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The Tasmania Cup carnival kicked off in Hobart last week, where the Victorians proved too good. It promises to be a big weekend this week, on Friday we have the final meeting of the season in Burnie before a bumper Saturday night. Ignatius will fly the flag in the $1,000,000 Miracle Mile, while Ryley Major and Max Delight will also be spotted racing interstate. Closer to home, we have the 2021 Tasmanian Harness Racing awards night at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston. For those that are unable to attend, the function will be live-streamed on TasracingTV, commencing with the arrivals just before 6:00 pm. If that wasn’t enough, the second heat of the Tasmania Cup, along with the Tasmanian Guineas and Three Year Old Fillies Championship, will be held in Hobart on Sunday night. The Stars Dean Braun and Chris Alford – love coming to Tasmania, and when they do, they always leave with a winner, or in Sunday’s case, two. The Victorians teamed up to win the opening heat of the Tasmania Cup with Willie Go West who handled his rivals with ease before Jaffa Josh stamped himself as the horse to beat in the Eric Reece Memorial Final after a 19-metre heat win. Mascott – gave Chris Alford his first feature Trotting race win in Tasmania when he partnered the six-year-old gelding to victory in the 2021 Aldebaran Park Hobart Trotting Cup. The trotter is raced by the Tasmanian Trotting Club and led home a stable quinella for trainer Rodney Ashwood. Kosimo – returned to racing from a spell and the Mark Jones-trained pacer made it a winning return when scoring in the opening heat of the Eric Reece Memorial. Deborah Williams – continued her brilliant start to the 2021 season with Our Percius delivering the trainer her fourth win of the season, which sees her lead the female trainers title. Matthew Howlett – trained his fist winner with Iden Reactor in Devonport on Friday, becoming the third generation of the Howlett dynasty to prepare a winner. Multiple Winners Devonport – Friday evening Hannah Van Dongen – driving double; Metro Star and Laid Back Kenny, Rohan Hillier – driving double; Emjays Black Chip and Top Hanover. Hobart – Sunday evening Chris Alford – driving treble; Mascott, Willie Go West and Jaffa Josh. Dean Braun – training double; Willie Go West and Jaffa Josh. Ben Yole – training double; Baccarat and Oneofthelads. Calculated Sectional Standouts Devonport – Friday evening Laid Back Kenny 59.1s, Metro Star 59.4s, North Star Lad 59.6s, Perfect Mach 59.6s and Wandary Muscat 59.6s. Hobart – Sunday evening Earl Jujon 56.3s, Jaffa Josh 56.8, Tarleton Riley 57.4s, Willie Go West 57.5s and Somedan 57.7s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Devonport – Friday evening Hit’s: Metro Star $7.50 into $4.20, Island Bliss $5.00 into $3.50, War Chest $4.20 into $2.60 and Iden Reactor $3.50 into $2.50. Defied The Drift: Emjays Black Chip $8.00 out to $11 and Laid Back Kenny $7.00 out to $7.50. Missed: Brighton Prince $3.20 into $2.90, Heza Rummage $8.50 into $6.00, Big Bang Raj $8.50 into $6.00, Border Cross $17 into $7.50, Ideal Karalta $21 into $9.00, Kiavino Stride $4.60 into $4.00 and Devil Of Tyne $41 into $26. Hobart – Sunday evening Hit’s: Kosimo $3.30 into $2.50, Mascott $10 into $4.60, Gipsy Treasure $10 into $4.00, Willie Go West $1.90 into $1.75, Jaffa Josh $1.28 into $1.05, Bonacci $5.00 into $3.90 and Oneofthelads $8.50 into $5.00. Defied The Drift: Baccarat $14 out to $18. Missed: Signorina Jujon $3.60 into $3.10, Kennys Killer $3.20 into $2.90, Tarleton Riley $15 into $8.50 and Ozzie Major $19 into $7.00. Trial File Carrick Park – Monday evening Three-year-old fillies Bridwood Bella and Melnrowley clashed in a trial at Carrick Park on Monday ahead of the upcoming fillies features. Bridwood Bella, driven by Conor Crook showed a good turn of speed to find the lead. After being crossed at the mile, Crook was happy to quickly whip around and retake the lead before Melnrowley led up the running line from the 1400 metres, her driver Gareth Rattray was happy to take the spot behind the leader for the final 600 metres. There was three metres between the duo at the conclusion of the trial in the favour of Bridwood Bella who recorded a mile rate of 2m 2.8s, with the last half mile privately clocked in 59.3s. Other winners included; Offthetopofmyhead (2m 6.0s), Hes Apples (2m 9.0s), Evies Dressmaker (NTT) and Winknblink (NTT). Week Ahead Friday: The Burnie Harness Racing Club stage their fourth and final meeting of the season with a six-race card. The D & J Crawford Builders Sweepstakes being the feature race of the night. The meeting will be televised on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV, with the opening event set down for 18:20. Saturday: This is a massive day for the state. Tasmanian trained, owned and bred Ignatius will contest the $1,000,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle, where Tasmanian owned Max Delight will also contest a Group 1 event on the support card. Ryley Major could also have a big night, as he will contest the open class race at Melton while he will also be looking to claim the 2019-2020 Tasmanian Horse of the year title at the Tasmanian Harness Racing Awards night at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston. The awards night will be live-streamed on TasracingTV, commencing with the arrivals just before 18:00. Sunday: Night two of the Tasmania Cup Carnival continues in Hobart on Sunday with the Tasmania Cup’s final heat to be held. The meeting also sees the three-year-olds have their last hit-outs before Saturday weeks Tasmanian Oaks and Derby in the Tasmanian Guineas and Three Year Old Fillies Championship. Monday: Trials were to be held in Devonport however due to staffing issues, the trials will now be held at Carrick Park. As a result, the trials scheduled for Carrick Park on 22 March have been moved to Devonport.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Five-year-old mare Gone And Forgotten will be out to keep her unbeaten record on the Burnie track intact when she lines up at the final meeting of the summer season for the Burnie Harness Racing Club on Friday night. The Well Said mare is undefeated in two starts at the Wivenhoe Showgrounds, including her most recent win on 31 January, where she led all the way over the 2500-metre trip to record a 26-metre victory. “She seems to love Burnie, and I may have missed the boat by not running her in the Burnie Cup, but she has done an exceptional job this summer,” said trainer Conor Crook. With the emergency Border Cross a scratching, the mare will start from barrier one in the 2180-metre event, the same draw she had in Devonport last start where she galloped out. “If she lobbed on top she would take a whole lot of catching, but she has been gradually getting more fired up each start from the tapes,” said Crook, who has given driving responsibilities again to Rohan Hillier. Bridwood Bella While Crook has several other chances on the Burnie card as a driver, that commences at 18:20 on TasracingTV and Sky Racing 2, he will turn his attention to Hobart on Sunday, where he will take the reins on Bridwood Bella, who lines up in the Three Year Old Fillies Championship, which is the final lead up race to Saturday week’s Tasmanian Oaks. The Rohan Hadley-trained pacer has had two trials ahead of her first-up mission on Sunday, after winning all three of her starts as a two-year-old, including a 1m 57.7s win in Launceston on debut, where she smashed the two-year-old fillies track record. The filly was inclined to over race and choke down in a Carrick Park trial on 22 February before leading for a large portion of a trial on 1 March where she defeated Melnrowley by three meters in 2m 2.8s for 2150 metres. “She’s a funny sort of horse as long as you don’t upset her she will come back to you, but if you start fighting her it is a losing battle,” said Crook. “It is a small but very good field on Sunday, and it will be good to see where she lines up with them going into the Oaks,” added the driver. While many Oaks hopefuls go around in that event, another will be going around in a trial before Sunday’s meeting. The Dean Braun-trained Annerie will have her first public outing since arriving in the country from New Zealand, where she has had five starts for a win and two placings. The daughter of The Gold Ace will line up in trial two at 16:55 on Sunday while her stablemate and George Johnson hopeful Our Princess Tiffany will have her first look at the Hobart track in the first trial.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Victorian trainer Dean Braun is no stranger to winning feature races in Tasmania and he is one step closer to claiming his second Tasmania Cup with lightly raced four-year-old gelding Willie Go West. The former Kiwi pacer demolished his rivals to score in the opening heat of the Group 2 Tasmania Cup at Ladbrokes Park Elwick in Hobart on Sunday night. It was only the 10th racetrack appearance for the four-year-old gelding who was able to step away brilliantly from the pole draw in the 2579-metre standing start event to lead all the way. Driver Chris Alford had no reason to panic, despite being kept honest in the early stages by Call Me Hector, who was inclined to over race, to record a 77.0s lead time before recording quarters of 29.4s, 33.0s, 29.1s and 28.4s for a mile rate of 2m 2.9s. The gelded son of Auckland Reactor wasn’t even out of second gear on his way to a 13.8-metre victory over The Shallows and Lip Reader, with the locals chasing well spread out over the concluding stages. “He was good, he is a pretty nice horse, and I have always liked him, I went and drove him in New Zealand, and he gave me a very nice feel and I have sort of kept him back and gave him a few looks at the tape to get him ready for this as we knew he would get the front,” said winning trainer Dean Braun after the race. “If I waited until next year, he would have been off 30 metres, so I had to come this year and give it a shot, I have thrown him in the deep end a little bit as he has only had 10-starts, but it is good money and hopefully we can get some of it,” added the trainer. The first seven placegetters all qualified for the Group 2 Final on Saturday 13 March, and they will be joined by the first seven placegetters of this Sunday’s heat, where Braun will be represented by Holy Basil, who has performed well in recent trials, while he is yet to decide if multiple Group 1 winner Our Princess Tiffany will contest the heat or wait and contest the states premier mares race, the George Johnson on 13 March, but she is likely to remain in the state for the Easter Cup in Launceston next month. Alford and Braun combined to win the Tasmania Cup with Our Chain Of Command in 2010, which was the last year the race held Group 1 status with prizemoney of $100,000, while Alford has also won the race with Talimade Lombo on two occasions, and Golden Reign during the ‘90s. While the Tasmania Cup with Willie Go West will be their main focus on 13 March, they look set to be adding the Eric Reece Memorial to there resume with six-year-old gelding Jaffa Josh who scored a 19-metre win in the second heat of the series. The six-year-old gelding settled one-out and three-back before the favourite swept to the lead down the back straight to go on and record an effortless 19-metre victory. “He is a pretty nice horse, he has good speed, and is good gaited and has plenty of bottom to him,” said Braun. “He has a few quirks but has come a long way in a short amount of time, and I think he is a handy horse,” added the winning trainer. Alford drove a treble on the card, winning the Aldebaran Park Hobart Trotting Cup with the Rodney Ashwood-trained Mascott, who led home a training quinella for Rodney Ashwood, with Beau Garcon finishing second   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Twenty-four-year-old Broadmarsh trainer Matthew Howlett became the third generation of the Howlett family to prepare a winner when Iden Rector ($2.90 fav) led all the way to score in the final race of Friday night’s Devonport card. It was only the second start as a trainer for Howlett, who also took the drive and held the lead from barrier one on the daughter of Auckland Reactor. After copping some pressure during the slow sections of the early and middle stages of the race, the three-year-old filly appeared to have a bit in reserve, dashing away from her rivals to record her maiden win by 9.9 metres over Aunty Bessy and Auntie Connie. “It looked her race on paper, and she had been working good enough, though it was a great effort taking on older horses, copping some pressure and still finishing off nicely,” said the quietly spoken Howlett after the victory. “It is always nice to drive a winner, but definitely more rewarding as a trainer as well,” added the trainer-driver. Howlett indicated that training will just be a hobby for him now but was grateful for the support of his father, Chris, and prominent southern-based owner-breeder, Elliott Booth. “I’m lucky that my father (Chris) and myself have had great support from Elliott Booth the last few years, he is sending me a couple more young horses to train going forward, but it’s a team effort with quite long hours required outside of our full-time jobs and help from the rest of family, but we love it,” explained Matt. Team Teal got a much-needed top-up by it’s Tasmanian counterparts, with three of the seven winners being driven by female drivers. Hannah Van dongen, who is one of the state representatives at next month’s Australian Female Drivers Championship in Launceston, drove a double on the card with Metro Star and Laid Back Kenny, who was one of the most impressive winners on the night. Another claiming novice driver, Bronte Miller, registered the third win of the night for Team Teal when driving War Chest to victory, making amends for favourite punters after ruining his chances when galloping in Hobart the start prior.   Duncan Dornauf

Two horses that have previously been crowned the Tasmanian Harness Horse Of The Year are searching for a start in Australian harness racing’s richest race, the $1,000,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle in Sydney next week. Both Max Delight and Ignatius are searching for a start in Australia’s premier sprint race when they contest the final two lead up races tonight. Max Delight is raced by East Devonport’s Mick Maxfield and has impressed in two runs back from an injury-enforced break. The five-year-old entire lines up at 19:23 tonight, where he has been well supported in early markets ($8.00 into $4.40) and sits on the third line of betting. Trained by David Aiken, the pacer will be driven by his son Josh who was also in the sulky for the pacer’s last start win in a Group 3 race at Melton on 6 February, recording a mile rate of 1m 54.5 for 2240 metres. Mick’s son Dean spoke on Victorian radio on Friday and acknowledged the tough opposition tonight. “The horse has come back well from a lengthy spell, David (Aiken) has him cherry ripe and he has drawn well on Saturday night. We are always a chance, but there are some quality horses in that line-up,” said Dean. “Throughout his three-year-old career, David and Todd McCarthy did an outstanding job with him, and it will be no different with David and Josh,” he said. Ignatius will be having his second start back in New South Wales after a Tasmanian campaign, but the pacer’s run of poor barrier draws has continued, starting from barrier nine on the front row after scratchings in race four at 19:50. “We are not having much luck with the draws up there, but I thought his run a fortnight ago was pretty good. He was hitting the line as good as any other in the race after doing a bit of work early,” said trainer Todd Rattray about the $21 chance who takes on last year’s Miracle Mile winner King Of Swing, who has been installed as the $1.28 favourite from barrier two. “I know it is a hard race tonight, but if he is alright, hopefully he can run in the top four or five,” added Todd, who has given the driving responsibilities to his older brother James. The first two horses home in each sprint feature tonight are guaranteed a spot in the Miracle Mile, along with the winners of the Newcastle Mile and Chariots Of Fire. The remainder of the field to be selected from tonight’s sprints, the final field for the Miracle Mile, will be released tonight.   Duncan Dornauf

Art Major gelding Call Me Hector warmed up for this Sunday’s heat of the Tasmania Cup when recording his second win of the season in Hobart on Sunday night in the Max Pulford Memorial. Trainer-driver Matthew Cooper took the $3.40 chance straight to the lead from barrier seven in the mile event, where he was able to find the top in a 29.0s first quarter. With his two main rivals Izaha and The Shallows settling back in the seven-horse field, Call Me Hector was always going to be hard to beat after getting the front cheaply, and he proved too good for his rivals to notch up his second win in a row in a mile rate of 1m 57.0s. “He never lets me down, and he always tries, and with the two big guns out of the state at the moment, it has made it a lot easier,” said Cooper post-race. The two big guns being Ignatius and Ryley Major, who are both continuing their preparations interstate. “Hector is a good horse, but those two are great horses,” said Cooper. The original plan for the Oatlands-based trainer, driver and owner was to miss the Tasmania Cup series with Call Me Hector, which gets under away with a heat this week, but Cooper has decided to now tackle the state’s premier race. “My plan was to miss the Tasmania Cup and go to the Henry Pullen Memorial on Tassie Cup final night (13 March), as I knew he was going to get 30 metres in the Cup, but when I went back and had a look at his standing starts, I noted that he did win off 30 metres once before in the same time as what Ryley Major recorded in the cup last year,” explained Cooper. “So I will go in the heat this week, then have a week of and hopefully then into the final,” added the trainer-driver. Another pacer that warmed up for the Autumn Carnival was the Juanita McKenzie-trained Helikaon, who scored in the final event of the night. Sent out as the $2.00 favourite, driver Ricky Duggan was happy to lead up the running line over the final 1200 metres and proved too good for his rivals. The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding was first-up from a break and will likely be aimed at the Tasmanian Guineas on 7 March ahead of the Group 3 Tasmanian Derby on 13 March.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

11-year-old gelding No Apacheemee is back in Tasmania after spending the past two years racing at Melton and Menangle, where the pacer has done a terrific job for his Tasmanian-based connections, predominantly in claiming races. But the time has come for the gelded son of Tomahawk to return to the Ben Yole stable, where he will resume in Hobart on Sunday night, in a strong rating 70 to 79 event over 2090 metres. “He had just gone off a little bit up there in Sydney, and the claimers weren’t holding up all the time, they moved them to a maximum price of $18,000, which allowed some better ones into the races which weren’t going to suit him,” said trainer Ben Yole ahead of Sunday’s event. “He has done his job there and we will give him a few starts here, and if he doesn’t come up, we will probably retire him, but I think he still has a little bit left in him and while he is enjoying it we will keep going,” explained the state’s leading trainer. No Apacheemee has won 33 races, with five of those wins coming from 29 starts on the Hobart track, and Yole received a good report from his stable staff after the pacers last piece of fast work ahead of Sunday’s assignment. “I have only had him a couple of weeks, his last piece of fast work was on Thursday morning and Troy McDonald drove him and reported that he felt very sharp, and I would expect the Menangle racing would have toughened him up a bit,” explained Yole. Sunday’s race is no easy task with Blame It On Me first-up since winning the Group 2 Bandbox Stakes on 8 November, as the four-year-old mare chases her fifth win in a row. Meander Valley Cup winner Kardesler, along with New Norfolk and Carrick Park Cup winner James Dean are also engaged in the race. “I think they will run it at a genuine tempo and No Apachemee is probably better suited at the mile, but he will sit back and do no work, and I expect him to be running on late,” said Yole. The Yole stable has several winning chances across the Hobart card, including last week’s impressive winner Earl Jujon who lines up in the fourth race of the night. “If anything, he is slightly down in class on last week’s race, and I expect him to be getting home well again,” the trainer said, with the pacer dropping back from a rating 65 to 80 event down to a 60 to 69 race. There are many races to look forward to on the Hobart card, including the Allen Williams Memorial’s first heat for the maidens, while the fast class pacers are on show, including The Shallows, Izaha and Call Me Hector, in the Max Pulford Memorial. Race one of the night is scheduled to start at 18:00 pm, with that event shown on Sky Racing 2, with the remaining races on the card to be shown on Sky Racing 1. All races will be shown on TasracingTV.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It has been a great start to the 2021 season for trainer Ben Yole and driver Troy McDonald who both had a great night at the office in Devonport on Friday night. Yole and McDonald teamed up to win the first two races on the card. Artiflash was there first winner of the night, when the seven-year-old gelding flashed home down the outside to score in a rating 50 to 57 event after the $6.00 chance was driven for luck by McDonald in the early and middle stages of the race. “I thought the one and seven looked the best two in the race, so I dropped down to be three back on the pegs and was lucky it panned out perfectly,” said McDonald about the win. Good Feelings was the next winner for the Yole and McDonald combo when scoring an effortless win by 7.4 metres in a 30 to 49 rating event. “He fly's the mobile and was able to spear straight to the lead,” McDonald said. “We copped no pressure in front, and he was on the bit all the way to win easily,” added the winning driver. McDonald lost his concession claim at the start of the season under Tasracing’s new policy and has had an enjoyable start to 2021. “It has been a good start to the season, I have been getting plenty of nice drives off Ben (Yole), so it hasn’t been an issue losing my claim,” said the driver who has 162 wins to his credit in his short driving career. Yole trained another three winners on the card, including The Deal, who provided Tasmania with their first win for Team Teal after the pacer was driven to victory by Samantha Gangell. Lake Eye and Karalta Dazzler scored later in the night, with both horses from the Ben Yole stable driven to victory by Gareth Rattray. Yole now has a 30-win lead in the state trainers premiership, and he also leads the national title by nine wins. McDonald is seven wins clear from his nearest rival in the state drivers premiership. Five-year-old mare Aussie Rock notched up her fifth win in a row after leading all the way to score at the short odds of $1.35 in a rating 58 to 65 event, while Levi Jimmy notched up his first win in 13-months in a rating 30 to 49 event.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It has been a slow start in Tasmania for the 2021 Team Teal Campaign, but the states ambassador, Samantha Gangell, will be hoping that the state can get on the board in Devonport on Friday night. As has been the case in recent years, female drivers across Australiasia wear teal coloured driving trousers, raising awareness and funds for Ovarian Cancer through corporate sponsorship for each time the teal colour trousers are first past the post. Gangell trains and drives Northview Dave, who lines up in the final race of Friday’s seven-race card, a standing start claiming event over 2286 metres. The Mcardle gelding has won 13 races with eight of those wins in standing start races, but the nine-year-old is yet to win in 12 starts on the Devonport track, and Gangell is hopeful that the pacer can register his first win at the coastal venue on Friday night. “He won the last standing start claimer he contested quite well and drawn one on Friday around Devonport certainly is a big favour for him,” said Gangell. That win was a tough effort in a standing start claimer in Launceston three starts ago, where he was forced to race outside Karalta Dazzler, who has terrific standing start manners and draws alongside the pacer in barrier two. “Since I have had him, Karalta Dazzler has always drawn inside us in the standing start claimers, so it is good to finally draw inside of him for once,” said the trainer-driver. Northview Dave failed to beat a runner home in a six-horse mobile start claimer in Launceston last start. “I launched him out of the gate and probably overrated his ability on that occasion. Obviously, mobiles are a lot different to stands, but I just put a line through that effort and learnt from that,” explained the Brighton based trainer. Gangell has several other drives on Friday’s Devonport card, including The Deal in race five, who has recently joined the Ben Yole stable. The race is restricted to claiming novice drivers for horses that are rated between 45 to 54, with the six-year-old gelding’s most recent efforts being in races with a maximum rating of 64. “He is down a lot in class tonight and gets a good trailing draw with a scratching inside of him; he comes into two on the second-row now, so he has a good trailing draw and gets a chance to run an improved race,” said Gangell about the American Ideal gelding’s chances. The Team Teal promotion ends with the Australian Female Drivers Championship race night in Launceston on 21 March, where Gangell and Hannah Van Dongen will represent the state. Friday night’s seven-race card can be seen on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV, with the first race getting underway at 17:57.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

James Dean continued his Tasmanian country cup winning run when he scored in Saturday’s Page Transport Carrick Cup at Carrick Park in front of the largest crowd in Tasmania since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place. Only six runners lined up in the Cup with driver Troy McDonald able to get the $6.00 chance straight past the sole front marker in the early stages, but the gelded son of Santanna Blue Chip was inclined to over race in the lead registering quarters of 28.4s, 32.0s, 29.1s and 31.1s over the final mile. James Dean had a fight on his hands in the home straight by Buster William with a head between them at the finish with 5.7 metres back in the race to the third placegetter and race favourite Mister Gently. “He is very strong and very much one-paced, he did over race in the lead, but Troy (McDonald) did a good job not to choke him, and I think he is better out striding like that rather than driven cold,” said winning trainer Ben Yole after the race. “He was a very good horse in New Zealand but never really brought that form to Australia, the standing starts suit him down here in Tasmania, that’s why he was sent here,” added Yole about the pacer who has also added the New Norfolk Cup to his resume this season. “We do a bit of business with Grant Dixon in Queensland who has recommended many horses to come down to us, and he did that with the owners of this horse, and we only have Grant to thank for that,” explained the winning trainer. James Dean was a one time emergency for the New Zealand Cup, and will get his opportunity to take on the Group 2 Tasmania Cup series in the coming week. “He is into a high rating now, but we will go to the Tasmania Cup heats next with him, he will get the front in that, and he loves the distance that’s for sure,” said Yole. The mile rate for the 2650-metre trip recorded by James Dean was 2m 1.7s which took 0.8s off the track record which was held by Sunny Sanz when winning last year’s race. It was a great day for Westbury trainer Michael Laugher who combined with driver Rohan Hillier to record a treble on the card. Micton Aroha recorded a half-head victory over the well supported Hesnoprince ($4.40 into $2.05) in the opening event before Emjays Black Chip and Karalta Courage got the job done in their respective races, with Hillier’s drive on Karalta Courage securing the driver the Don Peck Memorial Drive Of The Day award. Major Davvin continued his love affair with the Carrick Park track when winning a 45 to 49 rated event while junior driver Malcom Jones was able to cause a minor upset win on the Tammy Langley-trained Christian Major to end the winning run of the Conor Crook-trained Gone And Forgotten. Crook had reason to smile in the final event of the day when he trained and drove $1.40 favourite Lavaughn to a 10.5-metre victory. The large crowd had plenty of attractions to keep them entertained including the children who left with pockets full of lollies that were donated by bookmaker Steve Walters, and for those that didn’t make it City Park Radio provided an outstanding coverage presented by David Mohor and Adrian Collins   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It was a big week of Tasmanian harness racing from Launceston last Friday to the big stage at Melton last Saturday night. This week we have racing at Carrick Park and Hobart, with some of our local stars also racing interstate. If that wasn’t enough, Saturday also sees the 2020 Tasmanian Harness Racing Yearling Sale. The Stars Rohan Hadley – was in-form in Launceston with a driving double, scoring in the feature, the Launceston Discretionary aboard Four Starzz Shark gelding Sea Double Ugrant, while he partnered Aussie Rock to victory earlier in the night to her fourth win in a row. Conor Crook – drove a treble on the card including Lord Stark and Denwen Dancer (pictured) who both made it back-to-back wins, Crook also drove Ozzie Major who was well supported in the opening race. Better Amour – bounced back to her best for trainer Paul Carlson with a dominant win in the 1680-metre event. The mare was severely checked near the 600-metre mark, but driver Barrie Rattray didn’t panic and was able to circle the field to record the mares third career win. Kikkimi – registered her second career win for trainer Ronald Eeles with a dominant 11.1-metre win in the final race of the Launceston card. Max Delight – bounced back to his best in a Group 3 race at Melton on Saturday night, the five-year-old entire and former Tasmanian horse of the year was having his second start back from an enforced lay off. Multiple Winners Launceston – Friday evening Ben Yole – training treble; Ozzie Major, Postal Run and Tarleton Riley. Conor Crook – driving treble; Ozzie Major, Lord Stark and Denwen Dancer, Troy McDonald – driving double; Postal Run and Tarleton Riley, Rohan Hadley – driving double; Aussie Rock and Sea Double Ugrant. Calculated Sectional Standouts Launceston – Friday evening Buster William 56.29s, Lip Reader 56.60s, Sea Double Ugrant 56.69s, Reign Of Pain 56.80s, Believe In Forever and Lockaway Kacie both 57.11s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Friday evening Hit’s: Ozzie Major $5.50 into $4.80, Postal Run $9.00 into $8.00, Lord Stark $7.50 into $6.00 and Tarleton Riley $4.20 into $3.00. Defied The Drift: Aussie Rock $1.85 out to $2.50, Better Amour $3.40 out to $5.00, Resurgent Storm $3.40 out to $4.20, Kikkimi $3.10 out to $4.60. Missed: Major Davvin $9.00 into $5.50, Southern Gnp $9.00 into $6.50, Brighton Prince $19 into $9.00, Mozasu $6.00 into $3.70, Izaha $5.00 into $3.60, Ideal Joe $11 into $6.50. Trial File Carrick Park – Monday afternoon Two trials were staged with the opening trial for qualifying horses over 1609 metres with a rating of 44 or better. Mighty Spark was the only runner on the mobile at the release point and was taken straight to the lead by reinsman Andrew Freeman to go on and score a six-metre victory over Gee Em Jamane in a time of 2m 8.1s for the 1609-metre trip. The second trial was over the 2150-metre journey for horses with a national rating of 44 or better which was won by the Kent Rattray-trained Jimi Sanz. Driver John Walters took the four-year-old gelding back to the tail of the five-horse field before taking up a one-out two-back position over the final lap before improving out three-wide over the final 400 metres to prove too quick for his rivals late in a mile rate of 2m 9.3s. You can view the trials held on mainland Tasmania by clicking here. Week Ahead Friday: Ryley Major, who is now trained by Adam Kelly, will contest the Group 3 Ararat Pacing Cup at 21:22. Saturday: Carrick Park Pacing Cup day with the first of seven races commencing at 15:50. There will be no off-track wagering or telecast (including Tasracing’s Live Stream) of the meeting. However the club has organised coverage on City Park Radio which is broadcast on 103.7fm and 96.5fm in Launceston and surrounding areas and online at cityparkradio.com. The Tasmanian Harness Racing Yearling Sale will be held between races six and seven. Ignatius has returned to New South Wales and will race at Menangle in race two which is scheduled for 19:19. Sunday: Hobart is the venue for a nine-race card that commences at 17:17. Race one will be shown on Sky Racing 2 with the remainder of the card on Sky Racing 1. All races will be live-streamed on TasracingTV. Monday: Trials will be held in Hobart and Devonport with both sessions to commence at 17:30.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The Leigh Rand trained mare, Aussie Rock continued her good form when she won her fourth race in a row in Launceston on Friday night. Sent out as the $2.50 favourite, driver Rohan Hadley was forced to work the Pet Rock mare to hold the lead in a 27.8s opening quarter. They then ran quarters of 30.5s, 29.6s and 28.9s to record a slick mile rate over the 1680- metre trip of 1m 56.9s, shaving 0.5s off her previous best time which she recorded in Launceston the week prior. It was a big night for Hadley who drove a double on the card including the feature race, the Launceston Discretionary with Sea Double Ugrant. The Four Starzzz Shark gelding was able to grab the one-out one-back position in the early stages from his 10-metre handicap before recording a 2.4-metre win over Izaha with the race favourite Lip Reader a half-neck away third in a race that has been a horror story for punters in recent years. Reinsman Conor Crook returned to the sulky for a driving suspension, and it didn’t take him long to bounce back into winning form with a driving treble on the card winning with Ozzie Major, Lord Stark and Denwen Dancer, who made it back-to-back victories with a dominant 5.9-metre victory, Ben Yole remains at the top of the national trainer’s title with 28 winners after a treble at the meeting. He prepared the quinella in the first race with Ozzie Major defeating Oneofthelads, while Postal Run scored two. His other winner came in the claiming race with Tarleton Riley, who was driven by Troy McDonald who leads the states drivers title, five wins clear over Rohan Hillier. Harness racing in Launceston takes many weeks off with the next meeting not until 21 March which features heats of the Australian Female Drivers Championship.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

36 days into the 2021 season, two Tasmanians sit at the top of the national trainers and drivers premierships. Westbury born reinsman Jack Laugher has been based in Victoria for the past few seasons and has notched up 24 wins while trainer Ben Yole leads the trainer’s premiership with 25 victories to lead their respective titles. Yole has numerous winning chances on Launceston’s 10-race card on Friday night, including the first race of the night which sees four equal favourites, all of which are prepared by Yole. Oneofthelads has drawn the pole and has Gareth Rattray’s services, with the five-year-old gelding going into Friday off a last start sixth when five metres behind Kadar in the Harry Holgate Final last week and drops back into a rating 30 to 50 event here. Keep Playing has been placed in two of her last four outings including his most recent effort in Burnie where he had a lovely run behind the leader. Itsadanceoff has drawn inside of the second row and has a poor record in Launceston but maps to get a good run while Ozzie Major has been racing consistently being placed in three of his last four efforts. Signorina Jujon is another of Yole’s racing consistently and is in engaged in the second race of the night. The Mr Feelgood mare has been placed in her last four outings, the most recent was behind Aussie Rock in Launceston last week. While now based in Victoria, Jack Laugher is represented in the Launceston meeting as an owner, with Christian Jaz who also lines up in the second race. But Laughers main interest for the weekend will be at Melton on Saturday night where he drives $81 chance Bettor Be the Bomb in Victoria’s premier race, the $500,000 A. G. Hunter Cup. There is plenty of Tasmanian interest in the Group 3 Pure Steel at Melton on Saturday night with Max Delight the $2.15 favourite taking on the Rohan Hillier-trained and driven Ryley Major who is currently a $15 chance. Ryley Major’s stablemate Lip Reader is favourite for Friday night’s feature race in Launceston, the Sunrise Bakery Launceston Discretionary where he faces a tough ask off a 30-metre handicap with 10-metre handicap runners Sea Double Ugrant and James Dean appearing as his main dangers.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Tasmanian country harness racing was at its best last weekend with a large crowd attending Sunday’s Burnie Cup which was won by the Craig Hayes-trained Mister Gently who was one of four winners on the card for reinsman Gareth Rattray. Saturday saw the King Island Racing season come to a close where Karalta Kruise secured the horse of the year despite the winning bubble bursting on Saturday, his trainer John Rhodes and driver Wade Rattray secured the trainers and drivers premierships respectively. Turning back to last Friday’s great card of racing held in Launceston with the Harry Holgate Memorial being won by the Todd Rattray-trained and driven pacer Kardar. Launceston is once again the venue for harness racing on Friday night with a massive 10-race card. There is no harness racing in the state on Sunday. The Stars Mister Gently – delivered trainer Craig Hayes his first hometown cup when scoring in Burnie on Sunday afternoon. The five-year-old gelding was first-up from a break and was well rated in front for driver Gareth Rattray. Ben Yole – had a weekend out with three trained winners in Launceston and then a further four in Burnie. At the time of writing, Yole leads the national trainer’s premiership with 25 winners as we enter the second month of the season. Gareth Rattray – had a day out in Burnie, not only did he score in the Burnie Cup but he also drove another three winners on the Burnie card which sees him move into fourth position on the states drivers title. Gone And Forgotten – registered a comfortable 26-metre win on Sunday in Burnie continuing the good run for trainer Conor Crook and driver Rohan Hillier. Kadar – took out the feature event in Launceston on Friday night, the Harry Holgate Memorial, capping off a good night for Todd Rattray who drove a treble on the card. Multiple Winners Launceston – Friday evening Ben Yole – training treble; Liberal Arden, Border Cross and Evies Dressmaker. Troy McDonald – driving double; Border Cross and Evies Dressmaker. Todd Rattray – training and driving double; Bonacci and Kadar, he made it a driving treble with Aussie Rock. Burnie – Sunday afternoon Ben Yole – training quartet; Shes Worth It, Liberal Arden, Lake Eyre and Jo Dina. Gareth Rattray – driving quartet; Shes Worth It, Liberal Arden, Lake Eyre and Mister Gently. Calculated Sectional Standouts Launceston – Friday evening Lip Reader 55.71s, Bonacci 56.56s, Sea Double Ugrant 56.59s, Watchmylips 56.60s and Jo Dina 56.66s. Burnie – Sunday afternoon Unavailable. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Friday evening Hit’s: Liberal Arden $4.40 into $4.00, Watchmylips $2.00 into $1.80, Border Cross $9.50 into $6.50, Bonacci $7.50 into $6.50 and Aussie Rock $3.00 into $2.80. Defied The Drift: Lip Reader $2.20 out to $2.80. Missed: Good Feelings $14 into $9.00, Southern Gnp $13 into $7.00, Life A Jungle $12 into $8.00, Danger Of Tyne $8.00 into $6.50, James Dean $4.80 into $3.40. Burnie – Sunday afternoon Hit’s: Shes Worth It $9.50 into $4.80, Lake Eyre $11 into $8.50 and Mister Gently $3.50 into $2.70. Defied The Drift: Liberal Arden $3.80 out to $5.00 and Jo Dina $3.40 out to $4.00. Missed: Ozzie Major $2.80 into $1.85, Top Hanover $17 into $7.50, Heza Rummage $6.50 into $3.90, Northview Dave $3.70 into $3.30, Bettabrown Tiger $5.50 into $4.80 and Kikkimi $2.50 into $2.25. Trial File Hobart – Monday afternoon Five trials were staged where the Roger Whitmore-trained gelding Resurgent Storm zoomed straight to the lead from barrier five in a rating 58 to 73 trial over 2090 metres. After a lead time of 35.4s he ran quarters of 31.2s, 31.0s, 29.9s and 30.2s to register a 7.3-metre victory in a mile rate of 2m 1.4s. Other winners included; Isaac 2m 7.8s, Hesnoprince 2m 7.4s, Iden Miss Lucy 2m 6.3s and A Good Red 2m 4.1s. Carrick Park – Monday afternoon Only six horses contested a total of two trials. Outlaw Joe raced behind the leader of the mile trip before peeling three-wide at the top of the home straight to score in the opening trial 2m 2.8s under a hold by driver Troy McDonald. Lavaughn for trainer-driver Conor Crook led all the way to win the second trial in 2m 7.7s for the 2150-metre trip. You can view the trials held on mainland Tasmania by clicking here. Week Ahead Launceston is the venue for harness racing on Friday night with a 10-race card to be staged. The feature is race six, the Sunrise Bakery Launceston Discretionary where a field of eight will face the starter over the 2200-metre trip at 20:37. The first eight races will be televised on Sky Racing 2 with the final two races to be shown on Sky Racing 1. It is a monster weekend of harness racing over Friday and Saturday night at Victoria’s home of harness racing at Melton. The feature pacing race of the weekend is Saturday nights $500,000 A. G. Hunter Cup where Tasmanian born reinsman Jack Laugher takes the reins on last start winner Better Be The Bomb in the Group 1 event. There is plenty of Tasmanian interest in the Group 3 Pure Steel where Ryley Major will start from outside of the second-row, while Tasmanian owned Max Delight will be second-up in the race from barrier five. As has been the case in recent months, Tasmanian born drivers Josh Duggan and Alex Ashwood are well represented with drives across the weekend.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Trainer Craig Hayes has won many of the states feature races, but one that meant a lot to him was Mister Gently’s win in Sunday’s 7BU Burnie Cup at the Wivenhoe Showgrounds. Backed in from $3.50 into the $2.30 favourite on the Tasracing Official Price, Mister Gently pinged away to find the lead in the 2789-metre event. There was some pressure in parts of the marathon trip, but went on to score by 3.5 metres over Karalta Dazzler with Bettabrown Tiger a further 1.6 metres away third. The race was one that Hayes has had in mind for many months, and his plan came off. “I was keeping him for this race as I know he is a good little standing start horse and it looked an ideal race for him, plus I have always wanted to win my hometown cup, and it has all panned out well,” said Hayes. “We always intended to give him a run in the (Group 2) Raider Stakes and then come here, and he is one of those horses that seems to find a little niggle somewhere, so the break in between is probably just what he needed,” added the winning trainer. Mister Gently initially drew outside of the front row in barrier five but with two scratchings off the front-row, only three horses started off the front mark. “It was always good to see a couple inside you scratched as it gives you a lot more room to manoeuvre as if they were all there it would have been very tight drawn the outside,” said Hayes. Hayes indicated that another country cup mission is on the cards. “All being well we will head to the Carrick Cup, he will be off 10-metres there as long as he pulls up well that’s where we will go,” said Hayes about the race that will be staged on 13 February. The win was the second for driver Gareth Rattray who won the race in 2003 with Karalta Gem. It was a big day for Rattray who drove four of the six winners including the Ben Yole trained pacers; Shes Worth It, Liberal Arden and Lake Eyre. Yole did end the day with four winners, preparing the last race winner Jo Dina who was driven by Troy McDonald while Rohan Hillier and Conor Crook continued their good association with Gone And Forgotten who scored a 26-metre win in a rating 60 or better standing start race.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

James Dean was an emergency for the New Zealand Cup just over two years ago and while a bit of water has gone under the bridge since then, on Monday night in Hobart the pacer was back in the winners list taking out the Pauly’s Pizza New Norfolk Pacing Cup. The recent Ben Yole stable addition was inclined to over race in fourth position in the early stages of the 3060-metre event before gaining a one-out one-back trail over the final stages. Driver Troy McDonald made his move at the 600-metre mark on the seven-year-old gelded son of Santanna Blue Chip who scored an easy 10.9 metres over Black Ops and last years winner Finn Mac Kee in 2m 4.1s. “Grant Dixon sent him down in good order, and I hadn’t had the horse long, so I have to thank him very much,” said trainer Ben Yole post race. “Troy gave him a fantastic drive, and it is good for him to get a feature win as he is a big part of my team,” added Yole. Driver Troy McDonald was impressed with the win. “That was an extremely impressive win, he over-raced a bit over the long distance, but he did enjoy a lovely trip,” said McDonald. Ignatius bounced back into the winner’s list in the Toreace Flying Mile. Trainer-driver Todd Rattray elected to restrain the gelding from his wide draw before racing three-wide over the final lap to score by 3.2 metres over Ryley Major in 1m 54.7s, just 0.4s outside the track record. “I didn’t pull the blinds or earplugs, but he was getting over Ryley which was handy as he is always hard to beat,” said Rattray on TasracingTV after the race. “He will probably have a stint in New South Wales or Victoria now, I’m just not sure, but we will see what happens,” added the trainer-driver. Rohan Hillier had a night out driving a treble on the six-race card. He combined with trainer Conor Crook to score in the Art Meeker Memorial Matron Stakes with Gone And Forgotten and then again in the E C Plunkett Memorial with Lord Stark. Hillier trained and drove the final race winner Heza Sport who won his second race in his last three outings.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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