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Darren McCall continues to live his harness racing dream and is now firmly re-established in Australia after twelve years in North America Originally from Queensland, Darren went to North America to work for Ross Croghan in 1998 for a three month stint and ended up staying in North America for nearly twelve years. After four years in America under Croghan, Darren and his wife Karina moved to Canada and struck out on their own and had an unbelievable run over the next eight years. Horses that passed through their stable at various times included the two time Breeders Crown champion Corleone Kosmos. The son of S J's Photo won $2,141,310 and took a mark of 1:51.2 The outstanding Bettors Delight mare Southwind Tempo 1:48.2 ($2,445,541) was another champion to pass through the McCall barn when in Canada along with two other outstanding mares in Tug River Princess 1:49.3 ($1,858,219) and Carolina Sunshine 1:48.4 ($1,388,062) Deuce Seelster 1:49.4 ($1,149,825) was another millionaire who competed for McCall while in Ontario. All up in the eight years that Darren was training on his own account in Canada he won 395 races for $12,027,532 in purses. “I learnt so much during my 12 years in North America." "In 2006 Karina and I came up with a five year plan with the aim that we would move back to Australia at the end of that time." The reason we stayed for so long on was because the experience we gained was so valuable," Darren said. The McCall's brought home a couple of mares with them with the long term aim of establishing these as their foundation mares in years to come. One is Ice Ice Baby by Modern Art and she is a half sister to Village Blast 1:51.1 ($425,373) while her dam is a half sister to none other than the brilliant racehorse and sire, Cambest 1:46.1 ($1,444,835) " We brought Ice Ice Baby at the yearling sales for just $9,000 and she won us $240,000 and went 1:52.3 so she owes us nothing," Darren said. The other mare was Warrawee Flare who won $609,019 and took a record of 1:50.3 She is a half sister to Safe Harbour 1:50.1 ($492,113) from a half sister to After Life 1:51.4 ($659,328) so lacks nothing on the pedigree or performance front. Arriving back in Australia in 2011, Darren has worked hard to get re-established and feels now the hard work is starting to pay off. "I have settled in Sydney and things are on the up here so it is the right place to be." "I have got a few nice horses in the barn at the moment." "Bettor Bet Black, Western Rockstar and American Highlights have all won on a Friday night at Menangle in the last month so things are ticking over nicely," Darren said. Darren is about to move into a new stable set up right across the road from the Menangle Track which will see his number of boxes increase to twenty two. " I have been doing fifteen because thats all I could accommodate so the extra boxes will be great." " I have been training one horse for some New Zealand owners and l get on good with the New Zealand horses so I am looking to hopefully get a few more now that I have a bit more room," Darren said. With his record in both Australia and North America, Darren McCall has a CV that is right up there with the best in the business. Harnesslink Media  

Victorian harness racing driver Jason Lee will head to Sydney to partner the Jarrod Alchin-trained Mark Dennis at Tabcorp Park Menangle tomorrow night.  Mark Dennis will compete in race seven and Lee is hoping to rekindle that winning feeling with the son of Bettors Delight and the pair combined to win at Melton last September. “The owner (Paul Nobes) rang me earlier in the week and asked if Jason could drive Mark Dennis on Friday night because he had won on him in the past,” Alchin said. “I was happy to give him the drive. I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with Jason yet, but I was happy with Mark Dennis last week, because as soon as they ran that slow second quarter, it was always going to be hard for those back in the field to make ground.” Mark Dennis is one of two horses Nobes has transferred to Alchin. “I got a phone call out of the blue asking me if I would be interested in taking a couple of horses and Mark Dennis was one and the other was two-year-old filly Perfectly Written,” Alchin explained “Perfectly Written was paid up for the Bathurst Gold Tiara, but we had the vet go over her and she just had a bit of mucus on her chest, so we gave her a little break to get over it and she will be back in this weekend.” Alchin recently returned from New Zealand where he purchased a yearling trotter. “I went over to the sales in New Zealand and bought a trotter which is out of a half-sister to Daenerys Targaryen,” Alchin said. “I really think trotting will go ahead in New South Wales. “There is good prize money to be won and with a bigger pool of trotters it can only go from strength to strength.” Alchin will return to the sulky on Monday at Bathurst. “My suspension is over on Sunday, so I can drive in the heats of the Chalice and Bracelet, which is important because I am down to drive Sporty Spook and Scarlet Satene,” Alchin said. HRNSW Media

Harness racing trainer Owen Martin says seven-year-old Farmersntradies doesn’t owe him anything and whether the gelding ever gets back to his best or not doesn’t really matter. A previous Vicbred Super Series two-year-old heat winner, Farmersntradies (by Blissfull Hall out of Karamea Vedette) is also a three-time Menangle winner. But niggling health issues have scuppered the pacer time and again in his races, his Concongella (near Stawell in Victoria's west) trainer declaring the chestnut “too smart”. “As soon as he feels something coming on he doesn’t put in at all,” Martin, a former farmer and miner, said. “When you come to the 400 and the acid is right on, he doesn’t let down straightaway. And when he does they’re already long gone.” Farmersntradies hasn’t registered a race win since July 21, 2012, in Sydney with then trainer/driver Blake Fitzpatrick. Martin had sent his stable star to New South Wales where he hit a purple patch, winning three straight races across a four-week period – including two $22,000 events. “His last two runs with Blake he went shocking so I brought him home and he had some health issues," Martin said. “It’s been a fair job trying to turn it around.” But despite finishing sixth of 11 at Horsham last time out at odds of $112, Martin was pleased with his charge’s effort to be beaten only 7.7 metres by Hilltop Hustler, who it meets in Sunday’s Loddon Valley Stud Boort Pacing Cup. Hilltop Hustler will line up behind the 20-metre tape in the 2612-metre, $14,905 race, while Farmersntradies has the ace draw for Martin’s reinsman son-in-law, Michael Sullivan. Farmersntradies found the line well at Horsham and still seemingly had something under the hood as the field went past the post. “I think he’s sort of working his way back into form,” Martin said.“But I don’t think he’ll ever get back to his best form. I think I can get him back a bit closer to his best but I won’t knock him around; he’s been a fantastic horse to his owners.” Farmersntradies ran third in last year's Boort Pacing Cup behind winner and eventual Inter Dominion Grand Final placegetter, Flaming Flutter. Martin, whose daughter Anna is married to Sullivan, said the young reinsman was a great help at the stables and he was the reason the veteran trainer was still in the game. “Without him I probably wouldn’t still be doing it,” he said. “He loves the horses and he gets along good with Farmersntradies.” Eleven runners are engaged for Sunday’s Boort Pacing Cup, Cam Before The Storm, Turnpike Cruiser, Mista Styx, Smo, Gollahman, Ya Bowen Delight and Seven And A Half all joining Farmersntradies from scratch. Road To Rock and Hilltop Hustler will both start from 20m, while Narra Operative is the backmarker off 30m. The Haras Des Trotteurs Boort Trotters Cup sees a nine-horse field race over 2612m from the stand, with Sunset Invasion and Looks A Moral both off 10m, and Waikare Sun, Rumbustious, Wildenstein, Paris Pepperell, Cillas Earl, Theywannacallmesue and Gidah all off the front mark. The Boort Pacing Cup program kicks off at 1.18pm. HRV’s successful Trot Selfies competition will be run on the day, patrons invited to post their selfie to facebook.com/trotselfies for a chance to win $1000 thanks to the TAB. Watch Farmersntradies finish third to Flaming Flutter at Boort last year. By Cody Winnell  

Just days after New Zealand wonder mare Adore Me became the fastest harness racing performer in the Southern Hemisphere with her 1:47.7 triumph, Hazels Girl has broken an Australian record. Making her racing debut for prominent trainer Robert Xerri, Hazels Girl lowered the national two-year-old fillies’ mark at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday. Leading throughout from barrier three, Hazels Girl covered the mile in 1:54.5, with quarters of 28.6, 29.9, 28.2 and 27.8 seconds. The debutante’s time sliced a tenth of a second off the previous mark shared by Read About Lexy and Alabama Shakes. Read About Lexy stopped the clock in 1:54.6 at Menangle on July 12 2014, with Alabama Shakes matching the record at the same venue last month. Lettucerockthem is the quickest freshman thanks to his 1:52.1 at Menangle on April 28, 2013. Excited by the youngster’s prospect, Xerri described Hazels Girl as a “serious filly”. “There is a lot to like about this one,” Xerri declared. “She has so much speed and a bit of stamina to go with it. “I knew she was ready to run a big race, but you don’t go out there expecting to break records. “At this stage of her preparation she is actually better with a sit as she can be a bit touchy in the mouth, but she did well. “She’s a serious fill and once she learns how to race I’m tipping she will be a lot better.” By Art Major, Hazels Girl is from former Group One winning filly, Miss Hazel, which won 15 of her 29 starts, with eight placings also to her credit. Miss Hazel’s best time of 1:57 was registered at Moonee Valley in May 2008. Miss Hazel is from broodmare gem My Ami Lee, the dam of three Group One winners including Renaissance Man and Louvre. As for Miss Hazel, Xerri has aimed her at the Bathurst Tiara, followed by the Australian Pacing Gold, New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge and Australasian Breeders’ Crown. “Bathurst is next then we will look at the other major races,” Xerri said. “You can’t go in everything so she won’t do much between the various heats and Finals. “Even then that’s another 10 or so races before the end of the season. “I’ve got a big opinion of her, so I want to look after her, not cook her.” PAUL COURTS

Beautide remains the pride of Tasmanian harness racing following his brilliant win in yesterday's Group One $750,000 Inter Dominion over 3009 metres at Menangle. Beautide toyed with his rivals in Australasia's premier event for the second successive year to become part of an elite group which have won the race in consecutive years. It was only his third start this time in, and given he has had such a short preparation leading up to the series, trainer James Rattray expects the gelding to continue racing in the short term. Winning two Inter Dominions elevates Beautide to legend status and arguably the best Tasmanian-owned and bred pacer to have contested the time-honoured Championship. What he has achieved in the space of a year sets him apart from any other Tasmanian-bred standardbred. Yesterday's effortless win also delivered a message that the seven-year-old still has plenty to offer at Grand Circuit level. Beautide will be given the chance to become the fourth triple Inter Dominion winner in Perth later this year. PETER STAPLES

Harness racing followers on both sides of the Tasman are never slow to claim the superiority of their racehorses when stock bred in their country have a big day on the Australasian harness racing scene. So it is no surprise today that Kiwi breeders and enthusiasts are feeling very smug after the huge day at Menangle yesterday by racehorses with the prefix NZ beside their name. Their were seven Group 1 races yesterday and Kiwi breds won four with Australian breds winning two and the Europeans one. And all that success on Australia's biggest harness racing day and in their  own backyard makes it all the more memorable for the Kiwis. There were a couple of constants throughout the day and that was the dominance of Bettor's Delight and Art Major in the Group 1 pacing races. Of the six pacing Group1 races that pair won four with the tally being two a piece. Fight For Glory in the New South Wales Oaks and Sky Major in the Chariots Of Fire did Art Major proud while Adore Me and Beautide made sure Bettor's Delight hogged the limelight as well. Both sires had multiple runners in most of the Group 1 races and Bettor's Delight ended up with five placed runners and Art Major two placed runners to reinforce their dominance. A lot of comment has been made in recent years from leading Australian breeders about how they were getting on top of their Kiwi counterparts. They put this down to the ever increasing number of well bred Kiwi mares who now call Australia home and that they saw a time in the not to distant future where the Australian bred horse would dominate racing in Australia. New Zealand breeders from the start of this industry in New Zealand have sold racemares and broodmares to Australia and will continue to do so in the future. It has never affected the ability of the New Zealand breeder to churn our those top horses year in year out. With Bettor's Delight serving 301 mares in New Zealand this year and Art Major over 170 there will be no shortage of horses by these two dominant sires in New Zealand in the next few years. Throw in the likes of Mach Three (130) and newcomers such as A Rocknroll Dance (161) and next year the recently announced Sweet Lou and there is a real confidence amongst New Zealand breeders that the glory days are far from coming to an end. Harnesslink Media

They said he was unlucky not to make it; they said he deserved to be a wildcard and the experts hollered he should just have been in the ‘Big One’ - the Inter Dominion. And former Kiwi pacer Franco Ledger proved all those ‘armchair experts’ were right, when he blew his rivals away in yesterday’s Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Geoff Webster-trained and driven son of Falcon Seelster strolled away from a quality field, rating 1:55.4 for the 2400 metres to beat outsider Lochinver and Bit Of A Legend. It completed a great day for Webster, who prepared the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion runner-up Flaming Flutter, beaten by the mighty Beautide earlier in the afternoon. While Webster handed the drive behind Flaming Flutter to Greg Sugars, he was happy to pilot Franco Ledger. Settled towards the tail of the field, Franco Ledger took off three-wide with 800 metres to travel as Webster slowly made his way towards the head of the field. Turning for home the stallion darted clear to register an impressive victory. Webster paid tribute to part-owner Hamish Hunter who sent him a “ready-made” racehorse from the South Island of New Zealand. “He’s just a terrific little horse and to win a race like this with the prestige attached to it is a real thrill,” Webster said. “I have to thank my staff, especially ‘Skinny’; who brought both my horses up here and has looked after them all week. “They’ve all done a great job.” HRNSW Media

She has long been the Queen of New Zealand harness racing, but given her performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago, Adore Me may well be the best pacing mare in the world. Not only did the Mark Purdon - trained wonder embarrass a strong field in the prestigious Ladyship Mile, she did so in Australasian record time – after racing in the ‘death seat’. Driven by Natalie Rasmussen, Adore Me covered the 1609-metre sprint in a breathtaking 1:47.7. Becoming the first member of the ‘fairer sex’ to better the magical 1:50 mark, the daughter of Bettors Delight slashed eight-tenths of a second off Smoken Up’s Southern Hemisphere stance. Smoken Up became the first pacer on this side of the equator to break 1:50 when he stopped the clock at 1:48.5 at Menangle in April 2011. Before Adore Me’s record run, Baby Bling held the mares’ crown with her 1:50.5 performance in April 2013 when triumphant in the Miracle Mile…also at Menangle. Shebestingin – also a daughter of Bettors Delight – is the world's fastest pacing female thanks to her 1:47 effort at Lexington in 2013. Put On A Show, by Rocknroll Hanover, is the quickest mare after covering the mile in 1:47.6. As for Adore Me’s moment of glory, she covered the last half in a scintillating 53.7 seconds to score by 18-and-a-half metres from Beauty Secret, with Laterron four metres away third. Adore Me will return to the Shaky Isles this week, with Purdon is expected to decide on an Auckland Cup start within the next couple of days. The Auckland Cup is scheduled to be run on Friday. Adore Me’s success was the third leg of a treble for Rasmussen from the first four races on the program. Capturing a Drivers’ Invitational event with Ive Gottalife, Rasmussen and Purdon also combined to annex the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory. PAUL COURTS

Top pacer Beautide has joined an elite harness racing fraternity thanks to his scintillating victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. The James Rattray - trained gelding trounced his rivals to successfully defend the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion title he won last year. Reminiscent of his first victory in the time-honoured Championship, Beautide worked in the ‘death seat’ before sprinting clear along the home straight to score by 14 metres from Flaming Flutter. After filling the minor placing last year, For A Reason was third again for trainer Belinda McCarthy. Despite being reshod just before the beginning of the $750,000 Group One, Beautide rated a brilliant 1:55.8 for the 3009-metre marathon, with this time just three-tenths of a second outside the track record he established during last year’s Inter Dominon. "It wasn’t ideal, he threw a shoe, he was feeling above himself, but that’s the way we like to race him,” Rattray said. “After the way he won his heat, I was confident we’d go well today. “This horse looks to be labouring until you ask him to go.” Beautide’s latest triumph – his 44th from 72 starts – makes him just the sixth champion to retain his title. Former super star Hondo Grattan was the ground breaker in 1973 and ’74, with his second victory coming in one of the most action-packed Finals on all-time. A fall soon after the start saw half the field knocked out of contention before Hondo Grattan achieved immortality on the tight Gloucester Park circuit. Dour stayer Gammalite followed suit in 1983 and ’84 before being joined by Our Sir Vancelot in 1997, ’98 and ’99, Blacks A Fake in 2006, ’07 and ’08 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011, ’12 and ’13. Former warhorse, Captain Sandy, is the only dual Inter Dominion winner, having scored in 1950 and 1953. As for Beautide, the locally-trained son of Bettors Delight will be given a short break before tackling next month’s Len Smith Mile. Beautide won last season’s edition of the Group One sprint in 1:53.1. The seven-year-old will then spend an extended stint in a paddock before being readied for the Perth Inter Dominion in December. “The $1.3million prizemoney is a tremendous incentive and the three-week carnival will also suit Beau as it gives me time to prepare him for each heat and the Final,” Rattray said. PAUL COURTS

Leading Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart claimed consecutive New South Wales Derby victories thanks to Ideal For Real’s gutsy performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. Outstaying his rivals with master reinsman Gavin Lang in the sulky, Ideal For Real follows on from Major Secret’s success last season. Naturally thrilled with the performance, Stewart will give the son of American Ideal a short break before embarking on another feature race campaign. “To win this race two years in a row is a great thrill,” Stewart declared. “Major Secret went terrific last year and now Ideal For Real has put in a huge ran. “It was tight at the finish, but I knew he’d got there in time. “He will go home now for a short spell, then we will get him revved up again for some of the majors later in the season.” Matching strides with the leader, Hug The Wind, along the home straight, Ideal For Real grabbed the front in the last stride to score by a half-head, with Sporty Spook seven metres away third. In an amazing performance from both stables, Stewart and New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon has filled the quinella in the first three Group Ones of the day. Purdon captured the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory and the Ladyship Mile with Adore Me, while Stewart finished second with Delight Me and Beauty Secret. “Yeah it is good to turn the tables on Mark and win one of the Group Ones,” Stewart said. PAUL COURTS

Most harness racing pundits previewing this afternoons New South Wales Derby saw it as a two horse war with Hug The Wind from barrier one preferred over Ideal For Real who had landed the dreaded barrier of nine. The early races had the All Star barn runners on fire with Fight For Glory and Adore Me both being brilliant winners and punters thought the streak would continue in the Derby making Hug The Wind a clear favourite. Sporty Spook flew the gate as he can and grabbed the early lead while Natalie Rasmussen let Hug The Wind find his feet early before sending him forward to the lead. Gavin Lang on Ideal For Real settled second last in the running line early while the other well supported runner in Art Union with Dexter Dunn in the bike was parked outside the leader. With just over a lap to go Gavin Lang sent Ideal For Real around the field and he landed in the death seat outside Hug The Wind with 1100 metres to go. Natalie held the leader back to the field in the quarter down the back in 28.1 before going for broke as they turned for home. Gavin Lang never panicked and slowly but surely got to Hug The Wind with Ideal For Real nailing him by half a head in the last stride. What made the victory even meritorious was the last quarter was cut out in a blistering 25.8 Sporty Spooky fought on for third just in front of Art Union. The Emma Stewart trained colt is an all American bred being by American Ideal from the imported Real Desire mare in Tamara Hall. Noted previously for his high speed off a sit, Ideal For Real showed today that he has developed an all round game as the season has progressed. Harnesslink Media

The holy grail of harness racing in Australasia has always been the Inter Dominion series until some brightspark changed the format three years ago and shifted the date. What we have been left with since then is a series that is a shadow of what it use to be and due to its timing it is devoid of most of the major players on the Grand Circuit in Australasia. The outstanding Beautide is back to defend his title against a field severely weakened by withdrawals or no shows. Still Beautide can only beat what is placed in front of him and barring accidents that is exactly what he will do tomorrow afternoon. So here is our runner by runner preview of the Inter-Dominion Grand Final. 1) Lennytheshark - Starts 33 - Wins 16 - Seconds 10 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $468,,550 A genuine Grand Circuit horse who has come back at five in great touch. From the draw he can make his own luck but hard to see how going to war with Beautide will help his winning chances. Second looks his for the taking from the draw but not if he gets sucked into a arm wrestle with Beautide. The likely winner if anything goes wrong with the hot favourite so include in all bets. 2) Blazin N Cullen - Starts - 55 - Wins 15 - Seconds 8 - Thirds 7  -  Stakes $199,672 Surprisingly given a wildcard even though he only ran fourth in the weakest heat in the series. Did run second in the Gold Coast Cup and fourth in the Queensland Pacing Championship but both fields only had two genuine Grand Circuit horses involved in For A Reason and Avonnova so hard to give those results any weight in our view. Too many here going better so not for us 3) Flaming Flutter - Starts - 47 - Wins 16 - Seconds 10 - Thirds 8  -  Stakes $267, 395 In our view Flaming Flutter is in career best form and has run some great races this campaign. Has been racing regularly since August but he seems to be thriving on the long campaign. Really good sixth in the Hunter Cup followed by second in his heat to Lennytheshark shows us that Flaming Flutter from his handy draw is ready to run the race of his life tomorrow. A definite trifecta and first four player for us. 4) Ultimate Art - Starts 44 - Wins 19 - Seconds 8 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $305,753 Won the supplementary heat which was the weakest heat in our view and only after getting every possible advantage during the running. He is very honest but too many here have the class edge in our view. Not for us 5) Beautide -  Starts 71 - Wins 43 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $1,562, 212 Just a class above this field. When right he only has two challengers on the Grand Circuit in Christen Me and Adore Me and with neither of them here this is his for the taking. Had a few issues leading into the Victoria Cup but heat win showed he was back to his best when he absolutely bolted in. Barring accidents Beautide just wins. 6) I'm Corzin Terror - Starts 66 - Wins 18 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $329,982 Ran tough third in the Melton heat but  still hasn't convinced us that he is a player here That was the first show of form for a few runs after a poor tenth in the Victoria Cup and an ok seventh in the Hunter Cup. Gavin Lang is a notable help in the bike but still only an outside first four chance for us. 7) Monifieth - Starts 59 - Wins 17 - Seconds 8 - Thirds 7  -  Stakes $249,363 Ran a good third to Beautide in his heat but was a fair way from the first two. Very competitive at the level just below the Grand Circuit but a few here would seem to have his measure in our view. Even though he is as honest as they come, we struggle to see him being a player in the final. Not for us. 8) Majestic Mach - Starts 49 - Wins 32 - Seconds 6 - Thirds 5  -  Stakes $731, 354 Former outstanding two and three year old who has found the transition to the Grand Circuit a lot harder. Did go really well in his heat in Brisbane but we are convinced the reason for that was the manner in which he was driven. For once he was driven with a sit and as a result he rounded the race off really well. This track suits that style of racing but not convinced that is how he will be driven. Driven cold Majestic Mach is an outside trifecta and first four player 9) Terror To Love - Starts 73 - Wins 31 - Seconds 16 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $2,353,353 The enigma of the field in every sense. If the real Terror To Love fronted tomorrow then Beautide would have some serious competition. But he has a terrible record at Menangle for a horse of his ability and to make matters worse he appears to be several lengths off his best at the moment. A career worst run in the Hunter Cup followed by a battling third in his heat against horses he would normally beat easily tells us that he will struggle tomorrow. Not for us. 10) David Hercules - Starts 99 - Wins 37 - Seconds 17 - Thirds 15  -  Stakes $1,189,419 Old warhorse from the west who has had a new lease of life this season now I'm Themightyquinn is not around in Perth. Sound sixth in the Victoria Cup in his only start in the east this season although he did race three back on the inner the whole trip. Draw makes it really tough for him but has more ability than quite a few here. Track will suit but needs to be driven cold in our opinion to come into play for trifecta and first four players at big odds. 11) For A Reason - Starts 50 - Wins 27 - Seconds 9 - Thirds 4  -  Stakes $1,046,240 One of only two horses in this field that we think could possibly trouble Beautide if the favourite was to strike big trouble during the running. He is a proven Grand Circuit performer and followed an unlucky seventh in the Victoria Cup with a good second to Beautide in his heat. Was clear of the rest of the chasing pack that night and from one on the second line he should get a very economical run on Lennytheshark's back. Goes his best races with one run at them and drawn to get just that run. Major player for quinella, trifecta and first four takers. 12) Easy On The Eye - Starts 58 - Wins 17 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 10  -  Stakes $433,250 Only run of any note for us in this campaign was his good run for third in the Hunter Cup over 3280 metres so distance shouldn't be a worry you would think. However did get a beautiful run that night three pegs and draw here makes his task a huge one In New Zealand he had a reputation as a sprinter and was favoured over trips a lot shorter  than tomorrows. Run over in his heat over 2400 metres and that confirmed to us that he will struggle to be a major player here. Not for us. 13) Avonnova - Starts 121 - Wins 41 - Seconds 23 - Thirds 12  -  Stakes $588,569 Very under rated horse who has hardly put a foot wrong all season except when Shane Graham  had a brain fart in the Miracle Mile and went crazy early. Second line draw means he can stay out of the early speed duels for once and that gives him a place chance in our view. Tough as teak and track and distance will suit down to the ground. Trifecta and first four player for us. 14) Teo Enteo - Starts 62 - Wins 18 - Seconds 14 - Thirds 7  -  Stakes $217,827 Has had just a passable season at best and just battled into fourth in his heat. Stronger field and poor draw makes this mission impossible for him. Best we can see him finishing is midfield so not for us. 15) Franco Ledger (1st Emerg) - Starts 74 - Wins 22 - Seconds 11 - Thirds 6  -  Stakes $546,553 A combination of events led to him not getting one of the wildcard entries and it was nothing to do with the racing performances of Franco Ledger. It is a real shame because the track is perfect for his style of racing and he would have been a big trifecta and first four player in our opinion. If he somehow makes it into the race through a late scratching, then you need to include him in all your multis. 16) Wartime Sweetheart - Starts 135 - Wins 21 - Seconds 17 - Thirds 14  -  Stakes $268,376 Really hard to see her being competitive even if she did make it back into the field. Operates well at the level beneath the Grand Circuit but this is a bit rich for her. Not for us. SELECTIONS  Barring accidents Beautide appears to have a mortgage on the race. He made a real statement in his heat and looks yards better than the rest. Second is a toss up between Lennytheshark and For A Reason and we couldn't separate them. After that it gets real interesting and for trifectas and first fours we would include Flaming Flutter, David Hercules and Avonnova. For those wanting a wider coverage add in Im Corzin Terror and Majestic Mach. Harnesslink Media

In addition to the 16 horses in Sunday's TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion being housed in the HRNSW Retention Facility, HRNSW has assigned security personnel on all mares engaged in the Group One Cordina Chicken Farms Ladyship Mile. Australia's feature mares' race will be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. The security personnel were in position at 10am on Saturday morning and will remain with the mares until they are presented on course by 11.55am on Sunday. HRNSW's objective in the use of this strategy is to provide a level playing field for all runners under its regulation and control. It follows on from last year when Inter Dominion runners were housed in the Retention Barn at Tabcorp Park Menangle while security was placed on every runner in the Chariots Of Fire. Further Integrity Strategies - 3pm Saturday, 28 February 2015 HRNSW has further enhanced its Integrity Strategies for races being conducted at TABCORP PARK Menangle tomorrow, Sunday 1 March 2015. Below is a breakdown of the Integrity Strategies undertaken by HRNSW: TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion : All horses are in the Retention Facility from 11am, Friday 27 February 2015 until being transferred to the raceday stalls Cordina Chicken Farms Ladyship Mile (Group 1) - All horses have been under HRNSW appointed security personnel supervision since 10am, Saturday 28 February 2015. FORM 700 NSW Oaks (Group 1), Camarda & Cantrill NSW Derby (Group 1) & FORM 700 Chariots of Fire (Group 1) - All horses have been under HRNSW appointed security personnel supervision since 3pm, Saturday 28 February 2015. In addition to the security personnel being employed, HRNSW Stewards and Veterinarians have been conducting stable inspections and collecting samples from runners engaged in tomorrow's meeting. "What HRNSW has rolled out in the last 30 hours is a large operation, involving not only HRNSW Integrity staff but 30 security personnel." HRNSW Chief Operating Officer Reid Sanders said. "Operations like this take strategic planning and a considerable effort from HRNSW staff." "These measures have been put in place to ensure that horses competing on Australasia's biggest harness racing day do so on a level playing field. We want to further enhance confidence in NSW harness racing and reaffirm that we are leaders in integrity strategies." The Inter Dominion 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Reid Sanders Chief Operating Officer (02) 9722 6600 rsanders@hrnsw.com.au                   Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6677| F: 02 85805792 | E: ghayes@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.harnessmediacentre.com.au          

David McCarthy does a great job at the All Stars Racing Stables with his previews of all of their runners each weekend and this week is no exception with his preview for the big weekend of harness racing ahead. With the kind permission of the All Stars team we have reprinted the preview below. Auckland - Friday night Race 2 Chase The Dream (8) Natalie Form: Impressive late run to win the Sapling Stakes on debut. Ability not in question. Comment: "First time that way round but he has high speed and he is also pretty tough. The sort of hors e you can use a bit and he will still kick on. Doing well up there too" Race 3 Wanna Play (3) Natalie Form: Broke last week after good racing in south Comment:  "One I am not too confident about. Standing starts are not really her thing and she is not quite as good right-handed. On ability she would win it but I have reservations" Race 4 Arden's Choice (6) Natalie    Form:  Strong second to stablemate at Timaru mile rate1.57 plus and home in fast time. Comment:  "There's not much between our fillies and I don't know a lot about some of the others. outside the two favoured ones. I will go with Dream About Me in spite of the draw but my drive Arden's Choice is up there with her and the run of the race will decide  the best of our pair. They haven't had a lot of practice raceday but should be ready.  Dream About Me (11) Tim Form: Won debut at Timaru. Hard form to fault. Comment: see above Race 6 Change Stride (10) Brent Mangos Form: Consistent form over the summer and again last week. Draw no help. Comment: Yes working ok up there and will go a good race but maybe just a little below our other two at this level. Kept Under Wraps (6) Natalie Form: Eye catching trial and then eye catching first upper last week. Danger here. Comment: "The boys up north are very pleased with him and he will improve a lot with that last run after one trial. He will improve again with this but is competitive.  Follow The Stars (13) Tim Form: Brave in Victoria Derby beaten by the draw. Not a good one here either. Comment: "Doing really well up there and I expect him to win even from that draw with any luck at all" Race 8 Classical Art (1) Natalie Form: Progressed nicely from quiet trial to bold run last week. Poised. Comment: "Nothing will beat her out of the gate but the decisions are not easy after that. If I don't go out of the gate she could end up pulling three back on the fence and that is no way to go about it. Its a question whether I hand up to one of the top ones and risk her tugging in the trail or just try and win it from the front which is  hard to do but she is capable of doing it. The tactics will be interesting but I expect her to lead early at least. Linda Lovegrace (5) Ricky May Form: Missed a race last week but flashed home strongly at Ashburton previously. Comment: "I am not too worried about her missing that race last week. She hasn't missed any work. Also she always seems to go really well when she is freshened. Her best races have sometimes been like that. So she is a contender though not my top one. Supersonic Miss (10) Tim Form: Showed her class as false odds last week. Super on best day. Comment:  "I think she is the best chance of the three actually. From that draw she will be out of the early rush and will have options after that. She thrives on racing and should only  have improved with that race.  She gets top billing. Race 9 Border Control (2) Tim Form: Did some work to lead last week from a handicap and beaten by passing lane. Ran fastest time. Still on up.   Comment: "Another good run from a handicap last week and he can still get better. Each way chance and a good one. Smolda (5) Natalie Form:  Outstanding first up last week from a long handicap and should only be improved Comment: "I think he can win. That is based on his first up run last week  which was great and his work this week has them really happy up north. He has stepped up they feel so he should be competitive in this field. " Menangle - Sunday Afternoon Race 3  Fight For Glory (11) Natalie  Form:  Easy winner of her heat and one of the hardest to beat here. Comment: "She doesn't need bad luck but she doesn't need good luck if you get what I mean. Even from that draw  if she gets a reasonable run she should be very hard to beat. Her heat run was most impressive. She is at the top of her game and I think unless I do something stupid or somebody else does she is the one to beat. Race 4 Adore Me ( 12) Natalie Form: Went 1.51 last week but has a woeful draw. Comment: " Mark was happy to just do the training for the day as I am driving the others and if anything comes up he has the time to deal with it. It is all good news on the training front from Sydney. I don't know about that draw, whether to go straight out of the gate or wait a few seconds and see what happens. There is a bit of speed on the front line so it will be interesting. I notice that while Ruby did it hardly any horses win at Menangle  when parked so we will have to see.  She is the best horse in  the race so unless I stuff it up she should still be the horse to beat. We would decide on an Auckland Cup run after seeing how hard a race she has " Race 5 Hug The Wind (1) Natalie Form: Devastating heat win makes him favourite. Draw might be tricky. Comment: "As I said I would actually have preferred a gate one or two out. You need gatespeed from one and fortunately he has it  What unfolds from there is not so easy to predict.  You run the risk of getting trapped if you hand up to the wrong horses. He is really well and probably the one to beat" Race 6 Isaiah (5) Natalie  Form: Outstanding leadup over a mile last week and improved with that Comment: Well he has stepped up all season really but this will be his biggest test. Sky Major in particular looked very impressive last week and Bling It On is highly rated so from 5 I will just have to see what develops. It was a great leadup last week and he will improve with that so I am very hopeful he can pull it off" Cheviot - Sunday Afternoon Race9 Sophisticated Lady (3) Jim Curtin Emeli Maguire (4) Ricky May Northern Velocity (10) Matt Comment : "Northern Velocity would be the pick of them but she has that woeful draw which will not help.She hopped out of her gear last week but it was just that she lost concentration. She is still a bit  dumb when it comes to racing. The other two are sort of in the same boat. Emeli Maguire might have a break after this. We will see how she goes. She is a lanky filly and has some growing to do. Sophisticated Lady had a run just good enough to qualify at the trials with a race coming up. She might also need a little break after this we will see. Northern Velocity wouldn't want to be giving the other two too much ground turning for home but if all goes well she will be the best of them" Courtesy of All Star Racing Stables - Check Site here                                                                                                                                                                             

Connections of talented pacer Mister Jay Cee are hoping he can change his family’s history in one of harness racing’s premier events. A well-bred gelding, Mister Jay Cee is engaged in Sunday’s Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Despite drawing perfectly in barrier one, Mister Jay Cee is one of the outsiders for trainer Richard Baverstock. By Modert Art, the four-year-old is from Bettor By Far, making Mister Jay Cee a relative to Kept For Pleasure, Its My Pleasure and Nowtizku, which were all unplaced in the Group One. Kept For Pleasure finished sixth in the 2009 edition, followed by Its My Pleasure and Nowitzki, which finished seventh in 2011 and ’14. Thrilled with the draw, Baverstock feels Mister Jay Cee can upset a few of his rivals with the right run. “We are just rapt to make the Final,” Baverstock said. “He’s not quite up to the real top ones, but he goes well enough. “The biggest problem with him is he switches off in his races and drops the bit, which you can’t afford to do against this level. “If the penny drops with him he will be a lot better horse. “The draw has really helped and if he gets a good run along the pegs he may be able to sneak a placing.” PAUL COURTS

We continue our previews of harness racings big day at Menangle Inter Dominion day on Sunday and this time the focus is on the three year olds in the New South Wales Derby.  New South Wales Derby 1) Hug The Wind - Starts 12 - Wins 5 - Seconds 5 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $202,234 One real classy three year old who has the draw to dominate this race. Won his heat from the death seat in what was his first run for seven weeks so natural improvement makes him very hard to beat. Has real gate speed as he showed at Auckland on New Year's eve and the all round game to take advantage of his draw. Natalie is driving in super touch at the moment so this combination looks terribly hard to beat. 2) Kilcullen - Starts 10 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 0  -  Stakes $48,173 Kilcullen has been disappointing in the main when lined up against the better three year olds. Kilcullen was poor in his heat of the Victorian Derby from barrier two and although he death seated for the last round in his Derby heat last Saturday, the first three got away on him the last bit. Doesn't look to get off the gate at all in his races so two draw is not a big positive Not for us. 3) Art Union - Starts 21 - Wins 12 - Seconds 5 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $130,555 Was a touch down on his best in his heat last week in our opinion. At his best he would have won that heat from in front but was under pressure a fair way out. Does have an all round game and great trainer/driver combination in his corner so can turn it around. Hard to see him beating Hug The Wind but big chance to run the quinella and a must have for trifecta and first four takers. 4) Burnaholeinmypocket - Starts 9 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $29,252 (2nd Emerg) He had only had one run this season leading into his heat last Saturday night and he didn't do himself any favours by over racing badly through the first 800 metres. Never left the inner in getting home well for sixth in a fast run last quarter and hard to see how he could improve enough to be a player in this even if he made it back into the field from the ballot. Not for us. 5) Sluggem - Starts 6 - Wins 2 - Seconds 1 - Thirds  -  Stakes $15,898 Very inexperienced horse but does have a big future. Settled last in his heat and made ground stylishly late in the piece. Formerly with the All Star barn in New Zealand and showed plenty of ticker when winning for them at Auckland at Xmas time. Hasn't got the all round game yet to challenge a few here but will be running on. Outside first four player for us. 6) Lets Cut Loose - Starts 11 - Wins 2 - Seconds 4 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $18,854 He had nine starts in New Zealand before coming to Australia and none of them were in top three year old company which raises questions for us. He had the run of the race last week on Hug The Wind's back but couldn't stay with him in the straight after drawing barrier one which doesn't instill confidence either. Harder draw and field this week in the Derby means we struggle to see him as a major player. Not for us 7) Corporal Luna - Starts 15 - Wins 6 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $34,582 Built up a strong record in Queensland but was only ok in his Derby heat last Saturday night at Menangle. Didn't take advantage of his barrier draw of two and ended up four back on the inner and even though he ran home well in a quick last quarter, he was still a fair way from the winner. Stronger field and worst draw makes it mission impossible in our view. Not for us 8) Sporty Spook - Starts 17 - Wins 9 - Seconds 4 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $83,050 Showed blinding gate speed to lead from barrier nine last week but did badly check a horse coming across which the driver copped three weeks for. Fought on well when clear so plenty of merit in the run for us. Plenty of gate speed inside him in the Derby so not sure same strategy of burning the gate will work this week. First four chance if driven a bit more conservatively this week in our view. 9) Padrisimo - Starts 10 - Wins 6 - Seconds 2 - Thirds 0  -  Stakes $75,505 High class colt who has not had the ideal preparation for a gruelling 2400 metres. His run in the heats last Saturday night was his first for nine weeks and only his third in eleven months which makes it very hard to see him being a major player here. Should have improved bigtime with the run but too many questions remain in our view. Not for us 10) Ideal For Real - Starts 9 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 2  -  Stakes $52,185 Not the draw his connections would have been hoping for. Does pocess blinding speed if held up for one run as he showed in his Derby heat last Saturday night and in his heat of the Victorian Derby before that. Gavin Lang is just the man to get this American bred colt the run he needs but he is going to need Hug The Wind to have a run from hell to get him home over the top of that horse from barrier nine in our opinion. A winning chance and a must for quinella, trifecta and first four takers.  11) Aztec Bromac - Starts 8 - Wins 4 - Seconds 1 - Thirds 1  -  Stakes If this horse had drawn better he would be a huge trifecta and first four player. Won his Victoria Derby heat beating Ideal For Real before being flattened in the final. Pushed Hug The Wind for a long way in his heat and was well clear of the pack in second. Draw makes it hard but we have a lot of time for this horse. Definite trifecta and first four player even from the draw. 12) Spare Me Days - Starts 14 - Wins 6 - Seconds 0 - Thirds 5  -  Stakes $98,940 (1st Emerg) Picked a bad time in his Derby heat to run off on the last bend costing himself a couple of lengths which cost him his starting spot in the Derby. From the draw and on last weeks run, he would be up against it in our opinion if he did make it back into the field. Has a great overall record but not for us in this field  Selections Hard to go past Hug The Wind in one for us The danger is undoubtedly Ideal For Real This two look a wee bit better than the rest of the field on last weeks runs. The horses to make up the trifectas and first fours are Art Union, Sluggem, Sporty Spook and Aztec Bromac   Harnesslink Media    

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