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TRAINER Chris Frisby sick of chasing Tiger Tara with his stable star Our Uncle Sam. In four meetings, Our Uncle Sam is yet to beat Tiger Tara home, but everything favours Frisby’s pacer to turn the tables in Saturday night’s $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park. “This is our chance the way the barriers have fallen and how well we’ve got ‘Sam’ going into the race,” Frisby said. “If we can find the lead, and I think there’s a great chance we can, we won’t be handing-up to Tiger if he comes attacking. We’ll make him do all the work.” Our Uncle Sam has run second to Tiger Tara at their past three meetings, including in the Inter Dominion final and Hunter Cup. “But the difference this time is Tiger is drawn the back row and we’ve drawn so well (gate two),” Frisby said. “I also really believe we’ve got ‘Sam’ as good as we can have him. “We were really confident heading into the Sunshine Sprint last week, but Alta Orlando wiped us out at the start and that was the end of that. “We were due for some luck and we’ve got it with the draws this week. And the 2680m suits him better than sprint racing as well.” Aussie TAB punters agree with Frisby’s confidence, having quickly backed Our Uncle Sam from $3.60 into $2.80 since Tuesday morning’s barrier draw. He could challenge for favouritism with Tiger Tara already easing from $2.40 to $2.60. Tiger Tara’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto remains confident despite the barrier draw blow. All of Tiger Tara’s three Group 1 Aussie wins have come from front row draws. “The draw makes it harder, but I’ve got the horse where I want him. That (Menangle) win the other night was easy and it topped him off nicely,” he said. “Everything tells me he’s at least as good, if not better, than last time in work.” Queensland’s pin-up horse Colt Thirty One is the other major player as a $4.80 shot from the back row (gate 11). He was beaten after burning to hold the front last week, but it again showed he’s at his most lethal coming from off the speed.   Adam Hamilton

A PERFECT barrier draw should see buzz Kiwi pacer Self Assured maintain his unbeaten status and win his first Group 1 race at Albion Park on Saturday night. Fresh from a breathtaking last-stride win over Lochinvar Art in last week’s Group 3 South-East Derby, Self Assured has drawn much better against the largely the same rivals in Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby. Self Assured has gate four with Mark Purdon returning to drive, while major rivals Lochinvar Art (six) and superstar filly Our Princess Tiffany (10) drawn much worse. Only stablemate Jesse Duke, who Luke McCarthy will drive, drew better in gate two. It looks certain Self Assured will push forward and find the front, in contrast to having to sit parked and win last week. The Aussie TAB opened him $1.40 and punters have already stepped-in and he’s now $1.35. Jesse Duke is $5 second elect, while Our Princess Tiffany ($6.50) and Lochinvar Art ($9) are next. In the other feature, the $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake, a back row draw to Inter Dominion winner Tiger Tara has breathed plenty of life into the race. Tiger Tara has gate 12 and already eased from $2.40 to $2.60. Our Uncle Sam, who ran second to Tiger Tara in that Inter Dominion final, has been crunched from $3.60 into $2.60 and could challenge for favouritism from gate two. The Chris and Anthony Frisby-trained pacer was poleaxed at the start of last week’s Group 1 Sunshine Sprint and basically took no part. Local hero Colt Thirty One also drew the back row (gate 11), but it could suit his preferred sit-and-swoop racing style. He’s a $4.60 shot. Last week’s upset Sunshine Sprint winner Ohoka Punter goes from the pole to outside front (gate seven) and is a $51 shot to complete the double.   Adam Hamilton

Mark Purdon will return to the sulky aboard the sport’s most exciting pacer Self Assured for Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby. Sidelined for two weeks with an eye infection, the champion horseman said he would return from his Canterbury stables to Brisbane on Wednesday and would be fine to drive this week. “The eye is about 85 per cent right, so I’ll definitely be OK for this week,” he said. “It’s been good to come back home and rest it as much as possible. That’s helped a lot.” Purdon confirmed he would three runners in the Derby with superstar filly Our Princess Tiffany joining Self Assured and Jesse Duke. “I’ll drive Self Assured. Kylie (Rasmussen) will stick with Tiffany and I want Luke (McCarthy) on Jesse Duke if he’s available,” he said. “It’s not often we run our fillies against the boys, but this filly is up to it. If she didn’t have a setback, we’d have run her against the boys in the NZ Derby and I think he’d at least run second in that. “She’s so strong and keeps reeling-off those quick times when she’s on the speed. “She did that (Queensland Oaks) really easily the other night and I think she’s back to that terrific NSW Oaks form.” Self Assured was so stunningly impressive winning last Saturday night’s Group 3 South-East Derby he will be favourite from any draw this week, but Purdon believes Our Princess Tiffany is good enough to test and maybe even beat him. “If she draws to make the lead like she did the other, she would take a heck of as lot of running down, even by Self Assured,” he said. “It was quite freakish what he (Self Assured) did the other night, running home in those times, a 26.1sec last quarter, when he outside the leader.” The barrier draw for the Queensland Derby and Saturday night’s other feature, the Group 1 Blacks A Fake, will be done at 11.30am (NZ time) tomorrow (Tuesday).   Adam Hamilton

Even 20 hours after achieving his greatest moment in harness racing, Paul Diebert, still hadn’t fully realised the enormity of what he did at Albion Park at 8.35pm on Saturday. “It still hasn’t sunk in. But when you are being contacted by people that didn’t even want to know me this time last week, well then you know something’s up. It’s all very humbling,” Diebert told Racing Queensland. “This is one of the best moments in my life and certainly my most memorable moment on a racetrack. It’s races like this that we all dream of winning. This is why we all work so hard - to achieve results like this,” Diebert said on his way to the Redcliffe Trots on Sunday. Ten years after first doing jog work for his family, 24-year-old Diebert, has driven the Grant Dixon trained Ohoka Punter to his firs Group One victory in the $100,000 Group One Garrards Sunshine Sprint. It was one of three Group Ones, a Group Three, and a Listed race that were competed for on the second night of the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival. Diebert sat behind stablemate, favourite and eventual runner-up Colt Thirty One (Dixon) and then in the passing lane had enough sprint to win by 1.3m. Ohoka Punter’s sectionals were 26, 32, 27.8 and 27.7. He stopped the clock in 1:56.8 (mile rate 1:53.2) for the 1660m mobile. It was Ohoka Punter’s 27th win in 109 starts. He’s also placed 51 times and banked $1.17m in stakes. It was the 9-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding’s fourth Group One to go with his 2016 Blacks A Fake, and 2013 Victoria Derby (Melton) and Great Northern Derby (Auckland) victories. “He’s a great old horse who has been there and done that. He’s rising 10 now so he might be getting towards the end of it, which will be a shame,” Diebert said. “But he felt awesome on Saturday. He was jogging it from the 400m. I hope he keeps racing on next season, because the way he is going I think he can go close again in next Saturday’s Blacks A Fake,” Diebert said. Kevin Seymour, who co-owns both Ohoka Punter and Colt Thirty One with his wife Kay, told Diebert he would be a giant if he won on Saturday. “We had a few light-hearted words before the race and I told him he would be seven-foot tall and bullet proof if he could get ‘Punter home’ – and he did,” Mr Seymour said. “It was a fantastic drive and I honestly believe Paul is one of the most underrated drivers going around in Queensland. That was a lovely drive tonight and Kay and I are so proud of him.” Diebert said he was born into a harness racing family in the Riverina region in New South Wales. He said he got the bug from his grandfather and father and (Norm Diebert Sr & Jr). “They never wanted me to get into harness racing, but like I said I got the bug when I was in my early teens and haven’t looked back. I’m proud to be a third-generation member of my family that has taken up harness racing for a living,” he said. “I have worked for a few trainers since starting out in 2010 when I left school. I even left the industry and went to Thailand for a while. I’ve also worked for stables in New South Wales, Western Australia (2016-2017) and Queensland. “I’d worked for Grant previously and this time I’ve been back at his (Tamborine) stables since late last year. He’s a real pleasure to work for. You can see why he’s Australia’s top trainer. Grant leaves nothing to chance and gives a lot of attention to detail,” he added. After admitting he had a slow start to the season, Diebert has now driven 55 winners this season and just over $420,000 in stakes. He said he nailed his first winning drive behind the Shaun Snudden trained Chrissy Styx at Leeton on April 14, 2012. “I drove a double that day and I remember it well, but what happened on Saturday night I’ll never forget either. I just want to thank Grant and Mr and Mrs Seymour for believing in me,” he said. “There are so many other people who have been great to me as well. I just want to thank them all and let them know I’m grateful to everyone for making this happen. It’s taken a wee while, but now that I’m here I want to do it all again – starting this Saturday,” Diebert said. It was a night when the big guns stepped up. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Our Princess Tiffany ran them into the ground when winning the Group 1 TAB Queensland Oaks. An effortless 11.5m win was further bolstered by the fact she did it in track-record time for 3YO fillies (1.54.7 mile-rate) previously held by 2017 Oaks winner Shartin. “She cruised that tonight. She’s so fit and so well gaited. It was an absolute pleasure to drive ‘a machine’ like this. She has some gears,” said catch-driver, Kylie Rasmussen. The other Group One event – the $50,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queensland Trotters Cup, went to another Kiwi raider, the Tim Butt trained and Anthony Butt driven Majestic Courtney. It was the Butts’ first Group One trotting victory at Albion Park since the legendary Take A Moment won the $200,000 Interdominion Grand Final in April 2001. “He’s a lovely horse who is still only four and has a bit to learn. We definitely think he will make a nice open class trotter one day,” butt (Tim) said.   By Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

IN the moment after Self Assured’s first Albion Park win a few weeks back, Mark Purdon said the pacer “could be a bit special.”  Another two wins down the track and the lightly-raced three-year-old has grabbed the tag as the most exciting pacer in Australasia.  You simply had to see his win in Saturday night’s Group 3 South-East Derby to believe.  Self Assured, having just his fifth start, came from the back row around the field to sit parked and was still good enough to rundown Australia’s best three-year-old, Lochinvar Art, albeit only by a whisker in the last stride.  Wait for this … Self Assured’s closing splits outside the leader were 53.4 and 26.1sec.  Quietly-spoken stand-in driver Kylie Rasmussen was of praise in her conservative way.  “He’s very good to be able to do that. He’s so inexperienced and still learning, too,” she said.  Self Assured’s 1min54.1sec mile rate for 2138m smashed the race record set by Duplicated last year.  It’s hard to critical of Lochinvar Art given the times he ran, but Self Assured simply went better, while the other All Stars’ runner, Jesse Duke, finished a close third after sitting one-one on Self Assured.  Self Assured will be favourite to extend his winning streak to six and land the first “major” of his fledgling career in next Saturday’s $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby.  Lochinvar Art and Jesse Duke will be there again.  But it could be another stablemate, megsastar filly Our Princess Tiffany, who is Self Assured’s main threat next week.  Purdon said a dominant Queensland Oaks win would see the filly progress to the Derby and Our Princess Tiffany was definitely dominant last night.  Kylie Rasmussen took the daughter of Art Major to the front from gate four and won as she liked by 12m in a race record 1min54.7sec for the 2138m. Not much slower than Self Assured went.  Purdon expects to be back driving for the Derby next week, but wasn’t clear on which of the stable trio he would drive.  Luke McCarthy is expected to stay on Jesse Duke with Purdon and Kylie Rasmussen driving one of Self Assured or Our Princess Tiffany.    Adam Hamilton

Fifty-six days after winning the biggest race of his career, Hayden Barnes, now wants to win his first Group event at Albion Park on Saturday night. The 23-year-old Tallegalla horseman won the Listed Flashing Red Pace at ‘The Creek’ on May 18, and tomorrow night he has five drives on the second night of the TAB Racing Queensland Winter Carnival – three of which are Group events. All five of his steers are trained by his father Al. He rated Lincoln Road as his best winning chance, even though he’s not in a Group race. “All of my drives on Saturday can win but they will need luck in the running and for the favourites to go poorly. I couldn’t believe that Trojan Banner is paying $71 to win the (Group Three) South East Derby, especially when he opened up as third favourite for next week’s Queensland Derby. “In saying that Self Assured and Lochinvar Art are both short-priced favourites and that’s why our fella is at long odds,” Barnes said. Barnes’ other Group One drives are behind Lincoln’s Girl in the $100,000 Queensland Oaks (7.33pm) and Northview Hustler in the $100,000 Sunshine Sprint (8.39pm). “Our Princess Tiffany is going to be very hard to beat from the draw (4) in the Oaks, and Northview Hustler could get some of it if Colt Thirty he can hold the lead. We should be one-out-and-one-back, or two-out-and-two-back at worst,” he said. Barnes said it was every driver’s dream to win any races, especially when the big money is up. “I’ve been driving six or seven years now and I’m still trying to get that elusive Group win. It’s something we all dream of, and to have three drives on one of our biggest nights of the year is a great thrill. “The horses are a real credit to Dad. He has done a great job with them. It’s going to be a great night. People from Lincoln Farms in New Zealand are coming over. All up I heard there’s about 30 or 40 coming over – so no pressure,” Barnes said. “If it doesn’t work out this Saturday, then there’s always another big night to come seven days later. No matter what the race, or where it is, it’s still very important tome that I beat home my brother (Brendan),” he added. Barnes went through his book of drives for Racing Queensland. Here’s what he had to say (with draws and TAB odds): Race 3: The Al Barnes trained VISARI (2)  $1.70 – “Even though he’s the favourite, this is still a tricky race for him, especially over the 2,138m. He’s better with a sit. He’s racing real well at the moment and just needs luck. If he gets a good trip he will go close. We sat on Trojan Banner’s back last start and he dropped the bit and then got going again in straight. Each-way.” Race 5: The Al Barnes trained TROJAN BANNER (11) $71 – “The short-priced favourites in this explain his large win price. When the odds came out for next week’s Derby he was quoted as a $5 third favourite. Northview Hustler is our current stable star, but next year I think it might be this fella. He’s going to develop into a real nice 4-year-old. If he gets a nice trip he can give them a shake-up. He follows speed real well.” Race 6:  The Al Barnes trained LINCOLN’S GIRL (2) $34 – “If she doesn’t pull she goes real well. If she pulls she doesn’t run on. Then again if she settles she can run in the top five here. She’s a rough place show if she can get a nice trip. If she gets that she won’t be too far away.” Race 7: The Al Barnes trained LINCOLN ROAD (2) $5.50 – “He’s racing real well. The wet track didn’t suit him last week and this time he drops back in grade. He is a nice each-way show in this. He’s my best chance of the night with the trip.” Race 8: The Al Barnes trained NORTHVIEW HUSTLER (10) $16 – “With the second row scratching he now follows out the favourite, Colt Thirty One, which will help. I’d say Grant (Dixon) will/lead with him and stablemates Our Uncle same and Alta Orlando should go and have a look outside Colt Thirty One. At worst I should be one or two back in the second line. If I don’t have to pull him out until the 300m he should be right in the hunt. If we do get one go at them I would rate him an each-way chance.”   Racing Queensland Media

To own, train, breed, and drive a Group One winner for the first-time in more than 40 years service to harness racing would be “life-changing” for Logan Village horseman Doug Lee. Those were the 62-year-old’s exact words when asked what it would mean to finally crack a big one. “I’ve won a couple of Group Threes, and it would mean so much to my family and even the horse’s family if he got up. “Justabitnoisy’s family dates back to my grandfather’s (Snowy Finn) 1952 U Scott mare, Snow Jane, who produced Snow’s Interdominion Trotting Champion, Bay Johnny back at Globe Derby Park in 1976,” Lee said. “Winning on Saturday would mean the world to me. To win a Group One with a horse that dates back to my grandfather’s days would be precious. He was the one who got me into harness racing soon after I left school in the early 1970s,” he added. Lee and Justabitnoisy have drawn ideally at three in Saturday’s Group One $50,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queensland Trotters Cup. “It’s a nice draw but this fella is a sit and sprint type, who will have to be saved for one run. Hopefully I can get a nice position with him an then he can show the sprint he has got,” Lee said. Justabitnoisy goes into the 2,647m standing start event having won 15 of his 90 starts and placed in 35 others for $129,851. His last two starts have really impressed Lee. Last week the 6-year-old Lawman gelding was beaten 1.8m by the current Queensland Trotter-of-the-Year, Our Overanova. But it was the start before that had Lee looking twice at his stopwatch. “The night we were beaten a short head by Majestic Courtney that horse set a new track record mile rate of 1:59.9 mile rate. My fella started from 10 metres behind that night and we timed him at 1:59.4. “That is very good form going into this race because Majestic Courtney is no slouch and she’s got a tougher front row draw (8) to contend with this time. In saying that she will be tough to beat, and from the draw I’m hoping we will be right in it again,” Lee said. Lee works a team of 12 south of Brisbane, which includes six trotters. “I got the racing bug from my grandfather. I was born in Blacktown (NSW) and have been in Queensland seven years now. We made the move because it was just too far to travel to Menangle and back from where we were living at the time. In total it was about an eight-hour return trip.” Justabitnoisy won the group Three Jim McNeill Trot in 2016 and then he repeated the dose with Scorched in the same race in early March this year. “When the whips are cracking hopefully we will be close to or on the pace. Winning this race would mean so much to me,” Lee emphasised. Whatever happens at 9:12pm, Lee will be hoping his star trotter doesn’t emulate the meaning of his mother’s name. That late 1997 Riegle Lobell mare, Justabitlooney, won 14 races and placed 31 times ($62,621) for Lee between June 2000 and November 2004.   Racing Queensland

An ideal draw in this Saturday’s Garrarrds Sunshine Sprint for talented pacer Colt Thirty One poses the question will the Albion Park track record be broken? Often run as the fastest race of the year in Queensland, there is plenty of excitement around the feature race that was recently announced to have a prize money increase to $100,000 and rightfully be returned to Group 1 status. The official barrier draw was live on SKY1 this morning (Tuesday) and Queensland trainer Grant Dixon can be relieved securing draw number two with his stable star Colt Thirty One. The handy colt has won at his last five outings, taking out three Albion Park feature races, the Egmont Park Stud Mr Feelgood Open, Egmont Park Stud Wondais Open and the Badcock Group of companies Lucky Creed Open. Colt Thirty One has been blitzing the clock in recent times, in particular when he set a personal best two weeks ago with a mile rate of 1:51.3, which is just 0.9 seconds outside the track record set in the 2014 Garrards Sunshine Sprint by Imthemightyquinn. Other talented types that line up this Saturday night include Majordan, Our Uncle Sam, Cash N Flow, Watch Pulp Fiction and Holy Camp Clive. This sought after feature has been a cavalcade of champions over the years that have also added their name to the honour board. Winners include Koala King (1976), Paleface Adios (1973 & 1978), Amazing Trick (1983), Wondais Mate (1986), Thorate (1988), Blacks A Fake (2007 & 2011), Mr Feelgood (2010), Avonnova (2015) and Hectorjayjay (2016 & 2017). The Albion Park Harness Racing Club sincerely thanks Chris Garrard (OAM) and family for their continuous long term sponsorship of this time honoured and prestigious feature event. The night will also host the 2019 TAB Queensland Oaks (G1), Pryde’s EasiFeed Queensland Trotters Cup (G1), Egmont Park Stud South East Derby (G3) and the Listed Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes. The final night of the TAB Winter Carnival and the $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake takes place on 20th July. Silks Trackside Marquee and the famous seafood buffet will be open during the course of the TAB Winter Carnival with bookings available by phoning the Club on 07 3262 2577. Barrier Draw – 2019 Garrards Sunshine Sprint (G1) Ohoka Punter NZ 1 Colt Thirty One 2 Alta Orlanda NZ (EM) 3 Our Uncle Sam 4 Alleluia NZ 5 Cash N Flow NZ 6 Rock With Sam 7 Watch Pulp Fiction 8 Majordan 9 Northview Hustler 10 Cullenburn NZ 11 Holy Camp Clive 12 Letspendanitetogetha 13   Albion Park Harness Racing Club Media

Mark Purdon is back home and won’t drive two of his stable stars at Albion Park’s Group 1 meeting on Saturday. Instead, he’ll be watching on TV at home and hoping his troublesome eye infection recovers in time to be drive in the Group 1 Queensland Derby a week after. “I certainly wasn’t going to be right this week and your eyes are so important, so I’ve booked other drivers for the two races,” Purdon said. Kylie Rasmussen will drive $1.10 favourite Our Princess Tiffany from an ideal gate four in the $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks and buzz pacer Self Assured (gate 10) in the Group 3 South-East Derby. Luke McCarthy has landed the drive on Jesse Duke (gate five) in that Derby. “The horses are in great hands,” Purdon said. “Tiffany can and should improve on what she did winning last week. She’s drawn well and I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t win again. “I thought Self Assured’s win was enormous last week. I’d lean to him even though he’s drawn the back row in the Derby this week. Jesse Duke has the better draw and I’m sure he’ll run another big race.” Purdon reaffirmed plans for all three of his stars to come together in Saturday week’s Group 1 Queensland Derby. “If Tiffany comes out and wins really well this week then she’ll join the boys in the Derby,” he said. “As for drivers, if I’m ok then I’d drive Tiffany or Self Assured and Kylie (Rasmussen) will drive the other. I’d like to keep Luke (McCarthy) on Jesse Duke.” The big winner from today’s (Tuesday) barrier for the $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint was local star Colt Thirty One. “Barrier two is great. Draws are so important, especially in sprint races here (Albion Park). It’s a huge help,” Colt Thirty One’s trainer-driver Grant Dixon said. In contrast, recent Group 1 Len Smith Mile winner Majordan was dealt a huge blow with a back row draw (gate nine), negating his blazing gate speed and love of leading. The other key runners are Inter Dominion runner-up Our Uncle Sam (gate four) and classy former Kiwi pacer Cash N Flow (gate six). Colt Thirty One has already been crunched from $2.20 into $1.75 on the Aussie TAB from Majordan ($4), Our Uncle Sam ($5) and Cash N Flow ($9).   Adam Hamilton

IT only took Mark Purdon one race to stamp himself on the Queensland Winter Carnival. Purdon and co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen’s first two runners this raid – Self Assured and Jesse Duke – snared the quinella at the Albion Park last night (Saturday). The quinella came the day after the Allstars’ glamour filly Our Princess Tiffany blazed her way to a 1min51.4sec trial win for 1660m at Albion Park to show she was right on target. The hype around the Aussie-owned Self Assured continued to grow despite his third win from as many starts only being by a whisker over Jesse Duke after trailing the last-start Jewels winner throughout and getting last shot at him. Self Assured, the latest exciting pacer raced by Victoria’s Jean Feiss, was privately-timed to run his last quarter in a scorching 25.9sec.  “We were rolling along and he did a good job to get up,” Purdon said.  Jesse Duke made him earn it, peeling-off a 53.9sec last half in front after driver Kylie Rasmussen dictated terms in front.  It’s going to take something special to stop the Allstars winning the Queensland Derby and Oaks judging by Princess Tiffany’s trial and the fact Self Assured and Jesse Duke are Derby-bound.  “Princess Tiffany will line-up next week and we’ll have one of these boys (Jesse Duke or Self Assured) in the Premiers’ Cup next week as well,” Purdon said. _______________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart dominated last night’s stellar Vicbred semi-final card, but arguably the best horse at the meeting was Mick Stanley’s Rackemup Tigerpie. More on yet another monster night for Stewart soon, but let’s talk about Rackemup Tigerpie first and where he’s headed. With Chariots Of Fire winner Poster Boy falling ill and being scratched from the Vicbred series, Rackemup Tigerpie looks to have the final at his mercy judging by last night’s powerhouse win. Perhaps because of Stewart’s dominance, punters surprisingly crunched Major Times into clear favouritism over Rackemup Tigerpie, but he was no match. Rackemup Tigerpie did all the work around the field then parked and left Major Times standing in a slick 1min55.8sec mile rate for 2230m. It was 1.2sec faster than the improving Three Summas went in the other semi. “He’s come back really well and is still on the up,” Stanley said of Rackemup Tigerpie. “He felt great in the run and will be better again for the final.” He will need to be now he’s drawn gate 12 in the final. Longer term, Stanley is looking at the Victoria Cup in October. Back to Stewart and she looks set for a gala night next Saturday in the Vicbred finals after winning a staggering eight of the 12 pacing semi-finals run last night. Of all her wins, it was a runner-up who set tongues wagging. Art Major colt Mirragon was beaten a nose in his semi after striking early trouble and settling down at least 60-70m from the leaders. As good as stablemate Pandering was winning the other semi, Mirragon looks something special. It was also great to see Stewart’s star juvenile of last season, Hurricane Harley, back to his best winning a semi of the 3YO series by a big space in quick time. _______________________________________________________________________________ HOPES continue to grow Colt Thirty One is good enough to snatch a hometown win in of the upcoming major races at Albion Park. Trainer-driver Grant Dixon bypassed the Chariots Of Fire and happily skipped last week’s Redcliffe Cup to focus on this Winter Carnival. And, instead of taking the easy option against his own 4YO age group, Dixon is setting Colt Thirty One for the two marquee races of the Carnival – the $100,000 Sunshine Sprint on July 13 and the $250,000 Blacks A Fake a week later. Both are Group 1. Colt Thirty One made it seven wins from eight starts this campaign when he did all the work, ran time and won with authority in the Wondai’s Mate at Albion Park last night (Saturday). It was his 30th win from just 43 starts and he smashed his PB race time with a scorching 1min51.3sec mile rate for the 1660m despite sitting parked. It took 1.3sec of his previous best. It was just 0.9sec outside Im Themightyquinn’s track record, but it must be noted the times were absurdly fast across the board at the Albion Park meeting. Veteran Holy Camp Clive went 1min51sec flat winning the race before Colt Thirty One, albeit after a soft run behind the leader and use of the sprint lane. Colt Thirty One’s owner-breeder Kevin Seymour is clearly excited: “Grant has got him peaking nicely towards the Winter Carnival. That was pleasing.” Dixon snared the quinella last night with rejuvenated veteran Ohoka Punter – also owned by Seymour – following his fantastic second in the Redcliffe Cup a week earlier with a game second last night. _______________________________________________________________________________ DRIVER Mark Reed wasn’t as surprised as punters when he upstaged Chicago Bull aboard Golden State in the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night. “I thought he’d hold the lead and could run 1min55sec for the 2130m, so I wanted to hold the front unless Chicago Bull got to me really easily and quickly,” Reed said. “Chicago Bull had to do a lot of work to get there and, no matter how good you are, it’s hard to come from that far back and do all the work in times like they ran tonight.” That said, Chicago Bull looked flat and tired late to run a 2.8m fourth with inferior horses like Tommy Be Good and Tact Major getting past him late. Chicago Bull has mixed his form somewhat on the comeback trail, but connections are not fazed, citing the fact he’s still not full wound-up after so long on the sidelines. The Gloucester Park card also features Group 1 Westbred Classic finals for the juveniles. The colts and geldings went to top young trainer Justin Prentice,  but not with the pacer most expected. Prentice took the reins himself on Major Martini, who upset stablemate Aristocratic Star. The long-time power combo of trainer Ross Olivieri and Chris Lewis combined to win the fillies’ final with Sweet Lou’s daughter Double Expresso. Chicago Bull’s shock defeat aside, his stablemate Ideal Liner was the other major talking point of the night after overcoming an awful draw to win his seventh race from just eight starts this campaign. Everything about Ideal Liner says he’s an open-class star in the making and already a horse to treat seriously for the WA and Fremantle Cups in January.   Adam Hamilton

THE All Stars’ latest budding star Self Assured will back-up quickly at Albion Park next Saturday night. It takes a lot to surprise Mark Purdon, but that’s exactly what Self Assured did when he ran down decorated and more-seasoned stablemate Jesse Duke in a “warm-up” race at Albion Park last night (Saturday). Jesse Duke ran home in mesmerizing splits of 53.9 and 26.1sec, but Self Assured came off his back and snatched victory by a nose. “I didn’t think he could do that,” Purdon admitted. “He could be a really nice horse. “We changed a few things after that last win of his back home because he paced a bit roughly at times. We added the overcheck and took the half blinkers off. “He’s been unlucky in that he had a freak accident at home and missed lots of the good races back home, like the Jewels.” Self Assured will chase his fourth win from as many starts in the $31,600 Group 3 JC McMullen (formerly Premiers’ Cup) at Albion Park on Saturday night. Princesss Tiffany will also open her Queensland campaign in the $31,600 Group 3 South East Oaks this week. “Jesse Duke will have this week off and go to the South-East Derby the next week,” Purdon said. Purdon said the plan was for Princess Tiffany to join Jesse Duke and Self Assured in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (July 20) if she pleased him through the South-East Oaks and Queensland Oaks.   PURDON’S PLUNDER Where his stars are headed in Queensland: PRINCESS TIFFANY July 6: $31,600 Group 3 South-East Oaks July 13: $100,860 Group 1 Queensland Oaks July 20: $100,660 Group 1 Queensland Derby SELF ASSURED July 6: $31,600 Group 3 JC McMullen July 20: $100,660 Group 1 Queensland Derby JESSE DUKE July 13: $31,600 Group 3 South-East Derby July 20: $100,660 Group 1 Queensland Derby   Adam Hamilton

THE reshaping of Queensland’s Winter Carnival gave the unique Redcliffe track it’s biggest night ever. And the triangle-shaped track – unique because it has three straights – delivered with stellar racing across a string of feature races. First out was the state’s glamour filly Smart As Camm Be, who looked a class above her rivals and delivered with the softest of wins in the Redcliffe Oaks. Life will get much harder when she meets Princess Tiffany in coming weeks. The Sonya Smith and Anthony Butt team produced former Kiwi pacer Make Way to powerhouse Redcliffe Derby win after sitting parked and beating favourite Dazzle Me, trained by Barry Lew of Karloo Mick fame. The biggest race of the night, the $50,700 Group 2 Redcliffe Cup, was the most popular result of the night with hard-working Lola Weidemann driving Clintal Do to win for trainer Richard March. “That’s my first Redcliffe Cup win, it means the world,” Weidemann said. Clintal Do came from behind the leader to nab former Kiwi Group 1 star Ohoka Punter and win by a nose with the emerging Franco Toten third. Ohoka Punter’s trainer-driver Grant Dixon only had wait for the next race, the $100,760 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales final, for compensation when he landed a one-two blow with hot favourite Governor Art beating Signor Jujon.. _____________________________________________________________________________ CHARIOTS Of Fire winner Poster Boy is recovering from a bout of pneumonia which sent a huge scare through his camp. Owner-breeder Bill Anderson spoke of the relief when being told it was no longer life threatening by late Friday. “His temperature 42C when he arrived (at the Ballarat clinic) and it’s now back down to 37.5C … it’s past being life threatening now and his racing career looks pretty stable,” he said. Trainer Emma Stewart said she knew something wasn’t right with Poster Boy during the week. “He didn’t pull-up right after his fast work this week, so we had a couple of vet checks and he ended-up getting really sick. He’s out at Ballarat Veterinary Clinic and has pneumonia,” she said,. “Fingers crossed he recovers well.” Poster Boy was prepost favourite for his Vicbred 4YO entires and geldings final, but fans knew something was amiss when he was scratched from his qualifying heat at Ballarat last Friday night. The regally-bred entire is one of Australia’s most exciting pacers with 19 wins from just 27 starts and almost $800,000 in earnings. ____________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart’s training dominance of the rich Vicbred series has been long established. But she’s raised the bar again this year Stewart won all seven Vicbred qualifying heats for juvenile pacers at Bendigo last Tuesday night. The star performers were colts or geldings Miragon, Pandering and Beale Street, while the standout fillies were Treasure and Maajida. Then, at Kilmore last Thursday, Stewart won five of eight of the three-year-old pacing heats. The highlight of a stellar night was when Stewart’s emerging Demon Delight sat parked and beat glamour stablemates Centenario (who led) and Hurricane Harley (who had the one-one trail) in a stunning display. Demon Delight ripped home in 54.3 and 27.4sec to win by 1.6m over Hurricane Harley with another 3.3m away in third spot to Centenario, who Stewart said needed the run. By far the most impressive filly was Stewart’s Kualoa, who toyed with her rivals by 20.6m in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2180m. The theme continued at Ballarat last Friday night where Stewart won four of seven heats run for four-year-old pacers, including pint-sized mare Pistol Abbey. Mick Stanley’s Soho Burning Love brilliantly won her heat and looks hardest for Pistol Abbey to beat in the final. Another of Stanley’s stars, Rackemup Tigerpie, was narrowly beaten in his heat, but the run was monstrous after sitting parked in blazing times when main danger Higherthananeagle overraced badly in front and dropped out to run last. A superb Kerryn Manning drive gave Three Summas the right trip to snatch a half-head win over Rackemup Tigerpie in a slick 1min55.8sec mile rate for the 2200m. _____________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart’s dominance extended beyond her amazing Vicbred series deeds last week. Stewart stole the show at Victoria’s headquarters, Melton, last night (Saturday) with three wins, including the mare’s feature, the Group 3 Richmond Lass with the outstanding Tell Me Tales in a blistering 1min51.9sec mile rate for 1720m. She also won the fast-class race with recent stable addition Code Black, while another of her team, the lightly-raced Phoenix Prince, was one of the best wins of the night in a 1min52.1sec mile rate for 1720m. Throw into the mix Stewart’s three year-old Hardhitter winning a Breeders Challenge semi at Menangle and it’s surely the best week the stable has had for quantity of wins that matter. _____________________________________________________________________________ VETERAN WA horseman Colin Brown has been best known for his driving success, but he had a night to treasure as trainer at Gloucester Park last Friday. Brown’s two young stable stars – Patrickthepiranha and Typhoon Tiff – won their respective $100,000 Group 1 Westbred finals. Patrickthepiranha was first-out and he used gate three to lead for driver Dylan Egerton-Green and toy with his rivals for a nine-metre win in a 1min55.4sec mile rate for 2130m. Bettors Delight filly Typhoon Tiff also drew well and led, but Brown took the reins himself for a soft 5.1m win in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2130m.   Adam Hamilton

Cobbity Trainer, Craig Cross, believes the Kylie Rasmussen trained and driven Smart As Camm Be has Saturday’s $21,000 Redcliffe Oaks for 3yo pacing fillies at her mercy. “She’s a very smart horse, and not the current Queensland 2yo Pacing Filly-of-the-Year for nothing. She has almost colt-like features. In fact I’d rate her the second best pacer in Queensland behind Colt Thirty One. It’s hard to see her losing. “Of course I’d like to win and anything can happen in horse racing, but someone has got to run second and I don’t mind being runner-up to a good one,” Cross said. Those comments were made in spite of Cross’s pacer, Senora Rapido, having won four of his five New South Wales starts since relocating from New Zealand in March. The Art Major filly has also drawn one inside Smart As Camm Be (5). “Kylie knows how to win Oaks races and also knows Redcliffe very well. Smart As Camm Be has also won 11 races. We will know we’ve been in a race. Chris (Geary) is driving my filly for the first time,” Cross said. “She is very capable and can get some of this, if not the Queensland Derby as well,” the 56-year-old added. Cross is no stranger coming to Queensland and taking home the spoils, but is yet to win a Redcliffe Oaks. The last two years he’s nailed the QBRED Triad 2&3-year-old Group events with First String. “Luke McCarthy drove First String to win his latest TRIAD at Albion Park in April. He’s driving him again at Menangle on Saturday in the NSW Breeders Challenge semi Final. “He (First String) might join some of my team here later in the Winter. Queenslander, Joe Taaffe is bringing Senora Rapido to Stephen Cini and Cristina Monte’s Alberton barn today (Thursday),” said Cross, who works a team of 35 in NSW. He said Senora Rapido had the breeding to make a nice pacer. “She is out of a Presidential Ball mare (Eyre To The Throne) who won three of her five starts and left a good Mach Three filly, who won a lot of races.” That filly was Senora Rapido’s older half-sister, Kate’s First, who was a Group Two winner, who won 21 of her 60 starts ($341,723), and also paced a 1:50.3 mile. Senora Rapido’s quickest mile rate to date came when wining at Penrith on May 2 in 1:56.5. That’s 0.9 of a second slower that what Smart As Camm Be recorded in her 2yo TRIAD final last July. That was Smart As Camm Be’s last race as a 2-year-old. Since then she has won five of her eight starts this season. Up until her last start seventh n the Victoria Oaks Smart As Camm Be had won her last six races in a row. And the gifted daughter of Cammibest signaled a big warning to her 10 Redcliffe Oaks opponents at the Albion Park Trials on Tuesday when recording her fastest ever mile rate. Rasmussen drove her to a head victory over Lincolns Girl, pacing the 1,660m mobile in 1:58.3 with a 1:54.7 mile rate. Her sectionals were 28.5, and 29.8, 28.7, and 27.8. Australia’s top trainer, Grant Dixon, must also be taken seriously in Saturday’s 2,040m mobile. The Tamborine horseman has three in the Oaks. They are the Dixon drive last start winner, For All We Know (1), the ultra-consistent Adam Sanderson drive Eternal Promise (2); and the Paul Diebert driven Ark Me (8), who follows out Eternal Promise.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

During the first three weeks in July all roads in harness racing will lead to Albion Park or as it is affectionately known ‘the Creek’ for the renowned TAB Winter Carnival and the conduct of Queensland’s major feature races that will be spearheaded by the $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake (G1) a leg of the Australasian Grand Circuit on Saturday evening 20 July 2019. The local star in Colt Thirty One trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon has fired the first shot with a resounding win in a lead-up feature the Egmont Park Stud sponsored Mr Feelgood last Saturday night at Albion Park when he paced the mile and a quarter journey in a slick MR of 1:53.4. New Zealand’s top harness barn All Stars conducted by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen will head a list of prominent stables from New Zealand, Victoria and New South Wales that will be campaigning in Brisbane during this time with a list of ‘possible and probable’s that will include leading stables the likes of former NZ’ers Tim and Anthony Butt and Sonya Leigh Smith as well as the satellite stable of Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby. New South Wales will have strong representation through campaigners Chris Frisby, Kevin Pizzuto, Scott Hewitt, John Boserio, Rickie Alchin, Robbie and KerryAnn Morris, Barry Lew, Shane and Lauren Tritton, Grant Jones, Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy whilst the Victorians will be headed by Dean Braun, Zac Steenhuis, Emma Stewart and last year’s TAB trainers bonus winner Mattie Craven to name but a few. On opening night 6 July the feature races are the $30,000 Egmont Park Stud Southeast Oaks (G3) for the three year old fillies, the inaugural running of the ‘J C McMullen’ (G3) for C2 to C5 pacers only taking a career penalty for winning this $30,000 event, the $20,000 Wayne Wilson Paleface Adios Classic for the two year olds and the Badcock Group Of Companies Lucky Creed (Listed) for the open class pacers of $25,000. The middle night 13 July sees the running of the time honoured sprint in the $100,000 Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint (G1) for the open class, the $100,000 TAB Queensland Oaks for the three year old fillies, the Egmont Park Stud Southeast Derby (G3) for the three year olds, the Fleur de Lil Ladyship (Listed) of $25,000 for the mares and the $50,000 Pryde’s EasiFeed Queensland Trotters Cup (G1) and a penalty exempt Female Driver’s Invitation of $20,000. There is every indication with the caliber of the field available for the Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint (G1) that West Australian Im Themightyquinn’s Albion Park track record for the metric mile of 1:50.4 set in this race in 2014 may be in some jeopardy!   As earlier stated the closing night on Saturday 20 July sees the running of the ‘jewel in the crown’ the prestigious TAB Blacks A Fake (G1) for the open class, the $100,000 TAB Queensland Derby for the three year olds, the $100,000 Egmont Park Stud QBred Triad Finals for the eligible two year olds, the $30,000 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4YO Championship (G3), the $20,000 Haras Des Trotteurs Trotter’s Marathon and a penalty exempt Driver’s Invitation of $20,000. The record book shows that it’s a who’s who of winners of the TAB Blacks A Fake (G1) spearheaded by the races namesake who saluted on three occasions with Natalie Rasmussen in the bilke and in more recent times smart campaigners in Let It Ride, Hectorjayjay and Im Themightyquinn were successful. Silks Trackside Marquee and the famous seafood buffet will be open during the course of the TAB Winter Carnival on Saturdays 6, 13, & 20 July with bookings available by phoning the Club on 07 3262 2577.   Albion Park Harness Racing Club Media

With multiple feature races in both North America and Australia, a reputable stud career and more than 3 million dollars prizemoney to his name, it’s more than merited that this Saturday night’s feature race is named after the great Mr Feelgood. Albion Park has been honoured to host the feature race in recent years leading up to the Winter Carnival held in July. Bred in the United States, Mr Feelgood raced in North America for many years with victories including the Little Brown Jug, the Presidential and the Graduate FFA. His stud career began while he was still racing. The best of his Northern Hemisphere progeny are Im Feeling Good 1:49.6 winner of over $500k– (The Big Dog), Feels Good 1:53.2 – winner of over $200k (Camluck) and Nathan Feels good 1:53.2 winner also of over $200k (Keystone Raidar). In 2008, the talented pacer was purchased by distinguished owners Kevin and Kay Seymour and Peter and Zilla O’Shea, and relocated to Australia under the care of trainer Tim Butt. He went on to win the 2009 Hunter Cup and Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, which led to him being crowned Australian Harness Horse of the Year. Taken over by trainer Luke McCarthy, the pacer continued his great form and gained further Group One wins including the Queensland Pacing Championship in 2010 and 2011  and the 2010 Victoria Cup. In May 2012 Mr Feelgood was retired and has since stood at Queensland’s Egmont Park Stud. He has been listed in the top 20 Australian 2YO Sires for three consecutive seasons and he currently sits 13th in this season’s National Sires Premiership for all ages. This Saturday night’s feature race is the first of many listed and group races to be held this winter at Albion Park. The three main nights are 6th, 13th and 20th July with the final night highlighting a Grand Circuit Event the TAB Blacks A Fake. Wagering service provider TAB has a number of attractive exotic betting propositions for this Saturday night’s meeting spearheaded by a $25,000 First 4 Jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 4:47pm EST. This is complimented by a $5,000 Quadrella Jackpot on races 2 to 5 and $2,000 Trifecta Jackpots on races 3, 4 and 5. To view the fields and form analysis refer to http://www.harness.org.au/racing/fields/race-fields/?mc=AP150619#APC15061901 The opening race gets underway at 4.47pm EST while The Egmont Park Stud Mr Feelgood Open Pace is race 6 at 7.11pm. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or info@aphrc.com.au Visit the Club website at www.aphrc.com.au   Albion Park Harness Racing

In a funding package delivered by Racing Queensland to the three racing codes earlier this week came the announcement under the harness racing section that the Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint will have a prize money increase to $100,000 and rightfully be returned to Group 1 status. The 2019 running of the Group 1 $100,000 Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint will be conducted at Albion Park on Saturday evening July 13 on the second night of the TAB Winter Carnival. Chris Garrard (OAM), the long term sponsor of the Sunshine Sprint said ‘the announcement was great news not only for participants in Queensland but the entire harness racing industry. This is the Sunshine State and it is a race that Queenslanders can claim as their own’. He then joked ‘I only wish that I could get one good enough to race in it’. Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman David Fowler thanked the Garrard family on behalf of the Club for their continuous long term sponsorship of this time honored and prestigious feature event. The Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint is certainly worthy of its Group 1 status, since the races inception in 1969 when the bonny mare Teeny Reena partnered by Brian Hancock took out the inaugural edition of this sought after feature there has been a cavalcade of champions over the years that have also added their name to the honour board. Koala King won it in 1976, four years before going on to win the 1980 Inter Dominion and the legendary Paleface Adios became the first horse to win the race twice, backing up his 1973 win with another success in 1978. On the opening night of the new Albion Park 5/8th mile track in 1983, Joe Ilsley drove Amazing Trick to victory in a time of 1.59.4 to break the two minute barrier with Queenslander Wondai’s Mate successful in 1986 while another Inter Dominion winner in Thorate won it in the bi-centennial year of 1988. Into the new millennium and more big names of harness racing were etched onto the trophy including ‘Hall Of Famer’ Blacks A Fake with victories in 2007 and 2011, Mr Feelgood in 2010, Avonnova in 2015 and Hectorjayjay going back to back in 2016 and 2017. West Australian, Im Themightyquinn set the Albion Park track record for the mile journey of 1.50.4 when saluting for the father and son Hall stable in 2014.  Silks Trackside Marquee and the famous seafood buffet will be open during the course of the TAB Winter Carnival on Saturdays 6, 13, & 20 July with bookings available by phoning the Club on 07 3262 2577.   Albion Park Harness Racing

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