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Love You’s son Quaker Jet, a multiple Group 1 winner in France and whose frozen semen is available to ‘down under’ breeders from the Victorian-based Haras Des Trotteurs, has bounded to the forefront as one of Australia’s most successful trotting sires in recent months. His oldest stock are three-year-olds, and this season he has been represented by one of Australia’s outstanding young trotters in Im Ready Jet Tr 1:55.6 ($100,940), who won the Group 1 $60,000 Need For Speed Princess at Melton in February and earlier had captured the $100,000 Breeders Crown as a two-year-old. Cracker Jet, a winner of four races this season, Dizzysjet, a winner in 1:56.1 at Menangle last week, the dual Melton winner Electrojet (Tr 1:59.3), Im Hector, From The Swamp, La Serena and Quake Proof, a winner at Ballarat on Wednesday (September 16), have been other winners from Quaker Jet’s first Australian crop. Actually, Quaker Jet has made a spectacular start as a sire in Australia. In his first season he left 24 foals, and of these he has had 14 to the races for eight winners and four placegetters.  In New Zealand, Quaker Jet’s first crop of 10 foals has produced three winners including recent Cambridge winner Expensive Crumpet and a qualifier from four starters. Love You, the champion sire of Quaker Jet, has the outstanding four-year-old Ultimate Stride carrying the flag for him in NZ. The chestnut entire, a dual Group 1 winner at two, stretched his winning sequence to seven and made it nine wins from 13 starts when he led most of the way at Addington, carving out his last 800 in 57.8 and 400 in 28.2. Meanwhile, Majestic Player, who was bred by Haras Des Trotteurs principal Pat Driscoll, maintained his devastating form when he won a $40,000 Open at Scioto Downs, Ohio in 1:51.6. The five-year-old gelding, who is the fastest ever Australian-bred trotter, has now won 12 of his 15 starts in North America and $US138,950 in stakes.   By Peter Wharton

Talented young Melbourne harness racing driver Rhys Nicholson has decided to make Mildura his home-for at least six months anyway. With a shortage of drivers in North West Victoria during COVID-19 regional racing, Nicholson has wasted no time at all in establishing solid books of drives at the weekly Friday meetings, and couldn't be happier. "In the long term, we'll just see how it works out. I've only been up here for a little while, but I'm loving it. Down the track we will definitely have a look at our options. I may settle in the area and have my own team, or otherwise we could run a satellite stable." That would involve his dad, experienced trainer-driver for many years, John "Bulldog" Nicholson, who prepares a team near Melton. The Mildura experiment is off to a handy start. Nicholson was all smiles last Friday night, landing a winning double at his now home track. He scored with The Defiant ($3.10 fav) and Pur Dan ($1.50 fav). Honors for the meeting went to trainer Scott Garraway and his driver Simon Jardine with a treble. "It was a long night but that's great because the local trainers were giving me a go. I actually had a drive in each of the 10 events and I have nearly a full book again this Friday night," he said. And despite being familiar with the much bigger tracks of southern Victoria, Nicholson said driving on the 810-metre Mildura circuit hadn't proved to be a problem. "I'm learning the pattern of racing as I go. The calibre of horses is very different and I'll change my tactics to suit. It feels like sort of horses for courses," Nicholson said. "But there's nothing wrong with the smaller tracks and I've driven on quite a few. When I was 16 or 17 years old, I'd fly over to Tasmania to drive. There were some small ones over there and it taught me a lot. "I also come across a few up in New South Wales when I was working in Sydney." Nicholson was always going to make harness racing his career with his family involvement. "I left school when I was 13 to go off and do the horses. I've been lucky to have worked with some of the best," he said. "After starting with dad, I worked for Tony Peacock. I then went back home for a bit before landing a job at the Aiken stables. "I learnt a lot at those stables, because everyone seems to have a style of their own and when it works, they stick with it. I spent two years in Sydney and that was a big learning experience." Nicholson said he was stoked to see his father land a recent winner in trotter Atego Titan at Cranbourne. "He doesn't drive all that often, but he goes okay. He's getting a nice little team together, with a couple of youngsters showing heaps of promise." "Bulldog" has prepared 18 winners and 29 placegetters for nearly $200,000 this season and is closing in on 650 career victories. While Rhys said he was enjoying the mild and sunny days in Mildura at the moment, he'd been warned about the area's notorious hot summer days. "It will be a case of early starts to beat the heat. I used to get up early when I was breaking-in gallopers, so I guess I'll be getting back to that." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura             P 0498 490 672   E hello@newsalertpr.com.au   W www.newsalertpr.com.au      

Fingers will be crossed that tonight’s racing at Shepparton will bring breakthrough number two for the little gelding whose run of near things sparked something of a cult following. Lion Heart, Rebecca Morrissey’s five-year-old who gradually grew into his own name, chases his second win in tonight’s JDC Contractors Trot, which will stream on Trots Vision at 7.33pm. Tonight marks start number 73 for Lion Heart, who’s produced 25 placings to date and one magical moment at Geelong on March 11, which was victory number one at start 67. It was all the more significant for being the first victory in trainer Morrissey’s own name, with her previous successes having come in partnership with husband Paul. “The fact that he went so many starts before winning, I think everyone was hoping the little bugger would get over the line and win a race for me,” Morrissey said. “He didn’t show anything as a two-year-old and did a lot wrong. It wasn’t until he was a late three-year-old that he showed a little bit and we persevered. He had so many placings in the lead-up to that first win.” It was the sweetest of victories for Morrissey and reward for patience and persistence, both from the trainer and her horse, who was named as such in “the hope he would have the heart of a lion”. “I didn’t actually like the name to start with, but you have to give options and it was not my first choice, but the name has really suited him and he has got a bit of a following too,” she said. And while not a regular winner, Lion Heart has been a regular earner, securing $33,490 in stakes. “To have him running placings every 10 days goes a long way for the bank balance, but it’s more about having fun and sharing it with other people. “I am breeding a few mares and Lion Heart has helped them go to a bit better stallions.” In fact Morrissey has five trotting mares she is breeding to in Vienna Noon, Butterfly Noon, Canadian Dream, Six Appeal and Livingonadream, the latter a half-sister to Just Like Jack ($112,381) and Barneys Invasion ($81,199) and the dam of Lion Heart. “They have been a great family,” Morrissey said. “We have ended up with some nice horses and have little Lion Heart, who tries his heart out and is competitive.” And the expectation is he will do so again in race 4 at 7.33pm, when Lion Heart has his first start in the hands of reinsman Darryl Douglas, with regular driver Mick Bellman having a big haul at Horsham earlier in the day but credited for doing “a fantastic job educating (Lion Heart) in races”. Lion Heart will start from inside the back row, and if he can overcome his poor starts Morrissey said he should be well placed for a bold showing.  “The only issue is at the start. He’s certainly better tucked away behind the leaders and hopefully he can get a good run into the race at the finish.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Doreen (Victoria) couple John and Christine Yeomans have established a solid reputation over four decades for breeding and racing quality standardbred stock, particularly pacing fillies and mares. The list of top performers bred at their Homestead Farm reads like a classics’ date book and includes Life Inthefastlane (Queen of the Pacific and Vic. Youthful Stakes), Im Smouldering (Vicbred 3YO Final and Tatlow Memorial), Racy Rita (Victoria Oaks), Vansumic (NSW Ladyship Mile) and Yes I Can (Vic. Youthful Stakes). “Racy Rita probably put us on the map,” John said. “But Life Inthefastlane gave us our biggest thrill when she won the Queen of the Pacific after almost dying from a colic attack 12 months earlier.” Other smart types raced and trained by John and Christine have been the Vicbred champion and Oceania El Dorado winner Gigi, Indigenous (Tasmanian Oaks and Vic. Gold Chalice), Gold Cygnet (Galaxy Grand Slam 2YO), the Moonee Valley Cup winner Relentless Pursuit, Etoile (APG 2YO Final), Jaydare (Tatlow Memorial) and Makeyourownluck (winner of $221,952). John estimates that he has trained more than 350 winners. “We’ve been lucky to have bred or raced 12 Group 1 winners,” he said. In recognition for sustained excellence and achievement in the Breeding industry, the Yeomans were presented with the Ian Daff Memorial Award for Victorian Breeders of the Year in 2012 by Harness Breeders Victoria. The husband-and-wife team are also proud sponsors of Victorian trotting their company Yeomans Slate and Stone. John admits that his success has been largely due to a team effort. “Christine does most of the pedigree matching and we have great staff in Shane Gallagher and his wife Rachael Benns, who assist with the breeding, training and yearling preparation. Regular vendors at the Victorian yearling sales since the early 1980’s, John and Christine have sold colts such as Red Hot Major (WA Western Crown), Solid As A Rock ($163,530), Lanista ($107,415) and Badge Of Honour ($105,469) – all classics material – and fillies in the same class such as Vansumic ($268,649), one of the few mares to ever defeat Adore Me, and others. “We normally race the fillies that we breed and don’t keep many colts,” John stated. In a parting from tradition, the Yeomans have nominated two superbly bred fillies for the inaugural Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale to be held at Oaklands Junction in April 2021. The draft comprises A Rocknroll Dance filly out of Im Smouldering, a multiple Group winning Bettor’s Delight mare from the grand producer Red Hot Rita, and a Rock With Joe filly from the Art Major mare Koori Art, a daughter of the Oaks winner Indigenous. “Indigenous’s offspring have earned more than $518,000, while Red Hot Rita’s progeny have banked $512,000,” John said. And, judging on their pedigrees and the Yeomans’ track record, the two youngsters are a realistic chance of adding their names to the Homestead Farm honour roll.   by Peter Wharton

Having helped reshape harness racing from the boardroom to the track, Elizabeth Clarke has spoken about how "humbled" she was to have the Mares Triple Crown named in her honour. Ms Clarke sat with Tooth Be Told host Paul Campbell for a wide-ranging chat about her trots life, beginning with the illustrious mares three-week series - the Elizabeth Clark Mares Triple Crown - that kicks off at Tabcorp Park Melton on October 17. "It's an incredible honour - never in my imagination or my wildest dreams would I ever think there would be such an honour bestowed upon me - it just doesn't enter your mind," she said. "It's a magnificent series. I'm a big promoter or mares races anyway, because when I was first in the industry, which was many years ago now, there weren't very many high profile or high stakemoney races for mares. "To be involved, and so closely involved in a series like this, is just brilliant for the industry and brilliant for the people who have those mares to this standard of racing." Ms Clarke speaks about her trots origins, her husband Bruce's golden era with great Terang pacer Gammalite and her long-term service to the sport. LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW OF ELIZABETH CLARKE ON TOOTH BE TOLD: Trots Media - Harness Racing · Tooth Be Told: Elizabeth Clarke   Harness Racing Victoria

A young harness racing trainer and driver combination from Albury has delivered a knockout blow in the big smoke-with the help of an ounce of luck. Talented reinsman Thomas Gilligan and his fiancée Brooke McPherson, who is the trainer, made the 10-hour round trip to Menangle with their six-year-old gelding Rusty Crackers last Saturday night and come up trumps at 12/1. "It was unreal and a huge thrill because it was our first metropolitan winner. But it did all pan out beautifully for us," a jubilant Gilligan said. "The horse travelled brilliantly in the run and dug deep when he had to over the final stages. I was so lucky to get off the fence and into the clear." After easing off the gate at the start, Gilligan settled four back on the pegs. He angled off on the home corner and come home four wide with a wet sail to snatch victory right on the line. Watch the replay click here. Rusty Crackers (Dawn Of A New Day-Dilingers Comment (D M Dilinger) got the judge's verdict by a half neck from Air Time (Jack Callaghan) in a PB of 1.51-4. Gilligan said before the victory, Rusty Crackers had raced at Menangle six times, with a second and a third in the past five weeks being the best result. "I can tell you that I was well and truly in the good books on the way home, but Rusty Crackers is definitely the pin up boy at the moment," he said "Brooke has really persevered with the horse and it has taken a lot of starts to get him to hit his straps." Rusty Crackers and proud trainer Brooke McPherson (Photograph Club Menangle) Gilligan is a farrier by trade and a third-generation horseman in the sport, following in the footsteps of his father Shane and his late grandfather Ron. The young couple have a team of three in training at the moment. "We've both got full-time work, so it's impossible to have too many going around," he said. "But it was a pretty exciting night and hopefully we might have another trip to the city on the cards soon." Rusty Crackers has now won 14 races with 18 placings since joining the McPherson stable. Included in those wins was the Temora Pacers Cup and Iron Jack Wagga Pacers Cup earlier this year. The latest win took his earnings over the $100,000 mark. Gilligan has previously tasted success at Menangle - but admits to being a bit "rusty" on some of the finer details. "It has seemed to take a bit to get used to the style of racing at Menangle-in saying that I mean for both horse and driver!" Gilligan laughed. "I competed in a Rising Star series for young drivers about seven or eight years ago and was lucky enough to get the chocolates," he said. "But I still had to ask someone last Saturday where I had to go back to scale after winning. I was getting photographs taken and sort of forgot where I had to circle back to. Anyway, I got there in the end-it was somewhere near the winning post!"   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Redemption will be front of mind for Mick Stanley’s runners at Ballarat tonight, with the Burrumbeet trainer’s entrants out to make amends after last-start mishaps. Both Sayitaintso Joe and Soho Major Player are well positioned to put their problems in the past, particularly the aforementioned two-year-old, who will likely start favourite in the Natures Cargo Pace, which streams at 8.30pm on Trots Vision. After breaking gait and finishing 175 metres in arears in his only start, Sayitaintso Joe – the son of Group 3 winning mare Beach Shack – has had four months on the sidelines and transformed from a colt into a gelding. “He’s got a really good deal of ability,” Stanley said. “Obviously he did things wrong last start and so we’ve gelded him and turned him out and with time he’s maturing. He had two trials at Maryborough and trialed really well.” He returns tonight not amid a field of fellow two-year-olds but of much more seasoned pacers rated 51 to 54, including 10-year-old Our Summer Wind. “Going off Soho Bollinger and Lochinvar Chief, I think they have shown the two-year-olds can handle this class no worries,” Stanley said. “We are saying two-year-olds, but they would have been three-year-olds and I think that is why they are handling it so well. They’re a lot more mature and stronger. “A lot of two-year-olds are going 1.54 or 1.55 anyway, so in this 51-54 class they are only going 1.58 to 1.59 speed. “It’s a lot about him making sure he doesn’t make mistakes. If he does that then he will be a good show.” The other Stanley stable entrant tonight is Soho Major Player, who will contest the last at 9.23pm, the Lather Up @ Woodlands Stud 3YO Pace. Previously with Kim Prentice in Western Australia, Soho Major Player has joined the Burrumbeet stable to snap up her Vicbred first-win bonus before the Art Major filly is set for a broodmare career for owner-breeder Rob Watson. She debuted at Stawell on September 6, when the $2.50 favourite was the first thing beaten after pacing poorly throughout. “I had trouble steering her at Stawell,” Stanley said. “She got on one rein and unfortunately was running off the track the whole time. We have made gear changes and they look to have worked well.” She will start from gate two in tonight’s three-year-old fillies pace, directly inside likely favourite Keilah, and Stanley said he would let tempo dictate where he lands from the gate.“I don’t think it matters. With a small field you don’t particularly have to lead because you won’t settle far off them.” In addition to his own two starters Stanley will also take the reins of three others. That begins with Courtney Slater-trained Fremarkskuzo in the Cooke & Foley 3YO Trot. “When he puts it together he feels like he will win a couple of races. Last time out he had his best run since I’ve been driving him. If he continues to improve he will get his chance," Stanley said of Fremarkskuzo, who's still chasing his first top three placing. “It is an even three-year-old trot race. Saint Calder looks the stand out, but he is in the next tier.” Stanley will then follow up with Kevin Richard in the Nextra Wendouree Pace, but said the six-year-old “will need to improve” to feature, while his other drive, Jackierabbit, has a good draw in the Regent Entertainment Pace. Stanley said the pole marker was a “good each-way chance”.   HRV - Michael Howard

James Brennan Memorial winner Shockwave will miss this Friday’s Navy Cup (2130m) as trainer Ryan Bell looks to manage his stable star on his path to the Pacing Cups later this year. Shockwave over raced in his first-up triumph last Friday but still held on to beat veteran pacer Chicago Bull by a half-head. He was nominated for Friday’s $50,000 Navy Cup (2130m) but Bell told TABradio’s One Out One Back he didn’t want to risk giving the four-year-old another arduous run. “We pulled him out of the race this Friday just because he is so well,” he said. “We want to keep him like that. “Just because he’s pulled up well, all it’s going to take is one more hobble run and one more race run under pressure to really flatten him.” The change in plan will likely see Shockwave line up in the $25,000 Media Guild Cup (2536m) on September 25 to compensate for missing the Navy Cup. Bell said Shockwave would then back-up a week later in the $50,000 J P Stratton Cup (2130m). “He does thrive on the hard work,” he said. “He’ll have a hit out on Saturday and next Wednesday. “We’ll probably go in the Free-For-All Friday week which will top him off for that last $50,000 race the week after.” Pinjarra Cup winner Vampiro is expected to run in this Friday’s feature event, his first start since the end of March. The Greg and Skye Bond-trained pacer finished runner-up in both the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup earlier this year. Galactic Star and El Jacko are also expected to line up for the Bond team. Bletchley Park also makes his much anticipated return to the track, following a short break since his last start second on August 28. Chicago Bull will also take his place in Friday night’s feature, alongside progressive pacer and stablemate My Carbon Copy. Speaking on TABradio earlier this week, Gary Hall Jnr said he was satisfied with Chicago Bull’s return to the track in the James Brennan Memorial. Hall Jnr also said exciting pacer Wildwest would be sent for a spell after his unplaced performance as favourite on Friday night. “He’s going to the paddock now,” he said. “He’s had a rotten campaign, lots of things have gone wrong for him. “We know the ability is there but we just have to work him out here at home.”   Tim Walker

The battle for a place in the Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup beefs up at Bendigo on Saturday night, with an extraordinary field of open class pacers presenting to press their claims for the $300,000 October 10 feature. The presence of Victoria's fastest ever pacer, Lochinvar Art, hasn't dissuaded the challengers, with Emma Stewart in particular unleashing her talented team entering Hurricane Harley, Major Times and country cups kings Code Black and Shadow Sax to contest the $20,000 Vincent Standing @ Alabar Pace. And the quality in the 12-horse field extends much further, including talented David Aiken front-runner Reactor Now, who's won nine of 10, while Inter Dominion finalists My Kiwi Mate, Sicario and San Carlo will also have claims. Snapping at their heels will be Malcolms Rhythm, Idealsomemagic and Rackemup Tigerpie, in what shapes as the most hotly contested race on Victorian soil since February's Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup. Scheduled for the third race on the card at 7.02pm, it precedes an outstanding open class trot, with reigning Victorian horse of the year Tornado Valley to cross swords with fellow Group 1 winners Wobelee, Sundons Courage, Red Hot Tooth, Big Jack Hammer and Cruisin Around. Andy Gath's Miss Blissful completes the Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers Trot field. And the hits will keep coming on Saturday night. The flood of nominations from open class pacing free-for-allers resulted in the addition of a second 80 to 120 rating race, the TLC Carpentry Pace, where last-start winners Diamons N Cash, Sofala and Rocknroll Eyes will clash with A Fair Ol Dance, Form Analyst, Louis Sedgwick, Chris Svanosio's pair Repeat After Me and Mister Wickham, and Craig Demmler's duo Somebeach Shadow and Fake Smile. There will also be plenty of opportunity for the next big things to strut their stuff. The Simonds Homes Bendigo 2YO Pace draws together some of the class's best performed types this season, with all having broken their maiden status. Clayton Tonkin's Idyllic will look to turn the tables on David Moran's Lochinvar Chief, while Emma Stewart has entered unbeaten Beyond Delight and two-time winner Ideal Dan. Geoff Webster's Tuppence, Paddy Lee's Jilliby Retro and Moran's Ifitstobeitsuptome complete the field. Tailored Elegance and Powderkeg are among those locking horns in the TAB Long May We Play 3YO Trot, while the $20,000 mares feature - the Southern Cross Office Equipment Pace - will pit in-form Goodtime Heaven up against the likes of Amelia Rose and David Miles' pair Six Elements and Enchanted Stride. A class field has also assembled for the $20,000 Aldebaran Park Trot, where Kyvalley Chief will attempt to make it six-straight against the likes of Emerald Stride, Brandlo Prince and seasoned campaigner C K Spur. Then there's the Garrards Horse & Hound Pace, where talented youngster Mach Dan takes on mare Soho Nolita and Amanda Turnbull trio Sonny Weaver, Shoobee Doo and The Crimson Prince to name but a few who have fronted for the $20,000 sprint. CLICK HERE FOR FULL FIELDS   HRV - Michael Howard

Down Under harness racing driver wins 4 races at The Meadowlands early in his North American driving career. Todd McCarthy had a night to remember on Saturday night when driving at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He steered home 4 winners from his full book of 13 drives on the night. McCarthy’s quick success in the states should be no surprise to anyone that has watched him drive in Sydney, Australia, where he was the top driver at Menangle Park for the last five years. His first win of the night came aboard the Katricia Adams trained A Major Omen in 1:52.2. He quickly backed up in the following race with Sombodyitreasure who made a mess of rivals to score in 1:49.4 for trainer Andrew Harris. His next win was with former Down Under pacer Flying Even Bettor N for top trainer Tony Alanga. It was a thrilling finish but the Down Under horse and driver came out best in a time of 1:51.2. This race was also a Down Under quinella with Mister Rebbily A finishing in second for Down Under trainer Tahnee Camilleri. McCarthy’s fourth win was with another Down Under pacer in The Bettormack N. The win made it a double for trainer Katricia Adams. McCarthy giving the son of Bettors Delight a beautiful trip throughout to get over top of leaders in 1:50.0 to win. Todd McCarthy also had three other placings on the night. One where he teamed up with Down Under trainer Shane Tritton and another with Down Under pacer Italian Delight N. When reflecting on the night McCarthy said, “I think for anyone in the harness racing industry, you look at America, The Meadowlands is the pinnacle. To crack one tonight and then to get a few more after that, it was pretty awesome.”. When asked how he would compare the American harness racing to the Australian harness racing he said, “The racing here is definitely faster and a little more aggressive, but so far it's been great and I'm really enjoying it." On the Saturday night of racing at the Meadowlands there were 34 Down Under horses racing.   Monday 7th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Quick Fun N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $12,000 Atomic Blast N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $11,200   Harrington Raceway DE Senor Macray A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $9,000   Plainridge Park MA Peternity Suit A – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $15,000   Saratoga Harness NY Lord Willoughby A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $4,800   The Meadows PA Blow A Cloud N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $5,400   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Never Mind N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $20,000   Tuesday 8th September     Harrington Raceway DE Betterthanamisus N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $10,000 Anytime N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $13,500 Women In Gold N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $10,000   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Quite A Delight N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $3,700   Yonkers Raceway NY Kimani N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $8,500   Wednesday 9th September     Batavia Downs NY Blacknsweet Adda A – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $6,000   Harrahs Philadelphia PA She’s Nun Bettor N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $12,800 January A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $5,600 Shezza Gnp N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,800   Northfield Park OH Lincs Tiger N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $3,400   Ocean Downs MD Our Jerry Lee N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $2,600   Yonkers Raceway NY Highview Conall N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $8,500 Beltane A – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $8,500   Waimac Attack N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $8,500   Thursday 10th September     Yonkers Raceway NY Miss Irish Rose N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $12,500 Soho Leviathan A – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $12,500 My Ruebe Star N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $22,000   Rideau Carleton Raceway CA   Rub Of The Green N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $6,000     Friday 11th September       Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Never Say Never N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $18,000   Meadowlands NJ   Eden Paige N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $6,000 Dixie Star N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $10,000   Scioto Downs OH   Armabluechipboy N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $9,000   Grand River Raceway CA   Strong Enough N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $6,500   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Ivana Flybe N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $24,000     Saturday 12th September       Batavia Downs NY Polak A – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $7,000 Harry Hoo N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $6,500 Mr Euroman N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $8,000   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN   Late Night Date A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $12,500   Meadowlands NJ   Flying Even Bettor  N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $14,000 The Bettormack  N – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $12,500   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN   Hoo Nien A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $8,500   Scarborough Downs ME   Midnight Dylan N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,200   Scioto Downs OH   Our Majordan A – Time: 1:49.3, Stake: $17,500 Stars Align A – Time: 1:48.4, Stake: $20,000 Funatthebeach N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $9,000   Tioga Downs NY   Bravo Tex N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $5,000   Yonkers Raceway NY   Leonidas A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $25,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Flamming Flutter N, 3rd Speed Man N   Kawartha Downs CA   Brigadierbronski A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $4,900     Sunday 13th September       Harrahs Philadelphia PA Robbie Burns N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $8,800 Vettel N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $10,000   Northfield Park OH   Supreme Mach N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $9,500 Flamboro Downs CA Pembrook Legacy N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $8,000   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Princess Tiffany’s battles with the boys appear over for now And that will see the high-class mare jump on a plane to Victoria in a few weeks so she can race her own sex more regularly. She isn’t the only All Stars big name heading that way either, with Another Masterpiece also crossing the Tasman. Co-trainer Mark Purdon, after consulting with Princess Tiffany’s owners, has decided Victoria is the best place for the five-year-old after another brave but almost fruitless performance at Addington last Friday night. After being slow away Princess Tiffany did a huge job to finish fifth but showed once again that she is not placed to her best advantage against the older iron men of pacing. In fact, in a 32-start career that has resulted in 18 wins and 9 placings, she has never beaten the boys in a big race. “It is just too hard for her having to race these very good open class horses every week,” says Purdon. “It would be ok if there was a mares race every month but there isn’t and she only gets to race her own sex three or four times a year here. “So she can head to Victoria where they have three mares races for her next month, including the Queen of the Pacific. “She will leave in two weeks and join Dean Braun and we will decide after those races whether she stays there longer or comes back.” Princess Tiffany could well return as she would have two mares races including the Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park in December and two more at Addington in the New Year. With a sub 1:50 time next to her name already, recorded at Menangle in February, the pressure is off her to return there again, even though the Ladyship Mile could be a big incentive. Another Masterpiece is somewhat in the same boat at Princess Tiffany, which is why he will find himself heading the same way. He was fourth behind Classie Brigade at Addington last Friday and is always a place chance at group one level without suggesting he is going to beat the likes of Self Assured or Copy That at the highest level any time soon. So he will head to Auckland this week, race at Alexandra Park on September 25 and then fly to Melbourne the week after to join the Jess Tubbs stable. That means he could be there in time for the Victoria Cup on October 10 if he was to make the hot shot field but he looks a horse who would have a myriad of options in Victoria.   Michael Guerin

The short-lived retiree and former superstar pacer Hectorjayjay is again poised to return to the racetrack. The multiple Group One winner and Inter Dominion runner-up has been under the care of astute harness racing horseman Jack Butler, of Logan Village, 50kms south-west of Brisbane, since last year. Hectorjayjay (Dream Away-Sheer Finesse (Torado Hanover) had three runs in May-June for Butler after an absence of almost two years from the track and posted a third, then a victory before a close-up fifth, all at Albion Park. Dogged by suspensory ligament setbacks for the majority of his career, the winner of 44 races and over $1.1 million, is two to three weeks away from the trials. "Thankfully his suspensory is perfect," Butler said. "After his last run in Brisbane in early June, he pulled up with a minor setback. It was nothing too serious-I'd liken it to us twisting an ankle," he said. "But soon afterwards he got a bit of a virus to go with it. We just then decided we weren't going to take any chances and pulled the pin. "Everything is back fine again and he's ready for a return." It's been well documented that the owners had initially sent "Hector" to Queensland to be retired. The horse found his way to Butlers place and the trainer couldn't resist the opportunity to put the nine-year-old back into work. After months of swimming and treadmill work, Butler got his vet to scan the suspensory ligaments and the green light was given for the preparation to continue to the next level. "He's without doubt the best horse that has ever been in my stables-he just loves the work and wants to run. He's just a natural," Butler said. The popular trainer-driver moved north in early 2015 with his wife Tara and children Chloe and Marty to get away from the notorious Bathurst winters. Butler hasn't looked back and has been a frequent visitor to the winner's stall since moving north. In each full season, he's reached at least 100 wins, with his standout season was 2016/17 with 119 winners. He recently chalked up his 1000th career win as a trainer (well over half of those registered since he moved to Queensland) and fittingly, it was his daughter Chloe who was the successful driver on Handsome Hero. "It was awesome to have Chloe land the special winner for me-bringing up that milestone is something we'll never forget," Butler said. Chloe Butler and Hectorjayjay "I really didn't know that I was that close to my 1000th. It seems a good while ago that Dan Costello (course photographer) told me I was working towards it. "And I remember having a joke with Dan that the way I was going, it could take a fair bit of time-I was having quite a lean spell for a few months there, but we finally made it!" Butler has been in downsizing mode in recent weeks. "In the past six or seven weeks, our stable numbers have probably halved. We're down to about 22 now," he said. "The national ratings system wasn't working out all that good for some of our team, so some have gone home or moved on," he said. But racing is a swings and roundabouts game, and for now, Butler is thrilled just to have Hectorjayjay back for another go.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness Racing Australia (HRA’s) recent announcements to reform the Australian harness racing industry for the long-term sustainability of the sport continue to gain support. John Campbell, from Loddon Valley Standardbred Stud, has added his voice to the growing chorus, saying, “As a second generation studmaster and breeder for over 50 years, I’ve supported 150 limits right through the consultative period.  The benefits may not be immediate, but this decision is critical to futureproof our industry, create competition and promote diversity. Campbell also sees advantages for the industry with the announcement to permanently change the Racing Season to start 1 January from next year.  “Southern Hemisphere mares are in the peak of their fertility during the December to February period, so the change in Racing Season is more great news for breeders as it will relieve pressure to push for early foals.  “There will be nothing wrong with December, January or even February foals under this scenario, so breeders can continue to serve beyond the current “artificial cut-off” of mid to late December”, Campbell said. Statistics support this argument, with very little difference between the “average number of starts” or the “winners to starters percentages” for 2yo, 3yo and 4yo’s over the past three racing seasons (2016/17 to 2018/19). Average Starts Sept – Nov:             8.81 Dec – Feb:               8.58 Winners : Starters Sept – Nov:             46.79% Dec – Feb:               43.63% With even more opportunities for 2yo’s from 1 January 2020, these trends looks set to continue. For further information please contact: ANDREW KELLY | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER p:  +61 3 9227 3000    e:  akelly@hra.com.au    HRA

Catch up on the weekend’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.   THE GOOD The recently married Ben and Tamara Battle are putting their faith in Queensland harness racing, with the young couple recently purchasing a property at Peak Crossing. Originally from the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Battle spent a long period learning the ropes from Bathurst-based Bernie Hewitt, picking up plenty of skills and opportunities. Branching out from Bernie and Cath Hewitt’s stable to start his own team in the 2015/16 season, Battle set up a stable from Goulburn. With moderate success in those early years, two of the better horses in the team were sent north to the stables of Grant Dixon, with Whiskey Blaze and Soho Shanghai seemingly reaching their ‘mark’ in New South Wales. “I own both of those and it was becoming harder to find suitable races for them so thought I would send them to Grant to see how they would perform in Queensland,” Ben Battle said.  Whiskey Blaze proved that he could still be a force, with the gelding claiming five victories when prepared out of the State’s leading stable. Soho Shanghai also proved more than capable, securing three victories in his time with the Dixon stable. That led to a conundrum for Ben and Tamara in what to do looking to the future. Goulburn is home to some big stables and being an easy commute from Menangle sees the big stables often making the trek down the Hume to compete there on race day. “I had a few horses in the team who needed to head to Queensland,” Battle said. “Tamara and I had a chat and said ‘do we just send them up here to other trainers or do we make the move and bring them ourselves’. “So, we flew up one weekend and had a look at the property we knew was available and made the decision we would relocate.” After originally setting up the stable at Toorbul, the Battles had to make a financial decision to move again to Caboolture. All the time though, the pair have been on the lookout for a property to purchase and call their own. That search came to fruition recently with a property coming to market at Peak Crossing and after negotiating a deal, Ben and Tamara have settled and will move to their new home in October. The 116-acre property already has a 16-box stable block, stallion yards and a deep swim, something that Ben is looking forward to being able to utilise. “I had access to a swim when we were in Goulburn, but you could only use it half the year - the other half you had to break through the ice if you needed it,” Battle said. “The swim will be really good, it will just add another option to our training and is something that is so beneficial to the horses, particularly the older horses in looking after them”. The property size will also allow Battle to focus on another area that he is keen to build on - the education of yearlings. New to Queensland in early 2019, he completed the early education of just two yearlings, however that jumped to 11 in 2020 and the goal is to get that number to 20 in the new year. “It is something that I get a lot of enjoyment from and that first year, Justa Little Bit was one of them,” Battle said. That current two-year-old had a strong debut season, registering three wins from his six starts and was second in the QBRED Breeders Classic behind subsequent Triad winner Big Wheels. With an astute mentor of the ‘babies’ in Bernie Hewitt, Battle is looking forward to what the new year may bring from his Peak Crossing stable. “When I was with Bern there was plenty to learn, if I didn’t learn something it would have been a waste of time being there,” Battle said.   THE BAD The COVID pandemic has had an effect in most facets of life and for Tamara and Ben, it has been no different. Originally scheduled to be married in April, the couple postponed the nuptials along with a honeymoon booked for Singapore and The Maldives. Weddings are stressful at the best of times; throw in a Global Pandemic into the mix and it certainly becomes a trying time. Rescheduling the date of the big day to late August, the dreaded C word would again play another part in becoming the Battles. An imminent border closure was again put forward by the Queensland Government, throwing the rescheduled plans into disarray once again. Not to be deterred, Ben and Tamara, just like their move North, put faith in themselves and decided the wedding would be brought forward - immediately. Having only earlier that week signed the contract on the new property, now they were planning a wedding in three days. “On the Wednesday they said the border would be closing, so we got on the phone, rang everyone and said the wedding would be on the Saturday,” Battle said.  “It was great, but I certainly would not recommend it that’s for sure.” True testament to the regard that the young couple are held in, they had over 50 people make the trek north from New South Wales to attend their wedding with three days’ notice and an impending border closure. The Maldives may have been ruled out, but the young couple did manage to squeeze in a brief trip to Hamilton Island before heading back to the day-to-day of running a harness racing stable. If the past season results are anything to go by, the pair look set to capitalise on the move, preparing more winners. This latest season has been their best yet, preparing 25 winners with Ben also taking the opportunity to pick up outside drives, landing 37 wins for the season. Whiskey Blaze, one of those that probably has a lot to do with the move north is still racing and is still competitive. In-fact the gelding has scored another five victories since re-joining the Battle barn and is a last-start placegetter. Starting to build the numbers, they have six two-year-olds that will be ready to come into work once they move onto the new property. With most of the horses in the barn arriving from New South Wales, either with or since they moved, Ben is looking forward to having some QBRED-eligible horses in his barn. Add to that his goal of working with more young stock and expanding the racing team, be ready for the Battles to make their mark.   THE MILESTONE Mafuta Vautin claimed the 30th victory of his career on Saturday night at Albion Park, equalling the number of wins of his sire Rollon Bigred in the process. The chestnut is named after Rugby League legend Paul Vautin, Mafuta being a Swahili word that translated to English means ‘fat’. Trained by Darrel Graham, Mafuta Vautin was driven patiently by Angus Garrard who utilised the passing lane to perfection, claiming victory by a head. Garrard became the fifth driver to rein the gelding to victory, joining Darrel, Brittany Graham, Adam Sanderson and Grant Dixon who have all recorded a victory behind Mafuta Vautin. Rollon Bigred was prepared by Darrel Graham in all bar two starts throughout his career, taking the stable all through the eastern states chasing feature race glory. Highlights from his 30 career wins were victories in the two and four-year-old QBRED Triad Finals, the two and three-year-old QBRED Breeders Classic Finals, the Hamilton Cup and the Paleface Adios Stakes. Mafuta Vautin reached his 30th career victory at start 130, while it took his sire only 76 starts to reach the same feat. While Rollon Bigred achieved his career wins across eight different venues, Mafuta Vautin has been successful at just 3 tracks - Albion Park, Redcliffe and on two occasions, Gympie. Ashleysplace, the dam of Mafuta Vautin was also raced by the Grahams, with Darrel steering the mare to one victory prior to being retired to breeding duties. Highlighting the real family involvement, Mafuta Vautin is owned and was bred by Darrel’s wife, Linda. With Steph Graham having also trained the gelding to one victory, all members of the Graham family have been involved in some part of the success - areal Team Graham performance.   THE WILDCARD Kiwis Are Flying franked his trial performance when making a successful start to his Australian career last Tuesday at Albion Park. Finding the one x one trail from the second line, the Narissa McMullen-trained gelding powered home in a strong 55.3 second closing 800-metre split. The gelding is impeccably bred, out of the former star mare Kiwi Ingenuity, a winner of eleven races - four of those at Group 1 level - and over $500,000 in stakes. The win by Kiwis Are Flying was the perfect way to start a new association for McMullen, entrusted with the gelding via a recommendation from her mortgage broker. With Narissa and partner Matt Elkins having recently purchased a new property, the couple are in the process of developing the infrastructure to have a full training facility. In the process of acquiring the property, McMullen has also taken on some new horses that are starting to hit the track. Joining Kiwis Are Flying are Lets Go Better and The Fortunate Son as recent arrivals to Queensland. With Elkins recently having success with Paravani, the couple have plenty of hard work ahead in establishing their property, but they have the horse flesh behind them to capitalise upon. With success flowing season on season in recent years, they look set to entrench themselves in the Queensland harness scene for years to come.   THIS WEEK Tuesday’s Albion Park meeting will see the return of top filly Pelosi. Drawing awkwardly in barrier 7 and taking on older and experienced campaigners will make it tough for the dual Group 1 winner. The Anna Woodmansey-trained filly has been to the trials three times to prepare for her return, after struggling to find an ideal return race for Pelosi. Targeting the NSW Breeders Challenge for three-year-old fillies, Pelosi will be aiming to go back-to-back following her victory in the Group 1 two-year-old edition back in 2019. Elsewhere, track resurfacing has been completed at Marburg and Redcliffe that will see racing return to those venues. After forgoing racing at ‘The Triangle’ last week owing to the works, normal transmission will resume with Redcliffe hosting their regular Wednesday night timeslot. Consequently, this week’s schedule will see racing at Albion Park on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, with Redcliffe hosting meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. Saturday night at Albion Park will see the second of the Ultimate Tools sponsored age events. After the initial race was held for the two-year-olds, the three-year-olds will be catered for on this occasion. With no performance restrictions, the race carries stakes of $12,880, along with a rug and trophy to the winning connections and $250 to the winning trainer and driver thanks to Ultimate Tools. The winning trainer will also receive a $500 voucher.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Shockwave simply sensational Outstanding four-year-old Shockwave ran the fastest second quarter of the final mile in history at Gloucester Park when he took charge of his driver Aiden de Campo and revealed amazing ability to carry on and win the $50,000 James Brennan Memorial over 2536m on Friday night. Shockwave, having his first start for 20 weeks, got away to a flying start to burst to an early lead and began to overrace fiercely with about one and three-quarters of a lap to travel. With de Campo desperately attempting to settle the stallion, his eight rivals dropped behind as Shockwave sped over the second 400m section of the final mile in a sizzling 26.6sec. and opened up a lead of 12 lengths over polemarker As Happy As Larry, with champion pacer and $1.85 favourite Chicago Bull in the breeze.    Shockwave ($3.10) was still ten lengths ahead of his nearest rivals half-way down the back straight in the final circuit and had an advantage of four lengths over the hard-chasing Chicago Bull on the home turn. Chicago Bull finished powerfully to lose a highly dramatic event by a half-head, with the winner rating 1.55.7. The fastest 400m section recorded at Gloucester Park remains the 26.2sec. run in the fourth quarter by Soho Tribeca in a 2100m heat of the Interdominion championship on November 28, 2017. Hectorjayjay dashed over the final 400m of a 2100m Inters heat in 26.6sec. on November 29, 2016. Shockwave’s trainer Ryan Bell said that he knew that his horse was capable of such speed, having clocked him to run his final 400m in 24.9sec. when fifth behind Wildwest in the Four-Year-Old Classic at Pinjarra last November. Shockwave also ran his final section in 26.8sec. when he won a 2130m event at Gloucester Park in March this year. Shockwave started from barrier seven and Chicago Bull from barrier eight in Friday night’s feature event --- and both pacers began brilliantly. “I saw Junior (Gary Hall jnr) turn the stick like he was going to run the gate real hard with Chicago Bull,” explained de Campo. “So, I knew I had to run hard with Shockwave and I gave him a decent flick (with a rein) --- and we flew the gate and got to the top. “And at the first corner I grabbed him up, and he gave me both barrels (and raced roughly for a couple of strides) before I managed to get him back down. He was keen and I was a bit wary of him. With about 1400m to go he started to really get pulling and wanted to charge. I was doing my best to stop him (from pulling), but at the same time I didn’t want to choke him. “At the 600m Shockwave dropped the bit, and it was either keep holding him or letting him go. So, I went for him down the back, and he kept going. On the home turn I was worried because Chicago Bull was eating into our lead. Shockwave was getting tired on the line and he was good enough to win. “We went inside two marker pegs with about 1000m to go. He was pulling so hard that I didn’t have all that much control over him. I was more worried about slowing down, rather than where we were going.” The stewards delayed sounding the all-clear before ruling that the result should stand. They considered that Shockwave had not gained any significant advantage by going inside the pegs. Watch the race replay click here. Bell said that he and de Campo had planned to take full advantage of Shockwave drawing inside of Chicago Bull by beating him out at the start. “We knew that we had Shockwave so well that it would take Bully at his best to get over him,” he said. “But it wasn’t the way we wanted to do it. However, the good part is that he’s quite bright eyed and is still very thick around the ribs. His heart rate was suggesting that the hard race affected him, but his recovery was perfect. “Obviously, in a couple of days we will see whether he has taken an affect from the run. He’ll go home and have a nice walk and we’ll give him a bit of pampering. I don’t think that he will be affected because he just thrives on hard work. Champion trainer Gary Hall snr praised Chicago Bull’s gallant effort, saying: “His run was tremendous, but the winner was equally tremendous. Both horses put up huge performances.” Hall jnr predicted some epic contests between Chicago Bull and Shockwave, saying: “Both horses put in super runs, and I’m looking forward to the next few months.”   Eloquent Mach overcomes problems Talented pacer Eloquent Mach resumed after a four-month absence in fine style with a smart victory in the 2130m RWWA’S Racing Assist Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His performance showed that he had overcome problems which saw him have seven unplaced starts as a four-year-old early this season. “He had feet problems --- and we’ve fixed them and he’s back on track,” said trainer Gary Hall snr after Gary Hall jnr had driven the New Zealand-bred gelding to victory over the fast-finishing Bracken Sky and the pacemaker and $2.45 favourite Jack William. Eloquent Mach, second fancy at $3.30 from barrier No. 2 on the back line, was given a perfect trip in the one-out and one-back position by Hall, who eased the gelding three wide 250m from home. Eloquent Mach took the lead 40m from home and won with something in hand. The final 800m was covered in 56.3sec. Eloquent Mach, who won at ten of his 16 starts as a three-year-old, has now earned $181,750 from 12 wins and six placings from 28 starts. “After his unplaced runs early this season I drove him on the track and realised something was wrong,” said Hall snr. “I got the farrier to check his feet and he found a deep-seated bruising in his off-side front hoof. We grew it out, spelled him and brought him back. We’ve had pads on him, and he’s gone well. “He will be a WA Pacing Cup horse; I believe he’s good enough.”   Braeview Bondi is too speedy Braeview Bondi bounced back to his best form at his third appearance after a spell when he surged forward in a fast-run lead time of 36.5sec. to burst to the front after 500m before setting a brisk pace and proving far too speedy for his rivals in the 2130m You Can Talk Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven confidently by Michael Grantham for trainer Michael Brennan, Braeview Bondi, the $1.65 favourite, was untroubled to win by five lengths at a 1.56.5 rate from Euphoric Moment, who sustained a spirited burst from eighth at the bell. The Victorian-bred Braeview Bondi is the first foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Braeview Creation and he has earned $163,177 from 15 wins and 22 placings from 67 starts. He has raced 20 times for Brennan in Western Australia for six wins and seven placings.  The Matt Scott-trained mare C C Chevron, having her sixth start after a 22-month absence, caught the eye when she was seventh at the bell and was hampered by a punctured tyre over the final 400m before finishing solidly to be third.   Intheskyrocket is bred to win Three-year-old American Ideal filly Intheskyrocket is bred to be a good winner. She is closely related to former star mare Innocent Eyes, who amassed $421,875 in prizemoney from 18 wins and 17 placings from 62 starts. Intheskyrocket, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and driven by star reinsman Ryan Warwick, was an effortless all-the-way winner in the 2130m Break Down The Stigma Of Mental Health Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at $1.10, Intheskyrocket was able to dawdle through the lead time in 39.8sec. and the opening quarters of the final mile in 32.2sec. and 30.8sec. before sprinting over the final 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. She scored by 5m from $41 outsider Shes All Star, who enjoyed a perfect run behind the pacemaker throughout. Intheskyrocket’s maternal granddam Cerebrano produced 11 winners, including the brilliant Innocent Eyes, whose victories included four at group 1 level --- the Victoria and Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley in July 2005, the Chariots of Fire at Harold Park in January 2006 and the Vicbred Super series for four-year-old mares at Moonee Valley in April 2006. Intheskyrocket, purchased for $25,000 at the 2018 Perth APG yearling sale, has had 25 starts for nine wins, five placings and stakes of $70,603. Her win on Friday night completed a double for the Bonds and Warwick, who were successful earlier in the program with The Buckeye Bullet in the Vale Spiro Mallis Pace over 2130m. The New Zealand-bred The Buckeye Bullet, favourite at $2.90, finished powerfully from sixth at the bell to hit the front at the 300m mark on his way to winning by three and a half lengths from Captain Mannering. The Buckeye Bullet is sure to improve on his impressive record of 21 starts for 12 wins, six placings and $81,060 in prizemoney.   Rakasinc in top form Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey has the New Zealand-bred Rakasinc racing in top form and the five-year-old notched his fifth win from his past six starts when Emily Suvaljko drove him to a convincing all-the-way victory in the 2130m R U OK Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Rakasinc, raced by his Invercargill breeder Brendan Fahy, prominent WA owner Kevin Jeavons and Narelle McCarthy, wife of veteran Sydney trainer-reinsman John McCarthy, raced below expectations in New South Wales where he had 27 starts for three wins and eight placings. He now has had 20 starts in Western Australia for eight wins and four placings to improve his overall record to 47 starts for 11 wins, 12 placings and $67,000. Rakasinc has had the habit of pulling hard and overracing but was on his best behaviour on Friday night. “He relaxed, which was really good,” said Suvaljko. The disappointment of the race was the failure of the promising four-year-old Undercover Mac, the $2.35 favourite who raced without cover before fading to finish last in the field of ten after choking down.   Sir Galahad’s successful return New Zealand-bred six-year-old Sir Galahad, who has been plagued by leg problems, made a successful return to racing after an absence of just over four months when he relished his pacemaking role and won the 2130m Mental Health Awareness Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven by Maddison Brown, Sir Galahad, the $2 favourite, rated a slick 1.55.3 and defeated $4.40 chance Sergeant Oats, who trailed the pacemaker and ran home solidly. Sir Galahad, who remains a day-by-day proposition, has raced only 16 times (all in WA) for nine wins, four placings and $74,775 in stakes. His win was the second leg of a training treble for Gary Hall snr, who was also successful with Eloquent Mach and My Carbon Copy. Four-year-old My Carbon Copy gave Gary Hall jnr an armchair drive as he set the pace and strolled to a two-length victory over Patrickthepiranha. The winner rated 1.58.6 after dashing over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.6sec.  He now has raced 27 times for ten wins, nine placings and stakes of $102,001. Hall jnr, who drove two winners (Eloquent Mach and My Carbon Copy) on Friday night, landed another double at Bunbury on Saturday night when he scored with Broadbeach and Chief Joseph.    Delightfulreaction’s first stand success Hardy mare Delightfulreaction maintained her splendid form for Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo when she started at $16.40 and finished powerfully from eighth at the bell to easily beat the pacemaker and $2.90 second fancy Kiwi Bloke in the Check On Your Mates Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave the Auckland Reactor four-year-old her first victory at her fourth appearance in a standing-start event. She began off the 10m mark and raced four back on the pegs before gaining an inside run 550m from home and then was eased off the pegs 150m later. De Campo switched Delightfulreaction four wide at the 250m mark and the mare sprinted strongly to get to the front 75m from the post.  Wildwest, the sole backmarker off 30m and the $1.80 favourite, galloped badly at the start and settled down a distant last, about 80m from the leader Kiwi Bloke. Wildwest surged forward, three wide, to be third at the bell. But he faded quickly and finished last. Delightfulreaction, who notched her twelfth win from 66 starts, completed a double for de Campo, who had won earlier in the night with Shockwave. De Campo kept up the good work with a treble at Bunbury on Saturday night, scoring with Major Corrido, Iswhat It is and Wattabout Rioli.    Typhoon Tiff passes the $200,000 mark Speedy four-year-old Typhoon Tiff emphasised her prospects in the coming rich feature events for mares with another stylish performance to win the 2130m Reach Out And Speak Out Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven aggressively and with great confidence by Banjup trainer Colin Brown, Typhoon Tiff ($4.20) caused a minor upset in setting the pace and beating the $1.32 favourite Our Alfie Romeo by a length. Brown stole a march on Our Alfie Romeo when he got the mare away brilliantly and then was able to amble through the lead time in a dawdling 39.1sec. and the opening quarters of the final mile in a slow 32.8sec. and a modest 29.9sec. before sprinting over the final 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 27sec. This improved Typhoon Tiff’s record to 20 starts for 11 wins, four placings and stakes of $201,466.   Ken Casellas

The Whole Package is the only horse currently racing out of Peter Robertson’s Plumpton stables and he returned from a nasty virus in grand style first-up at Tabcorp Park on Friday. The five-year-old hadn’t been seen at the races since a third placing at Melton in mid-July, but was back to his best after recovering from the illness. Given a patient drive by Luke Tabone from barrier one, The Whole Package had a look for the lead early, but took cover after Son Of Major speared across from gate four. Tabone awaited the sprint lane run in the home straight and finished best to take out the Prydes Easifeed Pace (1720m). The success was the son of Sealed N Delivered’s fourth in a 25-run career, three of which have come since late last year. “He’s always had ability, but he’s one of those horses that if you can find trouble anywhere around the stable he’ll find it,” Robertson told SEN Track. “When he won (on July 1 at Melton), I didn’t think he got to the line as good as he should have and his next run after that he ran third. The next day he just coughed and coughed and coughed for about three or four days. “He had a real bad virus and that’s the reason he hasn’t been racing.” Among his other issues, The Whole Package chipped a sesamoid bone as a three-year-old and recently took plenty of skin off his body when getting his head stuck in a fence. Robertson said he felt good about the horse’s chances on Friday despite being the second outsider in the field of seven at $16. “I was fairly confident. He’d been treated and got through that good and been working probably better than what he had been,” Robertson said. “I said to Luke he could probably lead but if something is going to attack, let it go because he is first-up and just see what happens from there.” Tabone said he had planned to hold the front, but decided to take a sit when Ken Tippet shot for the front on Son Of Major. “It was really good to hop back on this bloke. He got pretty crook on the guys and they’ve done a good job to get him back and to win first-up was great,” he said. Success was shared around between trainers and drivers on Friday, but it was reinsman John Caldow that claimed the only winning double. Caldow partnered short-priced favourite Andover Sun - who is trained by wife Maree - to win the Niota Bloodstock 3YO Trot (2240m) and then Freddy Taiba-trained Kasbah Kid to take out the fast class event, the Hygain Pace (1720m).   HRV - Tim O'Connor

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