Day At The Track
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North West harness racing history was made at Armidale’s Carnival of Cups meeting on Sunday with Tamworth siblings Emma, Sam and Tom Ison all driving winners. It was also a good day – and possibly a nervous one – for father of the trio Andy Ison, celebrating a training double with Fear No Evil and Gargzadi Girl, while his son Sam trained Bassey. The youngest of the Ison’s to gain her reins licence, 16-year-old Emma made her debut at Inverell the week prior with no luck and with only one drive at Armidale it turned out to be a winner. “It feels amazing,” Ison said after taking out the Railway Hotel Pace. Her first career win, understandably there were plenty of cheers and congratulations when Emma returned to scale. “I was nervous as always going into the race but it panned out alright,” she said. Ison found herself racing back on the inside running line before weaving a passage on the final turn to make her way clear in the home straight. “It was a lot different to how I thought the race would pan out but it all worked out well,” she said. “I was excited when the split came as this little horse can sprint.” Fear No Evil had a half head win over Esspe Supreme (Dean Chapple) with Mini Masterpiece (David Munsie) 5.4m away third and paid $33.10 for the win. It was also Ison’s first appearance in her teal racing pants after being presented with them just prior to the meeting. “I think they were a good luck charm,” Emma, who was proud to drive a winner in the teal on the last day of the Ovarian Cancer fundraiser, said. “It was pretty good to get my teal trousers just before the race - it’s good for the cause.” Older brother Sam then presented to the winner’s circle with Bassey after the mare took out the Kevin and Kay Seymour Celebrating 50 Years Mares Pace. Ison made a three-wide run around the final turn in the 1980m event to make use of the home straight and pounced on the line for a half neck win over Clancy Pants (Brad Elder) and Mac Sweet (Lola Weidemann), who was another neck away third. “She went really well – she just kept giving down the home straight,” Sam said.  He was also proud of his little sister who he gave a helping hand to. “It was really good – I think she loved my gig – she borrowed it for the race,” he said. Tom completed the treble with Gargzdai Girl, who was a 3m winner over Midnight Montana (Richard Williams) in the St Kilda Hotel Pace. “The win has added to the day,” he said. “She (Gargzdai Girl) has got a pretty good sprint.” And what did he think of his sister having her first winning drive? “It’s a pretty good day – especially for Em – it was only her third drive and she won on her own horse so that’s good,” he said.  By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

“It was all over when she hit the front.” That’s how Tamworth harness racing trainer and reinsman Sam Ison summed up the win of Bassey in the Tamworth Trophy Supplies Pace on Sunday night at Tamworth. “She has run a lot of places here but I have been waiting for the home win,” Ison said. Ison, along with Bassey’s owners Rod and Di Hazell, of Hazell’s Farm and Fertilizer in Tamworth, were just as excited. “I was trying to be calm,” Rod said after he watched his mare take the win with a mile rate of 2.00.7. “It’s pretty good. She (Bassey) has been a good mare and Sam has brought her along well since we got her. “That distance just suited her. She has learnt so much. “We got her from John Tapp. John gave me a call about this one (Bassey) – so thank you, John Tapp.” Quinzel (Peter Hedges) from the Ken Natty stables led the field out in the 1609-metre event with Kenfury Lass (Caitlin McElhinney) racing out in the breeze. “I was hoping to get a one by one position but that didn’t happen,” Ison said. From the nine barrier Ison had to miss a scrimmage on the first turn when Seventhirtyseven (Brendan James) was checked and galloped. “I was right behind the scrimmage,” Ison, who went on to race three back on the outside running line, added. It was a three wide run up the back straight on the final occasion that secured a 15.5-metre win for Bassey over Kenfury Lass and Don’t Ark With Me (Dean Chapple). Bassey has shown consistency with 35 starts for two wins and 12 placings – 11 of those coming at Tamworth.  Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of the Northern Daily Leader

Even a protest hearing which didn’t even involve him could not take the gloss off Jason Grimson’s marvellous week which saw him crowned the Harness Racing New South Wales Rising Stars 2016 champion at Tabcorp Park Menangle today. Ironically Grimson finished last in the final Rising Stars event at the premier track at the end of a hectic week but there were excuses for that defeat as he endured a torrid run with $16.50 outsider Du Vella. Yet the young Riverina reinsman had enough points in the bank to finish the series an impressive winner, despite the dramas of the final heat. Stormont Czar (Stuart McDonald) was declared the winner of the race despite finishing second across the line behind Jilliby Jagger (Sam Ison), with Floyd Mayweather (Ellen Rixon) a close third. While stewards adjourned to their room to eventually reverse the first two placings and give Stormont Czar the race, Grimson was able to celebrate what has been a meteoric rise through the ranks of harness racing, including his first Group One success at Bathurst earlier this year. Grimson was understandably “stoked” with his great run: “I barely knew half these drivers before this week but now I can say they are friends for life,” he said. “It’s been a great week and we’ve have really enjoyed the challenge. “I’ve had a fair bit of luck this week because I got to drive some nice horses. It’s been a really good trip. “And I have to thank the trainers for putting their horses in and giving us all an opportunity. Without them all this just wouldn’t happen.”   Final point score JASON GRIMSON 83 STUART MCDONALD 78 ELLEN RIXON 77 SAM ISON 75 MITCEH TURNBULL 73 BRAD ELDER 61 TOM PAY 60 MARTELLE MAGUIRE 56 JAMES HARDING 45 ROSS DRUITT 29   Michael Court

Former Goulburn harness racing trainer Graham Moon made the move to Tamworth in January this year and while it has taken him a little while to set up his property he is looking forward to this Sunday's Armidale Carnival Of Cups meeting. Moon will have three runners this weekend with Franco Seville set to start in the Roberts and Morrow Chartered Accountants Armidale Cup. "Franco Seville has drawn very well but I think it is going to be very hard to beat Strathlachlan Andy even though he has drawn barrier seven," Moon said. "Franco Seville has started three times since I made the move from Goulburn and he is yet to miss a place up here but this is biggest test." Moon purchased 100 acres just outside of Tamworth and has been busy making a number of changes to the property. "There was a big shed that I converted into some stables but I had to put in a track so I put in a 650 metre track which is what I had back in Goulburn." "I still have to build some day yards for the horses, there is always something to be done but I am happy with the progress Jenny and I have made since we have arrived and all of the Tamworth people have been so friendly and helpful." The Brazen Jasper and Bobbie Mcardle will also represent the Moon stable on Sunday. "I'm going to have a drive of The Brazen Jasper on Sunday, he hasn't had much luck of late and I've been giving a few drives to Sam Ison but I thought I would sit behind him this weekend and just get a feel for how well he is going." "Bobbie Mcardle is a nice mare from New Zealand, she has only had the one run for me since arriving in Australia, I think as she settles in there will be even more improvement." Moon described the move from Goulburn to Tamworth as a 'treechange'. "Jenny and I were running two businesses in Goulburn, there was a lot of work and our property was worth good money but training horses in Goulburn in the middle of winter is a very tough job so we thought it might be time to make the move and try something different." "Our Goulburn property is still on the market but there has been some strong interest lately and while we have been in Tamworth Sam Hewitt has been staying there as the caretaker." With five horses in work and another couple ready to come back into work, Moon is looking forward to the warmer winter. "It will still get cold in the winter, the mornings are already crisp but they won't be as cold as those Goulburn mornings, we definitely won't miss that." Eight races will be run at Armidale's Carnival Of Cups meeting this Sunday with the first event scheduled for 12:53pm. Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

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