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Following his Oberon Cup win James Dean, from KerryAnn Turner’s stable, was being prepared with Orange Harness Racing Club’s Carnival of Cups in mind and harness racing driver Robbie Morris confirmed the champion is still set to run. Morris, who called James Dean a “C5/M2 graded, honest, little horse who came out of New Zealand”, confirmed the Oberon Cup winner is primed to front in February 10’s Banjo Paterson feature race at Towac Park. That’s just one of the races set for February 10 with a number of other finals to be run, the heats are being hosted in this Sunday’s Family Day. “The owners contacted me......and they decided to bring him over here to me which is great because it’s not often horses like that land in your lap. Previously he has been a first emergency in the New Zealand Cup,” Morrish told Orange Harness Racing Club. “He is racing in the Goulburn Cup on Monday (February 4) then up to Orange for the Banjo.  “He has two straight wins under his belt heading into Monday’s race in Goulburn.” And Robbie’s thoughts on James Dean racing on the unique grass track at Towac Park? “It’s something different. James Dean has previously run on the grass in New Zealand recording a slick mile rate of 1.55,” Morrish said. “It's just people’s perception of the grass. It's actually quiet smooth and everyone has to run on the same surface on the day.” Sunday’s Family Day kicks off at 12pm at Orange’s Towac Park. By Matt Findlay Reprinted with permission of the Central Western Daily

THE Bathurst Harness Racing Club plays host each year to the Oberon Community by conducting a harness racing meeting which promotes everything that the small community has to offer. On Friday night, on a hot balmy night, a good crowd, many of whom made the 50 kilometre trip from Oberon into Bathurst enjoyed a top night of racing. And it could not have kicked off in a more fitting way when the Oberon father and son combination of David and Justin Reynolds took out the opening event with handy mare Always Mysterious. Young Reynolds charged the five-year-old out fast from her wide draw but he was unable cross speedster Jedda Shannon, forcing them to race without cover for the entire trip. With 400 metres to run, Reynolds gave the mare more rein and she dashed clear to record an impressive win over Lucky Nutter and Lady Swiss. Always Mysterious is part-owned by Bathurst Club President, Wayne Barker who was thrilled to accept the winning trophy from Oberon Mayor, Kathy Sajowitz. The feature event on Friday night, the Elgas Oberon Cup (2260m) lived up to the high standard that has been set in fast class races held at Bathurst this season. In an action-packed affair, the speed was on from the outset and in a thrilling finish, Menangle visitor James Dean ($5.40) was able to prevail by a narrow margin. Driven by Robbie Morris for his partner, KerryAnn Turner, the former New Zealander worked forward with just over a mile to run and found the chair. But just when Morris thought he would control the race from that point on, Bernie Hewitt made a lightening move aboard Lets Katchmeifucan ($11.80) and caught the leaders napping as he sailed to the lead with 900 metres to travel. The race then developed into a two-horse war and in a soul stirring battle all the way down to the line, James Dean gained the upper hand to score by one and a quarter metres. Royal Story ($10.20, Doug Hewitt) got home well for third after enjoying a good trip inches ahead of Jonah Jones (Amanda Turnbull) who appeared a shade unlucky after being held up at vital stages. Following the post-race presentation, Robbie Morris was full of praise for his gelding and thanked the pacer’s Kiwi connections for entrusting him and Kerryann with the horse. Morris went on to say that the five-year-old will now be set for the Banjo Patterson Cup at Orange on February 10. Another highlight at the Oberon meeting was the win of Roseuponher ($20.80) in the HRNSW Rewards Series Final (1730m). Young Dubbo trainer, driver, Jacqui Ingham gained a big thrill just nine days earlier at Parkes when she broke through for her first winning drive at Parkes in a qualifying heat. But she was almost pinching herself on Friday night when she made it back to back wins with her mare in the $10,000 Final. The Oberon night provided a plethora of highlights which included a treble to inform trainer Bernie Hewitt. His stable star, Gold Crown winner College Chapel made a successful return to the track, rating 1.54.8 to just beat Masons Delight (Billy Muscat). Hewitt’s daughter, Gemma Rue and her husband Mat made it back to back wins with bonny mare Callmequeenbee whose next run will be at Tabcorp Park Menangle in a Country Series Final. Away from the track, five delightful Oberon girls contested the Princess Of The Paceway competition which was taken out by Nattalia Stapleton. The young ladies raised money for Ronald McDonald House by conducting a raffle. More funds were raised for the same cause later in the night when six lamb and beef packs were auctioned.   Craig Dumensy for Harness Racing New South Wales  

PROMISING Menangle reinsman Josh Gallagher seems destined for big success in coming years, but he will never score a more important, or special, win than Wednesday’s HRNSW Rewards Series Final with Pacific Cullen, at Gold Crown Paceway. And those privileged to see the win, and the scenes that followed it, are never likely to forget it. The 18-year-old had made the trek up to Bathurst to drive KerryAnn Turner’s four stable runners at the meeting, still reeling from the death of his father Damien, in tragic circumstances, earlier in the week. The usual orange-and-black stable colours stayed in the kit bag on this night, replaced by his Dad’s blue and green diagonal striped livery. A large group of the Gallagher family, and friends, was there to support Josh, and will him on. Earlier in the meeting, semi-finals of the Soldiers Saddle series had provided two outstanding wins, in identical 1:54.7 runs, by Scarlet Babe and Ominous Warning, but for many on track, the real story of the night was going to be the quartet of races, from five through to eight,  featuring Josh in those colours. He began with a couple of thirds. Our Bondi Beach ran on well in the fast-class behind the 1:54.1 flyer Future Stride and Kleened Out NZ chased hard behind The Times A Changing NZ in the sixth, before Text Message finished a well-beaten fifth in a dramatic C1 sprint where Coolie Kid NZ won on protest. So it all came down to Pacific Cullen in the Rewards Series Final. She started a $2.25 favourite on the strength of a dominant win in the previous week’s heat, with Kerryann in the bike, but she was faced with a difficult draw outside the front, against a decidedly stronger field. When Josh made his intentions clear straightaway by spearing across the field to lead at the first corner, he might have been echoing those famous Invictus lines of William Henley: I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. Heading up the back straight the final time, he laid it all on the line with a flat-out 27.0s quarter, and headed for home with whatever was left in the tank. Fifty metres out, it was clear they weren’t going to be headed. The crowd roared, racecaller Fred Hastings switched to overdrive, and as he hit the line, Josh raised his whip skywards in a gesture with so much meaning it seemed to defy description. To call the post-race scenes “emotion-charged” would be something of an understatement. The young driver was surrounded in the warm embrace of his family, and of his trainer, whose care and concern for him had been evident all night. As he returned to scale, and right through the race presentation, the crowd added their support with spontaneous, generous applause. The winning horse might be a Cullen, but her driver is definitely a Courage Under Fire job, displaying resolution and bravery throughout this week that filled his family with pride and the rest of us with admiration. His final words “ I love you Dad” perfectly captured in words that winning gesture we’d witnessed a few minutes earlier. There are salutes, and then there are salutes. Terry Neil

THE major prize was headed back down the mountains to Menangle at the conclusion of a very successful TAB Carnival of Cups meeting at the Blayney on Sunday. Junior reinsman Josh Gallagher steered the KerryAnn Turner-trained race favourite Dance For Glory to a strong win in the feature event, the Billy Soo Memorial Blayney Cup. After some wretched luck for the stable’s two earlier runners, Gallagher took luck out of the equation in the 2400m feature when he came around the field to take the lead at the mile mark, and dictated terms thereafter to score the win. Ned Pepper, well positioned in the one-one throughout, ran home strongly but was well held by the winner, with early leader Master Benny holding on for the minor placing. The  mile rate of 2:02.8 established a new record. The race honours the memory of a much-loved character who made famous the local Chinese restaurant - still operating today - as “ the best in the Golden West”, and far beyond, and his widow Jill was on hand to present the Cup to Josh Gallagher, representing the owner. Bernie Hewitt has been coming to Blayney for many years now, from the Crookwell farm originally and from a much-closer Bathurst since his move there almost 20 years ago, and he had one of his most enjoyable visits with a driving treble and a fourth training win at Sunday’s meeting. His driving wins came courtesy of We Salute You, a strong death-seat effort in the 3C0-3C1 opener, and brilliant first-up performances in the later Menangle Country Series sprints from Scarlet Babe and Mackeral. Scarlet Babe led throughout in the C0 sprint, her mile rate of 1:57.3 erasing the previous track record establshed four years ago. Hewitt believes the daughter of champion mare Ashlees Babe will mature into a serious race horse by the end of this season. Mackeral came from behind with a very strong finish to take the C1-C2 sprint, rating just one-tenth of a second slower than his stablemate, and the four-year-old McArdle gelding, whose last campaign included close up places behind Ignatius, looks to have returned bigger and better than ever. Hewitt then completed his training quartet when Mitch Turnbull scored with Royal Story in the C5+ Kriden Park Drivers Invitational, charging the Blacks A Fake relation out of the gate and dictating terms for an authoritative win. Mitch had only just returned from a trip to the New Zealand Cup carnival, where he’d seen Natalie Rasmussen, Blackie’s trainer-driver, take out the Cup with the latest Purdon star The Fixer. Perhaps that might have been seen as some sort of omen, or could it have been the recent visit from Harry and Megan? There are omens all over the place if we want to go searching for them, but whatever their worth, Royal Story was the best-performed runner in the field and a deserved favourite. Angela Hedges charged home with Smithstars Lexus, and John O’Shea trailed the leader throughout with Two Ply NZ, and the males finished slightly ahead of their female rivals in the accompanying pointscore from the race. Amanda Turnbull took a driving double, with first leg Big Heart leading for most of the way in a 2000 metres C0-C2 race and hanging on from an equally-tired runner-up The Restauranteur in a slogging 31.3 closing quarter of the 2000 event. The final of the C0-C1 Peter Marshall Memorial proved to be a much easier assignment, when favourite My Secret Beach continued his recent improvement by leading, maintaining a solid speed throughout and holding on strongly to defeat Brads Luck, which raced outside the winner throughout in a good effort. Lucky To Make took out the 2000 metres C0-C2 third race, which had more than its fair share of drama. Two false starts resulted in the disqualification of pole-marker Dreaming Gypsy, and a last-lap mix up put paid to the chances of most of the field, leaving Nathan Hurst way out in front and quite oblivious to the shambles behind him. Recent good form suggested that the Safari mare would have been hard to beat in any case, but Hursty was naturally pleased to get the win, whatever the circumstances, and quick to appreciate the irony of the name. Racing Minister and local member, Paul Toole,  and Blayney Mayor Scott Ferguson both got to see the action alongside the starter in the back of the mobile, and came away full of admiration for the skill of the drivers and the power of their horses. It’s the best seat in town, they reckon. TERRY NEIL

A pair of leading stables is eyeing the upcoming Queensland summer carnival. The summer features, to be staged at Albion Park from December 1 through until December 15 has caught the attention of Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy plus Kerryann Turner and Robbie Morris. And both stables are likely to bring plenty of talent north of the border. In recent times, both combinations have been frequent visitors to the Sunshine State while success has also followed and consistently. The Queensland summer carnival clashes directly with the famed Inter Dominion series, being staged in Melbourne this year after spending the past three years based in Perth. With many leading stables heading to Melbourne, the Sydney combinations have focused on the Brisbane features. The Cross/McCarthy stable arrives this week and again will be based south of Brisbane at the property of Cristina Monte and Charlie Cini with six horses and the possibility of more to come in the coming weeks. “The carnival looks a good option for a number of our horses and we’re still considering on bringing Mach Doro up for the open class events. We haven’t made a decision about him yet but it’s definitely an option,” McCarthy explained. “We have runners this weekend at Redcliffe and they will remain for the Albion Park carnival. Hopefully, we can make a good start this weekend.” He added. The stable has Young American, Ima Kennedy Two, Blue Moon Rising, Rich Virgin and Living Again starting this Saturday night at the Redcliffe meeting. The Turner/Morris stable are yet to head north as they have confirmed their team but numbers should be strong with at least six to eight shortlisted. Stable favourite Aztec Bromac is likely for the open class events in December. Last year, the American Ideal gelding scored victories in both the Christmas and Queensland Cups. Two starts ago, Aztec Bromac rated a new personal best time of 1:51.6 when successful at TABCORP Park, Menangle. “We’re definitely looking at bringing him up again at this stage, he’s engaged to race again this weekend at Menangle while we’re sorting what races suit some of our team best,” Morris said. “As long as the features are at Albion Park, we’re keen to be part of the action again.” He added. The Queensland summer carnival features over three consecutive Saturday nights include; December 1 – Gr.3 $30,660 Be Good Johnny Sprint, $20,660 APHRC Members Cup, December 8 - $20,660 Christmas Cup, $20,660 Forever Gold Mares FFA December 15 – Gr.2 $50,660 Queensland Cup, Gr.2 $40,770 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final, $20,660 C2-C5 Feature & $14,999 King of the Claimers Final Chris Barsby

AFTER taking out her first state trainers’ premiership, leading horsewoman KerryAnn Turner has her sights on Bathurst tonight. The Menangle Park trainer is taking five horses across to the Western Districts including last start Newcastle winner Hannah Mae. Turner is also taking Hot Flush for another assault on the 1000m circuit after winning at that venue last month. Turner trained 161 winners in New South Wales last season, defeating 12-time premiership winner Steve Turnbull. Turnbull had won the five previous trainers’ premierships and has found the front in the first two weeks of the new season. Turnbull has power in numbers tonight with seven horses nominated including recent back-to-back winner Karloo Threeothree.   Harness tips Bathurst Best bet Race5: Aintnobettor (1) Aintnobettor produced a strong effort to win at this track last week in career best time of 1:58.0. He has drawn much more favourably and should lead all the way from this draw.   Bathurst next best Race 7: Cullens Desire (2) Cullens Desire has the early speed to capitalize off this draw. The filly was a very strong winner at Dubbo last start, spacing her rivals by more than 33m after working to the lead. She should be able to find the lead much easier tonight.   The Bathurst quaddie Race 5: 1 Race 6: 3-9-4 Race 7: 2-1 Race 8: 6-1 $12 for 100%     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.   HRNSW MEDIA CONTACT: AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

MENANGLE Park to Bathurst is amore than a three hour float trip but it’s been a worthwhile excursion on many occasions lately for KerryAnn Turner and Robbie Morris, when bringing well-graded horses over the mountains to Gold Crown Paceway. Last week’s trip produced a three-from-three result for driver Robbie Morris, in successive races. He scored with Milwaukee Stryder for Londonderry trainer Richard Camilleri, before adding a double for his and Turner’s stable with Stormont Star and Kleened Out NZ. With the driving duties completed after race four, and back on the road for the downhill run home  before seven o’clock, he would have been doubly pleased, by the perfect result and the prospect of being tucked up in bed well before midnight. Milwaukee Stryder cleared maiden ranks at start 17. After leading early, Morris handed up to Karloo Bentwofifty, and he came out of that trail rounding the home turn to draw level with the leader, grabbing him right on the line in a slogging finish, with a 58.2s last half and a  1:56.7 mile rate. Stormont Star began well from the middle of the second line in a C1 sprint and was well positioned in the leading division, launching his claim with a 28.1s third quarter before holding off the closing Lucky Lyla in 29.7s for a sharp 1:55.7 victory. The winner, a half-brother to the top-class Stormont Czar which races out of the stable,  is owned by Robbie’s mother Margaret, making this second Bathurst win even more enjoyable for the driver, who believes the horse has a nice future. “And I’m a fan of his sire For A Reason, which is doing a good job, with a number of nice horses,” he added. Although clocking in fractionally slower, in a C2-C3 sprint, Kleened Out NZ was the most impressive winner of the meeting, sitting outside the well-performed Callmequeenbee and upping the ante over a gruelling 56.2s final half before forging clear in the straight from Snoop Stride, which worked home well. Despite the strong support for the local filly, which was looking for a hat-trick, Morris was expecting a strong performance from his horse, and drove him accordingly. “I thought as a five-year-old he had the edge in race experience and toughness over Mat Rue’s nice filly, and he’d put in some very good runs recently down at Menangle. I considered this race suited him really well, and I’m certainly not surprised by the win,” he indicated on returning to scale. And that long drive he makes most weeks? “ It’s a fair hike, but I’m not complaining. It’s no different for Steve, or Bernie, when they bring their horses to race at Menangle, and they do it every week, some weeks even twice,” he acknowledged. Other winners at a true mid-winter meeting up on the tablelands: Jeradas Delight, strongly supported into favouritism in 3YO fillies class, and bringing up a hat-trick courtesy of Mark Hewitt’s classy drive - gradually working his way inside and outside into the race before bursting clear - that earned him the Drive of the Night award from racecaller Luke Marlow Volaticus (John O’Shea for Ed Collins ), sitting in the death and far too good for his  maiden opponents  at start number 18, his last half in 57.3s suggesting that he’ll be winning more races in coming starts for his very popular owner/trainer Navua Girl, for Steve Turnbull in the first  of two 2YO fillies events, well deserved after being runner-up at her previous three starts, and the Sportswriter daughter likely to have another couple of runs before going for a spell Soundslikeart (Gemma/Mat Rue ) in the second division, scoring her second win in succession by leading throughout, and a blistering 27.1s final quarter enabling the Art Major youngster to romp in for the easiest win of the night Captain Cosmonaut (Chris Frisby/ Amanda Turnbull ),the three-year-old enjoying a change of tactics in this CO sprint, sitting back in the field and set loose over the final 600 metres in one sustained run, remarkably Amanda’s only drive of the night. Some meritorious individual performances, from both horses and drivers, but without question, the honours belonged with Robbie Morris. Over the hill (literally) and far away the best of the night.   Terry Neil

Champion 'local' harness racing driver KerryAnn Turner struck first blood for NSW when she beat some of Australasia's greatest reinswomen in the opening race at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. Turner, fresh from a winning double at Newcastle the previous night, continued her spectacular form of recent weeks when she piloted five-year-old pacer Kenrick to a strong win in the Lexus of Macarthur Lady Drivers Invitational. Trained by Brad Hewitt at Goulburn, Kenrick got the perfect run just off the speed behind front-running Taurisi who quickly found the front in a lightning opening split of 27.6 seconds. Lauren Tritton managed to back off the speed slightly with a second split of 29.2 seconds and still had the lead turning for home, although the challengers were beginning to mount. Stanley Ross Robyn (Ash Grives) and Lovin Miss Daisy both made strong runs in the straight but Turner timed her run to perfection as Kenrick came on nicely to record a one and a quarter metre win over Stanley Ross Robyn with Lovin Miss Daisy three metres further back in third with defending champion Martelle Maguire excited to finish such an eye-catching third. Turner had a busy night preparing Charlaval for a tilt at the Miracle Mile. "He's probably the biggest outsider of the field but he'll run an honest race," she said. "Driving in races like these invitationals is always a pleasure and I don't get the chance that often as I usually have runners I am training in the race. "Tonight it's been for a really good cause, the Teal Pants Campaign and it's just an honour to win another race and add to the money we've raised for such a good cause." Disappointment of the race was the well-backed Mrs Browns Boy which raced without cover and dropped out quickly for Kerryn Manning as the field turned for home. . Sean Vella SVella@clubmenangle.com.au     1 6:17pm LEXUS OF MACARTHUR LADY DRIVERS INVITATIONAL (PENALTY EXEMPT RACE) 1609M $25,000 M0 Only. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 KENRICK NZ      Fr3 3 Brad Hewitt KerryAnn Turner   $ 3.50       BROWN HORSE 5 by BETTORS DELIGHT USA out of TOAST TO CULLEN (NZ) (CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ)  Owner(s): G I Peart, K E Peart, S Weeks, H Sproule, A W Rudd, D W Rudd, D D Leppard, J A Turnbull  Breeder(s): Biddlecombe Equine Ltd 2 STANLEY ROSS ROBYN NZ      Fr4 4 David Hewitt Ashlee Grives 1.4m $ 10.90     3 LOVIN MISS DAISY NZ      Fr6 8 Mark Callaghan Martelle Maguire 4.2m $ 21.60     4 TAURISI      Fr1 1 James Rattray Lauren Tritton 4.7m $ 4.50     5 OUR WALL STREET WOLF NZ      Fr7 9 Chris Frisby Natalie Rasmussen 9.9m $ 11.70     6 RAVE MOONRAKER NZ      Fr2 2 Mark Callaghan Madi Young 17.4m $ 16.40     7 SIR MAJOR STRIDE NZ      Fr5 7 Darren Binskin Emma Turnbull 18.0m $ 35.30     8 MRS BROWNS BOY NZ      Fr10 12 Nathan Turnbull Kerryn Manning 20.2m $ 3.20 fav    9 BIG BANG LEONARD      Fr8 10 Margaret Lee Angela Hedges 23.2m $ 28.10     10 GOODTIME SLATER      Fr9 11 Joe Conolly Ellen Rixon 27.0m $ 62.60     Scratchings   REDBELLY JACK 5 VALOROSO HANOVER 6 Track Rating:   Gross Time: 1:51:4 Mile Rate: 1:51:4 First Quarter: 27.6 Second Quarter: 29.2 Third Quarter: 27.5 Fourth Quarter: 27.1 Margins: 1.4m x 2.8m    

When Charlaval takes to the Bathurst Paceway track on Tuesday night in the Shirley Turnbull Memorial, the five-year-old bay harness racing gelding will bring up his 50th career start. Robbie Morris will be in the gig for the KerryAnn Turner-trained gelding and is confident that Charlaval will perform well in the iconic Bathurst pace. “He’s going really well. This is his first season where he’s kind of stepped into the big league,” he said. “He’s looking to equip himself really well. He’s starting to acclimatise. “He’s drawn one, so he’s definitely a chance.”  In his last start at Menangle on December 16, Charlaval finished just 0.1 metres behind Bling It On, who will start as red-hot favourite in Tuesday’s memorial at $1.70.  “You go to any race to win but Bling It On is a serious horse. He’s coming back from a serious injury and his runs since coming back from that injury has been enormous,” he said. Morris said it was great to be apart of one of Bathurst’s key race meetings. “The Turnbull family are a great family in harness racing,” he said. “They’ve got the pristine that goes along with them. “Any race that is for any Turnbull is a race you want to win. It’s something great to be a part of.” Quality-wise, Morris is aware of the strong field he is going up against. “Blazin N Cullen has been a good horse for a number of years,” he said. “Admiral Bronski is lowly assessed but he’s last three or four races have been handy.”  Charlaval has won 16 races, finished second 15 times and claimed three thirds.  By Bradley Jurd Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

The Brisbane summer carnival is just around the corner. And the southern harness racing stables are well aware about what’s on offer during the month of December at Albion Park. Features include the Garrard’s Australasian Young Drivers Championship, the $60,000 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup, the $40,000 Egmont Park Stud Darrell Alexander Memorial Trot and the $30,000 Group 3 AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint among others. The leading combination of Robbie Morris and Kerryann Turner are keen to return. The Menangle based couple enjoyed solid success last season through the deeds of now North American based pacer Iam Mr Brightside and are keen to return north again. Iam Mr Brightside won both the Be Good Johnny Sprint and the Christmas Cup. “We’re keen to be part of the summer carnival again and we have a number of types that we’re looking at bringing up, a mixture of both pacers and trotters. I’d say we could have anywhere between 8 to 10 horses coming up at this stage.” Morris said. While exact numbers are yet to be confirmed, some of the likely types headed this way include Condagen, Celestial Arden, Iam Serengeti and Mark Of Integrity among others. At this stage, no trotters have been confirmed but Morris is keen to be involved again with the DJA series. “We’ll definitely have a trotter or two for the series but we haven’t confirmed anything just yet, we bought Visualise last year and he performed well during the heats before missing out in the final. We know what we’re looking for as far as that series is concerned. “The open class features will certainly have interest from our stable, Condagen is definitely coming up and he’s racing in such in great form currently and just needs some luck going his way while others are being looked at. “And we’ll have a number of pacers for the weekly Rising Stars and Pot of Gold series, we’ve got some really nice emerging types that will be suited to those races and the prizemoney is very good. We’re just getting sorted for with numbers and then we’ll confirm how many boxes we’ll need.” The Morris/Turner stable is one of a number of southern trainers that have flagged interest in the Brisbane summer carnival. And the added bonus this year is the staging of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship, being held at both Albion Park and Redcliffe. The 2017 Australasian Young Drivers Championships Representatives are; Narissa McMullen (Queensland) Todd McCarthy (New South Wales – defending champion) Chris Geary (New South Wales) Michael Grantham (Western Australia) Matt Howlett (Tasmania) Jayden Brewin (South Australia) Jason Lee (Victoria) Sheree Tomlinson (New Zealand) Dylan Ferguson (New Zealand) Kimberly Butt (New Zealand) The series starts on December 13 before ending on December 16. Chris Barsby

Popular harness racing horsewoman KerryAnn Turner hopes today’s trip to Tabcorp Park Menangle is the first step towards the ideal engagement present. Celebrating her birthday last week, Turner’s gifts included a ring from her partner Robbie Morris, which resulted in a firm “YES”! “I was pretty spoiled for my birthday, but the proposal topped it off,” Turner said. As for the first step towards the ideal engagement present, Turner is set to contest a pair of Australian Pacing Gold heats in a bid to qualify for the rich $322,000 Final at Melton on May 6. “That certainly would be a great engagement gift,” Turner said. “With a bit of luck we can get through the series and have a chance at the Final.” Promising filly Pacific Cullen will kick-start Turner’s quest when she takes her position in the first heat. To be driven by Morris, the daughter of Christian Cullen has drawn to search for the lead from barrier three. Pacific Cullen has two wins and a third from four starts, while being retired from the race during the other outing as a result of broken gear. “She is a very nice filly, which has only done what she’s had to so far,” Turner said. “She is such a relaxed type, which just gets the job done. “She trialled last week, which was a good solid hit out, and she is in top order for her heat.” Redbank Addi will then take her position in the second qualifier, with Turner stating the daughter of Rock N Roll Hanover needs luck in the run. The two-year-old has also drawn three, but slots into two due to a scratching. “She’s been working great, but just hasn’t had a lot of luck in her races,” Turner said. “She was a bit disappointing in the Bathurst Tiara, but has been doing well since. “If luck goes her way she will be in the finish.” by APG Media

Robyn’s Bad Boy, who set a New Zealand record time in December, has replaced (Im) El Diablo in the Menangle stable of KerryAnn Turner. “He (Robyn’s Bad Boy) was handicapped out of it in NZ as a C6 pacer and El Diablo has just been retired,” said Ross Wilson, their Southland owner. He trained both pacers in New Zealand. Robyn’s Bad Boy had his most recent win at Winton on December 11 when he ran 2400m from the mobile gate in 2.54.1, a NZ record for male pacers. The 5-year-old son of Badlands Hanover – Robyn Maree has won eight races and $55,504 in stakes. Wilson sent El Diablo to Turner three years ago as a 4-year-old after the Extreme Three gelding had won four races in 42 starts. El Diablo hiked his earnings to $111,660 with another 10 wins and took a mile record of 1.52.7 at Menangle. Robyn’s Bad Boy is the fourth horse Wilson has consigned to Turner. He dispatched My Guy Mac in March, 2015 after five wins in 30 starts. The Mach Three – Robyn Joan gelding has now won 13 races and $115,000. He won the $31,800 Group 3 Garrards Horse and Hound Final at Menangle in 2015 in 1.52.1. My Guy Mac ran second there on Tuesday. Wilson sent Milligan to Turner last year after he had won six races. The Grinfromeartoear – Outkast gelding subsequently won twice from eight starts before he went amiss in a suspensory ligament. Wilson has Rocking Robyn resuming at Wyndham on Saturday. “We had a bad virus through the stable and spelled the horses. Robs Ideal came back to racing last Saturday at Winton and I was pleased with his run for fourth,’’ said Wilson. Rocking Robyn, who has not raced since January 28, equalled the 2.54.1 record of Robyn’s Bad Boy at Winton on December 17. Rakarazor had her second win in five starts in Australia with a 1.53 mile at Menangle on Tuesday. She is now trained by John McCarthy for Southland owner, Brendan Fahy. Rakarazor won a heat of the Sires’ Stakes at Forbury Park last season when trained by Clark Barron and she was successful at Alexandra Park in November for Gareth Dixon. Tayler Strong

Mojo Major passed another test in regaining his mojo with a gutsy harness racing win in last Friday's Oberon Cup, the feature at Bathurst's Group One Feeds Paceway. The Art Major son prevailed in a desperate finish from favourite Saloon Passage NZ, after the pair cleared away from the field over the final 600 metres and settled down to a stirring two-horse war, that recalled for some the Bonecrusher- Our Waverley epic 30 years ago. The battle continued into the stewards' room, with Nathan Hurst alleging interference at the point in the back straight where both horses made their runs, but stewards ruled otherwise, and the winning streak extended to three for the KerryAnn Turner-trained visitor. Driver Robbie Morris explained that the five-year-old "has a lot of ability, but he's not mentally strong, so we've decided to set him for some nice races away from Menangle as a way to build up his confidence.” Wins at Penrith, Maitland and now Bathurst have vindicated that decision, and judging by the way he knuckled down for the battle in the Bathurst home stretch, he's growing into a man. The mile rate for the testing 2260 metre trip was a solid 1:57.8 (last half 57.8 seconds), and Lexus On The Beach was a distant third, running home well after working clear. While part-owner and race sponsor Ray Mawhood was sorely disappointed not to score a "hometown win" in the Cup with Saloon Passage, several wins on the night by locals drew warm applause from the big crowd  of supporters who travelled in to Bathurst for the Oberon Community night. Miss Rodriguez, trained by Wayne White, responded to desperate driving from Jason Turnbull, her regular pilot, to nab leader Power Of Red right on the line in a C2- class Menangle Country Series heat, for her first win in three runs back this season. Mile rate for the sprint journey was 1:56.3. Rocknroll And Rolln made it a double for Oberon trainers named Wayne - in this case, Watterson - when he proved too strong in a C0/C1 sprint after sitting outside the lead, to hold off the sprint-laning Cherry Mahoney. The four-year-old is known as "Elvis" around the stable, and the win drew more than a few "thank-you-very-much" comments from punters who supported the second-favourite. That was also the response from Rebecca Walsh, the C.E.O. Of Ronald McDonald House at nearby Orange, the charity which benefited by more than $4,000 from the fund-raising on the night, through auctions of that celebrated Oberon lamb and beef, and a monster raffle. Other winners at the meeting were: Tuapeka Glory NZ (Wendy/Emma Turnbull), in a C0 Menangle Country Series heat, three-wide for much of the last lap and finishing strongly for an impressive win; Casino Tommy (Steve/Mitch Turnbull), in a C2 sprint, holding on by a half-neck after enjoying the run of the race in the one-one; My Lucky Belle NZ (Ash Grives), in a strong C3/C5 sprint, the night's longest-priced winner at $18.30, handing up early and getting a lovely run behind the speed; Royal Story (Bernie Hewitt), a most impressive winner on debut, in 3YO class, holding the lead and sprinting right away at the end, and earning Anthony Manton's Drive-Of-The-Night award; Spare The Price (Chris/ Anthony Frisby), in C0/C1 grade, sitting behind the lead and too strong over the concluding stages for her third win. Bathurst HRC will play host visitors from interstate this Wednesday, when former Gold Crown Honouree Chris Alford will lead a team of five drivers from Victoria competing against five of Bathurst's best, in the inaugural Interstate Drivers Challenge, between sister-clubs Bathurst and Bendigo. Terry Neil

Leading harness racing horsewoman KerryAnn Turner and partner Robert Morris will cover a lot of miles this weekend but their most important mile is on track this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As the countdown to the Chariots Of Fire ramps up, Turner and Morris' gun pacer Charlaval will take on some of Australasia's best four-year-olds to earn a spot in the Group One on February 11. Going head-to-head with the likes of last season's Horse of the Year Our Waikiki Beach and this term's unbeaten star Salty Robyn in Saturday's Hondo Grattan Stakes, Charlaval is bringing his best form into the Group Two. The gelding is unbeaten in four starts and that includes his personal best winning mile rate of 1:51.9 set at Menangle last weekend. "Every time he has a break he comes back stronger and better and his preparation has been faultless," Morris said. "He has become more confident with each run." But will that be enough to wear down his classy rivals? According to the TAB Fixed Odds market, Charlaval is currently ranked as a $21 chance and the only two horses in single figures are Our Waikiki Beach ($1.90) and Salty Robyn ($2.30). "The faster they go and the harder they go the better it will be for Charlaval," Morris said. "We believe he is a lot better sitting off the speed and drawn in barrier four, hopefully we can slot straight into the running line and keep our fingers crossed. "It's a hard race . . . I can't split Our Waikiki Beach and Salty Robyn who has been a revelation this season. "Our Waikiki Beach doesn't need any recommendations, he's a good horse . . . a lot of people said he was plain last week but I thought his run was the best of the night. "I've driven a lot of horses at Menangle and horses just don't do what he did and the only thing that beat him was his barrier." Our Waikiki Beach finished third and it was just his second defeat in 25 starts while Salty Robyn has won his eight starts this season and last start sat parked and clocked 1:49.2. And it is for this reason that trainer Shane Tritton believes Salty Robyn should be the favourite for this feature. "If you go on latest form, no reputations, then Salty Robyn has to be the one to beat," Tritton said. "I hope Johnny (McCarthy) can get Waikiki away quickly enough to lead . . . I'd like Salty to sit outside him." With trainer-driver Mark Purdon in Victoria driving Lazarus in the Group One Ballarat Cup on Saturday night, the leading New Zealand conditioner has engaged John McCarthy to drive Our Waikiki Beach. Purdon also has Have Faith In Me engaged on the night. It is also a busy time for Morris and Turner too who on Friday split their team between Bathurst and Newcastle, are racing at Menangle on Saturday and then are heading to Canberra on Sunday. "It will be a busy couple of days but we have good owners and a lot of nice horses and we try to place them as best as we can," Morris said. Morris is just two wins behind Chris Geary in the New South Wales Drivers Premiership having driven 51 winners this season and Turner is also in second place in the NSW Trainers Premiership with 55 winners. AMANDA RANDO

Horsewoman KerryAnn Turner scored what she describes as "my biggest win as a driver" after taking out the Kriden Investments Shirley Turnbull Memorial, feature event at Monday's hugely successful TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups harness racing meeting at Bathurst's Group One Feeds Paceway. She gave Aztec Bromac NZ a lovely trip in the running line and brought the five-year-old with a strong run down the centre of the track to hold off Blazin N Cullen, one of three John McCarthy runners in the event, with Freyberg running on well for the minor prize. After an anxious wait of several minutes while stewards checked the run home for possible interference in the sprint lane, it was a relieved and chuffed trainer-driver who joined a big gathering of equally delighted Turnbull family members for a presentation which is always one of the highlights of the Bathurst racing season. Club president Wayne Barker welcomed the Turnbull family, race sponsor Rod Smith and HRNSW Chairman Graham Kelly spoke about the significance of the race and the meeting, then the legend himself, "A. D.", kept the big crowd hanging on his every word as he reflected on the success enjoyed by females in racing now - he's a big fan - and how different it was back in his hey-day. It's always lovely to observe the affection and respect of the crowd, and particularly the younger family members, for this celebrated figure. They mightn't have kept the race "in the family" this year - as a $53,000 Group Two, it's increasingly difficult to win - but it was a very good night for the Turnbull clan. Mitchell, Steve and Amanda each picked up driving wins with Hey Porsha, Star Writer and Parramatta respectively, with Parramatta rating 1:53.3 to equal the track record which Amanda already owned with El Fuego. Jason and Emma Turnbull had grabbed a double and a win, respectively, at the lead-up meeting several days earlier, and they were keen to line up for their own special pic with "Grandfather" before they assisted him from the track. And in accepting the traditional driver's trophy from the Turnbulls, KerryAnn - who took a training double after Robbie Morris' earlier win with Kleened Out - reflected on her own family's involvement in what is, everywhere, one of the true family sports. An equally large family group gathered on the track for the presentation of the Ray and Olive McCarthy Memorial, taken out by last season's Tiara winner Dont Think Twice, first up since the Breeders Challenge final in June. Jason Grimson controlled the race from the start, and the Operative daughter came her last half in 56 seconds flat, to defeat the late-closing Hez All Courage and death-seater Alpine Stride. It was a highly impressive return by a filly who's being set for the Oaks races and of course, a return trip to Bathurst to defend her Tiara success in the Gold Bracelet next March. John McCarthy spoke on behalf of his family, whose representatives included Andrew, John and Narelle's U.S. based son who is back home for a few months. Andrew's little boy Finn looked right at home in his specially-tailored blue-and-green driving silks. The other winners on a most exciting night's racing were: Arma The Gun (Brad Hewitt, from yet another well-known racing family), pulling out a big sprint to collar favourite Sams The Master in C2/C3 grade, for his seventh win in 10 starts. He's possibly headed towards the Chariots of Fire, along with the runner-up. Takara Truffle NZ (Guy Chapple for Aaron Goadsby), much too strong in a fillies/ mares sprint, slipping home in 56.3 seconds, and heading on an Oaks campaign in coming months, after wins at five of her six career starts. Fouroeight (Mat Rue), surviving a very tough run to reach the death then roaring away over the closing stages of the final event, a C0 sprint (56.2 last half), to confirm his reputation as a serious racehorse. Another who's likely to be given his chance in the Chariots. Earlier in the night, HRNSW chairman Graham Kelly and steward Michael Zarb were on hand to present the first stable accreditation pass to be issued anywhere in Australia - allowing someone under 14 years of age access to the stables - to nine-year-old Jett Turnbull, son of trainer-driver Nathan. Jett had passed his exam with the stewards earlier in the day. Perfect timing, you'd have to say, on a Family Night that Shirley Turnbull would be proud of. by Terry Neil

After ending last season with a Group One win to his name 10-time winner Charlaval looks set to have another big harness racing season ahead of him. With the Chariots Of Fire the main aim for the four-year-old, connections are undecided if he will trial or race next according to the gelding's regular reinsman Robbie Morris. Charlaval has won his two trials back this preparation. "He's trialled twice now and has had two good hit-outs but Kerry (KerryAnn Turner-trainer) is still undecided if she will give him another trial or just race him," Morris said. "He trialled nicely at Menangle on Tuesday - he led and was a bit docile in front waiting for the other horses but hit the line well." Charlaval rated 1:55.4 in his most recent trial and when ready to make his debut for the season will be assessed as a C6. "He is a good horse and has earned the right to have this assessment," Morris said. "Being that grade won't affect him as he is usually driven back with a sit and if they go 1:50 or 1:51, the harder they go the better for him. "The Chariots is the real aim with him but he is eligible for the Breeders Challenge and Breeders Crown also so he has a big season ahead." Charlaval won a Breeders Challenge Final last season in a career best mile rate of 1:51.9. The son of Four Starzzz Shark has a record of 10 wins and 11 second placings in 29 starts and earnings of $199,025 AMANDA RANDO

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