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Dovuto Hanover rallied in the final strides to score a tight victory in Saturday night's featured Preferred pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Dovuto Hanover (Dragon Again-Daughteroffortune), the 4-5 favorite in a field of six following wins in two of his last three races at the Meadowlands, left from post position #5 in a field of six and sat fifth in the early going while Sparky Mark set the pace. Driver Tyler Buter set the 4-year-old gelding from the Darran Cassar barn in motion on the back stretch to follow the cover of Blatantly Good. In the stretch, Dovuto Hanover slid out three-wide for a clear shot at the game Sparky Mark and, with a burst of speed at the very end, managed to get up for a victory by a nose in 1:50:4. Sparky Mark had to settle for second while Blatantly Good picked up the show. Dovuto Hanover, owned by Martin Scharf, won for the fourth time in nine races this season. The victory was the 10th of his career and pushed his lifetime earnings to $280,010. In other action at Pocono on Saturday night, the Bobby Weiss series continued with three $15,000 divisions of the third leg for three and four-year-old colts, stallions, and geldings on the pace. The winners were: Getitoffyourchest (Tell All-Jolie Hanover), driven by Mike Simons and trained by Richard Lewis, in 1:52; City Hall (Metropolitan-Halle Hall), driven by Simon Allard and trained by Rene Allard, in 1:51:4; and Somewherewithyou (Somebeachsomewhere-Della Ware), also driven by Simon Allard and trained by Rene Alllard, in 1:52. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Due to the unprecedented rain which has been encountered during the total resurfacing of the track at Tabcorp Park Menangle the meeting set for tomorrow night has been transferred to the Newcastle International Paceway. The decision taken by the NSWHRC was made in the overall interest of all participants. “This was a difficult decision for the Club however the circumstances of the weather were beyond our control” said Chief Executive John Dumesny. “The easy decision was to simply abandon the meeting” “We acknowledge participants will be inconvenienced by this transfer and humbly apologise .” “Part of the decision was based on the fact that there had been no metropolitan prizemoney on offer last week and there was $148,000 in prizemoney to be distributed for this meeting” “After the weather turned nasty last night and continued this morning the transfer was acted upon early to assist participants with their own personal decisions.” “Our contractors could not guarantee they would finish the track works without 24 daylight hours unless we would guarantee perfect conditions.” “That was beyond the realms of possibility taking into consideration the forecast weather over the next few days. The Club due to the weather forecast for the weekend has also made the decision to transfer the Monday and Tuesday race meetings to Penrith. For further information contact Chief Executive John Dumesny on 02 4645 2200.

The new Breeders’ Bonus scheme that commenced on 17 January this year is proving to be a real winner amongst breeders who have won a race at Addington. With six New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) race meetings being held over January, February and March and 56 races eligible for the bonus of $500, 34 bonuses have been paid out at a total of $17,000. This equates to a high 60% pay out on the qualifying races. Kiely Buttell, Executive Manager of the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders’ Association commented that “32 new members have joined the Association since January and we can put that down to the new bonus scheme. At only $89.95 for an annual subscription and the chance to earn $500 each time your horse wins, many breeders have taken advantage of the opportunity. Both The Met and the NZSBA have received excellent feedback and jointly we are delighted to reward members’ efforts in breeding winning racehorses.” The scheme is open to any member of the NZSBA who breeds the winner of a totalisator race held at an NZMTC meeting at Addington Raceway, subject to conditions. They will be eligible for a $500 bonus payment. Full terms and conditions are available at www.addington.co.nz or www.harnessracing.co.nz Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Executive Manager                

With the announcement last week by the Premier the Hon. Dr. Dennis Napthine that the Victorian Government have extended further funding support to the VICBRED Platinum program, details are now finalised with regard to the inaugural running of the VICBRED Platinum Home Grown Classic 2YO Series. The additional series has been designed in consultation with Harness Breeders Victoria and the Victorian State Government and will specifically support Victorian bred and branded 2YO & 3YO horses who are yet to win stakes above a prescribed total stakes threshold of $6,000 at acceptance time for the heats (excluding VICBRED First Win Bonuses). Stakes for the races will be spread more broadly with winners taking 50% of the total stake and the balance shared down to last, ensuring that stakes are shared at the grass roots. The inaugural VICBRED Platinum Home Grown Classic 2YO Series, to be conducted in May, will comprise of divisions for colts & geldings and fillies, and will be run for both pacers and trotters. Due to the requirement to conduct this new series within the current financial year and an already congested feature race schedule, the Tatlow series will be relocated and be run later in the season at a time yet to be confirmed. Each division of the new series will comprise of $10,325 Heats into $50,000 Finals. The schedule for the inaugural series will be as follows: Thursday 8 May (Bendigo) - 2YO Pacing Colts & Geldings Heats ($10,325) Thursday 15 May (Geelong @ Tabcorp Park) - 2YO Pacing Fillies Heats ($10,325) Friday 16 May (Tabcorp Park) - 2YO Pacing Colts & Geldings Final ($50,000) Wednesday 21 May (Maryborough) - 2YO Trotting Colts & Geldings and 2YO Trotting Fillies Heats ($10,325) Friday 23 May (Tabcorp Park) - 2YO Pacing Fillies Final ($50,000) Friday 30 May (Tabcorp Park) - 2YO Trotting Colts & Geldings Final ($50,000) and 2YO Trotting Fillies Final ($50,000) To compete horses will need to be VICBRED Platinum eligible (VICBRED and Branded in Victoria) and must not have won more than $6,000 in total stakes at acceptance time for the heats. The inclusion of this new 2YO series and a similar 3YO series in September will see an additional $750,000 allocated to the VICBRED Platinum Program over the next 2 years. This is over and above the already successful VICBRED Platinum Country Series, Mares Sprint Championship Series and Metropolitan races. By Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria)

 The 2014 Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd at 11am on Sunday at the Bathurst Showground. The sale comprises 186 lots by 50 different sires including Australia’s champion sire Art Major, leading juvenile sire Courage Under Fire, former USA Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven and premier North American sire Rocknroll Hanover, along with leading first-crop stallions Sportswriter, Shadow Play, Always A Virgin, Changeover and Million Dollar Cam. Other well known stallions include American Ideal, Grinfromeartoear, McArdle, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Elsu, Four Starzzz Shark, Artistic Fella, Modern Art, Village Jasper, Tinted Cloud and Aces N Sevens. The catalogue includes yearlings out of Group winners including the Edgar Tatlow winners Katasopos and Lady Titian Lombo, the WA Oaks winner Onassis Legacy and Modern Day (QSBA Breeders Classic). Other Group heat or metropolitan winners include Jillette, Unspoiled, Ezy Lady, Ambre Solaire, Lite Energy, Nietta Lombo, Spirit Of Tara, Madusa Cam, Lombo Silhouette, Lockton Loaded, Love Nest, Touch Of Jerry and Dana Bromac. The majority of the yearlings are eligible for the $1.17-million NSW Breeders Challenge Race series for two, three and four-year-olds of both sexes. They are also eligible for rich futurity series such as the Australasian Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, Vicbred and QBred. The online catalogue for the Bathurst sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on (02) 6884 8355 or email gboard@dcco.com.au or the Bathurst Harness Racing Club on (02) 6333 5000. by Peter Wharton for Bathurst Gold Crown Sale

LIGHTLY raced three-year-old pacer Metro Digby will progress to the Tasmanian Derby following his narrow but impressive win in the $10,000 Tastech Building Services Sires Produce Stakes final over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last Sunday night. Metro Digby (Metropolitan-Jolopez) was sent out an odds-on favourite ($1.50) to win the feature and while he held out runner-up Rusty red Comet with ease in the end the gelding gave his backers some cause for concern over the final 200 metres. "He just switched off about 200 metres out and I really had to get into him to get him back concentrating," said trainer-driver Paul Williams. "He is a very good horse but he still has a few too tricks," he said. Metro Digby went into the race with a reasonably good record of two wins and three minor placings from seven starts but Williams admitted this latest effort was his best result despite the gelding doing a few things wrong. Listen to what trainer Paul Williams had to say about Metro Digby's Sires Produce win. Peter Staples

Nominations closed today with the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club for the running of the 2014 Muscara Standardbreds New Zealand Derby at Addington on Friday 11 April. At the time of closing at 3.00pm this afternoon, 27 three year old pacers had been nominated for the prestigious event that this year carries a total stake of $175,000 an increase of $25,000 from 2013. Notable nominations included Woodlands Stud Northern Derby victor Tiger Tara and the next three home in that race Locharburn, Maxim and Sky Major. 10 nominations came from leading Canterbury trainers Mark Purdon, Natalie Rasmussen and Robert Dunn with six from the Purdon / Rasmussen partnership and four from the Dunn stable. Addington’s Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt was happy the number of nominations. “It is very pleasing to receive such a high level of nominations for this time honoured event. Our three year old crop this year is of high quality and we’ll be looking forward to hopefully carding a full field on 11 April.” Any horse not nominated, may upon making the late entry fee of $2,000 plus GST per horse become eligible. This fee is due no later than 1pm NZ time on Monday 7 April. A full list of nominations can be viewed at www.hrnz.co.nz A fixed odds book on the nominations will be released by Stephen Richardson and his team at the TAB this Friday afternoon.    Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington

Addington’s Met Multiplier has proven extremely popular since its inception some 20 months ago. Twenty-five pacers or trotters have now earned the Met Multiplier bonus with $7,500 paid out to each qualifying horse’s owners and trainers. The “Met Multiplier Honour Roll” shows harness horses right across the classes in both pacing and trotting gaits from a diversity of stables. Current total pay-out is at $187,500 for the new initiative. The scheme is designed to encourage trainers to support the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) with a lucrative incentive for the connections. To earn a Met Multiplier a horse has to start at a (NZMTC) meeting a minimum of 15 times over a 12 month rolling period and be placed 1st or dead heat for 1st in one of those qualifying starts. So that means that your horse has 12 months to have the 15 starts and gain one win from when it first starts at a NZMTC meeting. E.g. A horse that has its first start at Addington on  14 March 2014 must have a minimum of 15 starts at NZMTC meetings and be placed first in one of those starts by 13 March 2015. Horses that have had more than 15 starts and are yet to win can still qualify as long as they win a race within their 12 month period and at the same time satisfy the 15-start criteria within that time period. Addington’s Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt said “that the initiative has proved to be a winning formula for the club, owners and trainers. We have seen an increase in horse numbers and our starter numbers are tracking above the national average which is a positive result. It is intended to keep the scheme going especially as many owners and trainers are taking advantage of it and there are several horses very close to earning a cheque for their connections.” Full details and conditions of The Met Multiplier Reward can be found under the Racing - Promotions and Incentives section at www.addington.co.nz or contact Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley at the Addington Racing Department on (03) 338 9094.  Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington  

For the first time since April 4, 2009 (other than Meadowlands Pace or Hambletonian Day cards), when a near seven-figure Pick 6 pool spurned a massive night, total handle at The Meadowlands eclipsed $4 Million on Saturday night. The total handle on the night was $4,106,609 which was a 14-percent increase over the same program in 2013. This was the third highest handled program in the last 16 months along with the 14-race Meadowlands Pace card in 2013 handled which $4,311,545 and of course, Hambletonian Day 2013. The Saturday night feature at The Meadowlands came early in the program as Racing Secretary Peter Koch chose race two to showcase the fastest pacers he's got to work with in the $30,000 A-1/Free For All Handicap. Dovuto Hanover scored a mild upset employing a first over grind to wear down the favored Golden Receiver to in 1:49-. The race attracted just six horses, a result most likely of the imposing presence of Golden Receiver, who returned to the wars last week in fine fashion. He would go postward as the public choice from the outside post which became the five with the late defection of Abelard Hanover. Despite the short field the action was hot right from the word "go" as Panesthetic and Easy Again left hard for the pocket behind the fave with Easy Again emerging as the leader when the quarter time flashed up 26-. Golden Receiver found himself in the unusual position of not making the front until well past the three eighths pole and cleared just before the half in a demanding 53.3. Corey Callahan tried to steal a breather around the bend and was able to rate a 28.3 third panel but Tim Tetrick used that tactic to the advantage of his mount and had Dovuto Hanover geared up and rolled alongside to engage the leader as they entered the stretch. Dovuto Hanover eyeballed the veteran through the early stretch drive then edged clear late, widening to a two and a quarter length victory. Golden Receiver was his usual dead-game self and held the place with Easy Again third. The winner is trained by Darran Cassar for owner Martin Scharf and returned a $15.40 win mutual. In the second leg of the Buddy Gilmour series for three year old pacing males the heavily favored Dinner At The Met had his way with eight overmatched foes. With both of last Saturday's leg one winners, Capital Account and National Debt, given the week off in anticipation of next week's $60,000 final, a single division was all that was required to accommodate a mere nine entrants. Unraced at two, Dinner At The Met has quickly picked up the game and was winning for the fourth time in five outings. Corey Callahan picked up the drive for the listed Andy Miller who was absent for the card due to travel complications and the assignment was a simple one. Sent out for the lead from post six Dinner At The Met faced no opposition through very kind fractions then jetted hoe in 27.2 to close out the mile in 1:53-. Recharge took the place and Rock Fame held third. Trained and owned in part by Erv Miller along with Bert Hochsprung, the Metropolitan gelding will surely have to be dealt with next week in what shapes up to be an interesting contest. Next week, Dinner At The Met will square off with round one winners National Debt and Capital Account in a series finale with Meadowlands Pace implications. Racing will resume on Thursday evening, with first post time of 7:15 P.M. Thursday features an 11-race program, including the first round of The Winter Survivor Series. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands    

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) is pleased to announce that with effect from the Shepparton meeting this Saturday night March 1, stakes will rise for the second time this year. In September last year the minimum stake for a Career Penalty race increased from $5,000 to $5,500. From Saturday that stake increases to $6,000. This represents a 20% increase in the minimum stake for Career Penalty races since the start of the 2013/14 financial year. Furthermore, from Saturday, Metropolitan Penalty stake money will rise again with M0 races increasing to $16,000 and M1 or better class races increasing to a minimum of $17,000. Coinciding with these increases HRV will introduce a payment of $50 from 6th to last. The driver's fee, which has always been paid by HRV, will be added on top. Therefore all runners placed 6th to last in Metropolitan and Career Penalty races, or in the case of a Graduation Penalty race 5th to last, will receive $115. The owner will receive the $50 and there will be no trainer's percentage or driver's percentage deducted from this component of the stake money. The traditional standard of stake money being a 'rounded figure' will cease. For a detailed summary of how the stake splits will operate from March 1, 2014 click here. Earlier in the year the VICBRED first win bonus for 2YOs increased from $5,000 to $7,000. With this second increase in the minimum stake money, from March 1 a VICBRED eligible 2YO will land connections almost $11,000 for its first win, so there's no better time to invest in a VICBRED yearling at one of the upcoming yearling sales. BLAKE REDDEN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [Harness Racing Victoria]

An Introduction From The CEO A very successful Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup Carnival has concluded with a big crowd attending and strong growth in wagering turnover. Click here for a highlights package of Hunter Cup night. Some exciting news is imminent with our next major event, the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star on March 22. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews Stakes Rises I am pleased to confirm that the second phase of stakes rises for the year will come into effect on March 1. A summary of the main changes: The minimum career penalty stake will rise to $6,000 (a 20% rise this year); A payment of $115 (which includes the driver's fee of $65 will be added to the stake for horses which finish between sixth and last); Metropolitan class minimum stake will rise to $17,000 for M1 or better and $16,000 for M0; With effect from July 1, the Vicbred first win bonus will rise to $7,000 for two and three-year-olds. Other stakes rises previously announced on September 1, 2013 remain in force. Fires The past week has been a tough one for many participants, with serious fires burning through several regions of country Victoria. Several of those regions housed industry people. In particular the areas of Riddells Creek, Kilmore and the Goulburn Valley were severely threatened by raging fires. HRV was monitoring the course of the fires and the likely impacts. I am pleased to say that quick action by the authorities and many in the industry meant no loss of life and minimal loss of livestock. However there has been significant damage reported to properties. Some of the areas which were closely monitored: In the Riddells Creek fires several trainers/owners in the area were forced to relocate horses as the fires headed in their direction. HRV's own Craig Rail was evacuated as the fires were close by.Apart from damage to his property his house remains intact. In the Goulburn Valley, Warwick Stud was the worst affected with the loss of barns, fencing, stallion boxes and other buildings. HRV has been assisting in replacing infrastructure to get much needed water to the property. A number of trainers in the region suffered losses to sheds and fencing and HRV is currently assisting with replacement. The local industry has responded in typical fashion and I know those affected have appreciated the extent of the industry's support. The Kilmore area was under threat for several days. A special thanks to the Kilmore Club for acting as a temporary refuge for concerned members of the racing community. The Club provided stabling, food and water for a variety of animals, which I'm sure was appreciated. A huge thank you goes out to the many fire fighters (including the helicopters) who fought so bravely to protect so many properties. Teal for Ovarian Cancer Research While on the subject of community action, the month of March will be a special one for the awareness of Ovarian Cancer. Agreement has been reached for all Victorian female drivers to wear Teal coloured driving trousers, in support of the Ovarian Cancer Institute, for the entire month of March. The initiative is being generously funded by Duncan McPherson OAM and Michael Taranto as part of the promotion of the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star which is run in conjunction with the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute Girls Night Out. Once again, it presents an opportunity for the industry to display its leadership in supporting community causes and messages that are so close to many people's hearts. Well done to all the girls who are supporting this great initiative. And while on the subject of the Great Southern Star stand by for an announcement of two highly recognised international identities who will play an ambassadorial role for the series. Major release scheduled for next week. International Expansion Over recent months there been some debate regarding the strategic importance of building international relationships and promoting the export of HRV product into overseas jurisdictions and vice versa. In 2012/13 HRV generated more than $600,000 in International Rights Product Fees from the export of our product for wagering in overseas jurisdictions. For the first half of 2013/14 those International Rights Product Fees have increased by 68%, therefore HRV forecast generating in excess of $1 million in revenue from the export of our product this year. When we consider that the French market wagered around AUD$300,000 into the win/place pools alone for the three Trotting races exported on Hunter Cup night, it's likely this forecast could grow even further. In addition to exporting our product overseas, under these reciprocal arrangements, we've seen a recent expansion of product imported from Sweden and France into our own wagering market. Over the past few months this has resulted in $500,000 in harness wagering turnover on the Victorian tote, from which HRV derives direct revenue and market share benefit. With further expansion planned, it's important the industry understands we operate in a global racing and wagering environment and strategically it is of significant value to our bottom line. Josh Duggan - Victorian Representative Josh Duggan has been selected to represent Victoria in this year's Australasian Young Drivers Championship to be run in conjunction with the 2014 Inter Dominion in Sydney. Representatives from each State and the two New Zealand Islands will participate in a 10 race series in NSW from February 25, culminating in a final heat on Inter Dominion Grand Final Day. It is always a great experience for the young drivers. HRV last won the Championship in 2012 when Ellen Tormey was successful in Perth. We wish Josh well - seen here photographed receiving his Big V colours from Chairman, Ken Latta and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Craig Ondarchie.   Milestones Congratulations to Nathan Cahir who drove his 100th winner at Hamilton on January 29. Young guns Matt Craven and Michael Stanley are within reach of 500 winners, both currently in the 480's. Get Well Paul Sad to hear of the severe injuries suffered by Paul Morrissey at his Bendigo property as a result of a training accident. Paul is currently in intensive care in Bendigo Base Hospital with broken bones and head and spinal injuries. We wish Paul a full recovery. Vale HRV passes on its condolences to members of the Jack family, many of whom are involved in the industry, on the passing of patriarch Robbie Jack. Robbie was a stalwart in the Riverina as a trainer, driver and administrator. He was 81. Did You Know? HRV will be honouring the retirement of champion Melpark Major this Saturday night, February 15 at Tabcorp Park Melton. He will lead out the field for the Inter Dominion Heat with Amy Tubbs in the sulky. Melpark Major won $980,000 in stakes, having won a Victoria Cup and a host of other feature races. He will enjoy retirement on owner Don Smith's Melton property.

Superstar mare Frith will add to the Wagga TAB Carnival Of Cups with an exhibition workout next month. Frith will be close to resume racing at the time of Wagga's biggest meeting of the year on Saturday night, March 8, which works in perfectly with the plans of trainer-driver Bruce Harpley. The four-year-old is the reigning NSW pacer of the year and will resume racing shortly after the hit out. "I may work her with a galloping pacemaker so the date fits in very well as she has been back doing pacework for a few weeks and is ready to step it up a bit more," he said. Frith's appearance will be a major drawcard given her magnificent feats in the past two years which includes several Group 1 victories across Australia. She has rarely raced in the region since her early two-year-old days winning four of her five starts here and finishing second at Wagga. Frith has won her past 12 starts with her overall record standing at 22 wins, 4 secobnds and one third from 28 starts for prizemoney of close to $620,000. Harpley said Frith will resume racing on a suitable Metropolitan handicap. "She is an MO, but a C12 so finding races in the country will be very difficult," he said. Meanwhile, it won't be just the best pacer in the cups or the leading local trainer but any trainer who has a runner at the three local TAB Carnival of Cups in March who has the chance of securing some additional cash. Albury, Wagga and Young have joined forces with three $1000 bonuses for their cup meetings on March 1, 8 and 15. The best performed cups horse will win connections $1000, the leading local trainer an additional $1000, while there will be an open trainer's draw worth the same amount of money. "It's the first time the three major meetings have fallen on three straight Saturday's so we wanted to offer something extra for owners and trainers," Wagga Harness Racing Club chief executive Graeme White said. "The three clubs have put up the money along with ITP who were keen to promote a bonus for the three meetings. "The cup races are all of a similar grade and distance so it's possible for trainers to target the meetings. "An open draw allows every trainer who has a runner the chance to also win." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |    

Noted frontrunner Livingontheinterest was forced to fight tenaciously to hold out a determined late challenge from Hokonui Ben and beat his stablemate by a half-head in an exciting finish to the $35,000 Make Smoking History Lord Mayor's Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was a case of Father Knows Best as Kim Prentice called on Livingontheinterest for a special effort, and the New Zealand-bred six-year-old responded grandly to deny Hokonui Ben victory after working hard in the breeze for the final 1600m of the 2130m event after racing three wide in the early stages. Hokonui Ben was driven by Prentice's 25-year-old son Justin. The 52-year-old Kim Prentice admitted after the race that he was quite concerned that Hokonui Ben, the all-the-way winner of the 2936m WA Pacing Cup at his previous outing and second fancy at 5/2 in Friday night's Cup, would snatch victory from Livingontheinterest, the 7/4 on favourite who had made all the running after starting from the No. 2 barrier. "Just before we turned for home I thought that I was in a little bit of strife," he said. "Livingontheinterest had dropped the bit a little bit and I knew that Hokonui Ben would give him a hell of a race. I always love it when Justin wins, but not in that situation tonight. It was a really good two-horse race." It was the umpteenth time that leading trainer Gary Hall sen. had provided the quinella in a feature race at Gloucester Park. Only two weeks earlier Hall had a quinella result in the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup when Hokonui Ben defeated Toretto by a nose. Hall now has trained the winner of the Lord Mayor's Cup five times to equal Bill Horn's record in this event which was inaugurated in 1966. Hall's previous winners were Tricky Bey (1994), Abit Rich (1997), Live To Reign (2007) and Talk To Me Courage (2010). Horn won the Lord Mayor's Cup four times with Village Kid and once with Ballantines. Livingontheinterest was smartest into stride in Friday night's Cup and was joined by Hokonui Ben after 500m. Polemarker Ohoka Dallas slotted in behind the pacemaker, leaving Mysta Magical Mach racing three back on the pegs. Mysta Magical Mach, winner of the Lord Mayor's Cup three times in the previous five years, fought on gamely to be a well-beaten third. Livingontheinterest's winning prospects were greatly enhanced when he was able to run the lead time in a modest 37.4sec. and the first two 400m sections of the final mile in leisurely 31.3sec. and 30.4sec. The pace certainly went on in the final circuit, with the final quarters whizzing by in 28.3sec. and a sizzling 27.1sec. The winner, owned by Beth Richardson, Glen Moore, Andrew Curran, Garry Ralston and Karen Hall, rated 1.56.6 and took his record to 42 starts for 20 wins, eight placings and $243,915 in prizemoney. His 27 starts in Western Australia have produced 13 wins and three placings. ARISTOCRATIC GLOW BEGINS SLOWLY AND SMASHES RECORD West Australian-bred five-year-old Aristocratic Glow gave breeder-owner Bob Fowler a notable victory when she overcame a tardy beginning to storm to a superb win in the $25,000 Put Smoking Behind You Im Themightyquinn Mares final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Aristocratic Glow, trained at Pinjarra by Barry Warwick and driven in fine style by Chris Lewis, was a 4/1 second favourite who sustained a spirited finishing burst to defeat the 10/9 favourite Deluxe Edition by a half-length after racing four back on the pegs for much of the way. She rated 1.55.9 to smash the course record for mares over 2130m, a rate of 1.56.7 held jointly by Luck Has It, Leda McNally and Famous Alchemist. Aristocratic Glow started from the prized No. 1 barrier, but, as expected, she was unable to muster sufficient early speed to capitalise on this significant advantage. Millies Girl (33/1) charged straight to the front from barrier four before Chris Voak gave the hard-pulling Deluxe Edition her head and sent her into the lead 250m after the start. As usual, Deluxe Edition was inclined to overrace and after a fast lead time of 35.7sec. she reeled off rapid quarters in 29sec., 29.7sec., 29.2sec. and 29.8sec. Deluxe Edition led by almost three lengths 300m from home, but she weakened slightly in the home straight and was overhauled by Aristocratic Glow 100m from the post. However, Deluxe Edition fought on grandly and finished almost three lengths clear of the third placegetter, 50/1 chance Courage On Fire, who ran on from seventh on the pegs at the bell. Aristocratic Glow has now earned $65,280 from eight wins and nine placings from 34 starts. She looks well suited to contesting the $50,000 Empress Stakes over 2536m on February 28. "She was slow from the inside draw tonight, but got away safely," Lewis said. "And things worked in our favour with the fast early pace. When Chris Brew (Kotare Ash in the breeze) started to drop off (approaching the bell) I thought there would be an opportunity for us a bit earlier (to get into the clear) than I thought. And we were able to take advantage of that and be not far off the pace going into the 600m, and she worked home strongly." Aristocratic Glow is by Canadian stallion Northern Luck and is the fifth winner out of the unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow. Arctic Glow has also produced Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515), Amongst Royalty (86 starts for 23 wins, 27 placings and $570,820), Made of Dreams (49 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664) and Idolize Me (53 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $60,099). Arctic Glow is out of Boncroft Castle, the dam of eight winners of 62 races, including Mon Poppy Day (50 starts for 20 wins, 16 placings and $318,558). ROCKY MARCIANO GIVES ANDERSON THE FIRST OF THREE WINNERS Up-and-coming four-year-old Rocky Marciano emerged as a candidate for Cup events in the winter when he completed a remarkable month with a magnificent victory in the 2536m Quitline Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His effortless win gave Bickley trainer Peter Anderson the first of three winners in the space of 70 minutes. Anderson then was successful with Chocolatto and Bronze Seeker in Albany. Chocolatto (Shane Butcher) dashed to an early lead, set the pace, was overhauled by the favourite Ben Cartwright 350m from home and the fought back to regain the lead in the home straight to win from the fast-finishing Our Red Baron and Ben Cartwright in the Bevan's Seafoods Pace. Thirty minutes later 34-year-old Lang Inwood brought Bronze Seeker home with a brilliant late burst to snatch victory over the pacemaker Lovers Delight and Gday Mate in the $30,000 GWN7 Albany Cup. While Anderson was in Albany, Caris Hamilton-Smith was in charge of Rocky Marciano, who took his record in January to five starts at Gloucester Park for four wins and a nose second to Maggies Mystery. Rocky Marciano was favourite at 10/9 from barrier three, with talented frontrunner Your Good Fortune at 5/4 from the No. 1 barrier. As expected, Ryan Warwick got Your Good Fortune away smartly and straight into the lead. Morgan Woodley quickly got Rocky Marciano into the breeze and he did not bustle the New Zealand-bred gelding. Your Good Fortune was able to coast through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before increasing the tempo with a 30.3sec. second quarter. Woodley then poured on the pressure and the third quarter was covered in a scorching 27.5sec., with Rocky Marciano getting past the pacemaker 550m from home and then increasing his margin to win impressively by three lengths from Argent Treasure (who had enjoyed a perfect trail behind the leader). A wilting Your Good Fortune was just under two lengths away, dead-heating for third with stablemate Our Major Mark. Rocky Marciano dashed over the final quarter in 28.6sec. and rated 1.59.6. Rocky Marciano, placed at three of his ten starts in New Zealand, has thrived under Anderson's care, with his 33 WA starts producing 11 wins and ten placings. He could contest the $25,000 Four-Year-Old Championship over 1684m at Pinjarra on March 3 and should be one of the main hopes in the $35,000 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on March 21. SIX IN A ROW FOR OAKS PROSPECT MAJORLY FOXY STYX Reinsman Kim Prentice had some anxious moments before guiding Majorly Foxy Styx to victory in the 2130m Smoke Free Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But the big, strong New Zealand-bred filly simply proved too good for her rivals and won convincingly by 4m from Maddy White, rating 1.58.1 as she notched her sixth win in a row. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting Majorly Foxy Styx for the $50,000 Dainty's Daughter Classic next Friday week and the $175,000 WA Oaks on May 9. Majorly Foxy Styx, favourite at 6/4 on from the back line, settled at the rear, but was pulling fiercely and virtually obliged Prentice to send her forward, three wide. She got to the outside of the pacemaker and 7/4 second fancy Generally Outspoken after a lap before forging to the front with 1050m to travel. After a solid lead time of 36.8sec., the first three sections of the final mile were covered in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.7sec. Leaving the back straight the final time Generally Outspoken (trailing the leader) was seriously inconvenienced when a wheel of her sulky became locked with a wheel of The Parade's sulky. This caused her to become unbalanced and she broke into a gallop about 300m from home. Maddy White, a 16/1 chance who had raced three wide early and was fifth in the one-wide line at the bell, looked a threat as she worked forward approaching the home turn. However, she wilted in the closing stages to finish a sound second after a slow final quarter in 31sec. "Majorly Foxy Styx gave me a workover early by pulling hard," Prentice said. "She's not the nicest horse to drive, but she's definitely got a fair share of ability, and that carries her through. She has done a good job, considering she pulled so hard early. "I knew that we were walking turning for home and I honestly thought that the one coming (Maddy White) would have beaten me. But she only got to my wheel and was as tired as I was. "Definitely the 2536m of the Oaks will suit her. Gary has just told me that he's going to take her home and concentrate on getting her manners a little bit better than what they are. And he's a master at that and when the Oaks comes she will be spot on." MISTER SARKOKZY RELISHES STANDING-START RACING New Zealand-bred gelding Mister Sarkozy is an almost faultless standing-start performer and his impeccable manners paved the way for his effortless victory in the 2503m Quit Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is a tried and true stand performer, contesting stands at 20 of his 25 starts for six wins. He has been successful once from five appearances in mobiles. The six-year-old was a heavily-supported 2/1 favourite off the front line on Friday night and he gave his backers little cause for concern once Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice sent him to the front 150m after the start and then allowed him to bowl along freely. His task became much easier when 13/4 second favourite Askmenow began slowly off the 20m mark and settled down a distant last. After a 29sec. third quarter of the final mile Mister Sarkozy gave his rivals little hope by sprinting over the final 400m in 27.9sec. He careered away to win by just over four lengths from Compact Rocket, who enjoyed a perfect run behind the pacemaker. Sonic Classic ran home solidly to be third, with Askmenow making up a considerable amount of ground to finish fifth. "I thought that if we bowled along we would make it hard for the backmarkers by not really letting them into the race and we would be hard to beat," Prentice said. "In saying that, I didn't think that he would win so convincingly. He was pricking his ears on the line. Hopefully, there's a couple of more wins in him." Mister Sarkozy, raced by Craig Lynn, won at three of his seven New Zealand starts and at five of his 18 starts in WA. He has earned $48,636. ON ALL FOURS GIVES LEA FIRST CITY SUCCESS ON HER BIRTHDAY Byford trainer Vicki Lea celebrated her 36th birthday in style at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she landed her first Metropolitan-class winner, with Kyle Harper driving veteran pacer and 25/1 outsider On All Fours to a narrow victory in the 2130m Breathe Easier Claiming Pace. The nine-year-old On All Fours has returned to racing after a 16-month absence in fine form, winning twice from his first three starts in his comeback. Harper guided him to an all-the-way victory at 25/1 at Pinjarra last Monday, but he was not particularly confident of a repeat success on Friday night. "In the past (when trained by Callan Suvaljko) he has been a horse who had to lead to show his best form," Harper said. "And I thought he would have had to show his best form in this field to win. "But after the first 400m I was laughing where we were sitting (fourth in the one-out, one-back position). But I still wasn't 100 per cent confident that he would come from behind as well as he would need to. But he has done a fantastic job. Vicki has breathed new life into him and he's just a completely different horse to what he used to be. The freshen-up and the training regime she's got suits him down to the ground." Shardons Rocket, the 3/1 on favourite, was surprisingly beaten out from the No. 1 barrier, with Davy Maguire (26/1) bursting straight to the front from barrier three. Morgan Woodley quickly got Shardons Rocket off the pegs to race in the breeze and this helped Ryan Bell to angle Adda Paternal Suit from the No. 6 barrier to enjoy the run behind the pacemaker. Shardons Rocket eventually got to the front 550m from home before Whos Mistake loomed alongside him 150m later. Then On All Fours finished strongly to hit the front 80m from the post before holding on to beat the fast-finishing Rojen Cruz (15/1) by a half-head, with Shardons Rocket a fading third. On All Fours, who is owned by Lea and her mother Pam, has now earned $178,687 from 23 wins and 19 placings from 89 starts. A winner of three races as a two-year-old, he has raced 25 times in claimers for five wins. His maternal granddam Rule The Roost produced Make The Rules (108 starts for 24 wins, 32 placings and $220,075) and the 2010 Victoria Derby winner Courage To Rule (62 starts for 17 wins, 21 placings and $489,231). THE OYSTER BAR ENDS LOSING RUN OF 25 --- AND PRENTICE SUSPENDED The prized No. 1 barrier again proved a decisive factor in the 2130m Thank You For Not Smoking Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Chris Lewis drove the well-backed 9/4 equal favourite The Oyster Bar to a smart all-the-way win. This ended a losing sequence of 25 (including nine minor placings) over the past 12 months and it further emphasised how pacers trained by the 67-year-old Tony Svilicich thrive on rigorous racing schedules. The Oyster Bar was having his sixth start in the space of 25 days and never looked in any real danger of defeat as he paced freely in front and went on to score by just over a length from Im Clean Cut at a 1.59 rate. The main news to emerge from the race was the nine-day suspension imposed on ace reinsman Kim Prentice, who was found guilty of causing interference to other runners racing towards the front straight in the first lap. The stewards found that Prentice, driving Soho Highroller, had tightened Condrieu, the 9/4 equal favourite who, in turn, caused Sparkling Seelster (Justin Prentice) to be checked. Soho Highroller, who raced in the breeze, finished fifth, while Sparkling Seelster finished solidly into third place and Condrieu covered extra ground before fading to last in the field of eleven. The Oyster Bar won at three of his 36 starts in New Zealand and has won at seven of his 65 starts in Western Australia. His maternal granddam, Class Act produced five winners, including Classical, a Soky's Atom mare who raced 23 times for five wins, ten placings and $291,590, Evening Class (191 starts for 17 wins, 32 placings and $103,220) and Open Class (122 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and $86,026). Classical won two group 1 classics as a two-year-old in New Zealand as well as a listed classic as a two-year-old and as a three-year-old. Then in July 2003 she finished second to Pullover Brown in both the group 1 Victoria Oaks and Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley. No. 1 POSITION HELPS COPAGRIN TO RETURN TO WINNING FORM A losing sequence of 16 means nothing to punters --- when the pacer in question is starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park. Such was the case on Friday night when five-year-old Copagrin lined up on the pole position for the Mick's Binshaw qualifying heat two. Punters rallied as one and Copagrin's tote odds on course tumbled from 4/1 to favouritism at 5/4 on. Copagrin, trained at West Swan by John Guagliardo and driven by Matt White, was beaten out at the start5 by two of his rivals, but was still able to hold up and take up the running. First, Soho Redford (11/4) was smartest into stride from barrier three and led by a half-length in the early stages, but was unable to cross Copagrin. Then Pete of Pan (barrier two) got a half-length in front of Copagrin, but was unable to get to the pegs. After these early battles Copagrin relaxed and covered the opening 400m section of the final mile in 30.8sec., with Soho Redford in the breeze, Pete of Pan in the one-out, one-back position and Cool Johnny trailing the leader. Copagrin sprinted over the final quarter in 28.4sec. and won by five lengths from Soho Redford, rating 1.57.4 over the 2130m. It improved his record to 50 starts for 13 wins, ten placings and $96,918. "He was a bit slow out, but he was good enough to hold the top," White said. "He has been knocking on the door and tonight looked like his night. He didn't give me much of a feel in the running, but when I pulled the plugs and gave him a couple of cuts with the stick he really switched on. He felt good from that poi9ntr and just put paid to them." BELL PREDFICTS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR NORTHERN ASSASSIN Ryan Bell was full of praise for Northern Assassin after driving him to a stylish win in the Fresh Air Binshaw qualifying heat three at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He excites me a bit and he's got a bright future," he declared. "He's a very good racehorse and that's why his future looks good." Bell then said that Northern Assassin had been extremely unlucky when unplaced in the Four-Year-Old Championship in November and the Golden Nugget in December. "He was the most unlucky horse throughout that series," Bell said. "He never got to show how good he was. Those races turned him into the horse he is now. Once he found the front tonight it made life easier. But he doesn't have to lead to win. He's very versatile." Northern Assassin, owned by Bell's mother Jean and trained by his father Peter, is certainly developing into a quality performer. He has raced 21 times for eight wins, seven placings and $56,523. On Friday night Northern Assassin, favourite at 5/4 on, mustered plenty of pace from the No. 3 barrier and burst to the front 230m after the start. He dashed over the final two quarters in 28.9sec. and 28.7sec. and was untroubled to win by two lengths from Lunar Tide, with a length to Shnappy, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing fast. The winner rated 1.57 over 2130m. NO TROUBLE FOR THE CONSISTEN FRONTRUNNING OUR AMAZING ART New Zealand-bred six-year-old Our Amazing Art maintained his consistent form when he gave a bold frontrunning display to score an effortless win in the 2130m Make Smoking History Binshaw qualifying heat one at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg has got the gelding into peak form and his past five starts have produced two wins, two seconds and a third placing. He will be a major chance in the $50,000 final next Friday night, particularly if he draws favourably. Our Amazing Art, a heavily-supported 6/4 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier, burst to the front 80m after the start and Shannon Suvaljko rated him perfectly in the lead, with opening quarters of 30.4sec. and 30.1sec. followed by two final sections of 28.8sec. He rated 1.58.2 and won by two lengths from 12/1 chance Atlastalone, with a nose to Why Live Dangerously in third place. Mein Guy, second fancy at 7/2, raced without cover before fading to seventh in the field of eight. Our Amazingt Art, raced by John Padberg and Jodie Foster, has earned $118,877 from 12 wins and 14 placings from 62 starts. by Ken Casellas  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 25, 2014--Sapphire City (Eric Carlson) made amends Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $33,000 Open Handicap Pace. The race took on a different description early as 7-5 favorite Bettor's Edge (George Brennan) jumped it off early. Those who minded their manners were led by last week's pocket winner, Lumberjack Willie (Jordan Stratton). That one worked around Sapphire City--who left from post position No. 3--before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. A cheapy, 29-second next interval (:56.1 half) before Fat Man's Alley (Jason Bartlett) moved from fourth. He just sat out there though another 29-second sub-station (1:25.1 three-quarters). It was "Willie" taking a two-length lead into the lane, but he could not close the seal, Sapphire City, fading on the lead at 7-10 a week ago, closed ranks and went by, as did a stubborn Fat Man's Alley. The former whipped the latter by a length in 1:54, with Lumberjack Willie, Dream Out Loud N (Eric Goodell) and Money Twitch A (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Sapphire City, a 6-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Jordan Sklut and Centaur Stables, he returned $13.40 (third choice) for his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $54.50, with the triple returning $228. Special Saturday props to rank outsider Nathan Feelsgood (Carlson), who authored a 46-1 upset in the $17,500, ninth-race pace at 46-1. The $95.50 win mutuel was a season-high thus far in 2014. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Following last week’s announcement by Racing Queensland (RQ) to increase the Metropolitan penalty threshold to $15,000, we continue to receive feedback regarding the change. The Queensland Harness Racing Board (QHRB) first raised the proposal to increase the threshold in line with other states in November 2013 and then sought feedback from stakeholders and industry groups. Feedback was received supporting both an increase to the threshold and for it to remain at the current level. All feedback was duly considered by the members of the QHRB before the decision to increase the threshold was voted upon. The QHRB considered that the benefit of increasing the threshold outweighed any potential drawbacks. The decision was made to benefit the wider harness racing industry in Queensland and in particular owners. The QHRB placed particular value on the ability for Queensland horses to race in Career Penalty assessed races locally for greater prizemoney than that offered in most other states. Additionally, the potential for Queensland horses to race interstate in lower assessed Metropolitan Penalty racing when travelling was also considered a benefit of the change. As an example; A horse that starts a campaign out as an M1 C11 R11 competes under the existing threshold and wins an M1 assessed race, then an M2, an M3, and finally M4 with one of these being the $16,000 final. Its total earning would be circa $31,700 and would end the campaign a horse assessed M5 C15 R15 throughout Australia. Under the new system the same horse would win a Q1 assessed race, a Q2, a Q3, and a Q4 with one of these being the $14,999 final. Its total earnings would be circa $31,000 and would end the campaign a horse assessed Q5 C15 R15 in Queensland, however outside Queensland it would be assessed as M1 C15 R15.   This leaves the opportunity for four metropolitan graded wins outside of Queensland before reaching the same mark. This could amass a potential prizemoney earning of between $40,000 and $50,000. As with all changes introduced by RQ, the implementation will be monitored to ensure that the foreseen benefits are realised. RQ will continue to work with RISE to implement this change. Racing Queensland  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, December 21, 2013--Last laurels of the season went to Sapphire City (Eric Carlson) Saturday night, who won Yonkers Raceway's $37,000 Open Pace. In the fray early from post position No. 3, Sapphire City, along with Dream Out Loud N (Matt Kakaley) and Dallenbach Hanover (Larry Stalbaum), led the legions. They were 1-2-3 through early intervals of :27 and :55.2. Escape the News (George Brennan), as the 9-5 favorite, moved from fifth, but offered nothing toward a 1:23.1 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Sapphire City owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then held sway. He defeated the other leavers, Dream out Loud N and "Dallenbach," in 1:51.3. The margin over the former was a half-length, with Dallenbach Hanover, P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) and Pan from Nantucket (Eric Goodell) settling for the remainder. For Sapphire City, a 5-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Centaur Stables and Jordan Sklut, he returned $6.30 (second choice) for his eighth win in 36 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $38.80, with the triple returning $555. The Raceway's 2014 live schedule begins Monday, Jan 6, pending NYS Gaming Commission approval. by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway  

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