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Not that he needed any incentive, but the sight of his 90-year-old father Roy striding through the gates of Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight signalled the start of a big night for champion harness racing trainer-driver Mark Purdon. A little over an hour later Purdon landed the first Group One of the evening, the HQ Insurance NSW Oaks, with a masterful drive to score with his latest 'female' stable star in Partyon. Caught behind the leader, Takara Truffle for most of the race, it was always going to be a case of simply being given a chance to get a crack at her rivals in the straight for Partyon ($2.50) to be the one to beat. Still Purdon remained patient and turning for home extricated his filly from the pocket behind the leader coming wide on the track as the $2.40 favourite Petacular (Michael Stanley) made a dash for home. "I was a bit anxious turning for home, I'll admit," said Purdon afterwards. "But once she [Partyon] got a crack at them she was just too good on the night. "She's done a great job for us since joining the stable, this filly and she's now remained unbeaten." Partyon rated 1:56.2 for her last mile to defeat Petacular and outsider Eliza Dushku (Amanda Turnbull) who zoomed home along the pegs to just hold out Shezallapples for third. Partyon is by Bettor's Delight from the Beach Towel mare Beach Parade. Partyon has now won $397,000 from her nine lifetime starts. Purdon was quickly off the podium to chase more Group One glory in later races. Amanda Zammit

The barrier draw for the Group 1 New South Wales Oaks has been conducted this morning at Harness Racing NSW. Early fancies Partyon and Petacular have both drawn the second row. See full field for the $200,000 classic that will take place at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night (February 25). RBD. 2400m. MS.           1--512                   TAKARA TRUFFLE NZ,  by American Ideal - Mitchell Reese 2--245                  SANNA CRUZA, by Art Major - Josh Aiken (C) 3--124                  ROYAL STORY, by Always A Virgin - Bernie Hewitt  4--237                  MISS AMI SLOY, by Art Major - Vincent Langdon Em 1 5--s22                    MISS GRACELAND, by Rocknroll Hanover -  Chris Alford  6--117                   SHARTIN NZ, by Tintin In America - Luke McCarthy  Em 2 7--475                  WESTERN JEWELS, by Always A Virgin - Adam Sanderson 8--334                  TAYLORS REASON, by For A Reason - Bernie Hewitt 9--s16                  SHEZALLAPPLES, by Sportswriter - Jim Douglass 10--213                DONT THINK TWICE, by Armbro Operative - Jason Grimson (C)  --------------------------Second Row---------------------- 11--111                 PARTYON NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Mark Purdon 12--353                 ELIZA DUSHKU NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Amanda Turnbull  13--226                 ANGEL IN WHITE NZ, by Santanna Blue Chip - Chris Geary (C) 14--211                 PETACULAR, by Somebeachsomewhere - Michael Stanley  Amanda Rando

Star Kiwi filly Parrtyon may not even start favourite in the NSW Oaks.  That sounds amazing given she is unbeaten in eight runs with victories including the Breeders Crown and Harness Jewels finals.  But the filly who ran a game second to her in the Breeders Crown final – Victoria’s Petacular – looks to have at least closed the gap from that last clash five months ago.  On face value, Petacular was at least as impressive winning her heat of the NSW Oaks last night as Partyon was in the second heat.  Some pre-draw Aussie markets for the Oaks final have them equal favourites.  They were contrasting wins with Petacular leading throughout in a 1min57.1sec mile rate for 2400m, while Parrtyon came around the field from near last to sit parked in the middle stages and post a 1min57.5sec mile rate.  In Parrtyon’s case, the race was set up for her when the leaders went a 55.9sec lead time while she sat back relaxing.  To give you perspective. The lead times in the three Derby heats over 2400m were 58.7sec (Motu Meteor), 56.4sec (Atomic Red) and 59.5sec (Vincent).  Petacular went a 59.8sec lead time.  Parrtyon’s closing splits from outside the leader were 59.1 and 28.4sec.  Petacular went 54.3 and 27.5sec.  So much is going to depend on tomorrow’s draw at noon (NZ time) with both fillies have good gate speed.  If there is an upset, it could come from the big and raw Miss Graceland, who ran a six-metre second to Petacular and looks likely to imorove on the run being just second-up.  Adam Hamilton

The all-important barrier draws for the Group 1 New South Wales Oaks and Derby will take place next Monday at 10am at the Harness Racing New South Wales office. Connections of horses qualified for the respective juvenile feature races are invited to watch the draw take place. Both races, which carry $200,000 in prizemoney each, will be part of six Group 1's at Tabcorp Park Menangle on February 25. The culmination of the Sky Racing Carnival Of Miracles will include the 50th edition of the Miracle Mile, the Group 1 Ladyship Mile, the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All as well as the Group 1 Trotters Cup. Meanwhile, the barrier draw for the 2017 edition of the Miracle Mile will be held at a special function at Menangle this Sunday (February 19).   AMANDA RANDO 

Today at Tabcorp Park Menangle, Dream About Me showed once again why she has yet to be beaten in twelve lifetime starts with a display of power that left a talented field of harness racing three year old fillies with no answers. Away from the tricky draw on the inside of the second line early in the $200,000 New South Wales Oaks Final, driver Natalie Rasmussen looped the field with a mile to go to sit outside the leader Rocknroll Magic. Applying pressure from the 800 metres with a quarter down the back in 27.2, Dream About Me surged to the lead on the last corner and that was the race done and dusted. Champion West Australian filly Dodolicious ran on strongly for second nine metres in arrears of Dream About Me with a further nine metres back to the outsider Art Mistress who made ground late for third. Dream About Me cut out the 2400 metres in 2:50.3, a mile rate of 1:54.2 which equalled the track record for a three year old filly and the closing sectionals were cut out in a quick 55 and 27.8. The daughter of Bettor's Delight looked to be cruising in the home straight and looked to have plenty to offer still. Natalie was stoked with the performance  " She just won that with ridiculous ease." " She was waiting for them in the straight, flicking her ears and messing about." " This is an exceptional filly and I don't think people realise how good she is." " I know Lazarus and Waikiki Beach are outstanding colts but I seriously think she is good enough to beat them," Natalie told Harnesslink this afternoon. Leading West Australian trainer Greg Bond was over the moon with the performance of his filly Dodolicious to run second. " It is no disgrace to run second to a champion and my filly was clearly the second best filly out there today so we are thrilled with her run." " The fact I bred the filly makes the result just that bit sweeter" " It was a big call to make the trip from Perth but you never win anything staying at home" " She can go  home now and get ready for the Oaks in Perth," Greg said. A lot of pundits have been arguing over the merits of Waikiki Beach and Lazarus as to who is the best three year old in Australasia. With Natalie's forthwright comments today, two possabilities has now become three and that clash between the three All Stars champions when it happens will be one of the highlights of the season. Our Dream About Me Harnesslink Media 

The barrier draw for the Form 700 New South Wales Oaks has been conducted at the offices of Harness Racing New South Wales this morning.  The runners qualified in heats run at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Here is the draw for the Group 1 $200,000 event to be conducted on Sunday February 28 with the race to be run over 2400 metres.  1. SOHO MADELEINE   2. MERRYWOOD RUBY (EM 1)   3. DODOLICIOUS  4. CHLOES CLOUD (EM 2)  5. ART MISTRESS  6. HOT SHOT WOMAN  7. ROCKNROLL MAGIC  8. CHERRY MAHONEY  9. GOTTA GO JAZZY JET  10. ALL IN YOUR HANDS    SECOND ROW    11. OUR DREAM ABOUT ME         12. GINA GRACE  13. GET IN THE GROOVE  14. SPORT REPORT   The barrier draw for the Coca Cola Amatil New South Wales Derby has been conducted at the offices of HRNSW this morning.  Runners qualified in three heats conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Here is the draw for the Group 1 $200,000 event to be conducted on Sunday February 28 with the race to be run over 2400 metres.  1. THREE WAYS (EM 1)            2. SAMS THE MASTER  3. CANT REFUSE  4. KINGOFTHESTARS  5. SOHO TRIBECA  6. CODE BLACK  7. OUR WAIKIKI BEACH  8. EL MAJOR  9. SPRINTER  10. ZEE DANA   SECOND ROW    11. STANLEY ROSS ROBYN  12. BRALLOS PASS  13. MATCH IN HEAVEN (EM 2)  14. ASCOT ENCOUNTER   The barrier draw for the Cordina Chicken Farms Ladyship Mile has been conducted at the offices of HRNSW this morning.  Runners have qualified in races held in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand Here is the draw for the Group 1 $200,000 event to be conducted on Sunday February 28 with all runners set to start off the front row.  1. SWEET MOLLY OSHEA (EM 1)          2. SOPHIES IDEAL (EM2)  3. MY WILLOW  4. BARYNYA  5. FIGHT FOR GLORY  6. QUICK DRAFT  7. BERISARI  8. NIKE FRANCO  9. JULIETTE BROMAC  10. BETABCOOL  11. FRITH  12. START DREAMING   Greg Hayes  

The two heats for the New South Wales Oaks at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle last night have laid the groundwork for an enthralling final next Sunday. First Heat The West Australian raider Dodolicious lived up to her billing as the best in the west as she gave her eastern states rivals a good old fashioned thrashing in the first of the two Oaks heats. Driver Luke McCarthy let her find her feet early before taking over after 700 metres and ambling through a middle half of 61.6 before brushing home in a smart 55.3 with the last 400 metres in 26.9 for an easy victory. Luke eased Dodolicious down the last bit but she couldn't have been more impressive in her Menangle debut and looms as a winning threat in the Oaks final. The way the race was run it is hard to make a case for any of the other runners in the first heat to play a major part in the final next week. Dodolicious paced the 2400 metres in 2:55.2, a mile rate of 1:57.5 with closing sectionals of 55.3 and 26.9 The daughter of Bettor's Delight is now the winner of ten races and with five second placings from just fifteen starts, Dodolicious  took her stake earnings to just shy of $200,000 with last nights win. Second Heat The unbeaten Our Dream About Me was pushed to the limit in the second heat of the New South Wales Oaks by a very game Rocknroll Magic and it wasn't until the last 20 metres that Our Dream About Me got her nose in front. Mark Pitt sent Rocknroll Magic, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover forward early from barrier eight and she found the death seat after 150 metres while Natalie Rasmussen was content to idle along three back in the running line. Rocknroll Magic started to apply some pressure from the 800 metres, brushing down the back straight in a quick 27.3 and Natalie and Our Dream About Me were off in pursuit as they went past the 500 metres mark. However Rocknroll Magic was flying in front and turned for home a couple of lengths to the good of Our Dream About Me and she was still traveling. For the first time in her racing career Our Dream About Me looked very vulnerable but like all champions do, she lifted under Natalie's urgings and put her nose in front where it counted in the last few strides. When the closing sectionals were announced post race it quickly became apparent just how good the first two fillies had gone. The last 800 metres off the front had been covered in a brilliant 53.5 with the closing 400 metres in a sizzling 26.2. Rollnroll Magic had worked harder during the running but Our Dream About Me had somehow made up three or four lengths on a 26.2 quarter and both fillies could take plenty out of their runs heading into next week. The rest of the field was nearly thirty metres away and it is hard to envisage any of them playing a major part in the Oaks Final next Sunday. Overall Our Dream About Me paced the 2400 metres in 2:53.2, a mile rate of 1:56.2 with those sizzling sectionals to finish of 53.5 and 26.2. Last nights win by Our Dream About Me made it eleven straight for the daughter of Bettor's Delight and took her stake earnings over the $440,000 mark. The New South Wales Oaks Final next Sunday looks a three horse race between three very talented fillies. Our Dream About Me deserves to be favourite but as last nights racing showed, Dodolicious and Rocknroll Magic are not going to die wondering. Harnesslink Media  

Brilliant WA-bred filly Dodolicious will leave Perth by air on Wednesday night on the first leg of a trip to Sydney to contest the first heat of the harness racing  New South Wales Oaks over 2400m at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Dodolicious, bred, owned and trained by Greg and Skye Bond, maintained her outstanding form when she worked hard three wide early and then in the breeze before winning the $50,000 Daintys Daughter Classic over 2130m at a 1.57.5 rate at Gloucester Park last Friday night.     That superb victory boosted her earnings to $187,853 from nine wins and five seconds from 14 starts. She will be driven by Luke McCarthy from barrier three in Saturday night’s Oaks heat and is sure to prove hard to beat. Greg Bond will accompany Dodolicious on the flight to Melbourne and then the filly will travel by truck to John McCarthy’s Cobitty stables in New South Wales. Skye Bond will travel to Sydney on Friday and will prepare Dodolicious for the $200,000 NSW Oaks final on Sunday week. “She will have some good opposition, but she’s earned the right to have a go at the NSW Oaks,” Skye Bond said. Pinjarra trainer Garry Elson will start his classy three-year-olds Sprinter and Ideal Tyson in heats of the NSW Derby at Menangle on Saturday night. They will be driven by James Rattray. Sprinter, winner of the Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park last July and a heat of the Victoria Derby at Ballarat, finished eighth behind crack New Zealand colt Lazarus in the final at Melton. Since then he was not extended in winning over 1609m in 1.54 at Menangle. Sprinter, who has earned $182,339 from ten wins and three placings from only 14 starts, will begin from barrier two in the first heat of the NSW Derby. Ideal Tyson will start out wide at No. 9 in the second heat. by Ken Casellas | GPTV

This time, no chances will be taken. Because rather waiting on flights to arrive and take off on time, they’re hitting the road less travelled. Grant Dixon, the reigning Australian harness trainer of the year will venture south of the border as he attempts to qualify his pair of talented three-year-olds Get In The Groove and Frankie Rocks for Sydney features in the coming weeks. The Gr.1 $200,000 New South Wales Oaks and Derby are scheduled for Sunday, February 28 at Tabcorp Park Menangle with qualifying heats set to be staged eight days earlier. And after being left stranded on the tarmac last month when preparing for a tilt at the Victoria Derby, Dixon will travel by road and eliminate any potentials risks. “Our travel plans didn’t quite go to plan for Melbourne so we’ve made some subtle changes and we’re keen to get down there and see where we stand on the big stage, both horses have displayed good ability and have current winning form so a trip south is warranted. Obviously we’ll be meeting some outstanding talents but I think both horses will perform well all being equal.” Dixon said. The obvious hurdles for the Dixon duo and all competitors for that matter will be the freakish New Zealand trained performers Our Waikiki Beach and Our Dream About Me. Both remain unbeaten for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. But the Queenslanders are heading south in top shape and boast excellent recent winning form at Albion Park, Get In The Groove has recorded back to back victories while Frankie Rocks is unbeaten in four starts to date this season. While Get In The Groove is no stranger to Our Dream About Me after clashing last season during the Australasian Breeders Crown Fillies Final in Melbourne, Frankie Rocks is yet to race outside of the sunshine state. Frankie Rocks took down talented pacer Catcha Lefty two starts ago in a time of 1:53.7 when leading throughout before cruising to a comfortable victory in 1:53.8 last week. “It’s no surprise I’m a big fan of Frankie and I’m thrilled with the way he’s returned this campaign, he’s finally delivering with the enormous potential he’s always shown from the time he joined my stable. He felt very strong last week at Albion Park and he’s trained on well since so I’m happy with him heading into this series. “We know what to expect with the filly, she’s a tradesman-like performer and a very good racehorse and that was evident in her latest victory because she knows where the line is which is handy. I’m happy with the way she is performing right now, this next challenge is steep but she deserves her chance. “Look, both horses clearly need to step it up a gear to match the unbeaten pair of Waikiki Beach and Dream About Me but this is a great opportunity. We’re heading down later this week (Thursday) and will give them plenty of time to settle into their new surroundings.” Dixon will have his duo based at Cobbity with Luke and Belinda McCarthy. And McCarthy will have first option to drive both horses in the heats with Dixon committed to his big stable. “Yes, Luke will be given the option to drive both horses but if he’s obligated to other runners, I’m likely to head down myself but we’ll worry about that next week. “Both Kevin and Kay (Seymour) are happy with that arrangement.” Dixon finished second in the 2013 NSW Derby aboard Majestic Mach behind Lennytheshark. by Chris Barsby

New Zealander Trevor Casey is enjoying a lot of success with his team of harness racing horses both sides of the Tasman. The popular owner has 30 horses including Australasia's best trotter Stent, leading two year olds Our Waikiki Beach and Lazarus and Saturday night's NSW Trotters Oaks winner My Arya. Saturday night's victory meant a lot to Casey as he bred the talented daughter of Angus Hall. "I did breed her and she's the only daughter that Belle Galleon (Stent's mother) has had and I certainly will be retaining her as a broodmare at the end of her career," said Casey. "I raised her right from day dot, watched her grow up, then saw her get broken in and have since watched her all the way through." Casey chose to target the New South Wales Trotters Oaks rather than the NZ Harness Jewels after a narrow defeat in the Menangle feature twelve months ago. "My Arya could have got into the Harness Jewels and she would have been a show but I wanted to win the NSW Oaks because I ran second last year with Daenerys Targaryen and I wanted to come back and have another go at it and we were successful." "We won't be coming back for the NSW Trotters Derby next week, the Victorian Oaks is the week after which means she would have to race four weeks in a row and I just don't think that's fair on her." While at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night Casey took the opportunity to speak with club officials about Stent returning to race on the 1400 metre track. "Stent will be back, I actually said to the team here tonight I'd like to see a mile race here for the open trotters again, I would really love to see the horse at Menangle over the mile again because I think he could go 1:52.0." My Arya's trainer Brent Lilley was excited with the victory and thought her manners took her a long way. "She's proved over here she's the best trotting filly at the moment but I thought the run of the second horse (My Tribeca) was great, My Arya has got manners but the gap between her and the rest is definitely closing," said Lilley. "In saying all that, we still wouldn't swap her for any of them, so after the Victorian Trotters Oaks she will head towards the Breeders Crown and then spell." Greg Hayes

Harness racing followers on both sides of the Tasman are never slow to claim the superiority of their racehorses when stock bred in their country have a big day on the Australasian harness racing scene. So it is no surprise today that Kiwi breeders and enthusiasts are feeling very smug after the huge day at Menangle yesterday by racehorses with the prefix NZ beside their name. Their were seven Group 1 races yesterday and Kiwi breds won four with Australian breds winning two and the Europeans one. And all that success on Australia's biggest harness racing day and in their  own backyard makes it all the more memorable for the Kiwis. There were a couple of constants throughout the day and that was the dominance of Bettor's Delight and Art Major in the Group 1 pacing races. Of the six pacing Group1 races that pair won four with the tally being two a piece. Fight For Glory in the New South Wales Oaks and Sky Major in the Chariots Of Fire did Art Major proud while Adore Me and Beautide made sure Bettor's Delight hogged the limelight as well. Both sires had multiple runners in most of the Group 1 races and Bettor's Delight ended up with five placed runners and Art Major two placed runners to reinforce their dominance. A lot of comment has been made in recent years from leading Australian breeders about how they were getting on top of their Kiwi counterparts. They put this down to the ever increasing number of well bred Kiwi mares who now call Australia home and that they saw a time in the not to distant future where the Australian bred horse would dominate racing in Australia. New Zealand breeders from the start of this industry in New Zealand have sold racemares and broodmares to Australia and will continue to do so in the future. It has never affected the ability of the New Zealand breeder to churn our those top horses year in year out. With Bettor's Delight serving 301 mares in New Zealand this year and Art Major over 170 there will be no shortage of horses by these two dominant sires in New Zealand in the next few years. Throw in the likes of Mach Three (130) and newcomers such as A Rocknroll Dance (161) and next year the recently announced Sweet Lou and there is a real confidence amongst New Zealand breeders that the glory days are far from coming to an end. Harnesslink Media

The first of the features on harness racings big day at Menangle today was the New South Wales Oaks and all week it was touted as a two horse war between Delight Me and Fight For Glory. Both of these runners had been super impressive in the heats last week but the draw had treated Delight Me really well with her drawing barrier one where as Fight For Glory had been given the visitors draw of eleven. The pair were even money earlier in the week but as we got closer to the race the money continued to come for Fight For Glory and she started the favourite today. As expected Delightful Lana and Dexter Dunn flew the gate and grabbed an early lead from barrier nine with Makes Every Scents and Luke McCarthy settling into the trail. Delight Me and Gavin Lang were slow out from barrier one while Fight For Glory and Natalie Rasmussen came out fast and ended up in the death seat early with Delight Me getting onto her back. After 600 metres Natalie pushed the go button and surged to the front but not before Dexter made her work for it. That left Delight Me parked and Natalie kept Fight For Glory running making Delight Me's job even harder.  Passing the 800 metres mark Natalie gave Fight For Glory her head and she roared down the back in 27.2 with Delight Me and Delightful Lana starting to feel the pinch a bit. Just when you would think Fight For Glory would be vulnerable she paced away from her competition with another quarter of 27.2 to win with a breathtaking performance. Delight Me fought on gamely for second with Delightful Lana fighting just as strongly for third with Smooth Showgirl finishing on late for fourth. Not only was the performance of Fight For Glory to win from barrier nine super impressive but her overall time of 2:50.3 was a new race record to boot. Fight For Glory is a daughter of Art Major from the former New Zealand record holder Breath Of Life 1:56.9 ($109,034) and has hit a purple patch of form with todays victory her fourth in a row. Harnesslink Media  

David McCarthy does a great job at the All Stars Racing Stables with his previews of all of their runners each weekend and this week is no exception with his preview for the big weekend of harness racing ahead. With the kind permission of the All Stars team we have reprinted the preview below. Auckland - Friday night Race 2 Chase The Dream (8) Natalie Form: Impressive late run to win the Sapling Stakes on debut. Ability not in question. Comment: "First time that way round but he has high speed and he is also pretty tough. The sort of hors e you can use a bit and he will still kick on. Doing well up there too" Race 3 Wanna Play (3) Natalie Form: Broke last week after good racing in south Comment:  "One I am not too confident about. Standing starts are not really her thing and she is not quite as good right-handed. On ability she would win it but I have reservations" Race 4 Arden's Choice (6) Natalie    Form:  Strong second to stablemate at Timaru mile rate1.57 plus and home in fast time. Comment:  "There's not much between our fillies and I don't know a lot about some of the others. outside the two favoured ones. I will go with Dream About Me in spite of the draw but my drive Arden's Choice is up there with her and the run of the race will decide  the best of our pair. They haven't had a lot of practice raceday but should be ready.  Dream About Me (11) Tim Form: Won debut at Timaru. Hard form to fault. Comment: see above Race 6 Change Stride (10) Brent Mangos Form: Consistent form over the summer and again last week. Draw no help. Comment: Yes working ok up there and will go a good race but maybe just a little below our other two at this level. Kept Under Wraps (6) Natalie Form: Eye catching trial and then eye catching first upper last week. Danger here. Comment: "The boys up north are very pleased with him and he will improve a lot with that last run after one trial. He will improve again with this but is competitive.  Follow The Stars (13) Tim Form: Brave in Victoria Derby beaten by the draw. Not a good one here either. Comment: "Doing really well up there and I expect him to win even from that draw with any luck at all" Race 8 Classical Art (1) Natalie Form: Progressed nicely from quiet trial to bold run last week. Poised. Comment: "Nothing will beat her out of the gate but the decisions are not easy after that. If I don't go out of the gate she could end up pulling three back on the fence and that is no way to go about it. Its a question whether I hand up to one of the top ones and risk her tugging in the trail or just try and win it from the front which is  hard to do but she is capable of doing it. The tactics will be interesting but I expect her to lead early at least. Linda Lovegrace (5) Ricky May Form: Missed a race last week but flashed home strongly at Ashburton previously. Comment: "I am not too worried about her missing that race last week. She hasn't missed any work. Also she always seems to go really well when she is freshened. Her best races have sometimes been like that. So she is a contender though not my top one. Supersonic Miss (10) Tim Form: Showed her class as false odds last week. Super on best day. Comment:  "I think she is the best chance of the three actually. From that draw she will be out of the early rush and will have options after that. She thrives on racing and should only  have improved with that race.  She gets top billing. Race 9 Border Control (2) Tim Form: Did some work to lead last week from a handicap and beaten by passing lane. Ran fastest time. Still on up.   Comment: "Another good run from a handicap last week and he can still get better. Each way chance and a good one. Smolda (5) Natalie Form:  Outstanding first up last week from a long handicap and should only be improved Comment: "I think he can win. That is based on his first up run last week  which was great and his work this week has them really happy up north. He has stepped up they feel so he should be competitive in this field. " Menangle - Sunday Afternoon Race 3  Fight For Glory (11) Natalie  Form:  Easy winner of her heat and one of the hardest to beat here. Comment: "She doesn't need bad luck but she doesn't need good luck if you get what I mean. Even from that draw  if she gets a reasonable run she should be very hard to beat. Her heat run was most impressive. She is at the top of her game and I think unless I do something stupid or somebody else does she is the one to beat. Race 4 Adore Me ( 12) Natalie Form: Went 1.51 last week but has a woeful draw. Comment: " Mark was happy to just do the training for the day as I am driving the others and if anything comes up he has the time to deal with it. It is all good news on the training front from Sydney. I don't know about that draw, whether to go straight out of the gate or wait a few seconds and see what happens. There is a bit of speed on the front line so it will be interesting. I notice that while Ruby did it hardly any horses win at Menangle  when parked so we will have to see.  She is the best horse in  the race so unless I stuff it up she should still be the horse to beat. We would decide on an Auckland Cup run after seeing how hard a race she has " Race 5 Hug The Wind (1) Natalie Form: Devastating heat win makes him favourite. Draw might be tricky. Comment: "As I said I would actually have preferred a gate one or two out. You need gatespeed from one and fortunately he has it  What unfolds from there is not so easy to predict.  You run the risk of getting trapped if you hand up to the wrong horses. He is really well and probably the one to beat" Race 6 Isaiah (5) Natalie  Form: Outstanding leadup over a mile last week and improved with that Comment: Well he has stepped up all season really but this will be his biggest test. Sky Major in particular looked very impressive last week and Bling It On is highly rated so from 5 I will just have to see what develops. It was a great leadup last week and he will improve with that so I am very hopeful he can pull it off" Cheviot - Sunday Afternoon Race9 Sophisticated Lady (3) Jim Curtin Emeli Maguire (4) Ricky May Northern Velocity (10) Matt Comment : "Northern Velocity would be the pick of them but she has that woeful draw which will not help.She hopped out of her gear last week but it was just that she lost concentration. She is still a bit  dumb when it comes to racing. The other two are sort of in the same boat. Emeli Maguire might have a break after this. We will see how she goes. She is a lanky filly and has some growing to do. Sophisticated Lady had a run just good enough to qualify at the trials with a race coming up. She might also need a little break after this we will see. Northern Velocity wouldn't want to be giving the other two too much ground turning for home but if all goes well she will be the best of them" Courtesy of All Star Racing Stables - Check Site here                                                                                                                                                                             

Exceptionally-bred filly Makes Every Scents will be out to emulate one of her mother’s feats when she competes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. A member of the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable, Makes Every Scents is engaged in the New South Wales Oaks, a feature her dam – Scent – captured in 1997. Prepared by astute horseman Peter Walsh, Scent caused an upset by scoring at 15/1, with Dougals Dream (16/1) and Concorde Lombo, the 6/4 favourite, filling the placings. Like her mum, Makes Every Scents will have to upstage the favourite, Delight Me, with McCarhty's husband, Luke, in the cart. Although successful in her heat last weekend, Makes Every Scents is considered a $12 chance after drawing six. The daughter of Four Starzzz Shark will slot into four with the removal of the emergencies. Also successful in her heat, Delight Me is listed at $2.20 from the pole, with New Zealand raider Fight For Glory the second elect at $2.50. Prepared by champion Kiwi horseman Mark Purdon, Fight For Glory will begin from gate nine. Referring to the Blue Riband as one of the strongest on record, McCarthy is confident Makes Every Scents can join her mother on the honour roll. “We are very happy with her and she is in perfect condition for this,” McCarthy said. “It’s a tremendous Oaks, with so many wonderful fillies engaged. “The draw is a little tricky, but with a touch of luck and the right run she will be right in the finish. “She went well in her heat and her work has been terrific this week.” PAUL COURTS

One of the harness racing highlights for us at Menangle on Sunday's Inter Dominion Final day will be this years New South Wales Oaks which has drawn a really smart group of three year old fillies together. Form 700 New South Wales Oaks. 1) Delight Me - Starts 7 - Wins 6 - Seconds 1  -  Stakes $45,338 Already a big player before the draw, Delight Me is now the equal favourite in our view after drawing barrier one. Won her heat in the quickest time of the four held on Saturday night but did wander about a bit when clear in the last 100 metres which she won't want to do in the final Gavin Lang is a big plus on any horse and hard to see Delight Me anything but first or second on Sunday. 2) Rebel Diamond - Starts 16 - Wins 5 - Seconds 3 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $49,930 The surprise package of the heats coming from barrier nine for a great second to Delightful Lana in good time. Hard to see her beating two or three here but the draw and Anthony Butt make her a realistic first four player. 3) Whitershadeofpale - Starts 7 - Wins 4 - Seconds 0 - Thirds - 1  -  Stakes $22,775 (Emerg 1) Nice enough run in her heat on Saturday where she followed Dexter and Delightful Lana but didn't do enough for us to make her a real player if she did get manage to get back into the field. Not for us 4) Lovelist - Starts - 11 - Wins 6 - Seconds 0 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $52,922 One of the best runs in the heats in our opinion when she drew wide and worked to the death in the heat against Fight For Glory and only got beaten by Read About Lexy for second in the last ten metres. Has had her runs spaced out this season and should have derived some real benefit from last Saturdays run. Comes into barrier three and why it is hard to see her winning, she is a real first four chance.  5) BB's Inspiration - Starts 8 - Wins 2 - Seconds 0 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $13,251 Sat four back on the inner in her heat and did run on well but she was in by far the slowest heat of the four run on the night. If she did make it back into the field it is hard to see her playing a major part in proceedings. Not for us  6) Makes Every Scents - Starts 12 - Wins 6 - Seconds 3 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $101,240 Used from barrier 7 to lead on Saturday night but then threw out the anchors in front in what turned out to be the slowest heat of the four run. Sprinted home well but out on her feet the last bit and query about strength of heat. Tactial speed an advantage but appeals as a first four chance to us rather than a winning chance. 7) Butterfly Princess - Starts 23 - Wins 4 - Seconds 3 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $36,655 Showed speed to lead from barrier six, set a sharp pace and then fought on well after appearing gone on the corner. She did set up the fastest heat of the four on the night but had a really hard run in the process. We think that it was her grand final performance just making it out of the heats. Not for us. 8) Smooth Showgirl - Starts 14 - Wins 3 - Seconds 3 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $88,307 In her heat she dropped back to last from barrier nine and was still last at the 800 metres mark. She then got a lovely drag into the race via the three wide line and did finish the race off really well. Can't afford to get so far back this week as they won't come back to her like they did last week. Can't win on last weeks run but outside first four chance if she can stay handier. 9) Du Vella - Starts 12 - Wins 4 - Seconds 2 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $28,634 Big push for this filly from some pundits but we have yet to be fully convinced. She got a beautiful run  in her heat which was the weakest of the four in our opinion and even though the leader threw out the anchor at the 100 metres, Du Vella still only ran second. Two places further out this week at the barrier in a much stronger field means we can't see her winning this and only have her as a first four chance. 10) Delightful Lana - Starts 16 - Wins 8 - Seconds 2 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $101,724 Smart win in her heat but up against it from the draw this weekend but not completely out of it in our view. In her favour is the fact she can do work and still run those big sectionals at the end. Yet to be out of the money in ten starts at three in very strong fields so definite quinella and trifecta chance especially with one Dexter Dunn in the bike. 11) Fight For Glory - Starts 15 - Wins 6 - Seconds 6 - Thirds 0  -  Stakes $217,317 Was the most impressive heat winner by a margin in our opinion but the draw has evened up the contest with Delight Me. Fight For Glory ran home in 54.9 on Saturday night and Natalie didn't even pull the ear plus or the sliding blinds so you would think there was still plenty in the tank. Appears to be right in the zone at the moment and has an all round game so the draw while bad won't stop her being super competitive. 12) Read About Lexy - Starts 17 - Wins 7 - Seconds 5 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $103,795 Not to sure what to make of her heat run, even now. Got a lovely run last Saturday and was well beaten by Fight For Glory but did fight doggedly for second. Take Fight For Glory out and she went fine so we think she is still a place prospect. Has only finished out of the first three once in seventeen starts so even from the ten hole has to be a first four player Selections A two horse war for us with Delight Me and Fight For Glory the two we couldn't separate. If anyone else is going to spoil the party and split these two in our view it will be Delightful Lana and after that there is a swag who you should consider for trifectas and first fours. We would include Rebel Diamond, Lovelist, Makes Every Scents, Du Vella and Read About Lexy Harnesslink Media

The All Stars barn principals Natalie and Mark probably have to check each morning at the moment just to see which country they are in. The duo travel between Christchurch, Sydney and Auckland so much at the moment that it must make their heads spin at times. Mark will spend  this week in Sydney preparing the team for the big day at Menangle on Sunday. Natalie is already back in Christchurch after her big night at Sydney preparing the team for meetings at Addington and Auckland. Natalie will head to Auckland on Friday and then over to Sydney after the Auckland meeting. Natalie will take the drives on all of their runners on Sunday including Adore Me. The Auckland based team at the moment is under the care of Duane Marfisi and Tim Williams. Natalie was pleased with how things panned out on Saturday night at Menangle "We were especially happy that the Sydney team had a really good hitout because it is such a testing track and nearly all of them needed a strong race." "Isaiah  thrilled me with his run." I thought with his lack of recent racing if he got fourth even with that run in a race that quick he was doing well and he did better than that." "Mark was very pleased with Adore Me as you might think." "Isaiah's draw in the Chariots is quite a good one without having had time to analyse the form." "But he will improve heaps with the run." "Hug The Wind and Fight For Glory were both great." "Hug the Wind has drawn one." "I would have preferred two to four to be honest but we will take one." Fight For Glory has a tough draw but she is at the top of her game and she can tough it and still sprint home so it could have been worse." " They were all good," Natalie said. Its hard to comprehend at times how many top horses are part of the All Star barn but this weekend is a good example of their depth of talent. On Friday night they will line up serious winning chances in the Great Northern Oaks and City Of Auckland Free For All before heading to Sydney where they have big chances in the New South Wales Derby, Oaks, Ladyship Mile and Chariots Of Fire. Harnesslink Media

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