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“She's going to leave them all crying at the chapel”. That statement from harness racing race caller Craig Easey as he watched Tintin Naturally power down the home straight in the Elvis Championships Final (2,040 metres) on Wednesday might have been a little cringe-worthy, but the winning run was anything but. The Amanda Turnbull trained and driven $1.30 favourite led from start to finish in the annual Parkes Harness Racing Club feature. The five-year-old Tintin In America x Natural Hanover mare was rated nicely in front then kicked away from her rivals after turning for home, finishing 7.3m clear of second placed Reverse Psychology (Nathan Turnbull, $41). Easey, a man known for his entertaining calls across the Western Districts, embraced the spirit of the meeting which is part of Parkes’ Elvis Festival. As they ran down the back straight for the first time he quipped “They’re picking up their blue suede hooves and putting them down nicely” and later as contenders jostled behind the favourite he came out with “It’s now or never as they race down the back, Tintin Naturally out in front.” But the puns aside, Easey’s observations were spot on. Tintin Naturally got away well from barrier one to lead and travelled nicely throughout. A 52.2 first half of the last mile meant she was poised for a strong finish and she produced.  It was her fourth win from her last five starts. Wednesday night marked the fifth time Turnbull had lined up for a drive in the Elvis Championship Final, a race which first featured on the Parkes program in 2013. Turnbull placed third in that inaugural final aboard the $3 favourite Our Buller Boy and in the two years which followed, was off the pace with a 10th (Whispering Lass) and ninth (Cullectomatic). In 2017 the talented The Lagoon trainer-driver finally added an Elvis victory to her long list of feature race successes, Greenngold getting the job done for her as the $2 favourite. Turnbull did not get the chance to go back-to-back, not qualifying a finalist for the 2018 edition, but on Wednesday Tintin Naturally showed exactly why he held favouritism. While that feature win was the highlight of the meeting for Turnbull, it was not her only success. She took out the opening race of the evening, a Club Menangle Where Horses Fly Heat (1,660m) aboard My Secret Beach ($1.30 favourite). Turnbull then made it a winning treble for the meeting as Mach Le More ($1.40 favourite) won an Evolution Series Three Year Old Colts and Geldings Heat (1,660m). By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate Want to keep up to date with Bathurst sport? Sign up to our daily newsletter and breaking news alerts here:   FACEBOOKSHARE TWITTERTWEET EMAIL

A trail-blazer for the sport west of the Blue Mountains, the Parkes Harness Racing Club will mark an incredible milestone on New Year’s eve. While there’s also trotting at Parkes on Friday, December 28, the club will officially celebrate its 110-year anniversary at the December 31 Carnival of Cups Series meeting at the Parkes Showground. The twilight TAB meeting will kick-off at 5.58pm, with face painting, kids raffle and a jumping castle on site, while the night will end with a fireworks display – the fourth year running the club will host new year’s eve fireworks – which start at 10pm. Parkes has a rich history as one of the longest running, and at times, most powerful, trotting clubs in Australia. By the 1920s, Parkes had become one of the most important trotting centres in the Commonwealth. The district produced many champion horses and horsemen including Machine Brick, one of Australia’s best pacer following his win in the 1923 Sydney Thousand after coming from an 85 yard handicap and running record time of 2.13.5. Machine Brick’s sire Rock Huon stood at Tomingley, north of Parkes and he started to produce top progeny thick and fast. Machine Brick, owned by Jim Aubrey and raced by Geo Powter was known as a real gentleman that had all the attributes that you could look for in pace, stamina and temperament. Other winners of the Sydney Thousand from the district included Pine Clump, Kole Boy, Lee Ribbon and Graceful Derby. The district also produced some of the state’s leading trainer, drivers including the legendary JD Watts, WS Mazoudier, George Leister and Wally Townsend. Alf Woods owned the well known and patronised Stud where Wirra Walla stood. By the 1930s a number of local studs were starting to be established including ‘Rosewood Stud’, which was set up by WD Hando at Peak Hill. The Hando family still operate the Stud today and some of the leading stallions that have stood for them include Peak Hill, Silver Peak, Lucky Western, Tarport Bill, Powerhouse Lobell and Shipps Fella. WH Dumesny converted his ‘Ruby Vale Stud’ at Alectown from a Draft Horse to a Standardbred Stud. The Dumesny family continued its stud operation right up until 2007 when the property was sold. Some top stallions stood at ‘Ruby Vale’ including Master Dixie, Southern Brigade, Bashful Hanover, Amerigo Hanover, Langus Hanover, Insubordination, Explorador, Royal Chef and John Street North. These two studs have been amongst the longest in operation in Australia. The 1930s proved a pivotal decade for the club, with trotting moving to the Showground, where a half-mile track was laid. Forty horse stalls were transported from the London Road site to the showground and a judges box, tote house and other necessary facilities were built. After the War, trotting continued to flourish in the Parkes district and the club decided to take its most adventurous step since its inception by looking at the possibility of introducing night trotting. That vision came to fruition in 1952 when Parkes became the first venue west of the Blue Mountains to conduct a night trotting meeting when a trial was held. Mr HE Greagh, Chairman of Stewards for the NSW Trotting Club made a special trip to Parkes to inspect the installation and after taking a horse for a few laps of the track, he summed it up as ‘the finest track in the country areas of the state, and second only to Harold Park.’ The grand opening occurred on January 1, 1953 with an estimated crowd of around 5,500 packing the showground. More recently, in the early 1980s, the committee was aware that an upgrade of the lighting system on the track was necessary and concerns were raised about the aging system. The official opening of the Lighting facility was made on 1 January 1987 and the club waited a few years before re-applying for funding for the track reconstruction but first had to convince the Harness Racing Authority that they could meet the standards required. Approval was given and at a cost of $150,000, the reconstruction of the Paceway, which included the erection of a sight fence, was completed in August 1990, the official opening of the new track took place on November 24 that year. Allan Thompson was the president of the club during this time but Colin Lees took charge of the project after Thompson was injured while mowing. Lees took over as president of the club in 1992 and has been a committeeman for 33 years. One of the best races the club has hosted was run in 1968, a heat of the Western District Trotting Association Championship. After an initial postponement due to five inches of rain had falling, the field hadn’t gone a lap when two horses fell, those being Bermuda Chief and Magic’s First. Champion Riverina three-year-old, Glenerrol (Roy Harpley) came to Parkes chasing his 18th straight win in this race and just when he was making his move he struck trouble and Harpley was dislodged from his gig. Then in an exciting finish, Sky Boy (Sid Joyce) which had led was joined right on the line by Cocky Raider (Jack McWilliam) and after calling for two developed prints, the judge couldn’t split them, declaring a dead heat.  One-eyed pacer, Vensmore Nelson (Bill Sutton) was just half a head back in third. It was the first dead heat since the Parkes Club had installed the photo finish camera three years earlier.  Entry is $10 for the new year’s eve meeting, while children under 15 are free. Reprinted with the permission of Parkes Champion-Post

Bathurst trainer-driver John O’Shea will launch a twin attack on the Parkes Harness Racing Club’s Three Year Old Pace (2,040 metres) on Wednesday night as two of his fillies return to the track. Both Grand Zara and Zaras Dance will line up alongside each other in barriers nine and 10 as they have their first starts since impressing at Dubbo on January 31. Grand Zara will have Amy Rees in the gig as she runs at Parkes for the first time in her nine-start career. Rees steered her to maiden win at Bathurst on January 3, that run an impressive one given Grand Zara worked three-wide early then sprinted home. Then in Dubbo to finish the month, Grand Zara was driven further forward, found the lead, and in end narrowly missed out by a half neck. O’Shea will take the reins of Zaras Dance, a last start winner over a similar trip to the one she will face at Parkes. She has also twice run third this campaign. Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

For the fifth time in her career, The Lagoon’s Amanda Turnbull has notched up five winning drives in a meeting when dominating the Parkes Harness Racing Club’s Wednesday night program. Though she did not win the feature Elvis Championship Final as she had done 12 months earlier – the honours this year going to Monique Parsons (Its A Shakedown, $19.60) – the evening still belonged to Turnbull. She took out the first four races of the meeting, steering members of her own team Moon Ovr Manhattan ($1.40 favourite), What A Curtainraiser ($1.60 favourite) and Crafty Cullen ($1.20 favourite) to victory as well as Conviction ($1.20 favourite), who is trained by her father Steve Turnbull. Amanda Turnbull then made it five wins in a single meeting at Parkes for the third time in her career when guiding the Darryl Fliedner, Cowra trained Molly Dolly Diva ($13.70) to an upset victory. “It’s a pretty good feeling to do that,” Turnbull said. “I knew I was in for a pretty good night because I had a couple of good ones in with a couple of good draws, but I never thought I’d get that many. “It was good to get on a bit of a roll too.” While Turnbull, who sits on top of the Harness Racing NSW drivers’ premiership, was unable to nominate one run as more impressive that the others on Wednesday, she is excited to see what is to come from Conviction. His win came in a Club Menangle Country Series Heat (1,660 metres), which qualifies him for the final at Menangle. “The ones I trained I was really pleased to win with, it rewards that hard work you put in, Conviction was a good one too, he’s a good horse, it’s good to see him back and doing well,” she said. “He was a bit wayward, he didn’t love it, but he ran a good time and got up. “He’ll race in the final at Menangle and if he goes good in that, we’ll probably look at some of the four-year-old feature races with him.” A four-year-old by For A Reason out of Safely Grattan, Conviction was second up at Parkes on Wednesday after saluting at Bathurst’s Carnival of Cups meeting on December 26 in a 1:53.3 mile rate. As Turnbull indicated, Conviction did not do it all easy on the smaller Parkes track after going from barrier two. Still, he showed good gate speed before settling one out and one back. Turnbull began her move after a 28.3 seconds third sectional, moving up to eye-ball stablemate Belligerence ($13.20) through the bend. Conviction took the lead down the straight and while Belligerence kicked again, the favourite held on to win by a head in a 1:56.8 mile rate. Hez All Courage ($8.40) placed third. As for Turnbull’s own team, she has not targeted any specific races. She just hopes to build on the 58 winners she had for the season as of the end of the Parkes meeting. “It’s going pretty good so far this season,” Turnbull said.  “Mrs Browns Boy is nearly back ready to race. I’m not really targeting anything, I’ll just see who it goes.” Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Amanda Turnbull came within a head of steering four winners at the Parkes Harness Racing Club’s meeting on Sunday. Having guided Blacklist ($1.04 favourite), Our Novak ($1.80 favourite) and Montana Maestro ($3.60) to success, she was chasing one more in the final race of the day with her chance Greenngold ($3.10 favourite). But the honours in the Join The Owners Association Pace (1,660 metres) belonged to Brown’s Creek trainer-driver Leigh Davis. His $12 outsider Rays Choice showed good speed from barrier four to take the lead, his cause helped when Laser In Flight galloped behind him. While The Emma Turnbull driven Poppy Cee ($6.10) took over the lead down the back straight for the final time and Greenngold made a three-wide charge, Rays Choice continued to fight. He put in one final surge to take the win by a half head over Poppy Cee, with Greenngold a further half head back in third. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate  

Local harness racing participants continue to contest regional meetings with trainers having both major and minor successes at Leeton, Parkes, Bathurst and Wagga. Tuesday night four local trainers traveled to Wagga with Young driver Blake Micallef having a win and placings on the nine race program. Glenn Wilmot started off the night with a creditable 4th with Annatto after being awkwardly placed on the inside line, the eventual winner Doctor Feld ($32.80) in a mile rating of 1:56.9.  Wilmot handed driving duties to Nic Dewar in the second behind the consistent Casino Grin. After being three wide at the bell, the more fancied Wagga pacer Split Second Lombo circled the field to secure an impressive 15 m win over the local pacer in a mile rating of 1:59.9. Mako Bay contested the third race but lady luck was not kind and the pacer finished toward the tail of the field after starting from the inside line. Race four resulted in an impressive win for Micallef who drove the recent arrival to the stable, Another Fireball ($11.70) to victory in a mile rating of 1:59.2.  Previously racing in Queensland, the Mach Three mare has now won 10 races from 50 starts for her owners. Once the decision is made to send her to the breeding barn, her best winning mile rate of 1:55.1 and wins in all three eastern states will surely stand her in good stead for the future. Blake almost made it back to back wins when family favourite Crusty ran within a short half head second in race eight behind Kiki Diva ($3.60) favourite after going forward at the bell.  The winners mile rate of 2.02.2 was a creditable performance and both Blake and Crusty can look forward to many more exciting times in coming months. The final race of the night resulted in Elegant Heaven ($2.50) and favourite, handing in a good performance for Bruce Harpley, the locally trained Sunofasis for Maurice Johnson found form with a fast finishing second behind the more fancied runner with the Kevin Powderly trained Miami Ruler again pulling hard early and finishing out of a place, the winner recording a 2:03.0 mile rate. Local trainers then travelled to Bathurst on Wednesday night and raced with moderate success, no doubt in readiness for the forthcoming meeting to be conducted by the Young Harness Racing Club next Friday night August 25.  Participants are reminded that the annual presentation night will be held on Saturday night September 23 at the Young Golf Club, tickets are available from Chloe Powderly or at the track next Friday night. By Stuart Maxwell Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness

The community of Parkes recently lost one of its true gems when highly regarded Parkes Harness Racing Club Life Member Wal Norman passed away after a short illness at Parkes District Hospital surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, June 20. Wal, aged 90, would not be a name the wider Harness Racing community would readily remember but through his contribution to the sport, many participants have benefitted. Wal joined the then Parkes Trotting Club in 1970 and over a period of 45 years, season in and season out, he would be a regular at the many working bees held to prepare for race meetings or to contribute to the many track, ground and building redevelopments that were undertaken at the Parkes Showground Paceway. On race day Wal could be found in the Judges' Tower, assisting with both the judging and timekeeping, positions he held right up to his late 80's when he decided it was time to retire and take things a little easier. Many thought Wal would be keen to take a "redundancy" with the introduction of the more modern finish links and timing mechanisms but no, Wal was a man who rarely let things get the better of him and he embraced the changes and operated the remote controlled semaphore board better than most. Wal, along with his family members raced a few pacers over the years. Like the Trotting Club, the Parkes Golf Club recognised Wal's wonderful efforts by honouring him with a Life Membership and in 2014, as part of the Australia Day Awards, Wally received a Long Service and Dedication Award for his contribution to sport in Parkes for which he was justifiably proud. Harness Racing New South Wales, on behalf of all participants in the industry, sends its deepest sympathy to Wal's widow Joyce and all her family on the passing of a great man. Our sport has been enriched by the contribution of volunteers like Wally Norman. AMANDA RANDO

Bathurst four year old, Lethal Promise will start a short priced favourite in this Sunday afternoon’s $10,000 Ex Services & Citizens Club Series Final (1800m) at the Peak Hill Harness Racing Club's Carnival of Cups TAB meeting. Trained by one of the best in the business namely Bernie Hewitt, Lethal Promise could not have been more impressive when recording a comfortable win in his qualifying heat which was conducted under picture perfect skies last weekend. On that occasion he was driven by Mat Rue who had the gelding poised to pounce just off the pace before unleashing a powerful finish to score by four and a half metres in a very slick 1.57.2. The horse that ran third to him, Tulhurst Santanna (Nathan Hurst) made all the running in front and was gallant in defeat, beaten by just over six metres and again he will be the one that Lethal Promise has to get over the top of in the final. Mat Rue landed a winning treble on the afternoon with one of his wins being aboard the Kevin Medlyn trained Blake On Fire in the second heat of the Series. Although his winning mile rate was some two and a half seconds slower than that recorded in the first heat, the Parkes pacer looked to have something in reserve as he strode clear for a resounding win over Shazam Shannon and Master Benny with the latter being responsible for a huge effort after being posted off the track for the last 1200 metres of the race. Sunday’s meeting which kicks off at 12.09pm promises to be a beauty with a plethora of great racing and entertainment for patrons. Another feature on the program is the $10,000 Kriden Park Lady Drivers Invitational. Drivers of the fairer sex who have confirmed that they will be competing in the race include inform Bathurst drivers Ashlee Grives, McKayler Barnes, Emma Turnbull, Amy Rees and Angela Hedges.  Parkes will be represented by the very talented Kasey Hocking while popular Dubbo girl, Jacqui Ingham will also be competing. Two $10,000 heats of the Tabcorp Park Menangle Series are programmed on a card that is offering almost $70,000 in prize money and trophies for the nine race program. Craig Dumnesy Reprinted with permission of The Parkes Champion Post

Tom Pay will yet again combine with uncle Brett for a pair of harness racing drives at Parkes Harness Racing Club on Friday evening. The youngster has long teamed up with family members, having driven his first ever winner for his grandfather Greg back in 2015. At Parkes on Friday, Tom Pay will be in the gig of Brett Pay’s Remember Kaiser in the first race of the night, the Jenny Jones Memorial (2040m). The majority of races being run on the night are set to honour former members of the Parkes racing fraternity. Remember Kaiser will be first up from a spell at Parkes, having not raced since seventh-placed Finish at Tamworth in November of last year. He will line up from gate nine. It is then a long wait until the Pay duo combine again, with Suncreen also returning from a spell in the ninth and final race of the night, the Bill and Linda Taylor Pace (1660m). Racing starts at Parkes at 5.59pm on Friday. By Nick Guthrie Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

Dubbo & Parkes Harness Racing Clubs are excited to announce a new series culminating in a final to be held on the last meeting for the season at Dubbo. The new series is to be known as the Garrards RIO Meteor Repechage. The series caters for horses that have had a minimum of five starts at Dubbo or Parkes during the 2015/16 season including a minimum of one start at each venue. Maximum of three lifetime wins. No concessions will apply with the barrier draw to be conducted on lifetime wins. Two heats are to be conducted at Parkes' final meeting this season on August 14 and two heats conducted at the Dubbo meeting conducted on August 21. Horses must have had five starts as per conditions prior to nomination for respective heats. Preference for a start in the heats will be given to horses with the most number of starts at Parkes & Dubbo during the 2015/16 season. Horses qualifying at Parkes will be ineligible for the heats conducted at Dubbo with the final conducted at Dubbo on August 28 over 1720m. Prize money for the final is yet to be determined however the winning trainer will receive a new RIO Meteor Race gig. The series is in addition to the popular Garrards Iron Horse Series Invitation which is already in into its third year. It is designed to cater for the lower grade horses that have consistently raced at both venues throughout the season, giving trainers the opportunity to win a substantial prize with a horse that may not necessarily earn a huge amount of money. With the season passing the hallway point there are already 450 horses that have competed at both Dubbo and Parkes and therefore have registered points in the Garrards Iron Horse. Over 100 of those horses have already earned double digit points. The current leader is Nathan Hurst's Tulhurst Stacey on 36 points two points clear of Go Lassie Go for Jason Gaffney. Bullion Hall & Mod Conns are a further point away in a tie for third. At this stage fourteen individual trainers have horses placed in the top 20 list. Included on that list is evergreen claimer Catch Your Breath who continues to earn points merely from starting, proving that all you have to do is keep racing at both clubs and you're in with a chance. Greg Hayes

Harness Racing New South Wales was saddened to learn of the passing of respected Parkes horseman David Harris at the age of 74. His family migrated from Ireland to Australia but David's link to Ireland always remained strong. David's last horse Outta Crossgar was named after the small village in Northern Ireland where his family originated. Outta Crossgar won a heat of the Graeme Board & Co Sales Series at Bathurst Raceway last night, only hours before David passed away. He raced the unbeaten youngster with sons Robert, Darren and David Junior, daughter Belinda and her husband Scott Cusach and good friend Kevin Hogan. David drove at the first night trotting meeting in Parkes and has been associated with many successful horses such as Atari Boy, Sharp Warrior and Express Girl. David is survived by his wife Lorraine. Harness Racing New South Wales                                  

Miracle Mile winning reinsman Mat Rue achieved a career milestone at Parkes last week when the harness racing 26-year-old drove his 500th career winner.  While the victory by Tulhurst Ace may have gone unnoticed by many, winning on the Nathan Hurst trained four-year-old meant a great deal to Rue as the Hurst stable was one of his biggest supporters in the early days. On leaving school, Rue got a job working for Golden Gait Stud’s Wayne Lamb before securing a job at the Cowra Abattoir.  Despite being busy at work, Rue still found time to travel around the central west of New South Wales to drive at country meetings. “I’d finish at the meatworks by 12:30 and I’d head off to wherever I could get a drive in the early days, there were plenty of people who were willing to give me a go and that helped my development,” Rue said. “Dad (Ken Rue) helped me a lot too, he had two horses – Miracle In Time and Lace and Whiskey – and I was able to win quite a few which got my career going in the early days.” When Rue started to establish himself as a junior reinsman he moved to Bathurst and began working for local trainer Bernie Hewitt and it was during this time that he got his biggest break through unfortunate circumstances. “I was doing a bit of driving for Kevin and Nathan Hurst in those days and Nathan got hurt and had to have about eighteen months off so I started picking up about 70% of the drives for the stable and they had about 25 horses in work at the time. “Back in those days, trainers like Peter Trevor-Jones was a great support and he still is today, but once I started to get a few winners I started to get more opportunities.” It was during this period that Rue caught the attention of Luke McCarthy and Rue soon moved to Sydney to become the junior reinsman for the state’s leading stable.  Rue enjoyed his most successful season while living in Sydney and recorded 110 winners in 2011/12. However it wasn’t until April 2013 that Rue enjoyed the best day of his career when he drove a group one double at Tabcorp Park Menangle including the Miracle Mile on the McCarthy trained Baby Bling. “It was a day everyone dreams about and it is something that will probably never happen again but to win the Miracle Mile and the Australian Pacing Gold for two year olds on Lettucerockthem was so special. “I had dreamed about winning the Miracle Mile since I was young and to achieve it was something I will never forget.” Rue moved to North America for more experience and while learning a lot he was unable to drive a winner. “I think I had about 30 drives over there, I got six placings which was good but I was ready to come home and have a crack at it. “I moved back to Bathurst with Bernie and have been working for him since, nothing beats the thrill of driving winners but I’m really enjoying training the young horses and I have a small team of five in work.” At Bathurst tonight, Rue has a number of drives however he also trains lightly raced three-year-old Fouroeight in race six. “He is owned by Tony Pace and when I first picked him up it was only a couple of days after Australian cricketer Phil Hughes had died after he was hit in the head while playing for South Australia. “I named the horse Phil straight away because I am a pretty big cricket fan and when it came time to name him I asked Tony if I could put a name in for him and I decided to use Phil Hughes’ Australian test number and that’s how I came up with Fouroeight.” Fouroeight was Rue’s 499th winner as a driver and he brought up his 500th the following night at Parkes. “I’d love to keep doing what I’m doing, everything is going really well for me at the moment, my fiancé Gemma (Hewitt) and I are due to get married and hopefully the winners keep coming.” Greg Hayes

The Parkes Harness Racing Club will farewell 2015 on Thursday night with its feature meeting of the season. A big crowd is expected with a fireworks display on track after the last race adding to the trackside entertainment. Sparks look set to fly on the track, especially in the Langlands Hanlon Sprint, with a number of metropolitan performed horses engaged. The Geoff Harding trained Strathlachlan Andy has returned from a recent trip to Queensland and will be looking to return to the winners' list after finishing third in his two runs at Albion Park. Reinsman Matthew Harding will be back in the sulky after winning on the six-year-old in early October. "I couldn't get the time off work to go to Brisbane to drive up there so I missed the trip to Queensland but I'm looking forward to driving Strathlachlan Andy at Parkes," Matthew Harding said. "I thought his runs at Albion Park were really good, he was caught deep at his second run up there and just kept on trying but I don't think Thursday night's race is any easier." While Strathlachlan Andy has been driven aggressively as he has made his way through the grades, Harding believes he will need to be more conservative going forward. "It doesn't get easier from here. He is always going to be racing a nice horse in this class so we might need to be a bit quieter with him in the early and middle stages. "This week there are a few good chances and I would be very surprised if they didn't break 1:58.0 - I don't want to go in with a preconceived plan but I'm confident there will be speed on from the start." Harding confirmed the family did consider taking Strathlachlan Andy to Bathurst for the Shirley Turnbull Memorial last weekend. "Parkes was always on the agenda because he has been balloted out of a few races and we knew the handicappers couldn't leave him out of the feature sprint. "We did toy with the idea of going to Bathurst and while we know he couldn't have beaten that field, he might have been able to run a place with the right run." Harding has nominated Satellite Ace as the horse to beat on Thursday. "It looks set to get a nice run through in the early stages off the back row so Satellite Ace is a logical danger but there are a number of other chances." The Langlands Hanlon Sprint is race four on the card and is scheduled to begin at 7:47pm. Greg Hayes

The Parkes Harness Racing Club is set to attract a large crowd for its Carnival of Cups meeting on New Year's Eve. The Club will be running the final of the $15,000 Parkes Leagues Club Golden Bar for three year olds with horses qualifying for the event in the heats conducted on December 28. The final of the Medlyns Castrol Gig will also be run with winning connections taking home a Rio Meteor Gig while the $12,000 Langlands Hanlon Sprint is also set down for decision. The trotters will be catered for with a $10,000 race programmed. On track the crowd will be entertained by a huge fireworks display after the last race and there are plenty of activities for the children too, including a jumping castle, face painting and temporary tattoos. There will be giveaways throughout the evening and patrons will be able to watch the 9pm Sydney fireworks on a large television. The Christmas-New Year period is a busy time for the Parkes Club with three race meetings planned. The first will be conducted on December 28 with a number of heats being run for the Carnival of Cups meeting. It is important for trainers to note that a trotting race has been included in the program also. On January 6 the popular Elvis Festival meeting will be conducted with one lucky patron winning a $5,000 travel voucher just by being on-course when the winner is drawn. The Elvis Festival meeting traditionally attracts a big crowd with thousands of people travelling to Parkes to celebrate the career of Elvis Presley. Bathurst trainer Steve Turnbull enjoyed success at the Elvis meeting last season with a treble and also won the Golden Bar with talented three year old Mouse In The House. The Parkes Club is one of several to conduct Carnival of Cups meetings during the Christmas-New Year period. For a full list of the Carnival of Cups meetings click here Greg Hayes

Harness Racing New South Wales extends its condolences to the family of Cliff Gardiner after he passed away on Tuesday morning. Mr Gardiner, best known in the harness racing industry for his contribution to the Parkes Club, had suffered ill health for several months and died at the age of 78. As a former President of the Parkes Harness Racing Club, Mr Gardiner was granted life membership for his tireless work in the industry. He was the longest serving President of the Parkes Club, serving from 1999 until 2009 after joining the Club’s committee in 1979. While President, Mr Gardiner oversaw a number of feature meetings including the 50 year anniversary of night trotting in Parkes in 2003 and the Club’s centenary in 2009.  Mr Gardiner was awarded HRNSW Volunteer of the Year during his tenure as President. Cliff is survived by his wife Gwen.  The funeral details have yet to be confirmed.    Greg Hayes    

The Parkes Harness Racing Club will close its Stallion Tender on Wednesday September 30 and with a number of exciting sires involved there has been plenty of interest. The Parkes Club will be using the money raised from the tender to help fund a special promotion that has been planned during the town's annual Elvis Festival early next year. The Parkes Elvis Festival is held each January to coincide with Elvis Presley's birthday. Each year the festival grows and there are now more than 150 individual events over the five days in the town. The Parkes Harness Racing Club will conduct a meeting on Wednesday January 6 next year in conjunction with the Elvis Festival and will send one lucky patron at the meeting on a $5,000 holiday to Memphis, Tennessee, the city Elvis called home after moving from Tupelo, Mississippi as a thirteen-year old. The stallions that are part of the tender are: Village Jolt kindly donated by Empire Stallions Smiling Shard kindly donated by Alabar Major Bronski kindly donated by Morley Park Maffioso kindly donated by Clarinda Park Pepper Tree Farm has also supported the tender by making a cash donation to the Parkes Club. For more details on the Stallion Tender or to place a bid please contact the Club on 0427 415 098 or email The Stallion Tender closes on Wednesday September 30. Greg Hayes

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