Day At The Track
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The John Castles-trained filly Resolute Ruler caused a massive upset in the 60ty° Bandbox Prelude on Sunday night in Launceston. The Betterthancheddar-High Flying Ruler three-year-old (pictured-inside) has only been placed twice in 17 career starts but pulled out the race of her life to greet the judge at odds of $144.20. "She has always shown us something on the training track however with the exception of one or two runs she hasn't been able to show it on race night, but she has tonight it was a great win in trying conditions," said John. "It was a tough run for all the fillies in the race and the week of recovery ahead is going to be all important when assessing how the $50,000 Bandbox Final will pan out." Resolute Ruler scored by the barest possible margin of a short half-head over the fast-finishing Todd Rattray-trained and driven Joogle ($46.30) with the Rohan Hadley filly Our Wonder Woman ($39.30) storming home from a mile back with Barrie Rattray's drive Juniper ($54.) making up the first four. "Rohan (Hillier) drove Resolute Ruler a treat, easing out of the early speed battle to grab the one-one trail and when the Ashwood runners made their moves at the 1200-metre mark he just held his ground and then was in a position to ease out three wide on the home corner,"  said Castles. "She worked into it strongly and when the leaders Spoilt Sport and Still Hungover started to show signs of distress Barrie (Rattray) shot clear on Juniper but she was able to wear her down and then was strong enough to just hold Joogle late, so I'm hoping she can repeat her performance in the Final next week." Sunny Sanz made light work of the Roberts Rural Supplies Globe Derby Prelude, sprinting form last at the home turn to have his rivals covered at the 200-metre mark and will go into next week final as a red hot favourite for Kent Rattray and John Walters.   Shane Yates

It was another successful week of harness racing in the state including the rising star of Tasmanian harness racing Im Compliant keeping his unbeaten record in Australia intact with his second win this preparation, while 2014 Star Chamber found the winners stall for the second time this preparation with another win in Hobart on Friday. There was also success further aboard with Tasmanian-bred pacers winning at Melton, Menangle and Albion Park on Saturday night and the trend looks set to continue this week when the Tassie Terminator 2.0, Ignatius steps out at Menangle. Launceston is our venue for racing on Friday night with a 10-race card. The Launceston Pacing Club will also race on Wednesday night. The Stars Star Chamber – the Bianca Heenan-trained pacer broke the $200,000 barrier in prize-money when the 2014 Tasmanian Cup winner recorded his fourth win of the season when he took out the Free For All in Hobart on Friday night. The nine-year-old Our Sir Vancelot gelding has now recorded two wins from two starts this preparation. Mark Yole – was clearly the dominant driver in the sulky over the weekend recording driving doubles at both Hobart and Devonport to take his season total to 36 wins. John Castles  – continued his excellent strike rate with his runners finishing in the top four placings on the Devonport circuit and a training double, including the quinella, in the first race with Keep Playing and Flashy Ruler. This season Castles has started 46 runners in Devonport with 25 of those running in the top four positions. Im Compliant – Rohan Hillier-trained pacer just keeps winning since arriving in Australia. Tasmanian-bred pacers across Bass Strait – Resurgent Spirit (Melton), Pachacuti (Menangle) and Miss Graceland (Albion Park) all winners at Metropolitan venues on Saturday night. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday Mark Yole – driving double; Abs Boy and Rowley. Rohan Hillier – driving double; Im Compliant and Miracle Marcus. Ricky Duggan – driving double; Inner Light and Western Glory. Devonport – Sunday Todd Rattray – training and driving double; Kvitova Leis and Joggle. Driving treble with the win of Keep Playing. Mark Yole – driving double; Artarama and Heza Rummage. Ben Yole – training treble; Artarama, Heza Rummage and Gems. John Castles – training double; Keep Playing and Chirac. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Hobart on Friday night. Usain Jolt 56.55, Do It For Dave 57.04, No Apacheemee 57.12, Im Compliant 57.13 and Miss Atomic Betty 57.21. From Devonport on Sunday. Sheer Strength 57.32, Monarkmac 57.33, No Apacheemee 57.55, Kvitova Leis and Tarleton Riley both recorded 57.00. View all Tasmanian Sectional Data here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart Hit: Abs Boy $8.50 into $8.00. Defied The Drift: Inner Light $2.90 out to $3.10 and Rowley $3.30 out to $4.00. Missed: Chasing Cheetahs $4.60 into $4.00. Devonport  Hit’s: Gems $7.00 into $5.50 and All Over The Stars $9.00 into $8.50. Defied The Drift: Artarama $8.50 out to $16, Kvitova Leis $2.00 out to $2.90, Heza Rummage $3.50 out to $4.40 and Chirac $9.50 out to $11. Missed: Berty Mach $10 into $8.50, Selling The Dream $7.50 into $4.60, Like It Is $10 into $8.50, Jeans Mattjesty $8.50 into $7.00 and Aunty Rita $8.00 into $5.00. Trial File Carrick Park on Saturday  Three trials were staged on Saturday morning where the Ben Yole-trained Washmepockets recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the morning of 2:06.5 for the 2150-metre journey. Washmepockets is the winner of four races this season and scored in the trial by 2m over the stablemate Countdown. Other winners of the morning included; Redason (2:07.8), Bobbi Direct (2:09.2) and Miss Condeleeza (2:07.6). Week Ahead Harness racing returns to Launceston on Friday evening for a 10-race program. The Craig Hayes-trained Scooterwillrev will be looking for his fourth win in a row when he lines up in the Happy 60th Birthday Robert Rattray Stakes. Scooterwillrev broke the track record for the 2200-metre journey in Launceston at his most recent start on July 22 when he recorded a mile rate of 1:56.6. On Friday, driver Rohan Hadley has 2698 metres to make up his 20-metre handicap and is the only runner to be handicapped in the six-horse field. The first two races in Launceston are the Tasmanian heats of the Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-olds with the Fillies division being race one at 16:36. Participants and punters are also reminded that the trials set down for Hobart on Tuesday evening will now be held on Sunday morning commencing at 10:00 am. Interstate this weekend we see our local star, Ignatius step up to M0 company at Menangle as the James Rattray-trained and driven pacer continues his preparation for the upcoming Breeders Crown series. Horses with Tasmanian interest contesting races at metropolitan venues interstate this week included: Gloucester Park – Friday night Race 6 – Horse 9. Devendra Menangle – Saturday night Race 3 – Horse 5. Shezallapples Race 5 – Horse 7. Ignatius Melton – Saturday night Race 4 – Horse 7. Miley Rose Race 7 – Horse 8. Solid As A Rock Albion Park – Saturday night Race 2 – Horse 3. Jerrys Jet Race 7 – Horse 3. Fioki Some of the Tasmanian ex-pats have been driving exceptionally well of recent weeks interstate including Alex Ashwood who has picked up the drive on the Andy Gath trained Reils in the Victorian Trotters Derby at Maryborough in central Victoria on Sunday. Reils is a gelded son of Skyvalley and is the winner of eight races from 19 starts. Another Tasmanian who is doing well interstate is Jack Laugher who sits in 10th position on the Victorian Concession Drivers premiership where he has recorded 18 wins in that state this season. Meanwhile, Josh Duggan continued his good form with a driving double at Melton on Monday afternoon Duncan Dornauf

Wesley Vale trainer John Castles arrived at the Devonport Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday hopeful of a snaring a victory, he left with a winning double and a quinella. John prepared the first and second favourites in the opening race on the card the Mitavite Pace over 1930 metres with the popular pick Keep Playing ($1.70) coming out on top over Flashy Ruler ($5.30) “We don’t think there’s much between them, Keep Playing (pictured) has the better manners of the two but Flashy Ruler has his fair share of ability as well,” said John. ‘They had the race between them a long way out so as the trainer you can relax a little and enjoy the last 400 metres a little more.” Keep Playing, a Shadow Play-Keep Grinning gelding, raced home to his second three-year-old win of the season having won the Jos Ray Memorial at Devonport on May 18. Stablemate Chirac ($14.70), driven by John’s nephew Charlie Castles, came from second last into the back straight to nose out the $3.00 equal favourite Gotta Go Henry in the very last stride. “Charlie timed his run to perfection with Chirac, he was back last when the moves started and he was quick to latch onto the three-wide train and then made the race winning move into the back at the 500 metre mark when he knew he had to get moving so he was off four-wide,” said the delighted trainer and part owner. “Turning for home Chirac had got to second but the leader Gotta Go Henry looked like he had pinched it before Chirac made a late surge and nailed him on the peg.” Charlie is in his first season of driving and his success on Chirac was his third career win but the first for his uncle and father Michael. “They told me to try and stay near the fence, I thought I had followed their instructions to the letter, perhaps I need to check with them which fence they are talking about in future,” laughed Charlie. Shane Yates

Mostly Spirit will be in search of a winning hat-trick as it makes its Tasmanian debut at Devonport tonight. The Union Guy-Sky High Curves four-year-old gelding has won its last two starts and is now in the stables of Northdown trainer Geoff Smith (pictured). “Mostly Spirit arrived from Victoria last Friday and I’m very happy with the way he has settled in,” said Geoff. “His owner John Davidson and I go back a long way and he rang me after the gelding won at Mildura and asked me to have a look at the race and if I liked what I saw I could race him here, he arrived four days later.” Mostly Spirit has won three of its 27 starts and has drawn the second line tonight in race two the  CUB Pace. “We gave him a few days off after he arrived and he has worked nicely since, I’ve gone for Rohan (Hillier) to drive him tonight as he looks and feels as if he needs to be tapped along to keep his mind on the jump,” said Geoff. “He went 1:59.9 for the mile when he won at Port Pirie in June so he’s got the ability and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action.” Trainer John Castles has the favourite Flying Wingard against the newcomer to the state along with the popular pick Keep Playing in the opening race on the eight-event Devonport card and Chirac in the Claimer. The Phil Mascall owned and trained four-year-old mare Origin Tara and five-year-old mare My Ruby Rose, prepared by Rohan Hadley, are the leading hopes in race six the John McKenna Race Night Pace over 1930-metres. Both mares have a win and two placings to their credit this season with My Ruby Rose winning at Devonport in last month while Origin Tara greeted the judge in Launceston in May. Tonight’s Devonport Harness Racing card commences at 17.12 and may be viewed via the live stream service at tasracing.com.au. UBET is offering a $899 Jackpot on the Double on races 4,5 and a $500 jackpot on the Quadrella on races 2,3,4,5.   Shane Yates

Wesley Vale harness racing trainer John Castles teamed up with the state's leading driver Gareth Rattray to snare a double at the meeting on the North-West Coast in Devonport last Friday night. The pair combined to win the Harding Hotmix Mobile with Spot Eight to give that gelding his third win of the season and that followed an impressive performance from Dayraid to win a C1 or better handicap over 1286 metres. Dayraid, owned by staunch harness racing  stalwarts on King Island, was having his first start for Castles and he was given the run of the race behind the leader by Rattray. When the pace quickened about 600 metres from home Rattray was able to ease Dayraid off the fence to make his move and once in clear racing room the six-year-old gelded son of Dawn of a New Day ran on well to score by a neck from race leader Dellas Command with Sign No More 4-1/2 metres away third. Dayraid was well backed to start the $4.30 equal favourite with Dellas Command and given the way Castles' horse hit the line there should be more wins in store in the coming weeks. Spot Eight's win was arguably his best this season as he drew the outside of the second row and was forced to settle at the rear. Rattray made his move three-wide about 800m from home and he latched into the back of Timely Sovereign that went ahead of him. But he ended up three-back in the running line when Union Force barged out in front of Timely Sovereign. Union Force ended up in the breeze and when they turned for home Spot Eight was forced four-wide but he proved too strong for his rivals going in to score by 1-1/2 metres from Timely Sovereign with Union Force 2-1/2 metres away third. Rattray ended the night with a treble courtesy of Tisu Bombbelle winning the last race on the seven-event card. Peter Staples      

Art Of My Art made it three wins from is past four starts when he scored a narrow win in the Carlton Draught Pace for harness racing three-year-olds over 2200 metres in Launceston on Sunday night. The gelded son of Art Colony had been cleverly placed by his trainer John Castles who entered hi in non-penalty races that made up heats in a novice driver series in which he won one and placed second in another before winning a 3C0 at Devonport prior to this latest assignment. Art of My Art drew awkwardly on the inside of the second row but somehow Rohan Hillier managed to secure the one-out-one-back position after travelling about 600 metres. God Sake faced the breeze outside of Rocknroll Dancer that set a solid clip with All Style Sammy on the leader's back. When God Sake forged to the lead Hillier sent his charge three-wide to give chase and after finding the front 200 metres out he battled gamely to have just enough in hand to defeat All Style Sammy with God Sake third Peter Staples

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