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Mark and Ben Yole stormed to the top of the Drivers and Trainers Premiership with four winners apiece at the Hobart Pacing Club meeting on Sunday night. Mark drove four winners from seven drives to lead Rohan Hillier by one after the second meeting of the season while Ben took up his customary position at the head of the trainers table, four wins clear of his rivals after preparing Im Barney Rubble ($4.80), Pushkin ($18), Long Ago ($26) and Gems ($7.50) for victory. Mark began his night’s work in a blaze of glory steering home the first three winners on the card. “Everything fell into place for Im Barney Rubble in the first, he turned in a huge run last week when he made up almost 100 metres on the field after a scrimmage at the start and ran second to Smilin Geoff, so I was confident he would perform well and when the favourite The Aussie galloped out I went hard and kept the pressure on until the 1200, when I looked back and saw The Aussie had been pulled out of it I dropped the anchor out and just dictated terms from there, he won with plenty up his sleeve,” said Mark. “Alta Surreal (pictured) let down really well and hit the line strongly knocking off the favourite Albayzin and then Pushkin got a soft run behind the leader before we hooked out at the top of the stretch and got home over the top of them to win by a short half head.” Just when most punters thought Mark’s winning run was over he popped up in the last to complete a winning double for Flowery Gully trainer Ken Rattray . “El Jay’s Monet can be a little wayward on the home turn in Hobart so I was happy to sit up in the death outside the popular pick Monarkmac,” said Mark. “I thought Conor drove a gem of a race on the leader but El Jays Monet was in for the fight and got the upperhand in the last stride to win by the narrowest of margins, it’s the first time I’ve driven four winners so it was a great thrill.” Hannah van Dongen is off to a flying start in the defence of her first Leading Female Driver title, piloting home two winners on the card. Hannah clinched the 2017/18 title with a total of 10 wins and has already achieved 20% of last season’s tally. Long Ago provided Hannah with her first success toppling the favourite Goggo Gee Gee ($3.40) by 1.5-metres before scoring a runaway victory with the Bianca Heenan-trained Twenty Two Karat ($7.00). Bianca went to the top of the Leading Female trainers table after also successfully preparing her seven-year-old gelding Alta Surreal in the Lenny The Shark Pace. Ken Rattray joined in the celebrations for the night landing a winning double with All Over The Stars ($5.50) saluting in the TPC Life Members Trot and El Jay’s Monet which wore down the odds-on favourite Monarkmacto win by a short half head. Marc Butler and Ricky Duggan gave punters some much-needed relief landing the only favourite for the night in race four with Adele Said ($3.20). Shane Yates

Favourite punters will be placing their faith in Ricky Duggan tonight in Hobart as the master reinsman partners the popular pick in the first four races on the action-packed nine-event card. Duggan’s shortest conveyance for the night is in the opener, the Hurricane Kingcole Pace over 2090-metres. “The Aussie put up a top performance last week in Launceston at his first run in top company, we got shuffled back when something went amiss with Taurisi and he dropped out I went from having a bag full of royal chocolates to boiled lollies in a heartbeat,” said Ricky. “We had to go back and then make our move and he did a mighty job to make up the ground he did, only going down three or four metres (3.6 metres) to Illegal Immigrant and Star Chamber.” The Juanita McKenzie-trained Art Major – The Kindly One five-year-old bay horse has won seven of 21 starts and comes off of a sensational season that resulted in six wins and nine placing from 20 outings, the Hall Of Fame driver was full of praise for the trainer’s efforts. “Juanita has prepared and placed him perfectly and he keeps stepping up to the plate, he has drawn two tonight and looks the one to beat although Fortino and Im Barney Rubble are always dangers but they are coming off ten metres.” Duggan steers the stable-mate Laredo Torpedo in race three the Grinfromeartoear Pace over 1609-metres. “Laredo Torpedo bombed the start hopelessly on debut in Tasmania a fortnight ago but that was from the stand, tonight he goes back to the mobile and although not well drawn in the middle of the second row he will take some beating,” said last seasons drivers premiership runner-up. “He ran fifth to Ignatius at his last run at Menangle before coming to Juanita’s stables so we know he has the talent and he certainly feels good, I’m planning for them going hard up-front early so I will just have to judge when to put him into the race.” Duggan will also be aboard Rodney Ashwood prepared Albayzin and Adele Said for Marc Butler in the first half of the meeting. “Albayzin (pictured) won a restricted race last time out but he felt good and the time was good and drawing three on the front line will be an advantage and Adele Said has a difficult draw to overcome but she is very honest and will give a good sight.” said Ricky. “All The Way Mae is another with a chance for me in the trot later in the night, Adrian (Duggan) has her going well, she ran third only beaten a little over a metre (1.3-metres) in her last run against Redason and we meet him 10-metres better off  tonight.” Tonight’s nine-race Tasmanian Pacing Club programme, commencing at 16.33, may be seen on the live stream service at Shane Yates

The state’s leading trainer Ben Yole has catapulted himself to within striking distance of breaking his own record of 124 winners, set last season, after preparing four winners on the Tasmanian Pacing Club’s meeting in Hobart on Wednesday night. Ben struck first in race three with the Rohan Hillier driven Thebackpagescribe (pictured) careering away for a dominant 26.4 metre victory at odds of $14. “It’s been a long time between drinks for the six-year-old gelding as its last win was in December of 2015 but Rohan (Hillier) pulled out a magical drive to land the money after drawing outside the second line in a field of 12,” said Ben. “Approaching the bell he was four back the pegs but angled one off toward the 800-metre pole and only hooked out to make his run at the 300, it was a textbook drive and once Thebackpagescribe got into the clear it was all over.” Rocknrollhighlight was sent out the favourite ($3.50) in race five and was cooly driven by Mark Yole in the early stages before powering home over the concluding stages. “There were only seven runners over the 2090 metres and they quickly broke into two divisions, Mark had his confidence up after driving an early double for Bianca (Heenan) with Big Bang Raj and Alta Surreal, and he judged his run on Rocknrollhighlight to perfection coming from well back to gain the day by a half-head margin over another of our team Monarkmac.” said Ben. Conor Crook sewed up the Junior Driver Title when he piloted Ektoras to the post for his twenty-first winner of the season in the Olympus Feeds Pace over 2090-metres. “It’s great to see Conor rewarded for his efforts this season, he’s worked hard and is prepared to listen to advice and the proof is in the pudding every time he hops in the cart,” said Ben. “Conor made a race-winning move in the first circuit dashing Ektoras to the lead and despite being the outsider of the field ($8) of six he managed to lift the seven-year-old over the line to score by a half-neck.” Noapachemee, starting popular pick ($2.70) in the last race of the night, capped off the celebrations for the Yole stable by taking full advantage of the Roberts Sprint Lane to send favourite punters home on a winning note start. “Rohan (Hillier) drove a classic race on Noapachemee, he’s been a model of consistency and has won seven races for the season and he will attempt to make it eight when he comes off the 20-metre handicap in race three on Friday night.” Ben will take a team of 38 to the final meeting of the season on Friday in Hobart in search of another four winners in his bid to set a new record. Shane Yates

Samantha Gangell and Conor Crook will make late bids for driving premiership honours in tonight’s penultimate harness racing meeting of the season in Hobart. Samantha currently sits second on the Leading Female Drivers table, level with Natalee Emery and two wins behind Hannah Van dongen, who currently has just the one drive Stylish Trend over the two meetings in Hobart in the next three days. Gangell has seven opportunities to close the gap, three drives tonight and another four chances on Friday. Young Bruiser kicks off Samantha’s night and despite being served up at odds of $26 he figures prominently in Tasracing harness live stream host Duncan Dornauf’s selections in tonight’s live stream coverage available from 17.00. Samantha’s second drive is Streetside Classic, trained by Mark Geeves, again highly rated by Duncan and has been tipped third by Tasracing form analyst Jamie Cockshutt. Streetside Classic has won two races this season and has been placed at three of its last five starts and comes off a last start fourth behind top-liner Similan Beach during the Botra Drivers Series in July. Hit The Lights (pictured), trained by Mark Geeves, is the top selection by Jamie Cockshutt and is the second tip in Duncan’s view and is currently quoted at $3.80. At first glance it would be hard to become enthused by the recent efforts of having finished last or send last at the five-year-old’s last four starts, however, Jamie is of the belief Samantha can either lead or settle third on the pegs and take advantage of the Roberts Sprint Lane. Conor Crook has enjoyed by far his best season to date, sitting ninth on the State Drivers Premiership table and he is currently level pegging with the sidelined Dylan Ford on 20 wins, five clear of third-placed Jack Laugher in the Junior Drivers Title. Conor has 12 drives over the two meetings in Hobart before the end of the season and will be in the gig on six occasions tonight, his best chance looking to appear in the last on the card with the Ben Yole-trained mare Ready to Fire at $ 6.50. Tonight’s seven-event Tasmanian Pacing Club card, commencing at 17.15, can be seen via the live stream service at Shane Yates

A bumper card greets harness racing punters later today at the action-packed Launceston Pacing Club meeting. Pipers River trainer Kristy Grant will play a major role in the opening two races on the card, commencing with last start winner Mon Poppy Bronte contesting the Cliff Robins Memorial over 1680-metres. The Sportswriter-Misty Odette two-year-old bay filly was having its third career start in Hobart last week, proving too strong for Joogle after showing good gate and leading all the way. “I was delighted with her win, she had been working well in the lead-up to her maiden win and to see her finish off the race so well to score by 8.6-metres was very pleasing,” said Kristy. “Rohan (Hillier) rated her perfectly out in front but tonight having drawn wide in six will more than likely need to go back and find cover, but I will be leaving that to him with his judgement and experience, whatever the result is tonight she will be in the paddock before Scott Morrison is in the Lodge. Rollon Jack has struck form for the Grant stable, the Four Starzzz Shark-De Bruijn six-year-old gelding won one of its first 46 starts but has turned it all around in its most recent outings, winning in Hobart six weeks ago by a runaway margin of 16-metres and following up with a courageous 1.7-metre win over Adele Said (pictured) in Launceston a fortnight ago. “We’ve had Rollon Jack for three runs for a very encouraging seventh, they ran fast time and he made some ground in the latter stages and then carried that form into his Hobart win,” said Kristy. “His second win was over Marc’s (Butler) Adele Said, I stirred him all the way from Launceston to Pipers River, I think it’s safe to say he was relieved the race wasn’t in Hobart, he may have divorced me before our wedding in November.” Tonight’s ten-event Launceston Pacing Club card, commencing at 16.36, may be seen via the live stream service at   Shane Yates

Tasmania’s superstar pacer Ignatius is through to the IRT Breeders Crown Final after running a sensational second to Poster Boy in his $20,000 Semi-Final tonight at Bendigo. The James Rattray trained and driven dual Group 1 winning three-year-old was forced to sit in the death seat outside the Emma Stewart-trained Tasmanian Derby winner Maraetai. Maraetai kicked on the home corner and led Ignatius by four metres but the Tasmanian champion was in for the fight. “I called on him at the 400-metre mark as the leader sneaked away and he responded like the fighter he is, slowly but surely he was closing the gap on the front-runner and then Chris Alford came with Poster Boy and put his head in front but Ignatius kept coming and he’s only gone down by a half neck,” said James full of admiration. “To cap it off the Semi was run in track record time of 1:54.1 and he never wilted at any stage, it was a courageous effort, he had the seven-hour float trip earlier in the week and he now has another week to acclimatise and ready himself for the Final, the tough run will just top him off nicely.” Leading Victorian trainer Emma Stewart dominated the earlier Semi-Final with her four stable runners filling the first four placings. Ride High made it seven wins from eight career starts, including a win in Launceston on Final night of the Bandox and Glode Derby in May, with a brilliant display accounting for stablemates Konan, Major Times and Tam Major, but the race was run in much slower time than the second Semi recording 1:56.3. “We didn’t get any favours with the barrier draw in the Final starting from three on the second line,” said James. “But both of Emma’s top hopes are drawn out the back as well so it could have been worse, I’m confident he will do us proud in the Final.” The draw for next Saturday nights IRT Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Final. 1 Colt Thirty One 2 Tam Major 3 Braeview Bondi 4 Diamonds N Cash 5 Major Times 6 Brackenreid (emerg) 7 Maraetai —–Second row—– 8 Konan 9 Poster Boy 10 Ignatius 11 Duplicated 12 Ride High 13 Alpha Charlie   The Paul Ashwood-trained Max Delight, driven by Rohan Hillier, ran a huge race at odds of $58 when fourth behind Centenario in his Semi Final of the Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Division, beaten 10.6-metres.Max Delight has drawn outside the front line in seven for the Final. Shane Yates

Tasmania’s champion three-year-old pacer Ignatius has arrived in Victoria in preparation for his bid for Breeders Crown glory. The James Rattray-trained and driven superstar will take his place in the $20,000 second Semi-Final of the Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Division of the IRT Breeders Crown on Saturday night at Bendigo. “We floated him down from New South Wales on Monday night to the stables of Keith Cotchin here at Elmore, the trip took seven hours but he handled it well and has settled in perfectly and eating just as he does at home,” said James. “I gave him a good hit out on Wednesday morning and he worked well, I will give him a couple of jogs in the cart and a little light work between now and Saturday.” Ignatius is unbeaten this season and will carry a record of winning streak of 13 into the Semi-Final including 11 straight this season. “I’ve been very happy with his performances this season, he crushed his rivals at Penrith and smashed the track record there after doing all the work, then went back to Menangle and streeted them in the Semi-Final of the New South Wales Breeders and strolled home in the Final,” said James. “He won his heat of this series at Menangle and then followed up with a 10-metre MO victory going 1:53.3, so he’s ticking over nicely.” Ignatius has started at the prohibitive odds of $1.04 at his last four outings but has been quoted at $1.50 in pre-post markets for Saturday’s Semi-Final. “I’d expect Emma Stewart and Chris Alford’s Poster Boy to be the main danger Saturday night and Duplicated for Dean Braun has been going well, they have both won seven races this season,” said the dual Interdominion winning trainer and reinsman. “Ignatius has drawn five on the front line and will start from the four alley with the early scratching of  Mach Up, so he is ideally suited and he has the speed to lead so we will more than likely use that to advantage.” Ignatius will run in race seven at 20.00 while the Paul Ashwood-trained Max Delight will tackle race eight the Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Division of the Breeders Crown at 20.30.   Shane Yates

Defending Tasmanian Premiership winning driver Todd Rattray has the firepower at tonight’s Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting in Hobart to put his lead in the 2017/18 season beyond the reach of  Rohan Hillier and Ricky Duggan and put an end to their late-season surge for the Title. Todd goes into tonight’s meeting with a handy cushion of 11 wins and with drives such as Yatsenyuk Leis (pictured), Koolaz Elvis and Karpenkova Leis in his arsenal may well blow his rivals away and secure back-to-back premierships for the first time in his career. “The Premiership title is not something I focus on from week to week but at the end of the season it’s good to look back and see that you have performed well and when  you consider the drivers we have in the state like Rohan Hillier, Ricky Duggan, Rohan Hadley and Gareth (Rattray) that you come up against every week that makes it even more rewarding,” said Todd. “I’ve got a handy book of drives tonight starting off with Trevor and Marjorie Leis’ bred and raced filly Karpenkova Leis, she took a while to overcome a cold and she is first-up from a spell tonight so she will be lacking a little fitness but I expect her ability to carry her well into the race.” Stablemate Yatensuk Leis will line-up in the Cascade Draught Pace, race two on the card over 2090-metres and is line for a winning hat-trick. “We’ve only had Yatsenyuk Leis for three starts and he’s won two of them in good style, he was able to sit outside the leader and power away from Keep Playing which has won sinceand then led all the way to beat Pezzamystic when a long odds-on favourite,” said the impressed trainer. He’s a well-bred lightly raced Shadow Play- Levenkova Leis three-year-old in his first campaign and there appears to be plenty of upside to him, he’s drawn well tonight inside the front line so if the opportunity is there to lead that’s what we will be doing.” Todd has six drives on the nine-event card with including Koolaz Elvis and Taurisi. “Koolaz Elvis is one of my better chances in the fourth which is a stand, he has only had the one stand start prior to tonight and went away well and finished second so I’m hoping he begins safely again,” said Todd “We have Taurisi taking on a class field, he comes up against Scooterwillrev, Rocknroll Turbo and Jaks Teller in race seven the Talbot Tavern Pace and I think he stills another run or two under his belt before we see his best.” Tonight’s nine-race TPC card, commencing at 17.15, may be viewed via the live stream service at Shane Yates

Perth trainer-driver Mark Yole may will play a prominent role at tonight’s Launceston Pacing Club meeting. Yole has a drive in every race on the compact six-event card including four for his brother Ben, the leader in the State Trainer’s Premiership. “Ben has trained 110 winners for the season and would love to break the record of 124 victories he set last year,” said Mark. “I’m planning on doing my bit for the stable with drives on Heza Rummage, No Apachemee, Rocknrollhighlight and Selfrighteousbouy.” “Heza Rummage has raced himself into top form with two wins and four placings in nine runs since mid-June, he galloped out at Devonport and then sat out three-wide before racing clear to win 10 or 15 metres (14.9 metres) and then finished a strong second here on Friday night behind Goggo Gee Gee.” said Yole “No Apachemee has won six races this season but we have our work cut out with Im Compliant flying at the moment but I’m sure we are clear second pick, Rocknrollhighlight has an awkward inside second line draw to contend with but seven of her 15 career victories have come this season so I’m confident she will perform well tonight and Selfrighteousbouy has been placed at two of his last three runs.” Mark will also partner Rowley in the first Elders Insurance Launceston Pace for Ken Rattray. “Rowley is only a two-year-old taking on the older horses but he’s won three of his eight outings and is coming off a smart win over Adele Said in Hobart last time out,” Yole said. “We will get a good trail through from the second line and if we can get on the back of Flying Wingard he will be a strong chance to finish over the top of them and Like It Is for Max Jacobson is dropping a lot in class and if we can have some pace on early I’d say he is a good chance for punters at juicy odds.” Tonight’s Launceston Pacing Club meeting, commencing at 17.14, may be viewed via the Live stream service at Shane Yates

Lachlan Dakin broke through for the first win of his driving career on Friday night in Launceston, guiding Goggo Gee Gee to victory. Lachlan has been putting in the hard yards around the Rattray stables for the past 18 months and his reward for effort finally came with his success at his thirteenth drive. “It’s been a great experience working for the Rattray’s I couldn’t ask for nicer people or a better place to learn my craft,” said Lachlan. “Todd’s been great to me, he goes through the form with me and explains everything about what is required around the stables and on the training track so I’ve been very lucky.” Lachlan got the ball rolling for the boss with a classy drive positioning Goggo Gee Gee in sixth position before making his move out three-wide at the bell. “Goggo Gee Gee was travelling well and when we ran to the front off the back at the 600-metre mark I was feeling confident,” said Lachlan. “He’s been working well so I knew he would take some running down in the home straight, he held them off easily in the finish to win by five metres.” The win was the start of a highly successful night for Todd, training three winners and steering home two of his stable runners, Hayley’s Comet ($3.00 fav) and Our Summer Vacation ($3.40) in the trot. Todd took over the reins in race 4 on Hayley’s Comet and he drove the popular pick aggressively from the second line spearing between runners on the front line to find the death seat from gate 12 in the first 300-metres, before running to the front at the bell. Rattray dictated proceedings out in front with Hayley’s Comet before going for home at the top of the stretch, the Rock n Roll Heaven-As It Is In Heaven four-year-old gelding responded gamely and held the opposition at bay to score by 2.2-metres, much to the delight of favourite punters. Todd capped off his outstanding night with a victory in the Trotters Discretionary with 40-metre backmarker Our Summer Vacation scoring back-to-back wins at the track. Our Summer Vacation began safely and steadily made up its handicap before settling in the one-one. Todd bided his time on the experienced campaigner before hooking out four-wide at the 400 pole and had the race in his keeping a long way out. Rohan Hillier claimed a winning double in the sulky with Rocknroll Turbo and Max Delight in a Heat of the Australasian Breeders Crown for Colts and Geldings. Shane Yates

Wesley Vale trainer John Castles arrived at the Devonport Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday hopeful of a snaring a victory, he left with a winning double and a quinella. John prepared the first and second favourites in the opening race on the card the Mitavite Pace over 1930 metres with the popular pick Keep Playing ($1.70) coming out on top over Flashy Ruler ($5.30) “We don’t think there’s much between them, Keep Playing (pictured) has the better manners of the two but Flashy Ruler has his fair share of ability as well,” said John. ‘They had the race between them a long way out so as the trainer you can relax a little and enjoy the last 400 metres a little more.” Keep Playing, a Shadow Play-Keep Grinning gelding, raced home to his second three-year-old win of the season having won the Jos Ray Memorial at Devonport on May 18. Stablemate Chirac ($14.70), driven by John’s nephew Charlie Castles, came from second last into the back straight to nose out the $3.00 equal favourite Gotta Go Henry in the very last stride. “Charlie timed his run to perfection with Chirac, he was back last when the moves started and he was quick to latch onto the three-wide train and then made the race winning move into the back at the 500 metre mark when he knew he had to get moving so he was off four-wide,” said the delighted trainer and part owner. “Turning for home Chirac had got to second but the leader Gotta Go Henry looked like he had pinched it before Chirac made a late surge and nailed him on the peg.” Charlie is in his first season of driving and his success on Chirac was his third career win but the first for his uncle and father Michael. “They told me to try and stay near the fence, I thought I had followed their instructions to the letter, perhaps I need to check with them which fence they are talking about in future,” laughed Charlie. Shane Yates

Scooterwillrev stamped himself as an outstanding pacer in both his two and three-year-old seasons but his trainer, Craig Hayes, has sounded out an ominous warning to his rivals after another sensational victory in Launceston on Sunday night. “Scooterwillrev is getting better and better with every run, he’s putting it all together now,” said Craig. “He is doing everything right on the training track, pacing a lot smoother stronger and going straight, all his little issues seemed to have sorted themselves out and he has really hit his straps.” The Somebeachsomewhere-Karamea Toastime four-year-old gelding showed his class in the Resurgent Storm Pace, exploding away from the field at the 600-metre mark to record a crushing 29.2-metre win as the long odds-on favourite at $1.20. “It was a great effort, we thought Gareth (Rattray) may have led early with Another Swinger and handed up to us knowing how well he’s been going but Call Her Julie found the top and Rohan (Hadley) was content to sit up outside her before running to the front down the back straight,” said a delighted trainer and part owner. “He ran his last mile in 1:56.6 and there still something left in the tank so if you don’t get excited by that then you’re in the wrong game.” Scooterwillrev has now won 19 of his 31 starts including his last three on the trot and has amassed stake money of $117,000. “We haven’t made a firm decision on whats next for ‘Scooter’ but there is every likelihood we may take him to Victoria for the Breeders Crown heats,” said Craig. “There is another race on the day worth $20,000 so we have a few options open to us, he deserves his chance given the way he is racing at the moment that’s for sure.” Rohan Hiller snared a treble on the card with two of his stable stars saluting, Im Compliant and Rocknroll Turbo in the first two races on the Launceston Pacing Club programme before capping off his successful night behind the heavily backed Paul Ashwood prepared Max Delight in the Olympus Feeds Golden Slipper Two-Year-Old Feature. Shane Yates for Tas Racing

Ignatius laid to rest any questions over who is the best three-year-old in the land with another scintillating performance on Sunday in the Group 1 New South Wales Breeders Challange Final at Menangle Park. The James Rattray trained and driven superstar staved off an early challenge for the lead from Picard before establishing control at the head of proceedings through the first turn in the $150,000 Feature over 1609-metres. "Todd McCarthy came out quickly from out wide with Picard and drew a metre or two clear so I just allowed Ignatius to muster and he shot through to hold him comfortably and he settled beautifully into his work," said James. "With that brief burn Ignatius recorded 27.1 seconds for the first section and then relaxed into the back with a 29.8 second effort to the 800-metre pole before I started to lift the tempo with a 27.5 third split and they were then struggling to stay with him so I just let him finish off strongly in 26.9 seconds." The Roll With Joe-Ashkakini gelding, owned by Lyrae Graham, strolled away to break the hearts of his rivals, scoring by 12.3-metres in a mile rate of 1:51.3, matching the time mile-rate recorded when winning the two-year-old division of the Breeders Challenge Series last year. "We ran home in 54.4 seconds for the last half and there was plenty left in the tank so its now on to the Breeders Crown Series, he's doing everything asked of him so it will take a good one to stop him," said James looking forward enthusiastically to the future. The Breeders Crown Final, promoted as the 'Race To Royalty' will be staged at Melton in Victoria on Saturday, August 25. To watch Ignatius obliterate his rivals in the Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge Final on Sunday click on the link below. 2018 NSW Breeders Challenge Final  Shane Yates

Trotting returns to Tasmanian shores on Sunday night in Hobart for the first time since 1927. The Tasmanian Pacing Club has invested in the future of the Tasracing-led trotting initiative by organising a syndicate of 20 members to purchase a trotter to compete in the ‘Trotters Return To Tassie Handicap’. “We have been discussing the idea of purchasing a horse for some time, then it was decided to invest in a trotter and things have moved quickly since then,” said Tasmanian Pacing Club CEO Steve Devereux. “We’ve had some feelers out for a few weeks and on Tuesday Redason became available so we snapped him up and he arrived in the state on Friday.” Redason, a Majestic Son-Rosedorae five-year-old, has won two races in a 20 start career including a last start victory at Warragul on Sunday. “We are delighted with the way the syndicate has come together, we have a number of members from previous syndicates and we have eight or 10 new owners who have come on board, everyone is excited about seeing their new horse and experiencing the benefits the club offers, it’s an affordable way to become involved in a great sport and make new friendships along the way and from the Club’s perspective it attracts new blood to the industry and that’s what we need, we think it’s a win-win,” said Steve. “Rodney Ashwood will train Redason and we have Rohan Hillier driving, Tasracing have programmed 52 trotting races over the next 12 months and we see it as a positive move to grow the industry, so we will see how things go, we may even look at purchasing another one yet.” The Club will stage a celebrity double-sulky race to entertain patrons attending the nine-event card. “We have our top drivers Natalee Emery, Gareth Rattray, Rohan Hillier and Ricky Duggan partnering our celebrities Pam Quade, Judy Le Fevre, Jacob Bevis and Blair Brownless so we think it’s going to be a great attraction.” said the TPC chief executive. The BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series continues in races one and three on the card with Matthew Cooper an outstanding chance to pick up maximum points behind the Marc Butler-trained Similan Beach, drawn three on the front line over 2090 metres. The Somebeachsomewhere-Glenferrie Inn three-year-old boasts an exciting record of five wins and four seconds from 10 career starts. Samantha Freeman will relish the opportunity of adding more points to her first heat win from Friday night in Devonport when she pilots the Ben Yole-prepared last-start Launceston winner Pushkin. Allister Woods, fresh from success at Devonport will guide the Thomas Jackson-trained pacer Finn Mac Kee in race 3, heat four. Allister enjoyed an armchair drive on Friday behind Ima Ginger Rogers but will need to be on his toes tonight as the in-form pacer has been handed a second-line draw. Leading reinsman Ricky Duggan may well be in for a picnic tonight as he drives top fancies Usain Jolt, Streitkid, Jaks Teller, All The Way Mae, Peaceful Thomas, Remeber Joe and Chasing Cheetahs. Duncan Dornauf will host the live stream service of the historic meeting with a preview of the nine-race card programme at approimately 16.40 on’s TasRacingTV. Shane Yates

Samantha Freeman and Allister Woods took the honours on the opening night of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series at Devonport on Friday night. Samantha Freeman was first to clock up maximum points, guiding the John Castles-trained Flying Wingard to victory, much to the delight of punters who had backed the Badlands Hanover-Truffieres four-year-old in into $3.10 favouritism. Samantha gave Flying Wingard a charmed run over the 2297-metres, slipping into the one-one early before easing out three wide coming for the bell. “We we’re very happy with the way Samantha drove Flying Wingard as he can be a little tricky to handle, she positioned him well and backed her judgement with just over a lap to run and the result vindicated her decision.” said trainer John Castles. “That was Flying Wingard’s first run for the stable, we’ve had him since the beginning of May and he’s been balloted out twice but he won his trial here at Devonport on Monday night in good style and carried that form through to tonight.” The Shelley Barnes-trained Little Bit Of Big, driven by Conor Crook, finished second 7.2- metres away with Matthew Cooper steering the Steven Davis-prepared outsider Out To Strike into third place. Ima Ginger Rogers (pictured) broke through for the first time this season by leading all the way for Allister Woods in Heat two of the Series. The Sportswriter-Apple Sorbet six-year-old-mare won five of 15 starts last season but has struggled to recapture her best form running just six placings from 17 outings in the 2017/18 season. Ima Ginger Rogers showed an abundance of gate speed into the first turn to hold the lead and from that point on Allister dictated terms to a nicety to land the money by 7.7-metres from El Jay’s Monet, driven by Samantha Gangell for Ken Rattray with Lee Simmonds and the Adam Emery-trained Ektoras third. The Series moves to Hobart on Sunday night with the running of heats three and four and Allister will have the opportunity to continue his bright start when he partners the Thomas Jackson-trained Finn Mac Kee in race three while Samantha will guide last-start winner Pushkin in the opening race on the nine-event card. Shane Yates

The state’s leading trainer Ben Yole has his third straight Trainer’s Premiership Title all parcelled up and to cap it off is closing in on his third successive century milestone. Ben trained 107 winners in Tasmanian in 2015/16 and followed up last season with 124 victories in his adopted state. On Sunday night in Launceston, the Yole stable applied the polish to four of the seven winners on the card to catapult his winning Tasmanian tally to 98. When you add the three interstate winners for the season provided by Jeans Mattjesty and Washies Chance the stable tally sits at 101. “We’ve enjoyed another successful season so far and it was very satisfying to take home four winners from the meeting on Sunday,” said Ben. “That takes us to within two of the ton locally, I like to look at the Victorian wins as a bonus so we are working off the number of wins for the season as 98 and we are looking forward to cracking triple figures three years on the trot, it would be just reward for our team who have put a lot of hard work in like many other stables around the state.” Ben’s spectacular night kicked off in style thanks to magical drive on No Apachemee by Rohan Hillier. “No Apachemee has been a great money spinner for connections, that’s his fourth win for the season, Rohan drove him a treat coming from outside the second line to find a spot behind the leader, only coming off the pegs to sprint over them late,” said a smiling trainer. Rocknrollhighlight was the second winner for the stable on the night continuing her tremendous form with a narrow but courageous victory over Fortino, she was softened up in the run but still had enough up her sleeve to be lifted over the line by Rohan Hadley to score by a half-head. “That was her seventh win of the season, we have changed up her training routine and she now does a lot of swimming and she’s improved in leaps and bounds and getting stronger all the time so we will be sticking with the new regime that for sure,” said Ben. Rohan Hillier landed his second winner for the stable on the programme in race four over 2200-metres when he held up Im Full Tilt for one last crack at them in the home straight. “Im Full Tilt needs to be smothered up with cover to produce his best, he’s not over ambitious out on his own but does have a sharp sprint which he was able to pull out in the run to the post,” said the Sidmouth mentor. Four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Fight Fire With Fire mare Ready To Fire made it win number six for the season with a neck win over Aunty Rita after coming from outside the second line. “She is potentially a very smart type but she also has a mind of her own and can do a few things wrong particularly in the score up so we will continue to work on that issue because if we can straighten that out she will be hard to hold out in any race we find for her,” said Ben looking forward to the future. With Harness racing in Hobart on Friday and backing up in Launceston on Sunday the Ben Yole stable looks almost certain to crash through the 100 barrier this week and then with 16 meetings remaining in the season set off in search of the stables state record of 124 winners.   Shane Yates

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