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Champion trainer Tim Butt hotly disputes persistent suggestions that millionaire pacer My Field Marshal is purely a brilliant sprinter who will struggle to win the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. There is no doubting that the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old is a magnificent speedster over short trips, but Butt said that he had no concerns whatsoever that the stallion would be found wanting over the 2536m journey. “It takes a strong stayer to excel over sprint trips,” said Butt, who is bubbling with confidence that his brother Anthony will guide My Field Marshal to victory on Friday night, particularly after drawing favourably at barrier two on the front line. “My Field Marshal has done everything right and has pleased me with his work since he led and won the Village Kid Sprint two Fridays ago. He is showing no breathing problems after two successful wind operations.” My Field Marshal, who rated 1.54 when he was untroubled to win the 1730m Village Kid Sprint, became the fastest pacer in Australasia when he won the Miracle Mile in 1.46.9 at Menangle in February last year. He has raced 60 times for 25 wins, 15 seconds and six thirds for earnings of $1,132,712. His wins have been over 1609m (11), 1650m (one), 1700m (one), 1730m (one), 1950m (five), 2000m (one), 2200m (one), 2240m (two), 2400m (one) and 2700m (one). His 2700m victory was as a four-year-old at Alexandra Park in the group 1 Messenger Championship when he started from barrier four and enjoyed a perfect trip, one-out and two-back in sixth position before finishing strongly out wide to convincingly beat My Kiwi Mate at a 1.56.6 rate in April 2017.     “His runs over middle distances in Australia have been good,” said Butt. My Field Marshal finished a one-metre second to Hectorjayjay in the 2680m Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park in July 2017 when Tiger Tara was third and Lennytheshark fourth. The winner rated 1.56.1. In October 2017 My Field Marshal was a one-length second to San Carlo (1.56.6) in the group 3 Maryborough Gold Cup over 2690m and two weeks after that he was a wonderful 4m second to Lennytheshark, who rated 1.55.4 to smash Restrepo’s track record. My Field Marshal started from the back line and he raced in sixth position before moving into the breeze 1200m from home. He fought on with admirable determination, with the final quarters whizzing by in 26.9sec. and 27.3sec. My Field Marshal finished his 19-start campaign as a six-year-old with a well-beaten ninth behind Let It Ride in the 2680m Blacks A Fake Championship last July. He started from the back line, raced at the rear and three wide in the final circuit. Her resumed after a spell with an easy 1609m victory in 1.50.9 at Menangle on December 17 before his impressive win in the Village Kid Sprint 11 nights later. The Butt brothers are aiming to make amends for Raglan’s splendid second to champion Im Themightyquinn in the 2012 Fremantle Cup when Raglan surged home from last at the bell. They first campaigned in Western Australia in 2004 when Mister D G won two heats and finished second in another before finishing a desperately close fourth behind Jofess in a four-way photo finish in the final of the Inter Dominion championship. Tim Butt decided just over a year ago to move from his property in Christchurch to set up stables at the Menangle complex and he is currently preparing My Field Marshal at leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond’s stables in Forrestdale. My Field Marshal faces strong challenges from the Bond camp, which dominates the Fremantle Cup with a record of seven of the 12 runners, the New Zealand-bred band of Galactic Star, Saying Grace, El Jacko, Our Jimmy Johnstone, Our Max Phactor, Mitch Maguire and Vampiro, who between them have won 142 races and amassed $2,135,457 in prizemoney. Greg Bond has fond memories of his first runner in a Fremantle Cup Money Magnet, who was an 8/1 chance and was driven to an easy all-the-way victory by Colin Brown in a 2907m stand in January 2006, a week after he started at 14/1 and came from last to win the Australian Pacing Championship consolation, a mobile over 2143m. Not surprisingly, Greg Bond rates Galactic Star as the stable’s best winning prospect 12 months after the gelding was the rank outsider at tote odds of $228 and finished 11th behind My Hard Copy, who charged home to win the Fremantle Cup in a thrilling finish from Lazarus and Chicago Bull. Then, in February, Galactic Star was beaten into second place in the Albany Cup by Major Stare. Galactic Star’s form this season has been outstanding. He started with wins in the group 3 Don Randall Cup over 2631m at Pinjarra and the Cranley Memorial, a listed classic over 1730m at Gloucester Park in November, before winning a heat and being placed in two other heats of the Inter Dominion championship in Victoria in December before finishing an unlucky sixth in the final after he was badly checked and lost valuable ground soon after the start. Ryan Warwick, the State’s leading reinsman with 88 winners this season, has chosen to drive Galactic Star, who will start from the inside of the back line. The winner of 25 races and $417,335, he possesses dazzling point-to-point speed and has outstanding winning prospects. Brown has been engaged to drive Vampiro, whose prospects slumped when he drew the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Mitch Maguire (Aiden de Campo) also faces a tough test from barrier eight and ten-year-old warhorse Our Jimmy Johnstone (Michael Grantham) will need luck from the No. 7 barrier. Our Jimmy Johnstone finished solidly along the inside when third behind Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca in the 2017 Fremantle Cup. El Jacko (Nathan Turvey) has sprinted home fast to win on the past two Friday nights and he is capable of a bold showing from barrier two on the back line. Our Max Phactor (Dylan Egerton-Green) will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line and will be at liberal odds despite his splendid second to My Field Marshall in the Village Kid Sprint after working hard in the breeze. He boasts a remarkable record in WA of 14 starts for 12 wins and two seconds. Bond considers lightly-raced five-year-old Saying Grace a realistic chance from the prized No. 1 barrier. The American Ideal gelding who has had only 25 starts for 11 wins and six placings will be driven by Chris Lewis, who has won the Fremantle Cup six times with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), John Albert (1995), Sandy Bay (2005) and Dasher VC (2013). Saying Grace also started from barrier one at his latest appearance, over 2130m last Friday week, when he was first out and then broke into a gallop and lost six lengths. He settled in fifth position before quickly dashing forward to the breeze and finished a close-up fifth behind El Jacko. Gary Hall Jnr, who has won the Fremantle Cup a record eight times, will drive Rocknroll Lincoln for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice. Rocknroll Lincoln, a smart winner at two of his past three starts, will begin from barrier four and should be prominent. Gary Hall Snr, who has trained the winner of the Cup eight times, will be pinning his faith in the tough and consistent Runrunjimmydunn, who will start from an awkward draw at No. 5 with Clint Hall in the sulky. The Mike Reed-trained Maczaffair (barrier six) is the only mare in the Cup and the only non-New Zealand-bred runner is the WA-bred Vultan Tin, who is prepared at Coolup by Phil Costello and will be handled by Chris Voak. Vultan Tin, who set the pace and finished second to El Jacko over 2130m last Friday night, will start from the No. 3 barrier. Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has given punters a strong lead by opting to drive Bronze Seeker in the opening event, the $20,000 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall chose to handle the Peter Anderson-trained Bronze Seeker in preference to smart performer Kimani, who is prepared by his father Gary Hall Snr. He made that decision after driving Bronze Seeker to victory over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon and after Bronze Seeker drew the coveted No. 1 barrier and Kimani drew out wide at barrier eight. Kimani will be driven by Stuart McDonald, whose previous drive behind the gelding was eight starts ago when he began from barrier eight and impressed in charging home from eighth at the bell to win easily from Starlight Brigade, after final quarters of 28.7sec. and 28.8sec. in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park. Hall, one of 25 drivers to have handled Bronze Seeker in his 191 starts in Western Australia, will be driving the versatile ten-year-old for only the fifth time. His record behind the gelding is a win, a second and two fourths. Bronze Seeker broke an 11-month drought and ended a losing sequence of 26 at Pinjarra on Monday when he began speedily from barrier three to take up the running after 50m. Hall then opted to take a sit behind Lagoon Stride and Bronze Seeker finished strongly along the sprint lane to win from Lagoon Stride and Thisbeachrighthere, rating 1.57.4. At his previous start, over 2130m on New Year’s Eve, Bronze Seeker (driven by Hall) was restrained from barrier seven and was not suited by the dawdling pace over the first 1200m. He was ninth at the bell and impressed when he sustained a powerful three-wide burst from the 700m to finish a very close fourth behind Carrera Mach. Bronze Seeker has been a credit to Anderson, who has given the Mach Three gelding 191 starts for 15 wins and 35 placings. Bronze Seeker, who had 26 starts in New Zealand for 11 wins (one as a two-year-old and ten as a three-year-old), has earned $407,424 from 26 wins and 39 placings from 217 starts. Among Bronze Seeker’s rivals this week are three from the Hall stable Kimani, Benhope Rulz and Campora. Benhope Rulz, to be driven by Corey Peterson from barrier six, is in splendid form and will have many admirers. He was an excellent second to star four-year-old Jack Mac four starts ago and was an effortless all-the-way winner at a 1.55.1 rate over 1730m two starts ago. Another fancied runner will be the evergreen Mister Ardee, who will again be driven by Madeleine Young for Pinjarra trainer Matt Saw. Mister Ardee is sure to figure prominently from barrier two on the front line.   Ken Casellas

Promising New Zealand-bred mare Liberty Rose looks set for a successful campaign after her impressive first-up performance last Friday night and she should prove one of the best bets at Gloucester Park on Friday night by winning the $20,000 Retravision Your Air Conditioning Specialists Pace over 2130m. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr should have the four-year-old at her peak to contest feature events the Lewis Pace, the Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra and the Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park in the next couple of months. He produced Liberty Rose in wonderful shape for her return to racing last week after a five-month absence. Liberty Rose started from barrier six and she caught the eye when she surged home from sixth at the bell to finish a half-length second to the brilliant five-year-old mare Maczaffair. Liberty Rose is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line on Friday night and Gary Hall Jnr is expected to make full use of her excellent gate speed by attempting an all-the-way win. The daughter of Mach Three has won at five of her 11 WA starts and she could develop into an ideal candidate for the group 2 Nights of Thunder, the heats of which will be run on Friday night of next week. An even bunch of mares will contest Friday night’s race, with Liberty Rose’s chief rivals appearing to be Mary Catherine, Im Stylish and Lady De La Renta. Mary Catherine has been racing consistently for Capel trainer Andrew de Campo and is handily drawn at barrier three. Four-year-old Lady De La Renta has won at ten of her 25 starts and she followed an easy all-the-way win last Friday week with a solid fourth behind Maczaffair last Friday night when she finished strongly from eighth at the bell. The Justin Prentice-trained Im Stylish will be tested from barrier eight, but she can never be underestimated. She has raced 31 times for ten wins, seven seconds and three thirds. Adding interest to the race will be the return to racing after a four-month absence of four-year-old Veiled Secret, whose final 14 starts as a three-year-old for trainer Ross Olivieri produced five wins, five seconds and one third placing. She will start from barrier two on the back line with Chris Voak in the sulky. Olivieri has bright prospects with Lord Willoughby in the Retravision Half Yearly Clearance Pace. The extremely consistent pacer (14 wins, 17 seconds and seven thirds from 56 starts) will begin from the inside of the back line and will take a power of beating. Lord Willoughby was most unlucky when seventh behind Chiaroscuro last Friday night when he was trapped wide early and had to be restrained to the rear before battling on, out wide, in the final circuit. He finished boldly to win from Always Arjay the previous Friday night when having his second start after a spell. Ken Casellas

Smooth Sailor from the Dennis Picker harness racing stable at Bigga could be the surprise package in Sunday’s TAB.COM.AU Tom and Angela Hewitt Memorial at the Goulburn Paceway. Scheduled as the last race of the day, the $12,720 event has drawn together a capacity field of very strong in-form pacers.  With all horses engaged having realistic winning chances, luck in running will be the key factor in determining who comes out on top. Drawing gate 9, inside the second row, Smooth Sailor will follow out renowned leader Pocket of Terror and is likely to settle on the peg line in the first half of the field.  As the winner of 11 races, Picker’s pacer can unwind a quick sprint and with luck at the business end, he is capable of overhauling the leaders and taking the honours. The 6 year old gelding is owned by Picker’s partner Jamie Smith, and two starts back was a narrow winner of the $15,900 Bathurst RSL Soldiers Saddle.  He followed that up with a very good second behind Real Obsession at Goulburn in late December and with a cosy run on Sunday looks a strong chance. Prestonpans from the Tim Butt stable at Menangle is a New Zealander having his first start in Australia.  A winner of his last three races, he has been topped off for his debut with a very good 4th in a recent Menangle trial.  Others with good chances include Volaticus and the Brad Hewitt trained and driven Real Obsession. The $12,720 Goulburn Soldiers Club Walla Walla Stakes is the second feature race on an action packed program and the Tim Butt trained Raukapuka Ruler looks the likely winner.   To be driven by Anthony Butt, the 5 year old pacer has had three Australian starts and while a disappointing ninth at his latest start in the $50,000 Shirley Turnbull Memorial, the pacer had previously finished second to Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshall.  He had also won in a 1:50.2 mile when having his first start Australian start in earlier December. In Sunday’s race Raukapuka Ruler has drawn barrier 2 and looks the likely leader.  Hardest to beat is the David Hewitt trained Stanley Ross Robyn who has placed in all three starts since a spell.  Others with a top 3 chance include Spare Me Days for Brad Hewitt and Hashtag from the Craig Cross stables at Cobbitty. With the afternoon also playing host to two outstanding Menangle Country Series heats, an exciting afternoon of harness racing and entertainment is on offer.  The Goulburn Club encourages all to make their way to the Goulburn Paceway to enjoy the talents of Thomas and Lachlan Bensley who perform as ‘Short Notice’ and in the process help raise much need funds for the Crookwell Community Trust charity which will be conducting raffles and seeking donations from the on-course patrons. With action scheduled to commence at 1.37 pm the club’s committee also invites harness fans to come out and experience the wonderful facilities of the Grace Millson Centre.  Enjoy quality food and a wide range of cold alcoholic and soft drinks whilst watching all the racing action in comfort. Goulburn harness racing is brought to fans by the kind support of Tabcorp, Goulburn Soldiers Club, Hollingworth Crane Hire Service, Randwick Equine Centre, Southern Highlands Equine Centre, Sun Solutions Goulburn, Semco Equipment Sales, RSM Accountants, and a host of smaller businesses including Top Water Carters Crookwell, First National Real Estate Goulburn, Goulburn Livestock Transport, Landmark Southern Livestock Agenices , J A Communications, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Glen Mia ACT Saddlery and Ranvet.  For all the latest Goulburn harness racing news visit the club’s website at and don’t forget to like us on Facebook    By Mark Croatto Reprinted with permission of The Goulburn Post Tips Race 1 TOPWATER CARTERS CROOKWELL AUB FROST MEMORIAL PACE:          TIPS: 5 Sports Story, 2 Taramin, 4 Rockin Marty, 1 Im Bruce Almighty Race 2 SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS EQUINE CENTRE PACE: TIPS: 8 Arma Naughty, 4 Better Than Grange, 3 Slick Sue, 1 Itz Reigning Men Race 3 ROBERT ALLPORT MEMORIAL CLUB MENANGLE WHERE HORSES FLY HEAT:     TIPS: 4 Lifes A Jungle, 3 A Courage Thang, 7 Jays Cash, 8 Don’t Call Me   Race 4 HOLLINGWORTH CRANE HIRE SERVICE PACE:   TIPS: 12 The Announcer, 1 Majadore, 10 Boyd Writer, 11 Blackwhiteandblue Race 5 CLUB MENANGLE COUNTRY SERIES HEAT:   TIPS: 2 Tintin Naturally, 1 Modern Attitude, 9 My Highlights, 3 Im All Courage Race 6 GOULBURN SOLDIERS CLUB WALLA WALLA STAKES:   TIPS: 2 Raukapuka Ruler, 4 Stanley Ross Robyn, 6 Spare Me Days, 8 Hashtag Race 7 TAB.COM.AU TOM & ANGELA HEWITT MEMORIAL: TIPS: 9 Smooth Sailor, 10 Prestonpans, 5 Volaticus, 12 Real Obsession

When Rocknroll Lincoln lines up in this Friday night’s Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m), it will deliver his owner Glen Mortimer his proudest moment in a sport he has held dear to him for more than 40 years. Mortimer will have a dual role to play in Friday night’s feature, as an owner of a runner in the $300,000 event, as well as being the major sponsor of the race with Retravision. Mortimer recalls spending a countless number of hours at Richmond Raceway as a teenager, where his love for Harness Racing grew. “I used to go and watch trials at Richmond Raceway when horses like Mount Eden were racing,” he said. “My parents often played tennis at a tennis court across the road from the Raceway, so I would sneak across and watch Mount Eden trial. “Watching participants like Fred Kersley and Chris Lewis and horses like James Eden, Binshaw then Preux Chevalier and Village Kid, I thought it was a great spectacle. “Seeing the horses go around the track two or three times a race and being really close to the action, it’s exhilarating.” Mortimer first got involved in ownership as an 18-year-old and said he has now had more than 150 winners as an owner, the highlight of those being Kim Prentice’s Breeders’ Stakes winner Absolutely Ruthless. The success with Absolutely Ruthless prompted Mortimer to continue investing in the industry, which has also provided a few speed bumps for him along the way. “I had a horse called Alberta Retreat, who was beaten as a $1.30 favourite in the WA Derby,” he said. “He won eight of his first nine starts and we thought he was a real good one. “Since then, we have tried to get that really good horse. “I had one win an Easter Cup, but he hurt his leg and we lost him. “That kept me motivated to find a really good one.” The persistence and patience Mortimer has shown to try and get ‘the good one’ is now a realistic chance to pay off over the next fortnight. Rocknroll Lincoln has emerged as a genuine Fremantle Cup contender over the past month, taking out the Bunbury Cup and a Free-For-All at Gloucester Park. It was a ride that Mortimer almost wasn’t a part of. Mortimer had a small team of pacers with Rocknroll Lincoln’s trainer Justin Prentice a couple of years ago, a team he was happy to keep small. When Prentice went to New Zealand in 2017, he called Mortimer to try and get him involved in the son of Rocknroll Hanover. “I had four or five horses with Justin and I said to him ‘I’ll sit with what I’ve got’,” Mortimer said. “He called me from New Zealand and said ‘I know you’re not interested in getting anymore horses, but just watch the video on this link and let me know what you think’. “I was taken with his gate speed, so I called Justin straight back and told him that I’d be in. “I called up another mate after that and said ‘I’ve just bought the best horse I’ll ever have’.” In a further boost for Rocknroll Lincoln’s Fremantle Cup prospects, champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has elected to stick with him instead of his father Gary Hall Snr’s horse Runrunjimmydunn. The five-year-old will start from barrier four in the Fremantle Cup, with short price favourite My Field Marshal to start from barrier two. Mortimer said it would be a tough task for Rocknroll Lincoln to beat My Field Marshal, the fastest horse in Australasia, but was elated with Hall Jnr sticking by his charge. “Junior is worth two or three lengths because he’s the best in the sport,” he said. “I would’ve thought he’d bustle him out of the gate and maybe get to the breeze and see what happens from there. “My Field Marshal is an outstanding horse and he’s drawn very well. “Galactic Star was unlucky in the Inter Dominion where he stormed home and ran sixth.” After years of watching the champions win one of the state’s biggest races in the sport he loves, Mortimer said he was daring to dream about having his own horse win it. “It’s one of the great time-honoured events in WA pacing,” he said. “Last year we had one of the greatest races of all time at Gloucester Park with Lazarus and My Hard Copy. “It would be one of the biggest thrills in life…I love Harness Racing. “I’d love to be up there on Friday night handing myself the trophy.” Rocknroll Lincoln is on the fourth line of betting with TABtouch for the Fremantle Cup at $12, with Miracle Mile and Village Kid Sprint winner My Field Marshal rated a $1.50 chance.   Tim Walker

OR those thinking of backing Emain Macha in Saturday night’s Italian Cup at Globe Derby here is a piece of advice – wait until his half-sister races earlier on the card. If Labella Rock wins, back Emain Macha to win, if she runs a placing, back him for a placing, if she fails, give him a miss. Trained by Greg Scholefield, the duo have raced at the same meeting four times this season – for the same result! Successful at Globe Derby, Emain Macha and Labella Rock then finished second at Shepparton before winning their next two starts, including at Victor Harbor during their most recent outing. “They just seem to be in tune with each other,” Scholefield said. “One won’t let the other get the upper hand. “To have both win on a card is one thing, but for both to also finish second on the same night as well as winning on the other nights is something different.” To be driven by Wayne Hill, Labella Rock has drawn to lead from barrier three, with the daughter of Pet Rock a $1.10 favourite against her older rivals. “I’m extremely happy with the way she has come back,” Scholefield said. “I have a reasonable opinion of her. “She got sick during her last prep and didn’t go as well as can, which is just one of those young horse things. “She has come back very well and should have a bit of a future. Long term I will be aiming her at the Oaks.” Faring slightly better in barrier two, Emain Macha is also tipped to lead throughout with Hill in the cart. As such Emain Macha has been installed a hot $1.05 favourite. “He did it as he pleased in the Victor Harbor Cup, but this will be tougher again,” Scholefield said. “From that draw he is going to be very hard to beat, but there are a number of quality horses with good form in the field. “I just hope he can keep his form up a little longer as we take aim at the South Australia Cup on February 9.”   HRSA Media

The trophy cabinet is filling and yet it’s only whetting the appetite for more success in the San Carlo camp, with the gelding a tearaway leader of the Trots Country Cups Championship. His tough PETstock Bendigo Pacing Cup victory on Saturday was a satisfying fillip for trainer Stephen O’Donoghue and reinswoman Rebecca Bartley after a promising TAB Inter Dominion campaign faded in the final moments. While the camp remains determined to scratch that Group 1 itch, the fact their boy was back and in top health last Saturday was the most pleasing factor for owner John Eichhorn. “We were nervous, but we broke the track record and we were really happy,” Mr Eichhorn said after San Carlo registered a third Group 2 victory of his career. “We aimed for the Inter Dominion and didn’t have luck with the draws in any of the heats. We got into the final and thought that he’d go all right, but he got into the death and just stopped in the back straight. “We thought something was wrong and the vet scoped him and found he had a lung infection. We had no idea that was the case before the race.” A course of anti-biotics cleared the illness, though there was still some apprehension heading into Bendigo, when Bartley used some petrol to roll to the front and survived challenges from Let It Ride and Stroke Of Luck to score a third country cup of the season. “With the barrier draw he had to work hard to get to the lead, but he didn’t let up,” Mr Eichhorn said. “When he was attacked after the final turn I was a little concerned but then he started to get away again. It was really exciting, he’s just a non-stop trier.” He will be well-conditioned to improve on that performance in Saturday’s Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup, and will need to be given the presence of fellow Inter Dominion finalists Our Uncle Sam and Im Pats Delight, as well as a rematch against Grand Circuit winner Let It Ride. Mr Eichhorn said “I think he can win, for sure”, but added “it’s probably a bit of a harder race than Bendigo”. “We will have our work cut out, but we will be a bit tougher than Bendigo, where he couldn’t work as much as we would have liked in the lead-up due to the infection.” Mr Eichhorn said Saturday night would likely be San Carlo’s final hit-out before the February 2 Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup, a chance to add a Group 1 at his seventh attempt to couple with three Group 2 and three Group 3 trophies. “It’s the big aim. It is going to be a very hard to win because there will be a lot of good horses. We will keep aiming for the big race win. You just hope you get a bit of luck and if all goes well he is going to go very close.”   Michael Howard for Trots Media

The Allport family of Crookwell has long been involved in the local harness racing scene, and on Sunday afternoon sister and brother Sallyann and Damon will be hoping their pacer Boyd Writer can take another step forward in his short but promising career. As part of the important Hewitt Memorial race day, the $10,000 Robert Allport Memorial Club Menangle Where Horses Fly heat is the race Boyd Writer has been set for. One of many horses trained by David Hewitt out of his Goulburn stables, Boyd Writer is a last start winner at the Goulburn Paceway and boasts the good record of 5 starts for 3 wins, 1 second and 1 third. “Dad always thought we had a pretty handy horse in Boyd; it’s sad he hasn’t been able to see him get there” explained Damon. Robert and Brenda Allport bred Boyd Writer out of the family owned mare Innocent Art and the prolific winner producing stallion Sportswriter. The couple has since passed, with Robert’s death coming in July 2018; however their siblings are continuing the family tradition of breeding and racing Standardbreds, and with some sadness they are now enjoying the fruits of their parent’s efforts. Boyd Writer kicked off his racing career in July 2017 with a sound third at Bathurst. At his following start, the two year old provided a glimpse of his ability convincingly winning a two-year-old colt and gelding pace in a solid 1:57.2 mile rate at the Bathurst track. Turned out to develop, the horse was severely injured in a paddock accident soon after. He was treated at the Crookwell Veterinary Hospital and then spent a number of months recuperating, firstly at the veterinary Hospital and then under the watchful eye of Robert Allport in the family stables. “Dad did a lot with Boyd; kept him stabled at home and watched over him all the time. He’s racing today because of the work and care dad put into him” said Damon. Missing his entire three year old year of racing, Boyd Writer resumed at Menangle in early December 2018 when he was a close second. He followed that performance with a dominant win at Canberra in mid-December, before scoring an easy win at Goulburn a fortnight back. While Boyd Writer will find Sunday’s race much harder than his earlier starts, Sallyann and Damon will be hoping the family’s pacer can make the transition and in doing so verify the opinion held by Robert Allport. The Hewitt Memorial race day kicks off with race 1 at 1.37 pm on Sunday afternoon at the Goulburn Paceway. Celebrating the memory of Tom and Angela Hewitt, Aubrey Frost and Robert Allport, the day is also a big fundraiser for the Crookwell Community Trust charity. Entertainment has been organised for all the afternoon with Thomas and Lachlan Bensley performing a number of classic song hits. With great raffle prizes to be won, outstanding food and facilities, mini trotting and an action packed program of exciting harness racing, the Goulburn Paceway is the place to be Sunday afternoon. Goulburn harness racing is brought to fans by the kind support of Tabcorp, Goulburn Soldiers Club, Hollingworth Crane Hire Service, Randwick Equine Centre, Southern Highlands Equine Centre, Sun Solutions Goulburn, Semco Equipment Sales, RSM Accountants, and a host of smaller businesses including Top Water Carters Crookwell, First National Real Estate Goulburn, Goulburn Livestock Transport, Landmark Southern Livestock Agenices , J.A. Communications, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Glen Mia ACT Saddlery and Ranvet. Friday’s edition of the Goulburn Post will carry a preview of Sunday’s race meeting including the fields and tips. For all the latest Goulburn harness racing news visit the club’s website at and don’t forget to like us on Facebook By Mark Croatto Reprinted with permission of the Crookwell Gazette

Rob Bovell started as the Junior Office Boy at Gloucester Park in 1969 and spent his entire working life in the harness racing industry before his retirement in 2012 – 43 years of service. Rob had a background in harness racing through his father Les and uncle Alex and combined with his business acumen and a determination to success he worked in all areas of operations at Gloucester Park including Racing, Accounts, Stewards and IT departments. In 1976 Rob was promoted to WA Trotting Association Office and Computer Operations Manager at a time when the WATA had begun to embrace the then new technology of computers. Under Rob’s guidance the WATA introduced the world’s first computer managed harness racing system in the world and the WATA later transferred the embryonic system to Harness Racing Victoria who then continued its development into the current day HaRVEY system. While working at Gloucester Park Ron studied part-time until he gained a Bachelor of Business Degree with a Major in Accounting and in 1979 he left the WATA to take up a position as Secretary Manager of the Fremantle Trotting Club. He worked in that role for the FTC for a decade before returning to Gloucester Park as Chief Executive Officer in 1989 not long after the conduct of that year’s Inter Dominion. A passionate advocate for harness racing, Rob fought long and hard to ensure that harness racing received the recognition it deserved and a fair share of the WA TAB distribution. Over the years this passion and determination often saw Rob having to fight extremely hard to get his point of view across but his determination to put the harness racing industry first saw him earn respect from all his peers. In 2008 Rob was presented with a Distinguished National Service Award from Harness Racing Australia and in 2012 the Inter Dominion Event Committee further recognised Rob’s work when they presented him with the 2012 Brian Hancock Distinguished Service Award. It was unanimously decision to present Rob with the Award for his outstanding service to the Inter Dominion. “Rob has presided over three successful Inter Dominion carnivals during his period of time at Gloucester Park including the highly acclaimed 2012 event”. Mr Gary Allen, Chairman of the Inter Dominion Event Committee stated at the time. “Rob retired from the position of Chief Executive Officer of Gloucester Park Harness Racing Club in 2012, having commenced there as a junior clerk in 1969. Other than for a period where he was the secretary of the Fremantle Trotting Club Rob has been at Gloucester Park for this entire period of time”. “Rob has worked tirelessly for the benefit of harness racing both locally and nationally. He has successfully lobbied the WA Government for a better deal and recently oversaw the amalgamation of the Western Australian Trotting Association and Fremantle Harness Racing Club”. “Rob is of exemplary character and is a very fair and impartial person who will be missed by all involved in the industry after his retirement” Mr Allen said. It was a fitting tribute to a man who oversaw three outstanding Inter Dominion Championships in 1996, 2004 and 2012. Later in 2012 Rob Bovell was presented with that year’s James Brennan Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the WA Harness Industry. The James Brennan Award is named after the man whose vision and drive established harness racing in Western Australia and is the State’s premier harness racing award. Enquiries about tickets to the 2019 WA Racing Industry Hall of Fame Induction night on 28th February should be directed to Hall of Fame Coordinator Suzy Jackson on (08) 9445 5371 or   Alan Parker

Harness racing trainers have their eyes fixed firmly on the prize for the annual Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup, one of the most exciting country cup races in regional Victoria. Running on Saturday night, January 12 at the Shepparton Harness Racing Club, the first race commences at 6:30pm with gates opening from around 4:30pm onwards. Shepparton Harness Racing Club manager, Ian McDonald said, “This year there is lots of off-the-track entertainment, with live music, jumping castles, fashions on the field and free giveaways for both kids and adults. “Only the best horses can win a Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup and many of our previous winners have gone on to win the Hunter Cup, Victoria Cup or Interdominion. “Courtesy buses will run from most hotels in Mooroopna or Shepparton, which is a great added bonus for those looking for a good time.” The cup will run at Kialla Raceway, Melbourne Road, Kialla. You can contact the club on 0488 231 403 or visit for more details. By Ash Beks Reprinted with permission of The Adviser

Statistics for harness racing do not always tell the real story as can be seen below by the huge gap on average earnings per foal born between two top stallions Bettor's Delight and Art Major in the New Zealand 2018/2019 breeding season. In New Zealand statistics clearly show that Bettor's Delight has a huge lead on money won for the past season for four-year-olds, $1,959,765 as against Art Major who had earnings of just $820,492 for the season. When broken down to numbers of foals born for each stallion the numbers show an entirely different result and one that shows who the leading performer was for each of these great stallions. When all said and done it is what the breeder is likely to get for each of his foals produced that count at the end of the day and those figures show a real distinction between these two stallions and others for that matter in New Zealand. Here is a list of the top seven stallions in New Zealand last season for average earnings per foal born based at the end of their four-year-old year record. 1st, Art Major - 70 foals                             (average earnings for each foal born is $11,721)     (Service Fee at time of breeding was $9,500) 2nd, Rock N Roll Heaven - 21 foals          (average earnings for each foal born is $11,182)    (Service Fee at time of breeding was $11,000) 3rd, Bettor's Delight - 235 foals                (average earnings for each foal born is $8,339)       (Service Fee at time of breeding was $12,500) 4th, Somebeachsomewhere - 55 foals     (average earnings for each foal born is $7,770)       (Service Fee at time of breeding was $12,500) 5th, Mach Three - 97 foals                         (average earnings for each foal born is $4,646)      (Service Fee at time of breeding was $11,000) 6th, Christian Cullen - 61 foals                  (average earnings for each foal born is $4,256)      (Service Fee at time of breeding was $12,000) 7th, American Ideal - 137 foals                  (average earnings for each foal born is $3,742)      (Service Fee at time of breeding was $7,000) Well, one thing these statistics have shown is that the New Zealand breeder has by far the least amount of money available to race for and how New Zealand breeders can ever afford the service fees on the stallions in today's market is beyond belief! There is just no money for a New Zealand breeder to race for! That is the reason that New Zealanders are ready sellers of horses, as that is the only way of them getting a return on the breeding costs they face annually. As can be seen above Art Major comes out on top in this earnings per foal born catagory and here are his top three outstanding performers and the feature races they won as four-year-olds; Vincent 1:50.2 ($598,803) Star Galleria 1:53.9 ($307,045) Eamon Maguire 1:51.9 ($308,019)   Also listed below are the same statistics for the same sires as above in both Australia and North America. At this years inaugural National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka, Auckland on the 18th of February 2019, there are seven Art Major yearlings for sale entered by Breckon Farms that you should take notice off; Lot 42 - Magic Major (colt) This colt is a half-brother to three winners including Group 1 winner BURNAHOLEINMYPOCKET (p.2, 1.57, p.3, 1.52.1m, 21 wins, $251,813), (OUR) POSITANO (1.52.2, 12 wins, $99,473) and FLESHING (p.3, 1.57.9, 10 wins, $65,950) and is from a Christian Cullen mare. 2nd dam is the Group 3 winning and 4YO Pacing Mare of the Year FLASH ATOM (1.55h, 28 wins, $294,853) who is the dam of 2 winners, DONAVAN MAGUIRE (1.59.3h, 8 wins, $37,110) and Barney Maguire (2.00.7, 12 wins, $42,193) and a half-sister to WALTER (p.2, 1.59.8f, 9 wins, $33,002). Family of Group 2 winner and 3YO Trotter of the Year BELLAM (T.2, 2.5.6; 14 wins, $111,410), Group 2 winner ANVILANUNOIT (1.49.8m, 40 wins, $442,613), HOPPY’S FLING (1.54.4f, 59 wins, $169,449), ARMBRO COUNT(1.58.4f, 64 wins, $153,252) and 2-time Group 1 winner BRABHAM (1.56.8, 20 wins, 28 places $725,924) Lot 69 - The Major (colt) From the race-winning Christian Cullen mare PERFECT SENSATION (p.3, 2.00.5, 3 wins, $18,881) who is a full or half-sister to 8 winners from the prolific producing Vance Hanover mare RADIANT GUEST, the dam of VILLAGE HERO (p.3, 1.50.6m, 17 wins, $329,741), HE’S MY HERO (1.54.3h, 16 wins, $222,295), EXPLOSIVE ART (p.3, 1.59.1, 1.58.2h, 7 wins, $67,408), FAKE ROSE (1.57.8, 6 wins, $42,363), SECRET GUEST (1.58.3, 4 wins, $31,392), MANHATTAN MONTANA (p.3, 1.57.6f, 1 win, $6,625), etc. This colt is a half-brother to the winner Bettor Sensation (p.3, 2.04,2200m stand, 3 wins, $24,095). Closely related to OVERLAP (1.53.8m, 23 wins, $217,615), (MY) MUSTANG (1.55.5f, 11 wins, $45,786), MISS COSTALOT (p.2, 1.58.9m, 5 wins, $26,887), 7-time Group 1 winner HILARIOUS GUEST (1.57.3, 21 wins, $283,230), GOODTIME GUEST (1.58, 8 wins, $42,300), HILARIOUS LEIGH (1.58.3, 3 wins, $16,750), etc. Lot 85 - Imelda May (filly) The third foal from the Bettor’s Delight Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed filly ROZELSKI (p.3, 1.57.5, 6 wins, $179,718), with the first foal, a full-sister, racing as a 2YO.  The second foal, now a 2YO is also a full-sister and has been retained to race by a Breckon Farms Syndicate and is showing promise, being set to trial in January. 2nd dam is HIGHVIEW HAZEL (1.57.5, 2 wins, $15,705) who is the dam of 3 winners and a full-sister to HIGHVIEW FELLA (1.51.8, 34 wins, $365,701) and a half-sister to HIGHVIEW MYSTERY (1.59.7, 2 wins, $12,525). Family of TRIKALA (1.51.7m, 23 wins, $172,030), MICHAEL THOMAS (T, 1.59.9m, 12 wins, $105,360), FOUR JESTERS (1.58, 3 wins, $23,620), Group 2 winner and 2-time Group 1 placed HIGHVIEW ANA (1.56.7h, 17 wins, $153,062), HIGHVIEW SIGN (1.57.9, 13 wins, $47,764), etc Lot 91 - Passion And Power (filly) This is the first foal from the black type race winning Bettor’s Delight mare SEM’S DELIGHT (1.57, 2 wins, $46,076) who is a half-sister to 6 winners incl Group 1 winner and Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final winner GLENFERRIE SHUFFLE (p.2, 1.57.3m, 13 wins, $279,839), Listed race winner and Group 2 & 3 placed JIVIN CULLEN (1.54m, 14 wins, $190,713), NZ Record setter JOSHUA MAC (p.3, 1.59.4, 10 wins, $96,712) and HOTINTHECITYTONITE(1.58.8, 2 wins, $15,658). 2nd dam is the Group 2 winner and 2-time Group 1 placed (OUR) HOT SHOE SHUFFLE (p.2, 1.58, 14 wins, $295,011) who is a full-sister to IWASBORNTOBOOGY (1.50.4m, 31 wins $282,306). Family of Group 1 placed DELIGHTFUL JAZZ (p.2, 1.59.2, 1 2YO win, $45,090), MAJOR HIPPIE (p.3, 1.57.5, 2 wins, $14,240), DRUMS OF TIME (1.58.6, 3 wins, $13,895), LORD BERNDON (1.58.6, 7 wins, $35,113), LEFTAMILLION (p.3, 1.58.1, 31 wins, $181,327), VANYANA (p.3, 1.57.7, 14 wins, $107,250), ARTYANA (p.3, 1.59, 3 wins, $6,704), GARFUNKEL (1.59.4, 3 wins, $7,915), TUONO (1.57.1, 5 wins, $16,166), CHAMPAGNE BLUES(1.57.8, 8 wins, $27,280), BIANCA TANG (p.3, 1.57.4, 1.56.2f, 14 wins, $52,588), etc. Lot 101 - Starlito (colt) This colt is a full-brother to 2-time Group 2 & 2-time Group 3 winner, Group 1 placed and NZ Record holder STAR GALLERIA (p.3, 1.56.3, 1.53.9, 12 wins, $264,545) and STAR OF VAN GOGH (p.2, 1.56.7, 1 win at 2, $22,050) and a half-brother to NIGHT OF THE STARS (p.2, 1.58.6, p.3, 1.55.5m, 9 wins, $114,983) and NZ Record setter STAR OF VENUS (TT 1.53, 2 wins, $20,098). From the unraced Tuapeka Knight mare STARLITNIGHT who is the dam of 5 foals to race for 5 winners and is a half-sister to 5-time Group 1 winner STARS AND STRIPES (p.3, 1.57.8, 1.51.2f, 40 wins, $796,519) and the Group 1 & 2-time Group 2 winner and 2YO Pacer of the Year LIGHT AND SOUND (p.2, 1.55.8, 1.50.4m, 38 wins, $559,550). Closely related to STAR OF DIONYSIS (1.53.6m, 12 wins, $118,449), VEGA STAR (p.3, 1.56.5f, 1.52.2m, 15 wins, $87,508), STAR OF MEMPHIS (p.3, 1.55.8, 1.52.9m, 12 wins, $79,840), CAVIAR STAR (p.3, 1.57.3h, 5 wins, $30,553), Group 1 & Listed winner and NZ Record holder SPIRIT OF ZEUS (p.3, 1.57.8, 11 wins, $243,472), etc. Lot 117 - Sargent Best (colt) This colt is a full-brother to dual NZ Sires Stakes 2YO Heat winner VASARI (p.2, 1.55.4, 11 wins, $111,949) and NZ Sires Stakes 2YOF Heat winner FANTASIZE (p.2, 1.58.9, 1 win, $22,144) and a half-brother to NOLESSTHANPERFECT (p.3, 1.57.1f, 1 win, $11,577). 2nd dam is the black type Soky’s Atom mare CICCIO STAR (p.3, 1.58.4, 5 wins, $102,499) who has produced 9 to race that have all won incl Group 1 placed MAJOR STAR (1.52.3m, 16 wins, $212,228), DANA DUKE (1.55.8h, 11 wins, $129,115), ZENTHURA (1.56.5, 16 wins, $117,705), Group 2 winner IDANCEDALLNIGHT (p.2, 1.59.3, 6 wins, $103,656) and CONQUISTARE (1.55.9, 13 wins, $73,755). Family of WALTZING WITH CULLEN (p.3, 1.54.5m, 1.51.7, 21 wins, $235,031), NUREYEV (1.55.3, 13 wins, $108,653), Group 1 placed NKETIA (1.52.4, 41 wins, $394,035), Group 1 winner FAKE SPIRIT (p.2, 1.59.8, 5 wins, $193,665), Group 1 & 3-time Group 3 winner CHILLI PALMER (1.51.5, 14 wins, $290,983) and JINNI’S FANTASY(1.51.8, 59 wins, $443,273). Lot 142 - Town Echo (filly) The first foal from the race winning Bettor’s Delight mare CORDELIA (p.3, 2.01.5, 2 wins, $11,592) who is a half-sister to 6 winners incl BLACK MAIRE (p.3, 1.59.8, 4 wins, $39,981), (OUR) BAGGER VANCE (1.59, 8 wins, $54,820), 2-time Group 2 placed and Wellington Cup winner AGIOS NIKOLAOS (1.52.2m, 8 NZ wins, $192,179), VINGT COEUR(1.59.6f, 17 wins, $82,196) and ZINGARA (p.3, 1.57.6, 5 wins, $57,573) who is the dam of ZINNY MACH (1.57.5, 2 wins, $18,110). This filly is closely related to 3-time Group 1 & Group 2 winner, Harness Jewels 2YO Fillies Diamond winner and 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year who set a NZ Record LAURAELLA (p.2, 1.55.9, 10 wins, $649,946), 3-time Group 1 placed THE MUSKEG EXPRESS (p.2, 1.59.4, 2 wins, $111,331), THE PACMAN (1.54, 21 wins, $157,058), ESTILO (p.3, 1.58.6, 1.54.1, 13 wins, $84,611) and SMILING STUNNER (p.3, 1.59.4, 1.53.6, 4 wins, $21,420). Family of 2-time Group 1 placed EXPRESS STRIDE (1.49m, 14 wins $262,831) and Listed Classic winner ARMAZEM (1.54.7m, 11 wins, $84,640), SAZZASOPHIE (p.3, 1.58.5, 3 wins, $22,513), CRYSTAL SPARKLES (p.3, 1.58.4, 1.56.9, 14 wins, $68,889), DELIGHT MY SOUL (1.55.8, 7 wins, $83,762), RAPTORS FLIGHT (p.3, 1.59.5, 1.58.1, 5 wins, $71,378), etc.  A strong Jewels performing family descending directly from BLACK WATCH. Now lets take a look at what the statistics show in Australia for the top seven stallions for the same catagory of end of season earning four-year-olds. 1st, Mach Three - 77 foals -                          (average earnings for each foal born is $35,644) 2nd, Somebeachsomewhere - 113 foals      (average earnings for each foal born is $31,812) 3rd, Bettor's Delight - 82 foals -                    (average earnings for each foal born is $29,624) 4th, Art Major - 157 foals -                             (average earnings for each foal born is $22,902) 5th, Rock N Roll Heaven - 134 foals -           (average earnings for each foal born is $13,762) 6th, American Ideal - 21 foals -                     (average earnings for each foal born is $12,174) 7th, Christian Cullen - 6 foals -                     (average earnings for each foal born is $5,596) Now lets take a look at what the statistics show in North America for the top seven stallions for the same catagory of end of season earning four-year-olds. 1st, Somebeachsomewhere - 131 foals -       (average earnings for each foal born is $137,764) 2nd, American Ideal - 112 foals -                     (average earnings for each foal born is $82,192) 3rd, Bettor's Delight - 134 foals -                     (average earnings for each foal born is $80,616) 4th, Mach Three - 107 foals -                            (average earnings for each foal born is $59,975) 5th, Rock N Roll Heaven - 116 foals -              (average earnings for each foal born is $50,339) 6th, Art Major - 108 foals -                                (average earnings for each foal born is $50,119) 7th, Christian Cullen - NA -                               (average earnings for each foal born is NA) Just for interest sake lets combine the three Countries to see what the statistics show. 1st, Somebeachsomewhere - 299 foals -         (average earnings for each foal born is $73,810) 2nd, Bettor's Delight - 451 foals -                     (average earnings for each foal born is $57,636) 3rd, American Ideal - 270 foals -                       (average earnings for each foal born is $36,940) 4th, Mach Three - 281 foals -                             (average earnings for each foal born is $34,208) 5th, Art Major - 335 foals -                                 (average earnings for each foal born is $30,536) 6th, Rock N Roll Heaven - 271 foals -               (average earnings for each foal born is $29,218) 7th, Christian Cullen - 67 foals -                        (average earnings for each foal born is NA) The statistics show that in New Zealand Art Major stands out as number one, in Australia it is the now deceased Mach Three that stood out and in North America Somebeachsomewhere is number one. There is no doubt that breeding a horse in Australia or North America is a huge advantage over the New Zealand breeder as the statictics show they get a far better chance of making a dollar per foal born. Overall you can say that clearly Bettor's Delight still stands out as the most dominant stallion and is always in the top three statistically throughout the world of harness racing today. So should we measuring our leading sires the historical way, namely by total money won, when the sire with the most progeny racing goes to the top of the list, or should it be as these statistics show, be shown on average earning per foal, or would it even be by average earnings per starter? Harnesslink Media    

Paddy Lee snapped up maximum points as the concession drivers kicked off their series at Boort on Monday. He steered Keayang Goddess to victory for trainer Marg Lee in the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo Concession Drivers Pace, winning by a neck from reinswoman Michelle Phillips steering Cranky Franky.  The result has given us the following series standings: Paddy Lee 12 Michelle Phillips 10 Shannon O’Sullivan 9 Tommy Hill 8 Maddie Ray 7 Tayla French 6 Abbey Turnbull 5. There are three more heats in the series, with the next at Maryborough on January 17 followed by Wedderburn on January 20 and Charlton on January 31. The concession driver accumulating the most points across the five-race series will win the Central Victorian Concession Drivers Championship Trophy, as well as a $500 cash prize from the series sponsor, the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo.  There will also be $1500 random cash prize available to all trainers who provided horses for the concession races across the five-race series, again courtesy of the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo. Paul Campbell spoke with some of the participants and looked ahead to Team Teal, which begins in February and raises money for the Women's Cancer Foundation. Video link click here! The Trots

The 2019 Allwood Stud Farm South Australian Yearling Sale, to be held on Sunday, February 10 at the Magic Millions Complex, Morphettville, has attracted excellent support from local harness racing  breeders. Of the 37 lots catalogued, 23 are locally bred representing 14 individual breeders and stud farms. White Star Lodge, of Two Wells, has the largest draft with five lots including two fillies (Lots 9 and 32) from the second crop of the brilliantly fast American import Hurrikane Kingcole (1:47.6). They are also offering colts by Caribbean Blaster (Lot 34) and The Gold Ace NZ (Lot 1) and a filly by BG’s Folly (Lot 25). Former Harness Racing SA chairman Mark Carey has entered two superbly bred colts, both out of Southern Cross 2YO Final placegetters. Lot 7, by the Australian and NZ 2YO of the Year Follow The Stars, is out of Holla (1:59.1), while Lot 11, by the USA 3YO Colt of the Year Heston Blue Chip, is from the Art Major mare Majeur Le Crest (1:57.6). Allenby Lodge, of Steve and Tess Norman, Kapunda, has a two-prong entry including a Roll With Joe colt from the Christian Cullen mare Watch Me Glitter (Lot 28). The other colt, Lot 8, is by Lennytheshark’s sire Four Starzzz Shark out of mare from the noted ‘Bonus’ family of the late Ron Pocock. Crystal Brook breeder Rosstyn Taylor and Kenton Valley horsewoman Danielle Helbers are also dually represented at the sale. Taylor has entered two colts, one by Shadow Play from the family of Cornsilk and Delight Me as Lot 18, and the other by Follow The Stars from the 14-win mare Shaylah (Lot 12). The Helbers’ consignment comprises a Changeover colt from the famed Hot Foot tribe as Lot 27 and a Betterthancheddar colt from the family of Sly Flyin and Smiling Shard (Lot 23). The Port Pirie Harness Racing Club has nominated a pair of Follow The Stars colts, one out of a daughter of former glamour racemare Four Penny Dark (Lot 37) and the other from a daughter of the multiple Group winner Viking Reign (Lot 5). Local breeders with single entries include Geoff Easom (Wyndown Stud), who is offering a half-brother to five 2:00 winners, Jason Bussenschutt, who has entered a half-sister to Fistfullofdollars, Gary Newton (a Lincoln Royal colt from the family of Gotanedge), Paul Cavallaro and Naz Sergi, Gary and Marlene Fryar, Heath Posgate and Jack Panagiotou. Catalogues are available from Globe Derby Park, Port Pirie, all other SA country tracks, Tabcorp Park Melton and Tabcorp Park Menangle. By Peter Wharton

New Albany harness racing trainer Adrian Shanks tasted success on Saturday night, with The Frame storming home to record an impressive win at Harold Reid Paceway. Shanks has joined the local training ranks this season and notched his first victory when The Frame saluted in the $7500 MCB Pace (2258m) after being caught wide in the run, and powered home to win by a head over Batavia On Fire. The five-year-old gelding ran ninth in his WA debut for Shanks last month but improved strongly at his second start, driven by reinsman Tim Stone. Stone finished with a driving double after guiding Safari Storm home in race 2, a horse which he also trains. Jumping from gate one on the front row Safari Storm was able to dictate terms, leading throughout to win by 10.9m over Savanna, trained by Shanks. Broomehill trainer Alfred Paganoni notched a winning double on the seven-race card after Its Major Bubbles and Disco Under Fire won consecutive races with Wesley Andrews in the sulky. Veteran pacer Penola Girl recorded her second career win at start no.147 for trainer David Goulden. Penola Girl, driver by Emily Suvaljko, won her first ever start as a four-year-old and scored 11 third placings since before finally breaking through again in the Clark’s Newsagents Westbred Pace (2258m) on Saturday. The 10-year-old mare won by 7.8m over Star Of Bethany. It was the second leg of a double for Suvaljko after she won the opening event of the program on four-year-old Elect The Starzzz. Albany Harness Racing Club will hold their fourth meeting of the season this Saturday night. By Cameron Newbold - Albany Advertiser Reprinted with permission of The Albany Advertiser

They have done it again! The Ison siblings - Emma, Tom and Sam - became possibly the first family to drive a winner each on the harness racing program at an Armidale meeting back in March. The Tamworth based trio repeated that achievement when all three drove winners on the 10-race program at the Tamworth harness meeting on Sunday evening. As a 16-year-old Emma drove her first career winner behind Fear No Evil at the Armidale meeting which on the day was followed by the eldest in Sam when he both trained and drove Bassey to a win which was followed by Tom who won on Gargzdai Girl. It was Emma who kick started the winning process once again when she guided Tepary to a win in the opening event at Tamworth - the TAB App Pace. “She felt like she was going good in the race and she has been working really well so I had high hopes,” Emma said of Tepary. Tepary was notching up her 10th career win at race start 111, with the Ohoka Arizona-U R Whatu Eat eight-year mare having her last win back in October 2017. “I hope I did the family proud,” the now 17-year-old Emma added. After commencing from the eight barrier, Emma was placed second last of the field whilst the Geoff Harding trained and driven Fakes First was leading the field with Dubbo pacer Medonc (Madison Reynolds) racing out in the breeze. As the bell sounded Cronin (Mitch Faulkner) commenced a three-wide run from the back of the field. “They were going pretty slow and I was like kind of hoping he (Cronin) would go and cart us into the race,” Emma said. Tepary went on for a 2.9 metre win over Jackeroo Shannon (Sarah Rushbrook) with Cronin another 1.9m away third. “I think she (Tepary) was getting a bit tired but she finished off well,” added Emma who also won The Pub sponsored Drive of The Night. Tom then continued on the family’s winning streak when he drove the Jarred Hetherington trained Lexy Can Wait to an all the way win in the Hygain Golden Guitar Final Thursday 24th January Pace. “It was awesome,” stated Tom of the win. “I drove him (Lexy Can Wait) the meeting before at Tamworth when he broke the track record.”  Bassey with Sam Ison in the gig going to the line at Tamworth on Sunday. Photo: PeterMac Photography.   Lexy Can Wait clocked a mile rate of 1.55.1 for 1609m for the win back on December 18, before a trip to Dubbo for the Boxing Day meeting resulting in a sixth placing. The win on Sunday night over the 1609m once again at Tamworth was contested in 1.55.4(MR) with Lexy Can Wait having a 27m win over Somebeach N Clovelly (Jarrod Alchin) with Colonel Joy (Madi Young) 2.9m away third. “I was confident” added Tom “Jarred said he was ready to go - he said I have got him as close as I can get him so be confident” “It was good as, just go as fast as we could for as long as we could tactics” added Ison. Sam then rounded out the family affair driving Bassey to victory in the Garrard’s Horse & Hound Tamworth City Cup 24th January Pace. Bassey contested the Maitland Inter City Pace the week prior where the mare finished seventh to the Kevin Pizzuto trained Persimmon. “The draw didn’t help much in the Inter City Pace but she was up near the lead tonight and she loves being there,” Sam said. After landing in the one by one for a few strides he elected to take Bassey up to race outside the leader Kenfury Lass (Caitlin McElhinney). “When Somerosesomewhere didn’t cross like I expected I went to the death anyway. She (Bassey) felt good in the run.” Raced by Rod and Di Hazell, Bassey presented the owners with a 40th wedding anniversary present of her own in producing career win seven. “It is their wedding anniversary today and they are off on holidays,” added Sam Ison of the Hazells. Bassey had a 2.5m win over race favourite Kenfury Lass. Is That So (Dean Chapple) was another 2.1m away third. “Last time Emma got her first winner that’s what happened then - we all got winners - Emma started the night off good for us,” Sam said.  And for the proud father Andy Ison, he was “just as impressed” as when the record was set back in March. “They are just too good - the best part of that was it was Emma’s first winning drive at Armidale and tonight she drove the first winner for 2019 at Tamworth,” he said. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

Sunraysia harness racing trainer Ian Watson makes no secret that his successful path into the sport was the result of some valued advice he received a long time ago. “He was one of those old timers who always had some wise words and he told me his philosophy was not to train anything that can’t win a race....and don’t drive anything that can’t win,” Ian said. “I’ve tried to stick to that as much as possible and certainly think the words ring true,” he said. Watson, based at South Merbein on the outskirts of Mildura, has a strike rate this season of four wins from just eight starters, and throughout his career has managed an impressive 25 percent win-return, with over $1 million in stakes. Currently preparing a team of just two, Watson says a small stable suits best, because “if I have too many I start cutting corners”. Making the 400km trek south to Bendigo last Saturday night Watson landed a surprise win with 20/1 shot Flojos Gold (Mach Three-Jasper Jo) in the $10,000 Strath Village IGA Pace. “It was a big trip for my wife Alison and me, because we left early for the meeting and got home at about 4am Sunday,” Watson said. Ian and Alison Watson with Flojos Gold Local reinswoman Ellen Tormey, who has now driven the mare to four wins in its last six starts, timed her run to perfection. The leaders ran a first split of 25.9 and the early burn in the short race certainly suited Flojos Gold who sat back biding her time. The next quarter in 31.7 saw the tempo calm, but when Tormey made her move, the pace clicked up with final splits of 27.9 and 28.8. The Mildura mare came home with a wet sail to down her more fancied rivals in Rock Classic and Beach Surge, in a career best 1.54, taking her record to 21 wins, 8 placings from 44 starts for $184,000. “My instructions to Ellen were simple – I just told her that if they went mad early, we’d be running home. Despite being wide on the home corner I thought we’d run a place, but she really accelerated,” Watson said. It wasn’t the first time Flojos Gold had upset the apple cart – she did it in July 2015, when Luke Watson, a son of the trainer, steered her to victory in the Vicbred 2yo Group One Fillies’ Final at Melton, at the juicy odds of 50/1. Watson said he had expected the mare to do well at Bendigo after her brilliant work in the week leading up to that assignment. “She doesn’t usually set the world on fire in trackwork, but I told the owners that it was the best she had felt for ages. I actually had to take hold of her a few times,” he said. “When the Mildura race didn’t stand up we had to race her somewhere and it all turned out nicely at Bendigo.” Purchased at the Melbourne sales for $15,000, Flojos Gold showed talent from the word go, winning at her first two attempts. Later in her career she went from a C1 to fast class grade in 11 starts. But Watson revealed it isn’t all plain sailing with Flojo, because the mare “hasn’t a pleasant attitude toward humans.” “As a 2yo she would try to kick you out of the cart more often than not—she has since matured a little and only now tries it twice a week!” Watson laughed. “I probably spend too much time with her, sometimes two hours a day, but I guess she’s worth it.” After being based in Broken Hill for many years, the Watson family moved to Mildura in late 1992 and Ian has since carved out a fine career with horses such as Thoughtful Fella, Alzona, Safely, George Edward, Bee Cees Bid and Anipatnight to name a few. Sons Luke, of Merbein, and Mark, of Kyabram, are also astute horsemen. While Watson agreed a few Melbourne trips were probably ahead for his star mare, nothing had been mapped out yet. “Luke can’t always come on trips with us now as he has a big team in work, so I’ll have to convince Alison,” Watson said. “We were a few kilometres from home last Sunday morning and I told her she could close her eyes now, but she wouldn’t do it because she said I’d tell everyone she went to sleep on me!” To watch the video click on this link. 6 9:00pm STRATH VILLAGE IGA PACE 1650M $10,000 C5 Or Better. PBD/C. Mobile Final Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 FLOJOS GOLD  $ 5,700   Sr2 9 Ian Watson Ellen Tormey   $ 20.20   8 D/F$ SWAB   BROWN/BLACK MARE 6 by MACH THREE CA out of JASPER JO (VILLAGE JASPER USA)  Owner(s): C M Clohesy, I K Watson, W A Robinson, D O Tankard, S W Johnston  Breeder(s): A D (Anthony) Moody 2 ROCK CLASSIC  $ 1,500   Fr3 3 Emma Stewart Kima Frenning HFNK $ 6.10   GS 4 3 BEACH SURGE  $ 1,000   Fr4 4 Andy Gath Kate Gath 2.90 $ 1.80 fav  GS L 1 4 WARDAN EXPRESS  $ 500   Fr6 6 Matthew Craven Matthew Craven 6.90 $ 4.90   PRS GS 2 D/F$ 5 REPEAT AFTER ME  $ 300   Fr7 7 Robert Rothacker Neil McCallum 7.60 $ 58.80   OPS WI RAS 7 6 ITMADEMYDAY  $ 200   Fr5 5 Des Hilton Michael Bellman 8.80 $ 44.10   RAS 10 7 THE BETTORMACK NZ  $ 200   Sr1 8 Lance Justice Lance Justice 11.40 $ 26.60   5 8 MAESTRO BELLINI  $ 200   Fr1 1 Kari Males Zac Phillips 11.90 $ 8.40   GS L SLE 3 9 YERRINGTON BOB  $ 200   Fr2 2 Rebecca Bartley Rebecca Bartley 14.10 $ 117.00   6 Scratchings All started Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 1:56:8 Mile Rate: 1:54:0 Lead Time: 2.5 First Quarter: 25.9 Second Quarter: 31.7 Third Quarter: 27.9 Fourth Quarter: 28.8 Margins: HFNK x 2.3m   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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