to consider for Friday’s Hobart harness card. Some southern-based trainers have reported that anywhere between 40mm to 150mm of rain has fallen on their properties during the week, which has forced them to adjust their training regimes. Friday night Pontville trainer Wayne Rainbird will take his stable of two to the track including three-year-old Nobeer Nomore who lines up in the final race of the night. The gelded son of Auckland Reactor has been placed in one of his five starts to date. That placing was in Hobart on 27 March when defeated 9.8 metres by the smart Victorian Dyslexic. At his most recent start on 14 June Nobeer Nomore chased home some of the best three-year-old’s in the state when fourth behind Watchmylips, Kohanah and Colby Sanz. On Friday night, Nobeer Nomore lines up in the final race of the night, a national rating 30 to 49 event for horses with lifetime earnings of less than $25,000, a significant drop in class on his recent efforts. After going around at $101 and $61 his last two starts, bookmakers are keeping the pacer safe Friday, opening him up as the $5.00 second favourite behind Sermac and trainer Wayne Rainbird is going into the race with confidence. “I think he will go very close,” said Rainbird Nobeer Nomore hasn’t been driven to lead in his five starts to date, but the trainer believes the pacer has the early speed to lead. “I think if Smiley gave him a flick with the stick, he would be able to lead them out,” the trainer said. Rainbird was full of praise for Hill’s brother Kerry who has spent a bit of time working on the pacer. “Kerry Hill re-educated him for me, and he does help me fast work them at New Norfolk, and he said to me that he was surprised how quick he is,” explained Rainbird. Whatever Nobeer Nomore does this season the trainer expects him to improve on. “Next season when he is a bit older and a bit stronger, he will probably go a long way I hope,” said the trainer. Hyde Park in the opening race is the other runner from the Rainbird stable to compete Friday, and the trainer had his doubt’s early on in the pacer’s career if he would make it to the track. “Kent Rattray broke him in, and when I got him, we didn’t think he was going to make the grade at all early on,” Rainbird said. The four-year-old gelding has only had two starts and he ran an improved race last start on 19 June when fifth behind Betterthanfetta. Hyde Park looked gone at the 600-metre mark, but the pacer battled on well to only be defeated 6.7-metres. “I was very pleased with him. He showed me what I thought he had,” added the trainer. Friday night’s meeting commences at 17:28 and will be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Brighton based driver Taylor Ford had a night out in Hobart Friday where she drove a treble on the seven-race card, but one of those winners stood out more than any other in her driving career. Ford was great friends with the late David Medhurst who lost his life in 2013. One of the horses David had in his care at the time was the Time Stands Still mare Chloes Princess. His family decided to breed out of the mare with the first horse being Do It For Dave (seven wins) and after a lot of bad luck getting the mare in foal, the second horse was Just For Dave who won in good fashion on debut last night and Ford was pleased with the result. “I have always dreamed of winning on a horse named after Dave, I had a few drives on Do It For Dave, but I couldn’t get the job done, but to win on Just For Dave tonight was one of the best feelings,” said the winning driver. Just For Dave is trained by Zane Medhurst who officiated at last night’s meeting as the clerk of the course. He also bred the horse with Sally Medhurst and Kelly Reggett, with Reggett now being the sole owner of the three-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal. The pacer had three trials in December and hadn’t been seen in public in recent months until Friday’s debut effort. “Zane has done a really good job with the horse, he had to have an operation on a hind leg early in his career, so he had to nurse him through that, and he has done a top job getting him spot-on for last night,” said Ford. From barrier four Ford took the pacer straight to the lead over the mile trip before ending up behind the leader at the 1250 metre mark. She then used the sprint lane over the concluding stages on the pacer to score by 6.4 metres in a time of 2m 1.4s for the mile trip at odds of $31. “The way he finished off and raced away from them, I think he has a few more wins left in him that’s for sure. He is still a bit green, so there is still some improvement to come with him with more race experience,” said the winning driver. The next two winners for Ford occurred with horses that she also trains. Statement Please was sent out as a $15 chance and was able to record her fifth win of her racing career when she recorded a half-head victory over the well supported favourite Capitallee. “I thought I was in a bit of trouble when I lobbed in the death early, so I was glad to see Mark (Yole, driver of Capitallee) come around and give me cover for the last lap and a bit,” said Ford. “She loomed up like she was going to run straight past them, but they were all walking to the line, and she was the lucky one to have her head in front at the winning post,” explained the trainer-driver with the final quarter being the slowest of the race in 31.3s. The Betterthancheddar mare is owned by Taylor’s sister Chloe. Belligerence was the last winner of the night for Ford. The five-year-old mare was having the first start for her stable and was sent around in last night’s race at odds of $19, but the win was of no surprise to her trainer-driver. “I actually thought she was my best chance of the night, she had been working well at home and had improved in every trial I had given her,” the winning trainer-driver said. “Last night I put the pull-down dollys on her, and she was really sharp to the line, I think there are a few more wins left in her if I can place her in the right races,” explained Ford. It was the second time in Ford’s driving career that she had registered a driving treble, but it was the first time she had notched up a training double.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Tasmania's leading harness racing trainer Ben Yole is going to be extra busy over the next three days-but he couldn't be happier! Yole, based at Sidmouth, near Launceston, will compete with a massive 70 horses at two meetings. He kicks off with a team of 13 at Hobart tonight, and then his representatives swell to a mind-boggling 57 at Launceston on Sunday. But keeping it in perspective, big numbers are nothing new for the Yole stable. On average they could have anywhere between 75 and 85 horses on their books, and take around 40 to the races. "We have plenty of staff on hand at the race meetings-everyone knows their role so it's pretty good. All of our horses have their own set of harness and we get to the meetings with probably three hours to spare," Yole said. "I guess preparations for the night meetings always start around lunch-time. We have plenty of transport options in four trucks and a heap of floats to get them to the track." Tasmania conducted its first meeting last Sunday at Hobart since harness racing ground to a halt on the Apple Isle at the end of March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Yole took 34 to the Hobart twilight fixture last weekend and returned home with a winning double. Eight-year-old brown mare Pink Ponder (Ponder-Raiderofthelostark (Courage Under Fire) was successful for Mark Yole, while evergreen gelding Altana Blue (Stonebridge Regal-Amarillo Blue (Million To One) was an easy winner for Troy McDonald. Yole told TasRacing leading up to the comeback meeting, it had been tough to plan anything too far ahead with the horses. "There was a bit of stop-start stuff. They were all set to go at one stage, then we were told the return to racing had been delayed by another five weeks. So we probably all backed off and then had to rev them up again to get them somewhere near their peak," he said. "They've been having trials for the past four weeks. I have managed to get at least one run under the belt of most of our team at either Hobart, Launceston or Devonport so we're happy with that." Yole has been the leading trainer in Tasmania for the past four seasons and currently has 105 winners this season (and undoubtedly many more to come yet, with the season being extended from the usual end of August, to the end of December). Yole, who grew up in the Victorian country town of Hamilton, has been a powerhouse particularly over the past five or six years. In the 2015-16 season, he became the first Tasmanian trainer in 20 years to record 100 winners. The following season he broke the record with 124 victories--and equalled that in the 2017-18 season. Yole raised the bar last season with 182 winners, which set a State record for both equine codes of racing. "The 2015-16 season was our first big one. We'd finally got our own property by then and had a nice team including lots of bread and butter horses," Yole said. "Our place was an old dairy farm. There's 50 acres and we've got our own track, swimming facilities and plenty of big paddocks because we don't have stables," he said. "We rent a bush property next door and we use this when we want to give the horses an easy day. Over the years we've worked out that keeping their workload down a little is better. "There's now a lot of steadier and slower work, although there's times when we gallop them up a bit." The Yole stable is made up of a strong backbone of family support. There's Ben and Catherine; Ben's brothers Tim and Mark; as well has Mark's wife Dani; and their parents Wayne and Louise. Mark is the stable's number one driver and Tim is stable foreman and "Mr Fix-it". "In my opinion, there's not too many better drivers than Mark. He does a good job and rarely puts a foot wrong. Tim keeps the stable ticking along and without him, we wouldn't be operating. He works the horses, puts shoes on and anything else that needs doing," Ben said. "Last season we sent him across to Victoria with some horses for a while and he ended up with 20 winners. I was just so rapt for him. "I think we showed that we don't do a bad job and got some respect from trainers over there. We had pencilled in another campaign at the end of July, but we'll have to wait and see on that one." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura               P 0498 490 672   E hello@newsalertpr.com.au   W www.newsalertpr.com.au      

A total of 80 horses will contest seven races in Hobart Friday, but only two of those are last start winners including Navua Pixie in race six, the Nutrient Ag Solutions Sprint Lane Pace. The four-year-old mare’s only win was in Burnie on 20 March which was also the first training win for her trainer Samantha Gangell and she will be hoping the mare can make it back-to-back victories tonight. “She was super when she won at Burnie, and she had a trial in Hobart a few weeks ago where she went good, she has trained on well since then,” said the trainer who was in the sulky for the Burnie victory and the trial win on 8 June. “She sat midfield in that trial, and they went slow early, I hooked her out at the 600 (metre mark) and she ran home well,” said Gangell about the pacer. Gangell’s partner Troy McDonald will take the drive tonight and he will have to overcome barrier three on the second row in the 2090-metre event. Instead, Gangell will drive stable mate Nikks Pick. Gangell is a part-owner of Nikks Pick, and under the rules of harness racing she has to drive that pacer. The Betterthanchedar mare was a beaten favourite in the race won by Navua Pixie in Burnie. “She wasn’t 100 percent that night, she had a tough run five-days prior that probably took a bit out of her, “ explained Gangell. “The draw suits her if the one can hold up and get her to the sprint lane then she should be in the finish as well,” said the trainer-driver about the mare who was on her worst behaviour in a trial on 8 June. My Girl Pearl is another pacer from the Gangell stable who will contest race four on the card. The Art Major mare has had two trials during the COVID shutdown on 1 June before a victory on 8 June. “She has trained on ok after a few recent trials, she has a bad draw, but if she can get a good run into the race she should be thereabouts,” said the trainer. Gangell also puts the polish on three-year-old gelding Insulting, who is having his first start in race two. The gelded son of He’s Watching won a Hobart trial on 25 May before being placed on 1 June where the trainer was happy with the pacers progress. “His first trial he was pretty green, we changed a bit of gear on him, and he went well his next trial when he only got beat five-metres by Watchmylips and on his work since I think he is a good chance,” said Gangell who has given the drive once again to her partner Troy. With only seven races, tonight’s Quadrella commences on race four with the first race scheduled for 17:45.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Harness racing in Tasmania was back with a bang on Sunday night with a mammoth 10-race card that was conducted in strong wind and light rain conditions. This week we have two meetings with a seven-race card in Hobart on Friday night at Tier 2 level before a strong Tier 1 meeting in Launceston on Sunday night. The Stars Ricky Duggan – became the first Tasmanian driver to record 1,700 wins. There was a bit of confusion around what pacer gave him the feat, but most will claim it was Watchmylips in Hobart and the way the New Norfolk based driver was driving before the shutdown, there is no doubt he will become the first Tasmanian reinsman to reach 2,000 victories over the next few seasons. Mark Yole – leads the states driving Premiership by one win after a double in Hobart on Sunday night. One of those winners was Salvator Mundi who was having his Tasmanian debut, Mark also trains the Art Major entire. Conor Crook – is another driver in contention for the states drivers title, the Beaconsfield reinsman moved to fifth position on the table after a double on Sunday including the fast class race of the night with No Spring Secrets. Geoff Smith – started the resumption of racing with a training double. The Northdown trainer prepared Midair Meltdown to victory at odds of $17 before Chris Be Quick raced up to a good recent trial effort at odds of $15. Paul Hill – dubbed the king of the kids after a brilliant record in two-year-old races over many years reminded us all why he has that title when the well-backed Rocknovertime (pictured) blitzed his rivals to score in the opening race on the Hobart card for the two-year-old’s. Multiple Winners Hobart – Sunday evening Ben Yole – training double: Pink Ponder and Altana Blue. Mark Yole – driving double: Salvator Mundi and Pink Ponder. Rohan Hillier – training double: Lip Reader and Giftofjoy. Conor Crook – driving double; No Spring Secrets and Giftofjoy. Geoff Smith – training double; Midair Meltdown and Chris Be Quick. Todd Rattray – driving double; Midair Meltdown and Chris Be Quick. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Sunday evening Call Me Hector 56.50s, No Spring Secrets 56.62s, Star Chamber 56.84s, Blackbird Power 56.91s and Lip Reader 57.03s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Sunday evening Hit’s: Rocknovertime $21.00 into $7.50, Watchmylips $2.00 into $1.55, Lip Reader $1.65 into $1.35, Salvator Mundi $3.50 into $2.60, Giftofjoy $1.55 into $1.40 and Chris Be Quick $18.00 into $15.00. Defied The Drift: No Spring Secrets $6.00 out to $10.00, Pink Ponder $9.00 out to $12.00 and Altana Blue $5.00 out to $6.50. Missed: Statement Please $5.50 into $4.40, Cool Water Paddy $1.75 into $1.24, Feel The Burn $4.40 into $3.50, Alaphilippe $2.90 into $2.60 and Juniper $3.10 into $2.80. Trial File Launceston – Saturday morning Devonport Cup winner Illegal Immigrant kicked off his preparation with an all the way win in the fast class trial of the morning. Trainer Troy Hillier drove the pacer to a 1.9-metre win over Prosecution Witness and El Jays Mystery in the three-horse trial. The mile rate was 2m 1.6s, with the last two quarters recorded in 29.1s and 27.9s Other winners included; Cedric Seymour (2m 3.1s), Rocknroll Curly (2m 7.1s), Hez The One (2m 1.1s) and Hear The Call (2m 1.1s). Hobart – Sunday afternoon One trial was staged before the first race. Spooky Girl, a three-year-old filly by Safe and Sound jogged around in front in quarters of 32.5s, 37.0s, 33.1s and 20.6s to win the trial by 2.7-metres over stablemate Sasogo, with Galaxy Dancer 2.3-metres away third. The time for the mile was 2m 13.4s. Trial Replays You can view all of the trials over the past few weeks by clicking here. Week Ahead For those that like to play the multiple bet types on the local tote, there has been a change on the races certain bet types cover. For Tasmanian harness racing, provided there are eight races, the Quadrella moves to races five through to eight, regardless of the meeting being held during the afternoon or evening. The Daily Double moves to races five and seven, the treble on races six through eight while the Extra Double has been abolished. Hobart on Friday night is the state’s first meeting of the weekend. Race seven on the card is the first race for trotters since the resumption of racing. The race will start from behind the mobile as opposed to the standing start, which we have become used to for the trotters. Marc Butler will play a strong hand in the race with two runners including Armchair Drive who won at his only start in the state on 27 March where he led all the way. The gelded son of The Warp Drive won six of his 47 starts before arriving in the state. Butler also prepares One Yankee Ginga who has won two out of his last five starts. However, the Cr Commando gelding is yet to be placed in five career starts. The first of seven races will commence at 17:45 with the meeting to be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV. Launceston is the venue for Sunday night racing. The two-year-old crop this season looks to be strong if recent trials are anything to go by. This week’s two-year-old race features Bridwood Bella who has won two from two at the trials including a 24.5-metre win on 6 June where she recorded a mile rate of 1m 59.4s and a final section of 27.7s. De Marco Beach has drawn wide in Sunday’s race but has shown improvement in her two recent trials, the most recent was an all the way win on 6 June in 2m 3.5s. Another trial winner in the race is Stormy Sanz who won a Launceston trial on 23 May before finishing third to Cedric Seymour on 13 June. Race one commences at 16:50 and will be shown on Sky Racing 2 with the remainder on Sky Racing 1. All races will be shown on TasracingTV, which will be live hosted with the recommencement of participant interviews. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days include; Shepparton – Friday night Race 1 Horse 11 Bootleg Bert. Race 5 Horse 1 Streitkid. Race 7 Horse 10 Blingittothemax. Menangle – Saturday night Race 7 Horse 1 Timely Sovereign and 6 No Apachemee. Cranbourne – Sunday Race 4 Horse 10 Sutter Star.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Northdown-based Geoff Smith shared the training honours at the relaunch of harness racing in Hobart on Sunday night - thanks, in part, to a camping holiday in New South Wales 12 months ago. It was while he was away that Smith bought Chris Be Quick who, along with stablemate Midair Meltdown, was among the 10 winners at the comeback meeting. Ben Yole and Rohan Hillier also trained doubles. Smith explained that he was on a caravan trip last year when he pulled up at the Bathurst Showgrounds. "There were some horses going around so I unhooked the van and went over to have a look," he said. "I started talking to a bloke and asked him if he had any horses for sale. He said he didn't but he knew a bloke who did, due to the breakup of a partnership. "Anyway the next day I met this other bloke who turned up with his horse in a jogger. It was a nice horse but he wanted $25,000 for him - apparently it cost him $35,000 as a yearling. "I said I wasn't interested but the next morning he was there again and he yelled out to me over the fence to make him an offer. "I said I'll give you $8000 right now and I bought him." Chris Be Quick had won only one race at the time but has since won another five for Smith who was very confident about his chances on Sunday night. "He went 1:57 in a trial at Mowbray so I knew he was going well," the trainer said. Smith said Midair Meltdown was a horse that needed to get things his own way. "He got a nice run into the race on Sunday - a good cart-up," the trainer said. "I thought I could also win with my other runner Laid Back Kenny but barrier 2 wasn't a good draw for him because he likes to sit back and get home. He pulled too hard sitting outside the leader." Smith kept all 13 of his horses in work during the shutdown and now has 15 in his stable. "I've got 12 ready to go - I'm just waiting on some trials at Devonport," he said. Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

Sunday night in Hobart will be the first harness race meeting held in Tasmania for 78 days, and there are many pacers with progressive talent going around on the 10-race card, none more so than Cool Water Paddy, the winner of 10 races from 14-career starts. The gelded son of Ohoka Arizona has drawn barrier five, in race five, the Ladbrokes Backs Tas Harness Drivers Pace for the free-for-all pacers over 2090 metres. His trainer Juanita McKenzie, like all in the local racing industry, is looking forward to the first meeting back since the suspension of Tasmanian racing. “It’s great to be back,” said the Magra-based trainer. Cool Water Paddy’s most recent start was in the Launceston Mile on 29 March where he led all the way from the pole draw to score in a mile rate of 1m 57.3s at his first try in open class company. After that effort, the pacer was nominated to contest a race at Melton (Victoria) in early April ahead of the Easter Cup series in Launceston, but with the closure of state borders and Tasmanian racing, the campaign had to be abandoned. “It was disappointing, but at the end of the day it is what it is, and we just have to get on with things,” said McKenzie who is the state’s leading female harness trainer this season. The trainer believes that Sunday’s race is the toughest test to date for the pacer who is undefeated in seven starts this season. “He is racing seasoned free for all horses on Sunday, Call Me Hector was below his best in the Launceston Mile and Star Chamber is just an old marvel who is probably racing better than he was when he won the (2014) Tasmania Cup,” said the trainer. On Monday, Cool Water Paddy finished second in a trial behind Star Chamber in what the trainer described as a hit out that “would have done him the world of good.” As has been the case in all of Cool Water Paddy’s 14 career starts, hall of fame reinsman Ricky Duggan will be in the sulky. The master driver is only one win away from being the first Tasmanian driver to register 1,700 lifetime wins. McKenzie has one other runner engaged on the program, Iden Black Prince, in race one for the two-year-olds. The gelded son of Stonebridge Regal has drawn inside of the second-row. “He didn’t need a trial as he doesn’t take a lot of work, he has a good trailing draw, he is very honest and tries his best,” said McKenzie. The Hobart card commences at 17:13 and will be telecast on Sky Racing 1 as well as live hosted hosted on TasracingTV.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Blackjackhanover may have only been placed in two of his last 28 starts, but the gelded son of Cardmaster Hanover finally gets his chance to bounce back into the winner’s list when he lines up in the Tas Equine Veterinary Services Pace at Ladbrokes Park in Hobart tonight. The Campbell Watt trained pacer has won 10 of his 126 starts and has been placed on a further 35 occasions. Tonight, the pacer will contest a race for horses that are rated between 50 to 59 for trainers who trained ten or less winners last season. It is a big drop in class from contesting the states premier race, the Group 2 Ladbrokes Tasmania Cup, at his most recent start where he finished 16 metres behind Ryley Major where the trainer was pleased with the run. “I was thrilled with him in that race, Smiley (Paul Hill) said he had plenty of horse left going over the line,” said trainer Campbell Watt. One concern in tonight’s race for the trainer is the outside of the front-row draw in the 2090-metre event. “If he drew in a bit closer he would have been a good thing I would have thought, I still think he can win from out there, it’s no point going back, he is a go-forward horse, and he can get on the bit at times,” said the Mt. Seymour based trainer who has once again given the driving responsibilities to Malcom Jones who uses his five-point concession claim tonight. “He will do all my driving now, I would have let him drive him in the Tasmania Cup but the powers to be wouldn’t let him, he is a well-mannered kid and drives good,” said the trainer. Watt at 70 years of age has three horses in work with his wife Pam who is an integral part of his stable, he and Pam have recently stopped breeding horses as in Campbell’s words “age is catching up to us.” Blackjackhanover is rated a $4.50 chance with Ladbrokes behind the Taylor Ford-trained duo Ashleys Angel and The Thug at $4.40. Ford spoke about their chances on the From The Stables Podcast. Tonight’s meeting will be televised on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV’s live Stream with the first race set down for 18:40. Once again, the meeting will be closed to the public with only harness racing licence holders and essential race day personal allowed entry to the track.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Tasmanian harness' night of nights is almost here, with the Group 2 Ladbrokes Tasmania Cup, Group 3 Carlton Draught Tasmanian Derby, Group 3 Tasmanian Equine Veterinary Services Tasmanian Oaks and the state’s premier mares race, the George Johnson all to be staged by the Tasmanian Trotting Club at Ladbrokes Park in Hobart this Saturday night. But first, let’s look back at the second night of the Autumn Carnival that was staged on Sunday where the Victorian father-son duo of John and Rhys Nicholson dominated the card. The Stars John and Rhys Nicholson – John took three runners to Hobart on Sunday with his son Rhys booked to drive all three, and they left with a 100% strike rate. Its Back In The Day was the primary purpose of the trip where he was a dominant winner of the second heat of the Tasmania Cup which was the pacers first start since December 2018. Other winners included Deadly Error who won on debut in the Team Teal Hobart Belmont and Micton Mouse who stamped himself as a Tasmanian Derby contender in the Carlton Draught Pace. Suave Taj – Brighton based trainer Bianca Heenan and driver Christian Salter, continue their excellent run in feature trotting races in Hobart when Suave Taj scored in the Aldebaran Park Hobart Trotting Cup. It was the third start since September 2017, and the geldings first win since August 2017 in the feature event. Cool Water Paddy – won his eighth race in a row when he scored in the Tasmanian Equine Veterinary Services Pace. It was the second start back this campaign for the gelded son of Ohoka Arizona who scored an easy win on Sunday by 25.2 metres in a mile rate of 1m 58.5s for the 2090 metre trip. Hannah Van Dongen and Ray Pullen – continued their good association on Sunday night when they teamed up for a double on the card. Their first winner was with Distinctive Del who won his 14th race with Castor Troy leading all the way to score later in the night. Multiple Winners Hobart – Sunday evening Rhys Nicholson – driving treble; Deadly Error, Micton Mouse and Its Back In The Day, John Nicholson – training treble; Deadly Error, Micton Mouse and Its Back In The Day, Hannah Van Dongen – driving double; Distinctive Del and Castor Troy, Ray Pullen – training double; Distinctive Del and Castor Troy, Ricky Duggan – driving double; Cool Water Paddy and El Jays Blu, Ben Yole – training double; Guys Bettor Bet and Brian Who. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Sunday evening Micton Muse 57.75s, Brian Who 58.19s, Missin Rock 58.22s, Distinctive Del 58.27s and Pink Ponder 58.57s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Sunday evening Hits: Suave Taj $6.00 into $4.80, Distinctive Del $21.00 into $11.00 and Cool Water Paddy $1.60 into $1.28. Defied The Drift: Deadly Error $2.10 out to $2.30, Micton Mouse $2.50 out to $3.90, El Jays Blu $5.50 out to $6.00 and Brian Who $1.55 out to $2.10. Missed: Dyslexic $3.00 into $2.00, Southern Gnp $16.00 into $8.50 and Lets Pop The Bubbles $12.00 into $5.00. *Race 5 and 8 have been not included due to late scratching’s Trial File Hobart – Monday evening  Six trials were staged, the most impressive winner looking at the results, was Jack Len who scored in a rating 58 to 83 trial over 2090 metres. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding was driven in the trial by Paul Hill who took the 10-year-old gelding to the lead where he ended up scoring a 40-metre victory in a mile rate of 1m 58.6s defeating Im Barney Rubble and Shesa Tricky Bridge. Ashleys Angel warmed up for Saturday night’s George Johnson with a 20-metre win in her trial where she recorded a mile rate of 2m 0.3s. Other winners were; The Thug (2m 8.6s), Thomas Burns (2m 7.2s), Our Ideal Fella (2m 4.9s) and Iden Forest (2m 6.1s). Devonport – Monday evening The Ben Yole-trained Lake Eyre ran the quickest winning mile rate of the session when he recorded 2m 3.5s in a 51-60 rated mobile trial. The nine-year-old gelding was driven by Conor Crook who led all the way to record a 10-metre win. Remaining trials were won by; Written In Silk (2m 11.5s), Kryptonite (2m 8.4s) and Frostyflyer (2m 4.1s). Week Ahead Saturday is Super Saturday at Ladbrokes Park in Hobart. The Group 2 Ladbrokes Tasmania Cup is the state’s premier race where early markets have the local star, Ryley Major, as the $2.10 favourite over heat winners Its Back In the Day at $2.80 and Im Sir Blake at $4.00. They are the only three runners in single figures for the race which sees seven runners at triple-figure odds. The Carlton Draught Tasmanian Derby at Group 3 level is another Tasmania vs Victoria event with Micton Mouse, Beat City and Dyslexic taking on the local challengers which include the Tasmanian Guineas quinella of Colby Sanz and Soho Senna. As for the Group 3 Tasmanian Equine Veterinary Services Tasmanian Oaks, the prize money will stay in the island state with six locally trained mares to do battle. It looks to be a race in two between A Spanish Dance who has drawn well from the pole and Missin Rock who has been placed at her last two efforts. The state’s premier mares race is the Tasmanian Trotting Club George Johnson where once again there is no interstate interest in the race. Other highlights on the card include the final of the Tas Labor Eric Reece Memorial, the Henry Pullen Memorial and the Des And Kay Logan Memorial. Race One will be televised on Sky Racing 2 with the remainder of the card on Sky Racing 1. All races will be shown on TasracingTV’s hosted live stream service. Sunday night the action turns to Devonport with fields for that meeting to be released later this afternoon.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Victorian father-son duo John and Rhys Nicholson had a night out at Ladbrokes Park Hobart Sunday with a training and driving treble on the ten-race card including the win of Its Back In The Day in the second heat of the Ladbrokes Tasmania Cup. From the 10-metre handicap in the 2579 metre event, Rhys was able to settle the pacer into the one-out one back position before pealing three-wide at the 600-metre mark. From there the gelded son of Washington Son of Washington Vc proved too good by 5.5 metres over The Announcer with Northview Dave a further 23 metres away third. “It’s as easy as driving race cars, it was easy as that,” said winning driver Rhys Nicholson after the race. “With over 12-months off the scene I was worried about the standing start, but he began well and settled in the one-one, and we used his speed at the top of the straight and left a bit in the tank for next week’s final,” explained Rhys. “The owners paid good money for him, and they are not too pushy, whatever Dad says goes,” said the Victorian-based reinsman. “We do know he has a lot of ability; we gave him six-months off to find himself as he was so immature when we got him, and you can see how he has filled out into a lovely horse,” added the winning driver. Short price favourite Holy Basil was a late scratching on vets advice after suffering an elevated temperature. The mile rate of 2m 2.4s was only 0.1s slower than the mile rate recorded by Im Sir Blake in last week’s heat. Two-year-old filly Deadly Error made the most of her excellent draw to score in the $12,000 Team Teal Hobart Belmont. After leading early Rhys elected to hand up to Iden Reactor who was racing outside him before angling into the clear at the 600-metre mark. “She is not a super horse, it was her second trip away from home, to run the gate grab hold and hook out and run on, they are some good signs there,” said the winning driver. Deadly Error is by Captaintrecherous and is out of the Presidential Ball mare Forever After and is raced by John along with Tasmanian born driver Jack Laugher who now calls Victoria home. Their other winner was with three-year-old gelding Micton Mouse who overcame a second-row draw to score in the Carlton Draught Pace over the mile trip. “He is a nice horse, I had my doubts sitting back in the field as he has good gate speed and goes well in front, but he did have a bit of class as he had been racing better horses than these and it showed tonight,” said Rhys. “The speed was on, and that suits him as it is his style, he never gives in which is the main thing,” added the winning driver who indicated that Saturday nights $30,000 Tasmanian Derby is the pacers main aim. John and Rhys teamed up to win the 2013 Tasmanian Derby with Ginger Bliss. “That’s what he has come down here for, and it doesn’t look too strong. Hopefully, he is there about in the placings, he is no Ginger Bliss, but he should be there about,” said Rhys.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Last season’s Tasmanian two-year-old colt and gelding of the year, Colby Sanz recorded his first feature race win as a three-year-old last night when he took out the $12,000 Tasmanian Guineas at Ladbrokes Park in Hobart. The Kent Rattray-trained pacer worked forward to find the lead quite cheaply at the 1700 metre mark and from there he was able to enjoy some soft sectionals including a 64.1s first half of the final mile which was good to see after the gelded son of Betterthancheddar was inclined to over race outside the leader in his start prior in Devonport. “Once he pops in front, he will run whatever you like,” explained trainer Kent Rattray after the win. “We got to the front and got a couple of good quarters and he just keeps boxing on,” added Rattray. The Tasmanian Derby on 14 March is the pacers next assignment and the longer distance of 2579 metres isn’t concerning his trainer. “We have said all along that a mile and a quarter, mile and a half will be his caper and he proved that tonight,” said the Litennia based trainer. The Derby in the past has seen a number of nice horse’s head across for the three-year-old feature and Rattray is hopeful the gelding can measure up. “We hope he can (measure up), we will have to wait and see, there was a couple of very nice horses there tonight that have had a crack at him but couldn’t get him … we would love a nice draw in the Derby and pop on top again,” said Rattray whose father Wayne trained 1997 Tasmanian Derby winner Admiral Karalta. Driver Gareth Rattray was happy with how the pacer responded over the concluding stages. “He ran his first half in 64.1 (seconds), he dropped the bit and relaxed in front but once another horse got beside him, he got going and I pulled the earplugs and he responded well,” said the master reinsman. “He was just fighting them off, he is more a tough customer than a speed horse,” added Gareth. Soho Senna ran a brave race to only be defeated a head with the race favourite Kohanah 4.7 metres away third. Smiley Lad was the last horse to complete the Tasmanian Guineas-Derby double in 1983. The $30,000 Group 3 Tasmanian Derby will be held on Tasmania Cup night on 14 March.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Victorian trained pacer Im Sir Blake proved too good for his rivals when he took out the first heat of the Group 2 Ladbrokes Tasmania Cup at Ladbrokes Park Hobart last night. Trained at Armstrong (near Ararat) by father-son training duo Danny and Leroy O’Brien, Im Sir Blake ($5.50) was forced to do it the hard way leading up the three-wide line over the final 1150 metres of the race to record his 11th career win at his 27th racetrack appearance. Co-trainer Leroy O’Brien who was trackside last night was happy to give the drive to Christian Salter, who has a good association with three-year-old Soho Senna who was formerly trained by the O’Briens before she found his way to Tasmania. “He is a local, he knows the track and he knows the horses plus he is driving well,” said Leroy. One query many had is that it was the first standing start race for the gelded son of Alta Christiano who stepped away cleanly from his 10-metre handicap before finding trouble in the 2579 metre event. “He went away fine but then there was a little bit of a concern when Finn Mac Kee galloped in front of him and when I pulled him down the track I may have oversteered him too much and got out of his gear and conceded a bit of ground,” explained winning driver Christian Salter after the race. “I thought to myself at the 600 (metres) that Goggo Gee Gee and no disrespect to the horse cause he is going super, that he might have come back to us a bit, well he didn’t come back to us but this horse has run 57.1 (seconds) his last half,” added Salter. Leroy was equally impressed with the win. “He was super, it was a 57.1 last half and he was out three-wide, credit to Christian (Salter) he got him travelling down the back, I said to him not to go for him too early as he is a funny horse as he doesn’t feel to be travelling that quick but he kept him underneath him and waited till the top of the straight to let him go,” said the co-trainer. “Full credit to the horse, he was super tonight to fight on as he did,” added Leroy. The co-trainer said that Im Sir Blake won’t contest next week’s heat, instead, the pacer will remain in the state to contest the $75,000 Final on 14 March. “His last hopple work was on Tuesday and he had nothing until today, 100% credit to Bianca and her team they do such a wonderful job. He won’t go around next week (in the heat), we will get him ready for the final, he will benefit from that being here” explained Leroy. Devonport Cup runner up and recent Burnie Cup winner Goggo Gee Gee ($26.00) finished 1.5 metres away in second spot after leading all the way, with the race favourite Ryley Major ($1.45) a further five metres away third in a mile rate of 2m 2.3s. The second heat will be staged on Sunday where more Victorian trained pacers are expected to contest the heat. Holy Basil, King Soloman, Its Back in the Day, Manganello and Perspective have all recently contested standing start trials in the past two weeks across Victoria. Nominations for the second heat close at 9:30 am on Tuesday with the field to be released that afternoon.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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