At Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday, talented Riverboat King/Alimar Star 5-Y-0 gelding Keayang Steamer resumed with a strong victory in the For A Reason Pace for M2 & M3 class over 2240 metres. Raced by the Levard Racing Group, trained at Terang by Marg Lee and driven by nephew Glen Craven, Keayang Steamer having his first outing since August settled mid-field in the running line from gate three on the second line, before trailing Jadahson ahead of his forward three wide shortly after the start to park outside the Stawell Cup winning pacemaker Arber (gate two) racing for the bell. Pouring on the pressure approaching the home turn, Keayang Steamer class told on straightening as he recorded a comfortable 2.5 metre victory over Composed which followed him into the straight after a cosy passage on the back of the leader. Washmepockets (three back the markers) used the sprint lane to finish third. With a last half mile of 55.9 - quarter 27.8, Keayang Steamer returned a mile rate of 1-55.9 and could now head to Adelaide for the S-A Cup to be held at Globe Derby Park on Saturday January 11. It was Keayang Steamer's 14th victory in 32 race appearances. Len Baker
Kiwi bred Washington VC/No Doubt About It filly Dontdoubtme trained in Sunraysia by Shayne Cramp, made the long trip down from Mildura to Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday with happy results, as she was victorious in winning the $25,000 Harness Breeders (Vic) Gold Chalice for three year old fillies over 2240 metres. Unbeaten in three Australian starts to date, Dontdoubtme had little trouble pouncing on the lead from gate three, with reinsman Nathan Jack well aware of her capabilities allowing her to bowl along at her leisure. Careering away on the final bend, Dontdoubtme in quarters of 29.3, 30, 28.2 and 29.1 after a lead time of 48.3, scored virtually untouched by 11.3 metres in advance of another Kiwi bred in My Bella Starr which raced in the open before dropping down to follow the winner on straightening when pole marker Lies in the trail galloped for no reason when looking likely to fill a place. This allowed the Glen Douglas trained and driven Somedreamsomewhere (four back the markers) to fill third place after making the home turn very wide. Raced by a large group of owners including long time harness participants Dawn Leppard and Gordon Bubb, Dontdoubtme returned a mile rate of 1-58.4. Several champion fillies have won this prestigious classic in the past and gone on to much bigger and better things. Len Baker
In life, everything happens for a reason. Just ask Luke McCarthy….that’s his mantra. McCarthy and his trusty pacer For A Reason combined to win tonight’s (Saturday) Gr.1 $400,00 SEW Eurodrive Victoria Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton defeating Caribbean Blaster and Christen Me in the 2240m classic. The victory of For A Reason completes a meteoric rise to the top – Again! Purchased as a yearling at the Sydney Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale, the Art Major – Left For Me colt was quickly dubbed as ‘Frank’ by McCarthy, in honor of the world famous crooner Frank Sinatra. McCarthy wanted his prized colt to be the best, so he named him after the best. Although, there are times when McCarthy believes he carries on more like Frank Ricard, the character played by Will Ferrell in the 2003 hit movie Old School. From the very beginning, For A Reason lived up to the hype and quickly demonstrated he was a superstar in the making with a stunning rookie term. Returning as a three-year-old, For A Reason claimed four Derby classics and stamped himself as a genuine Grand Circuit player in the making but his career was about to be turned upside down. It was during his four-year-old term where injury struck and McCarthy was forced to retire his star pacer. For A Reason spent two years away from the track where he stood as a commercial stallion and covered around 45 mares before plans were put into place to bring him back to the racetrack. It was bold gamble at the time, but one that has certainly paid dividends. As expected, the early speed was frantic with The Gold Ace and Smoken Up going to war from the start. The lead time was covered in 43 seconds. Any chance of an easy lead for The Gold Ace evaporated quickly as Smoken Up continued to apply strong pressure on his outside. The Gold Ace and Smoken Up continued to roll with the first half posted in 30.6 and 29.8 seconds. The winning move in the race came from McCarthy at the 1200m marker as he tipped to the outside forcing Caribbean Blaster to go in front of him and therefore present For A Reason with the perfect three-wide cart. Entering the back straight, The Gold Ace and Smoken Up were joined by Caribbean Blaster and the third quarter was reached in 27.8 seconds. As they straightened, Caribbean Blaster quickly raced to The Gold Ace who fought off Smoken Up while For A Reason chimed in perfectly. For A Reason quickly gained the upper hand from Caribbean Blaster with Christen Me and Beautide both finishing hard out wider on the track. The last quarter was timed in 27.2 seconds. The mile rate was 1;53.8 – just 0.1 outside of the race record set by Caribbean Blaster when successful last year. “That was a super race; the pace was on from the start and I was lucky enough to get the right horse to follow.” McCarthy said. “I’m really proud of my horse, I’ve had him since he was a baby and to come back and win a great race like this after two years off the scene and at only his sixth run back is unbelievable - awesome.” McCarthy added. The victory provides McCarthy with his second success in the feature after scoring back in 2010 with former North American pacer Mr Feelgood. For trainer Belinda, the victory is her second on the Grand Circuit calendar this season after taking out the Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship back in October at Albion Park with Ideal Scott. By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)
STAR Tasmanian pacer Beautide had to settle for a gallant fourth in the Group 1 SEW Eurodrive Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton (Victoria) last night. Starting from near outside of the second row, his trainer-driver James Rattray had no option but to ease back and settle near the rear and rely on the gelding's powerful finishing burst to secure victory. The pace has hot early but settled to a more pedestrian tempo and that was always going to make it difficult for the back markers to overhaul the front-runners. The race was won by the Luke McCarthy-trained For A Reason that enjoyed a covered run three-wide to the back straight the last time with eventual runner-up Caribbean Blaster ahead of him and being hailed the winner turning for home. Beautide and the race favourite Christen Me also joined the three-wide train but they were unable to make up enough ground to stake a claim on the Group 1 trophy with Christen Me gaining the judges decision over Beautide in a photo-finish for third. Beautide lost no admirers as his effort to finish so close was full of merit. Rattray said before the race that the Victoria Cup would most likely have a short spell before being prepared to tackle the 2014 Inter Dominion series at Menangle (NSW) in March. Peter Staples
A massive 132 nominations have been received for the 2014 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Championship Sydney. The Host State, New South Wales, has the most entries with 38. Victoria has 27, Western Australia 25, New Zealand 20, Queensland 19, Tasmania 2 and South Australia 1. Qualifying Heats will be conducted at Addington, Tabcorp Park Melton, Albion Park and Gloucester Park with a further two heats at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Qualifying Heats are scheduled for Saturday evening 15 February and will be broadcast within a dedicated two hour window on Sky 2. The Grand Final will be at 3:40pm at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday afternoon 2 March 2014 with live nationwide coverage on Channel 9. Due to a miscommunication between the NSWHRC and trainer Tony Svilicich horses Mysta Magical Mach and Shardons Rocket were omitted from the Inter Dominion nominations These have now been included. Additionally the two Keayang's Cullen and Steamer trained by Margaret Lee in Victoria were omitted as was Fernleigh Renegade NZ trained by KerryAnn Turner in NSW. The list of 132 nominations are as follows; Horse Trainer State Ardghal NZ Shane Tritton NSW Baby Bling NZ Belinda McCarthy NSW Bettor Bet Black Darren McCall NSW Brave Wiggy NZ Shane Tritton NSW Chariot King John Tapp NSW Feels Like Magic NZ Kevin Pizzuto NSW Fernleigh Renegade NZ KerryAnn Turner NSW Fly Like An Eagle NZ Paul Fitzpatrick NSW For A Reason Luke McCarthy NSW Freyberg NZ Kevin Pizzuto NSW Gaius Caesar NZ Darren Binskin NSW Garnet River Luke McCarthy NSW Glengowan NZ Darren Binskin NSW Hawthorden NZ Shane Tritton NSW Hez Delcan NZ Neal Wardle NSW Heza Presidente NZ Shane Tritton NSW Ideal Scott NZ Luke McCarthy NSW Jackaroo Bromac NZ Shane Tritton NSW Kotare Mach NZ Peter Walsh NSW Lee Van Cleef NZ Kevin Pizzuto NSW Mach Beauty Shane Tritton NSW Mach Wiper Luke McCarthy NSW Master Joy Shane Tritton NSW Mister Presley NZ Peter Walsh NSW Monifieth NZ John McCarthy NSW My Dusky Sound NZ Steve Turnbull NSW Pure Power NZ Nicole Molander NSW Repelem Peter Walsh NSW Rockets Reject Ian Wilson NSW Rohan Home Paul Fitzpatrick NSW Satellite Ace David Reynolds NSW Scandalman NZ Ian Wilson NSW Seel N Print NZ Todd McCarthy NSW Suave Stuey Lombo Shane Tritton NSW Terrorway NZ John McCarthy NSW The Gold Ace NZ Luke McCarthy NSW Two Eye See Belinda McCarthy NSW Washakie NZ John McCarthy NSW Besotted NZ Ray Green NZ Choise Achiever NZ Tim Butt NZ Christen Me NZ Cran Dalgety NZ Easy On The Eye NZ Steven Reid NZ Elusive Chick NZ Timothy Butt NZ Four Starzzz Flash NZ Kevin Chapman NZ Franco Ledger NZ Hamish Hunter NZ Franco Nelson NZ Robert Dunn NZ Give The Wink NZ Geoff Small NZ Jarcullembra NZ Geoff Small NZ Jason Rulz NZ G Hope NZ Jivin Cullen NZ Robert Dunn NZ Kiwi Ideal NZ Steven Reid NZ Mah Sish NZ Timothy Butt NZ Pass Them By NZ Timothy Butt NZ Pembrook Benny NZ Barry Purdon NZ Rider On The Storm NZ Robert Dunn NZ Smolda NZ Mark Purdon NZ Terror To Love NZ Graham Court NZ The Sleepy Tripp NZ Robert Dunn NZ Alberto Contador NZ Grant Dixon QLD Avonnova Ian Gurney QLD Beau Dandy James Wanless QLD Bettor Draw Paul McGregor QLD Destreos NZ Ken Rattray QLD Devil Dodger NZ Grant Dixon QLD Field Officer NZ Grant Dixon QLD Forever Gold Darren Weeks QLD Franco Jamar NZ Bart Cockburn QLD Funny Boy NZ Ken Rattray QLD Goulburn Guy Vicki Rasmussen QLD Holy Camp Boy Vicki Rasmussen QLD Ima Sea Storm NZ Graham White QLD Jazzabout Cristina Monte QLD My Jellignite NZ Shane Sanderson QLD Only The Brave NZ Grant Dixon QLD Pub Blitz James Wanless QLD Sign To Inverell Darrel Graham QLD Vegas Bound Grant Dixon QLD Mark Dennis NZ Lance Holberton SA Beautide James Rattray TAS Biggernbettermax James Rattray TAS Abettorpunt David Lewis VIC Alchemy NZ Lance Justice VIC Amajorjo David Lewis VIC Amercian Muscle Ross Sugars VIC Bitobliss Scott Stewart VIC Blucolla Tigerpie Michael Stanley VIC Broadways Best Shannon McLean VIC Captain Joy Sue Hunter VIC Caribbean Blaster Andy Gath VIC Chancellor Cullen NZ Dean Braun VIC Devilish Smile Peter Tonkin VIC Guaranteed Emma Stewart VIC Hugo Play Lance Justice VIC Im Barney Rubble NZ Lance Justice VIC Im Corzin Terror NZ Dean Braun VIC Jaccka Clive NZ David Aiken VIC Jadahson Emma Stewart VIC Keayang Cullen Margaret Lee VIC Keayang Steamer Margaret Lee VIC Restrepo Emma Stewart VIC Savesomtimetodream Paul Rowse VIC Smoken Up NZ Lance Justice VIC Smudge Bromac NZ David Aiken VIC Toulouse Lautrec NZ Lance Justice VIC Villagem Glenn Douglass VIC Wartime Sweetheart David Aiken VIC Youranut Ross Sugars VIC Argent Treasure Ross Olivieri WA Can Return Fire NZ Greg & Skye Bond WA Condrieu NZ Greg Bond WA Crombie Gary Elson WA Daniel John Andrew DeCampo WA Dasher VC NZ Andrew DeCampo WA David Hercules David Thompson WA Dredlock Rockstar Michael Callegari WA Empire Flame NZ James Howlett WA Hez The Bart Man NZ Ross Olivieri WA Hokonui Ben NZ Gary Hall (snr) WA Im Terrific NZ Greg & Skye Bond WA Im Victorious NZ Michael Brennan WA Ima Rocket Star NZ Greg & Skye Bond WA Johnny Be Greg & Skye Bond WA Livingontheinterest NZ Gary Hall (snr) WA Lombo Navigator Andrew DeCampo WA Mach Banner NZ Greg & Skye Bond WA Midnight Dylan NZ Greg & Skye Bond WA Mysta Magical Mach NZ Tony Svilicich WA Our Major Mark NZ Greg & Skye Bond WA Red Salute Ross Olivieri WA Sensational Gabby Ross Olivieri WA Shardons Rocket NZ Tony Svilicich WA Your Good Fortune NZ Greg & Skye Bond WA Dale Walker
Trainer Kevin Pizzuto has confirmed that in-form mare Simple Saver has been sold and will continue her racing career in North America. The daughter of Live Or Die arrived in Australia from New Zealand with only an average record but hit her straps under Pizzuto's training winning seven races in succession before finishing second at her last run for the stable in the Robin Dundee Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "The owner got a good offer for her to go to America and she has been sold, it is a bit unfortunate because she was racing so well and did a great job since she joined my stable," Pizzuto said. "I knew she had ability when she arrived, I gave her four weeks off and when I was working her up I contacted the owner and I told him that she would win five straight and I think he thought I was joking but in the end she proved me right." While Pizzuto may have lost one of his stable stars, he was pleased with Freyberg's performance in the Treuer Memorial after he finished third to Washakie at Bankstown on Saturday night. "It was my first placing in a Gr. 1, he is a very nice horse and has come a long way in a very short period of time, he got held up a couple of times on Saturday night and still hit the line very strongly." "My Dad and I own him, I bought him from New Zealand and I think he is only going to get better with a bit more racing against the better horses." Pizzuto is planning on taking Freyberg to the Newcastle Cup later this week. "He's pulled up really well, he recovers very quickly after his races all the time so I'm going to take him to the Newcastle Cup this week before taking him back to Menangle but it won't be too long before I give him a ten day break." "I've got a team of 19 horses in work and I'm very happy with how everything is going for my team at the moment." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |
Former Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling will chase another Gr. 1 victory in Saturday night's Treuer Memorial however her task was made all the more harder after she drew barrier ten. The Belinda McCarthy trained mare returned to form on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle winning the Robin Dundee Stakes and owner Harvey Kaplan is hoping she can continue to hold her form. "I was very pleased with her performance on Saturday night, it was great to finally get some idea of where she was at and despite the draw this week I'm hoping she can produce another solid run," Kaplan said. "Baby Bling has been a little bit difficult to follow this campaign, she was outstanding first up, very disappointing at her next run and then her Queensland trip didn't give us any idea of where she was at for a couple of reasons, then when she got back to Sydney she ended up drawing barrier twelve in the Cordina Sprint." Kaplan confirmed the McCarthy stable had been giving glowing reports about the mare's condition and wasn't totally shocked by Saturday's win. "The stable had been reporting that she was back to the weight that she was at when she won the Miracle Mile and had been working extremely well but when she was drawn so wide I still had some concerns but to everyone's credit she was very good considering she was forced to cover extra ground." Baby Bling will be nominated for next year's Inter Dominion series and Kaplan believes that will give him and the rest of the ownership group options going forward. "She will be nominated for sure, we might even give her a run in the series and she how she goes but she has already qualified for the Ladyship Mile so we already have that option." "I don't know if the rest of the owners are as keen as I am, but I would still like to see her go to North America but nothing would happen before March next year." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |
Three-time Olympic Gold Medallist Stephanie Rice will be the face and Ambassador of the 2014 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Championship Sydney. The announcement was made this morning at Dawes Point which coincided with the filming of a television commercial and photo shoot for the Inter Dominion advertising campaign. Three industry ambassadors were also present, Amanda Turnbull, Sammy Kilgour and Seryn Adams to enhance the profile of women in harness racing. Amanda Turnbull is the reigning champion driver in NSW and her grandfather and father both won Inter Dominion Grand Finals. Seryn Adams also heralds from a famous harness racing family and Sammy Kilgour is a high profile owner and participant. "I am most privileged to be the Ambassador for the Inter Dominion as it is an exciting time for harness racing," said Rice. "I am very passionate about helping women in sport raise their profiles. There are many amazing women currently dominating harness racing." Rice is no stranger to harness racing having acquired a ten percent share in the pacer Steffi Rice. Those earnings go to support the Melanoma Institute of Australia. "She has been running some nice races and it's a great thrill when the horse you own wins a race, "she said. Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Racing, George Souris, said the NSW Government is pleased to support the Inter Dominion Championship in Sydney, having secured the event for NSW for three consecutive seasons, from 2013 to 2015. "I am also delighted that Olympic heroine Stephanie Rice has been appointed as Ambassador and 'face' of the 2014 Inter Dominion Sydney, Australian harness racing's pinnacle event ," Mr Souris said. "The Inter Dominion was a Great Success this year, delivering an estimated $4m in direct visitor impact from overseas, interstate and intrastate visitors with future events promising solid results." HRNSW CEO Sam Nati said that Stephanie Rice was the perfect choice as Ambassador. "When we met with Stephanie the synergies were apparent. Firstly, she resonates with the critical 18-35 year-old demographic that our industry needs to tap into. And secondly, her enthusiasm to promote the success of women in sport provides tremendous leverage for obtaining mainstream media coverage," he said. In what promises to be a bigger and better series than last year, the 2014 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final will again be broadcast live on Channel 9. Nominations for Inter Dominion 2014 close on Monday 9 December. The Qualifying Heats are scheduled across Australasia on Saturday 15 February, and Grand Final day, including seven Group One races and $2 million in prizemoney will be run on Sunday March 2 at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Kate Dumesny| Event & Information Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |
It was a drive that couldn’t have been scripted any better. And one that will have the Tasmanian harness racing fraternity in a buzz for weeks. Cool, calm and collected, reinsman James Rattray had some onlookers in a panic when he settled Beautide three back on the pegs in the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight - but he knew exactly what kind of horsepower he had in his reins. Opting to take a sit on the $2.90 favourite For A Reason proved to be the winning move . . . and one that created history. As the pair crossed the line leaving Christen Me and For A Reason in their wake, the mile rate of 1:50.2 was a new race record. It was also the first time in 45 years a horse from Tasmania had won the great race. In fact the only other ‘Tassie’ pacer to put his name on the Miracle Mile honour roll is Halwes when taking out the second edition of the sprint in 1968. But this win was truly a fairytale come true. Not only did Beautide beat the odds ($5.10), so did Rattray, at just 28 years of age he became the youngest trainer to win the Miracle Mile. Beautide was bred, and is owned, by Rattray’s father Barrie Rattray, who has been breeding from that family line for more than 30 years. “I should know what to say . . . I’ve been practising this speech since I was 12,” Barrie said after the win. “The support for this horse has been enormous.” For the record Finishing order of the 2013 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile: Beautide, Christen Me, For A Reason, Im Victorious, Smoken Up, Restrepo, Mach Beauty, Terror To Love. Sectionals: 26.6, 28.8, 28.6, 26.2. Mile rate: 1:50.2.
My brain tells me that For A Reason will win Saturday’s $750,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The only problem is that my heart keeps saying how can you forget about champion eleven-year-old pacer Smoken Up, Tasmanian hero Beautide, three-time New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love, and superstar Kiwi pacer Christen Me? The answer to that question is - I can’t, which is why I won’t be putting my life savings on For A Reason on Saturday despite the fact that everything points to him as the winner. The McCarthy trained come-back hero has been dynamic since returning from an injury prompted stud career, winning five of his eight starts, two of them in 1-50.0 or better. Of those five wins, his biggest winning margin came when he paced 1-50.0, while the second biggest was when he destroyed his rivals in 1-49.5. Now, I’m no Albert Einstein, and I’m not claiming to be, but surely it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the explosive son of Art Major is better when racing on a hot pace? Yes, I know that Smoken Up is virtually impossible to run past and that Justice thinks he could go close to breaking 1-49.0 for a second-time this weekend, but I have serious doubts that his eleven-year-old legs will be able to muster the speed to hold out For A Reason, if he was to peel off his back on the bend. If that theory doesn’t unfold and Smoken Up is crossed by Mach Beauty and or Beautide at the start, it will completely change the complexion of the race and give both of those horses as well as New Zealand stars Terror To Love and Christen Me a much better shot at the gold. But, either way, I think For A Reason is the horse to beat come 9.30pm (AUS Time) tomorrow. T.A.B NZ Miracle Mile market: 1) Smoken Up -$4.40 2) For A Reason - $3.40 3) Mach Beauty - $21 4) Abettorpunt E1 – $31 5) Beautide - $5.50 6) Christen Me - $5 7) Terror To Love - $6.50 8) Im Victorious – $15 9) Bitobliss E2 - $31 10) Restrepo - $14 By Mitchell Robertson
Victorian harness racing is In Mourning following the passing of three long serving industry participants. Bookmaker Arthur Bell (81) suffered a fatal heart attack on Thursday November 21 and both John & Margaret Pace members of a large harness racing family, were tragically killed in a road accident not far from Melton's Tabcorp Park on Friday November 22. Harnesslink extends sympathy to both families. By Len Baker
Last week was an average one for the ring-around with only John Dunn, Jonny Cox, and Matthew Williamson tipping out winners. Let’s see if the boys can step up a notch this week. Andrew Armour: Has opted for Shez Wicked as his bet of the week. She goes around in the last race at Invercargill on Sunday. Anthony Butt: Thinks Vulcan can get back to winning form at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday. Blair Orange: Expects a bold showing from Rocknroll Arden in race seven at Addington on Friday. Craig Thornley: Has opted for Lavros Cash, who was seen finding the line strongly at Motukarara. He competes in the fifth race at Geraldine on Saturday. David Butt: Thinks Habibti will kick off her Australian campaign with a win at Tabcorp Melton on Saturday. Jim Curtin: Thinks Maximan is overdue a win and could very get one in the eleventh race at Geraldine on Saturday. John Dunn: Thinks Graduate Under Fire will offer some good each-way value in race eleven at Geraldine on Saturday. Jonny Cox: Thinks Jaccka Justy, who was super when winning his last start of the grass, will prove very hard to beat in race ten at Geraldine on Saturday. Matthew Williamson: Likes the chances of Lewy Risk in race five at Addington on Friday. Nathan Williamson: Has opted for Aidan’s Rocket, who competes in race three at Invercargill on Sunday. Ricky May: Thinks you should have a wager on Woodlea Wager in race eight at Addington on Friday. Simon Lawson: Likes Bettor Romance as an each-way prospect in race nine at Alexandra Park on Friday. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Expects Handlebar Hank to take out the last race at Addington on Friday. Todd Mitchell: Thinks that, with the aid of the one draw, Pricillas Girl will prove very hard to beat in race six at Alexandra Park on Friday. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Best bet: Invercargill, race seven – The Wraith Of Robyn Each-way: Geraldine, race three – The Peace Train Value: Addington, race three – Moondyne Joe By Mitchell Robertson
It's Miracle Mile time and there's plenty of news on Trots TV this week. Sky Racing's Fred Hastings chats to Dexter Dunn and Justin Prentice following the trials of Christen Me and I'm Victorious at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday whilst Luke McCarthy provides an insight into the chances of For A Reason in the big one. Seryn Adams pops on by to tell us what we can expect in the 2014 HRNSW calendar and you can view all the latest race replays and trials. www.trotstv.com.au - providing a fresh view on harness racing in NSW Harness Racing New South Wales Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales | 22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200 T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au Warning to recipients: This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.
Habibti may still race in Auckland during the month of December, but that will all depend on how she goes in Australia first. The superstar trotting filly of last season flew out late last week and, according to her co-trainer David Butt, has settled in well at the Victorian property of Susan Hunter. “She has settled in a treat and her work this morning was great,” enthused Butt. Habibti will be eased into her Australian campaign with an M0 on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, before she takes on the big fish in next week’s Bill Collins Trotters Mile. “She seems reasonably forward, so I expect her to be very hard to beat on Saturday,” said a bullish Butt. “The plan is to then race her in the Bill Collins Mile next week, followed by the Dullard Trotting Cup and if we are happy with her performances in both of those races she may go via Auckland for their feature trot races on the way home,” explains Butt. Butt has few qualms about Habibti stepping out into the open class ranks, but believes that this Australian campaign will provide her with a good introduction. “It looks a little bit easier than going head-to-head with the likes of Master Lavros, Stent, Peak, and, Stig, straight off the bat” he explains. “Judging by the times she ran last season she should have no problems in open class but you never quite know until you get there,” said Butt. “It’s never easy for a four-year-old trotting mare in open class but, in the saying that, she is a little bit special,” he added. Meanwhile, fellow kiwis Mah Sish and Vulcan will also fly the New Zealand flag at Melton on Saturday. The latter will clash with Habibti in next week’s Bill Collins Mile. “If he can replicate his Australian form from last season he will be hard to beat,” says Butt. “As will Blitzthemcalder if he lines up. They tell me he was pretty impressive in his trial yesterday.” While there is plenty of high class racing coming in from Melton on Saturday, it will be playing second fiddle to Tabcorp Park Menangle, which has a card made up of ten group or listed races, headlined by the $750,000 Miracle Mile. By Mitchell Robertson
Comeback pacer Franco Jamar made a stunning return to the racetrack yesterday (Monday). Stepping out in public for the first time since January, the Courage Under Fire stallion scorched around the Albion Park oval in a blistering time of 1;52.4 and scored by an ever expanding margin. For those wondering, the track record is held by Suave Stuey Lombo at 1;51.8. Franco Jamar is now prepared by emerging young Queensland horseman Bart Cockburn. “I’m surprised how easily he did that, I know it was a warm day but he handled that very easily and felt very strong right through the line.” Cockburn said. The richly talented pacer has been sidelined after having bone chips removed from his nearside knee earlier this year before being transferred into the stables of Cockburn where he has undergone an extensive rehabilitation process. Franco Jamar was heavily favoured to win the 2011 Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle won by Smoken Up but lost his chance with a break at the start when prepared by Luke McCarthy. Cockburn is preparing his new stable star for the upcoming $25,000 features at Albion Park in the coming weeks, the Lord Mayors and Christmas Cups before aiming at the 2014 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship series in Sydney. “At this early stage, he’s pulled up great and taken no ill effect whatsoever. Obviously, he had a good blow immediately after the trial but recovered very well in a short space of time. I took him straight home and gave him some time in the pool before being put in a paddock where he had a roll and a buck, he was feeling great. He will be nominated for Saturday week at Albion Park in the Lord Mayors Cup, that’s the first target and then we will play it by ear, I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself with him but I’ll admit, that was sensational.” Franco Jamar is the winner of 20 races from 55 starts with earnings in excess of $365,000. By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)
The Gunbower HRC held their once a year annual Cup Day on Sunday November 24 – with the Gunbower Family Hotel sponsored $12,000 Gunbower Pacing Cup for C5 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2630 metres going the way of six year old Village Jasper/Cultured Lombo gelding Savesomtimetodream, much to the delight of a host of Ballarat owners headed by Ballarat Trotting Club CEO Paul Rowse. Trained at Ross Creek by Paul, Savesomtimetodream driven by Jodi Quinlan began beautifully from inside the 10-metre mark which was actually the pole as there were no front runners to lead, before being crossed by Glenn Douglas’ Boort Cup winner of last season Daylight Dan racing into the first turn. Jodi Quinlan immediately moved away from the inside to change spots with Daylight Dan as the 30 metre backmarker Smudge Bromac was set alight by Nathan Jack to comfortably park outside the leader. With the quick tempo of the last half mile, those back in the field had difficulty in making ground allowing those up front to fight out the finish. In quarters of 31.8, 31.6, 29.1 and 28.2, Savesomtimetodream defied all challengers to score by 2.1 metres over a game Smudge Bromac in a mile rate of 2-01.5. Narra Operative one/one finished a creditable third after a cosy passage, with Thats Mister Ali running on late to finish fourth.. Racing at the elite level for most of his career, Savesomtimtodream coming off a gallant second to Kid Coconut after facing the breeze at Tabcorp Park Melton eight days earlier when first up since June, registered his 13th victory in 38 outings. The $10,000 Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Trotters Cup for T5 or better class (D-H) over 2630 metres supplemented the eight race program, which saw former smart juvenile Zedalite successful for Bolinda trainer Brent Lilley with Melton based Rod Petroff in the sulky. Stepping safely from barrier five, Zedalite first up since August was sent forward to cross the polemarker Im Demimondaine, before handing over the front running role to the 20 metre backmarker Cold Sister approaching the bell. When Gavin Lang vacated the prime one/one position with the well supported Lightning Joy to park outside the favourite at the bell, the pair of quality runners appeared to have the race to themselves. Locked together on straightening with Trappers Puzzle easing three wide from the one/one after racing parked for the first circuit, Lightning Joy momentarily hit the front with Trappers Puzzle in hot pursuit and Zedalite poised to use the sprint lane. Finishing best, Zedalite gained the day by a half head in a thrilling finish over Trappers Puzzle which ran the race of his life, with Lightning Joy a head away in third place in advance of Cold Sister. The mile rate 2-04.2. A five-year-old gelded son of Zooma and Rememberance Day bred and raced by Broomfield (Creswick region) residents David (Davo) Davidson and wife Beth, Zedalite has fronted the starter on 58 occasions for 18 victories. The novelty event of the afternoon – the Echuca Steel Gunbower Hot Lap for C2 & C3 class over 1390 metres, was taken out by the Glenn Douglas trained and driven ex-Kiwi five year old Falcon Seelster/Duomo Bromac gelding Conflict Of Interest in a mile rate of 1-56.1, leading all of the way from gate three to account for Shifty Shivas (one/two) which gained a late split halfway up the running, with Life Of Ted (one/two) snatching third out wide on the track. Len Baker