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FORMER Kiwi reinsman Jack Trainor must wish that 2020 never ends. Despite the travel restrictions due to COVID-19, Trainor is having the season of his life and continues to rack up the winners with 126 this season to sit in sixth place on the overall premiership. Trainor is the man to follow at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday when he partners three of the seven favourites, as well as two other handy drives at the south-western Sydney circuit. “This season has been extended so I guess my winners have been inflated a bit – “normally we’d be into the next season by now but it has been a terrific run and I’m loving it,” said Trainor. His best drive on Tuesday does appear to be Red Reactor for local Menangle horseman David Thorn in Race 4. “He’s been a great horse since he’s come over although he probably races best when he can be saved up for one run,” said Trainor. “But he does look the one to beat there, for sure. Let’s hope so. “Christmas Toyboy [Race 3] also went well last start. He should be able to lead again and he’ll go well. “Navua Star [Race 6] has plenty of ability and early tactics might be the key in this race. “He does have a mind of his own sometimes, this horse, but he’s still a pretty nice pacer and I reckon he’ll run first or second.” Trainor agreed Red Reactor did shape as the best of a good book of drives. The young trainer-driver branched out on his own recently and now has five in work at the Menangle Training Centre, including Chrissy Chic, who won well at Bathurst last week. “They’re all honest and it’s a nice little team,” he said. “Jason Grimson and I work together, and we have 12 between us and it’s all going well.” Trainor is also good friends with Dexter Dunn who has become the No1 reinsman in the US in the past couple of seasons. “He’s just killing them over there,” said Trainor. “I’d love to go over there for a holiday and follow the boys around for a week or two and see what it’s all about. “But at this stage I am happy with the way things are going here. “Hopefully, this run rolls on into next season.”   HRNSW MEDIA

Effective 13 November 2020, all licensed persons and essential staff will only be required to wear a face mask when it may not be possible for social distancing to be achieved. In the following conditions, face masks remain compulsory and all persons MUST wear a face mask. During Sample collection (Pre and Post Race); When attending a Steward’s room; When attending a Driver’s change room/bathroom; At any other time as directed by HRNSW Stewards or Integrity Staff. Any participant with a medical condition or a physical disability which may restrict the ability to wear a mask must wear a scarf or similar face covering. An exemption letter from a medical practitioner must be provided to HRNSW in support of this position.    It will be the responsibility of the individual to bring their own mask to a race meeting. Failure to present with a mask under the compulsory conditions may result in Stewards taking action against the individual pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 238.   AHRR 238 – A person shall not fail to comply with any order, direction or requirement of the Controlling Body or the Stewards relating to harness racing or to the harness racing industry.    Harness Racing New South Wales  

It is to be noted that the current open inquiries can be found by the following link. https://www.hrnsw.com.au/ racing/stewards /openinquiries New Inquiries – ·      15 October 2020 – Mr Malcolm Locke - HRNSW Stewards have commenced an investigation in relation to a report from LGC laboratory in the United Kingdom that recombinant human erythropoietin has been detected in an out of competition blood sample taken from TUNGSTEN TERROR at the registered training establishment of licensed Trainer Mr Malcolm Locke on Wednesday 2 September 2020. Acting under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 183, HRNSW Stewards have suspended the Trainer’s licence of Mr Malcolm Locke. (original notice at www.hrnsw.com.au) ·      29 October 2020 – Mr Robert Garrett - HRNSW Stewards have commenced an investigation in relation to a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that Heptaminol had been detected in the post-race urine and blood sample taken from BONZA GUY following its win in race 2, the YANCO ALLSERVICEMENS CLUB PACE (1758 metres) conducted at Leeton on Tuesday 18 August 2020. Furthermore, a report from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute (NMI) has detected Cobalt above the threshold of 100 micrograms per litre in urine. Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) has confirmed both substances. Mr Garrett has been provided and has subsequently provided submission to HRNSW Stewards as to the reasons why AHRR 183 should not be invoked. Inquiries Concluded - ·      14 October 2020 - Mr Peter Trevor-Jones was disqualified for a period of 3 months to commence from 14 October 2020. This follows an investigation in relation to a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) and Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) that Trendione and Epitrenbolone had been detected in the post-race urine sample taken from IM ALL COURAGE following its win in race 7, the BARKERS BUTCHERY PACE (1730 metres) conducted at Bathurst on Monday 20 April 2020. The subject horse was disqualified under the provisions of AHRR 195 and in addition, in accordance with AHRR 190AA (4), HRNSW Stewards ordered that IM ALL COURAGE is not permitted to start in any race or be used for the purposes of breeding for a period of 12 months from 20 April 2020. Mr Trevor-Jones was issued a further penalty of $500 under AHRR 190B (1)(a) & (b) for failing to maintain a log book. Mr Trevor-Jones has appealed the penalty decision of HRNSW Stewards in respect of the period of disqualification. (original notice at www.hrnsw.com.au)   ·      14 October 2020 - Mr James Sutton was disqualified for a period of 3 months to commence from 14 October 2020. This follows an investigation in relation to a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) and Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) that Trendione and Epitrenbolone (ARFL Only) had been detected in the post-race urine sample taken from YARRAMAN BELLA following its win in race 6, the GRAPEVINE CAFÉ PACE (2120 metres) conducted at Dubbo on Sunday 26 July 2020. The subject horse was disqualified under the provisions of AHRR 195 and in addition, in accordance with AHRR 190AA (4), HRNSW Stewards ordered that YARRAMAN BELLA is not permitted to start in any race or be used for the purposes of breeding for a period of 12 months from 26 July 2020. (original notice at www.hrnsw.com.au)   ·      27 October 2020 - Mr Joshua Farrugia was disqualified for a period of 14 months to commence from 3 January 2020. This follows an investigation in relation to a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) and Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) that Total Carbon Dioxide above the prescribed threshold had been detected in the pre-race blood sample taken from ARE YOU WITH ME prior to race 7, the 57th INTER CITY PACE FINAL (GROUP 3) (2422 metres) conducted at Maitland on Saturday 28 December 2019. The subject horse was disqualified under the provisions of AHRR 195. Mr Farrugia was issued a further disqualification for a period of 6 months to be served concurrently with the above penalty (14 months) as a result of a breach of AHRR 196C (1)(b) & (2)(a) for administering an alkalinising agent within one (1) clear day of the commencement of the race. Mr Farrugia was issued a further penalty of $500 under AHRR 190B (1) & (6) for failing to maintain a log book.   Appeal Decision – ·      7 October 2020 – Mr Danny Gallagher appealed the decision of Stewards to disqualify his licence for a period of 3 months and 3 weeks for betting activities whilst he was a disqualified person and the recommencement of his disqualification imposed by the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal. The appeal was dismissed by the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal. (appeal decision at www.hrnsw.com.au) ·      19 October 2020 – Mr Malcolm Locke appealed the decision of Stewards on 15 October 2020 to suspend his Trainers licence under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 183 following an investigation in relation to a report from LGC laboratory in the United Kingdom that recombinant human erythropoietin has been detected in an out of competition blood sample taken from TUNGSTEN TERROR at the registered training establishment of licensed Trainer Mr Malcolm Locke on Wednesday 2 September 2020. At this time Mr Locke sought a Stay of proceedings. On Thursday 22 October 2020, the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal refused the Stay application.   Integrity Information – ·      During the month of October, HRNSW Integrity department has obtained 784 Race day samples. ·      During the month of October, HRNSW Integrity department has obtained 36 Out of Competition tests (OOCT) from various stables in NSW. ·      The HRNSW Retention Facility was utilised for all horses, including emergencies, entered in the NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO Colts & Geldings Final to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday 24 October 2020. All Horses were housed prior to 12 midday on Thursday 22 October 2020 until released to the raceday stables 2 hours prior to the race. ·      HRNSW Integrity staff and contracted security conducted security measures at the registered Stable address of Mr Craig Cross; Ø  Thursday 8th October 2020, Friday 9th October 2020 & Saturday 10th October 2020. Ø  Thursday 15th October 2020, Friday 16th October 2020 & Saturday 17th October 2020. Ø  Thursday 22nd October 2020, Friday 23rd October 2020 & Saturday 24th October 2020. Ø  Thursday 29th October 2020, Friday 30th October 2020 & Saturday 31st October 2020.   For further information on this matter contact: HRNSW Integrity Department (02) 9722 6655

A FITTER and sharper King Of Swing will headline Aussie racing this week. The Miracle Mile winner will have his second run back from a spell, this time taking on top class stablemate Alta Orlando, in a mile free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night. Trainers Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy have been juggling their stable stars to keep them apart in recent weeks, but the sheer glut of talent meant King Of Swing and Alta Orlando had to lock horns this week. “We’ve also got Balraj, Cash N Flow and Bling It On to race in the next few weeks as well,” McCarthy said. “Balraj will run Saturday week (August 29) then Cash N Flow will continue his routine of three week gaps and go around on the 5th (of September). “Bling It On is very close, too. He’ll trial next Wednesday we’ll see how he comes through that before picking out a race.” Back to King Of Swing and he’ll start from the outside draw in a race where McCarthy and Cross have a staggering eight of the 10 runners. Alta Orlando, likely to be driven by Todd McCarthy, will start directly inside King Of Swing. Asked about the hype around Ride High and a clash with him at some stage, McCarthy said: “Ride High is a machine and a gorgeous horse. It’ll be awesome when they all come together.” Cross and McCarthy also hold the key to Saturday night’s Group 3 Ladyship Pace (1609m) at Menangle. The one to beat is Bettor Enforce, who has two wins and a top second from three runs this campaign, despite the outside draw. Kiwi-owned former WA mare Dracarys steps up in grade for an arrogant win at just her second run for Cross and McCarthy and looks the main threat. On the same card, Victoria Oaks winner Dr Susan returns from a spell for trainer Sonya Smith, but has the outside draw (gate six) against the boys. Jack Trainor takes the drive on Dr Susan because Anthony Butt is committed to Victoria and NSW Derby placegetter Perfect Stride from gate five. The other key runner is another former Kiwi, Mach Da Vinci, from gate four.   Adam Hamilton

Talented Tamworth harness racing driver Madi Young is off on a working holiday. Twenty-two-year-old Madi plans to campaign with a small team of horses for at least a month, training out of a base in Bathurst. "It may turn out that I'm down there for a little longer-we'll just see how it works out and go from there," she said. "The 1000-metre track is great and will suit most of our horses. And then there's also Parkes and Dubbo meetings which are just two hours away. "Our team will be spearheaded by Royal Admiral. We haven't had him long, but he's been consistent, and I won with him two starts ago at Tamworth." The annual "Central West Winter Exodus" of Bathurst local trainers and drivers to Queensland is in full swing, and no doubt Madi, who is still eligible for a three-point junior claim, is hoping she might also pick up some outside drives. "I love Bathurst because I won there at my very first drive at the track but spending some time down there will also mean we get to spend less time on the road for a while," she said. "It takes us at least five hours to drive from Tamworth to compete at the Bathurst meetings. It's a long way and certainly gets tiring, particularly on the return leg if you don't do any good! "Bathurst has meetings programmed for Wednesday nights for quite a while so the regular racing is a big plus." Madi won the 2018 NSW Rising Stars Championship and has already represented her State. She has also served in the role of ambassador for the NSW Owners Association. This season she has driven 11 winners and 46 placings. She landed the 100th winner of her career last week when scoring narrowly at her home track with Helix (Bettors Delight-Belfry Lady (In The Pocket) for trainer Stacie Elliott. "That was exciting, and I've had two more since so I hope it continues," she said. Madi is a former champion mini trot driver and obtained her harness racing driver's licence soon after celebrating her 16th birthday. "I grew up in the Shoalhaven area where the closest tracks were Goulburn and Menangle, probably two hours away. I ended up working in Menangle for a couple of years and learnt a lot," she said. "Down there I had stints with about three trainers and they all had different ways-but they all worked." Madi said her most memorable win was at Menangle when she landed bay gelding Islandspecialmajor for visiting Victorian trainer Brent Lilley. "He was an outsider in a metro $14,000 event in April last year and I think he started at 30/1," she said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

With his first metropolitan winner under his belt, young NSW harness racing driver Justin Reynolds now wants to "tick another box" tonight. Reynolds, 20, of Oberon, on the edge of the famous Blue Mountains, has been booked for five drives at nearby Bathurst and only needs one more winner to go to a career milestone of 50. "I'm on some long shots, but if I can give them an easy time, they could surprise. One of them has winning form and a few of the others have been recent placegetters," he said. Reynolds, who has been driving for a little over three years, broke his metropolitan maiden status with four-year-old gelding Kanena Provlima (A Rocknroll Dance-Mes Ti Tsepi (In The Pocket) at the Menangle meeting last Saturday week. "It was pretty exciting because the pacer is trained at The Lagoon, near Bathurst, by Ben Settree. We just held on by a narrow margin after leading all the way," Reynolds said. "Although I won on the horse at its previous start at Dubbo, I was so lucky to get the drive. I only picked it up because Anthony Frisby, who normally drives him at city meetings, is away in Queensland," he said. "He paid $15 for the win which I thought was a 'bit overs'! His form read okay, and we travelled down thinking that he certainly had some claims. "I have had one other Menangle victory-but it was a country Tuesday meeting. I landed Jerulas Grin for hobby trainer Wayne White, who lives in the same town as us." Reynolds last year competed around the State in the NSW Rising Stars driving competition, finishing third, and is showing he's certainly a young man to keep an eye on in the future. Justin Reynolds on the track at Parkes earlier this year      --Clarinda Park Photography He is the third generation of the Reynolds family to be involved in harness racing, following his father David and grandfather Russell into the sport. "When I was probably about 12 years old, I would give my grandfather a hand. He would get me to clean out the boxes. Then a bit later, he let me to do some of the fast work," he said. "Now I work in with dad and between us we do six to eight horses. It can be busy at times because dad also works for the State Forests, and I have a part-time laborer's job at Spark Electricals. "They are very good and give me time off to drive at trots meetings, but I am hoping to get an electrician apprenticeship with them one day."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Brett Hutchings improved his lead at the top of the Byrne Clothing Leading Local Driver standings at the Parkes Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday afternoon. Hutchings produced a marvellous ride in the Telescope Tyres Pace to guide Toolittletoolate home from four wide at the top of the straight, going from last to first as the five-year-old gelding nabbed Lou Cee, trained by Parkes' Andrew Cassell, right on the post in a photo. Alectown's Nathan Townsend managed the bridge the gap on Hutchings after his win aboard Cloudin' Up in the Parkes Leagues Club Pace for his father Stan. Cloudin Up has now won twice this month in NR 55 races. Hutchings sits at 38 points, with Townsend second and Kasey Hocking third while Stan Townsend has now overtaken Malcolm Hutchings in the Byrne Clothing Leading Local Trainer standings; though just two points separate the pair. Parkes' David Harris had a good win in the Garrards Ironhorse Series Pace with Mo Chara, who paid a healthy $23 fixed on the TAB. Mo Chara, with Robert Harris driving, managed to find the lead from third on the first row and held off a couple of challenges throughout the race to just hang on against the fast finishing Carlas Angel and Myra Dawn. The most impressive run of the day belonged to Firestorm Red in the last, after a confident Steve Turnbull drive saw the talented four-year-old secure win number 11 in start 46 by a comfortable two and half lengths. Steve Turnbull had a day out, with three first placings and two third placings as both a trainer and driver. By Kristy Williams Reprinted with permission of Parkes Champion-Post  

As a 100/1 shot, Dark Side was certainly the roughie of the harness racing field in the running of the West Diggers Tamworth Pace (2360m) at Tamworth Paceway, but he came up trumps. Maddison Simon took the drive for her grandfather and trainer Len Simon behind the Mach Three nine-year-old gelding, owned and raced by Maureen Simon, Len's wife. "I held the lead and was hoping for the best - hoping that he could hold it all the way, and he did," Maddison said. "Once we all settled down into the race, I was just hoping to hold that lead." To watch this race click here Dark Side notched his third win for the season, with Maddison guiding him to two wins in October last year over 1980m. "He [Len] said that he [Dark Side] worked well in track work this week and I didn't really believe him but he was right," Maddison said. The race certainly had some challenges for Dark Side, who had commenced from the three barrier. Dark Side had opposition not long after the start, with the first lot of pressure coming from the Clayton Harmey-trained Choisir Damoure (Jake Hughes). That was followed by $2.40 race favourite Azur Express (Blake Hughes), before Got The Scoop (Anthony Varga) applied pressure on Dark Side. Another challenge came from the Tony Missen-trained Are You With Me (Tom Ison), who put in a three-wide run from the back of the field just before the bell sounded. "He (Are You With Me) got his head in front on the final turn," Maddison said. "I was a bit concerned then but Dark Side just come through and held on." She added: "We were both head to head down the home straight." Art I Special (Scotty-Jon Welsh) was 2.4m away in third place. Maddison picked up the The Pub Group Drive of the Night. With the lifting of the regional racing zones last Wednesday, the base prize money has increased from $4000 to $6000. It had been at $4000 since May 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of the Northern Daily Leader

Base prizemoney for category A and B meeting races which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic forced closure of TAB outlets will be restored to $6,500 and $6,000 respectively from July 1. HRNSW had reluctantly taken the late decision on May 11 to reduce prizemoney but will be the first harness racing jurisdiction to return base prizemoney. “Since April the participants in our industry have had to endure the restrictions of regionalisation and then from mid-May reduced prizemoney due to the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic” Chief Executive John Dumesny stated. “Initial advices from our major wagering revenue provider Tabcorp in late March when their outlets were closed were alarming and drastic as we were told our revenue could be up to 50% down on budget.” “Cuts to prizemoney were immediately adopted by other States in early April however at HRNSW a decision was taken to delay taking action in an effort to assess the dire situation and to support our participants as long as possible.” “When the announcement to reduce prizemoney was eventually made effective from May 11 a firm commitment was given by the Board Members to restore base prizemoney as soon as possible and it is pleasing to now be able to act accordingly.” “However a raft of other austerity measures including significant cuts to HRNSW operations have been adopted and these will remain in place until such time as wagering revenue trends are proven to be improved.” “Stakeholders will need to baer with HRNSW personnel whilst these operational cuts are in place.” The Review undertaken by HRNSW with industry stakeholders in respect of prizemoney differentials between A and B Category meetings races will continue with further consultation. An outcome is to be delivered for implementation from the start of the next racing season on September 1. “The situation which was encountered through COVID-19 has provided the industry the opportunity to reset the prizemoney differentiation between race meetings if at all and had been a discussion point well before the onset of the pandemic.” “Therefore the splitting of the $12,500 prizemoney available each week across two meetings in each Region will be thoroughly addressed with Clubs and participants.” Effective from July 1 in accordance with the revised COVID-19 race meeting calendar: Bathurst on Wednesday July 1 the base prizemoney will be $6,500 Penrith on Thursday July 2 - $6,500 Wagga on Friday July 3 - $6,500 Newcastle on Friday July 3 - $6,500 Parkes on Sunday July 5 - $6,000 Tamworth on Thursday July 2 - $6,000 Newcastle on Monday July 6 - $6,000 Leeton on Tuesday July 7 - $6,000 Trainers are advised that programmes for these race meetings and others during July may be altered.

It had been a while coming but Burrabadine Dream got the monkey off the back on Sunday at Parkes Harness Racing Club. Trained by John Lew at Dubbo, Burrabadine Dream made the trip to Parkes having previously only placed once in 12 career starts. But he finally broke into the winners' circle on Sunday after sitting towards the front of the field for the entire trip in the Cunningham's IGA Pace (2040m). With John O'Shea in the gig, the $26 outsider got the lead early when showing early speed from gate one. Mat Rue soon got $4.40 favourite Karinya Jude to the lead but Burrabadine Dream had what it took to overhaul the leader and get the job done. It wasn't the only Dubbo winner on the day, as the Reynolds brothers racked up another victory. Last weekend's meeting at their home track was the first time trainer Madison and driver Jordan had combined for a win and they didn't have to wait for the second. After scoring with Tophut Johny at Dubbo the pair got the job done with Joanandi at Parkes. Joanandi was disappointing when finishing ninth at the Dubbo meeting but bounced back in a big way on Sunday. Joanandi ($17) won the Medlyns/Castrol Pace (2040m) by a half-neck from Toolittletoolate ($4.80) and Navua Commanche ($8.50). O'Shea drove a double at the Parkes meeting, getting past the post first with Geoff Lawson's Dont Tell Phyllis ($4.40) in the Parkes Furniture One Pace (2040m). Racing is next at Bathurst on Wednesday. Nick Guthrie Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

Misdemeanor left all of her harness racing rivals in her wake at Parkes on Saturday when she won by more than 20 metres in the Telescope Tyres Ladyship Pace (1,660 metres). Expectations were high for Misdemeanor, as evidenced by her $1.22 starting price, but Bathurst trainer Peter Trevor-Jones' filly showed why she earned such a short price with her 28.2 final quarter - the fastest of the meeting. Holy Camp Paxton ($10, Robbie Anderson) and Ideal Flash ($16, Jason Turnbull) were left to fight it out for the runner-up position as Misdemeanor bolted away. Mat Rue, making his first start on the filly, guided her to her third win of the season and her first career victory away from her home track in Bathurst. A much closer finish unfolded between three Bathurst runners in the Col Fletcher Ford Pace (2,040m) later in the meeting. Greg Rue's Whiskiesonthebeach ($3.10, favourite) held off Snoop Stride ($4.40) and Standandeliver ($3.40) with less than a head separating all three. Alexander Grant Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Long-time Dubbo trainers are reacting with relief following the agreement between Harness Racing NSW and the state authorities to allow the Dubbo track to re-open. Many of Dubbo's trainers and owners have been forced to turn out horses as the cloud of uncertainty hung over the sport's near future in the Central West, with travel costs and tough competition forcing them to make hard decisions. But now, on Sunday, racing will be returning to home turf, with a number of locals lining up to represent at the first event back at home since the lockdown measures saw the track closed for safety reasons. Trainer Madison Reynolds says the timing couldn't have been more perfect for him and his developing stable, as another lengthy trek to Bathurst had been pencilled in for this weekend before news came through that the Dubbo track would be open and racing once again. "It's worked out perfectly well for me to be fair, my two horses I've got in were really ready for a start this weekend and I'd planned out the trip to Bathurst, but obviously, it's always much better to be racing right here in my own backyard," Reynolds said. Reynolds' representatives this weekend, Joanandi and Tophut Johny, are both desperate to stretch their legs, with a run in Tamworth for Joanandi the only start either have seen since Dubbo's track closed. "They're both still going really good at the moment you can't really fault them, they're not the highest rated horses as you'd expect, but I'd be disappointed if either one didn't at least pick up a cheque," Reynolds said. "Tophut Johny is having his first run for me, he's had three months off, my mother owns him and my brother's sent him to me, he'll improve off the run, I expect him to go good." "The other one, the mare, she should be thereabouts, I'd be pretty disappointed if she wasn't right there with them." Reynolds isn't the only one grateful to be giving his horses a start at home, with James Sutton also returning to home turf just in time for a hopefully productive tilt with Yarraman Bella in the Agriwield Pace (2120m). "It's great to be back in Dubbo, there's been a fair bit of hard travel, even for someone who travels a lot for their day job, having travel to somewhere like Bathurst and then pack up, turn around and be ready for work the next day is difficult," Sutton said. "But I think it'll be good on Sunday, I've got a pretty good draw with Bella, I'm pretty happy, she wasn't quite fit enough in her last run, but I've got her spot on for this one so it should be good." By Daniel Shirkie Reprinted with permission of the Daily Liberal

Dubbo Harness Racing Club president Len Edwards has welcomed a decision by the state government and Harness Racing NSW's governing body that will see competitors hit the track in Dubbo much sooner than originally expected. According to Edwards, the original guidance for Harness Racing in Dubbo had been to expect a wait until September before races would be able to resume, but horses will be back on track this month after restrictions were eased. "It's good news, it's great news at the moment, originally they advised us we could be back on June 7, but now that's going to be June 14," Edwards said. Instead, Parkes will begin operating against on June 7 in a move that Edwards considers a coup for locally placed trainers who had been forced to travel to Bathurst or further afield to get in track time during the COVID-19 lockdown. "It's very positive news, it's definitely good for some of our local trainers; they had to make a lot of tough decisions and some had to turn their horses out, but it's good for the trainers in general to hear this," Edwards said. "Dubbo and Parkes will be able to travel to each other, so it suits the Western district really well for our trainers and it's been a very difficult position they've been in for quite a while." "We were originally given that September date and a lot of the guys turned their horses out on the back of that, you can't be training horses week after week and not getting a run from them." While Edwards is confident the races will go ahead, he's less sure about exactly what form they'll take, with fewer starts expected at each event. "Hopefully we'll be able to commence and satisfy a full slate, but I don't think we'll get eight races at each meeting, maybe six or seven, but we'll be proceeding with racing," Edwards said. "It'd be nice to start back with a bit of a bang, but I think those eight race meetings and fields won't be going until later, right now we're focused on getting back to racing and satisfying the horses in this western area, that's our main objective." Edwards said it was difficult for trainers looking for competitive races to compete while also factoring in long travel times, and said that it was 'reasonable' for trainers to have competitive races available. "It'll certainly help everyone a lot, especially with us all being in the doldrums for that long, we haven't raced since the end of February, it's a long time to go without racing," Edwards said. Racing stewards will be on hand to ensure that all the protocols put in place with regards to lockdown rules are followed and Edwards and his staff have already met with officials to plan out their restriction measures and how to apply social distancing rules. "We're implementing the full protocal that's been set down by Harness Racing NSW and we're going to see representatives in Bathurst in order to better educate ourselves about how best to implement the other protocols required," Edwards said. "It's all been put to us and we're being guided by the rules and restrictions put out by the Department of Health the racing body." Edwards said it was important for the track to maintain standards as they conduct races in the future. By Daniel Shirkie Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

HRNSW has confirmed the 2020 Breeders Challenge Finals will be conducted from Tuesday 15th September with the four Group One Finals on Saturday night 24th October at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Heats will be conducted at Gold Crown Paceway Bathurst, Riverina Paceway Wagga, Newcastle International Paceway and Tabcorp Park Menangle in line with the original schedule. Traditionally held on the last Sunday in June the Major Finals consisting of four Group One events for two and three year old pacers were disrupted by regionalisation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Breeders Challenge Blue will follow the Major Series on Saturday 7th November whilst the Regional Series will potentially commence on Tuesday 17th November. The format however for the Regional Series may convert into a regional concept similar to the highly successful TAB Championships. The Finals night of the Major Breeders Challenge Series will be complimented by the last heat of the NSW Rising Stars Championships as well as the JC Caffyn Plate for indigenous drivers.   Click here for dates For further information on this matter contact: HRNSW Industry Development Manager Shaun Snudden ssnudden@hrnsw.com.au (02) 9722 6600

Penny A Packet was in fine fettle in taking out the M & M Office National Tamworth Pace on Thursday afternoon at the Tamworth harness racing meeting. And for hobby trainer Russell Murray he was both happy and relieved to see the seven-year-old mare back to her best form in having a half neck win over Cronin (Maddison Simon) and Just Tommy (Sam Ison), who was 1.4 metres away third. "It is over two years since she had a win, that's a long time" Murray, who trains for his wife Rachael, stated with a confident grin. "She strained a tendon so she had twelve months off," he added. Penny A Packet picked up her last win back in June 2017 at the Tamworth Paceway and with only the one horse in his stables Murray has nursed his pride and joy back to the winner's circle. "It is something to get me out of bed of a morning - I will be 74 in November and I started in harness racing back in 1964," he reflected. "Sometimes it is a long time between wins but you just have to keep battling on." Since her third placing at Tamworth back on May 17, Penny A Packet has been displaying some good track work on her home track at the Tamworth Paceway. "She had every chance last start - they were just too good on the day but she has improved out of sight, she showed me that in her track work through the week," added Murray. "I wasn't that confident today because of the draw but everything turned out really good so I am really pleased." "She is starting to get back into gear but twelve months off is a long time. She is very consistent and she will keep that up if she can just have a little bit of luck in her races." From the seven barrier Penny A Packet was placed back on the inside running line while Commanche (Scotty-Jon Welsh) and Just Tommy (Sam Ison) headed the field into the final lap of the 1980 metre race. "I thought she would be stuck on the fence but Blake (reinsman Blake Hughes) managed to get her out at the 400 and she sprinted really well," Murray said.  All smiles: A very happy trainer Russell Murray with reinsman Blake Hughes. Photo: Julie Maughan   The inform reinsman was happy with the mares' racing performance. "She was pretty good and had a good run through and finished the race off well," said Hughes, who had to switch Penny A Packet five wide around the final turn for a sprint home to grab the race on the line. "I was three back on the pegs and got out on the turn. She is a pretty good horse to drive and she is going good." "She let down pretty good so I felt confident on the line - she did it easy." After commencing his winning streak at the meeting with Penny A Packet, Hughes went on to produce three winners for the meeting with I'm So Better for the Tony Missen stables taking out the Multiquip Transport Pace and Max Power the Furney's Stock Feeds Tamworth Pace for trainer Clayton Harmey. Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

Teenage Junee harness racing driver Miranda McLaughlin is making every post a winner before next weekend, when she will navigate a new path with the Royal Australian Navy. McLaughlin, 19, who says she has always wanted to do a gap year in the armed forces, will be away for at least 12 months. "I just made up my mind that if I don't do it now, I probably won't ever get around to it," she said. "It was a hard decision because I love the horses-but I get to travel around Australia while I'm looking at all the Naval bases. It's one good way to see the country." McLaughlin was seen at her best at the Wagga Cup meeting on Sunday with a winning double-the third time she's achieved the feat. "They are trained by my boss Trevor White and they looked well placed. We gave both of them good chances," she said. Three-year-old gelding Western Style (Western Terror-Takemybreathaway (Life Sign) scored in the opening event, the Maiden Pace. To watch the video replay of this race click here. Two races later, the White/McLaughlin combination struck with the veteran Norms Courage (Courage Under Fire-Rosie Rose (Peace Of Art) in the ITP Pace. To watch the video replay of this race click here. McLaughlin will be keen for further success when she drives at her final two meetings before taking on a new career. "I've got a book of five drives at Wagga on Tuesday and then I'll be back in action again on Friday. Then that's it for at least 12 months," she said. "I'm pretty sure I'll eventually be coming back home to the horses, but I suppose there's a chance I could thoroughly enjoy life in the Navy. I'll be keeping an eye on all the trots results that's for certain." McLaughlin completed her schooling and graduated Year 12, before taking up a full-time job at the stables of astute horseman Trevor White. "I got to know Trevor when we moved into the same street as him. I had a riding horse and used to go in the barrel races at gymkhanas," she said. "I was probably about 14 or 15 and went up to Trevor's place to see if I could get a part-time job. He put me on, and I mainly used to clean out stables and stuff like that. "Then one day he asked me had I ever thought about driving? So, with his encouragement I took it on and have now been driving for two years. He has been such an outstanding mentor and is definitely a person I look up too. "He's already told me there will be a job waiting if I want to come back." White has been a huge influence on many youngsters, who after their early days working with him, have gone on to bigger things. Talented Sydney brother and sister drivers- Cameron and Ashley Hart were taught the ropes by White, while others include Chris Judd and David White, the latter being based in New Zealand. And the latest addition to the stable is youngster Grace Fahy, who is the new inductee to the role of stablehand. Meanwhile McLaughlin is hoping that 3yo Western Style can make it back to back wins at Wagga tonight. "He's the first pacer that I've raced. I own a share in him, and it would be great if we could get the money again," she said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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