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MENANGLE Park to Bathurst is amore than a three hour float trip but it’s been a worthwhile excursion on many occasions lately for KerryAnn Turner and Robbie Morris, when bringing well-graded horses over the mountains to Gold Crown Paceway. Last week’s trip produced a three-from-three result for driver Robbie Morris, in successive races. He scored with Milwaukee Stryder for Londonderry trainer Richard Camilleri, before adding a double for his and Turner’s stable with Stormont Star and Kleened Out NZ. With the driving duties completed after race four, and back on the road for the downhill run home  before seven o’clock, he would have been doubly pleased, by the perfect result and the prospect of being tucked up in bed well before midnight. Milwaukee Stryder cleared maiden ranks at start 17. After leading early, Morris handed up to Karloo Bentwofifty, and he came out of that trail rounding the home turn to draw level with the leader, grabbing him right on the line in a slogging finish, with a 58.2s last half and a  1:56.7 mile rate. Stormont Star began well from the middle of the second line in a C1 sprint and was well positioned in the leading division, launching his claim with a 28.1s third quarter before holding off the closing Lucky Lyla in 29.7s for a sharp 1:55.7 victory. The winner, a half-brother to the top-class Stormont Czar which races out of the stable,  is owned by Robbie’s mother Margaret, making this second Bathurst win even more enjoyable for the driver, who believes the horse has a nice future. “And I’m a fan of his sire For A Reason, which is doing a good job, with a number of nice horses,” he added. Although clocking in fractionally slower, in a C2-C3 sprint, Kleened Out NZ was the most impressive winner of the meeting, sitting outside the well-performed Callmequeenbee and upping the ante over a gruelling 56.2s final half before forging clear in the straight from Snoop Stride, which worked home well. Despite the strong support for the local filly, which was looking for a hat-trick, Morris was expecting a strong performance from his horse, and drove him accordingly. “I thought as a five-year-old he had the edge in race experience and toughness over Mat Rue’s nice filly, and he’d put in some very good runs recently down at Menangle. I considered this race suited him really well, and I’m certainly not surprised by the win,” he indicated on returning to scale. And that long drive he makes most weeks? “ It’s a fair hike, but I’m not complaining. It’s no different for Steve, or Bernie, when they bring their horses to race at Menangle, and they do it every week, some weeks even twice,” he acknowledged. Other winners at a true mid-winter meeting up on the tablelands: Jeradas Delight, strongly supported into favouritism in 3YO fillies class, and bringing up a hat-trick courtesy of Mark Hewitt’s classy drive - gradually working his way inside and outside into the race before bursting clear - that earned him the Drive of the Night award from racecaller Luke Marlow Volaticus (John O’Shea for Ed Collins ), sitting in the death and far too good for his  maiden opponents  at start number 18, his last half in 57.3s suggesting that he’ll be winning more races in coming starts for his very popular owner/trainer Navua Girl, for Steve Turnbull in the first  of two 2YO fillies events, well deserved after being runner-up at her previous three starts, and the Sportswriter daughter likely to have another couple of runs before going for a spell Soundslikeart (Gemma/Mat Rue ) in the second division, scoring her second win in succession by leading throughout, and a blistering 27.1s final quarter enabling the Art Major youngster to romp in for the easiest win of the night Captain Cosmonaut (Chris Frisby/ Amanda Turnbull ),the three-year-old enjoying a change of tactics in this CO sprint, sitting back in the field and set loose over the final 600 metres in one sustained run, remarkably Amanda’s only drive of the night. Some meritorious individual performances, from both horses and drivers, but without question, the honours belonged with Robbie Morris. Over the hill (literally) and far away the best of the night.   Terry Neil

The barrier draws for the Alabar Breeders Challenge Two-Year-Old Finals were conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. Semi-Finals for this age group were held earlier in the evening with reinsman Luke McCarthy winning three of the deciders. This included both colts and geldings Semi-Finals with Lochinvar Art and Hardhitter while McCarthy also drove Rollin With Holly to victory in one of the fillies Semi-Finals. The Wayne Sullivan trained and driven Cee Cee Armbro won the other fillies Semi-Final. The $125,000 Group 1 Alabar Breeders Challenge Finals will be held at Menangle on Sunday July 1.   Alabar Breeders Challenge 2YO Colts & Geldings Final   1 Leonidas 2 Make Mine Memphis 3 Mach Le More 4 Lochinvar Art 5 Hardhitter 6 Shoobee Doo 7 Tsunami Charlie (EM2) 8 First String (EM1) 9 Animal 10 Hurricane Roy 11 Muscle Factory 12 Rainbow Comet       Alabar Breeders Challenge 2YO Fillies Final   1 Belongtolou 2 Kept In Play 3 Delightful Jackie 4 Miss Halfpenny 5 Taylors Mill 6 Kiamasrosie (EM1) 7 Casuarina Belmer 8 Ally Rogan (EM2) 9 Cee Cee Ambro 10 Lady Swiss 11 Rollin With Holly 12 Sheeza Malteeza     AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

The mantle is up for grabs and Mick Stanley is doing his best to claim it with Soho Tribeca. Lazarus was Australasia’s undisputed top pacing seed and now the door is open. Right now you’d say My Field Marshal just holds the tag, but Soho Tribeca is right there with him and the next few weeks could change everything. Fittingly, both pacers are in action this weekend: Soho Tribeca resumes from a spell as a $1.50 Aussie TAB in the Italian Cup (2240m) at Melton at 8.57pm NZ time on Saturday night. Little more than an hour later, My Field Marshal is a $1.70 favourite despite drawing out in gate 10 in the $30,000 Golden Mile at Menangle. It two weeks they come together in the Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle. The last time they clashed at Menangle, My Field Marshal finished over the top of Soho Tribeca in an Australasian record 1min46.9sec. Soho Tribeca was, however, the run of the race after sitting parked, doing all the work and finishing less than a neck from My Field Marshal. Trainer Mick Stanley says Soho Tribeca is primed for his return this week and can’t wait to get to Sydney, then onto the Queensland Winter Carnival for the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake. “He’s ready to race for sure. He has been working up super. Sure he will better for the hitout, but it will have him spot-on for Sydney,” he said. “He’s so ready, he’ll just need this one lead-up run. “From Sydney, he’ll head to the Sunshine Sprint (July 14) and Blacks A Fake (July 21).” If there is an X-factor in this quest for Australasian’s top pacing seed it is surely Chariots Of Fire winner and Miracle Mile runner-up Jilliby Kung Fu. Sadly he missed the Harness Jewels after a minor setback, but the gun four-year-old resumes in a race he should win for fun at Shepparton tomorrow night. If he wins well, the focus will turn to whether trainer Marg Lee sends him straight to Sydney for the Len Smith Mile second-up from a break. Adam Hamilton

Luke McCarthy knew the time had come.  As he drove Bling It On back off the Menangle track last night (Saturday), he knew it was the last time the superstar pacer would contest a race.  It was Bling It On’s 86th and final race start. A staggering 49 of them were at Group level.  He retires with 45 wins, 20 placings and earnings of $1,656,656.  “He went to this race as a D-day. He needed to go really well to continue on and he didn’t,” McCarthy said. “We made excuses for him first-up and then trialled quite well, but he didn’t do enough last time. It’s the right time to retire him.  “The timing works well actually. The breeding season isn’t far away. He served 130 mares when he was at stud recovering from his injuries last year and hopefully he can get another 100 mares or so this year to give him a chance to make an impact as a stallion.”  McCarthy quickly declared the 2017 Hunter Cup as Bling It On’s greatest moment on the track.  “That was the most special to me, but there were so many others. His Queensland Derby win, that Breeders Crown win as a two-year-old and that Gold Coast Cup where he won and smashed the track record,” he said.  “He was such a great horse from day one and just about all of his runs were against top opposition.”  McCarthy was proudest of how Bling It On recovered from horrific injuries sustained in a fall at Albion Park on June 17, 2017.  “I still look back at the photos of the injuries to his knees and wonder how he made it back to the races,” McCarthy said.  “To think he came back and won his first three starts and went 1min50.8sec in one of them, which was his career-best.  “You can only marvel when a horse can comeback from that and still be so good.  “I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact he make at stud. He’s from such a great family with Baby Bling and now Bletchley Park along as a few others. He’s got everything going for him.”   Adam Hamilton

Miracle Mile champ My Field Marshal set another harness racing record even in defeat at Menangle on Saturday night. He blazed off the gate from the extreme outside draw to find the front in the fastest official opening quarter ever run in Australia. My Field Marshal’s mindblowing 24.6sec opening split took 0.2sec off the previous mark set by Hectorjayjay in the 2017 Miracle Mile. Just as it proved too much for Hectorjayjay that day, it also saw My Field Marshal beaten, but only just and by a much-improved pacer. Match In Heaven, previously known as a speedy sit-sprinter, has thrived since being driven more aggressively in recent months and sat parked to beat My Field Marshal by two metres. The overall mile was a cosy 1min52.8sec in Menangle terms, but that’s because Anthony Butt threw out the anchors with splits of 31.3 and 30.6sec after the early burn. The race billed as a showdown between My Field Marshal and the emerging Majordan, but that changed once Majordan tried hard to hold-out his main rival in that blistering first quarter. Majordan was 10.8m away in fourth spot. X X X SOME say Ignatius could be the best three-year-old in Australasia. Yes it’s a massive call, but there is something seriously X-factor-ish about the best pacer to come out Tasmania since the mighty Beautide. And, like Beautide, he’s now in the Jimmy Rattray barn. To say he’s better than the likes of Chase Auckland, Poster Boy, Colt Thirty One, Lumineer, Colt Thirty One and others is bold, but a look at his Penrith win in a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge last Thursday is well worth it. This was no ordinary win. Ignatius covered plenty of ground, did all the work and blasted away to win – seemingly with plenty left in the tank – by 15m in track record time. His 1min53.6sec mile rate around the tiny, right, old-school track sliced 0.8sec off the record. It was his 11th win from just 12 starts. Ignatius only defeat came when a luckless third in a NSW 2YO Breeders Challenge heat, but he atoned by blasting past Sicario to win that final in a 1min52.6sec mile. Most were surprised when he didn’t appear in the Victoria or NSW Derbys, but he’s making up for now and has the NSW Breeders Challenge and Queensland Derby to come. Next step is a Breeders Challenge semi-final, then the final on the huge Len Smith card at Menangle on July 1. X X X HUNTER Cup winning star Bling It On passed a big test in the eyes of regular driver Luke McCarthy at Menangle last Tuesday. McCarthy was very disappointed with the seven-year-old’s tiring sixth when he resumed from a spell at Menangle on May 19. So he made last Tuesday’s Menangle trial a measuring stick workout. “I needed to see enough to keep him going and he did that,” McCarthy said. “I went there to give him a solid hitout and find out more.” McCarthy worked forward from gate six to eventually find the lead after an opening 28.3sec quarter then kept rolling through a 28.5sec second split. Bling It On went 28.4sec for the third quarter then McCarthy clicked him up for a 26.9sec last quarter where he held-off the fast-finishing former Kiwi mare Rocker Band to win by 1.4m in a slick 1min52.1sec mile. “There’s a 2300m race for him this week we’ll probably head to. He’s not suited to the really fast miles around Menangle these days,” McCarthy said. “If we’re happy with him, he could go to Queensland for the Blacks A Fake.” So it seems you can take Bling It On out of calculations for the $100,000 Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle on July 1. X X X YOUNG gun trainer Anton Golino watched and cheered in NZ on Harness Jewels day as his filly Pretty Majestic snared the $60,000 Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Oaks (2240m) at Melton on Saturday night. Golino, who had Dance Craze finished a luckless third in the 4YO Jewels Trot, continues to emerge as the biggest force in Australia trotting ranks. Pretty Majestic, a daughter of Majestic Son, scored by a half-head over Andy Gath’s Moonlight Dream in a moderate 2min3sec mile rate. It capped a big night for Golino, who also trained five-year-old Skyvalley mare Aldebaran Eve for an upset win as a $38 shot in the Group 2 4&5YO Mares’ Classic. Nathan Jack drove Aldebaran Eve and also teamed with Golino to win last night’s Group 2 Tatlow 2YO Trot with Always Ready, a Ready Cash colt. Another impressive Melton winner was the rejuvenated Brallos Pass, who scorched over 2240m in a 1min54.9sec mile rate to win the fast class race. Meanwhile Emma Stewart caused a minor upset in the Vicbred Platinum final when Flying Moth led throughout in a 1min53.1sec mile rate for 1720m. Hot favourite General Dodge, who toyed with Flying Moth in the heat, ran well below his best in sixth spot and stewards queried the run. X X X LEVIATHAN owner-breeders Emilio and Mary Rosati notched another big milestone when Cherry Stride sparkled in a 1min51.8sec mile to win the Group 3 Go Girlfriend final at Menangle Saturday night. “That’s the fastest mare we’ve ever bred and KerryAnn (Turner) and Robbie (Robbie) have done a superb job with her,” Emilio Rosati said. Cherry Stride led for Morris and ripped home in 54.6 and 26.8sec to beat favourite Elle Yeah by four metres. Other notable wins on the night at Menangle included Tim Butt’s classy four-year-old Let It Ride in a 1min51.7sec mile and rejuvenated veteran Ultimate Art in a career-best 1min50.3sec mile. X X X ART Major filly Majorpride gave young gun WA trainer Justin Prentice one of the biggest wins of his career in the $100,000 2YO Diamond Classic for fillies at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Prentice had four of the 12 runners in the race and drove sixth-placed Fulfil The Dream while Gary Hall Jr partnered the winner. Majorpride picked the right time to break her maiden given she’s been placed in five of six starts before holding-off favourite Typhoon Tiff last Friday night. By Adam Hamilton

Normal programming resumes. Millionaire pacer Bling It On bounced back with an important victory in a public at TABCORP Park, Menangle yesterday (Tuesday). Doubts lingered over the star pacer following his dismal first-up effort on May 19 when a tiring 6th behind Match In Heaven after leading. Exhaustive tests were carried out but could find no abnormalities so connections decided a trial would determine his plans this campaign and beyond. Bling It On rated 1:52.1 defeating quality performers Rocker Band and Charlaval. Splits of 28.3, 28.5, 28.4 and 26.9 seconds. “It must’ve been an off day for him when he failed first-up because he was back to his old ways in the trial; he felt like himself and went accordingly. We’ll be pushing on after that hit-out today.” Regular reinsman Luke McCarthy said. The Craig Cross trained American Ideal will be considered for the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Menangle on July 1 while the Brisbane winter carnival features are the main target. The Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on July 14 followed by the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship the following week. With the stable already based in Brisbane with several runners, more classy types are expected in the coming weeks with the likes of yesterday’s Menangle winner Effronte and promising rookie First String also being considered for winter carnival features in July.   Chris Barsby

Just a week ago the Ameretto team dared to talk Inter Dominions and now we know why. Beating “the girls” is one thing, but Ameretto took the next step by thrashing all-comers, including ageing champ Lennytheshark, in last night’s Golden Reign free-for-all at Melton. Yes the race was put on for here when Lennytheshark and stablemate Im The Boss blazed through a 41.5sec lead time, but Ameretto zoomed to the front on the home bend to win by 11.1m in a flying 1min54.6sec mile rate for 2240m. Just back on that lead time for a moment – it’s the fastest ever run at Melton and took 0.4sec off what The Gold Ace and Im Themightyquinn blazed in the 2012 Victoria Cup won by Caribbean Blaster. So Im The Boss and Lennytheshark still did well to finish second and third respectively. But this was Ameretto’s night and came just a week after she crunched Australia’s best mares in the Group 1 Queen of the Pacific at Melton. Despite the latest win, trainers Kerryn Manning and Grant Campbell reaffirmed plans to stay in Victoria rather than chasing next month’s Len Smith Mile at Menangle or Queensland winter riches. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Tim Butt opted to stick to Menangle rather than chase the slightly richer Newcastle Mile with his Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal. While the emerging Majordan blew his rivals away at Newcastle last night, My Field Marshal cruised to a 1min52.4sec mile win against a moderate bunch at Menangle. It was just another step towards the Len Smith Mile then Queensland Winter Carnival. ____________________________________________________________________________________ La Grange, by Muscle Hill out of former Rowe Cup winner La Coocaracha, comfortably won the $30,000 NSW 3YO Trotters’ final at Menangle. She was the first leg of a feature Menangle double for trainer Anton Golino and driver Nathan Jack, who also combined to win the $30,000 2YO final with All Cashed Up (Ready Cash-Pepperell Magic). Speedy Victorian mare Red Hot Tooth won the 4&5YO Trot at Menangle for trainer Kari Males and driver Zac Phillips. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Glamour combo Emma Stewart and Chris Alford strutted their stuff in Tasmania last Friday. The main reason for the Launceston raid was the $40,000 Bandbox 3YO Fillies’ final which they won by a cricket pitch with Somebeachsomewhere filly Nostra Beach. Nostra Beach won her qualifier by 49.2m at Launceston on May 14 then worked to front and won the final by 16.4m in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for 2200m. She’s won eight of her 14 starts and almost $240,000, mainly via last season’s Australian Gold 2YO final triumph. Just for good measure, Alford and Stewart combined for another four wins on the night, making it five wins from their seven runners. One of their winners worth following is definitely Ride High, a son of Art Major, who has won his only three starts by a thumping aggregate of 69.3 metres. Insiders say the stable thinks Ride High has Group 1 potential. There was also plenty to like about Another Safari’s powerhouse 25m win in the fast-class race where he took more than two seconds off the 2200m standing-start track record. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Former Kiwi trotter Tornado Valley didn’t take to regain winning form. He won seven on end and was ranked by many as Australia’s best trotter before a 10m handicap and tough run saw him tire late for a gallant third in the Group 1 Australasian Trotting Championship at Melton last Saturday week. Six days later he again did all the work in a strong field and dug deep to win the Group 3 Jack Slack Trotters’ Memorial (2200m) at Ballarat. Tornado Valley just held-off Fabrication, who ended his winning streak six days earlier. The measure of the latest win was the fact Tornado Valley was three-wide for much of the trip in a sharp 1min59sec mile rate in cold conditions. ____________________________________________________________________________________ He is bred to be anything, his trainer “loves” him and the early signs are good. That’s the story of Bletchley Park so far, who is the baby brother of Bling It On and half-sister to Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling. The Mike Reed-trained son of American Ideal made it two wins from three starts when he used to lead throughout for a no-fuss Gloucester Park win last Friday night. Shannon Suvaljko dictated terms in front and out-zipped and equally exciting Bitcoin in a cosy 1min59.4sec mile rate for 2130m. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Still at Gloucester Park and it great to see popular trio Vultan Tin, driver Chris Voak and trainer Phil Costello jag another win. The gelding ran the race of his life when fourth to Lazarus in the Perth Inter Dominion last December. This was his fourth win since. Voak threw everything at Vultan Tin at the start and was able to hold the lead from hot favourite Bettors Fire and that changed the race. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Rumours of Jack Mac’s demise were greatly exaggerated. A sustained absence from the racetrack by last season’s Western Australian juvenile star sparked plenty of talk his career was over or even worse. Just last week Jack Mac’s connections posted on his own twitter handle: “I didn’t die of a snake bite (wtf lol), I haven’t been sold to the US, I didn’t get a positive swab and I haven’t broken down. #RumoursAreFun Will be back soon though.” Soon was last Friday night when the former Kiwi colt returned to racing with an arrogant all-the-way in the $50,000 Group 2 Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park. Trained by Barry Howlett and driven by Chris Lewis, Jack Mac dictated terms in front and really just sprinted home a last quarter in 27.7sec to win by 8.2m. It was his eighth win from as many starts since moving from NZ to WA. He was winless in five NZ starts. Jack Mac was spelled after winning WA’s major two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper, on July 1 last year. He returned to win by a big space at Pinjarra in January, but hadn’t been again until his Gloucester Park last Friday night.   Adam Hamilton

Australian Pacing Gold purchase Atomic Red is predicted to have little trouble returning to the harness racing winners’ circle in Dubbo tomorrow night. Runner-up in the Carousel Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle a fortnight ago, Atomic Red won his previous start by 32 metres in 1:53.6. This time around the Steve Turnbull-trained entire is set to contest the Dubbo City Cup, where he has drawn to lead throughout from barrier three. As such the son of Rocknroll Hanover has been installed a $1.45 favourite. “It’s not a bad draw for him,” Turnbull said. “I reckon Amanda (Turnbull, driver) will let him run along at an even clip. “I wouldn’t say he is very speedy, but he is tough. His last three quarters when beaten were 27.8, 27.1 and 27.6 over 2300 metres. “When one his rivals are sitting right on him it can make him vulnerable.” Turnbull believes the biggest threat to that vulnerability is likely to come in the shape of veteran pacer Ultimate Art, which will begin from the outside of the second row. “Ultimate Art is the main danger,” Turnbull said. “He can sprint home pretty quickly and coming from back could give him that opportunity. “That said, Atomic Red is in great shape. He was doing bit of bucking around today, but think they may also have just been to keep warm!” APG Media

Brown's Creek father and son Leigh and Jake Davis have enjoyed their share of upset wins over the years they have been involved in harness racing, but few would rate as highly as the surprise they sprung at Menangle Park on Saturday. With Jake in the gig for his trainer-father Leigh, he steered $50.10 outsider Rainbow Comet to victory in the two-year-old colts and geldings Australian Pacing Gold Consolation Final (1,609 metres). That the race held Group 3 status, just one member of the nine-strong field was at longer odds than the Davis’ colt and that it was the first win of Rainbow Comet’s career made it even better. The son of Grinfromeartoear was three back on the pegs at the 400m mark and spotted the leader some 3½ lengths, but he got clear with 220m to go and flew home. He clocked a 1:55.6 mile rate in winning by 1.7m over $2.30 favourite Firestorm Red (Amanda Turnbull), getting home in a 27.9 second split. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

A brief break before embarking on another harness racing Group One campaign is the plan with Soho Nolita. A brilliant winner of last night’s Australian Pacing Gold Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle, Soho Nolita will enjoy a short freshen-up before being aimed at the Vicbred Super Series. Heats of the futurity are scheduled to be conducted on June 19, with the semi-finals 10 days later, leading into the $125,000 decider on July 7. “She’ll have a little break now then it’s on to the Vicbred,” Stanley said. “Hopefully she can do as well in that as she has in the APG. “After that she will have another short break before we have a look at the Breeders’ Crown in August.” Driven by Stanley in the $328,000 APG Final, Soho Nolita was caught three-wide from barrier nine as Miss Halfpenny led from gate five. With Stanley pushing forward as the pacemaker covered the first half in 55.6 seconds, Soho Nolita dashed to the lead before cruising to a five-metre win from Miss Halfpenny, with Delightful Jazz a head away third. “That was a super run from her,” Stanley said. “She did plenty of work to find the front and won with a bit up her sleeve in 1:53 over the mile. “She missed a bit of work because of a foot abscess before her heat, so having to run in the repechage turned out to be a blessing in disguise as she was spot on for the Final. “I’ve thought all along she could be something special and everything she has done continues to make me think that will be the case.” Owned by Rob Watson, the daughter of Mach Three boasts three wins from four starts for earnings of $161,700. APG Media

Such is the depth in tonight’s Australian Pacing Gold Final the rank outsider will head into the harness racing feature with a near-perfect record. Boasting two wins and a second from three starts, Thats Bettor earned a berth in the Tabcorp Park Menangle-based Group One by securing her heat. Rating 1:58.9 over 1660 metres around Albion Park in qualifier, the Shannon Price-trained filly is listed at $34. Thats Bettor’s defeat was behind her APG Final rival, Miss Moneybags, which is the second lowest runner in the market at $26. “I’m a bit surprised about that, but I suppose she is a Queenslander,” Price said. “She did run a quick last half in her heat even though didn’t win in 1:53 like the interstaters.” Drawn barrier four in the $328,000 decider, Thats Bettor moves into three once the emergency is taken out, with Price stating the daughter of Bettors Delight is in peak condition for the pending assignment. “She’s feeling great…I couldn’t be happier with her,” Price said. “Her work has been terrific and she had a nice trial before we left. “Since she got to Sydney she has settled in, eaten up and is ready to go. “The draw is handy so hopefully she can get a good trail from there.” Citing Soho Interceptor and Soho Nolita as the pair to beat, Price considers Kualoa as the one most likely to upset the pair. Soho Interceptor and Soho Nolita have drawn alongside each other in gates 10 and 11, with Kualoa to begin from five. “Soho Interceptor and Soho Nolita are the top two, but they have drawn out wide,” Price said. “Kualoa has only had the one start, which was her heat, but Emma (Stewart, trainer) is bound to have her in perfect shape.”  APG Media

It seems that harness racing at Menangle suddenly has a plethora of future stars with several young drivers poised to dominate the sport for the next few years. And that might start today at Tabcorp Park Menangle with amazing talent expected to dominate this afternoon’s eight-race card. Race one looks the perfect case in point with four of our ‘young guns’ to do battle. Cameron Hart will handle polemarker Aichbechateaunoir for former Victorian trainer Shane Sanderson while Jason Grimson will be aboard outsider Vivian Knox for Troy Williams; the seasoned young ‘veteran’ Chris Geary drives No Transactions for Tim Butt while Codi Rauchenberger will partner Majestic Whiz for Peter Carson. All four drivers have been in good form around the provincials in recent weeks and could easily pull off an upset here. While Geary, Grimson and Hart are in heavy demand in other races, another young reinsman will be hoping to add to what is already becoming an outstanding strike rate when former Queensland reinsman Lachie Manzelmann [pictured] drives Countdown for Leon Jurd in Race Four. Manzelmann took a massive gamble when he left his home state to take up a spot working for the powerful Shane and Lauren Tritton stable at Menangle a few months ago. His gamble has worked a treat as he is working horses, including some of the best in training, most mornings on the best harness track in the Southern Hemisphere and his efforts are now beginning to catch the eye of other trainers. “I’m glad I made the move to Menangle because I had never left home before and it has done me the world of good,” said Manzelmann, who gives Countdown a good show Menangle in Race four today and believes his chances might be further improved if he can hold the lead. “I think that’s when Countdown ran his best races when he was in Queensland,” he said. “But I’ll have a talk to Leon [Jurd] before the race and see what we’ll do.” Manzelmann says he found the pace of the racing in Sydney took a bit of getting used to when he first made the move south. “They go a lot faster down here and there’s no real backing off of the speed,” he said. “But I am loving the challenge and no, I haven’t really felt homesick. “I went back to Queensland for a drive last week and managed to get into a little bit of trouble with the stewards, but it was just a one off and I am happy to stay here.” Manzelmann has one horse in work himself but has been delighted to sit behind horses like Franco Nelson and Reaza Grunter. “I think Reaza Grunter is probably the fastest horse I’ve driven in a race, at this stage,” he said. Michael Court

Wyee harness racing trainer Joseph Clark is keen to test promising four-year-old Misterfire in midweek Tabcorp Park Menangle company after his third win in five career starts. The Courage Under Fire entire, which Clark part-bred and owns from his mare Miss Charge, won in 1:57.8 at Newcastle Paceway on Saturday night. All of his starts so far have come at Newcastle with Morisset-based trainer-driver Mark Callaghan in the gig. Clark, 53, has been involved in harness racing all his life and is the son of former prominent trainer Doug Clark. He has only ever had a couple in work and is keen to see how far Misterfire can go after the promising start at Newcastle. “He’s a late foal and he’s still very immature, but he’s got to a C2 class reasonably quickly,” Clark said. “The plan is to take him down to a Tuesday Menangle meeting, where I think the big track will help him. “He’s only an honest type and I think he will be a better five year old because he’s a had a few issues.” Clark said Misterfire “gets on his knees a bit” but some remedial shoeing work has improved his racing and the wide open Menangle track would suit. Visiting driver Blake Fitzpatrick dominated on Saturday night at Newcastle with wins on Leonidas, Lexus With A View, Pat Stanley and Tavewa Sunset. On Friday night, former Hunter combination Shane and Lauren Tritton had a treble at Menangle with MY Sweetchilliphilly, Franco Nelson and Reaza Grunter. On Monday, Maitland will hold a nine-race meeting from 1pm. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of the Newcastle Herald

Top harness racing trainer Emma Stewart has carried all before her in Victoria this year with a string of major wins. Yet even Stewart could not have expected to come to Sydney and bag the trifecta in one of Sydney's biggest plums, the APG New South Wales Derby. Aided by a masterly drive by Chris 'The Puppet' Alford, the Derby went to Victorian Derby runner-up Poster Boy, who raced with a one-one trail for most of the 2300m journey before Alford expertly extricated him from a pocket turning for home and made a flashing run to take the Derby by one and a half-metres from surprise packet Tam Major (Todd McCarthy) with the other stablemate, Major Times (Mark Pitt) a half neck back in third place. Vic Derby winner Colt Thirty One was sent out a short-priced favourite for Grant Dixon after drawing gate one and the race looked his for the taking when he led easily and was able to get away with a 30.9 first quarter and a 29.6 second split in the final mile. But he never got much peace in front and was eyeballed by Maraetai for much of the final lap. Enter Poster Boy and Alford later admitted the last half lap hadn't quite worked out how he had planed it to. "Thankfully he was good enough to cover them when he got clear," said the champion reinsman. With a last half of 53 seconds (splits of 26.7 and 26.3s), Poster Boy made up for his narrow defeat in the Victorian equivalent with a one and a half metre victory in 1:56.7 mile rate. Stewart admitted eh loves coming to Sydney and would be back whenever there were feature races on. "We're big supporters of APG and buy a lot of our horses there so it is fitting they should sponsor a race like this." Poster Boy Video coming   5 8:20pm APG NSW DERBY (GROUP 1) 2400M $200,000 3YO Colts and Geldings. RBD. Mobile Final Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 POSTER BOY  $120,000   Fr3 4 Emma Stewart Chris Alford   $ 3.50       BAY COLT 3 by SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE USA out of ASTON VILLA USA (ARTSPLACE (US))  Owner(s): Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd  Breeder(s): Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd 2 TAM MAJOR  $ 30,000   Fr8 10 Emma Stewart Todd McCarthy 1.50 $ 149.30     3 MAJOR TIMES  $ 20,000   Fr2 2 Emma Stewart Mark Pitt 2.20 $ 12.50     4 THE BLACK PRINCE NZ  $ 10,000   Fr6 8 Roy Roots Jnr Chris Geary 2.90 $ 41.80     5 COLT THIRTY ONE  $ 5,000   Fr1 1 Grant Dixon Grant Dixon 3.10 $ 2.60 fav    6 LITTLE PEANUT  $ 3,000   Fr10 12 Jess Tubbs Greg Sugars 7.50 $ 19.60     7 CODE BAILEY NZ  $ 3,000   Fr7 9 Margaret Lee Glen Craven 9.70 $ 50.40     8 THE DEVILS OWN NZ  $ 3,000   Fr9 11 Mark Purdon Natalie Rasmussen 13.40 $ 18.50     9 MARAETAI  $ 3,000   Fr4 5 Emma Stewart Luke McCarthy 14.10 $ 3.90     10 HIGHERTHANANEAGLE  $ 3,000   Fr5 6 David Aiken Darren Hancock 14.30 $ 39.20   (L) Scratchings   DIVINE STATE 3 ALL U NEED IS FAITH NZ 7 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:54:0 Mile Rate: 1:56:7 Lead Time: 60.5 First Quarter: 30.9 Second Quarter: 29.6 Third Quarter: 26.7 Fourth Quarter: 26.3 Margins: 1.5m x HFNK   Sean Vella    

It didn't take champion reinsman Luke McCarthy long to get back into the harness racing spotlight at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. McCarthy picked up the plum drive on four-year-old Victorian mare Carlas Pixel from ace Victorian trainer Emma Stewart a couple of weeks ago. Carlas Pixel qualified for the Ladyship Mile at Menangle two weeks ago when successful in the Canadian Club Sprint and it paid dividends tonight when McCarthy brought the daughter of Courage Under Fire with a flashing finish from well back in the field for an impressive victory - breaking the magical 1:50 mile rate in the process, rating 1:49.5 to score a one a quarter metre win over Delishka (Blake Fitzpatrick) with Rocker Band (Ash Grives) five and a half metres further back in third place. The stunning time was made possible by bold front-runner My Rona Gold (Lauren Tritton) who surged out of the gate in a slashing 25.5 seconds for the opening quarter. The flashy grey then ran them along in fine style with a 28.1 second split before fading in the straight the finish fifth as the pace began to tell and the first two placegetters emerged from well back in the field. Stewart later paid tribute to the McCarthys - Luke and Belinda for making Cobbity a home away from home for them when they come to Sydney. "I was quite nervous when I got her because she's a super mare and you never know how you are going to go when you get a good horse like that," said Stewart. "But full marks to Luke, he drove her superbly tonight." Luke added: I've been lucky enough to win this twice and its a huge thrill. She went so well last week we had a lot of confidence going into tonight's race. "Dean Braun picked this horse from the yearling sales and deserves some of the credit to as he did a great job with her."   Carlas Pixel       4 7:46pm MACARTHUR SQUARE LADYSHIP MILE (GROUP 1) 1609M $200,000 Mares. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 CARLAS PIXEL      Fr5 6 Emma Stewart Luke McCarthy   $ 7.20       BAY MARE 4 by COURAGE UNDER FIRE NZ out of PIXEL PERFECT (ART MAJOR USA)  Owner(s): S J Nixon, M E Denyer  Breeder(s): R J (Robert) Watson 2 DELISHKA NZ      Fr9 11 Brad Mowbray Blake Fitzpatrick 1.3m $ 23.80     3 ROCKER BAND NZ      Fr1 1 Mark Jones Ashlee Grives 6.7m $ 14.70     4 A PICCADILLY PRINCESS NZ      Fr8 9 Mark Purdon Natalie Rasmussen 11.2m $ 8.70     5 MY RONA GOLD NZ      Fr7 8 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton 11.2m $ 24.50     6 IMA MYSTERY GIRL      Fr4 5 Jarrod Alchin Jarrod Alchin 11.8m $ 71.00     7 SHAKAHARI      Fr10 12 Stephen O'Donoghue Rebecca Bartley 13.4m $ 139.30     8 AMERETTO      Fr2 2 Kerryn Manning Kerryn Manning 14.8m $ 1.80 fav    9 MISS RIVIERA BELLE NZ      Fr6 7 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Chris Geary 16.8m $ 69.10     10 OUR GOLDEN GODDESS      Fr3 4 Kerryn Manning James Rattray 21.6m $ 5.40     Scratchings   PARTYON NZ 3 BERISARI 10 Track Rating:   Gross Time: 1:49:5 Mile Rate: 1:49:5 First Quarter: 25.5 Second Quarter: 28.1 Third Quarter: 28 Fourth Quarter: 27.9 Margins: 1.3m x 5.4m     Sean Vella    

Young Victorian reins man Mark Pitt gave a salute to the stars as he scored an amazing harness racing win in tonight's John Gibson Memorial New South Wales Oaks at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Shepparton reinsman brought Shez All Rock with a burst of speed up the inside running to win by three metres from Soho Burning Love (Greg Sugars) in a world record equalling time of 2:50.4 with the plucky Nostra Villa (Chris Alford) clinging on for third. Pitt drove a patient race with the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, settling in about seventh spot and biding his time until the field hit the home running. The charges looked to be coming from out wide and just as it looked as if Soho Burning Love and Nostra Villa would fight out the finish Pitt and Shez All Rock appeared from nowhere up the pegs for an amazing win. Now Victorian-based, Pitt showed his delight to be back in his former home state with a mighty flourish of the whip as he crossed the line for a win he rated among the best of his career. "This was always going to be a tricky race but she had a good trip tonight and god the job done," said Pitt. "It's always good when you come away from home and win a race like this and go home with a trophy, it's really special. "I have to thank Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin for all the help they have given me with this horse and I also think Mum and Dad deserve some of the credit too. Without them none of this would be possible.       3 7:17pm JOHN GIBSON MEMORIAL NSW OAKS (GROUP 1) 2400M $200,000 3YO Fillies. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 SHEZ ALL ROCK      Fr4 5 Mark Pitt Mark Pitt   $ 4.80       BROWN FILLY 3 by ROCK N ROLL HEAVEN USA out of JUST IRISH LOCH NZ (MACH THREE CA)  Owner(s): I D Pitt, L M Pitt  Breeder(s): G F (George) Tennent 2 SOHO BURNING LOVE      Fr10 11 Michael Stanley Greg Sugars 3.2m $ 13.20     3 NOSTRA VILLA      Fr7 8 Emma Stewart Chris Alford 7.5m $ 2.70 fav    4 CALLMEQUEENBEE      Fr8 9 Gemma Rue Mat Rue 9.1m $ 95.30     5 MY SWEETCHILLIPHILLY NZ      Fr6 7 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton 9.3m $ 35.70     6 WAR DAN BAD GIRL      Fr5 6 Steve Turnbull Nathan Jack 9.5m $ 42.30     7 FAME ASSURED      Fr3 4 Grant Dixon Grant Dixon 10.4m $ 4.60     8 IMPRINCESSGEMMA      Fr1 2 Emma Stewart Luke McCarthy 21.7m $ 6.30     9 IDEAL PLEASURE NZ      Fr2 3 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Natalie Rasmussen 22.5m $ 16.10     10 MACEY JAYDE      Fr9 10 Michael Stanley Michael Stanley 29.8m $ 46.20     Scratchings   REDBANK ADDI 1 PROPHESY 12 Track Rating: Gross Time: 2:50:4 Mile Rate: 1:54:3 Lead Time: 54.9 First Quarter: 29.3 Second Quarter: 30.1 Third Quarter: 27.8 Fourth Quarter: 28.3 Margins: 3.2m x 4.3m   Sean Vella  

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