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Hunter Valley trainer Jess Dart enjoyed the most rewarding moment of her time in harness racing last Saturday night when Four Wise Men scored at Newcastle. Recently returning from a serious injury, the son of Armbro Operative registered his first success since January 2013. “Four Wise Men has been a really special horse for me, I bought him in September 2011, but I needed nearly 12 months to put some condition on him because he wasn’t in great condition when he arrived,” Dart said. “He provided me with my first winner but then broke a pedal bone and as a result had to have another 12 months off…at first I was just hoping to just get him back to the races, but to get him to win another race is the biggest achievement in my career.” With last weekend’s appearance Four Wise Men’s fourth start along the comeback trail, Dart was confident the nine-year-old was ready to win. “I took him to Tamworth first-up because I thought it would be a bit weaker for him and he went well even though he drew wide,” Dart declared. “Then he raced at Maitland and didn’t run a bad race from another bad draw, so I thought he might be able to win another one. “What made the win even more special to my family was that I wore my great grandfather Charlie Kirkwood’s colours…it was the first time in many years that they had won a race and I’m sure he would have been very proud.” Four Wise Men will have an easy week before racing at Maitland in early November. “That's the plan at this stage,” Dart explained. “They tend to go a little bit slower on the half mile track which suits him, although he did break the 2:00 minute barrier for the first time on Saturday night, plus Mum and I are hoping to have another couple of starters at that meeting too.” GREG HAYES

Harness Racing was one of 26 sports recognised for development of participants at the Hunter Academy of Sports Presentation Night held at Newcastle University yesterday. Mitchell Chapple, Aleisha Bond, Maddie Bond, Mitchell Frost, Brad Elder, Dan Morgan and Jackson McDonald received certificates as members of the first group to complete the courses. The subjects included Public Speaking, Motivation Talks, Fitness, and Personal Development along with an informative talk on integrity by Deputy Chairman of Stewards Chris Paul. The late Ross Gigg, who was always a great believer in developing the youth, was a major contributor to initiating the programme and Newcastle Harness Club President Mr Jim Bell presented a trophy to Dan Morgan in honour of Ross. It will be an annual award. Dan Morgan also took out the Newcastle University Scholarship. CEO of Hunter Academy of Sport, Mr Ken Clifford, mentioned that a recent meeting of the state’s academy’s, interest had been shown to develop the programme in other regions with Wagga, Bathurst and Tamworth making further enquires. Harness Racing New South Wales           

Goulburn trainer Amy Day took two horses to Newcastle last Friday night with one goal in mind and that was to qualify them both for their respective Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Series Finals. Day left Newcastle with an impressive win courtesy of Treuaper while Cogeday was an unlucky second but did enough to get through to the Final meaning both horses will compete this Saturday night in $25,000 events. "I was very pleased with Treuaper, he came off a break and had been trialling well at Menangle in the lead up to his racetrack return," Day said. "Cogeday was very unlucky and got caught up in traffic but he's a sit sprinter and the three wide line just came too early and it would have meant that I was out three wide without cover for the last lap which wouldn't have suited him." "When he hit the line he pricked his ears and finished it off quite nicely and it was nice to have him back because towards the end of last preparation I think a couple of long float trips had taken their toll on him." Cogeday looks to be suited by returning to the 1400 metre track at Menangle. "I had been trying to qualify him for one of these country finals and I had taken him to Bathurst and Young for the heats but he wasn't showing his high speed. He is so much better suited to the bigger tracks and that's why hopefully he will be a good chance on Saturday night." Treuaper will contest race four while Cogeday will compete in the sixth event at Menangle on Saturday night. Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales

Twenty year old reinsman Joel Butterfield will never forget Friday August 22nd 2014. It was the date he drove the first winner of his career when despised outsider Soloman Vandy won race eight and then had to endure a protest hearing when the fourth horse lodged an objection. "It was a bit of a surprise but it is something that I will never forget," Butterfield said. "I didn't think he could win when we went down the back straight because he wasn't doing much but he kept on sticking his neck out and in the end he surprised everyone, it was an unreal feeling when we crossed the line." Butterfield has only been driving since December last year and has had about ten drives in his short career. "I work fulltime as an internal sales rep for a timber wholesaler and the hours are long plus I live a long way away from work. I start at seven and finish at about five but I still find time to train a couple of my own and I also give Bevan Pringle a hand when I can." "I've been strapping horses for my Pop since I was fourteen and I use to give Paul Bourke a bit of a hand after school when I got the chance, I am always willing to watch and try to learn as much as I can from everyone." While Butterfield enjoys his participation in the sport he is hoping he can take it to another level at some stage in the future. "I'd love to do it professionally somewhere down the track but at the moment I'm enjoying training my two." "Cobla Stuie is no world beater but he ran third for me the other week behind Minnie Min Min and I've had about six race drives on him, my other horse is a three year old. It was Soloman Vandy's first victory since winning at Newcastle on March 7.   Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales

When talented driver Robbie Morris returned to the sulky after a serious leg injury less than a month ago he had one target in mind and that was to reach 100 winners for the season. With less than a week left in the season Morris got to the milestone when Love This Dragon took out the first race at Newcastle on Monday. "It was good to get to the 'ton'. It was the goal I set when I returned from the broken leg and to get so much support from trainers and owners has been great," Morris said. "KerryAnn (Turner) was doing the sums for me, I think through injury and suspension I have missed nearly five and a half months of the season and still been able to get to 100 winners. Before the injury I think I would have been able to push towards 150 and maybe that will be something I can aim for next season." Morris was surprised at the amount of support he received after the race fall that required surgery to mend his leg. "Mum and Dad have been fantastic through it, they have been great support for me but I was really surprised by the amount of texts and messages I received when I got injured. So many people contacted me wishing me all the best which really lifted my spirits." "The stable's owners have been fantastic as well, Peter Green, Bill Green, Daniel Cordina, Segenhoe Stud and there are plenty of others that have been fantastic." When the KerryAnn Turner trained Leighs Delight won race seven at Newcastle on Monday it took Morris' total to 101 winners. "It was nice to win two races at Menangle on Saturday night to get to 99. JB Maguire deserved to win the M0 and it was good to see Graeme Hartman win the last with Alta Rihannah as he does a good job." Morris will have five drives on Saturday night at Menangle which is the last Metropolitan meeting for the season. Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales 

Harness Racing NSW commenced 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 BIEN HOA NZ following its win in race 4, the NTS Pace (1609 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 29 May 2014. The “B” sample and associated control sample were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. Mr Hayward did not appear at the inquiry. Charges have been issued against Mr Hayward pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rules 190 (1), (2) and (4). The inquiry has been adjourned until 11am on Monday 1 September 2014. Harness Racing New South Wales    

The Introduction of a new media centre provides the perfect opportunity for harness racing to enter into a modern era in New South Wales. The brain child of outgoing CEO Sam Nati, the media centre will be a one stop shop for all harness fans and participants. "The great challenge for harness racing is to remain relevant in the market place and on the sporting landscape. We cannot achieve that without sophisticated and modern media presences online," Nati said The new initiative can be found at harnessmediacentre.com.au. The launch, to be streamed live, will commence at 7pm next Tuesday (August 19). The general public simply have to log on to the web address and the streaming can be viewed via Smart TV, Phone or Tablet. "The Media Centre was conceived to consolidate our various online offerings and traditional print content," Nati said. "The Principal Club has built a TV standard studio on course at Menangle so that will be the base for the production of the content available on the website." Tuesday's launch will feature new season breeding initiatives along with information on future content associated with media centre. A small part of that content will be daily racing previews for all NSW TAB harness meetings. The plan is to have preview shows, a magazine style show, and even eventually live streaming of races. "There will be a roll out of content. Video previews will be available from the commencement as will an expansion of trial replays to include Newcastle, Bathurst and Penrith. Previews for each meeting will be recorded after scratchings and will be available to watch at any time during the day," said Nati. "We will also heavily promote these through social media so they will be delivered directly to the customer as well. "Just as importantly the Media Centre will provide the opportunity for HRNSW to deliver important industry messages especially in the area of integrity. "Live streaming from major meetings will come a little later. Interviews are already being done for Trots TV, but they will be more polished and professionally edited as we move forward. Advertising opportunities have also been created. For further details call Dale Walker at HRNSW on 9722 6677. Harness Racing New South Wales            

July has been very rewarding for a number of Owner Association Members, in particular those members whose horses were successful at those meetings covered by the Owners Association Bonus Scheme. Our Owners of the Month for July were: Wayne Dimech; Douglas Johnston and Rob Davis. Wayne received his nomination on the back of multiple wins with Lord Merrywood at Newcastle and Penrith and in the regional Breeders Challenge final at Young, where on top of the prize money he received an additional $1000 courtesy of the Owners Bonus. Wayne was also successful with another of his team winning at Menangle on 21st July, namely Deadly Merrywood. Our second nominee for July is country owner, Doug Johnston who won three races with three horses, namely Swift Approval and Shareapassion at Wagga on 4th July and MightyGift at Penrith on 10th July, where he earnt an additional $500 courtesy of the Owners Bonus Scheme. Our third nominee, Rob Davis is a long-time member of our Association and has invested significant sums in Harness Racing with all his horses trained by the Turnbull family. He won three races in July with Duchess Ella, Written in Red and Gentleman Red, and of late he has campaigned a number of runners in Victoria with Amanda Turnbull. We wish him continued success. Of special mention to all our members is our upcoming Annual Awards Night at Menangle on 20th September which will follow our AGM which will be conducted earlier in the day. Membership of this Association has to be the best value in town given that a member and guest can attend this function free, as well as share in all other benefits, including the Owners Bonus Schemes which currently has paid out $20,000 with meetings at Bathurst and Bankstown still to come. Membership forms can be downloaded from the HRNSW website. Harness Racing New South Wales

The NSW Rising Stars series continued at Penrith last night with the Riverina's Todd Prest closing in on leader Chris Geary following a victory with the Ian Wilson trained Charli Springfield. The opening event was taken out by the Blake Fitzpatrick trained Iam Ready for Maitland's Grace Grant which has elevated her to third position on the leader board. The current points tally is as follows; Chris Geary 71 Todd Prest 65 Grace Grant 53 Jack Trainor 47 Kristy Sheehy (WA) 47 Mitch Turnbull 47 Kasey Hocking 41 Nathan Xuereb 37 Max Hughes 36 Liam Armstrong 18 Mitch Turnbull - Western Dist - 4 The next three heats will be held tomorrow at Bathurst Harness Racing Club race 1 - 5:14pm, race 3 - 6:06pm & race 5 - 7:10pm The fourth round of heats will be conducted at Newcastle tomorrow night before concluding with a final heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales  

24 June 2014   Stewards Inquiry – Brad Costello   Stewards Panel – Kylie Harrison, Barry Delaney and Nathan Moy Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards today held an inquiry into the circumstances of Mr Brad Costello conducting training activities at the Croydon Light Harness Club on 4 June 2014 whilst being on the Unpaid Forfeits List. Stewards considered evidence from Mr David Allison (HRV Licensing Steward), Mr David Collins (Secretary-Croydon Light Harness Club) and Mr Costello himself. After considering all of the evidence, HRV Stewards issued a charge against Mr Costello under the provisions of Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 259(1)(e).  Rule 259(1) reads as follows: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – Part (e) reads as follows: Race, lease, train, drive or nominate a horse. The particulars of the charge being that on 4 June 2014 Mr Costello, whilst being on the Unpaid Forfeits List, did train a horse on the Croydon Light Harness Club track.  Mr Costello pleaded guilty to the charge and after hearing submissions regarding penalty, the Stewards imposed a $1,000 fine. Under ARHR 256(5)(a), the Stewards suspended the payment of $500 of this fine for a period of 12 months.  This portion of the fine will not be payable unless Mr Costello breaches a relevant rule within a 12 month period. In assessing penalty, the Stewards took into account Mr Costello’s forthright evidence and his previous good record.   The Stewards were also mindful of the nature of the breach in that it involved the working of one horse on one occasion and that Mr Costello had (prior to working the horse) made arrangements to pay the outstanding debt on 5 June 2014 in order to ensure his name was removed from the Unpaid Forfeits List. Participants are reminded of the provisions of ARHR 295(2) which provide that those named on the Unpaid Forfeits List are subject to the same restrictions as disqualified persons. HRNSW Media Release - Trainer Mr Mark Hewitt - O-desmethylvenlafaxine 19 June 2014   Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) has concluded an inquiry into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that O-desmethylvenlafaxine was detected in a urine sample taken from CHLOES VENTURE following its win in race 3, the Turners Furniture One Pace (2100 metres) at Young on Saturday, 15 March 2014. The “B” sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited in Victoria. Mr HEWITT had previously pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4), for presenting his horse to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr HEWITT was disqualified for a period of 6 months to commence from 28 May 2014, the date upon which Mr Hewitt was stood down. In considering penalty, Stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance, the guilty plea entered and personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, CHLOES VENTURE was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Mr Paul Russo - Irregularity to Cobalt 18 June 2014   Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) commenced an inquiry today into results received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt was detected above the threshold in samples taken from the following horse; SAUCY LEGEND following its win in race 10, the 2GB open Pace (1609 metres) conducted at Menangle meeting on 25 February 2014. The “B” samples and associated control samples where confirmed by Chem Centre in Western Australia. Following an application by Mr Russo, the inquiry was adjourned to a date to be set for further enquiries to be conducted. An inquiry was also set down for today regarding Mr Rodney Pike. That inquiry was postponed to a date to be set due to a medical condition. Mr Joshua Carroll - Cobalt Irregularity 18 June 2014   On 30 April 2014 Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) received a certificate from Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt was detected over the threshold in a post race urine sample taken from TINY TINKER following its win in race 5, the Somerset Meats Pace (2030 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 28 February 2014. HRNSW suspended the license of trainer, Mr Joshua Carroll, pursuant to Rule 183 and sent the “B” sample and associated control sample to the Western Australia ChemCentre for confirmatory testing. The ChemCentre subsequently reported the presence of cobalt in the “B” sample below the 200ug/L threshold prescribed. An inquiry was conducted on 29 May 2014, and Stewards took evidence from Mr Carroll and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Wainscott. After considering the evidence Stewards determined that due to the second certificate being reported under the threshold that no further action should be taken against Mr Carroll. Subsequently the order made under Rule 183 was lifted. Licensed persons and in particular trainers are reminded that, notwithstanding the absence of a second confirmatory certificate, it is possible for a trainer to be found in breach of the prohibited substance rules. A single certificate is deemed by Rule 191(1) to be prima facie evidence of a breach of Rule 190. In this instance the Stewards determined that the results of the second certificate and other circumstances of the case meant that it was not appropriate to find a breach of Rule 190. HARNESS RACING AUSTRALIA  

Newcastle Harness Racing Club has appointed former Wyong Race Club Chief Executive Tony Drew as its new General Manager. Drew will start next month in the role left vacant when Ross Gigg died suddenly on May 8 from a heart attack at age 58. The former Penrith Panthers centre spent 22 years in the job and became a highly respected and much loved figure in harness racing. Drew has a long history in racing administration, serving as Racing and Operations Manager at Newcastle Jockey Club for a decade then as CEO at Wyong from 2000 to late last year. Drew will commence his duties with the Newcastle HRC in a fortnight's time. Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales  

It has long been recognized that some harness racing maternal families will leave winners regardless of what sires you send them to. That is certainly backed up in the case of the branch of the hugely successful Millie C family established by the Bachelor Hanover mare Excuse Me. Choice Machine is the latest descendant of  the Excuse Me clan to prove that you don't need “blue blood” sires to succeed with this family. Choice Machine is by Road Machine and won three races on the track with a best mile rate of 2:00.5 over 2200 meters. She was from a Tuff Choice daughter of Excuse Me who had six foals for two winners with Choice Machine being her best. So Road Machine and Tuff Choice are not and never will be leading broodmare sires but that hasn't stopped the Excuse Me factor helping Choice Machine start life as a brood mare with a real bang. The first foal she produced was Choice Falcon by Falcon Seelster who has gone 1:56.6 and won $98,602 to date while her second foal is the smart Changeover two year old in Controversial 1:57.3 who made it two from two winning at Newcastle on Friday night for Shane Tritton and looks to have a big future in front of him. Controversial winning last Friday night This is a maternal family that seems to thrive regardless of what sires are involved. Smooth Performer ($184,355) who descends from a daughter of Excuse Me was by the abject sire failure, Top Performer. Smooth Performer was his only $100,000 winner but she bred on as well being the dam of Franco Sequel 1:51 ($356,011). Another daughter of Excuse Me, Precious Excuse is by the poorly performed unraced Albatross sire Acquisitor who was a flop in New Zealand but Precious Excuse's first three foals have all won in bettor than 2:00. Outstanding horses that have Excuse Me as their third dam or better include Just An Excuse 1:55.6 ($1,047,157) DB Bopper 1:50 ($605,365) and Second Wind 1:49.8 ($340,501) to name just a few. This is a maternal family that seems to succeed regardless of the strength of the sires used with it. Excuse Me was an outstanding brood mare and her daughters and their descendants have carried that on, growing the reputation of a maternal family that seems to produce winners to just about any sire that they are covered with. Harnesslink Media

Since the talented Hunter Valley trained pacer Ultimate Art resumed as a four year old his trainer Michael Formosa has had one target in mind, the Breeders Challenge. After competing in the finals as a two and three year old but finishing unplaced Formosa is hoping for a change of luck this time around. "He still has to qualify by running in the first five on Saturday night in the semi final but everything I have done with him this season has been with the Breeders Challenge as his main goal," Formosa said. "Ultimate Art finished fourth as a two year old behind No Ah Saint and then put in a very disappointing run as a three year old and ran seventh behind Home Of The Brave but it had been a very tough time for the family in the lead up last year because my wife's father passed away." Formosa has steered away from mile racing recently and has concentrated on stretching his Gr. 1 winner over a longer trip. "He was probably a bit one dimensional as a younger horse, he had to lead or sit outside them to produce his best but he has developed as he has aged and I've been teaching him to sit and sprint and he has really taken to it." "I've spaced his runs which should ensure that he is right to go and while I did consider giving him a run last weekend I was mindful that it would mean he would have to race three consecutive weeks which might have been a big ask." Ultimate Art last raced on May 24th but has had the benefit of recent trialling. "He has trialled twice this month, the first of them was super because he ended up recording a 1:54.5 mile at Newcastle and then last week he led and I was happy with what he did." "I will see how he goes in the Breeders Challenge and if he is still feeling ok I might think about taking him to Queensland for the 4 Year Old Championships, but there is a bit of water to go under the bridge between now and then." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)  

Albion Park track record holder Suave Stuey Lombo became only the third horse in Australian to break the 1;50 mark. Yesterday (Tuesday) at TABCORP Park, Menangle, and the Shane Tritton prepared pacer sat parked on the outside of his stablemate Mach Beauty and proved too strong in a time of 1;49.6. Only Smoken Up (twice) and For A Reason have paced under 1;50 before Suave Stuey Lombo joined the elite club. Both Suave Stuey Lombo and Mach Beauty are gearing up for next month’s Brisbane winter carnival features at Albion Park starting with the Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint on July 5. “I’m very happy with both horses; Stuey is at the top of his game right now while Mach will only get better with more racing because he takes a few runs to hit peak fitness. Bring on the Brisbane winter carnival.” Tritton said. The leading Newcastle trainer will bring a big team north on July 1 spearheaded by Suave Stuey Lombo and Mach Beauty while exciting three-year-old Yayas Hot Spot and emerging four-year-old Aspiring Artist will target feature events during the three nights of the carnival. Last year, Tritton gained a one/two result in the Sunshine Sprint with Suave Stuey Lombo defeating Mach Beauty in track record time of 1;51.8. “All we need is a barrier draw with either of them and we will give the track record a nudge again, both horses seem stronger and more mature this season. “I’m pretty certain David (Morris – driver) will be keen to stick with Stuey following his effort yesterday while Lauren (Panella) will continue to drive Mach in Brisbane. “I think the Brisbane winter carnival is going to be really strong and I’m looking forward to being part of it, my guys are ready to go.” Aspiring Artist proved he was set to tackle the 4yo features at Albion Park next month following his dominant victory yesterday in a time of 1;53.6. The Art Major gelding has now won his past four starts at Menangle and Newcastle. The Gr.3 $45,000 4 & 5yo Championship is scheduled for July 12 while the Gr.3 $45,000 4yo Championship will be staged a week later. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Following an approach from the Newcastle Harness Racing Club after the passing of its Chief Executive Ross Gigg, Harness Racing NSW has agreed to postpone the track renovation works which were planned for July through September 2014. Harness Racing NSW will work with the Newcastle Harness Racing Club to reschedule the 1 million dollar upgrade during 2015 which includes the reshaping and recambering of the entire track, a new infield drainage system, refencing of the perimeter of the track and the laying of audio visual supplier cabling. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |             Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: nogrady@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au               Warning to recipients:   This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.          

Twenty nine year old harness racing trainer Rob Xerri had a month in charge of the Sloys Racing Stable that he will not forget in a hurry. In his first full month in charge of the team of twenty horses, Xerri brought up his first training treble, got four winners on a programme and had a placing in a Gr. 1 event with the talented two year old Mister Brazil. "It has been a great start for me since I took control of the stable, I have got a very nice team of horses to work and they are all well bred," Xerri said. "Luda was very good winning her heat of the Breeders Challenge at Newcastle last Friday and I am really looking forward to that series later in the month. She isn't the only runner I am aiming at the Breeders Challenge, I have five horses that are eligible and it would be nice to see them get through to the final." Xerri produced Miss Rocknroll to win a two year old Breeders Challenge heat at Newcastle on May 23 where she accounted for short priced favourite Sally Fletcher. "She has already competed in a few big series, she ran in a heat of the Bathurst Gold Tiara and she also made it through to Australian Pacing Gold Final. I think Miss Rocknroll and Luda are the best chances from my stable going into the Breeders Challenge for sure." May was not all smooth sailing for Xerri's stable though with his promising two year old Mister Brazil diagnosed with a tendon issue. "I was very happy with his run in the APG final but the trip to Melbourne took its toll on him because he was off his food for a couple of days when he got home and then to make matters worse he did his tendon." "The vet says he needs four months off and I thought there is no use in crucifying him so he will have a good break and he can get ready for the APG next year." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing

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