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Grant Dixon has carved himself another piece of Queensland harness racing history. The proud Queenslander steered Leos Best to victory at Albion Park today (Tuesday) in the Burwood Stud Pace but it was a win of significance. In doing so, Dixon registered career victory no. 4000 while becoming the first banana bender to achieve the feat. He joins Gavin Lang, Chris Alford, Daryl Douglas and Chris Lewis as the only Australian reinsmen to sit in this elite club. And that club is the significant factor that gives Dixon full perspective of his latest achievement. “When you look at those names and realise what they’ve all achieved in this sport, it gives you great satisfaction and a proper understanding of how hard it is to join this group. It’s quite surreal to think that I’m up with these guys.” A typically humble Dixon said. While Dixon was fully aware the milestone moment looming, he actually forgot as he approached the finishing line and therefore, never acknowledged the feat. Not that Dixon is known for showing emotion; certain moments have got the better of him just like the night he won the final event at the now defunct Parklands complex on the Gold Coast when he sailed down the outside to snatch victory with Lionsixchristiansnil back in 2013. “It’s not in my makeup and it’s not really my thing but sometimes I’ve allowed the moment to get the better of me but I completely forgot today and was focused on winning the race. It wasn’t till after the race when everyone started congratulating me that I’d brought up the milestone. “Thinking back about the Gold Coast, it was my favourite track and it’s where I kick started my career, my first drive and first winner came at that track and I’ve got plenty of fond memories of that track, it’s such a shame it no longer exists.” But since the closure of Parklands, the winners have continued to flow for Dixon and he’s happy to drive as many winners as possible. Because back in July, 2012, the record breaking horseman was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), a cancer of the blood cells, mainly affecting adults which usually grows slowly at first. Following extensive treatment, Dixon regained full strength and kept working at his craft. “It was tough, no doubt about it but I had a great support team around me and I couldn’t thank them enough because it made a huge difference. “My wife Trista is my backbone and for the whole stable for that matter, I had to keep fighting for her and my two boys, Thomas and Jai. “I love working with the horses and I enjoy competing so I just worked my way back into it, I’m fortunate to be in that position.” Since commencing his career during the 1988/89 season, he is the winner of the Queensland premiership more times than anyone else and his record haul currently sits at 11. His nearest rival is renowned horseman and now retired, Kevin Thomas with 9. During the 2009/10 season, Dixon enjoyed his best season in the sulky with 242winners. On six occasions, he has driven 5 winners at a single meeting – 4 times at the now defunct Parklands complex and twice at Redcliffe. He has driven 9 Group One winners. The best horse that Dixon has partnered is the incomparable Blacks A Fake, the greatest champion this country has ever produced. Dixon has represented his state as a junior where he dead heated with Tasmanian representative Ricky Duggan back in 1993 while a decade later; he represented his country in the World Drivers Championship in Canada. Last season, Dixon won the Australian Drivers Championship series in Tasmania. “I’ve made lifelong friendships from all of those series that I’ve been lucky enough to compete in, they’re great fun and play a role in the sport. “When I was in Canada, I was competing with Jody Jamieson and it gave me a great buzz when I got him to drive one of my horses during the World Drivers Championship in Sydney a few years ago. “He’s a top guy Jody and it’s one of my regrets in not driving a winner in Canada all those years ago but it was great to have that friendship initiated.” Dixon, 43, is still working the biggest stable in Queensland with Trista where they set the benchmark in the country for winners. Over the past nine years, Team Dixon has led the way throughout the country. And Dixon shows no signs of slowing down. “We’re working a big team and we’re hopeful of another productive season, especially with the younger stock because we were a little quiet last season. “Having horses like Alleluia, Majestic Major and Our Overanova in the team are a big thrill, no champions but very tough performers who keep the stable ticking.” And Dixon will keep the winners’ ticking too, that’s what he does best. by Chris Barsby

The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will play host to a strong ten race program this Saturday night. And the opening race has attracted an even field of 11 pacers with several in-form runners set to contest the UBET for the Thrill of It Pace over the 2138m. Gambling giant UBET is offering a guaranteed $75,000 First 4 on the opening race, an event that should provide plenty of value. In-form pacer Fioki is chasing another victory following his excellent effort last week when a game runner-up behind Stormfortheboys in a mile rate of 1:53.1. Prepared by leading trainer Grant Dixon and driven by his wife Trista, Fioki will start from gate three, therefore providing plenty of options for early position. The stable is also represented by classy mare Joys A Babe (4) and Monarkmac (11). Following a Great Barrier Reef getaway this week, the Dixon stable will be keen to strike early on Saturday night. Top reinsman Shane Graham is booked to drive recent Albion Park winner Iamboogie who has drawn ideally with the inside gate. Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova starts in race 6, the SKY Racing Pace for the open class performers and will run from gate seven, the outside of the front-line in the 2138m event. Many of the local open class performers are gearing up for the summer carnival features, running from November 26 through to December 17. And star trotter Our Overanova will appreciate the mobile conditions this week when he lines up in the final race, the Garrards Here on Track Trot over the 1660m. Our Overanova finished third behind Mr Mayfly last week after starting off a 60m handicap. The recently crowned Queensland Trotter of the Year is being readied for the Gr.2 $40,000 Darrell Alexander Memorial Championship next month. A guaranteed Quadrella pool of $20,000 is also programmed; the quaddie will be staged on races 2, 3, 4 & 5. Again, the quaddie legs look open with several even races assembled meaning punters will get great value. UBET also have a $10,000 guaranteed trifecta pool slated for race three. Check out Racing Queensland form analyst Darren Clayton’s thoughts on the program http://www.harness.org.au/punters-corner-details.cfm?keyNum=139640 The first of 9 races is scheduled to start at 5.13pm. Contact the club on (07) 3262 2577 or via the website at www.aphrc.com.au or simply drop an email info@aphrc.com.au Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 19 November 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 19 November 2016

Talented trotter Relven Dream has featured in a harness racing stable switch. And it comes on the eve of the upcoming Gr.2 $40,000 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship series at Albion Park next month. The Dream Vacation – Ten To One gelding has joined the leading stables of Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham after being transferred from the stables of Daren Garrard. “It came as a bit of a shock because he’s a really nice trotter, Daren asked if we interested and we didn’t need to think twice about taking him on board. Obviously the DJA series will be the main priority and hopefully we can have him fit and firing for it.” Graham said. The former New Zealand eight-year-old originally entered the stables of Peter Walsh at Menangle upon arrival on Australian soil and went winless in 10 starts before relocating to Queensland. Joining the stables of Daren Garrard, Releven Dream struck instantly winning his first two starts at Albion Park, the latter victory coming in track record time. Releven Dream smashed the 2647m stand-start record when rating 2:00.8. But soon after, the wins dried up and the talented trotter has gone winless in his next 10 starts. Often he cost himself owing to his ordinary manners and waywardness. Sent to the spelling paddock following his latest unplaced run on June 18, Releven Dream is back and ready to kick-start his latest campaign. “He will trial on Tuesday at this stage, we’re happy with the way he’s going and trial will tell us a lot more about him so hopefully everything works out for the better. “Daren did all the foundation work with him, he did all the jog work with following his spell and gave all him a solid base for this campaign, hopefully we can get him back to the form like he showed when setting the track record last year. This series next month looks like being pretty strong with the locals and several trotters from Sydney being earmarked, if we can get him going like Daren did, we’re a chance.” Releven Dream lacks nothing as far as his pedigree is concerned; he ranks as a half-brother to the likes of Ten Too, Habibti, Lothario, Habibti Ivy and Habibti Inta. by Chris Barsby

Leading owner Greg Mitchell is eyeing off next month’s trotting feature. The Gr.2 $40,000 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship series starts on December 2 at Albion Park with the final scheduled for December 17, the same night as the Gr.2 $50,000 Gold Coast Cup for the harness racing open class pacers. And Mitchell plans on bringing home the silverware. The enthusiastic owner is a keen supporter of both gaits but his passion for the straight out trotter runs deep and he’s keen to win the state’s biggest event. Headlining his team is the recently crowned Queensland Trotter of the Year and perennial performer Our Overanova while the back-up is consistent performer Blue Don. Both trotters were purchased from New Zealand and both have performed at a high level since being on Australian soil with leading trainer Grant Dixon. So, it’s not surprising that Mitchell has sourced another trotter from the shaky isles to further bolster his stocks for next month’s feature. The latest addition to the team is Foursharesmorebeers. The deal was negotiated through Garrick Knight and his company Knight Exports, a reliable source for Mitchell over the years. “I’ve been scouting this horse for a few months but the original asking price was a little steep so I sat patiently and ended up landing him at a fair price. Although he’s still a maiden performer I think he’s got talent, he actually hails from a terrific family and is closely related to current star Sheemon.” Mitchell said. Foursharesmorebeers has faced the starter on 15 occasions with 4 minor placings to his credit. A son of Monarchy, the same sire of both Our Overanova and Blue Don now gives Mitchell and Dixon a three-pronged attack for the DJA series. “I think it’s a good team for that series plus it’s a good mixture of class, obviously this guy will get in well given he’s a maiden while my other guys are proven performers. Hopefully this new guy settles in well and is ready to fire by the time the series starts. “I’m really happy with Our Overanova and Blue Don; both are trotting in excellent form and will command respect. The handicap for Our Overanova is obviously the biggest challenge; he starts off a 60m handicap this weekend which is pretty tough to overcome. “Even Blue Don is now starting to find a tough mark and he starts of 30m again this weekend too, it won’t be easy for either of them but their consistency is the key. Winning this series next month might come via the new horse that will start from a front-line handicap.” The Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final was won last year by My Valerie, trained by Blake Fitzpatrick and handled by Pete McMullen. by Chris Barsby

Queensland harness racing heavyweight Avonnova has won the Queensland Harness Horse of the Year title for a record-breaking third time in a row. Announced at the 2016 Queensland Harness Racing Awards at Kedron Wavell Services Club, the 10-year-old gelding also won the 2016 Queensland Pacer of the Year and 2016 Queensland Aged Horse of the Year awards. Owner / Trainer Ian Gurney accepted the awards on behalf of co-owner Paul Montgomery. Avonnova has provided a great ride for Gurney and Montgomery who bought the gelding from New South Wales in October 2013 and has now won nearly $400,000 in prize money for the pair. Avonnova beat impressive horses such as Catcha Lefty (2YO Pacer of the Year), Park Life (3YO Pacer of the Year) and Our Overanova NZ (Queensland Trotter of the Year) to take out the Horse of the Year award. Shane Graham won the Queensland Driver’s Premiership for the second year in succession, adding the 2016 Albion Park and Redcliffe Premiership titles to his trophy cabinet. Graham, who was runner up on the National Driver’s Premiership, scored his biggest success in the $322,000 Group One Australian Pacing Gold Final with Park Life. Grant Dixon won the 2016 Queensland Trainer’s Premiership for a fifth year in a row, an outstanding achievement which he matched at a national level. Dixon also won the Albion Park and Redcliffe Trainer’s Premiership with 246 winners. Amongst Dixon’s many fantastic achievements was a Group One double on 28 May when Get In The Groove and Frankie Rocks were both successful in their respective QBRED Triad Finals. Nathan Dawson capped a great season collecting the 2016 Concession Driver of the Year Premiership and the 2016 Queensland Young Achiever of the Year (Male). Dawson, Queensland’s busiest concession driver, finished the season with a career best 91 wins and also took out the Marburg Driver’s Premiership. Isobel Ross was crowned the 2016 Queensland Young Achiever of the Year (Female), finishing the season with 50 wins, more than double her previous career best, a significant achievement considering she missed a portion of the season due to a wrist injury. Solid Earth Pty Ltd, for Kevin and Kay Seymour and their daughter Leigh Fullager, collected both the 2016 Queensland Breeder of the Year and Owner of the Year titles after another dominant season.  As owners, Solid Earth completed the season with more than double the number of winners of any other owner or group of owners in Queensland. Amongst its many highlights was a Group One double with Get In The Groove and Frankie Rocks in their respective QBRED Triad Finals, and a Group Three double in Victoria when Frankie Rocks and Cherish The Moment claimed the Australasian Breeder’s Crown Consolation Finals. There were four inductees into the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame on the night. The prestigious honour was given to champion Queensland race horse Peter Profit, Noel and Christine Denning’s Burwood Stud, champion race horse and brood mare Lefty, and Don Ross Snr for his outstanding service to the industry as Clerk of the Course. Peter Profit Champion Queensland race horse Peter Profit was inducted into the Queensland Hall Of Fame, recognising his outstanding career which is fondly remembered by many within the industry across Australia. Born in 1966 Peter Profit was a Queensland hero winning 43 races at Albion Park and was a dual winner of the Albion Park 10,000.  Peter Profit won 45 races when trained by Frank Donohoe whose son Alan Donohoe drove the harness great to a few wins in his early career. Peter Profit, by the great James Scott, retired at the age of 13 with a personal best time of 2:01:5 and prize money worth $61,643 regarded as a true legend of the sport. Margaret Donohoe accepted this prestigious award on behalf of his connections. Burwood Stud The Denning family was honoured with Hall of Fame induction in the breeding category.  Noel and Christine Denning’s Burwood Stud located at Pittsworth was established in 1982 on 615 hectares of fertile land. The Denning family has built this business from the ground up and can lay claim to be the leading standardbred stud in Queensland.  Continuing to evolve with the times, Burwood Stud offers the latest technological advancements for foaling, catering for permanently agisted mares and their offspring, as well as short-term visiting mares. Burwood Stud has continually stood quality stallions over the years and offers a wide variety of stallions from all over the world through its semen transport service and currently stands three standardbred stallions on their property. Horses bred at Burwood have won the last four Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Finals and are producing winners in Queensland, interstate and New Zealand.  The time, effort, sponsorship and results of Burwood bred over many years ensure the Denning family are worthy inductees into the Queensland Hall of Fame. Lefty The former outstanding race mare Lefty was the first broodmare inducted into Queensland’s Hall of Fame. After a career that produced 17 wins from 67 starts and $117,033 in prize money, and highlights of the 1997 2YO QBRED Final and four metropolitan wins, Lefty retired in 2000 for a career at stud.  Lefty produced 11 foals which have all won races. 2001 Chucka Lefty (9 wins, $51,410) 2002 Shes A Lefty (10 wins, 102,396, QBRED 2YO Triad & Breeders Classic winner, dam of 2 winners) 2003 Lotsa Lefty (4 wins, $17,996, dam of a winner) 2004 Another Lefty (7 wins, $24,500) 2007 Major Lefty (17 wins, $88,685) 2008 Just A Lefty (9 wins, $29,175) 2009 Royal Lefty (2 wins, $9431) 2010 Feelin Good Lefty (2 wins, $11,696) 2011 Bring On Lefty (7 wins, $42,208) 2012 Catcha Lefty (13 wins, $170,523, QBRED 2YO Breeders Classic, Queensland Derby) 2013 Lucky Lefty (1 win, $3,215) Lefty unfortunately passed away at the age of 22 this year. The award was accepted by her breeder, owner and trainer Cristina Monte. Don Ross Snr  Don Ross Snr has provided outstanding service to the industry as a Clerk of the Course where he is considered a leader in his field. Don has also offered outstanding support assisting many industry participants with their horses in many areas including organising mares for surrogate breeding. Don is famous for providing his Chariots for Shows and movie work with the Chariot races, formerly held at the Brisbane Exhibition and is fondly remembered by all who witnessed his great horsemanship. Don is an absolute gentleman and friend of so many in the harness racing industry, and continues to provide fantastic service at the age of 82. His family is following in his footsteps, including son Don and grandson Donald, who are continuing the quality family horsemanship as Clerks of the Course with granddaughter Isobel also training as a Red Coat while developing a successful career as a harness driver. The full list of winners from last night's 2016 Queensland Harness Racing Awards;  

Once again, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will play host to a strong ten race program this Saturday night. And again punters have the chance to win big with gambling giant UBET offering a huge $100,000 guaranteed trifecta pool on the opening race. A jackpot component of $25,000 is also programmed for the opening race. And the timing couldn’t be better with Melbourne Cup day just around the corner, here’s a perfect opportunity to line your pockets a bit deeper in readiness for the great race. The UBET the New TAB Pace will be staged over the sprint distance of 1660m and features several in-form pacers while a handful of classy types return from brief let-ups. The start is crucial and under the mobile conditions, the ideally drawn Mind The Wire will command plenty of respect from the stables of leading trainer Vicki Rasmussen after performing well in recent starts. Star reinsman Shane Graham had the choice of a number of runners but his given punters an early with his preference with Mind The Wire and the favourable draw. An interesting player in the opener is the richly talented Caesars Folly who resumes since June 4 this year when a close-up 5th behind star performers Ohoka Punter and Avonnova. Prepared in partnership by Shannon Price and Scott Miller, the 27 times Albion Park winner has drawn directly behind Mind The Wire. Others to consider include Buy Chevron Direct, Munroe, The Pacman, Birdy Mach, Jackaroo Bromac and Broadway Playboy among others. Later in the program, the Price/Miller combination also produces quality mares Bettor Promise and Bettorthanspecial in the Seymour Group Mares Pace over the distance of 1660m. Both mares haven’t started since May 28 when Bettorthanspecial downed Mathilda Diventa and Bettor Promise in the Gr.2 QBRED Triad Final but both have trialed stylishly in preparation for the return. A guaranteed $20,000 Quadrella pool is also slated; the quaddie will be staged on races 2, 3, 4 & 5. Most legs of the quaddie appear open and loaded with chances which could easily provide value for punters. Last week, the UBET quaddie dividend paid a whopping $16,330.20. UBET are also offering a guaranteed $10,000 trifecta pool on the third race. Check out Racing Queensland form analyst Darren Clayton’s thoughts on the program http://www.harness.org.au/punters-corner-details.cfm?keyNum=136888 The first of 10 races is scheduled to start at 5.15pm. Contact the club on (07) 3262 2577 or via the website at www.aphrc.com.au or simply drop an email info@aphrc.com.au Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 29 October 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 29 October 2016

With the Australian Drivers Championship series taking place in Adelaide, defending harness racing champion Grant Dixon had a night out at his home track in Brisbane. The leading horseman prepared five winners on Saturday night at Albion Park, half the program. His winners included Fioki, The Black Assassin, Major Strike, Our Carisma and Our Overanova. The winning drives split between himself (3) and his wife Trista (2). “The night definitely turned out better than what I was expecting, all horses raced really well and most importantly, we had some luck on our side.” A typically reserved Dixon said. It is the second time that Dixon has achieved the feat at Albion Park while it’s the fifth time overall with five or more winners at a single meeting. Dixon prepared six winners at the now defunct Gold Coast Club on June 14, 2013. His first five win haul as a trainer at Albion Park came on June 27 last year after Only The Brave, Alleluia, Modern Max, Majestic Major and Joys A Babe proved successful. He is one shy of his legendary father Bill who prepared five or more winners on six occasions. Since 2008, the Dixon stable has been the leading stable in the country per wins. Bill claimed four straight National premierships while Grant has won the past five titles, preparing well over 200 winners each season. Dixon is closing in another major milestone; he is currently sitting on 3980 wins. He will join an elite club with only Gavin Lang, Chris Alford, Daryl Douglas and Chris Lewis to have driven in excess of 4000 career winners in Australia. Dixon has won more premierships in the sunshine state than any other driver, currently with 11 titles against his name, he is two clear of his nearest rival Kevin Thomas – a dominant force during the late 1970’s and 1980’s. He has also represented his country when selected to compete in the 2003 World Drivers Championship when staged in Canada. by Chris Barsby

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the analysts finding of Heptaminol in the pre-race urine sample taken from Mishani Jewel prior to the horse competing in Race 5 at Redcliffe on 14 July 2016. Mishani Jewel was trained for this event by Ms Martine Dwyer. Heptaminol has myocardial stimulatory and vasodilator effects with research suggesting that it may affect catecholamine release or calcium metabolism. After taking evidence from Ms Dwyer, Dr K. Caldwell, Manager, Veterinary Services at the Racing Science Centre and Ms S. Nellis, Principal Analyst at the Racing Science Centre Stewards charged Martine Dwyer with the contravention of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.” Ms Dwyer pleaded guilty to the charge. In determining an appropriate penalty, amongst other things, Stewards considered the following: Ms Dwyer previous good record in Harness racing; Ms Dwyer’s personal and financial situation; The particular circumstances of the case; The guilty plea entered; The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing; After considering penalties applied in recent comparable matters Stewards fined Martine Dwyer the sum of $3,000. Acting under the provisions of AHRR. 195 Mishani Jewel was disqualified from Race 5 at Redcliffe on 14 July 2016 and the placings amended accordingly. Ms Dwyer was advised of her rights of an Internal Review. Stewards’ Report - Martine Dwyer Date – 18 October 2016 Panel – N. Torpey; L. Wilson & D. Aurisch  

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the analysts finding of testosterone at a concentration in excess of the threshold for a gelding under the provisions of A.H.R.R. 188A (2)(g) in the pre-race urine sample taken from Mafuta Vautin prior to the horse competing in Race 5 at Redcliffe on 24 December 2015. Mafuta Vautin was trained for this event by Darrell Graham. Stewards considered evidence from Mr Graham, Dr K. Caldwell, Manager, Veterinary Services at the Racing Science Centre and Ms S. Nellis, Principal Analyst at the Racing Science Centre and Dr David Lobell called on behalf of Mr Graham. Stewards also considered a written report tabled from Dr Adam Cawley, Laboratory Science Manager at the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory who was of the view that the steroid profile for the sample was consistent with an endogenous source due to unusual adrenal gland activity. Stewards also considered the results of tests carried out on hair samples taken from Mafuta Vautin. After carefully considering the scientific and analytical evidence available to them, Stewards were satisfied that the detected concentration of testosterone in the sample taken from Mafuta Vautin was of endogenous origin or as a result of endogenous activity. Although it was considered an offence was proven under the provisions of AHRR 190(1) Stewards deemed that no conviction be entered or penalty imposed against Darrel Graham. However, under the provisions of AHRR 195 which reads: A horse which has been presented for a race shall be disqualified from it if blood, urine, saliva, or other matter or sample or specimen taken from the horse is found to contain a prohibited substance. Stewards disqualified Mafuta Vautin from Race 5 at Redcliffe on 24 December 2015 and the placings have been amended accordingly.  Mr Graham was advised of his rights to internal review. Stewards’ Report – Darrell Graham Date – 19 October 2016 Panel – N. Torpey; L. Wilson & D. Aurisch

Talented intermediate grade pacer Tenacious One was responsible for one of the fastest harness racing miles at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday). The free-running gelding scorched the 1000m oval in a time of 1:51.6 – splits of 26.6, 29.8, 27.8 and 27.6 seconds. Winning driver Chris Petroff was left shocked following the powerful front-running display. “He’s a talented horse but that was an awesome mile; given he was coming off a let-up and without the benefit of a trial, he did a remarkable job. He looks set for a strong campaign.” Petroff said. The track record belongs to retired champion Im Themightyquinn at 1:50.4 – who set his mark when successful in the 2014 Sunshine Sprint. And upon further investigation, only one other pacer has gone faster than Tenacious One with dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova recording a mile rate of 1:51.3 when he proved successful in the 2015 Sunshine Sprint. Open class pacer and multiple feature race winner Ultimate Art has also recorded a 1:51.6 mile at Albion Park. So, Tenacious One joins an elite list. Formerly prepared in Victoria, the Mach Three – Miss Astronomical pacer has always been blessed with abundant ability but his headstrong ways have caused a few headaches. Since joining the stables of Redcliffe horseman Donny Smith, Tenacious One has been restricted to short course trips and allowed to run in his races. And the results have flowed. Tenacious One has won 7 of his 12 starts in the sunshine state. Assessed a metropolitan maiden, Tenacious One could find himself heading to Sydney at some point this campaign chasing the strong prizemoney on the bigger track. “Donny does an excellent job with his team and he’s got good options whichever was he wants to go with this horse, a possible Sydney trip makes strong appeal but Donny will make the call when the time comes. “He’s not the easiest horse to drive and I’ve found it’s best to work with him rather than trying to fight him, he can hold his speed really well and he proved that again yesterday.” Meanwhile, exciting three-year-old Maestro Bellini trained by Petroff is back in work and aiming at a southern campaign with the Victoria Derby an early target in the New Year.    by Chris Barsby

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today concluded an inquiry which was opened on 12 October 2015 into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a post race urine sample taken from Sheza Shadow following its winning harness racing performance in Race 4 at Redcliffe on 24 July 2015. This inquiry had been further adjourned to allow legal requests to be processed and further investigations on behalf of Mr Weeks to be completed. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in the sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules. On 29 September 2016, Stewards issued a charge against Mr Weeks as follows: Rule 190(1)            “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Weeks presented Sheza Shadow to race in Race 4 at Redcliffe on 24 July 2015 when a sample taken from that filly was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold. Today Mr Weeks provided written submissions in defence of the charge laid against him. After due consideration Stewards were of the view that the charge could be sustained as issued and formally found Mr Weeks guilty. When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards gave consideration to the following: The serious nature of the substance concerned and the levels of Cobalt recorded (366 Ug/l and 413Ug/l); Mr Weeks’ licence history and unblemished record under this rule; Mr Weeks’ personal and financial situation; The particular circumstances of the case and submissions tendered by Mr Weeks; The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing; Penalty precedents. Mr Weeks was disqualified for a period of 15 months effective immediately. Acting under Australian Harness Racing Rule 195 Sheza Shadow was disqualified from its win in Race 4 at Redcliffe on 24 July 2015, and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Weeks was advised of his rights to internal review. Stewards’ Report -  Darren Weeks Date - 17 October 2016 Panel - D Farquharson, A Reardon, K Wolsey

Shane Graham and Pete McMullen have been selected to represent Queensland in the Australian Drivers Championship to be held on October 22 at Globe Derby in Adelaide with each driver aspiring to not only take the 2016 title but continue Queensland’s unbeaten run in the harness racing series. The inaugural Australian Driving Championship was conducted in 2014 with Pete McMullen claiming victory while in 2015 Grant Dixon took the honours and Shane Graham finished third. Each driver was presented with their driving attire for the series by the Racing Queensland Harness Racing Board Member Margaret Reynolds and Racing Queensland CEO Dr Eliot Forbes at a special presentation at Albion Park on Saturday October 15. Shane and Pete earned their selections by finishing first and second respectively in the 2015/16 State Driving Premiership.  Shane finished second in the 2015/16 National Drivers Premiership behind Victorian reinsman Chris Alford while Pete McMullen finished fifth nationally with a career best 198 winners. Best wishes to both Shane Graham and Pete McMullen for a safe and successful campaign. The fields for the Australian Drivers Championship Series will be declared Tuesday afternoon October 18 by Harness Racing South Australia. Racing Queensland

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today concluded an inquiry which was opened and adjourned on 29 September 2016 into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a post race urine sample taken from Oozinville following its winning harness racing performance in Race 7 at Redcliffe on 11 May 2016. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in the sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules and also the presence of the prohibited substance Dexamethasone. Stewards also concluded their investigations into the pre race urine sample taken from Ashleys Angel prior to it competing at Redcliffe on 26 May 2016, and a pre race urine taken from Zac Mac (NZ) prior to it competing at Albion Park on 4 June 2016. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in both samples in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules. On 6 October 2016, Stewards issued charges against Mr Darren Hooper as follows: Charge 1 – Rule 190(1)            “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Hooper presented Oozinville to race in Race 7 at Redcliffe on 11 May 2016 when a sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold and also the prohibited substance Dexamethasone. Charge 2 – Rule 190(1) “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Hooper presented Ashleys Angel in Race 1 at Redcliffe on 26 May 2016 when a sample taken from that mare was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold. Charge 3 – Rule 190(1) “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Hooper presented Zac Mac NZ in Race 3 at Albion Park on 4 June 2016 when a pre race urine sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold. After due consideration Stewards were of the view that all charges could be sustained as issued and formally found Mr Hooper guilty. When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards gave consideration to the following: The serious nature of the substance concerned and the levels of Cobalt recorded (339Ug/l, 475Ug/l, and 584 Ug/l); Mr Hooper’s licence history and previous offence under this rule; Mr Hooper’s personal and financial situation; The particular circumstances of the case; The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing; Penalty precedents. Charge 1 Mr Hooper was disqualified for a period of 12 months effective immediately. Charge 2 Mr Hooper was disqualified for a period of 12 months effective immediately. Charge 3 Mr Hooper was disqualified for a period of 12 months effective immediately. Stewards directed that all three periods of disqualification be served cumulatively. Acting under Australian Harness Racing Rule 195 Oozinville was disqualified from its win in Race 7 at Redcliffe on 11 May 2016, Ashleys Angel was disqualified from its performance at Redcliffe on 26 May 2016, and Zac Mac NZ was disqualified from its winning performance at Albion Park on 4 June 2016 with all other placegetters to be amended accordingly. Mr Hooper was advised of his rights to internal review. Inquiry: Darren Hooper -  Panel: D Farquharson, N Torpey, P Gillard

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre race urine sample taken from Family Decision prior to its harness racing performance in Race 8 at Albion Park on 19 March 2016. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported the prohibited substance Boldenone in the sample. Evidence was today provided by trainer Noel Parrish who explained his feeding regime and husbandry practices leading up to the race in question. Evidence was also tendered by Dr Karen Caldwell, Acting Manager of Veterinary Services (RSC) and Samantha Nelis, Principal Analyst (RSC). After consideration, Mr Parrish was charged pursuant to Rule 190(1) which reads:            “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Parrish presented Family Decision to race in Race 8 at Albion Park on 19 March 2016, when a pre race urine sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Boldenone. Mr Parrish was found guilty of the charge as issued. When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards gave consideration to the following: The serious nature of the substance; Mr Parrish’s licence history of 35 years and his personal and financial situation; The particular circumstances of the case; The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing; Penalty precedents; A recent offence under this rule. Mr Parrish was disqualified for a period of 12 months effective immediately. Acting under Rule 195 Family Decision was disqualified from its performance at Albion Park on 19 March 2016 and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Stewards further directed that Family Decision be barred from racing for a period of 12 months commencing 19 March 2016 in accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule 190AA(4)(a). Mr Parrish was advised of his right to review the decision. Inquiry: Noel Parrish - Panel: D Farquharson, N Torpey, J Hackett

The Garrard name is synonymous with harness racing. Through the business Garrards Horse & Hound which stretches throughout the southern hemisphere, the name appears almost everywhere through their generous sponsorship of all three racing codes on a daily basis. From the east coast to the west coast of Australia plus the north island to the south island of New Zealand, the Garrards name is emblazoned at most tracks, if not all. But the heart rests comfortably with the harness code. The family patriarch Chris is a former trainer/driver while his son Daren still puts the harness on a small but select stable on the north side of Brisbane at Burpengary. And the next generation continues to make inroads with Angus an active participant in the mini-trotting ranks in the sunshine state. There is no question; the Garrard family put plenty in. They breed, buy and race plenty. And the results speak for themselves. Last season, a pair of rookie pacers emerged as genuine talents for the future in Heart Of Change and Changeoverme both securing feature race victories. Heart Of Change won the Gr.2 $80,000 Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Pace Final, an event which they sponsor while Changeoverme won the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park. Both pacers were prepared by Kylie Rasmussen and Darren Weeks. Now, both pacers have returned from their break. “They returned to work on Tuesday after both having a really good break, we were determined to give both a really good spell following their first season of racing and hopefully they come back a little stronger and better than before they went out.” Daren Garrard said. However, there is a slight change in the set-up this season. As is the custom, all youngsters start their early education before progressing to their first season of racing under the Rasmussen/Weeks banner before transferring to the Garrard stable. It’s a system with a proven track record. “We’re more than happy with the set-up we have and it comes down to a number of things, we have a high amount of youngsters each season and the record of Kylie and Darren with young stock is sensational, they’re both outstanding horse people. “Obviously both pacers we’ll be set for a number of features this season including the QBRED classics plus a few other targets are certainly on the agenda. Both have to come back and prove themselves again but I’m hopeful they’re still on the way up. “I think Heart Of Change is a nice filly, if she could do a similar job to Mathilda Diventa then we’re set for a fun season while Changeoverme should keep improving with time, his mother Mad Mel always seemed to come back a little better at the start of her preparations.” Both Heart Of Change and Changeoverme were bred by the Garrard family, both being progeny of the former New Zealand Cup champion Changeover who stands at the famed Nevele R Stud in Christchurch. The Garrard family has close ties to Nevele R Stud, just like they do with leading Queensland nursery, Burwood Stud on the Darling Downs. So don’t be surprised if more success comes their way this season. Chris Barsby

Queensland harness racing horseman Brendan Barnes is returning home. But it’s a brief visit only. The in-form reinsman landed another Gr.3 victory last weekend with his winning drive behind Freyberg in the Les Chant Cup at TABCORP Park, Menangle in a time of 1:51.0 defeating Stormont Czar and Blazin N Cullen. Freyberg is prepared by Kevin Pizzuto, for whom Barnes works for in Sydney. “I’m coming home for a friend’s wedding this weekend but I’ve taken an extended break and will be based in Brisbane for about two weeks all-up but I’m hopeful of taking a few drives during that time.” Barnes said. The 19yo continues to improve and the winners are arriving at a rapid rate which follows his solid season which netted him 82 victories for the 2015/16 season. He has already landed 6 winners for the current season. The natural lightweight landed a Gr.3 triumph earlier this month with a polished display behind the Pizzuto trained Match Point in the Club Menangle Final. “That was a massive thrill winning that feature with him because he’s such a cool horse and he’s been a massive part of my success in Sydney. It’s my biggest moment in the sport to date and I’m pumped it came via this horse. “I’ve won six races with this horse and they’ve all come at Menangle so he’s played a big role in helping me get established down here. He continues to race in good form so hopefully he’ll keep racking up the victories in the coming months along with Freyberg. “Another horse that continues to do a very good job for Kevin is Blow A Cloud, he’s a former New Zealand pacer that has wicked speed and I believe he’s best horse I’ve driven to date. I know Kevin has nominated both Freyberg and Blow A Cloud for the Inter Dominion series in Perth later this year so that underlines the faith we all have these horses. “I’ve really enjoyed making the move south and the experience has been huge for my race driving, I’ve got no doubt that Menangle is the best track that I’ve driven but I’m looking forward to driving back at Albion Park and competing against some excellent drivers like Shane Graham and the like.” Another bonus in his return home is the opportunity to renew his rivalry with his brother Hayden. Both possess natural talent and continue to improve with every opportunity they’ve been presented to date. “I’m really looking forward to catching up with Hayden and going against him on the track is an added bonus because we’re both competitive as each other. He’s a good driver and we’re always keeping an eye on each other’s results. “I’m sure if we get the opportunity to race each other it will give us the extra purpose of trying to outdo one another. We both love to win, that’s always been the way we’ve looked at our race driving.” *Hoofnote; Barnes has returned for the marriage of Bart Cockburn and Megan Armour on Sunday.   by Chris Barsby

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