Day At The Track
Search Results
33 to 48 of 1497

Prominent harness racing owners Barry Cooper and Jamie Cockshutt have enjoyed plenty of success over the years but in Hobart on Sunday night they celebrated a win that probably meant more to them emotionally than most. Streitkid utilised the pole position draw and with ace reinsman Ricky Duggan in the sulky the gelded son of American Ideal led and gave his rivals a pacing lesson. The three-year-old's dam is Ima Blissful Belle, that was arguably one of the best pacers owned by Cockshutt and Cooper, went amiss early in her career which sent her to an early stud career. "We tried to get the mare in foal five times and failed and I was about to give up but my business partner Barry Cooper convinced me to give the mare one more try and this horse is the result," Cockshutt said. "The mare foaled down at Sue Streit's Elderslie Horse Care property (at Elderslie just north of Hobart) and it was Sue who had to bottle feed this horse when the mare rejected him so it was Sue's late night vigils that helped keep him alive. "We will be forever grateful to Sue (Streit) so we decided to try and have her surname in the colt's name. "We originally tried to secure Streitwise but that was rejected but we got Streitkid." Streitkid ($3 into $2.80) began brilliantly to lead while the favourite Kaliska Leis ($2.60) face the breeze with the other well-backed conveyance Flying Wingard ($5) was taken back to last from an outside front-row draw. Duggan ensured a reasonable tempo but with his charge able to sneak a couple of cheap quarters the gelding had plenty in reserve when called on for a sprint to the line. Streitkid gave his rivals the slip at the top of the home straight and he went on to win by over 10 metres from Hot Shot Bonnie with Flying Wingard flashing home from last to grab third. Peter Staples

Noel Salter has long been regarded as one of Tasmania's most successful owner-breeder-trainers and last Saturday night at the annual harness racing awards dinner at Luxbet Park he was acknowledged for his involvement in the industry that spans almost 40 years. Salter was awarded the Edgar Tatlow Medal for his service to the industry not only as a trainer-owner and breeder of standardbreds but for his devoted service as a club and code administrator for over 20 years. He was a committeeman with the Tasmanian Pacing Club in Hobart for 20 years during which time he stood 12 years as president and in 2005 he was made a life member of the club. That led to him becoming a board member with the now defunct Tasmanian Harness Racing Board of which he was president for three years and he also played a dominant role with Harness Racing Australia as a delegate for 14 years and for one year he served as vice-president. Before Salter entered harness racing he was a champion cyclist. He was Tasmanian champion numerous times and he represented Australia at the 1979 World Road Cycling Championships in Sweden. A year later he went close to national selection for the Moscow Olympics but when Olympic selection avoided him he retired from competitive cycling a year later. In 1981 he stumbled into harness racing. "My late Mum and Dad (Doris and Joe) owned and raced pacers and when my parents separated mum was left with the horses so I ended up training them. "It was a big challenge and I had to rely on a few people to help me through and there were none more helpful than Neville Webberley. "I still class Neville as the best horseman I've ever known and we remain very good friends." "I've also has some very good owners including Denis and Ruth Mahoney and Elliott Booth and they have become lifetime friends which is another wonderful part of being involved in this industry - you meet so many good people." Salter has owned and raced many good horses over the years and probably none better performed than On Parade that won 20 races and amassed almost $180,000 in stakes. Some of On Parade's wins include the 1992 Raider Stakes, 199i Tasmanian St Leger and 1992 Golden Mile before the horse was sent to Western Australia in 1994 where he won a Mount Eden Sprint and Bunbury Cup. Other good horses bred by Salter and his wife include Foxfighter (18 wins), Vinokourov that won 17 including the 2007 Raider Stakes, Galdeano (19 wins) and Chippolini that won the 1997 Dandy Patch Stakes before being sold to WA where he ended his career with 32 wins. In more recent years the Salters bred and raced Boasson Hagen that won the 2014 Dandy Patch and he also won the Breeders Crown Consolation in Victoria. Salter has retired from training and that part of the family business is in the care of his son Christian who has long been regarded as one of the state's best horsemen. When Salter was making his acceptance speech on Saturday night he said none of his achievements would have been possible had it not been for his wife Marlene, or "Tiny" as she is affectionately known in the industry. "When I was away interstate dealing with harness administration business Tiny was at home looking after our transport business as well as looking after the horses and keeping those businesses running smoothly. "She has been by my side through thick and thin so if they say I deserve this award then so does my wife because she has put in just as may hard yards as me." Peter Staples

Charles Cooley was one of the founding fathers of harness racing in Tasmania so it is just reward that he has finally made it into the Tasmanian harness Racing Hall of fame. Cooley was born in Hobart in 1870 and he was a pioneer of trotting in Tasmania and became a Foundation member of the Hobart Trotting Club. He also enjoyed success as an owner, trainer and driver-rider. His best horses included Black Bess with 8 wins, Acacia notched up seven victories with Bruno winning the Champion Mile in 1904. Cooley was the first Tasmanian trainer to win professional races in Melbourne and Sydney in the early 1900's. He imported Dolly Berlin from New Zealand, the Dam of champion racehorse and sire Berlinwood. His career as a race rider was cut short in a race fall in 1913 but he quickly bounced back turning his hand to administration, carrying out roles as judge, handicapper and starter for his beloved Hobart Trotting Club. Charles Cooley passed away in 1922 so it is almost century on that one of the founding fathers of trotting in Tasmania has finally been honoured as an inductee to the Tasmanian Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Peter Staples

W H (Hec) Baker was regarded as one of the best Tasmanian reinsmen to sit in a sulky and in Hobart last night the former great was inducted into the Tasmanian Harness Racing Hall of Fame at a gala awards ceremony at Luxbet Park. Baker's career covered four decades from 1945 to 1976 during which time he drove 516 winners and was the state's leading driver on two occasions in 1957/8 and 1965/66. He handled the ribbons on a number of outstanding pacers none greater than champion Chamfers Star. The pair combined to capture the 1964 Easter Cup and the 1965 Tasmanian Pacing Championship. Baker won the Tasmanian Derby three times. He won aboard Raider Chimes 1956, Jimmy Maru (1960) and in 1970 he won with Atok. Pipriki was successful in the Danbury Park Cup while Raizaire proved too good in the 1957 Show Cup. Baker also enjoyed triple success in the The Metropolitan Cup with Tasara in 1958, in 1961 with Shannon Bay and again with Karaman in 1974. There were also Dual successes in the Brighton Cup with Hideaway and Prince Chamfer and the Westbury Cup partnering Fantastic and Lulu O'Neill. Baker is regarded as one of the doyens's of Tasmanian Harness Racing and is a deserving inductee to the Hall Of Fame. Peter Staples  

Chester Bullock was rewarded for his long-term involvement in Tasmanian harness racing when he was last night inducted into the Tasmanian Harness racing Hall of Fame. Bullock is a long term active participant in almost every aspect of Tasmanian harness racing including ownership, breeding, training and administration. Born at St Marys, Chester's father Keith was the St Marys Trotting Club Treasurer and his mother, Doris, loved to have a small wager on horse racing. Chester spent much of his youth at St Marys at the harness stables of Linton Bullock and Eric Bean, before moving to Launceston when he was 16 years of age. Chester put his toe in the water with his first purchase, a yearling, Thunder Fame which won two races in 1984 when trained by Eric Bean. Chester had been bitten by the bug and acquired more mares, yearlings and racehorses and in 1986 decided to purchase a property at Riverside to accommodate his rapidly expanding harness operation. An 1,100 metre track was constructed on the flats adjoining the Tamar River, where the legendary Jack Stamford previously trained. Many prominent trainers took up residence at the Bullock training establishment. David Angus was the initial trainer and Mark Stanley, Rohan Hadley, James Rattray and Todd Rattray all had stints training from the Bullock property. Chester acquired his training license in 1990 and has prepared 68 winners from the complex. They include Cardinal Nelson (10 wins) and Cardinal Tucker (7 wins). In 1998, Chester and his daughter Julia established an AI Breeding Station at the Riverside property. Since then, Fred and Pauline Barker, Trevor Leis and Lloyd Whish-Wilson have been some of the many prominent Tasmanian breeders who have used the facility. Chester has played a significant role in racing administration. It commenced at the Launceston Pacing Club (LPC) at Elphin in 1984. Three years later he resigned from the committee while he filled the position of Project Manager for the new Mowbray Racing Complex including the 1,000 metre harness track. He returned to the LPC committee in 2000 until the present day and took over as President in 2016. Chester joined the Northern Tasmanian Light Harness Association in 1995 where he has served 23 years as President. In 2006, he joined a group of participants to establish the Tasmanian division of BOTRA, the Breeders, Owners, Trainers and Reinspersons Association and he was immediately elected President, serving seven years in the role. Since 2009, has represented the LPC and/or NTLHA at the quarterly Tasracing Harness Industry Forum meetings and he is also a member of the Tasracing Harness Yearling Sale Working Group. Through his company Bullock Consulting, now 60 Degrees, Chester has been one of the major harness sponsors in Tasmania over the last 23 years, extending sponsorship and support to all clubs around the state as well being the major sponsor and supporter of the Youngbloods Series for our young star drivers of the future. Peter Staples

A brilliant victory in last season's Easter Cup in Launceston was the catalyst that earned star free-for-all pacer Pachacuti the title of Tasmania's best harness racing horse for season 2016-17. Pachacuti was crowned horse of the year at the annual gala award presentations at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. Pachacuti's Easter Cup victory in track record time gave his trainer-driver Todd Rattray his biggest win in his home state but the gallant gelding also snared the Devonport Cup, Governor's Cup and Toreace Cup as well as finishing a game second to Lets Elope in the Group 3 Tasmania Cup. The gelding amassed seven wins and three seconds from 13 starts for $73,512 in prizemoney that took his career stake earnings to well beyond $300,000. It is the gelding's second horse of the year title having won the crown as a three-year-old in 2012-13. Pachacuti spent some time in the care of Todd's older brother James Rattray in NSW where he performed well but not at the level he produced last season. Peter Staples  

Rohan Hillier might not win the driver's premiership this season but it will still go down as one of his best harness racing seasons. With four meetings remaining till the end of the 2016-17 season Hillier has accrued 68 winners courtesy of his haul of four last Sunday night but he is a dozen wins behind joint leaders Gareth and Todd Rattray who have been level pegging in the race for the title for the past six weeks. Hillier won aboard Svensson for trainer Brent Parish; Chirac for trainer John Castles and he guided his own two-year-old Run Wick to a comfortable victory in the $10,000 Island Block and Paving Golden Slipper. But clearly his best drive was aboard his gelding Im Barney Rubble that had to come from well back and held up turning for home to weave a passage through the field to score a brilliant win. It was Im Barney Rubble's first win in 11 starts but it was the weakest field he had met since notching back-to-back wins over the Christmas-New Year period. The Rattray brothers snared two wins apiece to keep them level pegging which was a great result for Todd who had had the number of drives that Gareth had on the marathon 12-race card. Leading trainer Ben Yole had a modest night at the office snaring only one winner to move to 112 for the season and six off the all time record of 118 that was set by Neville Webberley in the 1990-91 season. Peter Staples  

The battle for this season's driver premiership could go right down to the wire with the Rattray brothers Gareth and Todd level pegging with only five harness racing meetings remaining. Two weeks ago Gareth held a five-win advantage over Todd but he has clawed his way back into contention to share the lead with his older brother at 78 wins apiece. However, Gareth has the chance to regain a margin in Launceston tonight as he has 11 drives on the 12-race card while Todd is down for seven with one an emergency. Todd admits he has only modest winning chances tonight while Gareth has some plum drives and is favoured to win his 11th driver's premiership. "I've said before that I won't be losing any sleep if I don't win the premiership because it has never been something I've wanted or hoped to achieve," Todd Rattray said. "It's nice to be equal with Gareth at this stage of the season but if Gareth does what he normally does he'll jump out of the ground and get a bagful of winners at a couple of meetings and win it. "I am more than pleased with my season as far as driving winners is concerned but I'm more proud of what I've done as a trainer." Todd is lying second on the trainer's premiership table with 61 wins and while he is way clear of Ben Yole (111) this is clearly Rattray's best season as a trainer. He prepared his star open class horse Pachacuti to win the Group 3 Easter Cup in Launceston and interstate last month his two-year-old Ignatius powered his way to an emphatic win in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge final at Menangle in NSW, completing the trip in track record time. "It was very special when Ignatius won the Breeders Challenge because it was real shot in the arm for Tasmania as well as for me as a trainer. "When we sent the horse to Sydney we were hoping he'd be competitive but at no stage did we think he would improve that much and run the times he did. "He arrived back home today (Thursday) and he'll have another month off and we'll start all over again. "Pachacuti is about two weeks away from coming back into work so I'm looking forward to him returning but I reckon he'll probably do a bit of racing interstate." On Sunday night Todd's best winning chance appears to be God Sake that has won his past three but this latest assignment is a standing start event. "God Sake is going extra well but he isn't the best beginner from a stand but if he steps clean and we can find a good spot early he's a good chance." Gareth has a few top winning chances including two-year-old Tisu Spirit in the first race and the Shelley Barnes-trained Safari Rose in the third that is having its first start in the state and has good recent form. Safari Rose won two in succession before her last start seventh at Yarra Valley but at her two previous outings she clocked handy mile rates of 1.58.3 and 1.59.4 over 1755m and 1609m respectively. Peter Staples  

Natalie Emery has been in a purple patch of form lately with her haul of three winners last weekend taking her to seventh place on the harness racing Tasmanian driving premiership table. The treble took her season's tally to 26 and while she won't win the overall driver's title she has made a good thing of taking out her fifth female driver's title. With only five meetings remaining, Emery is 16 wins clear of her nearest rival Samantha Freeman. Last Friday night she notched two winners in Hobart in Washies Chance and Capture Me that are both prepared by reigning premier trainer Ben Yole. Washies Chance has been a good horse to Emery because she has been aboard in all of his nine wins since being imported from Victoria in December last year. Capture Me was given a gun run and emerged triumphant at the good price of $11.50 but a far cry from the huge odds offered at her first win when bookies bet as much as $121. But Emery saved her best performance for last with a great drive aboard Only A Myth for trainer Gary Freeman in Launceston last Sunday night. Only A Myth showed good speed from gate five to eventually find the front but when first starter in the state, Shadow Control, pressured for the lead Emery handed up to enjoy a cozy run on the leader's back. Emery waited as long as she could before easing off the fence in the home straight and when she moved three-wide to challenge, the horse quickly gathered in the leader and went on to record an emphatic win. Peter Staples

Last weekend's six-win haul has launched Tasmania's leading harness racing trainer Ben Yole into the top 10 in Australia and within grasp of the state record. Yole's four winners in Hobart last Friday night and his Launceston double last Sunday took his season tally to 111 wins for the season that has him placed ninth on the national trainer's premiership table. With five meetings remaining he looks set to pass the Tasmanian record of 118 that belongs to Hall of Fame mentor Neville Webberley who set the mark during the 2009-10 season. Yole won his first state title last season producing 108 winners and he admits he only set his sights on trying to reach 100 again. "Last season it was great to get over 100 winners but I thought it was probably going to be hard to do it again but once we achieved that goal we started to think about chasing the record," Yole said. "Things slowed down at one stage when the wins weren't coming as frequently but in the past three weeks it has picked up, especially the last fortnight. "Picking up six last weekend was great so with 111 on the board we are still a chance of beating Neville Webberley's record." Yole will take a big team to Launceston on Sunday night and he expects former Queenslander Sheer Strength, a first starter for the stable, to be hard to beat at his Tasmanian debut. Peter Staples

Former top Tasmanian harness racing trainer Ken Rattray left the state over 20 years ago to pursue his training career in Queensland. After just over two decades of plying his trade in the far north Rattray and his wife Sally Stingel, who opted to retain her maiden name, have decided it's time to relocate to their home state. One of the 10 horses they will bring with them is Destreos who is affectionately known by his fans as the 'King of the Creek' owing to him having won more races than any other horse on the Albion Park track at Breakfast Creek. The 13-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding has amassed 74 wins at Albion Park and at his last start on the track last week he delivered a typical gutsy all-the-way win in the SKY Racing Open Pace and in a time of 1:54.4. Overall Destreos has started 322 times at Albion Park for 74 wins and 100 minor placings for almost $600,000 in stakes. Destreos has amassed 96 wins that have been achieved in two Australian states (Queensland and NSW) and his birthplace New Zealand and they have come from 434 career starts. "We are looking forward to returning home to Tassie after being away more than 20 years and we are particular looking forward to Destreos winning his 100th race," Rattray said. "The horse has been an absolute marvel and the reason why he has had well over 400 starts and won so many races is that he just loves to race. "It is an amazing feat to have won that many races (74) on one track and who knows, maybe it will never be bettered." Rattray said they have purchased a property at Flowery Gull, near Beaconsfield, in the north of the state. Next week they make their trek south for what will be another chapter in their harness racing journey but they could make a pit stop along the way to give Destreos a run in Victoria. "Depending on how he handles the trip south, Destreos could be amongst nominations for next week's $20,000 Blacks A Fake FFA at Tabcorp Park, Melton before heading across Bass Strait." Rattray had a lot of success in Tasmania before he relocated to Queensland in 1995, with two of the best horses he trained, Ebony Mac and Bradford Hanover, that amassed 21 wins between them. But this time around he says he will be content to race for pleasure. "I'll just potter about with a few." "We'll be bringing seven racehorses with us and three retirees and that should be enough to keep us busy." Peter Staples

Talented young Tasmanian harness racing trainer Chris Aylett believes New South Wales reject War Dan Star has a future in Tasmania following the two-year-old's impressive win at his second start in the state in Devonport on Friday night. War Dan Star came from the Amanda Turnbull stable where he had four unplaced starts which led to him being sacked. But his owners, Victorian Danny Zavitsanos and Tasmanian Warren Viney, decided to send the horse to Tasmania. "Dad (Phillip) trained a few for Warren (Viney) when he first started out in harness racing and he always said he wanted to get me a good horse," Chris Aylett said. "This bloke is a good honest little horse and I think he'll be better next year." War Dan Star was backing up after a nose second in Launceston five days earlier when one of the owners backed him at 40-1. "He looked like winning that race (when he hit the front in the straight) but the leader kicked back," Aylett said. "We'll go back to Launceston next week for a heat of the Breeders Crown, because he's paid up for that series (In Victoria), then we'll see where we go from there. "He could go on to the Golden Slipper if he's happy but it would be a big effort for a two-year-old to race that many weeks in a row." Driver Rohan Hadley had War Dan Star travelling comfortably in the one-out-one-back position before he sent the gelding three-wide to make his challenge about 800m from home. War Dan Star ($9.12) then sustained a long run to score a comfortable five-metre win over Ideal Karalta and Maybe Jack. Peter Staples

Reigning premier harness racing trainer Ben Yole registered his 100th winner for the season when Whenthegroundshook scored an emphatic win in a C1 over 1680 metres. It is the second season in succession Yole has reached the century of wins and he added one more to his tally when another relative newcomer to his stable Jivin Cullen powered home to win a C4-C5 with Justin Howlett in the cart. Whenthegroundshook is a former Queensland mare that is two from three since arriving in Yole's stable. Yole trainer 108 winners last season to be one of only four to have achieved the feat but he still has a way to go to overtake Neville Webberley's record of 118 that he set in 1989-90. Wayne Rattray trained 123 winners during an extended season in 1988-89 season which was lengthened owing to a decision to start the harness racing season a month after the thoroughbred season (August 1-July 31)) which meant Rattray's winners were accrued over a 13-month period. Rattray still was leading trainer that season irrespective of whether it was extended as he had 108 on the board after 12 months. The 12-month season record belongs to Webberley and it is officially regarded as the best so that is the target Yole has to surpass to own the record. Peter Staples

Brady Woods emerged as the winner of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series when he partnered his charges to fourth place in the final two heats of the six-race harness racing series in Launceston on Sunday night. Woods entered the final round of heats on 45 points and leading by one from Taylor Ford but after she finished third in the fifth heat she held a one-point advantage going into the final heat in which she was aboard the favourite Diddley Bow. But Diddley Bow made a mistake early in the race and couldn't recover to finish well back while Woods guided rank outsider last Guy Standing ($101) but he managed to snag fourth place and earn enough points to be declared the winner. The 21-year-old from the Fingal Valley in central Tasmania, who drove two winners from the first four heats, was thrilled with the result and said harness racing was an integral part of his life. His father Scott Woods and the young driver's grandfather Robert Woods are both quality horsemen who have been his guiding lights so it was a natural progression for Brady to follow in their footsteps. Ford also drove two winners from the first four heats of which two each were held at Devonport and Hobart. Talented teenage driver Jack Laugher won the final two heats as a result of top drives aboard Karalta Kruise for Kent Rattray and the Todd Rattray-trained God Sake. Laugher finished third behind Woods and Ford. Peter Staples

Harness racing trainer Ben Yole is just one win away from notching 100 winners for the season following his four-win haul over the weekend. Yole prepared one winner in Devonport last Friday night courtesy of Making My Mark scoring another impressive victory at only his second start in the state. In Hobart Yole prepared Flash Anatomy to dead-heat for first with his younger brother Mark's horse Black Ops in a C1 over 2090 metres but his next two successes on the nine-race program were clear cut. Ebonyallstarzzz made an overdue return to the winner's circle with a narrow win over Christian Jazz in a C2-C3 and Yole capped the weekend when his four-year-old Regal Major scored an effortless win in a C1 event over 2090 metres. Yole won his first trainer's premiership last season with 108 winners but given his strike rate he is likely to surpass that this season. Todd Rattray is a clear second on the trainer's premiership table with 55 winners that is already his best ever haul with Shelley Barnes and Deborah Williams sharing third spot with 20 wins apiece making it an interesting encounter for the leading female trainer title. Natalee Emery has the leading female driver title wrapped up with 23 wins to be 13 clear of Samantha Freeman. Peter Staples

The battle for this season's state driver's premiership is hotting up with only three wins separating brothers Gareth and Todd Rattray with 10 harness racing meetings remaining. Gareth is chasing his 11th title while Todd is trying to win his first. Heading into last Friday night's meeting in Devonport Gareth held a five-win advantage over his younger brother but Todd's four-win haul doubled Gareth's take to reduce the margin to only three. Todd partnered the Ben Yole-trained Making My Mark to a comfortable win in Devonport on Friday night but it was in Hobart that he excelled. In Hobart he snared a driving treble but he trained four winners on the nine-race card while Gareth partnered Flash Anatomy to a dead-heat for first and he ended the night with a win aboard Regal Major. In Hobart Todd scored aboard his promising two-year-old filly Inwil in a 2C0 over 1609 metres in which she started the $2.60 favourite. Wins aboard Taurisi in a C4-C5 and Roger Ramjet in a C6-C10 over 2019m came courtesy of top drives and his training quartet was delivered by Brady Woods who partnered Rattray's four-year-old Gods Sake to victory in a heat of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Driver's series. "I suppose the driver's premiership looks interesting but to be honest I don't take too much notice," Todd Rattray said. "Of course it would be nice to win the premiership because Gareth's won a heap but at the end of the day I'm more interested in how my horses perform each race than anything else." "I was very pleased with Taurisi's win because it was probably the best he's gone because he's had to face the breeze but he slipped away from them on the corner and went on to win well. "Roger Ramjet also won well but he's been a bit on and off this time in and I'd like to see him put two good runs together." Gareth has notched 75 wins to lead Todd (72) with Rohan Hillier next best with 62 and seven clear of Ricky Duggan. Peter Staples

33 to 48 of 1497