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The script may have been thrown out at Tabcorp Park Melton but a new one was written and it may be a window into things to come in the trots. Andy Gath’s (Long Forrest) Star Of Memphis and Fred Taiba’s (Sunbury) Our Road To Mecca both enhanced their reputations in the night’s headline races, cutting through the chill and wet to produce wins at big odds. They came as a new landscape swept across harness racing in Victoria amid attempts to contain covid-19. The industry transitioned to regional racing from last Thursday, dividing the state into six parts to restrict trainers and drivers to their regions of residence and limit the need for travel. Saturday marked the second Inner West meeting and the first at Melton under the new structure, and trots fans were greeted to an unusual night’s racing in which front runners were often mown down. That was the case in the TAB Multiplier Pace, when the top three in betting markets Forty Thieves, Born To Rocknroll and Fake Smile were at the front of affairs at the bell only to have the backmarkers sweep past in the final stages. Best of those was reinswoman Kate Gath and Star Of Memphis, the $18 chance who pipped second-placed War Dan by a head. “He’s a really nice horse,” Kate Gath said of Star Of Memphis. “He’s had a fair few injuries throughout his career. He’s been in work a while, he just needed a run or two to hit his fitness. “He’s still not at his peak fitness. He’s such a nice horse that he’s still able to get the job done and his improvement from last week to this week is tenfold.” The Gath stable is hopeful of regular racing after a “little bump on his tendon”, “a little hairline fracture of his pastern” and “another little something in between” have restricted the six-year-old’s previous campaigns. “He’s always has had that little bit of x-factor about him,” Gath said. “We’ve never been able to see if it’s really there because he’s always injured or something tends to go wrong. “His best is pretty brilliant and he’s certainly a horse I would have thought early on definitely could have made it to our fast free-for-all horses. “Hopefully, fingers crossed, he can stay sound, we can get a bit more work into him and with a couple of runs under his belt he’s just getting better and better all the time. It’s looking good going forward.” The future is also bright for Our Road To Mecca, who produced one of the few successful front-running wins of the night for trainer Fred Taiba and reinsman Ryan Duffy. The latter backed up his three wins at Melton last week with another double on Saturday night, capped with a super steer on Our Road To Mecca when he set off three-wide mid-race to apply pressure to the favourite, leader Two Times Bettor. While Duffy failed in a brief bid to pinch the front, the resultant pressure on the first-up leader took its toll and come the final 200 metres Two Times Bettor was running on empty and Our Road To Mecca swept clear for a 10-metre win. “She was really good to her credit tonight,” Duffy said. “With Two Times Bettor being first up, (trainer Freddy Taiba) was confident if we could make it work and make it into a staying race he thought his horse was pretty strong. “She showed really good acceleration, so when I got three quarters (in front) I thought I may as well have a bit of a play here (for the lead). It probably worked out a good move in the end because it made it a lot harder run for Two Times Bettor.” Throughout the night it was rough going for favourite backers, with Richie Caruana's Off The Radar ($21), Amana Grieve's Kotare York ($15) and Jodi Quinlan's Error ($9) winning the first three races, before favourite Majestic Cruiser ($1.10) narrowly broke the succession for trainer Geoff Webster to lead and win the fourth. The Early Quaddie paid $3295.30. There also weren't many sharing in the Quaddie, which paid $6715 after Star Of Memphis and Our Road To Mecca knocked out many, with Emma Stewart's Somewhere Secret ($3.70) and Andy Gath's Moonlight Dream ($5.50) providing the bookends.   Racing continues in the Inner West with meeting Tabcorp Park at Melton on Thursday and Saturday, which can be enjoyed live and free via Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Like all Harness Racing trainers, Phil Williamson of Oamaru is in a holding pattern at the moment – just waiting for Covid19 to get to a stage where racing can resume. “We’re in jog mode. Some horses have had some time off and we’ve carried on through with others with the hope that when they make a decision to get back to racing we won’t be too far off,” he said. Stable star Ultimate Stride is one horse Williamson is keen to get back to the races. “He’s not quite ready to race but if they race in May or June he’ll be ready.” In his first season of racing as a two year old Ultimate Stride won on both sides of the Tasman, claiming stakes of close to $150,000. “He’s come up great. He’s a quality horse and it’ll be exciting to have him back racing. I’ve heard the Sires Stakes races (for horses that are now two and three years old) will be held in the new season, which will be exciting. We’ll definitely be there with Ultimate Stride and Leaf Stride (Love You – Sun Mist) if they have those kinds of races.” Leaf Stride                                                                 – Photo Bruce Stewart The stable’s open class trotter Majestic Man is also being jogged. He’s proved to be particularly good at racing right handed and he’s missed racing in some of the richest trotting races in Auckland at the end of the season. “He’s in the same holding pattern. He was going to go to Auckland for the Rowe and Anzac Cups but obviously they’ve been shelved. He’s in light work and just waiting on the green light as we are with our whole team.” Williamson says one of the stable’s main challenges is proving to be the lack of availability of a blacksmith. “My blacksmith comes from the other side of the Waitaki Bridge which is deemed outside of our region. So he can’t come across; but it’s also deemed not to be essential. They (MPI) say you can work horses with no shoes on. You can to a degree, but when you’re working on grit tracks you’ll have no feet left after a certain amount of time.” Williamson says he’s talked to HRNZ about the issue. “I can’t get going without my blacksmith. I can only get so far into jogging without shoes before I have to stop. It’s a problem for me because there are three blacksmiths in the area and they’re all across the river.” Hopefully HRNZ will have some luck in convincing MPI that shoeing horses is a essential service.   Bruce Stewart

“He was a nice horse from day dot. He always had ability, was nice to work with and had a good all round game.” This is how trainer Phil Williamson summed up the career of recently retired open class trotter Monty Python when spoken to today. The veteran of 119 starts has been a great example of trotting longevity, racing over eight seasons for Williamson and The Griffins Syndicate. “He hasn’t had a single injury as I can recall, and he retired sound, and he’s running round like a gazelle.” Over eight seasons of racing the Pegasus Spur gelding earned a tick over $300,000. “He probably wasn’t a star but ran against some stars and he beat a lot of them on occasions.” I asked Williamson what Monty Python’s career highlights were for him. “His Group One efforts for third in two Dominions and second in a Rowe Cup. I think being three quarters of a lengths behind Speeding Spur – that was a terrific effort considering he didn’t like the Auckland way round.” The ten year old has been retired to a large dairy farm south of Oamaru, twenty minutes from the Williamson stable. “He’s on a nice big farm and with a farmer that has two or three other horses. He was galloping round the hill as we let him go on a 100 acre block so he’s got the good life. Being on a dairy farm he’ll have good pasture. Whether they try to get on him to ride remains to be seen. He’ll probably be fine with that as he’s a big strong horse.” Monty Python after winning the Southern Lights 2017    --Bruce Stewart photo Williamson has a half-brother to Monty Python in the stable. He’s a three year old by Quaker Jet and he too is owned by the Griffins Syndicate along with the Seafield Trotting Syndicate. “He’s a very big horse needing time. He’ll win races but he’s not of the same quality of Monty Python. He’s okay though.” Williamson says the Griffins Syndicate has been one of the luckiest syndicates he knows. “They’ve had a run of pretty nice horses. They’ve been blessed alright.” “Monty’s” fact sheet Monty Python: 2009 bay gelding by Pegasus Spur fourth foal out of Juliana (Sundon) Born: 13th December 2009 Breeders:  Keith and Bevan Grice Lessee:  Griffins Syndicate, R I McIntosh, G L McIntyre (as at 24-12-2019) Trainer:  Phil Williamson Qualified:  Oamaru 8th September 2012 winning by two lengths. Lifetime record:  119-15-17-21 $300,592 Wins:  New Zealand (12) and Australia (3) Biggest paydays:  2018 Rowe Cup –second ($25,500), 2017 Dominion Handicap – third ($20,590) and 2019 Dominion Handicap – third  ($20,590) First win:  Winton 27th February 2013 Last win:  Gore 8th February 2020 Biggest winning streak (4):  November 2014 – January 2015. Biggest season:  2019 39-6-1-9  $161,604 Biggest winning margins:  Ascot Park – August 2015 (nine and half lengths), Ascot Park -November 2014 (nine and a quarter lengths), and Winton February 2013 (six lengths- first win) Biggest handicap win:  (55 metres) Gore February 2020 (last win) Winning drivers:  Brad Williamson (8), Matty Williamson (6), Chris Alford (3) and Gavin Laing (1) Group wins and placings New Zealand: 3rd 2016 Group Three Summer Trotting FFA at Addington 1st 2017 Group Three Southern Light at Ascot Park 3rd 2017 Group Three DG Jones Memorial at Bank Peninsula 3rd 2017 Group One Dominion Handicap at Addington 2nd 2018 Group One Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park 2nd 2018 Group Three DG Jones Memorial at Banks Peninsula 3rd 2019 Group One Dominion Handicap at Addington Groups wins and placings Australia 3rd 2018 Group One Interdominion Trotting Championship at Melton 3rd 2019 Group Three Cobram Trotters Cup 3rd 2019 Group Two South Australian Trotters Cup 1st 2019 Group Three Cranbourne Trotters Cup 1st 2019 Group Three Horsham Trotters Cup Ascot Park and Southland Track Records: Ascot Park: 2700 metre stand for four year old and older entires and geldings (3-26.3) 30th January 2016. Ascot Park: 3200 metre stand for four year old and older entires and geldings (4-06.6) 12th March 2017. Best tracks by wins: Addington (5) Ascot Park (4) Winton, Gore and Omakau (1 at each)   Bruce Stewart

A contingent of 17 horses was flown out from Auckland to America late last month.   It included the dual Inter Dominion Final placegetter and Grand Circuit winner Flaming Flutter 1:52.2 ($814,235), a 10 year-old Bettor’s Delight entire out of the In The Pocket mare Twice As Hot; the mile specialist Majordan 1:48.9 ($506,568), a seven-year-old Art Major gelding from the multiple Group 1 producer Benelise; and the WA Golden Nugget winner Ana Malak (1:54.9), a five-year-old entire son of Bettor’s Delight and Anna Livia.   The Hondo Grattan Sprint winner Salty Robyn (1:49.2), a seven-year-old gelding by Art Official from Holly Robyn; the prolific cups winner Yaya’s Hot Spot (1:50.9), a nine-year-old gelding by Jereme’s Jet from Star Of Heaven; the NSW Golden Mile winner Letspendanitetogetha (1:51.4), a seven-year-old gelding by Washington VC out of The Moth were also part of the IRT payload.   Others on the flight were: Afterdinnerspeaker (1:49.9), a six-year-old Well Said gelding from Luckisaladytonight; God’s Spirit (1:50.9), a five-year-old Tintin In America gelding out of Cathar; Im The Director (1:51), a six-year-old Courage Under Fire-The Actress gelding; Thatswhatisaid (1:51.4), a five-year-old Well Said gelding from Shakeilah; and My Ruebe Star (1:52.6), a five-year-old mare by Falcon Seelster from Zenola Star; Ohoka Johnny (1:52.7), a six-year-old gelding by Ohoka Arizona from Glentara; Foo Fighter (1:50.6), a six-year-old gelding by American Ideal from Lucy’s Way; and Dontstopbelievin (1:56.3), a five-year-old mare by Somebeachsomewhere from Bedtime.   The Melton winning trotter Montpellier(Orlando Vici-The Kahmotion); Majorly Sexy, an unraced Art Major-Sexy Lexy Whitby colt; and the maiden mare Shezlimitless (Sportswriter- Speedy Falcon) completed the charter.   Peter Wharton

Patronus Star formerly trained by Gavin Smith in Canterbury but now trained by Greg and Skye Bond upset the harness racing favourites to win the Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A winner last week at Bunbury at his first start in Australia in 1:53.2 for the mile, Patronus Star put in a paralyzing burst late in the piece last night to claim victory in the $200,000 3YO feature. Driver Dylan Egerton-Green managed to extract the son of American Ideal at the right time after a handy run on the fence and he powered home to beat second favourite Major Martini by a narrow margin. View the race replay here. The Greg and Skye Bond trained favourite for the race Howard Hughes did a fair amount of work for most of the race but found nothing in the straight and he faded away to finish eighth.   Harnesslink Media

Champion trainer Mark Purdon hasn’t given up on getting New Zealand’s best pacer to this year’s New Zealand Cup. But the next set of scans on Inter Dominion champion Ultimate Sniper could be a crucial decider. Purdon, like everybody else in New Zealand harness racing, is adjusting to life without the early morning start and the smell of horses in his nostrils as we go through the Covid-19 lockdown. He and partner Natalie Rasmussen decided to turn all their horses out as soon as racing was halted and he says even if the country returns to Level 3 by the end of this month and racing by June, they will not line up another horse this season. “If things go as planned we are probably looking at starting training again in the first week of May, depending of course on what the Government says,” says Purdon. “So we definitely won’t have any horses racing for the rest of the season, even though like everybody else, we will be happy to see racing resume.” Purdon says the All Stars will target late August or September to roll out their horses at a time when a regionalised racing model could see Addington racing twice a week. “We have a number of horses spelling at home who can come back into work straight away and they have enabled us to keep the staff on a rotation to feed and look after the horses. “That and the Government subsidy has allowed us to pay our staff at 80 per cent of their usual wage and I think that is important.” When the horses do start to roll back into work one who there are not expected to be problems with is excitement machine Self Assured, who even though he missed the Miracle Mile last month because of a minor issue. But Purdon is also cautiously optimistic about Ultimate Sniper, who hasn’t been seen since capping a remarkable unbeaten Inter Dominion campaign at Alexandra Park in December. He was found to have a small tear in a suspensory and initially there we fears he could miss a year of racing but Purdon is now hopeful that won’t be the case. “It was a strange one because he never took a lame step so we got it early enough. “The indications are good so far and he is on the water walker at Margaret Park in Waikato. “They do a great job with them there and they are able to work through cause it is just the two of them working there I think. “I think because he has been there when he comes back into work, providing his next scan is all good, he will have a good fitness base. “At this stage, and again it is dependant on his scans, that could be in July and if it is, with that water walker fitness base, he could well make it to the Cup meeting. “So we are hoping that is the case.” One thing about the shortened season it should guarantee Ultimate Sniper the Horse of the Year title, with his only likely challengers probably Winterfell or Amazing Dream is they clean swept the rest of their races for the season, which is Amazing Dream’s case was a realistic possibility. With those races gone, Ultimate Sniper’s Inter domination should get him the top award, although whether we all get together to celebrate it in August or September is anybody’s guess. Also still in the north and having done his time on the water walker is Spankem who should be back good as gold next season but the future is less certain for his arch rival Turn It Up. He hasn’t been seen since the Jewels last season and Purdon says he will come back into work in May but he is not sure what to expect. “We will give him his chance though and see how he holds up.” While missing a series of group one races and the Jewels will sting the All Stars more than anybody, Purdon takes some solace in the fact races like the two-year-old Sales Series, now called the Harness Millions, and the Sires’ Stakes races, are likely to be run twice next season to make up for missing their usual May window this term. “I think it would be great to have some of those feature races early in the season for us all to aim at, maybe September, and then we can race through the Cup carnival here and in Auckland, providing all the travel restrictions come off.” So what does a man who has worked as hard as Purdon for years do when the merry go round stops for a while? “I have caught up on my sleep,” he laughs. “I slept in one morning till 11am, which I never thought I’d be able to do. “I didn’t realise how exhausted I was until I stopped.”   Michael Guerin

Energetic Mildura equine dentist and harness racing trainer Kate Attard is facing months of rehabilitation after a seemingly-innocuous post-race scramble at her home track at Thursday night’s meeting. The skilled horsewoman trains a team of around 10 horses with her father Pat and her teenage daughter Charli at Cardross, near Mildura, and jumps in the race-sulky only rarely these days. But under the COVID-19 regional racing protocols, which prevents drivers from elsewhere in the State travelling to Mildura meetings, Kate elected to get back in the spider. Her horse in the second race, Heza Western, went across the line sixth, but a number of runners spread across the track tightened after the line, and Kate tumbled from the cart. “I was excited to be back driving last night and was just getting back in the swing of it in race two!” Kate laughed. “All I remember is going across the line, then another horse coming at me sideways – I pulled back and across to avoid it and thought I did. But its legs hit my cart and just flipped it fast,” she said. “I hit the ground so hard and then log rolled over and over again. I was awake the whole time. It was hurting, but I didn’t think it was that bad.” Kate suffered three fractures and multiple hairline fractures to her pelvis and injuries to her spine in the incident, which happened in front of the float parking area, and help was on the scene immediately. “(Trainer) Luke Watson was right where I fell – he was the first one there telling me to stay still and that I would be OK, then Charli and Dad and all the track guys and another trainer Andrew Stenhouse were all there,” Kate said. “I thought I was OK, and tried to get up – I even took a few steps!  I really didn’t want to go to the hospital! When they did take me in the ambulance, I really thought it would just be bruising and I didn’t even take my phone with me!” Kate was flown to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne later in the night, where the surgeons from the trauma team are still deciding on her treatment plan, including surgery probably later today. “It’s probably going to be five months before I will be back on my feet again, and it’s hard to think that my hospital stay will be mostly without too many visitors, because of the COVID-19 restrictions,” Kate said. “I’m lucky to have an amazing family and my partner Matt to support me and help me, because I’ll be needing it for a while!” she said. “I also have some lovely owners and they are letting us keep the horses going, which hopefully Dad and Charli will be able to do.” Kate Attard and her daughter Charli Heza Western suffered only a minor cut to the leg in the scrimmage. Kate is known across a wide area of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria for her passionate practice in equine bodywork and dentistry, as well as through her training.  “I’ve had so many messages of support and care – everyone has been amazing, including the HRV Stewards Wayne Smith and Nick Murray, HRV and Michelle McGinty from Mildura Harness Racing Club,” she said. “I’ll be OK, I always pull through and will be back doing the horses and the work I love as soon as I can,” she said. Which, knowing Kate, will be sooner, rather than later! Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Charlottetown, PE - Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park is pleased to launch a new live harness racing racetrack cam to allow owners and horse lovers to enjoy the daily training routines of the equine athletes from the comfort of their home during the COVID - 19 Health crisis. The cameras will stream daily from 7am - 5pm from the Red Shores web site. Guests can go to redshores.ca and click on the live racing page. The live track cam will allow you to view the virtual training center. Lee Drake

Like so many others, involved in harness racing, horseman Lorne House was born and raised into the business as well… “Indeed I grew up in it,” he says. “My Dad, Mike House, had horses and my Grandfather, Alf Smith, he raced horses too.” It’s now been about 20 years in the business, for House, as a licensed harness trainer and driver in Ontario. His first career training win would come in London, with Fluid Drive, on November 4, 1999… “He was the first horse I ever owned too,” says House. “Don McElroy would have drove him and many others for me back then. I just didn’t have the itch to drive at that time…” That itch would indeed come along, a few years later, when House would get in the majority of his qualifying drives, at The Raceway, during the Spring of 2001. It’d be Sarnia, in September of that year, where he’d guide Tinkers Magic to an off-the-pace win for his first career driving victory. And then it would be Fantastic Lil giving Lorne his first London driving win in early 2003. The pair would double up, next start at Flamboro, before that same mare would get claimed. “The guy that claimed her - well I guess he didn’t like her… He called me to see if I wanted her back, not long after, but I turned him down.” And so it goes - Fanstastic Lil would retire with just two career victories. A few favourite horses, for House, over the years at The Raceway… “Grogan was a nice, nice trotter I trained and drove… I still remember the day he won an O.S.S. Grassroots in London (June 19, 2007)… The track was sloppy and we won by 11 in 2:00 flat! If the track would have been fast, that day, we’d have broke the track record I’m sure,” states House. “He’s retired now and I believe he’s breeding Dutch Warmblood mares in Indiana.” “Kendal Gustav was another great horse to drive,” offers House. “I had lots of thrills aboard him. He was just so consistent and when it was time to go - it’s like he just knew and he’d show up… I could always count on ‘Gus’.   A very interesting question came up, recently, during a COSA TV special featuring driving legends Ron Waples, John Campbell and Bill ODonnell. Broadcast host Greg Blanchard would ask the gentlemen if there was ever a horse they never had a chance to drive, but wish they could have… Well they all quickly agreed on Niatross as that one horse they wished they could have drove in a big race. So I then asked House that same question and his answer may surprise some… “The Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) would be the dream horse and an obvious choice for many, I’m sure, but I’ve always liked the hard knocking older horses - the blue-collar types, so Admirals Express would likely be that one horse for me.” Outside of harness racing House says he’s a big Toronto Blue Jays fan and he loves to fish as well. “I do miss seeing the Jays play and my boy (Luc) loves the baseball too, but he’s not a Jays fan just yet though,” he laughs. “The fishing I picked up from my Grandfather years ago - we’d get out lots… And now it’s been Luc and I getting out.” Lorne’s son Luc, at just 8 years of age, would come up big, recently, on the Niagara River around Queenston. “We’d never fished there before, but away we went last Friday (March 27),” says House. “We weren’t there 15 minutes and Luc hooked on to a 12-pound rainbow (trout)… And he wouldn’t need any help, from me, though he was getting tired into the stretch, but he dug in and landed him,” House chuckled. “It was a very proud moment for us both and he was grinning from ear to ear… We’d end up catching 13 that day and he’d catch 8 of them… I always loved fishing with my Dad and Grandpa, so my boy Luc - I guess he gets it honest enough!” “We weren’t there 15 minutes and Luc hooked on to a 12-pound rainbow (trout) And like his Dad - Luc enjoys the horses too… Sitting alongside Lorne, at The Raceway in 2017, Luc would guide Ping to an exhibition pony race victory… “Now that was fun! Just for him alone - he was ecstatic… And we still have Ping too - she looks after the yearlings on the farm.” Final words go to House on this current downtime for horse racing… “We’ve been quite busy training and I look after the track at Dorchester Downs,” he says. “Angela (Clark) has been training Munndutch back under saddle, but we’ll have him back in the bike when racing returns… We’re just hoping to get back to racing soon and preferably in London. There’s no doubt we’ll be ready to race when and where the tracks are open.”    Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle Track Announcer - The Raceway sdoyle@westernfairdistrict.com

Backtrack, a USTA newsroom feature that will look back at memorable races and harness racing performances, will appear Tuesdays and Fridays in April. Hightstown, NJ — On Oct. 19, 2013, Foiled Again held off all challengers in a furious stretch drive to win the Breeders Crown Open Pace by a nose over Pet Rock in the slop at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. With the victory, the then 9-year-old gelding became the oldest horse ever to capture a Breeders Crown. Winning driver Yannick Gingras recently looked back at that memorable performance and the memorable Foiled Again. THE FIELD Foiled Again’s eight rivals in the 2013 Breeders Crown Open Pace were (in alphabetical order) Bolt The Duer, Clear Vision, Golden Receiver, Michael’s Power, Modern Legend, Pet Rock, Sweet Lou, and Warrawee Needy. In January, Sweet Lou was named among this year’s horses elected to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Michael’s Power was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2012 and Warrawee Needy and Modern Legend both also received an O’Brien Award during their careers. Every horse with the exceptions of Modern Legend and Golden Receiver set or equaled world records in their careers. Golden Receiver earned $2.21 million lifetime. “The group he beat in the Breeders Crown, you had great horses in there,” Gingras said. “I think it was as good a group as ever. He was beating very quality fields every time out. There were so many good ones. “That win in the Breeders Crown, he took on all comers. He had Pet Rock on his back and Warrawee Needy second over; those are tremendous horses that had the right trips. It’s not like he beat them because they had bad trips. He beat them because he was better. He didn’t luck into that win or anything like that.” THE LEAD-IN Foiled Again, trained by Ron Burke, was already the richest pacer in history in the fall of 2013. He began that year in the Levy Memorial Series, winning three preliminary rounds and finishing second in the final. Other early-season Grand Circuit action saw him third in the Molson Pace and second in the Roll With Joe before — in what proved to be a bit of foreshadowing — winning the Ben Franklin Pace by a nose over Pet Rock in the slop at Pocono on June 29. Following the Franklin, Foiled Again, who often went through difficult stretches in the summer, endured an eight-race losing streak. He snapped the skid with a victory in an elimination for the Quillen Memorial on Sept. 9 at Harrington Raceway and finished second in the final. He then won the Kane Memorial Invitational at Batavia and his elimination for the Breeders Crown. “Every year in the summer he would fall off a little bit,” Gingras said. “That year, the part where he wasn’t quite as sharp wasn’t as long as other years. He definitely was on top of his game (for the Breeders Crown). “I had confidence in the horse, I thought he had a great chance to win it. With Foiled, he could do it the rough way, but you had to have a good post to be able to be first over, to be able to get to the front. He liked to take on challengers and fight them off. I just had to make sure I could get in a spot where he could fight. He didn’t care if he was chasing or being chased, he just liked being in contention and being able to show his grit.” THE RACE Foiled Again started from post two. Bolt The Duer, Golden Receiver, and Pet Rock rocketed off the gate and battled for the lead in an opening quarter of :25.3. Foiled Again got away fourth and before the dust had time to settle was on the move. He took the lead from Pet Rock on the second turn but was unable to clear his rival and drop to the inside until just prior to the halfway point. Once in front, Foiled Again faced pressure up the backstretch from Modern Legend. Foiled Again prevailed in the tightest of photo finishes in a time of 1:49.2. USTA/Mark Hall photo. “After getting away fourth, I was committed,” Gingras said. “You have to make your move to the front and hope you make it there because they were really pacing, they were going so fast. If you don’t make it, you’re going to be first up and now you’re carrying the back group into the race. I was happy when I was able to make the front, it was a little bit of a relief. “But then there was somebody coming right at me right away. (Modern Legend) took it to me too. It wasn’t like he was just riding first over, he was taking a shot. We were pacing, that’s for sure.” Coming around the final turn, Foiled Again still had Modern Legend to his outside and Warrawee Needy was three wide. As the group turned for home, Pet Rock edged toward the inside passing lane and it looked as though Foiled Again would be swallowed by a sea of horses. “That’s the way it felt on the track, too,” Gingras said. “Here comes the cavalry, they were coming from everywhere. (Foiled Again) was going all out from start to finish. At the top of the stretch, you start wondering if it was going to be too much, at some point he’s going to stop. But he was just so game.” Foiled Again prevailed in the tightest of photo finishes in a time of 1:49.2. To view a replay of the race, click here. To view exclusive USTA race footage and interviews, click here. “I knew Pet Rock was coming on the inside and he was fairly fresh,” Gingras said. “He got used during the first quarter, but he sat on my back the rest of the way. I really thought he would be the one beating me but Foiled just refused to lose. “Neither one of us knew who won, it was just that close,” Gingras added, referring to Pet Rock’s driver David Miller. “Of course, you’re hoping, but I’d be lying if I told you I knew I had it.” THE AFTERMATH Foiled Again raced four times following the Breeders Crown, finishing second to Pet Rock in both the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and American-National before closing his campaign with wins in the last preliminary round of the TVG Series and the TVG Series Open Pace championship, which included 3-year-old Captaintreacherous in the field. Over his final nine starts of 2013, he posted six wins and three seconds. “If I had to pinpoint one part of his career when he was the best, I think it would have been around that time,” Gingras said. “It might have been the time he was sharpest and most dominant. Not dominant in terms of beating them by a lot, but he was getting the job done. It was a great ride.” For the year, Foiled Again won 11 of 29 races and $1.40 million. He received the Dan Patch Award for best older male pacer, marking the third consecutive year he earned the honor, equaling the record set by Rambling Willie in the mid-1970s. He finished second to Captaintreacherous in balloting for Pacer of the Year. By the end of his career, Foiled Again had won 109 races and $7.63 million in purses. His earnings are the most in the history of harness racing and his win total ranks eighth among all pacers. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2019. And of all his wins, Gingras puts the Breeders Crown at the top. “That race is my favorite because of the horse, of course, and the way he did it,” Gingras said. “I’ve won maybe bigger races and there were other races with him that were special to me, like the (2012) Canadian Pacing Derby, but if I had to pick one that was my favorite, it’s definitely that race. It’s just a special race for me.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Looking at a list of colts and fillies sired by Western Paradise is like a who’s who of Atlantic Harness racing, so it comes as no surprise he was named the stallion of the past decade. In a poll of local harness racing participants, Western Paradise was the heavy favourite for top stallion of 2010-2019. Western Paradise was acquired by Tony Zuethoff of Pictonian Farms in Pictou, N.S., for the 2004 breeding season and was an instant success. And that trend followed season after season. At one point, he even commanded a $1,600 stud fee. The past decade saw a number of top Western Paradise offspring, headlined by the richest Maritime-bred ever, The Rev. The Rev boasts more than $606,000 in career earnings and is still racing on the top circuit in Canada at age 10. Second on Western Paradise’s list is daughter Lovineveryminute, who was recently named the Atlantic-bred pacing female of the decade with $551,000 in earnings to show for herself. The fastest Maritime-bred ever is another Western Paradise son. Rancousy was a winner in 1:49.1 over Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Other top Western Paradise offspring in the past decade include Maritime-record holding two-year-old filly Saulsbrook Alana ($174,000 earned), Inverness, N.S., track record holder Oceanview Magnum ($145,000), and Maritime champions like Elektra Express ($127,000), Heart And Soul ($99,000), Junebugs Baby ($126,000) and Forever Paradise ($177,000). Another star pupil is Malabrigo ($143,000), who won 16 straight races in an undefeated three-year-old campaign in 2012. Western Paradise spent most of his career at Pictonian Farms but had a stay at Woodmere Farms in Marshfield for the last four years of his duties. His last active year was in 2017 when he bred 17 mares and produced nine foals, with those horses currently training to hopefully race in the 2020 season. After the death of Drop Off in the previous decade, there is no doubt Western Paradise is his successor in siring horses good enough to leave the region and race the top ranks at any racetrack in North America. What they said Here’s what harness racing officials had to say about Western Paradise: “A great sire, his offspring usually go and race at the higher levels throughout North America. He makes them pretty tough, too.” Driver Marc Campbell “Western Paradise has been an extraordinary pacing sire in the Maritimes. Not only did he produce early speed but also many hard-hitting, big-money racehorses, who have competed against the best in North America.” Breeder William Andrew "Top sire for many years. Trained babies by him that were very talented from the get-go.” Driver Adam Merner        “When you look at the stakes results, you’re sure to find this guy’s name. Puts serious speed in his offspring.” Driver Corey MacPherson “Has produced a legacy of champions that will leave a lasting impact on our sport.” Lee Drake, Red Shores manager of marketing and brands Top Five A look at horses who received the most votes for stallion of the decade. 1. Western Paradise 2. Proven Lover 3. Ameripan Gigolo 4. Articulator 5. Armbro Barrister Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at nicholasoakes@hotmail.com. Reprinted with permission of The Guardian

Louisville, KY. April 2nd, 2020 – Sky Racing World, the Louisville, Kentucky-based distributor of international horse-racing content and subsidiary of Australian wagering operator Tabcorp, has announced the launch of a new simulcasting product that will make Japan National Association of Racing (NAR) horse racing available to North American audiences. The service will officially launch on Sunday night,  April 5th, with races from Tokyo City Keiba, Oi Racecourse. The Japan National Association of Racing is Sky Racing World’s exclusive partner in distributing the weekly simulcasts every Sunday through Thursday night. At commencement, racing will be offered from three tracks: Tokyo City Keiba, Funabashi and Kawasaki, with Sunday night’s first post at 1:30am ET (i.e. early Monday morning). All tracks and races will be conducted on a dirt surface. Audiences will now be afforded access to an additional range of quality Japanese racing events, including the Tokyo Sprint (Listed) on opening night and the Gr1 Japan Dirt Derby (1m 1/8) from Tokyo City Keiba on July 7th. A familiar range of betting types will be available, including: Win, Place, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Pick 3, and Pick 4. The Japanese offering is the latest addition to Sky Racing World’s extensive catalogue of thoroughbred simulcasting, which includes racing from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Korea and Singapore. By expanding their product and further complementing US-based offerings, the distributor continues to cement its status as a leading provider of world-class horse racing. Races are available to live-stream and wager at all ADW platforms and skyracingworld.com. Fans can also get free access to past performances at skyracingworld.com. About David Haslett A former Managing Director of Sportech Racing, David was appointed President and CEO of Sky Racing World in April 2014. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company, a subsidiary of Australian wagering firm Tabcorp, provides Australian, New Zealand, South African and South Korean thoroughbred racing and Australian Harness racing content for simulcast horse-race wagering to multiple North America-facing ADW brands and race-tracks. Reprinted with permission of Calvin Ayre

Trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis entered pleas of not guilty to federal charges of involvement in a misbranding conspiracy during an April 2 teleconference arraignment before United States District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. Navarro and Servis are among 19 defendants in United States vs. Jorge Navarro, et al., who face misbranding charges stemming from the March 9 indictments of the two trainers and 25 others in four separate cases of conspiracies to manufacture, distribute, and administer adulterated or misbranded performance-enhancing drugs that were administered to racehorses. All 19 of the defendants entered a plea of not guilty in a case presented by the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York. Navarro and Ross Cohen, a former harness racing trainer, were the only defendants who participated in the call. The rest were represented by their attorney. Navarro said little more than "not guilty" during the arraignment. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Adams said during the arraignment that the evidence collected by the government was voluminous, with much of it from wiretaps, leading to projections of a discovery period that could last for about six months. That would likely push the start of the trial into 2021. In describing the case, Adams said it was a case that has "focused on doping and the use of performance-enhancing drugs to win professional horse races in the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries. It has involved a number of different forms information-collecting that would include in-person meetings and covertly recorded meetings by confidential sources. It cites a number of wiretaps over a series of phones and in a total span of one year of time." The federal prosecutor assigned to the case added that there were search warrants for a place "where a horse under Mr. Servis' control was located, and at a bar, and what the government will describe as a small pharmacy controlled by (defendant Christopher Oakes)." He also said there were warrants and searches of several cell phones, bank records, and "the fruits of grand jury investigations." Adams said that roughly 17 of the 19 defendants had at least one cell phone seized by the government and computers were also taken for evidence. He said the investigation is still going on and there could be additional indictments pending the information gleaned from records and documents still coming into the government. Attorney Robert Baum, counsel for defendant Alexander Chan, spoke on behalf of a consortium of the defendants' attorneys, saying wire taps involved seven defendants and there are "tens of thousands" of conversations. He added that motions being contemplated will be "extremely lengthy, complex and extensive. We are talking about motions involving the wire taps, search warrants, statements, the seizure of physical evidence. There may be motions attacking the government's intent to resent scientific evidence." During the proceedings, which were conducted by teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Vyskocil ordered the government and counsel for all of the defendants to submit a revised bail agreement to her by April 6. The indictment claims Navarro "executed this scheme by using PEDs designed to evade drug tests, physically concealing containers of PEDs and drug paraphernalia from state regulators and racing officials, administering and directing others to covertly administer PEDs, and shipping certain products designed to mask the presence of PEDs through a straw purchaser." It also charged that Servis "orchestrated a widespread scheme of covertly obtaining and administering adulterated and misbranded PEDs, including a PED called SGF-1000, to virtually all of the racehorses under his control." Navarro is a seven-time leading trainer at Monmouth Park and the leader at the 2018-19 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park, while Servis is best known for training the 2019 3-year-old champion male, Maximum Security, who won the $20 million Saudi Cup Feb. 29 and was disqualified from first to 17th for a racetrack foul in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). On the indictment, the defendants are listed in order as Navarro, Erica Garcia, Marcos Zulueta, Michael Tannuzzo, Gregory Skelton, Cohen, Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli, Jordan Fishman, Rick Dane Jr., Oakes, Servis, Kristian Rhein, Michael Kegley Jr., Chan, Henry Argueta, Nicholas Surick, Rebecca Linke and Christopher Marino. By Bob Ehalt Reprinted with permission of the Bloodhorse

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.     Tasty Delight is some youngster   Tasty Delight, a good looking Bettor’s Delight gelding, is rated New South Wales’ top youngster to date this season, particularly after his success in the $100,000 Bathurst Gold Crown, one of the season’s major two-year-old classics.   Earlier in the season Tasty Delight won the NSW Sapling Stakes at Menangle. From five starts he has won four times and been once placed for $85,450 in stakes.   Bred by Croon Bloodstock, Tasty Delight is a gelding with an all-American family background. Apart from being by Bettor’s Delight, and the third of his progeny to win the Gold Crown, Tasty Delight is out of the Artsplace mare Gentle Audrey, a daughter of the top flight US mare and millionairess Caressable (1:55.8) and a member of the powerful Shy Ann tribe.   In America Gentle Audrey left a top pacer in Jeremy’s Successor 1:48.6 ($889,435) and in New Zealand, the Queensland Premier’s Cup winner Gentle Western (1:55), Feel The Money (1:57.3) and the Albion Park winners Junior Johnson (1:55.6) and Allaboutdreams (1:56.4).   Tasty Delight is the fifteenth foal of his dam.     Top two-year-old filly   The Gold Tiara, one of the major two-year-old classics of the season, was won by Joanna, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere from the crack racemare Repelem. Joanna belongs to one of Australia’s top families, being by Somebeachsomewhere from Repelem, by Dream Away from the Classic Garry mare Lombo Limelight, a granddaughter of the good Harold Park winner Trunkey Gold, who established a great winning line for prominent WA breeder Mick Lombardo.     She left two high class juveniles in Mazzini Magic 1:56 ($367,140), Smooth Sensation 2:00.9 ($249,419) and the WA Triple Crown winner Linda’s Gold, all to whom bred on to some purpose. Mazzini Magic produced the Australian Pacing Gold winner Lethal Lombo 2:00.5 ($169,326), Mary Mazzini (1:57.7) and Lombo Missile (1:59.1); Smooth Sensation left capable pacers in Lombo Serene (Western Crown) and Maka Million Lombo (1:57.9), while Linda’s Gold was the dam of the WA Country Derby winner Megagold Lombo (1:55.6).   Another daughter of Trunkey Gold was Lombo Boucheron, an unraced Windshield Wiper mare who founded the branch to which the Bathurst Gold Tiara winner belongs. She left a smart Tasmanian pacer in Northern Ruler, the dam of the Tasmanian Oaks winner High Flying Ruler; the Gloucester Park winner Lombo Zeppelin and the lightly raced Lombo Limelight, who became the dam of three winners including Repelem 1:52.9 ($266,346), whose 41 successes included the Southern Cross 2YO and 3YO Finals, Jodie’s Babe and Ian Daff Memorial.   Repelem, who is being bred from by SA breeder Mark Carey, has produced two foals of racing age in the brilliant but ill-fated Revolt (1:55.6), a winner of eight races and $51,570, and now Joanna.     Won Shakamaker Classic   Bar Room Banta, the brilliant winner of the Shakamaker Classic at Melton in 1:53.8 – one of the fastest times ever put up by a juvenile at the track – gives the impression that he could develop into one of next season’s top three-year-olds.   Bar Room Banta                                        --Stuart McCormick photo   A colt by A Rocknroll Dance (son of Rocknroll Hanover) he is out of the handy racemare Jerada Ace (1:56.4), who ranked as a half-sister to the Kilmore Cup winner and dual Inter Dominion finalist San Carlo.   Jerada Ace, who won twice at Menangle, has left five winners from six foals old enough to race including the Breeders Crown and NSW Breeders Challenge heat winner Jeradas Delight (1:56.7).   Jerada Ace was from Bridge Player (2:01.9), a Moonee Valley winner by Classic Garry from Ailsa, by Muckalee Strike from Nicamond (14 wins), the dam of a top pacer in Blueberry Prince.   It is an interesting fact that the first five dams of Bar Room Banta are race winners. He carries the blood of Christian Cullen, Classic Garry, Muckalee Strike, Light Brigade, Radiant Robert and U Scott, all leading sires and broodmare sires.     Focus Stride is well bred   Focus Stride, who won the $100,000 Gold Chalice Final, one of the features of the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival, is a three-year-old Art Major colt from the same family as that which produced the NZ Cup winners Chokin and Changeover.   Focus Stride has not raced a great deal. He was winless in 11 starts as a two-year-old but has really come into his own at three, winning six of his seven starts. By Art Major, Focus Stride is out of Sparkling Stride NZ, a Christian Cullen mare who left an earlier winner in Magical Times (1:58.4), who has won three races to date.     The next dam, the Falcon Seelster mare Bhutan (2:00.2), won eight races and $38,372 in stakes and at the stud left five winners including the Marlborough Cup winner Joey Maguire (1:59.2) and Kim Maguire (2:04.4), the dam of the NZ Messenger and Harness Jewels winner Eamon Maguire 1:51.9 ($312,203).   Bhutan was a half-sister to a grand pacer in Changeover 1:53.4 ($2.3 million), now a successful sire in Queensland, Change Stride 1:50 ($362,803) and Change Gear 1:52.8 ($190,884), being out of the capable racemare Chaangerr (1:58.7), by Vance Hanover from the Tufty mare Nell’s Pride, the dam of the mighty Chokin. This is the family which also produced Three Eagles, the dam of the NZ Derby winner Fly Like An Eagle and Mach Doro 1:50.2 ($434,740), last year’s NZ 2YO of the Year One Change and the NZ Easter Cup victor Anvil Vance.   Focus Stride was bred and is raced by Emilio and Mary Rosati.     Ninth on end   The four-year-old Cool Water Paddy won his ninth race on end in the Launceston Mile, for free-for all pacers, at the club’s twilight meeting. He is by the Christian Cullen horse, Ohoka Arizona, sire of a top racemare in Millwood Faith.   Cool Water Paddy is out of the Village Jasper mare Glentara (2:08.3), who left the NSW Carousel and Cordina Sprint winner Monifieth 1:50.5 ($622,283), the Menangle winners Ohoka Johnny (1:52.7) and Something Eyre (1:58.1) and the Tasmanian winner Glen Eyre (1:56.3).   The grand-dam Rose Ayr (2:05.3), a Marlborough Cup winner, was by Noodlum from the Smooth Fella mare Montrose (2:02.2), a daughter of Heathmount, the dam of Classiebawn (NZ Breeders Stakes), a cup class pacer in Blair Logie and others.   Stroma, one of the most outstanding juveniles raced in this country, the derby winners Lanercost and Glengowan, My Glengower, Tintinara and Charlotte Brew (Vic. Oaks), all belong to the family which produced Cool Water Paddy.   Cool Water Paddy is a member of Juanita McKenzie’s team.     Well related three-year-old   Keayang Jackie, who produced a barnstorming finish to win the 3YO Classic at Melton, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she was placed in heats of the NSW Breeders Challenge and Australian Pacing Gold.   She has opened her three-year-old season on a winning note and will be well in line for the major juvenile classics.   Keayang Jackie                                            --Stuart McCormick photo   She was sired by the Rocknroll Hanover horse A Rocknroll Dance from Christian Party, the dam of an earlier winner in Having The Faith, who won in 1:56 as a two-year-old at Addington.   Christian Party ranks as a half-sister to a grand pacer and NZ 2YO Championship winner Hoss Cartwright 1:51.8 ($352,878) and the Menangle and Auckland winner Strike Up The Band 1:52 ($206,548) and to the In The Pocket mare Barn Dance Betty, the dam of the Harness Jewels and Breeders Crown 2YO champion Cowgirls N Indians 1:56 ($323,735).   Their dam, Party Party 1:53.2 ($251,236), a dual Group 1 winner, was a half-sister to the A.   G. Hunter Cup and Fremantle Cup victor Another Party 1:56.3 ($888,678) and the Queen of the Pacific winner Champagne Party 1:56.3 ($152,445).   Others from this fine family have been a top Western Australian pacer in Waylade, Democracy (1:50), the NZ Sires Stakes 3YO champion Democrat Party, American Boy (1:50.2) and Livingontheinterest (WA Christmas Gift).       Demon Delight on top   Demon Delight, a Derby heat winner and recently winner of the $50,000 City Of Melton Plate, is one of the best four-year-olds in Victoria at present. He has won $188,090 in stakes, a worthwhile return for the $30,000 paid for him as a yearling. By the Cam’s Card Shark horse Bettor’s Delight, he is out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Ghadas Koala (2:01.1) and the first of her produce to race.   Demon Delight                                                 --Stuart McCormick photo        Ghadas Koala was a half-sister to the smart performers Machin Out 1:52.1 ($261,996) and All I Can Be 1:53.7 ($143,949), being from Out Swing N (1:57.9), a cup class mare by Holmes Hanover from the NSW and Queensland Oaks winner Swing Out Sister, by Big Band Sound.   This family has produced some useful pacers over the years. Swing Out Sister left earlier winners in Swing Blade ($156,491), winner of the NSW Tatlow, and Seven Wishes (1:55.3), but Demon Delight is the best winner from this family in recent years.     Pick My Pocket is well bred   Pick My Pocket, who won the Group 2 $50,000 WA Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park, is a New Zealand bred mare with an interesting and successful family background.   Bred by Charles Roberts, of Auckland, she was got by Bettor’s Delight from La Filou (1:59), a northern bred mare by the Direct Scooter horse In The Pocket. Pick My Pocket, who took a record of 1:55.3 as a four-year-old, has run up a tidy score of 10 wins and 14 placings from 40 starts for $150,284 in stakes.   Pick My Pocket’s dam, La Filou, who was only lightly raced, left earlier winners in the VHRC 3YO Cup, Tasmanian Guineas and prolific Menangle winner The Dip 1:52.2 ($191,503) and He’s Lightfingered, a winner at Menangle in 1:54.8.   La Filou ranked as a half-sister to two outstanding pacers in Adore Me 1:47.7 and Have Faith In Me 1:47.5, both Australasian mile record holders and million dollar earners, Imagine Me 1:56.9 ($247,175), the exported Megabucks (1:49.6) and Stand By Me (1:51) and the Hondo Grattan Sprint winner Toledo (1:59.9).   Their dam, Scuse Me, won eight races including the Great Northern Oaks and the Taylor Memorial Mile in a record 1:53.5 and $126,841 and the stud became the dam of 13 individual winners.   Scuse Me was a B G’s Bunny mare from the noted Smooth Fella producer Super Smooth, the dam of the metropolitan winners Supabet 1:53.8 ($103,945), Smooth Delight (1:57.3) and Il Casino (1:59.1) and to the In The Pocket mare Tricky Woman (1:56.2), the dam of the recent good Albion Park winner Bettor To Be Tricky 1:52.6 ($110,992).     Four winners by Sportswriter   Rather a notable siring feat was credited to the Artsplace horse Sportswriter at the Launceston twilight meeting when he left the first four winners on the program. They were the two-year-old filly Written In Silk, who won The Belmont, Spoilt Sport, Beam Me Up Chopper and Lip Reader.   by Peter Wharton

Racing to cease in Tasmania These are difficult times for all Tasmanians, and today our Government made the tough decision to cease all racing in the State from this point forward. I can assure you, this decision was not taken lightly as Tasmania’s racing industry supports thousands of jobs in rural and regional communities, injecting around $103 million a year into the State’s economy. I acknowledge this will come as a heavy blow to the 5,000 participants across the three racing codes, many of whom are reliant on the industry for their primary incomes. However, the health and safety of all Tasmanians must come first, and the public health advice I have received indicates today’s decision is a necessary one. The Premier and I have spoken with Tasracing about this decision and a support package will be announced in the coming days that will assist industry participants and maintain the welfare of our racing animals. Many industry participants will also be eligible for the assistance packages for businesses and individuals already announced by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments over recent weeks. Although race meets will be cancelled for at least the next four weeks, it is vital that the welfare of racing animals is maintained. That’s why those industry participants who are essential in ensuring that welfare will be able to continue their important work. This includes veterinarians, farriers and those who feed the racing animals and keep them fit and healthy. Details on the specific support that Tasracing will receive will be announced in the coming days.   Jane Howlett, Minister for Racing

Rival harness racing horsemen had the utmost respect for runners from the central Victorian stables of Col Redwood. Mr Redwood, 83, who had a training complex at Bridgewater, near Bendigo, died on Tuesday. One of the most respected gentleman of the sport, he was well-known for his love of the square-gaiter and was associated with many classy performers, both trotters and pacers. His involvement in harness racing-as an owner, trainer and driver-goes back to the early 1950s. He followed in the footsteps of his father Hughie and the Redwood name is recognized and revered with the Maryborough club's Redwood Classic Day in August each year. Mr Redwood competed at the top level, racing in Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Finals, Australasian Trotting Championship Finals and the V L Dullard Trotters Cup, with such outstanding horses of their time as Red Eclipse, Maressar, Rockin Dale, Classic Victory, Mount Alm, Kurahaupo Lord and Arrestin Tess. "I competed against him often and when he took his horses to the races, he always had them prepared so well you knew you were in for a fight," successful Bendigo trainer Gary Donaldson said. "You always had to be wary of him, because Col would turn them out trained to the minute," he said. "If you were ever lucky enough to beat him, he'd be one of the first to congratulate you-he was just a great guy." Gary Donaldson's words are just one of the many heart-warming tributes from far and wide that have been posted since Mr Redwood lost his battle to illness. Col and his wife Dorothy, who died a few years ago, had two children Darren and Janine. Darren competed as a driver for a few years, and was also a talented footballer. One of Col's greatest achievements was as a driver, donning the Australian colors at a World Amateur Drivers' Championship. He also enjoyed being a competitor in the annual veterans' race, staged at Bendigo. Col Redwood enjoyed competing in veteran driver events at Bendigo. He is pictured about to take part in the 2014 race (Bendigo HRC photo) Off the track, Mr Redwood served many years on the board of the Victorian Square Trotters Association, of which he was a foundation member. He took on the role of president, working tirelessly to promote the square gaiter. He was a worthy recipient of a Harness Racing Victoria Distinguished Services Medal. Well-known country Victorian horseman Nick Youngson was one of many who posted condolence notices this week, and summed up everyone's feelings: "An out and out trotting gentleman. If I do half as good a job in the Victorian Square Trotters Association as Col did, I'll be very happy!" Harnesslink extends its sympathy to the Redwood family.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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