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“Ryley Major is by far the best horse I’ve ever trained,” declared Beauty Point trainer-driver Rohan Hillier. “That’s nothing new, I’ve been saying that since day one, his mum Shez Ryleymak was a star for us and this bloke would pick her up and tow her.” Ryley Major ($1.30) returned to the track last night in Launceston after nearly three years in the paddock after suffering a serious tendon injury in 2016. “It’s been a long road back, we’ve has a couple of setbacks with him along the way, he’s been back in work for six months now and we spend a couple of hours with him everyday treating him and getting him right so it’s been a concerted effort to get him back but it was all worth it to see him return the way he did last night,” said Rohan. “He felt good in the run, I just let him find his rhythm early settling just worse than midfield before bringing him into the race out three-wide just inside the bell,” said Rohan. “Ryley Major cruised to third at the 400-metre mark and I had a good grip on him when he coasted to the front halfway down the stretch before going on to win four or five metres, recording a 1:59 mile, I was confident his class would carry him through last night and if everything goes to plan we will look at the Easter Cup with him.” Ryley Major completed a winning treble for the Hillier stable with Rohan’s first starter Dusty Martini ($1.70), a Betterthancheddar-Smiling Angel three-year-old strolled to an effortless win on debut and Dufrense ($1.40) made a successful return from a 10-month lay-off to score a convincing five-metre victory.   Shane Yates

Resurgent Spirit returned home from Victoria to storm to victory in the second heat of the Triple M Tasmania Cup on Sunday night at TAB Park Elwick in Hobart. The American Ideal-Resurgent Star eight-year-old returned to the scene of a number of his former glories as the state’s top Juvenile, to firmly throw his hat in the ring for Tasmania’s Premier harness event on next weekend’s Tasmanian Trotting Club’s ‘Super Saturday’ of racing. Resurgent Spirit, under the care of breeder and owner Roger Whitmore, enjoyed a run of 13 straight wins to begin his career as a two and three-year-old and had won 21 of 30 starts on the track going into last night’s run. Resurgent Spirit now resides in Victoria under the watchful eye of Kate Hargreaves and Alex Ashwood at their Shelbourne stables and returned to Tasmania with the Cup his mission. “It was great to have Resurgent Spirit home during the week in the lead-up to Sunday’s heat and a thrill to watch him race again but Kate and Alex do such a marvellous job with him, we know he’s in good hands, their work ethic is amazing and their attention to care for your horse is second to none, they deserve all the success in the world,” said Roger. “Alex handled Resurgent Spirit to perfection, he told me on Thursday that he wanted the back of Gavin Lang on Sicario and out sprint him late and everything went to script sprinting home powerfully to defeat the top three fancies, Sicario ($2.80), War Dan ($3.80) and Shelby Bromac ($2.30).” Resurgent Spirit flew under the radar in his heat, sent out a $41 chance but is sure to start one of the leading hopes in Saturday’s Final. “Alex is staying the week to ensure no stone is left unturned in the lead-up to the final, he looks as if he has pulled up well and I’m looking forward to taking him down to the beach, we spent a lot of time there together when he was a youngster so that will bring back some nice memories, which makes his win even more special.” Shane Yates

Carrick trainer Brian Mackrill enjoyed a successful night at Burnie on Sunday landing a winning double with two well-supported favourites to become the punter’s pin-up boy on the seven-event card. Brian applied the polish to former maiden performer Class Tells in the opening race on the card in a heat of the Allen Williams Memorial Heat and then and followed up with Berty Mack scoring the third win of its career in the Kelly’s Waste Management Pace. Class Tells ran the popular pick ($2.60) and favourite punters were on good terms with themselves as John Walters retained the lead on the four-year-old mare through the first turn. “I was feeling good when she was able to hold them out early and when the second-elect Lille was posted in the death my confidence started to grow, she travelled well throughout and there is no better rater of a leader than John Walters so I knew she would have something in hand for when the late challenges came,” said Brian. “Yodellin Cowgirl was the one to come at her late, Class Tells ran a really nice third to her when first-up at Carrick at her last run finishing third only 2.5-metres away at big odds of fifty to one, they fought out the finish again and this time we came out on top.” Prior to the victory Classic Tells had raced 28 times for eight placings. “Even though she had failed to salute the judge prior to Sunday she had run some solid races for us, Maree and I bred her from our former race mare Sheez Classical so it’s always nice to pick up a win with the one you’ve bred.” Brian wasted no time being back in the winner’s circle with Berty Mack ($2.70) finishing powerfully to run down the leader Mighty Spark. “It was only his second run back from a six month break, he ran a top second to a smart one in Peaceful Thomas at Carrick a fortnight ago and he ran right up to that form sprinting quickly in the straight, Gareth (Rattray) positioned him perfectly just in behind the leader and when the gap came turning for home ‘Berty’ (pictured) was travelling well enough to pounce,” said Brian. “He’s always shown us he has his fair share of ability with his previous two wins coming at Devonport, he’s come back well from the break and we have worked on a few quirks he’s had so hopefully he can pick up another win or two this season.” Berty Mack’s win was the middle pin of a winning treble for Gareth Rattray who had earlier steered the John Castles prepared pacer Keep Playing (3.40) to back-to-back victories before finishing off the night guiding Melissa Maine’s Another Swinger ($4.90) to success in the Claimer. Bianca Heenan and Hannah van Dongen continued their march toward respective premiership success, combining with Miss Atomic Betty,($3.50) recent addition to Bianca’s stable. Connor Crook’s recent acquisition Chilla Breeze ($3.90 fav) continues to pay dividends scoring his second win in his last four starts with a powerful 16-metre win while Rohan Hillier surged the Ben Yole-trained 20-metre backmarker Stylish Trend ($6.40)to the front after only 300-metres, before going on to score a sensational five-metre win. Shane Yates

Former Victorian trotter Majestic Ess Jay made an outstanding debut in Tasmania to claim the first heat of the Aldebaran Park Tasmanian Trotting Cup in Hobart on Friday night. The Eric Jacobson-trained eight-year-old gelding (pictured) galloped away and lost an enormous amount of ground at the start and looked to have lost all hope but the veteran of 94 starts had other ideas. "We've only had him over for a fortnight and when I worked him during the week I thought we may have pulled the right rein in leasing him as he felt strong in his action, but when he missed the start so badly and stood up Trumps Golden Boy a good 80-metres I thought our tickets were confetti," said Eric. "Admittedly they went slow up front and he tacked on without expending too much energy and when Ray (Pullen) chose to go round them and find the top with a lap to run my spirits rose a little." Trumps Golden Boy, in search of its fifth straight win for Bianca Heenan, pulled out to issue his challenge inside the 400-metre mark and the race was well and truly on. "Considering the work Majestic Ess Jay ($3.40) was forced to do early I thought we may be in trouble but Ray held him together into the home straight and he went powerfully to the post," said a delighted trainer. "When you take a close look at his recent Victorian form Majestic Ess Jay should have something to offer here in Tasmania, in his last run on the mainland he lost 60-metres in the race where there was a track-record set and the owners said they clocked him running a mile-rate of 1:57.5  to get up and run sixth, 18-metres off the winner." Harjeet ($1.00) waltzed home in the Metropolitan Cup scoring by 13-metres for Todd Rattray who capped off his night with success in the last race with Arthur Elliot winning at its second career outing. Ben Yole landed a race-to-race double with Troy McDonald steering home Hez The One ($15) to its second win for the month while Australian Female Drivers Championship state representative Samantha Gangell lifted the bolter Northview Dave ($21) over the line in the Yak Ales Pace. Favourite punters landed some blows of their own with the Bianca Heenan-trained Swap Me  ($2.50) continuing its great form, Couta Rocks ($1.80) bounced back into the winner's list for Marc Butler while last season's Sweepstakes and Dandy Patch winner Resurgent Storm ($1.40) recorded a stylish first-up win as a three-year-old for Roger Whitmore.   Shane Yates

Tasmania's dynamic pacer Harjeet is set to add the Metropolitan Cup to his long list of major race successes at tonight's Tasmanian Trotting Club meeting at TAB Park Hobart. The local champion (pictured) has won 15 of his 22 career starts including the Easter Cup, Tassie Golden Apple, Raider Stakes and Hobart Pacing Cup and is shooting for straight wins in tonight's 2579-metre staying test. he Todd Rattray-trained Rocknroll Hanover-Our Zellweger five-year-old gelding will start solo on the second line and has been served up as a $1.04 favourite for the feature event. The first heat of the inaugural Aldebaran Park Tasmanian Trotting Cup will be conducted tonight as part of the Club's commitment to reinvigorate trotting in the state. Trumps Golden Boy broke through for its first win in the state after ten starts but has now strung together four on the trot for trainer Bianca Heenan. The six-year-old gelding will start off the 10-metre handicap and has been installed the $1.75 favourite ahead of the Eric Jacobson prepared Majestic Ess Jay at $3.90. The former Victorian eight-year-old trotter will make its debut in the state with a record of 94 career starts for 16 wins and 30 placings. The TAB is offering an 'Any 2' Jackpot of $11,849.50 on the opening race on the card. All you need to do is pick out two runners you think can finish in the first three placings to be a part of the action or box up any number of runners for a full dividend declared return or at a cheaper cost a percentage of the dividend. Race one is the Rexel North Hobart Pace and Tasracing's harness racing experts Jamie Cockshutt and Duncan Dornauf are selecting the in-form runners Swap Me (No.2), Real Diamond (No.1) and Shadow Control (No.8) to fight out the finish with Duncan tipping Forever Ours as his outside chance at odds.   Shane Yates

Tasmanian champion four-year-old Ignatius suffered from another horror draw in Saturday night's Group 1 $200,000 Chariots Of Fire. Trainer-driver James Rattray had no other option than to press forward in the early stages from a wide draw, but was trapped three-wide through the first turn in a scintillating first quarter of 26 seconds and drew up into the death seat through the second split of 27.9-seconds. The enormous effort started to take its toll in the home stretch as the Emma Stewart trained Poster Boy, with Chris Alford in the sulky, swamped the early speed setters to claim the Chariots Of Fire and record a mile-rate of 1:49.1. Ignatius battled on courageously in the straight to finish ninth, 15.3-metres from the winner.   Shane Yates

Todd and James Rattray have enjoyed a glorious run with their star pacer Ignatius, tonight at Menangle they plan another step in the successful journey with a tilt at victory in the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire. Ignatius earned his place in the $200,000 4YO feature with a sensational win in last week’s Group 2 Paleface Adios Stakes. “He couldn’t be better than he is right now, Todd has prepared him perfectly for this campaign, he has eased him through a slight setback in January and got him right for the trip,” said James. “His run last week to win the Paleface Adios Stakes was certainly one of his best ever performances and has him primed for an all-out assault on the Group 1 tonight against the best in the land.” Ignatius drew wide in the Paleface Adios and did some early work out three-wide through the first turn before James found the death-seat outside the favourite Chase Auckland. “Chase Auckland and Ignatius have drawn almost identical gates to last week, Chase Auckland is in one again we are again out wide in eight but Ignatius returned his career best mile-rate of 1:50.2 to beat him last time and he has felt even better at home during the week,” said James. “Chase Auckland, Poster Boy, Picard and Ashley Locaz are all topliners but they will know Ignatius is there when the pressure is on turning for home over 1609-metres, the winner receives an invitation to the Miracle Mile so there’s a lot on the line.” Todd made the trip to Sydney during the week and was there to keep a close eye on Ignatius as he was taken into the Retention Barn at Menangle Park on Thursday. “He’s looking and feeling great, he put up a great performance last week and that will have just topped him off perfectly for the Chariots,” said Todd. “Ignatius couldn’t be in better hands than James, we have a great relationship, racing to us has always been a family affair, we all share the ups and downs together and that’s the way it should be, let’s hope we all have something to celebrate tonight.”   Shane Yates

Northdown trainer Geoff Smith is riding the crest of a winning wave with another winning double in Launceston on Sunday night, and loving it. Geoff has enjoyed his best start to a calendar year for a decade with five winners coming in five weeks which has seen him catapult into eighth spot on the trainer’s premiership table. Aitutaki (pictured), driven by John Walters, came from a mile back on the home turn to win the Dakin Refrigeration Stakes over 1680 metres while Vapour Glenn burst through late to take out the Carlton Draught Pace. “They are flying for me at the moment, both horses scored impressive wins at Scottsdale in January and then they both ran fourth at their next start and have bounced back strongly tonight” said Geoff. “We had a sulky change out on the track with Aitutaki but fortunately that didn’t interfere with his performance, John (Walters) has worked him out, he needs to be held up until the 300-metre mark and then let him loose.” Aitutaki, formerly in the care of owner Adrian Duggan, has had six runs for Geoff for six cheques. “When we got him he was out of the draw, we changed some gear and re-shod him and worked him out of a paddock, and not that hard he seems to be thriving at the moment with two wins, two placings and two fourths,” said the Northdown trainer. “Vapour Glenn really surprised me tonight, Rohan (Hadley) found a gap late in the straight and he surged through to hit the line strongly.” Geoff admitted winners have been a little light on in recent years but is hoping things are heading in the right direction. “We’ve had Midair Meltdown win at Devonport recently and we’ve got a few good types coming through including a full-sister to my old stager Dodgermemate, she’s a two-year-old and moves well so I have hopes set high with her, but for now we are enjoying our start to the year,” said Geoff. Gareth Rattray steered home a winning double on the eight-event card with the Dick Eaves prepared El Jays Mystery running down the popular pick Inner Light in the shadows of the post to win by a head and completed a race-to-race double with Brooke Hammond’s Moonlite Bay notching up its second win from just three career starts taking out the Harry Holgate Memorial Final. Rowley won the opener for Sally Stingel and Paul Ashwood, The Aussie powered away with the Discretionary for Devonport Cup winning duo Juanita McKenzie and Rod Ashwood while Riley Coyote scored its first win for over two years for Steve Lukac and Rohan Hillier and Ben Yole and Natalee Emery combined with Jeans Mattjesty to win the Claimer. Shane Yates

Tasmania’s champion pacer Ignatius took another giant step in his quest for Chariots Of Fire glory by winning Saturday night’s Group 2 Paleface Adios Stakes at Menangle. Ignatius scored one of the most sensational victories of his illustrious career to assure himself a berth in the $200,000 four-year-old Group 1 Classic. Despite again having no luck with the barrier draw, starting from barrier nine in a field of 10, James Rattray went forward in the early stages and found cover out three-wide on the track before running to the death at the thousand-metre mark. With quarters of 28 seconds and 29 seconds behind them, Ignatius applied the blow torch to the race favourite Chase Auckland ($1.75) as they thundered through the third quarter in 26.7 seconds. Turning for home James called upon his champion for the supreme effort and just as he has done throughout his career Ignatius responded. The Lyrae Rattray-owned four-year-old (pictured) showed all of his courage and superstar qualities to take the lead and stave off the challenges down the never-ending Menangle home straight to win by a half-neck in his career-best time of 1:50.2 seconds. “He went great, his two runs back this campaign have been enormous, he seems to have pulled up well from last night and is keen to get out into the paddock this morning,” said James. “He went to the post strongly and felt comfortable when holding off the challenges over the last 400-metres, I couldn’t hope for him to be in better shape, the Chariots Of Fire has always been his target and he will be right in the finish, we are due for a good draw so fingers crossed for that to be this week.” The amazing victory was the 17th of a 21 start career for the Roll With Joe-Ashkalini gelding. Shane Yates

Tasmanian champion Harjeet stamped his authority over the state’s top pacers in the $25,000 Triple M Hobart Pacing Cup on Sunday. The five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover-Our Zellweger gelding, trained and driven by Todd Rattray, showed his class over the staying trip of 2579-metres to win by 5.2-metres over a gallant Isaac. “We got a nice run through from outside the second line and settled just worse than midfield and when the pace slackened I thought it was time to wander up toward the lead and test the waters a little,” said Todd. “Harjeet (pictured) travelled up to the leaders smoothly so we just rolled past and he travelled sweetly from there, when we lifted the tempo inside the last half it was really only Isaac that could go with him.”. Isaac, the Juanita McKenzie-trained Devonport Cup winner, switched to the Roberts Sprint lane at the top of the home straight and closed within two metres but the champ had other ideas. “To his credit Isaac got a little close for comfort at one stage,we thought Harjeet would run on a little better than he did but he had switched off and was drifting up the track, the motor kicked in again when he knew he was being challenged and he got the job done (5.2-metres) so hopefully he’ll be better next start.” Harjeet is now an M3 so if heading the way of the Tasmania Cup and Easter Cup he will be looking at a 30-metre handicap or there may be a trip to the mainland on the cards. “I will have to talk to the owners, we would like to take him over at some stage, we’d have to make sure he’s right in himself but it might be time now,” said Todd. “He gets away well from the stand now and puts himself in it but obviously you still have to make up that ground too, Scooterwillrev is still an MO and he’s a pretty good horse and there are few others around.” Todd capped of a successful day with Joogle breaking her maiden status in the $10,000  TTC Members Pace. Bianca Heenan kept her sensational season rolling by training a winning double with Trumps Golden Boy taking out the Aldebaran Park Hobart Trotting Cup and Alta Surreal, with Hannah Van dongen in the cart, capturing its fourth win of the season. Hannah went on to extend her lead in the Leading Female Drivers award steering the Mark Reggett prepared Dasher Houli to back-to-back victories by taking out the Tab Park Elwick Pace. The heavily backed Beam Me Up Chopper ($3.50) put up a herculean performance to win in the Crown Lager Pace for Kate MacLeod after being never closer than three off the peg line while Ektoras overcame an outside draw to salute at odds of $31.00 in the Olympus Feeds P ace. Four-year-old mare Ideal Bliss, guided by Rohan Hillier, returned victorious from an eight-month spell for Paul Hill while Tilly Max made a successful debut for trainer-driver Paul Ashwood in the two-year-old. Shane Yates for tasracing.com.au

Bridport trainer-driver Rohan Hadley stole the show at Friday night’s Launceston Pacing Club meeting at the TAB Racing Centre. Hadley, one of Tasmania’s premier drivers, saluted the judge on three occasions, twice with well-supported runners from his own stable in Believe In Forever ($2.50 fav) and Secluded Beach ($2.80) and once with the Shelley Barnes prepared Volkova Leis ($21.10). Believe In Forever, a four-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven-Close Embrace gelding, has won five of its seven starts since arriving in the state in May of last year including the last three on the trot. “He got the job done tonight, we got a nice cart into the race out three-wide on the back of Miracle Marcus until the 400-metre mark when we had to go five-wide and he finished off well,” said Rohan. “There is a $12,000 C3-4 at Devonport on Cup night that should suit, so we will see how he pulls up after tonight but that would be the preferred option at this stage.” Secluded Beach (pictured) has also had seven outings in the state, winning four and finishing runner-up three times. “Secluded Beach has put in some smart runs since arriving in Tasmania and run quick times, he’s had a couple of good tussles with Buster William and come out on top and he wore him down again in the straight tonight after a two-horse war all the way,” said Rohan. “There is a C6-9 race in Hobart in two weeks time and I’d like to race him through to Free-For-All company or we might give him one more run and then give him a break with the idea of setting him for a campaign to achieve that task.” Believe In Forever and Secluded Beach are both owned by David Maffey, Peter Hayes and Murray James in Western Australia. Hadley’s third winner for the night came courtesy of the Shelley Barnes-trained Volkova Leis($21.10) in the third heat of the Harry Holgate Memorial, the five-year-old mare was taken forward from ninth at the bell to commence the three-wide train. The favourite Mahksman hit the front on the home bend but Volkova Leis swallowed him up quickly before bravely staving off challenges from Im Full Tilt and Levi Jimmy. “She hasn’t had a lot of luck with the draws over short trips of late and Shelley has her going well now, she can win again on that run,” said the Bridport horseman. Shane Yates

Harjeet showed yet again why he is the top pacer racing in the state with an exciting victory in the Toreace Flying Mile on Sunday night at Tab Park in Hobart. The striking Rocknroll Hanover – Our Zellweger five-year-old gelding (pictured), trained and driven by Todd Rattray, backed up from his slashing Tassie Golden Apple win over Scooterwillrev in Launceston on 14 December with another powerful performance against his arch-rival over 1609-metres. Rohan Hadley took the Craig Hayes prepared Scooterwillrev to the front at the bell after being trapped three-wide through the first 600-metres from the outside front line draw. “I knew Rohan (Hadley) would want to work Scooter to the front, so I sat back midfield until I could see he was going to find the top and then made our move up into the death at the 800-metre pole'” said Todd. “The race was on in earnest from there, they are two top horses and we went down the back in 27.6 seconds, Harjeet was just a little rough through the turn off the back so I just eased on the corner into the straight but once we straightened up I was confident he would finish the better. Harjeet scored by a head in a mile-rate of 1:55.5 and will now head to either the Devonport Cup on 27 January or the Hobart Pacing Cup on 3 February. “We are undecided at the moment, he would be off 20-metres in a stand-start at Devonport while the Hobart Cup is a mobile which suits him best so we are leaning in that direction,” said Todd. Todd also has one eye on his young champion Ignatius as he prepares for another mainland mission. “He arrived in Sydney on Saturday and appears to be over the slight infection that cost him what was to be his only Tasmanian run this campaign, he will have a trial and we will take it from there to have him cherry-ripe for the Chariots Of Fire.” Other feature race winners on the TTC programme on Sunday night were the Peter Dornauf trained Sea Double Ugrant in the New Norfolk Cup, notching up a winning hat-trick, while Ima Ginger Rogers capped off a sensational weekend for trainer Steve Davis winning the Matron Stakes to go with Black Centurian’s North Eastern Pacing Cup victory at Scottsdale on Friday. Trainer-driver Paul Hill lifted his four-year-old Feelin Dusty over the line to score by a head over by stablemate Streitkid in the Ted Plunkett Memorial.   Shane Yates

St Marys Cup winner Black Centurian celebrated a long-overdue and richly deserved victory in the $12,000 Bridport Hotel North Eastern Pacing Cup on Friday evening at Scottsdale. The Steve Davis prepared Jr Mint-Mon Poppy Mary nine-year-old gelding has had a luckless run in the Cup over the years finishing runner-up on three times, beaten by a narrow margin on each occasion. “Black Centurian (pictured) loves the Scottsdale track and performs well here, he’s just always found one better on the night every year and gone down by a nose or a half-head each time,” said Steve shaking his head. “He has come to Scottsdale this year in top form coming off victory in the St Marys Cup, it’s great that he has finally cracked the big one here, it was a super run and an outstanding drive by Gareth (Rattray) to come from last at the 400-metre mark and win like he did.” Racing was tight and compact and certainly no place for the faint of heart as the Cup field of ten thundered into the straight to receive the bell, it appeared likely something had to give and it was last year’s Cup winner Full Speed Ahead that almost sold out, going down on his nose at the tail of the field after clipping a wheel. The Wayne Campbell prepared race favourite Buster William hit the front at the 250-metre mark but Black Centurian was winding up out four wide on the track. The pair drew level before the turn and the Cup developed into a battle royal down the home stretch. “Buster William is a smart horse but I was confident as they turned for home Black Centurian had his measure,” said Steve “He’s tough, strong and courageous and you always knows he’s going to be giving 100 per cent right down to the wire, we will press on now to Devonport on 27 January in a bid for his third Cup win in a month.   Shane Yates

The Country Cup’s Carnival rolls on today at Scottsdale with the running of the Bridport Hotel North Eastern Pacing Cup over 2692 metres. Reigning champion Full Speed Ahead (pictured), trained by Todd Rattray, will defend his title against last season’s Steve Davis prepared runner-up and this year’s St Marys Cup winner Black Centurian. “Black Centurian could almost drive himself to Scottsdale, he’s been there so many times and run off some stiff handicaps and been beaten narrow margins to some smart horses,” said Steve. “The track is only small but he just loves it, he can’t go a yard at Burnie but grows a leg when he spots the Scottsdale sign post.” The Ben Yole-prepared Perfect Mach is in search of its second Cup success in the space of a week after streaking away with the 7BU Burnie Cup for Hannah van Dongen last Friday to record its first Tasmanian victory. “We bought him as a Country Cups circuit horse but he hadn’t shown us a lot until last week, but on the strength of that run he has to be a chance today,” said Ben. The 2016 North Eastern Cup winner Major Callum is back for another tilt at the feature, the eight-year-old Art Major gelding was in the care of Juanita McKenzie when defeating Black Centurian by a head but is now trained by Brooke Hammond and will gain the services of Rod Ashwood for today’s assignment. The Todd Rattray-trained Meander Valley Cup winner Goggo Gee Gee has drawn the pole while Buster William, for Wayne Campbell, will be out to keep its North Eastern Cup Day record intact having won in 2017 as a three-year-old and again last year by 17 metres. Today’s Bridport Hotel North Eastern Cup programme, will be streamed live from Scottsdale at tasracing.com.au with a preview of the meeting with host Duncan Dornauf before the first, set down for decision at 16.37.   Shane Yates  

Sidmouth harness racing trainer Ben Yole claimed half of the card at Burnie on Sunday including the $12,000 7BU Burnie Cup with Perfect Mach. The Mach Three-Pixel Perfect eight-year-old (pictured) scored his first win for the stable since arriving in the state in November. “That was his thirteenth start for us since we claimed him in Victoria, he ran a top second behind Riverboat Jasper in the NWTLHA Cup at his first run in Tasmania, we bought him with the Country Cup circuit in mind so it was great to see him find his best form at Burnie, he will now head to Scottsdale on Friday for the North-Eastern Cup,” said Ben. “The driving appointment was like a merry-go-round, Sam (Gangell) had driven Perfect Mach at his last four outings, she gave the drive up to Troy (McDonald), then Troy went and landed a double on Friday night in Launceston and lost his claim so we had to grab Hannah at the last minute, but it all worked out well as she drove him a treat.” Ben, in quest of his fourth straight trainer’s premiership, is enjoying another runaway lead in the 2018/19 season but was quick to share the success of the stable with the team. “Tim (Yole) is a vital cog in the wheel, he does a fantastic job as stable foreman and runs a well-oiled machine, Samantha (Gangell) and Troy (McDonald) are vital in their roles, we have a lot of horses so we are lucky that the team is all in there working for each other, any success we have we can put down to a team effort,” said an appreciative trainer. Mark Yole had another successful day chipping in with three winning drives to increase his lead in the Driver’s Premiership. “Mark has been in great form in the sulky, his drive on Northview Dave to come from outside the 10-metre line to lead after 250-metres was sensational,” said Ben. “That was on the back of winning efforts with Heidi Go Seek and the Karalta Dazzler in the opening two races.” 07 January 2019 | Shane Yates  

Star Tasmanian pacer Ignatius is an early scratching from Friday night's Launceston Pacing Club meeting. Trainer Todd Rattray made the decision tonight after he examined the results of blood tests showing the young champion had not fully recovered from a slight infection. "He's not far off being ready to start him but we wouldn't knowingly start any horse that wasn't 100% right so there will be no risks taken," said a disappointed trainer. "We were looking forward to seeing him race here in Tasmania in preparation for another mainland campaign but time is against now for that to happen." Ignatius (pictured), the reigning Tasmanian Horse of the Year and New South Wales Three-Year-Old of the Year, is being set for next month's $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle Park in Sydney. "Tonight's issue is a set back for sure, not a major one but a set back all the same, when you are coming up against the best horses in Australia everything needs to be going well, not mishaps here and there along the way," said Todd. "We are planning on a direct trip to Sydney with him and that just doesn't happen by clicking your fingers, we were hoping to give him one run here at home but that may be tricky now, he'll have to have a run prior to the heats of the Chariots so we will just have to play it by ear and see how it pans out."   Shane Yates

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