Billy Haughton is tied with Mike Lachance for the most wins by a driver in the Little Brown Jug at five. However, Haughton also trained a record six winners. Stanley Dancer is second in that category with four. He is truly the “King” of the Little Brown Jug. Haughton drove in 28 editions; some years he handled more than one horse. His first was Ankaway in 1949 when he was 26-years-old, and his last was Panorama, in the final heat of the 1984 Jug when he was 60. Good Time won that 1949 edition—the fourth—for Frank Ervin. Haughton managed to finish third in his second heat with the modestly skilled Ankaway. And it would be three years before he made it back to the race, this time with Wilmingtons Star, who won a heat and went on to win the Good Time Pace at Yonkers the following year. The 29-year-old was getting noticed. He led the nation in earnings; finished second in wins; and was the top driver at Roosevelt Raceway. It took three years for all those accolades to translate into a win in the Little Brown Jug. It came in 1955 with Quick Chief, a quality pacer who took his division at two and three, won the Cane, and was the first sophomore colt to earn $100,000. 40,000 attended the race that year and there were 17 entered. Haughton was 32-years-old and regularly topping Stanley Dancer, Joe O’Brien and Johnny Simpson in wins and money. Haughton had a couple of more shots at the classic in the 1950’s, his best being with the Jug Trial winner, Bachelor Hanover, a half-brother to Dancer Hanover. But Noble Adios, a full-brother to the winner of the 1954 Jug, Adios Harry, proved too tough. It would be 1964, nine years after his first win, that Haughton got his second with Vicar Hanover, a speedy son of Torpid. He and Combat Time, driven by Bruce Nickells, were co-favorites in the race-off at 4-5, but it was the 25-year veteran, Haughton, who slipped off the rail and took the prize. Despite the raw 50 degree temperatures, the race generated a record handle of $184,497. Haughton was slated to start a five day suspension in New York the following day; the win made that a little more palatable. The following year Romeo Hanover, who was so dominant that he was barred from the betting, won convincingly for George Sholty, while Haughton was seventh with the Tar Heel colt, Clay. Romeo had impressed Haughton as a freshman with wins in the Sheppard and the Roosevelt Pace, so he bought his younger brother Romulus at the sales for what he considered a bargain price of $35,000. Haughton said repeatedly that Romulus was the greatest horse he had ever driven, so it was particularly disheartening for him to have his star give him mediocre results in the first two heats and ultimately to be scratched from the race-off when it was discovered he was running a 104 degree temperature. The fact that the race was delayed a day due to heavy rain probably didn’t help matters any. Ohio bred and owned Best Of All won that Jug for Jim Hackett. Ah, but all was not lost; the following year, when Haughton was 45-years-old, he got his third LBJ triumph with Triple Crown winner Rum Customer, who went on to be the fourth millionaire in the history of the sport. He won each of his heats in 1:59.3, the final one at 1-5. Haughton won more than a million dollars in purse money that year, for the third time in his career, and in July of 1969 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Two months later he separated himself from fellow three-time winners Frank Ervin and John Simpson Sr. when he captured his fourth Jug with Laverne Hanover, who won 22 of 23 starts the previous year and 21 of 28 at three. During the next four-year stretch Haughton received the Award of Merit from the Grand Circuit for winning more top dollar races than anyone else in the sport, but that didn’t help him beat the likes of Most Happy Fella, Nansemond and Strike Out in the Jug. Although in the fifth year, 1974, when he was 51-years-old, Haughton experienced his most satisfying Jug Victory with the Airliner colt Armbro Omaha, who had gone 2 for 17 as a freshman. This was the colt 19-year-old Peter got his first big win with when Del Miller convinced Billy to let the kid drive him in the Prix d’Ete. He won his division that year. This was Haughton’s fifth Jug win. In subsequent years Billy tried his hand at winning a sixth with Bret’s Champ, Boehm’s Eagle, Windshield Wiper, Crash, Falcon Almahurst, Set Point, Trenton Time, Set The Style, McKinzie Almahurst, Ticket To Ride and Panorama, but none of them crossed the line first in the final. During this dry period, in January, 1980, Peter was killed in an automobile accident at age 25. Haughton achieved that sixth training win with Nihilator in 1985. It was his first start over a half-mile track and the fleet son of Niatross won in 1:52.1 for Bill O’Donnell. Nine weeks later, 27 days after Haughton’s 62 birthday, Nihilator was retired with a record of 35 wins in 38 starts. And seven months later, while driving Sonny Key in the first Sheppard elimination at Yonkers, Haughton was rendered unconscious when thrown violently to the track. He succumbed to his injuries ten days later. Bill Haughton participated in the Little Brown Jug most years between 1949 and 1964 and every year during the 19 year span from 1966 to 1985. We are approaching the 28th edition to be raced since he was taken from us. The fact that no driver or trainer has outdone him over all those years speaks to his greatness. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
Paul & Sharon Carmody’s Lochend Stud at Maitland in NSW thought this season was going to be disaster when they found their champion stallion Aces N Sevens dead in his yard a little over a month ago. Little did they know then that this season could well turn into one of the best ever now that they have secured an exciting son of Artsplace – Shoobee’s Place 1.49.1 $787,271, to stand at their pristine Lochend Stud. Paul has always dreamed of being able to offer a quality Artsplace son to breeders in Australia, but could never find the right one. Well now it looks like he may have the perfect offering. In fact Shoobee’s Place is as close to an ideal offering for Australian mares as you could get. Bred on the ultra successful Artsplace – Jate Lobell cross, similar to stallion of the moment, Sportswriter, the ultra impressive Mr Feelgood & Mister Big and also Yankee Cruiser (sire of possibly one of the greatest aged horses we have ever seen in Sweet Lou 1.47 on a 5/8 track). Another stand out in his pedigree is his third dam – the great Blue Horizon, the dam of Panorama. She is also the dam of Smile Upon the dam of Grinfromeartoear, who certainly needs no introduction to Australian breeders, and is also the sire of Mr Feelgood & Mister Big. This fact alone makes him the ultimate choice in particular for Panorama mares and mares by Grinfromeartoear, allowing you to double on this highly productive line. Shoobee’s Place has an impressive & enduring race record, racing and winning every season from two thru to seven. He took a race record of 1.52 as a 2yo with his career best 1.49.1 at 4yo. He was placed 2nd in the Bluegrass stakes as 2YO. He bounced back as a 3YO with a win in the heat & final of the New Jersey Sires stakes. In his career he won the Consolation of the Battle of Brandywine, elimination & final of the Bergstein Pace, consolation of the Levy Memorial. In all he won in under 1.52 on no less than 15 occasions. Shoobee’s Place is an outstanding individual, standing 15.3hh with correct conformation, great looks and a superb temperament. He also had the reputation of a talented and tough raceway performer right throughout his career. Shoobee’s Place is being offered at an introductory fee of $2200 incl GST, with very generous discounts available for multiple mares and Members of Harness Breeders NSW. For more information or to book your mare in phone Paul Carmody on 0439 607 349 or 02 49 33 6903. Harness Racing New South Wales
Bernie Hewitt has had a relatively modest season by his own high standards, but the last month has been highly successful for the Georges Plains harness racing trainer-driver with a feature win in the Breeders Blue Final by promising filly Read About Lexy and multiple successes at a number of other harness racing meetings. That strong finish was maintained with a treble at last Wednesday’s Bathurst meeting. Joannie Pony ($4.50) was reined by his nephew, the in-formScotty Hewitt, who brought the mare with a well-timed run in the C1 sprint, right over the top of favourite Polished Rocks, who tried very hard, and Queen Khawaja. The last half was covered in 59.8 but the overall mile rate of 1:59.9, good under winter conditions,was the result of unrelenting pace in the first part of the event. Hewitt completed his good night’s work by driving the winners of two of the final three races. Famous Fella ($3.60) came from well back in a 3C0 sprint to overhaul death-seating Kyalla Tee Jay and Monica’s Magic, which had enjoyed the one-one trail. The last half was run in a minute flat. The winner was a smart two-year-old last season, placing fifth in the Crown final won by All Black Stride NZ, but his only success this term had been in Restricted company. He will try to pick up that hardest win – the second 3YO – before heading for a break. Bernie’s wife Cathy shares in the ownership of Famous Fella, but she would have been even more impressed by the result of the following race. Pass The Magic ($4.00) was an easy all the way winner of a 2C0-2C2 Fillies sprint and better still hers is the only name on the ownership papers. A Menangle winner earlier in the season, she’d been unlucky in some of her recent starts, but a smart 59.5 last half gave an indication of the ability of the daughter of Passmaster Hanover. Asked to comment on his wife’s ownership double,Bernie ‘s thoughts turned to a possible roast dinner. Hopefully so, with a cuddle thrown in for good measure! Ashlee Siejka is another trainer putting in the big strides in the latter part of the season, and she was rewarded with a double at the meeting. Red Vee Hanover, $2.70 favourite in a very strong C 2 over 2130 metres, justified the support by sitting outside the lead and opening up a clear break on the turn before holding on narrowly from his stablemate Packnplenty, which got an inside run close to the line. Smack Dab Shannon held on for third. With the first half run in a pedestrian 64 seconds, the speed came on over the final lap, which took just 58.4 seconds, adding merit to the win, the first this season for the five-year-old. “He didn’t go as well as we’d hoped early in the season, with illnesses and a few injuries, but now that he’s struck some form, we hope he can keep it going,” was the trainer driver’s assessment after the race. Our Miss Kathryn NZ ($3.30 ) brought up the Siejka double in the following race, a 2130 metres C3 – C6, and like the earlier win, it was achieved sitting outside the lead, throwing in a very quick third quarter – 28.3 in this case – and out staying her rivals down the running. The overall mile rate was 2:02.4 . The winner races for Siejka’s partner Ryan Grives, who’s had a dream introduction to harness racing, with wins by this mare and by promising juvenile Ameretto. Time for Ryan to check out that baked dinner recipe? Amanda Turnbull was yet another to grab a driving double in successive races, hers coming in the middle of the meeting, sandwiched between the Siejka and Hewitt efforts. Padabing Stride ($2.30 favourite, for father Steve) deserved his win in a C 0 sprint sponsored by his owners the Rosati family. After working round the field to the death, he controlled the race, for a clear win from leader Kapow Shannon and trailer Lawsons Way. Lacking high speed, the Village Jasper four-year-old is usually required to race from the death, and had been runner-up at his previous three starts when driven in that fashion. His driver reckons “he’s like a big, gangly kid, still growing up, and working it all out. Long Hot Summer ($2.90 ) recently joined Josh Turnbull’s team from the Dean Cernovskis stable, and grabbed his second win for the season in a 3CO sprint, prevailing in a slogging finish from death-seat runner Noahs Ark ( a half to earlier winner Red Vee Hanover) and Puffnstuff. Like his sire Metropolitan, the winner is a big strong type, and he is yet to grow into himself. When the starter released the field in the opening C0 – C1 sprint, eventually taken out by The Rag Doll ($3.90, Jarrod Alchin / Colin McDowell ) an electrical malfunction prevented the on-course broadcast and the crowd had the strange, almost surreal, experience of watching the race in total silence. This lasted till the final turn, when things changed suddenly- the din of drivers all yelling at their horses was a novel, and dramatic experience normally hidden by the commentary. No-one would willingly do without Kevin Thompson’s fine race calls, but this enforced silence gave everyone at the track some insight into just what goes on at the business end of a race. Amy Day kept up her Bathurst strike-rate with a deserved win by Audrey Maree in the final race, an R 0 sprint. The four-year-old mare has been a model of consistency this season, with 8 places from 12 starts prior to this maiden win. Coopers Beach Boy and Tim McGee filled the minor placings. Bathurst HRC has announced two important dates for the diary –September 21 for the final meeting at the Bathurst Showgrounds track, and October 19 for the opening at the new Mt Panorama complex. They’ll both be huge milestones - for the club, for Bathurst and the Western Districts, and for harness racing in New South Wales. More about these special days, in coming weeks. By Terry Neil
Star filly Tricky Styx is being set for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 after she produced her typical whirlwind finishing burst to snatch a thrilling last-stride victory in the group 1 $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I think she has earned the chance to run in the Slipper," Northam trainer Jesse Moore said after Aiden De Campo had driven Tricky Styx to a head victory over Soho Tokyo. And the 22-year-old de Campo is looking forward to the challenge of contesting the Golden Slipper with Tricky Styx against the colts and geldings, saying: "She's a quality filly who has proved that she can race against the boys with her win in the Champagne Classic." Tricky Styx showed her class in the group 2 Champagne Classic early in May when she overcame the outside barrier and the task of charging home from the rear after settling in last position. Tricky Styx, who started from barrier two on the back line on Friday night, was sent out at the surprisingly good odds of 9/2, with Major Reality (10/9) and polemarker Sea Me Smile (13/4) more popular with punters. Major Reality was smartest into stride from the No. 3 barrier, but was unable to cross Sea Me Smile, who kicked up strongly on the inside to hold out Soho Tokyo and Tricky Styx. Justin Prentice quickly was able to get Major Reality into the one-out, one-back position behind Soho Tokyo (in the breeze), with Tricky Styx settling in seventh position. Massive Attack started a three-wide move after about 500m and Prentice eased Major Reality three wide with 950m to travel. It was a line of three in front passing the 400m mark, with de Campo having eased Tricky Styx out of a pocket and into the three-wide line 450m from home. Michael Stanley got Soho Tokyo (8/1) to a narrow lead on the home turn and Tricky Styx was fourth (and winding up) 90m from the post. She then flew to gain the verdict over Soho Tokyo in the final stride. The final quarters were covered in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. and Tricky Styx rated 1.58.1 over the 1730m. "We got a dream trip," de Campo said. "But at the 400m she didn't let down as good as I thought she could. However, at the top of the straight she really started motoring. I think that she might have been a touch below her very best, but she still got the job done. Jesse wasn't one hundred per cent happy with her before the race. He said that her past two runs had not been as good as her two previous runs. Jesse is a very astute trainer and will have her ready for her next assignment. "I didn't pull the plugs because she doesn't respond to that. She has the plugs in, but you don't pull them. She is quite temperamental and you can't hit her too hard, either. "She is not the easiest horse to drive and she gets around a bit and it is a credit to Jesse that her race manners have improved immensely over the past six to seven weeks. She is probably green more than anything. Jesse had the block blinkers on early and then he took them off and put the Dollies on --- and that has been a big key to how she has been racing." Tricky Styx, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is certainly proving a wonderful bargain for the 69-year-old Moore, who paid just $NZ5000 to buy the filly for his wife Maree at the New Zealand yearling sales in Christchurch early last year. Tricky Styx now has earned $110,435 from five wins and one placing from eight starts. Ultimate Major makes it four to Lewis Champion reinsman Chris Lewis was in dashing form at Gloucester Park on Friday night, landing four winners. He ended the night on a high with an astute frontrunning drive to score a smart win with 13/4 chance Ultimate Major in the 2536m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace for three-year-olds. He had been successful earlier in the night with the Ross Olivieri-trained trio of Shelby Cruzin, Might Be Luck and Selkie. Ultimate Major, a relatively inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt, gives promise of developing into a very smart pacer, and Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that long-range plans for Ultimate Major included the rich group 1 Golden Nugget Championship next season. "He's a funny horse with a lot of speed and his record in New Zealand was very good and, hopefully, he will continue to improve," de Campo said. "The Golden Nugget will be his main aim. "After he arrived from New Zealand in February he tried rushing him for the WA Derby and didn't have enough time to have him ready. At his WA debut early in April he went very badly in the Western Gateway Classic (distanced behind Elegant Christian). So we freshened him up and now he's racing well. "He is a funny kind of horse. When he's in front he switches right off, like he did tonight. But when that horse (Mista Rush) got to him he lifted and was running through the line strongly." Ultimate Major clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Lewis was able to give the colt an easy time early, with the first 400m section of the final mile going by in a pedestrian 32.3sec. before he increased the tempo with sections of 30.2sec., 29.1sec. and 28.4sec. He led clearly half-way down the home straight and had almost a full length to spare in defeating 3/1 second fancy Mista Rush, who was last at the bell and unwound a sparkling late burst. Soho Lennon, the 6/4 favourite, had a tough run before finishing third. He was trapped three wide for the first 500m and then worked hard in the breeze. Ultimate Major, owned by Paul and Tony Poli, won at two of his four New Zealand starts and he now has a record of nine starts for five wins, one placing and stakes of $37,225. He is a half-brother to Pas Ultimate Delight, who has had three starts in New South Wales for two wins, including a group 3 event for mares in Dubbo. Ultimate Major's maternal granddam Abbeybell produced Our Awesome Armbro, a winner in New Zealand, Australia and America before retiring with a fine record of 184 starts for 37 wins, 42 placings and $849,309. Lewis and de Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night, with Lewis driving three winners (Major Rush, Miss Atomic and Onedin Crusader) and de Campo training a double with Captain Proud and Typhoon Tan. Olivieri praises Selkie Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri predicted a bright future for Selkie after Chris Lewis had driven the five-year-old to an effortless victory in the first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzas Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She is one of the better mares I have trained," he said. "I have trained a lot of good mares and Selkie rates pretty highly with some of the best of them. "Gliding Princess is the best mare, by far, that I have trained. She is only the third filly in history to have won the New South Wales Derby and Oaks. Ima Spicey Lombo and Miss Bo Scott were pretty good, but Selkie is much better than Elysees Crest (23 wins and $228,290) and Slick Lavra (15 wins and $143,026). The latter two were not in the same class as Selkie. "Selkie is fast, tough and versatile and when she's doing a 30sec. quarter she's absolutely cruising. Chris said that she was cruising on the line tonight." David Gravolin, an Oakford trainer whose property is about 5km from Olivieri's Oakford stables, recently cut down his training activities to concentrate on his thriving bitumen paving business and he handed over Finbar Abbey and Selkie to Olivieri to prepare them for racing. Olivieri then won the Easter Cup with Finbar Abbey and the Race For Roses with Selkie. He said that Selkie, who has had 24 starts this season since arriving from New Zealand, would continue racing. "Apart from qualifying for the final of this event for mares, she will run in suitable stands," he said. "She is a brilliant beginner in stands. She may require a break somewhere along the line, but at this stage she's not sending out any distress signals." Selkie was hot favourite at 2/1 on in Friday night's race and Lewis opted out of the early speed battle when polemarker Maggies Mystery led from the fast-starting Am Opulent. Lewis then sent Selkie to the front after 450m and she was untroubled to beat Maggies Mystery by just over a length at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m, with the final three quarters being covered in 28.1sec., 29sec. and 29.8sec. Her 24 WA starts have produced five wins and three placings and she has a career record of 49 starts for ten wins, six placings and 79,920. Lennys In Heaven relishes a return to a stand Experienced seven-year-old Lennys In Heaven, an inconspicuous seventh at each of his first two starts after a spell, in mobiles on country tracks, relished a return to a standing-start event when he set the pace and scored an easy win over Pembrook Henry and Sonic Classic in the 2503m Sealanes Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of eight, stretching back to a win in a 2518m stand in Kalgoorlie last November. The New South Wales-bred gelding, a 10/1 chance trained at Pinjarra by Michael George, was driven for the first time by Morgan Woodley. The gelding resisted an early challenge for the lead from Mister Sarkozy and then was rated perfectly after Finbar Abbey, favourite at 9/4, moved into the breeze 550m after the start. After the first 400m section of the final mile was covered in 30.9sec., Woodley lifted the gelding's rating and the final three quarters went by in 29.4sec., 28.3sec. and 29sec. Lennys In Heaven was not extended in beating Pembrook Henry, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside. Lennys In Heaven, by Blissfull Hall, is out of Panorama mare Merry Rama, who had 33 starts for five wins, 18 placings and $31,267. His 17 West Australian starts have produced three wins and two placings to take his career record to 95 starts for 17 wins, 24 placings and $118,079. Soho Highroller bred to be a smart pacer Five-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Soho Highroller has inherited a good deal of his ability from his dam Pelicanrama and he looks set for many more wins after scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Del Basso Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Soho Highhroller, ended a losing sequence of ten when he was favourite at 7/4 on and dashed to the lead after 400m before bowling along in front and beating Barkers Hall by five metres at a 1.57.4 rate. He was most impressive in sprinting home over the final 400m in a sizzling 27.7sec. Trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., Soho Highroller gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.3sec. before dashing over the final 800m in 57.2sec. Polemarker Barkers Hall led for the first 400m before enjoying the perfect trail behind Soho Highroller. Soho Highroller, bred by Rob Watson, is a full brother to Soho Tokyo, who finished a very close second to Tricky Styx in the group 1 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies later in the program. He has earned $71,264 from nine wins and 18 placings from 48 starts. Pelicanrama was an outstanding juvenile performer before enjoying a successful career of 149 starts for 55 wins, 37 placings and $730,271 in prizemoney. Her wins in feature events as a two-year-old included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold and $75,000 NSW Sires Stakes at Harold Park and $30,000 Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in 1999, and as a three-year-old she won the $100,000 NSW Sires Stakes. Her full-brother Mustang Fighter earned $292,566 from 29 wins and 26 placings from 108 starts. My Hard Copy is on the way up My Hard Copy maintained his standing as one of the State's most consistent four-year-olds when he set a brisk pace and strolled to victory over Heez Orl Black and The Feather Foot in the 2130m Top Cut Meats Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His easy win graduated him to an M2 classification and he should have no difficulty in maintaining his excellent form and moving swiftly to open-class ranks on his way to contesting rich feature events during the summer carnival. Friday night's win completed a double for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun. Soho Highroller was favourite at 3/1 on and Hall sen. notched yet another quinella result, with Lauren Jones bringing 8/1 chance Heez Orl Black home with a solid burst after enjoying the run of the race behind the pacemaker. My Hard Copy, owned by Steve, Christina and Danielle Chapman, has earned $134,167 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 39 starts. He won three times from 16 starts in New Zealand and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 17 times for eight wins and three placings. Change of training aids Shelby Cruzin Victorian-bred pacer Shelby Cruzin, described by his trainer Ross Olivieri as "a little fatso," has responded to a change in his training routine and made amends for a dismal failure at his West Australian debut with a stylish victory in the 1730m Del Basso Importers And Exporters Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a 10/9 on favourite at his first WA appearance three weeks earlier when he was a major disappointment, racing at the rear and then out wide in the final circuit, finishing eighth in a field of nine behind Loose Wire. He was favourite at 7/4 on on Friday night when he finished full of running to win by a half-length from 86/1 tote outsider Local Rogue, who had threatened to cause a major upset after starting from the outside of the front line and then racing out four wide for the first 350m before taking the lead 100m later and then setting the pace after a blistering first quarter in 27.3sec. Shelby Cruzin made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by leading for the first 400m, but Chris Lewis then took the sit behind Local Rogue, who boasted a losing sequence of 16 since his previous win 18 months ago. Local Rogue was still travelling well when he led clearly approaching the home turn. But Lewis was able to ease Shelby Cruzin off the pegs 150m from home when Caesars Cloud, in the breeze, began to fade. Lewis then drove Shelby Cruzin hard and the five-year-old finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 20m. The winner rated 1.57.2. Olivieri said that Victorian trainer Geoff Webster had telephoned him recently to ask him to train Real Hammer and Shelby Cruzin. Olivieri was happy to oblige and he said that the two horses were entirely different. "Shelby Cruzin has been a bit hard to work out, but I have changed his training and the result was that he went a mile better tonight than he did first-up," Olivieri said. "First-up, he fooled me. I thought he was fitter than he was. He's a little fatso, and you've got to get into him. I've made him more interested in his work by galloping him on the sand instead of hoppling him. I haven't hoppled him since his first-up run, apart from one trial." Shelby Cruzin now has earned $44,520 from ten wins and ten placings from 48 starts. He is the eighth winner out of South Australian-bred mare Motoring Sassie (five starts for two wins and one placings for $2169). Motoring Sassie's progeny includes Sassy Gina (12 wins and $80,405) and Ombudsman (13 wins from 23 starts for $54,480 in prizemoney). Paramedic ends losing sequence of 27 Noted frontrunner Paramedic took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and caused an upset in winning by just over a length from 5/4 on favourite Bettor Party in the 2130m Action Industrial Catering Westbred Pathway Pace. Paramedic started at 6/1 and ended a losing sequence of 27, stretching back to February 2013, and his win foiled Bettor Whitby from extending his winning sequence to four. Part-owned and trained by John Rogers, the six-year-old Paramedic was driven assertively by Kyle Harper. Bettor Party began out wide, from the No. 6 barrier, and he raced four wide for the first 300m. He then was trapped three wide before Colin Brown eased him back to last after a lap. Bettor Party was eleventh and last at the bell and he sustained a spirited burst, out wide, to finish second. Paramedic covered the final 800m in 58.5sec. and rated 1.58.4 in improving his record to 69 starts for ten wins and 15 placings for earnings of $75,823. He is related on his dam's side to former talented juvenile performer Shes Royalty, who had 96 starts for 24 wins, 27 placings and $288,146. Might Be Luck excels in front Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri told star reinsman Chris Lewis that West Australian-bred gelding Might Be Luck was a certainty to win the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night if he was able to set the pace. Might Be Luck, a 5/1 chance from barrier No. 3 off the front line, began well and Lewis drove the gelding vigorously in an attempt to get to the front in the early stages. Polemarker Bartowski galloped out briefly, but was able to hold Might Be Luck at bay for the first 250m before he wilted under pressure and his rival forged to the front 250m after the start. Might Be Luck relished his pacemaking role and dashed over the final three quarters in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. to make life tough for his rivals. Bartowski fought on doggedly to finish second, just more than a length behind Might Be Luck, who rated 2.1.4. "I said to Chris that if he could lead, he would not lose," Olivieri said. "He's a horse who hasn't had a lot of luck, and tonight he led them a merry dance. On his trackwork at home he's one of the best four or five in my stable. Once he's in front, any horse has to be pretty good to catch him." Trojan Bromac impressed in thundering home, six wide, from tenth at the bell to finish third. Might Be Luck, a Northern Luck gelding bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has had 43 starts for ten wins, five placings and $48,982. He is related on his dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds, who earned $307,547 from 31 wins and 29 placings from 121 starts. Dalton drives first Perth winner Former Victorian horseman Clive Dalton landed his first Gloucester Park winner as a reinsman when he drove Retained to an all-the-way victory in the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Trotters Handicap on Friday night. Retained, a 7/2 chance and trained at Herron by Dalton, jumped straight to the front from the inside barrier on the front mark and led throughout, holding on grimly to beat 22/1 chance Nicky Eileen by a nose. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven almost 500 winners in Victoria, enjoyed plenty of success as a trainer of square gaiters in Victoria. He prepared Right Interest to group 1 and group 3 victories in Victoria and Magic Interest for his victory in the group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotters at Bendigo in August 2008. Retained, an eight-year-old gelding owned by Jennifer O'Byrne, is a seasoned campaigner who has had 113 starts for 16 wins, 19 placings and $145,265 in stakes. He was successful in a $20,000 group 3 event over 2760m at Melton in October 2012. Dalton kept up the good work at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained Miss Atomic (Chris Lewis) for her win at 6/1. by Ken Casellas To unsubscribe, please click here. To forward, please click here.
Harness racing trainer Anton Golino got his hands on the coveted Gold Crown trophy as his talented two-year-old colt Artistic Flite overcame his wide second row draw to post a commanding win. There was also a strong Bathurst link to the success story, with former resident John McCarthy the winning driver and Brooklyn Lodge the breeders. McCarthy had the son of Artistic Fella face the breeze before surging away from his rivals to score a commanding 7.7 metre victory in a rate of 1:59.9 for the 1730 metres. With the Bathurst Harness Racing Club set to move to its new facility in the shadows of Mount Panorama later this year, the meeting signalled the last running of the carnival at a track it has called home for 28 years. The mix of commanding victories and tight finishes, big name winners and small-timers prevailing made it a successful evening for the club. The Gold Tiara Final was won by Grenfell's Mark Hewitt, the regular Bathurst visitor getting the job done with Makes Every Scents. Bathurst had something to cheer about in the Gold Chalice Final as Amanda Turnbull drove Mighty Gift to victory for her father Steve Turnbull, while David Kennedy scored one for the Riverina when Shes A Runa took out the Gold Bracelet. Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales Artistic Flite
It was Jim Phillips Memorial Cobram Pacing Cup Day on Friday December 28, with a bumper crowd of Murray River holiday makers enjoying the nine race harness racing card. Bannockburn trainer Geoff Webster having won three of the past five - Genuine Star (2008), Mister Zion (2009) and Lets Slash An Burn (2010), was looking to make it four with much travelled gelding Rakarebel, as was Melton based reinsman Greg Sugars aboard the Webster elect, after guiding Genuine Star, Lets Slash An Burn and Jaccka Clive to victory in 2011 for Avenel’s David Aiken. The $25,000 feature for M0 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2678 metres attracted a small but quality field, with prolific winning Jaccka Clive (one of four runners from the Aiken barn) the 20 metre backmarker. Last year’s successful trainer Tim Butt made it back to back cup victories, when five year old Grinfromeartoear - Against The Wind gelding Pass Them By with John Caldow in the sulky prevailed. Beginning brilliantly from barrier four, Pass Them By pounced on the lead, with Uncle Wingnut from outside the front line moving outside him, polemarker Washmepockets trailing the leader, Rakarebel (barrier two) one/one being followed by Wartime Sweetheart and stablemate Smudge Bromac from the 10 metre mark, with Jaccka Clive last. Composed settled three back the markers, with stablemates Lovable Larrikin and Jaydens Castle trailing him. With no moves being made until the last lap, Wartime Sweetheart was eased three wide to commence a forward move, giving Jaccka Clive a ride home and Smudge Bromac working between runners. Joining Pass Them By on the final bend, Wartime Sweetheart issued a strong challenge, however Pass Them By after a relative easy trip, rallied to gain the day by a head in a punishing finish, with Washmepockets using the sprint lane for third just in advance of Composed which also made use of the inside run. Rated to perfection by Caldow in quarters of 29.6, 30.1, 28.4 and 28.5 for the last mile, Pass Them By raced by a large number of stable clients returned a new track record mile rate of 1-59.5, bettering Mister Zion’s 1-59.9 by .4 seconds. The other highlight of the afternoon being the $15,000 Central Murray Credit Union Cobram Trotters Cup for TM0 or better class (D-H) over 2678 metres, with victory going the way of David Aiken’s all American bred seven year old Ken Warkentin - Kovel rig My High Expectations, obliterating the track record by two seconds. Well in on handicaps to start from a 20 metre backmark, My High Expectations stepped cleanly with old timer Oi You beginning best to lead from barrier three, before surrendering to the Kiwi Thanesan entering the front straight on the first occasion. Biding his time with most of the field ahead of him, My Expectations moved to be one/one mid-race when I See Icy Earl ahead of him eased away from the markers to lead up the outside division before taking cover on Bellingham from last. Taken four wide in the final circuit, My High Expectations quickly joined Thanesan on the home turn and raced away to score by 6.8 metres in a mile rate of 2-01.3 (last half 58 seconds – quarter 28.9) over Thanesan who was game in defeat, with I See Icy Earl (three wide last lap) third 5.1 metres away. It was My High Expectations 23rd victory from only 71 outings. David reaped all of the rewards, as apart from training and driving the winner, he also races him. An interesting winner on the day was nine year old Panorama - Regal Sarnel gelding Regalramapleasure for Chiltern trainer Peter Romero who despite winning eleven races (mostly in three year old and restricted events over the years), started in the C1 class Clydesdale Hotel Pace over 2170 metres thanks to the drop back system. Driven by Nathan Jack, Regalramapleasure led throughout from gate five, defeating Pelling and Smart Sista in a rate of 2-00.3 when having his first outing since Melbourne Cup Day. Videos of the two Cups are attached. by Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria
The Horsham trotting meeting held on Monday October 28 belonged to the Western part of Victoria and South East South Australia with five of the eight winners coming from those areas. The highlight of the day being a driving treble to Terang based reinsman Matt Craven and a double to Hamilton trainer David Lewis, the first of which came up in the Wimmera Roadways 3-Y-0 Pace over 1700 metres taken out by Grinfromeartoear/Joelaura gelding Smileawayjo. Starting from the pole, Smileawayjo making his third racetrack appearance, led throughout from the pole to score by 9.1 metres in a rate of 1-57.5 over Johnos Jet a winner on debut at Swan Hill eight days earlier which was given every chance one/one, with Winterfeel third after following the runner up all the way. Stablemate Twentyfivetolife a 4-Y-0 Life Sign/Royal Franco mare, was a tough winner of the Rosehill Farm Vererinary Practice Pace for C1 class over 1700 metres in a rate of 1-58.7. Despite sitting in the open after starting from gate four, Twentyfivetolife was equal to the task as she defied all challengers in accounting for Mayorofshinetown which trailed the weakening pacemaker Ynobe Coby and Armbro Speedstar three back the markers. The mile rate 1-58.7. The middle leg of Craven’s treble came about when 6-Y-0 Falcons Icon/Evil Eva gelding Iconic Art trained at Barham by Ruth Arthur greeted the judge in the BGS Folly @ Mountain View Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2200 metres. Spearing away from gate five to lead easily, Iconic Art ($21.40) was untroubled to lead all of the way in a rate of 2-01.3, defeating Panorama Wealth which trailed, with the well supported Ruby Heart (one/two – three wide last lap) third. Glencoe (Mount Gambier) trainer Kevin Von Duve also provided a long shot winner, when 6-Y-0 Modern Art/Good Night Irene mare Joolz Art snared the Moore Bulk Haulage Pace for C0 class (mares) over 1700 metres, paying Supertab odds of $26.90. Sent forward three wide out of gate three by Terang based Tim McLean, Joolz Art was able to angle to the back of the leader Belated inside her, receiving a sweet passage all of the way. Angling three wide on straightening, Joolz Art at start number 27 broke her maiden status by overpowering Belated in the shadows of the post to score by a neck in a rate of 1-59.9 over Belated and Dilingers Princess which raced in the open from the bell. Last season’s “Trotter Of The Year” at Horsham Allawart Ugo registered his fifth success on the track and sixth overall, when victorious in the Conch Deville @ Loddon Valley Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2200 metres. Part-owned and trained locally at McKenzies Creek by veteran Ken Exell, Allawrat Ugo a 8-Y-0 Allawart Ray/Allawart Liz gelding bred in the area by Geoff and Mabel Foreman with Hamilton’s Rod Barker in the sulky, settled four back in the moving line, with the old stager Master Kiesey (13 years of age) leading from the 20 metre mark. Gaining a three wide trail on the back of Champ Devine (one/one) in the last lap, Allawart Ugo despite being four wide on the final bend, finished best to land the major prize by 2.3 metres in a rate of 2-07.2 in advance of a death-seating Ollie Nova and Rusty Bouchea which trailed the pacemaker from the pole when making his race debut. Woorndoo trainer Bob Mahncke’s 8-Y-0 Die Laughing/Forest Flame gelding Extricate put his best foot forward to land the Smiling Shard @ Alabar Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2200 metres. Taking a concession for Ararat based Emma Hamblin, Extricate spent most of the race buried three back along the markers after starting from the pole, with the speedy Manningham Park leading from gate three. Angling away from the inside to be one/one approaching the home turn on the back of Valentino Rustler which had raced in the breeze, Extricate when eased three wide on straightening, ran home solidly to score by 5.7 metres in a rate of 1-59.1 from a game Valentino Rustler, with the Mildura visitor Pirates Plunder (one/two – four wide home turn) 3.9 metres away in third place. Len Baker
IMPECCABLY bred harness racing mare Soho Knightley made an impressive Tasmanian debut in Hobart on Sunday night with a comfortable win in a 3YO and older non-winners event over 2090 metres. Soho Knightley (Mach Three-Pelicanrama) gave her rivals a pacing lesson on her way to a three-metre win over Heres Your Chocky with Chirac a metre astern. The lightly raced four-year-old looked impressive as she strolled to the lead soon after the start with multiple premiership-winning reinsman Gareth Rattray aboard and she had no trouble staving off challenges over the final 400 metres of the $7000 SEW Eurodrive Stakes over 2090 metres. Solo Knightley is trained at Lietinna (near Scottsdale) by Kent Rattray who described the mare as “one of the best brad mares in the state”. The mare was purchased by two of Rattray’s long-time stable clients Nathan and Sandra Bennett at a SOHO dispersal sale for $15,000. The mare had only had three starts but it was her prospects as a broodmare that encouraged the Bennetts to make the purchase. The dam Pelicanrama (x Panorama) was a well-performed juvenile winning the Breeders Plate at Leeton before going in to win the Australian Pacing Gold final at Harold Park that carried a purse of $250,000. While prepared by Peter Manning she also won the 1999 Edgar Tatlow fillies final and the NSW 2YO Sires Stakes final soon after. She strung together winning sequences of five and six wins before winning nine in succession between June and December 1999. Pelicanrama ended her racing career a winner of 55 of her 149 starts as well as 37 minor placings for career earnings of $730,271. With such a brilliant pedigree Soho Knightley will be a valuable broodmare and her purchase price could pale into insignificance if she produces a handy young horse or two when she eventually goes to stud. Listen to what trainer Kent Rattray had to say about Soho Knightley. Click on the audio file attached. Peter Staples
Nagambie trainer/driver Chris Lang Jnr’s 4-Y-0 Four Starzzz Shark/Emdomic mare Goldiedomic finally her maiden status, when taking out the Corio Bay Rotary Club Pace for C0 class over 1609 metres at Geelong on Tuesday October 22. Making her 19th appearance at the races, Goldiedomic led throughout from the pole to score from Shapely Hips which trailed and a death seating Hunzarella. The mile rate 1-58.3. Hopetoun Park duo Ross and Greg Sugars were successful with Kiwi bred 6-Y-0 Julius Caesar/Shamrock Bay mare Our Nancy Miles in the Vinmar Homes Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2100 metres. Given a sweet trip three back in the moving line from gate five, Our Nancy Miles was sent forward three wide racing for the bell to park outside the leader Amazing Kano for the final circuit. Drawing clear prior to the home turn, Our Nancy Miles recorded an effortless victory over Atomic Horizon (one/one) and Vinni Gambino (three back the markers) in a mile rate of 1-59.7. Melton’s Joe Borg has picked up a handy stable addition in former New Zealander Frank The Duck which greeted the judge in The James Saliba Pace for C1 class over 2100 metres. A first up Australian winner at Yarra Valley on September 30, Frank The Duck driven by John Caldow enjoyed a perfect passage one/one from gate five and when eased three wide in the final circuit, quickly put the race beyond doubt by leading into the straight and winning by 9.8 metres in 2-00.7 from Antiquities from well back to give Melton the quinella, with Me Mate Les third from mid-field. The Adam Kelly team are back on song and 4-Y-0 Badlands Hanover/Coringa Ruby gelding Rubys Bad Boy first up since June, was an impressive victor of The Ray Beckley Memorial Pacers Handicap for C1 or better class over 2100metres. Starting from outside the 10 metre mark, Rubys Bad Boy settled well back in the field before gaining a lovely three wide trail home in the last lap on the back of The Dip from mid-field. Asked for an effort by Gavin Lang on turning, Rubys Bad Boy ran home stylishly to score from The Dip and Hellfire Angel which trailed the weakening leader Myrniong Panorama in a rate of 2-02.3. By Len Baker
TRAINER Marc Butler has always had a good eye for a horse and the latest to catch his eye and end up in his care scored an impressive win in Launceston on Sunday night. Doyouseewhatisee (Panorama-Love The Look) was noticed by Butler at the trials a few months ago and he decided to keep an eye on the now four-year-old’s progress at the races. The gelding ran a place at his next start for trainer Eric Jacobson but the gelded son of Panorama soon lost his way and that’s when Butler decided to strike. “I had my eye on him and I eventually asked trainer Eric Jacobson whether the owners would be prepared to lease the horse so he asked and they said yes,” he said. Doyouseewhatisee was having only his second start for Butler on Sunday night but he had indicated at his first start for the new stable in Hobart a week earlier that he would be very competitive at this latest assignment. “He got held up in Hobart at his first start for us and never got a crack at them but it all panned out well this time,” Butler said. Driver Ricky Duggan had Doyouseewhatisee settled just beyond midfield in the one-out line with cover. But when he eased him out three-wide to make his charge 700m from home the gelding sprinted quickly, hauled in the leaders and went on to score by just over three metres from City Babe with Chirac less than a metre away third. Doyouseewhatisee notched a mile rate over the 2200-metre trip of 1m.59.17s. Peter Staples
Following the recent success of JR Mint gelding Hugo Play at Melton a fortnight ago, bookings to the son of Northern Luck have been flowing at regular intervals, but it has not always been plain sailing for JR Mint since he was purchased by the late John Jetson. JR Mint's journey as a sire has been very disrupted to say the least. He was originally purchased by John Jetson, one of Tasmania’s top breeders for many years before his untimely death, to stand at Leigh Plunketts stud. The first hurdle came when Leigh was diagnosed with cancer, a battle he tragically lost soon after. He and his family decided due to his poor health, he could not continue to stand stallions. Jetson sent out a SOS to John Coffey at Alabar and JR Mint was sent to Echuca to stand his first season in Australia’s at the country’s biggest Standardbred nursery. JR Mint had 30 live foals in his first season which includes Hugo Play, who has won 11 races from just 22 starts including the Globe Derby Final (Tasmanian Sires Stakes) as a 3yo and the ill-fated Royal Sniper who won at his only 2 starts for Ian Dornauf. In his second season JR Mint re-located back to Tasmania to became the foundation sire at Lyndon & Gail Medegon, Big Park Stud. He served 34 mares that year , producing Island Disco & Black Centurian both 5 times winners as well as smart filly Really Fayfay who won the Premiers Blue Bonnet as 2yo and has gone on to win the 3yo Champion Fillies and Clamorus who won 3 times from just 5 states and been placed at her only two starts and Er El Jays Magic who looks a star in the making having won 2 of her 3 starts and finished second in the other. His third crop now current 2yo ‘s has produced Little Jethro a 3 time winner from just 7 starts, and Prisoner who won the Tasmanian Sales Classic . Part three in the journey of JR Mint after the untimely death of his owner John Jetson, is that he moved to NSW last season to stand at Lonsdale Stud near Young the stud, his sire Northern Luck stood at Lonsdale prior to his passing in 2012. JR Mint on the racetrack won 17 of his first 20 starts as a two and three-year-old in the USA and Canada including winning the elimination and final of the $500,000 Hoosier Cup. The bay entire that stands 15.2 hands high, comes from the hottest maternal family lines of the past few decades being out of Kiss & Candy an outstanding producer with four sub 1:55 winners . His grand -dam Beckys Love is a half sister to Blue Horizon, who we know in Australia is the dam of Panorama and grand-dam of Grinfromeartoear. This amazing family has also produced the highly successful sires Safely Kept and Real Desire as well as the champion racehorses Rocknroll Hanover, Red River Hanover and Tell All. Despite his continual movement, JR Mint is fast becoming one of Australia’s best percentage sires with just 88 foals of racing age. JR Mint has had 32 of those grace the starter for 14 individual winners who have notched up nearly $300,000 in prize money. All in all JR Mint must be one of the best value stallions standing at stud this season at only $1200 his semen is available in all states contact Lonsdale Stud near Young on (02) 63833270 By Gary Newton
It might have been just a humble R 0 class event, but there were “right royal” celebrations following the Aussie debut win of Smokin Bopper NZ at last Wednesday’s Bathurst meeting. It was the first race starter for a number of the owners, a dream result that explained the excited handshakes and backslaps for trainer-driver Nathan Hurst and syndicate manager Mark Johnston, the on-course bookmaker at the Bathurst meetings. Back at the Royal Hotel in nearby Orange, where the syndicate was formed, there was a similar reaction, from patrons who’d strongly supported the horse into $1.50 favoritism in anticipation of such a performance. Hurst settled the five-year-old midfield before taking the lead mid-race. A 59.0 seconds last half was enough to easily hold off trailer Call Me Anytime and stablemate Blacks A Buzzin. The 2:00.8 rate for the 1730 metres was impressive for this grade, and suggestive of further success. Mark Johnston indicated that the immediate goal for the new horse was the upcoming Canola Cup at Eugowra, Australia’s richest C 0 series. Along with his bookmaker father Alan and bagman Heath Cubbin, he won a consolation race at last year’s carnival with the Hurst-trained Ignite Ted, and would love to go one better this time around. Hurst’s earlier winner at the meeting, Reservation Road NZ ($4.30 ), was equally impressive. Racing outside the lead in an R4 and better 2130 metres event, he showed stamina and determination to grit out a win from Karinya Hando, which had a three-wide trail from the bell, and leader Hes Magic Red.The 57.7 last half was the quickest at Bathurst in quite a while. The other double from the meeting went to driver Amanda Turnbull, with stable runner Whispering Lass and catch drive Aunty Olive. Whispering Lass ($2.40 favourite) appeared well graded but was the undoubted omen selection for the Alabar-sponsored C1-C2 mares In A Whisper Stakes, named after her illustrious dam, one of our best juvenile fillies in the modern era. The drive was so good it looked simple. From the inside of the second row, Turnbull obtained the trail on leader Express Jet and bided her time until straightening for home before coming out of the trail to record an easy win. Miss Ponder ran on well from the rear for second, and Express Jet held on strongly after pulling very hard in the lead. The overall mile rate for the 2130 metres was 2:00.6, with 30.7 the slowest quarter. Aunty Olive ($2.00 fav.) showed blistering gate speed to lead easily in an R0 sprint event, and the Mike Watson-trained four-year-old got away with comfortable sections to run out comfortably from peg runners Charlottes Delight and Imposing Molly, in a 2:04.9 mile rate. Turnbull was re-united with the mare for the first time in almost two years, but she recalled the juvenile filly’s gate speed, and put it to good use on this occasion. Aunty Olive, Reservation Road and Smokin Bopper provided an Elsu siring trifecta at the meeting, which would have been very pleasing for Alabar’s John Coffey, who will be in attendance on Friday, to conduct a breeding seminar on behalf of Harness racing New South Wales. Elsu will certainly rate a mention. Other winners at the meeting were: Laughing Game ($3.90), a tough effort outside the lead in R1-R2 class, for Amy Day and trainer Mark Rawsthorne. The win continued the exceptional strike rate for the driver in the first race at Bathurst. That’s putting the pressure on! Leigh’s Delight ($3.70) , backing up after a win two weeks ago at the track for Kerryann Turner and Robbie Morris, who brought the Bettors four-year-old three-wide from the bell. The Menangle couple have enjoyed good success with their Bathurst runners in recent months. Stevie Wander ($3.10), all the way in C0-C1 class for Jack Butler and driver John O’Shea. The Mach Three gelding hasn’t had much luck with barrier draws recently, and was always going to hold the lead from his inside draw. Smack Dab Shannon ($4.50), for Michael Munro and trainer Peter Bullock in 3YO class, backing up after a win in the final 2YO race of last season. Not regarded by his stable as mentally strong, he fought back after being headed close to the post, so he might be starting to show some of the tenacity of his classy dam Veloce Cavallo. Bathurst race again this Friday night (Tier One meeting), followed by next Wednesday night, and the annual Awards Night function will be held on Friday September 27 at Rydges Mount Panorama. by Marianne Donnelly
The Hamilton HRC staged a well balanced eight event harness racing card on Thursday August 29 - the highlights being Mt Gambier (Allendale East) trainer David Kemp snaring the quinella in the Taylor Motors Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres with Forced Out and Arr En Special and Terang junior reinsman Jason Lee driving a treble. Four year old Safely Kept/May Be Trouble mare Forced Out driven by Jason Lee from the pole having her 28th outing for the season, settled on the back of the leader Franciselizabeth, before being relegated back a spot when Dam Lucky assumed control. Coming away from the markers to be one/one approaching the home turn, Forced Out when eased wide in the straight, finished best to defeat her stablemate Arr En Special who faced the open for the final circuit at season start number 22 after No Bettertime which had raced parked, strode clear along the back straight on the final occasion. Franciselizabeth weaving in-between runners in the straight finished third. The mile rate 1-58.1. Both horses have raced at almost every Hamilton, Terang, Horsham and Ararat meeting held this season. Jason Lee's second victory came up in the Alexandra House Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1660 metres aboard underrated Ballarat trainer Kelvin Barker's recent stable addition Cyclades, a 4-Y-0 gelded son of Armbro Operative and San Torini. In a masterful piece of driving, Cyclades possied on the back of the poleline leader Pas Mate from gate two on the second line, easing away from the inside to face the breeze at the bell after Pas Mate was crossed by The Avoca Flyer. Proving to be the better stayer, Cyclades was too strong at the finish, registering a neck victory over Ima Village Casper (three back the markers - one/one last lap) in a rate of 2-00 even, with Cheesy Grin running home late from last to finish third. Leg three came about with 4-Y-0 Mach Three/Jilliby Sparky mare Jilliby Showtime leading throughout from gate three in the Hunt's Auto Spares Pace for C0 class over 1660 metres to score by a nose over Haryda Hanover along the sprint lane which may have momentarily hit the front in the straight. Extra finished third off a three wide double trail last lap from near last. The mile rate 2-02.6. Cudgee (Camperdown) part-owner/trainer/driver John Meade's highly promising home bred Sundon/Maori Daunou 4-Y-0 gelding Maorisfavouritesun is going from strength to strength and brought up his 5th victory from 13 outings (all this season) when a convincing winner of the James & Son Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2160 metres. Coming off a terrific second to Rosalie Bay in the rich Australasian Breeders Crown Series at Tabcorp Park Melton on August 18, Maorisfavouritesun stepped safely from a 30 metre handicap, gradually making ground to settle mid-field in the moving line with Sunnyandcher rushing forward from 10 metres to assume control. Trailing up both Mountain Earl and Knapdale Girl three wide in the last lap, Maorisfavouritesun was taken four wide on the final bend, putting the race away on straightening to score by an untouched 8.3 metres over Knapdale Girl and Earl Of Charity which followed the trio home in a rate of 2-03.6. Glencoe (Mt Gambier) father and son - Barry & Jayson Finnis were successful with 4-Y-0 superbly bred Holmes Hanover/Catch A Boquet mare Burston Holme in the Logical Property Services Pace for C1 class over 1660 metres, coming from last at the bell off a three wide trail on the back of Vee Jay Jazz. Although right of the track on the home turn, Burston Holme sprinted clear on straightening to register a 14.7 metre victory in 1-57.9 from Modern Hitch which was held up in traffic until the race was virtually over, with Panorama Wealth a game third after racing parked from the bell. Len Baker
Echuca on the Campaspe River close to the Victorian/N-S-W border, held a neat eight event harness racing card on Tuesday August 6, with border hoppers Kenmor Albertina and Victoria May both saluting the judge. Kenmor Albertina a 4-Y-0 gelded son of Artiscape and Sky Hy trained at Narrandera by David Kennedy was successful in the Carmel Ryan Memorial Pace for C1 class over the sprint trip of 1755 metres. Driven by Shepparton's Nathan Jack, Kenmor Albertina settled three back in the moving line from gate two on the second line, with The Numbers Man leading from gate three. Despite being pushed wide in the final circuit by Earls Reign (one/one) inside him, Kenmore Albertina proved too strong over the concluding stages for Earls Reign in a rate of 2-00 even, scoring by 1.9 metres, with Hezupnabout (three back the markers) using the sprint lane for third. Four year old Holmes Hanover/Ides Of May mare Victoria May also trained at Narrandera by Shaun Snudden snared the Christies Welding Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2160 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.1. Taking a concession for stable "apprentice" Paul Diebert, Victoria May came out running from gate two, safely holding out Hellovanite (gate four) which issued a serious challenge. Even though she was inclined to over race after being revved up early, Victoria May kicked clear on straightening to record a 5.9 metre victory in advance of the Elmore mare Madam Altissimo which trailed using the sprint lane to no avail, with Donoson first up for 12 months running home late from near last for third. Nagambie's Chris Lang notched up yet another winner in the trotting ranks when 4-Y-0 Kadabra/Kyvalley Diva gelding Kyvalley Rap scored in the Peats Office Equipment Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2530 metres. With Chris in the sulky, Kyvalley Rap starting from inside the 10 metre mark, possied three back along the markers, before moving to trail the leader Dabbsey when Family Decision galloped. Coming away from the inside on the final bend, Kyvalley Rap quickly put the race away to record a 14.6 metre victory in 2-07.2 from Dabbsey which battled on well to hold off a death-seating Sans Frontiere. Ballarat trainer Craig Knowles combined with Greg Sugars aboard 4-Y-0 Modern /ArtHitch To Fitch mare Modern Hitch to land the Awards Night September 21 Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres, leading throughout to comfortably defy all challengers, accounting for A Chance Taken which trailed and Longtan Tigerman which followed the pair in a mile rate of 2-05.1. Orrvale (Goulburn Valley) trainer Steven Duffy also used the services of Greg Sugars to capture the Echuca Moama Storage 2-Y-0 Pace over 1755 metres with Safari/Delldale gelding Hooper Road which was making his second appearance at the races. Settling at the tail of the field after starting from the extreme draw, Hooper Road gained a lovely three wide trail home in the last lap following the well supported Sutter Man which quickly moved outside the leader Macworthy on debut approaching the home turn. Joining Sutter Man on turning, Hooper Road wasn't knocked around in winning by a neck, with Macworthy holding down third. The mile rate 2-01.2. Undera (G-V) trainer Glenn Freeman has revitalized 8-Y-0 Panorama/Lady Bye Bye stallion Goforzoe airborne at present, resulting in an all of the way victory from the pole in the Moama Bowling Club Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2160 metres. Driven by Daryl Douglas, Goforzoe was allowed to bowl along at his leisure with the well supported Charlotte Two (gate four) caught in the open. Still travelling on the final bend, Goforzoe never looked like being beaten, coasting to the wire 4.3 metres in advance of Charlotte Two and Hes Real from last in a rate of 2-02.6. Union Guy/Velcro gelding Whos That Guy landed the Like Us On Facebook 3-Y-0 Pace over 1755 metres from gate three in almost identical fashion, giving Daryl Douglas a driving double. Given his head approaching the final bend, Whos That Guy trained at St Arnaud by Leon Clohesy bounded away to score by 7.2 metres in a rate of 2-02 from Del Rosario (three back the markers) and a death-seating Black Jasmin. Corowa trainer John Low joined forces with Nathan Jack to land the Follow Us On Twitter Pace for C0 class over 1755 metres with 4-Y-0 Precious Bunny/Yeronga Quicksilver mare Bunny Rapid in a rate of 2-01.9. Settling mid-field in the moving line from gate four on the second row, Bunny Rapid sprinted with a wing on every foot in the final circuit to lead on turning, defeating the pacemaker Nolagalile and Artois Stone which faced the breeze. Len Baker Len Baker email@example.com 03 9307 5265 0401 679 745
Pelicanrama, Miss Galvinator, Lourdes and Cornsilk, four of the best harness racing mares ever raced in this country, will go up for auction at the Soho Standardbreds Weanling and Mares In Foal Sale to be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on Sunday, July 28 at Tamarin Park, Toolern Vale.
It was 20 years ago next month when Staying Together became, at that time, the fastest harness racing horse on the Chicago circuit when he rattled off three consecutive winning miles of 1:50.2 at Sportsman's Park in July of 1993.