Nagambie harness racing trainer Chris Lang's main trotting focus is in New Zealand this month but on Saturday night (March 12) at Bendigo he has three gun mares attempting to earn a place in the Lyn McPherson Breed For Speed Trotting "Gold" Series Sprint Final.
Two heats of the Gold and Silver Breed for Speed series’ are being raced at Lords Raceway with the Finals of both to be held next Friday at Tabcorp Park, Melton.
The trotting series is very close to Lang’s heart with the Breed for Speed named after close family friend Lyn McPherson - the wife of prominent standardbred owner and breeder Duncan McPherson – who sadly succumbed to ovarian cancer last year.
It is the second running of Sprint Series for trotting mares promoted by Harness Racing Victoria and Nagambie’s Aldebaran Park Stud. In memory of Lyn the event is proudly supporting the Women’s Cancer Foundation.
“Harness Racing Victoria approached me and suggested that the 'Breed for Speed' Series Final be named in honour of Lyn,” McPherson said.
“I was overwhelmed by their thoughts and in addition to this Harness Racing Victoria, in particular Chief Executive Officer John Anderson, determined that the series and its concept be in support of the Women’s Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute,” Duncan McPherson said.
“With this in mind, and noting that a large portion of industry participants are women, the thought of supporting the Women’s Cancer Foundation allows all industry and allied participants to help create awareness of this disease and financially assist the Ovarian Cancer Institute in their research efforts.”
At Lords Raceway, racegoers are asked to support the fundraising by joining in the festivities, including the inaugural Bouncy Pony Stakes featuring some of Victoria’s top drivers competing for the Women’s Cancer charity.
The BHRC will donate $100 to the charity in the 'Bouncy Pony Race' winner’s name. Likely starters riding the inflatable horses imported from North America include Inter Dominion contenders Lisa Miles and Chris Alford as well as Bendigo stars Daryl Douglas and Leigh Sutton.
The Bouncy Pony Stakes is scheduled to take place after the third race (approximately 7:40pm).
The Breed For Speed trotting heats have attracted quality fields in both the $7000 Gold and Silver divisions with the mares competing for a place the $20,000 Gold Breed for Speed Final and $8000 Silver Breed for Speed Final at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 18.
In addition to the stakes on offer Saturday night, the Bendigo Harness Racing Club has two $500 bonuses available for any mare that can better a 2:00 mile rate in the Silver T0 – T3 Final and 1:57 mile rate in the T4 or Better Final.
Fittingly Duncan McPherson is represented in the Gold Series Breed for Speed heat by Aldebaran Maori, which is going for its fifth victory from eight starts this season for trainer Chris Lang.
Aldebaran Maori is one of three horse trained by Lang in the race. Greg Sugars will partner Aldebaran Maori with Chris Lang Jr steering Miss Warbucks and Ben Gledhill piloting Happy Maori, the two other Lang stable representatives.
In the Silver Series heat, Carisbrook trainer Brett Shipway has a strong representation with three starters. Shipway has the choice of partnerings Gold or Ships Choice with Mark Hayes partnering their stablemate Kan Yu.
Jackpots and fixed odds for Friday night
Group 1 racing returns to Victorian harness headquarters on Friday night and our friends at the TAB have marked the occasion by providing two fantastic first four jackpots and continuing their commitment to fixed odds wagering with markets available for all nine races on the Tabcorp Park card.
The almost $40,000 worth of sundry seeding is part of TAB Sportsbet’s 50th birthday celebrations and should provide a boon for the smart harness punter this weekend.
The first big multiple bonanza comes up in race five on the program where some of Victoria’s pre-eminent squaregaiters will battle it out in the $20,000 Group 3 Maoris Idol Memorial.
A whopping total of $18,147.55 has been added to the first four pool for the 2240-metre mobile feature where Kerryn Manning’s star Inter Dominion aspirant Danny Cash will start off the front line (6) opposing fellow headline horses Down Under Muscles (11), Arizona Blue (7) and Ronerail (12).
Later in the meeting the 15th edition of the Group 1, $102,000 APG Final for the three year old boys will pit some of Australia’s finest classic age pacers head-to-head and it too will be the medium of a juicy first four jackpot for those who consider themselves masters of the multiple bet.
Holding an even $20,000 in sundry money provided by the TAB, the seventh on the card looks a competitive contest and if the evenness of the series’ heats run at Maryborough on March 2 are anything to go by, playing wide is advised.
Suave Stuey Lombo (5), Devilish Smile (8) and Sunshine State raider Sign To Inverell (11) were all impressive winning their respective preliminaries at Carisbrook Raceway but most of the 12 runners engaged will have their supporters and a very exciting affair looks on the cards.
Darrel Graham’s Queensland raider Sign To Inverell heads the major market movers on Victoria’s major metropolitan program this week, tumbling from an opening quote of $12 to just $9 in the Group 1 APG Final within 24 hours of TAB Sportsbet’s markets becoming available.
There has also been a nibble for Susan Hunter’s speedy three-year-old Brick Top in the same race, turned in from $7.50 to $6, while each and all of Astronaut ($6 out to $7), Suave Stuey Lombo ($4 out to $4.20) and Dee Devito ($8 out to $9) have been subtle drifters since markets were framed.
y interest in Friday’s crack card has also been directed toward Brooke Hansen’s top two-year-old Western Rockstar, a firmer from $5 into $4.20 in the $20,000 Shakamaker Classic while Emma Stewart’s race favourite Restrepo has been easy in the same event, wound out from $1.70 to $1.90 but still showing in the red.
The poorly drawn but highly gifted Down Under Muscles ($6.50 to $5.50) in the Maoris Idol Memorial and both Tanabi Bromac ($9 into and $8) and Decorated Jasper ($12 into $8) in the 1200-metre Stampede complete the key movers in early markets for the card.
TAB Sportsbet has also earmarked their dedication to fixed odds wagering by providing early odds for Bendigo’s Saturday night program, while selected harness races around the country and across the Tasman will also be the medium of set-odds wagering this weekend.
by Jason BONNINGTON
Jodi Quinlan notched career win number 1500 at Warragul this afternoon. The Parwan reinswoman guided the $1.30 favourite Art Shadow (who she also trains) to victory by 6.4 metres from Thatcertainfeeling in Race 4. This comes less than 24 hours after driving Our Puddy to victory in Race 1 at Ballarat. Congratulations Jodi!
Jayson Finnis is currently on 97 career wins. He has four drives coming up at Mount Gambier this evening including Jamaka Run (Race 3), Highview Congo (Race 5), Skipper Ling (Race 6) and Rocketmyway (Race 7).
By Alistair HOGG