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Following Harness Racing New South Wales' endless commitment to fight against the use of illegal and banned substances, more than 40 out-of-competition swab samples have been collected over the past two days. These samples were taken from horses that are competing at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night. This strategy follows tests obtained from horses that were engaged at Penrith last Thursday week and also Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night and HRNSW Integrity Officers will continue collecting more samples according to Chairman of Stewards Graham Loch. "This strategy will be continued in coming weeks as feature meetings and Carnival of Cups race meetings wind up," Loch said. "In addition, whilst our recent focus has been close to Sydney similar visits are planned across the state." For further information please contact Graham Loch at (02) 9722 6600 or gloch@hrnsw.com.au AMANDA RANDO

Leading harness racing horsewoman KerryAnn Turner and partner Robert Morris will cover a lot of miles this weekend but their most important mile is on track this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As the countdown to the Chariots Of Fire ramps up, Turner and Morris' gun pacer Charlaval will take on some of Australasia's best four-year-olds to earn a spot in the Group One on February 11. Going head-to-head with the likes of last season's Horse of the Year Our Waikiki Beach and this term's unbeaten star Salty Robyn in Saturday's Hondo Grattan Stakes, Charlaval is bringing his best form into the Group Two. The gelding is unbeaten in four starts and that includes his personal best winning mile rate of 1:51.9 set at Menangle last weekend. "Every time he has a break he comes back stronger and better and his preparation has been faultless," Morris said. "He has become more confident with each run." But will that be enough to wear down his classy rivals? According to the TAB Fixed Odds market, Charlaval is currently ranked as a $21 chance and the only two horses in single figures are Our Waikiki Beach ($1.90) and Salty Robyn ($2.30). "The faster they go and the harder they go the better it will be for Charlaval," Morris said. "We believe he is a lot better sitting off the speed and drawn in barrier four, hopefully we can slot straight into the running line and keep our fingers crossed. "It's a hard race . . . I can't split Our Waikiki Beach and Salty Robyn who has been a revelation this season. "Our Waikiki Beach doesn't need any recommendations, he's a good horse . . . a lot of people said he was plain last week but I thought his run was the best of the night. "I've driven a lot of horses at Menangle and horses just don't do what he did and the only thing that beat him was his barrier." Our Waikiki Beach finished third and it was just his second defeat in 25 starts while Salty Robyn has won his eight starts this season and last start sat parked and clocked 1:49.2. And it is for this reason that trainer Shane Tritton believes Salty Robyn should be the favourite for this feature. "If you go on latest form, no reputations, then Salty Robyn has to be the one to beat," Tritton said. "I hope Johnny (McCarthy) can get Waikiki away quickly enough to lead . . . I'd like Salty to sit outside him." With trainer-driver Mark Purdon in Victoria driving Lazarus in the Group One Ballarat Cup on Saturday night, the leading New Zealand conditioner has engaged John McCarthy to drive Our Waikiki Beach. Purdon also has Have Faith In Me engaged on the night. It is also a busy time for Morris and Turner too who on Friday split their team between Bathurst and Newcastle, are racing at Menangle on Saturday and then are heading to Canberra on Sunday. "It will be a busy couple of days but we have good owners and a lot of nice horses and we try to place them as best as we can," Morris said. Morris is just two wins behind Chris Geary in the New South Wales Drivers Premiership having driven 51 winners this season and Turner is also in second place in the NSW Trainers Premiership with 55 winners. AMANDA RANDO

This Friday night will mark the 16th running of the harness racing Oberon Community Pace Race Meeting at Bathurst. The meeting is always well-supported by the Oberon community and is ranked in the top five of all meetings conducted by the Bathurst Harness Racing Club throughout the year. The feature race on the night will be the $13,000 Elgas/Mawhoods Mitre 10 Oberon Cup.  The Ray Mawhood part-owned gelding Saloon Passage will be looking to improve on his third placing in last year’s cup and will be coming into the race in good form for his trainer/driver Nathan Hurst. The race has been dominated by the lady drivers over the past five years, Amanda Turnbull winning the last four cups and Ashlee Grives winning one. The meeting will also feature the popular men versus horse race featuring local boys Jackson Brien and Josh Rivett taking on the challenge. There will be a charity lamb auction with all proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House in Orange. There will be live entertainment between races, a jumping castle for the children and fine food. There are also a number of entrants in the Princess of the Paceway competition. “It’s always a great night and one the club loves to run each year,” club president Wayne Barker said.  “The first race is at 6pm and I would like to see as many of the Oberon community as possible there to support the charity and to just have a great night out.” Reprinted with permission of The Oberon Review

There are eight last start harness racing winners going head-to-head in Saturday night's Cordina Chicken Farms Hondo Grattan Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle and surprisingly that does not include Our Waikiki Beach. Out of the 10 horses engaged, not including the emergencies who are actually both last start winners also, Our Waikiki Beach is one of two horses not to have graced the winners' circle last start. However, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained gelding is the favourite with TAB Fixed Odds at $1.85 after drawing barrier one. The second favourite is Salty Robyn at $2.40 with all other runners at double figure odds. The winner of this $50,000 Group Two will automatically qualify for the Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire on February 11 and will join Soho Tribeca (Western Australia) and Chase The Dream (New Zealand) as qualified horses for that event. The Chariots Of Fire conditions allow for the winners of the Golden Nugget (WA), the Four and Five-Year-Old Futurity (NZ), the Four-Year-Old Bonanza (Victoria) as well as the Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios Stakes (Menangle) to automatically qualify for the Chariots Of Fire. The remainder of the field for the Chariots Of Fire will be selected only from horses that competed in the Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan Stakes on overall finishing positions. Based on the presumption that all automatically qualified horses nominate for the Chariots Of Fire, the second and third-placed horses in the Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios Stakes will gain entry into the $200,000 feature. The winner of the 2017 Chariots Of Fire will be invited to contest the Ainsworth Miracle Mile on February 25, 2017. CLICK HERE for the TAB Fixed Odds on the Hondo Grattan Stakes   AMANDA RANDO

Unbeaten Bettor's Delight filly Partyon, driven by Mark Purdon in the $31,800 Group 3 JL Raith Memorial at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night, did the unimaginable winning her first start back after a five-month spell and not only winning but smashing the harness racing three-year-old Australasian record in the process. After drawing two on the second row Partyon sat near the rear and came out at the top of the home straight to power home in a patient drive and record a stunning win. Partyon paced the 1609 metres in 1:51.3 with sectionals of 26.5, 29.1, 28.2 and 27.5. This broke the previous record of 1:52.4 set by another Purdon filly My Mackenzie in May of last year. Trained by the Allstars team Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen this was the sixth win and first as a three-year-old for Partyon from her only starts to date. As a two-year-old Partyon won the $150,000 Group 1 Harness Jewels Diamond, rating 1:55.5 for the mile at Cambridge in New Zealand and followed that up with two further starts in Australia at Tabcorp Park Melton, winning the $280,000 Group 1 Australasian Breeder's Crown for two-year-old fillies. In this race she rated a very good 1:54.4 mile-rate over 2240 metres. RA & JV YARNDLEY 2YO DIAMOND (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1), $150,000, 2YO FILLIES, 1609m Mark Purdon on Partyon winning the Alabar Breeders Crown Series 19 Partyon - 31,800 Group 3 JL Raith Memorial Partyon was bred by Woodlands Stud and sold as a weanling at the 2014 Auckland weanling sale for $20,000. She is the second live foal of the Beach Towel mare Beach Parade. A real bargain to say the least as of this date Partyon has earnings of $256,675. Beach Parade has a current two-year-old full sister to Partyon called Lydia's Delight who was also sold as a weanling for $16,000 to a client of Jeff Dunn's stable at the 2015 weanling sale, once again bred by Woodlands Stud. This filly is already a bargain as Bettor's Delight will stand for $25,000 plus GST this next breeding season. For those looking to buy a top yearling at this year's sale there is a full brother to Partyon, yes a full brother by Bettor's Delight in the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka on February the 20th selling as Lot 104 on behalf of Breckon Farms. We have attached a photo and video of this yearling called Kokomo Beach. Lot 104 – Kokomo Beach (brown colt Bettor’s Delight / Beach Parade) 2017 Harnesslink Media.    

"Forward" - that is how Singleton-based harness racing filly Takara Truffle will be driven in one of her biggest tests to date at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. The three-year-old has only been beaten once in her career as she heads into the Group Three $31,800 Garrards Horse and Hound J L Raith Memorial. And trainer Aaron Goadsby does not want to leave any stone unturned as he plans to aim the daughter of American Ideal at even bigger races. "It's a very strong field but we will be going forward," Goadsby said. "This is the type of race she has been looking for and I'll be using it as a stepping stone to see if she is good enough to compete in the bigger races." With the New South Wales Oaks on February 25 earmarked, Goadsby realises the enormity of Saturday night's task, particularly racing against unbeaten horses and Group One winners. This includes the Mark Purdon-trained Partyon who is unbeaten in five starts and is the $2.40 second favourite with TAB Fixed Odds. The $1.90 favourite is Don't Think Twice, last season's Bathurst Gold Tiara winner, who has drawn in barrier one. "Mark Purdon's filly is one of the obvious dangers as she is unbeaten while the filly drawn the pole has good runs on the board as a two-year-old," Goadsby said. "It's going to be hard especially because my filly has drawn wide but she has done everything right since she has come over from New Zealand and keeps improving with every run." Takara Truffle will begin from barrier seven and is currently rated as a $10 third equal pick with Sparkling Tachyon. The only time Takara Truffle has tasted defeat in seven starts was at this track was against the boys in the Group Three Chokin Stakes. She was a fast-finishing fourth on that occasion, only beaten a metre-and-a-half in a mile rate of 1:53. **** SOME big names are making their racetrack returns at Menangle on Saturday night. This includes the Purdon-conditioned Our Waikiki Beach in race four. The Australian bred and part-owned gelding has only been beaten once in 24 starts and is first up since winning the Breeders Crown in August. Local hero Bling It On is also making an appearance in race five. The $1.2million earner is having his first start back since racing in the Inter Dominion series in Perth late last year. Bling It On is the $1.30 with TAB Fixed Odds for the event ahead of Clancys Fobwatch at $5. AMANDA RANDO

Catcha Lefty is going to take his shot. The Queensland Derby winner will head south this week (Wednesday) in preparation for the harness racing Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle scheduled for February 11. The two qualifying races, the Gr.2 $50,000 Hondo Grattan and Paleface Adios Sprints are slated for January 21 and 28, both to be staged at Menangle. Husband and wife combination of Charlie Cini and Cristina Monte are willing to contest both lead-up events if required but are hopeful of securing a start in the four-year-old feature. “This is what we’re in the business for, to get a nice and contest the bigger events so we’re going to give him his opportunity. Obviously this crop is outstanding headed by the New Zealand horses but we’re hopeful of gaining an invitation for the big race.” Co-trainer Cini said. Since returning from his biggest triumph during the Brisbane winter carnival, Catcha Lefty has shaped nicely in two runs back from the break and heads south in peak condition. The Village Jasper gelding was beaten but far from disgraced first-up on December 17 when speedy mare Cherish The Moment led throughout at Albion Park in a time of 1:53.1. Catcha Lefty sat without cover on that occasion and went down by a shot half head margin. In his latest effort on January 3, Catcha Lefty scored a clinical victory at Albion Park in a time of 1:55.8. “He’s in great shape; the first-up run was excellent and Shane (Graham – driver) was absolutely thrilled while his latest effort was very good and they were running into a strong head wind that day. It was a perfect run given his tough first-up effort and he’s trained on since. “We have no doubt he goes best with a sit, coming off cover and unfortunately we don’t get many opportunities to drive him that manner up here but we will when he races in Sydney. He came off cover when he won the Queensland Derby last season. “His first start will come in the Hondo Grattan and then we’ll reassess after that, the news that Lazarus is heading to Melbourne now rather than contesting this event is a bonus. He’s come back in great shape, he grew a touch taller and definitely filled out a little more, I think he’s set for a good campaign.” Regular reinsman Shane Graham is currently suspended after incurring a two week driving suspension at Redcliffe last week but will be back to drive him on Saturday week. Catcha Lefty has won 14 of his 28 starts to date while banking more than $177,000. Also joining Catcha Lefty on the trip south are talented stablemates Bring On Lefty and Firebby while Cold Ideal, Stonebridge Royal, Armbro Teehee and Marshal Dale are also on board. The Cini/Monte team will be based with Daryl New on course at Menangle during their campaign. by Chris Barsby

It is going to be a big harness racing weekend for Canberra horsewoman Melissa Hawke as she travels to different parts of the state to compete at various TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups meetings. First stop is Parkes on New Year's Eve where the 27-year-old is driving in the two main feature races on the program. Hawke is one of only two reinswomen competing in the Langlands Hanlon Sprint and is ready to take on the boys with her pacer Modern Maestro, a $7.50 chance with TAB Fixed Odds. Actually, Hawke is not bothered about the boys at all, however, more so taking on the 'Queen' of the Western Districts tracks in Amanda Turnbull and her pacer Parramatta, the $2 favourite. "I'm used to racing against the boys these days . . . you just have to be," Hawke said. "It's going to be tough, there are five Turnbulls in the race and their horses always step up but Amanda's horse Parramatta is the horse to beat." With Parramatta drawn in 11 on the back row, Hawke will be taking advantage of Modern Maestro's front row draw of four. "My horse can really ping the gate so we will be making the most of the draw and hopefully find the top," Hawke said. "We have been really happy with his two starts back this season. "A few were initially disappointed with his first start back but he settled second last and they went 1:56 around Canberra so it was impossible to beat them and we were happy with how he found the line. "He ran another good race at Wagga last start . . . he led and they pressured him and they went 1:57 so did extremely well to finish second considering he was only beaten by 11m by the winner and they gapped the rest of the field by 45m." Modern Maestro is raced by a large group of owners that are certain to be on the sideline cheering their 10-time winner home. "They are such a great bunch of owners that are all family and close friends from the country and they travel everywhere to watch him race," Hawke said. "No matter where he finishes, they get so excited and lean over the fence cheering him on . . . it gives me such a buzz." Hawke's next drive is on Spirit Rainbow in the Golden Bar Three-Year-Old Pace. "She has been racing well this season and she has gatespeed too so hopefully we find the lead with her as well," Hawke said. "She had a good end to her two-year-old campaign and it will be nice to see her do well as Dad (Michael Hawke) owns her outright and he hasn't been well of late. "Dad had a stroke a few months back and lost vision in one eye. "He took a gamble with this filly as well . . . he bought her when watching the live feed of the APG (Australian Pacing Gold) Sale on the internet and only paid $4000 for her and she is by Art Major. "She has a turned out leg but Dad bought her anyway and she has been good to us so far winning three race." Michael trains both Modern Maestro and Spirit Rainbow as well as Maybe Shes Perfect which is racing in the last race at Parkes. Hawke will also drive that mare then pack her bags and get ready to head to Leeton's Carnival of Cups meeting the following day to take part in the Kriden Park Lady Drivers Invitation where she will drive the pacer Navajo Rocky. "It's going to be a big couple of days but I'm looking forward to it," Hawke said. Amanda Rando    

The Turnbull family is one of New South Wales' largest harness racing dynasties and it continues to grow but the place to learn is in the stables at harness racing meetings and that is exactly where Jett Turnbull was on Boxing Night. Previously Jett would not have been admitted entry into the restricted area but he successfully completed the Harness Racing NSW Stable Awareness Course, the first to do so and without any difficulty. Jett passed his induction with HRNSW senior steward Michael Zarb during Bathurst's TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups meeting and was later presented his Stable Access Pass by HRNSW Chairman Graham Kelly in front of the big crowd on-course. The National Rules of harness racing prohibits children under the age of 14 years entry into the stable areas for race meetings and trials, however, HRNSW has taken steps to remedy the situation by introducing a Stable Awareness Course. The program allows children between the ages of six and 14 to go into the stabling area during a race meeting whilst supervised by the responsible parent or guardian once they have satisfactorily undertaken the course. "The issue of disenfranchising our participants was recognised by the Board and Management of HRNSW and we set about rectifying the situation but at all times were cognizant of all other relevant issues," HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny explained. "Insurance concerns for one have now been remedied by the fact that the children must demonstrate a level of competence with horses, awareness of the surrounds of the stable areas and most importantly there must be an adult who is responsible and accountable for the children's activities whilst in the confines of the stables. "Responsibility was a major issue and it now comes down in order to the parents, the Club officials and finally the Stewards to ensure there are no issues which would curtail this positive change for the children of our family orientated industry. "The HRNSW Board also took action in repealing the national rule in this State but I stress it is not an open door policy, the children must first undertake the course and become accredited otherwise the responsible licensee will come under the notice of the Stewards and the rules," Dumesny concluded. Parents of children aged between six and 14 years of age who wish to have their children undertake the Stable Awareness Course should contact the Integrity Division of HRNSW on 97226600 (Michael Prentice or Jacob Munday) to complete the required documentation and make the necessary arrangements.   AMANDA RANDO

Horsewoman KerryAnn Turner scored what she describes as "my biggest win as a driver" after taking out the Kriden Investments Shirley Turnbull Memorial, feature event at Monday's hugely successful TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups harness racing meeting at Bathurst's Group One Feeds Paceway. She gave Aztec Bromac NZ a lovely trip in the running line and brought the five-year-old with a strong run down the centre of the track to hold off Blazin N Cullen, one of three John McCarthy runners in the event, with Freyberg running on well for the minor prize. After an anxious wait of several minutes while stewards checked the run home for possible interference in the sprint lane, it was a relieved and chuffed trainer-driver who joined a big gathering of equally delighted Turnbull family members for a presentation which is always one of the highlights of the Bathurst racing season. Club president Wayne Barker welcomed the Turnbull family, race sponsor Rod Smith and HRNSW Chairman Graham Kelly spoke about the significance of the race and the meeting, then the legend himself, "A. D.", kept the big crowd hanging on his every word as he reflected on the success enjoyed by females in racing now - he's a big fan - and how different it was back in his hey-day. It's always lovely to observe the affection and respect of the crowd, and particularly the younger family members, for this celebrated figure. They mightn't have kept the race "in the family" this year - as a $53,000 Group Two, it's increasingly difficult to win - but it was a very good night for the Turnbull clan. Mitchell, Steve and Amanda each picked up driving wins with Hey Porsha, Star Writer and Parramatta respectively, with Parramatta rating 1:53.3 to equal the track record which Amanda already owned with El Fuego. Jason and Emma Turnbull had grabbed a double and a win, respectively, at the lead-up meeting several days earlier, and they were keen to line up for their own special pic with "Grandfather" before they assisted him from the track. And in accepting the traditional driver's trophy from the Turnbulls, KerryAnn - who took a training double after Robbie Morris' earlier win with Kleened Out - reflected on her own family's involvement in what is, everywhere, one of the true family sports. An equally large family group gathered on the track for the presentation of the Ray and Olive McCarthy Memorial, taken out by last season's Tiara winner Dont Think Twice, first up since the Breeders Challenge final in June. Jason Grimson controlled the race from the start, and the Operative daughter came her last half in 56 seconds flat, to defeat the late-closing Hez All Courage and death-seater Alpine Stride. It was a highly impressive return by a filly who's being set for the Oaks races and of course, a return trip to Bathurst to defend her Tiara success in the Gold Bracelet next March. John McCarthy spoke on behalf of his family, whose representatives included Andrew, John and Narelle's U.S. based son who is back home for a few months. Andrew's little boy Finn looked right at home in his specially-tailored blue-and-green driving silks. The other winners on a most exciting night's racing were: Arma The Gun (Brad Hewitt, from yet another well-known racing family), pulling out a big sprint to collar favourite Sams The Master in C2/C3 grade, for his seventh win in 10 starts. He's possibly headed towards the Chariots of Fire, along with the runner-up. Takara Truffle NZ (Guy Chapple for Aaron Goadsby), much too strong in a fillies/ mares sprint, slipping home in 56.3 seconds, and heading on an Oaks campaign in coming months, after wins at five of her six career starts. Fouroeight (Mat Rue), surviving a very tough run to reach the death then roaring away over the closing stages of the final event, a C0 sprint (56.2 last half), to confirm his reputation as a serious racehorse. Another who's likely to be given his chance in the Chariots. Earlier in the night, HRNSW chairman Graham Kelly and steward Michael Zarb were on hand to present the first stable accreditation pass to be issued anywhere in Australia - allowing someone under 14 years of age access to the stables - to nine-year-old Jett Turnbull, son of trainer-driver Nathan. Jett had passed his exam with the stewards earlier in the day. Perfect timing, you'd have to say, on a Family Night that Shirley Turnbull would be proud of. by Terry Neil

For Eglinton horseman Nathan Hurst winning Monday night's Group Two Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst's TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups harness racing meeting would be a dream come true. Having grown up in the Western Districts, the 36-year-old has the strongest chance he has ever had to win his local feature race. His pacer Saloon Passage has been racing in career best form and is the $6.50 second favourite with TAB Fixed Odds for the time-honoured event. "This is our main top-grade race in the west and it would be great to be able to win it," Hurst said. "We've had a few runners in the race before over the years but have never gone close." Hurst will also be 'flying the flag' for the region too as Saloon Passage is just one of two horses in the feature that are trained nearby. The last local horse to win the Shirley Turnbull Memorial was Slick Bromac in 2009 which was trained and driven by Steve Turnbull, whose late mother is the feature's namesake. Since then, however, the McCarthy family have dominated the race having won four of the last five editions. And tradition could continue as trainer John McCarthy has a three-pronged attack in the race which includes the $2.50 favourite Allblack Stride. "It's a pretty strong race, particularly the back-row, but Allblack Stride is the biggest danger," Hurst said. "He sat outside of us last week and ran a pretty big race and looks the one to beat again." Saloon Passage led at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night and after racing outside the leader, Allblack Stride won with more than a metre to spare over the pacemaker rating 1:51.1. For their next clash Allblack Stride has drawn barrier 11 while Saloon Passage will carry the number eight saddlecloth. "The draw isn't too bad, we will end up coming out of barrier six with the removal of the two emergencies," Hurst said. "We couldn't be happier with our bloke heading into the race." Saloon Passage has not missed a placing in his last five starts. "He has been racing consistently well in the free-for-all grade," Hurst said. "We were rapt with his run in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown . . . it was one of his best runs of the season. "He's matured a lot this preparation." The six-year-old has secured 22 wins and 23 placings in 67 starts earning his connections $211,500. Collectively this field has earned almost $2.6million in prizemoney. Outside of the two fancies the McCarthy-trained Cyclone Kate and the Michael Langdon-trained Clancys Fobwatch are $8 equal third favourites. Both pacers are last-star winners at Menangle.   AMANDA RANDO

Young reinsman Mitch Turnbull scored his first hometown harness racing feature and brother Josh continued on his recent winning run when they combined to take out last Friday's Bathurst RSL Soldiers Saddle Final at Group One Feeds Paceway. Bacchus Raucous ($8.20) stayed out of the early speed burn before working his way around the field to the ‘death seat’ from where Mitchell maintained a strong even tempo with the Kenneth J gelding, before slipping into top gear over a final quarter of 28.8 seconds and a winning mile rate of 1:58.7 for the 2260m trip. Angela Hedges brought Ned Pepper with a well-timed run to fight out a very close finish and Hey Porsha finished strongly to grab the minor place. The winner is raced by Jess Turnbull, wife of the trainer, and close friends Pete Crennan and Nigel Frisby, and it was a delighted group of connections and children who celebrated the win trackside. Mitch was quick to acknowledge the training effort of his brother, commenting " there were 110 problems with him when we got him from the sales" - a $7,500 buy at the 2013 Gold Crown Sale - " but Josh has just about got him sorted now, and he's racing very consistently." It will be interesting to follow his progress as he seeks to match the record of previous Soldiers Saddle winners such as Saint William, Avonnova and Saloon Passage. Doubles and trebles were the order of the meeting, with a further driving win for Mitch Turnbull, a training double for Chris Frisby, and a training/driving treble for Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy in the final three races of the night. Mitch warmed up for the feature by scoring a last-stride win with War Dan Apollo ($2.90 favourite, for father Steve in the C3-C5 third, coming from well back in a very strongly run race. Isle Of Man was a gallant second, after a tough trip. Chris Frisby's double came in the opening races, with Alpha Styx ($1.90 favourite, Anthony Frisby) in C1-C2 class, tagging up three-wide and running down leader Soeur De Lyse which had kicked well clear on straightening and then Uncle John ($2.20 favourite, Jason Grimson) in the Soldiers Saddle Consolation, showing his customary toughness by sitting in the ‘death eat’ and defying Wicker Maister which was posted three-wide to run him down. Mach Doro and a pair of maiden three-year-olds in Alpine Stride and Olive Stride made up the Craig Cross/ Luke McCarthy treble, in quite contrasting styles. Mach Doro ($1.40 favourite) was allowed to bide his time at the tail of the field in the 2260m fast class before Luke set him alight just after the bell and he charged to the lead as they entered the back straight, maintaining the speed in a brilliant 27.3 third quarter, and then hanging on grimly to outstay Im Cool Harry which came again after being headed. It was a brilliant drive, on a horse his driver rates very highly, and which may return for the Shirley Turnbull Memorial on Boxing Night. Alpine Stride ($5.80) led all-the-way in a 2260m C0 grade, and Olive Stride ($25.50) which used the sprint lane to score by the proverbial nose in a 3C0 sprint, maintained their parallel career paths in winning. They commenced racing on the same night back in March, had their second runs just a week apart in April, then spelled at owner Emilio Rosati's property for about five months before resuming here together, with happy results. Alpine Stride boasts champion mare Tailamade Lombo as his dam, while Olive Stride recalls the name of another champion in Luke's grandmother, who will be honoured in the Ray and Olive McCarthy Memorial at the Boxing Night feature meeting. Luke would have been tickled by this win. A very big crowd attended Friday's meeting, with a number of Christmas parties in full swing in different parts of the venue, and Peter Turnbull making his annual visit as Santa Claus to distribute lollies to the kids. They all know Santa's alter ego, and check with him during the night what time he'll be donning the red and white clobber! And on that note, Happy Christmas to everyone in harness racing from the management and staff of Bathurst HRC. By Terry Neil

With 18 harness racing lots going 'under the hammer' at the Ready2Run Sale at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday 15 horses were sold. The highest-priced lot was an Art Major colt out of Star Spangled Banner which was purchased for $48,000 by Miracle Mile winning reinsman Mat Rue and Tony Pace from Pacebred International. Meanwhile, a filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Armbro Operative mare Cunning Kate sold for $42,000. The results were strong enough that the sale will go ahead next year according to New South Wales Standardbred Sales Chairman Peter Green. "We turned over $335,000 and there was a terrific crowd there and the good news is that we will be back next year," Green said. "There were only two buy backs and we are really happy with that because we want people to know that the horses are there to be sold. "It was great to see some of the young trainers there like Mat Rue who bought a horse for Tony Pace, Shane and Lauren Tritton bought one and even Geoff Webster purchased a horse for Mick Lombardo. "Overall we were very happy with the sale even though the number of lots was disappointing but hopefully we can grow again next year." For more information on the Ready2Run Sale head to www.ready2runsale.com.au AMANDA RANDO   2016 SALE - TRIAL REPLAYS & RESULTS       LOT 1 Mr Feelgood x Winsome Lass (Colt)   SOLD $14,000               LOT 3 Rock n Roll Heaven x Cunning Kate (Filly)   SOLD $42,000               LOT 6 Always a Virgin x In It For Fun (Filly)   SOLD $15,000                 LOT 8 Betterthancheddar x Jovial Lass (Filly)   FOR SALE               LOT 9 Western Terror x Left A Dream (Gelding)   SOLD $12,000               LOT 10 Sportswriter x Milwaukee Star (Colt)   FOR SALE               LOT 11 Courage Under Fire x Moi Attack (Filly)   SOLD $39,000               LOT 12 Artistic Fella x Oak on Fire (Colt)   SOLD $10,000               LOT 13 American Ideal x Perfect Diva (Filly)   SOLD $15,000                 LOT 14 Rock n Roll Heaven x Pretty Magic (Colt)   SOLD $25,000               LOT 16 Betterthancheddar x So Savvy (Filly)   SOLD $18,000               LOT 17 Shadow Play x Spring Ball (Gelding)   FOR SALE               LOT 19 Art Major x Starspangledbanner (Colt)   SOLD $48,000               LOT 20 Rocknroll Heaven x Warrawee Flare (Colt) ‚Äč   SOLD $14,000               LOT 21 Changeover x Behappysam (Filly)   SOLD $10,000               LOT 22 Bettors Delight x Glenferrie Magic (Colt)   SOLD $30,000               LOT 23 Big Jim x Irish Luck (Filly)   SOLD $11,000               LOT 24 RocknRoll Hanover x Regal Rainbow (FillY)   SOLD $32,000

Tamworth horseman Anthony ‘Tony’ Missen is in “good spirits” despite sustaining major injuries in a race fall at his local harness racing track on Sunday. Recently appointed Tamworth Harness Racing Club Chairperson Julie Maughan said the 54-year-old trainer-driver was transferred to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle today. “The report is that he has a shattered pelvis, broken shoulder and broken collarbone,” Maughan said.  “From all accounts Tony is his usual bright and bubbly self.” Missen was dislodged from the sulky when driving his pacer Tirunesh. Subsequently he was on the track unconscious and Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards stopped the race, later declaring it a “No Race”. Missen was then taken to Tamworth Hospital. He started the meeting on a better note when his pacer Fivestar Wally won the opening event causing an upset at odds of $40.80 with NSW TAB.  “The Club is thinking of him as he is a very popular trainer and reinsman in the north-west,” Maughan said. “Tony had a lot of success in recent seasons in taking out the North and North-West Trainers Premiership for the past two seasons. “Tony is one of those likeable and relaxed people who is always there to congratulate someone else on a win. “We hope that the doctors can give a better diagnosis than what we are hearing as we want to see Tony back at the track as soon as possible.” AMANDA RANDO 

In a dramatic but strategic change in direction Harness Racing New South Wales has successfully secured the Tamworth Showground property thus ensuring uninterrupted racing for the local Club. Following an extended period on the open market the Showground property which is owned by the Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association was open to final offers which closed last Thursday. HRNSW were successful in its bid which was formally accepted by the Tamworth P & A Association executive this week. For harness racing in Tamworth securing the property removed the possibility of a break in racing in the city, had the site been purchased by another owner developer with the planned new facility on the outskirts of the city still not progressed to the development application stage. The purchase is a positive for harness racing in Tamworth, the North West Region and the Industry at large according to HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny. "The purchase of the established track site has considerable positives not least that the racing schedule at Tamworth will proceed uninterrupted." Dumesny said. "In securing this site the opportunities are endless especially in the harness racing activities." "I must stipulate the 2017 Tamworth Show will be held on its traditional site . . . the Tamworth Showground on March 24 and 25." "The HRNSW Board has made an immediate commitment to a substantive infrastructure spend on the Showground inclusive of members and public facilities as well as an all weather cover to the existing race stalls." "The ultimate aim is to convert the 200 permanent stables already in place at the track into an accessible training centre for the current and new participants which HRNSW will aim to attract to Tamworth." "Other works and strategies which enhance the productive capabilities for the property will be investigated in due course in consultation with the Board of the Tamworth Club however the priority commitments will be commenced even before settlement on February 1." "Working with both the Tamworth club directors and the Pastoral and Agricultural Association executive in this exercise has been a fulfilling experience and HRNSW looks forward to a cohesive transition in the ownership of the Showground." Dumesny conclude. Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association President Brett Nies predicted the future direction of the Association and the Tamworth Show was encouraging and exciting. "For us, as a group of volunteers the sale is a great outcome as it preserves the recreational use of the Showground and it secures the Associations viability in the long term future for the community of Tamworth." President Brett Nies explained. "We are always looking for new members and volunteers that like to bring new ideas for the Show each year." "This sale opens the door to a new era for the Association and the community, with the show dates moving to September in 2018 to the modern AELEC centre." "We very much look forward to working with AELEC Management and the support offered by the Tamworth Regional Council to reinvigorate the Show which has been conducted for over 145 years on a number of Showground sites in the City." "In accordance with our Constitution the P & A will retain a portion of the property as our base and administration office." Mr Nies concluded. Tamworth Deputy Chairman Robert Betts expressed the positive views of his fellow Board members in relation to the acquisition. "This is an exciting opportunity taken at the right time which will ensure continuity of harness racing in Tamworth, with ownership of a North West facility renewing enthusiasm amongst THRC members." Deputy Chairman Robert Betts stated. "For all of the harness racing community these new and upgraded facilities will ensure the sustainability of harness racing in this region." Mr Betts concluded. Tamworth Regional Council Mayor Col Murray in discussions with HRNSW was fully supportive of the decision made for the continuation of harness racing on the Showground which preserved the proud tradition of the sport in the City on the iconic site and looked forward to further growth in this activity. The immediacy of the offer was due to the closure of the offer period however HRNSW management had been undertaking costs analysis comparisons of the Showground and the green field site and other related industry impacts for some time. Investigations in relation to a valuation on the Showground property as well as heritage and contamination implications have been a prerequisite of the HRNSW discoveries. John Dumesny - Harness Racing NSW Chief Executive p: (02) 9722 6600 or Brett Nies - Tamworth P & A Association President p: (02) 6764 4338        

The Dubbo Harness Racing Club are rallying their support to help local horseman Kyle Barnes and his fight against pancreatic cancer. A special gymkhana will be held at Dubbo on Saturday December 3 to raise funds for Barnes and his family as he undergoes many operations. Commencing at 6pm, there will be prizes for all winners plus mini trotters and a barbeque to also entertain the crowd. Barnes' daughter Kylie has also set up an online donation page for those wishing to make donations at www.mycause.com.au/page/142036/kyle_barnes "Dad is hoping to make it to the gymkhana next Saturday if he doesn't need to be in hospital," Kylie said. "He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three months ago and it's very hard to see him this way especially because he was driving horses in races just five months ago. "All support is appreciated and if people do donate money online please put your first and last name on the donation so we know who has donated." For further information you can contact Kylie on 0435 815 961.   AMANDA RANDO

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