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A strong crowd was in attendance to celebrate Devonport Show Day at the combined harness racing and greyhound race meeting in Devonport, where two of the pacing winners will head to in next month’s Group 3 Golden Apple in Launceston. The Rohan Hillier-trained and driven Lip Reader won a discretionary handicap over 2645 metres while Victoria Pass chalked up his fifth win in a row. Lip Reader settled one-out and two-back before finding the spot outside the leader at the bell and proved too good for the leader Black Centurian by 3.1 metres with Perfect Mach a half head away third in a mile rate of 2m 4.1s. “He had to be beating that field if he was going to be competitive in a race like the Golden Apple,” said Hillier after the race. “I had probably been a bit easy on him over the last fortnight, and this race was only a spur of the moment decision to go this week,” added the trainer. The heats of the Golden Apple are the next target for Lip Reader with the heats set to be staged in Launceston on 13 December before the $30,000 Final on 19 December. The Devonport Cup in mid-January is also on the cards. “He will miss the free-for-all in Hobart next and then go straight into the Golden Apple,” said the winning trainer-driver. Some would suspect an issue with who would drive Lip Reader in the Golden Apple given Hillier trains and drives last year’s winner Ryley Major who produced a mammoth effort to win that event off a 30-metre handicap over the 2200 metres. However, Hillier indicated the star pacer might not be there which is devastating to think that the connections of one of the best pacers in the state are happy to stay at home and miss one of the state’s significant races. “Conor (Crook) will be offered the drive if Ryley Major is in it, I just know how much the run took out of Ryley Major last year and this year looks like it is going to be a better class of horse off the front mark,” said Hillier. Later in the night on the Devonport card the Zeke Slater-trained Victoria Pass made it five wins in a row and the trainer indicated that the Golden Apple is on the raider as is the Devonport Pacing Cup. Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing  

Harness racing heads to Carrick Park on Sunday afternoon for the first of three meetings over the summer months at the popular country venue with nine races on the card and there is plenty to look forward to. Race four is the first of two heats of the Bramich Bulldozing Trainers Incentive, where Bridport based trainers Kate MacLeod and Rohan Hadley play a firm hand. Bandbox heat winner Machbev (Pictured) represents MacLeod in the race for horses with less than $25,000 in prizemoney earnings that are trained by trainers who have won 10 or fewer races this season. The daughter of Mach Three has won two of her starts and should appreciate a drop back in class after running sixth in the Group 2 Bandbox Final at her last outing. Hadley trains and drives Auntie Connie who has drawn barrier three and is another dropping back from the Bandbox series where she was only 15.3 metres behind Blame It On Me in the $50,000 final, this is her third start for her current preparation. Conor Crook will take the reins on the other Hadley trained runner in the race, Heza Sport, who still hasn’t got out from last start where he sat three back the pegs. In Heat Two, the Leigh Rand – Ben Parker combination will be chasing another win when they team up with four-year-old mare Aussie Rock. The pacer is second-up today after a strong second placing in Burnie last time out when coming from back in the field in a race that was suited to those up on the speed. Two starts ago the mare showed good speed to lead from the pole and no doubt Parker will try and position the mare in a forward position. Other highlights on the Carrick Park card included the Rohan Hillier trained two-year-old debutant Tommy Hillfigure in race three. The A Rocknroll Dance gelding is a half-brother to Ryley Major and has won three of his four trials to date, with two of those victories coming on the Carrick Park track. The quaddie starts in race five, a rating 60 to 70 event where Racketeers Boy will be chasing his third win in the state since arriving from New Zealand. Trained and driven by Troy Hillier, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding is on a path to next month’s Golden Apple. His dangers today include recent Hobart trial winner Watchmylips who has built up an impressive record of four wins and three placings from seven starts, while Somedan must be respected from the front row draw. The meeting commences at 15:55, and the first three races will be shown on Sky Racing 2 with the last six on Sky Racing 1. Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Ignatius continued on his winning way in Hobart on Sunday night when he took out the open class event on the nine-race card. The Roll With Joe gelding sat outside the leader and second placegetter Ryley Major to defeat him by two-metres. After a slow lead time for an open class of 35.1s and a first quarter of 32.2s the pace quickened over the final 1200 metres in quarters of 30.0s, 28.2s and 27.7s for a mile rate of 1m 58.0s. Call Me Hector, who ended up behind the leader, was a further 7.4 metres away third. Watch the replay click here Ignatius was driven by Gareth Rattray who was replacing regular driver and trainer Todd Rattray who is currently serving a driving suspension. “He went terrific racing outside Ryley Major in what was a strong last half mile, and he ran through the line well,” said Todd Rattray about the win. “He has pulled up well and hasn’t stopped running around in his paddock this morning,” added the trainer. It was a great entree to a host of feature races over the upcoming months in Tasmania including the heats and final of the $30,000 Tassie Golden Apple in December. Then in January, the state has the $25,000 Hobart Pacing Cup and the $30,000 Devonport Pacing Cup, with some Victorian trainers indicating strong interest for these races. Todd indicated he might look at a regular free for all in Hobart in two weeks, before the heats of the Golden Apple in Launceston the following week. The win of Ignatius was a part of a driving double for Gareth Rattray who scored on Bonacci earlier on in the night. He now has a two-win lead for the state’s drivers title on 67 over Rohan Hillier and Conor Crook on 65, followed by Ricky Duggan 61 and Mark Yole 60. Earlier in the night, Jakes A Joy chalked up his second win of the weekend, after scoring in Burnie on Friday, winning a rating 50 to 54 event. It was the fourth win in a row for the Mister Big gelding who had a lovely three-wide cart into the race. Another pacer to make it four wins in a row was Victoria Pass who was too strong for his rivals after working forward to race outside the leader in the middle stages of the race.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The Sires’ Stakes series came to a close for the season in Devonport on Sunday night. Still Hungover completed the Bandbox – Granny Smith double while Pardoe Plugga brought home a north-west quinella in the Raider Stakes. The country harness racing period kicks off in Burnie on Friday night before a Tier One meeting in Hobart on Sunday evening. The Stars Pardoe Plugga – took out the Group 2 Maxfield Drilling Raider Stakes at only his third race track appearance. The pacer who was well back and very wide leaving the back straight was able to get the job done nicely for driver Ben Parker and comeback trainer Leigh Rand. Still Hungover– almost threw the Group 2 Collins Homes Granny Smith away on two occasions. However, she was still able to score in the $50,000 feature for trainer Rodney Ashwood, and driver Ricky Duggan who has won more Tasmanian Sires’ Stakes races than any other driver. Lip Reader – after ending up three-back on the pegs trainer-driver Rohan Hillier was able to find clear racing room over the final 400 metres to score in the N.W.T.L.H.A Cup. The pacer is another we can add to the list that is headed to the Golden Apple in Launceston. Tammy Langley – trained her first winner when Upanatom scored in the claiming event, courtesy of a drive with initiative by her son Dylan Ford in the middle stages of the race. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday evening Ricky Duggan – driving treble; Tracer Bullet, North Star Lad and Helikaon. Mark Yole – driving double; Jakes A Joy and Armchair Drive. Devonport – Sunday evening John Walters – driving double; Barooga Rock and Ideal Karalta. Troy McDonald – driving double; Kiavino Stride and Hez The One. Ben Yole – training double; Kiavino Stride and Hez The One Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Friday evening Salvator Mundi 56.48s, Proficient 56.73s, North Star Lad 56.93s, War Chest 57.04s and Live For Peace 57.10s. Devonport – Sunday evening Racketeers Boy 57.43s, Kiavino Stride 58.00s, Shadow Ross 58.07s, Proficient 58.63s and Hez The One 58.66s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Friday evening Hit: Armchair Drive $3.20 into $2.80. Defied the Drift: Tracer Bullet $7.00 out to $8.00, Victoria Pass $3.60 out to $4.40, North Star Lad $5.50 out to $7.50, Wandary Muscat $4.40 out to $7.50, Helikaon $1.85 out to $2.05 and Murry $2.80 out to $3.10. Missed: Mozasu $4.20 into $3.80, Rocknroll Music $13 into $8.00, Pink Ponder $8.00 into $5.50, Sharmey $2.20 into $1.70, Gipsy Treasure $5.0 into $3.50, Black Ops $5.50 into $4.60 and Lucky Pats Son $7.0 into $6.00. Devonport – Sunday evening Hit’s: Barooga Rock $7.50 into $4.80, Still Hungover $1.90 into $1.70, Lip Reader $2.90 into $2.60, Ideal Karalta $10 into $9.00 and Hez The One $18 into $15. Defied the Drift: Kiavino Stride $4.60 out to $5.50, Chris Be Quick $7.00 out to $8.50, Pardoe Plugga $5.50 out to $6.50 and Upanatom $9.00 out to $10. Missed: Nine Diamonds $11 into $4.60, Mister Gently $3.30 into $2.90, Chilla Breeze $6.50 into $3.70 and Proficient $10 into $3.80. Trial File Carrick Park – Monday evening Hezatoff recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the session in 2m 4.3s for the mile trip, where he was the highest-rated pacer in the trial at 64 with some of his rivals some 14 points lower. Driver Sam Gangell took the pacer straight to the lead where he dictated affairs and was not knocked about over the concluding stages when proving way too good for his rivals which included Le Wi Bulent by 10 metres and New Girlfriend a further 10 metres away third in a 60.5s last half mile, Other winners included Artiflash (2m 12.7s), Hillbilly Band (2m 9.4s) and Winknblink (2m 5.8s). King Island – Wednesday evening Results of the three trials were unavailable at the time of publication, the clubs first meeting has been pushed back by one week and will now be held on 5 December. You can view the trials held on mainland Tasmania by clicking here. FORMPLUS Black Booker Juniper Is only rated 53 and has been runner-up to Still Hungover (rated 73) in the heat and final of the Granny Smith series. Admittedly she has enjoyed soft runs on the peg, but she tried hard in Devonport on Friday night to only be defeated 5.8 metres and will be better suited back in her own rating group in coming weeks. Week Ahead Burnie is the venue for harness racing on Friday night where the $8,199 Cables Plus (TAS) Liza Storm is the feature race on the seven-event card. The race, which was redrawn since the original fields were released, is for maidens and sees a few mixed form lines with horses coming out of the Group 2 Bandbox and some on debut including Troublenstrife and Tisu Sky. There aren’t too many certainties in racing, but one thing is for sure is that trainer Ben Yole will win the first race of the night which is set down for 18:16. If you only watch one race in Tasmania this weekend, then you better make sure it is Sunday night’s free-for-all in Hobart. The Rohan Hillier-trained and driven Ryley Major returns to the track and has drawn gate five, while last start Danbury Park Cup winner Ignatius has drawn barrier six, with Gareth Rattray to have his first drive on the multiple Group 1 winner, replacing the suspended Todd Rattray. But those two pacers won’t get it easy with Call Me Hector almost unbeatable when being able to lead drawing barrier two, with The Shallows who was runner-up to Ignatius last start drawing the pole and should be able to get a gun run on the back of the leader. Blackbird Power, No Spring Secrets and The Shady One are the remaining three runners in the race, and they would not surprise in what should be a truly run race. The eight-race Hobart card commences at 17:24. It is a big weekend of harness racing at Melton on both Friday and Saturday night with the finals of the Australasian Breeders Crown. There is some Tasmanian flavour to the four-year-old entires and geldings trotter’s final with the Tasmanian Trotting Club owned Beau Garcon drawing barrier five. Trained by Kate Hargreaves, the trotter has won three of his last six efforts, the most recent at Terang on 2 November. Former Tasmanian Alex Ashwood has been booked for the drive.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The Zeke Slater trained Victoria Pass completed a winning hat-trick in Hobart on Friday night when scoring in a rating 57 to 67 event. After leading the three-wide line for the final 1000 metres, the gelded son of Passmaster Hanover ran away for a 9.6-metre win in a mile rate 2m 0.0s for the 2090 metres. It was the pacers 11th career win at his 129th start. “He has obviously been around a while, but I always have had a nice enough opinion since I have had him,” said trainer Zeke Slater after the win. “His last three wins he has been well graded, but he had been racing well at this grade in the past he just slipped down the ratings a bit last preparation,” added the trainer. The pacer was driven by Sam Gangell with connections electing to use her concession claim. “He is no star but he is racing well and he can stick a bit, the quicker they go the better it is for him, The pacer is raced by a host of interstate owners including Queensland race caller Jarrod Wessel and former Alice Springs race caller, now Trackside TV presenter in New Zealand Pat Comerford. Slater indicated he would continue to look for suitable races in the future for the gelding. After many good performances in recent weeks, the Ben Yole-trained Jakes A Joy bounced back into the winner’s list with a decisive win in a rating 50 to 56 event. Ben’s brother Mark took the reins on the gelding who enjoyed a lovely run just off the speed before being too good late, with Ben putting the polish on the first four place getters. It was the first leg of a driving double for Mark who partnered Armchair Drive, who gave Yole precisely that in the trotter’s event. Reinsman Ricky Duggan also had a night out with a treble, winning on Tracer Bullet, North Star Lad and Helikaon. After two recent placings, Murry was able to bounce back into the winner’s list after working forward to find the lead in a slowly run affair of 2m 5.2s. Wandary Muscat was well driven by Todd Rattray to win a rating 30 to 49 event on the eight-race card.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Longford trainer-driver Todd Rattray dominated the feature races in Launceston on Sunday night winning three of the four main races on the 11-race card. Kohanah proved too good for his rivals in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Globe Derby Stakes. Rattray was able to work off the pegs from his inside of the second-row draw soon after the start to end up one-out and three-back. Settling off a handy tempo Rattray made his move three-wide at the 800-metre mark, and after being headed by Kosimo half-way down the straight, the Sweet Lou colt dug deep late to score by a half-neck In 1m 59.2s. “He done a good job, I thought he was going to stop a bit in the straight, but he kept on fighting and to do what he did tonight was a good effort, said Rattray after the win. The pacer had been out of the winners stall for almost nine months until winning his heat last week. “We changed his shoes on him as we thought he was getting a bit sore in his feet, and the steering isn’t too flash at the moment, and we are still trying to fix that, but he is getting better every run,” added Rattray who indicated the colt will now have a break. Ignatius bounced back into the winner’s list for the first time since arriving back in Tasmania in the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup. After starting off a 20-metre handicap in the 2698-metre event, Rattray settled well back in the 14-horse field before making his run three-wide from the 1100-metre mark to outstay his rivals in a mile rate of 1m 59.4s, just 0.3s outside the track record. “He has been going alright, he has to do all the work in his races and did again tonight, he is probably getting a bit fitter,” Rattray said after the win. “I was a fair way back, they were running a bit upfront, so I was happy to go with a lap and a bit to go and get up there,” added the trainer-driver. Rattray didn’t lock in a firm commitment if the pacer would return back to his brother James in New South Wales in the future. “We will just have to play on what races are about and make sure his is right and go from there,” he said. Rattray also won the Shirley Martin Mother Of Pearl with former New South Wales pacer Feel The Burn. Rattray indicated the mare would likely head to some standing start races including the country cups. The other Group 2 feature was the 6ty Bandbox which was taken out by come back pacer Blame It On Me. Trainer Doug Nettlefold said he was “relieved” after the win The Big Jim filly fractured her leg earlier this year, which resulted in three screws being inserted into her offside hind leg. “All credit to vet Tom Russell from the mainland who came down and screwed her leg back together and our local vet Catherine Charlton,” said Nettlefold. “We have never had a hiccup up at all getting her back to the track, she did scare us a couple of times, as after so long you put her out in the paddock and you get worried when she tears around that she was going to slip or do something,” explained the trainer. Driver Natalee Emery settled the filly outside the leader before sweeping to the lead working off the back straight. Blame It On Me went on to score by 4.9 metres over Better Amour with Auntie Connie a further 10.4 metres away third in 2m 0.1s. “Nat is a bit like a mother to the horse, she has stood by us with everything we have been through with the horse and has always been there, tonight was the first time I had seen her worry when she turned for home, but she has been cool and always done what she has needed to for the horse and not knocked her around,” Nettlefold said. The trainer is unsure where the filly will go next given her high national rating.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Victorian trainer John Nicholson has a handy record when he sends pacers to the Apple Isle, and he will be hoping that Micton Mouse can continue the trend in this week’s Group 2 Globe Derby Final, after an all the way win in his heat in Launceston on Sunday night. Sent out the popular pick at $1.85, reinsman Dylan Ford took the gelded son of Stonebridge Regal straight to the early lead and was able to hold off the challenges of Kuzma and Kivik to score in 2m 0.7s for the 2200-metre trip. “He switched off at the half-mile and just did what he had to do late, which surprised me a bit as he was travelling well before then, but he got the job done and that is the main thing,” said Dylan Ford after the win. Micton Mouse has now won four of his 17-starts, with all four of those wins coming in four Tasmanian starts, including the Tasmanian Derby earlier this season and Ford believes if the pacer has some luck in Tuesday’s barrier draw for the Globe Derby Final that the gelding can add another feature race to his resume, and possibly secure the Tasmanian three-year-old colt and gelding title in next week’s final. “His gate speed helps him, so hopefully he can draw close to the fence or in the same sort of position and if he were able to find the top, he would be hard to beat,” said the reinsman. The first heat of the Globe Derby was won by the Todd Rattray-trained and driven pacer Kohanah who returned to the winner’s list for the first time since early February to register his seventh career win by 3.8 metres over Kosimo and Watchmylips. Blame It On Me stamped herself as the one to beat in the $50,000 Group 2 Bandbox on Sunday night with a tough win in her heat. The Big Jim filly worked through the field early from her second row draw and proved too strong for Better Amour by 3.2 metres, with Beautides full-sister Kabibi a further 6.3 metres away third in 2m 0.6s. Heat One of the Bandbox was taken out by the Kate MacLeod trained-Machbev who was too quick for the early leader Spooky Girl in 2m 5.5s courtesy of a well-judged drive by Ricky Duggan. The Finals of both Group 2 races will be held in Launceston this Sunday night along with the $12,000 Danbury Park Cup, $12,000 Shirley Martin, plus heats of the four-year-old sires’ stakes races, the Raider Stakes and Granny Smith on a program that should boost at least 10 races.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

It was a night north-west coast participants won’t forget for some time in Hobart on Sunday. Agouda Ruler scored in the Dandy Patch and ended an eight-year drought for the north-west coast horses in Sires’ Stakes finals, in fact, you have to go back to the mid to late 90’s to find the last two-year-old Sires’ Stakes winner from the north-west coast. The north-west coast didn’t have to wait long for their next Sires’ Stakes winner when Melnrowley led all the way to score in the Evicus just over an hour later. The wins were a part of five winners for driver Gareth Rattray on the night, with Rattray and his fiancée Melissa Maine welcoming their new son Kayden into the world at 11am on Saturday. At 2am on Sunday morning Maine foaled down a half-sister to Agouda Ruler, part of a big weekend for the family. In other news, Kasey Kent, daughter of former north-west trainer Ian Kent, is the latest participant to join a long list of young Tasmanians in Victoria, and she prepared her first win as a trainer at only her second start in Shepparton on Monday afternoon with former New Zealand pacer Reckon Im Smart. The Stars Melnrowley – delivered the first sires’ stakes win for trainer, part-owner and breeder Craig Hayes when the daughter of Heston Blue Chip led all the way in the Group 2 Evicus. The filly was kept honest in the middle stages and proved too tough in a two-year-old fillies record in Hobart of 1m 57.5s when notching up her fifth career win at start six. Agouda Ruler – also delivered a first sires’ stakes win for his owner-breeders Larry and Liz Nichols and her trainer John Castles. The gelded son of Betterthancheddar settled on the back of the $1.28 favourite Rocknovertime before utilising the Nutrein Ag Sprint Lane to record the quickest last half-mile of the meeting in 56.40s. The win took the pacers prizemoney earnings pass $50,000. Gareth Rattray – not only did the master reinsman drive both Melnrowley and Agouda Ruler to victory but he also drove another three winners on the 10-race card. It was the third time Rattray has driven five winners on a single program after achieving the feat in Launceston on 29/11/09 and Burnie on 19/01/14. Racketters Boy – had won five of 53 starts in New Zealand before impressing at his Australian debut in Hobart on Sunday. He was driven by his trainer Troy Hillier, who has a good eye for a kiwi import. Hillier indicated that the horse had been working well before the win and that he is considering a start in Sunday week’s $12,000 Danbury Park Cup in Launceston. Nine Diamonds – was one of four winners on the Hobart card for trainer Ben Yole and the filly continued her progression through the national rating system with a dominant win in a race that was effectively a rating 42 to 61 event. It was the Auckland Reactor fillies fifth career win at start 20 and given her recent form there looks to be many wins left in her. Multiple Winners Hobart – Sunday evening Gareth Rattray – driving quintet; Baccarat, Agouda Ruler, Melnrowley, Bettabrown Tiger and Karalta Dazzler, Ben Yole – training quartet; Baccarat, Nine Diamonds, Got The Goods and Karalta Dazzler, Marc Butler – training double; Spooky Girl, Bettabrown Tiger, Troy McDonald – driving double; Nine Diamonds and Got The Goods. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Sunday evening Agouda Ruler 56.40s, Racketters Boy 56.67s, Rocknovertime 56.86s, Taurisi 56.98s and Hez The One 57.03s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Sunday evening Hit’s: Racketeers Boy $2.40 into $1.80 and Melnrowley $1.30 into $1.14. Defied the Drift: Baccarat $5.00 out to $5.50, Spooky Girl $7.00 out to $9.00, Agouda Ruler $4.00 out to $8.50, Kardesler $2.70 out to $3.20, Got The Goods $4.40 out to $4.80 and Karalta Dazzler $3.80 out to $4.80. Missed: Micton Aroha $2.90 into $2.60, Rocknovertime $1.35 into $1.28, Live For Peace $15 into $7.00, Betterbsweet $3.60 into $4.00, My Celebrity $3.20 into $2.60 and Jeans Mattjesty $12 into $6.00. Trial File Carrick Park – Monday evening Despite being a rating 71 to 89 trial staged at Carrick Park on Monday, star pacer Ryley Major somehow found himself in a trial where his three rivals were rated between 44 to 49. As you would expect the 120 rated pacer won the trial under a stronghold by his trainer-driver Rohan Hillier when coming from last at the 600-metre mark to defeat Queen Of Diamonds, who raced very erratically throughout, by a neck. The mile rate was 2m 2.0s, but this season’s Tasmania Cup winner did start several lengths out of position and his individual time would have been quicker. Other winners included his half-brother Tommy Hillfigure (2m 4.0s), Giftofjoy (2m 8.7s) and The Floyd (2m 3.5s). You can view the weekend’s replays by clicking here. Week Ahead The two-year-old Sires’ Stakes is done and dusted and now the series rolls on to the three-year-olds in Launceston on Sunday where two heats of the Bandbox and Globe Derby will be held. The second heat of the Bandbox looks to be a pre-final clash between Tasmanian Oaks winner A Spanish Dance, who is first-up with no recent trial, taking on in-form mare Blame It On Me who has won two starts back from injury. As for the Globe Derby, the second heat sees Tasmanian Derby winner Micton Mouse return to the state and the John Nicholson pacer has drawn well in barrier three, with Kivik the highest-rated pacer in the race by one-point drawing barrier seven. The first heat sees Watchmylips return from a spell after winning his previous three starts with the race featuring last year’s Dandy Patch winner Colby Sanz and second placegetter Kohanah with both horses out to recapture some of their best form ahead of the Group 2 Final next week. Race One is scheduled for 17:22 and will be on Sky Racing 2, with the final nine races on Sky Racing 1. Trainer Geoff Smith has sent recent Devonport winner Laid Back Kenny interstate this week, and he is one of two Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues including; Melton – Saturday Night Race 4 Horse 4 Laid Back Kenny, Menangle – Saturday Night Race 2 Horse 1 Shelby Bromac (Emg)   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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

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

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

Last seasons Tasmanian two-year-old filly Blame It On Me made a winning return to the race track from a broken pastern bone in Hobart on Sunday night. From barrier four, driver Natalee Emery rolled forward to race outside the leader and proved too good for Better Amour by 2.3 metres with Iden Gorgeous finishing a further 18.6 metres away third in a mile rate of 2m 0.5s. “This was a starting for the Bandbox, and there were a lot of nice horses in the race, we went out with a plan to go forward early, and then there wasn’t one after that,” said winning driver Natalee Emery after the race. “We expected her to go well, but she exceeded expectations as we didn’t expect her to sit in the death and win like she did," explained Emery. "Better Amour came to her up the straight and worried me there for a stride, but once she got to her girth, she wasn’t going to let her run past, she was just doing what she had to do to the line,” added the driver. The filly hadn’t been seen since contesting a race in Launceston in early January which is a credit to her trainer Doug Nettlefold to get the filly back without a trial from the forced break. “I’m really relieved, more so for Doug and Ange (Nettlefold), they have had a torrid time the last 12 months, and for that filly to come back from a broken pastern and not having a trial it is all credit to Doug for doing a super job,” said Emery. “She was always a nice two-year-old, but I always said to Doug she would make a better three-year-old and she has matured a lot and developed, and going forward she will benefit from that run in leaps and bounds,” added the winning driver which is a huge warning to her rivals ahead of next months Group 2 Bandbox in Launceston. Two heats of the Evicus were staged on the program with Stepping Stones leading all the way to score by 11.9 metres in 1m 59.6s in heat one while $1.07 favourite Melnrowley handled her rivals with ease in the second heat by 10.2 metres in 2m 0.6s. The prelude of the Dandy Patch was taken out by Lancelot who raced up to his terrific second placing in the Sweepstakes final when he recorded a 13-metre win over the $1.30 favourite Rocknovertime in 2m 4.2s for the 2090 metre trip.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The Geoff Smith stable has been going great guns in recent weeks, and that trend continued in Devonport on Friday evening with the trainer notching up a double on the seven-race program. Four-year-old American Ideal gelding Im Quite American provided the first leg of Smith’s double when scoring in a rating 50 to 54 mobile event. Hannah Van Dongen drove Im Quite American, the pacer was having his first start since being purchased from New South Wales and only arrived in the Smith stable two weeks ago. From barrier six on the tight Devonport track, the pacer didn’t have the best of runs, after being caught three-wide for just over a lap before ending up well back in the field, before flying home out five-wide to score by 1.3 metres in a mile rate of 2m 4.5s on a track that was clearly rain-affected given the times on the program. “He pulled very hard and sat three-wide early and then he had to go back to last and he still flew home,” Smith said about the win. “The bloke I bought him from rang me up after the race to congratulate me, and he couldn’t believe the run,” added Smith. “He is only a little horse, when he arrived here I thought I bought a shetland pony, but I’m really pleased I have got him, and he was only a cheap one too,” said Smith about the pacer, and there is no doubt on the performance of his first-up win the gelding should pick up a few more races yet. Smith prepared six-year-old gelding Laid Back Kenny to his sixth win of the season later in the night, and the trainer was confident heading into the rating 60 to 64 rated event. “I thought he could win, he is going better every start of late, Lord Stark got away from him in Launceston last week and then he got held up before running home well for fourth,” Smith said. Settling well back in the field from outside of the second-row, the race appeared like it was going to suit the front markers given the slow early tempo of the race, but driver Mark Yole was able to get a nice three-wide cart-up into the race over the final 1000 metres, before scoring by 2.5 metres over the leader and race favourite Betterbsweet. The win was one of three on the night for driver Mark Yole who scored on Little Cessna ($23) and Pink Ponder ($6.60) later in the night to give the driver his 50th win of the season, making him the sixth driver to achieve the feat during the extended season. Pink Ponder is trained by the states leading trainer Ben Yole, who also prepared Proficient ($3.70) to victory earlier in the night, with Hannah Van Dongen gaining the late call-up, to replace Taylor Ford who was indisposed, to also register a double on the card. Ben Yole’s training double saw him notch up his 850th career training win   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Seven-year-old gelding Proficient should appreciate a drop in class when he lines up in the Jeremy Rockliff MP Mobile in Devonport on Friday night. The seven-year-old gelding was runner up behind The Shallows on Sunday night in the $12,000 Show Cup in Launceston against open class company. In that standing start event, the winner of 15 races ended up one-out and two-back before working into clear racing room with 600 metres to travel. The gelded son of Bettors Delight hit the front at the halfway down the home straight and fought on courageously to be defeated 1.6 metres. He was driven on that occasion by Taylor Ford and trainer Ben Yole has elected to use her three-point concession claim to get the pacer into Friday’s 65 to 74 rating event. The slight concern for punters tonight is the outside of the second-row draw, but the pacers only win in the state was at the last Devonport meeting on 6 September when drawing outside of the front row. While Taylor Ford takes the reins on the favourite in the second leg of the quaddie, she puts the polish on the favourite of the third leg of the quaddie in the way of former Victorian Robs Legacy. The four-year-old Artistic Fella mare has won two of 13 starts and will go into the race with two placings out of her last three outings, the most recent at Horsham on 17 September after leading. Taylor has given the driving responsibilities to her older brother Dylan in the rating 55 to 64 event that is restricted to mares. Dylan also drives the first race favourite in the first leg of the quaddie on Betterbsweet who has drawn well in barrier one and she has a liking to the Devonport track with one win and two placings from six starts. Friday’s seven-race card will be televised on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV with the first race set down for 18:19.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

At only his second try in open class racing, the Heath Woods-trained and driven pacer The Shallows claimed the $12,000 Tasmanian Horse Transport Show Cup in Launceston on Sunday night. The gelded son of Shadyshark Hanover paced away safely to settle one-out and three-back before trainer-driver Heath Woods was able to get the pacer into clear racing room over the final 600 metres. “Everything worked out very well, I managed to be in the running line early, Matty Cooper (driver of Call Me Hector) came around early and ensured a good tempo and then when Gareth (Rattray) came around on Scooterwillrev I managed to get onto his back and he managed to get me a fair way into the race and my bloke was able to do the rest,” explained the winning trainer-driver about the 1.6-metre victory over Proficient and Lip Reader. The $3.80 race favourite Ignatius finished eighth from his 30-metre handicap. The mile rate for the 2200-metre trip was a slick 1m 59.72s with the last half mile run in 57.20s. It was the first standing start try for The Shallows at his 26th career start and Woods believes the pacer will take benefit from the run with his standing start manners. “He just dwelled a fraction at the start but then once when he hit his straps, he was right, it will just take him a couple of runs and he will learn what it is all about,” Woods said. It was the 12th career win for The Shallows and the win takes his national rating to 87, meaning he will have to race in open class races in the state over the next few months. “He seems like he has pulled up well, I will wait and see where we go next, but I reckon we will head towards the Danbury Park Cup,” said Woods. The main aim is the $30,000 Tassie Golden Apple in December, with a feature race list for the 2020 season for the state yet to be publicly released and there is no desire from the stable to send the pacer across Bass Strait. “If he ever went away, we would want to take him ourselves and logistically that is hard at the moment, when there is the money on offer at the moment there isn’t much sense going too far away from home,” explained Woods. It was a handy payday for connections of the two first race winners with Laurens Runner and Iden Gorgeous. The win saw the pacers take home the first prize cheque from the two $10,000 prizemoney races, plus a $10,000 first win Tasbred bonus.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The two-year-olds flew around Hobart last week in the finals of the Sweepstakes which were taken out by Rocknovertime and Melnrowley on a night where there were many highlights. The two-year-olds will be back out in force on Sunday week in Hobart with heats of the Sires Stakes Series. This week harness racing heads to Launceston for a nine-race card with the $12,000 Tasmanian Horse Transport Show Cup the feature. The Stars Rocknovertime – was able to overcome the outside of the second row draw over the sprint trip to take out the Colts and Geldings Sweepstakes Final with Rohan Hillier in the sulky. After leading up the three-wide line for the final 1100 metres, the gelding broke the 2YO age track record and gave his trainer Paul Hill his eighth Sweepstakes win. Melnrowley – had to burn the candle at both ends of the race to score in the Sweepstakes Fillies Final. The Craig Hayes-trained, Gareth Rattray driven pacer had the mile rate of 1m 58.4s to equal the 2YO Fillies Aged Record. Bronte Miller – drove her first winner at her ninth race drive when she teamed up with the Ben Yole-trained Jakes A Joy to score by 10.10 metres in the Crown Lager Pace. Ben Richardson – returned to the winner’s list after a run of outs when he trained Damitsam to a narrow victory in the Rexel North Hobart Pace. Mark Yole – trained and drove a double on the card with Black Ops who continued his consistent form and Chilla Breeze in the Claimer who recently re-joined Yole’s stable. Cold Crusher – Deborah Williams-trained trotter recorded a dominant win in the trotter’s event, the gelding’s last three wins have all be in mobile start races. Multiple Winners Hobart – Sunday evening Mark Yole – training and driving; Black Ops and Chila Breeze. Gareth Rattray – driving double; Karalta Invader and Melnrowley. Ricky Duggan – driving double; Cold Crusher and Damitsam. Ben Yole – training double; Jakes A Joy and My Celebrity. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Sunday evening Rocknovertime 56.61s, Agouda Ruler 57.60s, Lancelot 57.72s, Damitsam 57.95s and Mia From Memphis 57.98s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Sunday evening Hit’s: Karalta Invader $2.50 into $2.20, Melnrowley $1.70 into $1.55, Christian Major $7.00 into $5.00 and My Celebrity $4.00 into $3.30. Defied The Drift: Rocknovertime $2.30 out to $2.90, Damitsam $12 out to $16 and Chilla Breeze $12 out to $17. Missed: Micton Aroha $14 into $5.00, Stepping Stones $9.00 into $7.50, Living On Prare $15 into $11, Kardesler $5.00 into $2.80, Somedan $9.00 into $7.00, Victoria Pass $5.00 into $3.80, Got The Goods $9.00 into $7.00, Sign Of Pro $4.00 into $3.40, Always A Stride $3.40 into $2.70, Im Barney Rubble $12 into $8.50 and Jeans Mattjesty $10 into $5.00. Trial File Carrick Park – Saturday morning Emjays Black Chip recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the six trials when leading all the way to take out a 46 to 75 rating trial, that saw the field compete over the mile trip as opposed to the 1670-metre that has been used at Carrick Park for over 12 years. The Michael Laugher trained pacer was driven by Gareth Rattray for a five-metre win in 2m 3.4s. Other winners included; The Shady One (2m 6.7s), Barooga Rock (2m 10.4s), Kens Chips (2m 11.2s), Albatross (2m 7.1s) and Tisu Spirit (2m 13.2s). You can view the replays by clicking here. Week Ahead Nine races will be staged in Launceston on Sunday night where the Tasmanian Horse Transport Show Cup is the feature race on the card. A field of 14 will contest the 2200-metre Discretionary Handicap where Ignatius faces a tough ask off a 30-metre handicap. Other handicap runners in the race include Scooterwillrev, Full Speed Ahead, and Shelby Bromac off 10 metres while Izaha and Call Me Hector face a 20-metre handicap. The $12,000 event is also the first leg of the quaddie at 19:33. Currently, only the last eight races are listed for Sky Racing 1 and the first race on Sky Racing 2. The first race is scheduled for 17:36 but both the start time and television schedule have changed closer to race day in recent weeks. Some Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues include; Melton – Saturday night Race 4 Horse 13 Blingittothemax.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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