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As part of The Raceway at Western Fair District's Molson Pace night festivities, the province's top harness racing three-year-old pacing colts and geldings kicked off the 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes season in front of an enthusiastic group of supporters on Friday evening. Under balmy skies and with fast track conditions the colts rang up sharp miles, culminating with a track record equalling performance by Sintra in the third $70,000 Gold Series division. The Mach Three son was driven to the 1:52.4 victory by Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON, who said the result came as no surprise to the gelding's connections. "All I can tell you is that Dave Menary, tonight, was as confident in a race as I've ever seen. He wasn't worried about Gerries Sport, he wasn't worried about anybody. He said this horse will win and he'll set the track record. And he did that," said Jamieson, who piloted Sintra to the win for trainer Dave Menary of Rockton, ON and his partners Brad Gray of Dundas, ON and Michael Guerriero of Brampton, ON. "He was actually three-fifths of a second off his prediction, but it was still pretty impressive to see how good the horse was." Sintra bested fan favourite Gerries Sport by two and one-quarter lengths, with Flaherty seven and a half lengths back in third. The win was Sintra's third in three starts this season and Jamieson is confident that it will not be his last. "I schooled him before I qualified him and I knew what kind of horse he was. He was just deadly qualifying and his first two starts were a laugh, 1:51, just jogged," said the reinsman. "Obviously the half-mile track is a bit of an equalizer for some horses, but he just proved right there that he can go with anybody on any size track." Sintra raced just three times as a two-year-old, and was the second lightly raced youngster to emerge victorious in Gold Series action on Friday. Magnum J, who went behind the gate four times last season, captured the first Gold division in 1:53.2. Magnum J and driver Doug McNair carved out fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.4 on their way to the two and one-quarter length win over Brookdale Sonny and Bettor Memories, and McNair is also expecting a strong sophomore campaign from the Big Jim gelding. "He cut it home in 27 and a bit, and he did that on his own, so it's scary how big of a mile he probably could have went if he had to," said Guelph, ON resident McNair. "He's fast, he can come off a helmet. It's tough to say how good he is. He only had four starts last year," added the driver. McNair's father Gregg, also of Guelph, conditions Magnum J and shares ownership of the gelding with Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover. The other Gold Series trophy went home with Print Media, who upset the favourites with a 1:54.1 front-end effort engineered by Sylvain Filion. The Vintage Master gelding finished one length in front of War N Munn and Semi Automatic to score his first win of the season. "This year they had him ready a little bit earlier so I think they caught those Gold horses off guard tonight," noted Filion, last year's leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "He was ready and there were a few here that weren't quite ready to roll, you know, and I think that gave him an edge." Milton, ON resident Filion engineered the win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner Saverino Spagnolo of Ottawa, ON. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their second Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 2. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues on June 4 with the first Gold Series Leg for the three-year-old pacing fillies going postward at Mohawk Racetrack. In addition to the Gold Series divisions, London area fans were also treated to four City of London Series Finals and two Alliance Series Finals, all leading up to the $150,000 Molson Invitational Pace. Filion and Moreau combined for a second upset in the Molson Pace, as the lightly rated Evenin Of Pleasure sprinted home to a track record 1:50.3 triumph. Sunfire Blue Chip finished a neck back in second and McWicked was hot on their heels in third. Ontario Racing

Favored Mach it a Par (Brian Sears, $4.40) saved her best for last Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried from post position No.3, Mach it a Par watched as outside numbers Anndrovette (Jason Bartlett) and Tessa Seelster (George Brennan) lined 'em up early. The former led through early substations of :27.4 and :56.2. It was Know it All (Eric Abbatiello) moving from fourth, with the people's choice behind the one. Anndrovette continued to lead in and out of a 1:24 three-quarters, with a length-and-a-half margin entering the lane. However, she was done soon after, with Mach it a Par-fifth turning for home-going fastest when it counted. She rolled home by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:52. Second went to Tessa Seelster, who offered good pace at both ends, with a belated Al Raza N (Jordan Stratton), Lookout Stokk Zone (Tyler Buter) and Anndrovette settling for the remainder. For Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P and the Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her third win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.80, with the triple returning $65. Saturday night's card finds the Raceway hosting a pair of premier stakes events for 3-year-olds in the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace (sixth race) and its companion event for the lasses, the $100,000 Lismore (fourth race). The 12-race program begins at the usual 7:10 PM . YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $3,500 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (May 28) Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover of $3,525.24. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker

It would be a major shock if Team Raboki doesn’t win the QBRED Triad mares harness racing features this Saturday night. The astute stable prepare top fancies Bettorthanspecial and Bettor Promise in the Gr.2 $50,000 classic at Albion Park and the classy mares look set to dominate another Brisbane feature. And both mares are drawn to dominate again. Bettorthanspecial will start from the coveted inside gate while Bettor Promise starts from gate three. But the stable don’t want any unexpected shocks and plan to keep it simple. “The draws are ideal and we will keep it very simple tactically, Bettorthanspecial will lead while Bettor Promise will more than likely race without cover. We don’t want to overthink the situation, let’s keep it simple and win the race.” Co-trainer Scott Miller said. The two mares have raced head to head on 20 occasions and have finished one/two on ten occasions while Bettorthanspecial holds a slender lead in the head to head bracket. And Bettorthanspecial holds the advantage again this weekend after landing the better draw of the two. In their final hit-outs last weekend, both mares were surprisingly beaten. “While both got beat we weren’t disappointed because both performed well at a high level after the races didn’t play out the way we expected them to unfold. They have both trained on well this week and look set to run big races again. “Bettorthanspecial did a really good job last week after racing without cover in really fast time; she never gave up and looks the horse to beat because of the draw. I thought Bettor Promise was ok last week after starting from a bad draw, the time in her race was ok too. “There’s nothing really between them, if anything, Bettorthanspecial has higher speed but Bettor Promise is probably a little tougher so it really evens out in the end. We will put both mares out after the weekend and bypass the winter carnival, they’ll have a break and we’ll get them ready for Sydney later this year.” If successful, there will be no time for celebration for the stable with a road trip to Sydney scheduled for Sunday with talented rookie Three Of The Best starting at Menangle next Tuesday. The Breeders Challenge is the target and following his out of sort’s performance last month in the Australian Pacing Gold Final at Melton, the Mach Three gelding has trailed impressively on two occasions at Albion Park. “At this point, he’s taken no harm from that race in Melbourne, both trials have been good and he’s relaxed both times. He hit the sulky wheel in Melbourne and coupled with the fact he’s a Mach Three, it didn’t take much to set him off. “This series has always been on the radar for him and this is the last round of heats so hopefully he can qualify. We really like him as a horse and hopefully he can keep improving.” Meanwhile, current stable star Ultimate Art will venture to the Albion Park trials next Tuesday afternoon. With the winter carnival looming, the Modern Art gelding has won his past 7 starts and connections are keen to build on that with the UBET Picket Fence promotion a key target. Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 28 May 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 28 May 2016

The clouds hung ominously over the Philadelphia skies on Sunday, but the rain did hold off, ensuring dry conditions for the harness racing at Harrah's Philadelphia. The competitive Sunday tilt featured a winner's over $25,000 lifetime pace (purse $25,000) and two divisions of a non-winner's of $15,000 in their last 5 starts (purse $15,000). In the winners-over event, it was millionaire pacer Mach It So (Tim Tetrick) scoring an impressive front-end victory. Coming off of 3 wins in the preliminary rounds of the George Mortin Levy at Yonkers, Mach It So drew post 7 for the final, and ultimately had no chance the way the race shaped up. Today, the 6-year-old gelded son of Mach Three brushed powerfully to the front, stopping the clock in a stellar 1:50.2 (season's mark). It was the 29th career win for the Jeffrey Bamond trainee, and his 4th of the season. Steve Elliot trainee Rockeyed Optimist (Brett Miller) had a tough hill to climb, starting from post 8 in the event, but was able to establish early pylon position coming away 5th. He had no choice but to come first-over however, after Mach It So cleared the lead. It was a big effort for the gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, as he gamely fought for second. Rockeyed Optimist continues to be a model of consistency for the owning conglomerate of Perretti, Berkner, Battaglia, and the A&B Stables. He has only been worse than third 3 times in the last 2 seasons. In the first division of the non-winner's of $15,000 last 5, it was Dedi's Dragon (Napolitano Jr.) overcoming post 8 to get the job done. The 6-year-old son of Dragon Again ended up with the pocket seat behind Bettorever (Tim Tetrick), and was able to outclose him in the passing lane, stopping the timer in 1:52.1. It was the 22nd career win for the Paul Holzman trainee, with earnings now just under $800,000. Division two went to Richard Poilucci's Starsky's Dream N (Yannick Gingras). The 6-year-old gelded son of Mach Three made the front end, and stayed on nicely, stopping the clock in 1:51.3. It was the 13th win for the Kelvin Harrison trainee, and his 3rd win of the year. Driver Tim Tetrick led the day with 4 wins. George Napolitano Jr. had 3 wins on the program. There is no live racing at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (May 25th). There is live racing on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30th) with a post time of 12:40 PM. Live racing resumes Thursday, post time 12:40 PM. Mike Bozich

Just a week away from the start of the Ontario Sires Stakes season, three-year-old pacing colt Gerries Sport put his harness racing rivals on notice with a sizzling 1:49.2 performance Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Richard Moreau trained colt competed in a non-winners of three-races or $75,000 lifetime event Friday night, which featured three Pepsi North America Cup eligibles, Arsenic, Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip. Gerries Sport entered Friday's race with two victories in three starts this season. His only defeat was a gritty fourth-place effort in The Diplomat Series final on May 7. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport left from post-five and found a spot in third, while four-year-old Asap Hanover blasted to the front just ahead of Arsenic. There was little movement early on, as Asap Hanover posted solid fractions of :26.3 and :54.2. Approaching the three-quarter pole, Filion pulled on the right line to send Gerries Sport after the leader. The challenger pulled to within less than two-lengths of the lead at the third-marker, as Asap Hanover reached that station in 1:22.1. In the stretch, Gerries Sport powered by Asap Hanover to grab clear command with an eighth of a mile to go. The Moreau trainee cruised home confidently in :26.4 to win by two-lengths in 1:49.2. Asap Hanover finished second, while Arsenic was third in his season debut. Pepsi North America Cup eligibles Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip finished fifth and seventh, respectively. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport competed primarily in the OSS Grassroots as a two-year-old, but appears more than ready to tackle the Gold level this season. Moreau trains the sophomore pacing colt for owner Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, Quebec. Gerries Sport's third win in four starts this season brings his career record to six wins in 16 starts for earnings of $71,453. The son of Mach Three is now North America's fastest three-year-old of 2016. His clocking of 1:49.2 lowered the previous mark of 1:50.2 set by War N Munn in The Diplomat Final on May 7 at Mohawk. Gerries Sport paid $5.90 to win. Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with a special post time of 6:45 p.m. in place for Fireworks and Family Fun Night. Mark McKelvie

THE first heats of the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge for this season will be conducted at Bathurst on Wednesday night.  Heats will be conducted at a number of different tracks across the state over the next month as horses attempt to qualify for the semi finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The aim of all owners, trainers, drivers and breeders is for their horses to qualify for ‘Super Sunday’ on June 26 with nine Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge finals to be conducted across three age groups. In Wednesday night’s two heats, thirteen different stallions are represented including Courage Under Fire, Art Major, Mach Three and Roll With Joe.  In the heat for the colts and geldings, the two leading stables in NSW are represented.  Belinda McCarthy has Bullet Stride drawn in barrier one while Steve Turnbull has three runners – Rainbow On Fire, Conviction and Atomic Red. Lightly race Mach Three gelding Machgower will have his first run since March for Bigga trainer Dennis Picker.  Machgower was scratched from a heat of the Bathurst Gold Crown and was immediately aimed towards the Breeders Challenge series. Local trainer Bernie Hewitt has four fillies in the second heat.  Leading Sydney drivers Todd McCarthy and Robbie Morris have been booked to drive for the Hewitt stable while Bathurst reinsman John O’Shea will also get an opportunity to drive in the race. Sydney trainer Rickie Alchin will make the trip to Bathurst with smart filly Decapria on Wednesday after she broke through for an impressive maiden victory at Menangle last start.  Out of metropolitan performed mare Betapic, Decapria recorded a 1:55.5 victory and won by more than twelve metres.  Elle Yeah finished second and will be forced to race the talented filly again this Wednesday night. Other Alabar Breeders Challenge heats will be conducted at Penrith on Thursday night, Young on Friday afternoon and Newcastle on Friday night. 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 31 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Greg Hayes Position: Media Manager Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: ghayes@hrnsw.com.au

An unlucky second on the first night, The Royal Garden was simply too good for a handy C2-C6 field yesterday at the Manawatu Harness Racing Club's second day. While drawn poorly on the second line, John Dunn was able to work the Mach Three 5yr old into the clear early and eventually found the front at the 1700m. Once there he was able to set a strong tempo and as the field turned for home, he showed a decent kick finding plenty in the run to the line to hold on from the trailing Princess Kate and a late finisher in Hudy Haxwell. The 2500m trip was run in 3.11.6, the last 800m in 58 and the last 400m in 28.3. After struggling for some time in stronger Canterbury fields, John sent The Royal Garden south to Forbury last month where he was a convincing winner over smart southerner Statham. On the back of that win he was confidently backed on Thursday, but after having little luck had to settle for second. Yesterday's win was his 7th from 31 starts and takes his stakes to just under the $50,000 mark. Meanwhile in the south, Highview Freddy completed a successful comeback to racing with a good win in yesterday's feature at Timaru. His win came at his 4th start back after an extended break from the track with injuries. He had built nicely towards this win with a good second first up and then a couple of runs in stronger fields. Highview Freddy stepped like a toff from the front, over the 2600m stand and was soon in front setting his own terms. While taken on early in the race, Dexter elected to stay in front and always looked to have the Bettor's Delight 4yr old travelling nicely. He was allowed some rein from the 500m and quickly put three lengths on the opposition. At the 200m he was a clear six lengths in front and while he tired slightly over the last 100m, he held on an easy winner by four and a half lengths in a smart 3.17.5 for the 2600m stand. Owned by Ian Dobson, Highview Freddy had shown his potential at three winning the three races, but then came his time on the sideline. Based on the manner of yesterday's win, he will be easy to place over the winter months. Michael Drury - Robert Dunn Trotting Stables

Pocketed Mach it a Par (Brian Sears, $7) edged past pace-setting Tessa Seelster (George Brennan) in mid-stretch Friday (the 13th) night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. The field, pared to a half-dozen after outside assignee Krispy Apple came up injured, saw "Tessa"-last week's victress-once again do her damage on the lead. The 3-4 choice worked around pole-sitting Mach it a Par, then led through moist intervals of :28.1 and :57.1. Down the backside, Mosquito Blue Chip (Dan Dube) made a brief move from third, then ducked back in, leaving those honors to Pasultimatedelite N (Jordan Stratton). That one challenged "Tessa" in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters, with the leader owning a length-and-a-half advantage into the lane. However, Mach it a Par was sizing her up and picking her off, slipping out and winning by that same length-and-a-half in a season's-best 1:52.2. Mosquito Blue Chip was third, with Pasultimatedelite N and Know it All (Eric Abbatiello) earning the final two envelopes. Regil Elektra (Tyler Buter) brought up the rear. When the dust settled, the six lasses finished in post position order. For second choice Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & The Ganfolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her second win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.40, with the triple returning $29.60. Friday evening's $30,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace was won by favored Rock N Roll Xample (Sears, $4.40) in 1:53.4. Frank Drucker  

The last time popular Canterbury trainer/driver Jim Curtin ventured north to the mighty Manawatu Raceway was back in February of 2015. He picked up a driving/training win with The Persuader, while he also saluted the judge with Miss Middleton for Palmerston North trainer Stephen Doody.   Curtin travels north with 1 stable runner Atchoo and while she has drawn badly she doesn’t appear the worst chance. “We had to come north to find a suitable race for her; she’s not too good from the tapes. I thought she would be a good chance but it’s a hard draw so we are hoping for some luck” said Jim. Interestingly enough, Curtin has driven 7 trebles at the Manawatu track, and he is a regular to salute the judge. “7 trebles are pretty nice but I’ve had some luck on the track and hopefully it continues” Jim also had a further 6 drives and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him salute the judge with any of them. Jim Curtin & The Persuader winning at Manawatu back in February 2015. Robert & John Dunn travel north with a strong team of 4 runners, which includes last start Forbury winner The Royal Garden and while the son of Mach Three climbs a grade for this assignment he slots in well and looks mighty tough to beat. While earlier on in the night Mr Meddle, a 5yo Live Or Die gelding comes up with the plum draw, and looks the likely leader in an even C2 field. He was only beaten 2.5l by Beyond Belief, which has since ran 2nd in a hard race. That form should make Mr Meddle a leading chance on both days of the meeting The Royal Garden's last start win Andrew Fitzgerald

Hannelore Hanover and Solar Sister notched Grand Circuit victories on closing day of the 2016 Miami Valley Raceway harness racing meet on Sunday (May 8).   The pair of $100,000 races were highlights of the 88th and final program of Miami Valley's third season, its most successful to date with huge increases above 20% in both average handle and total purses.   Hannelore Hanover kept her 2016 season perfect in her fifth start by wiring a classy field of North America's best older trotting mares in 1:52.3, a new track record for 4-year-old female squaregaiters. Despite facing a full field with lifetime earnings north of $4 million in the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff, the winning daughter of Indiana sire Swan For All was dispatched as a prohibitive favorite, and driver Ricky Macomber Jr. guided her accordingly. Speeding off the wings of the starting gate, Hannelore Hanover and Macomber stopped the first-quarter beam in :27.1 and never looked back through subsequent fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.3. At the head of the lane, it looked briefly as if the taxing fractions might doom the Ron Burke trainees fate, but when Macomber asked for a bit more Hannelore Hanover responded with a :29 flat final panel to seal a 1-3/4 length victory.   Charmed Life (Jody Jamieso) gave futile chase to finish second, while Daylon Miracle (Daniel Dube) raced gamely to finish just a quarter-length further back in third.   Hannelore Hanover increased her career bankroll to $405,324 with her 14th win in 26 lifetime starts. She is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Frank Baldachino.   Solar Sister had to survive a lengthy judge's inquiry before being named the official upset winner of the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for the continent's top pacing mares. Although it appeared that Solar Sister and driver Doug McNair may have forced at least one other horse wider when they vacated the pylons down the backstretch, the judges ultimately decided that the confusion was caused by a tiring frontrunner (Lady Shadow) who was simultaneously drifting into the outer flow.   The winner left with alacrity to drop in behind Lady Shadow (Aaron Merriman) before the :26.2 quarter, then enjoyed a pocket ride through a :55.2 half before pulling going to the three quarter station. Solar Sister was first-over in second when the field sped past that 1:22.3 marker, then emerged victorious following a thrilling stretch drive that resulted in a three-horse photo finish in 1:51.2. Favorite Yagonnakissmeornot (Dube), who won the inaugural Noble Memorial in 2014 and still holds the distaff track record, was parked much of the mile and finished just a head behind, with Purrfect Bags (Victor Kirby) third across the wire, just another head behind in her first seasonal start.   Gregg McNair trains the winning 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three for David Willmot and Clay Homer. She now sports 11 career triumphs and $681,387 in earnings.   A pair of $20,000 Opens were also contested on the getaway matinee card.   Il Mago (Trace Tetrick) topped Penn (Josh Sutton) and Cimeronken (Kyle Ater) in the trotting feature, clocked in 1:55.. It was the sixth win in a dozen 2016 starts for the 7-year-old son of Kadabra, who is owned by CC Racing LLC and trained by Tyler George.   Addys Way (Dan Noble) emerged from a stride-for-stride stretch duel with Igottafeelinfran (Kayne Kauffman) to cop the top local pacing mares event in 1:52.1. OK Hallelujah (Jason Brewer) collected the show dough. Perkins Racing Stable LLC owns Addys Way, an 8-year-old Cambest mare, also trained by Noble. She now has an impressive 47 victories from 189 starts and is nearing $400,000 in bank deposits.   Gregg Keidel    

Canada's reigning Horse of the Year made his season debut Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but Nickle Bag spoiled the party with the nation's fastest harness racing mile of 2016. A strong field of nine older pacers competed in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap pace. State Treasurer, last year's Canadian Horse of the Year, was making his 2016 debut and started from the outside post-nine. Driven by Chris Christoforou, State Treasurer was able to float out and drop in sixth as the even-money favourite. Nickle Bag, the 8-5 second choice, left hard from post-six for Trevor Henry to grab the front and post an opening-quarter of :26. Nickle Bag kept the pace honest in the second-quarter and reached the half in :54.3. Christoforou started up State Treasurer nearing the half and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee was sent first up entering the final turn. However, cover did develop for State Treasurer rounding the final turn, as stablemate Arthur Blue Chip angled out from third at five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3, Nickle Bag brought the field into the lane and waved goodbye. The Bill Robinson trainee finished off his mile with a blazing :26.2 final-quarter to win by 4¾ lengths in a career-best 1:49. State Treasurer came off cover in the stretch, but was unable to gain any spots and finished fourth in his season debut, pacing home in :26.4. Mohawk Warrior came from sixth at the top of the lane to finish second, while The Rev turned his two-hole trip into a third-place effort. A six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag secured his ninth victory of the season Saturday. The Robinson trainee has picked up seven of his nine victories this year in the Preferred. Owned by Linda and Harry Loyens, Nickle Bag surpassed his 2015 earnings total with Saturday's victory. The veteran pacer has banked $167,860 in 15 starts this year, compared to $162,790 in 26 starts last year. Nickle Bag's victory Saturday was his 28th career triumph and it brings his career earnings to $627,490. He paid $5.30 to win. Nickle Bag Although State Treasurer was unsuccessful in his season debut, history shows that may not be a bad thing. The Dr. Moore trainee finished sixth last year in his debut (May 2, 2015 - Preferred Pace) before going onto divisional and Horse of the Year honours. Also on Saturday, the second leg of The Diplomat Series was contested. A group of 13 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two $20,000 divisions. War N Munn continued his WEG Series success with a 1:52 victory in the first division. The Carmen Auciello trainee got away fourth in the field of six for driver Jonathan Drury. Mach Power posted an opening-quarter of :28.3, but was quickly passed in the second-quarter by Shocking Image. The new leader reached the half in :57.2 and led the field around the final turn, while War N Munn charged first up to pull to within a length of the lead at the three-quarter pole. Shocking Image reached the third marker in 1:25.3, but quickly surrendered the lead in the lane to War N Munn. The 2-5 favourite rocketed home in :26.1 for a 2 ¼ length victory. Shocking Image was second, while Mach Power finished third. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn now has five wins in nine starts this season. The sophomore pacing colt has signature victories this season in The Count B and Youthful Series finals. War N Munn now has seven career victories and earnings of $119,261 for owner George Munnuiksma. His mile of 1:52 knocked three-fifths of a second off his previous career mark. The Auciello trainee paid $2.80 to win. War N Munn In the second division, Gerries Sport got his own way in the middle-half and finished up strong for an impressive victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport, the even-money favourite, left from post-seven and touched down on the front just after passing the opening-quarter in :26.1. Flaherty, the 7-5 second-choice, got a two-hole trip behind the favourite. Gerries Sport went unchallenged in the middle-half and posted panels of :55.4 and 1:25.1. The soft middle-half was the turning point, as the public's choice left his rivals behind and charged home in :26.4 for a 3½ lengths victory in 1:52. Flaherty maintained his position to finish second, while Worthy Art was third. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport is trained by Richard Moreau for Gerrie Tucker. The three-year-old colt is now two for two to start 2016 after posting three wins in 12 starts as a rookie. Just like War N Munn in the first division, Gerries Sport lowered his lifetime mark by three-fifths of a second. The son of Mach Three now sports a career bankroll of $56,845. Gerries Sport paid $4.20 to win. Gerries Sport The first leg of The Diplomat did not fail, therefore the 10 horses that earned money Saturday night have landed spots in next Saturday's $57,600 final. In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Slick Chapel, a $30,000 bargain from New Zealand, will reappear after an absence of five and a half months at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he should prove one of the best bets on the ten-event harness racing program when he starts from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the Australian Visa Specialists Pace over 2130m. The Mach Three six-year-old, trained by Gary Hall sen., is a talented frontrunner and Clint Hall will be aiming for an all-the-way victory. “His fitness is a bit of a worry, but he’s working quite well and should prove hard to beat,” Hall sen. said. “He’ll roll along and whatever sits outside of him will have a bit of pain. He’s had a lot of leg problems, but he has none at the moment.” Injuries have restricted Slick Chapel to 29 starts in Western Australia in just less than four years --- for 12 wins, seven placings and stakes of $133,353, a good return for his $30,000 purchase price. Slick Chapel has not raced since he started from  the No. 8 barrier and was restrained to the rear before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst which carried him to victory over Change Stride at a 1.56.2 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park last November. Adding further interest to the race will be the return of American Ideal five-year-old Billies A Star, who will be driven for trainer Michael Brennan by Michael Grantham from the inside of the back line. Billies A Star, a winner of 11 races from only 25 starts, has not raced since finishing last behind Lovers Delight and Lennytheshark in an interdominion championship heat at Gloucester Park on December 4. He has not been produced in recent trials, but is capable of a bold showing from his favourable draw. Four-year-old Ima Connoisseur is well drawn at barrier two and he is sure to be prominent. He led from barrier four last week when a close second to stablemate Denny Crane over 2130m. He possesses sparkling gate speed, but it is doubtful whether he will be able to cross Slick Chapel. Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 April 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 April 2016

Leading harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. holds a strong hand in the $18,000 Westforce Pace for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he leans slightly in favour of Mach Time, who faces a stern test from the outside barrier in the field of eight over the 2130m journey. Hall’s other runners are Chok Chai (barrier one), Campora (two) and King Lebron (six). Clint Hall looks set to drive Mach Time, with Justin Prentice in the sulky behind Campora and Morgan Woodley driving King Lebron.      Standing firmly in the path of an easy Hall victory is the Gary Elson-trained star Ideal Tyson, who will start out wide at barrier seven. Ideal Tyson notched his tenth win from 19 starts when Nathan Turvey brought him from seventh at the bell with a powerful three-wide burst to hit the front 60m from home and hold on to beat the fast-finishing Alfs Odyssey. Ideal Tyson sprinted over the final 800m in 57.2sec. This was Ideal Tyson’s first appearance since he started from the No. 1 barrier and raced three back on the pegs before finishing powerfully, out wide, to be third behind Chicago Bull and Lets Chase The Dream in the WA Derby last Friday week. Mach Time, who raced wide early and then in the breeze before obtaining the one-out, one-back trail, was a fighting fifth. “Mach Time is the most efficient of the stable’s four runners on Friday night,” Hall sen. said. “I thought the son of Mach Three's run in the Derby was just a bit better than that of Ideal Tyson.”  Chok Chai, a gelding by Washington VC, is a most interesting runner. He made his debut at Pinjarra on Sunday afternoon when he led from barrier five and scored an effortless seven-length victory over The Tornado, rating 1.57.9 over 2185m in an R0 event. He rises considerably in class on Friday night. Campora, a winner in 1.56.2 over 1609m at Bunbury in January, has maintained his sound form and has sound claims from his favourable draw. King Lebron has won four races, including easy victories at his past two outings over 2100m at Bunbury on the past two Saturday nights. Scoobys Delight, a stablemate of Ideal Tyson, has won only once from 14 starts, but has been placed nine times. He worked hard when a good second to My Platinum Belle at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Lightning Jolt and Destined To Rule complete a strong field. Lightning Jolt notched his sixth when he finished boldly to score over 2185m at Pinjarra on Sunday and Destined To Rule also produced a strong finishing effort to win over 1780m at Northam on Thursday of last week. Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 April 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 April 2016

The Storm Inside’s reputation as a freak two-year-old was only heightened when the colt produced an outstanding win in the second Australian Pacing Gold semi-final at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s Smythes Creek stable claimed both semi-finals with Our Little General (Mach Three) and The Storm Inside (Rocknroll Hanover) , and it was the latter that again dropped jaws having been tested early before finding the lead and still having plenty in the tank to draw clear and win by 9.5m. “He’s showing start-by-start that he’s an improved horse,” driver Greg Sugars said in the wake of The Storm Inside’s win. “He’s the real deal. He’s a top horse and I’m looking forward to next week.” He’ll likely start a short-priced favourite after Saturday night’s outstanding showing. In the first semi-final, Our Little General, renowned for his sprint, was instead called on to produce a dogged run to win the first of the semi-finals. With heat on in the early going Our Little General was the third of four-wide to the first corner, eventually claiming the lead inside Jilliby Kung Fu. By the bell Geoff Webster’s fancied Wrappers Delight had cornered the field and sidled next to Our Little General in the breeze, and they cooled their heels from a 27.7 first quarter to a 29.3 second. Our Little General and Wrappers Delight gained separation at the final bend but the latter lost touch and $21 shot Three Of The Best was the best of the swoopers, almost pinching the race from Stewart’s short-priced favourite. Driver Chris Alford had Our Little General hold on to win from Three Of The Best by a half-head, with Wrappers Delight third and Weona Sizzler (fourth) and None Bettor (fifth) also qualifying for the final.  “He’s a good little horse and had to earn it tonight,” Alford said. “Being in front is not ideal for him. You never know when they get pressure how they will handle it. He is probably better with the sit. Hopefully next week we can get a draw and a bit of luck.” Our Little General won in a 1:55.4 mile, a time eclipsed by 0.8s in the second semi-final.  Alford, chasing a fourth win from as many races on the night, made The Storm Inside earn the lead by pushing Redbank Blaze along early before handing up to Greg Sugars when they entered the straight for the first time. Sugars settled in on The Storm Inside but was kept honest when Bettor Be Gold loomed into the breeze on the back straight. Any thought that the $1.20 favourite was under threat though was soon erased with Sugars again barely moving as The Storm Inside rattled down the final straight to win in 1:54.3. Redbank Blaze ran second from Atomic Red, Bettor Be Gold and fifth-placed San Domino, who all qualified for Friday night’s $322,000 final. by Michael Howard

Seventy six lots will be on offer at the Alabar Blue Ribbon Sale on Sunday April 24th and there promises to be a horse for every budget. Wrappers Delight has stamped himself as one of Australia’s best two year olds with two victories in as many starts to date including his last start win in a heat of the APG 2yo C&G Series. You will be able to purchase his mother, Charlotte Church, in foal to leading sire Mach Three at the sale. Another of the highlights will be Golden Showgirl 1:55.9 in foal to Art Major. The resultant foal will be a full sibling to the Group One winner Smooth Showgirl 1:52.3 - $210,149. Bruce Edward will be selling six lots including mares by Somebeachsomewhere, Rocknroll Hanover Art Major, Holmes Hanover and Badlands Hanover. Three of his mares will be sold with foals at foot. Jim Connolly will be selling three mares by the leading sires Pine Chip and Skyvalley. Included among these is a half sister to Australian Two and Three Year Old Trotter of the Year Kyvalley Road. Jack Munnerly has one entry and she is a half sister to the Group One winner Secret Desire and in foal to new season sire Heston Blue Chip. There will also be 20 weanlings on offer and these are by such stallions as Art Major, Mach Three, Shadow Play, ,Auckland Reactor Betterthancheddar as well as the first crop stallions Alta Christiano and Caribbean Blaster. This is a sale not to be missed. The sale will be held at Alabar Farm and begins at 1pm. The catalogue can be viewed online (http://bit.ly/1VhBLvg) or please contact us for a hard copy – (03) 5859 2201 or brett@alabar.com.au.  

A pair of Queensland harness racing rookies will venture to Melbourne this week chasing gold. Following their one/two result in the Australian Pacing Gold qualifier staged at Albion Park last Tuesday, both Three Of The Best and Maestro Bellini are due to fly south to contest the semi-finals this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. In the Brisbane qualifier, Three Of The Best overpowered Maestro Bellini in the latter stages in a slick time of 1:55.0 while covering the final half in 56.6 seconds. Three Of The Best is prepared by husband and wife combination of Scott Miller​ and ,Shannon Price no strangers to success in the garden state while Maestro Bellini belongs to the Chris Petroff stable. “We’re booked on a flight on Wednesday night at this stage and that will give us a few days to settle in before racing on Saturday night. We were always keen to go and after speaking with Chris, it made sense to book the flights and travel together.” Miller said. Three Of The Best, a $45,000 purchase from the Sydney sale last year was a beaten favourite on debut when 7th behind his stablemate Statement Made after making an early error before making amends last week. Handled by Adam Sanderson, Three Of The Best sat parked outside Maestro Bellini before outstaying him over the concluding stages that was having his first start back in Brisbane following his Bathurst Gold Crown campaign. The Mach Three – Snug Harbor (by Bettors Delight) gelding has thrived following his triumph and connections are optimistic about their chances. “We’re in with a chance and the fact we’re heading south and prepared to take on this series proves we think we have a show of getting some of the good prizemoney on offer. We’ve always rated this horse from the start and he continues to improve, anything can happen in juvenile racing. “It appears to be a fairly open series with the Victorian trained performers looking the most likely with the likes of Emma Stewart and Geoff Webster both having impressive types while it’s rare for Mark Purdon to not have one of the top ranking colts. “Our guy is going to be based with Alan Tubbs and as long as he handles everything, I think we’re in with a good chance. When you break down his winning effort last week, it was very impressive and he’s trained on a treat since.” Champion reinsman Gavin Lang has been booked to drive during the Melbourne campaign. The $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final is scheduled for April 22 Chris Barsby. 

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