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Former Kiwi pacer Shelby Bromac turned around a disappointing heat run to win the $75,000 Tasmania Cup harness racing final in Hobart on Saturday night. Now trained in Victoria by David Aiken, Shelby Bromac was confidently driven by junior reinswoman Kima Frenning to land a decisive victory over War Dan and Star Chamber. The two favourites, Sicario and Scooterwillrev, both missed the start and took virtually no part in the race while co-backmarker Harjeet faded after a torrid run. Shelby Bromac had been unbeaten in Australia until he missed a place in his Tasmania Cup heat in a performance that Frenning said left connections "scratching our heads." "We made a few gear changes and, because he didn't pace great last week, I drove him aggressively tonight to find the fence," she said. Frenning went forward three wide early to find the death and rolled to the lead with 1-1/2 laps to go. Shelby Bromac looked to control the race from then on but War Dan closed strongly late to get within 1.7m on the line, with Star Chamber 6m further back after another gallant run. ............................................................. VICTORIAN favourite Enchanted Stride sat in the death to win the $30,000 Tasmanian Oaks - but only just. The David Miles-trained and driven filly took until the last stride to run down local Spoilt Sport whose driver Alex Ashwood tried to pinch the race coming off the back straight. "The second horse went super but my filly was great because the race wasn't run to suit her style," Miles said. "It's not her go not to have a helmet in front of her." ...................................................... OATLANDS trainer-driver Matthew Cooper was overjoyed after his class mare Call Her Julie outstayed her rivals in the $20,000 George Johnson. "This is my biggest thrill in harness racing," said Cooper who also owns the seven-year-old. Call Her Julie settled near the rear but sustained a strong three wide run over the last lap to score by 4m. .................................................... DEVONPORT-owned Max Delight gave trainer David Aiken a feature double when he made a one-act affair of the $30,000 Tasmanian Derby as $1.04 favourite. By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner  

It's Tasmanian harness racing's biggest day and no-one faces a bigger task than Todd Rattray and his star pacer Harjeet. But the Longford trainer-driver says his backmarker can win the Group 11, $75,000 Tasmania Cup in Hobart on Saturday night "if he gets the right run." Harjeet will start off 30m, alongside former winner Star Chamber, and will be giving a start to some quality rivals headed by Victorian-trained Sicario and Tasmanian arch-rival Scooterwillrev. "Obviously he's got to get through the field but if he gets the right run I can't see him being out of it," Rattray said. The trainer was well satisfied with Harjeet's second behind Scooterwillrev in his heat because early interference cost him valuable ground. He wasn't knocked around when it became obvious he couldn't catch the leader and Rattray said the horse "had a fair bit left at the finish." He had a fair bit left at the finish (of his heat) Trainer Todd Rattray The standing-start holds no fears for Harjeet who has won four of his six starts from behind the tapes and never missed a place. "He always begins safely, sometimes quicker than others, and he's getting better with every run so I reckon he'll be right," Rattray said. The trainer rates Sicario as his biggest danger. "I think he's just a real good horse but there are plenty of others that also have a chance," he said. The race will determine future plans for Harjeet. "If he wins, he becomes an M4 horse so that would probably make the Easter Cup too hard," Rattray said. "He'd probably have to go to NSW or somewhere like that." Harjeet was quoted at $10 for the final before the heats but is now $6.50 in Sportsbet's latest market. Victorian-trained horses hold favouritism for the three main support races. Max Delight, owned in Tasmania, is an unbackable $1.04 for the $30,000 Tasmanian Derby and Enchanted Stride has firmed from $2.40 to $2.25 for the $30,000 Tasmanian Oaks. Western Debt ($3.50 to $3.80) holds favouritism for the $20,000 George Johnson but local Resurgent Dream ($7 to $4.80) has been heavily backed to beat her. Although the Hobart meeting takes centre stage, there is also plenty of interest at Mowbray on Sunday night with the return of Rohan Hillier-trained stars Ryley Major and Dufrense. Ryley Major won his last nine starts in Tasmania before a long layoff. By Greg Mansfield' Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

Bendigo - trained pacer Resurgent Spirit’s Tasmania Cup heat win on Sunday night might have been considered an upset by many, but for his harness racing driver Alex Ashwood, the strong performance had been coming. “He did a great job. He had a good run and hit the line well,” said Ashwood of the former star youngster’s win at odds of $41. “I’m happy with how he’s recovered – it looks like he’s somewhere back to his best. “I thought he was way over the odds at $41; I thought he might have been a $10 chance to be honest.” The impressive manner of the Kate Hargreaves-trained gelding’s win has Ashwood convinced there is no reason why they cannot repeat the feat in this Saturday night’s $75,000 Tasmania Cup final in Hobart. “He’s got a great chance …. He’s got a bit of an awkward draw in barrier 12, but saying that I think the race is going to be to suit,” he said. ”There will be even more speed this week, so that will bring him right into the race.” “I feel he’s approaching peak fitness.” It’s a homecoming for both Ashwood, 24, who left Tasmania at age 17 to follow his harness racing dream, and Resurgent Spirit, who enjoyed a run of 13 straight wins at the start of his career in Hobart as a two and three-year-old. His heat win boosted the now eight-year-old record on the Hobart track to 21 wins from 30 starts.  Alex Ashwood at he and partner Kate Hargreaves' Shelbourne property. Picture: DARREN HOWE   “I try and get back once or twice a year for a couple of good races,” said Ashwood. “With the horse coming from Tassie and the owners being down here, it’s been a good result and a good reason to come home.” Formerly trained by his breeder and owner Roger Whitmore, Resurgent Spirit was transferred to his new trainer 18 months ago and is now prepared by Hargreaves and Ashwood at their Shelbourne property. Ashwood delivered full praise to Hargreaves, who combines harness racing duties with role as a teacher at Kennington Primary School, for a wonderful training performance. “She’s stuck at home working the rest of the team, while I’m down here in Tassie. In saying that she wouldn’t be able to do that without John and Timmy Mannix, they’ve been a great help,” he said. “It’s been a real good few weeks for the stable – we can’t complain.” Saturday night’s drive will be Ashwood’s first in a Tasmania Cup final and will pit him against his father Rodney aboard the Dean Braun-trained War Dan, who was third behind Resurgent Spirit in Saturday’s heat. “I know dad is excited about that …. I think he wants to beat me home more than anything at the moment,” he said. It will be a busy evening at Elwick Park for Ashwood, who will also drive Resurgent Spirit’s sister Resurgent Dream for New Norfolk trainer Whitmore in the $20,000 George Johnson and also has two drives for his training father. By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advetiser

Victorian-trained pacers dominated the Tasmania Cup harness racing program in Hobart on Friday. Major Secret was too strong for his rivals in the Triple M Hobart Tasmania Cup giving his Ballarat-based trainer Emma Stewart her second win in the state’s premier race after winning it back in 2007 with Manwarra Goforgold. The state’s premier mares’ race, the Crown Lager George Johnson, also headed back to Ballarat when Milly Perez gave her trainer-driver Michael Stanley his second win in the race. This week harness racing heads back to the country circuits with harness racing at Carrick Park on Sunday, and racing on the grass at both St Marys and King Island on New Year’s Day. The Stars Sidney Van Den Brande – drove a brilliant race on Major Secret to win the state’s premier race, the Group 2 Triple M Hobart Tasmania Cup, on Friday evening. The Belgium-born driver who has worked in a number of countries including France, Sweden, Holland and Americas allowed Major Secret to settle midfield early before working around the field with two laps to travel to find the lead and from that point on he was never in doubt. Michael Stanley – another trainer-driver to cross Bass Straight and pitch another feature race in Tasmania with Milly Perez in the Crown Lager George Johnson. It was the first time that the Four Starzzz Shark mare had started since joining the Stanley Stable. Daryl Bates – hobby trainer who enjoyed success on the state’s premier night with Streetside Classic in the Tasmanian Labor Eric Reece Memorial Final. Charlie Castles – after having his first drive in Launceston on December 3, the Devonport teenager registered his first win in the sulky on boxing night with an all the way win on the Ben Yole trained Franco Hammond. Multiple winners Hobart – Friday Todd Rattray training and driving double; Taurisi and Harjeet Devonport – Tuesday Ben Yole training quartet; Miss Costalot, Four Smart Aces, Liv Lavish and Franco Hammond Rohan Hadley driving double; Paint The Wind and Liv Lavish Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from Friday’s action in Hobart. Major Secret 56.60, Queens Advocate 56.63, Illegal Immigrant 56.83, No Spring Secrets 56.91 and Ready To Fire 56.97. And from Tuesday’s action in Devonport. Washies Chance 57.96, Jeans Mattjesty 58.41, Liv Lavish 58.50, Dodgermemate 58.53 and Dellas Command 58.69. View all Tasmanian sectional data here Tasracing Official Price Hobart Hit: Harjeet $2.35 into $2.10 Defied the Drift: Streetside Classic $7 out to $10 Devonport Hit: Franco Hammond $2.70 into $2.40 Defied the Drift: Miss Costalot $4.60 out to $8.00 Black Booker Courageous Katee This Dick Eaves-trained pacer took on the best mares in the state when she tackled the George Johnson in Hobart on Friday. Driver Christian Salter positioned the daughter of Courage Under Fire four back along the peg line and elected to drive for luck when the short price favourite Milly Perez found the lead. Salter was able to work one position wider around the home corner before finding clear racing room halfway down the home straight where she hit the line well to finish in third position. Friday’s race was effectively a C1 – C13 assessed race that included a M7 performer, so Courageous Katee will appreciate dropping back to a C2 – C3 event at Carrick Park on Sunday. Watch Friday’s run here  Trial File Carrick Park on Saturday Six trials were staged at the ‘Country Place of Pace’ on Sunday morning with the Troy Hillier trained and driven Gotta Go Henry recording the quickest winning mile rate of the morning in 2:06.4 at his second trial in the state since being claimed from Victoria. The Gotta Go Collect gelding defeated Safari Rose by eight metres. Last season’s quickest two-year-old, Ignatius, stepped out for the first time this season when winning a 3C0 trial by eight metres over Bettabrown Tiger with Mister Last 25 metres away third in a mile rate of 2:10.7. Slow mile rates were the order of the morning with other winners on the session recording slow times including; Albayzin (2:12.2), Sunny Sanz (2:09.8), Stuckfast (2:14.9) and Good Feelings (2:08.6) Week Ahead Sunday twilight harness racing returns this week with a bumper 10-race program at Carrick Park. The club is getting right behind Destreos, who is chasing his 99th win with a lot of giveaways on track. There is also a colouring in competition and the opportunity for the general public to get up close and personal and get a photo of the Ken Rattray-trained pacer. The feature race on the program is the Maxfield Drilling Meander Valley Cup which has brought together a competitive field including Hafter who won at the track four starts ago and Rockin An Runnin who was defeated a neck in Hobart on Friday and was a winner the start prior, are both amongst the winning chances. The meeting will include a hosted live stream on commencing with a trackside preview at 15:12. The 10-race card will also be telecast across the channels of Sky Racing with races 1 to 3 and races 6 and 10 currently listed on Sky Racing 2 with races 4 & 5 currently listed for Sky Racing 1. The St Marys Pacing Club will stage their annual race meeting on New Years Day with an eight-race card. The feature race is the $12,000 Southern Cross Television St Marys Pacing Cup where the Rohan Hillier trained and driven Solid As A Rock will be looking for his fourth win in succession including a brilliant win in Hobart on Friday, while the Shelley Barnes trained Chief Destroyer will be hoping to go one placing better in the race after being defeated a half head in the 2017 edition of the race. There will be no off-track betting and no off-track broadcast of the St Marys meeting, meaning punters wanting to have a bet and anyone interested in watching or listening to the meeting will have to be trackside at the St Marys Paceway. Replays will be available after the race meeting at Also on New Year’s Day the King Island Racing Club will stage their premier day that features the running of the $3,500 King Island Pacing Cup. Trainer Peter Jakowenko has a two-pronged attack in the race with Lildudewifattitude and 2017 cup winner Another Cee Bee. By Duncan Dornauf

Victorian pacer Major Secret delivered everything expected of him to easily win the harness racing Group 2 $50,000 Tasmania Cup in Hobart on Friday night. Major Secret settled just beyond midfield his wide second-row draw but after travelling less than a lap his driver, international reinsman Sidney Van Den Brande, allowed the seven-year-old Art Major stallion more rein and he quickly rounded up the leaders and strolled to the front. When Van Den Brande gave the stallion one flick with the persuader he bounded clear and went on to score almost 19 metres from Roger Ramjet ($21) with No Spring Secrets ($34) over two metres away third and just in advance of Mister Lennox ($21). The Emma Stewart-trained stallion started the $1.22 favourite and many punters rated that a luxury price given what the gelding did to similar opposition at his previous start in Tasmania when an effortless winner of the City of Launceston Cup earlier this month. Stewart did not attend the meeting but Van Den Brande said Major Secret was bound for some of the better country cups at home in Victoria. "I have no doubt Emma (Stewart) has some big country cups in mind for the horse because he is very smart as he showed tonight," Van Den Brande said. "It was a very easy assignment for him tonight because once we rolled to the front he was never going to be seriously challenged." Major Secret covered the 2579 metres in 3m.11.4 for a mile rate of 1.59.4 but he ran home his last half (800m) in 56.6. Van Den Brande has been in Australia for 15 months and for the past six months he has been aligned to the Emma and Clayton Stewart stable The Belgium-born reinsman has driven in five countries but rates Australia the best. "I am very happy here and I have been given the opportunity to drive some very good horses and this one (Major Secret is the best." Peter Staples

One of the Classic nights of Harness Racing in Tasmania will be staged tonight in Hobart. It's Triple M Hobart $50,000 Tasmania Cup night, with the time-honoured $20,000 George Johnson Mares Feature also on the exciting eight-event card of racing. Major Secret is back for a tilt at completion of the City Of Launceston Cup - Tasmania Cup feature double for leading Victorian trainer Emma Stewart. Major Secret inflicted a demoralising defeat on its opposition in Launceston when driven by Chris Alford, the seven-year-old Art Major - Secret Life gelding waltzing in by 21.6-metres in an awesome display. Alford won't be making the trip to Hobart for tonight's feature, instead, the job has fallen to Belguim born 29-year-old Sidney Van Den Brande. Van de Brande has been working for Stewart and partner Clayton Tonkin after a short stint with David Aitken earlier this year and will be keen to repay the pair for the opportunity to experience the workings of one of the nation's leading training facilities. Former Tasmanian Derby winner Mr Lennox (pictured) is nearing top form, chasing home Destreos earlier in the month while the 2016 Easter Cup winner Riverboat Jasper returns to the state in a bid to capture another feature victory. The George Johnson Mares Feature has always attracted a class field and this year is no exception. Milly Perez, will be having her first start for the Mark Stanley yard and will run a short-priced favourite. The seven-year-old mare has competed against the top mares in the land, having recorded a 1:52.7 mile-rate, with the last of her 18 wins coming in the Mildura Cup in May. The Deborah Williams prepared Olwen Jaccka has won four of her last six races and along with the Matthew Dwyer prepared Queen's Advocate and Ima Ginger Rodgers from the stables of Steven Davis appear the leading Tasmanian hopes of upsetting the odds-on favourite. See tonight's harness racing action from Hobart, commencing at 18:40 via the live stream service at Shane Yates

The final meeting before this Friday night's Triple M Hobart Tasmania Cup was staged at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday afternoon. The nine-event program was dominated by the Hillier brothers with Rohan driving the four legs of the quaddie, with his brother Troy bringing home the dough with Illegal Immigrant (pictured) who was having his first start in the country. This week the Group 2 Triple M Hobart Tasmania Cup headlines a great night of racing at the Elwick Racing Centre in Hobart. Punters will be hoping to build a bank at the last race meeting before Christmas and a massive harness racing schedule across the festive season with harness racing at Devonport and King Island on December 26, Carrick Park on December 31, St. Marys and King Island on January 1 and Scottsdale on January 5 before heading back to Elwick for the Hobart Pacing Cup on January 7. The Stars Rohan Hillier – dominated the Launceston program by driving the four legs of the quaddie. He trained the injury plagued Dapper Dana to win in the discretionary handicap and Solid As A Rock to his second victory this month. The Beauty Point based horseman also drove Plata O Plomo and All Style Sammy to victory. Illegal Immigrant – former Kiwi pacer that has found his way to the Troy Hillier stable couldn't have been more impressive at his Australian debut winning by 9 metres. Similan Beach – remains undefeated after three life time starts. Sunday's win was the first start as a three-year-old for the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere who will be contesting some of the feature three-year-old races later in the season. Multiple winners King Island – Saturday Ian Johnson training double; Yankee Avenue and Optimus Bart Launceston – Sunday Rohan Hillier four wins as a driver; Plata O Plomo, Dapper Dana, Solid As A Rock and All Style Sammy. Also two wins as a trainer; Dapper Dana and Solid As A Rock. Shelley Barnes training double; Lead Singer and Moto Kenny. Jack Laugher driving double; Rainbow Phoenix and Moto Kenny. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Launceston on Sunday. Solid As A Rock 56.85, Invest 57.06, Destreos 57.22, Volkova Leis 57.26 and Bayridge Bill 57.25. View all Tasmanian sectional data here Tasracing Official Price Launceston Hit's: Rainbow Phoenix $31 into $18 and Dapper Dana $5 into $3.20 Defied the Drift: Solid As A Rock $3.20 out to $3 Missed: Followthewind (3rd) $6 into $4.80 Black Booker Goggo Gee Gee This Todd Rattray-trained pacer worked to find the spot outside the leader after 200 metres of the race. His driver Barrie Rattray then unsuccessfully had a look for the lead for the next 200 metres of the race. Despite facing the breeze for the final 1800 metres of the race, the gelded son of Bettors Delight whacked away well over the concluding stages and was just pipped for second placing in the shadows of the post. Watch the replay here  Trial File St. Marys on Saturday Trial results were unavailable at the time of publication. Luxbet Park Hobart on Monday Six trials were staged at the session where the Paul Hill-trained and driven colt Feelin Dusty returned to the track for the first time since winning the Group 3 Dandy Patch in June. On Monday evening Paul Hill took the Mr Feelgood colt to the lead to win the trial in a mile rate of 2 minutes 2.2 seconds which was clearly the quickest of the night. Devonport on Monday The Paul Ashwood-trained Krafty Boy recorded the quickest mile rate of the five trials that were staged at the Devonport Showgrounds. Driven by his trainer Paul Ashwood, Krafty Boy was able to lead all the way to win by four metres in a mile rate of 2:03.3. Krafty Boy was one of two Paul Ashwood trained winners at the session with Sultan Fella winning the standing start trial by one metre. Sultan Fella was handled in the trial by James Johnson who is returning to the industry after taking a break from the sport to concentrate on work commitments. Week Ahead The running of the Group 2 Triple M Hobart Tasmania Cup will be run at the Elwick Racing Centre in Hobart on Friday evening. Victorian trained pacer Major Secret has been installed as a short price favourite in early makets. The Emma Stewart trained entire defeated a similar class of field in the City of Launceston Cup earlier this month. The $20,000 Crown Larger George Johnson also looks like it will head back across Bass Straight when Milly Perez lines up in the states premier mares race. Milly Perez will be having her first start since joining the Michael Stanley stable. The Four Starzzz Shark mare is the winner of 18 races including a Group 1 win in 2015. Friday's eight event program will be telecast on Sky Racing 1 plus a hosted live stream coverage on commencing with a track side preview at 6:40pm. On Tuesday evening the Devonport Harness Racing Club will stage one of there popular race meetings with a nine event program. Also on Boxing Day the King Island Racing Club will stage two harness event on the duel code race meeting. The meeting is the final led up to the King Island Cup on January, 1, 2018. Duncan Dornauf

Victorian pacer Lets Elope joined a small but elite harness racing group when he powered his way to victory in the $40,000 Luxbet Tasmania Cup over 2579 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart yesterday. In winning the Group 3 event he became only the third horse in the history of the race to win in consecutive years with Motu Crusader (2012-13) and Tailamade Lombo (1998-99) the only others to have achieved the feat. It also was a double for Tasmanian-born driver Josh Duggan who delivered a brilliant tactical drive to secure victory. Five Star Anvil was the short-priced favourite ($1.40) and when driver Zac Phillips sent him straight to the front those who took the prohibitive odds would have been content while Major Callum ($31) faced the breeze with Pachacuti ($13) on his back and Lets Elope ($3.90) settled last. When Phillips allowed the favourite more rein leaving the back straight the last time the 10-year-old sped clear but Duggan had Lets Elope would up and chasing hard and Pachacuti looked a winning chance when he peeled three-wide to challenge. But when Duggan called on Lets Elope for the supreme effort the Brent Lilley-trained eight-year-old dug deep and had enough in reserve to score by two metres. "It was always going to be a race of tactics and thankfully ours (tactics) paid off," Duggan said. "It was a great thrill last year to win the race because it's my home town cup but to win it again is a bit special." Lilley said eight-year-old gelding by Real Desire had been racing well without luck in his home state and was quietly confident he had the gelding in top shape for the assignment. "We had him in a few races where he had to be driven for luck and often things didn't pan out but just prior to sending him down here to Tassie I was confident I had him in as good a condition as he's been in this prep," Lilley said. "He's been a very good horse for his owners because that his 24th win and he's been placed more than 30 times and he's won almost $500,000. "I sent the horse to Paul Ashwood who has been looking after him here in Tasmania so I think we'll leave him here for a month or so and let him go around in some of the nice free-for-alls coming up." Peter Staples

Talented Tasmanian-born reinsman Josh Duggan celebrated the biggest win of his career when he partnered Victorian pacer Lets Elope to an emphatic harness racing victory in the $40.000 UBET Tasmania Cup in Hobart yesterday. The Brent Lilley-trained gelding was given the run of the race by Duggan who had the seven-year-old settled just beyond midfield in the one-out line and poised to pounce when the leaders started to feel the pressure in the back straight the last time. Duggan eased his charge out four-wide to make his run 500 metres from home but he had the well-backed Star Chamber (Nathan Ford) breathing down his neck. But when Lets Elope hit the front Duggan called on the gelding for the supreme effort and he had delivered the goods to go on and hit the line seven metres clear of Star Chamber with outsider Outback Mach almost 109 metres away third. Duggan, 23, is the son of star Tasmanian reinsman Ricky Duggan and his wife Linda. Instead of staying in Tasmania to follow in his father's footsteps he opted to venture to Victoria six years ago to try and carve a career from the industry. "I wasn't going to come home for Christmas this year until Brett Lilley asked if I'd drive this horse here in Tassie for two starts," Duggan said. "He was second in Launceston last week but he had to do it tough and was beaten by Star Chamber but the roles were reversed today and it was our turn." "You hope to win a lot bigger races but it is really special to come home and win the state's biggest event at my first drive in the race." "When the others in front of us had done so much hard work I knew my horse would be hard to beat and that Star Chamber would be the only danger." "But in the home straight my horse was strong and finished it off like a good horse," he said. Duggan has worked for Chris and Alice Alford since he arrived in Victoria in 2009 and at the start of this season he outdrove his novice driver's claim. "I've been working for Chris and Alice (Alford) for six years now and without their support I wouldn't be where I am today in this industry," he said. Peter Staples

Last season's best pacer to race in Tasmania Star Chamber signaled he is on track to make it back-to-back harness racing Tasmania Cups when he stormed home to win the $20,000 City of Launceston Cup at the UBET Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. The Nathan Ford-trained and driven seven-year-old came from near last turning for home to get up in the last few strides to defeat Victorian-trained favourite Lets Elope with outsider Call The Marshall a fast-finishing third a metre away. It was a clear message that the gelding was back to near his best and would go into this Sunday's $40,000 Tasmania Cup at UBET Park Hobart at his peak. ''He's not 100 per cent tonight because he's had a light week,'' Ford said. ''I gave him a couple of days at the beach and didn't hopple him on Thursday because I didn't want him fully wound up." ''This race will really top him off and he'll be a lot sharper next week,'' he said. Ford tracked interstate invader Lets Elope all the way and proved too strong for that gelding that is prepared in Victoria by Bret Lilley and was driven by Tasmanian-born Josh Duggan who has been domiciled in Victoria for the past four years. The Tasmania Cup was one of many feature races won by Star Chamber last season which made him clearly the best-performed horse on Tasmanian tracks.   Peter Staples  

While the national harness racing spotlight remains focused on Tasmania's dual Inter Dominion winner Beautide another Tasmanian-owned and trained pacer named Star Chamber has been creating records and notching outstanding wins on the local front. Star Chamber has captured all three major cups run so far this season in Tasmania and should he emerge triumphant at his next assignment in the $40,000 Easter Cup he will create a modern day record that might never be repeated. The Nathan Ford - trained gelding won the $40,000 Tasmania Cup in December and followed up with an impressive win in the $20,000 Hobart pacing Cup and on Sunday night he snared the $25,000 Devonport pacing Cup over 3020 metres on the tight Devonport Showground circuit. Star Chamber had to start off a 30-metre handicap to win the Devonport Cup but he did it with authority to prove why he is rated the best pacer in Tasmania. On Sunday night Ford allowed the Our Sir Vancelot six-year-old to settle at the rear of the field before easing him out three-wide to get into the race about 1400 metres from home and he did so on the back of Truly Blissful. But when Ford realised that horse was going nowhere just under a lap from home he eased out four-wide to make his charge down the back stretch the last time. Star Chamber collared the leaders turning for home and went on to win easily. "This horse is a freak. To do what he has done this season is truly amazing," Ford said. "I know he is not in the same class as Beautide but Star Chamber must now be ranked at least the best horse racing in Tasmania," he said. Star Chamber was purchased by Ford about 16 months ago for $4000 from Neil Day in New South Wales and the horse came to Tasmania having won only one race and was rated a C1 class horse. On Sunday night Star Chamber notched his 12th career win and his 11th for Ford to take his career stake earnings to $110,000 with a class rating of C12-M3. "The horse has done an incredible job to win what he has in such a short space of time," Ford said. "We'll go to the Easter Cup and hopefully this time the horse will be handicapped according to his class rating so we should again be off 30 metres," he said. Star Chamber is owned by the trainer in partnership with his life partner Bianca Heenan and two of Ford's friends Jake Gillie and Josh Nelson. "It's great when you can race a horse with friends and get one that does unbelievable things and that's what we've got with Star Chamber." "He's only six and has no injury issues so realistically he should be able to keep doing this for another year or more," he said. Star Chamber's greatest assets are his ability to settle in his races and he possesses a scintillating turn of foot, something he has utilised to win all three of his major cups. Peter Staples  

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