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The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) yesterday considered applications lodged by Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt for review of the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board made on 16 November 2018. The HRV RADB Board decision, to dismiss an appeal against the determination of the HRV Stewards to invoke Australian Harness Racing Rules 183(c), 183(d) and 15(d) after Ms Bartley, Mr Jack and Mr Pitt were found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), can be viewed here. After hearing the submissions of legal counsel for all parties, Senior Member Ian Proctor reserved his decision, which is expected to be handed down in the coming days.     Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today handed down its decision in relation to an appeal lodged by licensed persons Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt against the decision of the HRV Stewards to invoke Australian Harness Racing Rules 183(c), 183(d) and 15(d) after they were found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The HRV RAD Board considered submissions from all parties on 9 November 2018, and today determined that the appeal be dismissed. Therefore, from midnight on 23 November 2018, all licenses held by Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt are suspended, any horses owned or trained by them are prevented from racing or trialling and they are excluded from attending any racecourse. The full decision of the HRV RAD Board can be viewed here.   Harness Racing Victoria 

On 7 September 2018 in accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183(c), (d) and 15(d), Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provisionally suspended the licenses of Mr Nathan Jack, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Lisa Bartley after they had been found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958).  These charges relate to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley were also prevented from racing or trialling any horses owned by them and excluded from attending any racecourse. Parties were provided with the opportunity to provide submissions to Stewards as to why these restrictions should not remain in place pending the completion of the Stewards investigation.  Stewards have considered all relevant information, including; the decision of Magistrate Murphy in the Wodonga Magistrates Court on 7 September 2018, submissions provided on behalf of the participants, the need for the protection of the integrity of the Harness Racing industry and to maintain the confidence of the conduct of races. It is the Stewards decision to continue the invocation of the provisions of the relevant AHRR until the completion of the Stewards investigation. The participants have been advised of their rights of appeal against this decision and any such appeal must be lodged with the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board Registrar by 5:00pm on 1 October 2018. As the Magistrates Court decision regarding the criminal charges remains subject to an appeal, HRV will not be making any further comment at this time Harness Racing Victoria

On 7 September 2018, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards suspended the licenses of Mr Nathan Jack, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Lisa Bartley after they had been found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958).  These charges relate to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley were also prevented from racing or trialling any horses owned by them and excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. Parties were provided with the opportunity to provide submissions to Stewards by 5pm on 17 September 2018, as to why these restrictions should not remain in place pending the completion of the Stewards investigation.  Following requests from the parties legal counsels Stewards have allowed an extension for the lodging of submissions, with them now due by 5pm on 20 September 2018.  The provisional restrictions placed upon Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley shall remain in place pending final determination by the Stewards. As the Magistrates Court decision regarding the criminal charges remains subject to an appeal period, HRV will not be making any further comment at this time.   Harness Racing Victoria

Victorian harness racing licenced participants Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley were today found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958), which relates to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack was found guilty of charges relating to Race 4 at Cobram on 22 June, 2015, and the training arrangements of Airbournemagic leading up to the event. Mr Pitt was found guilty of a charge relating to the aforementioned race. Ms Bartley was found guilty of charges relating to the training arrangements of Airbournemagic. Mr Jack and Mr Pitt were convicted and fined $20,000 and $15,000 respectively. Ms Bartley was fined $5,000 without a conviction being recorded.  In light of the parties being found guilty Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley have had all harness racing licences suspended. Horses owned by them are prevented from racing or trialling and all three have been excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. These restrictions were imposed immediately pending submissions being provided as to why these embargoes should not remain in place until the completion of a HRV investigation. A final decision with respect to these embargoes is expected to be announced by the HRV Integrity Department by 5pm on 19 September 2018. As today’s decision of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is subject to an appeal period, and all parties being required to appear before HRV for further proceedings, HRV will not make any further comment at this time.   Harness Racing Victoria

Top horseman Nathan Jack drove his third Traralgon Pacing Cup winner at Sunday afternoon's Warragul meeting. Jack drove Dream To Share, a well travelled pacer he also trains. Dream To Share had been racing in New South Wales and was first up for trainer Jack on Sunday. He beat last year's Pacing Cup winner, Hurricane Stride, in Sunday's race, narrowly denying that the horse the opportunity of becoming the first to win the Pacing Cup twice. Jack drove Equity Jeb and Nuclear Bunny to win his first two Cups. The co-feature, the Ken Miller Memorial Pace, was won by short priced favourite Always Flashing. The four-year-old set down to a stirring finish with The Cobblers Piece, the pair racing away from their rivals before the home turn, and the favourite gaining a narrow winning margin right on the finish liner. Family and friends of the late Ken Miller with race winning driver Greg Sugars after the Ken Miller Memorial Pace Photo - Matt Walker Local trainers missed out in the two feature races, but still enjoyed good success on Sunday afternoon. Trainer Rob Evans, now at Koo Wee Rup, won his second race with his mare Into You, which ran a time only just outside the track record. A large syndicate of locals, including some first time owners, celebrated the maiden win of two-year-old pacer Blazin Cracker. The youngster should only get better with more racing and maturity for trainer Gary Quinlan. Clyde trainer Jayne Davies produced Redason to win the Trotters Handicap, the first of a driving double for Nathan Jack. The Gippsland Harness Training Centre celebrated a home track success in the opening race of the day with Mystic Castle, trained by Jenni Lewis and driven by Greg Sugars. The Adam Kelly trained Cullen Reign won the fourth race, driven by Chris Alford, who collected a winning double after earlier steering Blazin Cracker to victory. Kilmore horsewoman Rita Burnett had her name drawn out as the lucky winner of a new Dooza racing sulky donated by Warragul Light Harness Club. Her daughter Monique was overcome with excitement as she opened an envelope revealing her mother's name as the winner. Trotting returns to Warragul on Sunday, July 15.   Kyle Galley    

Just a week ago the Ameretto team dared to talk Inter Dominions and now we know why. Beating “the girls” is one thing, but Ameretto took the next step by thrashing all-comers, including ageing champ Lennytheshark, in last night’s Golden Reign free-for-all at Melton. Yes the race was put on for here when Lennytheshark and stablemate Im The Boss blazed through a 41.5sec lead time, but Ameretto zoomed to the front on the home bend to win by 11.1m in a flying 1min54.6sec mile rate for 2240m. Just back on that lead time for a moment – it’s the fastest ever run at Melton and took 0.4sec off what The Gold Ace and Im Themightyquinn blazed in the 2012 Victoria Cup won by Caribbean Blaster. So Im The Boss and Lennytheshark still did well to finish second and third respectively. But this was Ameretto’s night and came just a week after she crunched Australia’s best mares in the Group 1 Queen of the Pacific at Melton. Despite the latest win, trainers Kerryn Manning and Grant Campbell reaffirmed plans to stay in Victoria rather than chasing next month’s Len Smith Mile at Menangle or Queensland winter riches. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Tim Butt opted to stick to Menangle rather than chase the slightly richer Newcastle Mile with his Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal. While the emerging Majordan blew his rivals away at Newcastle last night, My Field Marshal cruised to a 1min52.4sec mile win against a moderate bunch at Menangle. It was just another step towards the Len Smith Mile then Queensland Winter Carnival. ____________________________________________________________________________________ La Grange, by Muscle Hill out of former Rowe Cup winner La Coocaracha, comfortably won the $30,000 NSW 3YO Trotters’ final at Menangle. She was the first leg of a feature Menangle double for trainer Anton Golino and driver Nathan Jack, who also combined to win the $30,000 2YO final with All Cashed Up (Ready Cash-Pepperell Magic). Speedy Victorian mare Red Hot Tooth won the 4&5YO Trot at Menangle for trainer Kari Males and driver Zac Phillips. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Glamour combo Emma Stewart and Chris Alford strutted their stuff in Tasmania last Friday. The main reason for the Launceston raid was the $40,000 Bandbox 3YO Fillies’ final which they won by a cricket pitch with Somebeachsomewhere filly Nostra Beach. Nostra Beach won her qualifier by 49.2m at Launceston on May 14 then worked to front and won the final by 16.4m in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for 2200m. She’s won eight of her 14 starts and almost $240,000, mainly via last season’s Australian Gold 2YO final triumph. Just for good measure, Alford and Stewart combined for another four wins on the night, making it five wins from their seven runners. One of their winners worth following is definitely Ride High, a son of Art Major, who has won his only three starts by a thumping aggregate of 69.3 metres. Insiders say the stable thinks Ride High has Group 1 potential. There was also plenty to like about Another Safari’s powerhouse 25m win in the fast-class race where he took more than two seconds off the 2200m standing-start track record. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Former Kiwi trotter Tornado Valley didn’t take to regain winning form. He won seven on end and was ranked by many as Australia’s best trotter before a 10m handicap and tough run saw him tire late for a gallant third in the Group 1 Australasian Trotting Championship at Melton last Saturday week. Six days later he again did all the work in a strong field and dug deep to win the Group 3 Jack Slack Trotters’ Memorial (2200m) at Ballarat. Tornado Valley just held-off Fabrication, who ended his winning streak six days earlier. The measure of the latest win was the fact Tornado Valley was three-wide for much of the trip in a sharp 1min59sec mile rate in cold conditions. ____________________________________________________________________________________ He is bred to be anything, his trainer “loves” him and the early signs are good. That’s the story of Bletchley Park so far, who is the baby brother of Bling It On and half-sister to Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling. The Mike Reed-trained son of American Ideal made it two wins from three starts when he used to lead throughout for a no-fuss Gloucester Park win last Friday night. Shannon Suvaljko dictated terms in front and out-zipped and equally exciting Bitcoin in a cosy 1min59.4sec mile rate for 2130m. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Still at Gloucester Park and it great to see popular trio Vultan Tin, driver Chris Voak and trainer Phil Costello jag another win. The gelding ran the race of his life when fourth to Lazarus in the Perth Inter Dominion last December. This was his fourth win since. Voak threw everything at Vultan Tin at the start and was able to hold the lead from hot favourite Bettors Fire and that changed the race. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Rumours of Jack Mac’s demise were greatly exaggerated. A sustained absence from the racetrack by last season’s Western Australian juvenile star sparked plenty of talk his career was over or even worse. Just last week Jack Mac’s connections posted on his own twitter handle: “I didn’t die of a snake bite (wtf lol), I haven’t been sold to the US, I didn’t get a positive swab and I haven’t broken down. #RumoursAreFun Will be back soon though.” Soon was last Friday night when the former Kiwi colt returned to racing with an arrogant all-the-way in the $50,000 Group 2 Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park. Trained by Barry Howlett and driven by Chris Lewis, Jack Mac dictated terms in front and really just sprinted home a last quarter in 27.7sec to win by 8.2m. It was his eighth win from as many starts since moving from NZ to WA. He was winless in five NZ starts. Jack Mac was spelled after winning WA’s major two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper, on July 1 last year. He returned to win by a big space at Pinjarra in January, but hadn’t been again until his Gloucester Park last Friday night.   Adam Hamilton

Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup winning reinsman Nathan Jack had little time to celebrate his harness racing victory on Easter Sunday. Soon after accepting trophies for the race victory with pacer Cruz Bromac, Jack made a rapid dash to Tooradin airfield, to board a light aircraft for the journey to the night race meeting at Echuca, where he had four race drives later in the program. It's doubtful a winning reinsman has soaked up a Warragul feature success in such a way before in the 60 stagings of the event. Jack had driven at the Bathurst Gold Crown meeting in regional New South Wales the night before, adding to a long, but successful weekend of racing and travel. Cruz Bromac bought up Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup win number two for trainer Dean Braun, who prepared Nike Franco to victory in 2016. Braun becomes only the fourth trainer in the long history of the race to have prepared multiple Cup winners, joining Bob Knight, Ted Demmler and Noel Alexander in an exclusive club. The exciting Falcon Seelster six-year-old Cruz Bromac has only had 25 starts, collecting 14 wins and five minor placings. Jack took Cruz Bromac to sit outside leader Rockstar Angel early in the race, and the front runners dominated the $30,000 race, with Cruz Bromac running a last half mile in 55 seconds to win by one and-a-half metres. Local Mister Wickham managed fourth spot after over racing, while Clancys Fobwatch finished behind that pacer. Across the five support races on Sunday, there were some popular local victories. My Forgotten Hero rewarded patient owner/breeder Georgie Coram and trainer/driver Simone Walker with a maiden win at start 21. The victory was the two-hundredth success for the Cranbourne Racecourse stabling complex. Yarra Glen horseman Ken Browne, a past graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre, won the Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Handicap with Chrisken Kiosk. Misty Cullen proved too strong in the Warragul Toyota Pace for owner/breeders Gordon and June Turner and trainer Gary Quinlan. There was even local success in the two pony events on Sunday. Gippsland's sole pony trotting driver, Jasmyn Fusinato, landed her first home town victory with Lily The Shark in the Pony Cup Prelude. The teenager then scored a victory in the later Warragul Pony Cup, which proved popular with the local crowd. Fusinato has now won three races in the pony trots, where youngsters from all across Victoria compete on a regular basis. Good weather conditions drew another large crowd to Logan Park for Sunday's meeting, and although horse numbers were down in races, a good day was had by those in attendance. Kyle Galley

Three people alleged to be involved in a harness racing fixing scandal at Cobram more than two years ago will have to wait until next year to find out the outcome of the case against them. Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley yesterday faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court for the 13th and final day of a contested hearing. Magistrate John Murphy decided to receive final written submissions from the prosecution and defence out of court. ‘‘I’m satisfied there is a case to answer against all of the accused,’’ he said. Yesterday, Gary Hevey attempted to re-open the prosecution’s case after taking instructions from higher authorities. ‘‘A situation has arisen, I have been asked to re-open the prosecution case,’’ he said. Mr Murphy ruled Victoria Police telephone intercepts admissible this week. ‘‘Those instructing me have taken a different view,’’ Mr Hevey said. ‘‘They say I should re-open the prosecution case for utilising telephone intercepts post-offending. (I) propose for your honour to rule admissible the telephone intercepts and material post-offending.’’ Mr Jack’s lawyer Anthony Lewis said none of the telephone intercepts were ‘‘admissible to incriminating conduct’’. ‘‘It will prolong the proceeding,’’ he argued. Mr Murphy agreed, saying it would lengthen the case, querying the need for the telephone intercepts as the crown already had numerous text messages admitted into evidence. ‘‘(What is) the relevance of this further material? It would extend the case by at least one or two days,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t allow the prosecution to re-open the case.’’ The court case was adjourned about noon yesterday, with a ruling set to be made on the three accused in April. HEARING SUMMARY Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley pleaded not guilty to charges of engaging in, facilitating and possessing knowledge and/or information about conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. The charges relate to an allegedly fixed race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, after which an investigation was launched into the tactics adopted during the event and information provided to Harness Racing Victoria on the stabling arrangements of a horse. Of the accused, only Mr Jack and Mr Pitt took part in the race. Prosecutors allege Mr Jack, driving Tooram Lad, allowed Airbournemagic, driven by Mr Pitt, to win the race. The court has heard from representatives who have spoken about betting patterns before the race, while the father of Ms Bartley was excused from giving evidence against his daughter. Earlier in the hearing, Harness Racing Victoria evidence was thrown out and not used during the hearing as it was found to be involuntarily obtained. The hearing started on Monday, November 27, in front of Magistrate John Murphy and entered its third week on Monday. This week, charges against previous co-accused Ms Turnbull were dismissed. By Hayden Thomson  

A champion harness racing figure accused of serious corruption has been caught telling a worker of plans to “pull up” his horse the day before a race in which his associates allegedly won thousands of dollars. The alleged admission by Shepparton driver Nathan Jack was made in a text to stable­hand Lisa Bartley, hours before the allegedly rigged race in Cobram on June 22, 2015. Mr Jack, Ms Bartley and fellow co-accused racing ­identities Mark Pitt and Amanda Turnbull have each pleaded not guilty to corrupting the race’s betting outcome. It is alleged Mr Jack and fellow driver Mr Pitt manipulated the race by allowing Airborne Magic to win, after Mr Jack “pulled up” his horse, Tooram Lam. Police also alleged the racehorse had been secretly trained at a more elite facility before the race, creating unfair betting odds. Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday heard Mr Jack texted Ms Bartley a day before the race: “I’m pulling up that horse tomorrow.” A month later, a seemingly distressed Ms Bartley told him they could “never use one of Dad’s horses again”. “When we took Metro (nickname for Airborne Magic), Dad said he didn’t want anything to do with him, and any money he won, I was to have,” said Ms Bartley in a text read in court. “I rang him before to get him to take the money to Echuca, but he has already spent it.” The court heard Ms Bartley declined an offer of money by Mr Jack, who replied: “If it wasn’t one of yours, we wouldn’t have got anything.” Mr Jack later told Ms Bartley police “have nothing and can’t use phone taps” when discussing the probe via text in October. He was also heard telling his girlfriend, Ms Turnbull, how to answer police questions about the race. “If they interview us again, say you don’t remember anything. That’s what I’ll be saying,” he said in an intercepted phone call played in court. The Herald Sun previously reported as much as $30,000 was won by figures connected to the “Cobram Crew”. A probe was launched after a series of bets dramatically lowered Airborne Magic’s odds shortly before the race. During her police interview, Ms Bartley confessed to winning about $2000 on the race. The court heard Ms Turnbull admitted telling her brother, Nathan, to bet on Airborne Magic. He allegedly pocketed $2600. Ms Turnbull denied she backed Airborne Magic and made more than $2200. The accused foursome faces up to 10 years’ jail. The hearing continues next week. By Aneeka Simonis - Herald Sun Reprinted with permission of The Daily Telegraph  

Harness Racing Victoria evidence, set to be a key piece in the prosecution case against four alleged race fixers, was thrown out in court yesterday. Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday for the second day of a hearing, accused of conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. It comes after an investigation into a race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, which Airbournemagic won. Lawyers for the accused objected to evidence Harness Racing Victoria gathered, including the downloading of phone data and certain answers given to racing stewards. ‘‘These pieces of evidence should be excluded,’’ Mr Jack’s defence lawyer Anthony Lewis told the court. ‘‘My focus is on (the) question of unfairness to the accused ... circumstances unfair to the defendant.’’ Mr Lewis said stewards met Mr Jack on his property, asked him questions and he was forced to answer them and was told if he did not — would have committed an offence. ‘‘If they don’t comply, they will be likely charged and their livelihoods at stake,’’ he said. ‘‘It is a compulsory, involuntary process ... they can refuse to answer or provide the phone, but they would only do so knowing disqualification would be inevitable. ‘‘If an admission is involuntary, then it’s inadmissible. Has the evidence been obtained by compulsion? If it has, it ought to be excluded.’’ Mr Lewis added the defendants complied with the stewards’ inquiry for the sole purpose of the stewards’ inquiry. ‘‘(They) never signed an agreement that they’re waiving their rights,’’ he said. ‘‘Never told the answers would be given to police, that’s not in the rules.’’ Prosecutor Gary Hevey disagreed, arguing the four voluntarily signed up to be involved with Harness Racing Victoria, to be bound by the rules, meaning they knew the consequences. ‘‘This was a voluntary association ... people can choose to be members or participate in the harness racing industry,’’ he told the court. ‘‘They chose to belong and in doing so they must submit to the rules of this voluntary association. ‘‘At the interviews it was open for each of the persons being questioned to respond with I don’t want to play any more ... it was open for them to say no.’’ Magistrate John Murphy said while the consequences of refusing to comply with a steward’s request did not include jail time, the consequences certainly included the defendants’ racing licence and as a consequence their professional livelihood. ‘‘One of the basis of our rule of law is that a person has the right to remain silent,’’ he said. ‘‘The accused has a fundamental right to remain silent and they can’t under HRV unless they wish to suffer penalties outlined. ‘‘It would be unfair to an accused to use the evidence ... and a denial of natural justice. ‘‘My ruling is I do not intend to allow the evidence to be given.’’ On Monday, the court heard about the alleged tactics adopted during the race, with prosecution outlining allegations Mr Jack, on Tooram Lad, allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, who Mr Pitt drove, to win the race. Representatives from different betting agencies including Bet365, Ladbrokes and Victoria Police are set to give evidence, with the prosecution saying ‘‘thousands and thousands of dollars’’ were allegedly returned from profits. The hearing continues. The race in question By HAYDEN THOMSON Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

Four alleged race fixers are pleading not guilty to all charges relating to a harness racing event at Cobram in 2015. Champion driver Nathan Jack, his partner Amanda Turnbull and Avenel pair Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The four accused have been charged with conduct that corrupts a betting outcome among other offences, after an investigation into the tactics adopted during a race on June 22, 2015 — which Airbournemagic won. Separate lawyers represented each defendant, as prosecutor Gary Hevey read out a case summary to a packed courtroom. ‘‘This case alleges corruption,’’ he told the court. ‘‘Using corrupt information for betting purposes ... it relates to the stabling, training and racing of a horse known as Airbournemagic and its winning of race four in Cobram. ‘‘In particular, allegations relate to information in possession of defendants ... the likely performance of Airbournemagic and failing to provide that information to Harness Racing Victoria.’’ Mr Hevey briefly outlined details of the charges to Magistrate John Murphy and outlined the role Harness Racing Victoria played in the sport. Court documents The News obtained told how Airbournemagic was allegedly at the stables of Ms Turnbull, a highly-regarded trainer, and Mr Jack, an experienced driver. But the details given to Harness Racing Victoria said Airbournemagic was at the stables of another person in Congupna. Due to the incorrect information allegedly given to Harness Racing Victoria, this increased the odds betting agencies set. ‘‘There are numerous messages which have been seized and downloaded in relation to the case,’’ Mr Hevey told the court. Prosecution is set to bring forward numerous witnesses from different betting agencies to give evidence, including representatives from Bet365, Ladbrokes and a Victoria Police financial analyst. The court heard how based on Airbournemagic being stabled at the Congupna address, Bet365 opened the betting ahead of the June 22, 2015 race at $35. Airbournemagic eventually jumped at just $4.80 with ‘‘thousands and thousands of dollars’’ returned from profits, Mr Hevey will allege. When Mr Jack took to the track with his horse Tooram Lad, he allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, which was close behind him for much of the race, to win. During the race, it is alleged Mr Jack was ‘‘overtly and continually looking behind his shoulder’’ at Airbournemagic, which Mr Pitt drove, for much of the race. Footage is set to be tendered to the court this week, with the trial estimated to run for more than a week. ‘‘The third section of the race was run at 27 seconds — the fastest time recorded in the last 10 years ... Mr Jack ran Tooram Lad ragged so he could not win the race,’’ Mr Hevey told the court. ‘‘When you combine that (footage) with the text messages in relation to betting ahead of the race and on the day and thereafter ... it is inescapable.’’ Ms Turnbull allegedly got a family member to place a bet on the race, which paid off with winnings of $2236.23. Ms Bartley, who allegedly helped with the training of Airbournemagic along with Mr Jack, also allegedly won $2274.24 on a winning bet on the race. Lawyers for the accused are set to object to a number of pieces of evidence, including the downloading of phone data seized, certain answers given to racing stewards and subsequent material Victoria Police obtained during a search warrant. ‘‘There is a question of unfairness of the accused,’’ Mr Jack’s defence lawyer Anthony Lewis told the court. ‘‘(We have) similar issues ... challenge the interview with stewards ... use of phone material downloaded and a challenge to the seizing of the mobile phone,’’ Ms Bartley’s defence lawyer Rohan Laurence said. Many of the charges face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison. The hearing continues today. The race in question By HAYDEN THOMSON Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News  

Four alleged race fixers could face up to 10 years in prison for a crime that netted only a few grand. Mark Ryan Pitt, Amanda Turnbull, Lisa Carol Bartley and Nathan Jack faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for their alleged involvement in a crime that rocked the Victorian harness racing community. The four accused came to court for what was scheduled to be a committal mention, but due to complications in how the case progressed from previous mentions it did not proceed. Court documents obtained by The News showed how the group allegedly gamed the racing and betting system for minor financial gain. The crime was allegedly committed at Cobram Harness Racing Club on June 22, 2015, when Airbournemagic won the fourth race of the day. It paid off for the people that backed the horse thanks to its good odds from the bookies. According to the charges, Airbournemagic was allegedly at the stables of Amanda Turnbull, a highly-regarded trainer, and Nathan Jack, an experienced reinsman. But the details given to Harness Racing Victoria stated that Airbournemagic was at the stables of another person. This person’s name has been suppressed by the court. Due to the incorrect information that was allegedly given to Harness Racing Victoria, this increased the odds given by betting agencies. When Nathan Jack took to the track with his horse Tooram Lad, he allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, which was close behind him for much of the race, to win. According to the charges Nathan Jack was ‘‘overtly and continually looking behind his shoulder’’ at Airbournemagic, which was driven by Mark Pitt for much of the race. According to previous reports, it was this behaviour that initially raised the suspicions of race officials. Watch this race here Amanda Turnbull allegedly got a family member to place a bet on the race, which paid off with winnings of $2236.23. Lisa Bartley, who allegedly helped with the training of Airbournemagic along with Nathan Jack, also allegedly won $2274.24 on a winning bet on the race. Many of the charges face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison. No pleas have yet been entered and the case will next face Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on November 27. By Barclay White Reprinted with permission of the Shepparton News

Four harness racing drivers accused of race-fixing will face a hearing next month. Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt, Amanda Turnbull and Lisa Bartley all fronted Shepparaton Magistrates Court on Thursday. Their individuals cases were adjourned for hearing on November 27. It comes over a year since the quartet were arrested at Melton and charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

On Melbourne radio station RSN a few weeks back, a discussion was raised around the possibility, that unbeaten juvenile thoroughbred Royal Symphony, might tackle this October’s Cox Plate.  That’s right, expert commentators openly toyed with the idea of an untried, untested baby racing against Winx, and perhaps even winning the Southern Hemisphere’s most revered WFA affair.  We don’t hear those conversations in Harness Racing. In fact, if a horse is anointed before their rightful time, both scribe and horse are in dire danger of being pilloried to within an inch of their lives.  That is why the San Carlo case confounds as much as it excites. Granted, San Carlo is no greenhorn; indeed he’s a somewhat seasoned, if incredibly lightly raced six-year-old, with the extraordinary record of 15 wins from just 17 race starts. But the fact media impresarios, and the general harness public are on the same page, in thinking this metropolitan maiden will inevitably stamp his imprimatur on Grand Circuit racing is unusual indeed.  Steve O’Donoghue and Beck Bartley’s gifted son, of the late Mach Three made his latest statement to those he means to face in coming months, easily winning on Saturday night at Shepparton.  Now it would seem he’ll finally look to bust his metro maiden status, via the Vicbred Championship series at Tabcorp Park both this week and next.  A crack at the Breeders Crown Graduate FFA potentially tackling Grand Circuit winner Hectorjayjay, then beckons before the new-look Vic Cup also looms large on the horizon.  So after an eternity of waiting we may know as soon as mid-October whether San Carlo, the horse that has united an industry of cynics, can actually match motors with the best Australia-wide.  For the second consecutive weekend Melton hosted a slew of semi-features on Friday night, one of those being the Group Three Melton Cup Final won by Ameretto.  Always a gifted commodity for owner and original trainer Ashley Grives, Ameretto was a three-time Group One placegetter in her formative years but has gone to a whole new level on Victorian soil.  Superbly trained and steered by the world’s most decorated horsewoman, Kerryn Manning, the headstrong mare led as expected from her polemarking draw and only got weary once the race was won. “She (Ameretto) has been in terrific form but there were plenty that wanted to come around and have a look at her mid-race, which led to the quick mid-race sectionals,” Manning said.  “I was really proud of her effort to hold on, given she was running up the track slightly and was rightfully getting a bit tired late.  “While she’s going well there are races for her here, and she will probably stay down here a little bit longer.  “I know she’s one of Ash’s favourite horses and she’s always calling after her, so it’s nice that she’s really racing well down here right now.  With most of Australia’s major mares’ races done for 2017, Manning refused to rule out a trip to Perth for their female features over the Inter-Dominion carnival.  Though Manning and her father Peter have had enormous success on Victoria’s Country Cup circuit, and there’s little reason to believe Ameretto, if she settles a little better, wouldn’t be suited to those kinds of races as well.    It's probably fair to say, the last 72 hours haven’t boosted New Zealand’s chances of winning Sunday afternoon’s Victoria Trotters Derby, during Redwood Day at Maryborough. As we all now know, NZ’s best 3YO squaregaiter Enghien officially folded his cards for the Derby on Sunday, but the rot set in for the Kiwis two days earlier at Melton. That, of course was when President Roydon, the former All-Star alumni recently transferred to Kerryn Manning was beaten at red-figure odds in a key Derby lead-up event. Having finished second to Enghien at four of his previous five outings, President Roydon was expected to dominate a gifted if not quite elite group of adversaries at Vic Harness HQ. Despite comfortably leading that wasn’t to be however as underrated Vicbred Super Series runner-up, Garshaway easily out-sprinted him in the closing stages. The news was slightly better but still somewhat surprising from the juvenile brigade, with ex-Kiwi More Shades Of Gold outgunning Jewels runner-up, One Muscle Hill in Melton’s final event. Unfortunately if gun reinsman Nathan Jack is right, that won’t help the Kiwi or ex-Kiwi brigade from making their mark, on the Redwood Classis as More Shades Than Gold is unlikely to go there. “He’s obviously come over with some pretty good wraps, and his best New Zealand form was right around some of their better two-year-old trotters,” Jack said. “This just didn’t suit him first-up; he was behind the leader at Stawell and they went pretty slowly, but tonight everything just worked out well for him. “He probably won’t go to the Redwood Classic, because I don’t think he gets away too well from the stand, so his main goal will likely be the Breeders Crown which is obviously coming up pretty quickly.”   While there were plenty of equine heroes at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, the best story of the night was a human one. Roughly three years ago, a Swedish Monte rider of Middle Eastern heritage named, Kima Frenning moved to Australia, soon after joining Team Aiken in the hope of furthering her experience with horses.  At the time ridden-trots were gaining a foothold in Victoria and predictably Frenning has been the pre-eminent exponent of Monte riding in this part of the world.  Despite that success, the young horsewoman, who has also been in a long-term relationship with young gun Josh Aiken, decided she wanted to drive and not just ride her standardbred friends.  After an understandably slow start to her career in the cart, Frenning has improved out of sight in recent months and on Friday night she drove her first metropolitan winner.  Without any additional details that would be an incredible achievement, but the fact she recorded the milestone success on a catch drive for Emma Stewart made it even sweeter again.  Another former All Star pacer, Motu Premier further confirmed what a wonderful job he’ll do on Western Australian soil by winning the Chandon Final on Friday night at Gloucester Park.  Now with Ross Olivieri, the Merv Butterworth-trained four-year-old parked out and outclassed his adversaries at WA headquarters to bring his record to seven successes from nine starts on Aussie soil.  While he’s fast headed into some high quality company the way Motu Premier saluted on the weekend would suggest there’s still serious scope for improvement into the future.      As has been become standard transmission in recent years, Emma Stewart made the Southern Cross Finals at Globe Derby her own on Saturday night winning two of the four Group Two deciders.  Teaming with long-time stable owner Bruce Cameron who has made a committed effort to target South Australia’s richest futurity series, Stewart claimed wins with That’s Perfect and Perfect Look in the 2YO boys and 3YO girls’ finals respectively. Victoria pillaged even more folding from the SA coffers when the Nicole Molander-trained Saphirique won the freshman fillies final courtesy of a superb Gavin Lang drive. The locals were not left completely bereft however, as the Megan Gee owned-and driven Somebeachgift went spectacularly well to win the 3YO colts and geldings decider. The night was also notable for Belgian reinsman Sidney Van Den Brande collecting his biggest win on Aussie soil partnering the aforementioned Perfect Look for bosses Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Adam Hamilton

It was the night we had been waiting for. Emerging trainer Anton Golino and the leviathan team that is Yabby Dams has been threatening to dominate a major meeting. And it happened when they snared two Group 1s and Group 3 at Melton’s huge Vicbred “trotting finals” night last night (Friday). It started when three-year-old Muscle Mass filly Nieta posted her seventh win from just 14 starts when she sat behind main danger, Kyvalley Kyrie, and out-zipped her to win the Group 3 Vicbred Silver Trot. “If they were ever going to beat her tonight was the night when they walked and dashed up the straight, but I think they underestimated her speed tonight,” driver Nathan Jack told harness.org.au. Like so many of the stars of the Vicbred meeting, Nieta’s next main target is the Breeders Crown. Nieta is bred to keep improving being out of La Biscuit, a daughter of former champion trotting mare La Coocaracha. Golino’s enormous depth in three-year-old trotting filly ranks was underlined when another one of his, Kinvara Sue, used the pole to lead and thrash her rivals with Jason Lee aboard in the Group 1 3YO Fillies’ Vicbred final.   Lee broke her his rivals with a 28.6sec split down the back and won by 11.1m in a 2min0.4sec mile rate for 2240m, but the effort of runner-up Margaret Ruth to carry a flat tyre most of the trip was outstanding. “It’s been a tremendous effort by the team to get her to relax and to do that tonight and have the horse outside her there racing very fierce, and for to relax and rip home like that was terrific,” Lee said about Kinvara Sue. “Any win is awesome but when they’ve got Group 1 written behind them that was pretty special. To win my first Group 1 trotters race for Anton and Pat is just awesome. Really enjoy sitting behind a trotter now.” Pat is of course Pat Driscoll, the man, the brains and the money behind Yabby Dams. Driscoll and Golino’s treble came up when Aldebaran Eve, driven by Gavin Lang, led throughout and just held-off favourite Into The Unknown in the Group 1 Vicbred 4YO Mares’ final. “Credit to Anton and the team. She’s probably not the most gifted horse they’ve got but great manners, great attitude and a little bit ability which always helps.” Lang said. Golino praised the his team at Yabby Dams, most notably former All Stars’ travelling foreman Shaun McNaulty “We are starting to get a good team of horses and people,” Golino said. “Young Shaun helps with me with the horses and does a great job.” YOUNG trotting star Wobelee stirs plenty of memories for driver and co-trainer Chris Alford. His fantastic juvenile season of six wins a second and a third from just eight starts has rekindled memories more than 20 years old for Alford. It was 1995 when Alford’s father unearthed the great juvenile trotter Noopy Kiosk, who ranks up with the best baby trotters Australia has seen. Wobelee’s fantastic record, slick times and big winners margins have drawn inevitable comparisons. Throw in the fact Wobelee is trained by Alford’s wife, Alison, and it’s been a pretty special ride this season. Wobelee made it six wins on end and snared his second Group 1 when he won the Vicbred 2YO final at Melton last night by 18.2m. Previously he’d won the Group 1 Vicbred Platinum final by 16.3m on June 3 and the Group 2 Tatlow final before that. “He just likes to race. He doesn’t do a real lot at home. We didn’t have much idea other than that he trotted and he’d make the races until he qualified. He just got better and better each time he goes out. He just wants to get out there and go. He knocked off when he got a long way in front tonight. “I don’t have to ask him (early) he just wants to go. “He’s got his dad’s speed and good for him he’s got better manners.” Wobelee’s “dad” is brilliant but sometimes erratic trotter Down Under Muscles, who won 17 of 41 starts and $216,925 in stakes. ANTHONY Butt’s daring and aggressive driving has won him countless feature races. It proved the difference again last night when Butt surprised a few by leading and holding the front on Enrolled in the Group 1 Vicbred 4YO final (2240m). Many thought Butt might take the “safe” option and take a trail behind hot favourite Maori Law, however Butt had different ideas. Maori Law didn’t enjoy having to do the grunt work, broke under pressure and Enrolled powered to a 7.4m win for Butt and trainer Brent Lilley. Butt capped a double and caused the upset of the night aboard $32.10 outsider Crow Power in the Group 3 Vicbred Silver final. Other drivers to land doubles on the big night were Nathan Jack – Nieta and two-year-old filly Moonshine Linda – and Gavin Lang, who won on Aldebaran Eve and Deltasun in the Group 1 3YO colts and geldings final.   Michael Guerin

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