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That was the question on the lips of a lot of Kiwi race followers last Friday night as his 3 year old son Horace Greeley made an impressive winning debut at Addington in the hands of his co-trainer, Mark Purdon. Western Edition is a 12 year old son of Western Hanover who won just $89,089 on the track and took a mark of 1:51.6 so it is not his racing deeds which saw him end up at stud. Rather it is the fact that he is a half brother to  both the champion sire  Art Major 1:48.4 ($3,273,217) and his ill fated but hugely successful full brother in Perfect Art 1:51 ($576,983). Standing at Burwood Stud in Queensland in his initial years at stud, Western Edition has sired just 115 horses 3 years or older in his time at stud. Horace Greeley was his 26th winner to date from 48 starters for stakes totaling $716,638 Western Edition has already shown he can leave quality horses with Wicked Style 1:55.7 ($214,143) and Western Mail 1:53.5 ($178,528) two of his better types to date. Western Edition is to stand the coming season at Goodtime Lodge in Victoria at the bargain basement fee of just $1550 (GST inclusive) which should ensure he serves a larger book than he has recently. Horace Greeley would bring back some old memories for Mark Purdon as he comes from the incredibly successful North Island family of the eighties and nineties that traces to Birdie. Dillon Dean 1:58.5 ($713,130)  Elmer Gantry 1:56.7 ($377,024)  Two Under 1:53.2 ($226,530) and Dillon Dale ($142,035) are just some of the wonderful horses close up in Horace Greeley's pedigree. While he may never reach the heights of his half brothers Art Major of Perfect Art, Western Edition has shown enough in his small crops to date to suggest that he has a future as a sire. Harnesslink media

CALL THE MARSHALL gave an indication that he will be competitive in next Sunday's $40,000 Easter Cup final with an impressive all-the-way win in his heat over 2698 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight (Sunday). With leading reinsman Gareth Rattray in the sulky, Call The Marshall ($2.90) stepped brilliantly from gate four to find the lead and he was never headed on his way to a comfortable win over the heavily backed Dapper Dana ($2.05 fav) with Falco Peregrinus ($8.50) doing his best work over the concluding stages for a close-up third. Call The Marshall was coming off a win over last year's Easter Cup winner Biggernbettermax in a discretionary handicap in Launceston but this latest victory was even more impressive. The other heat was taken out by the Dick Eaves-trained mare Arts Bliss that also led all the way but at the sweet odds of $13. Arts Bliss has been a consistent mare in lower grades but eaves has said all along that he was keen to get her to the Easter Cup because she is tough and that she was just starting to deliver in her races. The mare by Blissfull Hall from Arts Darling (x Perfect Art) won the Scottsdale Cup in January and followed up with a game win in a discretionary handicap in Launceston about four weeks later. She went into this race on the back of a game second in the Sylvan Lass over 2090 metres in Hobart behind Dapper Dana. Arts Bliss held on to defeat dead-heaters Our Chain of Command and back marker (off 40m) Motu Crusader. But the biggest run in the race was that of fourth-placed Saab Quality that missed the start at least 60 metres. The Daryl Bates-trained gelding made up the lost ground and crept along the rails once he tacked on and when driver John Walters called on him for an effort in the home straight he flashed home along the rails to finish fourth. The $40,000 Examiner Easter Cup will be run over 2698 metres in Launceston next Sunday night (Easter Sunday). By Peter Staples

Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we have decided to run a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. These PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them. (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and for Down Under the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  Two days ago we looked at American Ideal and today we review Art Major - Enjoy the read. ART MAJOR BREEDING - By the legendary super sire, Artsplace, he is from the prolific producing Nihalator mare in Perfect Profile who produced 13 foals for 11 winners of over $5 million in stakes.. As well as Art Major she has produced the full brother Perfect Art whose 716 foals have won over $13,653,246 in Australia and Western Edition (by Western Hanover) who stood in Queensland and has 115 three-year-olds and older who have won $665,848 to date in Australia. Art Major was sold as a yearling as Lot 55 at the Tattersalls Sale in Kentucky in 2000. RACE RECORD - Racing from two to four years, he started 49 times for a fantastic record of 32 wins and 9 placings for a massive $3,273,217 in stakes with a 1:48.4m record. Artsplace richest son. His durability is obvious when you consider that he won his last three starts on the racetrack and those wins were in the $824,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, the $729,730 Breeders Crown and the $350,000 US Pacing Championship.   AMERICAN STUD RECORD - He has had seven crops to race so far and what an impact they have made. His first crop is arguably his best producing such stars as Art Official, his richest son at $2,085,185 and his fastest son at p3,1:47, Santanna Blue Chip $1,641,643 p2,1:51.3, Artimittateslife $997,901 p3,1:51.3 and Riggins $931,587 p5,1:48.4. All up seven have won over $500,000 and the average earnings per starter is a massive $132,000. His second crop contained Hypnotic Blue Chip $1,766,053 p4,1:47.2 and Major In Art who only raced as a two-year-old winning $896,060 and taking a time of 1:50.2  while his third crop was highlighted by He's Gorgeous $743,844 p5,1:48.3. His fourth crop contained such stars as Feel Like A Fool $965,633 with a two-year-old record of 1:49.4 and Swinging Beauty $841,245 p4,1:49.4. His fifth crop was led by the very good Handsoffmycookies $1,228,873 p4,1:51,4f and while the sixth crop was down on seasonal champions it did produce three $600,000 winners including the speedy Fool Me Once $639,989 p3,1:48.1s. His seventh and latest crop is headed by the brilliant two-year-old filly in Precocious Beauty $462,912 1:50.1.   US statistics   Eligible to race - 802         Winners - 536         $1,000,000+ 4           Sub 1:50 - 26         Average earning per starter - $100,219   Average earnings per eligible horse - $82,349   Total earnings to date - $66,044,151   AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Looks very much like his North American stud record. He has left a super 398 winners to date including such stars as Sushi Sushi $1,103,327, For A Reason $724,333, Lady Euthenia $461,285 and Louvre $402,665. Consistently at or near the top of the two and three year old sires list and with 38 $100,000 winners to date ,he produces depth to back the stars.   Australian statistics   Foals 3yr old and older - 658           Winners - 398   % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 60%   $100,000 plus - 38    $1,000,000 plus - 1         Average earnings per starter - $34,876   Average earnings per eligible horse - $28,515   Total earnings to date - $18,763,192         NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - Has so far left 96 winners in New Zealand but his record does not appear to be as strong as it is in Australia or North America. The probable reason is that he only bred 35 foals in New Zealand in his initial three crops that are 5yr olds, 6yr olds and 7yr olds. Out of that small group he left the very good 2 & 3yr old Major Mark that won $574,109 before he was exported to Australia. Art Major's first serious crop are now 4yr olds and there are 95 foals and already this crop has produced 52 individual winners including the good mare Onlyforyou $292,874 and Glenferrie Shuffle $248,870 (Australia). He has 98 foals in his 3yr old crop for 28 winners to date including the brilliant Isaiah $375,861, Sky Major $241,623 and Angelina Jolie $101,000. His 3yr old fillies finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in a Sire Stakes race yesterday at Alexandra Park in Auckland.   New Zealand statistics   3yr old and older - 229   Starters - 121   Winners -  96   % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 42%   $100,000 plus - 6   $1,000,000 plus - 0   Average earnings per starter - $26,363   Average earnings per eligible horse - $13,930   Total earnings to date - $3,189,983   POSITIVES - Has a fantastic record in both North America ($66,044,151 to date) and Australia ($18,750,000 to date) and is starting to gain a good record in New Zealand. Consistency is the key with his stud record with no drop off in the high standard he has set from day one. They come to hand quickly and have a great record at two and three.   NEGATIVES - In Australia and New Zealand they have a reputation for been world beaters one week and just nice horses the next. At times they are prone to disappoint after promising so much.    As of yet they have not made the transition from age group racing to the Grand Circuit in any great numbers with only Sushi Sushi, For A Reason and Major Mark making more than $500,000 in stakes to date and that is from a total of 887 foals 3yrs old and older.    OVERVIEW - His record overall is outstanding. His sons such as Art Official, Santanna Blue Chip and Major In Art are starting to establish themselves as sires and his daughters are doing the same in the brood mare paddock. All in all, a fantastic sire who leaves top 2yr olds and top 3yr olds and will continue to exert a major influence over the breed for years to come.    OVERALL RATING - 8/10   JC   A Sire review - American Ideal

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) today released the majority of their 2013 human award winners for excellence in the Standardbred industry. Heading the list is Joe Thomson, winner of the Stanley F. Bergstein-Proximity Achievement Award. The award, originally named for the great trotting mare, Proximity, is considered the second-most-prestigious honor in harness racing, after the Hall of Fame. In 2012, the name of the award was altered to honor harness racing's only double Hall of Famer, the Stanley F. Bergstein, and is now referred to as the Bergstein-Proximity award. It is presented annually to a person or organization for outstanding contributions to harness racing. In 1991, Joe Thomson and his wife JoAnn founded Winbak Farm on the site of Windields Farm, where the great Thoroughbred Northern Dancer was foaled. They employed the Win from Windfields Farm with the initials of their children -- Bradley, Ashlee and Kimberly -- to form the name Winbak. Their main farm is located on more than 2,000 acres near Chesapeake City, MD. Winbak Farms has been named Breeder of the Year by USHWA three times. This past July, two horses owned by Winbak Farm, Bettor's Delight and Lady Ashlee Ann, were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Over the last 10 years, Joe Thomson's Winbak Farm bred, raised and sold three Horses of the Year -- No Pan Intended in 2003, Rainbow Blue in 2004 and Muscle Hill in 2009. Muscle Hill and Vivid Photo were both Hambletonian winners bred by Winbak, which also produced 2011 Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year Roll With Joe. Thomson, one of four partners in the ownership of Lexington's Red Mile, is involved in many aspects of the Standardbred industry. He is a director of the Hambletonian Society, Breeders Association of Delaware, Lexington Trots Breeders Association, and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. He was elected president of the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania in 2012. Other honors he has received include 2001 Sports Eye Breeder of the Year, 2001 times: In Harness Owner of the Year, 2009 Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame inductee, and 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA. All of the award winners will be honored at the annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet hosted by USHWA on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at Dover Downs, Dover, Delaware. The Norman Woolworth Owner of the Year award goes to the team of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi. Burke Racing Stable (trainer Ron Burke and his mom Sylvia) and Mark Weaver and Michael Bruscemi (Weaver Bruscemi LLC) have been racing partners for years. Together, the partnership raced more than 220 horses over the course of a year and according to the U.S. Trotting Association, they have together owned nearly 1,000 horses. The stable reads like a "Who's Who" of harness racing with such as Foiled Again ($1.4 million earned this season), Quillen Memorial champion Clear Vision ($596,103), multiple-stakes-winner Charisma Hanover ($555,729), Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ Southwind Silence ($375,581), American-National winner Southwind Spirit ($370,295), Monument Circle winner Dedi's Dragon ($368,342), Meadowlands Maturity champ Sweet Lou ($330,138) and Garnsey Memorial division winner Carols Desire ($260,099). In 2013, Foiled Again became the richest Standardbred in North American history (with more than $6 million in lifetime earnings) and the oldest to win a Breeders Crown. This group is dedicated to the sport and is invested in it for the long run. Burke, Weaver and Bruscemi - along with their many other ownership partners - have been an asset to the sport by keeping their stars at the tracks where fans are able to see, enjoy and connect with them. Burke and Weaver Bruscemi have been the leading owners in terms of both races and money won every year this decade, racing mostly overnight stock. The Rising Star award goes to a "younger" driver in the industry who has achieved above and beyond the norm in racing ability and this year's recipient is long overdue. Corey Callahan did not find his way into the harness world until 2005, but his rise has not been of the meteoric variety. Callahan began as a full-time driver at 29 and almost immediately accorded himself as a top-20 driver in both wins and earnings. From 2007-2012 he ranked 13th, 11th, 11th, seventh and eighth nationally in wins, and 21st, 14th, 19th, 18th and 13th in earnings. While his statistics were strong, he plied his trade mostly out of the spotlight until making a decision to focus on major stakes races in 2013. That choice has paid off in leaps and bounds for Callahan, who currently (through early December) ranks fifth in wins (566) and seventh in earnings ($9.2 million). Both numbers are career bests. Callahan picked up drives on some of the best horses in the country in 2013, including those from top trainers Jonas Czernyson and Tony Alagna. He has won the driving title at Dover Downs for four consecutive years and he ranks among the leaders at Harrah's Philadelphia . He finished second at the Meadowlands with 99 wins, behind only Yannick Gingras. It is no surprise that the Breeder of the Year in 2013 is none other than White Birch Farm for the second straight year. The farm bred both three-year-old pacer Captaintreacherous and the three-year-old trotting filly Bee A Magician. In the final month of racing in 2013, White Birch progeny have accounted for more than 390 trips to the winner's circle and $8.3 million in 2013 earnings. Other White Birch Farm standouts in 2013 includes free for all trotter Sevruga, who earned $484,575 of his $800,000 lifetime purse money this year, $500,000 winner Wake Up Peter, and six-figure earners Ali Blue, Proclaiming April, I Fought Dalaw, She's Da Bomb and Ideal Champ. The late Joe and Marie Parisi started building White Birch Farm's breeding operation more than 35 years ago as Jo-Mar Farm, where they stood New Jersey Sire Stakes stallion Adios Ronnie. Their son, Michael Parisi, now runs the 800-acre facility that is home to nearly 100 broodmares and also serves as one of the premier training centers in Central New Jersey, accommodating 300 horses in training. The Lew Barasch Breakthrough Award goes to a "non-racing" individual who has excelled beyond the scope of their job profile during the year. This year's winner is Heather Wilder, who is the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Assocation (MSOA) at the Meadows Racetrack in Washington, PA. Heather had background doing publicity and racing support work in the Columbus area (Scioto, Delaware) while still in her teens. After staying home with two children in her 20s, Wilder decided to pursue training horses. It was because of this unique marriage of talents that she was thought to be an ideal person by the board of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) to fill their newly-created role of Director of Public Relations and Marketing. With her extensive backstretch knowledge, Heather has been the liaison to introducing countless area fans, both individuals and groups, to the "hands-on" side of racing, through backstretch tours, time in the jog cart and the starting gate, and even reaching out to the local business community through the area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. A big night of racing always finds the MSOA and Wilder with several outreach programs for fans and casino patrons. Wilder also promotes the The Meadows and MSOA through social media efforts which help extend their reach. While wearing her BET HELP button and walking the grandstand assisting patrons with any questions about making wagers on the races, Wilder is dynamic and approachable. Always willing to support harness racing and USHWA, she is slated to be one of the emcees for the national awards dinner in 2014. There is no more legitimate "Good Guy" in the sport than trainer George Ducharme, who will be honored with the W. R. Haughton Good Guy Award. He totally embraced the spotlight this year with his outstanding three-year-old colt trotter, Royalty For Life, while always representing the sport in a classy manner to the media and to the public. The hard working 51 year-old native of Norfolk, Massachusetts was catapulted into the spotlight in 2013 after a 25 plus year racing career that saw him toil mostly in anonymity in New England. But Ducharme's work ethic and commitment to his trade and his great attitude towards both the fans and media have always been there despite the immensely rocky road to his Hambletonian victory with the horse of a lifetime. Along with all the glory of guiding the career of a Hambletonian champion, Ducharme also faced a lot of difficult situations during the year. An early year quarantine at his home base, a tiring off-track at Lexington, hard trips from difficult draws and a season-ending scratch from the Breeders Crown all had to be dealt with. Through the tough times, Ducharme never ducked the media and took the good with the bad while offering the best analysis of any situation he could. He looked for his next positive move forward and remained accessible while dealing with every twist and turn with class and dignity. Ducharme was asked to be part of the autograph session on Hambletonian Day (clearly the biggest day of his career) and never hesitated to accept. He even arrived early to spend as much time with the fans as possible. And all year long he did every interview and answered every question from anyone who approached him. Ducharme is universally liked. From his days in New England to campaigning his first "good horse" Donttellmywife to his Grand Circuit success this year; you would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't respect the man. And through it all, he has always been affable and approachable to any media member and fan alike. Dedicated to the industry, Ducharme also toils as a USTA Director for District 9. He is truly one of harness racing's good guys in many ways. The 2013 Leeanne Pooler Unsung Hero award goes annually to someone who has gone beyond the scope of helping the harness racing industry that that person is Sam Landy. In 2012 horse owner Sam Landy and a committee of volunteers created an event called the Open Space Pace Day at Freehold Raceway. The concept arose from Landy's determination to find a way to illustrate the importance of harness racing to the state and local economy in New Jersey's horse country. The inaugural event included a parade, celebrity appearances, under saddle races, a Southside Johnny concert - but primarily showcased harness racing in one of the most populous counties [Monmouth] in New Jersey. The event was valuable as a public relations vehicle, both raising the awareness of harness racing as well as bringing out legislators and public officials to see the importance of racing to the county and state economy. In September of 2013, despite the expense (much of it personal) and countless hours of work involved, Landy and his Open Space Pace committee presented the second annual festival, employing it as a tool to connect the agri-business of harness racing in the minds of legislators and the public. Several thousand people were drawn to the borough of Freehold and the raceway within its borders for the renewal of the event. Grants totaling $10,000 were distributed to harness racing and agricultural-related charities and programs. There are also two additional equine awards announced today by USHWA. Two outstanding "moms" will be honored as the 2013 Broodmares of the Year. They are Beehive and Worldly Treasure. The lightly-raced trotting mare Beehive 3,Q1:57.3f ($8,791) is the dam of the undefeated 3-year-old Bee A Magician (by Kadabra), a winner of 26 races in her career (17 of them in this year) and $2,313,956. She is owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ. She is also the dam of the Explosive Matter freshman filly Dynamite Honey 2,2:00.3f ($17,400). This season Bee A Magician has swept her division, winning the $500,000 Breeders Crown at Pocono; the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks at The Meadowlands; the $356,981 Elegant Image at Mohawk, the $253,000 Moni Maker at The Meadowlands; the $205,608 Simcoe Final at Mohawk; the $265,600 Delvin Miller Memorial at The Meadowlands; the $118,500 American National at Balmoral; among others. The pacing broodmare of the year, Worldly Treasure, is the dam of world champion Captaintreacherous p,3,1:47.1 ($2,973,286). Worldly Treasure herself was no slouch on the track, taking a 2-year-old mark of 1:53.1 en route to earning $97,923. She hails from a strong maternal family, as her full sister is the outstanding pacing mare Worldly Beauty, who was a two-time Dan Patch Award winner with nearly $2 million in career earnings. They are both out of World Order p,3,1:53 ($267,205), whose dam was Rodine Hanover p,2,1:54 ($231,630)-the dam of Real Artist p,3,Q1:51 ($424,94) and the grand-dam of Art Major p,4,1:48.4 ($2,727,224), Perfect Art p,3,1:51 ($629,122) and Panspacificflight p,3,1:50.3 ($368,843). She is also owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ. USHWA can be reached at  by Steve Wolf, president USHWA  

A meticulous long-range plan, carefully-mapped out by Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack returned handsome dividends when the lightly-raced Nowitzki scored an impressive victory in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A sizzling start paved the way for the Art Major four-year-old who burst straight to the front from barrier two and set a solid pace before winning by 2m from 43/1 outsider Smokey The Bandit, with 29/1 chance Heez On Fire charging home from the rear to be third, just ahead of the even-money favourite Chilli Palmer. The win was the culmination of Jack's plan to bring the gelding from Victoria to Western Australia early in September. This was to give Nowitzki every opportunity to become acclimatised to the local conditions. Nowitzki spent two months at Pinjarra before making his WA debut, when he was surprisingly beaten into second place by Our Boy Su in a city M0-class event on November 8. He then led from the No. 1 barrier and won the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship from Mexicano before starting from the outside of the front line and finishing ninth behind Chilli Palmer in the McInerney Ford Classic. A $100,000 yearling, Nowitzki has earned $207,925 from his nine wins and five placings from 18 starts and he looks certain to develop into a quality grand circuit performer. Nowitzki was a $6.80 chance on the tote, with polemarker Chilli Palmer, the brilliant last-to-first winner of the McInerney Ford Classic a fortnight earlier, all the rage at evens from the prized No. 1 barrier. Jack stole a march on his rivals when Nowitzki revealed sparkling early speed to charge straight past Chilli Palmer and into the lead when the mobile barrier released the 12 runners in the 2536m journey. Condrieu began speedily from barrier six and quickly moved into the breeze, while Chilli Palmer settled down in sixth position before Chris Alford eased him off the pegs and into the one-wide line. It was while Chilli Palmer was struggling to muster early speed that Ashleigh Markham urged Smokey The Bandit forward from barrier two on the second line to get into the prime position behind the pacemaker. Nowitzki relaxed after his early burst of speed and was able to coast through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.3sec. before sprinting the next three quarters in 28.5sec., 28.4sec. and 29sec. He rated 1.57.5. Bit Of A Legend (13/4) was sixth after a lap in the one-wide line, and was being followed by Chilli Palmer. Bit Of A Legend started a three-wide move with about 1100m to travel and again he was followed by Chilli Palmer. However, Nowitzki showed no signs of weakening and it was left to the unheralded Smokey The Bandit to issue the only serious challenge in the home straight. Jack threw the kitchen sink at Nowitzki and he was suspended from driving for 14 days for an improper whip action in the home straight. The stewards also fine him $200 for loose reining --- for throwing the reins extravagantly as the gelding charged towards the finishing post. Markham was fined $400 for an incorrect whip action. "I have a very high opinion of Nowitzki and wasn't really concerned during the race," Jack said. "You go out there and try to beat one horse (Chilli Palmer) and you often come unstuck and something else beats you. That's racing and, thankfully, that wasn't the case tonight. He now has earned a spell." Nowitzki is the sixth foal out of the Armbro Operative mare Full Pleasure, who had 26 starts in 2001 and 2002 for three wins in NSW and seven in Victoria for earnings of $106,496. Full Pleasure's first six foals are all winners (of a total of 75 races), with her second foal Kept For Pleasure having 37 starts for 19 wins, ten placings and $542,343 and Lebron earning $155,084 from 22 wins and Its My Pleasure winning 14 races and $141,908. CORTOPASSI MAKES THE MOST OF CHANCE DRIVE BEHIND HEZ THE BART MAN New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Hez The Bart Man bounced back to form with a vengeance when he sustained a powerful three-wide burst to win the 2130m Jayden Barber Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to end an eight-month drought and snap a losing sequence of 16. A 27/1 tote outsider, he was driven for the first time by Aldo Cortopassi, who brought the gelding home with a spirited three-wide burst from fourth at the bell to a decisive one-length win over stablemate Red Salute (24/1). This gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri a quinella result. The stable's No. 1 reinsman Chris Lewis had the choice of driving either horse and when he chose last-start winner Red Salute it gave Cortopassi the chance of handling Hez the Bart Man. Western Cullen was a hot favourite at 2/1 on from the No. 1 barrier. As expected, he set the pace, and even after a slow first quarter of the final mile in 31.2sec. he wilted over the final 400m to finish sixth. Hez The Bart Man hit the front 320m from home and he won from Red Salute, who finished with admirable determination. Courage Tells, who trailed the pacemaker, finished third. The final 800m was covered in 56.3sec. and the winner rated a slick 1.56.2 to take his record to 56 starts for 11 wins, 21 placings and $125,333 in stakes. "I knew there was going to be a lot of early speed and we got a really good trip into the race," Cortopassi said. "He toughed it out really good. As soon as I got the plugs out and gave him a cut with the whip he levelled out and knew where the line was." J WALKER EXCELS AT FIRST OUTING FOR THREE MONTHS Young Henley Brook trainer Robbie Williams predicted more wins for New Zealand-bred gelding J Walker after driving the seven-year-old to a splendid first-up victory in the 2503m Russky the Bandit Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I've got a bit of an opinion of this bloke," he said after J Walker, a 7/1 chance off the back mark of 20m, had thundered home from last in the middle stages and from eighth at the bell to win easily from the pacemaker Bobby Teal (12/1) and 13/1 chance Turnpike Cruiser, who rattled home from last with a lap to travel. J Walker, who hit the front 120m from home, was making his first appearance for three months and his win broke a losing sequence of nine. "He's had a few little niggles, so we put him out in the paddock," Williams said. "And now he seems to be over them. My only concern tonight was that I thought he was a little bit big in condition." J Walker now moves to an M3 classification and looks capable of advancing to a tighter mark. He has raced 80 times for 16 wins, 19 placings for $149,926 in prizemoney. His win on Friday night completed a double for Williams, who had been successful earlier in the night with Franco Torres. COOL JOHNNY SPARKLES ON HIS RETURN TO RACING Cool Johnny, a lightly-raced five-year-old prepared at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, reappeared at Gloucester Park at Gloucester Park on Friday night after an absence of 11 weeks and he surprised reinsman Colin Brown with the ease of his victory. "I can't say that his trackwork has been exceptional. But he certainly lifted tonight," Brown said. "The barrier draw (No. 1) certainly helped." Cool Johnny was solidly supported and started at 7/4. He was smartest into stride and after quarters of 30.1sec. and 30.8sec., he sprinted over the final sections in 29.7sec. and 28.3sec. He rated 1.58.4 and defeated What God Knows (13/2) by just under four lengths. Soho Redford, who raced in the breeze, fought on grandly to be third. Soho Highroller (7/4) was popular with punters, but he was trapped three wide all the way before wilting from third at the bell to sixth. It was a fine effort. "Ï had a good look at the 400m and a few of them were struggling," Brown said. "We appeared to be travelling okay, so I dashed him away. The last thing you want to do is to get run over by something sprinting over the top. He finished it off well." Cool Johnny won once from three starts in New Zealand now has a record of 22 starts for nine wins and three placings for stakes of $48,904. MENELAUS OF SPARTA SHINING UNDER SMITH'S GUIDANCE Kenwick trainer Brett Smith made a wise decision three months ago when he claimed six-year-old Menelaus of Sparta for $10,000 on behalf of his mother Jenny and a few friends. Menelaus of Sparta has flourished under Smith's care and he maintained his excellent form when he stormed home from the rear in the middle stages to score an easy victory in the 2130m David Cairo and Jamie Congerton Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This took his record for Smith to 12 starts for five wins and two placings for $33,715 in stakes and his overall record to 17 wins, 19 placings and $111,346 from 74 starts. Smith is serving a term of suspension for causing interference and this created an opportunity for Morgan Woodley to drive Menelaus of Sparta for the first time. "All credit to Brett," Woodley said. "He has got this horse absolutely flying at the moment. He's been a revelation under his training. Tonight he's got the perfect run into the race. From the 1200m to the 400m they've run that half in 58.2sec. before the final quarter was run in 29sec. That was right up this horse's alley. He can let down realty well and he showed that tonight." Menelaus of Sparta started at the handsome odds of 14/1, mainly because most punters pinned their faith in veteran Pembrook Henry from the No. 1 barrier. Dylan Egerton-Green jumped Pembrook Henry in front, but the gelding was placed under heavy pressure when Absolute Cool paced strongly in the breeze. Rojen Cruz rattled home from last in the middle stages to be second, one length behind Menelaus of Sparta and Pembrook Henry did well to finish third, with Absolute Cool in fourth place. WILLIAMS BRINGS FRANCO TORRES (33/1) HOME WITH A POWERFUL BURST Robbie Williams made the most of the opportunity to drive Franco Torres in the Happy Birthday Ryan Berti Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Shannon Suvaljko, the No. 1 driver for the Debbie Padberg stable, opted to drive the Mike Reed-trained Taiaha. Taiaha was a solidly-supported 2/1 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, while Franco Torres was a 33/1 outsider, going into the 2130m event with a losing sequence of 11. Taiaha set the pace, while Williams, driving Franco Torres for the first time, was content to keep his horse in sixth position in the one-wide line. Wrongly Accused worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front with 400m to travel. However, Franco Torres sprinted home strongly over the final quarter in a28.6sec. to burst to the front in the closing stages to beat Wrongly Accused by just over a length. Bet Your Life came from three back on the pegs to be third, a nose ahead of Corza Commotion, who finished powerfully from ninth (on the pegs) at the bell. Taiaha faded to finish last in the field of 12. The New Zealand-bred Franco Torres has earned $77,624 from ten wins and 17 placings from 63 starts. EGERTON-GREEN LANDS BLACKNSWEET ADDA AT HANDSOM ODDS Young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green maintained his splendid form in the sulky when he brought 13/1 chance Blacknsweet Adda home with a strong burst to win the V. and K. Congerton Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Herne Hill Trainer Kevin Keys engaged Egerton-Green to drive the four-year-old for the first time and it proved to be a wise decision with Egerton-Green trailing the pacemaker Miss Tee Dawn until he urged Blacknsweet Adda forward approaching the home turn. Miss Tee Dawn, driven by ace New Zealand reinsman Dexter Dunn, was showing signs of weakening and Blacknsweet Adda hit the front 90m from the post before winning by just over a length from Pure Empathy, who sizzled home out five wide after being last in the middle stages and tenth at the bell. Blacknsweet Adda ended a losing run of seven and took her record to five wins and seven placings from 28 starts for stakes of $43,090. SOHO MONZA BRERAKS THROUGH AFTER A SUCCESSION OF MINOR PLACINGS Five-year-old Soho Monza was rewarded for his consistency when he broke through for an overdue win at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Pacific Fella gelding, bred and owned by Rob Watson, had been placed at eight of his past 13 starts since winning at Northam early in July. He drew the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on. Hopeland trainer Kim Prentice set Soho Monza the task of leading all the way and the gelding responded in fine style, sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. to win by 2m from veteran pacer Cometao, who fought on grandly after racing without cover. Mister Roberto ran on from seven and last at the bell to be third. Soho Monza is the first foal out of the Perfect Art mare Spic And Spangled, who raced only five times for two wins at Kalgoorlie in October-November 2006. The Victorian-bred Spangled Black, the great granddam of Soho Monza, had 64 starts in the 1980s for 12 wins, 18 placings and $64,114. HERBIES DREAM GIVES PADBERG THE FIRST LEG OF A DOUBLE Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg's recent run of successes continued at full tilt at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she landed a double --- with Herbies Dream and Franco Torres. This followed her good night at Northam on Thursday evening when she had four starters for a win with Hez Got The Nod, seconds with Sir Ricky and Alta Onassis and a third with Big Bad Wolf. The New Zealand-bred Herbies Dream was an 8/1 chance and Shannon Suvaljko made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by setting the pace and winning by just under a length from Grand Cru (who trailed the leader throughout), with the 5/4 favourite Notabadexcuse a half-head away in third place. Notabadexcuse raced in fifth position before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He fought on doggedly at his first start for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and should pay to follow. Herbies Dream raced 22 times in New Zealand for three wins and seven times in New South Wales for one win before arriving in Western Australia where his four starts have produced one win. HOT HOLIDAY NEVER GETS TIRED, SAYS SKALECKI Hot Holiday, who broke three times in running when a distant eighth behind Earl Harbour in a race at Gloucester Park last Friday week, was on his best behaviour when he trotted faultlessly and scored an effortless victory in the 2130m Kyle and Dozer Trot on Friday night. After the race Skalecki said that the Natalie Duffy-trained seven-year-old had been at a disadvantage the previous week because he had raced without front shoes. "He has gone super tonight," Skalecki said. "He went round without front shoes last week and that made it a bit difficult. Tonight we were pretty confident. That's where he likes it, outside the leader. "He doesn't like chasing too hard, but once he's up there (in the breeze) he'll just grind all day. He never gets tired and he'll just fight." Prince Eddie (5/2) set the pace and Skalecki was quite happy to have Hot Holiday, the 2/1 favourite, in the breeze. Hot Holiday forged to the front 420m from home and raced Away to score by four lengths from Backas Cobber, who ran on from the rear. Hot Holiday has raced 60 times for 15 wins, 16 placings and stakes of $130,849. by Ken Casellas  

Western Edition, a 1:51 siring son of the great Western Hanover, will stand this season at the Goodtime Lodge stud of Ian and Judi Slater, Elliminiyt, near Colac, alongside a second American import Artesian.

The rich history of Australia's oldest continuously run harness race will continue at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the 100th running of the harness racing WA Pacing Cup.

Jonathan McNeill of Barra Equine Limited is pleased to announce the arrival of the $1,436,363 earner Dali (p2,1:50.2; p3,1:48.2f), a very fast juvenile and a former three-year-old world record holder and the first son of the sensationally bred and top sire Real Artist to stand in Australasia.

A tactical front-running drive by harness racing driver Mark Dux paved the way for 9 O Shuns Bro's dashing victory in the $16,000 running 9-Y-O Claiming Challenge Final at Albion Park last Saturday night.

The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will conduct a strong eight event program this Saturday night (February 12). Racing action will kick off at 5.10pm with the Burwood Stud Pace, which is an M2 to M3 event over 2138 metres.

The Final of the Claiming Challenge will be the feature event this Saturday night (February 11) on the Albion Park Harness Racing Club's metropolitan harness racing programme. The action will kick off at 5.10pm with the Havenstone Pavers Pace, an M1 event over the 2138 metre trip.

Two heats of the Claimer's Challenge will be the feature events on the program this Saturday night (February 4) for the Albion Park Harness Racing Club. An eight event program will kick off at 5.10pm with the 4BC 1116 AM NEWS TALK PACE, an M2 to M3 event over the 2138 metre trip.

As Australian harness racing fans turn their attention to Gloucester Park in upcoming weeks for the start of the 2012 Inter Dominion series, patrons attending this Saturday night's (January 21) Albion Park meeting will witness two pacers who have previously contested an Inter Dominion Series.

The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will conduct an eight event program this Saturday night featuring the 2011 SEW-Eurodrive Christmas Cup and the Reindeer Rampage M1 Series Final.

Leading in to the Christmas Cup Saturday week (December 17) the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will conduct a bumper eight event program this Saturday night (december 10), which includes the feature Lord Mayor's Cup.

The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will conduct a strong eight event program this Saturday night at headquarters in Brisbane. The final of the Season Starter Pace will be the feature event on the program, which will take place as race six at 8.37pm. Two heats for the $16,000 final were conducted last Saturday night at Albion Park.

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