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Lara harness racing trainer Dean Braun has had the uncanny knack over the years of consistently producing a more-than-handy pacer. And his latest “find” could easily be up there with his best, judging by an eye-catching performance on debut at Yarra Valley on Wednesday afternoon. Holy Basil (Changeover-Artistic Lass NZ (Artiscape USA) gave a sensational display to take out the first heat of the Thank You Dallas Sutton 3yo Pace and will almost certainly - and deservedly - start a warm favorite in next Friday’s $10,000 final at Melton. The three-year-old gelding really couldn’t have been much more impressive, stopping the clock at 1.54-2, just a whisker outside the track record. To watch the video replay click here. “He’s right up there with the best I’ve had and while he has phenomenal speed, he’s also just so sensible,” an elated Braun said. “I must say that I’d had my eye on him for a while and we didn’t hesitate when the chance to buy him from New Zealand came along a few months ago,” he said. Holy Basil Holy Basil is raced by Braun’s partner Pauline McColgan and longtime friend and stable client, Todd Struthers, of Tasmania and the pacer’s win was the second leg of a winning double for Braun at Yarra Valley.  He won earlier with War Dan (Bettors Delight-Kalypso (Safely Kept USA). Braun said Holy Basil caught his eye when he was watching a workout at Ashburton, NZ, and saw him ping off a last quarter of 25.5 secs. “He was obviously unraced then, but his performance was electric,” Braun said. “At this stage, I wouldn’t say that he is as quick as Chilli Palmer (who Braun trained to 12 wins, 11 placings and a brilliant 1.51-5 in Feb. 2014, Melton) but the indications are that he will be a special horse. “We were rapt with the way he went about his business at Yarra Valley. He’s still only a baby and it was great the way he handled it all, including working through the field from the back row in that blistering 27sec first quarter. “Then later when driver Greg Sugars found the front, there was a fair bit of pressure at one stage, so it was all pretty awesome.” Braun said he planned to give Holy Basil a short let-up after next week’s Melton run. Holy Basil “To be honest he’s probably not going quite as quick as he was a month ago, so a bit of a break will do him the world of good,” he said. “Then we might aim him for the Queensland Derby, but we’ll see how he comes back and what races are around.” Braun has seven in work and was quick to give his helpers a pat on the back for their valuable assistance. “Amanda Grieve is back with us, while Carson Miller helps out whenever he gets time off work, and my partner Pauline completes the team,” he said. In recent times, some well-credentialed speedsters have flown the flag for the Braun stable, in Carlas Pixel, Chilli Palmer, Magical Telf, Chancellor Cullen, Mustang Mach and Duplicated, to name a few. And it won’t be all that long before Holy Basil is spoken in the same breath! Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

CONNECTIONS of Australian Pacing Gold graduate Carlas Pixel are hoping for a fairytale ending to her career. In foal to Bettor's Delight, Carlas Pixel will make her swansong appearance in the Ladyship Mile in what doubles as her title defence. Australia’s premier mares’ sprint, the Ladyship Mile is scheduled to be run at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 2 as part of a phenomenal Miracle Mile card. Capturing last year’s edition in 1:49.5, Carlas Pixel earned a berth in the $200,000 event with her victory in tonight’s Ladyship Cup in Melton. “Knowing she is already in the Ladyship Mile makes it a lot easier to plan her preparation,” trainer Dean Braun said. “She has the benefit of not having to go up for the heats, which means I can find a suitable race between now and the Mile closer to home. “That said I don’t even have to race her if that turns out to be a better plan with her.” First-up from an 11 week break, Carlas Pixel was driven to perfection by Mark Purdon to add another Group One to her tally. Settled two-back along the pegs from her second row draw as Soho Burning Love led from the pole, Carlas Pixel was angled to the extreme outside on the home turn. Unleashing a strong spring, the daughter of Courage Under Fire completed a metre-and-a-half win from Makes Every Scents, with Tell Me Tales a head away third. “That was a sensational drive from Mark,” Braun said. “He had her settled in a good trail and found the opening when it presented itself. “Even though she was first-up I knew she was fit enough to win with the right run and that’s what Mark gave her.” Rating 1:51.7 over 1720 metres, the mare stretched her record to 19 wins and 17 placings from 59 starts for earnings of $475,128. APG Media

A patient Mark Purdon drive has delivered a second successive Ladyship Cup for Carlas Pixel and harness racing trainer Dean Braun, increasing the mighty mare’s stakes to almost the half-million-dollar mark. From three back on the pegs Purdon steered Carlas Pixel wide at the turn and she picked off all comers to salute by 1.4m, the 1:51.7 mile rate a race record. Purdon said he was patient in the running with Braun believing “she would be better for the run”. “It’s great to win one for Dean, he’s been a great mate for a couple of years now so nice to put the colours on,” Purdon said. The Group 1 $100,000 victory was much enjoyed by owners Mark Denyer and Shannon Nixon, who have much to look forward too with MC Rob Auber revealing the mare was in foal to Bettors Delight. “She’s a wonderful mare, great owners and they're easy to train for,” Braun said. “She’s just a beautiful horse and I’m so proud of what she’s been able to achieve.” Braun said it was the brilliant career – including $465,128 in stakes and now a second Group 1 amid 18 wins – which almost didn’t happen. “She went to a maiden three-year-old at Kilmore one night. I remember Jason Lee drove her, she sat in the trail and got beaten 70," Braun said “I backed her up four days later and said to Mark, if she doesn’t go any good I will send her to stud. “She just went from strength to strength from there and has won about ($400,000) since.” To watch the video click here. Trots Media - Michael Howard

Will Shartin be crowned the USTA Horse of the Year? Following her victory in the $270,00 Breeders Crown Open Mares Pace at Pocono Downs last weekend, the New Zealand bred mare has clearly established herself as the best pacing mare in the world. It is the first time a ‘down under’ performer has won a Breeders Crown Final. Other feature race victories include the $373,000 Matchmaker at Yonkers, $150,000 Betsy Ross at Harrah’s, $102,200 Sam ‘Chip’ Noble Memorial at Miami Valley, Ohio, $370,000 Roses are Red at Mohawk, $197,400 Lady Liberty at Meadowlands and the $98,500 Allerage Farms Mare Pace at The Red Mile. Overall, Shartin has won 18 of her 23 starts in North America this season for trainer Jim King Jr. and owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. And with earnings currently sitting at $968,361 – she has surpassed the previous record of Dreamfair Eternal's seasonal earnings record for a pacing mare of $925,575 set in 2010 as well as moving nearer the million-dollar mark. Her next assignment will come in the $175,000 TVG Mares FFA at Meadowlands on November 24. Given the fact that Atlanta, a winner of the Hambletonian against the colts and geldings earlier this year, was beaten in her Breeders Crown Final only strengthens the claims of Shartin taking the top gong. The Tintin In America mare was developed by astute Victorian based horseman Dean Braun and won 7 of her 13 starts including both the Queensland and Tasmanian Oaks. And it was great to see Braun part of the celebrations trackside last weekend. “That was something else to be trackside to watch her achieve something that has never been done before, a horse to come from the southern hemisphere and win a Breeders Crown plus all of the other features she’s claimed is truly remarkable,” Braun said. “It was super to finally meet Richard and the King’s after countless phone-calls during the journey, they’ve done an unbelievable job with her and I wish them continued success. The scary part is I think she is far from finished and the team behind her believes that too.” He added. Only recently, Braun sold Duplicated to Poillucci and he has entered the stables of Team King. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding qualified recently at Harrah’s Chester in Philadelphia winning in a time of 1:56.2 Duplicated is scheduled to make his North American debut later this week.   by Chris Barsby

The Queensland Derby plan remains in place.   Former New Zealand three-year-old Duplicated kept his unbeaten Australian record intact following a breathtaking victory at Cranbourne in the Woodlands Stud Heat Pace last week (Thursday).   The Dean Braun trained gelding obliterated the all aged track record when rating 1:55.8 for the 2080m event.   He posted sectionals of 30.4, 30.2, 28.2 and 28 seconds. With the winning margin posted officially at 34.5 metres, it could’ve easily been further if driver Nathan Jack chased him along or even pulled the ear plugs.   Duplicated will start this Saturday night at TABCORP Park, Melton in the $10,000 Nicola Pace Final and will again start a clear favourite after landing gate two in the 2240m event.   “That was pretty awesome last week because it wasn’t a good night weather wise and he definitely wasn’t full tilt given his plugs didn’t get popped. He’s got amazing speed and he’s very strong, the trip to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby next month is looking good.” Braun said.   Following three starts for Braun after being purchased from the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen in Christchurch, Duplicated is shaping as one of the finds of the season with many features still to come.   The Queensland winter carnival is the obvious target followed by the Australasian Breeders Crown in August.   And given his heightening powers still rising, a trip west at the end of the year for the rich Perth four-year-old features at Gloucester Park is another possibility.   Braun is no stranger to success in Perth with feature race victories including the Gr.1 $125,000 McInerney Classic with Chancellor Cullen (2012) and Chilli Palmer (2013) plus the Gr.1 $125,000 Westral Mares Classic in 2015 with Nike Franco.   “He was purchased with the Queensland Derby as a primary target and things are progressing well, we’ll reassess things after he starts again this weekend.   “I’m happy, Nathan is happy and most importantly, the horse is happy so here’s hoping for a strong winter campaign. There’s no doubt that local star Colt Thirty One is the horse to beat in Brisbane.”   At this stage, Duplicated won’t start again after this weekend before heading north.   Interestingly, Nike Franco and Shartin, both graduates of the Braun stable will clash this weekend at Mohawk in Canada in the $370,000 Rose Are Red.   The mares feature is part of the undercard of the North America Cup program.   Both Nike Franco and Shartin enjoyed tremendous success with Braun and both previously won the Queensland Oaks.   Chris Barsby

Harness racing trainer Dean Braun is eyeing another Queensland winter campaign. The experienced and highly regarded horseman has enjoyed tremendous success in previous Brisbane raids and is looking to extend on that record with another richly talented pacer. Just last year, Braun sent the gifted Shartin north and claimed the Queensland Oaks before selling her to North American interests where she has established herself as the best pacing mare in the world following multiple feature race victories. Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and Nike Franco (2014) were other Queensland Oaks winners for Braun. While his success with the fairer sex is well documented, he’s also prepared many top flight male pacers and looks to have another special prospect in the shape of former New Zealand three-year-old Duplicated. Purchased recently from the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding is unbeaten in two starts on Australian soil following victories at Bendigo and Ballarat. And now the Queensland Derby is on the radar. “I think he’s a very exciting talent with a lot of scope, he’s very quick but he’s equally strong so the Queensland Derby makes natural appeal. Going to Queensland in the winter is good fun and great for my skin tone.” Braun said. But the Queensland Derby is the hoodoo event for Braun, both Night Of The Stars and Chancellor Cullen was unplaced while Shartin finished a narrow second last year behind The More The Better. Can Duplicated right the wrong? A routine victory at Bendigo in 1:58.6 two weeks ago was followed by a clinical victory in the Colin and Heather Holloway Classic at Ballarat in 1:58.4 on Friday night. In both victories, he finished off in a sub 27 final section. Duplicated boasts six victories and six minor placings from 15 starts to date. “He’s done well in both starts to date and shown he’s got some zip, he led in both races and then just blasted up the lane so they haven’t been hard races by any stretch. I’ve had some early interest from North America with this guy but Queensland is the focus. “He’s headed in the right direction and I’m still sorting him out but the Queensland Derby was in the back of my mind when we purchased him. I know Colt Thirty One is a top colt but I’m prepared to take him on. “I think he’s a very versatile type and he can run over all distances, his form in New Zealand was very consistent and competed against some high quality rivals. The Queensland campaign offers plenty and I’m sorting out a suitable path to take.” Duplicated is raced by Braun’s partner, Pauline McColgan. The Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 21. Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | 

For the man who has won it almost all, there is one glaring gap in Chris Alford’s trophy cabinet. And if he can finally fill that at gap at Cambridge on June 2 he will be the first Australian reinsman to do so.  The Australian challenge for the Jewels went into over drive last night with group one winners Wobelee (three-year-old trot) and Carla’s Pixel (four-year-old pacing mares) invited. Both are high class and would sit near the top of any market, with Wobelee a juvenile sensation last season and Carla’s Pixel having downed a host of Kiwi big names in the Ladyship Mile at Menangle in February.  Alford’s wife Alison trains Wobelee but Alford will drive but he also looks likely to be offered the drive on Carla’s Pixel.  “That will be up to Dean (Braun, trainer) but the owners have said I will be driving it.  “It is exciting to head there with probably two good chances because as we all know no Aussie has won a Jewels.  “I’ve only driven in them once, behind Blitzemcalder, so to get back there will be great.” Last night’s two invites join four-year-old trotter Custodian on the invite list while it is looking almost certain NSW Oaks winner Shez All Rock will be at Cambridge. She is hot favourite for the Victoria Oaks this week and then joins the All Stars for the NZ Oaks, where she could either win her way into the Jewels or still be invited as the Australian for her division. That leaves the biggest invite of all the Australians still unconfirmed, with Miracle Mile runner-up Jilliby Kung Fu still being set for the Jewels but not invited yet. The home of the Jewels races tonight with a continuation of the strong juvenile trot numbers.  Unbeaten filly Tickle Me Pink resumes against fellow class act filly in She Reigns, who would be unbeaten but for a gallop last start.  The juvenile trotting fields in the south have been strong with the Phil Williamson-trained Oscar Bonenova catching the eye winning on debut at Rangiora. Michael Guerin

Star pacer Cruz Bromac will be on the plane to America next week if his owners and Avalon harness racing trainer Dean Braun receive an offer they can’t refuse. The dual Group 2-placegetter will run at Melton on Saturday night in what could be his last Australian start as American buyers close in on the New Zealand-bred horse. Cruz Bromac returned to racing last Saturday night after a 12-month lay-off, winning with pure arrogance in a last-to-first victory at Tabcorp Park Melton, which has sectional gurus scratching their heads. “He’s a pretty special horse,” Braun told the Geelong Advertiser. “There’s a bit of conjecture about the times still, but they’re happy to agree he ran his last mile in 1.50.75, so off the track, it’s nearly unheard of I suppose. “I expected him to win, he’s the best horse I’ve put a bridle on, but I didn’t expect him to run those sectionals, especially wide on the track. “But it didn’t surprise me he did do it.” But the six-year-old won’t compete in Saturday’s feature $500,000 Group 1 Hunter Cup (2760m) after missing a week’s work with hoof injury earlier in his preparation. “The plan was always to go to the Hunter Cup but when he missed that week’s few days work, it was a bit hard for him to go there and race horses like Lazarus that are seasoned horses,” Braun said. “We took the softer option this week and I’d say after this week there’s a big chance he’ll do his future racing in the US. Cruz Bromac winning first up from a 12 month spell to mature. “They’ve bought two off me in the last 12 months, being Nike Franco, and she’s gone and made US$400,000, and Shartin, she had her first start the other day and won in 1.52.10 over there. “They’re pretty happy with the ones I’ve been sending and this horse has been on their radar for a little while. With the money we race for here, it’s nearly impossible to keep these good horses here with the money you can get overseas. “I’ve waited 20 years for this horse, but it’s pretty good money.” Cruz Bromac and Geelong trainer Dean Braun. Picture: Peter Ristevski But should the deal fall through, Cruz Bromac could head towards the rich $750,000 Group 1 Miracle Mile in Sydney later this month. “If he doesn’t get sold, absolutely. He’s the perfect horse for Menangle and a mile suits him,” Braun said. Cruz Bromac wasn’t the only horse to impress for Braun last Saturday, with Carlas Pixel and Stars Align both running Group 1 placings in the Ladyship Cup and 4YO Bonanza, respectively. While Stars Align will bypass the $200,000 Chariots of Fire in favour of a country cups path, Carlas Pixel will be on a float to Sydney. “She’ll probably contest the Robin Dundee (February 17) and then onto the Ladyship Mile (February 24),” Braun said. “All things being equal, she would have a pretty good chance I would think.” By Damien Ractliffe, Geelong Advertiser Reprinted with permission of The Geelong Advertiser  

Harness racing explosive pacer Cruz Bromac is nearing a racetrack return. Sidelined since contesting the 2017 Gr.1 $400,000 Victoria Cup (January edition) at Tabcorp Park Melton, the stylish looking Falcon Seelster gelding sparkled in a public trial yesterday (Tuesday). The Dean Braun prepared pacer ventured to Kilmore and easily scored in his 2180m workout defeating reigning Miracle Mile champion Lennytheshark and Stunning Grin. The mile rate was 1:58.5 with the final mile covered in 1:57.7 while covering his final half in 56.6 seconds and 28.2 seconds. Lennytheshark starts in Saturday nights Gr.1 $100,000 Petstock Ballarat Pacing Cup at Bray Raceway. Winning driver Nathan Jack was suitably impressed. “He felt as good as he looked, he absolutely cruised and felt really strong through the line. Happy to stay aboard, he’s got a good campaign coming up.” Jack said. Boasting 12 victories from 22 starts to date, connections have plenty of options over the coming weeks and months, firstly in his home state and then in Sydney. While a nomination was submitted for the Gr.1 $500,000 Hunter Cup on February 3, it appears unlikely that he’ll head that way. “He’s likely to go to Melton next week (Great Southern Star race night) and there’s a nice option for him on that program and then we’ll reassess after that performance before making our next move,” Co-owner Pauline McColgan explained. “Time may have beaten us for the Hunter Cup but in saying that, time has been the best thing for him because he’s really furnished into a lovely horse. He’s a complete horse now, big and strong. “A Sydney campaign that coincides with the Miracle Mile carnival will be considered, they have some great races up there in the coming weeks and he’s been there before and performed at a high level. Nothing confirmed but plenty of options at this point, Dean will map the best fit for him.” A trip to Queensland for the winter carnival later this year for the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 18 is another attractive option. Last season, Cruz Bromac won 6 of his 9 starts while his only unplaced effort came at his most recent start, finishing 8th behind New Zealand wonder horse Lazarus in a time of 1:52.5. Feature race triumphs last term included the Casey Classic plus the Cobram and Hamilton Cups. Cruz Bromac Trial Chris Barsby

Brilliant harness racing mare Shartin has been sold. The Queensland Oaks heroine will do her future racing in North America after being purchased by Massachusetts businessman Richard Poillucci for a hefty six figure sum. Previously prepared by Dean Braun, the Tintin In America filly will join fellow former 'down under' stars Nike Franco and Christen Me in the Delaware stables of Jo Ann Looney-King. Nike Franco was also previously prepared by Braun and has amassed earnings in excess of $350,000 this season alone on North American soil while Christen Me has amassed more than $100,000 since being sold earlier this year. The latest member of the 10,000 win club, champion reinsman Tim Tetrick, will be the new driver of Shartin. And just like her new stablemates, Shartin boasts outstanding big race credentials. The sale of Shartin was orchestrated by respected Auckland based agent John Curtin after months of negotiations. "The talent this filly possesses is very obvious and she looks like she has so much upside and that should auger well for her future in North America. All connections are satisfied and I’m really looking forward to seeing her race up there.” Curtin said. Shartin has not raced since finishing a terrific second behind star New Zealand colt (The) More The Better in the Queensland Derby at Albion Park on July 15. Her victory in the Queensland Oaks came two starts ago while she also claimed the Tasmanian Oaks at Launceston on March 19. But her most impressive display was recorded at her home track of TABCORP Park, Melton back on June 17 when parking outside subsequent Gr.1 winner Jilliby Kung Fu in a sparkling time of 1;52.5. "I've always said this filly is one of the best that I've trained and I firmly believe the best is still to come, she's an elite talent," Braun said. "Since being back in work following her break, I think she has improved and matured into a lovely mare. There's a real difference now compared to the end of her three-year-old campaign." He added. Shartin has won 7 times from 13 starts while banking more than $105,000 in stakes to date. The New Zealand bred mare is booked to fly out on November 18. Chris Barsby Shartin - Queensland Oaks Shartin - Melton 17th of June  

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing and Appeals Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a charge issued against licensed person Dean Braun.  The charge was issued by HRV Stewards under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule 231(1)(a) which states: 231. (1) A person shall not (a) threaten anyone employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry or otherwise having a connection with it. The charge related to Mr Braun’s conduct when leaving the Tabcorp Park Melton meeting on 24 February 2017 where it was alleged he remarked “No, I’ll wait for him to go behind me before I reverse”, referring to HRV Form and Content Expert Mr Blake Redden who was standing nearby, before Mr Braun directly remarked towards Mr Redden “You’re not far off. Keep going”.  Evidence was given at today’s hearing by Mr Redden, licensed person Mr Sam Barker and Mr Braun. Upon consideration of all the evidence the HRV RAD Board found Mr Braun not guilty of the charge. Although the Board considered that Mr Braun made unnecessary and inappropriate comments towards Mr Redden, it was not satisfied (on the balance of probabilities) that Mr Braun threatened Mr Redden, taking into account all the circumstances of the matter and the Macquarie dictionary definition of “threaten”. RAD Board Panel – Alanna Duffy (Chair), Kevin Carson (Member), John Kearney (Member) The Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board (RADB) is established under section 50B of the Racing Act (1958). The RADB is an independent Board established to hear and determine appeals in relation to decisions made under the rules to impose penalties on persons and to hear and determine charges made against persons for serious offences. HRV RAD Board Hearing – Dean Braun  

Giant pacer Ultimate Art is back in Brisbane. With the 2017 Queensland winter carnival wrapping up this weekend, Ultimate Art has arrived and will campaign in the Sunshine State in the coming months for trainers Shannon Price and Scott Miller. Originally, the Modern Art gelding was being considered for the open class features in recent weeks but he didn’t find his best form and connections felt the trip wasn’t warranted. Last year, when previously under the care of Price/Miller, Ultimate Art won 9 of his 14 starts which included 8 in a row at Albion Park. The multiple feature race winner is raced by Mick and Kirsty Formosa. ********************************************************************************** The bulk of the visiting stars of the winter carnival have returned to their respective homes. But My Field Marshal has remained in the Sunshine State. The last start Blacks A Fake runner-up behind Hectorjayjay will spend the next two weeks in the winter warmth of Brisbane having a well-earned break before heading south for his next campaign. Trainer Tim Butt is eyeing the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion series in Perth later this year. *********************************************************************************** Millionaire pacer Bling It On will be available to breeders in the upcoming breeding season. The American Ideal entire will stand at Cobbitty Equine Farm in New South Wales and will command a fee of $3000. Bling It On has been sidelined following a crash at Albion Park in the Lucky Creed Pace on June 17 as a result of interference and immediately ended his winter carnival campaign. The half-brother to Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling heads to stud with a record of 42 wins and 17 placings from 77 starts for earnings of $1,591,076. ************************************************************************************ A notable omission from Friday’s Listed $25,000 Chris Garrard Patrons Purse at Redcliffe is the richly talented Mattgregor. Prepared by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, the Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding was sent straight to the spelling following his 5th placing behind Hectorjayjay in the Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on July 8. A winner of 10 races from 22 starts, connections are looking at heading interstate again next season. Mattgregor is being aimed at the $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton on November 11. McMullen has withdrawn his appeal against a three-week driving suspension he incurred from the Lucky Creed race fall at Albion Park on June 17. ************************************************************************************* Connections of classy fillies Shartin and My Casino Belle are looking at options before seasons end. Both fillies were gallant when filling the minor placing’s behind The More The Better in last week’s Queensland Derby. Trainer Dean Braun is keen to start Shartin again given how well she has come through her Brisbane campaign while trainer Brad Hewitt is keen to push on with My Casino Belle in the coming weeks. Shartin is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown series while My Casino Belle was placed in last year’s 2yo Final behind Partyon and Petacular. ************************************************************************************** Leading Queensland trainer Grant Dixon is heading to Melbourne next month with his exciting prospect Colt Thirty One for the Australasian Breeders Crown series. Fresh from his demolition of his rivals in last week’s Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park in 1:53.9, connections are keen to test their rising star against the best. Unbeaten in Queensland from six starts, his only defeats came earlier this season at Menangle during the Australian Pacing Gold series. The Mach Three colt is drawing comparisons with former freakish juvenile Majestic Mach, also prepared by Dixon. Making the trip with Colt Thirty One is feature race winning filly Red Charmer. The winner of the Wayne Wilson Memorial Paleface Adios earlier this season, Red Charmer finished 7th behind Arts Treasure last week in the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Fillies Final. **************************************************************************************** Inter Dominion winning horseman James Rattray has remained in Brisbane. Last week, Rattray claimed the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Fillies Final with Arts Treasure and will focus on another feature before seasons end. Up next for the Roll With Joe filly is the Gr.1 $100,000 Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Graduates series starting on August 4, the final is scheduled for August 12. Rattray will start last start Rising Stars Championship winner The Bettormack at Albion Park this weekend. ***************************************************************************************** Last start feature race juvenile Lucky Unlucky arrives back in Brisbane today (Thursday) for a well-earned break. Lucky Unlucky proved successful in last week’s Gr.2 $50,000 NSW Breeders Challenge Blue Final at TABCORP Park, Menangle in a time of 1:54.0. Owned by Vicki Rasmussen, the Roll With Joe youngster has campaigned in Sydney in recent months for trainer Craig Cross. Lucky Unlucky won twice from 11 starts during his rookie term while banking close to $50,000 in stakes. ****************************************************************************************** Leonard Cain makes his Saturday night debut this weekend. The fresh-faced rising star has enjoyed considerable success during his first season of race driving which has netted him 49 winners to date. A third generation horseman, Cain is a key member of the Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham stable. ****************************************************************************************** Redcliffe curator Greg Franklin will finish his role with the bayside club next week. The talented horseman retires from his role with the club and will spend more time with his small team of pacers from Knight Street for the time being. Franklin has enjoyed considerable success with the likes of African Violet and Motor Parade while his current performer is the classy Remember Them. ****************************************************************************************** Gold Coast trainer Graeme Gavin has sent around his final runners. Last Friday night at Albion Park, Gavin prepared Mickey McRooney and Hotshot Anvil before sending them home with different trainers. Formerly from New South Wales, Gavin has been based on the Gold Coast for a number of years and enjoyed good success with the likes of Cracka Stride, Real Magic, Jack Starzzz, Black Shiraz, Therufusonfire, Nash Street Matt, Scarecrow and Intense Gold among many others. Gavin trained close to 300 winners. Happy retirement Graeme. ******************************************************************************************* And that’s a wrap for the 2017 Queensland winter carnival…..until next year. Chris Barsby

Star harness racing filly Shartin is chasing history. The dual Oaks winner will take her spot in the $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby at Albion Park this Saturday night. Fresh from her dominant front-running display in last week's Queensland Oaks, trainer Dean Braun has elected to tackle the boys in the blue riband classic. Historically, the girls just don't seem to beat the boys. New Zealand filly Oaxaca Lass (2002) is the only member of the fairer sex to win the Queensland Derby, a race first staged back in 1969. Amazingly, Oaxaca Lass didn't win the Oaks feature prior to her Derby triumph; she played the runners-up role when second behind local filly Sparkling Melody while the vanquished also included the likes of Elect To Live and Sassy Sarah. So, Shartin is looking at becoming the first Queensland Oaks/Derby heroine. “I was very happy with her performance last week, while the lead time was steady it was the last mile that really pleased me and she was completely dominant at the line and Luke (McCarthy – driver) confirmed that immediately after the race.” Braun said. The Tintin In America filly will start from gate two in the 2680m feature while race favourite The More The Better starts off the second-line. And Braun is confident about the extra distance this week. “I’m not concerned about the distance, I think the longer the better for her and she proved that when successful in the Tasmanian Oaks earlier this season. While she has a very high cruising speed, she can stick a bit too given she’s out of a Live Or Die mare. “With a good draw, we should be fairly handy again and that gives Luke plenty of options. Obviously, The More The Better is the horse to beat and he looked sharp again last week but hopefully we can be right there matching it with him. “Since returning from a break, she’s proven she can compete with the very best fillies and she’s still on the way up. I’ve trained some nice fillies and mares like Nike Franco, Pacific Playgirl and Itz Nosurprisesthere among others and I’m not certain they could do what this filly is doing right now.” Shartin is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown next month in Melbourne and therefore, the Queensland Derby start is likely to be her final race this term. While Braun is yet to train a Queensland Derby winner, driver McCarthy is chasing his fifth success. His winners include Slipnslide (2004), Tip Your Hat (2006), For A Reason (2010) and Bling It On (2014). Goulburn filly My Casino Belle, a runner-up behind Shartin last week in the Queensland Oaks is also backing up but has drawn poorly. Trained and driven by Brad Hewitt, My Casino Belle will start from gate 13, the outside of the second-line. The Queensland Derby is listed as Race 4 on the program. Chris Barsby

The second night of the 2017 Brisbane harness racing winter carnival at Albion Park belonged to the Victorians. Brilliant filly Shartin dominated the Gr.2 $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks when leading all the way for trainer Dean Braun and driver Luke McCarthy defeating My Casino Belle and race favourite Partyon in the 2138m feature. Shartin led comfortably from her inside draw and ambled through the lead time in 38.9 seconds with My Casino Belle tucking into the trail position while Partyon pushed forward to race outside the leader and then presenting Delightful Memphis in the one out one back trail. Over the final mile, McCarthy allowed Shartin to roll and posted sectionals of 29.8, 29.9, 27.9 and 26.4 seconds. Shartin rated 2:32.9, a mile rate of 1:55.1. Facing the starter for only the ninth time in her career, the Tintin In America filly has now won six times which also includes her triumph in the Tasmania Oaks earlier this season. The Queensland Oaks has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Braun who has enjoyed success previously with Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and Nike Franco (2014). It is expected that both Shartin and My Casino Belle will back-up next week and tackle the boys in the Queensland Derby. Speed machine Hectorjayjay claimed back to back victories in the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint defeating My Field Marshal and Lennytheshark in a time of 1:54.1. The time is one of the slowest in recent years; in fact, it’s the slowest time since the incomparable Blacks A Fake scored in 2011 in a time of 1:54.5. Leading easily, Hectorjayjay and driver Josh Aiken strolled through the opening half in 29.4 and 30.8 seconds which instantly nullified the winning chances of his rivals. My Field Marshal worked around the field quickly and raced outside Hectorjayjay while Lennytheshark sat behind his stablemate. Racing down the back straight, Hectorjayjay was full of racing and the third split was timed in a leisurely 29.2 seconds. In the straight, the sprint went into overdrive and Hectorjayjay was able to hold My Field Marshal by a neck margin with Lennytheshark a further 6m away in third. The last quarter was clocked in 25.7 seconds. Hectorjayjay is prepared by David Aiken and was handled by his son Josh. The victory pushed his earnings past the $1 million mark. It was his 41st victory from 78 starts. Hectorjayjay becomes the first pacer since Cobbity Classic (2005/06) to claim back to back victories in the sprint feature. Next week, the open class feature is the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake over the staying distance of 2680m. The More The Better, nominal favourite for next week’s Queensland Derby capped his campaign with another stylish display in the Gr.3 $30,540 Egmont Park Provincial Derby defeating Pretty Hot and Cowboys N Aliens. Fresh from his success last week in the Premiers Cup, The More The Better and driver Natalie Rasmussen sat back in the field while the leaders set a hot speed up front. In the end, the Bettors Delight colt proved too classy winning by 6m in a time of 1:55.2 for the 2138m distance. The $20,540 Burwood Stud Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes was taken out by talented local mare Cherish The Moment who beat race favourite Bettorthanspecial and Joys A Babe in a time of 1:53.9. Cherish The Moment is trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon. The Mach Three mare has now won 13 of her 40 starts with earnings in excess of $120,000. Next week, the features include the $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake, the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals and the Gr.2 $75,000 Queensland Derby. Chris Barsby

Visiting Western Australian trainer Kim Prentice faces a race against time with his stable star Soho Tribeca’s fitness ahead of next Saturday night’s Group One Vicbred final.  Delight turned into serious concern in the space of 200m in Friday night’s semi-final for Prentice.  Soho Tribeca went from seemingly cruising towards an easy win to stopping sharply and just holding-on to win by a nose.  Prentice knew something wasn’t right.  “Turns out he’s got a foot abscess which hasn’t been able to blow out and his whole leg blew-up because of it,” Prentice said. “We’ve got another seven days now until the Friday. All we can do is hope he’s ok for it.  “Knowing what we do now, he was so incredibly brave on Friday night. I’m so proud of him.”  Soho Tribeca, placed behind Chicago Bull in the huge Fremantle/WA Pacing Cup double earlier this year, was one of the headline acts of the entire Vicbred series.  He was $1.80 prepost favourite on the Aussie TAB for the final before Friday night’s issue emerged.  The cloud over Soho Tribeca further boosts the final chances of exciting local General Dodge, who made it nine wins from just 10 starts when he powered to an arrogant all-the-way win in his semi-final.  “He’s got gears this horse. His cruising speed is so high. He does it so easily,” driver Jodi Quinlan said.  General Dodge has drawn gate nine for the final, while Soho Tribeca has gate six if he is fit enough to line-up.  Kiwi raider Moonrock, who ran a sound third to General Dodge in his semi, has gate eight (inside the back row) in the final.  The other huge talking point of Friday night’s Vicbred semis was the remarkably dominance of champion trainer Emma Stewart.  Stewart had a staggering 23 runners across the 12 semi-finals and converted impressively with 18 of them qualifying for next Saturday night’s Grand Finals.  She trained five of the 12 semi winners and also landed two quinellas.  The winners were: Nostra Villa (2YO filly), Whirily School (4YO mare), Major Times and Poster Boy (2YO colts/geldings) and Miss Graceland (3YO fillies).  Realistically, Stewart is well placed to win four of the Group One Vicbred finals next Saturday night.  Miss Graceland, who finally turned the tables on arch-rival Petacular when they last met in the Victoria Oaks final, gets her chance to win again from gate two in the final.  But, Petacular showed the most gate speed she ever has in her semi win and could be a chance of getting across Miss Graceland at the start from gate five in the final.  That clash will be a real highlight of the night.  Barring a huge shock, Stewart will win the 2YO colts and geldings final, most probably with sparkling youngster Poster Boy who will start from gate three.  Giant young stablemate Major Times looks the main threat from gate two in a final where Stewart has an incredible seven of the 12 runners.  Stewart also has a huge hand in the 2YO fillies’ final with semi-final winner Nostra Villa drawn gate 10.  Her Australian Gold final winner Nostra Beach had nothing go right when sixth in her semi, but made the final and snared the valuable gate three.  Other Kiwi interest in the Vicbred finals comes through former Allstars stable three-year-old Stars Align, who has been a revelation since being sent across to the Dean Braun stable.  His semi-final over the speedy Rocknroll Icon was awesome and he looks a standout in the final from gate four. Adam Hamilton

Plans for classy three-year-old filly Shartin are in limbo. The Tasmanian Oaks winner made a triumphant return to the harness racing today (Monday) at Warragul following her stylish display at Hobart on March 19. Starting at a short quote and clear punters elect, the Tintin In America filly strolled home for an effortless victory in the Downtowner Pace rating a slick 1:56.0 for the 1790m event. Champion reinsman Chris Alford took the winning drive. Originally, the Dean Braun trained filly was being readied for the Brisbane winter carnival with the $75,000 Queensland Oaks on July 8 the main target. But those plans aren’t set in stone anymore. “We’ve been building towards the Brisbane carnival but plans may have changed given the announcement from across the weekend. There’s a fair bit to consider and we’ll discuss that in the coming days.” Braun said. The All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have outlined plans for both of their standout fillies Spanish Armada and Partyon, both multiple feature race winners this season. Spanish Armada claimed the Gr.1 $150,000 Diamond on Jewels day at Ashburton on Saturday in a time of 1:52.1 while running home her final 400m in an eye-popping 25.5 seconds. The Bettors Delight filly now adds her Jewels triumph to her Sires' Stakes, Sales Series, Nevele R Final and NZ Oaks to her list of feature race victories this season with the promise of more to come. And that has Braun on the back foot. “They’re the best stable in the world for a reason so of course I’m going to rethink my plans, it’s a long way from Melbourne to Brisbane and it’s not a cheap exercise. “Going all that way to meet a filly like her among others is something I’d like to avoid but the owners will make the final call. Spanish Armada could easily end up being one the best fillies of all time. “Since the Tasmanian trip, the filly has come up in very good order and I’m very happy with the progress she’s made. I think she has quite a future, her speed is her best asset.” Shartin has now won 4 of her 6 to date. The New Zealand bred filly will next start in the final of the heat she contested today which is scheduled for TABCORP Park, Melton on June 17. A start in the Listed $25,000 Gold Coast/Provincial Oaks at Albion Park on July 1 is also an option for Braun and his connections before the Queensland Oaks. And Braun is no stranger to success in the Queensland Oaks having prepared previous winner Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) while his son Noah co-owned Nike Franco (2014). Chris Barsby

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