Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 1491
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

The quality of drivers competing in this Sunday’s inaugural Australian Female Drivers Championship in Launceston would be a good fit for any world-class harness racing event. Having the talents of Kerryn Manning, Kate Gath and Amanda Turnbull at the same meeting should be enough to draw a big crowd but when added is a sprinkling of rising stars, the stage is set for a hot competition. The star of the show is Victorian Kerryn Manning who up until last week had driven over 3700 winners and placed over 4300 times for prizemoney of in excess of almost $26 million. No other female driver has accrued more Group 1 victories, which is why she is regarded as one of the best in the business. Manning is a superstar of harness racing and her presence in any line-up usually encourages strong betting turnover and coupled with her congenial personality makes her one of the most valuable commodities in the game. Kate Gath, also from Victoria, has driven over 1200 winners and is close to topping $10 million in stake earnings so she too will have her share of followers on Sunday night. New South Wales is well represented with Amanda Turnbull one of the most successful female drivers in the country having amassed 1600 wins and 2000 placings for over $10 million in stakes. Then there is teenager Ellen Rixon who is just starting her journey but has already notched 100 winners from only 900 drives and it won’t be long before she cracks the $1 million stake barrier. Rixon represented NSW in the Australian Drivers Championship against the male drivers in Tasmania last year and she more than held her own. South Australia’s Danielle Hill is another gun driver who has represented her state at national team events mixing it with the male drivers and more than holding her own and her record of over 1300 winners for over $4 million in stakes speaks for itself. South Australia also will be represented by Lisa Ryan who has driven almost 140 winners and placed over 400 times from only 1500 drives. Western Australia will be represented by Jocelyn Young and Deni Roberts and while they are less experienced than most of the aforementioned, they are talented drivers in their own right. Tasmania will be represented by Natalee Emery and Kristy Grant and both are talented drivers. Emery has amassed 358 wins for stakes of over $2.2 million of which much was accrued in Victoria where she drove under her maiden name of Westendorf. Grant is an up and coming talent who is the granddaughter of astute horseman Dick Eaves. Grant has notched almost 30 winners from limited opportunities but her acumen in the sulky has gone to a new level in recent times. The winner of the AFDC will be determined on a point score basis and held over four races. In a 12-horse field the winner will earn 19 points with 14 for second, 11 for third and nine for fourth reducing by one through to last place which earns one point. Peter Staples

Talented harness racing trainer Matthew Dwyer spent a number of years in the harness racing wilderness but the lure of a good horse has seen him make an overdue return to racing in Tasmania. At the Elwick Racing Centre in Hobart on Sunday night two of his three stable tenants produced bold efforts with Queens Advocate scoring an impressive win in a C7 or better event over 2579 metres and The Majority was game when fifth in the feature race the Hobart Pacing Cup over a grueling 3060 metres. It was a gem of a drive from Gareth Rattray who settled Queens Advocate ($2.80) near last before latching onto the back of the well-backed Queens Advocate ($3 into $2.40 fav) and when they reached the home turn Rattray eased his mare four-wide to challenge and she ran home powerfully to score from Jetcraft and Jaccka Len. Queens Advocate was a well-performed mare when in the care of top trainer Juanita McKenzie before being moved on after the mare had suffered an injury that kept her out of racing for a year. Dwyer's wife Lauren leased the mare from owner Georgie Johnson (Lauren's cousin) and provided the mare stays sound the Dwyers should look forward to more success in the coming months. "I am very pleased with how Queens Advocate has come on this time in and I thought on her previous run at Carrick that she'd be very hard to beat. "The mare had a quarter crack injury at the end of her time with Juanita (McKenzie) and when Lauren (Johnson) said she was thinking about what to do with the mare we decided to try her out and she's going super." The Majority led in the Hobart Pacing Cup after stepping straight to the front from the standing start and after being taken on twice in the run the Art Major gelding battled on tenaciously over the final 300 metres to be just edged out of fourth place. "At first I was a shade disappointed with The Majority's effort but when I watched the replay of the race a couple of times I realised he did a pretty good job so we'll progress now to the Devonport Cup and if he happened to lead and put in a similar effort he'd be hard to beat." Dwyer only has a stable of three with his otter tenant an unraced two-year-old. Peter Staples

Former Tasmanian Derby winner Mister Lennox returned to his brilliant best to win the Triple M Hobart Pacing Cup at the Elwick harness racing centre in Hobart last night. Mister Lennox ($7) came from well back with a lap remaining to score comfortably from outsider Call her Julie ($61) with Dapper Dana ($5.50) a close-up third and just ahead of Bayridge Bill ($31). The win gave Hall of Fame driver Ricky Duggan his first Hobart Cup and he heaped praise on the gelding that had been struggling to find the winner's circle in recent times. "This horse was a good run in the Tasmania Cup behind Master Secret two weeks ago and I thought all he would need to win tonight was a bit of luck to go his way," Duggan said. "He stepped away safely and we just took our time to find a spot and then I was able to latch onto the back of Remember Joe when that horse made his move a lap from home. "I just needed Remember Joe to take us far enough into the race and thankfully he did and when I pulled my horse out four-wide at the top of the straight he ran on strongly and won well." It was a fiercely contested race with The Majority stepping straight to the front while the favourite Taurisi ($2.50) galloped away and settled last of the field of 14. Mister Lennox, prepared by Juanita McKenzie, has notched 15 wins and nine minor placings from 49 starts for $126,461 in stakes. Peter Staples

Talented pacer Rockin An Runnin might have missed an entire season through injury but the harness racing gelding could yet make up for lost time given the way he powered his way to victory in the $10,000 Meander Valley Cup at Carrick Paceway on New Year's Eve. The Chris Howlett-trained five-year-old gelding was forced to face the breeze for most of the race outside of the hot favourite Hafter but he made light of the task to go on and score convincingly from Cemento Rapido that trained the leader throughout with Hafter a close-up third. It was Rockin An Runnin's fifth career win and his second from three outings this season and Howlett is very upbeat about how far Rockin An Runnin can go. "He looked like being a very good two-year-old but he strained a tendon and then he missed his entire three-year-old season and last season we were heading him to the Raider Stakes when he suffered another leg injury. "But he's fully recovered and he is a very nice horse with a bright future." Rockin An Runnin is from well-bred stock and what makes his success even more enjoyable is that he was bred by his owners. "We bred this horse from a very good mare (Run Matilda Run) but unfortunately that's the only time we were able to get her in foal," Howlett said. Run Matilda Run (x Fake Left) won six and placed nine times from 45 starts before heading to the breeding barn. She slipped her first foal to Our Sir Vancelot in 2007 but two years later she delivered a filly by Courage Under Fire named Matilda Rocks but she was unsuccessful from only six starts. The broodmare then produced Rockin An Runnin in 2011 but her foal to We Will See in 2013 died and she showed no return from her mating with Shadow Play the following season. Rockin An Runnin is owned and raced by the trainer and his wife Donna and her parents Paul ands Elizabeth Geard who are the state's most prominent thoroughbred owners and breeders. The gelding won three last season and given the way he has improved with each start the gelded son of Major in Art will be a force with which to be reckoned in some of the country cups. Rockin An Runnin has been driven by talented reinsman Mathew Howlett in all of his 21 starts and last time out was an absolute gem of a drive. He summed up the situation perfectly when Hafter's driver Todd Rattray slowed the tempo. Howlett sent Rockin An Runnin charging around the field to face the breeze from where he was able to dictate the tempo and when he called on his charge for the big effort the gelding forged clear to deliver arguably a career-best win. Matthew has recently returned from Queensland where he represented Tasmania in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship in which he produced some brilliant drives. He finished eighth of 10 on 51 points which is not a true reflection of how well he drove during the 10-heat series. Like all of these events the winner is determined on a points-score basis with drivers allocated horses based on random draws and luck in this area plays a dominant role in the overall outcome. Peter Staples

Victorian harness racing mare Milly Perez also made a one-act affair of the $20,000 George Johnson for fillies and mares in Hobart, Tasmania on Friday night Milly Perez settled last from her outside second-row draw (9) but inside the first lap her trainer-driver Michael Stanley sent her around the field to easily roll to the front and that was the end of the penny section. The well-bred Four Starzzz Shark mare set a solid tempo and hit the line 12 metres clear of Queens Advocate with Courageous Katie a fast-finishing third. "I've only had this mare for about five weeks but as soon as she arrived in the stables I made plans to run her in this race (George Johnson)," Stanley said. "I've been coming to Tasmania for quite a few years and I knew this race was on the calendar so it's mission accomplished. "I'll be aiming her at some of the country cups because she will definitely be up to that class. "There's a bit of scope with her and if we can pick up a couple of wins in features shell pay her way." Peter Staples

Victorian pacer Major Secret delivered everything expected of him to easily win the harness racing Group 2 $50,000 Tasmania Cup in Hobart on Friday night. Major Secret settled just beyond midfield his wide second-row draw but after travelling less than a lap his driver, international reinsman Sidney Van Den Brande, allowed the seven-year-old Art Major stallion more rein and he quickly rounded up the leaders and strolled to the front. When Van Den Brande gave the stallion one flick with the persuader he bounded clear and went on to score almost 19 metres from Roger Ramjet ($21) with No Spring Secrets ($34) over two metres away third and just in advance of Mister Lennox ($21). The Emma Stewart-trained stallion started the $1.22 favourite and many punters rated that a luxury price given what the gelding did to similar opposition at his previous start in Tasmania when an effortless winner of the City of Launceston Cup earlier this month. Stewart did not attend the meeting but Van Den Brande said Major Secret was bound for some of the better country cups at home in Victoria. "I have no doubt Emma (Stewart) has some big country cups in mind for the horse because he is very smart as he showed tonight," Van Den Brande said. "It was a very easy assignment for him tonight because once we rolled to the front he was never going to be seriously challenged." Major Secret covered the 2579 metres in 3m.11.4 for a mile rate of 1.59.4 but he ran home his last half (800m) in 56.6. Van Den Brande has been in Australia for 15 months and for the past six months he has been aligned to the Emma and Clayton Stewart stable The Belgium-born reinsman has driven in five countries but rates Australia the best. "I am very happy here and I have been given the opportunity to drive some very good horses and this one (Major Secret is the best." Peter Staples

Streetside Classic caused a mini boil over when he powered home to defeat the odds-on harness racing favourite Inner Light in the Eric Reece Memorial final over 2090 metres. Inner Light ($1.40 led from gate two while Streetside Classic took a trail on the fence from the pole position. Postal Express ($84) worked around the field to face the breeze and put pressure on the leader to well into the back straight the last time with Streetside Classic's driver Ricky Duggan urging his charge to stay in touch. But instead of using the sprint lane in the home straight Duggan eased Streetside Classic wide to make his charge and the gelding did enough to grab victory in the shadows of the post over Inner Light with outsider Alpinion coming from well back to grab third. The Eric Reece Memorial is named in honour of one of Tasmania's most popular premier's who was leader of the Labor Party for two decades. The Labor Party has been in opposition for three years with the coming state election in March to determine whether Will Hodgman's The Liberals will be asked to form another Government while the Leader of the Opposition, Rebecca White, will be hoping for a landslide in her favour. Ms White was at the Hobart harness meeting on Friday night to officiate after the Eric Reece final and she showed she was dab hand with the horses by strolling up to Streetside Classic and grasping the rein to have her photo taken with the talented pacer. Streetside Classic is trained by Daryl Bates who only has a few horses in work. The Eric Reece is a race much sought after by trainers, especially the battlers and hobby-trainers. Peter Staples

Illegal Immigrant produced one of the best efforts harness racing seen on the Hobart circuit this season when he powered his way to an impressive win in a C1 final over 2090 metres on Friday night. With his trainer-owner Troy Hillier in the sulky, the gelded son of American Ideal was set a task when Hillier eased him three-wide at the bell to make his run but he was left stranded and without cover to the homer straight. But the lightly raced five-year-old was up to the task and made it look easy as he cruised alongside the leaders The Aussie and Buster William and went on to defeat Buster William by over five metres with The Aussie seven metres astern. Hillier purchased the gelding from New Zealand for an undisclosed sum but he said the two recent wins had helped pay for well over half the outlay. "I haven't picked out any races in particular for this horse but I know one thing for sure, he's very good," Hillier said. Illegal Immigrant has had 22 starts for five wins and four minor placings but if Hillier's assessment is correct there are a lot more wins in store. Peter Staples

Dual Tasmanian Youngblood's Challenge harness racing champion Matthew Howlett will represent Tasmania at the Garrard's 2017 Australasian Young Driver Championships in Brisbane this week. The best young talent from each state, along with three representatives from New Zealand arrived in Brisbane to tackle the first round of heats at Redcliffe tonight (Wednesday). The AYDC Series, showcasing the star drivers of tomorrow, then moves to Albion Park on Friday, December 15 with the last round of heats conducted on the final night of the Queensland Summer Carnival on December 16. Albion Park's chairman David Fowler said the Australasian Young Drivers Championship provided many benefits for both the drivers and industry. "These are our driving stars for the future and series like these give them a really good shot of being in the national limelight," he said. "The young drivers are chosen for their natural ability, it will be the cream of harness racing's National young talent campaigning so punters won't be afraid to put their money on them," he added. Matthew became the youngest winner of the '60 degrees' Youngblood's Challenge in 2013 at just 16 years of age and repeated his title win again in 2016. Proudly following his father and grandfather's footsteps into harness racing, Matthew first hit the track in pony races at six years of age. Matthew's driving career commenced in November of 2012 and he greeted the winner's circle just two months later, he went on to clinch the 2015/16 Tasmanian Junior Drivers Title and has racked up 60 winners in total including a victory last night with Rockin An Rollin at Luxbet Park. 2107 Australasian Young Drivers Championship - State and New Zealand representatives: Todd McCarthy (NSW - defending champion). Narissa McMullen (QLD). Chris Geary (NSW). Michael Grantham (WA). Jayden Brewin (SA). Jason Lee (VIC). Sheree Tomlinson (NZ). Dylan Ferguson (NZ). Kimberly Butt (NZ). Matthew Howlett (TAS). Peter Staples

Top Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart began her assault on Tasmania's feature races in Launceston last night where she produced a team of six and walked away with four winners including Major Secret that won the City of Launceston Cup. Major Secret stepped away cleanly from his second-row draw but once the field was settled, driver Chris Alford sent the $1.10 favourite around the field to take up the running. Major Secret cruised to an effortless win over Dapper Dana that came from well back with Taurisi flashing home late to grab third just ahead of Destreos. It was s strong enough win to suggest Major Secret could be a serious contender for the Group 3 Tasmania Cup in Hobart later this month. Stewart did not attend the meeting but driver Alford said he believed the horse was heading to the Tasmania Cup but if all depended on how he performed last night. "If it (Tasmania Cup start) depended on tonight's performance you'd reckon he's sure to be there (Hobart)," Alford said. Stewart's team began well with Isntshejust scoring an effortless win in a C1-C2 event over 1680 metres. Isntshejust (Chris Alford) led from the pole position but she was unable to hold out Johns Legacy that crossed from gate three. But Alford quickly had the four-year-old mare outside of the leader and when he allowed her more rein a lap out she forged to the lead and went on to win comfortably. Apache Shark delivered Stewart's third win of the night. With Alford aboard Apache Shark ($1.30) circumnavigated the field a lap from home and proved too strong for Spot Eight and Call Her Julie in a C5-C7 over 1680 metres. Isntshejust and Apache Shark are owned by Victorian Tony Kiel who said it was his first double in ages. "My family have been in this game a long time and we've had plenty of winners but this is my first double since we got two up at Boort (Victoria) about 40 years ago.," Kiel said. Stewart's three-year-old colt American Alli ($2.60) was backed to beat the local favourite Semowillrev ($1.70) in a 3YO and older C0 over 2200 metres but he made an error at the start and lost about 60 metres. Semowillrev worked around the field to lead but he was run down by Izaha and Lead Singer with American Alli, that was making his debut, a game fourth beaten about nine metres. Masterkova made it four winners for Stewart with an impressive all-the-way win over 1680 metres. It was a one-act affair and no doubt Stewart will be aiming Masterkova at the Tasmanian Oaks. Peter Staples

Astute Tasmanian harness racing trainer-driver Ramon Pullen left Tasmania bound for Queensland in search of the warmer weather about 14 years ago but a combination of homesickness and an ailing Queensland harness industry drew him back to his place of birth. He returned with a handful of horses and it was only a matter of time before the winners started to flow. In Hobart last Friday night his talented five-year-old Castor Troy ($9.80) made it successive wins when he powered home from well back to win a C1 over 2090 metres. The gelding settled near the rear of the field but when the second-favourite Flying Wingard ($2.60) eased out three-wide to make his move castor Troy's driver Rodney Ashwood latched onto that horse's back for a ride home. Flying Wingard hit the front half-way up the home straight but when Ashwood got busy on Castor Troy the gelded son of Aces N Sevens slipped into overdrive and powered home to score easily. Castor Troy hit the line 3.2 metres clear of Flying Wingard with Artarama over nine metres away third. Peter Staples

One of last season's better Tasmanian three-year-olds El Jays Mystery resumed from a spell with a game win at the harness racing Carrick Park Paceway near Launceston today. Despite galloping soon after the start the now four-year-old mare recovered to tack onto the bulk of the field while Lead Singer took control with Shadow Control making for a solid tempo pressuring outside of the leader. Driver Ricky Duggan allowed El Jays Mystery ($2.70) to make her run 700 metres from home as she strolled around the field three and four-wide to finally claim the le5ad in the home straight. But the Live Or Die mare had to pull out all stops to hold on and defeat the fast-finishing Heavennroll ($101) with the well-backed fixed odds favourite Lead Singer ($2.40) hanging on for third. "The mare did a good job to win given she got out of her gear soon after the start but she managed to regroup and I thought she hit the line well," Duggan said. "She's obviously done a bit of work but there's no doubt she will gain a lot of benefit from this run." El Jays Mystery is trained at Karoola by Dick Eaves and she is owned and raced by him along with his wife Margaret, thoroughbred trainers John Blacker and Leon Laskey and their respective partners Penny Cawthen and Sharee Marshall, Gail and Lyndon Menegon, Michelle and Jeffrey Arnott, Barbara an Richard Imlach, Ross Goodsell, Terry Sinclair and Gail Wilkins. Peter Staples

The harness racing connections of talented three-year-old filly Vouvray Beach will aim her at a few of the feature races this season following her impressive first-up win in a combined 3C0-C1 and C0 Pace over 2090 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. Vouvray Beach ($1.80) worked home three-wide without cover for the last lap but she just took it in her stride to score by over a metre from race leader Ideal Karalta ($8.60) with Our Triple Asset ($16) over three metres away third. "That was the filly's first outing since May so she will take a lot of benefit from the run going forward," said part-owner Jamie Cockshutt. "The plan is to try and run her through the classes this time in but if she pulls up well from this then she is more than likely going to a fillies and mares' race over 1680m in Launceston next Sunday." It was a heady ride from Ricky Duggan who allowed her to settle midfield in the one-out line before improving to the one-out-one-back spot. With a risk of being pocketed he made his more at the bell to lead the three-wide train and when he moved alongside the leader in the home straight he eventually wore that horse down to score comfortably. Vouvray Beach is owned by Cockshutt in partnership with Barry Cooper and they left the meeting with a double courtesy of their talented four-year-old Jaks Teller keeping his unbeaten record this season intact in a C4-C5 event over 2090 metres. Jaks Teller settled midfield in the one-out line but when his driver Ricky Duggan became unhappy with the tempo he unleashed the four-year-old and he quickly whipped around the field to take control. Once in front he travelled well and when Duggan gave him more rein at the top if the home straight he powered clear and went on to win by almost 320 metres. "I reckon we'll tip Jaks Teller out for a spell now and bring him back to prepare for the Easter Cup," Cockshutt said. Peter Staples

Talented three-year-old pacer Semowillrev produced another brilliant performance in Launceston on Sunday night to easily keep his unbeaten harness racing record intact. It was the Craig Hayes-trained gelding's fourth win from as many starts and arguably his best. Krafty Boy set up a big lead early while Hayes had to extricate his charge from the pack in order to avoid interference soon after the start. But when clear and in the three-wide line Semowillrev scorched around the field and rushed past the leader as if he was treading water. Once in front the Sportswriter gelding was allowed to bowl along at his own leisure and when Hayes released the reins at the top of the straight he powered clear and went on to defeat Krafty Boy by almost 11 metres with Volkova Leis 14 metres away third. Semowillrev clocked a mile rate for the 1680-metre trip of 1.57 which was a personal best and the winning margin was just a shade below his average of 10.25 metres. "I'm very happy with how the horse has come back as a three-year-old," Hayes said. "I'll give him one more run then tip him out for a two or three-week let-up. "He has shown me enough to suggest he will be up to tackling the feature three-year-old races here in Tasmania this season." Peter Staples

Hobby harness racing owner Richard Hall celebrated his first winner with when his recent purchase Im Barney Rubble produced a powerful finish for a last-stride win in the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup over 2698 metres at Launceston last night. Im Barney Rubble, trained and driven by Rohan Hadley, settled near last while The Majority set a solid pace in front with the well-tried Dapper Dana locked away on the rails and shuffled back to last turning for home. Dapper Dana galloped fiercely soon after the start and lost at least 60 metres but tacked onto the pack soon after. When Black Centurian gave up the one-out-one-back spot to make his move 500 metres from home, he found the lead in the home straight, shot clear and looked the likely winner. But Im Barney Rubble unleashed a powerful finishing burst and hit the line hard to score by a nose over Black Centurian with Dapper Dana a close-up third. While it was a great win by the Life Sign gelding the effort of Dapper Dana was enormous and he was clearly the run of the race outside of the winner. Hall purchased Im Barney Rubble through the claiming races process. "I was going to buy him one night when the asking price as only $6500 but I didn't fully understand how the claiming system worked," Hall said. "His price later went up to $10,000 but I still thought he was worth it." Peter Staples

Stalwart New Zealand-bred pacer Destreos notched his first win since arriving in Tasmania three months ago with a sensational harness racing victory in the Cannonball Charge over 1609 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart on Sunday night. The Ken Rattray-trained gelding was having his fifth start in the state since arriving from Queensland in early September. Destreos earned a reputation as a war horse in Queensland where he notched most of his 97 wins and despite having his 439th start he showed the athleticism of a much younger horse to register his first Tasmanian win. Driver Gareth Rattray settled Destreos near last from his outside second-row draw (13) but when the race favourite Devendra, that is Inter Dominion-bound, set off three-wide to make his charge 800 metres out, Rattray latched his charge on his back for a cart home. Devendra hit the front in the home straight but when Rattray called on Destreos to challenge he moved alongside the favourite and powered to the line to score convincingly. "That was how he has to be driven to win here in Tassie because he's always going to draw that bad the way the races are framed," Rattray said. "He's getting closer to 100 wins and hopefully he can to that before the end of the year." Rattray snared a double courtesy of his handy pacer Tuxedo Max scoring another impressive all-the-way win. "I thought Tuxedo Max was next to a good thing from the pole in his race and he never let me down." Destreos and Tuxedo Max will have their next starts in Hobart on Friday week. Peter Staples

1 to 16 of 1491
1 2 3 4 5 Next »