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TALENTED harness racing trainer Melissa Maine and her partner, reinsman Gareth Rattray, celebrated a double in Hobart last Sunday night. The duo’s moment came courtesy of impressive wins by Faithful Jet and a first-starter for the stable Notimetothink. The lightly-raced gelding arrived at Maine’s Latrobe stables about five weeks ago having had 19 starts for a win and two placings. But the change of environment and a different training regime appears to have worked wonders for the son of Metropolitan. Rattray urged Notimetothink forward at the start and he had no trouble finding the lead in a C1 Pace over 2090 metres. When Rattray called on Notimetothink to extend in the back straight the last time he forged clear and went on to defeat Angkristy by over 12 metres, with Sir Yoie a close-up third. “The owners that I train for had this horse and he wasn’t getting very good draws or having much luck in his races, so they decided to give him a go with us and we’ve been able to win first-up,” Maine said. “I picked this race out for him knowing that he didn’t have many points and then a good draw (gate three) also helped. “I think he can improve on this run, but how far he can go I’m not quite sure. “We'll play around with him for a bit longer and see what happens.” Faithful Jet produced a strong effort after he was forced to face the breeze outside of the heavily backed favourite Im Dens Boy. Im Dens Boy looked to be travelling well at the bell, but when Rattray applied the pressure nearing the home turn it was obvious those who took the short price about the favourite were about to turn their betting tickets into confetti. “This horse went really well tonight and I'm sure he has turned the corner,” Rattray said. “They thought the leader was a pretty good chance, but my horse sat outside of him and proved to be too good on the night. “We have had a few little problems with him and he’s taken a while to come to hand. “We were hoping he would mature as he got older and that seems to be the case, so he might realise his potential.” Maine and Rattray have spent the last year establishing a training complex at Latrobe that boasts an 800-metre training track and refurbished stabling facilities. PETER STAPLES

When prominent harness racing trainer Christian Salter attended the Tasmanian Sytandardbred Yearling Sale two years ago he hadn’t purchased a horse by the time the last lot entered the ring. Armed with a desire to take a horse home, but accompanied by maybe one too many glasses of amber fluid, he ended up buying the last lot for $8000 - about twice the amount he intended to pay. “I went to the sale to buy a horse so I just had to bring one home,” Salter said. At Hobart last night the now four-year-old – racing as Pharoahs Wrath - scored an impressive win in over 2090 metres, much to the delight of the her owners – Sally McCoull, Tania Heenan, Toni Cowle, Stephanie French and Marlene Salter. With Salter in the cart, Pharoahs Wrath settled midfield in the one-out line, but sprinted quickly when eased three-wide to make her move heading down the back straight the last time. With the leader Territorial started to feel the pinch 200 metres out, Blitzemgamble, which faced the breeze, loomed as the winner. But Pharoahs Wrath was too strong during the concluding stages to emerge triumphant from Fire Up Franco, with Blitzemgamble hanging on for third. “When we arrived home from the yearling sale I thought the best thing was to give the filly to my partner (Sally McCoull) and a couple of her workmates and friends and a share for my Mum (Marlene Salter),” Satler said. “She wasn’t very big and she hasn’t grown much since, but she does have ability.” Pharoahs Wrath raced as a two-year-old and on debut finished fourth in the Hobart Belmont, beaten just over four metres. Only a metre ahead of her that night was Barynya, which went on to be Australian Three-Year-Old of the Year last season courtesy of her wins in the Tasmania and Victoria Oaks. “That she was close to Barynya on debut gave us some confidence, but at her next start I got tipped out of the cart and for the rest of her preparation she was field shy,” Salter said. “I tipped her out and we had almost forgotten about her. “We put her back in work and took her to the trials and she appeared to have forgotten about the incident that made her field shy. “She did well tonight and wasn’t afraid to work home between horses, so we are optimistic about her immediate future without having any great expectations.” PETER STAPLES

Tasmanian harness racing trainer-driver Justin Campbell likened Boltnmach to an Automatic Teller Machine after he scored his first win of the season in Hobart last night. “This horse is my bread and butter horse he just keeps paying for himself with placings and the odd win,” Campbell said. “He’s like an ATM – he just puts in every time he races and we keep getting a collect.” Boltnmach notched four consecutive placings before leading all the way to win the Take the Hassle out of Freight Pace. It was an awesome display of power pacing as the son of Mach Three-Fake Madam worked to find the lead from barrier four and then set a cracking tempo before leaving his rivals in his wake in the home straight. Boltnmach went on to score by over 10 metres from Rusty Red Comet, with Major Callum four metres away third. “This horse has been so consistent despite coming off bad draws and a couple of times recently he’s run second, but gone 1:59 facing the breeze, so he certainly deserved this win,” Campbell said. “Tonight the plan was to use the half decent gate and have a crack for the lead and we were lucky that they let him go to the front and I just let him roll.” Campbell is confident there are more wins in store for six-year-old. “I reckon this horse can win his way to C4 or C5 class because he can run time and he tries so hard,” Campbell said. PETER STAPLES

IT was a tough night at the office for Tasmanian reinsmen Gareth Rattray and Ricky Duggan who were in South Australia last Saturday night to compete in the inaugural Australian Drivers' Championship at Globe Derby. Duggan was unable to find his way to the podium from drives in each of the six championship races but his charges were all outsiders with all but one starting from the second row. The other drew near the outside of the front row (six). Rattray made the most of his one good draw (barrier one) when triumphant aboard race favourite Winterfeel ($2) but he also managed to snare a second placing aboard 100-1 chance Nothingmuch. The series was designed to give drivers the opportunity to compete with the view of being selected to represent Australia at the World Driving Championships in Sydney next year. Drivers from other states were Grant Dixon and Peter McMullen (Qld), Blake Fitzpatrick and Amanda Turnbull (NSW), Chris Alford and Greg Sugars (Vic), David Harding and Ryan Hryhorec (SA) and Gary Hall junior and Chris Voak (WA). The drivers accumulated points across the six race series with performances factored into the selection of the drivers to represent Australia next year. Duggan and Rattray also had drives in two races that were not a part of the championship series in which Rattray secured a second and a fourth while Duggan finished fourth in the race in which Rattray finished second. Harness Racing Australia will announce soon the names of the drivers to represent Australia. PETER STAPLES

IF three-year-old filly Kyleasha can live up to the efforts of her half-brother Hexus then she should go on to win better races than the Kohnke Own Products Pace she contested in Launceston last night. Hexus (Classic Garry-Magi Lune) won a heat of the 2006 Inter Dominion series in Tasmania when in the care of Max Hadley and he ended his racing career with stake earnings in excess of $500,000. Kyleasha (Bettors Delight-Magi Lune) was having he first start this preparation and showed all of her half-brother’s fighting spirit to win. The filly led from gate three and travelled comfortably with her trainer Barrie Rattray in the cart while the well backed Gottalovefridays (Michael Castles) worked around the field early to face the breeze. In the home straight Gottalovefridays drew about a half-length clear of Kyleasha but Rattray’s filly refused to wilt and fought back to go on and score by a head from Gottalovefridays with outsider Rainbow Phoenix flashing home from well back to grab third. Rattray was delighted with the first-up win as he admitted she was rushed into the assignment. “This filly was underdone for this race but it came up and it was very suitable so we pushed forward and got the desired result,” Rattray said. “I’ve always had a bit of time for this filly and I was very happy with how she did during her spell after her two-year-old campaign.” Kyleasha had four starts last season for a debut second at Burnie before winning at Devonport prior to tackling the Big Park Stud Sweepstakes series in Hobart. The filly finished second in her Sweepstakes heat behind Jokers Wild Card, beaten a head, before ending her campaign with a fifth to her stablemate Fawzia in the Sweepstakes final at the end of May. “She was good last season but not quite forward enough to win a feature,” Rattray said. “She spelled well but she never came to hand as quickly as we would have liked.” Rattray says the filly has a tendency to brush her knee and that might determine how far she progresses. “That she hits her knee is a bit of a problem but we are working on ways of removing that glitch and if we can, then I believe she can go to the next level,” Rattray said. Kyleasha, owned by log time stable client Barry Stewart, is likely to have her next start in Launceston in a fortnight. PETER STAPLES

Talented harness racing trainer Brooke Hammond had almost conceded that her mare Sum One might never break her maiden status but the six-year-old finally delivered the goods in Launceston last night. Sum One made the most of her pole position to lead and once in front her driver Troy Hillier ensured a solid tempo but at the same time sneaking a modest second quarter. Sum One scored comfortably from Busted that faced the breeze for the last 1200m with Supa Sunshine third. Hammond has had Sum One in her care for about two years and her only racing was at her previous outing in Launceston when third to Play Apple Tree and Robyn Scherbotsky in a C0-C1 over 2200 metres. “Her last start was good and had either Play Apple Tree or Robyn Scherbotsky been in this race tonight they would have been $1.10 chances,” Hammond said. “I’d almost given up on this mare but she finally did the job.” The mare had six starts last season for no result so this was most likely going to be her last preparation. Sum One is well bred, being by Blissfull Hal from Dreams of Eedee by The Unicorn that was well performed on the racetrack. The Unicorn won a Mildura Pacing Cup with the late Vin Knight aboard and he ran fourth in the 1992 Australian Pacing Championship behind three star performers in Franco Tiger, Westburn Grant and Halyer. At stud The Unicorn produced 543 live foals for 171 winners of 272 that started in a race. Their combined stake earnings is just over $6.5million with the average earned by each starter $24,005. PETER STAPLES

Handy harness racing performer Star Chamber has been aimed at several features following his win at Hobart last night. Impressed with the gelding’s effort, trainer Nathan Ford will target events such as the Cannonball Charge and Tasmanian Cup. “We’ll raise the bar and aim him at the Cannonball Charge, which will give us a good idea of where he fits into the bigger picture,” Ford said. Driven by Ford, Star Chamber began brilliantly from the tapes to lead easily, with the remainder of the 2579-metre trip a formality. Providing his rivals with a pacing lesson, the son of triple Inter Dominion winner Our Sir Vancelot scored by five-and-a-half metres from Ardlussa Express, with Udoit four metres away third. “This win was terrific and it was the way he went about his job that really impressed me,” Ford declared. “He stepped well, as he always does, from a stand and it was just like a stroll around the training track.” Rating 2:04.1, the six-year-old stretched his record to eight wins and 13 placings from 38 starts with his 58.2-second last half. Ford credits Star Chamber’s form to his recent trip across Bass Strait to Tabcorp Park Melton, which netted two placings from two M0 appearances. Star Chamber won his return start to the Apple Isle, but was disqualified by stewards who deemed he had raced inside the marker pegs in the home straight and as such gained an unfair advantage “He did a good job in those two races at Melton and I have no doubt the interstate trip helped to toughen him up,” Ford said. “When we bought this horse he was a C1, and he’s now a C7, and I am positive there is plenty of improvement in him.” PETER STAPLES

WHEN Brighton harness racing trainer-driver Dylan Ford contacted prominent owner Garry Rogers to inquire as to the whereabouts of former star filly Play Apple Tree he was surprised with the answer. Rogers informed the Tasmanian horseman Play Apple Tree was still roaming a paddock after damaging tendons as a three-year-old in March 2012. Ford subsequently asked if he could work the daughter of Art Major, with Rogers agreeing and dispatching her to Ford on lease. As a two-year-old Play Apple Tree won a heat of the Evicus Stakes at two before finishing second to Cloudy Range in the Final. At three, she won second up, but after two more starts, she was diagnosed with bowed tendons in both front legs, so Rogers had her transported back to Victoria where she stayed until Ford’s phone call last December. Successful at her comeback run last August, Play Apple Tree was unlucky during her next three outings, before scoring at Launceston last week. The talented pacer completed consecutive wins when triumphant with Ford in the cart at Hobart last night. Beginning swiftly to lead from barrier three, Play Apple Tree was simply too swift over 2090 metres to beat Boltnmach – which was gallant after facing the breeze – and Ebabe. PETER STAPLES

It is rare for star harness racing driver Gareth Rattray to salute as he scores with an outsider, but that’s how the Pack And Send Pace panned out at Hobart tonight. Rattray’s elated state was the result of La Ebony Kita’s success after the four-year-old finished stoutly to beat Blitzemgamble and Barooza over 2090 metres. The Ivan Belbin-trained mare has been plagued by injuries and illness almost from the day she came into work as a yearling. By Artistic Fella from La Nikita, La Ebony Kita’s problems began after she had a fall as a two-year-old and opened both knees in the training track mishap. “When she came into work as a two-year-old I was confident she would be very good against the best but everything went wrong,” Belbin said. “She opened both knees up twice in track accidents and then she got foot ulcers that took forever to heal.” Off the scene for 15 months, La Ebony Kita returned to racing last August with an inglorious tail of the field finish at Hobart. She then lifted her game at her subsequent outing when third at the same venue, with Belbin confident a win wasn’t far away. “I put Gareth on tonight and he drove her a treat,” Belbin said. “Gareth used to drive her mother and he says this mare has some of her mother’s old traits. “This mare hangs in when she gets tired just like her mum, but she also has her dam’s good turn of foot and I reckon that’s going to allow her to win more races.” La Ebony Kita’s maiden victory came at her fifth start, having made her debut in April 2013.          PETER STAPLES

Although second past the post, Spot Nine was declared the winner of the Show Cup at Launceston last Sunday night. Star Chamber, which was driven along the inside turning for home, scored by three-and-a-half metres from Spot Nine and Falco Peregrinus. But a stewards' inquiry revealed Nathan Ford had gone inside the pegs with Star Chamber and was subsequently disqualified for gaining an unfair advantage. The placings were amended with Spot Nine declared the winner from Falco Peregrinus and Tessanzo. It was a disaster race for punters with the favourite Riverboat Jasper ($2.90) tailed out to last after making a mess of the standing start, while the well-backed Divas Delight ($3.90) was unable to make any impression from his 10-metre handicap. Spot Nine is trained at Seven Mile Beach by Zeke Slater and driven by Christian Salter, who was also successful with Aninchofhislife, which he also trains. PETER STAPLES

Ricky Duggan needs no introduction in Tasmanian harness racing circles having been one of the state’s best reinsmen for the past two decades. Last season he was again dominant in the sulky, and while he finished second to Gareth Rattray in the drivers’ premiership, his term was capped by two honours that were bestowed upon him at the recent annual awards dinner. Duggan, 45, won the Halwes Medal which is awarded to an industry participant for his or her achievements throughout the season. But what really pleased Duggan was his induction into the Tasmanian Harness Racing Hall of Fame…being included in the inaugural intake of the HOF was the icing on the cake for the popular reinsmen. Duggan has long been considered one of the finest Tasmanians to sit in a sulky, with his list of feature race wins clearly justifies his induction. Duggan’s achievements include: 1310 wins; Leading Driver four times - 1997/98 (68), 2002/03 (54), 2003/04 (59) and 2004/05 (78), seven Dandy Patch Finals, five Devonport Cups, four Raider Stakes, three Easter Cups, three Globe Derby, Granny Smith and Bandbos Finals, two Evicus Finals, Danbury Park Cups and Two-Year-Old Sweepstakes and a Metropolitan Cup. PETER STAPLES

TALENTED Tasmanian harness racing trainer Rodney Ashwood stated he got a “real buzz” out of preparing the winner of the David Medhurst Memorial Pace at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last Sunday night. Ashwood was close friends with Medhurst, who sadly lost his life at a young age in a car accident last year at a time when he was making an impact as a trainer-driver. Ashwood’s mare Belliciouslips led throughout when rated perfectly by promising novice driver Wade Rattray, son of veteran trainer Kent Rattray. “Wade is a very good young driver and he did a great job rating the mare superbly,” Ashwood said. “I try and give the young drivers as many opportunities as I can because they are our future and I think we need to look closely at doing what we can to keep them in the game.” Belliciouslips showed good gate speed to lead from the front line, and when seriously challenged along the home straight, the daughter of Sutter Hanover responded like a good horse to draw clear for comfortable victory. It was only the mare’s 14th start, but it was her sixth win and Ashwood is confident she can add to her tally as the season progresses. Belliciouslips won twice at two, while last season she beat Australian and Tasmanian Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year, Barynya, in a $10,000 fillies’ event at Hobart. PETER STAPLES

TALENTED harness racing trainer Zeke Slater has built a reputation for rekindling the careers of horses which have lost form and at Hobart last Sunday night he was at it again. Mister Pinjarra made his debut for Slater in a C2 Pace over 2090 metres and delivered the goods with a powerful last 400 metres to score from Spot Nine and Maybe Doc. Mister Pinjarra was driven patiently by Nathan Ford, who waited until entering the back straight before calling on the son of P Forty Seven for the supreme effort. Slater purchased the five-year-old on the internet for $2500. “I had a few blokes from Victoria who were keen to get a horse and I found this one and we got him at the right price,” Slater said. “When he arrived at my stables he had lost form, but he had won seven and been placed 15 times from just over 40 starts in New South Wales, so I was quietly confident we would pick up a race or two with him here in Tassie. “He also had a recurrence of a minor tendon injury, but working on the beach has been good for him and he is a very happy horse at the moment and he raced accordingly on Sunday.” Slater doesn’t believe Mister Pinjarra will reach any great heights in Tasmania but says he will be very disappointed if he didn’t win more races. It was good night for Slater who landed a double after his former smart free-for-aller Greysteel scored an impressive win in the Wolfe Brothers Pace over 2090 metres. The 10-year-old powered home to score from Spot Nine and Maybe Doc to give Slater plenty of reasons to smile. “We all know that Greysteel was a very classy open class horse when at the top of his game, but he’s had plenty of problems since he was winning feature races during the Christmas Carnivals here in Tassie.” “He had an operation and that has helped overcome some issues, and if we can keep him sound, I’m sure he will be competitive in the better races later in the year.” PETER STAPLES

At the end of June dual Halwes Medalist Gareth Rattray held a slender three point lead over Ricky Duggan in the race for the 2014 Halwes Medal. At the end of June, Rattray had 58 votes from Duggan on 55 with Todd Rattray in third place on 45. The top ten also includes Barrie Rattray (34), Nathan Ford (32), Rohan Hillier (27), Juanita McKenzie (23), Dylan Ford (21), Craig Hayes (21) and Zeke Slater (21). As Gareth Rattray has been sidelined for the past six weeks owing to a necessity to have major surgery, the voting for the Halwes Medal promises to be very interesting up to the final meeting of the season last Sunday night. The Halwes Medal is sponsored by BOTRA Tasmania and Jamie Cockshutt. The award recognises excellence in horsemanship and operates under the following format: A panel of nine members is rostered to vote throughout the harness season (September 2013 to August 2014). Panel members are Jamie Cockshutt, Peter Cooley, Greg Mansfield, Kevin Neilson, Matt Robertson, David Sales, Damien Seaton, Peter Staples and Shane Yates. A panel member votes on each meeting and has 10 votes to allocate. The 10 votes can be allocated at the panel member's discretion with a maximum of five votes for any trainer or driver. Only Tasmanian registered licensed persons are eligible to receive votes.   Halwes Medal votes for the last 13 meetings (July and August) will be announced at the Tasracing Harness Awards Dinner at Country Club Tasmania, Launceston on Saturday 13 September.   The BOTRA Young Achiever Award is run in conjunction with the Halwes Medal and is restricted to licensed persons aged 24 or under as at 1 September 2013. Dylan Ford leads with 21 votes followed by Nick Brockman (19), Duncan Dornauf (11), Lyarna Graham (11), Matthew Howlett (9), Tim Yole (6) and Brady Woods (5).   Halwes Medal votes to 1 July 2014 are: 58 Gareth Rattray 55 Ricky Duggan 45 Todd Rattray 34 Barrie Rattray 32 Nathan Ford 27 Rohan Hillier 23 Juanita McKenzie 21 Dylan Ford 21 Craig Hayes 21 Zeke Slater 19 Nick Brockman 16 Adrian Duggan, Dick Eaves, Grant Hodges 15 Troy Hillier 13 Steve Davis, Andrew Rawlings 11 Duncan Dornauf, Lyarna Graham 10 Paul Ashwood, John Walters, 9 Matthew Howlett 8 Kate Macleod 7 Justin Campbell, Erin Hollaway, Heath Szczypka, 6 Adrian Collins, Rohan Hadley, Brooke Hammond, Tim Maine, Zane Medhurst, Tim Yole 5 Chris Howlett, David Mace, Kent Rattray, Christian Salter, Andrew Thornton, Brady Woods, Ben Yole, Mark Yole 4 Rod Ashwood, Kevin Denny, Matthew Dwyer, Natalee Emery, Sam Freeman, Brian Mackrill, Paul Medhurst, Ben Rossendell, Wayne Watson, Roger Whitmore, Paul Williams 3 Shelley Barnes, Eric Blomquist, Mark Butler, Taylor Ford, Paul Hill, Braden Howlett, James Johnson, Geoff Smith, Keith Toulmin, Campbell Watt, Scott Woods 2 James Austin, Daryl Bates, Roger Brown, Rod Burgess, John Castles, Mike Castles, Michael Dornauf, Kevin Gillies, Kristy Grant, Eric Jacobson, Steve Lukac, Melissa Maine, Brent Parish, Greg Scott, Damien Spring, Chris Viney, Bradley Walters, Allister Woods, Clinton Woods, Robert Woods 1 Jim Allen, Andrew Arnott, Chris Aylett, Phillip Aylett, Barry Close, Bill Dornauf, Leigh Dornauf, David Dwyer, Robert Gillie, Max Hadley, Cleone Hill, Justin Howlett, Max Jacobson, Brett Jaffray, Geoff Madden, Clayton Miller, Ben Parker, Nick Perotti, Phil Rawnsley, Brian Stanley, Ian Swain, Lindsay Tatnell. Peter Staples

TALENTED harness racing trainer-driver Justin Campbell prepared his first treble on the Launceston circuit in 12 years when he dominated at yesterday's rescheduled Launceston Pacing Club meeting. Campbell won aboard John Snow and Damitsam that he also trains and he opened his account for the day aboard the Steve Lucak-trained Stoner Rainbow. It was almost 12 years to the day that Campbell prepared his first treble in Launceston with Really Mal, Itsalongwalkhome and General Kiev. However that trio gave Campbell a record that might never be equaled. The same three horses won at three consecutive meetings in Tasmania in August 2002. "Itsalongwalkhome, Really Mal and General Kiev won at two consecutive meetings at the old Hobart Showground and again at Mowbray so it was a fairly unique effort,' Campbell said. Campbell's treble on Tuesday also had an omen-like tint to it as one of the races he won 12 years ago was the Gareth Rattray Stakes and yesterday Damitsam won the Get Well Gareth Rattray Stakes. "Had we had the information before the meeting started we might have had a little something all-up especially on the Gareth Rattray Stakes won by Damitsam," Campbell said. Campbell said the circumstances surrounding yesterday's meeting - originally scheduled for last Sunday but postponed because of the state of the track caused by heavy rain, meant his horses hadn't been hoppled for eight days. "A lot can be said for not hoppling the horses for eight days because they all ran really well," he said. Campbell was full of praise for his two-year-old John Snow, named after a character from the pay TV show Game of Thrones, but he was particularly impressed with the win of Damitsam. "I just love this horse (Damitsam) because he tries his guts out every time he comes to the races," he said. Peter Staples

Well bred three-year-old pacer Stonor Rainbow delivered a solid performance to score a narrow but decisive win in the Impress Print Pace at the harness racing meeting at the Tote Racing Centre in Launceston today. With Justin Campbell in the cart, Stonor Rainbow showed his customary early speed to easily cross to the front from gate four and proceeded to set a solid tempo with Vincent Can Go on his outside and the well-backed Cardinal Spec settled well back in the field from his wide second-row draw. When the back markers started their moves Campbell lifted the tempo to ensure his followers would have to work to make ground and the tactic worked perfectly. The Steve Lukac-trained gelding powered home and had enough in hand to score narrowly from Cardinal Spec that was the widest runner in the home straight with Vincent Can Go hanging on for third. The winner clocked a mile rate of 2m.02.25 with an overall time of 2m.47.12s. Peter Staples

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