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Sixteen horses died on Racing NSW tracks between January 1 and June 30 this year, The New Daily can reveal. Another 13 have been euthanised after being injured in a race. There have also been three cases of sudden death due to cardiovascular failure associated with racing, according to figures obtained by NSW Greens animal welfare spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi under freedom of information. Two horses died on Harness Racing NSW tracks between January 1 and August 6, and another two were euthanised due to their injuries. The numbers were revealed after the Information and Privacy Commission told the racing agencies they must comply with freedom of information laws, as reported by The New Daily last month. Racing NSW said 67 horses were so injured in the first half of this year they either retired or took prolonged time off. “It should be noted, 10,572 individual horses started in races with 53,245 starts between them in the 12-month period to 30 June 2018,” Peter Sweney, General Counsel of Racing NSW said in his response to Dr Faruqi. Ninety-four horses were injured in harness racing as at August 6. Harness Racing NSW chief executive John Dumesny told The New Dailyhorses collectively raced about 34,500 times a year. Dr Faruqi called for a special commission of inquiry into the industry. “Whenever animals and gambling are mixed, animals always come last by a long way,” she said. “When animals are treated as disposable commodities and valued only for their profit, unfortunately injuries and euthanasia seem to be all too common. “We need to get to the bottom of how many horses die for the sake of a bet.” A spokesperson for NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole said the industry was leading the nation on animal welfare initiatives. “The Greens should just be honest and admit they want to shut down the racing industry, something that would put thousands of working people out of a job.” Horse retirements in Racing NSW Mr Sweney said Racing NSW has “the most comprehensive and robust retirement program for racehorses” in Australia. Overseer Janelle Bowden prepares Memphis at St Heliers Correctional Centre. Photo: NSW Justice / Colin Lavender Horses are re-trained to ensure they are equipped to be re-homed for jumping, hacking, eventing, polo, dressage and pleasure riding. Inmates at St Heliers Correctional Centre – at Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley – care for up to 80 horses at a time under a partnership with Corrective Services NSW that has been running since 2012. “This operation has proven to have positive outcomes for both the horses and the inmates, with improvements in inmate behaviour and reduced recidivism rates,” Mr Sweney said. NSW RSL also operates a similar Homes for Heroes program for returned servicemen with physical and mental health issues at Picton, southwest of Sydney. Horse deaths on racing tracks are notified in public steward reports but not recorded in the Racing NSW annual report. Harness Racing NSW Mr Dumesny reiterated Harness Racing NSW was transparent and accountable and provided information when requested. “We take care of the horses in the most humane way and veterinarily [sic] practical ways,” he told The New Daily. Where we can we save these beautiful horses. “Unfortunately these things do occur.” In his response to Dr Faruqi, Mr Dumesny said the number of horse deaths and injuries would be detailed in the 2018 annual report. The 2016-17 annual report did not provide information on deaths and injuries. Harness Racing NSW horses collectively race about 34,500 times a year. Photo: Getty It said about 80 per cent of standardbreds were “re-homed in areas of leisure activities and breeding” nationally on retirement. Mr Dumesny told Dr Faruqi that horse deaths and injuries are reported by stewards onto an internal portal, which registers on a national database. The Regulatory Veterinarian reviews the reports and refers them to him, he said. Dr Faruqi also made similar inquiries in questions on notice in the Legislative Council. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd wrote to both racing regulators on June 13 to tell them they were accountable to the public and needed to comply with the GIPA (Government Information Public Access) Act. Dr Faruqi will be sworn into the federal Senate this week after resigning from state parliament. Racing NSW declined to comment. By Rachel Eddie Reprinted with permission of The New Daily

A number of talented Queensland pacers are due to fly out today (Monday). And for the third straight year, the Redcliffe Gold Cup winner is on board and bound for North America. The Bill Crosby trained Constantlysideways has been sold and will do his future racing in the United States. Constantlysideways joins Kept Under Wraps and Five Card Draw as previous winners of the Redcliffe feature before heading to North America. A winner of 22 races from 93 starts, the Village Jasper gelding has been a standout performer in the Sunshine State for many seasons now. He has banked more than $175,000 for his connections. His most recent victory came via the Gr.3 $30,540 Moreton Bay Regional Council Redcliffe Gold Cup back on June 8. Constantlysideways was raced by Crosby and Jonathon Munt. Also headed stateside is Three Of The Best, a talented performer from the stables of Shannon Price and Scott Miller. The Mach Three four-year-old won 11 of his 35 starts while banking more than $115,000 in stakes. A graduate of the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sales from the Sydney section, Three Of The Best won the 2017 APHRC Members Cup while being placed in the Gr.1 NSW Breeders Challenge 2yo Final behind Conviction in a time of 1:53.5 at TABCORP Park, Menangle. And joining Constantlysideways and Three Of The Best on the flight is Bronski Mackenzie, a regally bred three-year-old filly. A daughter of Mach Three from the great producing and classic winning Fake Left mare Bronski Gorgeous, Bronski Mackenzie ranks as a half-sister to Major Bronski, General Bronski, Breeze On Bronski, Brigadier Bronski and Admiral Bronski. Bronski Mackenzie has won 3 of her 25 starts to date.   Chris Barsby

The significant contribution from women to the sport of trotting will be recognised at the first Ladies Day race meeting staged at Warragul Harness Racing Club on Sunday afternoon, August 26. Forty years ago the rules were changed in Victoria allowing women to drive in races against men. Although a small number of women had been competitors in races decades earlier before being banned, it wasn't until the early 1970s that women were issued with drivers licences after a lengthy campaign, enabling them to compete in organized Lady Drivers events, usually non-betting affairs staged between races at professional trots meetings. In April 1978, Boort Trotting Club in Central Victoria conducted the first professional women's race with betting, once the rules were changed to allow open competition. In August of that year, local horsewoman Debbie Turner (now Debbie Quinlan) drove Ranj Beau to defeat the men for the first time at a meeting at Terang. Since the floodgates were opened during the late 1970s hundreds of women have achieved great success in trotting, either as drivers, trainers or officials, and have won races across the country, right through to the elite events such as the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion Championship. To pay tribute to 40 years of success on the racetrack by women, a special Ladies' Drivers race has also been programmed for the Warragul meeting. Warragul Harness Racing Club officials have invited Australia's only female race caller, Victoria Shaw, to commentate the event for on and off track viewers. Guest speaker at a Ladies Day luncheon held in conjunction with the raceday is Dianne McGrath, one of seven Australians short listed as a candidate for the Mars 100 mission, which seeks to establish permanent human settlement on Mars in 2032. The proposed journey to Mars is a one-way trip - so McGrath's story is expected to be a fascinating one. Her sense of adventure, determination and fitness has seen her sail a tall ship in the Southern Ocean, cycle extreme distances, jump from a plane, and run multiple marathons and an ultra-marathon. Live music and giveaways will also feature around the local race meeting on the day for luncheon guests. Tickets cost $65 per head and include a two-course meal and reserved indoor seating overlooking the racetrack. From every ticket sold, $10 will be donated to the West Gippsland Healthcare Group. Ticket bookings can be made by phoning the Warragul Harness Racing Club on (03) 5622 2008. Kyle Galley

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provide the information contained within this industry notice to outline to all industry stakeholders the manner in which the newly formed ‘whip rules’ will be interpreted and applied from 1 September 2018, the date on which these rules take effect. Whilst the majority of the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 156 are self-explanatory, HRV Stewards provide the interpretations below to assist participants and provisions of AHRR 156 which are not included below should be taken to be interpreted as per the plain reading of the rule. HRV Stewards wish to draw the attention of all industry persons, including owners, to the provisions of AHRR 156B(1) which states: “A person shall not instruct or offer an inducement to a driver to use a whip in a manner contrary to the provisions of Rule 156.” Relevant Rules and HRV Stewards Interpretation AHRR 156(2) states: “A driver shall only apply the whip in a flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.” HRV Stewards Interpretation, includes but is not limited to: Drivers must maintain a rein in either hand at all times when applying the whip. Once a drivers whip hand is not pointing forward the HRV Stewards will deem the tip of the whip not to be pointed forward. Should the drivers whip hand be raised above shoulder height when the whip is applied it will be deemed to be engaging the shoulder. The whip should only be applied with a flicking motion. AHRR 156(3) states: “A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.” HRV Stewards Interpretation: Drivers will be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner, including but not limited to, when the whip is used in a manner contrary to any provision of AHRR 156(4). AHRR 156(4)(a) states: “For the purposes of sub-rule (3) a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:- (a) If the whip is applied excessively, continuously and/or without allowing the horse time to respond.” HRV Stewards Interpretation: Drivers will be deemed to have used the whip excessively, continuously and/or without allowing the horse sufficient time to respond, including but not limited to, when the whip is used on more than twenty (20) occasions over the final 200m. This is regardless whether the whip is striking the horse or the sulky. AHRR 156(4)(c) states: “For the purposes of sub-rule (3) a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:- (c) If the reins are lengthened so as to result in loose reining regardless of whether the whip is being used at the same time. “ HRV Stewards Interpretation: Loose reining will be interpreted as follows: - Loopy shaking of the reins; - Lengthening of the reins which allows the driver to apply the whip with more force; - The reins and drivers hands being lifted above the drivers shoulders.   Penalty Guidelines To afford drivers sufficient time to adjust to the rule amendments the following minimum penalty guidelines will apply from 1 September 2018 – 31 October 2018: Minimum Penalty Guidelines 1 September 2018 – 31 October 2018 156(2) 1st Offence:  Caution* 2nd Offence: Minimum $200 fine 3rd Offence: Minimum $400 fine 4th Offence: Minimum 2 Week Suspension of licence to drive in races 156(3) 1st Offence:  Caution* 2nd Offence: Minimum $100 fine 3rdOffence: Minimum $200 fine 4th Offence: Minimum 7 Day Suspension of licence to drive in races All drivers offence records will reset on 1 October 2018 and 1 November 2018. *Where the HRV Stewards form an opinion that the driver has not attempted to comply with the rule a penalty greater than the advertised minimum may be applied. From 1 November 2018 the following minimum penalty guidelines will apply: Minimum Penalty Guidelines 1 November 2018 onwards 156(2) 1st Offence: Minimum $200 fine 2nd  Offence: Minimum $400 fine 3rd Offence: Minimum 2 Week Suspension of licence to drive in races 156(3) 1st Offence: Minimum $100 fine 2nd Offence: Minimum $200 fine 3rd Offence: Minimum 7 Day Suspension of licence to drive in races A drivers offence record shall reset 28 days from the date of the most recent offence. *Where the HRV Stewards form an opinion that the driver has not attempted to comply with the rule a penalty greater than the advertised minimum may be applied.   The HRV Stewards will continue to speak advisedly to those drivers who are identified prior to 1 September with a whip action that requires modification to comply with the new rule. All drivers are advised to take note of the below animation for guidance on the appropriate whip action.     HRV

Redason's trotting success in Hobart on Sunday night brought together the best of what racing is all about, the opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. The five-year-old Majestic Son-Rosedorae five-year-old trotter (pictured) is the product of a Tasmanian Pacing Club Syndicate and tasted success for the first time in the state with a faultless display of trotting for trainer-driver Rodney Ashwood in the Triple M Hobart Trot over 2090-metres. "It was great to see the syndicate up and about after the win. Redason finished close up on debut in the state when trotting returned to Tasmania in July and then he galloped away at his second run and we had to back to the trials," said Rod. "Redason performed well in the trials and put it all together last night. I had some great advice from Ray Pullen who came down and gave me a few tips. Ray has extensive experience with trotters and his words of wisdom were instrumental in the win, so I'm very thankful to him" Redason's win was the second leg of a winning double for Rod, having earlier lifted Falcon Harry over the line in the Green Electrical Pace for trainer Tony Petersen. Falcon Harry took a season record of two wins from nine starts into the race and was forced to work hard to gain success. "Falcon Harry has been racing well and I thought he would step to the front and be hard to run down but we got caught in the breeze so it was a tough effort and it's testament to Tony for the way he prepares his team," said Rod. "The pressure started to come on at the bell, we rolled to the front at the 600 metre mark with the challengers lining up behind us until turning for home and then it was on in earnest, but he staved off his rivals in the closing stages and defied a late lunge from Koolaz Elvis to score a courageous win." Rohan Hadley joined Rod as a multiple winner on the card guiding the Craig Hayes-trained Scooterwillrev to yet another effortless 5.4-metre victory over Rocknroll Turbo and Star Chamber and followed up by bringing Im Barney Rubble of the 20-metre handicap to clinch the Claimer. The top three drivers on the 2017/18 Premiership table, Todd Rattray, Ricky Duggan and Rohan Hillier all nailed one winner each on the programme, much to the delight of punters as all three runners ran favourite. Ricky got punters off to a flying start with Western Glory ($2,25) leading all the way, Todd enjoyed another armchair drive on Yatsenyuk Leis ($1.25) with Rohan following up Illegal Immigrant ($2.50). It wouldn't be a Tasmanian harness racing meeting without a win from the States's leading trainer Ben Yole and he duly saluted with Kaycee ($8.00) driven by Conor Crook. Paul Williams caused the boilover of the night when his first starter Donny In Paris, starting the rank outsider in the field of four at $31.00 put up a sensational performance to topple his highly rated rivals in the Olympus Feed Pace. The Rug Rat Donny-Paris Art two-year-old lost 30-metres at dispatch, giving the unbeaten Sutter Star, the Evicus winner Karalta Moondance and the talented Jigamaroo a huge start. Williams allowed Donny In Paris to move into the race under his own steam, tacking on at the bell and sitting fourth down the back stretch. Turning for home Karalta Moondance had beaten off the challenge of Sutter Star but was facing a fast-finishing Jigamaroo down the outside but it was to be Donny in Paris on debut that stormed through along the Sprint Lane to take the prize. Shane Yates

Kyvalley Blur's blistering burst for a third straight salute highlighted a night for the stoic standies at Tabcorp Park, when the average age of winning horses was 6 years and two months. With Gusto broke his metropolitan maiden status at age nine and start 115 for trainer Graeme Dalton and owner Leigh Graham, seven-year-old Our Twentyten toughed out his second career metropolitan win and stablemates Kyvalley Blur (10-year-old) and Keystone Del (11) finished one-two in the Aldebaran Park Melton Trotters Free For All. "He's really in the zone at the moment," reinsman Chris Alford told Trots Vision post Kyvalley Blur's Group 3 win. "He got a good run and good trail up, but he finished really well and did it easy tonight. While he's racing like this he will be hard to beat any time he goes out." The champion reinsman, whose record-smashing season win total stands at 423, also steered With Gusto to his maiden metropolitan victory when he held the front with the It Is I gelding and recorded a 2.5m victory, getting home in 27.4. "We broke seven for the lead, which is pretty quick, and we then got to back it off a bit so he was good then. He's racing with a lot of confidence, winning those two claimers gave him the heart to kick on up the straight." Our Twentyten, who turns eight when the calendar ticks into spring, "got reward for effort" according to reinsman Rodney Petroff, whose victory with the Muscles Yankee trotter was the first of a running double. "He's been going very well," Petroff said. "He just made his own luck tonight and it turned out the right result. He's always thereabouts, he's run that many seconds in good country cups, it's just very good for the horse and the owners to get a win tonight."   Michael Howard for The Trots

POPULAR South Australian reinsman Wayne Hill has enjoyed a highly-successful weekend. In what has been his best season, Hill registered five wins across two meetings. Beginning with a double at Mildura on Friday evening, Hill completed a treble at Port Pirie Saturday night. “That 24 hours was one of those periods when things just seem to go right,” Hill said. “They don’t come along often, so it is good when they do.” As part of his regular trip across the border, Hill scored with Carmy Dan and Our Amazing Grace to extend his lead in the club’s Drivers’ Premiership. “Mildura has been a good extension to my schedule,” Hill said. “Having that extra racing option is great and no doubt a lot more South Australians will start heading there. “There are already quite a few going to each meeting and I’m tipping it will increase. “This time Kaela Hryhorec and Scott Ewen also drove winners, while Kerry Brown, Aaron Brown and Justin Brewin were among the winning trainers. Hill then led all-comers at his home track when triumphant with Supernova Silvia, Floyd Mayweather and Alldaybliss. “I went to Port Pirie with what I felt was a steady book of drives, so to come home with a few wins was great,” Hill said.   HRSA Media

He came, he saw, he conquered! Sydney juvenile Muscle Factory made a clean sweep of the Gr.1 $100,450 Albion Park Gold Brisbane Graduates 2yo Final last night (Saturday) with another breathtaking victory. It was the final major for the Queensland season and the winning effort was clearly the most emphatic. Starting as a clear punters elect, Muscle Factory ($1.00 fav) spaced Miss Moneybags ($21) and Timeless Appeal ($63) to claim the juvenile feature in a two-year-old track record time of 1:53.0. The previous mark belonged to Colt Thirty One at 1:53.9. Muscle Factory pushed forward from his outside draw and recorded sectionals of 29.4, 29.5, 27.4 and 26.8 seconds. His winning margin was a massive 37.9 metres. Prepared by Menangle based trainer Shane Tritton and handled by his wife Lauren, the Roll With Joe colt completes his rookie term with a record of 5 wins from 9 starts. “He’s so exciting, he’s off to the paddock now and I’m really looking forward to next season with him. The three-year-old term is the busiest but its hard not be pumped up about it given what he’s done this term.” Tritton said The previous week when successful in his heat, Muscle Factory rated 1:54.1. Purchased midway through the season, Muscle Factory boasts placings in the Gr.1 $350,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final at TABCORP Park, Melton and in the Gr.1 $125,000 NSW Breeders Challenge Final at TABCORP Park, Menangle. He has banked more than $110,000 in stakes. Muscle Factory is raced by Clive and Rona McKay and Dayna Kahlefeldt. Chris Barsby

Defending Tasmanian Premiership winning driver Todd Rattray has the firepower at tonight’s Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting in Hobart to put his lead in the 2017/18 season beyond the reach of  Rohan Hillier and Ricky Duggan and put an end to their late-season surge for the Title. Todd goes into tonight’s meeting with a handy cushion of 11 wins and with drives such as Yatsenyuk Leis (pictured), Koolaz Elvis and Karpenkova Leis in his arsenal may well blow his rivals away and secure back-to-back premierships for the first time in his career. “The Premiership title is not something I focus on from week to week but at the end of the season it’s good to look back and see that you have performed well and when  you consider the drivers we have in the state like Rohan Hillier, Ricky Duggan, Rohan Hadley and Gareth (Rattray) that you come up against every week that makes it even more rewarding,” said Todd. “I’ve got a handy book of drives tonight starting off with Trevor and Marjorie Leis’ bred and raced filly Karpenkova Leis, she took a while to overcome a cold and she is first-up from a spell tonight so she will be lacking a little fitness but I expect her ability to carry her well into the race.” Stablemate Yatensuk Leis will line-up in the Cascade Draught Pace, race two on the card over 2090-metres and is line for a winning hat-trick. “We’ve only had Yatsenyuk Leis for three starts and he’s won two of them in good style, he was able to sit outside the leader and power away from Keep Playing which has won sinceand then led all the way to beat Pezzamystic when a long odds-on favourite,” said the impressed trainer. He’s a well-bred lightly raced Shadow Play- Levenkova Leis three-year-old in his first campaign and there appears to be plenty of upside to him, he’s drawn well tonight inside the front line so if the opportunity is there to lead that’s what we will be doing.” Todd has six drives on the nine-event card with including Koolaz Elvis and Taurisi. “Koolaz Elvis is one of my better chances in the fourth which is a stand, he has only had the one stand start prior to tonight and went away well and finished second so I’m hoping he begins safely again,” said Todd “We have Taurisi taking on a class field, he comes up against Scooterwillrev, Rocknroll Turbo and Jaks Teller in race seven the Talbot Tavern Pace and I think he stills another run or two under his belt before we see his best.” Tonight’s nine-race TPC card, commencing at 17.15, may be viewed via the live stream service at Shane Yates

Kiwis Clive and Rona McKay have raced a long list of top horses, but Muscle Factory is potentially the best yet. Rona went a step further after Muscle Factory’s mind-blowing $100,000 Group 1 Australian Gold Brisbane Graduate final at Albion Park last night. “I’ve been waiting 80 years for this moment, for this horse to come into my life,” she beamed after the presentation. “This is so exciting. Did you see how easily he won it and the time he went?” Muscle Factory paced a smoking 1min53.1sec mile rate for 1660m capped by mesmerizing closing splits of 27.4 and 26.8sec. His winning margin was a whopping 37.9m, reviving Queensland memories of 1999 when Courage Under Fire won the Gold Coast Derby by 48.75m. “He’s still raw and has so much to learn. I can’t wait to get him out for a spell now and being him back as a three-year-old,” co-trainer Shane Tritton said. “I know this is a strong crop, but after a break I’ll be surprised if there are many better three-year-olds next season than him.” The McKay’s snared a large slice of Muscle Factory’s ownership following a conversation Rona had with Tritton on Miracle Mile night. “I told Shane and Lauren to buy us a nice two-year-old if they found one, but Clive said we already had enough horses,” Rona smiled. Adam Hamilton

The Inter Dominion dream is still alive for injury-plagued superstar Hectorjayjay. It’s been well documented his latest injury setback prompted another stable switch to Matty Craven near Warrnambool, so beach swimming could become part of his routine. And that’s just what Hectorjayjay has started doing, making regular visits to into the chilly Lady Bay beach in Warrnambool. “Not only is he swimming and doing really well, but he starts jogging this week,” part-owner Mick Harvey said. “We’ve mapped out a plan for him and the Inter Dominion is part of it. If everything keeps going the way it is, he’ll he on target for the Inters. “Matty is thrilled with how he’s been since he got to his place a few weeks ago.” Hectorjayjay brilliantly won the Group 1 Blacks A Fake last July and returned from almost a year out to win at Kilmore for Gavin Lang in late June, but developed another minor issue. __________________________________________________________________________ NZ Cup hopeful Tiger Tara was beaten, but far from disgraced at his comeback run at Menangle last night. Kevin Pizzuto’s star did plenty of early work to eventually find the lead, kicked away with a big break at the top of the home straight, but was nabbed late by the much-improved sit-sprinter Loorim Creek. They ran a strong 1min51.5sec mile and Tiger Tara was beaten just 1.9m. It was his first run since the Miracle Mile on February 24. The shock of the race was the flop of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s heavily backed favourite Cash N Flow ($2.90 into $1.90), who beat just one rival home. Cash N Flow, an eye-catching when runner-up at his first Menangle run, worked forward early, sat parked, loomed as a winning hope coming to the final bend, but wilted to be beaten 15m in ninth spot. __________________________________________________________________________ LUCKY hobby trainer Ange McDowall is a patient person. McDowall’s star Lumineer – one of Australia’s most exciting pacers – is out of the Breeders Crown with another injury setback, but it’s only minor. “It’s not a broken bone, it’s just an untimely hiccup. It’s an abscess which didn’t burst in time,” she said. Lumineer, who boasts eight wins from nine starts, hasn’t raced since being injured during the Victoria Derby final on January 27. He was scratched from his Breeders Crown qualifier at Bendigo last Friday night. __________________________________________________________________________ STILL on the Breeders Crown qualifiers and, as expected, they proved a feast for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin across four meetings in Victoria last week. Stewart and Tonkin amazingly won all of the nine heats run at Ballarat, Kilmore, Shepparton and Bendigo. At Kilmore last Tuesday, Two Times Bettor turned the tables on Kualoa from the Vicbred final in the first heat, then Somebeachsomewhere filly Swimsuit Edition won the second heat. Stewart and Tonkin landed the trifecta in the second of the Ballarat heats last Wednesday with Hurricane Harley storming home over the top of the leader, Hardhitter, with the emerging Brevity in third spot. In the other heat, Australian Gold and Vicbred winner Centenario led throughout to score. Last Thursday, Stewart and Tonkin easily won both three-year-old pacing fillies’ heats with Pistol Abbey (who beat stablemate Tenniele Erin in the first heat) and final favourite Speak No Evil. With Shez All Rock sidelined, Vicbred winner Speak No Evil looks a standout for the final. Stewart and Tonkin then unleashed seven runners across the three heats for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Ballarat on Friday night winning with NSW Derby winner Poster Boy, the untapped Ride High and underrated Major Times, who upstaged more highly-fancied stablemate Maraetai. __________________________________________________________________________ THE old marvel did it again. Kyvalley Blur, the rising 11-year-old who was bred in North America, toyed with his younger rivals in the Group 3 Aldebaran Park Trotters’ free-for-all at Melton last night. It was his second win at the top level in six days after a dominant display in the free-for-all at Maryborough on Redwood Day. Chris Alford was content to sit back and wait for the last shot at Sparkling Success, who gave him the trail home, and comeback champ Keystone Del, who sat parked. Kyvalley Blur exploded past his classy rivals halfway down the straight and cruised to a 5.7m win in a slick 1min58sec mile rate for 2240m. Keystone Del battled on well for second, the spot he occupied at his first run back from a year out. Sparkling Success, who is US bound for the Yonkers International Trot in October, ran on quite well, but has yet to show his peak form in two runs back from a spell. __________________________________________________________________________ STABLE star Chicago Bull stayed home, but trainer Gary Hall Sr still won the major fast-class race at Gloucester Park last Friday night with the promising Kiwi-bred Runrunjimmydunn. The son of American Ideal, superbly driven by Gary Hall Jr, outstayed classy rivals Motu Premier and Vampiro and the end of the Marathon over an epic 3309m. The other fast-class race produced an upset when Greg and Skye Bond’s four-year-old Rock Diamonds upstaged classy open-class performers The Bucket List and Bettors Fire in a slick 1min54.7sec mile rate for 2130m.   Adam Hamilton

The man enjoying the ride behind Kiwi pacing sensation Lazarus says only one horse may be able to stop him becoming the fastest pacer in history. And that would be Lazarus himself. Champion driver Yannick Gingras was still buzzing hours after driving Lazarus to a dominant victory in his first North American start, the pair overcoming the outside barrier to lead for the last half of the US$325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana on Saturday afternoon (NZ time). It was Lazarus’s first start in the United States since being sold for an estimated record price of $4million to Taylor Made Stallions. While he had been the best standardbred in Australasia for two years and qualified in sensational time in the US two weeks ago, any horse traveling to the other side of the world to take on their best comes with question marks. Lazarus turned those into exclamations marks with his 1:48.8 mile. The win has already justified his purchase price because with North American breeders now seeing how powerful Lazarus is in full flight he is guaranteed a commercial start to a dual hemisphere stallion career. That leaves the $3.8million earner with just a couple of major targets that could greatly embellish his reputation — winning at the Breeders Crown in late October and pacing a super fast mile time, close to the world record of 1:46 held by Always B Miki. But while Gingras says that time may be within Lazraus physical capabilities, the horse himself might need some company. “A lot of things need to happen to get down to that speed but I think he can do it,” Gingras said. “I have no doubt with the improvement he has in him he can pace 1:46 and change, maybe even 1:46 flat. “But to do that you need the right track, the right conditions and the right horses to push you. “Tonight he would have gone a lot faster if he had needed to and I think he is a horse who will always find more when another horse gets close to him and pushes him. “So to pace 1:46 he will need all of those things and a horse good enough to push him to that time. Otherwise I don’t think he is a horse who will want to go much faster than he has to to win. “But anything is possible because he had only had that one qualifier here before tonight’s race so he is obviously going to get better and better.” Lazraus’s next starts are likely to be in the heat and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby on August 25 and September 1 and yesterday’s win guarantees him a start in the Hoosier Park Derby on September 21. After that looms the US$500,000 major free-for-all at the rocket fast Red Mile (October 7) in Kentucky, the ideal track to attempt a lightning quick mile. “Tonight was the perfect starting point. He won, we got to show people how good he is but he wasn’t put under any strain.” What was it like driving the Kiwi hero? “It is a real thrill. Driving any great horse is amazing but the novelty around him tonight and the way the race was promoted, and knowing so many people Down Under were watching. It was pretty special.” Michael Guerin

There is no more exciting pacer in Australia than Ignatius. The former Tasmanian three-year-old heads to Victoria for his Breeders Crown assault with a 16 wins from just 17 starts. And he's won his past 13 starts on end. With the disturbing attrition rate in our open-class ranks, some say Ignatius may already be the best pacer in Australia. Even trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray (pictured) admits that attrition rate has turned his mind to "possibly" nominating Ignatius for the Melbourne Inter Dominion series in December. “I might nominate, but all I’m focused on at the moment is the Breeders Crown. As good as he’s looked this season, these runs in Victoria will be the next step for him when you consider how strong this crop of three-year-olds is. How can not have enormous respect for Emma Stewart’s horses like Poster Boy and Ride High and there’s plenty of others as well,” Rattray said. “I’ve been amazed how much he’s just kept improving with every start this season and I think he’s a really special horse, but this Breeders Crown will be a test, no doubt. “I’m certainly not making any plans beyond the Crown final.” Rattray is floating Ignatius from Sydney to Keith Cotchin’s stables, not far from Bendigo where the Crown semi-finals will be run on Saturday week. The Aussie TAB has Ignatius $2.30 prepost favourite for the Breeders Crown final from Ride High ($3.80), Poster Boy ($6), Colt Thirty One ($8) and Duplicated ($9). If Ignatius conquers the Crown, it becomes a juggling act if Rattray opts to chase the Inter Dominion, which starts on December 1 at Melton. How long a spell can he give Ignatius after the Crown to then have him primed for the Inter Dominion, but also being mindful of races like the Chariots Of Fire, Miracle Mile and NSW Breeders Challenge in the early to middle parts of next year?   By Adam Hamilton & Harness Racing New Zealand For The Trots  

IT might have been the sort of abbreviated, run-of-the-mill affair that mid-winter regularly serves up, but Wednesday’s Gold Crown Paceway meeting produced driving credits - Turnbull, Day, McCarthy, Hewitt, Rue and Morris - that read like a harness racing “Who’s Who”. Nathan Turnbull took the first, a C0/C1 Menangle Where Horses Fly heat, with Lucky Lyla, a beautifully-bred Mach Three mare trained by brother Josh for his wife Jess and named for their daughter. It was a tough effort, three-wide for much of the 1:56.9 trip, and holding on strongly from Walk On Kimmy and Waikari Fire NZ. “You probably heard me screaming and yelling at her as soon as we turned for home, “ the driver observed, “ and even though she tried hard when the others came, it was my noise that did the trick so I reckon I’m entitled to a sling from Josh!” Neil Day wiped out all the Pick-Six tipsters in the racebook promotion when $45 longshot Arma Hotshot got up in the final stride, from Snoop Stride and leader Spike Robyn NZ, in the C2/C3 Menangle Country Series heat. The Modern Art mare settled at the tail of the field from her wide draw on the front row but relished the fast pace -including  a 57.4s first half - that brought the backmarkers into the event, and her trainer-driver is hopeful that a similar scenario unfolds when she heads to Menangle for the  $20,000 final in a fortnight. Todd McCarthy and his Uncle Pat’s  Grinfromeartoear runner Im Cool Harry NZ have had to settle for minor placings in a long and frustrating season, but patience and consistency finally paid off when they scored a decisive all-the-way win in the 2260 metres fast-class third. A 28.1s third split enabled the pair to break clear of the field, and though the rallying Shannonstheman and third-placed Hidden Courage tried hard, they were no match for the winner, which extended Todd’s narrow lead over Amanda Turnbull in their down-to-the-wire battle for the NSW drivers’ premiership. Mark Hewitt gave promising Sportswriter filly Ace Reporter a lovely trip in the running line in the 2YO class,sprinting well to hit the front turning in, before grittily holding off Make Mine Memphis which tracked it over the last lap. The last half of the 1:57.8 trip was run in a sharp 57.2 seconds. His efforts earned him Drive-of-the-Night honours from racecaller Craig Easey. The lesser-known of the Hewitt brothers trains a much smaller team than either Bernie or David, but lacks none of their ability and has a fine record with juveniles, including Group One success with Two Eye See and Makes Mine Scents. Mat Rue achieved the maiden win, at start 16, for Roll With Joe filly Ichiba Newy -trained by his wife Gemma - in the Evolution Series 3YO Fillies heat, trailing favourite Madame Leza every step of the way and using the sprint lane to get up in a 1:57.0 rate for the 1730 metres sprint. He’s had more success with the Bathurst sprint lane than any other driver, so it’s hardly surprising that he’s a big fan of it. Having previously shared his tips on race driving with an interested audience at a local awards night, he’s now been put on notice to deliver a follow-up tutorial on sprint laning, at the first available opportunity! Robbie Morris and his partner Kerryann Turner, adopted “locals” at Gold Crown Paceway, seldom head back to Menangle without a winner, and they left it until the final race, the Evolution Series 3YO Colts& Geldings heat, where Weona Luke put an end to some muddling stop-start tactics by taking the lead mid-race and dictating the race from that point. The handsome Mr Feelgood gelding, which  stopped the clock in 1:56.1 for the sprint journey, won’t have to travel very far at all for his next start, in the $20,000 final at Club Menangle next Saturday. Terry Neil

A winning treble at Wednesday night's Launceston Pacing Club meeting has lifted Beauty Point reinsman Rohan Hillier within 11 wins of Todd Rattray at the top of the Drivers Premiership table with five meetings remaining in the 2017/18 season. Hillier's winning run started with his five-year gelding Im Compliant (pictured) making it six straight in Tasmania with another convincing victory in the Bevan Lees Butchery Pace over 2200 metres. "We will take the win tonight but I thought he was a bit flat, he's had a couple of tough runs lately but his class got him through," said Rohan. "We will pull some blood when we get home and see if that tells us anything, he may just need a week in the paddock to freshen him up a little." The John Castles-trained three-year-old gelding Flashy Ruler was rewarded for his recent consistent performances with a last-to-first victory. Stablemate Keep Playing led to the home turn but Hillier wound up the flashy grey out wide on the track and he gunned them down in the home stretch to win impressively. "We were further back than I had planned to be, but when I called on him out four and five wide at the 400-metre mark he responded like a good horse and had then covered on the home corner, I was very impressed with him he'll win again on that run." The Kristy Grant-trained favourite Rollon Jack rounded out Rohan's treble with a courageous run in the last race of the night digging deep over the concluding stages to score by 1.7-metres after looking beaten off on the home turn. "He wanted to hang on the home corner and I thought the best he would do at that point would be finish third but once he balanced up in the straight he really knuckled down to the task and scored a gutsy win." Troy McDonald chimed in with a winning double for leading trainer Ben Yole, sneaking under the radar of punters with Black Ops leading all the way at double-figure odds and following up with the well-performed Gems completing a winning hat-trick. Rohan Hadley topped the night off for Ben Yole steering home his third winner on the programme with Monarkmac scoring a convincing victory by eight-metres. Shane Yates

Victorian trots drivers have revealed some of the most poisionous tweets and messages directed at them in a bid to draw the spotlight on the damage such attacks can have. The message #BeKindToYourDrivers has been reinforced today across Trots Media's digital channels with a video featuring drivers Rebecca Bartley, Greg Sugars, Chris Alford, Alex Ashwood, Ellen Tormey and David Miles, the result of a collaboration between Harness Racing Victoria and the Off And Pacing mobile harness racing game. Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association president Lance Justice said the negative impact of these text attacks was often significant. "As an industry we need to speak up and say abusing drivers on social media is not okay," Justice said. "It happens to all of us and there’s nothing worse than when you out there on the racetrack and things don’t go your way to then see a torrent of abuse, which wrecks your day, your night and your weekend. "Punters want to hear from drivers on social media, but they won’t get too if these drivers are being discouraged to use those channels by abuse. The VTDA is very supportive of the #BeKindToYourDrivers campaign.” Participants are reminded they have free access to the Industry Assistance Program offered by Harness Racing Victoria, which provides support for a range of personal or work-related issues. Watch the video here!   Michael Howard Trots Media

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