Stewards today concluded an inquiry into reports from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that the following horses all trained by Mr Mitch Butterfield had upon anaylsis revealed prohibited substances. Mr Butterfield pleaded guilty to three (3) charges pursuant to Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4) in that as the registered trainer of BRICK TOP and MISS FANTASTIC he did present those horses to race on the dates below not free of a prohibited substance: Charge 1: That a urine sample taken from MISS FANTASTIC following its win in race 7, the Lews Hope Pace (2125 metres) at Penrith on 28 November 2013, upon analysis had revealed the prohibited substance testosterone above the prescribed threshold for fillies and mares of 55 micrograms per litre. The “B” sample was confirmed by the Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Charge 2: That a urine sample taken from BRICK TOP following its win in race 3, the Coopers Pace (2550 metres) at Newcastle on 5 December 2013, upon analysis had revealed the prohibited substance testosterone above the prescribed threshold for geldings of 20 micrograms per litre. The “B” sample was confirmed by the RASL in Victoria. Charge 3: That a blood sample taken from BRICK TOP prior to it running in race 4, the James Squire Pace (1609 metres) at Newcastle on 11 January 2014, upon analysis revealed a total plasma cardon dioxide level in excess of the prescribed threshold of 36mmol per litre. In assessing penalty, Stewards were mindful that Mr Butterfield has only been licensed for just over 4 years, and that he had a previous offence. The Stewards also considered that all of these substances were classified as class 2, under the HRNSW penalty guidelines. Mr Butterfield was disqualified for 5 years on both charges 1 and 2. The Stewards ordered that these penalties be served concurrently. In relation to charge 3, the Stewards ordered that Mr Butterfield be disqualified for 10 years, and that this period be served cumulatively to the period of disqualification imposed for charges 1 and 2. In total Mr Butterfield is disqualified for 15 years back dated to 14 January 2014 that date in which HRNSW stood him down. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, MISS FANTISTIC was disqualified as the winner of race 7, the Lews Hope Pace (2125 metres) at Penrith on 28 November 2013 and amended the placings to below: 1st ONLY ONE SLIM 2nd ANDIAMO EL FERRARI NZ 3rd MYSLENDI BAY 4th THEARTOFATTITUDE Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, BRICK TOP was disqualified as the winner of race 3, the Coopers Pace (2550 metres) at Newcastle on 5 December 2013 and amended the placings to below: 1st STEVIE HARLYN 2nd ANGEL DELIGHT NZ 3rd ROLLON GIDGET 4th KID TYCOON Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, BRICK TOP was disqualified from second place of race 4, the James Squire Pace (1609 metres) at Newcastle on 11 January 2014 and amended the placings to below: 1st MAJOR BONUS 2nd APOLLO DRIVE 3rd LEVEL TWO 4th STEVIE HARLYN Further acting under NSW Local Rule 256A, the Stewards ordered that Mr Butterfield pay to HRNSW $3000 for costs incurred as a result of the analytical testing. Harness Racing New South Wales
My belief is that if you run a business properly and have competent counsel, the tricks of the trade and opportunities for tax savings are things that are best discussed on a case-by-case basis with your accountant. There is no one size fits all answer. I have no secret formula to pay little or no taxes, however I can provide some tips here to keep your business running more smoothly and with fewer tax-related crises. Tip #1 Taxes are not a do-it-yourself project. Selecting an accountant should be a careful process. It should never be based on the size of a refund or how fast you will get your money back. You should ask if they are a CPA (state licensed) or an enrolled agent (licensed by the IRS). Tip #2 The IRS agents like to say if it isn't in writing, it never happened. Good record keeping is a must for any business. I suggest you pay for as many expenses as you can with a debit or credit card so you have some trail of where you spent your money even if you lose receipts. Cash is the absolute worst way to pay for expenses. Tip #3 Deposit 100% of your income and make sure income deposited equals income reported on the top line of your tax return. Virtually every IRS fraud case involves unreported income. If you follow what I stated above you will very likely never be investigated for tax fraud provided your expenses are reasonable for the type of business you are engaged in. Remember there is rarely a valid excuse for "forgetting" any appreciable amount of income Tip #4 In general ask your tax advisor about claiming the standard mileage rate for auto expenses unless you drive less than 15,000 business miles a year or have a compelling need for a very expensive vehicle. I have found the convenience of the mileage rate method and the reduced record keeping that accompanies it saves my clients considerable time and money. The issue here is how much burden do you want in keeping gas receipts and other records related to auto maintenance. Tip #5 I recommend routinely filing extensions on March 1st if you have not already filed your returns by that date. This protects you in the event of sickness, injury, floods, fires, etc. You are thus allowed until October 15 to file. It takes five minutes, and it's free. You have to pay any tax due by April 15, but you will save needless penalties for late filing by getting a preventative extension "just in case". Tip #6 Most horse businesses cannot claim bad debts. If you never reported income, you cannot claim income you never reported as a bad debt. In other words if owner Jones fails to pay your training bill, it's bad luck; take him or her to court, but the IRS will not feel your pain. Tip #7 If you lose 1099's you received during the year and you absolutely cannot get them from the payer, wait until August to file and ask the IRS for a wage and income statement. I have clients who show up with no records for many years. I often use IRS records to help reconstruct income where records have been lost. Tip #8 Don't hand your tax preparer unopened envelopes. We aren't psychics, and it's a great time waster. I often drop my fee up to 20% if a client is very well organized and has good records that are well organized. Tip #9 Many horsepersons tell me they cannot afford health insurance. The reality is you cannot afford not to have health insurance. It's tax deductible and in some cases subsidized under the Affordable Health Care Act. There are now penalties for not having health insurance as well. Medical expenses cause more bankruptcies than any other reason. I cannot emphasize enough how I feel about this topic. Tip #10 Be sure that you have a business plan. Again, not only is this essential for you as a business owner to plan how you will run your business and to forecast your expenses and income, but it also tells the IRS that you are putting the effort and planning into a true business and not a just a hobby. Larry Rosenblum, E.A., MBA, is an enrolled agent and president of The Equine Tax Group a national tax firm specializing in representing the horseperson before the IRS and State tax departments. Rosenblum retired from the IRS after a 33-year career, which saw him involved in numerous cases involving the equine industry. He can be reached at (888) 338-3999 or equinetaxgroup.com.
Harness Racing Victoria commentator Craig Rail will join the list of invited broadcasters to call the “all-trotters” Anzac Day meeting at Coolamon and he is delighted to have the opportunity. In the short but interesting history of the feature meeting Mark McNamara, Jim Jacques and Ray Fewings have called the program and Rail jumped at the chance to join the list. “It was an absolute privilege to be asked to call the day and I am really going to enjoy making the trip up from Victoria to call at Coolamon,” he said. “I have a soft spot for the trotters, I actually have pictures of Lyell Creek and Maori’s Idol hanging in my lounge room at home, so to be part of an afternoon for just the trotters, is something I’m really looking forward to.” The Coolamon track has undergone significant work in recent weeks including the surface and the shape and cambers of the home turn and the turn leaving the front straight. Harness Racing NSW has received positive and complimentary feedback in relation to the track improvements following recent trials. Prominent NSW trainer Blake Fitzpatrick was successful at the all trotters day meeting in 2013 and will be heading south with a strong team once again. “I’ve had good times at Coolamon and with the improvement to the track I’m expecting some fierce competition this year,” he said. Once again the feature will be the running of the $25,000 Group 3 La Coocaracha for open class mares. Harness Racing New South Wales
TASMANIAN harness trainer-driver James Rattray today revealed his secret weapon that helped take his stable star Beautide to victory in yesterday’s Group 1 $750,000 Inter Dominion final at Menangle in NSW. Less than 24 hours after claiming Australasian harness racing’s Holy Grail Rattray revealed that his life partner Sofia Svennson was Beautide’s secret weapon. Svennson is a talented reinswoman in her own right and has been involved in harness racing internationally for well over a decade. Rattray met Svennson while working at Noel Daly’s stables in New Jersey, North America, three years ago. Rattray and Svennson fell in love and they have been inseparable since they departed the US in October 2012. “Fia has done most of the work with Beautide and it is very clear that they have a special bond,” Rattray said. "Keeping a horse happy is one of the secrets to success and there is no doubt Fia spoils Beau and that keeps him very happy." “It is quite evident that there is a special affinity between them and while I do a fair bit of Beautide’s fast work he is very much her horse around the stables,” he said. Rattray and Svennson’s journey to Tasmania was planned but what has transpired in the past three months was beyond their wildest dreams. “I really love this horse because he has a wonderful character but most of all he is such a brilliant racehorse and he showed that the way he won the Inter Dominion,” she said. “This is still like a dream and I’m waiting to wake up,” she said. Svennson has been involved in harness racing since she was in her early teens in Sweden. “My older sister Lotta trained for many years and I was always with her so I guess getting involved in harness racing was inevitable.” “I travelled to France and Italy following the European circuit and then I made the move to America where I worked for about four and a half years with Jonas Czernyson and then for a year each with two other trainers and that’s when I met James,” she said. When asked if it was love at first sight they both laugh but deliver coy smiles and agree that their future is with each other. The couple landed in Tasmania after spending five weeks with Svennson’s family in Sweden in November-December 2012 with basic plans to travel to Tasmania and work at the Rattrays’ family stables at Longford in the north of the state. But when James’ twin brother Gareth, who has been Tasmania’s premier driver for the past seven years, got married and opted to branch out on his own, the door was opened for James to step in and become number one driver for his father’s stable. James quickly raced to the top end of the driver’s premiership table but after only a few months an opportunity arose to establish stables alongside John and Luke McCarthy’s stables at Cobbity, near Menangle. “One of the main reasons for moving up here (NSW) was that it gave us a chance to set something up for ourselves.” With Dad (Barrie) giving us a good batch of horses to train to get established we thought it might work out well but it has gone a lot better than we ever imagined,” he said. Barrie Rattray has long been regarded as one of Tasmania’s best trainer-driver-breeders so he was intent on doing everything he and wife Denise could do to kick-start James’ trainer career. “I owe a lot to my parents because they have been very supportive of me and to be given this opportunity is quite amazing,” James said. “You don’t get anything cheaply in this industry. You have to work hard for whatever you get but realistically this is a way better start than any young trainer would dare to dream.” “But I will never forget where I came from, that’s for sure,” he said. By Peter Staples
TALENTED teenage harness reinsman Dylan Ford returned from driving in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship series in New South Wales brimming with confidence despite finishing second to New Zealand novice driver Andre Poutama. In any other series Ford would have emerged triumphant with three winners and a couple of fourth placings but Poutama managed to secure one winner, two seconds and four thirds from his 10 drives to clinch the title with 89 points while Dylan amassed 78 points from his three wins and mixed bag of placings. Ford saluted aboard odds-on favourite Smokin Bopper ($1.40) in the third round of heats and he guided The Twilightdancer to victory at Bankstown two nights later. He saved the best for last by partnering outsider Little Red Cloud ($18.70) to victory in the last heat of the series at Menangle on Sunday. Ford was back in action in Hobart last night where he saluted aboard Brookfield Lad that he rated superbly to lead all the way. He reflected on his trip to NSW and his efforts during the AYDC series. "It was a fantastic opportunity to go away and represent my state and we almost pulled it off," Ford said at the Hobart harness meeting last night. "I was just a bit unlucky with the first lot of horses I drew to drive but I finished well and hopefully did my state proud." "To go up against some of the best young drivers in Australia and New Zealand was brilliant and I definitely learned a lot while I was away," he said. Ford, 18, was selected to represent the state because of his impeccable form that won him the leading junior reinsman title last season and he has continued that form this season. "I felt as if I improved throughout last season but it has been this past three months that I believe I have improved the most," he said. Ford was born into the industry and he has expanded his involvement to training. "I love working with horses and I guess it was a natural progression to turn my hand to training." "I've got five horses in work and they are all learning what racing is all about." "There are no super stars in the stable but hopefully they will all earn their keep," he said. Ford was trackside to experience the thrill of Tasmanian Beautide winning the Inter Dominion at Menangle on Sunday. "To be up there competing the same day Beautide won the Inter Dominion was just a magical experience and it is something I will remember for as long as I live." "To do what he did to that field and make them look ordinary makes him a very special horse - I'd say he was a freak," he said. By Peter Staples
North Island reinsman Andre Poutama claimed the title of Australasian Young Drivers Champion after the final heat was held at Tabcorp Park Menangle in New South Wales yesterday. The Championships were held over six days, with ten heats run over that period. Ten drivers from across Australasia competed in the Championships. Poutama took the lead in the second day of competition and maintained a comfortable lead throughout. From the ten heats, Poutama picked up one win, two seconds, four thirds and a fourth. The two other representatives from New Zealand, Samantha Ottley and Simon McMullan, also drove well The two other representatives from New Zealand, Samantha Ottley and Simon McMullan, also drove well throughout the Championship. Ottley was the only driver that could have beaten Poutama heading into the final heat, but after an unlucky run she finished in third place overall. Dylan Ford from Tasmania finished into second, after winning the last heat. The three representatives from New Zealand are made up of the best North Island driver, the best South Island driver and the driver with the best UDR (Universal Driver Rating), these drivers are all junior drivers as they must be under 25 to qualify for the event. The 2015 Australasian Young Drivers Championship is set to be held in New Zealand. Harness Racing New Zealand
Champion reinsman Mark Purdon has been suspended for ten days after shifting out in the run home on Smolda in yesterday’s Inter Dominion Final, which was deemed to have contributed to the squeezing of surrounding horses. But luckily for Purdon, he has been allowed to drive on Friday’s Auckland Cup night, meaning he will take the drive on superstar mare Adore Me, who will return home for Friday’s $250,000 feature after a slightly disappointing second in yesterday’s Ladyship Mile. "She went a couple of rough strides down the back but she recovered quickly. We probably lost the race when a move made us three wide earlier than I wanted and she had to do extra. I am sure that she would have won otherwise,” said Purdon on his Allstars Website. Purdon was also happy enough with the run of Smolda, who finished fourth in the Inter Dominion Final, however he has opted to freshen the giant gelding rather than back him up in Friday’s Auckland Cup. "I feel in my own mind that it was the fact that he had only had two races which beat him at least for second,” revealed Purdon. “He sprinted hard while Beautide was up there handy and that lack of hard racing made the difference'' Purdon said that he was satisfied with how all his team had competed yesterday with the exception of Willow, who was beaten into third in the NSW Oaks. "She is probably the only one we would say was a little disappointing only because we know what she can do. It is hard to say it was the track. It was a bit sloppy early in the day but even so I expected her to sprint away in the run home'' Meanwhile, Lauren Panella, who was deemed the main offender of the incident in the Inter Dominion Final which could potentially have ended the racing career of West Australian superstar Im Victorious, has been suspended for a period of eight weeks. By Mitchell Robertson
"If this is not the best than I don't know what is . . . whatever it is, it's going to be hard to top." Those were the words of Barrie Rattray after he witnessed his son James drive their horse Beautide to victory in the $750,000 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle today. Beautide defied all odds to take out the Grand circuit gem after doing plenty of work outside the leader in world record time of 3.36 for the 3009 meters race (a 1:55.5 mile rate). He is the first horse in more than 15 years to win the Miracle Mile and the Inter Dominion in the same season. The last horse to do so was Our Sir Vancelot, who won the three Inter Dominions from 1997 to 1999 and won the Miracle Mile in 1997. After settling mid-field early, James Rattray elected to angle Beautide three wide to the 'death seat' at the mile mark as Kiwi star Smolda worked to the lead. With the quarters of the last mile clocked in 26.5, 30.0, 28.6 and 27.1, Beautide cruised to the line with more than five metres to spare over Seel N Print with For A Reason a close third. "We were lucky to be here in November [for the Miracle Mile] and I didn't think it would happen again," Barrie said. Harness Racing NSW
It is already a race famous for attracting the best trotters in Australasia, the Group One Glenferrie Farm Challenge. Yet this $200,000 feature will now also be known as Nicole Molander's too after the former Kiwi, now based at Appin, near Campbelltown, made it back-to-back wins with Keystone Del when the six-year-old gelding scored an exciting win at Tabcorp Park Menangle today. In a race where none of the leaders were given much peace, Keystone Del came from midfield, rating a stunning 1:53.9 for the mile to knock four-tenths of a second off the Australian trotters' record. And while it was technically a victory for Australia in the Australia v New Zealand challenge, the result might easily had been different had Kiwi reinsman Colin De Filippi driving Stent not been stuck three back on the pegs and desperately searching for an opening to give chase to the leaders. Turning for home De Filippi had to turn five-year-old Stent sideways to find some open ground. And when Stent finally saw daylight, with about 80-metres left to travel, he whooshed down the outside to fail by just over a metre in finishing second with another Aussie Elegant Image (Kate Gath) back in third. Despite being defending champion in this race, Molander's star trotter actually started a $17 shot, but with champion reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick in the bike, the result was never in doubt. Harness Racing NSW
Unlucky to miss a berth in the Inter Dominion Grand Final, six-year-old gelding Abettorpunt showed he might well be there next year with a consolation win in today's $100,000 Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The win also proved some consolation for young reinsman Glen Craven, who handled Keayang Cullen in the Inter Dominion final and came away empty-handed. Settling in third and fourth spot behind last year's Inter Dom finalist Mah Sish, Craven brought Abettorpunt ($4.80) with a perfectly-timed run to score in an Australasian record 1:54 mile rate over the 2400m mobile journey. Abettorpunt has always shown he had the ability to win a Group One and although better known as a sit-and-sprint horse in the past, today he showed he could do it at both ends of a race with a slick effort. Team McCarthy looked a chance to break their Inter Dominion Day 2014 'duck' when five-year-old gelding Monifieth came out of the pack and began to give chase to Abettorpunt when he kicked away. But the post came too soon for John McCarthy with Monifieth, a 30-1 shot, finishing 1.5m second, just ahead of Mah Sish (Anthony Butt). Im Corzin Terror, the $3.50 favourite was locked in a pocket turning for home and never really got a good crack the leaders, until the race was safely in Abettorpunt's keeping. Harness Racing NSW
He drives Tabcorp Park Menangle as well as anyone and star reinsman Darren Hancock caused another upset on Inter Dominion Grand Final day when eight-year-old mare Vansumic scored a devastating win in the $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Ladyship Mile. Just when champion New Zealand mare Adore Me was being hailed as the winner of the Group One, Hancock, who had been desperately seeking a clear run with Vansumic ($18), found daylight and sailed away to a stunning victory. While Adore Me, the $1.40 favourite, did endure a hard run, stuck three-wide, albeit with cover, for most of the trip, Mark Purdon's stable star still looked to have every hope and finished 3.5m away in second spot, with another outsider, Obahma Joy, in third spot in a mile rate of 1:52.1. Commentators were raving about the state of the Menangle track as the rain held off and the times began to get quicker as the day wore on. Still nothing could detract from Vansumic's win, with the former Inter Dominion winning reinsman, Hancock, who scored with Jofess at Gloucester Park in 2004, showing he could beat the best of them when in the right mood. Seconds favourite Baby Bling (Luke McCarthy) looked to have every chance after racing with a one-one trail for most of the race, but didn't finish her race off as expected with the former Miracle Mile winner coming home in fifth spot, just behind Awesome Belmer. Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW
Riverina filly Shes A Runa caused a massive upset when taking out the Form 700 New South Wales $200,000 Oaks at Tabcorp Park Menangle today. The daughter of Jeremes Jet was given a gun run by local reinsman Jarrod Alchin behind the leader, the highly-fancied My Willow, and obtained an inside run to take out the Group One in 1:59.1. At odds of $25.50, Shes A Runa held out the fast-finishing Ocean Diva ($55.70), who was a half-head away in second with early leader My Willow a little over a metre away in third. The second favourite Nike Franco struck trouble in the home straight when locked between runners and driver Chris Alford did his best to control the filly and not let her fall. Subsequently the pair finished last. High-priced winners seem to be the order of the day with Little Red Cloud taking out the first at $18.70 and stablemate Essbee Doubleyou winning the second at juicy odds of $19.60 with the NSW TAB. Harness Racing NSW
Commencing 1 July 2014 the Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus Certificates (BCOBC) will increase in value by 20% to $3,000. The Board of Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) made the decision at their monthly Meeting on Tuesday. HRNSW CEO Sam Nati said: "With the APG Sydney Yearling Sale scheduled for this Saturday we felt it was the ideal opportunity to make the announcement. "The Breeders Challenge is a very important brand for us and we have continued to add layers both to the value and the number of incentives associated with it", he added. Some of the key inducements for Breeders Challenge eligible and sustained horses include: Â· $3,000 Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus Certificates for the first "C" Class win as a 2yo AND 3yo. Any horse that doesn't win a certificate as a 2yo or 3yo is eligible to win one as a 4yo or older (Currently worth $2,500 until 1 July 2014). This is paid to the owner. Â· $3,000 Breeders Challenge Nominators (Breeder) Cash Bonus for the first "C" Class win as a 2yo AND 3yo. Any horse that doesn't win a Bonus as a 2yo or 3yo is eligible to win one as a 4yo or older. (This is the first year of the BCNB and applies only to 2yos in FY14, expanding to 3yos in FY15, etc). This is paid to the breeder(s) even if the horse has subsequently been sold. Â· The equivalent of 10% of first prizemoney for all 2yo, 3yo and 4yo Group 1 wins in Australia as an additional Cash Bonus to the Nominator. (This is the first year of the Nominators Bonus and applies only to 2yos in FY14, expanding to 3yos in FY15, etc). This is paid to the breeder(s) even if the horse has subsequently been sold. Â· The Breeders Challenge Major Race Series for 2yos, 3yos and 4yos (both sexes) with finals worth $125,000 each for 2yo and 3yos and $100,000 each for 4yos. Â· The introduction of a Breeders Challenge Trotters Series with Finals worth $30,000 each. (This is the first year of the Trotters Series and applies only to 2yos in FY14, expanding to 3yos in FY15, etc). Â· The Breeders Challenge Blue Series for 2yos and 3yos (both sexes) which is restricted to 100% NSW bred horses with Finals worth $50,000 each. Â· The Breeders Challenge Regional Finals for 2yos, 3yos and 4yo (both sexes) worth $20,000 each. Â· $500 Breeders Challenge Blue Incentive Certificates to offset the cost of a service fee of a NSW based stallion (conditions apply). For the full list of terms and conditions visit the HRNSW website and follow the links to the breeding section. In another exiting development for the Breeders Challenge, HRNSW will shortly announce a new major sponsor for the series. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |
Last night heats 6 and 7 of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship were held at Young. Andre Poutama continued his great run, picking up two more third placings. In the first heat of the night, Andre’s runner had to work hard early, but managed to hold on for third place. Sam Ottley and Simon McMullan struck some bad luck when the horse in front of them paced roughly and carried them back to finish 8th and 9th respectively. The second heat saw Narissa McMullen from Queensland pick up her second win of the Championships after a confident drive. Sam tried to chase down the leader but came short and ran 2nd; Andre wasn’t far off Sam and finished in 3rd position. Simon’s horse held on for 6th after doing some work during the running. Dylan Egerton-Green from Western Australia closed the gap at the top of the leader board, but Andre still sits in front with a lead of 7 points. Andre has now had seven drives in the Championship for one win and five placings, only being out of the top three in one heat. The current leader board after the first seven heats is as follows: Position Driver Points 1st Andre Poutama (NZ North) 66 2nd Dylan Egerton-Green (WA) 59 3rd Narissa McMullen (QLD) 54 4th Samantha Ottley (NZ Sth) 46 5th Amanda Turnbull (NSW) 42 5th Aiden De Campo (WA) 42 7th Aaron Bain (SA) 41 8th Dylan Ford (TAS) 40 9th Joshua Duggan (VIC) 33 10th Simon McMullan (NZ) 29 Heats continue at Bankstown tonight with Heat 8 (5:14pm NZT) & Heat 9 (5:53pm NZT), with the final heat being the first race on Inter Dominion Grand Final day on Sunday afternoon (2:30pm NZT).
Three more heats of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship were held at Bathurst last night. Sam Ottley picked up a win in the first heat. Andre Poutama also had a good night, gaining three placings and increasing his lead in the Championships. In the first heat Sam started her night strong with a win in the third heat of the Championships and first heat of the night. She drove the horse brilliantly and was able to hold off Dylan Egerton-Green from Western Australia who finished in second. Andre stuck on for a good third and Simon McMullan’s horse tired after having to work hard early. Andre continued his great run in Heat 4, holding on for 2nd after sitting parked throughout. Simon came into 7th place and Sam’s runner got back and failed to run on. Heat 5 saw Andre finish the night well, bringing up another 3rd placing. He has now had 5 drives in the Championship for a win and three placings. Sam ran home late for 6th and Simon came in 9th. Andre has a strong lead of 13 points. The current leader board after the first five heats is as follows: 1st Andre Poutama NZ North 49 2nd Dylan Egerton-Green – WA 36 3rd Amanda Turnbull - NSW 35 4th Aaron Bain – SA 34 5th Narissa McMullen - QLD 32 5th Samantha Ottley – NZ South 32 7th Aiden De Campo - WA 29 8th Dylan Ford - TAS 28 9th Joshua Duggan - VIC 27 10th Simon McMullan – NZ 23 Heats continue at Young tonight in Heat 6 (5:53pm NZT) & Heat 7 (6:33pm NZT). Full fields are below. 2014 AYDC - Young - Thursday 26 February - Heat 6 - 5.53pm (NZT) Form Horse Driver 1 6r155 GLADS GRIN (Em 1) 2 24327 CASINO LASS Joshua Duggan (C) 3 667s1 STARZZZ IN ORDER Dylan Egerton-Green (C) 4 34832 CLAIRE ELIZABETH Aaron Bain (C) 5 64538 KENNETH LLOYD Amanda Turnbull 6 75231 JACK RUSTLER Andre Poutama (C) ---------- Second Row ---------- 7 1r251 BRYCE COOPER Aiden De Campo (C) 8 21215 PINEGROVE Narissa McMullen (C) 9 5172s HOME IN INDIANA Samantha Ottley (C) 10 46252 FUI FUI Simon McMullan (C) 11 53484 CHIEF FAIRMAN Dylan Ford (C) 2014 AYDC - Young - Thursday 26 February - Heat 7 - 6.33pm (NZT) Form Horse Driver 2 63257 BEETSON Narissa McMullen (C) 3 12315 PERFEZIONE Dylan Ford (C) 4 65119 KYALLA LUKE Samantha Ottley (C) 5 22114 GENERAL ATWORTHY Simon McMullan (C) 6 44113 USHER NZ Dylan Egerton-Green (C) ---------- Second Row ---------- 7 71120 BEE MINE Aaron Bain (C) 8 55748 GREY NOMAD SCRATCHED 9 41081 COOGEE COOGEE Amanda Turnbull 10 38392 TRANSACTION NZ Andre Poutama (C) Harness Racing New Zealand
If you wanted to bank on a big-race player coming into ID14, then there would only be one choice. Caribbean Blaster. His big race record in the past two years is almost unparalleled. A winner of the Chariots of Fire, Breeders Crown, Victoria Cup and SA Cup, he has also placed in two Hunter Cups, a Cranbourne Cup, a Ballarat Cup and another SA Cup. And there’s nothing that seems to stop him, winning from almost any barrier, Andy Gath has simply had to prepare his pacer to peak on Sunday. That came with a Tabcorp Park trial Tuesday when the son of Bettors Delight ripped home in 55.8secs. “We were just there to keep him ticking along and keep some sharpness in him. He hit the line quite well and seemed to enjoy himself and he got through it good,” Gath said. “From there draw there is a good chance he is going to have 13 horses in front of him at some stage which is never easy when they are top quality. In saying that I’m not losing any sleep over it, I’m not sure what draw I would have been happy with to tell you the truth. “It gives you a bit of confidence going into a race knowing you are going to get 100% every time. As yet he really hasn’t let us down in a big race and hopefully this is no exception.” But what Gath did have to rely on was a coveted wildcard position, because with only three spots available from the Victorian heat, a fourth wasn’t enough to see the six-year-old through to the final. That came swiftly after the last heat however and deservedly so according to Gath who rated his run as good as any he has shown this time in. “It was up there with any of his runs this season I think. There’s no worse place to be than sitting in the death when they are running a track record so unfortunately he was there, but he battled on strongly,” he said. Owner Rob Nalder drew barrier nine on Monday and while on face value it looks to have made his job even harder, there are some upsides. One of those being the speed drawn on the front row and the likelihood that Lauren Panella and Mach Beauty will be doing everything they can to force Keayang Cullen and Glen Craven into relenting the lead early. And with a raft of mid-race moves expected, it could turn into a survival of the fittest. “Last year we all went in to the race a little bit blind. It was the first time over 3000 metres at Menangle and no one really knew what to expect and maybe drove a little bit cautiously,” Gath said. “I think it will be a little bit different this year now that we’ve got a template to look at. Given the field is so even and there are a lot more winning chances this year there will probably be more mid-race moves.” Gath also explained that squaregaiting stable star Elegant Image had been dealing with issues but after a pleasing return on Friday night, will head to the Glenferrie Challenge on Inter Dominion day. Purdon Has Gelding Smouldering For Inter Heading into an Inter Dominion final third-up from a 9 month spell would be unheard of a decade ago. In fact, it would have been unheard of a year ago. But such is the confidence Mark Purdon holds in his talented young pacer, Smolda will emerge from the Shaky Isle on Sunday to try for an unconventional win in the $750,000 Group 1 race. A win over 2600 metres first-up, followed by a strong second in a record-breaking last quarter has set the five-year-old up for what could be a famous victory. “He’s a great horse and it isn’t a typical build up but I’ve got a lot of confidence in the horse and he’s good enough to be there,” Purdon said on RSN’s dedicated trots show Gait Speed this past Tuesday. “All up it was probably close to five months preparation before he stepped out so he had a lot of foundation miles under him.” Given most of the groundwork has been covered off and the barriers have now been decided, tactics will play an integral role in the early stages. And with an expected speed war between Keayang Cullen and Mach Beauty, many would have had Smolda pegged to continue rolling forward and look to take the top off whichever horse eventually wins that battle. That’s not necessarily going to be the case however with Purdon considering his options and suggesting a mid-race move isn’t out of the question. “We’ll probably just see what happens but I wouldn’t be fussy getting into any speed duels early. He’s one horse that can make his own luck so if he settles back I’m not hesitant to make a move on his own at some stage,” he said. TAB fixed odds have Smolda the current third favourite at $5 behind Beautide ($3.60) and Im Victorious ($4.60). Purdon’s hopes won’t just be pinned on one horse though, he brings an army of star Kiwi’s to Menangle on Sunday. Adore Me, rated as New Zealand’s best mare, she is a winner of 16 of her 18 starts but has drawn the carpark in the Ladyship Mile. And her trainer wasn’t mincing his words when suggesting she could have been competitive in the Inter Dominion final had she been set for it. “I think she would have been (competitive),” Purdon said. “I don’t rate her as being as tough as Smolda but she would certainly be as quick and given the right run she wouldn’t be far away in a race like the Inter Dominion final. It is wonderful to train and drive her and to bring her across to take on some of the best horses in Australasia.” Adore Me is the $1.30 favourite for the Ladyship Mile with TAB fixed odds. Purdon also has Border Control in the Chariots of Fire, Isaiah in the NSW Derby and My Willow in the NSW Oaks. By Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)