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Scarcely has there been a more popular win than Pelosi's victory in this afternoon's $125,000 NSW Breeders Challenge Final for harness racing two-year-old fillies.   Ace Queensland reinsman John Cremin admitted he had resorted to 'Plan B' when polemarker Michelle Lee Mac missed the start. Cremin quickly took the initiative and took Pelosi to the front and thereafter the gun filly defied all efforts to run her down as she scored a four-metre win over Eye Can Run (Rob Morris) with A Rainbow Delight (Todd McCarthy) just behind them in third place in a slick 1:52.6 mile. Trained by Anna Woodmansey and owned and bred by former reinsman Wayne Honan, Pelosi has been something special throughout her short career with six wins and one placing from just eight starts. An ecstatic Woodmansey said the filly had been pleasure to train and work with and had always shown some extra talent. Honan agreed: "She's well-bred and in good company as far as that's concerned but we have struggled to get the best out of this breed. "We had four previous foals along similar lines but had problems with them. This American Ideal filly has certainly been the best of them so far," he said. "John Cremin was happy to accept the drive and I thank him for he now knows the horse as well as anyone."   Pelosi Earlier Australia's most powerful stable, the Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin barn secured the first Group 1 of the day when Luke McCarthy and champion trainer Emma Stewart combined to win the two-year-old colts' heats of the Breeders Challenge with Be Happy Mach. Part-owner of the colt, Andrew 'Hoss' Bensley, of Racing Radio fame was there on a rare day off to accept the trophy. "Luke regularly drives in Group 1 races but to walk away with success is unbelievable," said Bensley. "He told us pre-race what he was going to do and fortunately it ended up that way as he ended up with a victory. "It is great to bring horses like Be Happy Mach, bring them up, race in country areas of NSW then come here for the big races. "We hope to be back here later in the day to congratulate him again for yet another good drive." Sean Vella

Ace Brisbane harness racing driver John Cremin usually tends to keep it all low key...but at the moment he's, understandably, quite upbeat. Cremin, a former Albion Park metropolitan premiership-winning reinsman, has formed an awesome partnership with boom two-year-old filly Pelosi (American Ideal USA-For Dear Life (Life Sign USA). Pelosi continued on her winning way at Newcastle on Saturday night with a sparkling victory in the Rock N Roll Heaven Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge 2yo fillies heat. Starting a short priced $1.04 favorite, the Wayne Honan-bred and owned youngster, took control soon after the start and made it five wins (the last four in a row) from six starts. Cruising through the first few quarters in 29.4 and 31 seconds, Cremin slipped the pacer into another gear over the final half, which was run in a brisk 56.1. "She was entitled to dash home in good time as she did the first part of the event well within herself," Cremin said. "I only let her quicken up at the 400-metre mark but didn't fully extend her and she just felt super. Credit must go to the runner up Shezlikeroyalty who popped off my back and was brave, although she was eight metres back." Race Replay Cremin was full of praise for trainer Anna Woodmansey, who is enjoying the ride of her life in the sport. "Anna is doing a terrific job and the filly has been in peak condition ever since I first sat behind her in a few trials back in February," he said. "I've been friends with her for a long time - probably since our teenage years. "Over the years I've driven for Anna on and off, although I was pretty much her number one driver for about 12 months at one stage." Pelosi will now head to the $25,000 semi-finals at Menangle next month with the big $125,000 final at that track on June 30. Cremin, who flew down from Brisbane with his wife Tanya to drive at the Newcastle meeting, had two reasons to celebrate. Their pacer Psychedelic (Rock N Roll Heaven-Pretty Inpink (Statute) won the Qualifying Pace at Albion Park - the 18th win of the six-year-old's career. "We pulled over and watched it on our phone. The horse is owned by Tanya, so she was pretty excited. He's now won nearly $140,000," Cremin said. The win saw what could perhaps be described as "musical chairs" between Cremin and well-known trainer, albeit sometimes-driver, Graham Dwyer. Cremin is number one driver for Dwyer who prepares a big team. "Graham decided to concentrate mainly on the training side of things and sort of only drives when he has to," Cremin said. "When we were heading to Newcastle and looking for a driver for Psychedelic he got the first call, and jumped at it. "I told him after the race that the drive didn't rate all that highly! But it was actually very good - we do have that sort of working-friendship relationship." Cremin, who has been the senior farrier at the strong Grant Dixon stable for the past 15 years, said his success was due to help he was getting around him. "My wife Tanya has been the mainstay for a long time, and just recently we had some Victorian friends in Nigel and Kim Ingram lending a hand. You always need that help going on in the background and it appreciatively lightens the load," he said. After flying back home from Sydney on Sunday, Cremin managed to put his "backside on a chair for an hour or two" before heading off to a Redcliffe meeting where he had a big book of drives - including snagging a winner in the first in Gotta Moment (Gotta Go Cullect NZ-Fleeting Moment(Falcon Seelster) for, you guessed it, his mate Graham Dwyer   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Electrifying two-year-old harness racing filly Pelosi, who has set tongues wagging with some astonishing performances in recent weeks, has pulled up as bright as a button from her first Group One success. Owner-breeder Wayne Honan said the horse would now be aimed at the New South Wales Breeders' Challenge series, which culminates with a $125,000 final at Menangle on June 30. "There's heats at Newcastle and then semi-finals leading into the big one. So, all going well, there's exciting times ahead. After that she will head for a spell," Honan said. "We always thought she would be something special because she looked the goods from day one, being well-gaited and unlike a few others in that breeding, didn't brush her knee. "Anna (Woodmansey) has done an exceptional job in training Pelosi. She only has two in work (the other being Photozen), but she is so thorough and spends every spare minute with them. And I have to say that both horses can be a bit 'different' at times." Owner-breeder of Pelosi Wayne Honan with trainer Anna Woodmansey --Dan Costello photo The impeccably bred Pelosi (American Ideal USA-For Dear Life (Life Sign USA) is now the fastest filly Queensland has ever produced. She scored the biggest win of her short career when successful in last Saturday night's $150,000 APG 2YO final at Albion Park. Prepared at Chambers Flat by hobby trainer Anna Woodmansey, who works in a high school administration office, Pelosi has now won four of her five lifetime starts. While the win provided Woodmansey and popular reinsman John Cremin with their first ever Group One victories, Honan has been one of Australia's most successful trainer-drivers over the years. In the heady days of the 1970s and 80s, Honan and his late legendary father Jack, of Killarney Stud, Canowindra, were a formidable team, preparing big teams of up to 35 horses. "One of our first decent horses I can recall was a mare named Fine Jade. She won the Queensland Oaks and then went onto be the dam of Prince Jade ($114,921), Genesee ($58,211), Glens Fine Jade ($25,110) as well as some others," Honan said. "As well as the Canowindra stables, we also had a property near the late and great Ron Peace at Donnybrook, near Melbourne. "The recent Brisbane wins brought back some fond memories because we made many trips north with our horses to the annual Winter Carnival over the years. We'd be based at Albion Park, but would also compete at Redcliffe and even down to Tweed Heads on the Queensland/New South Wales border. "We made a lot of friends and won some nice races during those campaigns." Pelosi comes from a successful family line boasting outstanding Group race victories, but gets her name from American congresswoman, the energetic and determined Nancy Pelosi. The 79-year-old was first elected in 2007 and is now in her third term as the speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Honan said the name seemed a fitting one for the feisty daughter of American Ideal. "From what I can see, Nancy gives President Trump heaps - she goes hard and wants to be the best. So there's a bit of meaning there," he said. For Dear Life, dam of Pelosi, was a brilliant racehorse, winning 14 races from 28 starts for over $322,000. And grand dam, the Stature mare Express Post, was exceptionally fast. "When I won the Pink Bonnet with her at Harold Park, she lowered the previous race record by three seconds. She was awesome and ended up with 11 wins from 18 starts," Honan said. In the breeding barn, Express Post was a sensation. Petousa (by Western Hanover) won $180,000 in stakes, stallion Flightpath (Artsplace) won nearly $290,000 before retiring to stand at stud and For Dear Life (Life Sign) won $322,000. Honan retains Petousa, while Moama horseman Tony Peacock has For Dear Life at his St Fort property. For Dear Life has an Always B Miki weanling colt and will be served by American Ideal this coming season. Pelosi, driver John Cremin, Anna Woodmansey and Wayne Honan --Dan Costello photo  For John Cremin, recognized as one of the Sunshine State's favorite sons, the APG Group One win was much deserved. "Cremmo", as he's known, who turns 56 next Sunday (coincidentally the same day wife Tanya celebrates her birthday) got an early present he won't forget for a long time. "I've probably been driving for nearly 40 years, so I was overdue for a win in a Group One. I guess Pelosi is proof that you're never too old as far as a driver goes!" he said. "Perhaps some might say that my years of experience are now paying off. But as a young fella I wouldn't have handled horses with little idiosyncrasies like her. With a little bit of age and experience it's finally come to me!" Cremin was quick to label Pelosi as the best of her age that's he's ever driven. "She's definitely by far the best - the complete package. She relaxes beautifully and is so versatile. My only worry is to keep her out of trouble," he said. Cremin, who trains a team of six as well as being a respected farrier, is looking forward to the coming NSW campaign for Pelosi with the memory of a Newcastle win under his belt with Home of Jack in the Cup in December 2005. Watch the Pelosi win video replay here!   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The best pacer that Anna Woodmansey has trained needs to be taught to slow down. That’s the opinion of the Chambers Flat horsewoman going into Saturday night’s feature event at Albion Park – the $21,000 Changeover At Burwood Stud 2yo Classic (Race 7). The 56-year-old said Pelosi had so much speed she needed to be taught to use it in a race. “She’s such a lovely gaited animal, who needs to be taught to race. She can go like a bat out of hell at times and just needs to slow down and use her speed appropriately,” Woodmansey said. The very well bred American Ideal - For Dear Life (Life Sign) filly is the only starter on the second line in Saturday's eight-strong 1660m mobile. She will be driven by John Cremin. Pelosi goes into the race with a first-up 1.3m victory when a $2.80 second favourite at Albion Park on February 26. The gifted bay then followed that up with an easy 4.3m trial win at the same venue on Wednesday (March 13). "I gave her that trial because last week's 2-year-old race was put off until this week because of the Australia Ladies Driving Champs," Woodmansey said. “She’s had two preps with Kylie Rasmussen and she really liked her. She’s a smart, sensible filly. She comes from a nice family, many of which have won Group races. However they can tend to be a bit loopy unless you keep them in work,” Woodmansey said. “But I must admit it’s been hard trying to treat this good girl equal to the others. She’s much better though, and makes the job worth getting up for,” she added. Pelosi paced a 1:56 mile rate (1:59.6 - 1660m) when winning from gate three on debut. She sat three-deep on the markers that day and then loomed up three wide at the 400m. In the straight she had too much sprint for the favourite Will The Wizard. On Wednesday she came from well back in the field to sit parked at the bell and then at the 700m took control of the race. From that point the battle was for second. Cremin had a big handful as his filly cruised to the line in 2:03.9 (mile rate 2:00.1). Pelosi hails from a quality family, and the daughter of American Ideal is well named. Her human namesake - Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American politician who has been the speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. "Wayne named her. He reckons Pelosi gives (Donald) Trump heaps. Her mother was also a very nice racehorse. In fact a lot of the family have done well," Woodmansey said. Wayne is Wayne Honan, Woodmansey’s partner and the owner/breeder of both Pelosi and her dam - For Dear Life (2005 Life Sign mare). Honan's Hall-of-Fame father, the late Jack bred the grand-dam, the 1992 Stature mare, Express Post. Between them, For Dear Life and Express Post won 25 races and just on $400,000. For Dear Life won 14 of her 28 starts ($322,331) and three Group One events, including the $125,000 Breeders 2yo Challenge in 2008; the $100,000 NSW Wales Oaks in 2009; and the $100,000 APG 3yo Fillies Final in 2009. The first two Group Ones were achieved at Harold Park and the latter at Albion Park. Woodmansey said Express Post won 11 of her 18 starts and $89,483. "I think that might be where Pelosi gets her speed from because Jack said Express Post was an exceptionally fast mare," said Woodmansey. Pelosi arrived at Woodmansey’s barn in November and she is one of three currently in work. The trainer said she would slowly build her up to the APG 2yo heats at Albion Park the end of next month. Toughest for Pelosi to defeat will be the also unbeaten Toanui Spirit (5) and Xaviers Hurrikane (7). Trained by KerryAnn Turner and Shawn Grimsey respectively, both 2-year-olds were impressive winners on debut. New South Wales Visitor Toanui Spirit comes into the race with a 2:01.6 winning mile rate at Newcastle on February 23, while  Xaviers Hurrikane, who has copped the outside front-row draw, made a statement when winning at Albion Park on February 12 by 5.3m with a quick 1:56.1 mile rate. Robert Morris and Nathan Dawson will drive Toanui Spirit and Xaviers Hurrikane respectively. Pelosi's impressive win at the Albion Park trials on Tuesday:   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Nominations for the 2018 TAB Inter Dominion series in Melbourne later this year have now closed. A total of 104 pacers are chasing the code’s ultimate prize while 88 trotters are striving for greatness, it’s the first time since 2012 that a trotting series has been staged. Ironically, the last trotting series staged was won by the star performer I Can Doosit, prepared by master horseman Mark Purdon. With most states of Australia represented across both divisions plus both islands of New Zealand, the series looks loaded with talent. And the Sunshine State is amongst the early action. The John Cremin prepared Melpark Royal Son and the Grant Dixon trained duo of Miracle Rising and Our Overanova are all nominated for the trotting series. In the pacing division, Grant Dixon has a trio nominated including Alleluia, Frankie Rocks and Ohoka Punter while Chantal Turpin has nominated both Mattgregor and Watch Pulp Fiction. The last pacing series staged in Melbourne back in 2008 went the way of Queensland champion Blacks A Fake. A winner of four Inter Dominion Grand Finals, ‘Blackie’ scored a dominant victory at Moonee Valley. The first round of rankings will be released by Harness Racing Victoria tomorrow (Wednesday). The series starts on December 1 with the Grand Finals scheduled for December 15 at TABCORP Park, Melton.   Chris Barsby

On the eve of the state’s biggest trotting event, there is a notable omission. Defending harness racing champion Melpark Royal Son will miss the 2017 Gr.2 $40,630 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship series owing to a mysterious hoof issue. Prepared by astute mentor John Cremin, Melpark Royal Son resumed with a steady sixth at Albion Park on November 18 when handled by leading reinsperson Danielle Hill but never looked completely comfortable in running. And that left Cremin perplexed. “I haven’t been completely satisfied with the way he was trotting this campaign but I was hopeful I’d have him right to defend his title. It’s hard to pinpoint the issue but it’s in the same offside front hoof that gave him a few troubles during his Melbourne campaign earlier this year.” Cremin said. The reigning Queensland Trotter of the Year has undergone a series of tests in recent weeks with no definitive answer has been revealed although it is different to the issue from earlier this season. The Majestic Son gelding will spend a number of weeks in the spelling paddock. “We’ll give him a number of weeks off now in a bid to solve the problem, there’s no point racing him when there’s an issue, I wouldn’t do that to him because he’s been so good to us since we purchased him. “The only remaining test yet to be carried out on him is an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) but we’d have to go to Sydney for that, we haven’t ruled that out but hopefully we can organise some time to get down there.” Melpark Royal Son is raced by Cremin’s wife, Tanya. Cremin is heavily committed with his burgeoning farrier business while working his small team. The opening round of heats will take place tomorrow (Friday) with two full fields taking on the staying distance of 2647m. Key players in the first heat include Master Hugh, Blazing Under Fire, Releven Dream, Our Dainty Lady and Our Overanova among others while the second heat features Ivanov, Southern Alps, Unico Pegasus, Twice As Much, Astral Ruler, Giacomo and Iona Grinner among others. Cremin has picked up the drives behind Liava and Blue Don for the Grant Dixon stable. Chris Barsby

The rub of the green hasn’t gone the way of the Kiwi’s leading into the 2017 Brisbane harness racing winter carnival. Brilliant open class mare The Orange Agent was ruled out earlier this month owing to a hairline fracture of the fetlock joint which was quickly followed by the news that star filly Spanish Armada was out of the Oaks features with a leg bump. And the news goes from bad to worse. Giant pacer Hughie Green is the latest casualty after suffering a cracked pedal bone to his offside front yesterday (Thursday). Naturally, trainer/driver John Cremin was left gutted by the news. “He was out having a canter and just ticking over nicely for his assignment this weekend and he took an awkward step and I knew straight away it wasn’t good. Once the vet arrived, he confirmed the worst news possible.” A dejected Cremin said. Hughie Green has been luckless in his past two starts but was heavily favoured to bounce back this weekend at Albion Park after drawing the inside gate in the Listed $25,500 Mr Feelgood Open Pace. The Art Major gelding was being set for the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint next week followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake the following week. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for managing owner John Green given he shares in the ownership of both Hughie Green and The Orange Agent. The Orange Agent was being set for the same features. “Greeny has been around long enough to know that it can be a fickle game and unfortunately the timing couldn’t be worse, it’s just shocking luck. “I know he was looking forward to having both compete in the upcoming features and suddenly, he’s left with no representation. “He’s overseas currently and this is not the news I wanted to pass on, we’re looking at least twelve months on the sidelines at this early stage.” Since arriving from New Zealand, Hughie Green has won 4 of his 10 starts while winning 3 from 6 at Albion Park. Millionaire Bling It On and the regally bred Rocker Band are other casualties of the carnival. The chances of New Zealand pacers landing feature race glory still remain high through the deeds of outstanding three-year-old fillies Delightful Memphis and Partyon in the Queensland Oaks while The More The Better looms as the horse to beat for the Queensland Derby on July 15. Chris Barsby

Giant pacer Hughie Green can bounce back this weekend. The former New Zealand harness racing star tasted defeat for the first time on local soil last start when triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova outstayed him at Albion Park two weeks ago. Avonnova beat Hughie Green by a half head margin in a time of 1:52.9. Now the hulking pacer is looking at redemption when he starts in the $20,500 Flashing Red at Albion Park this Saturday night. It’s a test on many levels. Switching from the mobile start sprint scamper to the marathon staying test run from standing start conditions. And coming off a crushing defeat. But trainer/driver John Cremin isn’t perturbed. “That was his first true open class test in Brisbane and we got beaten by a great horse, a horse that could’ve won an Inter Dominion with luck a few years back and the time was much better than his previous best in New Zealand. It’s always disappointing to get beat but we move on and aim to bounce back.” Cremin said. Hughie Green is no stranger to the stand-start; in fact, this will be his 9th start from the tapes this weekend. And he’s a three times winner under these conditions which gives Cremin confidence. “He’s a big horse but he’s a natural pacer so I’m confident he’ll make a safe beginning, I haven’t drilled him at home with barrier practice because sometime that makes them get sick of it very quickly. The fact he starts of a 10m handicap will allow him to follow through quite naturally. “It’s a solid field and it’s a well handicapped race, I’ve got respect for all of my rivals but I think the front-line are down on their best form so that may provide an opportunity to get handy pretty quickly. Luck will play key role but I’m confident he can measure up. “He’s trained on well and we continue to build towards the winter carnival features, these races are obvious targets and we’re keen to chase the better prizemoney events. The Redcliffe Cup in the coming weeks is another target we’re considering.” The Gr.3 $30,500 Redcliffe Gold Cup is scheduled for June 9. Obvious targets at Albion Park in July include the Gr.2 $50,500 Sunshine Sprint on July 8 while the Gr.1 $200,500 Blacks A Fake the following week is the main mission. “We’re very lucky to be training a horse like this and we’re very excited about the coming months, he’s always had a massive boom on him but at the end of the day, he is only a horse but maybe he’s not the star people think he should be. “He’ll be more than competitive in anything he starts in but like most, he’ll need luck going his way, that’s just the way it is nowadays.” The Queensland winter carnival officially starts on June 2 and reaches its climax on July 15. Chris Barsby

There’s plenty at stake this weekend. The BOTRA Charity Race Day May 14 Open Pace features a very talented harness racing field, a perfect blend of youth and experience. But it’s a perfect opportunity for many to stake their claim as the best pacer in the sunshine state. And with the Brisbane winter carnival looming, there’s more than bragging rights up for grabs. The headline act is comeback pacer Avonnova, fresh out of retirement following his crushing victory in the Gr.2 $50,000 Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park on December 17 in near track record time. Avonnova rated 1:53.3 for 2138m; the track record belongs to Hunter Cup winner Bling It On when he downed Philadelphia Man to win the Gold Coast Cup back in 2015. The triple Queensland Horse of the Year has shaped well in two public trials for trainer Ian Gurney and he believes he’s ready to rumble again. “The whole retirement plan didn’t quite go to plan but I’ve gotta say he’s loving life back in the stable again, he just thrives on routine and I’m really happy with the way he’s come up this campaign.” Gurney said. “If he wins this first-up, I’d be beside myself. “Given how competitive this level of racing is coupled with how some of his rivals are performing currently, it’s going to take a massive effort but this horse has always continued to surprise me. “Whatever he does this weekend, there’s still plenty of improvement in him. In many ways, I’m just building him up for the July features.” Leading reinsman Shane Graham is booked to drive the Art Major gelding. An obvious hurdle for Avonnova this weekend and possibly for the months to come could be hulking former New Zealand star Hughie Green. The giant Art Major gelding has toyed with his rivals in his two local starts to date for new trainer/driver John Cremin. Last week, Hughie Green ambled to the lead before thrashing his rivals in a time of 1:57.3 while blasting home in 55.5 seconds untouched. Since joining Cremin back in January, Hughie Green has reignited his career winning three of his five starts. Blessed with enormous ability, Hughie Green struggled to recapture his scintillating early form which had him run a clear favourite in the Gr.1 $155,000 New Zealand Sires Stakes 3yo Final won by Have Faith In Me. Hughie Green finished 11th and struggled for consistency thereafter. Many believe Hughie Green has the capabilities of becoming the state’s best pacer. Quality performers Shannonsablast, Mach Alert and Alleluia all rate as leading chances in the 1660m sprint scamper while the improving Zac Mac could give plenty of cheek from his ace draw. The Albion Park 1660m track record belongs to champion pacer Im Themightyquinn at 1:50.4. As it stands, the next best time is 1:51.3 which Avonnova set when successful in the 2015 Sunshine Sprint defeating Smolda. Chris Barsby

The traveling roadshow for John Cremin has come to a close. The Queensland horseman has returned home this week following an extended harness racing campaign with a small but select team which took in three states of Australia. Cremin, along with his wife Tanya, went south originally with a team of two, talented trotter Melpark Royal Son and intermediate grade pacer Psychedelic before being joined by former classy New Zealand pacer Hughie Green mid-way through their travels. Venturing to South Australia, Victoria and finishing up in New South Wales, the Cremin’s took in plenty of racing and with good success. But all good things must come to an end. “We’re back home now and all three horses will have an easy couple of weeks to get over the trip, I was really pleased with how they performed and it was a great learning experience. In the end, it got really hot and I think that knocked the horses around a bit which didn’t help.” Cremin said Hughie Green will now be set for the upcoming Brisbane winter carnival, the giant sized Art Major gelding will be set for the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake on July 15 at Albion Park. The Blacks A Fake, the biggest event staged in Queensland recently gained Grand Circuit status and is the final leg of the 2016/17 series. Since joining Cremin, Hughie Green has raced three times for a victory at Melton followed by a game effort first-up when beaten narrowly at Ballarat while being unplaced at Menangle last week. Starting from a wide draw, Hughie Green got back in the field and never threatened when finishing 9th behind Watch Pulp Fiction in a time of 1:51.4. “We’re still learning about the horse and I’m not disappointed by his effort last time, the draw wasn’t kind and it was his first look at the track while the pace didn’t suit us. He came through the race well and he’s back home now in his new environment. “The hot weather knocked him plus the travel from Melbourne to Sydney during the week probably took a toll on him, he’ll have a couple of easy weeks before we fire him up for the winter carnival. “Given how the dynamics have changed up here with the open class ranks, he’s going to be right in the thick of things and hopefully he can show his true ability. He’s lovely big gentle giant and he’s still got plenty more to give so the next couple of months should be interesting and hopefully fun with him.” During the campaign, Cremin won two races while being placed on another five occasions from his 13 starters. The highlight was Hughie Green winning at Melton on Hunter Cup night in the $20,000 M1/M2 Pace.   Chris Barsby

Queensland harness racing horseman John Cremin is halfway home. But he’s still got one big target left. Originally, Cremin and his Tanya headed south to Victoria not long after Christmas on a working holiday with two horses, talented trotter Melpark Royal Son and handy pacer Psychedelic. The view was to allow their feature race winning trotter to compete in bigger races during the summer carnival. Melpark Royal Son went winless in his four start campaign, he proved competitive in all races including a trip to Adelaide for the SA Trotters Cup at Globe Derby while the only blip came last start at Melton last weekend when making a break. Psychedelic scored once in his four starts which happened to be in career best time (1:55.8) at Maryborough while his only unplaced effort came via last Saturday night in the Gr.1 $100,000 Bonanza behind Lazarus in a time of 1:52.9. The bonus of the trip was the addition of quality New Zealand pacer Hughie Green, sent to Cremin by owner and longtime friend and Auckland based John Green. With as much ability to match his gigantic frame, Hughie Green has immediately clicked under the tutelage of Cremin which has resulted in a courageous second behind smart four-year-old Three Ways at Ballarat before his crushing victory at Melton last weekend. Now the focus will be gaining a start in the country’s premier sprint race, the Gr.1 $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile on February 25 at Menangle. “He’s always been blessed with great ability and he’s proven in the two starts to date with me that he’s deserving of a chance of starting in the qualifying race so we’ll give him his chance, he wasn’t nominated for the Victoria or Hunter Cups when he was sent over hence why we didn’t start in those features.” Cremin said. The couple has already made it back to their temporary base at Raymond Terrace, north of Sydney with their talented trio but only Hughie Green and Psychedelic will race in Sydney with Melpark Royal Son set for a break. Hughie Green will be nominated for Saturday week’s Gr.1 $100,000 Canadian Club Sprint while Psychedelic will start next Tuesday in a country class event. “The big track at Menangle appears perfect for him; he’s raced and beaten some of the best pacers back home in New Zealand and he’s clearly regained some confidence in Melbourne. I think tucked away in a high pressure tempo will give him an excellent chance of qualifying for the Miracle Mile. “I’ve known John and his family for a longtime now and him joining my stable was a combination of a few things, he was proving quite frustrating with his consistency plus it was an act of kindness to send him my way to try and sort him out. “I haven’t done a lot different with him, obviously I’m a farrier and I’ve worked on his hooves but apart from that I haven’t changed a great deal with him. Bunty (Brian Hughes – former trainer) sent over his hopples and bridle but forgot his shadow roll and I worked him without it and we haven’t looked back since so that’s probably the only major difference.” Cremin is a great advocate of the bigger tracks and is looking forward to starting Hughie Green in Sydney. Long term, Cremin will return to his home base at Carbrook before setting his sights on the Brisbane winter carnival. Chris Barsby

Star New Zealand pacer Hughie Green is set to become a Queenslander. The monster sized harness racing star will transfer to the stables of John Cremin. Hughie Green was engaged to race at Cambridge tonight in the Gr.2 $50,000 Flying Mile and take on current New Zeland Cup hero Lazarus but has subsequently been withdrawn. The Art Major - Alta Serena five-year-old will arrive in Melbourne next Wednesday and link with Cremin who has headed south to campaign his feature race winning trotter Melpark Royal Son during the Victorian summer carnival. In his most recent start, Hughie Green finished at the rear of the field behind wonder mare Dream About Me in the Gr.1 $245,000 Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park on New Year's Eve. Hughie Green has won 11 from 27 career starts to date while banking more than $189,000 in stakes. He has raced and beat some of the best pacers in New Zealand with his biggest triumph coming via the Summer Cup at Alexandra Park in December, 2015. On that occasion, he beat the likes of Have Faith In Me, Ohoka Punter, Besotted, Tiger Tara and No Doctor Needed among others. The Queensland open class ranks appear thin currently given the recent retirement of free legged star Avonnova therefore paving the way for Hughie Green to recapture form and confidence. Hughie Green is raced by John Green and his family and was previously prepared by Brian 'Bunty' Hughes. by Chris Barsby

John Cremin has set himself a New Year’s resolution. The former Albion Park harness racing metropolitan winning premiership reinsman is heading south and he’s taking his new prized recruit with him. Cremin will head off tomorrow (Sunday) bound for Victoria with his stable star, talented trotter Melpark Royal Son. The recent winner of the Gr.2 $40,000 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship winner at Albion Park, the Majestic Son – Melpark Maid gelding will be set for a number of trotting features during the Melbourne summer carnival. “It’s a good opportunity for a working holiday; he’s paid his way for a trip so Tanya (wife) and I are heading off to compete in a few nice races while catching up with a lot of our friends we have down there which will be great fun.” Cremin said. Melpark Royal Son capped his southern campaign with a resounding romp at Albion Park yesterday (Friday) in a time of 2:00.4 for the 2138m mobile start event. Since being purchased from Glenn Conroy earlier this year, Melpark Royal Son has found a new lease of life in the sunshine state while Cremin’s astute farrier skills have also played a part in his success. In 13 starts for Cremin, Melpark Royal Son has won five times while being placed on a further 7 occasions. His only unplaced effort came on October 29 at Albion Park when fourth behind Blue Don, beaten 3.7 metres. “My only other trotter was Dicky Dewar and I enjoyed working with him so I was keen to get another one in time, this guy came up and I‘ve got to thank Glenn for everything because he’s helped me a heck of a lot since he’s arrived at my stables. “The Conroy family is well known for their success with the trotters and Glenn has been excellent with his advice. I’m looking at the Horsham Trotters Cup on January 8 as his first target, it’s a 2700m stand start which will suit him nicely. “His biggest asset is his speed, he can really turn it on and sprint and I believe he’s still working it all out because he’s still very lightly raced for a trotter. I think this trip away will be a good learning curve for both of us.” The last time Cremin ventured south with a horse was back in 1995 when he headed to Harold Park with Brendans Mate. But given his busy schedule as a farrier, he’s rarely had time to work horses, let alone travel with them. Cremin is the chief farrier for Queensland’s largest stable, Grant Dixon while supporting a number of other stables on the south side of Brisbane. Chris Barsby

Exciting four-year-old Alleluia produced an outstanding effort to claim tonight’s (Saturday) harness racing Gr.2 $50,000 Moreton Bay Regional Council Redcliffe Gold Cup. Trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon, Alleluia ($5) sat without cover in the 2613m standing start feature and proved too strong for Five Card Draw ($9.90) and Jivin Cullen ($17.10) in track record time of 1;59.6. With several runners inconvenienced at the start including race favourite Avonnova and defending champion Majestic Major, the field covered plenty of territory in the early staged with Jivin Cullen setting a solid temp in front. The lead time was covered in 76.5 seconds. Over the final mile, Jivin Cullen continued to dictate terms with Alleluia sitting parked while star mare Forever Gold raced solo three-wide while Avonnova found the back of Forever Gold. The first half was covered in splits of 29.7 and 29.5 seconds. Heading down the back straight on the final occasion, Jivin Cullen travelled strongly with Alleluia sticking to his guns bravely while many struggled in the frantic speed. The third quarter was covered in 28.7 seconds. At the home turn, Jivin Cullen was quickly joined by Alleluia while Five Card Draw came fast via the passing lane but Alleluia refused to give up and fought off the challenge from Five Card Draw before winning by 2m with Jivin Cullen third a further 1.25m away. Avonnova finished officially 11th, beaten 18m. The winning mile rate for the gelding by Art Major took a full second off the previous mark, which was established last year by Majestic Major. “I’m just so happy for the horse, he’s been a great addition to the ranks here in Queensland and he always performs at a high level. He was unlucky not to pick up a big race during the Albion Park carnival so he deserved this one tonight, I would say a career best effort.” Winning owner Greg Mitchell said. The victory provides Mitchell with his second Cup success in the past three years after Only The Brave scored in 2013. Grant Dixon has now claimed the Cup for the past three seasons following the victories of Only The Brave and Majestic Major. In the Gr.3 $30,000 Redcliffe Oaks, race favourite Morton Plains ($1.50) led throughout to score comfortably from stablemates Bettorthanspecial ($5) and Bettor Promise ($9.40) in the 2040m fillies feature. The Victorian trained filly has enjoyed a stellar season highlighted by her Gr.1 Vicbred Super Series Final victory plus her placing in the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks behind star Kiwi filly Fight For Glory. Prepared at Shelbourne by Larry Eastman, Morton Plains was handled for the first time by John Cremin. The winning mile rate was 1;58.2. The top three fillies are all daughters of super sire Bettors Delight. Racing Queensland

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