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Born and into the harness Racing industry in 1990, Finnbarr helped his father Sean McCaffrey, a well-known New Zealand trainer, at their stables in Cambridge doing boxes since the young age of five. Although he has been in the game for over 20 years, Finn has never driven in the gig and preferred to stick to the tractor. Sticking to the tractor paid off for Finnbarr, in 2016 he made the move from across the Tasman to Tabcorp Park Menangle to extend his knowledge in track management. He is now a well-respected employee at Harness Racing New South Wales working at the Menangle Park Training Centre as a Maintenance and Horticulture Worker. At the age of 24 Finnbarr had already started succeeding in his profession, becoming the Track Manager at the Cambridge Greyhound racetrack. At 25 he decided making the move to NSW would benefit him in the long run gaining experience and developing skills. He believes that the Australian Racing Industry has a greater prospect than back home and took the opportunity to work here as soon as the position arose. Finnbarr hopes to travel the world working throughout American and Europe at different racetracks, furthering his knowledge and hoping to direct everything he learns along the way into a Turf Management role. In 2015 Finnbarr lost his hero, his grandfather Jim Wilson. Finnbarr and Jim had a close relationship and admired that Jim taught him the ways of life, taking pride in the work ethic he has now, thanks to his father and grandfather. "There's always something to do and if in doubt grab a broom" - Finnbarr was often told as a child. Struck by tragedy in 2013, Finnbarr was building in Hamilton, New Zealand when he injured his back out, rupturing a disc. After having surgery, Finnbarr spent a long six months on the couch and shortly after commenced rehabilitation, essentially having to learn how to walk again. Finnbarr describes this time in his life as low, putting on 19 kilograms in the six months however he is better for it and has learnt to respect and to look after his body. Sadly with the accident, Finnbarr had to say goodbye to his sporting career. Although his sporting career was short lived, he accomplished playing Rugby Union in the Curtain Raiser game for the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton New Zealand. Favourite food: Homemade crumbed beef schnitzel that mum makes Favourite drink: Since moving to Oz, nothing beats a good can of Solo Footy team: Rugby Union will always take priority so, ALL BLACKS! AMANDA RANDO

After 10 months and near 15,000kms later Bendemeer horseman Len Clement will complete the dream of driving at every harness racing track across New South Wales at Tabcorp Park Menangle tomorrow. And while the Wards Accounting Group Pace (1609m) may not seem significant to some, it will be for Clement. At the beginning of the season the retired Clement set himself a bucket list - Len's Bucket List - to drive in a race at all the tracks he had not previously. Having been involved in the sport for more than three decades, the 59-year-old had only driven at 11 tracks before embarking on this trip last September. And now this well documented journey is at the end. "This is the finale!" Clement said. "We finally have a run at Menangle and even though we haven't drawn too well I'm just happy to be going around. "I've been to Menangle a few times as a spectator but have never driven there. "I'm not sure if I'll like the track or not as there aren't enough corners for me . . . I'm used to driving on a much smaller track." From Eugowra, to Albury and even out to Broken Hill, Clement will tick off the 1400m circuit at Menangle behind his pacer Atara Blue Chip, which he acquired along this expedition. However, it is not the easiest test the lightly raced seven-year-old gelding has faced, especially considering his last and only win came more than three years ago. Ironically, Clement's last win in the sulky was also in 2013, behind Lifeslittlesecret at Tamworth in February 6. And this same mare is the horse Clement began Len's Bucket List with at Dubbo on September 13, 2015. After sticking with Clement through the Western Districts, the Riverina, Canberra, Sydney and back to the Riverina, Lifeslittlesecret was forced to the sideline with a potentially career-ending respiratory problem. Clement still determined to fulfil his dream reached out to his fellow horsemen and women and was offered many horses to complete his quest. "I always say it but the people and friends we have met and made along the way has been great," Clement said. "It is something my wife Christine and I will never forget "We have made life-long friends on this trip and it has certainly exceeded our expectations." AMANDA RANDO

Fresh from driving his 201st harness racing winner, young professional reinsman Chris Geary has a strong book of drives at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. The 18-year-old, who is only in his third season of driving, has emerged this term as one of New South Wales’ leading drivers. And seven catch drives at a metropolitan meeting, including in the two Group features on the card, supports that. His first drive is with the Darren McCall-trained Ideal Situation who has been a revelation since being claimed in Queensland and relocated to Sydney. “He has been a really good horse to me,” Geary said having won six races on the pacer since May. “He backed up over the 2300m here the other week and it didn’t suit him, he feels like a good miler that can follow speed well and also make his own luck. “Even though he is on the second row this is the closest draw he has had to the pegs for a while and should be in the finish.” Geary is driving a couple of horses for trainer Belinda McCarthy, whom he has worked with since he was 14, which includes the pacer Epaulette. “I was really happy with him first up a fortnight ago,” Geary said. “It was a big job to face 2300m first up, he will strip a lot fitter and back to the mile with this draw he can go close.” Geary is then sitting behind Don Boston in the claiming event. “I’ve never driven the horse before but I’ve driven against him plenty of times,” Geary said. “He seems to relish the 2300m and also a high tempo.” A race later Geary is partnering Takahoa in the Group Three Harness Breeders NSW Go Girlfriend Series Final. “I was really happy with her heat effort . . . it looked as though she was gone but she kept grinding away to finish third,” Geary recalled. “Barrier 12 isn’t a bad draw for her and even though it’s a tough race I’m not counting her out, especially if a few of them end up doing too much work.” Backing up in another Group Three, Geary is driving Dont Be Jealous in the Garrards Horse and Hound Ready2Run Sales Stakes. “It’s a good race and this is a step up for her but she is an honest little filly and anything could happen in a small field,” Geary said. Geary is ending the night in the trot driving the Russell Commens-trained Kip Keino. “He’s an honest horse that usually steps away well . . . he is facing some better trotters in this race but his form has picked up and it wouldn’t surprise me if he finished top four.” Amanda Rando Fields for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Saturday 23 July 2016 Form guide for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Saturday 23 July 2016

Twenty-year-old Kiwi expatriate Steph Burley experienced the thrill of her first driving win at Bathurst's harness racing twilight meeting on Wednesday and enjoyed the experience so much that she backed up for a second success in the very next race. Both winners were trained by Steve Turnbull, father of her boyfriend Mitchell and her boss for the past few months, and were part of a four-win haul by the leading trainer. The special first win came behind Our Emancipation with Burley revving up the three-year-old Real Desire filly from a wide draw to find the lead into the first turn, remaining in front for the 2660m race. To make it even more special, the filly is owned by her Auckland-based parents Mark and Heather, a fact appreciated and noted by Steve Turnbull after one of his wins later in the meeting. Heather was on the phone soon after the win to pass on parental congratulations, and later on it was the turn of Mitch Turnbull, even further away in Perth, where he'll be for the next month or so . . . he managed a win with his very first drive in the west, at Pinjarra two days earlier, making it a rather special time for the young couple. And though she wasn't aware of it till the following day, her poised performance earned her the Drive-of-the-Night award from race caller Mitch Manners, who thought she rated the winner to absolute perfection. Half –an-hour later, it was back to the winners' circle again, this time with the aptly-named Oh I Am The One, after a contrasting but equally skilful drive, positioning the Gotta Go Cullen gelding in the one-one trail before getting the bob in right on the line in a desperately close finish. When it was suggested at the presentation that "You're starting to make a habit of this," her "I hope so" response was both spontaneous and understandable. Stephanie might have had to wait about twelve months since her debut drive - a second behind Global View at Menangle - to finally secure that first win, but now she's done it, and gone one more for good measure. Steve Turnbull drove the other two winners from his stable, Sabrage and Gentleman Red, while Ashlee Grives also scored a driving double at the meeting with Platinum Roulette in the fast-class and Zibibbo in a Three-Year-Old Fillies sprint. Vergels Girl continued a great winning run for the Connolly family from Carcoar by leading throughout - her third win this season - while Lexy Can Wait, for Bernie Hewitt, appreciated a drop in class to score a last-stride win in the corresponding male division. Rains continue to flood the Bathurst region. Hopefully "the winter of our discontent" will soon give way to "glorious summer". Amanda Rando

You will not be seeing Bathurst harness racing reinsman Mitch Turnbull's name in a New South Wales formguide for a while. The 19-year-old has decided to spend a stint working in Western Australia. Turnbull had two drives at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night and the next day was on a flight over to Perth. "When I was on the Rising Stars tour, Stewie McDonald from WA said I should give it a go so I thought I may as well," Turnbull said. "I'll be working with Ross Olivieri for at least a month or so." Olivieri is one of the leading trainers in the western state. And he has not wasted any time putting Turnbull's driving skills to use, nominating the Rising Stars reinsman to drive one of his pacers at Northam on Tuesday night. Turnbull also obtained a drive on the Courtney Burch-trained Nothinbutadream at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. "I'm jumping straight into it," Turnbull said. This is not the first working holiday for the youngest son of Steve Turnbull. He has spent stints working in both Queensland and Victoria. Turnbull began driving in the 2012/13 season and has already steered home 85 winners in his succinct career. AMANDA RANDO

You will not be seeing Bathurst harness racing reinsman Mitch Turnbull's name in a New South Wales formguide for a while. The 19-year-old has decided to spend a stint working in Western Australia. Turnbull had two drives at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night and the next day was on a flight over to Perth. "When I was on the Rising Stars tour, Stewie McDonald from WA said I should give it a go so I thought I may as well," Turnbull said. "I'll be working with Ross Olivieri for at least a month or so." Olivieri is one of the leading trainers in the western state. And he has not wasted any time putting Turnbull's driving skills to use, nominating the Rising Stars reinsman to drive one of his pacers at Northam on Tuesday night. Turnbull also obtained a drive on the Courtney Burch-trained Nothinbutadream at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. "I'm jumping straight into it," Turnbull said. This is not the first working holiday for the youngest son of Steve Turnbull. He has spent stints working in both Queensland and Victoria. Turnbull began driving in the 2012/13 season and has already steered home 85 winners in his succinct career. AMANDA RANDO

The Group Two Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Blue Finals are the main drawcard at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night. And the NSW TAB has supported this offering a $10,000 BIG6 Jackpot for its customers. Menangle tipster, Amanda Rando has made her best bet of the night outside of these features with Popfromthebeach (race four) catching her eye. The gelding was extremely unlucky last week after being checked early, yet found the line well to finish fifth to Freyberg in 1:51.9 and rated his last half in 54.6s to do so. Out of the four main features, Rockn Brushgrove (race five) stands out for Amanda as an each-way chance. The gelding has been extremely unlucky his last two starts and form prior to that was strong. BEST BET - Race 4 No.7 Popfromthebeach NEXT BEST - Race 5 No.4 Rockn Brushgrove AMANDA'S QUADDIE - Race 5 - Thunder Dance (5), Rockn Brushgrove (4), Effronte (7), Keayang Sporty (8) Race 6 - Megs Monaro (6), Our Little Digger (7), Roll With Me (8), The Democrat (9) Race 7 - My Mackenzie (10), Pixies Palour (8) Race 8 - Jovial Rock (4), Im With Lexy (5) iForm best bets for the weekend Young Friday - Race 8 No.8 Percynjack This horse did not much luck last time at Parkes. He finds a soft race and he should be too strong for them late. Menangle Saturday - Race 7 No.7 Ima Mystery Girl Has been getting back in her races of late but hoping for a more aggressive drive here. Did beat Eye See Diamonds four starts back and Can roll the short-priced favourite here. Newcastle Saturday - Race 7 No.12 Tiz A Smokey Grades really well here in a thin race. Can do work at this level and looks a bit strong for his opposition Dubbo Sunday - Race 6 No.6 Spanish Lustre Has a tricky gate but has been racing well in better races and should run well. NSW betting activity this week Largest Winning Bets (Stake) $5000 @ $3 COMPOSED - Menangle 9/7 $2000 @ $2.6 CYCLONE KATE - Menangle 9/7 $1000 @ $6 GLENFERRIE BRONTE - Menangle 9/7 $4000 @ $3 KEPT UNDER WRAPS - Menangle 12/7 Largest Winning Bets (Return) $200 @ $35 JOSEPHINE SHANNON - Bathurst 25/5 $2500 @ $8.5 RAVISHING GIRL - Penrith 7/7 $250 @ $17 BAD BOY MARA - Newcastle 11/7 $300 @ $14 CLANCYS FOBWATCH - Menangle 9/7 Largest Losing Bets (Stakes) $3000 @ $9 LIV LAVISH - Menangle 12/7 $2000 @ $2 IOWNATURBO - Tamworth 7/7 $4000 @ $2.5 CLARRY - Penrith 7/7 $5000 @ $2.6 WRITTEN IN RED - Bathurst 6/7 Largest Losing Bets (Potential Return) $1000 @ $31 WRITTEN IN RED - Menangle 12/7 $350 @ $21 WHY FOUR - Penrith 7/7 $1000 @ $15 SAINT STORMY - Newcastle 11/7 $1000 @ $12 SPORTYGAL - Bathurst 6/7 AMANDA RANDO              

Husband and wife duo Peter and Cindy Rixon have had some success in juvenile futurity races over the years and look set to add to that harness racing record at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. The Pheasants Nest conditioners have three of the early fancies in the Group Two Alabar Breeders Challenge Blue Finals. In the $50,000 Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Final, the Rixons are dually represented with Rockn Brushgrove (four) and Keayang Spoty (eight). Rockn Brushgrove will be driven by Peter and Cindy's daughter Ellen and is the equal third favourite at $6 with TAB Fixed Odds (New South Wales). Meanwhile, the Victorian-owned Keayang Sporty is the second elect at $4.80 and will be steered by John McCarthy. "Rockn Brushgrove has been extremely unlucky his last two starts and before those couple of blotches his form was quite good and is definitely one of the chances," Peter said. "Keayang Sporty won't be out of it either. "He is a consistent little horse and his runs up here have been promising." Their third hope is Jovial Rock, which has drawn well in barrier four for the Two-Year-Old Fillies Final and is subsequently the $2.10 second elect. The filly had her first start in Peter's name in the Group One Alabar Breeders Challenge Final on June 26 where she finished fifth to Shezallapples. "Jovial Rock is a lovely little filly that's in with a chance as well," Peter said. "She put in a good run in the Final and came through that race well." In recent years Peter and Cindy have tasted success in the Breeders Challenge Regional Finals including in 2012 with Dream Cartier and in 2010 with Sassy Street. They also won a Group 1 Sires' Stakes Final in 2009 with Just Cuddles - the second last year of the Sires' Stakes series as the Breeders Challenge was introduced in NSW in 2008. All were driven by Cindy, who has scaled back her driving now with Ellen taking the reins and has only had one race drive this season. Peter also has reduced his drives having only had seven drives this season, however, will add to that tally on Saturday night driving one of the three horses he has nominated at Newcastle. TAB Fixed Odds for the Alabar NSW Breeders Breeders Challenge Blue Finals 2YO Colts & Geldings Final 1 FRANCO STORM 35.00 2 JUSTANOTHER REASON 12.00 3 HEZA CRACKER 2.40 4 EXPRESS BOMBER 12.00 5 SACKHEIM 26.00 6 MEGS MONARO 31.00 7 OUR LITTLE DIGGER 6.00 8 ROLL WITH ME 6.00 9 THE DEMOCRAT 3.80 10 CLOUDIN UP 51.00 11 GELDOF 21.00   2YO Fillies Final 1 IMA BLACK BEAUTY 51.00 2 MAGIC ARTIST 12.00 3 JOSEPHINE BROOK 18.00 4 JOVIAL ROCK 2.10 5 IM WITH LEXY 1.75 6 FLEUR DE NEIGE 26.00   3YO Colts & Geldings Final 1 EXPRESS PASS 10.00 2 LIMBO LARRY 81.00 3 BIG DANCE 35.00 4 ROCKN BRUSHGROVE 6.00 5 THUNDER DANCE 7.50 6 LEXY CAN WAIT 18.00 7 EFFRONTE 2.80 8 KEAYANG SPORTY 4.80 9 UNCLE PETER 9.00 10 CHUCKY BALBOA 101.00 11 SMITHSTARS LEXUS 6.00   3YO Fillies Final 1 JESSICA AMBER 26.00 2 PERFECT JESSE 16.00 3 CRUSTY 101.00 4 SPORTYGAL 51.00 5 CHERRY MAHONEY 12.00 6 ROCKNROLL ANGEL 8.50 7 IMA MYSTERY GIRL 7.50 8 PIXIES PARLOUR 8.50 9 ALWAYS ANNIE 35.00 10 MY MACKENZIE 1.55 AMANDA RANDO

He wore no boots and no shoes when he was racing in the United States and now the world's fastest trotter Sebastian K will be available in New South Wales this upcoming harness racing breeding season. The 2014 Dan Patch Trotter of the Year, who rated 1:49.0 on the 1000 metre track, Pocono Downs, will be available via frozen semen. Currently standing at Hanover Shoe Farms in America, Sebastian K's introductory service fee is $5280 (including GST) but members of the Harness Breeders NSW will be given a discounted fee of $4752. Head of Trump Bloodstock Anthony Perkins is excited by this new venture with Sebastian K for NSW trotting breeders. "He was just a natural gaited trotter that won over $2.9million," Perkins said. "Sebastian K is a European trotter with French and American bloodlines and started the beginning of his career in Sweden and then went to America and smashed records. "It is really exciting that we can have access to him in Australia and in particular NSW as trotting is growing there and with all the Breeders Challenge Bonuses, breeders can get a really good deal." Progeny of Sebastian K will be eligible for: The True Blue Bonus (if the mare is served in NSW and the foal is born and registered in NSW); NSW Breeders Challenge Blue Incentive - a $500 cash bonus paid to broodmare owner upon confirmation of a 42-day positive pregnancy test. Head to and click the Breeders Challenge link to see all bonuses related to NSW Breeders Challenge eligible and sustained horses. For more information on Sebastian K, contact Anthony Perkins on 0451 958 203 or head to AMANDA RANDO

It was a much needed victory. And it was met with relief too. That’s the way leading Sydney horseman Paul Fitzpatrick summed up the winning effort of his talented harness racing three-year-old Match In Heaven last Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Somebeachsomewhere colt was responsible for a mystifying performance in the Gr.1 Breeders Challenge Final when a lacklustre 9th behind Charlaval on June 26, it was too bad to be true and almost ended his season right there and then. But Fitzpatrick was determined to find answers. “We had a number of tests, scans and scopes carried out on him but we couldn’t actually pinpoint any problem. There was no actual issue diagnosed and we just had to put it down to a bad run, he hasn’t missed a beat since and the win last week confirmed that he was back on track and we’re heading north.” Fitzpatrick said. The respected horseman is yet to taste success in the sunshine state feature, even former champion juvenile Lombo Pocket Watch came up short when beaten by local pacer Arkamigo back in 2007. While Match In Heaven is yet to race outside of his home state, Fitzpatrick believes his colt is ready to take up the challenge. “He’s a horse we’ve liked from the very beginning and we’ve deliberately looked after him, he hasn’t been over raced and the Queensland Derby has been on his radar for some time now. Given the way he bounced back last week, that confirmed he was ready to take on this task. “It’s a very even field, a very good field but no standout like we’ve seen in recent times and I think that sets up a very exciting race. Many of these three-year-olds are yet to race at this distance so it’s unknown territory for many, mine included. “I think the draw is quite ok for my colt, he will have time to settle early and given that so many of the favoured runners are also drawn the second-line, I’m hopeful we can get good cover before letting go with his sprint.” Match In Heaven is no stranger to success this season having claimed the Young Derby back in March where he defeated Charlaval while he is Gr.1 placed after chasing home Our Waikiki Beach last season in the Breeders Challenge Final. A decision on whether Match In Heaven heads to Melbourne next month for the Australasian Breeders Crown will be made following the Queensland Derby. Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016

The New South Wales Mini Trotting Championships for 2017 will be held at Tamworth over the Easter weekend. The location of the series was announced last week at the NSW Mini Trotters Association Annual General Meeting held at Bathurst. With almost 20 people in attendance, Junee horseman Terry Judd was sworn in as President while Jackie Graham as the Vice President, Kristy Bond as the Treasurer and Daryll Jackson as the Secretary and Publicity Officer. "We had a good response at the meeting and I'm happy to be re-elected as president as it is quite rewarding," Judd said. "All of my children went through the mini trotting ranks and now have friends in every state because of it. "We have made many family friendships through mini trotting and I hope that can continue for other people." With the announcement of the Mini Trotting Championships heading to the North West next year, Judd is hoping it will help boost the mini trotters in the area. "Every year clubs have phases with children moving from mini trotters onto driving the big horses and we have just gone through that with Tamworth," Judd said. "One of our goals is to work with all clubs and try and increase their memberships in particular the relatively new clubs Albury and Dubbo as well as Tamworth and Bathurst. "We will continue to support race days such as the Miracle Mile, Fisher's Ghost, Industry Day and Carnival of Cups. "We will also have the Ross Gigg Mini Trot Drivers Challenge at Newcastle on August 20, where a driver from each of the clubs will be selected to compete in the series. "We will continue our reciprocal agreement with New Zealand and also look at establishing a national mini trotting event." Amanda Rando

Leading harness racing trainer-driver Blake Fitzpatrick is confident with the team he has in at Newcastle on Saturday night. The 33-year-old mentor has three horses nominated, which includes a two-pronged attack in a heat of Harness Breeders New South Wales Go Girlfriend Series. Headlining the charge is the former Victorian mare Helens Bonus who is well-graded for the heat. "Helens Bonus is a very underrated mare," Fitzpatrick said. "In the Breeders Challenge she had no luck and practically did not get a clear run. "Ability wise she is quite a smart mare and it wouldn't surprise me if she won on Saturday night even though she has drawn wide." Fitzpatrick's other runner in the heat is Annajodi who has not missed a place since racing in Australia. The New Zealand-bred mare has won three of her five starts on this side of the Tasman. "The owner Flora Robson purchased her from NZ and the mare has just been a real improver," Fitzpatrick said. "This will be her biggest test but based on her work this week she should put in a good race." Fitzpatrick's third runner on the night is Absolution. "He is a three-year-old taking on older horses but he is blessed with gatespeed and drawn one over the mile I think he will be a good chance," Fitzpatrick said. However, the Cawdor conditioner will not be at Newcastle to drive his team as he also has his trotter Glenferrie Burn engaged at Tabcorp Park Menangle that night. "She was also unlucky in the Breeders Challenge Final and probably should have won the race but was shuffled back with a bit of interference," he said. "I'm also driving Match In Heaven for Dad (Paul Fitzpatrick) and if he goes well he will head up to Queensland for the Derby next weekend." Amanda Rando

Ladyship Mile winner Frith will be having her last start for the season in Saturday night's harness racing Group Three Sky Racing Adore Me Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Having had a spectacular term so far, connections are undecided on what path Frith's career will take on the other side of this spell. Making the decision to continue racing or send her to the breeding barn will not come easy, considering she has just had one of her best seasons to date. Frith has won multiple Group races this season and as a result catapulted her earnings past $1.1million, a feat only four other mares in the Southern Hemisphere have achieved before. And driver Luke McCarthy agrees. "It's hard for the owners to decide what to do with her because her form has been very strong this season," McCarthy said. "She has been up for a long time and will definitely earn this spell after Saturday night." Former trainer-driver Bruce Harpley echoed McCarthy's thoughts. "Frith has just been unbelievable this season," Harpley said. "She started this preparation over in Perth . . . she had a hit-out with me on the Saturday, was on the plane Sunday and won a feature race the following Friday! "You just shake your head with what she is capable of and that's why she has won more than $1million." Frith was bred and is owned by Harpley's mother and father-in-law, Dianne and Bernie Kelly. "Bernie is turning 80 next year so how many foals will he watch race if they don't put Frith in foal soon?" Harpley said. "It's a tough decision to make and luckily there is a bit of time before it comes to making it." Hoping to end her season on a winning note, the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark is one of the early fancies with TAB Fixed Odds for tomorrow night's feature. With the scratching of Ameretto, the John McCarthy-trained Cyclone Kate is the favourite at $1.75. TAB.COM.AU Fixed Odds - Adore Me Stakes DEADLY MERRYWOOD $101.00 ABBEY CULLEN $14 TACT HAYLEYS DELIGHT $12 MILLWOOD LIBERTY $10 BON ACCORD GAL $61 MODERN DANCER $41 CYCLONE KATE $1.75 OCEAN DIVA $31 BETABCOOL $12 FRITH $2.80 Amanda Rando

Greyhound racing is to be shut down in New South Wales Australia, following the livebaiting scandal. Premier Mike Baird announced the decision on Thursday, saying that the industry will be closed completely from July next year. It follows a Special Commission of Inquiry, the findings of which were handed to the state government last week. The ABC uncovered the livebaiting scandal last year, showing disturbing footage of live animals being used to train greyhounds. Mr Baird said the Special Commissions of Inquiry's report found that between 48,000 and 68,000 greyhounds bred to race were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed "uncompetitive". The report also found that "up to 20 per cent of trainers engage in live baiting and 180 greyhounds a year sustain catastrophic injuries during races, such as skull fractures and broken backs that resulted in their immediate deaths". The ban will come into effect on July 1, 2017. Commissioner Michael McHugh recommended Parliament consider whether the industry should be shut down. "As a humane and responsible Government, we are left with no acceptable course of action except to close this industry down," Mr Baird said. "This is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the appalling revelations in Mr McHugh's report and his considered view that any other measures are unlikely to protect animals from further cruelty." Mr Baird said the government will announce a "detailed industry shutdown plan" during the second half of 2016 "following consultation with stakeholders in industry and animal welfare organisations". The plan is likely to include a strategy for rehoming existing racing dogs, an "adjustment package" for those working in the industry and the shut down of Greyhound Racing NSW. Deputy Premier Troy Grant praised Mr McHugh and said no stone had been left "unturned" in his report "that shone a light on sickening animal mistreatment". "NSW is the first Australian state to ban greyhound racing but, as Mr McHugh notes, we are following in the footsteps of so many jurisdictions across the United States and the world which have banned greyhound racing to protect animal welfare," Mr Grant said. From July 1 next year the government will roll out a transition plan for the NSW greyhound industry, including: -A welfare plan for existing greyhounds, including opportunities for rehoming; -An adjustment package for industry participants; and -A transition arrangement for existing Greyhound Racing NSW assets that will ensure they are used for open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use. The government will prepare and consult on legislation to be presented to Parliament to cease the industry's operation and to appoint an administrator for Greyhound Racing NSW. Reprinted with permission of the site

Did Hanress Racing owner Neil Pilcher have a wee inkling or was it yet another smart business move by Trevor Casey? A few days prior to Our Waikiki Beach’s first defeat in 20 starts at Menangle yesterday (Tuesday) Casey bought out Pilcher’s third share in the gifted 3-year-old. Casey now owns two thirds of Our Waikiki Beach with the remaining third owned by Cheryl Rasmussen of Australia. “Neil doesn’t want to travel around as much as he used to and I’m the opposite when I work allows. He’s had a lot of success in racing and I made an offer to him. “I wanted to keep the major shareholding in New Zealand,” Casey told Harness Racing New Zealand a few hours before Our Waikiki Beach’s shock 1.4 metre second behind outsider Ideal Situation in the $9,000 C91.3 FM Mobile for the C5-plus pacers. The $1.10 hot favourite and Luke McCarthy led into the straight but was overhauled 50m out. The winning time for the mile was 1:52.8 with 28.3, 28.9, 27.9, and 27.7 sectionals. It was also the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained bay’s first defeat in 13 starts on the track. He has recorded a 1:50.6 mile at Menangle. But Casey who travelled to Sydney to watch his pride and joy run, rated the Somebeachsomewhere gelding right up there with Lazarus and Stent as the best horses he has owned. “Mark and Natalie have always had a high opinion of this horse and he has reinforced that on the racetrack. He could be anything. People have told me he could easily go a sub 1:50 mile. There’s not much between him and Lazarus but just now I’d probably rate him second just behind Lazarus,” Casey said. “It’s amazing to think that I part-own two of the best 3-year-olds going around in Australasia,” he added. Casey and his co-owners paid $70,000 for Our Waikiki Beach at the Melbourne Sales, simply because they wanted to buy a well-bred Somebeachsomewhere gelding. The 55-year-old Christchurch businessman said the horse nicknamed ‘Barney’ would line up in a Breeder’s Crown heat in Sydney next week before heading to Melton for the Finals next month. Thereafter Casey said Our Waikiki Beach would spell for six weeks and then come back and tackle the big 4-year-old races in both Australia and at Alexandra Park. “The Chariots Of Fire, the Taylor Mile and the Messenger are races I’d like to see him start in but as always Mark and Natalie will make the final call. “They are very astute trainers and I back them in all they do. I’m guided by them,” said Casey. He said Our Waikiki Beach would not start in this year’s New Zealand Cup but fellow 3-year-old Lazarus would. “No we will be concentrating on the 4-year-old races with him next season. He will line up in a Cup one day but not next year. That is Lazarus’s target and at this stage of their respective careers he’s more the Cup horse,” said Casey. As for records Casey said enjoy them while you can. “They all get broken eventually. I just love seeing my horses win and if they happen to break records or run quick times, then that’s a bonus,” he said. Our Waikiki Beach has won four Group 1 races. As a 2-year-old he won the Australian Pacing Gold, the New South Wales Breeders Challenge and the Australasian Breeders Crown. This season he took out the rich New South Wales Derby. The gelding has won $674,221 in his career and there has never been a faster three year old in the Southern Hemisphere. Our Waikiki Beach equalled the time set by Border Control of 1:50.6 when he won a race at Menangle in February. Only six standardbreds have won more than 19 consecutive races in Australasia. San Simeon holds the record with a winning streak of 29. Lucky Creed, Maori’s Idol and Courage Under Fire won 24 races in a row while Aachen and Lyell Creek won 20. With his second placing on Tuesday Our Waikiki Beach joined Satinover, Hyperstat, Village Kid and Lombo Pocket Watch with 19 consecutive wins. Auckland Reactor won his first 17 races in a row. Duane Ranger

Each week, Queensland Harness Racing commentator Chris Barsby does a ring around and gets the inside info on a big list of Australasian based runners. Queensland trainer/driver Darrell Graham heads back to a specialist on Monday, his broken leg is healing well. Champion Perth trainer Gary Hall headed for operation on his hand next Monday. Has constant swelling. He will be out of action for a couple of weeks Talented Sydney trotter Cyclone Lucky Seven headed to Menangle trials next week for trainer Alex Alchin. - Last start was mid march. Star pacers for Shane Tritton, Arms Of An Angel & Salty Robyn both back doing pace work. No set plans for either speed machine. Last start Group 1 runner Three Of The Best is back in Queensland, starts Friday week in Breeders crown heat, decisions to be made after that. In-form couple Nathan Jack and Amanda Turnbull arrive in Queensland next week with 3 runners. Fcee, Neon Sky & Eye See Diamonds. Reigning Australian Driver of the Year Shane Graham, already has over 200 winners this season and celebrates his 52nd birthday today. Millionaire mare Frith will have one more start before a well-deserved break. Starts Saturday week in the Adore Me mares event at Menangle. Top Goulburn horseman Brad Hewitt arrives in Brisbane today with his winter carnival team headed by Spare Me Days. Talented 3yo Stanley Ross Robyn has also made the trek north and will start in both the Gold Coast and Queensland Derby classics. Victorian trainer Andy Gath will make final decision on Three Ways & possible Queensland Derby trip after he starts next Tuesday at Bendigo. Birthday celebrations today for Gareth Hall – he's planning a big party in Brisbane next week when he cheers home Hectorjayjay. Good race tomorrow at Albion Park when Queensland Derby aspirants Kimani (Matt Craven) & Mattgregor (Chantal Turpin) clash. Smart pacer My Kiwi Mate is headed to the Winter Championship series next week at Melton. Good trial this week after NZ Campaign. Despite an impressive trial this week, former Kiwi 3yo He Can Fly will remain in Sydney. Connections were eyeing Queensland Derby Last start Group 2 Breeders Classic winner Maestro Bellini is bang on target for Qbred triad Final on July 16. Starts new week. North American speedster Hurrikane Kingcole is facing a battle to make a successful comeback down under. Team McCarthy working overtime. Plans remain intact for SA Derby winner Brallos Pass to head north for Queensland Derby on July 16. Faces poor draw in Group 1 Vicbred Final this week Chris Barsby

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