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Stewards today have concluded an Inquiry which resulted from criminal convictions being recorded against licenced Harness Racing Trainer/Driver Mr Keith Toulmin in Launceston Magistrates Court on Tuesday 29 August 2017. At the inquiry, Stewards considered invoking AHRR 267(1) and AHRR 267(2) which relate to licenced persons being disqualified as a result of criminal convictions. Mr Toulmin attended the Inquiry and after giving consideration to submissions made by him and after considering the very serious nature of the animal welfare offences Stewards determined to invoke AHRR 267(2) in relation to a conviction of aggravated cruelty.  Stewards also invoked AHRR 267(1) in respect of a conviction for animal cruelty and for failing to comply with instructions given to Mr Toulmin by the RSPCA. In determining penalty, Stewards were mindful of the seriousness of the charges which had a significant adverse impact upon the reputation of Harness Racing.  Stewards were also mindful that any penalty imposed act as a significant deterrent for breaches of animal welfare standards which are of paramount importance in Harness Racing. Mr Toulmin’s licence history and personal circumstances were also taken into account. Penalty 1 – AHRR 267(2), In relation to the 1st charge, aggravated cruelty, Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 5 years.  Which was back dated to commence on 29 August 2017 and expire 29 August 2022. Penalty 2 – AHRR 267(1) –Animal cruelty.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served cumulative to penalty 1, commencing on 29 August 2022 and expiring 29 August 2024. Penalty 3 – AHRR 267(1) – Fail to comply with instructions issued by the RSPCA.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served concurrent to penalty 2. In total Mr Toulmin was disqualified for 7 years. Orders were also made to Mr Toulmin and the registered owners of horses currently in his care that those horses be removed within seven days. Date of issue 11 September 2017 Panel: A Crowther, D Farquharson, R Brown. Keith Toulmin Inquiry – 11 September 2017. Adrian Crowther CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS – Harness

ON Friday September 8, 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards suspended the licence of trainer, Ms Amanda Coffee, pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 183. HRNSW has taken these measures after receiving a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that xylometazoline had been detected in the blood sample taken from WAKE UP QUINN following its win in race 8, the PARKES FURNITURE ONE PACE (2040m) at Parkes on Sunday August 6, 2017. The “B” sample has been sent to Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria for confirmatory testing. HRNSW Stewards considered all available evidence at that time and determined that Rule 183 should be invoked based on the following factors: The existence of a prima facie case against you based on the certificate from ARFL; The nature of the substance; The absolute nature of AHRR 190 offences; The likely penalty of a significant period of disqualification if a prohibited substance offence is proven; The high unlikelihood that AHRR 256 will have any application if a prohibited substance offence is proven; The fact that this is not a finding of guilt and that this will militate against any perceived reputational damage as a result of a suspension; The fact that an offence against AHRR 190 does not involve any aspect of intent and that this must further militate against any perceived reputational damage as a result of a suspension.  (h) HRNSW’s protective objectives in the course of its core function to control, supervise and regulate harness racing in this State Ms Coffee has not been charged with any breach of the Rules and has been advised of her right of appeal against the imposition of Rule 183. HRNSW Stewards have commenced an investigation into this sample result and an Inquiry will be scheduled in due course. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

Tasracing will officially welcome back the trotting gait to Tasmania’s Standardbred harness racing industry from 1 July next year. Tasracing chief executive officer Vaughn Lynch said trotting races would be regularly scheduled from next year. “Trotting is the most popular gait internationally, especially throughout France and in Scandinavian countries where they race trotters exclusively,” he said. “It is an important step forward for the local industry. “We are confident that this will give Tasmanian harness racing the opportunity to be exported around the world.” The announcement that trotting is set to return to Tasmania coincided with Yabby Dam Racing, a leading Victorian-based trotting establishment, becoming the naming rights sponsor of the 2017 Australian Drivers’ Championship to be held in Hobart on 28 October 2017. Principal Pat Driscoll said sponsorsing the drivers’ championship in Hobart was the perfect way for Yabby Dam Racing to engage with the Tasmanian industry. “I am obviously very supportive of the reintroduction of trotting in Tasmania from next year,” he said. “We are very much looking forward to working with local owners and trainers to build the trotting population in the state.” TasRacing

Life has turned out well for 11 of the harness racing horses that were in an emaciated and weakened state when seized by the RSPCA from a northern property last year. Former trainer Keith William Toulmin, 68, was sentenced to a two-month wholly suspended jail term and fined $5000 after being convicted of animal cruelty, aggravated cruelty and failing to comply with a notice. The animals involved were all former harness racing horses, some of which were from New Zealand and had been worth $30,000-$40,000, the court heard. They belonged to different owners but had been left in the care of Toulmin and his son Craig, who had left the state. RSPCA investigations officer Carrie Palmer visited the 40ha property at Birralee in April last year and found the 15 horses. Over several months the RSPCA sought to force Toulmin to feed and medically treat the horses — eight of which he had been the registered trainer for. However, he claimed he could not afford to do so and that his car had broken down. Toulmin euthanised three horses. For nearly two months the remaining horses deteriorated in condition as winter set in. In June teams from the RSPCA and Department of Primary Industries visited the property. They euthanised a horse called Kinda Taz, which was unable to rise. The 11 remaining were seized by the RSPCA, which looked after them at a cost of $13,042 for the year or so since. “Seven were rehomed and I often get updates from the new owners that they are doing well,” Ms Palmer said. “Some have become trail-riding horses.” The RSPCA retains ownership of four horses, Sybella Brioso, Never Enough, Clyde Maguire and Royal Affair. “Three of them are at our facilities at the Cressy Research Station and they are rolling fat,” Ms Palmer said. “The fourth, Sybella Brioso, is at facilities at Mornington and she is also doing well.” By Nick Clark Reprinted with permission of The Mercury

Punters feasted on a banquet of favourites at the Tasmanian Pacing Club’s meeting at Luxbet Park on Sunday night. Six of the 10 races on the harness racing card went the way of the popular pick with the longest priced winner of the night starting at odds of $4.60, while only Resurgent Dream started an odds-on favourite. Trainer Ben Yole wasted no time in notching up his 119th winner for the season and claiming the training record held by Neville Webberley since 1990/91 when the heavily supported Sheer Strength (pictured) scored a sensational all-the-way victory in race three. Rohan Hillier encouraged the five-year-old to the lead from the centre of the front line and rated it to perfection, before opening up in the turn off the backstretch and scorching away to win by 19.1 metres. Washie’s Chance racked up his eleventh victory of the season from 37 starts, remarkably 11 wins from 21 when teamed with Natalee Emery and 0 from 16 with other drivers in the sulky. Out To Strike scored a convincing win with Ultimate Courage rounding off another successful night for the Sidmouth stable. Todd Rattray partnered Ultimate Courage and also steered home his smart four-year-old God Sake to victory,to increase his lead in the Drivers Premiership to three. God Sake sat two lengths off the leaders at the half mile and made his run at the 400, coming home the final quarter in 29.21 seconds to bank its fifth win from the last six starts. The Justin Campbell-trained Boltnmach made it back-to-back wins in Hobart by sustaining a searching three-wide run to gain the day by a head over Smilin Geoff while impressive three-year-old filly Resurgent Dream also won her second race in a row for owner-trainer, Roger Whitmore. Ideal Karalta and Swap Me both scored comfortable front-running victories while Jilliby Gigi was forced to dig deep to hold out the fast-finishing Olwen Jackka. Watch the Marc Butler trained Jilliby Gigi stave-off Olwen Jaccka at Luxbet Park in Hobart here. by Shane Yates

Tasracing has secured the rights for Tasmania to host the first Australian Female Harness Drivers’ Championships in Launceston on Sunday 11 March 2018. The event will be hosted by the Launceston Pacing club (LPC) with the support of Tasracing and endorsement of Harness Racing Australia (HRA). Tasracing CEO Vaughn Lynch said securing the inaugural event was a boon for Tasmanian harness racing and women’s sport in general: “Racing has proudly led the way in the area of equal participation by women in sport for a long time. Tasracing was determined to recognise females in harness racing and to celebrate the nation’s talented female champions’. He said. The Inaugural Female Harness Drivers’ Championships will mark the conclusion of the national Women’s Cancer Foundation Teal Pants awareness campaign which runs from 1st February to 11th March 2018. Female harness drivers around Australia raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer and funds for the Women’s Cancer Foundation, by wearing teal driving pants while racing. Women’s Cancer Foundation supporter and fundraiser, Duncan McPherson  OAM, said: “We are delighted that the inaugural Australian Female Drivers’ Championships will continue the promotion of this extremely worthwhile cause, and that the champion will be crowned on the last day of this year’s Teal Pants campaign.” HRA CEO Andrew Kelly said granting Tasmania the right to host the first event of this kind recognised the state’s strong harness racing industry, excellent facilities and commitment to promoting female participation: “Tasmania has proven itself a great host of previous national Drivers Championships, so the opportunity to showcase the state’s strong female participation record and support of the Women’s Cancer Foundation with this inaugural female series was an easy decision.” Chester Bullock, President of the LPC, said he was looking forward to welcoming participants. “The LPC can’t wait to throw open our doors to the best female drivers in the country, and to show them, their families and supporters the best that Tasmanian racing has to offer.” by Tasracing

The battle for this season's driver premiership could go right down to the wire with the Rattray brothers Gareth and Todd level pegging with only five harness racing meetings remaining. Two weeks ago Gareth held a five-win advantage over Todd but he has clawed his way back into contention to share the lead with his older brother at 78 wins apiece. However, Gareth has the chance to regain a margin in Launceston tonight as he has 11 drives on the 12-race card while Todd is down for seven with one an emergency. Todd admits he has only modest winning chances tonight while Gareth has some plum drives and is favoured to win his 11th driver's premiership. "I've said before that I won't be losing any sleep if I don't win the premiership because it has never been something I've wanted or hoped to achieve," Todd Rattray said. "It's nice to be equal with Gareth at this stage of the season but if Gareth does what he normally does he'll jump out of the ground and get a bagful of winners at a couple of meetings and win it. "I am more than pleased with my season as far as driving winners is concerned but I'm more proud of what I've done as a trainer." Todd is lying second on the trainer's premiership table with 61 wins and while he is way clear of Ben Yole (111) this is clearly Rattray's best season as a trainer. He prepared his star open class horse Pachacuti to win the Group 3 Easter Cup in Launceston and interstate last month his two-year-old Ignatius powered his way to an emphatic win in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge final at Menangle in NSW, completing the trip in track record time. "It was very special when Ignatius won the Breeders Challenge because it was real shot in the arm for Tasmania as well as for me as a trainer. "When we sent the horse to Sydney we were hoping he'd be competitive but at no stage did we think he would improve that much and run the times he did. "He arrived back home today (Thursday) and he'll have another month off and we'll start all over again. "Pachacuti is about two weeks away from coming back into work so I'm looking forward to him returning but I reckon he'll probably do a bit of racing interstate." On Sunday night Todd's best winning chance appears to be God Sake that has won his past three but this latest assignment is a standing start event. "God Sake is going extra well but he isn't the best beginner from a stand but if he steps clean and we can find a good spot early he's a good chance." Gareth has a few top winning chances including two-year-old Tisu Spirit in the first race and the Shelley Barnes-trained Safari Rose in the third that is having its first start in the state and has good recent form. Safari Rose won two in succession before her last start seventh at Yarra Valley but at her two previous outings she clocked handy mile rates of 1.58.3 and 1.59.4 over 1755m and 1609m respectively. Peter Staples  

Natalie Emery has been in a purple patch of form lately with her haul of three winners last weekend taking her to seventh place on the harness racing Tasmanian driving premiership table. The treble took her season's tally to 26 and while she won't win the overall driver's title she has made a good thing of taking out her fifth female driver's title. With only five meetings remaining, Emery is 16 wins clear of her nearest rival Samantha Freeman. Last Friday night she notched two winners in Hobart in Washies Chance and Capture Me that are both prepared by reigning premier trainer Ben Yole. Washies Chance has been a good horse to Emery because she has been aboard in all of his nine wins since being imported from Victoria in December last year. Capture Me was given a gun run and emerged triumphant at the good price of $11.50 but a far cry from the huge odds offered at her first win when bookies bet as much as $121. But Emery saved her best performance for last with a great drive aboard Only A Myth for trainer Gary Freeman in Launceston last Sunday night. Only A Myth showed good speed from gate five to eventually find the front but when first starter in the state, Shadow Control, pressured for the lead Emery handed up to enjoy a cozy run on the leader's back. Emery waited as long as she could before easing off the fence in the home straight and when she moved three-wide to challenge, the horse quickly gathered in the leader and went on to record an emphatic win. Peter Staples

Talented young Tasmanian harness racing trainer Chris Aylett believes New South Wales reject War Dan Star has a future in Tasmania following the two-year-old's impressive win at his second start in the state in Devonport on Friday night. War Dan Star came from the Amanda Turnbull stable where he had four unplaced starts which led to him being sacked. But his owners, Victorian Danny Zavitsanos and Tasmanian Warren Viney, decided to send the horse to Tasmania. "Dad (Phillip) trained a few for Warren (Viney) when he first started out in harness racing and he always said he wanted to get me a good horse," Chris Aylett said. "This bloke is a good honest little horse and I think he'll be better next year." War Dan Star was backing up after a nose second in Launceston five days earlier when one of the owners backed him at 40-1. "He looked like winning that race (when he hit the front in the straight) but the leader kicked back," Aylett said. "We'll go back to Launceston next week for a heat of the Breeders Crown, because he's paid up for that series (In Victoria), then we'll see where we go from there. "He could go on to the Golden Slipper if he's happy but it would be a big effort for a two-year-old to race that many weeks in a row." Driver Rohan Hadley had War Dan Star travelling comfortably in the one-out-one-back position before he sent the gelding three-wide to make his challenge about 800m from home. War Dan Star ($9.12) then sustained a long run to score a comfortable five-metre win over Ideal Karalta and Maybe Jack. Peter Staples

Brady Woods emerged as the winner of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series when he partnered his charges to fourth place in the final two heats of the six-race harness racing series in Launceston on Sunday night. Woods entered the final round of heats on 45 points and leading by one from Taylor Ford but after she finished third in the fifth heat she held a one-point advantage going into the final heat in which she was aboard the favourite Diddley Bow. But Diddley Bow made a mistake early in the race and couldn't recover to finish well back while Woods guided rank outsider last Guy Standing ($101) but he managed to snag fourth place and earn enough points to be declared the winner. The 21-year-old from the Fingal Valley in central Tasmania, who drove two winners from the first four heats, was thrilled with the result and said harness racing was an integral part of his life. His father Scott Woods and the young driver's grandfather Robert Woods are both quality horsemen who have been his guiding lights so it was a natural progression for Brady to follow in their footsteps. Ford also drove two winners from the first four heats of which two each were held at Devonport and Hobart. Talented teenage driver Jack Laugher won the final two heats as a result of top drives aboard Karalta Kruise for Kent Rattray and the Todd Rattray-trained God Sake. Laugher finished third behind Woods and Ford. Peter Staples

Communication by Social Media has become an everyday occurrence for many people however Harness Racing participants are reminded that Social Media is not to be used to do any of the following. To publish or make comments detrimental to the harness racing industry or other participants or officials. To direct abuse or inappropriate comments about individuals or organisations that participate in the harness racing industry. To assume or use the identity of another licensed person or official in the harness racing industry. Publish any information relating to harness racing which is confidential in nature or is part of an ongoing inquiry or investigation. Make any comment or post that could be considered abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, discriminatory, bullying, defamatory or disrespectful to a person or body in the harness racing industry. Participants are advised that use of Social Media in the above manner could see them in breach of AHRR 231- Misconduct, AHRR 243- behave in a manner prejudicial or detrimental to the industry. AHRR 248 and 249 also specifically deal with publishing material for an improper purpose relating to harness racing. Adrian Crowther Chairman of Stewards – Harness Racing.

Harness racing trainer Ben Yole is just one win away from notching 100 winners for the season following his four-win haul over the weekend. Yole prepared one winner in Devonport last Friday night courtesy of Making My Mark scoring another impressive victory at only his second start in the state. In Hobart Yole prepared Flash Anatomy to dead-heat for first with his younger brother Mark's horse Black Ops in a C1 over 2090 metres but his next two successes on the nine-race program were clear cut. Ebonyallstarzzz made an overdue return to the winner's circle with a narrow win over Christian Jazz in a C2-C3 and Yole capped the weekend when his four-year-old Regal Major scored an effortless win in a C1 event over 2090 metres. Yole won his first trainer's premiership last season with 108 winners but given his strike rate he is likely to surpass that this season. Todd Rattray is a clear second on the trainer's premiership table with 55 winners that is already his best ever haul with Shelley Barnes and Deborah Williams sharing third spot with 20 wins apiece making it an interesting encounter for the leading female trainer title. Natalee Emery has the leading female driver title wrapped up with 23 wins to be 13 clear of Samantha Freeman. Peter Staples

The battle for this season's state driver's premiership is hotting up with only three wins separating brothers Gareth and Todd Rattray with 10 harness racing meetings remaining. Gareth is chasing his 11th title while Todd is trying to win his first. Heading into last Friday night's meeting in Devonport Gareth held a five-win advantage over his younger brother but Todd's four-win haul doubled Gareth's take to reduce the margin to only three. Todd partnered the Ben Yole-trained Making My Mark to a comfortable win in Devonport on Friday night but it was in Hobart that he excelled. In Hobart he snared a driving treble but he trained four winners on the nine-race card while Gareth partnered Flash Anatomy to a dead-heat for first and he ended the night with a win aboard Regal Major. In Hobart Todd scored aboard his promising two-year-old filly Inwil in a 2C0 over 1609 metres in which she started the $2.60 favourite. Wins aboard Taurisi in a C4-C5 and Roger Ramjet in a C6-C10 over 2019m came courtesy of top drives and his training quartet was delivered by Brady Woods who partnered Rattray's four-year-old Gods Sake to victory in a heat of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Driver's series. "I suppose the driver's premiership looks interesting but to be honest I don't take too much notice," Todd Rattray said. "Of course it would be nice to win the premiership because Gareth's won a heap but at the end of the day I'm more interested in how my horses perform each race than anything else." "I was very pleased with Taurisi's win because it was probably the best he's gone because he's had to face the breeze but he slipped away from them on the corner and went on to win well. "Roger Ramjet also won well but he's been a bit on and off this time in and I'd like to see him put two good runs together." Gareth has notched 75 wins to lead Todd (72) with Rohan Hillier next best with 62 and seven clear of Ricky Duggan. Peter Staples

Tasmania said goodbye to Beautide last month when the dual Inter Dominion winner bowed out through injury but at Menangle yesterday a new harness racing star emerged who could one day emulate the feats of the retired champion. The Todd Rattray-trained Ignatius ($3) powered his way to am emphatic win in the Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge final over 1609 metres defeating a star-studded line-up and he did in record time. Ignatius came off the back of the leaders in the home straight and unleashed a scintillating turn of foot to run down the favourite Sicario to record a winning mile rate of 1.51.3 that set an Australasian record. It was the trainer's first Group 1 win and one that he will never forget. "It hasn't sunk in yet but I'm sure it will in a day or so," Todd Rattray said. "We knew this colt had plenty of ability but you never know for sure until they get amongst the very best and today he showed us that he is special. "He had a good run in the race and James (Rattray) did a great job to put him in the right spot and when he let down in the straight he was explosive. "To win in record time is a bonus and now we have to consider where we go with him. "The Breeders Crown series is a possibility but we'll see how he pulls up from this run and make some decisions in the coming week." Ignatius is owned and raced by the trainer's life partner Lyrae Graham who picked the colt from a group of weanlings that were roaming a paddock at the Rattray family property at Longford. Ignatius had his first start at the end of April for a win in Hobart and he won his next two that included the Sweepstakes final before heading to Sydney for a heat of the Breeders Challenge in which he finished a game third. The colt didn't travel well to Sydney which contributed to his loss in a heat but he recovered quickly and that was reflected in his Breeders Challenge semi-final win. Ignatius' record stands at five wins and a third from six starts for stake earnings of $110,000. Peter Staples

Veteran harness racing trainer Paul Hill reaffirmed his status as the king of the kids when he snared the feature two-year-old double at Luxbet Park Hobart in Tasmania last night. Hill prepared star filly Ideal Bliss to win his third consecutive Group 3 Evicus Stakes final and his handy colt Feelin Dusty led throughout to give Hill his second Dandy Patch from the past three editions. "I've been very fortunate to have had some very talented young horses in my care in recent years and I'm hoping this isn't the end of my good run," Hill said. "Ideal Bliss is a very good filly and I have no doubt she will develop into a very good three-year-old." "I also have a decent opinion of Feelin Dusty and when he drew gate two I rated him a top chance of winning even though the raps were big on Todd Rattray's horse (Izaha). "When Ricky (Duggan) was able to lead and not spend too much early on Feelin Dusty I was confident my horse would be very hard to beat and that's how it panned out." Ideal Bliss, owned and bred by Charlie and Connie Beadman, was sent out the $1.40 favourite despite drawing the inside of the second row. However, her driver Rohan Hillier snagged her out the back at the start to ensure he could find a spot in the one-out line while Inwil ($8) showed good speed to lead. Hillier sent Ideal Bliss  (American Ideal-Blissfull Grace) around the field at the bell and when he moved alongside the leader at the top of the home straight she forged clear but had to pull out all stops to fend off Inwil that made a late charge with Jeanette Barry a close-up third. Feelin Dusty ($2.30fav) showed brilliantly gate speed to easily hold the front in the Dandy Patch while Run Wick ($11) faced the breeze with Izaha ($2.40) on its back enjoying the one-out-one-back position. But a lap out and unhappy with the modest tempo Rattray sent Izaha up to face the breeze and put some pressure on the leader and they singled out to fight out the finish. Feelin Dusty responded when Duggan called on the gelded son Mr Feelgood for the big effort and he went on to score by over 10 metres from Izaha with Pezzamystic over 15 metres away third. Peter Staples

Harness racing three-year-old pacer Johns Legacy delivered his best effort this season to break his maiden status in the Carlton Draught Stakes in Launceston last Sunday night. With talented young driver Jack Laugher in the cart Johns Legacy was able to lead but the driver cleverly opted to take a trail when the race favourite Williamtell ($2.50) scooted around the field to attack for the lead. Williamtell sped clear turning for home but when Laugher eased Johns Legacy ($16) out to challenge the gelding powered home to score by two metres from Chenin Valley that also sprouted wings in the straight with the favourite third. Johns Legacy's trainer Cleone Hill was thrilled with the result and praised the effort of Tasmania's leading junior driver. "That was a top drive from Jack (Laugher)," Hill said. Johns Legacy is a special horse to Hill as he was the last foal bred by her late father John Jetson. "He is a very special horse for us as he was the very first foal born after Dad (John Jetson) passed away. "My son Scott named him Johns Legacy, which was the perfect fit," Hill said. Jetson was a very successful owner-breeder. He owned popular sire JR Mint and he part-owned the highly rated sire Time Stands Still. Hill prepares a small team and operates an agistment farm on her late father's property Jetsonville Park situated on the North-East Coast near Scottsdale. Johns Legacy is expected to have his next start in Launceston on Sunday week. Peter Staples

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