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Matt Craven is well positioned to scratch a lifetime itch as he circles the wagons for an almighty tilt at Saturday night’s Terang Co-Op Pacing Cup. A Queen of the Pacific, Queensland Derby, Need For Speed and a Home Grown Classic are but a few of the titles in the stable’s keeping and the trainer-driver would love to add this year’s beefed up edition of his local cup to his mantelpiece. “It’d be nice to win a Terang Cup that’s for sure, it’s the home cup and it’s very significant prizemoney,” Craven said of Saturday night’s feature, which has ballooned from $35,000 to $60,000 in stakes. “It’s always been a big night. If you go back through the honour roll, plenty of nice horses have won Terang Cups – Blacks A Fake, Sokyola, Sunshine Band – it’s definitely not an easy cup to win and this year will be no different. I’d love to win one, that’s for sure.” Craven has thrown everything at it, with stable star Cant Refuse drawing gate five, recent addition Egodan to start from the pole and Hamilton Pacing Cup winner Wardan Express from the second line. And, in a further exhibition of the stable’s depth, Roy George is the first emergency, a status briefly bestowed on stablemate Master Moonlite before the latter was scratched after a fracture was found in his sesamoid. He will have surgery on Friday and Craven said he was “hopeful we will get him back to racing”. More pleasing is that Cant Refuse carries a clean bill of health into his first start since being a late scratching for the February 2 Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup. “Cant Refuse has been a headline horse for the stable for a few years,” Craven said. “He did us terrifically proud in the Inter Dominion, then it didn’t go to plan when he was a late scratching on Hunter Cup night. “He just had a little nick on his leg and there was some swelling in his tendon and we didn’t want to risk it, but he was back to normal within three days. He’s had plenty of work, so it shouldn’t affect him too much.” Craven will take the reins of the six-year-old and is optimistic he can shape the race. “He has reasonable gate speed and is good enough to hold his own and then work forward,” Craven said. “We will look him to have a forward running. “If Roy George doesn’t start he will be in to barrier four and is probably a chance to dictate the race, either outside the leader or if he finds the front. “When you look at his run when he sat in the breeze and won against Motu Gatecrasher (at Melton on November 10) he showed he is more than capable of doing work.” In his second start for the stable Egodan will also likely be prominent early having impressed in his South Australian Cup fifth placing on Saturday night. “His run on Saturday night, we thought he went super. He had no luck in the running and the horse who held him out three wide was gone at the 600,” Craven said. “He still ran home for fifth and did a terrific job. He is only new to the stable, but has come from Kevin Pizzuto’s and is in very good order.” And then there’s Wardan Express, who’s drawn the second row and is the long shot of the trio. “He come to the stable last year as a C2 who hadn’t won in 12 months and he has progressed to an M2 and won a Hamilton Cup, so he has done a massive job for the stable.  “It’s another step up and from the draw this will be really hard. We will look to drive him conservatively and look for the short cuts.” Despite having a quarter of the field Craven is very wary of the challenges that present in a field of quality and depth. “(Born To Rocknroll) is a very, very good horse. He has a tricky draw, so it won’t be easy for him. I would put his stablemate, Maraetai, in as one of the main dangers. He is a very progressive horse. He’s more than up to a race like this. “Both of Geoff (Webster’s) are racing well, you’ve only got to look at the Hunter Cup for a reminder of what Flaming Flutter can do. We’ve got an enormous respect for the whole field.”   Michael Howard for Trots Media

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) announced today that the current Australian Driving Champion, Todd McCarthy, had been selected to be Australia’s representative in the prestigious 2019 World Driving Championships in Sweden. “Australia is fortunate to have so many skilled and talented drivers at present, with selection not made any easier with the criteria based on a balance of merit, performance, presentation, attitude, adaptability to conditions and promotional opportunities,” HRA Chairman Mr Michael Taranto said. “The HRA Executive considered a number of drivers for selection and all would have been fine representatives of our country.  That said, we can only send one representative and I have no doubt Todd will perform well in the demanding series and be a wonderful ambassador for Australian harness racing, ” he said. The World Driving Championship was established in 1970 and is held every two years, in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. The last series was conducted in Canada in 2017 and was won by the local host hero, James McDonald. James McDonald will return to defend his title alongside McCarthy and 10 other drivers (12 in total) from Sweden, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway and United States of America. The 2019 Championship runs from 24 May to 31 May and consists of 24 Heats across 6 race meetings at 5 different racetracks.  The Series begins at Solvalla, Stockholm, at meetings on 24 (4 Heats) and 25 May (1 Heat) before moving to Lindesberg on 27 May (5 Heats) and Eskilstuna on 28 May (5 Heats).  The fourth leg is 29 May at Rättvik (4 Heats) before the 31 May finale at Gävle (5 Heats). Todd McCarthy will be attempting to emulate the feats of two Australian drivers who have won the World Driving Championship – Queenslander Keith Addison in 1975 and Ted Demmler of Victoria in 1987. Harness Racing Australia

Queensland’s best juvenile filly of last season, Smart As Camm Be, will by-pass the Group One $200,000 New South Wales Derby on March 2 for Group racing in the sunshine state. The talented Cammibest - Too Smart For You (by Famous Forever) filly and her trainer Kylie Rasmussen finished a neck-second behind Grant Dixon's I'm No Outlaw back at the Albion Park Trials yesterday (Tuesday). It was Smart As Camm Be's first run since winning the Group One $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Fillies Final at Albion Park on July 21 last year, with a slick 1:55.7 mile rate. “She went well and will trial again next week. I have been happy with her progress but she is still behind the eight ball. She’s not as forward in her preparation that I would like," Rasmussen said. “She had a great 2-year-old season but it took it’s toll on her. She suffered from bone chips in her knee and we had to put her out for a fair while to recover. “She’s fine, but just needs more time than less than a month to prepare for a big race against Australia’s and New Zealand’s best 3-year-olds." Last year's Queensland 2yo Pacing Filly-of-the-Year, had a brilliant first-up season in 2017-2018. She won five of her seven starts from March 27 until July 21 - the last five in a row. As well as her Triad victory, Smart As Camm Be also won the $25,000 Listed Classic QBRED Breeders Classic. Yesterday she sat parked for the last lap and cruised to the line under a big hold. Rasmussen had her fourth in the running line early from gate six (of seven) in behind the eventual winner, I'm No Outlaw. Dixon then took I'm No Outlaw to the lead at the bell, and Smart As Camm Be followed him to sit in the death seat. A slow third quarter of 29.5 saw the duo both cruise to the line without being asked for any big effort. The final sprint was in 27.3. The winner's time for the 1660m mobile: 2:02.1 (mile rate 1:58.4). “I’m working a team of about 30 at the moment and this girl is up there with Lilac Flash and Mr Kalypso as the best of them,” said Rasmussen. Mr Kalypso had his first run back at Albion Park yesterday as well. It was his first race since winning a C2-C5 pace at the same venue on December 1. It was also his first defeat in eight starts at Queensland harness headquarters. The son of Art Major got too far back in the running and was three-wide and parked when the acid went on in the last lap. Mr Kalypso then finished a gutsy two-metre fifth and will have derived much benefit from the run. Meanwhile, Rasmussen will be looking to emulate her feats of 2010 and 2011 with her former female star, the 2007 Famous Forever mare, Forever Gold. She won won the QBRED 2yo Fillies Final in 2010 and then the following year nailed the QBRED 3yo Fillies Final and the prestigious Group One Queensland 3yo Oaks. Smart As Camm Be has so far won five of her seven starts and placed in one other for $88,088 in career stakes. "The QBRED 3yo fillies Final (April 13) and the Group One $100,000 Queensland Oaks (July 13) are her main priorities for her now," Rasmussen said.   by Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

A service will be held on Friday to commemorate Albert Rothacker, a member of harness racing's famed family, after he passed last Sunday night at age 91. Along with his brothers Gordon and Eric, Mr Rothacker was a regular trots driver in the 1950s and '60s as well as a hobbyist trainer, said his son and current trainer Robert. "Dad drove quite a bit and took Arlen to Melbourne in the mid '60s and won a couple of metro races," Robert said. "In the '50s he drove Wilbur's Hope and all three brothers were in a race once and he did get up and beat Eric and Gentleman John and Gordon and Avian Again. Wilbur's Hope was a fantastic free-legged horse." Robert said his father's driving career came to an end after hurting his shoulder in a fall at Horsham in the early 1970s, but that he continued to train until 1994-95 as well as own, including Impala who Albert bred and owned and who raced with Robert until 2005. All are welcome to attend a service from 11am on Friday at Yarrayne Cemetery, Serpentine. Harness Racing Victoria extends its condolences to Mr Rothacker's friends and family.   Harness Racing Victoria  

The induction of Robert Peters, Gary Hall Jnr, David Hamer and Old Comrade are several of the highlights of the 2019 WA Racing Industry Hall Of Fame inductees that were announced today by Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA). They are among twelve new members across the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound codes who will receive their accolades when the star-studded WA Racing Industry Hall Of Fame ceremony is conducted at Crown Perth on February 28. The 2019 class of intakes in WA racing’s highest honour includes five horses, three associates, two trainers and one jockey, driver and greyhound. Peters’ elevation is recognition for his unprecedented achievements and feats on the race track as a breeder, owner and administrator. He has amassed more than 1350 victories across Australia including over 200 at stakes level. At the end of the last racing season Peters had won seven Perth Cups, nine Derbies, thirteen Oaks, four Kingston Town Classics, two Railway Stakes, an Australian Cup, Emirates Stakes and two Goodwood Handicaps. Gary Hall Jr shares the privilege of becoming the second member of his family to join the elite of WA harness racing after his father Gary Hall Snr’s induction as a trainer in the 2014 intake. Hall Jr has been Perth’s champion driver for nine seasons, a tally exceeded by fellow inductees Fred R Kersley (17), Frank Kersley (11) and Chris Lewis (10). A winner of 54 Group races, including three Inter Dominions Championships, Hall Jnr is one of only five drivers to have passed the 2000 career wins mark in Western Australia. Hamer’s elevation as a greyhound trainer is remarkable when you consider the Victorian-born arrived in Perth with no background or experience in the sport. Hamer was a five-time leading trainer and prepared three Greyhound of the Year Champions: Pearl King (1980), Icy Monaro (1982) and Blue Echo (1984). Hamer’s biggest win was the Group 1 Perth Cup with Legatee (1984). Hamer’s star chaser, Blue Echo, who won 22 of 26 starts in WA, including seven feature races, will also be an inductee later this month. Thoroughbred Inductees Easingwold (Horse) F (Ted) McAuliffe  Old Comrade (Horse) R G (Bobby) Morley (Jockey) Robert Peters (Associate) Harness Inductees Gary Hall Jnr (Trainer/Driver) Jack Morris (Horse) John Hunt (Associate) Mick Lombardo (Associate) Norms Daughter (Horse) Greyhound Inductees Blue Echo (Greyhound) David Hamer (Trainer)   RWWA

Poster Boy had a perfect all-to-plan tune-up for Saturday night’s Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire, the Group 1 four-year-old sprint for $200,000. Having saluted when first up in the TAB Multiplier 4YO Bonanza, which earned the half-brother to Yankee Rockstar and Born To Rocknoll a place in the Chariots, Poster Boy made it two-from-two this time in when he won the Sandhu Enterprises Pace at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday. The Emma Stewart-trained four-year-old cleared out and won comfortably for reinsman Chris Alford, who heaped praise on the “beautiful little colt”. “He just does what he wants too,” Alford told Trots Vision. “Clayton wanted him to have a bit of a blowout the last 400 and he felt really good.” Poster Boy saluted by 12m from San Domino off a 55.6 final 800m, taking his stakes won to $551,390 for owner-breeders Anne and Bill Anderson of Lauriston Bloodstock. Alford said the Somebeachsomewhere entire had great versatility, which should stand him in good stead Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “He can buzz off the gate for a 100 and then just drop the bit, and you can pull out go again and then he will just drop the bit again,” Alford said. “He can just sprint and slow down as much as you like.” Rackemup Tigerpie will also fly the Victorian flag in the feature, having qualified with a third placing in last week’s Paleface Adios Stakes Michael Stanley’s Rock N Roll Heaven four-year-old has been enlisted a $23 chance with the TAB.com.au, with Poster Boy ($5.50) on the third line of betting outside polemarker Chase Auckland ($2.50) and Ignatius ($3). Michael Howard for Trots Media

Popular Pearcedale trainer Bill Walker passed away at the weekend after battling serious health issues over the past few years. A talented horseman, Bill produced a string of top performers over many years including Lombo Sykrider, Stoned At Midnight, Charley’s Dream and Stoned I Am and is credited with putting the early polish on Hectorjayjay. He was also an active member of the local harness racing community and, fittingly, a funeral service celebrating Bill’s life will be held this Thursday February 14 commencing at 1.30pm on the first floor of the Cranbourne Racing Centre. Cranbourne Vice-President David Scott said "Bill was the consummate professional". "He was a quietly spoken man and was never one to get carried away even when his team got on a roll," Mr Scott said. “He always seemed to have a nice horse in his team and did so without ever having a barn full of expensive blue-blood types. I think that speaks volumes about his horsemanship. “Bill was also a wonderful supporter of our club and could always be relied on to throw in a late nom if we were struggling for fields or help out with a horse or two for a dual-seater sulky race when the need arose. “I’m sure that those who remember Bill fondly will join us at the track on Thursday to farewell one of harness racing’s gentlemen." The Cranbourne Harness Racing Club and Harness Racing Victoria extend their condolences to Bill’s wife Nell, his daughters Simone and Trudy, and all family and friends.   Trots Media  

Glamorganvale trainer, John McMullen, admits his four children have now achieved something he hasn’t. “All four of my kids have now driven Weedons Express to win. I did drive him to win a trial late last year, but I guess that doesn't count does it?” the Lockyer horseman joked. “I’m very proud of them and what the horse has achieved,” he added. Twenty two-year-old Danielle drove Weedons Express inch perfect at Albion Park on Saturday to win the eighth event – the $8,390 Changeover At Burwood Stud  C4+ Pace, by a neck. The 8-year-old brown gelding was a $25.90 outsider. Peter (27) tasted success first behind Weedons Express when steering the brown gelding to victory at Albion Park on April 7, 2017, and then Taleah (17) got him home at Redcliffe on July 19 that same year. Narissa (24) then chimed in with a nice triumph at Redcliffe on October 17 last year. For the record Peter and Taleah have won three times each behind Weedons Express. Trainer, McMullen had a good night at 'The Park’ winning two races. The other came via Narissa, who won the fourth event with six-year-old Quick Approval  gelding, With Authority. He was the $3.60 second favourite. Narissa also landed two winners on Saturday. She also drove the Ron Wells trained outsider, Smiling Armada to score in race six. Sister-in-law, Chantal Turpin, who is marred to Peter, trained and drove Watch Pulp Fiction to win race seven. Weedons Express has now won 14 of his 149 starts and placed in 14 others and netted just over $90,000 In purses. He is owned by Mike and Karen Sparkes, who also co-owned the 2018 VRC Derby winner, Extra Brut. Weedons Express was named after a small rural town just South of Christchurch. The son of Elsu and My Barbie Doll ( By In The Pocket) was bred by Kiwi horseman, Lou Driver. He was exported from New Zealand on October 2, 2015, after winning three of his 41 starts. “I couldn’t believe he paid more than $25 to win. He’s been going really well and the race was a B grade one for his class," McMullen, who works a team of 25 said. “He’s been going 54 in most of his races and I thought that might be enough to win this race. Sure enough he went 55 this time and still won. Unbelievable money. “I’m also rapt for the owners who backed him." Also very proud of her family's achievements last night was wife and Mum, Jennette. “I’m delighted for them all. I’m also very proud of Des Dewar, who owns With Authority. He’s 81 and only got into ownership a couple of years ago," she said. “He idolises our girls and he loves going to Redcliffe because it’s not so far for him to travel. He is a wonderful person. Des was bestowed a Volunteer-of-the-Year award on Australia Day for 40-plus years of voluntary service. “We all get such a thrill winning for our owners, especially a truly brilliant man like Des." Meanwhile, the feature pace last night was won by the Donny Smith trained and Nathan Dawson driven Slice Of Heaven. His 15th career win ($90,861), has now virtually sealed Slice Of Heaven a trip to Tabcorp Park Menangle for a supporting race on Miracle Mile night in early March. “I’ll give him a trial first, but I’d better wait to see if we make the field. He should but I’m taking nothing for granted,” the Redcliffe horseman said. The night also featured four winning drivers from Team Teal participants, with Narissa McMullen (2), Danni-elle McMullen (1) and Chantal Turpin (1) collectively raising $800 for the important cause.  Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Northdown trainer Geoff Smith is riding the crest of a winning wave with another winning double in Launceston on Sunday night, and loving it. Geoff has enjoyed his best start to a calendar year for a decade with five winners coming in five weeks which has seen him catapult into eighth spot on the trainer’s premiership table. Aitutaki (pictured), driven by John Walters, came from a mile back on the home turn to win the Dakin Refrigeration Stakes over 1680 metres while Vapour Glenn burst through late to take out the Carlton Draught Pace. “They are flying for me at the moment, both horses scored impressive wins at Scottsdale in January and then they both ran fourth at their next start and have bounced back strongly tonight” said Geoff. “We had a sulky change out on the track with Aitutaki but fortunately that didn’t interfere with his performance, John (Walters) has worked him out, he needs to be held up until the 300-metre mark and then let him loose.” Aitutaki, formerly in the care of owner Adrian Duggan, has had six runs for Geoff for six cheques. “When we got him he was out of the draw, we changed some gear and re-shod him and worked him out of a paddock, and not that hard he seems to be thriving at the moment with two wins, two placings and two fourths,” said the Northdown trainer. “Vapour Glenn really surprised me tonight, Rohan (Hadley) found a gap late in the straight and he surged through to hit the line strongly.” Geoff admitted winners have been a little light on in recent years but is hoping things are heading in the right direction. “We’ve had Midair Meltdown win at Devonport recently and we’ve got a few good types coming through including a full-sister to my old stager Dodgermemate, she’s a two-year-old and moves well so I have hopes set high with her, but for now we are enjoying our start to the year,” said Geoff. Gareth Rattray steered home a winning double on the eight-event card with the Dick Eaves prepared El Jays Mystery running down the popular pick Inner Light in the shadows of the post to win by a head and completed a race-to-race double with Brooke Hammond’s Moonlite Bay notching up its second win from just three career starts taking out the Harry Holgate Memorial Final. Rowley won the opener for Sally Stingel and Paul Ashwood, The Aussie powered away with the Discretionary for Devonport Cup winning duo Juanita McKenzie and Rod Ashwood while Riley Coyote scored its first win for over two years for Steve Lukac and Rohan Hillier and Ben Yole and Natalee Emery combined with Jeans Mattjesty to win the Claimer. Shane Yates

Two of the season’s greater trots tales added further chapters to their unlikely stories with feature victories at Echuca on Friday night. Gavin Lang’s average pacer turned top-line trotter Pantzup continues to take everything in her path, with the J A Connelly Crystal Bucket a seventh straight and ninth career victory after the mare showed her might against open class types. And Kima Frenning’s rapid rise in Victoria’s ranks continued unabated with her debut training project, Buster Brady, launched to the top of the Trots Country Cups Championship with victory in the Moama Bowling Club Echuca Pacing Cup. “It’s crazy,” Frenning said post-race after her former Kiwi produced a fifth win and third country cup in his ninth Australian start. “To train a horse like him, to come here and win a race like this, it’s very exciting and I can’t thank everyone around me enough. “He was really good tonight. He’s a really nice horse and he does it pretty easy when he wants too.” Off the second row Frenning advanced three-wide for much of the first lap before taking the front, from where Buster Brady was too strong in the straight, saluting by seven metres from Shadow Reign and Gottashopearly. The victory would have brought more delight for Luke Stokie and his fellow owners, with Buster Brady now a point clear of San Carlo in the Trots Country Cups Championship, which carries a $25,000 cash prize. Only an hour earlier Pantzup entered the Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship race when he scooped up the Crystal Bucket, a winning streak that has surprised even the most experienced and successful of trainer-drivers. “She’s amazing really,” Lang said “It’s well documented that we bought her cheaply as a pacer to win a couple of races and then probably flick her on, but she showed she had a propensity to trot from day one that she entered the stable. “I’d like to be able to say I did this and did that, but I haven’t done nothing – I’ve just trained her and fed her and she’s done the rest. “I’ve been in the game for a long long time, my Dad’s had plenty of trotters, I’ve had a couple of nice ones in the past, but every time I drive home from the races with this one I just shake my head because I can’t believe what she does. It’s a great story.” Drawn off 10m in the standing start, Pantzup advanced to the breeze with a lap and a half to go and found the front when leader Als Law dropped out about 500m from home. A 29-second final quarter was enough to keep all challengers at bay and salute by 5.4 from Fratellino, who picked up valuable points to leapfrog King Denny and take the lead in the $10,000 Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship.   Michael Howard for Trots Media

Drivers Dani Hill and Paul Cavallaro are recovering in Royal Adelaide Hospital following a horrific fall in last Saturday night’s SA BOTRA South Australian Pacing Derby. The incident occurred with approximately 900 metres to run when I’m Sir Blake driven by Dani Hill choked-down and fell, resultantly bringing down Major Exclusive, driven by Darby McGuigan and Culture King, driven by Paul Cavallaro. The Stewards immediately abandoned the race with all remaining runners being pulled up in the back straight. Both Dani and Paul were treated at the scene by medical crews before being transferred in a stable condition to Royal Adelaide Hospital. Darby was extremely fortunate to escape injury. All horses involved in the incident escaped serious injury. Dani has undergone surgery for a fractured tibia while Paul has had surgery for a broken wrist and facial injuries. The industry wishes both Dani and Paul a speedy and full recovery from their injuries and we look forward to seeing them back at the track in the not too distant future. For further information please contact: ROSS NEAL | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (08) 8285 0700 •  rneal@saharness.org.au

TALENTED pacer Ignatius will have to face another wide draw in Saturday night's Group 1 Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire at Menangle. The James Rattray trained and driven pacer has faced wide barrier draws in his two qualifying races and has landed barrier nine for the four-year-old feature. Ignatius was forced to do it the tough way outside the leader to win last Saturday night's Paleface Adios Stakes, beating Chase Auckland in a mile rate of 1:50.2. The winner of the Chariots Of Fire will receive an automatic invitation to the $1million Miracle Mile on March 2. The Chariots Of Fire barrier draw was conducted in the Harness Racing New South Wales office as a random barrier draw performed by HRNSW executive management.   Chariots Of Fire - GROUP 1 (1609m) 1 Chase Auckland 2 Picard 3 Royal Gamble (EM1) 4 All U Need Is Faith 5 The Black Prince 6 Boyd Writer 7 Rackemup Tigerpie 8 Poster Boy 9 Ignatius 10 Hail Christian 11 Jack Farthing (EM2) 12 Ashley Locaz   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES  

EVEN without Spankem, the powerhouse All Stars stable has qualified three runners for Australia’s biggest four-year-old feature. Chase Auckland, Ashley Locaz and All You Need If Faith will fly the stable flag in next Saturday night’s $200,000 Group 1 Chariots Of Fire (1609m) at Menangle. They might have the numbers, but they don’t have the pre-draw favourite with Tasmania’s Ignatius, a stablemate of dual Inter Dominion winner Beautide, holding that billing. Ignatius did what most thought impossible and sat outside Chase Auckland to win last night’s Group 2 Paleface Adios at Menangle. The closing splits were mindblowing. Ignatius was able to run a 53.2 last half and 26.5sec closing quarter to edge-out Chase Auckland by a half-neck with star Victorian raider Rackemup Tigerpie third after sitting behind the leader. All You Need Is Faith qualified by running fourth, While Chase Auckland has improved at his three Sydney runs back from a long injury-enforced spell and will be better again for the final, Ignatius went out of this world. He has to be the testing material in the Chariots judging by that win. Remembering he was only second-up after a spell as well. “We were thrilled with the way he hit the line when a bit underdone in the Hondo Grattan first-up and the run brought him on,” trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray said. “He was ready to do a bit more work this time, so I went forward from the draw. To sit outside them and win was pretty impressive.” Another key player will be star Victorian Poster Boy, who qualified via his 4YO Bonanza win at Melton, and sharpened-up with an easy Melton win last night. Picard, who disappointed slightly when rundown on a wet track in last Friday’s Newcastle Mile, and Ashley Locaz are also right in contention on the strength of their Hondo Grattan runs. The pre-draw Aussie TAB market has Ignatius at $2.50 from: Chase Auckland ($3), Ashley Locaz ($4.20), Poster Boy ($6.50), Picard ($8) and Rackemup Tigerpie ($16).   Adam Hamilton

Tasmania’s champion pacer Ignatius took another giant step in his quest for Chariots Of Fire glory by winning Saturday night’s Group 2 Paleface Adios Stakes at Menangle. Ignatius scored one of the most sensational victories of his illustrious career to assure himself a berth in the $200,000 four-year-old Group 1 Classic. Despite again having no luck with the barrier draw, starting from barrier nine in a field of 10, James Rattray went forward in the early stages and found cover out three-wide on the track before running to the death at the thousand-metre mark. With quarters of 28 seconds and 29 seconds behind them, Ignatius applied the blow torch to the race favourite Chase Auckland ($1.75) as they thundered through the third quarter in 26.7 seconds. Turning for home James called upon his champion for the supreme effort and just as he has done throughout his career Ignatius responded. The Lyrae Rattray-owned four-year-old (pictured) showed all of his courage and superstar qualities to take the lead and stave off the challenges down the never-ending Menangle home straight to win by a half-neck in his career-best time of 1:50.2 seconds. “He went great, his two runs back this campaign have been enormous, he seems to have pulled up well from last night and is keen to get out into the paddock this morning,” said James. “He went to the post strongly and felt comfortable when holding off the challenges over the last 400-metres, I couldn’t hope for him to be in better shape, the Chariots Of Fire has always been his target and he will be right in the finish, we are due for a good draw so fingers crossed for that to be this week.” The amazing victory was the 17th of a 21 start career for the Roll With Joe-Ashkalini gelding. Shane Yates

Owner/breeder Colleen Lindsay was almost speechless after the all-the-way win by her filly Typhoon Tiff in the $50,000 Group Two Daintys Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park last night for harness racing trainer/driver Colin Brown. It was Colleen Lindsay’s second Daintys Daughter Classic after she won the race in 2010 with Centrefold Angel which was trained by Deb Sweet and driven by Colin Brown. The win by Typhoon Tiff was Brown’s third in the race as a driver and his second as a trainer having won in 2013 with Gota Good Lookadda. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. Some 20 years ago Colleen took the advice of trainer Bob Sweet and bought the mare Blithe Spirit which had won six races for Sweet. By Classic Garry, Blithe Spirit was a grand-daughter of the outstanding broodmare Papagena which had been bred by Dr Tom Early from his imported New Zealand mare Star Song. Star Song produced the winners of 46 races in Western Australia including the standout gelding Magic Flute whose 16 wins, all in the city, included a heat of the 1957 Inter Dominion, a State Sprint Championship and a pair of Easter Cups for trainer Fred Kersley Snr. Although unraced Papagena was prolific at the stud for Dr Early with her 16 foals producing 10 winners of 57 races including the good mare Bellagena which won two Empress Stakes and an August Cup for trainer Fred R Kersley. Another daughter of Papagena in Gena Wrack also won an Empress Stakes. When mated to Art Major’s full-brother Perfect Art in 1998, Blithe Spirit produced a filly later named Twisted Art which didn’t race and then to compound matters her first two foals, both colts, died. Proving the adage that patience and persistence are a virtue, Twisted Art produced a filly in 2006 later to be named Centrefold Angel. Centrefold Angel’s 14 wins included the Group One Diamond Classic for 2yos, the aforementioned Daintys Daughter Classic and later a WA Breeders Stakes. In 2007 Twisted Art produced another filly later named Tiffany Twisted which won three races as a 2yo before being injured and sent to stud in 2010. Her first foal was the Bettors Delight gelding Bettor Twisted which has won 10 races and some $90,000. After an attempted race-track comeback in 2013 failed Twisted Art was again served by Bettors Delight that year and produced the filly Tiffany Twirl which won as a 3yo last season. Twisted Art’s third foal, again by Bettors Delight, is Typhoon Tiff which now boasts a record of five wins, one second and one third in her seven starts for stakes of $65,526. Typhoon Tiff finished second to the New Zealand bred Majorpride in the $100,000 Group One Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park in June last year after racing outside the leader. She was sent for a spell shortly thereafter and didn’t resume racing until 29th January when she easily accounted for star New Zealand bred filly Dracarys at Pinjarra when Typhoon Tiff led throughout rating 1:55.2 for the 1684 metres and sprinted home the last half in 55.0 with quarters of 26.7 and 27.8. It was a masterful training performance by Brown that Typhoon Tiff should perform so well after a seven month break with the benefit of trials. A consummate horseman, Colin Brown has a unique record in the 109 year history of harness racing in Perth as the only individual to have trained more than 500 winners and to have driven more than 2000 winners for other trainers. After last night’s win Brown has trained 827 winners and driven 2930 (2245 for other trainers). Only Hall Of Fame inductee Chris Lewis has driven more winners in Perth.   09 February 2019 | Alan Parker

It wasn’t with the horse most expected, but Shane and Lauren Tritton broke through for a special Newcastle Mile win in dramatic fashion on Friday night. Yayas Hot Spot, the first emergency when fields were released and an $81 Fixed Odds chance, made the most of an inside run with Lachie Manzelmann in the gig to beat Little Rascal by a nose and pacesetter Picard by a half head in 1:54:7. Odds-on favourite, track record-holder and defending champion Majordan galloped at the start and never recovered in the race which was delayed by almost an hour because of a rain-affected track and nearby lightning. The rest of the meeting was abandoned after the group 1 race. The surprise victory gave the Trittons, who were raised in the Hunter and dominated pacing in the region before moving to Menangle Park three years ago, another group 1 but their first Newcastle Mile title. Yayas Hot Spot earned a start in the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 2 at Menangle with the win. Yayas Hot Spot, on the inside, gets the win Yayas Hot Spot, now eight, had finished third in the group 3 Newcastle Mile in 2018 and was eighth in 2016. Sydney trainer Kevin Pizzuto was expected to win with Majordan or Picard and the Tritton-trained Maximan was next best in betting. But it was the Adam Sofoulis-owned Yayas Hot Spot, which had barrier two and gained a start after Rakarolla was scratched, that flew late from a sit three back on the pegs. It’s most recent start was a ninth in the Inter Dominion consolation.  “It’s definitely a special one, especially for that horse,” Shane Tritton said. “The owners have been big supporters of Newcastle for a long time and this horse has been here two years when no one wanted to come because it was only worth $30,000, and he just deserves it. I’m really proud. “He’s been working super. You can’t go off how old they are and what they’re doing. At the end of the day, he’s feeling good. He’s raced the best horses in the Inter Dominion and he came out of that great. “He’s been to the Miracle Mile before, the Hunter Cup, the Victoria Cup and the Inter Dominion, so you knew he was good enough. Just sometimes people forget. “We got a bit of luck. The track surface might have helped us. It brought a few of them back to us. Instead of going 1:50, they’re going 1:54, and at the end of the day, he’s first past the post and that’s all you can ask.” The group 1 win was a first for Manzelmann. Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission from Newcastle Herald

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