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Anderson, IN— October 22, 2020—Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will host a weekend of world-class harness racing as the 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will begin with eliminations on Friday, October 23. Twelve Breeders Crown eliminations for varying age groups of both gaits and genders will highlight Friday’s live racing action while five eliminations will be featured on Saturday's live racing card. The sport’s best trotters and pacers will be looking to secure a spot in next weekend’s lucrative finals.  The Open Pace, Open Trot and Mare Trot did not require eliminations and will go directly to the finals on Sat. Oct. 31. There were 61 two-year-olds entered, resulting in $25,000 eliminations in all divisions for Friday, Oct. 23. All of the two-year-old finals will carry a purse of $600,000. There were 61 three-year-olds entered, resulting in $25,000 eliminations in all divisions with the fillies racing on Friday, Oct. 23 and the colts on Saturday, Oct. 24. All of the three-year-old finals will feature a purse of $500,000.  Harrah’s Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the Breeders Crown Finals and eliminations cards. The live stream will be available on YouTube along with a link available on Harrah's Hoosier Park's website. In addition to a live stream of the racing cards, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will provide a live stream of the post position draws.  The draw broadcast will be part of a week-long coverage leading up to the Breeders Crown finals, including the Breeders Crown post draw reception which will be held on Monday, October 26 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park at 6pm. Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s social media feeds will also stream the post position draws and other Breeders Crown event week festivities. The Breeders Crown finals will be drawn in the following order:  Friday, October 23—following the final elimination race: Open Mare Trot Two-Year-Old Colt Pace  Two-Year-Old Colt Trot Two-Year-Old Filly Pace   Saturday, October 24—following the final elimination race: Open Mare Pace Two-Year-Old Filly Trot Three-Year-Old Filly Pace Three-Year-Old Filly Trot   Monday, October 26—Post Draw Reception at 6pm:  Open Trot Open Pace Three-Year-Old Colt Pace Three-Year-Old Colt Trot   Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will host the 2020 Breeders Crown Finals on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 with limited spectators, in accordance with the approved health and safety plan for the event.    The 2020 Breeders Crown event, presented by The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will be the 37th edition of the $6 million event. First post for the Breeders Crown eliminations will be 6:30 p.m. (EDT) while post time for the Breeders Crown finals will be 6:00 p.m. (EDT). For more information on the Breeders Crown or upcoming events at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.    Emily Ratcliff

Some elite talent will pass through Chris Alford’s hands tonight, with just three of his horses having already amassed more than $2.3 million in stakes and 14 Group 1s. Across races five, seven and eight 'the Puppet' will steer Cruz Bromac ($1,056,075 winnings, 5 Group 1s), Our Princess Tiffany ($852,262, 6 Group 1s) and Wobelee ($415,239, 5 Group 1s), an extraordinary collection of talent that signals a great night’s racing ahead at Tabcorp Park Melton. “The way the season went, all the good horse are back in getting primed for the big races, so it’s really exciting,” Alford told Trots Talk. The shortest of his stars will likely be Our Princess Tiffany, a $1.60 favourite in the Angelique Club Cup, leg two of the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown. Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown standings  Horse   Points  Our Princess Tiffany  8  Maajida  5  Goodtime Heaven  3  Rock N Roll Chapel   2  Pick Up Line   1             The four-year-old, who’s raced for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s All Stars for much of her career but crossed to Dean Braun for her Victorian campaign, was extraordinary in winning last week’s Benstud Make Mine Cullen. It was her first start since jumping the Tasman and has her well placed to not only win the new $10,000 prize for the best horse in the series, but potentially the $20,000 bonus for sweeping all three races. “She was (stunning),” Alford said of last week’s win. “First up from a mini break after coming from New Zealand, to do what she did was pretty amazing, it just shows how classy she is. “She’s pretty professional like a lot of the Purdon horses are, they can do pretty much everything. “She flopped along at the back of the field and when the speed came on at about the 600 she knew it was time to go, she grabbed the bit and just wanted to get on with it. “Around the last turn I had a stranglehold on her just to keep her off (Goodtime Heaven’s driver Mick) Stanley’s head, trying not to clip his wheel as she came out because she was that wound up ready to go.” And expectations in the camp are that she should just get better tonight and into the $100,000 Benstud Queen Of The Pacific on October 31, the final leg of the series. “Dean said she’s trained on really well since then, so all looking forward to the next leg of it and hopefully she can get the second leg down and go into the big one the week after,” Braun said. Before then he’ll take hold of Cruz Bromac in the TAB Long May We Play Bold David Free For All, with the million-dollar pacer having his third Victorian start after disappointing first-up and then rattling home to finish sixth in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup. “He was terrible (first-up), left everyone scratching their heads a bit, but he’s trained a bit harder since then,” Alford said. “Because he’s an eight or nine-year-old now, he probably just took a bit more work than what he did the year before, so he seems to be getting wound up now. “The draw didn’t work out that well for us in the Vic Cup, but apart from the winner his sectionals were quicker than any other horse in the race, and that was only his second-up run in 12 months, so he should improve again this week.” Alford’s also hopeful of improvement from star trotter Wobelee, who’s trained by his wife Alison and looks well placed for a late charge at likely leaders Red Hot Tooth and Dance Craze in the Aldebaran Park True Roman Trotters Free For All. “The trotters are really really strong at the moment,” he said. “You have the two mares off the front row and McLovin, Wobelee and Savannah Jay Jay off the back. It’s going to be a pretty tactical race, hopefully there’s a fair bit of speed on which will suit us. “(Wobelee) went all right in the Bill Collins race, he was probably just a run short because he hadn’t run in three weeks. Hopefully that tightened him up for this week.” While Alford may not have a drive in The Big Screen Company Tatlow Stakes Group 2 for two-year-old fillies, with Rogue Wave the emergency, he’ll drive quality in the colts and geldings division in Idyllic, albeit from the outside-the-back-row draw. He’ll also partner Treasure for Isabel Walsh in the DNR Logistics Argent 3YO Classic, Brevity for David Aiken in the Alabar Vicbred Championship second heat and Kyvalley Clichy for Brent Lilley in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Trot.   HRV - Michael Howard

When Woodlands Stud picks a stallion the process is not a decision made over night. With over 25 years of success in shuttling stallions, Woodlands Stud remains Australasia’s leading stallion base and the decision to acquire the equal fastest pacer in history, Lather Up, was a fastidious one. Lather Up was simply one of the USA’s greatest pacer’s in recent times. He broke two world records and became the fastest four-year-old in history over a mile and the single fastest horse over a mile and one eighth. Lather Up won the 3yo race all horses aspire to when he won the North American Cup in 1.48.1, he bankrolled over USD $1.9 million and was a genuine star. Lather Up not only brings speed, stamina and a great gait, he brings two of Australasia’s greatest ever producing sires in Bettor’s Delight and In The Pocket to the table. Lather Up’s sire, I’m  Gorgeous, was amongst the best 3yos of his generation and the maternal side of the family is very rich in vein with his dam, Pocket Comb, a mother of nine winners from 10 foals. Simply his pedigree rocks! The great news for breeders is that Lather Up has a number of mares in foal early on both sides of ‘the ditch’ and his semen quality is outstanding. Standing along side super sire American Ideal at Northern Rivers Equine at Kyabram, Lather Up has a quality book of mares for a first season sire, amongst them Australian mares of the year and mares who won seven figures on the racetrack! Lather Up’s service fee is $6600 GST INC, with discounts applicable. When we shuttled ‘Sweet Lou’ down under, some pundits scoffed at our decision and all the hard yards Sweet Lou has done have proved that a stallion like Lather Up has a place in Australasia. Australian breeders have taken notice over time that when you breed to a Woodlands Stud, you are breeding to stallions that are meticulously chosen. In a results driven business, we get results. For bookings to Woodlands Stud stallions in Australia, contact Woodlands Australian manager Mark Hughes on 0451 650707 or via email at mark@woodlandsstud.co.nz CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT WOODLANDS STUD

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Two-year-old trotters mile record A fresh Australian mile record for a two-year-old trotter was established by the Yield Boko filly Aldebaran Ursula of 1:56.8 – bettering her own national record of 1:59.1 by 2.3 seconds – when she won at Menangle recently. Aldebaran Ursula, who has now won four of her six starts – she finished second in a heat of the NSW Foundation Series and an unlucky fourth in the Final – is a member of the same family as the Inter Dominion champion Winterfell. Bred by Aldebaran Park stud, Aldebaran Ursula is a second foal, being by Yield Boko from the Continentalman mare Ushaka Bromac Tr 1:59.3 ($144,985), whose dam Ursula Bromac was by Live Or Die, a champion sire of pacers by Die Laughing from Universal Kim, by Holmes Hanover from Kim Bromac, by Bo Scot’s Blue Chip. Ushaka Bromac, a winner of 16 races, was a half-sister to Put Your Lights On (2:00), Badlands Bromac (2:00.1) and Garbo, all pacing winners. Their dam, Ursula Bromac, who was unraced, ranks as a sister to Una Bromac, dam of the outstanding trotters Winterfell Tr 1:58.1 ($426,384) and Escapee Tr 1:57.4 ($263,115), a top Queensland trotter in Needle Tr 1:57.4 ($122,481) and Caligula, who established an Australian mile record for a trotting gelding of 1:54.4 at Menangle last March. Ursula Bromac was a half-sister to the NZ, Australian and USA winner Ulrica Bromac 1:49.6 ($250,339) and the Albion Park victor Kylie Bromac 1:55.6. In the back removes of Aldebaran Ursula’s pedigree are pacers of the calibre of Menin Gate, Smooth Showgirl, Allwood’s Chief, Astral Francais and Beefy T but in some branches of the family the emphasis has been on trotters.     Close relatives win at Penrith Far Out Bro, Backintown and Sport Cadet, who won on the same night at Penrith recently, are all members of the same family. All were bred by the Sloy’s Company. The three-year-old Far Out Bro (by Mach Three) and four-year-old Backintown (by Bettor’s Delight) are half-brothers, both being out of Far Apart (2:01.5), an Art Major mare from the good Harold Park winner Come Together (1:58.5), by Western Hanover from the NSW Sires Stakes champion Miss Chevious 2:00.7 ($166,786), by Troublemaker. Sport Cadet, a five-year-old gelding by Sportswriter, is out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Nothin Bettor (1:56), a half-sister to Far Apart, the dam of Far Out Bro and Backintown. Nothin Bettor, who won three races at Menangle, is also the dam of the Albion Park winner Hot Red Heaven (1:52.6). This is the family which produced such winners as Luda (1:52.5) and Spicy Stride (1:52.8), both NSW Breeders Challenge champions, the Bathurst Gold Crown winner Astride (1:53.6), Oyster Stride (1:53.5) and Steel Screens (1:53.7).   Keayang Ninja is top two-year-old trotter When he won the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final at Melton last Saturday, Keayang Ninja scored his fourth success, and he is entitled to be rated as this season’s top two-year-old trotter. From five starts, he has won four and been placed once for $40,390 in stakes. Keayang Ninja      --Stuart McCormick photo   Keayang Ninja is by the Conway Hall horse Wishing Stone, a world champion trotter himself and now at the stud in Italy. Wishing Stone is out of the Valley Victory mare Meadowbranch Magic, a member of the noted Minnehaha tribe which has produced a host of winners in both Australia and NZ over the years and included a top pacer in Poster Boy, a dual Vicbred champion and Derby winner, and Five Star Anvil, who won feature races in NZ, Victoria and Tasmania. On his dam’s side, Keayang Ninja has something in his favour. His dam Another Clare (Tr 2:02), by Keystone Crosby, is a granddaughter of the Caliburn mare Downsouth’s Sister, dam of the NSW Trotters Derby and Bill Collins Mile winner Clare’s Brother Tr 1:58.6 ($179,007). Downsouth’s Sister was a sister to a fine trotter in Downsouth Clare, the winner of 19 races and $101,313 and one-time holder of the Australian trotting mare’s mile record of 1:59.2, and a half-sister to former Trotter of the Year and cups winner Game Ebony Tr 2:03.7 (29 wins and $181,636) and the Chris Howe Cup winner Mister Everest. Their dam, Lucy Clare, a good winner in the Melbourne Showgrounds era, was a half-sister to a capable trotter in Supreme Soon, dam of the Derby heat winner Uncle Grubby. Other members of this family have been Sparkling Success Tr 1:53.9 ($420,170), a dual Breeders Crown champion and winner of the Great Southern Star, and the dual Bill Collins Mile winner Will Trapper Tr 1:59.9 ($266,100), Trapper’s Salute Tr 1:54.2 ($222,685) and Trapper’s Puzzle (SA Trotters Cup). Keayang Ninja was bred by Marg, Jason and Paddy Lee.   Well related three-year-old Adira, who won a semi-final of the NSW Breeders Challenge at Menangle, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she won twice from three attempts. She has maintained her solid form as a three-year-old winning seven races and will be among the leading fancies for the $125,000 Breeders Challenge Final on Saturday. Adira is by the Mach Three horse, Somebeachsomewhere, from the Bettor’s Delight mare Our Lissome (2:05.8), and is her first foal. Our Lissome ranks as a half-sister to three winners including Lislass (2:01.3), dam of the Albion Park winner Escalera (1:53), being out of the American-bred Lisdargan, by The Panderosa from the Abercrombie Lisaleen, a sister to the champion racehorse and sire Albert Albert. Lis Mara 1:47.6 ($2.1 million), a US Breeders Crown winner and successful sire, a top flight filly in I Luv The Nightlife 1:48.8 ($1.9 million) and the smart colts Captain Victorious (1:48.6) and De Los Cielos Deo (1:50) also belong to this family.   Blue blooded filly Soho Broadway, who cleared novice class at the Harness Breeders Victoria meeting at Maryborough, is a two-year-filly who can claim some worthwhile blood. By Bettor’s Delight, she is out of the prized Art Major mare Pixel Perfect, whose dam, Amarillen, ranked as a sister to the Oaks winner Tenirama (2:00.1) and a half-sister to Group winners Terryrama (1:56) and Cody Maverick (1:58.9), their dam, Nellirama, being out of the dual Oaks winner Nellie Robins. Soho Broadway ranks as a half-sister to four Group winners including Soho Tribeca 1:53.8 ($1.1 million), now at the stud in Victoria, the NSW Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel 1:49.5 ($480,128) and the APG Final winner Soho Nolita 1:53 ($238,220).   Vicbred Platinum two-year-old winner Sheza Pleasure, who won the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final for two-year-old trotting fillies at Melton, is a Bacardi Lindy filly from the same family as that which produced a top NSW trotter in Arizona Blue. Sheza Pleasure       --Stuart McCormick photo Sheza Pleasure, who had been placed in her heat, overcame a difficult draw and a wide passage to post her first success in the Group 1. A member of an old time family, she ranks as a half-sister to Milly’s Magic, who won at Globe Derby Park on the same night as Sheza Pleasure won. A half-brother in Lord Lohki was placed at Shepparton two nights earlier. Sheza Pleasure’s dam, Sheza Comment, was by a top American trotter in Sierra Kosmos (Tr 1:53.8, who traces back to the thoroughbred mare Sally Sovereign, by Sovereign), from Sheza Cop (Tr 2:04.5), by Keystone Gondola (son of Speedy Crown) from Arctic Fox, by North Pole (son of Meadow Skipper) from All Aflame, by Scottish Brigade from All States. This family has had an association of some 80 years in Australia, and is has been responsible for a long line of winners such as Arizona Blue Tr 1:56.9 ($236,465), a winner of 21 races including the Victoria and NSW Derbies and Bruce Skeggs Trotters Cup, the SA Derby winner Ima Cop Too, The Keystone Cop (26 wins), the prolific Menangle winner Chalcis (Tr 1:59.3), Sheza Amason (Tr 1:59.5) and Keystone Maori (Strathalbyn Trotters Cup). The first three dams of Sheza Pleasure have left 15 winners from 27 foals.   Shoobee Doo on top Shoobee Doo, a winner of the NSW Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial and recently a winner at Melton, is one of the most promising four-year-olds in Victoria at present. Shoobee Doo        --Stuart McCormick photo He has won $124,270 in stakes, a worthwhile return for the $16,500 paid for him as a yearling. By the Artsplace horse Shoobee’s Place, and one of first crop, he is out of Lavish Art (1:56.9), by Modern Art from Lavish Franco, by Soky’s Atom from the Lordship mare Lady Barbara. Shoobee Doo is a brother to the dual Menangle winner Katchar Shobee (1:53.7).   Star three-year-old by American Ideal A bright future is being predicted for the American Ideal three-year-old The Ideal Touch, whose success at Gloucester Park last Friday was his fourth winning run in as many starts in WA. He has a good deal in his favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by American Ideal, a leading sire in both NZ and Australia, The Ideal Touch is out of the Mach Three mare Touch Of Rose (2:00.1), the dam of earlier winners in Ferritt’s Sister (1:56.9), Fiery Ferret (1:58.3) and Delightful Gloria (1:59.2). Touch Of Rose, a Listed placegetter as a two-year-old, was out of Rose Sands (TT1:57.8), by Holmes Hanover from the good producer Sonorous (1:59.9), by Noodlum from Panasonic, by Jerry Adios from the NSW Oaks winner Strafe. The family, which traces to the Blackwood Abdallah mare Miss Kate, producer a champion pacer in Shakamaker 1:55 ($2.2 million), who won 46 races, including the Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup, and other top pacers in Haughty, who won two New Zealand Cups, Destreos and Report For Duty.   Won Pot of Gold Major Fernco, who won the Pot of Gold Final at Albion Park and now won three races from six starts in Queensland, promises to make rapid progress through the classes. Bred in NZ’s Southland district, Major Fernco is a three-year-old colt by Art Major from Sniper’s Lair, by a NZ Cup winner in Changeover (an In The Pocket horse who is now standing stud in Queensland) from Lil’s Dream (TT1:55.7), by Smooth Fella from Miss Denover  Sniper’s Lair, who was unraced, is a half-sister to Outtasight 1:59 (4 NZ wins) and to the Artsplace mare National Gallery (1:54.4), a winner of 11 races including the Golden Wattle Cup and dam of the Listed winner Rocknroll Icon 1:53 ($136,403), Mach Up (1:55.1), Looking Fabulous (1:56) and the unbeaten three-year-old Honolua Bay (1:55.6). Another half-sister in Limerick Star (1:59.2) left None Bettor 1:48.8 ($562,075), now racing successfully in North America, the Victoria Sapling Stakes winner Abouttime (1:52.9) and the APG heat and semi-final winner Rosie Oreilly (1:56.5). Major Fernco can boast a pedigree with some real background with a strong staying influence behind it.   From SA Oaks winner A smart three-year-old filly in SA so far this season is Fairiesdelight, who was bred and is raced by the Cormack family. A filly by Bettor’s Delight, she is out of the SA Oaks and Sires Produce winner Awaywiththefairies (1:58.3) and the first of her produce to race. She has won four races and been placed in the SA Oaks and Ladyship and looks a three-year-old with the potential one would expect of her breeding.   by Peter Wharton

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Royal Pride became his sire Royal Aspirations’ first winner when he came storming home to take out the IRT. Your Horse. Our Passion. Trot (2600m) at Addington Raceway on Thursday night, and there was no one prouder than Fred Fletcher. The Canterbury horseman bred, owns, and trains the three-year-old colt and he said it was a delight to get the first win for Royal Aspirations, a horse he trained to 18 victories, including the Gr.1 2YO Ruby (1609m). In his first standing start, Royal Pride came away from the tapes in a gallop and took a little while to settle for driver Sam Thornley. The pair were able to tack back on to the main bunch where they remained at the rear of the field for the majority of the race. Perennial bridesmaid Queen Of Strathfield looked to have the race won halfway down the straight, however, Royal Pride showed a blistering turn of foot to run her down and claim a head victory. Fletcher was thrilled with the win and said the colt is starting to realise his potential. “It was very good, the only thing was I expected him to trot away,” Fletcher said. “He just got a bit of a fright when one galloped and that put him off his game. He is quite a sensible horse. “That was his first standing start. He went terrific afterwards and ran home pretty quick. “He has been running out of the gate in 26 quarters in those mobiles and has been running home in 57. They were a bit short for him and now he is maturing to where we want him. He is a pretty nice animal.” Fletcher was also pleased with stablemate Royal Del’s third-placing and he believes the son of Royal Aspirations also has a bright future. “Royal Del is a pretty nice horse too,” Fletcher said. “He had a few problems early on. We took him to trials and he was winning and doing things absolutely perfectly and all of a sudden he would break coming out of the gate. “So I turned him out and gelded him, then brought him back and he went well at the trials at Ashburton the other day. He went well last night, he was probably a run short. “I thought coming around the last corner her would just about win, but I always thought the other one (Royal Pride) was an ounce quicker.” With his eye-catching win Royal Pride has booked himself a return trip to Addington Raceway for New Zealand Cup Day, while a more scenic assignment is in the offing for Royal Del. “At this stage, I am looking at Cup Day for Royal Pride, there is a 2600m standing start, and we might head to Kaikoura with Royal Del.” Both three-year-olds are by Royal Aspirations, a stallion Fletcher has a huge rap on. Early on in his racing career Fletcher thought the son of Monarchy had the potential to be the best square-gaiter New Zealand had seen. High praise from a man who has trained a number of top-line trotters, including the incomparable Sundon. “If he hadn’t had got an injury as a late two-year-old I think he could have been the best trotter New Zealand has had,” Fletcher said. “He was never right but he still held five New Zealand records at one stage. He couldn’t go early because of his problem and he was always so gutsy, he tried so hard.” While Fletcher was impressed with Royal Aspirations’ athleticism, it was his mental aptitude that really captured Fletcher’s admiration. “I am a great heart man and he has got a great heart,” he said. “He could stay all day because of his heart and could carry speed for a long way, but we never saw the best of him.” A colonial-bred stallion, Royal Aspirations hasn’t served large books in his first four seasons at stud, but he has been well-patronised by Fletcher’s mares and he is over the moon with his progeny. “It’s hard to make it as a New Zealand stallion when they have got all of these imported stallions and breeders are willing to pay the $12,000 and $14,000 service fees,” Fletcher said. “I only bred four the first year with him and we have had two to race and another one qualified, and the other one is about a month away from qualifying. So the whole four of them are going to be racehorses. “I have got five two-year-olds and they are very nice horses. I think he is on his way but it will take the public a while to wake up.” Royal Aspirations stands at Phoebe Stud for a fee of $1,500+GST.

By David McCarthy    Harness racing lost one of its best reporters and analysts with the passing of long time Press trotting editor Jeff Scott. Jeff had suffered from the effects of a brain tumour diagnosed after he collapsed on a golf holiday in Queensland in mid-2019. Treatment proved unsuccessful. He died as he had lived. Brave, stoic, cheerful to the end in the face of great adversity. It was also a reflection of his career in racing journalism where he was a true professional in an era of rapid change. From farming stock in Southland, Jeff was a harness fan from an early age and while still at school had some work published in what was then the Trotting Calendar. Much of his time was spent developing his love affair with trotting. The premature deaths of both parents were an early battle with adversity handled in his usual quiet competent fashion, In 1977 he joined the Southland Times as a cadet under Norman Pierce and later Don Wright and was soon being noticed for his work. In 1982 he was hired by The Press as assistant to longtime editor Geoff Yule whom he succeeded with Yule’s firm support in 1987. He was then already editor of the highly popular Trotting Annual which he continued for four years. Even though the journalism world was changing in the wake of new technology Jeff remained true to the essential harness tradition of his earlier years. His analysis of trials and races; the sectional times and the field quality led him to be an expert selector primarily because he was not easily swept away by fads and fallacies. It was always form where Jeff was concerned and, especially as there were no replays of workouts and trials in those times, he had a large following. Jeff also had a wide knowledge of harness racing in all its forms and in all countries and continued to be well informed about the local and national scene. He probably had no equal in his time in this respect and it was the source of many news stories In later years, with the virtual demolition of the racing department of the Press through computerisation and technology and with the demand for more drama and controversy in content he was less at ease believing readers wanted substance rather than style. A wrist problem associated with RSI was typical of Jeff’s work ethic. While some others took weeks and months off work to recover he carried on without complaint. He finally resigned in 2005 having achieved all those early goals from his cadet days. It would be fair to say some industry trends dismayed him but he never let it affect his basic love of the standardbred sport. Jeff enjoyed his leisure time especially through golf where he was a leading member of a Press-based group with their own “PGA” series of “majors” and "minors” with whom he made 13 trips to Australia. In all he won 49 tournaments. In marked contrast to his racing activities Jeff could be somewhat inconsistent on the golf course - largely because of the wrist problems- but almost unbeatable on a good day. Fair to say his golf form would not have appealed to him as a harness selector. Jeff was no extrovert and underrated by some because of it, but his dry sense of humour helped him through times good and bad and was soon appreciated by his associates. He also had a canny ability to quickly sum up character and personality in others Jeff continued to work in the industry through form comments and selections for Australian publications and latterly web site management for Mark Jones and Cran Dalgety. His enthusiasm never let up and he was watching races on both sides of the Tasman until very recently with the usual solid analysis being offered after each one. Jeff was and remained devoted to his wife Nicola and sons Chris and Cam, merely an extension of his honourable character in the best of Southland traditions. Jeffrey John Scott was 59. It is not in this case just a cliche to say he will be sadly missed.

Nine-year-old gelding Image of Courage might have had a few years away from the winners' circle, but that didn't discourage Ballarat harness racing driver Brent Murphy from taking a chance on "the old boy". Murphy was confident he could get the pacer to again hit his straps, and his faith wasn't misplaced. Not only did Image Of Courage (Courage Under Fire-Its Sealed With A Kiss (Falcon Seelster) score his first win in nearly four years recently, he's now made it back-to-back victories with a win at Melton on Wednesday afternoon. Murphy said the association with Image of Courage came after he was lucky to pick up a drive on the horse at Bendigo a few months ago for local trainer Wayne Gretgrix. "Jayden Brewin was down to drive the horse, but he was obliged to handle another one in the same race, so I ended up on Wayne's pacer," Murphy said. "I'd driven the old boy a few times-and I reckon on one occasion he missed out on running second by a nostril," he said. "The horse didn't go as well as he can that day, and I got talking to Wayne after the race and he virtually said to me if I thought I could do any good with the horse, take him. Dad was hesitant at first, but because he was race fit and I was keen to have a crack, we ended up with him." Murphy admitted the first few starts with the pacer "weren't all that flash". "He played up at our first go, then hit the sulky wheels in the run at his next start and then hung-but he wasn't getting beaten by all that much," he said. "When we won at Terang, I made the decision to sit outside them and he went enormous. At Melton I grabbed hold and went back to last early, then with the slow pace I decided at the 1200m mark to get around them quick smart. "We've got him worked out at the moment in that you can use him, then he will settle. Wayne's just rapt for us. He's been so supportive and sends congratulation texts to us. When we're finished, he wants him back because he's organized a home for life for the horse." Image of Courage's follow up win nine days later at Melton also set up a career highlight for his talented young driver, as the first leg of Murphy's first ever driving double. "I'm not too sure how long Image Of Courage can keep up this form, but he has improved with each run," Murphy said. The 18-year-old, a son of respected trainer-driver David, also scored with Colossal Stride (Bettors Delight-Tailamade Lombo (Troublemaker) for visiting Sydney-based horseman Anthony Butt. "I've never driven for Anthony before, so I was thrilled to be offered the drive. It had a bit of irony about it. Anthony helped me to get my very first double, but my dad David actually gave Chris Butt (Anthony's son) his first winning drive years ago," Murphy said. "I only just got the win in the end by a narrow margin. I actually thought I may have got pipped on the post. I got on my bike pretty quick as I knew Kate (Gath) on Hit The Sky would storm home, but Colossal Stride lasted to beat her by half a head." David Murphy shows his winning style          -Stuart McCormick photo Image Of Courage has now won 12 races with 14 placings for over $80,000. His previous win prior to the two-from-two recently, was way back in November 2016, when successful at Maitland and trained by Roy Roots junior. The Terang win also provided a special piece of Murphy family history, and a rarity of the sport with father and son winning on the same program. Brent was victorious on Image of Courage in race two, and then David followed suit in the very next event by leading all the way with Metro Man (Metropolitan-Beach Kat (Safely Kept) for breeder/owner Garry Loats. Metro Man has now won five races in his career, three of these at the Terang circuit.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    A burgeoning rivalry is forming between top four-year-old trotters Bolt For Brilliance and Cracker Hill. Bolt For Brilliance beat Cracker Hill in the Gr.1 2YO Ruby Mobile Trot (1980m) at Addington Raceway last year and he once again came out on top last week at Alexandra Park when lowering the national record for the 2200m mobile to 2:39.6 when winning the Listed PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Final Mobile Trot (2200m). The pair will meet again at Alexandra Park on Friday night in the Gr.2 Haras de Trotteurs Sires’ Stakes Championship Mobile Trot (2200m). Cracker Hill’s trainer and driver Brad Williamson was pleased with the gelding’s last start performance and he is hoping for another bold showing on Friday. “He seems to have come through it well,” Williamson said. “He has been eating up well, is looking well, and has trained on well. “Fingers-crossed he goes as good as he did last time. “They lowered the New Zealand record so it was a super performance.” Bolt For Brilliance will be vying for his fifth consecutive win on Friday but Williamson is hoping Cracker Hill can spoil his party. “With the form that he (Bolt For Brilliance) is in he is clearly the one to beat,” Williamson said. “Whether or not we can turn the tables on him I am not sure. We are just hoping we can get ahead of him on the line. “Cracker Hill is in the race with a chance, but Bolt For Brilliance will certainly be hard to beat.” Williamson has enjoyed his time up in Auckland with Cracker Hill, but he is looking forward to heading back to Oamaru after Friday’s assignment in preparation for the Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All (1980m). “I have been up here with the horse the whole way through and I have been staying at Josh and John Dickie’s,” Williamson said. “They have got a state of the art training facility, so we are pretty lucky to be able to call on them when we come up here. “Cracker Hill will head home after Friday and his next start will be the free-for-all on Cup Day, that’s the main target for him. “With his gate speed he is well suited to sprint mobile racing, so if he got a good draw I think he will be a good each-way chance.” Williamson is in his fourth season of training and he said it is great to have a horse of Cracker Hill’s quality in his barn so early in his career. “It’s good to have a horse like him,” he said. “Those nice races are the ones we all want to be in and good horses are quite hard to find, so I am quite lucky to have one.”

It’s 18 days to the New Zealand Cup. From now to November 10 we will feature some of the great races, horses and personalities  with a new letter for each day. I = Il Vicolo Il Vicolo gave trainer-driver Mark Purdon the first and second of his five New Zealand Cup wins so far. The son of Vance Hanover took out the major spoils in 1995 and 1996. He’s since won with Adore Me (2014), and Lazarus (2016-17). Il Vicolo, meaning narrow street in Italian, was named after a restaurant in Melbourne.   He finished his career with 31 wins from 53 starts, and even got his face on a postage stamp for being crowned 1995 Harness Horse of the Year.     Harness Racing New Zealand

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Alexandra Park tonight with a ten race program starting at 6:19pm and in this video we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. The content and data on this video is provided for informational purposes only Check below the video for our selections for all of the races tonight for Alexandra Park.   Race 1 Luke John has been very good his last couple and small field helps. Winning claims in this field and top selection.……General Montana third last start in a stronger field. Likely to go forward and can win with a soft lead.… Captain Nemo  ok last start but will have to come from back in the field. Can place…….. Colin Bromac stuck on ok last start and will be improved. Place chances best Selections:  Luke John (4),   General Montana (3),   Captain Nemo  (5),    Colin Bromac (6)   Race 2 What's Your Secret has been racing top fields and gets in well here. Should be winning this……. Outlaw Man has ability but tricky draw. Good place chance at nice odds in this field……    Shanlou first starter with ok trial form. Trainer has a good strike rate with his starters…… Bettor Listen has not been showing much lately but better than that. Could surprise in what is an even field behind the favourite Selections:  What's Your Secret (5),   Outlaw Man (8),   Shanlou (3),   Bettor Listen (11)   Race 3 Kimkar Dash has been running good races against better fields and nice finish here last week. Hard to beat here….. Peakz Luck another dropping down in grade with good form. One of the leading chances in the race  ….. Lady Be Good draw not great but she has a ton of ability. Winning claims with no mistakes early…. Emma Frost conditions should suit here with a good draw to work with and a driver change. Running on last start and good chance at nice odds. Selections:   Kimkar Dash (12),   Peakz Luck (11),   Emma Frost (4),   Lady Be Good (7)   Race 4 Down The Hatch looks ready to go this week and impeccable formline. Top winning chance and over the odds again….. Mr Fantastic top win last start and he should land near the leaders early. Include in this lineup.. Christianshavtime racing well against stronger fields but tricky draw. Major player with a cart into the race before the home turn…. Dina Brown good form against similar fields. Will be hard to beat with luck in the running Selections:   Down The Hatch (1),   Mr Fantastic (4),   Christianshavtime (11),   Dina Brown (6)   Race 5 Bettor Twist top form in the south against strong fields. Should be winning this…… Ariella drawn to stay handy but has been a bit disappointing. Watch the tote but has winning claims… Avana getting better with racing but terrible draw. Top three player if she can get close to the leaders before the home turn turn…          Shes No Lady good draw and racing ok against similar fields. Can upset with a trail in the race. Selections:  Bettor Twist (8),   Shes No Lady (1),   Avana (12),   Ariella (2)   Race 6 Bolt For Brilliance in top form and beat these same horses comfortably last start. Looks the winner….. Cracker Hill getting better with racing and likely leader early. Quniella looks on the cards with the favourite…… Ultimate Stride looks to have a big motor but running for place money here against the two big guns .… Midnight Dash in a nice patch of form and another top four placing looks his best chance Selections:  Bolt For Brilliance (4),   Cracker Hill (2),   Ultimate Stride (5),   Midnight Dash (3)   Race 7 Darling Me has good southern form and this looks a winnable race for her. Should run first or second ……. Taipo going ok and gets an ok draw. Could surprise at good money here.… Nevada not great the last couple against top opposition but has been freshened. Can run top three. Jack Ryan stable respect but manners a concern. Has claims with no mistakes Selections:  Taipo (5),   Darling Me (2),  Nevada (3),  Jack Ryan (4)   Race 8 Pretty Majestic battled last start but in a strong field and getting fitter. Good stats on the track and good winning chance……. Invictus big run to win last start but manners a concern. Can run top three with a swift beginning and a fast pace..… Kay Cee has been racing better fields and top three finish looks on the cards if she goes forward early. Include….. Credit Master better than most of these but 40m handicap a worry. Could provide an upset if he gets a good run in transit. Selections:  Pretty Majestic (7),   Credit Master (8),   Kay Cee (6)    Invictus (2)   Race 9 Dance Time mobile specialist with a good draw. Over the odds and can place……. Gambit gets the front row draw and better placed here. Can upset if they go hard all the way and paying great money..… Star Galleria disappointing last start but better than that. Should be running on at the finish and can win….. On The Cards outside draw but has gate speed and the ability to win a race like this. Give one more chance Selections:  Dance Time (2),   Gambit (4),   Star Galleria (5)    On The Cards (6)   Race 10 Constellation good second against a similar field last start and drawn to get a good run. Can win…. Cyber Attack manners are a concern but looks the winner with a safe getaway...… Dolly P has ability but needs to trot all the way to be a major player here. Needed ….. Just Plain Lucky has been slow away in most of his races. Top four chance with manners. Selections:  Constellation (2),   Cyber Attack (8),   Dolly P (6)    Just Plain Lucky (5)   Harnesslink Media

Looks like a tough night to find winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but a few members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have settled on the same best bets for the 10-event card. Radio Great Southern’s form analyst and leader in the Guild’s tipping competition Warren Wishart and TABradio’s Matt Young have declared Vampiro in race five. “My best bet is No. 1 in race five, Vampiro,” Wishart said. “Been waiting for this guy to draw a gate and he finally gets that here. He is going well but, as we saw last preparation, he went to a new level leading in the State’s features and finished no further back than second. Should lead and win. Followers of the column have had a golden six weeks - let’s hope that can continue.” And Young echoes those comments. “Vampiro has come up with the perfect draw and gets reacquainted with Colin Brown,” Young said. “No question marks over whether he will go forward this week - he will lead and win over the longer trip.” Veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas, fresh after a week’s sojourn down south, is keen on Quick Stride in the last race on the program. “Five-year-old Quick Stride has managed just one win from his past 21 starts, but he should appreciate a drop in class and is my best bet at on Friday night when he will start from the inside of the back line in the final event,” Casellas said. “The Ross Olivieri-trained gelding had no luck at all last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and was badly hampered for room in the last lap when fifth behind Lord Rosco.“ However, The West Australian’s Racing Co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and longshot guru Pat Harding don’t abide with Casellas’ summing up of the race. They are both in the camp of Marquisard, who has drawn the pole. “Marquisard resumed last week from a middle draw and only emerged late to catch a few runners in the closing stages,” Havercroft said. “He does his best racing on the speed and, having the inside barrier, should be right there for his second-up assignment.” And Harding agrees with his younger colleague. “Looks like a tough night at GP this Friday night with no obvious standouts,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in the last race of the night with No. 1 Marquisard. He ran eighth to Liam Neil first-up last week, but is ideally drawn here and with Chris Voak aboard, who has a habit of winning the last race, I expect a forward showing.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has opted for the speedy Lord Rosco as his best bet for the night. “Lord Rosco, looking primed to score his eighth win in nine starts, has become one of WA’s most consistent pacers since joining Stephen Reed’s stable a year ago,” Manning said. “His overall tally in 23 starts for Reed is 12 wins, five seconds, three thirds and two fourths. The gelding was most impressive when he led and won last Friday night.” Guild president Wayne Currall has settled on Mister Flying Ideal in the stand as his star bet. “Ryan Warwick, the stable foreman for the Bond stable, had the choice of drives between J B Mauney and Flying Mister Ideal and he chose the latter,” Currall said. “That’s a very good lead for punters and Flying Mister Ideal is quick away from the tapes and can post an all-the-way victory.” VALUE BETS WARREN: Best value race 10 No. 1 Marquisard. Looks another good night for saddlecloth 1 and we know Marquisard improves when he’s on the pegs. Doesn’t have the figure form so will be overlooked by many and get out in the market. Will give a great sight. MATT: The last race is an open affair with a bit of speed in the event. I am going to give Henwood Bay another chance. Even from the awkward draw, he should be value and is capable. KEN: For value, I suggest Star Fromthepalace in the opening event, in which she will start from the outside of the back line. She is wonderfully consistent and has resumed from a spell in fine style. Her past 10 starts have produced five wins and three placings. RYAN: Look for Stroke Of Luck to be sitting on Vampiro’s back and enjoying a run which should see him earning a minor cheque. PAT: My value bet comes in race three with No. 4 Liam Neil. He had an excellent win last week and I expect him to make it three wins in a row. He should be at a good price. ERNIE: Henwood Bay looked ready to win when placed two starts ago and his eighth last Friday night can be discarded. His sulky locked wheels and sustained a flat tyre. The gelding is a winner only once from his past 13 starts, but he has a total of 15 victories. WAYNE: Last week I threw out Euphoric Moment as my value tip and he almost got the money at good odds. He’ll be at double-figure odds on Friday night and he can go one better with an ounce of luck in running. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

Young trainer-reinsman Corey Peterson is hoping that a change of shoeing will enable Cant Refuse to return to the winning list when he contests the 2130m Off The Track Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Peterson admits that he was disappointed when Cant Refuse lacked sparkle and finished a well-beaten sixth behind Jack Farthing last Friday night, two weeks after his strong first-up victory at his first appearance for his new trainer. Last week Cant Refuse raced without cover before wilting in the final circuit. This week he is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line and Peterson is hoping he will make amends for last week’s failure. “After racing in the breeze last week, he didn’t let down in the final 600 metres,” Peterson said. “He was bolting before that. I now have found a few issues with him; it was mainly problems with his feet that was causing the headache. I’m hoping that a change of shoeing will do the trick.” Cant Refuse started from barrier five two starts ago when he wasn’t bustled early and raced wide before getting to the front after 650m. He was then untroubled to set the pace and win by a length from Sightseeing Anvil and Henwood Bay. Adding considerable interest to this week’s race will be the return to racing of the talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old Gran Chico, who will be having his first start since leading and fading to fifth behind Destined To Rule over 2130m on May 29. Gran Chico, trained by Mike Reed and to be driven by Mark Reed, has won at six of his 13 starts, but faces a stiff first-up test from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the field of 12. He set the pace in a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning and wilted in the home straight when second to the fast-finishing Mattjestic Star when the final 800m was covered in a modest 58.2sec. Mattjestic Star will start from the No. 1 barrier and Shannon Suvaljko looks set to set the pace and make a bold bid for an all-the-way victory. Other runners expected to be fancied include stablemates Liam Neil and Mister Bushido, Braeview Bondi, Dredlock Rockstar and Baylan Jett. Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has chosen to drive Liam Neil (barrier four) in preference to Mister Bushido (six), saying: “Liam Neill is going really well and is a good each-way chance.” Liam Neill, trained by Gary Hall Snr, has set the pace and won very easily at his past two starts, but on Friday night he could find it difficult to wrest the lead from Mattjestic Star in the early stages. The Michael Brennan-trained Braeview Bondi should prove hard to beat after finishing strongly to be placed at his past two starts. Hall Jnr predicted a strong showing from My Carbon Copy (barrier seven) in the 2130m Better Your Industry With TABtouch Pace. “It’s a big drop in grade and if it was a 2500m race I’d declare him,” he said. “However, over 2100m, it gives the others a chance. I probably can’t go forward and probably will have to rely on a strong finish. He can run 56sec. for the last 800m, off the track.”   Ken Casellas

Chicago Bull is indisputably Western Australia’s champion pacer, and for an inexperienced performer to extend him in a track workout is indeed a notable achievement. Last week four-year-old mare Balcatherine impressed with a strong trackwork display against Chicago Bull and her effort was a firm indication that she would prove to be hard to beat, first-up, in the $22,000 Download The TABtouch App Today Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Balcatherine, prepared by Gary Hall Snr, is a promising, lightly-raced New Zealand-bred pacer who has had only 13 starts for six wins and four placings. She is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2 in Friday night’s 2130m event for mares in which she will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr. This will be her first appearance for five months. “She’s got the draw advantage and will go well first-up,” said Hall Jnr. “She’s working very good and she worked with Bully on the track last week when she really stretched his neck. She is going to need the run, but she should take advantage of the draw.” Hall aims to set the pace with Balcatherine, who is expected to receive strong opposition from Wainui Creek, the richly-talented newcomer from New Zealand who is prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green. Wainui Creek, the only runner on the back line, made an impressive Australian debut at Gloucester Park last Friday week when she raced without cover all the way and fought on with great determination to finish second, just a nose behind the pacemaker Millwood Molly, with a final quarter of 27.3sec. Capel trainer Aiden de Campo holds a powerful hand in this week’s race with Millwood Molly (barrier six) and Mandy Joan (barrier three). He has given punters a lead by deciding to drive Mandy Joan, who is in splendid form and has won at four of her past eight starts. Millwood Molly, a smart seven-year-old de Campo has driven to victory seven times, will be handled by Chris Lewis, who has driven the mare once, 36 starts ago when she finished boldly from the rear to win over 1609m at Bunbury on July 23, 2016. Our Alfie Romeo, a stablemate of Wainui Creek, and recent winners Typhoon Tiff, Has No Fear and Vivere Damore also will have admirers in what should prove to be a highly-competitive event. The powerful Bond stable holds an extremely strong hand in the $25,000 Better Your Club With TABtouch Pace, a 2536m event in which it has six of the nine runners, Vampiro, Galactic Star, Our Jimmy Johnstone, The Bird Dance, Ocean Ridge and Mighty Conqueror. Vampiro, to be driven by Colin Brown, makes strong appeal after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old is a speedy beginner and Brown will be attempting an all-the-way victory with the gelding he has handled 12 times for four wins and three placings. Last season’s WA Pacing Cup winner Mighty Conqueror (Dylan Egerton-Green) also should prove very hard to beat, despite drawing the outside barrier in the field of nine. The brilliant five-year-old made an excellent return to racing after an eight-month absence when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before fighting on solidly to finish second to the pacemaker Convert Denario over 2130m last Friday week. Leading reinsman Ryan Warwick will drive Galactic Star from barrier four, Michael Grantham will drive Our Jimmy Johnstone (barrier five), Aiden de Campo has been engaged for The Bird Dance (barrier six) and Deni Roberts will handle Ocean Ridge (barrier eight).   Ken Casellas

Victorian-bred four-year-old Perfect Major has thrown off the effects of troublesome knees and is poised to stretch his winning sequence to five by proving the master of his 11 rivals in the Preux Chevalier Pace, a $30,000 Group 3 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Prepared by eight-time premier WA trainer Ross Olivieri, the much-travelled but lightly-raced Perfect Major has created a big impression at his first two appearances in this State, working hard in the breeze before sprinting home powerfully to score in fine style at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra. He dashed home over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.4sec. to win by a length from Triroyale Brigade over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Tuesday week and won by three lengths from Tellmetoattack over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday this week, with final quarters of 27.9sec. and 27.1sec. Perfect Major is one of three runners in Friday night’s race, with Olivieri declaring that the gelding was his best prospect, ahead of stablemates Diamond Life and Just Makemine Diamonds. Chris Voak, the regular reinsman for the three Olivieri pacers, has given punters a good lead by choosing to handle Perfect Major, who has been successful in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria and boasts a career record of 28 starts for ten wins and nine placings. Perfect Major was off the scene for 12 months before having his first two starts for Olivieri. He qualified for the Victoria Derby by finishing second in a Derby heat at Ballarat in January 2019, but knee problems forced him to miss the final of the classic. He then resumed after a two-month break and had 16 starts in seven months, culminating with a striking performance to win by a head over 2240m at Swan Hill on October 25, 2019. After setting a slow early pace, Perfect major sprinted brilliantly to dash over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 26.7sec. After that victory he succumbed to knee problems. “He was then put out for six months or more before being jogged up and sent over to me,” Olivieri said. “He showed in Victoria that he is very fast but didn’t do a lot of tough stuff. He’s got really good speed, and now that he is not feeling his knees, he is getting a bit tougher.” Chris Lewis will drive Diamond Life from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and Mitch Miller will handle Just Makemine Diamonds from barrier four on the front line. Olivieri said that he expected both pacers to be prominent on Friday night. “Diamond Life is a definite chance,” he said. “We gave him a bit of space between his runs and he was off his head at his most recent run, so we’ve now jammed a bit more work into him. His form prior to his latest run was very good. At his latest appearance Diamond Life raced wide before working in the breeze and wilting to sixth behind The Last Drop over 2536m last Friday night. Voak drove the six-year-old to convincing wins at each of his three previous starts, all at Gloucester Park. “Just Makemine Diamonds would shake the life out of this field if she was able to lead,” said Olivieri. “But I’m doubtful whether she will be able to cross to lead. However, she will have a bit of a dash (for the lead).” Collie trainer Errol Ashcroft will be hoping that Euphoric Moment will take advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier and end a losing sequence of 16. The four-year-old has impressed with strong finishing bursts to record excellent second placings at three of his past five starts. The experienced performer will be handled by his regular driver Deni Roberts and though he is generally regarded as a strong sit-sprinter, he also possesses good gate speed and has won after leading. Another four-year-old in the Chris Willis-trained The Verandah is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2. He is a strong frontrunner but is not always reliable at the start in mobile events. Michael Grantham has been engaged to drive the son of Alta Christiano. Alta Intrigue, prepared by Gary Hall Snr, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six and faces a stern test. The six-year-old reappeared last Friday night after an absence of 28 months when he enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail and fought on to finish fifth behind The Last Drop. Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr said that he expected Alta Intrigue to improve on his first-up effort, saying: “He definitely needed the run, big time, first-up.”   Ken Casellas

Outstanding three-year-old filly Double Expresso’s future is under a cloud. A cyst on a hind pastern is causing the problem and she will undergo surgery on Thursday when a screw will be inserted in a bid to mend the damaged pastern. “She will then need three months off,” said trainer Ross Olivieri. “The prognosis is pretty good, and she has an excellent chance of recovery. “She will be unable to contest coming events for three-year-old fillies and the major feature events for fillies and mares (the $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic on November 13 and the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic on November 27). “I would say that Double Expresso was affected by this problem during her latest campaign; it might have taken the edge off her. All going well, it is possible she could be fit to resume racing in May. But we might even give her a bit of extra time and set her for the big races for mares at the end of next year.” Double Expresso has been a shining light as a two and three-year-old and has a wonderful record of 22 starts for 12 wins, seven placings and $313,196 in prizemoney. As a two-year-old she won two Group 1 features for fillies, the Sales Classic and the Westbred Classic, and as a three-year-old she won two Group 2 events, the Daintys Daughter Classic and Sales Classic, as well as the Group 3 Caduceus Club Classic when she beat Major Martini. She also finished a head second to Sports Package in the WA Oaks and a half-length second to Blockjorg in the Diamond Classic.   Ken Casellas

Batavia, NY --- Western New York racing legend and former Grand Circuit driving star Gerry Sarama reached another harness racing career milestone after getting his 1,000th training victory with Ohio Prince in the 12th race at Batavia Downs. Sarama has been around the sport his entire life as his father owned and raced horses. He started driving at an early age and quickly found himself at the top of the driver colony in western New York and won many driving titles at Batavia Downs. Sarama made a move to Roosevelt Raceway in the late 1970’s and successfully competed with the best in the nation on the biggest stage at the time, racing side by side with the likes of Carmine Abbatiello, Herve Filion, Billy Haughton and all the other great New York City reinsmen of that era. But he eventually found his way back to his roots and continued to be at the top of his game ever since. The one constant of Sarama’s career regardless of what track he was competing at, he was always a highly sought after catch driver.    During his driving career, the now 78-year-old Sarama amassed 2630 wins and bankrolled $11.5 million dollars. But he curtailed that activity in 2007 and turned his attention to training full time. Since doing so Sarama has found as much success in the jog cart as he did in the sulky. He currently oversees about 14 horses and since taking over conditioning duties full time, his stable has won in excess of $5.6 million. During his entire training career Sarama has made 6,153 starts with 1,000 wins, 931 seconds and 843 thirds giving him a .292 UTR. The entire staff at Batavia Downs as well as all our horsemen would like to congratulate “The man with the hands” Mr. Gerry Sarama on this accomplishment.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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