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Our Waikiki Beach has dominated two year old racing in Australia this year and is the clear favourite for NSW 2yo colt/gelding of the year. The son of Somebeachsomewhere won eight races in New South Wales for his New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon including two group one events at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the Australian Pacing Gold Final and the Breeders Challenge. With the horse being trained by Purdon, only the gelding's performances in New South Wales can be considered however his dominance has not been seen since Lombo Pocket Watch racked up 17 wins as a two year old in 2005/06. The other nominations for this year's NSW 2yo colt/gelding of the year are: Bettermatch - Dominated the early season 2yo racing scoring in a blistering 1:55.8 on debut. Also won the Leeton Breeders Plate and produced a huge win at Tabcorp Park Menangle to win in 1:53.6. Born To Rocknroll - Raced 16 times as a two year old and recorded seven victories. Won nearly $175,000 in the season and only had his first start in a race on February 7. Salty Robyn - Performed well in New South Wales and then took on the best in New Zealand representing Australia at the Harness Jewels. Banked more than $60,000 and recorded a season best of 1:53.9 Shadow Runner - Sam Dimarco, his daughter Marissa and Shadow Runner were the stars of the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival. The Shadow Play youngster won four straight early in the season before finishing fourth in the Breeders Challenge. The NSW 2yo of the year award will be presented at the HRNSW Awards Night at Doltone House, Darling Harbour on September 19. For tickets contact Nancy O'Grady on 9722 6600. Greg Hayes

Tintin In America, a harness racing Group winner as a two, three and four-year-old in New Zealand, was represented by his first Group winner from his initial crop when Zee Dana captured the Group 3 $30,600 Garrards Horse and Hound Ready To Run Graduate Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night (August 15). A dominant favourite, the NZ bred youngster began like a rocket from the No 6 gate to assume role from the outset. After a leisurely middle half, Zee Dana peeled off fractions of 27.6 and 27.6 to easily keep his rivals at bay. The mile rate for the 2300 metres was 1:59.3. The win extended the gelding’s record to five starts for four wins and a second for $38,293 in stakes. He holds a mark of 1:57.3. Zee Dana was the fastest triallist at the Ready To Run Trialling Sale last December and changed hands for a super $71,000. Bred by David Kennedy, Zee Dana is out of the winning Dream Away mare Zwish (2:02.4), who left earlier winners in Phil Monty (1:54.6), a winner of nine races in Victoria, and Dana Dawn 2:01.1. He is a member of the noted Black Watch family whose descendants include Arden Rooney, Katy Perry, Reba Lord, Sovereign Hill, Laurella, Alta Christiano and The Unicorn. Tintin In America has already sired five individual two-year-old winners from his first small crop including the South Australian Kindergarten Stakes winner Just Wantano (2:00.7) and the Group placegetters Dame Puissant (1:59.6) and Aussie Vista (2:01.1). Zee Dana By Peter Wharton

August 18th is a date veteran harness racing trainer /driver Jim Castles will never forget. Most importantly it is Jim's wedding anniversary and he and his wife Monica are celebrating 53 years of wedded bliss in 2015. The veteran horseman has another reason to celebrate the date now after the 77-year-old became the oldest driver in NSW to win a race when Jaccka Turk won at Tabcorp Park Menangle. What makes Jaccka Turk's victory even more impressive is that the seven year old was having his first start since October 2014. Castles has enjoyed a long and successful harness racing career and has continued to train winners in recent years. Castles has trained 36 winner this millennium but has not had as many starters this season as he has had in recent years. This season Castles has only had nine starters for one winner and one placing. He has averaged 45 runners a season in the previous five years. There have been older drivers win races in other parts of Australia and there have been older trainers prepare winners in NSW. A.D Turnbull and Ray Lennane both trained winners at the age of 79 but neither were in the sulky for the victory. Greg Hayes  

Menangle harness racing trainer Darren McCall will look to send seven year old pacer Bettor Bet Black to the spelling paddock with two successive victories after his impressive 1:51.6 win at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. McCall is eyeing off the Vic Frost Cup on Saturday August 29 as the gelding's final run this preparation which will be his 34th start this season. McCall is hoping for one last crack at the Miracle Mile in February next year after he was an emergency for Australia's greatest harness sprint in 2014. "That's the plan going forward after his win on Saturday night, I want to give him one more run in the Vic Frost Cup, he can then have a well earned break and I'll bring him back for a tilt at the Miracle Mile," McCall said. "His 1:51.6 effort on Saturday was a career best, when you draw barrier nine and go 25.7 for the first quarter it is pretty much game over but to his credit he fought really hard in the straight." Bettor Bet Black is a favourite in McCall's boutique stable and he credits a lot of the gelding's success to his wife Karina. "He came to us with a bad record, he was RODM and barred and wasn't a nice horse to handle but my wife takes really good care of him. "He's a real baby that likes to be spoilt and he wouldn't do well with a guy handling him, she does everything, I rarely touch him except on Wednesday and Saturday when I jumped behind him, I don't even harness or unharness him." With plenty of experience in North America, McCall is sure Bettor Bet Black would have been a great prospect in the USA. "He would be a killer in the States and what people don't understand is that he's a better follower which is a bit hard to understand after Saturday. "I have no doubt he could go 1:48 at the Meadowlands, I've trained a couple of world champions that went 48 and he's as good as any of them." McCall was happy to hold out For A Reason in the middle stages on Saturday night after he made a lightning move around the field when the pace backed off after the early burn. "I thought to hold the lead was my only chance to win, I thought I could run second and let him go but having in mind For A Reason was first up from a spell I was happy to retain the lead. "We raced For A Reason when he first came back from stud duties a couple of years ago, he had the same trip outside me and he gassed us up the stretch and got about a length and half in front but we almost wore him down at the end so I had that in the back of my mind when he ran past us this time around." With Saturday night's victory Bettor Bet Black took his career earnings past $300,000. Greg Hayes  

When Peter Barnes saw his number go up in first place as he came back to scale after the third race at Bathurst last Friday, his shocked, delight and a colourful exclamation suggested it might be a special moment. As he calmed down, he explained that it was his first race start with Sorta Sexy ($4.40), a four-year-old Modern Art daughter he’d purchased a few weeks earlier, after she’d run a number of placings this season for her former trainer Billy Evans. So, it was a first start win, and a little excitement was quite in order. But the level of excitement was better understood when he next explained that his entire team consisted of this one horse, and that his previous driving success had been back in April 2010, at Fairfield, with Winsome Win. Back in the barn after the race, Sorta Sexy was sporting the dress rug won by that previous winner. Barnes trains on a 500m track on his seven- acre farm near the Mount Piper Power Station, just outside Lithgow, and says the only time his horses do genuine fast work is when they go the trials or races. After a long career at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, retirement allows him plenty of time to prepare his team of just one, and Sorta Sexy will definitely lack for nothing in care and attention. A check on the computer later indicates that this was not only Peter’s first winning drive in five years, but just his second win ever (he trained another horse Williewa Duplicity to a number of wins, but didn’t drive it). Now, that post-race excitement was all the more understandable! How to describe a likeable figure, whose win was popular with everyone on track? “Hobbyist” is much too official-sounding, and “battler” can sound patronizing. That leaves us, instead, with the bare facts, which suit perfectly. Let’s just call Peter a “winning trainer-driver.” Dubbo owners Jeff and Nea Costello might have endured a much briefer losing run, barely 21 races, but the all-the-way win of Happy To Go NZ ($1.90 favourite) in a 3C0-3C1 fillies sprint, was most welcome nonetheless. The Costellos, who have developed a nice band of broodmares in recent years, were disappointed when several mares failed to go in foal to Bettors Delight, so they purchased the three-year-old Bettors daughter for racing and future breeding. A first-up second at Bathurst a fortnight earlier, and a victim of interference at Parkes at her next start, she was never in danger of defeat here, and will likely look for that second 3YO win before season’s end. Season’s end is looking very up-beat for her trainer, who registered win number 195 with this win and extended it to 196 when son Nathan reined Intransit ($2.10 favourite) to win a C1-C2 later in the night. A double at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night took him within two of his 200 goal, and four winners at Sunday’s Dubbo meeting put the issue well beyond doubt, and extended his lead in a tight NSW Trainers’ Premiership, with just three weeks to go. Other winners at the meeting were: *Mister Bigshot ($7.00, Chris/Anthony Frisby), after enjoying a one-one trail in a 2260 metres C0-C1, and maintaining good recent form following a spell since returning from Queensland; *Flyin Crusa NZ ($15.90, Geoff Read/Scott Hewitt), edged out favourite Miss Nickels (David Hewitt) to bring off a Goulburn quinella, despite pulling off a shoe during the preliminary; *Regal Ashes ($3.10, Peter Schiller/Brad Hewitt), getting up in the last stride in a 2YO sprint, her second win in succession at Bathurst, and highly impressive after sprinting hard from the 700 metres point; *Allnight Raid ($3.10 favourite, Bernie Hewitt/ Mat Rue), expertly positioned in the one-one from an awkward barrier draw, and a welcome change of fortune after a frustrating season of poor draws and racing luck; *Ellmer Hanover NZ ($3.30, David/Brad Hewitt), completed a driving double for Brad, and a good day for the Southern Tablelands “raiders”, with Canberra Raiders star Jarrod Croker enjoying the first-up Aussie win of the syndicate horse. Bathurst will race again this coming Friday night. by Terry Neil

At Penrith on Thursday afternoon, 9 July, 2015, Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards continued an adjourned Inquiry into the circumstances in which, during the running of the Bulli Cup (Listed Classic) 2300 metres at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday, 30 May, 2015, FREYBERG NZ from the vicinity of the 400 metres had left the marker pegs and shifted wider on the track. After taking further evidence from Mr. K Pizzuto, the Trainer/Driver of FREYBERG NZ, and Mr. J Trainor, the Driver of ALTA JEROME NZ, considering the results of two post-race veterinary examinations and reviewing the official vision of the race together with the previous six starts of FREYBERG NZ as well as its two subsequent starts, Mr. Pizzuto was charged under Rule 240. AHRR 240 states; “A person shall not, whether alone or in association with others, do, permit or suffer anything before, during or after a race which in the opinion of the Stewards or Controlling Body may cause someone to be unlawfully advantaged or disadvantaged or be penalised or is corrupt or otherwise improper.” The particulars of the charge laid being;  That at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday, 30 May, 2015 in Race 6 Mr. Pizzuto, being the Trainer/Driver of the horse FREYBERG NZ, from between the vicinity of the 400 metres until the vicinity of the 200 metres in the opinion of the Stewards made no reasonable attempt to drive FREYBERG NZ so as to remain on its racing line against the marker pegs which has resulted in FREYBERG NZ shifting out thereby  improperly disadvantaging SMOLDA which was racing to its immediate outside and affording  ALTA JEROME NZ an improper advantage in that horse was able to proceed unimpeded against the marker pegs.  Mr. Pizzuto offered no plea against the charge. Having considered all the evidence, the Stewards found Mr. Pizzuto guilty of the charge laid. After taking submissions from Mr. Pizzuto relative to penalty, the Stewards adjourned the hearing to allow appropriate consideration to be given to the Trainer/Drivers submissions, including his disciplinary record. On Saturday evening, 18 July, 2015 Mr. Pizzuto was informed that the Stewards had determined a penalty of a suspension of his licence to drive in races and trials for a period of nine (9) months to take effect from midnight on Saturday, 18 July, 2015.  Details of this decision were provided in writing to the Trainer/Driver on Monday, 20 July, 2015. Mr. Pizzuto was informed of his right to appeal the decision. Harness Racing New South Wales

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's All-Stars stable has dominated today's TAB Breeders Crown heats at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The power duo took four runners into heats and walked away with four wins, brilliant two-year-old gelding Our Waikiki Beach - now unbeaten in 10 starts - providing the highlight by setting a new Australasian 2YO record at 2300 metres in rating 1:56.3 - smashing the previous mark by a full second. "They all looked great," Natalie Rasmussen said from Queensland where she'd watched the action. "Mark will be thrilled with the whole team." Purdon drove all four winners, each starting long odds-on with bookmakers and on the tote. Our Classical Art (Mach Three/Art Lover) took the three-year-old fillies' heat in 1:58.4 by 2.7m over reigning Breeders Crown champ Katy Perry. Having trailed leader Katy Perry, now in the care of Shane Tritton, throughout Purdon took Our Classical Art to the lead inside the final 50m after spotting her about a length at the 150m. Unbeaten Bettor's Delight/Splendid Dreams youngster Our Dream About Me then won the two-year-old fillies heat as a $1.04 favourite. Crossed early by Dancing With Miley (who finished third), Purdon quickly took Our Dream About me away from the pegs after drawing the pole and ran to the front. Our Dream About Me, the Harness Jewels 2YO winner at Ashburton in May in record time, rated 1:57.4 today to defeat Hot Shot Woman by 7m. Follow The Stars then made light work of a four-horse three-year-old colts and geldings' field in his heat, defeating Hes Lightfingered by 3.1m in 1:57.3. While such dominance as we saw today in the heats is a formidable achievement and will give the Purdon camp confidence going into the semis, the fact Rasmussen believes: "The run will improve all of them", is a scary thought for rivals. The second of the three-year-old colts and geldings' heats today was won by John McCarthy-trained Kilcullen (Christian Cullen/Belligerent) in 1:59.3 by 4.4m over Pompidou. Join the Breeders Crown conversation on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #RaceToRoyalty Our Classical Art Our Dream About Me Follow The Stars Our Waikiki Beach By Cody Winnell

Harness Racing New South Wales advises that consistent with ongoing operational and integrity strategies, Integrity personnel will periodically be assigned to trainer's stables for raceday observation. HRNSW advise that such raceday observation has been assigned to the stables of trainers Kerryann Turner and David Hewitt for the Tabcorp Park Menangle race meeting conducted today, Tuesday 21 July 2015. Reid Sanders                                  

Tuesday’s Menangle  harness racing meeting will feature five heats of the 2015 TAB Breeders Crown. The Breeders Crown action is heating up with the Australasian trots world looking ahead to Tabcorp Park Melton's rich Group 1 finals meetings in late August. There will be two three-year-old colts and geldings’ heats on the 11-race program at Menangle, plus heats for three-year-old fillies, two-year-old fillies and two-year-old colts and geldings. Race 1, the three-year-old fillies’ heat, will pit exciting Kiwi Our Classical Art from the Mark Purdon stable against Shane Tritton-trained reigning Breeders Crown champion Katy Perry and talented Goulburn pacer Miss Nickels. Katy Perry beat home Joannes A Delight and Cyclone Kate to claim last year’s two-year-old fillies’ Breeders Crown final at Melton in 1:58.7 when in the care of Cran Dalgety. Now trained by Tritton at Keinbah, the daughter of Bettor's Delight out of In The Pocket mare Karen Donna, is coming off an eighth-of-12 run in the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park. Two starts back she won over 1660m at Albion Park in 1:53.6 when she led to hold off Major Coup by a head. Her New Zealand form before coming to Australia this time was below her best, but she’s very talented when right. Our Classical Art has the Purdon polish and is coming off a Harness Jewels campaign in New Zealand. The Mach Three/Art Lover filly finished 10th of 13 in the $150,000 Diamond final at Ashburton behind The Orange Agent, which followed a solid fifth behind Fight For Glory in the New Zealand Oaks. In November last year Our Classical Art’s class was on display when she beat Supersonic Miss and Delightful Lana in a heat of the NZ Sires Stakes in 1:59.3 (last 800 in 56) by 2 ½ lengths. David Hewitt trained and driven Sportswriter/Tinted Rose pacer Miss Nickels is coming off a second at Group 2 level behind Pass The Magic at Menangle, beaten 2.8m over 2400m (1:59.1). The two-year-old fillies’ heat sees a Purdon-trained daughter of Bettors Delight/Splendid Dreams lining up and chasing a sixth victory in six starts. Our Dream About Me has drawn the pole and is coming off  a 1.3m success in the Group 1 2YO Diamond on Jewels Day at Ashburton in May. She’s an exciting type and will be very hard to beat. Drawn alongside is a talented Australian pacer in Hot Shot Woman from the Daniel Neagoe stables at Cobbitty. Hot Shot Woman, by Rocknroll Hanover out of Deadly Woman, has placed second six times in nine starts to date and is coming off a last-start runner-up effort at Group 1 level beaten 3.8m by Heavens Trend in the Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle (1:52.9). An interesting filly in the small field of five is Abettorrose from the Kerryann Turner stable at Menangle. Abettorose captured the Group 2 Pink Bonnet at her second career start in February when she defeated Art Mistress over a mile in 1:56.4 by a head. The first of the two three-year-old boys’ heats for the day sees former champion two-year-old Follow The Stars coming out of gate three for the Purdon camp after running third in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final at Melton last time out. The second of the three-year-old boys’ heats looks an even affair, with Kilcullen drawn the pole for the John McCarthy stable, Todd McCarthy in the gig. Race 7 at Menangle will pit some top-notch youngsters against each other in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ Breeders Crown heat, with unbeaten star Our Waikiki Beach the one to beat. Another powerful pacer from the Purdon stable at Christchurch, Our Waikiki Beach has greeted the starter nine times and is yet to taste defeat. The son of Somebeachsomewhere/Cyclone Betty won the Breeders Challenge Final last start in 1:53.7 over the mile at Menangle and will come out of gate five. Bettor Together has won two on the spin for the Belinda McCarthy stable and will be driven by Todd McCarthy from barrier two, Smithstars Lexus rises in class after three straight wins from the Steve Turnbull yard at The Lagoon, while Trijet has shown plenty winning two of his four starts to date for the Tritton stable with Rob Morris in the sulky. The Breeders Crown action continues in New Zealand Thursday and Friday at Cambridge and Addington before rolling into Western Australia on Monday at Gloucester Park. Click here for the full fields. Click here for The Australasian Breeders Crown site by Cody Winnell  

Harness racing fans in Australia are getting use to seeing those blue colours with the grey stars at their meetings and the seemingly endless production line of high class horses that the All Star barn bring over from New Zealand. The latest horse from the champion barn to head across the Tasman is this years leading two year old trotter in High Gait. The winner of five from six in New Zealand this season and only beaten by half a head in the other race, High Gait was given a look at Menangle on Tuesday afternoon at the trials. Starting in a two year old pacing event, Mark Purdon settled the daughter of Muscles Yankee three back on the inner early as Its Inevitable and Michael Muscat set a quick tempo in front with Hell Bent and Kevin Pizzuto in the trail. These three slipped away from the rest of the field as they turned for home with Hell Bent challenging Its Inevitable strongly but High Gait was jogging in behind the leader and never saw daylight when full of running. The run itself had plenty of merit but when the time was announced of 1:55.5 for the winner Its Inevitable, the run of High Gait grew in statue. She was timed in 1:55.8 with closing sectionals of 56.8 and 27.7 and she clocked that while looking to have something in reserve. Her goal on the trip is the Australasian Breeders Crown and on Tuesday's run, she is without doubt the one to beat. Another All Star runner to have a hit out prior to racing next week was Dream About Me. Allowed to drop out to last in a small four horse field, she sprinted home hard held in 26.2 and looks ready to carry on her winning ways next week. Harnesslink Media  

At the harness racing meeting at Menangle on Saturday night  there was four $50,000 New South Wales Breeders Challenge "Blue" finals for horses who hadn't won or been placed in the $125,000 finals in June. As is the norm these days Greg Hayes was out and about talking to a lot of the people who were involved on Saturday night and what their future plans were after the "Blue" finals. Greg caught up with six trainers/drivers including Jack Trainor, James Rattray, Matt Rue, Gavin Fitzpatrick, Mark Hewitt and Bernie Hewitt. Harnesslink Media  

Saturday night's Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle was a successful one for Golden Gait stud's Wayne and Anne Lamb after their stallion Passmaster Hanover sired two of the Gr. 2 Blue winners. Bernie Hewitt's three year old filly Pass The Magic outstayed her rivals while two year old colt Express Pass trained by the Lambs' daughter Belinda McCarthy finished hard to win. "It was a great night for Passmaster Hanover and Golden Gait Stud, it has been a slow start for him but hopefully that gives him the kick along that he needs," Anne Lamb said. "The Breeders Challenge Blue is a very important part of the Breeders Challenge series and it was great to see the progeny of the local stallions compete for the big prize money." Passmaster Hanover's oldest progeny are three with the son of Cam's Card Shark serving his biggest number of mares in 2011/12. His excellent conformation and good looks resulted in him being purchased for $250,000 as a yearling. His dam Panned Out has established herself as one of the best broodmares in the USA. She is the dam of eight winners in sub 1:55.0 with two of those going under 1:50.0 while Passmaster Hanover recorded 1:50.2. "We are in the process of selling and moving farms and there are some yearlings and two year olds by Passmaster Hanover still for sale so if people are interested they should contact us directly and he will be available to breeders again later this year. "We weren't at Menangle on Saturday night, we were actually on our way to Broadbeach for a break and spent the night at Burren Junction which is between Walgett and Narrabri but unfortunately the pub where we stayed didn't have Sky Racing so we had to listen to the races on a mobile phone and then we were able to watch the replays later on a tablet." There was more success for Golden Gait Stud on the night with former employee Craig Cross owning Breeders Challenge Blue two year old fillies winner Sport Report. "Craig worked for us for eighteen or so years, to see him win a race like that with Sport Report made the night even better." Sport Report is by Sportswriter while the other Blue winner on the night was the Paul Fitzpatrick trained Milliondollar Wave. He is a three year old gelding by Million Dollar Cam. Greg Hayes

With Amanda Rando away, the team at iForm have had a good look at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night and have passed on some selections.  The meeting will see the running of the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue events with the runners competing for $50,000 in each of the four finals. iForm’s best bet on the program appears in race four.  Alta Jerome (number 4) was placed last week when beaten by Ultimate Art and was previously placed behind Monifieth on Breeders Challenge Day.  The four year old has won five races at Menangle previously. The next best is Macworthy (race 9 number 4) for Steve and Amanda Turnbull.  The gelding was impressive winning at Bathurst last start and will be having his first start on the 1400 metre track.   Best Bet -             Race 4 Number 4 Alta Jerome Next Best -           Race 9 Number 4 Macworthy Quaddie -                              Leg 1 – 8 Always My Mate, 9 Rich Virgin, 10 Milliondollar Wave                                                                      Leg 2 – 2 Keilor Misty, 5 Miss Rodriguez, 6 Miss Nickels                                           Leg 3 – 4 Sport Report, 5 Pure Cam                              Leg 4 – 2 Purple Reighn, 4 Express Pass, 5 Master Dip, 6 Killara Hustler, 7 Allnight    Greg Hayes

Three year old harness racing gelding Rich Virgin is no stranger to feature races. The son of Always a Virgin won the 2014 Leeton Breeders Plate when trained by part owner Ben Matthews and connections are hoping he can win this Saturday night’s Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The five time winner was transferred to Pheasants Nest trainer Peter Rixon after the Bathurst Gold Chalice consolation with a Breeders Challenge campaign in mind. “Peter (Rixon) is one of the better trainers around Sydney and it was always going to be difficult for me to travel up from Leeton to Sydney for the Breeders Challenge series so the other owners and I decided to send the horse to him on a full time basis,” Ben Matthews said. “I work full time for Water NSW so it gets hard for me to get away and unfortunately I don’t think any of Rich Virgin’s owners will be able to get to Menangle this Saturday night either so after having all of us there on Breeders Challenge final day he will go around without a support team this weekend.” Matthews continues to enjoy training horses on a part time basis and is working with two horses that were purchased earlier this year. “We bought two more out of the sales, they’re into their second preparation and they run along alright, one of them is owned in the same interest as Rich Virgin.” “I had a few mates and we bought a claimer called Streetem, he was trained by my brother Todd and raced around in Victoria but he got claimed so we went to the Bathurst sales and purchased Rich Virgin. “I broke him in and it didn’t take him long to put it altogether, he always had ability so that’s why I targeted the Breeders Plate last year.” It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Matthews after he was affected by the 2012 fire that ripped through the stables at the Leeton showground killing five horses. “I was very fortunate that I didn’t lose any horses in the fire unlike a couple of the other trainers but I did lose some gear and it knocked me around a bit. “This horse probably came along at the right time after that and it has been a good ride with him.” The name Rich Virgin was selected for the gelding after prospective names were put into a hat. “His breeding is Always a Virgin out of Lignum Twister but we each got to put a few suggestions in a hat and then we drew out six names and they were the ones we put down on his papers when we registered him.” With $30,000 to the winner on Saturday night, the gelding could be well named. “We only paid $6,700 for him and he has already won more than $50,000 so if he does win on Saturday night it would be a big celebration.” Harness Racing New South Wales

New Zealand's best harness racing two year old filly Dream About Me had her first look at Menangle yesterday in a tame workout as she heads towards the Breeders Crown series. Without doubt the best two year old filly seen in New Zealand for a few seasons, Dream About Me is unbeaten to date but faces some real competition across the Tasman as she trys to keep her unbeaten record in tact. The half sister to Christen Me and three quarter sister to Adore Me has inherited all the family ability but the clash with the outstanding Rock N Roll Heaven filly Heavens Trend 1:52.1 is something to really look forward to. The All Stars team has been reinforced lately as they turn their attention to the Breeders Crown series. The latest addition to the team is the big Mach Three three year old filly Classical Art who has tended to live in the shadows of The Orange Agent and Fight For Glory most of the season but the free going filly would seem ideally suited by the Australian style of racing. As is normal these days Greg Hayes caught up with Mark Purdon after yesterdays trial and that interview is enclosed here. Harnesslink Media  

It has been a long harness racing season for the Bernie Hewitt trained Allnight Story. The two-year old will line up for his tenth start in Saturday night's Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue 2yo colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Hewitt's stable has runners in the four Gr. 2 Blue finals but believes the son of Always a Virgin is his best chance of success. "Allnight Story is a pretty nice horse, he is a big overgrown horse that looks more like a five-year old and has done a really good job as a result," Hewitt said. "Because of his size he is going to grow into his frame and therefore I think he will be a better three and four year old down the track but he qualified for the Bathurst Gold Crown and didn't have much luck so maybe he can pick-up a big race on Saturday night." Allnight Story is raced by Garry and Margaret Meredith and the couple have only had horses with Hewitt for a short time. "Garry was involved with the horses years ago but had been out of the sport for a few years before arriving at the Bathurst Gold Crown yearling sale in 2013. "Garry and Margaret bought two yearlings and asked vendor Denis Howe who he would recommend giving the horses to and my name came up so Garry approached me and that's how it started." Those two yearlings would become Allnight Kiss and Allnight Raid. Both won Bathurst Sale Graduate races and went on to qualify for the 2014 Gold Tiara and Gold Crown respectively. Off the back of that success Meredith purchased the Always a Virgin - Ocean Spur yearling at the 2014 Bathurst sale and he would later be named Allnight Story. Stablemates Wabi Sabi, Pass The Major, Not My Sister and Brighteyed will also compete in the NSW Breeders Challenge Blue finals. "I've only had Wabi Sabi for half a dozen runs, he is going pretty good but is a slow maturing type and I think he'll be a better four- year old. "Cath (wife) and I bred Pass The Major, she's won a couple this season but from the wide draw is only a minor player while Not My Sister is more tractable than Brighteyed and both will have to be at their best from the poor draws." Hewitt is hoping to continue his recent good form at Menangle after winning a Country Series final last weekend. "Stormfortheboys did a good job for the stable last weekend and we weren't far away with Kenny Dee Dee either so hopefully we can have a similar result this Saturday." The first at Menangle on Saturday night is scheduled for 5:14pm with the first of the four Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue finals to be run at 7:23pm. Greg Hayes

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