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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   

Waylade, the youngest and most inexperienced runner in the field, is poised to provide harness racing duo Gary Hall and Gary junior with their third success in Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Waylade has raced only seven times for three wins, three seconds and earnings of $29,465 - all his rivals have had more starts, won more races and earned more prizemoney. Regardless of records, Waylade, one of six entrants from the all-conquering Hall stable, appeals as the warm favourite following his convincing sample of his class when he started from barrier four in a Golden Nugget Prelude last week. After racing three-wide early before being settled in the breeze, Waylade outclassed his rivals to score with ease from stablemates Classic American and Soho Lennon. Waylade has drawn four again, with Junior expected to send the son of Washington Vc forward in search of the lead. The most likely scenario, however, is Waylade will have to work in the breeze outside the polemarker Ohoka Cooper, which is in sparkling form for Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson. Ohoka Cooper’s last seven starts have netted five wins, a second and a third. The Halls have won the Championship twice, firstly with The Gold Ace in 2011 then Bettor Reason the following year. The Gold Ace started as an odds-on favourite and gave a powerful display to race without cover before winning from Lovers Delight and Ohokas Bondy. Favourites have a poor record in the feature, with Bonavista Bay (5/4) finishing sixth behind Ima Rocket Star in 2009, Motu Crusader (1/2) finishing last behind Dasher VC in 2010, Im Victorious (11/8) finishing 11th behind Bettor Reason in 2012, and Bit of a Legend (evens) finishing 11th behind Nowitzki last year. Hall will also be represented by Soho Lennon, A Boy Named Rosie, Vc Manoeuvre, High Courage and Classic American, with each capable of a forward showing. Waylade certainly has the breeding to be a star, with his family tracing back to Party Party, Another Party and Champagne Party. Another Party heads the clan, with his 31 wins including the Fremantle and A G Hunter Cups. KEN CASELLAS

Has harness racing superstar Im Themightyquinn run his last race? That’s a question even champion horseman Gary Hall can’t answer as Im Themightyquinn battles arthritis. Im Themightyquinn’s latest ailment has developed around the off-hind cannon bone he fractured last year, with the triple Inter Dominion winner undergoing treatment. While the arthritis treatment has a high rate of success, Hall is less than confident it will be enough to ease the 10-year-old’s trouble joints. “He’s got a fair bit of pain in his joint as a result of arthritis,” Hall said. “It’s developed around the cannon bone he fractured and as such he can’t put any pressure on it. “We’ve treated it and won’t know the result until we put pressure on him.” Should the son of Washington Vc manage to overcome the discomfort, Hall stated he will return to racing early in the New Year. Im Themightyquinn only requires one metropolitan victory to break Blacks A Fake’s record as Australasia’s richest standardbred. The industry’s only quadruple Inter Dominion champion, Blacks A Fake earned $4,575,438 as a result of 72 wins and 14 placings from 105 starts. Im Themightyquinn’s tally is sitting on 58 wins and 34 placings from 111 starts for a bankroll of $4,567,456. Rounding out the Southern Hemisphere’s top 10 earners are Smoken Up ($3,607,985), Monkey King ($3,332,513), Changeover ($2,321,677), Lyell Creek ($2,256,724), Shakamaker ($2,229,634), Our Sir Vancelot ($2,197,990), Terror To Love ($2,161,355) and Village Kid ($2,117,870) “If the treatment works, then we will push ahead,” Hall said. “Plenty of horses have kept going while being treated in the same way. “So if he can push through while under treatment he will race again…if he can’t, then he’ll be retired. “It would be nice to break the record as the richest pacer, but he is more important than the record.” PAUL COURTS

There have been plenty of Jillibys and Keayangs which have been successful over the years coming out of the Terang harness racing training establishment of Marg Lee, Peter Craven, Jason Lee and Glen Craven, and another potential top-liner by the name of Jilliby Master showed what a bright future he has by toying with his rivals in the Permewans Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2160 metres at Hamilton on Wednesday. Trained and driven by Glen Craven, Jilliby Master was sent forward from gate five, but was unable to head off The Fire Within (gate three) resulting in him being left facing the open. Eventually crossing over at the bell, Jilliby Master careered away to register a most impressive 4.6-metre victory in advance of brother Matt’s Faraway Man from last with a circuit to travel, with Misschinoise (four back the markers at bell) again running her usual honest race to finish third. The mile rate 1:57.5. The Western District usually supplies a number of winners at most Hamilton meetings and leading reinsman Mattie Craven was successful with four-year-old Badlands Hanover/Susie Sheffield mare Susie Badland in the Angelique Club Pace for C0 class over 2160 metres when having her first outing for the stable. Given every opportunity to figure in the finish one/one from gate three, Susie Badland ran on best to blouse the pacemaker What A Sheila by 4.3 metres in a rate of 2:02.5. Floral Touch battled on strongly to finish third after facing the breeze. Great Western’s Kerryn Manning landed the Mountain View Stud Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres with former Kiwi five-year-old mare Supa Slick in a rate of 2:02.1. Making her second appearance since December 2012, Supa Slick was sent forward from gate five to take over the front running role from the polemarker Ima Little Tycoon and was never headed, just lasting to gain a head decision over Ime Little Tycoon along the sprint lane, with Tres Hombres (three-wide last lap from the rear) third. A daughter of Washington Vc and Supamodel, Supa Slick can be purchased for a paltry $1000 from a claimer at Bendigo this Saturday. Len Baker - Harness Racing Victoria

There is waiting a long-time between drinks and then there is dying of thirst and Tim Trathen probably came close to later. But if he continues to drive his promising trotter Summer Vacation and drives him in the way he did at Rangiora on Sunday he probably won’t have to wait another ten years before driving his next winner. The popular farrier trained a winner earlier in the season and one back in 2011 but on Sunday it was the first time Trathen had driven a winner since 2004. Sent straight to the front by Trathen, Summer Vacation was allowed to dictate terms in front before sprinting strongly in the straight to hold off the talented Commander Paris. He came his last half in 59.8 and his last quarter in 29.2 to hold on for a game win. By Dream Vacation out of five win mare In Command, Summer Vacation is a close relation to top race mare Meniscus. He was now had six starts for a win and a further three placings and has been driven by Trathen on each of those six occasions. Trathen has now trained 15 winners and driven 26 (since 1986) but is more widely known for his work as a blacksmith and a breaker. He did the early educating of Jewels winner Cowgirls N Indians before selling his share in the boom filly. Meanwhile, Madiba Magic broke the track record at Rangiora for a 2000 metre mobile when pacing the distance in a slick 2-24.8. Driven by Sam Ottley, the erratic Christian Cullen four-year-old was kept back from the gate early before lobbing the one-one. He then unleashed a powerful sprint in the home straight to overhaul stablemate Lumos and favourite Explosive Art. Madiba Magic is out of superstar Washington VC mare Foreal, who notched up a double for the weekend. Her smart Art Major two-year-old son Field Marshal was an impressive winner at Cambridge on Thursday and will now head to Australia for the Breeders Crown. By Mitchell Robertson

Munster businessman Tom Erceg and harness racing owner snapped up a wonderful bargain when he paid just $6000 for a Rich And Spoilt filly at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale in February 2013. The filly named Straittothehilton and raced by Erceg in partnership with Byford trainer Katja Warwick, boosted her earnings to $88,330 when she gave a dashing display to score an easy victory in the $100,000 group 1 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Straittothehilton, third favourite at 9/2, was driven in masterly fashion by Morgan Woodley and the win completed a double for Woodley and the Warwick family in the Westbred Classic. Former champion trainer-reinsman Trevor Warwick, husband of Katja, prepared 14/1 chance Sweet Atomic when Woodley drove her to a thrilling victory in a three-way photo finish from Hermattjesty Mulan and Flirtalicious in the 2011 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies. Straittothehilton jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier before Aiden De Campo sent 3/1 second fancy Delightful Jade (a winner at six of her seven starts) into the lead after 100m, leaving the heavily-supported 9/4 favourite Massive Attack in the breeze. After a leisurely lead time of 38.7sec. and a slow first quarter of 31.6sec., de Campo increased the tempo and Delightful Jade sprinted over the second section in 28.8sec. This was followed by a 29.2sec. quarter before Gary Hall jun. sent Massive Attack to the front 270m from home. Woodley had eased Straittothehilton off the pegs with about 600m to travel to follow the run of Massive Attack. Straittothehilton burst into the lead 100m from the post and won by two lengths from Massive Attack, who put up a tremendous performance to finish second. The final quarter was a modest 30.8sec. and Straittothehilton rated 2.01 over the 2130m journey. Soho New York (40/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to finish a further two lengths back in third place, in front of Sea Me Smile. Delightful Jade wilted to finish sixth. Katja Warwick has given Straittothehilton a splendid preparation and the filly went into the classic as the most experienced runner, with 13 starts under her belt. Straittothehilton, who has been driven by Woodley in all her starts, has now won three races and been placed eight times. Her dam Made of Dreams (by Parsons Den) raced 49 times for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664. Made of Dreams is out of unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow, whose five winners included Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515). Amongst Royalty, a full-sister of Made of Dreams, won two group 1 and one group 2 classic as a two-year-old and retired with a record of 86 starts for 23 wins and 27 placings for earnings of $570,820. Arctic Glow's dam Broncroft Castle produced star pacer Mon Poppy Day, who amassed $318,558 from 20 wins and 16 placings from 50 starts. His wins included the WA and Tasmanian Derbies in 1996, the 1996 Golden Nugget, the 1997 Christmas Gift and the 1998 Mount Eden Mile. Straittothehilton also is related to former champion mares Under Cover Lover (70 starts for 21 wins, 22 placings and $864,923) and Bettor Cover Lover (39 starts for 19 wins, 14 placings and $1,026,427). Straittothehilton is the latest of the progeny of Rich And Spoilt to win juvenile classics. His previous classic winners include Silver Tail Adda, Shipwreck, Batavia Touchngo and Adda Cool Mil. Rich And Spoilt won the 1999 Pearl Classic, the State Sires Series Classic and Caduceus Club Classic in 2000 and finished a nose second to Seelster Sam in the Gold Nugget Championship in December 2000. Straittothehilton Erceg also purchased a colt for $9500 at the 2013 sales who is trained by Katja Warwick. The colt, named Out of the Shadow, won at his debut, at Harvey in January this year and again at Bunbury in February. Veteran lands first group 1 winner Veteran Bunbury trainer Bob Wood landed his first group 1 winner when Kyle Harper drove All Aussie Boy to an all-the-way victory in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All Aussie Boy, equal second favourite at 13/4, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier, but had to survive a spirited early challenge from 5/4 favourite Persistent Threat before setting the pace and holding on grimly to defeat 11/1 chance A Force In Action by a metre, with a length and a half back to 66/1 outside Captain Oats in third place. The 23-year-old Harper had some anxious moments in the final stages when All Aussie Boy began to shift up the track. The left-handed Harper then used the whip in his non-preferred right hand to prevent the colt from veering out. He responded gamely to Harper's urgings and just held out the fast-finishing A Force In Action, who had enjoyed an perfect trip behind the pacemaker until Mark Reed got him off the pegs approaching the home turn and brought the colt home with a strong three-wide burst. After the race the stewards fined Harper $200 for incorrect use of the whip in that he used more than a wrist and elbow action. Persistent Threat began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Tom Buchanan made a spirited bid for the lead. Persistent Threat got almost a length and a half in front of All Aussie Boy, but just failed to muster sufficient speed to cross to the front, with Harper driving All Aussie Boy hard to retain the lead. Buchanan took hold of Persistent Threat after 200m and the gelding broke into a gallop. However, Buchanan quickly got Persistent Threat back into a pacing action. Morgan Woodley then dashed Thatlebe forward with a fast three-wide burst to move into the breeze after 550m. Then, after 600m, Colin Brown sent the 13/4 equal second fancy Isaiah Artois forward from the rear with a three-wide charge to assume the position outside the pacemaker. Persistent Threat then was sixth win the one-wide line. The first quarter was run in 31.8sec. before final sections in 29.9sec., 29.9sec. and 29.2sec. Buchanan eased Persistent Threat three wide approaching the 400m mark, but the gelding lacked sparkle and wilted to finish in eleventh position. Isaiah Artois was a gallant fourth. The winner rated 2.0.2 over the 2130m. All Aussie Boy looks like developing into the best pacer prepared by the 71-year-old Wood since he trained Pataz in the early 2000s. Pataz, who reached an M7 mark in 2003, raced 66 times for 20 wins, 13 placings and $144,878 in stakes. All Aussie Boy has earned $78,345 from three wins and three placings from eight starts. He is by Allamerican Ingot and is out of Parsons Den mare Like Royalty, who was unplaced at her 12 starts, earning just $183 from her fourth placing in a two-year-old event at Gloucester Park in July 2005. All Aussie Boy is a half-brother to Paramedic, who notched his tenth victory when Harper drove him to an all-the-way win in a Pathway at Gloucester Park last month. All Aussie Boy Hall's tactics succeed with Our Arlington A bold move by Clint Hall to send Our Arlington forward from the awkward No. 4 barrier, instead of restraining him, paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old scored an upset win at 14/1 in the $25,000 LED Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was generally considered that Please Release Me would set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and Hall drove Our Arlington hard early, out three wide for the first 300m, before getting to the breeze. Two hundred metres later Our Arlington settled in the perfect one-out, one-back position when Dundee Three sustained a three-wide early burst to take up the position outside Please Release Me. After a reasonable lead time of 37.6sec., Please Release Me coasted through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before he covered the next quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.3sec. Hall switched Our Arlington three wide with 300m to travel and the gelding finished full of running to hit the front 120m from the post. He held on to defeat the gallant Dundee Three (13/4) by one metre, with Please Release Me (11/4) a nose away in third place after a final quarter in 28.6sec. My Hard Copy, a well-supported 11/8 favourite, started from the inside of the back line and he got into the clear leaving the back straight the final time before finishing solidly, out wide, to be a head away in fourth place Our Arlington gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. his second success in the Past Presidents Cup. He was successful with The Falcon Strike in 2006. Our Arlington, by Washington VC, won twice from three starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in March 2011 and 11 times in Victoria. His three wins from 15 WA starts have taken his record to 68 starts for 16 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $169,942. Voak's birthday surprise Chris Voak wasn't optimistic about his chances with eight drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he gave himself a pleasant birthday surprise when he drove 45/1 outsider Say It Now to a stirring victory in the 2130m Cable Joining Supplies Pace. Voak, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Friday, continues to drive winners every week and is a clear second behind Gary Hall jun. in the Statewide drivers' premiership table. Hall has 147 winners and Voak has had 951 drives in the 2013-14 season for 124 wins, 120 seconds and 94 thirds. Say It Now gave Voak his 43rd city success this season and he is in fifth place on the Metropolitan list behind Hall (99 wins), Chris Lewis (59), Colin Brown (57) and Morgan Woodley (45). Say It Now was a 7/4 chance the previous Friday night when Chris Lewis drove the noted frontrunner to a head victory over Bettor Party over 1730m. But punters disregarded his chances on Friday night when he rose in class and started from barrier two on the back line over a longer journey. Voak was driving the pacer for the first time. Polemarker Black Aquila was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on, with stablemates Vapour (11/4) and Notabadexcuse (11/1) next in betting. Michael Young got Black Aquila away smartly and the five-year-old set the pace, with Notabadexcuse (Micheal Ferguson) in the breeze and Love In The Dark sitting behind the pacemaker. Say It Now raced three back on the pegs and was eighth at the bell. Voak got Say It Now off the inside in the final circuit and the stallion charged home, out wide, to gain a last-stride victory by a neck from Notabadexcuse, who had taken the lead 80m from the post. Black Aquila was a wilting third. The final sections were covered in 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. and Say It Now rated 1.57.6. He has been an excellent moneyspinner for Hopeland trainer Kevin Charles and his son Kody, who bred the horse from Promising Gift, a mare gifted to them by breeder Tom Keating. Say It Now has earned $101,981 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 52 starts. Desirable Guy breaks through for first WA win New South Wales-bred five-year-old Desirable Guy completed a double for reinsman Colin Brown in the first two events at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he relished his pacemaking role to score an easy victory in the 2130m Bambach Cables Pathway Pace. Brown, who trains the gelding at Banjup, had won the opening event with the Dick Moore-trained Macintosh. Desirable Guy, second fancy at 3/1, jumped straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and Brown rated him perfectly to score by four metres from polemarker Justlikelindt, a 13/1 chance who trailed the leader all the way. A half-head away in third place was the 2/1 favourite Algranco Under Fire, who raced three wide early and then without cover. The win was Desirable Guy's first from seven WA starts and it ended a losing sequence of 13. He now boasts an enviable record of 70 starts for 15 wins and 22 placings for earnings of $105,388 and he looks capable of more city successes for owners Geoff and Ben Waters, John Galluccio, Grahame Searle and Paul Whyte. Desirable Guy showed early promise and at Melton in May 2011 he finished fourth behind Mr Nickel, Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia in the $305,000 group 1 Australian Pacing Gold. By American stallion Real Desire, Desirable Guy is the first foal out of Atworthy Maid, who was unplaced at her four starts in Victoria as a two and three-year-old in 2005-06. Atworthy Maid's dam Crown Velvet produced five winners, including Velvets Bee gee (29 wins and $134,600) and Croesus (13 wins and $253,050). Am Opulent relishes frontrunning role Few mares in Western Australia possess the sparkling early speed of Am Opulent and when Ryan Warwick dashed the New Zealand-bred four-year-old straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier her 11 rivals faced an extremely difficult task in the $25,000 final of the Nexans Olex Lombardo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Warwick stole a march on the opposition when he got Am Opulent to relax and coast through the lead time in 38.2sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 31.7sec. Warwick gave the mare more rein in the final 800m and she sped over the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.2sec. to win by one and a half lengths from 66/1 outsider Tis A Charmer, who enjoyed a good trail three back on the pegs. Polemarker Ace of Cards (22/1) trailed the leader for much of the way before finishing with a spirited burst. Selkie, the 2/1 favourite, was never in contention. Chris Lewis restrained her back to the rear from her wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line. She started a three-wide run approaching the bell, following Lucky Joy, But she floundered in the back straight and dropped back to finish in eleventh position. Am Opulent, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has earned $188,047 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. She is related to Smart Son (41 wins and $347,805) and Vanderel (14 wins and $164,163). My Samantha Jane turns the tables Consistent filly My Samantha Jane turned the tables on The Parade when she gave a bold frontrunning display and carried too many guns in the final stages for her rival in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A fortnight earlier My Samantha Jane started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Harper Grace before finishing a sound second to The Parade, who sustained a powerful burst from last to take the lead 250m from home. Under the preferential barrier draw conditions on Friday night, My Samantha Jane drew ideally at No. 2 on the front line and The Parade had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. My Samantha Jane was a strongly-supported 2/1 second fancy, with The Parade favourite at 6/4. Trainer Mike Reed, anxious to have My Samantha Jane's mind on the job from the outset, changed her gear, removing the Dolly Varden blinkers and replacing them with hood-type blinkers. This did the trick and the filly began like a shot. After first quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.1sec., My Samantha Jane dashed over the final sections in 29.3sec. and 29.2sec. and she won by five metres from the gallant The Parade, rating 1.58.4. Polemarker Major Flirt finished third after trailing the pacemaker all the way. The Parade settled down in eleventh position before Justin Prentice dashed her forward with a fast three-wide burst after 700m. The filly moved into the breeze with 1050m to travel and she fought on with typical determination. My Samantha Jane, unplaced at her three starts in New Zealand, has had 16 starts in Western Australia for four wins and six placings and now has earned $44,620 in stakes. El Machine a winter cups prospect Bargain pacer El Machine graduated to an M5 mark with his stylish victory in the Hydraulic Energy Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and will be a valuable addition to open-class feature Cup events over the winter months. He was a 10/1 chance from the outside of the back line and made light of this disadvantage by unwinding a typical powerful finishing burst to easily defeat 3/1 second fancy Slick Chapel and Wrongly Accused (6/1), rating 1.57.4 over the 2130m trip. Last-start winner Real Hammer (5/1) began with his usual alacrity to burst straight to the front from the polemarker and 5/2 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze. El Machine settled at the rear before his trainer Kade Howson started a three-wide move approaching the bell and appreciating a cart up behind Rodrigo. Real Hammer, who pulled hard, began to tire badly half-way down the back straight and Howson shot El Machine to the front 260m from home. Slick Chapel was tenth at the bell and following El Machine in the three-wide line. Gary Hall jun. switched him four wide with about 420m to travel and he finished powerfully to be second. Mighty Flying Thomas was hampered behind the fading Real hammer and even though Tom Buchanan was able to ease the gelding off the pegs, he was blocked for a clear passage in the final stages and finished eighth. The West Australian-bred El Machine, bought for a mere $5000 as a yearling by Howson and fellow trainer-reinsman Michael George, has earned $156,489 from 18 wins and 13 placings from 47 starts. Claimers the aim for Pride of Colorado Darling Downs trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi has high hopes that Pride of Colorado will follow in the footsteps of his half-brother Scram Jet and develop the reputation as a King of the Claimers. Scram Jet enjoyed racing in claimers in the twilight of his career and he was retired after winning ten times in that company and with a career record of 172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076 in prizemoney. Pride of Colorado, a West Australian-bred seven-year-old by former star pacer Saab, has an M4 classification and Cortopassi considers he is not quite up to top class and he is planning a continuing career in claiming events. Pride of Colorado won his second claimer when Cortopassi drove him aggressively before he won the 2130m Scholz Electric Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pride of Colorado started from barrier six in a field of seven and was a firm 5/4 favourite. Cortopassi was keen to control the tempo of the race and he dashed Pride of Colorado forward in the early stages to race in the breeze, with 12-year-old Tee Pee Village (6/1) setting the pace. After an opening section of the final mile in a slow 31.3sec., Tee Pee Village ran the next quarters in 29.8sec., 28.7sec. and 28.8sec. However, he was unable to keep Pride of Colorado at bay, with the favourite forging to the front 80m from the post and winning by just over a length. Pride of Colorado, owned by Stephen Schmedje, has earned $148,967 from 17 wins and 18 placings from 81 starts. Northern Lights mare Lady Legacy, dam of Scram Jet and Pride of Colorado, won at five of her 23 starts in the mid-1990s. She is out of Fiscal Miss, a winner of 15 races and the mother of star performers Whitbys Miss Penny (50 starts for 32 wins, six placings and $568,289) and Ace of Whitby (79 starts for 29 wins, 21 placings and $317,247). Macintosh makes it eight from ten in WA Up-and-coming New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh continued his rise to prominence when he overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line with an impressive victory in the 2536m Apec Cables Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A week earlier Colin Brown brought Macintosh home with a powerful last-lap last-to-first effort. But on Friday night Brown made his move earlier. Polemarker What God Knows led for the first lap, during which he withstood a spirited challenge from Mr Nickel. Brown seized the initiate after a lap had been covered by sending Macintosh forward from the rear with a strong three-wide burst. Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, moved to the breeze 1300m from home and Brown was content to remain there until be shot the son of Mach Three to the front with 470m to travel. The third quarter of the final mile was covered in a brisk 28.3sec. and Macintosh sprinted the final section in 28.4sec. to win by just under a length from 11/4 second fancy Ohoka Kentucky, who sustained strong burst from the rear. Dearborn (12/1) followed the run of Ohoka Kentucky to finish an encouraging third. Macintosh, trained at Forrestdale by Dick Moore, looks set for many more wins. After winning at two of his ten starts in New Zealand the gelding has won eight times from ten starts in WA. by Ken Casellas  

Southland’s claiming King and Queen, Geoff and Jude Knight, were the deserving winners of tonight’s $10,000 Claimers’ Final at Forbury Park. The Roxburgh couple, who have kept the Southern Claimers’ Series alive this season, were victorious in the race with 10yo come-back pacer Hi Gun, who returned to the winners circle for the first time in just under a year. Hi Gun was also sucessful in the 2013 Claimers' Series Final. Given a beautiful run in the trail by driver Dexter Dunn, Hi Gun pounced on the pacemaking Tagataese in the home straight to dive up the passing lane and win by a neck to the roar of the Who’s Driving Syndicate and the Turners. Hi Gun, who was retired after his run for 10th at Forbury Park on the 29th of August 2013, was originally brought back into training to work by his co-owner Jonny Turner before returning to fo full work with Geoff and Jude Knight. The Knight's use alternative training methods to keep Hi Gun fit and on top of his game. Those methods include riding, and sometimes, jumping. Hi Gun was placed in all six of the claimers’ heats leading up to tonight’s final. The son of Washington VC has now won 10 of his 68 starts and placed on a further 23 occasions. Runner-up Tagataese was claimed out of the event for $8,000 by, yes, you guessed it, Geoff and Jude Knight. However, while the Knight’s do specialise in turning around older and sometimes sore horses, they do have the odd smart young horse and one of them is Al Raza. The talented three-year-old filly, which is owned by the Central Courage Syndicate, made it four wins on end when winning a race her owners sponsored – the Central Courage Syndicate C1-2 Mobile Pace. Meanwhile, junior Trackside Presenter/Commentator Matthew Cross enjoyed his first win as an owner when combining with Mark Jones and his fiancée Kimberly Butt, to win the first race on the card with Lady Mackendon. Cross is set to make his commentating debut at Rangiora on Sunday. By Mitchell Robertson

Two starts back Steam Washed looked all but certain to pocket her second Group 1 win when she turned for home with a clear lead in the in the $100,000 Queen of the Pacific at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. But it wasn’t to be for the Ruth Shinn-trained five-year-old, the mare getting run down late by in-form Gumdrops, which swooped down the outside to snare the glory. On Friday night she gets the chance to register her first win since February after drawing gate three for the $25,275 Harness Breeders (Vic) Richmond Lass over 1720m at Melton. As a three-year-old Steam Washed took out the South Australian Oaks, and earlier this year she enjoyed a hot spell of form with three triumphs on the trot in February – including the Nestle Country Cup at Melton and the Group 3 HBV Ladyship Cup. “She’s going really well she just needs the luck,” said Noel Shinn, who trains the horse in partnership with wife Ruth at Wallan. Shinn is predicting a strong early tempo off the front line on Friday night with pole marker Tandias Bromac, the two-horse Classic Bliss and Amy Tubbs’ Blazeaway Macray from four all tipped to come out humming. Steam Washed also possesses plenty of speed and will be looking to race handy. “She’s not real quick off the mobile but she’ll push forward,” Shinn said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to land somewhere in the first three and then be in the finish.” Shinn said Steam Washed, by Washington VC out of Laura Lace, had improved with age. “She’s been getting better as she gets older, getting a bit better every year,” he said. He also said son Christopher, who drives the stable’s horses, had a strong affinity with the mare. “Chris really likes her. He’s won a lot of races on her.” Avalon trainer Amanda Grieve holds the key to the Richmond Lass on Friday night with two runners drawn opposite sides of the front line (Tandias Bromac in one and 2013 Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling in seven). George Batsakis-trained Classic Bliss has drawn two, Ross Sugars’ La Machane will start from five, Seven Mile Beach mare Laterron has drawn six, while Avenel’s Vansumic will be the lone runner from the back row and will be driven by Darren Hancock. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

A brilliant victory by Famous Alchemist in the $40,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes was the icing on the cake for champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he again dominated proceedings, winning six of the ten events on a wintry evening. Hall's six winners --- Notabadexcuse, Alta Christiano, My Hard Copy, Im Themightyquinn, Famous Alchemist and Ben Cartwright --- followed hauls of five winners on each of the two previous Friday nights. Two of the other winners on Friday night (This Time Dylan and Extreme Bromac) were formerly trained by Hall. Hall also had the distinction of two quinella results and his stable runners earned a handy $95,049 in prizemoney, which represents not a bad result for a night's work. The 64-year-old Hall holds an unassailable lead on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership. He has had 501 city starters this season for 127 wins and 100 placings and leads from Ross Olivieri (43 winners) and Greg and Skye Bond (39). Hall leads the Statewide premiership with 155 winners, with the Bonds (95) in second place, followed by Olivieri (58). Famous Alchemist, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, is owned by Hall's wife Karen and the mare was a heavily-backed 10/9 on favourite who gave the trainer his first success in a Breeders Stakes. Famous Alchemist, driven by Hall's elder son Clint, started from barrier four and raced three wide for the first 450m before getting to the breeze outside the polemaker and 7/2 second fancy Jungle Genie. The early pressure was considerable and the opening 400m section of the final mile on a rain-soaked track was a brisk 28.5sec. Then followed quarters in 29.2sec. and 29sec. before Famous Alchemist forged to the front 220m from home. The final section was covered in 29.6sec. and Famous Alchemist rated 1.55.6 over the 1730m in winning by just over a length from fast-finishing stablemate and 30/1 outsider Korobeit Angel, driven by Gary Hall jun. Korobeit Angel raced three back on the pegs before she flashed home from fifth at the 100m mark. Selkie finished boldly, out wide, from eighth at the bell to be third. Jungle Genie wilted to finish in eighth place. Star mare Leda McNally, third fancy at 9/2, found the disadvantage of starting from barrier four on the back line too difficult to overcome. She raced in tenth position in the one-wide line before battling on gamely into sixth place. Famous Alchemist now has amassed $299,969 from 15 wins and 15 placings from 46 starts. She raced 17 times in New Zealand for five wins and five placings (including a third behind Twist And Twirl in the group 3 Sires Stakes for three-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in December 2011). Her 29 WA starts have [produced ten wins and ten placings. By Mach Three, Famous Alchemist is the second foal out of the unraced Dream Away mare Alcheringa. NEW CHALLENGE FOR IM THEMIGHTYQUINN Equine superstar Im Themightyquinn ran one of the fastest quarters recorded at Gloucester Park on his way to a runaway victory in the Gloucester Standardbreds Pace on Friday night as he prepares for a rare experience and a fresh challenge. In almost six years in Western Australia, the amazing nine-year-old has travelled to country tracks only twice, for a shock head second to Scan Air in the Village Kid Sprint at Northam in November 2009 and for a stylish victory over Has The Answers in the Bunbury Cup in November 2010. Now ace trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting Im Themightyquinn for his first outing on the spacious Pinjarra track --- in the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup over 2692m on Monday week. Advancing years are taking no toll whatsoever on Im Themightyquinn, who is racing as well now as he has at any time during his magnificent 105-start career which has produced 54 wins and 32 placings for $4,418,596 in prizemoney. The New Zealand-bred son of Washington VC has returned to racing in grand style with effortless wins at his first three starts after a seven-month absence. After contesting the Pinjarra Cup Im Themightyquinn will travel to Queensland to contest three feature events in July. He boats a superb record at Gloucester Park where he has raced 55 times for 36 wins, ten seconds, four thirds, two fourths and three sixth placings. Im Themightyquinn's effort in sprinting the third quarter of the final mile in a sizzling 26.9sec. on a rain-soaked track was simply awesome. Rarely has a 400m section been covered in under 27sec. at Gloucester Park. Im Themightyquinn dashed over the final 400m in heat four of the interdominion championship at Gloucester Park in February 2012 in 26.8sec. when he rated 1.55.8 in beating Has The Answers by five metres over 1700m. West Australian-bred three-year-old Prince Aradan scorched over the opening quarter of the final mile in 26.8sec. in a 1700m event at Gloucester Park in February 2002 when he was being hotly challenged by James Victor. Prince Aradan went on to win by a nose from James Victor at a 1.58.9 rate. There was a slight scare before Im Themightyquinn raced on Friday night. Hall discovered some swelling on the gelding's rib cage, obviously caused by an insect bite. As a precaution Im Themightyquinn was examined by the course veterinary surgeon, who passed the gelding fit to start. Im Themightyquinn, the 10/1 on favourite, had no trouble in jumping straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier and after a slow lead time of 38.5sec. and a modest first quarter of the final mile in 30.2sec., Gary Hall jun. livened him up for quarters of 28.2sec., 26.9sec. and 27.8sec. Hokonui Ben, the 14/1 second favourite, raced four wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before wilting to finish fourth. Crombie (17/1) trailed the pacemaker throughout and he held on to be second, six lengths behind the winner and a nose ahead of Polak, who finished strongly after racing three back on the pegs. Im Themightyquinn was not extended in rating 1.54.5 over the 2130m journey. THIS TIME DYLAN PROVING A GOOD INVESTMENT New Zealand-bred gelding This Time Dylan is a tiny pacer with a big heart who is proving a wonderful investment for Brian Ridley. This Time Dylan, one of the smallest pacers to have raced at Gloucester Park in recent years, appreciated a drop in class when he made light of a 30m handicap to storm to an impressive victory in the 2503m Fresh Express Handicap on Friday night. Ridley outlaid $20,000 to claim This Time Dylan on December 27 and in five months the gelding has earned $84,150 from three wins and two placings from 13 starts, including his third behind Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the WA Pacing Cup and a victory in the group 3 Narrogin Cup in January. This Time Dylan is following in the footsteps of Rakarebel, a pacer claimed by Ridley for $10,000 12 months ago. Rakarebel had ten starts for Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan for one win, four placings and $18,500 before Ridley received $20,000 when Rakarebel was claimed in July by eastern states owners. Gary Hall jun. drove a superb race to land 9/2 chance This Time Dylan a winner by a neck over co-backmarker and 5/2 favourite Shardons Rocket. He stole a march on his rivals when he sent This Time Dylan forward with a three-wide burst 500m after the start. This Time Dylan moved into the breeze outside the pacemaker Flyalong Falcon (9/2) 200m later and then secured the perfect one-out, one-back trail when Colin Brown sent Shardons Rocket into his familiar position in the breeze. Shardons Rocket moved on terms with Flyalong Falcon on the home turn, but was unable to hold out the fast-finishing This Time Dylan, who was taken three wide approaching the home turn and unwound a spirited sprint to get up and score by a neck at a 2.2.1 rate after a smart final quarter in 28.3sec. Flyalong Falcon was a nose away in third place. "He will now contest the Pinjarra Cup on Monday week," Brennan said. "And after that we'll reassess his program. We might put him out for a little bit, but we might continue racing him. With Im Themightyquinn going away to race in Queensland it opens up the Free-For-All ranks --- and we might make some hay while the sun shines and Quinny is away. "This Time Dylan is showing no signs at all of backing off. He enjoys racing. He goes out in a ten acre paddock and every day is a spell for him. And he also works himself hard; he's probably the strongest worker I have at home. "Brian keeps reinvesting, which is really good. He's got three in my stable now, with another two coming from New Zealand." This Time Dylan now has had just 51 starts for 16 wins, 11 placings and stakes of $196,275. His win on Friday night completed a driving quintet for Hall. MACHEAVEN UPSETS FANCIED RUNNERS The expected match race between Mista Rush (6/4) and Victorian newcomer Soho Lennon (10/9) failed to eventuate at Gloucester Park on Friday night when 16/1 chance Macheaven caused an upset by snatching a last-stride victory by a nose from the pacemaker and 9/1 chance Black Mr Mach in the 2130m Budgets Stockfeeds Pace for three-year-olds. Macheaven, produced in fine fettle by Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams, made the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier, with Ryan Warwick setting the pace for the first 450m before taking the sit behind Black Mr Mach, fresh from his seven-length win at Pinjarra four days earlier. Soho Lennon started from the No. 5 barrier and raced four wide for the first 250m before being trapped three wide for the next 200m and then working hard in the breeze. Mista Rush was restrained to the rear from the outside of the front line. He was still last at the bell and then ran home solidly, three and four wide, to finish third. Soho Lennon wilted to finish seventh. The New Zealand-bred Macheaven rated 1.57.8 and improved his record to ten starts for three wins, three placings and $20,488. His dam Close To Heaven had 43 starts for seven wins, 14 placings and $55,428. Macheaven is a half-brother to handy performers Elijah (11 wins), Heavens Delight (13 wins and $92,016), Elysium (four wins) and Queen of Heaven (who won at five of her 22 starts in New Zealand before winning in America, with a best rate of 1.53.6). MY HARD COPY RESUMES IN STYLE New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Hard Copy gave promise of developing into a top-flight performer when he reappeared after a spell with a commanding performance in the third heat of the Allwood Stud Farm Pure Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Making the most of the prized No. 1 barrier at his first outing since winning at Pinjarra in mid-January My Hard Copy, trained by Gary Hall sen and favourite at 3/1 on, gave an impressive frontrunning display to win by 10 metres from stablemate Heez Orl Black, an 11/1 chance who surged home from eighth at the bell. My Hard Copy was driven by Gary Hall jun. and Heez Orl Black was handled by Hall's elder brother Clint. Kiss Chasey, who trailed the leader throughout, finished third, with Firebomb maintaining his splendid form, running home solidly to be fourth. The winner rated 1.56.9. My Hard Copy has earned $118,117 from 12 wins and 12 placings from 37 starts. He won at three of his 16 starts in New Zealand and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in Western Australia where his 15 starts have produced seven wins and two placings. My Hard Copy is by American stallion American Ideal and is the first foal out of Readallaboutit, who was retired after only one start, when last 205m behind the winner at Alexandra Park in July 2008. Readallaboutit's dam Natalia's Joy won an $80,000 three-year-old classic for fillies at Cambridge in June 1991. THROAT OPERATION HELPS EXTREME BROMAC An operation about ten months ago to remedy a serious breathing problem has prolonged Extreme Bromac's career and the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old broke through for a well-deserved win in the 2536m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The gelding was driven in fine style by 24-year-old Chris Playle, who got Extreme Bromac straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier before dictating terms and winning by two lengths from the fast-finishing Fire of Rock. Extreme Bromac was a solidly supported 11/4 favourite and his win ended a sequence of eight unplaced runs since winning at Northam last August. It completed a double for Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, who had been successful earlier in the program with This Time Dylan. "He's got a terrible breathing problem and he needs everything to fall into place for him to win races," Brennan said. "He was suffering from a collapsed palate when he underwent an operation last year. The problem is 100 per cent better than it was, but it is still a worry. "I'm rapt for Chris, who is such a hard worker at my stables. He really deserves the win." Extreme Bromac won once from ten starts in New Zealand, at his only three starts in Victoria in August 2010 and once from four starts in New South Wales before arriving in Western Australia where he has won six times from 53 starts. Brennan kept up the good work at the final meeting at the Harvey track on Saturday night when he was successful with Pocket Change, driven by Luke Edwards. JAY BEES GRIN ENDS A LEAN TROT Handy New Zealand-bred five-year-old Jay Bees Grin ended a losing sequence of ten when Colin Brown drove him to an easy victory in the 2536m Yes Loans Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 5/4, Jay Bees Grin began well from barrier four and Colin Brown sent him to the front after 200m. Jay Bees Grin then had the luxury of been placed under no pressure in front and Brown guaranteed victory and gave the opposition very little hope when he was able to get the gelding to amble through the opening 400m section of the final mile in an extremely slow 33.5sec. This was followed by a 31sec. quarter before Jay Bees Grin dashed over the next two sections in 29.2sec. and 28.8sec. He rated a modest 2.3.8 on a heavy track in winning by more than two lengths from Elusive Courage, who trailed him all the way. What The Blazes, second fancy at 6/4, finished a head away in third place after racing without cover for most of the way. Jay Bees Grin, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has been a consistent performer, with his 38 starts producing nine wins, 13 placings and $64,943. After winning four times from 18 New Zealand starts, Jay Bees Grin has had 20 starts in WA for five wins and eight placings. The Bond team continued in fine form at Harvey on Saturday night with a treble in the opening four races. Ryan Warwick drove Jungle Jewel to victory over Dontdoubtme in an event for three-year-old fillies and then Dylan Egerton-Green scored all-the-way wins with Showstopper and Bettor Party. BEN CARTWRIGHT ENJOYS A PERFECT SIT A perfect trail in the one-out, one-back position paved the way for Ben Cartwright's easy win in the 2130m Larkhill Vets Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Black Aquila was all the rage and was sent out a warm favourite at 5/4, with Ben Cartwright a well-supported second fancy at 5/2. Favourite punters were on good terms with themselves when Gary Hall jun. sent Black Aquila to the front after 220m. However, Ben Cartwright looked a danger when Clint Hall slotted the Victorian-bred four-year-old straight into the one-out, one-back position. Outsider Boofshalfbrother was working hard in the breeze and Clint Hall did not make a move until he switched Ben Cartwright three wide at the 400m mark. Black Aquila began to wilt and Ben Cartwright burst to the front on the home turn before racing away to win by 10m from 6/1 chance Dont Wanadie, who rattled home, out wide, from eighth at the bell. Ben Cartwright, trained by Gary Hall sen., covered the final 400m in 28.7sec. and rated 1.59.9. He ended a losing sequence of eight and took his WA record to five wins and eight placings from 20 starts. His overall record stands at 49 starts for 11 wins, 12 placings and $71,744. ALTA CHRISTIANO HAS MORE THAN SIX LENGTHS TO SPARE Star four-year-old Alta Christiano continues to enhance his reputation with his exhilarating performances at Gloucester Park. He treated his rivals with utter contempt when he cruised to an effortless victory in the 2536m Milne Feeds Pace on Friday night. Favourite at 5/1 on from the inside of the back line, Alta Christiano was quickly off the pegs and Gary Hall jun. moved him into the breeze in the first lap, with Onedin Crusader in front. Hall gave Alta Christiano more rein and he swept to the front with 1100m to travel before dashing over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 28.1sec. to win by just over six lengths from 33/1 chance Pride of Colorado, with Anvils Big Punt running on from three back on the pegs to be third. Alta Christiano rated 1.56.7 and took his record in Western Australia to ten starts for nine wins and one third placing. His career record stands at an imposing 13 wins and two placings from just 18 starts for earnings of $309,163. This win gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. the second of six winners on the night. His first winner was Notabadexcuse, who revealed excellent fighting qualities to win the Vision Produce Pace. Notabadexcuse (3/1) raced outside the polemarker and pacemaker Say It Now (3/1) before outstaying that pacer to win by one and a half lengths at a 1.57.5 rate over 2130m. Last-start winner Ohoka Kentucky (7/2) ran on from fifth at the bell to be third. The New Zealand-bred Notabadexcuse has earned $58,490 from ten wins and 16 placings from 55 starts. by Ken Casellas  

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