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The NSW Standardbred Owners Association in conjunction with participating race clubs and HRNSW will once again conduct the NSWSOA Bonus Scheme during 2014. The conditions are the same as last year's series and are as follows: 1. To be eligible for the NSWSOA Bonus Scheme, the Managing Owner of the winning horse must be a financial member of the NSWSOA at acceptance time for the nominated event; 2. To qualify for the NSW Breeders Challenge component of the bonus as sponsored by HRNSW: a) Condition 1 must be met; b) any 2yo or 3yo winner must have sustained their eligibility this season; c) any 4yo or older winner must have sustained their eligibility as a 2yo and/or 3yo. Eligible winners will win the following cash prizes: 1. NSWSOA Bonus - if the Managing Owner is a financial Member of the NSWSOA, the NSWSOA will contribute $250, the Club will contribute $250; 2. HRNSW Bonus - if the horse is sustained or was sustained for the NSW Breeders Challenge, HRNSW will contribute $500. The total bonus payable per race is $1,000 and there is no limit on how many races individual horses can win in the Scheme. The race date schedule is as follows and the NSWSOA Bonus is applicable to every programmed event: Metro Hunter Western Districts South West & Riverina Menangle 10 June Newcastle 18 July Parkes 28 June Wagga 27 June Penrith 10 July   Dubbo 20 July Young 27 July Bankstown 28 August   Bathurst 20 August     Membership forms may be downloaded from the NSWSOA website Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Spring boarding upon its success over the past two seasons, Harness Breeders NSW, in conjunction with the Bathurst, Penrith, Young, Newcastle and NSW Harness Racing Clubs, will again conduct the Go Girlfriend series in July. Catering for 4yo and older C1-C3 mares, the series will see four $6,000 heats conducted from 9-11 July, culminating in a $20,000 final at Tabcorp Park Menangle on 19 July. A winner of a $2,500 Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus certificate will also be drawn from owners of mares that compete in the series. President of HBNSW, Joanne Andersen explained that "the series is perfectly placed for mares as it is in between the Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge Major Series and the Regional Finals. "It also provides another opportunity for mares and their connections to compete against their own sex for substantial money," she said. Harness Breeders NSW would like to thank HRNSW and the conducting clubs for their support, in particular the NSW Harness Racing Club which has maintained the value of this year's final. Dates for the series are listed below. Heats Wednesday, 9 July 2014 Bathurst Thursday, 10 July 2014 Penrith Friday, 11 July 2014 Young Friday, 11 July 2014 Newcastle Final Saturday, 19 July 2014 Tabcorp Park Menangle Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |

The headline act on Sunday afternoon at Cootamundra's Carnival Of Cups meeting will be country star Adam Brand who will perform a number of his hit songs but on the track the excitement will be just as intense with Australia's best four year old mare Frith entered for the feature event. Eglington trainer Nathan Hurst acknowledges the Bruce Harpley mare will be hard to beat but is expecting a strong performance from his runner Major Gambler in the Cootamundra Cup. "Frith is the class runner in the race and even though she has drawn the back row she is going to be very hard to beat but I am really happy with Major Gambler and I think barrier one will help him," Hurst said. "Even though Major Gambler gets out of the gate ok, it looks like he will get crossed. He should get a really good run on the pegs and he is just going to need a little bit of luck when the speed goes on to be in the finish." Major Gambler was a winner at Tabcorp Park Menangle three starts ago and has been racing well since. "He got caught outside them at Menangle last start and just wanted to over race a little bit but I was pretty happy with how he went all things considered." Hurst is looking forward to Sunday's meeting as it gives him a chance to catch up with some members of his family. "I try and get to Cootamundra every year, my uncle lives there and he knows the President of the club so I like to support them." "I've got eight in on Sunday, I can fit seven horses on my truck and we will take the float as well." Talented three year old Saloon Passage should enjoy the drop in class when he competes in race three. "He has been racing against Bling It On in three year old races and I didn't think his run at Newcastle was too bad, it has taken a while to sort him out but he is benefitting from the experience." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing  | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

It is with deep sadness that Harness Racing New South Wales advises the passing of Newcastle Harness Racing Club CEO Ross Gigg. Gigg was a popular figure not only in harness racing but all walks of life. A former Penrith first grade rugby league footballer, Gigg ventured into sports administration at the conclusion of his rugby league career, firstly with the Penrith Panthers then to Western Australia before starting his long tenure with the Newcastle HRC in 1992. He was a former Chairman of the Harness Racing Clubs Committee and more recently was involved with the Hunter Academy of Sport in the development of junior drivers. "We are deeply shocked and saddened by this news," said Harness Racing NSW CEO Sam Nati. "Ross was the heart and soul of the Newcastle Harness Racing Club. "On behalf of the HRNSW Board we extend our condolences to his family, friends and the club that he dearly loved." Ross passed away suddenly at his home overnight. Further information including funeral arrangements will be provided in the coming days. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |            

Paul Fitzpatrick has a fine record in the Nevele R Stud Newcastle Oaks having won the event three times in its ten year history. He has won the race with Village Swinger in 2004 with Blake in the sulky, Protikori won it in 2006 and she also won the Derby that year and I'm Insatiable won in 2010. Fitzpatrick has two very good chances to win on Friday night with Ocean Diva with Blake in the sulky and My Sweet Pawsha for Gavin. Nevele R Stud has sponsored the Newcastle Oaks for ten years straight. "Like our Derby sponsor, Mark Colin packaging, Nevele R Stud has been the only sponsor of the Newcastle Oaks since we reintroduced the race in 1994," said Newcastle CEO Ross Gigg. "Their support has been fantastic and I'm sure most people around the country side know Nevele R Corner at Newcastle which is at the 400 metres mark." It's very even field of three year old fillies. Two horses will fly the flag for the locals in Mother Kym for trainer Shane Tritton and Gee Tee Wage for Gerry Osborn. Thirty people will attend the Paceway on Friday night as guests of Nevele R Stud. The Nevele R Stud Newcastle Oaks will start at 8.15pm and is the first leg of the quadrella. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Five year old mare Grace Artois is a handy performer that has won nine races in her career but she is a horse that trainer KerryAnn Turner will never forget. The daughter of Art Major's win on Saturday night at Newcastle was Turner's 100th NSW winner for the season and was very special. "I am really proud of everyone that works for me, it has been a great team effort but to bring up 100 winners with four months of the season to go is a very big achievement," Turner said. "At the start of the season I set myself a goal of training 100 winners and with the big team and some quality horses in the stable I thought it was a realistic target but the team has well and truly exceeded expectations and I don't think 130 winners is out of the question by the end of August." With stable driver and partner Robbie Morris on the sidelines for an extended period with a broken leg, Turner admits it will be tough to keep the winners flowing. "Now Rob is out it is going to make it a bit harder, but Cameron Jones is a great worker to have around the place and he has had a bit more lumped on him because I have to do more of the race driving.' "As soon as the sun is up we are working and sometimes we are still going when the sun goes down but anyone who has horses knows that it is a 24 hour job, you never really get a break." Turner has a few runners engaged on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle and believes Dealer is the best chance. "Dealer raced really well in the heats of the Carousel, he finished third in both of them and was probably a bit unlucky not to get through to the final, but he is very consistent and I'm expecting another honest effort on Saturday night." Dealer will start from barrier nine in race one on Saturday night, the event will begin at 4:55pm By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing  | Harness Racing New South Wales |                  

Nine of the most talented young drivers in NSW will gather in Sydney next month to contest the eighth edition of the Rising Stars series. Max Hughes, Mitch Turnbull, Kasey Hocking, Chris Geary, Nathan Xuereb, Grace Grant, Jack Trainor, Liam Armstrong and Todd Prest will compete in ten heats over six days at four different tracks. There will also be a representative from Western Australia which will be determined following the running of the WA Rising Stars series which concludes later this month. Max Hughes returns to the Rising Stars series after taking the honours in 2013 following two heat wins. And, Hughes is keen to retain his title. "I reckon it was the best week of my life," he said. "The best thing about winning is I get to have another week. I can't wait to try and do it again." Hughes drove 10 winners last season and even though he has had a slow start to this time around he is keen to prove himself again in the Rising Stars series. Participants will meet this year at the Menangle on 22 June for the Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge Barrier Draw and, when not competing, will spend the rest of the week participating in development activities. Interviews with Trots TV, a seminar with Harness Racing NSW, and date at Sky Channel to witness and participate in the production of In The Gig are also programmed. Heats one and two of the series are scheduled for Tabcorp Park, Menangle on Tuesday 24 June. Three heats are planned for Bathurst the following day, before the youngsters compete in two heats at Penrith on Thursday 26. The series moves to Newcastle on Saturday 28 June, with the remaining heat at Menangle on Breeders Challenge day, Sunday 29 June. The Rising Stars series will once again be sponsored by the Young Harness Racing Club. Secretary Brian Ingram said supporting the youth of the industry was paramount. "We have always sponsored the series and it's great to see the juniors gain invaluable experience," he said. "The club looks forward to watching all the heats and in particular the final round of the series on Breeders Challenge day (June 29)." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Todd McCarthy dominated the driving ranks at Newcastle last Saturday night bringing up his first five winner haul in his career. He drove five of the first six winners on Derby night in a brilliant display. Marble Halls started the ball rolling in race one for trainer Glen Tippet, Fellas r Trouble in race three for trainer Peter Rixon, Howdy Dazz in race four for trainer Kevin Pizutto, Bettorbeastar in race five for Kevin Pizutto and Emerging Art in race six for Peter Rixon. Older brother Luke added to the night when champion three year old Bling It On won the feature event, the Mark Colin Packaging Newcastle Derby. Bling It On started at $1.10 on the NSW TAB and even though he was crossed at the start Luke was able to ease out into the running line and take off to hit the lead with two laps to go. He rated the son of American Ideal beautifully in front with a 69.4 lead time then strong sectionals of 30.1, 28.9, 28.6 and 29.8. Runners were faced with a very strong head wind in the home straight all night. Bling It On looked under a good hold in the run home and was never in danger, he record a 7 metre victory over El Feugo who stuck on very well for second and Mister Jay Cee who was a further 1.5 metres back in third. Bling It On stopped the clock at 3.06.8 for the 2550 metre journey with a mile rate of 1.57.9 which was only 3/10ths of a second outside the track record held jointly by Excel Stride and Suave Stuey Lombo. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |          

There have been two significant milestones during the past week in relation to the Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) Infrastructure Plan during the past week. The Wagga Wagga City Council, at their meeting on Monday night, adopted the resolution to progress the sale of the identified land in North Wagga Wagga to HRNSW. The sale is subject to a development approval being granted for a new racing facility and centre of excellence in the Riverina. Additionally Council also resolved to give owners consent to HRNSW to lodge a development application on the Council owned land. Meanwhile, settlement for the land purchased by HRNSW in Burgmanns Lane for a new racing facility in Tamworth occurred as scheduled on Tuesday. The HRNSW Planning Proposal was recently placed on display and a report outlining the comments made in the submissions received is being prepared for the Ordinary Council Meeting on 27 May. "These are important outcomes for the modernisation of our infrastructure and the associated strategies aligned to it", HRNSW Chief Executive Sam Nati said. The HRNSW Infrastructure Plan includes new developments at Bathurst, Wagga, Tamworth and Menangle (Training Centre), upgrades at Penrith and Newcastle as well as other potential outcomes at ancillary facilities such as Hawkesbury. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) today suspended the licenses of trainers Mr Dean McDowell, Mr Joshua Carroll and Mr Rodney Pike acting under the provisions of Rule 183. HRNSW took these measures to protect the integrity of the industry following receiving analytical results from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt was detect above the threshold in samples taken from the following horses and the respective harness meetings; CHEVALS CHARLIE (Mr D McDowell) following its win in race 2, the Schweppes 30th Anniversary Pace (1740 metres) conducted at Bankstown on 28 February 2014. THE TWILIGHTDANCER (Mr D McDowell) following its win in race 3, the Australasian Young Drivers Championship Heat Eight (2140 metres) conducted at Bankstown on 28 February 2014. TINY TINKER (Mr J Carroll) following its win in race 5, the Somerset Meats Pace (2030 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 28 February 2014. SNAP TO IT (Mr R Pike) following its win in race 2, the Pace (2030 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 22 February 2014. The “B” samples and associated control samples have been sent to another approved laboratory for confirmation. Background: In September 2013, HRNSW issued a notice to industry about the use of Cobalt within the industry and that the misuse of such substance was in breach of the Rules. HRNSW then commencement to engage approved laboratories to undertake the analytical anaylsis and commence research to enable a threshold to be introduce.  On 16 December 2013 HRNSW introduced a threshold for the substance Cobalt through the introduction of Local Rule 188A (2) which reads: NSWLR 188A(2)- In addition to AHRR 188A(2) the following substance when present at or above the levels set is deemed a prohibited substance under AHRR 188A(1) (a) & or (b) & or (c): Cobalt at a level of 200 micrograms per litre in urine. As at the date on which NSWLR188A(2) takes effect , all urine samples taken from a horse prior to that date which have not been adjudicated upon by the Controlling Body shall be dealt with subject to this Rule. Harness Racing New South Wales

Mark Colin Packaging and will bring up ten years of continuous sponsorship of the Newcastle Derby this Saturday night. They have supported harness racing in the region for some time having sponsored the Inter City pace at Maitland for a number of years. Owner Barrie Sponberg, who passed away several years ago, had a strong link with harness racing particularly in the Hunter Valley area. John Downing was instrumental in initially getting Mark Colin packaging as sponsors of the inter City Pace and then sowing the seed for the Newcastle Derby sponsorship. Barrie had purchased horses off John and his wife Helen and they became close friends. The Hunter based Carmody family were also good friends with Barrie and they bred a number of horses that Barrie or his family raced. Barrie raced a number of good horses over the years including Star of Darkness who won 15 of 30 races including a NSW sires stakes 2YO fillies final at Harold Park in 1992. Negi Negi was another good horse. The ill fated pacer Howard Ino who won the first Newcastle Derby sponsored by Mark Colin packaging in 2004 defeating the mighty Karloo Mick was owned by Barrie's partner Janet and two of his daughters Anita and Lisa, Mary Rando was also part owner, and her husband Joe Rando trained many horses for Barrie. The club runs the Barrie Sponberg Memorial for the two year old division on Derby night each year. The Mark Colin Packaging Newcastle Derby is the feature 3YO event at Newcastle and is worth $20,000. Each year the company brings over 100 guests to the paceway for the night and they have booked into the Apollo International Hotel and are sure to make a big weekend of it. The first race on Saturday night will jump at 5.12pm Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW                     Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E:| W: &               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.          

The Tamworth and Newcastle clubs have worked together to add an incentive to the winners of the North West Derby and Oaks which were run at Tamworth on the 24th April. The winners of each gained an invitation to the Newcastle Derby and Oaks. Newcastle CEO Ross Gigg said "The Tamworth club approached us with the idea of re-establishing the North West Derby and Oaks which haven't been run for many years. They wanted to add an incentive to give the races a boost. That incentive was a place in the Newcastle Derby and Oaks. Newcastle were only too happy to support the promotion as many of our trainer's race at Tamworth and many Tamworth trainer's race here. The cooperation between the two clubs is good and we look forward to hosting the Tamworth executive and their partners as our guests for Oaks night on the 9th May. " Haka Shannon for trainer, driver Peter Bullock won the North West Derby and will take his place in the Newcastle Derby this Saturday night. The three year old Bettors Delight gelding has won two of his past four starts but he has drawn awkwardly in barrier nine but will move in one barrier should the emergency Ultimate Ace not gain a start. The first race will go at 5.12 this Saturday night. Harness Racing NSW

Due to the unprecedented rain which has been encountered during the total resurfacing of the track at Tabcorp Park Menangle the meeting set for tomorrow night has been transferred to the Newcastle International Paceway. The decision taken by the NSWHRC was made in the overall interest of all participants. “This was a difficult decision for the Club however the circumstances of the weather were beyond our control” said Chief Executive John Dumesny. “The easy decision was to simply abandon the meeting” “We acknowledge participants will be inconvenienced by this transfer and humbly apologise .” “Part of the decision was based on the fact that there had been no metropolitan prizemoney on offer last week and there was $148,000 in prizemoney to be distributed for this meeting” “After the weather turned nasty last night and continued this morning the transfer was acted upon early to assist participants with their own personal decisions.” “Our contractors could not guarantee they would finish the track works without 24 daylight hours unless we would guarantee perfect conditions.” “That was beyond the realms of possibility taking into consideration the forecast weather over the next few days. The Club due to the weather forecast for the weekend has also made the decision to transfer the Monday and Tuesday race meetings to Penrith. For further information contact Chief Executive John Dumesny on 02 4645 2200.

Respected horseman Blake Fitzpatrick will have a three pronged attack in Saturday night's heats of the Australian Pacing Gold for the two year old fillies at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  Fitzpatrick has a strong team of juveniles this season and unbeaten filly Our Awesome Girl could be one of the better ones in the stable. "Our Awesome Girl is a very promising filly that's for sure, and in the space of six weeks she has just continued to improve," Fitzpatrick said. "She's quite a big filly and I must admit I had some concerns earlier in the season but she has put it altogether of late and once the penny started to drop the APG became an obvious target." Our Awesome Girl is raced by Fitzpatrick's mother and Pam Usher. "They are going to have a bit of fun with her this season, she won her first race at Newcastle by four or five metres and it was another thirty metres back to third." In the second of the heats, Fitzpatrick will start Star Jasmine and Candy Crush. "Gavin (Fitzpatrick, brother) will drive Star Jasmine, she had her first start at Bankstown and I thought her run was very good." "She was passed in at the APG sales and was retained by her breeder Ron Littler." Candy Crush was only a cheap purchase and looked set to qualify for the Bathurst Gold Tiara last start before veering in at a crucial stage in the straight. "She had never been hit with the whip before and ducked in but she requalified at Penrith on Tuesday and I think she is going to be a filly of the future." by Greg Hayes - SKY Racing (Courtesy of Harness Racing AU)

Artistic Flite will start from the outside of the second row in Saturday night's Bathurst Gold Crown but trainer Anton Golino still believes his talented two year old can win the event.  Artistic Flite won his heat impressively on Saturday night and has begun his career in great fashion. "Artistic Flite has always shown ability, he's had a few issues earlier on when he wouldn't track up on the back of horses but he has grown out of that now and I'm happy with the way he is performing," Golino said. "I was thinking before the draw that I would take any barrier except for gate one or eight, I just didn't want him to be bustled early, he is on his toes after his heat win so I don' t think I could have him much better." There have been two substantial offers made for the two year old but it seems to Golino that his owner is very happy to keep him. "There was a very big offer for him after he won at Newcastle from Western Australia which Theo (owner) turned down and then there was another one from New Zealand but that offer was knocked back as well, he isn't for sale which is a good thing for me." "All credit goes to Theo because he picked the horse out at the sales last year and I got him after he was broken in, he didn't cost very much and has turned out to be a good buy." Golino has spent the best part of the last decade overseas but admits the attraction of Menangle was just too big to ignore. "I spent seven years in America working for Noel Daley before going to Sweden for a year and then I spent six months in France and when I saw the plans they had for Menangle I thought it was time to come home and give it my best shot, I hope to train from the barn once they build it at the track." "I'm working four horses at the moment and spend the rest of my day shoeing horses, I am the farrier for Belinda McCarthy, James Rattray and Aaron Brown so I am always busy." by Greg Hayes - SKY Racing (Harness Racing Australia)

Beautide, aka the ‘Tassie Terminator’ has been paid the ultimate compliment. The recent Miracle Mile/Inter Dominion harness racing champion has been described as the ‘complete’ horse by Australian born but North American based Andy McCarthy. The leading reinsman returned to Australia to visit family and friends late last year and even took in some driving action when he won the Gr.1 $100,000 Cranbourne Cup aboard The Gold Ace but he was clearly taken by the efforts of Beautide during his time back home. “He’s a beast; he possesses all the great things that are required to dominate at the highest level in Australia, he displayed throughout the season he has incredible point to point speed, great strength and a fierce desire to win.” McCarthy said. Beautide has won 10 of his 12 starts this season and banked more than a million dollars in prizemoney while next month’s Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle is the next target. And McCarthy is happy to put him on the highest pedestal. “Obviously it takes a very special horse to win the Miracle Mile and the Inter Dominion in the same season but he has shown so many great qualities and when you break them down against modern day champions like Blacks A Fake and Im Themightyquinn, he’s right there with them. “I’ve raced and watched those two horses closely but what Beautide has done this season is sensational. He proved his toughness when he crushed them in the Inter Dominion Grand Final in unbelievable time just like Blacks A Fake did on so many occasions while his acceleration to win the Miracle Mile was Im Themightyquinn like, he just took off. “The defining moment of Beautide’s greatness was his victory in the Newcastle Mile, which was just stunning because you don’t see horses do what he did that night. He was buzzed off the gate and tackled hard for the lead in 26 seconds and then pulled the pocket to sit parked before just running away with it in track record time. Unbelievable victory.” McCarthy was also happy to pay tribute to the team behind Beautide. Like McCarthy, trainer/driver James Rattray spent several years domiciled in North America working under the care of leading trainer and former Australian Noel Daley at his Magical Acres stables. During his time abroad, Rattray met his partner Fia Svensson who has become the constant companion of Beautide since the couple relocated to Sydney. “Jimmy and Fia are great; they have done a super job with Beautide this season, great attention to detail and perfectly executed planning. “They’re both very talented horse people and learned plenty during their time up here, it was a big gamble to relocate back to Australia but they have done it perfectly and hopefully they can build a really good future together.” McCarthy is based in the New Jersey area and regularly competes at the famed Meadowlands where he’s enjoying good success this season but will make a more permanent switch to Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania now that the season has officially started. The 27yo will drive at Pocono Downs four times a week while still venturing to the Meadowlands on a weekly basis before making a permanent switch in August once the season comes to a close in New Jersey. McCarthy finished fourth in the driver’s standings at Pocono Downs last year with 156 winners and will be hoping to extend on that this season. And speaking of extending, McCarthy and his wife Kat are counting down the days until the arrival of their first child. It will be another big year for Andy McCarthy in more than one way. by Chris Barsby

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