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Veteran harness racing trainer Neil Cameron was rewarded for his patience when Liberty Niadh scored a courageous win on debut a The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. With experienced reinsman Rohan Hillier in the sulky, the well bred juvenile proved too strong for race favourite House Haunter ($2.70) and his stablemate Feral Tracy in the Launceston Belmont (1680m), which was the feature race on the mammoth 11-race card. It was a game win as the filly faced the breeze for the last 600 metres but had the stamina and will to eventually forge to the lead and defeat the favourite by eight metres with Feral Tracy 1.8 metres away third and just in advance of her stablemate Freyde hat lost valuable ground when she galloped for a few strides nearing the home turn. Cameron had the filly ready to race early in the season but had to abort the campaign due to illness. "She was probably the first two-year-old to trial back in October last year but she developed a respiratory infection so I couldn't go on with her," Cameron said. Liberty Niadh trialed brilliantly a week prior to her first race assignment and that gave connections and punters cause to back her in from $4.50 to start the $3.20 second favourite "We just had to be patient and we have been rewarded." Cameron explained that Liberty Niadh is the result of a purchase he made about five years ago. "I bought this filly's mother Maggie Adreaming down from Queensland with the intention of racing her," he said. "But she'd had E I (Equine Influenza) and, when I got her stated, I could pick something was wrong." "So I had her checked out and discovered she had a problem with her heart that had been cause by the E I." "So I opted to breed wit her and Liberty Niadh is her first foal," he said. Cameron is unsure about her immediate future. "I've got nothing special planned for her but we might take her to Hobart next Sunday night." "I'll wait and see how she comes through this race and make a decision later in the week," he said. Peter Staples

VICTORIAN pacer Fon Ess Kay completed half of his Tasmanian mission at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last night when he scored a game win in the Back In Motion Pace over 2090 metres. Fon Ess Kay has only been in the care of Tasmanian trainer Rohan Hillier for about two weeks and in that time he was a first-up fourth in Hobart only a day after he arrived by boat followed by his win last night. The horse hails from the Adam Kelly stable in Victoria but the three-year-old gelding hade done no more than a few trials. "I had my mare Nola Mayhem staying at Adam's (Kelly) stables and while I was there he suggested that he might send this horse to me to try and win his two three-year-old races because he is Tasmanian bred," Hillier said. "The horse was nominated for a race in Hobart and arrived the day before the race on July 20." "Because he is Tasbred he qualifies for two bonuses for winning his first two three-year-old races so that's why he's here." "We are halfway there but I'm not sure about winning another one because there are only three meetings of the season left," he said. Fon Ess Kay (Four Starzzz Shark-Ess Kay Precious) began fairly from gate four but didn't have enough speed to cross to the fence so Hillier eased him back while Strange Conduct rolled across from gate six to lead. When the pace slackened Hillier sent his charge around the field and when the leader's driver Rod Ashwood was happy to hand Fon Ess Kay rolled to the front. Once on top Hillier set a leisurely tempo and when he called on the gelding for the big effort in the home straight he forged clear and hit the line over three metres clear of Strange Conduct with Aboycalledsu hanging on for third after circumnavigating the field midrace to race outside of the eventual winner. Fon Ess Kay clocked a mile rate of 2.03.6. Peter Staples

PROMISING two-year-old pacer One Mans Pass is likely to be a travelling companion for his high-profiled stablemate Barynya when she embarks on a trip to Victoria this week to prepare for her 3YO fillies' Breeders Crown assignment. Barynya is one of the favourites to win her division of the Breeders Crown and not surprising given she won the Tasmanian and Victorian Oaks and was favourite in the recent Group 1 Vicbred Super Series final in which she was devoid of luck. One Mans Pass, prepared at Karoola by Dick Eaves, earned his trip away when he scored an effortless win in a 2YO Pace at Devonport on Monday night. With Rohan Hillier in the cart, One Mans Pass faced the breeze throughout but when he was asked to extend at the business end of the race he forged clear and went on to score comfortably from Karalta Jazzman and Be Good Franklin. "This is a very nice horse - he's got wheel and he's very strong," Eaves said. "If he is spot on, I'll take him with Barynya and run him in a repechage of the 2YO Breeders Crown." "He won't be out of his depth because I reckon he can handle that class." One Mans Class was third behind Boasson Hagen in the Tasmanian Breeders Crown heat in Launceston last Sunday week prior to winning on Monday night. "He went a bit roughly on the home turn in the Breeders Crown heat and they ran home (the last 400m) in 27 seconds so it was a good effort," he said. At his only other outing (on debut at Ballarat in Victoria) he broke just after the start and that was the end of his chances. "He trialed really well before his debut run but then we had him shod and I think it might have left him a bit foot sore," Eaves said. One Mans Pass is owned and raced by Lloyd and Judy Whish-Wilson who also own Barynya. By Peter Staples  

CLASSY Tasmanian harness racing three-year-old filly Barynya qualified to contest a semi-final of the Breeders Crown series in Victoria next month with a win in a heat in Launceston on Sunday night. However, there was no competition for the filly as she was the sole runner in the race. Conditions allow for a horse to contest a race solo if it is a lead-up to an interstate series such as the Breeders Crown and trainer Dick Eaves took full advantage of the conditions. Barynya was driven by Rohan Hillier who ensured the effort was nothing more than a casual workout with the filly producing a mile rate of 2,10.1 over the 2200 metre trip. Barynya will head to Melbourne within a fortnight to prepare for her semi-final in which she will probably start favourite. The filly won the Tasmanian and Victorian Oaks before tackling the Vicbred Super Series in which she won a semi-final and started favourite in the final only to meet interference and finish out of a place. By Peter Staples

TOP class Tasmanian reinsman Rohan Hillier has been enjoying life in the fast lane of late with his association with the Dick Eaves-trained star filly Barynya that won her way onto the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series in Victoria last Friday night. Back home in Launceston two nights later he was back in the winner's circle, this time aboard his own three-year-old Chopstix Boris that caused a major upset to win the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes. It was a hot field and one that would not be out of place in any feature three-year-old race around the country. Resurgent Spirit was sent out favourite ($3.80) but there was plenty of smart money for Estevao ($4), Rusty Red Comet ($4.60) and the in-form Vande Velde ($5.10) with Chopstix Boris getting into $11.80 after touching $16 midway through betting. Estevao (Gareth Rattray) was able to hold the lead but when Resurgent Spirit was unable to find a spot with cover from his outside front-row draw driver James Austin had no option but to go forward and park outside of the leader. Chopstix Boris settled near last in the one-out line with Vande Velde at the rear on his back. Estevao looked set to steal the race when Rattray urged him to extend turning for home but his lesser fancied stablemate Ektoras that had trailed the leader throughout, came off the fence to challenge and looked set to win. But that's when the tailenders started to swoop and so fast did Chopstix Boris finish he swamped the leaders close to home to score by almost a metre from Ektoras with Estevao a half-head away third. It was a masterful drive and a brilliant performance by the gelded son of Jeremes Jet from Flo Jo Fernandez that won the 2001 bandbox Stakes for 3YO fillies. Chopstix Boris is owned and raced by Hillier in partnership with his wife Katrina and two of the driver's mates Danny Bennett and Andrew Baxter. He was originally trained by Hillier who opted to send the gelding to Paul Ashwood to train. "He was working well for Rohan but not producing his best on race day and Rohan thought a change of environment would suit him so he sent him to me," Ashwood said. "Tonight he showed what he could do, although I wasn't that confident with the slow early pace," he said. Resurgent Spirit ($3.80) battled away in the home straight to finish sixth for what was his first time out of a place in 17 starts. By Peter Staples      

Lennytheshark looks to have a stranglehold on the harness racing Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO entires and geldings’ series after a commanding semi-final win. The David Aiken-trained rising superstar produced a stunning performance on Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton to obliterate his rivals in his semi, beating the second horse over the line, Valley Of Diamonds, by 13.7m. Reinsman Chris Alford took the son of Four Starzzz Shark to the lead midrace after initially easing to midfield early from his gate-six draw. Once in front, Lennytheshark was eyeballed by Smart Major until the home turn when Alford and the favourite broke the Forbes-trained pacer’s resistance. In the straight, Lennytheshark let down like a champion, putting daylight on a handy batch of four-year-olds for a memorable win in a mile rate of 1:58.5. While he has shown a tendency to lay out in the home straight in recent starts, Lennytheshark hasn’t had many horses to keep him company in the latter part of his races as they simply can’t keep up. The other 4YO boys’ semi-final was taken out by Lennytheshark’s arch enemy Guaranteed – considered by most punters to be the only horse capable of landing the knockout blow to the favourite in next Saturday night’s grand final. The Emma Stewart-trained son of Artsplace overhauled Ginger Bliss in the home straight for a 9.9m win in a mile rate of 1:58.2. Gavin Lang produced another typically masterful drive aboard the winner, extricating it from a four-back-the-pegs position early after the horse was shuffled back with no speed from its pole draw. From there, Lang got cover out three-wide before making a sharp run towards pacy Ginger Bliss on turning for home. Guaranteed packed too big a punch in the stretch, Ginger Bliss battling on strongly for second, with Three Pints snaring third. The eye-catcher from the race was Boyz Torque, which made up enormous ground along the inside in the last 100m to finish fourth. Diamond Castle – raced by Harness Racing Victoria ownership program Raceapacer – scored a 1.8m win over Missed By Red in a rate of 2:02.2 in the second semi-final for 2YO fillies. Trained and driven by David Miles, Diamond Castle was having just her second start after a debut second at Ballarat first-up. The daughter of Art Major settled well back in the field with $1.20 favourite Lovelist finding the lead comfortably. But at the business end the roles were reversed, with Diamond Castle finishing too well to get the win. Lovelist ran third. Talented Kari Males-trained Niki No No captured the other 2YO fillies’ semi-final, Greg Sugars steering the daughter of Sportswriter to victory. Niki No No did plenty of work early and recorded a winning mile rate of 1:59.8, with Yankee Showgirl second and Our Star Dust third. Courageousnquick scored an impressive start-to-finish win in the 4YO mares’ second semi-final, holding off Mcrita, Union Belle and the fast-finishing Pressplay in the home straight. Trained by Brent Lilley and driven by Kyle Marshall, Courageousnquick held out Earth Angel to find the lead at the start before seeing off all challengers in the home straight at the finish for a neck win in a rate of 2:00.4. The other 4YO mares’ semi went to Im Smouldering for Doreen trainer John Yeomans, who teamed with Gavin Lang. Im Smouldering’s winning margin was 2m and his mile rate 1:56.7. The 2YO colts and geldings’ semi-finals were taken out by Virgil Hilts at big odds for trainer-driver Lisa Miles and Major Invictus for trainer/driver Michael Stanley. Hectorjayjay (for the in-form Bill and Simone Walker team) and Messini (Brent Lilley and Chris Alford) took out the 3YO colts’ and geldings’ semis, while Berisari (Emma Stewart and Nathan Jack) and Tasmanian star Barynya (Dick Eaves and Rohan Hillier) won the 3YO fillies’ races. Friday night's races were held in windy conditions. Videos of all races are attached above. The Super Series grand final nights will be held this Friday (for the trotters) and Saturday (pacers). Twelve Group 1 races will be contested across the two-day carnival of meetings. by Cody Winnell

THE Burnie Harness Racing Club will host its first night meeting at Wivenhoe Showground on Tasmania's North-West Coast tomorrow night (Friday). The program boasts six races with the first scheduled to start at 6.25 pm and the last at 9.02 pm and all races will be broadcast nationally on Sky 2. The installation of lights at the Wivenhoe Showgrounds has not only enabled the BHRC to stage night racing but it also allows many other sports that utilise the venue to expand their rosters. A trial harness session was held at the venue last week and all went well. Finding winners tonight will be tough with most of the races containing multiple winning chances but the Andrew Rawlings-trained Buck Major looms as one of the best bets on the card in Race four. Buck Major has drawn the pole position and as a rule the grey gelding usually steps well from a stand and has good early speed so driver Rohan Hillier will no doubt be trying to utilise those traits and find the front. If that eventuates Buck Major should be able to lead throughout with Topnotch Sam (2), a winner two starts back and last start minor placegetter Joe Cable (3) the hardest to beat of the C0 performers on the front line. Peter Staples

TALENTED young harness racing drivers Alex Ashwood and Dylan Ford produced only the second tie in the 28-year history of the Bullock Consulting Youngbloods Challenge series at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. The only other tie was shared by Tammy Mollross and Tamra Fawdry in 1998. It was a thrilling finish to the series with Ashwood holding a six-point lead going into the final heat. Ford partnered Livia Degerolstein into second place in the last heat to earn enough points to draw level with Ashwood who guided Elsudoku into fifth place. Ashwood is now domiciled in Victoria where he has driven 19 winners this season and is earning a reputation as one of the most promising young reinsmen in that state. Ford has gone from strength to strength since he acquired his driver's licence talking out the novice driver's premiership in Tasmania last season. He is on his way to achieving that feat again with 28 winners so far this season that also places him sixth on the overall drivers' premiership table. Ford also has just returned from NSW where he finished second in the 2014 Australasian Young Drivers' Series held in conjunction with the Inter Dominion. Justin Howlett ended the series by winning the final heat aboard Chopstix Boris for Beaconsfield trainer Rohan Hillier. Final points tally for the 2014 Youngbloods Challenge series: 46 - Dylan Ford, Alex Ashwood. 41 - Matthew Howlett. 39 - Duncan Dornauf. 35 - Nichols Brockman. 34 - Justin Howlett. 33 - Lyarna Graham. 32 - Samantha Freeman. 27 - Braden Howlett, Brady Woods. By Peter Staples

Tasmania’s harness racing raids on the mainland of late have been swift and decisive. And trainer Dick Eaves, whose filly Barynya tasted Group 1 success at Melton’s Tabcorp Park last Friday night in the Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks, hopes the Apple Isle’s imposing recent form can stand up for at least another few months as he targets Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series and Breeders Crown riches. Barynya, a Blissful Hall filly, upstaged hot favourite Nike Franco (fourth) and David Miles’ rising star Mindarie Priddy (second) to capture the $101,047 winner’s cheque in the Oaks. The triumph was another boon for Tasmanian harness racing after Beautide’s successes in the Inter Dominion, Miracle Mile and Len Smith Mile. Eaves, 69, described Barynya’s win as a career highlight and heaped praise on driver Rohan Hillier, who, he said, had played a key role in teaching the filly to race. “Rohan has just been unbelievable with her. He’s done a top job turning her into a racehorse on the track,” he said. “The other night the only thing that concerned me a little bit was getting into the passing lane as she’d never gone left. I did a lot of work with her during the week and I just said to him ‘make sure you don’t jerk her in there too hard’. He did a pretty good job.” Barynya is enjoying a freshen up in the paddock this week before hitting top gear once again in the lead-up to the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series starting next month. Eaves will be hoping his star filly has adapted to travel better than she did in the lead-up to the Victoria Oaks heats, when she became dehydrated on the trip to Victoria. “She was meant to be travelling over with some other horses but they didn’t turn up so she ended up making the trip over on her own,” Eaves said. “When she’s travelling on her own she just paws and digs. I think she just sweated out all the way.” But if she can put those travel issues behind her, and Friday night’s win suggests she has, the Tassie flyer looks set to take Eaves and connections on a thrilling journey. “It’s going to be an enjoyable ride,” he said. Meanwhile, Mark Purdon’s star two-year-old Follow The Stars kept his unblemished record intact last Friday with a sizzling 13.6m win in the Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Colts and Geldings Final. The Art Major colt sat outside early leader Mach Doro before obliterating his rivals from the 400m point, romping clear in the home straight for the easiest of wins in a mile rate of 1:54.1. Follow The Stars boasts six wins from six starts. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Duncan Dornauf and Dylan Ford share the lead after the first two rounds of the Tasmanian Youngbloods Challenge that began at the Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. The Youngbloods series is for drivers under the age of 23 at the start of the 2013-14 racing season and it has been sponsored by Bullock Consulting for the past 14 years. Dornauf won the opening heat aboard long odds-on favourite Ramplestiltskin for Beauty Point trainer Rohan Hillier with the remaining heat taken out by Ford aboard Ektoras for the Barrie Rattray stable. They both finished fourth in their other heats. Dornauf sent Ramplestiltskin straight to the lead in the opening heat and ensured a solid tempo. The daring tactics paid off with the gelding holding on to score by a narrow margin from I Am Mister Red (Alex Ashwood) with The Matthew Howlett-driver Elsudoku over six metres away third but well in advance of Ford's charge Karoola Town. But Ford made the most of partnering the odds-on favourite in the remaining heat that had only six starters. Ektoras worked hard early from his wide front row draw but eventually found the lead and from there on the end result was never in doubt. Ektoras scored by almost two metres from Helen Wheels (Nicholas Brockman) with Samantha Freeman's charge Cardinal Art only a metre astern. In the case of a race having less than 10 starters in a heat, the drivers who miss a drive will be awarded six points which is in accordance with the rules of the series. The winner is will be determined on a points-score basis with 16 points awarded for first, 12 for second, nine for third, seven for fourth and then a reduction of one point for each subsequent placegetter down to one point for tenth. The Youngbloods series comprises six heats with the next round of heats to be run at Devonport tonight (Monday) and the final two heats will be run in Launceston next Sunday night. Points tally after two heats: 23 - Duncan Dornauf and Dylan Ford. 18 - Alex Ashwood. 16 - Nicholas Brockman. 15 - Matthew Howlett and Samantha Freeman. 10 - Justin Howlett. 9 - Lyarna Graham. 8 - Braden Howlett. 7 - Brady Woods. By Peter Staples

TALENTED Tasmanian pacer Nola Mayhem could soon be heading interstate after her effortless all-the-way win in the $30,000 Granny Smith final for four-year-old mars at Devonport Paceway last Sunday night. The mare's trainer Rohan Hillier and Melbourne-based owner Mark Panton are looking at a Vicbred mares' series in Victoria in June and, longer term, may send the four-year-old to Western Australia. "A trip to Melbourne is a definite possibility and WA has always been on the horizon when she gets down in class because there are a lot of good mares' races over there," Panton said. The owner said that Nola Mayhem had done a good job to win the Granny Smith on a restricted preparation. "She missed a month's racing when she was stood down after returning a positive swab at the trials but the stewards have since been good enough to lift that ban,"Panton said. Hillier said that Nola Mayhem was advantaged by drawing the pole in this latest assignment as she had good gate speed and, with a short run to the first turn, it was unlikely that she would be headed. "And I don't think our main danger (El Jays Magic) handles this track," the trainer said. El Jays Magic raced in second place but broke and dropped out during the last lap. Nola Mayhem went on to score by seven metres from All About Mod with Family Guy over five metres astern. By Peter Staples

HOBART based harness trainer Paul Hill has had some handy two-year-olds arrive at his stables over the years with the latest to shine being Jerrys Jet that scored an emphatic win in the Golden Slipper over 1680 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston tonight. The colt showed good early speed to eventually find the lead but when an erratic Gifted Courage proved impossible to hold for experienced reinsman Rohan Hillier that horse sped clear and at one stage held a 20-metre lead. Jerrys Jet's driver Ricky Duggan was content to take the trail while Discarded Ace moved around the field to face the breeze. Duggan eased his charge off the fence in the back straight the last time and crept into the race and at the top of the home straight Dugan called on is charge to extend and he quickly forged to the lead. Fioki launched his run 3-wide and loomed as a possible danger turning for home but he was no match for the winner. Jerrys Jet went on to score comfortably from Fioki with No Spring Secret coming from last to run third ahead of Discarded Ace. The winner and third-placed Fioki are by up and coming sire Jeremes Jet. Listen to what trainer Paul Hill and driver Ricky Duggan had to say about Jerrys Jet's Golden Slipper win. By Peter Staples  

BARYNYA established herself as one of the state's best three-year-old harness racing fillies when she scored an impressive win in the SEW Eurodrive Tasmanian Oaks over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Despite pre-race plans to lead going horribly awry the filly came from last to face the breeze with a lap remaining and went on to outgun interstate invader and long odds-on favourite Sandy Kay. It was clearly a defining moment in the filly's career and one that pleased her trainer Dick Eaves. "That was awesome and it wasn't that she's beaten a very good Victorian filly but it was the way she did it that impressed me," Eaves said. Barynya (Blissfull Hall-Lombo Anastasia) was driven by Rohan Hillier who said the filly showed a lot of similarities to Shez Ryleymak, a filly he owned and trained to win just about every juvenile race on the Tasmanian calendar as well as a Group 1 interstate. "This filly is very smart and I'm sure there is a lot of depth to her - she's untapped," Hillier said. Sandy Kay (Gavin Lang) showed good early speed to comfortably hold the front, a position that the connections of Barynya (5) had hoped to occupy. Lang didn't push his filly and with only five in the race he was allowed to dictate speed and that was pedestrian for the first half of the race, evidenced by the winning mile rate of 2m.04.02s. Hillier was content to allow Barynya to stay in touch at the rear of the field but when he made his midrace move three-wide, Barynya quickly worked to the death and that's when the race began to seriously unfold. Lang waited until the home turn to go for his filly but Barynya staid with her and when Hillier finally called on his charge for the supreme effort she dug deep and forged clear halfway up the home straight. Barynya went on to score comfortably from Sandy Kay with Jazzy Jane a distant third. The filly was bred by Lyndon and Gail Menagon of Big Park Stud. The Menagons were thrilled with the win especially as Barynya's dam, Lombo Anastasia, resides at their stud. Listen to what trainer Dick Eaves had to say about Barynya's Oaks win. By Peter Staples  

STOWPORT harness trainer Andrew Rawlings has always believed his five-year-old pacer Johnnyart had another win in him and at Carrick Paceway in the North of the state today the gelding celebrated his second career win. With experienced reinsman Rohan Hillier in the cart, Johnnyart showed good early speed to lead from barrier two and held the lead comfortably to the home turn. However, he was clearly headed by Im Shouting (Todd Rattray) in the home straight and that horse looked set to win the Trevor Mazzone Memorial over 1670 metres. But Johnnyart showed great courage to fight back, regain the lead and go on and score by a long neck from Im Shouting with Almondine Gem (Brent Parish) over three metres away third. Johnnyart had won only one race from 31 starts but he had notched seven minor placings that have at least helped pay the training fees. The Trevor Mazzone Memorial was the second race on card of what was the club’s centenary meeting. The Carrick club opted to forego staging the meeting on a Friday with Sky coverage instead opting to run the meeting on a Saturday with on-course Tote facilities only and with no statewide broadcast of the events. Peter Staples

While Bridport trainer-driver Rohan Hadley remains sidelined from the sulky due to injury his stable continues to produce winners with the help of some good contacts in Victoria. Hadley secured a double at The TOTE Racing centre in Launceston on Sunday night with two horses sent to him by the same owners. Recent stable additions Me Mate Les and the consistent mare Spitfire Rose delivered the goods in fine style. Me Mate Les, driven by James Johnson, having only his third start in Tasmania, ran home strongly to defeat race favourite Major Callum and I've Got Oomph that powered home along the rails in the Charltey Estate Pace over 2200 metres. Spitfire Rose, driven by Rohan Hillier, also put up a strong performance to hold out late challenges from Clamorous and My Greek Mate in the Stakes. It was Spitfire Rose's sixth win since she made her debut for the Hadley stable in July last year. The trainer has also won three races with another mare, Gorgeous An Divine that comes from the same source. Hadley broke his collarbone and a bone in his lower arm in a race fall in Launceston early last month and while the injuries are healing well he is still expected to be out of the sulky for a few more weeks. While waiting to jump back in the cart Hadley is hoping Me Mate Les can add to his winning tally in the coming weeks. “I think there are two or three more wins in him (Me Mate Les) yet,'' Hadley said. “He won only one race in Victoria (at Wangaratta in October 2012).” “Apparently he looked like winning a few more but was unable to go on with it.” “The owners thought he'd had his time over there (Victoria) and Graeme Lang, who trained him, suggested they try him over here.'' Hadley said that Me Mate Les got all the favours last night, enjoying a good run. ``James drove him very well,'' the trainer said. By Peter Staples  

STAR Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Resurgent Spirit broke another record when he powered his way to victory in the 3YO Championship over 2200 metres at the TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. Resurgent Spirit went into the race unbeaten from 11 starts that was equal to Dare We Dream's record of 11 consecutive wins from debut. The Roger Whitmore-trained gelding equalled that record by winning at New Norfolk on Australia Day in front of his home crowd for the first time. Dubbed the "Pride of the DerwentValley" after that win with local residents lining up to have their photograph taken with the gelded son of American Ideal. His effort to win at New Norfolk was outstanding but this latest effort superseded the New Norfolk win. Driver James Austin was content to allow Resurgent Spirit to ease to the rear of the field from his outside front row draw (7). Vande Velde began brilliantly from the gate to lead from barrier six but when Metro Digby (Paul Williams) appeared and looked for the lead the driver of Vander Velde, Rohan Hillier, was happy to hand up. But when the pace slackened slightly Austin set his charge alight and Resurgent Spirit crept around the field to eventually face the breeze. When Williams gave Metro Digby more rein his horse slipped clear and at one stage Resurgent Spirit looked to be struggling but star three-year-old was only kidding and when Austin pulled the ear lugs for the first time in the horse's racing career the gelding knuckled down to his task and swept to the lead close to home and won with authority. He ran the 2200-metre trip in 2m.46.7s for a mile rate of 2.01.9 but ran home his last half mile (800m) in 57.6s Resurgent Spirit is now set to chase down the great Halwes' record of 14 consecutive wins in Tasmania. By Peter Staples      

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