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Pachacuti extended his winning steak with an effortless harness racing victory in the $10,000 Governor's Cup over 2090 metres in Hobart on Sunday night.. Pachacuti ($1.30 favourite) was unable to hold the lead from gate two and was crossed by Modern Ruler and heading down the back stretch the last time it looked for a moment that the favourite might not get out of the pocket. But the seven-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding's trainer-driver Todd Rattray somehow eased off the fence from behind the leader at the point of the home turn and once in the three-wide line the gelding powered home to score by over 10 metres from Hugo Play with Sapphire Swayze a closing third. Pachacuti is being aimed at the $40,000 Easter Cup on April 16 and his next outing will most likely be in an Easter Cup heat in Launceston on Friday week, March 31. Rattray was hauled into the stewards' room after the race and subsequently suspended for four race dates on a dangerous driving charge and it could mean missing out on driving Pachacuti in an Easter Cup heat. "I will be appealing the suspension and that's all I want to say about it," Rattray said. It was Pachacuti's sixth win in succession this year and given the way he toyed with his rivals at this latest outing he should be a major contender when he arrives at his grand final in the Easter Cup. "I am very happy with how he's going but I'm sure there is a fair bit of improvement in him between now and the Easter Cup. "He had a short let-up after his previous run so I reckon he definitely was in need of this run." Peter Staples

New Zealand bred three-year-old filly Shartin powered her way to an emphatic harness racing win in the Cripps Waratah Tasmanian Oaks over 2579 metres in Hobart last night. The Victorian filly settled last from her wide front-row draw but inside a lap her driver Chris Alford sent the daughter of Tintin In America around the field to find the lead. From there on it was a procession with the filly forging clear turning for home and she went on to score by almost 12 metres from El Jays Mystery that faced the breeze throughout with Playing Arkabella a half-head away third. It was Alford's third drive aboard the filly and he said she was always travelling like the winner. "I was mindful that this filly can do a few things wrong if she has to race wide so I dropped her out to last and then whipped around them early on and she was able to find the front without having to spend too much gas," Alford said. "Dean Braun paid about $50,000 for this filly in New Zealand but I'm sure she will pay her way. "She is still learning what it's all about but tonight she did everything right and she had the race won a long way from home. Shartin is owned by a syndicate that includes Tasmanian Dean Richards who is overseas on business. Alford said Shartin was likely to head to the heats of the Victorian Oaks next month. Shartin has won three of her five starts with this latest her most impressive and the $15,000 prizemoney took her career earnings to just beyond $25,000. It was Alford's fourth Tasmanian oaks having been successful on Concorde Lombo in 1997, Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and last year aboard Dancingwithsierra. Peter Staples

Tasmania lost one of its harness racing icons last week when champion pacer Halyer passed away peacefully of old age at Scamander on the North-East Coast. The former champion had been living the life of Riley on the property of Ana and Eric Hayes where he was treated like a member of the family for the past 12 years. Halyer became an integral part of the Hayes family that comprises Ana and Eric Hayes their son Saxon and daughter Lily-Mae. "Losing Halyer was like losing a family member because he meant so much to all of us," Ana Hayes said. At his previous two homes Halyer was used as a pony club hack and from all reports he thoroughly enjoyed being ridden but Ana's attempts to reignite that passion failed. "I took riding lessons using "Hals" as my mount but it wasn't really working and when he bucked me off a few times I decided to give riding a miss and just keep him as a pet. "We decided to call him Big Dog because he was fed twice a day and was treated just the same as any family pet. Halyer also became a good companion for Lily-Mae who was quite attached to the horse. She would often wander down to the back of the paddock and talk to Halyer and over time he became very affectionate towards her. When Halyer laid down to take his last few breaths Lily-Mae was with him and fell asleep by his side. "We are a very close-knit family and our animals are very much a part of the unit so to lose such a dominant force in our lives is heartbreaking," In his racing days Halyer was owned by Don Cooper and his son Dean and Halyer died on Don's 90th birthday last Sunday week. Don had not seen Halyer for about 14 years when he made a visit to the Hayes' property about six years ago and what transpired when he and the horse were reacquainted was quite moving. Almost from the moment Halyer caught sight of Don the gelding became more animated and when Don put his arm around the horse's neck the obvious affection they had for each other shone through. "This horse took us on a fantastic journey and for obvious reasons Bobby (Halyer) always will be very special to me and my family," Don Cooper said. Halyer was a great racehorse who greeted the starter 70 times for 32 wins and 22 minor placings for over $340,000 in stakes. He broke two minutes every season he raced, notching a 1.59.7 rate as a two-year-old and at three he clocked 1.58.3 in an open class race over 1609 metres Launceston in February 1990. Two months later he was mixing it with the best three-year-olds in the land winning a heat of the NSW Derby prior to finishing second in the Derby final, a race that even today Don Cooper finds had to believe he lost. "One thing you learn when you are involved in racing is that you have to take the bad with the good and the NSW Derby was one of those not so good experiences," Cooper said. Halyer finished second to Imprimartar, but only because Halyer struck interference, broke and galloped 100m from home and what led to him breaking resulted in the horse's trainer-driver Neville Webberley being suspended. But the horse made amends at his next start when, with John "Bulldog" Nicholson in the gig, he gave his rivals a pacing lesson in the Group 1 Australian Derby. "The Australian Derby win was enormous and definitely made up for the NSW Derby loss," Cooper said. After six months in the paddock Halyer returned to the racetrack and following his first win as a four-year-old Webberley predicted his stable star had the ability to reach great heights. His effort to finish second to Thorate in the 1990 Tasmanian Pacing Championship remains one of the most courageous efforts seen on a Tasmanian track. The then four-year-old was galloped on in the run and despite blood gushing from a gash in his hoof he finished at the rate of knots to edge Generator out of second spot and beat home some of the best horses of that era including Allan Grant that was driven and trained by the late Vin Knight. The hoof injury ensured Halyer would spend the next nine months in the paddock but he returned with a vengeance. He won the Easter Cup in 1992 which boasted a star-studded line-up including Inter-Dominion performers Franco Tiger and The Tower Of Strength who filled the minor placings. Despite having a few niggling injuries, Halyer was prepared for the 1994 Inter Dominion series in Sydney and he again made his mark at the highest level. He won his first heat of the series and placed third in two others to progress to the final in which he finished a luckless fourth to Weona Warrior. But days after the final he was stricken with a stomach illness that almost took his life. "We thought we lost him a couple of times but he was a real fighter and he lived to fight another day," Don Cooper said. Halyer returned to Tasmania when fully recovered and other than a four-start campaign in Victoria he spent the balance of his racing days in his home state. Webberley regards Halyer as the best he trained and after consultation with the horse's owners they agreed to retire the horse from racing after he won a free-for-all in Hobart in September 1995. Ana Hayes said Halyer is buried on the family property where he lay in a specially marked grave. "We buried Hals in a spot that gets the morning and afternoon sun and that's the way he would have liked it," Ana said. Peter Staples

Tasracing and harness racing clubs around the state have thrown their support behind another battle to raise funds, this time for ovarian cancer research. The pink cricket test in Sydney every year is testament to what a high-profile sportsperson can contribute, especially when they are dedicated to the cause through personal tragedy. The McGrath Foundation and the Australian community has raised millions of dollars to employ Breast Care Nurses right across the country in the fight against cancer. Jane McGrath lost her battle with breast cancer in 2008, but not before establishing the McGrath Foundation with husband of nine years, champion Australian fast bowler Glenn.  Tasracing and harness racing clubs around the state have thrown their support behind another battle to raise funds, this time for ovarian cancer research. Duncan McPherson is the driving force behind the harness racing fundraising efforts around the country, drawing attention to the cause through Team Teal. Duncan's wife Lyn passed away from the illness in 2010, and he is passionately committed to doing whatever he can to highlight the needs of women who are suffering from the disease and their families, through his passion for harness racing. All female drivers have been wearing teal pants in races throughout the promotion with $200 donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Centre every time one of the girls salutes the judge during the six-week campaign. The milestone of 200 winners nationally was achieved on March 1 and the girls are keen to bring up 300 victories by the last meeting on March 12. Nat Emery has led the way on the local scene with four winners with support from Hannah van Dongen, who drove her first career winner for the cause, Taylor Ford,  Samantha Freeman, Lee Simmonds, Sara Wilkins  and Makenna Hillier. "It's a nice feeling for the girls and I to think we are helping out in a small way and contributing to such a wonderful project. I believe the program will grow in coming years and we are all excited to be involved," Nat said. I had the pleasure of meeting Duncan at the Devonport Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday night and it was clear he is a man on a mission. "If we can assist in fundraising for research to find an early detection device it would be a fantastic result in improving the survival rate,” a determined Duncan said. “Ovarian cancer is a silent killer, which is why I'm so heavily involved, especially with the fundraising.  "Tasracing, the clubs and our talented young reins-women around the state have been very supportive and we greatly appreciate everyone's efforts." Don't wait till it happens to you or someone you love, go without that cappuccino or latte today and, in my case, that sausage roll, okay two sausage rolls, and make a difference to someone's life. By Shane Yates Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

IT came as no surprise to harness racing trainer Steve Davis when his well-bred five-year-old mare Ima Ginger Rogers delivered a career best performance to win the $10,000 Leigh Plunkett over 2297 metres in Devonport on Sunday night. Ima Ginger Rogers had good form leading up to the race but the weight of money that arrived for race favourite Little Bit of Big ($2 into $1.60) saw Davis' mare's price drift from $5 to start at $8.60. But when driver Ricky Duggan urged Ima Ginger Rogers forward at the start from gate three and found the lead it was obvious a long way from the finish that the mare was the one to beat. The favourite made a dash from the rear to sit at the leader's wheel but when her driver Rohan Hillier asked for the supreme effort she was unable to go on with it and the leader slipped clear and went on to score by 12 metres from Little Bit of Big with Reckless Abandon five metres away third. Ima Ginger Rogers covered the journey in 2m.55s for a mile rate of 2.02 but she scampered home her last half (800 metres) in a slick 57.9. "I was confident she could win because she had good recent form heading into the race," Davis said. "Her two previous runs were terrific without winning and her trackwork in the week leading up to the race was fantastic so I thought if she could lead then nothing would be able to run her down and I told Ricky (Duggan) that before the race. "When a horse can run home its last 800m in under 58 seconds on the Devonport track, and I knew this mare could do that, then she was always going to be extremely hard to beat," Davis said Davis became aware of the mare after her full sister Shezallapples (Sportswriter-Apple Sorbet) won a Group 1 2YO race at Menangle in NSW in June last year. "I knew this mare was for sale in Tasmania so when I heard that Shezallapples had won the Breeders Challenge I rang Chris Aylett, whose father Phil trained Ima Ginger Rogers as a young horse, and said we'd better buy her as a broodmare prospect. "So I rang Nick Perotti the owner of Ima Ginger Rogers and we ended up buying her in a package of four horses that included another broodmare, a yearling and an unbroken two-year-old. "This mare took a bit to get going after she injured a knee that later became infected and when she was over that she got a bad cold so we had to tip her out and start again. "But this time in she has been good and provided all that bad luck is behind her she might just win her way through the classes." Peter Staples

Tasmanian harness racing fans were treated to a spectacular weekend of racing, with four of the state’s most exciting young pacers saluting the judge.  Scooterwillrev, Usain Jolt, Zhukov Leis and Harjeet head the most talented crop of three-year-olds seen in Tasmania for many years, and all showed their undoubted ability with stylish wins.   Two of the brilliant quartet are from the North-West Coast.  Zhukov Leis, bred by owners Trevor and Marjorie Leis at Smithton, scored impressively on debut in Hobart on Friday night in a heat of the Allen Williams Memorial. Meanwhile Scooterwillrev, unbeaten in nine Tasmanian starts for Stowport trainer Craig Hayes, overcame a mid-race mishap to win convincingly in Launceston on Sunday.  The Tony Peterson-trained Usain Jolt had made it a one-act affair earlier in the night blitzing his opposition with a demoralising turn of foot on the home corner, while the Todd Rattray-prepared Harjeet treated his rival with contempt, notching up an effortless victory.  All four may well be on a collision course in the Tasmanian Derby next month.  Tasracing harness form analyst Jamie Cockshutt is excited about the prospect of the local stars taking on the mainland invasion.  "Scooterwillrev is the top seed. He is unbeaten in the state and his greatest weapons are speed and strength. These attributes added together make him a formidable opponent for his rivals,” Mr Cockshutt said. "Usain Jolt is the clear second contender. He has gone to a new level this season and is still learning what the racing caper is all about.  “The 2579m Derby trip will suit him right down to the ground. In fact, if he keeps improving, the sky could be the limit.” The two new kids on the block are both from the Todd Rattray stable.   "Zhukov Leis, a beautifully-bred half-brother to the injury-prone topliner Jaruzelski Leis, showed he has inherited the family bloodlines with an ultra-impressive win on debut. “Harjeet, a son of Rocknroll Hanover resumed with a dominant win on Sunday night, dashing home in 57 seconds for the last half mile."  Tasmania's champion pacer Beautide won every start of his three-year-old year except the Derby, running a luckless fourth, but that failed to stop him going on to capture dual Inter-dominion championships and a Miracle Mile.  Cockshutt  believes the current crop of three-year-olds is the strongest contingent for many years. "We've had three-year-olds in the past like Halyer and Astral Francais who were up there with the best in the country of their year and there may be another of that quality to come from this group." By Shane Yates Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

Former Sydneysider Roger Ramjet continued on his winning way in Launceston last night with an impressive all-the-way victory in a C6-C10 harness racing pace over 2200 metres. Roger Ramjet is prepared by Todd Rattray for whom the gelding has had four starts since arriving in the state from New South Wales where he was prepared by Rattray's older brother James Rattray. It was the gelding's second win from five starts in Tasmania and he could shape as an Easter Cup candidate. Todd Rattray is hoping the gelding stays in Tasmania at least until Easter. "I would like to keep this horse here for as long as possible and I really think he could be an Easter Cup contender," Rattray said. Roger Ramjet arrived at James Rattray's stables midway through 2014 and he won his first three starts in NSW before heading to Victoria where he had four starts for a win at Melton and two minor placings at Ballarat. He won three more at Menangle before heading to Queensland where he had two starts for a win and a second after which he was spelled for five months. James Rattray sent the gelding to his family's Tasmanian stable that is operated these days by Todd Rattray and at the gelding's second start in the state he was a luckless seventh in the Devonport Cup. The $40,000 Easter Cup will be run in Launceston on April 16. Peter Staples

I Am Camelot delivered a career-best effort to score an impressive harness racing win in a C4-C5 event over 2200 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding earned a reputation as a horse that only does his best when he leads but last night the six-year-old was able to settle back in the field from his outside second-row draw and rattle home to score an emphatic win. It was the gelding's fifth win from 10 starts this season and Gareth Rattray's fourth aboard the son of Safari from five drives. "The horse was travelling great on the back of the favourite No Spring Secrets and I was happy for that horse to take us into the race but he wasn't going well enough so we had to go six-wide on the home turn," Rattray said. "He's a horse that gets revved up and hard to handle but he settled tonight and he really finished the race off well." I Am Camelot is only lightly raced as he's only had 22 starts for five wins and as many minor placings for closing in on $30,000 in prizemoney.  

Zhukov Leis is the latest in a string of harness racing pacers bred by Trevor and Marjorie Leis to make an impact on the racetrack. The Todd Rattray-trained and driven gelding made an impressive debut at Luxbet Park Hobart last night leading all the way to score impressively after being heavily backed in to start the $2. Zhukov Leis is by Somebeachsomewhere from the Leis' top-producing broodmare Kazakova Leis that also produced the half-brother Jaruzelski Leis (by Bettors Delight) that has so far won 20 with a best mile rate of 1.53.7. The three-year-old gelding stepped well from a wide gate (6) and after a stoush with Memory of Love, Rattray's gelding eventually found the lead and he settled well under a strong hold. Zhukov Leis was given no peace for the last 1200 metres with the second favourite Falcon Harry sitting at his wheel and waiting to pounce heading down the back stretch. But when Rattray called on Zhukov Leis for an effort he dug deep and shrugged off the challenge and forged clear to defeat Falcon Harry by about four metres with Striker Jim over 20 metres astern. "We have always believed this horse could run a bit and he showed us that at two but he developed a bad cough and we had to pull up and tip him out," Rattray said. "I've taken my time with this horse and I think the patience we've shown will pay off. "He takes a bit of work because he's a good doer and he got away from me a bit this time in which is why he will derive a lot of benefit from this run. "I have no doubt he has a bright future and he could have a good race in him this season." Peter Staples

It won't be long before Hannah Van dongen has to make a decision between becoming an apprentice jockey or grinding out a career in the harness racing industry. Van dongen has been riding trackwork in her home town of Longford for various trainers for a year but when her father Craig Van dongen decided to reacquaint himself with harness racing as a trainer his daughter was keen to help out. At Carrick last Saturday the father and daughter teamed up to produce their first win with Regal Idea and to make it a real family affair the horse is owned by Hannah's mother Carol Williscroft. Hannah Van dongen had Regal Idea settled in the one-out line and travelling sweetly to the bell and when she eased out three-wide to get a cart home the gelding was always likely to win. Van dongen had to get busy on her charge over the final 200 metres but he knuckled down to his task and grabbed race leader Thirlstane King close to home to score a narrow but impressive win. "It was great to get my first winner on a horse trained by Dad and owned by Mum," Hannah Van dongen said. Having spent many years honing her riding craft at pony club and equestrian events she decided to try her hand at trackwork riding and she took to it like a duck to water. She rides work for Longf0rd-based trainer Ken Hanson and she is used by other local trainers when available. "I have always enjoyed equestrian horses as a kid and a few years ago, Dad decided to get back involved in the industry. From there the opportunity arose to work for Barrie and Todd Rattray where I gained a lot of harness racing experience." She is kept very busy these days with trackwork at Longford starting at 5.30am and once her duties there are finished she heads out to harness trainer Chester Bullock's training complex at Riverside for the rest of the day. Peter Staples

Popular pacer Destreos is changing states. Affectionately known as ‘Dex’ or the ‘King of the Creek’ given that he has won more races at Albion Park than any other horse, trainer Ken Rattray is moving home to Tasmania. Rattray and partner Sally Stingel have called Queensland home for well over a decade now and the couple has enjoyed considerable success in the sunshine state. The deeds of Destreos are well documented but other classy performers that have gone through their Jimboomba stables include Very Cool, Funny Boy, Luxor Las Vegas and Matai Mackenzie among others. But a change is imminent. A move back to the Apple Isle will take place next month after finding a suitable property at Flowery Gallery near Beaconsfield, their Jimboomba property is now on the market for sale. “Both Sally and I originally came from Tassie and we just feel the timing is right to head back home, we both have strong family ties down there and although we’ve enjoyed our time up here immensely, things have changed both personally and professionally.” Rattray said. But there are still a few goals to achieve before making the move home. Destreos currently has 69 Albion Park victories and Rattray is keen to see to his incredible warrior win another race at his favourite track before relocating. “I’d love to get another win with him at Albion Park before we move, it would be great to have a nice even 70 victories at the track, its record that will never be broken. He’s such a great horse and it would be great to see him achieve that feat. “He’s always raced at the top level so it’s quite remarkable to think a horse could win that many races in a lifetime, let alone at the major track in the state. He’s provided Sally and me with so many wonderful memories, we’ve met so many great people and it’s all because of this horse. “I think it’s a real possibility that he can win another race up here, since returning from a let-up his form has been really strong and he’s as keen as ever in his track work. He’s got a chance on Saturday night but he may not be able to lead with Joys A Babe drawn on our inside.” With 92 career victories, Rattray is also keen to see him register his century but that is likely to come in Tasmania following the move. Rattray will be taking a team of around 6 or 7 pacers to Tasmania which includes Destreos, Funny Boy and stable newcomer Pub Blitz among others. Pub Blitz is yet to race or trial for Rattray. The $40,000 Easter Cup on April 16 at Launceston is possibility for both Destreos and Pub Blitz. Chris Barsby

South Australian pacer Capture Me produced a bold front-running harness racing performance to win a heat of the Allen Williams Memorial at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. The Ben Yole-trained mare began brilliantly from gate five to find the lead and once in front driver Mark Yole ensured a steady tempo while the well-backed favourite Falcon Harry ($2.20) settled worse than midfield from his second-row draw. Capture Me ($7) was allowed to stride along at her leisure without any pressure from Lockaway Kacie ($6.60) that faced the breeze but sat outside the second horse Hayleys Comet. In the back straight the last time Lockaway Kacie worked forward to challenge the leader but when they hit the home turn Capture had plenty in reserve and went on to score comfortably from Falcon Harry with Hayleys Comet battling on well for third. Capture Me was third at her Tasmania debut last week in Launceston behind Dasher Houli and it was on the strength of that effort that trainer Ben Yole thought the four-year-old mare could win. "Her first start in the state was more like a trial because she's only been with us for three weeks and I thought she did a good job," Yole said. "She's owned in SA by David Harding who thought she might be able to pick up a few wins over here so he sent her to me. "Because she has good gate speed and she's quite tough I'm sure there are more wins for her in the coming weeks." Peter Staples

Wesley Vale harness racing trainer John Castles teamed up with the state's leading driver Gareth Rattray to snare a double at the meeting on the North-West Coast in Devonport last Friday night. The pair combined to win the Harding Hotmix Mobile with Spot Eight to give that gelding his third win of the season and that followed an impressive performance from Dayraid to win a C1 or better handicap over 1286 metres. Dayraid, owned by staunch harness racing  stalwarts on King Island, was having his first start for Castles and he was given the run of the race behind the leader by Rattray. When the pace quickened about 600 metres from home Rattray was able to ease Dayraid off the fence to make his move and once in clear racing room the six-year-old gelded son of Dawn of a New Day ran on well to score by a neck from race leader Dellas Command with Sign No More 4-1/2 metres away third. Dayraid was well backed to start the $4.30 equal favourite with Dellas Command and given the way Castles' horse hit the line there should be more wins in store in the coming weeks. Spot Eight's win was arguably his best this season as he drew the outside of the second row and was forced to settle at the rear. Rattray made his move three-wide about 800m from home and he latched into the back of Timely Sovereign that went ahead of him. But he ended up three-back in the running line when Union Force barged out in front of Timely Sovereign. Union Force ended up in the breeze and when they turned for home Spot Eight was forced four-wide but he proved too strong for his rivals going in to score by 1-1/2 metres from Timely Sovereign with Union Force 2-1/2 metres away third. Rattray ended the night with a treble courtesy of Tisu Bombbelle winning the last race on the seven-event card. Peter Staples      

A promotion to raise money for women's cancer research through harness racing has gone national for the first time this season. The promotion involves all female drivers wearing teal coloured driving pants instead of the traditional white and in Launceston last Sunday night Natalee Emery got the promotion off to a flying start by winning the first race on the eight-event program aboard outsider Pushkin. Emery drove Pushkin straight to the front from gate three and she rated the gelding superbly to have enough in the tank to boot clear in the home straight and go on and score by 11.1 metres from Significance with Mersey Delight a close-up third. This is the first year that Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have joined Victoria and New South Wales in the 'Team Teal' campaign that aims to raise money for women's cancer research. Tasmania boasts nine female drivers comprising; Maree Blake, Natalee Emery, Samantha Freeman, Taylor Ford, Samantha Gangell, Kristy Grant, Lyarna Graham, Lee Simmonds & Hannah Van Dongden. Tasmania's governing racing body Tasracing will donate $200 to the Women's Cancer Institute for every female driver that wins a race in Tasmania until March 12. All female race drivers, as well as the girls who contest pony trot races, will wear Teal driving pants in all of their race drives with all Clerk of the courses to wear Teal coloured shirts. The next chance for 'Team Teal' to add to the tally will be at Devonport on Friday night. To follow the nationwide tally follow @WomensCancerFdn on twitter. For more information about Women's Cancer Foundation go to: Peter Staples

Fortino is rapidly earning a reputation as the harness racing Country Cups king with his victory in the $10,000 New Norfolk Pacing Cup in Hobart last night his most emphatic win this season. Leading up to last night's triumph the gelding by Sutter Hanover had bagged the North-East pacing Cup at Scottsdale and the Burnie Cup. His trainer-driver Todd Rattray made the most of poor starts from his two main rivals Finn Mac Kee and Baldock were poorly away from the standing start which left a clear passage for Fortino to make his way to the lead without interruption. Fortino rallied in the home straight to score by 11 metres from Blackjackhanover that had to work three-wide for most of the last lap with Grinable a closing third about two metres away. Rattray ensured s solid tempo and allowed the winner to stroll home his last half (800m) in a handy 58.7 over the 3060-metre trip. Fortino's next start is expected to be in the Carrick Cup on February 18 in which he will have to give away a start of 10 metres owing to his improved class rating to C6. The New Norfolk Cup was run in Hobart last night owing to the Country Club failing to meet all the requirements (documentation) to have its license renewed. Peter Staples

Talented Hobart-based reinsman Rodney Ashwood is no stranger to driving multiple winners on a harness racing program but at Luxbet Park in Hobart last Friday night he dominated with three winners on the seven-race card. He opened his account with a win aboard the Eric Jacobson-trained Rusty Red Comet that stepped cleanly from the standing start and then enjoyed a cozy run on the leader's back. Ashwood waited until nearing the home turn to push out on the gelded son of Riverboat King and once in clear air the gelding powered home and grabbed victory in the shadows of the post to defeat Pushkin and Be Good Franklin over 2090 metres. Rusty Red Comet recorded a mile rate of 2.04.5 which wasn't too band from the stand. Ashwood again teamed up with Jacobson to score aboard War Chest in the C.U.B Pace over 2090 metres. After facing the breeze to the winning post the last time Ashwood urged his charge forward to assume control and it proved to be the winning move. War Chest booted well clear at the top of the home straight but he had to pull out all stops to withstand a powerful charge from eventual runner-up Falcon Harry that flashed home to miss by a half-head with Gaggle Coordinator a distant third. Ashwood ended a great night in the cart by guiding Remember Joe to victory in the Burger Me Campbell Town Claimer over 2090 metres. Remember Joe was backed in to start the $2.30 favourite and when Ashwood had the gelding settled in the one-out-two-back position punters would have been starting to line up to collect. When Ashwood was able to avoid a scrimmage leaving the bottom turn the last time Remember Joe quickly raced to the leaders and he went on to record an effortless win over Electric Ollie and Aninchofhislife. Peter Staples

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