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One of the biggest questions harness racing fans were asking before the running of today's $100,000 TAB Len Smith was 'would the real Majordan show up and give his best?' Champion reinsman Todd McCarthy admitted it was a fine line with the speedy son of Art Major as to whether or not that Majordan would be able to match it with his rivals when the mobile starter let them go. The good news is, the big fellow was right on his game and the Kevin Pizzuto-trained pacer came out of barrier one and surged to a stunning 1:49.6 win over a gutsy Our Uncle Sam (Anthony Frisby), scoring by a head, with Victorian visitor Jilliby Bandit a strong third. Pizzuto described Majordan as a "beast" after a he impressed everyone with a strong recent trial and he showed why when Replaced Eye came firing out of the gate and Majordan had to be hunted up by McCarthy to hold the lead. "It was either that or possibly hand up and try and retake the lead," said Todd. "I'm just happy the real Majordan showed up today - sometimes it's in the lap of the gods which one will be here." Todd described the Len Smith as one of the elite harness races in this country. "This is my first win in this race so it's pretty special," he said.     Majordan "I have to give Gordon Banks and Mark Hanover a special mention for letting me drive this horse . . . he's pretty good, this bloke. Pizzuto agreed: "Both horse and driver were on their game today and it could not have worked out any better," said Pizzuto, one of the leading trainers in this country and something of a master at having his horses peak when the feature races roll around. He may be forced to consider taking Majordan to Queensland for their features as his other stable star Tiger Tara is already booked to head north for the stable in coming days. Sean Vella

Strap yourself in for a magical Len Smith Mile at Menangle next Sunday. Sure the Group 1 Len Smith Mile itself will take centre stage with the likes of My Field Marshal, Soho Tribeca, Majordan, Match In Heaven and others doing battle. But there will be so many delicious side dishes through the NSW Breeders Challenge finals. The biggest names in action include Australia’s most exciting three-year-old Ignatius and gun former Kiwi four-year-old Let it Ride. Ignatius, who upstaged Sicario to win the Breeders Challenge 2YO final last season, has been sparingly raced since, but extended his record to 13 wins and a third from just 14 starts. His Penrith win two starts had many seasoned experts saying he was the sport’s next big thing. And there is a lovely symmetry with former dual Inter Dominion winner Beautide, having started his in career for Rattray clan in Tasmania before moving to Jimmy Rattray’s Menangle stable. Rattray had an armchair drive on Ignatius in their Breeders Challenge semi last night (Saturday), working to the front, dictating terms then ripping home in 55.1 and 27.0sec to win under a hold by 6.2m in a 1min53.1sec mile. Importantly, the other semi was won in a quicker 1min52.6sec by Kevin Pizzuto’s Picard, but Ignatius sat parked outside him and crushed him in that heat of the series at Penrith. Everything points to Ignatius easily winning the final and then focus turning to whether Rattray heads to the Queensland Derby or waits to focus on the Breeders Crown. Let It Ride stamped himself as the one to beat in a strong four-year-old Breeders Challenge division with a narrow, but impressive semi-final win. Anthony Butt snagged him to last from a wide draw and had to sustain a long three-wide run to beat a gallant and underrated leader San Domino in a 1min51.4sec mile. Let It Ride was clocked to run a staggering 54.1sec last half, out three-wide for much of it. But this will be a strong final with the tough Atomic Red doing a power of work and still proving too strong for stablemate Joes Star Of Mia in a 1min51.6sec mile. The other key Breeders Challenge final will see Victorian raiders Hardhitter and Lochinvar Art head the betting in the two-year-old colts and geldings division.   Adam Hamilton

The harness racing fans turned out in force to see what was hailed as a match-race. But feature-race specialists Tim Butt and Anthony Butt spoiled the party when five-year-old My Field Marshall scored a race-record win in today's $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The son of former champion mare Foreal, by Art Major scored an amazing win in the Group One feature, nailing another surprise packet Mach Doro near the line to score in 1:50.2, breaking Hectorjayjay's race record set last year. The plucky Lennytheshark raced outside the leader Hectorjayjay and held on manfully to take third place, but had no answer to the sprint of the first two placegetters in the straight. Part-owner of My Field Marshall Syd Brown said he had looked at the list of previous winners including the likes of Smoken Up (four times), Changeover, Beautide, Smolda and Hectorjayjay and said he dreamt of just having a horse good enough to compete against the Grand Circuit stars. The rest was left to the Butt brothers . . trainer Tim has been in Sydney for almost a month preparing the Christchurch pacer for his shot at glory while Anthony, who is now domiciled in Melbourne, he has become one of that state's leading reinsman with a string of winners. But Anthony admitted this might be his biggest win on the Menangle circuit and was certainly something special against some of the best horses in Australasia. Hectorjayjay (Josh Aiken) showed his normal extraordinary turn of foot to easily find the front in the 1609m sprint while Lennytheshark (Chris Alford) never shirked the task and gradually made his way around the field to sit outside of his stablemate for most of the race. Turning for home it became obvious 'Hector' couldn't shake off his stablemate, but that didn't matter as first Mach Doro and then My Field Marshall made their moves out wide. Butt had something in hand as he easily picked up his rivals to score in 1:50.2 after sectionals of 26.9s, 29.4s, 26.8 and home in 27.1 for a win that stunned most of those present - except the Butts, who knew they had a horse that was up to the task. . . . and one whose name will look quite at home in the record books beside some of the greats of the sport. Amanda Zammit  

The barrier draw has only added to the intrigue of Sunday’s $100,000 Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle. In an extraordinary coincidence, all the big guns have drawn poorly making it look more like a preferential rather than random barrier draw. David Aiken’s superstar pair Hectorjayjay (gate nine) and Lennytheshark (10) have drawn the outside front row barriers, but they will come into seven and eight respectively in the two emergencies (Lord Zin Zan 6 and Spare Me Days 7) don’t gain starts. Tiger Tara, who beat Lennytheshark in the Golden Mile then ran a huge second to Hectorjayjay last Saturday night, will start from four-out on the back row (gate 14). Even classy Kiwi pacer My Field Marshall drew awkwardly inside the back row (gate 11). The Aussie TAB opened defending champion Hectorjayjay, who is renowned for his early brilliance and could cross to the lead should he try from the wide draw, as the $2.10 favourite. The question for the Hectorjayjay team is whether they want to risk a repeat of the Miracle Mile where he burned off the gate in a record 24.8sec split and simply used too much petrol to keep going. He weakened late to run fifth. Lennytheshark, who is due to trial at Menangle today (Tuesday), is the $2.30 second elect, while Tiger Tara is a $6 shot. The winners from the draw were tough veteran Ultimate Art (gate one), classy Victorian speedster Major Crocker (four) and last-start Golden Mile runner-up Mach Doro (five). The Allstars barn has runners in two of the NSW Breeders Challenge finals on the day and had mixed luck in the barrier draws. Superstar three-year-old Vincent, who had a close shave in his semi-final last week, is still a commanding $1.40 favourite from the worst possible draw (gate 14) in his final. And Sicario, despite leading and being rundown when second in his semi, is a $1.70 favourite from barrier eight in his final. He will start from six if the emergencies don’t get starts and should work to the front. Adam Hamilton

David Aiken has a few words of warning for anyone doubting Lennytheshark ahead of next Sunday’s Group 1 Len Smith Mile. “He’ll be right. This is what he’s been set for. You’ll see the best of Lenny this week,” he said. Doubters emerged when the champ led, dictated and was easily rundown by Tiger Tara and Mach Doro in the Golden Mile at Menangle last Saturday week. “It turned out he needed the run a bit more than we thought and, in retrospect, Chris (Alford, driver) probably should’ve got going on him a bit earlier and made them chase him more than they had to,” Aiken said. “As much you’d love to win them all, you can’t. The Len Smith is what we’ve set him for.” To have Lennytheshark absolutely primed, Aiken will trial him at Menangle on Tuesday. “It won’t be a hard trial, but just gives me the chance to give him the hitout he needs to be spot on,” he said. “As he’s shown us so many times before, he thrives on racing and a trial this week will be close to another race.” Aiken again finds himself torn heading into the Len Smith with star stablemates Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay to clash again. Hectorjayjay scored his biggest win so far whennhe stormed home to upset Lennytheshark in last year’s Len Smith Mile, but Lennytheshark gained revenge when he beat a hot field, including Hector, in the Miracle Mile earlier this year. Aiken is a great position, but was quick to say it’s not just a matter of which of his stable stars wins this week. “I’ve got huge respect for Tiger Tara. He’s right in this race the way he’s going,” he said. Tiger Tara came from off the pace to beat Lennytheshark in the Golden Mile, then backed-up last Saturday night with a very gallant second to Hectorjayjay in the 2300m free-for-all at Menangle. Hectorjayjay settled in front of Tiger Tara after the start and driver Josh Aiken made an early move around the field to take the lead, while Tiger Tara moved last in the middle stages to sit parked. Hectorjayjay zipped home in 54.4 and 26.7sec to hold-off Tiger Tara and win by 2.4m in a 1min54.4sec mile rate for the longer 2300m trip. “Hector pulled-up like he needed the run after his first-up win at Melton which is why we backed him at Menangle. I’m glad we did, it should’ve topped him off nicely,” he said. Adam Hamilton

Fans have been dished-up an unexpected treat at Menangle on Saturday night. Trainer Kevin Pizzuto telegraphed early his plans to back-up Tiger Tara, but the twist in the race came when David Aiken opted to run Hectorjayjay as well. So, just eight days before the Group 1 Len Smith Mile, we get a mini preview with two of Australia’s best pacers locking horns in the Family Dun Day Sunday Pace (2300m). As impressive as Tiger Tara was storming home off a slow pace to beat Lennytheshark and others in last week’s Golden Mile, all the early money is for Hectorjayjay to beat him on Saturday. Amazingly, Hectorjayjay was smashed from $1.60 into $1.45 and then again in $1.35 within minutes of the Aussie TAB opening its fixed odds market. Tiger Tara has eased from $2.60 to $3. Both will start from the back row, but Hectorjayjay looks to be drawn better starting from two-out on the back as he can potentially through better and settle in front of Tiger Tara. Tiger Tara has the inside back row (gate 11) and follows out rank outsider Demolition Dave, meaning driver Todd McCarthy will surely snag and look to get straight away from the inside into the running line. It means he will settle near last. Against that, Tiger Tara’s great strength is his stamina and the stretch from last week’s 1609m to 2300m plays to his favour. The glamour pair are classes above their rivals and it promises to be a fascinating race of tactics and an ideal “teaser” to the best Len Smith Mile in recent memory. Saturday night’s Menangle card also features semi-finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge for three and four-year-olds. By far the biggest name stepping-out in them is NSW and NZ Derby winner Vincent, who is a $1.04 favourite from gate four in the second of the three-year-old colts and geldings division. Luke McCarthy is down to take the drive. Another highlight of the card is the Group 3 Frith Stakes (1609m) where the key players are Cyclone Kate (gate 14), Rocker Band (12) and Miss Riviera Belle (five). Kiwi mare Rocker Band has moved from Craig Demmler’s Victorian stable to Mark Jones’ Menangle satellite stable and Ashlee Grives is down for the drive on Saturday night. Rocker Band and Cyclone Kate share $3.40 favourite in the Aussie TAB’s early fixed odds market. Adam Hamilton

Tiger Tara will back-up again at Menangle on Saturday night to prime him for the Group 1 Len Smith Mile eight days later. Trainer Kevin Pizzuto believes another strong hitout is just what the former top class Kiwi pacer needs ahead of chasing his biggest win since moving to Australia. That’s despite Tiger Tara unleashing a withering finishing sprint off a relatively slow space to rundown Mach Doro and Lennytheshark in last Saturday night’s Group 3 Golden Mile at Menangle. He was privately timed to run a 53.9sec last half. “I’ve changed a few things around, including his training and his feed, and he’ll benefit from another run this week,” Pizzuto said. “I’m sure he’s better now than he was before the little break we gave him after the Bulli Cup. “The way we’re doing things now, he will hit line better … finish off his races better. “Another run this week is just what he needs before the Len Smith. He thrives on the racing.” Pizzuto said the other key improvement with Tiger Tara during the time in his stable has been his gait. “It’s something we’ve worked on and he’s certainly pacing a lot better now. Look at the way he came around the last bend at top speed last weekend,” he said. “He’s also shown he’s at home on tight tracks with the way he’s won and the times he’s run at Penrith. “I think he’s still on the up and I’m looking forward to the Len Smith then getting up to Queensland for their Carnival.” Interestingly, Pizzuto said he may focus on the staying race, the Blacks A Fake, and bypass the Sunshine Sprint in Queensland. “He’d better suited to the Blacks A Fake, especially around the smaller track at Albion Park compared to Menangle,” he said. Tiger Tara will be one of the major players in what shapes as the strongest Len Smith Mile in many years. Other probable starters include Lennytheshark, Hectorjayjay and My Field Marshall, who was luckless in the Golden Mile last weekend. All the big names of the Len Smith are then expected to head north for the Queensland Winter Carnival.   Adam Hamilton

Plans remain on track for giant pacer Ultimate Art. Prepared at Ellalong by Mick Formosa, the popular pacer was scheduled to trial last night (Wednesday) at his home track of Newcastle before persistent rain forced harness racing officials to abandon the session. It wasn’t the news that Formosa wanted to hear. Ultimate Art is being readied for the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday, June 25 before returning to Brisbane for the winter carnival. “I really needed him to trial last night because he needs a few runs to bring him up to speed, it wasn’t to be and we will head back to the trials next week. I was hoping to have two trials under his belt before the Len Smith Mile followed by Brisbane.” Formosa said. Last season, the Modern Art entire enjoyed tremendous success at Albion Park winning 9 of his 14 starts which included 8 in succession. He finished 4th behind Hectorjayjay in the Sunshine Sprint while he ran 3rd behind Ohoka Punter in the Blacks A Fake, his two targets again during his northern campaign. Ultimate Art was under the care of Formosa’s good friends, Shannon Price and Scott Miller. “He had a great stint up there last year and Shannon and Scott did a wonderful job, it was great ride for us and provided so many thrills. Hopefully we can experience something like that again this year. “I’m really happy with the way he’s performed this campaign and he’s continued to train on well since his last start in the Newcastle Mile, I really wanted to win that race but we couldn’t peg back Bettor Bet Black. “The carnival looks like it will be really solid but he won’t be far away again, if we have any luck we’ll certainly take our chance.” At his most recent start, Ultimate Art was beaten a half neck margin behind Bettor Bet Black in a time of 1:53.1 on May 6. Ultimate Art has won 32 of his 85 starts while banking more than $500,000 in stakes. Chris Barsby

Team Aiken flexed their muscles tonight (Thursday). The powerful Victorian stable ventured to the Shepparton trials with stable stars Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay as they prepare for their upcoming harness racing interstate targets. Both pacers are bound for Sydney on June 25 for the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle before heading further north for the Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park. The Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint is scheduled for July 8 followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake a week later. The Blacks A Fake is the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season. The brilliant duo stepped out in a 2190m public trial with Hectorjayjay leading throughout and holding Lennytheshark by a neck margin at the finish line. The milerate was 2:01.6 while the final half was covered in 56.8 seconds. Neither horse was fully extended. Hectorjayjay has not raced since finishing 5th behind Lennytheshark in the Miracle Mile on February 25. The Dream Away gelding is expected to resume next Friday night at TABCORP Park, Melton in the $20,000 Young Pedro Free-For-All. Hectorjayjay won both the Len Smith Mile and Sunshine Sprint last season before finishing second in the Blacks A Fake behind Ohoka Punter on a wet track Lennytheshark, a last start winner of the Bulli Cup in 1:49.7 at Menangle on April 29 will head back to Sydney next week where is set to start in the $30,000 Golden Mile. The Gr.3 feature is scheduled for next Saturday night. Lennytheshark is yet to race at Albion Park. Chris Barsby

Despite tasting defeat, talented young harness racing horseman Nathan Purdon walked away from last Sunday’s Sydney feature meeting a content person. Purdon prepared Ohoka Punter for the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Menangle and the star pacer produced a courageous effort to fill third placing behind the David Aiken duo of Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark in a time of 1:50.5. Following two brilliant victories at Albion Park, connections decided to take at throw at the stumps and head south for the sprint feature rather than stay and wait in Brisbane for the upcoming winter carnival features. And the two start campaign proved very successful. “He performed at a very high level in both starts, his first-up win was very impressive and I thought his effort in the Len Smith was very commendable given how much work he did and the time they posted. The top two finishes are wee nice horses.” Purdon said. The New Zealand horseman has returned to Brisbane and Ohoka Punter is due back tomorrow (Thursday) in readiness for next week’s Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake the following week. The open class features during the carnival are loaded with stars including Hectorjayjay, Christen Me, Avonnova and Ultimate Art but Ohoka Punter is right there with them and Purdon is just hoping for some luck. “The Brisbane style of racing is very hard and a little unforgiving so we need to be at our best and have lady luck on our side in both events. The barrier draw for each race will go a long way in determining who gains the advantage. “The best part about last Sunday was the way he came through the race, I couldn’t be happier with the way he pulled up and his recovery was great so that’s very pleasing as we head into the Brisbane features.” Champion reinsman Anthony Butt handled the dual Group One winner in Sydney but Purdon will take the lines himself in both Albion Park features. The barrier draw for the Sunshine Sprint will be conducted next Tuesday (July 5). Chris Barsby

Harness Racing Trainer David Aiken was expected to capture the Group 1 Len Smith Mile (1609m) at Menangle on Sunday. However, it would be his second-seed that would be victorious as five-year-old gelding Hectorjayjay ran down stablemate Lennytheshark to score in 1:50.5.   Lennytheshark was involved in a flying 25.7 opening quarter as Bettor Bet Black scorched over before Lennytheshark was able to find the top in the back straight in a 55-second first half.   Champion reinsman Gavin Lang took three-wide cover with Hectorjayjay before peeling to the outside to give chase to Lennytheshark. The third quarter was run through in 28.3 followed by a 27.2 final quarter as Lennytheshark’s early work took its toll.    Hectorjayjay would defeat Lennytheshark by 1.2m with a further 5.9m back to Ohoka Punter in third place.   “That’s one thing about drawing 14, you need those type of quick sectionals early to bring you into the race and that’s how it turned out,” Lang told Michael Court. “That early burn gives you a chance. Over a mile if they go slowly early then you are left to do your share of work to get into the race and chasing quality horses, well, you just won’t catch them.”   Aiken had originally planned for Hectorjayjay to contest a couple of Queensland features and now that he has claimed the Len Smith Mile, there is no reason not to continue on the original path; later in the year Lennytheshark will defend his Inter Dominion Championship crown in Perth with Hectorjayjay looking to take the coveted title away from his stablemate.   “The plan all along was to take him up to Queensland for the winter features,” Aiken told  “So that’s the way he will keep going.”   The Group 2 Sunshine Sprint (1660m) will be held at Albion Park on July 9 followed by the Group 1 The Blacks A Fake (2680m) at the same venue on July 16.   Former Miracle Mile winner Christen Me is in Queensland to contest both features while Ohoka Punter will return to his home state to tackle both events.    Reprinted with permission

I read your tweet following the Len Smith Mile Sky Racing Debacle and I felt compelled to write you an email (my first to any Harness Publication) Until recently I attended meetings every week of all codes (Harness racing, Thoroughbred & - in various locations in Aust & internationally). But due to work circumstances cannot anymore. I still actively participate as an owner and member of numerous race clubs & associations. I have supported MANY THINGS (rightly or wrongly over my 30+ years in Harness Racing) as long there was a vision and a reason why that lead to a betterment of the sport.  The decision by Sky Racing Australia to split with screen with The Group 1 Len Smith Mile & the a Coleraine Gallops BM64 race was an utter disgrace and taking the racing industry back to the PRE-TABCORP Days. Harness Racing Coverage (& Thoroughbred & Greyhound) to that matter should burst into the 21st Century. Trials are beamed on the internet minutes after they are run - whether on a cold Wednesday Night   We have 3 channels on Sky Racing, Internet Streaming on apps, etc BUT still cannot see the race in the entirety due to clashes. This situation appears to occur nearly every day. Frustrating!!! Harness, Gallops, & Greyhound Fans are ALL being duped. Policies sent out to media by Sky Racing are inconsistent and only remain in force until the "anger blows over". Then its back to the normailty of clashes All in the name of building revenue for the shareholder. Excuses Excuses........ On this occasion I appreciate that both races were late, (the Len Smith Mile 1min) & the Coleraine Race (5mins) but TABCORP HOLDINGS - get your media arm working properly. Without a QULAITY OFFERING shareholder value will decline - rapidly!!!! As a quick fix what I propose is that a the very least: "The major race for the Day - whether it be a Group 1 or whatever for EITHER code should be given priority. A showcase to be proud of!!!" These "showcase events" are the main reason why MOST people participate,  - punting, watching, own, train, drive, etc. TV Presenters build up the race to a crescendo - but he execution fails to deliver - eg SPLIT SCREENS. Like a warm Beer in Australia!!! Leaving watchers EXTREMELY disappointed. PLEASE SKY RACING bring the coverage up to the 21st Century!! SURELY you can provide a QUALITY SERVICE that doesn't offend OLD & NEW viewers Steve Littlejohn

Master harness racing trainer David Aiken pulled off the ultimate big-race success when he trained the quinella in today’s $100,000 TABCORP.COM.AU Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The only problem was it wasn’t quite the way punters expected it to go. Aiken’s up and comer Hectorjayjay ($10.10), finished like a train to swamp odds-on favourite Lennytheshark ($1.40 favourite) by 1.2m, with Ohoka Punter ($7) a fighting third 7.1m further way. The winner rated a slashing 1:50.5, confirming the huge wraps that Aiken had placed on the five-year-old gelding, who is now bound for Queensland and further feature starts. Victoria’s two leading reinsmen Gavin Lang (Hectorjayjay) and Chris Alford (Lennytheshark) cleared away to fight out the finish although the wicked grin on Lang’s face in the last 100m clearly indicated he knew he had the race in his keeping. Close behind the placegetters were outsiders Blazin N Cullen and Alta Jerome, just ahead of the mighty mare Frith, who endured a torrid run and couldn’t match the Grand Circuit stars in the straight. “Gavin really likes this five-year-old gelding by Dream Away,” said Aiken. “He doesn’t say a lot but I just really got the feeling he’s been impressed with his turn of foot.” Lang explained that draws were important and 14 was not ideal against a quality field like that. “As I always say before the race, it’s only a number, we usually have a post mortem after and decide if they’re good bad or otherwise . . . and it turned out perfectly,” said Lang. “That’s one thing about drawing 14, you need those type of quick sectionals early to bring you into the race and that’s how it turned out. “That early burn gives you a chance. Over a mile if they go slowly early then you are left to do your share of work to get into the race and chasing quality horses, well, you just won’t catch them.” Lang said Hectorjayjay always travelled well and his only concern pre-race was that he had been scratched from his last run because he had a minor problem. “But a solidly run race (like today’s) can be their downfall and to the stable’s credit they did a great job and had him in excellent condition,” he said. Home straight: “He’s a good horse and that’s one of the qualities that good horses have - under pressure they really dig in.” “I’m sure these two horses will have some epic battles in the future.” Michael Howard

Harness Racing Form analyst Trent Orwin previews his best selections for Sunday's Len Smith Mile Day at Menangle.    Race 4 (12:14pm) – NSW 2016 RISING STARS HEAT 10 – 1609m   A great clash between Lumos and Jilliby Jagger awaits with the former drawn the pole and the latter out in barrier eight.    I’m expecting Lumos to lead with Jilliby Jagger making a move to sit parked and hopefully the five-year-old gelding Jilliby Jagger can prove too strong for the speedy six-year-old gelding Lumos.   Jilliby Jagger has been contesting stronger races; five starts back he defeated Young Modern and All Eyes On Us before running third behind Messini and Hectorjayjay in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final (2240m).   Both runs this preparation have been good and Jilliby Jagger can go close here.   Selections: 10-1-3-4   Race 8 (2:35pm) – NSW BREEDERS CHALLENGE 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS FINAL – 1609m   Arma The Gun should lead from barrier three and the three-year-old gelding’s form reads super heading into today’s Group 1 contest.   A winner at five of his past six starts, Arma The Gun was able to lead in both heat and semi-final of the series when rating 1:52.9, home in 56 seconds in the semi-final.   He was a dominant winner four back in 1:51.9, after charging home in 26.7 seconds.    Don’t take too short a price because he is beatable and you could have something smaller on Fouroeight at around the $8.50 mark or better.    Selections: 4-13-5-6   Race 10 (3:55pm) – LEN SMITH MILE – 1609m   Lennytheshark should get redemption in the Len Smith Mile; it was the race that really grabbed my attention last season with his excellent third-placed effort.   There are a couple of really big guns (the Grand Circuit horses) and they take on a number of consistent free-for-all horses that aren’t good enough to match said big guns on a weekly basis.   Hectorjayjay is a stablemate to Lennytheshark and he has really transformed into a very good racehorse.    Always blessed with speed, Hectorjayjay has added toughness to his repertoire. Follows out Mach Beauty at the start and should settle in the moving line before showing his turn of foot to hopefully run into the placings for us.   Selections: 2-14-6-13   Reprinted with permission

A bizarre judder bar may not halt Waikiki Beach’s path to the rarest number in New Zealand Harness Racing. Because the three-year-old pacing star could still hunt down Courage Under Fire’s record of 24 consecutive wins by season’s end. Waikiki Beach, who races with the Our prefix in Australia, missed last Saturday’s Breeders Challenge semi final in Sydney after his connections didn’t nominate him until too late because of a miscommunication. He would have been red hot to win both his semi and probably this Sunday’s A$150,000 Breeders Challenge Final, which could have taken him to 21 straight victories to start his career. He was then scheduled to embark on the defence of his Australasian Breeders Crown title, which will comprise three more races, so a clean sweep could have drawn him level with Courage Under Fire with the most consecutive victories by any New Zealand-trained horse to start his career. The connections of Waikiki Beach met last week and toyed with the idea of a Queensland Derby campaign or even bringing him home to New Zealand to prepare for the Breeders Crown. But he will now stay in Sydney instead and that puts the record back on the table for the superstar, who is unbeaten in 19 starts. Waikiki Beach will trial next week and possibly race in a minor race the following week before his Breeders Crown heat at Menangle on July 12. “That is the plan at this stage so he is definitely staying here,” says top Sydney horseman Luke McCarthy, with whom Waikiki Beach is stabled in Australia. That means he could have two seemingly effortless races to take him to 21 wins but with five weeks until the Breeders Crown semis in Victoria and three-year-olds so well treated in the Australian handicapping system, he could easily have another tune-up race in early August. That brings the 24-win record back into play, although the Breeders Crown is looking the toughest test of Waikiki Beach’s career. While leading Victoria rival Shadow Sax has been sidelined, Waikiki Beach’s stablemate and Jewels winner Heaven Rocks is being set for the series, as is the exciting Franco Christiano. “He is a hell of a horse and what happened last week was unfortunate but he is well and has plenty of opportunities to get ready over here,” says McCarthy. The Waikiki Beach stuff up leaves his stablemate My MacKenzie, who was surprisingly beaten in her Breeders Challenge semi last weekend, as the only New Zealand-trained starter at Sunday’s huge Menangle meeting. Lennytheshark warmed up Sunday’s A$100,000 Len Smith Mile with a sparkling 1:51.5 trial win at Menangle on Monday and sometime Auckland pacer Ohoka Punter looks his biggest danger after he bolted in at Menangle last Saturday. But Lennytheshark is red hot after drawing barrier two in the group one, with Ohoka Punter at barrier five. Meanwhile, Alexandra Park fans are in for rare mid-winter dash of pacing class tomorrow night with a stronger than expected line-up for the $20,000 Smith And Partners Lawyers Winter Cup. Not only do Derby and Jewels placegetters Shandale and Motown (respectively) return for the standing start 2700m but they are joined by Messenger placegetter Hug The Wind, Bettor Spirits, Spring Cup and Holmes D G winner Beyond The Silence and a newcomer to the northern scene in New Years Jay. The former Otago mare fashioned a huge reputation with her killer sprints in the south and has now joined the Barry Purdon stable. The Winter Cup is the highlight of a 12-race programme, featuring 120 horses, which shows the benefits of Alexandra Park, or Cambridge, racing as the sole northern club at the end of the week, especially in winter. Tomorrow’s big programme also comes during harness racing’s golden month for turnovers, with pools always larger on the Friday nights before the All Black’s June tests because there is no live rugby to draw punters away from Trackside. Michael Guerin

Sound the shark warning, Lenny is lurking in the shallows and after drawing barrier number two in Sunday afternoon's Len Smith Mile, the reigning harness racing Inter Dominion champion and Miracle Mile runner up is set to start well into the red at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Stablemate Hectorjayjay has not fared as well in the draw and will start outside the second row in barrier fourteen. Here is the full barrier draw 1 Yayas Hot Spot 2 Lennytheshark 3 Mach Beauty 4 Alta Jerome 5 Jilliby Jagger Emergency 2 6 Ohoka Punter 7 Frith 8 Blazin N Cullen 9 Bettor Bet Black 10 My Jellignite 11 Lochinver Emergency 1 12 It Is Billy 13 Monifieth 14 Hectorjayjay Greg Hayes

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