Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Thursday December 16, with Geelong racing during the day and Bendigo holding the night fixture.
Romsey's Rowley family would have been "over the moon" at Geelong, when their 5-Y-0/Lady Clare gelding Lord Deville saluted the judge in the SEW-Eurodrive Trotters Handicap for T0 & T1 class over 2100 metres.
With Chris Alford holding the reins, Lord Deville trained by Neil Rowley starting from outside the front row, assumed control fromSpannerintheworks shortly after the start and despite being hotly pressed by the favourite Military Precision three wide at the bell, gave plenty to stall off all challengers in accounting for Military Precision who's run was outstanding after going off stride in the early stages, with The Driller third after a cosy trip along the markers.
The mile rate 2-08.4.
Another Romsey winner on the day was 7-Y-0/Enterprise Girl mare Shesacullendargirl for John Fryer in the Eaglehawk Bakery Caffe Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2150 metres at Bendigo in the evening.
Driven as usual by Scott Dyer, Shezacullendargirl from gate two on the second line bided her time until the bell when she was eased three wide to trail Threes A Cloud which raced up to the leader Saguaro.
Continuing the move, Shesacullendargirl strode clear in the last lap and held a margin to the wire in defeating Threes A Cloud and Mister Orion (three wide last lap) in a rate of 1-59 to chalk up her 7th victory in 37 outings.
Dyer was to bring up a double after guiding Avenel trainer David Aiken's 5-Y-0/Lena Dillon mare Tara Royale to land the Staffordshire Park Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2150 metres in advance of stablemate Jennas Fetish and Mazarahti.
Bridgewater's Peter Rothacker has 7-Y-0 Classic Adam/Sues Shadow gelding Gazoline racing in fine form at present and landed the Choicehotels.com.au Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2570 metres at Geelong.
Jumping straight to the front from barrier three as the tapes released, Gazoline bowled along at his leisure to win in a breeze over the roughie Keystone Crown which trailed and Apollo Flame in a pedestrian rate of 2-10.8.
Raced by Peter and wife Dianne, Gazoline chalked up his 6th victory from 56 race appearances.
Parwan co-trainers Craig Demmler and Jodi Quinlan landed the SEW-Eurodrive Pace for C0 class over 2100 metres at Geelong with 4-Y-0/Dainty Lea mare Miss Peru who recorded her first success in seven outings.
Driven by Jodi, Miss Peru enjoyed a sweet trip from gate three trailing the pacemaker Yellow Diamond, before obtaining a saloon inside passage in the last lap to race clear after the leader shifted ground.
Holding a margin all the way to the wire, Miss Peru defeated Christian Cross (three back the markers) and the heavily supported first starter Lucky Popeye (one/two) in a rate of 2-02.8.
Dunnstown's David Murphy was in the winners stall at Bendigo, when 4-Y-0/Annie Preneur gelding No Shanks greeted the judge in the Bendigo Bank Pace for C0 class over 1650 metres in a rate of 1-59.2, much to the delight of the Greenside Syndicate who race the horse.
Flying away from gate four, No Shanks led throughout in accounting for the former Kiwi El Pinot which was backed for bundles at his Australian debut and probably should have finished closer only for racing greenly when wide on straightening after coming from near last, with Ocean Rider a game third after racing in the open.
Former Murphy stable foreman Nathan Cahir was also a winner on the night, taking the Schweppes Pace for C1 class over 1650 metres with/Gipsys Return 4-Y-0 gelding Stevie Harlyn raced by wife Maria.
Leading out from the pole, Stevie Harlyn was immediately restrained to take a trail on Cobalt Beach, before being relegated to three back when Maximum Joy crossed to lead at the bell.
Impeeded in the last lap when Cobalt Beach gave ground, Cahir persisted in waiting for an inside run which came approaching the final bend, charging home along the sprint lane, Stevie Harlyn gained the upper hand in the shadows of the post to score from Enalcee which faced the open, with Maximum Joy weakening for third.
The mile rate 1-56.4.