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Gary Hall Jnr, WA’s leading metropolitan driver for 9 of the past 12 seasons is showing no signs of stopping as the brand-new season rolls on. Hall could be easily forgiven for having his focus elsewhere due to upcoming Grand Circuit features, he and his little mate Chicago Bull will tackle. However he is still determined to dominate the present WA Harness Racing season. Despite 120 of his 173 race wins last season at metro level, Hall Jnr expressed different thoughts for the upcoming season. “My Goal for the new season is to get to more meetings and drive for more outside stables” He has 7 drives in the metropolitan season opener on Friday night. Bravo Tex coming out of gate 6 in Race 1 for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has been freshened up since his second on the 17th July at Donaldson Park, Bunbury. Junior says that the gelding is in his words “one paced” but still a chance. Soho Chelsea from barrier 4 in Race 2 over the 1730m was a last start fourth for trainer Glenn Elliott. Where the gelding showed outstanding gate speed to cross but with a hot tempo weakened late. Hall Jnr feels that the drop back to the short course and the small field can suit the Hopeland based pacer. Speed Man, looks hard to beat in the third for Hall and stablemate Runrunjimmydunn will appreciate the non-appearance of WA Champion Chicago Bull in the feature of the night, the New Seasons Pace. The 5yo son of American Ideal has bumped into the little bull 5 of his 7 runs since resuming from a spell, the other two were a luckless fifth behind another stable star My Hard Copy and a win in the marathon back in July. Hall Jnr will also drive rough chances Ideal Investment, Lightning Jolt and Machine Elle and believes they will all need “luck” from their respective draws. He has a big season ahead and it begins on Friday night at Gloucester Park.   Matt Young

Former New Zealand Junior Driver Michael Blakemore, now a stable hand for the powerhouse Greg & Skye Bond Stable has excellent prospects in the winning opening event at Gloucester Park on Friday Night for them. Blakemore will drive talented Better B Chevron from Barrier 10, the 5yo who is undefeated this preparation landed a big scalp last start defeating fellow stablemate Dodolicious. The daughter of Bettors Delight worked hard outside of the triple G1 winner and although shaky in the betting market came home victorious taking stake earnings to $144,821. Despite this Better B Chevron and Blakemore will need luck from the inside of the back line with the better drawn Arthur Lowe hard to beat for Pinjarra horseman Nathan Turvey. Other chances are Bravo Tex who has been freshened up for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice and Dodolicious who has stake earning of $495,514. Speed Man, a 4-year-old half-brother of Better B Chevron, is set to continue on his winning way in race 3 the “Steelo’s Midweek Meals At Gloucester Park Pace” for trainer Gary Hall Snr. The son of Rocknroll Hanover won 8 races from 19 starts in his opening campaign and steps out Friday night as a likely short priced favourite.   Matt Young

IN-FORM mare Millwood Chloe is ready to begin the new season the way she finished the old one according to trainer Shane Loone. Absent from the winners’ circle for four months, Millwood Chloe bounced back to her best by scoring at her last two starts for the term – both at Globe Derby. This weekend the daughter of Ohoka Arizona is set to compete at Port Pirie where she has drawn to figure prominently from barrier four. “She’s going well and I couldn’t be happier with her condition,” Loone said. “She begins well and will be going forward from the draw. “I’m not sure how quick the pole horse is but we will be coming out and having a look. “If she can settle in the lead, or close to it, she’ll be right in the finish.” Earmarking Lady Danger as the biggest threat, Loone also rates Any Suggestions as “one to watch”. Lady Danger has drawn barrier nine, with Any Suggestions to come from 10. “Lady Danger has been getting home well, and if the speed is on, you can expect her to be getting to line quickly,” Loone said. “Any Suggestions won his first couple from a break and has been placed at the next two and is one to watch from there.” With no major plans in mind for Millwood Chloe, Loone will select suitable races as they are programmed. “For now she will just keep poking around and I will find the right races,” Loone said. “While she is competitive I will keep her going racing and breed from her next season.” Harness Racing SA

Star trotter Glenferrie Typhoon has overcome a short period away from the race track to win the Glenroy Chaff Trotters Mobile (2130m) at Gloucester Park last night. Trainer Matthew Scott now has his eyes firmly focused on the Trotters Inter Dominion in Melbourne later this year following last night’s win, his first start in more than five weeks. Scott said it hadn’t been ideal for the trotter to have that length of time away from the track prior to last night, but he was confident preparations for Melbourne were firmly on track. “It was pretty easy last night, he didn’t have to do a lot,” he said. “We want to try and race him fortnightly now up until the Inters. “There’s been standing starts for the trotters, but no mobiles, so we were happy last night’s one held up even though there was only six starters. “He had a good blow after last night, but Shannon (Suvaljko) didn’t pull the ear plugs and said that he had a little bit in the tank still.” Glenferrie Typhoon had no issues crossing the field from barrier five to find the front and Suvaljko was able to dictate terms to the small field. Diamond Geezer made a late dash at Glenferrie Typhoon, but there were no concerns for the $1.05 TABtouch favourite who went on to score by 2.5m. Scott also heads to Gloucester Park on Friday night confident he has two major chances in the second half of the program. He said veteran pacer Qtown Rip Roaring had his best chance of recording his first win since June 2017, when he lined up in the JP’s Sportsbar Open For Footy Finals Pace (1730m). “We have finally got a draw with Qtown Rip Roaring,” Scott said. “We will be trying to lead throughout with him.” Scott said Brookies Jet, first-up since winning at Northam on May 29, had done enough in his work to run in town rather than in the country. “He’s been working very well,” he said. “We’ve decided to go straight to town with him. “They split the two M0 races over 1730m and it feels like he is in the right race. “I do expect him to improve on the run, but he is ready to go for the 130m.” Scott will also be represented by C C Chevron and Ideal Diamante on Friday night, but said the pair would have a difficult task to win their races given they drew barrier eight and six respectively. The Gloucester Park meeting gets underway at 5.20pm on Friday. Tim Walker

Young reinswoman, Samantha (Sam) Pascoe found success on Monday placing in 3 of her 4 races at Globe Derby despite it only being her second meeting. Sam is currently studying animal science at the University of South Australia and is the daughter of long time industry participants Scott & Mandy Pascoe “For as long as dad has been around horses, he’s been in trots. He started pretty young as his dad, Kevin Pascoe, was involved… We’ve all always had horses and been around horses.” Having success previously in the pony trots Sam competed for the first time in last Saturday’s meeting finishing sixth driving Shane Loone’s ‘Celestial Daybreak.’ Many of the current stars such as Dani Hill have started in the pony trots. When questioned whether the success Sam had in the pony trots has given her extra confidence she assured that, “It’s heaps different, its good you have a little bit of experience, but it’s a totally different kettle of fish on the horses.” The main horse that Sam has worked with and part owns is ‘Samalise’. “I’ve driven her (Samalise) in a trial and have done a lot of track work with her. I’ve done a lot a lot of track work with Michael Smith’s horses, ‘Missy Murdoch’ and ‘Murdoch’s River’. I’ve been lucky with a lot of different trainers giving me trial drives.” As well as a lot of trainers supporting Sam’s trial drives she had the trust of trainer Kerry Brown placing second on his horse ‘Heza Presidente’, and trainer Peter Blackwell’s ‘El Demonio.’ running 3rd at Mondays meeting. Industry trainers support has given Sam confidence. “ It’s really good that people I don’t really know that well have given me drives, obviously Dad’s going to, but it’s good having outside trainers.” In her trials leading up to her recent races Sam suggested she was a, “little hesitant, they’re a little nerve racking, but not long and I was able to get into the groove of it.” “Before the first race today I was still pretty nervous, but on Saturday I was nervous all night leading up to the race.” However Sam expressed that as soon as you get in the gig and start walking around the nerves disappear and there is a job to do.   Harrison Kitt

The curtain has fallen on another harness racing season. Ben Yole claimed another trainers title (124 wins) defeating Todd Rattray (71) and Juanita McKenzie (33). Todd Rattray claimed back-to-back driving titles recording 87 victories in the sulky over Ricky Duggan (80) and Rohan Hillier (79). The second spot on the driver’s title was keenly contested over the past few weeks with the driver who finished second on the table joining Todd Rattray at the Australian Drivers Championship this season. Going into the last race Duggan and Hillier sat equal on 79 wins but Duggan was able to guide Rocknroll Dancer to victory at odds of $18 on the TasRacing Official Price. Conor Crook won the state’s junior driver title by one win, Juanita McKenzie claimed another female trainer’s title while Hannah Van Dongden held onto a narrow win in the female driver’s premiership. This week’s Harness Racing heads to Launceston on Friday evening where long-serving clerk of the course, David Mace will retire for the position that he has served in since the late 1970’s. The Stars Ben Yole – finished off the season on a high note training seven winners in the final two meetings of the season in Hobart last week. Yole finished the season on 124 Tasmanian wins which equalled the state record that he set the year prior. Yole had a staggering 2134 starters in the state during the 2017-2018 season which is a state record for either racing code in Tasmania. Bianca Heenan – the Brighton-based trainer was another to finish off the season in good fashion training three winners from her five starters across last week’s meetings which included a training double on Wednesday night. Inner Light – the Christian Cullen gelding had a tremendous season and recorded his ninth win of the season with another win in Hobart on Friday. The Juanita McKenzie-trained pacer has also recorded nine placings from 23 starts during the season that has just concluded. Redason – recorded his second win since arriving in the state in the Rexel North Hobart Trot. The Rodney Ashwood trained trotter in five Tasmanian starts has earned his connections just under $9,000 in prize money. Mark Yole – demonstrated his ability in the sulky driving six winners last week to finish fifth on the state drivers table. Multiple Winners Hobart – Wednesday Ben Yole – training quartet; Thebackpagescribe, Rocknrollhighlight, Ektoras and No Apachemee. Bianca Heenan – training double; Big Bang Raj and Alta Surreal. Mark Yole – driving treble; Big Bang Raj, Alta Surreal and Rocknrollhighlight. Rohan Hillier – driving double; Thebackpagescribe and No Apachemee. Hobart – Friday Ben Yole – training treble; Mornings, Pushkin and Shadow Control. Mark Yole – driving treble; Mornings, Pushkin and Shadow Control. Ricky Duggan – driving double; Inner Light and Rocknroll Dancer Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Wednesday Couta Rocks, 57.98s, Alta Surreal 58.04s, Mavis Merle 58.56s, Reckless Abandon 58.61s and Albayzin 58.71s. Hobart – Friday Mornings 58.26s, Wattabout Spangher 58.54s, Flashy Ruler 58.61s, Adele Said 58.87 and Mon Poppy Bronte 58.89s. You can view sectionals from every runner from both meetings and more Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Wednesday Hit’s: Thebackpagescribe $26 into $14 and Big Bang Raj $3.20 into $2.60. Defied The Drift: Ektoras $6.00 out to $8.00, Rocknrollhighlight $2.70 out to $3.50 and Alta Surreal $3.00 out to $3.70. Missed: Miss Superbia $19 into $5.50, Bounty Eyre $9.50 into $7.00 and Tizyalator $4.40 into $3.40. Hobart – Friday Hit’s: Pushkin $12 into $8.50, Inner Light $4.00 into $2.15 and Redason $2.60 into $2.30. Defied The Drift: Demonstrative $7.50 out to $12, Rocknroll Dancer $14 out to $18 and Shadow Control $4.40 out to $5.50. Missed: Arrived In Time $31 into $16, Sheer Strength $21 into $8.00 and Monarkmac $12 into $5.50. Trial File Carrick Park on Saturday morning. Only one trial was held with a field of three horses facing the starter. Williamlee was able to hold the lead from barrier one to lead all the way to win by just under a metre over Padabing Stride in a mile rate of 2mins 7.7sec. Hobart on Monday night. It was the Conor Crook show at the Elwick Racing Complex with the concession driver winning the two trials staged. His first win came for his boss Ben Yole in the standing start trial where Chilla Breeze scored by 10-metres in a mile rate of 2min 7.6sec for the 2090-metre trip. Olwen Jaccka came from last to win the mobile trial of the night, defeating Mon Poppy Polly by one metre in a mile rate 2min 7.1sec. Week Ahead The action this week’s returns to Launceston in the twilight time zone for an eight-race card. The main race of the night and one of the most intriguing events on the programme is the David Mace Retirement Stakes. The Troy Hillier-trained Illegal Immigrant will be looking for a hat-trick of wins when he has his first attempt at C6 or better grade, and judging by the dominance of his last to first victory in a slick 1min 57sec mile rate in Launceston on August 24 you would expect that he is ready to take the next step to open grade. His rivals on Friday night include The Aussie who was the winner of six races from 20 starts last season including his most recent racetrack appearance in Hobart in mid-August. The five-year-old entire is expected to race up on the speed from his pole draw, while Taurisi (last start winner) and Star Chamber come into the race recording the two quickest last half miles of the meeting when they clashed here on August 24. The start time of race one has been brought forward to 17:19 and the meeting can be seen on Tasracing’s Live Stream service. Sky Racing 1 will televise race one with races two through to eight to be shown on Sky Racing 2. Interstate this week at Metropolitan venues across Australia we see; Melton – Saturday night Race 6 Horse 7 The Bettormack and Horse 10 Resurgent Spirit, Race 7 Horse 8 Sultan Fella. Menangle – Saturday night Race 5 Horse 9 Pachacuti. Albion Park – Saturday night Race 1 Horse 2 Jerrys Jet, Race 3 Horse 12 Vande Velde.   Duncan Dornauf

Hall Of Fame trainer Gary Hall capped an outstanding championship-winning season with a quartet of winners at Gloucester Park last Friday. Stable star Chicago Bull, Speedman, Beaudiene Beaufighta and Fake News boosted Hall’s 2017-2018 metropolitan tally to 115 wins, more than double his next rival. In a season of major highlights Hall said reaching a personal milestone in July gave him particular satisfaction when he surpassed 2500 career victories. Hall celebrated bragging rights as the leading metropolitan and state trainer with son Gary Jnr, who reigned supreme as Leading Metropolitan driver. Skye Bond also claimed four winners in the final meeting of the Gloucester Park season, making a late dash to join Ross Oliveri in second position. Shannon Suvaljko finished second to Hall Jnr as Leading Metropolitan Driver, but claimed honours as Leading State Driver with 179 wins. Jocelyn Young and Corey Peterson fought out a titanic struggle for honours as Leading Concession Driver, but couldn't be split after 49 wins each. LEADING METROPOLITAN TRAINER Gary Hall Snr 115 Ross Oliveri 52 Skye Bond 52 Nathan Turvey 30 Mike Reed 28 LEADING METROPOLITAN DRIVER Gary Hall Jnr 120 Shannon Suvaljkjo 81 Chris Lewis 80 Ryan Warwick 78 Chris Voak 64   LEADING STATE TRAINER Hall Snr 153 Oliveri 115 Bond 90 Prentice 69 Turvey 65   LEADING STATE DRIVER Shannon Suvaljko 179 Gary Hall Jnr 173 Chris Lewis 169 Chris Voak 154 Ryan Warwick 135   LEADING CONCESSION Jocelyn Young 49 Corey Peterson 49 Mitchell Miller 43 Madeleine Young 33 Deni Roberts 32   LEADING JUNIOR DRIVER Michael Grantham 26 Sturat McDonald 20 Corey Peterson 16 Mitchell Miller 13 Deni Roberts 08       Racing & Wagering Western Australia

Reinsman Ryan Warwick entered a select list when the fourth of his quartet of winners at Gloucester Park last Friday night brought up his 500th winner in Perth. For the record the horse was Better B Chevron and it makes Ryan just the 19th driver in 108 years of harness racing in Perth to pass the milestone and join Perth’s 500 Club. The 500 Club was created in the eighties by the WA Trotting Association and Ryan becomes the third member of his family in this elite group. His uncle Trevor Warwick and cousin Justin Warwick have each driven more than 500 winners in Perth and the Warwick clan have joined the Kersley family with three drivers in the list. Ryan Warwick drove his first Perth winner with Nerology on 20th September 1995 for owner Dave Winter. Nerology was trained by Ryan’s father Colin Warwick who is best remembered for his win with Rhett’s Law in the 1982 Perth Inter Dominion Final. The complete list of Perth’s 500 Club is as follows: Driver PERTH_WINS A C (Chris) Lewis 2740 G E (Gary) Hall Jnr 1874 F R (Fred) Kersley 1735 C D (Colin) Brown 1482 T B (Trevor) Warwick 1177 L B (Lindsay) Harper 880 P C (Phil) Coulson 817 M B (Mark) Reed 700 J H (Jim) Schrader 678 M L (Morgan) Woodley 629 S J (Shannon) Suvaljko 589 L S (Lyle) Lindau 571 J T (Justin) Warwick 568 A S (Alan) Woodworth 561 M R (Max) Johnson 548 F E (Frank) Kersley 533 F (Fred) Kersley Snr 533 L H (Les) Poyser 512 R (Ryan) Warwick 500    Alan Parker

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry yesterday into reports received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that synephrine had been detected in post-race urine samples obtained from the following horses: FUTURE STRIDE- following its win in Race 5 at Penrith on Thursday 29 March 2018; BACKINTHEGAME- following its win in Race 4 at Penrith on Thursday 3 May 2018. The ‘B’ samples were confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Ms Wilkins appeared at the inquiry and provided evidence of her husbandry practices. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis were presented, as well as analytical reports in relation to teff grass hay obtained from Ms Wilkins’ stable and plant samples from the Menangle Park Training Centre. HRNSW Regulatory veterinarian, Dr Martin Wainscott also provided evidence to the inquiry. Ms Wilkins pleaded guilty to two (2) charges issued pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting FUTURE STRIDE and BACKINTHEGAME to race not free of a prohibited substance, being synephrine. In respect of those charges, Stewards recorded a conviction, however, did not impose a penalty on Ms Wilkins as they were satisfied that the detection of synephrine had resulted from environmental contamination.  In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: Ms Wilkins’ first Prohibited Substance offences; Analytical reports; Environmental contamination; Ms Wilkins’ licence history and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, FUTURE STRIDE and BACKINTHEGAME were disqualified from the abovementioned races. Ms Wilkins was advised of her right to appeal this decision.   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gadams@hrnsw.com.au

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry yesterday into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that synephrine had been detected in post-race urine sample obtained from IDEAL LIFESTYLE following its win in Race 5 at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday 29 May, 2018. The ‘B’ sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Mr Grimson appeared at the inquiry and provided evidence of his registered training establishment and husbandry practices. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis were presented, as well as analytical reports in relation to teff grass hay obtained from Mr Grimson’s stable and plant samples from the Menangle Park Training Centre. HRNSW Regulatory veterinarian, Dr Martin Wainscott also provided evidence to the inquiry. Mr Grimson pleaded guilty to a charge issued pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting IDEAL LIFESTYLE to race not free of a prohibited substance, being synephrine. In respect of that charge, Stewards recorded a conviction, however, did not impose a penalty on Mr Grimson as they were satisfied that the detection of synephrine had resulted from environmental contamination.  In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: Mr Grimson’s first Prohibited Substance offence; Analytical reports; Environmental contamination; Mr Grimson’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, IDEAL LIFESTYLE was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Mr Grimson was advised of his right to appeal this decision.     Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gadams@hrnsw.com.au

As reported by Stuff, one of harness racing's brightest young prospects is one of seven people charged after a long-running inquiry into alleged race-fixing and drugs in the industry.  Police confirmed they have charged seven people in relation to Operation Inca, which culminated in raids on 10 harness racing stables in Canterbury, Manawatū and Invercargill on Tuesday. More raids are understood to be happening on Wednesday.  A 26-year-old man was due to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday on charges of deception by match-fixing, possessing Class B drugs for supply and supplying Class B drugs, police said. Stuff understands the 26-year-old is trainer and driver Matt Anderson, who is widely regarded as one of harness racing's brightest young prospects. Four men aged 34, 40, 41 and 44 were due to appear in Christchurch District Court on Tuesday next week on match-fixing charges. Stuff understands the men are Nigel McGrath, John Dunn, Blair Orange and Andrew Stuart. A 41-year-old woman would appear in court the same day on two counts of supplying Class B drugs.  A 47-year-old man, who Stuff understands is Brent Wall, has been charged with deception by match-fixing and is due to appear in Palmerston North District Court, also on Tuesday, police said.   Read the full story here   Martin van Beynen and Mat Kermeen  

Whether the current harness racing race fixing blow ends up a bleeding nose or a gaping wound will almost certainly depend on the contents of texts and phone calls now in police hands. Some of the industry's biggest names spent at least part of today in police custody, and while unconfirmed, some have already been charged with race fixing or similar offences. Names at the centre of the investigation named Operation Inca include last season's premiership-winning driver Blair Orange, the man he dethroned for that title Dexter Dunn, and Dunn's brother John, himself a leading driver. The Herald understands at least one other successful Canterbury trainer was extensively questioned by police, while they also visited the stables of champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, with Purdon reportedly not part of the investigation. While police today suggested race fixing and potentially drugs are at the centre of their investigations the Herald was told that illegal performance-enhancing substances used on horses are not the focal point of Operation Inca. The investigation was sparked by information passed to police by the Racing Integrity Unit as early as April last year and police have tapped phones and checked text messages as part of the investigation. What they found or are still to find in those texts or calls will be crucial to building a case against any of those under investigation because race fixing is incredibly hard to prove. And often even harder to actually achieve. While there have and always will be those who are suspicious of racing being "fixed", the reality is it has never been cleaner because of technology. Most trainers and drivers/jockeys don't bet because it is too easy to trace, with bookies openly supplying betting records to authorities. So any of the people under investigation placing a bet on a race they were involved with would set off alarm bells regardless of the result. Which is why the spouses of several of those under investigation were also questioned today, to see whether they had placed bets on their partner's behalf. That is almost certain to be a dead end. What is more likely to end up at the centre of the investigation and any future charges will be betting activities of third parties who bet on information supplied by horsepeople and may have rewarded them for that information. That in itself is an offence but a relatively minor one. The real problem for harness racing would be if any of the parties involved colluded to rig a race, supplied that information to a third party and benefited from that information and any money subsequently won. That would have huge ramifications, an iceberg to racing's Titanic. Text messages, phone calls or face-to-face conversations between punters looking for a tip, even just an opinion, from horsepeople have been going on for as long as there have been phones or racetracks. So if the text messages, recordings and apparently emails, the latter a seemingly very strange way to fix a race, confirm that any drivers knew each other's plans and passed that information on, then harness racing has a problem like cricket's famous match fixing scandals. The other option is a punter ringing multiple horsepeople, putting that information together and betting accordingly for their own purposes. Christchurch-based owner Graham Beirne also had property raided today but was overseas and denies any wrongdoing. Whether any punter, in New Zealand or overseas, would have the money and more importantly the power to fix a race and convince the people at the centre of this investigation is questionable. Such scams are incredibly hard to pull off, as the mastermind needs drivers capable of controlling the main variables of the race without outside interference. The money gambled on New Zealand harness races is relatively small compared with overseas thoroughbred action and any unusual transactions are easily spotted and the driving tactics around them noted. The electronic trail is so pronounced, the telecommunications so easy to track, anybody engaging in prolonged race-fixing would be certain to get caught. This investigation could last a long time but regardless of how it pans out, to the punting public, perception is often reality, and harness racing's reputation has taken a huge blow. The irony is this: Orange and Dexter Dunn travelled to almost every race meeting they attended last season together. I spoke to them before, after and sometimes even during those meetings. They are, hand on heart, two of the worst tipsters I have ever met among the leading horsepeople and if your betting strategy was punting on what they thought was going to happen, you would go broke. But now the racing industry will wait to find out what was said, texted and written.   Michael Guerin

AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchases enjoyed a high rate of success during the 2017/18 season. From age-restricted events to open class majors, APG graduates were to the fore throughout Australasia. Lead by Shez All Rock, APG stars captured an incredible 21 Group Ones for the term. Making her debut at the beginning of the season, Shez All Rock became the southern hemisphere’s premier three-year-old filly by annexing four Group Ones. An $11,000 Melbourne buy, Shez All Rock boasts an impeccable record of 10 wins and a second from 11 starts for earnings of $426,350. Along with the top shelf wins, APG purchases secured 17 Group Twos. Rising star mare Carlas Pixel was among the Group Two winners thanks to her victory in last month’s Breeders’ Crown Four-Year-Old Championship. The Melton-based feature was an ideal compliment to her Group One Ladyship Mile triumph earlier in the year. Bought for $20,000 via APG’s Melbourne Sale, Carlas Pixel has bankrolled $389,828 as a result of 18 wins and 16 placings from 51 starts. APG Media

AUSTRALIA’S leading NZ Cup contender Chicago Bull is having a brief freshen-up after posting his sixth win from as many starts this campaign at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Gary Hall Sr’s superstar won in trackwork-like style by working to the front from stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, cruising through a 59.8sec middle half and dashing home in 55.3 and 27.5sec to win without being extended. “I wanted to give him a fairly easy time, but he’s having a little break after tonight so I was happy to let him finish-off the race a bit,” driver Gary Hall Jr said. “He’s having three weeks at home now. The first couple fairly quiet, then the hopples on again to prepare for the first of two runs here (Gloucester Park) before he heads to the Victoria Cup (Melton, October 13).” Hall Sr described Chicago Bull’s preparation as “perfect”, but quickly added: “You’re reluctant to say that because they are horses and things can go wrong, but every thing has been perfect so far. “There’s no doubt he’s come back better than ever.” The plan is for Chicago Bull to be flown to Auckland soon after the Victoria Cup and race once at Alexandra Park ahead of his NZ Cup tilt at Addington. Hall Sr and his major rivals Greg and Skye Bond dominated the Gloucester Park card with four wins each. Along with Chicago Bull, Hall Sr teamed with his son, Gary Jr, to win with three-year-old Speed Man, Beaudiene Beaufighter and Alta Christiano juvenile filly Fake News. The Bonds struck early winning the first three races with Lincs Tiger, Detroit Lily and the very emerging open-class player Vampiro. They also snared the quinella in race eight with talented mares Better B Chevron and Dodolicious. The Bonds had to be content with second in the feature of the night when former star juvenile Mitch Maguire chased home the exciting Simba Bromac in the $25,000 Schrader Final. _______________________________________________________________________________ VICTORIANS Chris Alford and Emma Stewart closed-out the 2017/18 season with record-smashing results. Alford obliterated the previous Australian driving record of 388 wins in a season with a staggering 457 victories. They came at a powerhouse 27.92 per cent strike rate. Alford’s dominance was underlined by the fact Greg Sugars finished second with 229 winners. Stewart, who unofficially trains in partnership with Clayton Tonkin, also bettered Grant Dixon’s 299 Australian record with 308 wins. Her strike rate was out of this world at 39.09 per cent and would’ve been far higher if you eliminated the number of times she beat her own horses. The Queensland-based Dixon had another fantastic season with 289 wins, headlined by Colt Thirty One’s Victoria Derby triumph. _______________________________________________________________________________ TIGER Tara’s NZ Cup preparation struck a snag with his scratching from Menangle last night. There’s nothing wrong with the star stayer, but his trainer Kevin Pizzuto is recovering from minor injuries after a car accident last Tuesday. “A car came out of nowhere, hit us side-on, so we lost control and crashed into some trees. It’s wrecked my car and float,” Pizzuto said. “We were lucky it wasn’t a lot worse. “It’s left me needing help with the horses.” Making matters worse in so parts of Australia is the drought conditions, which has made feed both scarce and very expensive. With Tiger Tara out of the Club Menangle free-for-all, Team Tritton’s emerging open-class player My Alpha Rock worked to the front, controlled the tempo and blitzed his rivals. My Alpha Rock finished off in splits of 53.7 and 27.1sec to score by 7.7m in a 1min55.3sec mile rate for 2300m. The other eye-catching Menangle winner was Jason Grimson’s mare Ideal Lifestyle, who was good enough to blaze a 25.8sec lead time, but keep going to win by a whopping 16.5m in a 1min50.3sec mile. _______________________________________________________________________________ GAVIN Lang reminded everyone of his genius in the sulky when he won what looked the unwinnable on the home turn with brilliant mare Carlas Pixel at Melton last night. In a leader dominated race where the last half was run in 54.8sec, Lang felt he couldn’t winning coming wide, so instead weaved his way through the field, then back inside the leader Three Ways to snatch a nose win in a 1min55.2sec mile rate in the My Lightning Blue free-for-all. It came just a week Carlas Pixel won the Breeders Crown 4YO Mares’ final. She’s also won the Group 1 Ladyship Mile at Menangle back in February. Carlas Pixel denied Three Ways’ driver Kate Gath a quartet of wins on the night. She snared wins on High Rolling, Van Mara and emerging trotter Ymbro Wasted. _______________________________________________________________________________ WHEN owner Fred Crews tackled the famous Elitlopp Trot in Sweden with Maori Time earlier this year, he vowed to do it again before too long. Crews and trained Bill Morgan have always had a huge opinion of trotter Maori Law and, after a stint on the sidelines with injury, he has returned in fine style. Maori Law had 13 months out, ran two solid placings in his first two runs back, then scored in dominant style at Melton last night with Gavin Lang aboard. The six-year-old boasts 13 wins from just 18 starts and looks a serious Inter Dominion player later this year. _______________________________________________________________________________ IT was a milestone win for Alleluia in the free-for-all at Albion Park last night. The former Kiwi passed $500,000 in career earnings by posting his 31st win from 132 starts with another 49 placings. Alleluia’s $7075 for the latest win took his bank balance to $500,900.   Adam Hamilton

It was a night for the big names of Harness Racing in Western Australia, with the trainer-driver combinations of Greg and Skye Bond and Ryan Warwick, along with Gary Hall Snr and Gary Hall Jnr taking out eight of the 10 races at Gloucester Park. Punters had the Warwick-Bond combination as the one to beat in the first three races and that is exactly how it played out. Lincs Tiger kicked the night off in fine fashion for them, taking out the Book Into Beau Rivage 3YO Pace (2130m) and despite causing a false start, he was too strong for his rivals. After finishing fifth first-up a fortnight ago, Detroit Lily returned to the winners circle in the $7 Pints At JP’s Sportsbar Pace (2130m). Detroit Lily had a dream run throughout just behind the leaders, before Warwick pulled out three-wide approaching the turn and the filly went on to defeat Veiled Secret and Dontstopbelievin. Vampiro and Better B Chevron completed the successful night for Warwick and the Bond’s. Chicago Bull was, yet again, the star attraction at Gloucester Park and he produced another professional performance to take out the $25,000 Nexus Health & Wellness Pace (2536m). Now a six-year-old, Chicago Bull came the closest he has to defeat this preparation at his last start over this distance, but there were no problems last night. Hall Jnr allowed Chicago Bull to amble to the lead towards the end of the first lap and never looked like being beaten when he got there. The Bettors Delight gelding ran home in a time of 55.3 to win by seven metres to stablemate Runrunjimmydunn. Tricky Styx finished third, making it the same first three runners across the line as last week’s August Cup. Hall Jnr said Chicago Bull would now likely head for a short break, before a couple more runs in Perth and an east coast campaign. “I think it will be three weeks now that he has away from the race track,” he said. “He will have three weeks at home jogging and the last of those weeks he will probably get back in the hopples to get ready for his next two starts here. “Depending on flights and how we go about getting him there…I dare say we will leave as close as we can to the race (Victoria Cup). “Where he’s at, what he’s aimed for and where we have got him, everything is perfect. “You don’t like saying that, because with horses and racing anything can happen day to day.” The Hall Snr and Jnr combination enjoyed a successful second half of the meeting, with Speed Man, Beaudiene Beaufighta and Fake News all recording comfortable victories. Tim Walker

HE is currently one of the most inform drivers in Sydney and Cameron Hart is hoping to start the new season in style at Menangle on Saturday night. The 19-year-old has one of the key drives in the Group 3 Free-For-All (2300m) on Loorrim Creek which Hart is hoping will catapult him into success. Have shared a Group victory at Menangle last month, Hart is confident Loorrim Creek will run another good race. “I was really happy with his fourth last week,” said Hart. “He did it well and his sectionals were really strong. “He keeps delivering in this grade and has come through last week’s run well and I’m expecting another good run from him.” Loorrim Creek has raced over the mile distance his last five starts and Hart believes the step up in distance should suit the seven-year-old. “When we first got him we thought he would be better over a bit of distance,” said Hart. “He’s been quite versatile which is good but looking forward to racing him over the longer trip again.” Following the scratchings of some of the fancies in Tiger Tara and Ultimate Art, Loorrim Creek is the $6 TAB Fixed Odds second favourite with My Alpha Rock (Lauren Tritton) the favourite at $1.35. Loorrim Creek will carry the number eight saddlecloth while My Alpha Rock will carry number 10. “I’ll probably have to drive him quiet from the draw,” said Hart. “The few scratchings have helped too.” Hart won six races on Loorrim Creek last season including the Group 3 Race Against The Drought FFA beating Tiger Tara. A win on Saturday night will push Loorrim Creek’s earnings past $100,000. Others Hart won on last season that he believes will go well tonight include Lucky Artist and Im Smoocha. Both pacers as well as Loorrim Creek are trained by former Queensland mentor Shane Sanderson who is now based at the Menangle Park Training Centre and whom Hart drives trackwork for. “We’re having a really good run at the moment,” said Hart. Hart has steered 79 winners in the 2017/18 season. Meanwhile, all horses carrying the six saddlecloth at Menangle during September will sport bright green ‘Race Against Drought’ colours. For every win in these colours, Club Menangle will donate $500 towards farmers in need through ‘Buy A Bale’ and the ‘Dilly Drought Drive’ campaigns. AMANDA RANDO HRNSW

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