2017 major sponsors VDM.jpg

Hanover and Alabar new sponsors for Ireland’s VDM

Two of the sports biggest breeding operations in all of harness racing, Hanover Shoe Farms in North America and Alabar Stud in Australia/New Zealand, have both signed on as new sponsors for the 6th annual Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend (VDM) in Ireland for 2017. In addition, Diamond Creek Farm and Joe Bellino Racing Stable in the USA, PJI Engineering and Oakwood Stud in Ireland, have all “re-upped” their race sponsorships for the big race weekend. The Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend is the creation of Derek and James Delaney of Offlay, Ireland, who is 2012, a year after the tragic death of their younger brother Vincent, decided to have a memorial race in his honor. Little did they know that their weekend honoring their lost brother would develop into the richest harness racing stakes event in all of Ireland and the UK. “My brother James and I look back at what we’ve done with our brothers race in just four years,” said Derek Delaney. “And it blows us away. We have a VDM Committee who is the backbone of our big weekend and now we hire some outside agency’s to help us. It’s amazing. We know that Vincent is very proud of what we have done in his memory.” Hanover Shoe Farms is the leading money earning breeding farm in racing and they are now the title sponsor of the Vincent Delaney Memorial Colt Pace for two-year-olds. The icing on the cake for Hanover Shoe Farms management may have been after Tyrion Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, won the VDM colt division on August 14. He was purchased at Hanover’s Harrisburg Sale at a yearling and flown back to the UK. “Murray (Brown) came back with great enthusiasm about the weekend in Ireland.” Jim Simpson, president of Hanover Shoe Farms. “He told me how they are in it for the love of Horse Racing...not the money. The sponsorship was available so we took it. We sponsor races in Lexington, Meadowlands, The Hambletonian, The Little Brown Jug, Chester, The Meadows, Pocono Downs, UK and Germany.  So why not Ireland?” Simpson said that he is already planning on coming to Ireland next year for the VDM Weekend. The Diamond Creek Farm VDM filly division is being sponsored for the second straight year by Diamond Creek Farm and the Adam Bowden Family. “It was an easy decision.” Bowden said. “After going to Ireland for the 2016 edition of the VDM Memorial we were blown away by the hospitality of the Irish people as well as the Delaney family. “Joining a grassroots movement is addicting, Bowden explained, “and being part of something great is what we are all about. Diamond Creek Farm wants to be involved in events that showcase the greatness of Standardbred racing both at home in the US as well as abroad. Derek Delaney, single-handedly has energized the sport in that region and we could not be more excited about the what the future will bring. “How could you not be entirely blown away over there?” Bowden said. “You can see the event in pictures or follow Heather Vitale's live Facebook posts, but being there in person is an out of this world experience. My wife and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity and the generosity shown by everyone we came in contact with. “I grew up going to the races in Maine (especially the Cumberland Fair in my hometown),” Bowden added, “and being at Portmarnock Raceway was like being transported back in time to 1985 when I was a little kid and reliving my first harness racing experiences where everything was novel and new. It was grassroots racing at its finest.” The VDM is the world’s most rugged race for two-year-olds, requiring the young horses to race Saturday in elimination divisions and then return Sunday for their respective finals in the one-mile race. “We even have sponsors now for the VDM elimination races,” Derek Delaney added. “Clive and Anne Dalton from Australia have signed on and are guaranteeing that each elimination division for both the colts and fillies will race for €2,000 each.”    Alabar Stud, the largest breeding operation down under with 28 stallions in Australia and New Zealand, is now co-sponsoring the Alabar-Oakwood Derby for three-year-old pacers. This race calls for the same format as the VDM, eliminations Saturday (if necessary) and the finals on Sunday. The race is also at a one-mile distance.   And, with the Alabar sponsorship, there will also be a filly division for the 3YO Derby in 2017. Alan Galloway, owner and director of Alabar Stud, was in Ireland for the VDM Weekend this past August and was infatuated with everything he saw. “It was my first time in Ireland for the VDM,” said Galloway, “And what a show they put on. Just a fantastic race weekend. So much excitement. So much passion for the sport that I knew Alabar had to get involved again. “We actually were sponsors when the first Breeders Crown UK & Ireland came about over ten years ago.” Galloway said. “We were invited to come over and help them and the Ireland improve racing. I met and worked with its president, David Wilson, when he first developed the Breeders Crown series. We bred over 100 mares back then,” Galloway said. “We sent over Village Jasper, Armbro Operative and Safely Kept. It was very difficult getting all the approvals from the government but we got it done. Many of the horses racing there now are from their offspring’s. “I was really taken back this year,” Galloway said. “The Irish are such lovely people. Everything that Derek Delaney and his brother have done to promote this weekend is fantastic. Their story is very moving, so emotional, it’s what we at Alabar want to be part of.” Another major sponsor, smitten by coming to the VDM this year, was Joe Bellino and his family, all eight of them. The Bellino Racing Stable in the USA had agreed to sponsor the Rocknroll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace this year and was so enthralled with the entire Ireland experience, Joe re-upped for 2017 even before he came home. “It was the way the people in racing there embraced my family,” Joe Bellino said. “And their deep love for the sport that convinced me to want to sponsor the race again. The way they celebrated a win with cheering and excitement. It’s just the same way I am whether racing for $100 purse or $500,000. It was also great to see and feel it firsthand. “In some way in North America we have lost our way with that sort of enthusiasm.” Bellino explained. “It’s almost like the people who win are used to winning and have come to expect it. That’s why I really appreciated the Hambo this year as it was great to see and feel the passion for our sport just as they do in Ireland.” PJI Engineering of England, one of the largest metal fabricators in all of the UK and Ireland, has come back on board as the sponsor of the Junior FFA Pace. “I first met Derek and James in 2015,” explained Paul Johnson, owner of PJI Engineering in England, “and he was telling me the story on Vincent and the passion the two of them have for the sport is unbelievable. “These two are trying there utmost to take this sport to the next level,” Johnson said, “and the VDM has done so. This is an event that everyone looks forward to every year now, and it gets better every year. Let's not forget the charity's they give to as well. We look forward to be a part of the VDM for many years to come!” With new and renewed sponsorship support coming from around the world, Derek and James Delaney are putting the money right back into their big race weekend. “Because of the great growth of sponsors for the VDM Weekend,” Derek Delaney said, “we will be able in 2017 to also expand the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds to both a horse and mare divisions with Yirribee Stud in Australia taking on as sponsor of the mare division and there will be an increase in purse for the Elvin-Delaney Invitation Le Trot race. This is all so grand! “We now have many of the world’s leading harness racing breeders, owners, trainer, drivers, announcers and journalists coming to Ireland for the VDM.” Delaney added, “It’s hard to imagine that just five years ago we raced for €20,000 ($25,000US) in total purses that first year and now in 2017 the weekend will feature more than €100,000 ($127,000US) in purses. “The VDM has become a major success story to have the biggest breeding farms in the world sponsoring our brothers memorial weekend” Delaney added, “and it's also a major step in the right direction for our breeders, owners, trainers and drivers that they can now breed and sell, train or own horses that has real earning potential in juvenile racing and more! “When you have Alan Galloway and Alabar Farms, Joe Bellino and his Bellino Racing Stables, Jim Simpson & Murray Brown of Hanover shoe Farms, Adam Bowden and Diamond Creek Farms, Rod Woodhouse of Yirribee Stud Australia, all willing to advise and sponsor us and help improve the breeding in Ireland and the UK.” Said Delaney. “We all know this can only mean a very strong future for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend and a very bright future for our Oakwood Stud.” Delaney added, “We have been a major factor in the racing and breeding in Ireland and the UK and I believe our Standardbreds will become world class in the future. Ireland has a history for producing the best gallopers in the world, so why can't we in Ireland and UK not be the best producers of Standardbreds in the world or at least one of the best! “We are also working with Sire Stakes Ireland and the Breeders Crown UK and Ireland, bricking and building stronger with devoted people like my brother James Delaney, Bernie Kelly, Dave Wilson, Jackie Mann, Thomas Bennett and others. It's all going to complement our events and others stakes. It’s going to be something special how our racing will be growing in the next two to three years’ time, getting stronger year on year. “Maybe most important about all of this,” Delaney said, “is the great new friends we have made over the years that will last a lifetime.” For more information, visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. The dates for the 2017 Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend are Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend   

brent lilly anthony butt.jpg

Butt's unexpected bonus

Anthony Butt admitted to being “pleasantly surprised” with his latest Breeders Crown win aboard Kyvalley Kyrie. Butt teamed with another former Kiwi horseman, Brent Lilley, to score the upset of Breeders Crown Super Sunday when Kyvalley Kyrie led throughout as a $43.40 shot. It was just the filly’s second win from 11 starts in a busy first season of racing. “That’s one we didn’t expect, but she picked the right day to do it all right and she really had to earn the win, too,” Butt said. “Once I found the front the challengers came at me, but I really wanted to hold the lead because I knew she’d keep whacking away. Even if she didn’t win, I thought she could run a big race in front.” Kyvalley Kyrie copped plenty of early pressure from the hot favourite Our Regal Love, but just kept finding in a race run upside down. The mile rate was a solid 2min1.7sec for the 2240m, but they ground home the closing quarter in 31.1sec. “They all had their chance to run her down,” Butt said. Butt heaped praise on Lilley’s training performance. “Lil has to get the credit. Although we’ve always like this filly, she was plain last start and he was able to turn her around when it mattered,” he said. Our Regal Love, who grabbed the one-one trail after an unsuccessful challenge for the lead, rallied again in the home straight, but couldn’t rundown the leader. She finished second. Adam Hamilton

Shane Tritton.jpg

Lightning Lombo

Shane Tritton’s latest buzz pacer Lombo Kotakinabalu will be nominated for the Perth Inter Dominion. The injury-plagued gelding has turned plenty of heads with four wins from five starts on the comeback trail after injuries restricted him to just one run in the past two years. “We had a huge opinion of this horse two years ago before he went amiss,” Tritton said. “I thought he had the ability to be a Miracle Mile back then. “It’s hard to make any long term plans with a horse who’s had the problems he’s had, but he is a sound right now as we’ve ever had him. “He’s got the ability to have a crack at the big races and he passed a bit of a test last week.” Lombo Kotakinabalu stepped out of restricted class – he is still only a three metro win horse – to thrash an open-class field in the Group 3 Vic Frost Cup (1609m) at Menangle last Friday night. On that performance, he will be a commanding favourite to repeat the dose against the same sort of field in the Group 3 West Campbelltown Pace over the longer 2300m trip at the same track this Saturday night. The only disappointment of last week’s win was the fact the electronic timing system didn’t record any official times. Tritton went to social media for an answer and enter Sky Racing’s Greg Hayes. “I timed him frame-by-frame off the replay and got him going the mile in 1min50.56sec with splits of 25.88, 28.52, 29.00 and 27.16sec,” Hayes said. Lombo Kotakinabalu’s margin was still increasing on the line as he finished 15.3m clear of his nearest rival. “He’ll go around again this week and then have a little break because he’s been in work a long time to get to this stage,” Tritton said. “He’ll be nominated for the Inter Dominion, but whether he goes depends on whether he keeps this sort of form going and stays sound.” Adam Hamilton

1000.jpg

Aldo Cortopassi gets 1000th winner

Over in Western Australia Sunday afternoon harness racing driver Aldo Cortopassi drove his career 1000th winner. Trainer/Driver Aldo Cortopassi who began his driving career after a successful period in the local Pony trots as a teenager reached a milestone that many harness drivers would dream of, and that was winning his 1000th race as a driver. Aldo's first race win as a driver was on the 7th August 1993 at a track in country Western Australia, Narrogin..and then 3 weeks and 23 years later wins his 1000th winner as a driver on 3 year old Hindu Raja for long time stable clients Kevin Dinnigan & Tammy Pleysier..{Hindu Standardbreds}.. When asked who was his major influence in harness racing Aldo quickly replied Frank Ellis, who Aldo worked for as a stable hand as a very young teenager at week-ends and after school.. Aldo said that the best pacer he has driven was a mare called MEGGIE DEAR {$186,171 & 1:55.5MR on 06-Dec-2002 } He also said that the best horse he had trained and driven was TOTAL DEFIANCE who's career record. {$550,295 & a best of 1:52.6MR when exported to North America.} It's rather ironic that Aldo drove Hindu Goddess for the first time which was the first horse that Kevin & Tammy owned back on 05-August-1994 and achieved the milestone of 1000 winners as a driver with {Hindu Raja} the last horse they will breed and race ... To all concerned well done.. StandardBred And Breeding For All

With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police at the Melton harness racing meeting yesterday involving harness racing participants, Victoria Police has advised Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) its investigation is continuing and that no charges have been issued against the relevant parties. Regardless and in consideration of the industry HRV Integrity Department has provided the relevant parties, who were yesterday arrested and interviewed by the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit of Victoria Police, until 4pm on 2 September, 2016, to provide submissions as to why their licenses should not be suspended or other action should not be taken under the provisions of the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). HRV Integrity Department takes into consideration that the decision to suspend licenses of participants and/or take other actions are serious measures and thus all available material needs to be considered. This includes the information from Victoria Police regarding the continuing status of its investigations and the absence of any criminal charges. With respect to the further progression of the investigation by Victoria Police on 28 August, 2016, HRV is unable to make any further comment at this time. Harness Racing Victoria

Talented harness racing pacer El Jay's Mystery ended her two-year-old season on a high with an impressive win in the Carlton Draught 2YO over 1680 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. El Jay's Mystery was eased out of the early speed battle from her outside front-row draw to settle near last and she was then was asked by driver Ricky Duggan to make a sweeping run from the 600-metre peg. She delivered the desired result in style to score fill of running to defeat Master Leon and Eternal; Speed with race leader Dromana Beach fading to finish fifth. It made it two wins in succession for the daughter of Live or Die prompting her trainer Dick Eaves to suggest she has the potential to be a star three-year-old. "I have no doubt this filly will derive a lot of benefit from what she's done this season and if I'm right she could be a top three-year-old next season," eaves said. "She's had a few issues that we've had to iron out but her past two starts have been really good, especially this one because she had to come from last and go through another bit of a learning curve in the race. "She's still coming to terms with settling in her races and tonight she resented being eased out of the contest early but she did settle and when Ricky (Duggan) asked for the big effort in the straight she didn't let him down." El Jay's Mystery is expected to spend a couple of months in the paddock spelling on some spring grass. Peter Staples

Detectives investigating claims of harness race-fixing last night made arrests in Melbourne at the sport’s biggest meeting of the year. Police detained several industry figures, including top trainer-driver Nathan Jack, at the Breeders Crown meeting at the Melton track and at other locations. The investigation centred on a race at Cobram in northern Victoria on June 22 last year, won by a horse called Airborne Magic, trained by David Bartley. Tooram Lad, driven by the Shepparton-based Jack, ran third at $4.60, ahead of the $1.70 favourite Dehillman. The Herald Sun reports today that it is believed as much as $30,000 was won on the race by figures connected to participants. Investigators from Harness Racing Victoria’s integrity unit initiated an inquiry after becoming suspicious. The unit’s findings were later passed on to the Victoria Police sporting integrity intelligence unit. Some of those involved in the race, and others connected to them, have been interviewed twice. One racing stalwart said the investigation would rock the industry. “It’s s big deal. It’ll really get the tongues wagging.” Harness Racing Victoria has bolstered efforts to crack down on corruption in the past two years. It has invested in hiring investigators and boosted its intelligence-gathering and analysis capacity. More money has been sunk into resources, including technology able to detail call charge records and retrieve text ­messages. HRV last night confirmed an investigation had been run by its officers into a Cobram race on June 22 last year. It said the matter was then referred to police. “HRV are unable to make any further comment at this time,” a spokesman said. The Breeders Crown features eight group one races and brings together the best horses in Australia. Investigators are determined to rid the sport of any lingering perception it is vulnerable to corruption. They last year uncovered a race-fixing scam which torpedoed the careers of top trainer Shayne Cramp and his father Greg. Both later pleaded guilty in court to the criminal charge of ­engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. The Australian

The finish line to the Race to Royalty has arrived. Eight Group 1 races are been contested today at Tabcorp Park Melton for the annual TAB Breeders Crown Finals Day with huge prizemoney on offer and a big harness racing crowd is in attendance. Race 1 - Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown 3YO Trotting Fillies Final By Cody Winnell WILMAS MATE (Pegasus Spur-Mybrotherwasastar) is the first Group 1 Breeders Crown champion of the day at Tabcorp Park Melton. Punters backed the Paul Nairn-trained three-year-old filly into $1.55 fixed with TAB.com.au and she didn’t disappoint, taking out the Haras Des Trotteurs sponsored three-year-old trotting fillies final in memorable fashion. Moving to the chair from back in the field in the running line when the bell chimed, reinsman David Butt aboard Wilmas Mate put the pressure to leader High Gait down the back with a 27.8secs third split the result. High Gait rallied fiercely with Chris Alford in the gig.  That filly initially worked to the lead after Aldebaran Ay M found the pegs early and handed up. High Gait posted a 45.5secs lead time and opening splits of 29.9 and 30.4. Down the back it became a race in two as the class fillies gapped their rivals. Shades of Bonecrusher/Our Waverley Star ensued. Or we could compare it to Terror To Love/Christen Me at Cranbourne. High Gait lifted and fought right to the wire but Wilmas Mate always just had her measure, scoring by 1m with a 29.6secs last quarter for a swift 1:57.3 mile rate for the 2240-metre journey. “She got a bit pully down the back, probably not wanting to go so quick but Chris was making a bit of noise wanting to go,” Butt said. “It’s great to win a race like this. She’s a great filly.” That’s 13 wins from 25 starts now for Wilmas Mate, whose earnings skyrocket to almost quarter of a million dollars on the back of today’s win. Sky Majesty (Jodi Quinlan) ran a super race for third. She's had a great season and her run today was full of merit, while Aldebaran Eve was fourth.  Courchevel and Princess Phoenix galloped early and left their chances at the gate. Video replay  Race 2 - Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Trotting Fillies Final By Cody Winnell KYVALLEY Kyrie (Angus Hall-Aldebaran Maori) has upstaged her rivals in the Aldebaran Park two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown Final at huge odds. Driven to the lead early by Anthony Butt from barrier six, Kyvalley Kyrie defied all comers at $41 at TAB.com.au to score by 3.2m in a mile rate of 2:01.7. “I’ve always had a lot of faith in this filly,” Butt said post race. “It was a great training performance by Brent (Lilley) as she performed pretty average last start. “If I handed up I was handing someone the race, so I was keen to hold the lead today.” Kyvalley Kyrie opened her final mile with a 31.2 quarter before middle splits of 29.7 and 29.8. She got up the straight in 31.1 and had 3.2m to spare over Our Regal Love (Chris Alford), who had her chance in second, with Iona Spider finishing with a venomous burst to be 3.8m off the winner in third after missing the start for Jodi Quinlan and Shane Hall. That was a huge run. Derrie Aire also produced a big effort for fourth for Amy Tubbs, while Sval Queen finished fifth. Nieta galloped, a horror start to the day for Anton Golino/Greg Sugars, with two favourites missing away to start the day. On to the third. Race 3 - Aldebaran Park 2YO Trotting Colts/Geldings Final By Cody Winnell CUSTODIAN (Muscle Mass-Maia) is Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon’s first Crown star of the day. The gelded son of Muscle Mass was backed off the map in markets across the country, into $1.9 on the tote and $2.1 fixed with TAB.com.au, displacing Illawong Byron as favourite. The winning move was made just prior the mile when Purdon took Custodian around the field and attacked early leader Illawong Byron, who started from pole. Illawong Byron, who has been an absolute model of consistency all season, made a rare mistake and jumped off stride, gifting Custodian the front. To Illawong Byron’s credit he got back down and trotting and by the end of the race had made up good ground to finish a creditable fifth. Eyrish Mist finished second beaten 3.6m for Brent Lilley and Anthony Butt, who are having a good day themselves, while Claudys Prince was gallant in third for Mick Blackmore and Gavin Lang, just holding off Kheiron, who also ran another bottler for Peter Lane and Chris Alford. “He trotted beautifully today,” Purdon said of Custodian, who rated 2:00.7 in winning. “He behaved himself really well. “Jodi’s unfortunately galloped and the race looked to be between the two horses on paper.” Results Video replay Race 4 - IRT Breeders Crown 3YO pacing Colts/Geldings final By Michael Howard THEY threw everything at him including Iceenothink but Mark Purdon’s super Somebeachsomewhere three-year-old, Our Waikiki Beach, held on to win the Group 1 and reaffirm his status. The track’s class record was smashed as they rattled from start to finish, with Our Waikiki Beach recording its 23rd win from 24 starts by claiming the IRT Breeders Crown final for three-year-old colts and geldings. “He’s a champion,” Purdon said. “He can’t do any more than he’s done, he just keep delivering.” It was anything but easy for the $1.04 favourite, who found the lead from the gates but a procession of challenges took the breeze, with fellow Kiwi Franco Cristiano pouring on the pressure with Dexter Dunn holding the reins. A blistering 27.9 first quarter followed a 45.1 lead time and Purdon was concerned.   “He had to burn hard early to hold the top. Even from a lap out they were really humming,” Purdon said. “With a lap to go, I’m not sure what speed we were going, but we were going better than 30 seconds for a quarter. I knew we were going real hard and we couldn’t maintain that for the whole lap.” A 28.8 second quarter was followed by a 28.9 third and come the final straight the early challenges had faded but Iceenothink burst wide, Match In Heaven poured down the sprint lane and Rock In America loomed. In a 28.0 final quarter Our Waikiki Beach held off all challenges for a 1m win, with Match In Heaven second for trainer Paul Fitzpatrick and driver Blake Fitzpatrick. The 1:54.0 mile rate was only 0.8 outside Keayang Cullen’s track record and 0.4 under the class record. “It wasn’t an easy race but full credit to the horse, he really dug deep,” Purdon said. Results Video replay Race 5 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO fillies By Michael Howard IT didn’t all go to script but Emma Stewart’s stable etched its name on a 2016 Breeders Crown trophy when Rocknroll Magic rattled home to win the three-year-old fillies final. The expected playbook – favourite Heavens Trend leads, stablemate Rocknroll Magic sits on her back and they work the rest out in the straight – was torn up when Mark Purdon’s My Mackenzie flew the gates. That placed Gavin Lang leader’s back on Heavens Trend and Chris Alford and Rocknroll Magic buried away three-back on the pegs, and a huge crowd held their breath awaiting the final straight. “Preferably we would have been behind the leader, but when My Mackenzie came out so quick Gavin wasn’t able to get off the fence and do a retake because it was just going a bit too hard,” Alford said. “I was sort of happy, because we were rolling along pretty strong.” After a 59.9 first half and a 28.4 third quarter, My Mackenzie still had plenty left in the tank, with Heavens Trend urging off his back before the sprint lane but unable to open up in the straight. That left the sprint lane for Rocknroll Magic, but still My Mackenzie pressed on and it was only in the dying moments that Chris Alford found the front and recorded a memorable victory. A 27.5 final quarter would see the Owners Enclosure erupte as Rocknroll Magic’s huge loyal following in raptures. “At the top of the straight she was sort of flat out, flat out. She is only little but she just keeps giving,” Alford said. “Fifty metres out she wasn’t going to get there and then she just stuck her head out and hit the line. “She went from fifth to first in about the space of that last 50m, she’s done a great job.” Rockstar Angel ran third for trainer David Aiken and driver Michael Bellman. The first two home are both by Rock N Roll Heaven. Results Video replay   Race 6 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 2YO colts and geldings final By Michael Howard A RAPT Chris Alford and the horse that typifies his determination, Our Little General, produced a brilliant Breeders Crown win. The Mach Three colt just kept on chugging while all the favourites battled around him, with Tingira Beach having a torrid time for Shane and Lauren Tritton’s and Mark Purdon’s Pacing Major looming but then fading. “He’s a great little horse,” Alford said. “He’s only small, but he is all heart. He drives like a little car: He goes forward and drops the bit, goes forward and drops the bit. He still had a great kick at the top of the straight and he well deserved that win.” Tritton was unable to hold the front with Tingira Beach on the polemarker and $1.60 favourite, with Big Gun Johnny sweeping to the front. This pricked Alford’s interest. “I thought Big Gun Johnny had crossed and I thought that’s a great opportunity for me to get the front again like last week,” Alford said. Tingira Beach then galloped twice in the running, falling back along the pegs and out of contention. “I’m not too sure what happened with Lauren, whether she was going where these was no room or Matty hadn’t quite crossed, we’ll just have to leave that up to the stewards,” Alford said. “Once she was out of the race it changed the complexion a bit and then I thought I would get the front, but Colin McDowell’s horse (Sunset Zeus) just took charge and I just had to sit their patiently and wait for his horse to slow down a little bit so we could make a move.” Alford took the front and was soon joined by Purdon’s well-backed Art Major colt, Pacing Major. “I was really worried when Pacing Major got outside him so early, I thought if he puts the gas on down the back I’d nearly have to let him go,” Alford said. “Little General, he just kept chugging away and Mark’s horse was sort of gone off the back, so I was pretty confident as we straightened and then when I let him go he really kicked.” Our Little General hit the line first, 4.9m clear of Astride who had a big run for the McCarthy camp after being unsettled by a galloping Tingira Beach, with Wrappers Delight third for trainer Geoff Webster and driver Gavin Lang. Results Video replay   Race 7 - Alabar Breeders Crown Series two-year-old fillies final By Michael Howard HE came, he saw and, despite one hell of a run from Petacular, he conquered. Mark Purdon’s stable claimed a third Breeders Crown for the day, winning the two-year-old fillies with his talented Bettor's Delight filly, Partyon, who retained her unbeaten record with a blistering Group 1 win. Partyon stopped the clock at 1:54.4, some 1.8 seconds quicker than the track’s previous distance record for this class, having survived a battle with Michael Stanley’s brave Burrumbeet filly Petacular. “She’s done a great job. She is a beautiful filly and you just can’t fault her record,” Purdon said. “She’s been great from the time she stepped out to cap it off today.” The Kiwi reinsman and trainer steered Partyon to the front from barrier seven. “(Partyon’s) got good gate speed, although in saying that we didn’t cross them by much and we were going early,” he said. Petacular joined her mid-race, with Gavin Lang tucking well-rated Miss Graceland on leader’s back. “I was a little bit worried, because (Partyon) was really getting plenty of pressure, and I was worried how Gavin was going on my back,” Purdon said. “She just stuck to her task all the way up the straight.” Petacular fought on superbly but, having sat in the breeze for much of the running, didn’t have the fuel tickets to win after a 27.5 third quarter, with Partyon winning by 3.1m from Petacular and My Casino Belle finishing off well to claim third. Results Video replay   Race 8 - Breckon Farms Breeders Crown four-year-old entires and geldings By Michael Howard Ideal For Real (American Ideal) reaffirmed his status as a racehorse to be reckoned with, dominating the four-year-old entires and geldings Group 2 final. Emma Stewart notched up her third win to match Mark Purdon’s mighty haul, claiming the Breckon Farms Breeders Crown Championship by 6m when Ideal For Real produced an all-the-way win. “It is a pretty serious little horse this one,” Lang said. Ideal For Real flew the gate from barrier five, with his main rival, Tee Cee Bee Macray, tucked away at the rear of the field from his wide second row draw. “He’s showed a little bit of gate speed today, which he hasn’t had to use much in the past,” Lang said. “He come off the arm pretty good and got a good position, eventually found the front and got it done pretty easy.” Ideal For Real separated from the pack before they reached the straight and the margin only swelled until a late surge when the win was well in hand. Greg Sugars warmed Tee Cee Bee Macray up at the turn and the star swooper stormed home down the straight, but Ideal For Real’s advantage was too great and he hung on to win by 6m, with $195-shot Egodan only a half-neck further back in third for Vince Vallelonga. Results Video replay   Race 9 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings By Michael Howard THEY did it on Vicbred night and served up another dose on Breeders Crown night – the Cranbourne crew’s Cruisin Around stood alone when the moment mattered most. The three-year-old Bacardi Lindy trotter stood up to test one, survive the onslaught out of the gate, and driver Greg Sugars kept enough petrol tickets in the bank to steer Michael Hughes’ gelding to a memorable 5.6m win. “There was a lot of pressure on me to get out of the gate and stay in one piece and thankfully he rose to the occasion for me,” Sugars said. Cruisin Around’s rival, Sundons Courage, was ever present for trainer Chris and owner Brad Angove, but despite Chris Alford’s best efforts in the breeze he couldn’t claw back the gap and Cruisin Around held on to win by 5.6m. Sugars gave much of the credit to trainer Michael Hughes. “I’ve driven a few horses for Mick (Hughes). He does do a very good job,” Sugars said. “An important way to measure a trainer’s ability, they might not always have the best horses going around, but if they can run consistently week-in week-out to their ability, that’s all you can ask for from a trainer. “That’s Michael Hughes to a T. Everytime you step out on one of his horses you know it’s going to run a good race.” Temporale ran third for trainer-driver Tony Herlihy, with Maori Law reaffirming his talent for trainer Bill Morgan, placing fourth.  Results Video replay Race 10 - Nevele R Stud Breeders Crown Championship four-year-old mares By Michael Howard Chris Alford drove Lovelist (Always A Virgin) to victory to cap a brilliant night’s racing with a win in the last, which has seen him draw level in the SBG Accountants Metropolitan Drivers’ Premiership. Lang and Alford, who tied for the award last year, are level at 47 wins apiece with the winner to be decided at Wednesday night’s Breeders Crown silver series races. “At the start of the day I thought my best two drives were (trotters) High Gait and Our Regal Love, and they both ran great but weren’t quite good enough on the day, and then you get a bit depressed,” Alford said. “But it’s been a great day, three wins and a couple of seconds and a couple of fourths. These horses are unreal, they are just like driving machines, they never let you down.” In Delight Me, Lang was driving the $1.60 favourite in the Group 2 championship for four-year-old mares, but Delight Me was always going to have to do plenty from her back row draw and she tailed the field for much of the running. Conversely, Lovelist enjoyed cover to sit mid-race early, and then improved on Keayang Mercedes’ back mid-race before rolling all the way to the front well before the bell, and by the time that rang Delight Me had moved from the back to take the breeze. Alford stole a march at the last bend and Delight Me couldn’t go with the leader, with only second-placegetter Cyclone Kate making ground as Lovelist recorded a 4.7m win. “We had a little bit of luck earlier. She got in nicely in midfield, when the speed backed off I took the opportunity to get around and once she found the front she just slipped into another gear,” Alford said. “With Delight Me outside you never know how confident you can be but she felt really good going around the last bend and when I asked her she kicked away really well.” Results Video replay

Harness racing from Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday the 26th of August 2016, the beginning of Breeder's Crown Weekend. Race 1 - DNR Logistics Pace PICOBELLO (Christian Cullen-Lynne Falcon) has won the DNR Logistics Pace to kick-start night one of the Breeders Crown weekend at Tabcorp Park Melton. The five-year-old mare paid $30.30 on the Victorian tote, no doubt blowing the majority of punters out of the early quaddie. Trained and driven by Glenn Douglas at Strathfieldsaye, Picobello turned her 3.4m fourth to Blurred Lines in the heat for this race around despite starting from outside the front row. Our Red Sky Knight finished second after finding the back of leader All Eyes And Ears early in a nice piece of driving by Allan McDonough (from gate three), jumping into the trail ahead of Destiny Warrior (barrier eight), who couldn’t muster quickly enough. Blurred Lines finished third after looking the winner at the top of the straight for Brad Chisholm, finishing on gamely, while All Eyes And Ears boxed on for fourth and Any Wonder ran fifth. Video replay Race 2 - TAB.com.au Breeders Crown Graduate Pace KOTARE York (Mach Three-Kotare Yoyo) has pocketed his sixth win at start No.36 by taking out the TAB.com.au Breeders Crown Graduate Pace. Trainer Geoff Webster is in great form and the four-year-old stallion appreciated comfortable early splits in the 2240-metre race (lead time 46.9secs, first and second quarters of 30.5 and 29.9), reinsman Emmett Brosnan only having to up the ante late with a 56.4secs last quarter to hold off fast-finishing Game We Play (who was last in the run before commencing a three-wide move from the 800m) – his run was super – and Iceobar in third. The winner rated 1:57.6. That’s two wins from Kotare York’s last three starts now. Video replay Race 3 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship 4YO Entires/Geldings Trotters ILLAWONG ARMSTRONG (Majestic Son-Lunar Landing) has taken out this year’s Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship for four-year-old trotting entires and geldings. Driven by trainer Jodi Quinlan, the gifted gelding was pushed out from the pole draw after long-time rival Eljaykay Phoenix (Josh Aiken) tested his mettle. Anthony Butt put Kyvalley Boomerang into the trail from barrier five, and Nathan Jack took second-favourite Fabrication around the field to the breeze. But it was all Illawong Armstrong in the 2240-metre race, always travelling well to notch his fourth win from nine starts this season with splits of 30, 30.9, 28.6 and 29.3 for a mile rate of 1:59.3. Illawong Armstrong’s stake earnings are now pushing $160,000. Will this be the only Illawong to win over Breeders Crown finals time? Jodi and Dr Martin Hartnett will team up again Sunday with the two-year-old Redwood Classic champ Illawong Byron, and he looks mighty hard to beat. “I didn’t have any confidence tonight,” Quinlan said tonight of Illawong Armstrong. “But his ability takes him a long way. “We’ve had our issues with him. That’s why he’s had eight starts in eight months.” Quinlan said if she had her way Illawong Armstrong would go the paddock for a spell. “But if Martin has his way probably not,” she said. We’ll see who wins that battle. Video replay Race 4 - Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown Graduate Trot  STUNNING JASPER (Village Jasper-Stunning Impact) was a fast-finishing winner of the Haras Des Trotteurs Graduate Trot tonight. Driven by evergreen Brian Gath Stunning Jasper ($31.90) overhauled race favourite Zhenya by a half-neck in 2:00.7. Sammy Charles led with Its Not Dark Yet in the chair. At the bell Stunning Jasper was three back on the pegs in the 2240-metre race. Its Not Dark Yet was battling approaching the home turn and dropped behind Sammy Charles (Chris Alford) who kicked in front, with Zhenya looming up strongly. Zhenya took the lead at the 150m but Stunning Jasper wouldn’t be denied, charging late to grab the win. “It took him a long time to wear them down but he always travelled like he’d make it,” Gath said. “If they raced over 2400m he would have won more. The 2100m is a bit short for him.” Gath said it was a pleasure to drive the winner for good mate Joe Vassallo. “Good fella, Joe, and Sam, they’re great people.” Video repay Race 5 Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pacers Free for All (Group 2)  ALL EYES ON US (Art Major-All Eyes On Me) won tonight’s Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pacers Free for All in extraordinary fashion tonight. The C11-M0 assessed five-year-old equalled the track record for the 2240-metre trip at Melton (joining Keayang Cullen at a mark of 1:53.2), lifting off the canvas after being headed by C25-M8 long odds-on favourite Hectorjayjay to score a half-neck win for trainer John McCarthy and reinsman Luke McCarthy. “We’ve always had a good opinion of him,” Luke McCarthy said. “He ran second in the APG as a two-year-old and missed his three-year-old season when he had a bone chip taken out of his ankle. “We purposely kept him out of the M0s so he’d draw well in this race. He’s got a big heart and we think he’ll take the next step. He’ll make a real good horse.” Undoubtedly he will if he keeps producing runs like tonight. Jilliby Jagger led early with Burning Cash in the breeze, All Eyes On Us leader’s back. Hectorjayjay ($1.25 favourite) settled back in the field in the running line but punters would not have been panicking with a swift lead time of 43secs flat recorded. The leader paced a 60.3secs first half before they scorched down the back in 26.9secs. Hectorjayjay eased to the outside to make his run and looked to have the race shot to bits for Gavin Lang before McCarthy and All Eyes On Us hit top gear, rallied back and took the win (final quarter 27.3, last half 54.2). The winner paid $27.20 and the first four paid almost twelve grand.  Video replay Race 6 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship 4YO Trotting Mares VAL GARDENA (Kadabra-Lets Be Happy) only won by 3.7m but the margin could have been more. She didn’t give her rivals any hope in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Championship for four-year-old trotting mares, rated a treat by the Candyman, Greg Sugars, to score in a mile rate of 2:00.9. The impressive mare from the Anton Golino stable at Cardigan fended off all comers in the run, her first half covered in 62.7secs before third and fourth splits of 29 and 28.6. Damien Burns trained/driven Itsgettingcalder produced another big run for second, she’s in great form, while Glenferrie Burn finished third for Blake Fitzpatrick. Glenferrie Burn is raced by Yabby Dam Farms, who also owned the winner. Video replay Race 7 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters FFA (Group 2)  SUPER ZECK (Modern Art-Me Dolli Kit) is this year’s Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown Graduate Trot winner. Trained by Darren Cole at Terang and driven by John Caldow, Super Zeck made it 11 wins this season from 32 starts with a 2.8m win over Maori Time (Anthony Butt) and El Paco (Chris Svanosio) third. Super Zeck took off three-wide from the back at the 1100m mark, getting to the breeze outside leader Vics Cheval, who was chasing back to back wins. Maori Time, who had crept around the field also was left one out and one back, while early leader El Paco, who quickly handed up to Vics Cheval, was travelling sweetly behind the pacesetter. Following early splits of 31.8 and 30.6, Super Zeck put more pressure on the frontrunner down the back (28.5secs third quarter) before going to the front approaching the home turn. Maori Time kept chasing and was game in defeat, while El Paco is one for the black book. He got carted back at the 300m when the leader gave ground and was savaging the line at the finish. Wins soon. Video replay Race 8 Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Cup STAR OF DIONYSIS (American Ideal-Star Of Venus) has captured the Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Cup for husband/wife team Andy and Kate Gath. The five-year-old went around $1.50 first-up on August 4 from a 50-metre handicap and finished fourth, and then ran seventh as a $2.40 favourite on August 19. Tonight he paid $14.20. Punters who stayed aboard can celebrate with a vino. Fun fact: Dionysus is the god of wine, theatre and revelry in Greek mythology (note, I’m getting that straight from Google as Greek mythology is not my strongpoint). Star Of Dionysis lobbed the one-one for Kate Gath over the 1720m trip and finished too powerfully for his rivals, holding off Art I Special, who was held up at the top of the lane and flew late once in the clear, with Mach Doro third. The winner went 1:55.5. Star Of Dionysis has won 10 races from 46 starts now and that was his fifth win this season. That wraps us up from Melton, so see you Sunday!  Video replay Results Facebook photos

Harness Racing New South Wales this week announced a no Withdrawal Policy for horses from set conditioned races. As of September 1 horses nominated for set-conditioned races cannot be withdrawn. However, this will not apply to Divided Stakes events where the Handicapping Panel frame race conditions and select race fields from the nominations received. After consultation with industry stakeholder groups, HRNSW chief executive officer John Dumesny believes this amendment will help races "stand up". "We tried an increased fee change over the last two months to help clubs and owners with assurance of what races will stand up but this has not assisted the situation," Dumesny said. "Races to be conducted on and after September 1, horses nominated in a set-conditioned race, for example a two or a three-year-old race or maiden race, trainers won't be allowed to withdraw between the close of nominations and the release of fields." Both the Harness Racing Clubs Committee and the Harness Racing Industry Consultation Group supported the amendment to the HRNSW Racing Policy 609.9-2.4. Trainers should make themselves aware of this Policy to which they have been directly alerted. Further assistance can be obtained from the HRNSW Handicapping Panel or head to www.harnessmediacentre.com.au/industry-integrity/hrnsw-policies AMANDA RANDO           Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government.       To arrange an interview or for further information please contact:   AMANDA RANDO   MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER       Harness Racing New South Wales   22 Meredith St Bankstown NSW 2200   T: (02) 9722 6600   W: harnessmediacentre.com.au   arando@hrnsw.com.au              

Queensland Harness Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre race urine sample taken from MAFUTA VAUTIN prior to its winning performance in Race 5 The Qbred Triad Final for 4yo Horses and Geldings at Albion Park on Saturday, 30 May 2015 which had been opened and adjourned on 28 July 2016. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in the sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules. On 5 August, licensed trainer Mr Darrel Graham was charged pursuant to Rule 190(1) which reads:            “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Graham presented MAFUTA VAUTIN to race in Race 5 at Albion Park on 30 May 2015, when a pre race urine sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold. On 15 August Mr Graham pleaded not guilty to the charge as issued. Mr Graham today provided further submissions to support his plea of not guilty and consideration was given to these submissions in addition to other relevant cases and character references.           After due consideration Stewards were of the view that the charge could be sustained and formally found Mr Graham guilty. When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards gave consideration to the following: The serious nature of the substance concerned and the level of Cobalt recorded (342Ug/L); Mr Graham’s licence history of 30 years and his personal and financial situation; The particular circumstances of the case; The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing; Penalty precedents. Mr Graham was disqualified for a period of 15 months effective immediately. Stewards further directed that under Rule 195 MAFUTA VAUTIN be disqualified from its win in Race 5 at Albion Park on 30 May 2015 and all other placegetters be amended accordingly. Mr Graham was advised of his rights to internal review.   Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey Racing Queensland

Queensland Harness Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that a pre race urine sample taken from DESTREOS (NZ) prior to its performance at Albion Park on Saturday, 7 May 2016 was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substances Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone. Evidence was taken from trainer Mr Ken Rattray, who explained his feeding and husbandry regime associated with this horse. Evidence was also provided by Acting Manager of Veterinary Services Dr Karen Caldwell and Principal Analyst Samantha Nelis from the Racing Science Centre. After considering all the evidence tendered, Stewards issued Mr Rattray with a charge pursuant to Rule 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Rattray presented DESTREOS (NZ) to race at Albion Park on 7 May 2016 when a pre race urine sample taken from the gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substances Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone. Mr Rattray pleaded guilty to the charge as issued. In assessing the matter of penalty, Stewards considered: the forthright evidence of Mr Rattray; his personal and financial circumstances; his recent record in relation to this rule; the nature of the substance concerned; the need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing. Mr Rattray was disqualified for a period of 6 months effective immediately. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195 DESTREOS (NZ) was disqualified from its performance at Albion Park on 7 May 2016 and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Rattray was advised of his rights to internal review. Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey Racing Queensland

Brilliant seven-year-old Bettors Fire has returned to harness racing as good as ever and he looks set to become only the fourth pacer in the 66-year-history of the August Cup to be a multiple winner of the group 3 event by proving too strong for his rivals in the $35,000 Westralian August Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The winner of $465,000 Bettors Fire, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, overcame a wide draw to score an effortless last-to-first victory in the 2015 August Cup. This week he is much more favourably drawn at barrier No. 4 on the front line in the 2536m event. Harper produced Bettors Fire in great shape for a 1730m sprint at Gloucester Park last Friday week and the New Zealand-bred gelding was most impressive at his first appearance since finishing second to Cyamach in the Lord Mayor’s Cup on January 29. In his return to racing the Bettor's Delight gelding started from the outside barrier and raced in last position in the field of nine until Harper gave him his head with 250m to travel. The gelding was taken five wide on the home turn before he finished with a devastating burst to be second, a half-head behind Cyamach, rating 1.54.3. In last year’s August Cup, Bettors Fire was a 5/4 on favourite from out wide at barrier eight. Harper restrained him to the rear and he was still 12th and last with two laps to travel. Harper switched him three wide at the 1000m mark and Bettors Fire dashed into sixth position, three wide with cover, at the bell, before he took the lead on the home turn and coasted to an easy victory over the pacemaker Tuxedo Tour. The only other pacers to have won the August Cup more than once have been Tavis (1975 and 1976), Zakara (1991-92-93-94) and Shattering Class (1998 and 1999). Shattering Class was driven by Harper’s father Lindsay, who also won the August Cup with Ghost (2001) and Digger of Fortune (2003). Champion trainer Gary Hall sen., who prepared Zakara for his final three August Cup victories, has also been successful with Im Themightyquinn (2010) and Northview Punter (2014). He has three runners this year --- Cyamach (barrier six), Waylade (nine) and Run Oneover (No. 3 on the back line). Run Oneover, to be driven by Clint Hall, trailed the pacemaker Northern Assassin in a 2130m event last Friday night before he got off the pegs 500m from home and dashed forward to take a narrow lead 40m from the post. But he was beaten by a half-head by the fast-finishing Copagrin. Cyamach finished fifth and Waylade was 11th across the line. “Run Oneover is my best chance,” said Hall sen. “He got a flat tyre in the late stages and that didn’t help, while the other two were a bit disappointing.” Copagrin has returned to racing after a spell in fine fettle for owner-trainer John Guagliardo and reinsman Morgan Woodley. The WA-bred seven-year-old was seventh with 450m to travel before he flew home from fifth at the 100m to snatch victory from Run Oneover last week. He will start from barrier five on Friday night and will have many admirers. Five-year-old Libertybelle Midfrew, a winner of 16 races and $567,147, has the distinct advantage of starting from the No. 1 barrier as the only mare in the race under the preferential barrier draw. She has been unplaced at her past five starts, including her first-up tenth behind Ideal Justice over 2130m last week when she was restrained from a wide barrier and was always well back. Trained by Mike Reed, Libertybelle Midfrew will be driven by Mark Reed, who won the August Cup with Another Party in 2000 and Tricky Vic in 2005. Mike Reed trained and drove Manageable for his win in the 1989 August Cup. The in-form Phoenix Warrior, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, fared poorly in the draw and will start out wide at barrier eight. He will be driven for the first time by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, whose only success in the August Cup was behind the Andrew de Campo-trained Dasher VC, the 2/1 favourite who defeated Cromac Johnny and Sneakyn Down Under in 2012. Ken Casellas

It was harness racing’s feel-good story of the week when Colada Rose won the Hustler 104 Pace at Redcliffe Harness Racing Club last Thursday. The win gave trainer Max Olive his first as a trainer since 1987 when Buckle Parade was successful at the old Queen Street Paceway at the Gold Coast. Originally owned by Ken Parker, the bay mare was leased to good friend Olive after Parker suffered from health issues which prevented him from training. Olive has had Colada Rose for four weeks now, the win putting a smile on his face that was hard to move. “Yeah, it was great to get the win and she ran a pretty good mile rate as well,” said Olive. Slicing three seconds off her previous best mile rate, Colada Rose has never been in better form as she grabbed her second career win in 73 starts under the urgings of driver Amy Rees. “She’s going really, really well, and Amy’s our number one girl, she’s our number one driver and she did a good job,” said Olive. The depth of this feel-good story starts a couple years ago, when Parker drove the filly to a win in 2014 at Redcliffe. Parker was 82 years of age at the time and understandably caused a stir with his brilliant win, the first since 2008 for the on-and-off trainer, who could be the oldest driver to steer home a victory in Australian harness history. “It will take a month to take the smile off my face. I’ll have to have an operation to get rid of it,” Parker said at the time. And it was the same last week, when Olive, a friend of Parker’s for some 50 years, let him know the good news of another win at Redcliffe. “I’ve known Kenny for 50 years, he used to shoe a couple of horses for me and we’ve been friends ever since,” said Olive. “He was watching Sky1 and it was on Sky2, so he actually missed Colada Rose’s race “He’s seen it on the phone since and thought it was a fantastic run, I think we might have put a couple of years on him,” Olive joked. Racing Queensland The race can be seen below. It was Thursday the 18th race 7 on the replays.    

Promising American Ideal four-year-old American Boy finished last in a field of 12 last Friday night, but his trainer Gary Hall sen. is confident that he is capable of bouncing back and winning the $25,000 harness racing final of the Southern Cross Schrader final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. American Boy drew the prized No. 1 barrier and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. gave punters a strong lead by electing to drive the New Zealand-bred gelding ahead of stablemate Ideal Justice, a smart five-year-old he drove in preference to American Boy last Friday night. Ideal Justice, who won last Friday night, beating Im A Peregrine and Fernleigh Rebel, is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line this week and will be handled by Clint Hall. American Boy was restrained from the outside barrier (N0. 9) last week and raced in last position before racing three wide in the final circuit. He failed to flatter and finished last. Asked if American Boy could turn around a twelfth last week to a win this week, Hall sen. replied: “Absolutely. He’s an excellent frontrunner and is strong. He should go close.” Explaining the gelding’s last placing last week Hall said: “There’s nothing to think about; he couldn’t get into the race the way the race was run. Gary dictated the terms (with Ideal Justice) in the breeze; he walked and sprinted. “Forget American Boy’s last run. He’s a quick beginner and should hold out Northern Assassin (a fast beginner and strong frontrunner, drawn at No. 2).” Two starts ago American Boy set the pace and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.2sec. to beat The Odd Lover at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m. Four starts before that American Boy led and won at a 1.54.7 rate over 2130m. He rated 1.54.8 when he led and won over 1684m at Pinjarra in April. Northern Assassin, trained in Busselton by Peter Bell, will appreciate a drop back in class after he gave a solid display last Friday night when he set the pace and finished a close third to Copagrin and Run Oneover over 2130m. Northern Assassin’s regular reinsman Ryan Bell will drive the highly-promising New Zealand-bred four-year-old Risk, who looms as a major danger to American Boy. Ash Markham will handle Northern Assassin for the fourth time in a race. He drove the six-year-old three times last September and October for a close second to Phoenix Warrior in the 2100m Italian Cup in Bunbury, a win in the 2692m Alcoa Cup at Pinjarra and a third behind Soho Lennon and Mighty Flying Thomas over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Risk, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy victory from Kiwi Legend and Mattjestic Star at a 1.55.2 rate over 2130m last Friday night. The final quarters were run in 28.2sec. and 27.1sec . That improved the Changeover stallion’s record to 11 wins and eight placings from 32 starts. The Mike Reed-trained four-year-old Kiwi Legend is racing keenly, but will need a shade of luck to overcome barrier No. 8. Ken Casellas

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Loader
Loader
Two of the sports biggest breeding operations in all of harness racing, Hanover Shoe Farms in North America and Alabar Stud in Australia/New Zealand, have both signed on as new sponsors for the 6th annual Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend (VDM) in Ireland for 2017. In addition, Diamond Creek Farm and Joe Bellino Racing Stable in the USA, PJI Engineering and Oakwood Stud in Ireland, have all “re-upped” their race sponsorships for the big race weekend. The Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend is the creation of Derek and James Delaney of Offlay, Ireland, who is 2012, a year after the tragic death of their younger brother Vincent, decided to have a memorial race in his honor. Little did they know that their weekend honoring their lost brother would develop into the richest harness racing stakes event in all of Ireland and the UK. “My brother James and I look back at what we’ve done with our brothers race in just four years,” said Derek Delaney. “And it blows us away. We have a VDM Committee who is the backbone of our big weekend and now we hire some outside agency’s to help us. It’s amazing. We know that Vincent is very proud of what we have done in his memory.” Hanover Shoe Farms is the leading money earning breeding farm in racing and they are now the title sponsor of the Vincent Delaney Memorial Colt Pace for two-year-olds. The icing on the cake for Hanover Shoe Farms management may have been after Tyrion Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, won the VDM colt division on August 14. He was purchased at Hanover’s Harrisburg Sale at a yearling and flown back to the UK. “Murray (Brown) came back with great enthusiasm about the weekend in Ireland.” Jim Simpson, president of Hanover Shoe Farms. “He told me how they are in it for the love of Horse Racing...not the money. The sponsorship was available so we took it. We sponsor races in Lexington, Meadowlands, The Hambletonian, The Little Brown Jug, Chester, The Meadows, Pocono Downs, UK and Germany.  So why not Ireland?” Simpson said that he is already planning on coming to Ireland next year for the VDM Weekend. The Diamond Creek Farm VDM filly division is being sponsored for the second straight year by Diamond Creek Farm and the Adam Bowden Family. “It was an easy decision.” Bowden said. “After going to Ireland for the 2016 edition of the VDM Memorial we were blown away by the hospitality of the Irish people as well as the Delaney family. “Joining a grassroots movement is addicting, Bowden explained, “and being part of something great is what we are all about. Diamond Creek Farm wants to be involved in events that showcase the greatness of Standardbred racing both at home in the US as well as abroad. Derek Delaney, single-handedly has energized the sport in that region and we could not be more excited about the what the future will bring. “How could you not be entirely blown away over there?” Bowden said. “You can see the event in pictures or follow Heather Vitale's live Facebook posts, but being there in person is an out of this world experience. My wife and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity and the generosity shown by everyone we came in contact with. “I grew up going to the races in Maine (especially the Cumberland Fair in my hometown),” Bowden added, “and being at Portmarnock Raceway was like being transported back in time to 1985 when I was a little kid and reliving my first harness racing experiences where everything was novel and new. It was grassroots racing at its finest.” The VDM is the world’s most rugged race for two-year-olds, requiring the young horses to race Saturday in elimination divisions and then return Sunday for their respective finals in the one-mile race. “We even have sponsors now for the VDM elimination races,” Derek Delaney added. “Clive and Anne Dalton from Australia have signed on and are guaranteeing that each elimination division for both the colts and fillies will race for €2,000 each.”    Alabar Stud, the largest breeding operation down under with 28 stallions in Australia and New Zealand, is now co-sponsoring the Alabar-Oakwood Derby for three-year-old pacers. This race calls for the same format as the VDM, eliminations Saturday (if necessary) and the finals on Sunday. The race is also at a one-mile distance.   And, with the Alabar sponsorship, there will also be a filly division for the 3YO Derby in 2017. Alan Galloway, owner and director of Alabar Stud, was in Ireland for the VDM Weekend this past August and was infatuated with everything he saw. “It was my first time in Ireland for the VDM,” said Galloway, “And what a show they put on. Just a fantastic race weekend. So much excitement. So much passion for the sport that I knew Alabar had to get involved again. “We actually were sponsors when the first Breeders Crown UK & Ireland came about over ten years ago.” Galloway said. “We were invited to come over and help them and the Ireland improve racing. I met and worked with its president, David Wilson, when he first developed the Breeders Crown series. We bred over 100 mares back then,” Galloway said. “We sent over Village Jasper, Armbro Operative and Safely Kept. It was very difficult getting all the approvals from the government but we got it done. Many of the horses racing there now are from their offspring’s. “I was really taken back this year,” Galloway said. “The Irish are such lovely people. Everything that Derek Delaney and his brother have done to promote this weekend is fantastic. Their story is very moving, so emotional, it’s what we at Alabar want to be part of.” Another major sponsor, smitten by coming to the VDM this year, was Joe Bellino and his family, all eight of them. The Bellino Racing Stable in the USA had agreed to sponsor the Rocknroll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace this year and was so enthralled with the entire Ireland experience, Joe re-upped for 2017 even before he came home. “It was the way the people in racing there embraced my family,” Joe Bellino said. “And their deep love for the sport that convinced me to want to sponsor the race again. The way they celebrated a win with cheering and excitement. It’s just the same way I am whether racing for $100 purse or $500,000. It was also great to see and feel it firsthand. “In some way in North America we have lost our way with that sort of enthusiasm.” Bellino explained. “It’s almost like the people who win are used to winning and have come to expect it. That’s why I really appreciated the Hambo this year as it was great to see and feel the passion for our sport just as they do in Ireland.” PJI Engineering of England, one of the largest metal fabricators in all of the UK and Ireland, has come back on board as the sponsor of the Junior FFA Pace. “I first met Derek and James in 2015,” explained Paul Johnson, owner of PJI Engineering in England, “and he was telling me the story on Vincent and the passion the two of them have for the sport is unbelievable. “These two are trying there utmost to take this sport to the next level,” Johnson said, “and the VDM has done so. This is an event that everyone looks forward to every year now, and it gets better every year. Let's not forget the charity's they give to as well. We look forward to be a part of the VDM for many years to come!” With new and renewed sponsorship support coming from around the world, Derek and James Delaney are putting the money right back into their big race weekend. “Because of the great growth of sponsors for the VDM Weekend,” Derek Delaney said, “we will be able in 2017 to also expand the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds to both a horse and mare divisions with Yirribee Stud in Australia taking on as sponsor of the mare division and there will be an increase in purse for the Elvin-Delaney Invitation Le Trot race. This is all so grand! “We now have many of the world’s leading harness racing breeders, owners, trainer, drivers, announcers and journalists coming to Ireland for the VDM.” Delaney added, “It’s hard to imagine that just five years ago we raced for €20,000 ($25,000US) in total purses that first year and now in 2017 the weekend will feature more than €100,000 ($127,000US) in purses. “The VDM has become a major success story to have the biggest breeding farms in the world sponsoring our brothers memorial weekend” Delaney added, “and it's also a major step in the right direction for our breeders, owners, trainers and drivers that they can now breed and sell, train or own horses that has real earning potential in juvenile racing and more! “When you have Alan Galloway and Alabar Farms, Joe Bellino and his Bellino Racing Stables, Jim Simpson & Murray Brown of Hanover shoe Farms, Adam Bowden and Diamond Creek Farms, Rod Woodhouse of Yirribee Stud Australia, all willing to advise and sponsor us and help improve the breeding in Ireland and the UK.” Said Delaney. “We all know this can only mean a very strong future for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend and a very bright future for our Oakwood Stud.” Delaney added, “We have been a major factor in the racing and breeding in Ireland and the UK and I believe our Standardbreds will become world class in the future. Ireland has a history for producing the best gallopers in the world, so why can't we in Ireland and UK not be the best producers of Standardbreds in the world or at least one of the best! “We are also working with Sire Stakes Ireland and the Breeders Crown UK and Ireland, bricking and building stronger with devoted people like my brother James Delaney, Bernie Kelly, Dave Wilson, Jackie Mann, Thomas Bennett and others. It's all going to complement our events and others stakes. It’s going to be something special how our racing will be growing in the next two to three years’ time, getting stronger year on year. “Maybe most important about all of this,” Delaney said, “is the great new friends we have made over the years that will last a lifetime.” For more information, visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. The dates for the 2017 Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend are Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend   
Anthony Butt admitted to being “pleasantly surprised” with his latest Breeders Crown win aboard Kyvalley Kyrie. Butt teamed with another former Kiwi horseman, Brent Lilley, to score the upset of Breeders Crown Super Sunday when Kyvalley Kyrie led throughout as a $43.40 shot. It was just the filly’s second win from 11 starts in a busy first season of racing. “That’s one we didn’t expect, but she picked the right day to do it all right and she really had to earn the win, too,” Butt said. “Once I found the front the challengers came at me, but I really wanted to hold the lead because I knew she’d keep whacking away. Even if she didn’t win, I thought she could run a big race in front.” Kyvalley Kyrie copped plenty of early pressure from the hot favourite Our Regal Love, but just kept finding in a race run upside down. The mile rate was a solid 2min1.7sec for the 2240m, but they ground home the closing quarter in 31.1sec. “They all had their chance to run her down,” Butt said. Butt heaped praise on Lilley’s training performance. “Lil has to get the credit. Although we’ve always like this filly, she was plain last start and he was able to turn her around when it mattered,” he said. Our Regal Love, who grabbed the one-one trail after an unsuccessful challenge for the lead, rallied again in the home straight, but couldn’t rundown the leader. She finished second. Adam Hamilton
Shane Tritton’s latest buzz pacer Lombo Kotakinabalu will be nominated for the Perth Inter Dominion. The injury-plagued gelding has turned plenty of heads with four wins from five starts on the comeback trail after injuries restricted him to just one run in the past two years. “We had a huge opinion of this horse two years ago before he went amiss,” Tritton said. “I thought he had the ability to be a Miracle Mile back then. “It’s hard to make any long term plans with a horse who’s had the problems he’s had, but he is a sound right now as we’ve ever had him. “He’s got the ability to have a crack at the big races and he passed a bit of a test last week.” Lombo Kotakinabalu stepped out of restricted class – he is still only a three metro win horse – to thrash an open-class field in the Group 3 Vic Frost Cup (1609m) at Menangle last Friday night. On that performance, he will be a commanding favourite to repeat the dose against the same sort of field in the Group 3 West Campbelltown Pace over the longer 2300m trip at the same track this Saturday night. The only disappointment of last week’s win was the fact the electronic timing system didn’t record any official times. Tritton went to social media for an answer and enter Sky Racing’s Greg Hayes. “I timed him frame-by-frame off the replay and got him going the mile in 1min50.56sec with splits of 25.88, 28.52, 29.00 and 27.16sec,” Hayes said. Lombo Kotakinabalu’s margin was still increasing on the line as he finished 15.3m clear of his nearest rival. “He’ll go around again this week and then have a little break because he’s been in work a long time to get to this stage,” Tritton said. “He’ll be nominated for the Inter Dominion, but whether he goes depends on whether he keeps this sort of form going and stays sound.” Adam Hamilton
Over in Western Australia Sunday afternoon harness racing driver Aldo Cortopassi drove his career 1000th winner. Trainer/Driver Aldo Cortopassi who began his driving career after a successful period in the local Pony trots as a teenager reached a milestone that many harness drivers would dream of, and that was winning his 1000th race as a driver. Aldo's first race win as a driver was on the 7th August 1993 at a track in country Western Australia, Narrogin..and then 3 weeks and 23 years later wins his 1000th winner as a driver on 3 year old Hindu Raja for long time stable clients Kevin Dinnigan & Tammy Pleysier..{Hindu Standardbreds}.. When asked who was his major influence in harness racing Aldo quickly replied Frank Ellis, who Aldo worked for as a stable hand as a very young teenager at week-ends and after school.. Aldo said that the best pacer he has driven was a mare called MEGGIE DEAR {$186,171 & 1:55.5MR on 06-Dec-2002 } He also said that the best horse he had trained and driven was TOTAL DEFIANCE who's career record. {$550,295 & a best of 1:52.6MR when exported to North America.} It's rather ironic that Aldo drove Hindu Goddess for the first time which was the first horse that Kevin & Tammy owned back on 05-August-1994 and achieved the milestone of 1000 winners as a driver with {Hindu Raja} the last horse they will breed and race ... To all concerned well done.. StandardBred And Breeding For All
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles