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Fairfield Harness Racing Club will celebrate its 50th Anniversary meeting with a twilight program on Sunday. Throughout the years numerous changes have occurred at the venue, with non bigger than lights being installed during the 1970s. Not long after several key races were introduced, including The Carousel, Golden Easter Egg and the J D Watts Memorial, which stills remain the club’s feature event after nearly four decades. A small of group of dedicated volunteers have kept Fairfield afloat, such as Colin Watts, who has been at Fairfield for 50 years, and President Simon Boulous, who has been there since the 1980s. These days Michelle Buckley and Toni Radburn help ‘carry the load’, while the friends of Fairfield pitch in such as Allan Brennan, Glen Pearce, Jeff Towers and Steven Collins. And, of course, club Secretary Ross Scherf who controls the operation. Seven races will be conducted on Sunday, with the first event scheduled for 5:15pm. HRNSW Media

Harness Racing New South Wales have concluded its inquiry into reports received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt above the threshold was detected in post race urine samples taken from the following horses trained by Rodney Pike: Pike was issued with the following charges in writing pursuant to Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4); Charge 1: That he presented SNAP TO IT in race 2, the TAB.com.au Pace (2030 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 22 February 2014 when a post race sample taken following its win, upon analysis has been found to contain a prohibited substance. Charge 2: That he presented SNAP TO IT in race 4, the TAB Rewards Charlestown Bowling Club Pace (2609 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 6 March 2014 when a post race sample taken following its win, upon analysis has been found to contain a prohibited substance. Charge 3: That he presented IM A PLAYER in race 3, the TAB APP Pace (1609 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 7 March 2014 when a post race sample taken following its win, upon analysis has been found to contain a prohibited substance. Charge 4: That he presented SNAP TO IT in race 2, the Newcastle Transport Specialists Pace (2030 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 14 March 2014 when a post race sample taken following its win, upon analysis has been found to contain a prohibited substance. Charge 5: That he presented MASTER FIREHAWKE in race 2, the Armed Services Personnel Get Free Entry Tonight Pace (2030 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 25 April 2014 when a post race sample taken following its win, upon analysis has been found to contain a prohibited substance. The “B” samples and associated control samples were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. Pike pleaded guilty to the five charges issued and made written submissions regarding the matter of penalty via his legal representation Mr Wrench. In respect of charges 1, 2 & 4, Mr Pike was disqualified for a period of 8 years to commence from 30 April 2014, the date upon which he was stood down. In respect of charges 3 & 5, Mr Pike was disqualified for a period of 7 years to commence from 30 April 2014. Stewards ordered that these disqualifications be served concurrently. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; Pike’s previous offence for a Rule 190 breach, that Cobalt is deemed a Class 1 substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines, the levels recorded being 360ug/L, 530ug/L, 1200ug/L, 1440ug/L & 2360ug/L Pike’s licence history and other personal subjective facts Pike also pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 259(1)(g) in that, on Wednesday 27 August 2014, he as a person recorded on the Harness Racing New South Wales Unpaid Forfeits List and subject to the same restrictions and penalties as a disqualified person, did enter harness racing stables at Cessnock Showground, premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry. In relation to the charge under Rule 259(1)(g), Stewards made no order with regards to penalty. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, the abovementioned horses were disqualified from their respective races. HRNSW Media

Along with conducting a successful TAB Carnival of Cups program yesterday, the Griffith Harness Racing Club also presented two of the club’s longest serving committeemen with life memberships. Doug and Allan O’Connell have been associated with the club for more than 55 years representation and continue to serve on a voluntary basis with track and ground maintenance. Even when the club was in an eight-year hiatus the pair continued to keep the track in good order. “Doug and Allan are typical of hardworking and humble volunteers who form so much of the structure of harness racing in regional New South Wales,” Club Secretary Dennis Conroy said. As for the racing action, Colleambally trainer Matt Painting took out the $10,000 Griffith Cup with smart pacer Rustys Reject. Driven to perfection by Ellen Bartley enjoyed the ideal one-one passage as the favourite, Business In Motion, worked hard in the breeze. Angled three-wide on the home turn, the son of Blissfull Hall finished strongly to score in 2:00.7 for the 2150 metres. “We were up against it off the back line, but I was happy with the horse going into the race following a nice first-up second at Wagga,” Painting said. Five-year-old mare Louboutin continued her impressive form with a victory in the $7000 Yenda Pioneer Butchery Pace. Trained at Yanco by David Eurell, Louboutin faced the breeze early before receiving cover with 1000 metres left to travel. Driver Stephen Maguire gave his charge free rein along the back straight before racing away for one of the more impressive wins on the day. Louboutin defeated Perfezione 10 metres in a 2:03.2 for the 2150 metres. “All things ran smoothly and given the blustery conditions early, the crowd was strong,” Conroy declared. “We had a fair bit of overnight rain, so I couldn’t be happier with the way the track came up. We can’t wait for next year now.” The TAB Carnival of Cups now moves on to Bankstown for the Treuer Memorial on December 6. -HRNSW Media

He has broken 1:50 around Tabcorp Park Menangle before and now For A Reason will get his chance to do it again in the harness racing SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile on November 29. The glamour pacer earned an invitation to the $750,000 Grand Circuit event tonight. Following his stellar third-placed performance in Tuesday's Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup, Directors of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club wanted the multiple Group One-winner for their flagship event. Defending champion Beautide was the first to be issued an invitation to the 2014 edition and after taking out tonight's automatic qualifier at the principal track, the Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint, it gave NSWHRC Directors the opportunity to issue another invitation. The Miracle Mile conditions states that horses facing the difficulties of travel which may affect their performance in the Miracle Mile may be issued an invitation prior to the close of nominations for the Cordina Sprint (Monday). And luckily for connections, For A Reason fits this criteria. "Unfortunately we cannot issue an invitation to any horses from tonight's Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint until next week" NSWHRC chief executive Bruce Christison said. "Directors issued an invitation to For A Reason tonight and are still considering a couple of other horses that are in New Zealand" Only two other horses apart from Beautide and For A Reason have accepted invitations to the 2014 Miracle Mile and they are Newcastle Mile winner Avonnova and Kiwi star Christen Me. For more information contact NSWHRC Racing Manager David Wonson on (02) 4645 2200.

Construction on the highly anticipated Menangle Park Harness Racing Training Centre commenced this week. Earth moving equipment from TRN Group arrived at the site, which joins to the south of the Tabcorp Park Menangle to start the construction of the training track and building pads. The Training Centre has received multiple expressions of interest from local, interstate and overseas trainers and will include stables, a 1000-metre training track, day yards, water walker and a swimming facility. “It is very pleasing that we have finally broken soil on this project which anyone can imagine has been a lengthy process gaining local council and service utilities approval,” said HRNSW CEO John Dumesny. “We have the expectation that construction of the barns will commence early in the new year with occupation expected shortly thereafter.” Dumesny stated the training centre will complete the world class facility at Menangle Park. “Included in this development is a new access intersection off Menangle road which will service the training centre and race track in future years,” Dumesny said. HRNSW Media

Already an industry leader, Harness Racing New South Wales has increased its focus on integrity. To further strengthen their already robust equine drug testing regime HRNSW will send all samples collected during the Carnival of Miracles to various overseas laboratories. HRNSW Integrity unit will be taking samples in and out of completion for testing engaged at tonight’s Newcastle Mile and Tabcorp Park Menangle meetings. The use of the HRNSW Retention Facility will also be activated for the Carnival. These measures are to ensure the protection of stakeholders and the public to ensure that horses are present to race free of prohibited substances. HRNSW Media

Nominations for the 61st Southern Central Engineering Leeton Breeders’ Plate close on Friday November 7. The carnival will run over three nights with the $5000 heats to be conducted on Boxing Day, December 26. The final, to be run in conjunction with the club’s TAB Carnival of Cups meeting, is worth $25,000 - plus a horse float to the winning trainer. Day 2 of the Carnival, December 27, will include heats of a $10,000 4YO+ C0 event with the Final to be run five days later. The $200 nomination for the Breeders’ Plate can be submitted at any of the following contacts;   ph/ fax 02 69532982,   PO BOX 430 Leeton or email   lhrc@bigpond.com.au HRNSW Media

Harness Racing New South Wales concluded an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from BIEN HOA NZ following its win at Newcastle on 29 May 2014. The “B” sample and associated control sample were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. Glenn Hayward pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1), (2) and (4) in that he did present BEIN HOA NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. Hayward further pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 187(2) in that he gave false and/or misleading evidence at the inquiry on 1 September 2014 regarding any contact and/or meeting he had previous with Shannon Wonson. Hayward was disqualified for a period of 10 years in respect of the charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) to commence from 1 August 2014, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Hayward’s third offence for Rule 190 breaches, that Cobalt is deemed a Class 1 substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines,The level recorded being 570ug/LMr Hayward’s licence history and other personal subjective facts In relation to the charge under Rule 187(2), Hayward was disqualified for a period of 12 months, to be served concurrently with the period imposed for the Rule 190 breach. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, BEIN HOA NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. HRNSW Media

Harness Racing New South Wales has received a report from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from MISS ARTISTIC TARA following its win in at Menangle on 16 September 2014. The “B” sample and associated control sample have been sent to the ChemCentre in Western Australia for confirmatory testing. The Trainer of MISS ARTISTIC TARA, Dick Inskip, was previously stood down on 20 October 2014 pursuant to Rule 183 following a report from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from MISS ARTISTC TARA on 26 August 2014. HRNSW Media

The Court of Appeal today made preliminary orders in relation to a Notice of Motion and Appeal filed by harness racing participants Neil Day and Dean McDowell against the decision of Justice Adamson of 14 October 2014 in the NSW Court of Appeal. The appeal hearing has been set down for Tuesday, 18 November 2014 The Court of Appeal granted injunctions against HRNSW and Stewards from proceeding with the inquiries which had been notified to Day and McDowell on 15 August 2014, pending the resolution of their Appeal proceedings. The terms of the injunction also provide that Day and McDowell be restricted from all activities in the industry until resolution of the Appeal; for an amount of security for costs to be provided; and that the hearing of the Appeal be expedited if possible. The suspensions advised to them of 30 April 2014 remain in place, as well as some additional restrictions which have been agreed to by McDowell and Day as part of the terms of the injunction. The orders that were made today had been agreed between both parties prior to the court ordering the injunction today. HRNSW Media

The 2013/2014 Harness Racing New South Wales Industry Awards night was held at the Sofitel Hotel Sydney tonight (Saturday) where the achievements of both participants and equines were recognised. Brilliant pacer Beautide was unanimously voted the NSW Horse of The Year following spine tingling victories in the Newcastle Mile, Len Smith Mile, Miracle Mile and 2014 Inter Dominion. The Aged Pacer of The Year was also awarded to Beautide whilst the 2YO of The Year was taken out by Artistic Flite with the exciting Bling It On taking the 3YO honours. The Nicole Molander trained Keystone Del was named the Aged Trotter of The Year for the second year running. A special and moving tribute was paid to the late Ross Gigg with daughter Hayley accepting the Don Clough Appreciation Award in his honour. The Board and staff of HRNSW would like to congratulate the following award winners; Award Winner Cockburn & Co Solicitors Carnival of Cups - Leading Trotting Trainer Brent Lilley Musco Lighting/PMG Media Carnival of Cups - Leading Driver Amanda Turnbull NSW Owners Association Carnival of Cups - Leading Trainer Steve Turnbull Albury HRC Carnival of Cups - Leading Horse Smokin Bopper NZ Tabcorp Carnival of Cups - Best Level 1 Meeting Dubbo Tabcorp Carnival of Cups - Best Level 2 Meeting Eugowra Tabcorp Carnival of Cups - Best Level 3 Meeting West Wyalong Tabcorp Centurions Amanda & Steve Turnbull Belinda McCarthy Blake & Gavin Fitzpatrick KerryAnn Turner Lauren Panella Nathan Hurst Robbie Morris Paul Fitzpatrick Shane Tritton Daily Form Service Junior Driver Encouragement Award (Country) Mitch Turnbull Lexus of Parramatta Junior Driver Encouragement Award (Metro) Kylie Barnes OAMPS Champion Junior Driver Lauren Panella OAMPS Champion Driver Amanda Turnbull OAMPS Champion Trainer Steve Turnbull National Trotguide Best Coverage by a Regional Newspaper Newcastle Herald NSWHRC Best Coverage by a Regional Television Station NBN Newcastle Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Volunteer Appreciation Awards Kevin Wheatley, Elaine Sullivan, Margaret Ford Penrith HRC / IntelliTek Don Clough Appreciation Award Ross Gigg House of Brook NSW Broodmare of the Year Full Pleasure Yirribee Stud in conjunction with Alabar NSW Sire of the Year Presidential Ball USA Harness Breeders NSW Outstanding Service to the Breeding Industry Paul Kahlefeldt (Redbank Lodge Standardbreds) Bulli HRC NSW 2YO Trotter of the Year Royal Treat 46% of votes Cockburn & Co Solicitors NSW 2YO Filly Pacer of the Year  Bamako Mali 92% of votes Lincoln Farms NSW 2YO C&G Pacer of the Year  Artistic Flite 100% of votes Sky Racing NSW 2YO of the Year Artistic Flite 76% of votes Bulli HRC NSW 3YO Trotter of the Year My Valerie 69% of votes Lexus of Parramatta NSW 3YO Filly Pacer of the Year Shes A Runa 46% of votes Cordina Farms NSW 3YO C&G Pacer of the Year Bling It On 100% of votes Tabcorp NSW 3YO of the Year Bling It On 100% of votes NSWHRC NSW Aged Trotter of the Year Keystone Del 92% of votes Wagga HRC NSW Aged Mare Pacer of the Year Frith 100% of votes Harness Racing Travelworld NSW Aged E&G Pacer of the Year Beautide 100% of votes Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Aged Horse of the Year Beautide 100% of votes OAMPS NSW Horse of the Year Beautide 100% of votes   Dale Walker

The following is an update on inquiries being conducted by Harness Racing New South Wales: Trainer Bruce Dumesny – in relation to the findings of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that morphine was detected in a urine sample taken from SHIRAZ SHANNON following its win in race 4, the Tony & Jill McCarthy Pace (2250 metres) conducted at Peak Hill on Sunday 15 June 2015. Tuesday 21 October 2014: Trainer Glenn Hayward – continuation of an inquiry that was commenced on 1 September 2014 into the findings from the National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a urine sample taken from BIEN HOA following its win in race 4, the NTS Pace (1609 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 29 May 2014.    Wednesday 22 October 2014: Trainer Neil Day – in relation to the findings of the National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a urine sample taken from BENZI MARSH following its win in race 5, the Final Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Championship (1710 metres) conducted at Goulburn on 24 February 2014. Trainer Dean McDowell – in relation to findings of the National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in urine samples taken from CHEVALS CHARLIE followings its win in race 2, the Schweppes 30th Anniversary Pace (1740 metres) and THE TWILIGHT DANCER following its win in race 3, the Australasian Young Drivers Championship Heat Eight (2140 metres) conducted at Bankstown on 28 February 2014.   6 November 2014: Trainer Kim Hillier – reconvening of an inquiry that was commenced on 28 August 2014 and continued on 9 October 2014, into elevated TCO2 levels recorded in horses trained and presented to race during the period 1 January 2013 – 15 August 2014. HRNSW has also issued charges against the following: Trainer Rodney Pike has been issued with the following six charges; Five charges pursuant to Rule 190(1),(2) & (4);      190.  (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence.  (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. CHARGE 1     That as the registered trainer did present SNAP TO IT to race in race 2 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 22 February 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 2     That as the registered trainer did present SNAP TO IT to race in race 4 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 6 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 3     That as the registered trainer did present IM A PLAYER to race in race 3 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 7 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 4     That as the registered trainer did present SNAP TO IT to race in race 2 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 14 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. CHARGE 5     That as the registered trainer did present MASTER FIREHAWKE to race in race 2 at the Newcastle harness meeting on 25 April 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. He was further issued which a charge pursuant to Rule 259 (g) 259. (1) A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – (g) enter any premises used for the purposes of the harness racing industry;   CHARGE 6     That Mr Pike, on Wednesday 27 August 2014, as a person recorded on the Harness Racing New South Wales Unpaid Forfeits List and subject to the same restrictions and penalties as a disqualified person, did enter harness racing stables at Cessnock Showground, premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry. Mr Pike is required to respond to these charges by 27 October 2014. Mr Noel Tyndall has been issued with the following charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4). That as the registered trainer did present EARLS REIGN to race in race 1 at the Albury harness meeting on 1 March 2014, when a urine sample taken subsequent to the race was found to contain Cobalt above the threshold. Mr Tyndall is required to respond to this charge by 30 October 2014. Trainer Mr Wayne Hancock was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 187(5), relating to his conduct towards HRNSW Steward, Mr Todd Clarke during trackwork at the Maitland showgrounds on 27 August 2014. Mr Hancock was stood down pursuant to Rule 183, and has answered the charge via written submissions. No decision pertaining to guilty or otherwise has been made at this stage. The inquiry into a charge laid against Mr Greg Bennett under Rule 187 regarding evidence given to HRNSW during its Investigation is still outstanding. HRNSW are awaiting further submissions from Mr Bennett’s legal representatives. Mr Bennett still remains stood down pursuant to Rule 183. No date has been set for this inquiry to be reconveyed. HRNSW Media

In a massive victory for the industry, the Supreme Court has dismissed the long-running action against Harness Racing New South Wales. Earlier today Justice Adamson handed down her decision relating to the case instigated by horsemen Neil Day and Dean McDowell opposing the governing body. (Court's decision here) While the situation has been viewed mainly as a cobalt issue, the broader ramifications could have disastrous for the industry had Day and McDowell been triumphant. In fact, success would have forced the sport to shut down according to HRNSW Manager of Integrity, Reid Sanders. As part of their argument against their bans in relation to presenting horses with levels of cobalt above the accepted threshold, Day and McDowell challenged several rules. The rules included HRNSW’s right to issue – or cancel – licences and enforce drug related regulations. Basically, a loss by HRNSW would have meant participants had no boundaries in relation to drugs or tactics…a literal free-for-all! “This is a big win for the industry in relation to regulation and control,” Sanders said. “It was a very broad attack on several rules and our right to enforce them. “If they were successful, harness racing may have ceased to exist as we would be unable to enforce any rules. “The case wasn’t just about cobalt, it was about drug rules as a whole and Harness Racing New South Wales’ right to licence people, which makes for no regulation at all.” Although the industry has been vindicated, the financial cost is still a burden the governing body will have to bare. “It has been a costly hearing as we put together a very strong legal team,” Sanders declared. “Although we have been awarded costs, you never get it all back, only a percentage.” Day and McDowell were initially stood down by HRNSW last April after representatives from their stables returned tests above the cobalt threshold. Day’s Benzi Marsh was swabbed after its success in the Final Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Championship at Goulburn on February 24, 2014. McDowell’s pair Chevals Charlie and Twilight Dancer were tested following victories at Bankstown on February 28, 2014. HRNSW will now continue with its inquiries into the matters involving Day and McDowell. In an unrelated matter, Harness Racing Australia has issued a statement relating to a national level for cobalt. At yesterday’s Annual General Meeting, members unanimously adopted the threshold for “cobalt at a concentration at or below 200 micrograms per litre of in urine.” “Matters of integrity are of paramount importance for public confidence in our industry,” HRA chairman Geoff Want declared. “While it may only be a small number of people who try to cheat the system and participate in fraudulent practices, we will continue to do all we can to ensure the integrity system works and the playing field is level.” Industry rules relating to race day testing are dealt with in AHRR 188A(1) which sets out prohibited substances, while 188A(2) sets out exceptions to sub-rule 1.  The cobalt threshold is now defined as follows:   188A(2)(k) Cobalt at a concentration at or below 200 micrograms per litre of in urine. PAUL COURTS

Goulburn harness racing trainer David Hewitt added his name to the Canola Cup honour roll by taking out Eugowra's feature with Holm Three.  Hewitt joins his brother Bernie and brother-in-law Neil Day on the list to continue a family tradition. “It was a great thrill to win the race with Holm Three,” Hewitt declared. “The Canola Cup was never a race I really considered aiming for when I was training at Crookwell because it was so early in the season and the heat and Final use to be on the same weekend. “Because of those factors in the past the horses had to be rock hard fit, but now with the heat and Final a week apart, it is a bit easier on the horses and when Holm Three arrived from New Zealand recently I thought it would be a good option for her.” Holm Three led throughout from her front row draw, with Hewitt confident the daughter of Mach Three will remain competitive as she races her way through the grades. “The logical plan for her looks to be a Menangle Country Series,” Hewitt said “I think she is going to be a good chance in one of those because she is just so fast early and can put herself in the right spot. “We took the option of handing up in the heat because she hadn’t been with us for very long and we were still learning with her, but with that run under her belt, I was happy to go for an all the way win on Monday." Hewitt’s son Brad drove Holm Three in the heat, but partnered Luksam in the decider. “The boys were pretty keen for me to drive her in the Final and I was happy with that, because while I am not driving as much as I used, to I like to keep my hand in,” Hewitt explained. “Brad trains Luksam, so he had to drive him in the Final and he did a good job to finish second.” GREG HAYES

Goulburn harness racing trainer Brad Hewitt drove two Canola Cup heat winners at Eugowra last weekend and believes one of the pair will prove very hard to beat in Monday’s $20,000 Final.  Hewitt is the trainer of Luksam, which he will drive him in the decider, while his father David will partner former kiwi trained mare Holm Three. “Luksam has drawn the back row and Holm Three will start off the front, so she is probably the better chance just because of the barriers,” Hewitt said. “Luksam was only having his second run back from a very long break. First-up he was a little bit disappointing after trialling well, but he travelled to Bathurst by himself and was really nervy when he arrived.” After disappointing Luksam was sent back to the trials, and after a strong performance at Menangle, Hewitt was expecting a better performance. “The Menangle trial was really good, but I still didn’t think he could beat Karloo Ten Seventy on Sunday,” Hewitt said. “When he got his chance in the straight he finished it off really nicely. “In the Final if they go too slow he’s got enough ability that I have the option of putting him into the race, but that will all depend on how everything unfolds.” Holm Three has only been in Australia a short time and really impressed with a strong performance. “We didn’t really know what to expect because she had only been in Australia for two and a half weeks, but she was forced to work very hard for the first part of the race and then relaxed, so I think she is going to win more races,” Hewitt said. “New Zealand race caller Mark McNamara told us about her when she was racing over there. “He sends us a few names every now and then and we liked her so a few owners stepped up and bought her.” GREG HAYES

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

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