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FANS will have to wait at least another week for the first clash of glamour Aussie pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art. In a surprise late twist, Ride High was nominated, but then pulled-out of Saturday night’s $30,000 Minuteman free-for-all (2240m) at Melton. Connections have remained tight-lipped on the circumstances, but it is now expected Ride High will run in Saturday week’s $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton to sharpen-up for the $300,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup a week later. This week’s race is still a pearler with Lochinvar Art (gate 11) meeting reigning NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac (10) and Australasian 2300m record-holder Zennart (seven). Lochinvar Art has been crunched from $1.80 into $1.60 favourite in the Aussie TAB’s early market, ahead of Zennart ($4.80 to $4.60) and Cruz Bromac ($4.60 to $5). “He’s come through last week’s run really well and it’s definitely brought him on for sure,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said. Cruz Bromac, first-up since his fifth in the Auckland Cup last New Year’s Eve, has been sharpened-up for his return with two recent trial wins. __________________________________________________________________________________________ THE excitement around this season’s Aussie juvenile crop gained more momentum with Bar Room Banta’s blistering Menangle win yesterday (Tuesday). The powerfully looking son of A Rocknroll Dance sped to the front for Luke McCarthy from gate seven, cruised through a 57.8sec first half, then scorched home in 54 flat and 26.6sec. Bar Room Banta’s 1min51.8sec mile, at just his third start, was just a half-second outside the Australasian record of 1min51.3sec set by Ignatius back on June 25, 2017. Bar Room Banta is trained by Mick Stanley in Victoria, but loan to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy to target the NSW Breeders Challenge. The same combination brilliantly won a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge for two-year-old fillies with Soho Almasi a week earlier. Bar Room Banta and Soho Almasi are nominal favourites to win their finals. “I’ve got a fantastic crop of babies this season and these are the pick of them,” Stanley said. “Almasi is the fastest and potentially best filly I’ve had, while ‘Banta’ is something else … he’s just so fast and exciting.”   by Adam Hamilton

The Club Menangle Board has taken the first step in addressing the prizemoney reductions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. From 21 July 2020, the principal club’s Tuesday prizemoney will increase to $8,000 per race. The Club has been heavily impacted by the projected decline in TAB revenue. Whilst recent forecasts are more optimistic, the budgeted revenue for the principal club has gone from $14.1M for the 2020 financial year to only $11.5M for the 2021 financial year, a fall of $2.6M. The Club will carefully monitor activity over the next two months however given the enormity of the funding shortfall will need to see improved results and not just rely upon more favourable conditions. The economic position is still very volatile, which has been exacerbated by the rapidly declining situation in Victoria. There is a significant risk of a negative impact on NSW as evidenced by the outbreaks in south west Sydney reported over the weekend. The Club must therefore proceed with caution. The Club is in the difficult position of setting prizemoney levels based upon a funding projection issued by HRNSW at the beginning of each year. The actual funding received each year is based on the performance of the wagering operators. This is normally within 1-2% of the projection however the COVID-19 crisis has dramatically impacted actual results for FY2020 and projected results for FY2021. For example, as recently reported in the Financial Review, the TAB have projected a 16% decline in earnings for FY2020, which will flow through to the racing industry. The reality is the Club’s revenue for FY2020 will be impacted by as much as $6M. This includes the impact on wagering revenue and the investment portfolio. The Club’s business plan is to use investment earnings to supplement prizemoney. The downturn in financial markets will result in no contribution from the investment fund for the current year. The Club’s investment policy is underpinned by the economic principle of protecting the investment capital to ensure the long term viability of the Club however in times like this the Club is fortunate to be able to draw upon these funds to protect the short term viability of the business. The Club will continue to monitor the performance of our wagering partners and the investment portfolio and as revenue improves the priority will remain the restoration of bread and butter prizemoney on both midweek and metropolitan programs.   For further information relating to this media release please contact Club Menangle Chief Executive, Bruce Christison, on (02) 46 45 2200.   Club Menangle

WHEN you think feature Queensland races, you think Grant Dixon. So it’s no surprise Dixon three of the six Qbred Triad final winners at Albion Park last night. The splurge started in the 4YO Mares’ final where Dixon had seven runners and trained the first six home, headed by winner Eternal Promise with Adam Sanderson aboard. Dixon then landed the quinella in the 3YO Fillies’ final when he drove Fond Memories to beat True Stepper, driven by his wife, Trista. The class runner of the night was Victoria Derby runner-up Governor Jujon, who strolled home in the 3YO colts and geldings final. Chantal Turpin had a night to remember when she snared the quinella in the 2YO colts and geldings final. She drove Big Wheels to win with Pete McMullen aboard runner-up Justa Little Bit. ________________________________________________________________________________________ EMOTIONS ran high Friday night when Arts Dash won at Kilmore Friday night. Arts Dash was owned by Graeme Lang, who passed away last Monday, and scored an impressive win for Lang’s son, Chris, with Chris Alford aboard. The Lang legacy also lived on at Shepparton on the same night when emerging pacer Sirletic, formerly by the late Gavin Lang and part-owned by his wife, Meagan, won easily. Sirletic, who is continuing to race in Gavin Lang’s colours, made it two-from-two in the comeback trail and 12 wins from just 19 starts overall. _________________________________________________________________________________________ CHICAGO Bull found a way at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The comeback star lifted off a hard run and when seemingly in trouble to snatch a half-head win in the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night. It was a big win after driver Chris Voak rated Vultan Tin superbly in front and Chicago Bull had to run a 55.7sec last half outside the leader to win. Chicago Bull’s had six runs on the comeback trail for three wins, two seconds and a third. Maybe being Chicago Bull’s trackwork partner has helped young former Kiwi mare Balcatherine take the next step, The four-year-old daughter of American Ideal led throughout and toyed with her rivals in the Pure Steel at Gloucester Park last Friday. It was her second win on end and her sixth from just 12 starts. “She’s actually been Chicago Bull’s sparring partner at home because we haven’t had the open-class horses we’ve had in recent years,” driver Gary Hall Jr said. “She’s come back really well and did that easily.” Another eye-catching winner on the night was Greg and Skye Bond’s The Bird Dance, who galloped at the start and added to his 20m backmark, but circled the field to win in stunning style. The former Kiwi has won 11 of his 15 runs since joining Team Bond. ______________________________________________________________________________________ STILL in WA and emerging filly Blockjorg caused a massive a huge upset winning her heat of the 3YO Diamond Classic, but proved it was no fluke by repeating the dose in the $50,000 final last Friday. Most were stunned when Blockjorg came off the back of WA’s best filly Double Expresso and beat her in a heat. Jocelyn Young snared the same run in the final, but this time trailing hot favourite Alta Louisa with Double Expresso sitting parked. Double Expresso powered past Alta Louisa, but Young peeled to the and Colin Reeves-trained Blockjorg unleashed to win by 1.5m in a brisk 1min56.5sec mile rate for 2130m. _________________________________________________________________________________________ IT was a very long, but fruitful day for Kate Gath at Melton yesterday (Saturday). Gath won six of the 13 races run across the morning and night meetings. She started with two of the six winners at the morning meeting, then won four of the seven at night. No doubt the highlight was the winning return of star trotter McLovin, who did all the work, but won strongly in a 1min58.9sec mile rate for 2240m. It was his first run since the Great Southern Star at Melton back on February 1. Gath also confirmed Tornado Valley was just resuming work after a spell. _________________________________________________________________________________________ CASH N Flow continued his recent dominance of the Menangle free-for-alls with a fifth successive win last night. The former All Stars’ pacer loves the mile racing and won as he liked in a 1min50sec flat mile. He’s remarkably consistent with the five wins all coming in times between 1min49.6sec and 1min50.1sec.   by Adam Hamilton

ANOTHER week, another sub-1min50sec mile win for Cash N Flow. The former All Stars’ gelding made in it three wins on end and 22 wins from 56 starts when he thrashed his free-for-all rivals again at Menangle last night (Saturday). Driver Luke McCarthy took him to the front and gave nothing else a chance, roaring away to win by 13.6m over stablemate Cruz with My Field Marshal third. Cash N Flow paced a 1min49.7sec mile. He’s broken 1min50sec winning his past three runs. “He’s a dead-set miler and even though he’s that bit below our best horses, he’s so hard to beat at this level,” McCarthy said. “He’s been drawing inside My Field Marshal and it’s probably been the difference. His stakemoney is getting up so, he might be outside him next time and it’ll be much harder. “We’ll certainly just keep him to mile racing from now on.” Cash N Flow was the middle pin of a training treble for Craig Cross, who also won Replaced Eye and Smokin By. Queensland trainer Grant Dixon snared a training double from his Menangle satellite stable with Fame Assured and Makoa scoring. And KerryAnn Turner continued her success with former Barry Purdon-trained mare Havtime, who made it two wins (and a second) from three runs since switching barns. The shock of the night came when Kiwi filly Dr Susan, now in the Sonya Smith barn, was beaten as a $1.15 favourite in the Golden Easter Egg. She worked to the lead, dawdled through a 32.1sec second quarter, but found nothing when challenged and finished third to locals Our Antonio Rose and Vincenzina in a slow 1min54.9sec mile. _______________________________________________________________________________________ MIRACLE Mile winner King Of Swing won’t be back in action until August. And it’s likely to be similar with Craig Cross’ other stable star, Alta Orlando. The pair were being set for Queensland winter raids, but Covid-19 caused most of the Brisbane features to be scrapped. “It gives us a chance to give them a longer break now,” Luke McCarthy said. “It’s hard to know how the rest of the year will play out, but given there’s no big majors in Brisbane, we’ll bring them back to race in August and see if things are back to normal for a Victoria Cup in October.” The obvious target is the Sydney Inter Dominion in November/December. NSW officials have insisted the Inter Dominion will go ahead, but stopped short of confirming full details, which is to be expected given the climate of uncertainty. _______________________________________________________________________________________ THE Hectorjayjay comeback story moves another step closer to reality at the Albion Park trials on Tuesday. Managing owner Matt McClellan said the former superstar would be “asked to do a bit more” in this trial with a view to racing afterwards. “If he does what Jack (Butler, trainer) hopes in this trial and comes through it well, there’s a race about 10 days later for him at Albion Park,” he said. “Even though we’ve come so far, we know with a horse like him, it’s still a day-by-day thing. “It would be so great, especially for Jack, if he could get back to races now we’ve got this close.” _______________________________________________________________________________________ GREG Sugars put on a clinic at Melton last night (Saturday). Sugars is a star in the open market, but the zone racing across Victoria now makes him an absolute standout in his zone, which covers Melton and Ballarat racing. He won five of the eight races at Melton last night, three of them for Emma Stewart (Egodan, Freddy Funk and Two Times Bettor). Young gun Ryan Duffy, really making the most of his increased opportunities in zone racing, snared a double on the card. He won aboard Andy Gath’s former Kiwi pacer The Dude, in a slick 1min53.6sec mile rate for 1720m, and Bettor Be The Bomb.   by Adam Hamilton

IF there's one thing Bathurst pacer Our Uncle Sam can do, it's stay. And he outstayed a quality field of rivals to score his second straight win in tonight's $100,000 Group One Platinum Projex Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Our Uncle Sam beat The Black Prince (Tom Ison) by one and a quarter metres with a head back to Mach Shard (Zach Butcher) in third place. While he was beaten for gate speed when the mobile let them go, Our Uncle Sam's reinsman Anthony Frisby refused to panic when Galactic Star speared across from an outside gate and found the front ahead of the speedy Kiwi Mach Shard. While Our Uncle Sam settled in about sixth position, Frisby knew he had to make things happen with his six-year-old son of Sportswriter. So, with a lap of the big Menangle circuit to go, Frisby and Our Uncle Sam took off, quickly challenged Galactic Star for the front and settled perfectly at the head of proceedings after two identical opening sectionals of 29.2 seconds for a 58.4 first half of the last mile. "The mile is probably not his go but once he found the front 'Sam' relaxed beautifully," said Frisby. "I was a little bit concerned when the third quarter was only run in 29.1 seconds, as I thought that might leave us a sitting shot. "He's not the quickest horse going around but he's pretty brave and halfway down the straight I pretty-much felt we had them. "He fought on really well and that was a terrific effort." Our Uncle Sam is trained by his Chris's father Anthony at Perthville near Bathurst and he was filled with emotion after the win following the death of a close family friend during the week. But as Chris pointed out, all the family were there to witness this win and that's the best part about the whole thing - having them there to share the glory."   Club Menangle

IT may well have been leading trainer David Aiken's birthday, but it was his son Josh who was giggling the most during the running of the first Group One on a big night at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the Aquagait Trotters Mile. Josh partnered 'defending champion' Big Jack Hammer in the $50,000 1609m trotting sprint and his rivals played right into his hands when polemarker and local favourite Tough Monarch was able to hold the lead from gate one. Despite plenty of pressure from the race favourite Dance Craze, Tough Monarch wouldn't hand up the front and Aiken was quick to drop in straight behind him from gate two - and that's where the race was won and lost. Big Jack Hammer then enjoyed the run of the race just off the speed and when Tough Monarch kicked on the home turn, it gave Big Jack Hammer an easy run into the race as he angled clear and raced to the front before holding on to score by a half neck from the fast-finishing Red Hot Tooth with another Victorian visitor Sammy Showdown a head away in third place in a 1:54.7 mile rate. "I was really happy when Ricky (Alchin) was able to hold the front and we had a perfect run into the race and when we got out on the home corner I thought the horses outside of us were doing it a bit tougher than we were, so off we went," said Aiken. "He's a special horse, this bloke and he really deserved this win. "The fact that it's also the old man's birthday just makes it even more special." While nothing could be taken away from the winner, there were several outstanding runs in the race; Dance Craze did it tough racing without cover and dropped out on the home turn while Red Hot Tooth, who settled in about eighth spot finished full of running to grab second place while Sammy Showdown (Kylie Sugars) was also finishing fast out wide, just ahead of Kowhai Monarch.   Club Menangle

Harness racing trainer Clayton Harmey will look to Chevrons Reward as a winning chance when two from his stable jump in class at Menangle on Saturday night. The Nulkaba trainer has Golden Guitar champion Wet My Whistle in the Hondo Grattan Stakes and Chevrons Reward in a mares race. Wet My Whistle is unbeaten in six starts since coming to Harmey from New Zealand and the four-year-old's last run was an all-the-way win in the group 2 Golden Guitar at Tamworth on January 23. Owner Allan McColl is chasing a group 1 Chariots of Fire start with Wet My Whistle, which has gate two for the qualifier. Although another group 2 race, the Hondo Grattan is a much tougher task given the presence of Self Assured and Balraj. "We've got a good draw but we're jumping up in grade," Harmey said. "We've got it against us big time, but Allan said he's got nothing to lose. The horse hasn't got to prove anything to us. "He's there because he deserves a chance and as long as he comes out the other side on Sunday morning with nothing wrong with him, we'll be happy. There's other races for him. "I'm not expecting him to do anything, but I didn't expect him to be in the Golden Guitar, let alone win it, six weeks beforehand. "He keeps stepping up and proving to me that he can do things, but tomorrow is a pretty big jump." Owner Rob Jones is also eyeing bigger prizes with Chevrons Reward. Harmey believes she needs to win to make the Sibelia Stakes field. That race is a qualifier for the group 1 Ladyship Mile. "I don't think she's good enough to get in [the Ladyship Mile] but while she's racing so well, we'll give it a crack," he said. "She does have to step up but it's every owners' dream to get into those races. "She's going very good. We're driving her different to how we used to. We always pushed her forward but she seems to like coming from behind. "She's had only one try from behind at Menangle and she won in 1:51, and her last half and quarter were good." Singleton trainer Aaron Goadsby has Immortal Change in gate one of the same race. He also has Takara Truffle in the 10th. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

The Chairman of Club Menangle, Mr Robert Marshall has advised that the harness racing 2020 Miracle Mile Carnival will undergo some exciting changes for 2020. The revised program provides a calendar of events which will add a new level of excitement in the lead-up to Ainsworth Miracle Mile night on Saturday 7 March 2020. The Calendar commences on Friday 21 February with the running of the Group 1 Newcastle Mile. The winner of the Newcastle mile will receive an automatic invitation into the Miracle Mile. The opening night of the Carnival on 22 February at Tabcorp Park Menangle will see: The Group 1 Cordina Chicken Farms “Chariots of Fire”, with a purse of $200,000; The Group 2 Robin Dundee Stakes (mares), with a purse of $50,000; Heats of the NSW Oaks, with heats at $20,000; The Keystone Del Trotters FFA, with a purse of $20,000; and Three Divisions of the Divided Pace     As the Carnival moves to its second night on 29 February, the focus will move to “Ladies Night”. Club Menangle will host “Fashions on the Field” on this night. The key Miracle Mile qualifying races (the Group 1 Allied Express Sprint and the Group 1 Schweppes Sprint – both worth $100,000) will be held on Night Two, presenting an outstanding opportunity for the fillies and mares with: The Group 2 Pink Bonnet for two-year old fillies at $50,000;  The Group 1 NSW Oaks at $200,000; and  The time-honoured Ladyship Mile at $200,000 Night Two will also include the heats of the NSW Derby at $20,000. As the Carnival moves to its third night and climax on 7 March, some mouth-watering racing events head the program. The Group 1 $1m Miracle Mile; The Group 1 NSW Derby at $200,000; A Group 1 FFA at $100,000; The Group 2 Sapling Stakes at $50,000; A Group 1 Trotters Mile at $50,000; and The Tanya Harris, a new Group 3 race for four-year old mares at $30,000.  In the 2020 Miracle Mile Carnival, Club Menangle has programmed over a third of the Group races for fillies and mares. An added incentive to purchase fillies at the forthcoming sales. With ten Group 1 races, three Group 2 races and a Group 3 race programmed, we have a bonanza of racing with a baker’s dozen, plus one for good measure. Fourteen Group races over the 2020 Miracle Mile Carnival. All leading to the $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile. Then all eyes turn to the Sydney APG Sales to be held the next day on Sunday, 8 March. A mouth- watering month saluting the standardbred in New South Wales.  

The "go" button has been pressed on a harness racing $10 million project to completely transform a once popular Macarthur watering hole. A lengthy process to obtain all necessary development approvals has been finalised and tomorrow morning, weather permitting, builders and a bevy of construction workers will descend on the Horse and Jockey Inn site at Menangle Park. If all goes to plan, former patrons, other locals and Sydney day-trippers alike will be able to enjoy a beer at the new-look venue by the end of September. The makeover is stage one of Club Menangle's ambitious plan to build a large entertainment precinct from the Inn all the way back to Tabcorp Park.    The wait is almost over: The site of the old Horse and Jockey Inn which was bought by Club Menangle. Picture: Chris Lane   Eventually, the precinct will contain a second club, hotel, movie theatre, bowling alleys and an indoor sporting complex. The pub has not traded since 2015 when NSW Harness Racing bought the site. Club Menangle chief executive Bruce Christison said much effort had gone into ensuring the revamped venue would have broad appeal, with multiple dining and bar facilities able to cater for casual and formal gatherings. The kitchen will be set up to cater for 500 sit-down diners across a 200-seat function room, a formal restaurant and casual dining areas on the upper and lower terraces. "We've been focused on creating a destination venue without losing the country pub feel," he said. "In the past, the inn was weather challenged and if the weather was wet or cold people didn't come." Mr Christison said inclement weather wouldn't be a problem in the future with louvred roofs covering the outside terraced areas. Menangle Park is home now to just 257 people but planned housing development will bring thousands of people to the area within a few years, a detail not lost on Mr Christison who expects the new complex will be popular with new residents. "We will be there when the first houses in the new estates are built," he said. " Usually something like this comes a long time after residents move in." Mr Christison said historic Menangle House, located at the front of the site, would remain untouched and protected during construction works. He said possible future uses for Menangle House were being considered but no decision was likely for some time. "We will be guided by what our patrons and local residents want us to do," he said. "There are lots of ideas being thrown about, it could be a wine or whiskey bar, a day spa even a wonderful entrance to our function centre. Watch the videos below to experience a virtual walk though showing what the revamped venue will look like once complete. The Horse and Jockey Inn - new-look exterior   Horse and Jockey Inn - new-look interiors   By Roma Dickins   Reprinted with permission of The Camden Advertiser

Singleton's Aaron Goadsby says The Bus will now target the NSW Breeders Challenge series and Brisbane harness racing winter carnival after claiming the opening race of Saturday night's Miracle Mile meeting at Menangle.  The four-year-old horse won the $25,000 listed Lady Drivers Invitational (1609 metres) in a career-best, mile-rate of one minute and 51 seconds.  Goadsby, who prepares runners for New Zealand-based trainer Mark Jones, was again impressed with the Golden Guitar runner-up. "He has been going good and that was a good result," he said. Since arriving in Australia around four months ago The Bus has started nine times - six wins, two seconds and a third. The group 1 Miracle Mile was won by four-year-old gelding Spankem. By Josh Callinan Repprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

AUSTRALASIA’S champion pacer Tiger Tara will headline a trio of Miracle Mile hopefuls Kevin Pizzuto will run at Menangle next Saturday night. Pizzuto confirmed star speedster Majordan and his Chariots of Fire fifth placegetter Picard would also tackle one of the Miracle Mile qualifiers this week. “Picard’s come through the Chariots and he’ll be fitter for the run as well. He’s going around this week again for sure,” Pizzuto said. “He did all the work and was only beaten five metres. I know he’ll be better for it.” Majordan’s turbulent campaign took a crucial turn for the better when he did everything right and blasted away a good field, headed by NZ Cup winner Thefixer, at Menangle last Saturday night. Pizzuto reaffirmed what he’s been saying for months that Majordan rates right along Tiger Tara as a Miracle Mile prospect. “Tiger Tara’s got all the form on the board, but over a mile at Menangle, Majordan is right at home,” he said. “He’s been a bit fresh and doing things wrong. I’ve changed his bit, got some more work into him and he won really well the other night. “I can assure you he’ll keep getting better now. When he’s galloped in this races, he’s missed the hitout. Last night will bring him on a lot more.” So what about Tiger Tara and his quest to complete a total dominance of our biggest races by winning the Miracle Mile? “He’s well. Really well. He his work was fantastic on Saturday and he’ll another strong workout at Bankstown this week,” Pizzuto said. “I’m glad now I skipped Newcastle and gave him a few quiet days after the Hunter Cup. “He’s freshened-up well and with a mile run under his belt this week, he’ll be absolutely spot-on on for the (Miracle) Mile.” The latest Aussie TAB Miracle Mile market shows Pizzuto’s key role with Tiger Tara $3.60 favourite, Majordan $7 third elect and Picard at $21. Adam Hamilton

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

EARLY tactics will be vital in tonight’s Group 2 Simpson Memorial at Menangle according to reinswoman Lauren Tritton. The premiership winning driver is taking the reins behind the $1.33 TAB Fixed Odds favourite Muscle Factory and drawing barrier one with the colt has not made the situation any easier Tritton admitted. “It’s an awkward barrier for him as he does have early speed but for his whole two-year-old season we drove him with handbrakes on early and just drove him out easy to stay out of trouble,” said Tritton. “This draw won’t allow us to do that and this is a pretty fast front line.” One rival Tritton will have her eyes on early is Victorian visitor Lochinvar Art. The colt is the only other starter in single figure odds at $4.20 and will begin from outside the front line. “It will be interesting to see what they do with him early and it will be interesting to see Muscle Factory and Lochinvar Art race each other again,” said Tritton. “Muscles is tough whereas Lochinvar Art has a quick last half in him. “Lochinvar Art has been running some ridiculous sectionals in Victoria and just drawn where he has, you would expect that they will have to put him into the race at some stage.” Muscle Factory and Lochinvar Art clashed in the Breeders Challenge Final last June with the pair finishing third and second respectively. Lochinvar Art has had two starts this season for a win and a second while Muscle Factory is first up from a spell. “We couldn’t have him any better,” said Tritton. “He went super winning his trial and there has been some good form come out of that trial too.” Meanwhile, Tritton’s other two starters have already raced this season. This includes Petes Big Jim which finished sixth at Menangle on December 18. “He got himself beat last start over-racing, pulling outside the leader which is not his go,” said Tritton. “He is the fastest two-year-old out of the gate that I’ve ever driven so should be suited by his draw.” Tritton’s other starter is Petes Said So. “He has blistering early speed as well,” said Tritton. “He is the highest assessed horse in the race so deserves his spot in the field.” Petes Said So will be driven by Lachie Manzelmann while Josh Aiken has obtained the drive on Petes Big Jim.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

These are the barrier draws for the Big 4 harness racing Group One races at Club Menangle on Saturday night, 24th February. $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile 1: Tiger Tara by Bettor's Delight 2: Atomic Red (2Em) by Rocknroll Hanover 3: Anything For Love by Rock N Roll Heaven 4: My Field Marshal by Art Major 5: Jilliby Kung Fu by Four Stazzz Shark 6: Soho Tribeca by American Ideal 7: Lennytheshark by Four Starzzz Shark 8: Charlaval by Four Starzzz Shark 9: Let It Ride (1Em) by Rock N Roll Heaven 10: Lazarus by Bettor's Delight   Macarthur Square Ladyship Mile 1: Rocker Band by Rocknroll Hanover 2: Ameretto by Million Dollar Cam 3: Partyon by Bettor's Delight 4: Our Golden Goddess by Art Major 5: Ima Mystery Girl (1Em) by Village Jasper 6: Carlas Pixel by Courage Under Fire 7: Miss Riviera Belle by Bettor's Delight 8: My Rona Gold by Klondike Kid 9: A Piccadilly Princess by Bettor's Delight 10: Berisari (2Em) by Safari 11: Delishka by Bettor's Delight 12: Shakahari by Courage Under Fire   John Gibson Memorial NSW Oaks 1: Redbank Addi (1Em) by Rock N Roll Heaven 2: Imprincessgemma by Village Jolt 3: Ideal Pleasure by Bettor's Delight 4: Fame Assured by Mach Three 5: Shez All Rock by Rock N Roll Heaven 6: War Dan Bad Girl by Bettor's Delight 7: My Sweetchilliphilly by Betterthancheddar 8: Nostra Villa by Art Major 9: Callmequeenbee by Shadow Play 10: Macey jayde by Shadow Play 11: Soho Burning Love by Auckland Reactor 12: Prophesy (2Em) by Somebeachsomewhere   APG NSW Derby 1: Colt Thirty One by Mach Three 2: Major Times by Art Major 3: Divine State (1Em) by Tintin In America 4: Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere 5: Maraetai by Somebeachsomewhere 6: Higherthananeagle by Mach Three 7: All U Need Is Faith (2Em) by Art Major 8: The Black Prince by Bettor's Delight 9: Code Bailey by Christian Cullen 10: Tam Major by Art Major 11: The Devils Own by Art Major 12: Little Peanut by Blissfull Hall For further information contact Club Menangle Racing Manager David Wonson (02) 4645 2200 *Em = Emergency Mandy Madern

There are plenty of good reasons to head out to Club Menangle over the next few weeks. The club’s biggest harness racing event, the Carnival of Miracles, will kick off on Saturday, February 10, and run for three consecutive weeks. On Saturday, February 24 carnival will conclude with the showpiece event and Australasia’s richest race – the Miracle Mile. Punters who attend the first two race meetings will also have the chance to run their eye over the horses who will line up in the big field. The horse who wins the Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots of Fire on February 10 will automatically qualify for the Miracle Mile. So will the first two runners from the Canadian Club Sprint and Allied Express Transport Sprint (both on February 17). The final three horses to make up the field of eight will be chosen by the Club Menangle board.  “This adds an element of excitement and quite often controversy around who will receive the last three invitations,” Club Menangle chief executive Bruce Christison said. The betting ring won’t be the only place where racegoers can win either. A $1500 travel voucher will be up for grabs for the male and female winner of the Lexus Macarthur Fashions on the Field, held on the same night as the Miracle Mile. Mr Christison said the enormity of the carnival should not be lost on Macarthur residents. “Every sport has its pinnacle event and the Miracle Mile is the grand final of harness racing,” he said. “To have this event with the best international horses is huge for the Macarthur region. “It is not often that we get to have the best international talent in any sport here in our own backyard. “The Miracle Mile gives the people of Macarthur the opportunity to see the best racing action combined with fashion and fine food.” The opening night of the carnival will also feature the Aussie Night Markets, which will see 50 food store holders descend on the course. Mr Christison said at this stage, the two likely favourites for the Miracle Mile were New Zealander’s Lazarus and Lennytheshark, which won last year. He also predicted local hopes Bling it On and Tiger Tara would be in the mix for the title.  Ben Chenoweth Reprinted with permission of The Wollondilly Advertiser

Harness racing was merely some added colour and even something new for many families at Tabcorp Park at Club Menangle today. It was the south-west Sydney racetrack's annual Family Fun Day and Fisher's Ghost race meeting. And while the serious harness racing was top notch with two rich finals of the Menangle Where Horses Fly Country Series as well as the Group Two Franco Australian Trotters Final and the J. C. Caffyn Plate, there were so many other things to keep the youngsters busy. Free rides, fairy floss, face-painting, the C91.3 road crew, a petting zoo and regular patrols from the club's mascot, Trigger, kept most of the kids occupied for the warm afternoon. A large number of fans also gathered to watch a welcome to Country by local elder Uncle Ivan Wellington followed by a performance by an aboriginal dance troupe. And after the indigenous drivers were introduced to the crowd, the day was capped off by a marvellous performance by The Aboriginal Vocal Identification Program choir, singing some traditional Australian songs. "This day just seems to get bigger and more popular every year and it is great to see the indigenous Australians have supported it by turning up in large numbers to be part of the fun and entertainment," said Uncle Ivan, who has become a regular at the track for this meeting each year. Albury reinsman Royce Gregory-Jack also made the six-hour drive from the border town to be part of the action and made history when he won the Indigenous Drivers' J. C. Caffyn Plate for the third time in six years. A record that even many of the children stopped to applaud - before returning to their free rides and other entertainment. Amanda Zammit

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