If we could hear it 'from the horse's mouth', it's pretty obvious what harness racing superstar Smoken Up will be wishing for. With today (1st of September) the beginning of the Australian season, Smoken Up and his standardbred counterparts are celebrating their birthday. Marking his 12th birthday with a party and cake at trainer Lance Justice's stable in Melton, Victoria, Smoken Up is on the verge of retirement. To be more precise, the son of Tinted Cloud is due to have his last start at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Taking that into consideration, Smoken Up is likely to be wishing for a 'fairytale ending'...least that's what Justice and the gelding's connections are looking to achieve with the multi millionaire. Justice was fortunate to enjoy a perfect end to former stable star Sokyola's career at Moonee Valley on June 22, 2007 when the son of Soky's Atom accounted for The Warp Drive and The Phantoms Guest. "We were lucking enough to have a happy ending with Sokyola and with a bit of luck we can enjoy the same with Smoken Up at Tabcorp Park next Saturday night," Justice said. "We will know how our chances are shaping up a little better on Tuesday when the fields come out and can see where he has drawn. "I'm a realist and am fully aware it's unlikely to happen, but at the same time we can enjoy the ride, hope for a good draw and then hope for the best on race night. "Whether he wins or not, it's going to be a joyful and sad occasion at the same time as it's the end of an era." Successful upon debut for Justice at Yarra Valley on March 8, 2007, Smoken Up has registered a further 71 victories and 48 placings from 141 starts for earnings of $3,588,949 to be Australasia's third richest pacer behind Blacks A Fake ($4,575,438) and Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456). His wins include two Miracle Miles, four South Australia Cups, four Len Smith Miles and the Victoria Cup, with his best time of 1:48.5 coming at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 30, 2011. Smoken Up has claimed 13 Group Ones across the Southern Hemisphere, won at 15 tracks and set numerous records, including becoming the first standardbred on this side of the equator to better 1:50. PAUL COURTS
TAB has put together a series of jackpots for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound punters this weekend. It all gets underway tomorrow night for the huge Black Top meeting from The Gardens. TAB has boosted the card with a sensational $25,000 Quaddie jackpot! Being held on races 5-8, the lids will fly on the opening leg at 8:40pm. Racing at Rosehill this Saturday is sure to excite fans of the First 4. The feature event on the program is the MTA NSW Run To The Rose and TAB has kick-started the First 4 pool on the race to the tune of $50,000! It is sure to be a keen betting affair with punters likely to include the well-supported Almalad and Nostradamus high up in their selections. Finally, every race at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night has a guaranteed First 4 pool of $20,000! With 10 races on the card and almost full fields throughout the evening, there is sure to be some spirited betting to be had. TAB JACKPOTS Date Code Venue Bet Type Jackpot Guarantee* Races Fri 29 Aug CG THE GARDENS GREYHOUNDS Quaddie $25,000.00 5,6,7,8 Sat 30 Aug SR ROSEHILL GARDENS RACES First 4 $50,000.00 6 – Run To The Rose Sat 30 Aug SG TABCORP PARK MENANGLE HARNESS First 4 $5,000.00 $20,000.00 Every Race
Goulburn trainer Amy Day took two horses to Newcastle last Friday night with one goal in mind and that was to qualify them both for their respective Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Series Finals. Day left Newcastle with an impressive win courtesy of Treuaper while Cogeday was an unlucky second but did enough to get through to the Final meaning both horses will compete this Saturday night in $25,000 events. "I was very pleased with Treuaper, he came off a break and had been trialling well at Menangle in the lead up to his racetrack return," Day said. "Cogeday was very unlucky and got caught up in traffic but he's a sit sprinter and the three wide line just came too early and it would have meant that I was out three wide without cover for the last lap which wouldn't have suited him." "When he hit the line he pricked his ears and finished it off quite nicely and it was nice to have him back because towards the end of last preparation I think a couple of long float trips had taken their toll on him." Cogeday looks to be suited by returning to the 1400 metre track at Menangle. "I had been trying to qualify him for one of these country finals and I had taken him to Bathurst and Young for the heats but he wasn't showing his high speed. He is so much better suited to the bigger tracks and that's why hopefully he will be a good chance on Saturday night." Treuaper will contest race four while Cogeday will compete in the sixth event at Menangle on Saturday night. Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales
Victorian trainer Michael Stanley will have a two pronged attack in Saturday night's Gr. 3 CJ Garrard Two Year Old Classic at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The $30,000 event is open to horses that were sold at the 2013 Garrards Horse & Hound Trialling Sale and Stanley is hoping to take home the major share of prize money on offer with Big Spending Telf and Morior Invictus. "Big Spending Telf has only had the one run and he's a pretty nice horse, he's a little bit immature in the head so I will drive him but I think he has what it takes to make a nice horse," Stanley said "He won his only start at Horsham, he showed speed on that occasion and the horse that sat outside him kept him honest throughout but he broke 29 seconds for his final quarter and did it well." Big Spending Telf had a short letup after his debut run but has been at the trials recently. "Yeah I gave him some time after the run but he has had a couple of trials and importantly over the 2200 metres too. He has won both trials, the last of them was as Melton and he ran his last half in 58.9." Morior Invictus won a semi final of the Vicbred series four runs ago and has been racing against some very strong opposition recently. "He is a very good horse and has been campaigning against some nice ones but he is probably just a touch below the top echelon." "I'm not sure he will be totally suited on Saturday night. He is an effective sit and sprinter but after drawing the outside barrier he probably has to go back at the start and then maybe make a midrace move to get into the action." Stanley will return to Victoria for Sunday's Breeders Crown Day and is hoping Soho Tokyo can run a great race from barrier three. "She went really well in her semi and from a better draw I think she can run a great race, it could be a very big weekend." Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales
Successful harness racing horseman Jarrod Alchin has been spending plenty of time travelling recently and things may not change in the short term should everything go to plan. Alchin trains talented two year old Franciso De Gore, the son of Village Jasper that placed in a repechage of the Breeders Crown at Geelong last week. "I was really happy with his performance in the repechage and if things all go to plan, including a good barrier draw, I think he can qualify for the Breeders Crown final," Alchin said. "His run behind Ominous Warning was very strong at Menangle. They went 55.1 for the last 800 metres and he wanted to hit the line, I think he is going to make a really nice three year old next season." While Alchin will be in Victoria on Saturday night with Franciso De Gore, his stable will have two runners at Tabcorp Park Menangle too. "Kennedy Creek won a race three starts ago when he led and was too good, he worked very strongly on Monday and I'd like to see him hold the front again this week." "He finished eighth last start but if you watch the run it wasn't too bad. He was well back, made some good ground and didn't have much luck in the straight." Alchin's other runner is Eagles Ace, a three year old that has some strong Riverina form to his credit. "He only arrived last week, he's a nice horse and has been racing well in the bush but he has been sent up here to try and win a Metropolitan three year old before the end of the season." "I was really happy with his work on Monday too, so if he races up to the work I think he is going to be right in the finish. He is only going to be here for a month or so." By Greg Hayes Harness Racing New South Wales
There are a number of jackpots and a pool guarantee to get exotics punters excited at the TAB this weekend. Tabcorp Park Menangle’s meeting this Saturday night will give Quaddie players a $20,000 jackpot to attack. Being held on races 5-8, the mobile will release the field for the first leg, the Garrards Horse and Hound Pace, at 7:20pm. That same night, Wenty Park’s Quaddie pool is guaranteed to reach $100,000! Taking in races 5-8, greyhound fans have to get their bets on prior to 8:47pm. Finally, TAB Saddle Up Sundays heads to Muswellbrook this weekend and the feature event is the Bengalla Cup. TAB is boosting the meeting with a healthy $10,000 BIG6 jackpot, which is being conducted on the last six races on the program. TAB JACKPOTS Date Code Venue Bet Type Jackpot Guarantee* Races Sat 9 Aug SH TABCORP PARK MENANGLE HARNESS Quaddie $20,000.00 5,6,7,8 Sat 9 Aug SG WENTWORTH PARK GREYHOUNDS Quaddie $28,000.00 $100,000.00 5,6,7,8 Sun 10 Aug CR MUSWELLBROOK RACES BIG6 $10,000.00 Last 6 Races
Former Tasmanian pacer Tony Macarony will resume for trainer Darren Binskin on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The son of Sealed N Delivered has had three starts at Menangle and has only been placed once but off the back of a strong trial last week Binskin is hoping for a better performance. "I was happy with his trial last week. He showed good speed and Chariot King had a job to run him down in the straight so if he can bring that sort of form to the races I think he will be very competitive," Binskin said. "He is a funny horse, he has had a few little niggles and that is why he hasn't raced since early June but the owner has been terrific in showing patience and hopefully that can be rewarded." Tony Macarony beat home Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion winner Beautide in Launceston's 2013 Golden Mile. He finished second behind Greysteel with Beautide finishing sixth. "I don't think people should read too much into that win over Beautide. Look he's a nice horse and I think he will win a "metro" race but I'm not going overboard just yet." Binskin's stable star Gaius Caesar will compete in a race for horses that have failed to win $6000 in their last four starts and while the multiple Gr. 1 winner finds himself in a winnable race, the horseman believes it shouldn't be happening. "I don't agree with the system but we are going to do what other stables have been doing and taking advantage of the setup to try and get him another win." "In my opinion he should be in the open race but the opportunity is there to drop back into an easier event so we have taken the chance and hopefully he can bring up his first win since June." Gaius Caesar will compete in race three on Saturday night with the event scheduled to begin at 6:20pm. Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales
Chariot King will line up on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle for the first time since June 7 and trainer John Tapp acknowledges he is a little concerned with the race distance of 2300 metres. After having three weeks in the paddock Chariot King has had two trials to get some fitness 'under his belt' but Tapp admits the seven year old will need some racing before he finds his peak form. "There are only so many corridors of opportunity during the season to give horses a short break and after Chariot King's last run at Menangle we took the option to give him a quick letup before getting him ready for some of the better races coming up," Tapp said. "Ideally I would have looked for a race over the mile trip for his first run back but he needs to get back racing so you have to play the cards you are dealt." Chariot King will line up against the Tritton pair Mach Beauty and Suave Stuey Lombo and Tapp believes they will be the hardest to beat. "Shane's horses had a good hit-out last Saturday night and they are obviously fully wound up so they look to be the pair to beat but there are some other nice horses in the race." "It is no secret that Chariot King is a 'massive doer' and he has certainly put on weight during the break. In fact I can't remember him ever missing a feed at my place since he arrived as a very young horse. I reckon he would eat a chicken chow mein if you offered it to him." At his first trial back Chariot King did very little work early but rattled home from the tail and ran a very fast final quarter. "He hit the line extremely well and Jim (Douglass driver) said he felt completely normal, exactly like Chariot King should feel so that's what you want to hear from the driver, now I'm just looking forward to Saturday." Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales Fields for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Saturday 09 August 2014 Form guide for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Saturday 09 August 2014
The Board of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club met yesterday and decided to offer the position of Chief Executive Officer to Mr Bruce Christison. The Board is delighted to announce that Mr Chistison has accepted this position effective from today. Mr Christison first joined the administrative staff of the Club in January 1994 as Financial Controller, and has been the Business Operations Manager since March 2004. Mr Christison has been an integral part of the Club’s management for many years and will bring extensive business and administrative skills combined with a detailed knowledge of the Club’s operations to the position of Chief Executive. The Board believes that this appointment will continue the development of the Club following the sale of Harold Park and development at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Mr Christison will work with departing Chief Executive Officer Mr John Dumesny to ensure a seamless handover before Mr Dumesny assumes his position with Harness Racing New South Wales on 1 September 2014. The Board believes that this transitional process will be of mutual benefit to all parties and the industry. For further information please contact NSWHRC Chairman Ray Sharman on (02) 4645 2200.
Junee trainer Bruce Harpley only has three horses in work currently. Frith is the star of the team and she has been entered at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night but Harpley's other two horses, Sokys Bigbullet and Justanotherslippa were able to provide him with his first metropolitan double at Menangle when they won their respective races on Saturday night. "I'm pretty sure that is my first metro training double, it definitely is my first metro training double at Menangle, I've driven a few winners for Bernie Kelly at Harold Park and Menangle but to train a double was very exciting," Harpley said. "What made it even better was that both races were Country Series Finals which means all three of the horses in my stable have won $25,000 feature races in the past couple of weeks which makes it a lot easier to get up and work them in the morning, that's for sure." Sokys Bigbullet proved too strong for short priced favourite Millwood Liberty rating 1:55.6 for the mile. "There was a bit expected of him after he made such a good start to his career but what a lot of people don't know is that he had a soft palate operation last season and it has taken him a while to put it all together." "Actually it has only been in the last month or so that he has really started to feel like his old self again, I have nominated him again for Menangle on Saturday night and then he can have a spell." Justanotherslippa brought up the second win of his career when he took out race six. "It wasn't an overly strong race and I thought it was going to come down to who got the most luck and it all worked out nicely for me." "These country finals are great for us country trainers, up until I won two heats at Bathurst before these finals I had never won a heat, let alone a final so it was nice to win a couple on the same night." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)
Steve Turnbull is the leading harness racing trainer in New South Wales and it is no longer a case of 'if' he will train 200 winners this season in the state, it is just a case of 'when'. Turnbull came so close last year when he finished with 199.5 winners and admits he has targeted the double century this time around. "Yeah, when the season started after we got so close last year the aim was to get 200 winners and just over a month ago I thought we might miss but we got seven winners in a week not long ago and that put a big dent in the number we needed," Turnbull said. "The only other goal I would like to achieve is to train a derby winner, I've won Western Districts Derbies in the past but I would really like to win a state derby, that would cap everything for me." Turnbull's daughter Amanda has been a big part of his success and he acknowledges it might be difficult to achieve the feat again with her commitments in Victoria growing. "We haven't fully worked out how much she will be home next season, but we have the new Bathurst track opening up and it would be great if she would come home and drive for me at Bathurst and Menangle, especially Menangle because I only seem to be able to win races there from the stand." "It is obviously going to have some effect but it just means that Mitch and I will have to do a bit more of the driving and hopefully there will still be plenty of winners." With Turnbull only four winners away from the 200 he would love to get to the magical number with one of his Menangle horses. "The horses I had in on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle have been really good for the stable this season. Horses like Christian Ruler, Heza Thrill, So Kool Harry and Ardle McArdle have all won their fair share of races and it would nice for one of them to bring up the 200." By Greg Hayes | Harness Racing New South Wales |
Hunter Valley harness racing trainer Shane Tritton enjoyed plenty of success during his recent trip to Queensland for the Winter Carnival and with the Breeders Crown series in Victoria less than a month away, he has confirmed he will be taking a strong team south. However before heading off Tritton has a large contingent in at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night including two exciting prospects, Lombo Kotakinabalu and Fearless Leader. "We have a big team in on Saturday night and I'm looking forward to producing a couple of horses that look to have big futures going forward," Tritton said. "Fearless Leader was sent to us with the idea of getting him on the big track at Menangle and so far we haven't even given him a start there because we took him to Queensland for the carnival but I really think he is going to be suited on the 1400 metre track." Fearless Leader has already had three starts at Menangle in his career and has only been placed on one occasion. "He's only little but he has got a tremendous attitude and Lauren (Panella) has told me that he really likes to find the line in his races so I'm expecting a big performance this weekend." "The plan is to take him back to Melbourne for a Breeders Crown graduate race next month." Lombo Kotakinabalu has only had one start at Menangle and he was a big winner on that occasion, taking out a Country Series Final on Breeders Challenge Final Day. "He is a very exciting horse, he has been winning his races very easily and he is a free rolling type which I think will be better suited over the mile so the 2300 metres will be something different this weekend." "The plan is to take him to Melbourne as well. I'm planning on taking eight at this stage including horses like Suave Stuey Lombo, Controversial, Marty Monkhouser and Im Supersonic." By Greg Hayes | Harness Racing New South Wales |
It has been a big week for Eglington trainer Nathan Hurst already. On Tuesday he qualified talented three year old Saloon Passage for the semi finals of the Breeders Crown after a win in a heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle and he also brought up his 100th winner for the season. Hurst is hoping the recent good run continues at Young on Sunday when the club hosts the Breeders Challenge Regional Finals. "It has been a pretty big week for the stable, the 100 winners has been a bit of a target for me for the past couple of seasons and I have just fallen short so to finally do it for the first time is a bit of a thrill," Hurst said. "Most of my owners have been with me now for quite a while and achieving a milestone like 100 winners doesn't happen without good owners and a strong team at home working the horses." Burra Sullivan will be a leading chance in the 4 Year Old Breeders Challenge Regional Final despite a second row draw. "He has been going really well of late. He qualified for the Breeders Challenge final after he finished third in his heat but he got caught outside the leader in the final and I think the three runs in three weeks might have seen him a bit flat but he is good now which is important for Sunday." "It is obviously a bit weaker than the Gr. 1 final and he should be in the finish if he produces his best." Tulhurst Sarsha finished down the track in the 3 Year Old Fillies Breeders Challenge Blue Final recently but Hurst is expecting a better performance this Sunday. "She has got a bit of gate speed and hopefully she can find the inside soon after the start because if she gets the run she likes I don't think she would be too far away." The meeting at Young on Sunday will begin at 11:53am with the first of six Regional Finals being run at 1:49pm. By Greg Hayes Harness Racing NSW Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales | 22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200 T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au Warning to recipients: This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.
In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers. Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (HRNSW)
With the end of the season only just over four weeks away it is no surprise to see some trainers and drivers in New South Wales reaching milestones. Driver Gavin Fitzpatrick recently brought up his 100th winner in the sulky for the season, Belinda McCarthy made it consecutive seasons of training 100 winners and KerryAnn Turner was able to join the 100 club on Saturday night as a driver when Fernleigh Renegade won at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "It was really nice to bring up 100 winners as a driver on the weekend and it is actually something I would never get the opportunity to do because Robbie (Morris) does most of the driving for our stable," Turner said. "But with Robbie on the sidelines with his injured leg it gave me a few more opportunities late in the season and I have been able to get to the magical 100." Turner was full of praise for the support she had received from her owners and family. "I couldn't have driven all those winners without the support of all of the owners we have. Obviously we have been having a good run lately and July has been a pretty good month because I also was able to train a couple of Gr. 2 winners in the Breeders Challenge Blue Finals." "Also both Robbie's family and my family have been great, it really has been a team effort and all the hard work has really paid off." With Robbie Morris due back from injury in the short term, Turner is happy to take a back seat when it comes to the race driving. "Yes definitely, it will be good to have Rob back because I much prefer the training side of things to the driving, don't get me wrong I enjoy the driving but I just get a bigger thrill out of the training of the horses." "With a month of the season still left it would be nice to get another 10 winners or so but I will just have to see how everything unfolds over the next few weeks." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing Australia)
In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers. Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)