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Star harness racing filly Shartin is chasing history. The dual Oaks winner will take her spot in the $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby at Albion Park this Saturday night. Fresh from her dominant front-running display in last week's Queensland Oaks, trainer Dean Braun has elected to tackle the boys in the blue riband classic. Historically, the girls just don't seem to beat the boys. New Zealand filly Oaxaca Lass (2002) is the only member of the fairer sex to win the Queensland Derby, a race first staged back in 1969. Amazingly, Oaxaca Lass didn't win the Oaks feature prior to her Derby triumph; she played the runners-up role when second behind local filly Sparkling Melody while the vanquished also included the likes of Elect To Live and Sassy Sarah. So, Shartin is looking at becoming the first Queensland Oaks/Derby heroine. “I was very happy with her performance last week, while the lead time was steady it was the last mile that really pleased me and she was completely dominant at the line and Luke (McCarthy – driver) confirmed that immediately after the race.” Braun said. The Tintin In America filly will start from gate two in the 2680m feature while race favourite The More The Better starts off the second-line. And Braun is confident about the extra distance this week. “I’m not concerned about the distance, I think the longer the better for her and she proved that when successful in the Tasmanian Oaks earlier this season. While she has a very high cruising speed, she can stick a bit too given she’s out of a Live Or Die mare. “With a good draw, we should be fairly handy again and that gives Luke plenty of options. Obviously, The More The Better is the horse to beat and he looked sharp again last week but hopefully we can be right there matching it with him. “Since returning from a break, she’s proven she can compete with the very best fillies and she’s still on the way up. I’ve trained some nice fillies and mares like Nike Franco, Pacific Playgirl and Itz Nosurprisesthere among others and I’m not certain they could do what this filly is doing right now.” Shartin is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown next month in Melbourne and therefore, the Queensland Derby start is likely to be her final race this term. While Braun is yet to train a Queensland Derby winner, driver McCarthy is chasing his fifth success. His winners include Slipnslide (2004), Tip Your Hat (2006), For A Reason (2010) and Bling It On (2014). Goulburn filly My Casino Belle, a runner-up behind Shartin last week in the Queensland Oaks is also backing up but has drawn poorly. Trained and driven by Brad Hewitt, My Casino Belle will start from gate 13, the outside of the second-line. The Queensland Derby is listed as Race 4 on the program. Chris Barsby

The second night of the 2017 Brisbane harness racing winter carnival at Albion Park belonged to the Victorians. Brilliant filly Shartin dominated the Gr.2 $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks when leading all the way for trainer Dean Braun and driver Luke McCarthy defeating My Casino Belle and race favourite Partyon in the 2138m feature. Shartin led comfortably from her inside draw and ambled through the lead time in 38.9 seconds with My Casino Belle tucking into the trail position while Partyon pushed forward to race outside the leader and then presenting Delightful Memphis in the one out one back trail. Over the final mile, McCarthy allowed Shartin to roll and posted sectionals of 29.8, 29.9, 27.9 and 26.4 seconds. Shartin rated 2:32.9, a mile rate of 1:55.1. Facing the starter for only the ninth time in her career, the Tintin In America filly has now won six times which also includes her triumph in the Tasmania Oaks earlier this season. The Queensland Oaks has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Braun who has enjoyed success previously with Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and Nike Franco (2014). It is expected that both Shartin and My Casino Belle will back-up next week and tackle the boys in the Queensland Derby. Speed machine Hectorjayjay claimed back to back victories in the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint defeating My Field Marshal and Lennytheshark in a time of 1:54.1. The time is one of the slowest in recent years; in fact, it’s the slowest time since the incomparable Blacks A Fake scored in 2011 in a time of 1:54.5. Leading easily, Hectorjayjay and driver Josh Aiken strolled through the opening half in 29.4 and 30.8 seconds which instantly nullified the winning chances of his rivals. My Field Marshal worked around the field quickly and raced outside Hectorjayjay while Lennytheshark sat behind his stablemate. Racing down the back straight, Hectorjayjay was full of racing and the third split was timed in a leisurely 29.2 seconds. In the straight, the sprint went into overdrive and Hectorjayjay was able to hold My Field Marshal by a neck margin with Lennytheshark a further 6m away in third. The last quarter was clocked in 25.7 seconds. Hectorjayjay is prepared by David Aiken and was handled by his son Josh. The victory pushed his earnings past the $1 million mark. It was his 41st victory from 78 starts. Hectorjayjay becomes the first pacer since Cobbity Classic (2005/06) to claim back to back victories in the sprint feature. Next week, the open class feature is the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake over the staying distance of 2680m. The More The Better, nominal favourite for next week’s Queensland Derby capped his campaign with another stylish display in the Gr.3 $30,540 Egmont Park Provincial Derby defeating Pretty Hot and Cowboys N Aliens. Fresh from his success last week in the Premiers Cup, The More The Better and driver Natalie Rasmussen sat back in the field while the leaders set a hot speed up front. In the end, the Bettors Delight colt proved too classy winning by 6m in a time of 1:55.2 for the 2138m distance. The $20,540 Burwood Stud Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes was taken out by talented local mare Cherish The Moment who beat race favourite Bettorthanspecial and Joys A Babe in a time of 1:53.9. Cherish The Moment is trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon. The Mach Three mare has now won 13 of her 40 starts with earnings in excess of $120,000. Next week, the features include the $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake, the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals and the Gr.2 $75,000 Queensland Derby. Chris Barsby

Plans for classy three-year-old filly Shartin are in limbo. The Tasmanian Oaks winner made a triumphant return to the harness racing today (Monday) at Warragul following her stylish display at Hobart on March 19. Starting at a short quote and clear punters elect, the Tintin In America filly strolled home for an effortless victory in the Downtowner Pace rating a slick 1:56.0 for the 1790m event. Champion reinsman Chris Alford took the winning drive. Originally, the Dean Braun trained filly was being readied for the Brisbane winter carnival with the $75,000 Queensland Oaks on July 8 the main target. But those plans aren’t set in stone anymore. “We’ve been building towards the Brisbane carnival but plans may have changed given the announcement from across the weekend. There’s a fair bit to consider and we’ll discuss that in the coming days.” Braun said. The All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have outlined plans for both of their standout fillies Spanish Armada and Partyon, both multiple feature race winners this season. Spanish Armada claimed the Gr.1 $150,000 Diamond on Jewels day at Ashburton on Saturday in a time of 1:52.1 while running home her final 400m in an eye-popping 25.5 seconds. The Bettors Delight filly now adds her Jewels triumph to her Sires' Stakes, Sales Series, Nevele R Final and NZ Oaks to her list of feature race victories this season with the promise of more to come. And that has Braun on the back foot. “They’re the best stable in the world for a reason so of course I’m going to rethink my plans, it’s a long way from Melbourne to Brisbane and it’s not a cheap exercise. “Going all that way to meet a filly like her among others is something I’d like to avoid but the owners will make the final call. Spanish Armada could easily end up being one the best fillies of all time. “Since the Tasmanian trip, the filly has come up in very good order and I’m very happy with the progress she’s made. I think she has quite a future, her speed is her best asset.” Shartin has now won 4 of her 6 to date. The New Zealand bred filly will next start in the final of the heat she contested today which is scheduled for TABCORP Park, Melton on June 17. A start in the Listed $25,000 Gold Coast/Provincial Oaks at Albion Park on July 1 is also an option for Braun and his connections before the Queensland Oaks. And Braun is no stranger to success in the Queensland Oaks having prepared previous winner Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) while his son Noah co-owned Nike Franco (2014). Chris Barsby

New Zealand bred three-year-old filly Shartin powered her way to an emphatic harness racing win in the Cripps Waratah Tasmanian Oaks over 2579 metres in Hobart last night. The Victorian filly settled last from her wide front-row draw but inside a lap her driver Chris Alford sent the daughter of Tintin In America around the field to find the lead. From there on it was a procession with the filly forging clear turning for home and she went on to score by almost 12 metres from El Jays Mystery that faced the breeze throughout with Playing Arkabella a half-head away third. It was Alford's third drive aboard the filly and he said she was always travelling like the winner. "I was mindful that this filly can do a few things wrong if she has to race wide so I dropped her out to last and then whipped around them early on and she was able to find the front without having to spend too much gas," Alford said. "Dean Braun paid about $50,000 for this filly in New Zealand but I'm sure she will pay her way. "She is still learning what it's all about but tonight she did everything right and she had the race won a long way from home. Shartin is owned by a syndicate that includes Tasmanian Dean Richards who is overseas on business. Alford said Shartin was likely to head to the heats of the Victorian Oaks next month. Shartin has won three of her five starts with this latest her most impressive and the $15,000 prizemoney took her career earnings to just beyond $25,000. It was Alford's fourth Tasmanian oaks having been successful on Concorde Lombo in 1997, Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and last year aboard Dancingwithsierra. Peter Staples

The countdown continues – we are now into February so it is 50 days or less to one of Australia’s best Carnival of juvenile harness racing. February is the starting date for school children to return to their favourite teachers and it is now the time for the equine debutantes to commence their schooling. One of them did so in a blaze of glory at Menangle on the last day of January. So impressive was he that he wrote the favourites name all over the early betting tickets for the Group One Bathurst Gold Crown on March 25. The colt with speed to burn and the name of Divine State gave young reinsman Chris Geary a “Luke Nolan” type ride or in this case a drive. All Chris had to do was touch the accelerator or the brake and steer to the winning post. Divine State, trained by the Menangle Park Training Centre based Shane and Lauren Tritton, ran the gate and blazed an unheard of first quarter for a two-year-old of 26.6. A final quarter in 27.2 stopped the clock from ticking in 1.52.8 – mind blowing for a youngster on debut in this part of the world. “It certainly left me in a divine state,” said part owner Dave Harper recently. Dave and his wife Helen purchased Divine State, a son of Tintin In America, from the Kiwi stables of Mark Jones about 10 or 11 weeks ago as ready to go but unqualified youngster. He certainly is a much travelled young lad as he was bred and reared at Glenferrie Farm, near Goulburn in NSW. Then he was sold to New Zealand connections and named over there as Thrown In. However his next planned float trip is a little shorter – up the mountain to Bathurst for the Gold Crown Carnival, commencing with his heat on March 18. In the meantime Dave and Helen Harper are riding the crest of a wave with a couple of Divine State’s stable mates – Salty Robyn and Blue Moon Rising. Salty Robyn has strung together 10 successive wins including sub 1.50 victory and will take on the Kiwi Superstar Lazarus in the Chariots of Fire later this week. Blue Moon Rising has won 12 of his 16 starts and qualified for the $200,000 Vic Derby. “We’re having a hell of a ride at the moment,” said Dave. “We do realise that runs like this don’t go on forever in the horse racing business. “I have followed Harness Racing for 40 Years but only bought our first horse, Curtis Maguire, about three years ago.” The Harpers had considered five or six trainers in NSW to train their horses but after firstly talking to Marlene Sweeney, they were quickly convinced that Marlene’s son Shane Tritton and his wife Lauren were the ones. At this stage the Harpers are thinking they will be in Bathurst with a filly as well. But that’s another story for another day….. All we’ll say for the moment is that she has a “hot” name. The Sire of Divine State heading for the “Blue” State? Hot on the heals of the amazing debut of Divine State is the rumoured news that his sire Tintin In America has been sold to breeders based in NSW. Tintin In America, by McArdle from an In The Pocket mare, displayed extraordinary speed in his 35 start career. He won 16 races from two through four including five Group one victories in either Australia or New Zealand. From his first crop (three-year-olds in 2015/16) he sired the Group One placegetters Zee Dana (2nd in NSW Derby) and Dame Puissant (3rd in WA Oaks). If the rumours turn into reality, then Tintin In America will be a welcome addition to the NSW Stallion ranks. John Coffee

Another session of harness racing trials were held at the Rangiora Raceway today (March 2nd) and as is the norm these days, they unearthed several promising horses in both the qualifiers and in the C0 and faster heats. Qualifiers 1) Lavros Jack -  4 year old by Bettor's Delight from Lavra Ruby A beautifully bred pacer but all Lavros Jack wants to do is trot. Missed his ticket a couple of weeks ago for an early scramble but no such problems today and won his qualifying trotting heat like a horse that wont be a maiden long. Straight to the front and ran them along at a good clip and never looked in danger at any stage. His time was over eight seconds under the qualifying mark and with a little bit more experience, he is going to furnish into a nice horse. 2) Claus  -  3 year old gelding by Tintin In America from B G's Chance This half brother to the very smart Fake Chance 1:56.9 ($232,328) looks to have inherited a lot of the family ability. Manners were excellent from the stand and seemed to do it all within himself. Bettered the qualifying standard by over four seconds and looks the type that won't be long registering that first win Two Year Olds 1) Mr Kalypso  -  2 year old colt by Art Major from Kalypso Another Australian import for the All Stars barn and this one has breeding to burn. He is a half brother to three $100,000 winners including the millionaire pacer Caribbean Blaster 1:52.6 ($1,113,677) and his trial performances have been top class lately. Today he settled three back on the inner before coming off at the 500 metres and despite being held back to the competition, won with a lot in hand in good time. He paced the 2000 metres in 2:32.7, a mile rate of  2:2.8 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 27.4 and did it easily. Very competitive in any race the All Stars barn line him up in over the next few weeks. Very talented. 2) Ariadne Lavra - 2 year old filly by Art Major from Hilarous Lavra Lined up against the older horses in a maiden heat and gave them a fair old spanking. Drew wide at barrier six but just had too much speed for some handy maidens. Her overall time of 2:31.1 was smart on its own but her closing sectionals of 56.2 and 27 flat were exceptional and she did it easily. Looks a Sires Stakes filly on that run and won't be out of her depth there either going by todays effort. 3) Di'z Luck  -  2 year old filly by The Pres from Howz Lucky A full sister to the very smart two year trotter of a couple of years ago in Primz Luck, this filly is a half sister to a further five winners including Madison Luck (11 wins) and Lanez Luck (7 wins)  She settled last today in the five horse field for two year old trotters before improving from the 600 metres mark and running past them in the home straight with trainer driver Gavin Smith sitting very quietly in the bike. It was a very impressive performance and she was privately timed to run her last 800 metres in a sharp 58.5. Looks to be plenty of upside to to Di'z Luck and she is one to keep an eye out for in the upcoming two year old trotting races. C1 + Faster Pace 1) Artful  -  3 year old filly by Art Major from Ouch La Fe Fe Very impressive performance today which was following up a top third in the $150,000 PGG Wrightson Sales Race at Addington. Followed Emily Brunt around from the 500 metres when that filly improved and then went straight by her in the last 150 metres for an emphatic win over a classy filly. Her last 400 metres of 26.6 was the quickest of the whole day and she seemed to do it without too much urging from driver John Dunn. Seems to have improved even further from her Addington run and will have plenty of opportunities against her own sex in the next few weeks to further her already handy record. Harnesslink Media

Manly rugby league hero Brett Stewart has never shirked making a tackle . . . and now the harness racing pacer he part-owns, Zee Dana is set to do the same. The gelding son of Tintin In America threw the gauntlet down to New Zealand's unbeaten superstar Our Waikiki Beach when he set a world-record time for three-year-old colts and geldings on the way to smashing his rivals in the first heat of the New South Wales Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight Saturday the 20th of February. A masterly drive by Victoria Nathan Jack saw Zee Dana stop the clock in a stunning 1:54.7 for his final mile, breaking Major Secret's previous world record for three-year-olds over 2400m by a full second. Jack quickly showed his intentions when he was smartly away from gate five before taking a trail on Don't Hold Back in the opening Derby qualifier. But turning for home a split came when Power Of Red began to drop off after racing outside the leader and Zee Dana shot clear before romping away to score by almost 14 metres from Code Black (Todd McCarthy) with El Major (Mat Rue) a late-closing and impressive third. Zee Dana Jack barely had time to wipe the mud from his visor on a night hit by intermittent showers before he was back in the winners' circle in the second Derby heat, leading all-the-way with Brallos Pass to score by 2.9m from Sams The Master with another Victorian visitor Soho Tribeca (Chris Alford) flashing through to nab third. The son of Major In Art already has the SA Derby to his credit before a creditable fifth to Lazarus in the Victoria Derby. With the right draw he is now certain to make his presence felt in tomorrow week's $200,000 Coca-Cola Amatil NSW Derby. Brallos Pass The third and final Derby heat was just what the fans expected with the unbeaten Our Waikiki Beach (Natalie Rasmussen) doing just enough to make it 15 successive wins and maintain his unbeaten record. Rasmussen made her move with the gelding son of Somebeachsomewhere from last with 1000m to travel and settled outside the leader Shadow Runner before putting paid to his rivals in the straight to score in a 1:57.1 mile rate. Our Waikiki Beach The make-up for next week's 12-horse NSW Derby, with the barrier draw to be done tomorrow (Sunday) morning is: Zee Dana, Code Black, El Major, Frankie Rocks, Brallos Pass, Sams The Master, Soho Tribeca, Ascot Encounter, Our Waikiki Beach, Kingofthestars, Cant Refuse and Stanley Ross Robyn. by Michael Court                

American Flybye has created a really good impression in her short career todate but faces her biggest challenge so far when she lines up in race one at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park tonight. Trained by Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick, the daughter of Tintin In America has racked up three wins from her first three starts in the hands of stable driver Scott Phelan. Tonight she has had the misfortune to draw five on the second line but Scott has not written her off due to the draw. " She is a really nice filly and even from the draw I think she is a winning chance tonight." "She is going to need a bit of luck but if things went her way, she could roll over the top of them," Scott said. American Flybye has been part of the Telfer and Garlic barn since an early two year old and they have always had a bit of a wrap on the filly. " Like a lot of good fillies she can be a bit headstrong every now and again but in the main she is lovely to do anything with." " She shows real dash coming off a horses back but due to the good draws we have had so far, she has always led in her races." " We have always thought that she would be better coming off a horses back in her races so I guess we are going to find out if we were right in tonights race, Scott said. Regardless of what she does tonight, Scott thinks the best may be in front of her. " She continues to improve all the time." " We will just stick to grade racing at the moment but it wouldn't surprise me if she found her way into some of the better fillies races later on," Scott said.  The run of American Flybye certainly hasn't hurt her young sire Tintin In America, whose oldest crop are only three and are doing a good job on both sides of the Tasman. Harnesslink Media

Tintin In America, a harness racing Group winner as a two, three and four-year-old in New Zealand, was represented by his first Group winner from his initial crop when Zee Dana captured the Group 3 $30,600 Garrards Horse and Hound Ready To Run Graduate Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night (August 15). A dominant favourite, the NZ bred youngster began like a rocket from the No 6 gate to assume role from the outset. After a leisurely middle half, Zee Dana peeled off fractions of 27.6 and 27.6 to easily keep his rivals at bay. The mile rate for the 2300 metres was 1:59.3. The win extended the gelding’s record to five starts for four wins and a second for $38,293 in stakes. He holds a mark of 1:57.3. Zee Dana was the fastest triallist at the Ready To Run Trialling Sale last December and changed hands for a super $71,000. Bred by David Kennedy, Zee Dana is out of the winning Dream Away mare Zwish (2:02.4), who left earlier winners in Phil Monty (1:54.6), a winner of nine races in Victoria, and Dana Dawn 2:01.1. He is a member of the noted Black Watch family whose descendants include Arden Rooney, Katy Perry, Reba Lord, Sovereign Hill, Laurella, Alta Christiano and The Unicorn. Tintin In America has already sired five individual two-year-old winners from his first small crop including the South Australian Kindergarten Stakes winner Just Wantano (2:00.7) and the Group placegetters Dame Puissant (1:59.6) and Aussie Vista (2:01.1). Zee Dana By Peter Wharton

The McArdle horse Tintin In America, a top pacer of a few years ago and a dual Harness Jewels champion, is a young sire – he was foaled in 2005 – already well on the way to proving a success with his first racing crop. He stands at the renowned Nevele R Stud, Christchurch for a fee of $A2,255 including GST. Actually Tintin In America has made a very impressive start as a sire. In his first season in New Zealand he left 32 foals, and of these he had three winners and four qualifiers, while his first Australian crop of 15 foals has produced two winners from four starters. Overall, Tintin In America has achieved a 70 percent winners-to-starters strike rate with his initial racing crop. From his first crop he has sired a top colt in Zee Dana (1:57.3), who has won three of his first four starts including a heat of the Breeders Crown and is rated one of the star two-year-olds in Victoria this season, and a brilliant filly in Dame Puissant (1:59.6), who has won three races in the west this season.  Just Wantano (2:00.7), winner of the SA Kindergarten Stakes and a close fourth in the Vicbred Final, and Aussie Vista (2:01.1), a placegetter in the QBred Triad 2YO Final, have been other winners by Tintin In America from his first crop. Tintin In America was a top racehorse himself, winning more than $900,000, and he won five times at Group 1 level and established three NZ records from 1609 to 2700 metres. He won the NZ Sires Stakes Championship as a two-year-old, while at 3 he took his record of 1:53.2 winning the $200,000 Harness Jewels, in which he defeated Sleepy Tripp, Stunin Cullen and Highview Tommy.  Tintin In America also set a  track record 1:56.1 mile rate for 2240 metres winning the Group 1 $170,000 Breeders Crown Final at Melton. At four years Tintin In America bankrolled $519,355 from eight wins and three seconds from 13 starts and was subsequently accorded NZ 4YO of the Year honours. Among the many highlights of his stellar four-year-old campaign were his successes in the $200,000 Harness Jewels (in 1:54.1), $150,000 NZ Messenger (in 1:56.6) and $50,000 Cambridge 4YO Futurity and his close second (beaten half a neck) to Monkey King in the $500,000 Auckland Cup. Tintin In America belongs to one of the fastest moving families in the NZ stud book. His dam, Zenterfold 1:56.6,  not only left four sub 2:00 performers, but she is a half-sister to the Cup winners winner Zenad 1:55.4 ($201,272), Zensational 1:54.8 ($138,808) and Zenola Seelster 1:58.2 ($102,706). Zenterfold was by champion sire and broodmare sire in the great In The Pocket (1:49.6) and was out of Zenola Star (2:01), by New York Motoring (1:56.2) from Now And Zen, by Chiola Hanover from the great producer in Zenover, dam of Motoring Magic (1:57.5), Interchange and others. Zenover was also the grand-dam of Elsu 1:53.6 ($2-million), Inter Dominion winner and highly successful sire. As one of the best winning members of the Zenover family, there is good reason to expect Tintin In America to make a name for himself as a sire. Peter Wharton

This Tuesday's harness racing meeting was at Shepparton and close finishes were the order of the night which featured two heats of the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for Two Year Old Colts & Geldings over 2190 metres. Heat eight went the way of the local training - driving combination of Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack with Tintin In America/Zwish gelding  Zee Dana. Driven by Nathan, Zee Dana led out from the pole, before taking cover on the well fancied ex-Kiwi Code Black to enjoy the run of the race. Assisted by third elect Born To Rocknroll moving from mid-field racing for the bell to keep the leader honest, Zee Dana made full use of the sprint lane to register a soft 1.3 metre victory over Code Black, with Born To Rocknroll 3.2 metres away in third spot. The mile rate was 1-58. Heat nine saw Vicbred Super Sires victor Shadow Sax continue on his winning way with a strong victory in a rate of 1-59.4, much to the delight of popular owner/breeders Russell and Pam Hockham. Trained by Emma Stewart  and driven by Gavin Lang, Shadow Sax who is getting better with every run, possied one/one from outside the front row with Peter Manning’s one time boom pacer Christmas Jolt leading from the pole with Greg Sugars aboard. Not happy with the tempo, Lang vacated the prime spot mid-race to park in the open and Shadow Sax outstayed his rivals, scoring by a neck after the pair drew away at the straight entrance. Swan Hill winner Betanotblink was 10.5 metres away after trailing the pacemaker. A gelded son of Shadow Play from the handy racemare Miss Saxony, Shadow Sax has fronted the starter on nine occasion for five wins, the last three in succession. Rockbank area trainer Rob O’Connell and stable reinsman Zac Phillips snared the Hunter Rural Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres with five year old Falcons Icon/Alkaliner gelding Jialiner in a rate of 2-00.7. Burning away from gate four, Jialiner was untroubled to lead throughout in  defeating Lights And Music which trailed using the sprint lane to no avail, the margin 2.1 metres, with Brother Rabbit 8.9 metres away after following the pair. Jialiner is raced by Peter Earl and partners who have won many races with horses using the “Liner” moniker. Riverina (Wagga Wagga) trainer Russell Campbell combined with Gavin Lang to land the Shepparton BMW 3-Y-0 Pace over 2190 metres with Sportswriter/Aflyin Home Lombo filly Lombo Newsy Scoop. Driven brilliantly, Lombo Newsy Scoop settled mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second row, weaving in-between runners in the last lap before dropping down to the inside approaching the home turn. Using the sprint lane, Lombo Newsy Scoop finished best to gain the day by 5.2 metres in two minutes even over Wantalinga Dream off a three wide trail last lap and first starter Mesmeric which led for the final circuit after crossing Major Missile at the bell. Five year old Righteous Hanover/Jasmin Korikina gelding Black Jasmin recorded his first victory since May 2013 when victorious in the 1st division of the Saddleworld Shepparton Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres. Trained at Gingarre (G/V) by former New South Welshman Greg Lewis, Black Jasmin driven by Ben Gledhill was given the run of the race one/one from gate five, with the Narrandera visitor To Infinitynbeyond leading from the pole. Taken three wide at the top of the straight, Black Jasmin in a punishing finish prevailed by a nose over Tee Da Green (one/one) out wide, with Boardwalk Emperor  (three back the markers) using the sprint lane to be a half head away in a thrilling finish. The mile rate was 1-58.5. The second heat was taken out by another border hopper in 3-Y-0 Flight Path/Maud gelding Quagmire giving Zac Phillips a driving double. Trained at Cobbity by Belinda McCarthy, Quagmire led throughout from the pole, scoring by a neck from Our Grasshopper which trailed in 1-57.2. Bubbas Princess rushed home from last at the bell to finish third 28.8 metres away. Sit sprinting specialist Awesome Mattjesty chalked up his 8th victory in 62 outings (4 this season), when successful in the Neatline Homes Pace for C2 class over 1690 metres. Driven by “Rocket” Rod Petroff for Coimadai trainer Steve Zammit, Awesome Mattjesty starting from inside the second row was given a charmed passage following the poleline leader Tennaya, before steaming home along the sprint lane to register a nose victory in advance of Bettor Atom off a three wide trail from near last in the final circuit, with Royal Deviate (one/one at bell – three wide home turn) a half neck away third in another tight finish. The mile rate was 1-57.1. Speaking of tight finishes, the Equine After Care Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2190 metres was a ripper, with local trainer Stephen O’Donoghue’s No Tomorrow blousing Forbidden Forest in a finish with had all guessing the result including caller Dan Mielicki. Driven by the stable’s Bec Bartley, No Tomorrow a 5-Y-0 gelding by Life Sign from Cobbity Cobbity was sent forward after starting outside the front line to park outside the leader Forbidden Forest which had moved around Ramblenroller which flew away from gate four. With the pair being joined by Nor Nor West three wide approaching the home turn, the three went head and head to the wire with No Tomorrow getting the judge’s nod by a nose in 1-58.8, with Nor Nor West first up since February just weakening over the concluding stages to be 1.9 metres away in third place. Len Baker

The Gr. 3 Ready2Run Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on August 15 is already shaping as an exciting contest.  The $30,000 harness racing event over 2300 metres is restricted to horses sold at last’s year Ready2Run Sale at Menangle and with talented pacers such as Zee Dana, Boundtobemad, Redbank Lenny, Kleened Out, Alesha Maguire and Milias Ideal eligible, the race should be a strong one. Zee Dana is unbeaten after two starts and scored an effortless victory at Shepparton on Thursday night with regular driver Nathan Jack impressed by the son of Tintin In America. “I like him, he is doing a good job now but I think he is going to be an even better three-year old,” Jack said. “At Shepparton he got a comfortable time of it in front but ran home very well and I still haven’t had to pull the plugs on him yet.” Jack confirmed connections will be forced to make a decision on the gelding’s short term future soon. “He is eligible for the Breeders Crown and the Ready2Run Stakes at Menangle, he won’t be able to go in both so Amanda (Turnbull trainer) will have to make a decision either way but we’re leaning towards going to Sydney at this stage. “His next start will be the Tatlow Stakes, he is a big horse, a real good type but I think he will be even better once he has had a spell.” Zee Dana is part owned by Manly fullback Brett Stewart and he is enjoying his first foray into harness racing.  If Zee Dana does compete in the Ready2Run Stakes at Menangle, Stewart was hoping to be trackside to watch the two year old compete but will need clearance from coach Geoff Toovey with Manly set to play the Raiders in Canberra the following day. Another quality youngster being aimed towards the Gr. 3 event is the Steve Harris trained Boundtobemad.  Harris got the opportunity to train the filly after original trainer Dean Cernovskis made his annual journey north to campaign a team of horses in Queensland during the winter carnival. “She was a nice filly and understandably her owners wanted her to be aimed towards the Breeders Challenge and the Ready2Run race at Menangle, her part owner Troy Saddler lives in Wagga so I suggested he send her to Steve Harris,” Cernovskis said. “Dave Reichstein took her down to Wagga for me for her first start and we weren’t expecting her to do too much but she ran a really good race, she was very green and was still learning so Steve has done a great job with her.” Harris took over the filly’s preparation after her debut effort and the daughter of Sportswriter has blossomed culminating in a Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge placing. “Since I’ve had Boundtobemad she has just continued to improve, I was very proud of her at Menangle in the Breeders Challenge,” Harris said. While the Ready2Run Stakes will be a target for Harris he is looking forward to seeing the filly win her first race. “I’d be happy to win an ordinary two year old race with her, we’ll definitely have a look at the Ready2Run Stakes though and the longer distance will be right up her alley. “She is a very tall filly but racy with it, I think she is going to improve with a bit of time and especially once she fills out into her frame.” Harris prepared youngsters for last year’s Ready2Run Sale and will be looking to have more horses in the sale later this year. “I only have a small team of racehorses at the moment but there are a lot of young ones here and I will be having a few for the Ready2Run Sale for sure.”    The Ready2Run Sale this year will be conducted on Sunday 6th December at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Greg Hayes

The harness racing breeding industry in Australasia has always been a hard place for young colonial stallions to establish themselves and with the advent of shuttle stallions and frozen semen it has become even harder in the last 15 years. One who is just starting out is Tintin In America 1:53.2 $934,305 who has two year olds on the track this season in both Australia and New Zealand. As you would expect in todays competitive market the son of McArdle has struggled to attract mares to his court and his crops to date have been small to put it mildly. In Australia Tintin In America has just 15 two year olds and has had three starters this season for two winners to date. The best of those is the smart filly Just Wantano who took out the $15,000 Kindergarten Stakes Final at Globe Derby in a 2:00.7 mile rate for the 1800 metres. Of note is that the other winner in Australia by Tintin In America in Aussie Vista is also a filly. In New Zealand where he stood at Nevele R Stud, Tintin In America has had 32 two year olds to represent him this season. He has had five qualifiers to date and one starter in New Zealand in American Flybye who won her only start to date. One of the qualifiers is Dame Puissant who qualified at Ashburton in December last year in 2:00.5 and is now in Perth, Western Australia. A nice second first up where the winner went 1:56.8, Dame Puissant won her only other start and looks very promising. Another one of the Kiwi bred two year olds to make his way to Australia is Zee Dana. Sold by Greg Payne at the Ready To Run sale last December at Menangle for a hefty $71,000, Zee Dana made his long awaited Australian debut at Bendigo yesterday from the Amanda Turnbull barn with Nathan Jack in the bike. Sent straight to the front by Nathan, Zee Dana just brained them by 27 metres in a 1:57.3 mile rate for the 1650 metres with closing sectionals of 56.8 and 28 and appeared to do it with plenty in reserve. So considering the number of mares he served and the quality of most of those mares, Tintin In America has made a good fist of his debut season with horses on the track. The way both his fillies and colts are going it wouldn't be a surprise if he served his biggest books in both Australia and New Zealand in the upcoming breeding season. Harnesslink Media

All of a sudden, the barrier draw is crucial to the outcome of the harness racing Gr.2 $80,000 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series No.7 Final next Friday (June 5). Under the conditions of the series, preferential barrier preference is given to fillies that qualify for the rich final. And after the four heats were contested tonight (Wednesday), the fairer sex made a clean sweep following the victories of Charlyse, Covert Beauty, Shezabonnygem and Aussie Vista. A total of six fillies qualified for the final with the four remaining spots going to the boy’s. The opening heat went the way of the highly regarded first starter Charlyse for trainer/driver Darren Weeks who led throughout to score easily by a widening margin from Earl Jujon and Timmo Time in a mile rate of 2;00.9 for the 1780m. The Changeover – Gliding Atom filly rated the quickest time of the four heats staged. Heat two was taken out by race favourite Covert Beauty who gained control soon after the start before scoring comfortably from a game debutant in Bella Rippin and Wishitwasheaven in a time of 2;01.6 Prepared by Mark Dux and handled by Pete McMullen, the Art Official – Our Lillyfield filly has now won three of her four starts to date. In heat three, promising type Shezabonnygem was able to race to the early lead and dictate terms before racing clear over the concluding stages  to defeat Riverleigh Dolly and Ivan The Third in a time of 2;03.1. Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, the South Park Hanover – Bonny Willow filly broke maiden ranks with this victory. In the fourth and final heat, race favourite Mucho Macho Man couldn’t reel in speedy filly Aussie Vista who led throughout after starting from the ace draw in a time of 2;01.1 with first starter Leos Best catching the eye with his fast finishing third. Trained by Shane Sanderson, the Tintin In America – Terranora Vista Filly provided star young reinsman Pete McMullen with a double for the night. The final field is; (not in barrier draw order) Charlyse, Earl Jujon, Timmo Time, Covert Beauty, Bella Rippin, Shezabonnygem, Riverleigh Dolly, Aussie Vista, Mucho Macho Man and Leos Best. The barrier draw will be conducted next Tuesday (June 2). A total of 30 two-year-olds contested the heats which is almost a third of the yearling sale staged last year by Darren Ebert & Co. Auctioneers which left club officials thrilled. Racing Queensland

Harness racing breeders are never slow to pick up the trends about new sires and these days are pretty quick to abandon any stallion who they think is not delivering on the track. The numbers of mares served by some of our newer sires this year are way down on what they served just twelve months ago and are due no doubt to the lack of winners these stallions are producing. The first one we are going to review is Art Official who dropped this season to just 17 mares after covering 72 last season. His oldest crop are three year olds and numbers 49 horses of which nineteen have qualified but just five have won a race. His second crop are two year olds this year and that crop numbers 80 horses and have produced one smart horse in Salty Robyn 1:53.9 ($ 44,600) who has been burning up Menagle in the last two months. His Australian offspring are doing a good job with small numbers which makes the New Zealand situation harder to understand.  Overall Art Official has been a little disappointing and unless his stock have a big next six months it is hard to see him coming back to Australasia next season. Tintin In America is another sire whose numbers fell away this year even though his oldest crop are only two year olds. That first crop numbers only 32 horses but to date has only had three qualifiers which is disappointing. It is way to early to make any decision about him as a sire but he only served 13 mares this year which means the breeders have taken a wait and see approach. Tintin In America badly needs four or five of those two year olds to salute the judge and create some momentum before the next breeding season or his days as a sire might be numbered. The former champion pacer Elsu is another stallion to get the cold shoulder from breeders. This is a stallion who has produced over 250 winners of over $12,733,000 to date in Australasia alone yet breeders have deserted him. This year he served just six mares in New Zealand and his future may lie in Australia where his stock have won over $8,424,000 and where he has left most of his winners. Gotta Go Cullect is another stallion to get the cold shoulder from breeders after being given every chance in his initial seasons at stud. In his first four years he served over 100 mares every year but this fell away bigtime this season with him attracting just 18 mares. At present he has 222 three year olds and older in New Zealand and to date he has sired just 30 winners so his days may be numbered in New Zealand. Lis Mara was an interesting one for us in that his numbers are not that bad overall. He has 175 horses three year old or older and so far has produced 49 winners and a further 37 that have qualified. Their main problem is like their sire they are better with a bit of age and people are not prepared to wait these days. From a high of 90 mares, Lis Mara dropped to just 7 mares this season and there would have to be real doubts that he would shuttle next year. Finally the trotting sire The Pres is another stallion to suffer a big drop off in demand from breeders after a slow start to his siring career. His oldest crop are just three year olds and number 38 horses and to date he has had just two winners as well as a further four qualifiers. From a high of 80 mares bred in 2013, The Pres slipped to just 13 mares this season and like all the others here badly needs a few flagbearers. It is very early for a trotting sire to be condemned but the breeders patience these days seems to wear out very quickly with any sire not performing immediately. What the above list shows is how hard it is to get a foot on the stallion ladder and once there how difficult it is to stay there. Harnesslink Media

Kentuckiana Lodge trainer Cran Dalgety has joined Patumahoe’s Geoff Small as NZ’s most successful trainers of Group One Breeders Crown Final winners after Katy Perry’s hard fought success in last Sunday’s $A297,000 Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Australasian Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park, Melton. Both have achieved five Breeders Crown Final successes in the specialised two-four age group categories, just one ahead of NZ’s premier trainer Mark Purdon. Cran Dalgety’s growing list of ABC Grand Final winners is: Sparks A Flyin (2001 3YO fillies), Smiling Shard (2009 2YO colts/geldings), Bit Of A Legend (2012-13 3YO colts/geldings) and Katy Perry (2014 2YO fillies). Former world champion driver Mark Jones partnered Sparks A Flyin. Current NZ champion Dexter Dunn has driven the stable runners since 2009. The Kentuckiana Lodge mentor is challenging as NZ’s most successful trainer at the Breeders Crown, taking into account his additional three Grand Final seconds _ Smiling Shard (2010 3YO colts/geldings), Onlyforyou (2012 2YO fillies) and Bit Of A Legend (2014 4YO entires/geldings). Northern-based, but Canterbury-raised Geoff Small, set the early pace among the Kiwis. Small’s ABC Pacing Grand Final winners are: Pullover Brown (2003 3YO Fillies), Changeover (2007 3YO Colts/geldings), Tintin In America (2009 3YO Colts/geldings), De Lovely (2010 3YO Fillies) and Cowgirls N Indians (2011 2YO Fillies). He also has a Group Two Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate FFA (open class race) to his credit, with All Tiger in 2009. Recuperating Cambridge driver David Butcher has partnered all but one of Small’s ABC winners. Templeton driver Anthony Butt partnered Pullover Brown for her ABC win after also driving her to win the NZ Oaks that season.  Anthony Butt, a close second driving Joanne’s A Delight in last Sunday’s 2YO Fillies Final, also won the 1998 ABC 3YO Fillies Final driving Under Cover Lover, Mark Purdon, who gained early ABC Final training successes with Galleons Assassin (2005 2YO trot) and Fly Like An Eagle (2012 3YO colts/geldings), doubled his quota when (My) Ayra (2YO fillies trot) and Follow The Stars (2YO colts/geldings) delivered last Sunday. His additional driving win with (Our) Twentyten (who he formerly trained) in the 3YO trot final on Sunday, makes him jointly NZ’s top driver in the 2-4YO age group catergories, with David Butcher, who besides the Small-trained winners, also reined Miami H to win the 2010 3YO trot final for trainers Derek Balle and Owen Gillies. Victorian trotting training master Chris Lang is the most successful Breeders Crown trainer with seven wins. His successes, all in ABC trot finals, are: Kyvalley Road (2002-03 2 & 3YO trot), Right Interest (2006 3YO trot), Skyvalley (2008-09 3 & 4YO trot) and Let Me Thru (2009-10 3 & 4YO trot). Lang has also added three Group Two Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate FFA wins, a race for open class trotters, with former champ, Sundons Gift (2007-08 & 2010). Lang’s brother, champion Victorian reinsman Gavin, although winless at the Breeders Crown this year, remains the most successful driver in Breeders Crown Finals, with 10 successes. Courtsey Of Cran Dalgety Racing

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