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A contingent of 17 horses was flown out from Auckland to America late last month.   It included the dual Inter Dominion Final placegetter and Grand Circuit winner Flaming Flutter 1:52.2 ($814,235), a 10 year-old Bettor’s Delight entire out of the In The Pocket mare Twice As Hot; the mile specialist Majordan 1:48.9 ($506,568), a seven-year-old Art Major gelding from the multiple Group 1 producer Benelise; and the WA Golden Nugget winner Ana Malak (1:54.9), a five-year-old entire son of Bettor’s Delight and Anna Livia.   The Hondo Grattan Sprint winner Salty Robyn (1:49.2), a seven-year-old gelding by Art Official from Holly Robyn; the prolific cups winner Yaya’s Hot Spot (1:50.9), a nine-year-old gelding by Jereme’s Jet from Star Of Heaven; the NSW Golden Mile winner Letspendanitetogetha (1:51.4), a seven-year-old gelding by Washington VC out of The Moth were also part of the IRT payload.   Others on the flight were: Afterdinnerspeaker (1:49.9), a six-year-old Well Said gelding from Luckisaladytonight; God’s Spirit (1:50.9), a five-year-old Tintin In America gelding out of Cathar; Im The Director (1:51), a six-year-old Courage Under Fire-The Actress gelding; Thatswhatisaid (1:51.4), a five-year-old Well Said gelding from Shakeilah; and My Ruebe Star (1:52.6), a five-year-old mare by Falcon Seelster from Zenola Star; Ohoka Johnny (1:52.7), a six-year-old gelding by Ohoka Arizona from Glentara; Foo Fighter (1:50.6), a six-year-old gelding by American Ideal from Lucy’s Way; and Dontstopbelievin (1:56.3), a five-year-old mare by Somebeachsomewhere from Bedtime.   The Melton winning trotter Montpellier(Orlando Vici-The Kahmotion); Majorly Sexy, an unraced Art Major-Sexy Lexy Whitby colt; and the maiden mare Shezlimitless (Sportswriter- Speedy Falcon) completed the charter.   Peter Wharton

The Bendigo Harness Racing Club is delighted to announce that Aldebaran Park, Australia’s home of the straightout trotter, will be the new sponsor of the Bendigo Trotters Cup.   The announcement further strengthens Aldebaran Park’s commitment to promoting square-gaiters races in Victoria, particularly at Bendigo where it has sponsored the Club’s signature race for trotting mares, the Group 1 $50,000 Aldebaran Park Maori Mile, since its inception in 2010.   The Group 3 Aldebaran Park Bendigo Trotters Cup will be held on Friday, June 26 over 2650 metres from a standing start with discretionary handicapping.   The race carries basic prizemoney of $25,000 with Aldebaran Park providing a service voucher of $2,000 to the winning owner to be used for a service to one of the Aldebaran Park stallion roster in the 2020/21 season.   The Aldebaran Park stud lineup is spearheaded by former champion Skyvalley NZ, the current leading Australian-bred trotting stallion and sire of the mighty Tornado Valley, and the royally-bred, well-performed Muscle Hill horse Aldebaran Eagle, whose first crop are yearlings.   The Bendigo Trotters Cup was inaugurated in 1972 and has been won by many of the greats of the Australian trotting turf including Scotch Notch, True Roman, Knight Pistol, Lenin, Stormy Morn and Just Money.   Aldebaran Park principal Duncan McPherson OAM said: “Aldebaran Park is delighted to extend its relationship with Bendigo HRC and coupled with our existing sponsorship of the Maori Mile it again strengthens our resolve to ensure that we promote trotting in Australia.   “There is little doubt that as an Industry we are internationalising and globalising the trotting gait in the Southern Hemisphere thus ensuring that we are a significant market of interest for Northern Hemisphere investors.”   Eric Hendrix, the general manager of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club, said:   “Already being involved at Bendigo with our Group 1 Aldebaran Park Maori Mile, I felt this was a great opportunity to once again help grow the exposure and compliment the hard work Duncan McPherson has already done for trotting.   “The BHRC has a fantastic relationship with Aldebaran Park and we look forward to growing both the Trotters Cup and Maori Mile in the years to come.”     Peter Wharton

New Zealand Bloodstock’s largest standardbred breeding stock sale is now set be conducted on the digital platform gavehouse.com this May, with an early release of the full catalogue available to view on the NZB Standardbred website.  Initially cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the support and resilience shown by consignors alongside the partnership between NZB Standardbred and gavelhouse.com has seen the transfer of the 2020 All Age Sale catalogue to NZB’s subsidiary online auction platform. The revised format will see only those initially entered in the physical sale offered on gavelhouse.com from Friday 1 May, with bidding open from Wednesday 20 May and the first Lot closing on Wednesday 27 May at 5pm (NZT). In light of recent and unprecedented circumstances, the pre-launched catalogue on NZB Standardbred’s website will give buyers a timely opportunity to conduct appropriate research for the online sale, which would have been initially accessible if the physical sale had taken place. “When we announced the cancellation of the physical auction we said it was important for the vendors to offer their weanlings within the usual trading period, in order to maintain their on-farm operations,” commented NZB Director and Operations Manager James Jennings. “Having the 2020 All Age Sale as an online sale on gavelhouse.com Standardbred enables that to be achieved. “We are grateful for the commitment by the consignors to support the sale with 148 lots including 125 weanlings entered.  “Our two largest consignors, Woodlands Stud and Alabar’s continued support using this online format presents a wonderful opportunity, which we feel people will embrace to secure quality stock. “Our intention is to give prospective buyers the best resources we can to assess the offerings and we will be releasing further information shortly with buyer how-to guides as well as announcements on COVID-19 restrictions as we progress through to the Sale,” said Jennings. Taking into account government restrictions where in-person inspections of All Age Sale stock are currently not viable, there will be enhanced features with additional photos and videos able to be uploaded by vendors to showcase their entries.  Alabar Farm’s Graeme Henley is encouraged by the new Sale format. “With the cancellation of the physical Sale, we’re grateful that NZB Standardbred are continuing to back the selling of these weanlings by providing us with an online alternative. “The catalogue being put on gavelhouse.com means that everyone will be able to be involved – which is obviously essential until there is some certainty around travel. “To be fair and transparent, none of our weanling sale entries are available for prior sale, and most importantly the weanlings offered will still be Harness Million Series eligible.  “There’s some really top horses sold at the weanling sale every year. The format may be different this year, but the quality is still there,” said Henley. Buyers will need to register on gavelhouse.com prior to the Sale in order to invest in a wide range of quality stock, featuring proven, emerging and first season sires, plus siblings to Group winners and progeny from Group One-winning dams. Adding further appeal to the bloodstock that will be on offer, all weanlings offered at the All Age Sale on gavelhouse.com, which had previously been entered in the 2020 All Aged Sale are eligible to be nominated for the NZB Standardbred Harness Million Sales Race Series. Take an early look at the 2020 All Age Sale catalogue to go live on gavelhouse.com on 1 May online here. Create a gavelhouse.com account to ensure you are registered for bidding here. For more information, contact Cam Bray (Cam.Bray@nzb.co.nz or call +64 21 737 199) or Haylie Martin (Haylie@gavelhouse.com or call +64 22 637 8127).  

Patronus Star formerly trained by Gavin Smith in Canterbury but now trained by Greg and Skye Bond upset the harness racing favourites to win the Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A winner last week at Bunbury at his first start in Australia in 1:53.2 for the mile, Patronus Star put in a paralyzing burst late in the piece last night to claim victory in the $200,000 3YO feature. Driver Dylan Egerton-Green managed to extract the son of American Ideal at the right time after a handy run on the fence and he powered home to beat second favourite Major Martini by a narrow margin. View the race replay here. The Greg and Skye Bond trained favourite for the race Howard Hughes did a fair amount of work for most of the race but found nothing in the straight and he faded away to finish eighth.   Harnesslink Media

Energetic Mildura equine dentist and harness racing trainer Kate Attard is facing months of rehabilitation after a seemingly-innocuous post-race scramble at her home track at Thursday night’s meeting. The skilled horsewoman trains a team of around 10 horses with her father Pat and her teenage daughter Charli at Cardross, near Mildura, and jumps in the race-sulky only rarely these days. But under the COVID-19 regional racing protocols, which prevents drivers from elsewhere in the State travelling to Mildura meetings, Kate elected to get back in the spider. Her horse in the second race, Heza Western, went across the line sixth, but a number of runners spread across the track tightened after the line, and Kate tumbled from the cart. “I was excited to be back driving last night and was just getting back in the swing of it in race two!” Kate laughed. “All I remember is going across the line, then another horse coming at me sideways – I pulled back and across to avoid it and thought I did. But its legs hit my cart and just flipped it fast,” she said. “I hit the ground so hard and then log rolled over and over again. I was awake the whole time. It was hurting, but I didn’t think it was that bad.” Kate suffered three fractures and multiple hairline fractures to her pelvis and injuries to her spine in the incident, which happened in front of the float parking area, and help was on the scene immediately. “(Trainer) Luke Watson was right where I fell – he was the first one there telling me to stay still and that I would be OK, then Charli and Dad and all the track guys and another trainer Andrew Stenhouse were all there,” Kate said. “I thought I was OK, and tried to get up – I even took a few steps!  I really didn’t want to go to the hospital! When they did take me in the ambulance, I really thought it would just be bruising and I didn’t even take my phone with me!” Kate was flown to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne later in the night, where the surgeons from the trauma team are still deciding on her treatment plan, including surgery probably later today. “It’s probably going to be five months before I will be back on my feet again, and it’s hard to think that my hospital stay will be mostly without too many visitors, because of the COVID-19 restrictions,” Kate said. “I’m lucky to have an amazing family and my partner Matt to support me and help me, because I’ll be needing it for a while!” she said. “I also have some lovely owners and they are letting us keep the horses going, which hopefully Dad and Charli will be able to do.” Kate Attard and her daughter Charli Heza Western suffered only a minor cut to the leg in the scrimmage. Kate is known across a wide area of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria for her passionate practice in equine bodywork and dentistry, as well as through her training.  “I’ve had so many messages of support and care – everyone has been amazing, including the HRV Stewards Wayne Smith and Nick Murray, HRV and Michelle McGinty from Mildura Harness Racing Club,” she said. “I’ll be OK, I always pull through and will be back doing the horses and the work I love as soon as I can,” she said. Which, knowing Kate, will be sooner, rather than later! Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness racing and greyhound participants are also coming to terms with the four-week minimum hiatus that has suddenly hit their respective sports. Stowport's Craig Hayes is many of many North-West hobby trainers who only have a handful of horses in work at the one time and combine their passion in and around work commitments. Speaking on Friday, Hayes, who also drives at meetings as well, said he was surprised at the call to suspend racing after Tasracing received an exemption to continue on only a day before. "I thought we would be right here in Tasmania if everyone done the right thing," Hayes said. "Everything seemed under control but obviously not and I don't know why it happened - someone may have done the wrong thing along the line. "It won't affect me like it will for a lot of others, but the Easter Cup was coming up in Launceston and I had a runner in that so that's a bit disappointing, especially for the owners. "We don't know exactly how long the break is going to be so I'll just put all my horses out in the paddock now and wait until we get some sort of direction." North West Greyhound Racing Club president Robyn Johnson has suffered a double blow to her code this week after the forced abandonment of Tuesday's regular meeting at the Devonport Showgrounds. While philosophical about the halt in proceedings, Johnson said greyhound trainers, which include her husband Gary, were set to face several challenges. "I think Tasmania is leading the charge and appears to be more shutdown than anywhere else, so to some degree the decision seems to be in line with that," Johnson said. "But it will be a challenge for everyone in the industry, to try and look after our dogs and keep them fit and healthy. "Even when we start back up it will take some time to get them back to racing fitness - they're athletes.  North West Greyhound Racing Club president Robyn Johnson. Picture: Phillip Biggs.   "Gary runs the dogs as a business and so do the likes of Anthony Bullock, Ted Medhurst and Debbie Cannon, and if you're not making any money out it you will go broke very quickly. "It costs a lot to feed a dog, we don't just thrown them the scraps off the table, and now, even though we're not racing and driving around Tasmania with them, they still need to eat." Johnson hopes that an early shutdown of the industry can result in an early reinstatement if society takes the right measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. "We shut down earlier than a lot of Australia so hopefully we can keep the numbers low and really control things." Johnson said. "To some degree we might open back up before the rest of Australia and I think that's what people are working on if we do the right thing now." The four-week halt to the racing industry will cover four NWGRC meetings, including their Good Friday event, while the Devonport Harness Racing Club have had to wipe its seven race card on Friday night and another meeting on April 24. By Brad Cole Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

Louisville, KY. April 2nd, 2020 – Sky Racing World, the Louisville, Kentucky-based distributor of international horse-racing content and subsidiary of Australian wagering operator Tabcorp, has announced the launch of a new simulcasting product that will make Japan National Association of Racing (NAR) horse racing available to North American audiences. The service will officially launch on Sunday night,  April 5th, with races from Tokyo City Keiba, Oi Racecourse. The Japan National Association of Racing is Sky Racing World’s exclusive partner in distributing the weekly simulcasts every Sunday through Thursday night. At commencement, racing will be offered from three tracks: Tokyo City Keiba, Funabashi and Kawasaki, with Sunday night’s first post at 1:30am ET (i.e. early Monday morning). All tracks and races will be conducted on a dirt surface. Audiences will now be afforded access to an additional range of quality Japanese racing events, including the Tokyo Sprint (Listed) on opening night and the Gr1 Japan Dirt Derby (1m 1/8) from Tokyo City Keiba on July 7th. A familiar range of betting types will be available, including: Win, Place, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Pick 3, and Pick 4. The Japanese offering is the latest addition to Sky Racing World’s extensive catalogue of thoroughbred simulcasting, which includes racing from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Korea and Singapore. By expanding their product and further complementing US-based offerings, the distributor continues to cement its status as a leading provider of world-class horse racing. Races are available to live-stream and wager at all ADW platforms and skyracingworld.com. Fans can also get free access to past performances at skyracingworld.com. About David Haslett A former Managing Director of Sportech Racing, David was appointed President and CEO of Sky Racing World in April 2014. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company, a subsidiary of Australian wagering firm Tabcorp, provides Australian, New Zealand, South African and South Korean thoroughbred racing and Australian Harness racing content for simulcast horse-race wagering to multiple North America-facing ADW brands and race-tracks. Reprinted with permission of Calvin Ayre

While the trots landscape has changed dramatically in that time, only 12 days have passed since Shannon O’Sullivan’s nasty race fall and yet the daughter-of-a-gun will be back in the sulky as region-based racing moves to Bendigo tonight. O’Sullivan will have four drives, including highly rated Cee Cee In America, and told today’s Talking Trots On Track the Ouyen fall still lingered. “I was very lucky to walk away the way I did and only have a laceration on my chin,” she said. “Even though that was quite deep, it could have ended a lot worse. “I didn’t think I’d be nervous, but I’m a bit nervous to jump back on. I think once I’m on the track I don’t think anything will really matter other than driving the horses as best as I can.” Her return begins in tonight’s second race, the TLC Carpentry 3YO Pace at 7.11pm on Trots Vision, when O’Sullivan will steer Orbie for trainer Kylie Linsell. “I think she’s a top four chance,” O’Sullivan told SENTrack. “The draw’s a touch awkward, but if you get three back the fence it’s a pretty nice position at Bendigo. It’s not the strongest field of three-year-olds.” The following race she steers first-up Clem Mcardle in The Edge Equine Pace, when she will come “with one run definitely, but I think there will be a bit of speed on early and late and I think that will suit”. And then comes Cee Cee In America in the Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers Pace for trainer Greg Norman, which O’Sullivan said was “probably the trickiest race, but probably the horse I have most winning chance on”. While she said Belittled, drawn inside her, “would be one to watch”, she’ll hope to advance off the gate “and maybe follow it across”. “I will see if I can get a position up front, that would probably suit best,” she said. “Cee Cee is doing really really well. I drove her in the cup at Charlton, she went really well and was travelling good. She is definitely in form at the moment and this is a winnable race for her if she gets a good run.” She then completes her night in the last with another Norman runner in Edwin Bromac, who’ll start outside the back row and “either get in the running line or follow the four through and see what happens”. “It has been in form before (its last start). Hopefully everything goes its way and it gets a good run through the race.” CLICK BELOW FOR MORE TALKING TROTS ON TRACK   HRV Trots Media

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound.     Tasty Delight is some youngster   Tasty Delight, a good looking Bettor’s Delight gelding, is rated New South Wales’ top youngster to date this season, particularly after his success in the $100,000 Bathurst Gold Crown, one of the season’s major two-year-old classics.   Earlier in the season Tasty Delight won the NSW Sapling Stakes at Menangle. From five starts he has won four times and been once placed for $85,450 in stakes.   Bred by Croon Bloodstock, Tasty Delight is a gelding with an all-American family background. Apart from being by Bettor’s Delight, and the third of his progeny to win the Gold Crown, Tasty Delight is out of the Artsplace mare Gentle Audrey, a daughter of the top flight US mare and millionairess Caressable (1:55.8) and a member of the powerful Shy Ann tribe.   In America Gentle Audrey left a top pacer in Jeremy’s Successor 1:48.6 ($889,435) and in New Zealand, the Queensland Premier’s Cup winner Gentle Western (1:55), Feel The Money (1:57.3) and the Albion Park winners Junior Johnson (1:55.6) and Allaboutdreams (1:56.4).   Tasty Delight is the fifteenth foal of his dam.     Top two-year-old filly   The Gold Tiara, one of the major two-year-old classics of the season, was won by Joanna, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere from the crack racemare Repelem. Joanna belongs to one of Australia’s top families, being by Somebeachsomewhere from Repelem, by Dream Away from the Classic Garry mare Lombo Limelight, a granddaughter of the good Harold Park winner Trunkey Gold, who established a great winning line for prominent WA breeder Mick Lombardo.     She left two high class juveniles in Mazzini Magic 1:56 ($367,140), Smooth Sensation 2:00.9 ($249,419) and the WA Triple Crown winner Linda’s Gold, all to whom bred on to some purpose. Mazzini Magic produced the Australian Pacing Gold winner Lethal Lombo 2:00.5 ($169,326), Mary Mazzini (1:57.7) and Lombo Missile (1:59.1); Smooth Sensation left capable pacers in Lombo Serene (Western Crown) and Maka Million Lombo (1:57.9), while Linda’s Gold was the dam of the WA Country Derby winner Megagold Lombo (1:55.6).   Another daughter of Trunkey Gold was Lombo Boucheron, an unraced Windshield Wiper mare who founded the branch to which the Bathurst Gold Tiara winner belongs. She left a smart Tasmanian pacer in Northern Ruler, the dam of the Tasmanian Oaks winner High Flying Ruler; the Gloucester Park winner Lombo Zeppelin and the lightly raced Lombo Limelight, who became the dam of three winners including Repelem 1:52.9 ($266,346), whose 41 successes included the Southern Cross 2YO and 3YO Finals, Jodie’s Babe and Ian Daff Memorial.   Repelem, who is being bred from by SA breeder Mark Carey, has produced two foals of racing age in the brilliant but ill-fated Revolt (1:55.6), a winner of eight races and $51,570, and now Joanna.     Won Shakamaker Classic   Bar Room Banta, the brilliant winner of the Shakamaker Classic at Melton in 1:53.8 – one of the fastest times ever put up by a juvenile at the track – gives the impression that he could develop into one of next season’s top three-year-olds.   Bar Room Banta                                        --Stuart McCormick photo   A colt by A Rocknroll Dance (son of Rocknroll Hanover) he is out of the handy racemare Jerada Ace (1:56.4), who ranked as a half-sister to the Kilmore Cup winner and dual Inter Dominion finalist San Carlo.   Jerada Ace, who won twice at Menangle, has left five winners from six foals old enough to race including the Breeders Crown and NSW Breeders Challenge heat winner Jeradas Delight (1:56.7).   Jerada Ace was from Bridge Player (2:01.9), a Moonee Valley winner by Classic Garry from Ailsa, by Muckalee Strike from Nicamond (14 wins), the dam of a top pacer in Blueberry Prince.   It is an interesting fact that the first five dams of Bar Room Banta are race winners. He carries the blood of Christian Cullen, Classic Garry, Muckalee Strike, Light Brigade, Radiant Robert and U Scott, all leading sires and broodmare sires.     Focus Stride is well bred   Focus Stride, who won the $100,000 Gold Chalice Final, one of the features of the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival, is a three-year-old Art Major colt from the same family as that which produced the NZ Cup winners Chokin and Changeover.   Focus Stride has not raced a great deal. He was winless in 11 starts as a two-year-old but has really come into his own at three, winning six of his seven starts. By Art Major, Focus Stride is out of Sparkling Stride NZ, a Christian Cullen mare who left an earlier winner in Magical Times (1:58.4), who has won three races to date.     The next dam, the Falcon Seelster mare Bhutan (2:00.2), won eight races and $38,372 in stakes and at the stud left five winners including the Marlborough Cup winner Joey Maguire (1:59.2) and Kim Maguire (2:04.4), the dam of the NZ Messenger and Harness Jewels winner Eamon Maguire 1:51.9 ($312,203).   Bhutan was a half-sister to a grand pacer in Changeover 1:53.4 ($2.3 million), now a successful sire in Queensland, Change Stride 1:50 ($362,803) and Change Gear 1:52.8 ($190,884), being out of the capable racemare Chaangerr (1:58.7), by Vance Hanover from the Tufty mare Nell’s Pride, the dam of the mighty Chokin. This is the family which also produced Three Eagles, the dam of the NZ Derby winner Fly Like An Eagle and Mach Doro 1:50.2 ($434,740), last year’s NZ 2YO of the Year One Change and the NZ Easter Cup victor Anvil Vance.   Focus Stride was bred and is raced by Emilio and Mary Rosati.     Ninth on end   The four-year-old Cool Water Paddy won his ninth race on end in the Launceston Mile, for free-for all pacers, at the club’s twilight meeting. He is by the Christian Cullen horse, Ohoka Arizona, sire of a top racemare in Millwood Faith.   Cool Water Paddy is out of the Village Jasper mare Glentara (2:08.3), who left the NSW Carousel and Cordina Sprint winner Monifieth 1:50.5 ($622,283), the Menangle winners Ohoka Johnny (1:52.7) and Something Eyre (1:58.1) and the Tasmanian winner Glen Eyre (1:56.3).   The grand-dam Rose Ayr (2:05.3), a Marlborough Cup winner, was by Noodlum from the Smooth Fella mare Montrose (2:02.2), a daughter of Heathmount, the dam of Classiebawn (NZ Breeders Stakes), a cup class pacer in Blair Logie and others.   Stroma, one of the most outstanding juveniles raced in this country, the derby winners Lanercost and Glengowan, My Glengower, Tintinara and Charlotte Brew (Vic. Oaks), all belong to the family which produced Cool Water Paddy.   Cool Water Paddy is a member of Juanita McKenzie’s team.     Well related three-year-old   Keayang Jackie, who produced a barnstorming finish to win the 3YO Classic at Melton, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she was placed in heats of the NSW Breeders Challenge and Australian Pacing Gold.   She has opened her three-year-old season on a winning note and will be well in line for the major juvenile classics.   Keayang Jackie                                            --Stuart McCormick photo   She was sired by the Rocknroll Hanover horse A Rocknroll Dance from Christian Party, the dam of an earlier winner in Having The Faith, who won in 1:56 as a two-year-old at Addington.   Christian Party ranks as a half-sister to a grand pacer and NZ 2YO Championship winner Hoss Cartwright 1:51.8 ($352,878) and the Menangle and Auckland winner Strike Up The Band 1:52 ($206,548) and to the In The Pocket mare Barn Dance Betty, the dam of the Harness Jewels and Breeders Crown 2YO champion Cowgirls N Indians 1:56 ($323,735).   Their dam, Party Party 1:53.2 ($251,236), a dual Group 1 winner, was a half-sister to the A.   G. Hunter Cup and Fremantle Cup victor Another Party 1:56.3 ($888,678) and the Queen of the Pacific winner Champagne Party 1:56.3 ($152,445).   Others from this fine family have been a top Western Australian pacer in Waylade, Democracy (1:50), the NZ Sires Stakes 3YO champion Democrat Party, American Boy (1:50.2) and Livingontheinterest (WA Christmas Gift).       Demon Delight on top   Demon Delight, a Derby heat winner and recently winner of the $50,000 City Of Melton Plate, is one of the best four-year-olds in Victoria at present. He has won $188,090 in stakes, a worthwhile return for the $30,000 paid for him as a yearling. By the Cam’s Card Shark horse Bettor’s Delight, he is out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Ghadas Koala (2:01.1) and the first of her produce to race.   Demon Delight                                                 --Stuart McCormick photo        Ghadas Koala was a half-sister to the smart performers Machin Out 1:52.1 ($261,996) and All I Can Be 1:53.7 ($143,949), being from Out Swing N (1:57.9), a cup class mare by Holmes Hanover from the NSW and Queensland Oaks winner Swing Out Sister, by Big Band Sound.   This family has produced some useful pacers over the years. Swing Out Sister left earlier winners in Swing Blade ($156,491), winner of the NSW Tatlow, and Seven Wishes (1:55.3), but Demon Delight is the best winner from this family in recent years.     Pick My Pocket is well bred   Pick My Pocket, who won the Group 2 $50,000 WA Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park, is a New Zealand bred mare with an interesting and successful family background.   Bred by Charles Roberts, of Auckland, she was got by Bettor’s Delight from La Filou (1:59), a northern bred mare by the Direct Scooter horse In The Pocket. Pick My Pocket, who took a record of 1:55.3 as a four-year-old, has run up a tidy score of 10 wins and 14 placings from 40 starts for $150,284 in stakes.   Pick My Pocket’s dam, La Filou, who was only lightly raced, left earlier winners in the VHRC 3YO Cup, Tasmanian Guineas and prolific Menangle winner The Dip 1:52.2 ($191,503) and He’s Lightfingered, a winner at Menangle in 1:54.8.   La Filou ranked as a half-sister to two outstanding pacers in Adore Me 1:47.7 and Have Faith In Me 1:47.5, both Australasian mile record holders and million dollar earners, Imagine Me 1:56.9 ($247,175), the exported Megabucks (1:49.6) and Stand By Me (1:51) and the Hondo Grattan Sprint winner Toledo (1:59.9).   Their dam, Scuse Me, won eight races including the Great Northern Oaks and the Taylor Memorial Mile in a record 1:53.5 and $126,841 and the stud became the dam of 13 individual winners.   Scuse Me was a B G’s Bunny mare from the noted Smooth Fella producer Super Smooth, the dam of the metropolitan winners Supabet 1:53.8 ($103,945), Smooth Delight (1:57.3) and Il Casino (1:59.1) and to the In The Pocket mare Tricky Woman (1:56.2), the dam of the recent good Albion Park winner Bettor To Be Tricky 1:52.6 ($110,992).     Four winners by Sportswriter   Rather a notable siring feat was credited to the Artsplace horse Sportswriter at the Launceston twilight meeting when he left the first four winners on the program. They were the two-year-old filly Written In Silk, who won The Belmont, Spoilt Sport, Beam Me Up Chopper and Lip Reader.   by Peter Wharton

Tasracing will work closely with the Minister for Racing on the detail of a support package for the Tasmanian racing industry following today’s announcement that racing will cease for the next four weeks. CEO Paul Eriksson said these details would be announced as soon as they were finalised. “Many industry participants will be eligible for assistance measures already announced by the Tasmanian Government and the Commonwealth over recent weeks, both to businesses and individuals,” he said. Mr Eriksson said he noted the Premier’s comments that the public health advice about the industry continuing to operate was clear, and while disappointed, the government had little choice but to follow that advice. “Animal welfare will be a key issue for the industry to manage during this shutdown period,” he said. “These racing animals are high-performance athletes and their care, exercising and maintenance is a 24 hour, 7 day a week task. “Stopping racing does not remove this need. Reduced exercise regimes which this shut down will create will contribute to other issues upon a return to racing. “It should be remembered that the cessation of racing is not just for the currently identified four week period – it will also include an extra four to 12  weeks to get racing animals back to racing condition. “While race and trial meetings will be cancelled for at least the next four weeks, those industry participants who are essential for the welfare of racing animals will be able to continue their important work.”   tasracingcorporate.com.au

Racing to cease in Tasmania These are difficult times for all Tasmanians, and today our Government made the tough decision to cease all racing in the State from this point forward. I can assure you, this decision was not taken lightly as Tasmania’s racing industry supports thousands of jobs in rural and regional communities, injecting around $103 million a year into the State’s economy. I acknowledge this will come as a heavy blow to the 5,000 participants across the three racing codes, many of whom are reliant on the industry for their primary incomes. However, the health and safety of all Tasmanians must come first, and the public health advice I have received indicates today’s decision is a necessary one. The Premier and I have spoken with Tasracing about this decision and a support package will be announced in the coming days that will assist industry participants and maintain the welfare of our racing animals. Many industry participants will also be eligible for the assistance packages for businesses and individuals already announced by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments over recent weeks. Although race meets will be cancelled for at least the next four weeks, it is vital that the welfare of racing animals is maintained. That’s why those industry participants who are essential in ensuring that welfare will be able to continue their important work. This includes veterinarians, farriers and those who feed the racing animals and keep them fit and healthy. Details on the specific support that Tasracing will receive will be announced in the coming days.   Jane Howlett, Minister for Racing

The Redcliffe Yearling Sale, whose graduates include boom Queensland pacers Leo’s Best and Governor Jujon, will be conducted online by Darren Ebert and Co on Sunday starting at 12 noon.   The 66 lots to go under the hammer are by 26 sires such as leading lights Rock N Roll Heaven, Sportswriter, Hurrikane Kingcole, Mr Feelgood, Courage Under Fire, Well Said, Changeover, Western Terror and Cammibest.   A feature of the sale will be two colts from the last crop of the great Artsplace and youngsters from the first crop of the top American imports Always B Miki and Racing Hill and champion colonial bred pacer Guaranteed.   Graduates from the sale are eligible for the Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series with a two-year-old Sale Race Classic worth $100,000 in 2021 and a three-year-old Classic carrying a purse of $35,000 in 2022.   They are also eligible for QBred, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and Vicbred.   Bidders should register here   Photos, videos and a brief description of the yearlings are now available click here.   Prospective buyers who are unable to log on to the above websites should phone Darren Ebert on 0410 688 176 or Rebecca Ebert 0404 050 483 to either help organise it or to register for phone bidding.   The online catalogue can be viewed at www.darrenebertauctioneer.com.au   Peter Wharton

Rival harness racing horsemen had the utmost respect for runners from the central Victorian stables of Col Redwood. Mr Redwood, 83, who had a training complex at Bridgewater, near Bendigo, died on Tuesday. One of the most respected gentleman of the sport, he was well-known for his love of the square-gaiter and was associated with many classy performers, both trotters and pacers. His involvement in harness racing-as an owner, trainer and driver-goes back to the early 1950s. He followed in the footsteps of his father Hughie and the Redwood name is recognized and revered with the Maryborough club's Redwood Classic Day in August each year. Mr Redwood competed at the top level, racing in Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Finals, Australasian Trotting Championship Finals and the V L Dullard Trotters Cup, with such outstanding horses of their time as Red Eclipse, Maressar, Rockin Dale, Classic Victory, Mount Alm, Kurahaupo Lord and Arrestin Tess. "I competed against him often and when he took his horses to the races, he always had them prepared so well you knew you were in for a fight," successful Bendigo trainer Gary Donaldson said. "You always had to be wary of him, because Col would turn them out trained to the minute," he said. "If you were ever lucky enough to beat him, he'd be one of the first to congratulate you-he was just a great guy." Gary Donaldson's words are just one of the many heart-warming tributes from far and wide that have been posted since Mr Redwood lost his battle to illness. Col and his wife Dorothy, who died a few years ago, had two children Darren and Janine. Darren competed as a driver for a few years, and was also a talented footballer. One of Col's greatest achievements was as a driver, donning the Australian colors at a World Amateur Drivers' Championship. He also enjoyed being a competitor in the annual veterans' race, staged at Bendigo. Col Redwood enjoyed competing in veteran driver events at Bendigo. He is pictured about to take part in the 2014 race (Bendigo HRC photo) Off the track, Mr Redwood served many years on the board of the Victorian Square Trotters Association, of which he was a foundation member. He took on the role of president, working tirelessly to promote the square gaiter. He was a worthy recipient of a Harness Racing Victoria Distinguished Services Medal. Well-known country Victorian horseman Nick Youngson was one of many who posted condolence notices this week, and summed up everyone's feelings: "An out and out trotting gentleman. If I do half as good a job in the Victorian Square Trotters Association as Col did, I'll be very happy!" Harnesslink extends its sympathy to the Redwood family.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Not for the first time in his career, harness racing trainer Ross Olivieri was pleased his Kiwi stalwart Im Full Of Excuses did not live up to his name on Saturday night at Donaldson Park. The reliable stalwart edged out compatriot Vampiro by 1.1m in the $30,000 Vandenbergh Veterinary Group Narrogin Cup (2569m), which snapped a 21/2-month winless streak. The Narrogin Cup meeting was transferred to Bunbury last week after Racing and Wagering WA announced a range of precautionary measures to consolidate all harness race meetings. To reduce the amount of travelling by industry participants, particularly in regional areas, all scheduled meetings will be transferred to Gloucester Park, Bunbury and the Pinjarra, affecting Central Wheatbelt (Kellerberrin), Narrogin, Northam and Wagin venues. From the moment the mobile was released, the pace was genuine, with a moving line of three — Vampiro, Im Full Of Excuses and Captain Proud — streaking clear early. Chris Lewis, piloting the eight-year-old, tried to bring him across to the rail, but Vampiro’s reinsman Colin Brown managed to cut back in front and maintain the ideal inside position. Given the sheer speed early, proceedings were always likely to taper and despite Im Full Of Excuses sitting on Vampiro’s back for a solid portion of the journey, the race leader did not appear fazed by the pressure around him. With 500m to travel, Rock Me Over joined the fray at the head of the field and for a while it appeared as though Matthew Scott would push the button on him. However at the home turn, the cream of the crop rose, with Lewis finding the space he needed to sprint past a fading Rock Me Over and engage a thrilling dash to the post alongside Vampiro. With a bulk of successful country cup experience at his disposal, Lewis’ masterful display in the spyder was complete in the final seconds as he passed Vampiro and delivered yet another piece of silverware for the Olivieri stable. To watch the race click here Given his ability to compete against some of the State’s finest regularly, Olivieri could earmark another summer carnival for him. Aristocratic Star ($8 chance) was successful in the $30,000 Narrogin WA Country Derby (2569m) held on the same card. The Justin Prentice-trained colt finished powerfully for driver Gary Hall Jr to get over the top of leader Bee Jays Boy while $3.80 favourite Tahi ran third. By Justin Fris Reprinted with permission of the Narrogin Observer

The old saying 'make hay while the sun shines' has never been more applicable to Bendigo region harness racing participants than it was on Wednesday. With the sport in Victoria moving to a new region-based operating model from today, yesterday provided the last opportunity for trainers and drivers to notch up wins at venues outside of their own designated area. Plenty rose to the challenge. At Stawell, young reinsman Jayden Brewin scored a driving double aboard Fowsands and Wingate Guy, while the exciting young training combination of Maddie Ray and Haydon Gray picked up their third victory this year with Rigondeaux. A prolific run continued Wednesday night at Shepparton, where Inglewood trainer Grant Innes struck with the in-form trotter Vincent Kai, and Elmore's Matthew Higgins notched up a victory with the five-year-old mare Lilnova. For the foreseeable future, trainers and drivers from the Bendigo region (encompassing the Greater Bendigo, Buloke, Central Goldfields, Loddon and Mount Alexander local government areas) will be restricted to solely competing at Lord's Raceway, starting this Friday night. In the sulky for Rigondeaux's impressive 3.3m win, co-trainer Maddie Ray said she was glad to see 'the locals' make the most of their last chance to race at tracks outside this region. Race 3 won by number 10 Rigondeaux. Driven and trained by Maddi Ray. Mile rate 2:04.9.    To watch the race click here She felt only time would tell whether it would be any harder or easier for trainers such as themselves to find a winner under the revised format. "If you look at the two trot races this Friday night (the Aldebaran Park Trot and Vale Colin Redwood Trot), there were more nominations than horses that could get a run," she said. "We'll just have to see how the racing and the programming goes. "Hopefully there are a few races where we can get another winner, we will just see what happens. "We've got five horses in work, three two-year-olds and two older trotters, which keeps us plenty busy. "We have got a few in the paddock we are trying to think what we do with, but we are happy to keep the numbers down a little bit." Ray could not hide her delight at the progress of Rigondeaux, a four-year-old, whose three wins, from 15 starts, have all been this year, starting at Kilmore on January 2 and quickly followed by another 14 days later at the same venue. The Majestic Sun/Galleons Bliss gelding had not raced for nearly six months before his breakthrough Kilmore win, but has since developed into a remarkably consistent trotter with seemingly plenty of upside. A steady and productive first three months of the year for Rigondeaux has reaped three wins and four placings from eight starts, his only real blemish a seventh at Charlton in mid-March. "Hayden and I couldn't be happier that he's so consistent, he tries his guts out every time he goes around," Ray said. "I guess the main thing is he is getting more confident with each run. "Charlton was only his bad run, but we can't really hold that against him. He galloped at the start and had a few excuses with a false start, it was just one of those days. "He's pretty sensitive if something goes wrong, but he has been unreal this time in. "Hopefully he keeps it going." By Kieran Iles  Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

There was a bittersweet irony to former Bendigo harness racing trainer-driver Chris Svanosio's wins aboard Surbiton Hartbreak and Pinevale Victoria at Lord's Raceway on Tuesday night. Svanosio, who moved his training base from Bendigo to Romsey late last year, does not know when he will next get the chance to compete at the venue he still regards as his hometrack. With Harness Racing Victoria moving to a region-based model from today (Thursday) in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Svanosio finds himself away from the Bendigo-based central region and zoned in the east, which has racing bases at Kilmore and Cranbourne. As he does with most things, Svanosio is taking the new regulations in his stride and is fully supportive of the move. "I'm just happy to be racing - none of us have anything to complain about, it could be a lot worse," he said. "We don't know what will happen the next few months, so it was good to go back home and get a couple of winners. "Any winner from here on in is a bonus, I just hope we can keep on racing as long as we can." Svanosio, who is enjoying another productive season with 31 training wins and a similar number of driving wins, said he was rapt to get a win for veteran Eddington-based trainer and long-time friend John Douglas on Surbiton Hartbreak. To watch the race click here "He was one of the first people, who ever gave me drives, when I first started years ago," he said. "I've known John now for a long time. "I don't drive much for him these days, but we have always been good mates, so it was good to get a winner for him."  Surbiton Hartbreak is pictured during an earlier win at Maryborough.   The Courage Under Fire four-year-old has now won two races in his eight career starts for Douglas, who oversees just a small team of horses. Svanosio was similarly chuffed to notch a victory with one of his own horses, the improving three-year-old Pinevale Victoria. "That's her third win for the season, she's not a champion, but she's a real honest little trotter," he said. "She ran in a Group 1 race a little while ago, it was good to get a win on the board. "She was bred by Terry Forster and Helen Lyttleton, who used to have the Sandhurst Road milk bar, and have leased her out to a group of Bendigo people, which was exciting for them." To watch this race click here Meanwhile, Svanosio said Norquay and Repeat After Me would be spelled after productive campaigns, which yielded multiple metropolitan wins. Two of his stable's stars Magicool and Anywhere Hugo will continue to race and are entered at Kilmore on Friday. "We have a lot of young ones who have just qualified the last few weeks - some there will be races for and some there won't," Svanosio said. "We'll just play it by ear. "We'll leave it up to the owners a bit, if they want to give them a spell they can, or if they're happy to have them keep trying to win a race or two, we're happy with that too." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

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