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Since the resumption of racing on 14 June following the COVID-19 enforced shutdown one stable that has had his team of horses going to the best of their ability is that of veteran trainer Geoff Smith. In recent years Smith moved from his previous residence at Forth and bought a 40-acre property at Northdown up on the north-west coast which enabled him to put his own 900-metre training track in place. “It has been one of the best things I have ever done as it enabled me to have more horses in work but it was a lot easier for me than most as I have my own excavation business,” said Geoff Smith who’s All-Site excavations business has been running for over 35 years. Smith had no aspirations of ever being involved in the harness racing game until 2003 when a few mates around the north-west coast began to get involved. One mate in particular, Maurice Jarman who is well known up around that area as a trainer and farrier was a key influence. “I was out at his property one day doing a bit of work and he happened to be working a few horses and he sings out Smithy come over and have a go at driving one. With a bit of hesitation, I jumped on with Maurice and I bowled around the track a few laps with him and I thought how good that was,” Smith recalled. Around the time well-respected horseman Leigh Plunkett had a few broodmares that he was looking to let go and Smith was convinced to pick one up after a visit to his stud. “Leigh talked me into taking an unraced Ticket to Heaven mare called Paiges Dream. We then negotiated a good deal on a service to Leigh’s stallion Times Stand Still.” In December 2005 the mare produced a beautiful strong colt, but it was a day of mixed emotions for Smith as on the same day he lost his best mate of 30 years David Waldon. “It was a very tough time for all, and I was trying to think of something that would keep his memory going so I decided to name the horse Dodgermemate,” Smith said about his mate who had the nickname dodger. Dodger was a great horse winning 20 races over several seasons and reaching open company in Tasmania. He raced against the best and beat them with his two big wins coming in 2010, the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup and two weeks later he took out the City of Devonport Quality. When he finished racing, he had amassed over $150,000 in prizemoney. At the 2007 yearling sales Smith was the successful bidder for a Blissfull Hall gelding out of Noel Salter’s handy race and broodmare Really and Truly which delivered another above average performer. Truly Blissful won his first two starts driven by a young James Johnson and after that went on to win another 16 races. He held two track records in Launceston with his best performance being the 2015 Launceston Mile where he beat Tasmania and Easter Cup winner Motu Crusader, rating a slick 1:55.2 with the king of Burnie Craig Hayes in the gig. He later retired with $136,000 in prizemoney to his name. In the early days Smith also had a good association with Hobart based owner Gerald Norton, leasing a couple of handy horses off him called Tough Rock and Sparkling Glow. “Tough Rock was the one that got me going back at the start of it all winning 17 races. “He was just one tough pacer who would never give up with one of his best wins being the Cannonball Charge with Shelley Barnes in the gig,” said Smith on the pacer who’s first win came back in November 2002. Sparkling Glow was similar to Tough Rock, as tough as they come and a good stand start horse. That came to the fore when he won the 2005 Burnie Cup with Paul “Smiley” Hill in the gig. “It was a huge thrill to win my hometown Cup and a month later he also won the Carrick Cup,” Smith said. In 2006, Tough Rock and Sparkling Glow ran the quinella in a Devonport free-for-all which was a highlight for a simple hobby trainer taking on some of the best in the state. The quartet of Dodgermemate, Truly Blissful, Tough Rock and Sparkling Glow really instilled the racing bug into Geoff Smith and that’s why he is still in the game today. “Dodger is definitely still the favourite though, the story behind the name says it all but he also had amazing ability when right. He will be part of the family forever, looking out the window he still looks like a four-year-old the way he’s running around enjoying his retirement,” said Smith. In more recent years Smith hasn’t had anything like the horses already mentioned but he enjoys it as much as ever, and loves the challenge of getting a discarded horse and working them back into the winner’s circle. In recent times the likes of North Star Lad, Laid Back Kenny, Chris Be Quick, Mostly Spirit, Midair Meltdown and Devil of Tyne have all done just that. The stable nearly pulled off a big plunge recently when Lightning Scooter was backed from $101 into $26, only missing by a neck and was a little unlucky. Smith said everyone that helps out around the stables were on at the big odds. Smith says he is very lucky to have a good bunch of people that help out around his stables each day with the special element being that they all own horses that he trains so most of them actually drive their own horses in track work. “Shane Boon has been a big part of the stable for many years and it’s great to see him with a nice horse after a very serious fall going back a few years. He has the stable star in North Star Lad who has been racing very well in good company of late and a win is not far away. He also owns the consistent Midair Meltdown, with his wife Elaine who is also a big part of the team. “Eddie Murdoch is also a good help around the place and has been one of my lost loyal owners for many years. He loves coming out, giving a hand and jumping in the gig on trackwork days. “Ken Hall who bought Devil of Tyne is also a regular at the stables alongside his partner Linda who is always happy to do whatever is asked so it’s a great environment to work in,” the trainer said with a smile. Smith’s two oldest sons Graeme and Heath are integral in keeping his earthmoving business running smoothly when his commitments with the horses take him away. Between his business, the horses and a young family, there is plenty to keep the 73-year-old Geoff Smith on his toes. Smith is the type of trainer that the industry needs going forward as without the smaller trainers the future could look a lot different. The one thing that stands out when talking to Geoff Smith is that the passion for the game is still burning and his effort to sit fifth on the trainer’s Premiership table is an outstanding one with mostly tried horses.   Jamie Cockshutt for Tasracing

N late 2007 Broadmarsh trainer-driver Heath Woods walked away from harness racing instead deciding to concentrate on his young family. A few years ago, his son Aaron showed interest in racing and Heath didn’t need much temptation to get back into the industry that he loved and what an enjoyable ride back it has been. Since his first start back with The Shallows on 26 January 2019, Heath has had 28 starters for 11 wins and eight placings with his latest winner being with the impressive four-year-old gelding The Shallows in Hobart on Sunday night. Settling one-out and six-back in the early stages Heath was able to gain a three-wide and two-back cart into the race from the bell before having to peel out four and five wide on the home corner to score by 1.2 metres over the well supported Resurgent Storm with Frostyflyer third. The mile rate for 2090 metres was 2m 0.0s with the last half-mile leader to winner recorded in a slick 56.7, and trainer-driver Heath Woods was impressed with the win. “He went really good, we knew he was pretty fit, but as he hadn’t raced for five months, we knew he would need the run,” said the winning trainer-driver. “I just had a little query that drawn so bad he would have to do a bit of work, but luckily we got a bit of a cart into it, he pulled up pretty well and no doubt he will take benefit from the run,” added Woods. “When he got to them on straightening up he just knocked off a little bit, so I had to keep him going up the straight,” explained Woods who said that he hadn’t looked too far ahead with the pacer who has now won 10 of his 21 starts to date. Pipers River trainer Marc Butler believes any pre-race media interviews are detrimental to his horses chances, but followers of Tasracing’s From the Stables Podcast would have been cashed up last night when the trainer increased his excellent strike rate. Butler was represented by four runners on the Hobart card across three races, and he won them all. Bettabrown Tiger was first-up for the Butler stable, and the gelded son of Betterthancheddar raced up to his terrific form on the Hobart track, winning his fifth race at the venue from seven starts and he has been runner-up at his other two starts on the track. Peaceful Thomas was well-graded when winning race seven, all the gelded son had to do was bring his racing manners after disappointing punters by galloping in his three starts prior. He was the 100th career win for reinsman Conor Crook. The victory of Armchair Drive in the trotters event rounded out Butler’s treble. One of Butler’s former pacers Full Speed Ahead was the winner of last night’s fast class event. The gelded son of Art Major was claimed by a client for the Zeke Slater stable after his last start third in Hobart on 24 July. From outside of the front row on Sunday he was able to ping straight to the early lead in the standing start event. Full Speed Ahead was rated a treat in front by last season’s leading driver Mark Yole, to lead all the way and score by 4.2 over Ryley Major and Sea Double Ugrant. The race favourite Scooterwillrev finished fifth. The mile rate for the 2090-metre trip was 1m 59.1s, just 0.4s outside the track record which is held by Resurgent Spirit who won off a 30-metre handicap in October 2016.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

We come off another big weekend of harness racing in Tasmania. Eight races were held in Hobart on Friday where War Chest flew around the Hobart track to win a rating 60 to 74 event in 1m 56.4s. The action then turned to Launceston on Sunday night where Blackbird Power recorded his second win of the week while two pacers won on debut on the eight-race card. There is only one meeting in the state this week, and it is a bumper 10-race card in Hobart on Sunday night. The Stars Blackbird Power – had two starts for the weekend for two wins. The gelded son of Mach Three had to survive a protest when winning in Hobart before defeating Scooterwillrev in Launceston. The pacer won both races by a short half head. Kivik – caused the biggest upset of the weekend when scoring on debut at odds of $91 in Launceston. The gelded son of Courage Under Fire was well rated in front by Ben Parker. Franko Joe – was another pacer to lead all the way and score on debut in Launceston. The pacer continued an excellent run for trainer Marc Butler. Taylor Ford – registered a training and driving double in Launceston. She scored in the mares rating 55 to 69 event with Belligerence before The Thug proved too good for his rivals later in the night. Tisu Spirit – the Tim Maine-trained gelded son of American Ideal continued his excellent form since resuming from the COVID-19 break when the pacer came from back in the field to win in 1m 58.3s on Sunday. Since the shutdown the pacer has won two races and placed on two further occasions from five starts. Ben Yole – extended his lead on the top of the state trainers’ premiership with a double on Sunday. My Celebrity led all the way to score in good time before Guys Bettor Bet came with a well-timed run when leading home a Yole-trained trifecta later in the night. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening  Zeke Slater – training double; Capitallee and Blackbird Power, Sam Gangell – driving double; Capitallee and Blackbird Power. Launceston – Sunday evening Ben Yole – training treble; My Celebrity and Guys Bettor Bet, Taylor Ford – training and driving double; Belligerence and The Thug. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening  Lockaway Kacie 56.83s, Resurgent Storm 56.97s, Monarkmac 57.21s, Blackbird Power 57.33s and Debt Till We Part 57.38s. Launceston – Sunday evening Buster William 55.06s, Scooterwilllrev 55.07s, Sea Double Ugrant 55.47s, Blackbird Power 55.69s and Murry 55.86s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hit’s: Tellmax Nikita $4.40 into $3.90, Delightful Junie $3.10 into $2.25, War Chest $21 into $9.00 and Stepping Stones $6.50 into $5.50. Defied The Drift: Capitallee $3.80 out to $4.40, Forever Ours $3.20 out to $4.60 and Perfect Mach $12 out to $17. Missed: Sacramento Sun $7.00 into $5.50, Hyde Park $31 into $19, Kiavino Stride $11 into $6.50, Kardesler $2.60 into $2.25 and Sign Of Oro $2.20 into $1.75. Launceston – Sunday evening Hit’s: Franko Joe $2.30 into $1.65, My Celebrity $19 into $5.00, Guys Bettor Bet $41 into $21 and The Thug $3.60 into $2.70. Defied The Drift: Tisu Spirit $5.00 out to $6.00. Missed: Heza Sport $7.00 into $4.60, Indiana Dreming $26 into $18, Feel The Burn $3.60 into $3.20, Salvator Mundi $6.50 into $4.20, Scooterwilllrev $4.00 into $2.70, Ozzie Major $14 into $9.50, Always A Stride $20 into $9.50,Victoria Pass $7.50 into $4.80 and Lightning Scooter $101 into $31. Trial File Hobart – Friday evening The Rodney Ashwood-trained and driven two-year-old Four Starzzz Shark gelding Hughie Playboy was able to slot in behind the leader, before gaining an inside run at the 350-metre mark to score by a half neck over the stablemate and leader Ninefortwentythree with Whey Better using the sprint lane to finish a further 1.6 metres away third in 2m 3.9s. Trainer Ben Woodsford prepared the quinella in the trial with Metro Star defeating Hashtag Finally. Metro Star raced behind the leader before sweeping to the lead at the 350-metre mark to score by 1.4 metres from Hashtag Finally with the remaining two rivals a further 19.9 metes away in 2m 1.6s. Launceston – Sunday afternoon Tisu Skye, a three-year-old filly by Courage Under Fire sat behind the leader before working one off at the top of the home straight to score by a head over the early leader Jimmy Mischief 2m 2.2s Peaceful Thomas has done a bit wrong in his last three starts which have seen him sent back to the trials in recent weeks, and the winner of five races from 15 starts did everything right when coming from last at the 800m to win his trial in 1m 59.0s by 5.1 metres. Shelby Bromac is a past Tasmania Cup winner and was well graded a in standing start trial where he flew away from his 20-metre handicap to lead after the first 70 metres, recording a mile rate from his handicap for the 1680 metres in 2m 2.1s. Bullapark Beno was the sole runner in the education trial who trotted the 1680-metre trial in a mile rate of 2m 11.9s. Trial Replays You can view most trials since the resuming from the COVID-19 break by clicking here. FORMPLUS Black Booker Estelle She was first-up since 29 March, and went into Sunday’s race in Launceston without a lead-up trial. From a wide draw driver Charlie Castles restrained the three-year-old filly back to last in the 2200-metre event before gaining a three-wide cart up over the final 1100 metres. With the leaders running a 62.6 first half it was going to be hard for her to make ground given she had to go out four and five wide for the final 400 metres and she hit the line strongly to run the leader down to 1.2 metres with her own last half mile recorded in a slick 56.67s. Not a FORMPLUS Alerts customer? JOIN HERE Week Ahead Ryley Major and Scooterwillrev recommence their on-track rivalry in Hobart on Sunday night in the Hobart Signwriters Pace. Their last clash was in the 2019 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup where Scootwerwillrev and Ryley Major finished second and third respectively behind Franco Tristian. To say a lot of water has gone under the bridge since that effort would be an understatement. Scootwerwillrev has had a Sydney campaign where he scored one win while Riley Major has dominated the local scene including scoring in the Group 2 Tasmania Cup in March. Both horses go into Sundays race second-up from a break, and both go into the race finishing second at their first-up assignments. Scooterwillrev starts off the front-row in the 2090-metre standing start race on Sunday and given his excellent standing start manners it looks to be a big advantage over Ryley Major who has a 30-metre handicap to contend with, plus being the sole backmarker will have to pass his 10 remaining rivals in the event. It all depends on how the two horses have come through their first-up performance and we will find out at 19:07 on Sunday. The first of 10 races commences at 17:20, with the meeting to be shown on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Bendigo (Metro meeting) – Saturday night  Race 1 Horse 9 Streitkid, Menangle – Saturday night  Race 1 Horse 7 Harjeet, Race 6 (Group 2) Horse 1 No Apachemee and Horse 7 Ignatius.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Six-year-old gelding Scooterwillrev returns to racing in Launceston on Sunday night when he lines up in the first leg of the quaddie, the Jubilee Bakery Stakes. The winner of 25 races hasn’t been seen since 16 November when finishing second last at Menangle, New South Wales’ home of harness racing. Scooterwilllrev won one of his 14 starts during that campaign before returning back to his original trainer Craig Hayes. Hayes had the pacer set to go for a heat of the Easter Cup in early April, but that race meeting was abandoned days prior due to the suspension of Tasmanian racing due to the COVID-19 break. “When he returned from New South Wales he had a break and his first preparation I didn’t think I was going to get him back, we sort of worked on him with a few different things and he is going pretty good now,” explained trainer Craig Hayes ahead of tonight’s event. “I have always said if I didn’t think he was going good enough to win races I wouldn’t be taking him back to the track,” explained the Stowport based trainer. With a national rating of 84, Hayes has several options to miss some of the state’s best pacers over the coming months. Tonight’s event is a rating 70 to 90 event over 2200 metres, the same distance that Scooterwillrev holds a track record of 1m 56.6s that he set just over two years ago on 22 July 2018 and Hayes is happy with the pacers progress for his first-up assignment. “He is fairly forward, but he should improve on whatever he does,” he said. “I think he is working along quite good, but you never know till you get there. He hasn’t won much for a while so whether he still has the desire to be there we will find out tonight,” added Hayes who has booked the services of Gareth Rattray for Sunday’s event. His main rivals according to the early markets are Friday night Hobart winner Blackbird Power ($3.30), with Dapper Dana ($3.80), Sea Double Ugrant and Salvator Mundi (both at $6.50). The Hayes stable is also represented at the meeting by three-year-old filly Brookwillrock, who like her stablemate is first-up from a break in the second event, the Elderslie Horse Care Three Year Old. The Burnie winner from three starts ago was placed at her next two outings against the older horses, the most recent effort was in Burnie on 20 March, but the inside of the second row draw Sunday is of concern to Hayes. “It is easier (coming back to her own age), but the draw doesn’t suit her at all as she does like to dictate a little bit,” said Hayes who will also take the reins. “She is pretty forward, I don’t think she will improve a lot on what she does tonight, it’s just a matter of if she gets the right run into it or not, she is not a horse that sits and sprints that well, she likes to roll along,” Hayes explained. Sunday’s eight event card commences at 17:08 and will be shown on TasracingTV and Sky Racing 1. Several trials will be held prior to the meeting.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Longford reinsman Todd Rattray notched up a milestone win in the sulky in Hobart last night, when he scored in the Carlton Draught Pace aboard Delightful Junie who he also trains. It was win number 650 for Rattray who had his first race drive on September 24, 2006, in Launceston. Delightful Junie, a seven-year-old mare by Jr Mint had only won three of 36 starts before last night’s win, but she was second-up in the care of Rattray after her former trainer and owner Shaun Kennedy transferred the horse to Rattray’s Longford stables. “Shaun was having trouble juggling his few horses and Uni and wanted some help, at the time we had a few horses in work and knocked him back but a few weeks after there was room for her and he was delighted with the win,” said Rattray. From barrier three Rattray positioned the mare one-out and one-back in the 2090 metre event before peeling three-wide at the 700-metre mark. “She slid in alright at the start and had a good run, I probably went a bit hard down the back, but she wanted to run, so I let her, she still had the earplugs in at the finish,” said Rattray. It is rare to see a two-year-old defeat the older and more experienced horses, but with the new national rating system that seems to be slightly changing nationally. The latest winner to add to that list is the Heath Woods trained and driven filly Stepping Stones who scored in the Rexel North Hobart Pace for horses with a national rating of 30 to 49 over 1609 metres. Instead of heading to a two-year-old maiden event in Launceston worth just under double the prize-money on Sunday, Woods elected to stay a bit closer to home. “We knew we would draw well in the first two or three over the mile, plus she isn’t a good traveller so we thought we would keep her down here with the same routine,” said the Broadmarsh based trainer. From barrier one, Woods positioned the filly behind the leader before using the sprint lane in the home straight to record the filly’s first win in a time of 1m 59.8s. “It worked out really good, she travelled well all the way, down the back and around the turn I thought she was in with a strong show as long as we got to the sprint lane,” Woods said. “She has always had a bit of ability but has always done a few little things wrong and she is still learning to race,” he added. The filly was a $4,500 purchase from last years Carrick Park Yearling Sale, and being Tasbred, connections were able to take home there $10,000 first win Tasbred bonus. Stepping Stones wasn’t the only pacer to break their maiden on the card with the Ivan Belbin trained Telmax Nikita scoring in the opening race.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Campania trainer Ivan Belbin is hoping that four-year-old gelding Telmax Nikita can break his maiden status when he lines up in the opening race in Hobart on Friday, the Nutrein Ag Sprint Lane Pace. The gelded son of Tell All has registered five placings to date with four of those coming in the pacers four starts back since the COVID-19 shutdown. “He is going really good; he is just starting to grow into himself. He is such a big horse so we didn’t do a lot with him early, he has had a few problems and he has been a bugger to train I tell you, but he is starting to go good now and earn us a bit of money,” explains trainer Ivan Belbin. Telmax Nikita finished third in Launceston last start where he did plenty of work to hold the lead in some quick early sections before handing up at the 1100-metre mark. “When they took him on early it took a bit out of him. Rohan (Hillier) was happy with him, he just got beat in a photo finish for second,” said the Campania based trainer who is happy with the way the pacer has come through the run. “He’s real good, he is better than ever,” he said. Belbin elected to not start the pacer as a two-year-old, instead, he decided to give the now four-year-old time to develop. “He was just like a big kid early on, he was looking around and wasn’t racing properly but now he is, I think he will be better next year as a five-year-old.” Tonight’s event is for horses that are aged four-years and older with prizemoney earnings of $15,000 or less over 2090 metres. “He has drawn bad in the middle tonight, but he still should go good,” said Belbin about the only pacer he has in work at present. Rohan Hillier who is four wins away from registering his 50th win in the sulky for the season has been booked for the drive again tonight. “Up in Launceston last start Rohan was pleased with him and he was keen to know when he was in next as he wanted to stick with him,” Belbin said. Telmax Nikita is also owned and bred by Ivan along with his wife Judy and is the second foal to race out of La Nikita who won 13 races, the bulk of those victories coming when purchased by the Belbin’s in early 2005. Punters have installed the Samantha Gangell-trained and driven Navua Pixie as the favourite for tonight’s event, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven was placed in Launceston last time out behind Sermac but does have an outside of the second-row draw to overcome. Friday’s eight-race Hobart card commences at 17:04 and will be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It was a tough night for punters in Launceston on Sunday night where four of the 10 winners started at double-figure odds on the program that was conducted on a rain-affected track. On Monday Tasracing announced the 12 drivers that will compete in the upcoming BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series in Launceston late this month. This week we race in Hobart on Friday night before heading back to Launceston on Sunday evening. The Stars Call Me Hector – caused an upset win in the Elders Insurance Free for All in Launceston on Sunday night. The Matthew Cooper-trained and driven pacer led all the way where he was able to record some slow early sections. Hector was able to outsprint his rivals that included Ryley Major in a fast last half-mile on a rain-affected track. Shady Story – demolished his rivals in the Crown Lager Three-Year-Old. From inside of the second-row driver Ricky Duggan was able to get the Craig Van Dongen-trained pacer straight off the inside before racing outside of the leader for the final 1100 metres. Despite the mid-race work just after a torrential downpour, the gelding sprinted away late to score by 18.8 metres. Debt Till We Part – registered back-to-back wins in the Ladbrokes Pace. Trainer-driver Paul Williams came from a long way back on the five-year-old Santastics Pan gelding to score at odds of $12. Debt Till We Part is building up a handy record this season winning two races and being runner-up on three occasions from eight starts. Albayzin – on a night of upset winners, the Ray Pullen-trained pacer was the roughest of the night, although the official SP was $51, the gelding did start as much as $71 with some corporates. The gelding mapped very well to have a cheap run on the back of the race favourite, and that’s exactly what happened with reinsman Paul Ashwood getting the pacer into the clear at the top of the home straight to score. Frankie Barker – is lucky to be alive, let alone winning races after almost dying as a foal. But the connections that had persisted with the four-year-old daughter of Alta Christiano were rewarded on Sunday when the mare broke through for her first win at start four with concession reinsman Ben Woodsford taking the drive for Brighton trainer Taylor Ford. Multiple Winners Launceston – Sunday evening Ricky Duggan – driving double; Shady Story and Wattabout Spangher. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Launceston – Sunday evening Illegal Immigrant 56.14s, Ryley Major 56.36s, Lockaway Kacie 56.59s. Outside of race seven; Kardesler 56.98s, Jeans Mattjesty 57.16s and Laid Back Kenny 57.25s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Sunday evening Hit’s: Shady Story $3.70 into $3.30 and Armchair Drive $3.20 into $2.10. Defied The Drift: Stormy Sanz $3.20 out to $4.80, Debt Till We Part $9.00 out to $12, Albayzin $15 out to $51, Wattabout Spangher $13 out to $26, Call Me Hector $7.50 out to $19, Laid Back Kenny $5.00 out to $9.00 and Frankie Barker $3.50 out to $4.80. Missed: Kristal $31 into $8.50, Gauci $5.00 into $3.40, Christian Jaz $6.00 into $3.60, My Ultimate Romeo $5.00 into $3.80, Cracker Jacks Judge $2.70 into $2.10, Jakes A Joy $18 into $8.50, Kardesler $4.20 out to $2.80, My Celebrity $31 into $10 and Cinocal Jamane $8.00 into $6.00. Trial File Launceston – Sunday afternoon Two trials were held prior to the race meeting in strong wind conditions. The first was a rating 50 to 69 standing start event over 1680 metres. It was won by the Conor Crook-trained and driven Stormont Star, who settled at the tail end of the field before racing outside the leader for the final lap from his 10-metre handicap. The gelded son of For A Reason scored by a neck over Resurgent Storm and Aunty Bessy in a mile rate of 2m 1.7s, just one second outside of the 1680-metre standing start track record that is held by Koolaz Elvis. The second trial was a rating 35 to 52 event where Spot Eight went straight to the early lead and proved too good for his rivals, scoring by 48.1 metres over Jimmy De Panda with Alkatraz, the first of the unraced horses to finish, a further 9.6 metres away third in 2m 2.3s. Trial Replays You can view most trials since 1 May by clicking here. FORMPLUS Black Booker Kardesler He wasn’t hard to find when finishing fifth in race six on Sunday in Launceston. Punters were keen to jump on the six-year-old entire ($4.20 into $2.80) in the standing start event given some handy performances from poor barrier draws in three starts in the state and what looked to be an impressive standing start record. He unfortunately galloped away and lost a lot of ground early to end up one-out and five-back after the completion of a lap before recording the quickest last half mile of the race in 56.98s on a rain-affected track, with several horses from the open class race of the night only running a faster last half mile than him. You can make your own black book by logging into in the top right-hand corner and follow the prompts to Formplus alerts, or follow myself as a Code Specialist. Week Ahead The Tasmanian Trotting Club stages an eight-race card on Friday night starting at 17:04. The last race of the night is a rating 75 to 84 event over 2090 metres where Blackbird Power returns from a short let up. The pacer was good in two runs back from the COVID shutdown before being well defeated in his last two outings. His main dangers include Jaccka Len who is first-up since 29 March, Chasing Cheetahs, Finn Mac Kee and Reign Of Pain. The Hobart card will be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV. Sunday in Launceston sees eight races set down for decision. Race five on the night is a strong 70 to 79 event where we see the return of Scooterwillrev. The Craig Hayes-trained pacer hasn’t been seen since finishing ninth at Menangle on 16 November, which was the conclusion of a 14-start campaign in the care of Paul Fitzpatrick. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is now back in the care of his original trainer Craig Hayes, and the pacer was ready to go in a heat of the Easter Cup earlier this year, but unfortunately Tasmanian racing was suspended just a few days prior due to COVID-19. The race will be no easy task with many winning chances including Dapper Dana, Sea Double Ugrant, Salvator Mundi and Blackbird Power, just to name a few. Race one is set down for 17:08 and will be shown on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Shepparton – Saturday night  Race 6 Horse 11 El Jays Mystery. Menangle – Saturday night  Race 3 Horse 8 Harjeet, Race 6 Horse 2 Ignatius, Race 8 Horse 8 No Apachemee.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Tasracing has announced the 12 drivers for the 2020 BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series. As was the case last season, the four-race series will be held in Launceston on Friday night, 21 August, and as the name suggest the series is restricted to Tasmanian licensed Claiming Novice Drivers. Competing in this year's series: Conor Crook - who is a past winner of the series scoring back in 2018. The News South Wales born driver now calls Tasmania home where he has made an impact on the local racing scene, and he currently sits in fourth spot on this seasons state drivers title. Crook is closing in on his 100th career win in the sulky, and he currently has 96 victories to his credit. Samantha Gangell - was last seasons leading female driver in Tasmania. So far this season she has driven 16 winners but has registered 55 placings. Gangell has recently taken out her trainers license and her first win as a trainer in Burnie on 15 March with Navua Pixie. Hannah Van Dongen - finished in tenth position on the states drivers premiership last season with 24 wins and 38 placings and the Carrick based driver has already started the 2019-2020 season well with 22 winners which sees her sit at the top of the Female Drivers Premiership. Taylor Ford - has registered 85 career winners in the sulky and she has been driving in terrific form since racing returned from the COVID shutdown, driving eight winners including a treble in Hobart on 19 June. She also prepares a small team of horses at Brighton with 12 training wins to her credit. Lachlan Dakin - had his first race drive in March 2018 before driving his first winner in August that year aboard Goggo Gee Gee. Dakin drove six winners last season, and he is set to pass that total this season. Troy McDonald - is a former Victorian driver who now calls Tasmania home. McDonald is the most successful driver in the series with 115 winners to his credit, 35 of those coming this season. Some of his feature wins this season include the Art Meeker Memorial Matron Stakes in Hobart aboard El Jays Mystery, the Dash For Cash in Devonport with Gotta Good Reason and the Eric Reece Memorial with Capitallee. Ben Woodsford - hails from New Zealand and had been gathering experience in Australia from several leading stables before finding his way to Tasmania last year. Woodsford had his first race drive at Menangle in May 2016 aboard Big Bang Penny who gave him his first winner at Newcastle in August 2016. He has driven a total of 47-wins through his career. Charlie Castles - is continuing a strong family tradition into the industry and is the sole north-west coast based competitor in this year's series. Castles spent many weeks over the festive period with former Tasmanian trainer-driver James Rattray at his New South Wales base where Castles was able to drive Joogle to victory at Canberra plus multiple placings on the metropolitan and provincial circuit. Andrew Freeman - drove his first win aboard Hez The One in April last year. So far this season he has driven two winners from limited opportunities. His biggest success to date was on the Heath Woods trained The Shallows in a heat of the Youngbloods Challenge late last year. Sam Clotworthy - is the newest driver to the states driving ranks, having his first race drive in mid-June. The New Zealand born reinsman has worked for a number of the countries leading thoroughbred trainers including Gai Waterhouse, Clinton McDonald and Anthony Cummings. The 24-year-old drove Nancys Baby to victory at $41 in Hobart on 26 June which is his only win in the sulky today, but it certainly won’t be his last. Georgia Hayward - The Scottsdale reinswoman drove her first winner at odds of $101 when It Is A Glacier scored in Launceston in early February. She has gained valuable experience through trainer Kent Rattray, and she has also spent many months in the past working for dual Inter Dominion winning trainer James Rattray at his New South Wales stables. Malcom Jones - is another participant continuing a strong family tradition. Jones spent a lot of his early childhood on King Island before moving to mainland Tasmania when his parents returned home. Jones drove his first winner aboard Mi Ju Dan on King Island earlier this year. An emergency for the series will be confirmed by Tasracing in due course. The series was first held in 2012, with BOTRA sponsoring the series every year since its inception. Previous winners of the series include; 2019 - Matthew Cooper, 2018 - Conor Crook, 2017 - Brady Woods, 2016 - Adrian Collins, 2015 - Lyarna Graham and Tim Yole, 2014 - Samantha Freeman and Tim Yole, 2013 - Braden Howlett, 2012 - Craig Hayes. *All figures correct as at 20/07/20.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Two weeks ago Brighton based trainer-driver Adrian Duggan was involved in a nasty race fall in Launceston, and on Sunday he was back in the winner’s circle at the same venue when Wattabout Spangher ($26) scored in the Tassie Wash Pace. Adrian’s brother Ricky took the reins on the five-year-old gelding who began well to settle outside the leader in the 2200-metre standing start event. The Stonebridge Regal gelding was in for the fight in the home straight late with Tisu Spirit (second) and Prosecution Witness (third) all pulling away from their remaining rivals. Adrian, who was discharged from hospital on Monday, wasn’t trackside for the win, instead being restricted to the recliner at home resting his leg where he received multiple fractures from the fall, was delighted with the win. “Ricky got him away well to sit outside the leader and keep him out of trouble in the run,” said Adrian. “Sitting here with Amanda (Adrian’s wife) I was hoping that they bowled along, so those that missed the start didn’t tack on,” explained the trainer. Wattabout Spangher moves to a rating of 64 with the trainer looking ahead to some country cups over the festive period. “If we can keep him stepping away like he is, then some of the country cups will be good options for him,” said Adrian. “He is a good sit and sprint horse, but he had to do a bit of work tonight which was good to see as well,” added the trainer. Duggan acknowledged the work of several people that have helped his stable out in recent weeks saying that “they all know who they are.” There are no certainties in racing and punters learned that the hard way when Ryley Major was defeated as a $1.22 favourite in the Elders Insurance Launceston Free For All. It was the Matthew Cooper-trained and driven Call Me Hector leading all the way to score at $19. Many expected Cooper to lead and bowl along, well he did lead but instead Cooper put the brakes on running a slow 47.1s lead time before running quarters of 31.9s, 30.2s, 29.0s and 27.7s for a slow mile rate of 2m 1.4s on a rain-affected track. “I know he has a 56s last half-mile in him, and I thought if I could slow them down early, they would find it hard to catch him,” explained trainer-driver Matthew Cooper after the win. “It worked out well tonight when I looked across and seen that we ran a 31.9s first quarter that things were looking pretty good here when you run along you make it easy for those backmarkers to get into the race,” added the Oatlands based horseman.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It is hard to believe that three-year-old filly Missin Rock hadn’t won a race in 10 starts this season until Sunday night’s victory in Hobart. The daughter of Pet Rock had registered five placings for the season including a second in the Three-Year-Old Fillies Championship and the Group 3 Tasmanian Oaks. On Sunday the Eric Jacobson-trained pacer was sent out as the $1.75 favourite in the Tasmanian Equine Veterinary Services Pace, and the filly didn’t let favourite punters down leading all the way to score by 3.5-metres over Shady Story with Gauci a further 12.5-metres away third in a mile rate of 2m 1.6s for the 2090-metre trip. “She had a good run behind Watchmylips last start and was hitting the line well, and I thought she would go close tonight,” said Eric Jacobson after the race. The filly has been noted to pull in her races but relaxed well in front for her driver Troy McDonald. “Troy got off her tonight and said she was like a professional tonight,” said the winning trainer. “She has got a bit of gate speed, and that gets her out of trouble, that’s what I like about her,” added Jacobson who has taken a step back from the large number of horses that he once trained. The filly takes another four rating points with the win which is going to cause some headaches for Jacobson. “She is rated 58 now, and it is going to be very hard to place her,” he said. One race on the radar is the Group 2 Bandbox with the heats of that race scheduled for 1 November in Launceston. “I will probably give her one more start and see what happens and worry about those big races as they come,” the trainer said. Ricky Duggan was the standout driver of the Hobart card with a treble. He drove the Paul Hill-trained Rocknroll Nitro to victory in the two-year-old event, before driving Still Hungover and Full Speed Ahead to success. The win of Full Speed Ahead capped off a massive weekend for trainer Marc Butler who also put the polish on Raymonds Judge who scored earlier in the night to give the trainer four winners for the weekend. Taylor Ford is another in-form driver, and she scored with Big Bang Raj, who she also trains, in the third event. Jocund scored in a rating 52 to 54 event for trainer-driver Todd Rattray, which continued a good weekend for the Rattray family after the win of Ignatius at Menangle on Saturday night. While Paul Williams was back in the winners stall with Debt Till We Part who scored his first win since February 2018 in the Nutrien Ag Supplies Sprint Lane Pace.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

We received an unfortunate reminder of how dangerous the sport can be after a nasty fall in the first attempt of the third race in Launceston on Sunday night. Driver Adrian Duggan remains in the Launceston General Hospital with further surgery required to his ankle. The Stars Cool Water Paddy – bounced back into the winners list in Launceston on Sunday night with a 2.9-metre win in a rating 70 to 79 event in a slick last half mile. Illegal Immigrant – was well driven to victory once again by his trainer Troy Hillier when the gelded son of American Ideal defeated a handy field in the Great Northern Super Crisp Discretionary over 2200 metres when starting from a 20-metre handicap. Agouda Ruler – continued on his winning way when he scored in the Tassie Wash two-year-old. The John Castles-trained pacer was first-up from a break and didn’t have a trial under his belt but was still able to get the job done courtesy of a confident drive by Gareth Rattray. Kosimo – owner-trainer Mark Jones elected to send the Major Bronski gelding to Victoria during the COVID shutdown of Tasmanian racing where the mission paid off with a victory in Bendigo in late May. The pacer has been placed in two starts back in Tasmania before scoring on Sunday. Resurgent Storm – broke the $100,000 mark in prizemoney when he scored his 11th career win in Hobart on Friday with Rodney Ashwood taking the drive for trainer, owner and breeder Roger Whitmore. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening No participants recorded multiple wins. Launceston – Sunday evening Rohan Hillier – driving double; Kosimo and Emjays Black Chip. Troy McDonald – driving double; Altana Blue and Brian Who. Ben Yole – training double; Altana Blue and Brian Who. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening Ozzie Major 57.56s, Guys Bettor Bet 57.78s, Monarkmac 57.85s, Capitallee 57.92s and Lord Stark 57.93s. Launceston – Sunday evening Lip Reader 55.18s, Reign Of Pain 55.50s, Cool Water Paddy 55.59s, Buster William 55.63s and Courageous Katee 55.69s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hit’s: Capitallee $1.55 into $1.40, Lord Stark $6.50 into $5.50 and Resurgent Storm $5.50 into $4.80. Defied The Drift: One Yankee Ginga $4.40 out to $4.80 and Black Ops $2.90 out to $3.30. Missed: My Ultimate Romeo $4.40 into $4.00, Karalta Kruise $21 into $17, Royal Reactor $14 into $7.00 and Wandary Muscat $4.20 into $3.50 and Sign Of Oro $17 into $9.50. Launceston – Sunday evening Hit’s: Agouda Ruler $2.50 into $1.90, Kosimo $1.65 into $1.22, Altana Blue $10 into $7.00, Illegal Immigrant $5.50 into $4.80 and Brian Who $6.00 into $5.50. Defied The Drift: Southern Gnp $8.50 into $6.50, Ideal Karalta $3.90 into $3.20 and Betterbsweet $6.00 out to $6.50. Missed: Hillbilly Band $7.00 into $5.00, Black Centurian $6.50 into $4.60, Island Rocknroll $7.00 into $5.00, War Chest $12 into $4.60, and Salvator Mundi $5.50 into $4.40. Trial File Hobart – Friday afternoon As we have seen in recent weeks, there has been a significant national rating range in trials where the highest rated horses have dominated and again that was the case in Hobart on Friday where Go In Style scored. The former Victorian trained mare has joined the Tony Petersen stable, and she scored by 11.3 metres in Friday’s trial under a stronghold by Ricky Duggan. The time for the mile trip was 2m 2.5s. Launceston – Sunday afternoon Three trials were staged prior to Sunday’s meeting. Jimmy Mischief had to win the education trial, she was the only starter and recorded a mile rate of 2m 7.0s. Im Full Tilt led all the way to score in the second trial by 5.6-metres in 1m 58.7s. A half-neck separated the first three placegetters in trial three which was won by Mighty Spark, who led all the way in 2m 5.3s. Trial Replays You can view all trials since the resumption of the COVID shutdown by clicking here. Week Ahead Launceston is the venue for Friday night racing with a seven-event card on Sky Racing 2. Race six, the Tassie Wash Pace sees a strong field go around over 2200 metres. Smart three-year-old Colby Sanz has drawn barrier five and will be chasing back-to-back wins on the track. The pacer can expect strong opposition from Buster William and Taurisi who have second row draws. The meeting commences at 17:55. The Tasmanian Trotting Club Pace for the two-year-olds is the first of eight races in Hobart on Sunday night. Trainer Paul Hill has a terrific strike rate with juvenile pacers, and the record is set to continue with Rocknroll Nitro drawing the pole position for the 1609 metre event, and the pacer looks the one to beat after his last-start second. While speaking of the Tasmanian Trotting Club, their syndication initiative of getting new owners into the industry had something to celebrate on Monday when Beau Garcon scored a 23.3-metre win at Shepparton. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Melton – Saturday night  Both Lip Reader and El Jays Mystery were engaged to compete at this meeting which has since been abandoned due to the current COVID – 19 situation in the metropolitan area of Victoria. Another meeting at metropolitan level meeting will be held in Bendigo on Saturday night with fields for this meeting to be released later this afternoon. Menangle – Saturday night Race 2 Horse 6 No Apachemee. Race 3 Horse 3 Timely Sovereign and Horse 9 Ignatius.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

A horrific three-horse fall during the first attempt of the Lee’s Orchard Pace marred the eight-race card in Launceston on Sunday night. Canbe Doc driven by Conor Crook galloped soon after the start and fell with Rockandhardplace driven by John Walters and Major Davvin who was driven by Adrian Duggan, all falling and losing their drivers. The race was called off straight after the incident. Drivers Conor Crook and Adrian Duggan laid on the track and were attended to by Medical Edge and Tasmanian Ambulance staff before being taken to the Launceston General Hospital. Adrian Duggan was unconscious for several minutes and he underwent surgery last night on a compound fracture to his ankle and is awaiting further scans. Duggan was a late call up to drive the pacer after regular driver and the pacers trainer Steve Davis was attending to another horse on his property. Conor Crook, who was also unconscious for several minutes, remains in hospital for observation and is in good spirits. Driver John Walters was originally passed clear to fulfil his four remaining driving commitments. In the early hours of Monday morning however, he admitted himself into the Launceston General Hospital and has since been discharged with ligament damage. Both Canbe Doc and Rockandahardplace escaped serious injury. While Major Davvin was transported to the Longford Equine Clinic and operated on, trainer Steven Davis said that the pacer is expected to make a full recovery and he was very appreciative of the work conducted by the vets involved. Canbe Doc has been stood down from racing for 28 days and will have to complete four consecutive satisfactory trials before being eligible to race again. The race was rerun 70-minutes later with the three horses involved in the fall declared late scratchings with the Michael Laugher-trained Emjays Black Chip registering his first win in 13-months. It was a night for short price favourites with three horses winning at red figures. Agouda Ruler was a strong winner of the two-year-old event scoring at $1.90. It was the Betterthancheddar geldings fourth career win at start six. Kosimo was sent out the $1.22 favourite in the Longford Equine Clinic Pace, and the Mark Jones-trained pacer didn’t let favourite punters down scoring by 4.1 metres. The last short price favourite to score was Cool Water Paddy who bounced back to the winners list at odds of $1.75.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Star pacer Ryley Major was back on track Sunday afternoon when he scored a soft trial win in Launceston. This season's Tasmania Cup winner was privately clocked running his last half mile in 55.4s. Trainer Kent Rattray and driver John Walters dominated last weekend's action in Hobart on Friday and Launceston on Sunday. The same venues race in the same time slots again this week. The Stars Kent Rattray and John Walters– teamed up for an enjoyable weekend, the duo landed a double in Launceston with Stormy Sanz and Colby Sanz. They also partnered for a winner in Hobart on Friday with Karalta Moondance. Walters drove a double on the Hobart card scoring aboard Wandary Muscat, who is trained by Rattray’s stable foreman Wes Targett. Star Chamber– the free-for-all in Launceston on Sunday was always going to be a tactical affair when a field of five faced the starter. Veteran pacer Star Chamber was able to register his 24th career win, and the win was courtesy of a handy drive early by the in-form Taylor Ford who got the pacer away quickly to race on the back of the leader before making her move at the 400-metre mark. Tisu Spirit– after a handy third in Hobart when first-up from a spell was able to win second-up in Launceston on Sunday, the Tim Maine-trained pacer was back in the winner's circle when he scored his eighth career win. And what a tough victory it was with the American Ideal gelding forced to race three-wide for the final 1100-metres. Sam Clotworthy– the New Zealander landed his first winner in the sulky with an all the way win on Nancys Baby in Hobart. Clotworthy started his interest in racing working for Auckland trainer Brent Mangos before crossing the Tasman to work for some of the country's best thoroughbred trainers. Tim Yole– the hard-working stable foreman for the Ben Yole stable doesn’t drive much these days, but he drove his first winner for almost two years when he out drove his brother Mark on My Celebrity in Hobart. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening Ben Yole - training treble; Nancys Baby, My Celebrity and Tarleton Riley. Taylor Ford - driving double; Big Bang Raj, Sea Double Ugrant. John Walters - driving double; Karalta Moondance and Wandary Muscat. Launceston – Sunday evening Kent Rattray- driving double; Stormy Sanz and Colby Sanz. John Walters- driving double; Stormy Sanz and Colby Sanz. Conor Crook- driving double; Frostyflyer and North Star Lad. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening Due to a sectional timing error at the 800 metres, races one, two and six have been excluded. Sea Double Ugrant 57.02s, Lockaway Kacie 57.39s, Tarleton Riley 57.58s, Metro Digby 57.71s and My Celebrity 57.77s. Launceston – Sunday evening Kardesler 56.79s, Star Chamber 56.90s, Illegal Immigrant 56.92s, Krafty Boy 56.92s and Giftofjoy 57.24s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hits: My Celebrity $12 into $10, Tarleton Riley $11 into $7.50, Stormont Star $2.90 into $2.60, Karalta Moondance $8.00 into $6.50, Wandary Muscut $7.50 into $7.00, Defied The Drift: Nancys Baby $31 out to $41, Big Bang Raj $5.00 out to $5.50, Missed: Castor Troy $9.00 out to $6.00, Black Ops $20 into $10, Stylish Trend $4.40 into $3.80, Brian Who $19 into $9.00, Lockaway Kacie $4.20 into $3.70, Debt Till We Part $4.80 into $3.80 and Burningupthefloor $10 into $7.50. Launceston – Sunday evening Hits: Stormy Sanz $12 into $7.50, North Star Lad $4.80 into $3.50, Defied The Drift:Capitallee $2.00 out to $3.20, Colby Sanz $5.00 out to $8.00, Tisu Spirit $3.30 out to $3.90 and Raymonds Judge $2.70 out to $3.00. Missed:De Marco Beach $5.00 into $3.80, Incongnito $101 into $26, Gordievsky Leis $31 into $17, Class Tells $10 into $4.60, Salvator Mundi $2.50 into $2.10, Spoilt Sport $4.60 into $3.60, Brian Who $5.50 into $4.80, Stylish Trend $9.00 into $7.50 and Mostly Spirit $3.20 into $2.70. Trial File Launceston - Sunday afternoon As mentioned earlier star pacer Ryley Major handled his rating 64 to 120 trial with ease when he scored by three metres over Art Frenzy and Tuxedo Max in 1m 57.5s. The Ben Yole-trained Machitelli led all the way to win her rating 43 to 59 trial in 1m 59.5s, the only other trial at the session to break two minutes. Other winners included Jimmy Mischief (No time taken due to timing system error) and Shady Story (2m 1.0s). Trial Replays You can view two of the four trials from Sunday by clicking here. Week Ahead Hobart once again is the venue for Friday night racing. The action kicks off with a standing start race for the trotters where Armchair Drive will be out to remain undefeated in three Tasmanian starts, the most recent victory was on 19 June. The gelding is one of two runners in the race-prepared by Marc Butler who also puts the polish on One Yankee Ginga. The meeting will be televised on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV with the first race set down for 17:49. We then head up the Midlands Highway for Sunday night racing in Launceston. There are many races to look forward to on the Launceston card including a competitive Discretionary handicap which is race five on the night. Devonport Cup winner Illegal Immigrant faces the 20-metre back mark, while the only other two handicap runners being in-form runners Blackbird Power and Sea Double Ugrant who both share the 10-metre row. The meeting will be shown on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV with the first race starting at 17:04 and concludes with Cool Water Paddy going around in the final race of the night at 20:50. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include: Melton - Saturday night Race 1 Horse 11 - Blingittothemax. Race 2 Horse 2 - Bootleg Bert. Race 6 Horse 5 - Streitkid. Menangle - Saturday night Race 7 Horse 5 - No Apachemee.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Trainer Kent Rattray, driver John Walters and owner-breeders Nathan and Sandra Bennett, and broodmare Soho Summer had a night out in Launceston on Sunday when they teamed up for a double on the nine-race card. It was one of the coldest race nights held in the state for some time with the mercury ranging between -1 °C and 2 °C during the entire race meeting. Stormy Sanz was their first winner of the night when the gelded son of Betterthancheddar broke his maiden status in the Bevan Lee’s Butchery Two Year Old over 1680 metres. Reinsman John Walters settled the pacer one-out and one-back before flying home over the final 100 metres to score over Lancelot by 1.5 metres with Written In Silk some 12.8 metres away third. At his most recent start, Stormy Sanz looked like he was going to be in the finish on 21 June before being checked on the home corner. “John (Walters) told me last week that he would have run second in that race,” said trainer Kent Rattray after the win, but there were also some gear changes made after that effort. “We whipped his front shoes off and put the spreaders on, I had tried to steer clear of them, but I ended up having to go with them, explained Rattray who also believes there is more improvement to come with the gelding who recorded a 1m 59.8s mile rate with last night’s victory. “I think he will improve in leaps and bounds when he gains more confidence.” Rattray will try to pick up another win with the gelding before aiming at some of the features later in the year. “We will try and pick another two-year-old up and then aim him at the classics,” he said. Due to COVID-19 restriction placed on various states in recent months, Harness Racing Australia recently announced that the current racing season had been extended until 31 December. As a result, this will likely see Stormy Sanz contest the Dandy Patch in Hobart which will now be held in the October/November period. “He is in a lucky season where we have some time before the Sires Stakes, and if it were to be held now we wouldn’t be ready,” said the winning trainer who did acknowledge the quality of two-year-old’s in the state this season. Rattray and Walters teamed up later in the night to score with three-year-old gelding Colby Sanz who led all the way to win race six. Walters was keen to find the lead on the Tasmanian Guineas winner which resulted in the race favourite Giftofjoy being positioned on his back from the pole draw. The favourite did get out late and ran Colby Sanz down to a half neck margin in 2m 0.5s. Colby Sanz did win last season’s Dandy Patch Final in Hobart and will be aimed at the Globe Derby stakes later in the season. The last horse to achieve the Dandy Patch – Globe Derby double was Colsta in 2003 and 2004. Both Stormy Sanz and Colby Sanz are out of the Western Ideal mare Soho Summer, who is also the dam of Sunny Sanz. Soho Summer was purchased by Nathan and Sandra Bennett at an interstate auction with the view of strengthening their breeding lines. Before last night’s race meeting Ryley Major went around in a rating 64 to 120 trial over 1680 metres where he won with ease. The gelded son of Art Major came from last of the four-horse field to win in a mile rate of 1m 57.5s with the pacer privately clocked running his last half mile in 55.4s. Trainer-driver Rohan Hillier indicated after the trial that this seasons Tasmania Cup winner would take a lot of benefit out of the hit out.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

New Zealand born driver Sam Clotworthy had a night that he will never forget in Hobart on Friday when the 24-year-old New Zealand reinsman landed his first win as a driver. Clotworthy partnered the Ben Yole trained Nancys Baby to victory in the Nutrein Ag Supplies Pace. “It was definitely exciting, I don’t get too carried away or anything, but I have already had a few drives and Ben has given me some great opportunities, and it certainly was a massive thrill,” said Clotworthy. “It was bound to come with the opportunities Ben and his owners have been giving me,” added the driver. Nancys Baby was sent out as a $41 chance, Clotworthy was able to angle the three-year-old Pet Rock filly behind the leader before easing to the outside at the top of the home straight where she sprinted away to score by 7.2 metres. The time for the mile trip was 1m 58.9s, a handy run for the rating 30 to 49 event. “She just travelled on the leader’s helmet all the way and never felt like dropping the bit, she did it easily when I pulled her out,’ said the reinsman who had been in the sulky for the filly’s last two starts. “Her first two runs back had been good, she should have run fourth in Hobart first-up, but I ran into a few dead ends in what was a hot three-year-old field, and then in Launceston last week I just had no luck again drawn out in seven,” said the New Zealander. Clotworthy’s interest in racing stems from trips to the gallops with his grandfather in New Zealand’s north island. “I was at school and wasn’t doing that flash, and I wanted to find something to do, we went to the trots one night and met a few blokes. I got offered a job with Brent Mangos and within 12 months I was driving in trials over there,” Clotworthy reminisced. Clotworthy ended up switching countries and codes where he worked for some of thoroughbred racing’s well know trainers. “I ended up moving to Melbourne, and I got a job working with Clinton McDonald before I got opportunities working for Gai Waterhouse and Anthony Cummings,” said Clotworthy who worked with horses of the highest level. “I kind of reached a limit with that, you could be helping them win group and listed races, and you only get a thank you and your wages at the end of the day,” explained the reinsman. Clotworthy did head back across the ditch and spent about six months at home before deciding to get back into the harness racing game. After chatting with a few mates, he decided to head to Tasmania and join the Ben Yole stable, but it wasn’t the start in Tasmania Clotworthy had planned. “I just made it when COVID-19 hit, I had to do two-weeks isolation at the Legana Holiday Park, and then after that, it was all guns blazing and I managed to get a lot of trial drives up,” Clotworthy said. The win of Nancys Baby was the first leg of a training treble for the Ben Yole stable. Tim Yole made a rare appearance in the sulky and showed his brother how it is done when he scored on My Celebrity while Troy McDonald partnered Tarelton Riley to victory later in the night to complete the treble. Taylor Ford continued her excellent run with a driving double, scoring with Big Bang Raj and Sea Double Ugrant. Conor Crook is another reinsman enjoying a good run of late and that continued with Stormont Star, who was the only favourite to win on the eight-race card. John Walters travelled down the Midland Highway for two drives and returned home with a double, winning the final two races on Karalta Moondance and Wandary Muscat.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Punters in recent weeks have been lining up trial form, first-up form, and this weekend they have another variable to consider for Friday’s Hobart harness card. Some southern-based trainers have reported that anywhere between 40mm to 150mm of rain has fallen on their properties during the week, which has forced them to adjust their training regimes. Friday night Pontville trainer Wayne Rainbird will take his stable of two to the track including three-year-old Nobeer Nomore who lines up in the final race of the night. The gelded son of Auckland Reactor has been placed in one of his five starts to date. That placing was in Hobart on 27 March when defeated 9.8 metres by the smart Victorian Dyslexic. At his most recent start on 14 June Nobeer Nomore chased home some of the best three-year-old’s in the state when fourth behind Watchmylips, Kohanah and Colby Sanz. On Friday night, Nobeer Nomore lines up in the final race of the night, a national rating 30 to 49 event for horses with lifetime earnings of less than $25,000, a significant drop in class on his recent efforts. After going around at $101 and $61 his last two starts, bookmakers are keeping the pacer safe Friday, opening him up as the $5.00 second favourite behind Sermac and trainer Wayne Rainbird is going into the race with confidence. “I think he will go very close,” said Rainbird Nobeer Nomore hasn’t been driven to lead in his five starts to date, but the trainer believes the pacer has the early speed to lead. “I think if Smiley gave him a flick with the stick, he would be able to lead them out,” the trainer said. Rainbird was full of praise for Hill’s brother Kerry who has spent a bit of time working on the pacer. “Kerry Hill re-educated him for me, and he does help me fast work them at New Norfolk, and he said to me that he was surprised how quick he is,” explained Rainbird. Whatever Nobeer Nomore does this season the trainer expects him to improve on. “Next season when he is a bit older and a bit stronger, he will probably go a long way I hope,” said the trainer. Hyde Park in the opening race is the other runner from the Rainbird stable to compete Friday, and the trainer had his doubt’s early on in the pacer’s career if he would make it to the track. “Kent Rattray broke him in, and when I got him, we didn’t think he was going to make the grade at all early on,” Rainbird said. The four-year-old gelding has only had two starts and he ran an improved race last start on 19 June when fifth behind Betterthanfetta. Hyde Park looked gone at the 600-metre mark, but the pacer battled on well to only be defeated 6.7-metres. “I was very pleased with him. He showed me what I thought he had,” added the trainer. Friday night’s meeting commences at 17:28 and will be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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