Opening Quarter, is for all harness racing fans, welcome .

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Group one racing

This weekend we see two Grand Circuit races in two states, firstly we will roll off this Friday night at Gloucester Park in Western Australia with the running of  the group one Eurodrive WA Pacing Cup, where we will see the I'm Themightyquinn racing in his home cup. But it is not going to be easy for him, as he has to come up against the mighty pacer Mr Feelgood.
Mr Feelgood has the gun post of 3, and Luke Mc Carthy will be looking for the front end on his pacer, as I'm Themightyquinn has a horror post of 7, out side the front line, this going to make it very interesting at the start to see what Gary Hall decides at the start, plus to make things a fraction worst for Hall is that the speedy Washakie is in 6 with Raglan in 4.
I believe Luke will lead all the way over the 2506m trip and him and Mr Feelgood will win and take how a big piece of the $400k in stakes, second I'm throwing in Raglan for Anthony Butt, this pacer is really showing that with the right run he can match it at this level, and if he gets a soft trip will be right in this at the finish.
I'm Themightyquinn is returning from what most would say was a disappointing last couple of runs, but he his back home now, and loves the tight track, the only problem is his draw, but look for him to be finishing fast and if he is right could blow then away.
My Tips for the big one 1, Mr Feelgood, 2, Raglan, 3, I'm Themightyquinn.

Then on Saturday night we will move to Globe Derby Park for the running of the South Australian Cup, over the 2645m trip, where we will see a new driver on the champ Smoken Up, as Lance Justice is still recovering from that terrible race fall last month. The new driver for Smoken Up is Greg Sugars and he drove Smoken Up at the trails at Melton last week to get a feel of the champ.
Smoken Up has got the 3 hole at the start and he will get on the front end very early and Greg will let him stride as he will be looking for a really good work out as they prepare for the Interdon.
Hardest to bet should be the local pacer Ohaka Nevada for Mark Billinger, this pace is racing really good at the moment and drawing the 1 will should him and should get a great trip. I was really impressed with the way Heza Trick won the Tassie cup, and this pacer could be one to look out for in major cups thru out the season, don't be surprised if he runs some sort of race in this.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Scandalman breaks $100k

Last night at Maitland outstanding 3yo pacer Scandalman took his life time earnings over the $100k mark with an amazing 23.7m victory. Rating a very good 1.59.6 mile rate on the tight Maitland track, Scandalman showed that he will be a major player in this years 3yo classics.
Settled back at the rear early by his driver Jimmy Douglass, Scandalman made his move at the 1300m mark and went to the front to race away a very easy winner.
By Live Or Die, out of  New Zealand breed mare All In Vain, Scandalman has now race 10 times for 8 win and 2 seconds with a best winning mile of 1.55. This colt is going places, and the way he went about his business last night, there are a lot more wins coming his way this season.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lanercost to make amends

Star Queensland pacer Lanercost will race this Friday night at Tab Corp park Melton, and will be out to make amends for his mishap in the the New Years Cup.
To be driven by his trainer Darrel Graham, Lanercost has to over come a bad draw of 13, out side the second line, but this pacer is all class and i don't think this will be to much of a problem for him.
Lanercost is one of the most exciting pacers going around at the moment and if there is a pacer to stand up to the likes of Smoken Up, Mr Feelgood and the likes this is horse that could do it as the grand circuit starts to heat up.

Jimmy's tips this week.

Melton Friday night.

Race 3   Bad Cat - inside the second line but has a bit of class .
Race 7  Lanercost - best bet

Hobart Sunday Night.

Race 2  Hes No Saint - fantastic race last week, good post, pity Douglas is not driving him this week.
Race 5  Saturday Night - knocking on the door, should be to good for these
Race 8 Jetson's Blue Jean- take on trust from the stand, if he steps will take some catching

Are the stewards right

It was interesting to read the stewards report from Hobart's meeting on the 1st of January, young reinmans Alex Ashwood was fined $100 for releasing gear with his foot. The gear he released was the ear plugs, in other words he kick the plugs out, this is a common practise in the states and is now being adopted over here in Australia by many drivers.
I believe that this practise should be encourage not penalised, as drivers have more control over their horses when they kick the plugs out, by removing the plugs with their hands can allow a horse to shift in or out at that time.
Darrel Graham removed the plugs on his star pacer Lanercost in the New Year cup on new years eve and when he did Lanercost shift in and contacted the wheel of Mr Feelgood, which in turn resulted in that pacer breaking stride and finishing last.
Stewards need to review this, and encourage drivers to release gear with their foot, as it makes for safer racing and drivers having a lot more control over their horses.
Review both stewards remarks below.
Alex Ashwood (GENUFLECT) was fined the sum of $100 under the provisions of rule 170(1) for releasing gear with his foot resulting in his foot not being in the sulky rest at all times.


The winner of the event MR FEELGOOD USA was subject to a post race urine sample.
Horses LANERCOST NZ and MR FEELGOOD USA were both subject to pre race blood testing.
The all clear for this event was delayed to enable Stewards to view the DVD footage of the run to the finish line in that around the 200 metre mark LANERCOST NZ galloped. After viewing both the lateral and head on DVD it was established that at the 200 metre mark LANERCOST NZ shifted in and simultaneous to this MR FEELGOOD USA which was racing to the inside of LANERCOST NZ shifted out. As a result of this there was a contact to the near hind leg of LANERCOST NZ and through this the horse galloped. In view of both runners contributing to this incident the all clear was given. At a subsequent inquiry warnings were issued against both runners for their contributing parts in the incident.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A-Team Sweeps Tassie

Well now that we all have Xmas and the new year out of the way it's time to get back to racing, and it all started last night at Tattersall's park, Hobart, where the Glenn and Daryl Douglas team made a clean sweep of the feature races in Tasmania.
First to go was the 3yo The Dip in the SEW Eurodive Tasmanian Guineas, taken off the gate at the start by Douglas, Tip Dip made a move for the front end at the mile peg, and took over the running to win very nicely from Willbe Doc, who run a great race and sat out side The Dip for the last 1100m , with Nitro Blue 3rd.
Then was Australia's best mare Make Mine Cullen who took out the SEW Eurodive George Johnson, she won with easy and never looked tested for the punters who took the $1.10.
We moved on to the Hivotech Tasmania Cup, where the A-Team had two runners in the lightly raced Heza Trick and Jukebox Music, with Heza Trick being to good and won with easy from the Tasmanian pacer Thirsty Mach in 2nd place with Jukebox Music running a nice 3rd.
The A-Team took home $45,457 in stake plus rugs and trophies, so they certainly have started the new year off well.
It was great to see Make Mine Cullen down in Tassie and well down to the Douglas team for bring her down so the fans could witness her racing, the crowd was a down on other years, but it still was a great night of harness racing.