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Spreyton trainer Chris “Slim” Aylett will be hoping five-year-old gelding War Dan Star can put an end to several hard-luck stories when he lines up in the Elders Insurance Launceston Pace tonight at the combined harness and greyhound race meeting in Launceston. War Dan Star hasn’t won since 30 December 2018 when he led all the way to win by 14 metres at Carrick Park. The gelded son of Western Terror has been placed in five of his 11 starts this season including being defeated a head in a heat of the North West Plate in Burnie on 20 December before being defeated a half-head in the $12,000 final in Devonport on Boxing Night three starts ago. “I have been happy with the way he has been finishing off his races his last four starts,” said trainer Chris Aylett ahead of tonight’s race. “We had a couple of good draws in a couple of standing start races but it is a nice change to get an inside draw in a mobile start race that’s for sure,” said Aylett about the pacer that has drawn inside barrier five in a mobile start race on two occasions in his last 15 mobile start races. War Dan Star arrived in the Aylett stable as a two-year-old who had been placed in one of his four starts and is part-owned by a close family friend of the Aylett’s, Warren Viney. “Warren has been a close friend of the family for a long time, he pretty much grew up next to Mum,” explained Aylett who juggles training around running his excavations business. Aylett was keen to point out the pacers best form is when he is able to lead. “He has led in two of his four wins,” he said. “When he last won at Carrick, he went super so he can do it that way if driver Gareth (Rattray) desires,” added the trainer. “I don’t tell Gareth what to do that’s for sure,” said the Spreyton based trainer. War Dan Star opened the $3.20 favourite this morning on the Tasracing Offical Price over Ima Birubi Boy at $4.40 with last start winner Iden Forest on the third line of betting at $5.00. The first of 15 races on the dual code meeting commences at 16:07 with the first harness event scheduled to jump at 17:48. Race one of the greyhound card will be on Sky Racing 1 with all remaining races on Sky Racing 2 like always all races will be shown on TasracingTV’s Live Stream.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

When trainer Matt Cooper received a phone call back in April last year, he never expected what would unfold over the next eight months. In 2003 Cooper made the decision to buy a property in the middle of Tasmania at Oatlands as he always had the passion to one day become involved in harness racing. At that time Cooper was employed by TOTE Tasmania working in the race day control offices, a job which he enjoyed because of the involvement in racing. “It was a job I loved as it was about horse racing,” said Cooper. “When the government made the decision to sell the Tote to Tatts about 10 years ago my job was made redundant, so I became a sub-contractor for Greg Worlsey transport as a courier driver, and it’s the job I still do today along with my life partner Chantal,” recalled Cooper looking back on what initially took him away from racing. It was a good friend of Coopers in driver Justin Campbell that brought him back into the racing game and started down the path he is on today. “A good mate of mine Justin Campbell asked me to go and give him a hand in the early days and without his guidance I wouldn’t be where I am today. “That led to me purchasing my first horse which was Just Say. He was only a battler but that’s when the racing bug really kicked in,” Cooper said looking back on his first purchase that never recorded a career win from 26 starts. Cooper’s next couple of purchases didn’t bring much more success, but his passion for the sport never waned. “Then along came the well named Inthedoghouse who ran a few placings which was good to get a few cheques along with Mes Elsu. Those three pacers taught me so much about the harness racing game and I knew then it wouldn’t be easy, but I was passionate and that’s all that mattered.” In 2016 persistence finally paid off for Cooper with his first winner delivered by Onemorelaugh. “I saw Onemorelaugh for sale for $4,000 and I made the decision to purchase him and on the 8 January all my dreams came true as he became my first winner as a driver and a trainer which is something that I will never forget,” said Cooper with pride. That win got the ball rolling as the prizemoney was used to fuel additional purchases as it so often does. “With the prizemoney from that win I decided to buy a horse called Call her Julie from Ben Yole who had her for sale for $2,000”. That purchase price would prove to be a bargain, with the mare going on to win 12 races with the crowning glory coming in 2018 when she was named Tasmanian Mare of the Year. “She was able to win first-up which was a huge thrill and she continued to go through her classes, reaching open company, winning 12 races and close to $100,000,” Cooper said looking back on the first star of his stable. Call Her Julie put the name Matt Cooper on the map which led to him receiving a phone call about Julie’s brother, Call Me Hector. “I received a phone call in April last year from David Jack who formerly trained Julie, he had her full brother in Call Me Hector who had shown ability in his two and three-year-old days. “David asked me if I was interested in leasing Hector as he was going in for some knee operations and he would be out of action for a while. Before he finished asking, I said yes, I’ll arrange the transport as soon as possible. I got off the phone and I couldn’t believe my luck,” recalled Cooper reflecting on a conversation he had with his partner Chantal at the time. Call Her Julie’s career came to an end as she went off to foal to star stallion Betting Line but with her full brother to look after, Cooper couldn’t have been happier. Call Me Hector had his first start for Cooper on 9 May over 1609 metres in Hobart. “I was confident he would run a good race but when he sat parked and rated 1:57 and beat some handy types I thought how lucky I am to get another very nice horse,” said Cooper about the son of Art Major who was sent out $3.50 at his first Tasmanian start. Call Me Hector went on to win four out of his next six starts with the Golden Mile his biggest win. He now has eight wins in Tasmania with numerous placings behind the state’s best pacer Ryley Major. Cooper then looked interstate at options for his pacer and set Hector for the Mercury80 series at Melton over the short trip of 1200 metres due to his quickness. “He is quick, and I thought it would suit him and it would give me the opportunity to not be racing Ryley. “I rang Justin (Campbell) who had relocated to Victoria over 12 months prior to see if I could send Hector over to him, and of course he said send him over,” said Cooper on the Victorian campaign. With Cooper being a concession driver, Campbell had to take over the driving duties for his first Victorian start where he was sent out a big price over 2678 metres at Cobram. “He was a bit out of his depth first-up in the Cobram Cup but still ran a big race as he was wide the last lap. “He then started in a heat of the Mercury80 where he was three wide the trip and only got run down late which qualified him for the final,” advised Cooper. It was last week that Cooper found a more suitable race over the 1720 metre trip which was right up Call Me Hector’s alley. Hector drew barrier four which was ideal as he would bully his way to the lead and with his normal racing pattern run them a long at a solid clip. He was always in control and when Justin Campbell went for him at the top of the straight, he looked home but over the concluding stages he had to call on all his fighting qualities to hold off a couple that flashed home from back in the field. That win in Victorian metropolitan company was a triumph for Cooper and Campbell that they rarely thought may have happened, particularly in the early days. “It’s amazing to think that a hobby trainer from Oatlands who has been self-taught could win a metro race at Melton and give us both career highlights as it was both of our first metro winners,” said Cooper on a journey that doesn’t look like ending anytime soon. Call Me Hector lines up on Saturday night in the final of the Group 2 $50,000 Mercury80 over the 1200m trip which is no doubt his toughest test to date. He has drawn wide (8) and has three Emma Stewart-trained runners drawn to his inside, so he will need plenty of luck to come his way, but one thing is for sure he will be there giving a 110%. The wild man from Oatlands as Matty Cooper is affectionally known as will be there cheering on his star who he calls Hector the Cheque Collector. It could be the biggest cheque of all if he happens to salute the judge first. Matty is greatly appreciative of everybody who sent him well wishes last week after Hector’s win. He loves the industry and will be involved for as long as he can put a bridle on a horse. Let’s Go Hector!   Jamie Cockshutt for Tasracing

Oatlands trainer Matthew Cooper tasted metropolitan success at Melton last Friday evening when his pacer Call Me Hector led all the way to score in a $20,000 event in a slick mile rate of 1m 55.2s with former Tasmanian Justin Cambpell in the sulky. Closer to home the first two-year-old race of the season was held in Launceston on Friday which was won by Yeah Mate before we headed to Devonport on Friday where there were many highlights. This week we have a combined harness and greyhound meeting in Launceston on Friday night, the last meeting of the season on King Island Saturday before a great afternoon’s action in Hobart on Sunday. The Stars Yeah Mate – the Paul Ashwood-trained, Mick Maxfield owned and bred pacer was able to win on debut in the Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes, the first two-year-old race of the season in Launceston last Friday. Driven by Rohan Hillier, the gelded son of Western Terror was able to sit one-out and one-back before peeling three-wide at the top of the home straight to score by 5.3 metres in a mile rate of 2m 0.3s. Vouvray Beach – the Rodney Ashwood-trained pacer was able to lead all the way in Devonport on Sunday to score in the Ladbrokes Mares Incentive after burning the candle at both ends of the race. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is starting to wind down her racing career as she is currently in foal to Betting Line. Somedan – recorded back to back victories when he led all the way in the Roberts Rural Pace, the field saw many that would be on a path to the Devonport Cup with Somedan able to defeat $91.00 outsider and stablemate Perfect Mach by a short half head with Poker Storm 7.9 metres away third. Somedan was driven by Troy McDonald and was one of five-weekend winners for trainer Ben Yole. Geoff Smith – left the Devonport card on Sunday with a training double. Laid Back Kenny scored a 20.4-metre victory in the S & M Horse Transport Pace with Conor Crook in the sulky before Chris Be Quick defeated Midair Meltdown by a short half-head in the Collins Homes Pace which was a stable quinella for Smith. Marc Butler – trained the first winner on the card at both the Launceston and Devonport meetings. Beachboy Butch recorded back to back wins in Launceston on Friday with A Spanish Dance winning first up in his care in Devonport on Sunday by 13.4 metres in a handy mile rate of 2m 0.3s, both winners were driven by Ricky Duggan. Multiple Winners Launceston – Friday evening Ben Yole – training double; Rocknroll Music and Just Say Go, Taylor Ford – double; drove Just Say Go and trained Ark Fury. King Island – Saturday afternoon Graeme Keeley – training double; Stevie Jolt and Ruffalo. Devonport – Sunday evening Ricky Duggan – driving double; A Spanish Dance and Vouvray Beach, Geoff Smith – training double; Laid Back Kenny and Chris Be Quick, Ben Yole – training treble; Frostyflyer, Someday and Coveffe Hustler. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Launceston – Friday evening Beachboy Butch 55.24s, Witch Master 56.07s, Southern Gnp 56.32s, Alaphilippe 56.46s and Jimmy De Panda 57.52s. Devonport – Sunday evening A Spanish Dance 58.00s, Ready To Fire 58.02s, Chilla Breeze 58.25s, Illegal Immigrant 58.44s and Hafter 58.50s. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Friday evening Hit’s: Just Say Go $9.00 into $7.50 and Ark Fury $7.00 into $6.00. Defied The Drift: Beachboy Butch $3.40 out to $5.00, Iden Forest $4.20 out to $5.00, Yeah Mate $4.40 out to $4.80, Rocknroll Music $7.50 out to $10.00 and Paint The Wind $4.80 out to $5.50. Missed: Raffaello $31.00 into $18.00, Alaphilippe $14.00 into $7.00, Rainbow Phoenix $5.50 into $4.20, Rocknovertime $4.40 into $3.30, Im Full Tilt $6.50 into $5.00, Cardinal Spec $12.00 into $8.50 and Sermac $3.00 into $2.50. Devonport – Sunday evening Hit’s: A Spanish Dance $4.60 into $2.70 and Frostyflyer $4.20 into $2.70. Defied The Drift: Chris Be Quick $8.50 out to $14.00. Missed: Mostly Spirit $15.00 into $10.00, Tarleton Riley $18.00 into $10.00, The Lemondrop Kid $9.00 into $7.50, Goggo Gee Gee $15.00 into $10.00, Perfect Mach $151.00 into $81.00, Blackbird Power $41.00 into $17.00, Just Say Go $5.00 into $3.60, War Dan Star $4.80 into $4.00 and Blossom Grant $4.00 into $3.60. Trial File Carrick Park – Monday evening The Rohan Hadley-trained, Rohan Hillier driven Believe In Forever recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the night when he scored a two-metre victory in a rating 64 to 86 trial. Believe In Forever, a gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven rated 2m 2.8s after racing behind the leader at the bell to hold off All Style Sammy and Border Cross. Hadley drove Secluded Beach, a stablemate to Believe In Forever who broke gear in the trial and finished some 40 metres behind the winner. Other winners included; Im Barney Rubble 2m 13.7s, Ima Birubi Boy 2m 12.3s, De Marco Beach 2m 17.1s, Machbev 2m 19.7s, The New Man 2m 6.8s, Jimmy Smalls 2m 6.7s and Tisu Spirit 2m 6.1s. Week Ahead The Launceston Pacing Club and Launceston Greyhound Racing Club will stage a combined race meeting on Friday night with seven pacing races to be staged on Sky Racing 2. The first harness event kicks off at 17:48. On Saturday afternoon the King Island Racing Club will stage their last meeting of the season with two harness races and five thoroughbred races making up the seven-race card. Sunday afternoon the action turns to Hobart with the Top Of The Town Bakery New Norfolk Pacing Cup, Toreace Flying Mile, E C Plunkett Memorial and the Art Meeker Memorial Matron Stakes all $12,000 features on the program that commences at 13:24. The meeting will feature a hosted live stream service on TasracingTV. Interstate at metropolitan venues some of our Tasmanian representatives include the last start Melton winner Call Me Hector who lines up in the Group 2 Mercury 80 Final over 1200 metres in Melton on Saturday night, which is the middle night of the Summer Of Glory carnival. Owned and trained by Matthew Cooper of Oatlands, Call Me Hector will start from barrier seven in the event that is due to start at 19:33. Melton – Saturday night Race 4 (Group 2) Horse 8 Call Me Hector, Race 5 (Group 1) Horse 7 Max Delight. Menangle – Saturday night  Race 3 Horse 9 No Apachemee, Race 8 (Group 3) horse 3 Harjeet and Horse 9 Ignatius.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

More than 75 percent of the dams represented in this year’s Tasmanian Harness Sale to be held on Saturday, February 15 at Carrick Park are race-winning mares or winner-producing mares.   Among the race-winning dams are the Group winners Ark Breeze (Granny Smith Stakes), Cloudy Delight (Evicus Stakes and Tas. Sweepstakes), the feature race winner Lady Elaine (Tas. Sale Classic), the Group placegetter Itz Gemmas Delight ($56,652) and the talented racemares Miss Ruthless 1:58 ($84,053), Danamite Lass 1:55.9 ($60,348), Boutique Art ($47,208) and Sheez Classical ($40,354).   The dams listed in the catalogue have left the Group and feature races winners Modern Ruler (NSW Garrard’s Pace) and Angel Or Demon (Tas. Matron and Mother Of Pearl) and the Group/Listed placegetters Tambros Milly and Class Tells.   The grand-dams of the yearlings have left a host of smart performers such as the multiple Group winner Pachacuti 1:51.7 ($394,731), Sheez Exclusive (Evicus and Bandbox), Strezlecki Lady (Shepparton Gold Cup), Glenwood Jasper (Crystal Stakes), Fortino (Burnie and New Norfolk Cups), Drifting West (Tas. Sires Produce) and Bremusa (Mother Of Pearl). Yearlings are eligible for Tasbred, Vicbred and the NSW Breeders Challenge.   The on-line catalogue, with photos of the yearlings, can be viewed at tasracingcorporate.com.au   By Peter Wharton

It has been one extreme to another on the country harness racing circuit this year. The St Marys meeting on New Year’s Day was run with a watch and act bushfire some 20km from the track, the next country meeting was at Scottsdale last Friday where the meeting went ahead despite some significant rainfall in the lead-up and during the meeting, which no doubt would have been well received by locals in the rural community. The weekend was dominated by the Yole family with Ben training seven winners and his brother Mark driving six winners, including Oneofthelads) who won at both meetings. The Stars Mark Yole – after six winners for the weekend, the leading driver from last season has risen to the top of this season state’s drivers title after a slow start. Yole has driven 24 winners in the state this season with his highlight last week being the 2020 Good Sports North Eastern Pacing Cup at Scottsdale on Friday aboard Ideal World for South Australian trainer Aaron Bain. Ryley Major – flexed his muscle with another dominant win in Hobart on Sunday, The gelded son of Art Major raced outside the leader from around the mile mark. The Rohan Hillier-trained pacer was driven for the first time by Conor Crook who guided Ryley to his 24th career win at start 34. Crook was able to secure the drive after beating Hillier, who is also his boss in a game of golf the week prior. Adrian Duggan – continued his great run as a trainer of the past month when he chalked up his 300th career win as a trainer when Wattabout Spangher saluted the judge first by a narrow margin in Hobart. The gelded son of Stonebridge Regal enjoyed a lovely three-wide cart into the race over the final lap to win his third race at start 23. Derwent Valley double – Roger Whitmore was the first New Norfolk based trainer to find the winners circle when Resurgent Storm led all the way to score in a rating 54 to 57 event with Zeke Slater aboard, before the Thomas Jackson-trained Finn Mac Kee came with a well-timed run by driver Matthew Cooper later in the night. Ben Yole – is donating $50 to the Red Cross Bushfire appeal for every winner he trains this month and $350 jumps into the kitty after he prepared seven winners across the weekend, two of those wins came on the weekend with Oneofthelads who won at both Scottsdale and Hobart. Another smart winner from the Yole camp was Jakes A Joy who scored back-to-back wins in Hobart after scoring in Launceston last week. Multiple Winners Scottsdale – Friday afternoon Ben Yole – training treble; Punchinello, Oneofthelads and Stylish Trend, Mark Yole – driving treble; Oneofthelads, Stylish Trend and Ideal World. King Island – Saturday afternoon Graeme Keeley – training double; Yodellin Cowgirl and Ruffalo, Adrian Collins – driving double; Yodellin Cowgirl and Ruffalo. Hobart – Sunday evening Ben Yole – training quartet; Oneofthelads, Jakes A Joy, Mystery Writer and Somedan, Mark Yole – driving treble; Oneofthelads, Stylish Trend and Ideal World, Rohan Hillier – double; drove Justtentrumps and trained Ryley Major. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Scottsdale – Friday afternoon Unavailable. Hobart – Sunday evening Somedan and Chasing Cheetahs 56.36s, Ryley Major 56.44s, Remember Joe 57.08s and Taurisi 57.14s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Scottsdale – Friday afternoon Hit: Punchinello $5.00 into $4.40. Defied The Drift: Kens Chips $1.95 out to $4.40, Stylish Trend $7.50 into $8.00 and Ideal World $2.20 out to $2.60. Missed: Karalta News $8.00 into $5.00, Sea Sky $9.00 into $5.50 and Northview Dave $26.00 into $11.00. *Race 7 has been excluded due to two late scratchings in the final minutes of betting. Hobart – Sunday evening Hit’s: Oneofthelads $11.00 into $8.00, Jakes A Joy $14.00 into $5.50, Finn Mac Kee $4.60 into $3.80 and Mystery Writer $5.50 into $4.40. Defied The Drift: Resurgent Storm $1.45 out to $1.70 and Wattabout Spangher $3.20 out to $3.80. Missed: Beau Garcon $3.20 into $2.80, Vouvray Beach $6.50 into $4.80, Beyond A Shadow $5.00 into $5.50, Im Full Tilt $31.00 into $17.00 and Monarkmac $6.00 into $4.60. Trial File Hobart – Monday evening Seven-year-old gelding Dasher Houli recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the Hobart session of 2m 3.9s when winning a 61 to 90 rated standing start trial. The class runner of the field surprisingly started off the same mark as his three other rivals in the 2090 metre event. Driven by Paul Hill, Dasher Houli scored by one metre over Still Hungover with Real Diamond a further half a metre away third with the final two quarters recorded in 29.7s and 30.7s. Other trial winners were; Stepping Stones (2m 15.9s) and Spoilt Sport (2m 5.0s). Devonport – Monday evening Three trials were held on the state’s north-west coast with Shady Story the quickest winner of the night in a mile rate of 2m 4.4s. The gelded son of Shadyshark Hanover was driven to a 10-metre victory over Dusty Martini and Idealagain. The last two quarters were unavailable. Im Barney Rubble (2m 8.2s) was too good for his rivals off a 20-metre handicap in trial one while Rocknroll Curly won a rating 40 to 50 trial in a mile rate of 2m 5.1s. Week Ahead Launceston is the venue for Friday night harness racing where we see the two-year-old’s step out for the first time this season in the Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes. The $15,000 event sees five recent trial winners including; 1. Rocknovertime, won on 23/12/19 in Hobart by one metre in a mile rate of 2m 8.6s, 3. Rocknroll Nitro, most recent win on 6/01/20 in Hobart by two metres in a mile rate of 2m 6.6s, 7. Who Said You Said, won on 23/12/19 at Carrick Park by 12 metres in a mile rate of 2m 3.0s, 8. Impulsive George, won on 9/12/19 at Carrick Park by five metres in a mile rate of 2m 5.6s, 9. Yeah Mate, won on 23/12/19 at Carrick Park by 10 metres in a mile rate of 2m 3.8s. The event will be over 1680 metres and is scheduled to start at 18:15. Race one commences at 17:14 with the meeting to be televised on Sky Racing 2. Devonport race on Sunday night with an eight-race card. The $12,000 Ladbrokes Mares Incentive is the feature race on the program. The Rodney Ashwood trained Vouvray Beach has drawn the pole position with the Ben Yole trained Machitelli drawn beside her in barrier two. Both horses possess good gate speed which will make an interesting battle for the lead in the early stages. The two highest-rated horses in the race, Karpenkova Leis and Volkova Leis both have drawn wide on the second row. All races in Devonport are scheduled to be on Sky Racing 1 with the first race set down for 17:59. Interstate at metropolitan venues some of our Tasmanian representatives include; Melton – Friday night Race 3 Horse 7 Offthetopofmyhead, Race 8 Horse 4 Call Me Hector.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Next months Devonport Pacing Cup is on the radar for Ideal World after he scored a six-metre win in the Good Sports North Eastern Pacing Cup at Scottsdale yesterday. Trained in South Australia by Aaron Bain, the seven-year-old gelded son of American Ideal has called Tasmania home for the past month, and was well driven by Mark Yole in last nights $12,000 feature. Sent out as the $2.70 second elect in the market, Yole was able to settle close to the speed in the 2692 metre event. “He lobbed handy early, El Jays Mystery was looking for a bit of cover so I worked around her and got it easy during the middle stages,” said winning driver Mark Yole who was happy to race outside the leader on the rain-affected track. “I think that was key, it looked really hard to make ground all day,” added the driver. The heavy track was also reflected in the mile rate of 2m 10.7s, the slowest mile rate recorded in the race since Tyne Playboy scored in 2m 11.6s in 2000. Ideal World was sent to the state to contest last months Tassie Golden Apple series where he finished second in the final behind Ryley Major before running down the track in the Meander Valley Cup at Carrick Park on 29 December, and the plain is for the pacer to tackle another Tasmanian feature race. “Talking with Aaron (Bain) after the race he plans to race him in Devonport next Sunday and then press on to the Devonport Cup next month and he will assess things from there,” said Yole. The $30,000 Devonport Pacing Cup will be held on 2 February. Yole was the standout driver on the card with a driving treble. He scored in the Enzed Pace with Oneofthelads who is trained by his brother Ben. “He was very well placed, I was really happy with his run in Launceston last week and he was able to just miss all the carnage early in the race,” said Mark who also scored on Stylish Trend in the Lords Hotel Pace. “The key to him was his good standing start manners on the tight track, his trial last Monday suggested he was starting to find some of his better form,” explained the driver. Some much-needed rain fell throughout the meeting with Yole full of praise for the officials to get through the entire seven-race card. “It was a credit to all to get through the meeting with the heavy rain that fell in the region,” he said.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

There was no bluff about evergreen veteran pacer Poker Storm when he played a winning hand to get the cash at a recent Launceston harness racing meeting. The 12-year-old paid three figure odds across most betting outlets with a stake-high $220 for a single win unit on the NSW TAB. But the victory didn't come as a surprise to his trainer Adrian Duggan, or the passionate owners. "I don't bet, but his owners always have a couple of dollars on him, so that's great for them," Duggan said. While the NSW TAB was the standout, those players who put their chips on the pacer to trump his rivals, collected $187 (SuperTAB), $106 (UniTAB), and $100 in his home state. "It's definitely not every day that you have that happen - but he also didn't deserve to be those odds, either. He's been racing really well," he said. Poker Storm hadn't won since March - but has been enjoying Tasmania's Discretionary Standing Start racing and had weighed in at all but one of his previous five starts, hence the quiet confidence in the Duggan camp. Annette and Chris Rockliff, Jacob Duggan and Nathan Rockliff were all smiles after their old warrior scored a memorable long-shot win  "He's an out-of-the-draw horse in the stands, but if he's off the second row he usually goes away all right," Duggan said. Poker Storm (Trump Casino-Cameo Mist (Lucky Cam) and Duggan have been a racing combination for almost as long as is possible in harness racing. The ownership group is based at Devonport, on the north coast, but, after he was broken in, they elected to send their two-year-old to the southern area of the Apple Isle, to Duggan at Brighton. And while others have come and gone, Poker Storm has been there ever since - for 10 years, nearly 200 starts, 23 wins and $170,000 in stakes. Duggan admits unashamedly, Poker Storm's the favorite. "He's just a lovely horse to have around. Hardly a lame day in his life and he's just one of those horses - he's not very big, but he's a warrior," he said. "He's very straightforward, very athletic and he just loves what he does. He's like most horses I suppose - if you keep him happy, he is very easy to get on with." Poker Storm crosses the line to win at start number 199 Duggan trains a team of 11 or 12 with the help of his stepfather Phillip Young, his wife Amanda and their 14-year-old son Jacob, who's just recently become licenced. "Poker Storm's been around nearly as long as Jacob has!" Duggan laughed. "He doesn't actually remember a time when we didn't have the horse - and he's doing quite a lot of the work with him now, too, so the win was a big thrill for Jacob as well. "Nathan (Rockliff) and Peter (Webb) are just the sort of owners you love to have. They are very loyal to me and have three horses here at the moment. "They love the sport and old Poker Storm has done a great job for them, but the minute I think it's time to pull the pin they'll be okay with that. "At the moment though, we're just enjoying racing him and while they keep programming the discretionary races and he gets handicapped fairly, we'll keep him going round," he said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The heats of the McKillop Insurance Brokers Tassie Golden Apple and the last two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge make up four of the seven races in Launceston tonight. The Tassie Golden Apple heats have attracted a rare mix of free-for-all pacers, horses that are just in the next group down, claimers and horses that appear to be destined to head to the country cup carnival over the summer. The mix is seen in heat two where Illegal Immigrant will start race favourite from his 30-metre handicap. One pacer in the race who’s performance will help their trainer determine on what path they go down over the summer months is the Mark Reggett trained Dasher Houli in heat two. The gelded son of Stonebridge Regal is first up since contesting a heat of the Tasmania Cup in early March where he finished in the back half of the field, and the trainer is happy with the pacers recent trial performances. “His first trial he had a decent blow, he needed the hit out but I was really happy with his last trial where he went to the line really good,” said Reggett about the 25 November trial in Hobart. “He will take some benefit from the run but he is ready to run a good race first-up,” added the trainer. Reggett was concerned about where the pacer was going to be when harness racing in Australia moved to a new national rating system on 1 July but he is happy with where the pacer is rated at with the conversion. “I wasn’t sure about the rating system but he is at the lower end of the free-for-all class which is good with the number of standing starts coming up,” explained Reggett.  Illegal Immigrant winning in Hobart earlier this year.   The Brighton based trainer rates the 30-metre backmarker Illegal Immigrant as the hardest to beat. “Illegal Immigrant is the hardest to beat so we need to capitalise on the front row draw,” Reggett said. Dasher Houli is yet to win a standing start race in four tries but the trainer was pleased with his manners in a recent trial. “Taylor (Ford) hunted him away in his last standing start trial and he got away real good,” said the trainer who has given Ford the drive tonight. Tonight’s assignment will help the trainer work out where he goes next with the seven-year-old gelding. “If he performs well in the series we will aim at some of the better races this season, if not we will just look for races that will be suitable for him.” Heat one of the Golden Apple is race three on the card where Ryley Major will start a short-priced favourite. Ryley Major is arguable the best pacer racing in the state at present and despite a 30-metre handicap, the race does appear to be a drop-in class for the talented pacer who has won 21 of his 31 starts. His trainer, Rohan Hillier will take the reins once again in tonight’s event. The first six horses past the post qualify for the $30,000 final that will be held in Launceston on Saturday night 21 December. The Launceston card tonight also sees the final two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge. The series for the states best young up and coming drivers have seen heats staged in Devonport and Hobart in recent weeks and it is a tightly contested leader board. Andrew Freeman heads the points table on 40 points with Ben Woodsford and Taylor Ford on 39 with Charlie Castles heading the rest on 22. Races two and five are the final two heats of the six-race series.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The McKillop Insurance Brokers Tassie Golden Apple Heats in Launceston Friday night highlights a great weekend of Harness Racing in Tasmania. But first, we take a look back at the action in Hobart last Sunday where there was plenty of highlights across the nine races staged. The Stars Ben Yole – prepared five winners on the Hobart card Sunday night. It was the fourth time in his career that the leading trainer has achieved the feat. Yole without a doubt prepares the state’s largest stable. He is eight winners behind where he was at the same stage last season where he ended up with 182 winners in the state. Willybe wins the opening race in Hobart on Sunday. Andrew Freeman – hadn’t driven in a race since June until round one of the 6ty° Youngbloods challenge. A few reasons for his absence were that his father had no horses racing and with the new claiming novice drivers system that was introduced with the new national ratings meant a lot of experienced drivers got their claim back which forced people like Freeman to sit on the sidelines. The 21-year-old has certainly made his presence felt in the series with two winners including The Shallows in heat four in Hobart. Taylor Ford – is only one-point off Freeman in the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge and she certainly continued her good run of recent weeks with a driving double on Sunday night. Ryley Major – warmed up for Friday night’s Tassie Golden Apple heats with an effortless win in the free-for-all in Hobart which was his fifth win in a row. One Yankee Ginga – is a talented Marc Butler trained trotter who won his sixth race in the state in the last race of the Hobart card. Multiple Winners Hobart – Sunday evening Ben Yole – training quintet; Willybe, Quick Changeover, Mach Charm, Give Me The Night and Jeans Mattjesty. Taylor Ford – driving double: Quick Changeover and Jeans Mattjesty. Ben Woodsford – driving double; Mach Charm and Streitkid. Gareth Rattray – driving double; Give Me The Night and One Yankee Ginga. Streitkid wins in Hobart for driver Ben Woodsford on Sunday. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Sunday evening Chasing Cheetahs 57.04s, Blackbird Power 57.37s, Jeans Mattjesty 57.52s, Bounty Eyre 57.58s and Ryley Major 57.88s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Sunday evening Hit’s: The Shallows $2.15 into $2.10, Jeans Mattjesty $9.00 into $8.50 and One Yankee Ginga $1.80 into $1.50. Defied The Drift: Willybe $2.70 out to $3.00, Quick Changeover $8.00 out to $9.00 and Mach Charm $3.60 out to $3.80. Missed: Really Ellen $21.00 into $12.00, Finn Mac Kee $21.00 into $13.00 and Macray Muchacho $3.20 into $2.80. Trial File Hobart – Monday evening Last season’s two-year-old filly of the year Blame It On Me was back at the trials and was in winning form, scoring in a mile rate of 2m 2.6s. Doug Nettlefold gave the driving responsibilities to Taylor Ford who took the filly to the lead from barrier two and recorded a lead time of 37.2s before running quarters of 31.7s, 31.8s, 28.5s and 30.1s. Blame It On Me scored by 25-metres over Sign Of Oro. Other winners included; Stylish Trend 2m 3.7s and Jaccka Len 2m 9.3s. Carrick Park – Monday evening Goggo Gee Gee flew around the Carrick circuit in a mile rate of 2m 0.1s when winning a 59 to 76 rated trial over 2150 metres. The Rachel Williams trained pacer was driven in the trial by Ben Parker who was able to lead all the way to defeat Bettabrown Tiger by two-metres with Flashy Ruler a further 18 metres away third. Other winners included; Sunny Sanz 2m 5.8s, Jakes A Joy 2m 5.4s, Auckland Ruby 2m 16.9s, Impulsive George 2m 5.5s, Thatswatilike 2m 4.8s, He Got Rocked 2m 6.5s, Mister Last 2m 7.2s and A Spanish Dance 2m 8.0s. Week Ahead Beauty Point brothers Rohan and Troy Hillier will play a strong hand in the heats of the McKillop Insurance Brokers Tassie Golden Apple on Friday night in Launceston. Rohan trains and drives Ryley Major who will be chasing his sixth win in a row in heat one. Ryley Major wins again in Hobart Sunday night. Illegal Immigrant who is trained and driven by Troy looks to be the main fancy in heat two. The Launceston card also features the final two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge. Hobart is the venue for Harness racing on Sunday afternoon with the first of eight races set down for 13:15. The last race of the day is a rating 71 to 79 event which has attracted a quality field including Usain Jolt who was fourth to Ryley Major last week, Chasing Cheetahs who recorded the quickest last half on last Sunday’s card and the inform Sreitkid who has won two of his past three starts. Interstate and overseas this week at metropolitan venues some of our Tasmanian representatives include; AYDC – Tasmania represented by Conor Crook Alexandra Park – Friday twilight Race 2 Horse 6 Pekeson. Black Friday Bash – Tasmania represented by Mark Yole Wayville (Adelaide) – Friday night Race 1 Horse 4 Buriton Bailey, Race 2 Horse 1 Majestic Lustre, Race 3 Horse 7 The Deal, Race 5 Horse 4 Artegra, Race 6 Horse 3 Scrawl, Race 7 Horse 3 Springfield Desire. Inter Dominion Grand Final Alexandra Park, Auckland – Saturday twilight Race 9 Horse 11 Cruz Bromac. Menangle – Saturday night Race 5 Horse 1 No Apachemee and Horse 3 Ignatius, Race 7 Horse 2 Zhukov Leis.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Taylor Ford will take a one-point lead into Sunday week’s second round of heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge in Hobart after a first and seventh placing in the opening round of heats at the Devonport Showgrounds last night. Ford was able to win heat two on the Ben Yole trained Machitelli who pushed forward from barrier five to find the lead about 450 metres after the start. Machitelli, a daughter of Mach Three was inclined to over race throughout the 2297 metre event with driver Taylor Ford admitting that her arms were “a bit sore” when speaking with tasracing.com.au on her way home to Brighton from the meeting last night. “She came out of the gate strong and when she found the lead she dropped the bit, so I put my hands back into a more commutable grip which wasn’t a good idea,” explained Ford. After running a lead time of 51.0s Ford was able to steady Machitelli enough to record quarters of 31.1s, 31.3s, 31.3s and 31.0s over the final mile. “We did run along a little bit, the rest of the field stayed back a few metres off her which meant they had to do a bit of extra work to catch her,” said the winning driver. “She started to tire the last 50 (metres) but they had her chance to beat her,” added Ford. Although Ford was first past the post she had another battle on her hands when the driver of Shes Gifted, Ben Woodfords fired in a protest against the winner who shifted out noticeable over the final 300 metres of the race. Stewards dismissed the protest and Ford said she was fined $100 for allowing the horse to shift out under pressure. It was the case of déjà vu for Ford and Yole who teamed up to win a Youngblood's Challenge heat in Devonport last season. “I drove Ready To Fire to win a heat in Devonport for Ben (Yole) last year,” said Ford. “It’s great that Ben (Yole) and many other trainers have supported the series to ensure we can all get a drive in each heat,” added the series leader. The Yole stable provided the first heat winner of the series when Andrew Freeman partnered Mach Charm to a 1.5-metre win. Mach Charm, a six-year-old mare also by Mach Three was able to sit back off a frantic temp over the first circuit and was too good late in a slow 32.3s final quarter. Points after the first two heats are; Taylor Ford 20, Andrew Freeman 19, Ben Woodsford and Hannah Van Dongen 18, Matthew Howlett 13, Justin Howlett and Charlie Castles 9, Lachlan Dakin, Georgia Hayward and Samantha Freeman all on 8. It was a big night for the Yole stable with Pink Ponder, another that sat back off a solid lead time being able to score while Ol Titch pulled off a big move from $101 into $16 when winning the last race. The move was made in one hit on the Tasracing Official Price, could indicate that a corporate bookmaker may have gone up the wrong price. The main race on the card was the NWTLHA Cup where Izaha was able to overcome a 30-metre handicap to score in the 2645 metre event. Izaha, a half-brother open class pacer to Harjeet, enjoyed a lovely cart up out three-wide over the final 1100 metres and was too good for Blackbird Power and Illegal Immigrant. Although being defeated a half-head in the feature race with Blackbird Power trainer-driver Gavin Kelly was in the winner's circle earlier in the night with Murry who put up a tough performance to score in race three, it was the second win this season for the gelded son of Jeremes Jet. It was a bitter-sweet night for concession driver Hannah Van Dongen. She drove the first race winner Shady Story, who she also owns to an all the way win on debut for her father Craig in the first heat of the Allan Williams Memorial, before copping a three-race date suspension in the next race.   Duncan Dornauf

Tasracing has today announced the drivers for the 2019 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge with ten upcoming drivers having been selected for the series. The six-race series will be held in Devonport on 29 November, Hobart 8 December and Launceston on 13 December, with two heats to be staged at each venue. In an added bonus for owners and trainers to support the series, all race are penalty-free meaning that all winners will not receive a national rating penalty. It will be the 20th running that 6ty° (previously known as Bullock Consulting) has been the naming rights sponsor of the states premier junior drivers series. Drivers competing in this year's series are: Hannah Van dongen - finished in tenth position on the states drivers premiership last season with 24 wins and 38 placings and the Carrick based driver has already started the 2019-2020 season well recording six wins and nine placings. Van dongen’s biggest win to date has been the 2019 Burnie Cup aboard the Ben Yole trained Perfect Mach. Taylor Ford - will be out to follow in the footsteps of her father Phillip who is a past winner of the series. Ford registered 18 wins last season with a further 25 placings to her credit to finish in third position on the states female drivers title. Lachlan Dakin - had his first race drive in March 2018 before driving his first winner in August that year aboard Goggo Gee Gee.  Dakin, who works for trainer Todd Rattray has shown continued improvement in the sulky which seen him drive six winners last season, with a further two wins added to his tally this season. Ben Woodsford - hails from New Zealand and had been gathering experience in Australia from several leading stables before finding his way to Tasmania earlier this year. Woodsford had his first race drive at Menangle in May 2016 aboard Big Bang Penny who gave him his first winner at Newcastle in August 2016. He has driven a total of 37-wins through his career including two victories this season on Rocket Blaster. Charlie Castles - is continuing a strong family tradition into the industry and is the sole north-west coast based competitor in this year's series. Castles drove four winners last season but found himself amongst the placegetters on 25 occasions. Georgia Hayward - is still chasing her first winner in the sulky but she has shown in recent drives that her first win isn’t too far away. The Scottsdale reinswoman has gained valuable experience through trainer Kent Rattray and she has also spent many months in the past working for dual Inter Dominion winning trainer James Rattray at his New South Wales stables. Andrew Freeman - is a relative newcomer to the sport only having his first race drive this year aboard Mighty Spark in Burnie. His first winning drive was on the Ben Yole trained Hez The One in Hobart in April. Matthew Howlett - is the most experienced driver in the series with 68-wins and 169 placings to his credit since his first race drive in November 2012. Howlett set a Youngbloods Challenge record when he became the youngest driver to win the series at 16 years and seven months winning the series in 2013 while also claiming the title in 2016. Samantha Freeman - recorded her first win in July 2013 and has found the winners stall first on a further 27 occasions. She dead-heated for first in the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series in 2014. Justin Howlett - drove his first winner at his very first race drive on Rock And Run in Hobart in June 2008. A talented concession driver in his time Howlett has elected to take a back seat and allows his brothers Matthew and Braden do most of the driving for their father Chris. Wade Rattray (First Emergency) - started his driving career in June 2014 and registered his first win a month later in Hobart on Divas Delight for his uncle Barrie. Rattray won the series in 2015. Previous winners of the Youngbloods series: 1986 Richard Housego and Leigh Dornauf, 1987 Scott Ford, 1988 Leanne Barker and Nathan Postlethwaite, 1989 Darren Jacobson, 1990 Darren Withers, 1991 Tammy Mollross, 1992 Tammy Mollross and Tamra Fawdry, 1993 Tammy Mollross, 1994 Darrin Denny, 1995 Phillip Ford, 1996 Matthew Dwyer, 1997 Phillip Ford, 1998 Heath Szczypka, 1999 Nathan Garwood, 2000 Nathan Garwood, 2001 Nathan Garwood, 2002 Andrew Rawlings, 2003 James Rattray, 2004 James Rattray, 2005 Brendan Gebel, 2006 James Austin, 2007 Mark Yole, 2008 David Medhurst, 2009 Todd Rattray, 2010 Amy Crossland, 2011 Todd Rattray, 2012 Jaimie-Lee King, 2013 Matthew Howlett, 2014 Alex Ashwood, 2015 Wade Rattray, 2016 Matthew Howlett, 2017 Jack Laugher, 2018 (June) Brady Woods, 2018 (Nov) Conor Crook.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Gary Hall Jnr claimed Western Australia’s first Triple M Australian Drivers Championship win in Hobart last night. Hall Jnr was able to record a driving double and two placings across the seven-race series to score a 14-point victory over Tasmania’s Mark Yole with Darby Mcguigan a further three points away in third. Here is how the night unfolded.         Heat 1 Western Australia’s Ryan Warwick was able to pick up maximum points in the first heat when he scored on the Todd Rattray trained Wandary Muscat, from inside of the second row Warwick ended up four-back along the marker pegs before weaving his way through the field to use the sprint lane over the concluding stages to record a 1.5-metre win. “It just worked out well, obviously the moving line slowing down the back (straight) was a good thing and was able to get a good trip,” said Warwick post-race on Tasracing’s Live Stream. Heat 2 Darby McGuigan was able to do the right thing by favourite punters aboard Cool Water Paddy who started the shortest-priced favourite of the night at $1.65. The Juanita McKenzie trained pacer worked forward early to find the lead at the 1500-mark and was too good late to record his fifth win in a row by 5.2-metres over the second elect Sheza Bettormak with Thomas Burns a clear third. “He seems like a nice horse and from his replays I watched he looks a nice horse, he was a beautiful horse to drive, he just settled so easy and when I asked him to go he went which is the sign of a good horse,” McGuigan said. “He seems like a versatile horse and he reeled off some good sectionals there and I think he will be able to mix it with the metropolitan horses at Melton,” added the winning driver. Heat 3 This was an action-packed heat with short price favourite Awayandrideyouself looming up looking a chance in the home straight but unfortunately for favourite punters and Queensland’s Pete McMullen the sulky seat became detached causing McMullen to be dislodged from the sulky, McMullen was cleared by the Medical Edge Staff for his remaining drives, and no harm was caused to Awayandrideyourself who was quickly caught by the clerk of the course Zane Medhurst. The heat was won by Tasmania’s Mark Yole aboard the Paul Hill trained gelding Streitkid, pushing through from the second row Streitkid was able to sit one-out and two-back before peeling three-wide with 350-meters to travel and was too good in the straight to defeat Hafter by 3.4-metres with Rowley back in third spot. “He has done a good job this horse, the quick tempo and a nice sit certainly told up the straight … I have got to give credit to trainer Paul Hill, he said to follow through on the back of Rowley and see if you can get some cover and as it turned out it gave us a beautiful sit and things worked out from there,” explained Mark Yole. Heat 4 Was the first win for Gary Hall Jnr when he drove the Chris Howlett trained Iden Forest to a half neck victory. Regular Tasmanian harness racing followers will know that Iden Forest has the ability but his manners early and his poor manners has let him down on several occasions in the past. Hall Jnr pushed forward to race outside the leader and after being headed by Hear The Call in the home straight, Iden Forest was able to rally back for his second win of the season over Hear The Call and Betterthanfetta. “We did a lot more than I wanted early but he could have had it easy on himself to get to the front but I had trouble getting the best out of him, to his credit he kept rolling the same speed all the way … he has done a really good job to hold the swoopers late, its a good thing he has a bit of size about him,” said Hall Jnr after the win. Heat 5 Koolaz Elvis was an unlucky second in Launceston last week yet slipped under the guard of punters starting as an $11 chance in a competitive rating 70 to 84 event. Gary Hall Jnr, driver of Koolaz Elvis worked forward to find the lead and allowed the gelded son of Courage Under Fire to stride along in front in quarters of 29.5s, 30.1s, 28.7s and 28.4s for the quickest mile rate of the night of 1m 57.3s. “The boys said I could take a sit if I wanted and were happy to leave it up to me if the right one came around, and he (Yatsenyuk Leis) probably was the right one but he wanted to take charge a little bit and I was happy to let him do what he wanted in front and to his credit he boxed on real well late,” said Hall Jnr after his second win of the series. Heat 6 The Ray Pullen stable has been going well in recent weeks and that continued with six-year-old mare Gipsy Treasure who recorded back-to-back wins in heat six. Driver Todd McCarthy took the race favourite straight to the early lead and gave nothing else a chance to defeat El Jays Blu by 1.9-metres with Blue Eyed Creation some 11.8-metres away third. “She was terrific, we had to do a little bit to get around and then we were lucky enough to get a few cheap quarters and she fought them off well in the finish,” said McCarthy after the event. Heat 7 South Australian Ken Rogers was able to test success in the final heat of the championship aboard the Heath Woods trained pacer The Shallows. Rogers got straight off the inside to sit one-out and three-back before leading up the three wide line from the 1000-metre mark, before putting the foot to the floor at the 600-metre mark to record a 4.7-metre win over Vouvray Beach with Our Percius back in third spot. The win completed a hattrick of wins for the lightly raced gelded son of Shadyshark Hanover who looks to have a bright future ahead. Final point score Gary Hall Jnr (WA) 77, Mark Yole (TAS) 63, Darby McGuigan (VIC) 60, Ryan Warwick (WA) 58, Todd McCarthy (NSW) 53, Danielle Hill (SA) and Kerryann Morris (NSW) 51, Ken Rogers (SA) 49. Pete McMullen (QLD) and Kerryn Manning (VIC) 47, Narissa McMullen (QLD) 42 and Ricky Duggan (TAS) 28.   Duncan Dornauf for tasracing.com.au

Star Tasmanian pacer Harjeet makes his debut at Menangle on Saturday night. The gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover out of the broodmare gem Our Zellweger has had 30 starts in Tasmania for 17 wins and nine placings and amassed just over $200,000 in prizemoney for his breeders and owners, The Rattray Family Trust and Wayne McLaughlin. He has won many of Tasmania’s feature racing including a stellar 2018 year where he won The Easter Cup, Raider Stakes and the Tassie Golden Apple. The next few months will be used as a stepping stone to see if he can advance to grand circuit level in the coming year. Connections have looked after Harjeet and brought him along patiently. In the back of their minds, they have had the opinion he could measure up to Grand Circuit level in the future and that was evident as he was nominated for the upcoming Inter Dominion series in Auckland next month. Scooterwillrev, driven by Rohan Hadley, takes out the 2018 Danbury Cup It is fair to say he goes up to NSW with a very good record intact and he will be hoping to make an impression. It won’t be easy as he goes up with a national rating of 105 so he is not far off the top grade, but he has seemed to have found a very winnable race and will resume his battle with another former Tasmanian star pacer in Scooterwillrev which will be interesting as the pair had some great battles back at home on the Apple Isle. In recent years the Rattray name has had great success in NSW with the legend Beautide winning two Interdominion Finals and a Miracle Mile. When speaking with Rattray about Harjeet, he informed me that the horse trailed last week and he was happy with the performance. A decision was made to make a gear change,  with a sharper bur on his outside and change a bit of headgear as he has a bit of tendency become a bit lazy at times and it was something he wanted to avoid at Menangle in this grade of race. “He has found the right to make his debut and I expect him to be right in the finish, but it’s his first step so as long as races well that’s all we want to see” said Rattray. “I’m very confident that the big spacious track of Menangle will suit him down to the ground.” Rattray has had great recent success with Ignatius, who won the 2yo, 3yo and 4yo NSW Breeders Challenge Series Finals, who he trained in his early career before being transferred to his brother James who has done an outstanding job with him. Iggy is raced by Todd’s wife Lyrae and is close to a racetrack return. When asked how Ignatius was coming along, Rattray said James was very happy with him. “He had a soft trial last week but will be asked to do a bit more this week at the trials with a possible racetrack return in three weeks. His main target is the Miracle Mile in February where he will try to join another family superstar in Beautide winner of the prestigious Miracle Mile in 2013.   Jamie Cockshutt for Tasracing

Tasracing, Harness Racing Australia and the Tasmanian Trotting Club are delighted to be hosting the sixth running of the Triple M Australian Drivers Championship at Ladbrokes Park Elwick in Hobart on 9 November. It will be the third time that the series will be held in Tasmania. Two drivers are selected from each state’s controlling body that will contest a minimum of six heats on the night. Tasracing has been able to secure Sky Racing 1 Coverage of the meeting that will be staged in the premium Saturday night time slot. Sky Racing 1 will also feature an on-course hosting with Brittany Graham live trackside. The meeting will have extended coverage on TasracingTV’s Live Stream. Past winners of the Australian Drivers Championship include 2018 Todd McCarthy (NSW), 2017 Chris Alford (VIC), 2016 Wayne Hill (SA), 2015 Grant Dixon (Qld) and 2014 Peter McMullen. McCarthy, Dixon and McMullen will all take part in this year's series. The drivers selected for this year's championship are: Tasmania Mark Yole Ricky Duggan Victoria Kerryn Manning Greg Sugars New South Wales Todd McCarthy Lauren Tritton Queensland Grant Dixon Peter McMullen South Australia Dani Hill Ken Rogers Western Australia Gary Hall Jnr Ryan Warwick Tasracing and the Tasmanian Trotting Club have organised a host of on course activities for the spectacular night of racing with more information, including dining packages being able to be found on the Go Racing Tasmania website. Tasmania will also be in the national spotlight the day prior with Harness Racing Australia hosting their Annual General Meeting in Hobart. Full rules on the championship are available here.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchase Max Delight has been crowned Tasmania Horse of the Year. As an addition to the top gong, Max Delight also captured the Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding of the Year Award. The prestigious title was announced during the Tasmanian Harness Racing Awards and Hall of Fame dinner during the weekend. Owned by Michael Maxfield, Max Delight’s stellar season including victories in the Tasmania and New South Wales Derbys and the Breeders Crown Final in Melton. Prepared by David Aiken, the colt won nine of his 16 starts for the term, with three placings and $299,310 also to his credit. Last month Max Delight was also named Australian Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding of the Year.   APG Media

Iden Forest has caused many headaches for many people in his 31-start racing career, and last night in Hobart the gelded son of Major In Art showed what he is capable of when he registered his third career victory in the Triple M Hobart Pace, but the win wasn’t all smooth sailing as trainer Chris Howlett reflected after the win “He had a gear failure tonight, the lugging pole got attached to the bit, he locked up on the outside which didn’t give Mathew (Howlett, driver) any control, he is bad enough as it is so we didn’t need that happening,” said Howlett Iden Forest ($7.50) was out of position by approximately half a length when the starter released the field to settle one-out and four-back before working to the spot outside the leader from the 1200-metre mark The gelding was inclined to lay in significantly around the corners but when he balanced up in the home straight he put the field away to score a 5.8-metre victory in a mile rate of 2m 3.1s It was only the second time in 16-starts that Iden Forest has been placed on the Hobart track “He has been frustrating for everybody, not only for me but the trainer’s before,” said the trainer who also acknowledged the work of Paul Williams before Iden Forest arrived in his care Iden Forest has been out of the draw for his past three starts and unfortunately for connections the horse has to be drawn out the back again for a few more starts “He races best when he is up on the speed and tonight he would have been back in the draw if it wasn’t for the gear malfunction early, unfortunately, we will have to put up with being out of the draw for a few more starts,” Howlett said after last night’s win The five-year-old has shown ability in his racing career but if he continues to deliver going forward the trainer has one concern “He just lacks some high speed which may hurt him when he gets up in grade,” the trainer explained The pacer was bred and part-owned by Elliot Booth, who has had interest from interstate to purchase the pacer “There has been some interest for him on the mainland but I will leave that decision in the owner’s hands,” said Howlett Punters were cashed up after the second event on the card when Koolaz Elvis was backed in from $8.00 to start the $3.20 favourite. The gelded son of Courage Under Fire put the writing on the wall at his start prior in Launceston where he settled in the back half of the field and was doing his best work late to finish fourth to Similan Beach in a fast last half. Since that effort, Koolaz Elvis joined the stables of Conor Crook who also took the drive in last night’s event where he was able to settle on the back of the leader, before working into the clear at the top of the home straight to score by a half head Talented four-year-old Cool Water Paddy continued on his winning way when he led all the way to score first-up from a spell in a slick mile of 1m 56.7s Another horse to continue on their winning way was One Yankee Ginga in the trotters event while Ryley Major was too quick late for Call Me Hector in the free-for-all.   Duncan Dornauf

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