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Iden Forest has caused many headaches for many people in his 31-start racing career, and last night in Hobart the gelded son of Major In Art showed what he is capable of when he registered his third career victory in the Triple M Hobart Pace, but the win wasn’t all smooth sailing as trainer Chris Howlett reflected after the win “He had a gear failure tonight, the lugging pole got attached to the bit, he locked up on the outside which didn’t give Mathew (Howlett, driver) any control, he is bad enough as it is so we didn’t need that happening,” said Howlett Iden Forest ($7.50) was out of position by approximately half a length when the starter released the field to settle one-out and four-back before working to the spot outside the leader from the 1200-metre mark The gelding was inclined to lay in significantly around the corners but when he balanced up in the home straight he put the field away to score a 5.8-metre victory in a mile rate of 2m 3.1s It was only the second time in 16-starts that Iden Forest has been placed on the Hobart track “He has been frustrating for everybody, not only for me but the trainer’s before,” said the trainer who also acknowledged the work of Paul Williams before Iden Forest arrived in his care Iden Forest has been out of the draw for his past three starts and unfortunately for connections the horse has to be drawn out the back again for a few more starts “He races best when he is up on the speed and tonight he would have been back in the draw if it wasn’t for the gear malfunction early, unfortunately, we will have to put up with being out of the draw for a few more starts,” Howlett said after last night’s win The five-year-old has shown ability in his racing career but if he continues to deliver going forward the trainer has one concern “He just lacks some high speed which may hurt him when he gets up in grade,” the trainer explained The pacer was bred and part-owned by Elliot Booth, who has had interest from interstate to purchase the pacer “There has been some interest for him on the mainland but I will leave that decision in the owner’s hands,” said Howlett Punters were cashed up after the second event on the card when Koolaz Elvis was backed in from $8.00 to start the $3.20 favourite. The gelded son of Courage Under Fire put the writing on the wall at his start prior in Launceston where he settled in the back half of the field and was doing his best work late to finish fourth to Similan Beach in a fast last half. Since that effort, Koolaz Elvis joined the stables of Conor Crook who also took the drive in last night’s event where he was able to settle on the back of the leader, before working into the clear at the top of the home straight to score by a half head Talented four-year-old Cool Water Paddy continued on his winning way when he led all the way to score first-up from a spell in a slick mile of 1m 56.7s Another horse to continue on their winning way was One Yankee Ginga in the trotters event while Ryley Major was too quick late for Call Me Hector in the free-for-all.   Duncan Dornauf

Four-year-old mare Karalta Moondance continued her liking to the Devonport track with an all the way win in the Collins Homes Mobile in Devonport last night. Veteran reinsman John Walters took the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven straight to the lead in the 1930 metre event to record her sixth career victory and her third win on the track. Karalta Moondance ($4.70) was able to hold off a late charge by Paint The Wind by 2.9 metres with The Lemondrop Kid 1.1 metres away third, the mile rate was 2m 3.3s. “John (Walters) was pretty confident he was going to lead, so I was happy to trust his judgement,” said trainer Kent Rattray after the win. It was the first win in almost four months for Karalta Moondance but Rattray has been happy with her recent performances. “She hasn’t been racing bad she has just been striking a few better than her … she seems to be a nice horse to race at Devonport as she can control the speed a bit,” explained Rattray. The mare will now have a week off before returning to the tack. “She will have a week off and bring her back and find a race for her,” said the winning trainer. Karalta Moondance is also standing start qualified which gives Rattray several options over the Christmas – New Year period. “She has had a couple of stands now so we might look at one of the mares standing start races over the summer,” Rattray explained. Karalta Moondance is raced by Kent’s parents Wayne and Gaye with Karalta Moondance pocketing them just under $70,000 in prize-money plus many Tasbred bonuses, Breeders Coupons and Tasbred Owners Breeders Incentive bonus in her 38-start career. The long term target for the mare will be the Group 2 Granny Smith Final in Devonport on 14 June, apart of the $300,000 Tasbred Sires’ Stakes series. Punters got off to a rough start to the meeting when the Gavin Kelly trained and driven pacer Jeans Mattjesty stormed home to score in the Ladbrokes Claimer at odds of $54.70. Shes Gifted ($11.30) raced wide during the final circuit to register her second win since arriving in Tasmania with Paul Ashwood driving the Andrew Thornton prepared runner to a half-head victory. Major Seascape ($5.90) led all the way to win the John McKenna Race Night Vet Pace by a narrow margin. The win of the four-year-old gelding was the first leg of a training double for Ben Yole who prepared Artiflash ($2.30 fav) to score later in the night. Both horses were driven by Yole’s two stable concession drivers with Troy McDonald aboard Major Seascape, while Samantha Gangell partnered Artiflash to his 1.4-metre win. Artiflash will be trying to beat the handicapper when he lines up for the pole draw in Hobart on Sunday night in the second race where once again he looks the one to beat. The Deborah Williams trained Jaccka Len ($3.60) overcome barrier 10 over 1930-metres to score in the last race of the night, courtesy of a confident drive by Hannah Van Dongen over the final lap. Duncan Dornauf

Lightly raced five-year-old mare Brystabella has caused plenty of headaches for her connections during her 14-start career but they are starting to be rewarded for their patience when the Sutter Hanover mare recorded her fourth career win in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Pace in Hobart on Sunday night. The Paul Ashwood-driven pacer settled one-out and six-back and would have been a good 60 metres off the leader at the 1200-metre mark. Brystabella raced three-wide over the final 1100 metres and proved too good late to score by 7.1 metres in a career-best mile rate of 1m 56.6s. “She was along way back and Paul said she could have gone a little bit better so that was good to hear,” said trainer Ray Pullen after the win. The winner of over $30,000 in prize money earnings has had a history of over racing in her races and the trainer is now believing he is getting on top of that. “I changed a bit of gear on her this week and it seemed to suit, so hopefully we have her under control now,” said Pullen. “She is a good mare when she’s on song, but some days she just pulls too hard,” the trainer added. Pullen is hoping that Brystabella can continue to develop going forward but he has no major plans going forward. “I won’t back her up this week as she had a tough run in Launceston last Wednesday as well, but I will just plan her week to week and try to pick out a few mares races if we can,” he said. Pullen only has four horses in his care but is hoping to build up to six soon, a number that he will be happy with. Paul Ashwood trained the winner of the Go Racing Tasmania Pace when he and concession driver Hannah Van Dongen continued their winning combination once again with Krafty Boy. Van Dongen took the five-year-old entire straight off the inside from her second-row draw to settle one-out and five-back before gaining a three-wide trail over the final 1100 metres of the race. Krafty Boy went on to win by one metre over the fast-finishing Pink Ponder in a mile rate of 1m 59.9s. Oatlands trainer-driver Matthew Cooper was hopeful that Call Me Hector may have been able to gain another track record, and the gelded son of Art Major missed out by 1.3s when they recorded 1m 57.6s in the Hobart Signwriters Pace. Cooper took the $1.16 favourite straight to the lead and scored by 9.2 metres over Star Chamber and No Spring Secrets. Ifbutzandmaybes scored at odds of $21 in the Ladbrokes Park Elwick Pace, courtesy of a fence hugging drive by Paul Hill. Another long priced win of the Early Quaddie was the Ben Yole trained, Mark Yole driven, Black Ops in the Triple M Hobart Pace, the eight-year-old entire went around at odds of $41 from barrier seven and weaved his way through the field to cause the biggest upset of the night. In the Crown Lager Pace, the Thomas Jackson trained Finn Mac Kee led all the way to register his 10th career win. The Paul Hill driven eight-year-old will no doubt be a contender during the upcoming Country Cup Carnival. Underwood trainer Heath Szczypka travelled down the Midland Highway with only one runner on board and he didn’t go home empty-handed with Bounty Eyre finding the winner’s circle first after running placings at his last three efforts in the Rexel North Hobart Claimer. There were three claims in the race with Im Barney Rubble, Karalta Dazzler and Stylish Trend all finding new homes. The Adrian Duggan trained four-year-old gelding Sacramento Sun won his first race at his seventh race track appearance in the Robert Sprint Lane Pace courtesy of a copybook drive by Ricky Duggan.   Duncan Dornauf

21-year-old Brighton trainer-driver Taylor Ford continued a strong family tradition in Launceston on Wednesday night when she recorded her first win as a trainer in the Sunrise Bakery Stakes with the Bettors Delight gelding Bettor Than That. Ford spoke confidently about the chances of the six-year-old gelding on Tasracing’s Live Stream coverage prior to the race and she drove a confident race taking Bettor Than That to the spot outside the leader soon after the start. Bettor Than That was travelling well at the top of the home straight and when Ford asked the pacer for the supreme effort he was able to hold of Pink Ponder by 1.1 metres over the concluding stages in a mile rate of 1m 58.0s. The only hesitation Ford had going into the race was that the pacer was first-up since late May. “I was a bit worried about him being first up for a few months but the way he won there are a few wins left in him,” said Ford. The junior driver described her first training win as “one of the best feelings ever”. “It has always been a dream of mine to go out training, I can’t thank Bianca (Heenan) enough for everything she has done for me,” Ford explained. “I have plenty of other support too from Zane and Sally Medhurst, Mark and Kelly Reggett, Ben Woodsford who helps around the stables along with my partner Maggie (Ashwood),” added Ford Ford was also appreciative of her father Phillip and mother Tammy for their support into her gaining her trainer’s license. Bettor Than That is raced by Taylor and Philip along with Robert Cunningham, who has raced horses with a few trainers over the years including the Ford family. Ford has 10 horses in work, the most number she can have on a B grade trainers license. It was a big night on the track with driver Conor Crook and trainer Rohan Hillier teaming up for a double on the card with Sheza Bettormak and Awayandrideyourself. Hillier also drove Blingittothemax in race one while Crook made it a treble on the card with Moonlite Bay. Marc Butler continued his good run with Full Speed Ahead out staying short-priced favourite Ryley Major in the Free-For-All while Similan Beach notched up a winning hat-trick later in the night. Bettors Delight gelding Impassable pulled off a plunge to score at his first race start in 1270 days after being sidelined through injury. Comments from the winning drivers on Tasracing’s Live Stream Coverage; Race 1: Blingittothemax – Rohan Hillier – “He got a good run through, it all worked out well for him but in saying that it was a quick last half and I think he hit the line really well.” Race 2: Impassable – John Walters – “We worked out of the gate and got good run, he sprinted home good and got to the line good.” Race 3: Sheza Bettormak – Conor Crook – “She had two birthdays today, one was in the run with about a 65 (seconds) first half and the other is she was actually born on this day.” Race 4: Bettor Than That – Taylor Ford – “I was a bit worried about him being first up for a few months but the way he won there are a few wins left in him.” Race 5: Awayandrideyourself – Conor Crook – “He came out pretty good … it was a good job, they flushed us out at the bell which I really didn’t want to do as we did burn early but he got the job done, he is a pretty nice horse I think.” Race 6: Full Speed Ahead – Todd Rattray – “I was half going to hand up and half wasn’t so I thought I might as well hold the front as he was on the bit and it worked out.” Race 7: Moonlite Bay – Conor Crook – “He went really good, he is a big raw fella but he did a good job.” Race 8: Similan Beach – Ricky Duggan – “I think Barry (Cooper) and Jamie (Cockshutt) are toying with the idea of giving him a month or two up in Sydney, it will be just interesting to see what they do with him now.” You can watch all of last night’s pre and post-race interviews on TasracingTV On Demand here.   Duncan Dornauf

Talented pacer Ryley Major will start a short price favourite in tonight’s Find Us On Facebook Stakes in Launceston, but the Gavin Kelly trained and driven Blackbird Power will be out trying to upset the party in the 2698-metre standing start event. Blackbird Power, a gelded son of Mach Three has been out of the winner’s circle since winning a Discretionary Handicap in Hobart on 5 May before he started to race below his best form, but in recent starts, the seven-year-old gelding has been showing improvement on the track. In Hobart last week Blackbird Power enjoyed a soft run three back along the pegs when he finished third to Call Me Hector in a state record run of 1m 54.3s and Kelly is happy with the way his pacer has come through the run. “He worked better this week than he did last week, he looks a lot brighter and is improving through his coat,” said Kelly. “When they run a quick time like that you want to be on the pegs, but the horse wanted to be there and he hadn’t been feeling like that in previous starts,” added the trainer-driver. Kelly admits the pacer is starting to show improvement on the track but believes Blackbird Power is still racing below his best. “Four to six weeks ago he was just going terrible, but he is on the improve but is a long way from his best form,” Kelly explained. Ryley Major will start a short-price favourite from his 20-metre handicap. The Rohan Hillier trained and driven pacer is the winner of six races from only 10 starts last season and is first up from a spell after being narrowly defeated by Harjeet in Hobart on 28 July. Kelly believes the early manners are the key to Blackbird Power’s chances. “I think he can win if he steps but I have my doubts that he will,” he said about Blackbird Power. Another runner in the Find Us On Facebook Stakes from the Gavin Kelly stable is Karalta Dazzler who will be handled by Adrian Collins. “He is improving and he is a big chance to run a place,” said his trainer. “I have been happy with his work and if he steps I think he gets a soft lead, there’s no Matty Cooper this week so that takes the early tempo out of the race, and Rohan knows with Ryley Major that he is a class above them and he can come with one run and win,” Kelly explained. Jeans Mattjesty is the third runner from Kelly’s stable in the race, but there is no high expectations with that pacer. “He has had two woeful runs for me and if he can finish with them I will be happy,” said Kelly about the pacer who will be driven by Taylor Ford. In the Great Northern Super Crisp Stakes, Gavin Kelly trains and drives Capatarlee, a gelded son of Mach Three who is unplaced after four starts, but in his first three efforts, the pacer has done a lot wrong in the score up which has cost him valuable ground. “He is better than his form suggests, it’s a big field and he doesn’t do enough right at this stage to put him into the race, he goes around again on Sunday in Hobart where he has a better draw and the right field to perform well,” Kelly said.   Duncan Dornauf

Five-year-old gelding Call Me Hector is now officially the quickest pacer to race on Tasmanian soil when the Matthew Cooper-trained and driven pacer broke the Tasmanian and Hobart track record with a slick 1m 54.3s victory in Hobart last night. The previous state record of 1m 54.5s was shared by Ryley Major (Hobart 16/06/19) and Mister Lennox (Launceston 14/05/17). Last night from barrier four, driver Matthew Cooper was keen to find the lead on the $2.10 favourite and bowled along in quarters of 28.7s, 28.4s, 28.9s and 28.2s. “I knew he was running along and I thought I would just let him run,” said Cooper. Cooper said pre-race that the gelded son of Art Major just lacks a fast-finishing sprint and is best suited when driven tough, and that’s exactly what Cooper did. “He can keep running 29 (second) quarters and he felt that strong down the back I gave him a tap on the bum and went for home,” said the winning trainer-driver. Call Me Hector is out of the Mach Three mare Lady Jillett Lombo which makes Call Me Hector a half brother to last season’s George Johnson winner Call Her Julie who also did an outstanding job in Cooper’s care. “They are similar horses, they are tough, have a good heart, they just like running and you don’t have to work them hard,” explained Cooper. Call Me Hector defeated Star Chamber by 6.4 metres with Blackbird Power a further 6.8 metres away third, the first five placegetters in the event were all driven along the pegs. Adelaide Bay winning in Hobart on 18 September 2019. Later in the night, the Marc Butler-trained Adelaide Bay broke his maiden status with a 14.2-metre victory in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Pace. The gelded son of Auckland Reactor is still learning the racing game, causing a tough drive once again for Ricky Duggan. “Marc (Butler) changed a bit of gear on him to try and get him to settle but that didn’t work, so we will go back to the drawing board with that,” said Duggan. “He feels alright and he has a bit of a motor, he just has to learn what it is all about as he is still not doing things 100%,” the master driver added. Duggan drove a double on the card, he partnered Witch Master in the opening race for his brother Adrian. Todd Rattray recorded a training and driving double on the card with five-year-old mares Karpenkova Leis and Bremusa. Another trainer to record multiple wins was Rohan Hillier who prepared Boss Major in race two with stable junior driver Conor Crook in the sulky before Im Barney Rubble scored in the claiming race of the night. The Daryl Bates trained Streetside Classic registered his first win since March 2018 with an all the way win in the Go Racing Tasmania Pace courtesy of a brilliant front running drive by Gareth Rattray. Pink Ponder caused the biggest upset of the night when the Ben Yole-trained mare used the Roberts Sprint Lane to score at odds of $47 with Rohan Hadley in the sulky. Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Beauty Point trainer Rohan Hillier continued his good run with New Zealand bred pacers when he prepared a training double on Wednesday nights Launceston program. Giftofjoy (pictured) who completed Hillier’s double was a win of significance after her racing career looked all but over about 18-months ago. Hillier restrained the $1.45 favourite from her wide draw in the 1680-metre event to settle in second last position, before gaining a one-out one-back cart up over the final lap. Driver Gareth Rattray on $26 chance, Huiffier, tried to pinch a winning break at the top of the home straight before Giftofjoy slipped up another gear and was able to cruise on by late to score by 2.3-metres in a mile rate of 2m 1.0s. The daughter of Art Major won at her previous start in Launceston on 31 March 2019 before she was sidelined through injury. “She kicked her stable wall and broke her pedal bone,” said Hillier on Tasracing’s Live Stream coverage. The trainer also added that there was a high chance Giftofjoy may have not made it to the race track again. “She has done a good job to get back to the track as the vets were concerned she would never race again,” explained Hillier. The winning trainer doesn’t have too many expectations of the mare going forward. “She will hopefully potter through the classes, I’m unsure how far she will go but hopefully there are three or four good wins in her.” One pacer Hillier does have high hopes for is talented four-year-old Awayandrideyouself who once again dominated his rivals. “At home, his point to point speed is as good as any horse I have had, so as long as he can work through his classes and get a bit stronger I’m sure he will make it to free-for-all grade,” said Hillier who also drove the gelding. “He settled well in the breeze and he only had to dash up the straight,” added the Beauty Point-based trainer about the victory which was recorded in a mile rate of 2m 1.1s. Hillier drove a treble on the Launceston card when he teamed up with East Devonport trainer Paul Ashwood to win with Blingittothemax. After showing good gate speed to find the lead the gelding was challenged strongly down the back straight before holding his rivals off over the concluding stages. “I hadn’t pulled the earplugs but Skip (Paul Ashwood) told me he can wait for them a bit, once he straightened and got balanced up he ran up the straight well I thought,” Hillier said. “Horses like him with good gate speed can make their own luck and I’m sure with the new rating system he will win three or four pretty quick,” Hillier added. Ashwood also recorded multiple wins on the Launceston card with Miracle Marcus winning earlier in the night. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere worked forward in the early stages to race outside the leader and was too good for the race favourite My Girl Pearl over the concluding stages. Miracle Marcus gave driver Hannah Van Dongen another reason to celebrate on her 24th birthday. Both Blingittothemax and Miracle Marcus are raced by Maxfield Standardbreds who had another reason to celebrate at the meeting with Max Delight being awarded the Australian Three Year Old of the year for his efforts last season earlier in the afternoon. The fast class race of the night was won by Illegal Immigrant who was driven by his trainer Troy Hillier. Starting off the back handicap of 20-metres Illegal Immigrant was once again too quick for his rivals late. “He travelled really well and that’s his go having a sit on them like that, he has a good turn of foot when he sprints,” Troy Hiller said after the win. “I’m going to give him a few weeks off I think as he feels a little bit proppy (in his action),” the winning trainer-driver added. Duncan Dornauf

The Australian harness racing 2018/19 season officially comes to an end on Saturday night, however, Tasmania's final meeting of the season was conducted in Launceston on Sunday with a program full of highlights. The national spotlight was on the big Breeders Crown meeting at Melton on Saturday night where East Devonport owner Mick Maxfield found the winners circle with Max Delight in the Three Year Old Breeders Crown Final. Max Delight, a gelded son of Bettors Delight led all the way to score in a 1m 55.9s mile rate. The feature victory saw Max Delight take his prize money earnings to $323,970, further enhancing his season's resume that already boasted success in the Group 1 New South Wales Derby, the Group 3 Tasmanian Derby and a fifth placing in the Group 1 Victoria Derby. The Stars Illegal Immigrant - continued on his winning way when he took out the Lees Orchard Pace on Sunday. Trainer-driver Troy Hillier positioned the gelding one-out and two-back before sprinting over the top of his rivals late to score by 1.4-metres, his calculated last half mile recorded in 55.96s the quickest of the meeting. It has been reported that Illegal Immigrant may have his next start in The Gammalite at Melton on 7 September.  Sunny Sanz - took the step up to the National Rating 65 to 79 class with ease, the gelded son of Sportswriter pinged straight to the lead in the standing start event and proved too strong for his rivals in a slick 56.6s last half mile. The mile rate of 2m 0.1s was just 1.7s outside the track record. Rohan Hillier - continued his terrific run with former New Zealand three-year-olds. Awayandrideyourself took on the older horses for the first time and he handled the step up in grade well, courtesy of a copybook drive by Conor Crook, while later on the card stablemate Prosecution Witness led all the way for the to win at a short quote. Andrew Thornton - was back in the winners stall for the first time in a while when Shes Gifted pulled off a plunge from $51 into $26 on the Tasracing Official Price. Thornton drove for luck on the daughter of For A Reason to record her second win at her 82nd race track appearance. The mile rate for the 1680-metre trip was 1m 57.5s which is a quick run for the National Rating 45 to 49 grade. Ben Yole - capped off the season with a weekend treble including $41 long shot Ashleys Angel in Launceston. Yole ended the season with a record breaking Tasmanian tally of 181 wins and 408 placings from 2,660 starters, which is believed to be an Australian record. Multiple Winners Hobart  – Friday evening Ben Yole - training double; Mystery Writer and Artiflash. Marc Butler - training double; Couta Rocks and Malalla. Ricky Duggan - driving double; Couta Rocks and Malalla. Launceston  – Sunday evening Gareth Rattray - driving double; Elect To Go and One Yankee Ginga. Rohan Hillier - training double; Awayandrideyourself and Prosecution Witness. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart  – Friday evening  Yellow Taxi 57.44s, Seenohearnospeakno 57.66s, Origin Tara 57.87s, Adelaide Bay 57.88s and Bounty Eyre 57.90s. Launceston  – Friday evening  Illegal Immigrant 55.96s, Sunny Sanz 56.60, Goggo Gee Gee 56.67s Stylish Trend 56.69s and Reign Of Pain 56.73s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart  – Friday evening  Hit’s: Artiflash $3.60 into $3.10 and Couta Rocks $10 into $9.00. Defied The Drift: The New Man $8.50 out to $10, Jocund $2.50 out to $3.20, Malalla $7.50 out to $8.50 and Northview Dave $1.85 out to $2.00. Missed: Seenohearnospeakno $4.40 into $3.90, Castor Troy $31 into $16, Lake Eyre $12 into $9.50, Raymonds Judge $3.20 into $2.30, Van Der Poel $10 into $4.00 and Swap Me $26 into $9.00. Launceston  – Sunday evening  Hit’s: Shes Gifted $51 into $26, Prosecution Witness $1.20 into $1.14 and One Yankee Ginga $2.60 into $2.25. Defied The Drift: Elect To Go $4.20 out to $4.80, Ashleys Angel $26 out to $41 and Illegal Immigrant $2.40 out to $3.70. Missed: Blackjackhanover $18 into $7.50, Princely Reign $7.50 into $4.60, Jigamaroo $8.00 into $6.50 and Trumps Golden Boy $3.00 into $2.40. Trial File Hobart - Monday evening If you took the short odds on offer for Iden Forest in Launceston on Sunday night, then you will be disappointed to know he led all the way to win a Hobart trial on Monday night, dashing home in a 27.9s final quarter in the process. The Chris Howlett trained pacer was stood down 14 days and two trials in Launceston on Sunday for causing a false start. Iden Forest led all the way to win his 50 - 65 rated trial in a mile rate of 2m 2.9s and was able to defeat Albayzin by five metres with Brystabella a further eight metres away. Remaining trials were won by Finn Mac Kee 2m 5.1s and Nobeer Nomore 2m 9.0s. Devonport - Monday evening Two trials were staged on Monday evening where the Ben Yole trained Wheresmilzee recorded the quickest winning mile rate of 2m 4.9s when he scored in a trial for horses of a national rating if 40 to 55. The trial was conducted over 1930 metres and Wheresmilzee was taken to the lead by driver Troy McDonald, the unraced three-year-old scored by five metres over Crackerjacks Judge with Arapaho a half metre away third in a mile rate of 2m 4.9s. The remaining trial was a national rating 40 to 65 event over 2297 metres which was won by Guys Bettor Bet, scoring a two metre victory over Lord Stark and My Girl Pearl in a mile rate of 2m 9.2s. Week Ahead The opening meeting of the new season will be staged on Wednesday night 4 September in Hobart. Wednesday night Harness racing has been proven popular with punters  with favourable turnover figures for Tasmanian harness racing in the past, with the opportunity to reschedule the calendar made possible due to Redcliffe being closed due to major track renovations. The month will also see racing on Wednesday evenings, 11 September Launceston, 18 September in Hobart and 25 September in Launceston with the only Sunday meeting being in Hobart on 29 September. All meetings will have Sky Racing 1 and Sky Racing Active coverage while all Wednesday night meetings will have a hosted live stream service on TasracingTV. Nominations for the meeting in Hobart on Wednesday 4 September close at noon on Thursday 29 August, with the fields available on Friday morning. It is expected that the first race will be around 17:27. Interstate this week at metropolitan venues some of our Tasmanian representatives include; Melton - Saturday night Race 2 Horse 1 Coveffe Hustler - trained by Ben Yole, Race 8 Horse 4 Ready To Fire - trained by Ben Yole, Race 9 Horse 1 My Ultimate Fella, 4 Nonno Stride, 8 Perfect Mach and 9 Heza The One all trained by Ben Yole. Menangle - Saturday night Race 5 Horse 7 Kadar - Tasmanian owned, Race 10 Horse 9 Scooterwillrev - Tasmanian owned. Albion Park - Saturday night Race 5 Horse 7 Ideal Bliss - Tasmanian owned and bred.   Duncan Dornauf

Sassafras trainer Shelley Barnes took two horses to Hobart on Sunday night, and she went home with a training double. Her first winner of the night was Shadow Play gelding Yatsenyuk Leis who was first up since running third to Izaha in the Group 2 Raider Stakes in Devonport. Racing three-wide and two-back for the final 1300 metres of the race, Yatsenyuk Leis proved too strong for Artiflash to score by a neck in the 2090-metre event. “I was expecting him to go good as his work during the week was brilliant, the draw was a bit of a concern but it all worked out ok,” said his trainer Shelley Barnes. Despite being driven for his toughness Barnes wasn’t too worried in the run. “I wasn’t too worried as he is pretty tough, he is not a horse that can sit there and pull out the last hundred metres and sprint past them,” said the winning trainer. “He is a lot better horse than it looks watching on the sidelines cause he is just really lazy, when Rohan (Hadley) comes back in after driving him he is more buggered than the horse,” Barnes added. The next winner for the Shelley Barnes stable was with five-year-old Bettors Delight mare Volkova Leis who recorded her second win of the season. After attempting to make a run around the field at the mile mark, Volkova Leis was unsuccessful in looking for the spot outside the leader and was forced to race three-wide. “I was really pleased with her, I didn’t expect her to win after the run she had,” said Barnes. “I don’t want to be too disrespectful for the other runners but it was a drop-in class to what she had been racing against,” explained the winning trainer. Both pacers were driven by Rohan Hadley and are owned and bred by Trevor and Marjorie Leis. Ben Yole was once again the standout trainer with a training quartet, taking him past 180 Australian wins for the season. His winners included Heza Rummage, Somedan, Hear The Call and Stuey D. Samantha Gangell drove Hear To Call to victory to put her one win behind Conor Crook with two meetings of the season remaining. Mark Yole partnered Stuey D to a long-shot win in the trot which completed a double for Mark who won the opening race with Karalta Courage. Many people expected Juanita McKenzie to take out the Cascade Draught Pace with the race favourite Inner Light, but it was her $9.00 chance Remember Joe scoring a 5.2-metre win. Former New Zealand pacer Prosecution Witness was able to win at his Australian debut for trainer-driver Rohan Hillier. The gelded son of Well Said scored by 11.9-meres in a mile rate of 1m 59.6s.   Duncan Dornauf

John “Bulldog” Nicholson is no stranger in sending horses to Tasmania, and the Victorian trainer produced another smart pacer in the state on Sunday night when Micton Mouse was able to claim the Cliff Robins Memorial Pace for two-year-olds. The gelded son of Stonebridge Regal showed brilliant gate speed to lead and dictate affairs in the $10,000 feature in a slick mile rate of 1m 57.9s, which was just 1.2s outside the two-year-old age record on the Launceston circuit. Nicholson gave driving responsibilities to stable employee and former Tasmanian Jack Laugher who explained that the horse is still learning the racing game. “His first race at Yarra Valley he led very easy and took a bit of cover and he was a bit green being his first time round,” Laugher said after Sunday’s win. “He is going to get better with more racing under his belt,” the driver added. The main mission for the trip was to secure the pacer’s $5,000 TASBred bonus. Micton Mouse was bred by Jack’s parents Michael and Toni Laugher out of their mare Massie Mouse, making the gelded son of Stonebridge Regal a half brother to Metro Mouse the winner of 13 races. “He will go for a spell now and come back as a three-year-old. I’m unsure if the owners will spell him down here or back in Victoria,” the winning driver said about the future plans going forward. Micton Mouse scored by four metres over Beat City with Karalta Courage 3.6 metres away third. Courageous Katee will claim this season’s Mare Of The Year title in Launceston, and the Dick Eaves-trained mare extended her unbeatable lead with another brilliant win, this time in the Beena Buster Pace. The daughter of Courage Under Fire raced three-wide and one-back over the final circuit and was too tough for her rivals late, courtesy of a good drive by Adrian Collins. “It suits her when there is a bit of speed on,” trainer Dick Eaves said post-race. “Tonight’s race suited her nicely and she got a good cart into it,” the Karoola based trainer said. “He is a strong boy Adrian (Collins) and you need to be with her, if somebody drives her that has a bit of trouble holding her they tend to go before acceptances and Adrian seems to sit there that bit longer,” Eaves explained. Courageous Katee was a run away winner by 6.3 metres in a mile rate of 2m 1.2s. Illegal Immigrant proved too quick for Harjeet in the Jubilee Bakery Free For All. Troy Hillier was happy to follow Harjeet every step of the way in the one-out one-back trail before finishing the race off strongly in the home straight to record a half-head victory. “He got tired on the line but he was probably entitled to,” trainer-driver Troy Hillier said after the win. Hillier has no major plans going forward with the gelded son of American Ideal. “There’s a free for all here in a fortnight, that’s all we have looked at so far,” he said. The mile rate for the 2200-metre event was 1m 57.2s. Arguably the run of the night came in the Jullian Roberts Stakes when Similan Beach came flashing down the outside of the track to record his third win of the season. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere was last with 300 metres to travel and the only option driver Ricky Duggan has, was to peel eight-wide in the home straight and the Marc Butler-trained pacer was still able to pick up his rivals and score in a mile rate of 1m 57.7s for 1680-metres.   Duncan Dornauf

It was a night for the three-year-old pacers in Hobart on Sunday evening with Donny In Paris, The Shallows and Betterbsweet all recording handy victories across the nine-race card. Oatlands duo Steve Lukac and Matthew Cooper teamed up to win with Donny In Paris in the Hobart Signwriters Pace. Cooper drove a confident race from the 900-metre mark where he led up the three-wide line and proved to tough for Jocund in the home straight to win by 5.2-meters in a time of 1m 58.3s for the mile trip. Donny In Paris put up a brilliant performance when second to Betterbsweet last week, but the trainer did have one reservation going into the race. “My biggest worry going into the race was if he was going to back up after last weeks run which was a huge run, and with all due respect to the other runners, I thought the race was a drop-in class,” trainer Steve Lukac said. The gelding is sired by Rug Rat Donny, the winner of 15-races in Tasmania and was well handled by Matthew Cooper. “We will let the dust settle, he goes up four rating points after the win so we will have a look at what's coming up, his owner (Donald Hasell) lives down the Huon and they say they have a heap of good grass down there,” the winning trainer said when asked about the future plans of the pacer. Lukac only received the pacer after Paul Williams scaled back his team after a health issue, and Lukac was full of praise for the way the horse arrived in his care. “He arrived in really good order, we all know Paul Williams turns his horses out in magnificent order.” The Heath Woods trained and driven The Shallows was another handy winner earlier on in the card in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Pace. Woods had a ten-year break from the industry and recently returned to the sport when his son Aaron indicated he wouldn’t mind getting a horse, with The Shallows being the result. “We bought him off a classified advertisement, the owner sent us a photo of him standing in a paddock with a few sheep and he looked a reasonable type, he is nicely bred on his dams side so we thought we would take a punt,” trainer-driver Heath Woods said post-race. It was the second career win at his twelfth race track appearance for the gelded son of Shadyshark Hanover, he enjoyed a lovely one-out one-back trail before asking for the supreme effort at the top of the home straight where he ran away for a 16-metre win in a mile rate of 2m 0.0s. “It has just taken him a little while to learn how to race, he has shown bits and pieces of ability but hadn’t put it together in the one hit, I think this time in he feels more like he has learned the racing caper,” Woods explained Heath has two horses in his care with an unnamed two-year-old that he and his son Aaron purchased at the Carrick Yearling Sale earlier this year. Betterbsweet (photo) was another three-year-old to win on the card when she led all the way to win the Triple M Hobart Pace to record back-to-back victories. Gareth Rattray was able to lead from the pole draw and dictated affairs to defeat Boss Major and Heza Rummage. Ben and Mark Yole once again had a night out when they teamed up for a double with The Lemondrop Kid and Popnduke. Ricky Duggan also drove a double in the sulky with Peaceful Thomas winning first-up from a short spell while Inner Light returned to the winners stall after a narrow defeat last time out. The Paul Hill trained Whos Watching Now was an impressive winner of the two-year-old event courtesy of a copybook drive from Rohan Hillier. Sunday night’s Hobart card was the second last race meeting in the state for steward Roger Brown who will take up a role with Harness Racing Victoria later this month.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Pipers River trainer Marc Butler took four runners to Hobart on Sunday night, and he headed home with a training double. It didn’t take long for Butler to notch up his first win of the night when Vonns Angel opened her winning account in the Roberts Sprint Lane Maiden for two-year-olds. Sent out as the $1.35 favourite, Vonns Angel showed sufficient speed to settle behind the leader Shadow Macray who showed good gate speed to lead soon after the start. From there driver Ricky Duggan had to wait till the top of the home straight and used the sprint lane, where the daughter of Mach Three showed a good turn of foot to score by 5.1-meters in a time of 2m 4.0s for the mile trip. “Everything just worked out good, she had a good draw and followed the right horse that was always going to get her to the top of the sprint lane, once the sprint lane was available she was able to use her point to point speed,” trainer Marc Butler said about the win. Vonns Angel has now had seven starts with three placings to her credit in her first preparation and will now go for a spell. “She will go to the paddock now, with her prize money this season and her Tasbred bonus she has earned the connections $25,000 so that’s not a bad effort winning only one race,” the winning trainer added. An hour and a half later Butler was back in the winners stall with four-year-old mare Western Glory (pictured) who was too good for her rivals in the Cascade Draught Pace. Drawing outside of the second line in the 2090-metre event Duggan was able to take full advantage of a quick lead time early and being able to follow the right horses on the three-wide line over the final lap. “Everything just fell into place for her after they went hard early, she then just looked the winner from the 800-meter mark,” Butler said post-race. It was the third win of the season from only six tries for the well-bred daughter of Western Terror who is out of the Bettors Delight mare Keepers Delight. “She is not the best horse going around but if she has a bit of luck she is never far away, we will just keep going through the system and if she is good enough to go in some of the better mares races we will, if not we will find something easier,” the trainer said about the future plans. Western Glory scored by 6.6-metres and recorded a mile rate of 1m 59.8s for the 2090-metre distance. Bianca Heenan was the stand out trainer of the card with a training treble with Roosevelt, Betterbsweet and Trumps Golden Boy. Hennan who is a clear leader on the states female trainers title has now prepared 50 wins in Australia this season with 49 in Tasmania and one interstate victory with Star Chamber at Melton earlier this year. Ben Yole extended his lead on the states trainers premiership with a training double on the card with Artiflash and Popnduke, The fast class race of the night looked a match race between Harjeet and Ryley Major on paper and the two favourites didn't disappoint with Harjeet leading all the way to defeat Ryley Major by a half head in a mile rate of 1m 55.7s.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Corporate bookmaking firm Ladbrokes is to sponsor Tasmanian racing for at least the next three years. The lucrative package will include naming rights for the three major tracks and three major cups. From Thursday, the tracks will be re-branded Ladbrokes Racing Centre Mowbray, Ladbrokes Park Elwick and Ladbrokes All Weather Spreyton. All thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing clubs will be part of the new agreement. Tasracing chief executive Paul Eriksson said Tasracing and the clubs were excited about the new partnership. "Sponsorship revenue and the level of marketing support offered to clubs across all codes is set to increase significantly under this deal," he said. "The partnership also allows Tasracing to continue to broaden its promotion of Tasmanian racing to the national market thanks to Ladbrokes' extensive customer-base and marketing investment." Ladbrokes Australia CEO Jason Scott said Ladbrokes had developed a proud legacy of supporting the Australian racing industry and its participants. "The chance to partner with greyhounds, harness and thoroughbreds ... in the progressive Tasmanian market was simply too good to refuse," he said. "Like Ladbrokes, Tasracing and its clubs have displayed a desire to think outside the square and to innovate and we look forward to partnering with them on their quest for growth." The landmark deal further delivers on the Hodgman Majority Liberal Government’s commitment to ensure Tasmania’s racing industry continues to grow, with the economic benefits reaching far outside the track course. Tasmania’s racing industry injects around $103 million a year into the State’s economy and supports jobs in rural and regional areas, with over 5,000 Tasmanians either employed or participating in the industry. By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

There were plenty of highlights across the state last weekend which featured the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series in Launceston on Sunday night. The Tasmanian Trotting Club also staged a competitive card on Friday where there were a number of highlights. We only have one meeting in the state this weekend in Hobart, with a nine-race card that features the clash of Harjeet and Ryley Major in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Free For All. The Stars Matthew Cooper - continued his terrific season in the sulky in Launceston on Sunday night when he claimed the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series. A win on Fortino and two third placings in the four-race series was enough for Cooper to win the series by two points. Cooper’s big weekend in the sulky commenced in Hobart on Friday night when Call Her Julie returned to the winner's list, the mare is also trained by Cooper. Im Compliant -returned to the winner's list for the third time this season when he scored in the Sandra Bennett - Sunny Sanz Discretionary on Sunday. The gelded son of Live Or Die led all the way to win the 2698-meter event and was able to hold off a late charge by the race favourite Inner Light. Charlie Castles - partnered the Kate MacLeod trained Jacks Command to win the final heat of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series. It was a well-judged drive in front by Castles on the gelded son of Royal Mattjesty. It was the first win for Jacks Command since November 2018. Ben Woodsford - the New Zealand born reinsman recorded his first Tasmanian win in Hobart on Friday night when he scored on Animi Sub Ignis. Woodsford had driven winners in New South Wales and Queensland before taking up a job opportunity with trainer Gavin Kelly. Bradley Walters - prepared a long shot double in Hobart on Friday with Animi Sub Ignis winning at odds of $21 and Mavis Merle who also started at $21. Multiple Winners Hobart  – Friday evening Gareth Rattray - driving double; Chasing Cheetahs and Tisu Spirit, Bradley Walters - training double; Animi Sub Ignis and Mavis Merle. Launceston  – Sunday evening  Ben Yole - training treble; Quick Changeover, Fortino and Machitelli. Rohan Hillier - driving double; Im Compliant and Artyboy Glenwood. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart  – Friday evening Popnduke 57.82s, Boss Major 57.98s, Paint The Wind 58.10s, Caciocavallo 58.17s and I Am Camelot 58.24s. Launceston  – Sunday evening  Our Quinn 58.40s, Tiwanaku 58.42s, Monarkmac 58.45s, Blacklist 58.56s and Flashy Ruler 58.62s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart  – Friday evening  Hits: Boss Major $2.00 into $1.80, Call Her Julie $2.60 into $2.30, Mavis Merle $26 into $21 and Tisu Spirit $1.80 into $1.70. Defied The Drift: Popnduke $4.20 out to $4.40. Missed: Gaggle Coordinator $12 into $9.00, Roosevelt $4.00 into $3.50 and Somedan $26 into $12 Launceston  – Sunday evening  Hits: Fortino $3.20 into $2.20 and Machitelli $2.25 into $1.90, Defied The Drift: Quick Changeover $5.50 out to $7.50,Karpenkova Leis $3.20 out to $4.60, Rowley $9.00 out to $13 and Artyboy Glenwood $4.00 out to $6.50. Missed: Punchinello $17 into $10, Gaggle Coordinator $21 into $17, Altana Blue $51 into $26, Somedan $31 into $17, Gems $12 into $9.00, Princely Reign $17 into $8.50, Trial File Carrick Park - Saturday morning It was the Kent Rattray show on Saturday morning when the Lietinna based trainer prepared all three winners. His first winner was Ideal Karalta in a national rating 50 to 115 trial over 2150 meters. Driver John Walters worked forward on the gelded son of American Ideal and he proved too good for Destreos, who finished 20 meters away in second position with Thirlstane Queen a further 15 meters away third. The mile rate was the quickest of the morning of 2m 3.9s. The other two winners from the Rattray stable were Ark Fury in a mile rate of 2m 8.2s and It Is A Glacier who recorded a winning mile rate of 2m 8.4s. Week Ahead As mentioned earlier the clash of Harjeet and Ryley Major headline the nine-event card in Hobart on Sunday night. The two open class pacers have drawn wide on the track in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Free For All which will be run over the 1609 meter trip. Harjeet is first-up since finishing 10th in the Easter Cup on 20 April and hasn’t been seen in public since that effort. Harjeet’s best winning mile rate is 1m 55.5s which he recorded when winning the Toreace Flying Mile on 13 January. Ryley Major goes into the race-winning three of his past four starts, the most recent start was a 2.5-metre victory in Hobart on 14 July. His win in Hobart three starts ago was over the mile trip in a time of 1m 54.5s which equalled the state record. The Tasmanian Veterinary Services Free For All is race six on the card and is scheduled to start at 20:12 with the first race set to start at 17:27. All races will be televised on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV’s Live Stream. Interstate this week at metropolitan venues some of our Tasmanian representatives include; Melton - Saturday night Race 8 Horse 3 - Manganello - Tasbred. Menangle - Saturday night Race 2 Horse 7 - Im Jaks Teller - Tasmanian owned. Race 4 Horse 8 - Scooterwillrev - Tasmanian owned.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Widely-travelled harness racing driver former New Zealander Ben Woodsford drove his first Tasmanian winner in Hobart on Friday night. He was successful on Animi Sub Ignis, the first leg of a longshot double for trainer Bradley Walters who also scored with another $21 chance, Mavis Merle. Woodsford, who has 37 career winners to his credit, was living in Queensland when he came to Tasmania in May for what he thought would be one weekend. Trainer Gavin Kelly offered him a job while he was here. "I thought a change was as good as a holiday and now I'm stuck here," he said. Woodsford, 21, worked for Shane and Lauren Tritton in NSW before moving to Queensland. He had no involvement with harness racing in New Zealand but his father Steven is a thoroughbred trainer. Woodsford's willingness to drive trackwork at Brighton has led to him getting an increasing number of opportunities in races. Yole brothers stole the show Ben Yole moved to 166 wins for the season with a treble at Mowbray on Sunday night. He had all 12 runners in the race won by Fortino. His brother Mark holds a 14-win lead on the drivers' premiership with seven meetings remaining. Yole has won 79 races, only six shy of the tally that won him the 2015-16 premiership. The closest battle is for junior driver honours where Conor Crook, on 28 wins, leads Samantha Gangell by just one. Gangell has opened up a five-win lead over Hannah Van dongen on the female drivers' table. Bianca Heenan will win the female trainers' title by a big margin. She has 46 wins, more than double her nearest rival. Harness racing makes midweek move Tasracing has moved four harness meetings in September from Sunday nights to Wednesday nights. They will take the Sky 1 timeslot usually occupied by Redcliffe which is understood to be closing for renovations. It will be a good chance for Tasmanian harness racing to test the midweek waters. If the opportunity arises, a permanent midweek timeslot on Sky 1 would seem preferable to the Friday night Sky 2 meetings that struggle for turnover. By Greg Mansfield

Oatlands reinsman  Matthew Cooper continued his terrific season when he claimed the 2019 BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series in Launceston on Sunday night. “I was a bit surprised to win the series but I am very wrapped to win it,” said a very excited Matthew Cooper after the series victory. Cooper won heat three where he teamed up with the state's leading trainer to win on Fortino (pictured). Fortino who started as the race favourite, speared straight to the lead, and the seven-year-old gelded son of Sutter Hanover couldn’t be rundown with stablemates Our Quinn (Samantha Gangell) and Monarkmac (Matthew Howlett) filling the placings. “Ben (Yole) said before the race that he was a good mile horse and that he was very similar to Call Her Julie that I didn’t have to take a whip to so that suited me down to the ground. I only need an easy quarter in the race which I got and he sprinted home well to win,” the winning driver said. Cooper wasn’t overly interested in the industry early on but it didn’t take him long to get hooked. “I never liked horses early on but I owed Justin Campbell a favour and I went and gave him a hand at his stables one day, I  jumped on a horse that day and I fell in love with the industry and from that day on I always wanted to be involved in the sport,” said the series winner. The Oatlands-based trainer-driver worked as a race day controller for Tote Tasmania for six years until its sale in 2012. He now trains his small team of horses and spends time working with his partner Chantelle with their courier business, Rapid Couriers. Cooper was extremely grateful for the trainers and owners that supported the series. “It’s always good for the owners and trainers to support the series by giving us horses to drive, it can be hard for a trainer to put a horse in a race like that without knowing what driver you will get and I’m very appreciative of that as well as BOTRA and the Launceston Pacing Club for their support of the series,” said Cooper. The first heat saw the Todd Rattray-trained Karpenkova Leis and Bremusa fight out the finish with Karpenkova Leis proving too good over the concluding stages to win by 3.3-metres. Driver Hannah Van Dongen was keen to hold the lead early on Karpenkova Leis but she elected to hand up to Pushkin (Matthew Cooper) after a quicker than average lead time, before gaining the one-out one-back position at the 700-metre mark Van Dongen found clear racing room at the 400-metre pole, and from there she was able to run down Bremusa (Kimberley Grant) over the concluding stages. Former New Zealand driver Kimberley Grant continued the good start for the female drivers when she teamed up with trainer Sally Stingel to win with three-year-old gelding Rowley. It was the seventh career win for the gelded son of Badlands Hanover who settled one-out and two-back before working around the field to find the spot outside the leader with 700 metres of the race remaining, Grant asked Rowley for a bit more effort on the final corner and the gelding responded well to score by 2.1 metres. Cooper and Grant went into the final heat as joint leader of the series on 39 points, and they had to settle for third and fourth placing respectively with only a head between the duo as they chased home the Charlie Castles-driven Jacks Command. The Kate MacLeod trained pacer dropped a lot in class in the national rating 60 to 69 event after contesting a heat of the Easter Cup five starts ago, and was able to cling on to a narrow victory over Gems (Troy McDonald). The final points score of the series was: 50 - Matthew Cooper 48 - Kimberley Grant 40 - Troy McDonald 34 - Samantha Gangell 31 - Georgia Hayward 30 - Charlie Castles 29 - Hannah Van Dongen 26 - Wade Rattray 22 - Matthew Howlett 20 - Andrew Freeman 19 - Taylor Ford 13 - Lachlan Dakin Rohan Hillier took driving honours on the card with a driving double winning with Im Compliant and Artyboy Glenwood, with training honours going to Ben Yole with a treble preparing Quick Changeover, Fortino and Machitelli to victory.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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