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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

Consistent three-year-old pacer Playing Arkabella delivered another outstanding harness racing performance to emerge triumphant in the $40,000 Group 3 Bandbox Stakes over 2200 metres in Launceston on Friday night. The Paul Hill-trained filly won the two-year-old version of the sires stakes series last season (Evicus Stakes) so to capture the three-year-old edition puts her in elite company. Playing Arkabella had her colours lowered in the Bandbox Prelude by El Jays Mystery that edged her out in the last stride but with a more favourable barrier draw and a heady drive from Rohan Hillier she justified the punters' faith in the daughter of Shadow Play. The filly was heavily backed to start the $1.80 favourite courtesy of drawing barrier three on the front line while her archrival El Jays Mystery had to start from the outside of the second row courtesy of being out of the draw in mobile events. The Todd Rattray-trained Harshali began well from gate five and eventually worked to the lead from rank outsider Safari Oakey ($126) but Hillier was content to send Playing Arkabella around the field to face the breeze from where he could dictate the pace of the race. Ricky Duggan sent El Jays Mystery three-wide to challenge 600 metres out but she was making hard work of it while Harshali looked to be travelling easily and put three metres on the favourite turning for home. But when Hillier called on his filly for the big effort she dug deep and went on to defeat the fast-finishing Huiffier by two metres with El Jays Mystery hanging on for third ahead of Harshali and Halo Henry that dead-heated for fourth. Peter Staples

The Todd Rattray-trained Harjeet led throughout to win the $40,000 Group 3 Globe Derby Stakes for harness racing three-year-old colts and geldings at  Launceston, Tasmania on Friday night. Harjeet ($2.80) began brilliantly from gate two to lead while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo ($2.20) was caught three-wide until driver Rohan Hillier urged him forward to face the breeze while the other main contender Usain Jolt was dragged back to last from his outside front-row draw, Duggan made his move 700 metres out but that's when Hillier called on the favourite to stake his claim and he moved a half-length clear of Harjeet but Rattray's horse refused to wilt. Harjeet regained the lead and went on to defeat Rocknroll Turbo by 9.5 metres with Usain Jolt a game third almost two metres away. It was Harjeet's third win from only six starts and while he is still very immature Rattray is quietly confident he has a bright future. "My horse hung out and then hung in so once he learns to go straight he's going to be a very good horse," Rattray said. Harjeet a Rocknroll Hanover gelding was bred by the Rattray family and Wayne McLaughlin who was thrilled with the win. "I started this breeding program with the Rattray family about 10 years ago and this is the first one we've been able to get to the races so hopefully he can go right on with it," McLaughlin said. Peter Staples

Former Tasmanian Derby winner Mister Lennox broke the harness racing track record in Launceston on Sunday night when he flashed home to win the $10,000 Golden Mile over 1680 metres. The Juanita McKenzie-trained gelding emerged from the pack to chase down tear away leader I Am Camelot to score by two metres clocking a mile rate of 1.54.5 that set a new benchmark for open class pacers. It eclipsed the previous best of 1.55 set by Queens Advocate, also trained by McKenzie, in February last year. It made it back-to-back Golden Miles for the five-year-old gelding that was dispatched to top NSW trainer Paul Fitzpatrick after winning last year's Golden Mile however he was unplaced from five starts. McKenzie said Mister Lenox could soon head to Melbourne with the hope of winning an M0 event at Melton. It was one of five winners in succession for Hillier who captured races 5-9 for what was a personal best haul. Hillier has driven four winners on a program a few times, according to the popular reinsman, but this is his first quintet of winners. His winners were Mister Lennox, Chirac, Rocknroll Turbo, Chenin Valley and Lord Jones. Two of the wins were aboard horses he trains, Rocknroll Turbo and Chenin Valley, while the others were for individual trainers. To highlight his popularity, Hillier had a drive in every race on the 10-event card. Peter Staples

When a horse broke in the path of the well-backed Adele Said ($10 into $5.70) soon after the start in Launceston on Friday night most harness racing punters who had invested on the filly were close to tearing up their tickets. But it's a good thing they didn't because despite losing about 50 metres in the scrimmage Adele Said recovered to go on and score a very impressive win. After the incident driver Todd Rattray had the three-year-old settled into a strong pace but he was forced to drive her for luck and as it happens the luck presented itself and the filly did the rest. Adele Said (Well Said-Catz N Ratz) burst clear of the pack in the home straight and went on to score by six metres from Only A Myth with Holly Halo almost three metres astern. Adele Said recorded a mile rate of 2.03.7 which was good given the circumstances and she ran home her last half-mile (800m) in 61 seconds. Butler, who spent the early days of his training career at Lachlan near New Norfolk in the Derwent Valley, south-west of Hobart, has long been considered one of Tasmania's most talented horsemen. He trained Joesashyguy to win the 1999 Tasmanian Derby to etch his names in the record books as one of the youngest to train a Group winner in the state at age 21. Butler recently relocated to the north of the state where he has set up a training operation at Pipers River about 50km north of Launceston and he plans to expand his training enterprise with the help of his life partner and talented driver Kristy Grant who is the granddaughter of veteran harness trainer Dick Eaves. Butler and Grant moved into their new residence, formerly owned by prominent harness racing breeders Lyndon and Gail Menegon, last month and he expects to quickly build up the number of stable tenants. "We've been on the property for about three weeks and Adele said was our first starter training from our new property and Jillibi Gigi ran second later in the night so it's a fairly good start," Butler said. "We have eight horses in work so hopefully in another month or so we'll be able to take a team of four or five to the races." Peter Staples

Top Tasmanian harness racing trainer-driver Rohan Hillier will be aiming to join an elite group if he can prepare and drive the winner of the upcoming $30,000 3YO Globe Derby final in Launceston next month. Hillier has trained and driven the past three Globe Derby winners in Ryley Major (2016), Jerrys Jet (2015) and Chopstix Boris (2015) and in just over a fortnight he will partner Rock N Roll Turbo in a Globe Derby heat in Launceston with the hope of progressing him to the final a fortnight later. Rock N Roll Turbo showed enormous potential as a two-year-old winning the Keith Stanley Debutante on debut and a heat of the Dandy Patch Stakes at his subsequent outing after which he was being touted as possibly the best horse bred by his owner Charlie Beadman. After finishing second in the $30,000 Dandy Patch final to Usain Jolt he was spelled and at his first start this time in he finished last of eight and beaten over 90 metres in a 3YO race in Launceston in the care of Paul Hill. Rock N Roll Turbo was again rested and when he was about to race again the owner opted to send the colt to Hillier who has won aboard the colt twice from as many outings this month with the latest in Devonport last Sunday night. "I am more than pleased with how Rock N Roll Turbo is going since he arrived and his win last Sunday night was effortless," Hillier said. "He's coming along nicely and I think the change in his attitude has come through working him with other horses which has got his mind on the job. "The penny seems to have dropped with him and if he continues to improve I expect him to be very competitive in the Globe Derby." Last Sunday night in Devonport Rock N Roll Turbo settled last from his outside second-row draw but when Hillier sent the three-year-old around the field to find a spot he had no trouble in cruising to the front. He hit the line 10 metres clear of his nearest rival without having to be fully extended. Peter Staples

Pachacuti  confirmed his status as Tasmania's best harness racing pacer when he came of the back mark of 40 metres to win the $40,000 Ranvet Easter Cup over 2569 metres in Launceston on Sunday night. Despite starting off a back mark of 40 metres the gelded son of Bettor's Delight defied a tough run facing the breeze for the last 1500 metres to win and broke the track record for a standing start along the way. The Todd Rattray-trained gelding was forced to work hard early to tack onto the field but when his trainer-driver called on the gelding to improve he raced around the field to face the breeze outside of the leader Black Centurian. When Rattray called on his charge for supreme effort in the home straight he powered home to defeat outsiders Isaac ($51) and Remember Joe ($101). Pachacuti ($5.70) won seven races in succession before finishing fifth in his Easter Cup heat off 40 metres but armed with that run under his belt he delivered what Rattray described as a career-best effort. "This is the race I've always wanted to win and to do it with such a great horse is special," Rattray said. "I knew he was going really well and this week his trackwork was outstanding and he's taken that into the race tonight. "I'll wait a few days to see how he pulls up but I am confident I can take this horse away and win interstate." Pachacuti has won 32 of his 69 starts with 19 minor placings for over $300,000 in stakes. Isaac had a hard luck story as he was held up at a crucial stage over the final 300 metres and when he saw daylight half-way up the home straight he flashed home to be beaten two metres. Remember Joe ran the race of his life to grab third ahead of the race leader Black Centurian. Peter Staples

Talented two-year-old harness racing filly Vouvray Beach broke her maiden status in Launceston on Sunday night with an emphatic win in the $10,000 Premier's Blue Bonnet over 1680 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston. it was little more than a procession for the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere as she found the lead soon after the start with Ricky Duggan aboard and went on to score by15 metres from Invest with first-starter Modart Niadh over seven metres away third. It was only her second start but punters didn't miss the filly as she was backed in to start the $1.50 favourite and at no stage did she give her backers any cause for alarm. Trainer Rodney Ashwood said the filly was originally purchased at the Australian Pacing Gold yearling sale in Melbourne by his son Alex Ashwood who on-sold her within an hour to prominent Tasmanian standardbred owners Barry Cooper and Jamie Cockshutt. "We'll try and win another race and then probably look towards the 2YO Sweepstakes in Hobart or go to Melbourne for the Australian Pacing Gold sales series," Ashwood said. Duggan described Vouvray Beach as a nice horse that just needs to learn to settle in her races and if she achieves that goal the future looks very bright. Duggan had no need to release the ear plugs in the home straight which magnified the ease of the win. Peter Staples

Hugo Play is again making an impact in open class harness racing in Tasmania with his effort to win the Launceston Mile (1680m) at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night one of his best efforts since joining the Shelley Barnes stable late last year. Hugo Play faced the breeze for most of the race and when driver Gareth Rattray called on the gelded son of Jr Mint for the supreme effort he forged clear and then staved off a determined challenge from eventual runner-up Riverboat Jasper that had enjoyed the run of the race in the one-out-one-back position. Blackjackhanover led and he traveled well to the home turn but he was unable to match it with Higo Play once the pressure was applied. Hugo Play has had seven starts for Barnes for two wins and four minor placings for almost $18,000 in stakes but that might soar if the gelding retains his good form. "I guess we'll have a look at the Easter Cup as his main goal and that will most likely include going in the Easter Cup heats but in the meantime I'll back him up in the Governor's Cup in Hobart this Sunday night," Barnes said. It was the first time Hugo Play has won over a mile (1680m) with his mile rate of 1:57.4 only 2.4 seconds outside the track record and just 0.9 off his personal best mile rate of 1:56.5 set in Melbourne three years ago over 2240 metres. "The horse is going better than I ever expected he would when I first took over his training and while he is in such good form we'll keep pushing on. "I have to manage his work and racing program because he has delicate feet but he seems to be responding to how I train him. "I work him on the grass at home and I swim him a lot to help with his fitness levels." Peter Staples

Former Sydneysider Roger Ramjet continued on his winning way in Launceston last night with an impressive all-the-way victory in a C6-C10 harness racing pace over 2200 metres. Roger Ramjet is prepared by Todd Rattray for whom the gelding has had four starts since arriving in the state from New South Wales where he was prepared by Rattray's older brother James Rattray. It was the gelding's second win from five starts in Tasmania and he could shape as an Easter Cup candidate. Todd Rattray is hoping the gelding stays in Tasmania at least until Easter. "I would like to keep this horse here for as long as possible and I really think he could be an Easter Cup contender," Rattray said. Roger Ramjet arrived at James Rattray's stables midway through 2014 and he won his first three starts in NSW before heading to Victoria where he had four starts for a win at Melton and two minor placings at Ballarat. He won three more at Menangle before heading to Queensland where he had two starts for a win and a second after which he was spelled for five months. James Rattray sent the gelding to his family's Tasmanian stable that is operated these days by Todd Rattray and at the gelding's second start in the state he was a luckless seventh in the Devonport Cup. The $40,000 Easter Cup will be run in Launceston on April 16. Peter Staples

I Am Camelot delivered a career-best effort to score an impressive harness racing win in a C4-C5 event over 2200 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding earned a reputation as a horse that only does his best when he leads but last night the six-year-old was able to settle back in the field from his outside second-row draw and rattle home to score an emphatic win. It was the gelding's fifth win from 10 starts this season and Gareth Rattray's fourth aboard the son of Safari from five drives. "The horse was travelling great on the back of the favourite No Spring Secrets and I was happy for that horse to take us into the race but he wasn't going well enough so we had to go six-wide on the home turn," Rattray said. "He's a horse that gets revved up and hard to handle but he settled tonight and he really finished the race off well." I Am Camelot is only lightly raced as he's only had 22 starts for five wins and as many minor placings for closing in on $30,000 in prizemoney.  

A promotion to raise money for women's cancer research through harness racing has gone national for the first time this season. The promotion involves all female drivers wearing teal coloured driving pants instead of the traditional white and in Launceston last Sunday night Natalee Emery got the promotion off to a flying start by winning the first race on the eight-event program aboard outsider Pushkin. Emery drove Pushkin straight to the front from gate three and she rated the gelding superbly to have enough in the tank to boot clear in the home straight and go on and score by 11.1 metres from Significance with Mersey Delight a close-up third. This is the first year that Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have joined Victoria and New South Wales in the 'Team Teal' campaign that aims to raise money for women's cancer research. Tasmania boasts nine female drivers comprising; Maree Blake, Natalee Emery, Samantha Freeman, Taylor Ford, Samantha Gangell, Kristy Grant, Lyarna Graham, Lee Simmonds & Hannah Van Dongden. Tasmania's governing racing body Tasracing will donate $200 to the Women's Cancer Institute for every female driver that wins a race in Tasmania until March 12. All female race drivers, as well as the girls who contest pony trot races, will wear Teal driving pants in all of their race drives with all Clerk of the courses to wear Teal coloured shirts. The next chance for 'Team Teal' to add to the tally will be at Devonport on Friday night. To follow the nationwide tally follow @WomensCancerFdn on twitter. For more information about Women's Cancer Foundation go to: http://womenscancerfoundation.org.au/ Peter Staples

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