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Star Tasmanian harness racing participant Gareth Rattray reached a great milestone in Launceston last night where he notched his 1000th win. Rattray ended the program with a double to expand to take his season total to 59 wins. It was Holme On The Bayou which provided Rattray with the magical milestone. Reaching such a mark at the age of 29 is quite a remarkable feat and it is clear Rattray is already is one of the greatest Tasmanian reinsmen. Last December, Queenslander Peter McMullen became the youngest Australian driver to record 1000 wins when successful behind Ezi Days at Albion Park. McMullen was 23 years, four months, and 18 days old. Popular reinswoman Amanda Turnbull set the previous mark when she partnered Forever Texas to glory at Peak Hill last June. Turnbull was 24 years and 4 months, which bettered Morgan Woodley 24 years and eight months. Others to reach 1000 wins at a young age include Luke McCarthy (25 years, one month and two days), Kerryn Manning (25 years, eight months and seven days), Gary Hall junior (26 years, seven months and 17 days) and Greg Sugars (26 years, eight months and seven days). As for Rattray, he is just the fifth Tasmanian to achieve the feat – the others being is father Barrie Rattray (1567 wins), Neville Webberley (1369), Ricky Duggan (1332) and the late Darrel Alexander (1315). Rattray is on target to win his 10th consecutive drivers’ premiership given he is 25 clear of his nearest rival Ricky Duggan. Rattray, twin to Inter Dominion winning horseman James, began driving in 2001, and after winning his first driver’s premiership in 2005/06, has dominated the state’s driving ranks. If he wins this season’s drivers’ title he will be only three premierships behind the great Jack Stamford. Gareth’s father Barrie won 11, while Neville Webberley and Bert Lewis each won seven. Along the way Rattray has represented Tasmania on numerous occasions, winning the Australasian Young Driver’s Championship twice. He also represented Australia at the World Driving Championships in Europe in 2009. Rattray is no stranger to winning feature races with the following just a few of his major successes:  •Tasmania Cup 2012 (Motu Crusader) and 2013 (Motu Crusader). •Tasmanian Derby 2015 (Mister Lennox). •Hobart Pacing Cup 2005 (The Grouse), 2009 (Yakuza), 2013 (Benediction) and 2014 (Spot Nine). •Evicus Stakes (2YO fillies) 2008 (Karalta Crown) and 2010 (Benediction). •Dandy Patch (2YO colts and geldings) 2008 (Cody Maverick). •Globe Derby (3YO) Stakes 2011 (Beautide). •Raider Stakes (4YO) 2010 (Babyitsu). •Granny Smith (4YO Mares) 2007 (Death and Taxes). •2YO Sweepstakes 2010  (Benediction), 2011 (Cloudy Delight) and 2012 (Pachacuti). PETER STAPLES

New Norfolk harness racing trainer Roger Whitmore has his eyes on the $30,000 Raider Stakes with his talented four-year-old Resurgent Spirit following the gelding's impressive win at Tattersall's Park Hobart last Sunday night. Resurgent Spirit resumed from a lengthy spell with a game win on his home track on Australia Day and followed up with a second at Devonport in a race that was expected to be a stroll in the park for the former Tasmanian two-year-old of the year. The loss encouraged speculation that all might not be as it should be with the gelding but this latest effort dispelled any suggestion that the gelding had lost his sparkle. With his regular driver James Austin aboard, Resurgent Spirit showed his customary early speed to easily hold the front from barrier two. He was taken on about 600m from home and at one stage it looked as if he might again succumb to the pressure. But when Austin asked him to find, the gelded son of American Ideal forged clear and went on to defeat Black Centurian by 2.3 metres with Punt Road Disco a similar margin away third in the C5-C6 event over 2090 metres. Austin was delighted with the win. "That was an awesome win because he felt good throughout the race and he never got onto his knee once in the run," Austin said. "He pretty much toyed with them tonight," he said. The Raider Stakes will be run at Devonport on April 26 with heats to be held at the same track on April 13. Peter Staples

Victorian harness racing trainer Maree Caldow will aim Macfire towards the Victoria Oaks following the filly’s impressive win at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last Sunday night. Macfire was taken to the Apple Isle for the Tasmania Oaks the previous week, but after finishing third to the Dean Braun-trained Sudden Change, connections opted to keep her in the state to try and win her second three-year-old race before home. Macfire (Mach Three-Sparks Under Fire) worked to the early lead from a wide front row draw, and when driver John Caldow slipped her more rein at the top of the home straight, she drew clear to score by 13 metres from Iden Makin Time. The daughter of Mach Three rated 2:01.5 for the 2090 metres, covering the last half in 58.6 seconds. Caldow said the filly, owned by stalwart stable client Tony Conte, had always shown above average ability and would continue to contest the better three-year-old races. PETER STAPLES

Talented youngster Mister Lennox capped a great week for prominent harness racing owner Barry Cooper when he stormed home to win the Tasmania Derby at Tattersall’s Park Hobart tonight. Cooper, who owns many pacers, also dabbles in thoroughbreds and last Wednesday two of his gallopers, Meconsul and Tycoon Navigator, won impressively for trainer Gary White in Launceston. But Mister Lennox’s brilliant Derby victory surpassed all the excitement as he provided Cooper with his biggest win. “This is the biggest win I’ve had in harness racing and he is a horse that I race with my children Shane, Stuart, Maree and Christopher and that’s what makes it so brilliant,” Cooper said. “I set out to pick what I hoped would be my best horse to race with the children and it looks like I succeeded.” Mister Lennox was bred in New Zealand and purchased by Cooper as a going two-year-old. The son of Changeover is trained by Juanita McKenzie, who has always believed the colt was capable of winning a feature race. Although successful at Hobart last week, McKenzie wasn’t completely satisfied with Mister Lennox’s performance, so she increase his training rate during the week and it worked wonders. With the $1.70 favourite Major Mojo leading from the pole, Gareth Rattray was content to trail the front runner as the small field of six raced in ‘Indian file’. Rohan Hillier, driving Four Ex Dan, was the first to leave the pegs with 700 metres to travel, which saw Rattray come out in front of the son of Four Starzzz Shark. Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, Mister Lennox completed a five-metre win from Major Mojo, with Four Ex Dan 12 metres away third. PETER STAPLES

Talented harness racing youngster Mister Lennox will take winning form into Sunday’s Tasmania Derby courtesy of an effortless victory in a C2-C4 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last weekend. Mister Lenox completed a hat-trick when he cruised to a five-and-a-half metre win from the much improved Springfield Tattoo, with Boltnmach three metres away. Top reinsman Gareth Rattray gave the Juanita McKenzie-trained colt a ‘gun run’ in the one-one before easing him three-wide 400 metres out, where he quickly put the end result beyond doubt. Mister Lenox rated 2.00.4, with a last half run in 58.6 seconds without being fully extended. The son of Changeover has won five of his six starts this season, and while this latest win looked effortless, McKenzie was not overly impressed. “I would have liked to see him win more emphatically, but that might be just me being a very hard task master,’ McKenzie said. “I’ve got a week to work on him, but he is in good form, and you can only beat what you are up against, which he’s been doing regularly this season. “I gave him a bit of a break after his win in January and he did all he had to do to win first-up before this latest effort.” Mister Lennox is owned and raced by Barry Cooper and his family. PETER STAPLES

When promising harness racing youngster Mojo Major scored an effortless win in a maiden at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last Sunday night his owners started to get excited about his prospects in this weekend’s Tasmania Derby. The gelding showed blistering early speed to lead comfortably from barrier six, and after Rod Ashwood slipped him more rein turning for home, Mojo Major scored by 22-and-a-half metres from Dancing Da Vinci, with My Mate Nick five metres away third. Mojo Major rated 2:01.5 for the 2090 metres, covering his last half in 58.8 seconds. Mojo Major has been in Ashwood’s care for about four weeks, with the local horseman taking over the training from top Victorian mentor Dean Braun. The son of Art Major is owned by Ashwood’s wife Paige in partnership with Terry Snowden and Amanda Grieve, who opted to keep the three-year-old in Victoria for the early part of his career. He won at his first start in Tasmania on March 9, but he was even more impressive at his latest outing. PETER STAPLES

Well-bred harness racing mare Angela De Marco delivered a clinical display to score an effortless win in a C2-C3 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park Hobart last Monday night. After circumnavigating the field to find the front at the halfway mark, the Tony Petersen-trained pacer left her rivals in her wake along the home straight as she cruised to a seven-metre win from Bone Fide Hustler, with Bertils Delight a head away third. Angela De Marco showed above average ability when she arrived from New Zealand early last year, but after only two outings which netted a placing, she was sent for a spell. The daughter of Washington Vc returned last June and emerged triumphant at her second start and proceeded to win four of her next seven outings. Petersen gave her a spell in September and from six starts this preparation Angela De Marco has won twice, with those victories coming from her past three starts. Angela De Marco is owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper, who have had a lot of success with stock they have purchased in New Zealand. The owners finished the meeting with a double courtesy of another NZ-bred campaigner, Something Eyre, which was impressive over 2090 metres. Also driven by Duggan, Something Eyre showed speed from gate two, but not enough to hold out Notimetothink which crossed from gate three to lead. Duggan angled away from the pegs to face the breeze, but he soon had cover when Kinky Boots was sent to the ‘death seat’. Duggan eased the gelding three-wide to make his charge along the back straight as Kinky Boots worked to the lead. Proving too slick during the latter stages, Something Eyre completed a three-and-a-half metre win from Saloon In Flight, with Rajah Wealth four-and-a-half metres away third. PETER STAPLES

Gosh Heza Rebel broke through for his first win in almost two years when he produced a game effort to win in the last stride at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Monday night. The Tony Petersen - trained seven-year-old was having seventh start for the season and had produced some game efforts leading up to the C1 event over 2090 metres. With in-form novice driver Adrian Collins aboard, Gosh Heza Rebel began well from gate three but was eased out of the early action to take a sit one-out-one-back. That became one-out-two-back when the well tried Cooked Books made a mid-race move to race around the field and face the breeze. Collins eased his charge three-wide heading down the back straight the last time and when he moved alongside Cooked Books the pair sped clear of their rivals and engaged in a two-horse war all the way up the home straight. Collins coaxed his charged until asking for the supreme effort 50 metres from the line. Gosh Heza Rebel arrived in Tasmania from Victoria in April 2013 and scored consecutive wins at his third and fourth start in the state but he was unable to win again until this latest assignment on Monday night. But the way he toughed it out in the straight would suggest Petersen has him back to his best so another win in the not too distant future is on the cards. Peter Staples  

Star Chamber made it a clean sweep of Tasmania’s feature Cups run so far this season when he gave his rivals a pacing lesson in the Devonport Cup last night. With his trainer Nathan Ford in the sulky, Star Chamber began well off his 30-metre back mark to settle last, but when Ford angled him there-wide with a lap-and-a-half to travel, he flushed out Truly Blissful to gain a trail. Taken four-deep heading down the back stretch, the son of Our Sir Vancelot quickly hauled in the leaders. Star Chamber proceeded to demolish the opposition in the short run home to score by 10 metres from The Majority, with Whodeani a game third four metres away. “I really thought he would struggle a bit off that back mark of 30 metres on this tight circuit, but he came through again,” Ford said. “He showed what a freak of a horse he really is.” Star Chamber notched his first major win when he outclassed a top field in the $40,000 Tasmania Cup lasy December and he followed up with a brilliant win in the Hobart Pacing Cup. Ford took him to Victoria to tackle the Shepparton Cup, but nothing panned out as planned in that race, so he was taken straight back to Tasmania to prepare for this latest assignment. Ford is likely aim him Star Chamber at next month’s Easter Cup in Launceston, and if victorious, it would give the gelding victory in all four major Cups in the state. But he already has proven to be Tasmania’s best pacer and an Easter Cup win would top off what has been an outstanding season for the six-year-old. PETER STAPLES

Beautide remains the pride of Tasmanian harness racing following his brilliant win in yesterday's Group One $750,000 Inter Dominion over 3009 metres at Menangle. Beautide toyed with his rivals in Australasia's premier event for the second successive year to become part of an elite group which have won the race in consecutive years. It was only his third start this time in, and given he has had such a short preparation leading up to the series, trainer James Rattray expects the gelding to continue racing in the short term. Winning two Inter Dominions elevates Beautide to legend status and arguably the best Tasmanian-owned and bred pacer to have contested the time-honoured Championship. What he has achieved in the space of a year sets him apart from any other Tasmanian-bred standardbred. Yesterday's effortless win also delivered a message that the seven-year-old still has plenty to offer at Grand Circuit level. Beautide will be given the chance to become the fourth triple Inter Dominion winner in Perth later this year. PETER STAPLES

Consistent harness racing mare Ebabe delivered another courageous performance to score an impressive win at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night. The Zeke Slater-trained pacer faced the breeze for most of the 2090-metre trip from her outside front row draw, and when driver Adrian Collins sent her to the front along the back straight, she powered home to score comfortably. Slater said Ebabe had been a good money spinner for owners Merv and Marjory Butterworth who have been big supporters of his stable. “Ebabe has been very consistent, and while she races in these lower grades, she will be very competitive as she showed tonight,” Slater said. “She has won four, but placed nine times from almost 30 starts, so she has paid her way. “I’m not sure how much further she will go here in Tassie, but while she’s in this sort of form she will be very competitive.” Collins said he was confident a log way out that the mare would win. The daughter of Union Guy ratdd 2:04.2, with the final 800 metres covered in 59.6 seconds. PETER STAPLES

Last season’s star Tasmanian harness racing filly Barynya proved why she probably should be contesting next month’s Ladyship Mile by registering a record breaking win in the Charlton Cup last Sunday. With experienced local driver John Caldow in the sulky, Barynya demolished a strong field in a sizzling rate of 1.56.5, which carved 3.3 seconds off the previous 2570-metre mark. The Dick Eaves-trained four-year-old cruised to the front early and was never seriously threatened on her way to a two-and-a-half metre win from another Tasmanian-bred star Villagem, with multiple Charlton Cup winner Uncle Wingnut two-and-a-half metres away third. Barynya was brilliant last season with the Tasmania and Victoria Oaks included in her 10 wins from 15 starts. She also clinched four placings, ending her three-year-old season with a game second in the Breeders’ Crown Final behind Just Cala. Eaves entered Barynya first-up in the Group Three Harness Breeders Ladyship Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton, which was one of the preferred qualifying races for the Ladyship Mile - considered the most prestigious mares’ race in Australia. Unfortunately driver Rohan Hillier was a victim of circumstances in that event and the daughter of Blissfull Hall finished towards the tail of the field. Unfazed by the first real blemish on her race record, connections nominated Barynya for another Ladyship Mile qualifying race at Menangle last weekend, but owner Lloyd Whish-Wilson explained how that turned sour. “We entered her for the qualifying event at Menangle last Saturday, believing that with her high points tally for her outstanding form in last year’s major three-year-old events, and allowance for the interference in the Ladyship Cup at Melton, she would automatically get a start,” Whish-Wilson said. “However HRNSW officials balloted her out, in their words because she did not have form against older horses. “When I contacted them  I was told they did not work on the points for performance formula that Victoria and Tasmania use, and did not consider her faster times and higher prize-money won as sufficient justification to place her in the front of older mares.” The Ladyship Mile field has been finalised and will be run at Menangle on March 1. Barynya was named Australian Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year last season, and while she did miss a place in that Ladyship Mile qualifying event, there is no doubt she would have started one of the favourites had she been given ample opportunity to find a way into the race. The winners of each of the selected qualifying events are guaranteed a start in the Ladyship Mile. However, the conditions of the race then dictate that the balance of the field is selected from mares that competed in qualifying races held in New South Wales, one of which Barynya was denied a start. If Barynya’s lack of form against older horses was the reason for her being balloted from the qualifying race at Menangle then she certainly proved that to be misjudged by thrashing her older rivals in the Charlton Cup. PETER STAPLES

As a three-year-old Johnnyace was competitive against the likes of harness racing star Beautide, but like others, his form waned and he never reached the heights his owners might have expected. But Johnnyace has continued to be a good money spinner for his owners, and in particular, his trainer Andrew Rawlings. The now seven-year-old still has what it takes to win features and he showed that at Spreyton on the synthetic surface by storming home to win the Sheffield Cup. It was his 12th win and it also gave Rawlings and driver James Austin a double for the meeting. While Rawlings was quietly confident the son of Aces N Sevens would perform well, punters were not of the same opinion, sending him around a $37 despised outsider. Rawlings said injuries and illnesses had prevented Johnnyace from realising his full potential. “After his three-year-old season he went through a fence at home and almost cut off his leg,” Rawlings said. “Since then he’s never quite shown what he did as a three-year-old when he ran seconds and thirds behind Beautide, but he’s still been a nice horse.” Rawlings also had his recent New Norfolk Cup winner Musselroe Bay engaged in the Sheffield Cup and he was one of the top fancies for the race. “Musselroe Bay just couldn’t get a clear run at them in the straight and went to the line hard held,” Rawlings said. The $3.30 favourite Whisper Jet lost her chance when she was slow to begin from a 20-metre handicap, but she ran on well to finish fourth. PETER STAPLES

Popular Tasmanian harness racing trainer Marc Butler took a break from the industry a few years ago, but the lure of spending time with horses was too great. Since returning to training he has had only a handful of horses in work but, in his words, enough to keep him busy. In recent times he has been preparing winners on a regular basis, and in Hobart last night, Anothermetro delivered an impressive all-the-way win that suggests he has more to give. The son of Metropolitan is a lightly raced four-year-old formerly in the care of Rodney Ashwood. He joined Butler’s stable six months ago and it appears the change of environment and a different approach to training has worked for this gelding. Ashwood is an excellent trainer but sometimes a horse will respond to different methods and Butler seems to have found the right recipe for success with Anothermetro. With Mark Yole in the cart, Anothermetro showed good early speed to roll to the front from gate three and settled into a good rhythm to lead comfortably to the home turn. The pressure was applied turning for home by Bobby Jo and Iden Mister Ed, which emerged from the pack to challenge. Iden Mister Ed looked set to grab the leader halfway up the home straight, but his run ended 50 metres out, as did Bobby Jo’s, and Anothermetro went on to defeat Bobby Jo by a metre-and-a-half, with Iden Mister Ed a short head away third. Another Metro rated 2.04 for the 2090 metres, covering his last half in 59.9 seconds. PETER STAPLES

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Rodney Ashwood has taken his time with well-bred gelding Charlie James and it would appear the patience has paid dividends. Charlie James led throughout to score an emphatic win in the Office National Pace at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last night. It was more like a stroll in the park for the son of Grinfromeartoear and driver Rohan Hillier had no need to use the ‘persuader’ at any stage. Charlie James is owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper, who have enjoyed much success in recent years. They purchased Charlie James from former Tasmanian Darren Jacobson, who was having the hose broken in by Ashwood who mentioned to Cockshutt the then a yearling was for sale. “We paid $8000 for him because he was by a good sire from a mare that was well performed winning about 16 races, but he was such a nice type that we decided to take the punt,” Cockshutt said. “He looked like being real good as an early two-year-old, especially after he won his first race, but then he started to grow and he had to be tipped out. “He had a couple of little issues that had to be ironed out and we eventually got him back to the race. “We were very pleased with this win, and even though it was only a small field of five, he did everything we hoped he would.” “There’s no doubt he has a long way to go before he will be competitive against the real good ones, but we are hoping he has what it takes.” Cockshutt and Cooper have 18 horses on the books, four of which are yearlings domiciled in New Zealand. “Barry and I have invested a fair bit over the years but we’ve had a lot of success, especially with the ones we have bought in New Zealand,” Cockshutt said. Charlie James is named after Cooper’s grandson Charlie James Cooper. “Barry always wanted to name a horse after his grandson and he was waiting for one that he believed would win races and this bloke has so far lived up to expectations,” Cockshutt said. PETER STAPLES

Consistent pacer Frankie Falzoni has proven to be a good money spinner for Broadmarsh harness racing trainer Chris Howlett, so it came as no surprise that he outgunned a handy field over 2090 metres in Hobart last night. With the trainer’s youngest son, Mathew, in the sulky, Frankie Falzoni ($3.90) settled in the one-one before being angled three-wide to stake his claim at the 600-mertre mark. After facing the breeze, well-backed Major Callum ($3 favourite) loomed a winning chance when he forged past the leader Really Fay Fay turning for home. Me Mate Les emerged from the pack and looked set to run past the eventual winner, but Howlett’s gelding found when challenged and went on to score by a nose from Me Mate Les ($6.50), with Major Callum a close-up third. Please with Frankie Falzoni’s improvement, Howlett expects the son of Chief Marty to continue to be very competitive in whatever he contests in the coming weeks. Since arriving at Howlett’s stables almost two years ago, Frankie Falzoni has notched four wins and seven placings from 28 starts for just over $28,000. Listen to what trainer Chris Howlett had to say about Frankie Falzoni’s latest win. PETER STAPLES

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