THE connections of well bred Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Vande Velde are hoping the gelding can develop into a Tasmanian Derby prospect with the vision exposed after he won the Tattsbet Stakes over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Vande Velde (Four Starzzz Shark-Good Gracious) showed blistering early speed from the mobile to land in front but he didn't have it all his own way as the heavily backed favourite Giuliani ($1.50) raced at his wheel for the last 1200 metres. But Vande Velde made light of the task and when his driver Nathan Ford called on him to extend he left his rivals in his wake and went on to defeat Giuliani by almost six metres with Springfield Tattoo over a metre away third. The Christian Salter-trained gelding clocked a mile rate of 2.00.64 and ran home his last half mile (800m) in 59.23. It was Vande Velde's seventh race start and only his second this season. "I have had an opinion of this horse from day one but he took time to put it together last season," Salter said. "We tried to run the gate with him last season but he just got all fired up and went a bit silly so we had to go back to square one and try and teach him to be more settled." "It's been a process but tonight we wanted to try and run him out of the gate and he handled it well so he is obviously learning and maturing." "You can't go getting too excited be," he said. Nathan Ford was a replacement driver for Salter who had to forego the drive due to his commitments in the stables hitching horses up in consecutive races. Ford said Vande Velde did a good job and gave him the impression there was plenty of improvement left in him. "This horse will definitely improve on this run because he hit the line with a bit left in the tank and he also ran the gate well," Ford said. Vande Velde is raced by Marlene Salter and Hobart brothers Greg and Scott Plummer. "This is my first winner and it feels great," said Greg Plummer. "I've raced a couple of slow ones and had one die at a young age so it is really great to own one that shows a bit of promise," he said. Vande Velde was bred by Noel and Marlene Salter and they raced the gelding as a two-year-old but because the Plummers had some bad luck with a couple of horses they offered them a half share of Vande Velde. Peter Staples
One of Tasmania’s most prominent standardbred owner-breeders Doug McKillop almost heaved a sigh of relief when his lightly raced three-year-old Miley Rose scored her first win in the Botra Stakes (3C0) at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. At her debut in Launceston last month the filly by Four Starzz Shark made an inglorious debut by galloping in the run and she was so erratic she failed to complete the course. Then in Hobart at her only other start she broke in the run and that forced stewards to put her on her last chance on Sunday night. Her trainer Bill Dornauf and her regular driver Duncan Dornauf spend most of the week working on different bits of gear to try and encourage her to stay in her gear. Duncan Dornauf had to forego the drive owing to an injury he sustained during the week resultant of a horse kicking him in the knee. Nathan Ford was booked for the drive and he ensured she was allowed every chance. Ford allowed the filly to work to the front about 1400 metres out and she had no trouble fending off all challengers in the home straight to go on and record a comfortable win over outsider Rampling and the well-backed Chirac. McKillop said the filly had shown a lot of promise but has been a handful for her trainer. “It is so nice to see her do the right thing,” McKillop said. “Her grand-sire is Commandaway and that breed can be a bit touchy.” “That’s why Nathan (Ford) allowed her to run along tonight rather than try and hold her up,” he said. McKillop bred Miley Rose from one of his former talented race mares Terrific Lass that won the 2006 Devonport Cup. Miley Rose is the mare’s third foal. The first, Another Harry, was a trotter and didn’t win in 28 starts while her second foal is Stylish Ruler that has won twice from 26 starts and is now racing in Victoria. Peter Staples
Tasmania boasts a wealth of talented young harness racing drivers with many coming from families with a strong background in the sport. Dylan Ford is one who falls into that category and he had a night to remember at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Ford snared with four winners on the nine-race program and three of those were results of gun drives. His first came courtesy of the Michael Laugher-trained The Pix that powered home to score by a metre in the Tattsbet 2YO Pace over 1609 metres. The last three races belonged to Ford, winning aboard Aim Aloof for Zeke Slater to give that trainer a double, Delightful Lilly for his cousin Nathan Ford and he capped his best night by guiding Belliciouslips to victory in the Cardmaster Hanover 2YO Pace over 2090 metres. It was a brilliant display by Ford who is the son of Phillip Ford and a nephew of ace reinsman Scott Ford who are both unfortunately sidelined through disqualification. Dylan has always shown above average ability in the sulky and given his strike rate he will outdrive his claim in no time. Peter Staples
It has been a while since harness racing eight-year-old Boozy Rouge had been in the winner's circle but he bounced back in a big way at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight Sunday the 31st of March.
Harness racing trainer Zeke Slater is rapidly earning a reputation as the "Cups King" with the most recent addition to his stable Stone Skipper scoring an impressive all-the-way win in the Westbury Cup at Carrick yesterday.
Beaconsfield harness racing trainer Rohan Hillier was far from surprised when Capricorn Cruiser scored an upset win over his stablemate and odds-on favourite Waiona in a handicap race at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Monday night.
Well bred harness racing filly Delightful Lily staked her claim on the Evicus Stakes when she blitzed a star-studded line-up in an Evicus Prelude at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last Sunday night (July 1). Delightful Lilly (Dream Away-Odins Valkyrie) came from well back in the field to score a runaway win and confirm her status as one of the state's most dominant two-year-old fillies.
Brighton harness racing trainer Nathan Ford celebrated back-to-back wins in the Big Park Stud Sweepstakes series when his well bred two-year-old Delightful Filly scored a narrow but impressive victory in the fillies division at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night.
Top Tasmanian trainer and harness racing driver Nathan Ford will require surgery next week as a result of a nasty fall at Devonport last week.
A horror race fall in the last race on the eight-event harness racing card in Hobart on Monday night (February 6) has left three drivers injured and one horse dead. Experienced driver Rodney Ashwood remains in the Royal Hobart Hospital with a broken pelvis and spinal damage while novice driver Adrian Collins suffered broken ribs and internal injuries and also remains hospitalised.
Talented young harness racing trainer-driver Nathan Ford was not in the good books with punters who wagered on the 10-event card in Launceston on Sunday night.
Winning races by big margins is usually reserved for the superstars of our harness racing world but every so often a quiet achiever comes along that is an exception to the rule.
Promising three-year-old pacer Our Ellas Fella returned from an unsuccessful interstate harness racing campaign with an effortless win in a C1 race over 1609m at Tattersall's Park in Hobart tonight (Sunday July 10). The Zeke Slater-trained gelding showed brilliant speed to lead from gate five and gave nothing else a chance on his way to a 4/1/2-metre win over Arkabe Jewel with Spendit almost five metres astern.
Betfair Sweepstakes winner Punt Road Disco is poised to take out the feature two-year-old double following his win in a heat of the Dandy Patch Stakes at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last night (Sunday June 26).
Talented harness racing filly Play Apple Tree proved she will be a force to be reckoned with in the Evicus Stakes final in a fortnight with an impressive heat win over 1609 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night.
Well-bred standardbred filly Play Apple Tree looks set for a bright harness racing future if her effort to win at only her second start in Launceston on Sunday night (June 19) is testament to her ability. Play Apple Tree lined up in the Betfair 2YO Pace and broke hopelessly soon after the start to tail out last.