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IF harness racing trainer Nathan Ford needed any convincing that his 10-year-old Jukebox Music was up to tackling feature races during the Christmas-New Year period he received the confirmation at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night where the gelding equalled a long-standing track record on his way to an impressive win in the My Sir Duke Pace over 2090 metres. Jukebox Music clocked a mile rate of 2.00.1 which matched the time set by Trouble No More in February 2007. Jukebox Music started off a back mark of 30 metres in the discretionary handicap but stepped cleanly to settle on the back of the main body of the field after traveling 200 metres. When Ford was about to send Jukebox Music into the three-wide train the run closed and he was forced to go back to the inside to find a clear run home. It was a move that proved to be the difference between winning and losing. When Ford called on Jukebox Music for a dash at the leaders in the home straight the gelded son of Christian Cullen powered home to score by almost a metre from Remember Joe that looked the winner when he kicked clear at the top of the home straight. Race leader Ciskei battled on for third ahead of race favourite resurgent Spirit that also came from well back in the field. Ford has singled out the Hobart Pacing Cup as Jukebox Music's main mission. "I have thought all along that the Hobart Pacing Cup would be the ideal race for this horse because it is a standing start series and the final is over 3000 metres and he will really appreciate that trip," Ford said. "I've tried him a few times in mobiles and he just doesn't perform like he does in stand-start races so that's what we'll concentrate on in the immediate future," he said. Peter Staples

Last season talented harness racing trainer Kate McLeod was confident her then nine-year-old Georgefromguam would knock up winning races but after four minor placings she was forced to send him to the paddock. But in Hobart last Sunday night Georgefromguam delivered the gods with an impressive al-the-way win at what was his first start for eight months. With Erin Hollaway in the sulky, Georgefromguam showed enough gate speed to cross and lead from barrier five and the driver proceeded to get away with a modest mid-quarter that enhanced the gelding's chances of securing the elusive win. Our Percius worked home well to finish second after trailing the leader throughout while Lu Way Lord made up good ground to finish third. "The hose has been dog since I've had him but he broke down three times with tendon issues before he arrived at my stables," McLeod said. "He went into this race a bit underdone because I have to be careful not to let him overdo it on the training track because of his issues but he found enough tonight to get a much deserved win," she said. Georgefromguam, previously trained in NSW by Larry Eastman, had not won since successful at Charlton in Victoria in May 2012. "I am confident this horse has plenty of improvement in him and it wouldn't surprise me if he rattled off a couple of wins in quick succession," McLeod said. Peter Staples

When talented Tasmanian harness racing trainer Marc Butler was offered the chance to take over the training of a well-performed four-year-old he jumped at the chance. The horse in question was Franco Sheffield, a New Zealand-bred pacer owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have been a formidable combination and a force in Tasmania's owner ranks for many years. At UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night Franco Sheffield proved he still has a lot to give and Butler, while not becoming overawed by his effort to win a C4-C5 by almost 19 metres, was quick to admit the gelding could be his next "good horse". Butler owned and trained Joesashyguy that won him a Tasmanian Derby and was still delivering stellar performances beyond his use-by date but for the time being this gelded son of Live Or Die has the potential to put Butler, a boutique trainer these days, back in the harness racing spotlight. On Sunday night Franco Sheffield showed good gate speed to lead from barrier four and once in front, driver Ricky Duggan had a battle to hold hm. "When he led he wanted to get on with the job pretty much from the outset but he eventually came back to me," Duggan said. "Entering the back straight the last time he kept tugging so when I let him go he just powered away and went on to win as he liked and I never had to pull the plugs," he said. Franco Sheffield hit the line 18-1/2 metres clear of Punt Road Disco with Sky Tower just over a metre away third. He clocked a mile rate of two minutes and small change but ran home his last half mile (800m) in a slick 56.2 seconds which is outstanding on the Hobart circuit at the moment. The five-year-old was having only his third start for Butler who acquired the gelding from Juanita McKenzie who had to find room for a few new horses and Franco Sheffield was one that was selected to be rehomed. "He has been with me for about six months and this was only his third start for me and from what he showed there should be more wins in him that's for sure," Butler said. "He doesn't do much wrong - he's pretty much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of horse." "He is going to have to improve because he is getting up in grade but I am quietly confident he can deliver," he said. Peter Staples

Lightly raced five-year-old gelding I Am Camelot delivered one of the best harness racing performances of the night at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday to win the O A Kingston Pace over 1609 metres. I Am Camelot was having only his third start back from a two-year break that was enforced though injury. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding showed great gate speed to lead comfortably from barrier three and when driver Natalee Emery released the reins in the back straight the last time the gelding spreadeagled the field. I Am Camelot (Safari-Lady Margerica) went on to score by 18-1/2 metres from Punt Road Disco with Witch Master a metre away third. He clocked a mile rate of 1.59 and sizzled home his last half-mile (800m) in 57.6 seconds. I m Camelot suffered a slab fracture of the radical carpal bone in his off-front knee that wasn't identified until he was a three-year-old. Peter Staples  

Premier reinsman Gareth Rattray has been making it a habit lately of saluting aboard outsiders and he was at is again at UBET Park Hobart last Sunday night when he guided Melpark Maestro to a last-stride harness racing victory in the Noel Salter Claimer over 2090 metres. The well backed Givitaname ($3.90) began well from the standing start to lead but Rattray quickly had Melpark Maestro in the one-out-one-back position where he travelled sweetly for most of the race. When Rattray eased his charge three-wide to 500m out the leader lifted the tempo and Givitaname shot clear turning for home. But under strong driving from Rattray, Melpark Maestro eventually ground the leader down and gained the desired result in the last stride. It was the Heath Szczypka-trained gelding's first win of the season but according to his trainer the signal that he was closing in on another was delivered at his previous start when sixth in Launceston but beaten less than five metres. Peter Staples

In recent times hardly a harness racing meeting in Tasmania passes without Ben Yole training a winner and last Sunday night's meeting at UBET Park Hobart was no exception. Yole produced one winner in the form of six-year-old battler Lu Way Lord but the win was extra special as the gelding is owned and was bred by his parents Wayne and Louise Yole who have recently relocated from South Australia to Tasmania. Lu Way Lord (It Is I-Sharni Mac Cailen) put the writing on the wall at his previous outing in Launceston where he finished ninth of 12 but encountered interference at crucial stages of the race. The gelding enjoyed a cosy run in the one-out line with cover and when driver Mark Yole called on the son of It Is I for the big effort in the home straight he powered home to score a convincing win. Lu Way Lord ($14.60) hit the line 1-1/2 metres clear of race favourite Charlie James ($2.20) with the leader Frankie Falzoni fading to finish third almost two metres astern. Peter Staples

When Maree Blake and Paul Williams teamed up as life partners almost 28 years ago Maree was keen to get involved in harness racing despite not having even the slightest interest in the sport prior to them meeting. She worked as tirelessly as her partner in the preparation of a team of paces at their Bagdad property and she was prepared to learn the ropes from the bottom up. Blake became a competent trackwork driver but when Paul suffered devastating injuries as a result of a fall in Launceston about five years ago Maree was forced to make a move to secure a licence to drive in trials. The bulk of the horse's Williams had in training at the time of his accident needed to be sent to other trainers but the ones they owned themselves remained on the property and became Blake's responsibility. Williams suggested that she might as well try and secure a licence to drive in races, predicting it might come in handy further down the track. She secured her driver's licence and ironically it was Ponderosa Gamble, the horse that Williams was driving the night of his horrific fall that provided Blake with a winner at her first drive in a race. At UBET Park in Hobart last night (Sunday) Blake notched her second winner when she partnered Metro Digby to a game win in the Ian Blackburn Pace over 2090 metres. "It has taken me a while to get my second winner but I'm happy enough to have waited this long," Blake said. "I don't get a lot of drives but I enjoy it when I get the chance," she said. Metro Digby had been placed at his two previous starts convincing Williams that internal problems that had hindered the horse's progress had been cured. "The horse had a bacterial virus and ulcers but we have managed to get rid of all of his problems and hopefully he can finally get the chance to realise his full potential," Williams said. Metro Digby has won six and been placed a dozen times from 36 starts for almost $43,000 but now that he's turned the corner Williams expects him to keep on improving on that record. Peter Staples

Star Tasmanian reinsman Gareth Rattray wrapped up another great season by winning the Tasmanian harness racing driver's premiership but this latest crown was special. Despite missing the first two months of the season through illness Rattray powered his way to the lead mid-season and a treble at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night gave him 100 wins for the season. His treble came courtesy of Fioki winning a C2-C3 over 2090 metres; rank outsider Cardinal Eddy scoring in a nail-biting finish in a 3C1-C0 and he finished with a heady drive to win aboard the Matthew Dwyer-trained Original Art in a C4-C5 . It was the third time he has reached the magical century of winners and this latest title is his 10th in succession. To say Rattray has dominated this past decade would be an understatement with his feats so far ranking him amongst the greatest drivers of all time. The first time he topped the century was in the 2007-08 season when he drove 113 winners but two seasons later he bettered that by snaring 115. His father Barrie also achieved the feat three times driving a state record 118 winners during the 1989-90 season; 100 in 1995-96 and 109 the following season. The father and son are the only two to reach the 100 milestone in Tasmania's driving ranks. This season Gareth passed another milestone of reaching the 1000 winners mark and he now sits fifth on the all-time list with 1040 winners but he still has a way to go to catch his father who has amassed 1566 winners and is still driving competitively. Ricky Duggan had another good season in the caret to end with 68 winners to take his career tally to 1370 to take over second place on the al-time list from Neville Webberley (1369). All-time driver's record: Barrie Rattray          1566 Ricky Duggan          1370 Neville Webberley   1369 Darrell Alexander    1315 Gareth Rattray          1040 Scott Ford                    891 Jack Stamford             848 Rohan Hadley            794 Don Peck                     661 Mark Stanley               638 Terry Knowles             572 Tony Petersen            569 Len Moriarty                556 Terry Peck                   556 Ken Austin                   551 Webb Jones                544 Hec Baker                    516 Meanwhile Beauty Point horseman Rohan Hillier captured his first trainer's premiership ending the season with 43 winners from only 100 starters which must rank as one of the best strike rates of all time. Hillier finished ahead of Barrie Rattray (41) and Juanita McKenzie (37) who won her fourth female trainer's title ahead of Melissa Maine (33). McKenzie and Maine proved beyond doubt that they can hold their own amongst the male trainers. Dylan Ford was the leading junior driver finishing with 34 wins for what was his third consecutive title while his younger sister Tayla Ford and Wade Rattray dead-heated for second with 16 wins apiece. However Ford was a clear winner in the female driver award winning from Natalee Emery (12) and Erin Hollaway (11). Peter Staples

Lightly raced two-year-old filly Kalinda waited until the last meeting of the harness racing season to register her first win but given the way she dispensed with her rivals it won't be her last. The former Victorian filly was sent to Magra trainer Juanita McKenzie about six weeks ago with the hope of winning a race before the season ended. She had no luck from poor draws in two of her three previous outings with a fourth of eight in Hobart enough to suggest the trainer had something with which to work. But last night at UBET Park Hobart the filly gained a start as an emergency and from the pole position (gate one) she stepped straight to the front and was never headed on her way to an emphatic win in the UBET Pace over 20190 metres. Kalinda scored by 14 metres from Karalta Stardust with first-starter Metrosilk almost two metres astern. Kalinda (Jeremes Jet-De La Rosa) was partnered by Mark Yole who described the win as encouraging. "This is the first decent draw she has had and I was very pleased with what she had to offer tonight," Yole said. "She still has a bit to learn because she was hanging in on the corners but she has only had four starts and I reckon she has a future," he said. Peter Staples

Veteran harness racing trainer Tommy Jackson hasn't been in the best of health this past year but his love of horses and the thrill of training them has kept him on the right side of the dirt. At UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night a three-year-old named Finn Mac Kee delivered a brilliant win at only his second start to give the trainer a much needed boost. Finn Mac Kee (Stonebridge Regal-Scarlett Finn) showed blistering early speed to lead from the outside front-row barrier (7) and when driver Paul Hill called on him to extend in the straight he delivered the goods. He hit the line two metres clear of Gifted Courage with Be Good Franklin almost 16 metres away third. It was an emphatic win and the flashy black gelding delivered a sub two-minute mile rate of 1.59.3 over the 1609-metre trip to suggest there are more wins in store. "I haven't been in the best of health, so to perk myself up I went and bought a couple of horses and this fella looks like he'll make the grade," Jackson said. Peter Staples

One of Tasmanian harness racing's most promising mares Queens Advocate looks set to expand her winning sequence when she tackles a C3-C5 event over 2090 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. The Juanita McKenzie-trained mare ended her first preparation with a win for a career record of four wins from five starts in the space of seven weeks from March 08 to April 19. McKenzie gave the mare a short spell and she resumed with an impressive win in Hobart two weeks ago. While this is a step up in grade for the daughter of McArdle-Genes West (x Jennas Beach Boy) she would only need to begin well to find a cosy spot in the run to expand her win record. Mister Ryanjack is a fast beginner and as he is drawn directly inside of McKenzie's mare (in gate three) Queens Advocate might be forced to face the breeze to win but if that eventuates she should be up to the task. At the end of the mare's last campaign McKenzie predicted a bright future for the rising six-year-old. The mare's stablemate Zumba Bromac is attempting to make it a hat trick of wins when he takes on a handy field in the The Warp Drive Pace over 2090 metres (Race seven). Zumba Bromac has drawn gate three but it is unlikely he can lead as Bisping that has drawn the outside of the front row (7) is brilliant from the mobile and has the speed to cross and assume control. It that eventuates Zumba Bromac's driver Ricky Duggan will have to make a decision whether to drift back and find a slot one-out or push forward, test Bisping early and then face the breeze. The tactics will play a dominant role in the outcome of this race. It is a mammoth 10-race card tonight with the first scheduled to start at 5.33 pm and the last at 10.10 pm. By Peter Staples.

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill celebrated his greatest night in racing when his two star juveniles Chica Bella and Hillview Jake won their respective sires stakes finals at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Chica Bella showed her class by crossing from near the outside of the front line and reeled off a slick first quarter while After Lunch faced the breeze in the Evicus Stakes final for fillies over 1609 metres. The pair matched motors to the home turn but that's when driver Ricky Duggan called on Chica Bella for the supreme effort and she responded magnificently. Chica Bella (Cardmaster Hanover-Time Moves On) forged clear and had plenty in hand to defeat outsider Tambros Milly ($101) with After Lunch fading to finish third just ahead of Itz Gemmas delight. She was heavily backed to start the $1.80 favourite ahead of After Lunch that drifted from odds-on to start the second elect at $2.20. The winner clocked a mile rate of 1.58.7 with her first half (800m) run in 58.67. Duggan described the filly as a "dream to drive". "Paul has done a magnificent job with this filly and she has improved just about every time she's been to the races," Duggan said. "She can be a little but cantankerous and try and kick me out of the cart in the score-up but once she's mobile she is a dream to drive." "She's got speed and stamina so if she can improve further next season they are going to have plenty of fun with this filly as a three-year-old," he said. For Hill it was sheer delight and declared it mission accomplished for the well-bred filly that is owned by his wife Julie, his brother Robert and his son Scott who travelled from Western Australia to watch the race. "This filly is tough and while she has a bit of an attitude she is all class and I can hardly wait to see what she does next season as a three-year-old," Hill said. Hillview Jake led throughout from the pole position to win the Dandy Patch final with ace Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang aboard. Hillview Jake went into the final on the back of a second to Origin Cronk in the Dandy Patch Prelude 13 days earlier but the final was another story. Lang had Hillview Jake travelling in his comfort zone and when he let him rip turning for home he sped clear and had plenty in reserve on the line and well clear of Origin Cronk and Riley Major. Hillview Jake clocked a mile rate of two minutes but ran home his last half (800m) in a slick 56.9 seconds. Peter Staples

Harness racing drivers Wade Rattray and Nicholas Brockman share the lead after four rounds of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Driver series. Rattray edged his way to the equal lead with a win aboard Chief Destroyer and a second with Punter Karalta at Devonport last night where the third and fourth heats were held. The first two heats were run at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night where Allister Woods won his heat aboard No Undies Sundie while Tim Yole emerged from those heats with a win aboard Strezleckie Wildone and a third behind Glamour Art to end the night on 25 points and two clear of Woods who also snared a fourth with Wealthy Warrior. But Monday night's Devonport meeting belonged to Rattray who is attempting to make it successive wins in the popular series. Brockman has yet to drive a winner so his efforts have been consistent to secure a share of the lead. The winner of the series is decided on a point-score basis with 16 points allocated for first, 12 for second, nine for third and seven for fourth and points reduce by one through to last 1oth with six points awarded to any driver who fails to obtain a drive in any heat. The final two heats will be run in Launceston on Friday night. Point scores after four heats. 39 - Nicholas Brockman and Wade Rattray. 37 - Tim Yole. 33 - Lyarna Graham. 32 - Allister Woods. 28 - Lee Simmonds. 24 - Samantha Freeman. 23 - Justin Howlett. 22 - Adrian Collins & Kristy Grant.   Peter Staples

When well-bred harness racing pacer Boltnmach debuted with a very disappointing performance two years ago to finish over 30 metres from the winner his trainer Justin Campbell was in two minds about continuing with the son of Mach Three. But two years on the gelding has more than paid his way and at UBET Park Hobart last night he notched his sixth win to take his career earnings to almost $50,000. Boltnmach was dropping back sharply in grade having been delivering honest performances in C3-C4 events so Campbell was expecting him to improve dropping back to a C1 event courtesy of a claim for novice driver Adrian Collins. The well-backed Bobby Jo ($4.50) led from gate three and while Boltnmach ($4 into $2.30) was forced to race three-wide for the first 600 metres Collins eventually urged his charge forward to face the breeze. The leader set only a modest tempo so Boltnmach wasn't forced to expend too much energy in the run. When Collins called on his charge to extend near the home turn he sped clear and had enough in hand to stave off a late challenge from Tango Terrific ($10) that failed by a short half-head with Thatswhatshesaid ($5) a closing third. "I was fairly confident he would win tonight because he was dropping back considerably in class and his form going into the race was very good," Campbell said. "He isn't a difficult horse to train but sometimes he can be a bit of a pig on the training track and that was the case this week but usually when he's in that sort of mood at home he races really well so I told a few people to have something on him tonight." "Adrian (Collins) did a good job by letting him roll to the death and I thought the horse toughed it out well when the runner-up came at him," he said. Peter Staples

TASMANIAN harness racing breeders Fred and Pauline Barker have been producing star pacers for many years and the latest to make an impact on the racetrack is two-year-old filly After Lunch that delivered an outstanding debut effort to win the Evicus Prelude over 1609 metres at UBET Park Hobart last night. After Lunch ($2.10 favourite) began brilliantly from her front row draw (4) to find the lead and her Victorian trainer-driver David Miles then ensured a solid pace throughout. Star local filly Chika Bella, that had won her past four starts, was sent scurrying around the field to race outside of the leader to ensure After Lunch wasn't gifted the race. But it made little difference to the leader that shrugged off the challenge and went on to score by over two metres from Chika Bella ($2.70) with outsider Maybe Charli ($51) over six metres away third. After Lunch recorded a mile rate of 1.59.66 and ran home her last half (800m) in a slick 58.07. Peter Staples

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

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