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First starter Fame Assured kicked off her harness racing career in the best possible manner at Albion Park today (Tuesday). The regally bred rookie filly scored a stylish victory in the heat of the Australian Pacing Gold defeating race favourite Bronski MacKenzie and Darby Brights in a time of 1:57.7 for the 1660m event. Sectionals were covered in 29.7, 31.5, 28.1 and 28.5 seconds. The remainder of the series will now take place in Melbourne at TABCORP Park, Melton with semi-final scheduled for April 28 with the Gr.1 $322,000 final staged the following week. Fame Assured is prepared by leading horseman Grant Dixon and the victory provided the stable with victories in both divisions following the success last week with Colt Thirty One for the colts and geldings. “That was a tidy debut but this filly has continued to improve throughout this campaign, we gained a nice trail but I was very pleased with the way she finished off in good sectionals.” Dixon said. “I’ll have to sit down and sort out some possibilities in the coming days and speak with the owners.” He added. The Mach Three – Faith Prevails filly is raced by her breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour. Fame Assured ranks as a half-sister to both Feel The Faith (by Mr Feelgood) and Frankie Rocks (by Rock N Roll Heaven). Feel The Faith is the winner of 16 races and over $148,000 while Frankie Rocks has won 11 races and over $125,000 to date. The Sydney heats were also staged today at TABCORP Park, Menangle and proving victorious were Fiore Stride and Callmequeenbee. The Melbourne heats were staged last Thursday and were taken out by Saphirique, Nostra Beach, Molly Kelly and Passions Delight. The Dixon stable are no strangers to success in the APG Fillies Final following the victory of Rosa Mach back in 2011 at Menangle, the filly was prepared by Grant’s father Bill. Last season, Queensland filly Park Life proved successful defeating Perfect Sense and Petacular for father/son combination of Wayne and Shane Graham. Chris Barsby

Popular harness racing horsewoman KerryAnn Turner hopes today’s trip to Tabcorp Park Menangle is the first step towards the ideal engagement present. Celebrating her birthday last week, Turner’s gifts included a ring from her partner Robbie Morris, which resulted in a firm “YES”! “I was pretty spoiled for my birthday, but the proposal topped it off,” Turner said. As for the first step towards the ideal engagement present, Turner is set to contest a pair of Australian Pacing Gold heats in a bid to qualify for the rich $322,000 Final at Melton on May 6. “That certainly would be a great engagement gift,” Turner said. “With a bit of luck we can get through the series and have a chance at the Final.” Promising filly Pacific Cullen will kick-start Turner’s quest when she takes her position in the first heat. To be driven by Morris, the daughter of Christian Cullen has drawn to search for the lead from barrier three. Pacific Cullen has two wins and a third from four starts, while being retired from the race during the other outing as a result of broken gear. “She is a very nice filly, which has only done what she’s had to so far,” Turner said. “She is such a relaxed type, which just gets the job done. “She trialled last week, which was a good solid hit out, and she is in top order for her heat.” Redbank Addi will then take her position in the second qualifier, with Turner stating the daughter of Rock N Roll Hanover needs luck in the run. The two-year-old has also drawn three, but slots into two due to a scratching. “She’s been working great, but just hasn’t had a lot of luck in her races,” Turner said. “She was a bit disappointing in the Bathurst Tiara, but has been doing well since. “If luck goes her way she will be in the finish.” by APG Media

The Victorian Heats of the Australian Pacing Gold Fillies series at Tabcorp Park Melton on Thursday night saw two stables dominate. Harness racing trainers Nicole Molander and Emma Stewart each produced two winners in the four heats with promising fillies, Saphirique and Passions Delight (Molander) and Nostra Beach and Molly Kelly (Stewart). “She’s a nice little filly. Not saying she’s the best two-year-old filly I’ve ever driven but she’s got the great manners as a rule and it gets them a long way,” reinsman Gavin Lang told Trots Media’s ‘All Clear!’ post-race. Lang also steered Passions Delight home in her heat. “You burn them up early like that and then continued pressure throughout the race sets it up for something that’s sat back and done nothing, but she still had the courage to kick away when I asked her for the effort,” he said. Chris Alford drove both of Stewart’s winners. On Nostra Beach Alford said:  “She was really good, she came out nice and just worked to the front. She relaxed really well and at the top of the straight a couple came wide so I clicked her up and she took off really well.” He was similarly glowing in his praise for Molly Kelly. “She’s a full-sister to Frith, so she’s really, really well-bred. Only had her second start tonight, she got a bit keen at stages but once she learns the caper I think she’ll be quite handy,” Alford said. Click here to hear from the drivers in this week’s edition of All Clear! Don't forget to subscribe to Trots Media's YouTube channel for the latest videos from the HRV media unit.  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness racing trainers Nicole Molander and Emma Stewart dominated last night’s Australian Pacing Gold two-year-old fillies’ heats at Tabcorp Park Melton. Four heats of the rich series were contested and the two abovementioned women won all four. Stewart produced Nostra Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Amarillen) and Molly Kelly (Four Starzzz Shark-Jackie Kelly), while Molander’s successes came with Passions Delight (Bettors Delight-Passions Promise) and Saphirique (Bettors Delight-Sapphie Lil). Passions Delight rated the quickest time of the night with a run of 1:56.0 to score by 6.2m over runner-up Im Monica (Eddie Tappe). Driven by Gavin Lang, Passions Delight led and had to be in for the fight throughout as Amelias Courage (Kerryn Manning) poured on the pressure mid-race. It ensured a strong pace before Amelias Courage weakened to finish sixth beaten 16.1m.   Stewart-trained debutant Pistol Abbey (Alford) got into third place. Saphirique produced the second-quickest mile rate for the heats, winning by 3.8m in 1:56.2. The first leg of a winning double for Lang, the champion reinsman put Saphirique into the box seat when Our Chateau Lafite worked to the lead early for Daniel Jack. Saphirique got the sprint lane in the straight to score by 3.8m over War Dan Bad Girl (Nathan Jack), who worked home solidly, with Our Chateau Lafite holding on for third beaten 8.6m. Beautifully bred Nostra Beach hardly had to exit second gear to win her heat for the powerful Alford/Stewart combination, winning in a leisurely 1:59.8. A half-sister to both Villagem and recent Victoria Oaks winner Miss Graceland, Nostra Beach cruised through middle splits of 32.9 and 31 before coasting home by 11.3m (28secs last quarter). Early leader Miss Victoria finished second for Lance Justice, while Dixirosalie finished on well into third for Jason Lee. Molly Kelly, a little sister of both Frith and Stening, gave Stewart/Alford another win in Race 8, rating 1:58.3 to score a half-head win over rank outsider Major Gait, who gave quaddie players a scare, hitting the lead in the straight before the favourite fought back along the inside. Driven by Ron Wicks, Major Gait’s debut was superb. She’s one to follow. Saucy Dreams led from the pole for David Druitt and held on for the minor podium place. Albion Park in Queensland and Menangle in New South Wales will hold APG fillies’ heats on Tuesday before the semi-finals at Melton on April 28 and the final on May 6. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Impressive youngster Colt Thirty One remains unbeaten. And punched his ticket for a trip south to Sydney to chase the $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold series, the harness racing final is scheduled for April 29 at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. The Grant Dixon prepared rookie sat without cover to claim the Brisbane heat of the series at Albion Park last night (Tuesday) defeating his stablemate Ark Patrol and Lucky Unlucky in a time of 1:59.2. In a race that developed into a sprint home, the last quarter was timed in 27.8 seconds. Unfortunately, the race was robbed of interest with race favourite Maywyns Courage taking no competitive part following a break in the score-up. Colt Thirty One is two for two following his debut victory at Albion Park on February 21. “He’s a nice horse with a good attitude and I was really pleased with his effort, sitting parked and then sprinting a fast last section was very good.” Dixon said. The Mach Three – Charm Personified colt was the clear favourite for the Wayne Wilson Paleface Adios Classic on March 4 before his scratching. The half-brother to Charming Allie (18 wins - $266k) had a minor issue with his hock. “His hock was up but he wasn’t lame and I wasn’t prepared to risk him for that race so I just backed off on him for a while there and now he’s back to full health. His winning trial last week in readiness for this assignment was very good and gave me good confidence. “He relaxed really well outside the leader and quickened nicely when I asked for a little more passing the 400m marker and felt strong through the line. “I’ve always rated him from an early stage and so far, so good but it’s only going to get harder going forward. It looks a very strong series judging by the results of the Sydney and Melbourne heats.” Melbourne heat winners were Lumineer, Stefsbest and Yankee Roller while the Sydney heat winners included Maximus Red, Be Major Threat and Sicario. Both Lumineer and Sicario have created plenty of interest following their ultra-impressive victories. The semi-finals of the APG are scheduled for April 22. Dixon is no stranger to success in the Australian Pacing Gold Final following his victory with Majestic Mach back in 2012. Both Majestic Mach and Colt Thirty One are bred and raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour. Chris Barsby

Talented harness racing youngster Lifeonthebeach is expected to bounce back to the winners’ circle after tomorrow’s Australian Pacing Gold heat (Tuesday) at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Successful upon debut at the same venue on March 21, Lifeonthebeach then finished second behind boom freshman Castalong Shadow a fortnight ago. This time around the John McCarthy-trained gelding has drawn to lead throughout from the pole, with the champion horseman confident victory is within reach. “He’s got the right barrier to come out on top,” McCarthy said. “He hasn’t been asked to come off the gate yet as he’s been driving quietly, but he does begin quickly. “From that draw we will be looking to go forward and lead, which will make him hard to run down.” Along with the son of Somebeachsomewhere, McCarthy has Golden Year in the second heat and Photozen in the third. “They will both need a bit of luck, especially Photozen against Mark Purdon’s horse, Sicario,” McCarthy. “Hopefully they can do well enough to get through to the next round.” APG Media

A sizeable offer has been lodged and rejected in relation to unbeaten harness racing youngster Lumineer.  Stretching his undefeated status to three at Tabcorp Park Melton last night, Lumineer was a $30,000 Melbourne Australian Pacing Gold purchase for trainer Angela McDowall. The son of Sportswriter has been ultra-impressive, with his latest performance – a heat of the APG race series – nothing short of spectacular. As such, McDowall was presented with a six-figure bid for the colt, which was quickly turned down. “He is not for sale at this stage,” McDowall said. “My family owns him and we are happy to keep racing him. “We try every year to find one that is competitive, so to have one going as well as he is, is just a dream. “But that said, you never say never!” Driven by Jason Lee last night, Lumineer was settled in the ‘death seat’ from the outside of the front line as Higherthananeagle led from four. Angled down into the sprint lane at the top of the home straight, Lumineer grabbed the lead in the last stride, scoring by a head from Higherthananeagle, with Concealment 26 metres away third. “What a great run,” McDowall said. “From a tough draw, and with the high opinion on Higherthananeagle, I wasn’t overly confident. “I was hoping he would do enough to qualify for the next round.” Covering the last half in 55.7 seconds, the two-year-old rated a scintillating 1:53.8 over 1720 metres, with his time four seconds faster than Stefsbest in the following heat. Leading throughout from the pole, Stefsbest was never fully extended to account for Jimmy Locke and Justice Served in what was an emotional victory for connections. Trained and driven by Ahmed Taiba, the son of Sportswriter is named after the multiple feature winning horseman’s nephew, who died in tragic circumstances several years ago. “He is named after Haas’ son, who was killed tragically a couple of years ago when only 18,” Taiba said. “We’ve been waiting until we got the right horse to hold and carry his legacy and we’re confident we’ve found the right one. “To have him win his heat so easily is a great result and hopefully he can do a top job in the rest of the series.” Short-priced favourite Yankee Roller maintained his perfect record by annexing the final heat for record-breaking horsewoman Emma Stewart. Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven scored from Jilliby Lorenzo and Ourbeachsomewhere in 1:58.5. APG Media

Emotions and anticipation will be at a premium at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight when Stefsbest takes his first step towards the ultimate goal. Engaged in an Australian Pacing Gold heat, the colt is chasing a berth in the $322,000 Final, which is scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 29. Like all connections, everyone associated with Stefsbest will be thrilled to capture the rich decider, but in the two-year-old’s case, prizemoney plays second fiddle to their motive. A well-bred youngster, Stefsbest is named after trainer Ahmed Tabia’s nephew, who died in tragic circumstances several years ago. “He is named after Haas’ son, who was killed tragically a couple of years ago when only 18,” Taiba said. “We’ve been waiting until we got the right horse to hold and carry his legacy and we’re confident we’ve found the right one. “I’ve got a high opinion of him, and of all the APG horses which have passed through my stable and into this series, such as Sushi Sushi, Ghadabest and Bus To Harland, he is right up there with them. “I’m confident he is capable of winning a Group race and doing his namesake proud. “We will learn more about him tonight, but I am looking forward to it.” A debut second at Cranbourne a fortnight ago when starting from the second row, Stefsbest has drawn to lead from the pole, with Taiba issuing an ominous warning. “We’ll be trying to lead at all costs and adopt a take no prisoners approach,” Taiba said. “If someone can sit outside him and beat him, good luck to them, but we won’t go home wondering.” By Sportswriter from Smyrna Duruisseau, the all-American bred freshman is a half-brother to multiple Group One winner, Follow The Stars, which annexed the 2014 APG Final at Melton. by APG Media

Having made a clean sweep of last season’s Australian Pacing Gold series, premier trainer Emma Stewart is looking to strike first blood in the latest edition of the Sales-based futurity. Stewart’s unbeaten youngster The Storm Inside was a class above his rivals in 2016 as he annexed his heat, semi and the $322,000 Final. This time around the record-breaking horsewoman will contest the opening heat with Concealment, which was an impressive debut winner at Shepparton three weeks ago. “He’s a very nice type, which did a good job during his first start,” Stewart said. “He’s trained on really well since then and will be better again this. “The experience has done him good and he will keep improving with racing.” Drawn well in barrier three, the son of Art Major will clash with Higherthananeagle, which has gained a huge reputation after just two starts. A debut second was followed by a win at Ballarat in 1:56.1 over 1710 metres. By Mach Three, the colt is a brother to APG graduate and multiple Group One winner Fly Like An Eagle. Higherthananeagle will begin from gate four for trainer David Aiken. “David has let it be known he has a pretty big opinion of Higherthananeagle and he has looked impressive so far,” Stewart said. “Lumineer has drawn badly in seven, but he’s also done well winning his two starts, so he can’t be taken lightly. “Then there is the unknown factor of a couple making their debuts. “I’m happy with Concealment and am confident he will give a good showing.” by APG Media

Australian Pacing Gold graduate Our Little General will work towards consecutive Blue Ribands when he heads to Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Fresh from his Victoria Derby triumph a fortnight ago, Our Little General will tackle a heat of the harness racing classic for trainer Emma Stewart. Despite drawing awkwardly in barrier six, the son of Mach Three is a $1.90 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds, with Stewart confident Our Little General can justify his short price. “The draw isn’t ideal, but we couldn’t be happier with his condition,” Stewart said. “He had a good, solid trial at Ballarat during the weekend, which has really sharpened him up. “He will be in better shape this weekend than when he won the Victoria Derby at his second start from a spell.” Should all go according to plan, Our Little General will then contest next week’s $200,000 Final, which is part of a super Miracle Mile program. “Barring bad luck, he shouldn’t have any trouble making his way into the Derby,” Stewart said. “Like I said, he is in top shape, but will be better again after the heats.” The colt boasts an imposing record of nine wins and five placings from 15 starts for earnings of $360,305. APG Media  

Harness Racing Victoria Stewards and veterinarians have been collecting out of competition blood samples from yearlings scheduled to be sold at the upcoming Australian Pacing Gold (APG) Sales in Melbourne on Sunday 5 February 2017. All blood samples collected have been subjected to testing by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) on their steroid screening test, which covers over 40 substances, and is understood to be the most comprehensive screening test in operation in Australia. RASL report that all of the analysed samples are clear of steroids. HRV wish to acknowledge the significant support of APG in assisting HRV’s efforts to ensure compliance with the national harness racing rules, introduced in May 2014, which banned the use of steroids at all times. Harness Racing Victoria

The Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit harness racing action returns west this weekend. And it’s without the dominant forces of the All Stars stable and their now very familiar livery of blue with silver stars. The all-conquering Christchurch based combination of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have swept all three legs to date. From the headshaking performance of Lazarus in the New Zealand Cup back in November followed by the heroics of Smolda in the Inter Dominion in December and then completed by the sublime performance of Dream About Me in the Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve, it’s fair to say it’s been a whitewash to date for the power couple. Or more accurately, a bluewash! But the Gr.1 $450,000 TABTOUCH WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night doesn’t feature a runner from the All Stars nor does it feature a runner from an eastern states stable which therefore paves the way for a local stable to grab the lion’s share of the loot on offer. The WA Pacing Cup is steeped in tradition and the roll of honour boasts some of the greatest names possible. First staged back in 1913 and won by Letty Lind, the great race has been won by the likes of Beau Don, Radiant Oro, James Eden, Just Too Good, Don’t Retreat, Pure Steel, San Simeon, Gammalite, Preux Chevalier and Village Kid among others. In recent times, names like Westburn Grant, Our Sir Vancelot, The Falcon Strike, Baltic Eagle, Im Themightyquinn and My Hard Copy are listed as winners. Many of these great names listed above have won the Cup on more than occasion. The WA Pacing Cup is a race of strength and toughness, only the best survive the arduous battle of the 2936m mobile start event. Champion trainer Gary Hall has won the Cup more than any other trainer; the wily veteran has won the past six editions while he has won 10 of the past 15 Cups. The haul of Hall includes The Falcon Strike (x3), Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn (x3), Hokonui Ben and My Hard Copy (x2). On Friday night, he will have three runners engaged. Last week’s Fremantle Cup winner Chicago Bull shoots for the big double while multiple feature race winner Beaudiene Boaz and the classy Cyamach represent his Serpentine stable. Again Gary Hall Jnr will partner the pint sized four-year-old Chicago Bull and if successful, he will join the legendary Phil Coulson as the most successful driver in Pacing Cup history. Coulson steered to victory Lord Mina, Colour Glo, Pure Steel (x3), Gammalite and Village Kid, his victories spanning from 1965 to 1985. Hall Jnr victories include The Falcon Strike (x3), Tealsby Karita and Im Themightyquinn (x2). Ironically, the last four-year-old to win the Pacing Cup was The Falcon Strike back in 2002. While the Hall stable has claimed the Pacing Cup during the past six years, no driver has won the Pacing Cup four straight times. Enter Clint Hall. The talented horseman has won the past three editions with Hokonui Ben and My Hard Copy (x2), this year he will partner Beaudiene Boaz. The Hall runners have drawn gates 4 (Cyamach), 6 (Beaudiene Boaz) and 8 (Chicago Bull). Nathan Turvey partners Cyamach. Star mare Major Reality landed the inside gate (1) but must defy recent history to win the Cup; the last mare to win the state’s showcase event was Pyramus back in 1972 while Dainty’s Daughter won in 1970. Outstanding young horseman Justin Prentice prepares Major Reality and is yet to taste Cup success while his father Kim is a dual winner after Baltic Eagle (2003) and Im Themightyquinn (2011) proved triumphant. This year, Kim will aim for another Cup trophy with Soho Tribeca, a richly talented pacer racing in excellent form but he must overcome gate 12, the outside of the second-line. The speedy Bettors Fire has drawn ideally in gate 5 for talented young horseman Kyle Harper, his father Lindsay won the Pacing Cup back in 2001 with Havago. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis recently celebrated his 5000th career winner and again takes a drive in the Pacing Cup aboard John Of Arc (gate 10), Lewis is a five times winner. Lewis drove Village Kid (x3), Hilarion Star and Saab. Trainer Ross Olivieri prepares Our Jericho (gate 11) and tasted Cup success back in 1999 with Saab. Morgan Woodley takes the drive aboard Our Jericho. The state’s leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond are chasing their maiden success in the Pacing Cup and have a dual pronged attack through Delightful Offer (gate 3) and Our Jimmy Johnstone (gate 7). Ryan Warwick will partner Our Jimmy Johnstone, the Warwick name features on the honour roll through Trevor (Our Ian Mac – 1987) and Justin (Admirals Avenue – 2002) while Ryan Bell will take the drive behind Delightful Offer. Also chasing their maiden Cup success are Mick Brennan (The Bucket List) and John Oldroyd (Mynameskenny). The Bucket List will start from gate 2 for driver Michael Grantham while Mynameskenny starts from gate 9 for driver Chris Voak. The TABTOUCH WA Pacing Cup is scheduled as race 7 and listed to start at 8.10pm local time. Chris Barsby

The future of Park Life remains unclear. Following a short but glittering rookie campaign which netted her a Group 1 harness racing victory in the $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final at Menangle in Sydney, the Wayne Graham trainee was shut down after developing stress fractures. The Sydney success was her final start of the season when she proved successful defeating Perfect Sense and Pectacular, the latter being crowned the Australian Pacing Filly of the Year at seasons end. Ultimately, Park Life was forced to miss her home state features including both the Breeders Classic and the QBRED Triad during the winter carnival. Park Life has been out of action for the past five months and a visit to the Gatton University Equine Clinic yesterday failed to reveal any change. “It looks like she needs another two or three months out, the experts aren’t completely satisfied she has healed properly so they recommended more time off. As it stands, Nellie (stable name) won’t return to work until the New Year which is a little disappointing but it’s just the way it is.” Regular driver Shane Graham said. Given a January return and a clear run with training, the timetable to be ready for several interstate features looks remote but connections are hopeful she will be right for local features in the latter half of the season. But there are no guarantees. The Rock N Roll Heaven – Strawbs Interact filly won 3 of her 6 starts while being placed in the other starts. Her victory in the APG Final was the clear highlight but her eye-catching debut against the colts in the Gr.3 Wayne Wilson Paleface Adios Classic when third behind Maestro Bellini and Clintal Do was also impressive. But connections are hopeful she may still be a winner this weekend with the filly amongst finalists for the Queensland Horse of the Year, the awards ceremony taking place on Sunday night. Park Life is vying for the title against the likes of Avonnova, Ultimate Art, Maestro Bellini, Catcha Lefty and star trotter Our Overanova. by Chris Barsby

Petacular hasn’t put a foot wrong all season and is consequently at the top of the market for Saturday night’s Harness Racing Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old fillies’ pacing final. The Michael Stanley-trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere/Ideal Priority overpowered Our Celebrity and Perfect Sense to win her semi-final at Melton last Saturday night from barrier 12. In this Saturday night’s $115,000 final Petacular has drawn barrier nine and Stanley will pilot the rising starlet. “Her form all season has been outstanding,” Stanley said. “Since we’ve stepped her up to 2200m she’s really thrived.” Petacular has won five races from seven starts and never finished out of the top three.  She ran third in the Australian Pacing Gold Final at Menangle when she covered ground in the run, with Stanley stablemate Soho Angel finishing on powerfully to run fourth in that race. Soho Angel (Bettors Delight/Soho Champagne) also qualified for this Saturday night’s final courtesy of a fast-finishing second in the semi-final last weekend from barrier 12. “Soho Angel was a big run. I probably had to pull four-wide a bit too early at the 400m. If I could have waited I’m sure she could have won.” West Australian whiz Gary Hall Jnr will drive Soho Angel for Stanley and owner Rob Watson. Stanley’s chances of winning the three-year-old colts and geldings’ Vicbred final improved markedly at the barrier draw with Sportswriter/Striking Spirit gelding Spiritwriter snaring pole. The impressive pacer was unlucky in his semi-final when held up in the straight to finish 5.5m behind Iceenothink and Dont Hold Back. “He’s just improved the whole way along,” Stanley said. “He’s really strengthened and taken the next step this campaign.” Stanley spoke of Spiritwriter’s versatility. We’ve seen him swoop home with a blistering last quarter to win during the International All Star Series at Melton, and narrowly pipped by Senor Macray when leading at Ballarat. “It’ll take a pretty good one to beat him (in three-year-old males’ final).” And punters take note Stanley also made special mention of a 50-1 shot in Soho Tokyo, who will start in the four-year-old mares’ final. “She’s been an outstanding horse for me and was the one that put me in the big races a couple of years ago. She’s a really tough horse,” he said. Stanley will also put the polish on Ideal Lifestyle and Alessa in the three-year-old fillies’ final. Cody Winnell

The harness racing season is over for outstanding filly Park Life. A last start winner of the Gr.1 $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle last month has been forced to the spelling paddock owing to shin soreness. The pint-sized Rock N Roll Heaven – Strawbs Interact filly pulled up “a little lame” following some work with trainer Wayne Graham this week. Initial thoughts were that the filly hadn’t fully recovered from her scorching APG victory where she paced a mile of 1:53.2 – the fastest time recorded by an Australian juvenile this season to date. But the situation took a nasty turn following some x-rays. “We sent Nelly (Park Life) to the Gatton University this week for further testing and the scans revealed it was a type of shin soreness. It’s quite bad and she will be out for the remainder of the season, we’re planning on giving her six months off.” Regular driver Shane Graham explained. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for the Graham family because they have in their care, the two best fillies in the state with Park Life and Jossie James. With the Brisbane winter carnival fast approaching, Park Life had a number of feature events to contest including the Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic next month plus the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final in July. “It’s very disappointing because she is such a good little filly, a real racehorse but unfortunately we had no option but to shut her down otherwise we ran the risk of doing further damage. We will give her as much time as possible and hopefully she’ll make a complete recovery. “We’re lucky it didn’t happen before the APG series so when you put it into perspective, the timing could’ve been much worse. We got the main race for her this season and now we can look ahead to next season. “Obviously she would’ve played a major role in the remaining features this term but now it paves the way for Jossie James, the competition will be fierce but we rate our filly and she’ll be hard to beat. I think it would’ve been difficult for Nelly to beat Jossie James if she drew to her outside, maybe they can fight out an Oaks event next season.” Park Life has a record of 3 wins and 3 minor placings from 6 career starts to date while baking more than $168,000. Chris Barsby

When Park Life arrived at the stables of Queensland trainer Wayne Graham, the veteran harness racing horseman was just hoping to get the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven to the racetrack. Park Life was one of three fillies Graham had in work and was the slowest of the trio. The thought of contesting the Australian Pacing Gold hadn't entered Graham's mind but he nominated her for the Group 3 Paleface Adios Classic and despite being the stable's second elect, finished third behind Maestro Bellini. "I didn't think much of her when we first got her and to this day she's a different horse off the track," Graham said. "We've got three fillies at home and she's eight to ten seconds slower than them on her trackwork but when she gets to the races it's like she is a totally different horse." Even after winning her third start in a mile rate of 1:55.7 at Albion Park, Graham was still unsure whether Park Life would measure up to the APG in Sydney. "I didn't even know when we left Queensland whether she had a 27 second quarter in her. Her first win was very good but she did no work early and came with a late run. "While I knew she'd be competitive I wasn't sure whether we were a realistic chance in the APG." Graham stayed with John and Narelle McCarthy in Sydney and worked the filly at the property of Luke and Belinda McCarthy and was still unsure he had made the right decision to head south. "I asked Luke what a two year old should work and he gave me an indication and we worked for the first time. Lyn (Graham's wife) drove her and told me she felt good but then I looked down at my stopwatch and thought what am I doing here, I should just pack up and go home." Park Life performed well in her semi final finishing second behind Petacular and went one better in Saturday's $322,000 final and stopped the clock in 1:53.2. "That was the biggest shock, I never thought she would go within coo-ee of that time, I am so proud of her and now we can take her home and get ready for the Breeders and the Triad. "Jossie Jones won the APG race at Albion Park on Saturday night. She was meant to compete in the Brisbane heat won by Park Life but she had a hissy fit going onto the track and had to be scratched. I could have had both of them here in Sydney in hindsight but it was great to get the victory." Greg Hayes

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