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Bolwarra harness racing trainer-driver Geoff Dorn hopes Jodie Podie can pick up where her half-brother Sergei left off after winning on debut at Maitland on Monday. Jodie Podie (Mr Feelgood) showed strength late to win the opener, a three-year-old maiden over 1644 metres, as a $34 chance. The filly, which had trialled three times without winning, led from gate three and controlled the tempo before the Clayton Harmey-trained Alimonie headed her on the home bend. She fought back down the straight to win by a metre. "You don't know first-up," Dorn said of his expectations. "I knew she had a little bit of gate speed and once she found the front, she was always going to be hard to beat." Jodie Podie is out of the same mare, Jane Of Eden, as Sergei, which won four of 10 starts for Dorn, including his past three. The most recent victory was a Country series heat at Newcastle last October. The most impressive winner on the program was the Chris Bourke-trained Que Sera (Auckland Reactor), which came three wide down the back straight and burst clear to win race eight (1646m) by 12 metres in 1:56:8. Robert and KerryAnn Morris had a winning double with Gotta Be Downtown and Bettor To Be Tricky. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

Maitland harness racing trainer Melanie Elder admits she has more than a soft spot for stable favourite Ashark. When the four-year-old gelding takes his place in the Inter City Pace heats on Saturday, Elder will be anxiously watching on as not as trainer but owner. “It’s great to to have my first horse in the Inter City as a trainer but it’s even more special as I bred him myself,” she said. “Pagan Love, his mother was a very consistent horse around Newcastle and she was given to me when I was about 14. “She was my first horse that really dragged me into the sport. The first horse I ever really drove so that’s his mother. “He is very spoiled.” Elder is hoping Ashark will finally break the family’s drought in Maitland’s most prestigious race. “Dad has had a few over the years but we’ve never had won win the final. “We even had Shannonsablast in the final one year and he ran fourth or fifth. That was early days in his careers.” Elder said not being caught up in the preparations for the race last year made her realise how big it was for Maitland. “Last year we didn’t have any in it but all my friends were there and so many people that never really make it to the races, it would be really good to win it,” she said. Harness racing is an Elder family affair with Melanie’s father Darren a well-established and successful trainer and brother Brad a leading driver. Brad will be in charge of Ashark in heat four (race seven). He he has been drawn second out on the front row. Darren has two horses in Saturday’s Inter City Pace heats –  Dawn Magic in heat two (race four) and Justajolt in heat three (race six). Melanie’s uncle Michael has Ashki in the first heat (race three). Elder said she was incredibly happy with her decision to take up training. “I just marked 12 months a couple of weeks ago and upgraded to my A-grade licence,” she said.  “It was a good experience, I started off in America last June and really knuckled down and learned a lot which I brought back over here. “I thought I might as well give it a go myself. I had Ashark there so why not?  “This is what makes me happy. “I love what I’m doing. It’s a great work-life balance,” she said. Elder said that win, lose or draw Ashark would always give his his best. “I definitely see him being a Menangle horse in the future. He always tries his hardest,” she said. Ashtar has already delivered Elder her first win at Menangle “He won the heat at Newcatle and then the final down at Menangle,” she said. “He has had the opportunity in many races, he just hasn’t broke through consistently yet. “He is at that mark now where he is there, he is fit and ready to go.” A quality field including several Sydney and regional NSW raiders has been assembled for the four heats of the Inter City Pace at Maitland Showground on Saturday night. Racing starts at 6.10pm with the Inter City heats are races three, four, six and seven of the 10-race meeting. The Inter City Pace final is on Saturday, December 29. Michael Hartshorn Reprinted with permission of The Maitland Mercury

Brad Hewitt and Our Triple Play have joined the $30,600 Inter City Pace’s illustrious honour-roll with a harness racing victory on the post in a thrilling final at Maitland on Saturday night. Hewitt needed another track record-breaking effort by his four-year-old gelding to beat his uncle Bernie Hewitt and Royal Story on the line. A photo finish was needed to separate the two runners with Mark Jones’ Delightful Memphis third. Both Hewitt’s praised Our Triple Play’s incredible guts and staying power to get the win after being caught one-out for the majority of the race. As predicted the pace was on from the start and the three favourites emerged to take advantage. James Rando’s The Times A Changing and Quick Income finished fourth and fifth respectively. Ellalong trainer Michael Formosa’s Mondooley Heaven was seventh, while Cessnock trainer Clayton Harmey’s two starters Apollo Thirteen and Jimmy The Editor took out eighth and 10 places respectively.  Michael Hartshorn Reprinted with permission of The Maitland Mercury    

East Maitland thoroughbred training track Fairhall Park could be the future home of Hunter harness racing if Newcastle International Paceway is lost to the sport. The Herald understands Fairhall Park, on Raymond Terrace Rd, East Maitland, is a location harness racing authorities are looking at as a potential new headquarters for the code in the region.  The Herald reported on Friday that Wests Group had guaranteed to contribute at least $10 million towards a potential $20 million rugby league centre of excellence to be built on the Broadmeadow paceway site. The proposal has caused concern among pacing participants, who have enjoyed the top-class track and facilities at Broadmeadow since 1989. The multi-million dollar paceway is built on crown land, which Newcastle Harness Racing Club has a lease on until 2027.  Harness Racing NSW chief John Dumesny said on Monday that his organisation “will be doing everything we can to protect and grow harness racing in the area”. “Harness racing in the Hunter is an integral part of the whole network in NSW,” Dumesny said. He said the industry “wouldn’t be walking away from a property where we have a lengthy lease on” and the preferred area for the Hunter’s premier track was “right at the moment, it’s where it is, at Broadmeadow”. The Herald has reported the state government would build a new track for harness racing in or near Maitland if the Newcastle International Paceway was used for rugby league. The situation opens the door for HRNSW to add the Hunter to its list of industry-owned, redeveloped sites integrating training centres and racing tracks. “Harness racing’s focus in the Hunter is drawn quite easily from our strategies around NSW,” Dumesny said. The City of Maitland Society Of Aeromodellers set-up at Don Macindoe Memorial Flying Field in Fairhall Park. “We have a track and training centre at Menangle, we have a track and soon-to-be training centre at Bathurst. We’ve got land and are about to commence construction of a track and training centre at Wagga, and likewise in Tamworth, where we’ve purchased the showground, where a training centre can be quite easily be added.” Dumesny said there were no desire to move away from training centres at Cessnock and Maitland showgrounds. However, he said a redevelopment project similar to Tamworth at Maitland Showground was not feasible. “Maitland is a privately-owned property and very small, so we would not be building a new track on Maitland Showground,” he said. “The GBOTA have a lease of the track and we’re not in any mind to interfere with the greyhound industry at all. “Tamworth was a bigger property and we were able to buy it outright, it’s not flood affected and a totally different option altogether.” Cessnock City Council is also keen to provide a site for a potential new pacing headquarters. Councillors last week supported a motion to write to the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot Macdonald, and the Newcastle Harness Racing Club to set up a meeting to discuss plans. Dumesny would not comment on other potential sites, saying “we’re not at that place now”. “There’s no need to look at anything until we need to. We are nicely situated at Newcastle,” he said. Fairhall Park is a Maitland City Council-maintained crown land leased by the City of Maitland Society of Aeromodellers (COMSOA). Thoroughbred trainers, like Darryl Roberts, then sub-lease for use of the track. COMSOA secretary Jason Russ said his group had been on the 100-acre site for more than 20 years and had a five-year lease. Russ said the land was flood-prone and their clubhouse had been hit by water “five-feet” high in the past. Craig Kerry   Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

When My Chachingchaching and Kept Under Wraps last clashed they had different harness racing trainers and drivers, were racing in another country and competed right handed. The pair is set to meet again in Saturday night's Maitland Inter City Pace after squaring off in last season's Northern Derby at Alexandra Park when they finished down the track behind Have Faith In Me. My Chachingchaching was purchased by new owners and sent to the stables of Hunter Valley trainer Shane Tritton, however not everything has gone smoothly since the talented pacer arrived across the Tasman. "Ideally we would have had him ready for the Breeders Crown last season but we had a few setbacks when he first arrived so it has taken a bit longer than we would have hoped to have him ready," Tritton said. "My Chachingchaching is not the typical New Zealander we have targeted in the past, normally we identify speed horses and look to strengthen them up here in Australia but this bloke is very tough and has a lot of bottom." The son of Mach Three was impressive in his heat win last Sunday and Tritton believes he should hold the front from the good draw. "It is very hard to cross horses from out wide at Maitland and while I wouldn't be surprised to see Kept Under Wraps fire out from wide to try and cross, I can't see him crossing. "If My Chachingchaching holds the front then his strength is going to take him a long way, the distance of the race is right up his alley." Tritton confirmed My Chachingchaching will be set for the qualifiers of the Chariots of Fire after Saturday night. "I wouldn't expect the horse to need another run after this weekend but I'll just monitor his condition and if he needs another one then I'll throw him in somewhere. "I'd love to win the Inter City Pace because I think this will be my eighth or ninth runner and I'm still looking for my first win in the race." Ardghal started at $1.04 two years ago for Tritton and was beaten in one of the race's biggest upsets. "It is a hard race to win but it is a race I would really like to have success in, it has been around for a long time and it is a race that locals love winning." Tritton is not the only 'local' attempting to win the event with fellow Hunter Valley resident Markus Kirkwood attempting to win it also as the part owner of the Belinda McCarthy trained Kept Under Wraps. Formerly trained by Mark Purdon, the four-year-old is unbeaten since joining the McCarthy stable and Kirkwood is hoping to follow a family tradition by winning the race. "My cousin Grahame won the race in 1974 with Blue Mineral and my father went close as an owner in the late 60's with a horse called Maitland's Elect," Kirkwood said. "I would certainly like to win the Inter City Pace because of the family connection and the fact the race has a rich history and is held in high regard by all local participants." Kept Under Wraps won last season's NSW Breeders Challenge at Tabcorp Park Menangle when prepared by Purdon and the next logical step for the talented four-year-old is another clash with My Chachingchaching in the lead up races of the Chariots of Fire. For the record when the pair met in the Northern Derby - Kept Under Wraps finished ninth, one metre ahead of the tenth placed My Chachingchaching and according to the market for the Inter City Pace they look set to finish side by side again. Greg Hayes

Hunter Valley harness racing horseman Shannon Lindsay has grown up around horses and has always dreamed of having success in one of the region’s biggest events, the Maitland’s Inter City Pace.  Lindsay did drive a horse called Short Changed in the 1996 Inter City Pace final but finished down the track and while he has waited nearly 20 years for another chance he is hoping two horses he trains can make the final. “Growing up in Cessnock, the Inter City Pace at Maitland was always a race I hoped to have success in one day and while it has been a long time since I drove in a final hopefully I get another chance this time around,” Lindsay said. “My family has an association with the race because my mum became the first female driver to win a heat of the Inter City Pace in 1978 and I still have the photo of me sitting in Mum’s lap after the win.” Lindsay’s two runners, Apollo Thirteen and Generals Daughter will compete in heats one and two respectively and importantly both have drawn the front row around the tight circuit. “Apollo Thirteen has been racing really well since arriving from Victoria, he hasn’t missed a place in his six starts and importantly he has raced at Maitland and handled the track well. “He has drawn barrier one and I haven’t had to ask him to charge out of the gate yet but looking at some of his races in Victoria he does have speed so I’ll definitely be looking to use the gate.” Generals Daughter was formerly trained in the Riverina but has been racing well for Lindsay since August. “I’m really happy with how she is going, I got a call from Michael Freeman her owner and he asked if I would be interested in taking some horses for him. I’ve never actually met him but I would like to see Generals Daughter qualify for the Inter City Pace for him. “She does have tremendous gate speed and I’m not right up with the Sydney form but I’m going to try and cross the horses drawn inside me despite drawing six, I know it is a big ask with only a small run to the first corner at Maitland but that is my plan at this stage.” It has been a big year for Lindsay as he decided to try his hand as a fulltime trainer. “Dad always told me that I had to get an apprenticeship so I’m a qualified mechanic, although I have spent the last 17 years as a Freight Manager but decided this year to try and make it as a fulltime trainer. “My wife and I bought a 20-acre property and I’ve been able to find some supportive owners and horses to train so to win a race like the Inter City Pace would definitely give me a good kick. “My wife is working two jobs to help pay the mortgage and I’ve got Jordan Whiting giving me a hand so it really is a team effort but I’ve been really happy with how everything has been going so far.” Greg Hayes

Harness Racing New South Wales extends its deepest condolences to the family of Maureen Mordue after the much loved Maitland committeeperson passed away on Friday morning aged 71. Maureen is survived by husband Bill and will be missed by many people within the harness racing industry, especially those in the Hunter Valley region. While working tirelessly on the Maitland committee for 17 years, Maureen also spent countless hours helping with the mini trots and was a life member of Newcastle/Maitland Mini Trotting Club. Maitland Harness Racing Club President Peter Allen was shocked by Maureen's passing. "Maureen was a lovely lady who worked hard for the club and will be sorely missed, she had a number of friends within the industry and always did everything with a smile" Mr Allen said. "It will be a very sad occasion at Saturday's meeting and as a sign of respect for Maureen there will be a minute silence in her memory." Maureen's funeral will be held at Beresfield Crematorium on Wednesday November 11 at 10am. Afterwards family and friends are invited to the Beresfield Bowling Club to celebrate her special life. Greg Hayes                                

Maitland’s harness racing meeting set down Saturday has been rescheduled until Sunday due to the inclement weather and state of the track.  As a result the meeting will now be seen on Sky 2. Here are the new times Race 1                   5:00pm Race 2                   5:35pm Race 3                   6:05pm Race 4                   6:30pm Race 5                   6:57pm Race 6                   7:27pm Race 7                   8:00pm Race 8                   8:32pm Greg Hayes Related Links Fields for Maitland, Sunday 05 April 2015 Form guide for Maitland, Sunday 05 April 2015

The proprietor of the Lochend harness racing stud at Maitland in New South Wales Paul Carmody is in shock today at the sudden demise of his flagship stallion Aces N Sevens 1:48.8 ($888,934). The 17 year old stallion was found dead today by Paul Carmody when being checked early this morning. The son of Cams Card Shark had established himself as one of the better stallions in Australia and his loss will be keenly felt at Lochend Stud. "Aces N Sevens had never been in better order in his time at the stud and that made his sudden death all the harder to take” said Mr Carmody when speaking to Harnesslink this afternoon. “It appears Aces N Sevens had had a massive heart attack during the night and had died where he had fallen” he said. Aces N Seven has stood at stud in Australia since the 2002/2003 breeding season. For the first five years at stud Aces N Sevens shuttled back to North America but has been based in Australia full time since 2008. His North American stock have done an outstanding job to date with 170 winners of $10,927,896 in stakes. Not only have 28 of those winners won over $100,000 but 38 having taken a sub 1:55 record as well. Aces N Sevens has compiled an even better record in Australia having sired 284 winners of $12,033,631 in stakes to date. His flag bearer in Australia has been the brilliant Excel Stride 1:50.3 ($769,464) while others such as Drumfire 1:49 ($546,945)  Ananz 1:53.8 ($527,844)  Lettucerocku 1:52.6 ($343,854) and Lady Lexus 1:52.3 ($316,518) have all played their part in Aces N Sevens success. Aces N Seven has won the coveted New South Wales Stallion Of The Year award on no less than four occasions to date. While heading into the latter part of his stud career, Aces N Seven had served 59 and 66 mares in the last two seasons and early interest suggested a similar number this season. Aces N Sevens has had  21 $100,000 earners and 16 in 1:55 in Australia which are great numbers down under. Everyone knows how difficult it is for stallions to become established as a sire and to lose one like Aces N Sevens when he still had so much to offer must make his sudden death so much harder for Paul Carmody to deal with at the moment. Harnesslink media    

Mark Colin Packaging and will bring up ten years of continuous sponsorship of the Newcastle Derby this Saturday night. They have supported harness racing in the region for some time having sponsored the Inter City pace at Maitland for a number of years. Owner Barrie Sponberg, who passed away several years ago, had a strong link with harness racing particularly in the Hunter Valley area. John Downing was instrumental in initially getting Mark Colin packaging as sponsors of the inter City Pace and then sowing the seed for the Newcastle Derby sponsorship. Barrie had purchased horses off John and his wife Helen and they became close friends. The Hunter based Carmody family were also good friends with Barrie and they bred a number of horses that Barrie or his family raced. Barrie raced a number of good horses over the years including Star of Darkness who won 15 of 30 races including a NSW sires stakes 2YO fillies final at Harold Park in 1992. Negi Negi was another good horse. The ill fated pacer Howard Ino who won the first Newcastle Derby sponsored by Mark Colin packaging in 2004 defeating the mighty Karloo Mick was owned by Barrie's partner Janet and two of his daughters Anita and Lisa, Mary Rando was also part owner, and her husband Joe Rando trained many horses for Barrie. The club runs the Barrie Sponberg Memorial for the two year old division on Derby night each year. The Mark Colin Packaging Newcastle Derby is the feature 3YO event at Newcastle and is worth $20,000. Each year the company brings over 100 guests to the paceway for the night and they have booked into the Apollo International Hotel and are sure to make a big weekend of it. The first race on Saturday night will jump at 5.12pm Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW                     Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: nogrady@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au               Warning to recipients:   This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.          

The Newcastle Harness Racing club has been working with the Hunter Academy of Sport for a number of weeks and are pleased to announce the launch of the first Harness Racing Academy development programme. The Hunter Academy of Sport was formed after an initial meeting on the 21st of January, 1987, between a panel of government, university, councils, community, science and sporting representatives and since its launch in 1988 the Hunter Academy of Sport has successfully developed various aspects of regional sport. They are renowned for its innovative sports programme which covers a wide range of athletes and sports. Today the Hunter Academy of Sport is the largest regional Academy in Australia with some 600 talented young sports people from the region now participating in approximately 30 different talent development programs. They have access to some of the highest profile sports administrators in the land to run their programmes. They have offered to run a fully encompassing development programme for our promising junior harness racing participants. The programme will include items such as, strength and fitness, injury treatment, ethics in sport, nutrition, public speaking, finance, law/rules, dealing with the media, sports psychology and personal development. The programme will commence on the 22nd February. Newcastle CEO Ross Gigg said "To have the Hunter Academy of Sport offer to run this programme for our sport is fantastic. The development programme will not only help our young men and women in harness racing but in their everyday life as well. We are very excited to be able to offer this programme to our first invitees all of who have just started or are about to start their careers in the seniors harness racing ranks" The inaugural inductees are. Daniel Morgan - 17 years from Maitland. Mitchell Frost -17 years from Elermore Vale. Brad Elder - 15 years from Maitland. Mitchell Chapple -16 years from Maitland Jackson McDonald -16 years from Fullerton Cove. Maddie Bond -15 years from Maitland. Aleisha Bond -14 years from Maitland. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |      

Harness Racing NSW today conducted the following inquiries; Mr C MERCIECA - LITTLE GOZZO Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that the presence of the prohibited substance hydrocortisone hemisuccinate was detected in a post race urine sample taken from LITTLE GOZZO following its win in race 5, the Horsepower Pace conducted at Maitland on Sunday, 10 November 2013. Trainer Mr Charles Mercieca pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Rule 196A (1)(i) in that as the trainer of LITTLE GOZZO he did administer that horse the product Solu-Cortef on the night prior to the race, which resulted in the prohibited substance hydrocortisone hemisuccinate being detected in the post race urine sample taken at Maitland on Sunday 10 November 2013. Further Mr Mercieca pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4) in that as the trainer of LITTLE GOZZO he did present that horse to race at Maitland on Sunday 10 November 2013 not free of a prohibited substance. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195 LITTLE GOZZO was disqualified as the winner of race 5, the Horsepower Pace conducted at Maitland on Sunday, 10 November 2013. Mr Mercieca was disqualified for 10 months effective immediately. In considering penalty Stewards took into the following factors; Mr Mercieca previous unblemished recordThat he did administer a prohibited substance to LITTLE GOZZO within 24 hours of the race The nature of the substanceThe hardship effects of the penalty Mr A BUCCA - DON BOSTON Stewards today opened an inquiry into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that the presence of the prohibited substance furosemide was detected in a post race urine sample taken from DON BOSTON following its win in race 1, the LEXUS IS 300H Pace conducted at Penrith on Thursday, 14 November 2013. Trainer Mr Anthony Bucca was granted an adjournment until 10am, Wednesday 5 February 2014, to seek expert advice and evidence. Harness Racing NSW    

The combination of Ian Wilson and Jim Douglass enjoy competing at the Carnival Of Cups around New South Wales and will again be hitting the road this Friday for Temora's feature meeting. Stable star Scandalman will be aiming to emulate Rockets Reject by winning the Temora Cup and Douglass is looking forward to the challenge. "We are going to have Scandalman and Rockets Reject in the Temora Cup, Rockets Reject won it in 2010 as a very short priced favourite and hopefully they both can go well in the race this year," Douglass said. "Scandalman is getting back to his best on the back of some recent hard racing, to be honest I think his best run this preparation was at Bathurst last start in the Shirley Turnbull Memorial when he beaten but if you have a look at the times on the night and take into account that he didn't stop working you have to be impressed." Douglass confirmed Scandalman could be aimed at some rich Victorian features should he perform as expected on Friday night. "Scandalman has qualified from the stand and if he continues to keep getting better then Ian (Wilson) is tossing up whether to go to the Shepparton Cup and maybe even the Hunter Cup but a lot will depend on how he races this week." While the prize money is an attraction at the Carnival Of Cup meetings, Douglass admits the atmosphere at the bush meetings is also a major factor behind the stable targeting the series. "It is a real buzz to drive at the Carnival Of Cup meetings because there is always a big crowd and on the smaller tracks the crowd seems so much closer to you." "Ian and I were actually disappointed we didn't have a horse for the Inter City Pace meeting at Maitland, Scandalman won it last year and nights like those are very special to be a part of." Temora's Carnival Of Cup meeting will be broadcast on Sky Racing 1 this Friday night. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |    

07 January 2014   Harness Racing NSW has received three reports from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that prohibited substances have been detected from the following horses at the respective meetings.   LITTLE GOZZO – Maitland 10 November 2013   ARFL has reported the presence of the prohibited substance hydrocortisone hemisuccinate in a post race sample taken from LITTLE GOZZO following its win in race 5, the Horsepower Pace conducted at Maitland on Sunday, 10 November 2013. Trainer Mr Charles Mercieca has been advised of these findings. An inquiry will be conducted on Friday 10 January 2014 commencing at 11am. Acting under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 183 (A), LITTLE GOZZO has been stood down until further notice.   DON BOSTON – Penrith 14 November 2013   ARFL has reported the presence of the prohibited substance furosemide in a post race sample taken from DON BOSTON following its win in race 1, the LEXUS IS 300H Pace conducted at Penrith on Thursday, 14 November 2013. Trainer Mr Anthony Bucca has been advised of these findings. An inquiry will be conducted on Friday 10 January 2014 commencing at 1.30pm. Acting under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 183 (A), DON BOSTON has been stood down until further notice.   APACHE – Penrith 3 October 2013   ARFL has reported the presence of the prohibited substance procaine in a post race sample taken from APACHE following its win in race 3, the D&M Concrete Competitive Stakes conducted at Penrith on Thursday, 3 October 2013. Trainer Mr Joseph Tanti has been advised of these findings. An inquiry will be conducted on Wednesday 15 January 2014 commencing at 11am. Acting under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 183 (A), APACHE has been stood down until further notice Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW

The Flying K series kicks off at Tabcorp Park Menangle today and Bathurst trainer Peter Trevor-Jones admits he is unsure what to expect from his talented pacer Beetson. The son of Art Major has not raced since November but has been ticking along nicely at home and after missing the Inter City Pace series, Trevor-Jones decided to try something new and contest the Flying K. "He was pulling a bit in his races so I thought it might be time to give him a little break and try and sort him out but as a result we missed the Inter City Pace at Maitland which is a bit of a shame because he raced so well in it last year behind Scandalman," Trevor-Jones said. "I have never had a runner in the Flying K series but I watch most of the racing at home and while I am not too sure how he will handle it, I do like the concept that if you win the heat and final you effectively only lose one country penalty and have competed in a series worth $15,000." Trevor-Jones would have trialled Beetson at Bathurst but due to racing commitments in the past fortnight he has been unable to do so. "I wanted to trial him and they trial at Bathurst on Mondays but I have been at Goulburn and Parkes the past couple of Mondays racing so he will go into today's race nice and fresh." "He's a strong stayer at his best and I'm not sure how the trip will suit him but I watched the series last year and there didn't seem to be a pattern where horses were leading all the way or where all the winners were coming from last. I think it is like most races, even though it is only 1000 metres it is tempo related." Beetson is the only runner Trevor-Jones has in at the meeting on Tuesday. "I don't mind making the trip to Sydney with just the one horse, you have to go where you think you will be competitive and the racing here in Bathurst has really strengthened with all of the ex-kiwis racing here now." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |                  

Hunter Valley trainer Aaron Garaty will have two chances in Saturday's Maitland Inter City Pace after qualifying Hit For Six and My Aliyana in Sunday's heats. Hit For Six was first up from a three month break but proved too strong in his heat while My Aliyana chased home former kiwi Ardghal finishing third. "It is going to be a big ask for Hit For Six in the final because he will be forced to run two mile and a half races in the space of a week at his first two runs back from a spell but I am just happy to have two runners in the final," Garaty said. "My Aliyana is probably the better chance of my two, she has been racing very consistently recently, I think she has won five of her last thirteen starts." Mitchell Frost drove both of Garaty's runners in the heats but looks set to drive My Aliyana in the final. "I'm pretty sure Mitchell will be driving My Aliyana but I haven't had a chance to speak with all of the owners in Hit For Six so at this stage I'm unsure who will be driving him." "Unfortunately I am suspended from driving at the moment but I'm going to be cheering loudly for both of them on Saturday night." Garaty only has twelve horses in work so to get two horses into the Inter City Pace is a tremendous effort. "I have been having a pretty good run recently, I got a treble last week and things before that have been going really well, I've got some nice horses and great owners too." "I've had a bit of luck with horses from the Wagga area, we got Hit For Six from down there, I know Andrew and Tim Doherty and they have been putting me onto a couple of horses that look suited to racing here in the Hunter." Maitland's Inter City Pace meeting is part of the successful HRNSW TAB Carnival Of Cups circuit. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Dale Walker    

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