One of the most impressive winners on the nine-event harness racing program in Tasmania at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night was the Tommy Jackson-trained Finn Mac Kee (Stonebridge Regal-Scarlett Finn) who led throughout to easily win a C2 event over 1609 metres. It was Finn Mac Kee’s fifth win from only 13 starts but arguably his most impressive. The four-year-old is expected to have one more start in a C-2C3 in Launceston in a couple of weeks before being sent for a spell. “I’ll most likely give him one more start and then spell him but when I bring him back I’ll get him qualified from a standing start because I’d like to aim him at a few of the country cups over the Christmas-New Year period next season,” Jackson said. Finn Mac Kee has been a model of consistency this season winning four and being placed as many times from his 11 starts this time in. “I said early on that this horse could be the best I’ve had and he’s done nothing to change that opinion. “I don’t think he’ll have any problem with qualifying for standing start races and if I’m right he will be very compeitive in a few of the country cups. I’m not saying he’s up to the best but he is improving all the time and he loves to race,” he said. ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill has always had a knack with producing top flight young horses and this season has been no exception with his star filly Playing Arkabella scoring an emphatic win in the $30,000 Evicus Stakes final over 1609 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Hill won the race last year with his filly Chica Bella and while she was impressive throughout her two-year-old season there was as much to like about how Playing Arkabella went about her business in the last major feature juvenile race of the season. With Ricky Duggan aboard, Playing Arkabella ($1.50) was forced to work hard early from her outside front-row draw but eventually she was sent around the field to face the breeze outside of Harshali with the well-tried El jays Mystery on the back of the leader. When Duggan called on his filly for the big effort in the home straight she sped clear and went on to score by over 10 metres from El Jays Mystery ($7.80) with Harshali ($7.70) a short half-head away third. It was the filly’s fourth win from eight starts this season and she filled minor placings at her other four starts with this prizemoney from this latest win taking her career earnings to almost $46,000.. Hill prepared the favourite Rocknroll Turbo in the Dandy patch final but he had to settle for second to the highly promising Usain Jolt, depriving Hill of a record of preparing the winner of the Dandy Patch and Evicus two years in succession as he trained Hillview Jake to win last season's Dandy Patch. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ A Tasmanian harness racing star may have emerged at UBET Park Hobart last night when Usain Jolt, a well-bred two-year-old prepared by astute horseman Tony Petersen, delivered a brilliant performance to win the $30,000 Dandy Patch Stakes over 1609 metres. Usain Jolt (James Austin) went into the race having not won from four previous starts while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo was aiming to keep his unbeaten record intact having won at his only two outings, including an effortless win in the Dandy Patch Prelude two weeks earlier. But Petersen was able to iron out a couple of little problems that were impeding the gelding to race truly and it made all the difference. Harjeet showed brilliant early speed to lead but he was then taken on by the second-favourite Williamtell (Gareth Rattray) that rolled to the front and set a slid tempo while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo faced the breeze. Rocknroll Turbo hung badly throughout the race and that didn’t help his cause but when Ricky Duggan gave Usain Jolt his head racing down the back the last time he loomed as a genuine contender. But when the gelded son of Village Jolt balanced for the run home he powered past the leaders and went on to defeat Rocknroll Turbo by eight metres with a similar margin to Williamtell. “This horse has always shown us good ability but he’s just been a little bit wayward in is action but I sorted that out leading up to this race,” Petersen said. “He is very well bred and his breeding goes back to Chamfer Star and that’s really solid.” Austin was thrilled with the win and predicts a bright future for gelding. “The way this horse ravelled into the race tonight he was never going to lose. Tony has been able to straighten him out and I reckon there’s still plenty of improvement in him,” Austin said. Usain Jolt is owned by Jacinta Webb, Deb Carlton and life partners Tammy Carlton and Sam King. Peter Staples
Well-bred harness racing mare Angela De Marco delivered a clinical display to score an effortless win in a C2-C3 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park Hobart last Monday night. After circumnavigating the field to find the front at the halfway mark, the Tony Petersen-trained pacer left her rivals in her wake along the home straight as she cruised to a seven-metre win from Bone Fide Hustler, with Bertils Delight a head away third. Angela De Marco showed above average ability when she arrived from New Zealand early last year, but after only two outings which netted a placing, she was sent for a spell. The daughter of Washington Vc returned last June and emerged triumphant at her second start and proceeded to win four of her next seven outings. Petersen gave her a spell in September and from six starts this preparation Angela De Marco has won twice, with those victories coming from her past three starts. Angela De Marco is owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper, who have had a lot of success with stock they have purchased in New Zealand. The owners finished the meeting with a double courtesy of another NZ-bred campaigner, Something Eyre, which was impressive over 2090 metres. Also driven by Duggan, Something Eyre showed speed from gate two, but not enough to hold out Notimetothink which crossed from gate three to lead. Duggan angled away from the pegs to face the breeze, but he soon had cover when Kinky Boots was sent to the ‘death seat’. Duggan eased the gelding three-wide to make his charge along the back straight as Kinky Boots worked to the lead. Proving too slick during the latter stages, Something Eyre completed a three-and-a-half metre win from Saloon In Flight, with Rajah Wealth four-and-a-half metres away third. PETER STAPLES
Gosh Heza Rebel broke through for his first win in almost two years when he produced a game effort to win in the last stride at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Monday night. The Tony Petersen - trained seven-year-old was having seventh start for the season and had produced some game efforts leading up to the C1 event over 2090 metres. With in-form novice driver Adrian Collins aboard, Gosh Heza Rebel began well from gate three but was eased out of the early action to take a sit one-out-one-back. That became one-out-two-back when the well tried Cooked Books made a mid-race move to race around the field and face the breeze. Collins eased his charge three-wide heading down the back straight the last time and when he moved alongside Cooked Books the pair sped clear of their rivals and engaged in a two-horse war all the way up the home straight. Collins coaxed his charged until asking for the supreme effort 50 metres from the line. Gosh Heza Rebel arrived in Tasmania from Victoria in April 2013 and scored consecutive wins at his third and fourth start in the state but he was unable to win again until this latest assignment on Monday night. But the way he toughed it out in the straight would suggest Petersen has him back to his best so another win in the not too distant future is on the cards. Peter Staples
ONE of the most impressive winners on the 10-event harness racing program at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night was the Tony Petersen-trained three-year-old filly Angela De Marco that led throughout to win a C1-C2 over 2090 metres. With ace reinsman Ricky Dugan in the cart Angela De Marco showed good early speed to find the front and was only tested for a short while in the home straight to easily account for Family Guy and Gavrail. Angela De Marco has won four from nine starts and she also has notched three minor placings for career earnings of about $22,000. She is owned by prominent harness enthusiasts Barry Cooper and Jamie Cockshutt who have invested heavily in standardbreds for the past four years and they have tasted more than their share of success. Duggan said she was never out of third gear yet the filly clocked a mile rate of 2.01.4 and ran home her last half (800m) in 58.76. The trainer said she has the potential to develop into a top class mare next season. Listen to what trainer Tony Petersen had to say about Angela De Marco's latest win. Peter staples
In-Form harness reinsman Nathan Ford notched four winners on the eight-event card in Hobart tonight but he saved his best from the feature race the heat of the Hobart Pacing Cup over 2579 metres aboard Ransom Olds. Ford's other winners were Itswhatilikeaboutu for Christian Salter along with Mighty Jasper and Star Chamber that he trains. But his best winning drive was aboard Ransom Olds that started favourite in a heat of the Hobart Pacing Cup. Ransom Olds began well from his 10-metre handicap but not as well as interstate invader Amadmancomesundone that found the front easily. But Ford wasn't content with the tempo so he sent the Tony Petersen-trained gelding to the front two laps from home. A lap from home novice driver Dylan Ford eased Laterron off the fence to work to the "death" and that mare forged clear turning for home and looked set for victory when she booted 10 metres clear. But like a brave prize fighter Ransom Olds got up off the mat and came again to score in the last few strides. The $20,000 Hobart Pacing Cup will be run at Tattersall's Park in a fortnight. Peter Staples
THE Tony Petersen-trained Ransom Olds lost no admirers with a gallant fourth in the $40,000 Tasmania Cup at Tattersall's Park last Sunday so those who supported the gelding will no doubt be keen to rally for him in tonight's heat of the Hobart Pacing Cup at the same venue. Ransom Olds has started four times this preparation for two minor placings but his fourth last week was good enough to suggest he can be the testing material for his rivals in race seven tonight. The heat boasts only a small field of six with Ransom Olds, Greysteel and smart mare Laterron likely to do battle for favouritism. Greysteel has not started since mid July when third of seven in ka free-for-all over 2200 metres in Launceston. The Zeke Slater-trained nine-year-old has a terrific first-up record and from barrier five he could have enough speed to either lead or grab the one-one spot if Ransom Olds finds the front. Slater also has Laterron engaged and this talented mare comes off a game third in the George Johnson behind Delightful Christian and Arts Bliss last Sunday night. The interesting runner is the sole interstate invader Amadmancomesundone from the Craig Knowles stable at Mitchell Park. Amadmancomesundone hasn't won since March last year and the closet he has come to winning a race recently is a fifth at Swan Hill in a field of nine and seven metres from the winner. The Melissa Maine-trained Spot Nine (gate 2) and pole marker Udoit have only moderate form from recent outings and would need to improve significantly to cause an upset. Peter Staples
Talented harness racing trainer-driver Rohan Hillier almost heaved a sigh of relief when his handy six-year-old Sugastikysweetstuf was not claimed after he won the Impress Print Claimer over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston last Sunday night. Sugastikysweetstuf was expected to start a short-price favourite in a four-horse field of claimers but instead the money came for former Victorian Five Oclock Affair that was having its first start in the state for the Tony Petersen stable. Five Oclock Affair was backed in to start the $1.60 favourite but it was even shorter on the Tote until some late money arrived for Hillier’s six-year-old gelding that started the second elect at $2.20. Sugastikysweetstuf settled last in the small field but when Hillier peeled out four-wide to make his charge on the home turn the Modern Art gelding quickly hauled in his rivals and went on to score by over a metre from Five Oclock Affair with Will It Matter almost 12 metres away third. Sugastikysweetstuf could have been claimed for $10,000 but there were no bids entered “He certainly looked well placed in that grade and to be honest I was almost certain he would be claimed,” Hillier said after the win. “He should just keep winning these claimers but sooner or later he is going to be claimed,” he said. Sugastikysweetstuf has won 10 from 36 starts as well as a dozen minor placings for career stake earnings of just under $60,000. The gelding is owned by Hillier’s wife Katrina and this was the gelding’s first attempt in a claiming race. At $10,000 Sugastikysweetstuf (Modern Art-Late Arrival x What’s Next) would be an ideal horse for the Queensland market and possibly be capable of winning a couple of metropolitan class races. by Peter Staples
Top Tasmanian harness racing trainer Tony Petersen erred on the side of caution when asked if there was plenty of scope about his latest stable acquisition Guvnor despite the gelding making it two wins in succession last Sunday night.
When New Zealand bred pacer Ransom Olds first arrived at Tony Petersen's stables at Mangalore about four months ago the harness racing trainer didn't quite know what to make of the then four-year-old that clocked a rate of 1m.54 on debut as a three-year-old.
Star Tasmanian harness racing pacer Our Sir Jeckyl sounded a warning to all other Easter Cup aspirants when he scored an emphatic win in the Metropolitan Cup over 2579 metres in Hobart on Sunday night.
One of Tasmania's star free-for-allers Our Sir Jeckyl delivered arguably one of his best performances to score a narrow but emphatic win in the Cannonball Charge (1609m) at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last night (Sunday March 4).
One of Tasmania's best harness racing pacers Our Sir Jeckyl returned to the winner's circle with a brilliant all-the-way win in the Governor's Cup over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart tonight. It was the first time Our Sir Jeckyl had drawn a front line gate in almost 18 months and the seven-year-old gelding made the most of it.