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It was a night for the three-year-old pacers in Hobart on Sunday evening with Donny In Paris, The Shallows and Betterbsweet all recording handy victories across the nine-race card. Oatlands duo Steve Lukac and Matthew Cooper teamed up to win with Donny In Paris in the Hobart Signwriters Pace. Cooper drove a confident race from the 900-metre mark where he led up the three-wide line and proved to tough for Jocund in the home straight to win by 5.2-meters in a time of 1m 58.3s for the mile trip. Donny In Paris put up a brilliant performance when second to Betterbsweet last week, but the trainer did have one reservation going into the race. “My biggest worry going into the race was if he was going to back up after last weeks run which was a huge run, and with all due respect to the other runners, I thought the race was a drop-in class,” trainer Steve Lukac said. The gelding is sired by Rug Rat Donny, the winner of 15-races in Tasmania and was well handled by Matthew Cooper. “We will let the dust settle, he goes up four rating points after the win so we will have a look at what's coming up, his owner (Donald Hasell) lives down the Huon and they say they have a heap of good grass down there,” the winning trainer said when asked about the future plans of the pacer. Lukac only received the pacer after Paul Williams scaled back his team after a health issue, and Lukac was full of praise for the way the horse arrived in his care. “He arrived in really good order, we all know Paul Williams turns his horses out in magnificent order.” The Heath Woods trained and driven The Shallows was another handy winner earlier on in the card in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Pace. Woods had a ten-year break from the industry and recently returned to the sport when his son Aaron indicated he wouldn’t mind getting a horse, with The Shallows being the result. “We bought him off a classified advertisement, the owner sent us a photo of him standing in a paddock with a few sheep and he looked a reasonable type, he is nicely bred on his dams side so we thought we would take a punt,” trainer-driver Heath Woods said post-race. It was the second career win at his twelfth race track appearance for the gelded son of Shadyshark Hanover, he enjoyed a lovely one-out one-back trail before asking for the supreme effort at the top of the home straight where he ran away for a 16-metre win in a mile rate of 2m 0.0s. “It has just taken him a little while to learn how to race, he has shown bits and pieces of ability but hadn’t put it together in the one hit, I think this time in he feels more like he has learned the racing caper,” Woods explained Heath has two horses in his care with an unnamed two-year-old that he and his son Aaron purchased at the Carrick Yearling Sale earlier this year. Betterbsweet (photo) was another three-year-old to win on the card when she led all the way to win the Triple M Hobart Pace to record back-to-back victories. Gareth Rattray was able to lead from the pole draw and dictated affairs to defeat Boss Major and Heza Rummage. Ben and Mark Yole once again had a night out when they teamed up for a double with The Lemondrop Kid and Popnduke. Ricky Duggan also drove a double in the sulky with Peaceful Thomas winning first-up from a short spell while Inner Light returned to the winners stall after a narrow defeat last time out. The Paul Hill trained Whos Watching Now was an impressive winner of the two-year-old event courtesy of a copybook drive from Rohan Hillier. Sunday night’s Hobart card was the second last race meeting in the state for steward Roger Brown who will take up a role with Harness Racing Victoria later this month.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Pipers River trainer Marc Butler took four runners to Hobart on Sunday night, and he headed home with a training double. It didn’t take long for Butler to notch up his first win of the night when Vonns Angel opened her winning account in the Roberts Sprint Lane Maiden for two-year-olds. Sent out as the $1.35 favourite, Vonns Angel showed sufficient speed to settle behind the leader Shadow Macray who showed good gate speed to lead soon after the start. From there driver Ricky Duggan had to wait till the top of the home straight and used the sprint lane, where the daughter of Mach Three showed a good turn of foot to score by 5.1-meters in a time of 2m 4.0s for the mile trip. “Everything just worked out good, she had a good draw and followed the right horse that was always going to get her to the top of the sprint lane, once the sprint lane was available she was able to use her point to point speed,” trainer Marc Butler said about the win. Vonns Angel has now had seven starts with three placings to her credit in her first preparation and will now go for a spell. “She will go to the paddock now, with her prize money this season and her Tasbred bonus she has earned the connections $25,000 so that’s not a bad effort winning only one race,” the winning trainer added. An hour and a half later Butler was back in the winners stall with four-year-old mare Western Glory (pictured) who was too good for her rivals in the Cascade Draught Pace. Drawing outside of the second line in the 2090-metre event Duggan was able to take full advantage of a quick lead time early and being able to follow the right horses on the three-wide line over the final lap. “Everything just fell into place for her after they went hard early, she then just looked the winner from the 800-meter mark,” Butler said post-race. It was the third win of the season from only six tries for the well-bred daughter of Western Terror who is out of the Bettors Delight mare Keepers Delight. “She is not the best horse going around but if she has a bit of luck she is never far away, we will just keep going through the system and if she is good enough to go in some of the better mares races we will, if not we will find something easier,” the trainer said about the future plans. Western Glory scored by 6.6-metres and recorded a mile rate of 1m 59.8s for the 2090-metre distance. Bianca Heenan was the stand out trainer of the card with a training treble with Roosevelt, Betterbsweet and Trumps Golden Boy. Hennan who is a clear leader on the states female trainers title has now prepared 50 wins in Australia this season with 49 in Tasmania and one interstate victory with Star Chamber at Melton earlier this year. Ben Yole extended his lead on the states trainers premiership with a training double on the card with Artiflash and Popnduke, The fast class race of the night looked a match race between Harjeet and Ryley Major on paper and the two favourites didn't disappoint with Harjeet leading all the way to defeat Ryley Major by a half head in a mile rate of 1m 55.7s.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Corporate bookmaking firm Ladbrokes is to sponsor Tasmanian racing for at least the next three years. The lucrative package will include naming rights for the three major tracks and three major cups. From Thursday, the tracks will be re-branded Ladbrokes Racing Centre Mowbray, Ladbrokes Park Elwick and Ladbrokes All Weather Spreyton. All thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing clubs will be part of the new agreement. Tasracing chief executive Paul Eriksson said Tasracing and the clubs were excited about the new partnership. "Sponsorship revenue and the level of marketing support offered to clubs across all codes is set to increase significantly under this deal," he said. "The partnership also allows Tasracing to continue to broaden its promotion of Tasmanian racing to the national market thanks to Ladbrokes' extensive customer-base and marketing investment." Ladbrokes Australia CEO Jason Scott said Ladbrokes had developed a proud legacy of supporting the Australian racing industry and its participants. "The chance to partner with greyhounds, harness and thoroughbreds ... in the progressive Tasmanian market was simply too good to refuse," he said. "Like Ladbrokes, Tasracing and its clubs have displayed a desire to think outside the square and to innovate and we look forward to partnering with them on their quest for growth." The landmark deal further delivers on the Hodgman Majority Liberal Government’s commitment to ensure Tasmania’s racing industry continues to grow, with the economic benefits reaching far outside the track course. Tasmania’s racing industry injects around $103 million a year into the State’s economy and supports jobs in rural and regional areas, with over 5,000 Tasmanians either employed or participating in the industry. By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

There were plenty of highlights across the state last weekend which featured the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series in Launceston on Sunday night. The Tasmanian Trotting Club also staged a competitive card on Friday where there were a number of highlights. We only have one meeting in the state this weekend in Hobart, with a nine-race card that features the clash of Harjeet and Ryley Major in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Free For All. The Stars Matthew Cooper - continued his terrific season in the sulky in Launceston on Sunday night when he claimed the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series. A win on Fortino and two third placings in the four-race series was enough for Cooper to win the series by two points. Cooper’s big weekend in the sulky commenced in Hobart on Friday night when Call Her Julie returned to the winner's list, the mare is also trained by Cooper. Im Compliant -returned to the winner's list for the third time this season when he scored in the Sandra Bennett - Sunny Sanz Discretionary on Sunday. The gelded son of Live Or Die led all the way to win the 2698-meter event and was able to hold off a late charge by the race favourite Inner Light. Charlie Castles - partnered the Kate MacLeod trained Jacks Command to win the final heat of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series. It was a well-judged drive in front by Castles on the gelded son of Royal Mattjesty. It was the first win for Jacks Command since November 2018. Ben Woodsford - the New Zealand born reinsman recorded his first Tasmanian win in Hobart on Friday night when he scored on Animi Sub Ignis. Woodsford had driven winners in New South Wales and Queensland before taking up a job opportunity with trainer Gavin Kelly. Bradley Walters - prepared a long shot double in Hobart on Friday with Animi Sub Ignis winning at odds of $21 and Mavis Merle who also started at $21. Multiple Winners Hobart  – Friday evening Gareth Rattray - driving double; Chasing Cheetahs and Tisu Spirit, Bradley Walters - training double; Animi Sub Ignis and Mavis Merle. Launceston  – Sunday evening  Ben Yole - training treble; Quick Changeover, Fortino and Machitelli. Rohan Hillier - driving double; Im Compliant and Artyboy Glenwood. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart  – Friday evening Popnduke 57.82s, Boss Major 57.98s, Paint The Wind 58.10s, Caciocavallo 58.17s and I Am Camelot 58.24s. Launceston  – Sunday evening  Our Quinn 58.40s, Tiwanaku 58.42s, Monarkmac 58.45s, Blacklist 58.56s and Flashy Ruler 58.62s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart  – Friday evening  Hits: Boss Major $2.00 into $1.80, Call Her Julie $2.60 into $2.30, Mavis Merle $26 into $21 and Tisu Spirit $1.80 into $1.70. Defied The Drift: Popnduke $4.20 out to $4.40. Missed: Gaggle Coordinator $12 into $9.00, Roosevelt $4.00 into $3.50 and Somedan $26 into $12 Launceston  – Sunday evening  Hits: Fortino $3.20 into $2.20 and Machitelli $2.25 into $1.90, Defied The Drift: Quick Changeover $5.50 out to $7.50,Karpenkova Leis $3.20 out to $4.60, Rowley $9.00 out to $13 and Artyboy Glenwood $4.00 out to $6.50. Missed: Punchinello $17 into $10, Gaggle Coordinator $21 into $17, Altana Blue $51 into $26, Somedan $31 into $17, Gems $12 into $9.00, Princely Reign $17 into $8.50, Trial File Carrick Park - Saturday morning It was the Kent Rattray show on Saturday morning when the Lietinna based trainer prepared all three winners. His first winner was Ideal Karalta in a national rating 50 to 115 trial over 2150 meters. Driver John Walters worked forward on the gelded son of American Ideal and he proved too good for Destreos, who finished 20 meters away in second position with Thirlstane Queen a further 15 meters away third. The mile rate was the quickest of the morning of 2m 3.9s. The other two winners from the Rattray stable were Ark Fury in a mile rate of 2m 8.2s and It Is A Glacier who recorded a winning mile rate of 2m 8.4s. Week Ahead As mentioned earlier the clash of Harjeet and Ryley Major headline the nine-event card in Hobart on Sunday night. The two open class pacers have drawn wide on the track in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Free For All which will be run over the 1609 meter trip. Harjeet is first-up since finishing 10th in the Easter Cup on 20 April and hasn’t been seen in public since that effort. Harjeet’s best winning mile rate is 1m 55.5s which he recorded when winning the Toreace Flying Mile on 13 January. Ryley Major goes into the race-winning three of his past four starts, the most recent start was a 2.5-metre victory in Hobart on 14 July. His win in Hobart three starts ago was over the mile trip in a time of 1m 54.5s which equalled the state record. The Tasmanian Veterinary Services Free For All is race six on the card and is scheduled to start at 20:12 with the first race set to start at 17:27. All races will be televised on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV’s Live Stream. Interstate this week at metropolitan venues some of our Tasmanian representatives include; Melton - Saturday night Race 8 Horse 3 - Manganello - Tasbred. Menangle - Saturday night Race 2 Horse 7 - Im Jaks Teller - Tasmanian owned. Race 4 Horse 8 - Scooterwillrev - Tasmanian owned.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Widely-travelled harness racing driver former New Zealander Ben Woodsford drove his first Tasmanian winner in Hobart on Friday night. He was successful on Animi Sub Ignis, the first leg of a longshot double for trainer Bradley Walters who also scored with another $21 chance, Mavis Merle. Woodsford, who has 37 career winners to his credit, was living in Queensland when he came to Tasmania in May for what he thought would be one weekend. Trainer Gavin Kelly offered him a job while he was here. "I thought a change was as good as a holiday and now I'm stuck here," he said. Woodsford, 21, worked for Shane and Lauren Tritton in NSW before moving to Queensland. He had no involvement with harness racing in New Zealand but his father Steven is a thoroughbred trainer. Woodsford's willingness to drive trackwork at Brighton has led to him getting an increasing number of opportunities in races. Yole brothers stole the show Ben Yole moved to 166 wins for the season with a treble at Mowbray on Sunday night. He had all 12 runners in the race won by Fortino. His brother Mark holds a 14-win lead on the drivers' premiership with seven meetings remaining. Yole has won 79 races, only six shy of the tally that won him the 2015-16 premiership. The closest battle is for junior driver honours where Conor Crook, on 28 wins, leads Samantha Gangell by just one. Gangell has opened up a five-win lead over Hannah Van dongen on the female drivers' table. Bianca Heenan will win the female trainers' title by a big margin. She has 46 wins, more than double her nearest rival. Harness racing makes midweek move Tasracing has moved four harness meetings in September from Sunday nights to Wednesday nights. They will take the Sky 1 timeslot usually occupied by Redcliffe which is understood to be closing for renovations. It will be a good chance for Tasmanian harness racing to test the midweek waters. If the opportunity arises, a permanent midweek timeslot on Sky 1 would seem preferable to the Friday night Sky 2 meetings that struggle for turnover. By Greg Mansfield

Oatlands reinsman  Matthew Cooper continued his terrific season when he claimed the 2019 BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series in Launceston on Sunday night. “I was a bit surprised to win the series but I am very wrapped to win it,” said a very excited Matthew Cooper after the series victory. Cooper won heat three where he teamed up with the state's leading trainer to win on Fortino (pictured). Fortino who started as the race favourite, speared straight to the lead, and the seven-year-old gelded son of Sutter Hanover couldn’t be rundown with stablemates Our Quinn (Samantha Gangell) and Monarkmac (Matthew Howlett) filling the placings. “Ben (Yole) said before the race that he was a good mile horse and that he was very similar to Call Her Julie that I didn’t have to take a whip to so that suited me down to the ground. I only need an easy quarter in the race which I got and he sprinted home well to win,” the winning driver said. Cooper wasn’t overly interested in the industry early on but it didn’t take him long to get hooked. “I never liked horses early on but I owed Justin Campbell a favour and I went and gave him a hand at his stables one day, I  jumped on a horse that day and I fell in love with the industry and from that day on I always wanted to be involved in the sport,” said the series winner. The Oatlands-based trainer-driver worked as a race day controller for Tote Tasmania for six years until its sale in 2012. He now trains his small team of horses and spends time working with his partner Chantelle with their courier business, Rapid Couriers. Cooper was extremely grateful for the trainers and owners that supported the series. “It’s always good for the owners and trainers to support the series by giving us horses to drive, it can be hard for a trainer to put a horse in a race like that without knowing what driver you will get and I’m very appreciative of that as well as BOTRA and the Launceston Pacing Club for their support of the series,” said Cooper. The first heat saw the Todd Rattray-trained Karpenkova Leis and Bremusa fight out the finish with Karpenkova Leis proving too good over the concluding stages to win by 3.3-metres. Driver Hannah Van Dongen was keen to hold the lead early on Karpenkova Leis but she elected to hand up to Pushkin (Matthew Cooper) after a quicker than average lead time, before gaining the one-out one-back position at the 700-metre mark Van Dongen found clear racing room at the 400-metre pole, and from there she was able to run down Bremusa (Kimberley Grant) over the concluding stages. Former New Zealand driver Kimberley Grant continued the good start for the female drivers when she teamed up with trainer Sally Stingel to win with three-year-old gelding Rowley. It was the seventh career win for the gelded son of Badlands Hanover who settled one-out and two-back before working around the field to find the spot outside the leader with 700 metres of the race remaining, Grant asked Rowley for a bit more effort on the final corner and the gelding responded well to score by 2.1 metres. Cooper and Grant went into the final heat as joint leader of the series on 39 points, and they had to settle for third and fourth placing respectively with only a head between the duo as they chased home the Charlie Castles-driven Jacks Command. The Kate MacLeod trained pacer dropped a lot in class in the national rating 60 to 69 event after contesting a heat of the Easter Cup five starts ago, and was able to cling on to a narrow victory over Gems (Troy McDonald). The final points score of the series was: 50 - Matthew Cooper 48 - Kimberley Grant 40 - Troy McDonald 34 - Samantha Gangell 31 - Georgia Hayward 30 - Charlie Castles 29 - Hannah Van Dongen 26 - Wade Rattray 22 - Matthew Howlett 20 - Andrew Freeman 19 - Taylor Ford 13 - Lachlan Dakin Rohan Hillier took driving honours on the card with a driving double winning with Im Compliant and Artyboy Glenwood, with training honours going to Ben Yole with a treble preparing Quick Changeover, Fortino and Machitelli to victory.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

A trip to the 2013 Soho Standardbreds Clearance sale in Victoria is paying dividends for Ringarooma owner-breeders Nathan and Sandra Bennett who were celebrating another Sires’ Stakes victory on Sunday when Colby Sanz took out the Group 2 Tasracing Dandy Patch Final at TAB Park Elwick. Driver John Walters was keen to hold the lead on the second elect in the market, with the race favourite Kohanah forced to race outside the leader in the 2090-metre event. After a 64.9s first half of the final mile, the two runners cleared out from their rivals at the 600-metre mark, but over the concluding stages Colby Sanz was able to pull clear over Kohanah to score by 6.8 metres with Rockandahardplace a further 5.8 metres away third. The mile rate for the 2090-metre distance was 2m 4.7s on the rain-affected track. Winning trainer Kent Rattray, like many, was concerned with Kohanah missing the prelude of the race nine-days prior. “There was always some doubt over Kohanah as if he was a 100% he would have been here in the prelude last week, he did do a good job to run second,” Rattray said post-race on Tasracing’s live stream coverage. Rattray who had three horses in the final said: “they have done a super job this year” and will now give the horses a break. “All of my three will go to the paddock now, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher this new handicapping system so we will have to be a bit careful what we do with them going forward,” the Lietinna-based trainer said. But Rattray is wasting no time on his plot to win next year's event and is about to commence the preparation of his next generation of youngsters. “Next week it will be full scale into the yearlings and getting them ready for next season,” the winning trainer said. That crop includes a full brother to Colby Sanz, who is already named Stormy Sanz another owned and bred by the Bennett family. Bennett’s decision to enhance their breeding stock and purchase two mares at the Soho Standardbreds Clearance sale including Soho Summer for $3,000 is proving to be a good business decision. Soho Sumer has produced two Tasmanian Sires’ Stakes winners this season with Sunny Sanz (Globe Derby Stakes) and his half brother Colby Sanz in last night's colts and geldings feature, they are the only two horses of racing age out of the mare. “They have been with me for 10 to 15 years and have been friends of mine since we were kids, their parents raced horses with my parents so it's a family tradition and we are lucky Nathan went to the mainland and purchased those quality mares and they are now producing quality horses,” Rattray explained. This year's Tasmanian Sires’ Stakes series saw all six races elevated to $50,000 in prize-money which meant the six finals were run at Group 2 level for the first time. BOTRA Tasmania will recognise all winning breeders at the BOTRA race night in Launceston this Sunday evening.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It was another great weekend of harness racing in Tasmania, we just had trouble seeing it. Thick fog descended on both the Hobart and Launceston meetings after race two leaving spectators and viewers on both Tasracing’s Live Stream and Sky Racing with limited vision. It was a credit to all officials and participants to get through both race meetings. Last week we touched on the success of Ignatius winning a Group 1 race at Menangle but the Tasbred flag has also been flying overseas. Shezallapples, bred by the late Rick Hinds and his wife Naomi, was sold to the United States earlier this year where she has won three of her seven starts since crossing the Pacific Ocean, including a win on Tuesday at Yonkers in New York where she raced outside the leader over the final lap to win in a time of 1m 54.1s. Closer to home this week we have the Group 2 Evicus and Dandy Patch Finals in Hobart while Launceston will stage a seven-race card on Friday evening. The Stars Semowillrev - was first up for 13 months after being sidelined due to a contraction tendon injury, the Craig Hayes-trained and driven pacer didn’t let the favourite punters down when he led all the way to win his eighth race on Sunday night. Rock The Casbolt - was another winner on the Launceston card who has recently returned to the track after being sidelined for a year. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding was operated on last year, undergoing colic surgery, and he rewarded his owners and trainer for their perseverance with a narrow victory. Rock The Casbolt after a life-saving operation conducted by the Longford Equine Clinic last year Cardinal Ringo - continued his good recent form when he won his third race in his last four outings in Launceston on Sunday. He was last of the field at the bell and emerged out of the fog at the hundred-metre mark in front of his rivals. Heath Woods - claimed his first winner since returning to the industry after taking an extended break when The Shallows recorded his first career win in Hobart on Friday. Colby Sanz and Blame It On Me - both brilliant winners of their respective Sires’ Stakes preludes in Hobart on Friday. Multiple Winners Hobart  – Friday evening No trainer or driver recorded multiple wins at the meeting Launceston  – Sunday evening  Ricky Duggan - driving double; Inner Light and Rock The Casbolt. Ben Yole - training double; Jeans Mattjesty and Shestryingtactics. Calculated Sectional Standouts Hobart  – Friday evening  Hits: Colby Sanz $2.70 into $2.30, Paint The Wind $9.00 into $7.50 and Popnduke $2.90 into $2.45. Defied The Drift: Swap Me $.290 out to $.40 and Blame It On Me $1.40 out to $1.70. Missed: Artarama $41 into $19, Wasonie Snake $11 into $6.00 and Brookwillrock $4.80 into $3.60. Launceston  – Sunday evening  Hits: Inner Light $3.00 into $2.60, Cardinal Ringo $4.00 into $3.20 and Shestryingtactics $41 into $17. Defied The Drift: Courageous Katee $3.80 out to $5.50 and Jeans Mattjesty $2.80 out to $4.60. Missed: Karalta Dazzler $15 into $8.00, Guys Bettor Bet $31 into $8.00, Lake Eyre $15 into $9.50 and The Lemondrop Kid $10 into $5.00. Trial File Carrick Park - Saturday morning. It was a foggy morning at Carrick Park for the three trials held on Saturday. Two-year-old Estelle recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the morning in 2m 8.1s. The daughter of Courage Under Fire is trained by John Castles and was driven in the trial by his nephew Charlie, who positioned her behind the leader and she proved too quick for the leader Williamlee when they appeared out of the fog at the hundred metre mark to win the trial by a head margin with Art Edition four metres away third in the trial for horses with a national rating of 40 to 54. Smilin Geoff began well to find the lead within the first lap to win an NR 50 - 94 standing start trial in a mile rate of 2m 11.0s while the remaining trial,  was won by Ten Crystals who defeated Hezbuyindiamonds in a mile rate of 2m 10.1s for those with a national rating of 59 -83. Week Ahead Launceston is the venue for Friday night harness racing with a seven-event card. Race five, a National Rating of 60 or better handicap is the fast class race of the night where Swap Me will be looking to make it back to back wins in the 2200 metre event. The last start Hobart winner will start off the ten-metre row courtesy of the five-point concession claim form driver Taylor Ford. The Launceston card will be live streamed at tasracing.com.au and races one to four will be televised on Sky Racing 1 with the remainder of the action on Sky Racing 2. Sunday night in Hobart the finals of the Evicus and Dandy Patch will be held. Tab.com.au released their market yesterday afternoon with prelude winner Blame It On Me as the $1.60 favourite in the Group 2 Evicus over Vonns Angel who firmed from $5.00 into $3.60 in the first few hours of betting. Other runners in single figures are; Brookwillrock at $4.60 and Tilly Max at $7.50. In the Dandy Patch the Todd Rattray trained Kohanah opened the $1.15 favourite with prelude winner Colby Sanz being the only other runner in single figures who was supported in the first few hours of betting from $6.00 into $4.80. The Hobart card features a hosted Live Stream service and will also be televised on Sky Racing 1. Interstate this week at metropolitan venues we see Scooterwillrev step out in New South Wales for the first time while the Granny Smith winner Ideal Bliss lines up in a listed race in Brisbane. Menangle - Saturday night Race 1 Horse 1 Scooterwillrev - Tasmanian owned. Melton - Saturday night Race 5 Horse 11 Manganello - Tasbred. Albion Park - Saturday night Race 4 (Listed Race) Horse 9 Ideal Bliss - Tasbred and owned.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

For the second meeting in a row, Tasmanian harness racing has gone ahead in heavy fog that left Sky Channel viewers virtually in the dark for many of the races. Sky commentator Colin McNiff described the visibility in Hobart on Friday night as the worst he had experienced in 40 years of race calling. And, Shane Yates resorted to giving a news update to fill in the gaps during one of his calls at Mowbray on Sunday night as horses continually disappeared from his view. However stewards and drivers were satisfied that visibility on the track itself was sufficient for racing to proceed safely. And, the fog didn't slow the horses down with Courageous Katee rating a smart 1:58.7 while easily winning the McKillop Insurance Stakes. It was her 10th career win and the fastest time she's recorded over the 2200m trip. Driver Adrian Collins took Courageous Katee to the lead at the bell and defied the opposition to catch him. They couldn't and the Dick Eaves-trained mare scored by 8m. Punters were on the ball in the Impress Print Pace when the well-backed Inner Light led all the way to beat Call Her Julie and Im Compliant. The winner firmed from $3.40 to $2.60 to displace Im Compliant ($3 to $4.20) as favourite. Scooterwillrev returned from a 13-month layoff to lead all the way in the TAB Racing Centre Pace. Trainer-driver Craig Hayes said the talented four-year-old had been sidelined by a tendon injury. Understandably, he got tired late but snuck home in a three-way photo. By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

Call Me Hector is headed for a potential showdown with Izaha in the 4YO Championship in Launceston on Sunday night after another sensational victory in Hobart on Sunday night. The Matthew Cooper-trained and driven Art Major - Lady Jillett Lombo gelding (pictured) decimated his rivals in the Hobart Signwriters Pace, hitting the line 9.5-metres clear, running a mile rate of 1:58.5. "He just keeps on impressing me with his performances, he's won five out of seven since arriving in the stable in April and his two placings were great efforts when second to Ryley Major and third to Monarkmac when he had no luck and was only beaten a metre," said Matthew. "He showed good gate speed tonight from three to lead comfortably at the first turn and from there he travelled beautifully, there was some pressure on early but he relaxed nicely which is going to be vital in the bigger races going forward." In testing conditions Call Me Hector recorded a lead time of 34.4 seconds and early quarters of 28.5 and 30.1 seconds but Cooper still had a lap full of horse at his disposal. "He was cruising at the half-mile and he rolled away from them going into the backstretch under his own steam before racing home to win by just on 10 metres with plenty in reserve," a delighted Cooper said. "I think his best is still to come so we will give him one more run before a good spell and then bring him back for the bigger races next season." The one more run Matthew has in mind before a spell is the 4YO Championship in Launceston on Sunday. "It's going to be a tough assignment as I'm sure Todd (Rattray) will have Izaha going around, he's proven himself the best four-year-old in the state capping his season off with an effortless win in the Raider Stakes," said Matthew. "I'm confident Call Me Hector will keep him honest and you never know if he gets the breaks he may cause an upset."   Shane Yates

The four-year-old Tasmanian Sires’ Stakes series rolled on into Devonport last Sunday with Izaha and Ideal Bliss being too strong for their rivals in their respective finals. Both horses broke $100,000 in prize money with their wins. Hobart staged the $20,000 Sweepstakes finals on Friday where the favourites were successful in each final. This week harness racing heads to Launceston on Friday evening and Hobart on Sunday night, the last two meetings under the current handicapping system before the new National Rating system commences across Australia on Monday. The Stars Ideal Bliss - the Paul Hill-trained mare Ideal Bliss made amends for her disappointing performance as a beaten favourite in the Granny Smith prelude on June 14 when the daughter of American Ideal captured the four-year-old mare's leg of the Tasmanian Sires’ Stakes series the Group 2 Collins Homes Granny Smith final on Sunday night at the Devonport Showgrounds. Izaha - made it back-to-back Tasmanian Sires’ Stakes victories the son of Roll With Joe took out the $50,000 Maxfield Drilling Raider Stakes, the first ever Group 2 race held on the Devonport Showgrounds. Trainer-driver Todd Rattray took the $1.10 favourite straight to the early lead from barrier three in the 2665-metre event and from that point Izaha was never in doubt to win in a mile rate of 2m 1.3s. Blame It On Me - continued on her winning way in Hobart on Friday night when the daughter of Big Jim added the $20,000 Elderslie Horse Care Sweepstakes (Fillies division) to her resume. Driver Natalee Emery took the Doug Nettlefold-trained pacer to the lead over the mile trip, and the $1.75 favourite proved too good. Kohanah - the Sweet Lou colt followed in the steps of his mother Benediction when he claimed the colts and geldings division of the Sweepstakes Final. The Todd Rattray-trained and driven pacer led all the way in the $20,000 event to record his fourth win at his fifth race start. Honourable mentions; Call Me Hector - just outside the Hobart track record with another brilliant win, Olivia Weidenbach - drove her first double in Devonport and Ben Yole - training treble on Sunday evening including the first seven placings past the post in race five. Multiple Winners Hobart  – Friday evening No trainer or driver recorded multiple wins Devonport  – Sunday evening  Ricky Duggan - driving treble; Similan Beach, Ideal Bliss and Wattabout Spanger. Olivia Weidenbach - driving double; Monarkmac and Im Full Tilt. Ben Yole - training treble: Monarkmac, Jeans Mattjesty and Im Full Tilt. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart  – Friday evening Chasing Cheetahs 57.60s, Here The Call 57.65s, Abs Boy 57.66s, Origin Billy 57.71s and Miracle Marcus 58.08s. Devonport  – Sunday evening  Similan Beach 58.10s, Monarkmac 58.41s, Izaha 58.70s, Heza Rummage 58.72s and Peaceful Thomas 58.91s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart  – Friday evening  Hits: Macray Muchacho $5.00 into $3.80 and Chasing Cheetahs $2.40 into $1.70. Defied The Drift: Blame It On Me $1.60 out to $1.75 and Touchwood Levista $3.30 out to $4.20. Missed: Diamond Grace $11 into $8.00, Freds Under Fire $21 into $16 and Shadow Affair $21 into $10. Devonport  – Sunday evening  Hits: Similan Beach $1.65 into $1.20, Im Full Tilt $21 into $12 and Rowley $13 into $9.50. Defied The Drift: Jeans Mattjesty $12 out to $15, Karalta Moondance $5.50 out to $6.50 and Wattabout Spanger $8.50 out to $19. Missed: El Jays Mystery $4.80 into $4.00, Spot Eight $.90 into $1.55, Jigamaroo $9.00 into $4.80 and Good Feelings $17 into $10. Trial File Carrick Park - Saturday morning Four trials were staged on a very cold morning where the Mon Poppy Polly recorded the quickest winning mile rate of 2m 3.7s. The five-year-old Sportswriter mare joined the Ben Yole stable after her performance at the trials the week prior and on Saturday she proved too good for All Style Sammy by two metres with Long Ago a further two-metre away third. Kosimo, a two-year-old gelded son of Major Bronski, won his second consecutive trial in a mile rate of 2m 8.6s, it was an action-packed trial where a lot of horses were checked on the home corner which saw the Mark Jones-trained and driven pacer cruise home to a 40-metre win. Other winners included: Machitelli (2m 5.1s) and Stuey D (2m 5.8s) Hobart - Monday evening The Bradley Walters-trained Animi Sub Ignis recorded the quickest time of the three trials in 2m 1.8s. The eight-year-old has had one start in a year and a half, that being in Hobart on 7 June. Driven by Ben Woodsford in the trial, Animi Sub Ignis defeated Vouvray Beach by three metres with Witch Master a further five metres away third. The final two quarters were recorded in 20.0s and 29.9s. The other two trials were won by Fin Mac Kee (2m 3.5s) and Rocket Blaster (2m 11.4s). Week Ahead Harness Racing heads to Launceston on Friday evening for a 7-race card. There is a thoroughbred theme to race five on the card, the Find Us On Facebook Pace. Successful thoroughbred trainer Steve Lockhart is the latest participant to hold a dual code license and is represented in the race by Rocket Blaster, a Hobart trial winner on Monday evening in slow time. The Caribbean Blaster gelding was previously trained by Melissa Maine where he was placed on one occasion from nine starts. Lockhart has trained five winners in his last 15 starters as a thoroughbred trainer including the Tasmanian Oaks this year with Shady Hustle. The other thoroughbred connection in the race is with the ownership of the Zane Medhurst-trained Ifbutzandmaybes, who is part-owned by leading jockeys Siggy Car and Troy Baker who sit second and third on the state's riders premiership respectively. Since the new ownership group have given the gelded son of Lombo Pocket Watch seven starts which have resulted in five placings. The fifth race in Launceston is scheduled to start at 19:22 with the first race set down for 17:12. Race one will be televised on Sky Racing 1 with the remainder of the card on Sky Racing 2. Hobart is the venue for the main meeting of the week on Sunday evening with seven races set down for decision. The fast class race is race six, the Hobart Signwriters Pace, where all eyes will be on the clock after fast times have been recorded at the southern venue the past two meetings. Call Me Hector was just 0.3 of a second outside of the track record on the track last Friday when he led over the 2090-metre trip. Trainer-driver Matthew Cooper allowed the gelded son of Art Major to bowl along in front with the last three quarters all being run under 30 seconds. On Sunday Call Me Hector has another front line draw in barrier three against similar opposition. The race is set down for 20:54. All races in Hobart will be shown on Sky Racing 1 and both the Launceston and Hobart card can be seen on Tasracing’s Live Stream. Interstate this week at metropolitan venues; Melton Saturday night Race 4 Horse 2 Nostra Beach - Tasbred. Menangle Sunday afternoon Race 7 (Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO C&G) Horse 9 Max Delight - Tasmanian owned, Race 9 (Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO E&G) Horse 12 Ignatius - Tasbred and Tasmanian owned, And Horse 8 War Dan - part one by Tasmanian interest.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The Devonport Harness Racing Club hosts its richest meeting of the season on Sunday night with prizemoney totalling almost $150,000. For the second year in a row, trainer-driver Todd Rattray will have a short-priced favourite for the $50,000 Raider Stakes. However the $50,000 Granny Smith will be more open after last week's prelude produced an upset winner in Brystabella. The 2018 Raider Stakes saw the Rattray-trained Harjeet justify his $1.10 price when he led throughout to score by 26m. His stablemate Izaha was almost as dominant winning his heat last Friday night by 16m as 1.30 favourite. The Kate MacLeod-trained Shadow Ross was brave running down Tisu Spirit to win the other heat but his time was slower and, despite having won three of his past four starts, he won't be challenging Izaha for favouritism in the final. Brystabella won the Granny Smith prelude as a $29 outsider after a very aggressive drive by her trainer Ray Pullen and, on face value, she would seem to have the other prelude runners covered if the brings the same form to the final. Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Advocate  

Star pacer Ryley Major obliterated an 11-year-old track record in Hobart on Sunday when he spreadeagled his rivals over 1609 metres. The Rohan Hillier-trained and driven six-year-old (pictured) recorded a scintillating mile rate 0f 1:54.5, carving almost a full second off the record set by Richie Walton in May of 2008. Not only did Ryley Major smash the Hobart track record he matched the state record set in Launceston by Mister Lennox in the Golden Mile in 2017. Ryley Major speared across the face of the field from gate seven to find the front in the run to the first turn and from there it was a mere procession for the Art Major - Shez Ryleymak powerhouse on a lightning-fast surface. "He was very sharp tonight, he showed his normal high gate speed from seven and crossed them easily, Matty (Cooper) kept the pressure on in the middle stages with Call Me Hector which was good but 'Ryley' just rolled away at the top of the stretch for a convincing win," said Rohan. "Breaking such a long-standing record was a highlight, the scary part is he could have gone quicker but he is a real racehorse and when he clears out like last night he doesn't bother to overexert himself." Hillier is now looking to the mainland for Ryley Major's next mission. "We will race him at Melton on Saturday night and then bring him home and then I'd like to look at giving him a run at Menangle I think the track would suit him perfectly and he deserves his opportunity there." Todd Rattray's Sweet Lou - Benediction colt Kohanah was given a leisurely work out in the Two-Year-Olds Colts &  Geldings Division of the Sweepstakesaccounting for his only rival Bitoscotty by 15.8 metres, recording a last-half of 58.7 seconds. Doug Nettlefold's blazing run with his Big Jim - Shake Me Up two-year-old filly Blame It On Me continued when she strode home to her third victory from four starts in the second heat of the Fillies Division of the Sweepstakes. Blame It On Me sneaked under the radar in her two previous wins scoring at odds of $16.10 and $10.00, but punters clambered on the bandwagon this time around backing her into favouritism and with Natalee Emery in the gig she didn't disappoint. "She's a very nice filly, she still has a lot to learn but she has done a wonderful job in her four starts, Doug (Nettlefold) rang me right back at the start and said he thought he had something special and would I like to drive her at the trials and although she was soundly beaten in both she showed me there was something there," said Natalee. "I was quietly confident when she won the Launceston Belmont on debut and then she won impressively in Hobart so going into last night the confidence level was high and again she produced the goods with something in hand, she has speed and she's tough as well so I wouldn't be swapping her for anything else in the final on Friday."   Shane Yates

It was a night of upsets at Devonport on Friday with a boilover in the Granny Smith Prelude and a heat of the Raider Stakes. Izaha, was one of only two favourites to salute the judge on the eight-event card, the Todd Rattray-trained former Globe Derby winner strolled to a 16.8 metre victory in heat two of the Raider Series coming home in an effortless last-half of 57.3 seconds. The first heat saw Streitkid, Tisu Spirit, Dufrense and Yatsenyuk Leis the well supported top four fancies but it was to be the Kate MacLeod prepared Shadow Ross (pictured) that would emerge victorious sprinting from last at the bell. “He’s been in great form winning two of his last three starts going into last night and even when he ran sixth in Hobart he was trapped out three wide when fast splits were being recorded so he may have been flying under the radar going into the heat at double figure odds,” said Kate. “He’s a very big horse and is as green as grass with a lot to learn, when other drivers have driven him they have described him as dumb but he was switched on last night and when I asked him to go at the bell he worked into it strongly out three-wide and just powered his way to second on the home turn and then gunned down Tisu Spirit in the straight.” Ray Pullen’s aggressive tactics paid off when he set Brystabella alight from fifth at the mile to run to the front at the 1200-metres, before defying her rivals over the final lap and a half at bolters odds in race one, the Collins Homes Granny Smith Prelude. Olivia Weidenbach landed the first win of her career in the sulky when she guided Another Swinger to an all-the-way victory while Samantha Gangell chimed in with a winning double courtesy of Yellow Taxi and Heza Rummage. . Ben Yole continued his record-breaking season training four winners on the eight-event card with Northdown trainer Geoff Smith landing the quinella in race three with Victoria Pass and Midair Meltdown.   Shane Yates

Bagdad harness racing trainer Paul Williams has been fined $3000 over a positive swab returned by his horse Chasing Cheetahs at Devonport three months ago. A urine sample taken from Chasing Cheetahs, who finished fourth in the C2/C3 Pace on March 8, contained arsenic levels above the allowable threshold. Williams pleaded guilty to presenting the horse to race when not free of all prohibited substances. Stewards suspended half the fine on condition the trainer does not offend again in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, an unnamed harness racing participant has been fined $1500 over an incident at the Mowbray race meeting on May 3. The participant pleaded guilty to "acting in a manner detrimental to the industry" by deliberately causing damage to another participant's vehicle. Half the fine was suspended on condition there is no further offending in the next 12 months. Stewards refused to name the person involved as they said the incident was related to a on-going court case. Harness racing returns to Devonport on Friday night with two heats of the Raider Stakes and a prelude to the Granny Smith Stakes. Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

Launceston trainer Brian Stanley landed the first blow of the Elderslie Horse Care Two-Year-Old Fillies Sweepstakes Series with A Spanish Dance (pictured) taking out the opening heat in Hobart on Friday night. A Spanish Dance’s best performance going into the Sweepstakes was a third behind Brookwillrock in the Devonport Belmont, but she broke her maiden status with an impressive all-the-way win over 1609 metres. “She has always shown me she’s had her share of ability, she’s no superstar but she’s honest and when she found the early lead my confidence level grew,” said Brian. “The favourite Radiant Red ran the gate out wide and looked a chance of leading but Rod (Ashwood) is a naturally aggressive driver and was able to slip up underneath from gate three and find the pegs first, from there he rated her perfectly grabbing a cheap second section (33.2 seconds) which gave her plenty in reserve when the final challenges came.” Brian bred the A Rocknroll Dance – Guernica filly and is looking to press on through the Sweepstakes and onto the Sires Stakes. “There is another heat of the Sweepstakes next week but at this stage she will be staying at home as she has qualified for the final, she’s eligible for the Sires so she deserves her chance and I don’t want to overexert her as the two series are very close together,” said Brian. “It appears a very even season in the fillies division, in the main whoever has been able to find the lead has gone on to win the race, A Spanish Rose capitalised on it in Hobart, hopefully luck can go her way again this season.” The Robert Gillie prepared two-year-old Canbe Doc scored a promising debut victory in the Elderslie Horse Care Colts & Geldings Sweepstakes. The Caribbean Blaster – Little Miss Doc gelding was sent out the popular pick and led comfortably from the mobile but came under enormous pressure over the concluding stages when headed down the home running by Karalta Courage. Gareth Rattray got down to work with Canbe Doc and the youngster dug deep to regain the lead and score by 2 1/2-metres.   Shane Yates

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