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Lex Crosby got a touch emotional last Saturday night when his impressive three year old harness racing filly Read About Lexy took out the $40,800 Group 3 J L Raith Memorial at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Read About Lexy is from the breed that his late father Jim brought into over 60 years ago and it has been in the Crosby family ever since. Lex was very philosophical when talking about his filly earlier in the week. " There have been plenty of ups and downs over the years but it has been a good family to us over a long period." " Read About Lexy is the eight generation of this family that we have bred since Dad brought Winter Like over sixty years ago and I did get a bit emotional when she won the other night" Lex said. Lex is not surprised that Read About Lexy is so talented as her dam Lexy's Laughing showed plenty of ability in a short career. " She was a smart two year old but only had nine starts before she broke a fetlock and we had to have it pinned and retire her. "She won a race and run a few placings so I am not surprised she has left a good one," Lex said. Read About Lexy has been the model of consistency her whole career with Saturday night's win being her seventh to date alongside eight placings from just sixteen lifetime starts and took her lifetime earnings over the $100,000 mark. Lex has Read About Lexy's  programme mapped out going forward. "She can have a run in a C0-C1 at Menangle in a fortnight and then straight into the Oaks heats on the 21st February," Lex said. Lex is a big fan of Read About Lexy's sire Sportswriter. "From the moment I saw him in the flesh, I just had to have one." " He is such a magnificent looking stallion" " This year I bred Lexy's Laughing, her full sister Lexy's All Ears and their dam Lexy Lobell all to Sportswriter." "I just love the stallion," Lex said. Read About Lexy looks poised to give Lex plenty more thrills as all the major fillies races roll around in the next three months. Harnesslink Media   

Citing commercial reality, harness racing organisers have reluctantly decided against continuing with the annual 2YO Trialling Sale concept at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. Therefore, the trials-auction concept held last December will be the final of four such annual enterprises conducted by Australian Standardbred Consultancy Pty Ltd. The sales co-ordinator made the announcement so interested parties would not buy at forthcoming Australasian yearling sales under the misapprehension there would be another such sale this year. The conducting company wishes to thank everyone who has been involved with previous such sales, including vendors, buyers, sponsors Garrards Horse & Hound, Harness Racing New South Wales and the New South Wales Harness Racing Club. The sale has been responsible for graduates which have gone onto Group wins and have become members of the 'Hundred Grand Club.'  One such graduate, Iam Mr Brightside, scored impressively at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, last Saturday. Furthermore, the sale involved industry participants from every State of Australia and New Zealand as vendors and/or buyers. Graduates from the 2014 sale are eligible to nominate for the Group Three C.J. Garrard Classic, scheduled for Tabcorp Park, Menangle, this August.

Due to the small number of New Zealand nominations remaining in this year’s Inter Dominion there will be no harness racing heat run at Addington.  Initially 14 Kiwis were nominated for the Championship, however, a number of factors have led to the decision, including several scratchings, and at least three of those nominations currently campaigning in Australia.      The conditions for the time-honoured series read as follows: If any Qualifying Heat falls below 8 nominations by Friday, 30 January 2015, then horses will need to accept for the New South Wales Supplementary Qualifying Heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Should this clause be activated there may be two Supplementary Qualifying Heats conducted. A decision on whether a second Supplementary Heat will be made at a later date based on the quality and quantity of nominations remaining. HRNSW Media

In the spring of 2011 a young Jake McGeechan confidently announced to his father Michael that the newly born Artistic Fella and Kahlea Mac colt was the best of their 2011 foals. With a likely future in the sport, Jake never came to realise the progress of the colt born on family's property 'Highland Pride' as he was tragically killed in a motor vehicle collision outside Crookwell in the early hours of Friday morning 30th November, 2012. For Michael McGeechan, his involvement in harness racing and standardbred breeding began in the late 1990's, and it was only natural that Jake would follow. McGeechan's first purchase was Smooth Jes who he owned with his brother John. Following a successful racing career, the mare produced a number of winners including the Miracle Mile champion Divisive and also the unraced Kahlea Mac. Michael also purchased in-foal mares Maputo that produced the Pacing Gold winner Burling Game in 2000 and Blanc De Noir who foaled the sub 1:50 horse Highland Pride who went on to win in excess of $400,000 in the US. McGeechan mostly sells the foals he breeds, but out of those retained for racing he claims the best to date as being Susie Oneill. Michael is now hoping the 2011 selection by Jake can take over the mantle. "I don't know how he did it, but Jake could pick them the moment they were born" said Michael. In 2005, the then 9 year old had chosen Shes All Lady as their best and she went on to win more than $65,000 in prize money, and in the process recorded a personal best time of 1:53.8. "He wasn't born into the horses but he had a way with them" explained Michael. "We ended up keeping all of the 2011 foals and they have been named after Jake." At Jake's funeral the Adam Brand hit Hell Of A Ride was played; it symbolised the McGeechans' year and became a natural choice for the Kahlea Mac colt. Trained by Ian Wilson at Menangle, One Hell Of A Ride has drawn 9 in the first of the $20,505 heats of the VHRSC Victoria Derby. Whilst he may be on the second row, One Hell Of A Ride comes out behind fellow New South Welshman Aztec Bromac who possess good early speed. "It's the weakest of the three heats, so we have a chance" said McGeechan who is hoping the colt Jake selected as the best can continue the ride they are experiencing. Also heading south this week is Crookwell born Brad Hewitt. The young gun harness racing trainer now based at Goulburn will be campaigning the talented Spare Me Days. A last start winner at Goulburn on the 19th January, Spare Me Days was bred by Hewitt and is the first foal of Tolnikie, a Nikalong Shadow mare who was bred and originally owned and raced by Brad's grandfather, the late Tom Hewitt of Wheeo. With the colt carrying Tom's favourite exclamation as his racing name, Spare Me Days has drawn barrier 3 in what is doubtless the hardest of the three heats being decided Saturday night. Lining up alongside the Hewitt runner is last season's champion two year old and Breeders Crown final winner Follow The Stars, the Simpson Memorial winner My Field Marshal and the Cran Dalgety trained Art Union who last start defeated the star open class pacer Border Control. "It's the hardest heat of all but we have drawn the 3 gate so it gives us a chance" said Hewitt, who is enjoying his best season ever as a trainer and driver. "I've only ever had one or two in training before but we have kicked off this season really well" said Hewitt who has recently scored feature race wins with Sweet Molly OShea and Im Jay Tee who snatched a last stride win in Monday's $18,600 Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Rose. "He (Im Jay Tee) went really good at Goulburn, it was his first run in a month and just got there". Positioned perfectly in the one by one, Hewitt came with a well-timed run to claim victory on the line from the Belinda McCarthy trained pair of Mister Bling and Epaulette. Im Jay Tee will accompany Spare Me Days to Melbourne and is lining up in race 5 at Ballarat on Friday evening which is a heat of the Country Clubs Championships. by Mark Croatto  

A newly-created $50,000 Group One harness racing feature will replace the Trotters’ Challenge on the Inter Dominion program at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 1. The New South Wales Harness Racing Club still wanted to showcase trotters on this great day and have converted the proposed race from an invitation mile mobile to a 3009-meters handicap. Preference will be given to trotters which have competed in the lead up races at Menangle on February 7 and 21. Chief executive officer Bruce Christison explained the club’s process when making the decision to alter the feature. “The unfortunate withdrawal of the sponsor combined with the relocation of the Great Southern Stars series in Victoria to the week following the Inter Dominion Grand Final has made the prospect of attracting the elite trotters very difficult,” Christison said. “As a result the club has decided to replace the challenge concept with a Group One standing start event. “It is also a good opportunity for those watching on Grand Final Day to see some variety on the program. “There will be many people trackside who are not regular harness racing viewers and the trotters standing start over the two laps will expose them to something different.” The concept may still entice interstate participation according to club racing manager David Wonson. “The race is attractive for the local trotters, but may still entice some interstate participation,” Wonson said. “It is also a good incentive for trainers and owners to support the World Drivers’ Championship Trotters’ Heat, which will be held at Menangle on Saturday February 21.” The race conditions are as follows: $50,000 TROTTERS STANDING START Open to all Trotters. Maximum 14 starters. 3009 metres Preference given to Trotters who competed on February 7 and 21 at Tabcorp Park Menangle. A 10 metre handicap for horses which have won a Group One race in the previous 12 months; 20 metre Handicap for two Group One wins; 30 metre Handicap three or more group one wins. (Excluding 2yo and 3yo Group One wins). NSWHRC Media

With the $200,000 Ladyship Mile which is run on Inter - Dominion Grand Final day getting closer, a lot of the local trainers in New South Wales lined up last night in the $40,000 Group 3 Teeny Teeny Stakes with an eye on the upcoming mares classic. The race was also notable for the presence of the outstanding Queensland mare Forever Gold who punters sent out the $1:60 favourite. Local trainer Shane Tritton had four of the ten runners but their chances were not rated highly after they drew the four outside barriers for the mile race.  With the winner guaranteed a start in the Ladyship Mile no quarter was asked or given last night. The well supported Sweet Molly O'Shea grabbed the lead early with Forever Gold settling in the death seat while two of the Tritton runners in Pas Ultimate Delight and Chance went forward and the other two in Laterron and Rathmore Lady were restrained back to the rear at the start. After 500 metres Elusive Chick was sent forward by Robbie Morris but Brad Hewitt on Sweet Molly O'Shea and Shane Graham on Forever Gold were having none of it and the trio went head to head for the next 800 metres. As they turned for home Sweet Molly O'Shea had shaken off the two challengers but was very vulnerable to the swoopers from the back. First to appear was Rathmore Lady from the back who swept to the lead only to be claimed late in the piece by Pas Ultimate Delight with Lauren Panella in the bike. Another stablemate of the first two in Laterron finished on well for third with Sweet Molly O'Shea fighting on gamely for fourth. Shane Tritton was not sure how his runners would fare from the draws. " I really didn't know what to expect having drawn the four outside gates but all the drivers did a great job and put them in the right spot at the right time," Shane said. The Tritton barn has always a big opinion of the winner Pas Ultimate Delight. "She has always been a mare who is running on in those fast run races. " "She is a great mare on the speed and I have been dying to get her into a race like the Ladyship Mile where they really run along." "I am sure she won't disgrace herself," Shane said. Shane was thrilled with the runs of both Rathmore Lady and Laterron and expects both to derive a lot of benefit from last nights run. "They were both first up last night so there is still a lot of improvement left in both of them" "There is another race in a fortnight for the four of them which is restricted to mares and where the winner is guaranteed a start in the Ladyship Mile so they can all go round again," Shane said  Pas Ultimate Delight paced the mile in 1 :52 with closing sectionals of 56.5 and 28.1 It was the daughter of Bettor's Delight 13th win and took her stake earnings over the $150,000 mark. Punters who follow the Tritton barn would have been on good terms with themselves after the race with the quinella paying $610.70 and the trifecta a whopping $6,261,70 Harnesslink Media    

With a field of talented rivals to compete against at Menangle on Saturday night, it seems strange pointing out Queensland star Avonnova will ‘drop in class’ compared to his previous visit to the circuit. Avonnova is set to contest the Les Chant Cup, which has attracted handy types such as Blazin N Cullen, Seel N Print, Easy On The Eye and Bettor Bet Black. During his previous trip south, the Ian Gurney-trained gelding took his position in the Miracle Mile. As such, Avonnova was pitted against superstars such as Christen Me, Beautide, Guaranteed, Terror To Love and For A Reason! Finishing sixth in Australasia’s premier speed test, Avonnova has since won his two starts at Albion Park. Drawn barrier eight for his latest assignment, the son of Art Major will slot into seven with the removal of the emergency. Last week’s impressive winner, Blazin N Cullen shapes as a the early leader from the pole, however, Avonnova is likely to be pushed forward in search of the front, which should see the eight-year-old prove too slick over the 1609-metre sprint. PAUL COURTS

Victorian horseman Scott Stewart believes his stable star Bitobliss can produce his best at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Although unplaced at his past three outings, Bitobliss has been racing better than his form reads according to Stewart. Before his lack lustre efforts, the son of Blissfull Hall captured the Smoken Up and Popular Alm Sprints. “At Cranbourne he was just off, but his other two runs haven’t been that bad,” Stewart said. “In the Cobram Cup he just couldn’t get into the race. “Not only did he come off a 30-metre handicap, they’ve broken the track record up front. “His work has been good and I’m sure he will enjoy racing on the open space at Menangle.” Drawn awkwardly in barrier seven, Bitbobliss will be eased away from the mobile given noted front runner Suave Stuey Lombo shapes as the leader from gate two. “Suave Stuey Lombo is a certainty to lead and obviously the one to beat,” Stewart said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us from the draw, but I know he is ready to run a good race.” Following his trip across the Murray River, Bitobliss will be aimed at the Shepparton Cup in a fortnight followed by the A G Hunter Cup two weeks later. Should all go to plan, the stallion will then contest a heat of the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion. “There are plenty of options around, with a Cup on every week for the next six weeks,” Stewart said. “You can’t go in all of them and at this stage I will stick to the stands.” PAUL COURTS

Leading New Zealand harness racing trainer Tim Butt will arrive in Sydney on Thursday morning with talented three-year-old My Field Marshal in preparation for Saturday night’s Simpson Memorial at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  The son of Art Major was placed in last season’s Breeders’ Crown Final, although Butt admits it will not be an easy task after drawing wide this weekend. “Yeah the draw is going to make it tough for him, but he is not a speed horse anyway,” Butt said. “He likes to sit just off them and come with the one run, so his chances are normally dictated by the speed of the race. “He’s a lovely big three-year-old out of a mare called Foreal, she ran some great races in Sydney and won races like the New South Wales Oaks and the Ladyship Mile at Harold Park.” Butt believes it will not be the last time he races in Sydney this preparation. “The plans at this stage are to take him down to Melbourne for the Victorian Derby heats, and if he comes through that well, then we might look at concentrating on the New South Wales Derby heats,” Butt explained. “He’s a pretty nice horse, he isn’t a superstar by any means, but I think he will do a good job in some of the better three-year-old races in Australia.” My Field Marshal isn’t the only horse making the trip across the Tasman with Butt confirming his talented trotter Realmein is on the move as well. “I am bringing Realmein across for some of the feature trotting races too,” Butt said. “It is a bit of a shame I don’t have a fast class pacer to bring across at this stage, so unfortunately I will not have a representative in the Inter Dominion in Sydney. “I’m looking forward to getting back to Australia though and hopefully the stable can have a bit of luck.” GREG HAYES

Nominations for the 2015 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Pacing Championship close at 12pm AEDST on Monday, 8 December 2014. To download the full Terms and Conditions click here To download a nomination form click here For all information about the 2015 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Pacing Championship go to the websitehttp://www.interdominionsydney.com.au/ The structure of the 2015 Series remains as per the previous two years however if there are fewer than 14 nominations received for a designated heat then that heat will be deleted and those horses may race in the Supplementary Heat to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As per last year there is no nomination, first acceptance or second acceptance fee applicable. The list of nomination and acceptance dates is as below: ITEM FEE $AUS DATE Nominations $0 12pm – Monday, 8 December 2014 First Acceptance $0 12pm – Monday, 12 January 2015 Second Acceptance $0 12pm – Monday, 9 February 2015 Late Entry Fee $25,000 plus GST 12pm – Monday, 9 February 2015 Qualifying Heat Starters Fee $2,000 GST inclusive N/A Grand Final Starters Fee $10,000 plus GST N/A Should you have any queries please contact Mark Read, HRNSW Senior Handicapper on 1300 712 612 or David Wonson Jnr, NSWHRC Racing Manager on 02 4645 2200. 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: Name: Reid Sanders Position: Manager Integrity & Chairman of Stewards Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: rsanders@hrnsw.com.au

As any harness racing driver will tell you, when things are not going your way it seems that there is not much you can do to change things. Whatever calls you make during a race turn out in retrospect to have been the wrong one and sometimes you start to doubt both your horse and yourself. Mention Australia and Terror To Love in the same breath and his long time driver Ricky May knows exactly how those drivers feel. An absolute champion in New Zealand, Terror To Love has failed in the main to reproduce anything like his real form at Menangle prior to the other night and Ricky is sure he knows why. "Prior to the other night in the Miracle Mile, he has always felt uncomfortable on the track and raced accordingly." "The club has done a lot of work on the track in the last year and Terror To Love felt like he does at home on Saturday night, " Ricky told Harnesslink this week. "We should have finished closer as well as I should have gone three rails when I had the chance but I waited and Guarantee beat me for that spot." "To finish where he did after drawing bad and then having to come wide into the straight was a great run and I was rapt with his performance ," Ricky said. This week Terror To Love is off to Cranbourne and once again he has drawn outside of his main rival Christen Me but Ricky hasn't given up on beating his long time adversary. 'If I had drawn two or three I would have been very keen to have a go at the lead as Terror To Love can really leave the gate if you ask him." "Drawn four makes it a bit tougher but the way he went the other night he still has to be a big chance on Saturday night, " Ricky said. All Kiwi racegoers know what a champion Terror To Love is from years of outstanding performances on this side of the Tasman. It would be nice on Saturday night if Australians finally got to see what a great horse Terror To Love is as well as reaffirm Ricky May's faith in one of his favourite horses. Harnesslink Media

Integrity will be at a premium for the annual Garrards 2YO Trialling Sale to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Sunday. HRNSW will take a select number of samples in consultation with the Sales organisers including the fastest horse of the morning. In addition to this any buyer will be able to have their purchase tested for Steroids by notifying the HRNSW representative at the sale and paying the appropriate fee. This is the first sale in which buyers have had this opportunity. The 51-head catalogue has brought together two-year-old colts, geldings and fillies from every Australian eastern Mainland State as well as New Zealand. Included in the draft are sons and daughters of such notable sires as Beautide's sire, Bettors Delight, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three, Rocknroll Hanover and Rock N Roll Heaven. HRNSW CEO John Dumesny said the controlling body want to make it clear that all prospective owners, stakeholders, participants and supporters that they can have faith in harness racing in NSW. "As has been acknowledged nationally HRNSW has the strongest approach of any jurisdiction to integrity processes." "The HRNSW commitment covers every aspect and it is with the support of the Ready To Race Sale organisers that swabs will be taken, tested and if required stored for future analysis." Only graduates are eligible to nominate for the associated Group Three feature, the C.J. Garrard Classic, to be held at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, next August. NSW Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus certificates can be used as legal tender at the sale. By Dale Walker  

Miracle Mile winning trainer Cran Dalgety will aim Christen Me at the supplementary heat of the Inter Dominion at Tabcorp Park Menangle. After a career defining victory in Saturday night's MIracle Mile, Christen Me will head to Cranbourne this Saturday night before heading home to New Zealand. "Yeah that's the plan at this stage, I'm off home to New Zealand but he will go to Cranbourne and while that race looked to be a good target it sounds like it is going to be a lot harder than we first thought," Dalgety said. "He can go home then and I will get him ready to come back and compete in Victoria's Summer Carnival but after that a trip home to New Zealand to compete in a heat of the Inter Dominion doesn't make sense so he will head to Sydney to compete in a heat." Christen Me continued his love affair with the Menangle track in Saturday night's Miracle Mile after winning the Chariots Of Fire as a four year old on the 1400 metre circuit. "He races well there, after he won the Chariots Of Fire it was always in the back of my mind that we may come back one day to compete in the Miracle Mile." "I must congratulate the team at Menangle, the Retention Barn was very professionally run and all of the horses seemed very happy, I have no problems with the set up at all, I think it is a good thing." Dalgety confirmed Christen Me was flat on Sunday after his sub 1:50 performance. "Yes he was pretty quiet on Sunday morning, but so was I after a big night of celebrating so I can't really blame him for that." "The thing about him now is that he just recovers so well and by Monday morning he had a jog and was feeling on top of the world, he recovers so well now that he has matured." By Greg Hayes  

Nominations for the 2015 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Pacing Championship close at 12pm AEDST on Monday, 8 December 2014. To download the full Terms and Conditions click here To download a nomination form click here For all information about the 2015 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Pacing Championship go to the websitehttp://www.interdominionsydney.com.au/ The structure of the 2015 Series remains as per the previous two years however if there are fewer than 14 nominations received for a designated heat then that heat will be deleted and those horses may race in the Supplementary Heat to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As per last year there is no nomination, first acceptance or second acceptance fee applicable. The list of nomination and acceptance dates is as below: ITEM FEE $AUS DATE Nominations $0 12pm – Monday, 8 December 2014 First Acceptance $0 12pm – Monday, 12 January 2015 Second Acceptance $0 12pm – Monday, 9 February 2015 Late Entry Fee $25,000 plus GST 12pm – Monday, 9 February 2015 Qualifying Heat Starters Fee $2,000 GST inclusive N/A Grand Final Starters Fee $10,000 plus GST N/A Should you have any queries please contact Mark Read, HRNSW Senior Handicapper on 1300 712 612 or David Wonson Jnr, NSWHRC Racing Manager on 02 4645 2200.   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: Name: Reid Sanders Position: Manager Integrity & Chairman of Stewards Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: rsanders@hrnsw.com.au

All harness racing enthusiasts eyes in Australasia were focused on Menangle this weekend especially for the staff at Kentuckiana Lodge in Canterbury. Their stable pin up boy Christen Me was looking to end a mini drought for Kiwi trained horses in the $750,000 Miracle Mile and looked a huge chance after a perfect draw. Cran Dalgety and Dexter Dunn were there in Sydney but on the local front the stable had a handful involved at the Geraldine meeting held at Orari yesterday and the last thing they needed to do was to take their eye off the ball with the boss away. This years $20,000 Mainfreight Geraldine for C4 and faster pacers drew a great field of intermediate grade pacers with a lot of the lower grade stars of Cup week involved. Representing Kentuckiana Lodge was Mighty Flying Mac who was handicapped off 20 metres in the 2850 metres standing start event. Away slowly for reinsman Matthew Williamson, Mighty Flying Mac settled in the last couple early as first Karanga Red Fantasy and then Bio Marinus set the tempo in front. Following the well supported All Star stable runner Meticulous everywhere he went, Mighty Flying Mac was still at the tail of the field with 400 metres to run but still hard on Meticulous's back as they turned for home. Peeling wider as they straightened, Mighty Flying Mac fair flew the last 100 metres to grab Meticulous for a very impressive victory. It was the 10th lifetime win from start 46 and along with 20 placings took his earnings to $144,753. The 5 year son of Mach Three paced the 2850 metres in 3:40.8, a mile rate of 2:04.6 with closing sectionals off the front off the front of 59 and 28.9 which Mighty Flying Mac would have bettered by quite a margin coming from last. It was driver Matthew Williamson's 21st winner for the season and he currently lies fifth on the New Zealand drivers premiership. Matthew knew that he had to bide his time with Mighty Flying Mac during the race. " With the race being run at such a solid clip I knew I had to be patient." " I was itching to go as he was traveling so well but I was following the right horse and being patient was definitely the key to the win," Matthew said Matthew knew Mighty Flying Mac would finish the race off in style. "He went super during Cup Week in very strong fields and the stable was happy with him." "Cran's horses are always ready to run," he said While Mighty Flying Mac is just a notch below the elite level horses, give him a run like he had today and he is a big chance to add to his winning tally in the future. Postscript - High class 3 year old Art Union made it a double for the day for Kentuckiana Lodge when he took out the last at Gerdaldine yesterday and then later in the evening in Sydney Christen Me was at his brilliant best as he beat the best in Australasia in the $750,000 Miracle Mile. Harnesslink Media    

Former Kiwi trotter Flying Isa capped a marvellous night for the Luke and Belinda McCarthy harness racing stable with a stunning win in tonight’s ‘other’ Group One feature, the $50,000 Franco Australian Trotters Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. After mixing his gait slightly at the start, the six-year-old Pegasus Spur gelding was soon taken to the front by McCarthy and from there was allowed to dictate terms from the head of the field. Some experts had suggested Flying Isa might struggle to get the marathon 3009m journey – but they were left with egg on their faces when Flying Isa went for home with 400m to travel and left his rivals wallowing in his wake. Turning for home Flying Isa had kicked about five lengths clear of his main rival, the favourite Our Overanova and the star trotter proceeded to leave the rest of them in his dust as he cleared out to win by an ever-widening gap of 24 metres in a 2:05.2 mile rate and an overall time of 3:54.2 for the marathon journey. Theresa Park trainer Graeme Hartman received a mighty thrill when his only two trotters Idle Lea (Todd McCarthy) and Alta Rihannah (Glenn McElhinney) filled the placings. Amazingly Sydney’s most powerful stable, the McCarthy team from Cobbitty had just 30 starters for three winners since September until their big guns fronted up for tonight’s dominant performance which saw them prepare four winners, Courage To Rule, Our Hi Jinx, Bling It On with Flying Isa capping off a remarkable night’s harness racing. Indeed their only disappointment was For A Reason’s effort finishing unplaced behind Christen Me in the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile. After the race Luke commented that For A Reason didn’t feel on his game tonight and next year instead of taking the horse to Queensland, where he did win the Queensland Pacing Championship, they might look at setting For A Reason solely for the Miracle Mile. “We’ll wait and look at our options,” he said.  

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