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Harness racing purists enjoyed one of the most exciting nights of high-class racing in Launceston on Sunday night with five of the nine winners recording sub-two-minute mile rates. Call Her Julie (pictured) was one of the headline acts of the show, notching up her third win of the season by outgunning the highly touted Usain Jolt over the 1680-metre sprint trip. Owner, trainer and driver Matthew Cooper surged forward on Call Her Julie to find the death seat outside Rocknrollhighlight with the odds-on favourite Usain Jolt having the drop on the pair back in third. Gareth Rattray kicked Rocknrollhighlight clear turning for home, opening up a four to five metre break with Usain Jolt running to second and Call Her Julie seemingly under pressure third. However, Call Her Julie was far from beaten rallying strongly over the final 200 metres to gain the upper hand in the drive to the post to win by 1.8-metres, recording a career-best mile-rate of 1:56.2. Star three-year-old Ignatius overcame obstacles to win the opening race on the card to set the standard for the evening. The Todd Rattray trained and driven Group 1 winner ran into problems approaching the bell lap when tightened for room by Abs Boy and galloped for a stride, but showed maturity beyond its years to quickly regain composure. Rattray wasn’t prepared to take any further risks with his star performer and made his move out four-wide at the 800-metre mark. Ignatius made ground at will and joined the leader Vouvray Beach on straightening for the run to the judge before proving too strong in the run home winning by 2.5 metres. Ignatius now returns to Menangle, the scene of its greatest triumph in the Breeders Challenge, with the New South Wales Derby in late February his mission. The three top fancies El Jays Mystery, Barooga Jezza and Iden Amrak fought out the closest finish of the night in Heat three of the Harry Holgate Memorial with the Rohan Hiller trained and driven El Jays Mystery gaining the judges nod by a short half head from Barooga Jezza with the pacesetter Iden Amrak a half head away third. Talented four-year-old Harjeet pocketed its sixth win from 10 starts with a blistering turn of foot turning for home to seal the deal in the twinkling of the eye while the Tony Peterson prepared Super Max broke through for its first Tasmanian victory at just its second run in the state, making it a one-act affair scoring by 19.3-metres for Ricky Duggan. Last year’s Easter Cup runner-up Isaac showed he’s on target for another tilt at the feature for Juanita McKenzie and Rodney Ashwood with a barnstorming finish to clinch Carlton Draught Free For All while Mark Yole’s winning run continued when the Peter Dornauf prepared Sea Double Ugrant came from a mile back to run over the top of tearaway leaders Streetside Classic and Koolaz Elvis. The Troy Hillier trained and driven Gotta Go Henry was headed by Followthewind in the home stretch before digging deep in the final 100 metres, regaining the lead for favourite punters to bring up its second Tasmanian win from only three outings while brother Rohan guiding home recent stable addition Washmepockets in the Claimer. Shane Yates

When the ‘King of the Creek’ Destreos arrived from Queensland in  mid-2017 with owner Sally Stingel and trainer Ken Rattray the question on everyone’s lips was, could the then 13-year-old wonder horse win four more races to become only the third pacer in Australasian harness racing history to reach the magical triple figures. Friday evening’s narrow victory over Remember Joe in the Longford Equine Clinic Free-For-All in Launceston took Destreos’ career winning tally to 99, the burning question has now moved on to where and when will the historic win will be attempted. “We are looking at the Free-For-All in Launceston in a fortnight followed by the Toreace Flying Mile as his next couple of assignments”, said a beaming Ken Rattray. “He’s not quite at the top of his game after missing a fortnight’s work recently so it was great to see him respond the way he did when challenged strongly by Remember Joe.” Rattray is well aware the eyes of the harness world will be firmly focussed on every move in the lead-up to the tilt at the milestone. “There is always pressure when you train a horse as popular as Destreos and with the following he has nation-wide but I wouldn’t swap it for the world, it’s a privilege for Sally and I to be associated with such a horse, he’s part of the family, that’s how we treat him, he just loves to race so while he shows us that then that’s what he will continue to do.” Kent Rattray and John Walters have formed a formidable combination in recent seasons, highlighted by their successes with Riverboat Jasper in the Easter Cup and Timely Sovereign in the Raider Stakes. The duo appears to have unearthed another potential top-liner after Sunny Sanz took the honours in the $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes, the first two-year-old race held throughout Australia for the 2017/18 season. The Sportswriter – Soho Summer gelding, bred and raced by Nathan and Sandra Bennett of Ringarooma, was easy in the market drifting from $1.55 to $2.35 on the Tasracing Official Price fluctuations while the money flooded in for the Paul Hill prepared Cool Water Paddy, cutting its opening price from $2.25 to $1.70. Sunny Sanz stepped straight to the front for John Walters in a field of four runners over the 1680-metre trip and strode away from the Ricky Duggan-driven Cool Water Paddy to score effortlessly by 34 metres, rating 2:02.8 for the mile clocking  59.7-seconds for the last half. However all the action was behind the leading pair, Jardee and Karalta Moondance locked wheels shortly after the start with both Gareth and Barrie Rattray tipped out of the cart. Barrie was able to hold onto the reins of Jardee and drag himself back into the sulky and complete the course. Jardee was passing the 800-metre pole when the winner crossed the line but with official margins going on the time taken by an individual runner to complete the race distance the official margin from winner to third was displayed at 1,103.8 metres. The all-clear was given on the first two placegetters only but later stewards deliberated and ruled that Jardee had legitimately covered the distance of the race and reinstated it to running officially third and ruling connections were eligible for the $2100 third place prizemoney. Shane Yates

Top Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart began her assault on Tasmania's feature races in Launceston last night where she produced a team of six and walked away with four winners including Major Secret that won the City of Launceston Cup. Major Secret stepped away cleanly from his second-row draw but once the field was settled, driver Chris Alford sent the $1.10 favourite around the field to take up the running. Major Secret cruised to an effortless win over Dapper Dana that came from well back with Taurisi flashing home late to grab third just ahead of Destreos. It was s strong enough win to suggest Major Secret could be a serious contender for the Group 3 Tasmania Cup in Hobart later this month. Stewart did not attend the meeting but driver Alford said he believed the horse was heading to the Tasmania Cup but if all depended on how he performed last night. "If it (Tasmania Cup start) depended on tonight's performance you'd reckon he's sure to be there (Hobart)," Alford said. Stewart's team began well with Isntshejust scoring an effortless win in a C1-C2 event over 1680 metres. Isntshejust (Chris Alford) led from the pole position but she was unable to hold out Johns Legacy that crossed from gate three. But Alford quickly had the four-year-old mare outside of the leader and when he allowed her more rein a lap out she forged to the lead and went on to win comfortably. Apache Shark delivered Stewart's third win of the night. With Alford aboard Apache Shark ($1.30) circumnavigated the field a lap from home and proved too strong for Spot Eight and Call Her Julie in a C5-C7 over 1680 metres. Isntshejust and Apache Shark are owned by Victorian Tony Kiel who said it was his first double in ages. "My family have been in this game a long time and we've had plenty of winners but this is my first double since we got two up at Boort (Victoria) about 40 years ago.," Kiel said. Stewart's three-year-old colt American Alli ($2.60) was backed to beat the local favourite Semowillrev ($1.70) in a 3YO and older C0 over 2200 metres but he made an error at the start and lost about 60 metres. Semowillrev worked around the field to lead but he was run down by Izaha and Lead Singer with American Alli, that was making his debut, a game fourth beaten about nine metres. Masterkova made it four winners for Stewart with an impressive all-the-way win over 1680 metres. It was a one-act affair and no doubt Stewart will be aiming Masterkova at the Tasmanian Oaks. Peter Staples

One of last season's better Tasmanian three-year-olds El Jays Mystery resumed from a spell with a game win at the harness racing Carrick Park Paceway near Launceston today. Despite galloping soon after the start the now four-year-old mare recovered to tack onto the bulk of the field while Lead Singer took control with Shadow Control making for a solid tempo pressuring outside of the leader. Driver Ricky Duggan allowed El Jays Mystery ($2.70) to make her run 700 metres from home as she strolled around the field three and four-wide to finally claim the le5ad in the home straight. But the Live Or Die mare had to pull out all stops to hold on and defeat the fast-finishing Heavennroll ($101) with the well-backed fixed odds favourite Lead Singer ($2.40) hanging on for third. "The mare did a good job to win given she got out of her gear soon after the start but she managed to regroup and I thought she hit the line well," Duggan said. "She's obviously done a bit of work but there's no doubt she will gain a lot of benefit from this run." El Jays Mystery is trained at Karoola by Dick Eaves and she is owned and raced by him along with his wife Margaret, thoroughbred trainers John Blacker and Leon Laskey and their respective partners Penny Cawthen and Sharee Marshall, Gail and Lyndon Menegon, Michelle and Jeffrey Arnott, Barbara an Richard Imlach, Ross Goodsell, Terry Sinclair and Gail Wilkins. Peter Staples

Talented three-year-old pacer Semowillrev produced another brilliant performance in Launceston on Sunday night to easily keep his unbeaten harness racing record intact. It was the Craig Hayes-trained gelding's fourth win from as many starts and arguably his best. Krafty Boy set up a big lead early while Hayes had to extricate his charge from the pack in order to avoid interference soon after the start. But when clear and in the three-wide line Semowillrev scorched around the field and rushed past the leader as if he was treading water. Once in front the Sportswriter gelding was allowed to bowl along at his own leisure and when Hayes released the reins at the top of the straight he powered clear and went on to defeat Krafty Boy by almost 11 metres with Volkova Leis 14 metres away third. Semowillrev clocked a mile rate for the 1680-metre trip of 1.57 which was a personal best and the winning margin was just a shade below his average of 10.25 metres. "I'm very happy with how the horse has come back as a three-year-old," Hayes said. "I'll give him one more run then tip him out for a two or three-week let-up. "He has shown me enough to suggest he will be up to tackling the feature three-year-old races here in Tasmania this season." Peter Staples

Hobby harness racing owner Richard Hall celebrated his first winner with when his recent purchase Im Barney Rubble produced a powerful finish for a last-stride win in the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup over 2698 metres at Launceston last night. Im Barney Rubble, trained and driven by Rohan Hadley, settled near last while The Majority set a solid pace in front with the well-tried Dapper Dana locked away on the rails and shuffled back to last turning for home. Dapper Dana galloped fiercely soon after the start and lost at least 60 metres but tacked onto the pack soon after. When Black Centurian gave up the one-out-one-back spot to make his move 500 metres from home, he found the lead in the home straight, shot clear and looked the likely winner. But Im Barney Rubble unleashed a powerful finishing burst and hit the line hard to score by a nose over Black Centurian with Dapper Dana a close-up third. While it was a great win by the Life Sign gelding the effort of Dapper Dana was enormous and he was clearly the run of the race outside of the winner. Hall purchased Im Barney Rubble through the claiming races process. "I was going to buy him one night when the asking price as only $6500 but I didn't fully understand how the claiming system worked," Hall said. "His price later went up to $10,000 but I still thought he was worth it." Peter Staples

With the Australian Drivers Championship in Hobart less than a week away it was a time to sit up and take notice of the quality of our homegrown harness racing stars on Sunday night. The nine-event Launceston Pacing Club meeting threw up three driving doubles. Last season's Leading Junior Driver Jack Laugher was first to draw blood for favourite punters, winning the early speed battle on the popular pick Stylish Trend before being able to conserve enough petrol to finish off with a last half of 58.1 seconds, staving off a determined late surge from Dellas Command, to gain the day by a half-head. Jack was again the punter's pal in the Luxbet Best Of The Best Stakes over 2200-metres, guiding the Ken Rattray trained Tuxedo Max ($3.40) to back-to-back victories. The former Queensland seven-year-old, having its 105th start, was fast away from gate one and held the top comfortably through the first corner. Gareth Rattray was quickly off the pegs with last start winner Jetcraft to sit outside the front-runner, and the battle of the master and the apprentice was on. Tuxedo Max travelled well to the turn and kicked clear of Jetcraft before holding a late surge from outsider Modern Chic. Hit The Lights, a five-year-old mare driven by John Walters, delivered a knock-out blow for punters scoring the third win of its career with a whirlwind finish to capture the 2017 Australian Drivers Championship C2 to C3 Heat Three at bolters odds of $36.60. Hit The Lights (pictured), owned by Eric Blomquist and Mark Geeves, has had 37 starts in its career, 34 of those in Hobart, one at St. Marys and just two in Launceston. Eric and Mark combined with Flashing Red to capture the $25,000 Devonport Cup in 2002, defeating Gorse Bush by a half metre. Little did anyone know at the time but the race would go down in history, setting Flashing Red on his journey to $2million in stake money earnings, while Gorse Bush would go on to become the dam of the incomparable dual- Interdominion champion Beautide. Walters later hitched his wagon to Tisu Toota in the last race, the Claimer, for an all the way win for trainer Clayton Miller. Tisu Toota ($5.30) showed his liking to the stand start conditions, pinging the tapes to notch up his 19th win from behind the strands from just 57 starts. Todd Rattray's dream of another tilt at the Interdominion with Devendra is on track after a sizzling display in the Free For All. The Vivian Clark owned Bettors Delight - Queen Carey eight-year-old gelding scorched to the early lead and had the opposition covered turning for home, clocking a final quarter of 27.4 seconds to return a mile-rate of 1:55:3 over the 1680-metre trip. Todd completed his double when four-year-old Zhukov Leis ($1.60), owned by Marjorie and Trevor Leis, cruised home after leading from start to finish. Zhukov Leis had a 3.6-metre margin on the line from the fast-finishing Buster William to bring up its second victory at start five. Adrian Collins pulled off a Gavin Lang type performance coming from back last on the Dick Eaves prepared Courageous Katee ($2.70) to zoom down the outside of the track to win in dazzling style by 2.6-metres. Gareth Rattray showed he is primed to represent the host state in the Drivers Championship on Saturday night with an inspired drive on Ready To Fire ($3.50) coming from near last at the bell, while trainer-driver Christian Salter produced Kwiatkowski first up from a two months lay-off to power down the centre of the track for victory. Tasracing.com.au

Mersey Delight delivered a knockout blow to harness racing punters when she upstaged the top fancies in the McKillop Insurance Brokers Stakes on Sunday night at a water-soaked Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston. The Bettor's Delight - The Spider Woman six-year-old mare, trained at Kimberley by David Hayes, was one of three despised outsiders in the field and was sent out at bolters odds ($78), but that didn't stop her notching up the fourth win of her career. Driver Paul Ashwood snagged Mersey Delight to the pegs behind the leader Whenthegroundshook in the charge to the first turn and enjoyed a soft run until 200 metres from home when the gap opened between the frontrunner and Goggo Gee Gee. Mersey Delight (pictured-No 3) surged through the opening to gain the day in a blanket finish by a short half-head over Goggo Gee Gee with the favourite Jilliby Gigi close-up third. Ben Yole took the training honours, preparing four winners for the night. Postal Express ($25), driven by Rohan Hillier started the ball rolling early by flying home in the opening race on the card. Punters were much happier when the state's leading trainer prepared the winner of race three, the 6TY Stakes. Hear The Call, the $2.60 favourite, was lifted over the line by Robert Walters after leading all the way over 1680-metres, defeating Olwen Jackka by a head. Ben's third winner came when Todd Rattray piloted Ultimate Courage ($18.70) to the post, knocking off the short-priced elect All My Savings by 1.4 metres. Robert Walters rounded out the successful night for the stable by turning in a drive of the night performance aboard Another Swinger, squeezing through along the pegs after the favourite Roger Ramjet galloped under pressure to topple the gallant Destreos in the shadows of the post. Last season's leading reinsman Todd Rattray also shrugged off the torrential rain that fell throughout the night to land a winning treble. Along with his victory with Ultimate Courage, Todd picked up wins with his highly talented five-year-old gelding Taurisi scoring a runaway victory by 11.4 metres and followed up with success behind promising four-year-old Hayley's Comet ($2.60). Cromac Jamie ($12) led all the way for owner-trainer Bianca Heenan scoring a solid win over the luckless Full Speed Ahead in race seven. Dylan Ford dictated the terms to a nicety with the nine-year-old and still had a metre up his sleeve in a driving finish over the odds-on favourite Full Speed Ahead, which was badly inconvenienced at the start. Eternal Shadow broke through for the first win of its career in the last for trainer-driver Paul Williams. The Shadow Play - Eternal Life four-year-old gelding got home by the barest of margins over Triple Aitch Fella in the very last stride. When studying  the sectionals from Sunday's meeting in Launceston you will need to factor in the torrential rain that fell throughout the night and the effect it had on the track. TasRacing

Stewards today have concluded an Inquiry which resulted from criminal convictions being recorded against licenced Harness Racing Trainer/Driver Mr Keith Toulmin in Launceston Magistrates Court on Tuesday 29 August 2017. At the inquiry, Stewards considered invoking AHRR 267(1) and AHRR 267(2) which relate to licenced persons being disqualified as a result of criminal convictions. Mr Toulmin attended the Inquiry and after giving consideration to submissions made by him and after considering the very serious nature of the animal welfare offences Stewards determined to invoke AHRR 267(2) in relation to a conviction of aggravated cruelty.  Stewards also invoked AHRR 267(1) in respect of a conviction for animal cruelty and for failing to comply with instructions given to Mr Toulmin by the RSPCA. In determining penalty, Stewards were mindful of the seriousness of the charges which had a significant adverse impact upon the reputation of Harness Racing.  Stewards were also mindful that any penalty imposed act as a significant deterrent for breaches of animal welfare standards which are of paramount importance in Harness Racing. Mr Toulmin’s licence history and personal circumstances were also taken into account. Penalty 1 – AHRR 267(2), In relation to the 1st charge, aggravated cruelty, Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 5 years.  Which was back dated to commence on 29 August 2017 and expire 29 August 2022. Penalty 2 – AHRR 267(1) –Animal cruelty.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served cumulative to penalty 1, commencing on 29 August 2022 and expiring 29 August 2024. Penalty 3 – AHRR 267(1) – Fail to comply with instructions issued by the RSPCA.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served concurrent to penalty 2. In total Mr Toulmin was disqualified for 7 years. Orders were also made to Mr Toulmin and the registered owners of horses currently in his care that those horses be removed within seven days. Date of issue 11 September 2017 Panel: A Crowther, D Farquharson, R Brown. Keith Toulmin Inquiry – 11 September 2017. Adrian Crowther CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS – Harness

ON Friday September 8, 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards suspended the licence of trainer, Ms Amanda Coffee, pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 183. HRNSW has taken these measures after receiving a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that xylometazoline had been detected in the blood sample taken from WAKE UP QUINN following its win in race 8, the PARKES FURNITURE ONE PACE (2040m) at Parkes on Sunday August 6, 2017. The “B” sample has been sent to Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria for confirmatory testing. HRNSW Stewards considered all available evidence at that time and determined that Rule 183 should be invoked based on the following factors: The existence of a prima facie case against you based on the certificate from ARFL; The nature of the substance; The absolute nature of AHRR 190 offences; The likely penalty of a significant period of disqualification if a prohibited substance offence is proven; The high unlikelihood that AHRR 256 will have any application if a prohibited substance offence is proven; The fact that this is not a finding of guilt and that this will militate against any perceived reputational damage as a result of a suspension; The fact that an offence against AHRR 190 does not involve any aspect of intent and that this must further militate against any perceived reputational damage as a result of a suspension.  (h) HRNSW’s protective objectives in the course of its core function to control, supervise and regulate harness racing in this State Ms Coffee has not been charged with any breach of the Rules and has been advised of her right of appeal against the imposition of Rule 183. HRNSW Stewards have commenced an investigation into this sample result and an Inquiry will be scheduled in due course. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gloch@hrnsw.com.au

Tasracing has secured the rights for Tasmania to host the first Australian Female Harness Drivers’ Championships in Launceston on Sunday 11 March 2018. The event will be hosted by the Launceston Pacing club (LPC) with the support of Tasracing and endorsement of Harness Racing Australia (HRA). Tasracing CEO Vaughn Lynch said securing the inaugural event was a boon for Tasmanian harness racing and women’s sport in general: “Racing has proudly led the way in the area of equal participation by women in sport for a long time. Tasracing was determined to recognise females in harness racing and to celebrate the nation’s talented female champions’. He said. The Inaugural Female Harness Drivers’ Championships will mark the conclusion of the national Women’s Cancer Foundation Teal Pants awareness campaign which runs from 1st February to 11th March 2018. Female harness drivers around Australia raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer and funds for the Women’s Cancer Foundation, by wearing teal driving pants while racing. Women’s Cancer Foundation supporter and fundraiser, Duncan McPherson  OAM, said: “We are delighted that the inaugural Australian Female Drivers’ Championships will continue the promotion of this extremely worthwhile cause, and that the champion will be crowned on the last day of this year’s Teal Pants campaign.” HRA CEO Andrew Kelly said granting Tasmania the right to host the first event of this kind recognised the state’s strong harness racing industry, excellent facilities and commitment to promoting female participation: “Tasmania has proven itself a great host of previous national Drivers Championships, so the opportunity to showcase the state’s strong female participation record and support of the Women’s Cancer Foundation with this inaugural female series was an easy decision.” Chester Bullock, President of the LPC, said he was looking forward to welcoming participants. “The LPC can’t wait to throw open our doors to the best female drivers in the country, and to show them, their families and supporters the best that Tasmanian racing has to offer.” by Tasracing

Talented young Tasmanian harness racing trainer Chris Aylett believes New South Wales reject War Dan Star has a future in Tasmania following the two-year-old's impressive win at his second start in the state in Devonport on Friday night. War Dan Star came from the Amanda Turnbull stable where he had four unplaced starts which led to him being sacked. But his owners, Victorian Danny Zavitsanos and Tasmanian Warren Viney, decided to send the horse to Tasmania. "Dad (Phillip) trained a few for Warren (Viney) when he first started out in harness racing and he always said he wanted to get me a good horse," Chris Aylett said. "This bloke is a good honest little horse and I think he'll be better next year." War Dan Star was backing up after a nose second in Launceston five days earlier when one of the owners backed him at 40-1. "He looked like winning that race (when he hit the front in the straight) but the leader kicked back," Aylett said. "We'll go back to Launceston next week for a heat of the Breeders Crown, because he's paid up for that series (In Victoria), then we'll see where we go from there. "He could go on to the Golden Slipper if he's happy but it would be a big effort for a two-year-old to race that many weeks in a row." Driver Rohan Hadley had War Dan Star travelling comfortably in the one-out-one-back position before he sent the gelding three-wide to make his challenge about 800m from home. War Dan Star ($9.12) then sustained a long run to score a comfortable five-metre win over Ideal Karalta and Maybe Jack. Peter Staples

Brady Woods emerged as the winner of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series when he partnered his charges to fourth place in the final two heats of the six-race harness racing series in Launceston on Sunday night. Woods entered the final round of heats on 45 points and leading by one from Taylor Ford but after she finished third in the fifth heat she held a one-point advantage going into the final heat in which she was aboard the favourite Diddley Bow. But Diddley Bow made a mistake early in the race and couldn't recover to finish well back while Woods guided rank outsider last Guy Standing ($101) but he managed to snag fourth place and earn enough points to be declared the winner. The 21-year-old from the Fingal Valley in central Tasmania, who drove two winners from the first four heats, was thrilled with the result and said harness racing was an integral part of his life. His father Scott Woods and the young driver's grandfather Robert Woods are both quality horsemen who have been his guiding lights so it was a natural progression for Brady to follow in their footsteps. Ford also drove two winners from the first four heats of which two each were held at Devonport and Hobart. Talented teenage driver Jack Laugher won the final two heats as a result of top drives aboard Karalta Kruise for Kent Rattray and the Todd Rattray-trained God Sake. Laugher finished third behind Woods and Ford. Peter Staples

Harness racing three-year-old pacer Johns Legacy delivered his best effort this season to break his maiden status in the Carlton Draught Stakes in Launceston last Sunday night. With talented young driver Jack Laugher in the cart Johns Legacy was able to lead but the driver cleverly opted to take a trail when the race favourite Williamtell ($2.50) scooted around the field to attack for the lead. Williamtell sped clear turning for home but when Laugher eased Johns Legacy ($16) out to challenge the gelding powered home to score by two metres from Chenin Valley that also sprouted wings in the straight with the favourite third. Johns Legacy's trainer Cleone Hill was thrilled with the result and praised the effort of Tasmania's leading junior driver. "That was a top drive from Jack (Laugher)," Hill said. Johns Legacy is a special horse to Hill as he was the last foal bred by her late father John Jetson. "He is a very special horse for us as he was the very first foal born after Dad (John Jetson) passed away. "My son Scott named him Johns Legacy, which was the perfect fit," Hill said. Jetson was a very successful owner-breeder. He owned popular sire JR Mint and he part-owned the highly rated sire Time Stands Still. Hill prepares a small team and operates an agistment farm on her late father's property Jetsonville Park situated on the North-East Coast near Scottsdale. Johns Legacy is expected to have his next start in Launceston on Sunday week. Peter Staples

Teenage reinsman Jack Laugher emerged the winner of the annual Youngbloods Challenge for novice harness racing drivers in Launceston on Sunday night to further emphasise his impact on the novice driving ranks in Tasmania. Laugher lengthened his lead in the first heat on the night (heat 5) when courtesy of an excellent drive he finished third aboard Marnu The Beast to earn nine points to take his overall tally to 51 heading into the sixth and final heat of the series. The 18-year-old from Launceston went onto the last heat 13 points clear of his nearest rival Nicholas Brockman who was aboard an outsider Kvitova Leis ($29.40) that was listed as an emergency and only gained a start when Brockman's original drive Iden Amrak was scratched. Laugher, 18, needed only to finish in the top eight in the field of nine to walk away with the prize. Laugher partnered The Shelley Barnes-trained Saywhat that drew the outside of the front row and Laugher made his intentions clear by working the horse forward to face the breeze outside of the leader Put Mback. Mid-race Laugher opted to take the leader on without success which left Saywhat vulnerable at the business end of the race. Brockman eased Kvitova Leis to the outside of the field in the home straight and the mare rattled home to win convincingly with Laugher's charge falling back through the field. Saywhat finished sixth but still earned enough points to give Laugher the series by two points from Brockman Final points in the 2017 Youngbloods Challenge series. 56 - Jack Laugher. 54 - Nicholas Brockman. 53 - Taylor Ford. 41- Brady Woods. 40 - Justin Howlett. 39 - Matthew Howlett. 37 - Samantha Freeman and Hannah Vandongen. 34 - Dylan Ford. 28 - Samantha Gangell. Peter Staples

Underrated harness racing mare Capture Me set a record in Launceston last Friday night that most punters would have rued. At a meeting that resulted in a mixture of favourites and mid-price winners on the eight-event card Capture Me started at cricket score odds. The Ben Yole-trained mare paid $98.10 for the win and $19 the place on the Ubet tote but where the record was set was the dividends she returned on the NSW tote which was a massive $274.20 for the win and $37.10 for a place. Surprisingly, Capture Me had some support in fixed odds markets firming from $81 to $61 before easing out to start at $101. It was a gem of a drive from Natalee Emery who settled the four-year-old daughter of Village Jolt near the rear and five-back the fence from her outside second-row draw. In the back straight the last time Emery persevered with rails runs and when Crafty Old Fox that had faced the breeze, started to capitulate it gave her the chance to get her charge off the fence and when she eased her out four-wide in the home straight she powered home to score by over three metres. Olivers Mate came from well back to grab second with Tenfour that had trailed the leaders sneaking into third place. Capture Me arrived in Yole's stable from South Australia in January and won at her second start for him in Hobart that followed a first-up third in Launceston and she has since notched two wins and five minor placings from 16 subsequent outings. Peter Staples

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