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Last seasons Tasmanian two-year-old filly Blame It On Me made a winning return to the race track from a broken pastern bone in Hobart on Sunday night. From barrier four, driver Natalee Emery rolled forward to race outside the leader and proved too good for Better Amour by 2.3 metres with Iden Gorgeous finishing a further 18.6 metres away third in a mile rate of 2m 0.5s. “This was a starting for the Bandbox, and there were a lot of nice horses in the race, we went out with a plan to go forward early, and then there wasn’t one after that,” said winning driver Natalee Emery after the race. “We expected her to go well, but she exceeded expectations as we didn’t expect her to sit in the death and win like she did," explained Emery. "Better Amour came to her up the straight and worried me there for a stride, but once she got to her girth, she wasn’t going to let her run past, she was just doing what she had to do to the line,” added the driver. The filly hadn’t been seen since contesting a race in Launceston in early January which is a credit to her trainer Doug Nettlefold to get the filly back without a trial from the forced break. “I’m really relieved, more so for Doug and Ange (Nettlefold), they have had a torrid time the last 12 months, and for that filly to come back from a broken pastern and not having a trial it is all credit to Doug for doing a super job,” said Emery. “She was always a nice two-year-old, but I always said to Doug she would make a better three-year-old and she has matured a lot and developed, and going forward she will benefit from that run in leaps and bounds,” added the winning driver which is a huge warning to her rivals ahead of next months Group 2 Bandbox in Launceston. Two heats of the Evicus were staged on the program with Stepping Stones leading all the way to score by 11.9 metres in 1m 59.6s in heat one while $1.07 favourite Melnrowley handled her rivals with ease in the second heat by 10.2 metres in 2m 0.6s. The prelude of the Dandy Patch was taken out by Lancelot who raced up to his terrific second placing in the Sweepstakes final when he recorded a 13-metre win over the $1.30 favourite Rocknovertime in 2m 4.2s for the 2090 metre trip.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Two new names were not only added to an illustrious honour roll of the Hobart Sweepstakes, but two names were also written onto the two-year-old age track records. Rocknovertime produced a mammoth performance to score in the Colts and Geldings Final to give trainer Paul Hill his eighth win across both sex divisions of the Sweepstakes. Hill, who is dubbed “King of the Kids” given his terrific record in juvenile races in the Apple Isle said to before the race that he was concerned about drawing barrier five on the second row over the mile trip and that the pacer would have to go 1:57 to win. Well, the pacer had to go a fraction quicker and was forced to lead up the three-wide line from the 1100 metres to score in 1m 56.9s to record a 1.7 metre win over the early leader Lancelot with Stormy Sanz who raced outside the leader 13.8 metres away third, with both of those pacers involved in an early speed burn which saw the race ran in quarters of 28.5s, 30.7s, 28.8s and 28.8s. The time for the mile took 0.9s of the previous age record in Hobart, which was held by Hillview Jake, also trained by Hill, when winning the 2015 Sweepstakes Final. “If you said to me before the race that the leader would go 1:56 and he (Rocknovertime) has got come from barrier 13 and be three-wide most the of the race, then you wouldn’t think he would win,” Hillier said after the race. “He tries hard and has got plenty of ability,” added the reinsman who said he would be “bashing the door down” to drive the pacer in the Group 2 Dandy Patch with heats of that series in Hobart on Sunday week over the 2090-metre trip. It was Rohan Hillier’s first win in the race since 2008 when he trained and drove Shez Ryleymak to victory. He also trained Ticket Flow in 1998. In the Fillies Final, Melnrowley equalled the Two-year-old fillies track record when she led all the way in 1m 58.4s, equalling the Two-Year-Old Fillies Track Record with Karalta Moondance who recorded the same time in 2018. From barrier four, reinsman Gareth Rattray took the pacer to the lead in a 28.9s opening quarter and was kept honest during a 30.4s second quarter before running home in 30.5s and 28.5s for a time of 1m 58.4s to record a five-metre victory over Stepping Stones with Magic Pebbles a further 14 metres away third. It was the first Sweepstakes win for trainer Craig Hayes and he was pleased with the result. “I’m very happy with her, when they went quick early and then Ray Pullen (driver of Most Perfect Major) came just when Gareth (Rattray) was trying to get a breather down the straight I was a little bit concerned but she is a strong filly and that is her biggest asset,” Hayes said after the win. The Heston Blue Chip filly will have two more runs for this campaign in the heats and final of the $50,000 Group 2 Evicus, with the heats to be held in Hobart on Sunday week. Hayes is based at Stowport on the states north-west coast and the trip to Hobart generally takes 3 3/4 hours (one way), one of the longest commutes in Tasmanian harness racing. “It generally does take a bit out of the young ones but with this filly the travel doesn’t seem to affect her,” said Hayes. “We are lucky this season with these feature races being held later in the year, they are a little bit older and the weather is better and it all helps, the couple of months from June and July is a big difference,” Hayes said, with many trainers echoing those sentiments. The win was the fifth for driver Gareth Rattray across the two divisions.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Two-year-old filly Melnrowley is on track for the $20,000 Sweepstakes Fillies Final on 27 September after an all the way win in Sunday night’s prelude in Hobart. The Craig Hayes-trained pacer was taken straight to the lead from her outside of the front row draw by her driver Gareth Rattray where she dictated affairs to score untroubled. The winning margin was 7.9 metres over debutante Living On Prare with Magic Pebbles a further 1.2 metres away third with the fillies covering the mile trip 2m 2.2s with a slick last quarter of 27.7s, naturally, Hayes was wrapped with the win. “She is a strong filly and only does what she has to do,” he said. Hayes original plans for driver Gareth Rattray was to work forward and to see what happened but when the trainer arrived on track and felt the strong wind that had descended, he did have his slight reservations but his versatile filly was still able to burn the candle at both ends of the race. “She is a pretty good filly and I have had a fair opinion of her all along, she can sit up, she can do a bit of work and she has a bit of speed,” explained the trainer. As is the case in mile events, barrier draws are vital, particularly in juvenile racing and that will again be the case for the $20,000 final on 27 September. “If she gets a draw, she will be hard to beat but there is not much between three or four of them so whoever draws best will be hard to beat,” Hayes said. Melnrowley is by Heston Blue Chip and is out of one of Hayes former mares that he trained in Tania Maree who won nine of 16 starts. Two heats of the colts and gelding’s division of the Sweepstakes were also held on Sunday night, also over the mile trip. Like Melnrowley, Stormy Sanz burned the candle at both ends to lead all the way for driver John Walters and trainer Kent Rattray and score in the opening heat to defeat Lancelot and Agouda Ruler in 1m 59.4s. It wouldn’t be a two-year-old feature event without a strong presence from the Paul Hill stable and in this year’s colts and geldings final his stable will have two contenders including Rocknovertime who led all the way to win heat two by an impressive 17.7 metres in the quickest mile rate of the three two-year-old races of 1m 59.0s. Lets Go Bill and Longfellow filled the placings. In the David Medhurst Memorial, four-year-old mare Loch Ness Franco opened her winning account at her Australian debut leading for the final mile of the event to score untroubled by 20.1 metres in 2m 3.1s. Troy McDonald once again was the in-form driver of the meeting driving a treble on his birthday, scoring with Hezatoff, Punchinello and Tarleton Riley. Ben Yole prepared all three of those winners. McDonald was denied winning the Happy Birthday Troy McDonald Pace by the narrowest of margins when Kardesler scored a short-half head victory courtesy of a well-timed run by reinsman Charlie Castles. Castor Troy had to survive a protest to score in the Tasmanian Horse Transport Pace. It was the second win this week for the Ray Pullen-trained gelding who scored in Launceston on Wednesday night.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It has been a busy week in Tasmania with harness racing held in Devonport on Sunday night before mid-week racing in Launceston on Wednesday night. Harness racing heads back to Hobart on Sunday night with the Sweepstakes series commencing. Two heats of the colts and geldings will be staged, while the fillies will contest a prelude ahead of the $20,000 finals on 27 September. The Stars Heath Szczypka – continued his good recent run when Reign Of Pain scored in the McKillop Insurance Brokers Discretionary on Wednesday night. The gelded son of Armbro Operative has now won 15-races and depending on his rating over the festive season he could be a contender for some country cups with his standing start manners. Kivik – won his second race at start five when he outstayed his rivals in the Find the LPC on Facebook Stakes. The gelded son of Courage Under Fire was well handled by Ben Parker who elected to lead up the three-wide line of the final lap to score in a last half mile of 57.1s. Rohan Hillier– walked away from Launceston with two winners. He put the polish on in-form pacer Lip Reader who was handled by stable foreman Conor Crook before Hillier provided a well-rated drive in front on the Michael Laugher-trained Christian Jaz. The Carrick Crew – the Mark Yole-trained and driven pacer Black Ops ended a run of placings when the eight-year-old entire won on Wednesday, coming from last. The next race was won by Carrick based driver Hannah Van Dongen on the Ray Pullen-trained Castor Troy and not to be outdone, Carrick based driver Adrian Collins rated Art Frenzy well in front to score for another Carrick local trainer, Craig Van Dongen. Ben Yole – trained six winners for the week, with four winners in Devonport and then a double in Launceston which was a relief for those that took the $1.12 to train two or more winners with an online bookmaker that offered a market on how many winners Yole would prepare on the card. Troy McDonald – teamed up with Ben Yole to drive a treble on Sunday in Devonport before winning the opening race on Wednesday aboard My Ultimate Romeo. Multiple Winners Devonport – Sunday evening Ben Yole – training quartet; Weerrook Harry, Amazing Daisy, Tarleton Riley and Proficient. Troy McDonald – driving treble; Weerrook Harry, Amazing Daisy and Tarleton Riley. Geoff Smith – training double; Aitutaki and Laid Back Kenny. Launceston – Wednesday evening Ben Yole – training double; My Ultimate Romeo and Island Rocknroll. Rohan Hillier – double; he trained Lip Reader and drove Christian Jazz. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Devonport – Sunday evening Agouda Ruler 58.32s, Proficient 58.64sm Longfellow 58.89s, Laid Back Kenny 59.14s and Lets Go Bill 59.17s. Launceston – Wednesday evening Feel The Burn 56.25s, Castor Troy 56.40s, Kivik 56.50s, Monarkmac 56.52s and Hezatoff 56.57s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Devonport – Sunday evening Hit’s: Amazing Daisy $5.00 into $4.60 and Tarleton Riley $9.50 into $4.80. Defied The Drift: Weerrook Harry $4.80 out to $6.50, Laid Back Kenny $9.00 out to $15, Proficient $4.00 out to $5.00 and Agouda Ruler $2.80 out to $3.20. Missed: My Ultimate Major $8.50 into $5.00, Jigamaroo $5.00 into $4.20, Ozzie Major $8.00 into $5.50, Pink Ponder $10 into $6.50 and Somedan $2.70 into $2.10. Launceston – Wednesday evening Hit’s: My Ultimate Romeo $7.00 into $4.60, Lip Reader $1.75 into $1.40, Reign Of Pain $9.00 into $5.50, Defied The Drift: Kivik $2.60 out to $3.40, Castor Troy $6.50 out to $7.50, Art Frenzy $21 out to $51 and Christian Jaz $3.00 out to $4.40. Missed: My Ultimate Major $17 into $8.00, Royal Reactor $12 into $9.00, Gauci $14 into $7.00, Lord Stark $8.00 into $5.50, Live For Peace $12 into $7.00, Bettabrown Tiger $4.20 into $3.40, My Girl Pearl $7.00 into $6.00 and Our Percius $10 into $5.50. Races three and nine have been excluded due to the late scratchings of the early favourites. Trial File Devonport – Sunday evening Trial 1: A rating 35-59 trial was held with a field of three facing the starter over 1930 metres where three-year-old gelding Kivik led all the way to score by 1.7 metres over Capitallee and Jimmy Mischief in 2m 3.5s. The form has been strengthened by Kivik winning in Launceston on Wednesday night. Hobart – Monday evening Trial 1: The Rodney Ashwood-trained Ninefortwentythree led all the way to take out the first trial over 2090 metres. Driver Ricky Duggan allowed the gelded son of Heston Blue Chip to do his own thing out in the lead where he proved too good by 3.1 metres over Most Perfect Major who stuck to her task well, with Wee Rosie a further 23 metres away third in 2m 5.8s. Trial 2: Trainer Rodney Ashwood was in the winners stall again when Four Starzz Shark gelding Hughie Playboy who sat three-back along the marker pegs before running to the lead at the 500 metres to go on and score by 24 metres over Maxi Jolt and Iden Delight in 2m 7.1s for the 2090 metre trip. Trial 3: Looked to be a one-sided affair on paper with Call Me Hector rated at 112 taking on rating 57 pacer Donny In Paris. Hector went straight to the lead and after a lead time of 36.7s trainer-driver Matthew Copper then allowed the pacer to run quarters of 31.8s 29.4s, 27.5s and 28.7s to score by 37.6 metres in 1m 58.6s. Trial Replays You can view most trials since the resuming from the COVID break by clicking here. Week Ahead Sunday in Hobart, we see the two-year-old’s step out as the delayed 2020 Sweepstakes series commences. Two heats will be held of the colts and geldings division with the first heat set to be a great clash between Stormy Sanz who has won his last three, Franko Joe who was an impressive winner on debut, Agouda Ruler who has already won five races and last start Hobart winner Rocknroll Nitro. Heat Two sees last start winners Rocknovertime and Impulsive George go head to head also with last start winner Rocknovertime, professional placegetter Longfellow and Ninefortwentythree who has won three of his four trials. A prelude will be staged of the fillies division where Blue Bonnet winner Written In Silk has drawn barrier four on the second row in the mile event where a couple of highly raced fillies draw well to add some interest. The two $20,000 finals will be held on 27 September. Also, Sunday night sees the running of the David Medhurst Memorial for the three-year-old and above maidens. Former kiwi Loch Ness Franco makes her Australian debut after being placed in two of three starts in New Zealand’s South Island, the Changeover mare impressed recently when winning a Carrick Park trial on 29 August. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Menangle – Saturday night Race 2 Horse 8 No Apachemee. Terang (Metro meeting) – Saturday night Race 6 Horse 3 Terryrama.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Auckland Reactor sired a winning double in the first two races at the Hobart twilight meeting on Sunday (August 30). Nine Diamonds, a three-year-old filly, stormed home from midfield to win by 22 metres with a last 800 in 58.6. It was the filly's third harness racing success from her last four starts. Thirty minutes later Cinocal Jamane led from end to end to notch her maiden success. Another 'new' winner for Auckland Reactor was Mighty Reactor, who rallied strongly after being pocketed to win at the last Addington Winter meeting. In Western Australia, Nuclear Poker overcame a wide passage to complete back-to-back wins at Northam. He has now won four races. Auckland Reactor has sired 89 individual winners in Australia this season and progeny earnings of $1.3 million.   Peter Wharton

Leading Tasmanian harness racing trainer Ben Yole is often in the winner’s circle, he has trained 122 winners in Tasmania alone, but on Sunday he crossed codes to notch up a winning treble. Yole owns six-year-old gelding Irish Shotgun who won at Sunday’s Devonport gallops meeting before training a double on the Hobart harness card later in the evening. Irish Shotgun scored in the Goodstone Group Maiden/Class 1 by the narrowest of margins over 1880 metres. The gelding is trained by Chester Roach who resides next door to Yole’s training establishment at Sidmouth in the states north. “Chester (Roach) is my next-door neighbour, and he works his gallopers at my place, and I was having a chat with him and decided to go into a horse with him,” explained Yole. One of Yole’s junior drivers, Sam Clotworthy, also gives Roach help with his team as he has worked with many leading thoroughbred trainers including Gai Waterhouse, Anthony Cummings and Clinton McDonald. “Sam (Clotworthy) helps Chester with the gallops a bit too, he has a galloping background, which triggered my interest a bit,” explained Yole. Yole, who owns a couple of gallopers, is happy just to race a few as a hobby and currently has no intentions of training them. Yole then prepared a double on the Hobart harness card. His first win came in the way of Bettors Delight mare Indiana Dreaming who was well driven by Ricky Duggan who drove three winners on the card, including his 50th win of the season. From barrier five Duggan tried to lead on the mare, but when unsuccessful he was able to sit behind the leader before out sprinting his rivals late to score by 1.2 metres over the well-supported favourite Feel the Burn in 1m 59.4s. “When you put the best on you expect them to perform for you, and he certainly lifted her out of the gate to get behind the leader and got the sprint lane late to win for some great owners,” said Yole. “She is owned by Zanni Hayes whose husband Wayne is a truck driver for us and it was a big thrill for them to be on track for their first win,” added the winning trainer. The last leg of Yole’s Sunday treble came in the way of Coveffe Hustler who scored in a rating 30 to 50 event. “She just dropped back to that under 50 rating, and when they do that it is a big class drop,” said Yole who was full of praise for the drive from Gareth Rattray. “Gareth (Rattray) didn’t use her up out of the mobile last night, and he drove her a treat,” explained Yole about the win of the four-year-old mare who he also owns, and he expects her to be competitive in lower-rated races. “It is her class, she has won $30,000 now for us for a mare that I purchased relatively cheap, so I wish I had a stable full of them,” he said. Longford trainer-driver Todd Rattray landed a treble on the Hobart card. Mozasu registered back to back wins, and after doing plenty of work in a fast lead time the three-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight still had plenty of speed late to score by 9.6 metres. After being placed in four of her last five outings, four-year-old mare Joogle was able to bounce back into the winner’s list, scoring by 3.4 metres after racing outside the leader to score. The last leg of Rattray’s treble came in the final race of the night with Hillbilly Band who settled behind the leader before outsprinting his rivals in the home straight. The Bettors Delight gelding was the sales topper at $24,000 at last year’s Carrick Park Yearling sale and is the third horse out of the 11 lots that went through the ring to have won a race in their first season of racing.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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   W      

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

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