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The 2014 Breeders Crown promises to be bigger than ever with a huge schedule of harness racing events set to showcase Australasia's premier age-restricted pacing and trotting talent. Breeders Crown Semi Finals Saturday night 16th August at Bray Raceway, Ballarat. After a successful return to the country last year, the Breeders Crown Semi's are again hosted by the Ballarat and District Trotting Club this year. Hospitality options range from a 2 course Carvery in the Draught Room for $30; or 3 courses for $35 in the Terrace restaurant or for $40 on the Finish Post. Reserve your place by calling Paul O'Donnell on 5335 9041 or email pod@ballarattrottingclub.com.au Breeders Crown Barrier Draw Sunday 17th August Legends Café, Tabcorp Park Melton Experience all the drama and the tension of the Breeders Crown Barrier Draw. Book yourself a table in the Bistro or grab a quick bite in the Legends Café where all the action will take place. For Bistro bookings call 8746 0600. Breeders Crown Gala Dinner Thursday Night 21st August Toolern Room, Tabcorp Park Melton Fast becoming one of the social events of the year, the Breeders Crown Gala dinner is the ultimate place to be seen during Breeders Crown week. Featuring a live band and three-course dinner with beverages for just $75, you'll dance the night away in preparation for one of our greatest race days while listening to the good oil from the major players and form experts. For bookings please contact Jackie Dobson at Tabcorp Park on 8746 0604 or email jdobson@tabcorppark.com.au Breeders Crown Finals A Race Day for the Ages, Sunday 24th August Tabcorp Park Melton. Tabcorp Park comes alive for the biggest day of Group 1 racing on the calendar as the stars of the Trots battle it out for the Breeders Crown. Enjoy a premium 3-course buffet luncheon, afternoon tea and beverages in the exclusive Toolern Room for $110 or feast on the Home Straight Bistro buffet for just $75. For bookings please contact Jackie Dobson at Tabcorp Park on 8746 0604 or email jdobson@tabcorppark.com.au  

It has been a big week for Eglington trainer Nathan Hurst already. On Tuesday he qualified talented three year old Saloon Passage for the semi finals of the Breeders Crown after a win in a heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle and he also brought up his 100th winner for the season. Hurst is hoping the recent good run continues at Young on Sunday when the club hosts the Breeders Challenge Regional Finals. "It has been a pretty big week for the stable, the 100 winners has been a bit of a target for me for the past couple of seasons and I have just fallen short so to finally do it for the first time is a bit of a thrill," Hurst said. "Most of my owners have been with me now for quite a while and achieving a milestone like 100 winners doesn't happen without good owners and a strong team at home working the horses." Burra Sullivan will be a leading chance in the 4 Year Old Breeders Challenge Regional Final despite a second row draw. "He has been going really well of late. He qualified for the Breeders Challenge final after he finished third in his heat but he got caught outside the leader in the final and I think the three runs in three weeks might have seen him a bit flat but he is good now which is important for Sunday." "It is obviously a bit weaker than the Gr. 1 final and he should be in the finish if he produces his best." Tulhurst Sarsha finished down the track in the 3 Year Old Fillies Breeders Challenge Blue Final recently but Hurst is expecting a better performance this Sunday. "She has got a bit of gate speed and hopefully she can find the inside soon after the start because if she gets the run she likes I don't think she would be too far away." The meeting at Young on Sunday will begin at 11:53am with the first of six Regional Finals being run at 1:49pm. By Greg Hayes Harness Racing NSW         Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: nogrady@hrnsw.com.au| 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.          

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers.  Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (HRNSW)                                                                                                                                         

With the end of the season only just over four weeks away it is no surprise to see some trainers and drivers in New South Wales reaching milestones. Driver Gavin Fitzpatrick recently brought up his 100th winner in the sulky for the season, Belinda McCarthy made it consecutive seasons of training 100 winners and KerryAnn Turner was able to join the 100 club on Saturday night as a driver when Fernleigh Renegade won at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "It was really nice to bring up 100 winners as a driver on the weekend and it is actually something I would never get the opportunity to do because Robbie (Morris) does most of the driving for our stable," Turner said. "But with Robbie on the sidelines with his injured leg it gave me a few more opportunities late in the season and I have been able to get to the magical 100." Turner was full of praise for the support she had received from her owners and family. "I couldn't have driven all those winners without the support of all of the owners we have. Obviously we have been having a good run lately and July has been a pretty good month because I also was able to train a couple of Gr. 2 winners in the Breeders Challenge Blue Finals." "Also both Robbie's family and my family have been great, it really has been a team effort and all the hard work has really paid off." With Robbie Morris due back from injury in the short term, Turner is happy to take a back seat when it comes to the race driving. "Yes definitely, it will be good to have Rob back because I much prefer the training side of things to the driving, don't get me wrong I enjoy the driving but I just get a bigger thrill out of the training of the horses." "With a month of the season still left it would be nice to get another 10 winners or so but I will just have to see how everything unfolds over the next few weeks." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing Australia)

Harness racing trainer Alison Chisholm believes Asoka’s fourth placing behind The Good Times last Saturday night was the six-year-old gelding’s best run in recent memory. “He’s performed well but I’ve always felt there’s been a bit left,” trainer-driver Chisholm said. “He tends to want to just race the horse next to him. The other night he tried really hard the whole way and it was probably the best run I can remember from him. “You can’t insult him. He’s quite a playful horse. Everything’s a bit of a game to him and he’s real character. “If he had his mind on being a real racehorse then he could have won more races.” Asoka is a 14-time winner from 79 starts with prizemoney of $141,081. This season he’s won two from 23 and placed 14 times for $32,894. “He’s always been pretty consistent,” Chisholm said. Asoka has been racing forward of late but Chisholm said she would elect to slot in behind the speed it the early pacemakers went lickety-split in Friday night's second heat of the Tabcorp Park Melton Cup (Race 7) “A lot depends on the tempo of a race. He appreciates following a good tempo. I think from the draw (gate six) we can roll forward. “Last time we got caught out over the 1700m but it’s a lot different over the 2200m.”  Chisholm’s other runner on Friday night will be Apollo Thirteen in the Empire Stallions 4YO Pace. Apollo Thirteen has won five of his 20 starts. “I’ve only had him for about three weeks and I haven’t gotten him 100 per cent. I thought this would be a nice race for him but he’s a work in progress,” she said. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

They say you can’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. It seems the same can be said for horses. For Group 1 winning mare Pressplay, punters who wrote her off as inconsistent must have felt as though they’d been kicked in the shins when she won the Vicbred Super Series final earlier this month at big odds. Pressplay has never lacked in ability, says trainer Rebecca Cartwright, but the horse’s feet have not been the same since she trod on a nail. “Some of her runs might have looked a bit disappointing on paper but if you knew the horse you’d know in some of those races it was like she was running on a hot tin roof,” Cartwright said. Farrier Stephen Said, who has been in harness racing a long time, has played an integral role behind the scenes with Pressplay. Due to her hoof ailment shoeing the mare is problematic, but Stephen’s persistence has paid off in spades, Cartwright said. “He did the most amazing job with her. Stephen really cared and made particular sets of shoes for her … her feet had never been as perfect as he got them heading into the Vicbred Final.” Doreen-based Cartwright bred Pressplay and raced her mother, Miss Superb. “It was just so humbling (to win the Group 1). We’ve been in the game a long time and to breed one and then to win a Group 1 with that horse was just amazing,” she said. “Craig (Rebecca’s partner) should take a lot of the credit for the win. He’s done a wonderful job with her and has always loved her.” Pressplay has drawn gate six in the Pet Rock Pace Final (Race 2) at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night with Amanda Turnbull, who has become the horse’s regular reinswoman after guiding her to Group 1 success, taking the reins. “It’s a bugger of a draw,” Cartwright said. “I don’t really know at this stage. I’m going to have to sit down and look at all the runners and work it out.” Cartwright said Pressplay was a “dead-set sit-sprinter”, so making her own luck in running can be tricky. But in terms of ability, Cartwright always knew Pressplay had at least one big-race win in her. “Her first run in the (Vicbred) heat was a good one. Then she ran a super race in the semi-final. We always said she could win a big race she just need a little bit of luck,” Cartwright said. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers. Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

Melton trainer Ross Sugars' run of form continued on Sunday at the famous Redwood Carnival meeting at Maryborough. Sugars trained the winner of the 2690-metre Group 1 Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, Illawong Helios, which overpowered hot favourites Claudys Princess and Our Twentyten in the last 200m. Ross said driver – and his son – Greg Sugars delivered a “10 out of 10” drive aboard Illawong Helios, finding the back of Claudys Princess early before tracking Our Twentyten off the back and peeling three-wide into the lane the final time. “They were all running on empty in the straight,” Ross Sugars said. “It was a very slow last quarter (32 seconds). It was the first go for all of them at that kind of distance and it was just a case of those at the front having done more work, which allowed us to be that little bit stronger in the straight. “Our filly keeps on trying and she just found the line a bit better because of the way the race was run. That was the difference.” Sugars said heading down the back the last time he started thinking his filly was capable of at least running a place. “I even thought ‘don’t tell me she’s going to win’,” he said. Sugars said Claudys Princess, which finished runner-up in the Derby 1.7m behind Illawong Helios, was still the best three-year-old filly in the business and said her run on Sunday was enormous. But it was Illawong Helios’s day, the daughter of Majestic Son breaking a run of three consecutive second-place finishes in the Oaks and two Vicbred Super Series races. Illawong Helios set a new race record with his winning mile rate of 2:01.6 eclipsing the mark set by Blitzthemcalder last year by 0.3secs. She will now head to the Breeders Crown. Illawong Helios paid $23 on the tote. Sugars, who said he was not a betting man, admitted if he was an odds watcher he'd have moved at that price. "She was an 8-1 to 10-1 chance, I thought. Those odds were enormous," he said. Another trotter from the Sugars stable, four-year-old mare Quite A Moment, also won on Redwood day, taking out the John Slack Memorial Trotters Handicap over 2190m. Quite A Moment recorded a 58-second last half to score by 1.9m over Lord Liam, last year’s three-year-old trotters’ Breeders Crown champion hitting her straps ahead of this year’s series. “She’s done a really good job in the last 12 months. She’ll have a run or two and then she’ll be back in the Breeders Crown for the four-year-olds’ race.” On Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton Sugars-trained Bettor Rock On made it five starts Down Under for five wins. The former New Zealander sat parked in the Yeomans Slate and Stone Winter Championship Final before sprinting up down the back in 27.8secs and skipping clear of early leader Essbee Doubleyou in a 28.4-second last quarter to win in a rate of 1:54.4. “He’s done the job and won five in a row,” Sugars said. “We’ll give him a break now and then prepare him for the new season and target some country cups. The Kilmore Cup (October 26) would be an aim. He’s a very good stand-start horse.” Sugars said the brilliant Youranut (Vicbred Super Series 4YO Final winner last year) was back in work and would resume racing in the next month or so. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Sydney pacer Freyberg ran the race of his life to upstage Smoken Up at the Lance Justice trained superstar’s New South Wales farewell run on Saturday night. The Victorian champion fired out of gate seven to find the lead early with a 26.1-second first quarter while Freyberg jumped straight on to Smoken Up’s back. Justice was able to give Smoken Up a breather in the middle stages before stoking him up rounding the final bend. Smoken Up kicked on like he’s done so many times before over the 1609m journey he’s come to call his own at Menangle and looked home for all money with 100m to go before Freyberg saw daylight. Once the Kevin Pizzuto trained gelding got to the outside he sprouted wings to pip Smoken Up on the post by a head in a mile rate of 1:51.7. Smoken Up will head to Globe Derby, South Australia, next month for his final run at the venue where he’s won four Group 1 SA Cups. Then he will cap his career with a farewell run at Tabcorp Park Melton – likely to be in September in the Casey Classic on Saturday, September 6 – where all racing fans will be able to salute the superstar one final time at his home track. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia) Freyberg  

After seeing Katy Perry roar at her Australian debut at Melton on Saturday night, the local two-year-old fillies' Breeders Crown contingent must be a tad jittery. At her most recent start before the weekend's Tatlow Stakes win at Tabcorp Park, Katy Perry came in second behind Joanne’s A Delight in a Breeders Crown heat in New Zealand. Joanne’s A Delight is headed Down Under along with another filly in Linda Lovegrace to contest the Breeders Crown. They finished second and third behind Supersonic Miss on Harness Jewels Day and were considered ahead of Katy Perry in Breeders Crown pecking order before Saturday night. So the Aussies it would seem might need to find a few metres. Katy Perry defeated highly rated Soho Tokyo by 2.5 metres on Saturday night, working to the lead early despite a back-row draw and comfortably holding off all late challengers. But who's to say Australia's leading Crown contender has already been seen? Maybe there’s a yet-to-race filly capable of grabbing headlines between now and Breeders Crown finals. Watch this space. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Australian trotters are getting faster every year as a result of smarter breeding and modern training techniques. And the fact the Group 1 Seelite Windows and Doors Group 1 Redwood Classic at Maryborough field gets better every year is a direct correlation to Australia’s burgeoning passion for the squaregaiter. David Aiken-trained Eljaykay Phoenix is the favourite for Sunday’s $50,505 two-year-old Classic despite a second-row draw (gate 10) in the stand-start race. The standing start will be relatively new to most of the runners, who have been contesting mobile-start races of late as they look to etch their names among the country’s leading juvenile trotting ranks in races such as the Vicbred Super Series. Eljaykay Phoenix won the colts and geldings’ Super Series final with panache, comfortably accounting for runner-up Illawong Helios and third placegetter Black Valley – both of whom he meets again on Sunday. Eljaykay Phoenix has won five out of six starts but interestingly his only defeat has come at his only stand-start race. New Zealand’s champion two-year-old trotter My Arya has drawn gate one on Sunday, the Brent Lilley-trained, Mark Purdon-driven daughter of Angus Hall out to follow in the footsteps of previous Redwood filly winners Lady Thor (1987), Truscott Dawn (1995), Lacey Truscott (1997), Petite Morley (1998), Jauriol (2004), Elusive Charm (2009), Maidstone Miss (2011) and Daenarys Targaryen (2013). My Arya comfortably won her Australian debut race at Melton’s Tabcorp Park last weekend off a 10m handicap in a stand-start race. Early money has come for New South Wales raider Twice As Much, which is unbeaten in two runs to date at Menangle and will be driven by gun reinsman Luke McCarthy. Twice As Much opened $12 and had shortened into $8 as of Thursday with TAB fixed odds. Andy Gath has two runners entered in this year’s Redwood, impressive last-start Super Series fillies’ winner Endsino, which has drawn gate eight and will be driven by Kate Gath, and Naked Majesty, which will start from gate five for John Caldow. “It’s a bit of a tricky draw for Endsino and being a filly taking on the boys is always a bit hard,” Gath said of Endsino, whose mother Jauriol is a past Redwood champion. “These races can be about being in the right place at the right time. If you trot the best on the day you’re always a chance. “Naked Majesty bombed the start last time but she went really good after that. If she gets away good, there’s probably not much between my two.” Trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan will start Illawong Armstrong in the Classic, the impressive gelding finishing second to Eljaykay Phoenix in the Super Series Final. Illawong Armstrong has won four of six starts and Quinlan has a huge opinion of him, but his manners can be a worry. If he trots, he’s a huge chance. The Redwood Classic is Race 5 on Saturday’s Maryborough program and is scheduled to start at 2.06pm. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Imamenace earned a reputation as a giant-killer and a giant when he won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ trotting final recently at Tabcorp Park Melton. The Peter Cormican-trained gelding, which stands over 17 hands high, started cricket-score odds before upstaging Spidergrace and Asdenro over 2240m. It was an amazing feat to win a Group 1 that night, as that run was only Imamenace’s second visit to the racetrack. On Sunday he will contest the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby over 2690m at Maryborough, hoping to pull off another upset at start number three. Grant Campbell replaces Imamenace’s usual driver, Greg Sugars, who has elected to drive his father’s trotter Illawong Helios. Cormican, who trains out of Arcadia, was visibly shocked and thrilled after his gelding’s last-start success. “This is the first time I’ve won a Group 1 and I’m going to make the most of it,” he said moments after the win. Speaking on Thursday, Cormican said he was sure Imamenace would not disappoint on Sunday. “We’re going to be the fourth, fifth or sixth horse picked again but we’re just happy to be in the race,” he said. “He did a super job to win that last race but geez, it’s a big ask to win this at his third start.” Asked to compare Imamenace’s trackwork this time compared to before his last-start success, Cormican said it was “on a par”. “He had a good hit-out this morning. He’ll have a bit of a break after this race because he’s not entered in the Breeders Crown. “We’re not going to rush him.” Despite the wide draw (gate seven) on Sunday, Cormican said the horse was likely to push forward early. “We’ll probably come out and have a bit of a look,” he said. “We just don’t want him on the fence.” Our Twentyten opened favourite for the Derby, which is scheduled to run at 3.18pm, with filly Claudys Princess tightening in from $3.60 into $3 early with fixed-odds betting. Imamenace eased from $12 to $15 overnight on Wednesday. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

As a part owner of the dual Miracle Mile winner Smoken Up, Peter Gadsby has enjoyed some tremendous highs in the sport of harness racing. However when Smoken Up races at Tabcorp Park Menangle for the final time this Saturday night, Gadsby acknowledges it is going to be difficult to comprehend. "I've lived at Menangle for nearly 30 years and to own a horse that has brought people such great pleasure especially just over the road at the track is something that is very special to me," Gadsby said. "Menangle has been such a happy hunting ground for Lance and Trigger and it is going to be a shame to think that we won't get the opportunity to see Smoken Up here in Sydney again." Gadsby believes the reason Smoken Up races so well in Sydney is because of the spacious surrounds. "It is no secret that he has struggled to get around some corners but here at Menangle it is totally different, the bends and the camber aren't an issue and he just loves to power down the big long straights." Smoken Up has won a number of feature races over the mile at Menangle but the one that sits above the rest for Gadsby is the Len Smith Mile victory in 2011 when the son of Tinted Cloud recorded his track record of 1:48.5. "That night was pretty special for everyone and the number of calls I received afterwards was unbelievable, people had never seen anything like it before." "He's still working well according to Lance and is still keen to be a racehorse but time doesn't wait for anyone or anything and for him to still be competing against top opposition at eleven is a credit to the entire stable." Smoken Up will compete in race seven on Saturday night, the Sew Eurodrive Pace which is scheduled to begin at 8:22 and will start from barrier eight. By Greg Hayes  (Harness Racing NSW)  

Smoken Up, known to his legion of fans as ‘Trigger’, will be given a personal farewell on Saturday night with photo and autograph opportunities for those patrons on-track. Tabcorp Park Menangle will distribute commemorative posters of the fastest horse in the Southern Hemisphere free to all those fans who want to have their photo taken with Smoken Up and trainer/driver Lance Justice. Two sessions have been set for the photographic opportunities to fit in with other racing requirements. These are at 7pm (pre-race) and also at 9pm when his racing career at Tabcorp Park Menangle is completed. “I really want the public to be involved and I thank the people at Menangle for allowing Trigger’s fans access to the race stalls.” said trainer Lance Justice “We will go through a few pens signing autographs and the cameraman should be kept really busy.” Commemorative racebooks will be distributed free to patrons who will be able to watch the “Tribute to the Miracle Miler” produced by Sky Racing on the big screens in the infield and on the course monitors. Smoken Up started in 10 races over the mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle for eight wins . . . the best being in the 2011 Tabcorp Len Smith Mile when he recorded 1:48.5, the fastest mile rate by any pacer outside of North America. “We are very appreciative of all the calls and offers we have received since the announcement was made yesterday of Smoken Up’s impending retirement,” said John Dumesny Chief Executive of the NSWHRC. “SKY were first on board with the tribute offer, then followed a photographer offering his services and, of course, Lance and Trigger were always going to be in the thick of the celebrations. “It is a moment in harness racing which should not be missed and I encourage people to make it to the track to bid a fond farewell to a true champion” Saturday will be the first leg of Smoken Up's farewell tour, which will take in Adelaide before the curtain falls on the superstar once and for all at his home venue, Tabcorp Park Melton, in September. Harness Racing New South Wales  

Smoken Up will be retired from NSW racing this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the track where he and trainer/driver Lance Justice etched their names into the history of harness racing with the 1:48.5 time in the Len Smith Mile. On that cool night in April, 2011 in showery conditions, the superstar of Australasian racing treated his rivals and the clock with absolute contempt as the beyond-reach 1:50 barrier was broken for the first time outside of North America. The ‘mighty miler’ (winner of two past Miracle Miles) know to his legion of fans as “Trigger” made Tabcorp Park Menangle his own, winning the Len Smith Mile on no fewer than four occasions since its inception in 2008. According to his fans, Smoken Up’s name should be recorded as the winner of the first five Len Smith Miles. Still he will long be remembered for burning his rivals off and making Lance Justice the fastest driver in the Southern Hemisphere and himself the fastest equine. “Yes, we had a point to prove that night – for a few different reasons,” Lance said. “And Trigger just felt so good when we went onto the track I just knew he was up for it. “The amazing part about it is that 1:48.5 win was probably our biggest winning margin in all our races at that track. “He’s still going nearly as well as ever and won’t disappoint any of his fans. “And I know there are plenty in New South Wales because they follow him on Facebook. “But the pressure’s off now – he’s not being set for any more of the Miracle Miles or Inter Dominions. “This will give all his fans a chance to say good bye to a mighty horse.” According to Chief Executive of the NSWHRC John Dumesny: “Smoken Up holds a very special place in harness racing and especially at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “The Board of Directors had no hesitation in naming the $7 million world’s-best race stalls at the track in honour of Smoken Up.” “We will be commemorating his retirement from the track and NSW with the emphasis on giving mementoes to his fans and the those who admire and acknowledge a true champion of our sport.” Smoken Up only started at Harold Park, Newcastle and Menangle Park during his visits to New South Wales and Saturday night will mark the 12 year old pacer’s 150th race start - in the SEW Eurodrive Open Pace. His record at a glance stands at 149 starts for 73 wins, 38 second placings and 15 third placings for prizemoney of $3,597,915, which included the 2010 and 2011 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Miles. National Trotguide, available at newsagencies, will exclusively report on Smoken Up’s NSW visit this Thursday. Harness Racing New South Wales

Young Kiwi bred harness racing reinsman Cameron Jones has been selected to represent New South Wales in the State Of Origin next month. The State Of Origin is a brand new junior drivers series which was put together by Harness Racing New South Waleswith Racing Queensland. Jones, who has been working for Menangle trainer Kerryann Turner for over 18 months, is one of a five-strong team for the Blues. The other four young drivers that have been selected for New South Wales are Chris Geary, Todd Priest, Kylie Barnes, and Kasey Hocking. Those five drivers will go head-to-head with five young reinsman from Queensland in races in both states. The series will start in New South Wales with 2-3 State Of Origin races at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday August 18 before the series shifts to Queensland. On Thursday August 20 the ten reinsman will enjoy a social day on Mr Kevin Seymour’s boat ‘Euphoria’ before competing in 2-3 races at Albion Park the following night. Seventeen-year-old Jones said he was excited to get the opportunity to compete in the inaugural running of the State Of Origin. “It’s a good opportunity and also a chance for me to meet new people and drive in Queensland for the first time,” said Jones, who has enjoyed a good first season in the sulky. Jones has won fifteen races to date, including two last week, and looks a good chance to add to his tally tomorrow when he takes the reins behind Kiwi export Im El Diablo in race eight at Menangle. Cameron has driven him in six of his seven starts in Australia for three wins and a further three placings. “We got him over on a 50/50 deal and he has done a very good job so far,” said Jones. “He flew home for third after being held up at the top of the straight last week but he has good gate speed and a handy draw this week so he shouldn’t be unlucky again,” he added. “It’s his first start over 2300 metres since he has been over here but as long as he gets a couple of easy sectionals he will take will take a lot of beating,” said Jones. “He has a very good turn of foot,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson

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