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IN welcoming news for owners and trainers Harness Racing New South Wales has announced a $20,000 Cups Bonus for Sydney’s upcoming Carnival of Cups doubleheader at Penrith and Bankstown. The bonus will be eligible to owners and trainers of horses that race in both the Renshaw Cup and Treuer Memorial, two time-honoured raced on the NSW harness racing calendar. The first leg of the HRNSW Cups Bonus will take place with the Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith on Thursday April 18. Carrying prizemoney of $50,000 plus the additional bonus will be enticing according to Penrith Paceway chief executive Lorraine Pozza. “This $20,000 Bonus is an excellent incentive for owners and trainers,” Pozza said. “It brings the two races together to make for some great racing and it gives connections of those horses a fantastic opportunity to race for good money at this time of the year.” The second leg of the HRNSW Cups Bonus will be at Bankstown on Friday April 26 with the $65,000 Treuer Memorial. Bankstown Harness Racing Club President Les Bentley is optimistic of the bonus and also that this Group 2 has increased in stakes from last year. “It’s great that both Bankstown and Penrith Clubs can jointly promote these races through the generosity of Rod Smith and his Board at HRNSW with this Bonus,” Bentley said. “With the feature races only being a week a part, this Bonus should be able to attract horses from all over. “It is the Club’s long-term goal to take the Treuer Memorial back to Group 1 status.” The $20,000 HRNSW Bonus will be split with $12,000 going to the owner/s and $8,000 to the trainer of the horse with the most points after the two features. A horse must race in both the Renshaw Cup and Treuer Memorial to be eligible with points starting from 10 for first working back a point per finishing position.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HRNSW

Leppington harness racing trainer Kevin Pizzuto is eyeing off all the big races with his latest Kiwi purchase, Tiger Tara before a stud career beckons. The six-year-old ‘black bullet’ has been killing his rivals in no uncertain terms and is set to continue the trend in tonight’s Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith. The son of top stallion Bettor's Delight has the $50,000 time-honoured feature at his mercy following his recent speed blitz performances and will start favourite. Tiger Tara has been breaking the clock in winning four of his past five starts with sustained speed over various distances. He ran 1:49.8 winning a mile race at Menangle before going close to Smolda’s 2525m track record in winning a lead-up to the Renshaw Cup at Penrith last week. He then stepped out at Menangle last Saturday night and scored easily in 1:50.7. “He has certainly turned the corner,’’ said Pizzuto who is one of the most successful trainers in NSW with his production line of Kiwi imports. “I’m not scared of backing my horses up. I have them pretty fit.” “He’s pulled up enormous after his last win. There are some nice horses in the Cup but he should make his own luck tonight,’’ Pizzuto tipped. The trainer was referring to the stallion’s usual tactics of making a move at some stage from barrier 10 and put them to the sword over the staying trip. A dual Group 1 winning three-year-old before graduating to the top ranks in New Zealand, Tiger Tara has taken time to adjust to Pizzuto’s training methods. “He wasn’t right when we tried to get him in the Miracle Mile,’ Pizzuto said. “I train them differently (to the Kiwis) and it has taken time for him to adjust. We also had a few minor issues. The ins and outs of fixing his gear.” “He has done a huge job now and will have a break after tonight and then come back for the Len Smith Mile.’’ “We will look at the Brisbane Carnival after that and then Inter-Dominion in November, but it will be one step at a time, ’’ he added. Pizzuto bought Tiger Tara after he was placed behind Lazarus in the NZ Cup and the NZ FFA in November. “When he came up for sale I told my daughter Courtney I wanted him, mainly for breeding,’’ he said. “So I bought him in a syndicate with my wife Tanya, Courtney and her boyfriend Mikey Hawli.’’ “He’ll stand at stud after his racing career is over.” By Paul Micallef Harness Racing Media Centre

It is the battle of the defending harness racing champions in Thursday night’s Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith. The 10-horse field will not only be vying for success in the time-honoured feature but also points in the Carnival Of Cups Bonus. Currently Spare Me Days, the Carnival Of Cups Bonus defending champion, is leading the point scorer. If the Renshaw Cup defending champion Yayas Hot Spot reclaims his title in this Thursday night’s edition, the gelding could edge closer to the top of the Carnival Of Cup Bonus tally. However, as long as Spare Me Days goes around in this feature race he will obtain a point and would still be one point ahead of Yayas Hot Spot even if the latter won. Points are awarded based on a horse’s place in a race 1st = 12, 2nd = 11, 3rd = 10 and so on to last place. There are an additional four points for the Owners Bonus when owners check in at a race meeting, however, these points are concealed until the final meeting. Horses must compete in at least four of the eight ‘selected’ feature races to be eligible for the $15,000 bonus ($10,000 to the owner and $5,000 to the trainer) and owners must sign in at two meetings to be eligible for the $5,000 Owners Bonus. There are only four races remaining: Renshaw Cup @ Penrith on 13 April Sydney Cup @ Bankstown on 21 April Bulli Cup @ Menangle on 29 April Ross Gigg Mile @ Newcastle on 6 May   The current 2016/17 Carnival of Cups Bonus Point Score:                HORSE STARTS POINTS SPARE ME DAYS 4 35 YAYAS HOT SPOT NZ 2 23 CLANCYS FOBWATCH 2 19 SALOON PASSAGE NZ 2 17 CHANTREY NZ 2 16 MY JELLIGNITE NZ 2 15 TIJUANA BROMAC NZ 2 13 TULLOW NZ 2 12 AZTEC BROMAC NZ 1 12 BRALLOS PASS 1 11 BLAZIN N CULLEN NZ 1 11   AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Fields for Penrith, Thursday 13 April 2017 Form guide for Penrith, Thursday 13 April 2017

Penrith Paceway’s autumn features got underway with the PFD Cup last week and this Thursday night the time-honoured Renshaw Cup has attracted a strong harness racing line-up. It is the second year the Schweppes Renshaw Cup will be run as part of the TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups and the Group 2 has attracted a strong field. Last week’s PFD Cup winner Tiger Tara is backing up again for this week’s $50,000 feature and is the favourite having won his last three starts, including two races last week. Defending champion Yayas Hot Spot is back to attempt to keep his title as well as 2014 Renshaw Cup winner Blazin N Cullen. Others that have added their name to the Renshaw Cup honour roll include Smolda, Michael Frost and Washakie to name a few. Schweppes Renshaw Cup night caters for everybody and there is even a chance to win a Toyota Yaris as well as many raffles and lucky racebook prizes that will be carried out over the night. Entertainment is a priority for Penrith Paceway and the children will have fun when the Easter Bunny arrives.  There will also be live music to kick-start the Easter weekend, Fashions on the Field and fashion stalls. This is supported by our high standard of good food and beverages and a must for the night is a visit to the 140cafe and 3P’s Pizza and Coffee Lounge that has already received plaudits of applause from all quarters.     RENSHAW CUP WINNERS @ PENRITH PACEWAY             YEAR STAKES HORSE DRIVER DISTANCE RATE 2016 50,000 YAYAS HOT SPOT NZ LAUREN PANELLA 2525M 1.58.1 2015 50,000 SMOLDA MARK PURDON 2525M 1.56.7 2014 50,000 BLAZIN N CULLEN NZ JOHN McCARTHY 2525M 1.57.8 2013 50,000 WASHAKIE NZ JOHN McCARTHY 2525M 1.59.1 2012 50,000 TERRORWAY NZ JOHN McCARTHY 2525M 2.00.1 2011 50,000 ROHAN HOME GAVIN FITZPATRICK 2525M 1.58.8 2010 50,000 WESTERN CAM NATALIE RASSMUSSEN 2525M 1.59.6 2009 50,000 JOHNNY EL GRINGO ANTHONY BUCCA 2525M 2.02.2 2008 50,000 BOLD CRUISER NZ DARYL DOUGLAS 2525M 2.01.8 2007 50,000 BLUE GUM FOREST EMMA TURNBULL 2525M 2.03.5 2006 50,000 FIERCE ALLEGIANCE STEVE TURNBULL 2525M 2.01.5 2005 50,000 THE SCORPION KING NORM ABOUD 2525M 2.04.1 2004 30,000 OUR FIRST LAD NZ DENNIS WILSON 2525M 2.02.4 2003 30,000 GIFTED ANGEL NZ DAVID BAXTER 2525M 2.04.7 2002 25,000 JUST SCOOTIN AD TURNBULL 2525M 2.03.2 2001 25,000 FRANCO CONQUEST NZ PETER TRITTON 2525M 2.00.0 2000 27,500 STEP OUTSIDE GRAHAM WATTS 2525M 2.03.5 1999 25,000 ZYUGANOV LEIS WAYNE INNES 2450M 2.03.0 1998 25,000 ALFABEAT DAVID BAXTER 2450M 2.04.4 1997 25,000 LATE BID NZ ROB BYRNES 2450M 2.03.8 1996 25,000 LATE BID NZ ROB BYRNES 2450M 2.02.1 1995 25,000 TYLER JAY TERRY ROBINSON 2450M 2.02.8                 MOBILE START                   1994 25,000 BIG WAL SM MAGUIRE 2420M 2.00.9 1993 25,000 COCO'S DREAM NZ THERESE M GLEESON 2420M 2.02.5 1992 25,000 CARTER RAINBOW DW WILSON 2420M 2.02.1 1991 22,000 OUR AYNSLEY DJ BINSKIN 2420M 2.01.2 1990 20,000 BONZATROSS DA ROYLE 2420M 2.03.8 1989 15,000 LOVE TO SPARE CJ GLEESON 2420M 2.02.3 1988 15,000 LOTS OF KINGS CJ GLEESON 2420M 2.03.4 1987 15,000 BEN'S IMAGE VW FROST 2420M 2.03.1                 STANDING START                   1986 15,000 HURRICANE FURY CJ GLEESON 2350M 1.17.5 1985 15,000 POWDER AND SHOT RW ADAMS 2450M 1.18.3 1984 15,000 DALMEGO J JANDZIO 2450M 1.18.4 1983 12,000 BUNDANOON BP HANCOCK 2450M 1.19.7 1982 12,000 OUT FOR GLORY BP HANCOCK 2420M 1.17.2 1981 10,000 MICHAEL FROST C CAFFYN 2450M 1.19.7 1980 8,500 GRAND THOR VW FROST 2450M 1.17.6 1979 7,500 ABLE AY J BINSKIN 2450M 1.18.5 1978 5,500 CHALLENGE PROOF VW FROST 2450M 1.17.7 1977 5,500 CHALLENGE PROOF W McCLELLAND 2450M 1.21.7 1976 2,400 KARAMEA MINNA DJ HEATH 2450M 1.19.0 1975 2,300 SHY CASTLE K NEWMAN 2450M 1.19.2 1974 3,000 ARMBRO JODIE K NEWMAN 2450M 1.19.3 1973 3,000 ROYAL TOPAZ S BOND 12f 40yds 2.09.6 1971 (Dec) 1,900 PRINCESS LIGHT A YOUNG 12f 40yds 2.08.0 1971 1,500 KIWI LAD VW FROST 12f 40yds 2.07.2 1970 1,500 DAWN PEAK C CASTLES 12f 40yds 2.06.6 1969 1,500 KIWI PETERSON K NEWMAN 12f 40yds 2.08.2 Fields for Penrith, Thursday 13 April 2017 Form guide for Penrith, Thursday 13 April 2017 PENRITH PACEWAY

Cobbity harness racing trainer John McCarthy made the Treuer Memorial his own with talented pacer Washakie when he won the event on five successive occasions.  History also shows McCarthy has a dominant record in Penrith’s flagship race, the Renshaw Cup.  The Miracle Mile winning trainer has won three of the past four Renshaw Cups and could add another to his collection this Thursday night. The McCarthy stable will be represented by giant-killer Blazin N Cullen in this week’s $50,000 Group Two event.  The gelding became the first pacer to defeat Beautide over 2300 metres at Menangle last Saturday night handing the dual Inter Dominion winner just his second loss in races further than a mile at the track. Blazin N Cullen won the 2014 Renshaw Cup for McCarthy and was a fast finishing third behind New Zealand star Smolda in last year’s event.  Washakie won the race in 2013 while Terrorway won it in 2012.  The son of Christian Cullen is well bred.  His mother Rye Hanover is a full sister to stallions Red River Hanover, Rustler Hanover and Righteous Hanover while her half brother was $3 million winner Rocknroll Hanover. Punters should not be concerned about the recent workload for Blazin N Cullen as it will be his third run in the space of twelve days.  He came through an arduous Inter Dominion campaign late last year and raced four times in the space of seventeen days.  The final run of his Inter Dominion campaign saw him finish fourth in the Inter Dominion Consolation. Yayas Hot Spot looks the hardest to beat for Blazin N Cullen after the five-year-old gelding drew the front row.  The son of Jeremes Jet has the speed to cross to the front should Lauren Panella choose to fire him out of the gate.  He led for most of last year’s Renshaw Cup before being collared in the shadows of the post by Smolda.  Spare Me Days will start from barrier one if the emergencies are withdrawn.  The Brad Hewitt trained four year old defeated Frith in the Young Cup two starts ago and looks to be another of the winning chances in Thursday’s event. TAB has Blazin N Cullen equal favourite for Thursday’s race with last year’s runner up Yayas Hot Spot at $3.50.  Spare Me Days is next in the market at $4.60 while My General Lee is priced at $5.00. Greg Hayes  

Goulburn trainer Brad Hewitt admits he is unsure which Spare Me Days will turn up to compete in the haarness racing  Renshaw Cup at Penrith on Thursday night.  The four-year-old Ifihadyourluck gelding can look like a ‘world beater’ one week and struggle the next and Hewitt finds it impossible to predict in what mood the gelding will be in. After winning the Young Cup two starts ago defeating Group One winning mare Frith in the process, Spare Me Days performed well below his best at Bathurst at his next run. “I never know what I’m going to get with him, his run at Young was so good and he felt so strong but then at Bathurst he was plain and I could tell after I made the move to the chair that he was having one of his off nights,” Hewitt said. “What makes it harder to predict is that he is a dreadful track worker so you never get a clear indication whether he is going well or not because his work is poor.” Hewitt believes the Shane Tritton trained Yayas Hot Spot has the pace to cross from out wide on the front row in the Renshaw Cup which would put Spare Me Days behind the leader.  However Hewitt does not want to get shuffled back any further. “Yayas Hot Spot has got the speed to cross us all and if Spare Me Days can race on the back of the leader I think he has a great winning chance but they have been driving Yayas Hot Spot with a sit so if he crossed and then handed up to something else we’ll find it tough. “From three back on the pegs he would need a lot of luck.  He handles the small tracks really well as he proved at Young, the half mile track is no concern at all.” Thursday’s trip to Penrith will be a rare one for Hewitt especially during the colder months as he is normally training with his rugby league team the Goulburn Bulldogs. “Thursday night is normally training but I was lucky this week because the coach had a coaching clinic to go to so he transferred training to Friday night. “I normally start the year in first grade but I miss a few training session and a couple of games because of the horses and I end up getting dropped back to reserves.  I play in the centres, we’ve had one game this year and had a win so it has been a good start.” Spare Me Days will need to compete in one of the two remaining Carnival Of Cups feature races to be eligible for the $20,000 bonus that is up for grabs.  Horses must compete in four of the six events to qualify for the Carnival Of Cups bonus and after racing in the Goulburn and Young Cups he has already earned vital points.  After Thursday night’s Renshaw Cup, the final two legs will be conducted at Bankstown and Menangle. Greg Hayes

Talented pacer Smolda will begin his Australian harness racing campaign on Thursday night when he races in the Group Two Renshaw Cup at Penrith. Trained by leading New Zealand horseman Mark Purdon, Smolda's last outing resulted in a fifth behind Christen Me in the Easter Cup at Addington on April 4. "There was another race that we could have targeted in New Zealand, but I wasn't sure whether there would be enough starters, so I decided to bring him to Australia and the Renshaw Cup is a good starting point for him," Purdon said. "He hasn't had a lot of racing this season, and if he was to be spelled now, it would be a lengthy break because there would be no reason to bring him back until the New Zealand Cup. He can have a few starts in Sydney and then I will think about taking him to Queensland for the Winter Carnvial." Smolda's last Australia start was in the 2014 Inter Dominion when he finished fourth behind Beautide. "I watched Beautide at Menangle on Saturday night, he's just a great horse and looks to be unstoppable on that track, so he is going to be hard to beat in the Len Smith Mile," Purdon declared. Purdon is unsure of Smolda's ability to handle the smaller Penrith track. "He's always brushed a knee, so the bigger tracks are better for him, but he has been working well at the McCarthy property since he arrived late last week in Australia," Purdon said. "There are some talented horses in the Renshaw Cup and he is going to have to be close to his best off the second row draw." Last season's boom youngster Follow The Stars will also compete at Penrith, with the son of Art Major engaged in a C1 event. With a number of talented horses in his stable, Purdon is considering travelling between New Zealand and Australia more often than he has in the past. "It is quite possible that we will do more travelling now," Purdon said. "With the calibre of horses we have in the stable it makes sense that the better races are targeted." "Nat (Rasmussen) and I have a great staff at home in New Zealand, and with such a good team behind us, it gives us the opportunity to be away from home more often than we have been before." Purdon's smart two-year-old Our Waikiki Beach will compete at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night  in a semi-final of the Australian Pacing Gold. "I was really happy with him after he won his heat, he worked really well this morning (Tuesday) and the draw isn't too bad for Our Waikiki Beach this weekend," Purdon said. "I haven't asked him to leave the gate yet, but he would have plenty of speed early if I wanted to use it." My Mackenzie was beaten as a short priced favourite in a APG heat for two-year-old fillies at Menangle last Saturday night and Purdon will be looking for some improvement when she heads to Melbourne for the semi-finals. "She has a few little issues that we need to straighten out after Saturday night, she is a work in progress but she has her fair share of ability too," Purdon said. - HRNSW Media

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