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Scott Plant is an Auckland Cup winner no matter where No Doctor Needed finishes in tomorrow’s Group One $250,000 feature Pace. Plant, who is a harness racing traditionalist, was one of three Auckland Trotting Club Board members that ensured the great race reverted back to a 3200m standing start on December 31 last year. “It was a 2700m mobile from 2007 until the March Auckland Cup in 2015. The race has enormous history and I was saddened to see it revert to a 2700m mobile in 2007. “I personally think it should have always be a standing start staying test. I’m not one who likes to break from tradition. The New Zealand Cup is a two-mile stand, and they haven’t tampered with that distance,” Epsom-based Plant said. “The Auckland Cup should have always been the same without change. I’m excited. It would be a dream come true to win my home-town Cup,” he added. Plant said he, Jamie MacKinnon, and Phil Cook were on the ATC’s Racing Committee, which ensured the change two years ago. Plant knew the 1968 Auckland Cup was run from a two mile (3200m) stand, and perhaps that’s where his passion for tradition stemmed from. “I was just 12. My parents made me stay at home with family while they went to the Auckland Cup. They had friends with Tommy Knowles and he won the Auckland Cup that year with Cardinal Garrison. I remember it very clearly,” Plant said. They strolled home in 4:09.2 that day – just 3.2 seconds slower than Have Faith In Me’s sedate time last December. “That was the first 3200m race since March 2006 and I hope they go a bit quicker this time. If not the Purdon (Mark) horses could get away with murder and kill us. “I’m not saying No Doctor Needed (7) can win over two miles but he can stay and if he can get away on terms, and then gets the trip to suit, he can run over the top of them. We just need a solid pace. “I don’t think he’s the worst chance at all. I certainly think he’s capable of surprising a few,” Plant said. No Doctor Needed is the $26 fifth-favourite to win Saturday’s 11-horse Trillian Trust Auckland Cup. He’s had one start in the race previously – finishing a six- length ninth behind Have Faith In Me last March.He was driven by Scott Phelan that night. Ricky May will drive him for the third consecutive time after finishing third and 10th in the Group Three Summer Cup (December 9) and the Group Two Franklin Cup (December 16) respectively. Auckland Cup second favourite Titan Banner got the better of him both times in those races. “I’m really excited. He has matured a lot this year but a gallop at the start cost him in the Franklin Cup. He will cop the two miles okay. We just want him to step away,” Plant stressed. No Doctor Needed is owned by Plant (60%), former 'Voice of the Park' –commentator, Alby Gain (10%); past Auckland Trotting Club president Steve Stockman (10%); and Plant's son and daughter - Greg and Nicki who have a 10% share each. The 6-year-old Mach Three gelding has now won 12 of his 47 starts, placed in 19 others, and netted $208,700 in stakes, Five of his wins have come at Alexandra Park, but he is yet to nail a cheque in three starts over the 3200m stand. No Doctor Needed’s biggest wins to date have come via the Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes as a 3-year-old in April 2014 and the Group Three Kumeu Founders Cup in March this year. He finished an 18-length second when 10th favourite (of 15) in this year’s New Zealand Cup at Addington Raceway. “Prior to breaking last start No Doctor Needed had placed twice at Alexandra Park. I was delighted with the way he came home two starts ago. He’s been racing off handicaps when they have gone New Zealand records. “He is off the front this time and hopefully he can get a nice sit and then one run at them. I think he can at least place,” said Plant. No Doctor Needed is paying $5 on the TAB’s Futures place market. After The Auckland Cup No Doctor Needed will transfer to Paul Fitzpatrick’s Sydney stable where he will race for three months. “He deserves a chance in mobile races over there. I think he will be well placed in some of their races, and if he has to take on the guns later on he should start off the front. “It will be a good chance for him to develop even further,” said Plant. No Doctor Needed was bred by Plant Racing Limited. He is out of the now 15-year-old Christian Cullen – Wisha (Vance Hanover) mare, Molly Darling. Plant owned Molly Darling with Warren Oliver, and breeder Brian Hewes and Brent Mangos before she was sold to America. They paid $16,000 for her in 2003. Molly Darling was a multiple Group One winning mare who raced 72 times for 24 wins, 18 placings and won $575,150 in stakes. She raced in New Zealand 21 times for eight wins, five placings and netted $178,229 in stakes. Duane Ranger

Sean Grayling even had an ‘Australia going away party’ at his boss Barry Purdon’s home, but talks with his employer has resulted in last-minute change of mind. Grayling who has been working for Barry Purdon at Clevedon for the last five years, was scheduled to start work with New South Wales trainer Paul Fitzpatrick at his Camden Stables on Monday October 10. But the 20-year-old is going nowhere. After hosting his farewell party on October 1, Purdon sat down with Grayling and asked him about his timing. “Sean had another good think about it. He’s the leading junior driver at the moment and he’s getting a few drives. “I personally think that going right now wouldn’t be the smartest move, so Sean is going to leave it until next July and go then,” Purdon said. The Hall-of-Fame horsemen said it will do Grayling ‘the world of good’ to go somewhere else and see how other people did things, but believed going now was not the right time. “It’s best to wait another eight or nine months and get more established first. His junior claim would could run out here and I think it would start up again in Australia going into next season,” Purdon said. Grayling agreed with his boss saying he wanted to give the Junior Premiership and New Zealand and Australasia driving titles a real nudge in what is likely to be his last or second last season as a junior reinsman. Grayling has driven 20 winners from 194 starts since 2013. He’s also placed 44 times for $187,629. His UDR strike rate currently sits at 0.1982. Grayling’s has saluted the judge five times this season and is three wins clear of the second-placed North Island juniors, Robert Argue and Andrew Drake. Mosgiel horseman Rory McIlwrick is currently the leading junior driver in New Zealand with nine wins. Duane Ranger

The continuing trend of junior drivers wanting to pursue their careers across the Tasman has hit again – this time with the North Island’s leading junior, Sean Grayling. The 20-year-old, who has been with Barry Purdon for the last five years, will start working with New South Wales trainer Paul Fitzpatrick at his Camden Stables on October 10. Grayling will leave Purdon on October 7 and will have his last New Zealand drives at the Auckland Trotting Club’s meeting later that night. He said he was excited about the prospect of working in a new country. Grayling also liked the idea that there were up to eight meetings a week in New South Wales compared to one, maybe two per week, in the North Island. Fitzpatrick is a top Australian harness racing trainer with experience dating back several decades. He is a member of the exclusive five-strong 'Harold Park Living Legends Club'. He also raced Australian Horse-of-the-Year Lombo Pocket Watch and currently works a team of 35 south-west of Sydney. “I mentioned it to Paul in passing when I was over there with Sky Major and Start Dreaming in February. It’s something I have always wanted to do. “Then Gavin (Fitzpatrick) rang me out of the blue last month saying one of their staff had left and the opportunity had come up. “I’ve thought long and hard about it and I spoke to Dad (Tony) and Barry about the move and they agreed with my decision. I felt the time was right to do it. I came straight from school to Barry and Katrina’s and I have learnt so much working at their stable. I am forever grateful,” Grayling said. Grayling, who has never driven better than what he has this season, looked destined to beat his personal best tally of 15 wins this season. He achieved his first driving double at ‘The Park’ on August 26. But instead Grayling is now one of several New Zealand junior drivers who have made the move across the ditch in recent years, and one of dozens in years gone by who have preceded him. More recently Joe Moka, Jacob Wallace, Dylan Ferguson, Fergus Schumacher, Shane Butcher, Nathan Purdon, Emmett Brosnan, Michael Purdon and Michael Blakemore are just some Kiwi juniors who have either departed these shores for Australia, and have remained there, or have returned. Even Dexter Dunn did a stint in Australia and then returned home. Matty White went to Perth and stayed there so what does Hall-Of-Famer Purdon think of Grayling’s move? “I’ll miss him when he’s gone but it’s something he’s been wanting to do for a while now. It will be good for him to experience something new especially now that he’s going to a very good stable. “Sean thinks there will be a few more opportunities for his driving over there and I hope there is. He is driving well now and getting out on track more which certainly helps improve his driving. But this has been on his mind for a while now and it’s best he gets out of his system and gets over there and give it a real crack. He can always come home again,” Purdon said. “Sean worked hard for us and I wish him all the best and hope he does really well,” he added. Heading into this Friday’s (September 30) meeting at Alexandra Park. Grayling was the leading North Island junior driver this season with four wins and two seconds from 20 drives – two clear of Andrew Drake. It was his best start to a season and even he admits it is going to be hard saying goodbye to ‘Northern Headquarters’ on Friday week. “The junior claiming rule helped a little bit, and even though it was hard to get outside drives at Alexandra Park and Cambridge, it’s still going to be hard leaving Auckland. It’s all I’ve known really, but when I was in Australia I absolutely loved it,” Grayling said. Grayling gets his chance to drive in his first Spring Cup on Friday night when he will steer the Purdon trained The Faithful. He also has a drive behind the Ray Darby trained Bro Fawkes S in the first race. They were the two horses that provided him with his first and only ‘driving double’ last month. “It’s an honour to drive in a big race for Barry. In fact driving in any race in his colours was big for me. The Faithful is so honest and you can never write him off. “I am thankful for all the drives Barry has given me. I’m also thankful to Zac (Butcher) for his driving advice as well. You never stop learning at that place,” Grayling said. The former Pukekohe High School student said he was looking forward to working with the Fitzpatricks' and their 35-strong team. “I’m excited because it is something new and something different. The stable is only 15 minutes away from Menangle and that’s the top track in New South Wales. “I really liked what I saw when I went over there. I’m going to another top stable. They have their own track as well. It will be a real learning curve there as well. I think the experience will do me the world of good,” Grayling said. Grayling paid a tribute to all those who had supported him especially his father, Amanda Kiddie, and his sponsor who would continue to support him in Australia - John Harris from JGH Chartered Accountants. Grayling has achieved 19 winners, 19 seconds, and 20 thirds ($177,411) from 187 starters since getting his licence in 2013-2014. His URD strike-rate is 0.1937.   Duane Ranger

It was a much needed victory. And it was met with relief too. That’s the way leading Sydney horseman Paul Fitzpatrick summed up the winning effort of his talented harness racing three-year-old Match In Heaven last Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Somebeachsomewhere colt was responsible for a mystifying performance in the Gr.1 Breeders Challenge Final when a lacklustre 9th behind Charlaval on June 26, it was too bad to be true and almost ended his season right there and then. But Fitzpatrick was determined to find answers. “We had a number of tests, scans and scopes carried out on him but we couldn’t actually pinpoint any problem. There was no actual issue diagnosed and we just had to put it down to a bad run, he hasn’t missed a beat since and the win last week confirmed that he was back on track and we’re heading north.” Fitzpatrick said. The respected horseman is yet to taste success in the sunshine state feature, even former champion juvenile Lombo Pocket Watch came up short when beaten by local pacer Arkamigo back in 2007. While Match In Heaven is yet to race outside of his home state, Fitzpatrick believes his colt is ready to take up the challenge. “He’s a horse we’ve liked from the very beginning and we’ve deliberately looked after him, he hasn’t been over raced and the Queensland Derby has been on his radar for some time now. Given the way he bounced back last week, that confirmed he was ready to take on this task. “It’s a very even field, a very good field but no standout like we’ve seen in recent times and I think that sets up a very exciting race. Many of these three-year-olds are yet to race at this distance so it’s unknown territory for many, mine included. “I think the draw is quite ok for my colt, he will have time to settle early and given that so many of the favoured runners are also drawn the second-line, I’m hopeful we can get good cover before letting go with his sprint.” Match In Heaven is no stranger to success this season having claimed the Young Derby back in March where he defeated Charlaval while he is Gr.1 placed after chasing home Our Waikiki Beach last season in the Breeders Challenge Final. A decision on whether Match In Heaven heads to Melbourne next month for the Australasian Breeders Crown will be made following the Queensland Derby. Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016

The 2016 Racing Queensland UBET winter carnival is fast approaching and in the coming weeks, Queensland harness broadcaster Chris Barsby will profile a number of major players vying for the top prizes. With 18 Black Type races on the program for the 2016 Winter Carnival, the carnival’s pinnacle in 2016 is the Group 1 Blacks A Fake, which now boasts an impressive $200,000 in stakes. The carnival spans from May 28 to July 30. Here’s a profile featuring a talented three-year-old from south of the border that’s eyeing Derby success on July 16. Name: Match In Heaven Stable Name: Sparky Age: 3yo colt Owner: John Starr Trainer: Paul Fitzpatrick Driver: Blake Fitzpatrick Prizemoney: $91,034 Biggest win: 2016 Young Derby Target: Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Derby (July 16) Trainer says: “We’ve always liked him and hold him in high regard, from day one he’s shown natural ability and he’s building a nice record and we feel he will keep improving and make a nice older horse over time. He’s got good smarts about him and he’s very quick, his point to point speed is his biggest asset. Hopefully we can have some luck in the Queensland Derby because he’ll prove very competitive in any race he contests.” Barsby says: “A really nice pacer that’s been well looked after and managed throughout his career to date. He showed his class when he chased home Our Waikiki Beach last season in the Breeders Challenge when he was still quite raw and inexperienced. Possesses great speed and will prove very hard to beat if given any luck, the Queensland Derby looks an ideal target.”

Fairfield's signature race the JD Watts Memorial celebrates a special milestone on Monday afternoon. The celebrated event turns 40 and the club has planned another big harness racing meeting and a big crowd is expected on track. Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick has had great success in the JD Watts Memorial having won it five times in the past 16 years and the stable is hoping to continue the recent domination with underrated pacer No Ah Saint this year. The son of Riverboat King has won $231,000 in his career and driver Gavin Fitzpatrick is confident he will handle the standing start conditions. "We only recently qualified No Ah Saint from the stand last week, he stepped away reasonably well and we have been giving him a lot of practice at home," Fitzpatrick said. "To be completely honest he is struggling to find his old form since his spell but he returned from his break very fat and it has taken a couple of runs to tighten him up. His work at home since his last run has been a lot better and I'm expecting a better performance from him this week." The distance of 2533 metres should suit No Ah Saint with Fitzpatrick confirming his runs over the 2300 metres at Tabcorp Park Menangle have been his best. "He loves the 2300 metres so he should be even more at home over the 2533 on Monday afternoon. If he managed to step to the front on Monday I would be happy to hold the lead because he has run his better races from in front or outside the leader." "The half mile track is not a concern for No Ah Saint either, he handles the tighter tracks comfortably so there are a few factors in his favour on Monday." Gavin Fitzpatrick has driven three of his father's five winners in the JD Watts Memorial. Gavin drove Bills Bingo to win the race in 2002 and won the race twice with Duel Prince in 2004 and 2005. "I can clearly remember Bills Bingo winning the race in 2002. We led and I felt him go rough down the back straight but to his credit he fought on and broke the track record. After the event it was found he had broken down during the run but his determination got him home over the line. "Duel Prince's win off a 20 metre handicap was brilliant, I think he broke Bills Bingo's record actually but he won the race with ease. He was a very nice horse." Monday afternoon's JD Watts Memorial is race seven and is due to start at 3:40pm. Greg Hayes

A different Purdon, big brother Barry, stoke the show back from his brother Mark in tonight’s Robin Dundee Classic at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle as his promising mare Start Dreaming surged into the field for next week’s $200,000 Ladyship Mile with a strong finishing display. Mark Purdon had won earlier features in the night with the likes of Our Waikiki Beach and Smolda but the Robin Dundee was always going to be even more hotly contested with the first four assured of invitations into tomorrow week’s Ladyship Mile. And as they crossed the line it was Start Dreaming, Berisari, Betabcool and My Willow that filled the top four slots to take those coveted Ladyship berths. My Willow, it was later revealed, had already qualified from her fifth to Frith in the Sibelia the previous week, so the final spot went to tonight’s fifth placegetter Juliette Bromac from the David Aiken stable. Still it was Start Dreaming that looked the goods and her reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick assured racegoers the New Zealand visitor would be very competitive against the likes of Frith, Nike Franco and Fight For Glory in next week’s Group One mares’ feature. A well-backed favourite, Start Dreaming ($2.30) raced in second and third spot to the turn until Fitzpatrick set her alight turning for home and she wore down her rivals to score by 1.3m in a 1:51.9 mile rate. “Both her wins here have been outstanding in this country since Barry brought her over here,” said Fitzpatrick. “Barry didn’t give me any particular instructions as he knows the racing is quite different here in Australia. “So we had no set plan and I’m not even sure if I’ll be driving her for Barry next weekend [in the ladyship]. “But it’s still a pleasure to drive for a champion trainer like him who knows how to find a good horse – and he always has.” Michael Court    

They’re on their way. The powerful New South Wales harness racing stable of Belinda and Luke McCarthy were to the fore at Menangle on Tuesday, winning three Breeders Crown heats, and the Cobbitty yard is sure to be strongly represented at next month’s semi-finals in Victoria. Ominous Warning captured the first race at Menangle, the American Ideal @ Woodlands Breeders Crown 2YO Colts and Geldings Heat 6, defeating Francisco De Gore by a half-neck in a 1:59.1 mile rate with a last quarter of 26.8 seconds and a last half of 55.1. The son of Four Starzzz Shark found the lead easily early in the 2300m race before churning out comfortable early sectionals. Driver Luke McCarthy got busy on Ominous Warning late in the home straight as Francisco De Gore ascended down the outside, the $1.10 favourite holding on for a narrow win over the fast-finishing $40.10 outsider. Another few strides and the result probably went the other way, so punters won’t be sacking the second horse in a hurry. Lettucerockthem showed in Race 2, the Roll With Joe Breeders Crown 3YO Colts and Geldings Heat 5, that he’s in seriously good form. The son of Art Major scored an easy victory, the final 5.4m winning margin not a true indicator of the dominance with which Lettucerockthem handled Tuesday’s competition. Luke McCarthy kept peeping over his shoulder time and again in the straight aboard Lettucerockthem to see Ideal Legacy’s driver hard at work, while the rest of the field might as well have been in another race. Consequently, Lettucerockthem never had to leave second gear, clocking a mile rate of 1:58.3 and a last quarter of 28.4. Flying filly Bamako Mali then gave the McCarthys a third crown heat win for the day in a blistering 1:57.9 in heat six of the two-year-old fillies’ division. McCarthy took Bamako Mali to the front at the top of lane and she dashed clear before late challengers came from all corners in the last 50m. The race commentator commented “she was no good thing” but as is her style Bamako Mali lifted when challenged and held on by a head over Ameretto with a similar distance to Butterfly Princess in third. “Someone told me it was only 0.7 seconds outside the track record,” McCarthy said (Sheezallattitude holds the two-year-old fillies’ record for the 2300m start with a 1:57.2 set in 2010). “She’s got a great will to win. The other one almost headed her. I’d say it levelled up but she fought back. She’s a great trier.” Bamako Mali has won nine of 13 starts and been placed second or third at the other four. On Ominous Warning McCarthy said the gelding had pulled up “a little bit sick” after his recent Breeders Challenge defeat. “We were disappointed not to win that,” he said. “Luckily we were able to get him right in time for yesterday. “Ominous Warning is pretty good. He was still probably a bit underdone yesterday.” McCarthy said Lettucerockthem was potentially in career-best form. “He’s probably in the best form he’s been in since he was a two-year-old,” he said. “I felt he travelled really good throughout yesterday.” Other Breeders Crown heat winners at Menangle were Saloon Passage for Nathan Hurst in the three-year-old boys’ sixth heat, winning by 10.5m in a rate of 1:55.7, and Ocean Diva for trainer Paul Fitzpatrick and driver Blake Fitzpatrick by a short half-head over Starzzzinthenight in 1:59.5 in the three-year-old fillies’ fifth heat. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Harness racing reinsman Gavin Fitzpatrick looks set to bring up another century of winners in a season in his home state of New South Wales        .  The son of leading trainer Paul Fitzpatrick has 97 winners for the season and has two good drives at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. "I'm pretty sure I have got to the 100 winners three or four times in the past but I haven't done it for a couple of years," Fitzpatrick said. "Dad is working the same size team as he has in the past but we have just had a really good season, there is a lot of nice horses in the stable that started on good marks and have worked their way through the grades which obviously helps kick along my tally because I don't do a lot of outside driving." Fitzpatrick will drive Breeders Crown placegetter Rogers Passion in race three on Saturday night and was very pleased with her first up performance. "Her run at Penrith was very good, she got a long way back and made up a lot of ground and it was her first run back for a couple of months so I think she should take a lot of benefit from that." "She is paid up for the Breeders Crown this season and she did run second behind Frith in the three year old fillies final last year but we will just see how she progresses at this stage." In race one on Saturday night Fitzpatrick will drive Swift Exit. "He's been racing very well at Penrith and it will be his first run back at Menangle in quite a while. Saturday night will be a little bit harder but if he holds his form he shouldn't be too far away." Fitzpatrick also confirmed that Ocean Diva will not go to Queensland and will now be aimed at the Breeders Crown in Victoria. By Greg Hayes (Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW)  

Frith will compete in her first Gr. 1 this season on Sunday June 29th at Tabcorp Park Menangle when she starts a short priced favourite in the Breeders Challenge for four year old mares. The multiple Gr. 1 winner won her semi final on Saturday night but trainer/driver Bruce Harpley confirmed he was worried during the race and was pleased when she got to the winning post. "She always worries me because she likes to have horses around her and I was at her a fair way from home to keep her mind on the job," Harpley said. "Once she could sense Priceless Gem was on her outside she switched on and the best she felt during the entire race on Saturday night was in the last twenty metres." Harpley will not start his star mare this weekend believing she has done enough to be at her peak. "She has had to do a fair bit of work in the runs she has had this season, she hasn't really had a soft run yet plus I gave her a good hit-out at the Wagga trials last weekend so I'm pretty confident that she will be as good as I can get her in the Breeders Challenge final." While the barriers for the semi-finals were drawn using a preferential system, the final will be random. "I think that is the best way to do it, a lot of the lower class mares may not nominate for the semi finals if they were a chance of drawing the outside but I like the idea of it being random once the final comes around." "The Paul Fitzpatrick trained mare Grin For Miss was impressive in the other semi and she does possess some gate speed so if she drew underneath me it would be a good race for the early lead and Priceless Gem was very good in finishing second behind Frith last week too." Frith will be attempting to win her second Breeders Challenge after winning it last year as a three year old filly. By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

Popular harness racing trainer Paul Fitzpatrick has set his sights on the upcoming Breeders Challenge finals and is hoping to continue the success he enjoyed last year. Fitzpatrick prepared talented mare Obahma Joy to win the four year old mares' division twelve months ago and believes his leading chances come in the shape of two other well performed fillies. "The stable has been running very well this season, we just missed 100 winners last season but with more than two months of this season to go we should get to 100 this time around," Fitzpatrick said. "Sally Fletcher is probably my leading Breeders Challenge hope, she should have finished closer in the Bathurst Gold Tiara and was impressive winning a heat last week but Ocean Diva has her fair share of ability too and I have another couple ready for the semis as well." Ocean Diva finished second in the New South Wales Oaks behind the David Kennedy trained Shes A Runa and has been in great form since winning three consecutively. "Ocean Diva is eligible for the Breeders Crown as well and we were considering going to Queensland for the Oaks but she still has a lot to learn and that's my only little concern with her. When she learns what it is all about she is going to get better I think." "Lenny The Legend is another one I'm hoping will get through to the Breeders Challenge, he has only had the three starts but he is an improver and he has come a fair way in a very short time. We will probably geld him before we turn him out and I think he is going to make a nice horse." Last season was the first one in recent memory when Fitzpatrick failed to get 100 winners. "It was a very slow start for my stable this season but the winners have started to flow. I'm still working the same size team as I did so nothing much has changed, just the results have improved a little bit." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Last year 26-year-old Christchurch-born Amanda Grieve returned to Australia after serving an 'apprenticeship' with master NZ horseman Tony Herlihy. Last night at Lord's Raceway Bendigo, Grieve let everyone know she was in business as a trainer, harnessing up her first race winner, Tandias Bromac in the Empire Stallions Super Series 4yo Vicbred mares, 1st heat. The Thompson Bloodstock owned daughter of Art Major that stems from the same family as Bendigo great Mother Courage led all the way to win the Stakes heat impressively for driver Chris Alford in a MR of 1.58.1 for the 2150 metre distance. Glenferrie Shuffle (Jodi Quinlan) charged home for second with Im Smouldering in third place. But the night belonged to former Dean Braun stable employee Grieve, a young lady described by Herlihy who was her boss and mentor for 8 years as "one of his most valued workers. "Grieve has had plenty of good teachers including her father Paul and and on leaving school she had a good grounding with Paul Fitzpatrick in New South Wales and with (Uncle) Dennis Wilson. Greive went to NZ to watch Elsu win the 2005 Inter Dominion at Alexandra Park and got a job with Herlihy where she had many highlights working at his Ardmore barn.  "I got to work with so many good horses like Western Dream, Ohoka Punter and of course One Over Kenny. She was my favourite," Grieve told harnesslink.  Grieve did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work with One Over Kenny and rated her second Rowe Cup win as a career highlight. "She was also the first trotting mare to win $1 million. I loved that horse. I'll never forget her," Grieve said.  Grieve has also worked as a starter's assistant for six years and on premier nights can be seen leading the horses back into the bird cage.  Grieve prefers training to driving but she has had seven drives without saluting. Her father Paul trained eight winners in seven seasons between 1984 and 1998. Mum Katie and dad, Paul are proud as punch about their daughter's success. " Dad & I are very proud of you," Katie Grieve posted on facebook after the win. Meanwhile, recently licenced trainer Amanda Turnbull also notched up her first winner last week. Turnbull, New South Wales’ leading driver, took out the Dunlop Super Dealer Pace at Charlton last Monday with four-year-old Highview Conall. By David Alfred (Bendigo Harness Racing)

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

THE 160 kilometre trip from Grenfell to Bathurst is one that harness racing trainer Mark Hewitt has made more times that he could count,  and he finally got a reward for being a supporter of Bathurst Harness Racing Club meetings – a very big reward. Hewitt was the man who sat in the gig behind Makes Every Scents as she held on to win the Gold Tiara Final for two-year-old fillies, a feature race that held Group 1 status and a $50,000 winners’ purse. The trainer had arrived for the 28th edition of the Gold Crown Carnival hopeful of making the final and while Make Every Scents was impressive in winning her heat, others such as Team McCarthy’s Bamako Mali and Paul Fitzpatrick’s Sally Fletcher were more highly fancied to claim the overall spoils. But Bamako Mali was scratched and the Fitzpatrick’s hope had to contend with a tricky barrier six draw as he chased his third Gold Tiara win. Hewitt, who also had My Blackeyed Susan qualify for the final, started to look a better prospect. Sally Fletcher still held $2.50 favouritism, but Make Every Scents started as the $3.70 second elect as Hewitt contested the Gold Tiara Final for just the second time in his career. Whereas Hewitt’s first attempt came up short – Burning Stature nudged out by a nose by Armida in 2007 – this time the Western Districts trainer-driver got the nod. It was also long-time owner John Gibson’s first Gold Tiara success. “I’d like to thank the Gibson family for their support and sending me horses the calibre of Makes Every Scents, it makes it a lot easier to train when they have got that breeding behind them,” Hewitt said. “The Gibsons have shown the foresight to buy Scent herself and breed this filly and I am lucky they kept this one. “To hold and promote this meeting is wonderful. The Gold Crown has been a marvellous idea and they’ve done wonders with it. We all strive to win it, we start when we get them as a yearling and we have one thing in mind and that is to have a win here tonight on Gold Crown night. I was lucky enough to have two in it and to win with one is even better.” Though Hewitt certainly had luck in the 1,730 metre final, much of the win was also due to a smart drive. He took up position outside early leader Karalta Impulse, while behind him Gotta Glow galloped and checked Ashlee Siejka’s Bathurst hopeful Ameretto as well as inconveniencing Sally Fletcher. It saw the favourite lose ground on the leading pack while Make Every Scents looked comfortable sitting just off the pace as Karalta Impulse led them through a 60.4 seconds first half. Hewitt made his move with 300m to run and was able to pull away to a three lengths advantage over nearest rival Mustang Jet on the bend. While Make Every Scents tired a little and the favourite made a late charge, it was to be Hewitt’s night as his filly held on to win by 21⁄4m. Second was Young trainer-driver Glenn Wilmot aboard Mustang Jet ($44.90) with Sally Fletcher running a big race to place third. The win made it three in a row for Hewitt’s Four Starzzz Shark x Scent filly and win number three is one he will remember for a long time to come. Harness Racing New South Wales Makes Every Scents

New Zealand Cup runner-up Fly Like An Eagle is back in New Zealand and now in the care of Tony Herlihy after a failed Australian campaign with Paul Fitzpatrick. “He arrived yesterday morning and has settled in well,” said Herlihy, who drove the son of Mach Three to win the 2012 New Zealand Derby. “He is a lovely cut of a horse, and is a real gentle giant,” he added. “Mark (Purdon, former trainer) has always had a very high opinion of the horse, so I am excited to have him in my stable,” Herlihy enthused. Herlihy said that Fly Like An Eagle will now have a quiet week to ten days. “I will just see how he progresses and have a talk to the owners but at this stage the Hunter Cup is our main target.” Meanwhile, Herlihy yesterday unleashed smart two-year-old Express Stride, who was an impressive winner at the Alexandra Park trials. “He has got everything going for him and he has continued to improve throughout the month,” offered Herlihy. “I think he has got all the attributes to be a very nice horse,” he added. Herlihy has the Young Guns on the radar with the son of Bettor’s Delight and top filly Lauraella, but is unsure if he will be ready to contest the heat on New Years Eve. “I’m not sure if he will be quite ready by then but I will make a call closer to the time.” Express Stride is just one of the two-year-olds floating around the trials in New Zealand at the moment that is owned by mammoth Australian owners Emilio and Maria Rosati. “The Rosati’s have been buying up large at our New Zealand Yearling Sales for a few years now, but this year due to the $2,000 Import Tax they decided to leave some of them here,” said Herlihy. “The money didn’t worry them as they are all high priced yearlings, but it is the principal of the matter that they weren’t happy with.”  “I think they also have a couple with Cran Dalgety and I have also got Downunder Stride (Bettor’s Delight – Alta Vista). “He is a nice horse as well but he is currently spelling at the moment after being gelded.” Herlihy concluded.  Other two-year-olds the Rosati’s have qualified in New Zealand include Betterman Stride (Bettor’s Delight – Child In Time) and Cossack Stride (Bettor’s Delight – Achieve A Dream), both of whom are trained by Dave Anderson. By Mitchell Robertson

The weather was stifling, and so were the times at the third annual Garrards 2YO Trialling Sale at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, last Sunday. A crowd of 500 or so people sweltered in 38 degree heat to see 45 youngsters trial then go under the hammer. The top price, at $115,000, was a New Zealand-bred Gotta Go Cullect filly, from Russian Rocket, offered by Christchurch-based horseman, Greg Payne, and bought by veteran Victorian enthusiast, Jack Knight, to join the astute Wayne Potter stable. The filly electrified the crowd with her half mile trial with splits of 28.1s and 27.6s, never flinching. Knight and Potter also signed for a $70,000 Somebeachsomewhere colt from More Sassie Lombo, which was offered by Young-based studmaster, Ken Smith, and which finished off with a solid 27.8s on the back of a 31s first quarter. Alliex Express' father-and-son team of Colin and Dean McDowell bought two youngsters - a Somebeachsomewhere gelding from Scoots Away for $30,000, and $36,000 for another Gotta Go Cullect filly, from Glowable. Industry virtual newcomer Brad Canty, whose background is in the greyhound industry, was active with four purchases, three for Brisbane's Mat Neilson and another for local horseman Blake Fitzpatrick, who is training a New Zealand-bred, the only Bettors Delight progeny in the sale, a filly from Beaudiene Bianca, which brought $44,000. Neilson took home a $9000 colt by The Globe from Just Sweet, a $30,000 Real Desire colt from My Spirit Of Tara and a Sportswriter-Tycoon Tess gelding for $13,000. Experienced Riverina-based horseman, Steve Harris, brought two colts, which sold well: a Sportswriter-Stylish Storm to Rob Davis for $44,000 and a Quick Approval half-brother to Majorlicious, which went to Doug Johnson for $32,000, while Trec Saverio paid $50,000 for a Victorian-bred Modern Art gelding from Soaring Franco. Veteran South Coast New South Wales identity Bill Green spent $30,000 on the half-brother to Jedi Mind, a colt by Live Or Die, to join Robbie Morris and Kerry Ann Turner, who also took home a striking syndicate-owned New Zealand-bred Santanna Blue Chip colt for $35,000 from Payne. The crowd included enthusiasts from as far afield as Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria, with the likes of young Perth-based horsemen Ryan Bell and Kody Charles, north-western Tasmanian owner, Michael Filleul, Queensland trainers Daren Garrard, Darrel Graham and Mat Neilson and Victorians David Aiken, Michael Stanley and the father-and-son combination of Peter and Matt Craven. Local figures in the throng included Jarrod Alchin, Darren Binskin, Ron Cooper, Neil Day, Blake Fitzpatrick, Paul Fitzpatrick, Damian Gallagher, Anton Golino, Darren McCall, John McCarthy, Luke McCarthy, Robbie Morris, Kerry Ann Turner, Steve Turnbull and Peter Walsh. The day proved a complete entertainment package, with a performance by singer-songwriter Luke Koteras and the Garrards Industry Day and Trade Fair. A small number of bought-back lots are still on the market, through the agency of Australian Standardbred Consultancy Pty Ltd, by contacting Kerry Baker on 0402 336 598 or at kausbred@bigpond.net.au Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW                   Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: nogrady@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au       Warning to recipients:   This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.            

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