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The connections of star four-year-old Tasmanian pacer Jaks Teller will resist the temptation to rush the harness racing Washington VC entire into top company by instead allowing him to gradually make his way through the grades. Jaks Teller took his career win tally to seven from only eight starts when he led almost throughout to score comfortably in a C3-C4 event over 2090 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. With Ricky Duggan in the sulky, the four-year-0oold settled midfield from his front-row draw but as soon as Our Classic Mach settled in the lead Duggan sent his charge around the field to take charge. From there on it was little more than a procession as Jaks Teller gave his rivals the slip turning for home and he went on to defeat Our Classic Mach by 7.2 metres with Kvitova Leis almost two metres away third. "We have the Easter Cup in mind for this horse but he is going to have to improve his overall racing manners to get to that goal," said part-owner-0breeder Jamie Cockshutt." He still does a lot wrong so there is no use rushing him into races against the best with him still learning his craft. "There's no need to rush him and if we take our time and let him mature gradually he'll have a much better chance of getting to top company." Jaks Teller again ran about in the home straight but his lead was so great the end result was never in doubt. Cockshutt said Jaks Teller would tackle a C4 in a week or so and when and if he reaches C7-8 class he will be given a spell and then return for a crack at the 2018 Easter Cup in Launceston at the end of March. Peter Staples

Freyberg, a seasoned, battle-hardened harness racing campaigner, worked in dashing style at Byford on Tuesday morning and is poised to produce a powerful effort at his Western Australian debut when he contests the $23,000 Pat Cranley Memorial over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Prominent New South Wales trainer Kevin Pizzuto described the nine-year-old’s track workout as “sensational” and is looking forward to the New Zealand-bred gelding warming up for the $1.8 million TABtouch interdominion championship series with a spirited display. “He’s not a mule; he’s a very smart horse and definitely good enough to play a part in the Inters,” Pizzuto said. “I wouldn’t have come all this way just to play games, but I do know that barrier draws here will be vital.” Freyberg, a veteran of 127 starts for 24 wins and 37 placings for stakes of $383,910, has thrived at Byford after an 11-hour trip by plane from Sydney to Melbourne and then on to Perth. After arriving in the early hours of Monday morning Freyberg was not affected by the searing 37deg. heat and Pizzuto had no qualms about driving him in a fast workout on Tuesday morning. “He worked strongly over a mile and a half,” he said. “That’s how I train my horses --- working alone. The way I look at it is if a horse works well by himself, he’ll do a lot better against other horses.” Pizzuto stressed that Freyberg was no slouch, having, at his most recent outing, finished an excellent third behind reigning interdominion champion Lennytheshark when he sped over 1609m at Menangle on October 15 in 1.49.9. “In that race Freyberg did burn off the arm (from barrier nine) and was three wide to the first turn,” he said. “I reckon his run was as good as Lenny’s.” Three starts before that Freyberg won the 1609m Les Chant Cup at Menangle in 1.51, beating Stormont Czar and Blazin N Cullen. Pizzuto has engaged outstanding 22-year-old reinsman Stuart McDonald to drive Freyberg on Friday night. The gelding has drawn awkwardly at barrier six on the front line, with his chief rivals likely to be Greg and Skye Bond-trained Ima Connoisseur and Phoenix Warrior, the polemarker Cyamach (trained by Gary Hall sen.) and the Ross Olivieri-trained Red Salute (barrier two).      The 43-year-old Pizzuto, who is in third place on the NSW trainers’ premiership table with 26 winners and 22 placegetters from 90 starters this season, has driven Freyberg 20 times, but has decided recently to concentrate on training. “I’m too heavy at 95 kilos and I reckon that the lighter drivers have a major advantage,” he explained. “I’m not decrying heavy drivers, but you don’t see too many heavy drivers winning races. “I’m fully in favour of the format for this interdominion series --- the traditional concept of three sets of a heats and a final. I reckon the system of one-off heats in the various States was a joke when bad draws ended the hopes of many horses. A bad draw ended Freyberg’s hopes when he ran in a heat at Menangle in February 2015 and finished eighth behind Ultimate Art. The heats were extremely boring.” Freyberg is by American stallion Washington VC and is the first foal out of Sam’s Beach Babe, who won two minor races from 30 starts in New Zealand. Freyberg had 42 starts in New Zealand for three wins in modest company and when he was bought by Pizzuto in April 2013 he had managed one win (by a nose) from his previous 27 starts and was a C2-class performer. However, the gelding has certainly proved a wonderful bargain for Pizzuto, who purchased him for $30,000 and owns him in partnership with his parents Albert and Carmen. His 85 starts for his new owners have produced 21 wins and 24 placings for earnings of $354,139. Freyberg’s first seven starts in Australia produced six wins and a fourth for $31,459 in the space of just 43 days. He continued to improve and now has contested 39 group events. Nine of his Australian wins have been over 1609m and five have been over 2300m. The Inters final at Gloucester Park will be run over 2936m on December 9, but Pizzuto is not concerned at the prospect of Freyberg running over such a long distance. “He’s a versatile pacer and can stay,” he said. “In his recent runs over 2300m at Menangle he’s been doing his best work at the end of those races.” Cyamach has been unplaced at his past four starts from second row and wide draws, but is sure to be strongly supported from the prized No. 1 barrier this week. He has started from the No. 1 barrier four times at Gloucester Park and he set the pace in all four events for three wins and a nose second to Run Oneover. Five-year-old Ima Connoisseur also will have many admirers. He has revealed sparkling early speed and has won at each of his past six starts, the three most recent wins coming after he had set the pace from wide barriers. Ken Casellas

Smart five-year-old Waylade has been placed at each of his seven starts in his current campaign and he is ready to end a frustrating losing sequence of 14 when he contests the $23,000 Percy Lind Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park harness racing on Friday night.The son of Washington VC should have sufficient class to overcome the disadvantage of drawing out wide at the No. 7 barrier. Trainer Gary Hall sen. said that he was more than pleased with Waylade’s strong effort to finish third to stablemates Run Oneover and Ideal Alice in the 2536m Winter Cup last Friday night and that the gelding was ready to bounce back to winning form. He said that he was far from super confident and he suggested that the hardest for Waylade to beat could be stablemate Classic American, who has a losing sequence of 13 and has been unplaced at his past 12 starts. “Classic American is ideally drawn at barrier two and he was unlucky when seventh in the Winter Cup last week when he raced three back on the pegs and was badly hampered for room in the final stages,” Hall said. Classic American is a noted sit-sprinter, but Clint Hall could be tempted to make a bid for the early lead in this week’s event. Classic American has set the pace only three times (all over 2130m) in his 46 starts in Western Australia. He led from barrier two and won by three lengths from Erskine Range in September 2014 and drew No. 1 both times when he led and won easily in the San Simeon Classic and Binshaw Classic early in 2015. Gary Hall jun. will resume as Waylade’s driver after Stuart McDonald brought the gelding home with a spirited burst from tenth with two laps to travel and from seventh (three wide) at the bell in the Winter Cup. Hall, who handled the Winter Cup winner Run Oneover, said: “Waylade went really good and he’s due to win one of these races, especially when he draws inside these other horses (Run Oneover and Ideal Alice).” Waylade meets inferior opposition (as a whole) in this week’s race and he should prove one of the best bets on the ten-event program. Simply Susational, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has been unplaced from wide draws at his past two starts after leading and winning easily from Ima Tragedy and Change Gear on May 27. He will start out wide at No. 8 this week, but is capable of a bold showing. Ken Casellas

Former New Zealand gelding Fcee is headed to Brisbane. With the UBET Winter Carnival starting on July 2 at Albion Park, harness racing trainer Amanda Turnbull  has penciled in the Listed $25,000 Gold Coast Derby followed by the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Derby with their emerging talent. Since arriving on Australian soil a few months ago, the Washington VC gelding remains unbeaten from four starts. Earlier today (Monday), Fcee led throughout in the St Johns Park Bowling Club Maltese Drivers Pace at Fairfield when handled by Mick Formosa. Fcee rated 1:59.2 for the 2113m mobile start event. “He was good again today and continues to head in the right direction and the Queensland campaign fits his schedule quite nicely so we’re prepared to give him a crack at some of the better races. We think he’s pretty handy and the trip away will tell us a lot more about him.” Turnbull said. The stable enjoyed a day out at Fairfield today after landing a one/two result in the main event, the Cabra-Vale Diggers J.D Watts Memorial with Oh Jonny Be Good defeating Betabcool in the 2533m standing start feature. Oh Jonny Be Good was handled by Nathan Jack. It was the final start on Australian soil for the Mach Three gelding after being sold to North American clients. Meanwhile, stable star Tact Tate has been sent to the spelling paddock following his victory in Saturday night’s Gr.3 $31,800 Crown Hotel Mount Eden Four-year-old Stakes at TABCORP Park, Menangle. The speedy pacer was being considered for the Brisbane winter carnival but has contracted a cold and will now have a break. Tact Tate has won 8 from 12 to date this season while amassing more than $150,000 in prizemoney. Chris Barsby

It was business as usual for Team Dunn at the Nelson Harness Racing Meeting today. Backing up from a treble at last nights Forbury Park Trotting Meeting, the Dunn team started their late season charge towards closing the premiership gap between themselves and the All Stars team. Sitting on 97 wins coming into todays meeting, that was soon 98 when maiden trotter Bourbon And Dry won the first of the day. Purchased at the late Carl Middleton's dispersal sale by the Neumann family, Bourbon And Dry was having his 2nd run from a spell when he beat 40 start maiden South Coaster, trained by Brad Mowbray at Yaldhurst, was will be forced to come back on Sunday to try and break his maiden status. Fast forward to race 6 and smart 3yo pacer Letspendanighttogetha was a dominate winner and brought up win number 99 for the season for trainer Robert Dunn and also win 99 for driver John Dunn. Away well from barrier one, the Washington VC gelding was shuffled back along the fence, before storming up the passing lane to win by ½ length to a super brave Ultimate Fella in 2nd. It took until the last race in the day for Team Dunn to bring up season win 100 and what a way to do it. Driver Ross Houghton, who is John Dunn's right hand man at their Woodend operation, was successful on Joey Maguire who he also part owns. It was a masterful drive by Houghton, who also brought up his 50th Career driving win, to find the front early on after drawing badly on the second row. After being allowed to dictate the race in front, Ross was off and gone at the top of the straight with 29.2 final quarter on a slushy Nelson track. Houghton was obviously stoked with the win, shown by his large salute to the crowd as he went over the line. Todays treble closed the gap in the premiership down to just 20 wins with a little over 6 weeks left to go in the season. John will look to pick up his 100th Season driving win on Sunday. Bourban And Dry Letspendanighttogetha Joey Maguire Andrew Fitzgerald

Bryleigh Stud’s Keith and Tracey Norman get a lot of satisfaction out of tracking the progeny of their stallion Washington VC. The Normans have been in harness racing all of their lives. Keith’s father Les was a very good horseman and won the Southland Trainers Premierships in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1969. He trained Majestic Charger which won 13 races as well as many other good winners. Both Keith and Tracey enjoyed driving success with Keith driving 49 winners. However breeding was to be their greatest interest. Their first venture into this side of the industry came when they borrowed Key Lady off Blake Eskdale and bred a three quarter brother to Jay Bees Fella. Their first broodmare was Surprise Me. She was by Sir Dalrae out of True Surprise and was trained by Les Norman and both Keith and Tracey drove her. Tracey won on her at Forbury Park in January 1985. After a while they moved into the stud business operating on 108 acres at Brydone. Their first stallion was Son Of Afella which made a strong impression on both the Southland and New Zealand breeding scene. He left cup grade horses Bogan Fella (16 wins) and Jay Bee’s Fella (13 wins) and 1998 Dominion Handicap winner Cedar Fella (17 wins). He was followed by less successful Niatross horse The Gladiator. “I bought Son Of Afella for a group of Eastern Southland breeders. After that I bought The Gladiator but he was a big horse and wasn’t a commercial success. Then I thought I’d go upmarket and look for an average sized stallion that had won races and had a good mile time that I could afford,” said Keith. Using an agent, he managed to secure the services of Presidential Ball stallion Washington VC.  “He won the Adios and was lame in the heat but still went out in the afternoon and won the final. He only had one more start after that.” Retaining a half share, the Normans then gathered a group of mainly southern breeders to take the other half. Thus the Washington VC syndicate was formed, made up of Peter McKnight (Manager), Brendon McLellan, Alex Milne, Syd Brown, Brian West, Malcolm Hunter, Brian Norman, Mark O’Connor, Murray Tapper, Daryl Trainor, Barry Barber and Arthur Clark. “He was paid off many years ago. The syndicate have well and truly doubled their money.” Washington VC to date has served 16 seasons in the breeding barn. Nine of those seasons he’s served over 100 mares. His busiest season was 2004 when he served 195 mares. Horses sired by him have started 7,586 times for 608 wins and earned $6,680,295 in stakes - the biggest by far being I’m Themightyquinn. One of his sons the Normans feel didn’t reach his full potential was I'm Victorious. He won 22 of his 33 starts including the Group One Sky Racing West Australian Derby. Unfortunately he was injured during the running of the 2014 Interdominion Final ending his racing career. However the story doesn’t stop there, with one of the stud’s latest arrivals causing a real stir. The foal is of course by Washington VC and out of Love Sign – therefore a full brother to I’m Themightyquinn. “Dave Kennedy bred I’m Themightyquinn, Themightynadal and Themightykendall from her (Love Sign). He missed getting her in foal for the next couple of years. We got her back in foal again but she had a dead one. He wasn’t having much luck so he told me she was available so I said I’d give her a home for life. We were allowed to breed from her. She had this foal in February.” Love Sign who’s by Soky’s Atom is 23, but certainly doesn’t look it. “She’s in fantastic health. We didn’t serve her this year but will try next season.” Keith and Tracey are proud of Washington VC’s feats and his stock have also proved to be popular in Australia. “If you go to the workouts or trials someone will phone you if the horse is any good. They win races and the Aussie owners come back next year and try and do the same thing again.” Keith is also quick to point out that Washington VC has been successful across 100 different broodmare sires and has left 28 group winners. He’s also hopeful that there’s more to come. “Son Of Afella served mares until he was 24 so every day with this horse is a bonus. The number of mares is trimming back naturally now. He’s got 42 mares this year so you don’t have to turn any away.” Washington VC is also proving a success as the sire of good broodmares. Recent big time winners Locharburn and Field Marshall are both out of Washington mares. The Normans have no plans to purchase any more stallions. But the enjoyment of tracking Washington VC’s career as the most successful stallion to stand in Southland in recent times, will continue for some time yet at Brydone HQ. Bruce Stewart

Tonight’s harness racing meeting at Addington Raceway sees Noel Kennard’s "GoHarness" syndication brand unveil a new Syndicate. The GoHarness team have been a revelation to the industry and currently have four different syndicates up and running, and pride themselves on the fact that every horse they have taken to the races has been successful on at least one occasion. That record doesn't look like disappearing anytime soon with their latest syndication horse Franco Saxon set to debut in race 2 at Addington tonight. Purchased off Spreydon Lodge several weeks ago, the 3yo Live Or Die gelding was a handy recent trial winner at Ashburton for trainer/driver Jonny Cox. "I have plenty of time for him, he's a lovely relaxed horse and he pleased me with his trial. He arrived in wonderful condition from Steven McRae (Spreydon Lodge) so we've just had to keep him ticking over" said Jonny. "The draw isn't a great help, especially over 1950m but if the luck goes our way I wouldn't be surprised if he won" Franco Saxon is owned by the "Staxofun syndicate" and there are still shares available. Astro Boy also resumes for GoHarness and Cox at Rangiora on Sunday. "He came to the end of it last time, so we spelled him and he has come back really well. He's had a couple of workouts and trials to get ready for this, he actually missed away at the trials the other day but usually he's a good beginner. From the front line he should get a nice enough trip and be thereabouts" said Cox. Astro Boy races for the “Double The Fun” Syndicate who also raced Western Art who unfortunately picked up a career ending injury. At his best Western Art was a handy winner of the Nelson Cup at the club’s early January meeting. Another recently set up was the “Buy, Race and Sell” Syndicate. Involving 50 shares with just the one lump sum payment, which the GoHarness name have become well known for, the Syndicate looks to win a few races with each horse first before hopefully flicking them on for a tidy profit. All horses for the Buy, Race and Sell syndicate are trained by Ken Barron. Barron currently has Order Online and Regal Grin in work for the GoHarness team. Order Online was a handy maiden winner at the start of the month and provided an instant return for Syndicate members after only having purchased the 3yo Washington VC gelding off Clark Barron a few weeks earlier. Regal Grin finished 2nd at the trials last week and the son of Grinfromeartoear is defiantly one to look out for over the next few weeks. Andrew Fitzgerald

Weedon’s based trainer Nigel McGrath has set his sights on the Harness Jewels with smart 3yo Ears Burning. Well supported by punters at Addington today, the 3yo Grinfromeartoear colt didn’t disappoint his followers with a dominate win in the 7th race of the afternoon. “He’s won really nicely; we had to burn around to find the front but he was strong after that. There is a super series race for him next week and then hopefully a jewels start” said McGrath. Currently 12th on the Jewels leader board , Ears Burning will drop back to 13th with the return of the All Stars runner Chase The Dream who is making his way back to New Zealand after competing in the WA Derby. The Super Series race Nigel refers to is the C0 and Faster Mobile pace which Ears Burning sneaks into, while it is a preferential barrier draw meaning he will pick up an average draw, there wouldn’t be many, if any horses to fall into those conditions that are going as good as he is. Meanwhile, McGraths star colt and Jewels leader Classie Brigade has had a wee freshen up and is preparing well for his Jewels challenge. “He will have one trial and go to the Jewels” said McGrath. Ears Burning Great Things Happen put pay to a handy trot field today when he boomed up the passing lane for trainer/driver Gavin Smith. Today’s victory was the Love You geldings 5th in a row and 7th career win, and pushed him up to 18th in the Jewels standings, just under $3,000.00 shy of the 12th placed, Greg/Nina Hope trained Everybody Knows. Owned by E J Edwards and Sara Smith, Great Things Happens was the first foal out of 7 win S J’s Photo mare Calamity Gal, who was trained by Gavin for her last two career starts. Today’s winning time of 3.17.4 was impressive, but so was the run of runner up Harriet Of Mot, who’s amended time from her 30m back mark was 3.16.4 and put the writing on the wall for the 4yo mare to be very competitive at the Harness Jewels. Her performance capped off a great day for Noel Kennard’s GoHarness Syndication’s brand when recent purchase Order Online won for trainer Ken Barron and the GoHarness Buy Race & Sell Syndicate. The 3yo Washington VC gelding was purchased out of the Clark Barron stable earlier last month and delivered a great mothers day victory for some owners. GoHarness always have shares available so don’t hesitate to get in contact with them, their details can be found at Great Things Happen Order Online Andrew Fitzgerald

Wyndham based junior driver Craig Ferguson ventured into the unknown on Sunday at Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting when he lined up his first two starters as a trainer. Whilst it wasn’t the dream result of two winners, it wasn’t far behind with both of Ferguson’s runners placing 2nd. Harnesslink sat down with Craig to talk about his runners & future plans. A maiden on debut named No More Change was Craig’s first starter in Race 4. The mare was given to Ferguson’s good mate Jamie Campbell by his relation Ivy Keenan. “Ivy Keenan was nice enough to give us the mare on the condition that we take her out for a meal and a bit of a party if we were to win a race,” said Craig. Jamie organised a bunch of owners, including several first time owners, who were seen to be loudly cheering their charge home. “The highlight for me was not only the horses performing so well, but seeing the excitement of all the owners. They were over the moon. I can’t wait to see what they are like when we win a race!” Beaten only ½ a length by Happy Lou (Trained by Malcolm Hunter), No More Change looks to be one worth following over the next few weeks. Coincidentally the driver of Happy Lou, Brendon McLellan was Craig’s first boss and the previous trainer of his starter in Race 5 Havinaravup. Starting from an awkward barrier, Havinaravup was able to punch through from the second line before finding himself in the 1-1 down the back, when extricated to the outside by Ferguson, the 7yo Washington VC gelding charged home for a smart 2nd to Hank Bromac (Trained by Murray Brown) driven by Craig’s partner Sheree Tomlinson. “Sheree beating me home wasn’t part of the plan; it’s safe to say she has the bragging rights for a few days” Craig actually won on Havinaravup back in June of 2014 and jumped at the chance to lease him when he became available. “I always thought he was capable of winning more. My good friend Rory McCall came in with me and I also gave Mum a share for all her help”. Rory is so keen he has even taken shares in a few others with Ferguson. With the use of a swimming pool, grass track and Sheree’s riding ability, Craig is able to offer something different for all sorts of horses. “Sheree helps me with the team, and Jamie pops in when he gets time away from teaching, also Mum and Dad are a huge help” ‘I haven’t made too many plans for the future. I’ll just take it one step at a time”. Side note: Known as one of the leading junior drivers in the country, Ferguson is currently sitting 3rd on the Premiership table with 23 wins for the season- (31) wins behind tear away leader Brad Williamson with Kyle Marshall (29 wins) in 2nd. Andrew Fitzgerald    

The venerable Saint William A shared the harness racing spotlight with the Down Under import Benjaminbanneker N Saturday night at The Downs at Pocono Downs by winning the richest and fastest race of the night respectively.   The highest purse race on the card, an $18,000 pace for top-level claiming handicap pacers which kicked off the program, was won by the oldest horse racing Saturday at The Downs, 13-year-old Saint William A, who perhaps not totally coincidentally paid off at 13-1 as he won for driver/owner Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher. Last week the son of Presidential Ball was blocked until late in the stretch, then came on swiftly; this week his prayers for earlier clearance were answered at headstretch, and he stormed down the Pocono Pike to defeat favored Forego The Cigar in 1:52.3 and raise his lifetime bankroll to almost $680,000.   Later in the card Stalbaum almost pulled off another upset, guiding Bestjetyet to fractions of 26.3, 54.1, and 1:22.1 in a $14,000 conditioned pace, but Bennajminbanneker N came from second-over to get a half-length decision in 1:51.3. An altered son of Washington VC (Dave Palone's only winning drive in an Adios Final, for Pennsylvania harness trivia fans), Benjaminbanneker N, who was named after a free African American of the 18th century whose surveying helped set the borders of Washington DC, was triumphant at The Downs for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Robert Bresnahan Jr., and owner J L Sadovsky LLC.   George Napolitano Jr. wound up with six driving victories on the card ... Jim Morrill Jr. stayed at four.   Tomorrow is the first Sunday card of the year at Pocono Downs, with a new Sunday night post time this year of 7:30 p.m. The program will feature the initial 2016 action of the Bobby Weiss Series of early-closers for developing youngsters, with five $15,000 divisions of male pacers and four for female pacers.   PHHA / Pocono    

The eight two year olds lining up in the juvenile race at the harness racing meeting at Addington Raceway tonight have one thing in common. None are from the All Stars barn which is a very unusual occurrence for a two year race in Canterbury, but it does give some really promising two year olds the opportunity to showcase their talent. One of the two year olds that has really impressed us here at Harnesslink that is lining up tonight is Tere The Terminator from the Brad Mowbray barn. The son of Washington VC has impressed from day one at the trials and workouts but as Brad explained to Harnesslink today, nothing went right on his debut at Wyndham in the Kindergarten Stakes. " I have a pretty big opinion of him and I thought he wouldn't disgrace himself in what was a really good field." " However he got really wound up and galloped badly which was a real surprise to me," Brad said. Given a wee freshener, Tere The Terminator lined up at the Motukarara trials last week and made a botch of the first race he was in and then lined up later in the C1 and faster pace. Leading from the unruly, Tere The Terminator was pressured by the very smart Torrid Bromac mid race but kept the lead. Torrid Bromac was out again at the 400 metres but Tere The Terminator kicked in the straight and kept Torrid Bromac at bay. Tere The Bromac raced greenly on a couple of occasions during the running but still managed to run the 2200 metres in a quick  2:46.5 with smart closing sectionals of 57.9 and 27.8 . There is no doubting the natural ability of Tere The Terminator but as Brad explained today, time will be his best friend. " He was a lot better manners wise earlier on actually but he just needs racing now to get that bit of ringcraft to go with the natural ability." " I knew we had something above average when he took ground off More The Better at the trials last November and he has improved a lot since then." " I probably didn't want the one draw tonight but it is what it is and it will give us a line on where we are with him." " I think he is definitely a Sires Stakes horse and if he performs well tonight ,we may have a look at next weeks heat," Brad said. All eyes tonight will be on Tere The Terminator at the start but if Blair Orange can get him through the first 200 metres, then he becomes the horse they all have to beat. Harnesslink Media  

Back when I was teenager, I played golf with a fella whose short game was about as good as his horse knowledge when I told him who I had backed in the cup. The favourite that year was Flashing Red having just won the Ashburton Flying Stakes and almost every other lead up to the cup going in. One mare in particular that ran a cheeky race at Ashburton was the Open Class mare Foreal (2001 – Washington VC – Krystle). Never the safest from a stand, she missed away in the flying stakes and ran a slasher for fifth. While she missed away in the cup and put pay to her chances at the barrier tapes, I always remember what he said to me regarding the mare. “The difference between her and Flashing Red is that Flashing Red is a real race-horse.” Really? I wish I had infohorse on my old Nokia brick back then as I would have been able to spend the next 10 holes re-educating him on $664,800 in stakes and a career that spanned 5 Group race wins (2 at Group 1) and 12 Group race placings. The horse was quite literally, ‘Foreal’, and is now living up to that same moniker as a mother stamping her mark in the broodmare barn. Syd Brown, the Mosgiel property developer who bred, owned and even trained Foreal for her first two 2 year old starts (both wins) was delighted to see the second foal he has bred from the mare winning his first start of the new campaign. “It was a great win after all the trials and tribulations he’s been through really, and it was great to see a good outcome!” Field Marshal (2011 – Art Major) won the Prime Panels Mobile Pace comfortably in the hands of Dexter Dunn after flying the gate to hold the lead before handing up and securing a trail. He buzzed up the passing lane in a very quick final 400 of 26.9 to win going away. Syd’s wife Shona who shares in the breeding and ownership of the beautifully bred four year old entire said they were excited for what may lie ahead after the classy display fresh up. “That was his first start since he had surgery on his pallet” she said. “While racing in Australia it was discovered that he had a very severe wind issue and the vet, Alistair Mclean of Werribee Clinic couldn’t believe he was winning with the issue that he had!” Having run a super 1:54 mile at Menangle in February in the hands of Anthony Butt, he was then a disappointing 7th a week later in a heat of the NSW Derby. It was then the wind issue was discovered and the couple’s patience looks to have been rewarded since. For that a lot of the credit must go to Tim Butt who Syd say’s has shown his skill in placing the horse well and taking his time in bringing him back. Syd’s first experience with Standardbreds was typical of most when they catch the bug we call harness racing; “Umm really it was something that was way back when I was in my youth where I went up to Chirstchurch for the cup meeting helping out my next door neighbour Hector Anderton. And he took me up to Don Nyhans place because Hector had a horse there called Snow Globe (1958 – Johnny Globe – Snow Jane).” “I was out there and Don gave me a drive on one of his pacers and I was hooked from tha moment on. From that we went to the Interdominion sale at Forbury Park when they were held there and we bought a mare in foal to Johnny Globe called Omylight (1960 Light Brigade – Scotomy) and that was my start in the industry” he said. Syd was very understating in the success he and his wife have shared since when referring to the family he has bred from dating back to 1966. “I’ve been very fortunate to have bred some horses that were a little bit above average and it gives you a great thrill but also when you’re in this game, when you’ve got livestock, you’ve also got dead stock as well so you do have the ups and downs and it’s never plain sailing. And that’s what you’ve got to learn when you’re in this game is you’ve got to be able to take the knocks as well as the good times” he said. Members of the family to have given the Browns some of those good times mentioned include Sydney James (1968g – Johnny Globe – Omylight) which was the subsequent foal from the Dunedin sale. Syd credit’s the horse for getting him started and getting to the verge of cup class but it was a son of Lordship that took his family and friends on “many nice trips away and allowed me to meet many nice people in the game”. That horse was Regal Light (1971 – Lordship – Omylight) which was a high speed horse and won 11 races whilst under the care of Syd himself throughout the mid to late seventies. Foreal’s dam, Krystle (1985 – El Patron – Diedre) raced with distinction and won five races and placed in 21 more but happened to run into another quality mare in Blossom Lady when racing in the mares classics. Krystle was a broodmare gem leaving more winners in Clontarf (1992g – Vance Hanover), Regal Star (1993g – Smooth Fella – 16 wins & 23 placings in Queensland) and Checkmate (1997g – Jaguar Spur). Like Foreal, her deeds as a grand dam have been replicated with the (1997) Holmes Hanover mare in Coming Up Roses who Syd bred in partnership with his wife Shona. While she was only placed four times in 14 starts for Syd as the sole trainer, her progeny have gone on to bigger and better things for the couple. Regal Dash (2000g – Fake Left) was her first foal and was sold to Australia where it won its first nine of 11 starts including the Group 3 Bendigo Cup. Ask Me Now (2009m – Washington VC) ran a smart second in the Southland Cadeuceus Club Fillies race (Group 3) before going on to win 10 races in Australia and $112,344 in stakes. They have also enjoyed recent success with the smart 5 year old mare Delightful Dash (2010 – Lis Mara) who has won 11 races and had a stellar four year old season running in the money 13 times from 20 starts! With all the success that has come from the family it is hard for Syd to go past the deeds of the super mare Foreal. “To be honest she just couldn’t go from a stand, and some days was even a bit suspect from behind the mobile. She ended up costing herself a chance in the Mircale Mile at Harold Park as a four year old where she galloped on the gate and lost about thirty or fourty meters and flew home to be in a photo for the first four.” “To my knowledge she’s still the only filly to have won the Triple Crown in Auckland (G2 Ladyship Stakes, G2 Sires Stakes Filles Championship, G1 Great Northern Oaks).” She went on that year to win the NSW Oaks in a season where she won 9 of her 12 starts as a three year old. Outside of breeding and training Syd also got into the administration side of racing where he spent 10 years on the board at Forbury Park and eventually became the President of the trotting club. “Under Max Bowden’s term I also headed up a handicapping subcommittee to look at a handicapping system for the industry so I guess you can say I’ve had quite an involvement in harness racing right from breeding to training and even administration.” If Field Marshal’s fresh up win off a long layoff is anything to go by, Syd and Shona Brown will have quite a lot more involvement with the quality stock they continue to breed and race. Story from Breeders’ Weekly Subscribe here: View Issue 3 here: Brad Reid Executive Manager New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Assn  

Steam Washed has long been near the top of the crop in the Australian harness racing mares’ scene and tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton was her night in the spotlight. The six-year-old from the Ruth and Noel Shinn stables produced an all-the-way win in the Pegasus Club Queen of the Pacific for reinsman son Chris Shinn. It was the second career Group 1 for the daughter of Washington VC / Laura Lace, who has now won 19 races and over $260,000 in stakes. She had run second in the Queen of the Pacific last year. “She was terrific,” Chris Shinn said post-race. “She’s been racing against the best colts, too. She’s been terrific.” Steam Washed stepped from the tapes like a consummate stand-start professional, spearing across from barrier seven to find the lead. But it was also this early move that meant she had to win the race on the track and then again in the stewards’ room, with Nathan Jack, the driver of second horse Berisari, protesting against the winner on the grounds the runner-up was hampered early. Stewards agreed with Jack that there was interference caused by Shinn aboard Steam Washed but Chairman of Stewards Shane Larkins said the stewards could not be satisfied the second horse would have won given the final margin (1.2m) and despite the interference the protest was dismissed. Steam Washed paced through a lead time of 87.6secs before splits of 28.3, 29.6 and 28.5. Turning for home the final time Berisari in the breeze was sticking on gamely and making it clear that if Steam Washed was to relent, she was ready to strike. But Shinn and his girl found plenty, Steam Washed digging in for the fight and holding her rival off with a 30.6secs final quarter to win by 1.2m at odds of $12.40. "I was holding my breath up the straight," said Ruth Shinn. "She did deserve it, she's bright as a button. She's terrific." Berisari was gutsy, losing no supporters whatsoever on the strength of her effort, the $2.30 shot holding off stablemate The Good Times by 0.7m with Majorly Foxy Styx fourth for Michael Stanley. The winner’s mile rate was 1:59.3. Race favourite Frith finished ninth.  by Cody Winnell

Respected harness racing trainer Joe Pace admits it is getting harder to “keep a lid on the excitement” regarding promising pacer Lucky Vc. Speaking after the gelding’s victory at Ballarat last night, Pace believes Lucky Vc is capable of making his way to metropolitan company. “He is a pretty nice horse and there is a lot to like about him,” Pace said. “At this stage he just has no idea of what he is doing, but is getting better with every start. “I reckon he can win in town further down the track, but for now I will just keep taking it slowly with him and take it one run at a time. “I’ve learned all-too-well during the years you can’t plan too far ahead with horses no matter what kind of opinion you have of them.” Driven by top reinswoman Jodi Quinlan, Lucky Vc was caught three-wide early before settling outside the leader, Joelissa. Overpowering the front runner on the home turn, the son of Washington Vc was untouched as he cruised to an eight-and-a-half metre win from Masterofthurles, with Citysneak a metre-and-a-half away third. “This race was for female drivers, so I booked Jodi nice and early,” Pace said. “Jodi has achieved so much in the sport, but I still feel she is somewhat underrated. “When she was establishing herself it was harder for a young girl than it is now. Jodi doesn’t get the accolades she deserves.” Covering the last half in 56.5 seconds, Lucky Vc rated 1:57.4 for the 1710 metres, taking his record to two wins and six placings from 10 starts since crossing the Tasman. “Like I said, he still doesn’t know what it’s all about, which is something Jodi also said when she came back to scale,” Pace said. “As he matures and gains experience he should be a pretty handy horse. “I will put him around next week then he will have a fortnight off before working his way slowly through the classes.” PAUL COURTS

Well-bred harness racing mare Angela De Marco delivered a clinical display to score an effortless win in a C2-C3 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park Hobart last Monday night. After circumnavigating the field to find the front at the halfway mark, the Tony Petersen-trained pacer left her rivals in her wake along the home straight as she cruised to a seven-metre win from Bone Fide Hustler, with Bertils Delight a head away third. Angela De Marco showed above average ability when she arrived from New Zealand early last year, but after only two outings which netted a placing, she was sent for a spell. The daughter of Washington Vc returned last June and emerged triumphant at her second start and proceeded to win four of her next seven outings. Petersen gave her a spell in September and from six starts this preparation Angela De Marco has won twice, with those victories coming from her past three starts. Angela De Marco is owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper, who have had a lot of success with stock they have purchased in New Zealand. The owners finished the meeting with a double courtesy of another NZ-bred campaigner, Something Eyre, which was impressive over 2090 metres. Also driven by Duggan, Something Eyre showed speed from gate two, but not enough to hold out Notimetothink which crossed from gate three to lead. Duggan angled away from the pegs to face the breeze, but he soon had cover when Kinky Boots was sent to the ‘death seat’. Duggan eased the gelding three-wide to make his charge along the back straight as Kinky Boots worked to the lead. Proving too slick during the latter stages, Something Eyre completed a three-and-a-half metre win from Saloon In Flight, with Rajah Wealth four-and-a-half metres away third. PETER STAPLES

Murray Tapper knows that harness racing can be a cruel game at times but even he was beginning to wonder what Levels Legacy had done to deserve all the bad luck he has had. Bred by a quartet including Murray, Levels Legacy broke in really nice but then suffered a fractured pelvis as a yearling. " I thought I was going to have to put him down as he was dragging a leg for ages but the vet said it would heal and it did," Murray told Harnesslink yesterday.  Qualifying as an early 3 year old, Levels Legacy ran a couple of seconds from his first four starts but was immature and was put aside to develop. Brought back as a 4 year old, Levels Legacy had a couple of placings and was improving with every run when disaster struck at last years Cup week Ashburton meeting. "He broke down in both fetlocks, tearing the ligaments badly." I managed to get him home but he couldn't walk at all for quite a while. I again considered having him put down but he's such a game horse that I thought he deserved his chance to come through this," Murray said yesterday. Slowly but surely with plenty of TLC, Levels Legacy improved to the point where Murray got the all clear to put him back into work.  And so nine months after the Ashburton disaster Levels Legacy returned to do battle on the racetrack in August this year. As you would expect he needed a run or two after such a long absence but a workout a couple of weeks at Ashburton brought a smile to Murray's face. "He went huge and I went to Timaru last week with real confidence." "He got a lovely run but when Matthew (Williamson) pulled him out he just battled into third." "Maybe it was the slushy track but I was pretty disappointed," Murray said.  So today at Geraldine on the grass Murray was hopeful rather than confident. Away well from barrier three for regular driver Matthew Williamson in the 1850 mobile event, Levels Legacy slotted into the trail behind the pacemaking Hey Knowchange and was shuffled three back on the inner when Sandvik Star went to the lead at the 1250 mark. The order was still the same as they turned for home and Sandvik Star grabbed a break as they straightened up. Working into the clear, Levels Legacy flew the last bit to grab Sandvik Star in the shadows of the post for that elusive first win. Murray was full of praise for the son of Washington VC after the race. "He has had so many problems and still has niggles but he has got  huge ticker which is why he is still with us." "I don't punt that much but had a fair hit on him last week when he disappointed me so I didn't have a cent on him today." "As long as everything holds together that won't be his last win either but just don't ask me when his next will be," Murray joked. For Levels Legacy to overcome all the issues he has had to deal with and still want to race shows how game the gelding is. Harnesslink Media   

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