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About two years ago talented Tasmanian harness trainer Justin Campbell went in search of a two-year-old to race in partnership with his good friend and loyal stable client Jeff Weedon. The search led them to Geffrey Madden’s property in the north of the state where they settled on a youngster by Cardmaster Hanover from Madden’s handy broodmare Patricia Page. They named him John Snow and following a couple of minor placings he notched his first win as a two-year-old after which he was sent for a spell. But when he resumed he developed niggling back problems and after three preparations of trying to win a three-year-old race the best he could manage was two seconds. But at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night John Snow delivered on the promise he showed early in his career to score an impressive win in a C0 over 2090 metres. It came as a result of a master drive from Campbell. After an attempt to lead from gate two failed Campbell ended up taking a sit behind first-starter Hit The Lights and John Snow travelled sweetly to the home turn. John Snow was travelling like he had plenty to offer so when Campbell cleverly found a way off the fence to put the horse in a position to challenge the gelding unleashed a powerful sprint and went on to score comfortably from Finn Mac Kee and Demonstrative. “That’s the first time this horse has finished off like that since he was a two-year-old,” Campbell said. “We had high hopes for him early on but he developed a few issues in his stifles and suffered from other issues in his back end so we had to be very patient,” Campbell said. “We are slowly getting on top of the problems and this win gives us hope that we are heading in the right direction,” he said. When it came to naming the horse connections submitted Jon Snow after the character from the TV series Game of Thrones but he ended up with the name spelt the same way as a former English Test cricket fast bowler. “We have been told that John Snow the former English fast bowler was quite a fierce competitor so we don’t mind if this horse develops the same trait,” Campbell said. Peter Staples

IF harness racing trainer Nathan Ford needed any convincing that his 10-year-old Jukebox Music was up to tackling feature races during the Christmas-New Year period he received the confirmation at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night where the gelding equalled a long-standing track record on his way to an impressive win in the My Sir Duke Pace over 2090 metres. Jukebox Music clocked a mile rate of 2.00.1 which matched the time set by Trouble No More in February 2007. Jukebox Music started off a back mark of 30 metres in the discretionary handicap but stepped cleanly to settle on the back of the main body of the field after traveling 200 metres. When Ford was about to send Jukebox Music into the three-wide train the run closed and he was forced to go back to the inside to find a clear run home. It was a move that proved to be the difference between winning and losing. When Ford called on Jukebox Music for a dash at the leaders in the home straight the gelded son of Christian Cullen powered home to score by almost a metre from Remember Joe that looked the winner when he kicked clear at the top of the home straight. Race leader Ciskei battled on for third ahead of race favourite resurgent Spirit that also came from well back in the field. Ford has singled out the Hobart Pacing Cup as Jukebox Music's main mission. "I have thought all along that the Hobart Pacing Cup would be the ideal race for this horse because it is a standing start series and the final is over 3000 metres and he will really appreciate that trip," Ford said. "I've tried him a few times in mobiles and he just doesn't perform like he does in stand-start races so that's what we'll concentrate on in the immediate future," he said. Peter Staples

Talented pacing mare Licinia has made quite an impact since arriving in Tasmania five months ago and her trainer Nathan Ford is hoping she can continue to improve with a view to tackling the state's most prestigious harness racing mare's race - the George Johnson. Licinia has been to the races seven times for five wins and two minor placings with her latest victory little more than a stroll in the park for the four-year-old. Licinia stepped straight to the front from the pole position and when Ford gave her more rein leaving the back straight the last time she forged clear and went on to score by almost nine metres from Xbolt with Bertils Delight two metres away third. Punters didn't miss her as she was backed in to start the $1.20 favourite and she won accordingly. "I liked this mare when she first arrived and she has continued to impress me the way she has gone about her racing," Ford said. "I would like to think she can improve enough for me to consider aiming her at the George Johnson (mares' classic) but in the meantime we'll just keep plodding along." "The Mother of Pearl is a nice mares' race in Launceston in a couple of weeks so that's where she'll go from here but that's as far as I want to plan for the time being," he said. Peter Staples

Star Queensland harness racing reinsman Grant Dixon delivered a couple of career best drives to emerge from the harness meeting in Launceston last night as the winner of the Sky Racing Australian Driving Championships. Dixon accrued 71 points from his six drives to take the 2015 Australian Driving Championship title from South Australia’s Danielle Hill with 58 and Robert Morris (NSW) and Queensland’s Shane Graham equal third on 47 points. Dixon was thrilled with the win and said it was a privilege to take out the title. “This is a great series and to win it is a real bonus because it is just an honour to represent your state and be amongst such a great group of drivers,” Dixon said. “When it is a random draw for drives there is an element of luck involved and tonight I had some luck,” he said. Dixon won the first heat when he brought Olivers Mate from near last leaving the back straight the last time to score in a three-way photo finish from the favourite Kyleasha and Grinable, driven by Victorian Gavin Lang. After two heats Dixon led with 28 points from Lewis and Panela on 25 with Gavin Lang within striking distance on 19. Ace NSW reinsman Robert Morris delivered his first winner of the night when he guided the Todd Rattray-trained The Bettormack to an effortless win in the fourth heat. The Bettormack went into the race a winner of three of his first four starts in the state and the four-year-old made light of his task to give Morris maximum points. The series was decided on a point-score basis with 19 points awarded for first; 14 for second; 11 for third; nine for fourth and reducing by one through to last in the 12-horse fields. Dixon clinched the title when he partnered Stingofascorpion into second place behind Fundamentalist in the last heat to finish with 71 points and a clear winner from Hill who had her drive in the final heat deemed a non-starter due to an unfair start leaving her on 58 points with Queensland’s Shane Graham and Robert Morris (NSW) equal third on 47. Final points tally from six heats: 71 – Grant Dixon (Qld). 58 – Danielle Hill (SA). 47 – Shane Graham (Qld) and Robert Morris (NSW). 45 – Lauren Panella (NSW). 43 – Chris Lewis (WA). 38 – Ricky Duggan (Tas). 37 – Gavin Lang (Vic) and Gareth Rattray (Tas). 34 – Greg Sugars (Vic). 33 – Ryan Hryhorec (SA). 30 – Gary Hall Jr (WA).   Peter Staples  

With his win behind Licinia in the second heat of the Australian Drivers Championship at this evening’s Launceston meeting ace Western Australian reinsman Chris Lewis joined an elite group to have driven a winner in each Australian State. Lewis became the first Western Australian driver to achieve the feat. Licinia became Lewis’s 4797th winner in a career which began with a success behind Classic Heir at Kapunda on 11th January 1972. Lewis had driven in Tasmania on two previous occassions. In 1978 he represented South Australia in the Australian Young Drivers Championship as the defending champion after he won the title in New South Wales a year earlier. In 2006 he drove Ohoka Ace for trainer Andrew De Campo in that year's Inter Dominion Championship held in Hobart and Launceston. After winning the Inter Dominion Championship in 1976 in Adelaide with Carclew, Chris made his first visit to Western Australia in June that year as a representative in the inaugural Australian Young Drivers Championship. While he didn't win that title he did drive his first Gloucester Park winner that night behind the Ben Geersen trained Burgundy and in 1979 Chris and wife Debbie moved permanently to Perth. In 1976 Chris Lewis and Ross Sugars represented South Australia and one of the Victorian representatives was Gavin Lang. The 1976 Australian Young Drivers Championship was won by Peter Morris from New South Wales. Peter Morris's son Robert represented New South Wales this evening in Launceston while Ross Sugars son Greg was one of the Victorian representatives. While Peter Morris and Ross Sugars have retired from race-driving both Chris Lewis and Gavin Lang drove in tonight's Championship as living proof that after 40 years they are still in the upper echelon of the nation's drivers. Alan Parker

The Australian Driving Championships will be conducted at Launceston this Sunday evening with twelve of the nation's best harness racing drivers competing for the title. Each state will be represented by two drivers and NSW representatives Robbie Morris and Lauren Panella are both set to arrive in Tasmania on Sunday morning. Morris is awaiting the arrival of his first child with partner Kerryann Turner due to give birth last Friday but the pair is adamant the leading male driver in NSW last season will take his place in the Championship. "I've spoken with Kerryann about it and she said that opportunities to drive in a series like this don't come along very often in your career and she wants me to compete but I guess I'll just have to see what happens between now and Sunday," Morris said. "In an ideal world Kerryann would go into labour on Thursday and everything would fall into place but knowing my luck she will probably start having the baby as soon as I arrive in Tasmania on Sunday." In the heats Morris has drawn several strong chances including Paint The Wind in race three, The Bettormack in race four, Major Callum in race five and El Jays Minerva is race six. Those strong chances will make Morris one of the favourites to win the series. Lauren Panella will drive in Victoria on Friday evening before returning to Sydney to drive at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday and is also preparing for a trip across to Western Australia for the upcoming Inter Dominion later this month. Panella won the NSW Drivers Premiership last season despite missing the final ten weeks of the season with a broken wrist and will be representing NSW for the first time. In race two Panella will drive Kyleasha which has a strong winning chance and her drives in the following two races, Thatswhatshesaid and Our Percius have each way hopes. Last year's Australian Driving Championship was won by Queensland's Peter McMullen with NSW representatives Blake Fitzpatrick and Amanda Turnbull finishing 6th and 10th respectively. Greg Hayes

Harness racing has always been the most family orientated code of the equine species so it stands to reason young Mitchell Ford would follow the family tradition. Mitchell has been contesting in all the pony trot races that the Tasmanian Pacing Club has reintroduced to its schedule this season and last Sunday night he showed why he will more than likely follow in the footsteps of his brother Nathan and father Scott. Scott has long been regarded as one of the most talented reinsmen the state has produced and his eldest son Nathan has already proven himself to be a top class driver. Now Mitchell has signalled he could be the next to follow suit. The 11-year-old grade six student at Brighton Primary School was driving his pony Toughen Up and gave the front marker a 190-metre start but he still managed to guide his trusty steed to victory. The TPC has scheduled two pony trot races at each of its Sunday meetings through to the end of March and the driver who accrues the most points will be declared the winner. There are eight young drivers registered to take part in the season=-long series. The TPC also will hold a pony trot Cup event on Tasmania Cup night on December 20. Peter Staples

Harness racing trainer Chester Bullock identified his eight-year-old Cool Wharton as a Hobart track specialist a while back so it came as no surprise to him that the gelding was able to win his fourth race at UBET Park on Sunday night. The win took Cool Wharton's career tally to seven when he flashed home from well back turning for home to score comfortably with talented driver Matthew Howlett in the sulky. He hit the line over two metres clear of Major Callum with the race leader and well-backed favourite Our Maddys Star four metres away third. Cool Wharton won a race at St Marys on New Year's Day 2013 but since then he has only been able to win in Hobart. Cool Wharton has paid an average of $21.20 for his seven wins that all have been well spaced, some as much as eight months apart. Peter Staples

Star harness racing mare El Jay's Magic looks set for another big season following her impressive first-up win in the $10,000 Ella Coulson Cannonball Charge (1609m) at Ubet Park, Hobart. El Jay's Magic was resuming from a four-month spell but made light of the task as she faced the breeze outside of the leader Run Ripalong and when driver Erin Hollaway called on the mare to extend turning for home she sped clear and went on to win decisively. El Jays Magic was last season's best performed mare and her trainer Grant Hodges said she was destined for a big 2015-16 season if she did well during her break. It was clear after she demolished her opposition tonight that she had done well during her spell and she looks set to be aimed at the George Johnson and possibly another interstate trip to tackle some feature mares' races. She clocked a mile rate of 1.57.01 and did it comfortably in defeating All I Cab Be that tried hard in the home straight with Star Chamber coming from last to grab third just in advance of Jukebox Music. Peter Staples

Brighton harness racing trainer-driver Adrian Duggan celebrated his first double of the season at UBET Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Duggan's consistent five-year-old Flylika Hawk delivered the goods in the opening race on the eight-event card when he flashed home along the rails to defeat the odds-on favourite Metro Mouse by the narrowest or margins. Then stable battler Tizyalator caused a boilover when he powered home from well back to win a C1 event over 2090 metres. Flylika Hawk ($9) was not expected to trouble the favourite Metro Mouse ($1.60) given he started from the inside of the second row and was destined to end up three or four-back the fence. The when the leader and winner's stablemate Maravilloso kicked clear nearing the home turn Flylika Hawk found space to improve and when the leader shifted up the track in the home straight Duggan drove him through the gap and he edged out the favourite in the last stride. "This horse needs that sort of run in a race to be in the finish but he has been a model of consistency this time in and he deserved to win again," Duggan said. "He is a perfect horse for the Coastal races around Christmas time because he puts himself in the right spot and pings the start from a stand so that's where he will be aimed in December-January," he said. Tizyalator's win was more decisive, although Duggan again had to weave a passage through the field to get the desired result. With his trainer in the sulky, Tizyalator settled just behind the speed from the pole position while the well backed I Am Camelot ($3.20) eventually found the lead. I Am Camelot was collared at the top of the home straight by Frankie Falzoni but neither could resist the powerful finishing burst of Tizyalator that scored at $43. Peter Staples

The Rattrays have been producing feature harness race winners by the score for the past two decades with their star pacer Beautide winning the past two Inter Dominions to further enhance the reputation of the family name. But last week it was one of the Rattray Family Trust's broodmares that was acknowledged for her efforts in producing top class pacers. Gorse Bush, the mother of Beautide, was named Australian Broodmare of the Year to become the first since the great Liza Storm (dam of Thorate) to receive the honour in 1990. Barrie Rattray along with his wife Denise and their four children have worked hard to establish what is arguably the best harness racing breeding and training enterprises in Tasmania. "It is a great honour for the mare to be named Australian Broodmare of the Year and we are very proud of her," Rattray . Gorse Bush (Ticket To Heaven-Barrington Lass) had two of her progeny win eight races during the 2014-15 season which was enough to earn her the top award. Beautide was the mainstay winning five races including the a heat and final of the Inter Dominion at Menangle in March which made it success wins for the horse that has enabled, through his prizemoney ($2.02 million), to allow Barrie Rattray and his family to continue their quest to breed Group 1 winners. Gorse Bush also is the dam of Fuscienne that won three races home soil for Rattray. Overall Gorse Bush has produced nine foals to race and other than Delmi that had only one win before being retired to stud, all are multiple winners. Beautide is clearly her best product as he has so far won 45 races and has amassed an incredible $2.2 million in prizemoney. But many of Gorse Bush's other progeny have been outstanding achievers including Death And Taxes that won a Granny Smith mares classic and was second to Chrissy Grant in both the Evicus (2YO) and bandbox (3YO) finals but ended her career with stake earnings of $125,000. Gorse Bush's other winners were Acutabovetherest (14 wins), Ashura (7), I Pity The Fool (11), Ashkalini (14) and Chalondra (2). Unfortunately Gorse Bush has not produced a foal for the past three seasons. "Gorse Bush has been a brilliant broodmare for us and to get a dual Inter Dominion winner (Beautide) from her is a dream come true," Rattray said. "The mare missed for two seasons and this winter she slipped a foal by Betters Delight so just when everything was going well for her it all went south but that's what can happen in this breeding business," he said. While Gorse Bush is making tough work of producing foals these days one of her lightly raced daughters Delmi (x Jeremes Jet) could be the next star broodmare at Karalta Pacing Stables. Delmi has produced a filly by Grinfromeartoear that is a yearling and she has just given birth to a leggy filly by Betterthancheddar that already is a striking individual. Ashkalini has already produced a multiple winner in Goggo Gee Gee while Death and Taxes produced a colt last season by Bettors Delight that might make the grade. Peter Staples

In form pacer Wingatui Dew continued his dominance since arriving in Tasmania just over two months ago with another impressive win at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Wingatui Dew (Erin Hollaway) has won all four of his starts in his adopted state and now trainer Grant Hodges is starting to ponder what he might be capable of a littler further down the track. "We don't know how deep the well is but he definitely has surpassed expectations since he arrived at my stables," Hodges said. "He was doing a few things wrong when he first came to me and he did a lot of things wrong when he won at his first start here in Tassie but he is learning," he said. Wingatui Dew began well from gate four and driver Erin Hollaway had no trouble in sending the gelding to the front. She ensured a solid tempo and when she released the reins turning for home the gelding powered clear and had no trouble fending off the challengers to score comfortably from Our Percius that trailed the winner throughout and Onemorelaugh that enjoyed a cushy run in the one-out line. Wingatui Dew is unbeaten from four starts in Tasmania and prior to crossing Bass Strait he won only once from 14 starts last season when in the care of Darren Hancock. The five-year-old produced a mile rate of 1.58.7 at his first start in Tasmania but he has a personal best mile rate of 1.53.6 as a 3YO in winning at Menangle (1609m). Peter Staples

When talented Tasmanian harness racing trainer Marc Butler was offered the chance to take over the training of a well-performed four-year-old he jumped at the chance. The horse in question was Franco Sheffield, a New Zealand-bred pacer owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have been a formidable combination and a force in Tasmania's owner ranks for many years. At UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night Franco Sheffield proved he still has a lot to give and Butler, while not becoming overawed by his effort to win a C4-C5 by almost 19 metres, was quick to admit the gelding could be his next "good horse". Butler owned and trained Joesashyguy that won him a Tasmanian Derby and was still delivering stellar performances beyond his use-by date but for the time being this gelded son of Live Or Die has the potential to put Butler, a boutique trainer these days, back in the harness racing spotlight. On Sunday night Franco Sheffield showed good gate speed to lead from barrier four and once in front, driver Ricky Duggan had a battle to hold hm. "When he led he wanted to get on with the job pretty much from the outset but he eventually came back to me," Duggan said. "Entering the back straight the last time he kept tugging so when I let him go he just powered away and went on to win as he liked and I never had to pull the plugs," he said. Franco Sheffield hit the line 18-1/2 metres clear of Punt Road Disco with Sky Tower just over a metre away third. He clocked a mile rate of two minutes and small change but ran home his last half mile (800m) in a slick 56.2 seconds which is outstanding on the Hobart circuit at the moment. The five-year-old was having only his third start for Butler who acquired the gelding from Juanita McKenzie who had to find room for a few new horses and Franco Sheffield was one that was selected to be rehomed. "He has been with me for about six months and this was only his third start for me and from what he showed there should be more wins in him that's for sure," Butler said. "He doesn't do much wrong - he's pretty much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of horse." "He is going to have to improve because he is getting up in grade but I am quietly confident he can deliver," he said. Peter Staples

Lightly raced five-year-old gelding I Am Camelot delivered one of the best harness racing performances of the night at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday to win the O A Kingston Pace over 1609 metres. I Am Camelot was having only his third start back from a two-year break that was enforced though injury. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding showed great gate speed to lead comfortably from barrier three and when driver Natalee Emery released the reins in the back straight the last time the gelding spreadeagled the field. I Am Camelot (Safari-Lady Margerica) went on to score by 18-1/2 metres from Punt Road Disco with Witch Master a metre away third. He clocked a mile rate of 1.59 and sizzled home his last half-mile (800m) in 57.6 seconds. I m Camelot suffered a slab fracture of the radical carpal bone in his off-front knee that wasn't identified until he was a three-year-old. Peter Staples  

One of Tasmania's most popular racing identities, veterinarian Dr Art Meeker has been rewarded for his service to harness racing by being awarded the prestigious Edgar Tatlow Medal. Meeker accepted the medal at t the annual Tasmanian Harness Awards presentation dinner at Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Hobart on Saturday night. "I don't know that I deserve to be in the same company as some of the talented horsemen and women who have come before me as Edgar Tatlow Medalists but I am humbled by it and accept it with the humility it deserves," Meeker said. For the past 24 years Meeker has been a constant in the lives of most thoroughbred and standardbred trainers in the south of the state through his Mobile Clinic business that gave him the edge over his competitors. Meeker is well respected and many trainers rely on his expertise with not only the health of their animals but how they are prepared for racing. He arrived in Tasmania from Oregon in the USA in 1972 to establish one of the most successful standardbred studs in Tasmania. His story is one of courage and adventure but one that gave Tasmanian racing something special. While Meeker was growing up on the family property at Klamath Falls in Oregon, USA, he dreamed of one day following in his father's footsteps by becoming a cow-punching cattle rancher. But somewhere along the way he was sidetracked by horses and his affinity with them eventually led him to a career as a veterinarian and that subsequently guided him to Tasmania. Meeker earned a reputation as a brilliant equine veterinarian with his services much sought after by trainers of both standardbred and thoroughbreds. While dealing with horses from both codes on a daily basis and having delved in ownership of both breeds, he found it difficult to hide his unrelenting passion for the standardbred. "From the moment I sat behind a trotter in my mid twenties I was hooked on the standardbred," Meeker said. When he realised in his late teens that his rancher days were numbered he enrolled at Washington State University where he studied and graduated with a degree in veterinary science and he specialized in bovine surgery. His first job was as a teacher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada and once he settled in, a chain of events would eventually lead him to Tasmania. He enjoyed teaching at Guelph and was starting to take a really keen interest in horses. People were telling him that the vets in the field weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing as far as identifying problems with racehorses was concerned so he made further inquiries. He was out in the field one day and a trainer put him on a trotter to see whether he was sore and when he had finished he said he had never had such excitement and that experience changed his life. Meeker moved to New Jersey to work alongside a former classmate in a private veterinary practice and it was while working there he met Dave Wallach who had made a success of importing standardbreds from Australia including Claridge. Meeker recalled that Claridge became a star and at one stage he was the highest stake-earning equine of any breed in the USA. Wallach had plans to embark on a business venture in Australia which included the development of a standardbred training-breeding complex in Tasmania, so Meeker staked his claim on being a part of the venture. He told Wallach that he was the man he needed to help him set up the new venture down under and they hit it off so well Meeker was on the next plane to Tasmania. Meeker and his family arrived in Tasmania in 1972 and so began the Neptune Stud story. Neptune Stud earned a good reputation quickly and made quite a substantial mark on the state's breeding industry by importing stallions Holy Sand and Scotch Luck. Holy Sand was very well received and his progeny won many races and Scotch Luck also was well patronised. Then came Duke Duane and his progeny won a bunch of races and included The Yank. Neptune also bred Bosun Neptune that won about 20 races and was placed in close to 50. Duke Duane sired 304 live foals for 129 starters that resulted in 82 individual winners. While Neptune Stud enjoyed a great success and at one stage boasted about 300 mares on the property during breeding season and a resident stallion register second to none, Meeker was probably more pleased with the quality of horsemen and women who worked their way through complex. Neptune Stud bred a lot of really good horses and we sold many of them in Tasmania but a lot were sold to Melbourne and New Zealand. Some of Meeker's proudest memories were of some of the people who passed through Neptune including Barrie Rattray who was head trainer and driver at Neptune in the 80s and he won numerous trainer and driver premierships. But his greatest find was Tammy Mollross who arrived at Neptune straight from school and on Meeker's recommendation travelled to Victoria to work with the late Bob Knight. Mollross went on to become one of the state's most talented harness trainer-drivers but she has since gone on to become a talented thoroughbred trainer. When Wallach opted to sell his share of the stud Meeker had to find some investors and he turned to close friends Greg Pitt and his late father Peter Pitt and the late Bill Tilbury. The business continued to flourish until 1989 but high interest rates and the recession forced them to sell the property in 1990. "It was purchased for uses other than a stud but part of the property is still used for training. That parcel of land that boasts the training track was bought a few years ago by Debra Hill whose late father Joe McKenzie was one of the great horsemen of Tasmania," he said. With the stud business gone Meeker reverted to his veterinary practice and established Mobile Clinics that gave him an edge on his rivals. "I was doing outside vet work before Neptune was sold so I had the nucleus of a practice and there wasn't any other vet operating a mobile clinic." "I took my business on the road and it is still going strong," he said. Meeker works regularly as on-course vet at all southern-based harness meetings in Tasmania and he is often called upon by racing authorities for advice and as an expert witness at racing appeal hearings. As an aside to Meeker's story it should be noted that he died a few years ago only to be revived by a thoroughbred trainer Royston Carr who applied CPR while Meeker lay dormant on his stable floor. "I owe my life, literally, to Royston Carr and it is fitting that he is here at the function tonight sitting by my side," Meeker said. "But it would be remiss of me if I didn't acknowledge the love of my life, my wife Shirley, because without her love and devotion I wouldn't be accepting this honour," he said. Meeker said despite closing in on 77 he has no plans to retire. "If there is a God then I'll die while attending to a horse," he said. Peter Staples

Beautide, the champion Tasmanian-bred gelding who again dominated on the national scene during the 2014-15 season, was last night named horse of the year for the second year in succession at the annual awards presentation dinner at Wrest Point Hotel Casino on Saturday night. Beautide also was recently named Australian horse of the year for the second season in succession. The star pacer was bred by Barrie Rattray at Longford and is raced by the Rattray Family Trust. The now eight-year-old dominated in Tasmania during his juvenile years before heading to NSW where he is trained by the breeder's son James Rattray who has prepared him to win the past two Inter Dominion Championships. Last season Beautide again won the $750,000 Group 1 Inter Dominion final at Menangle and recorded a spectacular win in the Group 1 $100,000 Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint. He also won an Inter Dominion heat win and was victorious in the Nick Robin FFA and Paul Fitzpatrick FFA at Menangle. Beautide unfortunately has not fully recovered from a leg injury that will prevent him from attempting to win a third successive Inter Dominion in Western Australia in December. Peter Staples  

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