Search Results
1 to 16 of 1303
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

The harness racing meeting in Hobart on Sunday night served up eight odds-on favourites on the eight-event card and had it not been for a bolter winning the fourth event it would have been a clean sweep for punters. The first three favourites saluted with all-the-way wins including the Nathan Ford-trained Supersub that made the most of the pole position to lead comfortably. It was a stroll in the park for the gelded son of Christian Cullen and it was a gun drive from novice driver Tayla Ford who has delivered some brilliant efforts in the sulky of late. Supersub was well placed in the C3-C4 event that offer a mare and novice driver concession. The gelding covered the 2090 metres in 2m.35s and clocked a mile rate of 1.59.4 and covered his last 800m in 59.3. Ford kept Supersub's mind on the job over the concluding stages because he had shown a tendency to let his mind wander in a couple of previous races. Supersub has won three and notched six second placings from his 13 starts in Tasmania with his overall record standing at nine wins and 20 minor placings from 65 starts for $62,528 in stakes. He arrived from NSW in September last year and after three unplaced efforts he has developed into a very handy pacer that has bright prospects. Peter Staples

Talented harness racing participant Dylan Ford has been selected to represent Tasmania at the upcoming Australasian Young Drivers’ Championship in New Zealand. The teenager will compete in the series for the second time against drivers from all Australian states and the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Ford, 19, was the automatic Tasmanian selection after being last season’s premier young driver. First licensed as a 16-year-old, Ford finished second in the 2011/12 Tasmanian junior driver award and ninth in the state’s leading driver award.  Ford has won the past two junior driver titles, and after four months of this season, leads the award while sitting sixth on the overall state premiership. Ford finished second in the 2014 Australasian Young Drivers’ Championship in New South Wales after winning three of the 10 heats, including the $50,000 heat at Menangle.  Ford is thrilled to be selected again and is hoping to go one or two better than last year. “I’m thrilled to again be selected as Tasmania’s representative at these driving championships because it is an honor to represent your state in any sport,” Ford said. Ford was presented with the state set of colours in Hobart last night. “I was thrilled when first told of my selection a few weeks ago, but when you actually get the state colours and put them on it feels quite special,” Ford said. Ford also has taken to training and he was quite successful in his first year as a trainer. The Australasian Young Drivers’ Championship starts at Cambridge on May 7 in the North Island of New Zealand followed by Auckland the next day. The series continues on May 9 where the action moves south to Christchurch and concludes the next day at Timaru. PETER STAPLES

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Ben Yole unveiled a potential star filly at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night by the name of Last Flight In. The New Zealand-bred three-year-old drew the outside of the front line in the Stirling Stockfeed Pace (2090 metres) for 3C0-3C1 assessed pacers but made light work of the task to cross the field and lead. Once in front driver Mark Yole ensured a solid tempo and she went on to score by over 11 metres recording a mile rate of 2.00.02. It was the filly's first Australian start and one that trainer Yole was supremely confident she would win. "We've only had the filly for a week but in that time she showed me enough on the training track that she would win this race," Yole said. "I had clients who were keen to buy one in New Zealand so I contacted horse broker Mark McNamara and he put us onto a few to look at and it all came down to this filly or a colt and owner Warren Viney had the final say and he chose this filly." "They paid good money for her and from what she has shown me since arriving just over a week ago she should win her share of races here in Tasmania," he said. Last Flight In (Panspacificflight-Orse M Denario) had one start in New Zealand for a win on a rain affected track at Wyndham on the South Island and while her time was slow, the potential owners were not deterred. "There was a lot to like about the filly's win in New Zealand on a bog track and now that we've seen what she can do here there's no doubt in my mind she will well and truly pay her way," Yole said. The filly is expected to have her next start in the Max McCormack at Devonport next Sunday night. "She will head to the Max McCormack because it is a race for three-year-olds with lifetime earnings of less than $10,000 and she just falls into that category," Yole said. Peter Staples

The Rattray name is synonymous with Tasmanian harness racing and rarely a meeting passes without a member of the clan training or driving a winner. Most of the domination comes from trainer Barrie and two of his sons Gareth and Todd, but there is little doubt the talent doesn’t stop there. Wade Rattray has been working his way through the driving ranks earning his stripes bit by bit, and last night at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston, he delivered a superb drive to secure victory with his grandparents’ - Wayne and Gaye Rattray - pacer Karalta Dazzler. Wade, who is the son of talented trainer Kent Rattray, had Karalta Dazzler settled the one-one and waited until the right moment to make his move at the 600-metre peg of the Sunrise Bakery Stakes. View Street led into the home straight, but when Rattray released the reins, Karalta Dazzler sprinted past the leader and safely held out a challenge from Helen Wheels to record an impressive win. Karalta Dazzler registered his seventh win from 51 starts, but he also has amassed 13 placings which have helped grow his earnings beyond $50,000. PETER STAPLES

Finding suitable races for talented eight-year-old pacer Saab Quality is no easy task for his trainer Marc Butler but he found an ideal event for the gelding at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. Saab Quality was backed in to start the $2.60 favourite in the Chartley Estate Claimer over 2200 metres and he never let his supporters down by powering home to score an effortless win. With Mark Yole in the cart, Saab Quality stepped well from the inside if the second row but the driver snagged him back and eventually eased into the one-out line before sending him around the field to face the breeze Livin It Lovin It just over a lap from home. That pair settled down to a two-horse war from the home turn but when Yole called on Saab Quality for the supreme effort he forged clear and went on to score comfortably from the fast-finishing Family Guy with Livin It Lovin It third. "I've been struggling to find suitable races for him and that's why he hasn't raced for about a month," Butler said. "He is racing as well as ever and he is very suited to these claimers but sometimes they (races) don't stand up." "But there is another mobile claimer here in Launceston in a fortnight so that's where he'll race next," Butler said. This was Saab Quality's sixth win for the season but he also has notched four minor placings from 12 starts. Saab Quality is well travelled having spent seven months racing in Victoria during the 2013-14 season that produced five wins and multiple minor placings. He was claimed by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper in a claimer at Maryborough at the end of that Victorian campaign after which he returned to Tasmania and has been very consistent in Butler's care. Peter Staples

Latrobe harness racing trainer Melissa Maine has enjoyed a lot of success in recent timed and that continued in the opening race at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. Young Bruiser, a horse that only arrived in Maine's stale three weeks ago, gained a needle-eye opening about 80 metres from home to get up in the past few strides to defeat race leader and favourite Barooga Minnie ($1.70) in a nail-biting finish. The Cardmaster Hanover three-year-old gelding was well away from the inside of the second row and driver Gareth Rattray had the gelding travelling sweetly on the back of the favourite that led from the pole position. It looked for certain that Young Bruiser would fail to get clear in the home straight but when the leader shifted up the track under pressure in the closing stages Rattray sooled his charge through the gap. "I was happy to be where we were behind the favourite and to be honest I would have been happy had he been able to run a place," Rattray said. "He was travelling keenly and he surprised me a bit the way he travelled in the race and when the gap came he really dashed up nice and hit the line strong." "On that run you would have to say he has improvement in him so I think his future looks bright," Rattray said. Young Bruiser was backed late in betting firming from $9 to $6.50 on fixed odds with Tattsbet and he also shortened considerably on the Tote into $7.80 while the favourite tumbled in from $2.10 just prior to race start time into $1.70. The winner ran the 2200 metres in 2.48.7 and recorded a mile rate of 2.03.1. Peter Staples

Harness racing trainer Christian Salter was forced to make a couple of stops on the way home from the Devonport meeting last night to take a nap after what was a tiring day of preparing horses and heading off from Brighton to participate in the North-West Coast meeting. But the tiring exercise was well worth it given the performance of his talented four-year-old Vande Velde that won a heat of the Raider Stakes and will probably start favourite in the final in a fortnight if he draws the front line. "It was a long trip home that took about 4-1/2 hours after stopping twice to have a nap but it was a worthwhile trip," Salter said. Vande Velde had produced impressive efforts from time to time in two and three-year-old events but never quite measured up in feature races. But this time in the gelded son of Four Starzzz Shark has finally delivered the goods with his win at his start prior in Launceston a signal that the penny has finally dropped. "His win in Launceston was terrific but I wasn't totally convinced until this Raider Stakes heat win that he is finally doing what I always believed he was capable of as a younger horse," Salter said. "He is putting it all together now and when he has the opportunity to sit and sprint he really delivers at the business end of his races," Salter said. Vande Velde ($3.70) powered home after enjoying a sit in the one-out line to score from the fast-finishing Chirac that trailed three-back the fence with the winner clocking a mile rate of 1.59.9. The remaining heat was won by Le Premiere that led throughout with Gareth Rattray in the sulky. The odds-on favourite Resurgent Spirit moved from last to face the breeze two laps from home but when he put it to the leader in the back straight the last time Le Premiere dug deep and refused to wilt. Le Premier defeated Resurgent Spirit by a half-head with Last Guy Standing six metres astern. The winner returned a mile rate of 2.01.2 but he ran home his last half (800m) in 58.7 which was quicker than Vande Velde's last section. The $30,000 Raider Stakes final will be held at Devonport on April 26. Peter Staples  

Reigning Inter-Dominion champion Beautide delivered a warning to those intending to take him on in the Group 1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile in a fortnight with a brilliant first-up win in an open free-for-all at Menangle in Sydney last night. Beautide reeled off a first quarter in 25.8 seconds after working four-wide to try and find the lead and despite that sizzling sectional he left his rivals in his wake when trainer-driver James Rattray asked for an effort in the home straight. Beautide recorded a mile rate of 1.50.7 on his way to an effortless win over Heza Thrill and Teo Enteo with the win taking his career stake earnings to beyond $2 million. In winning last night Beautide heads the top 10 all-time prizemoney winning list with his stake earnings standing at $2,005212 surpassing Flashing Red's total of $2,000,502. Flashing Red is Vicbred and was purchased from Victoria as a yearling and both he and Beautide raced in Tasmania until late in their five year old season. Flashing Red went on to win two New Zealand Cups and an Auckland Cup and was a 10-year-old when he was retired. Beautide was bred in Tasmania by his owners the Rattray Family Trust. The top ten all-time prize money winners for Tasmanian harness racing are Beautide ($2,005,212) Flashing Red ($2,000,502), Thorate ($1,329,345), Sinbad Bay ($674,963), Villagem ($622,955), Chip And Gale ($563,343), Lourdes ($394,614), Jane Ellen ($374,993), Fleet Express ($347,233) and Deanna Troy ($347,109). Peter Staples

Riverside harness racing trainer Chester Bullock doesn't often ignore advice of co-owners of his six-year-old Cardinal Art but he was glad he did in Launceston on Sunday night. Bullock said his partners in the horse weren't keen when he advised them he wanted to apply pull-down blinds to the gear of Cardinal Art but he put them on anyway and they proved the desired result. Cardinal Art settled last in the Longford Equine Clinic Stakes (2200m) before being sent three-wide around the field at the bell. When driver Ricky Duggan edged close to the leader 400 metres from home he released the blinds. The gelded son of Modern Art bounded clear and went on to defeat Butch And Clyde by over seven metres with I've Got Oomph just over a metre astern. "Ricky (Duggan) said the new gear did the trick - when he pulled the blinds down the horse just took off," Bullock said. "It was like he found another gear and why that happens I don't know - maybe it gives them an adrenalin rush," he said. Cardinal Art recorded a mile rate of 2.03.2. Bullock says he always holds off using the pull-down blinds until horses are mature. Cardinal Art has won five times but he also has notched 18 minor placings to easily pay his way. Peter Staples

THE win of debutante two-year-old pacer Ryley Major at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night came as no surprise to his harness racing owner-trainer Rohan Hillier. Ryley Major delivered a very impressive performance at his first race start to score almost three metres from his stablemate Soho Shanghai with Spot Eight 20 metres astern in the $10,000 Tasmanian Yearling Sale Classic. Ryley Major is the first foal of Hiller's former star two and three-year-old filly Shez Ryleymak that went on to win 23 races and almost $300,000 in prize money including a Tasmanian Oaks and a $100,000 Group 1 Vicbred 2YO fillies final Classic. Shez Ryleymak also was named Tasmanian horse of the year at two and three years of age. "This win certainly didn't surprise me because he's so well bred and I would have been disappointed had he turned out to be no good," Hillier said. The gelding by Art Major recorded a mile rate of 1.59.4 and he ran home his last 800 metres in a slick 59.5 seconds which was what the trainer was expecting. Ryley Major is being aimed at the $20,000 2YO Sweepstakes series of which the final will be held in Hobart on May 17 and he will then target the Dandy Patch (stallion stakes) in July. Hillier also has an opinion of the runner-up. Soho Shanghai is also a nice horse but he's more of a stayer and doesn't have the speed of Ryley Major," he said.   Peter Staples  

Well bred two-year-old pacer Hillview Jake gave New Norfolk harness racing trainer Paul Hill successive wins in the Island Block & Paving Golden Slipper (1680m) when he led throughout to take out the prestigious juvenile event at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. With champion Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang in the Sulky, Hillview Jake ($3.50) showed good early speed to lead from gate three after a stoush with the odds-on favourite Soho Shanghai ($1.50) and they cleared out from the rest nearing the home turn the last time. The son of Cardmaster Hanover was always travelling like the winner and had no trouble holding the favourite at bay all the way up the home straight. The mile rate for the 1680 metres was a  good 2:00.1 Hill won the race last year with Jerrys Jet that he says is the best two-year-old he has ever trained. "Hillview Jake is not as good as Jerrys Jet was at this stage of his racing career but he's the next best I've ever trained," Hill said. "His work through the week was outstanding and I told Gavin (Lang) that if he led tonight they wouldn't beat him and that's how it panned out," he said. Lang was upbeat about the two-year-old's future. "He is quite a big horse that did what he had to do to win tonight," Lang said. "I had to burn him up early to lead but he came back to me quickly and was very strong on the line so I'd say he has a future," he said. Peter Staples    

Well bred harness racing four-year-old pacer Vande Velde tuned up for the $30,000 Raider Stakes with a last-stride win in the North Eastern Pacing Club Cup over 2698 metres at The Tote Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. The four-year-old gelding produced a powerful finishing burst to grab victory in the shadows of the post, scoring by a short half-head from Something Eyre with Resurgent Spirit a game third after facing the breeze for most of the race. Vande Velde had not won since last November when successful in a C4-C5 event in Launceston over 2200m. The gelded son of Four Starzzz Shark-Good Gracious promised a lot as a young horse but fierce racing habits and an unpredictable temperament has prevented the gelding from realising his full potential. But Salter is hoping the four-year-old can deliver in the Raider Stakes later this month and finally live up to the early expectations. "We all thought this horse was going to be special at an early age but he had some bad habits and we had to try and curb his bad manners and thankfully he has finally started to act maturely," Salter said.   "I can do a lot more with him these days and while he hadn't won for a while he has been racing well and this win will have him just where ne needs to be heading into the Raider Stakes," he said.   Heats of the Raider Stakes will be held at Devonport next Monday night with the final on April 26.   Peter Staples    

There is nothing better for a trainer or driver in harness racing to have a well laid out plan realised, especially if it is a feature race. That's how it panned out for trainer Paul Hill and driver Ricky Duggan who teamed up to win the $10,000 Launceston Pacing Club's Belmont event with smart two-year-old filly Chica Bella. "On paper we thought she could lead from the pole, get away with some soft sectionals midrace and then sprint home," Duggan said. "That's exactly how it panned out and the filly did exactly what we thought she was capable of doing," he said. In a small field of six Chica Bella had no trouble in retaining the lead from the inside spot after a short stoush with Twentythreered that ended up facing the breeze with the well-backed first starter Guesstamate trailing the leader with Scorchin Safari in the one-out-one-back position. When Twentythreered dropped off turning for home Duggan called on Chica Bella to sprint and she delivered the goods to score by 1.3 metres from Guesstamate that ran home along the rails with Scorchin Safari over three metres away third. Chica Bella is owned by the trainer's wife Julie Hill who bred the filly and races her with her brother-in-law Robert Hill and step-son Scott Hill. The trainer says the daughter of Cardmaster Hanover showed ability from day one. "She has been a nice, easy going filly from the outset and has never missed a beat since she's been in work," Hill said. "Other than stepping out of her gear for a few strides when off the second line on debut she has been faultless." "We targeted the Launceston Belmont and now that she has learned how to win she will be competitive when we step her out in a heat of the Sweepstakes in Hobart next month," Hill said. Peter Staples

New Norfolk harness racing trainer Roger Whitmore has his eyes on the $30,000 Raider Stakes with his talented four-year-old Resurgent Spirit following the gelding's impressive win at Tattersall's Park Hobart last Sunday night. Resurgent Spirit resumed from a lengthy spell with a game win on his home track on Australia Day and followed up with a second at Devonport in a race that was expected to be a stroll in the park for the former Tasmanian two-year-old of the year. The loss encouraged speculation that all might not be as it should be with the gelding but this latest effort dispelled any suggestion that the gelding had lost his sparkle. With his regular driver James Austin aboard, Resurgent Spirit showed his customary early speed to easily hold the front from barrier two. He was taken on about 600m from home and at one stage it looked as if he might again succumb to the pressure. But when Austin asked him to find, the gelded son of American Ideal forged clear and went on to defeat Black Centurian by 2.3 metres with Punt Road Disco a similar margin away third in the C5-C6 event over 2090 metres. Austin was delighted with the win. "That was an awesome win because he felt good throughout the race and he never got onto his knee once in the run," Austin said. "He pretty much toyed with them tonight," he said. The Raider Stakes will be run at Devonport on April 26 with heats to be held at the same track on April 13. Peter Staples

Consistent pacer Me Mate Les has been promising to win a feature race for some time and on Sunday night he finally delivered the goods when he powered home to take out the Light Harness Tasmania Cup over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart. Me Mate Les went into the race on the back of a handy fourth in a heat a week earlier. With ace Victorian reinsman John Caldow aboard, the gelded son of Real Desire trailed the leaders to the home turn before easing out three-wide to challenge and he finished too powerfully for his rivals. Me Mate Les went on to score by four metres from Supersub that faced the breeze for the final two laps, with Might Jasper coming from well back to grab third 3-1/2 metres away. The six-year-old has only been with trainer Andrew Rawlings a short while but he has managed to get the best out of the gelding while in his care. It was a masterful drive from Caldow who was aware that Me Mate Les would not appreciate being in front if eye-balled by another horse so when Rohan Hadley sent Pushkin around the field Caldow was quick to hand up the lead. Nathan Ford aboard Supersub was not content with the speed in the race so he too went forward from beyond midfield to face the breeze. Supersub forged to the lead turning for home the last time but he had no answer to Me Mate Les's finishing burst. Peter Staples

Star Chamber made it a clean sweep of Tasmania’s feature Cups run so far this season when he gave his rivals a pacing lesson in the Devonport Cup last night. With his trainer Nathan Ford in the sulky, Star Chamber began well off his 30-metre back mark to settle last, but when Ford angled him there-wide with a lap-and-a-half to travel, he flushed out Truly Blissful to gain a trail. Taken four-deep heading down the back stretch, the son of Our Sir Vancelot quickly hauled in the leaders. Star Chamber proceeded to demolish the opposition in the short run home to score by 10 metres from The Majority, with Whodeani a game third four metres away. “I really thought he would struggle a bit off that back mark of 30 metres on this tight circuit, but he came through again,” Ford said. “He showed what a freak of a horse he really is.” Star Chamber notched his first major win when he outclassed a top field in the $40,000 Tasmania Cup lasy December and he followed up with a brilliant win in the Hobart Pacing Cup. Ford took him to Victoria to tackle the Shepparton Cup, but nothing panned out as planned in that race, so he was taken straight back to Tasmania to prepare for this latest assignment. Ford is likely aim him Star Chamber at next month’s Easter Cup in Launceston, and if victorious, it would give the gelding victory in all four major Cups in the state. But he already has proven to be Tasmania’s best pacer and an Easter Cup win would top off what has been an outstanding season for the six-year-old. PETER STAPLES

1 to 16 of 1303
1 2 3 4 5 Next »