Search Results
1 to 16 of 1140
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Stowport harness racing trainer Andrew Rawlings celebrated his biggest win this season when Musselroe Bay stormed home to capture the Norske Skog New Norfolk Cup over 2950 metres at Kensington Park yesterday. With premier reinsman Gareth Rattray in the cart, the son of Metropolitan settled worse than midfield despite stepping cleanly from his front two, while a hot pace was set by Put Mback, while The Dip faced the breeze ahead of Whisper Jet, which began brilliantly from his 20-metre handicap. It was Rattray’s second New Norfolk Cup win in succession having been successful with Put Mback the previous year. Put Mback started at $31, while Musselroe Bay was more fancied starting at $9. When the tempo quickened at the bell, the back markers struggled to get into the race down the back straight the last time, and turning for home it looked likely the leaders would fight out the finish. But Musselroe Bay emerged from the pack to set sail after the leaders, and once balance at the top of the straight, he powered home to overhaul the leaders close to home to score narrowly from Whisper Jet, Damitsam and The Dip. A big crowd ventured to New Norfolk for the club’s only meeting for the season that boasted seven races, with the Cup and the Ted Plunkett Memorial the features on the card. The Ted Plunkett was won by the David Pennicott-trained Strange Conduct which also was driven by Rattray. Strange Conduct powered home to score by 10 metres from Grinable, with Helen Wheels, which started off a 10-metre handicap, three-and-a-half metres away third. PETER STAPLES

The twilight harness racing meeting scheduled for Hobart next Sunday has been switched to an afternoon timeslot, and as such, the program will receive full coverage on Sky1. In a welcome boost for participants, stakes have also received a boost over the next five months. From this weekend, the minimum stakes for Sunday twilight races will rise from $7000 to $7500, except claiming races, which will rise from $5000 to $6500. Sires’ Stake heats will increase to $10,000 and 17 feature races which were advertised at $8000 will increase to $10,000. The increases will be funded by money saved from abandoned and deleted races over the past seven months. PETER STAPLES

Talented harness racing participant Dylan Ford will represent Tasmania in the Australasian Young Drivers’ Championship in New Zealand. The 19-year-old will compete in the series for the second time against drivers from all Australian states and both New Zealand islands. Ford was the automatic Tasmanian selection after being the best performed young driver during the 2013/14 season. First licensed as a 16-year-old in September 2011, Ford finished second in the 2011/12 Tasmanian junior driver award and ninth in the state’s leading driver premiership. He won the junior title in 2012/13 and 2013/14, and after four months of the 2014/15 season, Ford leads the junior table and is sixth on the overall state premiership. Last year Ford finished second in the Australasian Young Drivers’ Championship in New South Wales after winning three of the 10 heats, including the $50,000 heat at Menangle. Tasracing chief executive Eliot Forbes said Tasracing was committed to supporting young drivers. “Tasracing schedules a junior drivers’ race every month and two championship series annually,” Forbes said. “As a result of this programming, our Tasmanian talent is nurtured early in their career resulting in a high level of success for Tasmanian young drivers when competing interstate. “Dylan Ford experienced that in this series last year.” Ford was thrilled to be selected to travel to New Zealand. “This is a real honour to be representing my state in such a prestigious event,” Ford said. “Over the past 12 months I have taken out a trainer’s license and have received tremendous support from my owners while other trainers have continued to put me behind their horses. “In particular, I would like to thank trainer Heath Szczypka and my family for their assistance.” The Australasian Young Drivers Championship starts at Cambridge on May 7 in the North Island of New Zealand followed by Auckland the next day. The action shifts to the South Island at Christchurch two days later and concludes the next day at Timaru. PETER STAPLES

In his heyday Chris Howlett was a fierce harness racing competitor and winning multiple races on cards at the old Royal Showground circuit came with monotonous regularity. But when his children became old enough to drive Howlett took a ‘back seat’ and set about training a few to get the children involved. In Hobart last Sunday night the veteran was back in the winners’ circle, much to the delight of his sons, Justin, Braden and Matthew,  who are talented reinsmen in their own right. Howlett guided outsider Frankie Falzoni to victory in a C1 event over 2090 metres to break an eight-year drought…with his previous win coming behind The Knucklebuster in Hobart in 2007. Howlett hadn’t driven in a race since Hobart in July 2013. “I don’t do much driving these days. I leave it up to the boys,” Howlett said. “It’s nice to drive a winner just to prove I can still do it.” Mathew, who drove Tinkers Taxi to finish third, was thrilled for his father. Mathew has emerged as one of the state’s most promising young reinsmen and his older brother Braden also is a natural. Eldest son Justin was the first to take to the sulky and he has matured into a very competent reinsman. From all reports Chris and Donna Howlett’s daughter Eliza, 15, also is anxious to secure a driver’s licence. Eliza is a regular at the pony races and will be at New Norfolk on Australia Day competing with her pony Bush Tucker Man. PETER STAPLES

Premier Tasmanian reinsman Ricky Duggan has a lot of time for lightly raced harness racing performer Mister Lennox, which delivered another knockout blow to his rivals in a C0 event over 2090 at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last night From barrier six Mister Lennox ($1.45 favourite) landed in the one-out-one-back position on the back of Me Mate Les while the second favourite Stonor Rainbow made play in front. The leader set a solid clip, and when he kicked clear turning for home, it looked for a fleeting moment he might have the edge on the favourite, but when Duggan called on Mister Lennox for the big effort 200 metres out, he charged to the leader and went on to score comfortably from Stonor Rainbow, with Butch and Clyde a distant third. It was Mister Lennox’s fifth win from 11 starts and he looks set to expand on that record as the season progresses. The three-year-old is trained by Juanita McKenzie and owned by Barry Cooper and his family including children Chris, Shane and Maree. PETER STAPLES

Tasmanian pacer Star Chamber booked a ticket to Victoria to play with the harness racing’s big boys when he outgunned a class field in the $20,000 Smithawards Hobart Pacing Cup final over 3060 metres at Tattersall’s Park last night. The Nathan Ford-trained and owned gelding came from near last along the back straight to score by almost seven metres from outsider Benediction, with Sky Tower third after facing the breeze. Star Chamber emerged as a Group One contender when he won the $40,000 Tasmania Cup two starts ago, and with a Hobart Pacing Cup heat and Final now added to his impressive list of triumphs, he is likely to be given the chance to test his skill against some of the best in Australia within a week. Ford said Saturday night’s Shepparton Cup could be the gelding’s next mission, and if he does follow that path to the Hunter Cup, he will clash with an all-star line-up. Star Chamber arrived in Ford’s stables at Brighton just over a year ago with only two wins against modest company to his credit, but during the past six months the gelding has thrived and has developed into Tasmania’s best open class pacer. PETER STAPLES

When harness racing trainer Christian Salter leased Miss Lively on the advice of his good friend Jason Mackrill he was hoping for some early success, but after two starts her new owner thought she was a dud! At her third start, however, the daughter of Live Or Die delivered the goods and she has been delivering ever since. At Burnie last night Miss Lively she stepped straight to the front in the marathon Burnie Cup over 2798 metres and was never headed on her way to defeating Hello Good Shanks by over eight metres, with Musselroe Bay a long neck away third. Salter couldn’t attend the meeting due to work commitments, but the mare's driver Nathan Ford stated she was a progressive type which would win more races. “We gave her a trial from a stand at New Norfolk and she went okay, but it was still touch and go whether we’d come here,” Ford said. “I thought she would get away from a stand if I could get her to stand still for long enough. “She is very touchy and has a tendency to swing around.” Miss Lively proved to be quite fractious at the start, rearing and making life difficult for the driver and the starter. But Ford got her to settle just as he tapes released and the seven-year-old stepped straight to the front. “I thought if she led she would be very hard to run down,” Ford said. It was Ford’s first success in the Cup and it made up for a second in the race two years ago with Stone Skipper. It has been a brilliant month for Ford, who has been enjoying success as both trainer and driver, especially with Star Chamber which won the $40,000 Tasmania Cup on December 21. Star Chamber followed up with a win in a heat of the Hobart Pacing Cup in which he will start favourite on Sunday. PETER STAPLES

Maybe Rama continued to show why he could have been one of the best harness racing pacers to come out of Tasmania with another impressive performance at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last Sunday night. Had it not been for tendon injuries the gelded son of Panorama may have even achieved great things like those achieved by Beautide in the past two years. While the now 10-year-old still has to be well managed to ensure he stays sound the gelding loves his racing and this most recent effort is testament to his ability. Maybe Rama led a handy field in the Lachlan Hotel Pace for C4-C6 performers over 2090 metres and he gave nothing else a chance as he powered home to score by over two metres from Ciskei with Vande Velde third but almost six metres astern. The gelding’s trainer-driver Sam Rawnsley was ecstatic after the race, declaring Maybe Rama a “Marvel”. Maybe Rama clocked a mile rate of 1.58 and ran home his last half (800m) in 58.1 which would have made him very competitive in free-for-all company. Listen to what Sam Rawnsley had to say about Maybe Rama after his most recent win. Peter Staples

Star Chamber only needs to capture the Hobart Pacing Cup in a fortnight to claim the title of Tasmania’s best harness racing performer following his heat win at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last Sunday night. Star Chamber won the $40,000 Group Three Tasmania Cup in Hobart last month to signal his arrival as a class act, but some doubters questioned standard of his opposition. But on Sunday night the Nathan Ford-trained and driven gelding stepped cleanly from his 20-metre handicap to settle midfield while, Whodeani, having his first start for just over a year, stepped straight to the front as driver Gareth Rattray ensured a solid tempo. Our Chain Of Command circumnavigated the field midrace to face the breeze, while Ford was content to sit and wait until the field entered the back straight the last time to make his move. Our Chain Of Command kicked clear at the top of the home straight, but when Ford called on Star Chamber for the supreme effort the son of Our Sir Vancelot put the result beyond doubt within the blink of an eye. “I couldn’t be happier with the horse and I am looking forward to the Hobart Cup in a fortnight,” Ford said. PETER STAPLES

Last season Tasmanian harness trainer Steve Lukac made a decision to send his promising two-year-old No Spring Secrets for a lengthy spell owing to the youngster’s immaturity. The son of Tell All won on debut, but after three subsequent unplaced runs, he was dispatched to the paddock last May before being brought back into work in October. With three-months work in him No Spring Secrets stepped out at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last night to give his rivals a pacing lesson in the Crown Inn Pace over 2090 metres. With in-form driver Nathan Ford in the sulky, No Spring Secrets began well from the front row to lead throughout to score 27 metres from Note Worthy Lombo, with Blackjackhanover six metres away third. While the gelding won easily, Lukac was not altogether happy with how his charge delivered the win. PETER STAPLES

A heat of the Smithawards Hobart Pacing Cup is a feature on tonight’s 10-race harness racing card at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart. Tasmania Cup winner Star Chamber is likely to start a warn favourite, although his trainer-driver Nathan Ford must find a way to counteract a 20-metre handicap in the 2579-metre event. Star Chamber toyed with his rivals to win the $40,000 Tasmania Cup after enjoying a gun run behind the leader. Proven performer Our Chain of Command will start off 30 metres, while dual Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader is the back marker off 40 metres. Whodeani, which is resuming from an injury enforced lay-off, is the interesting runner. The Paul Ashwood-trained gelding is making his first trip to the races since December 2013. Whodeani strung together seven consecutive wins before being sidelined, and although being thrown into the deep end, connections have ensured he goes into tonight's first-up assignment fit enough to cope with a task ahead. PETER STAPLES

Twin brothers Rohan and Troy Hillier have always been competitive, especially when it comes to harness racing. So when Troy took over the training of Robyn Scherbotsky from his brother a short time ago it was going to come as no surprise if Troy fired a barb at Rohan about how he had improved the mare if she won a race. In Launceston last Sunday night Robyn Scherbotsky led throughout for an effortless win in a heat of the Harry Holgate Memorial over 2200 metres. With Troy in the sulky, the four-year-old had no trouble finding the front and was never seriously challenged on her way to a seven-metre victory from Frankie Falzoni and Ive Got Oomph. “She’s definitely improved since I took over the training of this mare,” Troy said with a wry smile. “She did it well and a front row draw would make her hard to beat in the Final.” Robyn Scherbotsky has been officially prepared by Troy for five starts, which have netted two wins, two seconds and a fifth. However, this latest win has caused a bit of friction in the family according to Rohan. “I don’t mind Troy having a bit of fun with his comments, but he’s been down at Bicheno sun bathing this past week, so I need a bit of credit for the mare’s latest win,” Rohan said. Robyn Scherbotsky was bred by the Nevele R Stud in New Zealand being by McArdle from the Holmes Hanover mare Reincarnation. She began her career in May 2013, but didn’t notch her first win until April this year at start number 11. The other Harry Holgate Memorial heat was won by the Barrie Rattray-trained Who Is Hardeen, which also led throughout. Who is Hardeen is a promising type which has seven wins and nine placings from 28 starts. PETER STAPLES

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Steve Lukac admitted to being surprised after Pockets of Courage won the first two-year-old race of the season in Launceston last night. Lukac was not surprised the gelding won, but taken aback at the odds offered about the youngster in the $10,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes over 1680 metres. Pockets of Courage paid $11.80 on the Tote and much the same was offered by the fixed odds corporate bookies. “He finished first and second in the two trials and I was very confident he would run well, so yes, I was surprised he paid so well,” Lukac said. “His biggest asset is that he is a beautifully-gaited horse with good manners. There’s a lot of upside to this horse.” Lukac admitted the win also had a lot to do with a very good drive from Nathan Ford. Pockets of Courage was well away from the mobile, but despite beginning from the pole, he couldn’t match the speed of Goggo Gee Gee, which landed in front, with the favourite Sultan Fella facing the breeze. Ford was content to settle the son of Courage Under Fire and Rangiann behind the leader where he stayed until the home turn. When Ford called on Pockets of Courage for the supreme effort in the home straight the freshman responded magnificently to score by two metres from rank outsider Origin Cronk, with another outsider, Chica Bella, flashing home to be four-and-a-half metres away third. PETER STAPLES

Well-bred harness racing filly Fuscienne has a lot to live up to if she is to follow in the footsteps of some of her better performed relations, but in Launceston last night, she took the first step towards living up to expectations. Fuscienne won at her fourth outing, and while her trainer Barrie Rattray is not expecting her to achieve the feats of her half-brother Beautide, he does hope she can reach the heights of some of her other relations. By Major In Art, Fuscienne is also related to Death And Taxes (15 wins), Acutabovetherest (14 wins), Ashura (seven wins), I Pity The Fool (11 wins) and Ashkalina (14 wins). Fuscienne’s dam Gorse Bush boasts a perfect record from nine foals. Fuscienne performed well at her first three starts and had improved at each outing, but courtesy of a sensational drive from Todd Rattray, she was never going to be beaten. The three-year-old started at $1.70, which was risky given she was drawn in barrier 10, but after the field had travelled 50 metres the risk factor had been removed. Rattray was able to guide Fuscienne into the coveted one-out, one-back position where he stayed until 400 metres from home when he eased her three-wide and cruised to a four-metre win from Origin Billy, with the leader Lu Way Lord hanging on for third, a long neck away. “This filly is making good progress,” Todd said. “She’s by Major In Art and his progeny seem to get better with age, so we would expect her to improve with racing.” PETER STAPLES

Exciting pacer Star Chamber gave young Tasmanian trainer-driver Nathan Ford his greatest moment in harness racing with an empathic win in the $40,000 Tasmania Cup at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart yesterday. So impressed with the win, Ford suggested he will head to the Group One A G Hunter Cup in Melbourne in February. Star Chamber landed in Ford’s stables about this time last year and he declared six months later the gelding would win feature and Group races while in his care. Today his prediction was realised and stamped the flashy chestnut as one of the brightest prospects in the state. It was an emotional Ford who was brought to tears when asked to describe his biggest win. And when his father Scott Ford, who has won just about every feature race in Tasmania except the Cup, arrived to congratulate his son, he was unable to hold back the tears. Star Chamber began well from the pole, but was crossed by the in-form Blue Pointer, which led with ease from barrier two. The $1.20 favourite Im Corzin Terror was held back at the start to settle near the rear and when Chris Alford made his move just over a lap from home, he was forced to sit three-wide until they were well into the home turn the last time. Blue Pointer had a kick at the top of the straight, with Im Corzin Terror under extreme pressure to overhaul the leader, but when Ford eased Star Chamber off the pegs to challenge, the son of Our Sir Vancelot stormed home to win easily from Im Corzin Terror and Blue Pointer. Star Chamber rated 1:57.8 for the 2579-metre trip, with the last half covered in 58.63 seconds. PETER STAPLES

Harness racing trainer Zane Medhurst has been waiting a while for his nine-year-old Luke Peter to win another race and it finally happened at his 100th start in Hobart yesterday. Luke Peter cruised to a comfortable victory in the Des and Kay Logan Memorial Pace over 2090 metres, which is the consolation of the Eric Reece Memorial. The Luke Peter hit the line five metres clear of Luke Thomas, with the favourite Olivers Mare a metre away third. “He’s been a good old horse for us and it was so good to see him win a half decent race,” Medhurst said. “He didn’t have any luck in a heat of the Eric Reece, but dropping back to be against horses that didn’t make that Final he was always going to be a chance. “It was a great drive by Nathan (Ford) who was positive on him early, and when he turned for home with such a big lead, I knew he would win.” Luke Peter suffered a tendon injury about two years ago, but Medhurst was able to nurse the son of Pacific Rocket back to health. “We took our time bringing him back to racing after he did a tendon and he’s shown no sign of any problem with the leg since he’s been back, but we do manage him well,” Medhurst said. Medhurst’s son David was killed in a car accident last year, so very win is dedicated to him. “I can’t help but wonder if Dave was looking down over us today and helped out a bit,” Medhurst said. Luke Peter had not won a race since Australia Day. “It’s been almost a year since this horse has won but he's been able to pick up a lot of placings to help pay his way,” Medhurst said. Luke Peter has started 100 times for nine wins and 20 placings for $45,000 in stakes. PETER STAPLES

1 to 16 of 1140
1 2 3 4 5 Next »