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  4. Queensland Harness Racing Wrap - September 27

Queensland Harness Racing Wrap - September 27

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

 

THE GOOD

The decision to be permanently based in Queensland is proving a successful tonic for Gemma Hewitt as the winners continue to roll in from her small team.

Taking three horses to the track last Tuesday, Hewitt was able to head home with a training treble following the wins of Amami, Kashed Up and Rock Fisherman.

Amami was the latest to be rolled out from her small team, with the two-year-old gelding having his first race start at Albion Park.

Sent to the front in the early stages, the gelded son of Sweet Lou was never in danger when cruising home to the easiest of victories in a 1.57.2-mile rate with Gemma taking the reins.

The middle leg of the treble came when Kashed Up scored a dominant victory over his older rivals when posting a winning margin of over 11 metres, running his closing 400-metre split in a slick 27.6 seconds.

Bred and owned by Hewitt, it was the gelding’s fourth Albion Park success with Brendan Barnes having been in the seat at all four victories.

Races

6
6

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 4:03 PM

ATLAS COPCO PACE

1
KASHED UP T: Gemma Hewitt D: Brendan Barnes
2
ANOTHER STATEMENT T: Shannon Price D: Matt Crone
3
THE HUMMER T: Peter Donohoe D: Alan Donohoe

Rock Fisherman was the third and final leg of the winning treble with the four-year-old notching his third successive victory at The Creek, providing Barnes with a winning double.

Hewitt’s small team have all tasted success on multiple occasions since arriving in Queensland with Keayang Marven and Kashed Up leading the charge with four victories each.

Rock Fisherman has scored three wins in just five starts under Gemma’s care, while Kash Us Back has also scored three wins in the Sunshine State, with Keayang Kreuzer registering two.

Kashed Up will be heading back to New South Wales in the coming weeks as he prepares for a tilt at the Breeders Challenge Series.

With the border restrictions currently in place, the gelding is likely to head to Bathurst to start his campaign as he tracks a path headed to the big Group 1 Final.

It has been a super season thus far for Kashed Up, who was an invitee to the first running of the Rising Sun and has contested both the New South Wales and Queensland Derbys.

 

THE BAD

It was a mixed week for Wayne and Julie Loader as owners with their team in Queensland.

Loader has been one of the biggest buyers of stock in the past three years, investing huge amounts into the industry through yearlings, broodmares and going horses.

The week started the best way possible when the talented two-year-old Amami was able to breakthrough for his first career victory, opening is winning account in nice style at Albion Park in the first race of the day on Tuesday.

Races

1
1

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 1:03 PM

BURWOOD STUD 2YO MAIDEN PACE

1
AMAMI T: Gemma Hewitt D: Gemma Hewitt
2
BETTING ORIGIN T: Trent Dawson D: Trent Dawson
3
AUNTY ROXY T: Chris Frisby D: Nathan Dawson

Landing a double at The Creek on Tuesday with Rock Fisherman when the four-year-old made it three successive wins, the day could have been even brighter for the Loaders.

Going For Gold is another in their large team and the gelding was narrowly beaten when just a half-head was the margin between victory and a winning treble.

While a half-head was the difference for Going For Gold, it was a half-neck the difference on Saturday night with Make Mine Memphis.

Stepping up to Open company for the first time, the impeccably bred gelding was shooting for his own hat-trick of victories and was sent straight to the front by driver Shane Graham.

Dialling up the tempo through the closing stages, Make Mine Memphis was grabbed right near the line by Jeradas Delight via the passing lane.

Amami started the week Tuesday in race one with success and he would also be the Loader’s last runner when tackling race ten on Saturday.

However, the gelding could not replicate his effort’s earlier in the week, making a gate break and ending is chances.

 

THE MILESTONE

Just the third ever QBRED Trotters Final for two-year-olds and second for the three-year-olds have been run and won at Albion Park.

Continuing to advance the depth of the square gait in Queensland, these events have been vital in growing the numbers.

The 2021 two-year-old trophy has gone to the Graham Dwyer-trained Paris Kay, the filly remaining undefeated after two career starts.

Starting the second favourite behind You No Ill be Late, the chances of both looked forlorn after they made errors soon after the start.

Able to reset and trot cleanly thereafter, Nathan Dawson was able to drive a controlled and inch-perfect race to arrive for victory by the barest possible margin.

Races

9
9

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 10:37 PM

QBRED 2YO TROTTING FINAL

1
PARIS KAY T: Graham Dwyer D: Nathan Dawson
2
OONSKADE T: Melissa Gillies D: Paul Diebert
3
YOU NO ILL BE LATE T: Chantal Turpin D: Pete McMullen

Owned by Chris Tucker, Paris Kay is by the champion Swedish trotter Sebastian K and will now head to Jarrod Alchin’s stable for a Breeders Crown campaign.

In the three-year-old division, just two starters lined up behind the tapes for the Final.

It was a father-son battle with the Daren Garrard trained Mullum Steffi to be driven by his son Angus taking on the Geoff Dawson trained Hurrikane Spirit to be driven by his son, Trent.

After a steady beginning, it was Mullum Steffi that found the front early with Hurrikane Spirit taking the sit on her back.

Remaining in that formation for most of the event, Hurrikane Spirit made an error turning for home that left Mullum Steffi in front and just needing to maintain gait to claim victory.

Cruising home to an effortless win, victory took the record of Mullum Steffi to three wins in five starts.

Mullum-Steffi.jpg

THE WILDCARD

Pete McMullen and Nathan Dawson continue to headline the Queensland drivers title and although Dawson has been a regular in the winner’s enclosure, so too has McMullen.

A quartet of victories at Redcliffe on Wednesday night has seen McMullen maintain a big lead which was out to 36 by the end of the week.

With 220 wins thus far in the season, Pete holds supremacy over Nathan who has been able to steer home 184 winners by the end of the week.

The cousins may have a big lead over the rest of the pack, however the race for the third is starting to heat up.

Shane Graham, Grant Dixon and Angus Garrard are all locked in a battled for the bronze position with just two wins separating the trio.

Sitting 51 wins adrift of second-placed Dawson, Shane Graham has 123 wins this season and sits one win ahead of Grant Dixon on 122 wins.

Dixon was able to pull back some ground off Graham who went winless on Saturday night, steering home a treble of winners.

The three wins came via Slick Blaster, Peppa Bliss, and a stylish victory aboard the talented Leap To Fame in the final race of the night.

Garrard had a successful end to the week, highlighted by his QBRED success with Mullum Steffi.

Adding to his tally with a Saturday night double, ‘The Kid’ scored in the trotters feature with Sir Fahrenheit and later in the night with Blue Moon Rising before rounding out the week with a Sunday night winner at Redcliffe.


THIS WEEK

After seven straight days of harness action in Queensland last week, it will be a slightly quieter week this week with five meetings set down for decision.

A 10-race card will start the week from The Creek on Tuesday to complement a Friday afternoon fixture and the Saturday night metropolitan meeting.

Redcliffe will host their regular slots of Wednesday night where 10 races are set down along with the Thursday afternoon fixture.

Proving successful in recent weeks have been the increased staked events on Saturday nights, with this week the $20,000 race to be a Band 5 event over the mile conducted with a random barrier draw.