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Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill celebrated one of his best nights at the races when his talented two-year-olds Hillview Jake and Chica Bella won their respective 2YO Sweepstakes finals over 1609 metres at UBET Park Hobart last night. Hillview Jake also set a new state mile rate record when he stopped the clock at 1.57.83 which carved six-tenths of a second off the previous best set by Make A Memory in April 2008. And to make it a perfect night Hill's smart filly Chica Bella demolished her opposition to win the Sweepstakes fillies division. "This is a night I'll remember for a long time," Hill said. While Chica Bella was impressive the night belonged to Hillview Jake that settled fourth off a hot pace set by Riley Major and Pockets of Courage with that pair relentless in their pursuit of the lead, clocking a sizzling 26.4 for the first quarter (400m). When the pace slackened at the half-way mark Hillview Jake's driver Gavin Lang seized the opportunity and urged Hillview Jake ($2.70) forward to face the breeze outside of the leader Riley Major ($2.40). Origin Cronk ($14) was poised behind the leader and when Hillview Jake lobbed outside the leader it gave Pockets of Courage ($6.50) much needed cover in the one-out line. Riley Major and Hillview Jake slipped clear nearing the home turn the last time while Duggan eased Origin Cronk off the fence and appeared to have plenty to offer. But when Lang asked Hillview Jake for the supreme effort the gelded son of Cardmaster Hanover dug deep and forged clear and go on and score comfortably from Origin Cronk with Riley Major tiring to finish third ahead of outsider Rockin An Runnin. "This win means a hell of a lot to me for so many reasons," Hill said. "He is such a lovely horse to work with and whatever I ask of him he delivers. He's just a treat to train," he said. Lang said Hillview Jake was the "real deal". "This horse is quite advanced for a two-year-old and he showed me a lot more about himself tonight. He is quite a talent," he said. Chica Bella raced outside of the leader Shadow Blue that set a modest tempo and they cleared out nearing the home turn. But when her driver Ricky Duggan asked for the big effort she responded brilliantly and burst clear to go on and win by seven metres from Shadow Blue with Angelina Rainbow third ahead of Twentythreered. Chica Bella is unbeaten from four starts this preparation and is likely to dominate the remaining fillies features. "The Cardmaster Hanover filly is very smart and while not in the same league as Hillview Jake she is all class," Hill said. Peter Staples

Improving three-year-old pacer No Spring Secrets gave his harness racing trainer Steve Lukac sleepless nights as a two-year-old owing to the gelding's race manners and hypertensive mannerisms. But Lukac's patience and astute training methods have ironed out the creases in the horse's make-up and in Hobart last night he delivered arguably his best win. However, with few suitable races left for him in Tasmania this season, Lukac confirmed negotiations were under way to send No Spring Secrets to the James Rattray stable in NSW. "He isn't eligible for the Globe Derby (Tasmania 3YO Sires Stakes) because he is Queensland bred so I have suggested to the owners that the horse be sent to James Rattray because he would be very competitive in that state and James is a very good horseman," Lukac said. On Sunday night No Spring Secrets (Nathan Ford) began well from gate two and while unable to go straight to the front he was content to settle second. But when Ford allowed him more rein he quickly strolled to the front entering the home straight the first time. The Tell All gelding reeled off a modest first half but Ford let him rip in the home straight the last time to record a mile rate of 1.57.91 with a last half (800m) in 57.29 seconds. No Spring Secrets has won half of his 10 career starts and four of his victories have come this season. Ford said No Spring Secrets was improving with each run. "The horse is still learning but he's definitely getting stronger and he improves with every run," Ford said. "He is still a bit of a work in progress but I like the horse and I think he has a really bright future," he said. Peter Staples  

Star Tasmanian pacer Jerrys Jet delivered another brilliant performance at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night to further tempt his harness racing owner into sending the three-year-old interstate. Jerrys Jet has won both of his starts this time in with this latest outing enough to encourage his owner Charlie Beadman to admit a trip to Sydney could be on the cards. His trainer Rohan Hillier is confident Jerrys Jet would be up to tackling three-year-old races at Menangle in NSW where he believes the Jeremes Jet gelding could run scintillating times. "We are happy with what the horse is doing but we won't be pushing him too hard at this stage," Beadman said. "I don't like to rush anything, especially my horses." "There are a few options to look at but right now we are happy to stay at home and tackle races here in Tasmania and we'll let the future look after itself," he said. Jerrys Jet is being aimed at the $30,000 Globe Derby (3YO sires stakes) next month but he will line up in a race in Launceston before tackling a Globe Derby heat on June 5. Peter Staples

Evergreen harness racing pacer Motu Crusader continued his winning streak by capturing his third win in succession in the $10,000 Plunkett Family Ascot Gold Cup over 2579 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Motu Crusader was the sole handicapper off 30 metres but the gallant eight-year-old made light of the task. With Gareth Rattray aboard he stepped brilliantly from the standing start and quickly made up ground to tack onto the main body of the field. When Rattray made his move down the back straight the last time he had the leaders in his sights turning for home and then powered up the home straight to score comfortably from Ardlussa Express and Outback Mach. The Zeke Slater-trained Courage Under Fire gelding won the $10,000 Elite in Hobart three starts back and followed up with an impressive win in the $10,000 Golden Mile in Launceston. "That's three feature race wins in a row for this horse so it proves he is definitely back to his best," Slater said. Motu Crusader will attempt to extend his winning sequence in the Brighton Cup in Hobart next Sunday night. Peter Staples

After Jerrys Jet stormed home to score an unbelievable win in the 2014 2YO Sweepstakes final on the Elwick track in Hobart his owners were excited about what the future might hold for the talented pacer. His Sweepstakes win was one of the most impressive performances seen by a juvenile pacer in a feature race final as he came from last on the home turn to win in a three-way photo finish. He was in the care of Paul Hill who at that stage had prepared the gelding to win four from as many starts. Jerrys Jet went on to win a Dandy Patch Prelude before being beaten by Boasson Hagen in the Dandy Patch final. He was sent for a spell and resumed with a win in January followed by a second to No Spring Secrets in Launceston. Jerrys Jet was subsequently sent to Rohan Hillier's stable by his owner Charlie Beadman. Hillier had open class horses with which Jerry Jet could work with and that was expected to help the owner determine whether or not Jerrys Jet would be up to tackling an interstate campaign. The son of Jeremes Jet had his first start for Hillier in the Sires Produce Stakes at Ubet Park Hobart last Sunday night and it was clear he is going to be up to the challenge when he leaves the state. With Hillier in the sulky, Jerrys Jet scorched to the front from a wide gate and after a modest first half (800m) he quickened the tempo and when asked for an effort by Hillier he reeled off a sizzling last quarter (400m) in 26.7 seconds. He defeated the highly promising filly Followthewind that went into the race on the back of a brilliant win in the Premier's Blue Bonnet Stakes clocking a mile rate of 1.59.5. Hillier was ecstatic after the win. "They wanted to find out if this horse was good enough to go interstate and in my opinion he will match whatever he goes up against when he gets there," Hillier said. "It's a shame he's not paid up for the Breeders Crown because he would have given that a shake but we'll stay here for the Tasmanian Guineas in a fortnight and then go to the Globe Derby ($30,000 sires stakes race)." "The owners will probably look at sending him interstate after the Globe Derby because he is still only a C0 rated horse." "If he can reel off a 26.7 last quarter on the Hobart track he can run a quarter at least two seconds better on the Menangle track and that would make him very competitive," he said. Peter Staples

Harness racing trainer Paul Hill is on the verge of making a clean sweep of the feature two-year-old races in Hobart on Sunday week. Hill will be represented by Hillview Jake in the colts’ and geldings’ division of the $20,000 Sweepstakes series, with the freshman likely to start favourite if he draws the front line. Hill will also have two genuine winning chances in the fillies’ Final in Chica Bella and Scorchin Safari. Chica Bella scored an effortless heat win last Sunday night, with Scorchin Safari finishing third behind her stablemate. “I am excited about both the Finals because Hillview Jake is going extra well and Chica Bella was also impressive in winning her past two starts,” Hill said. “Scorchin Safari is a big girl, and will obviously be better as a three-year-old, but depending on where she draws she is capable of winning the Final. “Chica Bela has improved at every start, and if she draws favourably then she is my best winning chance, but it will be an open race.” Chica Bella has started five times for three wins and two placings, while Scorchin Safari has four placings from her four starts. During her recent victory Chica Bella raced outside of leader Shesastandout, while Scorchin Safari settled three-back along the pegs. Responding to Ricky Duggan’s hard driving, Chica Bella completed a strong two-and-a-half metre win from Shadow Blue, with Scorchin Safari three metres away third. With the final 800 metres run in 61.5 seconds, the daughter of Cardmaster Hanover covered the mile in a modest 2:02.6. PETER STAPLES

Talented harness racing freshman Hillview Jake staked his claim on the Sweepstakes Final with an impressive heat win at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night. Hillview Jake led throughout from the pole to score by a metre-and-a-half from Pockets of Courage, with the odds-on favourite Riley Major six metres away third. It was an impressive performance from the Paul Hill-trained youngster, which covered the 1609 metres in 1:58.4 – with his time only a half-second outside of Make a Memory’s age and sex record on the Hobart circuit. Hill was delighted with the performance and believes his well-bred two-year-old only needs a front-row draw to take out the decider in a fortnight. Hillview Jake has won three of his four starts, including an impressive victory in the Golden Mile in Launceston. “I couldn’t be happier with this horse and what he is showing at this stage is only a glimpse of what he might show when he fully grasps what this caper is all about,” Hill said. “If he gets a front row draw in the Final the others will definitely know they’ve been in a race.” The remaining heat was won by the Rohan Hillier-trained Soho Shanghai, which proved too strong for Timely Sovereign and Masters Ace in 2:05.6. PETER STAPLES

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Marc Butler and driver Tim Yole have teamed up to win a few races lately, and at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night, they did it again. This time the duo scored with a pacer which has been a great money spinner since arriving in Butler’s care. Western Karamea defied a tough run facing the breeze for the duration of the Stirling Stockfeed Pace over 2090 metres to emerge triumphant. With Gosh Heza Rebel leading from the pole, with Yole originally trying to slot Western Karamea into the trail behind the pacemaker. With the gap closing, however, the son of Western Terror was forced to race in the ‘death seat’. The pair sped clear of the field turning for home and settled down to a two-horse test of courage during the final 200 metres, with Western Karamea edging out the leader by a half-neck. Bertils Delight was two metres away third. In completing consecutive wins, Western Karamea rated 2:03.4 for the 2090 metres, with the last half covered in 58.6 seconds. Yole is thrilled with the gelding’s effort and believes the six-year-old can continue his winning form. PETER STAPLES

Lightly-raced harness racing performer Fletchers Knight delivered a message at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night that delighted his trainer Zeke Slater. Despite having his first start for six months, Fletchers Knight showed brilliant speed to lead in the Ranvet Pace over 2090 metres and then had plenty in reserve at the business end to score by over 15 metres from Playstationking and Joe Cable. During his previous preparation Fletchers Knight only won once from seven starts before his form waned, with owners Paul and Meagan Carlson taking the son of Safe And Sound back to their property for a lengthy spell. Thrilled with the gelding’s first-up effort Slater believes Fletchers Knight can make steady progress through the grades this campaign. PETER STAPLES

The harness racing meeting in Hobart on Sunday night served up eight odds-on favourites on the eight-event card and had it not been for a bolter winning the fourth event it would have been a clean sweep for punters. The first three favourites saluted with all-the-way wins including the Nathan Ford-trained Supersub that made the most of the pole position to lead comfortably. It was a stroll in the park for the gelded son of Christian Cullen and it was a gun drive from novice driver Tayla Ford who has delivered some brilliant efforts in the sulky of late. Supersub was well placed in the C3-C4 event that offer a mare and novice driver concession. The gelding covered the 2090 metres in 2m.35s and clocked a mile rate of 1.59.4 and covered his last 800m in 59.3. Ford kept Supersub's mind on the job over the concluding stages because he had shown a tendency to let his mind wander in a couple of previous races. Supersub has won three and notched six second placings from his 13 starts in Tasmania with his overall record standing at nine wins and 20 minor placings from 65 starts for $62,528 in stakes. He arrived from NSW in September last year and after three unplaced efforts he has developed into a very handy pacer that has bright prospects. Peter Staples

Talented harness racing performer No Spring Secrets looms as one of the best bets on the eight-event card at Tattersall’s Park Hobart tomorrow tonight. No Spring Secrets will begin from the second line in the opening event, but assuming the race pans out as trainer Steve Lukac expects, it will enhance his gelding’s chances of winning. “My horse will follow out a fast beginner in Nobeer Nofear, which has drawn gate two, so provided that happens and my bloke doesn’t misbehave, we should get a charmed run in the race,” Lukac said. “It’s over a mile and that too is ideal for my horse because he’s been freshened up since his great run in the Tasmanian Derby.” No Spring Secrets finished fourth in the Tasmanian Derby after losing at least 60 metres at the start, but ran home to be beaten 20 metres. No Spring Secrets possess loads of speed and Lukac is expecting him to release his biggest asset when it’s needed. “I haven’t trained a horse with as much natural speed as this bloke, but early in his career he struggled to contain it and he would break gait too easily but he is getting better with age,’ Lukac said. No Spring Secrets is assessed as an odds-on favourite in all markets, with place chances given to the Eric Jacobson-trained My Mate Mick, which has drawn well in gate one, and Dancing Da Vinci from the Christian Salter stable, which will follow him out from inside the second line. PETER STAPLES

New Norfolk harness racing trainer Roger Whitmore has his eyes on the $30,000 Raider Stakes with his talented four-year-old Resurgent Spirit following the gelding's impressive win at Tattersall's Park Hobart last Sunday night. Resurgent Spirit resumed from a lengthy spell with a game win on his home track on Australia Day and followed up with a second at Devonport in a race that was expected to be a stroll in the park for the former Tasmanian two-year-old of the year. The loss encouraged speculation that all might not be as it should be with the gelding but this latest effort dispelled any suggestion that the gelding had lost his sparkle. With his regular driver James Austin aboard, Resurgent Spirit showed his customary early speed to easily hold the front from barrier two. He was taken on about 600m from home and at one stage it looked as if he might again succumb to the pressure. But when Austin asked him to find, the gelded son of American Ideal forged clear and went on to defeat Black Centurian by 2.3 metres with Punt Road Disco a similar margin away third in the C5-C6 event over 2090 metres. Austin was delighted with the win. "That was an awesome win because he felt good throughout the race and he never got onto his knee once in the run," Austin said. "He pretty much toyed with them tonight," he said. The Raider Stakes will be run at Devonport on April 26 with heats to be held at the same track on April 13. Peter Staples

Victorian harness racing trainer Maree Caldow will aim Macfire towards the Victoria Oaks following the filly’s impressive win at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last Sunday night. Macfire was taken to the Apple Isle for the Tasmania Oaks the previous week, but after finishing third to the Dean Braun-trained Sudden Change, connections opted to keep her in the state to try and win her second three-year-old race before home. Macfire (Mach Three-Sparks Under Fire) worked to the early lead from a wide front row draw, and when driver John Caldow slipped her more rein at the top of the home straight, she drew clear to score by 13 metres from Iden Makin Time. The daughter of Mach Three rated 2:01.5 for the 2090 metres, covering the last half in 58.6 seconds. Caldow said the filly, owned by stalwart stable client Tony Conte, had always shown above average ability and would continue to contest the better three-year-old races. PETER STAPLES

When promising harness racing youngster Mojo Major scored an effortless win in a maiden at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last Sunday night his owners started to get excited about his prospects in this weekend’s Tasmania Derby. The gelding showed blistering early speed to lead comfortably from barrier six, and after Rod Ashwood slipped him more rein turning for home, Mojo Major scored by 22-and-a-half metres from Dancing Da Vinci, with My Mate Nick five metres away third. Mojo Major rated 2:01.5 for the 2090 metres, covering his last half in 58.8 seconds. Mojo Major has been in Ashwood’s care for about four weeks, with the local horseman taking over the training from top Victorian mentor Dean Braun. The son of Art Major is owned by Ashwood’s wife Paige in partnership with Terry Snowden and Amanda Grieve, who opted to keep the three-year-old in Victoria for the early part of his career. He won at his first start in Tasmania on March 9, but he was even more impressive at his latest outing. PETER STAPLES

WELL bred pacer Franco Sheffield broke through for an overdue but deserving win when he led throughout to take out a C2-C3 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Monday night. Franco Sheffield won five of eight outings last season but this time in he has taken a while to find the winner's circle with this his first win from six tries. He went into the race on the back of consecutive seconds in Hobart last month and it was the most recent second that gave trainer Juanita McKenzie confident going into Monday night's race. "I thought his previous run was really good, coming from well back and being taken very wide turning for home yet he kept giving in the run home," McKenzie said. "Going into that race I thought his efforts were a shade disappointing compared to what he did last season but sometimes when four-year-olds come back to racing they need a bit of extra time before they hit their straps," she said. Franco Sheffield (Live or Die-Showy Franco) had eight starts last season for five wins and two minor placings. McKenzie expects the gelding to continue to perform well in whatever he tackles in the coming weeks. "We will keep doping what we are doing with him and see how he performs and if he measures up well we will look at a couple of feature races otherwise we'll just keep plodding along in these C4-C5 races," she said. Franco Sheffield was purchased as an early a two-year-old in New Zealand by his owners Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have about 10 horses in work with various trainers. McKenzie said Franco Sheffield is likely to have his next start in Hobart in a fortnight. Peter Staples  

Consistent harness racing mare Ebabe delivered another courageous performance to score an impressive win at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night. The Zeke Slater-trained pacer faced the breeze for most of the 2090-metre trip from her outside front row draw, and when driver Adrian Collins sent her to the front along the back straight, she powered home to score comfortably. Slater said Ebabe had been a good money spinner for owners Merv and Marjory Butterworth who have been big supporters of his stable. “Ebabe has been very consistent, and while she races in these lower grades, she will be very competitive as she showed tonight,” Slater said. “She has won four, but placed nine times from almost 30 starts, so she has paid her way. “I’m not sure how much further she will go here in Tassie, but while she’s in this sort of form she will be very competitive.” Collins said he was confident a log way out that the mare would win. The daughter of Union Guy ratdd 2:04.2, with the final 800 metres covered in 59.6 seconds. PETER STAPLES

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