'Sydney will host its second annual city based series of camel races at the heart of Australian harness racing, Bankstown Paceway, next week (July 2014),' according to Bankstown Paceway director Megan Lavender. 'From Monday, July 28th, to Wednesday, July 30th, the century old showground and eight hundred metre trotting track at Condell Park, in Sydney's south west, will serve as the venue for the Second Annual Sydney Camel Racing Carnival: A Christmas in July Stadium Spectacular, which will see cameleers and dromedaries stand in for our much loved reinsmen and standardbreds for the three day festival of racing,' Ms Lavender said. 'Race goers will be treated to four daily races featuring six camels topped off with a non stop entertainment programme featuring New Zealand-born Allen McDonald's world famous Elvis Show and UK comedian Al Showman from The Burning Log Comedy Theatre Restaurant (which has made Bankstown Paceway its new home after six decades at Dural), plus Santa's Christmas in July lunch,' she said. 'With sand, sun and fun, the Second Annual Sydney Camel Races at Bankstown Paceway will be July's ultimate winter warmer,' Ms Lavender added. The Second Annual Sydney Camel Racing Carnival: A Christmas in July Stadium Spectacular will he held at the heart of Australian harness racing, Sydney's Bankstown Paceway, 178 Eldridge Road, Bankstown, from Monday, July 28th, to Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. Gates open at 10 am. Reserved seating, show and lunch bookings can be made on 1300 THE LOG or 1300 843 564 or 0414 339 558. Megan J. Lavender Camel Racing in Australia - The Facts The facts on camel racing in Australia are as follows: % Camel racing is a popular sport in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia. % Like horse racing, camel racing can be an event for both wagering and as a tourist attraction. % Camels can run at speeds up to 65 km/h (18 m/s; 40 mph) in short sprints and they can maintain a speed of 40 km/h (11 m/s; 25 mph) for an hour. % Camel racing in Australia - which started more as a tourist attraction than a professional sport - usually takes place on outback racetracks. % Previously, camel race was held in Sydney at the former Harold Park Paceway, at Glebe, during the Equine Influenza Crisis which prevented many Australian horse races from being held in 2007. In 2013, the Inaugural Sydney Camel Racing Carnival was held at Bankstown Paceway. % Australian camel racing jockeys are mostly women, unlike the Middle East, where boy jockeys are the norm, and camels race in sprints, not long distance races. % Camels were first brought to Australia from Afghanistan in the early 1800s to help build major railway and telegraph lines in the outback. They were also used extensively for exploration purposes and as a pack animal. % By 1895, the Australian camel population had increased to approximately 6,000 head and today the population is estimated at over one million animals. For additional information or comment, please contact: Megan J. Lavender Director Bankstown Paceway
They say you can’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. It seems the same can be said for horses. For Group 1 winning mare Pressplay, punters who wrote her off as inconsistent must have felt as though they’d been kicked in the shins when she won the Vicbred Super Series final earlier this month at big odds. Pressplay has never lacked in ability, says trainer Rebecca Cartwright, but the horse’s feet have not been the same since she trod on a nail. “Some of her runs might have looked a bit disappointing on paper but if you knew the horse you’d know in some of those races it was like she was running on a hot tin roof,” Cartwright said. Farrier Stephen Said, who has been in harness racing a long time, has played an integral role behind the scenes with Pressplay. Due to her hoof ailment shoeing the mare is problematic, but Stephen’s persistence has paid off in spades, Cartwright said. “He did the most amazing job with her. Stephen really cared and made particular sets of shoes for her … her feet had never been as perfect as he got them heading into the Vicbred Final.” Doreen-based Cartwright bred Pressplay and raced her mother, Miss Superb. “It was just so humbling (to win the Group 1). We’ve been in the game a long time and to breed one and then to win a Group 1 with that horse was just amazing,” she said. “Craig (Rebecca’s partner) should take a lot of the credit for the win. He’s done a wonderful job with her and has always loved her.” Pressplay has drawn gate six in the Pet Rock Pace Final (Race 2) at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night with Amanda Turnbull, who has become the horse’s regular reinswoman after guiding her to Group 1 success, taking the reins. “It’s a bugger of a draw,” Cartwright said. “I don’t really know at this stage. I’m going to have to sit down and look at all the runners and work it out.” Cartwright said Pressplay was a “dead-set sit-sprinter”, so making her own luck in running can be tricky. But in terms of ability, Cartwright always knew Pressplay had at least one big-race win in her. “Her first run in the (Vicbred) heat was a good one. Then she ran a super race in the semi-final. We always said she could win a big race she just need a little bit of luck,” Cartwright said. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
Bruce Harpley is no stranger to success at Bathurst, especially in recent times with star mare Frith. But even Bruce must have felt more than a touch of déjà vu at last Wednesday’s meeting, when he won Tabcorp Menangle Where Horses Fly Country Series heats in successive races. The wins were achieved in similar up-front fashion, with a look- alike pair of four-year-olds, and the race presentation photos demonstrate a remarkable similarity. If it weren’t for differentsaddlecloth numbers, you’d swear you were trapped in “Groundhog Day”. Justanotherslippa ($3.90) led throughout in race two, the C0 heat, slipping home in 60.4 for an overall rate of 2:02.1, from trailer Saint Dal Santo and Paddy Carmody, which came three-wide over the final lap in a tough display. It was the first win in twelve starts for the Modern Art gelding, after several promising placings earlier this term, and his trainer-driver is hoping he’s turned the corner. Sokys Bigbullet ($1.60 favourite) completed Harpley’s double in race three, the C1 heat, after coming from outside the front to race behind Prince Raymac. Once clear of the trail, he raced away for the night’s biggest margin of 17 metres, with a 58.4 last half. Prince Raymac and one-one runner Grouse Party House filled the places. The mile-rate was an impressive 1:59.9. The winner, also a Modern Art gelding, was one of the state’s better three-year-olds last season, but health issues have resulted in more moderate form this season, this being just his second win. His trainer will be hoping that he, too, has turned the corner. Following this presentation -that’s the one featuring the number seven runner-Harpley paid tribute to the Menangle Where Horses Fly series, for giving country connections the opportunity to race for $10,000 heats and a $25,000 final. He’ll be hoping to grab a bigshare of that when his horses line up in the finals on Saturday night. Harpley is a very popular figure at Bathurst, and likely to be even more so in the future, after his thanks to a club he rates as “the best run club anywhere in Australia.” Steve and Amanda Turnbull book-ended the meeting,nudging even closer to their season goal of 200 winners each. Written In Red ($2.20 favourite) sat outside leader Trikala in the opening race, a 2130 metres C1, overcoming that leader after a torrid 27.9 quarter up the back and then holding off runner-up Snap To It, which sustained a wide run over the last lap. The win took the Cullen three-year-old past $50,000 in stakes, which might well be increased after he lines up in Sunday’s Breeders Challenge Regional Final at Young. After that, he’ll be off for a spell, and when he returns to racing, it will be as a gelding,his owner Rob Davis agreeing to allow that unkindest cut which will hopefully produce a better attitude and racing manners. In the 2130 metres 3RO last race, Monicas Magic ($4.80) was also forced to race outside the lead, and the Western Edition filly raced by good Turnbull client Reg Walsh dictated terms from there, registering a slow 2:05.2 rate to hold on clearly from Our Castanea, which followed it throughout, and leader Flightee Deedee. That was win number 198 for Amanda, who achieved the double ton with wins at Cobram the following day and Young two dayslater (as part of a treble). Bathurst HRC is naturally disappointed that this achievement, and the even more special one thousand career wins, have been away from “home”, but warmly congratulates Amanda on a wonderful feat, which will be celebrated at the annual Awards Presentation later in the year. Platinum Roulette ($2.10 favourite, Ashlee Siejka) appreciated the solid pace set by the pulling Veracity Red in the 1730 metres C4- C6, to outsprint his rivals, with a last half in 58.9 and an overall rate a tick over two minutes. Crackerjack Jo and Veracity Red, which looked as if it would drop out at one stage, filled the minor places. In Runaway Bay ($1.90 favourite, Bill/Mick Muscat) worked his way to the lead in a C0 sprint, and a last half in 57.9 gave death- seater Padabing Stride, and trailer Embellished, the other fancied runners, no chance over the final stages. The winner, a son of a champion N.Z. filly in Pullover Brown,continued the excellent strike rate of the Muscat stable in recent months at Bathurst. Dubbo trainer Peter Gavin and Menangle driver Kerryann Turner partnered in another double at this meeting, such a special one that it’s worth keeping for last! Karloo Ten Seventy ($1.30 favourite) worked his way to the lead and ran away from his rivals by an ever-widening 14 metres in a 2130 metres 3C0-3C1, from pegs runner Puffnstuff and death- seating Kenny Cracker. Raced by Ronnie Lew, the winner is named for husband Barry Lew’s late father Peter, a sergeant in the NSW Police Service who passed away in 2012. “Sarge” carries Peter’s official police number 1070 (which the Lew family was granted by the Police Commisioner, a rare gesture) on the brow piece of his bridle. Everywhere the smart Art Major gelding goes in his races, Peter Lew leads the way! Two races later, Deanne Gavin’s two-year-old gelding scored hissecond win in just four starts, coming with a big sprint from the top of the straight to overpower leader Jethros An Eagle and hot favourite Itz Platinum Plus NZ, in the 2130 metres 2C0-2C1 event. The leaders quickened for a 58.6 last half, adding further merit to the win. Peter Gavin, a neighbor of the Lews, always looked after their farm when they travelled with Karloo Mick, and won a Dubbo race with Karloo Malibu, which they’d gifted him. He then bred her in 2010 to first-season sire Art Colony, getting a colt foal the following year.Karloo Malibu died without having another foal, while the sire Art Colony died after just his second year at stud. The progeny of that mating looks like he might be a very good horse, and like every good horse, he carries a good name, as The Only Child. By Terry Neil
Bathurst Harness Racing Club has attempted in recent times to extend its identity and appeal beyond that well-established Gold Crown brand, with feature meetings aimed at local parish groups, rugby league clubs and the like. Last Wednesday’s fixture included a Harness Breeders NSW – sponsored “Go Girlfriend Series” heat, but when former Bathurst, and now N.Z. based, commentator Mark McNamara got up to a bit of mischief, by paying for naming rights for a fillies race on the card, the meeting then became, unofficially, Girlfriends Night at the Trots. Toby Inwood Is Looking For A Girlfriend Three Year Old Fillies Pace, named as a stir against a likeable young driver who works for the family of McNamara’s good mate Jason Turnbull, remarkably finished in a dead-heat, with good sport Inwood more than happy to celebrate with a pair of four-legged fillies following the event. Santastic Princess ($14.30, Mickael Muscat for father Bill) and Shes So Foxy (($2.00 favourite, John O’Shea for Lester Hewitt) provided a perfect result and perfect names for such an event, relegating Artista Lombo to third, ahead of other interesting monikers like Modern Admirer, Pretty ideal and Hells A Coming. The shared win was the second leg of a double for the Muscat stable. They took out the opening race, a C1 sprint, with recent stable arrival Just Read My Mind NZ ($5.80), sitting in the running line and enjoying the strong tempo which produced a 2:00 mile rate. Front-running pair Written In Red and Prince Raymac fought on well to fill the minors. On the other side of the McNamara “gee-up” came the “official” girlfriend event, the HBNSW Go Girlfriend Series heat, for C1-C3 Mares. Highview Aria NZ ($12.70) gave Steve Turnbull the first leg of a training double, when Amanda brought it with a well-timed run from the one-one, with a narrow margin back to Our Miss Kathryn NZ, which led the three-wide train over the final lap. Both qualify for the $20,000 Tabcorp Park Menangle final this Saturday. Ben Settree, representing HBNSW at the presentation, spoke about the merit of a series such as this which provides increased opportunities for fillies and mares to compete against their own sex. So say all of us! Other winners from the meeting were: Burra Sullivan ($2.60 favourite, Nathan Hurst) , leading all the way in a 2130 metres C3-C4, the fourth win this season for the Armbro Operative four-year-old. The 58.3 last half was the quickest on a very cold night, and the placegetters were Packnplenty and Skewbridge Road. Kenny Cracker ($3.20 favourite, Michael Day Jr), impressive in sitting outside the lead in a 3C0 sprint in its first run for the Kevin Powderly stable from Young. Leader Flightee Deedee and Tulhurst Stacey, which trailed the winner, filled the minor placings. This race was named for the Bathurst HRC Stallion Tender. It remains open till August 29, and provides the opportunity to secure services to leading sires Art Major and Mach Three, and exciting newcomer A Rocknroll Dance, at well below the advertised service fee, if in fact services remain available. Boundtobewild, the longshot of the night at $17.90 for Anthony Winnell and trainer Peter Reid, produced a very strong finish when clear of the markers to run out an easy winner of a 2C0-2C1 Fillies sprint, from fellow pegs-runners Asitshouldbe and Mah Koo Loo Queen. Having just her fourth race start, the winner is still very green but clearly has lots of raw ability. With a name like hers, she might be just the ticket if Toby Inwood is still without a girlfriend this time next season! Bevendale Boy ($2.20 favourite, Sam Hewitt for father David, and owner Daniel Hewitt) , most impressive in working to the death in a 2130 metres 2C0 event, from where the son of Art Official controlled the race and ran out a narrow but soft winner, from last-start winner The Only Child and Gentleman Red. This was his first win at start eleven, but he’s been racing well against much stronger company, and is likely to tackle the Breeders Challenge regional series in coming weeks. Polished Rocks ($2.20 favourite, Steve Turnbull), the second leg of his training double, when he sat outside leader and runner-up Sweet Ava NZ in C0 sprint, to record his third successive win. Three nights later, he raced in the $50,000 NSW Breeders Challenge Blue Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle, finishing just behind the placegetters over the testing 2400 metres , to further shake off his former reputation as just a speedy type. Bathurst race each Wednesday throughout July. By Terry Neil T 61 2 6333 5000 F 61 2 6331 4397 E email@example.com
Birdy Mach might be the best two-year-old Luke McCarthy has ever driven, the champion harness racing reinsman says. The unbeaten Mach Three colt went 1:53.8 to win on debut last month before making it two from two at Menangle on July 1. Birdy Mach will contest the colts and geldings' Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes (Group 2) this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. He has drawn gate two for the 2240m event, alongside unbeaten polemarker Burnaholeinmypocket from the Andy Gath stable. “He’s really good. On raw ability he’s right up there with the best two-year-olds I’ve driven,” McCarthy said. “He’s pretty special. “He’s still got a bit to learn but we wanted to get him down to Melbourne to settle in before the Breeders Crown and the Tatlow looks a really nice race.” Birdy Mach's first lifetime start Smooth Showgirl will also head to the Breeders Crown via the Tatlow Stakes for fillies, the Art Major youngster put away for a spell after winning the Group 1 Nursery Final at Albion Park in May. “We turned her out after the Nursery, elected to bypass the Vicbred and head straight to the Breeders,” McCarthy said. “She’s had a couple of trials at home and won them both. She’ll be in good order.” Todd McCarthy will steer both horses at Melton this weekend while Luke pilots stable big guns Chilli Palmer and Bling It On at Albion Park. Bling It On has won eight straight races and will be a hot favourite in the Queensland Derby on Saturday night. “He’s a great horse. Let’s hope he can make it nine from nine this week and then we’ll head to the Breeders Crown head up there next Friday,” McCarthy said. Chilli Palmer will race in the Group 3 4YO Championship after his last-start win last Saturday night at Albion Park. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
Construction work on the Harness Racing New South Wales Menangle Park training centre has commenced. The site was given the all clear after obtaining an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit - an ongoing process that took more than 12 months revealing more than 320 artefacts in the archaeological excavation. Tenders for the earthworks, as well as the construction of the new intersection off Menangle Road, are about to be finalised with work to start in September. Other ancillary utilities for the multi-million dollar facility include a veterinary clinic, a produce store, a water walker and an administration centre to go with the 400 permanent stables on site. On the 40-hectare parcel of land will also be a 1000m training track as well as day-paddocks. “Whilst it may seem this project is all ‘talk’, the detailed processes including importantly Campbelltown City Council and the Roads and Maritime Services approval take time,” New South Wales Harness Racing Club chief executive John Dumesny explained. “Rex Horne, Sam Nati and project consultant Michael Brown, have had countless meetings with as many as 100 potential suppliers, contractors, consultants, utility providers and Government agencies since the DA was approved in April by Council. “It is now all systems go and participants will see changes to the landscape in coming weeks.” For further information telephone NSWHRC Chief Executive John Dumesny on 0438 398 210.
Jubilation quickly turned to heartbreak in a pair of trotting events at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, July 9th as a pair of diamond gaiters looked to be home free only to have late miscues cost them what looked to be sure victories in these state-bred stake events. In what looked like it was going to a replay of their last two encounters Macie Rae (Ryan Anderson) carved out splits of 28.0, 58.1 & 1:27.3 and appeared to be holding firm to the wire before going off stride with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. That allowed the pocket sitting Bailey's Wish and driver Dave Magee to capitalize on their good fortune as they zipped right on by for the victory in the $10,000 Fox Valley Diva Stake for state-bred three-year-old trotting fillies. Macie Rae settled for the place spot while Lora Lee Breeze (Matt Krueger) was a distant third. The three-quarter-length triumph in a career best of 1:56.1 pushed the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen's career record to 7-6-3 in 22 starts for owners James Bafia and Eugene White. The good looking brown filly has also banked a hefty $151,983 while under the guidance of conditioner Dirk Simpson who is zeroing in on the 1,000 victory plateau. In the first of two $5,000 divisions of the Psychic Spirit Stake for ICF two-year-old trotting colts Southrncomfortzone (John De Long) looked to be home free after a pocket sitting journey behind Captain Greedy and driver-trainer J.D. Finn. That's when disaster struck for that colt as he "jumped it off" allowing Captain Greedy, who had put up splits of 29.3, 1:00.2 & 1:31.2 to reclaim the lead and cruise to a six-length triumph in 1:59.4. Cardinal Yankee (Mike Brink) rallied to be second while Pizzalicious (Dale Hiteman) was moved from fourth to third because of the disqualification of Southrncomfortzone. The win was the third in four starts for the son of Yankee Valor--Tropical Trixie who now has $6,692 in career earnings. The second division of the Psychic Spirit proved to be far less dramatic as the Herman Wheeler owned and trained Fox Valley Qatar made it three in a row to open his career posting an impressive 2 ¾ length victory in a career best of 1:58.3. After saving ground while Allpowernoemotion (Ronnie Gillespie) put up splits of 30.1, 1:00 & 1:29.2, driver Todd Warren eased Fox Valley Qatar through the passing lane and the gelded son of Pizzazzed--Armbro Bahrain responded beautifully as he charged right by the tiring pace setter for an easy score. Allpowernoemotion held on for second while RT Habenero (Robert Taylor) rallied to be third. Fox Valley Qatar now sports career earnings of $5,625 and looks like he'll be the one to beat heading into the State Fair Stakes at Springfield in August. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park
The NSW Harness Racing Club after lengthy consultation with the UHRA and HRNSW have contracted Paramedical Services to replace the NSW Ambulance Service for all race meetings conducted at the track. While the NSW Ambulance Service has provided exceptional support for many decades, the “add on” of following the field during races by Paramedical secured that company the role. “There has been a clear indication from Government that deregulation of the ambulance service would, in time, eventuate,” said NSWHRC CEO John Dumesny. “With this in mind, the club investigated the alternatives and have elected to go with Paramedical, a company with more than two decades experience. By following the field at a safe distance paramedics can be immediately on hand to administer treatment to fallen drivers if necessary. “We are assured that there is the same level of expertise, however the fact the ambulance follows the field is an issue which we have pursued for many years.” For further information contact NSWHRC CEO John Dumesny on telephone (02) 4645-2200.
You won’t see any cricket played at Bathurst during the winter months- except for the indoor variety – but as the racing season winds down, centuries and double centuries are occupying the thoughts of some followers and, particularly, leading participants. Amanda Turnbull looks odds-on to repeat last year’s “double ton” driving performance, while dad Steve is making a determined effort to achieve the same score in the training ranks. Nathan Hurst is just a handful of wins from a well-earned training century, and after a slow start, John O’Shea has worked his way into the mid-eighties in driving wins, and is some chance of achieving triple figures as well. What a remarkable achievement it will be for Bathurst harness racing should all reach those milestones. John O’Shea followed up his recent “five-for” with a double last Wednesday, with Queen Khawaja for Canowindra trainer Ken Rue in C0 company, and his own stable runner Vergels Girl in 2YO company. From the inside gate, O’Shea gave Queen Khawaja ($2.80 favourite) the run of the race behind leader Embellished, and the five-year-old mare finished too well for that horse, with death- seating Gatling Silver holding on for third. The winner is from a half-sister to another of Anne Lamb’s breed – a fella named Smooth Satin . Kennny Rue doesn’t have the same ambitions for this girl, but would have enjoyed this third win. Vergels Girl ($3.30) had been racing well in much stronger Breeders Challenge company than the field she was opposing here, and O”Shea drove her aggressively from outside the second line to take the lead in the early stages, skip clear on the turn then hold on from favourite Gentleman Red, which came again close to the line. Flip Wilson NZ maintained its consistent form with a third from outside the lead. Steve and Amanda Turnbull didn’t crack it for a win until the final event, with Padabing Stride ($1.60 favourite) much too strong for his R0-R1 Competitive Stakes rivals, sitting in the death and drawing away for a soft win from leader Meredith Rose and trailer Carla Dream. It might have been a frustrating and disappointing night for the leading stable as they chased down their targets, but as reported elsewhere in this edition, things would soon improve markedly, with Steve training four at Wagga two days later, and Amanda driving her second Group One winner at Melton last Saturday. Other winners on the night were: Lifes Easy ($2.80 favourite) for Amy Day, in a C0 Tabcorp Menangle Where Horses Fly heat, where the Life Sign mare finished strongly from the running-line with a 59.0 last half. Amy will have a shorter and smoother trip up the highway for the rich final at the end of the month. Crackerjack Jo ($5.70) for Robbie Clifford and trainer Peter Trevor- Jones, in a C2-C3 sprint. The winner got clear late to get up right on the post, with a very impressive 57.7 final half. Robbie Clifford is having a deal of success as a catch-driver this season, and says he’s enjoying his opportunities. Giannis Bromac NZ ($2.30 favourite), a very “soft” winner for Emma Turnbull and trainer Wayne Watterson, in a C1 Tabcorp Park Menangle Where Horses Fly heat. She’d been working the track down at home, and her driver, who’s having a terrific run this season, was very impressed by the ease of the win. Truly Miss Terious NZ ($47.60) belied its price with the night’s biggest winning margin of 13 metres in a heat of the C1-C2 Penrith Mayors Cup, for Jason Turnbull. Trainer Wendy supplied the quinella in the race, through runner-up Likeallofus. The winner will not start at those inflated odds in tonight’s Cup final at Penrith. Hells A Coming ($3.40 favourite) for West Wyalong visitor Peter Birks and driver Scott Hewitt, made up for a close second at her last start at this track, with a good win from the one-one in 3C0- 3C1 Fillies class. It was the third win from just eight starts for the filly, and completed a good night for the western visitors who had an earlier placing with Coopers Beach Boy. News that the lighting towers have been positioned at the new Mt Panorama track was the talking point among locals and visitors at the meeting. The interest and excitement is building. Marianne Donnelly Bathurst Harness Racing Club
The in-form stables of Shannon Price and Scott Miller have been further bolstered following the arrival of classic winning performer Beetson. The former Gr.1 Bathurst Gold Crown winning juvenile and recent Gr.2 Carousel winner arrived in Brisbane in preparation for the Queensland winter carnival features this month. His arrival adds further strength to the Price/Miller camp which already houses last start feature race winners Chevals Clivesdale and Bettor Promise. Classy performers Caesars Folly, Terror Time, American Legend and emerging rookie Bettorthanspecial also add to the current depth in their roster. “Beetson is a nice addition to the stable and a pleasant shock. We have Phil and Denise Thurston (Freedom Is) based with us currently and it was on their recommendation to the owners that Beetson join our stable during his Queensland campaign.” Shannon Price said. The Art Major six-year-old arrives in the sunshine state as a last start winner at TABCORP Park, Menangle on June 24 when successful in a heat of the NSW Rising Stars. Emerging talent Chris Geary took the winning drive. “Beetson is still very loosely assessed for a pacer that has achieved as much as he has throughout his career, he comes north as a C3, M0 and R6 which gives us plenty of wiggle room. “The obvious targets for him are the weekly Seymour Rising Stars Championship series, he can earn very good money working through his grades while the new metro structure will also make very good appeal before he returns back to Sydney to go through his metro races again once he’s done up here. “He’s arrived in very good order, race fit and he’s settled in well so we’ll look at a race pretty soon with him. I’m happy to have him in the stable and I’m hopeful he’ll do a good job during his time with us, Peter (Trevor-Jones, owner/trainer) has given us all the info we need at this point to get him going.” Meanwhile, last start Breeders Classic winner Chevals Clivesdale is likely to bypass the upcoming winter carnival features in preference for a southern campaign later this year. Connections will not rush him in readiness for the Gr.3 $45,000 4yo Championship on July 19 at Albion Park. “As strange as it sounds and because of his assessment (C4, M0, R7) we think it’s best to hold him back for a Sydney campaign later this year. If he wins the 4yo Championship, he will do three grades and that’s not a good for business. “I will look at more Seymour Rising Stars Championship events before looking at a heat/final MO series at Menangle in November; we won’t push him for the sake of it.” Exciting two-year-old fillies Bettor Promise and Bettorthanspecial will continue to be set for the Gr.2 $80,000 QBRED Triad Final on July 19. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)
YOUNG Tasmanian harness racing reinsman Duncan Dornauf celebrated his biggest win in the sulky when he partnered talented three-year-old filly Miley Rose to victory in the $30,000 Bullock Consulting Bandbox Stakes over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Miley Rose ($5.80) proved too strong for odds-on favourite Faithful Gabby ($1.50) in a close finish and it gave prominent owner-breeder Doug McKillop another feature race win. Miley Rose was quick to leave the mobile and had no trouble leading but Dornauf was content to let Faithful Gabby (Gareth Rattray) roll to the front 1400m from home to give his charge a cushy run on the favourite's back. Faithful Gabby, that had won four of her previous five starts going into the bandbox final, travelled comfortably to the home turn but Dornauf always had his filly breathing down Rattray's neck. When Rattray released the deafeners at the top of the home straight his filly shot clear but Dornauf was able to get the most from Miley Rose and she gradually erased the margin and went on to grab victory in the last few strides. Itswhatilikeaboutu (Christian Salter) came from last to run third but 20 metres from the first two placegetters with the judge unable to separate Tania Maree and Jane Grant for fourth. By Peter Staples
CLASS comes to the surface when it comes to Group One harness racing. And star Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang added to his tally of more than 100 Group One successes when he scored one of his easiest big-race wins when Whereibylong took out Sunday’s Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Three-Year-Old Fillies’ Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “I do have a bit of success here and patience is certainly a virtue when it comes to races like this,” Lang said. “But to be honest, Humphrey B Bear could win on some of the horses I have been driving – they are that good.” Lang looked anything but cumbersome and slothlike as he bided his time at the tail of the field before a lightning move to put the $100,000 Group One in his keeping in the blink of an eye. Lang let most of his rivals cut at each other at the head of the field while Whereibylong cruised along at the back of them. When Lang cut him loose, Whereibylong ($1.80 favourite) swept past her rivals to race away for an easy 6.8m win in a 1:57.6 mile rate with a last half of 56.1 seconds. Ocean Diva finished well for second without troubling the winner, while Luda got out late and ran on for third, but a distant 7.9m from the winner. “In my time I’ve learned that you win more than you lose when you have a good horse like this at your disposal,” Lang said. “When you get fair dinkum, she knows what to expect and she gets the job done . . . as she did today.” Whereibylong By Michael Court (Harness Racing Australia)
ELLALONG harness racing trainer-driver Michael Formosa dreamed of winning the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Four-Year-Old Entires and Geldings Final with Ultimate Art at Tabcorp Park Menangle today but not the way he did. After hitting the lead with his stable star around the home turn, Formosa threw everything he had to get the son of Modern Art over the line . . . all bar “the kitchen sink”. “I envisaged this race grabbing the lead on the line but I hit the lead a lot earlier than I thought I would,” said Formosa. “I may have looked like a blender down the home straight but I gave it my all.” After two previous attempts of trying to win this race in his junior years, Ultimate Art claimed the Group One in fine style, equalling the class record for distance rating 1:56.3. With the early leaders, So Kool Harry, Armbro Chimes and Blissfull Guy, all contributing to the scintillating lead time of 54.8s, it was up to the backmarkers to take home the race. The final two quarters of 29.3 and 29.9s, saw Ultimate Art hold out So Kool Harry by a-metre-and-a-half and Nowitzki, who was close behind in third. Having tasted success in the Bathurst Gold Crown and Gold Chalice, as well as a Regional Breeders Challenge Final, Ultimate Art extended his earnings to $270,815 from 18 wins and nine placings in 37 starts for owner Kirsty Formosa, Michael’s better half. “Michael is a great trainer and this horse is a hard horse to train,” said Kirsty. Ultimate Art By Amanda Rando (Harness Racing Australia)
TO win a Group One is always a great feat – to win two, with the same horse, is something extra special. So high-profile breeder Paul Kahlfeldt as well as the “gun” training-driving partnership of Belinda and Luke McCarthy felt like they had climbed the mountain when three-year-old Art Major gelding Lettucerockthem took out Sunday’s $100,000 Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge three-year-old colts and geldings’ final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Reinsman Luke, who speared to the front from gate nine and led all the way to win, later explained that connections had always had a high opinion of Lettucerockthem and now most harness racing fans would know why. “He had a bit of a gut buster first-up from a spell and that seemed to really set him back a bit,” McCarthy said. “After that it took us a while to get him back to his best. We’ve got him right again now and he showed today what he could do with that terrific effort.” Lettucerockthem had his main danger, Theartofconfusion ($2.80 favourite), stuck outside him and there he stayed until he began to give ground on the home turn, fading to finish ninth. It was left to El Fuego (Josh Willick) to chase Lettucerockthem down, finishing 7.9m away in second spot, with Ideal Legacy (Bruce Birch) third in a 1:59.3 mile rate, with the last half run in a slashing 54 seconds. Luke said races like next year’s Chariots Of Fire and, the following year, the Miracle Mile were likely long-term targets for Lettucerockthem. Lettucerockthem By Michael Court (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)
AFTER dominating the first round of heats, promising driving talent Chris Geary was an indestructible force in the Young Harness Racing Club – Ross Gigg Memorial NSW Rising Stares Series. Although finishing seventh with Light In Every Day in the Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle today, Geary had enough points to seal the competition with 88 points. “It’s been a great week with a good bunch of people,” Geary said. Riverina reinsman Todd Prest finished second with 80 points while Sawyers Gully driver Grace Grant made a late surge to finish a point behind in third. Bathurst driver Mitch Turnbull secured fourth position with 76 points after driving the race of his life to take out the final today with the KerryAnn Turner conditioned Zenable. In what is the biggest win of his succinct career, Turnbull produced a well-timed drive on the mare, which rated a personal best 1:51.2 in the $30,000 Group Three. This was the second race of the day as the first, the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Two-Year-Old Trotters Final, was run and won by Twice As Much. With trainer Anton Golino and driver Luke McCarthy combining their efforts to take out the Listed Classic, Twice As Much won his second race in as many starts, rating 2:01.4. By Amanda Rando (Harness Racing Australia)
ONE of the biggest surprises of Breeders Challenge Day was not the failure of short-priced favourite Ominous Warning but the win of Its Only Rocknroll in the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge two-year-old colts and geldings’ final. Aided by a superb drive from Cawdor horseman Blake Fitzpatrick, Its Only Rocknroll came from three back on the markers to run down a host of rivals in the straight, scoring by a half-neck from Sports Spook with the unlucky Spare Me Days in third spot, 3.7m away. Odds-on favourite Ominous Warning, from the powerful Luke and Belinda McCarthy stable was chasing his fifth successive win but wilted badly in the straight to finish second last after getting no peace in the run. Spare Me Days (Brad Hewitt) made a lightning mid-race move to sit outside Ominous Warning and the two went-head-and-head until turning for home. While Ominous Warning was the first to wave the white flag, Spare Me Days fought on doggedly and was only collared by the first two in the shadows of the post. The winner rated 1:55.5 with a last half of 56.3 seconds. Part-owner Peter Gianni later sang the praises of Fitzpatrick: “This horse wouldn’t even pace properly a couple of months ago and look at him now,” Gianni said. “I have to give Lisa and Blake Fitzpatrick the credit for all their hard work with this horse.” Its Only Rocknroll By Michael Court (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)