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Well respected harness racing trainer/driver Peter Greig must have wondered weather all his bad luck had come at once when he had a night at Albion Park on Saturday night that he will never forget.   The Queensland Police raided Albion Park Raceway on Saturday night executing a search warrant for drugs on horse trainers and drivers.   When they came to Peter Greig in the stabling area, he objected to the widespread searching of bags and people and by all accounts was very close to being arrested at one point.   In the end the Police slapped Peter Grieg with an infringement notice for allegedly obstructing a sniffer dog from inspecting a bag.   A spokesman for Queensland police confirmed that no drugs were found during the extensive search and no arrests were made as a result of last nights operation.   Mr Farquharson defended the searches when spoken to last night.   “We have had several incidents in the recent  past where cocaine has been found so we want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” Mr Farquharson said.   If the night had started badly for Peter Grieg, it got worse in race 4, the $50,000 Autumn Staryers Cup where Peter was driving Major Moment for Grant Dixon.   Away well from barrier one on the 20 metres mark, Major Moment was making good progress through the strung out field when Swarovski who had can canned away from barrier one and run up the track a touch, came back down the track and collected Major Moment who was in full flight, tipping Peter Grieg out of the bike in spectacular fashion.   Peter was able to walk to the ambulance but at this time we have no further information as to how Peter is.   We here at Harnesslink wish Peter a speedy recovery safe in the knowledge that he has just used up all his bad luck for this year in one night.   Harnesslink Media 

Queensland continued on their winning way last night. A team of six from the sunshine state took on Team Victoria in a harness racing junior drivers challenge at TABCORP Park Melton in a two race series. The Queensland team was made up of Hayden Barnes, Brittany Graham, Dannielle & Narissa McMullen, Trent Moffat and Amy Rees. Team Victoria comprised of Josh Aiken, Alex Ashwood, Haydon Gray, Mark Pitt, Jason Lee and Zac Phillips. It was a clean sweep for the Queensland team. Heat one went the way of Dannielle McMullen who took the winning drive aboard the Peter Thompson trained Our El Fuego in a time of 1;57.8 in the 2240m event. Placing’s were filled by fellow Queenslanders Narissa McMullen (Our Summer Wind), Trent Moffat (Mister Rufus) and Hayden Barnes (Brite Spark Lombo). Our El Fuego was the rank outsider and returned a dividend of $61.50. Heat two went the way of Hayden Barnes (Jambiani) who defeated Trent Moffat (Bushi) and Brittany Graham (Clarenden Daydream) in a time of 2;00.9 for the 2240m journey. Following a countback, the individual winner of the series was Hayden Barnes who beat Trent Moffat. “It was a great result for Queensland with a clean sweep and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they showcased their talents on foreign soil. It was great to see them catch up with friends while making new contacts; hopefully this helps them going forward,” Queensland Team Captain Kevin Seymour said. “I would like to thank Harness Racing Victoria and all of the trainers who supported the series, it’s about gaining experience and making them better and this is a great opportunity to do this.” Seymour added. In three series to date, Queensland has a perfect record after inflicting defeats over New South Wales, New Zealand and now Victoria. The winning form of Hayden Barnes continues with victories at Alexandra Park, Auckland late last year with Millie Sampson and then again last night at Melton with Jambiani. Seymour is now eyeing off a series against South Australian in the coming months. by Chris Barsby

Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the pathology report pertaining to a urine sample provided by licensed harness racing driver Brendan Barnes at a race meeting conducted at Albion Park on Saturday, 4 April 2015, which upon analysis revealed the presence of cocaine metabolites BENZOYLECGONINE and ECGONINE METHYL ESTER above the permitted threshold. After considering all the evidence tendered, Stewards charged Mr Barnes pursuant to AHR Rule 252E (1) which reads: “Subject to sub-rule (2) a person shall not have any alcohol or drug of abuse in his or her body when carrying on or purporting to carry on a licensed activity or official duties at a meeting.” Specifics of the charge being that when engaging in licensed activity at Albion Park on Saturday, 4 April 2015, Mr Barnes provided a urine sample which upon analysis was found to contain a drug of abuse, namely the metabolites of cocaine, BENZOYLECGONINE and ECGONINE METHYL ESTER. Barnes pleaded guilty to the charge. When considering the matter of penalty, stewards were mindful of the short period of time Barnes has held a licence, his record regarding this particular rule, and the impact any penalty may have on Barnes’ personal and financial situation. Consideration was also given to penalty precedents, the seriousness of the breach and the substance involved and the need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to Barnes and to illustrate to the industry that offences of this nature will not be tolerated, particularly bearing in mind the importance of a drug free workplace. In all the circumstances Stewards determined the appropriate penalty be a disqualification of Barnes’ licence for a period of six months, to be backdated to commence on Saturday, 4 April 2015, the day on which he was stood down. Further, under the provisions of AHR Rule 250(4), Barnes was advised he will be required to provide a sample free of banned substances prior to resuming driving. Barnes was advised of his appeal rights. Racing Queensland Media

Young Queenslander Hayden Barnes is enjoying a breakout harness racing season. The promising horseman is racking up his best numbers to date, driving with skill and poise while making the most of his opportunities come raceday. In only his third season of race driving, Barnes has booted home 46 winners to date this season which includes victories in the recent Girls On Track Final at Albion Park behind Benazir Bhutto plus his triumph on foreign soil when successful aboard Millie Sampson at Alexandra Park, Auckland during the Australasian Young Guns Challenge last November. Barnes is currently ranked equal fourth on the concession driver’s premiership table behind outstanding talent Narissa McMullen who has driven 69 winners to date. This season, Barnes has taken 253 drives for 46 wins and 58 minor placings. On Saturday night, Barnes has been presented with a wonderful opportunity when he will partner in-form pacer Bettor Draw. The Bettors Delight gelding equaled the Albion Park 2138m track record with his stunning 1;54.0 victory after racing without cover on March 31. Reigning Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova is the co-owner of the track record. “It’s a great thrill to be driving a horse like Bettor Draw, he’s clearly the best horse that I’ve driven to date and I’m thrilled that Narissa (McMullen – trainer) has put the faith in me.” Barnes said. Bettor Draw must overcome a second-line draw in the Fiery Tan Pace over the 1660m while in-form rivals Medal Of Honour, Mista Mara, The King Of Swing and Livinthehighlife have all drawn the front-line. Since being transferred to the care of McMullen, the seven-year-old gelding hasn’t missed a beat with placings in 9 of his 10 starts including a career best performance at Menangle in 1;51.9 three starts ago. “I think he looks well placed in this field and hopefully we can push forward and get fairly close to the action early, his form at the sprint trip reads very strong. “His winning effort last start was just unbelievable, he was a monster and I’m really looking forward to the challenge this weekend.” Barnes is also listed to drive Skippy Saddler (Race 1), Western Union (Race 3) and his own runner Donegal Under Fire (Race 5). He has trained 4 winners from 42 starters to date with his first winner coming with Alberts Flight last year while the other three winners all coming from Donegal Under Fire. Barnes is currently employed by Chantal Turpin after spending his early days with Darrel Graham. In fact, his first driving success came aboard the Graham trained Palazzo Las Vegas at Marburg on June 1, 2013. After 449 drives, Barnes has 69 lifetime wins while being placed on another 100 occasions. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 11 April 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 11 April 2015

Leading Brisbane harness racing trainer Darrel Graham is hoping the feature race success continues. Fresh from his success last week with Mafuta Vautin in the $25,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Final for 4yo Entires and Geldings at Albion Park, Graham is now eyeing off the Easter Gift. The $16,000 event is programmed for the C2/C5 pacers and has attracted a strong field but Graham has a pair of former Kiwi pacers that look well placed. Graham has last start winners Chattanoogachoochoo and Five Card Draw lining-up in the 2138m feature but both have drawn the second-line. “I’m really happy with both horses and this race looks ideal to kick start their latest campaigns. Obviously the barrier draws could’ve been better but I’m confident both horses will perform at the required level.” Graham said. Chattanoogachoochoo is the most recent addition to his Fernvale stables after being purchased following his victory at Rangiora on February 26. The Christian Cullen gelding was placed in 1:52.7 at Ashburton two starts ago after coming from a long way back. Since arriving in Brisbane, Chattanoogachoochoo was struck down by a virus which forced his scratching from the recent Gr.2 $50,000 Silks Restaurant Cup series but a sharp trial earlier this week proved he was back on track. Chattanoogachoochoo won the 1660m trial defeating open class performer Terror Time in a time of 1;56.2 coming off the speed. “It was a nice trial, we got an easy run just off the pace and he finished really well once he got clear while running good sectionals." "It was just a quiet trial in lead-up to this assignment this weekend." “The virus wasn’t bad but I wasn’t going to take any risks with him so that’s why we pulled him out of that series a few weeks ago, the winter carnival is fast approaching and there’s plenty of good money races available so it was the best decision to make." “I think he’s a nice horse with good speed so we’re hoping he can measure up around carnival time, this race looks an ideal starting point for him and I’m happy with the way he’s come through the trial.” Last start Gr.3 $45,000 4yo Championship winner Five Card Draw is resuming since July last year but following a spate of recent trials, the former New Zealand 2yo of the Year appears ready. The Bettors Delight gelding is carrying extra condition but Graham is confident he will perform well fresh. “We decided to give him a good break at the end of his last campaign, he’s done a super job and we gave him a couple of months off, he spent his time at Dean’s (Shannon – owner) property at Maleny." “We’re looking at the winter carnival with this guy as well, we know he’s up to that level and we’ll head that way in the coming months." He’s had a few trials in recent weeks and his most recent on Tuesday night was pleasing when second behind Epaulette." “They went solid time in the trial and he chased strongly, he had a good blow after and has trained on well since." "Whatever he does this weekend, he will improve considerably which is what we want.” Graham will partner Chattanoogachoochoo while in-form reinsman Adam Sanderson will take the lines behind Five Card Draw. Both pacers are raced by Dean Shannon. Chris Barsby - Racing Queensland

Smart harness racing fillies Bettorthanspecial and Bettor Promise are both chasing redemption this weekend. Both fillies missed the placed in last week’s Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 3yo Fillies Final won brilliantly by Cullens Jewel who led her rivals a merry dance in the 2138m event. After beginning the season with excellent form, both fillies encountered a series of niggling issues which had co-trainers Shannon Price and Scott Miller on the back foot entering last week’s feature. “Looking back, it was a race against time and we came up a little short but take nothing away from the winner because she was very good." "We turned the page quickly and their heat performances earlier this week both proved they needed that run under their belt.” Scott Miller said. Both fillies recorded stylish victories in their respective heats of the $25,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship on Tuesday at Albion Park. Bettor Promise rated 1:58.6 while Bettorthanspecial went faster and recorded 1:58.2 – both fillies raced without cover. On Saturday night, Bettorthanspecial has drawn ideally in gate four while Bettor Promise will start from gate six. “It’s nice to have front-line draws with both fillies because barrier draws are so crucial with our style of racing and that was proven last week when our fillies failed in the Breeders Classic after starting from second-line draws. “We were really happy with both fillies following their heats." "They both did plenty of work and responded strongly in the straight." "Importantly, they both pulled up great and have taken no harm from the run or even last week’s effort." “We’ll be out to make full use of the good draws this week but it won’t be easy because the opposition is pretty good, a handy mixture of fillies and mares." "With normal luck, I think both fillies will play a strong hand in the finish.” Brad Cowen partners Bettorthanspecial while Lola Weidemann again takes the drive on Bettor Promise. The stable is looking forward to the coming months with a raft of feature events programmed for the Bettors Delight fillies including the Gr.1 $100,000 Queensland Oaks in July. “There’s no shortage of feature races coming up and hopefully both fillies keep improving and getting a little stronger with every start. All going to plan, we’ll be looking at the QBRED Triad, Seymour Nursery Pace plus all of the Oaks classics during the winter carnival. “All of those races will boast very strong depth and they won’t be easy but we’re looking forward to the challenge.” Both fillies were bred and are raced by Tony and Katy Price. Chris Barsby - Racing Queensland

Nathan Purdon is to widen his experience in the harness racing business-and hopes to get more drives while he is doing it with his transfer to Ian Gurney's Brisbane stable in the next month . "I met Ian while I was in Melbourne while he was there with Avonnova and he offered me a position." "It will mean a lot more opportunities to drive hopefully and that is one of the main factors." "In a big stable like ours unless you are the No 1 Junior Driver its a real struggle to get opportunities." "I don't know how long it will be for." "I will see what happens." "But it seems a good chance  for me all round", Nathan said. Ian Gurney has built up a remarkable record from his Chapman's Flat base where he was a virtual hobby trainer for a good while, the family being involved in the earthmoving business. He has had four starters in the Miracle Mile with Raglan and Mach Alert being the earlier ones and he turned the career of Avonnova around after buying him cheaply out of a claimer in Sydney in late 2013. Avonnova  had earlier won good races for Steve Turnbull. Avonnova broke Beautide's 1.52.6 record in the Newcastle Mile this season and was Queensland Horse of the Year last season. Ian's success has been such that his thoroughbred loving family have started investing in standardbreds, and one, Smooth Showgirl, won the $A100,000 Nursery Stakes for fillies last year. He has taken a share in the Bettor's Delight colt Rishi purchased at the Christchurch sale along with Mark and Natalie and Luke McCarthy as a result of his association with the stable recently. Nathan does not expect to drive another Adore Me during his trip. He was close to the champion mare from her early days and her career ending injury was a blow for him, "I didn't want it to end." "It was such a great ride and eeally emotional." "But she never let us down and you can't say that about many top horses." "They all have their moments when they are not so good." "She was so laid back it was unbelievable and she was such a great mover it was incredible." "I was sad it was over so soon but there are so many memories and she had done all she had to and more." "I don't think I will handle one like that again for a long time if ever" Nathan said.   Courtesy Of All Stars Racing Stables    

The rich QBRED Breeders Classic Finals were staged at Albion Park last night (Friday) and provided great harness racing. The Gr.2 three-year-old finals were worth $50,000 each while the Listed four-year-old finals were worth $25,000 each. The night coincided with the culmination of the Racing Queensland Girls On Track race series. In the 3yo Fillies final, the Phil Mitchell prepared Cullens Jewel made full use of her front-line draw and led throughout to score a convincing victory defeating Mathilda Diventa and Feel The Faith. Race favourite Bettorthanspecial finished fourth. Cullen Jewel rated 1;58.5 for the 2138m journey while covering her final half in 57.5 seconds. Mark Dux took the winning drive on the American Ideal – Cullens Cameo filly. It was her biggest victory to date and her fourth overall. Smart pacer Admiral Bronski took honours in the 3yo Colts and Geldings final after a brilliant tactical drive from leading reinsman Shane Graham. After starting from a second-line draw, the Art Major – Bronski Gorgeous colt whipped around the field at the 1200m mark and took the lead away from race favourite A Good Chance before handing back over at the 800m marker. Admiral Bronski finished quickly via the sprintlane and held off the fast finishing burst of Jack Malone with Uncle John filling third. Race favourite A Good Chance finished fourth. Admiral Bronski rated 1;58.0 for the 2138m journey with the final half covered in 58.9 seconds. Trained by Mick Grant, Admiral Bronski is now the winner of 7 races from 23 starts. In the 4yo divisions, the favourites proved too classy for their rivals. Flashy chestnut Mafuta Vautin, trained and driven by Darrel Graham, led throughout in the Entires and Geldings final defeating Mister Higgins and The Duke Downunder. Bred and raced by Linda Graham, the Rollon Bigred – Ashleysplace gelding has now won 9 of his 13 career starts. Mafuta Vautin rated 1;57.9 for the 2138m journey while finishing off in 58 seconds. In the 4yo Mares final, Charming Allie worked her way to the front and defied running down in the home straight defeating Beef City Safari and Morethanmeetstheye. Bred and raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour, the Grant Dixon trained and driven mare claimed her 17th career victory from 27 starts. The Mr Feelgood – Charm Personified mare rated 1;59.0 for the 2138m journey while running her last half in 57.1 seconds. Congratulations to all winners and their respective connections. Racing Queensland

Harness Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today concluded an inquiry from Race 3 at Albion Park on Friday, 27 February 2015 into the driving tactics adopted on KALVIN (Trevor Lambourn) which finished in last place beaten approximately 24m, specifically the quick tempo once the gelding obtained the lead, and Mr Lambourn’s actions thereafter in looking over his shoulder on multiple occasions.  These aspects were of particular concern to Stewards due to the fact that NOLONGA YOUR CHOICE (NZ), a runner trained by his partner Ms Rachel Scott was also in the field.   Mr Lambourn explained that after finding the lead at approximately the 1600m KALVIN was inclined to overrace and when attempting to restrain also paced roughly at various stages. Mr Lambourn felt that KALVIN was best suited to running at a genuine tempo and based on its recent form thought the gelding would perform well.   Mr Lambourn also tendered a veterinary certificate from West Vets stating KALVIN was mildly lame in the near fore and was markedly sore in the sacroiliac area when examined on Saturday, 28 February. After considering the evidence tendered, Stewards, whilst still critical of the tactics adopted by Mr Lambourn, were of the view that a charge or charges relating to the standard of the drive could not be sustained to the requisite standard.  Stewards noted the circumstances for future reference and further reminded Mr Lambourn of his obligations under Rule 162 (1)(o) which reads: “A driver shall not look around unduly during a race”. Evidence tendered during the course of this inquiry regarding betting activity on the event led to further investigations being conducted.  As a result, several wagers of concern to Stewards were revealed to have been placed via Mr Lambourn’s Tattsbet account between 24 February 2012 and 27 February 2015 and his Bet365 account on 16 February 2014 on Harness events in Queensland. After considering the evidence before them and after taking further submissions from Mr Lambourn and witness Ms Rachel Scott, Stewards preferred 2 charges against Mr Lambourn in breach of AHR Rule 173(1) which reads: “A driver shall not bet in a race in which the driver participates.” The particulars being: Charge 1: That between 24 February 2012 and 27 February 2015 Mr Lambourn placed 287 bets via his Tattsbet account in races in which he participated in as the driver of that horse, and also one wager via his Bet365 account on 16 February 2014 in a race where he participated as the driver of that horse.  On a further 33 occasions Mr Lambourn wagered on both the horse he drove and on another runner from his stable driven by another person. Charge 2:  That between 13 March 2012 and 27 February 2015 Mr Lambourn placed 40 bets via his Tattsbet account in races in which he participated as the driver, on both the horse he drove and also on runners trained and driven by other people. On a further two occasions Mr Lambourn placed a bet in a race in which he participated as the driver, solely on a runner not trained or driven by him. Mr Lambourn pleaded not guilty to the charges, however on hearing further submissions and reviewing the available evidence Stewards were of the view that the charges could be sustained as issued and formally found him guilty. In assessing penalty Stewards were mindful of the degree of seriousness and particular circumstances of this case, the deterrent effect of any penalty and the impact of any penalty on Mr Lambourn’s livelihood.  In all the circumstances Stewards determined the following penalties be applied: Charge 1:  $10,000 fine Charge 2:  The disqualification of Mr Lambourn’s licences to train and drive for a period of 2 years backdated to commence 28 February 2015, the day on which he was stood down. Mr Lambourn was advised of his appeal rights. Stewards Panel: P Zimmermann, C McLune, M Ross

The first of four country class heat/final series in Queensland starts this weekend. And there’s rich prizemoney up for grabs too. Recently, Racing Queensland announced that three C2/C5 series worth $50,000 will be staged while the Premiers Cup also remains on the feature race schedule. It provides a perfect opportunity for owners to cash in on their investment. This Saturday night, two heats will be staged at Albion Park and it’s drawn together a group of horses from here, there and everywhere. In total, seven horses are making their debut in Queensland with this series in mind. And leading trainer Darrel Graham is aiming at the series with a pair of new pacers. New Zealand pacer Chattanoogachoochoo and lightly raced Victorian Broadway Playboy will debut for the Fernvale based horseman. Both pacers carry very strong records and have been deliberately set for this series. “Broadway Playboy has been ready to go for about three weeks now but we’ve purposely held him back for this series while Dean (Shannon – owner) purchased Chattanoogachoochoo with this race in mind recently, it’s very good prizemoney.” Graham said. Broadway Playboy will contest the opening heat of the series and faces a second-line draw, the Jeremes Jet gelding will start from gate nine but does follow out fast beginner Epaulette. The well-related gelding has trialed on two occasions recently at Albion Park and Graham is confident of a forward showing. “I’m happy with where he’s at going into this series; he made a break in his first trial and we’ve tinkered with his gear since and his most recent trial was good because he chased home a nice horse in fast time,” “I like his draw and he’ll be running on strongly, it’s a race with strong depth but the aim is to qualify for the final and we’ll give it a good shot.” Graham is still a little unsure on his latest acquisition from New Zealand but likes the look of the Christian Cullen gelding who will start from the inside of the second-line, gate eight. Formerly prepared by Greg and Nina Hope, Chattanoogachoochoo has built up a handy record and mixed it with some of the country’s best pacers. “We’ve been looking for some time and this horse came up at the right time and he ticked all the right boxes, he’s only just arrived so we’re still sorting him out but he has settled in very nicely,” “Greg kept him in work and he looks in great order but he will improve immensely on whatever he does on the weekend, we’ve got a handy trailing draw and he should get his chance." "We’ll be looking at winter carnival features with him down the track.” Graham has enjoyed good success with former Kiwi pacers in recent times including the likes of Five Card Draw and Major Sam. Chris Barsby - Courtesy of Racing Queensland

Victorian based harness racing owner/breeder Harvey Kaplan is a shrewd operator. His success in the sport is well documented and his passion is infectious, he’s bred some outstanding stars of the sport including Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling, Fly Like An Eagle, Arctic Fire and current star Bling It On. And his desire to find the next ‘star’ continues to burn brightly. The South African born and raised harness racing fanatic is constantly upgrading and improving his large broodmare band which is spread across both Australia and New Zealand while he’s always sourcing the best options for his racing team. Kaplan is not afraid to place his horses in the best position to maximize their returns. Enter Queensland. In recent times, Kaplan has been impressed with upgrade to prizemoney and the QBRED breeding scheme in the sunshine state and now has horses consistently heading north. “Queensland is on the up and their prizemoney structure is strong while their recent upgrade of the breeding schemes is very appealing. I’m happy to place my horses where they can best earn and I had no hesitation in sending horses to Brisbane, I’ll have at least five to six racing up there in the next couple of weeks.” On Saturday night, Kaplan has the promising Epaulette engaged in the opening heat of the C2/C5 $50,000 Silks Restaurant Cup series. Formerly prepared by Sydney trainer Belinda McCarthy, Epaulette will make his debut for Ian Gurney and draws ideally in gate two. “I know one thing; we’ll be leading because he’s a brilliant gate speed horse so that’s a good start. This series is the main reason we’ve sent him north and I’m hoping we can continue to target these series in the coming months. “We’ve deliberately taken our time with him because he was such a late foal, he’s a January foal and he’s always displayed very good ability so we’ve never rushed him. We think he’ll get through his grades quickly and this series is a great start point. “This heat boasts some very talented types including Alleluia who has raced against the best of his age group but we knew that he would draw well so we expect to be hard to beat.” Kaplan is also hoping for some luck with his recent New Zealand purchase Our Narissa Franco who lines up in the Listed $25,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final. The half-sister to current star Franco Nelson has drawn ideally in gate one and looms as a legitimate chance following her heat performance on Tuesday. “Her run on Tuesday was very good and her sectionals were impressive, landing the inside gate is a major bonus because she does possess very good gate speed,” “Originally I sent this mare to Brittany Graham but was forced to change stable owing to her nasty characteristics, she’s actually quite mad but she’s fitting in with Jack Butler now. It would be a great thrill to win a race like this with her and take a good time,” “I have just purchased Fon Design who will step out for Brittany next week so hopefully this is the start of a good week to come.” Kaplan also hinted that ‘stablestar’ Bling It On could be a Queensland winter carnival player in the coming months. Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 14 March 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 14 March 2015 by Chris Barsby  

Harness racing trainer Rob Xerri is still pinching himself after experiencing one of the most memorable weeks of his life.  It started last Tuesday when talented youngster Hazels Girl covered the mile in 1:54.5 - an Australasian record for two-year-old fillies at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  Three days later it got even better when smart four-year-old My General Lee returned to the winners’ list with a dominant display at Menangle. Just a few hours after Xerri arrived home from the races his wife Melanie Xerri into labour. “I only had the one horse in at Menangle on Friday night, so I was home early and in bed by about 10 o’clock,” Xerri said. “Melanie woke me up at about 1am because she was having contractions and we left for the hospital by about 3:30. “She ended up giving birth to our little boy Nash Sam Xerri at 9:20 in the morning.” Xerri was a little bit surprised that Nash arrived on Saturday morning because Melanie and Rob had visited the doctor the previous day. “We went and saw the doctor on Friday and were told to come back next Thursday, but he wasn’t going to wait until then,” Xerri said. “Nash’s middle name is Sam and the reason we picked that is because my Uncle Sam passed away recently and he was a special person. “Nash had some breathing issues when he was first born, but everything is going well now and I’m expecting Melanie and Nash home by Tuesday or Wednesday.” The next few weeks will continue to be busy for Xerri, who has aimed Hazels Girl at the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival. “At this stage I’m planning on taking four horses to Bathurst,” Xerri said. “Hazels Girl will definitely be one of those horses, she is a very talented filly as she showed last Tuesday. “The run knocked her around a little bit though, which is understandable, so she won’t race again until the heats of the Gold Tiara. “I always knew she had ability, but the time was very good.” Xerri is also contemplating taking My General Lee and Christian Sloy to Queensland. “He is on the market at the moment, but if he doesn’t sell I will take both of them to Queensland for a couple of races,” Xerri said. HRNSW Media

A decision on whether Tasmania's dual Inter Dominion winner Beautide heads to Queensland for that state's harness racing winter carnival will depend on how the gelding emerges from his tilt at winning back-to-back Len Smith Miles in late April. Beautide ended last season with a brilliant win in the Group One Len Smith Mile at Menangle, so his trainer-driver James Rattray is supremely confident he can do it again. Rattray said his stable star has emerged from his second Inter Dominion victory in top order. Because Beautide was having only his third start this campaign in he Inter Dominion he should be afforded the chance to contest the big races in Queensland over the winter and the trainer suggested he and his life partner Fia Svensson would also enjoy heading to the Sunshine State for a couple of weeks at tat time of the year. The plan would be to run on two in three races in Queensland, including the Sunshine Sprint and the Blacks A Fake, then return to Rattray's property at Exeter in the Highlands (near Goulburn) for a spell before preparing for the next Inter Dominion series in Western Australia in November. Peter Staples

Savvy breeders have every reason to be on good terms with themselves. Following the recent harness racing Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale staged in Brisbane, the progeny of former world champion pacer Mr Feelgood sold incredibly well. In fact, he averaged $27,000 from his six lots sold. He also snared the top lot of the sale with his Catwalk Beauty filly fetching $48,000 when knocked down to the bid of Patrice Madden, partner of leading trainer/driver Peter Greig. The sales topper was also awarded the best presented filly on the day. His sale results included $26,000 for a filly from Magic In Motion, $30,000 for a Truly Famous filly, $28,000 for a Get Happy colt, $14,000 for a Girl Of The Moment filly and $16,000 for a Girls Rule filly. After standing his first two commercial seasons at stud at Yirribee in New South Wales, owners Kevin and Kay Seymour along with Peter and Zilla O’Shea relocated their prized stallion to Queensland. Standing at Egmont Park on the Darling Downs of Toowoomba under the watchful eye of Peter and Leann Bell, he was generously offered for a free with only a handling fee involved. The highly decorated stallion has just completed a very large book of mares which includes several well credentialed mares from all states of Australia. And with the heavy workload, his fertility has remained potent with every nine in ten mares confirmed in foal. The move in standing Mr Feelgood for free was a way of helping the Queensland breeding industry which has stalled following the demise of the incomparable Fake Left and Perfect Art. And breeders pounced on the wonderful opportunity. The Grinfromeartoear stallion has already proven his talent at stud in North America after serving a small crop of mares with twenty-two live foals hitting the ground before being imported back in 2008. His North American progeny include Meadowlands winner Nathan Feelsgood while both I'm Feelin Good and Feels Good have both proven their talent on the Kentucky Sires Stakes circuit. Remarkably, with only two foals to race last season, he produced two richly talented types in A Good Chance (4 wins including $35,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Final) and Feel The Faith (6 wins including Australasian Breeders Crown consolation). Astute buyers have reacted quickly at the sales so far this year. The Brisbane results were a flow-on effect from a positive Melbourne sale. His four lots averaged $18,500. His individual sale results included $16,000 for a Miss Holmes colt, $25,000 for a colt from The Princess Poet, $13,000 for a Trend Setter filly and $20,000 for a Twice Again Franco colt. This weekend, the Sydney sale takes place where three lots will be offered which includes two colts and a filly. by Chris Barsby

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today concluded an inquiry arising from a stable inspection conducted at the property of licensed trainer Mathew Neilson on Saturday, 31 January 2015.  Mr Neilson was observed allegedly stomach tubing a horse, identified as My Aliyana, which was engaged to race that evening at Albion Park. After taking further evidence from Mr Neilson and Dr Bruce Young, Manager, Veterinary Services of the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre, Stewards issued a charge against Mr Neilson pursuant to AHR Rule 193(1) which reads: “A person shall not attempt to stomach tube or stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event.” Specifics of the charge being that on Saturday, 31 January 2015, at the stables of licensed trainer Mathew Neilson, he did stomach tube a horse named My Aliyana which was engaged to compete in Race 9 at Albion Park that evening. Mr Neilson pleaded not guilty to the charge, however on hearing further submissions and reviewing the available evidence Stewards were of the view that the charge could be sustained as issued and formally found him guilty. In determining penalty Stewards were mindful of the particular circumstances of this case, the seriousness of this rule, the deterrent effect of a penalty and the impact of any penalty on Mr Neilson’s personal and financial circumstances as tendered in his submissions.  Stewards deemed the appropriate penalty be the disqualification of Mr Neilson’s licences to train and drive for a period of 12 months backdated to commence 31 January 2015, the day on which he was stood down. Mr Neilson was advised of his appeal rights. Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, L Wilson Racing Queensland

Sunday's Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Sale offers harness racing buyers unprecedented opportunities. Youngsters passing through the ring are eligible for more prize money and bonuses than any other horses in APG’s history. Thanks to the amazing QBred Bonus Scheme and APG Gold Bonus Scheme, a single win in a standard two-year-old race in Queensland, and then a single win in a standard three-year-old race in Queensland will net filly owners more than $30,000 in prize money and bonuses, and will net colt owners over $25,000, as follows:     Fillies Colts First 2yo Win:     Base Prizemoney ($7000 Race) $4489 $4489 Qbred 2yo Bonus $12,000 $10,000 APG Gold Bonus ($Max) $4000 $4000       First 3yo Win:     Base Prizemoney ($7000 Race) $4489 $4489 Qbred 3yo Bonus $7000 $5000       Total $31,978 $27,978   Add on to this, an $80,000 Two-Year-Old Sales Race exclusively for APG Brisbane Sale Graduates, plus APG’s $1Million Race Series, and it is no wonder Sunday's Sale has attracted the strongest line-up of yearlings ever assembled in Brisbane! The quality on offer is also a quantum leap ahead of what has been on offer in recent years, as demonstrated by the following table:   Brisbane Sale      2015          2014          2013          2012     No. Horses Catalogued 70 56 52 73 Prizemoney earned by Dams $3.652M $1.818M $1.814M $1.449M Average Earnings per Dam $52,174 $32,467 $34,885 $19,848 No. Dams with earnings $100,000+ 11 5 6 2 Races won by Dams 449 288 312 316 No. of Winning Dams 51 35 35 41 Percentage of Winning Dams 73% 63% 67% 56% No. of sub 2:00 Winning Dams 40 26 24 26 Percentage of sub 2:00 Winning Dams 57% 46% 46% 36% Indeed, Sunday's APG Brisbane Sale catalogue compares very favourably with APG's Melbourne Sale which was conducted on February 1:   Catalogue Statistics Brisbane Sale Melbourne Sale No. Horses Presented for Sale 70 195 Average Earnings per Dam $52,174 $63,151 No. Dams with earnings $100,000+ 11 32 Percentage of Winning Dams 73% 58% Percentage of sub 2:00 Winning Dams 57% 44%   The Sale starts from 11am, but buyers are encouraged to give themselves plenty of time to register and conduct their inspections. The latest photos and list of withdrawals can be viewed by clicking here.  Buyers that are unable to make it to Brisbane on Sunday have the ability to appoint an agent or may be able to bid via the telephone.  Buyers interested in either of these options should contact APG immediately on (03) 5275 1999. - Harnesslink Media

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