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The Ashlee Grives trained Lochinver is aiming to become just the third horse to win Bankstown's Treuer Memorial on multiple occasions. Our Sir Vancelot won it twice in 1996/97 and Washakie recorded five consecutive victories from 2009 to 2013. While the race no longer carries Grand Circuit status, Grives is hoping to join the select group by winning Friday night's feature event. "Lochniver has been a great horse for me, he started racing as a two year old and he is still racing the top horses many years later," Grives said. "I'm really happy with how he is going, it has taken me awhile to get him back to his best but I think his last two victories have proved that he is in the best form of his career and if everything goes right on Friday night then he can win the Treuer." Grives confirmed Lochniver had a couple of niggling issues last season but she believes his improvement could be a change in routine. "As he has gotten older I have had to back off his work a little bit, he just can't cop as much work as he previously could because of the wear and tear on his body. "I've changed things up a bit with his training and he has really blossomed." Lochinver will relish getting back to the half mile circuit on Friday night. "He handles any size track, it is a good asset to have because some horses prefer the bigger tracks like Menangle but with Lochinver he is just as much at home at Bankstown. "Because he is racing so well I'll look to target a few of the country cups coming up in New South Wales and Bathurst's Shirley Turnbull Memorial would be a logical target at Christmas time." While Grives will drive Lochinver at Bankstown she has been using the services of reinsman Todd McCarthy on a regular basis. "Todd is the leading driver at the moment and to me it makes sense to use him, it also allows me to step back for the time being and watch the horses from the sidelines. "I'm really enjoying the training side of things these days and Todd has been winning races for me so it is something that I am going to keep on doing." McCarthy will drive Platinum Roulette for Grives in the Sydney Cup at Bankstown. "Platinum Roulette has drawn well and I think he is going to be extremely hard to beat, I'm driving Mister Chow in the same race but he has drawn the back row and will need plenty of speed on if he is going to get into the race. "Platinum Roulette has come back from injury really well, he's only had the two runs back but he was forced to sit outside Yayas Hot Spot last time out at Bathurst and did a great job to finish as close as he did." Greg Hayes

Talented Victorian seven-year-old pacer Keayang Steamer last raced in New South Wales in the 2013 Chariots Of Fire.  The son of Riverboat King finished fourth behind Christen Me, Smolda and Restrepo all subsequent Group One winners at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  This Friday night, the Marg Lee trained gelding will be chasing Bankstown’s feature event of the year, the Treuer Memorial. Regular driver Glen Craven will make the trip north to drive Keayang Steamer and believes he is a strong chance of winning after recording a 1:53.1 victory at Melton on Saturday night. “From a driving perspective he is feeling and racing as well as he ever has and I think his last win proved that he isn’t too far off his best in regards to his form,” Craven said. “The biggest query will be the track, he has never raced at Bankstown but he works on a half-mile track at home so I don’t think the size of the track is going to be too much of a concern.” The Treuer Memorial looked an ideal race for Keayang Steamer over the longer distance. “I think that’s why Marg was keen to get him to Sydney, Keayang Steamer loves the longer trip, she put him in hoping for a good draw and so far everything has gone to plan. “He was probably a month behind where we wanted him in his preparation and therefore he wasn’t aimed at the Inter Dominion in Perth but if he is racing well and stands up to constant racing then I would think next year’s Inter at Gloucester Park would be a logical target.” Since his Chariots Of Fire performance he has only raced seventeen times. “There hasn’t been any major issue, no torn ligaments or anything that severe, we just couldn’t keep him strong enough. “He couldn’t keep any muscle definition over his back and hindquarters so we changed his training program around and he does a lot more work up hill which has definitely helped him.” Craven was happy with barrier number three in Friday’s event but is hoping the perfect gate doesn’t put a target on his back. “In a race like the Treuer Memorial a good barrier draw is always important, three is perfect but it could quickly become a bad draw especially if the pace is hot. “He’s definitely drawn to take advantage in the early stages.” Craven will be having his first drive on the Bankstown track having previously driven in New South Wales at Menangle and the old Bathurst Showgrounds. The Treuer Memorial is race six at the Bankstown meeting on Friday night and is scheduled to start at 9:10pm. Greg Hayes

Thursday 21st May 2015 - Bankstown Harness Racing and Agricultural Society president Les Bentley will look to boost prize money for the club’s flagship race, the M.H Treuer Memorial, after winning a lengthy court battle.  Bentley confirmed a court ruling meant the club would receive more than $1 million from the Bankstown Trotting and Recreational Club. “We have been working on this case since 2010, it has been a long haul but it is a great result for Bankstown with the news that we will receive $1.1 million in back rent up until today (Thursday),” said Bentley. “We are also entitled to interest on that money which goes back to May 2010 and we were awarded full legal costs and they are somewhere in the vicinity of $400,000 so it a great result for the Bankstown Paceway.” Bentley praised the solicitors involved in the legal action. “The team at Thurlow Fisher did a marvellous job and they need to be thanked for all of their hard work, we have two weeks to submit our costs to the judge and he will then order the Bankstown Trotting and Recreational Club to pay the amount within 28 days. “The good news for the Bankstown Paceway is that we can pay our debts and they have been growing because of this matter and then we can look to boost prize money.” Plans include lifting the prize money for the Treuer Memorial to $120,000. “The committee has discussed lifting the money and are looking to make it a race for three year olds rather than for the open horses and that proposal will be submitted to HRNSW soon. “We are hoping to introduce a few Gr. 3 races to our calendar as well.”    Greg Hayes

Bathurst harness racing trainer Ashlee Siejka won Monday’s night M H Treuer Memorial at the Bankstown with talented five-year-old pacer Lochinver.  The Greg Brodie-owned gelding made a three-wide move with just over a lap to go and in the process locked up the favourite Chariot King after he stayed in the running line. “I thought going into the Treuer Memorial that if Lochinver could get some luck then he would be right in the finish, and when there was so much speed on in the early stages, I knew that he was going to be suited,” Siejka said. “He is a nice type, but it was really his first go in open company and while he has competed in good races as a younger horse I thought he handled himself really well throughout.” It was not the first time that Siejka had competed in the Treuer Memorial, but it was her first victory in the event. “I had Mega Alexander in the race a couple of years ago, but it was quite a buzz to actually win the race and I'm hoping now that Lochinver can go on with the job,” Siejka said. “He really handles the small tracks very well, as a two-year-old he had his first start in a race at Junee and ran second in the Linden Huntley at Bulli, so I knew the Bankstown track was not going to be a worry.” Siejka has entered Lochinver in an M2 race this weekend, and despite drawing barrier five in a field of eight, he is not guaranteed to start. “I have him nominated for a race at Menangle on Saturday night because with the predicted storms in Sydney I didn't want to take the chance the races were called off again after what happened on Saturday night, so I will wait and see how he pulls up in the morning and make a decision closer to the race,” Siejka explained “If the run hasn’t knocked him around then he may start, while he sat three-wide for the last lap I didn't have to pull the plugs until turning for home.” GREG HAYES

Twelve months ago harness racing driver Jimmy Douglass nearly pulled off a huge boilover when 90-1 chance Scandalman finished second behind Washakie in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Fast forward to this Saturday night and Douglass believes he is driving the right horse in Chariot King to go one better this year. "I've run a couple of placings in the Treuer Memorial from memory, Scandalman wasn't far away last year and Hesa Buzzin ran third behind Washakie too but that was back in 2011," Douglass said. "Chariot King is going to be a good chance on Saturday night, he has drawn barrier one and around the tighter tracks the closer you can draw to the inside the better especially when you are driving a horse that has speed to make use of the draw." Chariot King won Saturday night's Kevin Newman Cup at Tabcorp Park Menangle and Douglass was extremely pleased with the performance. "Before the race John (Tapp) just told me not to get involved in an early speed battle but from the wide draw I couldn't slot in so I had to go right back and because I knew they were walking I decided to head to the pegs because the horses from the back weren't going to get into it." "From about the 600 I thought I was going to get into the clear and when they all left the inside turning for home I just stayed to the pegs and he sprinted so fast." Douglass has formed a good partnership with the son of Badlands Hanover and he believes it was Chariot King's best performance since he has taken the reins. "He was really good, just so sharp when Seel N Print pulled off the inside and he saw the opening and with that sort of speed and acceleration if he gets things run to suit on Saturday night in the Treuer Memorial then he is going to be a contender for sure." By Greg Hayes Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |

It was the year Bob Hawke became Prime Minister, Ash Wednesday fires tore through Victoria and South Australia, Australia II won the America’s Cup, the movie Phar Lap was a smash hit and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth was born. 1983 was also the year the inaugural M H Treuer Memorial – named the Truer Cup - was run for $30,000 and captured by Double Agent. Since then the feature’s stakemoney has risen and fallen several times, with its peak of $198,000 coming in 1996 when Our Sir Vancelot emerged triumphant. Sadly, the former prestigious event – once part of the Grand Circuit - has slipped further down the scale by returning to its original prizemoney level of $30,000...losing its Group One status along the way. Although listed as $100,000 at the beginning of the season, the December 6 edition has been reduced - without any publicity from the club – to its 1983 level! Furthermore, the conditions of the race have also been removed, with the club yet to advice what class the Treuer Memorial will cater for. Just last month, President Les Bentley declared prizemoney for the club’s flagship event would rise to $105,000 next season. “We are hoping to increase the stake to $105,000 in 2015,” Bentley said. Support races on the card have also been subject to prizemoney cuts. It’s believed the club has had to make the dramatic decision as a result of a long-running legal battle, which is causing immense strain on every area of its operation. No club official was available for comment when Harnesslink called its office. PAUL COURTS

Having already toyed with the idea of changing the conditions of their flagship event, the Bankstown Harness Racing Club may have had the decision made for them. Guardians of the M H Treuer Memorial, Bankstown traditionally hosts the Group One in the first week of December. With Racing and Wagering Western Australia announcing they will shift the Inter Dominion to November/December in 2015 an obvious clash will occur with the provincial feature. Unlike other clashes, such as the Miracle Mile and Ballarat Cup, the Truer Memorial won’t be subject to a switch in date. Australasia’s premier sprint, the Miracle Mile has been moved from November to February, with the Ballarat Cup – one of the most popular nights in Victoria – set to return to its original time slot in January. As for Bankstown, club President Les Bentley stated the club will continue to race the Treuer Memorial in December while aiming for lower graded pacers. A former Grand Circuit event, the Treuer Memorial is an open class race staged over 2540 metres, with Washakie boasting a record five wins for trainer John McCarthy. With Australia’s best destined to be competing at Gloucester Park, Bankstown will alter conditions to cater for “up-and-comers.” “We were already looking to change the class of horse we want to attract to the Treuer,” Bentley said. “With the news of the Inter Dominion it fits in quite well for us as the good ones will be in Western Australia. “We’re still considering what class we will make the race, but we want to attract the up-and-comers as we are not getting the Grand Circuit horses anymore.” It’s believed the club will announce the Treuer Memorial is open to M2-M4 pacers soon. “We still want descent metropolitan horses, but those who are on the way up,” Bentley said. “Something like M2 to M4 would be ideal.” Bentley also revealed the club is looking to increase the once high-ranking event to $105,000, having been stagnate on $100,000 for too long. The Treuer Memorial first offered $100,000 in 1986 when won by True Delight before peaking to $198,000 in 1996 when Our Sir Vancelot was triumphant and returning to $100,000 in 1998 when Christian Cullen scored A slight resurgence saw the stake rise to $125,000 for Robin Hood’s victory in 2008 before slipping back to a 22-year low again. “We are hoping to increase the stake to $105,000 in 2015,” Bentley said. PAUL COURTS

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers.  Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (HRNSW)                                                                                                                                         

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers. Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

Young trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper declared that he couldn't be happier with rising star Bettors Fire drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and said he was confident of leading and holding his 11 rivals at bay. He said that the brilliant five-year-old was "bigger, rounder and stronger" than he was when an unlucky fifth behind Hokonui Ben in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday week. "Since that race I have freshened him up a bit," the 23-year-old Harper said. "He got a little bit lighter than I would have liked and now he's put on between ten to 20kg. I find he races better when he's a bit bigger. He has put on the weight in his neck, over his barrel and over his rump. He's rounded right up and is nice and fit. "I upped his intake of grain and have given him slow work. Now I'm producing him as the sharper horse he was before (when he won the Navy Cup, Mount Eden Sprint and Bunbury Cup) and I think he's got good enough gate speed to hold up pretty comfortably." Harper said that Bettors Fire was one of four stand-out horses in the group 1 Cup over 2536m. "I couldn't be happier, drawing No. 1, especially with two of the main three dangers (Im Victorious and David Hercules) drawing the two outside positions on the back line. The other danger is Washakie, who has drawn the inside of the back line. "Really I think that Bettors Fire, Im Victorious, David Hercules and Washakie stand out above the rest of the field. I think that Im Victorious and David Hercules will come very fast, very late. So then I won't have the chance of holding back to the field and keeping Washakie hemmed in, if he is trailing me. I will just have to get going and hope that we're good enough to hold off Washakie and the others." Kevin Jeavons, who races Washakie in partnership with Gino Monaco and Lindsay Severn, said that the ten-year-old trained in New South Wales by John McCarthy, was still racing with youthful enthusiasm and had arrived in Perth on Tuesday morning in "good nick" after a float trip from Sydney to Melbourne and a flight from Melbourne. He is stabled at Noel Keiley's Byford property. Washakie, who has raced in the Fremantle Cup three times for an eighth behind Power of Tara in 2009, a second to Im Themightyquinn in 2011 and fourth behind Im Themightyquinn in 2012, notched his 53rd victory from 140 starts and boosted his earnings to $1,837,473 when he won the group 3 $45,000 Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst on December 26. Two starts before that he won the group 1 $100,000 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown for the fifth year in succession. Jeavons said that he would leave the driving tactics to McCarthy, who is due to arrive in Perth on Wednesday to fine tune the evergreen gelding for his assignment on Friday night. David Hercules worked in dashing style in a trial at Byford on Sunday morning for trainer David Thompson, but his prospects diminished when he drew the outside of the back line in the Cup. However, reinsman Morgan Woodley warned that it would be unwise to disregard David Hercules as a realistic prospect, saying: "He has proved himself time and time again that he is a top-notch performer and if the early pace is solid and he gets a suitable run he can certainly come home and make his presence felt. "Perhaps if we can get a cart up behind Im Victorious and get taken into the race he could be a good each-way chance. It looks as though Bettors Fire will lead and prove to be tremendously hard to beat. The rest of us will be relying on that little bit of luck. Thommo couldn't have David Hercules any better than he is at the moment and if the horse had drawn one or two we would have been very confident." At his most recent outing, David Hercules started from the outside of the front line and was restrained to the rear before he finished powerfully to be second to Hokonui Ben in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday week. Woodley then handled David Hercules in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he sat behind the pacemaker Mysta Magical Mach before surging home to win the trial by 7m from Mysta Magical Mach at a 1.57.4 rate after speeding over the final two 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 27.2sec. "He ran the final sectionals in very slippery times and still had something left in reserve," Woodley said. Dasher VC, who started from the No. 1 barrier and set the pace before holding on to win the 2013 Fremantle Cup over 2936m, will start from barrier two on the back line for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo and reinsman Chris Lewis. "It's not a bad draw," said de Campo. "I expect Bettors Fire to lead and Dasher VC should get a good run through. We might go to the fence and be three back. I reckon there will be a fair bit of pressure in the race and Dasher VC can really sprint. His form is good; it's better than it reads on paper and he goes into the race with a chance." By Ken Casellas  

The TAB Carnival Of Cups will be in full swing over the Christmas and New Year period and Penrith will host a big meeting this Thursday night. The Max Laughton Carnival Of Cups is race five and is the feature race on the card and has attracted a star studded line-up including last start Treuer Memorial winner Washakie. The placegetters from the Treuer Memorial will also compete in Thursday's event with Scandalman looking to return to the winners' list for the first time this campaign after finishing second in Bankstown's Gr. 1 while Freyberg will enjoy returning to the mobile start conditions after finishing down the track in last week's Newcastle Cup. Scandalman's driver Jim Douglass has been happy with the improvement that the five year old stallion has shown this preparation and is expecting the son of Live Or Die to continue on the upward spiral. "During his spell he got very fat and it has taken Ian (Wilson trainer) a while to get him back into peak condition, he had four trials and now with four runs under his belt he is getting back to something like his best," Douglass said. "Ian decided against going to the Newcastle Cup with Scandalman because he had raced weekly since resuming and that will be a bonus going forward." Scandalman will get his chance to turn the tables on Washakie after drawing barrier one in Thursday's feature event. People trackside will be well catered for and with free entry the club is hoping for a bumper crowd. The first of nine races will begin at 6:12pm and there are a number of strong support races on the card. Just by being on course at Penrith on Thursday, patrons will get the chance to go into the draw to win a brand new Toyota Yaris with the winner to be announced at the Harness Racing New South Wales Awards Night next October. Thirty entrants are drawn from all the participating Carnival Of Cup tracks across New South Wales and last year's winner of the car was the Penrith entrant. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |    

Trainer Kevin Pizzuto has confirmed that in-form mare Simple Saver has been sold and will continue her racing career in North America. The daughter of Live Or Die arrived in Australia from New Zealand with only an average record but hit her straps under Pizzuto's training winning seven races in succession before finishing second at her last run for the stable in the Robin Dundee Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "The owner got a good offer for her to go to America and she has been sold, it is a bit unfortunate because she was racing so well and did a great job since she joined my stable," Pizzuto said. "I knew she had ability when she arrived, I gave her four weeks off and when I was working her up I contacted the owner and I told him that she would win five straight and I think he thought I was joking but in the end she proved me right." While Pizzuto may have lost one of his stable stars, he was pleased with Freyberg's performance in the Treuer Memorial after he finished third to Washakie at Bankstown on Saturday night. "It was my first placing in a Gr. 1, he is a very nice horse and has come a long way in a very short period of time, he got held up a couple of times on Saturday night and still hit the line very strongly." "My Dad and I own him, I bought him from New Zealand and I think he is only going to get better with a bit more racing against the better horses." Pizzuto is planning on taking Freyberg to the Newcastle Cup later this week. "He's pulled up really well, he recovers very quickly after his races all the time so I'm going to take him to the Newcastle Cup this week before taking him back to Menangle but it won't be too long before I give him a ten day break." "I've got a team of 19 horses in work and I'm very happy with how everything is going for my team at the moment." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |      

After finishing second in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown, Jim Douglass believes former Victorian Derby winner Scandalman is nearly back to his best. Scandalman was having his fourth run back from a lengthy spell and has improved steadily with each run this campaign. "Ian (Wilson trainer) gave him four trials to get him ready to race and while the trials were good hit-outs he needed to get some racing under his belt," Douglass said. "He is a stallion and during his break he was very big and fat and it has been a job to get the weight off him but he is definitely getting fitter and fitter with each run." Douglass expected a good performance at Bankstown but was even more confident of a forward showing after completing the warm up. "He felt very sharp in the preliminary on Saturday night, he felt like he was ready to run a race and I actually thought on the turn I was a chance of beating Washakie but he held us to about a length all the way up the straight. "Scandalman won't be going to the Newcastle Cup, he chased very hard in the Treuer and has had four runs in four weeks so he won't be racing this weekend but I'm sure Ian will have him in somewhere the following week, there are a couple of options coming up including the Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst." Scandalman is still assessed M0 but Douglass expects him to take the next step in his career within twelve months. "I think we all expect this season to be the one when Scandalman starts racing against the better opposition and I'm sure he is ready to make that step up, he will benefit from the experience of chasing home horses like Washakie." "The Treuer was a good race for the stable because Tori Jack finished fifth as well and it was good to see him run so well." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |              

'While a race night victory may have eluded Condell Park's harness racing drivers on Group 1 M. H. Treuer Memorial Gala Race Night last night (Saturday, December 7th) one lucky Bankstown reinsman's wife had the biggest win of her life at the local trotting track,' Bankstown Paceway president Les Bentley has told Harnesslink.   'Condell Park's Ellis Street resident Jacqui Winters is now the proud owner a $2,500 designer Gucci diamond watch from Nader Jewellers, Bankstown Central, after Harness Racing NSW director Chris Edwards drew out her name from thousands of entries in the Bankstown Paceway 'Lucky Door' Prize Racebook Competition,' Mr Bentley said.   'But, for Jacqui, this is the not the only significant win that she has had at the Bankstown trotting track because this is where she met her husband, former trotting driver and Bankstown councillor Allan Winterbottom, and, coincidentally, where they held their wedding reception thirty four years ago on 8 December 1979,' he said.   'But, then again, Bankstown Paceway has a proud match-making record - with our racecourse serving as the venue for the first date of former Racing Minister Kevin Greene and his wife, Frances, where Blaxland MP Jason Clare met his wife, Louise, at the Children's Festival, where East Hills MP Glenn Brookes courted his wife, Kharin, whose father was a local trainer, and where Bankstown councillor Jim Daniel and his wife, Jessica, celebrated their wedding anniversary on Sydney Cup Race Night,' Mr Bentley added.   A record crowd of 10,000 packed Sydney's Bankstown Paceway last night (Saturday, December 7th) to watch history in the making as the ten year old warhorse of harness racing Washakie NZ stormed home to claim a fifth successive win in the Group 1 M. H. Treuer Memorial - a feat matched only by the thoroughbred racing legend Manikato, who owned the Group 1 William Reid Stakes for five consecutive years from 1979 to 1983.   Photo: Bankstown Paceway president Les Bentley (left) and Harness Racing NSW director Chris Edwards (right) with Ellis Street resident Jacqui Winters (centre) and her $2500 designer Gucci diamond watch from Nader Jewellers, Bankstown Central.   Megan J. Lavender    

Two dozen school aged children from across Australia converged on Sydney's Bankstown Paceway harness racing track last night (Saturday, December 7th) for Mini Trots' version of the Group 1 M. H. Treuer Memorial.   'Mini Trots is all about having fun with, and learning to be responsible for, little shetland ponies and miniature horses, for kids aged five to sixteen - it's about getting them on the right track and promoting friendly competition in an atmosphere of cooperation and good sportsmanship,' Bankstown Paceway director Lavender told Harnesslink.   'From an industry perspective, it is also about ensuring that the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of Australia's standardbred horse owners, trainers and drivers are warmly welcomed into the sport - and that they are fostered and encouraged in a family friendly environment,' Ms Lavender said.   'For kids, you can be involved as little or as much as you like - from taking part in the occasional friendly horse race to working your pony on the track every afternoon after school like ten year old Grace Panella and her horse, Dust Storm,' she said.   'The Condell Park school girl and fourth generation harness racing driver is quickly gaining pace on her twenty year old sister, triple Group 1 winning reinswoman Lauren Panella, whose fifty four race wins and sixty nine placings have earned her stakes of over $442,783 so far this season,' Ms Lavender added.   Megan J. Lavender  

This week on Trots TV we catch up with TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Champion Sydney ambassadors Stephanie Rice, Seryn Adams, Amanda Turnbull and Sammy Kilgour. Also Sky Racing's Fred Hastings speaks with Gavin Fitzpatrick in regards to his drive on Fly Like An Eagle in Saturday night's Group 1 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Looking to advertise on Trots TV? Please contact Dale Walker on 02 9722 6600 for further information. Providing a fresh view on harness racing in New South Wales.    

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