Day At The Track
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Kylie Rasmussen can read a race better most, but even she had given up all hope of getting her $61 outsider home in Saturday night’s inaugural Changeover At Burwood 2yo Classic at Albion Park. “I honestly thought I was running for second at the top of the (home) straight,” the talented Stanmore reinswomen said. Rasmussen was referring to her drive – the Vic Frost trained Frost En Ice, who was situated in the one-one down the back straight before they had to set out after the runaway $1.85 shot, Millwood Tilly. “The favourite had gapped us and had too much of a roll-on. She (Millwood Tilly) showed an immense turn of speed (400m) which I thought was the winning of the race. “Turning for home I thought the best Frost En Ice could do was finish second,” Rasmussen said. Millwood Tilly was several lengths clear of Frost En Ice at the 200m, but at the 150m mark she had too much momentum for her young head and rolled out of her gear. Driver, Peter McMullen then did a great job of getting her back down to run second. Frost En Ice had 1.2m over Millwood Tilly (Peter McMullen) at the line. Two metres back in third was the third favourite, Xaviers Hurrikane (Nathan Dawson). The Frost trainee paced the mile in two minutes flat with a 1:56.3 mile rate. Her sectionals were 28.5, 30.9, 28.1, and 29.1. She banked $12,534 for the triumph and has now amassed $18,273 for her two wins and a second from three starts. The older of the three highly regarded Rasmussen sisters (also Natalie and Vicki), couldn’t believe the Hurrikane Kingcole filly was the fifth favourite of eight - and paid $61 to win on the fixed odds market. She then reminded people who trained, owned and bred Frost En Ice. “Vic (Frost) has always been a master trainer and it’s great to see he has another nice horse. He has done an unbelievable job with this filly. “She hadn’t raced for a month and Vic has done a splendid job to get her where she is. Two-year-olds can be flighty and unpredictable at the best of times, but this girl already feels foolproof. She is very clean-gaited and has super manners. That won her the race,” Rasmussen said. “It all comes down to the training. Vic knows all about ringcraft. That’s why he’s had so many good horses over the years, and that’s why he is highly regraded everywhere in harness racing. It’s a pleasure to drive for him,” she added. Frost said he had liked Frost En Ice since day one. “Her mother, Frostiness, won 12 races and her sire was an absolute freak and superstar. The best I have ever had anything to do with in my long career," the 78-year-old Hall-of-Famer said. Of course the New South Wales horseman (Tweed Heads) was referring to the mighty Westburn Grant (1:55.6), who he trained and drove to win 38 of his 67 starts and placed in 18 others for $2,074,916 in stakes between July 1988 and March 1993. "But this girl is a big filly and has a lovely big pacing stride on her. I really like the Hurrikane Kingcoles. They have a lovely gait on them and he seems to be able to produce good horses that go early,” Frost said. For his training efforts Frost also won a ‘Rio Cobra” sulky courtesy of race sponsor – Garrards. Other highlights came in races five and eight from Callmequeenbee and Slice Of Heaven. The Gemma Rue (Bathurst NSW) trained Callmequeenbee sat three-wide and then parked to win the WCF Team Teal Female Drivers Challenge. Race winner, Chantal Turpin, said the 4-year-old Shadow Play mare felt the winner a long way from home. “I thought she would be too tough for this field and I drove her that way. She’s a nice mare all right. Hopefully she will be back next week for one more race. She’s quality,” Turpin said of the $1.40 favourite. Three races later the Donny Smith trained and Nathan Dawson driven Slice Of Heaven won his second race in four days in the Hyperstat Open Pace. That’s now 11 from 19 on the track and 18 from 40 overall ($108,708).   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

What legendary Sleepy Hollow horseman Vic Frost doesn't know about 2-year-olds isn't worth knowing. And one thing the spritely 78-year-old certainly does know is that he's got a nice Hurrikane Kingcole filly named Frost En Ice in his stable. "I like her a lot. Her mother, Frostiness, won 12 and his grandfather was an absolute freak and superstar. The best I have ever had anything to do with in my long career," Frost said. Of course the New South Wales horseman (Tweed Heads) was referring to the mighty Westburn Grant (1:55.6), who won 38 of his 67 starts and placed in 18 others for $2,074,916 in stakes between July 1988 and March 1993. "He's just walked around the corner now as we speak. He's still in good condition and has always had free-run of our place. He's an absolute gentleman who we will cherish forever," Frost said. But Westburn Grant's grand-daughter does have one thing over the legendary 34-year-old. "I've driven thousands of horses over the years and she's the first one that doesn't wear any form of knee boots," Frost said. "She's a big filly and has a lovely big pacing stride on her. I really like the Hurrikane Kingcoles. They have a lovely gait on them and he seems to be able to produce good horses that go early. “Economically that is a big plus for owners who don’t have to wait until their horse is say four or five to race. Unlike other stallions this fella’s first crop seem to be really firing early. I like him. I’m working about eight to 10 horses on my property, and have nine foals by him." After finishing a five-metre second behind Xaviers Hurrikane (Nathan Dawson) at Albion Park on February 12, Frost En Ice and Kylie Rasmussen yesterday (Feb 19) won their first TAB race at Albion Park. The $1.50 favourite flew the gate and led all the way pacing the 1660m mobile in 2:02.3. The bay filly's sectionals for the Burwood Stud 2yo Pace were: 29.6, 31.3, 29.7, and 28.2. Her winning mile rate was 1:58.6. Will The Wind and Chantal Turpin were 8.4 metres back in second. Three of the five starters in the first event yesterday were by Hurrikane Kingcole. "They are very clean going animals and I have high expectations of this big girl without getting too carried away too soon. She doesn’t cross-fire like most, which is a huge bonus," Frost said. "I think she is good enough to race inter-state, but for now I just want to monitor her progress and see how she develops before throwing her in the deep end with premature plans." Frost said because of her early development he believed Frost En Ice would not only make a good racehorse, but also a nice broodmare one day. “She had two to three preps before her first trial and I couldn’t be happier with the way she is going. If she just shows glimpses of what her freakish grandfather did, then I will be one very happy man,” Frost said. Frost En Ice is trained, owned and bred by Frost and his wife and Gail Geeson.   by Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Legendary harness racing horseman Vic Frost is heading to Tabcorp Park Menangle this weekend with a dual purpose. The highly decorated harness racing figure will present winning connections a trophy following the running of the race named in his honour, the Gr.3 $31,800 Lyn Kemp Conveyancing Vic Frost Cup for the open class performers. But before participating in official duties, Frost, 75, will send out his own runner in Back Page News in the Listed $26,000 AGL Energy Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Series Final. Following the invitation, Frost decided to look through the programs to make the trip worthwhile and found this series for his consistent intermediate grade pacer. Back Page News qualified after running a brave second behind Im Saint Anthony in the qualifying heat at Newcastle last weekend. “It’s a great privilege to be recognized by Harness Racing New South Wales and the Menangle Club and I’m really looking forward to the night. The race named in my honour looks a really good line-up while I’m happy to have a starter myself on the night.” Frost said. Back Page News will again be handled by Brad Cowen, a young reinsman well known to Frost and his partner Gail Geeson through his time spent in the sunshine state where they combined at times for success. The famous livery of white jacket with black stars will be on display when Back Page News and Cowen line-up in the fourth event. “I thought the horse went terrific at Newcastle last week and with some luck in running. I think he can feature again. I’m certain the big track will benefit him greatly, it’s a beautiful big track and very safe for both horse and driver. “While all my success was carried out at the inner-city track at Harold Park which was smaller and tighter, I think the bigger the track the better and Menangle has proven itself to be the number one track in the country. “Things are a lot different now compared to when I was back driving but I’m convinced it’s much safer and I think that’s paramount nowadays. I enjoy watching the races from Menangle through SKY channel but this trip away should be good fun.” Frost plans on leaving his Mooball base, near Tweed Heads, on Friday morning. And still roaming the property is former champion pacer Westburn Grant at the spritely age of 31. The Inter Dominion and dual Miracle Mile winner is thriving in his retirement. by Chris Barsby

Harness racing trainer, owner and breeder Tony Azzopardi will always be remembered as a great man. The Maltese-born father of 10 passed away on Saturday, aged 89, following a stint of bad health. He had great success with his horses, particularly one by the name of Double Agent. Although Tony did not train 'Old Dub', he purchased the pacer from New Zealand in 1974 as a maiden two-year-old for $16,000 - a high five-figure sum in those days. Vic Frost first trained Double Agent for Tony and after many wins together Frost requested the nine-year-old be transferred to trainer-driver Joe Ilsley's care. Frost believed Ilsley's beach training methods would help the gelding's tendon-troubled legs and he was right - it was the start of a new career for Double Agent. At the age of 12, Double Agent went on to win the 1984 Miracle Mile at Harold Park, adding a fairy tale chapter to the feature race as Ilsley was 60 at the time. Double Agent's remarkable career spanned over 10 racing seasons where he amassed $341,907 in stakes from 94 starts, 38 wins and 25 placings. And Tony thought so much of the horse, he not only treated 'Old Dub' like part of the family, he set aside money to ensure the great pacer would be well looked after, just in case anything was to ever happen to himself. Double Agent spent his final years at Tony's property in Marsden Park in Sydney's west and when the grand pacer passed he was buried there. Although Tony did not train Double Agent, he did train some winners, tasting success with the likes of My Soky, Tassie Bromac, Mighty Langus and Western Langus to name a few. Tony arrived in Australia from Malta in 1954 and loved his horses from an early age but with a large family, he had little time other than for work. He first cut cane in Queensland before building up a successful poultry farming business in Eastern Creek and then purchased his property in Marsden Park. A funeral service will be held for Tony this Friday (August 14) at The Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Plumpton, at 10.30am. To all of Tony's family and friends, Harness Racing NSW passes on its deepest condolences. Amanda Rando

It is the most anticipated Miracle Mile in recent memory, but what does history say about the 2013 edition of the famous sprint? Smoken Up is out to win his third Miracle Mile. No horse has ever achieved that feat. Christen Me (by Christian Cullen) is trying to become the first son or daughter of a Miracle Mile winner to replicate his/her sire's success. Paleface Bubble (by Paleface Adios) and Melpark Major (by Iraklis) both finished second. Beautide is attempting to break a long hoodoo for Newcastle Mile winners. The only horse to go on to win the Miracle Mile in the same year is Westburn Grant in 1990 (Our Sir Vancelot won the Newcastle Mile in 1998 the year after winning the Miracle Mile). In what is a truly rare occurrence, the last time a horse won the Miracle Mile for the first time at his/her third attempt was Double Agent in 1984. That's the challenge for Terror To Love! There are four NSW Derby winners that went on to win the Miracle Mile. Paleface Adios, Westburn Grant, Holmes DG and Divisive. Can For A Reason join that elite group. No driver has ever won 4 Miracle Miles. Vic Frost, Tony Herlihy and Lance Justice are currently on three each. Can Lance take the lead? Before Terror To Love, the last horse to win three New Zealand Cups was False Step in 1958-60 - seven years before the first Miracle Mile was even run! I'm Victorious is trying to emulate the deed of Village Kid by becoming the first West Australian since 1987 to win the Miracle Mile "cold" without a lead-up run in Sydney. Dale Walker  

Bankstown Paceway harness racing club director Megan Lavender is encouraging all trotting fans and their families and friends to support New South Wales’ summer Group 1 harness racing event, the historic 30th Anniversary M. H. Treuer Memorial, which will be held on Saturday, December 7th, 2013, at Sydney’s Bankstown Paceway. ‘Tell your children and your grandchildren that you were at the track – at Bankstown Paceway – to see the 30th Anniversary M. H. Treuer Memorial on Saturday, December 7th, 2013,’ Ms Lavender told Harnesslink. ‘Tell them about how some of the greatest standardbred horses in the southern hemisphere raced – not just to win NSW’s summer Group 1 harness racing event, but to make history,’ she said. ‘Tell them about the summer carnival race night – the festival atmosphere, musical theatre show, fashions on the field, children’s activities and the return of le trot monte racing to NSW. ‘Tell them the story of a man – born on a Chullora farm – who founded a race club that changed the destiny of countless Australians. ‘The Treuer Memorial is not only one of the premier pacing events on the planet – and a wonderful night out for the whole family – but, it is a tremendous tradition and tribute to the late Max Treuer (1898-1982) – a visionary Australian of whom we can all be justifiably proud. ‘A successful local businessman and bus company founder, an avid sportsman and harness racing enthusiast, and, as a Bankstown city councillor, a true champion of the battler, Max was an asset and inspiration to all people. ‘Born on a Chullora farm, Max Treuer served as the founding president of Bankstown Paceway and was instrumental in establishing the adjoining licensed club, the Bankstown Trotting Recreational Club. ‘Exactly three decades ago, we honoured Max when the M. H. Treuer Memorial was run for the first time – and that inaugural race, worth just $30,000 back in 1983, was won by one of the Asia Pacific’s all-time favourite pacers, Double Agent. ‘As prizemoney reached $100,000, in 1986, Vic Frost partnered True Delight to an upset win, while other Treuer legends adding to the tradition and glamour of this time honoured prestigious Grand Circuit event include champion pacers Village Kid (1987), Westburn Grant (1989) and Our Sir Vancelot (1996 and 1997), all of whom also took out both the Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile. These are the stories worth telling,’ Ms Lavender added. New South Wales’ summer harness racing event, the historic 30th Anniversary Group 1 M. H. Treuer Memorial, will be held on Saturday, December 7th, 2013, at the heart of Australian harness racing, Sydney’s Bankstown Paceway. Entry is free. Racecourse gates open at 5.00 pm and the first race starts at 6.10 pm. Bookings for race night dining packages can be made at admin@bankstownpaceway.com.au or on 02 9708 4111. Photo: Bankstown Paceway directors Andrew Ho and Megan Lavender with the Group 1 M. H. Treuer Memorial trophy at Bankstown Paceway. For additional information or comment, please contact: Megan J. Lavender  

Remember brilliant harness racing driver Vic Frost and his champion pacer Westburn Grant? Watch them both at their brilliant best as they won the 1992 Inter Dominion grand final.

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