Day At The Track

In what is bad news for vendors, but great news for buyers looking for a bargain, APG's Online Mixed Sale has ended, with a large number of lots failing to meet their reserves. However, vendors are still keen to move their stock, with the majority of vendors lowering their reserves, creating some outstanding buying opportunities for people looking for a low cost entry into the breeding game. There are 29 "in foal" mares available, with many of them having previously sold stock for very good prices at the APG yearling sales.  All the hard work has been done, and buyers will only be months aways from having a foal on the ground by one of the worldf's leading stallions! There's a further 22 empty mares available at very affordable prices, all ready to breed as soon as breeding season commences in 50 days! Finally, there's 10 racing and breeding propositions available - young mares aged two thru four, that have qualified and/or raced this season. Potential buyers can view the pedigrees of the Passed In Lots, view photos and submit offers to buy by visiting APG's Online Auction page However, a quick summary of the available horses and their reserves is below: In Foal Mares   Lot Name Sire Dam In Foal To Reserve 3 Mint Julep Presidential Ball Jadah Rose Art Major $35,000 4 Rocknrollsal Rock N Roll Heaven Sabilize Bettors Delight $50,000 6 Our Narissa Franco NZ Live Or Die Notafella Franco NZ Somebeachsomewhere $23,000 7 Rushton Sportswriter My Spirit of Tara NZ Somebeachsomewhere $27,000 9 Beilharz Art Major Heaven Always B Miki $17,000 11 Flair For Life Life Sign French Flair NZ Sweet Lou $20,000 12 Fon Design Modern Art Discordia Rock N Roll Heaven $13,000 15 So Random Grinfromeartoear Hilary Franco NZ Always B Miki $12,000 16 Tears To Maple Albert Albert Reggae Miss Art Major $18,000 17 Vinland NZ American ideal Sagrantino NZ A Rocknroll Dance $12,000 19 Bettor By Far Bettors Delight Scoots Away Well Said $10,000 20 Classic Cookie Perfect Art One Tough Cookie A Rocknroll Dance $7,000 21 Clontarf Lady Grinfromeartoear Duel Castle Betting Line $9,000 23 La Roya Whitby Kinney Hanover Whitbys Merit A Rocknroll Dance $8,000 25 Lombo Party Doll Troublemaker Liberty Lombo Sunshine Beach $6,000 26 Missy Bromac NZ Red River Hanover Missy Mateo (NZ) A Rocknroll Dance $8,500 27 Never More Western Terror Chauser Franco NZ Pet Rock $6,000 28 Pure Empathy NZ Elsu Cocobana NZ Sunshine Beach $6,000 29 Riverboat Ning NZ Riverboat King Just So Fine NZ A Rocknroll Dance $8,000 30 Robs Sheila NZ Rob Roy Mattgregor Reiki Franco NZ Hes Watching $6,500 31 Roxie Romance NZ Island Fantasy Nothin But A Dreamer Hes Watching $7,500 32 Sassy Gert Dream Away Sassy Gina Well Said $8,000 34 Von Rita Holmes Hanover Jarita Sunshine Beach $8,000 35 Wall Of Silence Die Laughing Top Fortune Caribbean Blaster $6,000 36 Western Mach NZ Mach Three Western Legend NZ A Rocknroll Dance $7,500 41 Clearwater Blue Artiscape Shannon Lee Badlands Hanover $2,500 47 Leila Rainbow In The Pocket Hay Sharon Grinfromeartoear $3,500 52 Merindah Micron River Khan Madam Jasper Village Jolt $2,500 57 Pacific Jaccka NZ Live Or Die Passport Jaccka NZ Badlands Hanover $2,600   Empty Broodmares & Racing/Breeding propositions:   Lot Name Sire Dam Age Reserve 18 Babe Mattgregor Rob Roy Mattgregor La Fenice 5 $7,500 22 Courageous Call Courage Under Fire Our Bad Girl NZ 5 $10,000 33 Somethings Fishy Pacific Fella Pelagic Miss 14 $7,000 37 Annies Witness Pacific Fella Lady Juror 13 $500 40 Christy Whitby Jennas Beach Boy Christy 12 $500 44 Keepers Delight NZ Bettors Delight Keepers Star NZ 8 $4,000 45 Kellieann Marie Art Major Chemical Romance 4 $2,000 49 Lorinda Hall Blissfull Hall Lorinda Bay 9 $600 51 Majeur Le Crest Art Major Kata Tjuta CA 9 $4,000 54 Milady Downunder Safari Now Not Later NZ 4 $2,500 55 No Dalliance Pacific Fella Provocative 14 $5,000 56 Our Queen Of Aces NZ Riverboat King My Classical Bell NZ 6 $2,500 58 Party Date Panorama Boom Or Bust 18 $4,000 61 Riverboat Diamond NZ Riverboat King Like A Diamond NZ 9 $3,500 62 Royal Delera Falcon Seelster Sandelera 5 $4,000 63 Sarahs Dream Rustler Hanover  Hollywood Dream NZ 11 $1,000 65 Sheza Party Doll Dream Away Lombo Party Doll 7 $3,000 66 Shimmer Of Gold Blissfull Hall Gold Liner 11 $1,500 67 Starofmydream NZ Dream Away Heathland NZ 14 $1,000 68 Stephanie Rose Northern Lights Foy Follys NZ 16 $500 70 Village Guest NZ Village Jasper Radiant Guest NZ 14 $750 71 Zabreez Village Jasper Prolific Flyer  10 $1,000 73 Casino Cat Four Starzzz Shark Bellagio Belle 3 $2,000 74 Cool Sassi Art Major Aussie Operative 3 $1,000 76 Layla Jean Mach Three My Silky Sand NZ 3 $2,000 77 Miss Brie Whitby Betterthancheddar Embrace me Whitby 2 $5,000 78 Nova Whitby Bettors Delight Prix De Whitby 3 $4,000 79 Partytime Whitby Rocknroll Hanover Party Date 4 $4,000 80 Pierre Whitby Mach Three Party Date 2 $7,000 81 Whitbys Gamble Bettors Delight Tweed For A Lady 4 $4,000 82 Zetarose Whitby Western Terror Zerina Whitby 2 $5,000 84 Unnamed Western Ideal Nevabend Lombo 1 $6,000   AHR

The big boppers are in town! Grand Circuit stars My Field Marshal and Soho Tribeca have settled into their new Brisbane surroundings in preparation for the open class features at Albion Park over the next fortnight. The Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint takes place this Saturday night at Albion Park followed by the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship the following week. The Blacks A Fake, is the jewel in the crown on the Queensland harness racing calendar, it also doubles as the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season. And Soho Tribeca has a chance to be crowned Grand Circuit champion if successful. But the focus this week is the Sunshine Sprint, the signature speed test in the Sunshine State. “We’re here and we’re ready to go, we’re looking forward to the challenge that is in front of us.” Trainer/driver Michael Stanley said. Soho Tribeca took no competitive part in his most recent start when finishing a distant last in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on July 1. It was established he got his head under the arm of the starting gate which caused an unexpected gate break. The striking American Ideal entire is yet to race at Albion Park. But bookmakers are taking no chances and have listed him as the horse to beat in both Queensland features with their fixed odds markets. “It was just one of those freak things that happened last start, fortunately, he’s taken no harm from the incident and he remains in great shape. “Obviously both races will be difficult because the opposition will be strong, Tim (Butt – Trainer) has a great record in big races and deserves plenty of respect and I won’t be selling him short in either event. “The sprint race this weekend will be hard and fast and then the challenge the following week will be equally tough because Kevin (Pizzuto – trainer) has both Cruz Bromac and Tiger Tara heading up. But the mission is to win both races and I believe he can achieve it.” Tim Butt, now based in Sydney, arrived last week with both My Field Marshal and Let It Ride and is happy with the way both horses are coming along. Let It Ride is a last start winner of the Gr.1 NSW Breeders Challenge 4yo Final in 1:49.4 – the fastest time of the day on the Len Smith Mile program. But he won’t start in the Sunshine Sprint. “The trip north is all about the experience, he will start in a support event while My Field Marshal starts in the Sunshine Sprint,” Butt explained. “The main target for Let It Ride is the 4yo Championship the following week, while he’s good enough to start in both open features I don’t think he needs that right now, he’ll get his chance in time to come. “My Field Marshal will start in both open races just like he did last year, he had a setback before the Len Smith Mile but he’s loving it here in Brisbane. He’s ready to show his best.” The Gr.3 $30,540 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4yo Championship takes place on July 21, the same night as the Blacks A Fake.   Chris Barsby

Brilliant mare Carlas Pixel is the latest addition to the Brisbane winter carnival. The Gr.1 Ladyship Mile winner is heading north following her brave effort in Saturday night’s Vicbred Super Series Final when third behind Tell Me Tales and Flying Moth at TABCORP Park, Melton. Tell Me Tales rated a stunning 1:55.0 for the 2240m feature event and it was her 11th straight victory. But Carlas Pixel lost no admirers with her gutsy effort. And connections are now focused on the Sunshine State features. “There’s a month of nothing here in Victoria before we reload for the Breeders Crown in late August, so the Brisbane campaign looks a good option.” Trainer Dean Braun said. Carlas Pixel emerged as one of the finest mares in the country following her breathtaking come from behind victory in the Gr.1 $200,000 Ladyship Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle back in February. The Courage Under Fire mare rated a blistering 1:49.5. The first target is the Listed $25,540 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes this Saturday night before connections decide what option they take the following week. “We’re definitely starting in the mares feature this weekend and then we’ll reassess the situation depending on performance. We can either start in the Blacks A Fake or the 4yo Championship; she’ll be competitive in both features. “There will be some good mares starting this weekend and my mare is travelling but I think she has the class edge while the following week won’t be confirmed until after this weekend. Her speed will carry her long way in the Blacks A Fake and the 4yo feature. “It’s been a good season for her and I thought she was super on the weekend, the winner was unbelievable so the form should stack up pretty well. I think we’ve got some good options in Brisbane and if we can grab a feature that only adds to her value as a broodmare.” Another possible option could be the Listed $25,540 4 & 5yo Chris Garrard’s Patrons Purse at Redcliffe on July 27. Possessing a Blue Blood pedigree, Carlas Pixel ranks as a half-sister to Soho Tribeca (21 wins - $1.1 million), Perfect Mach (14 wins - $125k), Birdy Mach (24 wins - $222k) and Soho Nolita (3 wins - $169k). Carlas Pixel is raced by Mark Denyer and Shannon Nixon.   Chris Barsby

Star pacer Chicago Bull is set to make his anticipated racetrack return. Trainer Gary Hall has tentatively picked out Friday night at Gloucester Park for Chicago Bull’s comeback race. It will be the diminutive pacers first run since winning the Group 2 4 & 5 year-old championship (2130m) in March. Hall believes Chicago Bull, a winner at 31 of 51 starts and $1,503, 524 in prize money, was ready to race again after coming through a Byford trial unscathed on Sunday. “He ran 1.59.6sec.and went along pretty good, but could have gone quicker” Hall said. “I’m going down the New Zealand Cup line, but I haven’t made up my mind yet. “He is still underdone, but maybe Friday night or the following week, but that’s over 2500m and might not be the right option. “I’ll look at this Friday night.” The New Zealand Cup in November and the Inter Dominion Championships in Melbourne a month later are primary targets for Chicago Bull. The son of Bettors Delight ran second to Kiwi iron horse Lazarus in last year’s Inter Dominion series when on home soil in Perth. With Lazarus’ departure to the United States, Hall believes Chicago Bull should be highly considered to go one better in Melbourne. Julio Santarelli 

ON Friday 6 July 2018, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards, acting under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 183, suspended the Trainer and Driver licences of Mr Gary Litzow after receiving advice from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from HEEZ PERFECT prior to race 8, THE PETER JACKSON BOOKMAKER MEMBERSHIP DRAW PACE (1980 metres) conducted at Tamworth on Sunday 17 June 2018. The “B” sample was analysed by the Racing Science Centre (QRIC) in Queensland and was reported below the prescribed threshold. HRNSW Stewards considered available information, including submissions on behalf of Mr Litzow, prior to the imposition of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183. Mr Litzow was informed of his right to appeal this decision. Acting under the provisions of Rule 183A, it has also been determined that HEEZ PERFECT, the horse subject of the ARFL certificate, shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. This had immediate effect from 28 June 2018. A date for the Inquiry has not been scheduled at this time.   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will advertise for new General Manager of Racing following the resignation of Glen Canty for personal reasons.   HRV CEO David Martin said that HRV has granted Mr Canty’s request that he finish at HRV on Tuesday July 10.   “Glen joined us in July last year and has made a significant impact across the organisation,” Mr Martin said.   “His guidance, counsel and approach to such an integral position will be missed. We understand Glen’s reasons and wish him well in the future.”   HRV will begin an extensive search for a new GM of Racing in coming days.      

Prizemoney for restricted races in Victoria will increase from $3,500 to $4,000 in the new racing season (commencing September 1), Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced today.   The increase was made possible after Harness Racing Australia backed a HRV suggestion to lift the base rate for R-class races, enabling state bodies to bolster support for grassroots participants.   “This change means more money in the pockets of people in our industry who really need it,” HRV CEO David Martin said.   “Feedback has been for a long time that participants want these Restricted class races, but that the stakemoney was too low.   This action, combined with an increase in the number of $4,000 R-class races programmed in Victoria next season, will mean greater opportunities for horses without incurring a Country - front penalty.”   In addition to the increased stakemoney for R-class races, HRV has updated the stakemoney distribution for $4,000 R-class races as outlined in the table below.   HRV also announced that all Victorian $4,000 R-class races and all Victorian $5,000 C-class races in September and October will carry a $500 bonus for the race winner.   The Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association welcomed the increase in R-class stakemoney by HRV.   “The VTDA are pleased that HRV is listening and has increased stakemoney for Restricted class races. This will be welcomed by many trainers and drivers,” VTDA President Lance Justice said.   $4,000 R-Class Stakemoney distribution will be:   Placing      Prizemoney      Increase 1st             $2,000              $250 2nd            $600                 $110 3rd             $400                 $80 4th             $220                 $30 5th             $130                 $5 6th             $130                 $5 7th             $130                 $5 8th             $130                 $5 9th             $130                 $5 10th           $130                 $5 Total          $4,000               $500     Cody Winnell

Southwind Frank Tr 2, 1:52.4; 3, 1:52.2 ($1,950,887), the 2015 USA and Canadian 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year and a former world champion juvenile, will be available to Australian and New Zealand breeders this season. The frozen semen of the brilliant son of Muscle Hill will be distributed by Stallions Australasia at a fee of $6,600 including GST in Australia and $6,000 plus GST in NZ. Stallions Australasia principals Peter O'Rourke and David Shammall said they are delighted to form this association with Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm, Pennsylvania. "Adam reports the frozen semen in Europe is proving very successful and they have the same good results from breeding some of their own mares with the frozen as well," O'Rourke said. Southwind Frank raced only as a two and three-year-old and from 26 starts only finished out of the top three twice. As a two-year-old he won 11 of his 12 starts and $786,419 in stakemoney and was the richest and fastest freshman trotter of his year. Southwind Frank established a new world record for two-year-old trotters on a mile track and a fresh stakes record of 1:52.4 winning the $264,000 International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile by open lengths. He also set a stakes record of 1:53.8 capturing the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final at The Meadowlands and capped his first campaign with a two lengths win in the $778,440 final of the Breeders Crown in 1:54.4 over a rain-soaked Woodbine oval. Among his other successes at 2 were the $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial in 1:53.8 at The Meadowlands, the $373,000 William Wellwood Memorial in 1:55.8 at Mohawk, the $117,406 Champlain Stakes in 1:54.2 at Mohawk and a division of the Reynolds Stakes in 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs. Returning as a three-year-old Southwind Frank won a further six races including three of the gems on the US trotting calendar - the $500,000 Colonial Trot in 1:52.4, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jnr Memorial (in 1:52.8) and the $153,250 Stanley Dancer Memorial. He took his lifetime record of 1:52.2 at three years winning a leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes at The Meadowlands before effortlessly winning the $100,000 final in 1:52.6. He also finished runner-up in the Hambletonian, the Breeders Crown and Kentucky Futurity. Champion trainer Ron Burke, who prepared the colt throughout his career, said: "I've trained a lot of horses, but none have had Frank's package of speed, power and smarts. I truly believe he is one of the all-time greats." A $100,000 yearling, Southwind Frank is a son of the great Muscle Hill (tr 3, 1:50.2), the leading sire of trotters in America for the last two years. Muscle Hill has sired the winners of $40 million in stakes and to this stage is credited with more than 110 in the 1:55 list. Southwind Frank is out of the Stakes winning Flawless Lindy (tr 3, 1:58.2), by Cantab Hall (tr 1:54) from Classicaly Designed (tr 3, 1:56.4), by Lindy Lane (tr 1:53) from a noted broodmare in Classic Casette, the dam of Giant Hit tr 3, 1:54.4 ($646,650) and the USA 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year and world champion Cayster tr 1:55 ($530,451).   Peter Wharton

FATHER and son Steve and Mitch Turnbull had to settle for the minor placings in Let It Ride’s barnstorming 1:49.4 victory in a Breeders Challenge Final the previous Sunday at Menangle but they bounced back in fine style by sharing a winning treble at their home track on Wednesday. Steve trained three successive winners, driving the first two - Shandance NZ and Karloo Bentwofifty -  and Mitchell “dive-bombing “ his fast-class rivals in Let It Ride fashion with the long-priced outsider Smithstars Lexus. Shandance NZ made it two-from-two on Aussie soil with another impressive effort in the C0  Guaranteed. Ladyship Pace, settling behind leader Fastestgirlintown and proving just a touch too strong for that mare, scoring by almost two metres in a 1:56.5 rate. Stu Valentine, the well-known bloodstock agent, might now be feeling quite satisfied that he wasn’t able to find owners for his latest import and consequently decided to race her himself. Plan B has produced a perfect result so far, and plenty of valuable publicity. Karloo Bentwofifty completed the driving double for the leading NSW trainer when it led throughout in a 3C0-3C1 sprint, home in 58.2s for a 1:57.4 trip, his maiden win at start thirteen. As in the previous race, Turnbull got the win at the expense of KerryAnn Turner, this time in a very tight photo, with the barest half-head margin back to Hannah Mae which had enjoyed a good run in the one-one before sprinting home strongly. “I usually go on the position of the wheels in these close finishes. My bloke’s pretty big compared to KerryAnn’s filly, and when I checked that the wheels were level, I was pretty confident that we would get the result,” was his reply when asked about the finish." The American Ideal gelding arrived at The Lagoon in different circumstances from his earlier winner, sent down to Bathurst by Dubbo trainer Barry Lew when a serious shoulder injury, and subsequent operation, forced him to clear his stables for a lengthy recuperation. He’d shown promise in a couple of earlier runs at Bathurst, but then turned in an inglorious performance when he failed to handle the track at Young, and he clearly needed the wide open spaces of his home track to produce his best. It was another half-head result in the fast-class fifth event, when Mitch Turnbull turned in a slick performance with $23.70 chance Smithstars Lexus to get up right on the line in a most exciting finish. Odds-on favourite Parramatta NZ led until halfway down the running, when Im Cool Harry loomed up wide, while Sabrage came hard along the sprint lane. But Smithstars Lexus, which had tracked into the race on the back of Im Cool Harry, came very late and very fast to get there just in time in a driving finish, stopping the clock in 1:55.9, the night’s best. His young driver didn’t appear to be lining up the wheels, instead leaning back in the bike to lift the shafts, but he did indicate afterwards that his horse “travelled really well in the run, and when I was able to follow Im Cool Harry into the race, I was feeling quite confident he would run on,” Other winners: Crossfirehall in C1 grade for Bernie Hewitt, making use of the sprint lane to bring up the win for a very happy group of local league players and officials, which include former NRL star George Rose and Group 10 president Lenore Zamparini Bettor To Be Tricky NZ, in a C2-C3 sprint, courtesy of a great drive from Kerryann Turner, setting the four-year-old alight up the back in a race-winning move, to the evident delight of long-time owner Craig Rusten and his mate Mick Horan, who got to enjoy that special first win as an owner Blaster Ranger, leading throughout for Junee Reefs visitor Matty Harris ( recipient of racecaller Mitch Manners’ Drive of the Night award ), a second successive win for the good-looking son of Caribbean Blaster, whose owner Rob Nalder would be pleased despite finishing third in the race with We Salute You Ominous Warning ( John O’Shea for Peter Trevor-Jones) in a Reward Series heat, the half-brother to Beetson leading throughout and roaring away over the closing stages by more than 20 metres, for his seventh career win but just the first in his last two injury-interrupted seasons Uncle Peter, all-the-way in the 2260 metres C1-C2 heat of the Penrith Mayors Cup, for Chris Frisby and reinsman son Anthony, who’s currently racking up lots of frequent flyer points winning multiple races at Albion Park, where most of the horses, and family, are dodging the Bathurst winter Gabbys Sportstar, for Nathan Hurst in the HRNSW Guaranteed Two-Year-Old Pace, the Sportswriter first foal of classy racemare Gabrielle Solis  - winner of 13 of her 28 race starts for the Hurst stable - making a perfect start to his career, and also providing a neat sprint-laning book-end to the meeting. Terry Neil

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry today into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that Oxazepam had been detected in the post-race urine sample taken from WHISKIESONTHEBEACH following its win in race 6, the FRITSCH BROS PACE (2000 metres) conducted at Temora on Friday 9 February 2018. The ‘B’ sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Mr Harpley appeared at the Inquiry and presented evidence in relation to his registered training establishment, the horse WHISKIESONTHEBEACH and the substance Oxazepam. Evidence was provided of a Steward’s stable inspection that included the collection of soil and grass samples. HRNSW Stewards also presented Certificates of Analysis from ARFL and RASL, as well as analysis reports that confirmed that the soil and grass samples obtained by HRNSW Stewards from Mr Harpley’s property contained the substance Oxazepam. Mr Harpley pleaded guilty to a charge issued pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting WHISKIESONTHEBEACH to race not free of a prohibited substance, being Oxazepam. In respect of that charge, a conviction was recorded, however, Stewards did not impose a penalty on Mr Harpley as they were satisfied that the detection of Oxazepam had resulted from environmental contamination. Stewards were satisfied that the source of the environmental contamination was a septic sewer system and the use of a human prescription medication by an occupant of the property. Mr Harpley was cautioned that he must take all reasonable measures in future to manage his training establishment and horses to ensure that his horses were presented to race in accordance with the Australian Harness Racing Rules. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; The results reported by ARFL and RASL; The evidence of Mr Harpley and the Steward’s inspection; Environmental contamination; Mr Harpley’s first Prohibited Substance offence; Mr Harpley’s licence history, offence record and personal subjective facts.             Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, WHISKIESONTHEBEACH was disqualified from the abovementioned race. On 12 June 2018, HRNSW provided notice to the NSW Harness Racing industry in relation to horses being exposed to water from septic sewer systems and being allowed to graze in areas where water irrigation or overflow is provided from septic sewer systems. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government.

The opening night of the 2018 Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park has been dominated by the leading local stable of Grant Dixon. The Tamborine horseman landed three features including the Gr.3 $30,540 Badcock Group of Companies Premiers Cup with Colt Thirty One, the Gr.3 $30,540 Egmont Park Stud South East Oaks with Red Charmer and the Listed $25,540 Egmont Park Stud – Mr Feelgood Open with Alleluia. Dixon, the country’s leading trainer, took the winning drive himself behind Colt Thirty One while his wife Trista partnered Alleluia with young Isobel Ross landing her biggest success to date with a polished display behind Red Charmer. While the trio of winners was impressive in their own right, the effort of Colt Thirty One was clearly the standout performance of the night. The Victoria Derby winner torched his rivals with a brilliant come from behind triumph which clearly stamped him as the horse to beat for the Queensland Derby feature on July 21. Colt Thirty One scored running away from the South Australian trained Ideal World and Subtle Delight in a time of 1:55.2 for the 2138m event. The Mach Three colt remains unbeaten in his home state with 15 victories – 14 have come via Albion Park. Race favourite Thatswhatisaid finished 6th after leading. Next week, Colt Thirty One will start in the Gr.3 $30,540 South East Derby. In the Oaks feature, Dixon almost landed the trifecta with Red Charmer defeating stablemate Aqua Miss and race favourite Sociable. Fame Assured finished a close-up fourth. Fresh back from Sydney and a Breeders Challenge campaign, Ross brought Red Charmer with a perfectly timed finish down the outside to land the 2138m feature in a time of 1:57.6. Next week, the Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks will be staged and Dixon will have all three of his fillies starting again. Like Colt Thirty One, Red Charmer is raced by her breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour. Grand performer Alleluia stamped his ticket for the upcoming open class features following his come from behind victory in the Mr Feelgood, the Art Major gelding stormed to victory defeating Bodhi Tree and Hughie Green. Alleluia rated 1:55.5 for the 2138m feature. The winner of the Mr Feelgood is exempt from ballot for the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship on July 21. Next week, Alleluia will start in the Gr.2 $50,540 Sunshine Sprint. Another highlight was the winning effort of the richly talented Tough Monarch in the $14,999 Haras Des Trotteurs FFA rating 1:58.6 for the 2138m mobile start event. Trained and driven by Rickie Alchin, Tough Monarch looked ultra-impressive in his Albion Park debut and will back-up in next week’s Gr.2 $30,630 Queensland Trotters Cup, a standing start feature. Star reinsman Luke McCarthy was the leading driver for the night after landing a winning treble behind Lockton Luck, Hashtag and Effronte. Next week, features include the AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks, Garrards Sunshine Sprint, Egmont Park Stud South East Derby, Seelite Windows & Doors Queensland Trotters Cup, Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes and a Female Drivers Invitation.   RQ Web News

It took Exeter reinsman Conor Crook took just two minutes and 46.36 seconds to secure the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers title on Friday night guiding Similan Beach to an effortless fifth heat victory in the opening race on the Launceston Pacing Club card. Conor entered the final round of Heats with a handy six-point lead over Allister Woods and was able to take full advantage of the perfect inside front line on the classy Marc Butler-trained pacer. Similan Beach held the lead in the run to the first corner and Conor dictated terms on top, rating the three-year-old to perfection to record a last half of 58.2 seconds and a stroll away for a 5.7-metre victory over Inner Light, driven by Lee Simmonds, with the Allister Woods-driven Flying Wingard a further 7.3 metres away third. Samantha Freeman drove a sensational race aboard the in-form Thomas Jackson-trained Finn Mac Kee in the sixth and final heat. Samantha positioned the seven-time winner on the leader Ima Ginger Rogers back and bided her time until turning for home where she peeled off the peg line and stormed to the lead before dashing clear in the stretch to win by 10.7-metres. Wade Rattray flashed though late on Modern Chic to grab second place with the early leader Ima Ginger Rogers finishing third for Chris Aylett. BOTRA Claiming Novice Driver Final Points Tally 58 Conor Crook 51 Samantha Freeman 46 Allister Woods 44 Matthew Cooper 40 Lee Simmonds 38 Wade Rattray 37 Samantha Gangell 28 Brady Woods 25 Chris Aylett 24 Charlie Castles With his confidence sky high Crook steered the Deborah Williams-trained Jaccka Len to victory in the Tasmanian Horse Transport Pace. Conor took Jaccka Len to the front inside the 400 metre mark and had a sustained look over the shoulder as the field turned for home. Jaccka Len had the favourite Illegal Immigrant on its back on straightening, but kicked strongly in the stretch to hold the fast-finishing The Aussie.   Shane Yates

"It's a pretty special night," Trots Vision on-track MC Rob Auber said as he welcomed all to a huge night of racing at Tabcorp Park Melton, home of tonight's Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series pacing finals. Six big Group 1 races showcase the night and, through's live blog, we will celebrate the victories that will give connections and competitors a potentially life-changing result.   Live blog: All the highs of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series pacing finals   The Trots

Group one winning trainer, Ange Pace, 82, has passed away after a battle with illness. He was a well respected horseman in harness racing circles and widely admired for his innate horsemanship and friendly nature. His fellow horsemen held him in the highest esteem, and that is the ultimate compliment in his profession. One of 12 children Pace had a tough life growing up. Originally from Malta he emigrated to Australia in 1953 and worked in multiple jobs while slowly forging a career in harness racing. His first winner as a trainer was Irish Lace who ended up winning 16 races. Over the years he trained some quality horses the likes of Gozo Heritage, Artlimond and Demiliner. Gozo Heritage captured the 1999 Breeders’ Crown with Pace’s son, Ray, in the sulky. Ange Pace was truly a master horseman and enjoyed the respect of everyone who knew him   Harnesslink Media

Chris Alford’s season of dominance will likely see him smash a longstanding national record and has also delivered some dilemmas. The champion reinsman looks on track to top Daryl Douglas’ 388 wins in a season, set in 2007-8, having amassed 369 victories with more appearing certain in tonight's Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series’ pacing finals. Alford attributes a good portion of that success to trainer Emma Stewart, who qualified a stunning 19 horses for tonight's racing. “A big part of it is due to Emma (Stewart) and (her partner) Clayton (Tonkin), and there are others whose horses I’m driving who have also been going well at the right time,” Alford said. “It would be pretty special (to record the most wins in a season).” But Alford will have to pull the right rein in more ways than one, having had to choose between a host of talented Stewart runners. He’s had plenty to rake through this week, in particular regarding the tonight’s Empire Stallions three-year-old colts and geldings’ final, with NSW Derby winner Poster Boy and new sensation Ride High in the picture. Alford said Tonkin “leaves it up to me” but had “a fair bit of input and “suggested I should stay with Poster Boy over Ride High, because I’ve driven Poster Boy most of the time”.   “If Ride High had have drawn the front I probably would have gone with him, but they will probably run 1:55.0 and Ride High will be off the track most of the way,” Alford said. “He is going to have to be every bit as good as we think he is.” Alford also had a difficult decision in the two-year-old colts and geldings, settling on Australian Pacing Gold winner Centenario (gate two) over well-hyped Stewart stablemate Hurricane Harley (gate one). “I’m probably on the wrong one there after the draw but I’ve driven him all the way through,” Alford said. “I started on Centenario and then Hurricane Harley improved, improved and improved. “It probably would have been easy to swap because of the barrier draw, but Clayton said in track work Centenario is a 20m better horse than Hurricane Harley, but Hurricane Harley improves on race day.” And then there’s decision three, where he’s stuck fat with last year’s Victorian filly of the year Nostra Villa over Speak No Evil. “Nostra Villa’s been good to me and is probably the more well-rounded filly. I drove her all last year, but come Breeders Crown it could be the other way around,” Alford said. “It’s a hard but it’s part of driving for a big stable, you can’t drive them all. I could have a really good night, I could go away disappointed, but all the horses got through their semis really well. These are the nights we all want to be a part of.”   Michael Howard

GAVIN Lang’s rollercoaster week took another twist when he wound back the clock and snared a Group 1 Vicbred trotting double at Melton last night. Lang was on cloud nine after Hectorjayjay’s winning return at Kilmore last Saturday night, but in the dumps just a couple of days later when it was revealed the comeback star has aggravated the injury which sidelined him for a year.  But, like all great sportsman, Lang stayed focused and drove like an inspired man last night.  His first win came when he both trained and drove recent stable addition Moonshine Linda to snatch victory late over hot favourite Pretty Majestic in the $90,000 3YO Trotting Fillies’ final.  It was Lang’s biggest training triumph and continued his phenomenal strike since returning to training ranks earlier this year.  Lang then teamed with popular young horseman Chris “Snooze” Svanosio and Anywhere Hugo to win the 3YO Trotters’ Colts and Geldings final.  It was Svanosio’s first Group 1 training win, but he missed the drive as he instead took the reins on stablemate Kyvalley Finn, who ran fourth.  “I didn’t know until well after the line my other horse had won, I was so busy driving Kyvalley Finn to the line. It’s a heck of a thrill,” Svanosio said.  Anywhere Hugo lifted late to gun-down buzz trotter Wobelee, who overraced throughout, pinched a big break at the top of the straight, but just couldn’t find enough late for a desperate and clearly frustrated Chris Alford.  Anywhere Hugo’s win followed success in the Holmfield earlier this season and put him ahead of Wobelee, at least on performances, so far this season.  The gelding is raced by renowned vet Dr Alastair MacLean and his daughter, Elizabeth.  _________________________________________________________________________________ THE growing force that is Yabby Dams, Pat Driscoll and Anton Golino flexed its muscle again last night.  The team landed two of the Vicbred Group 1 finals: the 2YO Trotting Colts and Geldings with Always Ready (driven by Nathan Jack) and the 4YO Trotting Mares’ with Kinvara Sue (driven by Jason Lee).  They went so close to a Group 1 treble when Pretty Majestic led and looked the winner until Moonshine Linda charged home and snatched victory by 1.1m.  Golino did train a treble for the night with his brilliant mare Dance Craze barely raising a sweat in the opening race, winning by 7.2m.  It was her second win from as many starts back home after a luckless third in the Harness Jewels final and took her career record to 10 wins from just 14 starts.  “She’s just never been really sound this mare. She’s done a great job. She’s got so much speed,” Golino said.  _________________________________________________________________________________ ANTHONY Butt joined the Group 1 party last night when two-year-old filly Fear The Yankee showed perfect manners to win her Vicbred final.  While seven of the 11 finalists made mistakes, the Shane Gallagher-trained Fear The Yankee began well, found herself in front and found plenty to hold-off the fast-finishing Sleepee.  _________________________________________________________________________________ CHRIS Alford jagged one of the Group 1’s last night, but just not with the trotter most expected.  Wobelee was the spruik trotter of the night, but had to be content with second in his final.  Alford’s win came aboard Peter Lane’s Kheiron, who won the 4YO Mares’ final in a desperate three-way go ahead of Next Thru and Illawong Byron.   Adam Hamilton