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Former 2YO and 3YO of the Year Lombo Pocket Watch, who is part of the select Yirribee Pacing Stud roster, has made a solid start to the new harness racing season. Lombo Pocket Watch sired a winning double at Wagga on Saturday night (September 7) with the Yirribee Stud owned Mighty Moke Lombo (1:56.2) and The Clock Winder. The champion grey was also represented by the runaway Yarra Valley victor Montenero (1:59.2) and the Cowra winner Watchoutnexttime. Million Dollar Cam, whose stock has been firing on all cylinders recently, took the siring honours at Bathurst with a winning double - Bill Shannon (1:58.6) and Enk Spot Shannon (1:58.9). He also left the Wagga winner Wongalea Charli. Hudsen and Mad Robber, a pair of pacers bred by Yirribee Pacing Stud, won on either side of the country last week. Hudsen made it seven out of 12 with his career-best 1:58 effort at Ballarat, while Mad Robber posted win No 14 at Gloucester Park on Friday (September 6). Lombo Pocket Watch and Million Dollar Cam will be joined by champion Australasian bred pacers Lazarus, Lennytheshark and Caribbean Blaster and the brilliantly performed Americans Warrawee Needy and Fear The Dragon at Yirribee Pacing Stud in the 2019/20 stud season.   By Peter Wharton

Former talented Melbourne basketballer Hellen Scott is now shooting the lights out in the harness racing world. Scott, who has a team of 10 pacers in work at Albury, produced 80/1 longshot Grinning Punter to score a last-stride victory (a “buzzer-beater” in basketball parlance) at Wagga’s Riverina Paceway last Friday afternoon. Grinning Punter (Grinfromeartoear-Lucy Lynne (Christian Cullen) upset his more fancied rivals in the $6890 Pace for horses with a national rating up to 69. The gelding was driven a treat by concession driver Chris Judd, with the pair going wide on the home turn and arriving just in time in a blanket finish. Scott played for the Melbourne Tigers back in the 1980s under her maiden name Hellen Fewkes and had an awesome career representing Victoria in the sport. Hellen’s mum didn’t have a car licence, so public transport was the only option to get to training sessions.  The devoted youngster would travel by train from the family home at Faulkner to Melbourne, and then make her way to Albert Park. Hellen and her husband John left city life behind and made Albury their home in 1993, but Hellen was not lost to basketball, staying involved through coaching at schools up until this year when funding was cut. While John works with a landscape business, Hellen and their 19-year-old son Baily take care of horse training duties. John said seven-year-old gelding Grinning Punter had promised “to be anything” when he was purchased a few years ago from New Zealand by a group of keen owners. “The times he was capable of doing were just crazy.  He showed his potential at the old Wagga track by winning in 1.57 with a last half of 56.6 seconds. I thought he could win a city race without any problems,” John said. “But unfortunately, he ran into a patch of bad luck, firstly developing a heart murmur (an abnormal sound that originates from the heart valves), then fracturing a cannon bone when we sent him up to Sydney to be trained, which meant a long spell. “We’ve had him checked by vets and the heart is normal now, but he’s not going anywhere near like he was two-and-a-half years ago.” John said however Grinning Punter had been showing pleasing form leading up to his boil-over victory. “There’s no way the horse should have been those odds. He’d been quite good with a few placings and then wasn’t comfortable on the Albury track,” he said. “One of the owners Sandy Taylor was in the United States and somehow had some money on each way at 40/1, so she was very excited. Sandy and her husband Price and his brother go to the races and watch the horse whenever they can because it’s their first venture into the sport. “The other owners are Craig English, Glenn Teesdale and his son Jarman, and successful jockey Simon Miller and they’re also keen supporters.” The Scott team plans to keep racing Grinning Punter in suitable races at country tracks on a regular basis over the next few months. “He has never adjusted to the Australian heat and always goes better in winter and spring,” John said. “Baily is just busting to get his driver’s licence after doing a lengthy apprenticeship at the stables at home. Let’s hope when that time comes, he clicks with Grinning Punter and there’s some more longshot winners!” *Hoofnote: Grinning Punter finished a close-up second at Wagga yesterday paying a healthy place dividend of $3.60.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

A PICTURE perfect day greeted nearly 3,000 racegoers in Wagga Wagga as the Riverina Paceway was officially opened last Sunday. The enthusiastic crowd enjoyed a great day of harness racing with some excellent performances on track highlighted by Tuapeka Glory setting a new track record in the best finish of the day.  The seven-year-old made use of the new sprint lane to defeat Pocket Of Terror by a short half -head, with the first four placegetters separated by less than one and a half metres. In the first race of the day Anthony Frisby drove Mistery Road to victory claiming a historic double. Frisby took out the first race at the grand opening of the new Bathurst track in October 2014 aboard Uncle Paul. Harness Racing New South Wales Chief Executive John Dumesny was delighted with the new track and the crowd that had come to enjoy the day. “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m thrilled that the Riverina now has this wonderful facility where trainers and drivers can really demonstrate how talented their horses are,” Dumesny said. “It really is exciting to see such a great crowd here and we’ve been blessed with perfect weather. It’s a wonderful day for people to experience harness racing for the first time, or even reconnect with the sport after many years.” The opening ceremony included Rod Smith (Chairman of HRNSW), Michael McCormack MP (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Riverina) and Paul Toole MP (NSW Minister for Racing) who all spoke about the importance of this facility for the Riverina and for harness racing in NSW. McCormack was thoroughly impressed with the facility. “This facility will be the jewel in the crown for harness racing track across all of country Australia,” he said. Meanwhile, Toole commended HRNSW on its foresight and perseverance. “There have been a number of people involved over this journey that is about making sure that this industry is going to go from strength to strength.” Leading reinsman Luke McCarthy doesn’t make too many trips to Wagga but was impressed by what he saw. “I don’t often come to Wagga but with a track and facility like this I can certainly see it attracting trainers from Sydney more often, especially for the club’s feature races which they wouldn’t have travelled to in the past,” McCarthy commented. The next feature meeting at Riverina Paceway will be Wagga’s Carnival of Cups event on Sunday 21 April (Easter Sunday) which includes the Wagga Cup.   Kyle Maher

FINALLY . . . that was the only way to sum up the breakthrough victory by teenager Molly Turton at Wagga on Friday night. Driving her own horse that she races with her mother Monique, the 19-year-old drove the perfect race to crack it after 43 drives. A graduate of the mini trotting ranks, Molly gave Spooky Dreams every chance behind the leader from a favourable barrier one draw. With her father Glen, mother and sister Eliza cheering her on, Molly got the result she desired in a race where there was an additional $1000 from the NSW Standardbred Owners Association for eligible members. On top of the extra prizemoney of $4200 it was a nice pay day for the Turton’s who have been right by their daughter’s side from the time she started out. She has been nurtured by her parents and trainer Bruce Harpley who were delighted to see her win. As was Molly. “I have had more than 40 drives and this (win) is more than I could have hoped for,” the beaming Turton said. “It has taken a while, but I finally did it.” Spooky Dreams won at Wagga in April with Turton as the trainer and Harpley as the driver. This time it was all hers and you could hardly wipe the smile off her face. Spooky Dreams has won six of his 57 starts and earned over $33,000. Meanwhile, the bonus money continued when Me Mate Les won his second race in the space of a week for his new connections. Me Mate Les raced for the first time for his new owners winning at is first start for Ellen Bartley and Blake Jones and did it again with an additional $800 rolling over as the jackpot horse. Me Mate Les is the first horse his owner Brayden Scarr has raced. GRAEME WHITE

The trip back to Hay was made a lot easier after harness racing driver Alanah Pitt scored her first win at Wagga on Friday. Pitt has been driving since January and brought up her first win with Lancelot Hall. It was her only drive on the eight-race card and the 21-year-old was pleased to get the monkey off her back. “It was really good,” Pitt said. “Especially now that I own him it was real good.” Lancelot Hall had to overcome a horror draw but Pitt swooped around the outside to take out the Palm & Pawn Motor Inn & Tavern Pace (1755m) by 2.1 metres. The pair went within a nose of break through at Junee last month, but they were able to run down leader Presidential Ball this time around. Pitt is no stranger to harness racing after following parents Darryl and Rose into the sport. However she was a relatively late bloomer to driving. A lack of confidence held her back, before receiving plenty of encouragement from Shane Hillier to give it ago. Hillier trains Lancelot Hall and Pitt gave him plenty of credit for her breakthrough.     +6       “I didn’t have enough confidence in my really,” she said. “I have Shane to thank for that and it is all on him. “If it wasn’t for him I don’t think I would be here now to be honest with you.” Pitt grew up in Leeton but moved to Hay last year. It means plenty more kilometres to get to the races but Pitt didn’t mind after getting the win. The win was also a breakthrough for Lancelot Hall who scored just his second win at start 65. By Courtney Rees Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

Goulburn trainer-driver Dennis Day hopes Harry Day can measure up at Menangle after an impressive harness racing victory at Wagga on Sunday. Wagga Harness Racing Club hosted an Easter meeting on Sunday with a good crowd turning out for the nine-race card. Dennis Day made the three-hour trip from Goulburn and it proved worthwhile as Harry Day justified his short price with a strong win in the $10,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour Evolution Series 3YO Colts and Geldings Heat (1755m). Harry Day ($1.80) worked early but still had enough in reserve to hold off Run Business Run ($6.70) by five metres. $3.70 chance Miracle Marcus was a further 10 metres back in third place. “I thought he would go pretty good,” Day said. “This track suited him, going forward, but he’s pretty versatile. “The final is in a fortnight at Menangle so we’ll see how we go there.” The win qualified Harry Day for the $20,000 Evolution Series Final (1609m) at Menangle on April 14, where he will meet horses from the other heats held at Dubbo, Penrith and Newcastle. Harry Day ran sixth in an Evolution Series Final at Menangle in February, beaten only seven metres.     +9      Wagga trots - April 1 Pictures by Les Smith Day hopes he can go closer this time. “We’ve sorted him out a bit,” he said. “He’s had a few little issues, only minor things, just a few little niggles but I’m happy with him at the moment.” Day used Harry Day out of the gate, but was unable to cross Mastablasta ($18.40) as they ran 29.4 seconds for the first quarter. After sitting outside the leader, Day worked to the front rounding the home turn and then held his rivals at bay to score in a slick mile rate of 1:57.3. “He was still strong on the line, which was good,” Day said. It was Harry Day’s fourth win from 12 career starts. Meantime, the Shane Hillier-trained Resounding ($5.20) took out the Terry Hinchcliffe Surveyors Easter Cup (2165m) at Wagga. Resounding gradually worked to the lead as $3.30 favourite Miss Gold Fortune broke as they came out from the gate. The four-year-old mare kicked strongly at the top of the straight to hold off the fast-finishing Our American Princess ($7.30) by a head. It was the second leg of a winning double for Mitchell Reese, who won earlier in the day on the Wayne Potter-trained Itsadanceoff ($1.70). Leeton trainer-driver Wayne Sullivan won the Rules Club Harness Breeders NSW Bonus Scheme 2YO Pace (1755m) with Cee Cee Ambro ($2.50). After running second on debut at Wagga last Tuesday, Cee Cee Ambro went one better on Sunday, outlasting Western Secret ($5.40) by a head. By Matt Malone Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

Coleambally reinsman Blake Jones hopes a late pick up drive can add to a big night at Wagga on Tuesday. The leading Riverina driver has nine drives on Wagga’s bumper 10-race card. Harness Racing NSW has him on five favourites but Jones says he will be happy to come away with a couple of wins. “At the moment, I’d be happy with one,” Jones said with a laugh. “I thought I could get one but then I picked up the drive on Heart Of Cooper and it’s not a bad chance either. “A couple would be nice.” Temora’s Steve Pike bred and owns promising two-year-old Heart Of Cooper, who finished second behind Major Roll in the $40,000 MIA Breeders Plate at Leeton in January. The son of Sportswriter has three starts to his name for three minor placings. He has drawn the outside of the front row for the Wayne Milgate Videos 2YO Pace (1755m), the last race at Wagga on Tuesday night. “He’s a pretty nice horse,” Jones said. “He was meant to go to Bathurst but there was a mix up and it might be a blessing because this looks a winnable race and then he can pick up his bonus. “He ran second to Major Roll in the heat and final of the Plate, and then went to Young and ran third behind a couple of not bad ones. Both of them went to Bathurst and went well so it’s not bad form.” Jones does not plan to send Heart Of Cooper spearing out of the gate. “I’d say I’ll let him settle and see what happens,” he said. “Darren Hancock’s horse (Hellofalass) has had one trial at Menangle and didn’t go overly well but it’s hard to measure up. Wayne Sullivan’s horses (Cee Cee Ambro) are always well educated and have a bit of speed so I’d say he will end up leading.” Jones rates his best chance as the Ellen Bartley-trained Prince Potter in the Ron Crouch Transport 3YO Pace (2165m). “He trialled at Wagga last week and went pretty good,” he said. “He’s a little bit one-paced but if he can get to the front then he should roll along and take a fair bit of catching. “I thought that was my best of the night originally.” For every winner Jones drives in March, he raises about $750 for mental health charity Good Talk. His five winners already have raised more than $3000. He hopes he can add to that tally before the end of the month, at Wagga on Tuesday night and potentially West Wyalong and Bathurst on Saturday. Matt Malone Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

The dream run for the harness racing owners of Onthestraitenarrow continues to flourish with the in-form pacer again producing the goods in the $10,000 Supermix Concrete Christmas Cup at Wagga on Saturday night. The six-year-old has been transformed from a moderately performed winner of two races into a winning machine for trainer Chris Hughes. The feature race victory was his fifth from seven starts for Hughes who was delighted to see a plan he set out a few weeks ago come to fruition. “This was the race I wanted to win. He has had the five wins for us and some of the owners are first timers into harness racing so it’s great for them,” he said. “He was unlucky and was placed in the Griffith Cup and apart from those two runs it has been a great run of wins with the horse.” Hughes moved back to the region from the North Coast a few years ago and trains a couple of horses at a time. His strike-rate is impressive with Onthestraitenarrow adding to what has been a memorable time for him on his return to harness racing after a few years without a horse. Leading reinsman Blake Jones raced outside of the lead with the winner and when he asked the $1.70 favourite to extend he did it in style to win by nine metres. If Onthestraitenarrow was impressive then what about the comeback victory of Scotlynn Jiggs. The heavily backed runner was having his first start for over two years after and lived up to the betting plunge with a runaway victory. The former New Zealand pacer has also raced in Queensland and has raced against some quality opposition. His previous victories in Australia include a heat of the 2014 Indigenous Drivers Series at Menangle. Raced by Troy Saddler and Matt and Grant Coelli, Scotlynn Jiggs was in a class of his own as he strolled clear for driver Rodney Coelli. Saddler said it had been one setback after another with the gelding. “He has had a lot go wrong with injuries which have limited his racing,” he said. It Canberra on Saturday night with wins to Million Dollar Gem (Brett Woodhouse), Zoes Regal (Ross Arentz), Gold Starzzz (Matthew Harris) and Topsie Grinner (Josh Powderly). The win by Zoes Regal was especially satisfying for connections at his second start back since a horror fall at Wagga in June left Arentz with a broken ankle. Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

In a positive move for harness racing in the Riverina the first sod was turned at the site of the new Wagga track at Cartwrights Hill today. The New South Wales Minister for Racing Paul Toole was in attendance alongside Harness Racing NSW Chairman Chris Edwards and his fellow Board Members for the significant milestone. "The journey has been a lengthy one from when we first called for expressions of interest in a Riverina Super Centre back in 2006," Edwards said. "But now that we are finally at this stage, it is pleasing to know that in a year's time we will have completed a strategy to install 1000m tracks in all the regions Hunter, Western and Southern. "What is really positive for Wagga is that what we have learned from the other projects has been enhanced, corrected or improved with this last instalment." The long-awaited project will see a 1070m race track constructed with a width of 20m to accommodate 10 horses starting off the front row, if required. There will be a camber of 10 degrees on the 110m radius turns to assist with equine welfare, driver safety and to enhance the speed performance of the horses as well as a sprint lane to provide all horses a competitive opportunity. Alongside the track, public facilities similar to those at Bathurst will be constructed as well as race stalls that can accommodate for 140 horses, including a designated area for mini trot participants. Harness Racing NSW's long term vision for the property is to also include a training centre. AMANDA RANDO

Harness racing trainer Shane Hillier and driver Blake Jones each took home two of the awards at the Wagga and Southwest & Riverina presentation evening on Saturday. Hillier and Jones claimed the trainer and driver of the year titles at both Wagga and in the Riverina last season. Talented young driver Cameron Hart took home the Junior Driver of the Year award in a season where he also represented the region at the NSW Rising Stars Series. Breeders Challenge regional final winner Killara Hustler was judged the region’s best performed pacer with four wins from six starts, while Leeton Breeders Plate winner Our Mach Jack was the top juvenile. Killara Hustler’s owner and trainer-driver Damien McKelvie bred the promising pacer, but was unable to be in attendance due to an overseas wedding. His father Brian said Killara Hustler would remain in training for a few more starts this preparation. Our Mach Jack added his name to the honour roll of the Leeton Breeders Plate and was able to win three times from eight starts for trainer-driver Ray Walker, his wife Jane and fellow owner John New. Wagga’s Pacer of the Year title went down to the wire with Halle Maruia finishing second at the final meeting of the season to edge out Jessica Amber. Halle Maruia raced 10 times at Wagga for three wins, four seconds and three thirds for owners John, Sandy and Des Klemke of Henty. The mare is trained by Hellen Scott at Albury and was able to race at a high level of consistency at Wagga after being off the racing scene for 12 months. Some 125 guests attended the night where naming rights to the feature races at Wagga this season were announced. The final two feature races came down to the last draw between father and son Paul and Jared Kahlefeldt with their respective businesses – Baylis Grind and Workout. Baylis Grind will sponsor the Wagga Cup, Workout the Wagga Derby and Caltex On Fernleigh the Wagga Oaks on Saturday night, March 3. by Graeme White

Local harness racing participants continue to contest regional meetings with trainers having both major and minor successes at Leeton, Parkes, Bathurst and Wagga. Tuesday night four local trainers traveled to Wagga with Young driver Blake Micallef having a win and placings on the nine race program. Glenn Wilmot started off the night with a creditable 4th with Annatto after being awkwardly placed on the inside line, the eventual winner Doctor Feld ($32.80) in a mile rating of 1:56.9.  Wilmot handed driving duties to Nic Dewar in the second behind the consistent Casino Grin. After being three wide at the bell, the more fancied Wagga pacer Split Second Lombo circled the field to secure an impressive 15 m win over the local pacer in a mile rating of 1:59.9. Mako Bay contested the third race but lady luck was not kind and the pacer finished toward the tail of the field after starting from the inside line. Race four resulted in an impressive win for Micallef who drove the recent arrival to the stable, Another Fireball ($11.70) to victory in a mile rating of 1:59.2.  Previously racing in Queensland, the Mach Three mare has now won 10 races from 50 starts for her owners. Once the decision is made to send her to the breeding barn, her best winning mile rate of 1:55.1 and wins in all three eastern states will surely stand her in good stead for the future. Blake almost made it back to back wins when family favourite Crusty ran within a short half head second in race eight behind Kiki Diva ($3.60) favourite after going forward at the bell.  The winners mile rate of 2.02.2 was a creditable performance and both Blake and Crusty can look forward to many more exciting times in coming months. The final race of the night resulted in Elegant Heaven ($2.50) and favourite, handing in a good performance for Bruce Harpley, the locally trained Sunofasis for Maurice Johnson found form with a fast finishing second behind the more fancied runner with the Kevin Powderly trained Miami Ruler again pulling hard early and finishing out of a place, the winner recording a 2:03.0 mile rate. Local trainers then travelled to Bathurst on Wednesday night and raced with moderate success, no doubt in readiness for the forthcoming meeting to be conducted by the Young Harness Racing Club next Friday night August 25.  Participants are reminded that the annual presentation night will be held on Saturday night September 23 at the Young Golf Club, tickets are available from Chloe Powderly or at the track next Friday night. By Stuart Maxwell Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness

Jessica Amber has the chance to jump to an outright lead in the Wagga Horse of the Year honours on Tuesday night. With less than a month left in the harness racing season, Jake Stockton’s mare is level with Padrisimo on 16 points. She jumped from a share of third to equal first with a win at Wagga last time out. She also has an advantage over the former pacer of Rod Woodhouse, who has since moved to Sydney. Despite a spelling Tiwanaku in second there are plenty of other runners who can pick up valueable points. Serene Major and Navajo Rocky are both on 13 while Jessica Amber has to contend with barrier six on Tuesday night. She is one of two Stockton runners in the Supermix Concrete Pace (1755m) with last start winner Our Classical Art drawn in seven. However Jessica Amber is coming off an impressive second in the Group Three NSW Breeders Challenge Regional Final at Bathurst. By Courtney Rees Reprinted with permission of the Daily Advertiser

Harness Racing in the Riverina received a major boost this week with the announcement of a contractor assigned to begin works on the site at Cartwrights Hill north-east of Wagga. Work is expected to commence on Riverina's new home of harness racing as early as next month with Ladex Constructions Group. Weather permitting, the timeline of this stage of the project is estimated to take around 12 months. It has been a lengthy process to get to this point according to Harness Racing New South Wales chief executive John Dumesny. "It is somewhat of a relief that this project will finally start rising from the open paddock in North Wagga," said Dumesny. "HRNSW and the harness racing fraternity have been frustrated at many stages during the past 10 years but that is all behind us now. "To all those concerned to date with the project I offer the Board Members congratulations and appreciation of their efforts. "The end result will be a racing precinct for the Riverina to be extremely proud of." Plans for the multi-million dollar racing facility will see a similar development to that constructed at Bathurst. This includes a 1070m racetrack capable of starting 10 horses across the front thus resulting in maximum field sizes as well as a sprint lane. Plans for this Riverina Supercentre began in 2007 and these are the events that have followed since: Site inspections took place at six locations in areas of Wagga, Coolamon and Junee; The HRNSW Board decided that due to the population base and centrality to the region, Wagga was determined as the preferred location; Site selection was narrowed down to North Wagga Flats as the preferred site due to the additional land available for future developments, proximity to Charles Sturt University its students and the equine veterinary clinic, the convenience by road for harness racing participants located in Junee, Coolamon, Leeton and Albury; HRNSW undertook two water studies through Wagga Council’s preferred flood impact professionals WMA Water on the site – other tracks built on flood plains/low lying areas include Tabcorp Park Menangle, Harold Park, Goulburn, Albion Park, Yarra Valley, Terang; HRNSW Stewards frequently visited the site in winter to inspect the fog conditions; HRNSW purchased the land in May 2016; Countless meetings with local residents to explain the project; Numerous meetings with Wagga City Council and the Southern Region Planning Panel to have the development approved; A thorough expressions of interest to attract the most suitable construction company. Amanda Rando

Harness racing heats for West Wyalong’s award-winning Standing Start Final will be held next week in Dubbo and Wagga. Trainers and drivers are reminded of the need to qualify in a standing start trial prior to be eligible for the Bolt Sulky Innovations Standing Start Series valued at $16,000. Heats will be held at Dubbo on Wednesday April 5 and Wagga on Friday April 7, while the third heat is at West Wyalong on Easter Saturday, April 15, with the final at West Wyalong’s Carnival of Cups on Sunday April 23. As well as $7,420 prizemoney up for grabs, and $1000 cash for the winning driver, trainers will be vying for the latest $7,600 Insain Bolt sulky thanks to major sponsor Bolt Sulky Innovations who has joined West Wyalong Harness Racing Club (WWHRC) to make the event possible. Trainers and drivers are welcome to trial one of the innovative sulkies at the Dubbo and Wagga heats or at the Carnival of Cups meeting. The sulky can be used in a race, with several people trialling it recently at Penrith to try and confirm the claims that the Australian designed-and-built sulky has turned 50 to one long shots into winners. Company director Joe Watkins says it’s the pivoting shaft that gives horses the advantage: “particularly in the turns where direct tracking ability without fishtailing and zero torsional forces greatly assists with balance and speed," he said. WWHRC President Ray Moore welcomed the new sponsor, saying the Club was thrilled to be able to continue to offer the Standing Start Series, after last year’s inaugural event proved a major draw card for competitors. Moore said the final was expected to be a great spectacle for the crowd once again as horses being handicapped according to their grade, gives every entrant the opportunity to win, and usually means a close finish.   Bathurst trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull’s Oh Jonny B Good, overcame a 70m handicap to win last year’s edition by 1.7 metres just beating a CO contender. The favourite Sporty Spook, who won the Wagga and West Wyalong heats, had to start off a 60m but was forced to run an exhausting race three wide and finished last.   ”This exciting race almost saw the front marker Seenohearnospeakno get away with the chocolates, and this is what provides the spectacle where the favourite can run last, the pole marker almost gets home and the winner is forced to run four and five wide on the home turn to catch the leaders,” said Moore. The standing start series is already attracting plenty of interest with Amanda Turnbull mentioning at Young Carnival of Cups recently that she’s planning to return for a chance at another sulky and brother Mitch, who has been driving exceptionally well lately, says he’s also interested. The inaugural standing start event was introduced last year thanks to the assistance of Dubbo and Wagga Clubs who are on board again. “We put a lot of work into the event as a way of building up the program for our Carnival of Cups for both competitors and spectators,” said Moore. And the work paid off when the Club won the Harness Racing NSW Innovation Award for introducing the race to the program in an attempt to grow the race meeting. “It’s an exciting addition to our Carnival of Cups program that we hoped would prove a success,” said Moore. “West Wyalong only runs two race meetings a year but the track is in excellent condition and the racing is expected to be of high quality. “Small clubs like ours have to put in the extra yards to stay viable and keep our meetings on the annual racing calendar.” The nine race program is expected to attract a lot of interest after last year attracting 170 nominations. Races include the $12,240 S and C Clubs Pacers Cup (C4-C7) and two $10,000 Menangle heats. The lead up event on Easter Saturday April 15 is a restricted event, with heats for the standing start as well as C0- C1 four-year-old heats. By Melanie Sincock

With a new regional centre being built in the Riverina there are some exciting times ahead for harness racing in the south west of New South Wales with a newly formed Committee now in place. Also on Tuesday (yesterday) the global company GHD Group was appointed as the project manager for the new track development on the Cartwright’s Hill site in Wagga and it is all systems go according to Harness Racing NSW chief executive John Dumesny. “The design is currently being refined and the leading tender companies will be requested to resubmit prior to the end of the year.” Mr Dumesny said. “There is a full expectation that construction will commence in February and should run to 50 weeks weather permitting.” “It is envisaged that the first major race meeting will be the Wagga Gold Cup program in March 2018.” Adding to the ‘new look’ in the Riverina is the new Wagga Harness Racing Club Committee. At the recent Special General Meeting a new Constitution was adopted. The new Constitution takes into account the new facility and the fact that the track will be the hub of the Riverina. Existing Committee members Linda Inwood (incumbent President), Bill Tipping, Kevin Wheatley and Brian Hay have been re-elected by the members. They will joined by HRNSW appointees breeder, owner, trainer and accountant Paul Kahlefeldt, Denis Conroy who currently is the representative of Non-TAB Clubs Harness Racing Industry Consultation Group as well as the Griffith Club Secretary, and also Christine Brewer who had formerly held administrative roles in the Hunter region. Mrs Brewer has recently relocated to the region. “This newly formed Committee is part of the new Constitution adopted by the Club (Wagga) as we move forward and create the new regional centre,” Mr Dumesny said. Secretary Graeme White remains in that post for the Wagga Club. AMANDA RANDO

At nine years of age, Glenburn Addy’s race days are drawing to a close but she’s showing no signs of slowing down just yet with her 15th harness racing career win at Wagga Paceway on Friday night. Glenburn Addy ($4.10) was perfectly placed to win under the conditions of the race with most of her rivals having won far less races. Trainer Tim Doherty has been looking after Glenburn Addy for the past two weeks. “She is due to go in foal to Modern Art and it was easier having her down here at Albury to have that done,” Doherty said. “She was well placed with the drop back in class clause for mares and the concession claim for Reece (Maguire).” Glenburn Addy has earned $70,000 and added an extra $1000 as owner Ray Walker is a member of the NSW Standardbred Owners Association. Doherty believes Glenburn Addy can win another race before she is retired. “She pretty much paid for herself to go in foal the other night,” he said. “She will keep racing until she goes in foal.”  Maguire won the race named in his honour as the leading driver at Wagga last season. He is shortly to leave Australia for a stint working in the harness racing industry in New Zealand. The bonus was won in consecutive races after promising filly Million Dollar Gem ($3.50) again led throughout for her second win. The three-year-old collected Yirribee Stud a further $1000 on top of the prize money. Million Dollar Gem won at odds of $30 late last month, but started second favourite on Friday night on the strength of that win. Reinsman Scott Woodhouse again found the lead form gate two on the lightly raced juvenile before clearing out at the finish. The Million Dollar Cam filly won by five metres from Proserpina and beaten favourite Rocknchaton, in a mile rate of 2:01.7. “She goes pretty good and keeps getting better,” Woodhouse said. Mammals Flash produced the win of the night spacing his rivals in a fast mile rate of 1.58.9 to take out the Wagga Premier Trainer Shane Hillier C1-C2 Pace (2165m). The five-year-old won by almost 30 metres to add to his impressive record since joining his trainer Brian Smith. Junee reinsman Cameron Hart found the lead on Mammals Flash who couldn’t hold the big pacer slow enough as he entered the final 600 metres. The favourite dominated his opponents for his third win for Smith which also includes three seconds and two thirds from nine starts. Other winners on Friday night were the Laura Crossland-trained Fiery Achiever ($2.30), Steve Boyington’s Desiring Bella ($3.90), Chris Chant’s Danielles Pride ($3.70) and Bruce Harpley’s new filly Habanero ($3.50). Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

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