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It was a night to remember for Wayne and Lyn Graham. Within the space of 25 minutes, the popular Queensland couple snared their biggest double during their long and decorated careers in harness racing after claiming the Gr.1 $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle plus the $80,000 Albion Park Gold Final. Park Life, handled by their son Shane, claimed the Sydney classic while in-form reinsman Adam Sanderson handled Jossie James in the home state feature. The respected couple have been a regular fixture in Brisbane harness racing circles for decades and has enjoyed tremendous success with such stars like Sparkling Melody, Mach Alert, Yahoo Buckaroo, Lively Highlander, Bossys Henry, Power In Disguise, Innocent Nero, Rapt In Red, French Heiress and Albert Aralar among others at Moomba Lodge, their property at Beaudesert. Their current team is headed by exciting four-year-old Major Coup, a last start winner of the QBRED Breeders Classic Final at Albion Park plus this pair of precocious fillies. Park Life, a $16,000 purchase from the Brisbane division of the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale last year is raced by Victorian based couple Stephen and Narelle Dickson in partnership with local owner Pete Poulsen. The filly was bred by Mario Di Carlo. From 6 starts to date, the Rock N Roll Heaven – Strawbs Interact filly has recorded 3 wins and 3 minor placings while amassing more than $168,000 in stakes. After drawing the coveted inside gate, Park Life was handled perfectly by the reigning Australian Driver of the Year and sat just off the pace which was set by race favourite High Rolling but that filly could not withstand the strong sprint from Park Life at the top of the long straight before defeating Victorian fillies Perfect Sense and Petacular in a time of 1:53.2. High Rolling finished 5th. The time is the fastest recorded by a two-year-old this season. While celebrations and presentations were underway for the diminutive filly, the couple took time out to witness stablemate Jossie James lead throughout and beat Our Major Day and Rock With Sam in the Brisbane feature. The punters favourite rated 1:55.4 in the 1660m event, slightly slower than her heat success of 1:55.0 eight days earlier. Bred and raced by longtime stable clients Trevor and Louise O’Reilly, the Big Jim – Empty Promises filly has now won 2 of her 4 starts to date. The filly was passed in at $7500 after failing to make the reserve price of $16,000 at the Brisbane division of the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale last year. Jossie James has now banked more than $39,000 in stakes. The O’Reilly’s have been breeding from this family for over three generations and have enjoyed considerable success with this lineage. Local horseman Garry Fliedner has played a major role in the development of both fillies and was on hand at Albion Park to share in the celebrations. Both fillies will be aimed at the upcoming QBRED features during the Brisbane winter carnival. Chris Barsby

Former Grand Circuit winner Ideal Scott made a timely return to the harness racing winners circle yesterday (Tuesday). The big striding American Ideal – Tuapeka Wings gelding led throughout to score in the Noel and Chris Denning Pace over 1660m at Albion Park in a time of 1:53.2 defeating former glamour juvenile Majestic Mach and iron tough pacer Destreos. Ideal Scott posted sectionals of 27.9, 30.2, 27.4 and 27.8 seconds. Now prepared locally by Ian Gurney, the return to form comes at the right with the 2016 Brisbane winter carnival just around the corner. During the month of July, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will play host to a raft of feature open class events highlighted by the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake. “He went great and I expected him to perform well following his first-up run for me a few weeks back, he’s training well and hopefully he can return to that type of form that saw him collect the QPC a few years back. He’s a top horse who has been plagued by injury setbacks over time.” Gurney said. Ironically, it was first victory since claiming the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship back in 2013 at Albion Park. But amazingly, he’s only faced the starter 10 times since his latest win before yesterday’s triumph. Ideal Scott certainly adds plenty of depth to local free-for-all ranks plus he adds another dimension to the Gurney stable that already features dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova and the richly talented Mach Alert. Both horses were unplaced behind Ideal Scott yesterday; it was the first run since their Perth Campaign last year. “I was thrilled with both Nova and Mach; given how the race unfolded and where they were drawn, I thought they hit the line as good as anything in that race and they probably weren’t entitled to get as close as they did at the line. “All three horses will continue to improve and the winter carnival is what we’re looking at, that’s the main focus right now. We have other options like the Newcastle Mile and the Len Smith Mile in Sydney coming up but we’ll just play those races by ear currently. “We won the Sunshine Sprint last year with Nova and we’ll be trying to win it again this year while the Blacks A Fake is the jewel in the crown, that’s the race I want the most.” Another addition to the Gurney stable this week is the arrival of talented young horseman Nathan Purdon. The son of champion horseman Mark returns to the sunshine state after stints in Perth and Melbourne recently. Chris Barsby

Everybody fondly remembers their first metropolitan winner. Whether you were the trainer, driver, groom or even the owner – the memories are vivid. Well, Brisbane based harness racing owner and Albion Park course photographer Dan Costello certainly won’t forget his maiden metro winner. On Saturday night, his pacer Karloo Mac led throughout to score a comfortable victory in the Mercedes Benz Toowong Pace defeating Pepperall and Makinamove in a time of 1:58.4 for the 2138m event. Most expected Costello to be behind the lens, but he wasn’t even there. He wasn’t even in the state! Following a mix-up with travel plans, Costello is currently on vacation and watched his pacer from the Wrest Point Casino in Tasmania. “I was scheduled to go to Hong Kong for Winning Post and Best Bets to cover the Chairman’s Sprint, the race featuring Queensland star Buffering and Chautauqua but unfortunately there was a mix-up with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the media accreditation. With Saturday metro gallop racing at Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast over the past two weeks and no Hong Kong trip, I told my partner I would take her to Tasmania so here I am.” Costello explained. Karloo Mac is the first harness horse raced by Costello after talented young horseman Trent Moffat asked one day if he was interested in taking a share in the going pacer. The Art Major gelding has now won 12 races overall and 5 for his current connections. Moffat is currently suspended and his boss Grant Dixon stepped in to take the winning drive. “It’s been great racing this horse with Trent, he showed initiative when he asked me if I was interested and I was happy to join him in racing the gelding and we’ve had a heap of fun. I cheered loudly and I’m certain the security at the casino the other night frowned upon me with my wild celebrations. “I now have shares in three other horses with Trent including Rocknroll Amber, a filly we bought from last year’s APG sale but she’s proving to be a very naughty little lady currently. Does everything right in training but just not on race day, I actually gave a share of this filly to my father as a birthday present so hopefully she’ll turn it around soon. “I bought into another yearling from the sale again this year, a full brother to talented type Cheval Zeppenology and Trent said shares are still available in him while we’ve got another going horse from New South Wales in Treuaper. I think its great fun and I’m also involved in the Albion Park syndicate that races Royal Taz.” Costello returns from his well-deserved break this weekend. And Karloo Mac returns to Albion Park this Saturday in search of another victory and if successful, rest assured that Costello will have his own photo taken this time. by Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 30 April 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 30 April 2016

Harness racing driver Nathan Purdon is set to call Queensland home. Again. The son of champion horseman Mark will quit Melbourne racing and relocate to Brisbane on May 1 where he will reunite with popular owner/trainer Ian Gurney (of Avonnova fame). Purdon experienced extraordinary success last year in Brisbane when working with Gurney before spreading his wings and chasing further experience in West Australia (Greg & Skye Bond) and then Victoria (Dean Braun). But he’s keen for another change and is excited by the move north. “After spending time at different centres around the country, I honestly believe Brisbane offers the best opportunities for concession drivers and I’m keen to get back and have another shot at it. I know they have made stakes cuts in recent times which is a little disappointing but I believe there is still good options available.” Purdon said. The talented horseman is also mindful that the Brisbane winter carnival is fast approaching and is keen to be involved rather than watching from the grandstand. The Gurney stable boast a number of open class stars while multiple Group One winner Ohoka Punter is also expected to head north chasing further riches. “I’m hoping the timing is right and the winter carnival was a big factor in my decision to head back, obviously Ian has plenty of quality performers while Tony (Herlihy) is keen to have Ohoka Punter in Brisbane for the features. “I like the style of racing in Brisbane and hopefully I can pick-up from where I left because I really did enjoy my time previously but probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. It all happened pretty quickly and next minute, I’m in Perth. “Ian has been a massive supporter of mine and I know he’s looking at building his numbers up again so that will give me a great opportunity while I’m keen to build some new relationships with local trainers.” Purdon has driven 29 winners from 157 starts this season while amassing more than $284,000 in stakes. His biggest success this season came via Ima Connoisseur in the Gr.2 $50,000 San Simeon Final on Inter Dominion Grand Final day at Gloucester Park. Another highlight this term was his winning double from as many drives behind the richly talented four-year-old Cruz Bromac. Last season, he drove 30 winners from 140 starters. by Chris Barsby

Queensland trotting filly Illdoitwhenimready has headed south. The Chantal Turpin trained three-year-old left for Sydney yesterday (Tuesday) in preparation for a raft of harness racing features over the coming weeks culminating in the Gr.1 $40,000 NSW Trotters Oaks at TABCORP Park, Menangle on May 21. Her campaign starts next week where she will contest the $10,000 Trotters Flying Mile at Menangle. And she heads south in-form following her excellent first-up victory at Albion Park on March 29 defeating older rivals in a time of 2:02.8 for 2138m. “The victory proved she deserved her chance with this campaign in Sydney so we decided to give it a shot, she’ll be based with Pete’s sister Narissa who trains on the track. Obviously, it’s going to be much harder but she’s only a three-year-old once and I think the benefits of this trip away will help her long term.” Turpin said. The Great Success – Countess Jolie filly has always shown natural ability and has built up an impressive record of two wins and two minor placings from just five career starts to date. With limited options in her home state, connections were faced with two options and decided to press on with the current campaign. “It was either send her back to the paddock or continue and give Sydney a go and we thought the racing campaign would be more beneficial. She won’t be overly raced during this stint in Sydney but we thought the time away would switch her on more mentally. “There’s not much of this filly as she’s lightly framed but she continues to develop and strengthen with each campaign. I know Pete (McMullen – driver) was really impressed with her effort last week and the time was her best to date as well. “The opposition will be very strong not only locally but I’m sure the Victorians and maybe even some Kiwi trotters might head to Sydney for some of these features coming up but the opportunity was there and we’re giving it a shot. I think racing and even training on the bigger track will be a great thing for her also.” Illdoitwhenimready was bred by Turpin and McMullen but is raced by Turpin’s brother Jake, a contracted NRL player with the Melbourne Storm. Jake is currently ruled out owing to a broken thumb sustained in an under-20’s game against the Cronulla Sharks two weeks ago. by Chris Barsby

The QBRED Breeders Classic 3yo Finals were full of high excitement and intense drama. Both divisions were held as Gr.2 $50,000 events at Albion Park last night (Friday) over 2138m and quality was strong with a number of chances heavily spruiked for the respective harness racing finals. In the colts and geldings finals, punters found it hard to split Timmo Time, Frankie Rocks, Leos Best and Catcha Lefty. With Timmo Time making an error at the start, Catcha Lefty charged around the field to lead before reaching the 1600m before the Grant Dixon trained duo of Leos Best and Frankie Rocks making early moves. More interference was met at the bell which enabled Leos Best to find the back of Catcha Lefty. In the straight, Leos Best ($5) finished best via the sprintlane to beat the unlucky Timmo Time ($4.10) by a half neck margin with a further neck away to Catcha Lefty ($2.40 fav) in third. The mile rate was 1:57.0. Leos Best was driven by Bart Cockburn and is raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour. The Cammibest – Miss Marleo gelding is a graduate of the Redcliffe Yearling Sale and is now the winner of more than $134,000 in stakes. In the fillies’ final, again, it was a race marred by interference. The Grant Dixon stable was well represented with punters finding it hard to split Cherish The Moment and Get In The Groove. Speedy filly Firebby fired off the gate to lead and ran along at a genuine speed while Cherish The Moment was forced to race without cover. Heading off the back straight, Cherish The Moment gave ground quickly before breaking which caused a massive chain reaction of interference which had a number of fillies in trouble including Reds Jet Star, Covert Beauty and Get In The Groove. At the line, it was Georgia Grace ($20) who made the most of her luck to score by 2.3 metres from Firebby ($26.20) who nosed out Hereiam ($67.50). The winning mile rate was 1:57.4. Georgia Grace is trained by Shawn Grimsey and was handled perfectly by Adam Sanderson. The Rock N Roll Heaven – Grace With Pace filly is raced by Barry Grimsey and his daughter-in-law Michelle Grimsey and was purchased at the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Brisbane Sales after being bred by Kevin and Kay Seymour. Georgia Grace has now amassed more than $60,000 in prizemoney. The Listed $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 4yo Finals were also staged and the mares final was taken out by Bettor Promise ($3.40) who outstayed Mathilda Diventa ($4.80) while Bettorthanspecial ($2 fav) finished a close-up third. Despite racing without cover, Bettor Promise rated 1:55.8. The Bettor's Delight – As Promises mare has now won the 2yo and 4yo divisions of the Breeders Classic Finals while finishing 6th in the 3yo Final last year. Bettor Promise is trained in partnership by Shannon Price and Scott Miller and provided Bart Cockburn with another triumph on the night. In the Entires and Geldings Final, race favourite Major Coup ($1.20 fav) led throughout to defeat Constantlysideways ($10) by 3m with Drifting Away ($23.90) in third. The winning mile rate was 1:55.9. Major Coup is trained by Wayne Graham and was handled by his reinsman son Shane. The Art Major – Attracts Attention gelding is raced by his breeder, Terry Flynn. Racing Queensland

Queensland’s cult pacer Destreos will be paired with a new driver for his record-equaling 400th race start at Redcliffe Paceway on Saturday night, as the experienced harness racing driver Shane Graham takes the reins in place of the injured Kelli Dawson. After 224 races paired with the 12-year-old gelding, including his last 34 starts, Dawson will be unable to take her customary place in the sulky this weekend after sustaining a fractured tailbone and rib injuries in a bad fall at Redcliffe last Wednesday.                                                                          Enter Queensland’s leading driver Shane Graham as the white knight ahead of Destreos’ milestone 400th start. However, in shades of the famous racing story about the relationship between the great Seabiscuit  and his regular jockey Red Pollard, Dawson has sets her sights on pushing through the pain barrier to make a fairytale comeback for Destreos’ record-breaking 401st start at Albion Park on Saturday, April 9. “I was hopeful of driving this week but I think that might have been pushing it a bit,’’ admitted Dawson. “I’m thinking I’ll be ok for next week. I won’t do much until then. “The pain is bearable, it’s just a constant pain but I’m sure I could put up with it for five minutes. “It’s a great achievement for the horse and it’s a shame I can’t be there this week but I’m sure Shane will look after him pretty well. “Shane probably knows him nearly as well as we do just by watching him every week over the years. “He’s pretty easy to drive, he has a few quirks but for I’m sure he’ll be fine.” Destreos will equal the previous mark set by former North Queensland pacer Cane Smoke of 400 starts on Saturday night, before creating a new national record on Saturday, April 9 at Albion Park. Destreos – the story of a 12-year-old marvel Trainer Ken Rattray said it was an easy decision to partner Graham with his stable favourite. “Shane was available and he’s one of the best drivers going around so you’ve got to go with the most experienced guy,” said Rattray. “I really feel for Kelli, it’s really upset her but she’ll bounce back. “I said to Shane if she’s ready next week, she’ll be back, but if he has to drive Destreos, he is available.” Destreos fine-tuned for his landmark 400th start with a slick trial at Albion Park on Tuesday. “He trialled well on Tuesday, a lot better than the week before,” said Rattray. “I’m really, really happy with the way he trialled, he went a tick over 1 minute 54 seconds and driver Hayden Barnes said he was just jogging. “He ran home his last half mile in 54.8 second which is pretty good time. “He pulled up well and ate up afterwards, so all is on track, we’ve just got to get there on Saturday night now.” To mark the significant milestone, the Redcliffe Paceway will make a special presentation to Rattray and owner Sally Stingel at the conclusion of the race. With free entry to the track on Saturday night, Redcliffe Paceway President Bernie Ring is encouraging as many people as possible to share in this special milestone. The first race is at 5:05pm, with the “Congratulations Destreos 400th Start Open Pace” to run at 8:37pm (Race 8). It will be a big weekend overall for the Redcliffe Paceway, with the club to also host its annual Redcliffe Yearling Sale on Sunday, April 3, where 98 lots will go under the hammer. The full field for Saturday night’s race is listed below: Race 8                                    CONGRATULATIONS DESTREOS 400TH START OPEN PACE                      8:37 PM  C7 Or Better. NDC. NMC. Career & Band Penalty event open to all pacers. (Band 1 = Q5+, Band 2 = Q4, Band 3 = Q3, Band 4 = Q2, Band 5 = Q1). RBD. Prizemoney: $13,000   1780 METRES                                                                                                           MOBILE START            Form   Horse                                      Trainer                         Driver                         Hcp 1          12546  FUNNY BOY NZ                    K L Rattray                  Hayden Barnes (C)     FR1 2          06310  IM BORN TO RULE NZ         K L Rattray                  Paul Diebert (C)          FR2 3          18521  STORMFORTHEBOYS        V L Rasmussen          Adam Sanderson        FR3 4          26422  LEBRON                                 B R McCall                 Pete McMullen            FR4 5          89959  THE DIP NZ                           K L Rattray                  Nathan Dawson (C)    FR5 6          12113  DESTREOS NZ                     K L Rattray                  Shane Graham           FR6 ---------- Second Row ---------- 7          27040  FRANCO BULGARI               P Matis                        Paul Matis                   SR1   Destreos’ career statistics are listed below:   DESTREOS   Foal Date: 14-Nov-03 Colour/Sex: Bay Gelding Sire: Astreos Dam: Melvins Speed Owner: Sally Stingel Trainer: Ken Rattray   LIFETIME RECORD   Starts: 399 Wins: 89 Seconds: 65 Thirds: 59 Prizemoney: $729,686   THIS SEASON   Starts: 22 Wins: 8 Seconds: 6 Third: 3 Prizemoney: $66,937                 Total starts per Track:   Track Total ALBION PARK 297 GOLD COAST 17 REDCLIFFE 16 NSWHRC 10 TABCORP PK MENANGLE 6 BATHURST 1 DUBBO 1 NEWCASTLE 1 Grand Total 349   Total wins per Track:   Track Total ALBION PARK 68 GOLD COAST 6 NSWHRC 4 REDCLIFFE 4 Grand Total 82                   Total drives by individual Drivers: Driver Total Kelli Dawson 224 Scott Kunde 64 Darrel Graham 23 Ken Rattray 19 Bruce Birch 9 Ray Law 4 Ricky Thurlow 3 Mathew Neilson 1 Shane Graham 1 Simon Jones 1 Grand Total 349   Total wins by individual Drivers: Kelli Dawson 52 Scott Kunde 20 Ken Rattray 6 Bruce Birch 3 Darrel Graham 1 (82 total Australian wins) 82                 Adam Gardini

Burpengary harness racing horseman Daren Garrard is confident of a forward showing with his classy mare Mathilda Diventa ahead of tomorrow night’s (Friday) Listed $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 4yo Mares Final at Albion Park. And Garrard believes the timing is right. On Sunday, the Redcliffe Yearling Sale will be staged for the ninth time, a sale that has proven to be quite a goldmine for the Garrard families in more ways than one. This is the sale that the Garrard families are key sponsors and supporters while it’s also the same sale that produced Mathilda Diventa. The Garrard families have won the Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Final on two previous occasions with Couldntresist and Mathilda Diventa while they had the beaten favourite last season with Charlyse. And they have several youngsters aiming at the series again this season. Mathilda Diventa will start from the coveted inside gate while talented stablemates Bettor Promise (4) and Bettorthanspecial (10) face tricky draws for trainer Shannon Price. “If you believe in that type of stuff then you could say the stars might be aligning for us, I’m just thrilled we finally landed a good draw and that the mare is back to her normal ways following that indifferent performance last time out.” Garrard said. Mathilda Diventa failed at her most recent outing when a lacklustre 6th at Redcliffe as an odds-on favourite on February 25. It was the first time the mare has been beaten at the Redcliffe circuit. Garrard has gone back to the drawing board in an attempt to resurrect her in time for the Breeders Classic and he’s confident she’s close to her best again. “That performance caught us all by surprise, her work leading into that race was normal but it was a very warm day and maybe she was in season or feeling similar type effects because she’s been really good in her work since so it’s a bit of a mystery. “I’ve kept her fresh for this race but I’ve given her two recent trials at Albion Park against the open class performers and she’s performed really well. She ran second beaten a head margin behind Mind The Wire in 1:55.4 before running 4th behind Major Coup and Destreos in 1:56.6 at her second trial about ten days ago. “Both trials were sharp and Mathew (Neilson – driver) said she felt really well in both trials and her work since has been really pleasing. The inside draw gives Mathew plenty of options and hopefully we can make the most of it, the Price mares are clearly the horses to beat but I’m confident we can push them.” Mathilda Diventa is raced by Daren Garrard and his father Chris plus Brisbane race caller Steve Hawkins also shares in the ownership. The QBRED Breeders Classic 4yo Mares Final is scheduled as race 5 at 7.24pm. by Chris Barsby Fields for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 01 April 2016 Form guide for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 01 April 2016

Luck goes a long way in harness racing. And Mark Dux is hoping he has a little on his side when he lines up in the Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 3yo Fillies Final at Albion Park on Friday night with his talented prospect Covert Beauty. So far, luck has deserted them both. Following the barrier draw earlier this week, Dux has been in a dilemma about which path to navigate with his classy filly. “It’s probably the only draw I didn’t want with her, its nasty and gives you very little room to move but we can’t change it now so we have to deal with it. Getting a good draw is so crucial in today’s racing, you only have to look at results to realise that.” Dux said. While the draw has taken some of the gloss of the feature event for Dux, he can’t hide his enthusiasm about his pupil. The homebred Art Official – Our Lillyfield filly has returned in sparkling form this season and has finished no further back than fourth in her 8 starts to date this campaign which includes a career best performance at Albion Park three starts ago in 1:54.3. Covert Beauty enters Friday’s feature as an easy last start winner at Redcliffe where she came off the pace before scoring decisively. The leading stables of Grant Dixon loom as the biggest threat to Covert Beauty with Reds Jet Star, Cherish The Moment, Charms On A Roll and Get In The Groove all sporting the familiar black and white checks. “Obviously Grant’s stable will be the toughest to beat, both Cherish The Moment and Get In The Groove are high quality fillies but I think my filly can feature with some normal luck. Tactically, it will be an interesting race because there are some fast beginners drawn off the front-line which could open things up. “My filly is versatile and she’s sensible, we probably need a genuine speed being set because of our draw but if we get it, I think we can play a hand in the finish. I like the way she has come up this campaign and she’s trained on well since her latest victory. “Another bonus with my filly is the distance, she likes the longer races and with her turn of foot, it can be a dangerous combination. It all comes down to luck and if we get it, we’ll be in the mix for sure.” Covert Beauty is raced by Mark’s older brother, Stephen. The QBRED Breeders Classic 3yo Fillies Final is scheduled as race 4 at 6.54pm. by Chris Barsby Fields for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 01 April 2016 Form guide for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 01 April 2016

All is in readiness for iron tough Brisbane based harness racing pacer Destreos and his milestone moment. Well, almost everything. At his next start, it will be start no. 400. Yes, 400 career starts! The horse affectionately known as Dexter, will become only the second horse in Australian harness racing history to reach the 400-start milestone on his way to surpassing a national record set by former North Queensland star Cane Smoke for most starts (401). But there will be an unfortunate omission when he steps out next. Regular driver Kelli Dawson will not be taking the lines behind her favourite pacer. Dawson was badly injured followed a nasty race fall at Redcliffe last night (Wednesday), injuries sustained include a chipped tail bone and a cracked rib. Jimboomba based trainer Ken Rattray and his wife Sally Stingel are now weighing up their options on who will partner their twelve-year-old marvel. “We haven’t made a decision, not yet anyway, our immediate focus is with Kelli and making sure she is comfortable and pain free. We weren’t trackside when the fall took place and when we heard the news; we were shocked and very concerned for Kelli because she is such an important part of Team Dexter.” Stingel said. And to illustrate the bond between horse and driver, Destreos has won a total of 89 races and Dawson has steered him to victory on 52 occasions. Dawson took the drive behind Destreos on Tuesday afternoon when he trialed at Albion Park when finishing as a runner-up to emerging four-year-old talent Major Coup in a mile rate of 1:56.6. Destreos was beaten a half head margin while the final quarter was timed in 27 seconds. “We were really happy with his trial because as we know, he’s such a good doer between races and he’s had a few niggling issues in recent weeks so we’ve backed off on him a bit. It’s just about three weeks since his last start so we’ll probably trial him again next Tuesday before he starts at Redcliffe on April 2. “The most pleasing part about his trial was how comfortable he looked, he’s paced a little indifferently at the start at his past two starts and we’ve worked hard on that issue and he looked much better in the trial. He had a good blow after the trial but another trial will have him in better condition before he starts again. “Obviously whoever drives him in the trial will be with him at Redcliffe but we will make a decision across the weekend. We’ll sit down and look at our options, there are plenty of good drivers going around and we’ll look at everybody before Ken makes the call.” Both the Redcliffe Harness Club and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club are eagerly looking forward to embracing this milestone moment in the coming weeks. As it stands, Destreos has won a record 68 races at Albion Park from 297 starts - a record that has seen him tagged as the “King Of The Creek” while he has managed 4 wins from 16 starts at the smaller Redcliffe circuit. The New Zealand bred pacer has amassed almost $730,000 in prizemoney. Destreos Fun Fact; Q. How many sets of hopples has Destreos gone through since making his Queensland debut back on August 15, 2008? A. 4

All is in readiness for iron tough Brisbane based harness racing pacer Destreos and his milestone moment. Well, almost everything. At his next start, it will be start no. 400. Yes, 400 career starts! The horse affectionately known as Dexter, will become only the second horse in Australian harness racing history to reach the 400-start milestone on his way to surpassing a national record set by former North Queensland star Cane Smoke for most starts (401). But there will be an unfortunate omission when he steps out next. Regular driver Kelli Dawson will not be taking the lines behind her favourite pacer. Dawson was badly injured followed a nasty race fall at Redcliffe last night (Wednesday), injuries sustained include a chipped tail bone and a cracked rib. Jimboomba based trainer Ken Rattray and his wife Sally Stingel are now weighing up their options on who will partner their twelve-year-old marvel. “We haven’t made a decision, not yet anyway, our immediate focus is with Kelli and making sure she is comfortable and pain free. We weren’t trackside when the fall took place and when we heard the news; we were shocked and very concerned for Kelli because she is such an important part of Team Dexter.” Stingel said. And to illustrate the bond between horse and driver, Destreos has won a total of 89 races and Dawson has steered him to victory on 52 occasions. Dawson took the drive behind Destreos on Tuesday afternoon when he trialed at Albion Park when finishing as a runner-up to emerging four-year-old talent Major Coup in a mile rate of 1:56.6. Destreos was beaten a half head margin while the final quarter was timed in 27 seconds. “We were really happy with his trial because as we know, he’s such a good doer between races and he’s had a few niggling issues in recent weeks so we’ve backed off on him a bit. It’s just about three weeks since his last start so we’ll probably trial him again next Tuesday before he starts at Redcliffe on April 2. “The most pleasing part about his trial was how comfortable he looked, he’s paced a little indifferently at the start at his past two starts and we’ve worked hard on that issue and he looked much better in the trial. He had a good blow after the trial but another trial will have him in better condition before he starts again. “Obviously whoever drives him in the trial will be with him at Redcliffe but we will make a decision across the weekend. We’ll sit down and look at our options, there are plenty of good drivers going around and we’ll look at everybody before Ken makes the call.” Both the Redcliffe Harness Club and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club are eagerly looking forward to embracing this milestone moment in the coming weeks. As it stands, Destreos has won a record 68 races at Albion Park from 297 starts - a record that has seen him tagged as the “King Of The Creek” while he has managed 4 wins from 16 starts at the smaller Redcliffe circuit. The New Zealand bred pacer has amassed almost $730,000 in prizemoney. Destreos Fun Fact; Q. How many sets of hopples has Destreos gone through since making his Queensland debut back on August 15, 2008? A. 4

A change in scenery has worked wonders for giant harness racing pacer Ultimate Art. A recent decision from Kristy and Mick Formosa to send their stable star Ultimate Art north to Queensland is paying dividends following his recent open class thumping’s at Albion Park. Now prepared by husband and wife combination of Scott Miller and Shannon Price, Ultimate Art recorded his latest victory last Saturday night after parking without cover in the 1660m event before scoring comfortably in a time of 1:53.0. The big striding Modern Art entire was handled by Bart Cockburn. “He’s a quality animal, there’s no doubt about that and his recent form shouldn’t shock anyone because we know he’s got class and fierce determination." "It was a big call for Mick and Kirsty to send him up but everything is going well and hopefully he will hold his form for some time to come.” Miller said. And connections are already starting to look ahead. The Brisbane winter carnival in July is the immediate focus for Ultimate Art with the Sunshine Sprint and the Blacks A Fake being the major targets. Dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova is yet to reappear following his extended Perth campaign which resulted in the free-legged pacer running a monstrous fourth in the Inter Dominion Grand Final at Gloucester Park won by Lennytheshark; many now believe Ultimate Art could take the mantle as the state’s best pacer. “The winter carnival is clearly our long range target with him but we’ll just take a race at a time for now and we’re thrilled with the way he settled in and performing." "I know Bart is very happy with the way he’s finished off his past two starts and he’s come through both races really well." “While Avonnova is still working back-up to race condition, I think this is great for his confidence and we’ll look forward to challenge when they finally meet down the track." "I’m sure they’ll clash often when both are up and going but for the time being, we’re happy to see him doing what he’s doing." “He wasn’t the best of travelers in the past and with based near Newcastle, it’s obviously a big round trip for him to race at Menangle and the fact we’re quite close to Albion Park is a big advantage for him." He travels comfortably and heads straight for his feed tin once he’s unloaded on race night; it’s making a big difference with less time spent in the float.” Miller said Ultimate Art will back-up and race again this Saturday night. “We won’t overdo it with him but it’s a nice race for him and he’s come through last week really well so we’re happy to start him again." “The aim is the winter carnival and we’ll continue to plot our path to those bigger races as they get closer.” Ultimate Art was an Inter Dominion Grand Finalist in 2015 at TABCORP Park, Menangle when 7th behind Beautide. Chris Barsby

Breeding for the harness racing market in Australasia is never an easy business at the best of times especially if you are trying to market and sell fillies, Buyers are notoriously reluctant to pay anything like the same premium for well bred fillies as they are for well bred colts but we feel that are missing out on a lot of opportunities because the buyers have missed the changes taking place in the stallion market down under. When you look at the present line up of stallions that are dominating the racing scene in Australasia, then just about all the elite stallions are outstanding filly sires. Bettor's Delight is without doubt the best filly sire in the world today, continually churning out champion fillies each season and in big numbers and they are keenly sought after at yearling sales in both hemispheres. Rock N Roll Heaven is another sire whose fillies to be honest are better than his colts in North America, Australia and New Zealand in his siring career to date. American Ideal is another stallion whose fillies often outperform his colts on the track while Shadow Play has five mares amongst his top eight earners in North America. So with such great filly sires dominating the stallion market in Australasia, you would think that fillies would be keenly sought after especially since any well bred ones have a good residual value once they have finished racing which the colts in the main just don't have. Looking through this weekends Australian Pacing Gold Sale at Brisbane and a great number of the fillies would appear to have a high residual value post any racing career. A lot of them come from high profile New Zealand families which are very current in the New Zealand market and have just fetched significant five figure sums at the latest sales in New Zealand. We thought we would highlight a couple of lots from Brisbane that in our opinion would have high residual valve post racing. Lot 450  -  Filly by Mr Feelgood from the Christian Cullen mare Tori Maguire 1:57 ($57,870) The first foal of a smart Christian Cullen mare in Tori France who is a full sister to a champion two and three year old filly in Lizzie Maguire 1:56.5 ($477,366). Christian Cullen is the leading pacing broodmare sire in New Zealand at the moment and for the foreseeable future. A colt by Mach Three from Unrehearsed making him a half brother to Tori Maguire made $40,000 at the recent Australasian Classic yearling sale at Karaka in Auckland. The family is seen as a rich source of  juveniles in New Zealand and has been selling well at the yearling sales for the last 15 years. Lot 431  - Filly by Lanercost from the Bettor's Delight mare in Manhattan Montana 1:57.6 The first foal from a 1:57.6 Bettor's Delight half sister to nine winners including such top liners as Village Hero 1:50.6 ($306,475) and He's My Hero 1:54.3 ($222,293), this is a family that is highly sought after in New Zealand as as can be seen from the latest yearling sales there Two Bettor's Delights colts from Christian Cullen half sisters to Manhattan Montana were sold at the Australasian Classic Sale at Karaka for $80,000 and $60,000 respectively The two Bettor's Delight colts in question are three quarter brothers in blood to Manhattan Montana. At the New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch, a Washington VC half brother to Manhattan Montana made $45,000. Now both the fillies we have highlighted are by young sires  who still have to prove themselves at the highest level but the maternal families are so strong in our view that we wouldn't hesitate adding those two to a broodmare band when they are finished racing. There are numerous other lots for sale at Brisbane on Sunday that are just as well bred in our view and are from families that are in hot demand on both sides of the Tasman. In a lot of ways, the fillies are becoming a better financial investment than the colts these days. Harnesslink Media 

Without fail at every harness racing yearling auction we have ever been to, you will find the odd yearling that is completely ignored by the buyers bench regardless of their breeding or type. Logic goes out the window and yearlings that should make $25,000, make $10,000 We have made a habit over the years of then following such horses through their careers and a lot have done a great job on the track and would have to be regarded as bargain buys. Looking at the catalogue for the Australian Pacing Gold Sale to be held at the Albion Park complex in Brisbane on Sunday, we have spied a yearling which we think won't reach her true value for various reasons but is well worth a second look by buyers. Lot 436  -  Filly by Lanercost from the Dream Away mare in Montana Tess 1:57.3 First crop stallions always face a big hurdle at the yearling sales and are usually heavily discounted due to the fact that buyers have no racing stock to judge the stallion by. Lanercost is firmly in that boat this year and you would expect his yearlings to earn every dollar they get in the sale ring. In cases like Lanercost, what you can do is look at the type of yearlings he is producing and make your own judgments as to his chances of making it as a sire. So we looked at all the photos of the yearlings by Lanercost on the APG site and several took our eye. The one that really impressed us was Lot 436. In our opinion, on looks and on type, she is the standout filly in the sale. She has that real masculine appearance that a lot of the top fillies have while still looking a very athletic type. When you look at the maternal pedigree of this filly, it is one of the strongest filly families to come out of New Zealand in the last 40 years. The third dam of this filly was the brilliant Tempest Tiger 1:58.5 who was good enough to beat the boys in the classics in New Zealand before becoming a champion broodmare. Two former outstanding racemares in New Zealand in This Time Franco 1:57.9 ($249,151) and There's A Franco 1:57.7 ($217,588) are grand daughters of Tempest Tiger. So Lot 436 ticks a lot of boxes for us and has the potential to be a very smart racemare but we doubt that her sale price on Sunday will reflect that. Harnesslink Media.

The last leg of this years Australian Pacing Gold Sales Series will be held at the Albion Park Sales Complex in Brisbane on Sunday, starting at 11am and even though there are only fifty lots on offer, there is a real depth to the lots catalogued. A lot of the lots wouldn't be out of place at any sale in Australasia such is the strength of their pedigrees and we have decided to highlight a handful just to prove our point. Lot 415  -  Colt by Art Major from Courageous Annie 1:52.6 ($201,551) This is the first foal from the brilliant Courage Under Fire racemare Courageous Annie who took a lifetime mark of 1:52.6. on her way to winning 15 of her 27 starts. Courageous Annie was a $105,000 purchase at the New Zealand Ready To Run sale of her year which gives you a good idea of her value in the incredibly strong New Zealand market. This colt would attract attention where ever he was offered for sale in Australasia and to have him in the Brisbane catalogue is a big coup for the auctioneers. Lot 417  -  Colt by Christian Cullen from English Elegance 1:53.2 ($174,923) English Elegance was a top two and three year old filly in New Zealand as her record shows and she has done even better in the broodmare barn. Her first six foals have all been winners and all in better than 1:58.4, the whole six of them. Those winners include such smart types as Elegant Christian 1:53.9 ($219,389) who has won 14 from 25 to date and is a full brother to the colt being offered on Sunday. Other winners from English Elegance include Major Moment 1:54.2 ($149,983) and the mare Meet Me In Mayfair 1:58.4($45,793) whose first foal made $37,000 at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka on February 22nd  Lot 424  -  Colt by Rock N Roll Heaven from Sassi (NZ) A half brother to four winners including such talented horses as Mark Anthony 1:54.6 ($190,600) and Assassinator 1:55.9 ($96,303), this colt is from a half sister six winners including the champion New Zealand age group performer in Roman Gladiator 1:55.8 ($424,516) and ill fated Scorching 1:57.9 ($117,138). It is a highly sought after New Zealand family with a reputation for producing high class juveniles. The grand dam of this colt  in Assisi was the star two year old filly of her year in New Zealand and has done a huge job in the broodmare paddock. Lot 426  -  Colt by Bettor's Delight from Joyous Times 1:57.9 ($88,824) A Bettor's Delight colt who is the first foal from a quality race winning mare is going to get the buyers bench active anywhere in the harness racing world and here will be no different. The bonus is the rest of the family on the pedigree page is very strong with such standouts as Joy's A Babe 1:55.1 ($221,504), Jaccamo 1:53.3 ($281,471) and Son Of Fortune 1:58.2 ($118,537) all close up in this colts pedigree. When you look at his photo on the APG site, you can quickly see what a classy individual he is and in our opinion he is an early short priced favourite to top the sale on Sunday. Lot 432  -  Colt by Auckland Reactor from Medium Strip This is a colt from the first crop by the champion son of Mach Three in Auckland Reactor from a half sister to one of the best racemares of all time in Queensland in Forever Gold 1:51.7 ($700,593). Drop Dead Gorgeous 1:54.4 ($345,836) and The Red October 1:57.8 ($175,639) are close up in the pedigree so plenty of depth there as well. At the recent New Zealand sales, several of the leading trainers outlaid good money for yearlings from the first crop by Auckland Reactor. Mark Purdon lead the way with three yearlings including the colt, Chase Auckland for $45,000 but he had plenty of company with Brent Mangos, Greg Payne, Sean McCaffrey and Nathan Williamson also taking an Auckland Reactor home which bodes very well for his future as a stallion. We could carry on here for quite a while reviewing these yearlings in the Brisbane sale such is the depth this year. We think it is the best overall catalogue we have seen in Brisbane for a long time and judging by all the photos of the yearlings we have looked at on the APG site, the stock are in wonderful order heading into Sunday's sale. Harnesslink Media

The last leg of the harness racing Australian Pacing Gold Yearling sales series will be held in Queensland at Brisbane on Sunday starting at eleven o'clock and as the last sale to be held this year it faces a few head winds. The Kiwi connection that is so evident at Melbourne and Sydney will be that much harder to find this weekend with most of the Kiwis back home home preparing for their Oaks and Derbies now that the Miracle Mile carnival is over. With only fifty yearlings on offer, it may struggle to attract too many interstate buyers as if you miss the one you are after, there is not much backup. However New South Wales and Victorian buyers will be delighted to see that over three-quarters of the catalogue is eligible for one or more NSW and/or Victorian futurities, including Bathurst, NSW Challenge, Vicbred and the Breeders Crown so that is a big positive.  So the initial view here at Harnesslink was that the sale had a few things stacked against it and may struggle to hold its own. That was until we read the sales information more thoroughly and came across the exclusive sales race to be held in Brisbane next year for yearlings sold on Sunday The great news for this year’s Brisbane buyers is that Albion Park will be hosting a Group One, $100,000 Two-Year Old Sales Race exclusively for the 50 yearlings catalogued for Sunday’s Brisbane Sale. This is in addition to APG’s traditional million dollar race series and lucrative Gold Bonus Scheme.   To remain eligible for the $100,000 Brisbane Sales race, buyers simply need to keep their yearlings fully sustained for APG’s traditional race series.   Albion Park will be staging the $100,000 Two-Year Old Sales Race late in the 2016/17 season, meaning that horses can compete in APG’s traditional million dollar series in April, and also compete in Albion Park’s $100,000 Sales Race in the latter part of the season. If a $100,000 carrot is not enough incentive for buyers to get involved at Brisbane on Sunday, then it is hard to know what would draw buyers. A $100,000 two year old race that is restricted to just the fifty yearlings being sold on Sunday should ensure spirited bidding at Brisbane on Sunday. APG deserve a lot of kudos for the proposal as it does give all prospective buyers a huge incentive to get involved on Sunday and it should ensure that the Brisbane leg of their sales series is successful. To view the catalogue click on this link. Harnesslink Media

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