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Westbury trainer Michael Laugher has been enjoying a good run in recent weeks, and that continued in Hobart on Tuesday night where he prepared a double on the eight-race card. Six-year-old gelding Emjays Black Chip was the first of the winners for the Laugher stable when the pacer brought up his third win of the season. Drawing outside of the front-row driver Rohan Hillier worked forward over the mile journey before being able to slot into a one-out two-back position before leading up the three-wide line over the final circuit to score by two-metres over Jackson Neptune and Black Ops in 2m 0.7s. “He had been going well but hasn’t been having much luck,” said trainer Michael Laugher about the pacer. Emjays Black Chip is raced by Michael’s wife Toni along with Matailta Rawlings, daughter of the late Sharyn Slater, with the pacer recording six wins and 11 placings in a 60-start career. Laugher was also full of praise for the drive from Rohan Hillier. “He is a good form analyst and summed up both races pretty good,” he said. Hillier was also in the sulky for the last leg of Laugher’s double with Karalta Courage. The three-year-old Roll With Joe gelding was third-up from a break and recorded an easy 7.4-metre win, rating 2m 2.5s for the 2090-metre journey, coming from a one-out and two-back position. “He had been working good going into the race, he got wide in Launceston first up and it looked like he was going to run second but just died on his run. I then took him to Devonport, and he had no luck from the wide draw,” said Laugher said about the pacer who started $8 on the Tasracing Offical Price. “We will just look for a similar class of race, he will get better when he gets older, as he is still immature,” explained the trainer. Leading trainer Ben Yole was once again the standout performer with a training treble on the card winning with Hear the Call, Kiavino Stride and Gauci. Taylor Ford extended her lead in the state’s female trainer and drivers title scoring with Big Bang Raj by a narrow margin and the pacer then had to survive a protest that was subsequently dismissed. Charlie Castles was another junior driver to taste success on the card scoring aboard Resolute Ruler, Castles last year spent a number of months in New South Wales with trainer James Rattray and the driver has another trip earmarked in coming weeks. Victoria Pass was an impressive winner of a rating 46 to 55 event for trainer-driver Zeke Slater. Hobart is the venue for harness racing in Tasmania on Sunday night with the Group 2 Dandy Patch and Evicus Finals that are a part of the 10-race card.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

She was an eye-catcher at her last start when breaking her maiden status and Richie Caruana hopes to soon learn whether that sizzling finish was more than a drop in the ocean. The trainer-driver-owner’s three-year-old trotter, Excellent Drop, returns from a spell at Echuca tonight for the Jodale Cleaning Echuca Trotters Handicap, where a good performance to kick off her second campaign may prompt a crack at forthcoming age group features. “We will see how we go but there are a couple of good age group races coming up,” Caruana said. Excellent Drop’s return tonight in race four, which will stream on Trots Vision at 8.01pm, pits the lightly-raced trotter against some much more experienced rivals, including sharing the 10-metre line with 97-race veteran Valley Ess Jay. It could be a telling second campaign for the Bacardi Lindy filly, who Caruana broke in for breeder Joe Aquilina, with the latter a “pretty close” friend who “virtually gave me the horse”. “I liked her as a two-year-old, but didn’t push her,” Caruana said. “I like to see if their natural ability shines through. She’s a little-bit-better-than-average trotter. She’s always been pretty honest. I haven’t had any problems with her gait.” Excellent Drop didn’t break stride (touch wood) in any of the six races in her first campaign, which produced four placings and then in her last start at Melton a breakthrough maiden win, despite being shuffled to the back of the field. A tiring Aldebaran Leroy had seemed to put paid to Caruana’s filly's chances in the June 1 trot, but she zoomed home to pick off the tiring front runners in an eye-catching finish. “She worked good prior to that race,” Caruana said. “I was pretty confident she would run a place, but when she got shuffled back on the turn I didn’t think she had a chance. She picked them up pretty good, though they didn’t run great time.” Caruana expects a miracle late dash won’t be required tonight, with Excellent Drop drawn the outside of the three horses on the 10-metre line amid a six-horse field. “First up I don’t know what to expect really,” he said. “I reckon she’s coming up good. She might need another run to get to where she was. “I feel a little better with her behind horses, but it is a leader’s track. I don’t know exactly what will happen at the start. I will drive her safely and if she steps well she will be thereabouts. “These older horses are more experienced, but the young horse are pretty smart too these days.”   HRV - Michael Howard

BRILLIANT Aussie pacer Hectorjayjay has run his last race. Owner Matt McLellan went from excited optimism to heartbreak this week when trainer Jack Butler confirmed Hectorjayjay’s latest injury had ended his latest and last comeback bid just days out from returning at Albion Park. “There I was waiting for the Albion Park fields to come out for his return race this weekend when I got the news. It was devastating. I’m so sad for the horse and for Jack, who’s put some much time in nursing him back,” McLellan said. “We got so close. We had those three runs earlier this year and gave him a break and he was ready to go again. He looked so good winning that trial a couple of weeks ago, but it wasn’t to be.” Hectorjayjay raced 83 times for 44 wins, 22 placings and earned $1,161,610. He was cutdown in his prime after winning three Group 1 races. Kiwis probably best remember him for starting favourite and finishing a close second to Smolda in the 2016 Perth Inter Dominion final at Gloucester Park. Three of his biggest wins came at Albion Park with the 2016 Sunshine Sprint and then returning for then trainer David Aiken and driver Josh Aiken to win the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake in 2017. He went amiss after that Group 1 Blacks A Fake win on July 15, 2017 and despite stints with Aiken, Matty Craven, the late Gavin Lang and, most recently, Butler, he only raced another four times. His last run was a fifth at Albion Park on June 6. Hectorjayjay will remembered as one of the fastest pacers Australia has seen. “I have no regrets about the four years spent trying to get him back, I’d always have wondered ‘what if’ otherwise,” McLellan said. “Now it’s about finding him a good home and he’s such an active and competitive horse, something like dressage could be ideal for him. We’ll make sure he finds a great home.”   by Adam Hamilton

Two harness racing drivers are recuperating in hospital after being involved in separate race falls at Charlton on Monday afternoon. Veteran Kilmore reinsman Austin "Aussie" Mifsud was taken by ambulance to Bendigo Base Hospital, while promising teenage driver Ryan Sanderson, of Avenel, was flown by helicopter to Melbourne's Alfred Hospital. As shocking as the incidents appeared, reports yesterday revealed Mifsud to be in intensive care with three broken ribs and suffering slight breathing problems. Sanderson is suffering a bruised lung while doctors are continuing to monitor whether he has any further internal injuries. The race falls happened in consecutive events, races six and seven, with Chair of Stewards at the meeting Kylie Harrison electing to abandon race seven as well as the final event on the program. Both drivers were tipped out in scrimmages soon after the start of their respective events. In race six, Mifsud was driving Wonderforce out of barrier three when the pacer broke just after the starter released the field, careering into the path of back-row horses Fancy Peach and Jilliby Roy. Mifsud's sulky locked wheels and overturned, and he fell heavily. Stewards subsequently called off the race, later restarting it with all bar Wonderforce cleared to compete. Aussie Mifsud In the following race, in almost the identical position on the track, junior reinsman Ryan Sanderson was driving the pole horse Frankie. It appeared to be contacted when the barrier 3 horse Lookin Fresh veered inwards soon after the despatch. Sanderson was catapulted into the air, crashing to the track and a trailing horse was unable to avoid the fallen driver. Club president Joey Thompson said with the incidents in consecutive races, the situation became quite hectic for a while. "Aussie (Mifsud) was being stabilized in one ambulance on course, then the paramedics that had been on standby were there to attend young Ryan (Sanderson)," he said. "It was good to see Aussie being able to walk assisted to the ambulance, but Ryan was still on the track for over an hour as they assessed his injuries. "The paramedics were worried Ryan might have had a broken pelvis, because of the pain he was complaining of in that area-but fortunately it sounds like he may have escaped without any broken bones." Thompson said Ryan's parents Shane and Naomi arrived from Sydney at the first opportunity to be by Ryan's side in hospital. "They came down as soon as they could, which will give him a kick along. But the way Ryan conducted himself while he was in so much pain and being attended to on the track was incredible. He's just 17 years of age and I told his parents they should be so proud of him. "He's a great young fellow. "He was asking someone where his helmet was because he was worried it had been scratched. And he's also bought a new one-piece driving suit recently, and he wasn't going to give that up without a fight! Everyone was wanting to cut the suit off him, but he was desperate for it to be saved." Ryan Sanderson Thompson said after talking to Ryan's father Shane yesterday, the suit didn't get saved. "It's now in a thousand pieces. But it was a big effort by Ryan up until that." Thompson said the club had also been in contact with the Mifsud family, of Kilmore. "They actually rang us and passed on their thanks for all that we did for Aussie, which was so nice. "Now we just hope that both the drivers make a speedy and complete recovery."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Our Princess Tiffany will again have to overcome a back row draw but starts behind a very different front row in the second leg of the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown. While four Emma Stewart runners made much of the front running in Saturday’s Benstud Make Mine Cullen, none back-up for Friday night’s Angelique Club Pace, which is part of an 11-race card at Tabcorp Park Melton. Stewart’s Techys Angel, Amelia Rose and Maajida will instead pile into the night's DNR Logistics Argent 3YO Classic. In their place two former Stewart runners, Nostra Villa and Speak No Evil, will feature among leg two of the mares series. Both were dual Group 1 winners for Stewart but have more recently raced in Sydney, with Nostra Villa in the hands of trainer-driver Brad Hewitt and Speak No Evil to debut for trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull. Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown standings  Horse   Points  Our Princess Tiffany  8  Maajida  5  Goodtime Heaven  3  Rock N Roll Chapel   2  Pick Up Line   1             The stakes are particularly high for Our Princess Tiffany, who is being trained by Dean Braun for her Victorian assault, with the Crown carrying a $20,000 bonus for any horse that can sweep the series and a $10,000 bonus to the horse with the most points across the series.The latter had most recently been with Craig Cross’s New South Wales stable, which will also be well represented on Friday night with Dracarys and No Win No Feed in the mares field. The series concludes with the $100,000 Benstud Queen Of The Pacific at Tabcorp Park Melton on October 31.  Brought forward a night to avoid a clash with the AFL grand final, Friday night’s card features four Group-level races, including The Big Screen Company Tatlow stakes for both the two-year-old fillies and the colts and geldings. The $50,000 Group 2 race offers another chance to get a feel for the likely lead combatants in the TAB Breeders Crown, which kicks off on November 4, and December’s Vicbred Super Series, which will play out on New Year’s Eve. The fillies will clash at 6.58pm and here the Stewart camp fronts with eight of the 13 entrants, including the fab five Platinum Sparkle (gate one), Beach Music (gate three), Ladies In Red (gate five), emergency Rogue Wave (gate 10) and Tough Tilly (gate 11), who filled the first five placings in the Alabar Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic final. On that occasion they stopped the clock in 1:51.9, an extraordinary 1.6 seconds under the age/distance track record, when they finished within 2.6 metres of each other. Clayton Tonkin and Stewart also have six in the colts and geldings’ final, which will stream on Trots Vision at 9.33pm, with nine of the 12 starters all having won at their last start. The night also features the TAB Long May We Play Bold David Free For All, with Victoria Cup combatants Rishi, Cruz Bromac, Tam Major and Code Black among those fronting. And there is even more Group 1 class on display in the Aldebaran Park True Roman Trotters Free For All, where Red Hot Tooth (gate five) has drawn inside Dance Craze (gate six), while Wobelee (gate nine) and McLovin (gate 10) will plan their attack from the back row.   HRV - Michael Howard

Brilliant Auckland Reactor two-year-old filly Bridwood Bella extended her unbeaten winning sequence to three when she soundly trounced her harness racing rivals at the Launceston twilight meeting on Sunday (October 18). The filly led from start to finish and covered the 1680 metres in a 1:59.2 rate. She clocked a stunning 55.7 seconds for the last 800. The combined winning margin of her three successes is 46.5 metres. Bridwood Bella is the second foal of the winning Sportswriter mare Bella Fortuna whose dam, Better Motoring, was a Group 2 winner. Auckland Reactor has sired 95 individual winners in Australia this season and they have earned $1.6 million in prizemoney.

Down Under Pacer in patch of top form. Stars Align A recorded his fourth consecutive harness racing victory on Saturday night at Dayton Raceway in Hollywood when he smashed a ten horse field for $16,000. The Art Major son was driven positively from his starting pole of 9 by driver Dan Noble and reached the first quarter in 26.1 and then onto the half in a sizzling 53.2. He then extended and kicked away from the field to win easily in 1:49.2 for trainer Christi Noble and new owner Joshua Graber. The fourth straight win was Stars Align A 32nd career win and took his stake earnings to over $460,000.    Down Under pacer wins yet again. Jacks Shadow N came up with another win at Chester’s race meeting on Sunday. The 6yo gelding just got overtop of another down under pacer in Itsrockandroll A to win the $14,400 pace in 1:50.3. Tim Tetrick was in the bike and Scott Di Domemico trains the son of Shadow Play. Jacks Shadow has been super consistent while racing in the US with this win being his 4th from his last 5 starts and he has won 17 races in North America.    Monday 12th October   Harrington Raceway DE Raptors Flight N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $7,500 Gotta Minute N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $5,500   Plainridge Park MA Somesizesomestyle N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $6,000 Nerve Of Steel N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $7,500   Western Fair Raceway CA Strong Enough N – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $6,800 Pembrook Legacy N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $8,200   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Aintnobettor A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $14,000   Tuesday 13th October Harrington Raceway DE Shezallapples A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,000 Flashazz N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $4,500   Monticello Raceway NY Ohoka Johnny N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $8,600   Saratoga Harness NY Tenacious One A – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $5,100 Bontz N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $9,350 Onspeed N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $4,700   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Djokovic N – Time: 1:59.1, Stake: $6,800   Yonkers Raceway NY Valloria N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $8,500 Dongal Rundlscrk N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $5,500   Flamboro Downs CA Belfast N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $7,000   Wednesday 14th October   Bangor Raceway ME Millwood Faith N – Time: 1:59.0, Stake: $4,050   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Pekeson N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $8,500   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Dream Out Loud A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $7,600 Eclipse Me N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $11,600   Northfield Park OH Elrama N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $4,200   Thursday 15th October Plainridge Park MA Leonidas A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $17,500 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Rock Diamonds N, 3rd Paternity Suit A Kiwi Tintin N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $7,500 Naughty Maravu A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $10,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Bronze Over N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $10,000 The Charging Moa N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $10,000 Maczaffair N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $12,500 Lady Dela Renta N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $25,000   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Majestic Sunrise N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $17,000   Friday 16th October Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Hez A Dude N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $8,600 Statement Made N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $9,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Machiatto A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $8,500 Gunpowder N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $8,500   Saturday 17th October Batavia Downs NY Tullow N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $6,000   Freehold Raceway NJ Solid Asa Rock A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $6,300   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Cyclone Kiwi N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $11,700 Stars Align A – Time: 1:49.2, Stake: $16,000   Meadowlands NJ Trojan Banner N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $10,000 Change Stride N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $6,000 Anna Afreet N – Time: 1:49.0, Stake: $16,500   Northfield Park OH Rockstar Angel A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $8,800   Northville Downs MI Stening N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $6,500   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $11,200 Macheasy A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $10,000 Star Commander N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,800   Sunday 18th October Harrahs Philadelphia PA Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,800 Tiger Thompson N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $10,000 Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $14,400 Mitch Maguire N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $8,800 Robbie Burns N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $10,000 Tact Tate N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,800   Flamboro Downs CA Premier Joy A – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $6,500   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Tuesday marks 15 years since the first race meeting on the current Elwick track in Hobart. There had been many meetings held on the thoroughbred track over many years, before the move from the main track at the Royal Hobart Showgrounds. The first meeting was held on Hobart Show Day 2005 and saw the Barrie Rattray-trained Queen Carey fly around to score with Gareth Rattray in the sulky by 10.5 metres over Fleet Express in 1m 56.3s. It was the last time we saw horses on mainland Tasmania race twice on the one day with horses in races two and three lining up again in the sixth and final race that day. A lot has changed since, including the addition of a sprint lane, but the track still holds the title of hosting the richest harness race in the world, when Blacks A Fake scored in the $1.5 Million Inter Dominion Grand Final in 2006. The quality of horses contesting tonight’s tier two meeting may not get to that Inter Dominion level, but it is still a strong eight-race card where Beauty Point trainer Kyle Pratten will be hoping his five-year-old mare can bounce back into the winners list from the pole draw in the third race, a rating 46 to 55 ever for mares. “She has been unlucky with her draws since I have had her, she has led from seven, so I’m hoping she will hold from the pole,” said her trainer-drive Kyle Pratten. “She is a better horse in front,” said Pratten, with the mare’s only win this season being when able to lead at Redcliffe on 23 February which was the last time the mare drew barrier one. At Aunty Bessy’s last start effort, she failed to beat a runner home in Devonport on 9 October. “It was a terrible run, I don’t think she handled the track that well, it was a heavy track and the weather prior made it even worse,” explained the trainer-driver. “I think it is a very heavy track, I have driven on a lot of tracks around Australia, and I reckon Devonport is one of the heaviest,” Pratten added. “She has worked pretty well this week, I recently purchased Im Full Tilt and she went toe to toe with him the other day,” said Pratten. Im Full Tilt will be having his first start for the Pratten stable in the seventh race for entires and geldings rated 46 to 55. “Mark Yole had him up for sale, I had driven him a few times when he was at Ben (Yole’s), and I thought he had been going well,” explained Pratten who also takes the drive. “He only got beaten just over six metres in Devonport last start after being three-wide for a lap and a half,” said the trainer-driver. “He hasn’t raced at that lower rating for a while, and I’m not fussed with that draw in Hobart because there tends to be that three-wide train that will take him into the race,” said Pratten about the pacer that has drawn barrier five on the second-row in the 2090-metre event. Tuesday’s meeting will be shown on Sky Racing 1 and Tasracing TV from 18:52.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Legendary Bendigo reinsman Brian Gath is thoroughly enjoying what he's done best for 57 years -competing and getting winners at harness racing meetings. "The region-based racing that come about because of COVID really reignited my career. It got me up and going and out there again," Gath, of Longlea, said. "I must have been through the recycling bin and a lot of trainers found me once more," he joked. "I still enjoy winning a race- but these days I mainly love it for the people who put me on." Harness Racing Victoria introduced a region-based calendar back in March aimed at limiting travel for participants, in line with public health recommendations to slow the spread of coronavirus. The model succeeded by allowing racing to continue right across the State throughout the pandemic. The regional borders have now been eased and clubs that had their racing transferred to another track or region are now gradually re-opening. But the sprite 76-year-old Gath, known widely as "The Little Master", has made the most of his opportunities, driving more than 15 winners, and on Saturday night, again displaying all of his outstanding qualities at headquarters. Gath landed a popular win at TABcorp Park, Melton, with four-year-old bay mare Miss McGonagall (Modern Art-Fleur Delacour (Nicholas Branch) in the $20,000 DNR Logistics Pace for Ballarat owner-breeder-trainer Stephen Clarke. "I've driven for the Clarke family before, but not for a long time. Stephen's dad Jim, who I've known for ages, brought the horse to the meeting," Gath said. "We were in stable 13 and I told Jim that might help us...or otherwise hinder us! But the horse showed she can do a bit of work because I had to go strongly at the start to get to the top. "Then there was a lot of pressure, so she did a terrific job in winning." Still enjoying what he does best – the Little Master Brian Gath (Stuart McCormick photograph) Miss McGonagall won by 2.5 metres from Jackierabbit (Michael Stanley) with Gooddealehemily (Ryan Duffy) and further one metre back in third placing. Gath said his lucky run started even before the race, picking up the drive as a result of Stephen's son Connor being out suspended. "Connor drove the horse to three Melton wins in April, May and June, and has done a terrific job with her," Gath said. "I spoke with Stephen on the phone a few days before the race and he told me all about the horse, and just what she would do including some of her funny little traits," he said. "I kept thinking during the race all that he'd told me, and I reckon I followed it to the letter - and everything he said was spot-on. "I've probably never come across a trainer before who was so specific about their horse. It all helped though." Coincidentally, Gath drove Fleur Delacour, the dam of Miss McGonagall, at Moonee Valley in what was the mare's final win before being retired to stud. Records reveal that Gath teamed with Fleur Delacour (Nicholas Branach-Agincourt (Pure Steel) to win the $13,000 Hankook Tyres Pace (2570m) at the valley on November 26, 2004. Fleur Delacour, bred by Ross Conway, recorded 11 wins and 18 placings for stakes of $51,000 in her career. While Gath didn't pick up a drive at Charlton yesterday, his son Matthew was booked for a few. "I've got to do some extra work with Matthew away at the trots. But I don't mind doing it, especially the waters, for the exercise. I don't use a hose - I carry the buckets instead and it all helps to keep me fit!" he laughed.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The brilliant, undefeated young stallion Soho Lanikai has some prized matrons booked to him in his first season at Goodtime Lodge, Colac (Vic.). The list includes the 2018 Broodmatre of the Year Pixel Perfect (dam of Soho Tribeca and Carlas Pixel); the Gloucester Park winner and Group placegetter Soho Whisper NZ (1:56.3); Soho Major Player NZ (2:00.4); Christianity (1:59.2, dam of Miasblaze 1:55.7); the Artsplacce mare Jilliby Babe (1/2 sister to Jilliby Rio $214,000); Our Chelsea Girl NZ (dam of Valkyrie and Cheyenne Autumn); Goodtime Rumur (1/2 sister to Goodtime Sammy and Goodtime Bobby). Other bookings are the Art Major mare Vanesselmont; Mosstank Magic (by Life Sign); Stunning Art and Sammy Do Da.   By Peter Wharton

CHICAGO BULL BREAKS $2 MIL BARRIER Champion pacer Chicago Bull took out the $50,000 Group 2 Mount Eden Sprint (1730m) in emphatic fashion at Gloucester Park on Friday night, taking his stake earnings past an incredible $2 million in the process. Starting a raging $1.16 favourite, the Bettors Delight seven-year-old stopped the clock in a sizzling 1:53:2 mile rate en route to landing the 57th win of his career and his ninth from his past 10 starts. After jumping from barrier one, Hall of Fame driver Gary Hall Jnr held the lead with ease through the early stages before leaving his rivals in his wake courtesy of a breathtaking 26.6 third quarter and 54.2 last half. Main rival Shockwave ($5.50) sat in the breeze and battled on gamely to finish second, beaten just over six metres, while Vampiro ($23) ran on into third place a further 10.4 metres away. Chicago Bull’s victory was the first of four wins on the night for Hall Jnr and the first of three for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr.   AMERICAN ARMA MAKES NICE FIRST IMPRESSION Blue-blooded filly American Arma made an auspicious debut in the Cowcher The Insurance Brokers 2YO Fillies Preferred Pace (2130m) when finishing strongly to score by more than three metres. The American Ideal two-year-old is out of former Australian 2YO Filly of the Year, Arma Xpress, and justified trainer-driver Colin Brown’s high opinion of her in an ultra-professional first start performance. Brown settled the $2.90 race-favourite one-out and one-back before levelling up to race-leader Bettor Beach Belle ($12) turning for home and running away from her rivals over the final 100 metres. Goodealhmaddie ($8) finished a further metre away in third place. Following the race, Brown reported that American Arma pulled up surprisingly big and the veteran horseman was of the opinion there was plenty of improvement still to come.   THE LAST DROP GOES BACK-TO-BACK The Joshua Dunn-trained The Last Drop scored successive wins with Shannon Suvaljko in the sulky when leading from go-to-whoa in the Retravision Pace (2536m). The Allamerican Ingot four-year-old held the front from barrier one and skipped clear entering the straight before clinging on over the concluding stages to defeat the fast-finishing Euphoric Moment ($5.50) by a neck. The Kraken ($10) finished almost two metres away in third place, while Alta Intrigue ($4.40) encountered a chequered passage over the final 400 metres before finishing fifth in his first race for almost 28 months. Formerly trained by Justine Prentice and then Ross Olivieri, The Last Drop was transferred to Dunn’s care in July and has since recorded three wins and two minor placings from seven starts. The gelding’s win was the first of two on the night for Suvaljko.   JIMMY MACK BOUNCES BACK Ross Olivieri’s consistent pacer Jimmy Mack landed his second win from his past three starts in the Westral Pace when surviving a late scare over the late stages of the 2130m event. Starting the $1.55 race favourite, the Washington VC eight-year-old was allowed a soft lead as the seven-horse field settled in Indian file and driver Chris Lewis still looked to be in complete control making the final turn before Bettor Be Oscar ($8.50) finished powerfully to issue a strong challenge in the straight. Lewis and Jimmy Mack lifted over the late stages to hold on by a half-neck, while second-favourite My Carbon Copy ($2.90) recorded his seventh-consecutive top-three finish when filling third position a further five metres away. Jimmy Mack was well-found as a $2.35 elect at his previous start before being heavily pressured for the lead and subsequently fading to finish a distant fifth, however, he was able to bounce back to his best on Friday to continue his sound form since resuming from a freshen-up. The gelding has returned three wins and two minor placings from seven starts since August 21.   PATRICK RETURNS TO BEST FORM Colin Brown’s night went from good to great when his former Group 1-winning three-year-old Patrickthepiranha bounced back to his best to lead all-of-the-way in the TABtouch Pace (2130m). After openly conceding the Four Starzzz Shark CA gelding needed to improve on recent form, Brown’s decision to apply the hood-type blinkers for the first time paid dividends when the $9.50 chance flew off the arm to lead from barrier five and never really looked in danger from then on. Race-favourite I’m Soxy ($2.35) drew the pole and settled leaders-back after being crossed by Patrickthepiranha and stuck on well to finish second, while Roman Aviator ($26) improved from a last-start disappointment to fill third position. Eloquent Mach ($9), Stroke Of Luck ($4.80) and Whozideawasthis ($5.50) each received interference at various stages before finishing fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Patrickthepiranha’s 1:55:8 winning mile rate was his best performance since clocking 1:55:4 in his $100,000 Group 1 3YO Colts & Geldings Westbred Classic victory 16 months ago.   JACK FARTHING SCORES AT WA DEBUT Former New South Wales pacer Jack Farthing appears destined for future success for new trainer Justin Prentice after an impressive win at his WA debut in the Simmonds Steel Pace (2536m). Previously trained by John McCarthy in Menangle, the McArdle five-year-old was having his first start for 35 days when settled leaders-back behind race-favourite Baylan Jett ($2.90) and he raced fiercely through the middle stages, however, he was still able to let down with a sharp turn-of-foot to reel in a brave Braeview Bondi ($12) by a half-neck. Baylan Jett battled on fairly to finish just over four metres away in third place. Champion driver Gary Hall Jnr reported afterwards that Jack Farthing wasn’t entitled to win the race after over-racing badly and felt the gelding had plenty of scope for improvement moving forward. Meanwhile, Braeview Bondi is knocking on the door for another win after continuing to race consistently despite not having drawn inside barrier four for six starts.   CARTER MICHEAL GOES OUT WITH A BANG Bettors Delight entire Carter Micheal bowed out from racing a winner after scoring a dominant victory at his 83rd and final race start in the Etch Coatings Pace (2130m). Starting the $1.80 race favourite, the Nathan Turvey-trained and Emily Suvaljko-driven six-year-old took his career stake earnings past $200,000 after leading from start-to-finish and romping in by almost 18 metres. Crocodile Kid ($5) settled leaders-back from barrier one and finished runner-up, while Destined To Rule ($31) was a head away in third after hitting the line strongly from back in the field. Carter Micheal finishes his career with three wins, three minor placings and seven top-five finishes from his past nine starts.   LIAM NEIL JUSTIFIES SHORT QUOTE Liam Neil landed two wins in the space of three days when making good of his $1.45 starting price in The West Australian Pace (2130m). After recording an effortless win by more than 13 metres at Gloucester Park on Tuesday, the Modern Art five-year-old handled a rise in grade with ease to score by eight metres. Outsider Be On Guard ($71) was given a nice push by driver Maddison Brown pre-race and hit the line well into second place, while Lightning Jolt ($8) was a further half-metre away in third after also doing his best work over the late stages. The Gary Hall Snr-trained Liam Neil has now recorded 15 wins and 16 minor placings from his 64 career starts and appears to be an improved horse in his three runs back this preparation. Meanwhile, noted speedster Dreamy Nights ($6.50) failed to beat a runner home at his race return when making an unsuccessful bid for the lead and subsequently tiring to be beaten 33 metres at the finish.   LORD ROSCO LEADS ALL OF THE WAY Prolific winner Lord Rosco scored his seventh win from his past eight starts when leading from barrier to box in the Channel Seven Pace (2536m). Prepared by Stephen Reed, the relatively lightly-raced Bettors Delight five-year-old has a brilliant race record of 31 career starts for 14 wins and 12 minor placings and was the recipient of strong backing on Friday, backed from $2.60 into $2.15 with TABtouch. Consistent type Maras Ace Man ($9.50) continued his good form when hitting the line well from an unfavourable draw to finish second, while drifting pre-post favourite Roman Art ($2.25 to $2.40) was held up for the majority of the straight before finishing third. Rocknroll Whitby ($31) and Henwood Bay ($17) locked wheels and the latter suffered a flat tyre before the pair faded to finish a distant seventh and eighth respectively.   VIVERE LAMORE LANDS PLUNGE Peter Tilbrook-trained mare Vivere Lamore landed good bets in the Worldwide Printing Fillies & Mares Pace (2130m) when scoring an all-the-way win with Shannon Suvaljko in the sulky. The Lincoln Royal five-year-old opened at $6.50 in pre-post markets with TABtouch and was as high as $4.80 within 10 minutes of the jump before getting crunched into $3.80 late and recording her first win since for 16 starts. Suvaljko was full of confidence of a return to winning form for the mare pre-race and went on to chalk up the second leg of a winning double on the night, however, it wasn’t before a scare from the fast-finishing Suzies Gem ($34). The Peter Lodding-trained mare settled leaders-back before getting clear on straightening and launching late to miss by a neck, while rank outsider C C Cheveron ($51) showed marked improvement to finish just over four metres away in third place. The well-found Queen Shenandoah ($3.20) was inconvenienced before finishing at the tail of the nine-horse field.   THE IDEAL TOUCH REMAINS UNBEATEN IN THE WEST Progressive three-year-old The Ideal Touch made it four wins from as many starts in WA when scoring easily in a dramatic edition of the Owners Only 3YO Pace (2130m) to round out the night. Stormyskyes ($31) and Middlepage ($5.50) locked horns in a spirited battle for the lead through the early stages before the former broke into a gallop and the latter soon followed, causing interference in the field. Gary Hall Jnr and The Ideal Touch ($2.30) were the beneficiaries of the incident and subsequently strode forward to claim the lead unchallenged before skipping clear on straightening and scoring by almost four metres. Warriors Legacy ($19) finished runner-up, while Hotfoot It ($7.50) was a further two metres away in third place. A former New Zealand import, The Ideal Touch has now won five of his eight career starts and appears destined for bigger and better things in the future.   Michael Heaton

Former New South Wales driver Conor Crook extended his lead on the Tasmanian Drivers premiership for the extended 2019/20 season with a treble in Launceston on Sunday night. Former New Zealand pacer Loch Ness Franco put Crook on the winner’s list early with an all the way win in the McKillop Insurance Brokers Pace. The daughter of Changeover was able to hold the lead from barrier one and enjoyed some comfortable easy sections before dashing home to score by 3.2 metres in a mile rate of 2m 1.7s for the 2200- metre journey. “She put a bit of a gap on them down the back and then just jogged around,” said Crook after the victory. “She is above average, and she is pretty strong,” added the winning trainer-driver. The mare is still progressing through the national rating system, but Crook is predicting a bright future for the winner of two races from six starts. “When she gets to those standing start mares features, she will be right in them for sure,” said Crook with the mare proving herself behind the tapes with two placings in standing start races before arriving in Australia. The Steve Lukac-trained Donny In Paris is on track for next month’s Raider Stakes when scoring second-up from a break last night. Backed in from $8.00 into $3.80, the Rug Rat Donny gelding settled in a midfield position before finding the spot outside the leader in the middle stages. Proving too tough for his rivals, Donny In Paris scored by 5.2 metres in 1m 59.8s. “Steve (Lukac) said he would be better from the run last week and he certainly was,” said Crook. “He is going to the Raider Stakes, and he is not out of it after that run, Crook said about the pacer who has now won three of 11 starts. The last leg of Crook’s treble came in the final race of the night when he partnered the unbeaten Rohan Hadley-trained two-year-old filly Bridwood Bella to her third win. The daughter of Auckland Reactor retained the lead from her pole draw to score by 10.9 metres and was eased down late in a mile rate of 1m 59.2s. “She was a bit more fired up than she was last start, but she is a very very nice horse,” explained Crook.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The world record-breaking win of the Ready Cash entire Very Kronos in the $113,000 Swedish Championship last Saturday (October 10) was grist-for-the-mill for the giant Ballarat-based standardbred breeding establishment Haras Des Trotteurs. The stud has three sons of Ready Cash available to ‘down under’ breeders this season headed up by Europe’s first sub 1:50 trotter and dual Prix d’Amerique winner Bold Eagle.  Brilliantissime, a three-time Group 1 winner and the leading first crop sire in France last year, and the New Zealand-based En Solitaire, who was bred on the identical Ready Cash-Love You cross as Bold Eagle, are the other sons of Ready Cash on the Haras Des Trotteurs roster. Always Ready, a homebred son of Ready Cash and the 2018 Australian and Victorian 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year, is slated to stand at Haras Des Trotteurs in the 2021/22 season. The French-bred Used To Me, whose chilled semen is available at Haras Des Trotteurs, was represented by his fifth individual winner from 13 starters when the three-year-old Abitofadreamer overpowered his rivals to score his maiden success at Maryborough. Champion sire Love You and his leading son Quaker Jet, both members of the Haras Des Trotteurs frozen semen lineup, produced important winners in New Zealand this week. Matua Tana, a gelding by Love You, notched his seventh success and pushed his stake earnings over the $50,000 mark at Addington, while Quaker Jet’s promising son Horace Horse led for the last 1600 metres to post his second win at Cambridge Raceway.   by Peter Wharton

Yirribee Pacing Stud’s Little Brown Jug winning sire Million Dollar Cam sired winners in three different countries last week. Million Dollar Cam was represented by two ‘new’ winners in Australia in Zermatt (1:59, Bathurst) and Little Pom (Canberra), as well as the USA victor Eastend Eddie (1:57, Harrington Raceway, Delaware) and the Canadian winners Arrived Late (1:58.8) and Doc’s Ronhenry (1:59.6). Million Dollar Cam has sired 100 individual winners from 148 Australian-bred starters and they have earned $4.35 million, an average of almost $30,000 per starter! Trittrittbangbang, a three-year-old gelding, continues to carry the flag for new Yirribee Stud sire Renaissance Man in Victoria, winning for the third time from his last five outings at Ballarat. Meanwhile, Tintin In America and Warrawee Needy both sired winners in North America last week. The former was represented by Kiwi Tintin NZ, a winner in 1:52.4 at Plainridge Park, and the latter by the Canadian winner Warrawee Speedy (1:58.8).   by Peter Wharton  

Former world champion He’s Watching (1:46.8), who is now standing at Tipperary Equine stud, Young (NSW), produced important winners in both hemispheres on Saturday night (October 17). Rose Run Victoria, a three-year-old filly by He’s Watching, let down with a spectacular finishing burst from third last to grab a last-stride win in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The time for the flying mile was 1:51.2. It was her third win for the year and lifted her bankroll to $278,846. In Australia, He’s Watching’s exciting first crop son Private Eye stretched his unbeaten winning sequence to four with a dashing end to end win in a semi final of the NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO Series at Menangle. Private Eye stopped the clock in a career-best 1:50.3 highlighted by a closing quarter in 26.4 seconds. Earlier in the week the promising He’s Watching three-year-old Belladonna Girl scored a runaway win in 2:00 at Shepparton. He’s Watching was also represented by the Canadian winners in the two-year-old Dabarndawgswatching (1:56) and the three-year-olds Baywatching (1:57.6), Dontblvmejustwatch (1:58) and Minnie Million (2:00.2).     by Peter Wharton

IT was the moment Gary Hall Sr felt would never happen. In fact, Chicago Bull topping $2 million in stakemoney came almost two years to the day since a freakish accident in New Zealand almost ended his career. He became the 21st Australasian pacer to top $2 million in earnings and that’s despite effectively missing what would’ve been the prime 18 months of his career. Who knows what might have been. Chicago Bull’s effortless win in Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Mount Eden Sprint (1730m) at Gloucester Park took his earnings to $2,002,531. Watch the race replay click here! The rising eight-year-old has won a staggering 57 of his 86 starts with another 23 placings. Yes, Chicago Bull has only missed a place six times in his 86 starts, but it’s gets better. Four of his unplaced runs came in his seven NZ runs before joining Hall Sr’s stable. So in 79 starts for Hall Sr he’s only been unplaced twice … and both of those he ran fourth. “He’s amazing on so many levels,” Hall Sr said. “I never imagined he’d be here, doing this now, after what happened in Auckland. It’s really a miraculous comeback (from fractures in his spine). “We were devastated at the time. He was just going to the next level and had everything in front of him. “It was touch and go whether he’d ever make it back to the track. “Even when he did, we didn’t know what to expect. You couldn’t really think he’d get back to his best, but he really does seem as though he has. “People say he’s better than ever, but he’s not. They’re just forgetting how good he was when he got the injury.” Chicago Bull led easily from the pole with main danger Shockwave dropping in behind him and slick beginner Vampiro being snagged back from a wide draw (gate seven). The first 500m was a dawdle, then driver Gary Hall Jr put the foot down with a 27.7sec second spot. To Shockwave’s credit, driver Aiden de Campo came off the leader’s back to challenge for the last lap and they scorched a 26.6sec split from the 800-400m, while Chicago Bull still finished-off in 27.6sec to win 6.3m over a very gallant Shockwave. Vampiro grabbed the eye in third spot. Chicago Bull ran the last 1200m in a staggering 1min21.9sec. “He may back-up next week, we’ll wait and see how he comes through it. The Fremantle Cup is five weeks away, so I’d say he’ll have one, maybe two more runs before then,” Hall Sr said. Shockwave, who beat Chicago Bull narrowly first-up, has since run two fantastic seconds behind him. There looks to be very little between WA’S two best pacers and barrier draws are going to be crucial.   by Adam Hamilton

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