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Queensland harness racing wrap - June 14

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.

 

THE GOOD

It was a week to remember for driver Brendan Barnes, who was able to put together a bag full of winners at two meetings and break new ground in his career.

Fresh off claiming his 500th driving victory at Redcliffe with Gottahaveahobbie on June 2, Barnes scored a quartet of wins at Albion Park on Tuesday June 8 and backed that up with a treble on Saturday night, June 12.

The quartet of victories was the first time in his career that he has been able to land four winners at the one meeting and then on Saturday, the treble was the first time that Double-B has secured a treble at a metropolitan fixture.

Tuesday’s first win came aboard the claimer Sabrage, the seventh time that Barnes has partnered the gelding to victory for the ‘boss’- owner Tara Butler- and trainer Jack Butler.

The second win was an impressive performance for visiting Bathurst trainer Gemma Hewitt, when powering home to a 33-metre winning margin aboard Kashed Up.

A pick-up drive for trainer Vicki Rasmussen aboard Our Bella Lucia was the third of Barnes’ four winners, right lining the filly at the top of the stretch in running down the leader Major Lester.

The quartet of wins was completed by race six when The Rocknroll King charged home wide off the track to arrive for a stylish victory.

Despite being in what looked like a forlorn position, the five-year-old put in a barnstorming finish to arrive for a narrow victory over the leader and race favourite Captains Pick.

Races

6
6

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 4:23 PM

ATLAS COPCO PACE

Heading into Saturday night’s card, Barnes looked to play a strong hand on the evening’s results and that is how the racing panned out, with Brendan finishing the night with a treble of winners.

That number could have been higher with a little more rub of the green in-transit with two seconds and a third also going Barnes’ way.

Sam Is Perfection was the first winner of the night for Barnes when scoring in race two, overcoming gate seven to power over the top of his rivals to score.

The second winner would not come until race ten, when the consistent Claudys Prince was finally rewarded for his first victory since arriving in Queensland.

Second across the line in all four starts since joining the Butler stable, the square gaiter also ended a win drought that had extended back to May 2019.

Perhaps the most satisfying win was the final of the three when two-year-old gelding Dangerzone remained undefeated with victory in the last race of the night.

Allowed to balance up, Barnes sent Dangerzone forward after 400 metres to find the front, a position they would not relinquish thereafter.

Races

11
11

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 9:35 PM

ULTIMATE TOOLS 2YO PACE

A 500th career win, a first-time quartet and a first-time metropolitan treble could all be small fry if Dangerzone can claim the upcoming QBRED Triad Final.

Exciting times ahead for Barnes who is potentially staring down a maiden Group 1 victory.

 

THE BAD

It could be bad timing for a field of three-year-olds this Friday at Redcliffe.

However, it is perfect timing for trainer Shane Fraser and his dual Group 1-winner pacer Manila Playboy.

The Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Three-Year-Old Final is set down for this Friday night and it looks set for a battle for the minor prize.

Although the field will contain some handy performers - the likes of Shes Miss Devine, Justa Little Bit, Dynamic Dan, and Not The Kingswood - are they capable of springing an upset?

She Miss Devine claimed victory in the second heat when leading all the way to an eight-and-a-half-metre victory.

Runner-up in the 2020 two-year-old Final, the filly could not hold off the closing finish of Manila Playboy 12 months ago.

Looking stronger one year on, recent QBRED Triad victor Manila Playboy was clinical in victory in claiming his heat of the Group 2 feature.

Aided by gate one, Shane Graham held the early lead and allowed the gelding to roll through a relatively sharp 28.9 second first quarter.

Never in danger, Manila Playboy ran a closing half of 57.9 in scoring an untouched victory in an ominous warning for his rivals in this week’s Final.

Races

Strengthening his claims is his record at Redcliffe, which now sits at a perfect four from four, with Fraser’s star pupil heading to the final in top shape.

Manila Playboy will be out to join Governor Jujon as winners of both the two and three-year-old finals of the popular series.

 

THE MILESTONE

Warwick trainer Dayl March has his star pace Clintal Do hitting a peak at the right time as the TAB Queensland Constellations approach.

With the Redcliffe Cup firmly in the sights of March, Clintal Do was taken to The Triangle last Thursday for a stand start event over the Cup distance of 2613 metres.

With Adam Sanderson taking the reins aboard the seven-year-old, he was safely away from his 10-metre strand.

Settling four back in single-file order, Sanderson was able to get a trial into the race in the final lap on the back of Maywyns Best.

As that runner ran to the lead turning for home, Clintal Do had plenty to offer, loomed up and then pulled clear to claim victory.

Stopping the clock in a mile-rate of 1.58.7, the win eclipsed the previous track record held by Sole Ambition who set the mark in winning the 2020 Redcliffe Cup.

Races

That win become the second time that the gelding has held a Redcliffe track record, having previously held the three-year-old 2040-metre record in 1.56.8 before Colt Thirty One broke the mark when claiming the Redcliffe Derby.

Clintal Do was third in the 2020 edition of the Cup when only one-and-a-half-metres astern of the winner and boasts victory in the 2019 Redcliffe Cup.

Three starts back, Clintal Do claimed the Armidale Cup, and followed that with a close second in the Flashing Red behind Kid Montana before his track record win on Thursday.

Hitting form at the right time, Clintal Do will head towards the $50,000 Group 2 Redcliffe Cup on June 26 primed to claim his second victory in the feature event.

 

THE WILDCARD

KerryAnn Morris has been a regular campaigner in Queensland in recent years and currently has a strong team flying her flag in the Sunshine State.

Capping off her most successful week this campaign, Morris finished with six winners.

Riteur is the lone trotter in the current team in Queensland, the mare started the week off on a winning note for the Morris team, overcoming a 30-metre handicap to win the opening event at Albion Park on Tuesday.

Highlighting the durability of the standardbred, the win of Ball Of Art on Friday was perhaps one of the most pleasing for the stable.

Taking his place at Redcliffe on Thursday from the stand start over 2613-metres, Jack Brown had the gelding rolling in front setting a strong tempo.

Unable to go with the big guns in the closing stages, Ball Of Art had set the tempo that allowed Clintal Do to finish over the top and claim a new track record.

On the short one-day back-up, Ball Of Art was then sent around over the mobile 2138-metres at Albion Park on Friday night.

With youngster Jack Brown again taking the drive, he was happy to sit outside the leader throughout and turning for home Ball Of Art took control, going on to claim a strong near four-metre victory.

The win was the first of a treble for Morris on the card and was backed up with all-the-way wins to The Raconteur and Major Lester.

On Saturday night, Petes Said So scored his first Albion Park victory for Morris, having placed in three of his previous four starts at The Creek.

Making it a winning double, We Salute Year charged home from the rear to claim a strong victory in a qualifying pace.

Nathan Dawson made the most of his opportunities, steering three of the six winners for the week for Morris - including the Saturday night double.

 

THIS WEEK

An adjusted schedule is programmed for this week, with five full meetings to be conducted Tuesday through Saturday.

On Sunday, Kilcoy will play host to a dual-code meeting that will feature three harness events prior to the galloping action starting.

The full harness meetings will see Albion Park host the Tuesday afternoon slot and the Saturday night metropolitan fixture.

Redcliffe builds towards its big night of action on June 26 by hosting three meetings this week.

Action at The Triangle covers Wednesday night, Thursday afternoon and for this week a Friday night fixture.

This Friday night fixture should really whet the appetite for the Cup night, with several feature events proving a guide to action from The Triangle the following week.

The highlight is the Garrards Patrons Purse, a $25,000 Listed event for 4&5YO pacers.

Complementing this race will be the $50,000 Final of the 3YO Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series, heats of the 2YO Sales Series and heats of the Garrards Showcase Series.

Off the track, Tuesday at The Creek Bar from Albion Park will see the official TAB Constellations launch from 11am.