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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

J&M Racing's Embassy Seelster ($4.80, George Dennis) notched her sixth win of the season Tuesday in the featured $16,000 Mares Open at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway in 1:53.2. Trained by Doug Lewis, the 5-year-old Modern Art mare was sent to the front from post seven and never relented in her half length score over BJ's Sweetheart and Also Encouraging. Embassy Seelster, the Harrington track record holder for aged mares, has not been worse than third in her past eight starts, including five wins. It was a good night for the Lewis barn who two races earlier, won their fifth race of the meet with Narcian Jewel ($3.20, Allan Davis). Narcian Jewel has won five of her last six races for owner Jerry Clark. Dennis and Victor Kirby each had three wins on the program. Allan Davis had a driving double. Matt Sparacino

Michael Stanley says Soho Tokyo is back to her best and the Burrumbeet trainer is confident the filly will produce a big run on Friday night in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies' first semi-final at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton. "She's definitely back to her best," Stanley said. "She had a lot of back issues early this preparation, which probably came about due to her long two-year-old season. We've had a lot of work done by chiropractors and the vets but I think we've got on top of that now and she's racing really well." Soho Tokyo is by super sire Bettors Delight out of former Australian juvenile of the year Pelicanrama and has won two of her past three starts. She made up ground to win at Maryborough three starts back off a 56.8secs last half before a second to Niki No No at Shepparton when she worked three-wide on her own and attacked the line. Last time out at Shepparton she won a C0 after leading, Stanley explaining that she's not at her best when in front. "She'll still win from in front but she's got a powerful sprint from behind," he said. From barrier five, Soho Tokyo will be punching forward early and Stanley says she's the stable's best chance at a Super Series trophy this year. Stanley will also line up Soho Berlin in the three-year-old fillies' category, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere snaring the pole draw in the second semi-final. "Barrier one gives her every chance to qualify for the final," Stanley said. "I'd be disappointed if she didn't run in the top six but I'm realistic about where she stacks up compared to the better ones." Stanley hopes Young Modern can put his best foot forward in the four-year-old entires and geldings' first semi-final and the horseman is thrilled with how the son of Modern Art is travelling. "I'm rapt with him. He's had a super prep and his work has been great. He's on the right path," Stanley said. "He's probably got the hardest four-year-old group of any year I can remember. In the past there have always been one or two standouts, but the depth of this class is really strong. "It's been the same the whole way through for these horses. "Any other year he might have gone in as first or second-favourite, but this year he could quite easily go in sixth or seventh." Stanley said Young Modern would work forward into a handy spot and try to make his own luck. "He's a genuine free-for-all horse in my opinion. And he was probably only 80 per cent the other day so he'll come on a lot this Friday night." Rounding out the stable's Vicbred chances is APG Consolation winner Soho Lexington in the second semi-final for two-year-old colts and geldings. "I'm really happy with him," Stanley said. "I'd expect him to make the final and while he's not the best two-year-old he's the sort of horse who if the best ones are down on their game, he can win a big race." The first on a huge 12-event Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Final card kicks off at 4.50pm on Friday. CODY WINNELL

There was a Brew Ha Ha Sunday at the harness racing meeting at Red Shores Summerside between Si Semalu and Big Surf in the afternoon feature event.   Si Semalu, a newcomer to Prince Edward Island from the Ontario racing circuit purchased by Foxyhall racing stable of Summerside, was making his first lifetime start on red soil and he meant business.   Driver Jason Hughes hustled the son of Modern Art from the gate and hooked up with Big Surf (Marc Campbell) on route to the opening quarter in a swift 27.4. The two horses battled neck and neck toe to toe through a half reached in 55.3 before Big Surf threw in the towel when they reached the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. The trip set up perfectly for All Turain and Corey MacPherson who charged three-high at the third panel to cruise by his tiring stable-mate and march to a two length victory in 1:56.4. Si Semalu, who battled a strong wind throughout the mile, held on for a much deserved second while Outside The Wire (Kenny Arsenault) rallied for third. All Turain is owned by Lee Hicken of Charlottetown, PE. The score gave MacPherson a driving triple on the day. Hog Aufray, Ultimate Faith, Carrera Angel and Casimir Luciano gave Campbell four winners on the card. Walter Cheverie and Brian MacPhee had driving doubles. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake

The exciting Dancingwithsierra resumes tomorrow night at the harness racing meeting at Kilmore in the third heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred 2YO Fillies Super Series.   After making a huge splash at her first prep with three wins and a second from four starts, the Gary Hoban-trained daughter of Modern Art/Sierra Tango has tuned up for tomorrow night’s hit-out with two recent trials (a win at Melton on May 25 in 2:02.7, last half 57.9) and a third at Ballarat on June 6 behind Emma Stewart pair Heavens Trend and Beaming.   John Caldow takes the reins aboard the Toolern Vale filly tomorrow night from barrier five.   The in-form Brent Lilley stable, which scored a quintet at Melton last Friday night, has New Romantics engaged in this heat from barrier four for Anthony Butt.   The daughter of Art Major/Showtime Franco debuted with a 10.1m fourth behind Whirily School before running second beaten 3.3m by that horse in the $50,000 Vicbred Home Grown Classic Final on May 15.   Geoff Webster presents Mach Three/Indi Rose filly Sheluvsme first-up since May 15 when fifth in the Home Grown Classic.   She also finished runner-up to Whirily School at Geelong on May 7, beaten 3.1m.   Gumdrops’ half-sister Platinum Power will have her second start after finishing down the track on debut at Maryborough in January for Steven Zammit.   Rocknroll Magic, who defeated Dancingwithsierra in the Des McQueen at Melton on March 14 will line up in barrier 13 with Gavin Lang in the sulky.   Two heats of the three-year-old fillies’ division will be held, the first Race 1 on the card at 5.25pm and the second Race 6 at 8pm.   In the first race, Russell Jack-trained Grand Anse has drawn gate five with Nathan Jack to take the drive.   Grand Anse won the Wagga Oaks in March before heading to Hobart for the Tasmanian Oaks where she finished second to Sudden Change.   A daughter of superstar mare Tailamade Lombo, Maid For You Lombo, will start from barrier four for Monegeetta trainer David Miles, while Yankee Showgirl from the Gary Quinlan stable at Drouin West has the outside-front-row draw to overcome but has won two of her last four outings.   Michael Stanley will line up Soho Berlin from barrier two, the SBSW / Giveusachance filly coming off two minor placings and out of a friendlier barrier than she’s been drawing of late.   Another filly who will appreciate a good draw is the David Aiken-trained Glory Daze, who ran a mighty race behind Sukovia last start after breaking stride and losing considerable ground early at Shepparton.   The second of the three-year-old fillies’ heats sees high-class daughter of Art Major/Golden Showgirl Smooth Showgirl coming out of barrier nine for Belinda McCarthy and Nathan Jack. At her most recent outing Smooth Showgirl collected the win in the Seymour Nursery Final for 3YO Fillies at Albion Park, securing $45,100 in stakes money.   Other fillies in the second of the night’s 3YO fillies’ heats who have shown plenty of promise so far include Starzzz Of Icon, Boadiceas Fury, Another Fireball and Shishi.   CODY WINNELL

Inter Dominion finalist and two-time group 1 winner Ultimate Art (Modern Art) will have a crack at Menangle on Saturday night for Ellalong harness racing trainer-driver Michael Formosa. The group 3 open class over 2300 metres will be the third race back for the five-year-old bay colt since running seventh for Formosa on Australasia’s richest harness racing day in March. Both of Ultimate Art’s runs have been over the same distance at Menangle, finishing fourth in the Group 3 Joe and Michael Isley on May 16 and tenth in the listed classic Bulli Cup.  Ultimate Art (race seven, number 10), with 19 wins and 12 placings from 47 career starts, will be up against Mark Purdon’s Smolda and the McCarthy’s For A Reason. Formosa also has Milias Ideal (race six, number three) in the race prior, the NSW Breeders Challenge semi-final for two-year-old fillies, and will drive Shadow Runner (race eight, number one) in the NSW Breeders semi-final for two-year-old geldings and colts. First race jumps at 5.17pm. Newcastle Harness racing Club will host meetings on Thursday from 2.58pm and Friday from 5.09pm. By Josh Callihan Reprinted with permission of The Maitland Mercury website  

J&M Racing Stable's Embassy Seelster ($10.80, George Dennis) set a new track record for aged pacing mares with a 1:51.3 triumph in the $12,500 Mares Open II at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway. The Doug Lewis-trainee led most of the way in her half-length victory over San Fran Lady N and Star Keeper. The 5-year-old Modern Art mare reset the track record, formerly held by Ladyfield (1:51.4) set in 2008. It was also a new national season's mark for pacing mares in North America on a half mile racetrack. That mark was formerly held by runner up San Fran Lady N (1:52.1). Harrington currently holds five of the nine national season's marks on half-mile racetracks. Also Encouraging ($2.10, Jim Morand), a top sophomore filly from last year who made $316,761, returned for her first win in her second start of this season for owners Richard Lombardo and David Kryway with a 1:53.3 score for trainer Josh Green in a $10,000 conditioned event. Another talented mare on the comeback trail notched her first 4-year-old win as CC Racing's Tyra ($4.80, Victor Kirby) capitalized on a class drop for a 1:54 win in a $10,000 conditioned pace. Trained by Jim King Jr., the 4-year-old Mcardle mare was a beaten favorite in Open company last week but helped to atone for that defeat with her first win in three starts this year. George Dennis had three driving wins on the program. Matt Sparacino  

Dave Drew enjoyed his biggest thrill in harness racing last year when Modern Legend won the Canadian Pacing Derby. He hopes the horse can add to his legend with another strong campaign this season. Modern Legend - the only horse Drew owns - races in Sunday's inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational for older pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia, where he will face a group that includes Levy Pacing Series champion Domethatagain and millionaires Clear Vision and Dancin Yankee. Modern Legend and driver James MacDonald will start from post eight. The race is part of a star-studded card that also features the $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters - where Dan Patch Award-winners Bee A Magician, Father Patrick, Classic Martine and Market Share make up half the field - and the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers. Seven-year-old Modern Legend heads to the Jerry Taylor Invitational off a second-place finish by a nose to JK Endofanera in last Saturday's opening round of the TVG Free For All Pacing Series at the Meadowlands. For the year, Modern Legend has posted two wins, a second and a third in four starts. He has won 21 of 67 career races and earned $916,192 for Drew, who also bred and trains the gelding. "I feel very good about him," said Drew, a 63-year-old from Ontario. "We'll do our best with (the post position). He's raced very well so far this year, so I'm certainly hoping for the best on Sunday in the Jerry Taylor. "Having a horse like him, it's something that's beyond anything I could have expected in racing," he added. "It's just been a real thrill to have this horse." Drew owned horses while working fulltime at General Motors in Ontario for 33 years. He began training after he retired from GM a dozen years ago. Modern Legend is a son of Modern Art out of the mare Ruby Cam. Drew and his brother, Greg, raced Ruby Cam, winning six of 11 races including the Middlesex County Pacing Series championship in 2003. Last season, Modern Legend and driver David Miller captured the $583,280 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 66-1, winning by three lengths over Foiled Again. "That's absolutely the highlight of racing for me," Drew said. "To have this horse and win the Canadian Pacing Derby was just outstanding. To be a part of this horse, he's just a fantastic animal. He did a great job. I couldn't be prouder of him." Drew is not alone. His wife Nancy and daughters Lisa and Stephanie are the horse's biggest fans. "They probably cheer the loudest of anyone when he's racing," Drew said. "They're avid fans. And they're very supportive of what I'm doing." Modern Legend, who was unraced at age 2 by design, put together an eight-race win streak bridging his 3- and 4-year-old seasons during which he swept the Autumn, Snowshoe and Cam Fella series. He was injured as the result of interference in the Cam Fella final and sidelined nine months, but returned to earn $229,469 at age 5. Last year, he banked a career-best $405,514, with five wins in 23 starts, and established his career mark of 1:47.2. He won four of his final 11 races and in the seven remaining starts lost only once by more than 1-3/4 lengths. "He closed out last year very well," Drew said. "I took it easy with him over the winter, kept him jogging and swimming. Swimming is part of his regular routine. I was hopeful coming into this year. He's probably started out at least as well as I would have expected for this season. I'm very happy with that. "He's staked somewhat comparable to last year. His next stakes engagement is the Ben Franklin at Pocono. Hopefully he'll fit in there and be ready to go for that." Following is the field for the Jerry Taylor Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Doctor Butch, John Campbell, Linda Toscano 2. Sapphire City, Mark MacDonald, Paul Blumenfeld 3. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard 4. Great Vintage, David Miller, Jimmy Takter 5. Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 6. Dancin Yankee, Brett Miller, Josh Green 7. Clear Vision, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 8. Modern Legend, James MacDonald, David Drew Following is the field for the Betsy Ross Mare Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 2. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 3. Radar Contact, John Campbell, Noel Daley 4. Jerseylicious, David Miller, Wayne Givens 5. Table Talk, Andy Miller, Bart Dalious 6. Yagonnakissmeornot, Simon Allard, Rene Allard 7. Ooh Bad Shark, Allan Davis, William Wiggins 8. For The Ladies N, Brian Sears, Peter Tritton Following is the field for the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller 2. DW's NY Yank, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano 5. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter 6. Melady's Monet, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott 7. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick/George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes 8. Bourbon Bay, John Cummings Jr., Megan Wilson by Ken Weingartne Harness Racing Communications USTA

Riverside harness racing trainer Chester Bullock doesn't often ignore advice of co-owners of his six-year-old Cardinal Art but he was glad he did in Launceston on Sunday night. Bullock said his partners in the horse weren't keen when he advised them he wanted to apply pull-down blinds to the gear of Cardinal Art but he put them on anyway and they proved the desired result. Cardinal Art settled last in the Longford Equine Clinic Stakes (2200m) before being sent three-wide around the field at the bell. When driver Ricky Duggan edged close to the leader 400 metres from home he released the blinds. The gelded son of Modern Art bounded clear and went on to defeat Butch And Clyde by over seven metres with I've Got Oomph just over a metre astern. "Ricky (Duggan) said the new gear did the trick - when he pulled the blinds down the horse just took off," Bullock said. "It was like he found another gear and why that happens I don't know - maybe it gives them an adrenalin rush," he said. Cardinal Art recorded a mile rate of 2.03.2. Bullock says he always holds off using the pull-down blinds until horses are mature. Cardinal Art has won five times but he also has notched 18 minor placings to easily pay his way. Peter Staples

LEBANON, OH. - The Jeff Brewer Stable, which produced the winner of the initial Survivor Series at Miami Valley Raceway in 2014, dominated first leg action of the 2015 version by capturing three of the four elimination heats on Tuesday (March 17) night. The field of 32 harness racing entrants was reduced to 21 with the top five finishers in each of the four elimination races advancing to second elimination round action on March 25. The 21st advance resulted when the photo finish camera couldn't separate two horses who arrived at the finish line together for fifth place in the first heat. All three of the "Brew Crew" winners were driven by trainer Jeff's son Jason. B L Wattaride was the first to advance, capturing the first elim at 8-1 odds in 1:56.4. Rocking Meadows Stable owns the six-year-old Kilowatt gelding who notched his tenth lifetime victory. Jolts Virtue (Randy Tharps) finished second with R M Imp (Tyler Smith) and E R Prince Charmin (Jeremy Smith) advancing in addition to the fifth place deadheaters-Dusty Dunes (Ken Holliday) and Settlement Request (Kayne Kauffman). Martydaonemanparty (Jeremy Smith) was the quickest of the four winners with a 1:53.4 lifetime best score for owner Tom Luther and trainer Rob Zink in the second split. The six-year-old son of Modern Art, sent off at 5-2 odds, won for the 16th time. Others to move on to second round action, in order of finish, were Gypsy Colors (Josh Sutton), Winbak Jake (Tyler Smith), Bettordays R Cumin (Dan Noble) and Livelikeurdying (Kayne Kauffman). The father-son Brewer team returned to the winner's circle in the third elimination with Mias Bold Maneauver, a 1:54.2 winner at 9-2 odds. The nine-year-old Jate Lobell gelding topped City Pizza (Tyler Smith), Indian's Rocket (Jeremy Smith), Gem Heist (Brady Galliers) and Southbound (Dan Noble). It was the 22nd career victory for the winner who is owned by driver Jason Brewer. Hay Goodlooking, a nine-year-old son of Art Major, notched a 1:56 triumph in the final elimination, besting K R's Cruiser (Dan Noble), Western Jolt (Kayne Kauffman), Aka The Situation (Tyler Smith) and Big Bear Bow (Jeff Nisonger) as the even money favorite. Rocking Meadow Stable and Jason Brewer are partners on Hay Goodlooking, who will enter the second elimination round as the richest and most experienced in the group. With 212 starts under his belt, he sports 42 career wins and $542,106 in lifetime bounty. The Survivor Series spotlights horses that made their last pre-series start for a base claiming price of $5000 or less. The top five from each second round elimination next week will return April 1 for a $10,000 championship race. Gregg Keidel

Exciting harness racing youngster Dancingwithsierra faces a tough time as she aims to extend her unbeaten sequence at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. An impressive winner of her three starts, Dancingwithsierra is engaged in the Des McQueen Classic, which has attracted an interesting field. Along with Celebrity Guest, which was a recent debut winner for trainer Emma Stewart, the assembly includes three first starters from the Stewart stable. Runner-up at her first two starts, Sahara Sunrise is also well positioned to break her maiden. Thrilled with Dancingwithsierra’s progress, trainer Gary Hoban is confident the daughter of Modern Art can continue her winning streak despite drawing the outside of the front row. “She just hasn’t stopped improving since she started racing and should be better again this time,” Hoban said. “One of her best qualities is the fact she takes everything in her stride. “She’s a very nice filly, and they are few and far between, so we will look after her and enjoy the journey. “She was always going to draw badly because it is a preferential race, which astounds me in any feature.” Citing Celebrity Guest as the main danger, Hoban is also weary of the debutantes. “Celebrity Guest went very well at her first start and is drawn inside us,” Hoban said. “Emma’s other three are first starters, so they are unknown quantities. “That said, Emma will have them pretty spot on before bringing them to the races.” PAUL COURTS

Connections of talented pacer Mister Jay Cee are hoping he can change his family’s history in one of harness racing’s premier events. A well-bred gelding, Mister Jay Cee is engaged in Sunday’s Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Despite drawing perfectly in barrier one, Mister Jay Cee is one of the outsiders for trainer Richard Baverstock. By Modert Art, the four-year-old is from Bettor By Far, making Mister Jay Cee a relative to Kept For Pleasure, Its My Pleasure and Nowtizku, which were all unplaced in the Group One. Kept For Pleasure finished sixth in the 2009 edition, followed by Its My Pleasure and Nowitzki, which finished seventh in 2011 and ’14. Thrilled with the draw, Baverstock feels Mister Jay Cee can upset a few of his rivals with the right run. “We are just rapt to make the Final,” Baverstock said. “He’s not quite up to the real top ones, but he goes well enough. “The biggest problem with him is he switches off in his races and drops the bit, which you can’t afford to do against this level. “If the penny drops with him he will be a lot better horse. “The draw has really helped and if he gets a good run along the pegs he may be able to sneak a placing.” PAUL COURTS

Victorian harness racing trainer Michael Stanley says his filly Soho Tokyo is on song ahead of tonight’s New South Wales Oaks heat. The beautifully-bred youngster - by Bettors Delight from former top-line juvenile Pelicanrama - has been among the placings at both her runs this time in. “I’m really happy with her,” Stanley said. “She didn’t have any luck around Warragul and then we gave her a run at Charlton. “She needed the run there and she finished third behind two nice horses (Ricimer and Rule Of Thumb) coming home in 55.9 (1:58.7 mile rate). “I was really happy with the run…it was a good hit-out.” Stanley’s talented four-year-old Young Modern made the trip to Menangle with Soho Tokyo this morning, with the son of Modern Art set to contest the Paleface Adios Stakes. HRV Media

Defending harness racing champion Beautide proved he is ready for his Inter Dominion title defence with a stylish victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. The James Rattray -trained pacer bounced back from a disappointing Victorian campaign by capturing a heat of the time-honoured Championship. With Rattray in the sulky, Beautide was simply a class above his rivals as he cruised to an easy win from For A Reason and Monifieth. Naturally thrilled with the gelding’s performance, Rattray is confident Beautide will be in perfect condition for the $750,000 Final on March 1. “He’s had a mixed preparation, but the last month I have been a lot happier with him,” Rattray said. Covering the last half in 56.1 seconds, the son of Bettors Delight rated 1:54.4 for the 2400 metres. In the second Sydney-based qualifier, Ultimate Art caused a major upset by scoring at $22.70 on the tote. After enjoying the run of the race behind the leader, Easy On The Eye, Ultimate Art grabbed the lead in the shadows of the post score by a head from the pacemaker, with New Zealand raider, Terror To Love a head away third. Trained and driven by Michael Formosa, the son of Modern Art rated 1:57 to register his first win from six starts this season. “We were travelling so well I almost came out in front of Terror To Love when he made his move, but I didn’t want to get too cocky and wanted to make sure we qualified,” Formosa said Ultimate Art is no stranger to Group One glory at the 1400-metre circuit, having annexed the Four-Year-Old Breeders’ Challenge Final last term. PAUL COURTS

Prominent South Australian harness racing trainer Ryan Hryhorec is already planning his next raid on Victoria’s riches. Hryhorec made the trek across the border for last night’s Mildura meeting and returned home with a perfect score from three starters. “Very pleased with the result”, Hryhorec revealed he will make regular interstate trips during the next few months. “One of the main reasons for going to Mildura was to try and get Flagbearer’s Vicbred bonus,” Hryhorec explained. “She managed to get it, which was great. “I’ve got a couple of others in the stable which are eligible for the bonus, so I will head back soon. “When you can take a few across and they figure in the money it makes it a worthwhile trip. “I’m very pleased with the result and will head back whenever possible during the summer.” Star Crossed kick-started Hryhorec’s onslaught by leading throughout to account for Wicked Isle and Courage Draft in 2:02.2 for the 2190 metres. “Once she got to the front she was never going to be run down,” Hryhorec said. “She’s a handy mare, which keeps building on her good record.” Hryhorec then combined with Flagbearer, which registered an impressive victory from Kodiemali and Bella Cullen. “It wasn’t the strongest maiden, but that said, she did it pretty easily and had a bit up her sleeve,” Hryhorec declared. “That was her second run back and she will improve from the outing. “I can’t see any reason why she won’t string a few together and get through the grades pretty easily.” Hryhorec then handed the reins to talented driver Zac Phillips, who scored with an impressive Star Brutus. After occupying the ‘death seat’ the son of Modern Art cruised to a 15-metre win from Superstar Xpress, with Shutterbug a half-neck away third. “He prefers a little more distance, so the race was always going to suit him,” Hryhorec said. “I was never worried about him sitting outside the leader as I felt he always had them covered.” PAUL COURTS

CARDINAL ART is no stranger to winning races but when he scored an impressive all-the-way victory at Carrick on the Northern region of Tasmania on Friday it may have marked the beginning of a best ever campaign. With Todd Rattray in the cart, the Chester Bullock-trained six-year-old showed plenty of early speed to rush across the field to lead. Once in front Rattray rated the gelded son of Modern Art superbly and when the more fancied runners made their charges in the home straight Cardinal Art was up to the task and went on to win convincingly from Baragoola and Santanna Night. It was a great result for Bullock who was keen to put Rattray aboard given his regard for the talented reinsman who spent a couple of years working for Bullock at his training and breeding complex at Riverside in the North of the state. "When this horse drew barrier one I was very keen to put Todd on because in my opinion there is no better front-running driver in the state," Bullock said. While the trainer was all smiles after the race he also was quick to remind Rattray of a comment he made about the horse five weeks earlier. "Five weeks ago Todd was at my place and he saw Cardinal Art and asked me when she was due"(thinking that he was a pregnant mare)." "That's how fat he was at the tome but I changed his work around since then and it had the desired effect," Bullock said. It was the Carrick club's first of three meetings for the season but heavy rain during the day ended up cutting the meeting short. While the racetrack was still safe after a couple of deluges it was water running off a side road leading to the track that led to the last three races being abandoned. Dirty water running off the nearby road flowed onto the track and because it was orange in colour horses were jumping it during their preliminaries prior to race seven. The meeting was delayed by stewards as attempts were made to rectify the problem but eventually chief steward Adrian Crowther had to abandon the rest of the program. Peter Staples  

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