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Having been raised in a harness racing environment it was almost inevitable that Ben Richardson would find his way into the industry. AT UBET Park Hobart last Sunday night Richardson trained his first winner when Wasonie Snake delivered the goods. Wasonie Snake led from the pole position and after James Austin slowed the tempo midrace to sneak a modest quarter it ensured the gelding would have enough in hand to stave off the challengers in the home straight. He hit the line with three-quarters-of-a-length to spare from Ektoras with Sign of Oro almost five metres astern. Richardson, 37, learnt much of his craft from his mother, Jan, who has been training for over 30 years but has usually restricted her Lower Barrington stable to no more than one horse at any one time. Richardson's father, Wayne, worked for many years as curator at the Devonport Showgrounds for the local harness and greyhound clubs. Richardson moved to Hobart about 10 years ago and is currently employed by Betfair Tasmanian. "The job and harness racing are a good mix as I often work the late afternoon or night shift and finish somewhere between 11.00 pm and 2.00 am so that allows me to work horses in the morning," Richardson said. Richardson has been licensed for almost two years but he hasn't taken a lot of horses to the races. His first runner was the four-year-old mare Wozniacki about twelve months ago but after eight unplaced efforts Richardson relinquished the lease in January. Her replacement was an unraced two-year-old by Tiz A Masterpiece from Seduce that was purchased from Lyndon and Gail Menegon. "He is still a long way from being ready to trial, but I saw enough in him to purchase his half-brother, Wasonie Snake, when he was advertised in May." "Wasonie Snake was impressive winning at Launceston as a 3YO rating 2:01.3 for 2200 metres and he beat some handy types including Ektoras,Cardinal Art and Robyn Scherbotsky," Richardson added. Wasonie Snake has experienced a variety of racing environments in the last three months with Richardson. "I have a 25 hectare property at Richmond where he (Wasonie Snake) does his jog work." "On fast work days it's off to Brighton or New Norfolk," said Richardson. Richardson also is dabbling in the breeding side of harness racing. "I have acquired a granddaughter of Draw Card named Arnwood and she is due to have a Mister Feelgood foal in late September." Draw Card, owned by the Rattray family, was Tasmanian Broodmare Of The Year from 2004 to 2006 and her winners included King Carey, Queen Carey, Faithful Sally, Bettor Draw and Divas Delight. "It is an exciting to be breeding from a mare with strong links to the Rattray family," he said. Peter Staples  

Well-bred two-year-old pacer Kvitova Leis will head to the spelling paddock this week with her confidence high following an impressive win in a 2C0-2C1 over 1609 metres last nigh at the harness racing meeting at Ubet Park, Hobart. The Barrie Rattray-trained filly was sent around the field from last to find the front a lap from home and went on to score by almost seven metres from first-starter Reason To Grin with the well-backed Shadow Blue two metres away third. "This filly has done a good job winning two of only four starts but we'll turn her out for a break and hopefully she will come back and be very competitive in some of the feature three-year-old races," Rattray said. Kvitova Leis (Bettors Delight-Levina Leis) won in Hobart two starts back after her debut second at the same venue to suggest she might have a future. The Trevor and Marjorie Leis-owned and bred filly has improved at each outing. Rattray ended the meeting with a double courtesy of Devendra scoring another impressive win. Devendra won in Hobart two starts back but this latest victory proved he is back to his best. Rattray said a virus that swept through his stable had led to a lean time for a few months. "The virus cost the stable and to be honest we've had a horrid season compared to what we normally experience," he said. "But the horses are starting to come good and that has been evident with us producing a few winners of late," he said. Rattray was delighted with the run of his former Devonport Cup winner Devendra that scored impressively win in the The Warp Drive FFA over 2090 metres. Devendra began brilliantly from the outside barrier (7) to cross and lead and once in front driver Gareth Rattray rated the five-year-old well. The leader was pressured by All I Can Be for the last lap but when Rattray gave his charge more rein turning for home the gelding sped clear and had almost 12 metres to spare over Motu Crusader with Jukebox Magic flashing home from well back to grab third 3-1/2 metres away. Devendra produced a mile rate of 1.58.3 on a heavy track and ran home his last 800m in 57.4. Peter Staples

Well bred harness racing mare Belliciouslips loomed as one of the best bets on the card at UBET Park in Hobart last Sunday and she never let her backers down with an effortless win in the Stonebridge Regal Pace over 2090 metres for C3-C4 pacers. Belliciouslips made the most of her front-row draw (gate 2) and when she easily found the front with driver Rod Ashwood aboard, the end result was never in doubt. The four-year-old mare set a solid pace and when Ashwood lifted the tempo over the closing half-mile (800m) she gave nothing else a chance to run on from the back. Belliciouslips (Sutter Hanover-Ima Blue Bell) clocked a mile rate of 2.01.1 and ran home her last half (800m) in 58.5 without being fully extended. She hit the line nine metres clear of Angela De Marco with the Christian Salter-trained Rockbank Dancer just over two metres away third. The winner and runner-up are owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have enjoyed a great season, most with horses they have acquired from New Zealand. For Belliciouslips it was her fifth win for the season and she also has notched four minor placings while Angela de Marco has won three and been paced twice from nine outings. Peter Staples

Harness racing trainer Ben Yole dominated the meeting at UBET Park Hobart last night by preparing a treble on the 10-event card. It was one of his best nights at the office and it also was a boon for his younger brother Tim Yole who partnered all three winners - Satisfied Grin, Lu Way Lord and In House.   Yole will most likely target the country cups with former Victorian pacer Satisfied Grin following the gelding's impressive win in a C1 standing start race over 2090 metres.   Satisfied Grin stepped brilliantly from the standing start to lead and driver Tim Yole ensured a steady pace for the first lap.   After sneaking a modest third quarter the gelding kicked clear in the home straight and went on to score by 1-1/4 metres from Prettyboytroy that trailed the winner throughout.   "This horse was trained by Rita Burnett who contacted me to see if I'd be interested in taking the horse," Yole said.   "He is owned by Mick Tobin who is a top bloke so we took the horse on and he's done a really good job since he arrived just over a month ago."   "That's his second win and he's also clocked up a couple of placings so he's well and truly paying his way.   "If he keeps on improving there's no reason why we wouldn't look at the country cups over the Christmas-New Year period," he said.   Satisfied Grin has had six starts in Tasmania for two wins and as many minor placings for over $12,000 in stakes.   Lu Way Lord was sent out a $40 outsider in the Stallion Parade Pace over 2090m and after looking to be in a hopeless position turning for home Yole persevered with rails runs and the five-year-old hit the line with a head to spare over Thatswhatshesaid.   In House was the well-backed favourite and the four-year-old made it wins in successive races, scoring impressively from Bona Fide Hustler in a C1-C2 Pace over 2090 metres.   Peter Staples

Last Sunday night at the harness racing meeting at Launceston, Chief Destroyer made it three wins from his past five starts and given he has now proven himself capable from a standing start the future looks bright for the gelded son of It Is I. Chief Destroyer hails from Victoria where he had 21 starts form three wins on country tracks and while trainer Shelly Barnes would not reveal his purchase price she admitted he has so far proven to be a very cheap buy. At his latest assignment Chief Destroyer stepped well from a standing start of the Beena Buster Stakes and driver James Johnson had no qualms about settling the five-year-old three-back the fence. He travelled sweetly under a hold to the home turn and when an opportunity presented Johnson eased his charge off the fence and then around the heels of the leaders then powered home to score a convincing win over Satisfied Grin with race leader Prettyboytroy dead-heating for third with the favourite Our Maddys Star that faced the breeze for the last half of the race. Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian harness racing mare Queens Advocate could soon be making her way to Sydney as part of a preparation that will conclude in the George Johnson mares' classic during the Christmas carnival in Hobart. Queens Advocate kept her unbeaten record this season intact when she faced the breeze but still proved to be too good for quality four-year-old Palmisano at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston last Sunday night. Palmisano had run into star three-year-old Jerrys Jet at his two previous outings and wasn't beaten far, so his form without winning was outstanding going into Sunday night's assignment. The Brian Stanley-trained gelding led easily from the pole position while Queens Advocate's driver Ricky Duggan took his mare back at the start but when the pace slackened he was quick to send the mare around the field to face the breeze. When Duggan called on the Juanita McKenzie-trained mare for the supreme effort in the home straight she eventually ground down the leader but to his credit he fought back courageously to go down by a narrow margin. Queens Advocate has had eight starts in Tasmania for seven wins and a second since arriving from New Zealand earlier this year. She had 28 starts in NZ for two wins and seven minor placings. The mare was purchased by Terry Johnson who has longed to own a mare that has the potential to win the race named in his father's honour - The George Johnson. "We had a few mares to look at and this one seemed like an ideal type to achieve what we were after." "I am rapt that she has turned out to be a good one and capable of winning a George Johnson but a bit of water has to pass under the bridge before we can be certain she is going to be up to that standard," she said. Connections are expected to test the mare interstate soon. "We were thinking about heading to Melbourne and then off to Sydney but the way she has been going we will more than likely go direct to Sydney because I'm sure she'll appreciate the big track at Menangle," she said. A decision on when the mare embarks on an interstate mission will be made within a week. Peter Staples        

Lightly raced three-year-old harness racing filly Freyde delivered an impressive performance to win a 3C0-C0 at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston tonight (Sunday). Freyde (Riverboat King-Diligently) was buried away in the field three-back the fence from her inside second-row draw while the well backed favourite Pageantry showed his rivals a clean pair heels as he slipped to the lead and looked to be travell9ng comfortably turning for home. But when Freyde's driver Todd Rattray found clean air about 100 metres from home and eased the Barrie Rattray-trained filly into space she rattled home and hit the line almost two metres clear of Pageantry with first starter Kouper Bailey a close-up third. Freyde was coming off a fourth in Launceston at her previous outing which was her first start in almost a year. The filly won in Hobart in August last year but was subsequently dispatched to the paddock to recover from an injury. Given the way the Freyde sprinted to the line tonight when clear of the pack there are more wins in store for this filly. Pageantry did a good job to hold on for second while Kouper Bailey (Courage Under Fire-Balencia) showed courage on debut to battle on after facing the breeze for the duration. Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian-owned and trained harness racing mare Queens Advocate faces her toughest test since arriving from New Zealand when she lines up in the Hodiak Pace over 2200 metres at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Queens Advocate has won six of her seven starts since arriving from New Zealand earlier this year but her trainer Juanita McKenzie admits she will have to be at the top of her game to emerge triumphant on Sunday night. "I have no doubts this will be her toughest test since she arrived from New Zealand," McKenzie said. "She has delivered everything we have expected so far and her win last Sunday night in Hobart was great but she meets a very good one in Palmisano on Sunday night and she will have to deliver her best, at this stage of her preparation, to win." "The mare still has a bit of improvement in her and we fully expect her to measure up to some of the feature races over Christmas-New Year here in Tassie," she said. Palmisano won a C2-C3 three starts back in Hobart and at his past two outings he has finished a game second to the outstanding Jerrys Jet. McKenzie also will hitch up New Zealand-bred Comply Or Die in an open free-for-all over 1680 metres. Comply Or Die (Live or Die-Mood Indigo) has had three starts for me and his last-start third was probably good enough to suggest he is going to be competitive on Sunday night," McKenzie said.   Peter Staples

Ricky Duggan might have to be content with finishing second on this season's driver's premiership but he managed to reduce the margin on Gareth Rattray by two at the harness racing meeting at  UBET Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Duggan drove a treble at the meeting starting with Tales of the City for Tony Petersen that was forced to go back from his wide draw (6) but had enough on his rivals to forge clear over the concluding stages to defeat Fortino with a triple dead-heat for third comprising Glamour Art, Cemento Rapido and Master Paige. Duggan then combined with trainer Juanita McKenzie to win aboard quality mare Queens Advocate and the much improved No Undies Sundie. Queens Advocate has won her past five starts and is unbeaten only once in seven outings since joining McKenzie's stable. The former New Zealand mare has now had 39 starts for nine wins and eight minor placings and if she continues to improve as McKenzie expects then she could shape as a contender for the feature mares' races over the Christmas-New Year period including the George Johnson. She has been well placed by McKenzie who has a good opinion of the four-year-old by McArdle from Genes West(NZ). No Undies Sunday has been quietly going about her business with this latest win her third from 10 starts and she also has notched three minor placings. The treble took Duggan's season tally to 65 but still 25 off Rattray who is attempting to make it to 100 winners. Rattray kept his hopes of notching 100 winning drives alive by winning aboard Our Percius in the Time Stands Still Pace (division 1) over 2090 metres. With four meetings remaining Rattray will need to be at his brilliant best in the cart to achieve the feat. Peter Staples

Star three-year-old pacer Jerrys Jet ended his season on a high with win in a C4-C6 event over 2200 metres at the harness racing meeting in Launceston on Sunday night to stretch his winning sequence to seven from as many starts for Beauty Point-based trainer Rohan Hillier. Jerrys Jet was one of last season's best two-year-olds winning every feature except the Dandy Patch final in which he was a close-up second to Boasson Hagen when in the care of trainer Paul Hill. The gelding had only one more start for Hill before being transferred to Hillier in February. Jerrys Jet won the $10,000 3YO Sires Produce at his first start for Hillier in May and along the way he won the $30,000 Group 3 Globe Derby Stakes. At his past two starts he has emerged triumphant in high grade races against older and more experienced opposition. Despite winning on Sunday night the Charlie and Connie Beadman-owned gelding was not at the top of his game according to Hillier. "I thought that his work in the week leading up to this latest start was a bit below par and he took that into his race on Sunday night," Hillier said. "He won but it confirmed he needs a spell and Charlie (Beadman) is putting him straight in the paddock and he'll probably be out for a decent spell of about three months," he said. Jerrys Jet has always shown ability but Hillier is confident the gelded son of Jeremes Jet will go to another level next preparation. "I am quite excited about his prospects next season because there's no doubt he will head interstate to try and win an M0 and I am sure he will continue to get better with age." "But Charlie (Beadman) will decide when and if he leaves the state," he said. Peter Staples

Classy harness racing mare Faithful Gabby will head interstate to prepare for the 4YO Breeders Crown for mares to be run at Bendigo next month. Faithful Gabby travelled to Melbourne last month to tackle an M0-M1 mares race that resulted in her finishing second, beaten a half-neck, to classy Victorian She's Just A Delight that clocked a mile rate of 1m.54. She was driven by Tasmania's top reinsman Gareth Rattray who believes the mare is capable of winning the Breeders Crown. "She was unlucky not to win that race in Victoria and to go down by such a narrow margin with the winner clocking a mile rate of 1.54 was a good effort and it proved she is up to the top mares over there," Rattray said. "She will head back to Victoria in a fortnight and have at least one more run before the Breeders Crown," he said. Faithful Gabby has had seven starts this season for six wins and a second for about $50,000 in stakes so she has earned her chance to mix it with the best in Australasia. Peter Staples

Chief Destroyer seems to have found a new lease on life with his effort at the harness racing meeting at Devonport on Monday night in a C2-C3 pace over 2297 metres his second win in the space of four outings. The Shelley Barnes-trained gelding won two in succession on country tracks in Victoria in February just prior to finding his way to Barnes' stables at Sassafras on Tasmania's North-West Coast. The gelding notched a couple of minor placings at his two starts for Barnes in May but it wasn't until Barnes took him to Devonport last month that he found a way to win. Chief Destroyer began his career in Victoria and won on debut in a 3YO event at Horsham when in the care of David Murphy. But his next win was two years later and what followed was mixed form in restricted grade races. Barnes has been patient and the gelding has just started to respond to his new training regime. At this latest outing he was rushed out of the gate to find the front and once driver James Johnson had him in his comfort zone the gelded son of It Is I-Sharleen was always travelling like a winner. Chief Destroyer kicked clear turning for home and went on to defeat outsider Buckingham Boy by four metres with Me Mate Les just over five metres away third.   Peter Staples

Inexperience proved to be no disadvantage for well-bred gelding Master Hanover at the harness racing meeting at Devonport on Monday night with the David Hayes-trained pacer proving too strong for his rivals in the Jeremy Rockliff Pace over 1930 metres. Master Hanover (Keith Toulmin) was having only his second start and was coming off a sixth on debut behind Ryley Major in Launceston. Toulmin allowed Master Hanover to settle worse than midfield off a solid speed set by Somedan while the well-backed Metro Mouse landed in the one-out-one-back spot. When Toulmin called on Master Hanover for the supreme effort in the back straight the gelding unleashed a powerful sprint. The Cardmaster Hanover gelding went on to score by a half-metre from Metro Mouse with Karalta Deluxe that was awkwardly placed three-back the fence for most of the race, an eye-catching third a half-metre astern. The winner was bred by the Hayes family from their well-performed broodmare Mersey Torado that raced 11 times for four wins over four preparations before being retired due to injury. This is Mersey Torado's second foal to race and she also has a weanling colt by Four Starzzz Shark. Peter Staples  

Any doubts as to whether star Tasmanian juvenile pacer Hillview Jake will be named two-year-old of the year were put to bed at the harness racing meeting at UBET Park Hobart last night where the gelding delivered another stellar performance to win the Premier's Breeders Plate over 2090 metres. It was the last 2YO feature of the season and Hillview Jake went into the race with impeccable form having won the Golden Slipper, 2YO Sweepstakes and Dandy Patch finals along with two other juvenile victories but he was surprisingly sent around the second favourite at $2.50. Victorian gelding Soho Chelsea owned that honour as he was backed in to start the $1.70 favourite following his two wins in Victoria that led to an impressive Tasmanian debut in a heat of the Breeders Crown in Launceston last week. Connections of Soho Chelsea opted to stay in the state to tackle the Breeders Plate before heading back to Victoria to tackle a semi-final of the Breeders Crown. But the Paul Hill-trained Hillview Jake defied the betting drift and proved why he will be named Tasmania's best two-year-old this season. Hillview Jake began well as did the Dean Braun-trained Soho Chelsea that made full use of the pole position but when Hill sent Hillview Jake forward Soho Chelsea's driver Rohan Hillier opted to take hold and take a sit behind Hillview Jake. A lap from home Hillier edged Soho Chelsea off the fence to race at the leader's wheel and as they headed down the back stretch the last time Soho Chelsea issued a serious challenge but it was to no avail. When Hill called on Hillview Jake to extend the gelded son of Cardmaster Hanover sprinted clear and he went on to easily defeat $50 outsider Ductape with Streetside Classic a closing third ahead of Iden Amrak that was denied a clear run over the last 400 metres. Ductape, prepared by Ben Rossendell, settled last and also suffered some interference so his effort was full of merit to finish second. Soho Chelsea knocked up in the home straight to finish fifth. Peter Staples

Star Tasmanian two-year-old pacer Hillview Jake will have his last start of the season at the harness racing meeting  at UBET Park in Hobart on Sunday night in the $10,000 Tasmanian Premier's Breeders Plate over 2090 metres. Hillview Jake has been the standout colt or gelding juvenile this season winning the Golden Slipper, Tasmanian Sweepstakes and Dandy Patch finals along with two other impressive wins. His Dandy Patch win with Gavin Lang aboard was outstanding. he clocked a mile rate of two minutes but dashed home his last half (800m) in a slick 56.9 seconds which is the fastest last half of any juvenile this season. While Hillview Jake should have the other local opposition covered in the race it is a well-bred gelding named Soho Chelsea from the Dean Braun stable at Lara in Victoria that could be the testing material for the local star. Soho Chelsea won two in succession in Victoria before venturing to Tasmania last week to win his Australasian Breeders Crown heat over 2200 metres in Launceston last Sunday night defeating Ken Two Stars comfortably. He produced a pedestrian mile rate of 2.05.1 but he ran home his last half (800m) in 57.8 without being fully tested. Soho Chelsea is in the care of top Tasmanian trainer-driver Rohan Hillier while racing in Tasmania and Hillier is very upbeat about his winning chances on Sunday night. "I was very impressed with this two-year-old and while Hillview Jake is very smart I think this one has what it takes to beat him on Sunday night," Hillier said. Soho Chelsea will return to Braun's stables next week and be prepared for his tilt at the Breeders Crown next month. Peter Staples

Tasmanian pacers have been producing some brilliant results interstate of late and it could continue this week, especially at the harness racing meeting at Melton on Friday night.   Mister Sumna has been plagued by injuries but his untapped ability convinced his owners Craig and Tania Hayes to persevere with the hope he might finally realise his full potential.   Mister Sumna is now in the care of Victorian trainer Dean Braun and he will tackle a race at Geelong tomorrow night (Thursday).   Here is an overview of the performance of Tasmanian-owned and or trained horses that performed well last week and a list of what horses are to compete interstate over the next few days.   Tasmanian's on Mainland Winners last week: (owners/lessees in brackets) *Miley Rose (Sonia Dornauf, Doug and Penny McKillop) $6,505 C3/C4 at Ballarat (9/07) *Tasbred El Jays Magic (Lyndon and Gail Menegon) $25,505 Mares FFA at Melton (10/07) *Tasbred Modern Ruler (Steve and Marni Davis) $21,420 FFA at Menangle (11/07) *Tasbred Blacks A Beauty (Bill and Tamra Fawdry) $3,000 R2/R4 at Melton (12/07)  Tasbred placings at major meetings last week: *Pachacuti (Lyndon and Simon Dakin) 3rd in $21,420 M0 at Menangle (11/07) *Tasbred Blue Pointer (Barry Stewart) 2nd in $21,240 FFA at Menangle (11/07) won by Modern Ruler - Tasbred *Clamorous (Arthur Wilson Memorial Syndicate) 2nd in $16,275 M0 Heat at Melton (10/07) *Tasbred The Family Guy (Arthur Taylor) 3rd in $16,275 M0 Heat at Melton (10/07)  Tasbred acceptors this week: *Mister Sumna (Craig and Tania Hayes) in $6,505 C4/C5 at Geelong (16/07 R8 N1) * Tasbred Deliverthegoods (Margaret Burgess, Christine Collings, Ron and Ewan MacDonald, Tony Jeffries and Terry O'Toole) in $16,505 M0 at Melton (17/07 R1 N6) *Ardlussa Express (Ashley and Chloe Williams) in $16,505 M0 at Melton (17/07 R1 N13) *The Family Guy (Arthur Taylor) in $25,275 M0 Final at Melton (17/07 R2 N1) * Tasbred Clamorous (Arthur Wilson Memorial Syndicate) in $25,275 M0 Final at Melton (17/07 R2 N11) * Tasbred El Jays Magic (Lyndon and Gail Menegon) in $17,275 M1/M2 at Melton (17/07 R8 N3) * Tasbred Pachacuti (Lyndon and Simon Dakin) in $21,420 M0 at Menangle (18/07 R1 N1) * Tasbred The Dip (Heather Anderson and Nathan Ford) in $21,420 M0 at Menangle (18/07 R1 N8) *Blue Pointer (Barry Stewart) in $21,420 FFA at Menangle (18/07 R6 N2) *Tasbred Star Chamber (Bianca Heenan, Jake Gillie, Josh Nelson and Nathan Ford) in $21,420 FFA at Menangle (18/07 R6 N2) *Shanghai Knight (Warren Viney) in $6,505 Claimer at Ballarat (18/07 R3 N1) *Livin It Lovin It (Ben Yole and Charles Hookway) in $6,505 Claimer at Ballarat (18/07 R3 N4) *Blacks A Beauty (Bill and Tamra Fawdry) in $6,275 C2/C3 at Ballarat (18/07 R6 N1) Peter Staples  

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