Day At The Track
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Bobs Farm trainer Geoff Harding will give Roll With Lachlan another taste of top-class harness racing at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday ahead of his push for a place in the $150,000 Breeders Challenge final. The Newcastle Derby champion qualified for June 22 semi-finals in the three-year-old colts and geldings series with second to Leonidas at Newcastle on May 31. Although safely through, Roll With Lachlan will take on NSW and Tasmanian Derby winner Max Delight in another heat on Tuesday. "We thought we'd give him another run for the fitness and to get him running the quick times at Menangle that he's not used to," Harding said. "He needs the run, but he's been going all right." Cessnock trainer Clayton Harmey's Stephens Spirit will also contest the heat. Harmey has Straddie in the second heat and Tralee Rocks in the fillies qualifier. Keinbah trainer Roy Roots jnr will look to get My Anna Rani into the semis of the 3YO fillies series. Harding hopes Roll With Lachlan's brother, Rocknlachlan, can qualify for the four-year-old Breeders Challenge decider through the semis on June 22. He was second at Peak Hill on Sunday. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

Millers Forest harness racing trainer Chris Bourke will chase a first group race success when Que Sera competes in the Go Girlfriend Series Final at Menangle Park on Saturday night. Que Sera has won three of 22 starts for Bourke since coming to his stable last December. The four-year-old will start from gate nine of 10 in the $30,000 group 3 mares race on Saturday night after securing a place with second to Love My Sister in a heat at Newcastle on May 31. Que Sera (Auckland Reactor), with Blake Fitzpatrick to drive, was $41 with TAB on Friday and Bourke was not discounting her chances. "It's good to make the final in any group race," Bourke said. "They are all an even bunch and lightly assessed. "There's a couple of good ones, of courses. [Luke] McCarthy's got one out of the good mare Fleur De Lil, Love My Sister, that won the Newcastle heat ours came second in. She's a handy type. "Ours has pulled up good, and it just all depends how the race is run. "She's drawn bad but she's got no gate speed anyway.  "All the better ones are in the same boat except the good one from Queensland, [Rocknroll Pearl], it's got a bit of gate speed." Morisset trainer Mark Callaghan and his son Jack have a busy night across the Menangle and Newcastle meetings on Saturday night. The stable has genuine chances with Vega Star in the first and Downunder Stride in the fifth at Menangle. Jack will drive strong hopes Repartee in race eight and Glenn Ford in the fourth at Newcastle for his dad. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of the Newcastle Herald

Medowie harness racing trainer Darren Reay enjoyed his biggest win when Marika Springfield claimed the group 2 APG Melbourne Autumn Sale Final at Melton on Saturday night. Marika Springfield, a $2.60 favourite after cruising to victory in her heat, worked hard for the lead in the two-year-old fillies race and held out a late challenge from Shez All Style and a protest to take the $50,000 event by a half-head. "She dug pretty deep," Reay said. "I think the other horse headed her halfway down the straight but she pulled her back." It was Reay's first group 2 win and he believed the Modern Art filly could deliver more. "She does everything right, that's her greatest attribute," he said. "She probably lacks a little bit of high speed to match it with the very best fillies, but her manners will mean she'll win more races." Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of the Newcastle Herald

It wasn’t with the horse most expected, but Shane and Lauren Tritton broke through for a special Newcastle Mile win in dramatic fashion on Friday night. Yayas Hot Spot, the first emergency when fields were released and an $81 Fixed Odds chance, made the most of an inside run with Lachie Manzelmann in the gig to beat Little Rascal by a nose and pacesetter Picard by a half head in 1:54:7. Odds-on favourite, track record-holder and defending champion Majordan galloped at the start and never recovered in the race which was delayed by almost an hour because of a rain-affected track and nearby lightning. The rest of the meeting was abandoned after the group 1 race. The surprise victory gave the Trittons, who were raised in the Hunter and dominated pacing in the region before moving to Menangle Park three years ago, another group 1 but their first Newcastle Mile title. Yayas Hot Spot earned a start in the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 2 at Menangle with the win. Yayas Hot Spot, on the inside, gets the win Yayas Hot Spot, now eight, had finished third in the group 3 Newcastle Mile in 2018 and was eighth in 2016. Sydney trainer Kevin Pizzuto was expected to win with Majordan or Picard and the Tritton-trained Maximan was next best in betting. But it was the Adam Sofoulis-owned Yayas Hot Spot, which had barrier two and gained a start after Rakarolla was scratched, that flew late from a sit three back on the pegs. It’s most recent start was a ninth in the Inter Dominion consolation.  “It’s definitely a special one, especially for that horse,” Shane Tritton said. “The owners have been big supporters of Newcastle for a long time and this horse has been here two years when no one wanted to come because it was only worth $30,000, and he just deserves it. I’m really proud. “He’s been working super. You can’t go off how old they are and what they’re doing. At the end of the day, he’s feeling good. He’s raced the best horses in the Inter Dominion and he came out of that great. “He’s been to the Miracle Mile before, the Hunter Cup, the Victoria Cup and the Inter Dominion, so you knew he was good enough. Just sometimes people forget. “We got a bit of luck. The track surface might have helped us. It brought a few of them back to us. Instead of going 1:50, they’re going 1:54, and at the end of the day, he’s first past the post and that’s all you can ask.” The group 1 win was a first for Manzelmann. Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission from Newcastle Herald

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