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A regulation meeting at Albion Park will be forever remembered by harness racing trainer Stacey Weidemann. The Clifton-based trainer-driver jagged her first winner as a trainer when Buckhorn Exchange saluted in the Lunchbox Lodge Spelling Farm Pace over 2138m. Weidemann said to win aboard the six-year-old gelding was extra special. "I breathed a sigh of relief after the post. To do it, especially with him, made it a bit more rewarding,” she said. "I got him going and had to sort him out. It was all my own work, and it was like starting from scratch.” Weidemann, who owns the galloper with partner Anthony Collins, picked up the horse late last year after a win at Newcastle, however things didn't immediately go to plan. "One thing that was going through my mind was, 'please don't stuff it up',” she said. "I took him to Inverell where he should've just won. He was classes above. "Everything that possibly could go wrong did. He galloped, got going again to get back into it, and galloped again.” Starting at odds of 70-1 and having to overcome starting on the inside of the second line, Weidemann was able to hold the back of the well-fancied I'm Norma Jean. The roughie maintained that position throughout running, before taking full advantage of the sprint lane to overtake the one-time favourite, causing a major boilover. "He hasn't been an easy one. I had to hope he didn't do anything silly,” she said. "The race was rated perfectly for us, and the horse in the death (Our Major Day) had to do some work. "He had to do things right, and he did. The biggest part was I knew we had the sprint lane, but was worried if he turned his head, it might've been enough to unbalance. Weidemann will be looking to back up her feat at Inverell tomorrow when she takes Cobla Madonna to the track, to go along with five drives for aunt Lola. By Sean Teuma   Reprinted with permission of The Warwick Daily News

The first juvenile feature in the Sunshine State for the current season takes place at Albion Park this weekend. And the metropolitan club remembers two previous champions. The $20,450 Wayne Wilson Paleface Adios Classic will be staged over the 1660m and boasts a full field of ten well-bred starters. Wilson, the former on-course caller during the late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s, left an indelible mark on the sport of harness racing with his distinct voice and calling style which was recognised by racing fans across Australia. Born in Gladstone and calling his first race as a 12-year-old, Wilson established himself as one of the finest racing broadcasters of his era. During his time as the state’s leading harness caller, Wilson called such champions like Paleface Adios, Hondo Grattan, Rip Van Winkle, Gammalite, Popular Alm, Preux Chevalier and Maori’s Idol among many others. His calls of the 1986 Inter Dominion won by Village Kid and the 1987 Queensland Derby clash of Rufus Young Blood and Gay Adam are legendary. In 2002, he realised a childhood dream by calling the Melbourne Cup. Another key aspect of his legacy was his tutorials and advice to young aspiring callers from within Queensland and beyond. But after a 15-year battle with cancer, he succumbed to the insidious disease in 2014 at the age of 66. “Wayne Wilson pioneered modern day harness racing broadcasting in Australia, later leaving an indelible imprint in the thoroughbred world. But he loved the harness code as well and importantly, the people in it,” Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman David Fowler said. “There is no doubt that Paleface Adios along with Colin and Shirley Pike were his favourite interstate visitors so the naming of this race in their honour was a no brainer for the club.” Fowler added. Paleface Adios, a winner of 108 races, campaigned throughout Queensland and enjoyed considerable success at Albion Park. The leading stable of Grant Dixon are chasing back to back victories in the feature following the victory of Red Charmer last year and the Tamborine based horsesman has a three-pronged attack this year with Cherrys The Best, Miss Moneybags and Saint Kilda Beach all sporting the familiar black and white livery. Another key runner includes the ideally drawn Maywyn Tough for Graham Dwyer and John Cremin, the Pet Rock gelding is a last start winner. Dwyer also prepares Springfield Desire and Maywyn No Regrets but both have drawn poorly. The Wayne Wilson Memorial Paleface Adios Classic is race 8 on the program, scheduled to start at 9.07pm local time. Chris Barsby

She might not have reached champion status on the track just yet, but Long Legs Lou has become a champion for those doing it tough off it. The filly is part owned by ‘The Footy Show’ star Erin Molan and harness racing benefactors Kevin and Kay Seymour, with all prize money collected by the three-year-old filly donated to Bowel Cancer Australia. In 10 starts, the filly has raised more than $5500 for the charity. Long Legs Lou is named after Molan’s sister, Sarah Sutton, who faced her own battle with bowel cancer. The filly will line up for start number 11 in the Garrards Here On Track 3YO Pace from gate three at Albion Park on Friday (1.17pm) with trainer Grant Dixon in the sulky. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ In a career spanning 36 years, more than 3200 starters and 411 winners, there was one thing trainer Ron Sallis hadn’t been able to do … until Tuesday. New stable acquisition Maybetothemax was Sallis’ first starter in a trotting race, and his first winner. Formerly prepared by the Graham Lyon stable in Victoria, the Yankee Paco gelding then joined the powerful McCarthy yard in Sydney, which used to race his mother (Maybe Hall) in Queensland. And the McCarthy polish continued to shine in the seven-year-old’s first Queensland start, when Maybetothemax shot to the lead in the back straight and was never headed, holding off Quietly Spoken by 5.8m. It continued an impressive run over the past week for Sallis, who also prepared Saturday’s King of the Claimers winner, Our Mels Dream NZ at Albion Park.  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Richard March continued his stunning comeback to training at Albion Park on Tuesday, picking up a winning double and the biggest race win of his career. His first winner on Tuesday came when 2017 QBRED Triad winner Clintal Do ($8.70) saluted in the Lunchbox Lodge Spelling Farm Pace (C3 to C4). In winning, Clintal Do became the latest Queensland pacer to benefit from the QBRED Cash Scheme, introduced in line with annualized prize money increases of $900,000 for the harness code. The Vic Frost-trained Fire And Ice also collected a QBRED Cash Bonus after taking the Hurrikane Kingcole @ Egmont Park Stud Pace in Race 1. March’s double was complete when Our Major Day ($13.60) held off favourites, Somewhereovarainbow and Red Charmer to claim the Kevin and Kay Seymour Pot of Gold C0 Final – his biggest race success to-date. The double follows March’s winning treble at the Warwick meeting on December 9, when he saluted with Clintal Do, Ultimate Ad and Our Major Day. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Shannon Price-trained mare Bettorthanspecial has been scratched from Friday night’s Group 3 Cordina Family Sibella Stakes at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. The twice Group 1-placed mare was in search of her first win after claiming the Forever Gold Mares at Albion Park in December. The now seven-year-old mare has collected more than $340,000 in prize money across 27 career wins for Price’s Raboki Pty Ltd.  By Alex Nolan Racing Queensland

Wagering service provider UBET has a number of attractive exotic betting propositions for the harness racing meeting at Albion Park on Saturday night spearheaded by a $50K guaranteed Trifecta inclusive of a $10K jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 5:40pm EST. Additionally, a $5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 6:07pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3, 4 and 5. For the most up to date form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting: The opening event of an action packed eight event card gets under way at 5:40pm EST. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or Visit the Club website at

It was great way to register a milestone. Clarendon harness racing trainer Tess Neaves prepared her 50th winner last Saturday night when Call Me Yours ran down The Muse and Weedons Express in the Pryde’s Easifeed Pace at Albion Park. It was the final metropolitan meeting of the 2017 calendar year. Call Me Yours landed a perfect trail behind race favourite The Muse and proved superior in a driving finish, the winning margin was a head. Neaves engaged Steven Doherty for the drive while regular reinsman Gary Whitaker took the drive on stablemate Riverleigh Jeff who finished fourth. “I’ll take it, its great training winners and extra special on a Saturday night. It was great to have the family with me and we all celebrated together which was great.” Neaves said. The mother of two works her team of ten pacers with the assistance of Nikki Chalk while her husband Scott gets involved on the weekends, after completing his work as a barrister. And their children Charlee and Callan cheered louder than anyone else last night. Neaves has grown up surrounded by horses and enjoys working her team which are all pacers and mostly cast-offs from others stables or secured via the claiming races. Her maiden winner came via the claimers when eleven-year-old gelding Prince Benji proved successful at Redcliffe on November 5, 2014. “I really enjoy working the horses from the claimers, they’re older and the bulk of them are really kind natured. They’ve been around the block and understand routines pretty well and they’re adaptable, Prince Benji was a horse I loved so much. “The other reason I enjoy the older types is because my two young kids enjoy getting outside and they like the horses and their company. Plus, having all the noise of quad bikes, games and whatever else they can get their hands onto doesn’t seem to bother the horses. “The young horses are on the way because we have bred a mare and we have a resultant foal so that will be an interesting chapter in my training but something I’m looking forward to.” The best performer for Neaves during her training career to date has been Riverleigh Jeff, a Cammibest gelding who has won 11 races including three at Albion Park. Neaves purchased Riverleigh Jeff as a four start maiden. Chris Barsby

Young harness racing driver Lachie Manzelmann won’t forget 2017. The 18-year-old has flashed his skills in the sulky which has netted him a number of victories but last Saturday night at Albion Park he achieved another milestone. Manzelmann prepared his maiden metropolitan winner when Sicilian Slumber shot the passing lane to snatch victory from Gangster Boy and Croft Bay to win the Hurrikane Kingcole @ Egmont Park Pace. Sicilian Slumber was handled by Amy Rees with Manzelmann currently serving a driving suspension. Only two weeks earlier, Sicilian Slumber provided Manzelmann with his maiden winner as a trainer when successful at the Albion Park midweek meeting. “It’s a great feeling, I had my doubts with him running a strong 2138m but Amy gave him a really good trip and he came through strongly at the finish. I think he actually goes best when the girls drive him and his form backs that up.” Manzelmann said. During the year, Manzelmann switched from the Chantal Turpin/Pete McMullen stable and linked with Darrel Graham while taking on his trainers licence. He claimed Sicilian Slumber at a price of $7000 from a race at Albion Park on November 28; it’s proving to be a wise investment. Manzelmann had prior knowledge of the eight-year-old gelding during his time with the Turpin/McMullen stable and thought he was the right horse to start his training career. “I was able to drive him in track work plus I had a couple of drives behind him on race day, I knew a fair bit about him and thought he was the horse for me. “His best asset is his gate speed and that should be beneficial going forward, I can probably drop him back in grade with a claim again before looking at putting him back in the claiming grade. “He’s definitely paid for himself, he hasn’t missed a cheque since I got him and he has a bit left in him too, I’m hoping he can pick up a few more yet.” Sicilian Slumber is the star of the two horse Manzelmann team with Magnussen currently spelling. Manzelmann landed 23 winners last season while he has 16 winners to date for the current term and he’s keen to expand on that. “I definitely want to keep building on my totals, I was happy with last season but I’m keen to do better this season. “I’m getting good support from owners and trainers and want to keep repaying the faith their showing in me. And more Saturday night winners would be great too.” Manzelmann returns to race driving on Tuesday week (January 9). Chris Barsby

Star Queensland pacer Colt Thirty One is on target for a big season. The richly talented harness racing three-year-old made it back to back victories when successful in the $10,540 Pot of Gold Final at Albion Park today (Friday). Fresh from his clinical display last week when resuming the previous week, the Mach Three – Charm Personified colt sat parked in the 1660m event before easily defeating former New Zealand filly Lisa Lincoln and Paternity Suit in a time of 1:54.1. Sectionals were covered in 28.8, 29.9, 27.5 and 28.2 seconds. It was the 9th victory from 13 starts and all victories have come via the Albion Park oval. The proven Gr.1 winner is being readied for a tilt at the $200,000 Victoria Derby series next month and trainer/driver Grant Dixon is content with the progress his top pupil is making. “I was really pleased with the effort today, it was a nice follow-up from his effort the previous week and he felt strong to the line and the sectionals were sharp.” Dixon said. The heats of the Victoria Derby are scheduled for January 20 while the final will take place the following week at TABCORP Park, Melton. Key rivals will include star local and the unbeaten Lumineer while the dominant All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen are also likely to be represented among many others. Outstanding Tasmanian youngster Ignatius is likely to skip the Melbourne feature in preference for the New South Wales Derby the following month. But Dixon is confident his colt will be amongst the action. “He proved he was competitive with his efforts during the Breeders Crown back in August and I think he has come back in really good shape, we’re in the mix anyway. “He’s filled out and thickened in the right areas and he’s very relaxed which is great, he’s very tractable and driving very well. “I’m hoping to find another race before heading south and that should have him in great shape for the series.” Colt Thirty One finished third behind King Of Swing and Poster Boy in the Gr.1 $285,000 Australasian Breeders Crown on August 27. The Gr.1 QBRED Triad winner is raced by his breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour. Chris Barsby

Quality three-year-old Pinup Boy makes his return to harness racing at Albion Park tomorrow (Friday) night. Prepared by respected horseman Mark Dux, the talented gelding is a last start winner of the Gr.1 $100,450 Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Sales Graduates Final on August 12. On that occasion, he proved too strong downing talented filly Arts Treasure (a proven Gr.1 winner herself) in a solid time of 1:55.7 for the 1660m feature event. The Sportswriter – Victree Bette youngster was immediately turned out for a well-deserved break. Pinup Boy ended his rookie season with a record of three wins and two minor placings from seven starts while banking more than $54,000. “He’s come back in good order, he’s only grown in height a small margin but he’s definitely filled out and seems a lot thicker in most areas which is pleasing. Winning the APG race was the season target, it was his Grand Final and we were more than pleased with the job he did.” Dux said. Pinup Boy resumes in the final event on the program, the second heat of the Seymour Pot of Gold and will start from gate five in the 1660m event. The $10,540 Final is scheduled for the following week. A recent public trial indicated that Pinup Boy is on target for a first-up showing after winning the workout in a time of 1:59.1 with the last quarter covered in 27.7 seconds. “It was a nice start to his campaign and I was more than satisfied with the way he hit the line and ran through the line, he chased down the leader quite comfortably. “He will prove very hard to beat and this series looked a perfect way to start his new season, I haven’t really mapped out any major assignments at this stage so there are no set plans. “I like him; I think he’s got a nice future so we will hopefully have some fun with him this campaign and a winning start can be made this week.” Pinup Boy is raced by Stephen Dux, Greg Flower, Richard Lucas, Bill Quill, Bernard Tobin, Alan Salpietro, John Flower, Natalie Flower, Chris Grant and Danial Grant. Meanwhile, the meeting also features the second round of heats of the 2017 Australasian Young Drivers Championship with a further two heats scheduled. The series commenced on Wednesday night at Redcliffe and local driver Narissa McMullen (39 points) currently leads the series from New Zealand drivers Dylan Ferguson (37) and Kimberly Butt (34). McMullen won the opening two heats with winning drives behind No Confession and Stuunder. A champion will be crowned on Saturday night after the final four heats are staged. Chris Barsby

Wagering service provider UBET has a number of attractive exotic betting offerings for the harness racing meeting at Albion Park on Saturday night headlined by a $50K guaranteed trifecta inclusive of a $10K jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 5:42pm EST. Additionally, a $5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 6:13pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3 to 5. For the most up to date form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting via this link here: The night boasts an attractive 10 race card including the Summer Carnival feature race the AQWA Constructions 2017 Christmas Cup, set to get underway at 8.40pm EST. Staged over 2680 metres the AQWA Constructions Christmas Cup brings together a top field of open class pacers headed by two-time Christmas Cup winner Avonnova, as well as Ultimate Art, Our Hi Jinx and Major Cam. In Christmas Cup night tradition Santa will arrive with gifts for the kids after race four. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or Visit the Club website at  

A 69-year-old Brisbane man has been charged over allegations of harness racing match-fixing. Police say the man rigged the outcome of harness races at Albion Park in Brisbane and Globe Derby Park in Adelaide, and fraudulently purchased harness racing horses while disqualified from any involvement in racing. The Redcliffe man was charged on Wednesday with match-fixing, fraud and receiving tainted property, and will appear in the Redcliffe Magistrates Court on January 8. He is the fourth person to be charged with match-fixing offences as part of a joint investigation by the Queensland Racing Crime Squad and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission. Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

With all eyes on the Harness Racing Queensland summer carnival currently, two of the state’s best pacers are on differing paths. Recently crowned Queensland Horse of the Year Leos Best has been benched while Mattgregor returns to work following a setback suffered in Sydney last month. Leos Best, prepared by Grant Dixon, scored a decisive first-up victory at Albion Park on November 11 before missing the place a fortnight later. That unplaced effort left Dixon perplexed. Most were expecting to see Leos Best starting in the open class features and playing a major role but instead, the Cammibest gelding will spend the next two weeks in the paddock. “I’ve decided to give him a freshen-up and then start again, I couldn’t put my finger on what when wrong last start although I’ve got my ideas,” Dixon said. “He’ll have two weeks off now and then hopefully he’ll come back better than ever, that’s the plan anyway.” He added. With Leos Best in the paddock, his sparring partner Mattgregor has returned to work today (Monday). The Chantal Turpin trained pacer was forced to bypass the recent Gr.2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton owing to a virus. Mattgregor was halfway to Melbourne when successful at Menangle on November 4; it was a dominant victory over 2300m in 1:55.1. Connections were forced to head home and the five-year-old was given a couple of easy weeks to recover. “He’s much better now and he’s back in work and performing light duties, it’s a shame he missed the Melbourne race but he always comes first and we were never going to risk him,” Turpin said. “There’s no plans at this stage, we’ll just work him up and then look at our options when he’s ready. Obviously, the Brisbane winter carnival is a long range target for him.” She added. Leos Best and Mattgregor have clashed on five occasions and both have a victory over each other. Chris Barsby

On the eve of the state’s biggest trotting event, there is a notable omission. Defending harness racing champion Melpark Royal Son will miss the 2017 Gr.2 $40,630 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship series owing to a mysterious hoof issue. Prepared by astute mentor John Cremin, Melpark Royal Son resumed with a steady sixth at Albion Park on November 18 when handled by leading reinsperson Danielle Hill but never looked completely comfortable in running. And that left Cremin perplexed. “I haven’t been completely satisfied with the way he was trotting this campaign but I was hopeful I’d have him right to defend his title. It’s hard to pinpoint the issue but it’s in the same offside front hoof that gave him a few troubles during his Melbourne campaign earlier this year.” Cremin said. The reigning Queensland Trotter of the Year has undergone a series of tests in recent weeks with no definitive answer has been revealed although it is different to the issue from earlier this season. The Majestic Son gelding will spend a number of weeks in the spelling paddock. “We’ll give him a number of weeks off now in a bid to solve the problem, there’s no point racing him when there’s an issue, I wouldn’t do that to him because he’s been so good to us since we purchased him. “The only remaining test yet to be carried out on him is an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) but we’d have to go to Sydney for that, we haven’t ruled that out but hopefully we can organise some time to get down there.” Melpark Royal Son is raced by Cremin’s wife, Tanya. Cremin is heavily committed with his burgeoning farrier business while working his small team. The opening round of heats will take place tomorrow (Friday) with two full fields taking on the staying distance of 2647m. Key players in the first heat include Master Hugh, Blazing Under Fire, Releven Dream, Our Dainty Lady and Our Overanova among others while the second heat features Ivanov, Southern Alps, Unico Pegasus, Twice As Much, Astral Ruler, Giacomo and Iona Grinner among others. Cremin has picked up the drives behind Liava and Blue Don for the Grant Dixon stable. Chris Barsby

Top Victorian trainer Brent Lilley has scrapped his Brisbane summer carnival plans. The New Zealand born harness racing horseman has been eyeing off the Queensland riches for some time with a number of his quality performers including open class star Messini. The Art Major entire was beaten behind former Perth pacer John Of Arc in Saturday night’s $20,000 Sokyola Sprint at TABCORP Park, Melton after leading in a time of 1:53.4. Options for Messini during the Brisbane campaign included this week’s Gr.3 $30,540 AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint followed by the $20,540 Christmas Cup before ending with the Gr.2 $60,540 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup. All three events will be staged at Albion Park over consecutive weeks. “Things just haven’t worked out for us to make the trip north; there are a number of things that have prevented us from making the trip. It’s disappointing because we’ve been looking at this trip away for a little while now.” Lilley said. The other attraction that made strong appeal for Lilley and his expected northern sojourn was the Gr.2 $40, 630 Egmont Park Stud Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship, the biggest trotting event staged in the Sunshine State. The series starts this Friday while the final is scheduled for December 16. The stand start feature is assessed for T5 trotters or better. Lilley is revered for his deeds with trotters and his stable currently boasts the likes of champion performer Keystone Del, Maori Time and many others. The Racing Queensland summer carnival is officially underway and concludes on December 16. Chris Barsby

He’s won it before and he’s coming back to win it again. Leading Sydney horseman Blake Fitzpatrick has targeted the Gr.2 $40,630 Egmont Park Stud Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship with his talented harness racing performer Blazing Under Fire. Fitzpatrick trained My Valerie to win the 2015 version when handled by local reinsman Pete McMullen. The DJA series, the biggest trotting event staged in the Sunshine State, starts this Friday at Albion Park with the first round of heats and continues the following week before the final is staged on December 16 – the final night of the Racing Queensland summer carnival. “We’ve had this series on the radar for some time and his recent form warrants the trip north, he won well last start and he’s trained on well so we’re heading off tonight (Monday).” Fitzpatrick said. Following his purchase from New Zealand a few months ago, the Washington VC entire has performed at a high standard which includes two victories from 9 starts. Two starts ago, Blazing Under Fire was a runner-up behind his stablemate Mistercool Sea Eyre in the Gr.2 $33,600 Franco Australian Trotters Cup at TABCORP Park, Menangle. Last start, Blazing Under Fire reversed the result on Mistercool Sea Eyre when comfortable sprinting past his stablemate in a sharp time of 1:59.5 for the 2300m stand start event. “He was impressive winning last start and the time backs it up so I’m confident of a forward showing during the series up there. “I like his versatility and that should hold him in good shape, obviously we’re going to require some luck or no bad luck going our way. “We’re still learning about him and he’s still improving so I think he profiles well for this series, obviously there’s a number of Sydney trotters heading up which will make it difficult.” Meanwhile, talented performer Our Dainty Lady has switched from the stables of Jarrod Alchin to the local stables of Darrel Graham in preparation for the series. The proven Albion Park winner finished fourth behind Blazing Under Fire at her most recent start on November 18. Our Dainty Lady has won 4 from 6 at Albion Park when previously prepared by Graham including a track record effort for 2647m (2:00.5) when starting from a 30m handicap. The Pegasus Spur mare is a daughter of former champion mare Pride Of Petite (33 wins - $760k). Chris Barsby

Richly talented young harness racing horseman Leonard Cain has landed his first feature. On Saturday night at Albion Park, the 18 -year-old produced a polished display behind Our Hi Jinx ($10) to land the $20,540 AQWA Constructions Lord Mayors Cup defeating the heavily fancied Glenferrie Hood ($2.80) and Avonnova ($5) in the 2138m feature. It was great result for trainer Ian Gurney, preparing first and third. The Lord Mayors Cup was the first open class features during the Racing Queensland summer carnival with the Gr.3 $30,540 AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint (Dec.2), $20,540 Christmas Cup (Dec.9) and the Gr.2 $60,540 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup (Dec.16) all still to come. Previous winners of the Lord Mayors Cup includes Alleluia, Field Officer, Destreos, Be Diligent, Tip Your Hat, Western Light and Leftrightout among others. Champion pacer Blacks A Fake won the event back in 2010. But the moment belonged to Cain on Saturday night. The graduate of the Queensland mini-trotting has built a good rapport with the New Zealand bred gelding, winning three races from four drives to date. “It was a great thrill, he’s a good horse and his record proves that being a former Queensland Pacing Championship winner and he’s still very quick with the right run. He’s not the easiest horse to drive but I enjoy the challenge.” Cain said. Fresh from his standout rookie year which netted him 55 winners from 535 drives and therefore created a new record by a Queensland driver for most wins in a maiden term. The previous record belonged to Brittany Graham at 40. As a result of his excellent opening season, he was recently crowned the co-winner of the Young Achiever of the Year award – Narissa McMullen was the other co-winner. The award is sponsored by generous harness racing benefactors Kevin and Kay Seymour and the prize is a trip to North America to spend time working and learning under the watchful eye of outstanding horseman and former Australian Ross Croghan in New Jersey next year. And he continues to improve and work at his chosen craft. So far this season, Cain has driven 17 winners which includes a triumph in the $15,540 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final aboard the Peter Greig trained Bodhi Tree on October 21. The fresh faced youngster will reunite with Our Hi Jinx this weekend in the Be Good Johnny Sprint and looms as a legitimate chance again given his current form. The Christian Cullen gelding has won 3 and been placed on a further 3 occasions from 10 starts this campaign. Our Hi Jinx won the Be Good Johnny Sprint back in 2015 before going on to win the Grand Circuit feature – the Gr.1 $200,000 QPC. The victory behind Our Hi Jinx completed a double for Cain after guiding Western Blaze to victory in the opening race for trainer Jack Butler. Cain, the son of Errol and Debra Cain currently works for leading horseman Shane Graham. Chris Barsby

The decision has been made. Star harness racing horsewoman Kylie Rasmussen will not make a comeback to driving this weekend. Speculation grew on Tuesday of a return to race driving by the former metropolitan premiership winner to partner emerging star Major Cam in the $20,540 AQWA Constructions Lord Mayors Cup at Albion Park this Saturday night. Rasmussen took the winning trial drive behind the giant Art Major gelding when he romped home in a time of 1:56.7 on a rain affected surface. But those plans have been shelved. At least for now anyway. Rasmussen has engaged the services of talented reinsman Gary Whitaker to drive her stable star in the first of the open class features during the Racing Queensland summer carnival. Whitaker has driven 12 winners to date this season and is a dual Group One winning reinsman. “I thought about it long and hard but in the end, I went with Gary because he has race fitness on his side and I’m confident he will handle him well.” Rasmussen said. During the 2013/14 season, Rasmussen was a runaway winner in the metropolitan driver’s premiership and easily accounted for the likes of Grant Dixon and Shane Graham. Rasmussen drove 46 Albion Park winners that term and 118 overall for the season. During that season, Rasmussen suffered a back injury following a fall behind Heres Rommel while another nasty spill behind Ella Michelle in 2016 has left her on the sidelines ever since owing to the constant pain in the delicate back region. But a possible return seemed realistic given the emergence of Major Cam in recent times. The six-year-old has won 18 of his 31 starts to date while winning 5 of his last 7 efforts but Rasmussen has opted to remain in the grandstand. “He’s a very talented horse and his form is very strong, the draw makes it very tricky but he’ll be doing his best yet again. He hasn’t raced since September and will improve on whatever he does this weekend. “I thought he felt great in the trial earlier this week, he covered the ground so easily and his sectionals were solid so I’m happy with his condition. “Obviously Glenferrie Hood and Avonnova are the toughest to beat given their good draws, both are high quality rivals.” Rasmussen is no stranger to quality herself having partnered the likes of the country’s greatest ever pacer in Blacks A Fake (72 wins - $4.57 million) plus one of the state’s best mares in Forever Gold (42 wins - $700k). Chris Barsby

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