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Confined to harness racing in Tasmania for the moment, the Kate Hargreaves-trained Dyslexic (Sweet Lou - Can't Teach That - Bettor's Delight) is making the most of his situation. The three-year-old, who finished runner-up in the $30,000 Tasmanian Derby earlier this month, broke through for his first win on Australian soil on Friday night at Hobart. His breakthrough followed a string of three consecutive second placings on the Apple Isle, which came on the back of two unplaced runs on Victorian tracks. "He was over there for the Tassie Derby, but we can't get him home at the moment, so we thought we'd push on and race him," Hargreaves said. "Alex's dad (Rodney Ashwood) has got him at the moment and is doing a fantastic job with him. "It was a nice little ray of light in dark times. "He got off to a bit of a rocky start when he first came over from New Zealand, but he's string together a few nice runs now and is more than paying his way." Dyslexic's only previous race win, in eight career starts, came before his arrival in Australia. Newstead trainer scores win at Melton A WIN aboard the Newstead-trained Sundons Courage contributed to an unforgettable night for reinsman Ryan Duffy at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday. Duffy entered the meeting with three drives and finished with the perfect strike-rate following victories with Sundons Courage for trainer Brad Angove, Shoshone Brave (Isabel Walsh) and Kasbah Kid (Geoff Webster). The win on Sundons Courage was not without its drama. The seven-year-old trotting gelding was second past the post, but was promoted after Majestuoso galloped across the line in front under a new rule introduced this season by Harness Racing Victoria. Sundons Courage continues to be a good money earner for Angove, with his 19 wins and 18 placings, from 70 starts, yielding a healthy $235,665, including Saturday night's first prize of $11,400. Duffy was barely able to contain his excitement after notching his treble with his win on Kasbah Kid. "It's always good to get the support of the trainers and getting the opportunity to drive horses like this is something you dream of being able to do," he told Trots Vision.  Aztec Inti delivered a win for Ellen and John Tormey at Charlton. Picture: CHARLTON HARNESS RACING CLUB   Tormeys team up for win at Charlton There were no spectators there to see it, but plenty of people in Charlton would have been smiling following the win of Aztec Inti on Sunday. The five-year-old gelding notched up win number two this season for his Charlton-based trainer and owner John Tormey by saluting in the $7000 Wangarra (Red Stringbark) Trot (2100m). With Tormey's daughter Ellen in the sulky, Aztec Inti charged to the front from his outside draw and was never headed, holding off a fast-finishing Blis Valley in a tight finish. The win continued a good run of form for the gelding on his home track. His last three starts there have produced a pair of wins, as well as a third on cup day . Meanwhile, the postponement of this week's Mildura Cup program has led to a change in date for this week's meeting at Lord's Raceway in Bendigo. The Mildura meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday night has now been cancelled. Thursday's Bendigo meeting has been moved to Tuesday night. By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Bendigo - trained pacer Resurgent Spirit’s Tasmania Cup heat win on Sunday night might have been considered an upset by many, but for his harness racing driver Alex Ashwood, the strong performance had been coming. “He did a great job. He had a good run and hit the line well,” said Ashwood of the former star youngster’s win at odds of $41. “I’m happy with how he’s recovered – it looks like he’s somewhere back to his best. “I thought he was way over the odds at $41; I thought he might have been a $10 chance to be honest.” The impressive manner of the Kate Hargreaves-trained gelding’s win has Ashwood convinced there is no reason why they cannot repeat the feat in this Saturday night’s $75,000 Tasmania Cup final in Hobart. “He’s got a great chance …. He’s got a bit of an awkward draw in barrier 12, but saying that I think the race is going to be to suit,” he said. ”There will be even more speed this week, so that will bring him right into the race.” “I feel he’s approaching peak fitness.” It’s a homecoming for both Ashwood, 24, who left Tasmania at age 17 to follow his harness racing dream, and Resurgent Spirit, who enjoyed a run of 13 straight wins at the start of his career in Hobart as a two and three-year-old. His heat win boosted the now eight-year-old record on the Hobart track to 21 wins from 30 starts.  Alex Ashwood at he and partner Kate Hargreaves' Shelbourne property. Picture: DARREN HOWE   “I try and get back once or twice a year for a couple of good races,” said Ashwood. “With the horse coming from Tassie and the owners being down here, it’s been a good result and a good reason to come home.” Formerly trained by his breeder and owner Roger Whitmore, Resurgent Spirit was transferred to his new trainer 18 months ago and is now prepared by Hargreaves and Ashwood at their Shelbourne property. Ashwood delivered full praise to Hargreaves, who combines harness racing duties with role as a teacher at Kennington Primary School, for a wonderful training performance. “She’s stuck at home working the rest of the team, while I’m down here in Tassie. In saying that she wouldn’t be able to do that without John and Timmy Mannix, they’ve been a great help,” he said. “It’s been a real good few weeks for the stable – we can’t complain.” Saturday night’s drive will be Ashwood’s first in a Tasmania Cup final and will pit him against his father Rodney aboard the Dean Braun-trained War Dan, who was third behind Resurgent Spirit in Saturday’s heat. “I know dad is excited about that …. I think he wants to beat me home more than anything at the moment,” he said. It will be a busy evening at Elwick Park for Ashwood, who will also drive Resurgent Spirit’s sister Resurgent Dream for New Norfolk trainer Whitmore in the $20,000 George Johnson and also has two drives for his training father. By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advetiser

Resurgent Spirit returned home from Victoria to storm to victory in the second heat of the Triple M Tasmania Cup on Sunday night at TAB Park Elwick in Hobart. The American Ideal-Resurgent Star eight-year-old returned to the scene of a number of his former glories as the state’s top Juvenile, to firmly throw his hat in the ring for Tasmania’s Premier harness event on next weekend’s Tasmanian Trotting Club’s ‘Super Saturday’ of racing. Resurgent Spirit, under the care of breeder and owner Roger Whitmore, enjoyed a run of 13 straight wins to begin his career as a two and three-year-old and had won 21 of 30 starts on the track going into last night’s run. Resurgent Spirit now resides in Victoria under the watchful eye of Kate Hargreaves and Alex Ashwood at their Shelbourne stables and returned to Tasmania with the Cup his mission. “It was great to have Resurgent Spirit home during the week in the lead-up to Sunday’s heat and a thrill to watch him race again but Kate and Alex do such a marvellous job with him, we know he’s in good hands, their work ethic is amazing and their attention to care for your horse is second to none, they deserve all the success in the world,” said Roger. “Alex handled Resurgent Spirit to perfection, he told me on Thursday that he wanted the back of Gavin Lang on Sicario and out sprint him late and everything went to script sprinting home powerfully to defeat the top three fancies, Sicario ($2.80), War Dan ($3.80) and Shelby Bromac ($2.30).” Resurgent Spirit flew under the radar in his heat, sent out a $41 chance but is sure to start one of the leading hopes in Saturday’s Final. “Alex is staying the week to ensure no stone is left unturned in the lead-up to the final, he looks as if he has pulled up well and I’m looking forward to taking him down to the beach, we spent a lot of time there together when he was a youngster so that will bring back some nice memories, which makes his win even more special.” Shane Yates

Trainer Kate Hargreaves and reinsman Alex Ashwood are among the next generation of up-and-comers ready to take the trotting world by storm, and they’re more than willing to bring owners who are new to the game along for the ride. The young pair, who have stable newcomer Just Seduce Me in the Woodlands Stud Pace, a $10,000 race for those classified M0 at Tabcorp Melton Park this Friday, have set up shop in Shelbourne after long apprenticeships with established industry players such as Andy and Kate Gath, Kerryn Manning and Emma Stewart. While the pair have a big vision for the future, their focus on Friday night will be on Just Seduce Me, who Ashwood said would be hard to beat if she finds the front. “She had a trial a fortnight ago at Bendigo and (has) improved a fair bit off that,” he said. “She probably needs another run under her belt but, in saying that, and going by her form over the short (distance), if she finds the front she will be very hard (to get past) as that’s where she runs her best races. Hopefully she can hold the lead.” Ashwood, 24, said the pair had built a team of 12 horses – plus “two babies” recently bought at yearling sales – a feat made easier due to the stables, previously owned by Larry Eastman, being readymade for trotters. And he said the large property had plenty of scope for future expansion. “When it was on the market we didn’t hesitate to take it because everything was pretty much done, all you had to do was move in and start training,” he said. “We are 60 acres, so we can get as big as we want, but at this stage about 20 (horses would be) a nice number.” And the pair aren’t afraid to back their judgment at the yearling sales to bring more talent – and new owners – into their stables. “I think over the past three to four years we have bought about five to six yearlings all up; we have more luck buying the young ones than buying a ready-to-go one and like to bring new people into the game,” Ashwood said. “There’s been people already in the game who have bought shares and there have been a lot of people who weren’t in the game who have bought shares as well. They enjoy it and make good friendships, it is good fun.” The pair aren’t strangers to the highs and lows the trots can dish up, with the recent return of two of their best horses – Resurgent Spirit (66 starts for 29 wins and more than $221,000 in prizemoney) and Ideally Say Yes (sixth in the APG 2YO final at Menangle last year) – prime examples.  Ashwood said Resurgent Spirit – who will go around at Swan Hill tonight – is “very close to a win”. But the short-term prospects of promising youngster Ideally Say Yes have been setback by a fractured pelvis. “I took her to Mildura to race in a three-year-old race this week and going up to the gate she did it then,” he said. “She was just below the better ones (last season) and seemed like she was getting stronger and had improved a fair bit. It was just unfortunate that she hurt herself at the wrong time.”   Shaun Campbell for Trots Media

A win aboard Baccarat (Bettors Delight -Tyalla) for Jayne Davies at Tabcorp Park Melton last night has won the 2014 Harness Racing Training Centre Rising Stars Young Drivers Series for Stawell’s Kate Hargreaves. Coming from three back on the markers Hargreaves used the sprint lane to steer home Baccarat to win in a MR: 2:00.1. "Hargreaves thanked the BHRC, and HRTC for giving her and the other young drivers the opportunity to compete and especially drive at Tabcorp Park. "I've only driven one race here before and to win here is fantastic," Kate said. Hargreaves had her Melton win and two third placings at Bendigo and Maryborough to top the leader board in the three races series with 27 points. Zeb Lewis was the series runner up with 25 points and Toby Ainsworth in third with 21 points. The BHRC, HRTC and Tabcorp Park congratulate all of the drivers who competed in the Rising Stars Series. We hope to see the competitors in action at our tracks many times in the years ahead. Jayne Davies won the $1000 HRTC Trainers random Draw and in a big night for the stable Baccarat's owners won the $1000 HRTC Owners random draw. by David Aldred

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