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Queensland Harness Racing wrap - June 21

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



L L Cool J has a model of consistency since arriving in Queensland, and on Friday night took another step up when claiming the Chris Garrard Patrons Purse at Redcliffe.

Taking his first look at The Triangle, the five-year-old proved too classy for his opponents when cruising home to a comfortable victory, breaking the 2280-metre track record in the process.

The record was previously held by Avonnova and had stood for seven years, set on March 29, 2014, in a Free For All event.

Starting from the second-line, Shane Graham had L L Cool J into the running line early, biding his time as Feelingforarainbow was setting a sharp tempo in front.

Given his cue at the 700-metre mark, the gelding was sent forward quickly and was soon in front with 500 metres left to travel, a position that he would maintain thereafter.



Redcliffe | Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing & Sporting Club | 8:24 PM


L L COOL J NZ T: Vicki Rasmussen D: Shane Graham
MONTANA CHIEF T: Darrel Graham D: Brittany Graham
FOND MEMORIES T: Grant Dixon D: Grant Dixon

First held in 2008 when Be Diligent was successful, the 2021 victory was the first win in the race for trainer Vicki Rasmussen and driver Shane Graham.

All three Rasmussen sisters have now won the Patrons Purse; Natalie, and Kylie both winning as drivers to complement Vicki’s training success.

L L Cool J is a new addition to the Rasmussen stable, with the gelding’s first seven starts in Queensland when prepared by Nathan Dawson.

Overcoming a foot abscess that was hampering the son of A Rocknroll Dance during May, the past two starts from the gelding have been impressive in stretching his record to four wins from six attempts this season.

Raced by Jeroen Niuwenberg, Lindsay Gallagher, Doug Spice and Ryan Spice, L L Cool J continues to take each hurdle as it is presented.

With the Listed victory now to his name, the progressive type might just get his opportunity in the upcoming TAB Queensland Constellations carnival to test his mettle.



It could be bad news for any horse targeting the Blacks A Fake following the second-up run of King Of Swing at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Not hustled out of the mobile as Turn It Up charged across from gate seven to lead, Luke McCarthy gave his dual-Miracle Mile winner plenty of time to balance up.

Pressing on to take control after 600 metres, the race was effectively over from that point.

Ambling through the first three quarters of the last mile, the King was comfortable, ripping home up the stretch in a slick 26.6-second closing panel.

Completely in control, it was the easiest of victories over the 2680-metre journey, with Turn It Up claiming second place, while Spankem held on for third.



Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 7:43 PM


KING OF SWING NZ T: Belinda McCarthy D: Luke McCarthy
TURN IT UP T: Vicki Rasmussen D: Shane Graham
SPANKEM NZ T: Darren Weeks D: Kylie Rasmussen

In an ominous warning for the rivals of King Of Swing, the McCarthy stable highlighted after the race that their star performer will only improve after Saturday’s run.

Going into the race second-up from a spell, the six-year-old entire took his record to five wins from six starts this season, with the win his second from as many starts at The Creek.

The win was the final leg of a winning treble for trainer Belinda McCarthy, with husband Luke taking the reins behind all three triumphs - Expensive Ego, Spirit of St Louis and King Of Swing.

All three were comfortable winners and look set to shine bright throughout the Queensland Constellations.



The Redcliffe track is in top order heading towards this Saturday’s feature meeting with several records falling at the meeting on June 18.

Artful Maid secured her place in the Garrards Showcase Final when overcoming a 30-metre handicap to claim victory, with Adam Sanderson taking the drive for trainer Dayl March.

In pacing the 1.58.9 mile-rate, Artful Maid broke a record dating back to September 2016 to be the new holder of the mares 1780-metre standing start record.

The second Showcase Final saw another age record secured when Big Gem Montana proved too strong, with Adam Sanderson again in the sulky to claim both Showcase Finals.

Big Gem Montana set the new benchmark for three-year-olds over the 1780-metre standing start, slicing two-and-a-half seconds off the previous mark set back in August of 2009.

The 3YO Yearling Sales Final was being billed as a match between Justa Little Bit and Manila Playboy, however a minor upset occurred with the victory of the filly Shes Miss Devine.

Making a move with a lap to travel to get outside the leader, Shes Miss Devine was the recipient of a perfect drive from Pete McMullen.

Holding off the challenge of Manila Playboy, the filly set a new personal best of 1.56.7 for the mobile 1780-metre trip, with the time also eclipsing the previous best time of 1.56.9 held by Vintage Dream.



Redcliffe | Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing & Sporting Club | 9:24 PM


SHES MISS DEVINE T: Graham Dwyer D: Pete McMullen
MANILA PLAYBOY T: Shane Fraser D: Shane Graham
NICKS PICK T: Daren Garrard D: Angus Garrard

L L Cool J dominated his rivals in the Chris Garrard Patrons Purse, stopping the clock in the 2280-metre event with a mile-rate of 1.55.9.

The record was previously held by three-time Queensland Harness Horse of the Year, Avonnova.

With the big night approaching this Saturday and the quality horseflesh on show, there could be some more records in danger.



Adam Sanderson completed a unique book-end double on Saturday night to end a successful week in the sulky.

The freelance reinsman scored nine wins across the week that included trebles on Tuesday at The Creek and Friday at The Triangle.

Sanderson also claimed a metropolitan double on Saturday night along with a lone win on Thursday afternoon aboard the short-priced favourite King Of Trumps.

The week ended how it started for the former Kiwi, with a win aboard Orlando Jolt for trainer Darrel Graham and owner Linda Graham.

Stepping out in the first race of the day at Albion Park on Tuesday, Orlando Jolt was successful from a 10-metre handicap over the 2647-metre trip.

On the four-day back-up, the five-year-old gelding was again successful when scoring in the last race on Saturday night over the same distance, this time when starting from the front line.

The win was the ninth success for the square gaiter since joining the Graham stable, with Sanderson taking the reins for all nine victories.



Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 10:04 PM


ORLANDO JOLT NZ T: Darrel Graham D: Adam Sanderson
GODOFTHUNDER T: Narissa McMullen D: Matt Elkins
IL PIRATA NZ T: Darrel Graham D: Darrel Graham

With current racing having limited standing start events, Sanderson proved a deft touch at the art, with five of his nine winners for the week coming from the tapes.

Along with the dual wins of Orlando Jolt, the three winners recorded for Sanderson at Redcliffe’s Friday night fixture were all under standing start conditions.

Complementing the wins, two of the victories also resulted in new records being set, as mentioned earlier in the wrap.

The win of Clintal Do was the middle of the three winners for Adam, with the gelding overcoming a 30-metre handicap to score a stylish victory in preparation for his upcoming Redcliffe Cup mission.



Six meetings are scheduled this week where the focus will be squarely on Redcliffe.

This Saturday’s metropolitan fixture will be from the Peninsula Paceway with a programme jam-packed with feature racing.

Headlining the meeting will be the Final of the Group 1 Garrards Yearling Sale Series for two-year-old pacers with the field decided following two heats held last Friday.

The Redcliffe Cup is the other Group status event on the night, with the $50,000 Group 2 standing start always a keenly contested race.

Not carrying Group status, it could be the Redcliffe Derby that currently carries the most interest with the star New Zealand three-year-old Krug a likely starter in the race.

Having already accepted an invite to the upcoming inaugural Group 1 Rising Sun, a Derby start will be the first Australian appearance for Cran Dalgety’s talented colt.

Support races include the Redcliffe Oaks, the Garrards Showcase Final and the Kinghts and Dames Final.

Albion Park host meetings on Tuesday afternoon and Friday night, Redcliffe fixtures will be held on Wednesday night, Thursday afternoon and Saturday night.

The week will be completed with a meeting from Marburg on Sunday.