Tasmanian Harness Highlights – Thursday 28 December

28 December 2017 | Duncan Dornauf

Victorian-trained pacers dominated the Tasmania Cup program in Hobart on Friday.

Major Secret was too strong for his rivals in the Triple M Hobart Tasmania Cup giving his Ballarat-based trainer Emma Stewart her second win in the state’s premier race after winning it back in 2007 with Manwarra Goforgold.

The state’s premier mares’ race, the Crown Lager George Johnson, also headed back to Ballarat when Milly Perez gave her trainer-driver Michael Stanley his second win in the race.

This week harness racing heads back to the country circuits with harness racing at Carrick Park on Sunday, and racing on the grass at both St Marys and King Island on New Year’s Day.

The Stars

Sidney Van Den Brande – drove a brilliant race on Major Secret to win the state’s premier race, the Group 2 Triple M Hobart Tasmania Cup, on Friday evening. The Belgium-born driver who has worked in a number of countries including France, Sweden, Holland and Americas allowed Major Secret to settle midfield early before working around the field with two laps to travel to find the lead and from that point on he was never in doubt.

Michael Stanley – another trainer-driver to cross Bass Straight and pitch another feature race in Tasmania with Milly Perez in the Crown Lager George Johnson. It was the first time that the Four Starzzz Shark mare had started since joining the Stanley Stable.

Daryl Bates – hobby trainer who enjoyed success on the state’s premier night with Streetside Classic in the Tasmanian Labor Eric Reece Memorial Final.

Charlie Castles – after having his first drive in Launceston on December 3, the Devonport teenager registered his first win in the sulky on boxing night with an all the way win on the Ben Yole trained Franco Hammond.

Multiple winners

Hobart – Friday

Todd Rattray training and driving double; Taurisi and Harjeet

Devonport – Tuesday

Ben Yole training quartet; Miss Costalot, Four Smart Aces, Liv Lavish and Franco Hammond

Rohan Hadley driving double; Paint The Wind and Liv Lavish

Calculated Sectional Standouts

Quickest last halves (800m) from Friday’s action in Hobart.

Major Secret 56.60, Queens Advocate 56.63, Illegal Immigrant 56.83, No Spring Secrets 56.91 and Ready To Fire 56.97.

And from Tuesday’s action in Devonport.

Washies Chance 57.96, Jeans Mattjesty 58.41, Liv Lavish 58.50, Dodgermemate 58.53 and Dellas Command 58.69.

View all Tasmanian sectional data here

Tasracing Official Price


Hit: Harjeet $2.35 into $2.10
Defied the Drift: Streetside Classic $7 out to $10


Hit: Franco Hammond $2.70 into $2.40
Defied the Drift: Miss Costalot $4.60 out to $8.00

Black Booker

Courageous Katee
This Dick Eaves-trained pacer took on the best mares in the state when she tackled the George Johnson in Hobart on Friday.

Driver Christian Salter positioned the daughter of Courage Under Fire four back along the peg line and elected to drive for luck when the short price favourite Milly Perez found the lead. Salter was able to work one position wider around the home corner before finding clear racing room halfway down the home straight where she hit the line well to finish in third position.

Friday’s race was effectively a C1 – C13 assessed race that included a M7 performer, so Courageous Katee will appreciate dropping back to a C2 – C3 event at Carrick Park on Sunday.

Watch Friday’s run here 

Trial File

Carrick Park on Saturday
Six trials were staged at the ‘Country Place of Pace’ on Sunday morning with the Troy Hillier trained and driven Gotta Go Henry recording the quickest winning mile rate of the morning in 2:06.4 at his second trial in the state since being claimed from Victoria. The Gotta Go Collect gelding defeated Safari Rose by eight metres.

Last season’s quickest two-year-old, Ignatius, stepped out for the first time this season when winning a 3C0 trial by eight metres over Bettabrown Tiger with Mister Last 25 metres away third in a mile rate of 2:10.7.

Slow mile rates were the order of the morning with other winners on the session recording slow times including; Albayzin (2:12.2), Sunny Sanz (2:09.8), Stuckfast (2:14.9) and Good Feelings (2:08.6)

Week Ahead

Sunday twilight harness racing returns this week with a bumper 10-race program at Carrick Park. The club is getting right behind Destreos, who is chasing his 99th win with a lot of giveaways on track. There is also a colouring in competition and the opportunity for the general public to get up close and personal and get a photo of the Ken Rattray-trained pacer.

The feature race on the program is the Maxfield Drilling Meander Valley Cup which has brought together a competitive field including Hafter who won at the track four starts ago and Rockin An Runnin who was defeated a neck in Hobart on Friday and was a winner the start prior, are both amongst the winning chances.

The meeting will include a hosted live stream on tasracing.com.au commencing with a trackside preview at 15:12. The 10-race card will also be telecast across the channels of Sky Racing with races 1 to 3 and races 6 and 10 currently listed on Sky Racing 2 with races 4 & 5 currently listed for Sky Racing 1.

The St Marys Pacing Club will stage their annual race meeting on New Years Day with an eight-race card. The feature race is the $12,000 Southern Cross Television St Marys Pacing Cup where the Rohan Hillier trained and driven Solid As A Rock will be looking for his fourth win in succession including a brilliant win in Hobart on Friday, while the Shelley Barnes trained Chief Destroyer will be hoping to go one placing better in the race after being defeated a half head in the 2017 edition of the race.

There will be no off-track betting and no off-track broadcast of the St Marys meeting, meaning punters wanting to have a bet and anyone interested in watching or listening to the meeting will have to be trackside at the St Marys Paceway. Replays will be available after the race meeting at tasracing.com.au

Also on New Year’s Day the King Island Racing Club will stage their premier day that features the running of the $3,500 King Island Pacing Cup. Trainer Peter Jakowenko has a two-pronged attack in the race with Lildudewifattitude and 2017 cup winner Another Cee Bee.

tasracing.com.au for replays sectionals and formguide