The feature event of the evening at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday was the $25,000 Harness Breeders (Vic) Tailamade Lombo, with victory going the way of former top line juvenile filly Shake It Mama.
Now five years of age, Shake It Mama bred and raced by Heathcote’s David Sheppard, trained by Emma Stewart and driven by Gavin Lang was sent forward from gate three to cross Fairest One Youare inside her running into the first turn, with stablemate Bettor Give It (gate six) also pressing forward to park in the open.
Allowed to bowl along without any pressure being applied, Shake It Mama had plenty in reserve at the straight entrance, before coasting to victory 1.3 metres in advance of Fairest One Youare and Bettor Give It in a sizzling mile rate of 1-54.7.
Running her last half mile in 55.6 and quarter in 27 dead, Shake It Mama recorded her 15th victory in 38 race appearances..
Eight year old Falcon Seelster/Sabrina Bromac entire Smudge Bromac notched up his 23rd victory at start number 128, when successful in the Yarra Valley Cup Day Claiming Pace over 1720 metres, returning a brilliant mile rate of 1-56.5.
Trained by David Aiken at Avenel and driven by Nathan Jack, Smudge Bromac was immediately taken back to the rear from outside the front line, but enjoyed the electric tempo of the race set by a free running Mister Grizzly.
Taken three wide in the final circuit, Smudge Bromac’s quality told on straightening as he strode clear to score by 2 metres in advance of the fast finishing Our Archangel out wide from four back the markers, with the ever reliable Washmepockets holding down third after racing in the open throughout.
Tough ex-Tasmanian 5-Y-0 Hugo Play showed his true staying prowess by taking out the $15,000 Tabcorp Park Melton Pace Final for M0 & M1 class over 2240 metres which qualified in the heats held a week earlier.
Now in the care of Lance Justice in close proximity of the track, Hugo Play a gelded son of Jr Mint andToy Story was allowed to find his feet three wide after starting outside the front row, with stablemate Alchemy beginning at 100 miles an hour from the extreme draw to park outside the favourite Sals Mo which led from gate three.
Once balanced, Hugo Play moved forward to join Sals Mo and once there, Lance made it quite clear that the pacemaker was not going to get it easy.
Taking a narrow lead on the final bend, Hugo Play was very strong at the finish, defeating Alchemy which was given every chance on his back due to the “drive of the night” by Rod Petroff. Pole marker Mister Orion finished third after trailing the leader and using the sprint lane, while Sals Mo battled on to finish fourth.
In quarters of 30.1, 29.3, 28.3 and 28.6, Hugo Play returned a mile rate of 1-56.5 for the journey. The margins a neck by 1.6 metres.
Peter Manning’s exciting Elsu/Hanover Chic gelding Eliseos Falcon was once again ultra impressive in landing the Benstud Standardbreds 3-Y-0 Pace over 2240 metres in a mile rate of 1-59.
Raced by a group of dedicated harness followers Tony Prochilo, Ange Cammaroto, Rob Merola and Michael Taranto, Eliseos Falcon driven by Kerryn Manning was sent forward from outside the front row to park outside the last start Melton winner Woodlea Beau which was backed for plenty. Despite over racing at times, Eliseos Falcon surged to the front on straightening to score by 12.5 metres over Blackwarrior along the sprint lane after trailing the leader, with Countdown (one/one) third.
It was Eliseos Falcon’s 3rd victory in 7 outings.
On an entertaining night of racing, Chris Lang’s fully American bred 6-Y-0 Chocolatier/Duo Val Car gelding Kyvalley Blur chalked up victory number 13 when successful in the Prydes Easifeed Trotters Free For All over 1720 metres.
Using the sprint lane off the back of the leader Cold Sister, Kyvalley Blur returned a mile rate of 1-58.7 in defeating Cold Sister and I See Icy Earl (one/one) a stablemate of the winner.
David Aiken enjoyed a good night “at the office”, with 7-Y-0 Courage Under Fire/Soky’s Sweetheart gelding Wartime Sweetheart winning her 19th race by taking out the Tab.com.au Pace for M1 & M2 class over 2240 metres.
Taking a concession for Caroline Springs based Rhys Nicholson, Wartime Sweetheart from inside the second row was quickly away from the markers to possie mid-field in the moving line.
Easing three wide to follow the favourite Jazz King in the final circuit, Wartime Sweetheart sprinted like a gazelle on straightening to blow his rivals away, scoring by 6.2 metres in a rate of 1-56.5 from Illawong Kath which used the sprint lane after trailing the weakening leader Because I Can, with The Phantom (one/one) third when first up since February.
By Len Baker