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Two of the stallions that appeared on the Alabar Stallion Roster in 2013 will be heading for new farms in the upcoming breeding season. Firstly Major In Art, the 2008 USTA Two Year Old of the Year will be heading north of the border to Darren Reay’s Medowie Lodge on the outskirts of Newcastle. The handsome son of Art Major is not far outside the Top Ten on the Australian Three Year Old Sires List in this current season. He has sired 21 winners of over $310,000 to date including the smart Queensland pacer Major Sam 1:54.7 and the Bathurst based pacers Smack Dab Shannon 2:00.1 and Lagoon Stride 1:59.8. The Two Year Old colt Artillery Major was a fast finishing second in $102,000 Pearl Classic Final at Gloucester Park in mid June. Medowie Lodge is based in the strong Harness Racing area surrounding Newcastle and Major In Art should be a welcome boost for breeders in that area and indeed for breeders throughout NSW. Darren Reay can be contacted by phoning 0429 817 199. The trotting stallion Great Success is the other lad on the move. He will be taking a trip across the Tasman to take up residence at Ken and Jan Wills’ property of Niota Bloodstock at Girgarre (near Shepparton) in Victoria. The now ten year old stallion sired the exciting, but injury plagued gelding, Roy Hobbs tr 2:00.2 in his first crop and has since sired the recent multiple winners Boundary Row, Jeter and Senitas Success. Ken and Jan Wills can be contacted on (03) 5854 6572. Finally an update on Safari, the powerful son of Fake Left. He will be heading back to Alabar’s Echuca property next month to join the other seven stallions that are based at the northern Victoria property. July has been a good month for the progeny of Safari and in particular three fillies. Berisari had only the smallest of noses that separated her from a victory in the $110,000 Vicbred Final for three year old fillies, whilst on the same night Viva Safari finished runner up in the two year old Vicbred Final for fillies to take her seasons earnings past $50,000. Meanwhile in Queensland, the three year old filly Beef City Safari finished second and then a fast closing third to star filly Nike Franco in the Gold Coast and Queensland Oaks respectively. Safari’s service fee will be unchanged from that of last season - $1,650 (incl GST). Alabar Stud

Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn finished the Brisbane harness racing winter carnival the same way he started it. The Gary Hall trained nine-year-old once again captivated a massive crowd at Albion Park with a thrilling come from behind victory in the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake defeating tough local pacer Avonnova and Mach Beauty. Handled by regular reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, Im Themightyquinn sat mid-field in the moving line before sustaining a long sprint from the 900m marker while Mach Beauty led his stablemate Suave Stuey Lombo. With Mach Beauty charging down the back straight on the final occasion in a 26.5 second split, Im Themightyquinn was left working hard while Avonnova sat patiently in the trail. In the straight, Im Themightyquinn dug deep to fight his way past Avonnova to score by a half neck margin with Mach Beauty a further 3m away in third. The winning milerate was 1;56.1 – just outside of the track record of 1;55.9 held by Mr Feelgood. Winning trainer Gary Hall was overcome with emotion following the gutsy victory. “This is unbelievable; I thought he was all done at the top of the straight after such a strong back straight split but he showed why he is a champion and that was an effort of a champion. I’m so pleased for the horse and I’m thrilled with the way he’s been admired by the Queensland people.” Hall said. Im Themightyquinn won both open class features during the carnival, the Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint in track record time of 1;50.5 plus tonight’s Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake. Im Themightyquinn The Gr.1 $100,000 SKY Racing Queensland Derby was dominated by race favourite and star Sydney colt Bling It On who defeated Alleluia and Yayas Hot Spot. Driven aggressively by Luke McCarthy, Bling It On found the lead at the 2000m point and dictated terms in front thereafter before striding clear to win by 9.5m in a time of 1;57.2 for the 2680m event. The American Ideal colt remains unbeaten in Queensland winning all nine starts to date. Bling It On now heads to Victoria for the Australasian Breeders Crown series next month. Bling It On The Gr.2 $80,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour QBRED Triad 2yo Finals were thrilling contests. Jack Malone scored a nose victory over a gallant A Good Chance with Constantlysideways finishing third after leading. Trained and driven by Peter Greig, Jack Malone rated 1;55.9 for the 1660m event. The Cammibest gelding is raced by Patrice Madden. Jack Malone In the fillies final, the Shannon Price trained stablemates Bettorthanspecial edged out Bettor Promise by a short head margin in a time of 1;58.5. Brad Cowen took the winning drive. Bred and raced by Tony and Katy Price, both fillies are by super sire Bettors Delight. Bettorthanspecial The Gr.3 $45,000 Gurney Group of Companies 4yo Championship was taken out by former Kiwi pacer Five Card Draw who scored via the sprintlane to beat Majestic Major and Chevals Clivesdale in a driving finish. Five Card Draw rated 1;55.8 for the 2138m event. Trained and driven by Darrel Graham, Five Card Draw has now won seven races at Albion Park since being purchased by Dean Shannon earlier this year. Five Card Draw Champion pacer Blacks A Fake was another star attraction trackside tonight parading in front of the massive crowd on a number of occasions which was met by a great response. Harness fans Rob Johnston from Cedar Creek and Alan Lendrum from Toowoomba shared in the experience of a lifetime after being drawn as the lucky winners for the owners of Im Themightyquinn and Bling It On for the night. They took 10% ownership for the night with full owner’s privileges. Well done! by Chris Barsby

Harness racing driver Gary Whitaker is in familiar surroundings. The talented Queensland reinsman will take the drive the drive on gifted two-year-old pacer Constantlysideways in Saturday night’s Gr.2 $80,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park. And despite his shock loss in the heat last week behind Admiral Bronski, Whitaker is comfortable about heading into the rich final. “Our aim last week was to give him an easier run as possible with a view to the final but it turned out he enjoyed the relaxed approach a little too much, Admiral Bronski sprinted quickly and got us down over the concluding stages but it will be a different story this week.” Whitaker said. The combination of Gary Whitaker and trainer Bill Crosby over the last decade with feature race results has been extraordinary with a raft of trophies to their credit through the deeds of Western Mail, Shez No Fake, Lady White Water and Morethanmeetstheye to name a few. And Constantlysideways is looking to add his name to that impressive list. The Village Jasper – Misscilla gelding has been a consistent player during his rookie season but Whitaker expects a bold performance in what shapes as his final start of the season before a well-deserved spell. “This is his Grand Final and we won’t leave anything in the locker this week, he’s trained on really well and the draw looks very good on paper so we’ll be looking for the lead again. “If he produces an effort like he did two starts ago when he paced 1;56 and change he will prove very hard to beat, he can win this race but it won’t be easy. His main dangers appear to have drawn to our outside and we won’t give away that advantage. “A Good Chance is drawn directly on our back and I won’t be surprised to see Donny Smith driving through behind us at the start, if he does, he’s likely to end up in front of a horse like Admiral Bronski. I think A Good Chance is the horse to beat because he’s been so consistent all season long, it should be a very good race.” A Good Chance rated the quickest time of the two heats last week with a 1;57.7 clocking in comparison to Admiral Bronski who rated 1;59.0. TattsBet have listed A Good Chance as the $2.40 favourite over Constantlysideways at $3.60. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 19 July 2014 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 19 July 2014

Racing Queensland stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre-race blood sample taken from MACS CHOICE (NZ) prior to it competing in race 4 at Albion Park on 23 June 2014. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre reported a level of Total Carbon Dioxide (TC02) in the blood sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing. Evidence was provided by the trainer Mr Doug Manger, who explained the circumstances and possible explanation for the elevated reading. After consideration, Mr. Manger was charged pursuant to Rule 190 (1) which reads: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The particulars of the charge being that trainer Mr Doug Manger did present MACS CHOICE (NZ) for racing at Albion Park on 23 June 2014, when a pre-race blood sample taken from this horse was found, upon analysis, to contain a prohibited substance namely, Alkalinising Agents, as evidenced by total carbon dioxide (TC02) present at a concentration in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing. Mr Manger pleaded guilty to the charge. When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account: The nature of the substance concerned The circumstances of the case Mr. Manger’s unblemished record under this rule over a 20 year period The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of Harness Racing. Mr Manger was disqualified for 6 months. Stewards directed under Rule 195 that MACS CHOICE NZ be disqualified from its 5th placing at Albion Park on 23 June 2014 and that all other placings should  be amended accordingly. Mr Manger was advised of his rights of appeal. Panel: D. Farquharson, K. Wolsey, P. Zimmermann

Top New Zealand filly Ideal Belle has been scratched from her two-horse Australasian Breeders’ Crown heat at Alexandra Park tomorrow night and has been ruled out of the rich series by trainer Barry Purdon. The New Zealand Oaks winning filly, who would have been one of the favourites for the Group One 3YO fillies division, has suffered a leg injury after being caught in a fence at Purdon’s Clevedon property. The tall American Ideal filly, who showed she was right on song for the series with a smart workout last week, will now head to the spelling paddock. Her scratching means that the Geoff Small trained Zeta Bromac will get a walkover ABC heat win, as will Ideal Belle’s stablemate Sky Major who is still well on track for the 3YO colts and geldings division of the series. In other Breeders Crown news, the Tim Butt trained Field Marshal is set to arrive in Melbourne on August 6 in preparation for the ABC after qualifying in a one horse heat at Cambridge last week, while Katy Perry, who was defeated in her Cambridge heat by Joanne’s A Delight, is already in Australia and will compete in the Tatlow Stakes (Group Two) at Melton on Saturday before heading to a Breeders' Crown Repechage. Katy Perry is just one a strong contingent of Kiwi trained or owned horses that are seat to do battle in feature races across the Tasman this weekend. Others include Messini, Kept Under Wraps, Iceobar, Bettor Rock On, My Arya, Primz Luck, One Over Da Moon, Our Twentyten, and Daenerys Targaryen. However the two highlights of the weekend may come from champion Australian pacers Im Themightyquinn and Smoken Up. ‘Trigger’ (Smoken Up) is set to have his last start in New South Wales at Menangle on Saturday and his trainer-driver Lance Justice is expecting a big performance, while ‘Quinny’, who will be reunited with Gary Hall Jnr, will battle it out with Mach Beauty, Suave Stuey Lombo, and Avonnova for Group One glory in the Blake’s A Fake at Albion Park on Saturday. After much talk about drivers leading into the race, Lauren Panella has decided to stick with Mach Beauty, while Bart Cockburn, who has been sacked from Avonnova after his interesting drive in the Sunshine Sprint, will take the reins behind Suave Stuey Lombo. Replacing Cockburn in the sulky behind Queensland star Avonnova is Shane Graham, who was victorious in his only drive on the gelding. By Mitchell Robertson  

Let’s take a walk down memory lane. The feature event this weekend at Albion Park is the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake, a race named in honour of the greatest Queensland pacer of all time. And arguably, the best this country has ever produced. Born and raised on the lush soils on the Darling Downs at Egmont Park Stud at Toowoomba in Queensland, the rise to prominence for the horse affectionately known as ‘Blackie’ was meteoric and just like his tenacity to win, simply spectacular. Blacks A Fake was raced by Cheryl Rasmussen, the mother of the young trainer/driver plus Helen Pointer, the wife of Ron Pointer who shared in the ownership of Egmont Park Stud and Trevor Titcomb, a fish ‘n’ chip shop owner at Boonah, west of Brisbane. Partnered throughout his entire life with a talented young horseperson in Natalie Rasmussen, the pair combined to attract fans world wild as they dominated some of the biggest pacing events in the southern hemisphere and at times, on more than one occasion, and in a sport which is largely male dominated. But that never stopped the runaway success train of Blackie and Natalie Rasmussen as they plundered features throughout Australia year after year and in doing so, continued to re-write the record books. When the dynamic duo combined to win the first of their four record breaking Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Finals in Tasmania back in 2006, they became the first Queenslander and first female to win the prestigious event. The record books clearly show that Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen are Inter Dominion legends, they combined to win four titles starting with their initial success in Hobart back in 2006 followed by their victory in Adelaide in 2007 while completing the hat-trick in 2008 in front of a massive Moonee Valley crowd in Melbourne. In 2009, on his home soil on the Gold Coast, Blacks A Fake was run down late by former North American pacer Mr Feelgood to deny him an historic moment after he was savaged in front by a tear away Auckland Reactor. Sharing the record with Our Sir Vancelot as triple Inter Dominion winners lasted only another twelve months because in 2010 at TABCORP Park, Menangle, Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen created their piece of history as four time Inter Dominion champions after fighting off fierce rivals Monkey King and Smoken Up in an epic battle. The record of four Inter Dominion titles has never been broken but Im Themightyquinn is still a legitimate chance of equaling it if he remains sounds over the next twelve months but, as it stands, Blackie is the complete Inter Dominion king. A crown thoroughly and richly deserved. Fittingly, both Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen have been recognized in the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame. The record of Blackie in his home state of Queensland is also worthy of special mention. In Queensland, or more importantly Albion Park, Blacks A Fake and Natalie constantly thrilled the local fans winning many a race on the famed Breakfast Creek site. Blacks A Fake started 56 times at Albion Park (technically 52 but four races were staged at the Gold Coast in lieu of Albion Park including the Inter Dominion and 2009 QPC among other events) and won on 42 occasions while also managing 12 minor placings. He amassed more than $1 million in prizemoney at Albion Park. In other key stats with Blacks A Fake and Albion Park, his arch rival and dual Miracle Mile champion Be Good Johnny finished second to Blackie 6 times. His shortest winning margin was a half head victory over Slipnslide in the 3yo QBRED Triad Final. The biggest winning margin was 19.8m over Loud N Clear in a C9+ event in 2009. He never started in a ‘SS’ event at Albion Park, only 6 in his career. His most starts in a season at Albion Park came in his last with 14 runs while he never started during the 2004/05 season. Blacks A Fake won the Winter Cup three times, the race that now carries his name. Ironically, the favourite the for the 2014 Blacks A Fake is Im Themightyquinn, the wonder from the west who is rapidly closing in on his Inter Dominion record while looking certain to eclipse the Australian prizemoney record held by Blackie at $4, 575, 438. Im Themightyquinn requires another $67, 982 to pass the record. Fittingly, these two champion pacers, the two greatest of the modern era will come face to face on Saturday night as Blacks A Fake will lead out his race. Blacks A Fake – a living legend! By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Everything is in readiness. That’s the simple message from star Perth trainer Gary Hall in regard to his champion pacer Im Themightyquinn who lines up in Saturday night’s Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake at Albion Park. The brilliant pacer has made the Queensland winter carnival which started with his stunning track record breaking performance in the Sunshine Sprint back on July 5 and he’s looking to close the carnival with another sizzling display this weekend. Many fans, new and old, have returned to Albion Park this month to witness the amazing pacer go about his business and it’s obvious he’s left his legion of fans still craving more. After drawing wide off the front-line in his two starts to date, Im Themightyquinn must overcome a second-line draw to win the race named in honour of the greatest pacer of all time. But the gap is shortening between Blacks A Fake and Im Themightyquinn. The retired Queensland superstar currently holds the record for most Inter Dominions (4) won plus his earning capacity is still far bigger than any other harness horse. Ever so slightly, Im Themightyquinn has chipped away at both records with the speed machine collecting three Inter Dominion titles while he is only $67, 982 short of the prizemoney record. “Records are meant to be broken, isn’t that the old saying?” Hall quipped. In a fantastic boost for harness racing fans, the two greatest pacers of the modern era will both be at Albion Park this Saturday night. And while Hall is excited about his race, he’s just as excited about seeing Blackie. “I love Blacks A Fake; he was an absolute superstar on and off the track and I’m looking forward to seeing him again on Saturday night. Horses like Quinny, Blackie and Smoken Up are all just absolute heroes that deserve all the recognition they get, we need more of them. “It should be a great night on Saturday, Quinny is ready to go and everything has gone to plan during his Queensland campaign. He’s trained on really well since last weekend and we’re expecting another big effort this week. “Quinny thrives on racing and he certainly has enjoyed himself here in Brisbane, the warm sunshine has done wonders for him and it’s great to see so many fans of the horse here in this state.” Initially disappointed by the barrier draw, Hall believes his superior staying qualities will carry him a long way in the 2680m contest. “Just look at his record in races at 2600m and beyond, it’s outstanding and he just thrives on these big stages. He has the brilliant high cruising speed but then he can rattle off the sprint at the end of it which makes him so lethal. “Obviously the Shane Tritton runners loom as the dangers from their front-line draws and they will prove hard to catch, Suave Stuey Lombo proved last week he can beat us given the right run so it won’t be easy but I can’t fault my horse.” Im Themightyquinn is currently quoted at $1.65 with TattsBet to win on Saturday night. The champion pacer is due to fly out of Brisbane on Monday bound for Perth. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Goulburn harness racing trainer Brad Hewitt celebrated the biggest win of his career when his two year old Spare Me Days won the Breeders Challenge Blue Final for two year old colts and geldings on Saturday night. Unfortunately for Hewitt he was unable to be trackside for the victory as he was in Queensland with his smart three year old Im Jay Tee. "Yeah it was really good to win a race like that, it was my first group win as a trainer and to see Dad (David Hewitt) drive him and win a nice race like that made it even more special," Hewitt said. "Dad had only had three or four drives back from a nasty fall at Canberra and it was actually his first night back driving at Menangle." Hewitt bred and owns Spare Me Days and has now decided to spell the son of Ifihadyourluck. "He's going to the paddock, he had a few little niggling issues in the lead up to the main Breeders Challenge final and his run in that race was huge, he galloped at the start and probably lost 30 metres and was only beaten about three. "There's not a whole lot of him so I think the spell will help him. He is a beautiful natured horse but once you take him to the races he turns into a machine." Stablemate Im Jay Tee will compete in Saturday night's Queensland Derby and Hewitt was impressed by his performance in last Saturday's Gold Coast Derby. "He ran fifth in the Futurity in his first run in Queensland and I was pretty disappointed with that but he did have to travel up from home so maybe that flattened him a bit." "The run on Saturday night was much better. He hit the line really well and was taking ground off horses like Bling It On and Alleluia so if he gets the right trip this week I don't think he will be too far away." By Greg Hayes  | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Hunter Valley harness racin trainer Shane Tritton is hoping he can go one better on his second placing in the Sunshine Sprint when he launches his attacking raid on the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park this Saturday night. Tritton has three runners in the race this weekend but his two main chances according to the bookmakers, Mach Beauty and Suave Stuey Lombo have drawn the same gates this week as they did in the Sunshine Sprint. "I'm happy with the draw for all three of my horses, obviously Mach (Beauty) drawing one is ideal because he needs to be on the fence, Suave Stuey Lombo can work forward this week from seven because he lost all winning chance in the Sunshine Sprint when he went back while Brave Wiggy should get a nice economical trip from barrier two," Tritton said. "Mach Beauty had a pretty tough run on Saturday night and was well beaten by Chilli Palmer but I think I have been a bit easy on him since I arrived in Queensland because I have been working on a new track. I will be really drilling the work into him this week and I expect him to be a much better prospect." Tritton acknowledges Im Themightyquinn is going to be incredibly hard to beat and deserves his favouritism. "He has been a great horse for so long and he has been in great form since he arrived in Brisbane including that huge win in the Sunshine Sprint when the track record was smashed." The Blacks A Fake has been a graveyard for short priced favourites since the race was elevated to Gr. 1 status, in fact three of the last four years has seen stars beaten. In 2012 Smoken Up was rolled by Terrorway, in 2011 Blacks A Fake tasted defeat at the hands of Georgetown while Mr Feelgood finished behind Rohan Home. The other Gr. 1 event on the night will be the Queensland Derby and the Tritton stable will be represented by Yayas Hotspot. "Gate three is good for him, he has been racing without the hood this time in and he hasn't been the same horse so I have decided to put the hood back on him and if his work early this week has been anything to go by I think he will improve a great deal." By Greg Hayes Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Hunter Valley harness racin trainer Shane Tritton is hoping he can go one better on his second placing in the Sunshine Sprint when he launches his attacking raid on the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park this Saturday night. Tritton has three runners in the race this weekend but his two main chances according to the bookmakers, Mach Beauty and Suave Stuey Lombo have drawn the same gates this week as they did in the Sunshine Sprint. "I'm happy with the draw for all three of my horses, obviously Mach (Beauty) drawing one is ideal because he needs to be on the fence, Suave Stuey Lombo can work forward this week from seven because he lost all winning chance in the Sunshine Sprint when he went back while Brave Wiggy should get a nice economical trip from barrier two," Tritton said. "Mach Beauty had a pretty tough run on Saturday night and was well beaten by Chilli Palmer but I think I have been a bit easy on him since I arrived in Queensland because I have been working on a new track. I will be really drilling the work into him this week and I expect him to be a much better prospect." Tritton acknowledges Im Themightyquinn is going to be incredibly hard to beat and deserves his favouritism. "He has been a great horse for so long and he has been in great form since he arrived in Brisbane including that huge win in the Sunshine Sprint when the track record was smashed." The Blacks A Fake has been a graveyard for short priced favourites since the race was elevated to Gr. 1 status, in fact three of the last four years has seen stars beaten. In 2012 Smoken Up was rolled by Terrorway, in 2011 Blacks A Fake tasted defeat at the hands of Georgetown while Mr Feelgood finished behind Rohan Home. The other Gr. 1 event on the night will be the Queensland Derby and the Tritton stable will be represented by Yayas Hotspot. "Gate three is good for him, he has been racing without the hood this time in and he hasn't been the same horse so I have decided to put the hood back on him and if his work early this week has been anything to go by I think he will improve a great deal." By Greg Hayes Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Harness Jewels winner Beaudine Boaz is set to make his Australian debut in the $125,000 Group One Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Saturday. And if his recent Byford trial where he mile rated 1:58.6 on his way to an impressive win is anything to go by he will take all sorts of beating. The Badlands Hanover colt dashed his last half in 56.4 in his trial and impressed driver Gary Hall Jnr, who bypassed the opportunity to drive Im Themightyquinn in Queensland in order to handle the 2YO Emerald winner in his main hit-out before Saturday’s prestigious two-year-old event.  Beaudiene Boaz, who is a half-brother to top mare Beaudiene Bad Babe, is just one of a few expensive purchases made by clients of the Gary Hall Snr stable in recent months.  Other classy New Zealand juveniles they have snapped up included high priced fillies Nuala and Giuliana Rancic. Meanwhile, impressive debut juvenile winner Connoisseur, who was purchased out off the barn of John and Joshua Dickie by clients of  Greg Bond for a large six-figure sum, will miss the Golden Slipper, with his new connections opting to spell him before bringing him back for early three-year-old racing. Rycroft, an Elsu two-year-old who was also very impressive when winning his debut for Tony Herlihy at Alexandra Park a fortnight ago, is also in Perth after being secured for big money. He has joined the stable of Mike Reed, who has enjoyed tremendious success with former kiwi filly Libertybelle Midfrew this season. Rycroft, like Connoisseur, will now be spelled and will therefore miss this weekend’s two-year-old feature. By Mitchell Robertson

Harness Jewels winner Beaudine Boaz is set to make his Australian debut in the $125,000 Group One Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Saturday. And if his recent Byford trial where he mile rated 1:58.6 on his way to an impressive win is anything to go by he will take all sorts of beating. The Badlands Hanover colt dashed his last half in 56.4 in his trial and impressed driver Gary Hall Jnr, who bypassed the opportunity to drive Im Themightyquinn in Queensland in order to handle the 2YO Emerald winner in his main hit-out before Saturday’s prestigious two-year-old event.  Beaudiene Boaz, who is a half-brother to top mare Beaudiene Bad Babe, is just one of a few expensive purchases made by clients of the Gary Hall Snr stable in recent months.  Other classy New Zealand juveniles they have snapped up included high priced fillies Nuala and Giuliana Rancic. Meanwhile, impressive debut juvenile winner Connoisseur, who was purchased out off the barn of John and Joshua Dickie by clients of  Greg Bond for a large six-figure sum, will miss the Golden Slipper, with his new connections opting to spell him before bringing him back for early three-year-old racing. Rycroft, an Elsu two-year-old who was also very impressive when winning his debut for Tony Herlihy at Alexandra Park a fortnight ago, is also in Perth after being secured for big money. He has joined the stable of Mike Reed, who has enjoyed tremendious success with former kiwi filly Libertybelle Midfrew this season. Rycroft, like Connoisseur, will now be spelled and will therefore miss this weekend’s two-year-old feature. By Mitchell Robertson

Young Kiwi bred harness racing reinsman Cameron Jones has been selected to represent New South Wales in the State Of Origin next month. The State Of Origin is a brand new junior drivers series which was put together by Harness Racing New South Waleswith Racing Queensland. Jones, who has been working for Menangle trainer Kerryann Turner for over 18 months, is one of a five-strong team for the Blues. The other four young drivers that have been selected for New South Wales are Chris Geary, Todd Priest, Kylie Barnes, and Kasey Hocking. Those five drivers will go head-to-head with five young reinsman from Queensland in races in both states. The series will start in New South Wales with 2-3 State Of Origin races at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday August 18 before the series shifts to Queensland. On Thursday August 20 the ten reinsman will enjoy a social day on Mr Kevin Seymour’s boat ‘Euphoria’ before competing in 2-3 races at Albion Park the following night. Seventeen-year-old Jones said he was excited to get the opportunity to compete in the inaugural running of the State Of Origin. “It’s a good opportunity and also a chance for me to meet new people and drive in Queensland for the first time,” said Jones, who has enjoyed a good first season in the sulky. Jones has won fifteen races to date, including two last week, and looks a good chance to add to his tally tomorrow when he takes the reins behind Kiwi export Im El Diablo in race eight at Menangle. Cameron has driven him in six of his seven starts in Australia for three wins and a further three placings. “We got him over on a 50/50 deal and he has done a very good job so far,” said Jones. “He flew home for third after being held up at the top of the straight last week but he has good gate speed and a handy draw this week so he shouldn’t be unlucky again,” he added. “It’s his first start over 2300 metres since he has been over here but as long as he gets a couple of easy sectionals he will take will take a lot of beating,” said Jones. “He has a very good turn of foot,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson

The Queensland winter carnival continued tonight at Albion Park and star filly Nike Franco made a one-act affair of the feature, the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks. In fact, it was one of the easiest victories in a major event seen at Albion Park for some time. Starting as a short priced favourite, Nike Franco was given plenty of time to balance early before driver Luke McCarthy made his move heading down the back straight on the first occasion. Working to the lead at the 1200m marker, Nike Franco quickly turned the race into a procession. The Belinda McCarthy trained filly scored comfortably by 15m from Charming Allie and Beef City Safari in a time of 1;56.4 for the 2138m event. Nike Franco ran her final half in 56.3 seconds. “She is a high quality filly with strength and a great cruising speed; she travelled very well tonight and gave me a real armchair drive. Both Belinda and I have to make special mention of Dean Braun who prepared the filly before we took her over, she was in great shape.” Winning reinsman Luke McCarthy said. Connections now have the option of lining up against the boys next week in the Gr.1 $100,000 Queensland Derby. Nike Franco Nike Franco wasn’t the only feature race winner for Team McCarthy with the stable also scoring in the Gr.3 $45,000 Knudsens Betta Home Living 4 & 5yo Championship with speedster Chilli Palmer and the Gr.3 $30,000 TattsBet Gold Coast Derby with star colt Bling It On. Chilli Palmer, renowned for his devastating sprint, unleashed his power over the concluding which came off a genuine tempo to score comfortably defeating Terror Time and Majestic Mach. The milerate was 1;54.4 for the 2138m event. The Elsu gelding was only having his second start for the stable following his scratching last week from the Sunshine Sprint. Connections have the option of starting in either the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake or the Gr.3 $45,000 4yo Championship next week. Chilli Palmer Brilliant colt Bling It On scored a narrow yet decisive victory in the Gold Coast Derby tonight, clearly proving he is the horse to beat in next week’s blue riband classic. Sitting back in the field, the American Ideal colt sustained a strong sprint from the 600m marker to hold off Alleluia and Major Sam in a time of 1;56.2 for the 2138m event. Bling It On remains unbeaten in Queensland after eight starts. Leading breeder/owner Harvey Kaplan shares in the ownership of both Bling It On and Nike Franco. Bling It On Star Queensland mare Forever Gold proved she was on target for next week’s Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake following her dominant victory in the Gr.3 $30,000 Southern Queensland Plumbing Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes. Sent to the lead soon after the start by driver Kylie Rasmussen, Forever Gold cruised to an easy victory defeating Missing Letters and Gliding Rose in a time of 1;55.6 for the 2138m event. Forever Gold has now won this event for three straight years. Forever Gold The $20,000 Lunchbox Lodge Country Cup Final was taken out by classy pacer Beetson who led throughout in the 2138m feature defeating Glenferrie Hood and Karloo Kix in a time of 1;56.6. Recently transferred to the stables of Shannon Price, the multiple feature race winner made a clean sweep of the series after scoring arrogantly in the heat last week. And former track record holder Suave Stuey Lombo exacted revenge on new track record holder Im Themightyquinn when successful in the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Open Pace. Finding the lead, Suave Stuey Lombo was brilliantly rated in front by Lauren Panella and defied Im Themightyquinn over the concluding stages after staging a great war over the final lap. The 2138m event was covered in a time of 1;54.7 with the final half paced in 56.1 seconds. Both pacers will back-up next week. Next week, the features include the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake, the Gr.1 $100,000 SKY Racing Queensland Derby, the Gr.2 $80,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour QBRED Triad 2yo Finals and the Gr.3 $45,000 Gurney Group of Companies 4yo Championship. The mighty Queensland champion Blacks A Fake will also be trackside to parade before fans next week. And don’t forget about the opportunity to win 10% ownership of either Im Themightyquinn or Bling It On for the night next week, for further details check out the website – aphrc.com.au By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

The Queensland winter carnival continued tonight at Albion Park and star filly Nike Franco made a one-act affair of the feature, the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks. In fact, it was one of the easiest victories in a major event seen at Albion Park for some time. Starting as a short priced favourite, Nike Franco was given plenty of time to balance early before driver Luke McCarthy made his move heading down the back straight on the first occasion. Working to the lead at the 1200m marker, Nike Franco quickly turned the race into a procession. The Belinda McCarthy trained filly scored comfortably by 15m from Charming Allie and Beef City Safari in a time of 1;56.4 for the 2138m event. Nike Franco ran her final half in 56.3 seconds. “She is a high quality filly with strength and a great cruising speed; she travelled very well tonight and gave me a real armchair drive. Both Belinda and I have to make special mention of Dean Braun who prepared the filly before we took her over, she was in great shape.” Winning reinsman Luke McCarthy said. Connections now have the option of lining up against the boys next week in the Gr.1 $100,000 Queensland Derby. Nike Franco Nike Franco wasn’t the only feature race winner for Team McCarthy with the stable also scoring in the Gr.3 $45,000 Knudsens Betta Home Living 4 & 5yo Championship with speedster Chilli Palmer and the Gr.3 $30,000 TattsBet Gold Coast Derby with star colt Bling It On. Chilli Palmer, renowned for his devastating sprint, unleashed his power over the concluding which came off a genuine tempo to score comfortably defeating Terror Time and Majestic Mach. The milerate was 1;54.4 for the 2138m event. The Elsu gelding was only having his second start for the stable following his scratching last week from the Sunshine Sprint. Connections have the option of starting in either the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake or the Gr.3 $45,000 4yo Championship next week. Chilli Palmer Brilliant colt Bling It On scored a narrow yet decisive victory in the Gold Coast Derby tonight, clearly proving he is the horse to beat in next week’s blue riband classic. Sitting back in the field, the American Ideal colt sustained a strong sprint from the 600m marker to hold off Alleluia and Major Sam in a time of 1;56.2 for the 2138m event. Bling It On remains unbeaten in Queensland after eight starts. Leading breeder/owner Harvey Kaplan shares in the ownership of both Bling It On and Nike Franco. Bling It On Star Queensland mare Forever Gold proved she was on target for next week’s Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake following her dominant victory in the Gr.3 $30,000 Southern Queensland Plumbing Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes. Sent to the lead soon after the start by driver Kylie Rasmussen, Forever Gold cruised to an easy victory defeating Missing Letters and Gliding Rose in a time of 1;55.6 for the 2138m event. Forever Gold has now won this event for three straight years. Forever Gold The $20,000 Lunchbox Lodge Country Cup Final was taken out by classy pacer Beetson who led throughout in the 2138m feature defeating Glenferrie Hood and Karloo Kix in a time of 1;56.6. Recently transferred to the stables of Shannon Price, the multiple feature race winner made a clean sweep of the series after scoring arrogantly in the heat last week. And former track record holder Suave Stuey Lombo exacted revenge on new track record holder Im Themightyquinn when successful in the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Open Pace. Finding the lead, Suave Stuey Lombo was brilliantly rated in front by Lauren Panella and defied Im Themightyquinn over the concluding stages after staging a great war over the final lap. The 2138m event was covered in a time of 1;54.7 with the final half paced in 56.1 seconds. Both pacers will back-up next week. Next week, the features include the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake, the Gr.1 $100,000 SKY Racing Queensland Derby, the Gr.2 $80,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour QBRED Triad 2yo Finals and the Gr.3 $45,000 Gurney Group of Companies 4yo Championship. The mighty Queensland champion Blacks A Fake will also be trackside to parade before fans next week. And don’t forget about the opportunity to win 10% ownership of either Im Themightyquinn or Bling It On for the night next week, for further details check out the website – aphrc.com.au By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Queensland young gun Pete McMullen is counting down the days. Like sands though the hourglass. On Saturday night, McMullen gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he partners harness racing megastar pacer Im Themightyquinn in the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Open Pace at Albion Park. Only last week, McMullen took the lines behind the $4.5 million earner in a trial which prepped him for his stunning track record breaking victory in the Sunshine Sprint. Now, it’s the real deal and the talented third generation horseman can’t wait. “I have to keep pinching myself, I still can’t believe I’ve been entrusted with duty of driving this champion pacer under race conditions. It’s such a massive thrill and a huge honour, I can’t wait to get out there and get amongst it.” McMullen said. It would be understandable if McMullen was suffering from nerves but they have been erased following his trial triumph last week. The focused and dedicated horseman came to the attention of Gary Hall months ago after the Perth based trainer noticed similarities with his son, star reinsman Gary Jnr. “I like his style and he drives with controlled aggression just like Gaz and I had no hesitation in securing his services when I came to Brisbane. I told him after the trial last week that I would put him on if the race stood up this week and I’m happy to have him aboard.” Hall said. Since transferring to the stables of Hall back in October, 2008, Im Themightyquinn has had a total of six different drivers which includes Gary Hall Jnr, Clinton Hall, Kim Prentice, Nathan Jack, Shayne Cramp and Greg Bennett. On Saturday night, McMullen will become lucky number seven. “He’s not the easiest horse to drive because he has own little tricks and idiosyncrasies but I was thrilled when young Pete handled him perfectly in the trial, they both seemed very comfortable out there together. “Gaz was very keen to return this week and drive him but I’ve got Beaudiene Boaz set to trial this Sunday at Byford and I wanted him to drive him before he starts next week in the Golden Slipper. Gaz will be back to drive him next week in the feature. “He’s trained on very well since his victory last week and he’s really enjoying his time here in Queensland. I’m sure he will be very hard to beat again this weekend, the extra distance will actually suit him better.” Victory this weekend will take Im Themightyquinn closer to all time prizemoney record which is currently held by retired Queensland champion Blacks A Fake at $4, 575, 438. by Chris Barsby Queensland Harness Racing

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