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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

He is one of the leading harness racing drivers in New South Wales with a concession claim and Brendan Barnes wants to make the most of it. The eager 19-year-old plans to establish himself in Sydney for the remainder of his time as a concession reinsman which has already paid dividends. Just last Sunday Barnes made the four-hour car trip to the Western Districts for Blayney’s Carnival of Cups meeting for one drive. This move saw Barnes win the feature on the program, the Billy Soo Memorial Blayney Cup, on the Amanda Turnbull-trained Chumlee. “It didn’t worry me that I only had the one drive on the program,” Barnes said. “Now that Chris Geary does not have a claim I’m starting to pick up a few extra drives and I want to show that I’m willing to travel for them. “I want to stay in Sydney until I outdrive my claim as there isn’t a limit on the amount of winners you can get in a season here. “Also the limit of 250 winners to outdrive your claim is better than what other states offer.” Barnes is edging closer to this mark having already piloted 21 winners this season making him one of the top 10 drivers in the state. And following his most recent victory, Barnes has driven 180 winners in his career. Formerly based in Queensland, Barnes works as a stablehand for the Kevin Pizzuto stable at Rossmore in Sydney’s south-west. AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

After ending last season with a Group One win to his name 10-time winner Charlaval looks set to have another big harness racing season ahead of him. With the Chariots Of Fire the main aim for the four-year-old, connections are undecided if he will trial or race next according to the gelding's regular reinsman Robbie Morris. Charlaval has won his two trials back this preparation. "He's trialled twice now and has had two good hit-outs but Kerry (KerryAnn Turner-trainer) is still undecided if she will give him another trial or just race him," Morris said. "He trialled nicely at Menangle on Tuesday - he led and was a bit docile in front waiting for the other horses but hit the line well." Charlaval rated 1:55.4 in his most recent trial and when ready to make his debut for the season will be assessed as a C6. "He is a good horse and has earned the right to have this assessment," Morris said. "Being that grade won't affect him as he is usually driven back with a sit and if they go 1:50 or 1:51, the harder they go the better for him. "The Chariots is the real aim with him but he is eligible for the Breeders Challenge and Breeders Crown also so he has a big season ahead." Charlaval won a Breeders Challenge Final last season in a career best mile rate of 1:51.9. The son of Four Starzzz Shark has a record of 10 wins and 11 second placings in 29 starts and earnings of $199,025 AMANDA RANDO

IT has not taken long for talented young harness racing reinsman Chris Geary to outdrive his concession claim. After saluting with a treble at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday afternoon, the hat-trick pushed Geary past the 250-win barrier in his succinct career, thus losing his claim. However the soon to be 19-year-old, who has only been driving professionally for three years, believes this will not affect the number of drives he obtains. "I've been expecting to outdrive my claim for a while now," Geary said. "It shouldn't affect me much as 90 per cent of the drives I have don't use my claim anyway which helps." Obtaining his first race drive a day after his 16th Birthday and his first winner five drives later, Geary has steered home 251 winners following Tuesday's result which came courtesy of the trotter Rompers Monarchy and pacers Franco Novak and A Passion For Aces. Geary is currently the leading metropolitan driver in New South Wales and is ranked amongst the top 20 drivers nationally. Ahead of the likes of Luke McCarthy, Robert Morris and Lauren Tritton in the metropolitan driving ranks, Geary has a strong book of drives at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night. With six drives already locked in, Geary may obtain a catch drive on the feature on the program the Group Three Norms Daughter Stakes. "It looks like at this stage I could be driving Tact Hayleys Delight in the feature race," Geary said. "I've driven her quite a few times before." Geary is currently ranked in second position in the NSW Drivers Premiership having secured 25 wins and 61 placings already this season. AMANDA RANDO

The trotting gait is continually growing in New South Wales and now a new Trotters Association has been formed. Last season's NSW Leading Trotting Trainer and Driver, Blake Fitzpatrick, is the President while fellow horseman Troy Williams is the Vice President. The newly accredited Trotters Association of NSW has a mission to liaise with Harness Racing NSW on behalf of its membership on matters pertaining to race programming, breeding incentives, bonus schemes plus rules and regulations governing trotting in the state. The Executive and Committee Members of the TA NSW are: President - Blake Fitzpatrick Vice President - Troy Williams Secretary - Flora Robson Treasurer - Debra Holt Committee Members - Rickie Alchin, Daniel Cordina, Robert Morris, Joe Rando and Bradley Watts AMANDA RANDO

Harness racing was merely some added colour and even something new for many families at Tabcorp Park at Club Menangle today. It was the south-west Sydney racetrack's annual Family Fun Day and Fisher's Ghost race meeting. And while the serious harness racing was top notch with two rich finals of the Menangle Where Horses Fly Country Series as well as the Group Two Franco Australian Trotters Final and the J. C. Caffyn Plate, there were so many other things to keep the youngsters busy. Free rides, fairy floss, face-painting, the C91.3 road crew, a petting zoo and regular patrols from the club's mascot, Trigger, kept most of the kids occupied for the warm afternoon. A large number of fans also gathered to watch a welcome to Country by local elder Uncle Ivan Wellington followed by a performance by an aboriginal dance troupe. And after the indigenous drivers were introduced to the crowd, the day was capped off by a marvellous performance by The Aboriginal Vocal Identification Program choir, singing some traditional Australian songs. "This day just seems to get bigger and more popular every year and it is great to see the indigenous Australians have supported it by turning up in large numbers to be part of the fun and entertainment," said Uncle Ivan, who has become a regular at the track for this meeting each year. Albury reinsman Royce Gregory-Jack also made the six-hour drive from the border town to be part of the action and made history when he won the Indigenous Drivers' J. C. Caffyn Plate for the third time in six years. A record that even many of the children stopped to applaud - before returning to their free rides and other entertainment. Amanda Zammit

Royce Gregory-Jack looks more like a bushman than a party crasher. Still the bearded Albury harness racing reinsman crashed a party, of sorts, at Tabcorp Park @ Club Menangle today when he made history in the J. C. Caffyn Indigenous Drivers' Plate. The 29-year-old reinsman scored his third win in this elite invitation race, which in itself is amazing considering the race has only been run six times. But the only two women who qualified for the race, defending champion Jess Prior and Bathurst's McKayler Barnes had declared their intentions to "beat the boys" and run the quinella in the 2016 race. That looked a super chance of happening about 100m from home: Barnes was in front and Prior was finishing fast out wide. But it was instead Gregory-Jack who brought the well-backed Rave Moonraker from the Mark Callaghan stable with a perfectly-timed run to score a one-and-a-half-metre win in a 1:52.6 mile rate. Prior finished second after coming from near last with Heza Swinger, while Barnes, who had attempted to lead all the way, hung on for third, a head further back. In truth the girls, like their male counterparts, were delighted just to be involved with a series that continues to grow each year and has proven the perfect tribute to one of Menangle's legends, the late, great Jim Caffyn. "I'm very happy with that result," said Gregory-Jack. "This concept has been so well received and to win anything three times is pretty special really, let alone a race like this with so many great drivers in it. "The first time I won was pretty satisfying as the concept was new and to win it twice had not been done before. "Now this is very humbling." Gregory-Jack works for Australia Post in Albury but thought nothing of a five-hour drive to get to Menangle to be involved this year. "When I saw I had drawn Rave Moonraker I studied the form. Actually I'll admit was pretty happy when the fields came out," he said. "Mark told me a bit about the horse and his traits and what I should do - and it all worked out well. "I know I spoiled the girls' quinella . . . maybe they should have had a Duet instead (any two placegetters). "My horse kept finding but I was more concerned about catching McKayler [Barnes] at the top of the straight as she had a good lead - but he found the line well." Gregory-Jack has no intentions of giving up his day job to drive or train full-time. "I break a lot in and I am more focussed on that - when I'm home," he said. "I do being part of this series. "The first year was good but it's become even more competitive than ever. It's such a great concept." Amanda Zammit  

The Eugowra Harness Racing Club was declared the Best Club for their TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups with a feature race to a maximum of $50,000 following the running of their 2015 Canola Cup. And Eugowra was not the only winner at the Arthur J Gallagher Industry Awards Night on Saturday evening, other clubs featured amongst the list too. The full list of Carnival of Cups Award winners are as follows: Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $50,000 (but no less than $25,001) – Eugowra; Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $25,000 (but no less than $14,001) – Parkes; Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $14,000 (but no less than $10,001) - West Wyalong; Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of not more than $10,000 – Griffith; Best Community Engagement Club – Goulburn; Best Fraternity Engagement Club – Leeton; Best New Innovation Club - Temora. It was confirmed that the recipient clubs would receive a trophy and $5,000 to be utilised at their respective Carnival of Cups meetings during FY2016/17. The TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups Awards Structure changed this year to better acknowledge the different types of meetings conducted and to reward clubs for their community engagement, fraternity engagement and innovation. Amanda Rando

Louth Park harness racing driver Brad Elder was lucky to escape with a broken nose and badly grazed face at Newcastle on Wednesday following a race fall which will be investigated further next week. Harness Racing NSW stewards will hold an inquiry with Elder and Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa on Monday after four horses collided and failed to finish the second race at Newcastle International Paceway.  Elder, who was sent to John Hunter Hospital straight after the incident and may still require surgery, went face-first into the track after the horse he was steering hit the deck on the final bend of the C1-C2 mile event. “He was in behind the leader, got checked and then went arse-over-head,” Elder’s father and long-time driver Darren Elder said.  “He did a big face dive straight into the track and then a couple of them went over the top. It was a mess. Just terrible.” The video replay shows potential contact between the outside legs of Elder’s seven-year-old gelding The Plainsman and the inside wheel of Formosa’s four-year-old gelding Ultimate Courage.  Stewards’ comments post race said Elder’s The Plainsman, trained by Chris Bourke of Millers Forest, had been “heavily checked”.   Elder’s The Plainsman was on the rail and third at the time with Formosa’s Ultimate Courage positioned outside of him and slightly ahead in second. Both were in sight of leader and eventual winner Booty Shake.  Formosa’s Ultimate Courage continued and finished third after being overtaken in the home straight by The Boys GNP. However, Elder was tipped out of the gig and over the top of The Plainsman before Blackjack Shannon, Mainland Duchess and Major Charlie crashed into them from behind and all four runners were unable to complete the journey.   Fourth-placed Chevalcoldhardcash was the only other horse in the race to avoid the pileup. Elder missed a win later in the program with Love This Dragon and returns to see a specialist on Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage. The outcome of scans may determine what the Elder family’s stable star, Inter Dominion finalist Shannonsablast, aims for over summer in either Victoria or Queensland following a second at Menangle on Tuesday.  In the meantime Elder is up for the NSW Country Junior Driver’s Encouragement award at the industry’s state presentation in Sydney on Saturday night. Racing resumes at Newcastle on Monday. By Josh Callinan Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

The Two-Year-Old New South Wales Harness Racing Calendar for the 2016/17 season is now available at the Harness Media Centre. For the first time an entire season of racing will be made available for participants to aid in the racing preparation of two-year-olds. Following a review of two-year-old racing in the state, Harness Racing NSW constructed a new Two-Year-Old Racing Policy based on an extensive consultation process with industry stakeholders. “Never before in any code of horse racing anywhere in the world have stakeholders been provided with a full season calendar,” HRNSW chief executive John Dumesny said. “If you have a two-year-old filly right now, today you can set her for a fillies only race at Penrith next August 24!”  The resultant key points of the Policy are: Two-year-old racing will commence on January 1 (Leeton Breeders Plate Heats in 2016 the only exception);  A full schedule of two-year-old races for the period January 1 to August 31 will be released each October; Six horses will be the minimum number of original nominations/acceptors for a two-year-old race to be conducted; The maximum field size for two-year-old races will be 10 on all tracks with reserves being drawn in Finals and Group races; Two-year-old pacers will not be permitted to contest races in NSW between September 1 and December 31 each year. Head to www.harnessmediacentre.com.au for more information or contact the HRNSW office on (02) 9722 6600. Click here for the 2016/17 Two-Year-Old Racing Calendar Click here for a link to the Two-Year-Old Racing Policy Amanda Rando

Last season’s leading New South Wales harness racing driver Todd McCarthy has been forced to the sideline after breaking his collarbone in a race fall at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday. The 23-year-old Group one winning reinsman crashed to the track when driving Karmic Fire, a pacer trained by his father John McCarthy, and luckily sustained no other injuries.  “I’m feeling alright,” McCarthy said. “Judging by my other one (collarbone) I could be out for a few weeks.” McCarthy has broken his collarbone twice before, once in another horse related incident and the other on a bike. McCarthy is also hoping he bounces back in time to represent NSW in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship which is just five weeks away. The series will be held in conjunction with the 2016 Inter Dominion Series in Perth, Western Australia, from December 2 to December 9. McCarthy represented the state last weekend in the Australian Drivers Championship which took place at Globe Derby on Saturday night. After nabbing a win in the opening heat, McCarthy finished fourth overall. The young reinsman is fresh from experiencing his best season to date having dominated all the major driving premierships in NSW. Click here to watch a replay of race five at Menangle yesterday Amanda Rando

The 2016-17 harness racing season might only be in its infancy, but The Lagoon driver Mitch Turnbull is most certainly satisfied with his progress thus far. While still a concession driver, Turnbull sits third in the Harness Racing NSW drivers’ premiership with 16 wins and 11 placings. The latest of those wins came at the Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday night when he took out the Ian Mutton Get Well Soon Pace (1,730 metres) with War Dan Apollo. The $4 favourite got the lead from barrier three and was softened up along the way by Idunknow ($9.20), but showed enough strength to kick away down the home straight. The Steve Turnbull trained gelding won by 7m over Athols Last Safari ($17.10) in a 1:57.4 mile rate. “He’s going real well, it probably nearly might have suited him to run that quick,” Mitch Turnbull said.  “I appreciate everyone who is putting me on, I’m getting some nice ones to drive.” Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate  

Champion harness racing pacer Lennytheshark begins his quest to defend his Inter Dominion title at Tabcorp Park @ Club Menangle this Saturday night. The 2015 Inter Dominion victor lines up in the Group Three Kevin Newman Free-For-All, his first assignment since finishing runner up in the Len Smith Mile at the same track last June. Trainer-driver David Aiken on Sky Sports Radio's On The Pace program this week suggested he is happy with where his $1.8million earner is at. "One thing I've learned about racing at Menangle is that it is never an easy race, they will still run a quick mile and you have to be very good on the night," Aiken said. "I thought his trial was very good last Thursday and this week he has shown me he has benefited from that trial." Lennytheshark trialled at Shepparton and finished second to stablemate Hectorjayjay when they rated 1:55.7 in the 2190m hit-out. Aiken's main target for both pacers is the Perth Inter Dominion which begins on November 25. "Lennytheshark will have three runs before Perth, we just have to figure out when the flight is going over," Aiken said. AMANDA RANDO  

A number of New South Wales harness racing hopes have been withdrawn from the upcoming Perth Inter Dominion with first acceptances closing this afternoon. And Beautide, which was the highest ranked NSW pacer, is one of them. Trainer-driver James Rattray withdrew the dual Inter Dominion champion despite his successful return to the trials at Tabcorp Park Menangle during the week. Trainers Shane and Lauren Tritton also withdrew a handful of their horses from the series including their talented mare Arms Of An Angel which was the second highest ranked NSW-trained pacer. After being scratched out of a Group Three feature at Menangle a fortnight ago due to a stomach infection, the dual partnership believed they would not have enough time to prepare their Miracle Mile placegetter for the Inter Dominion Series which starts on November 25. This was also the same scenario with their other stable talent Lombo Kotakinabalu which has not raced since winning the Group Three Vic Frost Cup at Menangle in August. "Both horses have had an interrupted preparation and are behind the eight-ball," Shane said. "They are both at least a month away off racing and I wanted them more forward at this stage if we were to consider heading over to Perth." The Tritton team also withdrew Yayas Hot Spot, Macha and Burning Cash. "In the first and second round of rankings Yayas Hot Spot was ranked in 58 which is just too far down the list as they only take the top 30," Tritton said. "I personally thought he should have ranked higher than what he was." Some of the current NSW hopes still in contention at this stage include Ultimate Art and the John McCarthy-prepared Bling It On and All Eyes On Us. The third rankings will be released on October 17. AMANDA RANDO

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