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The old marvel is back at it again. The one-time “King” of Menangle, Cash N Flow, returned from a break to post his 22nd win at Sydney’s home of harness. That’s from just 39 starts. The eight-year-old’s Group 1 days may be behind him, but Cash N Flow’s gate speed and love of Menangle still makes him a fantastic money-spinner for connections, including HRNZ CEO Gary Woodham. Cash N Flow’s now banked $574,201 from 72 starts with 34 wins and 13 placings. Luke McCarthy balanced him up early before surging around to take the lead from Thunder Dance, dictating terms through the middle and dashing home in 26.5sec for a 1min51.3sec mile. Watch the race replay click here! ____________________________________________________________________________________ Cash N Flow's was the middle pin of a thumping five wins for Luke McCarthy at Menangle. The biggest of them came when he teamed with former Kiwi and now Victorian-based trainer Brent Lilley to win the Group 2 NSW Trotters’ Derby with the Breckon Farms-bred Kyvalley Hotspur. The colt worked his way to the front and absolutely bolted in by 14m over last week’s NSW Trotting Oaks winner Aldebaran Ursula in a slick 1min58.6sec mile rate for 2300m. McCarthy’s others wins came with Kingmaker, La Bella Vita and Mister Catch. Former Kiwi gelding Kingmaker is loving life in Sydney. The son of Mach Three cruised to his fifth win from as many Aussie runs for Team McCarthy when he worked to the front and clocked a 1min55.7sec mile rate for 2300m last night. Stablemate La Bella Vista added to her fantastic record since crossing the ditch with a slick 1min52.7sec mile win at Menangle on the same card. Watch the race replay click here! The Changeover mare has raced eight times for Team McCarthy for six wins, a second and a third. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Champion trotter Tornado Valley is creeping towards rather than bursting through the millionaire club. For the third consecutive start, when victory would’ve taken the nine-year-old past $1 million in earnings, Tornado Valley fell short. This time he was a tad disappointing by his lofty standards when a well-held third after sitting one-one behind leader and winner Sparkling Success in the Group 3 Vulcan Trot at Melton. The $2400 third prize took his career earnings to $996,797. But all credit to the winner, Sparkling Success, a star himself before a serious injury a couple of years ago, who led throughout for trainer John Meade and driver Jackie Barker in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 1720m. It’s been a story of persistence for Meade on the comeback trail with last night’s victory being only Sparkling Success’ second win from 19 starts since his long stint on the sidelines. The nine-year-old’s won 19 of his 56 runs and $466,390. His comeback is also a fantastic opportunity for the talented young Barker on a class horse in some big races. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Memories of the great trotter Knight Pistol were revived with Plymouth Chubb’s monstrous Group 1 Vicbred Home Grown Final win at Melton last night (Saturday). Amazingly, it was the first time in 11 years father and daughter Peter and Kerryn Manning have teamed-up to win a Group 1 race, the last time being with Leilani Lombo in the 2010 Australian Gold 2YO fillies’ final. The Mannings shared a glorious ride with the mighty Knight Pistol through the mid-1990s, winning a stack of Aussie features and even a Group 1 race (the Harley Davidson Trot) in Norway. So it was fitting they won their first Group 1 race as a combo with a trotter. Plymouth Chubb’s win was remarkable and he looked every bit a potential trotting star of the future when he overcame losing 40-50m after an early gallop to win pulling clear by 17.7m. The Majestic Son galloped and lost all hope on debut and has won all four starts since. The fillies’ Home Grown final went to trainer-driver Geoff Webster with his exciting daughter of Skyvalley, Aldebaran Misty. ____________________________________________________________________________________ The man with the pink wheels was at it again last Friday night. The popular and bubbly Chris Voak teamed with trainer Barry Howlett to win the $50,000 Group 2 WASBA Breeders Stakes for fillies and mares with the emerging Star Of Diamonds. Voak wanted the front on the daughter of Bettors Delight and eventually got there, but had to survive some serious midrace pressure (56.3sec split from the 1200-400m) before winning comfortably by 4.5m over former Victorian mare Heavens Showgirl. It continued a breakthrough season for Star Of Diamonds, who has raced nine times this term for five wins, three seconds and a third and banked almost $100,000. Talented young horseman Corey Peterson teamed with trainer Kim Prentice for an upset win in the free-for-all with Kiwi-bred son of Washington VC, Extradite. In the other feature of the night, the $50,000 Australian Gold 4YO Consolation final, father and son Mike and Mark Reed upstaged the favourites with their $17 shot Caveman. ____________________________________________________________________________________ The Rando clan is one of the real backbones of NSW trotting and richly deserved a semi-feature win with Empire Bay in the Bulli Trotters Cup. Renowned for his big finish, Empire Bay camped off a solid pace for driver Chris Geary and put his rivals away in the blink of an eye halfway down the home straight to win by 6.2m. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Former Kiwi Amanda Grieve is helping out the rampaging Anthony Butt/Sonya Smith barn and having some fun herself with recent Kiwi import Hezacrocwatcher. The son of Hes Watching showed promise with two wins and three placings from six NZ starts and has thrived in Victoria with three wins from as many outings. There was a lot to like about his win in the $30,000 Group 3 Nutrien Equine Country Clubs Championship final at Melton. Driver Zac Phillips wanted the front early, but was posted wide, did plenty of work and eventually got to the top, but still ran home in 57.4 and 28.9sec to score by two metres in a 1min56sec mile rate for 2240m.   by Adam Hamilton

After his younger brother Andy McCarthy won four races at The Meadowlands in the United States on Friday night, top harness racing driver Luke McCarthy stepped it up a notch landing five winners at Menangle, Sydney Australia, tonight. “I had to keep up with Andy,” McCarthy said. “It was a super night.” McCarthy won two of the main feature races on the program but the success started when he guided Kingmaker to victory for his wife, trainer Belinda McCarthy. Leading most of the way, Kingmaker remained unbeaten in his five Australian starts since arriving from New Zealand. A race later, McCarthy was back in the winners’ circle with another pacer trained by his wife in La Bella Vita. Another New Zealand import for the stable, La Bella Vita has won three races in-a-row and tonight clocked a personal best 1:52.7. McCarthy then went into feature race attack mode, taking out the Bulli Cup with noted Menangle speedstar Cash N Flow. Working to the front from the outside barrier, Cash N Flow found the top and remained there to win effortlessly in 1:51.3. Cash N Flow has now won 21 of his 34 victories at Menangle. “It’s nice to have Cash back to his best,” McCarthy said. Watch Cash N Flow's win below: A race later McCarthy combined forces with Victorian horseman Brent Lilly to take out the Group 2 NSW Trotters Derby with Kyvalley Hotspur. Once again McCarthy found the front and dictated terms letting Kyvalley Hotspur roll through the quarters evenly in 30, 30.5, 29.4 and 29 seconds. The colt crossed the line untouched, spacing his rivals by 14m in a mile rate of 1:58.6. Watch the replay below: Kyvalley Hotspur is by Muscle Hill, which McCarthy drove to victory in the 2009 $504,000 World Trotting Derby at Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois. With rain delaying the meeting by six hours, driver Brian Sears could not make the commitment and McCarthy was asked that day by trainer Greg Peck if he could drive Muscle Hill. Jumping at the opportunity of a lifetime, McCarthy made the four-and-half hour trip (295 miles) to the track to drive the champion trotter, and the rest is history. McCarthy’s fifth winner tonight was on the Lisa McDonald-trained Master Catch. He now has a clear lead in State and Metropolitan Drivers’ Premierships in New South Wales. At the age of 38, McCarthy has driven 2745 winners in Australia. Kyvalley Hotspur winning tonight's NSW Trotters Derby at Menangle. By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

They were the first training partnership in New South Wales and now husband and wife harness racing duo Joe and Mary Rando has achieved another milestone. The pair reached 100 wins at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight, since their official partnership began in the 2015/16 season, thanks to Empire Bay taking out the Bulli Trotters Cup. This race has a lot of significance for the Rando team. They won in 2018 edition with the ill-fated Sundons Comet when the feature was a Group 2, giving them their first Group success with a trotter. Having won Group races with pacers prior, the trotting gait has certainly been profitable for the Randos, adding to their century of wins together. “It was very exciting,” said Mary. “We hit 99 wins during the week after Do Ball won at Menangle and usually when you know you have a milestone nearing, it feels like forever until you achieve it. “In saying that, I was confident Empire Bay would go well tonight. He was well handicapped off 10m and has been a victim of circumstances in his recent runs, so he has been going better than what his form reads. “Chris Geary (driver) has really found his rhythm with this horse and it all paid off tonight.” Geary provided Joe and Mary with their first win as a partnership when guiding Bee Arr Dee to victory at Menangle on May 10, 2016, just two days out from being the exact day five years ago. Tonight Geary eased Empire Bay away from the tapes while the tempo upfront was slick in the 2300m stand with a lead time of 52.1 seconds. As the first two quarters were run in 30.4 and 32.3 seconds, Geary flushed out Jack Callaghan on Garland Greene when heading into the back straight for the final time to land the one-one. This proved to be the winning move, with Geary angling Empire Bay into clear running at the top of the home straight where he sprinted the final quarter in 28.5 seconds to beat the favourite Gimondi by more than six metres. The mile rate was 2:00.0. Bred and raced by Michael Taylor, Empire Bay extended his record to 24 wins and 27 placings in 106 starts and earnings of $247,341. The seven-year-old gelding is by The Pres out of the Monarchy mare Miss Adelade. Watch the replay below: By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

What started out as three weeks of casual employment has become a lifetime career for Menangle Park harness racing track curator, Owen Mulligan. The cheerful Mulligan was called in by some football mates for a bit of part-time work mowing and whipper-snipping in the 1980s – and 40 years later, he’s never left! In fact, the Menangle Park curating team is a model of long and dedicated service – Mulligan has been working for harness racing for 40 years, with his supervisor, James Chang, just a shade less, at 37 years. The pair have certainly seen their share of change over almost four decades since they began at Harold Park. “I remember when I first started, a lot of the time we would have the track like a highway,” Mulligan said. “Everyone believed a hard track was a fast track, which of course was later found to not necessarily be true.  But we would actually use a roller to compact it and get it hard, like a highway.  For the Miracle Mile, especially, during the 1980s, it would be roll, roll, roll,” he said. But as thinking and research evolved, and American influences began to permeate the Australasian harness racing scene, the first of the dramatic innovations that began at racetracks in the early 2000s. “We had a flat track at Harold Park when I started, but the thinking changed, a lot of it because of what was happening in America. Dan Coon was a leading curator and track designer who was in charge of the Red Mile and Lexington tracks and he originally banked Harold Park,” Mulligan said. “I clearly remember pulling out a string line from the inside of the track to show where the banking would run and I couldn’t believe the angle on it – I thought it would be like a velodrome.  I was sure the surface would be rolling down to the inside!” Mulligan’s doubts were dispelled, though, and the Harold Park times continued to quicken.  Then Coon’s expertise was again called in for the design of the state-of-the-art new Menangle complex, which opened in 2008. Owen Mulligan and James Chang close the gates to Harold Park for the last time in 2011. Mulligan made the early move to Menangle, while Chan remained on as curator of Harold Park, while it was still running until 2010. Harold Park was 804.5 metres in circumference, compared to Menangle’s 1400 metres. “Menangle just changed things completely, but certainly it’s been change for the good,” Mulligan said. “The times speak for themselves and over the years things have done a complete 180 degrees on how we manage the track. We’ve gone from using the roller at Harold Park to scarifying the track at Menangle every morning, then perhaps another scarifying later in the day, or we run over it with a mesh,” he said. “There were only a handful of horses that worked at Harold Park – but here, they never stop. We like the surface in the morning to be a bit fluffy, which is best for the horses’ comfort and safety.  “But we need to race on that same surface, so on racedays we close the track at 10 and we can have it ready by about 1pm for racing. “With the camber that’s on the track, the surface does start rolling down to the pegs, so once a week or so, we run the grader over it to shift it back up where it should be.” Mulligan said track curating was something of an art form. “We don’t always get it right.  Sometimes we’ll get caught out by rain, and other things can happen. But it’s a very good surface.  For example in February when there was something like 200 mm of rain in parts of Sydney, we didn’t lose a day of racing.” Mulligan and his colleagues did dabble in the participant side of the sport, with a young trotter named Ten Commanders – named in honor of the syndicate of 10 curators and grounds staff who owned him. “It was a great – he won quite a few races for us and we sent him to Victoria to race as well.  It was a lot of fun, and good to experience the other side of the fence, I guess,” he said. “I’ve made great friends over the years, work colleagues and people who come and go from here, and I’ve also got to know a lot of lovely trainers and drivers. “It’s a great industry to work in. Although I suppose I’m not really qualified to say that because I haven’t worked in too many others!”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

A win in the Group 2 New South Wales Trotters Oaks with Aldebaran Ursula at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight was the icing on the cake for harness racing couple KerryAnn and Robert Morris. The training and driving duo welcomed their second child into the world last Tuesday, Stella Margaret Morris. But it was business as usual for the pair tonight with KerryAnn having seven starters nominated and Robert five drives. And they made it count in the main $40,800 feature. Aldebaran Ursula caused an upset when defeating the favourite Queen Elida by a half-head in the 2300m event, clocking a race record of 1:58.3 in the process. Rated to perfection by Robert, he eased Aldebaran Ursula from barrier six early and settled on the pegs towards the back of the field. He then worked away from the inside at the mile mark and this proved to be the winning move as Aldebaran Ursula eventually ended up in the one-one. Morris switched back to the pegs to follow the public elect before angling his three-year-old filly into the clear at the 200m mark. Watch the replay below: That was Aldebaran Ursula’s seventh win in 17 starts. The daughter of Yield Boko and Continentalman mare Ushaka Bromac, was bred by Aldebaran Lodge who also bred tonight’s Group 3 La Coocaracha winner Aldebaran Crescent.   By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Sydney reinsman Gavin Fitzpatrick is starting to build a common theme in his illustrious harness racing career. He seems to be saving his major milestones for feature races. Fitzpatrick brought up 1600 wins at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight when claiming the Australian Pacing Gold Four-Year-Old Consolation with Jay Ok. Trained by his father, Harold Park Living Legend Paul Fitzpatrick, Jay Ok lowered his personal best time by almost two seconds when rating 1:50.7 to claim the $50,000 futurity. Beginning from barrier seven, Fitzpatrick settled Jay Ok three back along the pegs. Noted fast beginner Crunch Time dictated the slick pace in front, rolling through the first two quarters in 27.1 and 29.1 seconds. The third split was 27.4 and Fitzpatrick was able angle Jay Ok into the clear around the home turn, producing a finishing burst in 27 flat to win by more than two metres. Club Menangle Chairman Robert Marshall with stablehand Lucas Rando, Gavin Fitzpatrick and Alicia Flowers following Jay Ok's success. Jay Ok, a son of A Rocknroll Dance out of Sportswriter mare Naevia, extended his record to eight wins in 24 starts and earnings of $91,960. As for Fitzpatrick, who has the nickname ‘Group 1 Gav’, he brought up 1500 wins when successful in the 2018 Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle with Miss Halfpenny, on his birthday. Race replay below: By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Harness racing young guns will steer the ship at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight (Saturday) with Sydney’s leading reinsman Luke McCarthy on a hit-and-run trip to Victoria to chase one of their feature races. Trainer Belinda McCarthy will still have a big team contesting several Menangle features and there’s one in particular that her husband Luke admits he’d love to be aboard. While Luke will be hoping to capture the $210,000 Australian Pacing Gold four-year-old entires and geldings final with Expensive Ego at Melton, another of their potential stars, Ilikemebettor will have the services of young Jack Callaghan as he tries to annex the $50,000 APG Consolation at Menangle just 45 minutes earlier. Callaghan, along with Ashley Hart and experienced Victorians Chris Alford and John Caldow, will handle the McCarthy runners at Menangle and Luke admits he has full confidence they will be able to get the job done. “Ilikemebettor is a really nice progressive type of horse and I think he’s likely to get a good trip,” said Luke. Ilikemebettor finished third to Expensive Ego and Jay OK in the APG qualifier at Menangle on April 20 and the lightly-raced Bettors Delight stallion has drawn gate seven but should come into six for tonight’s race after the emergencies are withdrawn. Meanwhile, McCarthy reports that Expensive Ego could not be better, and the Miracle Mile runner-up had the perfect draw to account for his rivals in the Group 1 Melton feature. “Not many horses can sit outside of King Of Swing and still be coming in the straight, which is what he did in the Miracle Mile,” said Luke. “We gave him a freshen-up after that run and he could not have been more impressive when he came out and went 1:48.6 first-up. “It’s a good race with horses like Mach Dan in really good form but we have turned the page on Expensive Ego’s last run at Melton because he got knocked over and raced without luck. “I expect him to be a much different proposition this time around.” McCarthy also took stablemate Star Galleria to Melton as a travelling companion for Expensive Ego and despite drawing the outside of the second row in the TAB Golden Reign Free-For-All, expects the last-start Menangle winner to give a good account of himself. “The free-for-alls in Sydney are pretty strong and he ran a good time last start so he should go well again,” said the champion reinsman.   HRNSW MEDIA Michael Court

CHAMPION trotter Tornado Valley is on the verge of becoming only the ninth $1 million-earning trotter in this part of the world. The veteran speared to the front and never looked in danger on his way to a 38th career win and $13,680 first prize in the Uncle Petrika free-for-all at Melton on Saturday night. Tornado Valley’s earnings sit at $990,297. Lyell Creek is in a league of his own as the richest-earner with $2,256,724. The others to top $1 million are: I Can Doosit ($1,377,319), Sundons Gift ($1.275,264), Speeding Spur ($1,220,147), Take A Moment ($1,132,695), Stent ($1,130,406), Keystone Del ($1,063,560) and One Over Kenny ($1,060,394). “As you know we almost retired him before the Great Southern Star so to come back and win that and be a chance to top the $1 million shows how remarkable he is,” trainer Andy Gath said. “It was great to see him keen on the gate and when he led we all know how hard to beat he is in front.” Tornado Valley staved off a strong late finish from his improving stablemate Monaro Maro to win by 2.3m in a 1min55.4sec for 1730m. It completed a trotting double for Andy and Kate Gath on the night with recent Kiwi import Justamollyarcher leading throughout to make it two wins from as many Aussie runs as well. _____________________________________________________________________________________ DAVID Moran has plenty of good distractions while he nurses superstar Lochinvar Art back to full health and fitness. The good news is Lochinvar Art is finally on the mend after his hoof abscess turned nasty and gave Moran a real fright. “It lingered so long and got so bad, we had to have scans to make sure it hadn’t got into the bone. Thankfully it hadn’t,” he said. “It’s finally turned for the better and, although he’s not totally through it, he’s coming out the other side now.” Moran will let Lochinvar Art’s recovery decide whether he can prime Australasia’s best pacer for a planned raid on the rich Brisbane Winter Carnival, now dubbed Constellations. In other stable news, his brilliant juvenile filly Beach Memories made it two wins from as many starts at Maryborough las Thursday. The margin was a lot closer than her runaway debut win, but she did all the work and ripped home in 55.4sec for her last half to rundown the Nathan Purdon-trained Captn Me for a 1.1m win in a 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1690m. “There’s a race at Geelong next week and I’m weighing-up whether I go there or spell her now. Sadly there’s nothing much else for her now. She’s not in the Australian Gold, so it’s more a long term view to the Breeders Crown and Vicbred at the end of the year. She’s very, very exciting,” Moran said. Meanwhile his NSW Derby winner Patsbeachstorm is just “ticking along” with a slow build-up towards the Queensland Constellations where the Queensland Derby will be his main goal. _____________________________________________________________________________________ TURN It Up’s baby half-brother is making a name for himself. Narutac Prince, a three-year-old sone of Art Major trained by David Aiken, posted his fourth win from just five starts when he smashed the clock to win the $50,000 Group 2 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown final (1730m) at Melton on Saturday. The colt ripped to the front from gate two, kept rolling and then finished-off in 54.7, 27.7sec to score in a 1min52.6sec mile rate. The fillies’ version was won by dominant fashion, albeit a much slower 1min55.3sec mile rate, by Ruby Wingate for trainer Adam Stephens and driver Michael Bellman. Another feature, the Shakamaker 2YO Classic, went to A Rocknroll Dance colt Solesseo Matuca in a 1min55.5sec mile rate. Another win to turn heads on the night was exciting mare Tangoinsierra, who made it five wins on end and 11 wins from just 23 starts. She raced three most of the 1730m trip in a 1min54.1sec mile rate. It was an emotion-charged win with trainer Gary Hoban battling cancer. “That was special on many levels,” driver Greg Sugars said. “It was a win full of heart, she just wouldn’t let them get past her despite doing so much work.” _____________________________________________________________________________________ IT was a triumph for the locals in one of Tasmania’s biggest races. Locals filled the trifecta, headed by Scooterwillrev, in the $75,000 Group 2 Easter Cup at Launceston on Saturday night. Trained Craig Hayes and driver Gareth Rattray landed their first win in the feature when Scooterwillrev staved off an early challenge for the front and then led throughout to just hold-off Tasmania’s best pacer Ryley Major in a stirring drive to the line. Outside Isaac completed the local trifecta. Dean Braun’s former Kiwi Willie Go West was crunched into favouritism, but made a complete mess of the standing start and lost all hope. Stablemate and superstar former Kiwi mare Our Princess Tiffany found a 30m backmark beyond her and finished 11.6m from the winner in sixth spot. _____________________________________________________________________________________ THE picket fence continues to build for Gary Hall Sr’s latest exciting Kiwi import Texas Tiger. The son of American Ideal led throughout to win the free-for-all in easy fashion, stretching his unbeaten WA streak to eight races at Gloucester Park on Good Friday. Driven Gary Hall Jr dictated the terms in front and dashed home in 55.2 and 27.6sec to win by 3.9m in a 1min55.8sec mile rate for 2130m. The Gloucester Park feature, the $50,000 Group 2 Easter Cup, continued its tradition of upset results when $26 shot Leap Of Faith, a former Kiwi by McArdle, finished over the top of favourite Lawrence to win by a neck. The other win of note came from Team Bond’s Kiwi-bred filly Unconditional who burst into contention for next week’s Group 1 WA Oaks when she improved to lead throughout in good style, relegating star filly Black Jack Baby back to fourth spot. _____________________________________________________________________________________ RESPECTED horseman Clayton Harmey had the numbers and delivered with complete dominance of the time-honoured Maitland Inter City Pace final on Saturday night. Harmey qualified a staggering six of the 10 finalists and landed first, second, fourth and fifth in the final. It was the Kiwi-bred Im Quick As Fire, a son of Bettors Delight, who scored for driver Robbie Morris in a slick 1min59.4sec mile rate for 2422m trip around the old-school Maitland circuit.   by Adam Hamilton

CHAMPION thoroughbred trainer John Hawkes has always had a passion for harness racing. Hawkes has maintained the connection by racing a few pacers with his old South Australian friend Geoff Webster and others in Victoria. Their latest pacer, two-year-old Major Major, impressed winning on debut at Maryborough last Thursday.  The Art Major gelding worked to the front from gate two for Webster, dictated terms and ripped home in 56.8 and 27.8sec to win by 5.2m. “I’ve really enjoyed racing a few pacers together with mates in Melbourne over the years,” Hawkes said. “We recently retired one called Kasbah Kid who won 16 races for us and we’re hoping Major Major can fill his shoes. You can’t do more than win like he did the other day,” Hawkes said. Hawkes landed his second win in as many days when lightly-raced Kiwi-bred gelding Belmont Royale won by a whisker for Webster at Cranbourne last Friday night. ______________________________________________________________________________________ VETERAN speedster Cash N Flow’s major race days may be behind him, but he’s still got live in those old legs. The eight-year-old dropped back in grade, enjoyed a lovely one-one trail and returned to winning form for Belinda and Luke McCarthy in a 1min51.4sec mile in the free-for-all at Menangle last Saturday night. Watch the replay click here! “Looking back, we made a mistake taking him down for that Victoria Cup last October. He was going so well we thought it was worth a shot, but it’s been a battle to get him right again since,” Luke McCarthy said. Cash N Flow’s win was his 33rd from 71 starts and edged him past $560,000 in earnings. Another winner of strong Kiwi interest on night was four-year-old trotter Funky Monkey, who made it two Aussie wins from as many starts for KerryAnn and Robbie Morris when she cruised to a 16.7m victory. ______________________________________________________________________________________ STAR trotter McLovin made the most of a rare drop back in grade to win the Group 3 Charlton Trotters’ Cup yesterday (Sunday). Andy Gath’s eight-year-old found his way to the front, but had to dig deep to hold-off a rejuvenated former star Sparkling Success to win by 1.5m with country cups’ king, Well Defined, in third spot. Kate Gath took the reins on McLovin, who has won 28 races and over $430,000 in stakemoney, and almost completed the big Charlton Cup double on the day. She had to be content with second in the $35,000 Group 3 Pacing Cup on Fourbigmen in a race completed dominated by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. The powerhouse training duo landed the trifecta with $30.80 outsider Like A Wildfire winning for driver Leigh Sutton, Fourbigmen second and Somewhere Secret third. Heavily backed favourite and classy former Kiwi Im Anothermasterpiece had to settle for fourth spot after leading in a blazing 1min56.9sec mile rate for 2570m. ______________________________________________________________________________________ NEVER doubt the genius of Gary Hall Jr in big races. Most felt the barrier draw in the $50,000 Group 2 WA 4&5YO Championship would seriously test former Kiwi pacer Texas Tiger’s unbeaten streak in Australia, but Hall Jr had other ideas. He blasted Texas Tiger out at the start with enough dazzling speed from barrier three to get across the slick beginner and favourite Bletchley Park from the pole.  It totally changed the race and paved the way for the son of American Ideal to cruise to his sixth WA win from as many starts for trainer Gary Hall Sr. Watch the replay click here! Texas Tiger was Hall Sr’s sixth win in the race, the others being: Chicago Bull (2018), Northview Punter (2014), Make The Rules (1999), Zakara (1991) and Love Of Glory (1990). It was a stable quinella with former talented former Victorian Silent Major grabbing second despite sitting parked. Bletchley Park didn’t see much racing room behind the leader and ran third. Throw in the other exciting Kiwi import Matai Geordie, who made it four wins from just six runs in WA, and Hall Sr’s emerging open-class stocks look powerful. ______________________________________________________________________________________ ON the opening weekend of the NRL season, Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker enjoyed success in his other love, harness racing. Croker has shares in several horses, but none have provided the ongoing success of Our Triple Play. Trained and driven by his mate Brad Hewitt, Our Triple Play posted his 17th win and edged past $265,000 in stakemoney when he caused a minor upset in last Friday night’s Group 3 Young Cup.  Our Triple Play’s other notable wins include: 2018 Group 3 Shirley Turnbull Memorial, 2018 Group 3 Queensland 4YO Championship, 2018 Group 3 Sydney Cup, 2018 Wagga Cup, 2017 Maitland Inter City Pace, 2017 Young Derby and 2017 Canberra Derby. Our Triple Play had four starts at Alexandra Park as a two-year-old before being sold and moving to Australia at the start of 2016. ______________________________________________________________________________________ STILL on famous sporting connections and two AFL footy stars are part-owners of last Saturday night’s promising Mt Gambier Cup winner Highway To Heaven. The Christian Cullen gelding is trained by Marg Lee and part-owned by the Brisbane Lions’ Darcy Gardiner and Sydney Swans’ Lewis Taylor. Highway To Heaven had just the one Kiwi run for a seventh at Addington on June 14 before heading to Lee’s stable where’s looked exciting winning four of his five runs. ______________________________________________________________________________________ MACH Dan wouldn’t have been out place in last month’s Chariots Of Fire. Last year’s SA Derby winner has returned in sparkling style as evidence by his two wins from as many runs this campaign for trainer Emma Stewart.  The Danny Zavitsanos-owned gelding cruised to a first-up win at Geelong, then turned plenty of heads when did a power of work and lifted after looking beaten to snatch victory from the speedy Reactor Now in the fast-class race at Melton last Saturday night. The son of Mach Three kept finding despite the scorching closing splits of 54.4 and 27.5sec to make it 11 wins from just 21 starts. ______________________________________________________________________________________ THE brilliant win of exciting trotting mare Sleepee at Melton provided some tonic for sidelined champion driver Chris Alford. Alford is recovering in hospital after not one but two emergency operations last week on an infected knee, stemming from a kick from a horse. Sleepee led throughout and bolted for Alford’s wife, Alison, and driver Josh Duggan. “It’s been a really rough week, but things are finally looking up (for Chris) and the mare winning gave us all some happiness,” Alison Alford said.   By Adam Hamilton

HE came, he saw and he conquered. That was the simple equation when superstar New Zealand trotter Majestic Man put paid to Australia's harness racing best trotters with a stunning win in tonight's $50,000 Aquagait Equine Centre Trotters Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. And he did it easily. Majestic Man made it three Group 1 successes on this trip to Australia and even facing two weeks in quarantine when he heads home won't dent the joy of showing Australia what they are up against if they have any hope of heading over there later in the year to take on Majestic Man on his home turf. It was a race of changes and as usual it never went the way many expected when Arnold (Luke McCarthy) and Red Hot Tooth (Chris Alford) both missed away at the start while Majestic Man and Victorian visitor Pink Galahs did just the opposite. Pink Galahs forced Brad Williamson and Majestic Man to lower the handlebars probably earlier than they had expected - or wanted to - as the pair went straight into battle when the starter said go. Yet Majestic Man was on his best behavior and was able to hold the lead from barrier three and turned the race into a procession when he won with ridiculous ease, beating another Victorian Always Ready (Blake Fitzpatrick) by six metres, with Pink Galahs (Matthew Craven) a nose away in third place, in a 1:53.5 mile rate. Watch the race replay click here! Earlier Pink Galahs became unsettled in the parade ring and almost landed on her backside when she reared up before going on to the track. That resulted in a vet check with meant the race went a little later than expected. But really there were no excuses for the beaten brigade . . . Majestic Man was just too strong. "That was great and just the icing on the cake for our trip to Australia," said Williamson. "It's been a really nice trip for both of us. "It's never easy winning Group 1s and I must admit Mark Purdon has relegated me to second place in a few of the big ones back at home in New Zealand. "To come here and win a few is just so good and we're over the moon with the way the horse has gone since we've been here in Victoria and now in New South Wales." For Menangle racing results click here!   Mandy Madern Club Menangle

On Saturday night, the next leg of the 2021 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit takes place with the running of the $1 million Garrards Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle. It is ‘Australasia’s Premier Harness Racing Speed Test’ and first staged in 1967 when Robin Dundee prevailed at Harold Park before switching to its current home since 2009. The list of champions that have won the sprint feature reads deep although some obvious names are missing with the race proving elusive. Six equine freaks have recorded back-to-back victories including Westburn Grant (1989/90), Chokin (1993/94), Holmes DG (1999/2000), Sokyola (2003/04), Be Good Johnny (2005/06) and Smoken Up (2010/11). West Australian Village Kid also won two Miracle Miles, but the wins were split by New Zealand pacer Master Mood. This weekend, King Of Swing is aiming to become the seventh pacer to claim back-to-back titles following his triumph last year in 1:48.0. Oddly, King Of Swing will become the first pacer to record repeat victories with different trainers if successful. Last year, the hulking Rocknroll Hanover entire was prepared by Craig Cross while this year he races under the banner of Belinda McCarthy. King Of Swings boasts an outstanding record at Menangle with 11 wins from 13 starts, he was the runner-up in the other two starts behind Balraj and Ignatius (whom he meets again on Saturday night). The Cobbitty based mentor will be represented by three runners including the defending champion plus Expensive Ego and Alta Orlando. Only King Of Swing and Alta Orlando back-up from last year’s edition – Mark Purdon took the drive behind Alta Orlando who finished third behind King Of Swing and Lochinvar Art. Champion reinsman Chris Alford takes the drive behind Alta Orlando this year. Can history repeat? Last year, Luke McCarthy beat David Moran and the pair will battle again this weekend with McCarthy driving King Of Swing while Moran has been booked for the stablemate, last start Chariots of Fire winner Expensive Ego. If any of McCarthy’s trio scores, she will join her father-in-law John (Be Good Johnny) as a dual winner of the famed sprint after winning back in 2013 with Baby Bling. Also, she will officially become the most successful female trainer in the event’s history. Natalie Rasmussen was the co-trainer of 2019 winner Spankem but not officially recognized in 2016 when Have Faith In Me proved triumphant. Interestingly, the last stable to have a trio of chances in the event was the All Stars (Purdon & Rasmussen) two years ago when Spankem beat Thefixer while Chase Auckland finished fourth. Also, Spankem was the last horse to complete the Chariots of Fire/Miracle Mile double while the McCarthy prepared Expensive Ego is looking to join him this year. If King Of Swing repeats, he will become the 15th richest Australia/New Zealand bred pacer with earnings of $2,298,796. The list of pacers ahead of him includes Blacks A Fake, Im Themightyquinn, Lazarus, Smoken Up, Monkey King, Lennytheshark, Christen Me, Bit Of A Legend, Shartin (mare), Smolda, Terror To Love, Tiger Tara, Chicago Bull and Changeover. Also, he will become the 7th highest earning stallion behind Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Bit Of A Legend, Terror To Love, Tiger Tara and Changeover. The Roy Roots Jnr trained The Black Prince who stamped his ticket via his victory in the Newcastle Mile is looking to become the first pacer since Beautide (2013) to complete the double. Westburn Grant is only other pacer who has completed the double, he did it back in 1990. Bonny New Zealand mare Stylish Memphis becomes the first pacer to compete in the Chariots of Fire/Ladyship Mile and Miracle Mile in the same year. Prepared by 2003 World Driving Champion Mark Jones, this is his first runner as a trainer although he has driven in the Miracle Mile previously when partnering Mach Beauty (7th) in the 2013 edition. The last mare to win the Miracle Mile was Baby Bling back in 2013 while other mares that have won include inaugural winner Robin Dundee (1967) plus Norms Daughter (1996). Since the Miracle Mile took-up residency at Menangle on the 1400m oval back in 2009, only Kiwi Ingenuity (4th – 2009), Make Mine Cullen (5th – 2010), Baby Bling (1st – 2013), Arms Of An Angel (3rd – 2016) and Bettors Heart (7th – 2020) have competed in the sprint. Stylish Memphis joins that list this weekend. Driver Jack Trainor (Stylish Memphis) is the only driver competing this year for the first time while four drivers have won previously including Luke McCarthy (King Of Swing – 2020), James Rattray (Beautide – 2013), Chris Alford (Lennytheshark – 2017) and Anthony Butt (My Field Marshal – 2018). Robbie Morris (Karloo Mick 2nd in 2011), David Moran (Lochinvar Art 2nd in 2020) and Greg Sugars (Soho Tribeca 3rd in 2018) have all been placed in previous Miracle Miles. Of the eight runners this weekend, only two stallions are duly represented with Bettors Delight (The Black Prince & Stylish Memphis) and Rock N Roll Heaven (Expensive Ego & Wolf Stride) having multiple runners. The fastest time in a Miracle Mile is 1:46.9 set by My Field Marshal back in 2018 while the slowest winning time recorded at Menangle is 1:51.8 back in 2011. Since being staged at Menangle from 2009, here’s a snapshot of times; 2020 – won by King Of Swing – 1st quarter 25.9 – 1st half in 54.7 – winning time 1:48.0 2019 – won by Spankem – 1st quarter 26.9 – 1st half in 55.1 – winning time 1:47.7 2018 – won by My Field Marshal – 1st quarter 26.3 – 1st half in 53.6– winning time 1:46.9 2017 – won by Lennytheshark – 1st quarter 24.8 – 1st half in 55.1 – winning time 1:49.2 2016 – won by Have Faith In Me – 1st quarter 26.4 – 1st half in 53.8 – winning time 1:47.5 2014 – won by Christen Me – 1st quarter in 25.2 – 1st half in 53.7 – winning time 1:49.1 2013 – won by Beautide – 1st quarter in 26.6 – 1st half in 55.4 – winning time 1:50.2 2013 – won by Baby Bling – 1st quarter in 26.1 – 1st half in 54.4 – winning time 1:50.5 2011 – won by Smoken Up – 1st quarter in 26.7 – 1st half in 56.6 – winning time 1:51.8 2010 – won by Smoken Up – 1st quarter in 27 – 1st half in 56.2 – winning time 1:50.3 2009 – won by Monkey King – 1st quarter in 26.2 – 1st half in 55.6 – winning time 1:50.8 And here is a list of the eight starters this year and their quickest time. The Black Prince – 1:51.0 Ignatius – 1:50.2 Expensive Ego – 1:48.9* Alta Orlando – 1:49.8 King Of Swing – 1:48.0 Wolf Stride – 1:49.1* Out To Play – 1:53.3 Stylish Memphis – 1:49.2* *Indicates recorded at their most recent start The 2021 Garrards Miracle Mile is only the second leg of the current APG Grand Circuit and with Hunter Cup hero Lochinvar Art not starting this weekend, it provides reigning Grand Circuit champion King Of Swing a clear opportunity to retake the lead if successful while Alta Orlando is eyeing major points following his second placing in the Hunter Cup last month. Lochinvar Art banked the maximum 100 points with his Hunter Cup triumph while Alta Orlando (60) and King Of Swing (40) are poised to strike. The 2021 APG Grand Circuit takes in seven events throughout Australasia.   by Chris Barsby

Newcastle Mile winner The Black Prince and former Tasmanian pacer Ignatius were the biggest harness racing winners when the marbles were drawn for next weekend's $1m Garrards Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Black Prince's chances were enhanced when he drew barrier one for Australasia's biggest sprint race while Ignatius, a prolific winner at Menangle during his two and three-year-old years, suddenly became a serious chance in the race after drawing gate two. King Of Swing drew gate six but will probably come from gate five when the second emergency One Change comes out of the race. Had King Of Swing drawn closer to the pegs he would have almost certainly started a long odds-on favourite in the race but may now have to work a little harder to exert his superiority. With the revamped market he was listed as a $1.40 favourite. Tonight's Ladyship Mile winner, Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis will again have to come from near the tail of the field after drawing the outside of the front line, gate 10, but should come into eight when the reserves are taken out. The final draw is: The Black Prince (Bettors Delight - It's My Style - McArdle) $21 Ignatius (Roll With Joe - Ashkalini - Art Major) $11 One Change 2nd em (Bettors Delight - Changedown - Falcon Seelster) $51 Expensive Ego (Rock N Roll Heaven - Art Start - Perfect Art) $6.50 Alta Orlando (Courage Under Fire - La Ja Joconde - Totally Western) $14 King Of Swing (Rocknroll Hanover - Twist And Twirl - Artsplace) $1.40 Wolf Stride (Rock N Roll Heaven - Lilic Stride - Art Major) $11 Mach Shard 1st em (Mach Three - Sly Shard - Panorama) $41 Out To Play (Art Major - Play Bill - Presidential Ball) $41 Stylish Memphis (Bettors Delight - Memphis Melody - Badlands Hanover) $12   by Mandy Madern Club Menangle

The three heats of tonight's NSW Derby didn't really bring any surprises as the harness racing favourites secured their spots in next weekend's Group I New South Wales Derby final. Some talented three-year-olds were at Tabcorp Park Menangle to do battle - and they took no-nonsense approaches as they went on their winning ways. Patsbeachstorm won the first heat as an odds-on favourite and his win made up for a horror week for trainer-driver David Moran, who was forced to miss the Miracle Mile with his stable star Lochinvar Art. Patsbeachstorm settled three back on the pegs behind Act Now and Watts Up Sunshine and when nothing came up to box him in, Moran was able to make his run exactly when it suited him as Patsbeachstorm downed Act Now and Watts Up Sunshine in a 1:53.5 mile rate. To watch Patsbeachstorm win click here. And fellow Victorian Clayton Tonkin looked to have a future star to take the place of his injured superstar Ride High when Idyllic cruised around in the second heat in a leisurely 1:57.4 mile to secure his spot in next week's $200,000 NSW Derby final. The fact they were almost four seconds slower than the first heat was irrelevant, Idyllic did the job in style and that was all that mattered. "He's quite casual, I was tapping him along," said reinsman Luke McCarthy, who took the reins for Tonkin. "The best he travelled was when Amanda Turnbull [Lyrical Genius] came up beside him and he grabbed the bit and finished the race off really nicely then. "You could feel he was travelling well and had the horse outside him covered so I didn't bother pulling the blind, so we have that up his sleeve for next week's final." To watch Idyllic win click here. The third heat saw yet another favourite, local hope Tasty Delight for Brian Portelli take the lead and run them along as he pleased before cruising home in a 1:55.9 mile rate to beat Kashed Up and Jacks Hawks, just ahead of Kimble. After a first half of his last mile in 60.4 seconds (splits of 31.3 and 29.1), Portelli was able to up the ante going up the back straight and he was never in danger of being run down as he crossed the line with six and three-quarter metres to spare from the runner-up Kashed Up who shot through on the inside to nail second right on the line. To watch Tasty Delight win click here. With the three short-priced favourites all through to next week's finale, the barrier draw should be all important with Tasty Delight bound to be well-fancied to add another feature to his resume. Mandy Madern

Australia's most improved pacer Wolf Stride 'strode' into the $1m Miracle Mile tonight with a stunning harness racing victory in the Allied Express Logistics Sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle. In a driving finish Wolf Stride (Rock N Roll Heaven - Lilac Stride - Art Major) got up in the last few bounds to beat front-runner Alta Orlando (Luke McCarthy) and rails-hugging former Kiwi Mach Shard (John McCarthy), who just edged out Turn It Up (Shane Graham) for third place. Last week's Terang Cup winner travelled up perfectly to Sydney, according to his trainer-driver Anthony Butt who admitted the horse had come a long way in a fairly short time for owners, harness racing fanatics Emilio and Mary Rosati. "This horse has always stepped up when we've asked him to . . . he just keeps getting better and better," said Butt. "Pre-race he can be a bit of a boy but when the starter says 'go' he knows what to do and he's actually a lovely horse to drive in a race. "This should stand him in good stead for the next 12 months. "Often the hardest thing to do is to get into the Miracle Mile. "Now we've done that we can enjoy it and hope for the best on the big night." The action came thick and fast with Alta Orlando (Luke McCarthy) and Kowalski Analysis tackled each other for the early lead with Alta Orlando prevailing. Wolf Stride settled back in about sixth spot and showed his true colours with a mighty finish in the straight to nail his rivals and win by a head in a scintillating 1:49. That alone was enough to ensure he'll be one of the toughest to beat in next Saturday's $1m Garrards Miracle Mile. To watch the video replay of Wolf Stride winning click here.  The second Miracle Mile qualifier saw King Of Swing (Rocknroll Hanover - Twist And Twirl - Artsplace) do exactly what everybody expected, cruising to an almost casual 1:49.5 win, defeating Out To Play (Greg Sugars) and One Change (Shane Graham) with the plucky Ignatius a close fourth. "He felt really good tonight and that run should get him just perfect for next week's big one," said winning reinsman Luke McCarthy. "I'm relieved and happy to qualify. "He's naturally quick out so I let him get there and he raced nicely after that - and he just felt super in the run." To watch the video replay of King Of Swing winning click here. That ensured six more automatic qualifiers for the Miracle Mile: Wolf Stride (Rock N Roll Heaven), Alta Orlando (Courage Under Fire) and Mach Shard (Mach Three) from the first qualifying sprint; King Of Swing (Rocknroll Hanover), Out To Play (Art Major) and One Change (Bettors Delight) from the second sprint with those horses joining The Black Prince (Bettors Delight) and Expensive Ego (Rock N Roll Heaven) in the big one with two more choices to come. For full results of tonight's program click here. Mandy Madern

Gun young former Kiwi harness racing reinsman Jack Trainor declared star mare Stylish Memphis could do no more to thrust her name into contention for a Miracle Mile spot after a stunning win in tonight's $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  Mark Jones showed a lot of faith in me sending this horse to me to prepare for this race and now we've done it," said Trainor after Stylish Memphis rated 1:49.2 to beat outsider Miss McGonagall and Bettor Enforce in Australasia's richest mares' race. "I've been telling them all week to save a spot for me for the Miracle Mile," grinned Trainor. "She's done nothing wrong since she's been here and this win tonight was just awesome. "I'll be looking for the Club Menangle racing manager David Wonson now so I can push our case. Hopefully she's done enough to get an invitation into the big race. "I would just love to be there and she certainly deserves to be." As usual Stylish Memphis was given plenty of time to find her feet while No Win No Feed found the front and took a trail behind Maajida with Pelosi settling further back on the pegs and favourite Bettor Enforce landing a one-one trail when Rocknroll Angel made an early move to race outside the leader. Still the earlier efforts took their toll and with a closing half of 53.8 (splits of 26.8 and 27s) Stylish Memphis always looked to have her rivals covered as she scored by two and three-quarter lengths. To watch Stylish Memphis win tonight click on this link. Earlier in the evening the Group 2 Pink Bonnet went 'west' when Bathurst battler Tony Higgs saw his youngster Silk Cloud score the easiest of wins in one of the first two-year-old fillies' features of the year. Cut loose on the home turn, Silk Cloud tore away to annihilate her rivals, beating Martini Stride by nine and a quarter metres, with Finery a further one and a half metres further back in third place. Reinsman Luke McCarthy was delighted to be offered the drive from a trainer her had known since his early days as a young reinsman at Bathurst. "I've known 'Higgsy' my whole life and it's a big thrill to win a race like this for such good people who are friends as well," said McCarthy. "I was happy enough to take a sit and to her credit she really got going and found the line in style." Later it was revealed that Higgs' wife Danielle had been badly injured in an accident in previous years and the win expected to be a great tonic for her. Higgs earlier joked that he feared he might get 'lost' on the big stretches of Menangle and he'd be silly not to use someone of McCarthy's expertise. He might now feel compelled to offer McCarthy the drive in Bathurst's feature, the much sought-after Gold Tiara next month. "I'd be mad if I knocked back that drive now," grinned McCarthy. To watch Silk Cloud win tonight click on this link. For full results of tonight's program click on this link. Mandy Madern

Harness racing driver Jack Trainor admitted he'd be waking up with a headache on Sunday morning after scoring his second Group 1 victory within an hour as he took out tonight's $200,000 Group One NSW Oaks at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The David Thorn trained filly Anntonia set a new world record for three-year-old girls with a two-metre win over Rogue Wave (Greg Sugars) and Beach Music (David Moran) in a 1:52.9 mile rate. With the possible exception of Luke McCarthy, no-one has been driving with the consistency of Jack Trainor in recent months and his win with Anntonia had to be seen to be believed. With the battle for early supremacy over the 2400m a hectic one, Trainor had to be content to settle three-back on the pegs and bide his time over the longer journey until they were turning for home. Anntonia had to jag across the tails of a few tiring runners and once she did she knuckled down and quickly put paid to her rivals to add to a night that Trainor says he'll "long remember". "This is what it's all about, winning races like this just makes all the hard work worthwhile," said the young reinsman, who made a big move from New Zealand to establish himself in Sydney and after working with leading horseman Blake Fitzpatrick for a couple of years decided to branch out and train on his own, sharing stables at the Menangle Training Centre with Jason Grimson. "It's a credit to the horse the way she finished this race off and got to the line so well, she is something special," he said. "I was putting her into gaps I wasn't sure she'd want to go, but to her credit she never shirked the task. "Winning the Ladyship Mile with Stylish Memphis was something special and now to win the Oaks with Anntonia . . . well, it just doesn't get much better, does it?" Yes, it does Jack, because Stylish Memphis has also been invited to compete in next week's $1m Garrards Miracle Mile against some of the best pacers in Australasia. "She deserves that. Wow, what a night," said Trainor. Club Menangle

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