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Cessnock harness racing trainer Clayton Harmey is hoping to grab another front-running win with Always A Secret on Monday at Newcastle after he dominated in a career-best time on Saturday night. Always A Secret led throughout with Leigh Sutton aboard to win by four metres in 1.55.5 in race two at Newcastle and will back up at the track in the fifth on Monday. It was a fourth win in 18 starts for the four-year-old, a brother to the former Harmey-trained Secret Jack which now races in Queensland. "He loves the front but he's half the horse in the field," Harmey said. "Secret Jack was the same. I think he won about 10 races for me and nearly all of them were when he led. "I was pretty proud of Always A Secret, especially on a rain-affected track, it was very good run to clock that time. And he just kept going. He was never on the bridle the whole race." Harmey has a soft spot for Always A Secret, which has beat the odds from an early age to still be competing. "As a foal, one of his back legs was cut up really bad in a paddock accident and the vet said he would never race. He didn't think he would even survive. "But the owners kept going with him. His leg looks terrible but it doesn't worry him. He's amazing, he just keeps pushing on. "If the race tomorrow was harder, I probably wouldn't start him but I don't think it's overly hard." Harmey also has a high opinion of Straddie, which races in the third on Monday. Although drawn wide, Straddie was "a little hope at big odds", the trainer said. Also on Saturday, Sutton drove a winning double when he saluted on Courage Lips for Jinaya Niass. Michael Formosa (Si Si Senor and Eagle Falls) and Rickie Alchin (Regulus and Crunch Time) also drove two winners each. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

In an era of sizzling mile rates, speed sulkies and one-mile tracks, a night at the Broken Hill trots is a truly nostalgic experience for any harness racing fan.   It’s trots “like they used to be” – and, as Broken Hill, counts down to the biggest event of its ten-meeting summer season, it’s worth thinking about putting a road-trip (or flight) to this outback city in your diary!   Simply arriving at the trotting track in this outback mining town, 1200 kilometres from Sydney, is an eye-opener. With a circumference of just 602 metres (less than half the size of Menangle), the track is likely the smallest in the country. Set on the side of a hill and flanked by mine heaps, its crucible-like layout is unique in Australia, probably the world.   But it’s the Broken Hill “experience” that’s the most memorable aspect. The people are friendly, and the trotting folk are proud of their facility and their sport…and it shows.   Despite drought and oppressive heat this summer, there’s optimism, hope and energy around the club. The rival trainers and drivers are keen to lower your colors on the track, but if that’s not the result, they’ll be the first to congratulate you over a beer in the bar later. It’s the Broken Hill way.   And while clubs such as Wentworth, just a stone’s throw from MIldura; and Tweed Heads, on the NSW-Qld border (on the famous Gold Coast), are two of many small clubs who’ve fallen by the wayside, the ‘Hill races on.   Club President, Tracey Robinson said the enthusiasm and vibe around the club was something special.   “We’ve really been up against it this season, because the extreme heat has made it tough to get people to the meetings and Victorian trainers have been understandably reluctant to make the trip up here,” Tracey said.   “But the racing’s still incredibly competitive and we haven’t had to cancel any meetings due to a shortage of horses.   “We’re hoping that now the cooler weather is here, our final two meetings (on Saturday March 9 and Friday March 15) will attract big crowds.”   The highlight on March 9 will be the $3000 Maltese Cup as well as a special mare’s event, supported by Kevin and Kay Seymour who have provided a free service worth $2000 to one of their well credentialed stallions.   But Broken Hill’s biggest annual fixture, the Carnival of Cups on March 15, draws the club’s biggest crowds. It’s run on the eve of Broken Hill’s notable St Patricks Day gallops fixture (on March 16) and is the only Broken Hill trots meeting broadcast on Sky Channel. The card has a host of features including the $14,000 Rocky Baker Memorial Pacing Cup and support events for C1-C3 horses and CO class horses, both of $8750.   Tracey said the club was thrilled to have a new major sponsor this season – Sydney law firm Redenbach Lee, which has a regional office in Broken Hill.   But she paid tribute to all of the club’s loyal sponsors.   “Many of the local businesses are doing it hard because the drought is having a domino effect, but they have all given us amazing support,” she said.   The Broken Hill Committee, led by the Robinson family, is central to the club’s ongoing success.   Tracey is enthusiastically at the fore, but husband David is never far away, including tending to track duties. Daughters Cassie (junior Vice President and a leading driver), Stevie and Nikki also have busy roles at the club and on race nights, and Tracey’s sister Nat runs the bar.   “It does get busy, and a bit crazy at times, but the bottom line is that we all absolutely love it,” Tracey said.   “The club has some amazing supporters, like Des Leo, who travels a round trip of 600kms from Mildura to drive the mobile barrier. Des is a former Broken Hill resident and just wants to see the club prosper – people like him are like gold.”   The late Rocky Baker, of Carbine Chemicals fame, was a Broken Hill legend...so much so that the harness racing centre is now the Rocky Baker Memorial Oval Paceway.   His son Jensen, despite living in Melbourne, continues the family’s commitment to Broken Hill trots, providing products for every runner competing through the season, and, as an added incentive, if the track record is broken, connections will get a $1000 Carbine Chemicals voucher. He’s also donating 24 bicycles to give away on Cup night, in an effort to attract more families to the meeting.   Broken Hill is a town that’s always done things its own way. Aside from its famed mining base, it came to note in the 1970s as the Outback retreat of the Brushmen of the Bush – Jack Absalom, Pro Hart, Hugh Schulz, John Pickup and Eric Minchin. Broken Hill also shot to popular note in the 1990s, courtesy of the film “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and its Broken Heel Festival each September is now a flamboyant three-day celebration of the “drag” scene.   This is a resourceful, self-reliant and generous community – and the history of harness racing in the town captures those best elements of Aussie spirit.   Through some difficult times, locals have been tireless in volunteering their time, recruiting supporters, calling in favors and securing sponsorship. Along with the support of Broken Hill Council, and against the odds, they’ve kept this remarkable little paceway going.   The club is now celebrating its 62nd year of “official” racing, but history shows that the sport began in the mining town back in the 1890s.   Regular “unregistered” race meetings were held, featuring ridden trotters. Businessmen would compete to buy the rights to run “the booth” and collect front gate sales from the meetings, held in the early days at the racecourse, with “settling up” payments made later in one of the many Silver City pubs.   Bob Napier and Charlie Weston.  Note the whip in mouth. - Photo Kate Attard and Broken Hill Harness Racing Club   The informal early trotting meetings were sometime conducted under the watchful eye of stewards, but the inevitable disagreements and shenanigans occurred between trainer, rider and, often, the general public.   After the First World War, Broken Hill Trotting Association took the lead in coming up with fresh ideas to re-ignite the interest of the public in competitive racing. They did it by running milk or bread cart races between rival companies with the horses permitted to gallop.   Held on Sunday afternoons, the “Milko Derbies” as they were known, were conducted on dirt tracks in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Huge crowds would turn up to watch the carts race around tracks bordered by 44-gallon drums.   The carts, featuring brightly-colored signs from the many dairies and bakeries in the area, boasted rubber wheels and, obviously, drivers with nerves of steel!   Broken Hill trotting action - Helmets optional   - Photo Kate Attard and Broken Hill Harness Racing Club   When the city’s galloping meetings moved to the current Broken Hill Racecourse, the trotters went as well – but it was short-lived. The racetrack was too sandy, so, in about 1945, the trotters moved to what was then known as Western Oval, later named Memorial Oval and now known as Rocky Baker Memorial Oval Paceway.   Barry Hodge remembers his father Les racing the first pacer seen in the region.   Les Hodge and his milk cart      - Photo Kate Attard and Broken Hill Harness Racing Club   “Adelaide blacksmith Stan Robinson, my mother’s uncle, arranged to buy a pacer for my dad. He, along with everyone else in Broken Hill, had never seen a pacing horse,” Barry said.   “The horse was named Starlight, as he was trained in the night by dad, and won his first race at the South Racecourse. He then won many more over the next few years.   Starlight       - Photo Kate Attard and Broken Hill Harness Racing Club   “I believe that Stan Robinson, my father Les and Starlight were at the forefront of harness racing in Broken Hill.”   Barry said the original track was very small.   “It had a banked cycle track around the football oval – the horses raced outside the goal posts and inside the bike track.”   He said the running rail was either 44-gallon drums or trestles on the corners with a steward on each bend to ensure they had a good view of proceedings.   The Broken Hill Memorial Trotting Club was formed in 1956 and raced for several years before the shape of the track was rearranged, new stalls constructed, and lighting added.   The first night meeting to be conducted under lights was held in October, 1959 Then followed a photo-finish post and a new grandstand.   The club became the first NSW country club to use a mobile barrier, constructed by locals George Williams and Bill Gobell from original plans obtained from SA.   Broken Hill has produced some marvellous horses over the years such as Ultra Gold, Mighty Penny, Noble Clan, Night Reveller, Golden Jug, Field Commotion, Mighty Hall, Young Cazz, Apache Court and Surstromming.   Pat Attard and Sheffield Court     - Photo Kate Attard and Broken Hill Harness Racing Club   Trainer and club stalwart Don Pimm, 77, this year chalks up over 60 years involvement in the sport.   “I got interested in racing because I had a milk cart and then it was all too easy to just go over to trotting,” Pimm said.   “I was just 16 years old when I drove my first winner. It was a horse named Deputy Lad, trained by my brother Bill. I wouldn’t be sure how many winners I’ve had, but one night I took six to the races and won with four of them.”   Don Pimm - Courtesy Shutterbug photography and print.   But it’s probably mobile barrier driver Des Leo who should have the last say.   In the club’s commemorative book, written by Kate Attard (now a trainer-driver in Mildura) he summed up the role of small, regional clubs in the sport: “I feel that every owner, trainer and driver who started their career at Broken Hill Trotting is a legend in their own right...most times it’s the little Aussie battler who keeps the big players going.”     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

BRING on Round Three! There is a horse that ain't too frightened of the mighty Tiger Tara . . . and his name is Thefixer. The New Zealand Cup winner darted up on the rails to beat Tiger Tara in November's New Zealand Cup and the Kiwi star, with star reinswoman Natalie Rasmussen aboard, was at it again at Menangle tonight winning the Allied Express Sprint, the first of two qualifying races for the Miracle Mile. Thefixer had to earn his stripes, coming from one-out and one-back to register another victory over Australia's best pacer, nabbing Tiger Tara right on the nine to score by a head in a 1:50.7 mile rate. While Tiger Tara will be revved up and ready for next week's return bout in the Ainsworth Miracle Mile, it was the way that Thefixer found the line which will have harness fans assured that next week's $1m Group One is anything but a one-horse race. Taken straight to the front by Todd McCarthy at the start from the inside barrier, it was expected to be a cakewalk for Tiger Tara, chasing his sixth win in succession. After a 28.1s first split of the mile, Todd was able to back off the speed with a 29.5 second split, suggesting the son of Bettors Delight would have too much pace in the run home. The speed went on with a 26.9 third split and as they dashed home in 26.2 Thefixer came with a dash and knuckled down over the last 100m to score by a head from 'The Tiger', with Cash N Flow (Luke McCarthy) one and three-quarter metres back in third place. The winner's stablemate Ashley Locaz was a close fourth. The second Sprint, the Canadian Club Sprint saw an upset right from the start when Kevin Pizzuto's other big hope Majordan bombed the start, losing almost 100m before finishing well out of the placings. The race went to New Zealand's No.1 stable, the All Stars, with Mark Purdon spearing Spankem straight to the front and leading all the way for an impressive victory. With little mid-race pressure, Purdon was able to back off the speed after a 26.1s first split with a 30.4 second quarter and a third split of just 29.4. That enabled the Bettors Delight four-year-old to dash home in 25.6s for a 1:51.5 mile rate in defeating outsider My Alpha Rock (Lauren Tritton) and the winner's stablemate Cruz Bromac (Natalie Rasmussen). That meant six of the eight spots in the Miracle Mile were decided with Club Menangle directors heading into conference to decide the rest of the field. Those already qualified were Newcastle Mile winner Yayas Hot Spot, Chariots Of Fire winner Poster Boy and the first two home in the two sprints, Thefixer and Tiger Tara, Spankem and My Alpha Rock.   FOR MORE INFORMATION TELEPHONE CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON 0438-398-251.   Mandy Madern

Noel Daley, who left Australian shores nearly three decades ago and became one of North America’s most decorated harness racing trainers, is back home to stay.   And although his plans have been on the drawing board for some time, it took a short telephone chat to clear the way for him to come home to do what he does best – train winners.   “I’ve been saying I was coming back for probably the last five or six years; and now I’m pinching myself that it’s actually happened. I couldn’t be happier,” Daley said.   Daley said the path was cleared after talking with prominent owner and passionate industry participant Emilio Rosati and his wife Mary, of Sydney.   “I will be their private trainer and prepare a team at their new state-of-the-art facility at Luddenham – we decided that it would work well for all of us,” Daley said.   “I must be honest and say that at one stage I was thinking perhaps I might have to be an Uber driver when I got back to Australia. I wanted to return but didn’t quite know how I was going to do it.”   “It’s an exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to get into it. I’ve had a bit of a break now and I’m as keen as ever, and ready for next challenge.   “I have my six-year-old son Max with me, and he’s settled into things really well, so it couldn’t have worked out any better.”   During his time in the US, Daley was mostly based at “Magical Acres Farm” at Bordentown, a city in Burlington County, New Jersey, a little over an hour from New York.   He prepared a remarkable 2570 winners with earnings of more than $61 million. Only a handful of others, headed by Ron Burke, have won more money.   Not bad for a former Airlines baggage handler at Brisbane Airport, who, in fairness, did however have a love for horses.   “On all my days off from work and spare time, I’d been mucking around with horses with anyone who would let me help them,” Daley sad.   “I was about 18 or 19 years old and had the ‘bug’ so in hindsight I was always going to end up in the harness racing industry.”   Daley spent time working with Queensland horseman and friend Ian McMahon, before making the decision to head to the USA.   “I had intended to stay six months in California and that was going to be it, but I got a huge lucky break in landing a job with New Zealand trainer, Brett Pelling,” he said.   “Brett’s a legend of the sport over there and with prolific success has set the bar so high with earnings, race records and a bunch of other leading statistics.   “When I started out with him in 1990, he was just on the rise and about to make a huge impact. I was a groom and then became stable foreman.”   It was a heady era. Pelling went on to dominate Meadowlands, winning the training title six times and in 1998 performing one of the most remarkable feats the sport had ever seen, winning not only the world-renowned Little Brown Jug and Jugette finals at Delaware, Ohio, but all the eliminations, too.   That same season, Daley branched out on his own, starting off with two pacers. But his career went ahead in leaps and bounds after meeting businessman Adam Victor, who wanted to become involved in the sport, but was unsure of the process.   “I think we may have had six or seven ticking along by then, but in probably two years the stable numbers increased dramatically to 125 with 100 of these belonging to Adam and his son, Adam Jnr,” Daley said.   “They were my most loyal supporters all the way along,” he said.   When Adam Victor senior bought a trotter named Mr Muscleman, it was Daley’s springboard to success.   “They took a shot with the horse because he’d only faced the starter on one occasion and got beat in a maiden at a low standard country meeting,” Daley said.   “We obviously thought Mr Muscleman had real improvement in him because he was being trained around a little track on a farm,” he said.   Their $165,000 outlay culminated in the horse winning over $3.5 million, collecting three prestigious Dan Patch awards and the 2005 Trotter of the Year title.   “And that certainly led to so much more,” Daley said.   “I owe Mr Muscleman for really putting us on the map.”   Other Daley success stories include My Little Dragon, Broad Bahn, Cedar Dove, All Laid Out, Caviart Ally, Explosive Matter, All Speed Hanover, and Impressive Kemp, but Mr Muscleman was undoubtedly his best, retiring to become a big attraction at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions.   Daley said competing in an Elitlopp in Sweden with Mr Muscleman and then in Milan in Italy with Explosive Matter were great trips.   “We tasted some success with both of them – it was a lot of fun,” he said.   The Daley-Rosati team will initially include a number of unraced two-year-olds, along with three performers from the US and a recently-acquired Kiwi pacer.   “It’s certainly going to be different competing at Menangle with the varying race distances and a few other things, but we’ll just play it by ear and hopefully it will all fall into place,” Daley said.   “I know I’m going to have to work hard as there’s a lot of good trainers up around here and even they are finding it tough at times,” he said.   “The Rosatis own nearly 30 broodmares so there’s going to be a constant stream of well-bred youngsters to work with.”   Emilio Rosati, who has been in harness racing for more than 40 years, said he was excited to have an experienced horseman in Daley preparing his team.   “I’ve loved the sport, right back from the early days when I lived probably 200 metres from the old Harold Park track,” he said.   “I remember going over to watch brilliant pacers such as Hondo Grattan, Welcome Advice, Paleface Adios, Mount Eden, Manoroa, to name just a few.”   Rosati said his very first horse, named Stride High, won 11 or 12 races for him.   “He was as game as they come. He had one very bad leg and between races his training regime was strictly swimming.   “A guy by the name of Neil Freeman was training him out of Joe Ilsley’s place and he did a fantastic job.”   Rosati’s horses carry the “Stride” prefix, in recognition of his first horse.   Emilio Rosati   The new property, on 130 acres, will feature a 1000-metre fastwork track, designed on the same turns and camber as Menangle, as well as a sand track. Other first-class facilities include a barn that allows horses access to their own turnout yard; a water walker and 40 fully fenced paddocks.   “Emilio has been doing all the planning and everything is coming together nicely. It’ll be great and hopefully I can get some results,” Daley said.   “We recently got three horses back from the States who have a bit going for them. Blue Moon Stride is a mare out of a half-sister to Bettors Delight; Mouska Stride looks a nice type, while Lily Stride is a 4yo trotter with a Breeders Crown win and stakes of $750,000 to her name,” he said.   Daley who, unbelievably, has never trained on his own in Australia, is raring to go.   “America was very good to me and I never thought for a moment I would have been there so long and able to have such success,” he said.   “Now it’s time for the next chapter and with a great setup and some well-bred horses, bring it on!”     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

A flashing finish from the tail of the field saw Victoria's next pacing superstar Poster Boy power past his harness racing rivals and win tonight's $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. While trainer Emma Stewart had suggested Poster Boy might be driven more aggressively and closer to the lead, champion reinsman Chris Alford simply never got the chance as the speed was on from the outset and from his wide draw Poster Boy was forced to settle near the tail of the field. Covering the mile in a stunning 1:49.1, Poster Boy edged out New Zealand visitor Ashley Locaz (Luke McCarthy) by two metres with despised outsider Hail Christian (Blake Fitzpatrick) a fabulous third 1.75m further away. That left Poster Boy's owners Bill and Anne Anderson with a massive decision to make as the win earned then an invitation into the $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile in two weeks' time. They have 48 hours to decide whether or not to accept the invitation but as Alford pointed out, Poster Boy was certainly up to the challenge and he felt co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin thought the same thing of their latest stable star. While they are tipped to accept the invitation, Alford suggested it would all come down to how the horse pulled up after such a mighty performance. The lightning speed took its toll on the favoured runners Chase Auckland ($3.10), Ignatius ($5.90) and early leader Picard ($6.80), who were all over-run in the straight after a 54.9s opening half took its toll. Ignatius was trapped wide from his wide barrier draw, although was able to work up outside the leader, he had nothing left in the run home. Poster Boy, on the other hand, sprouted wins in the final 100m (final splits of 28.4s and 26.8s) and is expected to join Yayas Hot Spot as the second horse in the first $1m Miracle Mile. 8 9:47pm CORDINA CHICKEN FARMS CHARIOTS OF FIRE (GROUP 1) 1609M $200,000 4YO. RBD. Mobile Final Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 POSTER BOY  $120,000   Fr7 8 Emma Stewart Chris Alford   $ 3.80   PRS SWAB   BAY HORSE 4 by SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE USA out of ASTON VILLA USA (ARTSPLACE (US))  Owner(s): Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd  Breeder(s): Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd 2 ASHLEY LOCAZ NZ  $ 30,000   Fr10 12 M Purdon, N C Rasmussen Luke McCarthy 1.90 $ 12.00   RAS HUE SWAB 3 HAIL CHRISTIAN NZ  $ 20,000   Fr9 10 Paul Court Anthony Butt 3.60 $ 101.00   RAS SWAB 4 ALL U NEED IS FAITH NZ  $ 10,000   Fr3 4 M Purdon, N C Rasmussen Mark Purdon 3.80 $ 18.00   PRWU 5 PICARD  $ 5,000   Fr2 2 Kevin Pizzuto Todd McCarthy 5.10 $ 10.00   GS L 6 THE BLACK PRINCE NZ  $ 3,000   Fr4 5 Roy Roots Jnr Chris Geary 7.40 $ 71.00   VXBR 7 CHASE AUCKLAND NZ  $ 3,000   Fr1 1 M Purdon, N C Rasmussen Natalie Rasmussen 8.80 $ 2.90 fav  GS HU QDT VXAR INQADJ 8 BOYD WRITER  $ 3,000   Fr5 6 David Hewitt Brad Hewitt 9.70 $ 81.00   RAS 9 IGNATIUS  $ 3,000   Fr8 9 James Rattray James Rattray 15.30 $ 4.20   PRS 3WE 3WM WF 10 RACKEMUP TIGERPIE  $ 3,000   Fr6 7 Michael Stanley Michael Stanley 15.90 $ 19.00   VXBR 3WE WF Scratchings   ROYAL GAMBLE NZ 3 JACK FARTHING NZ 11 Track Rating: GOOD   Gross Time: 1:49:1 Mile Rate: 1:49:1 First Quarter: 26 Second Quarter: 27.9 Third Quarter: 28.4 Fourth Quarter: 26.8   Mandy Madern

Goulburn horsewoman Amy Day had more than one reason to celebrate when she piloted Atomic Bombshell (Auckland Reactor-Art Asset (Artsplace) to a harness racing victory at Orange. Day, 28, drove a well-judged race last Sunday afternoon to break Atomic Bombshell’s maiden status; and the filly did it while racing on a grass track for the very first time. And if that wasn’t enough for some sort of celebration, the talented trainer-driver posted her 300th winner as a driver. “I didn’t realize I was close to such a nice milestone until a friend told me,” Day said. “I’d been stuck on 299 wins there for a while, so it was fantastic to finally make it, and I was so proud of the horse because she’s a bit of a favorite of mine,” she said. “She has a turn of speed, but without doubt her greatest attribute is an unbelievable attitude, she’s willing to do anything.  And along the way I’ve found that to be so important in a horse.” It was also an outstanding day for exciting Alabar sire Auckland Reactor, who, in his racing days, had the nickname “The Reactor Factor” because of his utter dominance.  Auckland Reactor progeny landed the quinella at the Orange event, with Whata Reactor finishing runner up to Atomic Bombshell.  Auckland Reactor has now sired 39 winners in Australia.  In New Zealand he has 34 winners with superstar Chase Auckland leading the way for stakes of $405,329. Day shares a property and training facilities owned by her father Neil to prepare her team of about 13 and has predicted a bright future for Atomic Bombshell. “I raced outside the leader to win on the grass at Orange and the mile rate of a tick over 1.58 was pleasing,” she said. “Racing on the grass is a bit different but the track is the home of the Orange gallops and it was in good condition. “We thought Atomic Bombshell would give us a good sight, because her form as a two-year-old was okay and she has come back stronger after a three-month spell.” Day has been driving for 10 years but has been involved in the training caper for five years. “I’m enjoying it and there’s always some family help in close reach when needed. I work in well with dad and my mum Vickie is always ready to lend a hand.  My brother Justin takes care of the farrier side of things,” she said. Day said being in Goulburn was a great base for harness racing in NSW. “It’s so central to a stack of tracks.  The Riverina racing is perhaps two or three hours away; Canberra is an hour down the road, and Menangle is around a one-and-a-half-hour trip.” And as for a favorite win during her short career? “Any success is a good one because there’s such a lot of hard work involved,” Day said. But she did say she fondly remembers May 5, 2012 at Wagga when she took out the Cup with 40/1 shot Marooned (Hare Hare – Greek Jewel (Golden Greek), trained by Frank O’Sullivan, and then landed the Derby with Armalife (Life Sign – Arma The One (Badlands Hanover), prepared by her father Neil. “Yes, that was surreal, but we didn’t get involved in any crazy celebrations of course – we probably all had horses to train or trial the following day!” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Following his Oberon Cup win James Dean, from KerryAnn Turner’s stable, was being prepared with Orange Harness Racing Club’s Carnival of Cups in mind and harness racing driver Robbie Morris confirmed the champion is still set to run. Morris, who called James Dean a “C5/M2 graded, honest, little horse who came out of New Zealand”, confirmed the Oberon Cup winner is primed to front in February 10’s Banjo Paterson feature race at Towac Park. That’s just one of the races set for February 10 with a number of other finals to be run, the heats are being hosted in this Sunday’s Family Day. “The owners contacted me......and they decided to bring him over here to me which is great because it’s not often horses like that land in your lap. Previously he has been a first emergency in the New Zealand Cup,” Morrish told Orange Harness Racing Club. “He is racing in the Goulburn Cup on Monday (February 4) then up to Orange for the Banjo.  “He has two straight wins under his belt heading into Monday’s race in Goulburn.” And Robbie’s thoughts on James Dean racing on the unique grass track at Towac Park? “It’s something different. James Dean has previously run on the grass in New Zealand recording a slick mile rate of 1.55,” Morrish said. “It's just people’s perception of the grass. It's actually quiet smooth and everyone has to run on the same surface on the day.” Sunday’s Family Day kicks off at 12pm at Orange’s Towac Park. By Matt Findlay Reprinted with permission of the Central Western Daily

A plan hatched over a month ago to target a rich New South Wales Riverina race saw one of the most spine-tingling harness racing performances seen at Leeton by a two-year-old, on Tuesday night. Young successful harness racing duo David Moran and Laura Crossland headed from their Shepparton base to travel nearly four hours up the highway to Leeton for the $30,000 Breeders Plate Group 3 this week with their unbeaten youngster The Tiger Army (Sportswriter-Scottish Glamour (Elsu). And the colt didn’t let them down with a phenomenal display of his ability. “My heart was racing when we got tangled up with a few of the other horses just after the start and lost valuable ground, but he’s such a lovely horse he just wanted to win,” driver Crossland said. Settling near the rear of the field after the skirmish and at least 50 metres off the lead, Crossland gradually made up her ground to move three wide approaching the bell. “I wasn’t really concerned because he still felt full of running,” she said. Crossland simply changed gears down the back straight and in the blink of an eye The Tiger Army launched wide and dashed to the front to score an unbelievable win. “We actually sat down with the owners after winning the first two-year-old event of the season at Maryborough on December 21 and it was tossed around that we might target the Breeders Plate,” she said. “Then when we won at Kilmore about a fortnight later it was unanimous that we head to Leeton for the series.” After a heat win of the rich series on January 11, it was a confident “army” of followers who travelled to watch the final. The Tiger Army (known as Frank the Tank) has a perfect record of four starts for four wins for over $29,000. And there’s an opportunity to purchase his Captaintreacherous half-brother at the Melbourne APG sale on Sunday (lot 115). Crossland, Moran and some stable owners ventured to last year’s sale after looking over the catalogue. “The ones we picked out were going for too much money,” Crossland said. “One of our owners, Peter Lawlor, and David were looking out the back where some were waiting to be paraded into the sale ring, and thankfully, spotted a Sportswriter colt (The Tiger Army) bred by Lauriston Bloodstock. “Then when he came out into the ring, he looked amazing, so we ended up with him for about $16,000.” Crossland said The Tiger Army was like a seasoned horse from day one and was broken in by experienced horseman Doc Wilson, of Ardmona. “He’s just perfect.  He doesn’t wear a headcheck, he’s in an open bridle and no knee boots,” she said. “In the early days he wanted to get up and go a bit too much, but when he settled down, we knew he would make an early two-year-old.” The rising star is now taking a well-earnt spell before his next campaign is mapped out. “It’s really exciting. He’s eligible for all the feature series and with some natural improvement, we are sure there’s fun times ahead,” Crossland said. His race name seemed reasonably obvious, but just to clarify... Sure enough, the majority of the owners are Richmond Football Club supporters in the Australian Football League competition. But in a strange twist, David and Peter - the two who picked out the pacer- barrack for Essendon (known as the Bombers). So surely, in recognition of their uncanny ability to select a good one, it could have carried the name of an Essendon star like Daniher, Fantasia, Saad or Heppell. “That was never going to happen. It just had to have something to do with the Tigers and a few of us are now wishing we had opted for ‘Dusty’ in honor of our superstar player Dusty Martin,” Crossland, a staunch Richmond fan, said. The Crossland-Moran team has 12 in work, with several more to come back in the next few weeks. Last season they prepared 61 winners, while this season is also ticking along okay with 17 wins, 15 placings from 40 starters. They use an 800metre track, nearby to the Shepparton Paceway, to prepare their team. Speedy three-year-old Lochinvar Art, who ran a brave third to Muscle Factory in the Victorian Derby Final at Melton last Saturday, is likely to contest the NSW Derby in February-March. *Hoofnote: 3yo filly Vena May (Art Major-Tara Royale (Live Or Die) and 5yo mare Share The Road (TinTin In America-High Tops Hanover (Western Hanover) gave Crossland a training double at Bendigo last night. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Queensland’s best pacer and the state’s current Horse-of-the-Year, Colt Thirty One, will leave Brisbane early next week in his bid to win the 2019  Chariots Of Fire Pace at Sydney’s Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Group One event, which will be run on February 16, is worth $200,000 and is one race that has eluded his trainer and driver, Grant Dixon. It will be a curtain-raiser to the $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile on the same track on March 2. "The horse has come up well even though he has been beaten in his two runs this time in, he will still head south for the 'Chariots' and then he will come straight back to prepare for the Winter Carnival here," Dixon said. Australia’s leading trainer said Tennyson Bromac and Fame Assured could also make the trip south with Colt Thirty One, depending on how they perform in races four and 10 at Albion Park this Saturday night. "At this stage I'll just take Colt Thirty One and see how the others go. He's up to the 'Chariots' field, but I would liked to have him back winning again," Dixon said. "But in saying that I wouldn't be going all that way if I didn't think he was a winning show.” Colt Thirty One resumed from a month's spell with a 10-metre fourth behind Mach Alert at Albion Park on January 19 and then a week later he finished a close-up second behind Slice Of Heaven on the same track. "He's slowly gearing towards peak condition. I've campaigned horses in New South Wales before and he should be spot on come Chariots Of Fire day," said Dixon. The talented son of Mach Three and Charm Personified (by Perfect Art) has now won 23 of his 35 starts and placed in seven others for $453,345. He went 1:53.2 mile rate when winning the Kevin & Kay Seymour Rising Stars Championship C2/3 Final at Albion Park on April 28 last year. That was an appropriate victory considering their company - Solid Earth Pty Ltd, bred and owns Colt Thirty One. Colt Thirty One is seventh of nine foals of out of the 2000 maiden Vanston Hanover mare, Charm personified. His older sister, Charming Allie (by Mr Feelgood) recorded a 1:53.9 mile and won 18 races and $266,329. She also nailed four Group Two races and ran second in the Group One $75,000 Queensland Oaks in 2014. Colt Thirty One won his first Group One at Albion Park on July 15, 2017 when he was too smart in the $100,000 QBRED 2yo Triad Pace. He also won the QBRED 3yo Triad a year later under Group Two conditions. Colt Thirty One also cleaned up a quality Victoria Derby 3yo field at Melton's Tabcorp Park on on January 27 last year. That race was worth $200,000 pocketing his owners a cool $114,000 for that win. He also placed in the Breeders Crown 2 and 3yo Finals in 2017 and 2018. “I’d love to win my first Chariots Of Fire and I reckon I’ve got the horse to do it. He’s come up good,” said Dixon, who works a team of between 70 and 80. Dixon has won Queensland Horse-of-the-Year previously with 2009 Mach Three brown gelding, Majestic Mach (35 wins and $796,397), and 1990 Jeremy Laurence black colt, Jeremy Lee (22 wins and $216,971). "I was working for Dad (Bill) when he trained Speed Ace (1991 Speed King gelding). He was Queensland Horse-of-the-Year as well. He won 15 races ($130,274)," Dixon said. "I'm very proud of Colt Thirty One and we are all hoping he can go on with it on the national stage.”   By Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

It all came down to the perfect run in the $12,000 Garrard’s Horse & Hound Tamworth City Cup for the harness racing locally trained Gottashopearly to take the line honours. Trained at Tamworth by Richard Williams the win proved to be a popular one for the 2018 Tamworth Horse of the Year with Maitland’s Brad Elder handling the reins. He got a perfect run and when I pulled him out, he just let down super like he does,” Elder said. “Richie has done a terrific job with the horse and has really taken him to another level.” Gottashopearly was purchased by Jake Mitchell, Tracey Lee and Josh Lee back in May 2018 and has achieved five wins for his new owners, which included the Psarakis Accounting Marathon back in August 2018 over the 2730 metres. Gottashopearly (Rocknroll Hanover-Saabette) also made the cut off point for the 2018 Inter Dominion before connections elected to send the six-year-old gelding to the paddock for a “freshen up” before the commencement of the Tamworth HRC January racing carnival.  “For a $3000 claimer Richie has done a good job with the horse,” Elder added. For Williams, who set up his stables at Tamworth two years ago after moving from Queensland it was an achievement. “It is a race we have targeted for a while, it is not the richest race in the country but being the Horse of the Year for last season here at Tamworth he (Gottashopearly) deserved to win it so I am happy,” he said.  Gottashopearly's trainer Richard Williams and reinsman Brad Elder “Brad was always the first option on the horse and he has got a terrific strike rate - he just can’t pull the wrong rein.”  Elder has had three drives behind Gottashopearly for three wins! That would be a 100 percent strike rate. “Full credit to the horse and my partner Ashleigh who does a lot of work with the horse as well,” he said. He is frequently driving up the Highway from Maitland to compete at the Tamworth meetings and was last season’s leading reinsman at the club. “It was a pretty good achievement tonight,” he said. “I come up here all the time and it’s good to win a local race with a local horse.”  READ ALSO:  I’m Norma Jean makes most of good fortune to claim Golden Guitar ‘He’s got speed’: Yesnomaybeso fulfils potential in winning Starmaker “When I saw the fields come out and he drew the eight barrier I thought this is not real good as he might get buried but Hedges Avenue (Mitch Faulkner) did alright and kicked up a bit.” From the eight barrier Gottashopearly took the trail throughout the race behind Hedges Avenue from the Ernie Mabbott stables who commenced from the one barrier. With the field racing out of the final turn for home in the 2360m race Elder extricated Gottashopearly out of the inside running line, gaining the lead and coming away with a 3.9m win over Franco Tariq (Nathan Dawson) with Sam’s Cam (Nathan Xuereb) 5.3m away third. “We got out and he came home strong,” Elder said.  There was no luck for race favourite Blackbird Power (Jimmy Brown) from the Gavin Kelly stables who had travelled the long distance from Tapitalee near Nowra, sustaining a flat tyre and being forced to retire from the race a lap from home. “I thought the horse (Gottashopearly) could win but I thought if Blackbird Power got the chair, I thought he would stick like flies to honey and I would never get out but he got a flat tyre,” Elder said. It was a top night for both Williams and Elder. Williams saw his stable “pin up boy” Midnight Montana take out the Tamworth HRC Volunteers Appreciation Pace with Josh Gallagher taking the reins, while Elder also had a driving double, taking out the Tamworth Harness Racing Club Golden Guitar Consolation with Dawn Magic who is trained by his father Darren. By Julie Maughan   Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader    

Spare Me Days from the Brad Hewitt stable is one of two locally trained harness racing horses engaged in Monday afternoon’s Goulburn Soldiers Club Frank and Edna Day Goulburn Cup. Runner up in the 2016 edition of the cup behind the Dennis Picker trained Condagen, Spare Me Days will be joined by David Hewitt’s Stanley Ross Robyn in an attempt to make it a home town win. The $31,800 Group 3 feature race is scheduled as race seven on an eight race program and has brought together a very even field of fast class pacers. With no standout horses engaged, Spare Me Days looks to have his best chance yet to capture the cup. “It isn’t the strongest Goulburn Cup so he’s a definite chance to win” said trainer Brad Hewitt. Spare Me Days overcame some niggling setbacks before finishing a strong first-up second to Rakaupuka Ruler in the 2240 metres Walla Walla Stakes earlier this month. “I was real happy with his last run” Hewitt said. “He has been good; back on top of things now” Stable mate Stanley Ross Robyn has been a model of consistency since resuming in early December and the 6 year old will be at his top in Monday’s race. Trained by David Hewitt, Stanley Ross Robyn was a close up fourth in the Walla Walla Stakes after working hard to find the lead early in the event. Both of the Hewitt runners have drawn well with Stanley Ross Robyn in gate 3, and Spare Me Days starting alongside in gate 4 following the scratching of the emergency Hollys Miss Molly. While the draws will help the locals, the pair will find strong opposition from the visiting contingent including Inter Dominion campaigner Conviction, the James Rattray performer Pachacuti, and the inform James Dean and Lets Katchmeifucan. Field and comments 1. JAMES DEAN Tr: KerryAnn Turner Dr: Robert Morris Former NZ’er who has won three past four including Menangle 2300m in fast 1:54.9 M/R. Winner Goulburn 2240m in good 1:56.9 M/R, up in class but drawn well and in top form. Will go close. 2. LETS KATCHMEIFUCAN Tr: Bernie Hewitt Dr: Bernie Hewitt Came from well back in Hewitt Memorial 2240m to win with authority two weeks back. Since finished 1.3m 2 nd to James Dean at Bathurst 2260m in 1:56.5 M/R. Up in class but is drawn well and in top form. Hard to beat. 3. STANLEY ROSS ROBYN Tr: David Hewitt Dr: David Hewitt Taken to front last two starts and raced well without winning. Btn 3.1m Rakaupuka Ruler and Spare Me Days in Walla Walla Stakes. Up in grade a little here but near his top after four runs since spell. Will be competitive. 4. SCR 5. SPARE ME DAYS Tr: Brad Hewitt Dr: Brad Hewitt Last win was Group 3 Young Cup Mar 18 when .1 secs outside his track record time. Strong finish in Walla Walla Stakes will have him fitter. Not the strongest Goulburn Cup and with good draw will be hard to beat. 6. LEFT TENNANT Tr: Kerry McDowell Dr: Lachie Manzelmann Huge win this track and distance on December 30 when sat outside leader beating Arma The Gun and Stanley Ross Robyn. Since sixth of 10 at Menangle in 1:51.1 btn 16.2m. Up in class but better suited this distance. A chance. 7. HASGTAG Tr: Craig Cross Dr: David Morris Battled on strongly in Walla Walla Stakes for 1.2m third to Rakaupuka Ruler and Spare Me Days. Since 14.5m eighth of 10 to Tiger Tara at Menangle 1:52.7 mile. Same grade but not drawn well and others look better suited. 8. RAKAROLLA Tr: John McCarthy Dr: Todd McCarthy Good performer at this grade. Beaten 14.3m when 7 th of 10 at Menangle behind Tiger Tara. Raced well in Brisbane before but outside draw will make it difficult. Competitive if he were to slot in without much effort. 9. GOTTASHOPEARLY Tr: Richard Williams Dr: Leigh Sutton Won Thursday night’s Tamworth City Cup but is up in grade here. Drawn behind the one who could lead and with an easy run may sneak a place at big odds. 10. CONVICTION Tr: Steve Turnbull Dr: Amanda Turnbull Raced well in Inter Dominion series Melbourne. Then led & won Melton 2240 in 1:53.5. Since 3m fourth Shirley Turnbull Stakes to Our Triple Play, and 8.2m third Cobram Cup to Buster Brady. Good draw and top chance. 11. GOTTA GO HENRY Tr: Malcom Locke Dr: Jason Grimson Recent winner at Menangle in 1:51.7 and then 12m sixth of 10 to Tiger Tara in 1:52.7 M/R. Draw doesn’t help and looks an outside chance. 12. BLACKBIRD POWER Tr: Gavin Kelly Dr: Jimmy Brown Won Temora Cup beating Mackeral in 1:59.3 M/R. Previously raced well without winning but up in class in this. Poor draw makes his job difficult. 13. PACHACUTI Tr: James Rattray Dr: James Rattray Well performed fast class pacer. Won Menangle November 18, then 12.9m third My Field Marshall Menangle 1:50.9 mile. Since 8.7m fourth of 10 to Tiger Tara in 1:52.7 mile. Strong chance but brought back to field by gate draw. The afternoon also plays host to the $19,080 Hollingworth Crane Hire Service Goulburn Rose, and the Sun Solutions Goulburn Mulwaree Sprint, so an exciting afternoon of harness racing and entertainment is on offer. The Goulburn Club encourages all to make their way to the Goulburn Paceway Monday afternoon to enjoy the talents Goulburn’s own Jamie Agius who will between races throughout the afternoon, mini trotting action, and the display of vintage trucks organized by Convoy For Kids Goulburn charity. “We encourage all to come out to enjoy the day, but to also support the Convoy For Kids Goulburn charity who will collect the $10 entry fee” club secretary Mark Croatto said. Each year the Goulburn Harness Racing Club gets behind a worthwhile cause as part of its charitable purpose. Having supported Goulburn High School and the Goulburn District Hospital in previous years, this season the club committee selected Convoy For Kids to support. “The charity supports local children who are afflicted by cancer, terminal illness, or permanent disabilities; it’s a very important and worthwhile cause, and every cent paid at the gate will be retained by the charity” Croatto said. The afternoon will also have much entertainment for children, and the on-course raffle carries as first prize a 2019 Canberra Raiders jersey which is signed by the whole squad. With the harness racing action scheduled to commence at 1.03 pm the club’s committee also invites harness fans to come out and experience the wonderful facilities of the Grace Millson Centre. Enjoy quality food and a wide range of cold alcoholic and soft drinks whilst watching all the racing action in comfort. Goulburn harness racing is brought to fans by the kind support of Tabcorp, Goulburn Soldiers Club, Hollingworth Crane Hire Service, Randwick Equine Centre, Southern Highlands Equine Centre, Sun Solutions Goulburn, Semco Equipment Sales, RSM Accountants, and a host of smaller businesses including Top Water Carters Crookwell, First National Real Estate Goulburn, Goulburn Livestock Transport, Landmark Southern Livestock Agenices , J A Communications, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Glen Mia ACT Saddlery and Ranvet. For all the latest Goulburn harness racing news visit the club’s website at www.goulburnpaceway.com.au and don’t forget to like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/goulburnpaceway/. Tips Race 1 KEVIN AND KAY SEYMOUR EVOLUTION SERIES 3YO FILLIES HEAT: TIPS: 4 Lilymadimac, 5 Western Belle, 3 Kelli Frost, 1 Shes Pure Aces Race 2 KEVIN AND KAY SEYMOUR EVOLUTION SERIES 3YO COLTS AND GELDINGS HEAT: TIPS: 4 Navua Star, 1 Rockin Marty, 7 Star Major, 8 Reigning Pepper Race 3 RSM ACCOUNTANTS AND TAB.COM.AU PACE: TIPS: 2 Miss Halfpenny, 9 Major Mai, 1 Better Than Grange, 6 Rossini Race 4 SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS EQUINE CENTRE PACE: TIPS: 1 Lettucefirestar, Blackwhiteandblue, Topsie Grinner, Glencoe Reign Race 5 SEMCO EQUIPMENT SALES PACE: TIPS: 1 The Ideal Dancer, 8 Harry Day, 2 Maximus Red, 6 Major Chili Race 6 HOLLINGWORTH CRANE HIRE SERVICE GOULBURN ROSE: TIPS: 6 Bronski Belle, 2 Sams A Blast, 8 Benalong Valley, 3 Always Mysterious Race 7 GOULBURN SOLDIERS CLUB FRANK AND EDNA DAY GOULBURN CUP: TIPS: 10 Conviction, 5 Spare Me Days, 13 Pachacuti, 1 James Dean Race 8 SUN SOLUTIONS GOULBURN MULWAREE SPRINT TIPS: 11 Aztec Bromac, 1 Imthevillagestar, 4 Mackeral, 10 Izzy Watt Reprinted with permission of The Gouldburn Post    

The Bus still has his wheels spinning and is set to commence from barrier 11 in the running of the $25,000 Hygain Golden Guitar Final at the Tamworth harness racing meeting on Thursday night. With impeccable form going into the final, The Bus, a four-year-old Art Major-Rondel Franco horse will look the early race favourite. After winning The Pub Group Gold Nugget last Thursday night and setting a new track record of 1.56.10 for the 1980 metres, The Bus then contested the Furney’s Stock Feeds Tamworth Golden Guitar Heat 4 with success last Sunday night. Trained by Mark Jones The Bus has been carefully looked after by Singleton Heights caretaker trainer Aaron Goadsby, who is looking for the “golden double” - The $10,000 Pub Group Gold Nugget plus the $25,000 Hygain Golden Guitar Final. If The Bus wins on Thursday night that will make it three wins in eight days with the horse’s owners Grant and Kathy Hatton being trackside in Tamworth, after travelling from their home in Christchurch NZ to witness all their horses runs. “He is a very strong horse and he can be driven with the speed on or he can take the sit, but we will have to wait and see how the Final pans out,” stated reinsman Guy Chapple who will once again take the reins behind The Bus. Chapple is no stranger to winning Golden Guitar Finals himself and is knocking on the door of his third win in the Listed Classic race. The 2013 running saw Chapple take the win with the Shane Tritton trained Mach Beauty with his first success coming behind Neil Shannon in 2006. “I would like to look up the heats to see how many of those I have won over the years,” joked Chapple. In his heat from the seven barrier, Chapple let The Bus settle into stride racing three back on the outside running line before making a three-wide run around the field as they turned into the home straight on the first occasion. The Bus placed race pressure on Maitland pacer Ashark for the majority of the 1980 metre journey before achieving a half neck win over the Melanie Elder trained and Brad Elder driven Ashark who was the race favourite. Tamworth pacer Pure Laughter (Danny Mackney) was 16 metres away third. “He is a strong little horse- strong as a bull - if I had of let him rip at the half, he would have broken their hearts but we wanted to try and get him into the final,” Chapple said. Quarters were covered in 31.2sec; 29.9sec;28.7sec; 29.1 seconds and the mile rate of 1.57.9 recorded. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of the Northern Daily Leader      

Ian Mutton was a man who loved horses, loved a chat and loved a good joke, so when the talented horseman died in 2017 is was a loss felt across the harness racing industry. But such was the personality of the man who Bathurst Harness Racing Club vice president Laurie Clifford calls the ‘mighty Mutto’, his memory is now honoured each year. This Wednesday night at the Bathurst Paceway the Ian Mutton Memorial (1,730 metres) will be staged as part of a special race meeting. The meeting features seven memorial races all up as the Bathurst club pays tribute to Mutton, John Clayton, Keith Colley, Kevin Doherty, BJ Turnbull, Harold Lonard plus Norm, Garth and Audrey Harkham. The Mutton family and their friends will be travelling from far and wide to attend, while there will be plenty of others track side who have fond memories of the The Lagoon legend as well. “Ian had a lifetime association with horses in many forms, from playing polo cross with his father and brother to a lifelong passion for harness racing. Ian wore many hats in his long career as a committee man, trainer, driver, owner, breeder and mentor to young up and coming participants,” Clifford explained. “He had a great relationship with the horse King Frost and his owners Norm and Audrey Harkham. They had many a tussle with the mighty Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan. “Ian, along with his hard working wife Barbara, had many successes with a number of horses that passed through their stables both at The Lagoon and Brook Lodge at Gormans Hill, Bathurst. “Some of their best performers being Another Country, Green Tree Helen, Bullion Bandit and Toltec in earlier years and over the past few decades, He Can, Garconnet, ZinZan Brook, Spooky Leigh, Money Chimes and his final winner as a trainer in December 2016, Captain Brook. “Ian was also a great mentor to young up and coming participants, with many young men and women spending time at Brook Lodge learning the ropes. “Ian was well known for his sense of humour and is sadly missed by many who enjoyed having a chat or seeking advice to improve the performance of their horses.” In terms of an emotional favourite for Wednesday’s Ian Mutton Memorial, there is no doubt that status belongs to a five-year-old mare called Josephine Brook. She is still owned by the Muttons. She is trained by Robert Clifford, a man who benefited from Mutton’s knowledge, and will be driven by one of the late horseman’s good friends in Tony Higgs. The Roll With Joe x Kassandra Brook mare will go from barrier two in what will be her 25th start at the Bathurst Paceway. Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here “Josie, as she affectionately known around the stables, was also bred by Ian and Barbara at their Brook Lodge Stables at Gormans Hill,” Laurie Clifford said. “Robert Clifford, who joined Ian and Barb at their Brook Lodge stables 24 years ago as a keen 15-year-old teenager, is hoping for success as Josephine Brook has shown consistent form over the past two seasons with 10 placing from 16 starts. “With a little help from above, Josephine Brook may just salute in the sixth and do Mutto proud.” The first race Wednesday night’s meeting will go at 5.54pm. Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

A coveeted cup, a battle between man and horse and raising money for charity – the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Oberon Community Night is always a season highlight. This Friday night’s nine-race meeting at the Bathurst Paceway has not only drawn some quality runners, but is expected to attract a bumper crowd which reflects the passion Oberon residents have for the sport. “It would be our third biggest meeting of the year behind the Gold Crown finals night and Shirley Turnbull Memorial. It shows how much the Oberon community get behind it,” BHRC’s Marianne Donnelly said. “It is a big night because the Oberon community are just so great, they really get behind it every year. They also raise on the night around $4,000 for Ronald McDonald House which is an amazing effort for one night. “It’s a special night for the Oberon trainers too, they all like to race on the night. Russell [Reynolds] has got one in the cup, Wayne White’s got one in the race he sponsors and Geoff [Lawson] has got horses racing too.” READ MORE: Turnbull wins her sixth Oberon Cup READ MORE: Mojo Major wins the 2017 Oberon Cup READ MORE: Chris proves he can Be Quick for the Rues READ MORE: Frisby’s star draw gate 10 for Ballarat Cup The feature race is the Oberon Cup (2,260 metres), one which has showcased champions such as Smooth Satin and Karloo Mick in the past. Since its inception in 2002, The Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull has steered the most winners. When she goes from barrier one with Jonah Jones on Friday night, she will be seeking her seventh Oberon Cup win. However, she faces some stiff opposition with past victors Robbie Morris, Bernie Hewitt, Steve Turnbull and Ashlee Grives all in contention. “The honour roll is certainly impressive, there are some top horses on it and it’s a top race. This year there are some great horses in the field again - Royal Story, Imthevillagestar,” Donnelly said. Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here Aside from the cup, which offers $14,840 in stakes, the program also features the Oberon Council Ladyship Pace and Rewards Series Final. Then there is a race between horse and man. A horse will run two laps of the Bathurst Paceway track while the team of Tyler Colley and Nathan Voytilla-Borg attempt to cover one. First race is at 8.33pm. Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

MINISTER for Racing Paul Toole in conjunction with Harness Racing New South Wales Chairman Rod Smith today announced that the new Riverina Paceway Wagga will host four Group 1 races in the coming season. The announcement of four $100,000 races, to be conducted under Heats and Finals during a Carnival, will be a major boost to owners and breeders in NSW with the yearling sales in March. "This latest announcement will give participants and potential owners confidence to purchase at the upcoming yearling sales knowing that there is higher prizemoney available for eligible four and five-year-old pacers," Mr Smith said. "This adds to the opportunity for participants to race in $100,000 events for two and three-year-old horses at the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival. "There will be separate divisions for four-year-old mares, five-year-old mares, four-year-old stallions and geldings and five-year-old stallions and geldings which are eligible for the NSW Breeders Challenge and/or horses sustained for the Bathurst Gold Crown. "This initiative adds to the support given to the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival where there are now $100,000 Finals for both sexes in the two-year-old and three-year-old divisions." Mr Toole said a new racing carnival run each April at the state-of-the-art facility in Wagga with four Group 1 races demonstrates the progressive planning of the Board and management of HRNSW. "This wonderful new track combined with the launch of Group 1 racing will prove to be a real game-changer for harness racing in the Riverina," Mr Toole said. "I congratulate Harness Racing NSW on developing this bold new state-wide vision which will ensure the sport keeps growing across the regions." Mr Toole said not only will the new track and Group 1 racing will lift the profile of harness racing in the Riverina and give local breeders more opportunities to showcase their fine horses. "It will also encourage more young people to take up the sport, progressing from mini trots which are very popular in the region," he said. "A modern, comfortable public building will help boost public attendances while spacious race stalls will be welcomed by participants." This latest announcement formed part of the sustainable future developed by the Board for the NSW harness racing industry according to Mr Smith. "Along with my fellow Board Members it is extremely pleasing that we are able to announce yet another strategic initiative for the NSW harness racing industry," he said. "The Board has a long held infrastructure strategy which is demonstrated by this magnificent facility here in Wagga. The Board has also developed sustainable growth in prizemoney across all levels which commenced with the grassroots increases announced last year. "It will also benefit owner/breeders especially those who aim towards racing more mature horses. "In regional NSW we will now provide Group 1 racing for two, three, four, five-year-old and older horses at tracks in Wagga, Bathurst and Newcastle which will complement the racing at Menangle Park. "The racing industry is benefitting from the Liberal/National State Government through Tax Parity and the Point of Consumption Tax which we in harness racing greatly appreciate as it will assist in building a stronger code here in NSW. "On behalf of the industry, I thank Minister Paul Toole for his continued support." Riverina Paceway Wagga will officially open on Sunday March 10 whilst the inaugural Four-Year-Old and Five-Year-Old Championships will be held as a Carnival in April 2020.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES

Orange Harness Racing Club has confirmed its two meetings for 2019, with both once again to be held on the grass of Towac Park in February. The club’s Carnival of Cups heats will kick-off the short, two-week season on Sunday, February 3 before with the finals to be run the following week on Family Day. This year the club has also established a battle of the sexes race of sorts, with male and female drivers pitted against each other in one of the second meeting’s races.  Drivers already confirmed for that include Orange’s own Jake Davis, along with Codi Rauchenberger,  Brittany Graham, Amy Day, Isobel Ross, Martelle McGuire, Mat Rue, Anthony Frisby, Mitch Turnbull and Robbie Morris – a stellar cast by anyone’s standards. Brittany Graham will also partake in a number of other duties throughout the day, calling on her Sky Racing talents. “Some of the emerging stars in the female driving ranks will be challenging the established male drivers,” Orange Harness Racing Club’s Frank McRae said. Renowned Australian race caller Mark McNamara, now living in New Zealand, will be travelling across the Tasman to call the finals as well in a big coup for the club. On Family Day there will also be food stalls, jumping castles, face painting, mini trots, performance from local gymnastics clubs and the Orange City brass band, with all welcome to bring a picnic lunch too. Reprinted with permission of The Central Western Daily

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