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AMBASSADOR KerryAnn Turner kick started the ‘Team Teal’ campaign in New South Wales with success over the weekend. Landing two training wins with Smokey Quartz and Our American Princess at Menangle on Saturday night, Turner’s results saw $200 donated to the Women’s Cancer Foundation. This complimented wins by reinswomen Lauren Tritton, Isobel Ross and Amy Day who all drove winners at harness meetings across the state on the weekend. Tritton claimed a double at Menangle on Saturday night with Picard in the Group 2 Hondo Grattan Stakes and Grand Circuit pacer Maximan. Meanwhile, Ross also drove a Menangle winner with Dream To Share before driving another winner in teal at Orange on Sunday with My Secret Beach. Day added to this winning with her pacer Atomic Bombshell and subsequently $1200 was donated to the WCF by Harness Racing NSW. It is the fourth year NSW has participated in the ‘Team Teal’ campaign and the third year Turner has held the honour of being an ambassador. “For the last few years my stable have been fortunate to wear the teal colours and it’s a privilege to be named the ambassador again,” the premiership winning trainer said. “Hopefully we can get a few winners in this time and not only raise awareness of ovarian cancer but also raise some money.” Each time a female driver wins a race in NSW during the campaign HRNSW will donate $200 to the WCF, which is then matched by Tabcorp. For each of Turner’s training wins in the state during this campaign, HRNSW will donate $100 and if Turner drives the horse herself, HRNSW will donate a further $100 to the cause. The 2019 ‘Team Teal’ campaign began on Friday where lady drivers across Australasia will wear teal coloured driving pants until March 10 to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Head to https://teamteal.blackbaud-sites.com/ for more information. #GetRealSupportTeal Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  arando@hrnsw.com.au •  @Amanda_Rando

AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchase Muscle Factory has registered his second record from three starts this season. Stopping the clock in a brilliant 1:49.6 three weeks ago when first-up from a five-month spell, Muscle Factory became the only three-year-old in the southern hemisphere to break the magical 1:50 barrier. At Tabcorp Park Melton last night (Saturday) the son of Roll With Joe produced a bold front runner performance to capture the Victoria Derby in 1:54 over 2240 metres. As such Muscle Factory equalled Our Waikiki Beach’s age track record set in the 2016 Breeders’ Crown. Thrilled with the colt’s performance, co-trainer Shane Tritton revealed a trip across the Tasman is being considered for Muscle Factory. Tritton has set his sights on the New Zealand Derby on April 5 and the Harness Jewels on June 1. First Muscle Factory will return to Tritton’s New South Wales base to prepare for his home state Derby, which begins with heats in Menangle on February 23. Should all go according to plan, Muscle Factory will then contest the $200,000 Final on March 2. “We paid the nomination fee for the New Zealand Derby during the week, so it is definitely on the cards,” Tritton said. “He has owners in New Zealand so they’d like to see him over there to race. “There is also the Jewels before being back in Melton for the Breeders’ Crown towards the end of the season, so there are plenty of options for him. “He’ll head home now have a couple of easy days then get ready for the Derby at Menangle.” Driven by co-trainer Lauren Tritton, Muscle Factory began brilliantly to lead from barrier six as Max Delight and then Hurricane Harley worked on his outside. Striding clear of the pack leaving the back straight, Muscle Factory scored by four-and-a-half metres from Im Anothermasterpiece, with Lochinvar Art four-and-a-half metres away third. “He was driven a little more conservatively in the heat and during the week we realised it was to his detriment as being driven for speed suits him better,” Tritton said. “Lauren rated him perfectly and he showed he can maintain his speed over a longer distance than a mile.”   APG Media

“Horses are only human” said legendary gallops man George Hanlon, and listening to harness racing driver Lauren Tritton talk about Muscle Factory you’d be forgiven for thinking she was talking about one her own children, such is the affection she exudes for last night’s Woodlands Victoria Derby winning colt. “I always say to win with babies, two- and three-year-olds, it’s a big thrill because you feel like you’ve really worked hard with them the whole way along through their careers and it really pays off when you win a big one,” Tritton said this morning after guiding the three-year-old son of Roll With Joe to an all-the-way Derby win in an age-record equalling 1:54.0 at Tabcorp Park Melton. “He does it all so easily. Nothing fazes him. It’s great to have a horse who is so versatile, as a two-year-old he won a couple of races from behind … and just how arrogant his win was last night, we’ve got a superstar ahead of us.” Tritton, 25, boasts 827 wins since jumping in the sulky in season 2010-11 and among those are several memorable features – the Len Smith Mile aboard Gaius Caesar in 2013, Breeders Crown Final with Marty Monkhouser and Cordina Sprint with Suave Stuey Lombo in 2014, Vicbred Super Series Final on Tingira Beach in 2016, Allied Express Sprint with Anything For Love and the Bohemia Crystal FFA with Franco Nelson in 2018 to name a few. But last night’s Derby success was something else. “It was all a bit of a blur really (after the race). You get so wound up it’s actually quite tiring, but it was really special,” she said. Tritton co-trains Muscle Factory with husband Shane and, reflecting on the rising star’s second-place finish in the Derby heat at Ballarat a week ago, she says a combination of factors brought about his undoing that night. “I overreacted a little bit … I wanted to get an easy half and then sprint home, which is totally upside-down to his racing pattern,” she said. “That was a little bit my fault, and a little bit our fault too in that we eased up on him after running the 49 mile. It’s sort of like ‘what do you do with a three-year-old who’s just gone 49?’ The first thing you think of is backing off. “But with him, it’s just a different case. He really enjoys working and working hard. And like I said, I drove him upside-down (in the heat) and let the other horses get into the race. It wasn’t his night, but we had him 110 per cent last night and that was his night.” After finding the lead early last night Tritton said she had to “pinch herself” in the run. “I never really thought this would be the plan to be honest… I was thinking we’d have to sit outside them or get cover somewhere.” But Muscle Factory showed more toe than he’s done in his young career to date, which obviously pleased his driver. “He’s never really shown that much gate speed but last night he was right up on the gate and had his neck tucked up like he really wanted to run the gate. I just let him roll out himself and then when I realised I’d gotten half a length on Im Anothermasterpiece I gave him a little tap and he just took it on from there. There was no stopping him after that. “I just let him do whatever he wanted to do and he wanted to run those even quarters. He got a little bit off the bit at about the 800m so I just shook him up and he kicked into another gear. “I knew I had something left then, and I hadn’t pulled the plugs. He’s all heart and I knew he’d finish off.” Muscle Factory completed his last half-mile in 56.7secs after a 57.7secs first half. Race favourite Im Anothermasterpiece chased gamely late but finished 4.7m astern. Tritton says Muscle Factory has eaten extra feed today as he embarks on his journey back home to Sydney where the New South Wales Derby (March 2) is his next major goal. “He’s pulled up super. We gave him extra feed because we’re travelling home and he ate everything … he couldn’t have pulled up any better,” she said. “He’ll keep heading towards Derbies. The owners are considering a New Zealand Derby trip, but that’s not 100 per cent confirmed yet. He’ll certainly try and win his own Derby trophy back home.” As has been well documented, Muscle Factory’s 1:49.6 win in the Simpson Memorial three starts back was absurdly fast and asked about the feel the prodigy gave her in full flight, Tritton explained: “I’ve got fast class horses who struggle to run a mile in 49 and would struggle to run the sectionals he did last night. He’s only three and can do all that. We’re super excited about his career and where he can head.” Muscle Factory is $5 with TAB.com.au for the NSW Derby. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. Trots Media - Cody Winnell   Adam Hamilton@AdamTABSports     Three weeks ago today ... Shane Tritton: “If anyone has a 3yo good enough to beat Muscle Factory in the Victoria Derby then I’ll be stunned and good luck to them.” Nobody did. Career defining win away from home for @Tritton_Team   38 12:25 PM - Jan 27, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy   See Adam Hamilton's other Tweets       View image on Twitter Jared Kahlefeldt@workoutjared     So this just happened.... Wowee

As tough as he was brilliant, Muscle Factory led all the way to comprehensively win the harness racing Woodlands Victoria Derby in emphatic fashion, matching the age track record at Tabcorp Park Melton. It was a triumph for husband-and-wife team trainer Shane and reinswoman Lauren Tritton as Muscle Factory reinforced his all-time standing, saluting in the age classic only three weeks after smashing the Australasian three-year-old record when winning in 1:49.6. “I just know this horse is a superstar and that’s how we drove,” said Lauren after they saluted by 4.7m from All Stars entrant Im Anothermasterpiece, with Lochinvar Art the best of the swoopers to claim third. But the Group 1 $200,000 was always in Muscle Factory’s keeping, with Tritton lighting him up out of the gates to lead from barrier six, with Max Delight and then Im Anothermasterpiece sitting outside him before Hurricane Harley advanced to the breeze for the final lap. However, Muscle Factory’s determination to keep the pace on throughout the 2240m meant all would have to advance under strain, with a 44.3 lead time preceding first (29), second (28.7) and third (28.3) quarters that were all sub-29 seconds. “He got a bit keen tonight. We just decided to let him do whatever he wanted to do,” Tritton said. “I had a good hold of him, but those were the sectionals he wanted to run.” They were also the sectionals the Trittons wanted to deliver to give themselves the best chance, confident their Roll With Joe-Malena colt would thrive. “Im Anothermasterpiece, we’ve raced against him a couple of times now and he’s a star too, he doesn’t stop trying. I knew that was the only way that I could beat him tonight. I knew if I was going to beat it I had to break it,” Tritton said. The 28.4 last quarter iced the win in a 1:54 mile rate, matching the track’s age record set by Our Waikiki Beach in the 2016 Breeders Crown and providing a significant highlight for owners Rona and Clive McKay and Dayna Kahlefeldt. “He’s a star and I hope they can just keep winning big races for (the owners),” Tritton said. To watch the video click here. Trots Media - Michael Howard

LAUREN Tritton sat behind the fastest three-year-old pacer to ever grace a track in Australasia just recently. And now the top reinswoman is excited to see what Muscle Factory can produce against some of the nation’s best at Ballarat on Saturday night. Muscle Factory set a southern hemisphere record when clocking 1:49.6 in the Simpson Memorial at Menangle a fortnight ago. And on Saturday night south of the border the colt faces his next challenge in a heat of the Victoria Derby. “I’m really excited to see what Muscle can do against the best of them,” said Tritton. “It’s hard not to declare a horse that just won in 1:49. “I’m not worried about the smaller track either as we saw what he did at Albion Park.” However, there is an element Tritton is concerned about. “It is the hardest heat but we’ve drawn accordingly,” said Tritton. “It’s still going to be tough facing the locals on their home turf . . . some of those horses have been raised on that track their whole life so they have that advantage.” Some of those dangers include Lochinvar Art and Australian Pacing Gold winner Centenario. Meanwhile, the $1.65 TAB Fixed Odds favourite is the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained Im Another Masterpiece. Tritton does not have to face the powerful Purdon/Rasmussen combination in her other Victoria Derby heat with Petes Big Jim. The gelding is a $15 chance behind the $2.50 elect Max Delight and the Menangle Park horsewoman is full of praise of her drive’s latest effort at his local track. Petes Big Jim finished fourth to Muscle Factory in the scintillating Simpson Memorial. “He went into that race 50/50 after being sore and tender on his feet and he is only a little horse but has a heart of gold to push through and go as well as he did,” said Tritton. “He went 1:50 himself and I’ll drive him conservative now as he steps up with the big boys.” ‘Team Tritton’ will be represented on home soil at Menangle on Saturday night as well with seven runners nominated. This includes Tritton’s two recent Inter Dominion campaigners My Alpha Rock and Maximan. “Maximan and Alpha are super since the trip to Victoria,” said Tritton. “We private trialled them around Menangle and they worked the mile in 1:51. “It’s not easy for them coming back to racing in that grade but we are happy with how they have come back after their campaign.” Tritton trains her team of horses with her husband Shane Tritton and they have trained 264 winners since starting their partnership in the 2016/17 season.   Some fun facts: Mile Records – Australasian: http://www.harness.org.au/hra/annual/public/records/ausn_milep.pdf HRA’s Milestones – Pacers http://www.harness.org.au/hra/annual/public/records/mstonesp.pdf   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. HRNSW MEDIA CONTACT: AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

EARLY tactics will be vital in tonight’s Group 2 Simpson Memorial at Menangle according to reinswoman Lauren Tritton. The premiership winning driver is taking the reins behind the $1.33 TAB Fixed Odds favourite Muscle Factory and drawing barrier one with the colt has not made the situation any easier Tritton admitted. “It’s an awkward barrier for him as he does have early speed but for his whole two-year-old season we drove him with handbrakes on early and just drove him out easy to stay out of trouble,” said Tritton. “This draw won’t allow us to do that and this is a pretty fast front line.” One rival Tritton will have her eyes on early is Victorian visitor Lochinvar Art. The colt is the only other starter in single figure odds at $4.20 and will begin from outside the front line. “It will be interesting to see what they do with him early and it will be interesting to see Muscle Factory and Lochinvar Art race each other again,” said Tritton. “Muscles is tough whereas Lochinvar Art has a quick last half in him. “Lochinvar Art has been running some ridiculous sectionals in Victoria and just drawn where he has, you would expect that they will have to put him into the race at some stage.” Muscle Factory and Lochinvar Art clashed in the Breeders Challenge Final last June with the pair finishing third and second respectively. Lochinvar Art has had two starts this season for a win and a second while Muscle Factory is first up from a spell. “We couldn’t have him any better,” said Tritton. “He went super winning his trial and there has been some good form come out of that trial too.” Meanwhile, Tritton’s other two starters have already raced this season. This includes Petes Big Jim which finished sixth at Menangle on December 18. “He got himself beat last start over-racing, pulling outside the leader which is not his go,” said Tritton. “He is the fastest two-year-old out of the gate that I’ve ever driven so should be suited by his draw.” Tritton’s other starter is Petes Said So. “He has blistering early speed as well,” said Tritton. “He is the highest assessed horse in the race so deserves his spot in the field.” Petes Said So will be driven by Lachie Manzelmann while Josh Aiken has obtained the drive on Petes Big Jim.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

LEADING reinsman Chris Geary became the youngest driver in New South Wales to reach 500 winners. The 20-year-old has piloted 508 winners overall and achieved the 500-milestone last month. He is the second youngest driver to achieve the feat in Australia with Queensland’s Pete McMullen claiming the top honour at the age of 20 and three months while Geary was 20 years and 10 months old. “It’s something pretty special for me, more so that I’ve never really been the number one driver for a large stable,” said Geary. “In saying that, I’ve had great support from many stables and hope it continues into the future.” Geary has driven Group winners and won some of Australasia’s biggest races since he began driving in November 2013, including the Gold Tiara and the Len Smith Mile. It took him five drives to land his first winner and that was Western Gailes at Bankstown on December 7, 2013. “I’ve been fortunate to have been associated with some nice horses like My Sweetchilliphilly, Cruz Bromac, The Black Prince, Miss Streisand and many others,” said Geary. “But I’ve always really enjoyed the driving trips that I have been lucky enough to go on, meeting new people and travelling around Australia.” Geary will represent NSW in the upcoming Australasian Young Drivers Series that takes place in Queensland from November 22. As for NSW records, Lauren Tritton is the youngest female driver to reach 500 winners. Others such as Luke McCarthy, Amanda Turnbull, Robert Morris and Blake Fitzpatrick also sit amongst the top 10 youngest drivers in Australia when they reached the 500-win milestone.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER  HRNSW

THE world awaits top Aussie trotter Sparkling Success. And the Victorian regained feature race winning form just ahead of his trip to the US for the $1 million Yonkers Interational Trot in October. It’s one of the great stories given he’s trained by dairy farmers John and Mary Meade, who have sold the farm to concentrate on campaigning Sparkling Success in the US. After two sound runs back from a spell, regular driver Chris Svanosio obviously felt Sparkling Success was primed to do some work and launched him a daring and race-winning midrace move around the field to take the lead. It left main danger and hot favourite Maori Time parked doing the work in the $35,000 Group Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters’ free-for-all. Sparkling Success was always in control, winning by 3.7m in a slick 1min58sec mile rate for 2240m “This is the race he won last year which showed how good he was and Meady thought he was getting back to his top so I was happy to do a bit of work on him. He felt terrific,” Svanosio said. Meade said Sparkling Success could race again at Melton on September 8 before boarding a flight to the US seven days later. The adorable Meade told www.thetrots.com.au : “There’s a lot of thing I don’t know yet, there’s probably a lot of things when I come home I won’t know either, but anyway. “We are going. I still haven’t got my visa. I haven’t got a credit card and I haven’t got a mobile phone. I have got a passport. “I’ve only got to just get on my computer – computers and me aren’t real good – I’ve been busy trying to get my licence and organise my cows for sale.” ____________________________________________________________________________ YOU may never see another race quite like what Dance Craze did in the Group 2 Breeders Crown 4YO Mares’ final at Melton last Friday night. It wasn’t the way she won, but rather how as a $1.10 favourite she did two staggering things to beat herself. About 100m from the winning post with a lap to go, she shied at something, broke badly while leading,  caused chaos in the field, but recovered well enough to zoom around take the lead again down the back straight. Driver Nathan Jack cut her loose on the final bend and she got to the 100m mark in the home straight with a huge lead before … doing exactly what she did a lap earlier. This time she galloped, lost all chance and finished ninth. For the record, the race was won by Margaret Jean for trainer Chris Svanosio and driver Mark Pitt. ____________________________________________________________________________ GLAMOUR mare Our Golden Goddess’ unbeaten streak this campaign came to an end when she could only manage third in the $60,000 Group 2 Breeders Crown Graduate Open free-for-all (2240m) at Melton last Friday night. The scratching of favourite and big threat Shadow Sax left Our Golden Goddess a dominant $1.70 favourite, but much-improved leader Audi Hare dictated in front and found plenty to win by a head over Nikkibandwagon (behind leader). Our Golden Goddess was another head away third and timed to run her last 800m out three-wide without cover in 54.9sec. Such has been Audi Hare’s improvement, trainer David Aiken touted a possible Melbourne Inter Dominion tilt for the rising six-year-old. ____________________________________________________________________________ CHICAGO Bull stole the show at Gloucester Park last Friday, but a couple of Greg and Skye Bond’s exciting four-year-olds delivered nice cameos. Former buzz juvenile Mitch Maguire and the emerging former Kiwi Vampiro both look headed to bigger and better things. Mitch Maguire sat parked, but simply blew away a handy field for a speed with a 55.4 closing half to score in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for 2130m. It was his fourth win from his past five starts and his 17th from just 26 career runs. Vampiro, who looks every bit a serious open-class player in the making, didn’t win as easily but was even more impressive. After rapidly rising through the grades, Vampiro had been good without winning of late, but turned it around when he dropped back in grade slightly and to a standing race off 20m. Ryan Warwick stepped him away well, made an early move to sit parked and then went crunch through the middle stages with a 56.1sec split from the 1200-400m. Vampiro tired late, but held on to beat stablemate Courage Tells by 1.4m in a sharp 1min57.7sec mile rate for the long 2503m standing-start. The Bonds snared a treble on the night with Mighty Mr Sharkey led throughout to upset stablemate El Jacko in the fourth event. ____________________________________________________________________________ A WIDE draw and tough run saw NZ Cup hopeful Tiger Tara finish just midfield in the Group 3 Vic Frost Cup (1609m) at Menangle last night. Kevin Pizzuto’s stable star was only second-up from a spell and worked hard three-wide then outside the leader and winner My Alpha Rock before tiring late for a 7.1m fifth. My Alpha Rock continues to emerge as a open-class player and there was plenty to like about his bold front-running win in a 1min50.9sec mile. The flop of the race was former All Stars’ pacer Cash N Flow, now in the Craig Cross barn, who had a good trip, but failed to beat a rival home. ____________________________________________________________________________ A LATE surge from Lauren Tritton left her one with short of winning the Menangle drivers’ premiership. Todd McCarthy’s early treble last night gave him a three-win lead, but Tritton hit back with victories on My Alpha Rock and Petes Big Jim. Petes Big Jim, a placegetter and Jewels and Vicbred finals, had to pull-out all stops to beat Tim Butt’s recent Kiwi import Izzy Dagg in the Garrards Ready 2 Run Sale Stakes in a slick 1min52.9sec mile.   Adam Hamitlon

THEY have all had a taste of winning a premiership before and drivers Luke McCarthy, Todd McCarthy and Lauren Tritton are all going head-to-head at Menangle on Saturday night to try and claim another. The trio have dominated the metropolitan driving ranks for the past six seasons and this term is no different. With only one win separating the three of them and Saturday night marking the last metropolitan meeting for the season, any win will be vital for the top drivers to claim New South Wales’ Metropolitan Drivers’ Premiership for 2017/18. Seasoned reinsman Luke McCarthy is leading the charge on 40 wins while Todd McCarthy and Lauren Tritton are close behind in equal second with 39 wins each. “It’s pretty good that it’s still so close considering we’ve all had some time away this season,” said Luke. “It certainly makes it interesting.” Having won this Premiership twice before and tied with his younger brother Todd in the 2014/15 season, Luke knows what it takes to lead the charge. The 35-year-old reinsman has seven drives on Saturday night and so does Todd while Lauren, the 2013/14 Metropolitan Drivers’ Premiership winner, has five. And one of the best chances he believes he has this Saturday night is War Dan Destroyer in Race Nine. Luke has driven the trotter 14 times to nine victories and three placings. “War Dan Destroyer is going well and does well in these sorts of races,” said Luke. “This race suits his style of racing.” Luke has also been assigned the drive on War Dan Destroyer’s stablemate Mister Brazil in Race Two. “Mister Brazil has been racing well and has a good chance,” said Luke. “Out of my other drives, Epaulette (Race One) drops back from free-for-all class and with scratching of Shannonsablast he should go close. “Also I’m driving Izzy Dagg for Tim But in the two-year-old (Race Eight) and on paper looks reasonably good.” The Garrards Ready2Run Stakes (1609m) is one of the main features on Saturday night and Lauren will drive the favourite Petes Big Jim. The gelding is resuming from his third-placed effort in the Vicbred Super Series Final last month and recently won a trial at Menangle in 1:53.2 – almost four seconds faster than any winning time he has rated before. Meanwhile, the other feature is the Group 3 Vic Frost Cup where Todd’s drive, Tiger Tara, is the $2.60 TAB Fixed Odds favourite. Lauren will drive My Alpha Rock ($4.80) in that event while Luke is assigned to Cash N Flow ($4.80).   Amanda Rando

CHICAGO Bull is Gary Hall Sr’s stable top seed, but rejuvenated veteran My Hard Copy isn’t far behind him. And, if came down to emotional connections, My Hard Copy might even be on top. The rising nine-year-old entire returned from a spell to beat a good field easily and post his 27th career win at Gloucester Park last Friday night. My Hard Copy boasts more than $1.25 million in stakemoney, largely through his two Fremantle Cup wins (2015 and this year),  two WA Cup wins (2015 and 2016) and even a third in a Hunter Cup. “We love him. I hoped hew drew well first-up because his work at home had been so good. He’s come back better than even we think,” Hall Sr said. My Hard Copy drew the pole, Gary Hall Jr used his early speed to lead easily and then kept-up a strong tempo to win without being extended by 3.9m over a gallant Galactic Star, who sat parked, with The Bucket List (behind leader) in third spot. The mile rate was a strong 1min56.7sec, which considering the winter conditions, compared well with the track record 1min54.5sec set by Lazarus on night one of last year’s Perth Inter Dominion. Interestingly, My Hard Copy has beaten home Chicago Bull at two of their past three clashes. While Chicago Bull, who will likely race at Gloucester Park net Friday, will travel to the Victoria Cup in Melbourne then onto the NZ Cup, My Hard Copy is staying home. “I’ll just take him through the free-for-alls here and get ready for another go at the Fremantle and WA Cups,” Hall Sr said. ________________________________________________________________________________________ SHADOW Sax has served his “apprenticeship” and now its time for the big league. Emma Stewart’s exciting open-class player looms as one of the key contenders for races like the Victoria Cup and Melbourne Inter Dominion. Stewart took Shadow Sax through a string of country cup wins this season, but dipped him into the elite company for a second to Soho Tribeca in the Kilmore Cup, a win over the same horse in the Melton Plate and a third in the Ballarat Cup. He’s won 11 of 14 starts this season with the only flop, a mystifying one, being a 12th in the Hunter Cup. Shadow Sax brilliantly won the Horsham Cup on April 22 then had a break before resuming with a no-fuss win in the Minuteman free-for-all at Melton last Friday night. Chris Alford used gate three to lead, cruised through a cosy 47.1sec lead time, steady 61.8sec middle half, the zipped home in 55.8 and 26.9sec to score by 3.5m in a 1min58.3sec mile rate for 2240m. Shadow Sax will back-up in next week’s Breeders Crown Open free-for-all then build towards the Victoria Cup on October 15. ________________________________________________________________________________________ GLAMOUR mare Our Golden Goddess earned a crack at Shadow Sax in the Breeders Crown Open free-for-all after winning the mares’ only version last night. It was closer than punters hoped and expected, but Our Golden Goddess led, smashed the clock and just held-out reigning Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel by a neck. They went a slick 1min53.1sec mile rate for 1650m. ________________________________________________________________________________________ TEAM Tritton bring so many horses across from NZ, it takes something special to standout. A few years back Shane Tritton spruiked a mare called Arms Of An Angel before she had her first run for him and we all know hood good she was before being cutdown by injury at her prime. Tritton beamed similar confidence about a three-year-old Tintin In America gelding called Gods Spirit a before he stepped-out for his first run for the stable at Menangle last Tuesday. Gods Spirit won his only start in NZ for trainer-driver Nicky Chilcott by just a neck at a Manawatu meeting back on December 14, last year. “He went a 1min51sec mile at the (Menangle) trials and it was the first time he’d seen the mobile in seven months,” Tritton said. “He could be a freak.” Gods Spirit ran right up to expectations and his trial when he won his first Aussie run by an increasing 26.3m at Menangle last Tuesday. Despite a cosy 57.6sec first half, the gelding ripped home in staggering splits of 53.4 and 26.5sec for a 1min51sec mile, seemingly with Lauren Tritton just nursing him. No three-year-old has gone faster in Australia this season. ________________________________________________________________________________________ VETERAN mare Lola Jones is becoming quite the giant-killer. Kevin Pizzuto’s rising eight-year-old stormed home to upstage her more highly-fancied rivals in the Group 3 Baby Bling at Menangle last night. The leaders went hard through a 55.3sec first half which set-up the overall 1min51.7sec mile. The hardluck story of the race was classy former WA mare Major Reality, who had no racing room when it mattered at her first run for new trainer Craig Cross.   Adam Hamilton

Who say it’s hard for an Aussie horse to tackle the Harness Jewels and return a major player back home? Certainly not Shane and Lauren Tritton after Petes Big Dream’s first run back in Aussie after his fantastic and very close second at the Harness Jewels. Petes Big Dream, the most surprising of the Aussie invitees to the Jewels, landed some big bets when crunched from $1.80 into $1.40 and toyed with his rivals in a heat of the rich Vicbred series at Bendigo last night (Tuesday). Lauren Tritton used gate one to lead and then rolled through a comfortable 61.3sec first half of the last mile. He then ripped home in 56.3 and 27.6sec to easily hold-off Emma Stewart’s Morengo Magic, who trailed him throughout. Petes Big Jim’s 1min57.1sec mile rate for 2150m was the second fastest of seven Vicbred heats held on the night. Not only did Petes Big Jim’s win stamp him as a major player for the final, but the subsequent defeat of Australian Gold champion Centenario further threw open the series. Emma Stewart won a staggering five of the seven heats on the night and despite Centenario’s shock first defeat in six starts, she still won that heat as well with improving Bettors Delight colt Hurricane Harley. Centenario showed a surprising lack of early speed so Hurricane Harley rushed across the field to lead before taking a trail on his hotpot stablemate. The cruised through a 62sec first half of the last mile, but rounding the home bend Chris Alford said go on Centenario and it was clear Hurricane Harley sit had plenty to offer on his back. Hurricane Harley zoomed past Centenario to win by 6.4m in a 1min56.7sec mile rate and was privately clocked in a 26.6sec closing quarter. Connections felt Centenario “loafed” and lost concentration in front and plan to add blinkers for the Vicbred semis and final. The other big shock came when Australian Gold 2YO fillies’ champ Soho Nolita was also upstaged in her heat and on her merits by Stewart’s improving Bettors Delight filly Two Times Bettor, who simply outstayed the favourite. Stewart’s other wins came with: Blissful Hall filly Kickit Sista in race one; Nostra Ideal (by American Ideal), who upstaged favourite and stablemate Four Big Men in race two and Art Major’s daughter Kualoa, who was the most impressive of the filly winners in race six.   Adam Hamilton

There has been a change of plans for ‘Team Tritton’s’ attack on New Zealand’s Harness Racing Jewels. With just three days to go, driver and co-trainer Lauren Tritton flew over to the Shaky Isles a day earlier than planned. The Group 1 winning reinswoman arrived in the North Island yesterday to put the final touches on Platinum Revolution and Petes Big Jim ahead of their upcoming feature assaults. “I was meant to fly out on Thursday but I changed my flight so that I could drive both horses in fast work,” Tritton said. “I like to drive them in track work too because you get a better gauge of where they are at.” And that has been the case with ‘Team Tritton’s’ recent stable acquisition Petes Big Jim. The gelding was transferred to their stable just over a fortnight ago and will face his biggest test to date when he lines up on the Two-Year-Old Emerald at Cambridge Raceway this Saturday. In preparation for this he won a trial at Menangle in 1:53.5 – more than six seconds quicker than any race he has won. “I really like him,” Tritton said. “After driving him we’ve changed some of his gear and hopple length and we’re really happy with where he is at.” Petes Big Jim has drawn barrier one in his $NZ150,000 test and so did his new stablemate Platinum Revolution  in the Two-Year-Old Diamond. And Tritton will be making the most of these draws. “I don’t want to go home with a hard luck story,” she said. “They are both talented two-year-olds and both drawn well so well so we have to make the most of it.” Shane Tritton claimed Platinum Revolution is “the best two-year-old filly I’ve ever had!” “She’ll definitely hold the front . . . the track favours inside runners so if we get to the front we can control our own destiny.” Back home, Team Tritton will be relying on outside drivers to control other aspects of their destiny starting with Lynnsanity who is engaged in one of tonight’s Breeders Challenge heats at Penrith. He will be driven by Lachie Manzelmann who has also landed the top drive on Yayas Hot Spot at Menangle on Saturday night, while Anthony Butt will also drive for the stable that night. For the record, only 12 Australian horses have taken part in the Harness Jewels in the past 11 years. Amanda Rando

A fifth placing in the Canadian Club Sprint last week wasn't enough to secure former Kiwi harness racing pacer Franco Nelson a spot in tonight's $750,000 AInsworth Mirale Mile. Yet Franco Nelson made up for that disappointment with a fabulous win in tonight's $100,000 Group One Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Tabcorp Par Menangle. This race is traditionally won by the horse that was unlucky not to be selected in the big race and Franco Nelson's 1:53.2 win proved he could have held his own against the best pacers in Australasia with a superb effort. Victorian visitor San Carlo tried hard to lead all the way but couldn't hold off the flying feet of Franco Nelson in the run to the line, finishing by a half neck with Mach Doro two and a quarter metres away third. Part-owner Ron McKay sang the praises of the Trittons for their efforts with Franco Nelson: "When we came from New Zealand we had great expectations for this horse and by giving him to Shane and Lauren we knew they would bring out the best in him," he said. "It was a magnificent drive by Lauren and the horse didn't disappoint - for the McKay family it is our first time here but it won't be our last - it was so great to win a race like this." Reinswoman Lauren Tritton agreed: "It's a great night tonight and Franco is something special to me," she said. "A lot of people didn't have the faith in us here but he has gone on and won a Group One for us so we couldn't be prouder of him. "Shane's done a super job with this horse." Franco Nelson   6 8:48pm BOHEMIA CRYSTAL FREE FOR ALL (GROUP 1) 2400M $100,000 RBD. Mobile Final Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 FRANCO NELSON NZ  $ 60,000   Fr1 1 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton   $ 1.70 fav      BAY HORSE 8 by CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ out of NOTAFELLA FRANCO (NZ) (FALCON SEELSTER USA)  Owner(s): C L McKay, R L McKay, M S McKay  Breeder(s): Spreydon Lodge Ltd 2 SAN CARLO  $ 15,000   Fr8 9 Stephen O'Donoghue Rebecca Bartley HFNK $ 8.00     3 MACH DORO  $ 10,000   Fr6 7 Craig Cross Luke McCarthy 3.00 $ 25.40     4 AZTEC BROMAC NZ  $ 5,000   Fr2 2 KerryAnn Turner Robert Morris 4.10 $ 11.40     5 MY GENERAL LEE  $ 2,500   Fr10 12 Michael Doltoff Josh Willick 9.20 $ 129.10     6 MY ALPHA ROCK NZ  $ 1,500   Fr3 3 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Natalie Rasmussen 15.20 $ 5.60     7 YAYAS HOT SPOT NZ  $ 1,500   Fr4 5 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Jack Trainor 19.40 $ 48.20     8 MOONROCK NZ  $ 1,500   Fr9 10 Sonya Smith Anthony Butt 26.80 $ 17.20     9 ATOMIC RED  $ 1,500   Fr7 8 Steve Turnbull Steve Turnbull 27.90 $ 14.50   (L) f MONIFIETH NZ  $ 1,500   Fr5 6 John McCarthy Andy McCarthy   $ 38.20     Scratchings   LET IT RIDE NZ 4 CROCKETS CULLEN NZ 11 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:48:8 Mile Rate: 1:53:2 Lead Time: 56.0 First Quarter: 30 Second Quarter: 28.3 Third Quarter: 27.8 Fourth Quarter: 26.7 Margins: NK x 2.2m   Sean Vella        

Champion 'local' harness racing driver KerryAnn Turner struck first blood for NSW when she beat some of Australasia's greatest reinswomen in the opening race at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. Turner, fresh from a winning double at Newcastle the previous night, continued her spectacular form of recent weeks when she piloted five-year-old pacer Kenrick to a strong win in the Lexus of Macarthur Lady Drivers Invitational. Trained by Brad Hewitt at Goulburn, Kenrick got the perfect run just off the speed behind front-running Taurisi who quickly found the front in a lightning opening split of 27.6 seconds. Lauren Tritton managed to back off the speed slightly with a second split of 29.2 seconds and still had the lead turning for home, although the challengers were beginning to mount. Stanley Ross Robyn (Ash Grives) and Lovin Miss Daisy both made strong runs in the straight but Turner timed her run to perfection as Kenrick came on nicely to record a one and a quarter metre win over Stanley Ross Robyn with Lovin Miss Daisy three metres further back in third with defending champion Martelle Maguire excited to finish such an eye-catching third. Turner had a busy night preparing Charlaval for a tilt at the Miracle Mile. "He's probably the biggest outsider of the field but he'll run an honest race," she said. "Driving in races like these invitationals is always a pleasure and I don't get the chance that often as I usually have runners I am training in the race. "Tonight it's been for a really good cause, the Teal Pants Campaign and it's just an honour to win another race and add to the money we've raised for such a good cause." Disappointment of the race was the well-backed Mrs Browns Boy which raced without cover and dropped out quickly for Kerryn Manning as the field turned for home. . Sean Vella SVella@clubmenangle.com.au     1 6:17pm LEXUS OF MACARTHUR LADY DRIVERS INVITATIONAL (PENALTY EXEMPT RACE) 1609M $25,000 M0 Only. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 KENRICK NZ      Fr3 3 Brad Hewitt KerryAnn Turner   $ 3.50       BROWN HORSE 5 by BETTORS DELIGHT USA out of TOAST TO CULLEN (NZ) (CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ)  Owner(s): G I Peart, K E Peart, S Weeks, H Sproule, A W Rudd, D W Rudd, D D Leppard, J A Turnbull  Breeder(s): Biddlecombe Equine Ltd 2 STANLEY ROSS ROBYN NZ      Fr4 4 David Hewitt Ashlee Grives 1.4m $ 10.90     3 LOVIN MISS DAISY NZ      Fr6 8 Mark Callaghan Martelle Maguire 4.2m $ 21.60     4 TAURISI      Fr1 1 James Rattray Lauren Tritton 4.7m $ 4.50     5 OUR WALL STREET WOLF NZ      Fr7 9 Chris Frisby Natalie Rasmussen 9.9m $ 11.70     6 RAVE MOONRAKER NZ      Fr2 2 Mark Callaghan Madi Young 17.4m $ 16.40     7 SIR MAJOR STRIDE NZ      Fr5 7 Darren Binskin Emma Turnbull 18.0m $ 35.30     8 MRS BROWNS BOY NZ      Fr10 12 Nathan Turnbull Kerryn Manning 20.2m $ 3.20 fav    9 BIG BANG LEONARD      Fr8 10 Margaret Lee Angela Hedges 23.2m $ 28.10     10 GOODTIME SLATER      Fr9 11 Joe Conolly Ellen Rixon 27.0m $ 62.60     Scratchings   REDBELLY JACK 5 VALOROSO HANOVER 6 Track Rating:   Gross Time: 1:51:4 Mile Rate: 1:51:4 First Quarter: 27.6 Second Quarter: 29.2 Third Quarter: 27.5 Fourth Quarter: 27.1 Margins: 1.4m x 2.8m    

Harness racing driver Lauren Tritton knows what it takes to qualify a horse for the Miracle Mile. There has been only one other female driver that has competed in more Miracle Miles since the race has been held at Menangle and that is Natalie Rasmussen. And this Saturday night at Menangle the 24-year-old Tritton has a chance to earn her spot in next week’s $750,000 scintillating sprint. The first chance is Anything For Love in the Group 1 Allied Express Sprint (1609m). Facing defending Miracle Mile champion Lennytheshark and $2.10 TAB fixed Odds favourite Soho Tribeca, Tritton has her tactic in mind. “I will have to drive him extremely aggressive . . . it’s the way he likes to race,” said Tritton. “He is facing a lot better horses but I can’t let that worry me, he has run 1:49 before and the only way to beat ‘Lenny’ is to make him do the work. “I also think Heaven Rocks is the silent assassin of this race but I just have to focus on my job.” With the removal of the two emergencies, Anything For Love will start from gate three. The gelding overcome barrier nine last week to win at Menangle rating the mile in 1:50.4. “He was super last week and we couldn’t be happier with the way he has come through it,” said Tritton who co-trains the pacer with husband Shane Tritton. The duo also have Yayas Hot Spot engaged in this qualifier with Jack Trainor set to drive. In the Group 1 Canadian Club Sprint (1609m) Tritton not only has to face harness racing’s pin-up pacer Lazarus but her drive Franco Nelson will have to deal with drawing the outside gate. “He’s drawn out wide so it limits what we can do but what I do know is that I’m not going to hand the race to them,” said Tritton. “Often in these big races when the fancies draw well, they get to the front and run a slow quarter which makes it impossible when coming from behind. “I’ll have to play it by ear.” Team Tritton have 13 runners engaged on Saturday night including New South Wales Derby and Oaks prospects and Ladyship Mile hopeful Angel In White which now gains a run in the Group 3 Robin Dundee Stakes (1609m). “I’m really excited about her,” said Tritton. “She showed her presence in the Chariots, she finished seventh but she broke 1:50 for her individual time. “She has come through the run very well and will be all guns blazing for this race.”  Amanda Rando

When Reaza Grunter took out last Friday night’s heat of the San Simeon Classic at Gloucester Park she set a new Track Record for a harness racing mare with a rate of 1:54.0 for the 2130 metres. She took .2 of a second off the previous record rate of 1:54.2 set by WA mare Tricky Styx in October last year. Her driver Lauren Tritton took a cautious approach early out of the gate allowing Reaza Grunter to find her feet before dashing the daughter of Christian Cullen to the lead after 500 metres and then running her rivals ragged to win eased down by 12.5 metres. Reaza Grunter covered the last lap in 57 seconds and final quarter in 27.9 and she will take a power of beating in the $50,000 Group Two San Simeon Classic on Inter Dominion Grand Final night this week. Gloucester Park was in superb condition last Friday night as not only did Reaza Grunter set a track record by Inter Dominion favourite Lazarus broke Im Themightyquinn’s track record for 2536 metres when he took out the last heat of the Inter Dominion. There is no doubt that Gloucester Park will handle the four Inter Dominion runs in a fortnight with aplomb. Alan Parker

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