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Tasmanian Harness Highlights – Thursday 11 January

11 January 2018 | Duncan Dornauf

It has been a big 2018 in Tasmanian Harness Racing, none more so for the Todd Rattray-trained and driven pacer Full Speed Ahead. The gelded son of Art Major dead-heated for first in the St Marys Pacing Cup on New Years Day, he was then sold to new connections last Wednesday week, and on Friday, Full Speed Ahead capped off a busy week by winning the $12,000 North Eastern Pacing Cup at Scottsdale’s annual race meeting. At Hobart on Sunday, Hall of fame reinsman Ricky Duggan added one race that was missing off his resume when the master reinsman was able to taste his first success in the Hobart Pacing Cup aboard Mister Lennox. This week the Launceston Pacing Club will stage Australia’s first two-year-old race for the season with the $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes, while the Cup theme continues on the north-west coast with the running of the $12,000 Burnie Harness Racing Cup.

The Stars

Juanita Mckenzie – added another Hobart Pacing Cup to her resume when she prepared Mister Lennox to victory in Sunday’s 3060-metre event. It was the first win in five starts this season for the Changeover gelding. Mckenzie’s previous win in the race was in 2006 when she trained Remember Joe to victory. Matthew Dwyer – has his small team going well of late and was rewarded with another win when smart mare Queens Advocate recorded her first win since February 2016. Three-year-old crop of pacers – it was great to watch two nice three-year-olds in Feelin Dusty and Bettabrown Tiger put up a great display in the Talbot Hotel Pace on Sunday with Feelin Dusty doing enough to score. Izaha and Invest also recorded nice wins across the two meetings. Michael Alexander, Wayne Campbell, Rohan Hadley – all ensured the locals had something to cheer about at Scottsdale on Friday with the North-eastern based participants being involved in four of the seven winners. Multiple winners Scottsdale – Friday Rohan Hadley – Driving double; Diddley Bow and Jeans Mattjesty. Todd Rattray – Training and driving double; Invest and Full Speed Ahead. Hobart – Sunday Ben Yole – Training double; Chilla Breeze and Long Ago. Gareth Rattray – Driving double; Queens Advocate and Levi Jimmy.

Calculated Sectional Standouts

Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Hobart on Sunday.Queens Advocate 56.98, Lockaway Kacie 57.28, Padabing Stride 57.80, Inner Light 57.98 and Resurgent Dream 58.01. View all Tasmanian sectional data here.

Tasracing Official Price

Scottsdale Hit: Full Speed Ahead $2.60 into $2.20 Defied The Drift: Mon Poppy Polly $15 out to $17 Missed: Rocknrollhighlight $26 into $16 Hobart Hit: Izaha $1.95 into $1.75 Defied The Drift: Lynniemach $3.50 out to $4.60 Missed: Resurgent Dream $7.00 into $5.50

Black Booker

Yodellin Cowgirl This Marc Butler trained mare had her first start in the state at Scottsdale on Friday. Driver Kristy Grant got Yodellin Cowgirl away slowly but safely at the pacers first standing start race. Setting in the back half of the field, Grant eased the mare three wide down the back straight where she started to make up ground but when entering the home straight Yodellin Cowgirl hit the line better than any other runner in the race to only be defeated a head on the line.

Watch the replay here.

Trial File

Carrick Park on Saturday Last season’s star two-year-old Ignatius showed he is close to a race track return when he won his second trial back this preparation. Starting off the second line Ignatius was able to win his trial by 20 metres in a mile rate of 2:07.4 with the final quarter being recorded in 28.6. Other winners at the session were; Fernco Bobby G (2:06.4), Berty Mack (2:10.5), Cardinal Ringo (2:06.5), Safari Rose (2:09.3) and Karpenkova Leis (2:07.1). Hobart on Monday Six trials were staged at the Elwick Racing Complex where the Doug Nettlefold trained Sardonic Grin recorded the quickest mile rate of the night of 2:05.6 when winning a two and three-year-old trial over the 1609 metre journey. Other winners on the night included; Isaac (2:04.2), Falcon Harry (2:07.6), Rock The Casbolt (2:07.7), Finn Mac Kee (2:07.5) and Usain Jolt (2:08.2). Burnie on Monday Three trials were staged on Monday evening with the winners being Devil Of Tyne (2:04.4), Pliskova Leis (No Time Taken) and Jeanette Barry (2:09.1)

Week Ahead

The $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes is not only the first race in Launceston on Friday afternoon, it is also the first two-year-old race in Australia for the 2017/18 season. The Rohan Hillier-trained and driven Dusty Martini, who was a $32,500 APG Yearling Sale purchase from last year’s Melbourne sale, has drawn outside the front row and has had two trials in preparation for his first racetrack appearance. He won by a half head defeating Sunny Sanz and Karalta Moondance on December 11 at Carrick Park before being defeated by Sunny Sanz on December 23. On that occasion, Jardee and Karalta Moondance finished over 40-metres behind the winner. The only horse to not trial in the state is Cool Water Paddy who qualified at Rangiora (New Zealand) in late November when running last in a four-horse trial which has already produced one winner. Watch the trial here. The action then swings to Burnie on Sunday for the $12,000 Burnie Harness Racing Club Cup. The 30-metre backmarker in the 2789 metre feature is the Shelley Barnes trained Chief Destroyer. The It Is I gelding finished 3rd in last year’s cup when he also started off a 30-metre handicap behind Fortino and was defeated 3-metres when running fourth in the 2016 edition of the race The Burnie Cup will feature a hosted live stream coverage on tasracing.com.au with an in-depth coverage of each race commencing 15-minutes prior to scheduled start time.

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