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It is all systems go as the countdown begins to the October 19 Grand Opening of the Bathurst complex, which will send harness racing into a new era. The Mount Panorama project began in August 2013, and although there were construction delays with wet weather, it has been a fairly smooth operation. More than 20 horses went through their paces on the new surface yesterday, with nothing but praise for the circuit. “I spoke with many of the trainers and drivers and all of them gave it the thumbs up,” said Bathurst CEO Danny Dwyer. “Like any new track, it will need a settling in period, but we are more than happy with where it is at, it’s quite advanced. “There were three workouts and the faster horses came home in 58.8 seconds, which is a great indicator for fast times moving forward. I must commend Harness Racing NSW and Bathurst Regional Council for their ongoing support.” Minister for Gaming and Racing, Troy Grant, a self-confessed harness racing fan, will be a special guest at the opening along with local member Paul Toole and Bathurst Mayor Gary Rush. The club will conduct official trials next Tuesday and again on Monday, October 13.  A lead in meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 15 before the ‘big dance’ four days later. HRNSW Media

Friday night’s Yirribee Stud Wagga harness racing meeting is expected to be a grand affair, with more races on the program than ever before. The meeting will see an increase of almost 50 horses and three races to the corresponding date last year. Two $8000 races, plus the bonus of free stallion services to Million Dollar Cam (2), Lombo Pocket Watch (2) and Caribbean Blaster (1), have also add extra depth and quality to the meeting. “Last year, a number of the fields were only small in number with seven and eight runners, but there are full fields with reserves in most races on Friday,” club chief executive Graeme White said. “There is $64,000 in prize money, plus the stallion services for five of the races are worth an additional $13,750. “The number of horses racing in the region at present has stayed far higher than previous years which is reflected in Friday night’s fields.” The feature races are the Ian Walsh Memorial and Lombo La Fe Fe Stakes, which are worth $8000. Leading Riverina trainer Shaun Snudden will have dual representation in the Ian Walsh Memorial in the shape recent Wagga winners Horizon Guy and Upsy Daisy. The state’s top trainer Steve Turnbull and his reinswoman-daughter Amanda will make the trip with Lagoon Stride, which has drawn well in barrier three. On her first night of race driving, Ellen Bartley will partner Its Girl Power from an inside draw. The in-form Timely Loch for Norm Diebert junior and the talented Live Christian add to the quality line-up. The Lombo La Fe Fe Stakes - for fillies and mares - is also an intriguing affair with Areyoutalkingtome shooting for three straight wins for trainer Kim Hillier. HRNSW Media

Just two two weeks into the harness racing season and reinsman Murray Sullivan is sitting second on the New South Wales drivers’ premiership. While also balancing his full-time job, Sullivan has been busy travelling across the state to net eight wins from 14 outings. Thrilled with his haul, Sullivan is hoping the ‘hot streak’ can continue. “Jason Gaffney and I work the horses together…there are 15 horses in work and we both find time to work full time jobs as well,” Sullivan said. “I work for my Uncle, who has a smallgoods business, and he’s pretty understanding when I have to attend race meetings during the week. It is a bit tougher for Jason because he is a concreter and it can get hard for him to get time off during the week.” Gaffney trained two winners at last weekend’s Parkes meeting, with Sullivan training another and driving all the three. “It has been a great start for us this season and I put it down to the new grading system,” Sullivan said. “I won a race with Battleliner on Sunday, he won two in the space of 10 days and I think without the new system he would have been struggling to win another race." “Last season I didn’t have many starters as a trainer, but in the new season I have had three starters for three winners, so it has been a great start all around.” Sullivan made a recent trip to Wagga in an attempt to qualify runners for the Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Finals. “We normally don’t travel all the way to Wagga, but Three Point Turn went down to try and qualify for the Final and he did a really good job running second in the heat,” Sullivan said. “I also drove the other heat winner at Wagga when Cankickatarget won for the Hutchings stable.” HRNSW Media

Harness Racing New South Wales has announced the recently purchased land at Tamworth has been re-zoned to a Tourism Zone. The objectives of the Tourism Zone are to provide a variety of tourist-oriented development and related issues as well as facilitating development that recognises the unique characteristics of the nationally and regionally significant precincts that are the Australian Equine Livestock and Events Centre and the Tamworth Regional Racing Precincts. HRNSW agreed to terms of purchase for $1.35million last April, with chief executive John Dumesny stating the deal is a major breakthrough for the north-west region of the industry. “The opportunities the rezoning of the Tamworth property present to the industry can deliver income streams which are non-core,” Dumesny declared. “When harness racing is required to move from the Showground there will be a new track and facilities, but there will also be ample space to develop for commercial purposes. “The zoning, which was formerly rural, allowed the board to astutely invest in the future and with the rezoning to tourism that future is assured. Ideally situated on a major transport intersection permitted uses include the likes of McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken as well as service stations.” A Tourism Zone can permit with consent: Amusement centres, Animal boarding or training establishments, Boat sheds, Camping grounds, Car parks, Caravan parks, Charter and tourism boating facilities, Child care centres, Community facilities, Electricity generating works, Entertainment facilities, Environmental facilities, Food and drink premises, Function centres, Helipads, Highway service centres, Information and education facilities, Kiosks, Markets, Medical centres, Office premises, Passenger transport facilities, Recreation areas, Recreation facilities (indoor), Recreation facilities (major), Recreation facilities (outdoor), Registered clubs, Respite day care centres, Retail premises, Sewage treatment plants, Signage, Tourist and visitor accommodation, Veterinary hospitals, Water recreation structures and Water supply systems. HRNSW MEDIA

More than 130 guests are set to enjoy a tremendous evening’s entertainment as local harness racing stars are recognised at Wagga’s awards dinner on Saturday night. Incorporating the Riverina titles for the Trainer, Driver, Concession Driver, Horse and Juvenile of the Year, the function is always an enjoyable affair. Champion mare Frith and New South Wales Oaks winner, Sheas A Runa, will be the recipients of the top Riverina horse awards, with Major Jules claiming the Wagga Pacer of the Year crown. Talented reinsman Leigh Sutton captured the Riverina and Wagga driving premierships, while Shaun Snudden (Riverina) and Kim Hillier (Wagga) annexed the other awards. Wagga chief executive Graeme White also revealed 65 sponsors have been placed in a draw for naming rights of this season’s feature races. “Last season first-time sponsor, Ausmet Roofing, won naming rights for the Wagga Cup and there are seven new sponsors for this season,” White said. “There are other sponsors who have been with the club for many years, so who wins is all a matter of having some luck on the night.” Wagga’s racing dates for 2014/15 include the Carnival Of Cups in March, plus several Tuesday night meetings during the warmer months, which will be something different for the region. Headlining the entertainment is Australia’s leading female ventriloquist, Lindi Jane, who is bound to keep the laughs flowing on a frequent basis. Harness Racing NSW chairman Rex Horne and Wagga Mayor, Rod Kendall, will be two of the special guests. HRNSW Media          

Harness Racing was one of 26 sports recognised for development of participants at the Hunter Academy of Sports Presentation Night held at Newcastle University yesterday. Mitchell Chapple, Aleisha Bond, Maddie Bond, Mitchell Frost, Brad Elder, Dan Morgan and Jackson McDonald received certificates as members of the first group to complete the courses. The subjects included Public Speaking, Motivation Talks, Fitness, and Personal Development along with an informative talk on integrity by Deputy Chairman of Stewards Chris Paul. The late Ross Gigg, who was always a great believer in developing the youth, was a major contributor to initiating the programme and Newcastle Harness Club President Mr Jim Bell presented a trophy to Dan Morgan in honour of Ross. It will be an annual award. Dan Morgan also took out the Newcastle University Scholarship. CEO of Hunter Academy of Sport, Mr Ken Clifford, mentioned that a recent meeting of the state’s academy’s, interest had been shown to develop the programme in other regions with Wagga, Bathurst and Tamworth making further enquires. Harness Racing New South Wales           

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) concluded an inquiry yesterday into results received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt was detected above the threshold in a sample taken from the following horse; COLIN JOHN following its win in race 7, the Reece Plumbing Pace at Wagga on May 16th. The “B” samples and associated control samples were confirmed by ChemCentre in Western Australia. Mr Stockton was found guilty of a charged pursuant to Rule 190, in that as the registered trainer of COLIN JOHN he presented that horse to race not free of the prohibited substance Cobalt below the threshold. Mr Stockton was disqualified for a period of 2 years to commence from 17 July 2014, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty, Stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance, his non-admission, the level detected (810ug/L) and his personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, COLIN JOHN was disqualified as the winner from the abovementioned race. Harness Racing New South Wales    

  TAB has put together a series of jackpots for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound punters this weekend. It all gets underway tomorrow night for the huge Black Top meeting from The Gardens. TAB has boosted the card with a sensational $25,000 Quaddie jackpot! Being held on races 5-8, the lids will fly on the opening leg at 8:40pm. Racing at Rosehill this Saturday is sure to excite fans of the First 4. The feature event on the program is the MTA NSW Run To The Rose and TAB has kick-started the First 4 pool on the race to the tune of $50,000! It is sure to be a keen betting affair with punters likely to include the well-supported Almalad and Nostradamus high up in their selections. Finally, every race at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night has a guaranteed First 4 pool of $20,000! With 10 races on the card and almost full fields throughout the evening, there is sure to be some spirited betting to be had. TAB JACKPOTS Date Code Venue Bet Type Jackpot Guarantee* Races Fri 29 Aug CG THE GARDENS GREYHOUNDS Quaddie $25,000.00   5,6,7,8 Sat 30 Aug SR ROSEHILL GARDENS RACES First 4 $50,000.00   6 – Run To The Rose Sat 30 Aug SG TABCORP PARK MENANGLE HARNESS First 4 $5,000.00 $20,000.00 Every Race            

  TAB has put together a series of jackpots for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound punters this weekend. It all gets underway tomorrow night for the huge Black Top meeting from The Gardens. TAB has boosted the card with a sensational $25,000 Quaddie jackpot! Being held on races 5-8, the lids will fly on the opening leg at 8:40pm. Racing at Rosehill this Saturday is sure to excite fans of the First 4. The feature event on the program is the MTA NSW Run To The Rose and TAB has kick-started the First 4 pool on the race to the tune of $50,000! It is sure to be a keen betting affair with punters likely to include the well-supported Almalad and Nostradamus high up in their selections. Finally, every race at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night has a guaranteed First 4 pool of $20,000! With 10 races on the card and almost full fields throughout the evening, there is sure to be some spirited betting to be had. TAB JACKPOTS Date Code Venue Bet Type Jackpot Guarantee* Races Fri 29 Aug CG THE GARDENS GREYHOUNDS Quaddie $25,000.00   5,6,7,8 Sat 30 Aug SR ROSEHILL GARDENS RACES First 4 $50,000.00   6 – Run To The Rose Sat 30 Aug SG TABCORP PARK MENANGLE HARNESS First 4 $5,000.00 $20,000.00 Every Race            

Tuesday saw the Queensland Young Guns travel to Sydney for the New South Wales leg of harness racings State of Origin Young Drivers Championship. The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM. The group consists of 10 young trotting participants who were selected to engage in a range of programs aimed at educating the group to further their knowledge, not only in the sport but in business, presentation and media. The Young Guns selected for the initial group training are Pete McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Hayden Barnes, Amy Rees, Ryan Veivers, Narissa McMullen, Dannielle McMullen, Brittney Graham, Trent Moffat and Isobel Ross. With early starts not being a problem for this group, they gathered in the wee hours at Brisbane Airport ready to jet off to Sydney for a day full of programmed activities. Looking extremely smart in their team uniform, the professional look the team displayed was a credit to all. Arriving in Sydney, first stop following a trek over the Harbour Bridge was the Frenchs Forest studios of SKY Channel. The group were given a tour of the studios and were able to meet and question some of the SKY ‘stable of stars’. Narissa and Trent were then interviewed for a segment of In The Gig that aired on Tuesday night. Venturing from the North-East back to the South-West, it was all aboard the express to Menangle. Of the 10 Young Guns, 5 were selected in Queensland’s starting lineup with 1 on the ‘bench’. Unfortunately for Pete McMullen, he met the wrath of stewards at Albion Park on Saturday night, meaning Brittany Graham was called into the starting lineup. Brittany joined the other starters, Narissa McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Trent Moffat and Amy Rees to provide the Queensland team with a strong advantage in experience. The Queenslanders boasted a combined total of 739 career wins with Narissa and Chantal both having over 300 wins a piece going into the Series opener. Taking to the track in the New South Wales lineup were Kasey Hocking, Chris Geary, Kylie Barnes, Cameron Jones and Todd Prest with a combined total of 128 wins. The total lifetime winners counted for little once the on track action started, especially considering that only Chantal and Narissa had previously driven at the famed Menangle circuit. Kylie Barnes, the most experienced of the Sky Blue Brigade put on a clinic in the first 2 races to show the Maroons that the Blues would not be easy-beats on their own dirt. In cold, wet and windy conditions the first race saw two scratchings, leaving both teams one runner short with Trent Moffat and Todd Prest left to cheer from the stands. In a great finish where only 5 metres separated the field, Kylie Barnes came with a well-timed run aboard Miss Artistic Tara to score majority points over Cameron Jones. Narissa McMullen was Queensland’s first finisher, coming in third position. Heat Two saw victory once again go to the Blues and once again it was Kylie Barnes to the fore. As the field turned for home, Barnes driving the race favourite El Chango, loomed up to the leader Eagles Ace and looked to run right on by. However, Narissa McMullen driving Eagles Ace fought back, as did Bazzas Art for Chantal Turpin. As the trio drove down to the wire, El Chango packed too many guns and scored a gutsy victory for his cartel of owners. Turpin finished second with Narissa third. It was left until the last Heat for Queensland to restore some pride and Trent Moffat provided the right tonic aboard Fellas R Trouble. Leading off the barrier, “The Moff” gave no others a look in with a very controlled drive to take the field all the way in a barrier to box performance. Brittany Graham making the most of her call up to the starting lineup ran into second place with the outsider of the field Major Command to provide the quinella to Queensland. Chris Geary finished third to avoid a Queensland trifecta. The series now moves to Albion Park for the deciding three Heats on Friday and early indications see it going down to the wire, despite New South Wales holding a 17 point lead. TrotTips Michael Polster’s form assessment sees two of those heats going to Queensland. Racing Queensland  

Step right up now is your chance to get back (if you think you need to!) at recently appointed Harness Racing New South Wales CEO John Dumesny. He has been nominated to take the Ice Bucket Challenge at HRNSW headquarters on Monday 1 September, and the more donations, the more ice water that will be poured over his head! And it's all for a good cause. All monies raised will be donated to Motor Neurone Disease Australia, so dig deep. If you don't think he deserved it from the past, think of the future! Please click on the below link to donate: Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Harness Racing NSW has today stood down Kristysbeachboy from racing pursuant to Rule 183A. The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) has advised HRNSW that phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone were detected in the urine sample taken from Kristysbeachboy prior to it running in race 1, the CLUB PACEWAY PACE (1720 metres) conducted at Penrith on Thursday 17 July 2014. The “B” sample has been sent to the Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) in Victoria for confirmation. Trainer Mr A Attard has been advised and an inquiry will be set once the results of the B sample are known. Acting under the provisions of Rule 183A, it has been determined that Kristybeachboy, the horse subject of the certificate, shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. This has immediate effect. Harness Racing New South Wales

Goulburn trainer Amy Day took two horses to Newcastle last Friday night with one goal in mind and that was to qualify them both for their respective Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Series Finals. Day left Newcastle with an impressive win courtesy of Treuaper while Cogeday was an unlucky second but did enough to get through to the Final meaning both horses will compete this Saturday night in $25,000 events. "I was very pleased with Treuaper, he came off a break and had been trialling well at Menangle in the lead up to his racetrack return," Day said. "Cogeday was very unlucky and got caught up in traffic but he's a sit sprinter and the three wide line just came too early and it would have meant that I was out three wide without cover for the last lap which wouldn't have suited him." "When he hit the line he pricked his ears and finished it off quite nicely and it was nice to have him back because towards the end of last preparation I think a couple of long float trips had taken their toll on him." Cogeday looks to be suited by returning to the 1400 metre track at Menangle. "I had been trying to qualify him for one of these country finals and I had taken him to Bathurst and Young for the heats but he wasn't showing his high speed. He is so much better suited to the bigger tracks and that's why hopefully he will be a good chance on Saturday night." Treuaper will contest race four while Cogeday will compete in the sixth event at Menangle on Saturday night. Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales

Twenty year old reinsman Joel Butterfield will never forget Friday August 22nd 2014. It was the date he drove the first winner of his career when despised outsider Soloman Vandy won race eight and then had to endure a protest hearing when the fourth horse lodged an objection. "It was a bit of a surprise but it is something that I will never forget," Butterfield said. "I didn't think he could win when we went down the back straight because he wasn't doing much but he kept on sticking his neck out and in the end he surprised everyone, it was an unreal feeling when we crossed the line." Butterfield has only been driving since December last year and has had about ten drives in his short career. "I work fulltime as an internal sales rep for a timber wholesaler and the hours are long plus I live a long way away from work. I start at seven and finish at about five but I still find time to train a couple of my own and I also give Bevan Pringle a hand when I can." "I've been strapping horses for my Pop since I was fourteen and I use to give Paul Bourke a bit of a hand after school when I got the chance, I am always willing to watch and try to learn as much as I can from everyone." While Butterfield enjoys his participation in the sport he is hoping he can take it to another level at some stage in the future. "I'd love to do it professionally somewhere down the track but at the moment I'm enjoying training my two." "Cobla Stuie is no world beater but he ran third for me the other week behind Minnie Min Min and I've had about six race drives on him, my other horse is a three year old. It was Soloman Vandy's first victory since winning at Newcastle on March 7.   Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales

When talented driver Robbie Morris returned to the sulky after a serious leg injury less than a month ago he had one target in mind and that was to reach 100 winners for the season. With less than a week left in the season Morris got to the milestone when Love This Dragon took out the first race at Newcastle on Monday. "It was good to get to the 'ton'. It was the goal I set when I returned from the broken leg and to get so much support from trainers and owners has been great," Morris said. "KerryAnn (Turner) was doing the sums for me, I think through injury and suspension I have missed nearly five and a half months of the season and still been able to get to 100 winners. Before the injury I think I would have been able to push towards 150 and maybe that will be something I can aim for next season." Morris was surprised at the amount of support he received after the race fall that required surgery to mend his leg. "Mum and Dad have been fantastic through it, they have been great support for me but I was really surprised by the amount of texts and messages I received when I got injured. So many people contacted me wishing me all the best which really lifted my spirits." "The stable's owners have been fantastic as well, Peter Green, Bill Green, Daniel Cordina, Segenhoe Stud and there are plenty of others that have been fantastic." When the KerryAnn Turner trained Leighs Delight won race seven at Newcastle on Monday it took Morris' total to 101 winners. "It was nice to win two races at Menangle on Saturday night to get to 99. JB Maguire deserved to win the M0 and it was good to see Graeme Hartman win the last with Alta Rihannah as he does a good job." Morris will have five drives on Saturday night at Menangle which is the last Metropolitan meeting for the season. Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales 

Leviathan harness racing owner Emilio Rosati is set to transfer his team out of New South Wales. While a few are already in Queensland and Victoria, the rest will be sent south of the Murray River during next couple of months. Rosati’s stock is estimated to be between 30 and 40 horses, with star youngster Allblack Stride headlining the crew. Other than confirming the Group One winning son of Christian Cullen is becoming a Victorian, Rosati stated he isn’t ready to announce which trainers will be in charge of his team. Rosati’s horses carry the ‘Stride’ prefix, with former stars Excel Stride and Idol Stride among his best performed pacers. “Although they haven’t raced yet, a lot have moved and the rest will be moved soon,” Rosati said. “I won’t put a number on how many horses I have, but it’s a lot. “I’m not ready to say which horses will go to which trainer, but it will be known in good time.” Rosati’s decision to vacate New South Wales is based on his ‘principles', with the astute owner citing the integrity of the industry as the primary reason for the switch. When asked to elaborate, Rosati stated he’d “leave it at that.” “I have no problem with the people running the sport, I just have a problem with the integrity of it,” Rosati said. “I don’t want to harm the industry, I’m just frustrated with the way it is at the moment. “I’m not doing this because I want to...I have to, based on my principles. “Ideally I’d prefer to be in New South Wales and hopefully the problem gets fixed and I will return them. “I will still stay on as a sponsor there.” Paul Courts

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