Haka Shannon chases derby double

NORTH West Derby winner Haka Shannon can add a second Derby to his trophy list at Newcastle Paceway this Saturday night thanks to a new incentive agreement between the Newcastle and Tamworth harness racing clubs.
Nanjing Night Net

Last month Tamworth Harness Racing Club reconstituted its North West Derby and Oaks races after long absences.

Bathurst-trained Haka Shannon won the $7500 Johns Auto Service North West Derby at Tamworth Paceway on April 24 while Brisbane-bound Freedom Is won the $7500 TAB Rewards North West Oaks.

Under a new incentive between the Newcastle and Tamworth clubs, both winners then earned invitations into Saturday night’s Newcastle Derby and Oaks.

While Freedom Is is headed to Brisbane’s Albion Park to race in a rich Seymour 3YO race later this month for his Forbes owner-trainer Phil Thurston, Bathurst trainer Peter Bullock, a former Tamworth trainer, had no hesitation in taking up the offer.

Newcastle Harness Racing Club CEO Ross Gigg said “the Tamworth club approached us with the idea of re-establishing the North West Derby and Oaks which haven’t been run for many years”.

“They wanted to add an incentive to give the races a boost,” Gigg said.

“That incentive was a place in the Newcastle Derby and Oaks.

“ We were only too happy to support the promotion as many of our trainers race at Tamworth and many Tamworth trainers race here.

“The cooperation between the two clubs is good and we look forward to hosting the Tamworth executive and their partners as our guests for Oaks night on May 9.”

Haka Shannon beat stablemate Smack Dab Shannon in the NW Derby and will take his place in Saturday night’s Newcastle Derby.

The three-year-old Bettors Delight gelding has won two of his past four starts but he has drawn awkwardly in barrier nine.

However, he will move to barrier one should the emergency, Ultimate Ace, not gain a start.

Tamworth Harness Race Club races again next Thursday (May 8) where the feature race is a $5000 heat of the Club Dubbo Golden Gig (1980m).

Freedom Is won the NW Oaks at Tamworth for her Forbes connections with MichaelFormosa. She and NW Derby winner Haka Shannon earned invites to the Newcastle Oaks and Derbys. While the filly is in Queensland chasing northern success, Haka Shannon will start in Saturday night’s Newcastle Derby. Photo: Barry Smith 240414BSC12

The heat is a race for pacers with no more than four life- time wins.

Nominations close at 10am tomorrow.

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