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Leading Tasmanian harness racing trainer Ben Yole is often in the winner’s circle, he has trained 122 winners in Tasmania alone, but on Sunday he crossed codes to notch up a winning treble. Yole owns six-year-old gelding Irish Shotgun who won at Sunday’s Devonport gallops meeting before training a double on the Hobart harness card later in the evening. Irish Shotgun scored in the Goodstone Group Maiden/Class 1 by the narrowest of margins over 1880 metres. The gelding is trained by Chester Roach who resides next door to Yole’s training establishment at Sidmouth in the states north. “Chester (Roach) is my next-door neighbour, and he works his gallopers at my place, and I was having a chat with him and decided to go into a horse with him,” explained Yole. One of Yole’s junior drivers, Sam Clotworthy, also gives Roach help with his team as he has worked with many leading thoroughbred trainers including Gai Waterhouse, Anthony Cummings and Clinton McDonald. “Sam (Clotworthy) helps Chester with the gallops a bit too, he has a galloping background, which triggered my interest a bit,” explained Yole. Yole, who owns a couple of gallopers, is happy just to race a few as a hobby and currently has no intentions of training them. Yole then prepared a double on the Hobart harness card. His first win came in the way of Bettors Delight mare Indiana Dreaming who was well driven by Ricky Duggan who drove three winners on the card, including his 50th win of the season. From barrier five Duggan tried to lead on the mare, but when unsuccessful he was able to sit behind the leader before out sprinting his rivals late to score by 1.2 metres over the well-supported favourite Feel the Burn in 1m 59.4s. “When you put the best on you expect them to perform for you, and he certainly lifted her out of the gate to get behind the leader and got the sprint lane late to win for some great owners,” said Yole. “She is owned by Zanni Hayes whose husband Wayne is a truck driver for us and it was a big thrill for them to be on track for their first win,” added the winning trainer. The last leg of Yole’s Sunday treble came in the way of Coveffe Hustler who scored in a rating 30 to 50 event. “She just dropped back to that under 50 rating, and when they do that it is a big class drop,” said Yole who was full of praise for the drive from Gareth Rattray. “Gareth (Rattray) didn’t use her up out of the mobile last night, and he drove her a treat,” explained Yole about the win of the four-year-old mare who he also owns, and he expects her to be competitive in lower-rated races. “It is her class, she has won $30,000 now for us for a mare that I purchased relatively cheap, so I wish I had a stable full of them,” he said. Longford trainer-driver Todd Rattray landed a treble on the Hobart card. Mozasu registered back to back wins, and after doing plenty of work in a fast lead time the three-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight still had plenty of speed late to score by 9.6 metres. After being placed in four of her last five outings, four-year-old mare Joogle was able to bounce back into the winner’s list, scoring by 3.4 metres after racing outside the leader to score. The last leg of Rattray’s treble came in the final race of the night with Hillbilly Band who settled behind the leader before outsprinting his rivals in the home straight. The Bettors Delight gelding was the sales topper at $24,000 at last year’s Carrick Park Yearling sale and is the third horse out of the 11 lots that went through the ring to have won a race in their first season of racing.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Tasmania's leading harness racing trainer Ben Yole is going to be extra busy over the next three days-but he couldn't be happier! Yole, based at Sidmouth, near Launceston, will compete with a massive 70 horses at two meetings. He kicks off with a team of 13 at Hobart tonight, and then his representatives swell to a mind-boggling 57 at Launceston on Sunday. But keeping it in perspective, big numbers are nothing new for the Yole stable. On average they could have anywhere between 75 and 85 horses on their books, and take around 40 to the races. "We have plenty of staff on hand at the race meetings-everyone knows their role so it's pretty good. All of our horses have their own set of harness and we get to the meetings with probably three hours to spare," Yole said. "I guess preparations for the night meetings always start around lunch-time. We have plenty of transport options in four trucks and a heap of floats to get them to the track." Tasmania conducted its first meeting last Sunday at Hobart since harness racing ground to a halt on the Apple Isle at the end of March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Yole took 34 to the Hobart twilight fixture last weekend and returned home with a winning double. Eight-year-old brown mare Pink Ponder (Ponder-Raiderofthelostark (Courage Under Fire) was successful for Mark Yole, while evergreen gelding Altana Blue (Stonebridge Regal-Amarillo Blue (Million To One) was an easy winner for Troy McDonald. Yole told TasRacing leading up to the comeback meeting, it had been tough to plan anything too far ahead with the horses. "There was a bit of stop-start stuff. They were all set to go at one stage, then we were told the return to racing had been delayed by another five weeks. So we probably all backed off and then had to rev them up again to get them somewhere near their peak," he said. "They've been having trials for the past four weeks. I have managed to get at least one run under the belt of most of our team at either Hobart, Launceston or Devonport so we're happy with that." Yole has been the leading trainer in Tasmania for the past four seasons and currently has 105 winners this season (and undoubtedly many more to come yet, with the season being extended from the usual end of August, to the end of December). Yole, who grew up in the Victorian country town of Hamilton, has been a powerhouse particularly over the past five or six years. In the 2015-16 season, he became the first Tasmanian trainer in 20 years to record 100 winners. The following season he broke the record with 124 victories--and equalled that in the 2017-18 season. Yole raised the bar last season with 182 winners, which set a State record for both equine codes of racing. "The 2015-16 season was our first big one. We'd finally got our own property by then and had a nice team including lots of bread and butter horses," Yole said. "Our place was an old dairy farm. There's 50 acres and we've got our own track, swimming facilities and plenty of big paddocks because we don't have stables," he said. "We rent a bush property next door and we use this when we want to give the horses an easy day. Over the years we've worked out that keeping their workload down a little is better. "There's now a lot of steadier and slower work, although there's times when we gallop them up a bit." The Yole stable is made up of a strong backbone of family support. There's Ben and Catherine; Ben's brothers Tim and Mark; as well has Mark's wife Dani; and their parents Wayne and Louise. Mark is the stable's number one driver and Tim is stable foreman and "Mr Fix-it". "In my opinion, there's not too many better drivers than Mark. He does a good job and rarely puts a foot wrong. Tim keeps the stable ticking along and without him, we wouldn't be operating. He works the horses, puts shoes on and anything else that needs doing," Ben said. "Last season we sent him across to Victoria with some horses for a while and he ended up with 20 winners. I was just so rapt for him. "I think we showed that we don't do a bad job and got some respect from trainers over there. We had pencilled in another campaign at the end of July, but we'll have to wait and see on that one." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura               P 0498 490 672   E hello@newsalertpr.com.au   W www.newsalertpr.com.au      

The countdown to a harness racing return in Tasmania is certainly on after 135 individual horses contested trials over the past week alone. Leading trainer Ben Yole is one of those ready to get back to the track for the first meeting in Hobart on 14 June. There has been no harness meeting in Tasmania since 29 March when racing in the state ceased due to COVID-19 restrictions. Harness racing has continued on mainland Australia. “Without racing it affects a lot of people, it certainly is a long list that’s for sure,” said leading trainer Ben Yole. “It has been tough to plan things (with the horses), we had them all ready to go, and then we got put back another five-weeks, so then you have to back off them and then try and get them ready to be at their peak again,” added the leading trainer. Trials for harness racing recommenced on 20 May, all of which have been filmed with replays available on the Tasracing website. Yole has trialled 49 individual horses in recent weeks and will have most of his team ready to race for the first meeting. “The majority of my team will be ready to go, I will trial 21 horses in Launceston on Saturday and another 13 on Monday in Devonport, so by then most of my racehorses would have had at least one trial under their belt,” explained Yole. “With only one meeting the first week, it will be hard for a lot of horses to get a run and the way that the programming has been done it looks to me that a lot of the lowly rated horses won’t get a run for a while. “I’m not a fan of this block nomination system that’s for sure,” said the Sidmouth-based trainer. Yole has been happy with several horses from his stable in recent weeks, but he was quick to point out two that he thinks will be able to find the winners stall when racing returns. His first name to throw out was Jeans Mattjesty who was defeated a half-head by Lip Reader in a slick 1m 57.6s mile rate for 2200 metres, in a trial that was conducted in strong wind conditions. “I was very rapt with his trial on Saturday in Launceston, I thought he went enormous, he pulled up well, and I see there is a claimer on the second week back in Launceston, so he will head there, and on his trial run he would be tough to beat in that grade,” said Yole. Another runner he was happy with was Coveffe Hustler who finished second to Distinctive Del in Hobart on 25 May. “She was good in her trial in Hobart last Monday week, she will obviously need the right draw in a suitable race,” said Yole about the Auckland Reactor mare. Yole has currently trained 103 winners this season in Tasmania which will be a unique one. The season has been extended nationwide to conclude on 31 December. As a consequence, the 2021 season will run to the end of August before returning to the regular commencement of 1 September for the 2021-2022 season.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

High achieving Tasmanian trainer Ben Yole says a love for the sport of harness racing is the driving force behind his success. It's not unusual for the Yole stable to have well over 40 horses competing at a single meeting all around the Apple Isle, with occasionally eight or nine in the one event! But despite the physical and logistical demands (of which there are plenty!) there's no waning in Ben Yole's enthusiasm, or his efforts to find that next "handy one". "It's a hard gig at times. You do have to keep pushing, but I can say that the thrill and satisfaction of getting winners is always a big help," Yole said. "I'm lucky to have hard-working staff, loyal owners and a good bunch of drivers. Otherwise it just wouldn't be happening," he said. Apart from the predictable routine of jogging, washing, rugging, mixing up feeds, mucking out manure, checking for loose shoes and keeping an eye on the general welfare of 60-plus equine athletes, there are also the dozens of add-on tasks (and unexpected challenges) that can easily throw a day off. Then there's also the chore most try to avoid - cleaning harness before fast work days and race meetings. Ben Yole hard at work on the job no-one wants – sorting out harness for up to 40 runners at a Tasmanian meeting "I haven't come across too many people who enjoy getting the harness and gear ready. It's time consuming and something that seems to land in my lap fairly often. But that's okay," Yole said. The stable uses four horse trucks as well as four floats to transport their runners to compete at meetings. The Team Yole fleet – four trucks and four floats, ready for the races But once on-course, things are like a well-oiled machine with each stable member carrying out set tasks. "We race everywhere. It's only 30 to 40 minutes to Launceston, but then there are meetings at Hobart which is three hours away. We also do Devonport and Burnie," Yole said. Yole gained a wealth of experience when living on the mainland. He spent time working for such astute horsemen as Jim Barker and Kevin Brough, at Hamilton in south west Victoria, but has made his own mark since shifting to Tasmania nearly 10 years ago. The Yole family consists of Ben and Catherine; Ben's brothers Tim and Mark and Mark's wife Dani; and their parents Wayne and Louise. The stable is based at Sidmouth, a small rural community in the Western Tamar Valley region. Apart from family, Ben Yole attributes his success to a good string of drivers including Rohan Hadley, Troy McDonald, Kyle Pratten, Gareth Rattray and Samantha Gangell. A bag of four winners at Devonport last weekend took Yole past the century mark again-something he's achieved ever since the 2015-16 season. This season's magical 100 winners reached in record time so it's well on the cards that the stable could topple its all-time benchmark of 181 winners in 2018-19. And as if the demands are not enough in Tasmania, Team Yole is not ruling out an interstate mission again this year. The stable got the perfect kick-start to the season with a Victorian campaign that netted 15 wins and 33 placings for over $100,000 in stakes. And a similar trip, perhaps in late July, is likely to come into calculations. "We are working about 60 at the moment, but we do seem to have a better quality this season which helps a lot, so everything's on the table," Yole said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

Leading trainer Ben Yole notched up his 100th Australian training win of the season in Devonport on Sunday night when Shestryingtactics scored in the S & M Horse Transport Mobile. Shestryingtactics was sent out the $3.80 favourite from the pole draw, and the eight-year-old daughter of Sportswriter was well rated in front by Samantha Gangell to get the victory in a mile rate of 2m 3.5s. “I thought she was the best from my team tonight, she just had to have enough gate speed to hold the front,” said Yole. “She didn’t cop a great deal of pressure, and she had a bit of speed late, plus it was a bit weaker field than what she had been racing,” added the trainer. It was the second last night of the Team Teal promotion with the win being the states 14th. The last meeting is the Australian Female Drivers Championship meeting which is currently listed to be held in Launceston next month. It’s the fifth consecutive season that he has trained a century of wins. “It is fantastic, and all credit goes to the staff, without fantastic staff, fantastic owners and a great bunch of loyal drivers it all doesn’t happen,” said Yole. Yole ended up with training a quartet to take his total to 102 wins, with nine of those being earlier in the season when he had his Victorian satellite stable in operation. The first of Yole’s winners on the card was with Gentleman Red who scored in the opening race on the card, the Ladbrokes Pace for horses with a national rating between 30 and 49 over 2297 metres. The gelded son of Sportswriter was last at the 1100 metre mark before racing three-wide from that point, to score by 1.2 metres with Troy McDonald in the sulky. “That’s his sort of class, he took his turn and won, and I have a few others in that class that will do the same,” said Yole. Gentleman Red led home a stable trifecta with Hear the Call and the race favourite Mystery Writer filling the placings. Win 101 came in the Maxfield Drilling Pace where Brian Who won his second race at only his second start since going to the Yole stable. From inside of the second row the pacer sat three-back along the marker pegs and flashed home to score by a half-head over the stablemate The Lemondrop Kid. “I like him. I think he will win a few more yet, and he has a good turn of foot. It was a little bit of a concern when he ended up three-back the fence, but it was a great drive by Rohan Hadley,” said Ben. His last winner of the night came with Jakes A Joy in the C.U.B Pace where he enjoyed a lovely run behind the leader to score by a half-head in a race where Yole trained the first five placegetters. “He was well driven by Gareth (Rattray), you can’t do much wrong when you stick to the pegs around Devonport, you normally earn money,” said the states leading trainer. The next meeting on the North-West coast will be in Burnie on Friday night.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Tasmania's powerhouse Yole harness racing team is about to wrap up a successful three-month campaign in Victoria. "We decided to dip our toe in the water and give it a real crack and we probably ended up with better results than we were expecting," an elated Ben Yole said. "It's quite on the cards that we'll be back sometime early next year. We are now back to having two meetings per week of racing in Tasmania so we'll concentrate on that for a bit, and then sort it out," he said. The Yole family team, comprising Ben and his brothers Mark and Tim, along with their father Wayne, are based at Sidmouth, a small rural community in the Western Tamar Valley region. It has a population of about 400 people and is 45 minutes north-west of Launceston. "We campaigned with about 18 horses in Victoria, but some of them got off to a late start because they were crook for a little while," Yole said. "That left around 35 back home in Tassie and our hard-working team of staff are doing a great job with them. Recently they've been competing well at Hobart and Devonport with big numbers," he said. Handy pacer Tiwanaku scored at Melton last month for the Yole team and was claimed on Tuesday at Yarra Glen. He’s pictured with victorious driver Jack Laugher and stable representative Tim Yole          --Stuart McCormick photo The Victorian statistics sit very nicely for the stable with Ben positioned in the top 10 on the trainer's premiership for the 2019-20 season. He has posted 15 wins, 18 seconds, 19 thirds and 25 fourths for over $100,000 in stakemoney. "It's been a bit strange at times, because we've had more than our share of second placings - for instance, just recently we took three to Bendigo in Machitelli, Somedan and Shestryintactics and they were all runners-up!" Yole said. "It has been a bit weird in that way, but we aren't complaining," he said. "Our success was certainly due in a big part to the hospitality of friends Paul and Rosie Weidenbach, who are based near Shepparton. We trained out of there and they have super facilities." Yole said he was "always on the lookout for other horses" and hoped to again build on numbers soon. "We turned a few horses over during the campaign - some were sold, and we also had others that were claimed out of the claiming races. But in saying that, we have also ended up with four new ones," he said. "I want to climb back up again - the stakes are great in Tasmania and there's plenty of worthwhile feature events coming up around Christmas-New Year." Yole, previously based at Hamilton in Victoria, hasn't looked back since shifting to Tasmania over a decade ago. He has been the leading trainer since 2015 and has passed the magical 100-winner mark every season since. In the recently completed 2018-19 season he smashed all previous records with a sensational 181 winners in Tasmania. In addition, he finished second on 200 occasions, had 208 thirds and 249 fourths for over $1.2 million in earnings. The Yole season figures represented an increase of a whopping 57 winners on the previous season and an extra 81 placings. At last month's awards night, apart from Ben picking up the leading trainer trophy, brother Mark was leading driver (88 wins); junior driver Samantha Gangell was female driver of the year (29 wins); and Conor Crook took the junior driver's title (31 wins). "We mix up our training routines by going to the beach as well as jogging on a number of different tracks we have on a bush property. We find it keeps them fresh as it's not the same old grind," Yole said. "I'm lucky to have staff who are willing and dedicated. And of course, without our owners we wouldn't have the success we've enjoyed. Their support in buying new horses to add to our team enables us to keep ticking along."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

All-conquering Tasmanian harness racing trainer Ben Yole has kicked off a three-month campaign on the mainland in the best possible way. Three minor placings in the country, then a close-up metropolitan fourth certainly put "the writing on the wall" that the Yole team meant business. So, it was no surprise to see the visitor post a winning double at Cranbourne last Sunday night. "It was the perfect way to get things underway - let's just hope it continues," Yole said. "We have 18 horses that will campaign in Victoria. That leaves about 40 at home," he said. "At this stage the plan is to spend about three months racing over there. Of course, that could blow out - we'll just see how we shape up and take it from there." The Yole stable has been going gangbusters in recent years. This is the fourth consecutive season they have topped the 100 mark with winners. And the 2018-19 season has been a standout, eclipsing the previous Tasmanian record for most wins in a season. They are currently sitting on an amazing 174 victories. Ben Yole                                                             (Courtesy Stacey Lear Photography) Yole said his younger brother Tim and their Tasmanian-based driver Conor Crook would be looking after the campaign horses. "I've been flying over backwards and forwards a few times and I realize that's the way it's going to be. We are based at the Wahring stables of Paul and Rosie Weidenbach. They're fantastic and their place is great," he said. The Cranbourne winners were aptly named in Ready To Fire and Good Feelings....surely presenting omen bets for followers of the Yole team! Five-year-old mare Ready To Fire (Somebeachsomewhere-Fight Fire With Fire (Artiscape USA) took out the SBG Accountants and Business Advisors Pace at the juicy odds of $23 for driver Greg Sugars. The second leg of the double saw young Ballarat concession reinsman Darby McGuigan (who could win on a rocking horse at the moment) get home on Good Feelings (Mr Feelgood-Good Lookin Girl (Perfect Art USA) in the Hygain Pace at $3.70. Yole said that while stable reinsman Conor Crook would be used regularly, he also planned to engage other notable senior drivers when they were available. Conor Crook and Tim Yole with their recent Victorian winners So far, he has enlisted the likes of Sugars, McGuigan, Chris Svanosio, James Herbertson, Kima Frenning and Kevin Weidenbach Jnr. Despite living on the 'Apple Isle' for the past 12 years after shifting from Hamilton in Victoria, Yole has only been a full-time trainer for the past four years. "When we first came across, myself and my brothers Mark and Tim all had full-time work. We used to squeeze our horses in around our jobs. We had probably a dozen horses then, although sometimes it got up to 20," Ben said. "Now it's just all horses and our dad Wayne, who is retired, helps us out on a part-time basis which is great," he said. "We are up and going at 6am and aim to have the team all done by 12 noon. Where we are is similar weather to Hamilton, although it does get awfully wet for maybe three weeks in winter." The logistics of running the massive Yole operation are hard to comprehend. "There are races every week and we usually have big numbers going around," Yole said. "Sometimes it could be 30 or 40 or more at a meeting. We own four trucks which on average carry nine horses each so that's how we get them there. "Each horse has its own gear and individual race day bag but it's a big job cleaning all the harness - and one I tend to avoid if possible!" Somewhere in between all the work, Yole insists he still manages to find family time to relax. His wife Catherine is a schoolteacher, and they have a four-year-old son Hudson and another baby on the way. Yole said as a youngster, the legendary Barker family, Jim and Rod, first got him into horses through the pony trots. "From there I learnt a lot from Kevin Brough and his son Adam, who were very astute trainers," he said. "Looking back, I now realize how professional Adam was in the way he went about things. He certainly taught me the benefits of all the one-percenters. "After all the horses were finished, Adam wasn't. He'd be off rubbing joints or attending to other things that a lot of other trainers mightn't bother with." The Yole training complex is on 50 acres with an 800m fastwork track, swimming pool and plenty of grazing paddocks. "We also have a bush property with several different circuits. This, and going to the beach, which is 15 minutes away, aims to break up the same day-in, day-out training regimes," he said. And while their massive raceday numbers seem positively scary to outsiders, the Yole stable is always on the lookout for more horses from the mainland. "The aim is to keep turning them over and enjoy the sport - and we all certainly love being involved in harness racing and getting winners that's for sure."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Leading trainer Ben Yole rewrote the record books when he broke the record for the most number of wins in a season by a Tasmanian trainer in Launceston on Friday evening. That wasn’t the only record broken last weekend with the age record for three-year-old’s in Hobart on Sunday was also rewritten. This week the $12,000 Golden Mile in Launceston is the feature race of the weekend and is a part of an 8-race card on Sunday at the TAB Racing Centre Mowbray in Launceston, while the Tasmanian Trotting Club will stage a 6-race program on Friday evening. The Stars Ben Yole – the state’s leading trainer prepared seven winners last week to take his season total to 128 wins and 281 placings from a staggering 1857 starters. Yole has prepared 124 winners the past two seasons which has been the most number of wins by a trainer in the state until he smashed that record with three and half months remaining for the current season in Launceston on Friday night with Jeans Mattjesty being the successful horse to rewrite the record books. Spoilt Sport - it’s hard to believe this filly hadn’t won a race this season from her four starts prior to her win in Hobart on Sunday. But she was able to race up to her brilliant form that she had shown prior when she was a runaway winner on Sunday by 16.8 metres, Spoilt Sport recorded a time of 1m 56.6s for the 1609-metre journey which broke the previous age record in Hobart for that distance which was held by Scooterwillrev when he won at the venue on August 6, 2017. The Rodney Ashwood-trained filly is the $2.90 second favourite for next month's Group 2 Bandbox Stakes in Launceston. Redason - another runner from the in-form Rodney Ashwood stable who continued his good record this season when he made it back-to-back wins in Hobart. The gelded son of Majestic Son has won four of his 12 starts this season with a further seven placings to his credit. I Wanna Rock - continues to re-pay his trainer, driver, owner and breeder Sam Rawnsley for his perseverance with the injury-plagued six-year-old gelding who won his fifth race on Sunday at only his eighth race start. Izaha – remains on track for the Group 2 Raider Stakes in Devonport in mid-June when he recorded his fifth win of the season in the Pace Financial Services Discretionary Handicap on Sunday night. Multiple Winners Launceston – Friday evening  Ben Yole - training quartet; Mister Resister, Our Quinn, Perfect Mach and Jeans Mattjesty. Rohan Hillier - driving double; Boss Major and Perfect Mach. Troy McDonald - Our Quinn and Jeans Mattjesty Hobart – Sunday evening Ben Yole - training treble; Artiflash, Im Full Tilt and Monarkmac. Rodney Ashwood - training double; Spoilt Sport and Redason. Gareth Rattray - driving double; Redason and Resurgent Storm. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Launceston – Friday evening Remember Joe 56.47s, Im Barney Rubble 56.60 and Jeans Mattjesty 56.63s. Outside of race eight; Perfect Mach 57.03s and Poker Storm 57.18s. Hobart – Sunday evening  Izaha 57.16s, Drifting Away 57.53s, Give Me The Night 57.57s, Touchwood Levista 57.63s and Spoilt Sport 57.70s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Friday evening Hits: Perfect Mach $17 into $10, Our Quinn $8.50 into $6.00 and Boss Major $2.90 into $2.50. Defied The Drift: Jeans Mattjesty $4.00 out to $5.50, Drillittobits $4.40 out to $5.00 and Mister Resister $6.50 out to $7.00. Missed: Monarkmac $10 into $5.00, Lutetia Midfrew $12 into $8.50, Hez The One $6.50 into $3.40 and Spot Eight $3.40 into $2.80. Hobart – Sunday evening Hits: Spoilt Sport $3.30 into $2.90, Izaha $1.90 into $1.50 and I Wanna Rock $2.30 into $2.00. Defied The Drift: Monarkmac $41 out to $51, Im Full Tilt $21 out to $31 and Artiflash $7.50 out to $10. Missed: Our Quinn $31 into $16, Jeans Mattjesty $31 into $16, Tiwanaku $26 into $19 and Pockets Of Courage $15 into $9.50. Trial File Devonport - Monday evening  Three trials were held on a rain-affected track on Monday evening. The quickest winning mile rate of 2m 5.0s was recorded by unraced three-year-old Muchison in a 3C0 and better trial. The John Castles-trained pacer scored by a half metre with his nephew Charlie taking the reins on the three-year-old gelding who is by Blissfull Hall and is out of the Thorate mare Gypsy Byrd. Recording a time of 2m 26.9s for the 1930-metre trip, Muchison defeated open class pacer Exciteusinthecity and trotter Ten Caisses. Remaining trials were won by Goggo Gee Gee (2m 10.2s) and Pushkin (2m 14.9s) Week Ahead The state’s junior driver ranks have been bolstered with two concession drivers to call Tasmania home. Victorian reinswoman Olivia Weidenbach has been a regular fly-in driver in recent weeks and has now relocated to the state to take up a position with the Ben Yole stable, while Ben Woodsford will arrive in the state today (Thursday). Woodsford has been doing his recent driving in Queensland and has won 34 races, including two metropolitan wins from 139 drives since his first race drive in May 2016. The Queenslander has taken up a position with trainer Gavin Kelly who is currently expanding his team after gaining on track stables at the Brighton Training Centre. Both drivers will have their talents on show at the 6-race card in Hobart on Friday night that kicks off at 16:56. In Launceston on Sunday evening talented six-year-old Ryley Major will be looking to make it a double in the Launceston Pacing Club’s two premier sprint races. The Rohan Hillier-trained and driven pacer won the Launceston Mile four starts ago where he showed brilliant gate speed to lead from barrier seven and recorded a mile rate of 1m 56.7s for the 1680-metre journey on a rain-effected track. The other premier sprint race in Launceston is this Sunday’s $12,000 Bevan Lee’s Butchery Golden Mile. The gelded son of Art Major has a best winning mile rate of 1m 54.6s which he recorded at Melton five starts ago, and he bounced back into the winner's circle in the Degree C Quality last start which is the premier sprint race at the Devonport Showgrounds. He looks extremely well placed on Sunday night to record his fifth win of the season. The last horse to win the Launceston Mile - Golden Mile double was Greysteel in 2013, this year’s Golden Mile is race six on the card and is set down for 19:39 with the opening race scheduled to start at 17:04. Interstate this weekend we see; Menangle - Saturday night Race 7 Horse 7 Rykov Leis - Tasbred and owned. Melton - Saturday night Race 2 Horse 9 No Apachemee - Tasmanian owned, Race 3 Horse 9 War Dan Delight - part-owned by Tasmanian interest and Race 5 Horse 11 Isaac - Tasmanian owned.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Young reinswoman Olivia Weidenbach (pictured) has made the move to Tasmania for a plum gig with the Ben Yole stable. With 65 horses in work, the Yole camp offers Weidenbach an enormous opportunity for hands-on experience at the stables and the races. Ben Yole’s stable foreman, and his dad, Wayne Yole said Weidenbach, 17, would “be a magnificent asset to the stable”. “She has a claim, which is great because we have a shortage of claim drivers,” he said. “She’ll come over here and be tutored by Mark (Yole) on the driving side of things and Ben about training. She is a very good horse person for someone so young at just 17. Of course she comes from such a strong harness racing family, with her mother being a Mifsud.” Weidenbach drove her first winner in February, when she piloted Smart Little Shard to victory at her maiden drive. Ben Yole is Tasmania’s leading trainer with 121 wins from 1789 starts so far this season. Weidenbach has four drives tomorrow night at Launceston – The Lemondrop Kid in Race 2, Give Me The Knight in Race 4, Guys Bettor Bet in Race 5 and Another Swinger in Race 8. Wayne Yole, a former Hamilton Harness Racing Club President, is now the Harness Racing and Special Projects Coordinator for Racing Tasmania.   Cody Winnell for Trots media

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

Easter Cup heat night once again had plenty of action on and off the track in Launceston on Friday. A power issue off track caused a lengthy delay with credit to the Office of Racing Integrity stewards and participants for ensuring the meeting was able to proceed after a 90-minute delay. On the track, it was a great night of racing with Gavin Lang dominating the night in the sulky with a treble, including a heat of the Easter Cup with Franco Tristan. The other heat of the cup was won by Illegal Immigrant who came home well to win courtesy of a well-timed drive by Troy Hillier. Ben Yole extended his lead on the state’s trainers’ premierships with a treble in Devonport on Sunday. This week we see the first ever harness race meeting in Australia on Good Friday when the Tasmanian Trotting Club plays host to the tier two meeting of the week before the Launceston Pacing Club conduct their premier night of racing on Saturday, featuring the Group 2 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup. The Stars Gavin Lang - produced three excellent drives to put on the tape to be played at the junior driver's school when he won the first three races on the Launceston card. The main purpose of Lang’s Launceston mission was to qualify Franco Tristan for Saturday night’s Group 2 Easter Cup, and the six-year-old gelding was the first horse to qualify for the final with an effortless win in the opening heat when he scored by four-metres over Scooterwillrev and The Aussie. Lang also trained and drove Castle Retreat to victory as well as driving Art Frenzy to his third win of the season. Illegal Immigrant - caused a minor upset when he stormed home late to defeat Ryley Major by 1.9 metres in Heat Two of the Easter Cup. Trainer-driver Troy Hillier settled the American Ideal gelding three-back along with the marker pegs and was able to be driven conservatively off a solid tempo that saw the last three quarters all run in under 30 seconds, Illegal Immigrant had too much speed late to record his fifth win of the season. Kohanah - “I think he’s pretty good,” was the quote from his trainer-driver Todd Rattray after the son of Sweet Lou took out the Launceston Pacing Club Golden Slipper. Kohanah flew home in the final 100 metres to pick up the short-priced favourite Topzavski to record his second win at only his third race start. The colt is the first foal out of the Bettors Delight mare Benediction. War Dan Delight - Victorian-trained pacer who looked a class above his rivals on paper in the C0 Pace and he won accordingly. Driver Greg Sugars was forced to do a little bit of work when finding the spot outside the leader in the middle stages of the race, the Dean Braun-trained colt wasn’t out of second gear when winning by 9.8 metres. Black Ops - after finishing in the second spot of five consecutive occasions the Ben Yole-trained pacer is now finding the winning post first winning three of his last four outings, including wins in Launceston on Friday evening and again in Devonport on Sunday night. Multiple Winners Launceston – Friday evening Gavin Lang - driving treble; Art Frenzy, Franco Tristan and Castle Retreat, Gavin Lang - training double; Franco Tristan and Castle Retreat. Devonport – Sunday evening  Ben Yole - training treble; Black Ops, Ready To Fire and Blacklist. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Launceston – Friday evening Harjeet 55.49s, The Aussie 55.73s and All Style Sammy 55.79s. Outside of the Easter Cup heats; Castle Retreat 56.40s, Reign Of Pain 56.52s and El Jays Mystery 56.54s. Devonport – Sunday evening  Mostly Spirit 59.34s, Karalta Moondance 59.40s, Lille 59.45s, Navua Pixie 59.55 and My Girl Pearl 59.56s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Friday evening  Hits: Nil Defied The Drift: Art Frenzy $3.70 out to $4.00, Franco Tristan $2.70 out to $3.60, Castle Retreat $2.40 out to $3.40, Illegal Immigrant $12 out to $21, Kohanah $3.70 out to $4.80 and Redason $3.70 out to $3.90. Missed: Maybe Jack $9.00 into $7.50, Mister Magic Man $3.70 into $3.30, War Dan $3.20 into $2.40 and Beam Me Up Chopper $3.20 into $2.35. Devonport – Sunday evening  Hits: Karalta Moondance $3.80 into $2.80, Ready To Fire $9.00 into $4.40, Blacklist $26 into $14 and Flashy Ruler $12 into $6.50. Defied The Drift: Black Ops $3.20 out to $3.60. Missed: Lille $4.60 into $3.60, The Lemondrop Kid $3.80 into $2.90, El Jays Monet $31 into $15, Jetcract $15 into $11 and The Diamond King $15 into $7.50. Trial File Carrick Park - Saturday morning The Melissa Maine trained two-year-old Better Amour recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the four trials conducted when she recorded 2m 7.0s for the 1670-metre distance. Driver Gareth Rattray positioned the daughter of Betterthancheddar behind the leader at the bell before defeating He Got Rocked by one metre with the early leader Badrick a further metre away in third position. Other winners at the trial session included; Its All Bliss (2m 21.1s), Sermac (2m 9.6s) and Levi Jimmy (2m 13.2s). Hobart - Monday evening Tasmanian Derby runner up, Resurgent Storm recorded the fastest winning mile rate of the session in Hobart when the Betterthancheddar colt ran a mile rate of 2m 1.6s. From barrier two driver Zeke Slater had the Roger Whitmore-trained pacer behind the leader at the bell and was able to hold off handy three-year-old filly Still Hungover by one metre, with the third place getter Dee Bee Bobby 99 metres away in third placing. The last two quarters were recorded in 30.8s and 28.5s. Remaining trials were won by; Finn Mac Kee (2m 3.9s), Sweetimnot (2m 3.6s), Brystabella (2m 6.2s) and Dasher Houli (2m 6.7s). Week Ahead Star Tasmanian Pacer Ignatius is back at the track on Thursday night when he lines up in the Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith. The James Rattray-trained and driven pacer is first up since mid-February and was an impressive trial winner at Menangle on April 9 when recording a time of 1m 53.8s for 1609 metres. Ignatius will start from inside the second row over the 2525 metres event that is scheduled to start at 20:03. Friday afternoon the Tasmanian Trotting Club will stage the first-ever harness race meeting in Australia on Good Friday. The meeting will be telecast on Sky Racing 1 and Tasracing.com.au’s Live Stream. The Launceston Pacing Club will stage their premier night of racing on Saturday night, with the $75,000 Group 2 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup the main event of the 10-race card. You can make a strong case for almost half the field in the Cup including Victorian-trained runners Franco Tristan and War Dan who will take on Tasmania’s best headlined by Ryley Major, Harjeet, Scooterwillrev, The Aussie and Illegal Immigrant. The Cup is set down to commence at 20:10. Other highlights on Saturday night include the Kevin Gillies Memorial, where Izaha looks the one to beat, and the Elders Insurance Launceston Easter Plate, where the Gavin Lang trained and driven Castle Retreat will be chasing back to back wins on the Launceston track. The first of ten races in Launceston is scheduled for 18:17 and you can catch all the action on Tasracing’s Live Stream Service and Sky Racing who will televise races one and two on Sky Racing 2, with the remainder of the meeting on Sky Racing 1.   Duncan Dornauf

Ben Yole cranked up his bid to smash his own state training record of 124 wins by successfully preparing 50% of the 6-race card in Devonport on Sunday night, taking his 2018/2019 tally to 111. The Sidmouth trainer snared three winners, Black Ops (pictured - No 6) backed up from its outstanding victory in Launceston on Friday night, Ready To Fire and Blacklist, on debut in the state. "Black Ops has a new lease of life, we have just bought another property with areas of bush on it and we've been working him up through there, he has already won three races in April and we are only half way through the month," said Ben. "His win on Friday night was tremendous, he found the front with good gate speed and Troy (McDonald) rated him well from there, the tempo lifted in the third quarter running 29.3 seconds and he was pulling hard but when Troy went for him at the top of the home stretch he still had enough in the tank to hold them off." Black Ops drew poorly outside the front line in Devonport in the John McKenna Race Night Vet Pace over 2297 metres. "Troy had no option but to ease back at the start and he was able to find cover just worse than midfield before hooking three-wide going down the back a lap and a half out, Troy has a good feel for him and they sat three wide to the 400 before finding the death and hitting the front turning for home, he doesn't respond to the persuader so Troy just had to urge him to the line and he got home by half-neck," Yole said. "Ready to Fire scored a soft win for Samantha Gangell, she found the one-out one-back position and cruised up to them in the home straight and Blacklistshowed early speed to lead and raced home to score impressively by six metres." Kent Rattray and John Walters continued their winning run with Karalta Moondance winning the first after coming in for solid support, Yodellin Cowgirlheld off the fast-finishing Mostly Spirit to win by a head for Kristy Butler and Gareth Rattray with Flashy Ruler cruising home in the last for John Castles and Rohan Hillier.   Shane Yates

Two trainers dominated Sunday night’s Launceston Pacing Club meeting at the TAB Racing Centre, Ben Yole cemented his place at the top of the Premiership table with an amazing run of five winners while Kent Rattray nailed a winning double on the eight-event card. Kent’s winners were Karalta Kruise (pictured) which was sent the popular pick after opening up at $5.00 and tumbling into $3.40 in race two The Bevan Lee’s Butchery Pace over 2200-metres and Jimi Sanz in the Jubilee Bakery Two Year Old. However, the weekend wasn’t all plain sailing for the Lietinna trainer. “The wheels had literally fallen off on Friday night after the races, I didn’t make it any further than Kempton and a wheel came off the float so it was a bit of task to get the horses home, Todd (Rattray) took one and Marc (Butler) chipped in as well so that was handy but it meant a hectic day Saturday getting everything sorted,” said Kent. “We had a change of fortune Sunday luckily, I took my $20 to have on Karalta Kruise thinking I’d get $8.00 but it was already into $3.70, but a winner’s a winner, he was a little stiff not to win the last start and when John (Walters) was able to find the top I was confident he would be hard to run down.” Karalta Kruise gave nothing else a chance in the straight coming away on the line to score by 6.8 metres after running home in a smart 57.8 seconds. Rattray’s Rock N Roll Heaven-Soho Knightly colt Jimi Sanz ($7.40) was having just his second start at the sports after running last on debut in Hobart behind Missin Rock. “He’s beautifully bred and a really nice type, he’s a real Denis the Menace, if there is trouble around he will either cause it or find it,” said Kent. “He ran 60-metres off last in Hobart on debut but we made a slight gear change and that made all the difference, he found the lead early and was then challenged by the favourite Kohanah ($1.20) but he responded like a good horse and when the heat was turned up on the home corner he was in for the fight, they had a great battle up the straight but Jimi got there by a half-head, if he pulls up well we will press on to the Golden Slipper in a fortnight.” Ben Yole’s sensational night saw the Sidmouth trainer in the winners stall on five occasions. Border Cross started the run when Samantha Gangell guided the seven-year-old to his first Tasmanian win at odds of $48.10, Troy McDonald charged to an eight-metre win with Northview Dave in the fourth of the night before Gareth Rattray made it three straight for the stable leading all the way with Artarama. Stuey D took the honours in the Trotters Handicap for Mark Yole who then promptly followed up with an inspired drive on the Allen Williams Memorial final winner Nor Westa which ran favourite in the last scoring by 4.3-metres.   Shane Yates

Trainer Ben Yole picked up his second bag of four winners for the weekend with another successful night at Devonport on Sunday. Fresh from winning four races on Friday night in Hobart Yole wasted no time in adding to his tally taking out the Sky Racing Allen Williams Memorial Final with three-year-old filly Nor Westa, driven by Mark Yole. "I thought it's a terrific win, she won her heat impressively at Devonport late in February at double-figure odds and she backed that up tonight with a powerful sprint coming from the tail of the field to win running away by nine metres," said Ben "Mark (Yole) found the back of the odds-on favourite Dusty Martini in the last circuit and he brought her into the race before peeling off his back putting them away with a great turn of foot out wide." The Yole stable continued its domination with Samantha Gangell guiding Miss Condoleezza to the line in the Tasracing Leigh Plunkett Mares feature. "Miss Condoleezza (pictured) won last time out at Devonport a fortnight ago at big odds and backed up again at double figures ($12.00), her job was made easier when the short-priced favourite Western Glory ($1.60) unfortunately broke gear going into the first turn," said the Sidmouth trainer. "Samantha rated her well in front and she responded strongly when tackled by Volkova Leis down the back straight to race clear to win by 7 metres down the home stretch." Gangell completed a driving double when the consistent eight-year-old I'm Full Tilt took the honours in the Collins Homes Pace. "Sam is showing the benefit of regular drives she has become a vital member of our team, she watches and she listens and is not afraid of hard work, on the track she is backing her judgement and it's paying dividends for the stable," said Yole. "I'm Full Tilt came from third last at the thousand to hit the front on the home turn and career away from his rivals for a convincing 12-metre win, his second win for the month after scoring in Hobart. Hez The One followed up his victory in Hobart on Friday night to nail his second win for the weekend in his trademark style, unleashing a paralysing sprint. "Rohan (Hadley) held him up for one crack at them and he was able to come from last inside the 400-metre mark to gun them down in the straight," said Ben. "Hez The One picked up three races last season, that's his third already this year and the way he's going there may be another one or two in him." The victory capped off a great night for Bridport trainer-driver Rohan Hadley, saluting the judge on three occasions in the sulky with the Shelley Barnes prepared Yatsenyuk Leis, first-up from a seven-month spell in the Lucas Hotel Latrobe Cup, his four-year-old Alaphilippe and Hez The One in The Claimer. Ideal Bliss bounced back from her luckless run in the George Johnson to nail her third win for the season from four starts winning the marathon for Paul Hill and Ricky Duggan while Colby Sanz broke through for his first win in the two-year-old for Kent Rattray and John Walters. Shane Yates

Former Victorian trotter Majestic Ess Jay made an outstanding debut in Tasmania to claim the first heat of the Aldebaran Park Tasmanian Trotting Cup in Hobart on Friday night. The Eric Jacobson-trained eight-year-old gelding (pictured) galloped away and lost an enormous amount of ground at the start and looked to have lost all hope but the veteran of 94 starts had other ideas. "We've only had him over for a fortnight and when I worked him during the week I thought we may have pulled the right rein in leasing him as he felt strong in his action, but when he missed the start so badly and stood up Trumps Golden Boy a good 80-metres I thought our tickets were confetti," said Eric. "Admittedly they went slow up front and he tacked on without expending too much energy and when Ray (Pullen) chose to go round them and find the top with a lap to run my spirits rose a little." Trumps Golden Boy, in search of its fifth straight win for Bianca Heenan, pulled out to issue his challenge inside the 400-metre mark and the race was well and truly on. "Considering the work Majestic Ess Jay ($3.40) was forced to do early I thought we may be in trouble but Ray held him together into the home straight and he went powerfully to the post," said a delighted trainer. "When you take a close look at his recent Victorian form Majestic Ess Jay should have something to offer here in Tasmania, in his last run on the mainland he lost 60-metres in the race where there was a track-record set and the owners said they clocked him running a mile-rate of 1:57.5  to get up and run sixth, 18-metres off the winner." Harjeet ($1.00) waltzed home in the Metropolitan Cup scoring by 13-metres for Todd Rattray who capped off his night with success in the last race with Arthur Elliot winning at its second career outing. Ben Yole landed a race-to-race double with Troy McDonald steering home Hez The One ($15) to its second win for the month while Australian Female Drivers Championship state representative Samantha Gangell lifted the bolter Northview Dave ($21) over the line in the Yak Ales Pace. Favourite punters landed some blows of their own with the Bianca Heenan-trained Swap Me  ($2.50) continuing its great form, Couta Rocks ($1.80) bounced back into the winner's list for Marc Butler while last season's Sweepstakes and Dandy Patch winner Resurgent Storm ($1.40) recorded a stylish first-up win as a three-year-old for Roger Whitmore.   Shane Yates

Sidmouth harness racing trainer Ben Yole claimed half of the card at Burnie on Sunday including the $12,000 7BU Burnie Cup with Perfect Mach. The Mach Three-Pixel Perfect eight-year-old (pictured) scored his first win for the stable since arriving in the state in November. “That was his thirteenth start for us since we claimed him in Victoria, he ran a top second behind Riverboat Jasper in the NWTLHA Cup at his first run in Tasmania, we bought him with the Country Cup circuit in mind so it was great to see him find his best form at Burnie, he will now head to Scottsdale on Friday for the North-Eastern Cup,” said Ben. “The driving appointment was like a merry-go-round, Sam (Gangell) had driven Perfect Mach at his last four outings, she gave the drive up to Troy (McDonald), then Troy went and landed a double on Friday night in Launceston and lost his claim so we had to grab Hannah at the last minute, but it all worked out well as she drove him a treat.” Ben, in quest of his fourth straight trainer’s premiership, is enjoying another runaway lead in the 2018/19 season but was quick to share the success of the stable with the team. “Tim (Yole) is a vital cog in the wheel, he does a fantastic job as stable foreman and runs a well-oiled machine, Samantha (Gangell) and Troy (McDonald) are vital in their roles, we have a lot of horses so we are lucky that the team is all in there working for each other, any success we have we can put down to a team effort,” said an appreciative trainer. Mark Yole had another successful day chipping in with three winning drives to increase his lead in the Driver’s Premiership. “Mark has been in great form in the sulky, his drive on Northview Dave to come from outside the 10-metre line to lead after 250-metres was sensational,” said Ben. “That was on the back of winning efforts with Heidi Go Seek and the Karalta Dazzler in the opening two races.” 07 January 2019 | Shane Yates  

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