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Former northern trainer and reinsman Len Clement hit the limelight at last Friday’s Leeton harness meeting when he trained and drove LettucefireHarvey to a win in the TAB Rewards Pace. It was Len’s first winner in four years, and the first for the Courage Under Fire four-year-old. The win paid $107. Len, along with his wife Chris, completed their bucket list earlier this year in driving on every track in NSW and have headed down to the Riverina for a while to set up training. ELLEN Rixon, ambassador of the NSW Standardbred Owners Association, handled her seven driving engagements last Friday at Tamworth Paceway and left the grounds a winner after taking Merry Jasper to the line for Tamworth trainer Brendan Hunt. The NSWSOA race colours appeared on six winners on the eight-event program. Stacey Weidemann won three races in succession and may end up with the NSWSOA “B” colours as one of the most successful to wear the silks on one day. Newcastle will host their NSWSOA meeting on Saturday. COMMANCHE is looking like a horse to follow this season after notching up his fourth win for the Dwayne Brown stables from six starts. Driven by Scotty-Jon Welsh, the five-year-old gelding raced three wide around the home turn before coming away for a 2.7 metre win over race favourite Sea Kingdom (Peter Hedges) and Purple Shades (Anthony Varga).  “He has been going super for us,” Welsh said. HARNESS racing is at the Tamworth Paceway on Wednesday night with the feature race being the Kevin & Kay Seymour Celebrating 50 Years Mares Pace. The winning owner will receive a free service to either Hurrikane Kingcole USA or Gotta Go Cullect NZ. The name Seymour has been associated with harness racing in Queensland for over 50 years. The are pleased the Seymours are supporting the industry in NSW, which includes the Evolution Series. Tamworth will to be advised of its Evolution Series race date. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

The harness racing industry was saddened to learn of the passing of prominent owner and breeder Dennis Pengilly. Dennis passed away last Wednesday night after a long battle with cancer, aged 64. He bred and raced many horses and just a week before his passing had two winners which gave him much enjoyment according to Harness Racing New South Wales chief executive John Dumesny. "Dennis particularly liked the idea of breeding and racing horses and had done so all his life," Dumesny said. "Dennis' horses Munroe and Ferdinand won within days of each other and gave him significant enjoyment. "Dennis was a friend of many and many in harness racing and will be sadly missed. "On behalf of the harness racing fraternity condolences go to Dennis' wife Janice and their children Katie, Joel, Kellie, Kylie and their extended families." A celebration of Dennis' life will take place at Castlebrook Memorial Park, Windsor Road, Rouse Hill, on Monday September 18, 2017, at 11am. Harness Racing NSW extends its deepest sympathies to Dennis' countless friends and associates. AMANDA RANDO

Harness racing trainer Steve Turnbull commenced the 2017/2018 season where he left off in the last, with a training/driving double at Wednesday’s season opener at Group One Feeds Paceway. And while his two winners are very contrasting types, they both exemplified the driving touch of a real master. He may be content to take a back seat to his talented children these days, but there’s no doubt that he’s still as good a driver as any we’ve seen, going right back to the halcyon years of his own illustrious father. Ring The Till NZ was backing up from a successful Australian debut ten days earlier when trapped three-wide while working forward in a C1/C2 sprint, and there he remained for the entire trip. A lesser driver might have “gone for broke” in an attempt to find the death seat, or dropped back to the rear. Perhaps even both options, in that order. Turnbull, however, sat as quiet as a church mouse, keeping his horse comfortable out there as the race unfolded. While the speed was consistent, it didn’t quicken markedly as it often does through the third quarter, and his role in determining that speed might easily have been overlooked. Ring The Till kept finding in the straight, and had the audacity to poke his neck out right on the line for a truly courageous win. Margins to sprint-laning Her Razor Sharp and Soho Shanghai were just a head and a neck, and the  1:57.4 mile rate for this three-wide trip added to its merit. “He had a tough run previously at Dubbo, so I tried to be as kind to him as I could,” his driver commented on returning to scale. “ When I pulled the plugs, he really found plenty. He’s a very tough horse, this bloke.” And bred in the purple - by Mach Three, from a daughter of champion mare Under Cover Lover, a near-millionaire who won plenty of feature races on several Aussie raids during her three and four-year-old seasons. Her grandson looks certain to keep the cash register ringing. Steve Turnbull steered another son of Mach Three in the following race, a C3/C4 sprint, leading throughout with Sabrage NZ, and again displaying fine touch to keep that difficult customer running along comfortably, and not pulling ferociously as he often can. “He’s a real bugger of a horse, and you just never know what he’ll get up to. He’ll try sometimes, like tonight, and other times he doesn’t. Being able to get away with a steady second quarter helped him a lot.” Sabrage rated 1:56.4 for the trip, the night’s fastest, and held on by two-and-a-half metres from trailer Who's Driving and Sportygal in the death. And with that, the champion reinsman signed off for the night, with a perfect record from his only two drives at the meeting, and the leader’s yellow jersey in this year’s premiership! Last year’s premiership winners were: Trainer of the Year - Steve Turnbull, 79 wins Driver of the Year - Amanda Turnbull, 61 wins Junior Driver of the Year - Mitch Turnbull, 28 wins Horse of the Year - Sportygal, 6 wins Juvenile Horse of the Year - Karloo ThreeOThree, 5 wins Sire of the Year - Art Major, 26 wins UDR Driver of the Year - David Hewitt, 2.8 UDR Trainer of the Year - Barry Lew, 3.3 The Bathurst Awards Night will take place at Group One Feeds Paceway on Friday, October 13. Terry Neil

Bathurst will kick off a new season with a new harness racing series. The Evolution Series is a new initiative from the Harness Racing New South Wales designed to give NSW Breeders Challenge eligible and sustained three-year-olds more opportunities to race against each other. Races in the series are restricted to 3C0 and 3C1 graded horses who have not won more than $40,000 in their career. Bathurst will host a heat this Wednesday as the penultimate race of the meeting. The race is shaping up to be a two-horse battle between Chris Frisby’s Uncle Ryan and David Hewitt’s Madame Leza. The pair will likely be fighting for favouritism in the lead up to the event – and their no strangers to racing against one another. Frisby’s gelding has finished inside the top two across his last five starts while Madame Leza bested Uncle Ryan by just a head in her latest run at Menangle. Heats in the Evolution Series are worth $10,000 and will lead to a $20,000 final to be held at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The only months the Evolution Series will not be held are March, May, June and July due to the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival and the NSW Breeders Challenge. The series is a statewide initiative which involves tracks across the Metropolitan, Hunter/North West, South West Riverina and Western Districts areas. Separate fillies series and colts and geldings series will start from January. Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate    

In the first two races of his career as a driver, Hayden Lew got the experience the highs and lows of harness racing. The local teenager made his debut in the gig on Sunday at Dubbo Harness Racing Club but in his debut race his horse Roll With Tricky got into a gallop just as the event began and after falling a long way off the pace he had to settle for a last-placed finish. But in the very next event, the NSWSOA & Cobbity Equine Pace (1720m), Lew guided Neikte River to a strong 2.5m victory. Making the victory even more special is the fact Nekite River is trained by Hayden’s dad, Peter, while it was bred by his grandparents, John and Jan Lew. Starting from gate six, Lew moved Nekite River ($6.80) forward early but stayed wide enough to avoid some contact at the first corner. The youngster moved further up down the back straight and moved into second on the outside of leader Bettors Power ($7.10). The order didn’t change as the field went past the post and got the bell but Lew stayed in touch and made his move as the bend for home approached.     At the top of the straight Nekite River got to the front while Nathan Hurst and Bettors Power began to drop off the pace. Pre-race favourite Zodiac Dream ($2.70) started to loom from the outside and Lew was nervously looking around in the gig but his lead was too much. The young gun went on to guide his father’s five-year-old gelding to victory while Zodiac Dream ran on well for second and Medonc ($31.90) was third. While Hurst had faded late in that event, it wasn’t the case in the first event of the meeting. The NSW Standardbred Owners Association Pace (1720m) was not only the first race of Sunday’s meeting, it was the first race of a new season at Dubbo Harness Racing Club. And it was only fitting Hurst, who trained the Two-Year-Old/Three-Year-Old Horse of the Year at Dubbo last season, claimed the win. Hurst was a long way back during the final lap and had work to do but flew home to win with relative ease in the gig of Safely Under Wraps ($2.30 favourite). “I was a little worried when he was caught up … but it all opened up around the bend and he’s got really good speed so he was able to get over the top of them,” he said. “Once he started his run he felt pretty good and he was going pretty quick so I thought he might able to pick them up.” Hurst hinted Safely Under Wraps might have a crack at the Canola Cup feature at Eugowra later this month but he was more pleased to claim the first win of the season. “It’s good to start the season off well. If you don’t it can seem to drag on a bit but this is a good start,” he said. By Nick Guthrie Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

There was some noteworthy winners at last week’s Tamworth harness racing meeting, with the first being for Tim Varga who trained his first winner. Bold and Famous took out the Global Bloodstock Pace. It was also the first career win for the seven-year-old Famous Forever mare at race start 29. Tim Varga has taken a little while to follow his father John and younger brother Anthony into the harness racing industry but he has wasted no time in training his first winner. Varga who works in the family business – Johns Auto Service in Tamworth – engaged his “neighbour” Michael Grima for the drive. “He’s a local and lives in our neighbourhood,” said Grima. “Tim is very keen and obviously has some ability as his horse has been running well each time he puts it up (starts) – and she looks well. “Having the advantage of the two barrier in the draw helps so we just rolled along at a nice steady pace.” Bold and Famous took the lead from the two barrier in the 2360 metre event to come away for a 8.5 metre win over Limousine Livia (Brad Elder) and Magic Ivy (Jess Dart) another 2 metres away third. “One horse is enough for me,” Tim Varga said trackside after the win. “Everyone has been good – I take on board all their advice and instructions.” It won’t be long before Tim Varga can take the reins himself. He is in the process of undergoing his trial drives so he can become a fully-fledged reinsman. MOONBI trainer and reinsman Dean Chapple may have been on the sidelines for a couple of years but is slowly making his way back into the winners’ circle with Esspe Supreme taking line honours at the Tamworth meeting in the Wardle Osborne Chartered Accountants Pace. Raced by Tamworth locals Mick McIlroy, Mick Smithers and David Walters, Esspe Supreme also picked up his first career win at race start eight. “It has been a bit of a struggle but these boys have stuck with me through thick and thin,” Chapple said. The horse is a bit of a handful but I’m just happy to get the cash. “We had a couple of plans but the horse wanted to lead so we took the lead. “I have labelled him the best horse I have had in the stables for a while  - next season he will be bigger and better and I am aiming for the Breeders Bonus races in a couple of weeks with him. “This win is great as the horse has been a challenge - he finished second last start at Newcastle and finally started to show a bit of promise.” YOUNG Hazells Farm & Fertilizer worker Scotty-Jon Welsh has finally returned to the winners’ circle after an enforced absence of nearly two years after he broke his arm in a fall at Tamworth which placed him on the sidelines. After a few operations and plenty of hard work, Welsh had his first winning drive since his return behind Commanche in the Stockman’s Supplies Tamworth Pace. ‘It’s been almost two years now,” said Welsh after the win. “The horses’ run last start wasn’t real good and we worked out he can’t lead – has to get in behind a horse.” That’s what Welsh did – after coming out of the one barrier he let Hunter Valley pacer Stevie Dee take the lead with Commanche finding a split on the final turn to come away down the home straight for the win. “He has got a little 200 metre sprint which we also found out about the horse,” Welsh said. Commanche was having his first race start for the Dwayne Brown stables and came into the race as a first emergency courtesy of a scratching. PLENTY of local trainers are heading to the Newcastle meeting tomorrow night so we wish them well with harness racing returning to the Tamworth Paceway next Thursday – August 31 - which will wrap up the 2016-17 racing season. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

Seven wins in nine days – that is the task ahead of George’s Plains harness racing reinsman Mat Rue as he pushes to crack 100 winning drives in New South Wales this season. While Rue has enjoyed plenty of success in the gig, having eclipsed 500 career wins in January last year, the 100 winning drives in a season is a milestone he has only previously reached twice. Rue first did it in season 2011-12 when he saluted on 110 occasions, while last season was his best yet with 113 victories in the gig. Now, as the end of season 2016-17 looms, that magic 100 mark is again in reach for the talented reinsman. After steering four winners at the Dubbo Paceway on Sunday, he took his tally to 93. Lethal Promise continued his fine form in one of the day’s main events, a heat of the Western District Championship (2,120 metres), while he guided Long Way Home to a hugely impressive maiden win for Dubbo trainer Amanda Coffee. He also scored with Im Ok in the day’s main event for Bernie Hewitt and $12.40 chance Irish Priest later in the day. Rue lavished praise on the Hewitt-trained Lethal Promise, whose consistent form has him looming large for the Western District Championship Final at Bathurst on August 30. “I think he’s a really strong chance,” he said of the final. “He’s a really nice horse. His last 10 or so starts he’s been going really good and there’s been a lot of strong efforts. “He copped plenty of pressure and at 1:59, that was easily the quickest mile rate of the day, but if someone had come at him late I think he still had more to offer.”   Mat Rue's win with Lethal Promise on Sunday. On Wednesday night Rue has six chances at the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s meeting to add to his tally of wins, and in a good sign, all but one of those runners finished in the top three in their last start.     Mat Rue's win with the Amanda Coffee-trained Long Way Home. He will once more steer Im Ok, one of his Dubbo winners, for Hewitt. This time the pair will combine in the Western Districts Sapling Stakes (2,260m). The Rock N Roll Heaven x Shikari Lombo gelding will go from barrier three. The first race of Wednesday’s meeting at the Bathurst Paceway gets underway at 5.06pm. By Nick Guthrie and Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of the Western Advocate

David Hewitt mightn't have the numbers to challenge the domination of the Turnbull clan in the harness racing training and driving premierships at Bathurst but the Goulburn harness racing mentor is finishing the season in scintillating fashion with his juvenile runners. He was successful in the final two races at last Wednesday's Group One Feeds Paceway fixture - for the second week in a row - and trained the quinella in one of them, for good measure. Both were two-year-old races, emphasising the strength of his juvenile team, and he will undoubtedly be looking forward to further successes with them in the new season that beckons. The small field of just five runners didn't lessen the interest and excitement of a desperately close finish to the colts and geldings division, where Hewitt elected to bring trailer Boyd Writer to the outside at the top of the lane to challenge the leader Lifes A Jungle, just as his stablemate Weona Luke came with a strong run out wider after enjoying the one-one sit throughout. The three of them settled down for a real battle the length of the straight, with Boyd Writer winning the fight over his stablemate, not far ahead of the gallant Lifes A Jungle. At just his second start, following a debut third at the track three weeks earlier, the Sportswriter gelding rated a commendable 1:57.3 for the sprint trip, earning high praise from his trainer-driver who indicated that he hadn't asked him for much until quite recently. "I think a lot of him," was high praise indeed from the measured and normally understated Hewitt. In the fillies division, he dictated terms with Modern Art daughter Madame Leza, easily holding off the death-seating Alex Pollizzi, and rating just a touch slower than his stablemate earlier, though the final half of 57.7s was better. It was the third win in seven starts for the youngster, who will most likely have some time off now before taking on better races next season. That's an easy decision for Hewitt, who co-owns the filly with his wife Maree. This week's duo, and Stone Cracker, a heat winner who placed fourth in the Gold Crown Final back in March, will give him a strong hand in the new season's three-year-old events. Amanda Turnbull might have the bigger team, but she is also coming home with a wet sail, scoring a training/driving treble, and filling the runner-up spot in a further three races , at Wednesday 's meeting. She used the sprint lane to score a narrow win with Dream To Share NZ in C0/C1 grade and led throughout with Miss Vera Mac NZ in C2/C3 company, both of those in Menangle Country Series heats, and then led from mid-race with Our Apache Miss in a C0 sprint, to complete the hat-trick. The last-named is a recent newcomer to her stable, and when offered the roan Armbro Operative daughter by Blake Micallef, she jumped at the opportunity, mainly because of that colour. The "I love greys!" explanation will remind most people of Amanda Turnbull partnering one of her all-time favourites Im Blue Double Dee to a string of Cup wins en route to more than $200,000 in earnings. No wonder she was sporting a big smile as she said it! Her runners-up Sportygal (behind Casino Tommy, for Nathan Turnbull in C2-C4 class) and Hidden Courage ( to repeat winner Karloo Damajor, for John O'Shea in the fast-class) both sit just one win off the leaders in the Horse-of -the-Year and Juvenile Horse-of-the-Year titles, with just two meetings remaining this season. Stephanie Burley, who scored her third Bathurst win with Our Emancipation NZ, leading and holding on in a desperate struggle with Quaint Glen in a conditioned class for mares, received the Drive-of-the-Night award from racecaller Anthony Manton. Her Auckland-based parents, for whom she trains the Real Desire daughter, no doubt welcomed the win as a diversion from the week's Kiwi-Aussie political crisis! by Terry Neil Fields for Bathurst, Wednesday 23 August 2017 Form guide for Bathurst, Wednesday 23 August 2017

Local harness racing participants continue to contest regional meetings with trainers having both major and minor successes at Leeton, Parkes, Bathurst and Wagga. Tuesday night four local trainers traveled to Wagga with Young driver Blake Micallef having a win and placings on the nine race program. Glenn Wilmot started off the night with a creditable 4th with Annatto after being awkwardly placed on the inside line, the eventual winner Doctor Feld ($32.80) in a mile rating of 1:56.9.  Wilmot handed driving duties to Nic Dewar in the second behind the consistent Casino Grin. After being three wide at the bell, the more fancied Wagga pacer Split Second Lombo circled the field to secure an impressive 15 m win over the local pacer in a mile rating of 1:59.9. Mako Bay contested the third race but lady luck was not kind and the pacer finished toward the tail of the field after starting from the inside line. Race four resulted in an impressive win for Micallef who drove the recent arrival to the stable, Another Fireball ($11.70) to victory in a mile rating of 1:59.2.  Previously racing in Queensland, the Mach Three mare has now won 10 races from 50 starts for her owners. Once the decision is made to send her to the breeding barn, her best winning mile rate of 1:55.1 and wins in all three eastern states will surely stand her in good stead for the future. Blake almost made it back to back wins when family favourite Crusty ran within a short half head second in race eight behind Kiki Diva ($3.60) favourite after going forward at the bell.  The winners mile rate of 2.02.2 was a creditable performance and both Blake and Crusty can look forward to many more exciting times in coming months. The final race of the night resulted in Elegant Heaven ($2.50) and favourite, handing in a good performance for Bruce Harpley, the locally trained Sunofasis for Maurice Johnson found form with a fast finishing second behind the more fancied runner with the Kevin Powderly trained Miami Ruler again pulling hard early and finishing out of a place, the winner recording a 2:03.0 mile rate. Local trainers then travelled to Bathurst on Wednesday night and raced with moderate success, no doubt in readiness for the forthcoming meeting to be conducted by the Young Harness Racing Club next Friday night August 25.  Participants are reminded that the annual presentation night will be held on Saturday night September 23 at the Young Golf Club, tickets are available from Chloe Powderly or at the track next Friday night. By Stuart Maxwell Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness

Who Killed Kenny looked right at home in taking out the Newcastle City Holden Pace last at the Newcastle Paceway on Saturday night. Trained by Danny Mackney at Nemingha the Kenneth J – Fakin Romar gelding reigned supreme in the 1609m harness racing event and was unchallenged in his attempt to take the lead. “He got an easy way to the lead,” said Mackney who also handled the driving of the six year old gelding. “Once he got to the pegs he was going to hold the top.” Who Killed Kenny was joined by race favourite I’m Major Harry (Will Rixon), who elected to pull back into the one by one and allow Our Midnight Mayhem (Jake Hughes) to race out in the breeze. “He got a cheap second quarter so he felt good,” Mackney said with Who Killed Kenny going on to set a mile rate of 1.58.0 for the distance. “They sort of got lost off the first turn,” he said of the race favourite (I’m Major Harry)  “The 57 secs last half bought a couple of the back markers undone as well.” Who Killed Kenny was taking some big strides to cover the race territory with sectionals of 28.6secs for the first quarter, 31.5 secs for the second, 29.1secs the third quarter and a 28.8secs final quarter. Mackney elected to take a risk on the run out of the back straight on the final occasion to slip away from the field and trying not to overthink that he was leading the field home. “It’s a long way down that Newcastle home straight but he felt good – it was just a matter of could be stay – the straight is longer than Tamworth,” he mused. “He got a cheap second quarter so he felt good.” “He set at PB with the mile rate.” Who Killed Kenny had a 5.2m win over another local in Uralla pacer Yellow Taxi (Breanna Lindsay) which is trained by Mitch Faulkner at Uralla, with I’m Major Harry a metre away third. Who Killed Kenny enjoyed his last win back in January this year as part of the Golden Guitar Carnival at Tamworth before heading for a spell. “He had seven weeks in the paddock to let him think about life and he filled out a bit and grew in that time,” Mackney said. He has given Who Killed Kenny his last four race starts on the Newcastle Paceway, only due to the fact of his own work commitments. “He has been going good down there,” he said. “He likes the even quarters – it’s consistent.” “He is a tough little fella – he just keeps on giving.” The win of Who Killed Kenny topped off a good week in the Mackney household with wife Kellie receiving the Young Business Executive Award at last week’s Tamworth Quality Business Awards night. “It topped off a good week after Kellie winning her award,” Mackney said. By Julie Maughan Rep[rinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

All of the action and excitement of live harness racing continues at Sydney's Bankstown Paceway this month as part of the Canterbury Bankstown City Council Cup winter festival of racing. Last month saw the exuberant trackside crowd go wild with cheers as seven-year-old bay mare Forestspider - the daughter of American all-star sprinter Yankee Spider and Cheldean Maori - took out the track's all-time 1740 metre trotting race record on Christmas in July Race Night, Friday, July 21st, 2017. While, last Friday, August 11th, saw cashed up punters revelling in standout wins by drivers Amanda Turnbull with four-year-old bay mare Tact Rousey NZ and eight-year-old brown gelding Mister Clooney NZ, in the James Scott Free For All, and Chris Geary with four-year-old bay horse Fortyeighthenson for local trainer Mick Watkins. This Friday night, August 18th, sees the running of the 2017 National Mares Final while Thursday night, August 24th, will feature the pinnacle event of this winter's racing festival - the Canterbury Bankstown City Council Cup. Families can expect a spectacular night out with live trackside entertainment, jumping castle, rides, face painting and tasty club-priced food and drink from either the open-air kiosk or the comfortable surrounds of Champions Restaurant - located in the Phil Lopez OBE Grandstand. The 2017 Winter Carnival of Harness Racing continues at Sydney's Bankstown Paceway, 178 Eldridge Road, Bankstown, this Friday, August 18th, 2017 (National Mares Final), and next Thursday, August 24th, 2017 (Canterbury Bankstown City Cup Race Night). Gates open at 4:30 pm - with racing scheduled for between 5 pm and 9 pm.  

Jessica Amber has the chance to jump to an outright lead in the Wagga Horse of the Year honours on Tuesday night. With less than a month left in the harness racing season, Jake Stockton’s mare is level with Padrisimo on 16 points. She jumped from a share of third to equal first with a win at Wagga last time out. She also has an advantage over the former pacer of Rod Woodhouse, who has since moved to Sydney. Despite a spelling Tiwanaku in second there are plenty of other runners who can pick up valueable points. Serene Major and Navajo Rocky are both on 13 while Jessica Amber has to contend with barrier six on Tuesday night. She is one of two Stockton runners in the Supermix Concrete Pace (1755m) with last start winner Our Classical Art drawn in seven. However Jessica Amber is coming off an impressive second in the Group Three NSW Breeders Challenge Regional Final at Bathurst. By Courtney Rees Reprinted with permission of the Daily Advertiser

Bathurst native and one of New South Wales’ leading harness racing drivers Todd McCarthy is risking his premiership lead for an experience of a life time. The defending champion currently holds the lead in the Harness Racing NSW metropolitan drivers’ premiership narrowly over his older brother Luke McCarthy and young gun reinsman Chris Geary. In the overall premiership, he is third behind The Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull and Geary. However, on Wednesday McCarthy is leaving the country for a couple of weeks. “I’m heading to Canada for a fortnight for the World Drivers Championship,” McCarthy said. “I’m heading over with Shane Graham, who is representing Australia, as his plus one. “Harness Racing Australia have organised a licence for me so I can drive over there. I have also had help from Darren McCall, who has connections there, to help me get a few drives. “I’m planning to drive at Mohawk Racetrack.” Both of McCarthy’s older brothers have experienced driving in North America. Luke spent a stint driving in the United States and drove superstar trotter Muscle Hill to victory in the World Trotting Derby in 2009 while Andy was amongst the top 50 drivers in the US last season. McCarthy won all drivers’ premierships last season and is happy with what he has achieved this term so far. “I’ve spent a bit of time not driving this season after going on a holiday and then breaking my collarbone so have done well,” he said. Amanda Rando Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Morisset harness racing trainer-driver Mark Callaghan will look to Lovin Miss Daisy and Highview Freddy to lead the way on Saturday night as he strives for a first Newcastle drivers’ premiership. Callaghan has two chances in each of the two Menangle country series heats on the nine-race program, as well as Rave Moonraker in the fast-class event. Sitting one win behind Newcastle drivers’ premiership leader Brad Elder, Callaghan will take the reins on Lovin Miss Daisy in the C2-C3 heat in which he also has Lethal Star. He will then drive Highview Freddy from gate one in the C0-C1 qualifier in which he also has Just Pit Boss. Will Rixon will drive Callaghan’s other hopes. He said Red Ochre Mares Classic runner-up Lovin Miss Daisy was his best hope. “Lovin Miss Daisy’s had a little freshen up but her form before that was good, so she should go close to winning,” Callaghan said. “Lethal Star is in good form but Lovin Miss Daisy will be up on the pace and Lethal Star usually settles off it. They both should run well. “Highview Freddy is coming back from a break and has had only four runs for me for one win and three seconds. He’ll be up on the pace. “Just Pit Boss is a new acquisition to the stable and trialed well last week. I don’t know a lot about him yet but he seems to be working OK.” Callaghan has won nine Menangle Country Series finals. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald  

Racing reverted to a more acceptable weather pattern with the Young Harness Racing Club conducting a rare afternoon meeting at the Young Paceway last Friday. With school holidays also on the calendar, the better than expected attendance added to the overall spectacle to another top day of racing. Race one Unfortunately, the day started off with an incident in the opening race with two horses suffering interference and their drivers becoming dislodged as the field approached the winning post as the bell lap commenced. Drivers Rodney Blythe and Emma Turnbull both required medical attention and the race was abandoned due to their misfortune and the presence of the attending medical paramedics. Race two John O’Shea continued his good winning form following his Bathurst success with a polished exhibition of driving in race two behind the Lester Hewitt trained Our Braxton ($1.30) who defeated Smack Dab Shannon ($9.80) and the Canberra pacer Poco Aces ($9.40 ).  Race three There was certainly a good old fashioned feeling of satisfaction in race three when the Goulburn trained colt Whostolemypigeon ($7.90) came from fourth at the bell to defeat the more favoured Lucky Lyla ($1.80) and Siotada ($42.50). Driven by Amy Day, the Gotta Go Cullect three year old finished strongly in the straight to record a 1½ metre win and a mile rating of 2:01.9.  Race four Nathan Turnbull came out in race four and drove the favourite Mister Satchmo ($3.90) to victory over an improving Barway Bill ($4.10) and the Grenfell trained Bally Barfly ($12.20) for Mark Hewitt and trained Ashley Hazell. Race five Eglington trainer Nathan Hurst elected to take the drive behind Jiggy Rhythm ($6.70) in race five, leaving his other stable representative, Tulhurst Cash ($3.10) in the capable hands of Angela Hedges who finished third after being eighth at the bell. Splitting the pair was the Steven Harris trained Sunrising ($8.70) with an impressive 1:58.1 mile rating and a winning margin of 5¼ metres in favour of the winner who posted a slick 28.5 first quarter. Race six Canberra trainer Michael Hawke was rewarded for his consistency and continued support of the Young club with a long overdue win with Huge Attitude ($1.80) in the final race of the afternoon. Having not won a race in his previous eleven starts, the Grinfromeartoear seven-year-old gelding has now put together a total of sixteen wins for his dedicated owners.  Young will have another afternoon meeting this Friday July 21.   Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness  

Former Newcastle International Paceway curator Bill Tomlin only has two horses in work and Superstar Glowie is arguably the less likely, but on Saturday night they will share a special moment.   The 78-year-old Lochinvar-based trainer and six-year-old bay mare will combine for a “locals only” series named in honour of Tomlin’s late son Glenn. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Glenn’s death from a training accident and while his father has contested heats of the memorial race before a final appearance has alluded the family.  Tomlin and wife Pam, once a long-serving secretary of Newcastle Harness Racing Club, are hoping Superstar Glowie can finish top four and qualify for next weekend’s $8000 decider. “She seems to be going alright, so hopefully we can get through,” Tomlin said. “And we’ve got the best driver in Newcastle on her.” Morisset’s Mark Callaghan, who won the same event on board Gotta Go Lucky in 2013, will start the 2030 metre journey from barrier two. The first of three heats is set for 5.59pm. Newcastle will also race on Monday. Meanwhile, Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa will use Saturday’s group 3 event over the mile at Menangle as a warm-up to next weekend’s group 1 Blacks A Fake in Brisbane.  “He came back from a spell a couple of weeks ago in the [group 1] Len Smith Mile and was a bit unlucky,” Formosa said. “It’s another hard field tomorrow but hopefully he goes okay we’ll take him to Queensland.” By Josh Callinan Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

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