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

Friday, 15 June 2012

Lickyalips Over Palmisano

The Big Park Stud Sweepstakes final for 2yr old colts and gelding, this Sunday night at Hobart, is shaping up as a show down between two of Tasmanian best 2yr old pacers.
Lickyalips and Palmisano will clash in this feature race, and look for an age track record in this one ! Lickyalips has come up with the one hole and will be driven by master reinsman Ricky Duggan, while Palmisano will start right along side of him in gate 2 and will have the services of leading junior driver Todd Rattray.
The Rodney Ashwood trained Lickyalips, is by Royal Mattjesty, out of Strawberry Kisses, and has had 4 starts for 3 wins with a best winning mile of 1.58.9 for $18,437 in stakes. This gelding is build like a battleship, and Ashwood believes that he is the best 2yr old he has trained since the speedy, Cool Bird.
Palmisano, is trained by Brain Stanley from Riverside, this gelding is by American Ideal, out of Lucyna, and has also had 4 starts for 3 wins, with a best winning mile of 1.58.6 for $15,582 in stakes. Palmisano is a speed machine and loves to find the front end , so it will be very interesting to see if Rattray will be looking for a front end trip with Palmisano
The start will be very interesting as both drivers will be looking for front end trips, so if the condition are good and a very nice cushion on the track, an age record is very most likely. Both horses won their heats and it's great to see that both have come up with a good posts and not a back line draw, this will make for an exciting race, and with the speed on up front the action will be on from the get go.
Ashwood will also saddle up two other runners in the race, being Another Dreamer, and I'm Royal Tonite, both of which have each way claims.  Ashwood has had a lot of success in this race, over the years as both a trainer and driver, with Cool Bird being the most memorable, and is hoping that it continues, by Brain Stanley believes that his horse has the making of being a real deal, and is out to spoil the party !!!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Delightful Plan

When Tasmanian leading trainer Barrie Rattray crossed the Tasman well over a year ago, he wasn't going for a family holiday. Rattray had a plan to buy a yearling from the New Zealand yearling sales, something that he had planed well over five years ago. Rattray with the support of Wayne and Wendy McLaughlin, out laid $92,500 for a filly by the almighty Christian Cullen, who was named Delightful Christian.
Last Saturday Delightful Christian repaid her owners with an outstanding win in the $150,000 group one Diamond pace for two year old fillies over the mile trip, in New Zealand.
Trained by Brain Hughes and John Green, and driven by master New Zealand reinsman Maurice McKendry, Delightful Christian began well from the 5 hole and had to do a bit of work 3wide for the first 1/4 until she found the front end, once on the front end, McKendry rated Delightful Christian to perfection, and down the back he let this filly stride and at the final 1/4 pole she always looked the winner. Running the mile in a very smart 1.57.5
Barrie Rattray was full of praise for  Brain Hughes and John Green, for the job they have done and also was very grateful to co owners Wayne and Wendy McLaughlin.
This is something Rattray had always wanted to do, purchase a top class yearling and return to win a major group one, and it might not end there.
There are no concrete plans at the moment but Rattray and Wayne and Wendy McLaughlin have the Breeders Crown in their sights come August
Delightful Christian is now a winner of 3 races from 7 starts and there are more to come.

   Barrie Rattray        Christian Cullen

Where Has The Fans Gone

My harness racing mad mate and i , jumped into the car the other night and headed for the track, to catch up on some live harness racing. All excited that we was going to make a killing and fill our pockets, as we each had a few sure things! As we arrived at the track, parking was not a problem as the car park was, well you could say empty, i will not be that hard, but only a hand full of cars, "your sure there on ?" i asked. We head to the gate and paid our $7 and purchased a race book and walked to the main grandstand. We both had planned to have a great night of punting and catch up with a few of the regular punters, share a joke and a drink and have a great night out!
To our surprise, as we walked into the grandstand, there was hardly any one there ! I said 'what have we done to this great sport ? " the atmosphere was gone, no excitement, no bookmakers, it was dead !
We both looked at each other and started to talking about the days when the race track was full, of punters, trainers, owners, family's and the fans off harness racing, what has gone wrong ?
We both struggled with our bets, had a few drinks, went for a walk down to the paddock, in the end we called it a night and left the track before the meeting was over, all in all it was a boring night at the track.
So when i got home, i started to write down a few things that i believe, has made the race track a lonely place.
Firstly it was Sunday night, this does not work if you want the track to come alive again, need to find away around this .
Secondly, the action is to far away, who ever was the bright spark that decided to put a harness race track on the inside of gallops tracks needs their head examined, plus after the race the winner and place getter's don't come in front of the grandstand, just straight off the track and back to the barn.
Thirdly, where are the club officials, not one committee member any where to be seen, they should be walking about and make sure the fans are having a great time. Even buy then a drink or take then down to meet a top trainer or driver.
Fourthly, there is nothing to do between races, this is one area where clubs can take advantage of the situation, drivers interviews, meet the horses, video replays, iphone apps, poker, ladies clubs, even turn one bar into a entertainment area with live music.
I could go on and on, like a broken record, i don't want to sound like I'm bagging the industry out, there has been some great work done by many people, but if some states don't start to do something, and just sit back and rely on turn over, they will die, and I'm sorry but my home state will be one of then.