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Talented harness racing pacer El Jay's Mystery ended her two-year-old season on a high with an impressive win in the Carlton Draught 2YO over 1680 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. El Jay's Mystery was eased out of the early speed battle from her outside front-row draw to settle near last and she was then was asked by driver Ricky Duggan to make a sweeping run from the 600-metre peg. She delivered the desired result in style to score fill of running to defeat Master Leon and Eternal; Speed with race leader Dromana Beach fading to finish fifth. It made it two wins in succession for the daughter of Live or Die prompting her trainer Dick Eaves to suggest she has the potential to be a star three-year-old. "I have no doubt this filly will derive a lot of benefit from what she's done this season and if I'm right she could be a top three-year-old next season," eaves said. "She's had a few issues that we've had to iron out but her past two starts have been really good, especially this one because she had to come from last and go through another bit of a learning curve in the race. "She's still coming to terms with settling in her races and tonight she resented being eased out of the contest early but she did settle and when Ricky (Duggan) asked for the big effort in the straight she didn't let him down." El Jay's Mystery is expected to spend a couple of months in the paddock spelling on some spring grass. Peter Staples

Harness racing trainer Ben Yole has emerged as favourite to win this season's Halwes Medal. As at the end of June when voting moved into silent mode Yole was leading with 69 votes to be 14 clear of his younger brother Mark Yole who leads in the race for the driver's premiership. Trainer-driver Rohan Hillier was perched in third spot with 48 votes and only three clear of driver Ricky Duggan who was only three votes astern. However Duggan has dominated a few meetings since the voting was made silent and in particular last Sunday night in Hobart where he drove five winners and two minor placegetters from nine drives. Ben Yole has trained 107 winners to be 60 wins clear of his nearest rival Tod Rattray, so he will win the trainer's premiership while Mark Yole has driven 84 winners to lead Ricky Duggan by 10 with only one meeting of the season remaining. The Halwes Medal is determined on a point-score basis with a panel of judges asked to vote at a specific number of meetings throughout the season with six votes in each category (driver/trainer) up for grabs at each meeting. An interesting tussle exits in the Young Achiever Award as Dylan Ford and Matthew Howlett were tied on eight votes each when the voting switched to silent mode after the June 26 meeting. The winners will be announced at the annual Tasmanian Harness Racing Awards and Hall of Fame induction night in Launceston on September 24. Peter Staples

Tasmanian two-year-old pacer Scooterwillrev qualified for a berth in next Sunday's $280,000 Group 1 Breeders Crown final when he finished a game fifth in his harness racing semi-final at Bendigo on Saturday night. Scooterwillrev, prepared at Stowport by Craig Hayes, went into the semi-final undefeated from six starts in his home state but he had to contend with an outside back-row draw at his first start interstate. The gelding was driven by Greg Sugars and finished 10.8 metres from the winner Our Little General ($4.30) from the Emma Stewart stable with kiwi colt Pacing Major second as the $1.70 favourite. Scooterwillrev has drawn the inside of the second row in the final at Melton next Sunday and if the pole marker Scotlynn Beach doesn't gain a start as the emergency then the Tasmanian will follow out the likely favourite Tingara Beach (2). Miss Graceland was bred in Tasmania by Rick and Naomi Hinds and she secured her place in the 2TO Fillies final with a game second in her semi-final. Miss Graceland, trained by Emma Stewart and to be driven by Gavin Lang, has drawn gate four on the front line in the final. Three-year-old filly Nikkibadwagon that is owned by Tasmanians Robert Groenewegen, Bryan Dunn and Nic Bauld, clinched her berth in the 3YO Fillies final with a gallant second in her semi-final. Peter Staples

Harness racing Tasmanian reinsman Ricky Duggan enjoyed one of is best nights at the office in two years when he ended the 10-race harness racing program in Hobart on Sunday night with five winners. It is the second time Duggan has bagged five winners with the only other time coming at a similar Hobart meeting in August 2014. The most surprising aspect of his quintet of wins was that they were all at decent each-way odds. Master Doc won the opening event starting at $12 and he guided Something Eyre home in the following race at $6 and at the expense of the $1.20 favourite The Bettormack. Midway through the program he partnered the Juanita McKenzie-trained mare Zumba Bromac to a stirring win at $9 and Olwen Jaccka saluted in the following event at $13. His longest-priced winner was Cheshire Cat in the ninth event that went around at $14 after opening at $21. Had anybody had a $1 all-up bet on Duggan's five winners they would have collected $117,936. "It was just one of those nights where everything just panned out perfectly for all of my winners in the run," Duggan said. "At the start of the meeting I thought I had two genuine winning chances and a couple of decent each-way hopes." Duggan had nine drives at the meeting and produced five winners and two minor placegetters but his minor placegetters were $2 favourite Merlene Oh that finished third in her race (8) while Angela De Marco ($2.60 equal favourite in the last race on the card. "It could have been my best night ever had the two favourites won," Duggan said. Peter Staples

After producing four consecutive minor placings, smart harness racing  two-year-old filly El Jays Mystery finally delivered the goods by winning her first race in Launceston last Sunday. The Dick Eaves-trained youngster was well driver by Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang who allowed the filly to settle at the rear of the field and when he called on her for the big effort late she sprinted powerfully to the line to record a convincing win in the Cliff Robins Memorial over 1680 metres. El Jays Mystery hit the line almost three metres clear of race leader Joes Little Girl with Schouten Island that had faced the breeze throughout, just over a metre astern. It was an impressive win and one that impressed two of her owners in particular in thoroughbred trainers John Blacker and Leon Laskey. It is Blacker and Laskey's first venture into owning a standardbred and they were convinced to take shares by the filly's breeders Lyndon and Gail Menegon who also have shares in a couple of thoroughbreds trained by Blacker. El Jays Mystery (Live or Die-Lombo Anastasia) was bred by the Menegons at their Big Park Stud at Piper's River in the North of the state. The filly is a half-sister to former Tasmanian Oaks winner Barynya (X Blissfull Hall) that is now racing successfully in Queensland. Peter Staples

Ben Yole has had an amazing season and all the hard work that he and his team have put in makes him a worthy recipient of Tasmania’s premier harness racing trainer for season 2015-16. But what makes it such a standout season for the former Victorian who relocated to Tasmania 11 years ago, is the statistics that surround his feat of preparing over 100 winners. While Yole has trained 105 winners, with two meetings remaining he could struggle to eclipse the record of 118 set by Neville Webberley in the 1990-91 season. But one record that he will set and that might only ever be broken by himself is the number of starters he has produced this season. Yole has so far taken 1006 horses to the races and compared to the only other three trainers to snare 100 plus winners he is in a league if his own. Barrie Rattray has trained 100 or more winners four times and the most horses he has taken to the races was in the 1993-94 season when he started 495 to win the title with 101 winners. Webberley started 515 of his team in the 1990-91 season when he captured the record of 118 winners. Yole has accepted with 20 of his team for this Sunday night’s meeting in Hobart to take his season tally of starters to 1026 and no doubt at the final meeting of the season in Launceston on  Sunday week he will have at least a dozen go around which will give him more than double the number of starters Webberley had in his busiest season. To keep Yole’s training effort in perspective, he has bagged his winners from considerably less meetings than Webberley was afforded in 1990-91. Webberley prepared 118 winners from 115 meetings for a strike rate of 1.03 while Yole will have amassed his total from only 86 meetings for a strike rate of 1.21. The comparisons are: Winners Season Trainer Winners Meetings Strike Rate 1989/90 Wayne Rattray 113 110 1.03 1990/91 Neville Webberley 118 115 1.03 1993/94 Barrie Rattray 101 112 0.90 1994/95 Barrie Rattray 101 112 0.90 1995/96 Barrie Rattray 107 103 1.04 1996/97 Barrie Rattray 111 107 1.04 2015/16 Ben Yole 105 86 1.21   Starters Season Trainer Starters 1990/91 Neville Webberley 515 1991/92 Wayne Rattray 498 1993/94 Barrie Rattray 495 2009/10 Phillip Ford 515 2015/16 Ben Yole 1026* *Includes Ben Yole acceptors (20) at Hobart on 21 August 2016 Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian pacer Scooterwillrev will head to Melbourne this week at the top of his game and ready to take on some of the best harness racing juveniles in Australasia. The Craig Hayes-trained two-year-old will tackle a semi-final of the rich Group 1 Breeders Crown series at Bendigo on Saturday night and he goes into the race undefeated from six Tasmanian starts with is latest effort producing a resounding win in Launceston on Sunday night. In a 2C0-2C1 event over 2200 metres, the well-bred youngster worked to the lead midrace and when driver Rohan Hadley asked for an effort turning for home the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere burst clear of the undefeated Hafter and went on to defeat that gelding by 15 metres. Scooterwillrev (Somebeachsomewhere-Karamea Toastime) clocked a mile rate of 1.58.75 and sizzled home his last half (800m) in 58.68 but with something in reserve. It was a state 2YO record with the previous best by a two-year-old of 1.59.4 produced by Cody Maverick in Hobart (2090m) June 2008 and obliterated the Launceston 2YO record of 2.00.6 set by Quastor Centurion in July 2010. It was the second time Hadley had driven the gelding and he was impressed with this latest performance. "This is a serious horse. He felt enormous throughout the race and when I gave him just a bit of rein turning for home he just slipped clear and there was quite a bit left at the finish," Hadley said. It was exactly what Hayes was hoping for given his stable star is about to go up against the best juveniles in Australasia. "When you've got a horse as god as this you are always worried whether you are doing all the right things so that's why I had Rohan (Hadley) drive him in this race," Hayes said. "I have driven him in all but one of his wins (Burnie) so it was quite nerve wracking sitting in the stands watching the race. "The horse has been open to every challenge I've put in front of him and tonight he really delivered but he had to if he is going to be competitive when he tackles the Breeders Crown semi. "I'm happy that he produced his best mile rate and that he did it with a bit in reserve." Scooterwillrev is a half-brother to former star juvenile filly-mare Jadah Rose (x Totally Ruthless) that won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series in her gender category at two and three as multiple Group placings. She also won the 2007 Mother of Pearl for four-year-old mares at Devonport before finishing third in the Group 1 George Johnson behind No More Trouble and star Tasmanian mare Deanna Troy. "When we went to the Melbourne yearling sale we were keen to get this horse and we had a budget of $40,000 but when we saw him we were committed and we had to go to $42,000 but reckon he was worth it," Hayes said. Scooterwillrev will most likely be driven on Saturday night by top Victorian driver Kerryn Manning. Peter Staples

Todd Rattray produced a training-driving treble at the harness racing meetings at Luxbet Park Hobart, Tasmania, last Sunday night that included another impressive win by his unbeaten Bettor's Delight two-year-old Hafter. His other winners were Guesstamate in a C-1 and The Bettormack. Hafter is unbeaten from four starts but Rattray is confident the well-bred two-year-old gelding will be even better next season. "He has done all we've asked of him this season but we've always been of the opinion he will be a better three and four-year-old," Rattray said. "This was probably his best win because we sat back for the first bit of the race in the small field and when I asked him to sprint and get around them he ran to them quickly and when Christian (Salter)'s horse kicked up he had to do a bit of work to the front. "But in the end he won well so we'll go to a $10,000 race in Launceston next Sunday night, if it holds up, then tip him out for a spell." Guesstamate, a three-year-old filly by Rock n Roll Heaven and owned by long-time stable client Barry Stewart, had been placed five times before this maiden win. The Betttormack had been unplaced at his two previous starts in standing start races but back to a mobile start he was untroubled to score comfortably in a C4-C5 event over 1609 metres. "I think we'll definitely concentrate on mobile starts with The Bettormack but it might not be long before he heads off to Sydney to join my brother James' stable." Ricky Duggan also drove a treble at the meeting while Todd's older brother Gareth Rattray drove a double. Peter Staples

Sometime Eyre made a welcome return to form at Tasmanian harness racing's Luxbet Park Hobart last night with a game win in the Charlie Hudson Pace over 2579 metres. Something Eyre stepped well from his 10-metre handicap in the standing start event and once settled driver Ricky Duggan was content to allow him to drop into fourth spot in the field of five. Karalta Dazzler ($4) led and set a solid and even temp running constant quarters of around 30 seconds. When the favourite Faithful Gabby ($2.20), that had galloped out and lost considerable ground, made her move, Duggan was quick to latch his charge onto her back for a ride home. Karalta Dazzler held sway and kicked clear turning for home but when Duggan called on his five-year-old for the big effort the Juanita McKenzie-trained gelding powered home to win comfortably from Karalta Dazzler with Jukebox Music ($21) working home well to grab third just in advance of the favourite. Something Eyre ($6.50) had not won a race since being successful at Menangle in NSW in August last year. Peter Staples  

Well-bred harness racing filly Nances Delight kept her unbeaten record intact when she led throughout to win a 2C0 event over 1680 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. With ace reinsman Gareth Rattray in the sulky the two-year-old showed brilliant gate speed to lead from gate three and once settled she set a solid tempo. Somethinsweetboutme ($23) settled on the leader's back while the well-backed El Jays Mystery ($2.50) strolled along in third spot but at the half-way mark Rattray slowed the tempo so the driver of El jays Mystery, John Walters, eased off the fence to allow his filly to face the breeze to ensure the leader didn't loaf for the last 800 metres. But the move was all in vain with Nances Delight ($2.10 favourite) strolling to an effortless win over El Jays Mystery with outsider Eternal Shadow a close-up third. The Melissa Mayne-trained filly clocked a mile rate of 2.02.3 and she covered her last 800 metres in 58.9 seconds. "We've been pleased with this filly from day one and she has already developed some nice habits. She has good gate speed and she can quicken well in a race," Rattray said. "She gives me the impression she will be a better three-year-old so hopefully she can go on with it next preparation." Peter Staples

Art Of My Art made it three wins from is past four starts when he scored a narrow win in the Carlton Draught Pace for harness racing three-year-olds over 2200 metres in Launceston on Sunday night. The gelded son of Art Colony had been cleverly placed by his trainer John Castles who entered hi in non-penalty races that made up heats in a novice driver series in which he won one and placed second in another before winning a 3C0 at Devonport prior to this latest assignment. Art of My Art drew awkwardly on the inside of the second row but somehow Rohan Hillier managed to secure the one-out-one-back position after travelling about 600 metres. God Sake faced the breeze outside of Rocknroll Dancer that set a solid clip with All Style Sammy on the leader's back. When God Sake forged to the lead Hillier sent his charge three-wide to give chase and after finding the front 200 metres out he battled gamely to have just enough in hand to defeat All Style Sammy with God Sake third Peter Staples

Tasmanian harness racing owner-trainer Wayne Campbell would have been bitterly disappointed had his two-year-old gelding Buster William not furnished into the horse he is today given his breeding. While last Sunday night's win in Launceston was his first he showed enough at his first eight starts to suggest that winning would be a formality. In Launceston on Sunday night the gelded son of Rocknroll Heaven delivered the goods, scoring by over a metre from race leader Dromana Beach with Sweptunderdacarpet a game third. Campbell bred Buster William from his former classy filly Maggie Kennedy, a winner of 10 races including the Bandbox Stakes and she also was a Tasmanian Oaks placegetter. "Maggie Kennedy was a pretty good mare and this is her first foal,"Campbell said. "He (Buster William) is an honest little fella who deserved the win because he's been racing against the really good ones and been very competitive.'' Campbell makes a point of only breeding every second year, a process that has proven successful. "If I didn't do it (breed every other years) I'd end up with too many horses. "I just do it for a hobby - if I bred every year I couldn't feed them all." Buster William had to do a bit of work early from his wide front-row draw (6) but driver Mark Yole eventually worked his charge to the death, outside of Dromana Beach. The $1.20 favourite looked set to win easily half-way up the home straight but when he hit the front he switched off and only- scored by just over a ,metre from Dromana Beach. Yole said he didn't pull Buster William's ear plugs until he had to but when he switched off he quickly reached down the sulky shaft and pulled the cord to release the deafeners and that sparked him up again. Peter Staples

In-form three-year-old pacer Little Bit of Big delivered another stellar harness racing performance to score an impressive all-the-way win at the Luxbet Racing Centre over 1680 metres in Launceston on Sunday night. Little Bit of Big made it three wins for the season when she made the most of the pole position to lead throughout in a 3C0-C0 race that boasted a quality line-up. With Rohan Hadley in the sulky, the Shelley Barnes-trained filly by Mister Big from Vanstand stepped well from the mobile and despite being attacked early she withstood the challenge to lead comfortably and then had to call on her courage to fend off rivals in the home straight. Little Bit of Big joined Barnes' stable recently and she is hoping the owners will allow her to retain the filly beyond the winter months. Listen to what trainer Shelley Barnes had to say about Little Bit of Big's latest win. Peter Staples

After producing a driving treble in Hobart last Friday experienced harness racing reinsman John Walters continued his good form in Launceston last night with another outstanding drive to secure a last-stride win aboard Karalta Boomer in the Crown Lager Pace over 2200 metres. Walters, 53, had the Kent Rattray-trained three-year-old perfectly positioned in the one-out-one-back position after travelling 400 metres with the well-backed Dasher Hiouli setting a solid pace in front. Dasher Houli (Rohan Hillier) looked to be travelling like the winner when he slipped clear turning for home but when Walters allowed his charge more rein the gelded son of Major In Art ran to the leader and they settled down to a two-horse war all the way up the home straight with Walters able to get everything from his charge to win by a half-head. It was Karalta Boomer's seventh win of the season and coupled with his six minor placings he has career earnings of almost $30,000. Karalta Boomer was bred by his owners Lyndon and Gail Menagon who own and operate Big Park Stud that is one of the largest standardbred breeding operations in the state. Peter Staples

Lightly raced four-year-old pacer Demonstrative (Rod Ashwood) broke his maiden status at Luxbet Park Hobart yesterday with a game harness racing win in the Gerald Glover Pace over 2090 metres. Despite having to face the breeze in bleak conditions the Eric Jacobson-trained gelding forged to the lead in the home straight and went on to score by over a metre from the favourite Major Jamane ($2.10) with Never Unachievable ($8) a close-up third and just in advance of Bertils Bliss. Demonstrative (Western Ideal-Luvi Duvi Lombo) was having his third run back from a spell and he was well-backed to win the race. "The horse has been working well and we thought he could lead, in fact our confidence was based on him leading but when he was left facing the breeze I had some doubts he would stick it out," Jacobson said. "But to his credit he was strong over the final 200 metres when he was probably entitled to fade a bit, so all in all it was a very pleasing run." It was an overdue win for the stable but Jacobson, who in his heyday was vying for trainer's premierships, said the wins these days are just a bonus. "I'm pretty much retired these days with only four horses to work and that suits me. "Demonstrative is no world beater but he's improved to the point where he can probably win another couple but all four of the horses I have in the stable are in the same boat and all are pretty much paying their way." Demonstrative is owned and raced by Shane Hildebrand and Mick Jones who are two of his most loyal stable clients. Peter Staples  

Talented harness racing pacer Little Jethro is probably one of the best named horses going around in the Michal Smith Pace at Luxbet Park Hobart today. The pint-sized gelding from the Rod Plunkett stable is usually dwarfed by his opposition but when given the right run in a race his powerful finishing burst more than makes up for lack of height. Little Jethro scored his last win in Launceston in mid June when he proved too strong in a C2-C4 event over 2200 metres and today he meets slightly weaker company than he has been racing against of late. He followed his win in Launceston with a close-up fourth in a much stronger grad (C4-C6) and was unlucky not to have finished closer to the winner and he has been competitive from awkward draws at three subsequent starts. Today he starts from outside the second row in gate 10 but that should be a bonus as he follows out last-start winner Rockbank Dancer that led throughout when able to cross from the wide gate on the front row in Hobart last Sunday night. "It looks a nice race for him and if we get the luck he needs in the run then he's a good winning chance," Plunkett said. Little Jethro will be driven by John Walters who is having his best season in over a decade. He is a quality senior driver who has been given more opportunities since he won the Group 3 Easter Cup in Launceston aboard Riverboat Jasper in March. Walters partnered Rockbank Dancer to victory last Sunday night but he was already booked to drive Little Jethro when Rockbank Dancer's trainer Christian Salter decided to enter his horse for today's assignment. "My horse is on a five day back-up and I've never done that with him before but he is starting to mature and if he is to progress through the classes he's going to have to get used to this type of racing," Salter said. "He pulled up great from last Sunday night's race so from gate three we will be looking to find the front and if that happens I reckon he's the one to beat even though he's stepping up quite a bit in class." The Juanita McKenzie-trained Zumba Bromac should be improved by her first-up effort in Hobart last Sunday night to finish fifth to Rockbank Dancer. The four-year-old was held up when trying to improve but finished off well in the home straight. Other winning chances in the race are Alpinion, Future Promises and Origin Billy. The first race is scheduled to start at 2.08 pm (AEST) with the last of eight at 6.02 and all races will be broadcast on Sky 1. Peter Staples

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