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The wonderful Queensland winter campaign for the ‘Birchip Boys’ could end on a high this weekend. Following the recent domination of stable star Menin Gate in the Queensland and Gold Coast Derby’s coupled with the fast finishing effort of classy filly Morton Plains in the Queensland Oaks, the 2015 stint in Brisbane has been filled with everlasting memories for trainer Larry Eastman and his loyal bunch of owners. But there is one remaining target in sunny Queensland for the crew from Birchip – the Gr.3 $30,000 Redcliffe Oaks this Saturday night. And victory with Morton Plains would cap a dream season. “It’s been unbelievable this season and it’s stuff you never dream of because you never think it will happen to you, I’d never trained a Group One before this season and now I’ve got five of them plus many other features this term. We’ve enjoyed it immensely and we’ve celebrated long and hard, I just hope it never ends.” Shelbourne based trainer Eastman said. While the Queensland campaign has been an extraordinary success, the season overall has been truly magnificent with feature race victories including the Victoria Derby plus a haul of Vicbred Super Series Finals through the deeds of Menin Gate, Morton Plains and Milly Perez. All four Gr.1 victories came at TABCORP Park, Melton. With Menin Gate now back in Victoria and being readied for the upcoming Australasian Breeders Crown series, Morton Plains has remained based in Brisbane and will start a clear favourite in the Oaks after landing the inside gate on the tight turning bayside track. “This filly is not eligible for the Breeders Crown and therefore, the Redcliffe Oaks seemed a logical target for her which will ultimately end her season. I’m so proud of the job this filly has done this season and I think she’s got one more good effort left in her. “Landing the inside gate is a major advantage at Redcliffe and it clearly takes some pressure off now, it takes all the guess work out of the race. Her effort in the Queensland Oaks against Fight For Glory was great and like many in the Queensland Derby, she had little or no chance considering the sectionals Pauly (Menin Gate) was running up front. “I gave her trial yesterday (Tuesday) at Albion Park and she went really well, she got trapped on the pegs but hit the line hard once clear and the splits were impressive. That hit-out will bring her on for Saturday night and I’m pleased with the way she’s come through it, she’s enjoying Queensland but who doesn’t because it’s a great place and we’ve got some really good friends up here.” Morton Plains finished a close-up fourth in the Victoria Oaks earlier this season. Last season, Eastman finished second in the Redcliffe Oaks with Milly Perez, the race was won by local filly Charming Allie. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Redcliffe, Saturday 01 August 2015 Form guide for Redcliffe, Saturday 01 August 2015

From humble beginnings just over seven years ago, Redcliffe’s flagship sales race the Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sales 2yo Final will achieve harness racing Group 1 status in 2017. Yearlings sold through Queensland's popular Redcliffe Yearling Sale in 2016 will be eligible to race in a $100,000 2yo Final and Club President Kerry Ebert is over the moon that the Club will achieve a milestone that many thought would never happen. “It’s been a personal goal of mine to make this happen and to finally be able to announce it during our big week of racing is just fantastic,” Ebert said. “Going back a few years now a few of us here had the foresight to recognize that there was a void that needed to be filled. "There were a lot of yearlings not considered good enough to be sold at the APG sale and they had no official auction locally to go to. “But little did we realize then what we were going to be able to achieve. “By the third yearling sale at Redcliffe we were getting the top lots for our sale. “The Group 1 and the $100,000 is a reward for all the breeders and all the buyers that have supported us.” The Annual Redcliffe Yearling Sale is held each year at the Club by Darren Ebert & Co in conjunction with Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing & Sporting Club Inc. All Horses sold through the sale ring at the track are eligible to register for the Club’s Two and Three Year Old Classic Series. “It was a gamble that’s paid off,” Ebert said.  Chris (Garrard) and I guaranteed the initial $30,000 stakes in 2008 and when we launched it we weren’t sure whether the sale and race series was going to be successful.” Quality Queensland bred 2yo Leos Best won the 2015 Group 2 edition of the $80,000 Redcliffe Yearling Sales Final this month for trainer/driver Grant Dixon with an amazing time of 1.54.9. The son of Cammibest bred by Burwood Stud and raced by Kevin & Kay Seymour’s Solid Earth Pty Ltd. defeated Mucho Macho Man and Timmo Time. Leo’s Best has since gone unbeaten at his last three starts capping his season with a Group 1 victory in the QBred Triad Final at Albion Park two weeks ago. “The horse quality and the race times are just getting better each year and our committee, the sales company, the sponsors and the breeders strongly believe that this race is deserving of its new status,” Ebert said. “We are now able to deliver what we set out to do and we are all very proud of our achievement.” by David Aldred

Grant Dixon holds a bundle of keys to the Group 3 Chris Garrard Patrons Purse at the harness racing meeting at Redcliffe Paceway on Friday night. Dixon has a quintet of starters with three of his team starting at the one, two, three positions off the gate. Leading his raid on the Redcliffe feature is Alleluia drawn at gate one and he will drive the star four-year-old himself. Alleluia finished runner up in last week’s Group 2 4yo Championship at Albion Park won by Sweet Molly O’Shea and the run was a bottler. Bling It On finished third in the race which was clocked in a 1.54.7 rate. This season Alleluia has been in the money 22 times from 26 starts and the son of Art Major has maintained excellent form right through the year, three times putting together a picket fence of consecutive race wins. Dixon has a strong hand in the Patrons Purse with his battery including Majestic Major which is coming off three excellent performances during the Winter Carnival at Albion Park. Peter Greig will drive Majestic Major (post 2), he was aboard the gelding when he finished third to Cheval Clivesdale in the G2 Four & Five Year-Old Championship at Albion Park two weeks ago. Coming from gate three is Dixon’s smart mare Millwood Liberty a winner of four of her last five starts. Dixon's wife Trista will drive Millwood Liberty which has the fastest winning mile rate (1.54.9) of Dixon’s inside front line trio. Drawn out at six is Dixon’s warhorse Majestic Mach (1.54.7). Of the team, Majestic Mach has the best record at Redcliffe winning a Saturday night Open class race at the paceway in May. But that was his only recent win. Majestic Mach, to be driven by Bart Cockburn finished down the track in the Sunshine Sprint and Four & Five Year-Old Championship. Dixon’s other starter is up and comer Supreme Mach which will be driven by Mark Dux and start off the inside of the second row (behind stablemate Alleluia). Supreme Mach is as honest as they come and has been performing well against easier company. Trainer Shannon Price has the fire power to spoil the Dixon party. Price will harness up last start G2 4 & 5 Year-Old Championship winner Chevals Clivesdale. The son of The Globe USA will start from 10 of the back row with the in-form Brad Cowen  at the reins. Chris Barsby

Smart Queensland pacer Terror Time has been sold and will do his future harness racing in North America. The former Gr.1 Nursery Pace winner was trained throughout his career by husband and wife combination of Shannon Price and Scott Miller and now heads to stables of leading horseman Darren Cassar, a native of Sydney. In recent times, Cassar has enjoyed good success with former ‘down under’ pacers including Montana Pablo, Erle Dale, Mr Hasani, Lettucerocku and many others. Terror Time, a homebred gelded son of Western Terror out of the Camtastic mare Kotare Cameo won 23 of his 73 career starts while banking close to $300,000 in prizemoney. “Wilson (Terror Time) did a wonderful job for us and he’s a very special horse to the family for a number of reasons." "The fact we bred him, raced him and claimed a major event in his first season of racing has left us with memories forever.” Shannon Price said. Terror Time is due to fly to North America on Sunday week (August 2). From 21 starts this season, Terror Time has won only twice while competing at the highest level. At his most recent start, Terror Time finished toward the rear of the field behind star four-year-old Bling It On in a mile rate of 1;54.0 at Albion Park on July4 “It’s hard at the elite level and he found it tough going if he didn’t draw well, you’re relying on a fair bit of luck going your way and unfortunately we didn’t get any with him this term." "Some of his efforts have been really good; he went back to back in April and May and rated good time on both occasions." “My favourite memory of him would easily be the Nursery Pace victory because we didn’t expect to win that night and he fairly and squarely defeated Soho Valencia." "It was pouring down rain that night and although we had excellent lead-in form, Soho Valencia was expected to win but Wilson charged down the outside to win it." “He’ll do a nice job up there because he’s strong and holds his speed well, he’s always been very well looked after and he hasn’t been overly raced for his age." "It will be fun to monitor his progress and watch him race via SKY Channel, I just wonder how his best mate Baxter (American Legend) is going to cope without him being around.” Terror Time was bred and raced by the late Tony Price along with his wife, Katy. Chris Barsby

Immediate plans for exciting four-year-old pacer Alleluia have been set  and the proven big race performer will remain in Queensland and focus on upcoming Redcliffe harness racing features rather than heading to Melbourne for next month’s Australasian Breeders Crown series. Last season, Alleluia ran a cracking third in the Gr.1 $213,000 final behind Major Crocker and Bling It On at TABCORP Park, Melton. The four-year-old final this season only carries prizemoney of $50,000 and owner Greg Mitchell has decided to stay local with his pride and joy. “In a perfect world, I would love to head back and give it another shot following how good he went last year but we must look at the economics of the trip and it just doesn’t make sense to make that trip for that type of money when we have a $30,000 feature this weekend followed by another feature next week worth $50,000.” Mitchell said. The features which Mitchell is referring to is the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club events scheduled for tomorrow night, the Gr.3 $30,000 Chris Garrard’s Patrons Purse, a race designed for four and five-year-old pacers under mobile conditions and staged over 2280m. Next week, Alleluia will contest the Gr.2 $50,000 Redcliffe City Gold Cup, a standing start feature which will be staged over the 2613m. “Our plan is to stay here and contest both Redcliffe features before going for a spell, how long he has off will be judged solely by Grant Dixon – trainer/driver). I don’t think he will have a big break but whether he looks at a race like the Queensland Pacing Championship in October hasn’t really been discussed yet." “His form is really good and his efforts in the Albion Park features over the past fortnight have been very commendable, with a little bit more luck in both features he could’ve easily picked up both of them." "If he gets out earlier last week, he would’ve really given Sweet Molly Oshea a shake." “Drawing the inside gate at Redcliffe is a major advantage and he’s the horse to beat this weekend because of that draw, he’s only had the one start at Redcliffe previously and handled the track really well." "I believe Majestic Major is the main danger because he’s facing a significant class drop.” The Dixon stable have a good record in the Patrons Purse winning three times previously (Elzar, Alberto Contador & Supreme Mach) including the past two editions and are heavily represented this year with five starters (Alleluia, Majestic Major, Millwood Liberty, Majestic Mach & Supreme Mach). Mitchell is hopeful he can draw well in next week’s feature, a race he’s won before. “We won the Cup with Only The Brave a few years back and he was only a four-year-old just like Alleluia." "He’s a very good stand start performer and with normal luck, he going to prove very hard to beat.” Chris Barsby

The two latest Queensland trainers to become embroiled in racing’s cobalt doping scandal have claimed their innocence and plan to fight to clear their names. Toowoomba thoroughbred trainer Rochelle Smith will face a stewards’ inquiry next week after two horses in her care returned positives to cobalt. The Smith-trained Vimzig returned a cobalt positive sample after winning a race at Toowoomba on May 16 and stablemate Grey Countess also returned a reading above the cobalt threshold when finishing second in a race at the Gold Coast on May 30. One of the state’s biggest names in harness racing, Darrel Graham also faces an inquiry early next month after his horse Mafuta Vautin returned a positive cobalt reading after winning the Group 2 Qbred Triad 4YO Entires & Geldings Final at Albion Park on May 30. All three positive samples were recorded on dates well after the 200 microgram per litre of urine national cobalt threshold was introduced for both codes. The Courier-Mail can also reveal there has been a further cobalt irregularity recorded in Queensland harness racing. The Queensland harness trainer involved with the irregularity has been notified but RQ stewards are waiting on secondary tests to come back before laying any possible charges. Graham, who is third in the statewide trainers’ premiership this season with his horses earning more than $643,000 in prizemoney in 2014-15, said he was stunned by the positive reading. “I’m completely bamboozled and I’ve had 130 winners for the season and all of a sudden one of these come up,” said Graham, who is currently in America. “The horse was a ($1.40) favourite and we own the horse ourselves and he drew one and if you have a look at the horse’s performances he has had (18 starts and won 12 of them).” Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Smith, who has been training in Toowoomba for eight years, also pleaded her innocence on Tuesday. “Since being informed of the positives I’ve done some research into numerous supplements that we use that contain levels of cobalt so that’s the avenue I’m investigating,” she said. “I’ve had other winners around the same time and all of our horses are treated the same so I was shocked that some had (cobalt positives) and some haven’t. “I’m blown away especially at the levels of one of them.” COBALT INQUIRY WIDENS TO COAST The new positives come after Queensland thoroughbred trainers Jamie McConachy and Len Treloar, who no longer holds a trainers’ licence in Queensland, and harness trainers Shawn Grimsey, Trevor Lambourn and Ken Belford all had horses return positives to cobalt last year. McConachy was found guilty on Tuesday of presenting Vandalised to race in the 2014 Rockhampton Cup with cobalt in his system. By Brad Davidson Reprinted with permission of The Courier-Mail

Mitchell Chapple has had the best work experience week you could ever dream of. Chapple, from Maitland accompanied Ellalong harness racing trainer Michael Formosa to Queensland for the Winter Carnival to be an extra work hand. “Mick offered me the trip to help out around the horses and I have gained a lot of experience and met a lot of great people. We stayed at Shannon Price’s property and it is a brilliant set up, awesome” said Chapple. It soon turned from work experience to a winning drive when Chapple jumped at the opportunity, when offered by Michael Formosa, to take the drive behind Mondo Seelster at the Redcliffe meeting last Wednesday. With the track unknown to Chapple he drove a perfect race to have a one hundred percent winning strike rate. “It was pretty good, the horse (Mondo Seelster) was travelling well but I thought when the leader got away he might have been hard to catch but the horse dug deep” Floweronthewall led the field with Mondo Seelster racing three back on the pegs. Chapple extricated Mondo Seelster off the pegs in the back straight and powered three wide around the last bend for a 3m win over race favourite Floweronthewall with Jack Frost a half head away third. From nine drives behind Mondo Seelster, Chapple has produced three wins and four placings. “We are a combination now,” Chapple joked. Mitch is the son of Hunter Valley reinsman Guy Chapple and there may be a slight touch of competition in the future between the two. “Dad has driven two winners in Queensland,’ said Chapple, so there may well be a return trip for Chapple junior. It was only two days later that Mitch Chapple was offered a drive at Albion Park behind the Steve Cini trained All About Art. “Mum (Ange) owns a part share in All About Art and he had hit his mark in NSW so we sent him to Queensland to race.” There was no pressure for young Chapple with All About Art finishing fourth to Isaac in the Hear All The Action Radio Pace.   “They were all happy we got a run and I was driving. “It was the best experience, I learnt not only from Mick but learning from other people around me and driving on different tracks is an experience I am glad I had.” But it will be a reality check for 17 yo Chapple when he lands back home in Maitland. “I am back to College on Thursday.” Greg Hayes

The 2015 Albion Park winter carnival came to a dramatic close on Saturday night. On a program that boasted four Group One features with strong prizemoney attached and a majority of leading trainers and drivers from around the southern hemisphere represented, harness racing fans were set for a huge night of entertainment. And they got what they were asking for. Brilliant Victorian three-year-old Menin Gate added to his impressive list of feature race victories this season by winning the $150,000 Queensland Derby when leading throughout defeating a gallant My Kiwi Mate and Queensland Oaks victor Fight For Glory in the 2680m feature. Sent straight to the lead by his reinsman Chris Alford from his ideal draw, the $1.40 favourite scored decisively in a time of 1;57.9. He covered his final mile in splits of 30.5, 30.1, 27.9 & 27.6 seconds. Prepared by Larry Eastman, the big striding gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere has now claimed the Victoria, Gold Coast and Queensland Derby’s plus the Vicbred Super Series Final this term. Menin Gate Comeback pacer Philadelphia Man gave his loyal army of supporters plenty to cheer about when he proved too classy for his rivals winning the $125,000 UBET Blacks A Fake. Having only his second run back from a lengthy break, the Emma Stewart prepared Art Major entire worked hard early before finding the lead at the 1800m from local mare Forever Gold. After being perfectly rated by Gavin Lang, the $2.10 favourite scored a convincing victory from a brave Forever Gold while Avonnova fought strongly to hold third placing. The 2680m open-class feature was covered in a mile rate of 1;56.8. The last mile was covered in splits of 31.4, 29.9, 27.6 & 27.7 seconds. Philadelphia Man is now unbeaten in two runs back this campaign while providing Stewart with her biggest victory in the sunshine state. Philadelphia Man Most expected the Victorians to claim the $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Fillies Final with the brilliant Heavens Trend, but her erratic behavior cost her victory. Improving local filly Special Moment ($35.10) caused a boilover downing Sweet As Candy and Aussie Vista in a mile rate of 1;58.0. The victory provided another feature race victory for Shannon Price and Scott Miller plus winning reinsman Brad Cowen during this carnival. Passing the 400m marker, Heavens Trend raced to the lead from Get In The Groove but raced greenly before ultimately galloping which left Trista Dixon (Get in The Groove) unseated while Covert Beauty and her driver Mark Dux crashed to the track. All horses and drivers involved in the incident were ok. Special Moment In the $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo colts and geldings Final, the fast finishing burst from Leos Best ($8.60) proved too much for his rivals in the 1660m feature event. Leos Best, trained and driven by Grant Dixon, forced clear of an early pocket and relished a strong speed to defeat Roarn and Catcha Lefty in a career best time of 1;54.8. The Cammibest gelding has now claimed two feature events this season after winning the Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Classic last month. And the Gr.2 $50,000 Landfill Logistics 4yo Championship was taken out in brilliant fashion by New South Wales mare Sweet Molly Oshea ($11.80) for trainer Blake Hewitt and winning reinsman Gavin Lang. After racing without cover, the Mach Three mare proved too strong for Alleluia and Bling It On in a race record time of 1;54.7 for the 2138m journey. Club officials were thrilled with the big crowd in attendance to conclude a strong carnival.  

The old adage goes something like this, a good colt will always beat a good filly. Well, harness racing history shows that’s not quite right. However, a scan through the record books proves that victories for the fillies against the boys are few and far between. In particular, at the elite level because the colts just seem to be that little bit stronger, both physically and mentally. And looking back at the great names that have tasted success in the Queensland Derby, there is only one name representing the fairer sex. In 2002, New Zealand filly Oaxaca Lass wrote her name into the record books by becoming the first filly to win the Queensland Derby by defeating Mode Of Action while fellow filly Sparkling Melody finished third. Another great scene at Albion Park occurred back in 1992 when Misty Maiden downed an outstanding group of colts to claim the Australian Derby. The victory was the final ever race start for Misty Maiden before embarking on a hugely successful broodmare career highlighted by her freakish son, Lombo Pocket Watch, a three times Derby winner himself. The incomparable Tailamade Lombo was also successful in an Australian Derby, scoring in 1998 at Harold Park in Sydney. Star Perth Filly Whitbys Miss Penny showed her class downing the boys in the 1991 West Australian Derby at Gloucester Park for winning reinsman Rod Chambers. Another great filly that conquered the boys was the classy Kiwi lass Elect To Live, a winner of the 2002 Australian Derby at Launceston in Tasmania. Already this season, two fillies have beaten the boys in Derby features with the Andy Gath trained C C Chevron claiming the South Australia Derby at Globe Derby while the Shane Tritton prepared Miss Riviera Belle won the Newcastle Derby. And that trend could continue this weekend, the top three finishers from last week’s Queensland Oaks all back-up in the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby. The trio of fillies all ooze class spearheaded by four times Oaks winner Fight For Glory plus Morton Plains and Ameretto. Fight For Glory, a member of the all-conquering All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen looked sensational scoring a stylish victory last week in the Oaks but fared poorly with a second-line draw. Her outstanding turn of speed will give her a shot at etching her name into the record books. Shelbourne trainer Larry Eastman is duly represented in the Derby, the astute horseman prepares nominal favourite Menin Gate plus the classy Morton Plains, a runner-up to Fight For Glory last week. Her latest effort followed her maiden Gr.1 Vicbred Super Series Final victory at TABCORP Park, Melton. Champion reinsman Gavin Lang is booked to take the drive. Like Fight For Glory, Morton Plains also must overcome a second-line draw. The eye-catching performance from the Oaks last week came from the Bathurst filly Ameretto for her trainer/driver Ashlee Siejka who finished a fast finishing third. After settling well back from her second-line draw, the Million Dollar Cam filly stormed down the outside to finish a close-up third. Ameretto will start from gate three this weekend. Only time will tell if another filly will add their name to this elusive list. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 18 July 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 18 July 2015

Racing Queensland and BOTRA’s Girls In Pink National Breast Cancer Foundation fundraising promotion culminated at  the harness racing meeting at Albion Park on Saturday night with Natalie Rasmussen taking out the Pink Pants Drivers Invitation Challenge. The victory was the middle pin of Rasmussen’s feature race treble at the second night of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival. Rasmussen was in good touch winning the Invitation Challenge, driving Corey ODonohue for Ron Sallis, and bracketing that victory with the G2 Ladyship Stakes on the Darren Weeks trained Queensland favourite Forever Gold and the G1 Queensland Oaks on her own star Kiwi filly Fight For Glory. The Girls In Pink promotion ran for four weeks from 13 June to 11 July with nominated female drivers wearing the NBCF Pink Pants at each of their drives in races at Redcliffe and Albion Park. There were 21 female victories at the two tracks during the promotion with 14 of those drivers wearing the pink pants to victory. The most successful driver during the promotion was Trista Dixon, winning five races. Racing Queensland donated $200 for each winning drive with the Redcliffe and Albion Park harness racing clubs also supporting the BOTRA fund raising initiative. BOTRA's Marg Reynolds said those Club’s together with donations to the NBCF Girls In Pink web page helped boost the tally to over $10,000 for the NBCF. David Aldred

Fight For Glory might not be a harness racing superstar in New Zealand where she has been overshadowed all season by The Orange Agent but once she crosses the Tasman sea, the Art Major filly is the real deal. That is not to say she is not held in high regard in the shakey isles but in Australia she sits on top of the pedestal all on her own. Even though she drew the second line tonight in the $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Albion Park, Natalie Rasmussen and Fight For Glory was still the favourite just in front of her stablemate Linda Lovegrace. Miss Riviera Belle burned the gate from barrier seven to grab an early lead with Linda Lovegrace in the death seat with Fight For Glory in the one by one early. However after 300 metres Champagne Dreams who was in the trail galloped and caused Fight For Glory to be restrained which let Bettor Promise slip into the one by one forcing Fight For Glory three back in the running line. Surprisingly, soon after Peter McMullen angled Bettor Promise out of the one by one and tried to go forward but Shane Graham kicked up on Linda Lovegrace, leaving Bettor Promise three wide for the rest of the race. Thus Fight For Glory was back in the one by one and as soon as she got clear air at the 400 metres mark, she quickly grabbed the lead and was too strong in the straight. Morton Plains, the stablemate of Menin Gate flew late for second just in front of an equally game Ameretto who flashed late for an unlucky third. Tonights win was the fourth Oaks success for Fight For Glory this season which is a good indication of her class. Fight For Glory paced the 2138 metres in 2:34.4, a mile rate of 1:56.2 with closing sectionals of 56.1 and 27.8 Natalie was all smiles post race. " Once she got into the one by one, I was really confident a long way out that she would win the race." " She is such an honest filly and she can really let down when she gets a bit of cover." " The owners from New Zealand all made the trip over so I am so pleased she got the job done for them," Natalie said One of those owners in attendance is the former outstanding New Zealand thoroughbred trainer Jimmy Gibbs. " It is always great to win a Group 1 in either code." " I am just very fortunate to have Mark and Natalie train my horses for me," Jimmy said. Fight For Glory may have to play second fiddle to The Orange Agent in New Zealand but in Australia she is the queen of the three year old fillies. Harnesslink Media  

The $40,000 Gold Coast Derby at tonights harness racing meeting at Albion Park looked a bit of a gimme for the brilliant Menin Gate after he drew perfectly at barrier two and thats exactly how it played out as the big free going son of Somebeachsomewhere dealt to the field in the manner of a budding champion. Sent straight to the front by regular reinsman Chris Alford, Menin Gate applied the pressure a long way out and had them all in trouble well before the corner. Kate Gath sent Burnaholeinmypocket around to sit parked at the 1500 metres mark giving the other favoured runner Hug The Wind with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike a great sit in the one by one. However Burnaholeinmypocket punctured badly at the 500 metres and Hug The Wind showed little when asked for a big effort by Natalie at the 400 metres mark, running on for a so so fourth. It was left to Spare Me Days to flash home brilliantly from well back for a great second in front of a very game My Kiwi Mate who after being wide for most of the last lap fought on bravely for a top third. Menin Gate paced the 2138 metres in a very smart 2:33, a mile rate of 1:55.1 with sensational closing sectionals of 54.7 and 27.3 It was the eight win of the season for Menin Gate and his second Derby after his success in the Victoria Derby in early February. Menin Gate treated the opposition with disdain tonight and it is hard to see how they beat him in next weeks Queensland Derby. Harnesslink Media 

Night two of the Queensland winter harness racing carnival takes place at Albion Park this Saturday night. And what a star-studded program it is highlighted by the Gr.1 $100,000 Greg & Sharon Mitchell Queensland Oaks, a high quality field boasting outstanding depth with fillies from New Zealand, New South Wales and Victoria taking on the best local talents. The dominant combination of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have the two favourites for the event in the shape of multiple Oaks victor Fight For Glory plus the ultra-talented Linda Lovegrace, both have been impressive since arriving in Brisbane a few weeks ago. Fight For Glory is aiming for her fourth Oaks trophy this season following her success in the New South Wales, New Zealand and Gold Coast Oaks. The Art Major filly has drawn the second-line and Rasmussen is booked to drive. Other features include the Gr.2 $50,000 Gurney Group of Companies 4 & 5yo Championship, the Gr.3 $40,000 Mr Feelgood Gold Coast Derby, the Gr.3 $30,000 Burwood Stud Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes, the $20,000 Lunchbox Lodge Country Cup Final and the $20,000 Rising Stars Championship Final. Another highlight is the BOTRA Pink Pants Lady Drivers Invitation Race which features several high profile local and interstate drivers who are playing their role in raising awareness in breast cancer. Gambling giant UBET are offering several jackpots for punters including a guaranteed $30,000 Quadrella pool which will be staged on races 2, 3, 4 & 5. And Trot Tips is keen to get involved. “It’s another cracking meeting with so many highlights and features, the carnival started with a bang last week and I’m tipping it will be even better this week and the following week which wraps up the Albion Park side of things." "I’m predicting a Kiwi quinella in the Queensland Oaks with Linda Lovegrace the filly to beat from her ideal draw; hopefully we’re cashed up by then.” Trot Tips Mick Polster said. The Quadrella takes in several feature races and Polster believes early favourites look set to dominate. “In the opening leg which is the Country Cup Final, I’m keen on Our Leonardo and Gentle Western as the two to beat." "Our Leonardo was excellent in defeat first-up and looks a certain leader while Gentle Western is a classy pacer still on the rise, although beaten last week." "I’m expecting more from him on the weekend." "For added insurance I would include Nureyev, a strong heat winner last week." “In the Fleur De Lil, the two winning chances are classy mare Forever Gold who faces a gigantic class drop after running a cracking race last week in the Sunshine Sprint behind Avonnova and Smolda." "Natalie Rasmussen drives this week too." "Sweet Molly Oshea was luckless behind Bling It On last week in her local debut, draws perfectly and has the services of Luke McCarthy this week." “The Rising Stars Final is wide open with several winning hopes but I think the main chances rest with Change Of Mind, Mista Natural, Cougar Oriely, Girl With Fire, Major Coup and Lenny The Legend." "In the Gold Coast Derby I think Menin Gate is the obvious while Hug The Wind and Burnaholeinmypocket being the main threats, you could go one out with Menin Gate while the other two are the insurance." "I will play around with these runners and for varying amounts.” UBET also have a $30,000 trifecta jackpot on the opening race while $2000 First 4 jackpots are being staged on races 3, 5, 7 and 8. For further information from Trot Tips, visit the website – The first race is scheduled to start at 5.05pm. Racing Queensland

Gympie's next race meeting, the Zinc 96 Family Picnic Race Day on July 25, is shaping up as one of the most varied racing occasions ever on the Gympie racecourse. The Gympie Club and Racing Queensland's harness racing operations have worked together to have three harness races run at the conclusion of the five thoroughbred contests with a variety of special attractions added to the usual popular events at Gympie’s race meetings. Some characters from the Disney movie, Frozen, will be on hand to entertain the kids while a jumping castle and face-painting will provide further activities for the youngsters. There will be free admission for those under 18. The three harness races will be run on the racing surface, starting in the straight behind the harness racing mobile starting gate. These events will carry prizemoney of $1500. Queensland's Racing Operations Manager, David Aldred said it's a first for harness racing at the sand thoroughbred track. "The race club is very keen to showcase harness racing and there is a huge day planned with lots of activities or everyone," Aldred said. "Events like this are working very well for harness racing here, the grass track circuit and the trotting show circuit are reintroducing harness racing to audiences in our regional areas and sparking plenty of interest." "Just last weekend harness racing was featured on television on Channel 7's Great South East lifestyle program with the Weideman family promoting the Brisbane Ekka show harnessracing and the segment ran for several minutes." The dual code Gympie race meeting commences with thoroughbred racing up to 3pm when the sand track will be watered and rolled to prepare for the three harness races. which will get under way about 3.50pm. The upstairs area of the Bill Bishop building, above the betting ring, will be utilised as a corporate area. Meanwhile there will also be a number of market stalls set up on the day to further enhance the picnic theme of the race meeting.   David Aldred

Queensland's Amy Rees has got off to a flying start to take the top spot on the leader board in the interstate harness racing Young Drivers Challenge being held in Victoria this week. The five race challenge series features drivers from all states of Australia with the first two races held in Victoria's Goulburn Valley last night. Rees steered home a winner and a third placing in the two competition races at the Shepparton track. The three track competition continues today at Maryborough and tonight at Ballarat. Rees opened up the competition with a victory aboard four-year-old mare The Stags Roar, a $5.30 chance. Rees kept the mare back on the pegs and used the sprint lane to power home over Sir Briggen (Haydon Gray VIC) and Hurricane Stride (Todd McCarthy NSW). In the second challenge race Rees drove an outsider Destiny Warrior and came from well back in the running line to take third place behind short priced favourite Karkarooc (Jason Lee (VIC) and Dehillman (Josh Aiken (VIC). This afternoon at Maryborough Rees drives Coast Warning and Grins Rendition in the Challenge races with the final race in the Challenge at Ballarat tonight where Rees partnering the in-form Franco Jaoquin. David Aldred  

Special Moment, the baby sister to Saturday night's G1 Queensland Oaks prospect Bettorthanspecial broke through for her maiden victory at the harness racing meeting at Redcliffe Paceway today and completed a 2yo race double for trainer Shannon Price. Taking full advantage of filly’s good barrier draw, driver Brad Cowen found the top early and Special Moment was not headed from start to finish, scoring in a three way drive to the line. The daughter of Bettors Delight fought off a determined mid race challenge from the short-priced race favourite Steveejay (Peter Greig) and stole a winning break on the opposition on the final turn. Steveejay was under heavy pressure to hold its position and yielded the second spot to Jazzy Artist (Danielle McMullen). Special Moment held a 1.5 metre winning margin on that pair. At five previous starts Special Moment had been winless but looked much more like a racehorse in this event rating 1.59.1 for the 1780 metre Redcliffe circuit. The filly is the third foal of Specialagentcullen an unraced sister to Sydney Cup winner Secretagent Cullen ($337,606). Special Moment’s 3yo sister Bettorthanspecial was victorious in the 2014 G2 2yo Triad Final and was runner up in May in the G1 3yo Triad Final won by its stablemate Bettor Promise. Bettorthanspecial, the winner of her last two starts shoots for her first Group 1 victory in Saturday night’s Greg & Sharon Mitchell Queensland Oaks at Albion Park. Price and Cowen also teamed up to win the first 2yo race at Redcliffe withRocknrollhighlight. The filly by Rocknroll Hanover was having its fourth start and also broke through for its first race win. Rocknrollhighlights came with a three wide run to score in a close finish by a neck over Frankie Rocks (Grant Dixon) rating 2.00.9. Buddy Babcock (Rob Gorman) finished third. Timmo Time (Adam Sanderson) was very impressive in winning the third of the 2yo races at Redcliffe. Settling at the tail of the field, Sanderson whipped around those in front of him and the race favourite exploded away for a commanding 19.3 metre victory in 2.00.7 rate for the 1780m distance. The Western Edition gelding trained at Tamborine by Michelle Grimsey took its career record to three wins from 9 starts. Ima Rock Princess (Peter Greig) and Irishtown Babe completed the minor placings. David Aldred

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