Day At The Track
Chris Alford,Harness racing

Aussie stable snippets

AS the weather is warming up, so too is master Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford, of Bolinda. Alford landed a "fab four" at Kilmore last Thursday afternoon to rocket into the 80s for the current 2019-20 season. And there were some surprisingly juicy odds on offer, much to the delight of his legion of followers. Alford got the money early on the program with The Sparrow Hawk ($5.70) in the claimer. He then continued on his merry winning way in the next two with Allwoods Sunbeam ($3) and Just Anything ($5.20). He wrapped up the meeting with victory in the final event with Calaquendi ($12.10). Alford on 84 wins, has put a gap between himself and his nearest rivals in the Victorian Drivers Premiership. Greg "candyman" Sugars is again doing all the chasing back on 66. Then follows Kima Frenning 50, James Herbertson 38, Kate Gath 37, Jason Lee 34 and Michael Bellman 25. ______________________________________________________________________________________ VETERAN Sunraysia trainer-driver Fred Posgate was badly smashed up in a spectacular race fall at Mildura 11 days ago but says he can't wait to fully recover and get back at it. Posgate is recuperating at home at Coomealla on the NSW side of the Murray River after suffering a broken left ankle, broken right hand and other injuries when he was thrown from his sulky. "I was in the middle of the sandwich with nowhere to go. After I got tossed out two horses went over the top of me. I remember seeing their legs coming toward me, but that's about all," he said. "I think one of them trod on my hand. I was in hospital for three nights and had two lots of surgery." Posgate said his pacer The Verginian had escaped serious injuries, receiving a few cuts and bruises. "I scratched our other runner Puopolo from the next race. That was disappointing because he'd run second previously and we thought he was a big chance," he said. "I've been pretty lucky over the years because the only other time I've been hurt was at Kadina about 15 or 20 years ago when some horses went over me and smashed my right shoulder. "This time it's taken a bit out of me that's for sure, but I will certainly be back, at least as a trainer." Fred Posgate ______________________________________________________________________________________ ANOTHER of the bright young stars emerging from the strong central Victorian harness racing region of Bendigo, Shannon O'Sullivan, continues to bob up in the winner's circle. O'Sullivan, daughter of Hall of Famer, Jim, has been on fire with eight-year-old gelding Feel The Buzz, prepared by Mario Stella. The pair recently made it two on the trot with a Cranbourne victory late last month, followed by a Kilmore win. O'Sullivan certainly has an outstanding affinity with the horse, having jumped in the seat on five occasions for three wins. Feel The Buzz now has a career record of seven wins and 20 placings from 78 starts. Shannon O'Sullivan ______________________________________________________________________________________ THE cups spotlight moves to Cranbourne and then Gunbower this weekend. A cracker-jack field will line-up tonight in the $60,000 Group Two Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup with leading Victorian stables such as Emma Stewart, Lance Justice and Michael Stanley, while NSW is represented by Sonya Smith. Stewart looks to hold the upper hand with the brilliant Hurricane Harley drawing alley two. The in-form Kima Frenning has been booked for the drive. The Gunbower Family Hotel Pacing Cup, worth $14,500, to be staged tomorrow afternoon, probably has a handful of chances. Last-start winner American Zest looks well placed, while Brackenreid, Franks Very Much, Rupert of Lincoln, Our Jimmie, Hashtag and Kerford Road will all have admirers. Michael Stanley, who goes around with Rackemup Tigerpie in the Cranbourne Cup and American Zest the following day at Gunbower   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Winterfell,Harness racing

National record to Winterfell

By Garrick Knight    Winterfell earned himself favouritism for next Saturday’s $150,000 Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final with a dominant New Zealand record win on the third and final night of heats at Alexandra Park. In the hands of co-trainer Mark Purdon, the rangy square-gaiter had too much power for a key rivals Majestic Man and Massive Metro after leading over the 2700-metre journey. It’s been a remarkable turnaround in fortunes from the horse that had earned the distrust of punters through the spring. “He’s picked it all up now and we’re starting to work together, which is a big help,” said Purdon post-race. “I said to Nat (Rasmussen) during the week that he’s almost turned the corner. “He enjoyed bowling around in front and felt good. “He likes this way around and has settled down a lot. He seems a really happy horse at the moment.” His Canterbury breeder and owner, Trevor Casey, was on course to celebrate and was at pains to say how it was just a matter of patience. “It’s always a pleasure to win a race, but to win an Inter Dominion heat – two of them – incredible. “He’s only had 23 starts and only really stepped up to open company this year. “They can win at age group level, but they still need the ringcraft to hit the top grade.” That’s something Winterfell clearly didn’t have. “He did get really keen and he used to hit the cart as well. “We’ve got to have a really long cart on him because he’s got such a long stride. “But Mark said Tuesday night was the best he’s ever settled.” Winterfell continues a brilliant production run for his dam, Una Bromac. “It gives me so much satisfaction because is out of a pacing bred mare that trotted called Una Bromac. “She used to whack a knee and nobody wanted her so I bred from her. “The first one she bred, Harley, was 18 hands, but she’s left four open class trotters after that, including Escapee and Needle.” Casey has sold Una Bromac now “because I had that many trotters, was about to breed from Escapee and it was time to move on an older mare.” Massive Metro, who trailed, fought on well enough for second but never looked like threatening the winner down the straight, while Majestic Man ran third after sitting parked. In the night’s earlier heat, Temporale went back-to-back with another front-running win for Tony Herlihy and trainers, Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis. It was arguably the stronger of the two heats, but went over three seconds slower than the other one thanks to no mid-race pressure on Temporale. Paramount King finished on nicely for second in a sprint home, narrowly ahead of the Australian, Tough Monarch, and Marcoola, who rushed home out wide after going rough when wide on the final bend. Inter Dominion Final field: Winterfell ($3), Majestic Man ($3.40), Marcoola ($4.80), Temporale ($7), Massive Metro ($8.50), Paramount King ($11), Habibi Inta ($18), Tough Monarch ($26), Big Jack Hammer ($41), Destiny Jones ($81), Bonnie Highlander ($101), Valloria ($101). The emergency is Monty Python ($151). Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Cruz Bromac,Harness racing

All 5 TeamVic runners into Dom final

A huge night for TeamVic with Cruz Bromac, San Carlo, My Kiwi Mate and Sicario all advancing to the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, the $500,000 Grand Circuit feature at Auckland's Alexander Park on December 14. And to make the celebrations all the greater, Victorian trotter Big Jack Hammer did enough to book himself a berth in the $150,000 final for trainer David Aiken, reinsman Luke McCarthy and owner Dom Martello.  Cruz Bromac - the Victorian part-owned, sometimes trained, Trans-Tasman warrior - was outstanding in holding off All Stars' stablemate Thefixer and looms as the horse most likely to challenge Ultimate Sniper for the coveted crown. Sicario was enormous tonight in running fourth for trainer Brent Lilley and his proud group of owners, while San Carlo again did plenty of work to earn every point for co-trainers Stephen O'Donoghue and Rebecca Bartley, and finally My Kiwi Mate clawed in to the final with a determined final burst for trainer-driver Craig Demmler. Qualification is a huge result for the teams and their connections, who have invested so much to chase success and now they are only one race away, albeit with a mighty throng of Kiwis between them and the crown. HOW ARE YOU DOING IN TROTSTARS? CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS IRT Inter Dominion Pacing Championship heat five Ultimate Sniper put an exclamation mark on the Inter Dominion pacing heats with a third, stirring three-wide salute that leaves no doubt who will start favourite for the final regardless of draw. All Stars co-trainers Natalie Rasmussen and Mark Purdon produced another one-two, with Ultimate Sniper again outpointing Chase Auckland, but it was the former who shone out and reinforced his standing in his reinswoman's eyes. "(Chase Auckland) had a great trip. He probably should have beaten me (and Ultimate Sniper)," Rasmussen said. "He's had good runs in every heat and he's run second, second, second - he probably should have won one. This guy's been three wide every trip, this is the better horse." Victory came in a fairly torrid affair as the Australian raiders declared they'd not go quietly into the night, with San Carlo and Colt Thirty One advancing in the early stages to lead the peg line and Our Uncle Sam and Conviction the running line. Ultimate Sniper emerged three-wide with a lap to go and Rasmussen had plans to advance to the breeze but it wasn't to be. "Probably just didn't pan out the way I thought, I thought Our Uncle Sam would hand up, especially to this horse, but that's racing," Rasmussen said, with Ultimate Sniper instead holding the three-wide line midfield until nearing the final bend for a last burst. "I just think they were going too hard for me down the back, I wasn't getting involved in that. He can just sit out there, and then when I asked him in the straight he really (went). "He's such a good horse. People don't realise how quick he is as well. He's tough and he's quick." And Rasmussen expects him to take no harm from the run for the December 14 final. "I just felt a bit sorry for him tonight doing all that work, but I just know how well he is." Colt Thirty One ran on well to finish third but that won't be enough to revive his Inter Dominion campaign, with connections instead likely to pursue a consolation final win. San Carlo is expected to wave the TeamVic and Australian flags though on the $500,000 Grand Circuit stage, with the mid-race placing likely to be enough to see him advance. Image Interiors Inter Dominion Trotting Championship fifth heat Temporale looks well and truly back to being a Grand Circuit contender after controlling tonight's fifth Inter Dominion trotting heat and then holding all challenges at bay for a second successive victory. While Paramount King's fantastic campaign continued as he ran second, Tough Monarch's third will see the New South Wales raider advance to a final and Marcoola's fast-finishing fourth will have him a tight price for the big one Saturday week, the credit sits comfortably on the shoulders of Temporale, his reinsman Tony Herlihy and training pair Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett. "We all know how good he can be when his right. Bern and Michelle have done a great job with him at the beach," Herlihy said. "He's in the zone, I know they were getting a bit close to him at the end, but he's done it nice." Outstanding in front, Temporale cruised to the lead and knocked off comfortable quarters before getting home in 27.9 when the chasing trio made their play, but Herlihy said a front row finals draw wouldn't be neccesary for his charger to be in the finish in the $150,000 final. "As we know he's a great follower of speed too if he draws awkward, he's pretty adaptable." Matamata Vet Services Inter Dominion Pacing Championship sixth heat Cruz Bromac led, controlled a steady pace, held at bay Thefixer's final charge and reaffirmed this is anything but a one-horse series. Having switched from trainer Dean Braun, to Kevin Pizzuto, to All Stars Racing, to Amanda Grieve and back to the All Stars amid several years of elite racing, Cruz Bromac's New Zealand Trotting Cup success and now ID19 front running is being shared far and wide, most of all by Geelong co-owners Danny and Jo Zavitsanos. They would have been beaming again tonight after Mark Purdon took control of the race, handing the lead to Thefixer before a retake to keep the pressure where he wanted it. "(Natalie Rasmussen and Thefixer) worked to get past me, but then we backed off the speed quite a bit," Purdon said. "I really wanted to keep the pace on with this guy." There was little pressure from the running line until Bling It On's three-wide surge to the breeze from the back of the field, which would seem to take a heavy toll on the New South Wales pacer who would fade out of contention in the final straight. Conversely, Cruz Bromac only grew stronger, getting home in a 26.7-second final quarter to salute. "He's got better with each round of heats as far as handling the track and tonight he was just superb," Purdon said. "He's going to go second or third favourite in the final." A wall of runners battled for third and all-important championship points, with Triple Eight getting to the line first ahead of fourth-placed Sicario, A Gs White Socks, Another Masterpiece and My Kiwi Mate, whose seventh placing claimed enough points to qualify. Alabar Majestic Son Inter Dominion Trotting Championship sixth heat Winterfell delivered a grand message that the All Stars' trotter's ready to peak with a commanding victory in the night's final heat, which had co-trainer and driver Mark Purdon optimistic the challenging but talented Majestic Son five-year-old had turned a corner. "He likes this way around, but he's settled down a lot too - he seems a real happy horse at the moment," Purdon told Sky Racing post-race. TeamVic's Big Jack Hammer initially led then handed to Massive Metro who ceded to Winterfell and nothing but a second heat victory to the latter looked on the cards from that point forward. Majestic Man man put some pace into the race from the breeze, but Winterfell was cruising and won comfortably from Massive Metro. "He enjoyed rolling around in front," Purdon said. "He had a little pressure from Majestic Man but he felt good. "He's almost turned the corner. It's as if he's picked it all up and starting to work together, which is a big help." Big Jack Hammer boxed on to sixth, which was enough to extend his campaign into the final.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

ID2019,Harness racing

IRT Inter Dominion final points

The IRT Inter Dominion final points are available here   Harness Racing New Zealand

The best indication of how remarkable Ultimate Sniper has been in this Inter Dominion pacing series is his own stablemate Cruz Bromac. Because after three wonderful runs in the series Cruz Bromac would make a compelling Inter Dominion Final favourite yet Ultimate Sniper is actually odds-on to win the title and nearly $3 tighter than Cruz Bromac in the pre-draw market. The All Stars pair wrapped the final round of the series at Alexandra Park last night by winning their heats, securing the top two spots on the points table and at the head of the market. After two huge but luckless runs on the first two nights Cruz Bromac was dominant last night, re-taking the lead from Thefixer and never looking in danger of defeat. Considering he won the New Zealand Cup less than a month ago you can make a strong case he can win the $500,000 final next Saturday. But while he has been good, very good and excellent in his three heats, Ultimate Sniper has been unbelievable, unbelievable and okay, we are starting to get used to this, but unbelievable again in this three heats.  After two monster wins in his first two heats Ultimate Sniper was expected to loop the field, sit parked and win the first heat last night. It didn’t pan out that way and he was stuck three wide for the last lap and looked to be labouring at the 600m mark, $1.40 punters thinking the bubble may be about to burst. But driver Natalie Rasmussen was foxing, conserving energy and when she asked the four-year-old to get busy in the home straight he was equal measures brave and brutal. He is in that zone some horses find themselves in during an Inter Dominion and is $1.90 to win the final before tomorrow’s barrier draw while Cruz Bromac is $4.80. Champion trainer Mark Purdon drove Cruz Bromac last night and beaming at how the athletic pacer has bounced through the series but is adamant Ultimate Sniper is their best chance in the final. “Cruz is going great but what Snipe has been doing in the heats makes him our best chance, he has been enormous.”If Ultimate Sniper draws well tomorrow and looks any chance to wresting the lead in the final he could get as short as $1.50. But if he draws the second line and Cruz Bromac, who has good gate speed, draws to lead the market gap will close. Australia has ended up with three in the final as has Barry Purdon, whose training performance to get A G’s White Socks, On The Card and Mach Shard into the great race a stunning effort considering where they sat two weeks ago. Barry also has Marcoola through to the $150,000 trotting final where Mark could potentially have he favourite in Winterfell. The latter was outstanding trotting a national record for 2700m winning the later trotting heat last night and looks a happy horse, hitting the ground more squarely and racing more generously last night. The other trotting heat was won in professional style by Temporale, who used his gate speed to lead and control. The trotting final looks more open than the pacers, with up to seven winning chances and two Australians in the mix. The pre-barrier draw field for the $500,000 Inter Dominion pacing final on Saturday is.—- Ultimate Sniper, Cruz Bromac, A G’s White Socks, Chase Auckland, Thefixer, Mach Shard, Ashley Locaz, Sicario, San Carlo, Triple Eight, On The Cards, My Kiwi Mate. Em: Classie Brigade.   Michael Guerin

By Garrick Knight    While their fellow countrymen and women are on the big stage at Alexandra Park for the Inter Dominions, half-a-dozen lesser known Australian drivers have made their way across the ditch for some trans-tasman competition as well. They’re here for the Australasian Young Drivers Championship, which kicks off at Addington tonight before moving to Methven on Sunday, Palmerston North Tuesday and Thursday, then Auckland on Friday. Travelling the furthest for the series is West Australia’s Corey Peterson who, at 19, is the youngest of the 12 drivers in the series. When told of his selection recently, he didn’t quite believe it. “My old boss, Kristian Hawkins loves playing jokes on me. “He was always ringing me pretending to be someone else so when I got the call, I thought it was him at first. “I hung up thinking it was a joke, but then the email arrived the next day and knew it was actually real.” It’s his first trip to New Zealand and he can’t wait to get amongst it. “Really, really excited to go away and represent my state. “The New Zealand style of racing is all new to me. I’ve heard some of the drivers talking about it but I don’t know a lot. “So, I actually spoke to Gary Hall Jnr about it and he went through a few of the different rules to do with pushing out and pushing down, just the basics.” He’s especially looking forward to driving on the grass at Methven on Sunday, which will be another first. “That’s going to be an experience and a half. I’ve heard it’s quite bumpy.” Peterson spent some time working for Hall Jnr and his father, Hall Snr, before joining Hawkins. “The best horse I’ve driven would be Ideal Liner of theirs. “I worked there for about 10 months. I just started off doing yards and that kind of thing, then started jogging them and them a full tie job opportunity came up. “At the time you don’t think you’re learning much from guys like that, but when you leave the place, you realise how much you actually did.“ A typical week for Peterson consists of “12 or 13 drives” at all tracks state-wide. “I’m at Northam at the moment and I drove two winners at Pinjarra last night which was a surprise, because it’s a track where I never have any luck.” “From my house it’s roughly an hour-and-a-half each way to all the tracks. I’m smack bang in the middle.” Peterson has drawn the Kevin Townley-trained mare, Chasing Great in tonight’s first heat, rated a $15-shot by bookies, At Methven on Sunday he has live chance Beau Major while he’s drawn Amaro, Jessie Kelly and Rake in typically even fields at Manawatu on Tuesday. The field: Sheree Tomlinson (defending champion), Sarah O’Reilly (NZ champion), Benjamin Butcher (North Island), John Morrison (South Island), Cameron Hart (New South Wales), Conor Crook (Tasmania), Brodie Webster (South Australia), Corey Peterson (Western Australia), Matthew Elkins (Queensland), Zac Phillips (Victoria). Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound.   WA classic winner from strong NZ family   Sangue Reale, the upset winner of the $125,000 WA 4YO Classic – the first Group 1 of the season – is an Art Major gelding from Christisimo, a Christian Cullen mare from the noted Krina family.   It was his seventh success and pushed his stake earnings over the $140,000 mark. Christisimo, the dam of Sangue Reale, was a capable racemare winning 10 races including four at Gloucester Park, earning $48,618 and taking a mile record of 1:57.2.   Watch the Sangue Reale race click here.   At the stud she has left three winners from three foals of racing age – all inside 1:58 – including the multiple Group winner Miss Sangrial 1:55.7 ($199,714).   The next dam, Bellisimo, left eight individual winners, four of whom earned $100,000 headed up by the Queensland Derby winner Torbelo 1:56.1 ($147,360) and The Gammalite winner The Cavalier 1:56.8 ($248,434).   She is also the grand-dam of the top Western Australian pacers Ohokas Bondy 1:53.6 ($388,148) and Code Red 1:55.1 ($132,639), the Leonard Memorial winner Dancing Diamonds ($343,276), and the exported Mr Ricky 1:52.6 ($173,250).   Bellisimo, who was unraced, was by Smooth Fella from Krina Bella, by Lordship from the Van Dieman mare Bellajily, winner of the 1963 NZ Derby.   Others from this branch of the Krina tribe have been Be Happy Mach, the reigning Australian 2YO Colt of the Year, the dual NZ Sires Stakes champion Imagine That, Happy Hazel (NZ 3YO Filly of the Year), Heza Thrill (1:49.1), Keep It Up (SA Derby) and the NZ 2YO Filly of the Year Krina Bella, the fourth dam of Sangue Reale.     Interdom heat winner from good broodmare   Ultimate Sniper, a Bettor’s Delight four-year-old and a winner of both his Inter Dominion heats, is out of Reality Check, a fine racemare with a stake tally of $139,495, who is proving a champion broodmare.   Reality Check is also the dam of Ultimate Machete 1:51.9 ($823,896), a four-time Group 1 winner now standing at Alabar Stud, and his half-sister Major Reality 1:50.9 ($434,455), a classics winner in WA.   Reality Check is an Armbro Operative mare from Maureen’s Dream, by Lordship from Tuapeka Dream, by Lumber Dream from the Light Brigade mare Mains Lady.   This is the Bonnie Belle family which produced the inaugural Inter Dominion champion Logan Derby.   Ultimate Sniper winning his heat on night one.     Smart filly by Sweet Lou   A star three-year-old filly in Western Australia so far this season is My Sweet Deal, who was bred in New Zealand by Charles Roberts and is raced and trained by David Hunter. She won at her first five appearances this term and has won seven out of 10 lifetime.   A filly by Sweet Lou, My Sweet Deal is out of American Sweetheart, by American Ideal from the Il Vicolo mare Sweet Vicky, a daughter of Soky’s Sweetheart, the dam of former NZ 2YO of the Year Sweet Talking Man 1:57.2 ($244,479), the top Victorian pacer Wartime Sweetheart 1:54.5 ($284,936) and the NZ Group 2 winner Stylish Sweetheart ($157,409), who, in turn, left a top ranking pacer in Gomeo Romeo 1:53.2 ($340,193), winner of the Taylor Mile and Cambridge Futurity.   Stylish Sweetheart is also the grand-dam of the NSW Breeders Challenge and Blacks A Fake winner Let It Ride 1:49.4 ($378,745).       Circus Flyer is star matron   When the Bettor’s Delight four-year-old Flying Finn won the opening race at the Auckland Inter Dominion Championship carnival, he credited his dam Circus Flyer with her third winner this season.   Flying Finn has won four races to date and boasts a record of 1:54.8.   Others to win from Circus Flyer this season have been Raptors Flight (1:52.7), who won her first seven starts in Victoria, and the three-year-old Major Jellis (1:55.7), who is unbeaten in two outings this term.   Circus Flyer is a Falcon Seelster mare from Soleil D’or, by In The Pocket from Corbie, a daughter of the grand producer Black Watch.   Flying Finn winning the opening race at this years ID19     First win for Restrepo   Restrepo, a well performed Art Major horse from a half-sister to a top racemare in Innocent Eyes, and who is now standing at Goodtime Lodge in western Victoria, was recently represented by his first winner in the three-year-old gelding Urbadboy.   Having only his second start, the gelding overcame interference to win decisively. Restrepo has been only lightly used at the stud so far, and he has had very few runners.   Urbadboy is the first foal of his dam, Dulcies Dilemma (1:58.7), a Jet Laag mare from Dazzling Dulcie, by What’s Next from the Classic Garry mare Winger, whose produce includes the Bathurst Gold Chalice winner Northern Frontier 1:56.6 ($136,248).       Melton double for leading breeders   Prominent breeders Bill and Anne Anderson, of Lauriston Bloodstock, had a red-letter night at Melton last Saturday. The couple bred a winning double with the former Group 1 winner Hurricane Harley (Bettor’s Delight-Sugarland), who they also race, and Kasbah Kid (Art Major-Kabbalah Karen B).   The Anderson’s will be offering an Art Major half-brother to Hurricane Harley and a Bettor’s Delight half-sister to Kasbah Kid at the Melbourne APG sale in February.   Hurricane Harley                                                     Stuart McCormick photo     Former Kiwi star at stud in US   The Bettor’s Delight horse Bit Of A Legend 1:49.8h ($2,557,371) has been retired and will stand his first season at Midland Acres, Ohio next year for a fee of $2,500.   A half-mile track specialist, Bit Of A Legend won 53 races in four different countries – New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada – and took his record of 1:49.8 in the $200,000 Battle of Lake Eerie at Northfield Park, Ohio.   His other major successes in North America were the $609,000 George Morton Levy Memorial, $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial, $150,000 Molson Pace and the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial.   As a two and three-year-old he won 13 of his 24 starts including the Australasian Breeders Crown, the NZ Yearling Sale 2YO Open Pace and the Great Northern 3YO Stakes.   By Bettor’s Delight, Bit Of A Legend is out of the Soky’s Atom mare Soky’s Legend, and hails from a strong American family whose members include Nero and Seahawk Hanover, both Dan Patch Award winners for 3YO Colt of the Year.   Bit Of A Legend                                                                                 Georgia Panagi photo     Blue blooded filly   Shesskylah, who is unbeaten in two starts this season – she rated 1:55 over 1650 metres at Bendigo – is a three-year-old filly who can claim some worthwhile blood.   By Alta Christiano, by Christian Cullen from Right This Time, by Fake Left, she is out of the Classic Garry mare Yeronga Songbird, an outstanding racemare of the 1990’s whose successes included the NSW Oaks, Victoria Sires Stakes 2YO Final and Bathurst Gold Tiara.   Yeronga Songbird was 24 when she left Shesskylah, who is her 13 th foal and sixth winner. Alta Christiano, the sire of Shesskylah, had a record of 1:54.2 and was the winner of the WA Derby and NZ Kindergarten Stakes.     Promising sire’s absence a loss   The smart come-from-behind success of Hellofalass at the recent Menangle midweek meeting further demonstrated the loss of Breeders Crown winner All Speed Hanover to breeders.   With only a few representatives racing, he sired another Menangle winner in Make Haste (1:53.9), the SA Sale Graduate Pace winner Shardonant (1:59.8), The Tooth Fairy and last season’s Victorian three-year-old winners Just Speed, Speed Dating, What A Pleasure and Allvictory Hanover.   Hellofalass, a four-year-old mare and one of All Speed Hanover’s only crop, is out of the What’s Next mare Beulah Belle, whose dam Saraburi (by Classic Garry), was a half-sister to nine winners including the prolific WA cups winner Allwood’s Chief and the Victoria Sires Stakes 2YO champion Exhilarator.   Hellofalass was bred by Graham and Janine Taylor, who stood All Speed Hanover at their Stonegate Farm, Nathalia in northern Victoria.     Victorian pacers for America   The recent Melton winners Audi Hare NZ, Raptors Flight NZ and Yankee Roller have been sold and shipped to America. The trio were all members of David Aiken’ Avenel team.   Audi Hare                                                           Stuart McCormick photo            Audi Hare, a seven-year-old Mach Three gelding, won 11 races in Victoria including the Breeders Crown Open Pace and the Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship and was placed in the 2018 Inter Dominion Consolation.   Raptors Flight, a six-year-old gelding by Bettor’s Delight, won at his first seven appearances on Australian soil, while Yankee Roller (by Rock N Roll Heaven) won 11 races including the Group 2 Vicbred Platinum Homegrown 3YO Classic.       First foals by Jilliby Kung Fu   The first foals of the Four Starzzz Shark horse Jilliby Kung Fu are starting to hit the ground and are really looking the part.   The multiple Group 1 winner has mixed racing with stud duties for the last two years and has 10 foals on the ground and has already served 20 mares this year.   “They are very correct and are natural pacers,” trainer Marg Lee said.   Jilliby Kung Fu won a trial impressively at Ballarat last month and is close to another racetrack campaign.   Jilliby Kung Fu                                                Stuart McCormick photo       by Peter Wharton

Young Sydney raider Rickie Alchin faces one of the toughest tests of his harness racing career on the big stage tonight but is confident his star trotter Tough Monarch can bounce back in Auckland. Eight-year-old Tough Monarch (Monarch USA-Tough Tussle NZ (Wrestle NZ) has drawn the pole position in the fifth qualifying heat of the NZ Inter Dominion Trotting Championship at Alexandra Park. "There's some pretty good form everywhere you look, but that's what you would expect competing in a race at the highest level," Alchin, 32, said. Alchin said Tough Monarch had recovered nicely from his last start fifth at the same track just three days ago. "He's actually come through extremely well from that outing-I'm really happy with him and looking ahead with a fair bit of excitement," Alchin said. Tough Monarch started off his Kiwi campaign in the best possible way last month with a win at Addington in the $100,000 Group One Trotting FFA when handled by NZ ex-pat Anthony Butt. They were also game as ever when second in the $300,000 Canterbury Dominion. But the classy Aussie gelding then performed way below his best in the first round of the Inter Dominion heats on November 29, leading up before dropping out and being beaten 30 metres by Winterfell. "That was a mystery, but we've now moved on. We were okay at our next run which was a fifth earlier this week and we didn't enjoy much luck," Alchin said. "He got a little inconvenienced by a galloping runner and was doing his best work over the concluding stages. I thought he stuck to his guns in trying to make ground from up the back." Alchin said tonight's longer trip of 2700 metres wouldn't faze his stable star at all. "He won a Group Three at Melton a few months ago and that was over much the same journey," he said. "We've come up with a lovely barrier draw with the one alley, so hopefully things work out for us and we make it through to the big final. I feel he's going as good as ever." In early markets, Tough Monarch is on the fourth line of betting at $8.80. The Barry Purdon trained Marcoola (twice runner-up in both of his heats) is around $2.50; with other Kiwis in Temporale (excellent win last start) at $3.10 and Habibi Inta (solid second on Tuesday) having support at $6. Tough Monarch (left) and his Australian buddy Big Jack Hammer stepping out for a workout at the Clevedon property of John and Joshua Dickie Tough Monarch has now had 59 starts for 21 wins and nine placings for $309,000. He is owned by a syndicate comprising Alex and Ryan Kay, Peter Gadsby, Charlie Montebello, Vincent McDonald and the estate of the late Michael Van Rens. The group has owned a number of great horses over the years, headed by superstar Smoken Up (74 wins, 54 placings $3.6M) and The Falcon Strike (41 wins, 17 placings $1.2M). They also raced Tough Tussle, dam of Tough Monarch, who won more than $100,000 and competed successfully from 2005 to 2008 at Harold Park, Globe Derby and Moonee Valley. The Alchin team is now stabled at the barn of John and Joshua Dickie at Clevedon, on the Wairoa River, 35 minutes from Auckland. Tough Monarch's heat is timed for 8.53pm (Auckland, NZ time) which is 6.53pm (Australian Eastern Daylight time).   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

For most this has been a challenging punting Inter Dominion. So many of the big gun favourites, especially in the trotting series, have been beaten and/or luckless. Let’s hope we can turn it around and find some winners on night three. My three suggested bets for Friday are:   RACE 6 - PACING HEAT FIVE It’s been a horror series for star Queensland pacer COLT THIRTY ONE, but he can salvage something by at least running a place. Should race handy from gate two and I like him at around $2.20-ish for the place.   RACE 8 – PACING HEAT SIX While Ultimate Sniper has hogged the headlines, gee I think CRUZ BROMAC’S two runs have been fantastic. He’s drawn the two, has gate speed and gets his chance to go one better than his two second placings so far. Like him a lot at $2.30-ish the win.   RACE 9 – TROTTING HEAT SIX Seeing is believing and MAJESTIC MAN’S two runs have been superb. Treated them with disdain Tuesday and will relish the extra trip. So versatile and more reliable than his main rival, Winterfell. Keen at $2.60 or better.   Adam Hamilton

By Jonny Turner    Trainer Paul Nairn is confident the scales have tipped the right way he as his balancing act of trying to peak Habibi Inta for the Interdominion trotting final continues in the third round of heats on Friday night. The master squaregaiting trainer clearly had Habibi Inta where he wanted him ahead of the 6yr-old’s brilliant seven and a half length demolition of his rivals in last month’s Dominion. That version of Habibi Inta has been noticeably absent during the first two heats of the Interdominions, where he has produced a sixth placing that had punters scratching on night one and a solid, but unspectacular second placing on night two. Nairn admitted the task of peaking Habibi Inta for his epic Dominion win and then managing his recovery for his Interdominion tilt has been a tricky balancing act. And the process of letting Habibi Inta recover from his Dominion bid and then travel to Auckland and prepare for the series had an effect when the horse produced his sixth on night one. “It is one of those ones where, sure when you first look at it you think he was a wee bit disappointing,” the trainer said.  “But when you analyse everything, with the run he got, it wasn’t too bad.” “Maybe he was just a shade below his best, but you can understand coming through cup week and a big preparation for that.” “Obviously I can’t have him 100% for every start, so all in all I was happy enough on the first night.” Peaking a horse for both the Interdominion and New Zealand Cup carnival is a tricky task many of New Zealand’s best trainers are facing. The balancing act of how extract the best out of their horses, while giving them down time appears to be a catch 22. “If you keep going and don’t back off and keep the work up to them and they go no good, you say you’ve been too hard on them,” Nairn said. “But, if you back off and freshen them up and they don’t go super, you say you’ve been to soft on them.” “So, all in all I have happy enough with that first night run, to be honest.” Two massive factors have changed since night one and they are set to let Habibi Inta’s fans see a version closer to his best on night three. Firstly, the horse has progressed well through his solid second behind Majestic Man on night two. And Nairn is expecting to see further improvement from the horse as he attempts to peak for the series final. “I was quite happy him on Tuesday night, obviously the winner was a bit too good for us, but my fella got to the line strongly.” “He got a soft run, but I think he has improved a bit from it.” The second and most crucial factor aiding Habibi Inta is his step back in to the same distance range in which he delivered his massive Dominion win. It is something both the trainer and his driver, Blair Orange, think will have big effect on his Interdominion momentum. “Blair - like myself - we both feel that the extra 1000m this Friday and next week will really suit.” Habibi Inta looks the horse that will most appreciate the step from 1700m on night two to 2700m on night three in heat one on Friday night. Massive Metro looks the trotter that will relish the distance increase the most in heat two on Friday. The Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett trained squaregaiter has produced credible placings over unsuitably short distances in the first two heats of the Interdominions. Those needing a reminder of Massive Metro’s staying prowess just need to cast their memories back to December of last year. In his most notable staying performance, Massive Metro beat series rivals Marcoola and Temporale at Alexandra Park in the group 1 National Trot. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Night three of an Inter Dominion is about two things: motivation and reality. Because while of connections of the 44 horses still in the series all basically want the same thing at Alexandra Park tonight — victory — what they need is different. Probably two thirds of the qualifiers for Saturday week’s $500,000 pacing final are set in stone barring huge form reversals in tonight’s final round of heats, with six to eight rivals chasing the last four slots. In the trotting series there looks to be seven winning chances for their $150,000 final and they are all as good as in the group one already. Of course everybody would like another win tonight, such the nature of competitive sport and the Interdoms can be an expensive time off the track so money comes in handy. But there are still differing levels of motivation going into tonight’s four heats. Some have to get good points otherwise their series is over. Others know they are in the final and that is where reality kicks in. Take A G’s White Socks for example. He has been incredible in this series for trainer Barry Purdon and driver Maurice McKendry and both would love him to clean sweep the series. But he is obviously safely in the final and tonight is in a heat where two New Zealand Cup winners in Cruz Bromac and Thefixer are expected to lead and trail. Purdon is adamant barrier two on the second line is perfect for A G’s White Socks because he should be midfield on the outer without having to work. But is McKendry really going to take off and attack potential Thefixer, knowing he almost certainly won’t beat him if he does? And if he does break him doesn’t that just make him vulnerable to Cruz Bromac, let alone give A G’s White Socks a headache a week out from the a final worth almost 17 times more than tonight’s race? Sure, they want to win. But the reality is he may not be able to if the race pans out as many think and it might be silly to try and find out. The same could apply, although not quite as dramatically, to Majestic Man in the last trotting heat. He has been sensational during this series but can’t lead from the second line so why would Brad Williamson send him mid-race to attack Winterfell or Massive Metro, potentially giving him a gutbuster for no profit. In a smaller field he can still win but in a race likely to lack tempo his odds will be too short. On the flip side of that coin are horses like Bling It On, San Carlo and Classie Brigade, who need to move and get forward before the sprint goes on, wanting at least top-six finishes to qualify for their finals. They have motivation to be in the finish, even if they can’t win. Motivation plus reality in the final round of heats of an Inter Dominion over 2700m, equals back those who can win without flattening themselves. Oh, and Ultimate Sniper, who the normal rules don’t seem to apply to just now.   By Michael Guerin

Data analysts have delved into ID19, revealing the likely heroes and heartbreak kids as we near night three of the classic trots series. Based on calculations, not only are dual heat winners A Gs White Sox (currently 34 points) and Ultimate Sniper (34) assured Inter Dominion pacing final qualification but so are Chase Auckland (28), Cruz Bromac (28) and Mach Shard (24), while Thefixer (21) only needs to start to advance. That's half the pacing field finalised. The cut-off mark is likely to be highly contingent on whether the bonus points for finishing first, second or third are cannibalised by the series' leaders or claimed by those on the brink or in the lower reaches. If the series' leaders continue to dominate, 21 points (pacing) and 18 points (trotting) will likely earn qualification, but that could soar to as much as 23 and 19 in the event of a series of upsets. HOW ARE YOU DOING IN TROTSTARS? CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS Of the remaining pacers, projections have Ashley Locaz, My Kiwi Mate, San Carlo, Bling It On and Classie Brigade advancing along with Triple Eight, who rounds out the final 12. TeamVic's Sicario and Dance Time are projected to be next best on 18 points, just missing qualification and therefore reliant on a scratching for a start. The projections were based on bookies' expectations of horses' performances in tomorrow night's final round of heats. To amass at least 23 points and be all but assured qualification, the projected qualifiers would need to finish in the following places or higher: Ashley Locaz 6th, My Kiwi Mate 10th, San Carlo 8th, Bling It On 4th, Classie Brigade 7th and Triple Eight 3rd. In the trotting ranks, where 12 of the 20 entrants will advance to the December 14 Inter Dominion Trotting Championship, analysts predict at least 18 series points will be required to qualify. Already meeting that mark are Majestic Man (25 points), Paramount King (25), Marcoola (24), Temporale (23), Winterfell (23), Massive Metro (22) and Habibi Inta (18 points). Going on likely finishing order in tomorrow night's heats, TeamVic's Big Jack Hammer is projected to advance to finals night with Bonnie Highlander, Destiny Jones, Tough Monarch and Valloria. Monty Python, predicted to run 7th and acquire five points in the final heat, is projected to be unlucky number 13. To amass at least 19 points and be all but assured qualification, the projected qualifiers would need to finish in the following places or higher: Big Jack Hammer 6th, Bonnie Highlander 7th, Destiny Jones 7th, Tough Monarch 5th and Valloria 5th. The below table gifts a full run down of what it takes to reach finals qualification in tomorrow's final night of heats. Pacers Horse Current total Pts Req (23) Pos. to Qual Ultimate Sniper 34 -11   A G's White Socks 34 -11   Cruz Bromac 28 -5   Chase Auckland 28 -5   Mach Shard 24 -1   Thefixer 21 2 12 My Kiwi Mate 19 4 10 San Carlo 17 6 8 Classie Brigade 16 7 7 Solid Gold 16 7 7 Ashley Locaz 15 8 6 Sicario 15 8 6 Bling It On 13 10 4 Dance Time 13 10 4 On The Cards 13 10 4 Triple Eight 12 11 3 Star Galleria 12 11 3 Our Uncle Sam 9 14 2 Conviction 9 14 2 The Devils Own 9 14 2 Another Masterpiece 8 15 1 Check In 8 15 1 Atomic Red 7 16 1 Colt Thirty One 6 17 1 Henry Hubert 4 19 Out Trotters Horse Current total Pts Req (19) Pos. to Qual Majestic Man 25 -6   Paramount King 25 -6   Marcoola 24 -5   Temporale 23 -4   Winterfell 23 -4   Massive Metro 22 -3   Habibi Inta 18 1 10 Bonnie Highlander 14 5 7 Destiny Jones 14 5 7 Big Jack Hammer 13 6 6 Monty Python 12 7 5 Tough Monarch 12 7 5 Valloria 12 7 5 C K Spur 10 9 3 Sertorius 10 9 3 Pres The Belle 8 11 2 Ronald J 7 12 2 Didjabringthebeers 6 13 1 Kenny's Dream 6 13 1

Desperation will be the main objection of those connections who are hoping to make the Inter Dominion Grand Final. What is in their favour is that most of the top scorers have earnt points on the first two night’s making way for several “on the line” runners to sneak in. PACERS - HEAT FIVE This heat looks to be dominated by the All Stars barn who have the top two hopes - unbeaten Ultimate Sniper and Chase Auckland. Ultimate Sniper (11) couldn’t have been more impressive in both victories and looks the winner once again. Chase Auckland (1) is as honest as the day is long and following two second placings, looks the leader and the logical second elect. For trifecta and first four players, Ashley Locaz (7) seems well suited over the 2700 metre trip and San Carlo (10) after having no luck to date is a distinct place possibility. Nothing has gone right for Colt Thirty One (2) who is unlikely to cross Chase Auckland, but should he be able to gain nice cover, could easily figure in the placings. Mach Shard (8) has been racing really well but will have to contend with the dreaded outside front line draw. SELECTIONS : (11) ULTIMATE SNIPER, (1) Chase Auckland, (10) San Carlo, (2) Colt Thirty One. PACERS – HEAT SIX Cruz Bromac (2) after two outstanding placings looks a clear pick, however Thefixer (4) produced a fantastic effort to finish a close up fifth last Tuesday, rattling home from near last to smash the clock behind A G’s White Socks. The surprise packet A G’s White Socks (10) continues to blossom with each run and is certainly one of the major chances.  Once again there are several trifecta and first four hopes including Star Galleria (1) who should receive a soft trip from his favourable gate and Triple Eight (9) who is similar position from inside the second line. My Kiwi Mate (5) looks likely to make the Grand Final and can again be placed off a cold sit to figure in the placings. The same could be said for Bling It On (6) who deserves a change of luck. Classie Brigade (12) is probably a rough chance after drawing poorly. He was given little peace in front when fourth behind Ultimate Sniper. SELECTIONS : (2) CRUZ BROMAC, (4) Thefixer, (10) A G’s White Socks, (6) Bling It On. TROTTERS – HEAT FIVE Habibi Inta (2) battled on gamely for second to Majestic Man on Tuesday after following him throughout and looks well placed here. Paramount King (6) was gigantic on Tuesday when third behind Temporale and has come through the series in fine fettle. Temporale (4) was a narrow victor over Marcoola on Tuesday after leading for most of the way and never runs a bad race. Marcoola (8) has looked unlucky in both runs behind Temporale and Winterfell after being held up on both occasions. Unfortunately the draw has not helped his chances here, but is still in the mix. SELECTIONS : (2) HABIBI INTA, (9) Majestic Man, (5) Massive Metro, (6) Winterfell. TROTTERS – HEAT SIX Majestic Man (9) has got better and better with every run and despite drawing solo on the second line, should receive a sweet passage and is a serious threat. Massive Metro (5) is going great guns with two excellent placings and looks winning chance. Winterfell (6) a big winner on opening night can mix it with the best and is another who won’t be far away at the finish. The barrier draw has not been kind to Big Jack Hammer (4) who has not adapted to the reverse way of going. Should he gain a sit close and handy, he could be a rough place possibility. Destiny Jones (1) has been racing honestly and is a rough place chance. Kennys Dream (3) galloped away on Tuesday. Should he do everything right, he also is a rough place chance. SELECTIONS : (9) MAJESTIC MAN, (5) Massive Metro, (6) Winterfell, (1) Destiny Jones   Len Baker

It’s a mixed bag of best bets from members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. Only two members - The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and longshot king Pat Harding - have settled on the same horse as their star bet for the 11-event program. “Taroona Bromac was terribly held up two starts ago in the 4YO Championship and sat on the sidelines as an emergency for last week’s 4YO Classic,” Havercroft said. ”Trainers Greg and Skye Bond will be trying to make sure he lines up next week in the Golden Nugget and so he should be accounting for his rivals on Friday.“ And Harding agrees. “My best bet of the night comes up in  race six with No. 11 Taroona Bromac,” Harding said. “I think this horse has a great future in WA and as this is a pretty weak field. I expect him to win again.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart is keen on Shadow Roll in race seven. “Shadow Roll went very well over the sprint trip behind a good one (Its Rock And Roll) on Monday at Pinjarra from the back line,” Wishart said. “Much better drawn here and he looks a good thing. It was tough for most punters last week, but there looks to be a few standouts this week.” TABradio racecaller Matt Young believes Roman Aviator can post an all-the-way victory. “Roman Aviator has drawn to lead and will run a super mile out in front,” Young said. “It looks his race to win.“ The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has advised punters to keep their powder dry until the last race. “Tiffany Rose, on trial for a trip to tackle next  month’s Victoria Oaks, is shaping to maintain her unbeaten WA record,” Manning said. ”The filly, who ran four seconds and three thirds from eight New Zealand starts, has blossomed to win each of her three races since joining Mike Reed’s stable. She scored twice over 1684m at Pinjarra, then produced a stylish front-running display in her Gloucester Park debut  a fortnight ago. The filly looks capable of matching top opposition in Melbourne.” Gloucester Park stalwart Ken Casellas is a Convert Denario fan. “A massive drop in class should enable Convert Denario to account for his rivals in the 10th event on Friday night, despite his awkward draw at barrier seven in a field of eight,” Casellas said. “Therefore, I am more than happy to make the Clint Hall-trained six-year-old my best bet.  Convert Denario was an 80/1 outsider in the Group 2 Bunbury Cup in which he led early and then sat behind the pacemaker Handsandwheels before running home solidly along the sprint lane to be a 2m second to that pacer.” TABradio’s form expert Hayden King is firmly in the camp of Gotta Go Gabbana. “Annie Belton has been attending the Christian Cullen chapel and praying for a barrier with Gotta Go Gabbana,” King said. “Her prayers have been answered and her prized mare should lead throughout.” Guild president Wayne Currall believes the speedy Saleahs Command can lead all the way in the second event. “Lindsay Harper will be keen to fire Saleahs Command out from gate two over the sprint trip,” Currall said. “He always runs a cheeky race when in front and can keep his rivals at bay here.” VALUE BETS RYAN: Mon Lillies has blistering early speed and this isn’t a strong field. Will give cheek if she finds the top. PAT: My value bet comes up in race four. With only a small field I think No. eight Vultan Tin can take the prize. Given that its a 2536 metre race, I believe he will come home with a wet sail. WARREN: Mister Ardee can run a race here from the good draw. I’m expecting some heat mid-race and he can finish off strongly. The $11 indicative price looks good each-way value. MATT: Miss Sangrial is a great each-way chance and has the gate speed to put herself into a great position. ERNIE: Gunna Get Lucky appears ready to be prominent in her return to city racing. The veteran’s only win in her past 26 starts was a Wagin victory which she notched on November 22. But she has won 10 races and can improve on a Narrogin second last Friday night. KEN: For value, I suggest Always An Honour in race eight, a 2096m stand in which he is sure to seriously test the warm favourite Kiwi Bloke. A proven standing-start performer, Always An Honour romped home at his most recent outing when he beat Five Star Major by 13 lengths at Bunbury. HAYDEN: Sergeant Oats has drawn the pole and they will likely exercise the option of leading this time with Hall Jr engaged. He can lead throughout. WAYNE: The Gary Hall-trained Just Rockon Bye could be the forgotten horse in the Group 1 Westral Mares Classic. She was most unlucky in the Mount Eden Sprint in October and will be rocketing home if the pace is on over the longer trip. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here.   Wayne Currall

Darling Downs horseman Aldo Cortopassi is driving in wonderful form and looks set for a winning double at Gloucester Park on Friday night with Roman Aviator in race three and Shadow Roll in the seventh event. He trains Roman Aviator, who is sure to relish a perfect draw at barrier one on the front line in a 1730m sprint event. The five-year-old Roman Aviator has been plagued by unfavourable barriers in recent months but has performed creditably with third placings at three of his past five starts from barriers five, nine and eight. His most recent success was eight starts ago when he began from the No. 6 barrier as an 82/1 outsider. After racing wide in the early stages, Roman Aviator was restrained to the rear before moving forward in the middle stages to the one-out, one-back position. He then unleashed a powerful burst to hit the front in the final 50m and won from the fast-finishing Bettor Party at a 1.56.7 rate over 2130m. Roman Aviator is an excellent frontrunner and Cortopassi is sure to use this quality in a bid for an all-the-way success in a race in which he will clash with smart eight-year-old As Happy As Larry, who will be resuming after a six-month absence. As Happy As Larry, trained and driven by Robbie Williams, will start from barrier six and is capable of a bold first-up showing. Early this year he impressed with placings behind pacers of the calibre of Mighty Conqueror, Im Soxy and Warfare. His latest success was six starts ago when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to beat Lady De La Renta at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m early last April.    Shadow Roll, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, is a promising four-year-old who has had 14 starts for six wins and eight placings. He is ideally drawn at barrier two in the 1730m Westral Vertical And Panel Blinds Pace. Shadow Roll has resumed after a spell in fine style with a first-up Pinjarra victory followed by a close third behind Flying Mister Ideal over 2185m at Pinjarra and a wonderful second to Its Rock And Roll over 1684m on the same track. He was most impressive on Monday afternoon when he was eighth at the bell before finishing with a powerful burst to beat all but the stylish frontrunner Its Rock And Roll. The final quarters were run in 28.5sec. and 27.6sec.

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AS the weather is warming up, so too is master Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford, of Bolinda. Alford landed a "fab four" at Kilmore last Thursday afternoon to rocket into the 80s for the current 2019-20 season. And there were some surprisingly juicy odds on offer, much to the delight of his legion of followers. Alford got the money early on the program with The Sparrow Hawk ($5.70) in the claimer. He then continued on his merry winning way in the next two with Allwoods Sunbeam ($3) and Just Anything ($5.20). He wrapped up the meeting with victory in the final event with Calaquendi ($12.10). Alford on 84 wins, has put a gap between himself and his nearest rivals in the Victorian Drivers Premiership. Greg "candyman" Sugars is again doing all the chasing back on 66. Then follows Kima Frenning 50, James Herbertson 38, Kate Gath 37, Jason Lee 34 and Michael Bellman 25. ______________________________________________________________________________________ VETERAN Sunraysia trainer-driver Fred Posgate was badly smashed up in a spectacular race fall at Mildura 11 days ago but says he can't wait to fully recover and get back at it. Posgate is recuperating at home at Coomealla on the NSW side of the Murray River after suffering a broken left ankle, broken right hand and other injuries when he was thrown from his sulky. "I was in the middle of the sandwich with nowhere to go. After I got tossed out two horses went over the top of me. I remember seeing their legs coming toward me, but that's about all," he said. "I think one of them trod on my hand. I was in hospital for three nights and had two lots of surgery." Posgate said his pacer The Verginian had escaped serious injuries, receiving a few cuts and bruises. "I scratched our other runner Puopolo from the next race. That was disappointing because he'd run second previously and we thought he was a big chance," he said. "I've been pretty lucky over the years because the only other time I've been hurt was at Kadina about 15 or 20 years ago when some horses went over me and smashed my right shoulder. "This time it's taken a bit out of me that's for sure, but I will certainly be back, at least as a trainer." Fred Posgate ______________________________________________________________________________________ ANOTHER of the bright young stars emerging from the strong central Victorian harness racing region of Bendigo, Shannon O'Sullivan, continues to bob up in the winner's circle. O'Sullivan, daughter of Hall of Famer, Jim, has been on fire with eight-year-old gelding Feel The Buzz, prepared by Mario Stella. The pair recently made it two on the trot with a Cranbourne victory late last month, followed by a Kilmore win. O'Sullivan certainly has an outstanding affinity with the horse, having jumped in the seat on five occasions for three wins. Feel The Buzz now has a career record of seven wins and 20 placings from 78 starts. Shannon O'Sullivan ______________________________________________________________________________________ THE cups spotlight moves to Cranbourne and then Gunbower this weekend. A cracker-jack field will line-up tonight in the $60,000 Group Two Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup with leading Victorian stables such as Emma Stewart, Lance Justice and Michael Stanley, while NSW is represented by Sonya Smith. Stewart looks to hold the upper hand with the brilliant Hurricane Harley drawing alley two. The in-form Kima Frenning has been booked for the drive. The Gunbower Family Hotel Pacing Cup, worth $14,500, to be staged tomorrow afternoon, probably has a handful of chances. Last-start winner American Zest looks well placed, while Brackenreid, Franks Very Much, Rupert of Lincoln, Our Jimmie, Hashtag and Kerford Road will all have admirers. Michael Stanley, who goes around with Rackemup Tigerpie in the Cranbourne Cup and American Zest the following day at Gunbower   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura
by Garrick Knight    Winterfell earned himself favouritism for next Saturday’s $150,000 Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final with a dominant New Zealand record win on the third and final night of heats at Alexandra Park. In the hands of co-trainer Mark Purdon, the rangy square-gaiter had too much power for a key rivals Majestic Man and Massive Metro after leading over the 2700-metre journey. It’s been a remarkable turnaround in fortunes from the horse that had earned the distrust of punters through the spring. “He’s picked it all up now and we’re starting to work together, which is a big help,” said Purdon post-race. “I said to Nat (Rasmussen) during the week that he’s almost turned the corner. “He enjoyed bowling around in front and felt good. “He likes this way around and has settled down a lot. He seems a really happy horse at the moment.” His Canterbury breeder and owner, Trevor Casey, was on course to celebrate and was at pains to say how it was just a matter of patience. “It’s always a pleasure to win a race, but to win an Inter Dominion heat – two of them – incredible. “He’s only had 23 starts and only really stepped up to open company this year. “They can win at age group level, but they still need the ringcraft to hit the top grade.” That’s something Winterfell clearly didn’t have. “He did get really keen and he used to hit the cart as well. “We’ve got to have a really long cart on him because he’s got such a long stride. “But Mark said Tuesday night was the best he’s ever settled.” Winterfell continues a brilliant production run for his dam, Una Bromac. “It gives me so much satisfaction because is out of a pacing bred mare that trotted called Una Bromac. “She used to whack a knee and nobody wanted her so I bred from her. “The first one she bred, Harley, was 18 hands, but she’s left four open class trotters after that, including Escapee and Needle.” Casey has sold Una Bromac now “because I had that many trotters, was about to breed from Escapee and it was time to move on an older mare.” Massive Metro, who trailed, fought on well enough for second but never looked like threatening the winner down the straight, while Majestic Man ran third after sitting parked. In the night’s earlier heat, Temporale went back-to-back with another front-running win for Tony Herlihy and trainers, Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis. It was arguably the stronger of the two heats, but went over three seconds slower than the other one thanks to no mid-race pressure on Temporale. Paramount King finished on nicely for second in a sprint home, narrowly ahead of the Australian, Tough Monarch, and Marcoola, who rushed home out wide after going rough when wide on the final bend. Inter Dominion Final field: Winterfell ($3), Majestic Man ($3.40), Marcoola ($4.80), Temporale ($7), Massive Metro ($8.50), Paramount King ($11), Habibi Inta ($18), Tough Monarch ($26), Big Jack Hammer ($41), Destiny Jones ($81), Bonnie Highlander ($101), Valloria ($101). The emergency is Monty Python ($151). Reprinted with permission of HRNZ
A huge night for TeamVic with Cruz Bromac, San Carlo, My Kiwi Mate and Sicario all advancing to the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, the $500,000 Grand Circuit feature at Auckland's Alexander Park on December 14. And to make the celebrations all the greater, Victorian trotter Big Jack Hammer did enough to book himself a berth in the $150,000 final for trainer David Aiken, reinsman Luke McCarthy and owner Dom Martello.  Cruz Bromac - the Victorian part-owned, sometimes trained, Trans-Tasman warrior - was outstanding in holding off All Stars' stablemate Thefixer and looms as the horse most likely to challenge Ultimate Sniper for the coveted crown. Sicario was enormous tonight in running fourth for trainer Brent Lilley and his proud group of owners, while San Carlo again did plenty of work to earn every point for co-trainers Stephen O'Donoghue and Rebecca Bartley, and finally My Kiwi Mate clawed in to the final with a determined final burst for trainer-driver Craig Demmler. Qualification is a huge result for the teams and their connections, who have invested so much to chase success and now they are only one race away, albeit with a mighty throng of Kiwis between them and the crown. HOW ARE YOU DOING IN TROTSTARS? CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS IRT Inter Dominion Pacing Championship heat five Ultimate Sniper put an exclamation mark on the Inter Dominion pacing heats with a third, stirring three-wide salute that leaves no doubt who will start favourite for the final regardless of draw. All Stars co-trainers Natalie Rasmussen and Mark Purdon produced another one-two, with Ultimate Sniper again outpointing Chase Auckland, but it was the former who shone out and reinforced his standing in his reinswoman's eyes. "(Chase Auckland) had a great trip. He probably should have beaten me (and Ultimate Sniper)," Rasmussen said. "He's had good runs in every heat and he's run second, second, second - he probably should have won one. This guy's been three wide every trip, this is the better horse." Victory came in a fairly torrid affair as the Australian raiders declared they'd not go quietly into the night, with San Carlo and Colt Thirty One advancing in the early stages to lead the peg line and Our Uncle Sam and Conviction the running line. Ultimate Sniper emerged three-wide with a lap to go and Rasmussen had plans to advance to the breeze but it wasn't to be. "Probably just didn't pan out the way I thought, I thought Our Uncle Sam would hand up, especially to this horse, but that's racing," Rasmussen said, with Ultimate Sniper instead holding the three-wide line midfield until nearing the final bend for a last burst. "I just think they were going too hard for me down the back, I wasn't getting involved in that. He can just sit out there, and then when I asked him in the straight he really (went). "He's such a good horse. People don't realise how quick he is as well. He's tough and he's quick." And Rasmussen expects him to take no harm from the run for the December 14 final. "I just felt a bit sorry for him tonight doing all that work, but I just know how well he is." Colt Thirty One ran on well to finish third but that won't be enough to revive his Inter Dominion campaign, with connections instead likely to pursue a consolation final win. San Carlo is expected to wave the TeamVic and Australian flags though on the $500,000 Grand Circuit stage, with the mid-race placing likely to be enough to see him advance. Image Interiors Inter Dominion Trotting Championship fifth heat Temporale looks well and truly back to being a Grand Circuit contender after controlling tonight's fifth Inter Dominion trotting heat and then holding all challenges at bay for a second successive victory. While Paramount King's fantastic campaign continued as he ran second, Tough Monarch's third will see the New South Wales raider advance to a final and Marcoola's fast-finishing fourth will have him a tight price for the big one Saturday week, the credit sits comfortably on the shoulders of Temporale, his reinsman Tony Herlihy and training pair Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett. "We all know how good he can be when his right. Bern and Michelle have done a great job with him at the beach," Herlihy said. "He's in the zone, I know they were getting a bit close to him at the end, but he's done it nice." Outstanding in front, Temporale cruised to the lead and knocked off comfortable quarters before getting home in 27.9 when the chasing trio made their play, but Herlihy said a front row finals draw wouldn't be neccesary for his charger to be in the finish in the $150,000 final. "As we know he's a great follower of speed too if he draws awkward, he's pretty adaptable." Matamata Vet Services Inter Dominion Pacing Championship sixth heat Cruz Bromac led, controlled a steady pace, held at bay Thefixer's final charge and reaffirmed this is anything but a one-horse series. Having switched from trainer Dean Braun, to Kevin Pizzuto, to All Stars Racing, to Amanda Grieve and back to the All Stars amid several years of elite racing, Cruz Bromac's New Zealand Trotting Cup success and now ID19 front running is being shared far and wide, most of all by Geelong co-owners Danny and Jo Zavitsanos. They would have been beaming again tonight after Mark Purdon took control of the race, handing the lead to Thefixer before a retake to keep the pressure where he wanted it. "(Natalie Rasmussen and Thefixer) worked to get past me, but then we backed off the speed quite a bit," Purdon said. "I really wanted to keep the pace on with this guy." There was little pressure from the running line until Bling It On's three-wide surge to the breeze from the back of the field, which would seem to take a heavy toll on the New South Wales pacer who would fade out of contention in the final straight. Conversely, Cruz Bromac only grew stronger, getting home in a 26.7-second final quarter to salute. "He's got better with each round of heats as far as handling the track and tonight he was just superb," Purdon said. "He's going to go second or third favourite in the final." A wall of runners battled for third and all-important championship points, with Triple Eight getting to the line first ahead of fourth-placed Sicario, A Gs White Socks, Another Masterpiece and My Kiwi Mate, whose seventh placing claimed enough points to qualify. Alabar Majestic Son Inter Dominion Trotting Championship sixth heat Winterfell delivered a grand message that the All Stars' trotter's ready to peak with a commanding victory in the night's final heat, which had co-trainer and driver Mark Purdon optimistic the challenging but talented Majestic Son five-year-old had turned a corner. "He likes this way around, but he's settled down a lot too - he seems a real happy horse at the moment," Purdon told Sky Racing post-race. TeamVic's Big Jack Hammer initially led then handed to Massive Metro who ceded to Winterfell and nothing but a second heat victory to the latter looked on the cards from that point forward. Majestic Man man put some pace into the race from the breeze, but Winterfell was cruising and won comfortably from Massive Metro. "He enjoyed rolling around in front," Purdon said. "He had a little pressure from Majestic Man but he felt good. "He's almost turned the corner. It's as if he's picked it all up and starting to work together, which is a big help." Big Jack Hammer boxed on to sixth, which was enough to extend his campaign into the final.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard
The IRT Inter Dominion final points are available here   Harness Racing New Zealand
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