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Junee trainer Steve Harris will spend the remainder of the week in Sydney after his unbeaten four year old Majorlicious trialled at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday night's Country Series Final. Majorlicious has won his first five races including an all the way victory in a heat of the Country Series at Wagga last start and Harris is hoping to keep the unbeaten record intact this weekend. "I've always had an opinion of the horse, even the first time I put him in the cart I thought he would make a very nice horse, he was a big and gangly type but he has really grown into himself in the past twelve months," Harris said. "The plan was to trial him at Menangle on Tuesday and spend the rest of the week up here in preparation for his race this Saturday because he hasn't done a lot of travelling in his career but he isn't the only horse I have brought up, there is a few of them that have made the trip as well." Majorlicious won his first three races at Canberra in 2011 before being turned out for a lengthy spell and resuming in May this year. "He was a really big horse and I knew he wouldn't make it as a two year old but when he won his first three races it was during the drought at home and my track had become quite hard and he jarred up in all four fetlocks so I decided to give him a break to let him get over that." "The six month spell turned into a twelve month break and in the end it did him the world of good because he grew into himself and then when he resumed and won a Country Series heat at Young in May he came down with a virus and I just had to back off him again but he's on top of his game again now." Majorlicious is out of the talented racemare Bootylicious and is a half sister to the twelve time winner Blissfulicious. "Majorlicious is stronger than his mother and his sister, they could both do a little bit of work in their races but this bloke is better." Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

While Amanda Turnbull is in sight of becoming the first female driver in New South Wales to win 200 races in a season, her father Steve is in a battle of his own attempting to bring up 200 winners as a trainer in a season for the first time in his illustrious career. Turnbull will head into Wednesday's meeting at Bathurst on 196 winners but he believes he might just miss his target. "I think Amanda might get to 200, I think I'm going to struggle but we are going to give it a crack because on the last day of the season (Saturday) I'm taking a team to Menangle while Amanda will take a big team to Dubbo," Turnbull said. "It has been a great season for me, when you start every year you think if I can get to 100 winners then I have had a good season because that means you have effectively trained two winners a week but to get to 200 would be a very special achievement." The key to Turnbull's success has been the decision to send all of his young horses to son Josh to be broken in. "Normally I would have 40 horses in work but up to a quarter of them might be babies that are being educated so with Josh doing all of my breaking in and educating it has allowed me to keep my numbers up all year." "A lot of the younger horses will go straight out for a spell at the end of the season and that will make it a bit quieter at home because the team would drop back to about 25 but that is still enough to keep us busy." Turnbull is looking forward to enjoying a well earned break next month. "I'm going to head over to Hawaii for a couple of weeks in September, Amanda is off to Hamilton Island next week and as soon as she comes back then we will head off." "It would be nice for both Amanda and I to get to 200 winners and we are doing everything we can to get there because Amanda was even thinking about heading down to Wagga to race some if we had to, but if neither of us get there we can both be proud of a personal best anyway." Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Cobram on the mighty Murray has been a happy hunting ground in recent times for NSW visitors and that was again the case on Wednesday August 21 when the club stages a neat eight event card.  Thurgoona (Albury) trainer John McGuffie scored an upset victory in the Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2170 metres with 6-Y-0 Live Or Die/Harrys Tambula gelding Harrys Champ, paying Supertab odds of $26.30. Given an easy time by Royce Gregory-Jack trailing the short priced favourite Bohemian Lombo (gate six) after leading out from gate four, Harrys Champ made full use of the sprint lane to gain the day by a nose in 2-02.9 over Bohemian Lombo which made the long journey from Terang, with Mainland Jet (three back the markers) third. Harrys Champ had previously chalked up 5 wins, the last being at Wagga in October 2012.  Leeton's Kim Hillier snared the Katunga Lucerne Mill Pace for C0 class (mares) over 1670 metres with Beticanfly, a 4-Y-0 daughter of Bettors Delight and Have A Nice Flight in a rate of 1-59.2. Starting from gate two on the second line, Beticanfly assumed control at the bell after crossing Last Spin and when given full rein on the home turn, dashed away to score by 4 metres from the heavily supported Nevaeh (four back the markers - one/one last lap). Kaka Point Coast finished third after racing wide for the entire trip. Hillier and Narrandera reinsman Blake Jones were to bring up a double when Ponder/Scoots Away filly Tea House which started her career in Victoria, snared the Cobram Betta Electrical Pace for C1 class over 1670 metres.  Trailing the poleline pacemaker Nedra Gold an odds-on favourite, Tea House finished best along the sprint lane to defeat the leader in 1-57.4, with Mister Bellisimo (three back the markers) third. Blake Jones enjoyed a "day of days", notching up his third victory for the afternoon aboard the Jackson Painting (Narrandera) trained Modern Art/Phantom Dancer filly Modern Dancer in the Pat Barrett's Tyre Service 3-Y-0 Pace over 2170 metres.  Beginning with a wing on every foot from gate six, both Modern Dancer and the hot favourite Wounded outside her easily cleared the field, racing head and head throughout the event. Edging clear on the final bend, Modern Dancer was untroubled in registering a 4 metre margin in advance of Wounded in two minutes even. Arriens (four wide last lap from last) finished 3.7 metres away in third place. On the home front, Moama/Echuca part-owner/trainer/driver Ron Gilligan's in-form 5-Y-0 Wind Cries Maori/Salute The Rain gelding Salute The Wind was successful in the Len Schmedje Memorial Trotters Handicp for T0 or better class over 2170 metres.  Stepping a lot better this time from 20 metres, Salute The Wind settled three back in the running line, with Dabbsey crossing Wirra Storm to lead shortly after the start. Commencing a forward three wide move in the last lap, Salute The Wind was too strong at the finish for Dabbsey in a rate of 2-04.2, with Sans Frontiere close up in third place after facing the breeze from a 30 metre mark. The margins being 4 metres by 1.6 metres. Lancefield's Paul Rix who at one stage worked for the powerful Bob and Vin Knight stable, landed the Hocking Trading Pace for C0 class over 1670 metres with 4-Y-0 Peruvian Hanover/Safe Adieu gelding Travelnfirstclass, much to the delight of a large group of owners including the Rix family and Brian (Yogi) Hunt. Driven by Scott Stewart, Travelningfirstclass having start number nine was untroubled to lead throughout from gate three, accounting for Stonethachristian which trailed and Life Long Voyage which followed the pair. The mile rate a slick 1-57.7. Tatura trainer David Abrahams combined with Daryl Douglas to capture the Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2170 metres with 4-Y-0 Artiscape/Course She Can mare Thisiswhoiam in a rate of 2-00.5, leading for the majority of the trip from gate five to score from Teniamo which trailed and My Mums A Star (six wide home turn from last). The De Maria Mitsubishi 2-Y-0 Pace over 2170 metres resulted in the closest finish of the day, with five horses crossing the line almost in unison - the victor being Sutter Hanover/Grace Anatom gelding Sutter Man.  Trained at Kyabram by Mick Blackmore and driven by David Moran, Sutter Man possied three back the markers after his stablemate Loverwithagrin arrested the lead away from Canyouseeme turning into the back straight on the first occasion. Exticated into the clear on turning, Sutter Man finished full of running to blouse Just Knew out wide by a head, with Canyouseemenow using the sprint lane to dead-heat for third with Fairy Dust (one/one - three wide home turn). The mile rate 2-02.1. Videos of all races attached Len Baker  

Monday 19th August 2013 is a day that young trainer Tiarn McElhinney will never forget. Tiarn is the daughter of prominent driver Glenn McElhinney and trained the first winner of her short career when Vintage Cullen won race five at Tabcorp Park Menangle with her father in the sulky. "It was a big thrill, it is something I will never forget and when Vintage Cullen hit the line I was screaming like I had just won a Gr. 1 race not a race at Menangle on a Monday," Tiarn said. "I have only had about four or five starters so far in my career but it was great to get a winner so early on and what made it even more special was that Dad drove the horse because he has been such a big part of my life in the sport." Tiarn began studying about two years ago to become a licensed trainer and admits to wanting to be part of the industry on a full-time basis. "I did the Wagga TAFE course by correspondence a couple of years ago but I have always been around horses and actually had one in the backyard until I was five, I've done a couple of other courses so I have something to fall back on as well but I would love to be training full-time with a really supportive group of owners." "I really have been bitten by the harness bug, I have just got my trial drivers' licence as well and once the new season starts I hope to get a few drives and then hopefully from there I will progress to the races, I just really enjoy it." Monday's victory was made even more special because of the family connection in the ownership of Vintage Cullen. "Our family has got Vintage Cullen on lease, it's great because I get help at the stable from my dad, cousins and uncles, it really is a family thing and we all enjoy getting in and having a go." "My favourite horse Major Bad died recently and it hasn't been easy but Vintage Cullen is a horse that I will remember forever." Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

One of the biggest stallion services incentives in New South Wales or Victoria has been finalised by Wagga's Yirribee Stud for its harness racing meeting next month. The deal was finalised yesterday with six of Yirribee's stallions having free services attached for races at Wagga on Friday night, September 27. It's the biggest single involvement by Yirribee for a race meeting and certainly one of the largest in the country with over $20,000 in services on offer as bonuses for winners. On top of prizemoney for the meeting, stallion services to former Inter Dominion and Little Brown Jug winner Mr Feelgood ($4950) and dual Australian sires of the year Village Jasper ($3300) and Armbro Operative ($3300) will be won. It's a huge coup for harness racing with the meeting expected to be inundated with quality nominations. Yirribee Stud principal Rod Woodhouse said it was a major bonus for owners and trainers to start their horses at the meeting. "The services are to some of the best stallions available and some owners will receive them as a bonus if their horse wins at Wagga that night," he said. "Mr Feelgood is one of the best pacers of all time and we are delighted to have him at Yirribee this season." Wagga Harness Racing Club Chief Executive Graeme White said it was a major offer from Yirribee and the owners of the stallions involved. "There will be some very fortunate owners receive these stallion services for no cost if their horse wins," he said. "Yirribee is one of the major studs in the business and Wagga would like to thank Rod Woodhouse for getting behind this meeting and making the services available." The free service to Mr Feelgood will be won by the connections of the winner of the Ian Walsh Memorial. Mr Walsh, who is the late president of the Wagga Harness Racing Club, and Woodhouse started Yirribee Stud some 25 years ago. "We want to acknowledge Ian's contribution to harness racing in Wagga and the region with a bonus that is fitting of the race," he said. The Ian Walsh Memorial was held last year with prizemoney of $8000 plus the service to Mr Feelgood on offer. Yirribee has also put up services to former star pacers Lanercost ($2970) and Lombo Pocket Watch ($2200) and Little Brown Jug winner, Million Dollar Cam ($3300). Yirribee will stand a record nine stallions this season.    Harness Racing New South Wales  

For some elite athletes, when one door closes another often opens and this is now the case for six year old stallion Lanercost. The welcome banner has gone up at the picturesque Yirribee Pacing Stud at Wagga Wagga NSW for the wickedly fast, and handsome son of Courage Under Fire, who stands at an impressive 16hh. The owner Dean Shannon's Montana Park and trainer Darrell Graham made the decision to bring the curtain down on a glorious career - a career that was hampered in recent times by recurring hamstring problems. His race career commenced on 3rd April 2009 with a bold statement for a 2year old - a 1.56.3 victory at the Gold Coast. This performance was certainly not a fluke - a career resume' that read, 43 starts 29 wins and a bankroll of $506,324 was proof of that. Lanercost was a pacer that fitted the company of "Royalty" with ease. His biggest assets were his blistering speed, especially off the gate, and his lovely fluent and efficient gait. These two weapons were used to the max on 30th April 2011 in the $200,000 Chariots of Fire. After blasting off the gate in 27.7, Lanercost controlled the race and with a record 26.5 record closing quarter, recorded a stunning victory in 1.52.5. Left in his wake that day were Bitobliss, Motu Crusader, For A Reason & Chariot King. Hamstring problems hampered his racing career not long after his chariots victory, so now a new chapter begins in the life of Lanercost. He has a pedigree to match his good looks and stunning race career. His sire, Courage Under Fire, needs little introduction to breeders of Australasia. He is arguably the greatest juvenile pacer in the history of harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere. His 24 successive wins including 6 Derbies and a World record in the Australian Derby are testament to that. Courage Under Fire is now one of the leading four or five stallions in the Southern Hemisphere having sired Smolda 1.52.1, Franco Jamar 1.51.9, Courage to Rule 1.52.9, Glengowan 1.52.2, Glenferrie Alexis 1.55.9 etc. His Dam - Lanoch by New York Motoring has now produced 8 individual winners, 3 in better than 1.55 and 5 winners in 2.00. The female line of Lanercost does not contain any weak links - it abounds in stallions that have been to the forefront of breeding in New Zealand namely New York Motoring, Vance Hanover, Scottish Hanover, Garrison Hanover and Grattan Loyal. Lanercost is now at his new home - the picturesque Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga. His debut season service fee is $2970 including GST with usual discounts to apply. LANERCOST RACE RECORD AGE     STARTS    1ST       2ND      3RD    EARNINGS        TIME 2           10               8          2           -        $109,224         1.56.3 3           14             9            1          3        $163,564          1.57.2 4           12             10          1          1        $202,704          1.52.5 5             3              1             -          -          $12,620          1.59.8 6             4              1            1          -          $18,212          1.59.1               43            29           5         4       $506,324 Race Highlights At Two - won Heats Kevin Seymour Pace, Australasian Breeders Crown, Semi Final Aust Breeders Crown, Big 6 2yo Pace (defeating Smiling Shard). 2nd in Kevin Seymour Final & Australasian Breeders Crown (Beaten ½ neck) At Three - Won Australian Derby (Gr1), Tasmanian Derby (Gr1), Caduceus Club Cup, Heat VIC Derby (3rd in Final) At Four - Won Chariots of Fire (Gr1) (Last Half in 54.2 last ¼ in 26.5), QLD 4yo Championship, Heat of Aust Breeders Crown (scratched from Final) At Five and Six - Won QLD Christmas Cup For more information, please call Joanne Andersen on 0414 936663. A video of Lanercost winning the Chariots Of Fire is attached with the photos Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |

Sunday the 28th July will see the Goulburn Harness Racing Club host this season’s Breeders Challenge Regional Finals for 2yo, 3yo and 4yo pacers of both sexes.  With six $20,000 races, the best available young pacers will be in action and the club is leaving no stone unturned to make the day a great success. The racing will be supported by an afternoon of entertainment for all the family and features the last of the very popular Shannon Noll concerts.  The musical support will be enhanced by local Goulburn singer Kerri O’Keefe whilst Shoalhaven mini trots will compete between races. For children, the club has organised a jumping castle, face painting, free show bags and street theatre by the Lieder Youth Theatre. “We’re hoping the weather is kind, but irrespective, with the racing and entertainment on offer the day should be a great Sunday outing, “said club secretary Mark Croatto. The club is also opening its sponsor’s marquee to the public and entry can be purchased by contacting Dennis Day on 0412525935.  The entry of $50 includes gourmet finger food, beer, wine, soft drinks and tea and coffee. Harness fans attending on the day will not only enjoy a program of top class juvenile racing and on-course entertainment, but will also see the progress of works on the multi-use centre commissioned by Goulburn Mulwaree Council. With the refurbishment of the 1040m circuit in November 2011 making it one of the best tracks in New South Wales, the construction of the centre will provide racing fans with a much needed multi-million dollar viewing area. Spanning a distance of 67.5 metres between the greyhound and harness winning posts, the viewing area is raised well above ground level and is housed behind a covered balcony and full glass front.  Within air conditioned comfort, it will provide patrons with all the necessary facilities including full TAB and Bookmaker services, a commercial kitchen and dining area, function room, ample seating and most importantly, an outstanding view of the racing which previously was never possible. Work on the project commenced earlier this year, but following a few delays, it is now on schedule to be opened in December prior to the Goulburn Harness Racing Club hosting the majority of this seasons’ racing.  “Council is very supportive of racing in Goulburn and the multi-use centre will provide harness and greyhound fans a modern and very comfortable, fully enclosed grandstand.  It can get quite cold, and hot, in Goulburn, so this facility will be very much appreciated and will make an outing to the trots at Goulburn all the better,” said President Dennis Day. Completion of the project continues the transition of the Goulburn Paceway into a modern racing precinct with further key projects including a significant upgrade of race day stalls and the development of a training centre on industry owned land adjoining the Goulburn Paceway.  Croatto said the club is always working at improving the Goulburn Paceway for both participants and fans. “It’s a strong harness area, ideally placed with easy access to Menangle and south western tracks such as Canberra, Young and Wagga, so this latest development by Council is a wonderful addition to what we can offer as a club,” he said. A ‘fly through’ of the building can be accessed via the following website Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW  

One of Australia's leading reinswoman Amanda Turnbull will drive for the first time at Wagga on Friday when she contests four heats of the Alabar Breeders Challenge.

Talented three year old filly Frith will miss this Friday night's (April 5) Wagga Oaks and will head towards the Victoria Oaks instead with her harness racing trainer Bruce Harpley extremely pleased with the daughter of Four Starzz Shark.

It shaped up as a good day on paper for leading harness racing trainer Paul Kahlefeldt and it delivered as he continued his good form with a winning treble at Wagga Paceway yesterday.

Empire Stallions has donated a free service to leading sire Modern Art for Wagga's Saturday night Christmas Party meeting on November 17. Every harness racing trainer with a starter will go in the draw for the prize which is valued at $4500.

Our El Nino claimed his fourth straight win and provided harness racing trainer-driver Ashlee Siejka with the middle leg of a winning treble by taking out the $20,000 Ron Crouch Transport Wagga Pacers Cup.

Standing start racing was more the norm than the exception for harness racing prior to the 1980's, particularly throughout the Western Districts.

Nominations close on Monday (October 22) for Wagga's Carnival Of Cups harness racing meeting with $84,000 prizemoney plus bonuses on offer.

Fast paced harness racing action will be the theme with two new sprint races to be held at Wagga on Wednesday night *September 26).

Long time sponsor Ron Crouch Transport has won naming rights to next month's $20,000 Wagga Pacers Cup, while star filly Frith was named Southwest and Riverina pacer of the year on Saturday night.

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