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Champion harness racing driver Pete McMullen scored a treble of wins at Albion Park yesterday but his performance was overshadowed by his younger sister Narissa McMullen reaching the 100 win milestone for a second consecutive season. Pete steered a race to race trotting double on Thumbs Up Jerry and Ode to Success then won the Rising Stars Championship Heat on Floyd Mayweather while Narissa saved the best for last and took family bragging rights, taking out the meeting closer on her father John’s horse Blessed Is The Boy. Making a one act affair of the Virginia Pace Mile (1660m), Blissful Hall five-year-old gelding Blessed Is The Boy scored by 7.4 metres from Chevals Diamond and Smiling High. It was the 10th career win for Blessed Is The Boy and career best mile in 1.58.4. Narissa was at her brilliant best and displayed the top form that she has shown also season with a tremendous strike rate over the last 12 months. Her strike is particularly impressive when the win and place form are considered together. Narissa has had 867 drives winning 100 races, placing 209 times and finishing fourth 96 times which means that she was a top four finisher 47% of the time and has a UDRS of 0.2231, her best in five seasons of race driving. 20-year-old Narissa's total stakes winnings so far for 2014/15 are $650,562. Last season Narissa drove 139 winners from 1064 drives and failed by just four wins to reach the ton in 2012/13. Narissa joins Shane Graham (249 wins), Grant Dixon (213 wins), Pete McMullen (170 wins) and Gary Whittaker (106 wins) as the only Queenslanders to reach the century of driving victories this season. She is also the State’s number one female driver, ranks fifth on the overall state premiership, fourth on the state’s metropolitan premiership and first on the state concession driver’s premiership. In another high point for the year, Narissa also won a half share in the Leigh Plunkett Foundation Scholarship. She dead-heated for the award with NSW’s Robbie Morris. For her share of the prize Narissa received a $10,000 travel study voucher. Narissa is also a contender for Queensland’s 2015 Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Young Achiever Award winning a monthly nomination in October last year. David Aldred

Imagine being middle aged, still competing at the elite level of your sport and still winning with career best performances. Perhaps it’s a pipe dream for most of us and definitely unheard of for most racehorses, but not for veteran Queensland harness racing standardbred, Destreos. Ken Rattray’s super pacer Destreos today led all the way at Albion Park to record its 81st race victory, its 62nd win at Brisbane’s main track, ran a lifetime best mile and equaled Hal Thomas' modern-day career record of 377 starts. Both Hal Thomas and Destreos have raced an astonishing number of times but hands down the Sally Stingel owned Destreos’ performances eclipse those of Hal Thomas. Destreos officially celebrates a 12th birthday in one week, that’s 40 human years.  He started racing in 2006 and has now won more than $660,000. Hal Thomas which was trained by Brisbane’s Mark Dux raced between 1998 and 2010 won 65 times earning $261,443. Both Destreos and Hal Thomas fall short of the all time Australian record number of race starts and wins held by north Queenslander Cane Smoke which before computer form records were being kept reportedly raced 400 times over 11 years, mostly during the 1980's in Mackay and won 123 times. Driven a treat in front today by regular driver Kelli Dawson, tough Astreos gelding Destreos left the machine like a rocket and posted a 26.8 first quarter to stave off an early challenge from Lebron (Pete McMullen). The second sectional was covered in 29.5, the third in 27.4 and he charged home the final quarter in 28.5 for a gross time of 1.55.5 and a stunning mile rate of 1.51.9. Destreos held a 3.1 metre break on its nearest opponent, Ohoka Colorado (Shane Graham) at the end of the 1660 metres with Majestic Mach in third place for Grant Dixon. Lebron which tried to burn off Destreos at the start faded to finish fifth 6.4 metres astern. by David Aldred

She might have come a cropper during last year's Ekka but Clifton harness racing driver Stacey Weidemann is shaking off the spot of bad luck to focus on winning this Sunday's $10,000 Garrards Horse & Hound - Big Dog Show Grand Final prize. Harness racing heats and finals raced over 1609 metres, four laps of the show-ring track, commenced last Friday at the Ekka and will culminate in the Grand final on the last day of the Royal Queensland Show. 24 year-old Stacey and aunties, show champion driver Lola Weidemann and show champion trainer Julie Weidemann have 15 horses racing at the Ekka. Stacey will be both driving and preparing the horses including her sentimental favourite Grandads Boy. So far she has driven three winners, Mac Sweet and Aviators Dream (2 wins) which won a Final last Saturday. "It's good to be back," Stacey said as she showed scars she earned after hitting the dirt during at the 2014 show. "We went pretty good last year." "I got leading points driver at the show and our stable won the big race with another horse (Lonesome Mach)". Once traditionally a male dominated sport, harness racing is now very much also a female domain. "I think people like softer hands on their horse," Stacey said. "Girls can sometimes get along better with horses as well. " I like being happy with the drive and being able to say you've given your horse every opportunity and see the horse go well for how you have driven it." Last year's Grand Final winner Lonesome Mach is the Weidemann family's best prospect to win the Grand Final again on Sunday. The gelding won last Sunday's final in very good time so he is on track again to compete in the big race. Racing Queensland has added a new perpetual trophy to the final, the 'Ekka Plate' which will be presented to the champion driver. The Weidemann's final winners at the Show during the past six days include Ghost Gum (Day 1  S0 Final); Aviators Dream (Day 2  S1-S3 Final); Lonesome Mach (Day3 S4 Final); Moon Rocket (Day 5 S0 Final). This week has been a busier than usual week for the Weidemann's with the stable also racing at the Queensland TAB meetings at Albion Park and Redcliffe. As soon as the Show racing is completed each day, there is a mad dash from the Ekka grounds near the Royal Brisbane Hospital to either Albion Park (5 kms) or Redcliffe (38 kms) to race there. Last night Lola drove in the last two races at Redcliffe after competing at the Show and she also drove after the Show at Albion Park last Friday and Saturday nights. Once the Show is over the team will be back to competing in the day to day TAB races but one race meeting  will be really special for the family. Warwick's Allman Park Racecourse, the family's local thoroughbred racetrack, will host a Charity harness race meeting on Father's Day, Sunday 6 September. The Darling Downs Harness Racing Club conduct this race meeting which was a major success when raced as a non-TAB day last year. The Club expects the race meeting to be huge this year with TAB betting on all races. Sherele Moody (Warwick Daily News) and David Aldred

Egmont Park, one of the country’s finest harness racing nurseries is having an open day. Based on the rich soils of the Darling Downs at Toowoomba, the famed harness racing stud has produced countless winners including Australia’s greatest ever champion, Blacks A Fake ($4.5 million – 4 Inter Dominions). An invitation is extended to all interested parties to attend the day which is scheduled for Sunday, August 23 starting from 10am. If more convenient and depending on numbers, a bus will be made available for pick-up and drop off from Albion Park but bookings are essential. “This is a perfect opportunity to come and view our world class stallions in lead-up to the new breeding season in a relaxed and friendly environment, have a great day out and catch up with friends.” Studmaster Peter Bell said. Come along and see one of the state’s finest Studs which is the home of world champion pacer Mr Feelgood and the new exciting prospect Hurrikane Kingcole for the upcoming breeding season. Mr Feelgood, a winner of the famed Little Brown Jug plus an Inter Dominion Grand Final continues to prove his worth in the breeding barn with noted performers A Good Chance ($151k) and Feel The Faith ($91k) leading the way downunder. His stats continue to rise from his North American crop which includes I’m Feelin Good ($544k), Nathan Feelsgood ($239k), Feels Good ($213k), Just A Bee ($205k) and Justified ($174k) among others. Hurrikane Kingcole is a striking and wickedly fast son of champion sire Cams Card Shark out of the mare Blazing Yankee and retired with a ‘PB’ of 1;47.3. Prepared throughout his career by John McDermott, Hurrikane Kingcole won 14 of 49 career starts. Both stallions will parade on the day. A tour of the stud outlining new facilities is planned while viewing of the broodmares and yearlings is also scheduled. Light refreshments will be served on the day. Egmont Park Stud is located on 662 Biddeston – Southbrook Road, Biddeston. RSVP: 16TH August to Peter Bell on 0418 885 033 or 07 4691 0772 – pnbell@bigpond.com Egmont Park

When it comes to tight track harness racing the Weidemanns take command. The reigning champion at the Royal Queensland Show, Lola Weidemann got off to a flying start to defend her title, winning two of the three Ekka harness racing finals raced so far at this year's show. The other final was won by her niece Stacey Weidemann with all three horses trained by Lola’s sister and Stacey’s aunty, Julie Weidemann. Lola Weidemann won the Friday night Final driving Ghost Gum (Jet Laag – Eagle Street) with the striking 3yo grey pacer finding the lead early to go unheaded over the four laps of the 1609 metre standing start pace. On Saturday Lola and Stacey Weidemann shared the heat wins with Aviators Dream, Mister Armageddon and Mac Sweet winning, then on Saturday night Stacey made it three wins for the day steering Aviators Dream (Mr. Aviator – Milady Bistro) to victory in the Final. On Sunday, the heat wins were shared around a little more evenly between the stables supporting the show. In front of the big weekend crowd Dutch Cream (Steve Burke) won heat one, Blessed Is The Boy (Narissa McMullen) took out heat two and Jacks A Smarty (Stacey Weidemann) won the third heat. Then on Sunday night with the stands around the main arena full to capcity, Lola Weidemann was back in the winner’s circle winning the day's final on last year’s Grand Final winner Lonesome Mach (Mach Three – Little Pheobe). The Weidemann’s are on track to win their fourth Final at the Ekka with two heat winners this afternoon and three runners in tonight’s final. Heat one today went to Emargee (Ricky Gordon). Heat two was won by Mister Armageddon (Lola Weidemann) and the third heat went to Mac Sweet (Lola Weidemann). Harness Racing continues all week at the Ekka with the $10,000 Garrard's - Big Dog Grand Final raced on Sunday. David Aldred

Queensland harness racing superstar Avonnova will remain in full work. The free-legged pacer was a beaten favourite in last week’s Gr.2 $50,000 Redcliffe Gold Cup after being wiped out at the start in a messy stand start event. Several horses were severely interfered with at the start including defending champion Majestic Major who made contact with Avonnova. But co-owner and trainer Ian Gurney will press on and keep building towards his next major target. “He doesn’t need any more time off, he some time off after the Inter Dominion earlier this year and he’s only had four runs back this preparation." "Plus, he’s a rising nine-year-old so I will just keep him ticking over as we push for the Queensland Pacing Championship in October.” Gurney said. Avonnova claimed his maiden Group One victory during the recent Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park when he led throughout to win the $100,000 Sunshine Sprint on July 4. The Art Major – Mini Slick gelding was placed third in the $125,000 Blacks A Fake behind star Victorian Philadelphia Man after starting from a nasty second-line draw. The Queensland Pacing Championship traditionally kicks off the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season and Gurney is focused on winning the state’s biggest event. Avonnova was a runner-up last year behind For A Reason. “The spring carnival is the next major focus for him and I’d like to go one better this year, we went close last year but hopefully we can turn that around this year." "He will tackle the Gold Coast Cup in lead-up to the QPC." “He goes best on the fresh side so I will try and space his runs, I will look for races every couple of weeks in the next month or two before screwing him right down for October and onwards." "I won’t be going to Perth for the Inter Dominion and the New Zealand Cup is the long range target." “I like the way the New Zealand Cup builds so we will start making some enquiries in the coming weeks, I’m keen to head over and give it a crack." "The fact that it’s a long staying race will suit plus I can go into that race with his normal routine of being a fresh.” Nominations for the $750,000 New Zealand Cup close next Wednesday, August 12. Chris Barsby    

Queensland harness racing rookie pacers Catcha Lefty and Get In The Groove have been confirmed by their respective connections as targeting the upcoming Australasian Breeders Crown in Melbourne. Both pacers are already feature race winners, in fact, both scored in their respective Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Finals at Albion Park back on June 20. And both have already qualified for the semi-finals at Ballarat on August 22 following their respective victories in qualifying heats at Albion Park on July 10. Both pacers will head south together. And stable together, with Clinton Welsh. Catcha Lefty is prepared by husband and wife combination of Charlie Cini and Cristina Monte while Get In The Groove is prepared by husband and wife combination of Grant and Trista Dixon. The Dixon’s are no strangers to tackling the Breeders Crown after winning the two-year-old fillies consolation last year with Feel The Faith plus running third in the three-year-old final with Alleluia. But it’s entirely new for Cini and Monte. The Village Jasper – Lefty gelding is yet to miss the board in 9 starts this season which includes 7 victories. “We’re keen to get down there and give it a real shot; he’s the only horse we’ve ever paid up with this series and we’ll take our opportunity." "He’s a nice horse and he’s qualified, we’re due to fly out on the 17th and I’m hoping we can secure a race start with him next week which will keep him ticking over just nicely.” Cini said. Both horses haven’t raced since July 18 at Albion Park in the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Finals. Catcha Lefty finished a close-up third behind Leos Best and Roarn in 1;54.8 after working hard throughout while Get In The Groove crashed to the track after being wiped out by Victorian filly Heavens Trend at the 300m marker. Get In The Groove bounced back with a stylish trial victory at Albion Park last night (Tuesday) coming off the speed to win the workout in a mile rate of 1;58.6 with a final split of 27.6 seconds. The Mach Three – Get Happy filly is raced by her breeders Kevin and Kay Seymour. “We’re keen to give her an opportunity against the best fillies available, we think she has good ability and we’re prepared to head south and Grant is confident she has taken no harm from that nasty incident at Albion Park in the Triad Final, it was a good trial.” Seymour said. Get In The Groove has won 3 of her 5 starts to date. A Queensland trained runner is yet to win a 2yo Breeders Crown Final but have tasted success in the 3yo division through the deeds of Fleur De Lil and Tip Your Hat. Chris Barsby

Australian native Aaron Lambert has returned home. The Queensland horseman has called North America home since moving there over a decade ago, originally starting as a groom with Mark Kesmodel and then Noel Daley before making the transition to be a successful harness racing trainer trainer. Since making the move, Lambert has never returned home, focused on getting himself established and providing for his family, married to his wife Lynn and their three children. Based in the ultra-competitive New Jersey area at Winner’s International Farm, Lambert has worked hard to build his clientele and numbers and his persistency has paid off with a number of talented performers originating from his barn. His best performer is quite clearly, Dynamic Youth. Lambert selected him from the 2010 Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg. The son of Bettor's Delight and the Western Hanover mare Always True was an $85,000 yearling purchase and went through the ring named Altdelete Hanover. He is the first of six foals from his dam and the only one of her progeny to earn more than $100,000. At his most recent start, Dynamic Youth broke through the million dollar barrier in earnings following his fifth placing in the $500,000 Benjamin Franklin Final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono behind Luck Be Withyou in a mile of 1;49.0. His biggest victory came in 2012 when successful in the Cane Pace at Tioga Downs where he defeated Pet Rock. He took at lifetime mark of 1;48.1 at age four when successful at The Downs which equaled the world record for a 1000m sized track. In total, Dynamic Youth has won 24 races in his career to date while amassing $1, 022, 907 in stake earnings. He was voted the 2013 Pennsylvania Horse of the Year for his performances in overnight events at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Fellow countryman Andy McCarthy has been a consistent partner of Dynamic Youth during his career. Other top performers for Lambert include Townslight Hanover, Mr Massimo and Sharks Legacy among others. Lambert will catch up with his family and friends in Brisbane after flying into Sydney earlier this week. The talented horseman gained his basic skills from his father, Jim, a noted horseman in his own right.   Chris Barsby

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.  

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