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The career of reigning Newcastle harness racing horse of the year Takara Truffle is on hold after the four-year-old mare broke a bone in her leg. Singleton trainer Aaron Goadsby said Takara Truffle was hurt when she kicked a jogger frame in training. However, she continued to work with no signs of injury until swelling two weeks later prompted Goadsby to send her for scans. The American Ideal mare, a winner of 12 races in 24 starts and $91,000 in stakes, was found to have a full fracture of the splint bone in her off-hind leg. She did not require surgery and Goadsby said the veterinarian was confident of a full recovery “but scans in six weeks will make it a lot clearer”. “She was ready to go and was in the noms this week and now with the broken bone, we’ll X-ray it again in six weeks and see where we’re at from there,” Goadsby said. “It might be another six weeks and X-ray it again and see where we’re at, but basically all the races are off.” Goadsby had planned to bring the two-time group 3 winner back to racing at Maitland on Inter City Pace Final night last Saturday ahead campaigns in Tamworth and Menangle. Takara Truffle won the group 3 Go Girlfriend Series Final and Baby Bling Stakes in July-August at Menangle, prompting thoughts of a shot at the group 1 Ladyship Mile at the same track on February 24. Her last start was the Baby Bling Stakes on August 19 when she ran 1.52.8. Goadsby was hopeful of having her back at the races again but said she would be out for at least six months. “It will take her that to work back up again,” he said. Another exciting Goadsby-trained four-year-old mare, Last Party, is also recovering from injury. A winner of three races in four starts, Last Party suffered a quarter crack in her hoof in September and was sidelined for three months. Goadsby said she would not be ready to race until March when he was also hoping to debut two-year-old Pamplona Princess, which he was bringing over from New Zealand. At Menangle on Tuesday, the Maitland team of Paul and Dan Morgan will race Blackjack Shannon, Dreaming Big and Never Know Ozzie.  Dan Morgan drove a winning double with Captain Rockey and Pay On The Pacer on Saturday night.  By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

Lochinvar harness racing stalwarts Pam and Bill Tomlin are coming off their greatest win but not expecting another at Newcastle International Paceway on Saturday night. The Tomlins were given the Dick Osborn Medal for services to the industry at the Newcastle and Hunter Valley awards last week. The couple are life members of the Newcastle Harness Racing Club and remain involved in owning, breeding and training. Pam was the NHRC secretary for more than a decade and Bill was instrumental in constructing the Newcastle track and maintaining it over several stints as curator. They were both friends of Osborn, the late legendary trainer-driver, and said it was a great thrill to take out the award. Superstar Glowie, the only pacer trained by Bill, will race in the C1 heat of the Menangle Country Series at Newcastle on Saturday night but will start from the extreme outside in gate 10. “No hope, not from out there,” Bill said. “If Dale [Spencer] drives her out of the gate, she doesn’t get home. She’s going to have to drop out and get a cart and hopefully she gets home. It’s a pretty good field.” Also at last week’s function, Peter Allen won the Ros Falconer Memorial Award for services to the industry. The Aaron Goadsby-trained Takara Truffle was named Newcastle Horse of the Year, Clayton Harmey claimed the Newcastle and Hunter Valley premierships, Mark Callaghan and Brad Elder shared the drivers’ titles and Stacie Elliott and Laura Spencer took out the Newcastle lady trainers’ and drivers’ titles respectively. Yourblueyescrying was most successful filly and Lethal Star the top mare. The Mathew Jenkins Encouragement award went to Jake Hughes. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald  

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

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

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

The Berejiklian government has flagged a major overhaul of the Broadmeadow sport and entertainment precinct, unveiling plans to open up the site for private development and redevelop the city’s outdated entertainment centre. On Wednesday Sports Minister Stuart Ayres released the long-awaited draft concept plan for the 63-hectare site at Broadmeadow. While it includes no funding commitments, the government has confirmed it plans to relocate the Newcastle harness racing track – tipped to make way for a $20 million rugby league centre of excellence – as well as opening the door for the construction of a new hotel, entertainment centre and “consolidated sports facility” that could include a new aquatic centre or multi-level car park on the site.  The document, which Mr Ayres said would kick-start a three-month community consultation period, comes amid speculation that the state government has agreed to help jointly fund a $20 million rugby league centre of excellence at the site of the Newcastle International Paceway. Mr Ayres wouldn’t confirm that on Wednesday, but said the proposal was “being considered by the government as we speak”. The new concept plan lays out a number of potential development options which Mr Ayres said were “the start of the conversation” about the precinct’s future. “We’ve got a canvas that has part of the painting on it but it’s by no means finished,” he said. Part of that painting is a clear invitation for private developers to be involved in the redevelopment of the site, which is made up of state-owned land. The 15-page plan includes a section on “commercial opportunities”, and suggests the possibility of a “small commercial development” on the corner of Lamton and Bavin Roads, “medium-rise residential” development on land at the edge of the precinct and “a tourist and business hotel” likely on the corner of Griffiths and Turton Road. Mr Ayres also hinted that any redevelopment of the entertainment centre could be led by the private sector, and said developers needed “clear rules of play” about where they could invest.  “We don’t want to preempt or force one hand on top of the other, we don’t want to say that this has to be public and this has to be private, so it’s very important we have a transparent conversation now and work through a fairly diligent budget process,” he said. None of the possible developments in the concept plan are costed, because, Mr Ayres said, it would “preempt” the views of the community. He said developing an over-arching plan for what the community wanted would allow the government to “establish a business case for each public sector investment required [and] secondly it allows us to talk to people who might want to bring private sector development into the site”. He also said the government wanted to hear the community’s view on the possibility of residential development on parts of the site. “If residential [development] is part of that solution that the public and council is keen to pursue then that’s what we want to hear,” he said. Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said he was pleased the government had released a “co-ordinated plan”. “With [the] government spending billions on stadiums in Sydney, it is critical that Newcastle does not miss out,” he said. Less clear is what the government intends to do with the Newcastle Showgrounds. The concept plan states that the Showgrounds are “underutilised”, and says the Show could be incorporated into the redeveloped precinct “just as Sydney Olympic Park was designed to be transformed into the destination of the Royal Easter Show every year”. It states that the Newcastle Farmers Market could also be relocated “around the proposed event plaza just north of McDonald Jones Stadium.  The government has identified Broadmeadow as one of the region’s “strategic centres”, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the plan would “transform the area into a vibrant sporting and entertainment hub for Newcastle” “These upgrades will also expand Newcastle’s growing events market, helping to boost national and international visitor numbers, creating new jobs and economic opportunities in the process,” he said.  By Michael McGowan with permission of The Newcastle Herald

Young harness racing reinsman Ben Woodsford could be sidelined for the rest of the season after being involved in a spectacular race fall at Newcastle last Saturday evening. Woodsford was driving three-year-old pacer Dirty Blues when becoming dislodged along with three other drivers in an accident near the winning post with a lap to go of race eight. The New Zealand-born driver, who works as a stablehand for Shane and Lauren Tritton, had his broken wrist operated on today at John Hunter Hospital where he has been since Saturday night. Shane Tritton claimed Woodsford sustained a "broken wrist in three places" and will be "out for three months." And it was around this time two years ago Tritton's wife, Lauren Tritton (nee Panella), was badly injured in a race fall at Tabcorp Park Menangle and sustained multiple injuries to her hand and wrist, sidelining her for many months. Woodsford has been in career best form, experiencing his best season to date having pocketed 12 winners for the term. Meanwhile, all other drivers involved in the fall, as well as all the horses involved in the accident, have escaped major injury. Maitland reinsman Peter Hedges was discharged from John Hunter Hospital yesterday afternoon. Hedges was driving the locally trained pacer Witherspoon and became dislodged when trailing Yourblueyescrying (Mark Callaghan) which galloped and fell causing the chain reaction. "I'm a bit stiff and sore but nothing is broken and all my scans came back fine," Hedges said. "I hit the track pretty hard and had some pain in my kidney area which they were concerned about but all my scans and x-rays came back okay." Fellow drivers Katie McGill (Celebrity Look) and Mark Callaghan were also involved in the accident, with the latter bouncing back to win the following race with Royal Gamble. Meanwhile, McGill was back driving at Menangle on Tuesday and finished third-placed with the trotter Chesapeaka Boy, the horse she was dislodged from last month in a standing start event. "I had a fall a month ago so you don't expect to be involved in another one so soon," McGill stated. "Luckily I came out of it pretty lightly and just the shoulder I landed on is a bit sore but it could have been much worse for all involved." AMANDA RANDO

Sydney harness racing driver Ben Woodsford came away with a broken wrist and Maitland reinsman Peter Hedges a badly bruised back in a frightening fall at Newcastle International Paceway on Saturday night. Woodsford and Hedges were in John Hunter Hospital overnight after they were among four drivers dislodged in an accident at the winning post approaching the final lap of race eight. The race was abandoned after Morisset driver Mark Callaghan was tipped out when Yourblueyescrying galloped, causing a chain reaction. Woodsford (Dirty Blues), Hedges (Witherspoon) and young Sydney driver Katie McGill (Celebrity Look) were all flung out.  McGill and Callaghan were checked by paramedics at the track and only Woodsford and Hedges were taken by ambulance to hospital. Newcastle Harness Racing Club chief Tony Drew said McGill had a head knock but was cleared to go home. Drew believed all horses escaped serious injury. Hedges said on Sunday morning that he was awaiting precautionary scans but it was believed he had only severe bruising to his lower back from when he landed awkwardly on the track. He said Woodsford had a broken wrist but all drivers involved were lucky to escape more serious injury.  “I was the last one to fall, and I trying to ride it out but then my filly got hit by another horse that was loose, and it flicked my gig up,” Hedges said. “I got flung into the track sideways and all my weight landed on my back.” Remarkably, Callaghan recovered to win the next race with Royal Gamble and secure a winning treble as a driver and double as trainer. He earlier steered Lethal Star and Mitch Kosklin’s Elect To Go to victory on the 10-race program. Callaghan was also the Hunter’s best at Menangle on Saturday night, taking second with Lovin Miss Daisy in the C1-C2 Country Series Final behind Miss Rodriguez. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald  

Prominent Hunter trainers Michael Formosa and Clayton Harmey are disappointed with the lack of transparency about the potential loss of Newcastle International Paceway but believe a move to an industry-owned training centre and harness racing track would be a winner. The Herald reported on Friday that Wests Group had guaranteed to contribute at least $10 million towards a potential $20 million rugby league centre of excellence to be built next to McDonald Jones Stadium at the Broadmeadow paceway site. The multi-million dollar paceway, which opened in 1989, is built on crown land Newcastle Harness Racing Club has a lease on until 2027. However, the centre of excellence bid, and plans to transform Broadmeadow’s sporting precinct, could lead to the state government funding a new home for Hunter harness racing to free up the existing site. East Maitland thoroughbred training track Fairhall Park is believed to be among locations pacing authorities are exploring. Hunter harness racing also has land at Black Hill, given to the sport in the 1970s, but the parcel cannot be built on because it is part of a zoned green corridor. While any changes appear years away, Formosa and Harmey were frustrated with the lack of information coming from pacing authorities.  “The disappointing thing is that we’re reading all these different things in the paper and no one’s even told us,” Formosa said.  However, both were encouraged by the potential for an industry-owned training and track centre. “At the end of the day, harness racing needs to buy its own place, build its own facilities and bring people in,” Harmey said. “There’s nowhere around here where you can encourage people to get into the game, because you can’t get stables anywhere. They need to have a training centre and encourage people to stable horses on track. If they built something the same as Menangle, it’ll be full straight away.” Formosa was confident Harness Racing NSW “will take control of the situation and do what has to be done”. “But you can’t be spending money on property you don’t own,” he said. “I think we are probably better off in the long run if something is owned by Harness Racing NSW and run by them too. To be honest, I don’t know why they’ve spent so much money on something [at Newcastle] they’ve had leased for so little time. I thought they would have at least a 50-year lease when it started.” Newcastle will hold a nine-race program on Friday from 5.02pm highlighted by two heats of the NSW Rising Stars series featuring Maitland reinsman Brad Elder and Daniel Morgan. Formosa trialed stable star Ultimate Art at Newcastle on Wednesday night ahead of his run from gate one in the group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle Park on Sunday. Harmey, meanwhile, believed Cessnock provided sites worthy of consideration in the search for a potential new Hunter headquarters. Harmey, who lives at Nulkaba and stables his horses at Cessnock Showground, was encouraged by early proposals from his local council, who have expressed their interest in providing land for a potential harness racing centre. He said the former Kurri Kurri hydro-aluminium site would be an ideal location. “There’s power and water there and it’s central for everyone who trains around here and it’s right on the freeway,” he said. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry yesterday into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post-race urine sample taken from Apollo Thirteen NZ following its win in race 2, conducted at Newcastle on Saturday 22 October 2016. Licensed trainer-driver Mr Shannon Lindsay appeared at the Inquiry and provided evidence regarding the horse Apollo Thirteen NZ and his husbandry practices. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis was presented to the Inquiry. HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Don Colantonio also provided evidence to the Inquiry. HRNSW Stewards issued the following charge against Mr Lindsay pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2) & (4) as follows: AHRR 190.  (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence…. (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. Mr Lindsay was found guilty of that charge and disqualified for a period of four years to commence from 15 December 2016, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: The serious nature of this offence; Mr Lindsay’s not guilty plea; Mr Lindsay’s first offence for a Prohibited Substance; Class 1 Prohibited Substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines; Level of substance detected (240 ug/L); Mr Lindsay’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of AHRR 195, Stewards disqualified Apollo Thirteen NZ from the abovementioned race. In addition, acting under the provisions of AHRR 195A, Stewards also disqualified Apollo Thirteen NZ from Race 1, conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday 30 October 2016. Mr Lindsay was advised of his right to appeal these decisions.   MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

Louth Park harness racing driver Brad Elder was lucky to escape with a broken nose and badly grazed face at Newcastle on Wednesday following a race fall which will be investigated further next week. Harness Racing NSW stewards will hold an inquiry with Elder and Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa on Monday after four horses collided and failed to finish the second race at Newcastle International Paceway.  Elder, who was sent to John Hunter Hospital straight after the incident and may still require surgery, went face-first into the track after the horse he was steering hit the deck on the final bend of the C1-C2 mile event. “He was in behind the leader, got checked and then went arse-over-head,” Elder’s father and long-time driver Darren Elder said.  “He did a big face dive straight into the track and then a couple of them went over the top. It was a mess. Just terrible.” The video replay shows potential contact between the outside legs of Elder’s seven-year-old gelding The Plainsman and the inside wheel of Formosa’s four-year-old gelding Ultimate Courage.  Stewards’ comments post race said Elder’s The Plainsman, trained by Chris Bourke of Millers Forest, had been “heavily checked”.   Elder’s The Plainsman was on the rail and third at the time with Formosa’s Ultimate Courage positioned outside of him and slightly ahead in second. Both were in sight of leader and eventual winner Booty Shake.  Formosa’s Ultimate Courage continued and finished third after being overtaken in the home straight by The Boys GNP. However, Elder was tipped out of the gig and over the top of The Plainsman before Blackjack Shannon, Mainland Duchess and Major Charlie crashed into them from behind and all four runners were unable to complete the journey.   Fourth-placed Chevalcoldhardcash was the only other horse in the race to avoid the pileup. Elder missed a win later in the program with Love This Dragon and returns to see a specialist on Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage. The outcome of scans may determine what the Elder family’s stable star, Inter Dominion finalist Shannonsablast, aims for over summer in either Victoria or Queensland following a second at Menangle on Tuesday.  In the meantime Elder is up for the NSW Country Junior Driver’s Encouragement award at the industry’s state presentation in Sydney on Saturday night. Racing resumes at Newcastle on Monday. By Josh Callinan Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

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

“He might not be the best in the series but he is the best to me and the family.” - This is what Darren Elder had to say about his star runner from the Hunter region in last year’s Inter-Dominion Series, Shannonsablast. Brad admits that Shannonsablast has changed a lot for his family and is the best horse he has driven in his harness racing career. What better present to receive on your sixteenth birthday than to drive your first winner at only your second race driver.   Brad drove Paintmeacanvas to victory for his father Darren at Newcastle on the 30th of May 2014.    Two years on and Brad has now driven a total of 71 winners and picked up a double with Blueridge Shannon and Shannonasblast at Newcastle in July 2014. With two trebles under his belt and still at Maitland High School (Year 12), Brad wants to concentrate on the training side of harness racing once he has out driven his claim.   Born and raised into harness racing, Brad’s biggest inspiration and career influence is his dad Darren and has future goals to win a Group 1.  Brad came close to achieving his goal when finishing 5th with Days End in the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Four-Year-Old Entires & Geldings Final last Sunday.   His career highlights to date are winning the Gold Nugget, placing second in the Inter City Pace Final and winning the Mathew Jenkins Award. Tomato sauce or gravy: Tomato sauce on everything Football Team: West Tigers Favourite track driven at: Newcastle by far Cats or dogs: Dogs Biggest pet hate: When someone tries to take my food. Ashlea Brennan HRNSW

Our Waikiki Beach remains unbeaten after 16 runs and a large majority of harness racing followers expect the three year old to make it 17 on Saturday night at Newcastle when he resumes from a short break. The son of Somebeachsomewhere last raced in the New South Wales Derby and after winning that narrowly was taken home to New Zealand to prepare for another raid on the Australian racing riches. Should Our Waikiki Beach win on Saturday night he will join Glenerrol, Lombo La Fe Fe and Auckland Reactor with 17 successive victories and will only be one behind Radiant Venture, Garry's Advice, Take A Moment and I Can Doosit. Courage Under Fire won 24 in a row before he tasted defeat while San Simeon holds the record with 29 straight wins. Owner Trevor Casey will make the trip from New Zealand to Newcastle this Saturday but is not feeling any nerves in the lead up to Our Waikiki Beach's resumption. "I don't get nervous that he is going to lose because all horses get beaten. It is going to happen one night so instead of dreading that moment I'm going to enjoy having him," Casey said. "He is back in New South Wales to target the Alabar Breeders Challenge and then Mark (Purdon) is keen to take him down to Victoria so he can have a crack at the Breeders Crown." Our Waikiki Beach has had two trials in New Zealand and was beaten in both of them however the defeats are of little concern to Casey. "He ran third behind Locharburn in his first trial at Addington and then he went to Rangiora and he went head and head with (My) MacKenzie all the way down the straight and she just pipped him." "Mark is happy with where the horse is at so that gives me confidence and I'm just hoping I can find my way to the track on Saturday night because I have never been there before." Casey would have liked to see Our Waikiki Beach compete in the Jewels but understands why the gelding wasn't invited. "I think the horse would have been a drawcard for the day itself but I understand why he wasn't invited. He hasn't won the prizemoney at home to earn a start, there has been a bit of a fuss made of it here in New Zealand but I accept the final decision. "It wouldn't have been ideal for the horse anyway because he would have had to fly back and forth between New Zealand and Australia which is something he can probably do without." Our Waikiki Beach will compete in race six at Newcastle on Saturday night. Greg Hayes

Queensland horseman Shane Sanderson is looking for his biggest harness racing victory since making the move south earlier this year. Sanderson decided to relocate from his home base of Gatton, west of Brisbane and head for the bright lights of Menangle in Sydney and take on the best. So far, the move has been successful. But he wants more. And he gets that opportunity this Saturday night when he heads to Newcastle to chase the Gr.3 $31,800 AVE Technologies Ross Gigg Newcastle Mile. Sanderson is duly represented with My Jellignite and Expressionist in the sprint feature. “Both horses are in really good form and have recent winning form at Menangle, like most places, draws are so crucial and you need that luck at Menangle. I thought My Jellignite went really well in the Bulli Cup while Expressionist had little luck in his race last week, both can feature with some luck this weekend.” Sanderson said. My Jellignite will start from gate 6 while Expressionist will start from gate 11, the sole runner on the second-line. Queensland reinsperson Narissa McMullen will partner My Jellignite while Michael Formosa lands the drive on Expressionist. Both horses lead the charge for Sanderson and his team of ten at Menangle. “I probably would’ve liked a better draw for My Jellignite, a little closer to the inside but he should end up with a fairly good trip given all the power drawn to his outside and I think the draw is ideal for Expressionist because he’ll just follow through at the start and stay close to the pegs. “The same two horses (Mach Beauty & Bettor Bet Black) who ran that unbelievable opening quarter of 24.8 seconds last week in the Bulli Cup are both engaged again so pressure looks guaranteed. I think we have a sneaky chance if they go hard and we can land good trips. “I’m happy with the way things are going, the facilities are excellent and the team is performing well currently but I’d like to keep building on my numbers, I’ve got room for a few more and I’d interested in gaining a few more clients with those “MO’ type horses.” With a barn of 20 boxes, Sanderson is preparing his team of 10 while McMullen is currently working her team of 6 which is spearheaded by Bettor Draw. The Queensland trained Avonnova proved successful last season winning the Newcastle Mile in a track record time of 1:52.2. Chris Barsby

The field for Saturday night’s harness racing Group 3 $31,800 Ave Technologies Ross Gigg Newcastle Mile has been released.  Ten runners will start off the front row. 1.           SHANNONSABLAST 2. IMAGE OF COURAGE 3. STRATHLACHLAN ANDY 4. DYNAMITE DENN NEE 5. ALTA JEROME 6. MY JELLIGNITE 7. MACH BEAUTY 8. YAYAS HOT SPOT 9. BETTOR BET BLACK 10. BLAZIN N CULLEN 11. EXPRESSIONIST Nominations for all other races have been extended until 9:30am Tuesday morning. Greg Hayes  

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