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Former Auckland horseman Jacob Wallace is enjoying life right now. Now based in the Sunshine State and working for leading Fernvale based trainer Darrel Graham, Wallace possesses an excellent strike rate as a trainer himself. Recently obtaining his first racehorse, the winners keep coming. Spring Campaign, purchased by Dene Biddlecombe from the Pukekohe stables of Ray Green, the Courage Under Fire won his fourth race from five Brisbane starts when triumphant in the Mr Feelgood @ Egmont Park Stud Pace at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon. He rated 1:58.5 for the 2138m event before finishing off in 56.8 seconds after racing without cover. Spring Campaign ($1.75 fav) defeated Dapper ($41) and Pacific Drums ($2.40). His sole defeat came a week earlier when outsprinted by in-form pacer Lilac Flash in a time of 1:56.4 for the 1660m. “I was confident he could get the job done and he was really good again so I’m thrilled with the way he is performing right now. There is a heat/final series in the coming weeks and then I will give him an ease-up during the summer period and then focus on the winter carnival next year.” Wallace said. Working a team of two pacers currently, Wallace will unveil his latest acquisition tomorrow (Friday) at Albion Park when he starts another former New Zealand pacer Royal Lincoln. The Well Said – Black And Royal gelding in Heat 3 of the Kevin & Kay Seymour series where he will start from gate 10, the outside of the second-line in the 1660m event. And just like Spring Campaign, Royal Lincoln was previously prepared by Ray Green. “He’s been here a fortnight and he’s settled into the routine pretty well and this series fits in nicely, ideally I would’ve like another week or two with him but he will race well. “Whatever he does, there will be good improvement going forward with him. His work is good and he’s pretty much acclimatized so everything looks pretty good at this stage. “The draw isn’t the best on paper but his form in Auckland was pretty good so I’m hoping we can have some luck and feature.” Wallace, who has had stints with both Barry Purdon and Tony Herlihy, has landed three winners to date this season while he has driven 23 Australian winners overall. ​Chris Barsby

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry yesterday in relation to a banned substance being detected in a urine sample taken from licensed driver, Mr Jack Trainor, at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday 3 July 2018. An analysis of the urine sample by Racing Analytical Services Limited confirmed the presence of oxazepam at a concentration above the applicable cut-off level of 200 ug/L. Mr Trainor appeared at the inquiry and presented evidence from his general practitioner that he had been prescribed a medication that contained the banned substance. Although, the medication was prescribed to Mr Trainor, he had not sought the approval of HRNSW Stewards pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 252B to receive a specific banned substance, subject to the conditions of that Rule. Mr Trainor pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 250(1)(a) as follows: AHHR 250. (1) A driver commits an offence if:- (a) A sample taken from him is found upon analysis to contain a substance banned by Rule 251, AHHR 251. The following substances and/or their metabolites, artifacts, and isomers are declared as banned substances in drivers when present in a urine sample (unless otherwise stated) at a concentration above the applicable cut-off level:- (k)  All benzodiazepines – substances in this group include: but are not restricted to: …...Oxazepam (200μg/L): Mr Trainor’s drivers licence was suspended for a period of four (4) weeks. The suspension of Mr Trainor’s drivers licence was suspended for a period of two (2) years on the basis that he does not commit a further banned substance offence during that period of two (2) years. Mr Trainor was also issued with a fine of $500. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: Mr Trainor’s first offence for such matter; Seriousness of the offence; The nature of the substance; Medication prescribed to Mr Trainor contained the banned substance; Mr Trainor’s guilty plea, licence history, personal and financial subjective facts. Mr Trainor was advised of his right to appeal these decisions.   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. For further information please contact: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gadams@hrnsw.com.au

A number of New South Wales drivers are rallying their support behind Victorian Mini Trot driver Connor Clarke who is currently undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a condition rare in children. Without even meeting young Connor, his story has touched many hearts and some of this state’s leading reinsmen and women are showing their support. Connor is just 14-years-old and has to spend time away from his family and friends whilst undergoing the 18-week course of treatment. From Ballarat, Connor is having his treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital, 1.5 hours away from his loved ones. One of the state’s leading drivers Robert Morris is more than happy to donate to the cause. “It’s so sad and I’ve decided to donate my driving fees from Bankstown (tonight) as well as Menangle (Saturday night) to try and help Connor and his family in this time,” Morris said. “To see such a young kid go through something like this just breaks my heart.” The state’s leading driver Amanda Turnbull is also donating all of her driving fees from Bankstown tonight where she had five drives. Meanwhile, leading reinsmen Todd McCarthy and Jack Trainor have agreed to donate their driving fees and percentages from their drives at Menangle on Saturday night which add up to 13 drives collectively. And so too is Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray who has a number of drives at Albion Park this Saturday night. Harness racing participant Maria Furina helped co-ordinate this fundraising after being touched by Connor’s story. “It’s just something that I want to do, I want to help Connor,” the mother of one-year-old Charlie said. “Two years ago I shaved my head and helped raise over $15,000 the Leukaemia Foundation Shave For A Cure. “A lot of people donated and helped with that and hopefully we can help Connor too. “Chris Alford, Greg Sugars, Grant Dixon and Shane Graham are all donating their driving fees from Saturday night too. "Luke McCarthy is giving Connor a service fee to For A Reason so he can breed a horse one day and have something to look forward to. “Garrards Horse and Hound, Zilco International and Finntack are also donating products which will have raffle tickets available for purchase through the Garrards Horse and Hound stores at Menangle and Bendigo. “Connor’s parents Belinda and Steven are just absolutely blown away and extremely humbled by everyone's generosity in this trying time and are so happy to see the industry pull together in their time of need. “They are a lovely family and have four children of their own and still find room in their hearts and home to care for foster children.” There is also a Go Fund Me page set up for Connor called Connor’s Cancer Journey which can be found here.  Amanda Rando

THE “Queen” reminded everyone why she holds the throne at Melton last Saturday night. Training performances don’t come much bigger than Emma Stewart and partner Clayton Tonkin snaring the trifecta in the $322,000 Group 1 Australian Gold final (1720m) for two-year-old fillies. Stewart has been Australia’s dominant force in juvenile ranks for a number of years now, but this was amazing even by her lofty standards. “To win the race was fantastic, but to get the trifecta was something extra special,” she said. “We thought we had a good crop of fillies, but to get them through and go home with results like this is so pleasing.” Frith’s unbeaten sister, Molly Kelly, was the hot favourite, but it was another regally-bred filly, Nostra Beach, who stole the show with a mighty tough staying performance to win. Nostra Beach is by Somebeachsomewhere out of the great producing mare Amarillen. It makes her a half-sister to recent Victoria Oaks winner Miss Graceland as well as Villagem (25 wins, $626,585). Amarillen has had nine foals to race and all have won races. Pistol Abbey, a $30.30 outsider, grabbed third spot to complete Stewart’s trifecta. Nostra Beach also gave much-liked and underrated driver Mark Pitt the biggest win of his career, while Chris Alford was on Molly Kelly and Amanda Turnbull aboard Pistol Abbey. Favourite punters were happy early when Alford speared Molly Kelly to the front, but Mark Purdon was focused on getting the lead with Just Makemine Diamonds and declared war through a blistering 26.9sec opening quarter. Just Makemine Diamonds found the front, Molly Kelly was on her back and Nostra Beach worked to sit parked as they burned through another quick 28.7sec second split. Pitt went for home on the bend, Molly Kelly saw daylight and loomed as a huge threat, but Nostra Beach just kept digging deep and held-on to win by a half-neck in a simply staggering 1min53.5sec mile rate. Just Makemine Diamonds’s early burn took its toll and she tired to finished second-last. AUSTRALIA’S buzz juvenile Lumineer looks set to return to Sydney later this month. Although trainer Ange McDowall politely declined a Harness Jewels invite, she said the young star had thrived since returning home from his brilliant Australian Gold final win at Menangle last Saturday week. “He seems to have taken the trip in his stride. It gives us the confidence to travel with him again,” she said. “I’d say it’s now very likely we will go back for the (NSW) Breeders Challenge with him.” The last qualifying heat is at Menangle on May 30 with semi-finals on June 10 and the $125,000 final on June 25 – the same day as the Len Smith Mile. It might not be one-way traffic for Lumineer with rival trainer Shane Tritton saying his exciting juvenile, Divine State, is being set for the series. Divine State looked awesome winning his first three starts, including a 1min51.6sec Sapling Stakes romp at Menangle, then had issues when a weakening seventh at his latest run in the Bathurst Gold final on March 25. “He’ll trial in a week or so. I know Lumineer looks awesome and I’m a huge fan, but also think people are forgetting Divine State went 1min51.6sec at his second race start. He’s very good, too,” Tritton said. “Put it this way, I don’t think Lumineer will get it all his own way.” IS Maczaffair the best three-year-old filly in Australia? That’s the question many were asking after she gave trainer Mike Reed a record-breaking fourth win in the Group 1 WA Oaks at Gloucester Park last night. Reed’s other Oaks winners were: Libertybelle Midfrew (2014), Sheer Royalty (2009) and Pharosan (2000). A few weeks back Victoria’s Petacular looked a standout filly in the land, but her defeat to Miss Graceland in the Victoria Oaks and the emergence of Maczaffair has opened things up. Reed thought so much of Maczaffair he took on the boys around WA Derby time where the filly ran a close second in the Group 2 Western Gateway pace, but then struck trouble and had no luck when 11th in the Derby itself. Back against the girls, she has again been dominant. The Oaks was as good as over at the barrier draw when Maczaffair drew the pole, meaning driver Shannon Suvaljko could lead and control the race. She led as expected and ran though a solid lead time and Suvaljko was happy to keep “rolling” in middle splits of 29.4 and 30.1sec. Maczaffair had her rivals cooked on the home bend and raced away to win being eased down by 6.5m over the fast-finishing outsider Sarah Goody in a 1min56.9sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip. It was a big night for Reed and Suvaljko who also combined for a dominant win with former Kiwi pacer Shandale, who sat parked in a blazing 1min53.8sec mile rate for 1730m. He’s won three of his four WA runs. The other interesting race of the night at Gloucester Park was the free-for-all where, remarkably, Ohoka Punter was rundown after leading and getting his own way in front for driver Gary Hall Jr. After cruising through a 61.5sec middle half and 28.4sec third quarter, Ohoka Punter looked home when he sailed away with a big lead at the top of the straight, but the gifted and injury-plagued Heez On Fire produced the most astonishing finishing burst to snatch victory by a nose. Ohoka Punter ran home in 27.6sec, but Heez On Fire spotted him at least 15m start at the top of the straight. He must have smashed the clock. Heez On Fire has been nursed through career-threatening injuries  by Bill Horn, best known for his deeds with the champion of the 1980s and ‘90s, Village Kid. EVERGREEN speedster Bettor Bet Black scored one of the best wins of his career in the Group 3 Newcastle Mile last Saturday night. The nine-year-old, trained and driven by Darren McCall, used his renowned gate speed to lead and held the front this time before going on to win in a 1min53.1sec mile. It was his 28th career win from 151 starts with another 52 placings and earnings of almost $420,000. Kiwi pacer My Field Marshall was sensationally-backed from $5 into $2.10 favourite, but got back to last, locked wheels on the home bend and never looked a chance in sizxth spot. YOUNG Kiwi driver Jack Trainor had a night out at Menangle last Saturday. Trainor snared a treble, starting with a gem of a front-running drive aboard the David Thorn-trained Early Decision in the second race. He them teamed with Thorn again to win with Ideal Warrior in the third race and Outrageous El in race four. The feature race at Menangle went to the father-son team of John and Todd McCarthy with former Kiwi mare Rakarazor in the Group 3 Tailamade Lombo for mares in a 1min52.1sec mile. Another highlight was the sparkling all-the-way win of the emerging star Anything For Love in the last race where he went a sizzling 25.9sec closing quarter in a 1min52.9sec mile.   Adam Hamilton

New South Wales Rising Stars defending champion Jack Trainor has offered up his position in this year's harness racing series to another junior driver. The 21-year-old admitted it was a tough decision to make and he has thoroughly enjoyed competing in the series over the past two years but believed it was the right thing to do. "Through participating in the Rising Stars I was able to meet a lot of people and it helped further my career as a driver," Trainor said. "I am fortunate enough to have been able to establish myself as a junior driver, I have a number of drives each week at different tracks and also get the opportunity to compete in some of the feature races in Sydney. I would like to see my spot given to a driver who is younger and would use the opportunity to further their career as I have been able to do in the past two years." Trainor confirmed his success in the series last year increased his number of opportunities and believes the quality of the drivers that have competed previously proves what a success the Rising Stars has been. "Amanda Turnbull, Robbie Morris, Lauren Panella and Chris Geary have all competed in the Rising Stars and they are some of the best drivers in NSW. The series gives young drivers from across NSW a chance to meet and compete with one another, it really is a grouse week. "In 2014 I represented the Newcastle region, last year I was selected to represent the metropolitan area and after winning the series it opened up a lot more opportunities for me." Recently Trainor has started working for Blake Fitzpatrick and is enjoying working with a number of quality trotters. "I have worked for stables before that have had one or two trotters but working for Blake is something different because he has a number of high quality trotters. It is something new for me and I really like it. "Working for Blake has also helped me with my driving because while you have to ask for his feedback he is always happy to give you some advice and he is one of the top of drivers in Australia." Ten drivers are selected to compete in the NSW Rising Stars series each year. The defending champion and a Western Australian representative are normally automatic selections with the remainder of the junior drivers picked from across the state. The list of drivers competing in this year's Rising Stars series will be announced later today. Greg Hayes

One harness racing barn that has been having a great run in New South Wales this season is the stable of Kevin Pizzuto. While most of the bigger barns in the state have 60-70 horses in work Kevin only works a team of 24 at any one time. The smallish size of the team hasn't stopped Kevin chalking up 71 winners to date this season and he currently sits fifth on the New South Wales premiership. Kevin buys most of his stock in from New Zealand. " I have a lot of contacts in New Zealand who recommend horses to me and I watch them race and if I think they would suit the style of racing here I have a go at buying them." " When I think they are on their mark here I on sell them to North America or interstate and it is a system that has served me well," Kevin told Harnesslink this week. Two New Zealand horses that are doing a fine job from the Pizzuto stable are Freyberg and Alta Jerome. " Freyberg wasn't very expensive but he has done a great job since joining the stable a couple of years ago. " He has a best time of 1:51.7 and has banked $220,000 for me so I have a bit of time for him". "Alta Jerome has only been here eight months but has already won over $100,000 and looks a horse with a bit of a future." "He ran an unlucky fourth to Sky Major in the Chariots Of Fire and has kicked on since then so he could have a big season coming up,"Kevin said. Not only is Kevin importing New Zealand horses but he has now taken to importing his staff from New Zealand as well. Former New Zealand junior driver Jack Trainor landed at Kevin's barn and has not looked back since. As of today Jack sits eighth on the New South Wales driving premiership with 65 wins for the season and just recently won the Rising Stars driving title in New South Wales. Kevin is now looking for another young Kiwi driver to boost the staffing ranks. " There is room for another young driver in the barn." "We have to use outside drivers a lot for a few of the team which I rather wouldn't do and there is a great opportunity here for a young driver to get established in the industry." "As long as they have a good work ethic, they will get plenty of opportunities to prove themselves here, " Kevin said. With the success that Jack Trainor has had from the Pizzuto barn, there will a few New Zealand junior drivers tempted by the opportunity. Harnesslink Media

Rising talent Jack Trainor and accomplished local Nathan Hurst took the honours when the NSW Rising Stars series came to last Wednesday’s meeting harness racing meeting at Group One Feeds Paceway Bathurst. Trainor, the eventual winner of the series, demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the best young drivers in the nation by completing a clean-sweep of the three Bathurst heats, while Hurst drove a double and supplied a further winner to complete a training treble. Trainor’s clean-sweep came via The Merchant Banker NZ, Keilor Kimberly and Missed By Red, for trainers Neal Wardle, David Hewitt and Steve Turnbull. The Merchant Banker NZ ($2.00 favourite) was taken straight to the front in the C2-backed sprint, heat three of the week-long series, and withstood sustained pressure from a number of mid-race challengers, before digging in at the finish to hold off Flight Express (Chris Geary), which used the sprint lane, and Tulhurst Candy (Kristy Sheehy). All quarters were sub-thirty seconds, so the overall mile rate of 1:55.9 came as no surprise.  In a post-race interview, Trainor commented that drivers invitation races, and particularly those for junior drivers, are usually run very quickly because most horses are put into the race at some stage. This was demonstrated perfectly in the following race, a 2260 metres C1 heat, when a near-suicidal 45.8 lead time, backed up by a first half of 60.2 seconds, set up the race for the run-on horses. Keilor Kimberly ($17.80) came with a wet sail to win easily, from Black Poles (Daniel Morgan) and Blissfull Dixie (Chris Geary), in a smart 1:57.4 for the testing trip. Chris Geary, who must have been feeling some frustration after being placed in all four heats of the series to that point, gained some consolation by taking out a support event, leading throughout a 2260 metres C2-C3 class with Regal Point ($6.80), one of three Bernie Hewitt-trained horses to line up. A smart 57.6 last half gave his rivals no chance of running him down. Missed By Red ($2.60 favourite) completed Trainor’s perfect performance, by running out a decisive winner in heat five, a C0 sprint. With the lead unavailable, because of a 27.9 opening quarter, the Somebeachsomewhere filly was given a lovely position mid-field, and strolled home in 28.9 for an easy win. Monterey Jack (Ellen Bartley) held on for second, with Golden Montana (Nathan Carroll) getting up for third. The three winning drives were achieved in contrasting style, but they all demonstrated a maturity beyond Trainor’s twenty-one years. Not surprising, perhaps, given his excellent grounding in the sport in his New Zealand homeland, where he worked for leading trainer Cran Dalgety, before heading to a new home in New South Wales and good opportunities driving for a number of leading stables.  He’s a very impressive young man. Nathan Hurst didn’t have the opportunity to compete in any junior drivers series when he started out, but he does have something in common with Jack Trainor, a good “apprenticeship” in New Zealand, when he took himself across the ditch to work for Barry Purdon, before returning to Bathurst to set up a professional stable. Tulhurst Sarsha ($3.80 favourite) got Hurst’s night off to the perfect start by coming out from behind leader Gentleman Red and grabbing that horse right on the line, with Boyzinblue taking the minor prize, in a C0-C1 sprint. The overall mile rate was 1:58.6, but the last quarter in 28.0 was pretty sharp. Saloon Passage had set tongues wagging with a 1:54 trial win at the track  nine days earlier, so it was no surprise to see him installed as $1.30 favourite for the C4+  fast-class  fifth, despite being first-up for several months, and over the longer 2260 metres distance. Hurst pinged him straight to the lead, where he gradually quickened the tempo, home in 28.7 and 27.8, for a creditable 1:57.3 rate, with runner-up My Dusky Sound NZ responsible for an enormous effort after a tough run outside the lead. Last-start winner Uncle Lile made late ground for third. Hurst was very pleased by the win, and also a little relieved, given it was over the longer trip and first-up. Present plans are to head back to Menangle, in search of the M0 win that has so far eluded this very talented and enigmatic pacer. When he does get that well-deserved success, he will pass $100,000 in stakes earnings. Blazing Brax ($4.40, Angela Hedges) completed an excellent night for the Hurst stable by taking out a 2C0-2C1 sprint, leading throughout and holding on, by a half-neck margin, from favourite Miss Irish Rose and Shot To Stardom. She held on to the win in the stewards room afterwards, surviving a protest from the runner-up after drifting out in the run home.  It was the third win this term for the Julius Caesar gelding, a $10,000 purchase at last year’s Gold Crown sale. Williewa Ace ($56.20, Jason Turnbull/Wayne Jeffree) gave the on-course bookmaker some relief by taking out the 1730 metres C0 final event. It was the maiden win for the lightly-raced four-year-old, but the latest in a successful partnership for the Lagoon reinsman and Portland trainer.  Placings went to Pia Pizaz and Paulie Walnuts. Bathurst will race on Fridays over the next couple of months, with this week’s meeting an afternoon fixture, followed by a “Christmas in July” celebration in the club in the evening. Terry Neil

Metropolitan representative Jack Trainor stormed to the lead in the Young Harness Racing Club Rising Star Series after winning all three heats at Bathurst on Wednesday night. Trainor was fifth after the first night of heats but is now thirteen points clear on top of the points table. The Merchant Banker won the third heat of the series for trainer Neal Wardle. Trainor shot the son of Mcardle straight to the lead from barrier one and was not headed throughout. Defending champion Chris Geary ran another second when Flight Express used the sprint lane after settling on the pegs while Kristy Sheehy and Tulhurst Candy finished third. Keilor Kimberly won the fourth heat for trainer David Hewitt and Trainor. The early pace suited the horses back in the field and Keilor Kimberly came from midfield to score impressively. Black Poles continued her recent good form to finish second for Daniel Morgan while Geary finished in the placings again this time driving Blissfull Dixie. The final heat of the night was dominated by the Steve Turnbull trained Missed By Red. After failing to find the front early Missed By Red settled in the one-one before racing away in the straight to score comfortably for Trainor. Ellen Bartley picked up some important points finishing second on Monterey Jack while Nathan Carroll was third on the Nathan Hurst trained Golden Montana. Two further heats will be conducted at Penrith this evening. Kristy Sheehy could be set for a big night and will drive fancied runners in both heats. Series leader Trainor will drive good chances in the two races as well. The updated leaderboard after five heats Jack Trainor 62 Chris Geary 49 Laura Spencer 39 Reece Maguire 38 Daniel Morgan 33 Nathan Carroll 30 Kristy Sheehy 24 Ellen Bartley 21 Madison Reynolds 16 Tom Ison 13                       Greg Hayes  

Former Kiwi Alta Jerome will be out to keep his unbeaten Australian harness racing record intact when he lines up in tonight's P J Hall Memorial at Penrith.  The Kevin Pizzuto-trained pacer has won two races at Newcastle since crossing the Tasman, with regular driver Jack Trainor confident he will be a big factor in the feature. “Alta Jerome is a nice relaxed type, and despite drawing the second row, I think he is going to be very competitive again,” Trainor said. “I have been able to find the front both times from wide draws, but going forward at the start is not really an option, so I will just have to wait and see how it all unfolds in front of me.” Trainor believes Alta Jerome has the ability to develop into a metropolitan competitor, which will be suited to Menangle. “Paul and Mitchell Kerr had him in New Zealand, they won six with him from just 17 starts and he is two from two with Kevin, but I really think he will appreciate the big Menangle track when he gets the chance to race there,” Trainor declared. “The long run in will suit him perfectly.” Alta Jerome’s win at Newcastle last weekend was the third leg of a treble for Trainor, the second of his career since relocating from New Zealand. “I got a treble not long after I moved over from New Zealand when I was working for Shane Tritton,” Trainor said. “I have been working for Kevin PIzzuto for a couple of months now and I am really enjoying living in Sydney. “Saturday night at Newcastle couldn’t have been better, The Empires Sister was good running down Chief Fairman… Ready For Takeoff had to do it at the start and finish when he beat Yayas Hotspot and Alta Jerome topped off a great night." GREG HAYES

The NSW Rising Stars series continued at Penrith last night with the Riverina's Todd Prest closing in on leader Chris Geary following a victory with the Ian Wilson trained Charli Springfield. The opening event was taken out by the Blake Fitzpatrick trained Iam Ready for Maitland's Grace Grant which has elevated her to third position on the leader board. The current points tally is as follows; Chris Geary 71 Todd Prest 65 Grace Grant 53 Jack Trainor 47 Kristy Sheehy (WA) 47 Mitch Turnbull 47 Kasey Hocking 41 Nathan Xuereb 37 Max Hughes 36 Liam Armstrong 18 Mitch Turnbull - Western Dist - 4 The next three heats will be held tomorrow at Bathurst Harness Racing Club race 1 - 5:14pm, race 3 - 6:06pm & race 5 - 7:10pm The fourth round of heats will be conducted at Newcastle tomorrow night before concluding with a final heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales  

The NSW Rising Stars series continued at Bathurst last night and with Chris Geary winning yet another heat (his third) the 16 year old takes a comfortable lead into tonight's Penrith meeting. The opening event was taken out by the Ashlee Siejka trained Marquez for local junior Mitch Turnbull. Geary took out the next heat when he scored in strong fashion on 30-1 outsider Tulhurst Sarsha for trainer Nathan Hurst. The Riverina's Todd Prest led all the way in the final heat aboard Warner for Peter Trevor-Jones gaining valuable points which elevated him into second place on the leader board. The current points tally is as follows; Chris Geary 60 Todd Prest 41 Jack Trainor 35 Kristy Sheehy (WA) 34 Kasey Hocking 33Mitch Turnbull 31 Grace Grant 29 Nathan Xuereb 29 Max Hughes 25 Liam Armstrong 13 Mitch Turnbull - Western Dist - 4 The next three heats will be held tomorrow at Bathurst Harness Racing Club race 1 - 5:14pm, race 3 - 6:06pm & race 5 - 7:10pm The third round of heats will be conducted at Penrith this evening. HRNSW

The NSW Rising Stars series commenced at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday with keenly contested racing across both heats. The opening heat was taken out by the Nicole Molander trained Cillas Boy for 16 year old reinsman Chris Geary. Geary was at it again in the second heat when he scored in strong fashion on the Peter Trevor Jones trained Beetson. In winning both heats Geary has taken a big lead in the series on 34 points with defending champion Max Hughes in second with 17 points. The current points tally is as follows; Chris Geary 34 Max Hughes 17 Jack Trainor 16 Grace Grant 14 Nathan Xuereb 13 Kasey Hocking 12 Todd Prest 10 Kristy Sheehy (WA) 8 Liam Armstrong 4 Mitch Turnbull - Western Dist - 4 The next three heats will be held tomorrow at Bathurst Harness Racing Club race 1 - 5:14pm, race 3 - 6:06pm & race 5 - 7:10pm The second round of heats will be conducted at Bathurst this evening. Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales      

Talented young reinsman Jack Trainor admits he was a little surprised by his inclusion in this year's HRNSW Rising Stars series. The nineteen year old New Zealander has only been in Australia for seven months but his recent good form in the sulky has led to his selection for the state wide series that will see ten young drivers compete over a week starting on June 24. "I didn't think I was a chance at getting into the series this year because I haven't been here all that long and I was actually thinking that if I continued to drive a few winners then maybe I might be an outside chance at getting into it in twelve months time," Trainor said. "I love it here in Australia, I'm really enjoying my time with the Shane Tritton stable and I'm starting to get a few more opportunities, I definitely won't be going anytime soon." Trainor is originally from Dunedin but made the move to Christchurch as a sixteen year old. "Dad trains a couple for himself but I got talking with Dexter Dunn and he got me some work experience with Cran Dalgety during the school holidays and when I finished school I went and worked for Paul and Graham Court for six months." "I then went and worked for Cran for three years and that was an unbelievable experience, I got to drive Christen Me at the trials and when the opportunity came up in Australia I spoke with him and he said I should take it." At the time Shane Tritton was on the lookout for a junior driver with regular stable driver Lauren Panella losing her claim. "I heard that Shane was looking for a junior driver, he had a big team in work and there were some nice horses in the team plus there would be a good opportunity for a claiming driver so I decided to make the move." Trainor has already driven 32 winners in his career and is hoping to add to that tally in the Rising Stars series. "I've already had a couple of doubles here and I drove a treble two weeks ago so I hope the roll keeps going." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing | Harness Racing New South Wales |              

Nine of the most talented young drivers in NSW will gather in Sydney next month to contest the eighth edition of the Rising Stars series. Max Hughes, Mitch Turnbull, Kasey Hocking, Chris Geary, Nathan Xuereb, Grace Grant, Jack Trainor, Liam Armstrong and Todd Prest will compete in ten heats over six days at four different tracks. There will also be a representative from Western Australia which will be determined following the running of the WA Rising Stars series which concludes later this month. Max Hughes returns to the Rising Stars series after taking the honours in 2013 following two heat wins. And, Hughes is keen to retain his title. "I reckon it was the best week of my life," he said. "The best thing about winning is I get to have another week. I can't wait to try and do it again." Hughes drove 10 winners last season and even though he has had a slow start to this time around he is keen to prove himself again in the Rising Stars series. Participants will meet this year at the Menangle on 22 June for the Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge Barrier Draw and, when not competing, will spend the rest of the week participating in development activities. Interviews with Trots TV, a seminar with Harness Racing NSW, and date at Sky Channel to witness and participate in the production of In The Gig are also programmed. Heats one and two of the series are scheduled for Tabcorp Park, Menangle on Tuesday 24 June. Three heats are planned for Bathurst the following day, before the youngsters compete in two heats at Penrith on Thursday 26. The series moves to Newcastle on Saturday 28 June, with the remaining heat at Menangle on Breeders Challenge day, Sunday 29 June. The Rising Stars series will once again be sponsored by the Young Harness Racing Club. Secretary Brian Ingram said supporting the youth of the industry was paramount. "We have always sponsored the series and it's great to see the juniors gain invaluable experience," he said. "The club looks forward to watching all the heats and in particular the final round of the series on Breeders Challenge day (June 29)." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Hunter Valley harness racing trainer Shane Tritton has announced that the proposed trip to the New Zealand Cup for Suave Stuey Lombo will go ahead despite the gelding's unplaced effort on Saturday at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The son of Bettors Delight was forced to sit outside Mach Alert and although the gelding hit the front approaching the home turn he tired to be beaten 42 metres. "I think it proved that in the top company that he can't sit outside them especially if he is going to pull," Tritton said. "It's not the first time that he has failed to perform when he has been caught outside the leader because he did something similar in Queensland during the Winter Carnival, the most important factor is that he has pulled up well and his next run will be at Ashburton in the lead-up to the New Zealand Cup." Suave Stuey Lombo will be given a light week after Saturday night's performance before heading out to New Zealand on October 14th. "We wanted to see just where he was at on Saturday night and I think we got our answer but I'm looking forward to the experience in New Zealand so our plans have not changed at all." Tritton's other stable star Mach Beauty trialled last week with a new reinsman however regular driver Lauren Panella will be back in the cart when the horse resumes. "He went 1:54.8 at the trials, ideally I would like to get a couple of runs into him before the Newcastle Mile but that will depend on if I can get a start at Newcastle but even if the races don't stand up I'm happy to take him off to Menangle because he is still only classed M3." "Jack Trainor drove Mach Beauty for me at the trials last week, he has just arrived from New Zealand, he worked for Cran Dalgety and has driven Christen Me in a trial recently and has joined my stable as a claiming driver so you will see plenty of him in the next couple of months." by Nancy O'Grady for Harness Racing New South Wales  

It was supposed to be the much anticipated first clash of the season between New Zealand Trotting Cup favourites, Terror To Love and Christen Me, but today's feature heat became a chance for new-kid-on-the-block, Pass Them By to show everyone just how good he can be.  The Tim Butt trained pacer scooted along the passing lane to beat Fly Like An Eagle and Jimmy Johnston in a close finish.  Overall time was 3.01.9 with a last 800m of 55.4 and closing 400 in 26.0.  Neither Terror To Love nor Christen Me were pushed up the straight with drivers Ricky May and Jack Trainor both reporting their respective charges felt strong in the run to the line. Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand

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