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Veteran Ararat harness racing trainer Terry Young has been enjoying the highs of the sport in recent years with an enviable streak of success – but he’s also recently experienced the lows first hand.   Young, 77, who puts the polish on classy square-gaiter Deltasun (Tennotrump-Deltasu (Elsu NZ), had a fall at his hometown track and dislocated his collarbone.   “I was working a two-year-old named Premonition and he shied and spun back in the opposite direction,” Young explained.   “I just wasn’t ready for it because it’s just not part of his make-up,” he said.   “So while the horse trotted back to the stabling area to my wife Carol, I was sprawled on the track with my arm twisted up around behind my back.   “I popped the collarbone right out. The doctors put it back okay but told me I’m out of action for at least the next six weeks.   Young said he had already been toying with the idea of giving Deltasun, a winner of 17 races and 15 placings for $225,000, a short let-up.   “When I had the track mishap, that made the decision for me to spell him, and I’ve tossed the other three out for a break as well,” he said.   In just three seasons of racing, Deltasun has stamped himself as one of Victoria’s most consistent square-gaiters, winning seven races at TABcorp Park Melton, including the 3YO Vicbred final.   “He’s never far away, because he’s got outstanding manners and he’s very well gaited,” Young said.   “We have had a fantastic time with him because he’s won two Group One races and a few GroupThrees.”   Terry and Carol were especially thrilled to win the Central Victorian Trotters Championship and then the rich Tontine series early last year.   “Even more so because we aimed him specifically for those two events. It doesn’t happen all that often, when everything just goes right, but it’s great when it does!” Young said.   Deltasun with PT Young, Gavin Lang and Terry and Carol Young (Courtesy Tabcorp Park Racing)   He paid tribute to the stable’s main driver Gavin Lang.   “He’s been a major part in making the horse into a true racehorse. He’s outstanding with young ones and he’s taught me how to look after a good horse,” Young said.   “Just little things, like we never work Deltasun against another horse in trackwork because he just fires up and you can’t hold him.”   Deltasun, driven by Gavin Lang (Courtesy Wimmera Mail Times)   Young was a jockey as a youngster, and a respected one at that, landing country winners as well as a city win at Caulfield in 1956 for Jerry Tye, a Chinese trainer.   “The gallops were always hotly contested, and you know I was never thrown off or injured during the years I was involved. But my weight increased, and I was forced to give away race riding,” he said.   Young moved to Ararat in 1960 to be closer to his parents who lived near Port Fairy.   “Dad was a shearer and neither of them had an interest in horses. I worked as a roustabout in the shearing sheds and rode trackwork as well,” he said.   “And that was how I met Carol at an early morning trackwork session. She had ponies and her father Mick King was one of the first harness racing trainers in Ararat.   “Carol was virtually riding ponies before she could walk, and she could have easily carved out a career as a jockey if females were allowed back then.   “She was an excellent rider and had an uncanny way with horses, and she still does to this day. Along with being a hard worker and great support to me.”   Young was introduced to harness racing by Carol’s father Mick and didn’t take long to adjust. He won at the old Horsham showgrounds at his very first drive on Chalambar.   “The horse was probably classes above them, I think, but the gaps just opened up everywhere I went, and I thought how easy is this?!   “I was soon brought back to earth by the head steward, Mr Rowse who gave me a huge lecture, saying I didn’t display much control. I did admit that I was loose reining, but I’ve never forgotten that spray.”   When his interest in harness racing began to wane, Young opted for a break, turning his interest in the 1980s to running.   “I enjoyed that and was lucky enough to win the veterans event (restricted to runners over 40) at the Stawell Gift,” he said.   But his interest in harness racing became rekindled and Young found himself driving to Peter Manning’s place at Great Western to help out.   “I’ve now probably been doing that for the past 20 years or so and I’ve learnt so much from Peter and the team out there. Peter is always ready to give you a hand or some advice,” he said.   “I used to help work Tennotrumps and he was just a lovely horse. I decided to take our mare Deltasu to him when he stood as a stallion and I’m pretty glad I did because the result was Deltasun!”   Young uses the Manning track most days, trucking his small team out there.   And to add to the family flavor, son Peter (PT as he’s known) attends most meetings with his dad.   A talented jockey, PT was lured to Melbourne by astute trainer Jim Moloney.   “He couldn’t hack it in the city, like a lot of country fellas find out, but he had a successful career around the bush,” Young said.   “I asked him to come to the trots with me one day, and he was a bit undecided. Now he’s nearly the first in the car! He drives to the meetings which suits me perfectly,” he said.   “His wife Alison is right into the breeding and ownership side of it, so between the family we’ve got most parts of the industry covered. An old friend in Terry Cahill is also a breeder.”   Young intends to enjoy his enforced short break, despite counting down the days until he’s back doing what he loves.   “I’m still a bit dirty on myself for getting tipped out and hurt,” he laughed.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

A plethora of harness racing. Who could wish for more? And yet it has been a sad road that has enabled the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club to mark up, at least, the next five weekends to a trotting programme.  But, like any opportunity, it should be grabbed with both hands and used to the best of its possibility. Due to the debacle that is happening in Adelaide, with all racing at Globe Derby having been postponed for the time being and the race meetings shared out among other country clubs until there is a resolution to the matters. There had been a break in Port Pirie for three weeks while meetings were sorted but all is OK to go again now.  This Saturday night will see nine races on the programme.  Amongst them is the $30,000 2019 Alabar Golden Nursery Stakes Final for 2 year olds run in a night of pacing that has been transferred to the Pirie track.  Along with the high stake money will be a rug and cup. Vying for the nice sized purse will be Peter Bain's Hilltop Surfer and Emma Stewart's Celebrity Chef. Giving them both a good run for their money in this elite event will be Wolf of West Bay and the local, Hesashark, trained and driven by Dale Afford.  Although Hesashark has drawn eleven in the barrier stakes, I am sure he will have the grunt to take out the 1609 metre race.  Along with this event on the evening's programme is the final in the Aaron Bain Racing Stable 3yo Colts & Geldings and also the final in the Biano Re-inforcing 3yo Fillies.  Both of these races are over 2050 metres and both are worth $10,000. The three year old fillies final will see Dale Afford's three year old filly, Shesashark and there will have to be some sporty speed to get up to beat this one. The fact that there was the extra break in the calendar was a God send to both John and myself as we have both been suffering badly with the flu, as have another 300 plus people in SA per day. If you haven't had your flu injection, don't mess around, have it now. A sentimental race of the evening will be the Bet McArthur Memorial.  Betty McArthur was around, carrying out her volunteering duties when I wasn't all that old, how I remember her buzzing around, always on the go.  She was a tiny sprite and no-one deserved to lose her life, the way that Betty did.  Struck down outside the trotting track, going to visit her long time friend Ailsa McBride, just across the road. It is now five years since Bet passed away and still it is hard to find a volunteer like she was. We remember you well, Betty.  This could be an interesting race with eleven nominated for the privilege. Leah Harvey's Nevaevabend will be battling it out against the likes of Tossup, The Quick Shadow and Tap The Keg. Nine races on the programme with the first race kicking off at 6.17pm. It should be a fantastic night of racing, so why be sitting home watching your footy team go down the gurgler.  Come on out and hear the pounding of hooves pounding down the straight. It' s a full month of harness racing at Phoenix Park, so don't miss a moment of it. See you at the track!   Sue Penny Reprinted with permission of The Recorder

Hot favourite Escalera ($1.35) didn’t let favourite backers down when winning the second annual $25,000 Listed Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series Final at the Marburg Showgrounds on Sunday. But it was a 75-year-old horseman, who has been training standardbreds for more than half a century, that epitomised the Marburg Pacing Association's (MPA) biggest day of the year. Purga trainer, Denis Smith, first climbed into a sulky back in 1964. Nineteen years later the MPA was established. “It’s a great day out and there should be more like it. Who said they couldn't win from back-marks on the 700m Marburg track? I wish they were all like him," Smith said. He was referring to his 5-year-old Down Under Muscles gelding, Northern Muscle, whom he steered to a 4.2m victory over stablemate, Norahs Fling (Adam Richardson) in the second event. "It was great to train the quinella, but I wish they were all like this fella (Northern Muscle). He's the best of the six I've got in work. He’s amazing really because he’s overcome a hock problem which couldn’t be cured. It was bred in him. He's so tough and never stops trying," Smith said. Northern Muscle had to be good to win from his 40m back mark on Sunday. Not only did he have to get around the entire field, but he had to negotiate 12 bends as he trotted the 2200m Nationwide Boring Handicap in 2:55.7 (mile rate 2:06.2). “To go that time on the small track he had to be better than average. His sire won Group races here and his grand-sire (Muscles Yankee) was one of the best going around in America at his peak, so he has good breeding. I think that's where he gets his toughness," Smith said. The punters obviously knew Northern Muscle's potential. He paid $5 to win in what was his 14th career victory ($53,916) since making his debut, ironically at the Marburg Easter meeting two years ago. He was bred and is owned by Kathryn McLachlan. The obvious highlight on Sunday was the Darrel Graham trained and driven Escalera’s ridiculously easy 15.3m win over the Graham Dyer trained Goalkicker (Lola Weidemann) in the feature event. Half-a-neck back in third was the Graham trained second favourite, My Ultimate Romeo (Adam Sanderson). “I always thought he might be tough to bowl from the nice draw (2) and the punters seemed to agree as well. That was a big effort to do what he did around this little track and still win with a 2.02-minute mile rate. "He's got good manners and he's a tough little fella. I wanted to run them off their feet and that's how it worked out,” Graham said. “I love coming here. It’s great to win grassroots racing events like this with a good little horse,” he added. Graham said he would now attack the Queensland Derby and a couple of Country Derbies with the talented three-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight. It was Escalera’s seventh win from 16 starts. He's also placed four times and banked $45,292 in stakes. He is owned by Tumby Park Limited and was bred by Dr Charles Roberts of Woodlands Stud in New Zealand. The talented bay gelding led from the outset and paced the 2200m stand in 2:46.8. His sectionals were 29.3, 31, 30.1, and 30.1. The other highlight of the meeting was the Chantal Turpin trained and Peter McMullen driven Argyle Beach's very easy 27.9m win in the $11,000 Stanley Road Construction Diamond Series Final. An aggressive drive by McMullen saw the five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare work hard for the lead from her 20m handicap with two laps remaining, and then at the 400m the duo said goodbye. That was her 17th win ($99,764) for owner Ross Patrick. "She's just a beautiful little mare who you can put anywhere in the race. You can make a move with her and she always gives. We all love her," the man nicknamed 'Leader Peter' said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland's Trial File has returned from a hiatus with former Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) race caller and form expert Craig Rail now posting his extensive weekly trials' summary to deliver punters an edge! View the first edition of Craig Rail's Trial File here and check back each Friday morning for the latest edition. You can also follow Craig's Blackbookers, mentioned at the bottom of each Trial File article.   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Premier reinsman Gavin Lang came out in support of standing-start races after winning the Easter Cup at Mowbray on Saturday night. Lang said he would like to see them reintroduced in Victoria where there have been no standing starts for pacers since the start of the 2017-18 season. "I believe there is still a place for them, especially at this level where you are dealing with readymade racehorses," the trainer-driver said. Harness Racing Victoria made its contentious decision to scrap stands after an extensive review of the format from both a wagering and an image perspective. "On both counts, the board has viewed standing start races as harmful to the viability of the industry," chief executive John Anderson said at the time. Prominent media commentator Adam Hamilton supported the decision, saying "standing starts have served the sport well through history but have passed their use-by date." There's been no suggestion, not in public anyway, that Tasracing has ever considered following suit. Opinions will always be divided but standing starts still have a strong body of support among diehard harness racing followers. Punters know the risks involved when they bet on stands. So the only real problem is their potential to seriously delay the start of races which can lead to them being 'flicked' by Sky Channel. But plenty of mobile races run late as well, as was the case on Saturday night for some reason. Although Franco Tristan was Lang's fifth Easter Cup winner, it was the first time he's won it from a standing start. Franco Tiger, Northern Brewer, Here Comes David and Jonells Son all won when it was a mobile free-for-all.   By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) has advised states the new national ratings based handicapping system will be implemented from July 1. Participants are advised that horse ratings will go live from May 1 and be visible on Harnessweb and some other online platforms, but the new ratings’ system won’t come into effect until July. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will issue communications to the industry in June explaining the system and Victoria’s approach to programming. July race programs will be released in the first week of June. “It’s important our trainers, drivers, owners, breeders and punters all have a thorough understanding of the new system,” HRV General Manager Racing – Stephen Bell said. “To ensure all our people are properly briefed HRV will issue detailed communications in June. Prior to that, we’ll advise of any updates to the national rollout in a timely manner. “The challenge now is for each state to develop local race programs that maximise industry earning opportunity and deliver competitive wagering outcomes through more competitive racing.” Participants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the HRA national handicapping document, which explains how the new system will work.     HRV Trots Media

Star Victorian pacer San Carlo deserves to win a Group 1 race and is set to be given another three chances to do over the next few months. Trainer Steve O’Donoghue said it was “very likely” his classy veteran would chase the Len Smith Mile at the end of June and then the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake during Albion Park’s Winter Carnival. San Carlo followed a dominant Mildura Cup win with a comfortable Warragul Cup victory last Sunday. It was a one-act affair with driver Bec Bartley working to the front, rolling along and ripping home in 55.6 and 27.4sec to win by 3.2m in a 1min58.3sec mile rate for the long 2627m trip. The slow-maturing eight-year-old boasts 28 wins from just 48 starts along with nine placings and almost $500,000 in earnings. Buzz former Kiwi four-year-old Ana Malak looked San Carlo’s only real danger on paper at Warragul, but found the task of sitting outside him for the last 1400m simply too much. He tired late for fourth. It was the Golden Nugget winner’s  second run for caretaker trainer Dean Braun after he dropped back staggeringly in grade to win first-up from a spell at Stawell six days earlier. Ana Malak is sure to keep improving, having just raced twice for Braun since the Group 1 Golden Nugget for part-owners and trainers Greg and Skye Bond last December. “We’ll see how he goes in Victoria with Dean (Braun, trainer) for a while then bring him back home,” part-owner Rob Gartrell said. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ For the umpteenth time in his stellar career, Gavin Lang’s drive made all the different in a feature. Lang, recently sidelined with a bout of shingles, was at his aggressive and tactical best in a desperate first 100m of the $75,000 Group 2 Tasmanian Easter Cup (2698m). Ultimately, somehow staying in front of major rival Ryley Major won Lang and his former Kiwi pacer Franco Tristan the race. Lang went on to find the lead, dictate the terms and win by 1.1m over a gallant Scooterwillrev, who sat parked. But Ryley Major should’ve won. He was buried four pegs, got clear too late and stormed home for a close third. If not for Lang’s genius early, Ryley Major’s trainer-driver Rohan Hillier would almost certainly have found the lead and won as he liked. Franco Tristan has been ultra-consistent since coming to Lang’s barn from NZ with 16 starts netting si wins, seven seconds, two thirds and now almost $90,000 in stakemoney. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Trainer Andy Gath said some the practice at home the Alexandra Park direction of racing ended a planned Anzac and Rowe Cup raid. “He just wasn’t comfortable going that way, certainly not enough for take him overseas,” Gath said. “We’d love to have gone, you know I love chasing the big races when we’ve got the right horse.” McLovin was beaten but far from disgraced after striking early trouble in the Uncle Petrika Sprint (1720m) at Melton on Saturday night. He gave the leaders almost 50m start once they’d settled and ran on well for third behind rejuvenated and very much in-form Savannah Jay Jay, who ran down classy mare Red Hot Tooth in a slick 1min55sec mile rate. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Emerging NSW stayer Ellmers Image had to be content with winning the consolation of last year’s Melbourne Inter Dominion. But he’s gone to another level since and will surely tackle the Auckland series late this year. Amanda Turnbull’s gelding sat parked and beat Majordan in a 1min49.6sec mile at Menangle then out-stayed a hot field in last Thursday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith. The mile rate was a blazing 1min56.7sec for 2565m around the tight, old-school circuit. Buzz pacer Ignatius ran a close and excellent second at his first run back from a let-up, while classy recent Kiwi import Sicario was third. The trio look set to meet again in this week’s Group 2 Treuer Memorial – a former Grand Circuit race – at Bankstown. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Trevor Casey’s former Kiwi filly Dracarys looks a standout for the Group 1 WA Oaks. Champion driver Gary Hall Jr has been talking her up for many weeks and she again showed why be thrashing a good field in a prelude of the Oaks at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Hall Jr worked around the field from a back row draw to find the lead midrace and kept rolling. Dracarys won as she liked in a brisk 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2138m, capped by closing splits of 56.6 and 28.5sec. The daughter of Bettors Delight won one of her three NZ starts before Casey sent her to Justin Prentice in WA and she’s posted another 10 wins and two placings in her 13 starts in WA. On the same card last Friday, American Ideal gelding Mighty Conqueror underlined his potential with a narrow but big win in the $50,000 Group 2 Easter Cup. Greg and Skye Bond’s four-year-old came from a 20m handicap, worked around to lead and just staved-off a big late surge from As Happy As Larry to win by a nose. “We think he’s got so much potential,” part-owner Rob Gartrell said. “If you talk to Ryan (Warwick, driver), he just loves the horse and thinks he’s still developing with every run. “He’s had a big campaign so he’s out a spell now with the hope he’ll come back and take the next step.” _____________________________________________________________________________________________ One of Australia’s most exciting mares Share The Road died suddenly in trackwork last Tuesday. The Kiwi-bred daughter of Tintin In America, who boasted nine wins and 11 placings from just 28 starts, was due to resume for new trainer Matty Craven at Melton last night (Saturday). “We assume it was a heart attack. She went onto the track, went 100m, collapsed and died,” owner Zac Cornell said. “It’s devastating because she had so much potential and we just switched her to Matty for a change-up to try and get a bit more speed back into her.” _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Could Majestuoso be the trotter to test the freakish Alpha Male in the major Aussie three-year-old trotting features? There’s no doubt the speedy son of Majestic Son has the talent, as evidenced by his five wins from just six starts this season. The latest came after a massive scare when Majestuoso was cruising to an easy Ballarat win last Tuesday night before galloping at the 400m, but getting going again in time to win easily. Majestuoso showed talent but galloped so often last season, but, generally his manners have been much better this campaign. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Queensland veteran Glenferrie Hood deserves a mention for topping $100,000 in earnings in free-for-all ranks so far this season. The much-travelled nine-year-old made it nine wins from just 19 starts for the term – his best strike rate of any season in his career – when he overcame a wide draw and stormed around the field to win at Albion Park on Saturday night. The Wayne Graham-trained gelding has won 42 races and is closing in on $500,000 in career earnings.   Adam Hamilton

Bathurst’s own harness racing “war horse” Beetson showed there’s still life in his 11-year-old legs with an awesome win in the $31,800 Group 3 Wagga Pacers Cup on Sunday afternoon. The remarkable pacer, trained at The Lagoon by Peter Trevor-Jones, scored at the lucrative odds of $41 and, in the process, smashed the track record. “I can honestly say that it’s all a bit of a blur.  I’m just so emotional because we didn’t expect him to do so well against some handy horses,” Trevor-Jones said. “I’ve been ribbed by a few of my mates who told me I should have got dressed up a bit more for the occasion,” he laughed. Beetson (Art Major USA-Erin Jean (Classic Garry) scored by a whisker from $2.40 favorite Courtsinsession (Mitch Turnbull), with a further four metres back to Rykov Leis (Ellen Rixon). Trevor-Jones races the pacer in partnership with Rod and Debbie Wenning and said it was a miracle the horse was back at the racetrack, let alone winning. “His two comeback races prior to the Wagga Cup were quite good, although each occasion he arrived at the right time to poke his big head out and get the win,” he said. “And then sure enough he does exactly that again in the Cup – but gee it was a relief when I saw his saddlecloth number nine go up after the photo finish!” Trophy presentation after the cup Beetson took out the Bathurst Gold Crown nine years ago (as a two-year-old) and has a Canola Cup and Carousel to his name. “If I was a punter, I’d be a rich man. He was 33/1 in the Gold Crown and 40/1 in the Carousel. And I’ve been told a few friends got as much as 100/1 in the Wagga Cup. “Those earlier wins were pretty special, but this is among his biggest wins for sure for me “I’m so proud of him.  It’s just a terrific story that he’s back racing and in super form.” Trevor-Jones said the pacer had a bubble on a tendon as a three-year-old and, realizing he was a horse with loads of ability, didn’t hesitate to give him 12 months off. “When he came back, he won the Canola Cup and there was never an issue with the tendon problem again,” he said. “We raced him here, there and everywhere, winning the $50,000 Carousel in 2014, and last year I thought it would be nice to have him win 40 races in his career. “He was getting close with a couple of wins last March and April at Young and West Wyalong, and then we went to Goulburn and ran second. “He pulled up extremely sore in the back, so we got the vet to check him out. “A tear in a hind suspensory was the diagnosis and the vet recommended a 12-month spell. We thought the injury at the age of 10 would be the end of him, so I took his shoes off and he went to a paddock with some young ones. “We were happy with the decision because he had two Group Two victories to his name.” Trevor-Jones said Beetson had a white foot and it was always getting greasy heel. “I went out and caught him one day to check on it and he was carrying on like a two-year-old, tossing his head around as if to say he wasn’t happy in retirement,” he said. “I rang Rod and told him I was putting shoes back on and we’d see where it took us. He had four weeks jogging and then I worked him against a few of my others who were winning, and the old fella blew them away, without any sign of a back problem. “And then a Bathurst trial win in 1.54 showed us that he still had it. I really didn’t think his old legs could do it. It’s just remarkable.” Trevor-Jones paid tribute to teenage reinsman Cameron Hart who drove a patient race to claim the spoils. “Cameron is a young guy who is going places. He comes from Junee and has pretty good pedigree.  His uncle, Trevor White, is a well-known astute horseman,” he said. “The horses just run for Cameron and we are so pleased he was a big part in the Cup success.” A jubilant Peter Trevor-Jones and driver Cameron Hart after Beetson’s last-stride victory in the Wagga Wagga Pacers Cup Hart settled four back the pegs early, as the leading brigade of Rykos Leis and Courtsinsession set a frenetic pace. With a little over a lap from home, he was able to move off the fence with Beetson into the one-out one-back spot. Turning around the final corner, Hart called upon Beetson for a late challenge and the horse responded nicely, getting there in the last bound to snatch the Cup. The quarters posted were quick— 28.2, 29.6, 27.9 and 28.6. Trevor-Jones admitted “the whole camp had a regroup” yesterday and he hadn’t had a chance to consider what would be next for Beetson. “He’s pulled up brilliantly, eating a big feed so there’s no problem there,” he said. “I really don’t know where he will race next as he certainly threw a massive spanner in the works, but what a pleasant surprise! “I’ll have a close look at things because I’ve spent his whole life trying to place him well.” And that certainly goes without saying as Beetson now has an incredible 42 wins and 63 placings for over $413,000 in stakes. Trevor-Jones has been in harness racing for nearly 40 years.  He learnt the ropes through mentor Ian Mutton, then, as a hobby trainer while he continued working in a Government job, got a group of friends together and bought a yearling. The interest then led to a full-time professional training career.  Trevor-Jones now has a team of nine in work.  Beetson still leads the way, although his half-brother, the talented Ominious Warning, is waiting in the wings to be number one. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

George Smith has just one horse in work at his Camden Park harness racing stable, but that one horse is reaping the rewards. On Sunday, Smith's four-year-old gelding Major Carlisle, with Anthony Robinson at the helm, took out the 1660m Lonsdale Sand & Metal Easter Cup at Victor Harbor, in a three-horse photo finish. Paying $19 on the tote, Major Carlisle, known as Nipper, favoured the wide Morgan Park track, putting in a strong performance down the home straight in the 11-horse field. It was the Major Carlisle's third win from four starts. "This has been his best prep and his run yesterday was his personal best, he ran a good time," Smith said. "He's improving all the time with his racing, he's naturally getting better." Major Carlisle was bred by Smith, by Art Major USA and out of Smith's mare Carlisle Queen, who won the two-year-old and three-year-old Southern Cross Series in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The horses's triumph at the Victor Harbor Harness Racing Club falls on the back of a win at Mildura earlier this month, and at Globe Derby Park last month, with driver Ken Rogers at the helm. Smith said Major Carlisle favoured wider tracks and believed the gelding set a new personal best. "The track at Victor is a beautiful track. That's why he did so well yesterday, he appreciates the wide spaces." Smith has his eyes on racing Major Carlisle again at Victor Harbor next month if there is an appropriate race for the horse. Good numbers for race day Despite industry complications, the Victor Harbor Harness Racing Club welcomed record horse nominations at its Easter Sunday race day. A total of 94 horses nominated for popular Easter tradition, which pushed the day out to 10 races, including the $10,000 Lonsdale Sand & Metal Cup. The Easter races fell on the back of an additional race day held the Monday prior, following disputes between Harness Racing SA, the SA Harness Racing Club and the country clubs. But despite industry negativity VHHRC president Lynton Bishop said the committee was thankful for the support from trainers, drivers, owners and spectators. "In an industry where the environment is presently negative, this was an exceptional result for our club," he said. "We are very thankful for everyone who came and supported us, it just shows there is huge potential for the harness racing industry in South Australia." During the day, the crowd was entertained with two races by the next generation of harness racing drivers with the mini trots. Racing was quick and fast, with driver Ken Rogers, who recently notched up his 500th career win, claiming two wins, from race two and three, off the back of four wins the week prior. Mr Bishop said the quality of racing was great. "All the conditions were perfect," he said. By Ali Kuchel Reprinted with permission of The Victor Harbor Times

Star pacer San Carlo capped a top season of harness racing with an easy victory in Sunday's $35,000 Warragul Downtowner Pacing Bowl Cup. The Goulburn Valley trained eight-year-old, finalist in the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship and recent Mildura Cup winner, went straight to the front from barrier six in a small six horse field, and driver Rebecca Bartley controlled the race to suit from the front. Sprinting the last lap of the Pacing Bowl in 58.6 seconds, San Carlo held a margin of three metres at the finish from outsiders Tough Call and Motu Gatecrasher which filled the minor placings. Trainer Stephen O'Donoghue said after the race San Carlo will head to paddock for a well earned spell over Winter, and he is hopeful the geling still has one or two seasons of racing in him. From Only 48 starts, San Carlo has won 28 races and nearly $470,000 in prizemoney for his owners, the Eichorn family. Although the appearance of San Carlo dominated the Pacing Cup, the $14,5000 Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Cup was a more open race for punters. A confident front running drive by reinsman Greg Leight with 14/1 shot Law Legend paid dividends, with the veteran six-year-old gelding running out a two metre winner. From 113 starts, Law Legend has won 13 races for trainer Greg Leight. Gippsland trainers Gary and Debbie Quinlan won two races on Sunday. Rocknroll Pearl will be aimed at feature events in New South Wales after an easy win in the final heat of the Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship. The four-year-old has qualified for the $40,000 Final at Melton this Saturday night. Three-year-old Sahara Tiger took on the older horses and won in the third race. Cranbourne's Jayne Davies also collected two wins on the card with Alliyahs Choice and Betterman Stride, while Iona horseman Michael Hughes produced the consistent trotter Express Yourself for another victory, in what was a good day for local trainers. Huli Nien was very well backed to win the Rob Lee Warragul Guineas for trainer Jess Tubbs and driver Greg Sugars. Although crowd numbers appeared to not increase on last year, the on-course TAB holdings were up, and there was an increase in the number of horses racing at the Cup meeting this year.   Kyle Galley

More than 100 of the best drivers and horses from Queensland, Victoria and NSW have starred at the harness racing NSW Mini-Trots Championships in Tamworth. The weekend-long competition saw competitors battle it out for trophies, rugs and the opportunity to qualify for inter-dominion races in the future. Tamworth was well represented during the championships with Secret Mission taking out the top honour in the Shetland category. Meanwhile, Bella Donna secured victory in the midget category while Velvet's Little Star was the best in the pony category. NSW Mini-trots Association president Jeff James told the Leader this year's championships were of top quality. "All up we had 122 drivers and 154 horses taking part in this year's championships," James said. "Those numbers are down a little bit from last year but I think it is still pretty good considering how much the drought is taking a toll on all of us. "We had people coming from as far as 12 hours away to take part, which I think shows how good this competition is." With NSW dominating the recent national mini-trots championships, many of the weekend's competitors were looking to stake their claim to compete at the highest level in the future. "It is a growing sport and I think the results at a national level reflect that," James said. "A lot of the accolades should go to Harness Racing NSW, who have thrown so much behind the sport to help get it going. "We saw a very high quality competition here in Tamworth this weekend and I think that will continue into the future." James said there were now pathways in place to help encourage new competitors to get involved in the sport. "At the moment there are weekend camps being run by Harness Racing NSW to help develop young horses and drivers," he said. "I think a lot of the kids we have had competing this weekend will go towards that now. "It's just another way Harness Racing NSW is trying to grow the sport and hopefully that will prompt the same sort of growth in the other states." James said he hoped the championships would return to Tamworth in 2020. "We do have to have our annual general meeting and we will decide then as to where it will be held next year," he said. "Hopefully we can come back to Tamworth, it's a great facility, attracts good numbers in terms of quality competitors and always proves to be a great place to hold the championships."   State's best drivers, horses prove hot to trot in Tamworth   All Photos by Gareth Gardner                 By Billy Jupp   Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

Charlton’s Joey Thompson has always been known as a passionate harness racing participant – and now his enthusiasm is spilling over with the building of a $4.2 million multipurpose sport and recreation facility at the town’s trotting headquarters. “This project is going to see a big change in the dynamics at Charlton Park – something that I believe has been missing for a long time,” an excited Thompson, who is club president, said. “From a harness racing point of view, the building being right on the track is going to add heaps more atmosphere and I can only imagine the echo when the bell sounds for a lap to go,” he said. “Fans just enjoy being up close to the action. That’s one thing I’ve noticed when I go to Mildura that being right on the track brings such energy to the racing. “That’s a little something that’s been missing at our meetings I think.” As well as current club president, Thompson is a well-regarded horse breaker and trainer and has been involved in harness racing for nearly 40 years. He is a Charlton person through-and-through, and can barely contain his excitement that electricians, plumbers and builders are now on-site, putting the finishing touches to an impressive-looking complex, with a plan for completion by early July. “We hope to stage our September 29 meeting there so the building will be ‘on show’ for all harness racing people and the community,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be a huge day and it really completes the package for harness racing here at Charlton.” Charlton Harness Racing Club was one of the spearheads for the Multi-Purpose Facility and it’s just one of many major projects this energetic regional club has managed to achieve. In addition to negotiating its 2015 track upgrade, the club successfully established a nearby Charlton Training Complex in 2012.  The community complex is available as a base for local trainers, or those wanting to relocate to the area with tenants having access to individual stabling complexes.  Each has a fully serviced 60 x 30 shed, lock-up harness and feed area, internal yoke up and wash areas, two internal boxes and eight adjoining day yards. They also have unrestricted use of the 820 metre Training Track, 2,000 metre Straight Track and a swimming dam on site. “This puts us in a really good position going forward,” Thompson said. “The new multi-purpose centre is going to take our 12 meetings a year to the next level, which we’re really excited about,” he said. “But there are also eleven tracks within 120 kilometres of Charlton, and they host something like 150 race meetings a year, so the racing opportunities from a base here at Charlton are huge.” As the construction has been underway on the new multi-purpose centre, Charlton meetings have been transferred to Maryborough, and Melton hosted the club’s Pacing Cup. The completed hub will also be home to other sport and recreation clubs with shared administration club rooms for football, netball, hockey, tennis, cricket, golf and fishing as well as the Agricultural and Pastoral Society. It will benefit the whole community with provision of state-of-the-art social and conference facilities with seating for 250 people and event catering, with a commercial kitchen. Thompson said a local fundraising campaign had raised $1.2M from a town of just over 1000 people and the project had been made possible with contributions from the Victorian and Federal Governments, the Buloke Shire, the Charlton and District Community Bank and Harness Racing Victoria.  “Some of the previous buildings on the site were in pretty poor condition being about 70 years old, and they were also badly damaged by floods,” Thompson said. “To be honest they were all disjointed buildings and now they will be all in the one large facility,” he said. “It has been a long time coming.  The community has been working towards this facility for the past 13 years and it’s been an amazing effort.  “There have been some wonderful, big donations and those people are very humble. But that signifies the community spirit of Charlton. Thompson said going forward, he could see increased visitor numbers to the precinct, with an emphasis on RV travelers staying on the nearby river. “Little towns like Charlton live off these people.  This complex will be a great thing for our whole community, so we’re excited and proud that we’re seeing it take shape.” he said. “We are still short of our target to fully complete stage one of the redevelopment, but we’ll get there.” Donations are tax deductible, and people making a donation of $100 or more, can stamp their mark on the building with a $20 purchase of a paver. More information and donations can be made through the Charlton HRC website Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

A local pacer has chalked up his 40th win - nine years after he stormed into the harness racing scene with a Bathurst Gold Crown win. Beetson, owned by Rod and Debbie Wenning in partnership with trainer Peter Trevor-Jones, has come out of retirement to record two wins from two starts at Wagga Wagga and Bankstown. Debbie says the team thought injury at age 10 had ended the career of "the war horse" after a trio of wins in 2018. But he's back in the game, and in fine form. "He's a bit of a legend," Debbie smiles. "People just love watching him race."  Trainer Trevor-Jones had returned Beetson to the paddock last year, but he wasn't happy there. "He wanted to be in training, he just loves it," Debbie said. "He was carrying on like a two-year-old, so I thought, what the heck," Trevor-Jones told the Western Advocate. "I put some shoes on him and I'd see how he'd end up. He's working as good as ever." Beetson made a mighty return in Wagga Wagga, winning in a photo finish from barrier seven. He started like a house on fire and stormed up to the front, coming across from his wide position to be a fighting position for the lead with Red River Glacier ($13). As the race progressed, the 11-year-old seemed to drift down the pecking order. But the Bathurst hopeful wasn't going to give up and at the bell he was fourth, two back on the outside and the run was favouring him. Driver Cameron Hart kept Beetson in the same position at the bell, conserving the veteran's energy for the home stretch, and it paid dividends. It was a massive finish, with four horses trying to poke themselves ahead for the win, Beetson running four wide. In the end it was Beetson who won, ahead of Share The Road and Just Knew ($26). "I was very emotional when his number was put up (after a photo finish)," Trevor-Jones said. "He was never going to win until he popped that big head out on the line, keeping us all waiting. "It was a pretty good win, no fluke about it. He did a whole heap of work before it." The Wennings, and many of the mighty veterans' fans, were also thrilled. He'd been backed to $6.50 against a $1.18 favourite. Beetson again drew the tough barrier six in Bankstown, but he headed for the front and stuck at it with Lachie Manzelmann holding the reins. What's next for him? It's hard to say as his outstanding career, which includes a Canola Cup and a Carousel win, makes it hard to find the right races for him. But the Wenning stud continues to produce promising pacers. Beetson's half brother Ominous Warning was a mighty chance in last year's Canola Cup, and will be making a return to racing soon. I'm All Courage, Misdemeanor and Standandeliver are other names to watch for. Harness racing returns to Forbes with a series of local memorial races on Thursday, Anzac Day, with our Carnival of Cups meeting scheduled for Sunday May 5. Reprinted with permission of The Forbes Advocate

ON Easter Sunday it's time to join the fun and excitement at Marburg Showground for Queensland's biggest country harness racing meeting this year. Eight high class races, a bookmaker, UTAB van and 700 metre track all combine for the up close and personal Marburg racing experience For the kids, there's a big slide and jumping castle. General admission is $5 with pensioners able to join the big day for $3. A further $3 buys you the all-important race book with its "pick the last seven winners” coupon. It's worth a $1100 share and the winners are all in there. The first race on Sunday is at 12.24pm. Look out for the mini trotters leading up to the major races 5-7. They are the Bremer Ford Conditioned Pace at 2.38pm, Stanley Road Construction Discretionary Handicap at 3.06pm and the Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series final over 2200m at 3.45pm. A car will be drawn after the Oakwood presentation at 4pm, followed by the "Winx Memorabilia” raffle commemorating four Cox Plate victories. Enjoy the best country burgers, desserts, budget priced beverage, coffee, icecream, Lions chips and pluto pups, to fuel the excitement that country harness will provide. Farewell fine mums ALL families have a mother somewhere prominent, and this week we mourn the passing of two ladies whose offspring have made a massive impact in both harness and thoroughbred racing. Farewelled at Warwick on Thursday was Margaret Collins, mother of highly respected race caller Anthony Collins. Anthony tried his hand, with reasonable success, at both harness and greyhounds, and Margaret was there every step of the way, providing endless encouragement and support. She, in turn, was aided by Ipswich veteran trainer/driver, Gordon McCrae. They both put a lot of energy into the "Young Bloods”, a venture designed to support the entry of " no family involvement” youngsters into the light harness sport. Anthony found his vocation on the front end of the microphone and Margaret Collins found that to be a satisfying reward for her efforts. Gwen Packer left us suddenly, but peacefully, in the past week. Gwen was the mother of Karen Turpin, a lady well known for her organisational and business acumen, who she taught well the skills of life. Karen is better known for her contribution to sports through the achievements of son Jake, a talented footballer, and superstar female trainer driver Chantal Turpin. It is said that we learn our life skills at our mother's knee. If that is so, Gwen would have died a proud and contented lady, having seen the tree of her tuition bear excellent fruit. Both ladies will be sadly missed. Chantal's success SOMETIMES joy and sadness can come into a life hand-in-hand. Such was the case with the Turpin family as Chantal Turpin dominated the Ipswich factor at last Saturday night's all Q-Bred Feature meeting at Albion Park. Chantal led in three winners on the night, driving Will The Wizard, with Amaya Becomes (Pete McMullen) and A Rainbow Diamond (Reece Maguire) rounding out the stable result. It's busy out at the Patrick Estate base with Chantal starting 449 runners this season for 73 winners, 72 seconds and 52 thirds banking $518,933 for owners in the process. In the sulky, Chantal has been round on 74 occasions for 10 wins, 13 seconds and five thirds. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta 3-6-7: Gregs Legacy (B Barnes)-Gotta Good Reason (C Geary)- Our Bondi Beach (D Graham). R2: E/w 3: Opononis Bliss (C Turpin). R3: Quinella 1-8: Hot Rod Heaven (A Richardson) and Chal Fire (K Dawson). R4: E/w 1: Newmerella Sharkie (T Dawson). R5: Quinella 2-8: Annika Magic (T McMullen) and Novena Rose (A Sanderson). R6: Quinella 6-8: One Last Roll (P McMullen) and Elzboy (A Sanderson). R7: Quinella 1-4: Lincoln Road (B Barnes) and A Good Chance (M Elkins). R8: Quinella 4-7: Beau Cishlom (R Maguire) and Mark Dennis (C Hart). R9: Box trifecta1-3-7: Justabitnoisy (D Lee)-Empire Boy (P McMullen)-Needle (D Graham). R10: Quinella 5-6: Watch Pulp Fiction (C Turpin) and Glenferrie Hood (P McMullen). R11: Box trifecta 1-4-6: Arainbowdelight (C Turpin)- Bronski Macarena (K Rasmussen)-Toanui Spirit (K Morris). Honour board On the leader board this week are Narissa McMullen, top driver on four wins rating 200 from Adam Richardson and Matt Elkins, tied on three with rates of 150. Chantal Turpin topped the trainers pole with four winners, edging out Darrell Graham, who managed three successes for the term. Most pleasing was Monterey Jack, successful at Redcliffe for Colin Knox. Paul Diebert had the steer. Perseverance pays. Ipswich factor: 24/45. Albion Park, April 12: Quietly Spoken (Narissa McMullen for Steven Cini); Trojan Banner (Hayden Barnes for Alistair Barnes); Divas Delight (Trent Dawson); A Good Chance (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith); Tom Me Gun (Narissa McMullen). Albion Park, April 13: Will The Wizard (Chantal Turpin); Amaya Becomes (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); A Rainbow Diamond (Reece Maguire for Chantal Turpin). Marburg, April 15: Shadow Hall (Ricky Gordon); Wee Jimmy (Narissa McMullen for Mark Rees); Escalera (Darrell Graham); Bronze Ecstasy (Adam Richardson for Mark Rees); Sache Girl (Adam Richardson for Travis Mackay); Argyle Beach (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); The Shady One (Matt Elkins for Trevor Lambourn); Newmerella Sharkie (Brett Towns for Max Towns). Albion Park, April 16: Garland Greene (Narissa McMullen for Steven Cini). Redcliffe, April 17: Drive The Dream (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Unassuming Champ (Adam Richardson for Mitchell Dawson); Flashing Good Time (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen); Just Tommy (Darrell Graham); Taxi Meter (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith); Monterey Jack (Paul Diebert for Colin Knox); Whata Stride (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen). by Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Young harness racing trainer Rodney Blythe is hoping for some luck this Easter with stablemates Hello Miss Kitty and Monterei Duke racing on Easter Saturday at Dubbo. Blythe's trained Hello Miss Kitty will line up in the Freechoice and Fitware Pace (1720m) aiming for her fifth career win in start number 36. The five-year-old is chasing her first victory since October last year when she won over 1755m at Wagga in a mile rate of 2.02.2. Blyhte will take the reins leaving gate four in the nine horse race. She'll likely find competition from Nathan Hurst's-trained last start winner Peggyville, while Bernie Hewitt's Ima Black Beauty has drawn nicely in gate two. Monterei Duke will race in the West Dubbo IGA Pace (2120m).  The four-year-old gelding has been a consistent performer for Blythe. While he's only had one win in 20 starts, he's registered eight minor placings including back-to-back second place finishes recently at the Riverina Paceway at Wagga. Racing at Dubbo on Saturday starts at 5.37pm. Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness  

Cometh the hour, cometh the (very young) man. That was Parade's first thought when he heard a terrific story from a couple of local harness racing identities this week. The identities made the long trek to Narrabri last weekend for a meeting and, as they explained to Parade, they had not long arrived when the PA system came to life and a very sheepish sounding official said he had an announcement to make. There had been a bit of a mix-up, he said, and the Narrabri club did not have a race caller for the meeting. "If there is anyone on the course who can call the races," the official said, almost as an afterthought, "will you please make yourself known." The first race, Parade is told, was run in near-silence - not only making it hard to follow the action on the track, but affecting the atmosphere. But when the second race started, the PA system came to life and a hesitant, uncertain, very young-sounding voice started to commentate. "Out in front is ... bringing up the rear is ..." In the absence of anyone else willing to step up and have a go, a young fellow, around 10 or so, had offered his services - and been gratefully accepted. Parade is told the young fellow called that race and the ones that followed, gaining confidence as he went and bringing some atmosphere back to a meeting that was in danger of not having any. As someone who could barely speak in front of his class when he was 10, Parade has nothing but admiration for the courageous young caller of Narrabri. Who knows, those on the course might have witnessed the debut of a star of the future. Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

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