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Harness Racing NSW has been advised by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that phenylbutazone and oxphenbutazone has been detected in the post race urine sample taken from MAGICAL TELF NZ after it raced and won Race 3, the Slingsby Holdings Australasian Young Drivers Heat 2 (2300 metres) at Tabcorp Park Menangle Harness meeting on 15 February 2014. This finding has been confirmed by the Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Melbourne. An inquiry into these findings will be held on Thursday 1 May 2014. Mr D Braun the trainer of MAGICAL TELF NZ has been advised. HRNSW

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards today opened inquiries into the results of analysis from two approved laboratories that the prohibited substance Cobalt above the threshold of 200mg/Litre in urine samples collected from the following horses; COOGEE COOGEE (Trainer M Hardy) following its win in race 7, the Uranquinty Hotel Ladyship Pace (1,755 metres) conducted at Wagga on 24 January 2014 THE BIG MARN (Trainer R Nicholson) following its win in race 11, the Flying K Final (1000 metres) conducted at Menangle on 21 January 2014. MAJOR DENIAL (Trainer R Nicholson)  following its win in race 1, the Tattersalls Hotel Pace (1710 metres) conducted at Goulburn on 27 January 2014 Mr M Hardy was issued with a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4), in that as the trainer of COOGEE COOGEE he did present that horse to race at Wagga on 24 January 2014, not free of a prohibited substance, namely cobalt above the threshold. After being issued with the charge Mr Hardy was granted an adjournment to enable him to present further evidence in defence of the charge. The inquiry was adjourned until 30 April 2014 commencing at 11am. Mr R Nicholson sought an adjournment at the opening of the inquiry to allow him further time to present his case. After some evidence was taken from Mr Nicholson and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr M Wainscott the inquiry was adjourned until 30 April 2014 commencing at 1.30pm. HRNSW

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) today handed down its decision with regard to the penalty review hearings of Mr Eric Anderson and Mr Glenn Douglas against the decision of the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board to disqualify Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas for 6 months for offences against the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) relating to an investigation concerning the horse Talk To The Hand. Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas, through their legal representative Mr Sandy Robertson, argued the penalties imposed upon them were excessive.   These review hearings were held in conjunction with review applications of the HRV Stewards who argued through their legal counsel, Mr Neill Murdoch SC, that the penalties applied by the HRV RAD Board were inadequate. His Honour Judge Nixon, in delivering his decision, announced that he considered the offence seriousness to be in the high category and that he considered the most critical principles requiring consideration in the case to be denunciation, general deterrence and the preservation of the integrity of the harness racing industry.  His Honour stated that public confidence in the harness racing industry is critical and that the giving of false evidence to Stewards could not be tolerated and must result in significant penalty being imposed. His Honour remarked that the lies told by Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas surrounding the death and disposal of the horse Talk To The Hand were maintained until the bitter end and that such lies were told to deceive the Stewards. His Honour indicated he gave consideration to the numerous references supplied in support of Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas which described their extensive involvement and success in the harness racing industry over a lengthy period of time, references which were not before the HRV RAD Board on 5 March 2014 when Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas appeared unrepresented. His Honour found that in all of the circumstances of the case, the penalty of 6 months disqualification imposed by the HRV RAD Board upon Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas for their respective conduct was a just and appropriate penalty.  His Honour confirmed the imposition of these penalties and taking into account time served (8 days), such periods of disqualification will expire as at 8 October 2014. In arriving at this decision, His Honour noted that it should not be assumed in the harness racing industry that a period of 6 months disqualification is the ‘ceiling’ for penalties that may be handed down in circumstances where false evidence is provided to the Stewards or where persons frustrate or endeavour to frustrate investigations of the Stewards.  His Honour also noted that in addition to the powerful references supplied, His Honour was also required to consider the evidence of Dr Sarah Jalim, as a result of the position of Mr Anderson and Mr Douglas that their conduct was in order to protect the interests of Dr Jalim.  His Honour indicated he considered the evidence of Dr Jalim, both before the HRV RAD Board and the VCAT, regarding her inactivity (in reporting matters to the HRV Stewards) at a relevant time on the evening of 21 August 2013 at the Bendigo harness racing meeting, which resulted in her pleading guilty to a charge before the HRV RAD Board on 5 March 2014. Glenn Douglas, Eric Anderson and Sarah Jalim The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to various charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) against licensed trainer/driver Mr Glenn Douglas, licensed stablehand/registered owner Mr Eric Anderson and veterinarian Dr Sarah Jalim. The charges were issued in connection to the conduct of the relevant parties concerning the Glenn Douglas trained horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ which was scheduled to compete at the Bendigo harness racing meeting conducted on 21 August 2013.  After arriving at the racecourse, the horse became unwell and its health quickly deteriorated resulting in the horse being assisted onto a float by Mr Anderson, Mr Douglas and Dr Jalim before the horse was euthanized by Dr Jalim.  The fact that the horse was euthanized was not brought to the attention of the attending HRV Stewards on the night by Mr Douglas, Mr Anderson or Dr Jalim. Mr Eric Anderson Mr Eric Anderson pleaded guilty to 6 charges issued by HRV Stewards. Charge 1 – ARHR 187(6)               A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 1 were that Mr Anderson frustrated the investigation of the Stewards by not ensuring the immediate notification of the death of the horse ‘Talk To The Hand’ and by arranging and conducting the burial of the horse in Boundary Bend, Victoria, with asbestos piping, actions which inhibited the extent of the post-mortem autopsy conducted upon the horse. Charge 2 – ARHR 187(2)      A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 2 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013 regarding the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of ‘Talk To The Hand’, falsely advised that the horse had been alive when it was removed from the Bendigo racecourse and also alive when it arrived at the stables of Mr Glenn Douglas after being transported by Mr Anderson in a float.   Charge 3 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 3 were that Mr Anderson, when interviewed by HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, falsely advised that Mr Glenn Douglas whilst checking on the welfare of ‘Talk To The Hand’ in the night of 21 August 2013 had found the horse to be alive and that Mr Anderson had only discovered the horse to be deceased at the stables of Mr Douglas on the morning of 22 August 2013. Charge 4 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 4 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by denying that ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been euthanized in the vicinity of the Bendigo racecourse on 21 August 2013. Charge 5 – ARHR 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of Charge 5 were that Mr Anderson, in a secondary interview with HRV Stewards on 22 August 2013, gave false information by advising that the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ had been burned at Boundary Bend, Victoria, when the horse had in fact been buried at this location. Charge 6 – ARHR 105(5) The owner or authorized agent or other person in charge of a horse whose death has been notified, or which should have been notified, under sub rule (1)(a) shall not dispose of the carcass without the permission of the Controlling Body or the Stewards The particulars of Charge 6 were that Mr Anderson disposed of the carcass of ‘Talk To The Hand’ without the permission of the HRV Stewards. After hearing submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 6 month disqualification upon Mr Anderson in relation to charges 1-6 and ordered such disqualification to commence immediately. Harness Racing Australia  

LONGFORD harness trainer Barrie Rattray has what some might consider a stranglehold on the Raider Stakes final for home grown four-year-olds at Devonport next Sunday week. In Launceston last night two heats of the sires' stakes classic were run and won by Rattray-trained four-year-olds and he also snared the quinella in one of the heats and a minor placegetter in the other to give him four genuine winning chances in the final. Pachacuti delivered a message that he will be very hard to beat in the final by defying a tough run facing the breeze for the last lap to go on and score convincingly over Melolyn and another of Rattray's band of talented four-year-olds Diva's Delight. Pachacuti spent a couple of months at James Rattray's stables in NSW where he failed to flatter in three of his five starts at Menangle. The gelding won a heat of the 3YO Breeders Crown last season and finished a gallant second to super star Bit Of A Legend in the $175.000 final. He was then transferred to James Rattray's care at Cobbitty and was placed at his first two attempts but his form went south and after he galloped away in a 4YO feature race on Inter Dominion day he was sent home to Tasmania. His first-up win in Hobart was solid but he confirmed he was back to his best with this latest victory on Sunday night. Lickyalips led and looked to be travelling comfortably turning for home but when driver Todd Rattray called on Pachacuti to extend he delivered the goods and went on to score by almost five metres from Melolyn that ran home strongly with Divas Delight doing his best work late. Rykov Leis (Ricky Duggan) then led his rivals a merry chase to score a strong win over stablemate Devendra in the remaining heat. Duggan ensured a solid tempo while Todd Rattray was content to allow his charge to travel in the one-out-one-back spot to the 400-metre peg. He had to wait until straightening to get the run three-wide to challenge but when Duggan called on Rykov Leis to sprint he sped clear and had enough in reserve to stave off a late surge from his stablemate. By Peter Staples

Tabcorp Park Menangle is ready for racing. The track was given a tick of approval this morning by local trainers as well as Harness Racing New South Wales chief steward Reid Sanders to resume racing tomorrow (Saturday) night. Following last week’s setback, the track has been worked on continuously and veteran mentor Dennis Wilson can already notice the difference within the track. “The track was beautiful this morning,” he said. “It is more forgiving on the horses’ legs and they’ll still run the times because they will be comfortable. “We’ve had a bit of rain overnight and on the old surface I would have had chunks of dirt flicked up at me and I had none of that today.” Over eight millimetres of rain fell at Menangle on Thursday and NSW Harness Racing Club chief executive John Dumesny also pointed out that the old surface would have suffered from this. “The drizzly rain we had yesterday and overnight would have caused us some concern with the former surface,” Dumesny said. “Whilst we didn’t have the unprecedented rain that we had last week, we had a sustained period of rain on Thursday and the track handled it with ease.” Some of the first horses to race on this revamped surface include Inter Dominion winner Beautide and placgetters Seel N Print and For A Reason who will go head-to-head in the Marsdens Law Group Pace (Race 7 at 8.45pm). The bumper 10-race card, which also includes two Australian Pacing Gold heats as well as three heats for the Lands Legal Carousel, will start at 5.40pm. For further information telephone NSWHRC Racing Manager David Wonson on 0438 398 251. Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW

The $9,000 Inverell Cup will highlight the club's first ever TAB meeting at the Paceway on Sunday afternoon which will also be run in conjunction with the TAB Carnival of Cups series. A strong eight race card is set for action with over $50,000 in prizemoney up for grabs. The Cup looks to be an open affair on paper with strong chances given to several runners. Corilla Tess and Princess Zara were both impressive at the recent Armidale TAB Carnival of Cups meeting whilst Aleyska Dream, who has been consistent in recent times, has the alley to dictate terms. Just by being on course one lucky patron will go into the draw to win a brand new Toyota Yaris. The opening event is set to start at 12:48pm and will be broadcast live on Sky Racing 2. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |              

Bathurst Gold Crown winning two year old Artistic Flite will return to the racetrack on Saturday night when he competes in a heat of the Australian Pacing Gold at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Trainer Anton Golino confirmed the son of Artistic Fella had recovered well from his first Gr. 1 victory and is hoping to add a second feature win to the list. "He is a dream horse, he just recovers so quickly, he has pulled up from the Bathurst Gold Crown so well and now it is time to concentrate on the Australian Pacing Gold," Golino said. "Artistic Flite doesn't take a lot of work so he'll just have one more serious hit-out this week to top him off for Saturday night and if everything goes to plan we will be off to Melbourne for the semi finals a fortnight later." Golino was extremely proud of Artistic Flite after the win at Bathurst but admitted he was nervous going into the final. "Definitely, I was really nervous about him going into the first corner but John McCarthy got him around that perfectly and once he did that I knew he was going to be a big chance." "I didn't give John any instructions, he's driven enough in big races and won plenty of them and in the end it all turned out perfectly, I think Noel Daley was the first person to ring me after the win, it was a very special night for me." A long float trip to Melbourne is not a concern for Artistic Flite according to Golino. "When he had his first start at Newcastle back in February he was in the float by himself and we actually got caught in a fair bit of traffic on the way into the track and he handled himself really well, he didn't sweat up, he didn't move, he was perfect so I'm not too worried about taking him to Melbourne." "There is only a week between the semi final and the final and should he get through to the final I think it would be best to stay down there rather than have him doing a lot of travelling back and forth on the freeway." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing  Harness Racing New South Wales |    

It is not guaranteed, but top Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart is very keen to tackle the Harness Jewels with her top four-year-old, who was one of the first three Australians invited to compete in the Harness Jewels on In The Gig on Monday night. The other invitees announced on Monday were Blitzthemcalder (4YO Ruby)  and Frith (4YO Diamond), however at this stage the Chariots Of Fire winner looks the most likely of the trio to compete. "I wouldn't rule it out completely but we have to keep in mind that there is the semi final of the Breeders Challenge a fortnight after the Jewels and I wouldn't want to put her whole campaign and season in jeopardy by chasing the one race in New Zealand,” said Frith’s trainer Bruce Harpley. "Adore Me would be extremely hard to beat over there in New Zealand and that is obviously a very strong consideration for both Bernie Kelly (Owner) and I." Meanwhile, talented Junior reinswoman Samantha Ottley has landed the drive on Aldo Rossi in Friday’s NZ Derby, which will be her first drive in a Group One pacing event. “I finished second on Stent in the NZ Trotting Championship when Colin (DeFilippi) was out on suspension, but this will be more first drive in a Group One pacing event,” said an excited Ottley.  

The all trotters day meeting at Coolamon will once again attract square gaiters from far and wide and with a recent track upgrade nominations should be strong. The meeting will be held on Anzac Day and in the spirit of the occasion, the club always respects those who served. Club Secretary Helen Turner said a flag raising ceremony would take place before the first race to honour the ANZACs. "We always raise the flag and have a minute's silence to honour the spirit of Anzac Day," she said. "There is a ceremony in town too, in the morning, but we perform our own as well as a mark of respect. One of our former members (Lionel Dennis), who is still a patron of the club, served in the army and proved to be a tremendous help to us over the years." The feature event of the meeting is the $25,000 Group 3 La Coocaracha for mares, whilst the Coolamon Monte, Young Trouper, Oaks, Derby, Humbletonian and Trotters Cup all have $10,000 in prizemoney on offer. Nominations close on Monday April 21 at 11am. By Dale Walker (Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW)                                

Bega trainer John Miller has been a registered trainer for 30 years and to say that victories are a long time between drinks is an appropriate statement. Miller, who is 75 years young, has raced horses since 1969. The official records have his stats from 1984/85 and from this date it took a great deal of time to register his next success. Yes, it was the 2003/04 season before Miller was in the winner's circle again, and, his 75th attempt since 84/85. His careers stats read 208 starters for 10 wins 7 seconds and 8 thirds. But Miller will tell you there's a few more than that from 'back in the day'. A hobbyist trainer and a retired Machine Operator, Miller said regardless of where his horse finishes he gets such a tremendous thrill when gearing up his pacer and taking it to the race track. "They (horses) keep me young, said Miller. "I've been working horses on and off for 50 years or more. I've got three horses now and they keep me busy enough. "My first winner was back in 1969 with Hillstead Boy at Queanbeyan and it was hard getting to the registered meetings to race as I was working all the time. I would like to have a few more wins under my belt." At Wagga's meeting last Friday, Miller took Lombo Convertible to contest his 47 race start. The form read 46 starts for one win and six minor placings. But Miller new with HRNSW putting on a race for R0-R1 pacers named the Encouragement Stakes; he was a chance off the front line draw. Lombo Convertible was forced to race three wide early before sitting in the chair for the majority of the trip. He was aided in some cover at the 600 metres when moves where made from the back but the five-year-old seemed to lose ground at the 400 metres. Gaining a clear run on the home turn, Lombo Convertible rallied. He dug deep, he found something and he grabbed the spoils right on the line to score by a narrow margin. It was also a celebration for 23 year old Matthew Cuthbert who tasted success as a driver for the very first time. Harness racing was re introduced at the Bega Show last season and Cuthbert made the seven hour trip to drive horses for Miller on the tight turning circuit. His hours of dedication and effort paid off. Miller was full of praise for Cuthbert. "He's a decent young fella and I will always stick by him," he said. "He got the best out of the horse at Wagga and I'm sure he will drive many more winners in the future." It was a similar case at Parkes on Saturday night with a race named the Competitive Stakes. Rod Lemon's Real McCoy Lombo was a maiden heading into the event after 30 starts but that all changed with an all the way win over the 1660 metres. Dale Walker (Harness Racing NSW)  

Harness Racing SA Ltd Stewards conducted an inquiry on 03/04/14 into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) in relation to a urine sample provided by driver Luke Alcorn at Betezy Park Globe Derby on 28/02/14 in order to obtain a clearance after having been stood down from driving on 23/12/13 for failing to provide a urine sample when so directed by Stewards.   This sample was found upon analysis to contain the banned substance d-methamphetamine. Evidence was heard from Mr Alcorn, RASL Laboratory Director David Batty and HRSA Ltd Swabbing Assistant John O’Grady. After considering the evidence tendered, Mr Alcorn was charged under Rule 250 (1)(a) on the grounds that as a licensed driver, a urine sample taken from him on 28/02/14 was found upon analysis to contain a substance banned by Rule 251 – namely d-methamphetamine at a concentration above the applicable cut-off. Mr Alcorn pleaded not guilty to the charge, however after hearing further evidence, he was found guilty as charged. After considering submissions as to penalty, Mr Alcorn was subsequently disqualified for 2 years effective at the completion of the 18 months disqualification being currently served by him for two separate earlier offences. In settling on penalty, the Panel took into consideration: Mr Alcorn’s not guilty plea; The serious nature of the breach; Mr Alcorn’s record in that this was his third offence  relating to banned substances/drugs of abuse; A recent penalty imposed upon another licensed driver for a similar offence; The need to provide a deterrent – both general and specific; The need to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the industry. Stewards further ordered under the provisions of Rule 15 (1)(ad) that Mr Alcorn pay HRSA Ltd for the costs incurred in relation to the analysis of this sample and also an earlier sample provided by Mr Alcorn at the SAHRC’s meeting on 04/01/14 for the purpose of obtaining a clearance. Initial analysis of this earlier sample detected the presence of the banned substance 7 – aminonitrazepam, however given the rules that were in place at the time that the sample was provided, the Panel were of the opinion that Mr Alcorn had no charge to answer as he was not carrying out or purporting to carry out a licensed activity at this meeting. Steve Mulcay Chairman of Stewards Harness Racing SA

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.

T will be more than a month since Tabcorp Park Menangle has hosted a race meeting on its world class circuit but Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Harness Racing Club John Dumesny is looking forward to Saturday night's ten race card. Dumesny is confident the track is 'ready to go' but admits it may take time for the surface to settle down. "The surface overall is much softer for the horses which is important for their longevity and durability and that is what the horseman have asked for," Dumesny said. "Our track consultant Dan Coon is of the belief that speed isn't everything and it might be a while before we start to see fast times but ultimately what we are after is a uniformity and consistency." The Menangle surface was put to the test on Tuesday morning and Dumesny confirmed some work will be carried out before this weekend's meeting. "There was one patch which was about 30 metres by 10 metres that the horseman said was too soft on Tuesday and we will be able to fix that by this weekend." "It is a totally different surface to what we had here before, we have been informed that there is a 25 year supply of the material from the quarry and it is important that we are able to source replacement material as it is needed in the future." A similar surface was used when rebuilding the Goulburn track. "It is a sandy material and as was evident from when Goulburn opened it took a while before the track settled in but the surface is now at a stage where Goulburn is a very popular surface." Race 1 will begin at 6:10pm on Saturday with two heats of the Australian Pacing Gold for two year old fillies and three heats of the Carousel highlighting the programme. Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW

Harness racing trainer Anton Golino got his hands on the coveted Gold Crown trophy as his talented two-year-old colt Artistic Flite overcame his wide second row draw to post a commanding win. There was also a strong Bathurst link to the success story, with former resident John McCarthy the winning driver and Brooklyn Lodge the breeders. McCarthy had the son of Artistic Fella face the breeze before surging away from his rivals to score a commanding 7.7 metre victory in a rate of 1:59.9 for the 1730 metres. With the Bathurst Harness Racing Club set to move to its new facility in the shadows of Mount Panorama later this year, the meeting signalled the last running of the carnival at a track it has called home for 28 years. The mix of commanding victories and tight finishes, big name winners and small-timers prevailing made it a successful evening for the club. The Gold Tiara Final was won by Grenfell's Mark Hewitt, the regular Bathurst visitor getting the job done with Makes Every Scents. Bathurst had something to cheer about in the Gold Chalice Final as Amanda Turnbull drove Mighty Gift to victory for her father Steve Turnbull, while David Kennedy scored one for the Riverina when Shes A Runa took out the Gold Bracelet. Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales Artistic Flite

I recently penned a piece in the Atlantic Post Calls, the premier Maritime racing paper on looking ahead to the 2014 and looking for positives for racing in New Brunswick. While it was a challenge in compiling positive information without a one thing to focus on, one thing became clear. New Brunswick horse racing, and some involved, feel the only hope is a change in government in 2014. This fall, the New Brunswick electorate will have the chance to choose four more years of the Alward Tories, or take a change on a new young politician in Brian Gallant to lead the province. While there are three other options in N.B when it comes to official parties, I would be shocked to see anything but a Red/ Blue party again leading the province. So where does that leave harness racing? From everyone I have contacted, it seems to be a growing agreement that a change to a Liberal government is the only hope. As many are aware, the gov't opted out of the five-year deadline to support racing any further. It was the Shawn Graham led Liberals, who then had Mike Murphy in cabinet who is a horse owner and breeder that struck the deal when in power. Graham was turfed out after only one term and then it was up to the industry to keep things flowing with the Tories led by Alward and Finance Minister Blaine Higgs, a rookie cabinet choice with experience with the Irving Empire. It was no secret when the Tories took over that the province was in a dismal state of finance and it was up to Higgs and the new caucus to reign in spending, and horse racing was one area that was cut. There was even talk of a lawsuit by Horse Racing New Brunswick against the gov't for a breach of contract and a feasibility study was done, reportedly just to pacify the industry. Many insiders say the study was never going to amount to anything and was nothing more than a stall tactic. Also, there has been talk that gov't is not interested in dealing with H.R.N.B the way it is set-up now. So, it appears that the industry leaders in the province will do all they can to keep racing going this spring with approx. 23-24 dates in total. They will wait and see how the election of 2014 turns out and take it from there. Politics- they play a part in just about everything, including harness racing. Let's hope something can be done to keep the tradition of N.B racing alive but it may rest, as I mentioned, all up to politics. Scary. By Scott Waddell, for New Brunswick Horse Racing. Contact Scott at swaddell12@gmail.com

Record figures were achieved from 115 lots at the Gold Crown Yearling Sale at Bathurst last weekend. Sale organiser Graeme Board said it was the best sale he has been involved with. "I've been doing the sale at Bathurst for nearly 20 years and this is by far the best I have seen," said Board. "Everyone wanted to be a part of the action and the results are great for the future of harness racing." Yearling colt sales hit an average price of $9,000 while the fillies were close to the $7,000 mark. The sale turned over just shy of $1 million, a significant increase on 2013. The top price lot was a for Sportswriter-Sixteen Carat colt purchased by Emilio Rosati for $34,000, while Pat Bourke purchased a Courage Under Fire-Lombo Silhouette colt for $27,000. Bred by Laurie and Gwen Paton, the sale-topping colt is out of the 1:55.5 Menangle winner Sixteen Carat, a Blissfull Hall mare. Rosati also shelled $27,000 for the Rocknroll Hanover-Counterfeit Chic colt and $25,000 for the American Ideal-Superstar Lady filly, the top-priced filly at the sale. Other lots to fetch $20,000 or more were the Courage Under Fire-Pleasure Machine colt at $21,500 and the Rock N Roll Heaven-So Savvy colt and the Art Colony-Jillette colt both at $20,000. For a full list of results go to graemeboard.com                       Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6677| F: 02 8580 5795 |M: 0411 627 113 |E: dwalker@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au                  

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