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Top Queensland pacer Lilac Flash could be on the way out of the Sunshine State with a USA offer pending for the seven-year-old. Lilac Flash was a contender in the recent 2020 TAB Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park, which was taken out by King of Swing. Trained by Darren Weeks, Lilac Flash has an outstanding record across his career, registering 22 wins from 82 starts, as well as 26 minor placings for a tick over $200,000 in prize money. While a deal has not been struck just yet, Weeks has been in constant conversations with a USA-based agent regarding the purchase of Lilac Flash. Weeks is no stranger to selling pacers to that part of the world as The Bus, among others from his stable, also making the move recently. This is not the first time Lilac Flash, who returned from a 12 month lay-off following a spate of injuries and bad luck in the middle of 2020, has received interstate from USA-based owners. “There have been negotiations, but nothing has been formalised as of yet,” Weeks said. “It will all depend if the potential buyers can come up with the money or not, we will know more in the next few days. “We have had interested buyers before that say they are keen to buy horses and they do not eventuate at times. “The owner is not too worried either way, if the money comes up right, he is happy to sell, but if he is happy to keep him, as well.” While the black gelding has been one of the more consistent pacers around Queensland over the years, Weeks admits he is not quite up to the level of stars like Colt Thirty One and Turn It Up, which played a part in the potential sale. Owned by Brisbane local Darren Wilson, who also has several gallopers, Weeks says Lilac Flash has been a special horse to him and connections. “He has been a lovely horse, he was a good purchase from New Zealand, he was not overly expensive,” Weeks said. “He has only just ticked over $200,000 in prize money, he has been a really good horse for the stable. “It is sad to see horses like that go, if the situation goes that way here, but we need to weigh up if it is better selling them or racing them on here.” If a sale was to go through for Lilac Flash, his trainer says Wilson would likely reinvest in the industry and look to purchase more pacers. In the meantime, Lilac Flash is set to go around this Saturday evening at Albion Park over 1660m in the third event of the program.   Jordan Gerrans

In-form harness racing trainer-driver Lisa Miles has had her share of doubles during her career-but none quite like her most recent one. Miles, based in Victoria at Darraweit Guim, near Bolinda, got the first leg of a training double at Maryborough - but she wrapped it up with the second leg 140 kms away at TABcorp Park Melton. It was something of a rare feat, but further spiced up by the fact that both winners were in the very first event of their respective venues. "I suppose it was a bit different-perhaps we could say it was a stretched out double," Miles laughed. "Back a few years ago I would do double-header meetings all the time, competing at a day meeting first, then bolting off to a night fixture. But nowadays I'm trying to make life a bit easier! "And I was flat out on the day, so I actually didn't take the first one to Maryborough myself - but I really did think she would go close. I was pretty confident." Junior reinswoman Jordan Chibnall, who works for Miles, took six-year-old mare Whata Glimpse (We Will See-Vera Mac (Pacific Fella) to the Maryborough meeting with her brother-in-law Mitchell Frost. After starting well from the pole, Chibnall elected to take the sit behind race favorite Good Guy Mack (Mick Bellman). On the home corner it looked a race between the two-the question being would Whata Glimpse prove too strong when utilizing the sprint lane. Chibnall urged her charge up the home straight and they got to the line with a three-metre advantage. A little over six hours later, Miles tasted success when victorious with Highclere (Art Major-Rhodium Castle (Western Terror) in the DNR Logistics Pace at Melton. "It was blowing a gale and I decided to go forward with a little bit of trepidation. He'd been racing in stronger company and I gave him a big chance," Miles said. Highclere, after leading, was challenged in the first lap by Trembita, who then in turn handed up to Silver Domino at the bell. In a slick piece of driving, Miles worked her way clear from the pegs and grabbed the one-one down the back. Highclere zoomed to the front on the home corner and comfortably held on to beat Major Mal, who caught the eye and should be one for the blackbook. "I was so happy for Jordan because her win on Whata Glimpse was her first for me. She is a hard worker, reliable and sensible, and she will continue to do well in the sport," Miles said. "Jordan listens and learns quickly. Recently she has been picking up more outside drives as trainers are taking notice of her." Miles, who has 16 in work, proudly dons the race colors of her late and great grandfather Alf Simons, who was a legend of the sport in his day. "My mum Betty still comes out regularly to the stables a couple of times a week. I would be lost without her because she cleans the harness and takes on any other jobs that need doing," Miles said. Betty Lewis, who trained and drove successfully, was an inspiration and role model for women in harness racing. "She's still a big part of our operations-and brings morning tea which we love!" Miles said. "We've been going along nicely in recent weeks and providing I'm weighing in and our runners are racing consistently, I'm as happy as can be." Jordan Chibnall gets up the sprint lane to win with Whata Glimpse at Maryborough Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

GEORGES Plains reinsman Doug Hewitt hopes to continue his blistering start to the season tonight. He has steered five winners in just seven drives, for a strike rate of 71 per cent of finishing first each time he drives.  The son of horseman Bernie Hewitt will be looking maintain his success with four drives at Bathurst tonight.  Hewitt will first combine with Shes Koala Tee for trainer Aaron Williams in race two.  Then he will drive Scarlet Babe for his father in race four and then will stick with the stable again for race five when driving No Nay Never.  Hewitt’s final chance of keeping up his momentum rests with Grin For Rachel in race eight.  Another that has started this season well is champion reinswoman Amanda Turnbull.  With a strike rate of 69 per cent of finishing top three so far this term, Turnbull has locked in five drives tonight at her local track. iForm Bathurst best bet Race 4: Make Mine Heaven (7) Was eye-catching in defeat in Group company last start and looks set for this. Bathurst next best Race 6: Sportsmanship (10) Vastly improved performer who poses a major threat to favourite punters. Play the exotics The Bathurst Quaddie Race 5: 8-9-10 Race 6: 4-10-9 Race 7: 8-4-1 Race 8: 5-2-6 $81 for 100%   HRNSW MEDIA

Buyers at the 2021 Tasmanian Harness Racing Yearling Sale will have the added incentive of a $5,000 bonus for the first two-year-old win for any yearling sold at the sale. All yearlings nominated for the sale are eligible for the rich Tasbred series for two, three and four-year-olds as well as Tasbred Bonuses of up to $6,000 for the horse’s maiden success as a two, three or four-year-old or older. Furthermore, Tasracing will contribute $500 towards the cost of breaking in any yearling sold at the 2021 sale. Yearlings are also eligible for the lucrative Vicbred and Breeders Crown series. Graduates of previous Tasmanian Harness Yearling Sales include the Blue Bonnet and Belmont winner Written In Silk, the Evicus heat winner and Final placegetter Stepping Stones, Karalta Invader and the Belmont victor and Bandbox placegetter Better Amour. The online catalogue can be accessed at To order a hard copy catalogue and for further information contact Tasracing’s harness code lead Angela Barrett on phone (03) 6212 9307 or email Peter Wharton

Superstar pacer Lochinvar Art looks to have another Group 1 at his mercy in Saturday night’s $110,000 Group 1 Ballarat Pacing Cup (2710m). Australia’s best pacer has drawn the front row, albeit wide in gate six, and is sure to be pressing for the lead soon after the start. Interestingly, blazing beginner Hurricane Harley has beaten Lochinvar Art at two of their past five clashes – both times when he’s led easily – and he’s drawn to lead again from gate two. That said, Hurricane Harley has only managed to finish fifth and seventh respectively behind Lochinvar Art at his two starts in a semi-final and final of the Vicbred 4YO series. And the gruelling 2710m trip this week plays far more in Lochinvar Art’s favour, a major factor not lost on his trainer-driver David Moran. “I guess Hurricane Harley drawing gate two makes it a little bit tricky, but at the same time it leaves them with a tough decision to make; whether they try to post (Arty) knowing he (Harley) probably won’t get the 2700,” Moran said after the draw. Moran added Lochinvar Art had “definitely improved” since his record-equalling win in last week’s Shepparton Gold Cup. “We all know he thrives on the hard racing. He’ll be better this week and better still again for the Hunter Cup,” he said. The Aussie TAB has Lochinvar Art $1.25 favourite from Hurricane Harley ($6.50 to $8) and Wolf Stride ($8.50 to $10). ______________________________________________________________________________ King Of Swing’s Hunter Cup defence preparation has changed a little. Instead of tackling a mile sprint at Menangle this week, driver Luke McCarthy said the mighty pacer would have his final lead-up run over 2300m next week – just seven days out from the Hunter Cup. “He’s really well. We just felt a 2300m run was a better preparation for a race like the Hunter Cup,” McCarthy said. Former Kiwi pair Star Galleria and Alta Orlando be trainer Craig Cross’ other two runners. “Star Galleria will be improved by his two runs for us and Alta Orlando returned to form winning at Goulburn (the Cup) last Sunday,” McCarthy said. ______________________________________________________________________________ Superstar trotter Tornado Valley’s Great Southern Star defence is hanging by a thread. If he runs, and it’s a big if, he will go into the feature first-up since October 10, last year. “We did some remedial work on his hocks and it means we’ve run out of time for a lead-up race,” trainer Andy Gath said. “We’re really just playing it by ear from here. We won’t run him for the sake of it.” With the Great Southern Star on February 5, the last gap could be a Melton trial on Monday, February 1 – the night before the fields for the heats are finalised. The Great Southern Star returns to its traditional format with heats and final on the same night. If Tornado Valley doesn’t make it, Gath still has two major players in the rejuvenated McLovin and emerging star Majestuoso.   Adam Hamilton

CHAMPION Bathurst trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull is chasing another feature race win on her home track when she contests the qualifying heats of the Bedwells Feed Barn Star Trek on Wednesday night. Since returning to New South Wales, Turnbull has clocked up plenty of kilometres as she has enjoyed the spoils of the TAB Carnival of Cups and her success rate has been astonishing. She began her roll at Dubbo in mid-December when she was involved in four of the feature-race winners including the bonny mare Gotta Party Doll, who took out the Red Ochre Classic with Isobel Ross in the gig. Turnbull trains the New Zealand-bred mare that has since gone on to win the Langlands Hanlon Parkes Cup and the Temora Pacers Cup. Ironically, her quietest Carnival of Cups meeting was at Bathurst on Boxing Night when she drove just one winner but she did bounce back at Parkes five nights later with a winning treble. She and Ross took four horses to Temora to contest two races that resulted in two winners and two placegetters for the stable. Just a week later, the successful combination headed to Tamworth with three horses to contest the heats of the Multiquip Golden Guitar and have qualified two runners for the $30,000 final, to be run this Sunday evening. But Turnbull’s focus will be set squarely on ensuring that she can qualify horses for the $16,670 Star Trek Final, which is scheduled for next Wednesday night. When the feature was last run in November 2019, Turnbull was aboard the favourite RNR Windermere, who could only manage seventh placing behind Rock On, trained and driven by her father Steve Turnbull. Turnbull will be aboard former New Zealand pacer, Bundoran in the first heat, a gelding having his first start in Australia. The winner of two races has been given just one official hit-out by Turnbull since crossing the Tasman and looked sharp in a runaway trial win at Bathurst on Monday night. She has chosen to drive Allset in the second heat, a son of Elsu that appears to be a star in the making. He won two in Victoria before finishing second at Menangle on December 5. Her other runner is Wattlebank Lass (Isobel Ross), who has been very consistent since arriving in Australia late last year.   HRNSW MEDIA

The Victorian Racing Industry (VRI), comprising Racing Victoria (RV), Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) and Harness Racing Victoria (HRV), has welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to increase the Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) pass-through to the VRI in connection with an impending increase to the POCT rate. The Victorian Government has today announced that following the passage of legislation, effective from 1 July 2021, the POCT on wagering by Victorian residents will increase from 8% to 10% of Net Wagering Revenue (NWR), bringing it into line with the POCT rate currently in place in New South Wales. The Government has also announced that the VRI’s gross share of POCT receipts from wagering will be increased from 1.5% to 3.5% of taxable NWR. However, on a net basis, after the deduction of the VRI’s ‘make-whole’ obligation under the remaining term of the current Victorian wagering and betting license, the VRI expects to retain at least 1.7% of taxable NWR under the new POCT arrangements. This is comparable with the NSW racing industry which receives the full 2% industry share of taxable NWR in addition to other favourable wagering taxation arrangements. Subject to the passage of legislation, the new POCT arrangements are expected to increase the VRI’s net receipts from the POCT by around $20 million per annum from 2021-22, as compared to the VRI’s expected net receipts under current POCT arrangements. When introducing the POCT, the Victorian Government committed to the three codes of the VRI that they would be no worse off both individually and collectively under the new tax regime. The Victorian Government has also committed to maintaining the national pre-eminence of the VRI and its competitiveness against interstate racing. The increase in the VRI’s share of POCT is an important step in closing the gap and addressing the relative Government funding differences between Victoria and New South Wales. Current favourable Government funding arrangements in New South Wales are enabling it to aggressively chase wagering market share and participation from Victoria, thus impacting industry funding, events and tourism. This increase in funding will assist the industry to fund its operations and support jobs across the state, and also to continue to maintain its investments in prizemoney, important animal and participant welfare initiatives, and the development and maintenance of world-class racing and training facilities and infrastructure. The VRI is one of Victoria’s most significant industries and makes a substantial contribution to jobs, communities and the state economy. It delivers $4.34 billion in economic value each year – around half of this in regional Victoria – and supports over 34,000 full-time equivalent jobs. Quotes attributable to RV Chairman, Brian Kruger “We are pleased that the Government will introduce legislation that will amend the net POCT receipts for the VRI from 1 July 2021. “We welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the POCT review, the outcome of which is important both for the future of our industry and in addressing the sustained challenge by New South Wales on Victorian racing and its major events. The increase will assist the VRI in closing the gap with New South Wales racing in terms of the funding support it receives from government funding streams. “The impending adjustments to the POCT arrangements are a vital step in helping ensure the sustainability of the VRI which supports over 34,000 full-time equivalent jobs and delivers more than $4.34 billion in economic activity annually to Victoria. “This additional funding support will allow us to continue to invest for the benefit of our participants, our other stakeholders and for the overall future prosperity of the Victorian and Australian thoroughbred industries. “We also remain focused on working with the Victorian Government to finalise the terms for the next Victorian Wagering Licence post 2024 and securing important ongoing funding outcomes for the industry.” Quotes attributable to GRV Chair, Peita Duncan “GRV welcomes the planned changes to the POCT revenue sharing arrangements with the VRI. “These arrangements will assist in ensuring Victorian greyhound racing continues to be the premium greyhound racing jurisdiction in the world. This will assist us to continue to increase prizemoney to our participants, as well as allowing us to further invest in animal welfare and safe racing initiatives. “We thank the Victorian Government for their ongoing support to our industry.” Quotes attributable to HRV Chairman, Dale Monteith “The amendments announced to the POCT arrangements for the VRI are welcome news for the Victorian harness racing industry and will help narrow the funding gap to New South Wales. “Furthermore, these commitments by the Government are an encouraging step to ensuring the ongoing viability of the harness racing industry in Victoria for years to come. HRV thanks the Government for their continued support of our industry.”

A member of one of Victoria's most notable harness racing families is recovering in hospital after a training accident this morning. Glenn Gath was fast working horses at a Long Forest property, west of Melbourne, owned by his brother Andy when he was tipped from the sulky and thrown into a pine fence post. Gath was taken to nearby Bacchus Marsh hospital and after being medically assessed was transported to Royal Melbourne Hospital. Glenn's partner, Garrards Horse and Hound veterinary consultant Dr Virginia Brosnan, said he had fractures to his cheekbone, an eye laceration and bad bruising. "Glenn told me that he and Andy were just finishing a galloping session, when he got tightened up and basically ran out of room. He was thrown face-first into the fence post," Dr Brosnan said. "He was able to get up and walk after the mishap. The eye laceration needs stitches, but doctors have told us that his eye is quite okay, which was a great relief," she said. "He's pretty bruised and a bit beaten up, but he's awake and very, very lucky. It could have been far worse. Glenn Gath made his comeback to harness racing last year "He was wearing a helmet and vest at the time. He also had glasses on, and we think they might have saved him from more serious injuries." Gath returned to harness racing last year. He had spent 10 years in thoroughbred racing at Lloyd Williams' Macedon Lodge, but returned to the standardbreds after the Williams family shut down their stable. Gath is the youngest son of former champion trainer Neville, and grandson of the Australian great, the late George Gath. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The race to find the next Group 1 star is less than three weeks away with the 2021 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale slated for Sunday, February 7, at Oaklands Junction. With sale graduates winning five of the six Vicbred Super Series in December, the APTS sale continues its proud tradition as a first class source of Group, classic and cup winning trotters. The sale, which was inaugurated in 2013, has produced no fewer than 19 $100,000 winners, 20 Group 1 winners, 10 Vicbred Super Series winners and six Breeders Crown champions. Topping the list of money earners is Big Jack Hammer, who has earned $383,122 including wins in six Group One’s including the Australian Trotting Grand Prix, Dullard Cup, Vicbred Home Grown Classic and SA Derby. Next on the list is the Breeders Crown and Vicbred winner Cruisin Around ($291,592), followed by the dual Vicbred champion Endsino ($185,203), Fear Not ($175,395) and War Dan Destroyer ($174,887). The Vicbred and Breeders Crown winner Kyvalley Clichy ($171,950), the dual Vicbred champion Aldebaran Eve ($158,508), Agent Maori ($149,985), the Vicbred winner Needabacardi ($141,032) and Itsgettingcalder ($140,564) round out the top ten money stake earners. Keayang Livana ($130,930), the Vicbred and Breeders Crown winner, the Vicbred and Home Grown Classic victor Is That A Bid ($130,030), Greg The Great ($124,443), the dual Oaks winner Royal Charlotte ($120,105) and the Breeders Crown champion Kyvalley Kyrie ($100,251) are also among the sale graduates to top the six figure mark. Other Vicbred champions sold at APTS sales have been Banglez, Dont Care and Majestical Belle, along with the Breeders Crown winner Cover Of Darkness and the Vicbred Home Grown Classic winners Alpha Male, Illawong Shimmer and Keayang Ignite. To order a sale catalogue or to view the catalogue online simply click on the links on the website   Australasian Premier Trotting Sale

Down Under trio of harness racing horses score trifecta at Dover Downs Thursday race meet. It was a very close nose margin that made Itsrockandroll A the winner of the $20,000 Open Pace. Driver Cory Callahan got the very best out of the A Rocknroll Dance gelding who is trained by Dylan Davis to just edge past another down under pacer in Tiger Thompson N that was handled by down under driver Dexter Dunn who lead throughout. Then finishing strongly from wide was top performing down under mare Soho Burning Love A being steered by Tim Tetrick. Itsrockandroll A the winner, clocked the mile in 1:50.2 and also set a new lifetime mark in the process. While taking his stake earnings to well into the $200,000 bracket. Itsrockandroll A had a very successful down under harness racing career when racing in Western Australia, he won a $100,000 Group 1 race at just his third career start as a 2yo and then went on to win at Group Level twice more and placed a further 5 times.    Monday 11th January Dover Downs DE Gotta Minute N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $5,000    Monticello Raceway NY Eden Paige N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $5,200   Pompano Park FL Make A Statement A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $10,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $14,000 Pat Stanley N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $17,500 Let It Ride N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $30,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Speed Man N, 3rd Hesa Kingslayer   Tuesday 12th January Miami Valley Raceway OH Glenferrie Bronte N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $12,500   Pompano Park FL Glenferrie Blade A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $7,600   Yonkers Raceway NY Mach Time N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $9,500 Runrunjimmydunn N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $11,000   Wednesday 13th January Dover Downs DE Sudden Change N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $13,500 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Lincolns Girl N, 3rd Western Secret A   Monticello Raceway NY Our Positano N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $5,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Demeter N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $18,000 Down Under First 5 – 2nd Anne Bonney N, 3rd Sezana N, 4th Donegalartchokin N, 5th Msamrcasweethart A Madame Leza A – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $9,500   Thursday 14th January Dover Downs DE Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $20,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Tiger Thompson N, 3rd Soho Burning Love A Dina Bolt N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $13,000    Freehold Raceway NJ Vergeofgreatness N – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $4,800   Monticello Raceway NY Destination Moon N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $3,100   Pompano Park FL Risk N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $3,600   Yonkers Raceway NY Belfast N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $11,000 Imprincessgemma A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $17,500   Friday 15th January Freehold Raceway NJ Jewel Lehigh A – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $4,200 Tall Poppy N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $7,500   Meadowlands NJ Tango Dancer N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $12,500 Im A Gigolo N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $13,500   Miami Valley Raceway OH The Great Buzz N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $15,000 Sprinter N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $15,000 Shards Halo N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $14,400   The Meadows PA The Spinster N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $4,900   Yonkers Raceway NY Walkinshaw N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $11,000   Saturday 16th January Freehold Raceway NJ Soho Chelsea A – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $7,700   Meadowlands NJ Thndrfrmthethron N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $10,000 Tulhurstsantanna A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $15,500 American Boy N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $12,500 Italian Delight N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $12,500 The Moonshadow N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $7,500   Miami Valley Raceway OH Messi N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $8,100 Cyclone Kiwi N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $22,500 Polak A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $22,500   Sunday 17th January Northfield Park OH Yankee Roller A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $5,000   Rosecroft Raceway MD Aftrdinnrspeaker N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $7,700 Keep On Rocking A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $9,000       Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

It is far from a surprise, but Lochinvar Art will start a commanding favourite for Saturday night’s Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. The five-year-old Chariots of Fire, Victoria Cup and Vicbred Super Series champion drew gate six tonight for the $110,000 TAB Summer of Glory, Grand Circuit opening night Ballarat feature, and TAB responded by opening him $1.30. And the $1.30 disappeared literally quicker than Lochinvar Art’s 1:48.6 4YO Bonanza run – wheeled into $1.25 moments later. Trainer-driver David Moran was certainly confident immediately after the draw. “I guess Hurricane Harley drawing gate two makes it a little bit tricky,” he said, before adding “but at the same time it leaves them with a tough decision to make; whether they try to post (Arty) knowing he (Harley) probably won’t get the 2700 metres,” he said. Quizzed about how Lochinvar Art had pulled up after his Shepparton Cup dalliance, Moran said “really good”, adding “he’ll be spot on” for Ballarat. It is obviously ominous given the heights this horse has already achieved, including that Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup win in October when he was simply better than a cracking field, which included New South Wales star King Of Swing.   Of the other runners in a sterling Ballarat Cup line-up, Sicario pulled the plum gate one draw, with Hurricane Harley likely first to the pegs in two. The remainder of the field is Out To Play (three), Bettor Be The Bomb (four), Somewhere Secret (five), Lochinvar Art (six), Our Uncle Sam (seven), Always Fast (eight), Wolf Stride (nine), emergency Kowalski Analysis (10), Jamieson Steele (11), Forty Thieves (12), and Sunday’s Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup winner Fourbigmen (13).   HRV - Cody Winnell

HE may only have a small team in work, but former New Zealand reinsman Jack Trainor is really making his mark in the Sydney training ranks in recent months. After a long stretch working with leading trotting mentor Blake Fitzpatrick, Trainor decided to go it alone last year and has set up alongside another up-and-comer in Jason Grimson at the Menangle Training Centre. While he has just the one starter of his own at Menangle on Tuesday, Trainor still finds himself in demand and admitted that having the smaller team gave him the opportunity to land more winners. “I’m loving it working with the team that I do have and they continue to pay their way,” he said. “At the moment it’s probably the perfect balance as I work the horses in the mornings and can then head off each afternoon for some freelance driving as well.” Trainor will partner handy mare Everysecondcounts in Race 2 on Tuesday and suggests punters can probably ignore the square-gaiter’s last run when she broke and finished tailed off at Goulburn almost a month ago. “She’s one to follow for the future and she is just an honest little mare,” he said. “She’s in the harder of the two trotting divisions and I’d just be happy to see her hit the line well and I would suggest you should follow her in coming weeks.” Trainor sounded keener on the prospects of the John Ogden-trained Fox Trot Hill, who cases her sixth win from just 19 starts in Race 3, the Schweppes Ladies Night 27 Feb Trotters Mobile. “I was really impressed with her last start,” said Trainor. “She came out of the gate really well and also reeled off a couple of fast last quarters and she looks like a really nice drive. “I expect her to go well.” Trainor is also hoping that veteran gelding Outrageous El can put his mind on the job when he goes around in Race 5 for trainer David Thorn. “He is dropping in class and if he “shows up” he should make his presence felt,” said Trainor. It’s been almost 14 months since Outrageous El last saluted the judge, but he has been racing against some handy opposition and might relish being back with the “claimers”. Trainor also drives Young American (Race 8) and says Thorn has the gelding racing and he expects him to be in the finish.   HRNSW MEDIA

A standout season for young Tasmanian harness racing trainer-driver Taylor Ford wasn't enough to stop her from snapping up her dream job on the mainland. The 22-year-old recently joined the stable staff of Parwan horsewoman Jodi Quinlan, north west of Melbourne, and wasted no time in getting into the winner's circle. "I didn't have to think over the job offer all that much-and it has certainly proved to be the right decision because I'm absolutely loving it," she said. Ford was successful for her new boss at the recent Geelong meeting with brown gelding The Chancer (Bettors Delight-Fairest One Youare (Life Sign) raced by Geoff Walker along with Garry Rogers, who bred him. "I met Jodi when she ran third with Star Chamber in the Tasmania Cup at Hobart last year. We kept in regular contact after that and have become very good friends. I couldn't believe it when she offered me a full-time job at her stables," she said. Ford was forced to death-seat with The Chancer at Geelong, but didn't panic and got the most out of the horse to win a thriller by half a head from Gee Smith (Greg Sugars). Midnight Whisper (Kerryn Manning) was a head away in third place. "I wasn't sure that I'd won. It was very close, but I was excited to get my first win over here. I've had only a few drives and hopefully other trainers will give me a go with my five-point claim," she said. To watch the video replay of The Chancer click here. "It's great working for Jodi because she has quite a few trotters, which is something different for me. I'm learning so much and enjoying every minute. Hopefully I can keep driving some winners." Taylor comes from a passionate harness racing family based at Brighton, a small town with a population of just over 4000 people, situated 25 kms north of Hobart. "Last season was the best I've had back home. I had my own team going which was always around the 15 mark and (leading Tasmanian trainer) Ben Yole was really good to me by putting me on regularly to drive as well," she said. "I drove nearly 30 winners and took out the junior drivers' championship which was a big thrill, and I also got about 20 as a trainer along with a heap of placings. "It's a family involvement and it kept us busy, but we all did our bit. My mum Tammy has taken over training duties and that's working out pretty well." Ford said the move to Victoria also provided a change of pace with raceday engagements. "We probably only went to one or two meetings a week back home - since I've been here, I've never been to so many meetings in a week in my life!" Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Last season may have ended in disappointment for trainer Jack Butler following Hectorjayjay’s forced retirement, however every end signifies a new beginning. The new season has been a strong one for Butler, with winners at all three Saturday metropolitan fixtures to date. At Redcliffe on Saturday night, the Butler stable was able to leave the Peninsula with a winning treble thanks to victories by Needabacardi, Bohannan and Rock With Sam. In-form square-gaiter Needabacardi was the first in the bag when scoring his third victory since joining Butler’s Logan Village stables, making it the 10th of his career. Sent out as the favourite in the AQWA Constructions Trotters Cup, driver Brendan Barnes was able to secure a great position in the one-out one-back trail as Skyline set the tempo in front. Making his challenge as the field approached the home turn, there were a few anxious moments as the saddle-cloth number detached. Flapping around the legs of the gelding, he remained focussed and maintained stride to power home to victory - minus the pink number eight cloth that was left on the Redcliffe track. One race later and Bohannan took to the track from inside the second line, drawn to follow out the race favourite Master Catch. Just prior to release, Master Catch was off stride and again when the field was released again made an error, forcing driver Chloe Butler to take evasive action before settling in position three back along the marker line. Angling across runners to find open space as the field swung for home, Bohannan produced a powerful closing sprint to arrive for a narrow victory - his second at Redcliffe. Knocking on the door in recent weeks, it was a deserved victory for the seven-year-old after placings at his past five starts in succession. Butler’s third and final win of the night came courtesy of Rock With Sam in open company when taking advantage of conditions to lead throughout, giving Brendan Barnes driving honours for the night with a double. Not raced through December after finishing fifth in the Be Good Johnny Sprint behind Colt Thirty One, the seven-year-old was the recipient of a smart drive from Barnes. With a steady opening half, the speed was dialled up through the last 800 metres with identical 28.4 seconds for the last two panels making it near impossible for the chasers. The win took Rock With Sam’s record to 20 career wins, with the gelding having recorded a win every season since his first as a two-year-old back in May 2016. With the Butler stable having some handy types looking to progress through their grades - Franco Landry, Going For Gold and Sweet Appeal come to mind - season 2021 has started in promising fashion.   THE BAD It’s fair to say that Saturday night’s meeting at Redcliffe wasn’t smooth sailing. After the Greater Brisbane lockdown the week prior, updated COVID-19 protocols were enforced and then after a week of dry weather, storm activity began to build on Saturday afternoon. With rain hitting the Redcliffe Peninsula, the track was in great order, but the muddy conditions made it tough for the drivers. Just to make the night even trickier, the track lighting was a victim of the storms and deluge of water, with the front straight plunged into darkness following the running of race six. Despite the misfortunes that the club was forced to endure, the meeting was able to progress and all ten races were completed. With over an hour lost to the lighting issues, it made the night even longer for Lola Weidemann who had just one horse in for the night. That runner was Pacific Coin who had progressed to the Hygain Final after winning a heat of the series 10 days prior. Sent straight to the front over the sprint trip, Lola was able to stay in front and relatively mud-free, the luxury that leading the pack brings with it. Owned by Lola’s sister, Julie, the nine-year-old had one of the busiest seasons of any horse in Queensland last term, facing the starter on 84 occasions for 10 wins. The big season has certainly not hampered his start to season 2021, with his record showing two wins from three starts. In claiming the 15th career victory with Pacific Coin, the near six-hour round trip from her Clifton stables may just have been worth the race delay for Lola.   THE MILESTONE A relative newcomer to Queensland, Sam Clotworthy is on the board as a winning driver in the Sunshine State. Joining forces with the Jack Butler stable, Clotworthy has taken a handful of drives before breaking through for his first Queensland victory at Albion Park last Thursday. Taking the reins behind the Butler trained Harpagus, the pair were able to settle in a perfect position from inside the second line as Springfield Spirit tried to lead throughout from gate one. Taking the passing lane when the gap presented, Clotworthy was able to arrive in time to end a prolonged period out of the winner’s enclosure for the six-year-old mare. Keeping the good start to the year for the stable rolling, the mare is now owned by stable boss Tara Butler and trained by husband Jack. Last victorious back in June of 2019, Harpagus was driven by champion reinsman, the late Gavin Lang on that occasion. Hailing from New Zealand, Clotworthy spent time in Tasmania last season where he was able to claim the Youngbloods Challenge just prior to arriving in Queensland. The Youngbloods is a six-race series for young drivers - with three heats at Hobart and three at Launceston - with Clotworthy claiming victory in three of the six heats, with a further two placings. Taking his second race drive behind Harpagus in Thursday’s event, the win was a great season start for Clotworthy to get off the mark.   THE WILDCARD Although it does not bring any further reward, book-ending a race card does not happen frequently. For owners Rob and Pam Essex, they were able to claim a book-end double at Thursday’s Albion Park meeting with driver Kelli Dawson piloting both winners. With a big team of pacers and greyhounds that race with the Maywyn moniker, the Essex’ have poured large amounts into both the pacing and chasing codes. On Thursday, Maywyn Troubador was able to score the second win of his career with a dominant victory in the opening race of the day. Given plenty of time to balance, the four-year-old was sent stomping around the field as they went down the back straight. Charging past the leaders, the gelding went on to score a commanding 21.8-metre victory and frank the effort of a recent trial where he blitzed his rivals in similar fashion. Trained by Geoff Dawson (Kelli’s father), the win demonstrated the talent of Maywyn Troubador who has taken some time to adjust to what racing is all about. Waiting until the last race for their second runner of the day, this time it was Kelli as both the trainer and the driver involved with the success of Maywyns Courage. Second-up from a spell, the six-year-old son of Courage Under Fire sat back in the pack from his second line barrier. The widest runner as they swung for home, Maywyns Courage sprinted sharply down the outside of the track to claim his first win of the new season. An APG sales graduate from 2016, Essex went to $22,000 to secure the Courage Under Fire x Nonni Sheffield colt, with his latest win taking his tally to 12 victories. No stranger to a handy horse, some of the better performed that the Essex family have been involved in include the likes of Maywyn Jasper, Badge Of Honour and Maywyn Tonz. Maywyn Jasper won the 2010 3YO APG Final at Group 1 level, defeating a field that included For A Reason, Chariot King and Renaissance Man - all Derby winners that Season. With Rob Essex recently celebrating a milestone birthday, number 10 may be the new lucky number for Rob, Pam and the Maywyn team, with both Troubador and Courage wearing saddlecloth 10 to victory.   THIS WEEK After a change-up to the regular Saturday night metropolitan meeting last week, this week returns to the more traditional programming. Tuesday afternoon, Friday afternoon and Saturday night will be from Albion Park. Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon will be from Redcliffe with Wednesday again hosting a full ten-race card. The week will start with an eight-race card from The Creek with race six named the Happy Retirement John Hackett Pace. John has filled many roles within the integrity arm across various administrations, most recently with the Integrity Regulation Unit for QRIC. A former Chief Steward of harness in Queensland and deputy chief steward for the thoroughbred code, John Hackett has given a significant contribution to the integrity of all three racing codes across more than 40 years of service. Enjoy retirement Mr Hackett.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Ryley Major added the Group 3 Hardings Hotmix Devonport Pacing Cup to his glowing resume in Devonport on Sunday night, where last season’s Tasmania Cup winner easily overcome his 30 metre back mark in the 3020-metre event. Beginning brilliantly as he always does, Ryley Major quickly made up his handicap before trainer-driver Rohan Hillier got the gelded son of Art Major around the field to take up the lead with 1900 metres to travel with ease. Hillier was then able to set a moderate tempo for the top-level pacers running the first quarter of the final mile in 32.2s, and he then recorded sectionals of 32.2s, 31.3s, 29.4s and 29.8s on his way to a 5.5-metre win. “He has done a super job tonight, to come off 30 (metres) and make a mid-race move and he still felt really strong on the line,” said Hillier post-race to Matt Reid on TasracingTV’s Live Stream coverage. “I went out with no plans, to come off 30 metres in a full field it is hard to make plans, I decided to go, and I was happy to get to the breeze, but they slackened the pace, so I decided to have a go for the front, and once we got there we were always going to be hard to beat,” explained Hillier. With a host of options interstate, Hillier is happy to keep the pacer in Tasmania. There is a host of options including the Tasmania and Easter Cups in March and April. “We will just keep poking around every second week here in Tassie, he isn’t getting any faster, he is probably getting slower, but he is doing a super job for what he is,” said the trainer-driver about the eight-year-old. The mile rate off the 30 metres was 2m 4.3s, with Ryley Major joining Pachacuti (2017), Star Chamber (2015), Gold Label (1995) and Good Town (1993) as the only horses to win the Cup off a handicap further than 30 metres. A protest lodged by Mark Yole on the fourth placegetter, Tisu Spirit, against the driver of the second placegetter, Be Major Threat (Dylan Ford), for interference near the 2700 metre mark was upheld, which resulted in the third placegetter Lip Reader being promoted to second to give Hillier the training quinella. “To cop a 20-metre handicap with him was pretty tough on him, but over the next three or four months we could see him winning a race like the Easter Cup,” said Hillier. There were two $12,000 features on the card including the Ladbrokes Mares Incentive which was taken out by nine-year-old mare Pink Ponder who was one of six winners on the card for Ben Yole. Pink Ponder driven by Mark Yole sat back in the field off a solid tempo and was too good late in what was the survival of the fittest late with the last quarter ran in 32.7s in the 2297 metre event where the mile rate was 2m 2.1s. The Yole stable also claimed the Jeremy Rockliff MP Coastal Pacing Thousand with the Conor Crook driven Proficient. It was a tough effort by the eight-year-old gelding who settled one-out and three-back before gaining a three-wide cart up over the final 100 meters of the event.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

When the Changeover gelding Motu Gatecrasher outsprinted his rivals at Menangle on Saturday night (January), he sent his stake earnings to beyond $250,000 and became his sire’s sith richest performer. The gelding clocked 1:51.5 for the mile – a new lifetime mark. Watch the race click here! Changeover was represented by winners in three different countries last week. Promising four-year-old The Mustang posted his 13th success from 36 starts with a career-best 1:55.2 winning effort at Bathurst, while Dragontown won for the eighth time at Mildura. Changeover produced two winners on the grass at Blenheim, New Zealand in Jazelle and Givemewhatineed as well as the 1:57.1 Invercargill victor Deus Ex. In North America, Changeover’s winners included Sudden Change NZ (1:52.6), Risk NZ (1:53) and Glenferrie Bronte NZ (1:55.2). Changeover, the former champion Kiwi pacer, stands at Burwood Stud in Queensland’s rich Darling Downs.   By Peter Wharton

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