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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

Finding suitable races for talented eight-year-old pacer Saab Quality is no easy task for his trainer Marc Butler but he found an ideal event for the gelding at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. Saab Quality was backed in to start the $2.60 favourite in the Chartley Estate Claimer over 2200 metres and he never let his supporters down by powering home to score an effortless win. With Mark Yole in the cart, Saab Quality stepped well from the inside if the second row but the driver snagged him back and eventually eased into the one-out line before sending him around the field to face the breeze Livin It Lovin It just over a lap from home. That pair settled down to a two-horse war from the home turn but when Yole called on Saab Quality for the supreme effort he forged clear and went on to score comfortably from the fast-finishing Family Guy with Livin It Lovin It third. "I've been struggling to find suitable races for him and that's why he hasn't raced for about a month," Butler said. "He is racing as well as ever and he is very suited to these claimers but sometimes they (races) don't stand up." "But there is another mobile claimer here in Launceston in a fortnight so that's where he'll race next," Butler said. This was Saab Quality's sixth win for the season but he also has notched four minor placings from 12 starts. Saab Quality is well travelled having spent seven months racing in Victoria during the 2013-14 season that produced five wins and multiple minor placings. He was claimed by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper in a claimer at Maryborough at the end of that Victorian campaign after which he returned to Tasmania and has been very consistent in Butler's care. Peter Staples

Latrobe harness racing trainer Melissa Maine has enjoyed a lot of success in recent timed and that continued in the opening race at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. Young Bruiser, a horse that only arrived in Maine's stale three weeks ago, gained a needle-eye opening about 80 metres from home to get up in the past few strides to defeat race leader and favourite Barooga Minnie ($1.70) in a nail-biting finish. The Cardmaster Hanover three-year-old gelding was well away from the inside of the second row and driver Gareth Rattray had the gelding travelling sweetly on the back of the favourite that led from the pole position. It looked for certain that Young Bruiser would fail to get clear in the home straight but when the leader shifted up the track under pressure in the closing stages Rattray sooled his charge through the gap. "I was happy to be where we were behind the favourite and to be honest I would have been happy had he been able to run a place," Rattray said. "He was travelling keenly and he surprised me a bit the way he travelled in the race and when the gap came he really dashed up nice and hit the line strong." "On that run you would have to say he has improvement in him so I think his future looks bright," Rattray said. Young Bruiser was backed late in betting firming from $9 to $6.50 on fixed odds with Tattsbet and he also shortened considerably on the Tote into $7.80 while the favourite tumbled in from $2.10 just prior to race start time into $1.70. The winner ran the 2200 metres in 2.48.7 and recorded a mile rate of 2.03.1. Peter Staples

Prominent harness racing breeders Lyndon and Gail Menegon will be hoping their recent success with a galloper Smoke ' Whisky will carry over to Launceston tonight. Bred by the Menegon, Isundula Artist is chasing his first win for the season. The son of Tiz A Masterpiece will line up in the opening race on the eight-event card in what appears to be a winnable assignment for the Barrie Rattray-trained gelding. Starting from barrier three with Todd Rattray in the sulky, the three-year-old gets his chance to return to the winners' circle. Isundula Artist registered his sole win in Hobart almost a year ago, when he showed good gate speed to lead throughout from the pole. His main dangers are pole marker Barooga Minnie, along with Cemento Rapido from barrier two and Acey Boy from gate nine. PETER STAPLES

Riverside harness racing trainer Chester Bullock doesn't often ignore advice of co-owners of his six-year-old Cardinal Art but he was glad he did in Launceston on Sunday night. Bullock said his partners in the horse weren't keen when he advised them he wanted to apply pull-down blinds to the gear of Cardinal Art but he put them on anyway and they proved the desired result. Cardinal Art settled last in the Longford Equine Clinic Stakes (2200m) before being sent three-wide around the field at the bell. When driver Ricky Duggan edged close to the leader 400 metres from home he released the blinds. The gelded son of Modern Art bounded clear and went on to defeat Butch And Clyde by over seven metres with I've Got Oomph just over a metre astern. "Ricky (Duggan) said the new gear did the trick - when he pulled the blinds down the horse just took off," Bullock said. "It was like he found another gear and why that happens I don't know - maybe it gives them an adrenalin rush," he said. Cardinal Art recorded a mile rate of 2.03.2. Bullock says he always holds off using the pull-down blinds until horses are mature. Cardinal Art has won five times but he also has notched 18 minor placings to easily pay his way. Peter Staples

THE win of debutante two-year-old pacer Ryley Major at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night came as no surprise to his harness racing owner-trainer Rohan Hillier. Ryley Major delivered a very impressive performance at his first race start to score almost three metres from his stablemate Soho Shanghai with Spot Eight 20 metres astern in the $10,000 Tasmanian Yearling Sale Classic. Ryley Major is the first foal of Hiller's former star two and three-year-old filly Shez Ryleymak that went on to win 23 races and almost $300,000 in prize money including a Tasmanian Oaks and a $100,000 Group 1 Vicbred 2YO fillies final Classic. Shez Ryleymak also was named Tasmanian horse of the year at two and three years of age. "This win certainly didn't surprise me because he's so well bred and I would have been disappointed had he turned out to be no good," Hillier said. The gelding by Art Major recorded a mile rate of 1.59.4 and he ran home his last 800 metres in a slick 59.5 seconds which was what the trainer was expecting. Ryley Major is being aimed at the $20,000 2YO Sweepstakes series of which the final will be held in Hobart on May 17 and he will then target the Dandy Patch (stallion stakes) in July. Hillier also has an opinion of the runner-up. Soho Shanghai is also a nice horse but he's more of a stayer and doesn't have the speed of Ryley Major," he said.   Peter Staples  

Well bred two-year-old pacer Hillview Jake gave New Norfolk harness racing trainer Paul Hill successive wins in the Island Block & Paving Golden Slipper (1680m) when he led throughout to take out the prestigious juvenile event at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. With champion Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang in the Sulky, Hillview Jake ($3.50) showed good early speed to lead from gate three after a stoush with the odds-on favourite Soho Shanghai ($1.50) and they cleared out from the rest nearing the home turn the last time. The son of Cardmaster Hanover was always travelling like the winner and had no trouble holding the favourite at bay all the way up the home straight. The mile rate for the 1680 metres was a  good 2:00.1 Hill won the race last year with Jerrys Jet that he says is the best two-year-old he has ever trained. "Hillview Jake is not as good as Jerrys Jet was at this stage of his racing career but he's the next best I've ever trained," Hill said. "His work through the week was outstanding and I told Gavin (Lang) that if he led tonight they wouldn't beat him and that's how it panned out," he said. Lang was upbeat about the two-year-old's future. "He is quite a big horse that did what he had to do to win tonight," Lang said. "I had to burn him up early to lead but he came back to me quickly and was very strong on the line so I'd say he has a future," he said. Peter Staples    

Well bred harness racing four-year-old pacer Vande Velde tuned up for the $30,000 Raider Stakes with a last-stride win in the North Eastern Pacing Club Cup over 2698 metres at The Tote Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. The four-year-old gelding produced a powerful finishing burst to grab victory in the shadows of the post, scoring by a short half-head from Something Eyre with Resurgent Spirit a game third after facing the breeze for most of the race. Vande Velde had not won since last November when successful in a C4-C5 event in Launceston over 2200m. The gelded son of Four Starzzz Shark-Good Gracious promised a lot as a young horse but fierce racing habits and an unpredictable temperament has prevented the gelding from realising his full potential. But Salter is hoping the four-year-old can deliver in the Raider Stakes later this month and finally live up to the early expectations. "We all thought this horse was going to be special at an early age but he had some bad habits and we had to try and curb his bad manners and thankfully he has finally started to act maturely," Salter said.   "I can do a lot more with him these days and while he hadn't won for a while he has been racing well and this win will have him just where ne needs to be heading into the Raider Stakes," he said.   Heats of the Raider Stakes will be held at Devonport next Monday night with the final on April 26.   Peter Staples    

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