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Tuesday saw the Queensland Young Guns travel to Sydney for the New South Wales leg of harness racings State of Origin Young Drivers Championship. The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM. The group consists of 10 young trotting participants who were selected to engage in a range of programs aimed at educating the group to further their knowledge, not only in the sport but in business, presentation and media. The Young Guns selected for the initial group training are Pete McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Hayden Barnes, Amy Rees, Ryan Veivers, Narissa McMullen, Dannielle McMullen, Brittney Graham, Trent Moffat and Isobel Ross. With early starts not being a problem for this group, they gathered in the wee hours at Brisbane Airport ready to jet off to Sydney for a day full of programmed activities. Looking extremely smart in their team uniform, the professional look the team displayed was a credit to all. Arriving in Sydney, first stop following a trek over the Harbour Bridge was the Frenchs Forest studios of SKY Channel. The group were given a tour of the studios and were able to meet and question some of the SKY ‘stable of stars’. Narissa and Trent were then interviewed for a segment of In The Gig that aired on Tuesday night. Venturing from the North-East back to the South-West, it was all aboard the express to Menangle. Of the 10 Young Guns, 5 were selected in Queensland’s starting lineup with 1 on the ‘bench’. Unfortunately for Pete McMullen, he met the wrath of stewards at Albion Park on Saturday night, meaning Brittany Graham was called into the starting lineup. Brittany joined the other starters, Narissa McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Trent Moffat and Amy Rees to provide the Queensland team with a strong advantage in experience. The Queenslanders boasted a combined total of 739 career wins with Narissa and Chantal both having over 300 wins a piece going into the Series opener. Taking to the track in the New South Wales lineup were Kasey Hocking, Chris Geary, Kylie Barnes, Cameron Jones and Todd Prest with a combined total of 128 wins. The total lifetime winners counted for little once the on track action started, especially considering that only Chantal and Narissa had previously driven at the famed Menangle circuit. Kylie Barnes, the most experienced of the Sky Blue Brigade put on a clinic in the first 2 races to show the Maroons that the Blues would not be easy-beats on their own dirt. In cold, wet and windy conditions the first race saw two scratchings, leaving both teams one runner short with Trent Moffat and Todd Prest left to cheer from the stands. In a great finish where only 5 metres separated the field, Kylie Barnes came with a well-timed run aboard Miss Artistic Tara to score majority points over Cameron Jones. Narissa McMullen was Queensland’s first finisher, coming in third position. Heat Two saw victory once again go to the Blues and once again it was Kylie Barnes to the fore. As the field turned for home, Barnes driving the race favourite El Chango, loomed up to the leader Eagles Ace and looked to run right on by. However, Narissa McMullen driving Eagles Ace fought back, as did Bazzas Art for Chantal Turpin. As the trio drove down to the wire, El Chango packed too many guns and scored a gutsy victory for his cartel of owners. Turpin finished second with Narissa third. It was left until the last Heat for Queensland to restore some pride and Trent Moffat provided the right tonic aboard Fellas R Trouble. Leading off the barrier, “The Moff” gave no others a look in with a very controlled drive to take the field all the way in a barrier to box performance. Brittany Graham making the most of her call up to the starting lineup ran into second place with the outsider of the field Major Command to provide the quinella to Queensland. Chris Geary finished third to avoid a Queensland trifecta. The series now moves to Albion Park for the deciding three Heats on Friday and early indications see it going down to the wire, despite New South Wales holding a 17 point lead. TrotTips Michael Polster’s form assessment sees two of those heats going to Queensland. Racing Queensland  

There will be no love lost between Queensland's top young harness racing drivers and their New South Wales counterparts when they go head to head in the inaugural Young Drivers State of Origin Series later this month. The Queensland team of Peter McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Trent Moffatt, Narissa McMullen and Amy Rees will travel to Menangle for the series opener on August 26 before returning to their home turf at Albion Park on August 29. The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM. Racing Queensland Chief Executive Darren Condon said the state had some outstanding talent in its junior ranks and the six-race series would provide invaluable experience for both teams. "To take these young drivers down to New South Wales and compete at a venue like Menangle is an experience they could well have had to wait many years for and this series gives them the opportunity to do it now," Mr Condon said. "Being able to compete on different tracks against the best young drivers in other states does wonders for a young driver's confidence, but they can also build a network in another state that could open up opportunities for them in the future. "Harness Racing certainly has a high rate of younger participants in Queensland and we are proud to able to give the Young Guns this opportunity and be part of such a great initiative." The New South Wales team consists of Cameron Jones, Chris Geary, Kasey Hocking, Kylie Barnes and Todd Prest. Harness Racing NSW Chief Executive Sam Nati said providing opportunities like this for the young participants in his state is vital for the future of the sport. "We are all acutely aware of the need to nurture the next generation of trainers and drivers, "Mr Nati said. "Giving them the opportunity to participate in showcase events such as this not only provides a great incentive, but just as importantly, valuable learning opportunities. "Additionally it's very satisfying to achieve an outcome with another state controlling body which is mutually beneficial to our respective longer term objectives." Racing Queensland and Harness Racing NSW have confirmed a boost to the prize pool for the six races with each worth $10,000. New South Wales will launch the series with three races scheduled on Tuesday 26 August at Menangle, with the Queensland final scheduled for Friday 29 August at Albion Park. For further information please contact: Queensland Lucy McIntosh (Brand Manager - Harness, Racing Queensland) 0457 743 908 New South Wales Sam Nati (CEO - Harness Racing NSW) 02 9722 6600                  

He Came, he saw, he conquered! The opening night of the 2014 Queensland harness racing winter carnival belonged to champion pacer Im Themightyquinn who scorched around the Albion Park oval in a stunning time of 1;50.5 defeating Mach Beauty and Avonnova in the Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint. It was a track record performance that eclipsed the previous mark of 1;51.8 set by Stuey Lombo when successful in the same race twelve months earlier. In front of a massive crowd, the Gary Hall trained megastar thrilled racing fans of all ages with his trademark dazzling speed and brilliance with a commanding performance. Handled perfectly by Gary Hall Jnr, the $4.46 million earner pushed forward immediately at the start and took up a position on the outside of Mach Beauty before landing the perfect one-one trail on the back of Avonnova. The first half was tripped in 56.3 seconds with splits of 28 and 28.3 seconds. With Mach Beauty rolling at a strong speed and Avonnova working hard without cover, Im Themightyquinn stalked the leaders and loomed big danger heading off the back straight. The third quarter was clocked in a lung busting 26.5 seconds and Hall Jnr quickly set upon the leaders with a sweeping three-wide move. In the straight, Im Themightyquinn proved too strong for a gallant Mach Beauty with Avonnova fighting hard for third. The last quarter was recorded in 27.9 seconds. “I love this horse; he’s a champion and he proved his greatness yet again aided by another great drive by Jnr. I’m so happy we made the trip to Brisbane and this is a fantastic result for harness racing, it’s great to see so many people come and cheer this horse on.” An emotional Hall said. It was career victory number 57 for the rising ten-year-old gelding. Im Themightyquinn The Gr.3 $45,000 Futurity was dominated by race favourite Bling It On who scored comfortably from Alleluia and Diamond Ace in a time of 1;58.3 for the 2138m event. The Luke and Belinda McCarthy prepared colt remains unbeaten in Queensland and will back-up next week in the Gr.3 $30,000 TattsBet Gold Coast Derby before contesting the Gr.1 $100,000 on July 19. Bling It On In the $15,000 Nickys Falcon Claiming Series Final, Franco Bulgari sprintlaned to victory defeating My Elusive Dream and Wilusi Blues. Franco Bulgari is prepared by Queensland rising star Narissa McMullen who owns, trains and drives the veteran pacer. Other star performers on the night included Fearless Leader who smashed the 2138m track record with a powerful front-running performance in a time of 1;54.2 for the 2138m journey, eclipsing the previous mark of 1;54.4 which was held by Avonnova while star filly Nike Franco scored a brilliant come from behind victory in the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Pace. Next week, the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks is the feature while the Gr.3 $45,000 4 & 5yo Championship, the Gr.3 $30,000 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes and the Gr.3 $30,000 Gold Coast Derby, the $20,000 Country Cup Final will also be staged. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

The success story of this year's Young Drivers Challenge was undoubtedly the rise and rise of Rebecca Bartley. Over the space of three days the Congupna reinswoman, 22, became a household name in Victorian harness racing, winning the first four races in the five-race invitational series. And they weren't aboard odds-on favourites, in fact far from it. Bartley piloted two longshots to victory at Shepparton on Thursday night (Riviera Kiss $26.60 and Boom Boom Hall $18.80) before striking at enormous odds at Melton's Tabcorp Park on Friday night (Smiling Spirit winning at $54.30). To cap it off Bartley won the fourth race of the series at Ballarat on Saturday night (aboard Kankkunen at $10.70) before having to settle for fifth with Belvoirama in the last race to finish with a series points score of 46 - just four points shy of an unprecedented 50 points (the maximum a driver can accrue in the 10-points-per-win series). "She was the story of the series, that's for sure," said Ballarat and District Trotting Club CEO Paul Rowse. "By the time the series finished everyone knew who Rebecca Bartley was." Rowse described the Young Drivers Challenge as a great series and praised the Shepparton Harness Racing Club for developing the concept. "I'd encourage other clubs to follow Shepparton's lead and look at holding similar series in the future," Rowse said. "It certainly added interest to our meeting as we were the lucky beneficiary of the series' final." Rowse said any notion that harness racing was a sport dominated by males had long been debunked, with Victoria's driving ranks filled with top-line women's talent. "It wouldn't surprise me at all now if Rebecca can go on to achieve similar to what Kerryn (Manning), Jodi (Quinlan), Amy (Tubbs) etcetera have been able to do," he said. "It's a good news story for everyone that the girls are going so well in Victoria." Bartley thanked series organisers and her fellow young drivers in her victory speech at Ballarat. New South Wales based driver Todd McCarthy finished second in the series, 14 points behind Bartley, while Narissa McMullen (Queensland), Josh Duggan and Jason Lee all tied for third on 31 points. YOUNG DRIVERS CHALLENGE FINAL STANDINGS 1: Rebecca Bartley 46 2: Todd McCarthy 32 3: Narissa McMullen 31 3: Josh Duggan 31 3: Jason Lee 31 6: Dylan Ford 25 7: Aaron Bain 24 8: Josh Aiken 23 9: Aiden De Campo 22 10: Zac Phillips 18   By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

The Shepparton Harness Racing Club, in conjunction with Tabcorp Park Melton and Ballarat, will again conduct their annual Young Drivers Challenge over three meetings, kicking off on Thursday May 29. The two races involved on the card will be the C2 to C3 for four-year-old and older as well as the C1 for four-year-old and older horses with drivers to be randomly allocated from the list of outstanding junior talents. Josh Aiken, Josh Duggan, Haydon Gray, Jason Lee and Zac Phillips will be representing their home state while interlopers Aaron Bain (SA), Aiden De Campo (WA), Dylan Ford (Tas), Todd McCarthy (NSW) and Narissa McMullen (QLD) all converge to try and take the title. In an exciting new turn for the competition, the young drivers will not only compete in two penalty free races at Shepparton, they will also take centre stage at Tabcorp Park Melton the following night. That will be followed up by the chance to compete on one of Victoria’s most popular tracks, Bray Raceway Ballarat the very next night. Shepparton Harness Racing Club Secretary/Manager Ian McDonald was thrilled with the opportunity being provided to those driving. “I think we’ve assembled the best young driving talent in Australia and it’s just terrific to see them get the opportunity to compete in the Young Drivers Challenge,” McDonald said. “This year we’ve added races at Melton and Ballarat to spice things up and it will give all the drivers a chance to drive on one of the biggest stages in the sport. “The fact that the winner of each of the races won’t incur a handicapping penalty just gives trainers the best opportunity to race for good prizemoney.” For more information visit the meeting calendar for the Shepparton meeting calendar here, the Melton meeting calendar here and finally for more on the Ballarat leg, click here. by HRV Media

Leading reinsman Mathew Neilson has registered another century season. Neilson posted the milestone moment with a driving double on Tuesday afternoon at Albion Park when successful aboard the Peter Donohoe trained He Gets It and the Shawn Grimsey prepared Pacific Cruza. It becomes the eighth season where Neilson has driven more than 100 winners. During the 2001/02 season Neilson registered his maiden century with a total of 113 while his biggest haul came during the 2002/03 season when he landed his first double century with 204 winners. With his tally currently sitting at 101 for this term, he finds himself second on the Queensland statewide premiership table behind dynamic junior driver Narissa McMullen who has a total of 103 winners to date. McMullen, a third generation horseperson has been in tremendous form this season which includes multiple victories in New South Wales but is currently serving a two week suspension. On Inter Dominion Grand Final day (March 2) at TABCORP Park, Menangle, McMullen landed an all-the-way victory aboard the Peter Walsh trained Essbee Doubleyou in the Gr.2 $50,000 Lexus International Lady Drivers Invitational. The battle between McMullen and Neilson in the final months of the season should be enthralling. “It’s nice to reach that figure again but I’ve just got to keep improving on it, there’s still a long way to go this season with several good drivers competing.” Neilson said. The lightweight driver is now preparing his own team of horses after splitting with leading conditioner Grant Dixon earlier this year and has recently invested in a new property at Toorbul, north of Brisbane where he will expand on his stable. Other Queensland based drivers close to registering century seasons include Grant Dixon, Pete McMullen, Shane Graham and Bart Cockburn. Another milestone moment from Tuesday’s meeting arrived for rookie horseman Hayden Barnes, who prepared his first winner as a trainer when Alberts Flight proved too strong for his rivals in the New Farm TAB Pace in a time of 1;55.5. Barnes prepares the son of Flight N Irish for James McDonogh. Currently employed by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, Barnes previously spent time with Darrel Graham along with his father Al. Barnes has driven 9 career winners to date. By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

Leading reinsman Mathew Neilson has registered another century season. Neilson posted the milestone moment with a driving double on Tuesday afternoon at Albion Park when successful aboard the Peter Donohoe trained He Gets It and the Shawn Grimsey prepared Pacific Cruza. It becomes the eighth season where Neilson has driven more than 100 winners. During the 2001/02 season Neilson registered his maiden century with a total of 113 while his biggest haul came during the 2002/03 season when he landed his first double century with 204 winners. With his tally currently sitting at 101 for this term, he finds himself second on the Queensland statewide premiership table behind dynamic junior driver Narissa McMullen who has a total of 103 winners to date. McMullen, a third generation horseperson has been in tremendous form this season which includes multiple victories in New South Wales but is currently serving a two week suspension. On Inter Dominion Grand Final day (March 2) at TABCORP Park, Menangle, McMullen landed an all-the-way victory aboard the Peter Walsh trained Essbee Doubleyou in the Gr.2 $50,000 Lexus International Lady Drivers Invitational. The battle between McMullen and Neilson in the final months of the season should be enthralling. “It’s nice to reach that figure again but I’ve just got to keep improving on it, there’s still a long way to go this season with several good drivers competing.” Neilson said. The lightweight driver is now preparing his own team of horses after splitting with leading conditioner Grant Dixon earlier this year and has recently invested in a new property at Toorbul, north of Brisbane where he will expand on his stable. Other Queensland based drivers close to registering century seasons include Grant Dixon, Pete McMullen, Shane Graham and Bart Cockburn. Another milestone moment from Tuesday’s meeting arrived for rookie horseman Hayden Barnes, who prepared his first winner as a trainer when Alberts Flight proved too strong for his rivals in the New Farm TAB Pace in a time of 1;55.5. Barnes prepares the son of Flight N Irish for James McDonogh. Currently employed by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, Barnes previously spent time with Darrel Graham along with his father Al. Barnes has driven 9 career winners to date. By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

SA BOTRA who put over $48,000 is bonus and extra stake money in South Australia are currently running a on line auction to raise funds to continue to support Harness Racing in the state.   They are auctioning the set of horse shoe full framed that Smoken Up aka "Trigger" wore on his way to a Australasian record at Menangle Park NSW of 1.49.9 on November 23rd 2013   This must for any lover of Harness Racing comes framed with certificate of authenticity signed by his trainer Lance Justice.   This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bid on this piece of harness racing history. A true collector's item.   This item is being offered by SA BOTRA.   Proceeds of this auction will be used to promote harness racing in South Australia. To make a big you only have few hours left go to \http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/161249911654?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Gary Newton    

SA BOTRA who put over $48,000 is bonus and extra stake money in South Australia are currently running a on line auction to raise funds to continue to support Harness Racing in the state.   They are auctioning the set of horse shoe full framed that Smoken Up aka "Trigger" wore on his way to a Australasian record at Menangle Park NSW of 1.49.9 on November 23rd 2013   This must for any lover of Harness Racing comes framed with certificate of authenticity signed by his trainer Lance Justice.   This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bid on this piece of harness racing history. A true collector's item.   This item is being offered by SA BOTRA.   Proceeds of this auction will be used to promote harness racing in South Australia. To make a big you only have few hours left go to \http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/161249911654?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Gary Newton    

There were winners left, right and centre after the opening race at Tabcorp Park Menangle this afternoon. The Menangle track was a “first-up” winner with horses coming from everywhere in the closing stages of the final heat of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship as the Peter Walsh-trained Little Red Cloud got the money with a 1:59.9 mile rate over the 2400m journey. Tasmanian reinsman Dylan Ford may have also given a hint of things to come for his fellow Tasmanian Beautide in the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final later in the day when he brought Little Red Cloud with a well-timed run up the middle of the track to score. All the competitors in the Young Drivers Championship rated the track in remarkable condition despite persistent showers over the weekend, with every runner accorded a fair run. Still none were more satisfied than New Zealand’s Andre Poutama, who finished seventh with Im Blue Double Dee, but accrued enough points to take the series from another Kiwi, Samantha Ottley. Poutama, from New Zealand’s North Island, went into the race with a 13 point lead and was desperate to avoid running in the last couple to jeopardise his chances of winning the overall series. Little Red Cloud grabbed Poacher (Aaron Bain) in the shadows of the post, with Condagen (Josh Duggan) third. Trainer Peter Walsh’s good run continued in the Lexus International Lady Drivers Invitational when Narissa McMullen led all-the-way with his pacer Essbee Doubleyou. The Queensland reinswoman took the son of Presidential Ball straight to the top from barrier nine where they dictated terms throughout. Rolling through the quarters in 27.1, 29.0, 28.5 and 27.4s, which resulted in a slick mile rate of 1:52.0, again proving the track was in fine order for the string day of racing ahead. Bathurst reinswoman Amanda Turnbull finished second with Medal Of Honour while the Tasmanian Kate MacLeod finished third with Ballochbuie. Harness Racing NSW

There were winners left, right and centre after the opening race at Tabcorp Park Menangle this afternoon. The Menangle track was a “first-up” winner with horses coming from everywhere in the closing stages of the final heat of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship as the Peter Walsh-trained Little Red Cloud got the money with a 1:59.9 mile rate over the 2400m journey. Tasmanian reinsman Dylan Ford may have also given a hint of things to come for his fellow Tasmanian Beautide in the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final later in the day when he brought Little Red Cloud with a well-timed run up the middle of the track to score. All the competitors in the Young Drivers Championship rated the track in remarkable condition despite persistent showers over the weekend, with every runner accorded a fair run. Still none were more satisfied than New Zealand’s Andre Poutama, who finished seventh with Im Blue Double Dee, but accrued enough points to take the series from another Kiwi, Samantha Ottley. Poutama, from New Zealand’s North Island, went into the race with a 13 point lead and was desperate to avoid running in the last couple to jeopardise his chances of winning the overall series. Little Red Cloud grabbed Poacher (Aaron Bain) in the shadows of the post, with Condagen (Josh Duggan) third. Trainer Peter Walsh’s good run continued in the Lexus International Lady Drivers Invitational when Narissa McMullen led all-the-way with his pacer Essbee Doubleyou. The Queensland reinswoman took the son of Presidential Ball straight to the top from barrier nine where they dictated terms throughout. Rolling through the quarters in 27.1, 29.0, 28.5 and 27.4s, which resulted in a slick mile rate of 1:52.0, again proving the track was in fine order for the string day of racing ahead. Bathurst reinswoman Amanda Turnbull finished second with Medal Of Honour while the Tasmanian Kate MacLeod finished third with Ballochbuie. Harness Racing NSW

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

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

The first heats of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship were held at Tabcorp Park Menangle last night. In the first heat Sam Ottley made the most of her inside draw and went to the lead and set the pace throughout, her horse tired but managed to hold on for 5th. Simon McMullan had a good trip in the one-one and ran home for a nice second. Andre Poutama settled at the back and couldn’t make up much ground in a fast-run race. The second and last heat of the night saw the tables turn and Andre led all the way on the favourite to win in a mile rate of 1.52.8! Sam’s horse galloped behind the mobile and Simon’s broke on the home turn, they both finished near the back. Andre is now leading the Championships with 19 points on the board. Simon is sitting 5th= and Sam in 7th. Heats are continued tonight at Bathurst, with Heat 3 run at 8.37pm, Heat 4 at 9.40pm and Heat 5 at 10.11pm. Australasian Young Drivers Championships - Heat 3, Heat 4 and Heat 5 fields 2014 AYDC - Bathurst - Wednesday 26 February - Heat 3 - 8.37pm (NZT)  Form Horse Driver 1 51s24 WARNER Narissa McMullen (C) 2 45s19 AURORA SCOTT Dylan Ford (C) 3 77268 IM NO LADY Aiden De Campo (C) 4 97124 PRINCE RAYMAC Simon McMullan (C) 5     s2811     CORZAN    EFFECT    NZ    (Em    1)         Samantha    Ottley    (C) 6 1s483 VAMPISH HANOVER SCRATCHED 7 34232 ONAJOYRIDE Aaron Bain (C)  ---------- Second Row ---------- 8 1211s ABERCROMBIE ALICE Dylan Egerton-Green (C) 9 s1821 MARQUEZ Andre Poutama (C) 10 6291s AUSSWIN Joshua Duggan (C) 11 31635 TULHURST JAILBREAK Amanda Turnbull 2014 AYDC - Bathurst - Wednesday 26 February - Heat 4 - 9.40pm (NZT)  Form Horse Driver 1 35344 MYSTERIOUS BLISS Amanda Turnbull 2 s4399 SUNSHINE FILLY (Em 1) 3 76586 TRULY MISS TERIOUS NZ Joshua Duggan (C) 4 26s11 OH SO SWEET Andre Poutama (C) 5 35241 RAGING RHUBEN NZ Dylan Egerton-Green (C) 6 25333 CRACKERJACK JO Aaron Bain (C) 7     5s303     DANCELITTLEBABY         Samantha    Ottley    (C)  ---------- Second Row ---------- 8 13763 GRIN FOR MISS Simon McMullan (C) 9 2s322 SO KOOL HARRY Aiden De Campo (C) 10 s6313 WILLIAM PETER Dylan Ford (C) 11 72688 BEEJAY EMDEE Narissa McMullen (C) 2014 AYDC - Bathurst - Wednesday 26 February - Heat 5 - 10.11pm (NZT)  Form Horse Driver 1 11191 SMOKIN BOPPER NZ Dylan Ford (C) 2 56543 SIGNORY SHANNON Simon McMullan (C) 3     44727     JOANNIE    PONY         Samantha    Ottley    (C) 4 62345 GETALOADAHER Narissa McMullen (C) 5 0460s MINERS LANE Aiden De Campo (C) 6 11222 PRECIOUS M NZ Andre Poutama (C) 7 11238 TANGLES NZ Amanda Turnbull  ---------- Second Row ---------- 8 11117 HIGHVIEW CONALL NZ Aaron Bain (C) 9 24439 RED VEE HANOVER Dylan Egerton-Green (C) 10 607s2 TRUCKER Joshua Duggan (C) Harness Racing New Zealand

The first heats of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship were held at Tabcorp Park Menangle last night. In the first heat Sam Ottley made the most of her inside draw and went to the lead and set the pace throughout, her horse tired but managed to hold on for 5th. Simon McMullan had a good trip in the one-one and ran home for a nice second. Andre Poutama settled at the back and couldn’t make up much ground in a fast-run race. The second and last heat of the night saw the tables turn and Andre led all the way on the favourite to win in a mile rate of 1.52.8! Sam’s horse galloped behind the mobile and Simon’s broke on the home turn, they both finished near the back. Andre is now leading the Championships with 19 points on the board. Simon is sitting 5th= and Sam in 7th. Heats are continued tonight at Bathurst, with Heat 3 run at 8.37pm, Heat 4 at 9.40pm and Heat 5 at 10.11pm. Australasian Young Drivers Championships - Heat 3, Heat 4 and Heat 5 fields 2014 AYDC - Bathurst - Wednesday 26 February - Heat 3 - 8.37pm (NZT)  Form Horse Driver 1 51s24 WARNER Narissa McMullen (C) 2 45s19 AURORA SCOTT Dylan Ford (C) 3 77268 IM NO LADY Aiden De Campo (C) 4 97124 PRINCE RAYMAC Simon McMullan (C) 5     s2811     CORZAN    EFFECT    NZ    (Em    1)         Samantha    Ottley    (C) 6 1s483 VAMPISH HANOVER SCRATCHED 7 34232 ONAJOYRIDE Aaron Bain (C)  ---------- Second Row ---------- 8 1211s ABERCROMBIE ALICE Dylan Egerton-Green (C) 9 s1821 MARQUEZ Andre Poutama (C) 10 6291s AUSSWIN Joshua Duggan (C) 11 31635 TULHURST JAILBREAK Amanda Turnbull 2014 AYDC - Bathurst - Wednesday 26 February - Heat 4 - 9.40pm (NZT)  Form Horse Driver 1 35344 MYSTERIOUS BLISS Amanda Turnbull 2 s4399 SUNSHINE FILLY (Em 1) 3 76586 TRULY MISS TERIOUS NZ Joshua Duggan (C) 4 26s11 OH SO SWEET Andre Poutama (C) 5 35241 RAGING RHUBEN NZ Dylan Egerton-Green (C) 6 25333 CRACKERJACK JO Aaron Bain (C) 7     5s303     DANCELITTLEBABY         Samantha    Ottley    (C)  ---------- Second Row ---------- 8 13763 GRIN FOR MISS Simon McMullan (C) 9 2s322 SO KOOL HARRY Aiden De Campo (C) 10 s6313 WILLIAM PETER Dylan Ford (C) 11 72688 BEEJAY EMDEE Narissa McMullen (C) 2014 AYDC - Bathurst - Wednesday 26 February - Heat 5 - 10.11pm (NZT)  Form Horse Driver 1 11191 SMOKIN BOPPER NZ Dylan Ford (C) 2 56543 SIGNORY SHANNON Simon McMullan (C) 3     44727     JOANNIE    PONY         Samantha    Ottley    (C) 4 62345 GETALOADAHER Narissa McMullen (C) 5 0460s MINERS LANE Aiden De Campo (C) 6 11222 PRECIOUS M NZ Andre Poutama (C) 7 11238 TANGLES NZ Amanda Turnbull  ---------- Second Row ---------- 8 11117 HIGHVIEW CONALL NZ Aaron Bain (C) 9 24439 RED VEE HANOVER Dylan Egerton-Green (C) 10 607s2 TRUCKER Joshua Duggan (C) Harness Racing New Zealand

Betezy Park Globe Derby became a sea of PINK on Saturday night when the harness racing Lady Drivers Challenge came to town.   Their were four heats on the program with the locals taking first blood when Gina Bell steered Veddy Veddy Good home in the first heat with another South Australian Danielle Hill the runner up with Lighting Shark, but from then on it became the Lisa Miles show.   The talented Victorian won the next two heats with Mount Gambier pacer Flaming Hero and Apocalypse Dream. They were two of the best drives one would ever see. Flaming Hero unleashed a powerful finishing burst while Apocalypse Dream Miles sat up one out and one back coming with a well a timed run to claim Star Brutus by three meters.   Taking an unassailable lead into the final heat Miles managed to claim third spot with Weaponry behind the Ellen Tormey driven Maywyns Zephyr.   With two of the first three finalist in the inaugural Leigh Plunkett Scholarship competing in the event BOTRA and HRSA made presentations to Ellen Tormey the winner from Victoria, runner up local junior driver Aaron Bain, who has also been selected to represent South Australia in the upcoming Australasian Junior Drivers Championship in NSW over the Inter-dominion carnival, and Narissa McMullen who was third place getter in the scholarship.   Despite the extreme heat a good crowd witnessed some brilliant racing and some very talented lady drivers who got to travel back to their motel in style in a Pink Hummer.   Gary Newton      

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