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Modern Maestro has had a stellar start to his harness racing career. The son of Modern Art has won eleven of his fifteen career starts and with the season over in Canberra, the gelding's trainer Michael Hawke will look to target racing at Menangle in the short term. After racing through the season at Canberra undefeated in seven starts, Modern Maestro was declared the Horse Of The Year in the nation's capital. The seven wins also helped secure Hawke's second trainers' title and Melissa Hawke her first drivers premiership. "At Canberra they have a local premiership for the leading trainer and driver and they also have an overall leading trainer and driver," Hawke said. "It was great to win the overall leading trainer for a second consecutive season but I was immensely proud of my daughter Melissa when she won the overall leading driver. Liss has won local premierships before but to win the overall driver's title is a great achievement and a good reward for all of her hard work." Modern Maestro finished second in the Group 2 Carousel earlier in the season and Hawke believes it was during that series he realised he had a nice horse. "He won nine of his first ten starts but his wins had been at Canberra, Wagga and Bathurst so there were a few question marks on the form. I think his run in the heat of the Carousel at Penrith when he led and Kept Under Wraps only picked him up in the shadows of the post proved to me that his record was legitimate. "Off the back of that run, Modern Maestro finished second in the Carousel final behind Hez A Dude and he fought right to the line on that occasion as well." Saturday night's assignment at Tabcorp Park Menangle will not be an easy one with several well performed runners engaged in race four. Runner up in Sunday's Group 1 4YO Breeders Challenge final Egodan has drawn the second row while Tact Hayleys Delight will start from barrier three. "I haven't done the form yet and only glanced at the fields when they first came out but my initial thought was Darren's (Binskin) mare was well placed. Those C3 to C5 races are very strong at Menangle every week so I'll keep bringing him back until he can snare one. "Most of the horses around Canberra go for a spell at the end of the local season but I've kept a few of mine in. I might even bring a horse like Huge Attitude to Menangle at some stage." Despite wrapping up their respective premierships at the Canberra meeting last weekend it has been a tough week for the stable. Rookie Error died after suffering from colic last weekend. "She was no star but she won seven races in her career and she tried her heart out every time she stepped onto the track. She was one of Melissa's favourites so she has been a little bit upset." "Hopefully Modern Maestro can pull out a good run on Saturday night and help Liss feel a little bit better." Greg Hayes

Leading Canberra trainer Michael Hawke knows Modern Maestro is facing the biggest test of his short career. On Saturday night Modern Maestro will line up in the $50,000 Group 2 Carousel at Tabcorp Park Menangle and will travel up the Hume Highway during the afternoon. The harness racing four year old gelding has won nine of his eleven starts - the two defeats coming when the horse has travelled to Sydney. Hawke has been proud of Modern Maestro in both defeats and is expecting the son of Modern Art to put in another solid performance this weekend. "His first defeat came at Menangle, he charged home and ran fourth but not everything was right with him and he bounced straight back at his next start," Hawke said. "When he ran second at Penrith in the heat of the Carousel I thought he was outstanding. The lead time was fast and he really made Kept Under Wraps work for the win and while there would have been a fair bit of improvement in the McCarthy trained horse, I think it proved that my bloke isn't too far away." Modern Maestro holds the track record for the 2170 metres at Canberra suggesting the 2300 metres on Saturday night will not be a concern. "His versatility is one of his biggest attributes, he tries very hard and he'll have no problems handling the 2300 metres. As a result of his assessment he was always going to draw well and I think when you draw well in big races you have to make use of the good gate. "We'll go forward early and try to get to the marker pegs, it makes it hard when you settle in the running line because there will be a lot of moves in the middle stages and the horses racing off the pegs could end up near the tail of the field." Hawke's daughter Melissa will drive the gelding in what will be the biggest race of her career. "I'm sure she'll be nervous but young kids just deal with nerves and once they get out on the track she'll be fine. I'm worse than her, I get very nervous and I like to watch the race by myself. "Melissa and Fred (Modern Maestro) get on so well together. He is a really good natured animal but he doesn't like getting beaten." Modern Maestro is raced by a group of people including Wayne and Joy Gowland, Sue and Andrew Marbrow and Mark Lees. "Wayne is a great bloke and his mother Joy has a share in the horse. Andrew Marbrow works for Wayne and he and his wife are in their first horse and Mark Lees is a good family friend of Wayne's. They are a great group of people to go racing with. "I was speaking with Wayne and he would be wrapped if Modern Maestro could finish in the top four. I really think he will be a better horse in twelve months once he has had the opportunity to go to Menangle constantly." The Lands Legal Carousel is race seven at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night and is scheduled to begin at 7:24pm. Greg Hayes

Victorian three-year-old filly Dancingwithsierra signalled she has arrived as a genuine Group 1 harness racing contender when she led throughout to win the $30,000 Group 3 Tasmanian Oaks over 2579 metres at UBET Park Hobart last night. With Chris Alford in the sulky the well-bred filly by Modern Art prepared at Toolern Vale by Gary Hoban gave her rivals a pacing lesson on her way to her first Group win, scoring by 11 metres from Gina Grace with Chica Bella a distant third with the winner clocking a mile rate of 2.01.43 and ran home her last half (800m) in 57.91. "She is not a big filly but she has tremendous speed and she has good stamina so I'm confident she will be very competitive in races like the Victorian Oaks and the Breeders Crown series," said driver Chris Alford. "Speed is definitely her biggest asset and once she landed in front tonight and nothing took us on seriously I knew she would be very hard to beat. Dancingwithsierra ($1.50 fav) led easily while the well-backed Gina Grace ($4.90) worked hard to face the breeze two laps from home with Chica Bella ($4.90) content to take the sit in the one-out-one-back position. When Gina Grace's driver Mark Yole tried to apply pressure heading down the back stretch the leader picked up the pace and when Alford released the brakes at the top of the home straight his filly powered clear and hit the line without being fully extended. The winner was bred by her trainer and is raced by his son Craig Hoban. "We bred this filly from a mare we raced with some success (Sierra Tango) and she has already proven herself at stud with this filly and her next foal that is a half-brother that we are hoping will win some good two-year-old races this season," Craig Hoban said. Peter Staples

Tomorrows Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale at the Bathurst Showgrounds is quite different to most of the other sales held throughout Australia each season. Most of the other sales have a heavy emphasis on the top end of the market where $50,000 yearlings become quite common. The best of the best breeding wise change hands but there is no guarantee they will be the best on the racetrack. The average trainer - driver and owner are shut out in the main at these sales and it is left to companies like Graeme Board to fill the gap in the market by running sales such as the Bathurst Gold Crown. This weekends catalogue is a great example of having yearlings to fit everyone's budget with all the elite sires represented along with stallions just getting established or having their first crop being sold this year. Courage Under Fire is enjoying a great run on both sides of the Tasman at the moment and he has six entries in tomorrows sale. The pick of them for us is Lot 82 which is being offered on behalf of Tony Dumesny. He is a colt from the former top racemare Edna Anne 1:55.4 ($105,811) and is her first foal. The second dam takes most of the pedigree page so he is very hard to fault on paper. Four Starzzz Shark is always great value for money at the yearling sales and tomorrow at Bathurst should be no exception. He has seven representatives in the sale and we think all seven have something to offer the buyers bench. All of them have plenty of well performed relatives close up on the pedigree page and anyone who has seen Lennytheshark or Frith dominate this season on the track is aware of the quality that Four Starzzz Shark can produce. Modern Art is another stallion who under sells at a lot of sales in Australia and it is a mystery to us why that is. He is closing in on 400 winners in Australia alone and stake earnings in excess of $14,440,000, yet he doesn't quite get the sale results his record would suggest he deserves. He has four yearlings in tomorrows sale and all have a touch of quality about them. Lot 51 appeals to us a lot as the colt for sale is the first foal from a full sister to the very smart Bo Jasper 1:57.9 ($168,436)  Aces N Sevens continues to churn out the winners to the point he now has over 305 on his card with stakes closing in on $13,500,000. He has twelve yearlings in tomorrows sale and they cover a wide cross section of mares but there should be something for everyone pockets amongst the twelve on offer. People tend to forget that Aces N Sevens has produced such stars as Excel Stride 1:50.3 ($769,464), Drumfire 1:49 ($628,739), Ananz 1:53.8 ($527,844) and Lettucerocku 1:52.6 ($489,004) to name just a few and there are bound to be some smart horses amongst a draft of twelve yearlings from such a proven sire With Rock N Roll Heaven having a handful of entries alongside Art Major (3), Roll With Joe (4) and Sportswriter(4), the elite sires are well represented but just maybe the value may come from the sires we have highlighted in this article. Harnesslink Media

A change in scenery has worked wonders for giant harness racing pacer Ultimate Art. A recent decision from Kristy and Mick Formosa to send their stable star Ultimate Art north to Queensland is paying dividends following his recent open class thumping’s at Albion Park. Now prepared by husband and wife combination of Scott Miller and Shannon Price, Ultimate Art recorded his latest victory last Saturday night after parking without cover in the 1660m event before scoring comfortably in a time of 1:53.0. The big striding Modern Art entire was handled by Bart Cockburn. “He’s a quality animal, there’s no doubt about that and his recent form shouldn’t shock anyone because we know he’s got class and fierce determination." "It was a big call for Mick and Kirsty to send him up but everything is going well and hopefully he will hold his form for some time to come.” Miller said. And connections are already starting to look ahead. The Brisbane winter carnival in July is the immediate focus for Ultimate Art with the Sunshine Sprint and the Blacks A Fake being the major targets. Dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova is yet to reappear following his extended Perth campaign which resulted in the free-legged pacer running a monstrous fourth in the Inter Dominion Grand Final at Gloucester Park won by Lennytheshark; many now believe Ultimate Art could take the mantle as the state’s best pacer. “The winter carnival is clearly our long range target with him but we’ll just take a race at a time for now and we’re thrilled with the way he settled in and performing." "I know Bart is very happy with the way he’s finished off his past two starts and he’s come through both races really well." “While Avonnova is still working back-up to race condition, I think this is great for his confidence and we’ll look forward to challenge when they finally meet down the track." "I’m sure they’ll clash often when both are up and going but for the time being, we’re happy to see him doing what he’s doing." “He wasn’t the best of travelers in the past and with based near Newcastle, it’s obviously a big round trip for him to race at Menangle and the fact we’re quite close to Albion Park is a big advantage for him." He travels comfortably and heads straight for his feed tin once he’s unloaded on race night; it’s making a big difference with less time spent in the float.” Miller said Ultimate Art will back-up and race again this Saturday night. “We won’t overdo it with him but it’s a nice race for him and he’s come through last week really well so we’re happy to start him again." “The aim is the winter carnival and we’ll continue to plot our path to those bigger races as they get closer.” Ultimate Art was an Inter Dominion Grand Finalist in 2015 at TABCORP Park, Menangle when 7th behind Beautide. Chris Barsby

Plans to take Tasmanian-owned pacer Modern Ruler to Queensland for two major races remain unchanged despite the gelding’s shock loss at the harness racing meeting at Menangle last Saturday night. Modern Ruler was attempting to win his fourth Group 3 event in succession on Saturday night but in a small field he was unable to achieve the feat and had to settle for third behind Iam Mr Brightside and Shannonsablast in the Zilco Free For All over 2300 metres. Modern Ruler is trained in NSW by Tasmanian James Rattray and raced on lease by Tasmanians Steve and Marnie Davis who will head to Sydney next week to collect the horse and some travelling companions for the trip to Queensland “We are having Modern Ruler’s bloods done as a precautionary measure but both James and I are confident the race was not run to suit and that is what brought about his downfall on Saturday night, “ Davis said. “We have made plans to take the whole family, kids and all, to Queensland for two weeks so we will fly out next Tuesday and go to James’ stables and float the horse and a couple of stablemates to Queensland.” “We plan to do it in stages so it won’t be too taxing on the horses,” he said. Modern Ruler was sent to Rattray earlier this year after he won a race at Melton in Victoria and after a trial at Goulburn the seven-year-old lined up at Menangle and won by 20 metres which convinced Rattray he had a future. Modern Ruler has won six times from nine starts fo4r Rattray and leading up to last Saturday night’s minor placing he had won four in succession of which three carried Group 3 status. The gelded son of Modern Art will be aimed at the Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park on October 17 and then on to the Group 1 Queensland Pacing Championship a week later. Peter Staples

J&M Racing's Embassy Seelster ($4.20, Dan Rawlings) was a hard driven winner in the $16,000 Mares Open Tuesday at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway in 1:53.3. The 5-year-old Modern Art mare grinded away first-over under heavy urging from Rawlings in the stretch before finally getting the lead in the final strides to prevail narrowly over pacesetter I'm Won Rum Wiser and Bo Tox Hanover. Trained by Doug Lewis, Embassy Seelster recorded her seventh win of the year and successfully defended her turf as the current aged mare track record holder (1:51.3). She was returning to the races after a brief layoff and two qualifying races. Allan Davis drove four winners, while Rawlings had three. George Dennis had a double. Matt Sparacino

This years mixed age sale at the Shepparton harness racing complex yesterday (Sunday) reinforced the view that it is a tough market out there at the moment. Sixty nine of the cataloged horses went through the ring yesterday but 22 (31.8%) were passed in which must have disappointed both the auctioneers and the vendors. The first horse to stir a bit of emotion from the bidders was lot 12 which was a two year old filly by Courage Under Fire from a Holmes Hanover half sister to nine winners including Allwoods Chief ($465,497) She was knocked down to the bid of Trevor Cottrell for $20,000 which was the equal top price for the whole sale. Shortly after lot 16 had the bidders active again with a three quarter sister to lot 12 attracting a lot of interest. The two year old filly by Courage Under Fire was from a Even Odds half sister to Allwoods Chief ($465,497) but failed to sell, being passed in for $10,000. It took more than another twenty lots before the bidders got fired up again. Lot 37 was the smart Modern Art racemare More Than Alright 1:58.6 ($45,369) who is a daughter of the very smart Imported Cam Fella mare Out Of Sight 1:52 ($200,142) who is a half sister to the champion Volez Hanover 1:49.4 ($1,690,543) Sold as either a racemare or a broodmare, More Than Alright surprisingly only made $10,000 and was knocked down to the bid of Garry Hawthorn The next lot after that was the half sister by Badlands Hanover to More Than Alright in Vista Bella 1:57.9 ($110,291) In foal to the champion sire Art Major, Vista Bella went home with Bruce Dumesny after he bid $20,000 In the yearling section, two youngsters shared the top price of $9,000  Lot 58 was a Majestic Son colt from the racewinning Holdonmyheart mare Closetomyheart from the family of the top New Zealand trotting filly French Accent who was sold to Nathan Jack. The other top priced yearling was lot 72 who was a Mach Three colt from the very speedy Artiscape mare in Room With A View 1:56 ($45,369) who was purchased by the Racerpacer group. This sale has the potential to be a really good clearing sale for breeders and trainers but it is not quite there yet. Check sale results here Harnesslink Media

THE Modern Ruler juggernaut kept rolling last Saturday night with the James Rattray-trained gelding scoring his fourth successive harness racing free-for-all victory on the spacious Menangle track. It was his third Group 3 success in succession and a win that now has Rattray champing at the bit to get the Tasmanian-owned gelding to his first Group 1 assignment. Modern Ruler is raced on lease by Tasmanian harness and thoroughbred trainer Steve Davis and his wife Marnie. He joined the Rattray stable in May and last Saturday night's victory was his sixth from eight starts for the talented Tasmanian mentor who left the state just over two years ago to try and make on the mainland. Last Saturday night Modern Ruler left from gate eight and settled midfield before Rattray circumnavigated the field to cross to the front and he went on to score an emphatic win over Iam Mr Brightside and Spirit and Desire. The gelded son of Modern Art clocked a mile rate of 1.55.4 over the 2300-metres but he has clocked a rate of 1.526 over the flying mile (1609m). Rattray confirmed he will take Modern Ruler to Queensland next month for two races during the Queensland Grand Circuit carnival. "Modern Ruler will head to the $100,000 Gold Coast Cup on October 17 and a week later he'll go to the Group 1 Queensland Pacing Championship ($200,000)," Rattray said. "I am confident he's up to Group 1 level but I hope to know for sure after the QPC," he said. Modern Ruler won his way through to free-for-all grade in Tasmania but after missing a place in the Devonport Cup his Tasmanian owner-trainer Steve Davis took him to Melbourne where at his second start at Melton he won an M0 after which he was sent to Rattray in late May. Modern Ruler Peter Staples  

Yearlings by many of the world’s greatest sires will go up for auction at the Shepparton Mixed Sale, to be held at the Shepparton Racing Complex on Sunday September 6.   The 18-strong yearling contingent features yearlings by 14 different sires headed up by champion sire Mach Three and leading trotting sire Majestic Son, as well as Modern Art, Shadow Play (3 lots), Artistic Fella, Jet Laag, Village Jolt (3 lots), Major In Art, Tell All and Mister Big.   Several exciting, young sires will be represented by their first crop and they include  USA 2YO of the Year Big Jim, the $1.6million winner Betterthancheddar, dual NZ Horse of the Year Auckland Reactor and NZ 2YO of the Year Smiling Shard.   The catalogue comprises youngsters out of 2:00 winning mares and 2:00 winner producers.   There’s colts out of the former 3YO Filly of the Year Yeronga Songbird, Melbourne winners Room With A View (1:56) and Our Favourite Girl, Got The Gold (6 wins) and Closetomyheart (Tr 2:04.2) and fillies from the USA Stakes winner Out Of Sight  1:52.4 ($200,142), the NSW Oaks placegetter Lahaini (1:57.5) and the Melton winner Kiss And Fly (1:58.4).   The sale also highlights half-sisters to   *The Youthful Stakes winner Vista Bella 1:57.9 ($110,021)   *The smart racemares Twirling ($105,707) and Golden Grinder 1:55.6 ($90,340)   * Half-brothers to the Moonee Valley winner Stormwarning, Boston Yankee (1:56.6) and The Lombo heat winner Rosemay.   For a catalogue or further information contact Shepparton Harness Racing Club manager Ian McDonald on phone 0428 231 403 or email shepparton@hrv.org.au    Pedigrees can be downloaded from the website www.sheppartonhrc.com.au   Click on the News link. Pedigrees are also available on the Shepparton HRC Facebook page.   Peter Wharton

When Peter Barnes saw his number go up in first place as he came back to scale after the third race at the harness racing meeting at Bathurst last Friday, his shocked, delight and a colourful exclamation suggested it might be a special moment. As he calmed down, he explained that it was his first race start with Sorta Sexy ($4.40), a four-year-old Modern Art daughter he’d purchased a few weeks earlier, after she’d run a number of placings this season for her former trainer Billy Evans. So, it was a first start win, and a little excitement was quite in order. But the level of excitement was better understood when he next explained that his entire team consisted of this one horse, and that his previous driving success had been back in April 2010, at Fairfield, with Winsome Win. Back in the barn after the race, Sorta Sexy was sporting the dress rug won by that previous winner. Barnes trains on a 500m track on his seven- acre farm near the Mount Piper Power Station, just outside Lithgow, and says the only time his horses do genuine fast work is when they go the trials or races. After a long career at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, retirement allows him plenty of time to prepare his team of just one, and Sorta Sexy will definitely lack for nothing in care and attention. A check on the computer later indicates that this was not only Peter’s first winning drive in five years, but just his second win ever (he trained another horse Williewa Duplicity to a number of wins, but didn’t drive it). Now, that post-race excitement was all the more understandable! How to describe a likeable figure, whose win was popular with everyone on track? “Hobbyist” is much too official-sounding, and “battler” can sound patronizing. That leaves us, instead, with the bare facts, which suit perfectly. Let’s just call Peter a “winning trainer-driver.” Dubbo owners Jeff and Nea Costello might have endured a much briefer losing run, barely 21 races, but the all-the-way win of Happy To Go NZ ($1.90 favourite) in a 3C0-3C1 fillies sprint, was most welcome nonetheless. The Costellos, who have developed a nice band of broodmares in recent years, were disappointed when several mares failed to go in foal to Bettors Delight, so they purchased the three-year-old Bettors daughter for racing and future breeding. A first-up second at Bathurst a fortnight earlier, and a victim of interference at Parkes at her next start, she was never in danger of defeat here, and will likely look for that second 3YO win before season’s end. Season’s end is looking very up-beat for her trainer, who registered win number 195 with this win and extended it to 196 when son Nathan reined Intransit ($2.10 favourite) to win a C1-C2 later in the night. A double at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night took him within two of his 200 goal, and four winners at Sunday’s Dubbo meeting put the issue well beyond doubt, and extended his lead in a tight NSW Trainers’ Premiership, with just three weeks to go. Other winners at the meeting were: *Mister Bigshot ($7.00, Chris/Anthony Frisby), after enjoying a one-one trail in a 2260 metres C0-C1, and maintaining good recent form following a spell since returning from Queensland. *Flyin Crusa NZ ($15.90, Geoff Read/Scott Hewitt), edged out favourite Miss Nickels (David Hewitt) to bring off a Goulburn quinella, despite pulling off a shoe during the preliminary. *Regal Ashes ($3.10, Peter Schiller/Brad Hewitt), getting up in the last stride in a 2YO sprint, her second win in succession at Bathurst, and highly impressive after sprinting hard from the 700 metres point. *Allnight Raid ($3.10 favourite, Bernie Hewitt/ Mat Rue), expertly positioned in the one-one from an awkward barrier draw, and a welcome change of fortune after a frustrating season of poor draws and racing luck. *Ellmer Hanover NZ ($3.30, David/Brad Hewitt), completed a driving double for Brad, and a good day for the Southern Tablelands “raiders”, with Canberra Raiders star Jarrod Croker enjoying the first-up Aussie win of the syndicate horse. Bathurst will race again this coming Friday night. Terry Neil

When Peter Barnes saw his number go up in first place as he came back to scale after the third race at Bathurst last Friday, his shocked, delight and a colourful exclamation suggested it might be a special moment. As he calmed down, he explained that it was his first race start with Sorta Sexy ($4.40), a four-year-old Modern Art daughter he’d purchased a few weeks earlier, after she’d run a number of placings this season for her former trainer Billy Evans. So, it was a first start win, and a little excitement was quite in order. But the level of excitement was better understood when he next explained that his entire team consisted of this one horse, and that his previous driving success had been back in April 2010, at Fairfield, with Winsome Win. Back in the barn after the race, Sorta Sexy was sporting the dress rug won by that previous winner. Barnes trains on a 500m track on his seven- acre farm near the Mount Piper Power Station, just outside Lithgow, and says the only time his horses do genuine fast work is when they go the trials or races. After a long career at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, retirement allows him plenty of time to prepare his team of just one, and Sorta Sexy will definitely lack for nothing in care and attention. A check on the computer later indicates that this was not only Peter’s first winning drive in five years, but just his second win ever (he trained another horse Williewa Duplicity to a number of wins, but didn’t drive it). Now, that post-race excitement was all the more understandable! How to describe a likeable figure, whose win was popular with everyone on track? “Hobbyist” is much too official-sounding, and “battler” can sound patronizing. That leaves us, instead, with the bare facts, which suit perfectly. Let’s just call Peter a “winning trainer-driver.” Dubbo owners Jeff and Nea Costello might have endured a much briefer losing run, barely 21 races, but the all-the-way win of Happy To Go NZ ($1.90 favourite) in a 3C0-3C1 fillies sprint, was most welcome nonetheless. The Costellos, who have developed a nice band of broodmares in recent years, were disappointed when several mares failed to go in foal to Bettors Delight, so they purchased the three-year-old Bettors daughter for racing and future breeding. A first-up second at Bathurst a fortnight earlier, and a victim of interference at Parkes at her next start, she was never in danger of defeat here, and will likely look for that second 3YO win before season’s end. Season’s end is looking very up-beat for her trainer, who registered win number 195 with this win and extended it to 196 when son Nathan reined Intransit ($2.10 favourite) to win a C1-C2 later in the night. A double at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night took him within two of his 200 goal, and four winners at Sunday’s Dubbo meeting put the issue well beyond doubt, and extended his lead in a tight NSW Trainers’ Premiership, with just three weeks to go. Other winners at the meeting were: *Mister Bigshot ($7.00, Chris/Anthony Frisby), after enjoying a one-one trail in a 2260 metres C0-C1, and maintaining good recent form following a spell since returning from Queensland; *Flyin Crusa NZ ($15.90, Geoff Read/Scott Hewitt), edged out favourite Miss Nickels (David Hewitt) to bring off a Goulburn quinella, despite pulling off a shoe during the preliminary; *Regal Ashes ($3.10, Peter Schiller/Brad Hewitt), getting up in the last stride in a 2YO sprint, her second win in succession at Bathurst, and highly impressive after sprinting hard from the 700 metres point; *Allnight Raid ($3.10 favourite, Bernie Hewitt/ Mat Rue), expertly positioned in the one-one from an awkward barrier draw, and a welcome change of fortune after a frustrating season of poor draws and racing luck; *Ellmer Hanover NZ ($3.30, David/Brad Hewitt), completed a driving double for Brad, and a good day for the Southern Tablelands “raiders”, with Canberra Raiders star Jarrod Croker enjoying the first-up Aussie win of the syndicate horse. Bathurst will race again this coming Friday night. by Terry Neil

Musselsfrmbrussels, nearly ten lengths off a wild early pace by Getitoffyourchest at the 3/4, rallied strongly to win the $24,000 featured pace at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday, edging Malak Uswaad N by a nose in 1:49.1.   After there not being a 1:20 or less clocking to the 3/4s in 2015 North American harness racing after the eighth month's seventh day, the next day produced two within eight hours and seven minutes -- State Treasurer's 1:19.4 in winning the U.S. Pacing Championship at The Meadowlands, and here Geitoffyourchest getting off unbelievable numbers of 25.1, 52.2, and 1:19.4, with driver Simon Allard kicking out the earplugs nearing the 3/4 even though his pacer had an 8-length lead.   Allard was proven correct in his concern for keeping his horse going, as Malak Uswaad N was rapidly gaining uncovered for Jim Morrill Jr.,with Musselsfrmbrussels and Anthony Napolitano right on his back.   Malak Uswaad N took the lead in midstretch, but "ANap" kept after Musselsfrmbrussels (named after Jean-Claude Van Damme), and he took the measure of his foe right on the line. (Getitoffyourchest wound up sixth.)   The winning son of Modern Art is conditioned by Pocono's leading trainer, Rene Allard, who had three winners on the night at press time, as did Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr.   The career winner of $549,383 equaled his lifetime mark for 2/3 of the partnership that owned Pocono's Friday feature winner Yagonnakissmeornot, Allard Racing Inc and Yves Sarrazin, with Serge Bureau also a partner on Musselsfrmbrussels.   The action doesn't let up at Pocono tomorrow night, as four fields of two-year-old pacing fillies contest the third preliminary leg of their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes campaign.   Trainer Jimmy Takter, fresh off his success with Pinkman in the Hambletonian on Saturday, has two of Sunday's finest prospects, Pure Country and Ivy League.   Jerry Connors

Charlottetown, PE - Thunderaway, with harness racing driver Jason Hughes in the bike, established a new track record for aged trotters stopping the timer in 1:57.3 Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The mare, owned by Foxyhall Racing, Summerside, PE, lowered the track record for aged mares from the 1:58.1 mark set by Real Housewife in the final of Erwin Andrew Memorial back on Gold Cup night in 2013. Pleasure Girls (Ron Gass) were charted six and half lengths back for second with Howmacs Pride (Kenny Arsenault) third. The Hughes, Foxyhall Racing partnership also went on to win the Red Shores feature when Si Semalu rolled from gate to wire in 1:56.3. It was the second win in a row for the son of Modern Art. Waterside Light (Kenny Arsenault) came flying late to grab second with Artners In Crime completing the triactor. Eagle Jolt and Marc Campbell joined family members trackside when they won the Maurice Murphy 75th birthday pace while guests with Riviere & Smith wedding pace draped the winning cooler over Starcastic for driver Ron Matheson, Trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Bobbi Jo Gaudet, Charlottetown and Billy MacKenzie, Stratford. Team Matheson also celebrated with Balanchine when the pacer notched his 60th lifetime victory on the program. In other action, Ramblinglily won the mares open by a neck over General Luckypercy in 1:56.2. Walter Cheverie guided the mare to her fifth victory of the year for trainer Allan Jones and his co-owner Norman Leger, Shediac, NB. Newcomer Weskey, under the command of Harold Shepherd, won their open trot challenge in 1:59.3. Matheson, Hughes and Gary Chappell recorded driving doubles on the 13 dash program. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca By Lee Drake

Foxyhall racing stable from Summerside, PE enjoyed a big night at the track with two of their stable stars, Si Semalu and Thunderaway, winning their respective assignments at the harness racing meeting on Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Si Semalu, under the command of driver Jason Hughes, was sent right to the lead from the rail and never looked back on route to a 1:55.4 clocking in the evening's feature event. The five- year-old son of Modern Art rolled through splits of 28.3, 58.4 and 1:27.3. Cabo Pan Lucas (Danny MacDonald) was second with Forever Paradise (Mike McGuigan) completing the triactor. Newcomer Thunderaway and Hughes were a two and half length winner in the first of two open trots carded on the program. The mare notched her 26th lifetime victory and her first on Island soil. Foxyhall racing also recorded a third place finish with Sam It Again Sam in The Class of 1958 St. Dunstan's University pace won by Perfect Escape in a dazzling 1:56 flat for Walter Cheverie. Cheverie, who had two winners on the program, did the driving for owners Jack Keenan, Stratford, PE and Joseph Dahl, Burlington, Ontario. Another newcomer to the Island racing ranks, Strike A Light, won the second open trot in 1:59.4 for driver Norris Rogers and trainer Blaine McKenna. Mike Stevenson had a driving double on the 12 dash program scoring with The Big Bite for trainer Thane Arsenault and the ownership group of Jack Arsenault, Charlottetown, Donna McIver, York, Edward Blaisdell, Montague and Deborah Wilson, Elmsdale, NS. The second score came with Shellys Man for owner Michael Collings, Charlottetown and trainer Gerald MacDougall. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake

Every young lady loves modern conveniences or 'mod cons' as they are fashionably referred to and female harness racing driver Jess Prior is no different. However the equine name 'Mod Conns' is one she will always remember after the three year old filly provided Jess with the first driving win of her career. Jess competed in her first event on Anzac Day this year and after placing twice in her first four races, she was entitled to think her first winner was just around the corner but the 25-year old was forced to wait until her 24th drive. "It was a great feeling, I was breathless and there were a few tears because I had finally broken through for that first win," Jess said. "I was born into harness racing and I work fulltime for trainer Peter Bullock but to get my first win for my uncle (Terry Powter) was very special and it was something I will never forget." Jess has worked for Peter Bullock for the past 18 months since returning to the industry after the birth of her daughter. "Ayla is five now, I come from Parkes originally but made the move to Bathurst about 19 months ago, I have worked as a hairdresser previously but I really enjoy working with the horses. "I get some great driving advice from Peter (Bullock) and Michael Munro and Murray Sullivan has been a great help to me and is always happy to answer any questions that I have." Mod Conns is engaged at Dubbo on Friday afternoon and Jess is hoping the daughter of Modern Art can go back to back. "I have driven her six times and apart from the win on Saturday night, I have also placed on her a couple of times so she is never far away in her races, she is racing really well at the moment." Greg Hayes

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