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Harness Racing trainer Geoff Smith has not been spending a lot of time in the winner's circle of late but his luck changed at the inaugural night meeting under lights at Burnie tonight. Smith prepared the first winner on the lit Wivenhoe Showground in the form of form of Buckingham Boy that had been in the racing wilderness for over a year before landing in Smith's care and the veteran trainer snared his double when Starsheer led throughout to win a standing start race over 2180 metres (race 4). It was an incredible win as the lightly raced six-year-old gelding was last entering the back stretch the last time but with Craig Hayes in the sulky he produced a scintillating finish to come wide on the home turn and rattled home to grab victory over race leader Odins Call Girl in the very last stride. Smith said the horse was owned by Eddie Murdoch but he had managed to negotiate the purchase of the horse on Thursday for $2000. Listen to what trainer Geoff Smith had to say about Buckingham Boy's win at Burnie. Peter Staples

Young Latrobe harness racing driver Ben Parker will have good reason to remember the first ever night meeting at Burnie after winning his first race for more than two years on his own horse Takeaway Koala. Despite having to work outside the leader, Takeaway Koala proved too strong for pacemaker Inner City and Bumble Don in the Bryan Green Pace over 2180 metres. Parker has been driving for four years but has had only limited opportunities and Takeaway Koala was just his third career winner. ``I usually only drive my own horses or others trained by Brett Jaffray,'' Parker explained. Coastal football legend Jaffray prepares Takeaway Koala for Parker, his mother Karen Parker and partner Kate Wilkinson. ``We bought the horse from Craig Hayes earlier in the year and this was his seventh start since we've had him,'' Parker said. ``I thought he could win tonight because I expected him to lead. ``It's the first time he's raced in the death for us but it's not a bad place to be on this track. ``You just have to be up the front,'' he said. Peter Staples

Harness racing three-year-old pacer Little Jethro found his way back into the winner's circle with an emphatic all-the-way win in the Hellyers Road Distillery Pace over 2180 metres under lights at Burnie last night (Friday). It was the pint-sized gelding's first win in seven starts this season but given the ease with which he dispensed with his rivals it won't be his last. Little Jethro's trainer Keith Toulmin also drove the gelded son of JR Mint and he believes he has the potential to win many more races. Little Jethro won three as a two-year-old along with five minor placings from 13 starts last season. He stepped cleanly from the standing start and mustered good speed to easily hold the lead and once in front Toulmin ensured just a modest tempo with nothing prepared to take the leader on. When the challengers began to emerge in the back stretch the last time Toulmin released the reins and the gelding sped clear and went n to score comfortable from Family Orphan that trailed the leader throughout. Listen to what trainer Keith Toulmin had to say about Little Jethro's win. Peter Staples

THE Burnie Harness Racing Club will host its first night meeting at Wivenhoe Showground on Tasmania's North-West Coast tomorrow night (Friday). The program boasts six races with the first scheduled to start at 6.25 pm and the last at 9.02 pm and all races will be broadcast nationally on Sky 2. The installation of lights at the Wivenhoe Showgrounds has not only enabled the BHRC to stage night racing but it also allows many other sports that utilise the venue to expand their rosters. A trial harness session was held at the venue last week and all went well. Finding winners tonight will be tough with most of the races containing multiple winning chances but the Andrew Rawlings-trained Buck Major looms as one of the best bets on the card in Race four. Buck Major has drawn the pole position and as a rule the grey gelding usually steps well from a stand and has good early speed so driver Rohan Hillier will no doubt be trying to utilise those traits and find the front. If that eventuates Buck Major should be able to lead throughout with Topnotch Sam (2), a winner two starts back and last start minor placegetter Joe Cable (3) the hardest to beat of the C0 performers on the front line. Peter Staples

TALENTED Tasmanian pacer Nola Mayhem could soon be heading interstate after her effortless all-the-way win in the $30,000 Granny Smith final for four-year-old mars at Devonport Paceway last Sunday night. The mare's trainer Rohan Hillier and Melbourne-based owner Mark Panton are looking at a Vicbred mares' series in Victoria in June and, longer term, may send the four-year-old to Western Australia. "A trip to Melbourne is a definite possibility and WA has always been on the horizon when she gets down in class because there are a lot of good mares' races over there," Panton said. The owner said that Nola Mayhem had done a good job to win the Granny Smith on a restricted preparation. "She missed a month's racing when she was stood down after returning a positive swab at the trials but the stewards have since been good enough to lift that ban,"Panton said. Hillier said that Nola Mayhem was advantaged by drawing the pole in this latest assignment as she had good gate speed and, with a short run to the first turn, it was unlikely that she would be headed. "And I don't think our main danger (El Jays Magic) handles this track," the trainer said. El Jays Magic raced in second place but broke and dropped out during the last lap. Nola Mayhem went on to score by seven metres from All About Mod with Family Guy over five metres astern. By Peter Staples

LONGFORD-based harness racing trainer Barrie Rattray would love to be at Menangle on Sunday night to watch his star five-year-old Beautide tackle the $100,000 Len Smith Mile but instead he will be toiling away at Devonport where he has a truck load of runners at the feature meeting. Rattray will hitch up four of the 10 runners in the $30,000 Raider Stakes for four-year-olds in Devendra, Divas Delight, Pachacuti and Rykov leis and they are rated amongst the top five chances to win the race. Pachacuti could not have been more impressive in wining his Raider Stakes heat in Launceston last Sunday week and he also was impressive in winning in Hobart at his previous outing that was his first run back in the state after a filed interstate campaign. Devendra has done nothing wrong this campaign and had it not been for a flat tyre endured during a race in Hobart two starts back his form has been outstanding. Rykov Leis has quietly gone about his business in recent months winning twice and placing second three times from his past five starts but his task won't be easy on Sunday night as he starts from the outside of the second row. Listen to shat trainer Barrie Rattray had to say about his Raider Stakes runners and his two-year-olds in earlier races. By Peter Staples  

LONGFORD harness trainer Barrie Rattray has what some might consider a stranglehold on the Raider Stakes final for home grown four-year-olds at Devonport next Sunday week. In Launceston last night two heats of the sires' stakes classic were run and won by Rattray-trained four-year-olds and he also snared the quinella in one of the heats and a minor placegetter in the other to give him four genuine winning chances in the final. Pachacuti delivered a message that he will be very hard to beat in the final by defying a tough run facing the breeze for the last lap to go on and score convincingly over Melolyn and another of Rattray's band of talented four-year-olds Diva's Delight. Pachacuti spent a couple of months at James Rattray's stables in NSW where he failed to flatter in three of his five starts at Menangle. The gelding won a heat of the 3YO Breeders Crown last season and finished a gallant second to super star Bit Of A Legend in the $175.000 final. He was then transferred to James Rattray's care at Cobbitty and was placed at his first two attempts but his form went south and after he galloped away in a 4YO feature race on Inter Dominion day he was sent home to Tasmania. His first-up win in Hobart was solid but he confirmed he was back to his best with this latest victory on Sunday night. Lickyalips led and looked to be travelling comfortably turning for home but when driver Todd Rattray called on Pachacuti to extend he delivered the goods and went on to score by almost five metres from Melolyn that ran home strongly with Divas Delight doing his best work late. Rykov Leis (Ricky Duggan) then led his rivals a merry chase to score a strong win over stablemate Devendra in the remaining heat. Duggan ensured a solid tempo while Todd Rattray was content to allow his charge to travel in the one-out-one-back spot to the 400-metre peg. He had to wait until straightening to get the run three-wide to challenge but when Duggan called on Rykov Leis to sprint he sped clear and had enough in reserve to stave off a late surge from his stablemate. By Peter Staples

LIGHTLY raced three-year-old pacer Metro Digby will progress to the Tasmanian Derby following his narrow but impressive win in the $10,000 Tastech Building Services Sires Produce Stakes final over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last Sunday night. Metro Digby (Metropolitan-Jolopez) was sent out an odds-on favourite ($1.50) to win the feature and while he held out runner-up Rusty red Comet with ease in the end the gelding gave his backers some cause for concern over the final 200 metres. "He just switched off about 200 metres out and I really had to get into him to get him back concentrating," said trainer-driver Paul Williams. "He is a very good horse but he still has a few too tricks," he said. Metro Digby went into the race with a reasonably good record of two wins and three minor placings from seven starts but Williams admitted this latest effort was his best result despite the gelding doing a few things wrong. Listen to what trainer Paul Williams had to say about Metro Digby's Sires Produce win. Peter Staples

  STAR Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Resurgent Spirit is on the verge of matching a winning race record with Halwes, regarded as one of the greatest standardbreds of all time.   Resurgent Spirit captured the record of the most number of consecutive wins from debut when he notched his 12th win in succession in the 3YO Championship in Launceston early last month to overtake Dare We Dream’s record of 11 straight.   The Roger Whitmore-trained gelding will line up in a C1 in Hobart on Sunday night and from barrier two in a nine-horse field he should be able to roll to the front and give his rivals a pacing lesson.   If successful he also will take the record of the most number of consecutive wins in Tasmania of all classes that is presently shares by the great Golden Alley and Happy prospect that each won 12 in succession on home soil.   The gelded son of American Ideal was bred by his trainer-owner and given the ease with which he won a trial recently clocking a sensational last half he should be able to keep his unbeaten record intact, barring accidents.   The horse has gone from strength to strength this time in and he has been well looked after by his owner-trainer.   If there was to be an upset it could come from the Christian Salter-trained Vande Velde that has been racing well this time in with a first-up second to Resurgent Spirit in the 3YO Championship followed by a win in Hobart in a C0 and a last-start fourth in a C1 over 2200 metres in Launceston.   The following are statistics of winning sequences of some of Tasmania’s former stars compiled by historian Peter Cooley:   The performances of three year old pacer Resurgent Spirit in winning his first 12 starts, has bought up the question of who has been our best juvenile pacer in Tasmania.   Dare You Dream created a big impression by winning his first 11 starts, four two year olds and seven the following year. In all he won 14 of his 17 races and is the only Tasmanian bred pacer to win his first 11 starts.   The ill fated Cody Maverick did not win until his fourth start but then reeled off nine in a row before his tragic death at Bendigo.   The great Halwes won 13 in a row during his career, the last being the Tasmanian Championship final which he won from 48 yards (40 metres).His next start he lost on protest to Robin Dundee in Melbourne.   Golden Alley won his first 12 Tasmanian starts, although in that time he suffered three defeats in Victoria. At his 13th Tasmanian start he was defeated by Scott’s Bay in a heat of the Tasmanian Championships.   Happy Prospect won 10 races as a two year old, with three defeats. .He won his last seven starts as a two year old and his first five as a three year old, a total of 12 in a row. He raced 21 times for 17 wins.   Prospect Star won a total of 20 races in his juvenile years, five as a two year old and 15 the following year.   Another Shy had 11 two year old wins (eight in a row) and won another eight as a three year old Perhaps the best two year old the state has produced was The Yank.   In the 1978 season he raced 12 times for 10 wins (nine in a row). Amongst his wins were the $ 15,000 NSW Challenge    Stakes and the $ 10,000 NSW Saplings Stakes. He also had two starts on Moonee Valley winning from 30 and 40 metres behind.   Mi Coconut won her first 10 starts in Tasmania and Victoria.   Halyer won four races from nine starts as a two year old, including his last two as a two year old.    The following season he won his first nine starts before finishing second in the NSW Derby. He rounded off the season by winning   the Australian Derby at Gloucester Park   It was harder for pacers that raced many years ago to string together a long sequence of wins.   The great stallion Our Globe won his two starts as a three year old, the following season he raced four times for as many wins including the New Norfolk Cup.   As a five year old he met his first defeat in a Sorell Cup, and then with only seven life time starts he contested the 1938/39 Inter Dominion at Launceston.   Our Globe defeated Springfield Globe in the first round of heats. He then defeated Globe Dorell in the second set of heats three days later.   He was disqualified for six months when he finished unplaced on the third day of the Championships.   The two pacers he defeated on the first and second day ran the quinella in the Final. Our Globe resumed racing eight months later and won his first three starts.   Consecutive Wins from Debut Resurgent Spirit            12 Dare We Dream           11 Mi Coconut                  10   Consecutive Wins Halwes             13 Resurgent Spirit            12 Happy Prospect           12 Halyer                          11 Cody Maverick            9 The Yank                     9 Another Shy                 8   Consecutive Wins in Tasmania Golden Alley                12 Resurgent Spirit            12 Happy Prospect           12 Halyer                          9 By Peter Staples  

COASTAL harness racing trainer Melissa Maine produced a genuine Tasmanian Oaks prospect in the form of Faithful Gabby that scored a sensational win in the Allen Williams Memorial final over 2297 metres at Devonport last Sunday night. With the trainer’s life partner Gareth Rattray in the sulky, Faithful Gabby powered her way to an astonishing 38-metre win over Rocket Seal with Rockbank Dancer a further 17 metres astern. It was one of the most awesome displays seen on the Devonport track this season. Faithful Gabby had three starts last season for minor placings in each of her outings. She returned to racing last month and after two excellent efforts she broke her maiden status in her Allen Williams Memorial heat in Hobart prior to winning the final. Maine and Rattray were confident the filly would run well but even the trainer admitted the winning margin was unexpected. The filly had a major setback last year when she cut her leg badly but she has been nursed back to health and she is starting to deliver on what she promised when she was broken Listen to what trainer Melissa Maine had to say about Faithful Gabby’s latest win. By Peter Staples

TO say Longford harness trainer Barrie Rattray was experiencing a hot streak would probably be the understatement of the century. His home-grown gelding Beautide captured the Miracle Mile-Inter-Dominion double to assume the mantle as Australasia’s best pacer but the juggernaut continued, albeit on a much lower scale, at Devonport on Sunday night. Devendra outgunned a strong field to win the Hardings Hotmix Devonport Cup to give the trainer back-to-back wins in the coastal club’s feature having won last year with Biggernbettermax. Devendra is quickly becoming the stable star with this his third Cup victory in succession having already been successful in the Burnie and Carrick cups and all in the space of seven weeks. With the trainer’s son Todd Rattray aboard, Devendra stepped brilliantly from the front row (4) and had no trouble leading. Once in front he was rated superbly and he had enough in reserve to hold out all challengers over the concluding stages. Devendra hit the line well clear of interstate invader Fine Star Anvil that faced the breeze after making up ground quickly from his 30-metre handicap while outsider Falco Peregrinis finished third. Rattray said the natural progression for Devendra would be to send him to his son James’ stable in NSW where Beautide resides these days. “The time is fast approaching to seriously consider sending Devendra to James in Sydney,” Rattray said. ‘This horse has been a bit of a slow developer but we’ve always liked him.” “He’s still lazy but there will come a time when he’ll realise what’s going on.” “Then he’ll be a very good horse – I don’t think he’s far off it now,” Rattray said. By Peter Staples

IF Call The Marshall can live up to his trainer’s expectation then the Mick Maxfield-owned gelding could lead all the way to win the $25,000 Devonport Cup on Sunday night. Call The Marshall tuned up for the Devonport Cup with an impressive win in a restricted grade race Launceston last Sunday night with Gareth Rattray aboard. After the race Ashwood declared the gelding had what it takes to win a feature race. “I think he’s up to free-for-all standards,” Ashwood said. “He’s a good beginner from a standing start and, if he jumps to the front (in the Devonport Cup) he will be very hard to get around,” he said. The barrier gods smiled on Call The Marshall as he will start from gate three on the front row so he has a head start on realising his trainer’s expectations. However, he has smart beginners in Run Ripalong (1) and recent Burnie and Carrick Cups winner Devendra (4) on either side that also will be vie for the lead. Maxfield and Ashwood went close to winning the Devonport Cup in 2008 with Special Chance that tried to lead all the way only to be collared close to home by Lombo Limmo and they finished 25 metres clear of the rest of the field. By Peter Staples  

MIGHTY JASPER has been a model of consistency of late so it came as no surprise that the Nathan Ford-trained three-year-old had no trouble winning his C0 last weekend. Ford could probably have placed the gelding to win a C0 that carried prizemoney of $7000 but instead he opted to support the Carrick Pacing Club and enter his three-year-old there in a $4200 race as a show of support for the country club. He was aiming at a hat-trick of wins and he did it in style. Mighty Jasper was lucky to avoid a scrimmage soon after the start but ended up in the one-out-two back position and travelled kindly for the first lap. A lap from home Ford eased his charge three-wide to attack for the lead after facing the breeze to the home turn he called on his gelded son of Village jasper to extend and he quickly put 10 metres on his rivals. Despite tiring over the concluding stages Mighty Jasper held on to defeat the fast-finishing Cardinal Art with race leader Buck Major hanging on for third. Ford was pleased with the win and predicted more wins this season. Listen to what trainer-driver Nathan Ford had to say about Might Jasper’s latest win. Peter Staples

TASMANIA has long been known for its ability to produce top drivers with many following a family tradition in taking to the sulky. At Carrick last Saturday Chris Aylett notched his first winner when he guided Liams Dream to victory in the Dakin Refrigeration Pace over 2150 metres and it was a drive to be remembered. Liams Dream is also trained by Aylett who is the youngest son of Phil Aylett who has earned a reputation as a master horseman and astute trainer of standardbreds. Liams Dream went into the race with modest form, although his previous outing in Launceston and the gelding had worked well during the week leading up to this latest assignment. It was a great result for the Aylett family and it was Chris’ first win from only a handful of drives.    Liams Dream faced the breeze for most of the race outside of the leader Heres Your Chocky. When Aylett called on Liams Dream to sprint turning for home the gelding forged to the lead and had enough in reserve to stave off a late challenges from Boozy Rouge with Heres Your Chocky hanging on for third four metres astern. Phil Aylett has obviously passed on plenty of advice on how to get the best out of Liams Dream that is lucky to be still racing. Liams Dream (Dream Away-Marlee Jayne) was bred by Col Johnson who had enormous success with progeny of the mare Marlee Jayne. The gelding suffered suspensory injuries and was about to be retired but was eventually gifted to Phil Aylett who opted to take the horse to Victoria for stem cell treatment. “The stem cell treatment worked fine and while the horse still has to be carefully managed he is sound and has a bright future,” Phil Aylett said. Peter Staples  

LONGFORD trainer Barrie Rattray celebrated his first Carrick Cup win in over 20 years when his consistent four-year-old Devendra powered home to win the Centenary Carrick Cup over 2650 metres yesterday. Devendra was allowed to settle at the rear of the field by the trainer’s son Todd Rattray but when he set the gelding alight in the back straight the last time he loomed as the winner turning for home and delivered the goods at the business end of the race. The trainer wasn’t at Carrick to see the race because he was busy at Menangle in Sydney waiting for Beautide to deliver a result in a heat of the 2014 Inter Dominion. About an hour after Devendra emerged triumphant, Beautide finished second in his heat to secure a berth in the Inter Dominion final. Devendra was well backed to start the $2.60 favourite with the four bookmakers who made the betting ring look something like the halcyon days. A huge crowd gathered at the Carrick Paceway for the club’s centenary meeting that boasted nine races with entertainment after the last race ensuring the celebrations carried on into the night. Peter Staples

STAR Tasmanian pacer Beautide booked a berth in the Inter Dominion final courtesy of a game second in his Inter Dominion heat at Menangle last night. His trainer-driver James Rattray edged his way to the lead early in the race and he travelled comfortably to the home turn but when the pressure was applied he appeared to falter. But when Rattray called on Beautide ($1.30 fav) for the big effort he dug deep and fought back to regain the lead but he couldn’t answer the powerful finish of outsider Seel ‘N’ Print ($35) that came from near last on the home turn. Heats were run around the country last night from which the top 20 will be ranked and Beautide is guaranteed a berth in the final if connections choose to accept on Monday. Following completion of the Inter Dominion Qualifying Heats tonight (Saturday 15 February 2014) Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) and the NSW Harness Racing Club (NSWHRC) have issued an  Order of Entry for the Inter Dominion Grand Final on Sunday 2 March 2014. Connections of all 20 horses have until 10am on Monday 17 February 2014 to advise HRNSW of their decision to accept for the Inter Dominion Grand Final. The Final Field for the Grand Final, comprising 14 runners and at least two Emergencies, will be declared at 12 noon on Monday 17 February 2014 based on the Order of Entry after non-acceptors are taken into account. The barrier draw will be conducted on Monday 24 February.     Horse Order of Qualification 1                                   Terror To Love                                  1st place NZ Qualifying Heat 2 Smolda 2nd place NZ Qualifying Heat 3 Seel N Print 1st place NSW Qualifying Heat 4 Beautide 2nd place NSW Qualifying Heat 5 Keayang Cullen 1st place VIC Qualifying Heat 6 Restrepo 2nd place VIC Qualifying Heat 7 Wartime Sweetheart 3rd place VIC Qualifying Heat 8 Mach Beauty 1st place NSW Supp Qualifying Heat 9 For A Reason 2nd place NSW Supp Qualifying Heat 10 Forever Gold 1st place QLD Qualifying Heat 11 Im Victorious 1st place WA Qualifying Heat 12 Livingontheinterest 2nd place WA Qualifying Heat 13 Caribbean Blaster Wildcard 1 14 The Gold Ace Wildcard 2 15 Franco Nelson Standby 1 16 Pub Blitz Standby 2 17 Im Corzin Terror Standby 3 18 Ardghal Standby 4 19 Mah Sish Standby 5 20 Abettorpunt Standby 6 Peter Staples

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