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A plan hatched over a month ago to target a rich New South Wales Riverina race saw one of the most spine-tingling harness racing performances seen at Leeton by a two-year-old, on Tuesday night. Young successful harness racing duo David Moran and Laura Crossland headed from their Shepparton base to travel nearly four hours up the highway to Leeton for the $30,000 Breeders Plate Group 3 this week with their unbeaten youngster The Tiger Army (Sportswriter-Scottish Glamour (Elsu). And the colt didn’t let them down with a phenomenal display of his ability. “My heart was racing when we got tangled up with a few of the other horses just after the start and lost valuable ground, but he’s such a lovely horse he just wanted to win,” driver Crossland said. Settling near the rear of the field after the skirmish and at least 50 metres off the lead, Crossland gradually made up her ground to move three wide approaching the bell. “I wasn’t really concerned because he still felt full of running,” she said. Crossland simply changed gears down the back straight and in the blink of an eye The Tiger Army launched wide and dashed to the front to score an unbelievable win. “We actually sat down with the owners after winning the first two-year-old event of the season at Maryborough on December 21 and it was tossed around that we might target the Breeders Plate,” she said. “Then when we won at Kilmore about a fortnight later it was unanimous that we head to Leeton for the series.” After a heat win of the rich series on January 11, it was a confident “army” of followers who travelled to watch the final. The Tiger Army (known as Frank the Tank) has a perfect record of four starts for four wins for over $29,000. And there’s an opportunity to purchase his Captaintreacherous half-brother at the Melbourne APG sale on Sunday (lot 115). Crossland, Moran and some stable owners ventured to last year’s sale after looking over the catalogue. “The ones we picked out were going for too much money,” Crossland said. “One of our owners, Peter Lawlor, and David were looking out the back where some were waiting to be paraded into the sale ring, and thankfully, spotted a Sportswriter colt (The Tiger Army) bred by Lauriston Bloodstock. “Then when he came out into the ring, he looked amazing, so we ended up with him for about $16,000.” Crossland said The Tiger Army was like a seasoned horse from day one and was broken in by experienced horseman Doc Wilson, of Ardmona. “He’s just perfect.  He doesn’t wear a headcheck, he’s in an open bridle and no knee boots,” she said. “In the early days he wanted to get up and go a bit too much, but when he settled down, we knew he would make an early two-year-old.” The rising star is now taking a well-earnt spell before his next campaign is mapped out. “It’s really exciting. He’s eligible for all the feature series and with some natural improvement, we are sure there’s fun times ahead,” Crossland said. His race name seemed reasonably obvious, but just to clarify... Sure enough, the majority of the owners are Richmond Football Club supporters in the Australian Football League competition. But in a strange twist, David and Peter - the two who picked out the pacer- barrack for Essendon (known as the Bombers). So surely, in recognition of their uncanny ability to select a good one, it could have carried the name of an Essendon star like Daniher, Fantasia, Saad or Heppell. “That was never going to happen. It just had to have something to do with the Tigers and a few of us are now wishing we had opted for ‘Dusty’ in honor of our superstar player Dusty Martin,” Crossland, a staunch Richmond fan, said. The Crossland-Moran team has 12 in work, with several more to come back in the next few weeks. Last season they prepared 61 winners, while this season is also ticking along okay with 17 wins, 15 placings from 40 starters. They use an 800metre track, nearby to the Shepparton Paceway, to prepare their team. Speedy three-year-old Lochinvar Art, who ran a brave third to Muscle Factory in the Victorian Derby Final at Melton last Saturday, is likely to contest the NSW Derby in February-March. *Hoofnote: 3yo filly Vena May (Art Major-Tara Royale (Live Or Die) and 5yo mare Share The Road (TinTin In America-High Tops Hanover (Western Hanover) gave Crossland a training double at Bendigo last night. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The MIA Breeders Plate could be on the move again following low interest in this year’s feature race. Major Roll was an impressive winner of the $40,000 harness racing feature in Leeton on Friday night, the first since a permanent move away from January 1. Only 12 horses took part in the heats earlier this month and that was after nominations were extended. The low numbers have raised concerns. Harness Racing NSW chief executive John Dumesny said the future plans of the race would be discussed with the club. “The Breeders Plate produced another worthy winner and we will sit down with the club and review how the heats and finals carnival went,” Dumesny said. “We will come out with a result in due course.” The MIA Breeders Plate traditionally ran heats on Boxing Day before a New Year’s Day final. Leeton still raced on these dates plus the two new dates for the Breeders Plate series on January 12 and 26. Club secretary Joanne Punch said the crowd was up for the December 26 meeting on last year’s figures but January 1 was down. The crowd was also low for the heat night but she was pleased with how the Friday night was received. “We were sorta happy with how it finished up,” Punch said. “It was a decent meeting. “The final, even though it dropped off a bit with the scratchings, to run a record time was great.” Eight two-year-olds competed in the final. The change in the two-year-old racing season forced Leeton to move away from their traditional times this season. Punch said the club was not looking to change dates. However she admitted the lack was nominations was disappointing. “That was disappointing but you just have to go ahead and do what you could with it,” she said. “We have those dates for next year, they have already been allocated so there won’t be a change.” Days after the winning the race, Stephen Maguire, who part owns, trains and drove Major Roll to victory is unsure what is the best time for the prestigious race. “It is going to be a hard decision,” Maguire said. “When you have 12 horses in the heats that is not ideal.” He thought running just a straight final could be an option. Dumesny expects a time frame within the next three to four months to allow people to plan for next year. Meanwhile Maguire is looking to target the Sapling Stakes next month with Major Roll. The $30,000 race will be run at Menangle as part of Miracle Mile night on February 24. By Courtney Rees Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

Fundraising for the Women's Cancer Foundation began early at Leeton's TAB Carnival of Cups harness racing meeting on Monday. With fundraising for the 'Team Teal' campaign to start Australia-wide on February 1, the crowd at Leeton were certainly feeling festive raising $500 towards ovarian cancer research. This was then matched by the Leeton Harness Racing Club, taking the amount raised to $1000. However, this was equalled by Kriden Park, the sponsor of the Lady Drivers Invitational at the meeting, and then matched again by Harness Racing New South Wales, thus raising $4000 in total for the WCF. This is a great start to the Team Teal campaign which starts on February 1 to March 11, where female harness drivers across Australia and New Zealand will wear teal coloured driving pants to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Harness Racing NSW will donate $200 to the WCF for every official winner driven by a reinswoman in NSW during the 2018 campaign. Harness Racing NSW will finalise the list of 2018 Ambassadors across the state and seek the support of clubs and participants in this charitable effort. For those wishing to donate to the cause, head to https://teamtealnsw.gofundraise.com.au/ All the ladies that took part in the Kriden Park Lady Drivers Invitation at Leeton on Monday gathered around HRNSW Chairman Rod Smith. From left to right: Amy Day, Madi Young, Martelle Maguire, Ellen Rixon, Jessica Prior, Rod Smith, Brooke McPherson, Laura Crossland who won the race with Lets Katchmeifucan, Fiona Schmetzer, Katie McGill and Lisa Bartley.          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.       For further information please contact:   AMANDA RANDO   MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER       HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   PO Box 1034 Bankstown NSW 1885   T: 02 9722 6600 E: arando@hrnsw.com.au T: @Amanda_Rando   W: www.harnessmediacentre.com.au | T: twitter.com/hrnsw_harness | F: facebook.com/hrnsw          

Shepparton trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull holds the key to one of the feature finals on New Year’s Night at Leeton after opening the harness racing carnival with a winning treble. Leeton’s Christmas carnival kicked off on Tuesday night and for the first time was missing their flagship race, the MIA Breeders Plate. The $40,000 Plate final will be run on January 26, instead of January 1, due to changes to the rules surrounding two-year-old racing. The Turnbull stable dominated the opening night of the Leeton carnival with three wins, two of which came in the heats of the Milbrae Quarries C1-C2 Series. Lisa Bartley steered Benji Mara ($1.30) and Kenrick ($1.20) to dominant victories in the first and third heats. Turnbull’s treble was completed when Aintnobetter ($2.50) scored on debut in the final event on the night. Turnbull, who was competing at Bathurst on the night, was pleased to see Benji Mara and Kenrick win and qualify for the $14,000 finals on January 1. “They done a good job,” Turnbull said. “They both had tricky draws so they went good.” Benji Mara started from the second row but raced away for an eight-metre victory in a blistering mile rate of 1:57.1. Kenrick overcame the outside of the second row and did a power of work to win by two metres in 1:59.1. Turnbull believes Kenrick is the better of her two prospects in the final, pending the barrier draw. “Probably Kenrick. He went for a good spell and has come back pretty well from that,” she said. “The other fella went awesome and in good time.” While Kenrick could have hardly been more impressive in his part two wins, Turnbull stopped short of labelling him bulletproof ahead of the final. “It depends where (Benji Mara) draws,” she said. “If he can beat him to the death, and then Kenrick will have to do it pretty tough.” Coleambally reinsman Blake Jones drove the other two heat winners, Anakena ($2.00) for Ellen Bartley and Eastbro Lucky ($2.60) for Shane Hillier. Three heats of the Golden Apple Super Store C0 Series were also conducted with wins going to Two Real ($16.00), Roll One Over ($17.60) and Untythehood ($1.30). There was a fall in the last but Leeton driver Ben Matthews managed to escape serious injury after Karlos shifted out sharply near the gate and cannoned into the fence. Meantime, Junee Harness Racing Club’s Christmas meeting last Saturday was also a success with a good crowd turning out. Michael and Melissa Hawke took honours with a winning double, courtesy of Never Been Said ($30.50) and Barkway Bill ($3.90). By Matt Malone Reprinted with permission of The Junee Southern Cross

They might be small, but Leeton’s youngest harness racing drivers sure do pack a punch.  The Leeton Mini Trotting Club recently had seven drivers travel to Dalton Park at the invitation of the Griffith Harness Racing Club.  Held on December 11, the Leeton drivers took part in three races on the Griffith track.  Club committee member Julie-Ann Deeves was proud of their efforts on the night.  “Race two was the mini equivalent of the Carnival of Cups,” she said. “Trophies for the feature race are provided by Harness Racing NSW and were presented to the children by Chris Edwards and John Dumensy from the headquarters of our sport in front of the crowd upon completion of the nights mini trotting. “We were all pleased our Coleambally members Annie and Lily Painting were able to join us for the evening after a break in competing and look forward to seeing them again soon.” Layla Forrest claimed the win on Seven in race one, with Little Midget (Shaiila Ogilvie) and Sugar Loaf Boy (Annie Painting) following her across the line for the minor placings. Race Two was the feature event of the evening for the children, with the Carnival of Cups trophies up for grabs. “Little Secret easily took out the Shetland division, with Siarne Deeves in the pilot’s seat feeling a little more relaxed in the gig,” Deeves said. “Stable mate Nanna Smoke zipped across giving Jed Driscoll a second, and Annie aboard Sugar Loaf Boy were third.  “Wongalea Licorice (Lily Painting) and My Little Rocket (Nikkita Smith) were next home. “Seven took out the Midgets division for Layla Forrest while Shaiila Ogilvie drove Little Midget for the second place trophy. “Lily made Race three hers with Wongalea Licorice the winner, while Seven in second place once again made the winner’s circle for Layla and Siarne managed to collect the third place envelope aboard Little Secret.” The Leeton drivers will now be preparing to take part in various events across the summer. By‚Äč Talia Pattison Reprinted with permission of The Irrigator

The future of the Riverina’s harness racing richest and most prestigious harness race is clouded with uncertainty. A change of date has failed to help the MIA Breeders Plate attract strong numbers this season. For the first time the two-year-old classic has been moved away from the traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s Day dates. However the shift has not been well received by trainers. Only 14 nominations have been received for the $40,000 feature race. It has forced Leeton Harness Racing Club to extend the nominations for another two weeks. Secretary Joanne Punch is now taking nominations until December 14 in the hope of sparking interest in the race. “It is disappointing every year when it gets lower and lower and you just have to hope you get a few more,” Punch said. “It takes 10 days for our mail to come anyway so we thought we might as well extend for a couple of weeks to see how we go. The 14 nominations is a massive drop in numbers. There were 38 nominations received two years ago while there was 28 in the running this time last year. With numbers so low there is an option of running a prelude instead of having heats. Punch said the club would need to have a meeting before committing to any change. The date was changed to align with Harness Racing NSW’s new policy regarding racing two-year-olds. There are now no races until January 1 and Leeton president Gary Punch believes the club’s situation is part of a state wide concern. “There is not enough horses around and that is the disappointing,” he said. “I’m not even sure how many have qualified around the state.” Leeton will still race on December 26 and January 1. There have increased the prizemoney for both the Golden Apple Super Store and Bells Produce events. Both finals will now be worth $14,000. The Leeton Pacers Cup will also be run on New Year’s Day, alongside the Ladies Invitational race which has also received a funding boost. The Breeders Plate heats are set down for January 12 with the $40,000 final to be run on January 26. The Australia Day date means Junee’s Carnival of Cups meeting will be run on January 27. Entries for the plate are to be sent to the Leeton club. By Courtney Rees Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

Former northern trainer and reinsman Len Clement hit the limelight at last Friday’s Leeton harness meeting when he trained and drove LettucefireHarvey to a win in the TAB Rewards Pace. It was Len’s first winner in four years, and the first for the Courage Under Fire four-year-old. The win paid $107. Len, along with his wife Chris, completed their bucket list earlier this year in driving on every track in NSW and have headed down to the Riverina for a while to set up training. ELLEN Rixon, ambassador of the NSW Standardbred Owners Association, handled her seven driving engagements last Friday at Tamworth Paceway and left the grounds a winner after taking Merry Jasper to the line for Tamworth trainer Brendan Hunt. The NSWSOA race colours appeared on six winners on the eight-event program. Stacey Weidemann won three races in succession and may end up with the NSWSOA “B” colours as one of the most successful to wear the silks on one day. Newcastle will host their NSWSOA meeting on Saturday. COMMANCHE is looking like a horse to follow this season after notching up his fourth win for the Dwayne Brown stables from six starts. Driven by Scotty-Jon Welsh, the five-year-old gelding raced three wide around the home turn before coming away for a 2.7 metre win over race favourite Sea Kingdom (Peter Hedges) and Purple Shades (Anthony Varga).  “He has been going super for us,” Welsh said. HARNESS racing is at the Tamworth Paceway on Wednesday night with the feature race being the Kevin & Kay Seymour Celebrating 50 Years Mares Pace. The winning owner will receive a free service to either Hurrikane Kingcole USA or Gotta Go Cullect NZ. The name Seymour has been associated with harness racing in Queensland for over 50 years. The are pleased the Seymours are supporting the industry in NSW, which includes the Evolution Series. Tamworth will to be advised of its Evolution Series race date. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

Local harness racing participants continue to contest regional meetings with trainers having both major and minor successes at Leeton, Parkes, Bathurst and Wagga. Tuesday night four local trainers traveled to Wagga with Young driver Blake Micallef having a win and placings on the nine race program. Glenn Wilmot started off the night with a creditable 4th with Annatto after being awkwardly placed on the inside line, the eventual winner Doctor Feld ($32.80) in a mile rating of 1:56.9.  Wilmot handed driving duties to Nic Dewar in the second behind the consistent Casino Grin. After being three wide at the bell, the more fancied Wagga pacer Split Second Lombo circled the field to secure an impressive 15 m win over the local pacer in a mile rating of 1:59.9. Mako Bay contested the third race but lady luck was not kind and the pacer finished toward the tail of the field after starting from the inside line. Race four resulted in an impressive win for Micallef who drove the recent arrival to the stable, Another Fireball ($11.70) to victory in a mile rating of 1:59.2.  Previously racing in Queensland, the Mach Three mare has now won 10 races from 50 starts for her owners. Once the decision is made to send her to the breeding barn, her best winning mile rate of 1:55.1 and wins in all three eastern states will surely stand her in good stead for the future. Blake almost made it back to back wins when family favourite Crusty ran within a short half head second in race eight behind Kiki Diva ($3.60) favourite after going forward at the bell.  The winners mile rate of 2.02.2 was a creditable performance and both Blake and Crusty can look forward to many more exciting times in coming months. The final race of the night resulted in Elegant Heaven ($2.50) and favourite, handing in a good performance for Bruce Harpley, the locally trained Sunofasis for Maurice Johnson found form with a fast finishing second behind the more fancied runner with the Kevin Powderly trained Miami Ruler again pulling hard early and finishing out of a place, the winner recording a 2:03.0 mile rate. Local trainers then travelled to Bathurst on Wednesday night and raced with moderate success, no doubt in readiness for the forthcoming meeting to be conducted by the Young Harness Racing Club next Friday night August 25.  Participants are reminded that the annual presentation night will be held on Saturday night September 23 at the Young Golf Club, tickets are available from Chloe Powderly or at the track next Friday night. By Stuart Maxwell Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness

Call Me Hector extended a perfect start to his harness racing career by taking out the second of the MIA Breeders Plate heats on Monday night. After a dominant win at Ballarat on debut, the David Jack-trained colt made it two wins from as many starts at Leeton. Overcoming some early issues behind the barrier gate, when he got caught a long way off the rest of the field, Call Me Hector ($1.10 fav) went around the field early and the son of Art Major was never headed. He went on to defeat Ray Walker’s Our Mach Jack ($29.90) by 4.8 metres with Man Hands ($12.00) a further half head away in third. It was another pleasing effort according his trainer-driver. “He went good and I think you can only win your heat,” Jack said. “It was a bit scratchy at the start with a couple of gallopers and things like that. “He didn’t knock himself around, but I was pretty happy with the way he went all the same.” Call Me Hector clocked a mile rate of 2:01.5.   While it was far from the 30-metre victory on debut, the Euroa horseman was unperturbed by the margin this time around. “You don’t want to be winning by 30 metres all the time,” Jack said. “That is just the way racing is some times. “You don’t go out there to see how fast you can go, you go out there to win.” The barrier draw for Sunday’s $40,000 final will be released on Wednesday. Jack has qualified two for the final, with Tygerphinn finishing third in the earlier heat. He was also pleased with his efforts after only being beaten six metres in a faster run race. “He went good too,” Jack said. “He’s an honest little fella.” His nephew Cameron Maggs drove Call Me Hector when the pair met at Ballarat and Jack said no decision had been made about who would drive each horse in the final. Meanwhile, Rob The Bank set a new track record earlier in the night. After a fast early speed, Rob The Bank stormed around the field to better a track record that has stood for almost five years. Rob The Bank ($3.40) hadn’t been placed in his last five starts, but found conditions that suited. The Shane Hillier-trained gelding eclipsed the 1:56.6 record Dash Of Class from January 2012 when he clocked a mile rate of 1:56.5. He defeated Navajo Rocky ($7.60) by 10.6 metres with the third-placed Lombo Hallmark ($7.80) a further 36.4 metres back. By Courtney Rees Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

Harness Racing New South Wales can confirm that dates for the 2018 MIA Leeton Breeders Plate and future editions have been set. Following consultation with the Leeton Harness Racing Club and other affected clubs, the juvenile feature series will be conducted on the second (heats) and fourth (final) Friday nights of January, when there are four Fridays in a month. When there are five Friday nights in the month of January, the Breeders Plate will be held on the third and fifth Friday nights of the month. These Leeton meetings will be the premier meetings in NSW on those days, even if it falls on Australia Day according to HRNSW chief executive John Dumesny. "There was a requirement to give preference to this time-honoured event and to also provide a constant," Dumesny said. "In scheduling the permanent dates HRNSW can construct the race dates for the industry, especially in the Riverina and for two-year-old racing into the future. "The requirements of other clubs were taken into consideration on a historical basis."   AMANDA RANDO

The reinswomen for next month's Kriden Park Lady Drivers Invitational at Leeton have been announced. The Leeton Harness Racing Club has confirmed former NSW premiership winner Amanda Turnbull has agreed to drive in the event, which will be one of the feature races at the Club's Carnival of Cups meeting on January 1. The full list of invited reinswomen include; ·          Amanda Turnbull ·          Seryn Adams ·          Rebecca Bartley ·          Ellen Bartley ·          Lisa Bartley ·          Rikki Cernovskis ·          Amy Day ·          Martelle Maguire ·          Kristie O’Sullivan ·          Stacey Towers The race is for C3/C5 pacers worth $10,200 and will be penalty free. The Kriden Park Lady Drivers Invitational will be conducted at the same meeting as the Southern Central Engineering MIA Breeders Plate.  The feature event for two-year-olds will carry prize money of $40,800. Leeton secretary Joanne Punch has confirmed there are 40 horses still nominated for the Breeders Plate. “Of the 40, seventeen are fillies, eight are colts and the other fifteen are geldings,” Mrs Punch said. “All bar six have been named and there is a total of thirteen to qualify – trainers such as Peter Manning, Paul Kahlefeldt, Stephen Maguire, Col Thomas and Bernie Hewitt all have runners in this year’s series at this stage which is exciting.” Heats for the Breeders Plate will be conducted on December 26, with the final being conducted on Friday January 1.    Greg Hayes

Leeton Harness Racing Club's decision to boost prize money for the Breeders Plate has resulted in nearly 40 horses nominating for the two year old harness racing feature. With the January 1 final now worth $40,000, club officials announced a number of trainers had nominated horses for the race and were pleased to see a strong representation of fillies amongst the entries. Club Secretary Joanne Punch confirmed 15 fillies had been nominated for the Breeders Plate, an improvement on recent seasons. "With the extra prize money on offer, the trainers don't seem worried putting their fillies up against the colts and geldings this year which is great to see," Mrs Punch said. "There are some beautifully bred horses nominated and while not all of them have been named yet the Club is really excited by the quality." Some of the stallions represented in the nominations include Somebeachsomewhere, Rocknroll Hanover and Bettors Delight. "There are three Somebeachsomewhere youngsters in the nominations plus horses by Blissfull Hall, Courage Under Fire, Robin Hood, Rocknroll Heaven, Roll With Joe, Art Major and Shadow Play. "it is quite encouraging to see such a strong group at this stage, the one-off payment and stronger prize money has definitely helped. Bathurst trainer Bernie Hewitt has nominated multiple runners while previous Breeders Plate winning trainer Paul Kahlefeldt has put four runners in. Trainer Col Thomas has won two of the previous three Breeders Plates and has nominated one runner and will be hoping his successful run continues. "Hopefully with a bit of luck they will all stay in but obviously some will have problems between now and the end of the year, overall we're really happy with the numbers. "Under the new structure the nominations are final and I will be ringing the trainers in December to confirm a start for their horses in the series." Heats of $5,100 will be conducted on December 26 with the final to be conducted on New Years Day. Greg Hayes  

THE thoroughbred Amounis made his way into racing’s Hall of Fame after winning an incredible 33 races including the 1930 Caulfield Cup.  He won the Epsom twice, the Cox Plate and the All Aged Stakes in a glittering career that spanned eight years and raced Australia’s greatest horse Phar Lap. His harness namesake will make her Australian debut in the third race at Leeton after being purchased from New Zealand by a group of owners including form expert Matthew Peden.  As a harness racing owner, Peden has enjoyed success previously but acknowledges the only similarity between the galloper and pacer named Amounis, is their name. “The name Amounis rang a bell when we were looking at buying her from New Zealand, so I went back and did some research and found out just how talented the thoroughbred Amounis was,” Peden said. “The pacing version Amounis has some good form in New Zealand and has been beaten by some talented horses, but we are just hoping she can win her purchase price back.” Amounis is trained by Junee’s Trevor White and Peden has enjoyed success with the veteran horseman previously. “Trevor trained a horse I had a share in called Hollywood Sign and did a fantastic job with him because Hollywood Sign won last season’s Wagga Horse of the Year title. “We ended up selling him and he is now in the USA, but I think the horse is finding it a little more difficult to win races over there.” Peden confirmed Amounis was set to trial recently at Wagga but missed the vital hit-out because of a lack of trial nominations. “The plan was to give her a trial at Wagga, but I think they only got two horses for the trial so they didn’t end up running it. “That makes it a bit harder tonight, because we don’t really know where she is at and she hasn’t had a real strong workout, but she looked very tough in New Zealand so even if she is forced to sit outside the leader I think she will be right in the finish.” Peden has studied the race closely and nominates the Shane Gilligan trained Golden Scribe as the hardest to beat. “Golden Scribe on paper has the best form in the race and has drawn a lot better than Amounis so logically he will be the one that we need to beat. “Amounis was narrowly beaten by Woodlea DJ at Forbury in New Zealand a few months ago and Woodlea DJ will compete in a strong metropolitan race tonight at Addington in Christchurch so I think the form of Amounis is good enough to run a strong race first up.” Harness Racing New South Wales Related Links Fields for Leeton, Friday 02 October 2015 Form guide for Leeton, Friday 02 October 2015

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards concluded an Inquiry today into the betting activities of licensed Trainer and Driver Mr David Moran, including a bet placed in Race 4 at the Leeton Harness Meeting on 30 January 2015, a race in which Mr Moran was engaged as a driver. Mr Moran again appeared at the inquiry. Evidence including telephone records was entered into evidence. Further evidence was also taken from Ms Laura Crossland (via telephone. Mr Moran was issued with two (2) charges pursuant to Rule 173 (1) & (3) which states: 173. (1)  A driver shall not bet in a race in which the driver participates.  (3)  A driver who fails to comply with any provision of this rule is guilty of an offence. The particulars of the charges issued against Mr Moran are as follows: On 15 January 2015, Mr Moran placed a bet via the Wagering Operator Tabcorp, on BENOAH which competed in Race 6 at the Wagga Harness Meeting on that day. Mr Moran drove that horse and the bet to win was $50. On 30 January 2015, Mr Moran placed a bet via the Wagering Operator Tabcorp, on SMO, a horse trained and driven by his partner Ms Laura Crossland, which competed in Race 4 at the Leeton Harness Meeting on that day. The bet to win was $50 and Mr Moran drove MAJOR JULES in that race. Mr Moran pleaded guilty to the charge relating to 30 January 2015 and the charge relating to the 15 January 2015 was found proven by the Stewards. In respect of the charge relating to 15 January 2015, Mr Moran was fined the amount of $500. In respect of the charge relating to 30 January 2015, Mr Moran was disqualified for a period of 3 months to commence from midnight 28 July 2015.  In determining penalty, Stewards took all circumstances of this matter into consideration and were mindful of Mr Moran’s licence history, personal subjective facts including personal and financial hardships and Mr Moran’s guilty plea in respect of the matter relating to 30 January 2015. Reid Sanders

Reinsman Matthew Harrington has been waiting a long time to enjoy the 'winning feeling' but finally got to appreciate the sensation when Miss Ponder scored at the harness racing meeting at Leeton last Friday. Miss Ponder was Harrington's 59th drive after competing in his first race on September 12 last year. Harrington confirmed he had been getting frustrated in an attempt to steer home his first winner but knew if he was patient he would be rewarded. "I haven't had much luck with draws and on a few occasions things didn't fall my way out on the track but everything happened perfectly with Miss Ponder last Friday," Harrington said. "I thought at the bell she was travelling pretty strongly but I was three back on the pegs and knew I was going to need some luck and when the horse behind the leader started to struggle it actually helped me get off the inside." While the official winning margin was one and a half metres, Harrington was unsure whether he had arrived in time and had to face a nervous wait to hear if he had won. "The angle at Leeton is really hard to get a gauge on, I knew I was right in the finish but I didn't get too excited straight away because I wasn't quite sure. "I was a little bit lost for words after I won, it meant a lot to me and the support Paul Kahlefeldt has given me since I started in the industry has been unbelievable and without him I would never have been given the opportunity." Harrington is the grandson of former trainer Claude Bevan and spent a lot of time around horses from an early age. "I was born in Marrar which is a small town between Wagga and Coolamon and there have been horses around since I was born but when I was about eight I started helping Pop out with the couple that he had. "One day at the races when I was 16 or 17 I met Paul Kahlefeldt and talked to him about wanting to become involved in harness racing and when I turned up at the races the next week he offered me a job." That was nearly six years ago and Harrington has enjoyed the opportunities he has been given by Kahlefeldt. "I get the chance to work with a lot of nice horses working for Paul and after a couple of years working for him I thought I would give driving a go. "It took me 18 months to complete the Junior Drivers course and another six to complete my trial drives." It was no surprise one of the first people to congratulate Harrington on his first victory was Kahlefeldt. "Paul had to leave Leeton to take some horses home before Miss Ponder's race but he got in contact with me soon after and was really excited for me, hopefully I can continue on now." Greg Hayes

THE MIA Breeders Plate has been given a financial boost as the Leeton Harness Racing moves to ensure its feature race continues to attract strong fields. Already the most prestigious harness race in the region, it will now be the richest with trainers chasing a $40,000 purse next season, the same as the Young Pacers Cup. The increase will see 2016’s edition its richest ever and become a group three event for the first time since 2011. Unlike in previous years the winning trainer won’t receive a float or gig, with those funds going into the prize money, but Leeton secretary Joanne Punch believes its a good move for the club. A lack of numbers has been a problem for the club, particularly in the last two years, and its hoped the extra prize money will see more two-year-olds produced early. “It’s always a concern because the big races are later in the year and a lot of them don’t want to do it and worry about starting them early, but we want to keep it going because it is the 62nd running of it this year,” Punch said. Trainer Paul Kahlefeldt, who won the plate with Lettucerocku in 2010, believes it’s a good move for the club. “I think the old prize money just wasn’t enough for people to push towards that race,” Kahlefledt said. “I think it’s a great move, but I don’t think it will get a lot more – it will get a few more horses but it won’t be the numbers they got years ago. “Foals are being born later and people are setting them for the bigger group ones. “People get theit horses ready for Bathurst and then there is a flow on to the Breeders Challenge, APG and Breeders Crown.” Kahlefeldt would like to see the date moved to be a lead up race for Bathurst’s two-year-old features, however changing the date isn’t being considered by the club. “No way – it’s always going to be on that date,” Punch said. The club is also looking to strengthen it’s carnival by increasing the prize money for the Golden Apple Superstore C0 series and the Bells Produce C1-C2. It is hoped the finals of both races will be increased to $15,000 however the increase won’t be confirmed until Carnival Of Cups funding is finalised. Punch believes strengthening those races will be more attractive to runners with potential two-year-olds. “If they have their youngens and get the going now it’s not bad prize money to bring a load along for other races,” Punch said. Following last year’s move, there is a one-off $250 fee nomination to be eligible for the race with entries closing on November 1. By Courtney Rees Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

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