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The state’s leading trainer Ben Yole has his third straight Trainer’s Premiership Title all parcelled up and to cap it off is closing in on his third successive century milestone. Ben trained 107 winners in Tasmanian in 2015/16 and followed up last season with 124 victories in his adopted state. On Sunday night in Launceston, the Yole stable applied the polish to four of the seven winners on the card to catapult his winning Tasmanian tally to 98. When you add the three interstate winners for the season provided by Jeans Mattjesty and Washies Chance the stable tally sits at 101. “We’ve enjoyed another successful season so far and it was very satisfying to take home four winners from the meeting on Sunday,” said Ben. “That takes us to within two of the ton locally, I like to look at the Victorian wins as a bonus so we are working off the number of wins for the season as 98 and we are looking forward to cracking triple figures three years on the trot, it would be just reward for our team who have put a lot of hard work in like many other stables around the state.” Ben’s spectacular night kicked off in style thanks to magical drive on No Apachemee by Rohan Hillier. “No Apachemee has been a great money spinner for connections, that’s his fourth win for the season, Rohan drove him a treat coming from outside the second line to find a spot behind the leader, only coming off the pegs to sprint over them late,” said a smiling trainer. Rocknrollhighlight was the second winner for the stable on the night continuing her tremendous form with a narrow but courageous victory over Fortino, she was softened up in the run but still had enough up her sleeve to be lifted over the line by Rohan Hadley to score by a half-head. “That was her seventh win of the season, we have changed up her training routine and she now does a lot of swimming and she’s improved in leaps and bounds and getting stronger all the time so we will be sticking with the new regime that for sure,” said Ben. Rohan Hillier landed his second winner for the stable on the programme in race four over 2200-metres when he held up Im Full Tilt for one last crack at them in the home straight. “Im Full Tilt needs to be smothered up with cover to produce his best, he’s not over ambitious out on his own but does have a sharp sprint which he was able to pull out in the run to the post,” said the Sidmouth mentor. Four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Fight Fire With Fire mare Ready To Fire made it win number six for the season with a neck win over Aunty Rita after coming from outside the second line. “She is potentially a very smart type but she also has a mind of her own and can do a few things wrong particularly in the score up so we will continue to work on that issue because if we can straighten that out she will be hard to hold out in any race we find for her,” said Ben looking forward to the future. With Harness racing in Hobart on Friday and backing up in Launceston on Sunday the Ben Yole stable looks almost certain to crash through the 100 barrier this week and then with 16 meetings remaining in the season set off in search of the stables state record of 124 winners.   Shane Yates

Brady Woods decision to interrupt his Australian Kelpie Muster holiday in Victoria paid dividends when he sealed the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge in Launceston on Sunday night. Brady led the six-heat Series by eight points over Samantha Gangell going into the final night of heats but it didn’t take long for the Series to take a major twist. Samantha Gangell stormed into contention lifting outsider Streetside Classic into second place behind the Shelley Barnes-trained Lead Singer, driven by Wade Rattray in Heat five to close the gap in the Series to just a solitary point as Brady laboured into sixth place on Keep Playing. With the pressure well and truly on the two combatants lined up aboard two of the top fancies, Usain Jolt (Brady) and Zhukov Leis (Samantha) in heat six. Hannah Van dongen, went into the final Heat with a sneaky chance of pulling off the Youngbloods Title and duly fired the Christian Salter-trained pacer Metro Star to the lead. Brady settled Usain Jolt back third last with his main danger Samantha behind him at the tail with Zhukov Leis, the Series leader made his move on the $2.20 favourite in the run to the bell and was up chasing the leader at the 800-metre pole, Gangell surged Zhukov Leis forward but it was painfully obvious turning into the back straight she faced a forlorn task of outpointing Woods in the final lap. Metro Star always looked to have enough up its sleeve in the run to the post to hold Usain Jolt with Zhukov Leis left lamenting back in fifth place. Hannah’s win not only lifted her into third place in the final standing’s of the Youngbloods Challenge but also catapulted the youngster to the top of the Leading Female Drivers Premiership with nine wins for the season. 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge Final points: 58 pts – Brady Woods 51 pts – Samantha Gangell 48 pts – Hannah Van dongen “I’m rapt to have won the Youngbloods Challenge, even though I had planned my trip to the Muster a long time ago I would never pass up the opportunity to win such a prestigious Series as the Youngbloods, I’ve had a few cracks at it and this was my last chance so I’m very happy to finally get the job done,” said Brady. “It’s a great Series and gives all up and coming drivers the opportunity to experience the pressure of a Series, a big thanks must go to all the trainers who support the Challenge every year and 6ty° for their sponsorship every year.” Shane Yates

Izaha continued his journey of developing into a top-line pacer with victory in the $40,000 Roberts Equine Supplies Globe Derby Final over 2200 metres on Friday night in Launceston. The Roll With Joe-Our Zellweger three-year-old (pictured-inside), trained and driven by Todd Rattray, took his career record to six wins from 11 starts with an exciting half-neck victory over Feelin Dusty with Dufrense five metres away third. “When I saw the draw I was a little worried but we ran the gate from the second line and when Rohan dropped anchor on Dufrense up outside the leader turning in to the back I thought it was time to make a move,” said Todd. “He was still travelling well to the home turn, Feelin Dusty was still right there but I was working on the theory my main danger was Dufrense which I had jammed up behind me so it was a matter of waiting as long as I could to go for him and when I did he responded just the way I hoped, he finished off in 57.4 seconds but it was more a tactically run race than a speed-test.” Izaha is drawing his fair share of comparisons to his brilliant half-brother Harjeet, winner of this season’s $75,000  Maxfield Drilling Easter Cup and $40,000 Raider Stakes. “Izaha has a lot of speed, if we can work on his strength we may have another Harjeeet on our hands next season, you never know but you can always hope,” said a wishful Rattray. “Dad has worked hard on the breeding side of the business, he’s done a great job, Izaha’s sire Roll With Joe is a full brother to champion sire Bettors Delight but nowhere near the price, he is also the sire of Ignatius and Arts Treasure that James has up in New South Wales so he’s certainly making a name for himself in the breeding world.” As for Izaha’s immediate future, Todd is looking at sending the Globe Derby winner to the paddock for a well-deserved break. “I was contemplating the Victorian Sires Series with him, but now I’m swaying toward a spell, we have no intentions of knocking him around that’s for sure.” Leading Victorian trainer Emma Stewart and champion reinsman Chris Alford made it a night to remember bagging five winners on the card including the $40,000 6TYo Bandbox Final with Nostra Beach. The Sombeachsomewhere-Amarillen filly, bred by the late Rick Hinds and wife Naomi made a one-act affair of the Three-Year-Old Fillies Division cruising to 16.3-metre victory over the Paul Hill prepared Ideal Bliss with Bremusa finishing third, 49.3-metres from the winner. Two records went by the wayside during the night, Shes Magnetic shaving .1 of a second off the 1.57.3 record jointly held by 2010 Australian Derby winner Lanercost and local star Melolyn. Another Safari, coming off a handicap of 20 metres, smashed the 2200-metre stand-start record formerly held by Truly Blissfull, taking a full second and a half off the old time. Watch Izaha hold off the challenges in the $40,000 Roberts Equine Supplies Globe Derby Final in race 3 Launceston on Friday night:   Shane Yates

Stewards today inquired into the results of analysis of samples taken from DASHER HOULI following its win in Race 5 at the Launceston Pacing Club on 11 March 2018. Evidence was heard from representatives of Racing Analytical Services Limited, Racing Chemistry Laboratory and from consultant veterinarian Dr Peter Horridge. Evidence was also heard from Mr Reggett in relation to his horse husbandry practices. Mr Reggett pleaded guilty to  charges pursuant to AHRR 190(1),(2) and (4) for  failing to present DASHER HOULI free of the  prohibited substance Arsenic,  and pursuant to AHRR 190(B)(1) for failing to maintain a logbook which met the requirements of the rule. In determining penalty Stewards took into consideration Mr Reggett’s guilty plea, his licence history, his personal circumstances and the need that any penalty reflect the serious nature of prohibited substance offences. Stewards were also mindful of a report produced by Melbourne University which showed that the ingestion of CCA timber could lead to an elevated level of Arsenic in equine urine, and of notices published in September 2017 warning Tasmanian Harness trainers of the danger of allowing horses access to CCA treated timber. Mr Reggett was fined the sum of $3000 for the breach of the prohibited substance rule and $200 for the breach of the Logbook rule. Acting under the provisions of AHRR 195 Stewards ordered that DASHER HOULI be disqualified from the subject race and the placings will be amended accordingly. Adrian Crowther CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS – Harness

The Launceston track was on fire last Sunday with many fast times recorded including a slick mile rate by Roger Ramjet in the free-for-all to be just outside the track record for the 2200-metre distance. North-West coast trainers played a strong hand at the meeting with Shelley Barnes, Paul Ashwood and Steve Davis recording wins. Old Beach trainer Paul Hill continued his good run with a training double. There was a Tasmanian link in the Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final at Menangle in Sydney on Saturday night with the winner Soho Nolita being out of Tasmanian bred mare Pixel Perfect. Pixel Perfect will now be a leading contender for the Australian Broodmare of the year award for this season as she is the dam of two other Group 1 winners this season in Soho Tribeca and Carlas Pixel. This week the Four-year-old Sires Stakes finals will be held in Devonport in the twilight zone on Friday before the preludes of the Elderslie Horse Care Sweepstakes for two-year-olds in Hobart on Sunday. The Stars Ricky Duggan – had a brilliant night in the sulky in Launceston last week with a driving treble including a 10/10 drive on Out To Strike. Shelley Barnes – has her team of horses going well in recent weeks including a training quinella with Mister Last and Yatsenyuk Leis. Roger Ramjet – brilliant performance first up from a spell when he recorded a mile rate of 1:57.35 for the 2200-metre journey which was only .05 of a second outside the track record held by Lanercost and Melolyn. Paul Ashwood – another north-west coast-based trainer whose team is performing well of late and he added another win to his season tally with Offthetopofmyhead who won his fifth race of the season courtesy of a brilliant drive from Rohan Hillier. Jack Laugher – last season’s leading junior driver in Tasmania who is now based in Victoria flew home for a quick visit and was in the winner’s circle with Mach Three two-year-old filly Karalta Felesha who is trained by his father Michael. Multiple Winners Launceston – Sunday Ricky Duggan – driving treble; Feelin Dusty, Out To Strike and Streitkid Paul Hill – training double; Feelin Dusty and Streitkid. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Launceston on Sunday. Modern Ruler 56.05, Stryker 56.23, Chirac 56.26, The Aussie 56.34 and Isaac 56.45. View the sectionals across the Eight-races here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston  Hits: Mister Last $2.40 into $2.25, Feelin Dusty $2.50 into $2.30. Defied The Drift: Offthetopofmyhead $3.00 out to $4.00, Out To Strike $4.80 out to $5.50, Artarama $3.90 out to $4.80, Streitkid $3.00 out to $3.40. Missed: Mister Lennox $3.90 out to $3.30, Lead Singer $6.50 into $5.50. Black Booker The Aussie This Juanita McKenzie trained pacer has plenty of class about him as we have seen with his five wins this season but it was very hard to ignore his fast finishing sprint in Launceston on Sunday when third behind Offthetopofmyhead. Settling one-out and five-back from his second-row draw driver Rodney Ashwood was able to gain a three-wide cart up over the final 1100-metres of the race. The Aussie was slightly inconvenienced passing the 400-metre mark when the horse he was following broke free of interference and when he gained clear racing home he flew home in the quickest last quarter of the race of 27.95. The Tasracing Calculated Sectionals recorded The Aussie being 13.4-metres behind the leader and second place getter Mister Magic Man at the 400-metre mark and he was only 5.7-metres behind the winner Offthetopofmyhead which shows the ground he made up. Watch the replay here. Trial File Hobart on Monday There were two trials for two-year-old’s in Hobart as they continue their preparation before the rich two-year-old races and there wasn’t much between them on times. The Rodney Ashwood trained and driven filly Spoilt Sport was able to find the lead in her trial before handing up to take a trail on the back of Resurgent Storm. At the business end there was a head between them in favour of Spoilt Sport in a mile rate of 2:00.4. Enterprising Milly trialed up to her good debut races start winning her trial by a head in 2:00.5 and was driven in the trial by Ricky Duggan. Other trial winners included; Don’t Pass Im Fast (2:04.4), Gipsy Treasure (2:05.5), Roll West (2:06.4), Origin Tara (2:10.9) and Bayridge Bill (2:05.3) Devonport on Monday The Rod Burgess trained Claire MacDonald driven Jaminas Joy recorded the quickest mile rate over the seven trials of 2:06.2. The Major In Art mare faced the breeze in the 2297-metre trial and was to good for her rivals winning by half a metre over Franco Hammond. The other six trials were won by; Resolute Ruler (2:11.2), Maybe Jack (2:06.3), Bettabrown Tiger (2:10.0), Lynniemach (2:07.2), Regal Ashes (2:11.6), Jukebox Music (2:07.4) Week Ahead The Group 3 Maxfield Drilling Raider Stakes Final and the Group 3 Collins Homes Granny Smith Final headline a terrific card of racing at Devonport on Friday. There are no certainties in racing but it does look like the Raider Stakes will be a formality for the Todd Rattray trained and driven pacer Harjeet. The Easter Cup winner in six classes above his nearest rival and has drawn barrier one for Friday’s assignment. Harjeet has won 11-races from his 15-career starts ironically the same win to start ratio at the same stage as Beautide. Victory on Friday will be the eighth win in a row for Harjeet – something that Beautide never achieved. The early fixed odds market sees; $1.04  Harjeet, $10 Usain Jolt, $12 Buster William with the remaining runners at $26 or better. The Granny Smith is a more competitive affair with the prelude winner Resurgent Dream holding favouritism in early markets over El Jays Mystery who finished second in the prelude. Early market; $2.40 Resurgent Dream, $3.30 El Jays Mystery, $4.40 Kaliska Leis and 6.50 Volkova Leis who rounds out those under the $10 quote. The Devonport card will feature a hosted live stream coverage on tasracing.com.au commencing at 16:00. The Tasmanian Pacing Club will stage eight races on Sunday evening where Smart filly Enterprising Milly will be looking to make it two from two when she lines up in the $10,000 Elderslie Horse Care 2YO Sweepstakes Prelude for Fillies, while Sunny Sanz will look to add to his winning tally in the Colts and Geldings Prelude. Duncan Dornauf

Harness racing driver Ricky Duggan showed his driving prowess at the Launceston Pacing Club meeting, steering home a winning treble. The Hall Of Fame reinsman's winning spree commenced in race four when his successful partnership with trainer Paul Hill continued in the Longford Equine Clinic Pace over 2200 metres. Feelin Dusty, solidly supported in the market from $2.50 into $2.30 brought up a winning hat-trick by holding off a strong challenge from Sea Double Ugrant over the closing stages to win by 1.3-metres, the victory the fourth this season for the Mr Feelgood-Maybe Elite three-year-old colt. "Paul's got him going good, I went early at the bell out three-wide without cover so he's been able to sustain the effort for the last 1000-metres of the race which is a good sign, you can drive with a bit confidence when you know you've got one capable of doing it at both ends of the race," said Ricky. Duggan was back in the winners circle in the next the Carlton Draught Pace over 1680-metres with the Steven Davis-trained five-year-old P B Bullville-Liz It Iz gelding Out To Strike. "I was sixth coming to the bell and Damian Spring had dropped anchor on the leader so I decided it was time to go and we moved up and sat outside the front-runners pretty smartly," said Duggan. Out To Strike eye-balled the leaders off the backstretch and ran to the lead at the 400-metre pole in search of its second win of the season and the fourth of its career. "He was going so well I just let him go coming to the home turn and he just put them away with a good turn of speed, racing clear to win by a space." Ricky rounded out his successful night with another of the Paul Hill brigade, Streitkid, waltzing away with the Tasmanian Horse Transport Stakes. "He can run the gate and from out wide we found the lead fairly comfortably from seven and then I just tried to hold him together before clicking him up down at the 400-metre mark and when I went for him halfway down the stretch he zipped away, he was pretty impressive." Shane Yates

Night One of the harness racing Easter Cup Carnival was run in extremely wet conditions in Launceston on Sunday where Isaac and Harjeet were easy winners of the heats of Tasmania’s richest race of the season. It’s is important to consider the heavy track conditions when assessing the form out of the meeting which included Im Compliant and Dasher Houli continuing their good form of late. It was also a strong day’s racing in Hobart last Friday afternoon where there was a couple of well-supported runners greeting the judge first. This Saturday night sees an outstanding 10-race program for the Launceston Pacing Club’s premier night which has been well supported by trainers and owners with full fields across the night. The Stars Mark Reggett – is having a month to remember with his small team and was rewarded with a weekend double with Do It For Dave in Hobart on Friday and Dasher Houli in Launceston on Sunday. Ricky Duggan – produced two copybook drives on Sunday evening including Isaac in the opening heat of the Easter Cup. Rohan Hillier – out of his last 43 starters as a trainer on the Launceston track alone in the last 12-months, only ten of his stable runners have missed a top-three finish. Hillier didn’t let his strike rate down with a training and driving double last Sunday. Todd Rattray – took driving honours on Sunday with a driving treble. In Launceston for the past 12-months Rattray drives a winner in every 3.9 drives. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday Rohan Hadley– driving double; Shadow Ross and Sophias Angel Launceston – Sunday Todd Rattray– training and driving double with; Juniper and Harjeet. Driving treble with Dasher Houli. Ricky Duggan – driving double; Isaac and Jakes A Joy. Rohan Hillier – training and driving double; Im Compliant and Dufrense. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Hobart on Friday. Washies Chance 57.83, Fortino 58.35, Paint The Wind 58.40, Karalta Demon 58.87, Shadow Ross and The Dip 58.61 View the sectionals across the eight-race program here. And in Launceston on Sunday. Im Compliant 58.34, Juniper 58.37, Usain Jolt 58.52, Isaac 58.74 and Followthewind 58.90. Click here to view all the sectionals from the meeting and when doing so consider the extremely heavy track conditions from the rain in the lead up to the meeting. Tasracing Official Price Hobart Hit: Do It For Dave $3.30 into $2.50 and Washies Chance $2.90 into $2.50 Defied The Drift: Shadow Ross $4.60 out to $6.00, Reason To Grin $3.30 out to $3.90 and Fortino $4.40 out to $5.00. Missed: Striker Jim (5th) $10 into $7.50 Launceston Hit: Jakes A Joy $8.00 into $6.50. Defied The Drift: Johns Legacy $71 out to $81, Isaac $8.50 out to $10 and Dasher Houli $3.90 out to $4.40. Missed: Queens Advocate $5.50 into $4.60 and El Jays Monza $17 into $13 Black Booker Buster William It was a tough night to assess the form going forward due to the track conditions but there was a lot to like about the run of Buster William. From barrier two on the second-row driver, Mark Yole kept driving forward to settle in the one-out one-back trail until the horse that was racing in front of him worked to the lead resulting in him racing outside the leader for the final mile. Working to the lead at the 700-metre mark Yole attempted to outsprint his rivals over the final 250 metres and was still in front till the final 10-metres when talented five-year-old Im Compliant put the nose in front to defeat Buster William for the second start in a row. I acknowledge Buster William is already the winner of six races from 24-starts but there is a win in him very shortly. Watch the replay of Sunday’s race here. Trial File Devonport on Monday Three trials were staged at the Devonport Showgrounds on Monday where the Shelley Barnes trained Mister Last recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the night in 2:03.7 when winning a combined two and three-year-old trial. Mister Last is a gelded son of Washington Vc and was driven by Paul Ashwood who scored by half a metre over Maybe Jack with 29.5-metres back to the third placegetter, Kaycee. The other two trials were won by Selling The Dream (2:08.3) and Chirac (2:06.0). Week Ahead The $75,000 Group 2 Easter Cup is the richest harness race in Tasmania for the 2017/18 season, and like always the cup has brought together an open and competitive field. Harjeet has opened up the short price favourite at $1.65 over the other heat winner Isaac at $5.50 with Star Chamber and Lets Elope on the next line in betting at $10. Stagger Lee, Mister Lennox and Queens Advocate round out those that are under the $20 quote. The 10-race program gets underway way at 18:22 on Saturday with Tasracing’s hosted live stream coverage  commencing at 17:55. Duncan Dornauf

Harness racing purists enjoyed one of the most exciting nights of high-class racing in Launceston on Sunday night with five of the nine winners recording sub-two-minute mile rates. Call Her Julie (pictured) was one of the headline acts of the show, notching up her third win of the season by outgunning the highly touted Usain Jolt over the 1680-metre sprint trip. Owner, trainer and driver Matthew Cooper surged forward on Call Her Julie to find the death seat outside Rocknrollhighlight with the odds-on favourite Usain Jolt having the drop on the pair back in third. Gareth Rattray kicked Rocknrollhighlight clear turning for home, opening up a four to five metre break with Usain Jolt running to second and Call Her Julie seemingly under pressure third. However, Call Her Julie was far from beaten rallying strongly over the final 200 metres to gain the upper hand in the drive to the post to win by 1.8-metres, recording a career-best mile-rate of 1:56.2. Star three-year-old Ignatius overcame obstacles to win the opening race on the card to set the standard for the evening. The Todd Rattray trained and driven Group 1 winner ran into problems approaching the bell lap when tightened for room by Abs Boy and galloped for a stride, but showed maturity beyond its years to quickly regain composure. Rattray wasn’t prepared to take any further risks with his star performer and made his move out four-wide at the 800-metre mark. Ignatius made ground at will and joined the leader Vouvray Beach on straightening for the run to the judge before proving too strong in the run home winning by 2.5 metres. Ignatius now returns to Menangle, the scene of its greatest triumph in the Breeders Challenge, with the New South Wales Derby in late February his mission. The three top fancies El Jays Mystery, Barooga Jezza and Iden Amrak fought out the closest finish of the night in Heat three of the Harry Holgate Memorial with the Rohan Hiller trained and driven El Jays Mystery gaining the judges nod by a short half head from Barooga Jezza with the pacesetter Iden Amrak a half head away third. Talented four-year-old Harjeet pocketed its sixth win from 10 starts with a blistering turn of foot turning for home to seal the deal in the twinkling of the eye while the Tony Peterson prepared Super Max broke through for its first Tasmanian victory at just its second run in the state, making it a one-act affair scoring by 19.3-metres for Ricky Duggan. Last year’s Easter Cup runner-up Isaac showed he’s on target for another tilt at the feature for Juanita McKenzie and Rodney Ashwood with a barnstorming finish to clinch Carlton Draught Free For All while Mark Yole’s winning run continued when the Peter Dornauf prepared Sea Double Ugrant came from a mile back to run over the top of tearaway leaders Streetside Classic and Koolaz Elvis. The Troy Hillier trained and driven Gotta Go Henry was headed by Followthewind in the home stretch before digging deep in the final 100 metres, regaining the lead for favourite punters to bring up its second Tasmanian win from only three outings while brother Rohan guiding home recent stable addition Washmepockets in the Claimer. Shane Yates

When the ‘King of the Creek’ Destreos arrived from Queensland in  mid-2017 with owner Sally Stingel and trainer Ken Rattray the question on everyone’s lips was, could the then 13-year-old wonder horse win four more races to become only the third pacer in Australasian harness racing history to reach the magical triple figures. Friday evening’s narrow victory over Remember Joe in the Longford Equine Clinic Free-For-All in Launceston took Destreos’ career winning tally to 99, the burning question has now moved on to where and when will the historic win will be attempted. “We are looking at the Free-For-All in Launceston in a fortnight followed by the Toreace Flying Mile as his next couple of assignments”, said a beaming Ken Rattray. “He’s not quite at the top of his game after missing a fortnight’s work recently so it was great to see him respond the way he did when challenged strongly by Remember Joe.” Rattray is well aware the eyes of the harness world will be firmly focussed on every move in the lead-up to the tilt at the milestone. “There is always pressure when you train a horse as popular as Destreos and with the following he has nation-wide but I wouldn’t swap it for the world, it’s a privilege for Sally and I to be associated with such a horse, he’s part of the family, that’s how we treat him, he just loves to race so while he shows us that then that’s what he will continue to do.” Kent Rattray and John Walters have formed a formidable combination in recent seasons, highlighted by their successes with Riverboat Jasper in the Easter Cup and Timely Sovereign in the Raider Stakes. The duo appears to have unearthed another potential top-liner after Sunny Sanz took the honours in the $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes, the first two-year-old race held throughout Australia for the 2017/18 season. The Sportswriter – Soho Summer gelding, bred and raced by Nathan and Sandra Bennett of Ringarooma, was easy in the market drifting from $1.55 to $2.35 on the Tasracing Official Price fluctuations while the money flooded in for the Paul Hill prepared Cool Water Paddy, cutting its opening price from $2.25 to $1.70. Sunny Sanz stepped straight to the front for John Walters in a field of four runners over the 1680-metre trip and strode away from the Ricky Duggan-driven Cool Water Paddy to score effortlessly by 34 metres, rating 2:02.8 for the mile clocking  59.7-seconds for the last half. However all the action was behind the leading pair, Jardee and Karalta Moondance locked wheels shortly after the start with both Gareth and Barrie Rattray tipped out of the cart. Barrie was able to hold onto the reins of Jardee and drag himself back into the sulky and complete the course. Jardee was passing the 800-metre pole when the winner crossed the line but with official margins going on the time taken by an individual runner to complete the race distance the official margin from winner to third was displayed at 1,103.8 metres. The all-clear was given on the first two placegetters only but later stewards deliberated and ruled that Jardee had legitimately covered the distance of the race and reinstated it to running officially third and ruling connections were eligible for the $2100 third place prizemoney. Shane Yates

Top Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart began her assault on Tasmania's feature races in Launceston last night where she produced a team of six and walked away with four winners including Major Secret that won the City of Launceston Cup. Major Secret stepped away cleanly from his second-row draw but once the field was settled, driver Chris Alford sent the $1.10 favourite around the field to take up the running. Major Secret cruised to an effortless win over Dapper Dana that came from well back with Taurisi flashing home late to grab third just ahead of Destreos. It was s strong enough win to suggest Major Secret could be a serious contender for the Group 3 Tasmania Cup in Hobart later this month. Stewart did not attend the meeting but driver Alford said he believed the horse was heading to the Tasmania Cup but if all depended on how he performed last night. "If it (Tasmania Cup start) depended on tonight's performance you'd reckon he's sure to be there (Hobart)," Alford said. Stewart's team began well with Isntshejust scoring an effortless win in a C1-C2 event over 1680 metres. Isntshejust (Chris Alford) led from the pole position but she was unable to hold out Johns Legacy that crossed from gate three. But Alford quickly had the four-year-old mare outside of the leader and when he allowed her more rein a lap out she forged to the lead and went on to win comfortably. Apache Shark delivered Stewart's third win of the night. With Alford aboard Apache Shark ($1.30) circumnavigated the field a lap from home and proved too strong for Spot Eight and Call Her Julie in a C5-C7 over 1680 metres. Isntshejust and Apache Shark are owned by Victorian Tony Kiel who said it was his first double in ages. "My family have been in this game a long time and we've had plenty of winners but this is my first double since we got two up at Boort (Victoria) about 40 years ago.," Kiel said. Stewart's three-year-old colt American Alli ($2.60) was backed to beat the local favourite Semowillrev ($1.70) in a 3YO and older C0 over 2200 metres but he made an error at the start and lost about 60 metres. Semowillrev worked around the field to lead but he was run down by Izaha and Lead Singer with American Alli, that was making his debut, a game fourth beaten about nine metres. Masterkova made it four winners for Stewart with an impressive all-the-way win over 1680 metres. It was a one-act affair and no doubt Stewart will be aiming Masterkova at the Tasmanian Oaks. Peter Staples

One of last season's better Tasmanian three-year-olds El Jays Mystery resumed from a spell with a game win at the harness racing Carrick Park Paceway near Launceston today. Despite galloping soon after the start the now four-year-old mare recovered to tack onto the bulk of the field while Lead Singer took control with Shadow Control making for a solid tempo pressuring outside of the leader. Driver Ricky Duggan allowed El Jays Mystery ($2.70) to make her run 700 metres from home as she strolled around the field three and four-wide to finally claim the le5ad in the home straight. But the Live Or Die mare had to pull out all stops to hold on and defeat the fast-finishing Heavennroll ($101) with the well-backed fixed odds favourite Lead Singer ($2.40) hanging on for third. "The mare did a good job to win given she got out of her gear soon after the start but she managed to regroup and I thought she hit the line well," Duggan said. "She's obviously done a bit of work but there's no doubt she will gain a lot of benefit from this run." El Jays Mystery is trained at Karoola by Dick Eaves and she is owned and raced by him along with his wife Margaret, thoroughbred trainers John Blacker and Leon Laskey and their respective partners Penny Cawthen and Sharee Marshall, Gail and Lyndon Menegon, Michelle and Jeffrey Arnott, Barbara an Richard Imlach, Ross Goodsell, Terry Sinclair and Gail Wilkins. Peter Staples

Talented three-year-old pacer Semowillrev produced another brilliant performance in Launceston on Sunday night to easily keep his unbeaten harness racing record intact. It was the Craig Hayes-trained gelding's fourth win from as many starts and arguably his best. Krafty Boy set up a big lead early while Hayes had to extricate his charge from the pack in order to avoid interference soon after the start. But when clear and in the three-wide line Semowillrev scorched around the field and rushed past the leader as if he was treading water. Once in front the Sportswriter gelding was allowed to bowl along at his own leisure and when Hayes released the reins at the top of the straight he powered clear and went on to defeat Krafty Boy by almost 11 metres with Volkova Leis 14 metres away third. Semowillrev clocked a mile rate for the 1680-metre trip of 1.57 which was a personal best and the winning margin was just a shade below his average of 10.25 metres. "I'm very happy with how the horse has come back as a three-year-old," Hayes said. "I'll give him one more run then tip him out for a two or three-week let-up. "He has shown me enough to suggest he will be up to tackling the feature three-year-old races here in Tasmania this season." Peter Staples

Hobby harness racing owner Richard Hall celebrated his first winner with when his recent purchase Im Barney Rubble produced a powerful finish for a last-stride win in the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup over 2698 metres at Launceston last night. Im Barney Rubble, trained and driven by Rohan Hadley, settled near last while The Majority set a solid pace in front with the well-tried Dapper Dana locked away on the rails and shuffled back to last turning for home. Dapper Dana galloped fiercely soon after the start and lost at least 60 metres but tacked onto the pack soon after. When Black Centurian gave up the one-out-one-back spot to make his move 500 metres from home, he found the lead in the home straight, shot clear and looked the likely winner. But Im Barney Rubble unleashed a powerful finishing burst and hit the line hard to score by a nose over Black Centurian with Dapper Dana a close-up third. While it was a great win by the Life Sign gelding the effort of Dapper Dana was enormous and he was clearly the run of the race outside of the winner. Hall purchased Im Barney Rubble through the claiming races process. "I was going to buy him one night when the asking price as only $6500 but I didn't fully understand how the claiming system worked," Hall said. "His price later went up to $10,000 but I still thought he was worth it." Peter Staples

With the Australian Drivers Championship in Hobart less than a week away it was a time to sit up and take notice of the quality of our homegrown harness racing stars on Sunday night. The nine-event Launceston Pacing Club meeting threw up three driving doubles. Last season's Leading Junior Driver Jack Laugher was first to draw blood for favourite punters, winning the early speed battle on the popular pick Stylish Trend before being able to conserve enough petrol to finish off with a last half of 58.1 seconds, staving off a determined late surge from Dellas Command, to gain the day by a half-head. Jack was again the punter's pal in the Luxbet Best Of The Best Stakes over 2200-metres, guiding the Ken Rattray trained Tuxedo Max ($3.40) to back-to-back victories. The former Queensland seven-year-old, having its 105th start, was fast away from gate one and held the top comfortably through the first corner. Gareth Rattray was quickly off the pegs with last start winner Jetcraft to sit outside the front-runner, and the battle of the master and the apprentice was on. Tuxedo Max travelled well to the turn and kicked clear of Jetcraft before holding a late surge from outsider Modern Chic. Hit The Lights, a five-year-old mare driven by John Walters, delivered a knock-out blow for punters scoring the third win of its career with a whirlwind finish to capture the 2017 Australian Drivers Championship C2 to C3 Heat Three at bolters odds of $36.60. Hit The Lights (pictured), owned by Eric Blomquist and Mark Geeves, has had 37 starts in its career, 34 of those in Hobart, one at St. Marys and just two in Launceston. Eric and Mark combined with Flashing Red to capture the $25,000 Devonport Cup in 2002, defeating Gorse Bush by a half metre. Little did anyone know at the time but the race would go down in history, setting Flashing Red on his journey to $2million in stake money earnings, while Gorse Bush would go on to become the dam of the incomparable dual- Interdominion champion Beautide. Walters later hitched his wagon to Tisu Toota in the last race, the Claimer, for an all the way win for trainer Clayton Miller. Tisu Toota ($5.30) showed his liking to the stand start conditions, pinging the tapes to notch up his 19th win from behind the strands from just 57 starts. Todd Rattray's dream of another tilt at the Interdominion with Devendra is on track after a sizzling display in the Free For All. The Vivian Clark owned Bettors Delight - Queen Carey eight-year-old gelding scorched to the early lead and had the opposition covered turning for home, clocking a final quarter of 27.4 seconds to return a mile-rate of 1:55:3 over the 1680-metre trip. Todd completed his double when four-year-old Zhukov Leis ($1.60), owned by Marjorie and Trevor Leis, cruised home after leading from start to finish. Zhukov Leis had a 3.6-metre margin on the line from the fast-finishing Buster William to bring up its second victory at start five. Adrian Collins pulled off a Gavin Lang type performance coming from back last on the Dick Eaves prepared Courageous Katee ($2.70) to zoom down the outside of the track to win in dazzling style by 2.6-metres. Gareth Rattray showed he is primed to represent the host state in the Drivers Championship on Saturday night with an inspired drive on Ready To Fire ($3.50) coming from near last at the bell, while trainer-driver Christian Salter produced Kwiatkowski first up from a two months lay-off to power down the centre of the track for victory. Tasracing.com.au

Mersey Delight delivered a knockout blow to harness racing punters when she upstaged the top fancies in the McKillop Insurance Brokers Stakes on Sunday night at a water-soaked Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston. The Bettor's Delight - The Spider Woman six-year-old mare, trained at Kimberley by David Hayes, was one of three despised outsiders in the field and was sent out at bolters odds ($78), but that didn't stop her notching up the fourth win of her career. Driver Paul Ashwood snagged Mersey Delight to the pegs behind the leader Whenthegroundshook in the charge to the first turn and enjoyed a soft run until 200 metres from home when the gap opened between the frontrunner and Goggo Gee Gee. Mersey Delight (pictured-No 3) surged through the opening to gain the day in a blanket finish by a short half-head over Goggo Gee Gee with the favourite Jilliby Gigi close-up third. Ben Yole took the training honours, preparing four winners for the night. Postal Express ($25), driven by Rohan Hillier started the ball rolling early by flying home in the opening race on the card. Punters were much happier when the state's leading trainer prepared the winner of race three, the 6TY Stakes. Hear The Call, the $2.60 favourite, was lifted over the line by Robert Walters after leading all the way over 1680-metres, defeating Olwen Jackka by a head. Ben's third winner came when Todd Rattray piloted Ultimate Courage ($18.70) to the post, knocking off the short-priced elect All My Savings by 1.4 metres. Robert Walters rounded out the successful night for the stable by turning in a drive of the night performance aboard Another Swinger, squeezing through along the pegs after the favourite Roger Ramjet galloped under pressure to topple the gallant Destreos in the shadows of the post. Last season's leading reinsman Todd Rattray also shrugged off the torrential rain that fell throughout the night to land a winning treble. Along with his victory with Ultimate Courage, Todd picked up wins with his highly talented five-year-old gelding Taurisi scoring a runaway victory by 11.4 metres and followed up with success behind promising four-year-old Hayley's Comet ($2.60). Cromac Jamie ($12) led all the way for owner-trainer Bianca Heenan scoring a solid win over the luckless Full Speed Ahead in race seven. Dylan Ford dictated the terms to a nicety with the nine-year-old and still had a metre up his sleeve in a driving finish over the odds-on favourite Full Speed Ahead, which was badly inconvenienced at the start. Eternal Shadow broke through for the first win of its career in the last for trainer-driver Paul Williams. The Shadow Play - Eternal Life four-year-old gelding got home by the barest of margins over Triple Aitch Fella in the very last stride. When studying  the sectionals from Sunday's meeting in Launceston you will need to factor in the torrential rain that fell throughout the night and the effect it had on the track. TasRacing

Stewards today have concluded an Inquiry which resulted from criminal convictions being recorded against licenced Harness Racing Trainer/Driver Mr Keith Toulmin in Launceston Magistrates Court on Tuesday 29 August 2017. At the inquiry, Stewards considered invoking AHRR 267(1) and AHRR 267(2) which relate to licenced persons being disqualified as a result of criminal convictions. Mr Toulmin attended the Inquiry and after giving consideration to submissions made by him and after considering the very serious nature of the animal welfare offences Stewards determined to invoke AHRR 267(2) in relation to a conviction of aggravated cruelty.  Stewards also invoked AHRR 267(1) in respect of a conviction for animal cruelty and for failing to comply with instructions given to Mr Toulmin by the RSPCA. In determining penalty, Stewards were mindful of the seriousness of the charges which had a significant adverse impact upon the reputation of Harness Racing.  Stewards were also mindful that any penalty imposed act as a significant deterrent for breaches of animal welfare standards which are of paramount importance in Harness Racing. Mr Toulmin’s licence history and personal circumstances were also taken into account. Penalty 1 – AHRR 267(2), In relation to the 1st charge, aggravated cruelty, Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 5 years.  Which was back dated to commence on 29 August 2017 and expire 29 August 2022. Penalty 2 – AHRR 267(1) –Animal cruelty.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served cumulative to penalty 1, commencing on 29 August 2022 and expiring 29 August 2024. Penalty 3 – AHRR 267(1) – Fail to comply with instructions issued by the RSPCA.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served concurrent to penalty 2. In total Mr Toulmin was disqualified for 7 years. Orders were also made to Mr Toulmin and the registered owners of horses currently in his care that those horses be removed within seven days. Date of issue 11 September 2017 Panel: A Crowther, D Farquharson, R Brown. Keith Toulmin Inquiry – 11 September 2017. Adrian Crowther CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS – Harness

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