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Before last month's Victorian CEO's report trots harness racing trainer Andy Gath had no idea the milestone was imminent, but admits there was definite satisfaction in surpassing the 2000 career wins mark last week. “This one did mean a bit,” he said. “... I guess you’ve got to be consistent over a long period of time (to get to this mark), so yeah, I’m pretty proud of the achievement.” Three-year-old Art Major/Our Southern Rose gelding Battle Born provided the Long Forest horseman with the landmark success last Thursday at Kilmore, winning a heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series three-year-old males’ division with wife Kate Gath in the driver’s seat. “I’ve had plenty of people congratulating me since and it’s just starting to sink in what sort of achievement it is,” Gath said. “I wasn’t aware I was close actually ... it was only when John Anderson (HRV CEO) put it in his monthly statement that I knew it was coming.” Along his trots journey so far Gath has amassed many a feature race triumph but he doesn’t miss a beat when asked to name his three favourite horses ever. Champion trotter La Coocaracha (Safely Kept/Poetry) heads the list. “She was a champion… in fact she remains the only ‘champion’ I’ve ever trained, in my mind,” he declared of the mare who won 23 of 36 starts for $428,911. Next up Gath nominates 2006 A.G. Hunter Cup winner About To Rock (River Khan/Karalta Cheri). “That Hunter Cup win came at a really good time of my career,” he says. Thirdly Gath nominates Caribbean Blaster, a $1.11m earner with 24 wins from 79 starts and a two-time Victorian Horse of the Year. “He was just a lovely horse to work with. You get to spend so much time with them one-on-one. Every time they step on to the track they go to war for you. They’re the sorts of horses that actually make me look good.” Gath sits second on the Renown Silverware State Trainers Premiership table this season with 89 wins from 301 starters. One of only 11 trainers to have reached the 2000 winners milestone – the others we know of being Lance Justice (3384 wins), Steve Turnbull (3272), Bill Dixon (2833), Peter Manning (2593), John Justice (2358), Julie Weidemann (2312), Paul Fitzpatrick (2291), Gary Hall Senior (2260), Darrel Graham (2239) and David Aiken (2068) – Gath says he is “proud to be in such illustrious company”. As for a horse to follow closest from his current crop, Gath says Glenferrie Typhoon is the clubhouse leader. "What he achieved last prep, to run with a bladder stone and do what he did ... you've got to think he'll be better for having the stone removed," he said. "He's defeated Keystone Del a few times on his merits, which is not easy to do.  "He's a very high quality horse." Cody Winnell

One of the more promising trotters recently on the harness racing scene in Canterbury is the Kevin Fairbairn trained Commander Paris. After breaking at his debut, Commander Paris had strung together three second placings which suggested a maiden win was at hand when he lined up in the Robbies Bar and Bistro trot at Addington Raceway tonight. (August 22nd) Away well from barrier 12 in the 2600 meters standing start race, driver John Dunn worked Commander Paris forward towards the lead but took nearly 800 meters to find the front. No sooner had Commander Paris reached the lead with 1800 meters to go than Diedrez Pearl and Sam Smolenski who had followed him through applied the blow torch to the leader. The two of them eyeballed each other for the next round with each quarter being covered in 30 and change and neither driver yielding an inch. As they reached the home corner Commander Paris finally shook off Diedrez Pearl but was instantly challenged by Davey's Gift on his outside and Ethelsville on his inner and just when you thought he would yield, he dug in like a smart horse and held on for a head victory over Davey's Gift with Ethelsville a further head away in third. It was an outstanding win in the circumstances and suggested Commander Paris has a big future in front of him. Commander Paris trotted the 2600 meters from a stand in 3:23.6 with closing sectionals of 60.3 and 29.8  By The Royal Troubador sire CR Commando, Commander In Paris is the fourth foal and the fourth winner from the Safely Kept mare in Paris Metro. The Pearl of Paris ($56,887)  Palais Royale ($30,864) and Sundown In Paris ($25,087) have all done a good job to date for Paris Metro and Commander Paris looks capable of adding to that this season They really should show ability at the trotting game as their dam Paris Metro was a quality trotting mare in the early 2000s winning $120,606 on the track. Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing can always throw up the unexpected from time to time and the Safely Kept mare Cyclone Vance would seem to fit that description beautifully. Cyclone Vance is from the Vance Hanover mare Cyclone Betsi who is from a family that has produced some very smart pacers in the last 30 years such as Running On Faith 1:56.1 ($326,890)  Thunder Storm 1:51.8 ($343,340) and Atlas Alliance 1:53.4 ($138,623) to name just three. Not a trotter to be found anywhere but Cyclone Vance wanted to trot and was quite handy at it to boot, winning six races and $44,983 on the track. Then when she went to stud, Cyclone Vance was bred to high class trotting sires and the results have been a succession of talented trotters. Her first foal was the Muscles Yankee horse Cyclone Jake 1:55.6 ($173,342) and that was followed by the son of Dream Vacation in Cyclone Dream 2:00 ($74,734) The next winner from the mare was another son of Dream Vacation in the very talented Cyclone U Bolt 1:54.5 ($240,393) and the fourth winner was the promising son of Majestic Son in Glenferrie Typhoon 2:01.1 ($45,144) who is in the 4 year Trotters final of the Breeders Crown on Sunday at Melton. The latest foal from Cyclone Vance to hit the track is Cyclone Lucky Seven who made his debut tonight at the Harness Racing Waikato meeting at Cambridge. Trained by Todd Macfarlane and Craig Sharpe and driven tonight by Todd, Cyclone Lucky Seven stepped away well from barrier one in the 2700 meters standing start event. After leading early the son of Majestic Son ended up three back on the inner for most of the journey, Off the back straight, the horse in the trail broke allowing Cyclone Lucky Seven to get up on to the leaders back. From there Cyclone Lucky Seven shot up the passing lane for a stylish win on debut. Cyclone Lucky Seven trotted the 2700 meters from a stand in 3:40.8 with closing sectionals of 61.2 and 30. Going by his faultless debut performance, this won't be the last time that Cyclone Lucky Seven is seen in the winners circle. Harnesslink Media  

He was named, by majority owner Rob Nalder, after one of the greatest cricketers of the twentieth century – the explosive West Indian batsmen Viv Richards. The Aussie Caribbean Blaster certainly didn’t let anyone down and especially not the great man Viv Richards. Two people who he did leave an indelible impression on are the husband and wife team Andy and Kate Gath. “He’s the most perfect horse I’ve ever trained” said Andy recently. “He’s everything you want in a horse – great gaited, a great constitution and amazing recovery rate after a tough run, perfect conformation and always gave 120% in all his races.” Sadly Caribbean Blaster suffered a suspensory injury in late July and he will now commence a new chapter in his best selling life story – a stud career at Yirribee Stud in Southern NSW, under the management of his part owner Alabar Bloodstock. The “Blaster” displayed the attributes of a top horse right from the start, albeit he raced rather greenly in his three starts as a two year old. As a three year old, there were signs that he could develop into a “Big Time” horse – second in the Group One South Australian Derby, a fast closing second to Sushi Sushi in the Breeders Crown Semi Final and then a close up fourth place finish from the 12 hole in the Breeders Crown Final – his own mile rate being 1:54.9 for the 2240 metres. Just five days later Caribbean Blaster won The Graduate, a 2240 metre standing start race, in a 1:57.5 mile rate – an Australasian record which remains to this day. “The turning point in Caribbean Blaster’s career came when he triumphed in the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle” said Andy Gath. That night he defeated Sushi Sushi, Excel Stride and the hotshot Kiwi Hands Christian in 1:52.6, last quarter in 26.6 seconds. The defining victory in his career was the 2012 Victoria Cup when he was handed the number 13 saddlecloth to start with. Aided by a brilliant Kate Gath steer, the Blaster defeated Australia’s best including Im Themightyquinn, Smoken Up, Mah Sish, Washakie and The Gold Ace to name a few. Caribbean Blaster raced on 79 occasions in a predominately four season career for 24 victories and prizemoney of $1,113,678 – he passed the million dollar mark when defeating the mighty warrior Smoken Up in the 2014 South Australian Cup. He was driven in every one of those starts by the effervescent Kate Gath. As impressive as Caribbean Blaster was on the racetrack, he has a pedigree that could be described as glittering as diamonds. His sire Bettor’s Delight as a champion stallion and has dominated the Leading Sires lists in the Southern Hemisphere for the past three years. Caribbean Blaster is from the Safely Kept mare Kalypso and was bred and sold at the 2009 APG sales for $70,000 by the Bathurst based Brooklyn Lodge. He is thus a half brother to four winners including Protikori ($212,109), placed in four Group One events, and the $125,000 winning Kalypson Kid 1:56.4. Caribbean Blaster will stand at Yirribee Pacing Stud for a debut Service Fee of $2,750 (incl GST). All booking enquiries can be directed to Alabar Bloodstock – (03) 5859 2201. Harnesslink Media        

Harnesslink has learned that the outstanding racehorse, Caribbean Blaster has suffered a career ending injury which has brought a premature end to his harness racing career. The super consistent and talented entire faced the starter on 79 occasions for 24 wins, 21 seconds and 14 thirds for $1,113,677 in stakes. Trained throughout his career by Andy Gath and driven in every start by his wife Kate, Caribbean Blaster finished in the first three in 59 of the 79 races he contested in Australia while he also contested two New Zealand Cups at Addington. He has a string of great performances to his name but two of the better ones would be his win in the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire in 1:52.6 over Excel Stride 1:50.3 ($769,464) and Sushi Sushi 1:54.1 ($1,103,327) and his win in the Victoria Cup in a 1:53.7mr (2240 meters) over Im Themightyquinn 1:50.4 ($4,567,456) and Mah Sish 1:55.4 ($800,911). Part owned by Alabar Bloodstock, the rising seven year old son of champion sire Bettors Delight has all the ingredients to make a successful sire now his racing career has ended. Not only does he have a great racetrack record, but Caribbean Blaster is by a great sire from a very strong maternal family. His dam is the Safely Kept mare in Kalypso 2:00.8 ($30,110) who apart from Caribbean Blaster has also produced such smart types as Protikora 1:59 ($212,109) and Kalypson Kid 1:56.4 ($125,351). Kalypso is a half sister to six winners including the classy Grand Stride 1:52.4 ($324,658) while his third dam has left nine winners including smart types such as Heezgotattitude 1:56.8 ($157,987) and Zaneden 1:56.6 ($123,500). With his sire Bettors Delight in such hot demand, it may well be an opportune time for one of his best performed sons to start his stud career. Harnesslink media

Bendigo trotter Bad Boy Leroy won Monday’s 2YO Trotters Classic at Globe Derby in South Australia. The gelding, raced by Ian and Sue White, is the first winner as a sire for 2003 Bendigo Breeders Crown winner Bad Boy Truscott, which won the $100,000 2YO Crown Final at Lord’s Raceway, Bendigo, 11 years ago. Trained at Huntly by Bill White and driven by Ian, Bad Boy Leroy is from the Safely Kept mare Secret Message. Bad Boy Leroy is also the mare’s first race winner. Bad Boy Leroy was given a cushy passage on the pegs in third place by White, and when luck went his way he was able to get to the lead and hold on to score by 3.9m. Another Bendigo competitor in the race, the short-priced favourite Groundwork (Scott Dyer), led the race clearly but galloped when 20m in front on the home turn. He finished second last over 54m from the winner. Bad Boy Leroy’s stablemate Cookiesncream, which had tracked Groundwork in second spot, also broke 800m out. Bad Boy Leroy started at $9.60 and clocked a winning mile rate for the 1800m trip of 2:09.3. HRV Media

Terang based brothers Matthew and Glen Craven had a day out at the Stawell trots on Thursday, with Glen snaring a driving treble and Matt also providing a winner, as well as figuring in two quinella’s during the afternoon. Matt continued his stellar season when It Is I/Shy Star gelding Okelerho Lad was a brilliant all of the way winner of the Doctor DC 3-Y-0 Pace over 2175 metres, running his rivals ragged from gate three in accounting for the hot favourite Our Petite Soeur (one/one) and Usage (one/two) in a rate of 2-01.1. Glen and Matt Craven fought out a thrilling finish to the James McLeod Memorial Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres when Partnersinvancelot nosed out Our Uptown Girl. Trained at Dunnstown by Robert McCartney, Partnersinvancelot did all of the work from gate three racing outside Our Uptown Girl (Matt) which exploded away from outside the front line to lead. Dropping down to follow the pacemaker for a brief breather approaching the home turn, Partnersinvancelot when asked for a supreme effort on straightening, rallied under hard driving to gain the decision in a tricky finish, with White Eyed Girl (one/two – three wide at bell) third. The mile rate 2-01.3. Glen partnered Hamilton trainer David Lewis’4-Y-0 Life Sign/Royal Franco mare Twentyfivetolife first up since November to register an impressive victory in the Stawell Farm Supplies Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres. Starting outside the front row, Twentyfivetolife settled four back in the running line, with the pole marker Big Gorilla leading easily as the mobile gate pulled away. Easing three wide at the bell, Twentyfivetolife was accommodated by Paris To Berlin coming out ahead of her, thus receing a nice trail home. Charging down the centre of the track in the straight, Twentyfivetolife scored by 1.6 metres over the well supported The Ole Buckaroo along the sprint lane after trailing the leader, with Arr En Special third from three back the markers. Glen was to finish the day with a driving treble after border hopper Forced Out greeted the judge in the Landmark Harcourts Pace for C1 class over 1780 metres. Trained at Allendale East by David Kemp, Forced Out a most consistent 5-Y-0 daughter of Safely Kept and May Be Trouble led throughout from gate two in defeating Peters Ace (Matt) by 4.5 metres in a rate of 1-58.8 giving the brothers another quinella for the day. Bella Hotshot (one/three – three wide last lap) finished third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)  

Mister Big is now on the board as a sire downunder, courtesy of the Tasmanian bred and raced 2yo filly  Safety Girl. Starting favourite, Safety Girl made her debut a winning one last Friday night at Launceston with a comfortable victory. After settling in behind the leader, Safety Girl popped off into the breeze with 900m to travel. Leveling up at the top of the home straight she kicked clear and hit the line strongly, winning by 3.6 metres. Bred and raced by Mick Maxfield, Safety Girl is the fourth foal and third winner from the Group One placed Safely Kept mare Safety Torado. Being out of a Safely Kept mare, Safety Girl carries a 3 x 3 cross to Jate Lobell and also a 6 x 6 cross to Shifting Sands (a daughter of Golden Miss). Duplicating the Golden Miss family has worked extremely well for Grinfromeartoear, so it interesting to note that Mister Big's first Southern Hemisphere winner contains this same breeding pattern.

The Gunbower Harness Racing Club held a compact eight event meeting at Echuca on Tuesday December 17. Kyabram trainer Mick Blackmore combined with Bendigo based Scott Dyer to land the opening race on the program - the Gunbower Electrical 3-Y-0 Pace over 1755 metres with Sutter Hanover/Grace Anatomy gelding Sutter Man. Beginning best from gate two, Sutter Man led throughout to score by a half neck in a rate of 2-01.2 from Glen Alpine Drive along the sprint lane after trailing from gate three, with Billy Mack third after following the pair. Orrvale trainer Steven Duffy's quality McArdle/Nuclearaccelerator four year old gelding Almost El Eagle notched up his 13th victory in 30 outings, when victorious in the Northern Herd Development Pace Final for C1 class over 1755 metres which qualified in the heats held at the Wangaratta fixture at Shepparton on December 8. Driven once again by Greg Sugars, Almost El Eagle from inside the second row was given a sweet passage trailing the well support pole line leader Khaleesi, before using the sprint lane to gain the day by 5.2 metres in advance of Sicilian Slumber (one/two) and Forever Arma which raced in the open. The mile rate 1-59. Campbells Forest husband and wife Greg and Julie Ryan were successful with 4-Y-0 Live Or Die/Princess Kiara gelding Bronco Apache in the James Godden Designer Tanks Pace for C0 class over 1755 metres in a rate of 2-02.4. Bred by the pair and driven by Nathan Jack, Bronco Apache was trapped four wide from outside the front line as the starter released the field, with Jack angling to be three back in the moving line as In Jet Spirit retained the front running from the pole. Not happy with the tempo, Bronco Apache was sent forward to park outside the leader racing for the bell, allowing Jack to dictate the terms for the final circuit. Surging clear prior to the home turn, Bronco Apache won as he pleased, cruising to the wire 8.7 metres clear of Direct Art along the sprint lane off the back of the leader, with Warrior Mac (one/one last lap) third. Narrandera's Shaun Snudden loves coming to Echuca and has a pretty good record on the track, adding another winner to his tally there when tough 4-Y-0 On The Attack/Dainty Lea gelding Brown Rice snared the Mawsons Pace Final for C0 class over 2160 metres which qualified at the Wangaratta meeting. Driven by the stable's Paul Diebert, Brown Rice after starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with the almost unbackable favourite Major Meggs leading from the pole. Set alight mid-field to park outside the pacemaker, Brown Rice was able to drop to the back of Major Meggs approaching the home turn as Scott Stewart kicked away. Asked for a supreme effort on straightening, Brown Rice showed a "never give in" attitude to wear down the leader and score by a half head in a rate of 2-00.7, with Miss Tanami running on late from the rear to finish third 17.3 metres away. Jot down the name Amanda Turnbull as a reinsperson to follow as she is likely to be based in Victoria after joining a partnership with Nathan Jack. Amanda was successful aboard Marong trainer Trevor Patching's 8-Y-0 Safely Kept/Westmoor Elegance gelding Sherpa Star in the Joe Newitt's Service Centre Pace for C1 class over 1755 metres. Breaking his duck at start number eleven at the last Echuca meeting, Sherpa Star from the pole repeated the dose on this occasion after a cosy trip three back the markers from the pole as Lerrad Maharg led out before handing over to the heavily supported Mrs Devine a former NSW mare having her first outing in Victoria for Dylan Marshall. Extricated into the clear on the home turn, Sherpa Star finished strongly to defeat Goldiedomic (one/one at bell) through the centre by a half head in 2-00.3, with Look At Russo close up in third place after racing in the open from the bell. Nyah trainer Malcolm O'Bree is no stranger to Echuca meetings and landed the Steve Oliver Plumbing & Gas Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2160 metres with Cashisking, a five year old gelded son of Falcon Seelster and Better Motoring who has done most of his racing north of the border. Taking a concession for Melton based Zac Phillips, Cashisking led throughout from gate two, accounting for Hezfullarunning which shadowed him throughout. Border Patrol finished third off a three wide trail last lap. The mile rate 2-04.2. Yanco trainer Kim Hillier was successful with 4-Y-0 Dream Away/InThe Corner gelding Street Meets in the Brian & Lyn Wills Santa Claus Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2160 metres. Beginning on equal terms with both Double Happy and Gangster Boy inside him, Street Meets was eased to take a one/one trail on the back of Gangster Boy. Becoming pocketed at the bell as the favourite Quadentate moved forward three wide, Blake Jones angled Street Meets into the clear three wide on the final bend and he ran on best to nose out a game Gangster Boy in a mile rate of 2-01.3. Life Of Ted used the sprint lane off the back of the leader to finish third a head away. Bet Bet (Swan Hill) breeder/part-owner/trainer Greg Fleming was in the winners stall at Echuca, when 4-Y-0 Totally Ruthless/Tiny Gigi gelding Oils Jay Bee broke his maiden status in the Gunbower Committee Pace for C0 class over 1755 metres. Driven by Ararat's Michael Bellman, Oils Jay Bee making his 15th race appearance began swiftly from outside the second line to lob one/one trailing Fiddlers Lane, with Kim Hillier's Reckless Valour burning away from outside the front row to lead. Sent forward three wide along the back straight on the final occasion, Oils Jay Bee proved too strong at the business end of proceedings to register a 15.9 metre margin over Kiss ToLive(one/two) and Say Cheese from last in a mile rate of 2-00.4. By Len Baker                                

Moama breeder/owner/trainer/driver Mal Whiteford was successful at his home track Frank Ryan Raceway Echuca on Tuesday December 3, when more than handy four year old Artesian/Kamwood Toy mare Kamwood Dawn scored in the Christies Welding Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 1755 metres. Settling mid-field in the moving line from gate four on the second line, Kamwood Dawn was set alight three wide approaching the bell and with a sharp turn of speed, crossed the pacemaker Billy Branach to lead for the final circuit. Holding a slender margin at the straight entrance, Kamwood Dawn defied all challengers to register a 1.2 metre victory over the heavily supported Final Flutter which moved outside her on the final bend after an easy time, with Billy Branach battling away gamely for third. The mile rate 1-59.4. It was Kamwood Girl's 3rd victory in 28 outings. Kilmore's Bruce Kennedy always sends his horses out looking a picture and four year old Four Starzzz Shark/Krisney mare Krisney Girl rewarded him by taking the Add Print Pace for C0 class over 1755 metres in a rate of 2-01.4 with Chris Alford in the sulky. Starting from gate two on the second line, Krisney Girl had most of the field ahead of her for the first lap, before gaining a lovely three wide trail home in the last lap on the back of the Riverina visitor Donated which was backed for plenty, with the pair joining the pacemaker Direct Art on the home turn. Given full rein on turning, Krisney Girl prevailed by 1.9 metres from Donated and Direct Art which led for the final circuit after racing outside Miss Wong Sue for the first half of the journey. Kyneton part-owner/trainer Tony Trimboli's Earl/Arnees Sensation six year old gelding Arctic Wolf snared his 6th victory in 89 race appearances, when successful in the Wandana Standardbreds Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2530 metres. With regular reinsman Tony Xiriha handling the ribbons, Arctic Wolf from the 10 metre mark was unable to cross Featherfoot Sun shortly after the start, being restrained for a perfect trail. Easing into the open approaching the bell, Xiriha put the foot to the floor to lead for the final circuit and in a punishing finish, just held on from Doctor Sam which failed by a nose and Featherfoot Sun in a mile rate of 2-07.8. Speedy Kilmore mare Modern Mary chalked up her 8th victory when greeting the judge in the $5,500 Echuca Moama Storage Moama Pacing Cup for C4 & C5 class over 2160 metres. Trained by Julie Mifsud and driven by sister-in-law Rita Burnett, Modern Mary a five year old daughter of Modern Art and Marys Girl first up since August, began like a rocket from outside the front line to lead running into the first turn and after being rated a treat, held too many guns at the finish for the hot favourite Gangster Boy which trailed, moving outside her on the final bend, with Fergus McCool (threeback the markers) third. The mile rate 1-59.4. Melton trainer "Honest" Robbie O'Connell combined with stable apprentice Zac Phillips to land the Moama Bowling Club Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres with eight year old E Dees Cam/Universal Alice gelding Juke Kartel. Given a beaut passage three back along the markers from gate two on the second line, Juke Kartel was eased to be one/one approaching the final bend and when taken three wide on turning, ran home strongly to score by 6.3 metres in a rate of 2-00.7 from Brother Rabbit which trailed the weakening leader and third placed Transaction. Juke Kartel was also a winner at the previous Echuca meeting on October 1. Ever reliable nine year old Peace of Art/Bubblegum mare Bubble Art always races well at this time of year, bringing up her 13th victory by taking the Choicehotels.com.au Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1755 metres much to the delight of Wallaloo East (Stawell) trainer/driver Troy Raven and the Raven family. Using a mares concession, Bubble Art starting from the pole was given a sweet trip on the back of the leader and favourite Lookatime Philo next to her, which crossed after racing roughly at the start. Easing wide on straightening, Bubble Art despite shifting out, gained the day by a half neck over Goldiedomic along the sprint lane off her back, with Scottish Glamour (one/one - three wide last lap) third. The mile rate 1-59.9. Marong trainer Trevor Patching has been a regular competitor at Echuca over the years and snared the Bendigo Bank Vicbred Pace for C0 class over 2160 metres with lightly raced 8-Y-0 Safely Kept/Westmoor Elegance gelding Sherpa Star in a rate of 2-03.2. Given the run of the race from the pole following Foyer (gate five), Sherpa Star making his 11th race appearance was eased away from the markers by Nathan Jack on the home turn and finished best to gain the day by 2.5 metres in advance of Foyer and Thelove Child (three back the markers). Serpentine trainer Robert Rothacker joined forces with Daryl Douglas to capture the Echuca Cup 21 March Pace for C0 class over 2160 metres with five year old Art Major/Rachelanne mare Policious. Having her 9th outing and second for the season, Policious from gate three on the second line settled well back in the field, making ground at the bell trailing the well backed Thankbonnie three wide. Dropping in for a breather in the final circuit as Thankbonnie applied pressure to the pacemaker Pascarma, striding clear approaching the home turn, Policious issued an immediate challenge on turning and raced clear over the concluding stages to score from Pascarma which came again, with Miss Tanami running on late to cut Thankbonnie out of third. The mile rate 2-02.6. Robert gained all the spoils as he is the breeder/owner/trainer. Benalla trainer Jason Ross combined with Nathan Jack aboard 4-Y-0 Blissful Hall/Flighty Lisa mare The Hen House to land the New Years Night Hot To Trot Vicbred Pace for C0 class over 2160 metres, leading virtually throughout from gate four in defeating Brown Rice and Katie Lively in a rate of 2-01.7. By Len Baker  

North Canterbury trainer Tom Twidle has had a couple of weeks he will never forget. On November 11 his granddaughter Mira was born. A day later his stable star Woodlea Legend was a promoted $60 winner in a C2-3 pace on NZ Cup Day. Then on Saturday (November 23) Twidle won his first ever Country Cup race with the same 5-year-old gelding. “It’s been an amazing fortnight. Obviously Mira has been the highlight, but ‘Legend’s’ last two wins will stay with me for a long while. “The best horse I’ve had – Woodlea Life (11 wins and $108,564) – also won for me on Cup Day but this is the first Country Cups event I’ve ever won. In fact it’s the first Cup I’ve won in 20 years of training. “He’s not that good on grass so I’ll keep chasing the Country Cups grit races with him. The Nelson Cup in January is the next major goal,” 61-year-old Twidle said. Woodlea Legend started a $6.60 third favourite in Saturday’s $12,000 Timaru Summer Cup at Phar Lap Raceway. ‘Driver-of-the-century’ Ricky May soon had the Grinfromeartoear gelding in in front from his luxury two front row draw. They then led throughout the 2600m and just held on to win narrowly. “He was trucking along nicely in front. I thought he would be hard to get past once he got to the lead because he’s got such a big ticker and can stay all day. “He ran them into the ground and just latest. I was pretty excited. Actually I have been that way for most of the month now,” Twidle said. Woodlea Legend racked up his seventh win in 36 starts ($52,581) by half a head and one-and-a-half lengths from Kid Galahad (Stephen McNally) and favourite Safedra (Dexter Dunn). He paced the 2600m stand in 3:18 flat (mile rate: 2:02.5) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 56.9 and 28.9. Twidle said that although Woodlea Legend had been back racing since September, he said the bay had only come good since finishing fifth at Kaikoura a couple of weeks ago. “I’ve had a lot of trouble with him. He’s had breathing problems and suffered from soreness, but that is all behind him now. “He needed that Kaikoura run. After that race he was back to where I have always wanted him to be. He’s such a dour stayer,” said Twidle who trains a team of five between Oxford and Cust. Woodlea Legend is the sixth foal of nine out of the New York Motoring two-win mare Secacus – a 17-year-old Twidle termed a ‘gold mine’. “She has been so good to us. Woodlea Glenn (by Safely Kept - one win) was the first horse we bred from her, and this fella has been her best,” said Twidle. “We have a full yearling brother to Woodlea Legend named Mr Woodlea, and the mare is currently in foal to Changeover," he added. Woodlea Legend was bred by Twidle and his wife Sharon. ‘Speedo’ Robinson also shares the ownership with them. Asked why Twidle used ‘Woodlea’ when naming his horses, he replied: “It’s a family name dating back to my great, great grandparents in Yorkshire.” By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Queenslander Shane Sanderson has added another string to his bow. Sanderson, who several years ago was the recipient of the Queensland Harness Racing Board's Chairman's Scholarship, has since gone on to a fine training career. 'Chief,' as he is known from his rugby league-playing days, prepared My Jellignite for a recent Albion Park win from the back row in the best time of the night, returning as 1:53.8 rate performance - faster even than Vegas Bound in the free-for-all. Sanderson in recent months has been dividing his attentions between his racing squad and a team of young pacers he has prepared for next month's 2YO Trialling Sale at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. Sponsored by Garrards Horse & Hound, the trials and subsequent sale of 50 youngsters will be held from 8.30am on Sunday, December 8, with a complimentary breakfast from 7.30am. Sanderson is the only Queensland-based preparer in the catalogue, and proudly points to his draft. "The highlight of my draft is a Real Desire half-brother to three winners of a combined 55 races, and more than $400,000, including Spiritual King (1:54.6) and Star Of Tara (3, 1:58.4)," Sanderson said. "There's a half-brother to Deejayangel, which went 1:58.4 at three, and there's a Shadow Play half-brother to the APG two-year-old heat winner, Jackatac. "I've brought all mine in for a month, then out for a month, then in for a month, so they're well-schooled, and I like an Always A Virgin half-brother to Maywyns Storm (3, 1:56) - he's been here before." The final cog in the five-strong Sanderson wheel is a Changeover colt from the young Safely Kept mare, Cyclone Dora, making him closely-related to Jazzam (1:53.6) and a number of other brilliant winners. Only sales graduates - and there are just 50 of them, so the odds are in your favour if you buy - are eligible to nominate for the rich late season two-year-old Group feature, the C.J. Garrard Classic, over 2300 metres, at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, in late August 2014. As well as the sale, those on-course will be treated to an Industry Day of kindred bodies, a Garrards Horse & Hound Trade Display of equine-related goods and services companies, entertainment from local singer-songwriter Luke Koteras and two mini trot races. Pedigrees are available from www.nswhrc.com.au/triallingsale, while catalogues can be sourced from Kerry Baker on 0402 336 598 or via kausbred@bigpond.net.au  

Five-year-old Dredlock Rockstar, the only West Australian-bred pacer in the field, made a mockery of his lowly assessment when he outclassed his ten rivals in the $30,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Parliamentarians Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His impressive all-the-way victory vindicated the decision of his owner Jamie Howlett and trainer Michael Callegari to throw the M1-class pacer in the deep end and challenge his vastly more distinguished opponents, including Sneakyn Down Under (M16), Dasher VC (M12), Ima Rocket Star (M11), Ohokas Dallas (M8), Shardons Rocket and Davy Maguire (M7). And Busselton reinsman Aaron Beckett made the most of the unexpected opportunity to drive Dredlock Rockstar for the first time, a chance he received after the gelding’s regular reinsman Ashleigh Markham was suspended for 13 days the previous Friday night for causing interference when driving Dredlock Rockstar in the Mount Eden Sprint. Dredlock Rockstar was a 40/1 chance in the Mount Eden Sprint when he gave an eye-catching performance in thundering home from 12th at the bell to be third behind star pacers Bettors Fire and Im Victorious. His prospects in the Parliamentarians Cup were boosted when he drew favourably at No. 2 on the front line. He was solidly supported and started second fancy at 11/4 behind Dasher VC (5/2), with Ima Rocket Star at 9/2 from the outside of the back line. Dredlock Rockstar bounded straight to the front and Beckett was able to get the gelding to relax and amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in a dawdling 32.1sec. before zooming over the next three quarters in 28.6sec., 27.9sec. and 28.3sec. to win at a 1.56.2 rate over the 2130m. He finished just over a length clear of polemarker and 60/1 outsider Ohoka Dallas, who trailed him throughout. Shardons Rocket (12/1) raced in the breeze and fought on to be third, in front of Leda McNally and Ima Rocket Star, who ran, three wide, from tenth at the bell. “It was a great pick-up drive,” said the 31-year-old Beckett. “I didn’t really want to get going too early, but the way the horse was travelling I couldn’t really hold him back any more. Once I pulled the plugs in the straight and got into him he just took off. ” Dredlock Rockstar, who has overcome a fractured pedal bone, received in a race at Collie in March 2012, is proving to be a tremendous bargain for the 53-year-old Howlett, who paid just $3000 for him at the 2010 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. The gelding has now earned $100,056 from 12n wins and 17 placings from 41 starts. Dredlock Rockstar was out of action for ten months after fracturing his pedal bone and he has returned to racing in wonderful form for the 37-year-old Callegari, who, like Howlett, has an eye for a bargain. Callergari paid $2000 for Smokey The Bandit at the 2011 yearling sale and the pacer has already earned $64,465 from nine wins and 14 placings from 35 starts. Last December he outlaid $3000 for Make Me Grin, whose first 12 starts for him have yielded two wins and three placings for stakes of $11,813. Dredlock Rockstar, by Canadian-bred stallion Northern Luck, was named after the popular reggae song Buffalo Soldier, written in 1980 by Bob Marley. The opening line of the song is: Buffalo Soldier, dredlock rasta. Howlett purchased Dredlock Rockstar because he admired the toughness and longevity of the Albany-trained Bank the Money, who had 246 starts for 31 wins, 61 placings and stakes of $152,969. Bank The Money was out of Soky’s Maid, who also produced the Safely Kept mare Maid For Life, the dam of Dredlock Rockstar. De CAMPO MAKES THE RIGHT CHOICE WITH DANIELJOHN Young Capel reinsman Aiden De Campo made a split-second decision soon after the start of the $21,000 Del Basso Wholesale Meats Italian Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he opted to keep Danieljohn in the one-wide line instead of taking him to the pegs to follow the hot favourite and noted frontrunner Midnight Dylan. Danieljohn raced in the breeze early before de Campo restrained to take the perfect sit, one-out and one-back. But with a slow early pace de Campo began to have misgivings about his decision. After driving Danieljohn to a splendid victory at 10/1, the 21-year-old de Campo admitted that he was fully prepared to receive a blast from his father Andrew, the trainer of Danieljohn. ”Half way through the race, when they were walking, I thought I’d made the wrong decision and thought perhaps I should have been on the fence,” he said. “I was expecting to get a spray from Dad. But things worked out all right. I knew around the corner if I got the split he would be right in it because he was travelling so nicely.” Danieljohn eventually got clear and he sprinted fast to burst to the front 20m from the post. He won by one metre from Midnight Dylan, with a neck to 12/1 chance Your Good Fortune, who fought on gamely after racing outside the pacemaker. The expected challenge from 5/2 second favourite The Ragpickers Dream failed to eventuate. The Ragpickers Dream ducked his head at barrier two and broke into am gallop at the start, losing about five lengths. He started a three-wide move at the bell, but his run was short-lived and he wilted to finish ninth. Danieljohn, who was having his first start since late June, was bred and is owned by John Bell, of Collie. He is a promising five-year-old stallion by Blissfull Hall who has raced 42 times for 17 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $153,312. The winner of the San Simeon Classic and Harvey Cup earlier this year, Danieljohn moves to an M4 classification and gives every indication of developing into a contender in feature events at the coming summer carnival. He is the fifth foal and only winner out of Victorian-bred mare Aussie Evita, who had 81 starts for eight wins, 18 placings and $17,975. BIT OF A LEGEND SOUNDS AN OMINOUS WARNING TO HIS RIVALS New Zealand-bred stallion Bit Of A Legend sounded an ominous warning to his rivals in the coming series of rich events for four-year-olds when he sprinted home over the final 800m in 56.1sec. to score an effortless victory in the 2130m Sealanes Golden Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The son of Bettors Delight was unextended by Brent Mangos in scoring by more than three lengths from Galactic Galleon (14/1), with Northview Punter (4/1) a head away in third place. The winner, who started at 3/1 on, rated 1.57.1. This gave the 49-year-old Mangos his first driving success in Western Australia. The Auckland horseman has been preparing Bit Of A Legend at Pinjarra while the horse’s trainer Cran Dalgety has been looking after his big team of pacers in Christchurch. Bit Of A Legend, surprisingly beaten at 5/1 on at his WA debut the previous Friday night, gave the crowd in excess of 8000 a sample of his class with the ease of his victory. And Mangos predicted better things were in store. “His work this week has been super and he has gone to another level from last week,” he said. “He has gone to the line strongly and should keep on improving. I wasn’t disappointed at all last week when he was narrowly beaten. It was a good effort at his first run for five months.” Bit Of A Legend will now contest the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship next Friday night before tackling the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic the following Friday and the $175,000 Lancaster Cup Golden Nugget two weeks later. He now has an impressive record of 34 starts for 17 wins, 11 placings and earnings of $638,928. He has won 13 times in New Zealand and has raced six times in Victoria for three wins, including the group 1 Breeders Crown for two-year-old colts and geldings at Melton in August 2012 when he defeated star New Zealander Border Control. He raced twice at Menangle last March for a placing in a heat and a fourth in the final of the New South Wales Derby, won by Lennytheshark. Bit Of A Legend started from barrier three on Friday night and burst to the front after 300m before cruising through the first two sections of the final mile in 31sec. and 30sec. Then he sped over the final quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.8sec. Galactic Galleon battled on gamely after trailing the pacemaker, while Northview Punter, who raced without cover over the final mile, was a fighting third. VETERAN MISS AZOOMA STILL HAS GOT WHAT IT TAKES The $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Championship next Friday week is the immediate target for veteran mare Miss Azooma, who caused an upset when she defeated 3/1 on favourite Askmenow in the 1730m Normandie Foods Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Miss Azooma, who started at 27/1, was having her third start after a let-up and her third run for young Byford trainer Josh Dunn. She had started at 125/1 and 30/1 when unplaced at her two previous starts, but she made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night. Chris Lewis was content to take the sit with Miss Azooma behind Askmenow, who began speedily from the No. 2 barrier. Askmenow, driven by Gary Hall jun., reeled off quick sectionals of 29.2sec., 29.2sec., 28.1sec. and 29.3sec., but was unable to hold off the fast-finishing Miss Azooma, who sprinted strongly to hit the front 40m from the post. Korobeit Angel (10/1) ran on from fifth (pegs) at the bell to be third, with Famous Alchemist (25/1) running home strongly from last at the bell to be fourth. Miss Azooma, bred and owned by Travis Bull, went into Friday night’s event with unplaced efforts at her five runs since leading and winning the Race For Roses, a 2503m stand, at Gloucester Park last May. The veteran of 144 starts has earned $132,467 from her 15 wins and 36 placings. “When I drove her previously (two starts ago) she did run well (eighth behind Bettor Dreams),”Lewis said. “I thought she was some sort of chance tonight, coming off a soft run and a good pace. And she got a perfect run and was able to run over the top of them. “Josh has done a great job with her. He’s got her in top-class order and I think he’s a trainer of the future.” SUVALJKO PLAYS THE WAITING GAME WITH BALLAS AROCKSTAR Shannon Suvaljko played the waiting game and managed to get outsider Ballas Arockstar through a needle-eye gap in the closing stages to get up and snatch victory from Deluxe Edition and Say It Now in the 2130m Phil Coulson Memorial Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting at 37/1 on the tote, mainly because of his unfavourable draw ion the outside of the back line, Ballas Arockstar was taken straight to the inside by Suvaljko, who made a snap decision to drive for luck. “Before the race I was planning to track up three deep, but no one went to the fence,” he said. “This horse goes better on the fence, so that’s where I went. From there it was a case of wait, wait, wait.” Ballas Arockstar settled down in fifth place, three back on the pegs while polemarker Fully Zapped led from the 2/1 second favourite Big And Smooth on his outside and Say It Now (11/1) behind the leader. Deluxe Edition, the 5/4 favourite, slotted neatly into the one-out, two-back position. Chris Voak sent Deluxe Edition forward, three wide, approaching the bell and the mare, who raced ungenerously in the back straight, eventually got to the front 380m from home. Fully Zapped fought back doggedly and looked set to fight out the finish with Deluxe Edition before Suvaljko squeezed between those two pacers to forge to the front in the final couple of strides. Ballas Arockstar scored by a head from Deluxe Edition, with Fully Zapped a neck away in third place. Ballas Arockstar, a seven-year-old trained by Shane Tognolini, ended a losing sequence of ten and took his record to 111 starts for 16 wins and 45 placings for $141,256 in prizemoney. He is still a Metropolitan maiden performer. He has been an honest and consistent performer since making a wonderful start to his career when his first five starts as a two-year-old in January-February 2009 produced four wins and a second. Those runs included his victory in the $70,000 group 2 WA Sales Classic by a head over Robbery. His dam Gail Force Lombo managed just one win (at Kalgoorlie in August 2003) from 19 starts. His great granddam Pliability produced nine winners of 79 races, including Mon Amigo (149 starts for 20 wins, 47 placings and $163,516). Pliability’s mother Our Miss Andre produced smart performer Wipe The World, who had 55 starts in New South Wales in the 1980s for 18 wins, 18 placings and $210,464. FAST-FINISHING THIS TIME DYLAN GIVES HALL A NOTABLE MILESTONE Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. notched the wonderful milestone of training 1500 city winners when his younger son Gary drove This Time Dylan to an impressive last-to-first victory in the Action Industrial Catering Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. For most of the 2130m event Hall sen. held high hopes of achieving this notable record through Sanjaya, who was being driven confidently in the lead by his elder son Clint. This Time Dylan started from the outside of the front line and was restrained back to last position before Gary Hall jun. started a three-wide move approaching the bell. The 2/1 favourite, a winner at his three previous starts in stands, went four wide at the 300m and finished in dashing style to burst to the front 100m from the post. He went on to win by 4m at a 1.57.6 rate from Sanjaya (9/4), with last-start winner Artorius (13/1) running home strongly to be third. “He was an absolute lunatic when he arrived at our stables,” said Hall jun. “But recently he has settled down and is racing in wonderful form.” This Time Dylan, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, has had 24 starts in WA for eight wins and three placings to take his career record to 32 starts for 11 wins, six placings and stakes of $91,625. OUR BOY SU HOLDS VISITING NOWITZKI AT BAY New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Our Boy Su bounced back to form and caused an upset when he set the pace and beat highly-regarded Victorian four-year-old Nowitzki in the 2130m BLVD Tavern Joondalup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Nowitzki, favourite at 10/9 on at his WA debut, began speedily from the outside of the front line, but the efforts of his trainer-driver Daniel Jack to get him to an early lead were thwarted when Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop drove the polemarker Our Boy Su hard to retain the front. Jack then was forced to race without cover and Mellsop stole a tactical march on his rivals by getting Our Boy Su to relax and dawdle through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.9sec. before going through the next quarter in a comparatively easy 29.6sec. Then Mellsop upped the tempo and Our Boy Su dashed over the final sections in 28.5sec. and 29.2sec. as he fought on grandly to keep the favourite at bay. Our Boy Su held on to win by a head, with What God Knows (16/1) finishing gamely to be a neck away in third spot. The winner rated 1.58.9. Our Boy Su, who had finished at the rear at his two previous outings, was an 11/1 chance, mainly because he had drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. “He grows a leg in front,” Mellsop said. “It was a risk to hold out Nowitzki. I probably would have run second if I had sat up (and taken the trail). But we’ve won and winners are grinners. He got a virus and hasn’t been right at his past couple of starts. I was pretty sure I had him right, but you don’t know until you front up.” This was Our Boy Su’s fifth win from 18 starts for Mellsop in WA and the Elsu gelding now has had 55 starts for 11 wins, 15 placings and $93,493 in prizemoney. CARTERS ROCKET IS BRED TO BE A GOOD WINNER Carters Rocket, the all-the-way winner of the 1730m Italian Association Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, is closely related to former star mare Tupelo Rose, who made a flying visit to Perth in December 2000 before becoming a prolific winner in America and Canada. In her two WA starts Tupelo Rose, driven by Ted Demmler, finished fourth behind Highest Honour in the McInerney Ford Classic and sixth behind Seelster Sam in the Golden Nugget Championship. The previous season she was successful in the Victorian, Queensland and Australian Oaks. She ended her brilliant career in the United States with a record of 101 starts for 35 wins, 25 placings and stakes of $879,867. Carters Rocket, a five-year-old by Elsu, is the second foal out of the unraced Pocket Rose, whose mother Hollywood Rose was the dam of Tupelo Rose. Carters Rocket has yet to reveal any of the brilliance of Tupelo Rose, but he is proving a handy performer for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and owners Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson. After two wins from seven starts in New Zealand, Carters Rocket has had 26 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings. Carters Rocket, an all-the-way winner of the Merredin Cup at Kellerberrin, then was beaten into seventh place behind Famous Alchemist over 2185m at Pinjarra last Monday afternoon. But he was a warm favourite at 5/4 on on Friday night, mainly because he was starting from the prized No. 1 barrier. Colin Brown sent carters Rocket straight to the front and after modest quarters of 30.3sec. and 30.7sec. Carters Rocket sped over the final two sections in 28.6sec. and 27.5sec. to win at a 1.56.6 rate by 4m from 6/1 chance Ardens Southee, who trailed the leader throughout Soho Highroller was third after racing without cover. “After drawing barrier one I was confident,” Brown said. “Forget his run at Pinjarra on Monday. I put my hand up straight away. It was my blue that the horse didn’t run in the first three at Pinjarra. And I thought his run was quite good, considering the times they ran. “I always thought that Carters Rocket had a bit of ability, but he hasn’t been convincing. Hopefully, this time he will keep stepping up. I just flicked him up in the straight, nothing too serious. The plugs are still in.” TURNPIKE CRUISER OVERCOMES A BAD START Former Tasmanian performer Turnpike Cruiser was solidly supported to start at 9/2 in the 2503m IAWCC Italian Community handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But his supporters groaned when he galloped at the standing start and dropped back to the rear. However, Chris Lewis bided his time and brought the New Zealand-bred six-year-old home with a well-timed three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to hit the front in the final 80m and win by a length from 11/2 chance Jar Zinyo, with a metre to Multibet (14/1) in third place. “I was relying on a good start, which we didn’t get,” said Lewis. “But we did get a good cart into the race, so everything worked out well. I was fairly confident at the 300m that we were going to get over Jar Zinyo.” For Turnpike Cruiser, trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri, this was his first success from eight starts in WA after having won 12 races in Tasmania and three in Victoria. He now has earned $119,148 from 16 wins and 30 placings from 74 starts. Melton Express, the 10/9 on favourite, ruined his chances with a tardy getaway and he finished tenth. Brown took Melton Express three wide after 600m, but the five-year-old was unable to muster sufficient speed in a concerted bid to get past the pacemaker, his stablemate False Promise, a 32/1 chance. Melton Express then raced without cover before receiving a bad check approaching the home bend. EL MACHINE MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Up-and-coming star El Machine gave promise of better things to come when he produced a sparkling finishing burst to score an easy victory in the 2130m first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzerias The Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His stylish win over Pembrook Henry and Menelaus of Sparta was his fourth success in a row and the WA-bred five-year-old is developing into a realistic prospect for the rich summer carnival events. Part-owner and trainer Kade Howson did not bustle El Machine, the 2/1 on favourite, early from the No. 5 barrier and was content to let him settle in eighth position as 17/1 chance and polemarker Menelaus of Sparta set the pace from Johnny be, who had dashed forward early from the back line to race in the breeze. Howson took El Machine, a $5000 yearling, three wide at the 100m mark and the gelding sprinted fast to take the lead 220m from home. The final quarters whizzed by in 28.1sec. and 28.3sec. and El Machine rated 1.57.4. This improved his record to 490 starts for 16 wins, 12 placings and $129,054. “He’s really grown into himself now,” Howson said. “Regarding carnival events, those sort of races are all about timing, and he’s got a long way to go, but is still on the way up and is hitting form at the right time.” by Ken Casellas  

IM VICTORIOUS SIMPLY AWESOME, DECLARES Justin Prentice Justin Prentice declared that Im Victorious felt “simply awesome” and that his effortless triumph in the $35,000 J. P. Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night was the best performance of his sensational 26-start career. And Prentice predicted that the five-year-old would “give them a big shake over there” if he gained a start in the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle on November 30. Unbeaten at his six starts since resuming from a spell, Im Victorious moved another giant step forward to receiving an invitation to contest the Miracle Mile with his record-breaking victory, by three lengths over Ima Rocket Star in the 2130m Stratton Cup. “He could have won by a bigger margin,” said Prentice who sat quietly in the sulky and did not drive out the gelding over the final 250m. “This was probably his best win. He showed that he can do the work and still win easily and proved to those doubters who considered him just a one-trick pony. Tonight he just wanted to go and normally he switches off at the end of his races. But not tonight. “Down the back I was trying to go easy on him, but he was hard on the bit and just wanting to go. He hasn’t done that for a while and it was good for him to show that spirit in this class.” Trainer Michael Brennan and the band of ten owners will now wait anxiously to see whether the New South Wales harness racing officials offer an invitation for Im Victorious to contest the Miracle Mile. Im Victorious, favourite at 2/1 on, started from the back line and settled in eighth position in the one-wide line as Passion Stride set the early pace from Sneakyn Down Under (breeze), Crombie (pegs) and Ima Rocket Star in the one-out, one-back position. Im Victorious has been driven as a sit-sprinter in most of his races, but Prentice showed his confidence in the gelding when he switched him three-wide and urged him forward at the 1000m mark. He cruised to the front with 400m to travel and coasted to victory from Ima Rocket Star, second fancy at 5/1 who finished solidly. Outsider Shardons Rocket followed the three-wide run of the winner and fought on strongly to be third. Im Victorious, winner of the WA Derby and Golden Nugget last year, rated 1.55.9 (after final quarters in 28.8sec. and 29.2sec.) which is the fastest rate recorded in the 65 runnings of the Stratton Cup which has been decided over various distances and from a stand many times. Im Victorious has now amassed $474,660 in prizemoney from 19 wins and two placings from 26 starts. HALL FATHER-AND-SON COMBINATION DOMINATES WITH SIX WINNERS The all-conquering combination of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and his son, leading reinsman Gary Hall jun., dominated the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night and they brought up their sixth victory when the disappointing Northview Cardle snapped a losing sequence of 11 by setting a brisk pace and scoring an easy win in the 2130m Yes Loans Pathway Pace. With the 2013-14 season only in its second month, the Halls have already established substantial leads on the premiership tables, with Hall sen. the leading Metropolitan trainer with 25 wins and 25 placings from 97 starters and Hall jun. the top reinsman with 20 wins and 19 placings from 69 drives. Hall sen. leads from Greg and Skye Bond, who have had 50 city starters for eight wins and eight placings. In second spot on the reinsmen’s premiership is Colin Brown with ten wins and ten placings from 52 drives. The New Zealand-bred Northview Cardle, purchased for a high figure by New South Wales breeder John Starr, raced 21 times in NSW for six wins and seven placings in country-class events before being sent to Hall sen. Northview Cardle disappointed at his first 11 WA starts, managing only four minor placings. But the five-year-old was ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line against modest opposition in Friday night’s event in which he was well supported and started third favourite at 7/2 behind Lord Coburn (5/2) and At Princeton (3/1). Hall jun. decided that aggressive tactics would be the best way for Northview Cardle to break the drought. He dashed the gelding straight to the front and set a solid pace before getting the opposing runners out of their comfort zone with a 28.9sec. third quarter of the final mile. At Princeton, who had raced without cover, began to fade and so, too, did polemarker Alta Onassis, who had enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaker. Zurbaran also began to feel the pinch from the favourable one-out, one-back position. Northview Cardle then dashed away to score by two lengths from 10/1 chance Mister Roberto, who finished solidly from eighth at the bell. Lord Coburn, who started a three-wide move at the bell, plugged on to finish third. Northview Cardle rated 1.r58.7 and took his record to 33 starts for seven wins and 11 placings for earnings of $33,370. His dam Bonnie Beaudiene (by Nero’s B B) managed just one placing from 12 starts in New Zealand. But she has produced eight winners, including Beaudiene Vicolo (nine wins and $48,404), Beaudiene Lightning (five wins and $16,492) and Beaudiene Terminator (four wins and $41,914). THE PARADE EVOKES MEMORIES OF Auckland Reactor Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred three-year-old The Parade showed that she has a bright future when she outclassed her rivals in the 2130m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And it is little wonder that she has a good share of ability. She is closely related to champion New Zealand pacer Auckland Reactor, who impressed local fans when he won three heats of the interdominion championship at Gloucester Park in February 2012 before he started from the outside barrier and worked hard in the breeze from the 1200m and faded to seventh behind Im Themightyquinn in the final. There is certainly little likelihood that The Parade will reach the heights of Auckland Reactor, who has earned $1,759,374 from 32 wins and four placings from 53 starts. He has won seven group 1, eight group 2 and three group 3 events and was a nose second to Choise Achiever in the 2012 Hunter Cup. His group 1 victories include the 2008 New Zealand Derby, the 2009 Auckland Cup and the 2009 Emerald for four-year-old horses and geldings. The Parade, by American stallion Real Desire, is the first foal out of Hearty Lass, an unraced Badlands Hanover mare whose dam Atomic Lass (by Soky’s Atom) managed two wins in minor country events in New Zealand in October 1990 before producing seven winners, including Auckland Reactor and former West Australian performers Taihape Tickler (113 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $183,919) and Riffle Dragon (125 starts for eight wins, 18 placings and $58,112). It was a good effort by The Parade to defeat six geldings and one other filly (Art Force) on Friday night after she had scored a three-length first-up victory over several colts and geldings at Pinjarra 11 days earlier. The Parade, driven by her trainer Justin Prentice, was favourite at 10/9 on from barrier two on the back line on Friday night and she settled in sixth position in the field of eight before Prentice sent her forward, there wide, at the 1250m. She moved to the breeze with 1050m to travel and cruised past the pacemaker Organized Chaos 500m from home before winning by 8m from Our Mandingo (9/1), with Soho Cash 4/1) a battling third after trailing the pacemaker. The Parade impressed in sprinting over the final 400m in 28.7sec. and Prentice is hopeful she will continue her improvement and develop into a candidate for the WA Oaks next year. “She has come back better than her two-year-old campaign (when placed once from three starts) and at the moment I’m aiming her for some races for fillies at Gloucester Park in the next couple of months,” he said. Two 2130m $17,000 events for three-year-old fillies have been programmed in the coming weeks, on November 22 and December 20. “She’s definitely got the speed,” Prentice said. “And if she keeps improving she will be an Oaks candidate. I was hoping to sit her in tonight’s race, but I was flushed out a lot earlier than I had hoped. And then she showed that she can do it both ways.” EXTREMELY GOOD STAKES HIS CLAIM FOR A START IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET Talented New Zealand-bred pacer Extremely Good lived up to his name when he made a wonderful return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven confidently by his part-owner and trainer Chris Butt, Extremely Good crushed his rivals in the 2130m Del Basso Smallgoods Pathway Pace when he gave a sample of his undoubted ability. Though the opposition of older and more experienced rivals was not outstanding, Extremely Good was most impressive and showed that he has the potential to develop into a candidate for the upcoming rich features for four-year-olds, including the $175,000 Golden Nugget on December 6. Extremely Good, making his first appearance for three months, was sent out at the lucrative odds of 13/2 in a race in which ultra-consistent five-year-old In The Perfect Storm dominated betting and was favourite at 7/4 on. In The Perfect Storm was beaten out from barrier three and Gary Hall jun. had to race without cover as 12/1 chance Franco Nasser (barrier two) set a dawdling early pace. Butt restrained Extremely Good back to last. Hall applied mid-race pressure on Franco Nasser and the second 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 28.6sec. In The Perfect Storm then got his nose in front at the bell, but was unable to cross Franco Nasser. Extremely Good was seventh at the bell and Butt finally urged the gelding forward turning into the back straight. Extremely Good sprinted fast, out four wide, from the 520m to burst to the front 360m from home. He then raced away to win by four lengths from In The Perfect Storm, with Ya Dreamin running on from sixth at the bell to be third. The final two quarters each took just 28.8sec. and the winner rated 1.58.6 to improve his record to five wins and 14 placings from 26 starts for stakes of $43,235. It was his second win from 12 WA starts after winning twice from ten starts in New South Wales and once from four Victorian starts. Extremely Good is the fourth foal out of Beach Towel mare Dollys Daughter and is a half-brother to Bruce Almighty, who has had 70 starts for 11 wins (ten in WA), 20 placings and $82,290. THIS TIME DYLAN IS RELISHING A SWITCH TO STANDING STARTS A switch from mobile racing to standing-start events has helped New Zealand-bred eight-year-old This Time Dylan turn the corner and produce the best form of his brief career. This Time Dylan, favourite at 7/4 from the 10m mark, relished his sit-sprint capacity to sustain a spirited three-wide burst from the rear to get up in the final stride to snatch a nose victory from Gday Mate (5/1) in the 2503m TABtouch Western Bonanza Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Gary Hall jun. was content to have This Time Dylan in tenth position before he followed the three-wide burst of Gday Mate from the 1200m mark. Justin Prentice sent Gday Mate to the front 400m from home and the gelding rounded the final bend with what appeared to be a winning advantage. But he just failed to hold out This Time Dylan, who fought on determinedly under the urgings from Hall, wielding the whip in his left hand. “He loses his way a bit on the last bend when he wants to get in a bit,” Hall explained. “I thought we had a good shot, but when Justin kicked away I thought we would run second at best. But he’s a little horse with a big heart. He digs deep and definitely knows where the line is. It’s a great advantage having as horse like him who gets away (from a stand) so well.” Trainer Gary Hall sen. started This Time Dylan in mobiles at his first 16 starts in Western Australia for three wins and two placings. Then he switched the gelding to stands and he has started in a stand at each of his past six starts for three wins and a third placing. He has now earned $68,855 from nine wins and six placings from 30 starts. Evergreen nine-year-old Courageous Ned (16/1) maintained his wonderful consistency in stands by running on to finish third after trailing the pacemaker To Transcend, who finished fourth. No. 1 BARRIER MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE FOR BLACK PONTIAC Victorian-bred seven-year-old Black Pontiac further illustrated the considerable advantage of the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Orange Grove trainer Donald Harper drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m West Australian pace on Friday night. Black Pontiac had started at double figure odds at his five previous starts, including odds of 53/1, 71/1 and 56/1 at his three previous outings when he finished seventh, ninth and eleventh from less favourable draws. But from the No. 1 barrier on Friday night he was all the rage and started at 5/2 on. He set the pace and was kept honest by False Promise in the breeze, with the final four quarters going by in 29.2sec, 30.4sec., 28.9sec. and 29.2sec. He fought on grimly to defeat the fast-finishing Asian Courage (97/1) by a nose, with a length to 160/1 chance Franco Torres in third place. Asian Courage flew home from tenth in the middle stages and Franco Torres ran on from third-last at the bell. Black Pontiac’s previous win was when he led from the No. 1 barrier and beat Imtheguy over 1730m on August 16. The noted frontrunner now has earned $91,237 from 16 wins and 11 placings from 80 starts. He has had 69 starts in Western Australia for 11 wins and eight placings after winning at five of his 11 Victorian starts. By Grinfromeartoear, he is the second (and last) foal out of the Safely Kept mare Short And Black, who had 47 starts in Victoria for ten wins, 11 placings and $53,619 in prizemoney. Short And Black’s first foal Falcons Legend has had 118 starts in Queensland for 14 wins, 24 placings and $63,860. ASKMENOW REMAINS ON TARGET FOR RICH EVENTS FOR MARES Up-and-coming four-year-old Askmenow remained unbeaten this season when she proved far too good for her rivals in the 2130m McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her decisive victory by one and a half lengths over stablemate Chloe Vargarita enhanced her prospects in the rich feature events for mares next month, the Norm’s Daughter Classic and the group 1 Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic. Askmenow, trained by Gary Hall sen., was favourite at 5/1 on and she gave her supporters little cause for concern. She started from out wide on the back line and Gary Hall jun. took her three wide in the first circuit to move into the breeze after a lap. Polemarker Luck Has It set the pace and Hall was content to leave Askmenow in the breeze until he sent her to the front 220m from home. She then raced away to score easily from Chloe Vargarita, a 25/1 chance driven by visiting Victorian horseman Daniel Jack who rattled home from last in the middle stages and seventh at the bell. Arousing (23/1) did well to run home strongly tenth at the bell to be third. Askmenow, by Washington V C, has been outstanding since arriving in WA where her ten starts for the Hall camp have produced eight wins. She now has a record of 29 starts for ten wins, nine placings and stakes of $99,125. THE RAGPICKERS DREAM IS A GENTLEMAN, SAYS HALL Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. praised The Ragpickers Dream’s gentlemanly manners after driving the New Zealand-bred six-year-old to victory in the 2130m TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He got a little bit tired late, but the quarters he had run suggested that he would,” Hall said after The Ragpickers Dream had set the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier and had fought on tenaciously to beat Hez The Bart Man by just under a length, with Mighty Flying Thomas an unlucky third. “He’s probably won the race by being such a gentleman to drive,” Hall said. “He was happy to let Wrongly Accused to race a half-length in front of him and drop the bit and allow me to rate him. “Hez The Bart Man is a very good horse who never stops and that probably helped me because he was able to keep Mighty Flying Thomas In The Pocket. The Ragpickers Dream was definitely getting very tired late and I was just glad that he was able to hold on.” The Ragpickers Dream, favourite at 5/1 on, led from barrier one and was joined soon after the start by 25/1 chance Wrongly Accused, who got to a narrow lead in the middle stages. Mighty Flying Thomas (10/1) trailed the leader throughout and was unable to obtain a clear passage in the home straight before finishing a head behind Hez The Bart Man. The Ragpickers Dream covered the final 800m in 57.2sec. and rated 1.56.9. A winner of 13 races in Victoria, including six in a row in late 2011, he has raced five times in WA for two wins and two seconds. He has earned $110,598 from 15 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. PROBLEM PACER TORETTO TAKES A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION “He’s got a lot of problems, but he’s got a lot of bottom to him,” said Gary Hall jun. after driving 5/4 favourite Toretto to an easy victory in the third heat of the Preux Chevalier Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Toretto started from the back line and Hall wasted little time in sending him forward, three wide, to race outside the pacemaker Imtheguy. Finally, Toretto got to a clear lead 100m from the post and then drew away to beat 97/1 outsider Trents Courage by one and a half lengths, with 1m to Imtheguy. Toretto sprinted over the final 400m in 28.7sec. and rated 1.58 over the 2130m. It was his third start after an absence of 11 months and it took his record to seven starts for five wins, one third and $30,745 in prizemoney. “Dad has been persistent with him,” said Hall jun. “Toretto is not the easiest horse to get around the circuit, and that’s why I put the pressure on because I didn’t really want a fast last half because he’s a nightmare on the last bend. He was pretty good tonight and it was a step in the right direction. “He has had a leg problem as well along the way which has set him back for almost a year. The ability has always been there, but getting it out of him has always been the hard thing. We have tried probably every bit that has ever been made, and none of them seemed to work. But he’s worth persisting with.” GOOD DRAW ENABLES HEAVENS DELIGHT TO RETURN TO THE WINNING LIST Heavens Delight, unplaced at his previous six starts, made the most of an ideal draw when Gary Hall jun. jumped him straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and landed him a smart all-the-way winner in the 1730m Nepean Conveyors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 6/4, the New Zealand-bred six-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., dashed over the first 400m section of the final mile in 29.7sec. before coasting through the next quarter in 31.3sec. He then had plenty in reserve as he sprinted over the final two sections in 29.8sec. and 28.5sec. He rated 1.58.1 and beat 4/1 second fancy Bet Your Life by just under a length. Polemarker Lombo Air Express ran on to be third after trailing the leader all the way. Heavens Delight has had 33 starts in WA for ten wins and nine placings to take his overall record to 41 starts for 12 wins, nine placings and $80,281. “He put the writing on the wall at his previous start (when he started out wide on the back line and covered a lot of extra ground before finishing sixth behind Arnoux),” said Hall jun. “That’s not the way he likes to race and I thought he boxed on very well. “He has been racing well, but hasn’t been able to get a win on the board because of bad draws. He’s a few lengths better on the rail, but he’s probably limited to one or two more wins in town. He does have good sit-sprint capacity, but with the way races are run at Gloucester Park he’d end up nearer last than first if he was driven like that (as a sit-sprinter).” by Ken Casellas  

Following the recent success of JR Mint gelding Hugo Play at Melton a fortnight ago, bookings to the son of Northern Luck have been flowing at regular intervals, but it has not always been plain sailing for JR Mint since he was purchased by the late John Jetson.   JR Mint's journey as a sire has been very disrupted to say the least. He was originally purchased by John Jetson, one of Tasmania’s top breeders for many years before his untimely death, to stand at Leigh Plunketts stud.   The first hurdle came when Leigh was diagnosed with cancer, a battle he tragically lost soon after. He and his family decided due to his poor health, he could not continue to stand stallions.   Jetson sent out a SOS to John Coffey at Alabar and JR Mint was sent to Echuca to stand his first season in Australia’s at the country’s biggest Standardbred nursery.   JR Mint had 30 live foals in his first season which includes Hugo Play, who has won 11 races from just 22 starts including the Globe Derby Final (Tasmanian Sires Stakes) as a 3yo and the ill-fated Royal Sniper who won at his only 2 starts for Ian Dornauf.   In his second season JR Mint re-located back to Tasmania to became the foundation sire at Lyndon & Gail Medegon, Big Park Stud.  He served 34 mares that year , producing Island Disco & Black Centurian both 5 times winners as well as smart filly Really Fayfay who won the Premiers Blue Bonnet as 2yo and has gone on to win the 3yo Champion Fillies and Clamorus who won 3 times from just 5 states and been placed at her only two starts and Er El Jays Magic who looks a star in the making having won 2 of her 3 starts and finished second in the other.   His third crop now current 2yo ‘s has produced Little Jethro a 3 time winner from just 7 starts, and Prisoner who won the Tasmanian Sales Classic .   Part three in the journey of JR Mint  after the untimely death of his owner John Jetson, is that  he moved to NSW last season to stand at Lonsdale Stud near Young  the stud,  his sire Northern Luck stood at Lonsdale prior to his passing in 2012.   JR Mint  on the racetrack won 17 of his first 20 starts as a two and three-year-old in the USA and Canada including winning the elimination and final of the $500,000 Hoosier Cup.  The bay entire that stands 15.2 hands high, comes from the hottest maternal family lines of the past few decades being out of Kiss & Candy an outstanding producer with four sub 1:55 winners .   His grand -dam Beckys Love is a half sister to Blue Horizon, who we know in Australia is the dam of Panorama and grand-dam of Grinfromeartoear.   This amazing family has also produced the highly successful sires Safely Kept and Real Desire as well as the champion racehorses Rocknroll Hanover, Red River Hanover and Tell All.   Despite his continual movement, JR Mint is fast becoming one of Australia’s best percentage sires with just 88 foals of racing age.  JR Mint has had 32 of those grace the starter for 14 individual winners who have notched up nearly $300,000 in prize money.   All in all JR Mint must be one of the best value stallions standing at stud this season at only $1200 his  semen is available in all states  contact Lonsdale Stud near Young on (02) 63833270 By Gary Newton

SPRINGSTEEN TRIUMPHS FOR HARPER AFTER A BAD START Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred five-year-old Springsteen stamped himself as an up-and-coming summer carnival prospect when he overcame a terrible start to outgun his rivals in the $21,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound BOTRA Cup over 2902m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Springsteen, the heavily-supported even-money favourite, dismayed his backers when he galloped badly off the front line and quickly dropped back to eighth. But his 23-year-old trainer Kyle Harper finally got Springsteen into a pacing gait and then dashed him forward with a powerful three-wide burst which took him to the front after 900m. The gelding had lost 35m at the start and many punters thought that the early effort to get to the lead would leave him vulnerable in the closing stages. But Springsteen showed a touch of class after Harper had given him a much-needed breather with moderate quarters of 32sec. and 31sec. in the first half of the final mile. Springsteen then warded off a stern challenge from dour stayer and 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket as he accelerated sharply and sprinted over the third quarter of the final mile in a sizzling 27.6sec., followed by a final quarter in 28.9sec. Springsteen went to the post powerfully and defeated the gallant Shardons Rocket by 2m, rating 2.2.1 over the marathon journey. Shardons Rocket fought on grandly after racing in the breeze over the final 1500m. This Time Dylan, who raced without cover early, finished solidly, but was badly hampered for room in the home straight to be third, just in front of False Promise. “When he galloped I wasn’t overly worried because he usually gets down pretty quickly,” Harper said. “But tonight he didn’t get down as quickly as he normally does and after 30 to 40 metres when he was still cantering I was a little bit concerned. “But once he hit his straps I thought I would just balance him up three deep around that bend and work him forward. Once I got to the front and was able to get the quarters I got I was pretty confident again. We got that breather after a solid first half. “When Shardons Rocket moved alongside Springsteen I was still quite happy, mainly because we had got that soft half. I reckon Shardons Rocket got a nose in front down the back (at the 450m mark), but I wasn’t worried. Once I levelled up with him at the 400m I was confident I had his measure. “I haven’t got any plans for him at the moment. I’ll just see how he pulls up. He’s not just a stand horse and is just as good in mobiles.” Springsteen, who is owned by John Kirkpatrick, Nigel Bruce and Warren Went, had 19 starts in New Zealand for five wins and seven placings. He raced five times in stands over 2600m for four wins and a third. He has won at six of his 15 WA starts and his record stands at 34 starts for 11 wins, nine placings and stakes of $92,217. His victory gave Harper his second success in the BOTRA Cup, after his success with 25/1 outsider Outstandin last year. Harper’s father Lindsay also won the BOTRA Cup twice, scoring with Ariege in 1998 and Shattering Class in 2000. This was the second successive year that Harper had defeated a horse trained by Tony Svilicich and driven by Morgan Woodley into second place in the BOTRA Cup. Twelve months ago Outstandin beat 7/4 favourite Mysta Magical Mach. Springsteen’s dam Holms Spirit earned $50,323 from four wins and eight placings from 65 starts. Her first foal Im Jasper the Ghost has won five times in WA and has earned $55,730 from his seven wins and 23 placings from 77 starts. MIDNIGHT DYLAN GIVES BROWN HIS THIRD WIN IN CRANLEY MEMORIAL Noted frontrunner Midnight Dylan left his rivals floundering in his wake when he produced a sparkling display to score an effortless victory in the $21,000 Pat Cranley Memorial over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old’s win by two and a half lengths from Empire Flame at a 1.56.3 rate gave reinsman Colin Brown his third success in this event, following wins with Can Return Fire in 2008 and Motu Treasure in 2010. Midnight Dylan, second fancy at 2/1 behind 6/4 favourite The Ragpickers Dream, surged straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and after a moderate first 400m section of the final mile in 29.4sec. Brown virtually gave the opposition no chance when he was able to let Midnight Dylan amble through the second quarter in 30.9sec. Midnight Dylan was not seriously challenged. He covered the third quarter in 29sec. before sprinting over the final section in 27.7sec. Empire Dream (12/1) raced without cover and fought on well to be second. Western Cullen, a 35/1 chance sustained a good three-wide burst from seventh at the bell to be third. The Ragpickers Dream, who started from the back line and settled down in 11th position, fought on gamely from ninth (three wide) at the bell to be fifth. Midnight Dylan, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won once from nine starts in New Zealand and now has earned $145,325 from 12 wins and 18 placings from 54 starts. Interestingly, he raced against Western Cullen four times as a two-year-old in New Zealand and finished behind him every time. He also competed against Springsteen, Heez Orl Black and Mein Guy in New Zealand. Springsteen won the BOTRA Cup on Friday night, Heez Orl Black was unplaced behind Chaldea earlier in the night and Mein Guy was successful in a race at Kalgoorlie on the same night. Midnight Dylan, by Mach Three, is out of Midnight Skipper, who is a younger sister to Sandy Bay, who raced 28 times in WA between 2003 and 2005 for 12 wins and seven placings. Sandy Bay’s most notable victory in a career of 40 starts for 13 wins, 13 placings and $198,896 was in the 2907m Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park in 2005 when he was driven by Chris Lewis and defeated Ohoka Ace and Baltic Eagle. Midnight Slipper, by Presidential Ball, was out of the Victorian-bred mare Kirlian, who raced as a two and three-year-old, earning $94,300 from five wins and four placings from only 20 starts. She finished second to Donna Who in the Australian Gold final for two-year-old fillies at Harold Park in April 1993 before winning the Pink Bonnet Mile on the same track in July that year. Midnight Slipper raced 49 times for two wins, ten placings and $29,835. TILBROOK, SUVALJKO AND BOTICA COMBINE FOR A WINNING DOUBLE Herron trainer Peter Tilbrook brought two four-year-olds to Gloucester Park on Friday night and he was all smiles when he left for home, contemplating the stylish victories of Loving You and Senor Jet. Both pacers started a firm favourite and were driven in fine style by Shannon Suvaljko. The wins also gave owner Neven Botica a double. Loving You, favourite at 11/8, started from the inside of the back line in the 1730m Regency Food Mares Pace and she trailed the pacemaker and 5/2 second fancy Bettor Whitby before Suvaljko eased her off the pegs 220m from home. Loving You was switched three wide on the home turn and she finished strongly to burst to the front 50m from the post before scoring by just under a length from Terra Into The West, who had taken the lead with 130m to travel. Bettor Whitby, who had overraced, held on to be third. This brought up four wins in a row for Loving You, an Art Major filly bred by Botica. Loving You has already earned $67,372 from seven wins and ten placings from 28 starts. She is the third foal out of New Zealand-bred mare Roustabout, who raced 12 times for four wins, two placings and $33,171. Roustabout’s first foal is Arousing, who has raced 60 times for seven wins, 19 placings and $64,973. Tilbrook produced Senor Jet in fine fettle for his first start for four months when the New Zealand-bred gelding started favourite 5/4 on and gave a bold frontrunning display to beat the fast-finishing Ardens Southee by 5m in the Slater Gartrell Sports Pathway Pace over 2130m. Toretto, making his first appearance since winning at Gloucester Park 11 months ago, began speedily from barrier three, but was unable to cross Senor Jet, who started from the prized pole position. Senor Jet sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and Toretto fought on gamely to finish third. Senor Jet rated 1.58.7 and took his record to five wins and two seconds from only ten starts for stakes of $22,977. After one win from three New Zealand starts he has chalked up four wins and two seconds from seven WA outings. A DOUBLE KEEPS VOAK AT THE TOP OF THE PREMIERSHIP TABLE Chris Voak continued his outstanding start to the 2013-14 season when he completed a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night by driving 25/1 outsider Chaldea to a surprise victory in the 2130m first heat of the David Strom Leading Driver Gary Hall jun. Preux Chevalier Pace. The 25-year-old Voak, who had been successful earlier in the night with hot favourite Smirking, maintained his lead on the Statewide reinsmen’s premiership table. At the end of the night Voak’s record for the first five weeks of the season stood at 19 winners and 21 placegetters from 94 drives, giving him the lead over Shannon Suvaljko (17 wins and 20 placings from 73 drives), Colin Brown (17 wins and ten placings from 52 drives) and Gary Hall jun. (15 wins and 16 placings from 56 drives). Chaldea, one of three runners in the event trained at Waroona by Bob Mellsop, had been placed at his four previous starts, but was disregarded by punters, mainly because he was at a distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. Mellsop elected to drive Little Boy Blue (4/1) and he engaged Nathan Turvey to handle 40/1 chance Notabadexcuse. Polemarker Myouri (5/1) set the pace, with stablemate What God Knows in the breeze, 3/1 favourite Heez Orl Black in the one-out, one-back position and Chaldea in eighth spot. When Brown sent Ballas Arockstar (14/1) forward approaching the bell, Voak was quick to follow that gelding’s three-wide burst with Chaldea. Chaldea sustained a strong finishing run and burst to the front in the closing stages to score by a head from Myouri, with outsider Courage Tells impressing in finishing fast from 11th at the bell to be a half-length away in third place. Chaldea dashed over the final 800m in 58.2sec. and rated 2.0.3 to end a losing sequence of 12. A winner at three of his ten New Zealand starts, he has had 32 starts in WA for six wins and 12 placings to take his overall earnings to $63,661. Chaldea is by Western Terror and is out of the unraced New York Motoring mare Summer Solstice, whose dam, the unraced Sands A Flyin mare Love And Light produced good winners Mr Chin and Im Light Hearted. Mr Chin, by Village Jasper, won four races in New Zealand and one in Australia (as a three-year-old at Menangle in June 2006) before winning 30 times in America. He had 225 starts for 35 wins and 57 placings for prizemoney of $407,317. Im Light Hearted has raced 107 times for 12 wins, 31 placings and $118,097. MAKE ME GRIN HAS CALLEGARI SMILING Astute Busselton trainer Michael Callegari has a good eye for a horse and he made a wise decision last November when he made an offer to buy a lightly-raced four-year-old by the name of Make Me Grin. Callegari produced Make Me Grin in superb condition at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Ashleigh Markham drove him to a convincing victory in the 2130m Remote Foods Pathway Pace at the five-year-old’s first appearance at that track. It was also the gelding’s first start since March. “Make Me Grin was owned by Ryan Bell and his Dad Peter was working him on the track where I was training my horses,” Callegari said. “I liked the look of him, so I made an offer and got him for $3000.” Callegari races Make Me Grin with his mother Margaret and the gelding has had 11 starts for them for two wins and three placings for stakes of $11,488. Before that, Make Me Grin had won once (at Bunbury) from six starts. He had been purchased by Ryan Bell for $26,500 as a yearling. At his first start for Callegari, Make Me Grin finished a nose second to Dougie Bromac at Bunbury last December before he set the pace and was a most impressive winner over Livelong And Prosper at Albany on New Year ’s Eve. However, the gelding’s next starts, five at Albany and three at Bunbury, produced just two minor placings. “I kept taking him down to Albany every week and I don’t think he handled all the travelling,” Callegari said. “So I sent him for a long spell before giving him a nice long preparation.” Make Me Grin was a 13/2 chance from barrier three on the front line. He mustered plenty of early pace and Markham sent him past the 7/4 favourite Mene Jaccka and into the lead after 300m. After dawdling through the first 400m section of the final mile in a very slow 33.4sec. and the next quarter in an ambling 31.1sec., Make Me Grin sped over the final 800m in 57sec. to win by a length from 11/4 chance Northview Cardle, who raced in the breeze over the final 1300m. Make Me Grin is out of the Safely Kept mare Spirit Away, who earned $71,250 from nine wins and 19 placings from 64 starts. Make Me Grin traces back on his dam’s side to several outstanding WA pacers of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, including Magic Flute, Eroica, Flute Song and Enrico. Star Song, the dam of Magic Flute and several other winners, was an elder half-sister to the South Australian-bred Modulation, who contested the 1957 interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park. Both Modulation and Magic Flute were unplaced in the final won by the South Australian frontrunner Radiant Venture. SANJAYA CHARGES HOME FROM LAST Well-travelled New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Sanjaya, whose ancestry on his dam’s side traces back to champion New South Wales pacer Don’t Retreat, gave promise of better things to come when he surged home from ninth in a field of nine at the 350m mark to score an easy victory in the 2536m Force Equipment Service And Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Sanjaya, trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint, was a 6/1 chance from the outside of the front line and at his third start after a spell. Hall restrained Sanjaya back to last as Romulus (7/1) sped to an early lead from barrier three. Heavens Delight (7/1) overraced in the breeze and Bet Your Life, a newcomer from Victoria and favourite at 4/1, enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Chris Voak sent Bet Your Life to the front 250m from home, with Jar Zinyo (10/1) unwinding a solid three-wide burst. Sanjaya was last passing the 350m mark as Hall followed the three-wide run of Jar Zinyo. Jar Zinyo got to a narrow lead in the closing stages before being swamped by the fast-finishing Sanjaya, who scored by a length at a 1.59.7 rate. The final 400m was covered bin 28.9sec. Sanjaya ended a losing sequence of eight and took his record to 60 starts for 12 wins, 16 placings and $84,064. He had 24 starts in New Zealand for two wins and six placings, 15 starts in New South Wales for four wins and five placings, 11 starts in Queensland for four wins and four placings and ten starts in WA for two wins and one placing. Sanjaya’s great, great, great granddam Tui Scott produced Don’t Retreat, a star of the 1970s when he had 112 starts for 55 wins, 32 placings and stakes of $340,317. Don’t Retreat qualified for the final of the interdominion championship in Brisbane in 1977 and Melbourne a year later, but was unplaced in both events. Sanjaya also is related to recent Perth winner Me Old Mate, who has raced 39 times for nine wins, eight placings and $64,126. OUR MAJOR MARK GIVES HIS BACKERS A SCARE New Zealand-bred six-year-old Our Major Mark, favourite at 5/1 on, gave his backers plenty of palpitations when he looked beaten on the home turn in the 2130m Central Fruit Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The pacemaker Kiss Chasey (10/1) had shaken off Our Major Mark on the home turn and looked set for victory. But Our Major Mark, who had dropped back more than a length behind the leader (after racing in the breeze for most of the way) fought back grimly to get his nose in front 10m from the post. He won by a neck from Kiss Chasey, with Copagrin battling on into third place after enjoying the run of the race in the one-out, one-back position. Our Major Mark drew the prized No. 1 barrier and was looked upon as a certainty to set the pace. But, surprisingly, Our Major Mark lacked early sparkle and settled in fourth place before Colin Brown quickly eased him off the pegs and took him three wide to move outside Kiss Chasey after 500m. This was Our Major Mark’s eighth win from 15 starts in WA for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and it took his earnings past $600,00. He won at ten of his 39 New Zealand starts and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA. The son of Art Major now has amassed $609,275 from 20 wins and 16 placings from 60 starts. He has graduated from an M0 mark to an M1 classification. Our Major Mark was an outstanding performer for Mark Purdon as a two-year-old in New Zealand when he won three group 1 events and one group 2 event. He won the group 2 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes at Alexandra Park in March 2010, an $80,000 group 1 event at Addington in April, the group 1 Sires Stakes at Addington in May and the group 1 Emerald at Cambridge in June. SMIRKING FIGHTS ON DOGGEDLY TO SCORE NARROWLY South Australian-bred six-year-old Smirking, the seventh foal out of WA-bred mare Princess Talaria, responded doggedly to heavy punishment to scramble to a half-head victory over 27/1 outsider Ya Dreamin in the 2536m Red Pepper Catering Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Voak, Smirking was hot favourite at 3/1 on and he burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier. Colin Brown sent Ya Dreamin forward, three wide, soon after the start and the gelding moved alongside Smirking after 500m. Ya Dreamin poured on the pressure in the final circuit and the final two 400m sections were covered in 28.9sec. and 28.7sec. Voak had to wield the whip vigorously over the final 450m to stave off the determined Ya Dreamin. This was Smirking’s third win from nine WA starts after he had raced 21 times in South Australia for nine wins and eight placings. Princess Talaria (by Northern Lights) was bred in WA and she was successful as a three-year-old at Gloucester Park and Harvey in 1999 before winning three races in Victoria as a four-year-old. Princess Talaria produced Oztreos, who won at his first seven starts (all at Globe Derby Park) and he earned $123,278 from 21 wins and 12 placings from 50 starts. Smirking’s maternal granddam Minerva Reef produced ten winners, including The Maitre Dee, who won seven races in a row at Gloucester Park as an eight-year-old early in 2000 before retiring with a record of 140 starts for 19 wins, 32 placings and $107,161. ADDA PATERNAL SUIT DELIGHTS LOONE Oldbury trainer-reinsman Shane Loone celebrated his surprise victory with Adda Paternal Suit in the 2536m The Gate Leading Trainer Gary Hall Senior Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night with an extroverted display of uninhibited exuberance. Adda Paternal Suit, the 26/1 outsider in the field of eight, worked hard in the breeze for 1150m before getting to the front 350m from home and racing away to score by 5m from Arousing and Benjamin Banneker. Loone thrust his left arm skywards and wielded the whip jubilantly as Adda Paternal Suit coasted to the post. Loone and Maria Petricevich outlaid $19,000 to claim Adda Paternal Suit on September 13 and now the West Australian-bred seven-year-old has had two starts for his new owners for a good fourth to Springsteen in the Kalgoorlie Cup and Friday night’s impressive victory for stakes of $13,710 which have boosted his career record to 93 starts for 21 wins, 28 placings and $228,705. The win ended a losing sequence of 12 and Adda Paternal Suit was eligible to contest Friday night’s event for horses classified M1 to M4 after he received a drop-down concession from an M5 to an M4 mark when his losing sequence reached ten. Polemarker Arousing (9/1) was first into stride and Bronze Seeker (9/2) and Rojen Cruz (8/1) raced wide early before Morgan Woodley sent Bronze Seeker to the front after 600m, leaving Rojen Cruz in the breeze. Loone had Adda Paternal Suit out three wide before getting the gelding into the breeze with 1500m to travel. Benjamin Banneker, favourite at evens, raced in last position before Gary Hall jun. sent him forward with a three-wide burst 1350m from home. Benjamin Banneker was kept three wide until Adda Paternal Suit got to the front with 350m to travel. He fought on solidly to be third, just a nose behind Arousing, who finished strongly after trailing the pacemaking Bronze Seeker, who was a close-up fifth. by Ken Casellas  

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