Day At The Track
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Harness racing: Stacey Weidemann had an evening to remember at Tamworth last night, booting home a hat-trick and raising $1200 for charity in the process. The Clifton-based driver made the 450-kilometre trip with aunts Lola and Julie, and they made the long journey more than worthwhile. Stacey's three wins, coupled with a victory for Lola on Mac Sweet, raised $1600 in total for Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG), taking the family's total to $2400 since the start of February. "It's good when the stable can raise so much money,” she said. "Everyone takes a few things of granted, and it's nice to help and contribute to people who are going through tough times.” After finishing fifth and third in the opening two races, a determined drive on Readily ($5) saw her pick up her first win of the night. The five-year-old gelding was under the pump as the horses made their way down the back, before finally getting past leader Mammals Rockstar in the final 50 metres to claim a narrow victory. "They had gone a bit hard, and I thought I was gone in the back straight, but eading for home the leader showed signs of cracking,” she said. "In those circumstances it was hard to come from behind.” Weidemann didn't have a drive in the fourth race, before overcoming a tricky draw to land the prize in the fifth race with one-eyed standardbred Fours Enough Tas ($12.60). Having his 137th start, a textbook piece of driving saw the seven-year-old settle in the one-one, before nabbing favourite Midnight Prowler right on the post. "I thought I had got there, but I'm generally bad at picking photos,” she said. She didn't have to stress as much in the following race, after Condafew ($3.10 fav) made the most of drawing the pegs, showing gate speed to take up the running. The gelding was never in doubt after picking up a cheap lead, holding off rivals in the straight to cap off the memorable night. "He's a little horse we purchased cheap, and he wasn't hyped to be too good, but he has done a good job for us,” she said. "He led over 2300 last start and the distance cracked him, so we were hoping for an easy lead.” By Sean Teuma   Reprinted with permission of the Warwick Daily News

She might have come a cropper during last year's Ekka but Clifton harness racing driver Stacey Weidemann is shaking off the spot of bad luck to focus on winning this Sunday's $10,000 Garrards Horse & Hound - Big Dog Show Grand Final prize. Harness racing heats and finals raced over 1609 metres, four laps of the show-ring track, commenced last Friday at the Ekka and will culminate in the Grand final on the last day of the Royal Queensland Show. 24 year-old Stacey and aunties, show champion driver Lola Weidemann and show champion trainer Julie Weidemann have 15 horses racing at the Ekka. Stacey will be both driving and preparing the horses including her sentimental favourite Grandads Boy. So far she has driven three winners, Mac Sweet and Aviators Dream (2 wins) which won a Final last Saturday. "It's good to be back," Stacey said as she showed scars she earned after hitting the dirt during at the 2014 show. "We went pretty good last year." "I got leading points driver at the show and our stable won the big race with another horse (Lonesome Mach)". Once traditionally a male dominated sport, harness racing is now very much also a female domain. "I think people like softer hands on their horse," Stacey said. "Girls can sometimes get along better with horses as well. " I like being happy with the drive and being able to say you've given your horse every opportunity and see the horse go well for how you have driven it." Last year's Grand Final winner Lonesome Mach is the Weidemann family's best prospect to win the Grand Final again on Sunday. The gelding won last Sunday's final in very good time so he is on track again to compete in the big race. Racing Queensland has added a new perpetual trophy to the final, the 'Ekka Plate' which will be presented to the champion driver. The Weidemann's final winners at the Show during the past six days include Ghost Gum (Day 1  S0 Final); Aviators Dream (Day 2  S1-S3 Final); Lonesome Mach (Day3 S4 Final); Moon Rocket (Day 5 S0 Final). This week has been a busier than usual week for the Weidemann's with the stable also racing at the Queensland TAB meetings at Albion Park and Redcliffe. As soon as the Show racing is completed each day, there is a mad dash from the Ekka grounds near the Royal Brisbane Hospital to either Albion Park (5 kms) or Redcliffe (38 kms) to race there. Last night Lola drove in the last two races at Redcliffe after competing at the Show and she also drove after the Show at Albion Park last Friday and Saturday nights. Once the Show is over the team will be back to competing in the day to day TAB races but one race meeting  will be really special for the family. Warwick's Allman Park Racecourse, the family's local thoroughbred racetrack, will host a Charity harness race meeting on Father's Day, Sunday 6 September. The Darling Downs Harness Racing Club conduct this race meeting which was a major success when raced as a non-TAB day last year. The Club expects the race meeting to be huge this year with TAB betting on all races. Sherele Moody (Warwick Daily News) and David Aldred

When it comes to tight track harness racing the Weidemanns take command. The reigning champion at the Royal Queensland Show, Lola Weidemann got off to a flying start to defend her title, winning two of the three Ekka harness racing finals raced so far at this year's show. The other final was won by her niece Stacey Weidemann with all three horses trained by Lola’s sister and Stacey’s aunty, Julie Weidemann. Lola Weidemann won the Friday night Final driving Ghost Gum (Jet Laag – Eagle Street) with the striking 3yo grey pacer finding the lead early to go unheaded over the four laps of the 1609 metre standing start pace. On Saturday Lola and Stacey Weidemann shared the heat wins with Aviators Dream, Mister Armageddon and Mac Sweet winning, then on Saturday night Stacey made it three wins for the day steering Aviators Dream (Mr. Aviator – Milady Bistro) to victory in the Final. On Sunday, the heat wins were shared around a little more evenly between the stables supporting the show. In front of the big weekend crowd Dutch Cream (Steve Burke) won heat one, Blessed Is The Boy (Narissa McMullen) took out heat two and Jacks A Smarty (Stacey Weidemann) won the third heat. Then on Sunday night with the stands around the main arena full to capcity, Lola Weidemann was back in the winner’s circle winning the day's final on last year’s Grand Final winner Lonesome Mach (Mach Three – Little Pheobe). The Weidemann’s are on track to win their fourth Final at the Ekka with two heat winners this afternoon and three runners in tonight’s final. Heat one today went to Emargee (Ricky Gordon). Heat two was won by Mister Armageddon (Lola Weidemann) and the third heat went to Mac Sweet (Lola Weidemann). Harness Racing continues all week at the Ekka with the $10,000 Garrard's - Big Dog Grand Final raced on Sunday. David Aldred

Darling Downs sisters Lola and Julie Weidemann have to be the best tag team in the harness racing business. Nothing stands in the way of their work with the duo's winning treble at Tamworth Showground Paceway yesterday attesting to that. In April, Lola was hospitalized after suffering breaks and bruises in a race fall at Redcliffe Paceway. While Lola nursed her four broken ribs and a damaged hip for months it was up to her sister Julie to carry the load. But when Julie was sidelined by Racing Queensland stewards last week, Lola quickly swung back into action. She resumed driving at Redcliffe on Wednesday night driving one of the team into third place then loaded the float on Thursday morning and travelled a well-worn 460km route down the New England Highway to the country music capital. The Weidemann family is considered locals at the Tamworth Showground with Lola, Julie and their niece Stacey rarely missing a race meeting. Lola was at her crafty best when she returned to the country New South Wales circuit. Driving Julie’s horses Bulldust and Lonesome Mach, Lola produced a race to race winning double early in the day then just for good measure made it a treble of wins later in the program scoring on Dreamy Nukes for her sister. Bulldust,has been out of the winners list for six months but it seems that Lola has a bit of an affinity with the P B Bullville gelding winning at three of his only four race wins. Bulldust  ($8.40) came from back in the pack to spear away from his opposition and score by 4.3 metres in a 2.02 mile rate for the 1980 metres. No Confession and Gannicus, the race favourite filled the placings. About thirty minutes later Lola again produced a masterful drive on Lonesome Mach. After being buried on the pegs most of the way, Lola got the $5.50 chance to the outside and quickly rounded up those in front of her. Lonesome Mach kept the momentum going right to the line to score in a photo finish by a half neck in 2.03.7 for the 1980 metres defeating Pipers Challenge with Big Riddle filling the minor spot. Dreamy Nukes won on Anzac day at Inverell and then was winless for its next starts before Lola steered it to the front running victory. The Dream Away gelding posted its fifth career victory scoring by 1.3 metres in very moderate time. Dreamy Nukes led the field with Lola slowing the early pace down to almost a walk, going through the first half of the last mile in 67.6s -- the last half mile was quicker but was still outside of a minute and stewards nabbed the driver with a $100 fine. by David Aldred

Smart harness racing fillies Bettorthanspecial and Bettor Promise are both chasing redemption this weekend. Both fillies missed the placed in last week’s Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 3yo Fillies Final won brilliantly by Cullens Jewel who led her rivals a merry dance in the 2138m event. After beginning the season with excellent form, both fillies encountered a series of niggling issues which had co-trainers Shannon Price and Scott Miller on the back foot entering last week’s feature. “Looking back, it was a race against time and we came up a little short but take nothing away from the winner because she was very good." "We turned the page quickly and their heat performances earlier this week both proved they needed that run under their belt.” Scott Miller said. Both fillies recorded stylish victories in their respective heats of the $25,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship on Tuesday at Albion Park. Bettor Promise rated 1:58.6 while Bettorthanspecial went faster and recorded 1:58.2 – both fillies raced without cover. On Saturday night, Bettorthanspecial has drawn ideally in gate four while Bettor Promise will start from gate six. “It’s nice to have front-line draws with both fillies because barrier draws are so crucial with our style of racing and that was proven last week when our fillies failed in the Breeders Classic after starting from second-line draws. “We were really happy with both fillies following their heats." "They both did plenty of work and responded strongly in the straight." "Importantly, they both pulled up great and have taken no harm from the run or even last week’s effort." “We’ll be out to make full use of the good draws this week but it won’t be easy because the opposition is pretty good, a handy mixture of fillies and mares." "With normal luck, I think both fillies will play a strong hand in the finish.” Brad Cowen partners Bettorthanspecial while Lola Weidemann again takes the drive on Bettor Promise. The stable is looking forward to the coming months with a raft of feature events programmed for the Bettors Delight fillies including the Gr.1 $100,000 Queensland Oaks in July. “There’s no shortage of feature races coming up and hopefully both fillies keep improving and getting a little stronger with every start. All going to plan, we’ll be looking at the QBRED Triad, Seymour Nursery Pace plus all of the Oaks classics during the winter carnival. “All of those races will boast very strong depth and they won’t be easy but we’re looking forward to the challenge.” Both fillies were bred and are raced by Tony and Katy Price. Chris Barsby - Racing Queensland

The 2014 Reinswomens Challenge will be the feature at Betezy Park Globe Derby next Saturday with some of Australia's best talent named to represent their state. Amy Day, who will represent NSW, drove 48 last season, while exciting young 19-year-old Queenslander Narissa McMullen, who drove 96 winners, and Lola Weidemann (81 Wins in 2012/13) will don the Queensalnd colours.   Victoria is represented by Jodi Quinlan 86 wins, Ellen Tormey 75 winners, Rebbecca Bartley 47 wins, and Lisa Miles 46 wins.   The local talent includes top driver Danielle Hill, 94 wins last season, Leah Harvey 22 wins, and Gina Bell 15 wins, while Kerry Green is the reserve.   There is three races planned for the Invitation Reinswomens Challenge with the winner decided by points.   Also scheduled on the program is the running of the Nevele R Stud South Australian Oaks and the SA Heroine Stakes for mares.   Entry is by gold coin donation to Cancer Council of SA Pink Ribbon Appeal.   By Gary Newton    

For years female jockeys have been on par with their male counterparts, and Australian female reinswoman have been very well represented by the likes of Kerryn Manning, Jodi Quinlan, Kate Gath, Amanda and Emma Turnball, Lola Weidemann, Kerry-Ann Turner, Lisa Miles, Cindy Rixon and our now very own Natalie Rasmussen.

With the main focus being well and truly on tonight's Group 2 $75,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour Gold Coast Cup, the meeting at Albion Park Raceway on Saturday night (October 23) brings together a mixture of known regulars and up and coming metropolitan performers.

Seven harness racing trainers were victorious at the nine race program conducted at Albion Park Raceway this evening (Sunday Augsut 7) and it was Team McCarthy again to the fore taking out training honours with a winning treble.

Special Albert will have a new driver for the running of the Allied Express Paleface Adios Sprint at Harold Park tonight (August 24) after his regular reinsman, Michael Dawson became ill during the day.

Star mares Vixen Hanover and All Promises have bright prospects of upstaging the 'boys' when it comes to the running of the Dave Knudsen Retravision 4YO Championship at Albion Park on Saturday night (July 7).

Brilliant mare All Promises remained faithful to her legion of supporters when the long odds-on favourite scored at Albion Park on Tuesday (June 26).

With the benefit of a higher level of fitness, Secretagent Cullen was able to defuse the attempt by Atomic Ark to commence his latest term of racing on a winning note.

As expected, the opening event on the Albion Park program (Tuesday June 19) proved to be a benefit for the classy mare, All Promises.

Dual Oaks winning mare All Promises will make her return to the local scene when the daughter of Albert Albert faces the starter for race one on the Albion Park program on Tuesday (June 19).

The Shannon Price conditioned gelding Secretagent Cullen was back on duty at Redcliffe on Wednesday night (June 13), with the odds-on favourite resuming with a comfortable win.

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