Day At The Track
SOHO LANIKAI, Harness racing

Youngsters to strut their stuf

Who could forget the performance of Soho Lanikai in last year's Premiere Stakes? The breathtaking 65m win on debut proved the one and only run for the Michael Stanley-trained colt, with the brilliant son of Somebeachsomewhere now at stud. While Stanley doesn't have any two-year-olds aimed at this year's renewal of the race, the feature is set to be an intriguing one with a field of eight to line-up in the $24,000 event. Impressive last-start winner Mykorona steps out again for trainer-driver Aaron Dunn, while Ryan Duffy teams up with Solesseo Matuca - a winner of his two most recent runs - for Damien Burns. Duffy drove Soho Lanikai to that massive victory in 2020. Burns also has stablemate Got Equity, who he will partner in the race. There's also two debutants, with Ange McDowall to launch the career of Botanist (Roll With Joe-Rocktheniteaway colt) and Brutally Handsome (Art Major-Life Inthefastlane colt) to appear for AJ and BJ Tindale. The other key feature on the Saturday night Tabcorp Park Melton card is the Catanach's Jewellers Markovina Free For All. It has drawn a quality field of pacers, including the talented Like A Wildfire (Emma Stewart) and Love Ina Chevy (Lance Justice), who resume from spells. Five horses - Malcolms Rhythm (David Aiken), Sirletic (David Aiken), Majestic Cruiser (Geoff Webster), Zadaka (Greg Norman) and Mister Wickham (Chris Svanosio) - all step out after appearing in the Group 2 Terang Co-Op Pacing Cup last month. The first of 11 races kicks off at 5.34pm. Also this Sunday, the country cups roadshow rolls on to Shepparton and Birchip. Shepparton will host the Wangaratta meeting, with the North East Fasteners Wangaratta Pacing Cup and Reflex Glass / J & T Joinery Wangaratta Trotters Cup both worth $14,500. Further west, the Sharp's Bakery Mallee Bull Pacing Cup and TMC Enviro Mallee Bull Trotters Cup - both of $4500 - are among the highlights. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL MELTON FIELDS   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Gloucester Park, Harness racing

Gloucester Park review

Floewriter bred for stardom It was Aiden de Campo’s happy association with pacing filly Maddy White eight years ago that encouraged him to outlay $30,000 to purchase a Sportswriter colt at the 2020 Perth APG yearling sale on behalf of a bevy of stable clients. De Campo drove Maddy White to wins at her first two starts, as a two-year-old --- at Bunbury and Harvey early in 2013 --- and was in the sulky for five of her next nine victories. The Sportswriter colt at the sale was out of Maddy White, with the colt described by de Campo as being a dead ringer for her dam, a big, lanky horse with an action identical to that of his mother. The colt, named Floewriter, was bred to be a quality performer, with a most impressive list of star pacers in his pedigree. Floewriter, the $3.30 favourite in the $100,000 APG Sales Classic final for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night, gave a splendid frontrunning performance to win from Tomlous Jambo ($9) and the fast-finishing $61 outsider Speedwagon, rating 1.56.5 over the 1730m. This boosted his earnings to $61,925 from a win, a second and a fifth from three starts. De Campo said that he was pretty confident of access after Floewriter drew the prized No. 1 barrier. “I then was lucky enough to get away with a good first half which helped us a lot and made it hard for the others in the closing stages. Watch the race replay click here! “He will go for a break now for a couple of weeks, and then we’ll be looking at the feature events for two-year-olds later in the season,” said de Campo. “I don’t consider Floewriter is an absolute stand-out compared with the rest of the crop. There are a fair few horses in tonight’s race who go quite nicely. The good thing about Floewriter is that he has really good manners.” De Campo said that Floewriter’s immediate target would be the $50,000 APG WA Gold Bullion final for colts and geldings on April 16 before he would be set for the $100,000 Pearl on June 11 and the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 9. Maddy White, who raced 51 times for 11 wins, 20 placings and $110,824 in stakes, is out of Benjor Maddy Lombo, who produced six winners, including the de Campo stable’s star Handsandwheels, winner of the 2017 WA Derby and earner of $666,739 from 28 wins and 26 placings from 83 starts. Rock Me Over, a half-brother to Handsandwheels, has had 120 starts for 20 wins, 38 placings and $289,273. Floewriter is also closely related to Suave Stuey Lombo, who amassed $587,032 from 33 wins and 23 placings from 110 starts. His victories included two at group 1 level, one at group 2 level and five in group 3 features. Floewriter can trace his ancestors back to former WA star mares Smooth Gale and Misty Maiden.   Hamiltons make a wise choice There was little doubt that when Byford hobby trainer Linda Hamilton and her husband Barry went to the 2020 WA APG yearling sale that they would not buy the Teen Queen Lombo filly, whose first foal Allamerican Queen had led all the way for trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice and won the group 1 Westbred Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in June 2017. They are more than pleased that they spent $17,500 to purchase the filly who they named Valhalla Miss, the fifth and last foal out of Teen Queen Lombo. Valhalla Miss followed in the footsteps of her half-sister Allamerican Queen when she set the pace and won the $100,000 group 1 APG Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In between Allamerican Queen and Valhalla Miss (who was bred by the Allwood Stud Farm), Mrs Hamilton dabbled in breeding and bred Camluck King out of Teen Queen Lombo. Camluck King has been an honest performer, without reaching any great heights in his 55-start career of seven wins, 18 placings and stakes of $55,416. Mrs Hamilton, delighted at her biggest success in harness racing, acknowledged the assistance she had been receiving from former champion trainer-reinsman Trevor Warwick and his wife Katja. Camluck King was handled in six of his seven wins by Kyle Harper, who has driven Valhalla Miss at her first three starts for two wins and a second for earnings of $67,310. Teen Queen Lombo has made a significant mark in her brief career at stud after she had raced only twice, for a smart four-length victory at a 1.57.1 rate over 1670m at Pinjarra in October 2011 before finishing a distant last in a race at Gloucester Park a week later.   Valhalla Miss, second favourite at $3.90 in Friday night’s classic, was smartest to begin from the No. 1 barrier and was able to withstand an early challenge from $4.80 chance Extraordinary Mary before Harper dictated terms in front and was able to give Valhalla Miss a breather with a second quarter of the final mile in 30.9sec. before final 400m sections of 28.7sec. and 29.4sec. Extraordinary Mary raced in the breeze throughout and fought on doggedly to finish a half-length behind Valhalla Miss, who rated 1.58.3 over the 1730m to give the Allwood Stud Farm a quinella result. Half Kidding ($19) ran on from fifth on the pegs at the bell to be third. Fancied runners Jay Elle ($3.60 favourite) and Treacherous Tiger ($9.50) ruined their chances by breaking in the final circuit. Harper praised Valhalla Miss, saying: “She buzzes out and comes straight back to you. I consider Extraordinary Mary was gallant in defeat. Once I had her parked outside of me it pretty much left me in control, and we got to rate as we liked. It was a simple case of getting away with what we could and making sure we had something left at the end. “I think we had Extraordinary Mary beaten a fair way out, and I was more worried about Bramante Steps on our back. I had to keep her in a pocket.” Harper said that he was quietly confident from the ideal barrier. “Valhalla Miss gave me a good feel in the warm-up, but you can never be sure with two-year-olds; you never know what they’re going to do. She was on her best behaviour, even though she did get a bit lost out in front. But when I asked her to go, she picked up the bit and did the job.”   Just For Love is Oaks bound Busselton trainer Barry Howlett and his children Katie and Jimmy are full of hope that their promising filly Just For Love will develop into a leading candidate for the $150,000 WA Oaks on April 9 --- and perform better than her dam Harper Grace, who finished seventh behind Libertybelle Midfrew in the 2014 WA Oaks. Just For Love, a Mach Three filly purchased by the Howletts for $17,000 at the 2019 APG Perth yearling sale, impressed when she set the pace for Jocelyn Young and strolled to a four-length victory over Absolute Delight in the group 2 APG Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was Just For Love’s fourth win from 16 starts and boosted her earnings to $86,792 to overshadow the deeds of the Victorian-bred Harper Grace, who had 27 starts (all in WA) for six wins, five placings and $47,185 in stakes. Just For Love, the $2.25 favourite, began swiftly from the No. 3 barrier, dashed to the front after 100m and coasted through the lead time in a dawdling 38.9sec. and the opening quarter in 31.1sec. She was not extended in beating the Linda Hamilton-trained Absolute Delight ($10), with $26 chance Songkran battling home along the inside to be a length away in third place. Just For Love rated 1.57.9 over the 2130m, with final quarters of 28.1sec. and 28.6sec. Just For Love, who is related to former open-class performer Bus To Harland, gave trainer Barry Howlett the first leg of a double on Friday night, with New Zealand-bred five-year-old Smart Fortune leading for Mark Johnson and winning over 2265m at Albany later in the night.   Delightfulreaction’s consistency rewarded Experienced five-year-old mare Delightfulreaction ended a losing streak of 18 when she was rewarded for her consistency with a meritorious victory in the APG Perth Online Guide Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her victory in the 2503m stand completed a double for Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo, who had won behind Floewriter earlier in the program. Delightfulreaction, bred by Mike Howie and raced by Melissa Howie, was a $6.40 chance from the inside of the 10m line and de Campo decided to race the mare on the pegs before asking her for an effort in the final lap. With Major Artist, the well-supported $2.90 favourite setting a solid pace, de Campo was content to race in fifth position, three back on the pegs before he moved her into the clear in the back straight in the final circuit. She sustained a spirited burst to get to the front in the final 20m and defeat Major Artist by a half-length at a 1.59.6 rate. “She is never far away, and she had the luck tonight,” said de Campo. “I had the option to come up to the one-one, but I wasn’t quite happy with the horse in the breeze (Call Me Ernie), so I stayed on the rails and was able to come off down the back.” Delightfulreaction, whose previous win was in a stand five months earlier, has now earned $196,226 from 13 wins and 28 placings from 85 starts, with the highlight of her career being her neck second at 100/1 to Has No Fear in the WA Oaks in May 2019.   Mighty Ronaldo keeps Lavra Joe at bay The much-anticipated duel between star colts Mighty Ronaldo and Lavra Joe eventuated in dramatic style before a big crowd at Gloucester Park on Friday night, with Mighty Ronaldo setting the pace and fighting on grimly to beat Lavra Joe by a head in the $50,000 group 2 APG Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings. From the coveted No. 1 barrier Mighty Ronaldo, trained by Justin Prentice and driven by Gary Hall jnr, was favourite at $1.50, with Lavra Joe, owned and trained by Ray Jones and driven by Chris Lewis, at the attractive quote of $3.40 from out wide at barrier seven. Mighty Ronaldo burst straight to the front, with Lewis urging Lavra Joe forward, three wide, to move into the breeze after 200m. Hall rated Mighty Ronaldo to perfection, with a moderate lead time of 37.8sec. and opening quarter of 29.7sec. before increasing the tempo. Lewis also rated Lavra Joe cleverly in the breeze, keeping the powerful colt a length behind the pacemaker until calling on him for a supreme effort over the final 250m. Lavra Joe responded grandly and finished with great determination. But Mighty Ronaldo also revealed wonderful fighting qualities to repel the challenge and win by a head at a 1.54 rate over the 2130m. The final three quarters were run in 28.3sec., 27.7sec. and 27.4sec. Give Us A Wave, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, was a $16 chance from barrier two, and he enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before finishing solidly to be a half-length behind the two stars. The expected clash between Mighty Ronaldo, Lavra Joe and Give Us A Wave against Mike Reed’s brilliant New Zealand three-year-old Ragazzo Mach in the $200,000 WA Derby on April 30 should produce a spectacular contest.   Alta Rhett causes an upset WA-bred five-year-old Alta Rhett has been racing in fine form for Bunbury trainer Sarah Wall, but the gelding was neglected by most punters when he started from barrier No. 4 in the 2130m Maureen Clement Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a $25.30 chance, with most punters predicting that the race would develop into a spirited contest between the three runners drawn to Alta Rhett’s inside --- Bettor Be Oscar ($3.30 favourite), Mr Kiwi ($3.40) and Blockjorg ($4.40). Somewhat unexpectedly, Blockjorg held up from barrier one and set the pace, leaving Bettor Be Oscar in the breeze and Mr Kiwi trailing the leader, with Valbonne enjoying the one-out, one-back position and Alta Rhett racing in sixth position in the one-wide line. Bettor Be Oscar eventually got to the front on the home turn but was swamped by the fast-finishing Alta Rhett. Mr Kiwi was third, with Blockjorg fading to last in the field of 12. Alta Rhett now has earned $92,174 from ten wins and 11 placings from 51 starts.   Mirragon is too classy Former Victorian pacer Mirragon looks set for a profitable career in Western Australia after showing his class with an effortless victory in the 2130m APG Graduates Clean Sweep Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Debra Lewis, the four-year-old son of Art Major was a hot $1.20 favourite from the No. 1 barrier. He led for the first 120m before $21 chance Extradite exploded to the front after beginning speedily from barrier eight. Lewis then regained the lead 200m later and Corey Peterson was satisfied to enjoy an ideal passage behind the favourite with Extradite. Mirragon sped over the final 400m in 27.3sec. and won by just over two lengths from $12 chance Roman Art, who impressed in finishing powerfully from the rear. The winner rated 1.56.1. Mirragon, who finished fourth behind Minstrel in the group 1 Golden Nugget two starts earlier, has raced 37 times for nine wins, ten placings and $151,585. He is the first foal out of the Mach Three mare The Waratah, a modest performer with six from 50 starts on Victorian and New South Wales tracks.   Patrickthepiranha excels in front Patrickthepiranha, placed at four of his five previous starts, broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of ten when he scored an easy victory over Rock Me Over and Quick Stride in the 2130m APG’s Richest Race Series Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at $2.80, Patrickthepiranha mustered plenty of early speed from the No. 6 barrier, raced three wide and burst to the front after 550m before setting a brisk pace and sprinting over the final 800m in 56sec. to record a smart rate of 1.55.6. It was simply a matter of reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green continuing his excellent association with the five-year-old Patrickthepiranha, who has been driven to victory by Egerton-Green in eleven of his 13 wins from 39 starts that have also produced eight seconds and four thirds. Ace Banjup trainer Colin Brown said that Patrickthepiranha was best suited in his current class when leading or racing in the breeze. “I drove him two starts ago (from barrier eight) and thought I would be nice to him and sat behind the leader,” he said. “But he didn’t get a clear run and finished an unlucky fifth, just a length from the winner That’s Perfect. “In this class I think he is as good as the best of them and he can afford to come out and breeze or lead and do his thing. Once he steps up in grade, he might have to be driven differently. He’s got more than one string to his bow.” Friday night’s win was some consolation for Jim Currie and Liam O’Connor, who own the Four Starzzz Shark gelding. They also race the brilliant filly American Arma, who has been ruled out of contesting the $150,000 WA Oaks on April 9 after fracturing a bone in her nearside hind leg during the running of the Daintys Daughter Classic the previous Friday night.   Major Times set for Bunbury Cup Former Victorian pacer Major Times will be set for the $50,000 Bunbury Cup at Donaldson Park next Friday night after winning the 2536m APG Perth Yearling Sale Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Eight-time WA premiership trainer Ross Olivieri was full of praise for the Art Major six-year-old after the stallion had dashed over the final 800m in 57.7sec. and rated 1.57.1 over the 2536m journey. “Now he will run in the Bunbury Cup,” said Olivieri, who has trained the winner of three Bunbury Cups ---Speedy Cheval (1991), Hail The Judge (1998) and Crombie (2011). Major Times, making his second appearance in Western Australia, was a strongly-supported $1.90 favourite, with polemarker Howard Hughes ($2.70) the only other runner quoted at less than $15. Ryan Warwick sent Howard Hughes straight to the front, with Major Times settling down in fifth position. Chris Voak dashed Major Times forward to move into the breeze 600m after the start. Supporters of Howard Hughes groaned when the talented four-year-old broke into a gallop 600m from home and dropped back to last in the field of seven. This left Major Times in front and he sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 27.7sec. and 28sec. and won by just over two lengths from $17 chance Has No Fear, who had trailed the pacemaker all the way. Major Times is out of the Live Or Die mare The Good Times, who won the group 2 Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Melton in May 2011 and earned $201,024 from 17 wins and 15 placings from 60 starts. The Good Times is a half-sister to former star performer Safe And Sound, who won the 2002 Hunter Cup at Moonee Valley from Shakamaker and Seelster Sam. He was retired with earnings of $995,606 from 33 wins and 30 placings from 84 starts. Major Times showed good early promise and finished a close third behind Poster Boy and Tam Major in the group 1 2018 New South Wales Derby at Menangle as well as finishing second to Tam Major in the group 2 Vicbred Super Sires Series for four-year-olds at Melton in July 2019.   Texas Tiger shows star quality Part-owner Steve Chapman predicted that the lightly-raced Texas Tiger would develop into a “special horse” after the New Zealand-bred four-year-old crushed his rivals in the 2130m Australian Pacing Gold Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. From the outside of the back line Texas Tiger was a hot $1.20 favourite at his first appearance at Gloucester Park and he was driven with great confidence by Gary Hall jnr who dashed the gelding forward, three wide, early to move to the breeze position outside the pacemaker Anvil Rollover after 500m. Texas Tiger took a narrow lead 250m from home and was untouched as he went on to win by almost two lengths from Anvil Rollover, rating 1.56.3. This took Texas Tiger’s record for trainer Gary Hall snr to four wins from four starts in the space of 19 days. Chapman, who races Texas Tiger in partnership wife his wife Tina and their children Danielle and Ben, said that it took considerable negotiating before he was able to purchase Texas Tiger for a reasonable price, explaining that the pacer’s owners were seeking a very high six-figure sum for the horse. “I saw the potential of Texas Tiger and I negotiated to buy him for 12 weeks before, finally, I was able to get him for $75,000 which for me at the time was an ‘ouch’ because I didn’t want to pay that much. He is by American Ideal, and I love American Ideal horses. The Chapman family certainly have enjoyed great success with New Zealand-bred pacers by American Ideal. These horses include My Hard Copy, Balcatherine, My Carbon Copy and Copy N Pace. My Hard Copy was retired to stud after earning $1,271,592 (with his wins including the 2015 and 2016 WA Pacing Cups and the 2018 Fremantle Cup in which he beat Lazarus and Chicago Bull) and Balcatherine demonstrated her wonderful ability in winning the $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park last November. Full meeting results click here!   Ken Casellas

Chris Alford on Open Mic, Harness racing

Alford gets the call-up

He’s won the race before with the great Lennytheshark and now Chris Alford is eyeing more Miracle Mile success. Alford combined with David Aiken’s star to win the feature in 2017 and will partner up with Belinda McCarthy-trained Alta Orlando in this Saturday night’s $1million renewal. The champion reinsman was in the sulky behind Alta Orlando when he ran second in the Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup last month and expects another forward showing in the 1609m dash. “I think he’s a good top three chance,” Alford said. “I think he will go really well.” Alta Orlando ran second in the Allied Express Logistics Sprint behind Wolf Stride last weekend to secure his place in the Miracle Mile. Alford said it was a special race on the Australian calendar and it’s one he’d no doubt love to win for a second time. “It’s probably just behind the Inter Dominion. I think the Inter Dominion is the ultimate,” Alford said. “It was always an invitation, which has changed a bit now. It was hard enough to get a run in it, let alone win it. “It’s just one of those races that everyone wants to be in and win.” David Moran had expected to be driving his horse Lochinvar Art in the Miracle Mile, but will take the reins of fellow McCarthy runner Expensive Ego, who was a brilliant winner of the Chariots of Fire last weekend. Lochinvar Art had to be withdrawn from chasing a spot in the race last week due to a hoof injury. Fellow Victorian drivers Greg Sugars (Clayton Tonkin-trained Out To Play) and Anthony Butt (his horse Wolf Stride) also have runners in the race. The Miracle Mile is one of four Group 1s on the Tabcorp Park Menangle card, which includes the NSW Derby, a $100,000 free-for-all and the Trotters Mile. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL MENANGLE FIELDS   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Jack Trainor, Harness racing

The man of the moment

NO-ONE IN NSW has driven in better form than former Kiwi reinsman Jack Trainor this season. His skills were rewarded with two Group 1 wins in the space of about 40 minutes on Saturday night when he took home the two big races at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the Ladyship Mile (Stylish Memphis) and the NSW Oaks (Anntonia). And while he might feel like celebrating the biggest night of his life, Trainor now finds himself with one more major mission, the $1m Garrards Miracle Mile after Ladyship Mile winner Stylish Memphis earned an invitation into Australasia’s biggest sprint race. “It was a crazy half hour; it was just a dream come true,” said Trainor. “This mare showed she was right up there with the best of them, she was bright in her training during the week and we were quietly confident she could do the job on Saturday night. “During the run I was half thinking ‘this is too good to be true’ and I kept looking to my inside thinking something was going to be coming up on our inside, but we were too good.” As much as Trainor would love to go into celebration-mode he is just as elated to be a part of the build-up and then the Miracle Mile. “Owner Wayne Higgs and trainer Mark Jones showed a lot of confidence in me by sending Stylish Memphis here for the Ladyship and everything else has been a bonus,” he said. “There’s no doubt King Of Swing is a superstar, and our wide draw does make our task that little bit harder, but you have to be in it to win it and we’re excited to be there.” Meantime Trainor heads for Menangle today with just three drives on the nine-race program. The best of those appears to be Fox Trot Hill, chasing his fourth win from his past five starts when she goes around in Race 4, a heat of the four-year-old Trotters Foundation. Still, such is Trainor’s form that Janalan (Race 6) for trainer Jason Grimson, also looks an undoubted chance. And Trainor will also fancy his chances with veteran gelding Makoa in Race 9. While he has 20 wins from 116 starts, Makoa’s last five wins have all been at Menangle and nicely drawn in gate eight today, Trainor may elect to use some of Makoa’s gate speed and get into the action early over the 1609m. View the full Menangle fields click here! iForm Menangle best bet Race 5: Bettor Vision (6) Tidy victory in similar grade here two starts ago. Suggest he will prove hard to stop. Menangle next best Race 9: Double Encounter (9) Can go one better after just missing against quality opposition last time. Around the tracks Albury next best Race 6: Josie Ella (9) Out for redemption after going off stride when in a winning position at Wagga. Play the exotics The Menangle Quaddie Race 5: 6-7-8 Race 6: 6-9-10 Race 7: 4-6-10 Race 8: 8-7-6 $81 for 100%   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL COURT

Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002

Much-travelled harness racing photographer Claire Weston holds the philosophy that every raceday photograph is special - it's just that some are more special than others. But there's not much doubt that a one-off framed photograph presented to Victoria's world champion reinswoman Kerryn Manning recently is probably a cut above the rest. A commemorative photograph presented to Manning by the Stawell Harness Racing Club marked Manning's 4000th winning drive at the club's previous meeting...with the design containing the names of all of the horses Manning has driven to victory in her career. Claire completed the design - around 10 hours of painstaking work. "Kerryn ordered an A2 (60 x 40 cm) photo on the day she got the win, and it was great to be there for that moment - straight away I could envisage how a commemorative photograph could look," Claire said. "When the club said they wanted to make a presentation to her, we got our heads together and Kerryn didn't know anything about it," she said. Manning was already the most "winningest" horsewoman in history when she produced a perfect steer on Glenavril King, a horse she also trains, at Stawell on January 31- almost 30 years after her first successful drive behind Gorgeous Gambit, a horse prepared by her father Peter. In between, Manning was successful on more than 1200 horses, across Australia and around the world. The commemorative photograph of Kerryn Manning’s 4000th victory (Claire Weston Photo) "The HRV media team got all of the names of the horses together for us, and because some were multiple winners of course, we ended up with 1255 names," Claire said. "What I had in my head didn't quite come out the way I planned, so I went back to the drawing board a couple of times. I was pretty happy with the way it came out in the end, but I was still nervous when they made the presentation," she said. "Kerryn loved it, though, the color and the picture and the photo of her with the champagne bottle, so that was a relief!" Claire considers herself lucky to have found her career "happy place" - and in any one week that place might be Kilmore, Bendigo, Mount Gambier, Boort, Geelong, Terang, the Yarra Valley or any of more than a dozen race tracks. Claire, her brother Ian, her son Chris and a couple of freelancers take race photographs for 16 harness racing clubs across Victoria and in South Australia, as well as several Victorian greyhound racing clubs. "I sort of fell into the raceday photography really. I was a judge for about seven years, so I got to know (north east Victorian race photographer) Geoff Durn pretty well. He had to take some time off at one stage and asked me if I could fill in, and it's really just gone from there," she said. "Gradually as other photographers retired, we've just picked up new clubs, so it can get pretty busy. The day I was at Stawell, Ian went to Geelong that night and then we had another freelancer working at the greyhounds." Claire Weston While Claire's had a few 'careers' along the way, including working at supermarkets and in an animal shelter, horses have always been her first love since having ponies and working as a stable hand while she was still at school. "This is definitely the most rewarding. You might think the interest might not be there like it was in the old days, but every race photo is special for the people involved. People still love to have a framed photo of a first win, or a big win or a special win," she said. "Strangely enough, the COVID-19 regional racing was pretty good. There were certainly more of what you would call 'battlers' winning races and they're generally great about buying a photo for the wall. "Some days you might have a good day, say on a country cup day, other days you walk out empty-handed. But there are always people around for a chat, the races are a great place to work and there's always something happening to photograph." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The Kiwi connections of classy pacer Alta Orlando have snapped-up champion driver Chris Alford for the $1 million Miracle Mile. Luke McCarthy is driving defending champion King Of Swing, which left Belinda McCarthy to work with the owners of Alta Orlando and Chariots Of Fire winner Expensive Ego to find new drivers. Alta Orlando won 11 from 57 in this country before heading across the Tasman. It is owned by champion trainer Robert Dunn, his daughter in law Jenna Dunn, and Dr Margaret Evans and Mitzi Taylor. In an exciting change of luck from Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran, he has landed the drive on Expensive Ego, who is the Aussie TAB’s $7 second favourite. Alford was thrilled to get the call-up for Alta Orlando after getting the same gig when he ran second to Lochinvar Art in last month’s Group 1 Hunter Cup. “Luke (McCarthy) thinks he’s right back to his best and a great chance of leading them early from his draw,” Alford said. “He’s very quick out. If he’s as good or better than he was Hunter Cup time, then I’m sure he’ll run a big race this week.” Alford is chasing his second Miracle Mile win after partnering former champ Lennytheshark to victory in 2017. “He’s my only winner, but I’ve been placed a few times on really good horses like Golden Reign, Tailamade Lombo and Lenny,” he said. “It’s one of the great races and hard to win. It’s exciting to be part of it again.” Moran was bracing himself to watch the Miracle Mile with very mixed emotions given Lochinvar Art was a $1.70 prepost favourite before his hoof injury ruled him out. “I’ve been staying at Luke and Belinda’s place and they had mentioned I could be in the mix for a drive if they got a few in,” Moran said. “It’s terrific to pick-up a drive like Expensive Ego after he went so big to win the Chariots. “It’s certainly changed the race for me. I’m a lot more excited about it now.” Moran also has leading NSW Derby contender Patsbeachstorm, who brilliantly won his heat last Saturday night. Patsbeachstorm drew wide in gate eight for the final with key rivals Tasty Delight (three) and Idyllic (12) having varied luck. “The draw isn’t ideal, but he’s primed. That run last week really topped him off and did it easily in the finish the other night,” Moran said.   HRNZ

Good news trots fans: Ride High is on track for a return to the races next month. The brilliant pacer, who gained a mass following for his explosive wins through 2020, is reportedly doing well in his recovery from the minor suspensory injury that halted his campaign in October last year. Owner Peter Gleeson is upbeat about the six-year-old’s prospects of a comeback start in the coming weeks. "(Trainer) Clayton (Tonkin) told me some time later on in April he will probably be back at the races," he said. "The vet keeps scanning his legs and at the moment it's all clear. "He's been doing a fair bit of work at home actually. I've seen him there with the hopples on. He was only jogging and wasn't doing fast work at that stage, but he is obviously going to be doing fast work during March and probably be at the trials, I would think, all going well, early April. "Whether he will have one or two trials before he races, only time will tell. We don't know at this stage, but at this point in time he is on track." Ride High had his 11-race winning streak snapped when he finished fifth in the TAB Smoken Up Sprint in October before follow-up scans revealed a leg injury. While he is likely to return to racing at Tabcorp Park Melton, Gleeson said plans were to eventually get to Menangle, where the idea is to run a fast time that will enhance stud value. "They (Harness Racing NSW) may put on a race if they think Lochinvar Art, Ride High, King of Swing and those sort of horses would go in a race...," Gleeson said. "If they put one on that's worthwhile and we are fit, well and ready to do the business, I'm pretty sure Clayton will be keen to get there." Ride High, a horse by Art Major, is a winner of 16 of his 18 starts and almost $300,000 in prizemoney.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Victoria's powerful influence on NSW’s Carnival of Miracles is set to finish in style at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Our raiders won all three heats of the NSW Oaks before filling second, third and fourth spots in the final. Maajida won the last of the Ladyship Mile leads-up and then the unheralded Miss McGonagall ran the race of her life for second in the Ladyship itself behind Stylish Memphis. Victorians then won two of the three NSW Derby heats last Saturday night, while recently “adopted” Victorian Wolf Stride and Out To Play raced their way into the Miracle Mile to fly our flag. Sure they’ll both need luck to beat defending champ King Of Swing, but Wolf Stride seems to get better every time he goes to the races and his win last Saturday night was something to behold. Trainer-driver Anthony Butt summed it up best: “I see this like the year My Field Marshal won it for us. He’ll need others to make the race for him, but he’s certainly good enough if that happens.” In the Derby markets, Victorian pair Patsbeachstorm ($3) and Idyllic ($3.20) head the betting with another of “ours”, Act Now, fourth pick at $7. Only tough and classy local Tasty Delight seems to stand in their way. Patsbeachstorm could provide some consolation for trainer-driver David Moran, who had hoped to be winning the Miracle Mile this weekend with Lochinvar Art. Moran has loved Patsbeachstorm since day one, but almost lost him to what’s presumed to have been a spider bite about eight months ago. “He had a toxic reaction and was down and out. They can’t say for sure what it was, but think it’s a 95 per cent chance it was a spider bite,” he said. “It’s as much a relief as anything to have him back and going so well. “He was terrific the other night and I know how much that run will bring him on again for the final. It was only his fourth run after 11 months out.” Patsbeachstorm gave the classy and tough Act Now three lengths start, zoomed straight past him and blazed by far the fastest of the three heats with a 1min53.5sec mile rate for 2400m. In contrast, our other main Derby hope, Idyllic, led and had little more than a soft track workout to win his heat in a dawdling 1min57.5sec mile rate. But we know how good Idyllic is and he’ll take some beating. That said, Patsbeachstorm oozes this X-factor and explosive speed which gives him the nod in my book. Victoria will also be represented in other features on Saturday night like the Group 1 Trotters’ Mile, Group 1 Bohemia Crystal free-for-all and Tanyia Harris 4YO Mares. It’s been a golden few months for harness racing and Saturday night at Menangle will be a great way to celebrate it.   Sky Racing - Adam Hamilton

REMOTE country city Broken Hill has become a boom town once again. Founded after the discovery of a rich silver ore during the 1880s, Broken Hill remains Australia’s longest running mining hub. During the last few weeks, however, Broken Hill has proven a boom town for teal. Following the weekend’s meeting, Broken Hill has been the base for nine Teal Pants Campaign victories. Beginning with six wins from the Robinson sisters, the tally was boosted by a treble from Kaela Hryhorec on Saturday night. Cassie Robinson has recorded five wins, while Stevie Robinson registered her initial driving success a fortnight ago. Thanks to the reinswomen’s wins $2600 has been added to the Teal Pants Campaign tally. Between February 1 and March 14 the sport’s ladies throughout Australasia wear specially-designed teal pants to raise awareness and valuable funds for ANZGOG – Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group. Along with the search for a cure, the funds are distributed to the research nurse program and ANZGOG’s education and prevention program Survivors Teaching Students, where ovarian cancer survivors go in to the classrooms of medical students to present about their journey of diagnosis and living with a life threatening disease Money is earned via each win during the campaign, with the various state governing bodies donating a set amount per victory, which is matched by the state’s major wagering company. On average a win is worth $400 for the kitty. “It ended up being a 22-hour trip there and back, but was well worth it,” Hryhorec said. “I went through to Adelaide from Mount Gambier and got a lift the rest of the way which made it a very long venture. “I’ll be back there in a couple of weeks where hopefully I can add to the tally during this important time for such a wonderful cause.” During the past week the Australian squad – which consists of 260 reinswomen - has lifted its tally from 168 to 228 – an average of eight wins a day! In monetary terms the nation’s leading ladies have raised more than $90,000….which doesn’t not include various fund raisers such as teal cakes, BBQ’s and sponsorships. Given the wonderful achievement, it is little wonder ANZOG refers to Harness Racing Australia as its “WomenCan Team Teal Champion”! For the record, Hryhorec’s wins were with Badland Star, Pinkie Promise and Courtney Katarina   Harness Racing Australia

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.   THE GOOD The long trip home to Warwick on the Southern Downs would have been a little more bearable for trainer Dayl March on Saturday night following the success of Clintal Do. Stepping out under race conditions for the 100th time, the seven-year-old raised the bat in style when swooping over the top of his rivals for a deserved victory. Charging home in his races in recent weeks, the gelding had placed in six of his previous seven starts, as he continued to knock at victory’s door. Landing gate seven on Saturday was not ideal, yet the race worked out exactly as it looked on paper, with a strong early and mid-race tempo working in favour of Clintal Do. Angled to the outside by driver Adam Sanderson, the gelding charged home to score in impressive fashion, again running some slick closing sectionals with the victory. The win also ended a frustrating drought for connections. Considering the strong record throughout his career that shows 27 wins and 31 placings, amazingly 12 months had ticked over since his previous victory. That win came on February 22, 2020 - when scoring in an open event - with a further 24 starts between wins, placing in 12 of those outings. Victory also ensured the gelding maintained his record of a victory in every season he has raced since his two-year-old days. It has been a successful career that includes victory in the QBRED three-year-old and four-year-old Triad Finals, a Redcliffe Cup, an Armidale Cup, and a track record at Inverell. That track record was set when still just a three-year-old, when claiming victory by a mammoth 67.9 metres. With the winning drought broken, the rains of success might just continue for March and his stable star.   THE BAD Horses can be the ultimate test of patience and square gaiters can quite often raise that bar even higher, proving the ultimate test for a farrier, trainer, and driver to elicit the best from the animal. Living up to his name somewhat, Crazy Ben has proven the ultimate frustration for his trainers and owners throughout his career. After scoring two wins and seven placings in his first 13 race outings with former trainer Chris Svanosio, it has been exasperation ever since. Joining the Joe and Mary Rando stable in Sydney, the gelding started on 27 occasions without a victory and was ultimately placed on the market. Ryan Veivers opted to try his luck in finding the key to the son of Crazed, purchasing the gelding and took over the training. After nine starts for Veivers, he was again moved on, this time sent to the barn of Dan Russell. Continuing to search for the answers, Russell took Crazy Ben to Marburg for his 12th attempt under his name on Sunday for a stand-start event over 2200 metres. Stepping cleanly, Crazy Ben with Matt Elkins in the sulky were able to control the tempo and hold on to score his 3rd career victory. It was close to two years since his last victory, with that win coming on March 11, 2019 at Horsham. Since that victory, Crazy Ben has been the ultimate test of perseverance and resilience to his owners and trainers along the way. With 49 starts and 4 stand-downs in between drinks, is the new Ben ready to take over? Connections are no doubt crossing their fingers that he has.   THE MILESTONE Hitting some nice areas throughout February, young trainer and driver Lachie Manzelmann has been a regular in the winner’s enclosure over the past week. Starting at Redcliffe on Wednesday night, Manzelmann was able to drive a winner for Mitchell Dawson, as well as training his own winner. Cyclone Kelly has now scored victory in two of his five starts since joining the Knight Street stables of Manzelmann, with Team Teal Ambassador Chloe Butler taking the drive on the six-year-old gelding. Three races later and Lachie was able to reach 200 wins as a driver when arriving with Faireachdainn. The Mr Feelgood mare claimed her third race victory and picked up the QBRED second-win bonus after sprinting strongly to score. Picking up where he left off from the night before, Manzelmann partnered with the Jonah Hutchinson-trained Lets Blaze to win the opening race on Thursday afternoon at Redcliffe. He quickly made it a double, claiming race two for Lola Weidemann aboard Miss Catalina when making full use of the passing lane, before making it three winners for the afternoon with Aqua Cruiser. Taking the drive for trainer Steve Coombs, it was a smart front-running display when leading all the way to score a strong four-metre victory. Slingshot was successful in race seven on Friday at Albion Park, when leading all the way in a smart 1.54.8 mile-rate, the gelding rated perfectly in front by Manzelmann. No stranger to landing a winner at a big price - having claimed the 2019 Newcastle Mile aboard outsider Yayas Hot Spot - Lachie was able to get the spoils with Kingdom Come on Saturday night. The $81 rank-outsider was driven patiently before sprinting hard to arrive for an upset victory. Rounding out the week with a trip to Marburg, Manzelmann completed the week with victory aboard the Lacey Hinze trained High On Montana in a heat of the Marburg to Albion series. With a career high 64 wins for the season secured last term, Manzelmann is currently sitting on 19 wins after two months this season - and it augers well for a strong 2021.   THE WILDCARD Spending time working with master trainer Shane Tritton has proven a pay-it-forward experience for young horseman Jonah Hutchinson. Purchasing six two-year-olds at the start of 2019, Shane and Lauren Tritton established the Team Tritton Fractional Ownership Group. With Shane and Lauren then heading to the USA in March of 2020, the six horses spent time in various stables around New South Wales until recently. After spending time with the former premier trainer before his relocation to the United States, Hutchinson returned to Queensland and began increasing the numbers in his own stable. Those number have blossomed in 2021 with Tritton showing faith in his former staffer, sending all six horses to the Queensland stables of Hutchinson. That faith was repaid at Redcliffe last Thursday when Lets Blaze scored an impressive win at his first start for the new partnership. Starting a short-priced elect, the colt showed a brilliant turn of acceleration to sprint clear and post an effortless 15-metre victory. There was some good symmetry with the victory, with the winning drive taken by Lachie Manzelmann, also a former Team Tritton member. Releasing some pressure with the first win out of the way for his new owners, the Hutchinson barn looks ready to step-up after a lean start to the first two months of the season.   THIS WEEK All eyes will focus on The Creek this Saturday night with an action-packed night of racing programmed. Following the completion of four heats for the Jim McNeil Memorial held over four rounds, the Final will be held this Saturday over 2,647 metres with the Group 3 Final carrying stakes of $26,330. Orlando Jolt will be looking to make a clean sweep of the series after claiming victory in both heats. The other two heat winners were, Van Sank and Unknown Son. There will be two Group 3 events for the square gaiters with the Trotters Marathon over the long trip of 3,157 metres also to be decided. Supporting these Group events will be the latest instalment of the Marburg to Albion Final, with heat winners Donny Jones, Gosling In Flight, High On Montana and Our Friend all set to feature. A Lady Drivers Invitation event will also be conducted to help celebrate International Women’s Day, the race carrying a penalty exemption for mares that do not have a band assessment. Five race meetings will be held for the week, with Albion Park racing Tuesday afternoon and Friday and Saturday nights. Redcliffe has two meetings this week, hosted in the regular slot of Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Victorian trainer Dean Braun is no stranger to winning feature races in Tasmania and he is one step closer to claiming his second Tasmania Cup with lightly raced four-year-old gelding Willie Go West. The former Kiwi pacer demolished his rivals to score in the opening heat of the Group 2 Tasmania Cup at Ladbrokes Park Elwick in Hobart on Sunday night. It was only the 10th racetrack appearance for the four-year-old gelding who was able to step away brilliantly from the pole draw in the 2579-metre standing start event to lead all the way. Driver Chris Alford had no reason to panic, despite being kept honest in the early stages by Call Me Hector, who was inclined to over race, to record a 77.0s lead time before recording quarters of 29.4s, 33.0s, 29.1s and 28.4s for a mile rate of 2m 2.9s. The gelded son of Auckland Reactor wasn’t even out of second gear on his way to a 13.8-metre victory over The Shallows and Lip Reader, with the locals chasing well spread out over the concluding stages. “He was good, he is a pretty nice horse, and I have always liked him, I went and drove him in New Zealand, and he gave me a very nice feel and I have sort of kept him back and gave him a few looks at the tape to get him ready for this as we knew he would get the front,” said winning trainer Dean Braun after the race. “If I waited until next year, he would have been off 30 metres, so I had to come this year and give it a shot, I have thrown him in the deep end a little bit as he has only had 10-starts, but it is good money and hopefully we can get some of it,” added the trainer. The first seven placegetters all qualified for the Group 2 Final on Saturday 13 March, and they will be joined by the first seven placegetters of this Sunday’s heat, where Braun will be represented by Holy Basil, who has performed well in recent trials, while he is yet to decide if multiple Group 1 winner Our Princess Tiffany will contest the heat or wait and contest the states premier mares race, the George Johnson on 13 March, but she is likely to remain in the state for the Easter Cup in Launceston next month. Alford and Braun combined to win the Tasmania Cup with Our Chain Of Command in 2010, which was the last year the race held Group 1 status with prizemoney of $100,000, while Alford has also won the race with Talimade Lombo on two occasions, and Golden Reign during the ‘90s. While the Tasmania Cup with Willie Go West will be their main focus on 13 March, they look set to be adding the Eric Reece Memorial to there resume with six-year-old gelding Jaffa Josh who scored a 19-metre win in the second heat of the series. The six-year-old gelding settled one-out and three-back before the favourite swept to the lead down the back straight to go on and record an effortless 19-metre victory. “He is a pretty nice horse, he has good speed, and is good gaited and has plenty of bottom to him,” said Braun. “He has a few quirks but has come a long way in a short amount of time, and I think he is a handy horse,” added the winning trainer. Alford drove a treble on the card, winning the Aldebaran Park Hobart Trotting Cup with the Rodney Ashwood-trained Mascott, who led home a training quinella for Rodney Ashwood, with Beau Garcon finishing second   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

VICTORIAN horseman Ray Harvey is already planning another interstate raid. Making a trek across the border during the weekend, Harvey captured the Gramel Cup with his handy trotter The Penny Drops. Thrilled with the result, Harvey is set to return to the troubled venue for next month’s South Australia Trotters’ Cup. The Penny Drops was runner-up in last season’s edition of the time honoured feature, which is scheduled to be conducted on April 17. “He’ll have one more start, most likely in a country cup, before we go back to South Australia,” Harvey said. “We finished second in the Trotters’ Cup over there last year so it would be good to go one better this time around.” With Mark Billinger holding the reins, The Penny Drops was positioned in the perfect one-one trail from his 10-metre handicap as Reils led from the pole. Angled three-wide heading into the back straight, the son of Danny Bouchea dashed to the lead within a few strides before cruising to an 18-metre win from Ymbro Wasted. I Choose was 12 metres away third in 2:04.1 over 2645 metres. “That was a great run from him,” Harvey said. “I was as confident as you can be with a trotter going into the race and he raced to expectations. “Once he got into the trail like he did I knew they wouldn’t be able to beat him.”   SA Harness Racing    

KING Of Swing has the $1 million Miracle Mile at his mercy. The powerhouse stallion is TAB’s $1.40 favourite to continue the surprisingly great record of back-to-back Miracle Mile winners. Since the race was first run and won by Robin Dundee in 1967, King Of Swing is aiming to become the seventh back-to-back winner. Those so far have been: Smoken Up (2010/11), Be Good Johnny (2005/06), Sokyola (2003/04), Holmes DG (1999/2000), Chokin (1993/94) and Westburn Grant (1989/90). The great Village Kid also won two Miracle Miles, but the wins were split by Kiwi pacer Master Mood. Recent history is also in King Of Swing’s corner with 11 Miracle Miles held at Menangle and 10 of the winners coming from barrier five or inside. King Of Swing has drawn six, but will start from barrier five when emergency One Change comes out. King Of Swing cruised to victory in his Miracle Mile qualifier, the Group 1 Schweppes Sprint, at Menangle last Saturday in what was little more than 400m dash home. “It’s just the run he needed after a few weeks since the Hunter Cup. It’ll top him off nicely for next week,” driver Luke McCarthy said. “The draw suits as well. I said before I’d like something in the middle because he gets out best from there. It’s not often we really blast him out, but he’s very, very quick when we want to, especially from a middle draw.” King Of Swing is one of three Miracle Mile runners for McCarthy and his wife, Belinda. Last year’s third placegetter Alta Orlando and Chariots Of Fire winner Expensive Ego are the others. King Of Swing’s suitable draw was made even better with key rivals like Wolf Stride (seven), Out To Play (nine) and Stylish Memphis (10) drawing outside him. ___________________________________________________________________ TOP young former Kiwi driver Jack Trainor is hoping to ride his wave of luck one race further and overcome a horror draw to win the Miracle Mile. Trainor went to Menangle last Saturday night with two great chances of driving his first Group 1 winner. In the space of 40 minutes, both won with Stylish Memphis and Anntonia flashing home to win the Ladyship Mile and NSW Oaks respectively. “This is a night I won’t forget in a long time. I thought they both great chances, but for both to come out and win is amazing,” Trainor said. Stylish Memphis’s outside draw means she will have to re-write history to win the Miracle Mile. In the 11 running since the race moved from Harold Park to Menangle, no horse has won from further out than gate six. Stylish Memphis will start from eight after scratchings. Further, in those 11 years, only five placegetters have come from gate six or wider. “It’s a huge ask now, but she’s thriving on the hard racing week-to-week and we just have to hope they run the race upside down and she can have the last crack at them with that big finish of hers,” Trainor said. ___________________________________________________________________ ALL is not lost for Lochinvar Art’s trainer David Moran during this Sydney raid. He hurriedly left Victoria for NSW just over a week ago with three horses in the float and Patsbeachstorm is the last one standing. “Lochinvar Art had his issues and the two-year-old filly I brought up for the Pink Bonnet wasn’t eligible because she’d hadn’t been registered long enough,” Moran said. But Patsbeachstorm is doing his part with two wins during the trip and heads betting for his main goal, next Saturday night’s $200,000 Group 1 NSW Derby at Menangle. Not bad from a horse who just over six months back was fighting for his life after what is presumed to have been a spider bite. “He had a bad toxic reaction. They say it’s about 95 per cent likely it was a spider bite. He was down and out,” Moran said. “It’s a relief as much as anything to have him back and going so well. He’s a horse we’ve loved since day one.” Patsbeachstorm was by the far the most impressive and fastest of the three Derby heats winners last Saturday night and boasts the X-factor of a blazing turn of speed. Classy Victorian Idyllic and exciting local Tasty Delight are the other big guns. ___________________________________________________________________ STAR Kiwi trotter Majestic Man will cap what’s already been a hugely successful Aussie raid when he steps out at Menangle on Miracle Mile night. Majestic Man has already given his young driver and caretaker trainer Brad Williamson the first two Group 1 wins of his career this trip, including last Saturday night’s $100,000 TAB Australian Trotting Grand Prix at Melton. He’s had five runs on the trip for two wins, a second, a third and a fourth and importantly has won both times when he’s led. Majestic Man will draw the front in this week’s Group 1 NSW Trotters’ Mile so can use his blazing gate speed and gets his chance to win again and post a scorching mile. This week’s race carries added importance with reports there is huge North American interest in buying Majestic Man to continue his career over there. ___________________________________________________________________ LUKE McCarthy reconnected with his roots to win the $50,000 Group 2 Pink Bonnet on Silk Cloud last Saturday night at Menangle. The exciting filly is trained at Bathurst by hobbyist Tony Higgs, who drove Silk Cloud for a second on debut but happily handed over the reins to McCarthy. “I’d have got lost at Menangle. I can’t even see the back straight when I watch Menangle on TV,” Higgs joked. McCarthy added: “This one is a bit special. It’s great to win a big race for good people and, growing up in Bathurst, I’ve known Tony all my life.”   by Adam Hamilton

Former New Zealand harness racing champion Changeover, who stands at Burwood Stud, Pittsworth on Queensland’s Darling Downs, recently topped the $15 million mark in progeny earnings. The $2.3 million winning son of In The Pocket is on target for his sixth consecutive million dollar season following another successful week with his progeny on the racetrack. Changeover was represented by a pair of NSW winners in Controversial NZ (1:58.4, Penrith) and Sir Simon (1:59.8, Newcastle) and the Queensland winners Our Friend NZ (1:57.8, Marburg) and Aqua Cruiser (1:58.5, Redcliffe). In North America, Changeover left winners in Risk NZ, who scored in 1:53.4 at Pompano Park, Florida, and Bronze Over NZ, a winner in 1:54.8 at Yonkers Raceway, New York.   By Peter Wharton

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Who could forget the performance of Soho Lanikai in last year's Premiere Stakes? The breathtaking 65m win on debut proved the one and only run for the Michael Stanley-trained colt, with the brilliant son of Somebeachsomewhere now at stud. While Stanley doesn't have any two-year-olds aimed at this year's renewal of the race, the feature is set to be an intriguing one with a field of eight to line-up in the $24,000 event. Impressive last-start winner Mykorona steps out again for trainer-driver Aaron Dunn, while Ryan Duffy teams up with Solesseo Matuca - a winner of his two most recent runs - for Damien Burns. Duffy drove Soho Lanikai to that massive victory in 2020. Burns also has stablemate Got Equity, who he will partner in the race. There's also two debutants, with Ange McDowall to launch the career of Botanist (Roll With Joe-Rocktheniteaway colt) and Brutally Handsome (Art Major-Life Inthefastlane colt) to appear for AJ and BJ Tindale. The other key feature on the Saturday night Tabcorp Park Melton card is the Catanach's Jewellers Markovina Free For All. It has drawn a quality field of pacers, including the talented Like A Wildfire (Emma Stewart) and Love Ina Chevy (Lance Justice), who resume from spells. Five horses - Malcolms Rhythm (David Aiken), Sirletic (David Aiken), Majestic Cruiser (Geoff Webster), Zadaka (Greg Norman) and Mister Wickham (Chris Svanosio) - all step out after appearing in the Group 2 Terang Co-Op Pacing Cup last month. The first of 11 races kicks off at 5.34pm. Also this Sunday, the country cups roadshow rolls on to Shepparton and Birchip. Shepparton will host the Wangaratta meeting, with the North East Fasteners Wangaratta Pacing Cup and Reflex Glass / J & T Joinery Wangaratta Trotters Cup both worth $14,500. Further west, the Sharp's Bakery Mallee Bull Pacing Cup and TMC Enviro Mallee Bull Trotters Cup - both of $4500 - are among the highlights. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL MELTON FIELDS   HRV - Tim O'Connor
Floewriter bred for stardom It was Aiden de Campo’s happy association with pacing filly Maddy White eight years ago that encouraged him to outlay $30,000 to purchase a Sportswriter colt at the 2020 Perth APG yearling sale on behalf of a bevy of stable clients. De Campo drove Maddy White to wins at her first two starts, as a two-year-old --- at Bunbury and Harvey early in 2013 --- and was in the sulky for five of her next nine victories. The Sportswriter colt at the sale was out of Maddy White, with the colt described by de Campo as being a dead ringer for her dam, a big, lanky horse with an action identical to that of his mother. The colt, named Floewriter, was bred to be a quality performer, with a most impressive list of star pacers in his pedigree. Floewriter, the $3.30 favourite in the $100,000 APG Sales Classic final for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night, gave a splendid frontrunning performance to win from Tomlous Jambo ($9) and the fast-finishing $61 outsider Speedwagon, rating 1.56.5 over the 1730m. This boosted his earnings to $61,925 from a win, a second and a fifth from three starts. De Campo said that he was pretty confident of access after Floewriter drew the prized No. 1 barrier. “I then was lucky enough to get away with a good first half which helped us a lot and made it hard for the others in the closing stages. Watch the race replay click here! “He will go for a break now for a couple of weeks, and then we’ll be looking at the feature events for two-year-olds later in the season,” said de Campo. “I don’t consider Floewriter is an absolute stand-out compared with the rest of the crop. There are a fair few horses in tonight’s race who go quite nicely. The good thing about Floewriter is that he has really good manners.” De Campo said that Floewriter’s immediate target would be the $50,000 APG WA Gold Bullion final for colts and geldings on April 16 before he would be set for the $100,000 Pearl on June 11 and the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 9. Maddy White, who raced 51 times for 11 wins, 20 placings and $110,824 in stakes, is out of Benjor Maddy Lombo, who produced six winners, including the de Campo stable’s star Handsandwheels, winner of the 2017 WA Derby and earner of $666,739 from 28 wins and 26 placings from 83 starts. Rock Me Over, a half-brother to Handsandwheels, has had 120 starts for 20 wins, 38 placings and $289,273. Floewriter is also closely related to Suave Stuey Lombo, who amassed $587,032 from 33 wins and 23 placings from 110 starts. His victories included two at group 1 level, one at group 2 level and five in group 3 features. Floewriter can trace his ancestors back to former WA star mares Smooth Gale and Misty Maiden.   Hamiltons make a wise choice There was little doubt that when Byford hobby trainer Linda Hamilton and her husband Barry went to the 2020 WA APG yearling sale that they would not buy the Teen Queen Lombo filly, whose first foal Allamerican Queen had led all the way for trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice and won the group 1 Westbred Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in June 2017. They are more than pleased that they spent $17,500 to purchase the filly who they named Valhalla Miss, the fifth and last foal out of Teen Queen Lombo. Valhalla Miss followed in the footsteps of her half-sister Allamerican Queen when she set the pace and won the $100,000 group 1 APG Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In between Allamerican Queen and Valhalla Miss (who was bred by the Allwood Stud Farm), Mrs Hamilton dabbled in breeding and bred Camluck King out of Teen Queen Lombo. Camluck King has been an honest performer, without reaching any great heights in his 55-start career of seven wins, 18 placings and stakes of $55,416. Mrs Hamilton, delighted at her biggest success in harness racing, acknowledged the assistance she had been receiving from former champion trainer-reinsman Trevor Warwick and his wife Katja. Camluck King was handled in six of his seven wins by Kyle Harper, who has driven Valhalla Miss at her first three starts for two wins and a second for earnings of $67,310. Teen Queen Lombo has made a significant mark in her brief career at stud after she had raced only twice, for a smart four-length victory at a 1.57.1 rate over 1670m at Pinjarra in October 2011 before finishing a distant last in a race at Gloucester Park a week later.   Valhalla Miss, second favourite at $3.90 in Friday night’s classic, was smartest to begin from the No. 1 barrier and was able to withstand an early challenge from $4.80 chance Extraordinary Mary before Harper dictated terms in front and was able to give Valhalla Miss a breather with a second quarter of the final mile in 30.9sec. before final 400m sections of 28.7sec. and 29.4sec. Extraordinary Mary raced in the breeze throughout and fought on doggedly to finish a half-length behind Valhalla Miss, who rated 1.58.3 over the 1730m to give the Allwood Stud Farm a quinella result. Half Kidding ($19) ran on from fifth on the pegs at the bell to be third. Fancied runners Jay Elle ($3.60 favourite) and Treacherous Tiger ($9.50) ruined their chances by breaking in the final circuit. Harper praised Valhalla Miss, saying: “She buzzes out and comes straight back to you. I consider Extraordinary Mary was gallant in defeat. Once I had her parked outside of me it pretty much left me in control, and we got to rate as we liked. It was a simple case of getting away with what we could and making sure we had something left at the end. “I think we had Extraordinary Mary beaten a fair way out, and I was more worried about Bramante Steps on our back. I had to keep her in a pocket.” Harper said that he was quietly confident from the ideal barrier. “Valhalla Miss gave me a good feel in the warm-up, but you can never be sure with two-year-olds; you never know what they’re going to do. She was on her best behaviour, even though she did get a bit lost out in front. But when I asked her to go, she picked up the bit and did the job.”   Just For Love is Oaks bound Busselton trainer Barry Howlett and his children Katie and Jimmy are full of hope that their promising filly Just For Love will develop into a leading candidate for the $150,000 WA Oaks on April 9 --- and perform better than her dam Harper Grace, who finished seventh behind Libertybelle Midfrew in the 2014 WA Oaks. Just For Love, a Mach Three filly purchased by the Howletts for $17,000 at the 2019 APG Perth yearling sale, impressed when she set the pace for Jocelyn Young and strolled to a four-length victory over Absolute Delight in the group 2 APG Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was Just For Love’s fourth win from 16 starts and boosted her earnings to $86,792 to overshadow the deeds of the Victorian-bred Harper Grace, who had 27 starts (all in WA) for six wins, five placings and $47,185 in stakes. Just For Love, the $2.25 favourite, began swiftly from the No. 3 barrier, dashed to the front after 100m and coasted through the lead time in a dawdling 38.9sec. and the opening quarter in 31.1sec. She was not extended in beating the Linda Hamilton-trained Absolute Delight ($10), with $26 chance Songkran battling home along the inside to be a length away in third place. Just For Love rated 1.57.9 over the 2130m, with final quarters of 28.1sec. and 28.6sec. Just For Love, who is related to former open-class performer Bus To Harland, gave trainer Barry Howlett the first leg of a double on Friday night, with New Zealand-bred five-year-old Smart Fortune leading for Mark Johnson and winning over 2265m at Albany later in the night.   Delightfulreaction’s consistency rewarded Experienced five-year-old mare Delightfulreaction ended a losing streak of 18 when she was rewarded for her consistency with a meritorious victory in the APG Perth Online Guide Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her victory in the 2503m stand completed a double for Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo, who had won behind Floewriter earlier in the program. Delightfulreaction, bred by Mike Howie and raced by Melissa Howie, was a $6.40 chance from the inside of the 10m line and de Campo decided to race the mare on the pegs before asking her for an effort in the final lap. With Major Artist, the well-supported $2.90 favourite setting a solid pace, de Campo was content to race in fifth position, three back on the pegs before he moved her into the clear in the back straight in the final circuit. She sustained a spirited burst to get to the front in the final 20m and defeat Major Artist by a half-length at a 1.59.6 rate. “She is never far away, and she had the luck tonight,” said de Campo. “I had the option to come up to the one-one, but I wasn’t quite happy with the horse in the breeze (Call Me Ernie), so I stayed on the rails and was able to come off down the back.” Delightfulreaction, whose previous win was in a stand five months earlier, has now earned $196,226 from 13 wins and 28 placings from 85 starts, with the highlight of her career being her neck second at 100/1 to Has No Fear in the WA Oaks in May 2019.   Mighty Ronaldo keeps Lavra Joe at bay The much-anticipated duel between star colts Mighty Ronaldo and Lavra Joe eventuated in dramatic style before a big crowd at Gloucester Park on Friday night, with Mighty Ronaldo setting the pace and fighting on grimly to beat Lavra Joe by a head in the $50,000 group 2 APG Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings. From the coveted No. 1 barrier Mighty Ronaldo, trained by Justin Prentice and driven by Gary Hall jnr, was favourite at $1.50, with Lavra Joe, owned and trained by Ray Jones and driven by Chris Lewis, at the attractive quote of $3.40 from out wide at barrier seven. Mighty Ronaldo burst straight to the front, with Lewis urging Lavra Joe forward, three wide, to move into the breeze after 200m. Hall rated Mighty Ronaldo to perfection, with a moderate lead time of 37.8sec. and opening quarter of 29.7sec. before increasing the tempo. Lewis also rated Lavra Joe cleverly in the breeze, keeping the powerful colt a length behind the pacemaker until calling on him for a supreme effort over the final 250m. Lavra Joe responded grandly and finished with great determination. But Mighty Ronaldo also revealed wonderful fighting qualities to repel the challenge and win by a head at a 1.54 rate over the 2130m. The final three quarters were run in 28.3sec., 27.7sec. and 27.4sec. Give Us A Wave, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, was a $16 chance from barrier two, and he enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before finishing solidly to be a half-length behind the two stars. The expected clash between Mighty Ronaldo, Lavra Joe and Give Us A Wave against Mike Reed’s brilliant New Zealand three-year-old Ragazzo Mach in the $200,000 WA Derby on April 30 should produce a spectacular contest.   Alta Rhett causes an upset WA-bred five-year-old Alta Rhett has been racing in fine form for Bunbury trainer Sarah Wall, but the gelding was neglected by most punters when he started from barrier No. 4 in the 2130m Maureen Clement Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a $25.30 chance, with most punters predicting that the race would develop into a spirited contest between the three runners drawn to Alta Rhett’s inside --- Bettor Be Oscar ($3.30 favourite), Mr Kiwi ($3.40) and Blockjorg ($4.40). Somewhat unexpectedly, Blockjorg held up from barrier one and set the pace, leaving Bettor Be Oscar in the breeze and Mr Kiwi trailing the leader, with Valbonne enjoying the one-out, one-back position and Alta Rhett racing in sixth position in the one-wide line. Bettor Be Oscar eventually got to the front on the home turn but was swamped by the fast-finishing Alta Rhett. Mr Kiwi was third, with Blockjorg fading to last in the field of 12. Alta Rhett now has earned $92,174 from ten wins and 11 placings from 51 starts.   Mirragon is too classy Former Victorian pacer Mirragon looks set for a profitable career in Western Australia after showing his class with an effortless victory in the 2130m APG Graduates Clean Sweep Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Debra Lewis, the four-year-old son of Art Major was a hot $1.20 favourite from the No. 1 barrier. He led for the first 120m before $21 chance Extradite exploded to the front after beginning speedily from barrier eight. Lewis then regained the lead 200m later and Corey Peterson was satisfied to enjoy an ideal passage behind the favourite with Extradite. Mirragon sped over the final 400m in 27.3sec. and won by just over two lengths from $12 chance Roman Art, who impressed in finishing powerfully from the rear. The winner rated 1.56.1. Mirragon, who finished fourth behind Minstrel in the group 1 Golden Nugget two starts earlier, has raced 37 times for nine wins, ten placings and $151,585. He is the first foal out of the Mach Three mare The Waratah, a modest performer with six from 50 starts on Victorian and New South Wales tracks.   Patrickthepiranha excels in front Patrickthepiranha, placed at four of his five previous starts, broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of ten when he scored an easy victory over Rock Me Over and Quick Stride in the 2130m APG’s Richest Race Series Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at $2.80, Patrickthepiranha mustered plenty of early speed from the No. 6 barrier, raced three wide and burst to the front after 550m before setting a brisk pace and sprinting over the final 800m in 56sec. to record a smart rate of 1.55.6. It was simply a matter of reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green continuing his excellent association with the five-year-old Patrickthepiranha, who has been driven to victory by Egerton-Green in eleven of his 13 wins from 39 starts that have also produced eight seconds and four thirds. Ace Banjup trainer Colin Brown said that Patrickthepiranha was best suited in his current class when leading or racing in the breeze. “I drove him two starts ago (from barrier eight) and thought I would be nice to him and sat behind the leader,” he said. “But he didn’t get a clear run and finished an unlucky fifth, just a length from the winner That’s Perfect. “In this class I think he is as good as the best of them and he can afford to come out and breeze or lead and do his thing. Once he steps up in grade, he might have to be driven differently. He’s got more than one string to his bow.” Friday night’s win was some consolation for Jim Currie and Liam O’Connor, who own the Four Starzzz Shark gelding. They also race the brilliant filly American Arma, who has been ruled out of contesting the $150,000 WA Oaks on April 9 after fracturing a bone in her nearside hind leg during the running of the Daintys Daughter Classic the previous Friday night.   Major Times set for Bunbury Cup Former Victorian pacer Major Times will be set for the $50,000 Bunbury Cup at Donaldson Park next Friday night after winning the 2536m APG Perth Yearling Sale Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Eight-time WA premiership trainer Ross Olivieri was full of praise for the Art Major six-year-old after the stallion had dashed over the final 800m in 57.7sec. and rated 1.57.1 over the 2536m journey. “Now he will run in the Bunbury Cup,” said Olivieri, who has trained the winner of three Bunbury Cups ---Speedy Cheval (1991), Hail The Judge (1998) and Crombie (2011). Major Times, making his second appearance in Western Australia, was a strongly-supported $1.90 favourite, with polemarker Howard Hughes ($2.70) the only other runner quoted at less than $15. Ryan Warwick sent Howard Hughes straight to the front, with Major Times settling down in fifth position. Chris Voak dashed Major Times forward to move into the breeze 600m after the start. Supporters of Howard Hughes groaned when the talented four-year-old broke into a gallop 600m from home and dropped back to last in the field of seven. This left Major Times in front and he sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 27.7sec. and 28sec. and won by just over two lengths from $17 chance Has No Fear, who had trailed the pacemaker all the way. Major Times is out of the Live Or Die mare The Good Times, who won the group 2 Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Melton in May 2011 and earned $201,024 from 17 wins and 15 placings from 60 starts. The Good Times is a half-sister to former star performer Safe And Sound, who won the 2002 Hunter Cup at Moonee Valley from Shakamaker and Seelster Sam. He was retired with earnings of $995,606 from 33 wins and 30 placings from 84 starts. Major Times showed good early promise and finished a close third behind Poster Boy and Tam Major in the group 1 2018 New South Wales Derby at Menangle as well as finishing second to Tam Major in the group 2 Vicbred Super Sires Series for four-year-olds at Melton in July 2019.   Texas Tiger shows star quality Part-owner Steve Chapman predicted that the lightly-raced Texas Tiger would develop into a “special horse” after the New Zealand-bred four-year-old crushed his rivals in the 2130m Australian Pacing Gold Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. From the outside of the back line Texas Tiger was a hot $1.20 favourite at his first appearance at Gloucester Park and he was driven with great confidence by Gary Hall jnr who dashed the gelding forward, three wide, early to move to the breeze position outside the pacemaker Anvil Rollover after 500m. Texas Tiger took a narrow lead 250m from home and was untouched as he went on to win by almost two lengths from Anvil Rollover, rating 1.56.3. This took Texas Tiger’s record for trainer Gary Hall snr to four wins from four starts in the space of 19 days. Chapman, who races Texas Tiger in partnership wife his wife Tina and their children Danielle and Ben, said that it took considerable negotiating before he was able to purchase Texas Tiger for a reasonable price, explaining that the pacer’s owners were seeking a very high six-figure sum for the horse. “I saw the potential of Texas Tiger and I negotiated to buy him for 12 weeks before, finally, I was able to get him for $75,000 which for me at the time was an ‘ouch’ because I didn’t want to pay that much. He is by American Ideal, and I love American Ideal horses. The Chapman family certainly have enjoyed great success with New Zealand-bred pacers by American Ideal. These horses include My Hard Copy, Balcatherine, My Carbon Copy and Copy N Pace. My Hard Copy was retired to stud after earning $1,271,592 (with his wins including the 2015 and 2016 WA Pacing Cups and the 2018 Fremantle Cup in which he beat Lazarus and Chicago Bull) and Balcatherine demonstrated her wonderful ability in winning the $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park last November. Full meeting results click here!   Ken Casellas
He’s won the race before with the great Lennytheshark and now Chris Alford is eyeing more Miracle Mile success. Alford combined with David Aiken’s star to win the feature in 2017 and will partner up with Belinda McCarthy-trained Alta Orlando in this Saturday night’s $1million renewal. The champion reinsman was in the sulky behind Alta Orlando when he ran second in the Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup last month and expects another forward showing in the 1609m dash. “I think he’s a good top three chance,” Alford said. “I think he will go really well.” Alta Orlando ran second in the Allied Express Logistics Sprint behind Wolf Stride last weekend to secure his place in the Miracle Mile. Alford said it was a special race on the Australian calendar and it’s one he’d no doubt love to win for a second time. “It’s probably just behind the Inter Dominion. I think the Inter Dominion is the ultimate,” Alford said. “It was always an invitation, which has changed a bit now. It was hard enough to get a run in it, let alone win it. “It’s just one of those races that everyone wants to be in and win.” David Moran had expected to be driving his horse Lochinvar Art in the Miracle Mile, but will take the reins of fellow McCarthy runner Expensive Ego, who was a brilliant winner of the Chariots of Fire last weekend. Lochinvar Art had to be withdrawn from chasing a spot in the race last week due to a hoof injury. Fellow Victorian drivers Greg Sugars (Clayton Tonkin-trained Out To Play) and Anthony Butt (his horse Wolf Stride) also have runners in the race. The Miracle Mile is one of four Group 1s on the Tabcorp Park Menangle card, which includes the NSW Derby, a $100,000 free-for-all and the Trotters Mile. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL MENANGLE FIELDS   HRV - Tim O'Connor
NO-ONE IN NSW has driven in better form than former Kiwi reinsman Jack Trainor this season. His skills were rewarded with two Group 1 wins in the space of about 40 minutes on Saturday night when he took home the two big races at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the Ladyship Mile (Stylish Memphis) and the NSW Oaks (Anntonia). And while he might feel like celebrating the biggest night of his life, Trainor now finds himself with one more major mission, the $1m Garrards Miracle Mile after Ladyship Mile winner Stylish Memphis earned an invitation into Australasia’s biggest sprint race. “It was a crazy half hour; it was just a dream come true,” said Trainor. “This mare showed she was right up there with the best of them, she was bright in her training during the week and we were quietly confident she could do the job on Saturday night. “During the run I was half thinking ‘this is too good to be true’ and I kept looking to my inside thinking something was going to be coming up on our inside, but we were too good.” As much as Trainor would love to go into celebration-mode he is just as elated to be a part of the build-up and then the Miracle Mile. “Owner Wayne Higgs and trainer Mark Jones showed a lot of confidence in me by sending Stylish Memphis here for the Ladyship and everything else has been a bonus,” he said. “There’s no doubt King Of Swing is a superstar, and our wide draw does make our task that little bit harder, but you have to be in it to win it and we’re excited to be there.” Meantime Trainor heads for Menangle today with just three drives on the nine-race program. The best of those appears to be Fox Trot Hill, chasing his fourth win from his past five starts when she goes around in Race 4, a heat of the four-year-old Trotters Foundation. Still, such is Trainor’s form that Janalan (Race 6) for trainer Jason Grimson, also looks an undoubted chance. And Trainor will also fancy his chances with veteran gelding Makoa in Race 9. While he has 20 wins from 116 starts, Makoa’s last five wins have all been at Menangle and nicely drawn in gate eight today, Trainor may elect to use some of Makoa’s gate speed and get into the action early over the 1609m. View the full Menangle fields click here! iForm Menangle best bet Race 5: Bettor Vision (6) Tidy victory in similar grade here two starts ago. Suggest he will prove hard to stop. Menangle next best Race 9: Double Encounter (9) Can go one better after just missing against quality opposition last time. Around the tracks Albury next best Race 6: Josie Ella (9) Out for redemption after going off stride when in a winning position at Wagga. Play the exotics The Menangle Quaddie Race 5: 6-7-8 Race 6: 6-9-10 Race 7: 4-6-10 Race 8: 8-7-6 $81 for 100%   HRNSW MEDIA | MICHAEL COURT
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