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Carrick trainer Craig Van Dongen is hoping his three-year-old gelding Shady Story can continue on his winning way when he lines up in the Cliff Robins Memorial in Launceston on Friday night. The Shadyshark gelding has won two of his five career starts, his most recent win came in Launceston on 19 July where he ran away to score by 18.8 metres in inclement weather which was reflected in the mile rate of 2m 2.5s. On that occasion Shady Story settled one-out and three-back before his driver on that occasion Ricky Duggan, made a mid-race move around the field to race outside the leader for the final lap and naturally his trainer Craig Van Dongen was pleased with the victory. “I was pretty pleased with the win, he did it pretty tough, he seems to have a bit of stamina in him,” said Van Dongen. Admitting the pacer “pulled up good” from that victory, the trainer also acknowledged that he believes tonight’s event is one of the pacers toughest tests this preparation where he has booked the services of reinsman Gareth Rattray for the drive. “There are a few good horses in the race, it is probably his toughest field he has met. I will just leave it all up to Gareth (Rattray) on what he wants to do,” said the trainer. Tonight’s field includes Raymonds Judge ($3.50) who has won his last two and is in the care of in-form trainer Marc Butler, Estelle ($5.00) who draws inside of the second-row and was a good second last time out when first-up from a spell. Other chances include Kivik ($8.50) who scored at triple-figure odds at his only start, and the Ben Yole-trained Gauci ($10) who gets his best barrier draw in three Tasmanian starts. Shady Story opened up this morning at $3.50. The gelding never raced as a two-year-old and was purchased online by Van Dongen’s daughter Hannah who misses tonight’s Launceston meeting through suspension. “Hannah bought him online from the mainland as a two-year-old. His owners wanted to get rid of a few horses and this guy needed time to grow and mature a bit,” explained the Carrick based trainer. “He was a bit green and a bit hard coming out of the mobile, so we had to get him a bit more educated to try and get him to settle down coming out of the mobile,” added Van Dongen who has another two horses in work, and a couple more to come back in. Tonight’s Launceston meeting will be televised on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV with the first race set down for 17:35. Three trials will be held before the first race from 16:30.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

We come off another big weekend of harness racing in Tasmania. Eight races were held in Hobart on Friday where War Chest flew around the Hobart track to win a rating 60 to 74 event in 1m 56.4s. The action then turned to Launceston on Sunday night where Blackbird Power recorded his second win of the week while two pacers won on debut on the eight-race card. There is only one meeting in the state this week, and it is a bumper 10-race card in Hobart on Sunday night. The Stars Blackbird Power – had two starts for the weekend for two wins. The gelded son of Mach Three had to survive a protest when winning in Hobart before defeating Scooterwillrev in Launceston. The pacer won both races by a short half head. Kivik – caused the biggest upset of the weekend when scoring on debut at odds of $91 in Launceston. The gelded son of Courage Under Fire was well rated in front by Ben Parker. Franko Joe – was another pacer to lead all the way and score on debut in Launceston. The pacer continued an excellent run for trainer Marc Butler. Taylor Ford – registered a training and driving double in Launceston. She scored in the mares rating 55 to 69 event with Belligerence before The Thug proved too good for his rivals later in the night. Tisu Spirit – the Tim Maine-trained gelded son of American Ideal continued his excellent form since resuming from the COVID-19 break when the pacer came from back in the field to win in 1m 58.3s on Sunday. Since the shutdown the pacer has won two races and placed on two further occasions from five starts. Ben Yole – extended his lead on the top of the state trainers’ premiership with a double on Sunday. My Celebrity led all the way to score in good time before Guys Bettor Bet came with a well-timed run when leading home a Yole-trained trifecta later in the night. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening  Zeke Slater – training double; Capitallee and Blackbird Power, Sam Gangell – driving double; Capitallee and Blackbird Power. Launceston – Sunday evening Ben Yole – training treble; My Celebrity and Guys Bettor Bet, Taylor Ford – training and driving double; Belligerence and The Thug. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening  Lockaway Kacie 56.83s, Resurgent Storm 56.97s, Monarkmac 57.21s, Blackbird Power 57.33s and Debt Till We Part 57.38s. Launceston – Sunday evening Buster William 55.06s, Scooterwilllrev 55.07s, Sea Double Ugrant 55.47s, Blackbird Power 55.69s and Murry 55.86s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hit’s: Tellmax Nikita $4.40 into $3.90, Delightful Junie $3.10 into $2.25, War Chest $21 into $9.00 and Stepping Stones $6.50 into $5.50. Defied The Drift: Capitallee $3.80 out to $4.40, Forever Ours $3.20 out to $4.60 and Perfect Mach $12 out to $17. Missed: Sacramento Sun $7.00 into $5.50, Hyde Park $31 into $19, Kiavino Stride $11 into $6.50, Kardesler $2.60 into $2.25 and Sign Of Oro $2.20 into $1.75. Launceston – Sunday evening Hit’s: Franko Joe $2.30 into $1.65, My Celebrity $19 into $5.00, Guys Bettor Bet $41 into $21 and The Thug $3.60 into $2.70. Defied The Drift: Tisu Spirit $5.00 out to $6.00. Missed: Heza Sport $7.00 into $4.60, Indiana Dreming $26 into $18, Feel The Burn $3.60 into $3.20, Salvator Mundi $6.50 into $4.20, Scooterwilllrev $4.00 into $2.70, Ozzie Major $14 into $9.50, Always A Stride $20 into $9.50,Victoria Pass $7.50 into $4.80 and Lightning Scooter $101 into $31. Trial File Hobart – Friday evening The Rodney Ashwood-trained and driven two-year-old Four Starzzz Shark gelding Hughie Playboy was able to slot in behind the leader, before gaining an inside run at the 350-metre mark to score by a half neck over the stablemate and leader Ninefortwentythree with Whey Better using the sprint lane to finish a further 1.6 metres away third in 2m 3.9s. Trainer Ben Woodsford prepared the quinella in the trial with Metro Star defeating Hashtag Finally. Metro Star raced behind the leader before sweeping to the lead at the 350-metre mark to score by 1.4 metres from Hashtag Finally with the remaining two rivals a further 19.9 metes away in 2m 1.6s. Launceston – Sunday afternoon Tisu Skye, a three-year-old filly by Courage Under Fire sat behind the leader before working one off at the top of the home straight to score by a head over the early leader Jimmy Mischief 2m 2.2s Peaceful Thomas has done a bit wrong in his last three starts which have seen him sent back to the trials in recent weeks, and the winner of five races from 15 starts did everything right when coming from last at the 800m to win his trial in 1m 59.0s by 5.1 metres. Shelby Bromac is a past Tasmania Cup winner and was well graded a in standing start trial where he flew away from his 20-metre handicap to lead after the first 70 metres, recording a mile rate from his handicap for the 1680 metres in 2m 2.1s. Bullapark Beno was the sole runner in the education trial who trotted the 1680-metre trial in a mile rate of 2m 11.9s. Trial Replays You can view most trials since the resuming from the COVID-19 break by clicking here. FORMPLUS Black Booker Estelle She was first-up since 29 March, and went into Sunday’s race in Launceston without a lead-up trial. From a wide draw driver Charlie Castles restrained the three-year-old filly back to last in the 2200-metre event before gaining a three-wide cart up over the final 1100 metres. With the leaders running a 62.6 first half it was going to be hard for her to make ground given she had to go out four and five wide for the final 400 metres and she hit the line strongly to run the leader down to 1.2 metres with her own last half mile recorded in a slick 56.67s. Not a FORMPLUS Alerts customer? JOIN HERE Week Ahead Ryley Major and Scooterwillrev recommence their on-track rivalry in Hobart on Sunday night in the Hobart Signwriters Pace. Their last clash was in the 2019 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup where Scootwerwillrev and Ryley Major finished second and third respectively behind Franco Tristian. To say a lot of water has gone under the bridge since that effort would be an understatement. Scootwerwillrev has had a Sydney campaign where he scored one win while Riley Major has dominated the local scene including scoring in the Group 2 Tasmania Cup in March. Both horses go into Sundays race second-up from a break, and both go into the race finishing second at their first-up assignments. Scooterwillrev starts off the front-row in the 2090-metre standing start race on Sunday and given his excellent standing start manners it looks to be a big advantage over Ryley Major who has a 30-metre handicap to contend with, plus being the sole backmarker will have to pass his 10 remaining rivals in the event. It all depends on how the two horses have come through their first-up performance and we will find out at 19:07 on Sunday. The first of 10 races commences at 17:20, with the meeting to be shown on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Bendigo (Metro meeting) – Saturday night  Race 1 Horse 9 Streitkid, Menangle – Saturday night  Race 1 Horse 7 Harjeet, Race 6 (Group 2) Horse 1 No Apachemee and Horse 7 Ignatius.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Six-year-old gelding Scooterwillrev returns to racing in Launceston on Sunday night when he lines up in the first leg of the quaddie, the Jubilee Bakery Stakes. The winner of 25 races hasn’t been seen since 16 November when finishing second last at Menangle, New South Wales’ home of harness racing. Scooterwilllrev won one of his 14 starts during that campaign before returning back to his original trainer Craig Hayes. Hayes had the pacer set to go for a heat of the Easter Cup in early April, but that race meeting was abandoned days prior due to the suspension of Tasmanian racing due to the COVID-19 break. “When he returned from New South Wales he had a break and his first preparation I didn’t think I was going to get him back, we sort of worked on him with a few different things and he is going pretty good now,” explained trainer Craig Hayes ahead of tonight’s event. “I have always said if I didn’t think he was going good enough to win races I wouldn’t be taking him back to the track,” explained the Stowport based trainer. With a national rating of 84, Hayes has several options to miss some of the state’s best pacers over the coming months. Tonight’s event is a rating 70 to 90 event over 2200 metres, the same distance that Scooterwillrev holds a track record of 1m 56.6s that he set just over two years ago on 22 July 2018 and Hayes is happy with the pacers progress for his first-up assignment. “He is fairly forward, but he should improve on whatever he does,” he said. “I think he is working along quite good, but you never know till you get there. He hasn’t won much for a while so whether he still has the desire to be there we will find out tonight,” added Hayes who has booked the services of Gareth Rattray for Sunday’s event. His main rivals according to the early markets are Friday night Hobart winner Blackbird Power ($3.30), with Dapper Dana ($3.80), Sea Double Ugrant and Salvator Mundi (both at $6.50). The Hayes stable is also represented at the meeting by three-year-old filly Brookwillrock, who like her stablemate is first-up from a break in the second event, the Elderslie Horse Care Three Year Old. The Burnie winner from three starts ago was placed at her next two outings against the older horses, the most recent effort was in Burnie on 20 March, but the inside of the second row draw Sunday is of concern to Hayes. “It is easier (coming back to her own age), but the draw doesn’t suit her at all as she does like to dictate a little bit,” said Hayes who will also take the reins. “She is pretty forward, I don’t think she will improve a lot on what she does tonight, it’s just a matter of if she gets the right run into it or not, she is not a horse that sits and sprints that well, she likes to roll along,” Hayes explained. Sunday’s eight event card commences at 17:08 and will be shown on TasracingTV and Sky Racing 1. Several trials will be held prior to the meeting.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Tasracing has announced the 12 drivers for the 2020 BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series. As was the case last season, the four-race series will be held in Launceston on Friday night, 21 August, and as the name suggest the series is restricted to Tasmanian licensed Claiming Novice Drivers. Competing in this year's series: Conor Crook - who is a past winner of the series scoring back in 2018. The News South Wales born driver now calls Tasmania home where he has made an impact on the local racing scene, and he currently sits in fourth spot on this seasons state drivers title. Crook is closing in on his 100th career win in the sulky, and he currently has 96 victories to his credit. Samantha Gangell - was last seasons leading female driver in Tasmania. So far this season she has driven 16 winners but has registered 55 placings. Gangell has recently taken out her trainers license and her first win as a trainer in Burnie on 15 March with Navua Pixie. Hannah Van Dongen - finished in tenth position on the states drivers premiership last season with 24 wins and 38 placings and the Carrick based driver has already started the 2019-2020 season well with 22 winners which sees her sit at the top of the Female Drivers Premiership. Taylor Ford - has registered 85 career winners in the sulky and she has been driving in terrific form since racing returned from the COVID shutdown, driving eight winners including a treble in Hobart on 19 June. She also prepares a small team of horses at Brighton with 12 training wins to her credit. Lachlan Dakin - had his first race drive in March 2018 before driving his first winner in August that year aboard Goggo Gee Gee. Dakin drove six winners last season, and he is set to pass that total this season. Troy McDonald - is a former Victorian driver who now calls Tasmania home. McDonald is the most successful driver in the series with 115 winners to his credit, 35 of those coming this season. Some of his feature wins this season include the Art Meeker Memorial Matron Stakes in Hobart aboard El Jays Mystery, the Dash For Cash in Devonport with Gotta Good Reason and the Eric Reece Memorial with Capitallee. Ben Woodsford - hails from New Zealand and had been gathering experience in Australia from several leading stables before finding his way to Tasmania last year. Woodsford had his first race drive at Menangle in May 2016 aboard Big Bang Penny who gave him his first winner at Newcastle in August 2016. He has driven a total of 47-wins through his career. Charlie Castles - is continuing a strong family tradition into the industry and is the sole north-west coast based competitor in this year's series. Castles spent many weeks over the festive period with former Tasmanian trainer-driver James Rattray at his New South Wales base where Castles was able to drive Joogle to victory at Canberra plus multiple placings on the metropolitan and provincial circuit. Andrew Freeman - drove his first win aboard Hez The One in April last year. So far this season he has driven two winners from limited opportunities. His biggest success to date was on the Heath Woods trained The Shallows in a heat of the Youngbloods Challenge late last year. Sam Clotworthy - is the newest driver to the states driving ranks, having his first race drive in mid-June. The New Zealand born reinsman has worked for a number of the countries leading thoroughbred trainers including Gai Waterhouse, Clinton McDonald and Anthony Cummings. The 24-year-old drove Nancys Baby to victory at $41 in Hobart on 26 June which is his only win in the sulky today, but it certainly won’t be his last. Georgia Hayward - The Scottsdale reinswoman drove her first winner at odds of $101 when It Is A Glacier scored in Launceston in early February. She has gained valuable experience through trainer Kent Rattray, and she has also spent many months in the past working for dual Inter Dominion winning trainer James Rattray at his New South Wales stables. Malcom Jones - is another participant continuing a strong family tradition. Jones spent a lot of his early childhood on King Island before moving to mainland Tasmania when his parents returned home. Jones drove his first winner aboard Mi Ju Dan on King Island earlier this year. An emergency for the series will be confirmed by Tasracing in due course. The series was first held in 2012, with BOTRA sponsoring the series every year since its inception. Previous winners of the series include; 2019 - Matthew Cooper, 2018 - Conor Crook, 2017 - Brady Woods, 2016 - Adrian Collins, 2015 - Lyarna Graham and Tim Yole, 2014 - Samantha Freeman and Tim Yole, 2013 - Braden Howlett, 2012 - Craig Hayes. *All figures correct as at 20/07/20.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Two weeks ago Brighton based trainer-driver Adrian Duggan was involved in a nasty race fall in Launceston, and on Sunday he was back in the winner’s circle at the same venue when Wattabout Spangher ($26) scored in the Tassie Wash Pace. Adrian’s brother Ricky took the reins on the five-year-old gelding who began well to settle outside the leader in the 2200-metre standing start event. The Stonebridge Regal gelding was in for the fight in the home straight late with Tisu Spirit (second) and Prosecution Witness (third) all pulling away from their remaining rivals. Adrian, who was discharged from hospital on Monday, wasn’t trackside for the win, instead being restricted to the recliner at home resting his leg where he received multiple fractures from the fall, was delighted with the win. “Ricky got him away well to sit outside the leader and keep him out of trouble in the run,” said Adrian. “Sitting here with Amanda (Adrian’s wife) I was hoping that they bowled along, so those that missed the start didn’t tack on,” explained the trainer. Wattabout Spangher moves to a rating of 64 with the trainer looking ahead to some country cups over the festive period. “If we can keep him stepping away like he is, then some of the country cups will be good options for him,” said Adrian. “He is a good sit and sprint horse, but he had to do a bit of work tonight which was good to see as well,” added the trainer. Duggan acknowledged the work of several people that have helped his stable out in recent weeks saying that “they all know who they are.” There are no certainties in racing and punters learned that the hard way when Ryley Major was defeated as a $1.22 favourite in the Elders Insurance Launceston Free For All. It was the Matthew Cooper-trained and driven Call Me Hector leading all the way to score at $19. Many expected Cooper to lead and bowl along, well he did lead but instead Cooper put the brakes on running a slow 47.1s lead time before running quarters of 31.9s, 30.2s, 29.0s and 27.7s for a slow mile rate of 2m 1.4s on a rain-affected track. “I know he has a 56s last half-mile in him, and I thought if I could slow them down early, they would find it hard to catch him,” explained trainer-driver Matthew Cooper after the win. “It worked out well tonight when I looked across and seen that we ran a 31.9s first quarter that things were looking pretty good here when you run along you make it easy for those backmarkers to get into the race,” added the Oatlands based horseman.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Six-year-old Courage Under Fire mare Courageous Katee bounced back into the winner’s list for the first time this season when she scored in the Tassie Wash Pace in Launceston on Friday night. Reinsman Adrian Collins positioned the Dick Eaves-trained mare one-out and two-back in the 2200-metre event before coming with a well-timed run from the 600-metre mark. “Dick presented the mare in great order like he always does and on the back of her run last week where she ran a sharp last half, it filled me with a bit of confidence going into the race,” said driver Adrian Collins after the win. She proved too good for the second elect Buster William by 1.7 metres with outsider Olwen Jaccka a further 4.2-metres away in a mile rate of 1m 59.3s. “She showed a bit more gate speed than normal and was able to hold a forward position, when I progressed three-wide down the back she was always feeling like the winner,” added the winning driver who recently joined the committee of the Carrick Park Pacing Club. Gareth Rattray was the in-form driver of the meeting with a driving double. He scored in the opening race aboard Stormy Sanz who defeated stable mates Indianna Sanz and Impulsive George who are all prepared by Lietinna trainer Kent Rattray. It was back-to-back victories for the Betterthancheddar gelding who scored in Launceston the start prior on 28 June with the trainer considering aiming the pacer at an open two-year-old race on 19 July before the feature races later in the season. The second leg of Gareth’s driving double was aboard three-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Rocknroll Curly, who raced right up to his excellent trial form. From inside of the second row the pacer ended up three-back along the marker pegs in the 2200-metre event before working into the one-out one-back at the 1200-metre mark. Rattray asked the pacer for the supreme effort at the 400-metre mark where he dashed away to score by 3.1 metres over a fast-finishing Bold Centurian and Heza Sport in 2m 1.2s. Rocknroll Curly is trained by Rattray’s life partner Melissa Maine. The Michael Laugher-trained Emjays Black Chip continued on his winning way when scoring in the final race of the night, courtesy of a lovely drive by Rohan Hillier who positioned the pacer one-out and two back before leading up the three-wide line for the final 950 metres. Hillier was in the winner’s circle earlier in the night as a trainer with the win of Monarkmac who was driven by Conor Crook. Marc Butler was the only trainer on the night to register multiple wins scoring with Sermac and Beachboy Butch.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

We received an unfortunate reminder of how dangerous the sport can be after a nasty fall in the first attempt of the third race in Launceston on Sunday night. Driver Adrian Duggan remains in the Launceston General Hospital with further surgery required to his ankle. The Stars Cool Water Paddy – bounced back into the winners list in Launceston on Sunday night with a 2.9-metre win in a rating 70 to 79 event in a slick last half mile. Illegal Immigrant – was well driven to victory once again by his trainer Troy Hillier when the gelded son of American Ideal defeated a handy field in the Great Northern Super Crisp Discretionary over 2200 metres when starting from a 20-metre handicap. Agouda Ruler – continued on his winning way when he scored in the Tassie Wash two-year-old. The John Castles-trained pacer was first-up from a break and didn’t have a trial under his belt but was still able to get the job done courtesy of a confident drive by Gareth Rattray. Kosimo – owner-trainer Mark Jones elected to send the Major Bronski gelding to Victoria during the COVID shutdown of Tasmanian racing where the mission paid off with a victory in Bendigo in late May. The pacer has been placed in two starts back in Tasmania before scoring on Sunday. Resurgent Storm – broke the $100,000 mark in prizemoney when he scored his 11th career win in Hobart on Friday with Rodney Ashwood taking the drive for trainer, owner and breeder Roger Whitmore. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening No participants recorded multiple wins. Launceston – Sunday evening Rohan Hillier – driving double; Kosimo and Emjays Black Chip. Troy McDonald – driving double; Altana Blue and Brian Who. Ben Yole – training double; Altana Blue and Brian Who. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening Ozzie Major 57.56s, Guys Bettor Bet 57.78s, Monarkmac 57.85s, Capitallee 57.92s and Lord Stark 57.93s. Launceston – Sunday evening Lip Reader 55.18s, Reign Of Pain 55.50s, Cool Water Paddy 55.59s, Buster William 55.63s and Courageous Katee 55.69s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hit’s: Capitallee $1.55 into $1.40, Lord Stark $6.50 into $5.50 and Resurgent Storm $5.50 into $4.80. Defied The Drift: One Yankee Ginga $4.40 out to $4.80 and Black Ops $2.90 out to $3.30. Missed: My Ultimate Romeo $4.40 into $4.00, Karalta Kruise $21 into $17, Royal Reactor $14 into $7.00 and Wandary Muscat $4.20 into $3.50 and Sign Of Oro $17 into $9.50. Launceston – Sunday evening Hit’s: Agouda Ruler $2.50 into $1.90, Kosimo $1.65 into $1.22, Altana Blue $10 into $7.00, Illegal Immigrant $5.50 into $4.80 and Brian Who $6.00 into $5.50. Defied The Drift: Southern Gnp $8.50 into $6.50, Ideal Karalta $3.90 into $3.20 and Betterbsweet $6.00 out to $6.50. Missed: Hillbilly Band $7.00 into $5.00, Black Centurian $6.50 into $4.60, Island Rocknroll $7.00 into $5.00, War Chest $12 into $4.60, and Salvator Mundi $5.50 into $4.40. Trial File Hobart – Friday afternoon As we have seen in recent weeks, there has been a significant national rating range in trials where the highest rated horses have dominated and again that was the case in Hobart on Friday where Go In Style scored. The former Victorian trained mare has joined the Tony Petersen stable, and she scored by 11.3 metres in Friday’s trial under a stronghold by Ricky Duggan. The time for the mile trip was 2m 2.5s. Launceston – Sunday afternoon Three trials were staged prior to Sunday’s meeting. Jimmy Mischief had to win the education trial, she was the only starter and recorded a mile rate of 2m 7.0s. Im Full Tilt led all the way to score in the second trial by 5.6-metres in 1m 58.7s. A half-neck separated the first three placegetters in trial three which was won by Mighty Spark, who led all the way in 2m 5.3s. Trial Replays You can view all trials since the resumption of the COVID shutdown by clicking here. Week Ahead Launceston is the venue for Friday night racing with a seven-event card on Sky Racing 2. Race six, the Tassie Wash Pace sees a strong field go around over 2200 metres. Smart three-year-old Colby Sanz has drawn barrier five and will be chasing back-to-back wins on the track. The pacer can expect strong opposition from Buster William and Taurisi who have second row draws. The meeting commences at 17:55. The Tasmanian Trotting Club Pace for the two-year-olds is the first of eight races in Hobart on Sunday night. Trainer Paul Hill has a terrific strike rate with juvenile pacers, and the record is set to continue with Rocknroll Nitro drawing the pole position for the 1609 metre event, and the pacer looks the one to beat after his last-start second. While speaking of the Tasmanian Trotting Club, their syndication initiative of getting new owners into the industry had something to celebrate on Monday when Beau Garcon scored a 23.3-metre win at Shepparton. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Melton – Saturday night  Both Lip Reader and El Jays Mystery were engaged to compete at this meeting which has since been abandoned due to the current COVID – 19 situation in the metropolitan area of Victoria. Another meeting at metropolitan level meeting will be held in Bendigo on Saturday night with fields for this meeting to be released later this afternoon. Menangle – Saturday night Race 2 Horse 6 No Apachemee. Race 3 Horse 3 Timely Sovereign and Horse 9 Ignatius.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

A horrific three-horse fall during the first attempt of the Lee’s Orchard Pace marred the eight-race card in Launceston on Sunday night. Canbe Doc driven by Conor Crook galloped soon after the start and fell with Rockandhardplace driven by John Walters and Major Davvin who was driven by Adrian Duggan, all falling and losing their drivers. The race was called off straight after the incident. Drivers Conor Crook and Adrian Duggan laid on the track and were attended to by Medical Edge and Tasmanian Ambulance staff before being taken to the Launceston General Hospital. Adrian Duggan was unconscious for several minutes and he underwent surgery last night on a compound fracture to his ankle and is awaiting further scans. Duggan was a late call up to drive the pacer after regular driver and the pacers trainer Steve Davis was attending to another horse on his property. Conor Crook, who was also unconscious for several minutes, remains in hospital for observation and is in good spirits. Driver John Walters was originally passed clear to fulfil his four remaining driving commitments. In the early hours of Monday morning however, he admitted himself into the Launceston General Hospital and has since been discharged with ligament damage. Both Canbe Doc and Rockandahardplace escaped serious injury. While Major Davvin was transported to the Longford Equine Clinic and operated on, trainer Steven Davis said that the pacer is expected to make a full recovery and he was very appreciative of the work conducted by the vets involved. Canbe Doc has been stood down from racing for 28 days and will have to complete four consecutive satisfactory trials before being eligible to race again. The race was rerun 70-minutes later with the three horses involved in the fall declared late scratchings with the Michael Laugher-trained Emjays Black Chip registering his first win in 13-months. It was a night for short price favourites with three horses winning at red figures. Agouda Ruler was a strong winner of the two-year-old event scoring at $1.90. It was the Betterthancheddar geldings fourth career win at start six. Kosimo was sent out the $1.22 favourite in the Longford Equine Clinic Pace, and the Mark Jones-trained pacer didn’t let favourite punters down scoring by 4.1 metres. The last short price favourite to score was Cool Water Paddy who bounced back to the winners list at odds of $1.75.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Trainer Kent Rattray, driver John Walters and owner-breeders Nathan and Sandra Bennett, and broodmare Soho Summer had a night out in Launceston on Sunday when they teamed up for a double on the nine-race card. It was one of the coldest race nights held in the state for some time with the mercury ranging between -1 °C and 2 °C during the entire race meeting. Stormy Sanz was their first winner of the night when the gelded son of Betterthancheddar broke his maiden status in the Bevan Lee’s Butchery Two Year Old over 1680 metres. Reinsman John Walters settled the pacer one-out and one-back before flying home over the final 100 metres to score over Lancelot by 1.5 metres with Written In Silk some 12.8 metres away third. At his most recent start, Stormy Sanz looked like he was going to be in the finish on 21 June before being checked on the home corner. “John (Walters) told me last week that he would have run second in that race,” said trainer Kent Rattray after the win, but there were also some gear changes made after that effort. “We whipped his front shoes off and put the spreaders on, I had tried to steer clear of them, but I ended up having to go with them, explained Rattray who also believes there is more improvement to come with the gelding who recorded a 1m 59.8s mile rate with last night’s victory. “I think he will improve in leaps and bounds when he gains more confidence.” Rattray will try to pick up another win with the gelding before aiming at some of the features later in the year. “We will try and pick another two-year-old up and then aim him at the classics,” he said. Due to COVID-19 restriction placed on various states in recent months, Harness Racing Australia recently announced that the current racing season had been extended until 31 December. As a result, this will likely see Stormy Sanz contest the Dandy Patch in Hobart which will now be held in the October/November period. “He is in a lucky season where we have some time before the Sires Stakes, and if it were to be held now we wouldn’t be ready,” said the winning trainer who did acknowledge the quality of two-year-old’s in the state this season. Rattray and Walters teamed up later in the night to score with three-year-old gelding Colby Sanz who led all the way to win race six. Walters was keen to find the lead on the Tasmanian Guineas winner which resulted in the race favourite Giftofjoy being positioned on his back from the pole draw. The favourite did get out late and ran Colby Sanz down to a half neck margin in 2m 0.5s. Colby Sanz did win last season’s Dandy Patch Final in Hobart and will be aimed at the Globe Derby stakes later in the season. The last horse to achieve the Dandy Patch – Globe Derby double was Colsta in 2003 and 2004. Both Stormy Sanz and Colby Sanz are out of the Western Ideal mare Soho Summer, who is also the dam of Sunny Sanz. Soho Summer was purchased by Nathan and Sandra Bennett at an interstate auction with the view of strengthening their breeding lines. Before last night’s race meeting Ryley Major went around in a rating 64 to 120 trial over 1680 metres where he won with ease. The gelded son of Art Major came from last of the four-horse field to win in a mile rate of 1m 57.5s with the pacer privately clocked running his last half mile in 55.4s. Trainer-driver Rohan Hillier indicated after the trial that this seasons Tasmania Cup winner would take a lot of benefit out of the hit out.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Four-year-old pacer Mister Gently (pictured) stamped himself as a strong contender for the Raider Stakes in Devonport later in the year after a tough win in Launceston on Sunday night. Driver Gareth Rattray positioned the pacer one-out and two-back before he attempted to improve his position around the field with roughly 1700 metres to travel. The move wasn’t successful, and the pacer was forced to race three-wide for the remainder of the race, but if there was any upside, he was able to gain a three-wide trail for the final 800 metres. Mister Gently was able to prove too tough for his rivals late to score by a neck over the fast-finishing Kardesler with Chris Be Quick 3.9-metres away third in a mile rate of 2m 0.6s for the 2200-metre trip. It was the fifth career win at start eight for the gelded son of Live Or Die and his trainer Craig Hayes is now being rewarded with his patience earlier on in the pacer’s career. “He just didn’t pace well, he showed me enough at home he would dash up and go good, but his hopples would rub him and just a few little things, he wasn’t quite ready, so we decided to bite the bullet and leave him, and now it looks like it’s the best decision I have made,” said Hayes. The Raider Stakes will now be held in Devonport later in the season. No date has been set, but Tasracing did release early this month that the race will be held in October or November. “The 2645 metres (the distance of the Raider Stakes) will suit him as his biggest asset is his staying ability, he can stay all day, he might lack a yard of high speed, but he is very strong,” said Hayes. Win 250 for Rattray Longford trainer Todd Rattray registered a double on last night’s card with the win of Feel the Burn delivering him a milestone win. It was Todd Rattray’s 250th training win after having his first start as a trainer on 1 February 2015. Feel the Burn was previously trained in New South Wales by Todd’s brother James and the Somebeachsomewhere mare put the writing on the wall with a handy second in Hobart last week. Rattray, who also took the drive, was keen to take bad luck out of the equation after finding the spot outside the leader early in the race. “She had to do it a bit hard tonight, but she is pretty strong and ran through the line alright,” said Rattray. Jigamaroo gave the Rattray stable a training double when the four-year-old gelding led all the way for concession driver Lachlan Dakin. “He had been working good, I thought to race him fresh and that he might surprise us,” said Rattray with the gelded son of Bettors Delight not having a trial in recent weeks. Blackbird Power was another horse to win last night after putting the writing on the wall in Hobart last week. The seven-year-old gelding worked forward mid-race to find the spot outside the leader to score by 4.3 metres in a mile rate of 2m 0.3s.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Auckland Reactor two-year-old filly Bridwood Bella raced right up to her good trial form with an impressive debut win in Launceston on Sunday night. The Rohan Hadley trained pacer went into Sunday’s two-year-old maiden event winning both her trials including a win on 6 June in 1m 59.4s where she dashed home in a 57.2s last half mile. Sunday night the filly impressed again on the stopwatch recording a slick mile rate 1m 57.4 for the 1680-metre trip, just 0.7s outside the two-year-old age record on the Launceston track which is held by Offthetopofmyhead who recorded 1m 56.7s in July 2016. Sent out as the $1.60 favourite, driver Conor Crook took the pacer straight to the lead, and they were untroubled late to score by 17.5 metres over Longfellow with Indianna Sanz a further 5.3-metres away third. Bridwood Bella was passed in for $8,000 at last year’s APG Sydney Yearling sale where after some negotiations she was purchased by Claire Hall, wife of greyhound racing identity Richard Hall. “Richard came to me keen to buy one, and we went through all the photos of course, and we managed to spot that one, I think he was able to do some negotiating with the owners and he purchased her,” explained Bridport trainer Rohan Hadley after the win. Even Hadley was a little surprised at the ease of last night’s victory. “I don’t do a lot with her at home, I know she has the ability because she just feels good, but the time (last night) did surprise me, I have got to admit that, the trial where she broke two-minutes put the writing on the wall,” Hadley said. Where to now for the pacer is the next question that Hadley and the connections will have to discuss in coming days, but the New South Wales Breeders Challenge could be an option. “I will have to discuss that with the owner after tonight now, given the time she ran tonight does he have to look at the New South Wales Breeders Challenge, I guess that could be an option, but I don’t even know when they are on, I will leave that up to them” explained the winning trainer. Hadley gave the reins to Beaconsfield based driver Conor Crook. “I have another two-year-old that my wife owns so to keep it all separate I promised Conor the drive,” said Hadley who was full of praise for the winning drive. Crook was the standout driver of the Launceston card winning another three races. A peg hugging drive saw $21 chance Our Percius score by a narrow margin, it was the Deborah Williams-trained pacers 11th career victory. Laid Back Kenny was the third winner for Crook on the card. The pacer enjoyed a lovely run one-out and one-back to pull away late and score by 17.1 metres, the win continued the good run for Northdown trainer Geoff Smith. Crook’s last win came in the final race of the night where Perfect Mach enjoyed a nice run off the speed to score at odds of $11. Crook has now driven 38 winners for the season and sits in equal third spot on the state’s drivers title with Gareth Rattray. Rohan Hillier heads the table with 40 wins over Mark Yole on 39.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing  

Tasmania's leading harness racing trainer Ben Yole is going to be extra busy over the next three days-but he couldn't be happier! Yole, based at Sidmouth, near Launceston, will compete with a massive 70 horses at two meetings. He kicks off with a team of 13 at Hobart tonight, and then his representatives swell to a mind-boggling 57 at Launceston on Sunday. But keeping it in perspective, big numbers are nothing new for the Yole stable. On average they could have anywhere between 75 and 85 horses on their books, and take around 40 to the races. "We have plenty of staff on hand at the race meetings-everyone knows their role so it's pretty good. All of our horses have their own set of harness and we get to the meetings with probably three hours to spare," Yole said. "I guess preparations for the night meetings always start around lunch-time. We have plenty of transport options in four trucks and a heap of floats to get them to the track." Tasmania conducted its first meeting last Sunday at Hobart since harness racing ground to a halt on the Apple Isle at the end of March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Yole took 34 to the Hobart twilight fixture last weekend and returned home with a winning double. Eight-year-old brown mare Pink Ponder (Ponder-Raiderofthelostark (Courage Under Fire) was successful for Mark Yole, while evergreen gelding Altana Blue (Stonebridge Regal-Amarillo Blue (Million To One) was an easy winner for Troy McDonald. Yole told TasRacing leading up to the comeback meeting, it had been tough to plan anything too far ahead with the horses. "There was a bit of stop-start stuff. They were all set to go at one stage, then we were told the return to racing had been delayed by another five weeks. So we probably all backed off and then had to rev them up again to get them somewhere near their peak," he said. "They've been having trials for the past four weeks. I have managed to get at least one run under the belt of most of our team at either Hobart, Launceston or Devonport so we're happy with that." Yole has been the leading trainer in Tasmania for the past four seasons and currently has 105 winners this season (and undoubtedly many more to come yet, with the season being extended from the usual end of August, to the end of December). Yole, who grew up in the Victorian country town of Hamilton, has been a powerhouse particularly over the past five or six years. In the 2015-16 season, he became the first Tasmanian trainer in 20 years to record 100 winners. The following season he broke the record with 124 victories--and equalled that in the 2017-18 season. Yole raised the bar last season with 182 winners, which set a State record for both equine codes of racing. "The 2015-16 season was our first big one. We'd finally got our own property by then and had a nice team including lots of bread and butter horses," Yole said. "Our place was an old dairy farm. There's 50 acres and we've got our own track, swimming facilities and plenty of big paddocks because we don't have stables," he said. "We rent a bush property next door and we use this when we want to give the horses an easy day. Over the years we've worked out that keeping their workload down a little is better. "There's now a lot of steadier and slower work, although there's times when we gallop them up a bit." The Yole stable is made up of a strong backbone of family support. There's Ben and Catherine; Ben's brothers Tim and Mark; as well has Mark's wife Dani; and their parents Wayne and Louise. Mark is the stable's number one driver and Tim is stable foreman and "Mr Fix-it". "In my opinion, there's not too many better drivers than Mark. He does a good job and rarely puts a foot wrong. Tim keeps the stable ticking along and without him, we wouldn't be operating. He works the horses, puts shoes on and anything else that needs doing," Ben said. "Last season we sent him across to Victoria with some horses for a while and he ended up with 20 winners. I was just so rapt for him. "I think we showed that we don't do a bad job and got some respect from trainers over there. We had pencilled in another campaign at the end of July, but we'll have to wait and see on that one." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura               P 0498 490 672   E hello@newsalertpr.com.au   W www.newsalertpr.com.au      

The heats of northern Tasmania’s premier harness race, the Ladbrokes Easter Cup is just a week away, and many contenders for that series will line up at the Ladbrokes Racing Centre in Launceston tonight in the $12,000 Launceston Mile. The intriguing runner in the race is exciting pacer Cool Water Paddy who takes on the open class pacers for the first time in his career. The Juanita McKenzie-trained pacer has won nine of his 13 starts, with eight of those wins coming at his past eight efforts. Ricky Duggan has driven the gelded son of Ohoka Arizona in every start, and he is looking forward to seeing how the pacer takes the next step in his career. “He is a nice little horse, but he is stepping up to a few of the big guns this week, so it will be interesting to see how he can match up against them,” said driver Ricky Duggan when speaking on Tasracing’s From The Stables Podcast. Only seven horses will contest the race where Duggan believes the pacer will get every chance to get a good guide going forward.  “He has drawn the pole over the mile, so he has drawn good enough to get a good guide on how he is going to measure up with them,” said Duggan. The one slight query punters have is if Cool Water Paddy can hold the lead early with several horses in the race possessing good gate speed and Duggan is hopeful the pacer can hold up from the good draw. “I think he has (the speed early), he has drawn the backline a lot in his career and we have never drawn the front-row much to ask him to run the gate, on the few occasions I have asked him to come out he has come out pretty good,” said Duggan. Duggan has won more races than any other driver in Tasmanian Harness Racing history, and he is on the verge of driving 1700 winners, he currently sits on 1697 victories. Some of Cool Water Paddy’s rivals tonight include the Matthew Cooper-trained and driven Call Me Hector. A winner of 17 races, Call Me Hector holds the mantle of the state’s fastest pacer when he recorded a mile rate of 1m 54.3s in Hobart last September. The Art Major gelding loves to lead and bowl along in front in his races and coming back in distance to the sprint trip will suit the pacer whose most recent win was at the home of Victorian harness racing, Melton, in January. Illegal Immigrant is another strong chance in the race, and the Troy Hillier-trained and driven pacer has a good record over the distance, with three starts for two wins and one placing over the distance. You have to go back to September of 2018 to find the last time the pacer contested a race over the sprint trip when he flew around Melton in 1m 55.2s, he has high speed, and the small field suits his chances along with Call Me Hector in the race it will ensure the race is run at a handy tempo. The other highlight on the Launceston card is the $12,000 Launceston Belmont for the two-year-old fillies. The Ben Yole-trained Written In Silk is the race favourite with Ladbrokes at $1.85. Written In Silk, was a $20,000 purchase at last year’s Carrick Harness Yearling Sale and she has won two trials in preparation for her race track debut tonight. Fields for all races have been restricted to 10-horses to accommodate the Tasmanian Government’s directives regarding managing the spread of COVID-19. Horses that raced in Hobart on Friday were the first balloted followed by those with the lowest field selection points till a field of 10 was reached. Racing starts at 17:23.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

A 10-year-old ex-claimer chestnut gelding in Tasmania has earnt himself a "home for life" after combining with bubbly teenage harness racing driver Georgia Hayward for her first race win at the weekend. Hayward, 17, with just 11 drives behind her, showed all the poise in the world to land the money with 100/1 shot It Is A Glacier (It Is I-Glacier Girl (Chill Factor) in the Launceston fast class race at Mowbray. "We've been racing him mostly in the claimers, but he won't be ever going back into those. I can pretty much guarantee that at the end of his racing he has a home here forever," a thrilled Hayward, based at Scottsdale, 60kms north-east of Launceston, said. "We didn't think he was good enough to go around in discretionary races, so he's probably gone around in the claimers for eight out of the 12 starts he's had for us and with a $5000 price," she said. Hayward said she was hopeful It Is A Glacier's good stand-start speed would allow her to find a good position. And from the outside front row draw, she found the back of old-timer Destreos soon after the start. "I thought we may have been going a bit quick early. I can't remember ever thinking I might be the winner. Even when the horse on my outside Ideal World dropped off and I got into the clear, I was still pretty relaxed," she said. "Then when I hit the front near the finish line there was a lot of tears. I realized I was going to win. I couldn't believe it and couldn't stop crying. I was just so happy because most of my family was there watching. "It was a day that I'll remember for a long time that's for sure. My mum Louise and 'Pop' John haven't missed any of my races, and dad David is there most of the time, depending on his work." Happy smiles: from left trainer Kent Rattray with It Is A Glacier. Winning driver Georgia is with her parents David and Louise, while “pop” John, Georgia’s brother James, and “nan” Julie join the celebrations. (Stacey Lear Photography) The pacer is known around the stables as "Meggs" (because "he's a 'ranga' and they're all known as Ginger Meggs") and Hayward said he was already a family favorite, even before his weekend win. "My brother James is listed as the owner, but Meggs is definitely family owned - most of them have some ownership, and I hope some of them put a few dollars on because he paid $157 on the TAB," she laughed. "We didn't go out or anything to celebrate-I think I just grabbed some KFC on the way home. I would really love to win another race soon because I could then buy my own ute and give dad his car back." Hayward said it was planned to give "Meggs" an easy time before aiming him at the heats of the Easter Cup. "I'm still on cloud nine, so I'll keep enjoying it for a bit yet." Hayward said while her family had been in the sport for a long time, she became interested only a few years ago. "My great grandparents Lawrence Hayward and his wife Lennie where involved along with my pop John Hayward, racing horses like Swishinover and Swishinon," she said. "We moved to Scottsdale from Ringarooma. "It was a lovely town where we used to live, but it's becoming smaller by the day. We shifted because of work and schooling. "I'd been involved with pony club for years and Wayne and Kent Rattray came knocking on the door to see if I wanted to help out at their stables," she said. So that's where it started, and Kent now trains our horse. "We've had Meggs since early last year and got him off Peter Romero who is at Chiltern, near Wangaratta in Victoria." Hayward last year spent five months working with James Rattray at his stables in Exeter, nearly two hours from Sydney. "I learnt a great deal and would love to go back and spend more time there."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Veteran reinsman Peter Dornauf is still counting his blessings after escaping serious injury in a spectacular harness racing incident. In an action-packed Launceston Discretionary Stakes on Sunday night, Dornauf got his horse away like a bullet from a 10 metre handicap, only to be confronted with another runner rearing high in the air and in his pathway. "It's strange when you are in a dangerous situation, just what goes on in your head. I remember thinking that this could be the end for me. I was very, very lucky. I really was," Dornauf said. "I could see what was unfolding. But I couldn't dodge too much and try and avoid it. I was worried my horse was going to cop the brunt of it-then I would have been in big trouble with my wife Karen!" he said, tongue-in-cheek. The drama unfolded after take two of the $12,000 standing start feature event, conducted at the picturesque Mowbray Racing Centre by the Launceston Club. When the tapes were released, Jaccka Len in barrier two, dwelt briefly before rearing up high in a full stretch despite the efforts of reinsman Ricky Duggan. Starting from the inside of the 10m handicap, Dornauf had Sea Double Ugrant out of the blocks like a shot out of a gun. Jaccka Len then twisted toward the inside and come down just when Sea Double Ugrant was darting through the inside. "For a split second I thought the horse was going to come crashing down on mine," Dornauf said. "But he got me instead. I didn't get hit as bad as it appeared on the race reply. It could have been way worse as he could have come down a lot harder," he said. "I got knocked out of the sulky pretty smartly and landed in under the running rail. I initially thought I'd broken my arm, but my biggest worry was my horse. "He gets really cranky when he's stirred up. Thankfully the sulky stayed upright when he took off. The clerk of the course Richard Housego did a great job and was able to grab him before any harm was done." Watch the race replay here (make sure you watch the head-on vision!): Check out on-course photographer @Stacey Lear's brilliant series of shots here: Dornauf said he ended up with a sore wrist and some back pain. The sensational series of photographs captured by Stacey Lear "There's a few other aches. I've been lucky because I've been driving for nearly 50 years and haven't had too many falls. But now Karen and my 12-year-old grandson Dylan reckon I'm too old and want to sack me!" he said. "I actually only took the drive because Mark Yole was unavailable because he had a horse of his own in the race. Our horse won a few starts back and we have the Easter Cup at Launceston in mind for him-but I won't be driving him!" The Dornauf family are well-known through the deeds of former super mare of the late 1980s and early '90s -Jane Ellen (Torado Hanover-Ima Goldie (Golden Alley). She was a winner of 29 races from 42 starts for an impressive $375,000 bankroll. Jane Ellen, bred by Karen, won at her fourth start in a 2yo event at Launceston when trained and driven by Peter. She won again later at Carrick before entering the all-powerful stable of the time, Bob and Vin Knight, who strung together nine consecutive victories with the pacer. Jane Ellen went onto win many group one and other top races in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart. These included the Victorian Oaks Preview and $60k final, Ladyship Cup final of $30k at Moonee Valley, 4yo and 5yo Championship at Harold Park, 1990 Mildura Pacing Cup heat and $30k final, and the George Johnson Stakes of $30k in Hobart.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

There was no bluff about evergreen veteran pacer Poker Storm when he played a winning hand to get the cash at a recent Launceston harness racing meeting. The 12-year-old paid three figure odds across most betting outlets with a stake-high $220 for a single win unit on the NSW TAB. But the victory didn't come as a surprise to his trainer Adrian Duggan, or the passionate owners. "I don't bet, but his owners always have a couple of dollars on him, so that's great for them," Duggan said. While the NSW TAB was the standout, those players who put their chips on the pacer to trump his rivals, collected $187 (SuperTAB), $106 (UniTAB), and $100 in his home state. "It's definitely not every day that you have that happen - but he also didn't deserve to be those odds, either. He's been racing really well," he said. Poker Storm hadn't won since March - but has been enjoying Tasmania's Discretionary Standing Start racing and had weighed in at all but one of his previous five starts, hence the quiet confidence in the Duggan camp. Annette and Chris Rockliff, Jacob Duggan and Nathan Rockliff were all smiles after their old warrior scored a memorable long-shot win  "He's an out-of-the-draw horse in the stands, but if he's off the second row he usually goes away all right," Duggan said. Poker Storm (Trump Casino-Cameo Mist (Lucky Cam) and Duggan have been a racing combination for almost as long as is possible in harness racing. The ownership group is based at Devonport, on the north coast, but, after he was broken in, they elected to send their two-year-old to the southern area of the Apple Isle, to Duggan at Brighton. And while others have come and gone, Poker Storm has been there ever since - for 10 years, nearly 200 starts, 23 wins and $170,000 in stakes. Duggan admits unashamedly, Poker Storm's the favorite. "He's just a lovely horse to have around. Hardly a lame day in his life and he's just one of those horses - he's not very big, but he's a warrior," he said. "He's very straightforward, very athletic and he just loves what he does. He's like most horses I suppose - if you keep him happy, he is very easy to get on with." Poker Storm crosses the line to win at start number 199 Duggan trains a team of 11 or 12 with the help of his stepfather Phillip Young, his wife Amanda and their 14-year-old son Jacob, who's just recently become licenced. "Poker Storm's been around nearly as long as Jacob has!" Duggan laughed. "He doesn't actually remember a time when we didn't have the horse - and he's doing quite a lot of the work with him now, too, so the win was a big thrill for Jacob as well. "Nathan (Rockliff) and Peter (Webb) are just the sort of owners you love to have. They are very loyal to me and have three horses here at the moment. "They love the sport and old Poker Storm has done a great job for them, but the minute I think it's time to pull the pin they'll be okay with that. "At the moment though, we're just enjoying racing him and while they keep programming the discretionary races and he gets handicapped fairly, we'll keep him going round," he said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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