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The 6TYO Free For All is the feature of tonight’s exciting eight event Launceston Pacing Club harness racing card. Stagger Lee has performed in sensational fashion at its two Tasmanian runs at the track, a first-up second to Isaac in its heat of the Maxfield Drilling Easter Cup after doing all the work and kicking clear at the top of the stretch. In the Cup Final the Maree Caldow-trained Major In Art–Let’s Go Cullen six-year-old gelding ran a gallant third behind the brilliant Harjet and although beaten by 24.3-metres was still putting in strongly on the line. John Caldow has the advantage of drawing four on the front line tonight with Stagger Lee and will no doubt be looking for a softer run than its punishing Easter Cup Series assignments. Isaac (pictured), which ran down Stagger Lee on heat night, has drawn in six and will have the services of Rodney Ashwood. The Juanita McKenzie-trained American Ideal–Twice as Sly eight-year-old gelding put up an unbelievable Heat performance but was disappointing on face-value in the Cup final running eleventh but is more than capable of bouncing back tonight. The Steve Lukac-trained No Spring Secrets is in search of a winning hat-trick but faces a rise in class and a tricky outside front-line draw. The Tell All–Spring Ball six-year-old gelding has claimed some massive scalps of late, defeating Scooterwillrev and 2016 Easter Cup winner Riverboat Jasper with paralysing finishing sprints. The ever consistent Black Centurian, trained by Steven Davis, chased Harjeet home in its Cup Heat before finishing fourth in the Final after being involved in a titanic battle for the placings. Gareth Rattray will have every chance to position the Jr Mint-Mon Poppy Mary eight-year-old gelding precisely where he wants him after the scratching of Scooterwillrev brings him into gate two behind the Tasracing mobile over the 2200-metre journey. Michael Smith's All Style Sammy has drawn the pole and will be handled by Rohan Hillier but takes on the silk department while the grand old campaigner Destreos has his sights set on notching up the magical 1ooth career win for Ken Rattray. Destreos will start from outside the second line from behind the tasracing.com.au mobile but is rated as one of the outsiders in the field of nine at around $33.00 in early markets. Tonights Launceston Pacing Club meeting commences at 17.38 and can be viewed on live stream service at tasracing.com.au. Watch Harjeet demoralise the top hopes in tonight's 6TYO Free-For-All in the Maxfield Drilling Easter Cup. Shane Yates

Paul Hill has enjoyed a sensational run over the years training some of the state's top harness racing juveniles. The Old Beach mentor is the man with the Midas touch, last season applying the polish to reigning two-year-old Filly of the Year, Iden Bliss, and three-year-old titleholder Playing Arkabella. Paul is equally at home in the sulky but one of his qualities as a top horseman and trainer is knowing that when one of the leading drivers in the state is available you utilise their talent get the job done. Paul's impressive three-year-old Feelin Dusty is engaged tonight in Hobart in race three, the Roberts Sprint Lane Pace, and he has called upon the services of Hall Of Fame reinsman Ricky Duggan. Duggan has driven the Mr Feelgood-Maybe Elite colt on six occasions for three victories and three placings and will need to be at his best tonight to navigate a successful path after drawing wide on the second line in 11. Last year’s Dandy Patch winner has come back strongly as a three-year-old winning three races this season including a runaway 15-metre victory in Hobart on March 18. “It’s a tricky draw so I will be looking to settle back and assess the race from there if the cards fall our way I’d like to travel into the race with a cart up at the bell, hopefully on the back of Streetside Classic,” said a thoughtful Duggan. “I drove Streetside Classic last time out when he ran fourth to Mister Magic Man in Launceston and he has a lot of ability so I won't be underestimating him and Gareth will more than likely try and find the top with Lead Singer so I’m excepting a very competitive race.” “I wouldn’t be swapping my bloke for anything, he’s a talented colt with plenty of courage, he trialled well earlier in the week and Paul always has him ready to race, he’s only missed a place once in 13 starts and that was when he finished in a different suburb after being knocked out of the race, there are not many pacers with a record like that,” said Ricky with a touch of confidence. Tonight's seven-event Tasmanian Pacing Club card, commencing at 18.08, can be viewed via the live service at tasracing.com.au.   Shane Yates  

At his fourteenth career start, exciting four-year-old Harjeet added the richest harness race staged in Tasmania in the past eight years with an effortless win in the $75,000 Maxfield Drilling Easter Cup at the Mowbray Racing Centre in Launceston on Saturday night. The Todd Rattray trained and driven pacer has already been installed as the $1.30 favourite for next months Tasmanian four-year-old Sires Stakes Series, the Raider Stakes in Devonport. The support program in Launceston on Saturday night also provided many highlights for the large crowd that descended to the Mowbray Racing Centre. This week the Group 3 Sky Racing Tasmanian Derby is the feature race on Sunday night’s Hobart program while the Devonport Harness Racing Club will stage a 10-event program on Friday commencing at 17:15. The Stars Harjeet – broke the 2698-metre Launceston track record with his brilliant all the way win in the $75,000 Group 2 Easter Cup. It was the tenth career win for Harjeet at his fourteenth career start, ironically the same winning record to race track appearances as Beautide had at the same stage of his career. Kate MacLeod – trained, owned, bred and drove Beam Me Up Chopper to victory when the gelding flew down the home straight to register his first win at his second career start. Shelley Barnes – trainer of Mister Magic Man who brought his good Broken Hill form to the Apple Isle with a dominant win in the C1 only pace in 1:56.6, which was two seconds outside the track record. No Spring Secrets – made it two wins in a row after flying down the home straight to win on Saturday courtesy of a confident drive from Dylan Ford. Smart Little Shard – demonstrated his talent with an easy win in Launceston ahead of Sunday night’s Tasmanian Derby. Rohan Hillier, Rodney and Paul Ashwood – all recorded doubles on Launceston’s premier night. Multiple Winners Launceston – Saturday Rodney Ashwood – driving double; The Aussie and Williamtell Rohan Hillier – driving double; Offthetopofmyhead and Giftofjoy Paul Ashwood – training double; Offthetopofmyhead and Williamtell Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Launceston on Saturday No Spring Secrets 56.21, Izaha 56.22, Riverboat Jasper 56.56, Lets Elope 56.82 and No Apachemee 56.90. View the sectionals across the ten-race programme here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston  Hit’s: Mister Magic Man $11 into $9.50 and The Aussie $3.90 into $3.00. Defied The Drift: Beam Me Up Chopper $15 out to $17, No Spring Secrets $3.80 out to $4.20 and Williamtell $5.50 out to $7.50. Black Booker No Apacheemee Was a brilliant winner in Launceston four starts back in a slick mile rate in 1:57.0, and on Saturday night the Ben Yole trained gelding shown that he was nearing another win. The Tasracing Calculated Sectionals recorded this pacer running his last half mile in 56.9 seconds of which he was out three and four wide for after settling one-out and four-back and was able to get a trail into the race over the final half mile to only finish 7.1metres from the winner. Only the talented three-year-old Izaha came around this pacer in the concluding stages. No Apacheemee obviously has a liking for the short course trip with his only two wins coming over that distance. Watch the replay here. Week Ahead The Sky Racing Tasmanian Derby at Group 3 level is the feature race in Tasmania this weekend. New South Wales Derby heat winner Maraetai has opened up the $1.20 favourite ahead of fellow Victorian trained rival Smart Little Shard at $4.60. The Craig Hayes trained Semowillrev $11 sits on the third line of betting from the Todd Rattray trained and driven Izaha at $17. The Devonport Harness Racing Club will stage a bumper 10-race program on Friday night. Inform trainer Paul Ashwood will be hoping his stables good form continues with his sole runner of the night, Krafty Boy in race nine. The Betterthancheddar colt has won in Launceston two starts ago and has won two other races and placed six times from his sixteen racetrack appearances. *There is no Trial File this week as there were no trials held in the state.  

Tasracing has developed a buy and sell Facebook page that is designed to secure names of people who are interested in buying into the concept. The Facebook buy and sell group is aimed at promoting the growth of trotting racing in Tasmania.  To join the buy and sell group, visit the Facebook page here: Tasmanian Trotters Buy and Sell. Tasracing will assist in promoting interstate sales and will regularly post opportunities to purchase horses from around the country and any approved user can post a runner for sale. Trotting trials have been programmed to start in Tasmania in early May with the first race scheduled for July 2018. Tasracing’s implementation plan will see the first trial on May 5 with the first race scheduled for July 1 2018, with the export of the trotting product already locked in to be distributed to international jurisdictions. For more information on Trotting in Tasmania, including the cycle of races and prize money schedule visit the Tasracing Trotting in Tasmania page.  

The harness racing field for this evening's Longford Equine Clinic Free-For-All may lack quantity but it more than makes for it with quality. There appear to be four major players in the fast-class race on the nine-event card, Destreos, Queens Advocate, Remember Joe and Fernco Bobby Gee. The Matty Dwyer-trained Queens Advocate (pictured) returned to the winner's list for the first time this season courtesy of a paralysing burst of speed to capture the C6 to C7 in Hobart last week over 2579-metres. The eight-year-old Mcardle - Genes West mare was taken back off the arm by Gareth Rattray and allowed to settle back before making its move out three-wide on the track with cover at the bell. When Rattray released the ribbons on the home turn the race was over in the twinkling of the eye, the mare sprinting home in 56.98 seconds, the quickest last-half of the night, to win by 8.6-metres and putting pay to a frustrating run of three seconds in a row for connections. Gareth Rattray switches back to steer Destreos this evening, the Ken Rattray-prepared 14-year-old gunning for win 99. Destreos, the veteran of 444 career starts, was a winner three runs back proving too good for Mister Lennox and Roger Ramjet with Mr Lennox franking the form by scoring a sensational victory for Juanita McKenzie and Ricky Duggan in the Triple M Hobart Pacing Cup on Sunday night. The Sally Stingel-owned equine cult-hero was then forced to give away a 30-metre Handicap at its next two outings, finishing second to Dapper Dana in Launceston and fourth behind The Majority at Carrick but is back to the more suitable mobile conditions in tonight's Free-For-All. Remember Joe turned in a courageous effort to finish sixth in the Hobart Pacing Cup last week after doing all the work leading the three-wide train last week in the Cup, to finish less than 10-metres from its stablemate Mister Lennox. Fernco Bobby G is another in contention for trainer-driver Mark Yole after being placed behind Destreos this season and finishing fourth to Im Barney Rubble in the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup and again just missing a place in Launceston behind Dapper Dana. In the opening race on the twilight card we get our first glance at the two-year-olds for the 2017/18 season in the $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes. The Kent Rattray-prepared Sunny Sanz is a Carrick trial winner three weeks ago finishing 40 metres ahead of two of its rivals on debut, Jardee and Karalta Moondance and will enjoy the services of regular stable driver John. Last week's Hobart winning duo Juanita McKenzie and Ricky Duggan combine with the Cool Water Paddy, which qualified for its debut run with a trial in New Zealand at Rangiora, where it ran last in a four-horse field. See this evening's Launceston Pacing Club meeting via the live stream service at tasracing.com.au commencing at 16.52. Shane Yates

Tasracing has announced details of its $1.24 million funding increase across the three codes of racing to be distributed between January and June next year. CEO Vaughn Lynch said following an initial 6% code funding allocation increase earlier this financial year, recent turnover growth on Tasmanian racing had enabled the company to further increase industry funding for 2017/18. “The latest $1.24 million increase was announced by the Minister for Racing, Jeremy Rockliff on 6 December and took total funding for the racing industry to $23.29 million,” he said. “Following extensive consultation with industry participants, Tasracing will increase the allocation to thoroughbreds by $678,000, $325,000 for harness and $232,000 for greyhounds,” Mr Lynch said. “In summary, the increases in the thoroughbred and harness codes have been spread across base stakes and feature races, while new race series and meetings are proposed for the greyhound code.” “Optimising the benefits to all industry participants through an increase to base stakes was a primary consideration for Tasracing when distributing this new funding increase, as well as the increase earlier in the year.” “Of the total thoroughbred increases announced, 70% will be allocated to base stakes, 23% to mid-tier feature races and 7% to top end feature races,” Lynch said. “The 2018 Hobart and Launceston Cups, Tasmanian Derby, Gold Sovereign Stakes and Tasmanian Oaks each receive a $50,000 prize money increase. “In the harness code, taking account of both increases, 82% will be allocated to base stakes, 14% to mid-tier races and 4% to top-end harness racing. Mr Lynch said in the greyhound code, Tasracing had initiated a number of new race series, including a trial program of distance racing from April 2018 to June leading into the winter distance carnival. “Nearly $80,000 would also be available through stakes increases of $100 per race from 1 January 2018, and $110,000 for additional greyhound races,” he said. Mr Lynch said Tasracing would provide further information directly to industry participants after Christmas.

Following a code funding allocation increase earlier this financial year, increased turnover during the first four months of 2017/18 on Tasmanian racing product has enabled Tasracing to increase code funding by a further $1.24 million. The increase will be distributed across the three codes between January and June next year. Turnover in Tasmania for the first four months of 2017/18 increased by 11.6 percent or $17.7 million. Tasracing chairman Dean Cooper said the increased turnover and the resulting race field fee result were excellent outcomes for the industry in Tasmania that were driven by a number of factors. “Tasracing’s strategy to achieve increased turnover and race field fee revenue is based on taking advantage of Tasmania’s distinct participant pool and delivering a superior digital product,” he said. “Through our website, tasracing.com.au, we are targeting sophisticated punters who understand the value of good data. “In addition, our close working relationship with Sky Racing allowed us to become the first racing jurisdiction in Australia to make available free online streaming of our race meetings across all three codes.” Mr Cooper said Tasmanian racing industry participants had played a key role in this success. “They are to be congratulated for their collective contribution to the result and the quality of racing product they present,” he said.

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