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Talented harness trainer Nathan Ford could have a genuine country cups contender in his midst by the name of Jukebox Music that scored an impressive win in the Launceston Show Cup over 2200 metres in Launceston last Sunday night. With Dylan Ford in the sulky, Jukebox Music stepped well from the standing start and settled in fourth position in the one-out line while the favourite and 30-metre back marker Devendra also stepped well and was tacked onto the main body of the field after travelling 200 metres. Spot Nine led the field but when he slowed the tempo the back markers made their moves with firstly Washies Chance slipping up to face the breeze but Devendra's driver Todd Rattray also wanted the breeze so he sent the favourite scurrying around the field to fill that post. Just when Rattray was about to call on Devendra to extend Ford released the brakes on Jukebox Music and he quickly joined Devendra in the lead. The pair engaged in a two-horse battle with Jukebox Music proving too strong over the concluding stages. Connections of Devendra plan to send the gelding to James Rattray's stable in Sydney soon to prepare for an Inter Dominion campaign but having been beaten at his past two starts in Tasmania they might be having second thoughts about taking on the best in the land in Perth (WA). Peter Staples

IT has been a while coming but Mister Ryanjack finally delivered the goods in a C3-C4 event over 1680 metres at the harness racing meeting at Launceston on Sunday.   Mister Ryanjack had been promising to win another race but had been a victim of poor draws or no luck in tunning.   But with Adrian Collins aboard, the Marc Butler-trained gelding enjoyed the run of the race on the back of the favourite Palmisano that faced the breeze.   When Collins eased his charge out three-wide to challenge at the top of the straight the six-year-old dug deep at the business end to score by almost two metres.   Mister Ryanjack won a race in September last year but in between that victory and his latest triumph he has only saluted once for an impressive win in Hobart in June.   His career tally stands at seven wins and a dozen minor placings from 37 starts but he has the ability to greatly improve on those statistics. Peter Staples

The John Castles-trained Chirac continued on his winning way with another impressive performance at the harness racing meeting at Launceston on Sunday.   Chirac has strung three wins together to take his career tally to eight wins that has helped rocket his stake earnings to almost $60,000.   The gelding's part-owner Michael Castles (trainer's brother) said Chirac had always shown potential but they had to be patient.   "He's always been consistent but now he's putting a few wins together and not as many seconds and thirds as was the case early on," Castles said.   "There's not much coming up for him in the immediate future but he is sure to go around somewhere in his class."   "Later in the year he is going to have to go from C2 fronts to much deeper in the classes but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.   Chirac has been driven by Wade Rattray three times for two wins and a second, confirming the driver is starting to make a name for himself. Peter Staples  

IF the connections of Devendra are keen to get to Perth for the Inter Dominion series then maybe Launceston harness racing trainer Ben Yole should have considered nominating his stable star All I Can Be that delivered a knockout blow to punters in Launceston on Sunday night by defeating Devendra in a free-for-all over 2200 metres.   Devendra was sent out the $1.20 favourite but faced the breeze for the entire journey and could not resist the powerful finish of All I Can Be ($9.20) that powered home to score by over a metre.   "We finally got a good run in transit because he usually ends up out the back with no speed on," said driver Mark Yole.   The trainer said All I Can Be is a really good horse but lacks the early gate speed that is possessed by most of the top class pacers but he is at his best when he can sit and sprint. "He really needs them to run along up front because he is essentially a sit and sprint horse," he said.   At his previous start All I Can Be ran home his last half (800m) in 56.8 but could only manage third placing because he came off a relatively slow speed.   Despite the loss, connections of Devendra remain keen to send him to James Rattray to prepare for an Inter Dominion campaign. Peter Staples

Australia's best harness racing drivers will assemble in Launceston, Tasmania, in November when Tasracing, Harness Racing Australia (HRA) and the Launceston Pacing Club (LPC) host the second Australian Driving Championships. Two drivers from each state (12 drivers in total) will contest six races for points to decide the winning driver. Tasracing chief executive officer Dr Eliot Forbes said Tasmania was home to some remarkable driving talent of all ages. "The Championship provides an opportunity for local drivers to compete on one of their home tracks against the best drivers from interstate," he said. "In addition, Tasmanian harness racing fans have the opportunity to watch the best driving skills live," Dr. Forbes said. HRA chief executive officer Andrew Kelly said he was delighted that Launceston would host the 2015 event on Sunday 15 November. "In only its second year, the Australian Driving Championship has already succeeded in filling an important industry role - bringing together the best drivers from each state to compete for the title of Australian Driving Champion," Kelly said. "One of the things I particularly like about this concept is the opportunity for owners and trainers to meet and interact with the best drivers in Australia. "These conversations allow participants to pick up hints or even tips about how a horse might be driven in future, tinkering with gear or just a general chat," he said. LPC president Joel Wallace said the club felt privileged to have been selected to host the series. "We are very much looking forward to showcasing our track and our facilities, and the quality and competitiveness of our horses to a wider national audience," Wallace said. Last year Tasmania was represented by Gareth Rattray and Rick Duggan. The drivers who finished first and second in the Tasmanian driver award last season will represent the state and that will again be Rattray (100 wins) and Duggan (68 wins). Peter Staples

Impressive Launceston harness racing winner Our Maddys Star is country cups-bound following her impressive win in a standing start event over 2200 metres at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Our Maddys Star began safely off a 10-metre handicap and eventually found a spot outside of the leader after travelling half a lap. Despite being forced to face the breeze the Nathan Ford-trained mare proved too strong for her rivals. She hit the line just over a metre clear of Faithful Jet that enjoyed a cushy run in the one-out-one-back position with Karalta Dazzler coming from well back to grab third just ahead of race leader Prettyboytroy who faded sharply over the concluding stages. Driver Dylan Ford was impressed with the mare's effort. "The Grinfromeartoear mare hasn't had much luck since she's been in Tassie," Ford said. "She's still won two races and only missed a cheque once and that was when she fell in Hobart through no fault of her own." "She flies from a standing start and that's why we are keen to get her into come of the country cups around December-January." "This was her best win because she had to do it tough and still found plenty at the end," he said. It was the first leg of a winning double for the trainer and driver with The Big Parade scoring an emphatic all-the-way win in the Sutter Hanover Pace (C1-C2) over 2200m. Peter Staples

Former New South Wales pacer Wingatui Dew delivered a knockout blow to harness racing punters in Launceston on Sunday night when he outgunned a long odds-on favourite that most punters deemed a certainty in the Stonebridge Regal Pace (C0) over 2200m which was the first leg of the quadrella. The Barrie Rattray-trained Bettormack started the $1.10 favourite while Wingatui Dew was a big drifter $8 to start $13.90. But Wingatui Dew flew the gate to lead easily and while Todd Rattray aboard The Bettormack had a look for the lead he quickly realised it was a futile exercise and eased his charge out of the contest. The Bettormack faced the breeze for most of the race with the driver content to sit over a sulky length from the leader so as not to overtax his horse. When Rattray asked The Bettormack for the big effort in back straight the last time he was unable to make any impression on the leader. Wingatui Dew cruised to an effortless emphatic win over the favourite with Berri Damour a distant third ahead of Bad Boy Hughes. It was Wingatui Dew's first start in Tasmania and the Grant Hodges-trained four-year-old had only fair form at Menangle prior to arriving in Tasmania. While his win was impressive, driver Erin Hollaway said the gelding must mend his ways if he is to go the next step in Tasmania. "He didn't settle at all tonight so we are going to have to fix that or it will bring him undone sooner than later," Hollaway said. "He is a nice horse and we knew from watching replays from his runs at Menangle that he had good gate speed and he definitely showed that tonight," she said. Peter Staples  

Last Sunday night at the harness racing meeting at Launceston, Chief Destroyer made it three wins from his past five starts and given he has now proven himself capable from a standing start the future looks bright for the gelded son of It Is I. Chief Destroyer hails from Victoria where he had 21 starts form three wins on country tracks and while trainer Shelly Barnes would not reveal his purchase price she admitted he has so far proven to be a very cheap buy. At his latest assignment Chief Destroyer stepped well from a standing start of the Beena Buster Stakes and driver James Johnson had no qualms about settling the five-year-old three-back the fence. He travelled sweetly under a hold to the home turn and when an opportunity presented Johnson eased his charge off the fence and then around the heels of the leaders then powered home to score a convincing win over Satisfied Grin with race leader Prettyboytroy dead-heating for third with the favourite Our Maddys Star that faced the breeze for the last half of the race. Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian harness racing mare Queens Advocate could soon be making her way to Sydney as part of a preparation that will conclude in the George Johnson mares' classic during the Christmas carnival in Hobart. Queens Advocate kept her unbeaten record this season intact when she faced the breeze but still proved to be too good for quality four-year-old Palmisano at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston last Sunday night. Palmisano had run into star three-year-old Jerrys Jet at his two previous outings and wasn't beaten far, so his form without winning was outstanding going into Sunday night's assignment. The Brian Stanley-trained gelding led easily from the pole position while Queens Advocate's driver Ricky Duggan took his mare back at the start but when the pace slackened he was quick to send the mare around the field to face the breeze. When Duggan called on the Juanita McKenzie-trained mare for the supreme effort in the home straight she eventually ground down the leader but to his credit he fought back courageously to go down by a narrow margin. Queens Advocate has had eight starts in Tasmania for seven wins and a second since arriving from New Zealand earlier this year. She had 28 starts in NZ for two wins and seven minor placings. The mare was purchased by Terry Johnson who has longed to own a mare that has the potential to win the race named in his father's honour - The George Johnson. "We had a few mares to look at and this one seemed like an ideal type to achieve what we were after." "I am rapt that she has turned out to be a good one and capable of winning a George Johnson but a bit of water has to pass under the bridge before we can be certain she is going to be up to that standard," she said. Connections are expected to test the mare interstate soon. "We were thinking about heading to Melbourne and then off to Sydney but the way she has been going we will more than likely go direct to Sydney because I'm sure she'll appreciate the big track at Menangle," she said. A decision on when the mare embarks on an interstate mission will be made within a week. Peter Staples        

Lightly raced three-year-old harness racing filly Freyde delivered an impressive performance to win a 3C0-C0 at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston tonight (Sunday). Freyde (Riverboat King-Diligently) was buried away in the field three-back the fence from her inside second-row draw while the well backed favourite Pageantry showed his rivals a clean pair heels as he slipped to the lead and looked to be travell9ng comfortably turning for home. But when Freyde's driver Todd Rattray found clean air about 100 metres from home and eased the Barrie Rattray-trained filly into space she rattled home and hit the line almost two metres clear of Pageantry with first starter Kouper Bailey a close-up third. Freyde was coming off a fourth in Launceston at her previous outing which was her first start in almost a year. The filly won in Hobart in August last year but was subsequently dispatched to the paddock to recover from an injury. Given the way the Freyde sprinted to the line tonight when clear of the pack there are more wins in store for this filly. Pageantry did a good job to hold on for second while Kouper Bailey (Courage Under Fire-Balencia) showed courage on debut to battle on after facing the breeze for the duration. Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian-owned and trained harness racing mare Queens Advocate faces her toughest test since arriving from New Zealand when she lines up in the Hodiak Pace over 2200 metres at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Queens Advocate has won six of her seven starts since arriving from New Zealand earlier this year but her trainer Juanita McKenzie admits she will have to be at the top of her game to emerge triumphant on Sunday night. "I have no doubts this will be her toughest test since she arrived from New Zealand," McKenzie said. "She has delivered everything we have expected so far and her win last Sunday night in Hobart was great but she meets a very good one in Palmisano on Sunday night and she will have to deliver her best, at this stage of her preparation, to win." "The mare still has a bit of improvement in her and we fully expect her to measure up to some of the feature races over Christmas-New Year here in Tassie," she said. Palmisano won a C2-C3 three starts back in Hobart and at his past two outings he has finished a game second to the outstanding Jerrys Jet. McKenzie also will hitch up New Zealand-bred Comply Or Die in an open free-for-all over 1680 metres. Comply Or Die (Live or Die-Mood Indigo) has had three starts for me and his last-start third was probably good enough to suggest he is going to be competitive on Sunday night," McKenzie said.   Peter Staples

Star three-year-old pacer Jerrys Jet ended his season on a high with win in a C4-C6 event over 2200 metres at the harness racing meeting in Launceston on Sunday night to stretch his winning sequence to seven from as many starts for Beauty Point-based trainer Rohan Hillier. Jerrys Jet was one of last season's best two-year-olds winning every feature except the Dandy Patch final in which he was a close-up second to Boasson Hagen when in the care of trainer Paul Hill. The gelding had only one more start for Hill before being transferred to Hillier in February. Jerrys Jet won the $10,000 3YO Sires Produce at his first start for Hillier in May and along the way he won the $30,000 Group 3 Globe Derby Stakes. At his past two starts he has emerged triumphant in high grade races against older and more experienced opposition. Despite winning on Sunday night the Charlie and Connie Beadman-owned gelding was not at the top of his game according to Hillier. "I thought that his work in the week leading up to this latest start was a bit below par and he took that into his race on Sunday night," Hillier said. "He won but it confirmed he needs a spell and Charlie (Beadman) is putting him straight in the paddock and he'll probably be out for a decent spell of about three months," he said. Jerrys Jet has always shown ability but Hillier is confident the gelded son of Jeremes Jet will go to another level next preparation. "I am quite excited about his prospects next season because there's no doubt he will head interstate to try and win an M0 and I am sure he will continue to get better with age." "But Charlie (Beadman) will decide when and if he leaves the state," he said. Peter Staples

Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Ian Abraham celebrated his biggest win when his talented three-year-old filly Barooga Minnie scored an emphatic all-the-way win in the $30,000 bandbox final over 2200m at UBET Racing centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Barooga Minnie ($1.70) was sent around the short-price favourite and when she had no trouble leading from her front row barrier the end result was never in doubt. Abraham and his wife Vicky have been breeding standardbreds for a long time and most of their breed have carried the Barooga tag. They had minor success in a few Breeders Stakes series with Barooga Geoffrey and Barooga Jet both placed in Raider Stakes (4YO) finals while Barooga Bullet was second in a Globe Derby (3YO) final. "We've had some good ones placed in sires stakes races but this is our first winner," Abraham aid. "In fact this is our biggest win of any kind by far," he said. With Erin Hollaway in the cart, Barooga Minnie (Mister Big-Barooga Nellie) led comfortably and set a solid tempo before scooting clear of her rivals turning for home. Despite appearing to feel the pinch over the closing stages she held on to defeat the fast-finishing Ark Breeze by a head with Sheas Delight a neck away third. The narrow margin was most likely due to the filly's trait of waiting for her opposition before extending herself. "If she can't see the other horses she wants to stop and look around," Abraham said. "She's better when she can be driven with a sit and that's the way we'll look to drive her in the future," he said. Barooga Minnie will be sent to the spelling paddock this week for a two-month break.     Peter Staples    

Boom Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Jerrys Jet added another feature race win to his growing list of harness racing credits when he made a one-act affair of the $30,000 Globe Derby 3YO sires stakes final over 2200 metres at UBET Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. The talented gelding had no trouble to lead and when trainer-driver Rohan Hillier gave him more rein at the top of the home straight he powered well clear of a top quality field to score by almost eight metres from Four Ex Dan with Fioki coming from near last to run third about three metres astern. Jerrys Jet is owned by Charlie and Connie Beadman in partnership with prominent harness trainer Paul Hill who prepared the gelding until he turned three. In Hill's care the son of Jereme's Jet won multiple feature races including the rich 2YO Sweepstakes final that was regarded by many pundits as one of the best win by a juvenile ever seen on the Hobart circuit. But after the gelding was placed second to No Spring Secrets in a race in Hobart in February he was sent to Hillier for whom the gelding has won four times from as many starts since returning to racing in early May. Jerrys Jet's career record stands at 10 wins and two seconds from 12 starts for over $66,000 in stakes. His best mile rate is 1.57.9 which he set in winning a C1-C2 in Launceston as a lead-up to this latest outing. Because he is not paid up for the Breeders Crown series in Victoria and he also is not Vicbred there are no feature races left for him in Tasmania. The Beadmans have owned and bred some top class performers over the years including Group 1 Tasmanian Pacing Championship winner Thomas Magnum but Jerrys Jet is rapidly gaining status and could soon be regarded as the best they have raced. Beadman was non-committal in regard to where Jerrys Jet goes from here but given he is not Breeders Crown qualified he might be sent to the paddock for a spell.   Peter Staples  

Evergreen pacer Motu Crusader delivered another stellar performance to win the $10,000 Golden Mile (1680m) at the harness racing meeting at the UBET Racing Centre Launceston on Sunday night.   With champion reinsman Gareth Rattray aboard, Motu Crusader enjoyed a cost run in the one-out-two back position while his main dander Something Eyre was forced to face the breeze outside of the leader Run Ripalong.   When Rattray eased Moto Crusader three-wide to start his run at the bell the eight-year-old edged his way to the leaders and when Rattray called on his horse for the big effort he stormed past Something Eyre and went on to defeat that horse comfortably.   “He was going to win the race a long way from home,” Rattray said.   “When he settled where he did and our only real danger was parked outside the leader, I couldn’t have been happier,” he said.   Moto Crusader went into the race on the back of another impressive win with this latest victory his fifth with Rattray in the sulky.   Rattray’s biggest win aboard Motu Crusader was in the 2013 Tasmania Cup in Hobart.   “At his best he’s just too good for the local horses here in Tassie.”   “And this win is what we should have expected because he is an M9 horse going around against M0 and M1s,” he said.   Motu Crusader has started 75 times for 25 wins and 21 minor placings for $344,273 in stakes.   Peter Staples

The Rattray name is synonymous with Tasmanian harness racing and rarely a meeting passes without a member of the clan training or driving a winner. Most of the domination comes from trainer Barrie and two of his sons Gareth and Todd, but there is little doubt the talent doesn’t stop there. Wade Rattray has been working his way through the driving ranks earning his stripes bit by bit, and last night at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston, he delivered a superb drive to secure victory with his grandparents’ - Wayne and Gaye Rattray - pacer Karalta Dazzler. Wade, who is the son of talented trainer Kent Rattray, had Karalta Dazzler settled the one-one and waited until the right moment to make his move at the 600-metre peg of the Sunrise Bakery Stakes. View Street led into the home straight, but when Rattray released the reins, Karalta Dazzler sprinted past the leader and safely held out a challenge from Helen Wheels to record an impressive win. Karalta Dazzler registered his seventh win from 51 starts, but he also has amassed 13 placings which have helped grow his earnings beyond $50,000. PETER STAPLES

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