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Former Victorian trotter Majestic Ess Jay made an outstanding debut in Tasmania to claim the first heat of the Aldebaran Park Tasmanian Trotting Cup in Hobart on Friday night. The Eric Jacobson-trained eight-year-old gelding (pictured) galloped away and lost an enormous amount of ground at the start and looked to have lost all hope but the veteran of 94 starts had other ideas. "We've only had him over for a fortnight and when I worked him during the week I thought we may have pulled the right rein in leasing him as he felt strong in his action, but when he missed the start so badly and stood up Trumps Golden Boy a good 80-metres I thought our tickets were confetti," said Eric. "Admittedly they went slow up front and he tacked on without expending too much energy and when Ray (Pullen) chose to go round them and find the top with a lap to run my spirits rose a little." Trumps Golden Boy, in search of its fifth straight win for Bianca Heenan, pulled out to issue his challenge inside the 400-metre mark and the race was well and truly on. "Considering the work Majestic Ess Jay ($3.40) was forced to do early I thought we may be in trouble but Ray held him together into the home straight and he went powerfully to the post," said a delighted trainer. "When you take a close look at his recent Victorian form Majestic Ess Jay should have something to offer here in Tasmania, in his last run on the mainland he lost 60-metres in the race where there was a track-record set and the owners said they clocked him running a mile-rate of 1:57.5  to get up and run sixth, 18-metres off the winner." Harjeet ($1.00) waltzed home in the Metropolitan Cup scoring by 13-metres for Todd Rattray who capped off his night with success in the last race with Arthur Elliot winning at its second career outing. Ben Yole landed a race-to-race double with Troy McDonald steering home Hez The One ($15) to its second win for the month while Australian Female Drivers Championship state representative Samantha Gangell lifted the bolter Northview Dave ($21) over the line in the Yak Ales Pace. Favourite punters landed some blows of their own with the Bianca Heenan-trained Swap Me  ($2.50) continuing its great form, Couta Rocks ($1.80) bounced back into the winner's list for Marc Butler while last season's Sweepstakes and Dandy Patch winner Resurgent Storm ($1.40) recorded a stylish first-up win as a three-year-old for Roger Whitmore.   Shane Yates

Tasmania's dynamic pacer Harjeet is set to add the Metropolitan Cup to his long list of major race successes at tonight's Tasmanian Trotting Club meeting at TAB Park Hobart. The local champion (pictured) has won 15 of his 22 career starts including the Easter Cup, Tassie Golden Apple, Raider Stakes and Hobart Pacing Cup and is shooting for straight wins in tonight's 2579-metre staying test. he Todd Rattray-trained Rocknroll Hanover-Our Zellweger five-year-old gelding will start solo on the second line and has been served up as a $1.04 favourite for the feature event. The first heat of the inaugural Aldebaran Park Tasmanian Trotting Cup will be conducted tonight as part of the Club's commitment to reinvigorate trotting in the state. Trumps Golden Boy broke through for its first win in the state after ten starts but has now strung together four on the trot for trainer Bianca Heenan. The six-year-old gelding will start off the 10-metre handicap and has been installed the $1.75 favourite ahead of the Eric Jacobson prepared Majestic Ess Jay at $3.90. The former Victorian eight-year-old trotter will make its debut in the state with a record of 94 career starts for 16 wins and 30 placings. The TAB is offering an 'Any 2' Jackpot of $11,849.50 on the opening race on the card. All you need to do is pick out two runners you think can finish in the first three placings to be a part of the action or box up any number of runners for a full dividend declared return or at a cheaper cost a percentage of the dividend. Race one is the Rexel North Hobart Pace and Tasracing's harness racing experts Jamie Cockshutt and Duncan Dornauf are selecting the in-form runners Swap Me (No.2), Real Diamond (No.1) and Shadow Control (No.8) to fight out the finish with Duncan tipping Forever Ours as his outside chance at odds.   Shane Yates

The state’s leading trainer Ben Yole had a big weekend which saw him prepare five winners across two states last weekend that included the win of No Apachemee at Melton on Friday night. Magra-based trainer Juanita McKenzie claimed her second Vandenberg Transport Carrick Park Pacing Cup when Inner Light was able to take out the $12,000 feature. This week we are off to TAB Park Hobart for the Metropolitan Cup and the first heat of the Aldebaran Park Tasmanian Trotters Championship on Friday and then the action turns to Devonport on Sunday night. The Stars Ben Yole – was the inform trainer of the weekend with a training treble on Friday with a double in Hobart with Gems and Stylish Trend while he also prepared No Apachemee to an impressive victory at Melton where he recorded a mile rate of 1m 52.3s. The Yole stable continued their good form with a training double with Badrick taking out the clubs premier three-year-old race, the Cressy Transport Tasmanian Championship and Nickys Logic who recorded her fourth win of the season. Ricky Duggan – Tasmania’s most successful driver of all time claimed his fifth Vandenberg Transport Carrick Park Pacing Cup when he partnered the Juanita McKenzie-trained Inner Light to victory. Duggan was the standout driver on the Carrick Park card with a driving treble. Illegal Immigrant – continued his path to next month’s Triple M Tasmania Cup with a 3.7-meter win in the Elite Free-for-all in Hobart on Friday. It was the third win at start seven for the gelded son of American Ideal. Kohanah – was a brilliant winner on debut in the last race of the night in Hobart. The Sweet Lou colt showed a good will-to-win in the home straight to score in a mile of 2m 2.2s. Really Frank – five-year-old gelding who recorded his first win at start 40 for trainer-driver Justin Campbell. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening  Ben Yole – training double; Gems and Stylish Trend Carrick Park – Saturday afternoon Ricky Duggan – driving treble; Peaceful Thomas, Forever Ours and Inner Light. Mark Yole – driving double; Nickys Logic and Badrick. Ben Yole – training double; Nickys Logic and Badrick. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening Illegal Immigrant 56.86s, Destreos 57.07 and The Aussie 57.21.Outside of race four; Monark  Mac57.83s and Usain Jolt 57.94s. Carrick Park  – Saturday afternoon Swap Me 57.20s, Give Me The Night 5734s and Karalta Kruise 57.60. Outside of race seven; Choosa Cruiser 58.42 and Peaceful Thomas 58.93s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening  Hit’s: Really Frank $6.50 into $3.30 and Kohanah $1.65 into $1.35. Defied The Drift: Resurgent Dream $4.20 out to $4.80 and Stylish Trend $7.00 out to $7.50. Missed: Im Full Tilt $12 into $7.50 and Ektoras $26 into $10. Carrick Park – Saturday afternoon  The Tasracing Official Price was not in operation due to the non-Tab status of the meeting. Trial File Hobart – Monday evening Three-year-old colt Resurgent Storm recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the night when he recorded 2m 4.8s for 2090-meters. It was the second trial back this preparation for the son of Betterthancheddar who was last at the bell and was able to go on and win by two-meters over the stable mate Sutter Star. The final two sections was covered in 32.6s and 31.1s. Remaining trials were won by; Moonlite Bay 2m 8.3s, Whos Watching Now 2m 10.3s, Cool Water Paddy 2m 5.7s, Caciocavallo 2m 6.8s and Streitkid 2m 6.2s. Devonport – Monday evening. Lucy Lindenny, a four-year-old mare by Changeover out of the Sokys Atom mare Helena Kilena recorded the quickest winning mile rate of 2m 3.7s for 2297-meters. She was able to lead from gate one for driver Gareth Rattray and her new trainer Donald Foley. The New Zealand bred pacer has been racing predominantly in New South Wales in her 17-start career which has seen two wins and five placings. The other three trials were won by; Perfect Mach 2m 12.3s, Maybe Jack 2m 8.7s and Rocket Blaster 2m 12s. Week Ahead The Tier 1 meeting of the week is at the Devonport Showgrounds on Sunday evening. Eight races are set down for decision including the first heat of the time honoured Allen Williams Memorial series. Karalta Demon and Navua Pixie are both coming into the race with a second placing at their most recent start. The John Castles-trained Suzy Zebra is one of two horses in the race to have won a race, and the lightly raced six-year-old mare has found the winners stall on four occasions on King Island. Suzy Zebra was defeated 10 metres at her first start on mainland Tasmania at Burnie after enjoying a soft run behind the leader. Rocket Blaster is a Melissa Maine trained debutante who has had four trial in preparation for Sunday’s assignment including a trial win at the Devonport  Showgrounds on Monday night. The first of eight races on Sunday kicks off at 18:14. Hobart on Friday is deemed to be the Tier 2 meeting of the week, although the $12,000 Metropolitan Cup and the first heat of the Aldebaran Park Tasmanian Trotters Championship will be run. Harjeet, the best horse racing in Tasmania at present will start a red hot favourite in the Metropolitan Cup as he continues his preparation to next month’s $75,000 Triple M Tasmania Cup. The last-start Hobart Pacing Cup winner is the sole second-row runner in the 2579-meter event. Interstate this week we see a massive feature card of racing at Menangle where the Michael Maxfield owned Max Delight will contest the second heat of the New South Wales Derby. The son of Bettors Delight is an $11 chance with tab.com.au and will start from barrier six, with Todd McCarthy taking the drive.   Duncan Dornauf

Northdown trainer Geoff Smith is riding the crest of a winning wave with another winning double in Launceston on Sunday night, and loving it. Geoff has enjoyed his best start to a calendar year for a decade with five winners coming in five weeks which has seen him catapult into eighth spot on the trainer’s premiership table. Aitutaki (pictured), driven by John Walters, came from a mile back on the home turn to win the Dakin Refrigeration Stakes over 1680 metres while Vapour Glenn burst through late to take out the Carlton Draught Pace. “They are flying for me at the moment, both horses scored impressive wins at Scottsdale in January and then they both ran fourth at their next start and have bounced back strongly tonight” said Geoff. “We had a sulky change out on the track with Aitutaki but fortunately that didn’t interfere with his performance, John (Walters) has worked him out, he needs to be held up until the 300-metre mark and then let him loose.” Aitutaki, formerly in the care of owner Adrian Duggan, has had six runs for Geoff for six cheques. “When we got him he was out of the draw, we changed some gear and re-shod him and worked him out of a paddock, and not that hard he seems to be thriving at the moment with two wins, two placings and two fourths,” said the Northdown trainer. “Vapour Glenn really surprised me tonight, Rohan (Hadley) found a gap late in the straight and he surged through to hit the line strongly.” Geoff admitted winners have been a little light on in recent years but is hoping things are heading in the right direction. “We’ve had Midair Meltdown win at Devonport recently and we’ve got a few good types coming through including a full-sister to my old stager Dodgermemate, she’s a two-year-old and moves well so I have hopes set high with her, but for now we are enjoying our start to the year,” said Geoff. Gareth Rattray steered home a winning double on the eight-event card with the Dick Eaves prepared El Jays Mystery running down the popular pick Inner Light in the shadows of the post to win by a head and completed a race-to-race double with Brooke Hammond’s Moonlite Bay notching up its second win from just three career starts taking out the Harry Holgate Memorial Final. Rowley won the opener for Sally Stingel and Paul Ashwood, The Aussie powered away with the Discretionary for Devonport Cup winning duo Juanita McKenzie and Rod Ashwood while Riley Coyote scored its first win for over two years for Steve Lukac and Rohan Hillier and Ben Yole and Natalee Emery combined with Jeans Mattjesty to win the Claimer. Shane Yates

Tasmanian champion Harjeet stamped his authority over the state’s top pacers in the $25,000 Triple M Hobart Pacing Cup on Sunday. The five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover-Our Zellweger gelding, trained and driven by Todd Rattray, showed his class over the staying trip of 2579-metres to win by 5.2-metres over a gallant Isaac. “We got a nice run through from outside the second line and settled just worse than midfield and when the pace slackened I thought it was time to wander up toward the lead and test the waters a little,” said Todd. “Harjeet (pictured) travelled up to the leaders smoothly so we just rolled past and he travelled sweetly from there, when we lifted the tempo inside the last half it was really only Isaac that could go with him.”. Isaac, the Juanita McKenzie-trained Devonport Cup winner, switched to the Roberts Sprint lane at the top of the home straight and closed within two metres but the champ had other ideas. “To his credit Isaac got a little close for comfort at one stage,we thought Harjeet would run on a little better than he did but he had switched off and was drifting up the track, the motor kicked in again when he knew he was being challenged and he got the job done (5.2-metres) so hopefully he’ll be better next start.” Harjeet is now an M3 so if heading the way of the Tasmania Cup and Easter Cup he will be looking at a 30-metre handicap or there may be a trip to the mainland on the cards. “I will have to talk to the owners, we would like to take him over at some stage, we’d have to make sure he’s right in himself but it might be time now,” said Todd. “He gets away well from the stand now and puts himself in it but obviously you still have to make up that ground too, Scooterwillrev is still an MO and he’s a pretty good horse and there are few others around.” Todd capped of a successful day with Joogle breaking her maiden status in the $10,000  TTC Members Pace. Bianca Heenan kept her sensational season rolling by training a winning double with Trumps Golden Boy taking out the Aldebaran Park Hobart Trotting Cup and Alta Surreal, with Hannah Van dongen in the cart, capturing its fourth win of the season. Hannah went on to extend her lead in the Leading Female Drivers award steering the Mark Reggett prepared Dasher Houli to back-to-back victories by taking out the Tab Park Elwick Pace. The heavily backed Beam Me Up Chopper ($3.50) put up a herculean performance to win in the Crown Lager Pace for Kate MacLeod after being never closer than three off the peg line while Ektoras overcame an outside draw to salute at odds of $31.00 in the Olympus Feeds P ace. Four-year-old mare Ideal Bliss, guided by Rohan Hillier, returned victorious from an eight-month spell for Paul Hill while Tilly Max made a successful debut for trainer-driver Paul Ashwood in the two-year-old. Shane Yates for tasracing.com.au

The $30,000 Group 3 Hardings Hotmix Devonport Cup is the feature race this weekend on a bumper night of racing at the Devonport Showgrounds on Sunday in the twilight zone. The Tasmanian Pacing Club will stage the Tier 2 meeting of the week on Saturday evening at TAB Park Elwick in Hobart, while King Island will stage a non-tab meeting during the afternoon. Last week there were two meetings with the first two-year-old race of the season being staged at the TAB Racing Center Mowbray in Launceston taken out by Rockandahardplace (pictured) as well as three heats of the Harry Holgate Memorial. The other meeting was staged on King Island where Suzy Zebra and Captain Mordecai won the two races, The KIRC will stage there a final meeting of the season on Saturday afternoon. The Stars Rohan Hadley – was clearly the star of the show with a driving treble, with the Bridport based horseman training two of his three winners with Believe In Forever completing a winning hattrick and Secluded Beach who bounced back into the winner’s list after his last start second. Hadley also won a heat of the Harry Holgate Memorial with Volkova Leis at odds of $21. This season the Hadley stable has had 16-starts for 9 wins, six-second placings and one-third placing. That’s a 100% strike rate for his stable running in the top three placings. Rockandahardplace – Kent Rattray and John Walters made it back-to-back wins in the $15,000 Keith Stanley Memorial Debutante Stakes with Rockandahardplace, a gelded son of Pet Rock, who proved too strong for his three opponents. Charlie Castles – was back in the winners circle with Spot Eight, after initially leading, Castles elected to hand up the lead near the Mile mark when the speed was on, he then elected to race in the spot outside the leader from with 1250-metres to travel and was able to control the speed of the race from that point. Art Frenzy – notched up his third win of his eight-start career when he led all the way to win the second heat of the Harry Holgate Memorial. Molly Malones – Rowella trainer Paul Carlson was rewarded for his efforts with Safari mare, Molly Malones who won her first race at start 21, courtesy of a copybook drive by Gareth Rattray. Volkova Leis – sat three wide without cover to win her heat of the Harry Holgate Memorial, the Shelley Barnes trained mare had not won since late February. Multiple Winners Launceston – Friday afternoon Rohan Hadley training and driving double: Believe In Forever and Secluded Beach. He made it a driving treble with Volkova Leis. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Launceston – Friday Give Me The Night 57.96s, Monarkmac 58.04, Stylish Trend 58.04, Lead Singer 58.05 and Art Frenzy 58.10s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Friday afternoon Hit’s: Harshali $12 into $10, Spot Eight $3.00 into $2.80, Secluded Beach $2.45 into $2.25 and Art Frenzy $2.20 into $1.90. Defied The Drift: Believe In Forever $2.40 out to $2.70, Chilla Breeze $3.00 out to $3.40, Volkova Leis $16 out to $21, Molly Malones $6.00 out to $7.50 and Rockandahardplace $1.60 out to $1.75. Missed: Mister Last $7.50 into $4.80, Levi Jimmy $21 into $14 and Beachboy Butch $6.00 into $4.80. Trial File Hobart – Monday evening The Rodger Whitmore trained mare Resurgent Dream, is nearing a race track return and the daughter of American Ideal was back in the winners list at the trials when she won in a mile rate of 2m 2.5s, the quickest of the Hobart session. It was the third trial back this preparation for Resurgent Dream who won the C0 and better standing start trial off a 20-metre handicap, by a head, over Fin Mac Kee. Leader to winner the last two splits were recorded in 29.1s and 30.4s. The remaining four trials were won by; The Shallows (2m 5.0s), Spoilt Sport (2m 4.1s), Ductape (2m 6.3s) and Ideal Bliss (2m 2.7s).   Carrick Park – Monday evening The Michael Laugher trained, Gareth Rattray driven Karalta Felesha recorded a mile rate of 2m 5.1s when she took out a two-year-old and older trial over 1670-metres. It was the second trial back this preparation for the daughter of Mach Three, who hasn’t been seen at the races since finishing down the track in the $15,000 Golden Slipper in Launceston in late July. The final two quarters of the trial were run in 30.6s and 29.2s. Karalta Felesha has drawn barrier two in race six in Devonport on Sunday. Other winners at the session included; Tilly Max (2m 12.0s), Yellow Taxi (2m 8.1s), No Apachemee (2m 5.9s and Got The Goods (2m 8.7s). Week Ahead The Group 3 Hardings Hotmix Devonport Cup is the feature race in Tasmania this weekend when the Devonport Harness Racing Club stages one of their premier race meetings on Sunday. Four locally trained horses will contest the race including this year’s St Marys and Scottsdale Cup winner, Black Centurian who will also be joined by his Steven Davis trained stable mate Ima Ginger Rogers, a winner of two of her last five starts. Other coastal trained horses include the Shelley Barnes trained Chief Destroyer and the Melissa Maine trained Another Swinger. Barnes and Maine are two of four female trainers with runners engaged in the race with Juanita McKenzie having two runners in the race with Inner Light and Isaac, while Bianca Heenan prepares Star Chamber. Star Chamber won the Cup in 2015 he won by 10-metres off a 30-metre handicap and shares the 20-metre back mark with last year’s winner, Riverboat Jasper. Beauty Point driver has won many feature races in the state, but he will be hoping to add his first Devonport Cup to his resume when he drives last start winner Illegal Immigrant for his brother Troy. The Cup is race seven on the card and is due to start at 7:50 pm. There is plenty of other quality racing on the Devonport card including the Jeremy Rockliff MP Costal Pacing Thousand, Kevin Redpath North West Plate Final, Derrico Cycles Mares Incentive and the 7AD Pace for the three-year-olds. The Devonport card will have a hosted Live Stream coverage on tasracing.com.au and will be televised on Sky Racing 1. *Punters and participants are advised that races five and ten in Devonport have been redrawn since the original fields were released on Tuesday.   Prior to Devonport, we have two Tasmanian meetings in the state on Saturday. The Tasmanian Trotting Club will stage a six-race card on Saturday evening where Donny In Paris resumes for the first time as a three-year-old in the final race of the night. The gelded son of Tasmanian bred sire Rug Rat Donny won on debut when racing extremely greenly before finishing fourth at his next start. He has been down the track in two recent Hobart trials. It is also good to see Heath Woods return back to the industry, he is represented by debutante The Shallows who won a trial on Monday night. Woods is also in the process of gaining his race day drivers license. The Hobart card is set down to jump at 18:53 and will be shown on Tasracing’s Live Stream Coverage and at this stage on Sky Racing 2.   The third Tasmanian meeting of the weekend is the final meeting of the season at King Island. Both races are R0 and better Discretionary handicaps over 2079-metes. The first pacing race features three last start winners doing battle in Iden Baroness, Captain Mordecai and Suzy Zebra. The replays of the King Island meeting will be available for viewing on the Tasracing website after the meeting has concluded.   Interstate it is night one of the Summer Of Glory carnival at Melton and East-Devonport owner Mick Maxfield is represented in the $200,000 Victoria Derby with Max Delight. The David Aiken trained and driven pacer led all the way to win his heat at Ballarat last week. The draw hasn’t been too kind to the Bettors Delight colt who has drawn barrier seven in the 2240-metre race. In New South Wales this week we seen Ignatius step out at the Menangle trials, he finished second and was defeated by 8.8-metres by Cash N Flow in 1m 52.8s. This week the James Rattray stable has a number of runners stepping out at Menangle on Saturday and Goulburn on Monday afternoon, including Tasmanian owned and bred, Pachacuti, in the Goulburn Cup. Duncan Dornauf

Bridport trainer-driver Rohan Hadley stole the show at Friday night’s Launceston Pacing Club meeting at the TAB Racing Centre. Hadley, one of Tasmania’s premier drivers, saluted the judge on three occasions, twice with well-supported runners from his own stable in Believe In Forever ($2.50 fav) and Secluded Beach ($2.80) and once with the Shelley Barnes prepared Volkova Leis ($21.10). Believe In Forever, a four-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven-Close Embrace gelding, has won five of its seven starts since arriving in the state in May of last year including the last three on the trot. “He got the job done tonight, we got a nice cart into the race out three-wide on the back of Miracle Marcus until the 400-metre mark when we had to go five-wide and he finished off well,” said Rohan. “There is a $12,000 C3-4 at Devonport on Cup night that should suit, so we will see how he pulls up after tonight but that would be the preferred option at this stage.” Secluded Beach (pictured) has also had seven outings in the state, winning four and finishing runner-up three times. “Secluded Beach has put in some smart runs since arriving in Tasmania and run quick times, he’s had a couple of good tussles with Buster William and come out on top and he wore him down again in the straight tonight after a two-horse war all the way,” said Rohan. “There is a C6-9 race in Hobart in two weeks time and I’d like to race him through to Free-For-All company or we might give him one more run and then give him a break with the idea of setting him for a campaign to achieve that task.” Believe In Forever and Secluded Beach are both owned by David Maffey, Peter Hayes and Murray James in Western Australia. Hadley’s third winner for the night came courtesy of the Shelley Barnes-trained Volkova Leis($21.10) in the third heat of the Harry Holgate Memorial, the five-year-old mare was taken forward from ninth at the bell to commence the three-wide train. The favourite Mahksman hit the front on the home bend but Volkova Leis swallowed him up quickly before bravely staving off challenges from Im Full Tilt and Levi Jimmy. “She hasn’t had a lot of luck with the draws over short trips of late and Shelley has her going well now, she can win again on that run,” said the Bridport horseman. Shane Yates

Harjeet showed yet again why he is the top pacer racing in the state with an exciting victory in the Toreace Flying Mile on Sunday night at Tab Park in Hobart. The striking Rocknroll Hanover – Our Zellweger five-year-old gelding (pictured), trained and driven by Todd Rattray, backed up from his slashing Tassie Golden Apple win over Scooterwillrev in Launceston on 14 December with another powerful performance against his arch-rival over 1609-metres. Rohan Hadley took the Craig Hayes prepared Scooterwillrev to the front at the bell after being trapped three-wide through the first 600-metres from the outside front line draw. “I knew Rohan (Hadley) would want to work Scooter to the front, so I sat back midfield until I could see he was going to find the top and then made our move up into the death at the 800-metre pole'” said Todd. “The race was on in earnest from there, they are two top horses and we went down the back in 27.6 seconds, Harjeet was just a little rough through the turn off the back so I just eased on the corner into the straight but once we straightened up I was confident he would finish the better. Harjeet scored by a head in a mile-rate of 1:55.5 and will now head to either the Devonport Cup on 27 January or the Hobart Pacing Cup on 3 February. “We are undecided at the moment, he would be off 20-metres in a stand-start at Devonport while the Hobart Cup is a mobile which suits him best so we are leaning in that direction,” said Todd. Todd also has one eye on his young champion Ignatius as he prepares for another mainland mission. “He arrived in Sydney on Saturday and appears to be over the slight infection that cost him what was to be his only Tasmanian run this campaign, he will have a trial and we will take it from there to have him cherry-ripe for the Chariots Of Fire.” Other feature race winners on the TTC programme on Sunday night were the Peter Dornauf trained Sea Double Ugrant in the New Norfolk Cup, notching up a winning hat-trick, while Ima Ginger Rogers capped off a sensational weekend for trainer Steve Davis winning the Matron Stakes to go with Black Centurian’s North Eastern Pacing Cup victory at Scottsdale on Friday. Trainer-driver Paul Hill lifted his four-year-old Feelin Dusty over the line to score by a head over by stablemate Streitkid in the Ted Plunkett Memorial.   Shane Yates

St Marys Cup winner Black Centurian celebrated a long-overdue and richly deserved victory in the $12,000 Bridport Hotel North Eastern Pacing Cup on Friday evening at Scottsdale. The Steve Davis prepared Jr Mint-Mon Poppy Mary nine-year-old gelding has had a luckless run in the Cup over the years finishing runner-up on three times, beaten by a narrow margin on each occasion. “Black Centurian (pictured) loves the Scottsdale track and performs well here, he’s just always found one better on the night every year and gone down by a nose or a half-head each time,” said Steve shaking his head. “He has come to Scottsdale this year in top form coming off victory in the St Marys Cup, it’s great that he has finally cracked the big one here, it was a super run and an outstanding drive by Gareth (Rattray) to come from last at the 400-metre mark and win like he did.” Racing was tight and compact and certainly no place for the faint of heart as the Cup field of ten thundered into the straight to receive the bell, it appeared likely something had to give and it was last year’s Cup winner Full Speed Ahead that almost sold out, going down on his nose at the tail of the field after clipping a wheel. The Wayne Campbell prepared race favourite Buster William hit the front at the 250-metre mark but Black Centurian was winding up out four wide on the track. The pair drew level before the turn and the Cup developed into a battle royal down the home stretch. “Buster William is a smart horse but I was confident as they turned for home Black Centurian had his measure,” said Steve “He’s tough, strong and courageous and you always knows he’s going to be giving 100 per cent right down to the wire, we will press on now to Devonport on 27 January in a bid for his third Cup win in a month.   Shane Yates

The Country Cup’s Carnival rolls on today at Scottsdale with the running of the Bridport Hotel North Eastern Pacing Cup over 2692 metres. Reigning champion Full Speed Ahead (pictured), trained by Todd Rattray, will defend his title against last season’s Steve Davis prepared runner-up and this year’s St Marys Cup winner Black Centurian. “Black Centurian could almost drive himself to Scottsdale, he’s been there so many times and run off some stiff handicaps and been beaten narrow margins to some smart horses,” said Steve. “The track is only small but he just loves it, he can’t go a yard at Burnie but grows a leg when he spots the Scottsdale sign post.” The Ben Yole-prepared Perfect Mach is in search of its second Cup success in the space of a week after streaking away with the 7BU Burnie Cup for Hannah van Dongen last Friday to record its first Tasmanian victory. “We bought him as a Country Cups circuit horse but he hadn’t shown us a lot until last week, but on the strength of that run he has to be a chance today,” said Ben. The 2016 North Eastern Cup winner Major Callum is back for another tilt at the feature, the eight-year-old Art Major gelding was in the care of Juanita McKenzie when defeating Black Centurian by a head but is now trained by Brooke Hammond and will gain the services of Rod Ashwood for today’s assignment. The Todd Rattray-trained Meander Valley Cup winner Goggo Gee Gee has drawn the pole while Buster William, for Wayne Campbell, will be out to keep its North Eastern Cup Day record intact having won in 2017 as a three-year-old and again last year by 17 metres. Today’s Bridport Hotel North Eastern Cup programme, will be streamed live from Scottsdale at tasracing.com.au with a preview of the meeting with host Duncan Dornauf before the first, set down for decision at 16.37.   Shane Yates  

Star Tasmanian pacer Ignatius is an early scratching from Friday night's Launceston Pacing Club meeting. Trainer Todd Rattray made the decision tonight after he examined the results of blood tests showing the young champion had not fully recovered from a slight infection. "He's not far off being ready to start him but we wouldn't knowingly start any horse that wasn't 100% right so there will be no risks taken," said a disappointed trainer. "We were looking forward to seeing him race here in Tasmania in preparation for another mainland campaign but time is against now for that to happen." Ignatius (pictured), the reigning Tasmanian Horse of the Year and New South Wales Three-Year-Old of the Year, is being set for next month's $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle Park in Sydney. "Tonight's issue is a set back for sure, not a major one but a set back all the same, when you are coming up against the best horses in Australia everything needs to be going well, not mishaps here and there along the way," said Todd. "We are planning on a direct trip to Sydney with him and that just doesn't happen by clicking your fingers, we were hoping to give him one run here at home but that may be tricky now, he'll have to have a run prior to the heats of the Chariots so we will just have to play it by ear and see how it pans out."   Shane Yates

Black Centurian grabbed its second St Marys Cup in the space of four years for Spreyton trainer Steve Davis. The nine-year-old tuned back the clock to 2015, teaming up again with champion reinsman  Garerth Rattray to record a sensational victory over Dasher Houli for Spreyton trainer Steve Davis. “He’s been a great old warrior for us he deserved to win another feature Cup, he’s gone so close so many times,” said Steve. “Black Centurian’s victory in 2015 was exciting but to see him come out and repeat the dose four years later off 20-metres was a great thrill.” Black Centurian showed his usual speed off the mark to settle three back the pegs for champion reinsman Gareth Rattray sitting on the back of Dasher Houli which was camped behind early leader Alta Surreal who led from outside the front line. “As they turned for home Dasher Houli hit the front but Black Centurian was the widest runner and coming hard,” said Steve. “The pair came away from the rest of the field to fight out the finish with Gareth lifting him over the line in the last few strides to win.” The nine-year-old Jr Mint – Mon Poppy Mary gelding will now follow the same path as recent years on the Country Cup circuit. “We will head to Scottsdale again next week, he loves the track and been runner-up in the North Eastern Cup for the last three years,” said the dual code trainer. “Gareth will be sticking with him at Scottsdale and then he will contest the Devonport Cup, he ran fourth last year to Riverboat Jasper and in 2017 he finished second to Pachacuti so we know he’s up to it.” The win sparked a successful back half of the six race card for Gareth Rattray piloting home the last three winners Mavis Merle ($1.80), Black Centurian ($7.70) and Give Me The Night ($2.30).   Shane Yates  

Rohan Hillier pulled off a successful hit and run mission at Carrick Park on Sunday steering home three winners including two of his stable runners. Beachboy Butch (pictured) started Rohan’s winning run with a spectacular victory in the Rebecca White MP Pace. The Somebeachsomewhere-Lifeline four-year-old gelding had galloped in the score up at it’s two Tasmanian start so Rohan decided to take no chances. “I elected to keep him back 15 metres at the start and it worked out well he tends to as he fires-up in the field, he was a distinct last for the first half of the race but once we made our move at the bell I was feeling confident he had them covered,” said Rohan. “He sprinted up well under a good hold out four and five wide and went to the front on straightening, he dashed clear at the top of the stretch, I may have got to the front a little early because he switched right off but he was very impressive.” The Marc Butler prepared Adele Said provided Rohan with the middle pin of his driving treble with a sensational run from well back in the field. “Adele Said scored a dynamic victory, Marc (Butler) has her going really well that’s her third win for the season and she was unlucky not to win last time at Carrick when second to Alta Surreal,” said the Beauty Point reinsman. “They went hard down the back and that improved her chances and when I pulled her out wide on the track she hit top gear and it was all over.” Rohan’s second win as a trainer came with Im Compliant overcoming early troubles to swap them late for a spectacular victory. “Im Compliant had all sorts of issues early avoiding a few problems and I ended up the only place I didn’t want to be three back on the pegs,” said Rohan shaking his head. “When we finally got out at the 350-metre mark I thought we were racing for second place but he let down magnificently and sprinted home over the top of them like a very good horse, he may be a better sprinter than I originally thought.” War Dan Star got punters off on the right leg in the opener with Gareth Rattray piloting the Chris Aylett trained four-year-old Western Terror – Molly’s Lucky Star gelding to his first win of the season. The $1.50 favourite led all the way over the 2150-metre journey, skipping clear on the home turn to win by an ever-increasing margin of fourteen metres. Todd Rattray guided his Bettors Delight – Ashkalini six-year-old gelding to an exciting victory in the Maxfield Drilling Meander Valley Cup. Goggo Gee Gee had been given the run of the race before fighting off Iam Aw Sam and Ima Ginger Rogers to win by three metres, returning a mile rate for the 2650 metre staying trip of 2:04:3. Ricky Duggan surged Mi Ju Dan ($11.10) to the post to nail Pockets Of Courage in the very last stride to win by a short half head for Westbury trainer Rod Plunkett while Gareth Rattray completed a winning double when he lifted the Michael Smith trained All Style Sammy($13.30) over the line to defeat the favourite Illegal Immigrant ($1.20) by a head. Punters put their faith in the Rohan Hadley trained and driven Believe In Forever and they were rewarded with victory first-up from a six-month spell but just as they were thinking how easy this punting game is along came the Geoff Madden trained and driven Master Paige delivered a knock-out in the last at odds off $91.80, scoring by a lip over fellow outsiders Our Boy Johnny ($44) and Only A Myth ($35).   Shane Yates

Leading Female trainer Bianca Heenan and premier reinsman Ricky Duggan celebrated the new era of the Tasmanian Trotting Club in Hobart on Friday with winning trebles. Bianca’s successes commenced with the in-form Twenty Two Karat saluting after being backed into $2.90 favouritism in the Tasmanian Equine Veterinary Pace. Hannah van Dongen drove the Always A Virgin – Goldleaf four-year-old mare confidently finding the breeze early before scooting to the front and dashing clear at the 400-metre mark to notch up her fifth win of the season. Star Chamber ($2.40) showed he’s ready for the state’s feature races over the Christmas – New Year break with a powerful performance off the back mark in the Col Saunders Memorial Brighton Cup. “Star Chamber stepped away quickly from the 30-metre handicap and settled just worse than midfield, Rod (Ashwood) took The Aussie to the early lead and I had the co-backmarker Isaac on our back,” said Mark. “Approaching the bell I knew Ricky (Duggan) was getting itchy fingers with Isaac and looking to flush me out to give him cover but I was happy to make our move because I was confident he was travelling strongly.” Star Chamber, having its run back in the state from a mainland campaign, took over from The Aussie at the turn off the back but the ten-year-old Our Sir Vancelot – Courtney Breeze gelding still had Isaac stalking him. “The pressure was on and I was a sitting duck really, but that’s when his quality, courage and will to win to kicked in” said the premiership leading reinsman. “We turned for home a sulky’s length in clear and held Isacc all the way down the stretch.” Christian Salter handed Bianca her third winner for the night when Trumps Golden Boy ($5.00) trotted to back-to-back victories in the Alderbaran Park Trotters Mile. Ricky Duggan’s Christmas came early piloting home Streitkid ($2.70 fav) for Paul Hill, the Christian Salter prepared Madaboutthechase ($7.00) and the Rod Ashwood trained Still Hungover ($1.80 fav). Shane Yates

Classy six-year-old Taurisi proved he’s one of the best pacers in the state with his outstanding win in heat one of the Tassie Golden Applie Series  in Launceston on Sunday night. Punters who had backed the Todd Rattray trained and driven pacer into $1.70 had their hearts in their mouths until Todd extricated the Always’s A Virgin – Exclusif gelding away from the peg line at the 800-metre mark. With runs coming on his outside Todd sat quietly and although shuffled back to third last down the back the popular pick was now seeing daylight. Todd eased Taurisi (pictured) to the outside inside the 400-metre pole and he powered home down the stretch out five wide to gain the day in the last few strides over Mister Lennox, Offthetopofmyhead and Another Swinger. “Getting him away from the stand is always tricky, we didn’t lose a lot of ground at the start and we got a soft run which is what he needs in his races and I knew once we got into the clear he could run them down,” said Todd. Taurisi recorded a mile rate of 2.02.7 with the last half of 57.7 sec, but it wasn’t a race that was won on times, it was won by a cool-headed driver and a horse that showed his courage and tenacity to be never beaten. With the first heat run and won attention quickly turned to heat two and the eagerly awaited clash of Scooterwillrev and reigning Easter Cup winner Harjeet. The rock hard race fitness of the Craig Hayes prepared Scooterwillrev, the winner of five of his last six starts, up against Harjeet first up from a six-month spell. “Scooterwillrev was very impressive, finding the lead at the mile and running sensational sectionals coming home the last half in 55.6 seconds, but I was very happy with Harjeet’s effort to sit outside the leader and stick on so gamely in the stretch to finish third running those times,” said Todd. “He appears to have pulled up well, we don’t work him hard at home as he gets his fitness from racing so with the run under his belt he will strip much fitter for Friday night’s Gold Apple Final Todd was also aboard Harjeet’s half-brother Izaha in the second race of the night, the Roll With Joe – Our Zellweger four-year-old made it seven wins from a 12 start career with a herculean effort to defeat Secluded Beach by a head. “He was first up since May, started from outside the front line and to then race in the death and run the time they did of 1:56.1 for the mile was a super performance,” said a delighted trainer-driver. “Given he begins well from the tapes I might run him in the Country Cups but his main mission is the Raider Stakes at Devonport in May.”   Shane Yates

Bianca Heenan, Hannah van Dongen, Ben Yole , Mark Yole and Rod Ashwood all enjoyed successful evenings in Hobart on Friday picking up winning doubles. Bianca Heenan extended her lead in the Female Trainers Premiership with the first two winners on the card both steered home by rising star Hannah van Dongen. “Big Bang Raj ran right up to his last outing to win strongly from a tricky draw outside the front line, he began well but couldn’t get across without using too much petrol so Hannah just allowed him to settle midfield and waited for the early speed to come out of the race before making her move,” said Bianca. “Big Bang Raj got a breather in the middle stages and when the pressure came on at the 400 metre mark he was ready to go and he took over turning for home and burst clear to win easily, I was also happy with the run of stablemate Swap Me which ran on strongly to run the quinella at double figure odds.” Bianca and Hannah team up again in race two with Alta Surreal making it back-to back victories after scoring in style at Carrick on Sunday. “Alta Surreal (pictured) is in a rich vein of form he won powerfully last week and once he found the front I was feeling confident, ” said the Brighton trainer. “He was attacked and headed by Jake’s A Joy at the bell but Hannah didn’t panic, she was rating Alta Surreal well and at the 400 metre pole she lifted the tempo and he strolled away for five  metre win.” Ben and Mark Yole combined with seven-year-old mare I’m Paige coming from the one – one and Diamond Grace overpowering The Lemon Drop Kid after sitting in the breeze while Rod Ashwood was successful with the Juanita McKenzie prepared Isacc toppling stablemate Laredo Torpedo before saluting in the last for Ken Shorter with odds-on favourite Betterthanfetta.   Shane Yates

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