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TASMANIAN harness racing trainer-driver James Rattray is confident his stable star Beautide can end his season on a high by winning the $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Menangle on Sunday afternoon. Beautide joined an elite group when he snared the Miracle Mile-Inter Dominion double this season and after a week off after his Inter win he returned to the track to score a solid win at Menangle as his final lead-up to the Len Smith Mile. Rattray is pleased with his stable star's condition going into Sunday's assignment and win lose or draw the gelding will be dispatched to the spelling paddock for a six-week break. Listen to what James Rattray had to say about Beautide's chances on Sunday and what is in store for the brilliant five-year-old. By Peter Staples

LONGFORD-based harness racing trainer Barrie Rattray would love to be at Menangle on Sunday night to watch his star five-year-old Beautide tackle the $100,000 Len Smith Mile but instead he will be toiling away at Devonport where he has a truck load of runners at the feature meeting. Rattray will hitch up four of the 10 runners in the $30,000 Raider Stakes for four-year-olds in Devendra, Divas Delight, Pachacuti and Rykov leis and they are rated amongst the top five chances to win the race. Pachacuti could not have been more impressive in wining his Raider Stakes heat in Launceston last Sunday week and he also was impressive in winning in Hobart at his previous outing that was his first run back in the state after a filed interstate campaign. Devendra has done nothing wrong this campaign and had it not been for a flat tyre endured during a race in Hobart two starts back his form has been outstanding. Rykov Leis has quietly gone about his business in recent months winning twice and placing second three times from his past five starts but his task won't be easy on Sunday night as he starts from the outside of the second row. Listen to shat trainer Barrie Rattray had to say about his Raider Stakes runners and his two-year-olds in earlier races. By Peter Staples  

Queensland horseman Steven Doherty is ready for the next chapter in his career. Today (Monday), Doherty will leave Australian shores bound for Europe where he will be based with trainer Henk Grift in Germany for the next twelve months. The 28yo will join the Dutch born trainer who prepares a huge team of trotters near Dusseldorf. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for the gifted farrier and he’s eager to make the most of his time abroad. “I’ve got to thank Darren McCall and his partner Karina for providing me with this opportunity. Karina is a good friend of world respected administrator Klaus Koch and things snowballed from there, I got my visa sorted at the German Consulate in Sydney and now we’re off and I can’t wait.” Doherty explained. Grift regularly competes at venues in France, Germany, Scandinavia and his native Holland with great success. Doherty will carry out plenty of farrier work for the Grift stable but is also hopeful of doing some race driving during his time in northern Europe. “I’m not actually sure what my role will be within the stable but I know there will be plenty of horses to be shod and that’s fine because I’m certain to learn many new techniques, it will be vastly different to what I know but I’m really looking forward to creating new styles and learning a lot more in this area. “If I can carry out some race driving during my time up there that will be an added bonus, I enjoy the trotters and it will be great to work with some very talented animals. “The timing is just right; I’m young and single with no major commitments and I’ve heard so many great stories from those who have travelled previously. I’m going with an open mind and I’m really looking forward to it although the language barrier may take some sorting but that’s all part of the adventure.” Doherty is the son of Peter, a respected horseman along with his grandfather Jim Madden while his Uncle Craig McKinnis, is a highly decorated Victorian based farrier. In 2006, Doherty represented Queensland in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship staged in both Victoria and Tasmania. Doherty drove his first winner at age 16 when successful aboard the Ann Perrin trained Karamea Rosalie at Rocklea. Former Redwood Classic winner Bonbillie Fella is rated as the best trotter that Doherty has set behind, winning three of his four drives behind the Fake Left entire. By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)  

Queensland horseman Steven Doherty is ready for the next chapter in his career. Today (Monday), Doherty will leave Australian shores bound for Europe where he will be based with trainer Henk Grift in Germany for the next twelve months. The 28yo will join the Dutch born trainer who prepares a huge team of trotters near Dusseldorf. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for the gifted farrier and he’s eager to make the most of his time abroad. “I’ve got to thank Darren McCall and his partner Karina for providing me with this opportunity. Karina is a good friend of world respected administrator Klaus Koch and things snowballed from there, I got my visa sorted at the German Consulate in Sydney and now we’re off and I can’t wait.” Doherty explained. Grift regularly competes at venues in France, Germany, Scandinavia and his native Holland with great success. Doherty will carry out plenty of farrier work for the Grift stable but is also hopeful of doing some race driving during his time in northern Europe. “I’m not actually sure what my role will be within the stable but I know there will be plenty of horses to be shod and that’s fine because I’m certain to learn many new techniques, it will be vastly different to what I know but I’m really looking forward to creating new styles and learning a lot more in this area. “If I can carry out some race driving during my time up there that will be an added bonus, I enjoy the trotters and it will be great to work with some very talented animals. “The timing is just right; I’m young and single with no major commitments and I’ve heard so many great stories from those who have travelled previously. I’m going with an open mind and I’m really looking forward to it although the language barrier may take some sorting but that’s all part of the adventure.” Doherty is the son of Peter, a respected horseman along with his grandfather Jim Madden while his Uncle Craig McKinnis, is a highly decorated Victorian based farrier. In 2006, Doherty represented Queensland in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship staged in both Victoria and Tasmania. Doherty drove his first winner at age 16 when successful aboard the Ann Perrin trained Karamea Rosalie at Rocklea. Former Redwood Classic winner Bonbillie Fella is rated as the best trotter that Doherty has set behind, winning three of his four drives behind the Fake Left entire. By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)  

HOBART based harness trainer Paul Hill has had some handy two-year-olds arrive at his stables over the years with the latest to shine being Jerrys Jet that scored an emphatic win in the Golden Slipper over 1680 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. The colt showed good early speed to eventually find the lead but when an erratic Gifted Courage proved impossible to hold for experienced reinsman Rohan Hillier that horse sped clear and at one stage held a 20-metre lead. Jerrys Jet's driver Ricky Duggan was content to take the trail while Discarded Ace moved around the field to face the breeze. Duggan eased his charge off the fence in the back straight the last time and crept into the race and at the top of the home straight Dugan called on is charge to extend and he quickly forged to the lead. Fioki launched his run 3-wide and loomed as a possible danger turning for home but he was no match for the winner. Jerrys Jet went on to score comfortably from Fioki with No Spring Secret coming from last to run third ahead of Discarded Ace. The winner and third-placed Fioki are by up and coming sire Jeremes Jet. Listen to what trainer Paul Hill and driver Ricky Duggan had to say about Jerrys Jet's Golden Slipper win. By Peter Staples  

THE list of potential top liners in the Barrie Rattray stable at Longford seems endless with Estevao the latest to start living up to the potential he showed early on. Estevao, a three-year-old by Art Major from former star Queen Carey, has just started to produce on the racetrack with his win in Launceston tonight (Sunday) his second in the space of three starts. With stable driver Todd Rattray aboard, Estevao began well from gate two and had enough early speed to cross the pole marker Cardinal Art to lead. Rattray said Estevao worked as god as any horse at Karalta Pacing Sables and it has only been in recent months that the gelding had been able to take his work on the training track into his races. "The horse has definitely started to improve at the races because he has always shown us something," Todd Rattray said. "He can work as good as any horse we work him with so he has always had the ability." "I have no doubts he will go on and win more races," he said. By Mitchell Robertson

Motu Crusader confirmed his harness racing status as one of the mot consistent pacers to race in Tasmania in many years when he powered home to win he 2014 Examiner Newspaper Easter Cup over 2698 metres in Launceston last night. The Zeke Slater-trained seven-year-old not only had to overcome a back mark of 40 metres but he also travelled three-wide for the last two laps. Motu Crusader has won the past two Group 3 Tasmania Cups along with other feature races in Tasmania since finding his way into Slater's Seven Mile Beach stables. The gelding is owned by Merv and Meg Butterworth who have invested heavily in standardbreds to become two of the biggest owners in the nation. Motu Crusader ($5) settled at the rear of the field while Dylan Ford took the Keith Toulmin-trained Falco Peregrinus ($10) to the lead and that gelding set a solid pace while the well-backed favourite Call The Marshall ($3.20) enjoyed the coveted one-out-one-back position. When driver Grant Campbell opted to set Motu Crusader on a forward move 1400 metres out he flushed out Cal The Marshall that led the three-wide brigade. Falco Peregrinus kicked clear turning for home but a wall of horses made a charge for the line with only four metres separating the first eight across the line. Motu Crusader hit the line less than a neck clear of Falco Peregrinus with last year's Easter Cup winner Biggernbettermax ($22.70) a close-up third. Listen to what trainer Zeke Slater had to say about Motu Crusader's brilliant Easter Cup win. Peter Staples

Motu Crusader confirmed his harness racing status as one of the mot consistent pacers to race in Tasmania in many years when he powered home to win he 2014 Examiner Newspaper Easter Cup over 2698 metres in Launceston last night. The Zeke Slater-trained seven-year-old not only had to overcome a back mark of 40 metres but he also travelled three-wide for the last two laps. Motu Crusader has won the past two Group 3 Tasmania Cups along with other feature races in Tasmania since finding his way into Slater's Seven Mile Beach stables. The gelding is owned by Merv and Meg Butterworth who have invested heavily in standardbreds to become two of the biggest owners in the nation. Motu Crusader ($5) settled at the rear of the field while Dylan Ford took the Keith Toulmin-trained Falco Peregrinus ($10) to the lead and that gelding set a solid pace while the well-backed favourite Call The Marshall ($3.20) enjoyed the coveted one-out-one-back position. When driver Grant Campbell opted to set Motu Crusader on a forward move 1400 metres out he flushed out Cal The Marshall that led the three-wide brigade. Falco Peregrinus kicked clear turning for home but a wall of horses made a charge for the line with only four metres separating the first eight across the line. Motu Crusader hit the line less than a neck clear of Falco Peregrinus with last year's Easter Cup winner Biggernbettermax ($22.70) a close-up third. Listen to what trainer Zeke Slater had to say about Motu Crusader's brilliant Easter Cup win. Peter Staples

LONGFORD trainer Barrie Rattray continued his dominance of country cup victories when his four-year-old gelding Divas Delight outgunned his rivals in the St Marys Cup over 2685 metres on the grass track at St Marys on Saturday. Divas Delight emerged triumphant with stable driver Todd Rattray aboard, hitting the line clear of the Zeke Slater-trained duo Class Above Lombo and Babes Boy Bob. It was the sixth win of the season for Divas delight and with six minor placings from the remaining seven starts this season he is proving to be one of Rattray's most consistent stable tenants. Divas Delight (Bettors Delight-Draw Card) is one Rattray's home-grown mob and he joins Devendra that has won the Devonport Cup, Carrick Cup and Burnie Cup this season and he too has an ou9tatanfing record of 12 starts for six wins and five minor placings. Divas Delight and Devendra form part of Rattray's four-pronged attack to tackle the Raider Stakes four-year-old sires stakes feature in Devonport next Sunday night. He also has likely favourite Pachacuti that won his Raider Stakes heat last week in Launceston and the other heat winner Rykov leis that led all the way to win his heat. By Peter Staples    

LONGFORD harness trainer Barrie Rattray has what some might consider a stranglehold on the Raider Stakes final for home grown four-year-olds at Devonport next Sunday week. In Launceston last night two heats of the sires' stakes classic were run and won by Rattray-trained four-year-olds and he also snared the quinella in one of the heats and a minor placegetter in the other to give him four genuine winning chances in the final. Pachacuti delivered a message that he will be very hard to beat in the final by defying a tough run facing the breeze for the last lap to go on and score convincingly over Melolyn and another of Rattray's band of talented four-year-olds Diva's Delight. Pachacuti spent a couple of months at James Rattray's stables in NSW where he failed to flatter in three of his five starts at Menangle. The gelding won a heat of the 3YO Breeders Crown last season and finished a gallant second to super star Bit Of A Legend in the $175.000 final. He was then transferred to James Rattray's care at Cobbitty and was placed at his first two attempts but his form went south and after he galloped away in a 4YO feature race on Inter Dominion day he was sent home to Tasmania. His first-up win in Hobart was solid but he confirmed he was back to his best with this latest victory on Sunday night. Lickyalips led and looked to be travelling comfortably turning for home but when driver Todd Rattray called on Pachacuti to extend he delivered the goods and went on to score by almost five metres from Melolyn that ran home strongly with Divas Delight doing his best work late. Rykov Leis (Ricky Duggan) then led his rivals a merry chase to score a strong win over stablemate Devendra in the remaining heat. Duggan ensured a solid tempo while Todd Rattray was content to allow his charge to travel in the one-out-one-back spot to the 400-metre peg. He had to wait until straightening to get the run three-wide to challenge but when Duggan called on Rykov Leis to sprint he sped clear and had enough in reserve to stave off a late surge from his stablemate. By Peter Staples

CALL THE MARSHALL gave an indication that he will be competitive in next Sunday's $40,000 Easter Cup final with an impressive all-the-way win in his heat over 2698 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight (Sunday). With leading reinsman Gareth Rattray in the sulky, Call The Marshall ($2.90) stepped brilliantly from gate four to find the lead and he was never headed on his way to a comfortable win over the heavily backed Dapper Dana ($2.05 fav) with Falco Peregrinus ($8.50) doing his best work over the concluding stages for a close-up third. Call The Marshall was coming off a win over last year's Easter Cup winner Biggernbettermax in a discretionary handicap in Launceston but this latest victory was even more impressive. The other heat was taken out by the Dick Eaves-trained mare Arts Bliss that also led all the way but at the sweet odds of $13. Arts Bliss has been a consistent mare in lower grades but eaves has said all along that he was keen to get her to the Easter Cup because she is tough and that she was just starting to deliver in her races. The mare by Blissfull Hall from Arts Darling (x Perfect Art) won the Scottsdale Cup in January and followed up with a game win in a discretionary handicap in Launceston about four weeks later. She went into this race on the back of a game second in the Sylvan Lass over 2090 metres in Hobart behind Dapper Dana. Arts Bliss held on to defeat dead-heaters Our Chain of Command and back marker (off 40m) Motu Crusader. But the biggest run in the race was that of fourth-placed Saab Quality that missed the start at least 60 metres. The Daryl Bates-trained gelding made up the lost ground and crept along the rails once he tacked on and when driver John Walters called on him for an effort in the home straight he flashed home along the rails to finish fourth. The $40,000 Examiner Easter Cup will be run over 2698 metres in Launceston next Sunday night (Easter Sunday). By Peter Staples

THE harness race meeting at the TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night boasts heats of the Easter Cup and the Raider Stakes for four-year-olds. The two Easter Cup heats (races 4 & 5) have produced fields of eight and seven respectively with last year's winner Biggernbettermax off the back mark of 20 metres in heat one while dual Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader will have to contend with a back mark of 40 metres in heat two with Our Chain Of Command off 30 metres. Biggernbettermax raced in New South Wales late last year and up to the end of January where he failed to win a race but he was sent back to trainer Barrie Rattray's property in February for another crack at the Easter Cup. The first heat boasts a handy line-up including the promising Dapper Dana that has drawn the pole position but this is his first test in the silk department. Zeke Slater's latest stable tenant The Adriatic has drawn gate two and he could be competitive along with the Keith Toulmin-trained Falco Peregrinus that could not have been more impressive in winning the Westbury Cup at Carrick last month. The second heat should be a battle between the back markers although the Melissa Maine-trained Spot Nine that won the Hobart Pacing Cup in January must be considered an each-way chance despite his poor performances in the Devonport Cup and at his subsequent outing in Launceston. His latest effort when second to Call The Marshall in a discretionary handicap in Launceston was full of merit. The David bates-trained Saab Quality hit the line hard in the Governor's Cup in Hobart last Sunday night so if he steps cleanly from his 10-metre handicap he must be considered a winning chance. Dual Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader probably deserves his 40-metre handicap but that mark might be a bit too much in a heat, while Our Chain Of Command has the early speed and then stamina to handle his 30-metre lift. The Raider Stakes heats (races 8 & 9) each boast six starters but the races are filled with talented four-year-olds. Heat one should be a match between Pachacuti that returned to wining form in Hobart last Sunday night and Melolyn that has always shown above average ability and will be fitter for two runs back from a spell for a first-up win and a second last time out. Heat two is a more open affair with Barrie Rattray holding the key with pole marker Rykov leis and Devendra that has drawn gate two and will improve on his eighth in Hobart last Sunday night in which he carried a flat tyre for almost the duration of the race. By Peter Staples

THE harness race meeting at the TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night boasts heats of the Easter Cup and the Raider Stakes for four-year-olds. The two Easter Cup heats (races 4 & 5) have produced fields of eight and seven respectively with last year's winner Biggernbettermax off the back mark of 20 metres in heat one while dual Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader will have to contend with a back mark of 40 metres in heat two with Our Chain Of Command off 30 metres. Biggernbettermax raced in New South Wales late last year and up to the end of January where he failed to win a race but he was sent back to trainer Barrie Rattray's property in February for another crack at the Easter Cup. The first heat boasts a handy line-up including the promising Dapper Dana that has drawn the pole position but this is his first test in the silk department. Zeke Slater's latest stable tenant The Adriatic has drawn gate two and he could be competitive along with the Keith Toulmin-trained Falco Peregrinus that could not have been more impressive in winning the Westbury Cup at Carrick last month. The second heat should be a battle between the back markers although the Melissa Maine-trained Spot Nine that won the Hobart Pacing Cup in January must be considered an each-way chance despite his poor performances in the Devonport Cup and at his subsequent outing in Launceston. His latest effort when second to Call The Marshall in a discretionary handicap in Launceston was full of merit. The David bates-trained Saab Quality hit the line hard in the Governor's Cup in Hobart last Sunday night so if he steps cleanly from his 10-metre handicap he must be considered a winning chance. Dual Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader probably deserves his 40-metre handicap but that mark might be a bit too much in a heat, while Our Chain Of Command has the early speed and then stamina to handle his 30-metre lift. The Raider Stakes heats (races 8 & 9) each boast six starters but the races are filled with talented four-year-olds. Heat one should be a match between Pachacuti that returned to wining form in Hobart last Sunday night and Melolyn that has always shown above average ability and will be fitter for two runs back from a spell for a first-up win and a second last time out. Heat two is a more open affair with Barrie Rattray holding the key with pole marker Rykov leis and Devendra that has drawn gate two and will improve on his eighth in Hobart last Sunday night in which he carried a flat tyre for almost the duration of the race. By Peter Staples

PROMINENT Tasmanian harness racing owners Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper have never been shy about spending a decent amount on horseflesh from New Zealand and it looks as if another of their purchases will at least pay his way. Something Eyre (Ohoka Arizona-Glentara) faced the breeze for most of the race in Hobart last Sunday night but made light of the task to go on and score a comfortable win in a 3C0-3C1 over 2090 metres. Lade Elaine made full use of the pole position to lead and with Gareth Rattray aboard she set a solid tempo in front while Ricky Duggan allowed Something Eyre to sit three-wide early as he gradually made his way to the spot outside of the leader. Duggan didn't allow his charge to eyeball the leader until he wanted to apply the pressure about 500 metres from home. By doing this he ensured the favourite Soho Wonder, that trailed the leader, was kept in a zip-fastener pocket until well into the home straight. It proved to be the winning move. Something Eyre forged clear 200 metres out and he had a big enough break to stave off Soho Wonder that flashed home late to go down by only a half-neck with the leader Lady Elaine clinging to third spot three metres away. It was Something Eyre's second win from only four starts in Tasmania but it was clearly his best effort. Duggan was impressed with the performance and believes the gelded son of Ohoka Arizona has a bright future. Listen to what driver Ricky Duggan had to say about Something Eyre's latest performance. By Peter Staples

AN effortless win by Victorian pacer Five Star Anvil in the Governor's Cup in Hobart on Sunday night has tempted trainer Adam Kelly to keep his stable star in Tasmania for one more assignment. Kelly had planned to take Five Star Anvil back to Victoria this week but he is toying with the idea of running him in the $40,000 Easter Cup in Launceston on April 20. Five Star Anvil powered home from the rear of the field to win the Governor's Cup over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night to defeat Saab Quality and Motu Crusader. It was the first leg of a feature race double for Kelly who also prepared the Tasmanian Derby winner Outrageous El. While the race was set up for a swooper owing to a solid tempo set in front by Our Chain of Command, Five Star Anvil still had to produce the goods when driver Gavin Lang asked for the supreme effort. But it was the ease with which the gelding delivered the knockout blow to his rivals that impressed his trainer. "The plan was always to run in this race (Governor's Cup) and head home but he was awesome tonight so I am now thinking about staying for the Easter Cup in a fortnight," Kelly said. "If I thought he would get a 30-metre handicap I probably wouldn't stay but he might be a chance off 20 metres, anyway that's something I'll have to weigh up in the next day or so," he said. The nominations for the Easter Cup close on Tuesday (April 8). Lang was delighted with the win. ''The race pretty much played into our hands with such a solid tempo but in saying that he still had to deliver and he did it well within himself," Lang said. Five Star Anvil is one of five horses Kelly brought to Tasmania for a month-long stay and they have all delivered multiple wins making it a very profitable exercise. By Peter Staples

AN effortless win by Victorian pacer Five Star Anvil in the Governor's Cup in Hobart on Sunday night has tempted trainer Adam Kelly to keep his stable star in Tasmania for one more assignment. Kelly had planned to take Five Star Anvil back to Victoria this week but he is toying with the idea of running him in the $40,000 Easter Cup in Launceston on April 20. Five Star Anvil powered home from the rear of the field to win the Governor's Cup over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night to defeat Saab Quality and Motu Crusader. It was the first leg of a feature race double for Kelly who also prepared the Tasmanian Derby winner Outrageous El. While the race was set up for a swooper owing to a solid tempo set in front by Our Chain of Command, Five Star Anvil still had to produce the goods when driver Gavin Lang asked for the supreme effort. But it was the ease with which the gelding delivered the knockout blow to his rivals that impressed his trainer. "The plan was always to run in this race (Governor's Cup) and head home but he was awesome tonight so I am now thinking about staying for the Easter Cup in a fortnight," Kelly said. "If I thought he would get a 30-metre handicap I probably wouldn't stay but he might be a chance off 20 metres, anyway that's something I'll have to weigh up in the next day or so," he said. The nominations for the Easter Cup close on Tuesday (April 8). Lang was delighted with the win. ''The race pretty much played into our hands with such a solid tempo but in saying that he still had to deliver and he did it well within himself," Lang said. Five Star Anvil is one of five horses Kelly brought to Tasmania for a month-long stay and they have all delivered multiple wins making it a very profitable exercise. By Peter Staples

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