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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

Harness racing’s free-legged star Avonnova appears certain to qualify for the TAB.com.au Inter Dominion Final. A brilliant beginner, Avonnova has drawn the pole in Saturday night’s heat at Albion Park, which should see the Ian Gurney-trained pacer lead throughout. The $750,000 decider is scheduled to be run at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 1, with heats being conducted throughout Australia this weekend. Only the winner of the Queensland qualifier will be guaranteed a berth in the time-honoured Final. Successful at seven of his nine starts this season, Avonnova’s only home state defeat this season was a gutsy second behind New South Wales visitor For A Reason in the Queensland Pacing Championship last October. Kept fresh since his victory at Menangle a fortnight ago, the son of Art Major has been installed a prohibitive $1.30 favourite as he looks to stretch his winning sequence to five. An eye-catching winner at Albion Park last Saturday night, classy mare Forever Gold shapes as Avonnova’s main danger after drawing alongside the gelding. Racing in consistent form this campaign, the daughter of Famous Forever is likely to be sent forward early in hope of opening a gap and being slotted onto the pegs behind the leader. PAUL COURTS

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the discovery of an unlabelled substance during a stable inspection carried out at the training premises of licensed trainers Travis McKay and Jess Manzelmann on Monday, 3 November 2014. This item, along with several others, was seized and referred to the Racing Science Centre (RSC) for analysis. Subsequently the RSC reported the substance in the unlabelled vial to be the prohibited substance Testosterone  Enanthate. After considering the evidence tendered by Mr Mackay, Miss Manzelmann, currently disqualified trainer Brian Manzelmann and Dr Bruce Young, Manager, Veterinary Services of the RSC, Stewards issued the following charges: Travis McKay was charged pursuant to Rule 190A (4) which states:   If any substance or preparation that could give rise to an offence under this rule if administered to a horse at any time is found at any time at any premises used in relation to the training or racing of horses then any owner, trainer or person who owns, trains or races or is in charge of horses at those premises is deemed to have the substance or preparation in their possession and such person shall be guilty of an offence. The specifics of the charge being that the substance Testosterone Enanthate which is an anabolic androgenic steroid and thereby a substance that could give rise to an offence under this rule if administered, was found at the stables registered as the training premises of licensed trainer Travis Mackay during a stable inspection conducted on Monday, 3 November 2014.   Mr McKay pleaded guilty to the charge and after hearing submissions on penalty Stewards imposed a fine of $1000. Jess Manzelmann was also charged pursuant to Rule 190A (4). The specifics of the charge being that the substance Testosterone Enanthate which is an anabolic androgenic steroid and thereby a substance that could give rise to an offence under this rule if administered, was found at the stables registered as the training premises of licensed trainer Jess Manzelmann during a stable inspection conducted on Monday, 3 November 2014. Miss Manzelmann pleaded guilty to the charge and after hearing submissions on penalty Stewards imposed a fine of $1000. Brian Manzelmann was also charged pursuant to Rule 190A (4). The specifics of the charge being that the substance Testosterone Enanthate which is an anabolic androgenic steroid and thereby a substance that could give rise to an offence under this rule if administered, was found at the stables registered as the training premises of currently disqualified trainer Brian Manzelmann during a stable inspection conducted on Monday, 3 November 2014 after Mr Manzelmann knowingly purchased the substance prior to his disqualification, stored it at the stables and failed to dispose of it as of 1 May 2014 on which date it was prohibited to be in possession of anabolic steroids. Mr Brian Manzelmann pleaded guilty to the charge. In determining an appropriate penalty Stewards were mindful of Mr Manzelmann’s record in relation to prohibited substances, and also that he is currently serving a period of disqualification for a breach of rules relating to prohibited substances. In all the circumstances Stewards imposed a further period of 3 months disqualification to commence at the expiration of Mr Manzelmann’s current disqualification on 9 October 2015. Mr Manzelmann was further charged pursuant to Rule 194 which states:   A person who procures or attempts to procure or who has in his possession or on hispremises or under his control any substance or preparation that has not been registered,labelled, prescribed, dispensed or obtained in compliance with relevant State andCommonwealth legislation is guilty of an offence. The specifics of the charge being that prior to being currently disqualified, Mr Manzelmann procured and had on his premises a substance, namely Testosterone Enanthate, which was not labelled, prescribed, dispensed or obtained in compliance with relevant State and Commonwealth legislation. Mr Manzelmann pleaded guilty to the charge. In determining an appropriate penalty Stewards were mindful that Mr Manzelmann had previously breached this rule, and also that he is currently serving a period of disqualification for a breach of rules relating to prohibited substances.  In all the circumstances Stewards imposed a $1000 fine. Mr Manzelmann, Miss Manzelmann and Mr  McKay were all advised of their rights of appeal. Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey Racing Queensland  

Fresh from his first-up fourth last weekend, harness racing star For A Reason is expected to be a major improver at Albion Park on Saturday night. Pleased with the stallion’s performance at his return from a six-month break, trainer Belinda McCarthy is confident For A Reason can make his way to the winners’ circle after the Gold Coast Cup. For A Reason’s previous victory came in the Goulburn Cup last January, with his five subsequent starts netting three placings, including a third in the Inter Dominion at Menangle. “I’m happy with his effort, but he was in need of the run last week at it showed at the end,” McCarthy said. “He has pulled up well and his work has been solid. “He will definitely be sharper for the run and we expect an improvement. “That said, whatever he does this Saturday night, he will improve on again the following week for his main target.” For A Reason’s “main target” is the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship, which doubles as the first leg of the Grand Circuit. McCarthy is no stranger to QPC success, having prepared Ideal Scott to capture last year’s edition with her father-in-law, John, in the cart. McCarthy’s husband, Luke, who will drive For A Reason, has won the Group One a record six times, beginning with Cobbity Classic in 2004. Luke then scored with Slipnslide in 2005 and ’06, Mr Feelgood in 2010 and ’11 and Washakie in 2013. Only Natalie Rasmussen’s two wins with Blacks A Fake in 2008 and ’09 have stopped the McCarthy’s during the past nine years. As for For A Reason’s immediate assignment, the multiple Group One winner will begin from barrier three, with John shaping as the main danger as the trainer-driver of Blazin N Cullen. A well-performed son of Christian Cullen, Blazin N Cullen will begin from the pole for the veteran horseman. John also has Machtavish in the feature, with the gelding drawn awkwardly in gate 10. “I’m happy with our draw,” McCarthy said. “From there Luke has plenty of options. “Blazin N Cullen has drawn well for John and from there will make a real fist of it.” McCarthy also cites Victorian raider Abettorpunt as a major threat after receiving barrier four. Prepared by David Lewis, Abettorpunt was ultra-impressive when equalling the Ballarat track record at his first run for seven-month spell a fortnight ago. “Abettorpunt is a nice type and they wouldn’t have made the long trip up for no reason,” McCarthy declared. “It’s going to be a tough race, but I’m happy to stick with For A Reason.”

The Queensland harness racing industry will be on the receiving end of a 16 per cent prizemoney boost from October 1 this year as part of a funding windfall for the state's three racing codes. Addressing an industry briefing at Deagon this week, Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board Chairman Kevin Dixon said Racing Queensland had delivered on its commitment to improve the returns for participants of all codes in the wake of the new wagering deal. “This is a monumental occasion for the Queensland racing industry. We have now provided an opportunity for every participant in the state to increase their returns through significant increases to prize money allocations in all codes,” Mr Dixon said. “For years, the Queensland racing industry has been lobbying for more prizemoney and we have delivered that today in a way that ensures each code and region benefits from the increases. “Based on the increases coming into effect on October 1, overall prizemoney year on year will increase by 50 per cent for greyhounds, 20 per cent for thoroughbreds and 16 per cent for harness racing. “These improvements were devised with a new allocation strategy, which determines prizemoney based on each code’s individual revenue less the costs they incur. This means when one code is performing well, they will directly benefit from their success and not be impacted by other codes.” The key improvements from October 1, 2014 are: Harness Non-performing Monday meetings have been removed form the schedule and those races have been absorbed by other meetings, and will receive a prizemoney increase of 50% from $2,000 to $3,000. Prizemoney offered at Saturday Metro meetings increases by 19 per cent, highlighted by CMO races increasing 50% to $12,000, and 2nd Division Q0/Q1/Q2 increasing 33% to $8000. Similarly, prize money at Tuesday Metro will increase by 27.5 per cent and Friday Metro by 39% Increase to provincial prizemoney at Redcliffe on Wednesday nights by 52 per cent with a number of races now worth $5000. Mr Dixon said the new wagering deal with Tatts Bet had paved the way for the prizemoney increases, which would only be amplified by the recent improvements to QTIS and soon-to-be announced improvements to the other breeding schemes. “Once the wagering deal was finalised, we were able to look at the big picture and determine where we could invest and expend that money to give our participants the best possible return on their investment,” Mr Dixon said. “The best part of the new deal is, though, that if the racing industry pulls together and performs, increases like these will continue to flow in the future. “Prizemoney was the obvious and most sought after improvement, and now we will work closely with our stakeholder groups to ensure future allocations of funding continue to address the needs of the industry.” Minister for Racing Steve Dickson said the increases to prizemoney marked a major milestone in the Government’s commitment to reinvigorate the racing industry in Queensland. “Prizemoney increases in all three codes across the state have always been the goal and today we have seen just how bright the future is for our participants,” Mr Dickson said. The new prizemoney structure has been achieved because of the terrific wagering deal recently secured with Tatts, and builds on the success of the first phase of our infrastructure strategy, and the stabilisation of the administrative part of the organisation. “The reinvigoration of the industry is well underway and we will continue to work with Racing Queensland and industry participants to ensure it continues.” Racing Queensland  

Harnesslink has become aware of the sudden death of the well known and respected harness racing identity, Ken McDonald at his home in Brisbane, Australia One of the "McDonald clan from Christchurch, Ken was well known in both harness and thoroughbred circles on both sides of the Tasman. His business success in the telecommunications industry let Ken pursue his passion for horse racing in both Australia and New Zealand over several decades. Ken first came to prominence in harness racing with the champion pacer Master Musician 1:54 ($1,926,810) who he raced with his close friend Eugene Stork and Robert Dunn. Over the years he has raced horses with a lot of his friends including Brian West of Studholme Park with whom Ken currently raced a few fillies including Secret Lotion and Art Critic. Ken was at Addington as recently as last Thursday night to see Dongel Jimmy Dave, who he races with family members, win impressively. A longtime friend and client of leading Queensland thoroughbred trainer Alan Bailey, Ken had interest in both codes in Australia. His latest star in the harness racing side of things in Australia was the brilliant For A Reason 1:49.4 ($803,433) Ken was really keen to bring  For a Reason to Addington for this years New Zealand Cup in an effort to stop his brother Terry, owner of champion pacer Terror To Love from claiming his fourth straight cup victory. Ken figured as Terry had won three, maybe it was time for his younger brother to have a turn although as anyone who knows them knew, the brothers were very close. Ken was also known on both sides of the Tasman as a generous warm hearted man of the highest integrity. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. The funeral service for Ken will be held at Silks at Addington Raceway on Thursday August 14th. Harnesslink Media

7 August 2014: OVERVIEW. Statutory Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) $129.9 million, up 2.6% on the prior corresponding period (pcp). This includes: NPAT from continuing operations before significant items $149.4 million, up 7.4%. Loss after tax from discontinued operations $19.5 million[1]. Statutory Earnings Per Share (EPS) 17.2 cents per share, in line with pcp. EPS from continuing operations before significant items 19.8 cents per share, up 4.8%. Full year dividend [16] cents per share, fully franked (FY13, 19 cents per share).  EBITDA from continuing operations before significant items $486.1 million, up 4.8%. Revenues $2,039.8 million, up 1.8%. Variable contribution $919.5 million, up 3.8%. Operating expenses $433.4 million, up 2.8%. Portfolio of long-dated licences strengthened with extension of Queensland Keno licence (to 2047) and NSW retail wagering exclusivity (to 2033). Agreement to acquire ACTTAB. Refinancing of bond maturities completed 1 May 2014, resulting in interest savings of approximately $10 million per annum. New senior executive leadership structure in place, with the creation of new roles: COO Wagering and COO Gaming Services & Keno.   MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO COMMENTARY “The Group’s performance in FY14 demonstrates the benefits of a model that is diversified across four businesses. This result is testament to our market-leading brands and unique multi-product, multi-channel distribution model,” said Managing Director and CEO, David Attenborough. “The strong performance of our Wagering business was driven by excellent growth in Fixed Odds and Digital wagering. Media and International again delivered a positive earnings result, despite incurring one-off restructuring charges. “Our Gaming Services business, TGS, has built on the solid foundation laid in its first year in Victoria by successfully entering NSW. TGS is now well placed for further expansion.  Although it was disappointing not to see revenue growth in our Keno business in FY14, it is well positioned to grow in FY15, with new products set for launch.” Business Results – Continuing Operations Before Significant Items  Wagering  Total Wagering business revenues (including the Victorian Racing Industry’s interest) grew 1.8% in FY14{C}{C}{C}[2]{C}{C}{C}. Wagering revenue growth of 2.4% in the second half improved relative to first half growth of 1.3%.    Operating expenses were $284.0 million, up 0.6%. EBITDA was $282.2 million, up 6.5%.  By product, Fixed Odds growth was again the highlight with revenues up 26.5% to $511.5 million. This was made up of: {C}{C}{C}{C}·         {C}{C}{C}Fixed Odds racing revenues of $322.9 million, up 37.0%, primarily driven by an expansion in the number of markets offered and ongoing shifts in customer preferences towards Fixed Odds products. {C}{C}{C}{C}·         {C}{C}{C}Fixed Odds sports revenues of $188.6 million, up 12.7%.   Totalisator revenues were $1,262.9 million, down 6.3%, partly impacted by lower premium customer volumes and the shift to Fixed Odds. Luxbet revenues were up 22.5% to $47.9 million and Trackside revenues were $89.3 million, up 1.1%.  The Soccer World Cup produced revenues across TAB and Luxbet in FY14 of $14.9 million and in FY15 of $10.3 million. TAB’s successful marketing initiatives were driven by the ‘Back Gold’ campaign led by former Socceroos goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer.    Tabcorp’s diverse distribution channels allow customers to connect with TAB in multiple ways, differentiating Tabcorp from online-only wagering operators.  The Digital channel was a driver of Tabcorp’s Wagering growth, with turnover up 18.2% to $2,900.0 million.  Mobile devices made up 54% of Tabcorp’s Digital turnover, up from 35% in FY13. NSW retail turnover was $3,819.1 million, down 1.2%, and Victorian retail turnover was $2,762.2 million, down 4.9%. Performance in the NSW and Victorian retail wagering channels improved in 2H14 relative to 1H14, despite continued soft retail conditions. Media and International  Tabcorp’s Media and International business continued to benefit from the expanded export of vision and co-mingling.  Revenues grew 6.2% to $220.4 million. Operating expenses were $123.9 million, up 5.0%, with expense growth partly attributable to the acquisition of Sky’s US vision agent, now rebranded Sky Racing World US, and one-off restructure charges.  EBITDA was $68.5 million, up 2.2%.  Broadcast rights and racing industry contributions from Tabcorp’s International business were $73.5 million, up 15.6%.  Tabcorp continues to work towards concluding media rights negotiations for NSW and Victorian thoroughbred racing content and achieving a fair commercial outcome for all parties.  Gaming Services  The results of the Gaming Services business reflect a full year contribution compared to the prior year during which TGS was operational for 10.5 months.  TGS revenues were $98.1 million, up 13.7%. Operating expenses were $31.1 million, up 11.1%, resulting in EBITDA of $67.0 million, up 14.9%.    TGS made a successful entry into the NSW market during the year, signing up two NSW venues, Kogarah RSL and Auburn Tennis Club. TGS has now established capability to grow the business in NSW in FY15.  A second half highlight in Victoria, where TGS covers approximately 8,500 electronic gaming machines (EGMs), was the commencement of the in-EGM loyalty scheme.  Keno  Keno revenues were $203.9 million, down 0.7%, with Queensland and NSW revenues flat and Victorian revenues up 3.6%. Operating expenses were $41.2 million, up 1.0%.  EBITDA was $72.2 million, down 4.4%.    An operational highlight was the roll out of Keno Racing to more than 450 Queensland venues.  Improving the performance of the Keno business is a priority for Tabcorp in FY15. New initiatives planned for delivery include the commencement of jackpot pooling between NSW and Victoria in 1H15, with Queensland to follow. CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AND INVESTMENTS Capital expenditure was $133 million, with the major projects being digital and systems enhancements for Wagering and the TGS expansion. Expected capital expenditure in FY15 is $130 million, before the expansion of TGS in NSW and Victorian in-EGM loyalty. The depreciation and amortisation (D&A) expense for FY15 is expected to be approximately $170 million. Capital expenditure and D&A guidance is before the impact of the ACTTAB acquisition. RACE FIELDS FEES New Race Fields fee structures have been put in place by the Victorian, Queensland and South Australian racing industries, effective from 1 July 2014.  If these changes had applied to Tabcorp in FY14, and in the absence of any mitigating strategies, the estimated impact would be approximately $12 million before tax.   SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA PROCEEDINGS   Tabcorp has lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria against a judgment of the Supreme Court of Victoria handed down on 26 June 2014. The appeal is listed to be heard in October. The judgment relates to Tabcorp’s claim for a payment of $686.8 million from the State of Victoria, which found in favour of the State. Separately, Tabcorp has applied for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia in respect of the Health Benefit Levy judgment of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria, which was handed down on 1 July 2014.  The Court of Appeal judgment impacted Tabcorp’s FY14 earnings by $19.5 million after tax, which has been disclosed as Discontinued Operations in Tabcorp’s financial statements. DIVIDEND The Board has announced a final dividend of [8] cents per share, fully franked and payable on 24 September 2014 to shareholders registered at 14 August 2014.  The full year dividend of [16] cents per share represents [81%] of NPAT from continuing operations before significant items. The Board today announced that its FY15 target dividend payout ratio will increase to 90% of NPAT.    STAKEHOLDER BENEFITS Taxes on gambling paid                                             $439.3 million Income generated for racing industry                        $735.0 million VIC                                                                         $342.0 million[1] NSW                                                                       $246.2 million Race fields fees                                                     $73.3 million Broadcast rights and international business           $73.5 million Income taxes paid and payable          $66.7 million   [1] Excludes the impact of the VRI’s share of HBL of $8.9 million. FY15 PRIORITIES Mr Attenborough said: “Tabcorp is well placed to drive profitable growth through our diversified portfolio of businesses. This portfolio has been strengthened with the recent agreement to acquire ACTTAB, subject to necessary approvals.  ACTTAB will give Tabcorp new and attractive long-term licences. “In Wagering, we will continue to integrate our retail and digital offerings, noting our distribution channels work together for overall growth.  Other priorities in Wagering are product expansion and successfully completing the ACTTAB transaction. “The priority for the Media and International business is to conclude media rights negotiations and expand co-mingling and the export of Australasian racing. “Now that TGS has entered the NSW market, the business is well placed to demonstrate the value it can generate for licensed venues and increase sign-ups. “Finally, our Keno business has a clear agenda to improve its performance.  Product expansion and the pooling of jackpots between NSW and Victoria are among the initiatives that will help create a more compelling offer for customers. “We are well positioned to drive future performance, maintain expense discipline and deliver Return on Invested Capital of 14% by FY16.” For more information: Media: Nicholas Tzaferis, GM Corporate Affairs, 03 9868 2529 Financial analysts: Lachlan Fitt, GM Investor Relations and Strategy, 02 9218 1414

There will be no love lost between Queensland's top young harness racing drivers and their New South Wales counterparts when they go head to head in the inaugural Young Drivers State of Origin Series later this month. The Queensland team of Peter McMullen, Chantal Turpin, Trent Moffatt, Narissa McMullen and Amy Rees will travel to Menangle for the series opener on August 26 before returning to their home turf at Albion Park on August 29. The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM. Racing Queensland Chief Executive Darren Condon said the state had some outstanding talent in its junior ranks and the six-race series would provide invaluable experience for both teams. "To take these young drivers down to New South Wales and compete at a venue like Menangle is an experience they could well have had to wait many years for and this series gives them the opportunity to do it now," Mr Condon said. "Being able to compete on different tracks against the best young drivers in other states does wonders for a young driver's confidence, but they can also build a network in another state that could open up opportunities for them in the future. "Harness Racing certainly has a high rate of younger participants in Queensland and we are proud to able to give the Young Guns this opportunity and be part of such a great initiative." The New South Wales team consists of Cameron Jones, Chris Geary, Kasey Hocking, Kylie Barnes and Todd Prest. Harness Racing NSW Chief Executive Sam Nati said providing opportunities like this for the young participants in his state is vital for the future of the sport. "We are all acutely aware of the need to nurture the next generation of trainers and drivers, "Mr Nati said. "Giving them the opportunity to participate in showcase events such as this not only provides a great incentive, but just as importantly, valuable learning opportunities. "Additionally it's very satisfying to achieve an outcome with another state controlling body which is mutually beneficial to our respective longer term objectives." Racing Queensland and Harness Racing NSW have confirmed a boost to the prize pool for the six races with each worth $10,000. New South Wales will launch the series with three races scheduled on Tuesday 26 August at Menangle, with the Queensland final scheduled for Friday 29 August at Albion Park. For further information please contact: Queensland Lucy McIntosh (Brand Manager - Harness, Racing Queensland) 0457 743 908 New South Wales Sam Nati (CEO - Harness Racing NSW) 02 9722 6600                  

Hunter Valley harness racing trainer Shane Tritton enjoyed plenty of success during his recent trip to Queensland for the Winter Carnival and with the Breeders Crown series in Victoria less than a month away, he has confirmed he will be taking a strong team south. However before heading off Tritton has a large contingent in at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night including two exciting prospects, Lombo Kotakinabalu and Fearless Leader. "We have a big team in on Saturday night and I'm looking forward to producing a couple of horses that look to have big futures going forward," Tritton said. "Fearless Leader was sent to us with the idea of getting him on the big track at Menangle and so far we haven't even given him a start there because we took him to Queensland for the carnival but I really think he is going to be suited on the 1400 metre track." Fearless Leader has already had three starts at Menangle in his career and has only been placed on one occasion. "He's only little but he has got a tremendous attitude and Lauren (Panella) has told me that he really likes to find the line in his races so I'm expecting a big performance this weekend." "The plan is to take him back to Melbourne for a Breeders Crown graduate race next month." Lombo Kotakinabalu has only had one start at Menangle and he was a big winner on that occasion, taking out a Country Series Final on Breeders Challenge Final Day. "He is a very exciting horse, he has been winning his races very easily and he is a free rolling type which I think will be better suited over the mile so the 2300 metres will be something different this weekend." "The plan is to take him to Melbourne as well. I'm planning on taking eight at this stage including horses like Suave Stuey Lombo, Controversial, Marty Monkhouser and Im Supersonic." By Greg Hayes  | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

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