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Tasracing is about to embark on an extensive review of Tasmanian harness racing as it prepares a development plan for the code's future. It says the plan will cover all aspects of harness racing, identifying the challenges faced and the strategies needed to address them. One 'aspect' that will come under heavy scrutiny is trotting races. At the same time that Tasracing announced the review, it stated that the current trial of trotting in Tasmania would be extended to December 31. But many in the industry believe trotting races, reintroduced to the state in July last year, are one thing that don't need reviewing - they should be scrapped immediately. Leading that call is Leigh Dornauf, a trainer, chairman of the Carrick club and a member of the harness industry group that advises Tasracing. "We had an open meeting at Carrick, attended by 70 people, and 98 per cent were against trotting races continuing," Dornauf said. "I've been to a lot of other industry meetings and the feeling has been the same. "I think 98 percent is an accurate indication of how many people are opposed across the board. Leigh Dornauf "The proposal to export our trot races overseas didn't go ahead so they are not paying for themselves as we were promised. "The funds for trotting are coming out of the pacing allocation at a time when a lot of people can't get runs for their pacers and are getting out of the industry. "Trotters are also given preferential treatment - they need only four runners for a race to go ahead whereas with pacers it's six. "At the same time, clubs are facing financial difficulties due to poor attendances resulting in loss of revenue from catering and so on." Dornauf said that, because the Tasracing board had ignored industry advice in deciding to extend the trotting trial, it was time for a review of the board itself. "If the industry is not being listened to, or getting its message across, I think there needs to be a government review of the way the board is structured," he said. When contacted by The Examiner, Tasracing said it was "inappropriate to comment or discuss board deliberations." In a brief statement, it said: "The Tasracing board was unanimous in its decision to request Tasracing management to prepare an in-depth harness development plan in consultation with industry participants so that it is better informed in making decisions regarding harness racing. "This development plan is due to be completed by the end of the calendar year." By Greg Mansfield

Teenage young gun harness racing driver Leonard Cain admits he loves nothing better than being busy and tackling a new challenge head-on. "I'm just so much happier when there's a lot going on, preferably getting more race drives from trainers and ultimately more winners!" Cain said. The 19-year-old started his Sydney career off in a blaze of glory, combining with his boss Noel Daley, to post wins with their first four starters. "We couldn't have got off to a much better start than that. It was unbelievable," Cain said. "You just dream of things like that, but you don't expect them to happen." Former superstar North American horseman Daley, with enough USA achievements to his credit to choke a bull, is private trainer for leviathan owner Emilio Rosati and his wife Mary. Daley recruited former Queenslander Cain to be the stable number one driver a few months ago. "I was having a good run back home, but the offer to join the Rosati-Daley team was such a huge opportunity," Cain said. "I've learnt such much from Noel - it's invaluable. He's so easy to adapt to and probably the perfect boss," he said. "He's happy for me to travel, and I'm now starting to pick up outside drives from well-known trainers like Ian Wilson, Darren Binskin, Team Tritton, Mark Lefoe and others." In recent times, Cain has been seen competing at Wagga, Newcastle, Goulburn, Bathurst, Penrith and Menangle. "The travel is just part of being in the industry and I haven't got a problem with it - you have to do it if you want to succeed," Cain said. The enthusiastic youngster landed the longest-priced winner of his short, but exciting, career last Saturday night - and he didn't have to travel far to do it! Cain took out the $20,400 M1 event at NSW headquarters, Menangle, with Uncle Jay for Mark Lefoe. Uncle Jay - Ashlea Brennan Photo Uncle Jay (Art Major USA-Kays My Gem (Presidential Ball USA) shot most punters out of the water with starting odds of $126. Uncle Jay "It was the first time I'd driven the horse, but he felt terrific during the run and got to the line strongly," an elated Cain said. "I enjoy driving at Menangle. However, it surprised me being so flat. It's only my opinion, but I think there'd be sensational times recorded if it was banked more." Cain, born and raised in Queensland, drove 55 winners in his first season in 2017. The following season he was successful on 48 occasions and is now enjoying his best season ever, with a tally of 66. "I've settled in well and quite enjoy Sydney. My girlfriend Bethany Manga is with me and she now helps around the stables as well as doing nursing studies at TAFE," he said. "We met when we were both doing the mini trotters." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Ever-reliable Mildura Harness Racing Club committeeman Andrew Stenhouse ensured he was free of voluntary commitments early last Friday afternoon. And he had every reason to take a break and cheer home his gelding Classic Reactor (Auckland Reactor-Bella Caballo (Safely Kept), who scored an impressive win in the opening event, the DNR Logistics 3YO Pace. "We were hoping he would do well, but there were probably two others that looked hard to beat on paper," Stenhouse, who is based on the city outskirts at Merbein South, said. Driven a well-judged race drive by Dwayne Locke, the flashy gelding made it two wins from his previous four runs and certainly looks destined for a bright future. Auckland Reactor now has 52 winners in Australia for $1,142,365 in stakes and the momentum continues to build. In NZ he has 38 winners for $1,078,610. The intimidation factor of the former champion racehorse in elite company gave him the nickname The Reactor Factor, finishing his career with 26 wins and two placings from 35 starts. Stenhouse said that Classic Reactor was gaining in confidence with each run. "We decided to make a few gear changes about five weeks ago and he's just kept improving from then," he said. "Dwayne told me after the race that he wasn't concerned about having to make a move with around 900 metres to go because the horse felt a million dollars!" The field was content to run in single file with second-favorite Major Mucha (Wayne Hill) leading the way. Classic Reactor was three back the pegs with the race favorite Razs Vision (Kerryn Manning) hard up on his back. Classic Reactor, who popped out into the death seat approaching the bell, joined Major Mucha on the home corner and asserted his dominance. Razs Vision ran on late to grab the runner-up prize from Major Mucha. "It's a bit of a change in luck for us and we are enjoying it," Stenhouse said. "We haven't been in the winner's circle as much as we would have liked in recent times, but hopefully Classic Reactor can keep up the good work for a while yet." Dwayne Locke The Stenhouse-Locke team will continue to race their in-form pacer at Mildura, while trips to Swan Hill and Ouyen may also be on the cards. And in the meantime, the pair are hoping another Auckland Reactor-sired pacer in Power House Rock will find form this preparation. The four-year-old (Auckland Reactor-Diva La Diva (Holmes Hanover USA) had two starts last season but didn't enjoy much luck.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

A member of the famous Turnbull harness racing clan has been hospitalized after a nasty accident at his Tatura property. Craig Turnbull, who has been enjoying recent success with his team on country Victorian tracks, was seriously hurt after being kicked several times by a young horse. It is believed he had just finished working one of his stable team and was coming off the track toward a youngster that was tied up at a rail. After getting out of the sulky, the nearby horse started bucking and kicking out. Turnbull was rushed to Shepparton Hospital before being transferred to Melbourne where he remains in intensive care with a ruptured spleen, broken ribs and several fractures. His recovery is expected to include several weeks of treatment and rehab in hospital, before several months of rest and ongoing medical care. Turnbull, his wife Rebecca Cartwright and daughter Abbey have been enjoying a successful season. Black gelding La Player (Shadow Play USA - La Pucelle (Village Jasper USA) has had a purple patch in recent months with four wins and two runner-up prizes in his past six starts. His victories were at Gunbower, Boort, Cobram and Echuca. Concession junior driver Abbey, who landed her first winner at Shepparton in September 2017, has shown fine touch this season with 11 wins so far. All harness racing participants wish Craig well in his recovery process, while thoughts are with Rebecca, Abbey and other family members. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura               P 0498 490 672   E hello@newsalertpr.com.au   W www.newsalertpr.com.au      

I Wanna Rock is finally back in the winner's circle after a sensational victory in Hobart in Race 2 on Sunday night. Owner, trainer and driver Sam Rawnsley was rewarded for his hard work and persistence with his former star juvenile (pictured) coming back from a two-year injury lay-off to produce the goods when it mattered in the TAB Park Elwick over 2090 metres. "I'm rapt he's been able to come back from such a serious injury and perform the way he has, two years off is a long time, he has an x-ray file at the Longford Vet Clinic as thick as a log," said Sam. "We got away well from the second row and was able to find a spot two back in the running line, he travelled beautifully from there and I knew if he could get the run at the right time he had the finishing sprint to worry them." Moves came at the bell but Sam resisted the urge to go with them, electing to hold his place. "There was a chance to come out in front of Miracle Marcus at the bell but I knew they had been running along up front so I decided to bide my time and wait for the effort to take its toll on them," said Sam. "I eased out four-wide going to the 400-metre pole and he travelled up sweetly into the home turn, I never really asked him for much in the run to the post as he had the momentum up and had them covered, I loved the way he laid his head down and chased the leader, it was very rewarding to see and feel him so strong." Like Friday night the evening's honours were evenly shared, Christian Salter trained and drove the first winner Burningupthefloor while Shaun Kennedy and Justin Campbell joined forces to salute the judge with Delightful Junie. Matt Cooper's well-supported Call Me Hector clocked a mile rate of 1:57.6 to beat a smart field by 6.6 metres with the Todd Rattray and Lachlan Dakin combination putting a smile on punters faces with Izaha strolling home to victory. Blackbird Power made it back-to-back wins for Gavin Kelly and Ricky Duggan while Yatsenyuk Leis made it five wins from its last six starts for Shelley Barnes and Rohan Hadley.   Shane Yates for tasracing.com.au

Following last week’s announcement of the first two Australian invites for the IRT Harness Jewels (Lulu Le Mans and Major Occasion), Harness Racing New Zealand and Addington Raceway are thrilled to now confirm our three latest Australian competitors.   Pete’s Big Jim (3yo Emerald), Falcon Stride (4yo Emerald) and Majestic Player (4yo Ruby) will represent their homeland in this year’s edition of the Jewels.   Shane and Lauren Tritton will bring back Pete’s Big Jim, who was a gallant second beaten just a neck by Another Master- piece last year, and talented four-year-old gelding Falcon Stride across the Tasman for a Jewels endeavor.   Peter Kohlsdorf is the owner of Pete’s Big Jim, and was ecstatic to be able to return to New Zealand with his pride and joy.   “It’s hardly sunk in to be honest,” said Kohlsdorf. “I’ve been thinking about it since last year when we were just beaten a neck by Another Masterpiece. So we set a programme to come back with the horse to the Jewels again, if it was at all possible.”   Pete’s Big Jim has not had the best of luck this year, struggling with setbacks and lameness but Kohlsdorf and Tritton report the horse is on the way back up.   Falcon Stride is a horse that Shane Tritton has a high opinion of and has won 6 of his 14 career starts. He has previously won over a mile in 1.51.7.   “He’s a horse that I’ve said several times, if he was in a Miracle Mile and they went 1.48, I’ve got no doubt he’d be good enough to be there, ” said Tritton.   “I’m really excited about him. I know it’s a strong division don’t get me wrong, and he’s a horse that a lot of people won’t know a lot about. But he’ll turn some heads at the top of the straight if he can be close enough.”   Anton Golino will also return to the Harness Jewels when he presents four-year-old trotter Majestic Player in the Ruby.   Golino campaigned with Dance Craze at Cambridge in 2018. She was third despite being desperately unlucky in the running and has since gone on to win the Great Southern Star and Saturday night’s La Coocaracha.   The Yabby Dams Farm owned Majestic Player extended his career record to 13 wins from 25 starts when winning at Menangle untouched on Saturday night. This season alone he has won 7 of his ten attempts.   Pat Discoll of Yabby Dams Farm is elated to returning to New Zealand with Jewels contender for Australia. But he did explain to HRNZ that the horse has not been without his challenges.   “We are very honoured and privileged to get the invite and providing the horse has pulled up ok after Saturday night we will definitely be there,” said Driscoll.   “He’s a bit of a stable star.”   “The horse has actually come from nowhere,” explained Driscoll. “As a young horse and a two-year-old he was short in stature and gangly and everyone loved him because even though he tried, he couldn’t trot.”   “Each year he’s just got better and better and from the horse’s point of view it’s a wonderful story. A horse that had a wonderful will to win but just couldn’t trot, and each year has just improved. He just seems to be getting better every start.”   Yabby Dams Racing is an exclusive trotting focused farm, following European training styles and focusing on the best trotting bloodlines worldwide. In an interview (link below) Driscoll describes his passion for the square gait breed and how that has led to the establishment of Yabby Dam Racing.   New Zealand Racing Board Harness Bookmaker Richard Wilson has released the opening prices on the New Zealand TAB for the latest Australian invites for the IRT Harness Jewels; Pete’s Big Jim $26; Falcon Stride $12 and Majestic Player $8. All IRT Harness Jewels future markets are now open on www.tab.co.nz   To hear an interview with Shane Tritton, Peter Kohlsdorf and Pat Driscoll please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=vC2kelvv66M&feature=youtu.be   Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc          

A Queensland couple with a true love for the traditional harness racing square-gaiters has decided on a sea change. After spending time in Victoria with a team of horses during the past two years on “working holidays”, Ray and Janelle Cross are now in the process of making a permanent shift down south. “It basically come down to a lot more opportunities for trotters and we are really excited at what’s on offer,” said Ray Cross, who is about to celebrate his 80th birthday. “We can race our horses every week and try and place them a bit,” he said. “Back home it was becoming difficult to select suitable events because there was virtually nothing for young, up-and-coming trotters. Most of the time you would find yourself against seasoned, open campaigners.” The Cross stable these days comprises virtually all square-gaiters. “Maryborough is our base at the moment, while we search around and find a suitable property,” Cross said. “There’s five down in Victoria with us and we left another two racehorses behind as well as four well-bred broodmares until we get settled in a new place. “We are both really looking forward to a new challenge and it will be a slightly different lifestyle. But we were both ready to move on. It’s been on our minds for 12 months.” And they are not daunted by the cooler winter temperatures that Victoria will serve up. “I think the second year we come down to campaign, the locals were saying it was one of the worst winters ever.  We handled it okay, so we’ll be right,” Cross said. The veteran trainer, who is somewhat of an icon in the Sunshine State, has always been around horses. As a four-year-old he would ride a horse from the family home in Ellesmere to a school near Kingaroy each day – a distance of over 10 kilometres. “That was the only way I could get there. Then as I got older, I competed in the show rings and any other pony competitions that were going around,” he said. Cross said horse riding was in his family’s blood because his grandfather once rode from Victoria to Queensland. “I’ve been told by others that he was just 17 years old at the time,” he said. In was inevitable that Cross would find his way into the ranks of professional trainers, and apart from stints in his younger years as a roustabout and in the sugar cane fields, it’s been his life’s work. The Cross stable raced at Dalby and then later, when based at Toowoomba, raced on the home track as well as trips to Brisbane’s Albion Park. “We were then at Mount Marrow for a bit before re-locating to Calvert, a small town located near the city of Ipswich. We’d been there for the past 18 years,” he said. Over the years, Cross has been associated with some star performers. Horses that come to mind include ex Kiwi The Emcee and Daphnia as well as the brilliant son of Able Bye Bye, Keen Edge. Prepared predominantly through his career by Cross, Keen Edge won 27 races from 91 starts for more than $135,000 in the late 1980s. Some of his biggest wins were in the 1988 3YO Challenge Final and the 4YO Invitation Pace. The horse, who is believed to have held two world records at some stage, was involved in some memorable battles with Speed King and Butch’s Mate. The Emcee, winner of 58 races and 55 placings, was claimed by Cross for $5000 for stable clients. Cross resurrected his form and in the next 12 months he won $100,000. Square-gaiting historians still talk about the time Cross campaigned speedy Queensland-bred trotter Scottish Larry to win three races at Harold Park many years ago – at a time when Sunshine State wins at Glebe were far and few between. But while Cross says Keen Edge was probably his fastest horse, the title of his best goes to Kate Au Penny (Ringleader-Southern Banner (Mark Lobell), a trotting mare who finished with 24 wins and 43 placings for $80,000 from 2004 onwards. “We bred her, and she won her way to an Adelaide Inter-Dominion Final in 2007,” Cross said. While the couple will be pinning their hopes on Honey Please (Yankee Spider USA-Kumbya NZ (Sundon USA), there are a few others ready to step up going by their early Victorian form. Maiden trotter Ima Calvert Rose caught the eye when third at Ballarat last week and likewise 2yo Countess Chiron, fourth at the same meeting.  Lady Haha ran an improved fourth at Kilmore yesterday. “Honey Please has the form on the board down here, winning at Ballarat (2017) and then at Maryborough and Bendigo last year, during our visits,” Cross said. “Her most recent wins have been at Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg, so she’s been pretty handy for us.” And there’s nothing more certain than Ray Cross, who is still as keen as mustard, making his mark in Victoria. “You’ve got to keep working while you can, and we’ll be doing our best!” said the veteran. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

There were seven races decided on Friday night in Launceston with training and driving honours shared with a multiple winner no where in sight. Ben Yole and Rohan Hillier were in action early, sharing success in the Chartley Estate Stakes with the consistent Punchinello. “We sat without cover early but weren’t forced to work and then when Troy (McDonald) came round us at the 1200-metres on the favourite Good Feeling we had cover right up until the home turn and Puncinello finished off strongly,” said Rohan. “He’s been consistent without winning out of turn so it was good to see him rewarded with a powerful victory.” Iden Forest (pictured) ran right up to his last start third to Drillittobits with a runaway 16.9-metre victory after leading all the  way over 2200-metres in the Crown Lager Pace for Christopher and Matty Howlett. The longer the race went the stronger Iden Forest travelled and when Matthew clicked up the four-year-old turning for home he dashed clear for an impressive win. Beam Me Up Chopper, trained and driven by Kate MacLeod, put punters back on track in race three the Carlton Draught Stakes. “We got away well from the second row and settled just worse than midfield, I found the back of Alaphilppe which is where I wanted to be,” said Kate. “Rohan (Hadley) made his move out three-wide at the 800-metre mark and we latched on until the 400-metre pole where I hooked him out four-wide and he was able to round them up comfortably for a soft win.” Real Diamond made it back-to-back wins for Rod Ashwood when steered to victory by Gareth Rattray in the Lees Orchard Stakes. “It was a top performance by Real Diamond, he showed good speed to hold the challenges out early and then when Rowley joined him at the 400-metre pole Gareth just sat there quietly and kept some in reserve for the late surge from Courageous Katee,” said Rod. “That’s his fourth win and his second straight for us in a fortnight, he’s by Western Ideal from Jadah Rose so there may be another win or two in him yet.” El Jays Monet put punters back on the ropes in the Nichols Sound & Communications Stakeswith a courageous all the way win for Sally Stingel and Ricky Duggan. The seven-year-old gelding crossed from the four gate heading in to first turn and fought on like a caged lion when the challenges came left right and centre in the home stretch. Bianca Heenan and Hannah VanDongen kept their successful season rolling with Jeans Mattjesty pulling out three-wide at the bell in the Roberts Equine Supplies Claimer before surging clear in the straight for a 4.5 metre win. The Todd Rattray trained and driven Kadar turned the tables on Watchmylips to take the prize at double figure odds in the Bevan Lee Butchery Two-Year-Old. Rattray rated Kadar to perfection on top and although Watchmylips rattled home coming from last into the stretch Kadar had a length up its sleeve on the post. Watch Beam Me Up Chopper score a powerful victory in the Carlton Draught Stakes over 2200-metres on Friday night in Launceston.   Shane Yates

IT’S almost a year since Dance Craze was a hard luck story at the Harness Jewels, but she’s had some fun back home since. Anyone who thinks a Jewels trip could be detrimental to their horse only needs to look at her to see it’s been the opposite. In 13 starts since the Jewels raid, Dance Craze has posted seven wins and four seconds. The wins include Australia’s biggest trotting race, the Great Southern Star, and she added the Group 3 La Coocaracha at Menangle last night. She’s won almost $250,000 since that Jewels trip. Dance Craze looked the class act of the La Coocaracha back against her own sex and despite drawing the outside. She sat back and blew them away late to win by an increasing 1.8m over stablemate Pizza Queen in a 1min55.6sec. Tim Butt’s emerging mare Sassy Pants did the work and ran a creditable third despite galloping across the line. _________________________________________________________________________________ INTER Dominion hero Tiger Tara is back in work and being set for the Queensland Winter Carnival. Trainer Kevin Pizzuto gave the update after his emerging pacer Persimmon won the free-for-all in strong style at Menangle last night. “He’s been back a week, so it’s still early, but Queensland is the plan with he and a few others,” Pizzuto said. _________________________________________________________________________________ “DID that just happen?” Those were the magical words from Jocelyn Young after landing her first Group 1 driving win and causing a huge upset aboard Has No Fear in last Friday night’s $150,000 Group 1 WA Oaks at Gloucester Park. The race was supposed to be dominated by boom Kiwi import Dracarys, especially after the late scratching of major rival Balcatherine, but produced one of the “roughest” trifectas in modern feature race history. Nobody got the trifecta on the home TAB. Has No Fear was a $41 shot. The placegetters, Delightfulreaction ($101 the win) and Majorpride ($71 the win), paid $16.10 and $9.20 the place. Justin Prentice trains Dracarys, but also Has No Fear and the third-placed Majorpride. It was Young’s first Group 1 win and there were no shortage of well-wishers given Has No Fear is raced by the Pacing WA Syndicate, with many first-time owners to the sport. “It’s the first horse we syndicated when we resurrected the syndicate,” Gloucester Park CEO Mick Radley said. “This is so awesome.” That’s how Young felt. “They went hard, which suited me and I thought I had them on the home bend. She finds when they come at her,” she said. “This is absolutely a career highlight for me.” Dracarys drew inside the back row, Gary Hall Jr quickly had her into the clear and, although she had to spend some petrol to whiz around the field and take the lead, it was a shock she was spent on the home bend. She tired to finish sixth. _________________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart has long felt Tell Me Tales could become Australia’s best mare. She’s well on her way judging by an utterly dominant $30,000 Group 3 Make Mine Cullen at Melton last night. Despite being three-wide early around the field from a back row draw, then sitting parked, Tell Me Tales won easily in a scorching 1min52.4sec mile rate for 1720m. It was the first leg of Victoria’s mares’ triple crown and she is very clearly the one to beat in the main leg, the Group 1 Queen Of The Pacific on what we saw last night. Steve Telfer’s Kiwi mare Our Step Up continued her fantastic Victorian form with a late-closing second, albeit being no match for the winner. Tell Me Tales record is an impressive 25 starts for 18 wins, four placings and now over $300,000. _________________________________________________________________________________ THE bubble burst on buzz Victorian filly Sleepee in the $40,000 Group 2 NSW Trotters’ Oaks. Sleepee headed into the race with five wins and a second from her six starts, grab the lead easily, dictated the terms and was still easily rundown by $26 outsider Royal Charlotte. All credit to Victorians Paul and Kari Males who made the trip to Menangle with a roughie and snared the prize with the daughter of Majestic Son. The other key runner, local Princess Kenny, galloped at the start and again on the home bend before finishing second-last. The race lost some depth when another key runner, last year’s Redwood winner Emerald Stride, was scratched. _________________________________________________________________________________ ONE-TIME budding superstar Jilliby Kung Fu is still sidelined with injury, but a few others of the “clan” are still firing. Marg Lee’s classy pair Jilliby Chevy and Jilliby Bandit both won at Melton last night. Jilliby Chevy prevailed by a whisker in the $30,000 Group 3 Country Clubs Championship final in a 1min56.1sec mile rate for 2240m with Jason Lee aboard. Two races later, Jason Lee took the reins on Jilliby Bandit for an all-the-way fast-class win in a 1min53.7sec mile rate for 1720m.   Adam Hamilton

Bendigo harness racing horseman Gary Donaldson will never forget a dramatic incident 12 months ago when one of his horses bolted onto a busy highway and was hit by a car. “It might be a year ago, but I can recall every bit of it like it was yesterday, and when I look back on it, I still don’t know how she survived,” Donaldson said. Not only did five-year-old mare Live Like A Royal (Stonebridge Regal USA-Live Your Life (Life Sign USA) survive and get back to racing, but she’s incredibly won four of her past 14 starts. “She is a great little horse who gets out onto the track and tries her heart out. Remarkably she hasn’t put in a bad run since that horrible accident,” Donaldson said. On that fateful day of April 26 last year, Donaldson had been galloping Live Like A Royal at Bendigo’s Lord’s Raceway. “A sulky shaft snapped, and I got tipped out of the cart. The mare took off in fright and headed back to the stables on the McIvor Highway,” Donaldson said. “It was about 8.45am which is peak-hour traffic and she went straight across the highway where a guy hit her travelling at about 70 kilometres an hour. “When I got there, the poor guy driving the car was more concerned about the horse than his vehicle. She flipped up in the air when he hit her and landed on the bonnet. “I can honestly say I expected the worst when I saw the damaged car and the horse lying in the gutter with some of her stomach hanging out. A lot of people had gathered about to try and help, which was nice.” Donaldson said he was surprised when Live Like A Royal “jumped up to her feet after giving her head stall a bit of a tug”. “I was sure she’d have a broken leg or something, but she seemed sound and walked off. She was bleeding heavily, but wasn’t distressed at all,” he said. After a short walk back to his Junortoun stables, Donaldson put the horse in a float and drove to the Bendigo Equine Hospital at nearby White Hills.  The mare was given pain killers immediately and went into surgery within 45 minutes. “The vet said it was critical to carry out the operation as quickly as possible because the longer it’s left, the skin becomes less supple,” he said. “I think they ended up putting in 80 stitches and staples later. They were just awesome at the Equine Hospital. “We then had her home in a stable for six weeks to treat her and keep an eye on her wounds then we let her out to graze in one of our paddocks, before putting her out on agistment.” Donaldson said all the owners checked often on the horse and were elated that she was saved. “They were hoping she still might be a breeding proposition, but all that changed when the lady from the agistment farm rang and told us she was running around in a full gallop with not a worry in the world,” he said. “I told the owners I’d give the horse another chance at the races, but if I wasn’t happy, then that was it and she’d be retired. But Donaldson always had one issue in the back of his mind – would the sight of cars prove the mare’s nemesis? “For a few weeks we tried her out by jogging her around the stables with cars parked everywhere. We even drove them near her and past her to test her out and they just didn’t seem to worry her at all, which was incredible, really,” he said. “From then on we really didn’t take any short cuts and just trained her like one of the others. It amazed me that she just went on like she had previously. There was no lameness, she steered well and was eating up.” On her racetrack return, Live Like A Royal took just four starts to get the winning feeling back – at the Bendigo track where the unfortunate sequence of events unfolded five months prior. She’s since scored another win at Bendigo, and was an impressive Mildura winner on Friday, making it two-on-the-trot in the northern region having scored eight days earlier at Swan Hill. After mustering speed from the pole and holding the lead at Mildura, punters who took the short odds would have been very happy with themselves. Live Like A Royal, sent out a $1.70 favorite, posted splits of 31, 32, 30 and 29.4 to cruise to an easy 7m win in the C1 class event. To watch a video replay of this race click on this link For Donaldson, a trip to Mildura is always somewhat of a “home coming” after doing a 12-month stint working at a bank in the city back in the late 1970s. “I began in Charlton and then got transferred to Mildura. I remember helping the late Fred Peterson with his team of horses when I was in Sunraysia and he had a few that went okay,” he said. Since leaving the bank, Donaldson has operated businesses in Central Victoria in addition to training a team of horses. He currently has nine in work – although that’s likely to be reduced in future, with the pending sale of his property. Donaldson said the Live Like A Royal story was one of the most emotional, but also the most satisfying, in his time in the sport. “It was a long road in nursing her back to good health, but she has certainly repaid us now,” he said. “Since the day of the accident, I have had people coming up to me all the time, in the shopping centre or anywhere, to ask how ‘the horse that got hit by the car’ is going? “It got plenty of media coverage at the time and Live Like A Royal now has her own band of supporters which is great.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When you're hot, you are pretty close to being on fire. Eighteen-year-old claim harness racing driver Taleah McMullen has hit her straps in spectacular style in recent weeks. In the 2018/19 season, she is boasting stats of 321 drives for 38 wins and 81 placings while bankrolling $195,361 for owners. We may have to add a couple to the win score as the lightweight lady driver took out the last two at Albion Park Thursday after the information above, was released. McMullen's current lifetime stats put together in just three seasons were 688 drives, 62 wins, 154 placings and total earnings of $327,285. Another star is rising in the lower Brisbane Valley hamlet of Glamorganvale. Top Monday meeting at Marburg JUST two days to the big Labour Day race meeting at Marburg. The best way to wind up a long weekend is an afternoon at a country trot meeting. Eight exciting races are being offered with the first at 12.04pm. Kids will be happy all day with mini-trot races, face painting, a colouring in competition, plus a Kid's Fashions In The Field, sponsored by Anne Murray and run in four age divisions (1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12). Plenty of betting options with the UTAB van and ATM on-course, the "Funny money'' bookmaker for those who want the excitement of a flutter but can't afford to lose the rent. For the form students, get your $500 funny money voucher, and your entry form for the "pick the last seven winners” from the race book. It's worth $1,100 this week on a share basis. Best bar prices, best burgers and best desserts round out a day's exciting entertainment aimed at the budget conscious family. All that and the last race at 4.15pm gets you home at a reasonable time. Gates open at 11am. Admission prices are adults $5, pensioners, members and students over 16 are $3. The all-important race book is $3. Key development CHANGE may be coming. Dependent on Harness Racing Australia giving the nod to a number of minor changes to "Harvey” software, Queensland Harness will wave goodbye to the failed "drop back” rule. No longer will horses coming up to double figures since their last win be strongly suspected of having several "dry runs” in their haste to drop back a class. Uniquely, in a move to combat the current horse shortage in Queensland, Racing Queensland will maintain the existing class system in parallel with the "benchmark ratings system” which will be adopted Australia wide on July 1. As "claiming” races are divorced entirely from the ratings system, it is likely that they may proliferate in Queensland harness programs. In a further initiative, RQ proposes that races of $3500 total, should attract a "career” rather than a "graduate” penalty. This is likely to be the lever which will allow the handicapper to simplify the program, and reduce the number of conditions written. BOTRA invites participants to the Hamilton Hotel on Monday, May 13, at 6pm to discuss the above. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: 1-4-8: Luikin (B Elder)-Wattlebank Flyer (A Richardson)-Monivae (P McMullen). R2: E/w 2: Macheasy (G Dixon). R3: Quinella 1-9: Crowning Glory (N McMullen) and Tell The Linesmen (A Sanderson). R4: Quinella 2-12: Bells Beach House (P McMullen) and Lincoln Road (H Barnes). R5: Quinella1-10: Our Bondi Beach (D Graham) and Unassuming Champ (A Richardson). R6: Quinella 1-4: Proficient (K Dawson) and Battle Born (J Elkins). R7: Box trifecta 1-2-7: Drive Your Dream (D. Graham)-Innocent Crocker (K Rasmussen)-Red Charmer (G Dixon). R8: E/w Living Grand (A Richardson). R9: First four 1-6-8-9: Ivanov (J Cremin)-Northern Muscle (D Smith)-Justabitnoisy (D Lee)-Maybe to The Max (H Barnes). R10: Quinella 5-6: Beaver (T Dawson) and Glenferrie Hood (P McMullen). Marburg guide For Monday's Labour Day meeting. Race 1 tips: 4-2-1. MAJOR SLIP UP: 3rd up from spell. Class drop. ALL MADNESS: Erratic but gets clear shot. Fit. SMOOTH THE COST: New stable. Top trainer/driver. Ace draw. Race 2 tips: 8-6-4. ACE MONTANA: Top stable, top driver and gets easy trail early. DALLAS COWGIRL: Going well, and may get clear of fence early. SHIMANSHYNE: Resuming. Showed some promise early. Race 3 tips: 3-8-9. ARES: Will be going forward early and may hold on. WHATA STRIDE: Recent winner. Lightweight driver and will get a good trail. LIGHT HORSE: Shows flashes of brilliance. Up to these at his best. Race 4 tips: 4-8-10. GOALKICKER: Excellent form. Best of the front markers. BRONZE ECSTASY: Very strong and will get carted into it. GOODTIME STRIDE: Great form, 30 metres not beyond him. Race 5 tips: 8-7-9. TASCOTT LADY: Honest as the sun, can round these up. ARTS PEREGRINE: Always thereabouts, runs on. OUR CHAMPION: Wide draw, but may be his day. Race 6 tips: 3-5-1. OMINOUS FLYER: Gets his chance today. MY ULTIMATE HELL: Knows track backwards, top driver. IFOUNDTHEBEACH: Draw suits,and will be in front for a long way. Race 7 tips: 9-1-4. IF YOU BELIEVE: Stable and driver both flying. Will be there at the finish. DOMESTIC ART: Runs best races here and has ace draw. INCITER: Slowly developing into a nice horse, runs on. Race 8 tips: 7-9-2. DONNY JONES: Good form, gets nice trail, cool driver. STEVIE DEE: Honest mare, top stable, top driver. ZENMACH: Form ordinary, but has options. Honour board Taleah McMullen was first time up with eight wins and rating of 400. Adam Richardson posted six wins and a rate of 300. No change on the trainers' board, with Chantal Turpin and Ron Sallis leading in three apiece. Most pleasing was Taleah McMullen's success with two doubles and a treble. Albion Park, April 26: Garland Greene (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Lisa Lincoln (Trent Dawson for Melissa Gillies); So Bobs Your Uncle (Adam Richardson for Drew Turton); Much Bettor (Adam Sanderson for Ian Gurney); Im Free Falling (Taleah McMullen for Ron Sallis). Albion Park, April 27: A Good Chance (Pete McMullen for Donny Smith); Tulhurst Ace (Adam Richardson for Chris Monte); Lincoln Road (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Innocent Crocker (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Oceans Predator (Narissa McMullen for Greg Elkins); Quietly Spoken (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Watch Pulp Fiction (Chantal Turpin); Ark (Adam Sanderson for Grant Dixon). Redcliffe, April 28: Elms Creek (Taleah McMullen for Ron Sallis); Meant To Be Me (Adam Richardson for Gary Gerrard); Im Toot (Taleah McMullen for Dale Belford); Robinmegood (Rob Gorman for Kevin Joiner); Celtic Cruza (Taleah McMullen for Donny Smith); Downtown Lucca (Adam Richardson for Allan Sanders). Albion Park, April 30: Mach Alert (Kelli Dawson for Ian Gurney). Redcliffe, May 1: Comigal (Hayden Barnes for Brett Cargill); Rowdys Ace (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Mybella Rose (Taleah McMullen for Murray Thomas); One Last Roll (Pete McMullen for Rachel Belier); Dashing Hannah (Adam Richardson for Tayla Gillespie). Albion Park, May 2: Robinmegood (Rob Gorman for Kevin Joiner); Epirus Boy (Hayden Barnes for Jack Butler); Devouged (Adam Richardson for Doug Lee); Morroch Bay (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Our Pepperjack (Taleah McMullen for Graham White); Elms Creek (Taleah McMullen for Ron Sallis). By Denis Smith - Trot Tactics Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Too Good For You was exactly that in the running of the Perc Verning Memorial at the Tamworth harness racing meeting on Thursday afternoon - too good! With the enviable barrier draw of the one barrier reinswoman Stacey Weidemann rated the four-year-old gelding well out in the lead whilst undertaking race pressure from Jackeroo Shannon from the Sarah Rushbrook stables racing out in the breeze. "He doesn't get a good barrier draw too often and when he does you have to make the most of it," stated Stacey Weidemann of the one barrier for Too Good For You. "Jackeroo Shannon was probably the one at the start that we thought if we hold him out, we lead. I knew I had to hold him out to stand a good chance." After commencing from the two barrier Jackeroo Shannon kept the race pressure on Too Good For You until the final 150 metres where Weidemann motivated her charge around the final turn to come away for a 10.8m win over Tap It In (Tom Ison), with Jackeroo Shannon a further 3.5m away third. Too Good For You "He is a bit of fun this little horse - he is a pleasure to have. We have had a good run with him since the owners gave him to us," added Weidemann, who was notching her second win in the feature race after guiding Fours Enuf Tas to the win in 2016. Raced over the 2360m Too Good For You recorded a mile rate of 2.03.6 minutes for the race distance in achieving his eight race win from 48 starts. "He finished the race off on his ear and you couldn't have asked him (Too Good For You) to finish it any better," Weidemann said. Named in honour of the late Perc Verning, who was a founding member of harness racing at Tamworth, this year was the fifth running of the memorial race.  The presentation with Jack, Bev and Spud Verning - children of Perc Verning. Photo: PeterMac Photography.   The inaugural winner back in 2015 was Alyeska Dream, which was fittingly trained by Perc's son Spud Verning. "Dad loved his harness racing and he would be up there looking down on us today," Verning said. The Weidemann name is now listed on three occasions with Stacey Weidemann taking the 2016 running followed by Lola Weidemann in 2017 with Rocknroll Annie. The Puritan from the Richard Williams stables won the 2018 running. With Lola Weidemann training Too Good For You she went on to pick up a winning double at the meeting as a trainer when Miss Catalina won the Pitt Express Ladyship Pace with Moonbi reinsman Dean Chapple taking the catch drive. "I have been fortunate to get a few drives off Lola - it's a nice stable - the horses are tough and easy to drive," Chapple said. "We had to drive for luck and there wasn't much going our way for a while but we got luck in the home straight. She (Miss Catalina) is a mare with 215 race starts - she is just a marvel - she saw the gap and she went for it." After sitting three back on the inside running line Chapple saw a gap on the home turn guiding Miss Catalina clear to come away for a half neck win over a fast finishing Roll With Tricky (Sam Ison) and Myanga Sportsgirl (Stacey Weidemann) 2.5m away third. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

While competent Daylesford harness racing reinswoman Anne-Maree Conroy showed fine touch to land a recent winning double, she was more than happy to shift the spotlight to her husband Michael Barby. Conroy had just two drives at Ballarat on Wednesday and returned home with a 100 percent strike rate, thanks to square-gaiting pair Teetreetommy (Julius Caesar-Blooming Marvellous (Umbrella Fella) and Argyle Melody (Life Sign-Dalmont Vivienne (What’s Next). Conroy trains Argyle Melody, but she was quick to heap praise on Michael, who defied conventional wisdom in changing pacing bred gelding Teetreetommy into a trotter. “Teetreetommy was a big stroppy type of fella when he was being broken-in and tried as a pacer,” Conroy said. “Then one day Mick figured out that perhaps the horse wanted to be a trotter, so we decided to give him a try.” It wasn’t necessarily a smooth transition for Teetreetommy, though. “I wasn’t actually that sure about the decision when early on he refused to turn in a run-around before the trials,” Conroy said. “But Mick persevered, and the horse kept improving. After a while he made his race debut at Kilmore and we were pretty excited with a third placing. “He was going to be right in it at his next start, but broke and ran sixth, and then had a third and won at Melton leading up to this latest win.” Anne-Maree said the Ballarat success was virtually a carbon copy of Teetreetommy’s Melton victory. “We drifted back to near the rear, and then worked into it going down the back straight before finishing it off in the run to the line,” she said. “He is certainly starting to develop so we are going to have some fun with him.” To watch the video replay of this race click here. Teetreetommy, owned by Gerard and Brendan White, was named in honor of their brother Tommy, who passed away four years ago this month. Tommy formerly lived in Ti Tree Road, Dunnstown. The White clan was out in force at Ballarat, being trackside for the first time to cheer home their winner. Argyle Melody provided Anne-Maree with her second winner of the night, showing in the T C Bricklaying Trotters Handicap that age is no barrier. And in doing so, the 10-year-old mare may have delayed a booking in the broodmare barn. “Her previous run was a fifth at Geelong and it was a bit below par so some of the owners were suggesting perhaps she’d go to stud next season,” Conroy said. “I put the blame on myself because she didn’t feel keen at all; she was really flat and performed pretty ordinary,” she said. Anne-Maree is the daughter of central Victorian trotting legend Bob Conroy, a true gentleman of the sport, who died in a training accident 18 months ago. Anne-Maree’s parents, Pat and the late Bob Conroy “I asked myself what dad would have done in that situation. I decided he would have given her more galloping, long heat workouts, swimming or cut back her feed,” she said. “I thought about it for a bit and then decided to opt for the diet idea. “When we went out onto the track at Ballarat, I soon knew I’d done the right thing because she was up on her toes and felt far more lively than the previous week. “The speed was strong from the start and that suited her. It turned into a slog up the final straight, but she was very fit and that got her there. “I must admit that I did give her a few of her favorite treats afterwards, but only for a little while!” To watch the video replay of this race click here Argyle Melody is raced by Colin Beveridge, his partner Mary-Lou Raybould, Pat Conroy (mum of Anne-Maree), Sam Justin and Leanne Taylor. The mare has now had 15 wins and 43 placings for over $105,000. Anne-Maree and her two brothers Glenn and Peter work a team together of around 17 horses. “We’ll probably reduce that number when the wet, cold weather arrives,” she said. While the Conroy family is renowned for their outstanding results with square-gaiters, Anne-Maree said they didn’t have a preference between either gait. “I agree we have a good reputation with trotters, but it’s a huge thrill to drive a good pacer as well. We’re not fussy, we just love getting the best out of our horses.” Hoofnote: the late Bob Conroy won the ‘78 Bendigo Pacing Cup and Italian Cup with pacing superstar Lincoln Star, but on the flipside had brilliant trotters in Mary Beverley, Amazon, Mister Everest and others. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

“Trotting in Australia and New Zealand needs to be part of the world scene,” says a recent visitor to Southland, Aldebaran Parks principal Duncan McPherson. McPherson attended the Winton Harness meeting in April as a guest of Southern Harness and HRNZ Board Member Kevin McNaught. Aldebaran were also sponsors of the Gold Chip Super Final, one of the features of the days racing.  Aldebaran Park is an agistment and breeding organization with its ‘home’ farm in the heart of the Goulburn Valley region in Victoria but it also has branches in America and Sweden. Aldebaran was set up by McPherson and well known Australian trainer Chris Lang and his wife Sharon. “We rate ourselves as an international destination for trotters in the world and we started with Aldebaran Park in 2004. Chris and Sharon are great mates of mine and my father started with Graeme (Lang) back in 1962. Chris came to me and said we should get together and have some horses. The irony is that my late wife, myself, Chris and Sharon all have the star sign Taurus. The brightest star in the Taurus constellation is Aldebaran so that’s where the name came from,” said McPherson. Duncan says the family connection goes further back than Aldebaran. His grandmother visited New Zealand in 1954 and bought horses out of Southland. “We had the opportunity to buy the good ones but never had the money to.” His father also visited New Zealand in the 1960s and bought a horse called Eden.  “She was by Morris Eden. Her best progeny was Rebecca Campbell. She won the 1975 Youthful Stakes and the 1976 South Australia Oaks.” Eden was bred by the late Ted Lowe and was out of Cavendish which was a half-sister to the useful pacers Globe Direct (13 wins) and Chief Lochiel (9 wins). Aldebaran these days concentrates on the trotting market and has about thirty five well bred mares under it’s name including one of the Australia’s greats, Maori Time. She won twenty four of her sixty six starts including the Group One 2013 NSW Trotting Oaks, The Trotters Mile at Menangle and the 2016 and 2017 Aldebaran B Collins Trot. She won a total of $421,301 in stakes. “Maori Time raced in the Elitloppett in Sweden. She’s heading for motherhood with Readly Express which won the Group One European Championship.”      Aldebaran also consigns yearlings to the Australian and New Zealand Trotting Sales. At the 2018 Prydes Australian Premier Trotting Sale they sold a full brother to Maori Time for $60,000. They also sold three trotters in this year’s NZB Standardbred Christchurch Sale. Southlander Wayne McEwan bought Aldebaran Fawkes (Love You – Solar Power) for $21,000, KPC Racing Australia bought Aldebaran White Sox (Muscle Hill – U Dream) for $50,000 and Aldebaran Floss (Muscle Hill – Another Love) sold for $25,000.   They also have two resident stallions on farm in Victoria - Group One USA winner Aldebaran Walkabout (Muscle Hill - Letsjustalkboutme -USA T3 1.52.2) and Skyvalley - NZ T 1.56.2 (Muscles Yankee - Chiolas Lass NZ). McPherson knows Southland has produced some great pacing horses over the years but says it now has the opportunity to get fully into breeding world class trotters. “In Australia we have very brown paddocks and are hard feeding. If we can understand where our food bowl is and where our potential outcome needs to be, I think there’s an opportunity to breed world class horses here in Southland.” He says breeders in New Zealand and Australia now have access to the best trotting genetics in the world. “We need to understand that we’ve been behind in our breeding. I always said it’s a twelve to fifteen year programme for us to catch up but as long as we’ve got our Muscle Hill and Dream Vacation mares we can probably catchup a bit quicker. I think we’re between year eight and year ten at the moment. Australian and New Zealand Trotting has one of the fastest growing gene pools in the world. We can now go to studs in America and Europe and command some respect. Fifteen years ago they frowned upon us.” And he says Australasia has the fastest growing sub two minute trotting gene pool in the world. “We are breeding greater number of trotters than ever before. Finland only has between 150 and 200 broodmares. Australia has a gene pool of between 800 and 1000 mares.”         Aldebaran also has a strong profile in America and is breeding horses in Australia to Northern Hemisphere time and then sending them to America to be trained. “Our trainer up there is Jonas Czernyson and he’s won five grand circuit races in the last six years for us. Why do we send horses to America to race? We need to send a statement to the rest of the world that our trotters are internationally relevant.” They also purchase well bred trotting stock out of America and bring them back to Australia. “We were very fortunate. We bought a Cantab Hall filly at the 2010 Lexington Sales. We bought her to Australia and put her in foal to Muscle Hill and that foal Aldabaron Walkabout won the Bluegrass - a grand circuit race in America last season at Kentucky at the Red Mile. To send a weanling to America and win a stakes race like that is a great thrill.” As part of their commitment to making the Australian Trotting stock more international they continue to buy fillies with international pedigrees and breed foals to Southern Hemisphere time.   “We buy fillies from all round the world and impregnate them to southern hemisphere time and then import them back into Australia. We’ve been doing that programme for six to eight years. We now have a global gene pool at Aldebaran Park in Australia. We have Readly Express fillies, Viking Kronas fillies and Credit Winner colts. We think we can now take the sport to another level.” They also have a presence in Sweden and have horses trained by Pasi Aikio, head trainer at Menhammar Stuteri. Aldebaran are big sponsors of trotting in Australia and their sponsorships include naming rights to the Aldebaran Park Mile Rate at Tabcorp Park, the Monte Series and the Vicbred Super Series for Trotters. They also sponsor the Maori Mile at the Bendigo Harness Racing Club which is the richest Group One sprint for open class trotters held in regional Australia.  Their sponsorships now extend to New Zealand with the $20,000 Aldebaran Park Trotters Super Gold Chip Final at Winton. Aldebaran Park is also a strong advocate of the HERO program in Victoria which sees the re-education and re-homing of Standardbreds following their racing and stud careers. They’re also partners of the Harness Breeders Victoria "Follow the Foal" programme. McPherson says that Aldebaran, through all promotions and sponsorships support their Charity Partner - Women's Cancer Foundation, raising awareness of Ovarian Cancer through support of the Team Teal (New Zealand) and Teal Pants (Australia). “I think we have an opportunity through Team Teal to endear ourselves to the general public and to make our sport socially relevant. You then have an opportunity to attract sponsors. Sponsors equal ownership and ownership equals demand on progeny.”   Bruce Stewart

The Group 1 $250,000 WA Oaks headlines a stellar 10-event card at Gloucester Park on Friday night and members of the WA Trotting Media Guild are confident of sending punters home with plenty of cash in their pockets. Multiple winner of the Guild’s tipping competition Stuart Lowe and The West Australian’s Ernie Manning believe the impressive Mathew James can continue on his winning ways in the last race. “My best bet is the speedy three-year-old Mathew James, who has won three of five starts,” Lowe said. “He impressed last start when he breezed before winning in 1.56.2 over 2130m. Looks the class runner here.” And Manning agrees. “Mathew James has shown considerable potential for trainer Justin Prentice since arriving from New Zealand and looks set to complete a winning hat-trick,” Manning said. “He faced the breeze last week in his Gloucester Park debut and scored from Jilliby Jake, who has since won. Mathew James, a Pinjarra winner at his previous start, had travelled to WA after a Kiwi victory and has not missed a place in five starts.” Fresh from his recent honeymoon, leading tipster Matt Young believes Fanci A Dance is a good thing. “Fanci A Dance will be suited by the trip and can make his own luck,” Young said. “He is coming along nicely and looming large for a win.” GPTV’s Ken Casellas is in the Bettor Be Lively camp. “Bettor Be Lively is racing with admirable enthusiasm for veteran trainer Colin Joss and he’s my best bet on Friday night,” Casellas said. “I expect him to lead from barrier two and hold off his rivals in the 2130m event. He set the pace last Friday night before being overhauled in the final few strides to finish a half-head second to Im Soxy.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft believes Miss Sangrial is the way to go. “Miss Sangrial was a strong winner at Pinjarra on Monday under standing-start conditions when defeating Major Pocket,” Havercroft said. “She never got into the Easter Cup at her previous outing and should have finished closer than eighth. Her form prior to that was sound.” Longshot king Pat Harding is looking forward to the return of pacing superstar Chicago Bull and has made the little champ his best for the night. “My best bet of the night comes up in the fourth race,” Harding said. “Really looking forward to the re-appearance of Chicago Bull. Coming out of barrier two, this class horse should cap off his return to GP with a scintillating win.” Guild president Wayne Currall has made his best bet Dracarys in the WA Oaks. “Despite drawing the worst possible barrier (gate 10), Dracarys is the horse to beat in the Oaks,” Currall said. “She’s won 11 of her 16 starts and has champion reinsman Gary Hall Jr in the bike. Dracarys’ main rival, Typhoon Tiff, has drawn awkwardly in gate eight and Junior should have the last shot over the 2536m trip.” VALUE BETS STUART: The value bet is the mare Miss Sangrial, who followed a luckless eighth in the Easter Cup with a smart win off 30m at Pinjarra on Monday. Looks suited here. ERNIE: Hes Talking has barrier one and is capable of a bold first-up run, after not winning in 10 starts before going for a spell last October. The gelding has won twice at Gloucester Park and he is expected to have a successful campaign for trainer-reinsman Colin Brown. MATT: Rocknroll Delight is low flying and needs a few things to go her way in the mares feature, but she is capable of causing an upset at massive odds. KEN: For value, I suggest Frostyflyer in race eight. He has a losing sequence of 22, but gave promise of better things to come when he was 11th at the bell and thundered home, out six wide, to finish third behind The Midas Touch and Fanci A Dance last Friday night. RYAN: Hezgot Fusion Power resumed from an almost seven-year break when winning at the midweeks recently. He should have derived benefit from that outing and connections have come straight to Friday night company which suggests a level of confidence. PAT: My value bet of the night comes up in race six with No. 7 Lincs Tiger. This horse has shown excellent form in his last three races and should make it back-to-back wins. WAYNE: Halle Rage will be at liberal odds when she steps from the front line in the Race For Roses. However, master reinsman Chris Lewis can lead them a merry dance if he can take up the running with the the Ross Olivieri-trained six-year-old mare. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting.   Wayne Currall

Officials of the Forbes Diggers Harness Racing Club could not be any happier with the classy line up of pacers that have accepted for their feature meeting of the year, the Carnival of Cups this Sunday afternoon. The $12,000 Forbes Services Memorial Club Final (2060m) has top billing and is certain to provide an action-packed affair, following three keenly contested qualifying heats that were conducted on Anzac Day. The most impressive of the heat winners was Coleambally trained gelding Abitmorebliss (Jackson Painting) which led throughout and fought on stoutly in a driving finish. That was the five-year-old's third win on the trot. On Anzac Day, Painting let Abitmorebliss run and he posted a very fast 1.59.8 which was clearly the fastest time of the heat winners. Equally as impressive was the runner up Carramar Times Up (Nathan Turnbull) who did a ton of work in the run after circling the field from her second line draw and then sitting outside the leader. Turnbull worked the leader over a long way from home and Carramar Times Up was brave in only going down by a short half head. But again, the draw is against the Bathurst mare and she will have to reproduce the effort if she is going to come out on top of Abitmorebliss which has a favourable barrier four draw. Walk On Kimmy (Emma Turnbull) led up in her heat win and has again drawn to be in the firing line from barrier two while the other heat winner, Grinorama (Matt Robb) will need plenty of luck after drawing poorly in barrier ten. The Tab.Com.Au Pace (2060m) will open the day's racing at 12.52pm and is for the three-year-olds. Gemma and Mat Rue have a soft spot for the gelding Kash Us Back whom they saved as a foal and they will be hoping that he can continue his current rich vein of form this afternoon. A recent win at Bathurst was bookended by second placings at Albion Park and at his home track. Josh Turnbull will be chasing a race to race double early in the afternoon. Hit The Track will contest the Forbes Livestock & Walkers Agnvet Pace (1680m) and will be driven by Nathan Turnbull. The three-year-old gelding has been racing in much stronger company than what he is meeting on Sunday and was a winner of the Gold Chalice Consolation at Bathurst on Gold Crown night. Turnbull's second winning chance is Lucky Lyla in the Kevin and Kay Seymour Ladyship Pace (2060m). The mare has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the second row and talented Queensland driver, Isobel Ross will have to use all her skill to overcome the adversity. She was a Parkes winner back on April 3 and has since ran a close third at Bathurst. Im All Courage (John O'Shea) which is part owned by Forbes couple Rod and Debbie Wenning is a consistent mare that has been placed at Bathurst and Bankstown during April and she will be hard to beat in the small eight horse field. Eugowra pacer, Nicopolis will be chasing a spot in the $13,500 Dubbo Golden Gig Series Final to be held later this month. Forbes Shire Council sponsor the qualifier on Sunday and the Grant Jones trained gelding looks well placed in barrier three. He appeared set to figure in the finish when he broke stride at the 400 metres mark at West Wyalong last Sunday. He was most impressive in winning at Wagga on March 22 and followed that with a placing there and at Parkes. Lovin Everyday (James Sutton) is a model of consistency having won two and being placed on nine occasions from 13 runs this season. She is the definite danger to Nicopolis with the other chances drawn less favourably on the second row. The Club Menangle Where Horses Fly Heat (1680m) has been flooded with Bathurst trained horses with no less than eight of the ten runners coming from there. Sams Express (John O'Shea) has his hoof right on the till after running two luckless seconds at Dubbo in the heat and final of the Easter Series. On both occasions he was held up for a run at vital stages and was undoubtedly a certainty beaten. Tough pacer Young Cambo (Emma Turnbull) followed a win at Young with two strong efforts at Menangle where he finished fourth and third respectively. A very evenly graded field will contest the Ted Clifford Memorial (2060m) with recent winners, Cobbity Chic (Bernie Hewitt), Abercrombie Tab (Will Rixon) and Michaels Desire (Mitch Turnbull) heading up the many chances in the race. Leading trainer, Steve Turnbull only has one runner engaged at the meeting and it is Maximus Red who will line up for him in the final event of the day, the Club Menangle Country Series Heat (1680m). Turnbull loves to compete in these rich country series and Maximus Red will be hard to beat here. He ran second at Menangle on April 13 and followed that with a second at West Wyalong before finding the Cup Final there a little out of his reach. The Bernie Hewitt pair of Ima Black Beauty (Mat Rue) and Brads Luck (Bernie) both have plenty of ability and have drawn nicely on the front row, ensuring that they will race up close throughout. Michael Dumesny selects: Race 1: 1.Kash Us Back 2.Gabbys Sportstar 3.Mammals Riddle 4.Kaybee Stars Race 2: 1.Hit The Track 2.Juleenjode 3.We Salute You 4.Crazy In Love Race 3: 1.Lucky Lyla 2.Im All Courage 3.Dot Ayou 4.Ichiba Newy Race 4: 1.Nicopolis 2.Lovin Everyday 3.Remember Bubbles 4.Monterei Duke Race 5: 1.Abitmorebliss 2.Carramar Times Up 3.Walk On Kimmy 4.Dunno Jo Race 6: 1.Sams Express 2.Young Cambo 3.Charlevoix 4.Bobby Street Race 7: 1.Cobbity Chic 2.Abercrombie Tab 3.Michaels Desire 4.Bustling Barney Race 8: 1.Maximus Red 2.Ima Black Beauty 3.Brads Luck 4.Shannonstheman By Craig Dumesny Reprinted with permission of The Forbes Advocate

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