Terang in Victoria's Western District was the venue for Tuesday night harness racing and although the fields were small, the racing was excellent. Locals were well to the fore during the night and Warrnambool's Geoff Senior drew first blood.
This was when 5-Y-0/Joy Ride gelding Larrikin Ace broke his maiden status at start number 18 in the Dick & Anne Box Pace for C0 class over 2180 metres.
Driven by Terang's Glen Craven, Larrikin Ace from gate five was caught outside the polemarker leader Bjelke Joh, before taking over shorly after and after being rated a treat, kicked clear on turning to defeat the dead-heaters Masterama (three wide last lap) and Jimmy Oliver (wide home turn from three back the markers) in a rate of 2-02.3.
Kerryn Manning's very much in-form 5-Y-0/Hyland Lady continued on her winning way by taking the Reserve Cup Meeting Table Pace for C3 & C4 class over 1680 metres in a slashing mile rate of 1-56.3.
Restrained from outside the front row to settle at the tail of the field, Hyland Zali was sent forward three wide in the final circuit and sustained a long run to forge clear on straightening in accounting for a death-seating Me Ole Mate Lombo and Lota Vision.
Ararat part-owner/breeder/trainer/driver Robert Burns scored a belated victory with 6-Y-0 Wind Cries Maori/Miss Catherine mare Miss Cathywathy in the Cup 13th February Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2680 metres.
Leading out from the pole, Miss Cathywathy went into a wild gallop on the first turn dropping back through the field appearing to throw away any chance of figuring in the finish, allowing the 10 metre marker Lastingimpressions to stride clear.
Gradually making ground to be one/one racing for the bell after several other hopes galloped, Miss Cathywathy enjoyed a nice drag into the race on the back of the well supported Swingalong Bing.
Eased three wide on turning, Miss Cathywathy finished too well for Swingalong Bing to score in a slow 2-11.2 rate, with the backmarker My dads Poppy third.
It was Miss Cathywathy's first success since June 2007 when a winner at Charlton.
Camperdown trainer Bruce McSween combined with an in-form Greg Sugars to land the Reichas Store Terang Pace for C1 & C2 class over 2180 metres with Beach Shaker, a 6-Y-0 gelded son ofand Saracen Sal who was making his 6th appearance at the races.
Leading out from gate two, Beach Shaker relented to the pressure of the favourite Jilliby Cougar outside him, with Sugars electing to take a trail.
Travelling easily coming to the home turn, Beach Shaker made full use of the sprint lane to draw clear over the concluding stages, overhauling the pacemaker in a rate of 2-02, with Tasha The Basha third after trailing the pair.
Terang's Darren Cole snared the I W McCallum Pace for C0 class over 2180 metres with 4-Y-0/Dontsayawordbut gelding Wheatsheaf Avaball in a rate of 2-04.8.
Beginning swiftly from gate four, Wheatsheaf Avaball was given an easy time at the head of affairs by stable reinsman Kerry Clarke, but had to pull out all stops to fend off a challenge from the first starter Please Yourself (three wide home turn from one/one) as the post drew close, winning by a nose in a tricky finish, with the favourite Veejayrific running on late for third from three back the markers.
One of the most impressive winners on the night was Blissful Hall/But Ler Raine filly Vapar Raine in the $6,000 Silver Vase for Three Year Olds 3C0 to 3C2 over 2180 metres.
Trained at Ballarat by Ashleigh Herbertson and driven by Rodney Petroff, Vapar Raine a winner on debut at the same track on December 15, settled three back the markers, with the hot favourite Eton Bromac leading from gate three.
Using the sprint lane on straightening after Eton Bromac kicked away, Vapar Raine sprouted wings over the concluding stages to record a runaway victory over the odds-on chance, with Machieve, a/Milady Raider colt a eye catching third when having his first start at the races after trailing the leader.
The mile rate 2-01.2.