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Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing


Prominent breeder and Hopeland trainer Mike Howie has never lost faith in his promising mare Newsletter, who has recovered from damaged tendons to both her forelegs.

“I have patched her up and her past five starts have been very good,” said Howie after Emily Suvaljko celebrated her first drive behind Newsletter by guiding her to an impressive victory in the 2130m Anne and Rob Gartrell Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“I was confident she would win, following her performance when ninth behind Savvy Bromac in the Breeders Stakes the previous week. She started from barrier nine and recorded the fastest final 800m (56.16sec.) and the fastest last 400m (28sec.) the race.

“Her form before that was excellent against some very good horses. At her two runs before the Breeders Stakes (in which she was a $126 outsider) she finished third behind Booraa (when hampered for room) and third behind Eldaytona.”

Newsletter was the $3.30 favourite from the No. 1 barrier on Friday night when she gave a bold frontrunning display to win by 4m from the $5.50 third fancy Miss Boudica, who sustained a strong three-wide burst from seventh at the bell.

Newsletter, raced by Howie’s wife Sharron, has earned $63,890 from six wins and 17 placings from 48 starts. She is by American sire Sportswriter and is the first foal out of the New Zealand-bred Live Or Die chestnut mare My Killarney Miss.

After six wins in New Zealand My Killarney Miss was purchased by trainer-reinsman Nathan Turvey, who gave her 22 starts in WA for two wins and six placings.

“Nathan was looking for a home for her after she finished racing, and he gave her to me as a broodmare,” said Howie.

My Killarney Miss’s second foal is Misstiano, who has earned $65,885 from eight wins and 11 placings from 33 starts. “And I sold a yearling out of Miss Killarney Miss for $22,000 at this year’s yearling sales,” said Howie, who races his pacers in the distinctive pale green and white colours.

Howie explained that he registered those colours because they were used by his grandfather Joe Coverley, an Irishman who was a prominent owner and trainer in WA more than 60 years ago when one of his best pacers was Wadderin Hill.