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Australian harness racing is in profound mourning today following the tragic passing of iconic horseman and training genius Alan Tubbs on Monday night just two days after his 61st birthday. One of the most respected and revered conditioners of his generation Tubbs was a wizard with young horses as evidenced by his record of four Vicbred Super Series successes, one Australian Pacing Gold title and one Victoria Oaks crown between 2004 and 2012. But it was his exhilarating partnership with Melpark Major for which Tubbs will be best remembered by harness racing devotees Australasia-wide. An unpopularly bred son of superstar racehorse but otherwise moderate sire Iraklis, Melpark Major came under Tubbs’s specialist tutelage after recording five wins from 25 starts for owner and original handler Donny Smith. The standardbred powerhouse known simply as ‘Donny’ went totally berserk from there. Included among his first 20 wins for Tubbs, secured in just 28 starts, were the 4YO Vicbred Super Series Final over Lombo Pocket Watch, the Melton Plate, two Legends Miles and a mindblowing Victoria Cup triumph in the fastest time that will ever be recorded over Moonee Valley’s 2575m trip. Melpark Major was Tubbsy’s champion, the one he deserved, the one he had toiled for and the one he loved so dearly he would continue to visit with carrots in hand long after the big horse had retired, but the honour roll of other Tubbs-trained stars was equally significant and his emotional connection with them barely less profound. Many will remember the deeds of Super Series champions Dee En Ay Macray (twice) and Brief Glance, APG king Same Old Macray, Oaks princess Moment In Time and Queen of the Pacific winner Gipsys Return along with current star Tee Cee Bee Macray, who will provide a beautiful if heartbreaking link to Tubbsy’s legacy as his career continues to unfold. That’s not to forget the week-in, week-out heroics of slightly more blue-collared warriors like Bomber Macray, Chilled Sanction, Blazeaway Macray, Cut For An Ace, Kid Me Not and Aftoodo among others. As momentous as Tubbs’s influence on the industry was as a trainer, however, it was his standing and reputation as a loving family man, mentor and font of knowledge about the sport he made his life which will be best remembered by those lucky enough to have personally known him. That and his unique personality which combined a playful, cheeky charisma and lust for life despite enduring decades of kidney disease-related ill health with a sometimes combative competitiveness and determination to succeed at harness racing’s elite level. Among the multitudes paying homage to one of the nation’s most universally admired horsemen on Twitter after news broke of his untimely death following a ruptured brain aneurysm 10 days earlier were leading trainer/driver Michael Stanley and devoted owner Paul Dobson. “RIP Tubbsy, you taught me a lot and will forever be grateful,” Stanley Tweeted. “RIP Alan Tubbs; you were a true friend, gentleman and genius trainer,” Dobson echoed. A trotting patriarch in every conceivable sense, Tubbs is survived by wife Kate, his greatest supporter and friend whom he openly adored, and daughters Amy and Jess, whom the recently sold family farm Jessamy Park was named in honour of, along with their respective partners Matthew Whittle and Greg Sugars. A celebration of Alan Tubbs’ wonderful life is currently being planned and details of this celebration will be posted on harness.org when they come to hand. Jason Bonnington

The return of Tee Cee Bee Macray highlights Saturday night’s Tabcorp Park Melton harness racing program. The Alan Tubbs-trained five-year-old contests the Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Pace over 2240 metres, first-up since an unlucky second to arch rival Ideal For Real in the Breckon Farms Breeders Crown Final. The Aldebaran Park Trot features K D Muscles, who is in terrific form but will face a stiff test against The Boss Man, who was terrific in defeat last weekend. But the most enthralling news story on the card could be the booking of Jean-Etienne Dubois to pilot Italian bred My Tribeca in the Benstud Standardbreds Trot. Dubois bred the five-year-old Goetmals Wood-Image mare and races her in the stables of Cardigan’s Anton Golino. The Frenchman has won 1500 races as a trainer and has more than 1200 victories in the cart and in saddle in mounted events. His biggest success came in 1996 when he trained and drove Coktail Jet to win the world’s biggest race, the Prix d’Amérique for legendary French thoroughbred and trotting owner Daniel Wildenstein. “It’s pretty exciting,” Golino said. “He is a great driver who has won an Elitloppet, a Prix d’Amérique, his won just about every major race in Europe and has trained multiple champions including Coktail Jet but also had Quaker Jet and The Best Madrik, who stand at Haras des Trotteurs. “I’ve asked him a couple of times if he would come down and drive and he was never really interested and recently he said I’ll come down and we’ll see how it goes. I’m not sure if he’ll continue to drive her (My Tribeca) after this but we’ll see what happens … it’s a privilege to have him drive her.” It will be Dubois’s first Australian drive. Golino’s association with the Dubois family is well documented. During his stint in France he worked for Dubois’ father, Jean-Pierre Dubois. “Pat (Driscoll) and Jean-Étienne Dubois are great friends and through the stallions such as Love You and the horse we had out here last year, Used To Me, we’ve become good friends and it’s been a great opportunity, and also for breeding in this country,” Golino said. My Tribeca goes into Saturday night’s contest off a down-the-track result after galloping last week. “She was a bit stirred up and a bit fresh and drawing on the inside didn’t help her. It’s better if she has horses either side of her.” The first of nine races on Saturday kicks off at 6:30pm. by Luke Humphreys Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 03 December 2016 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 03 December 2016

Harness Racing aficionados will be licking their lips at the thought of next Saturday night’s four-year-old entires and geldings’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final after tonight’s semis and barrier draw. Heat winners Ideal For Real and Tee Cee Bee Macray have drawn five and 13 respectively, while reigning Vicbred champ and horse of the year Menin Gate, a fierce warrior when in front, has drawn well in barrier three. Murranji Track in gate two has good gate speed and can run along also, so he will surely create headaches for speed mappers. Tee Cee Bee Macray was ultra-impressive in winning his heat tonight, and while barrier 13 is never ideal, he does his best work when winding up with a big finish. Trained by Alan Tubbs, Tee Cee Bee Macray (Ponder/Way Mya Macray) sprinted powerfully through the final 400m to overhaul pacemaker Solarsonic in the run to the line. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tee Cee Bee Macray rated 1:56.9. “There’s a lot of depth in the (four-year-old) field … but he’s very fast,” Sugars said. “He’s a very good horse.” The win clearly meant plenty for the Tubbs team, who received plenty of congratulations trackside. Ideal For Real (American Ideal/Tamara Hall) was also super-impressive, the Emma Stewart-trained star winning its 10th race from 18 starts with a 1:56.2 run to score by 14.2m over runner-up Sevens Hope with Mister Wickham third. Despite the ease of the win and the high expectations being placed on Ideal For Real, Lang said the entire still had a bit to learn. “He’s got to learn to go straight or he’ll have to cover more ground than the others … he’ll get beat doing that,” he said. “He’s got a good record but it won’t be an easy race next week.” The continued dominance of the Emma Stewart stable was on full display in the four-year-old mares’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals tonight. The Smythes Creek trainer qualified five mares for next Saturday night’s final, giving her almost half the field. Stewart-trained Starburst Girl (barrier two for the final), Brighty Valentine (three), Lovelist (seven), Delight Me (nine) and Stay And Play (11) will all line up in the big dance. Delight Me (Bettor's Delight/Cornsilk) impressively won her semi-final with Gavin Lang in the sulky, defeating stablemates Lovelist and Starburst Girl in the first semi-final, working wide in the run before finding the line strongly. Stay And Play (Live Or Die/Play Ball) posted a mile rate of 1:56.2 in her 8.3m win over Snip Of Grand in the second semi-final, with third placegetter Brighty Valentine also hailing from the Stewart stable.   Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Mares Final barrier draw 1: Diamond Castle 2: Starburst Girl 3: Brighty Valentine 4: Soho Tokyo 5: Boadiceas Fury 6: Snip Of Grand 7: Lovelist 8: Glory Daze 9: Delight Me 10: Morton Plains 11: Stay And Play 12: Keayang Mercedes (em) 13: Miss Dreaming Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Entires & Geldings Final barrier draw 1: Repeat After Me 2: Murranji Track 3: Menin Gate 4: Sevens Hope 5: Ideal For Real 6: Lucky Lombo 7: Mister Wickham 8: Solarsonic 9: Stagger Lee 10: Soynwasabi 11: Rule Of Thumb (em) 12: Blacknbrown 13: Tee Cee Bee Macray ............................................................................................................................................................................... Tingira Beach has emerged a frontrunner in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series' two-year-old colts and geldings for New South Wales team Shane and Lauren Tritton, dominating his semi-final and drawing well. Things only got better for the Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Western Tingira after he won his class's second semi-final by 12.9m, having then drawn barrier four in the final. Conversely, fellow semi-final winner Jilliby Kung Fu will start from barrier 12 and will have to do things the hard way in the final on Saturday, July 2. Lauren Tritton, driver of Tingira Beach, warned there was more improvement to come from her colt, who found the front and comfortably beat highly-fancied Victorians Our Little General and Wrappers Delight into second and third place. “(Tingira Beach) is still really green, he still had a look around, but tonight he raced a lot better," Tritton said post-win. "He still had a good look around in the race and was on and off the bit. Next week he might run a bit better and could get the best of them." Tritton said Tingira Beach's favourable draw, albeit with Geoff Webster's Wrappers Delight inside her, would not be a huge factor. “He’s very versatile and the barrier doesn’t really mean much too him," Tritton said. "He hasn’t got that much gate speed in him, it’s always good to draw a good barrier but that’s not much of a worry.” It could be a worry for Jilliby Kung Fu, though the talented Terang colt is only too happy to run them down from behind. In his semi-final, Jilliby Kung Fu found the front and, though he “gets a bit lonely out there on his own”, according to driver Jason Lee, he had enough of a buffer to win by 2.5m from Geoff Webster’s fast-finishing Misterfreeze. The two-year-old colt by Four Starzzz Shark out of Slip Slop Slap, trained at Terang by Marg Lee, produced a fifth win in 10 starts when from barrier 10 he looped the field to find the front. “I think he’s a better chaser and I probably got a bit of itchy feet and thought I should jump around to the front, but he didn’t really want to go on with the job,” Jason Lee said. “He had a little bit left in the tank.” Misterfreeze kept him close company at Tabcorp Park Melton in the semi-finals and Somebeachshadow, trained by Craig Demmler and driven by Jodi Quinlan, surprised with a third placing having started a $59 shot.   Barrier draws: Two-year-old colts and geldings pacers 1: Wrappers Delight 2: Ruthless Armbro 3: Misterfreeze 4: Tingira Beach 5: Form Analyst (emg) 6: Island Specialmajor 7: Canada Bay 8: Our Little General 9: Bundy Playboy 10: Albarock 11: Somebeachshadow 12: Jilliby Kung Fu 13: Classic Maker (ODM) Cody Winnell & Michael Howard

Twelve months after his extraordinary domination of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series, picking up a Group 1 three-peat, Shelbourne harness racing trainer Larry Eastman says he could only dream of achieving similar this time around. "It brings back a bit of deja vu but up until this time last year of course we'd only won the one Group 1 race, so we're under no illusions. To be honest I was just happy we were a part of it last year," Eastman said. The horseman takes three horses into tomorrow night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, in-form gelding Iceenothink and reigning Vicbred champs Morton Plains and Menin Gate. Speaking firstly about last season’s star three-year-old and Victorian Horse of the Year, Menin Gate, Eastman is pleased with the recent progress of the classy son of Somebeachsomewhere/Dreams Of Heaven. “All the signs are good. Everything’s gone to plan so far,” he said. “I liken it to this time last year. He was a shade off his top, then into the semi, then at his top for the final.” Menin Gate is $3 second-favourite with TAB.com.au for Race 7 at Melton tomorrow night, with Alan Tubbs-trained Tee Cee Bee Macray ($2.20 favourite) and Emma Stewart-trained Solarsonic ($3.50) also among the market’s top contenders. Menin Gate, who at three won the Breeders Crown and Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals, the Queensland and Gold Coast derbies and the Victoria Derby, is usually an on-pace runner and he takes a power of beating when he finds the front. Tomorrow night he’s drawn gate 10. Quizzed for his view on tactics Eastman replied: “It’s all tempo-related, but I obviously just leave it up to Chris Alford.” At both his runs this time in Menin Gate has finished second, behind Solarsonic and then Ideal For Real last start. CHECK OUT ALL THE FIXED ODDS FOR VICBRED SEMI-FINAL NIGHT Eastman’s talented son of Art Major/Decethree Lombo, Iceenothink, will fly the stable flag in the male three-year-old division this year, drawing gate four for tomorrow night’s second semi-final (Race 5). “He’s been a bit of an unassuming horse, just gradually progressing along. He’s a nice three-year-old and he’s shown the signs that he can go on to another level, too,” said Eastman. “He’ll just keep on getting better and I think he’ll make a very handy four-year-old.” Eastman’s other runner, Morton Plains (Bettors Delight/Dont Answer That), goes into her four-year-old mares’ first semi-final with just one run this time in under her belt. She finished third in her Super Series heat at Shepparton on June 17, 3.3m behind Vapar Grin. “I was rapt with her run at Shepparton. She raced a bit fresh but was really strong to the line. It’s a big ask going into this with just the one run but she had trialled up before the first-up run and she’s on the way up.” Cody Winnell

Tee Cee Bee Macray’s emergence as a four-year-old of significant talent was only enhanced with a commanding win at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, which will have the gelding a short price for next week’s final. Heats one and two of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace, which is restricted to M0, saw the Alan Tubbs trained gelding confirm his class, coming from the back of the field to rally five-wide and run past a couple of smart types with plenty in the tank. “It was a genuinely run race, which she probably still needed that to some degree with where we settled,” driver Greg Sugars said. “Having said that, he did have a pretty good class edge on most of his rivals. He did the job nicely in the end.” SEE THE FULL RESULTS AND REPLAYS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT'S RACING Colin Rogers’ well-rated Merbein flyer Murranji Track again gave a good account of himself, facing the breeze outside Gollahgirl and while others faded the tough Grinfromeartoear gelding pressed on to run into second, getting to the line strongly to outpoint third-placed Niki No No. Their strong performances have earned them tickets to return to Tabcorp Park Melton next Friday night for the metropolitan pace final, where they will confront heat one winner Miss Dreamin. Kerryn Manning pulled all the right reins on Paul Campbell’s four-year-old mare, showing gate speed to take the lead on Miss Dreamin before allowing favourite Fake Smile to slide to the front mid-race while she took leader’s back. Come the sprint lane Miss Dreamin was hitting the line hard and had enough in the bank to win a photo finish, with just a half-head separating the winner from second-placed Masterofthurles, another half-head to third-placed Fake Smile, while Marg Lee’s Keayang Ebonyrose was a close fourth. “She went really nice,” Manning said of the mare by Lis Mara out of Karamea Dreamin. “I had the option of holding the favourite (Fake Smile) out, but she was always going to get a good trip (in the box seat) and she does sprint lane quite well we thought. “She just got there on the line, but did well. You couldn’t ask for much better really. She just keeps stepping up and has again tonight. Obviously the final will be a little harder, but she is well in it now.” Michael Doltoff trained Fake Smile, who had won eight of nine starts leading into tonight, will only be better for the run having been first up from a spell. A tantalising showdown against Tee Cee Bee Macray awaits, having last met in in February’s Group 1 Nestle Professional 4YO Bonanza, when Tee Cee Bee Macray placed third and Fake Smile fourth behind Tact Tate and Itz Bettor To Win. On Friday night the good times also rolled on for Horsham father-and-son team trainer Barry and driver Aaron Dunn. Leading in they had produced five consecutive wins and while the succession was broken when Little Lyn was unable to overcome her awkward draw in her keenly contested race, Nikkibadwagon only further enhanced her reputation. Having driven his first Melton winner only one week earlier, Aaron Dunn snapped up number two when his three-year-old filly won the University Meat 3YO Pace, having been three-wide for much of the last lap before letting down in the straight to outpace $3.30 favourite Rockstar Angel. “I (went) a bit earlier than I would have liked,” Dunn said, having been surprised Hu Hu R U crossed Dancingwithsierra to take the breeze, which left Nikkibadwagon exposed three-wide. “At least we were able get a bit of a breather down the back straight.” A 30.6 second quarter rolled into a 29.5 third quarter as Nikkibadwagon joined the front runners and ultimately scored a 3.2m win. “She’s got a lot of depth and she can really sprint home.” Milly Perez, for Marong trainer Larry Eastman, also produced another eye-catching performance, winning the Matt Laing’s Bucks Pace with Chris Alford in the sulky. A 12th career win increased the Four Starzzz Shark’s mare’s winnings to almost $200,000, with Milly Perez proving too good after having sat with cover until the last time down the back straight, when she popped out and wore her rivals down. “She’s going super,” Alford said. “I thought tonight we would get a nice easy run without doing much, but we had to come out pretty early and she was still travelling really well around the turn and picked up in the straight.” Shes Just a Delight, trained and driven by Kerryn Manning, ran on well to claim second, 3.5m in arrears of the winner. While most races largely went to script, many punters were bundled out of the quaddie when Classy Western made every post a winner to claim the Cougar Bourbon Pace for trainer-driver Allan McDonough. It was the well-respected seven-year-old’s first placing in 17 races, with the frenetic early lead time (43.9) set by a pulling Savesometimetodream, while Matt Craven’s Changing Code loomed forward from a middling start. At the back of the field Classy Western sat in wait, tailing Lets Elope into the race three-wide. As the leaders faded, Lets Elope worked clear, releasing Classy Western for a backmarkers battle down the straight and it was the Western Terror gelding who snapped up the win. “He’s been going terrific all this season really,” McDonough said. “Tonight the lead time was good and I was able to get a good cart into the race.” In other races, Nathan Jack drove a double, claiming the first – the DNR Logistics Pace – with David Abrahams trained Fabrication (Dream Vacation/Figment), and the tab.com.au pace final for Wayne Potter’s impressive three-year-old Itz Billy Hillis (Bettors Delight/Itz Got The Giggles), who has won four of his six starts. Geoff Webster produced a double of a different kind, training the first two placegetters in the Join The Pegasus Club Pace Final. Webster drove Mach Doro (Mach Three/Three Eagles) to clip stablemate Kotare York (Mach Three/Kotare Yoyo) by a head. Tenno Dance (Tennotrump/Disco Dance) won the Aldebaran Park Trot for Strathfieldsaye trainer Glenn Sharp and Bolinda driver Josh Duggan, and Black Valley (Skyvalley/Black Curlew) wrapped up the night by winning the VHRSC The Owners Voice Trot Final for Kyabram trainer Robert Shellie and Shepparton driver Rebecca Bartley. “Everything went good tonight,” Bartley said. “He travelled really well and got the job done.” Michael Howard

It was the horse no one wanted to buy as a yearling and the horse that almost died on the operating table as a three-year-old. Tonight, only 12 months on from major surgery, it may well be the horse that wins a Group 1 and books a ticket to the nation’s richest race for harness racing four-year-olds, the Chariots Of Fire. Tee Cee Bee Macray, who will contest tonight’s Nestle Professional 4YO Bonanza, is fast becoming a favourite of co-owner and breeder Ian Kitchin. “We are very fortunate we got him to the racetrack, because a couple of serious issues could have meant the end of his life,” Kitchin said. “The horse is a miracle horse in a lot of ways. A lot of these things come back down to the attitude of the horse itself.” Tee Cee Bee Macray suffered a bad viral infection in his neck early last year, which threatened to spread to his lungs. That spread would have killed him, but a “major procedure” was successful and after a stint on the sidelines he returned to racing last October. After a 10-month lay-off, Tee Cee Bee Macray produced four consecutive wins before a fast-paced third at Melton. “He’s not a horse that will quit on you, he’s been a fighter all his life and that’s something you bottle up and it comes out on the racetrack,” Kitchin said. The illness has meant the four-year-old gelding, which is trained at Alan Tubbs’ Bacchus Marsh stable, has to date been lightly raced in comparison to tonight’s rivals. His nine starts have produced six wins and $23,902, an amount that could be quadrupled in tonight’s $100,000 feature race. It’s a far cry from Tee Cee Bee Macray’s timid entry to racing. He was the first foal of metropolitan class winner Way Mya Macray, which Kitchin had sired by Ponder, a medium-priced US stallion that the breeder considered a good bloodline cross with the mare. “By being the first foal (of Way Mya Macray), I wanted to see what type of foal she would have,” Kitchin said. “The first foal has a tendency to be on the small side. I wanted to see what type of foal dropped before pulling the trigger on a bigger costing stallion.” At the APG sales Kitchin found little interest in the yearling and so it was led back into his float and returned to Macray Lodge. “No one seemed to like him and so I took him home,” Kitchin said, but he didn’t give up, instead organising a syndicate to race the horse with him. During a US tour, where Kitchin – a big Elvis Presley fan – attended Graceland in Memphis, he was drawn to the name of the King’s back-up band TCB, an acronym for Taking Care of Business. And the name Tee Cee Bee Macray was born. “He’s turned out to be a very nice horse indeed,” Kitchin said. After last year’s surgery, Tee Cee Bee Macray followed four wins in October and November last year with a short spell before returning at Tabcorp Park Melton on January 22, when first-up he ran into The Culture and Itz Bettor To Win. “I watched the race with a number of co-owners not quite knowing what to expect,” Kitchin said. “At one stage I thought he’s going to win this. He then tired off in the last 100m and I thought that was a bit disappointing. “Then I realised they ran a 1:51.6 (mile rate) and he was first up from a spell. It was three or four seconds faster than anything he’d run in his life. “It was unbelievable, and that’s the sort of level he will be running against in the Group 1.” The mile rate was just half-a-second outside the track record set by superstar pacer Smoken Up, unheard of in a C4-5 class with $6325 stakes. Both The Culture and Itz Bettor To Win are entered for tonight’s return bout, in which Tee Cee Bee Macray’s chances were done no harm when he drew barrier one. “It’s good that he is getting the opportunity to show his wares,” Kitchin said. “He’s a baby and is still on a learning curve. He does what he does at the moment on pure adrenaline and is just learning the craft as he goes along. “Everyone can see the ability, it’s just a matter of can he take it the next step.” The winner will be granted entry into the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle, which Kitchin said was one of “the great races you watch over the years and to have a runner would be incredible”. “That’s one of the big reasons you breed horses, to follow their careers like they are your babies,” Kitchin said. “I have horses racing in Western Australia, New South Wales, and I still follow their careers, it’s like they are vital cogs in your machine. “It’s a huge buzz, when I breed a horse and see it then going into racing. If it manages to win a Group 1 race it’s a fantastic feeling.” Michael Howard Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 06 February 2016 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 06 February 2016

What an exciting conveyance four year old Artistic Fella/Marilyn Macray gelding Macterra Lad is - chalking up his 8th harness racing victory in only 13 outings by taking the Dimension Homes Pace for C5 & C6 class over 1710 metres at Bray Raceway Ballarat on Tuesday. Bred by former Harness Breeders (Vic) Secretary Ian Kitchin, Macterra Lad trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs for Mount Gambier owner Michael McQuade and driven by daughter Amy Tubbs has developed into the ultimate racehorse after being so green in the early part of his career. Starting from the pole, Macterra Lad showed plenty of speed as the mobile gate sped away, leading easily and from there on, the race became a procession. Kicking clear halfway up the running, Macterra Lad scored virtually untouched by 3.5 metres over Crazy Dave (gate two) which trailed, with No Bettertime (four wide home turn from last) 1.5 metres away in third place. The mile rate 1-56.4 (last half 56.6 – quarter 27.7. Macterra Lad should have no difficulty in going through the grades and is Cup class material. Consistent five year old Blissful Hall/Childers Elite gelding Masterofthurles finally cracked it for a win when successful in the Creswick RSL Light Horse Troop Pace for C1 class over 1710 metres. Trained in the Western District at Childers Cove by Ange McDowall, Masterofthurles driven by Matty Craven settled three back in the moving line from gate two on the second line, with Ducale Bromac (gate four) leading. Moving forward three wide in the final circuit, Masterofthurles was inconvenienced on straightening when Royal Icing after coming off the back of the leader ran all over the place like a drunken sailor, however after regaining his composure,  Masterofthurles out wide scored by a half head in a tricky finish from pole marker DoyouseewhatIsee along the markers from three back the inside. Khaleesi finish third from mid-field in the running line. The mile rate 1-56.1. Lightly raced, Masterofthurles registered his second victory in 23 race appearances and first since February last year at Stawell. The McDowall’s are related to the all conquering Craven family. When Shelbourne (Bendigo) trainer Larry Eastman’s team hit their straps they are worth following and Village Jolt/Sunrose Mary gelding Sunrose Village broke his maiden status at start number four when greeting the judge in the T J Coutts Electrical 3-Y-0 Pace over 2200 metres, much to the delight of Nyah owner/breeder Robert Dacey. Driven by Chris Alford, Sunrose Village led from gate three and was never out of second gear, coasting to the wire 3.1 metres in advance of Regal Ambition (three wide last lap from last) in a mile rate of 2-00.3. Chirpy Chuckles which followed the winner from the pole finished third. Huntly (Bendigo) trainer/driver Anthony Crossland’s in-form Love You/Sun Goddess four year old gelding Dieu De Lamour snared the G & D Air Conditioning and Mechanical Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2200 metres. Enjoying a sweet one/one passage after being crossed from the pole, Dieu De Lamour sprinted sharply to lead on the home turn, defying all challengers to gain the day by 1.3 metres from Alabamas Invasion (three back the markers) and Girls Go First (one/three) in a mile rate of 2-03.2. Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria Click here to read the Vicbred heats wrap from last night

Macterra Lad stepped up again tonight, taking on a couple of proven metropolitan harness racing class performers and beating them at their own game in the first heat of the 4YO entires and geldings’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series. Trained by Alan Tubbs and driven by daughter Amy, Macterra Lad notched his seventh win from 12 starts after sitting outside leader Bryce Cooper throughout before holding off late closer Young Modern (Michael Stanley) by a short half-head at the finish of the 2190m trip. Sketch Me (Mark Pitt) powered home for third, edging out Bryce Cooper (Josh Aiken) for the final podium spot with the remainder of the beaten brigade finishing well back. The winner is by Artistic Fella out of Marilyn Macray and rated 1:59.4. Finishing order Video replay Who impressed you most in this heat? Tweet us @HRVnews using the hashtag #Trots by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Superb trotting filly Claudys Princess edged out Illawong Helios in the first heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for 3YO trotting fillies today at Maryborough. The Mick Blackmore-trained star, who last start won the Group 1 Glenferrie Farm Trotters Oaks, went 2:02.4 with a last half of 61.5 to defeat the Ross Sugars-trained runner-up by a half-neck. Gavin Lang didn’t bustle Claudys Princess early and allowed her to balance up three back on the pegs, following Illawong Helios, which had the back of race leader Illawong Moonshine. Turning for home Illawong Moonshine had run her race and was quickly gathered up by Illawong Helios, but once the sprint lane opened up Claudys Princess darted through with a successful late winning bid. Sister Of Sonoko ran third for Ross Graham, while Kapitan Claire from the Sugars yard with Kylie Sugars in the sulky ran fourth. Claudys Princess has now won 11 races from 14 starts. Later on the card top three-year-old trotter Asdenro won the boys’ Vicbred heat by 3.9m over Guiltless. Haydon Gray took the David Van Ryn-trained son of Armbro Variable to the front early from gate five, holding off all challengers late to score over David Abrahams-trained Guiltless, with Alan Tubbs-trained Drunken Maniac finishing on for third. Savannah Jay Jay put some value into first fours with Neil McCallum guiding the Stan Cameron-trained gelding into fourth place despite a scratchy beginning. Favourite Holdonsu made it seven wins from 16 starts with victory in the Vicbred 3YO males’ pacers heat at Maryborough, the Jayne Davies-trained, Rodney Petroff-driven son of Elsu scoring a head win over Jedi Mind from the David Aiken stable, with Time Capsule coming in third. My Bella Starr captured the 3YO pacing fillies’ Vicbred heat for trainer Adam Kelly and Gavin Lang in Race 8. The daughter of Art Major/Badlands Legend went 1:59.8 and prevailed by 1.6m over runner-up Distant Memory, who had made the trip south from New South Wales for trainer-driver Kerry-Ann Turner, with Phil Chircop-trained The System Black getting third-place prize money for driver Petroff. Lang capped off a winning treble in the last race on the program, the Vicbred seventh heat of the 3YO colts and geldings, aboard Presidentialsecret for Emma Stewart. The Presidential Ball gelding prevailed by 4.4m over Young Modern for Michael Stanley, while Lisa Miles guided Su You Too into third place. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Two two-year-olds will fly the Victorian flag at Menangle’s Pepper Tree Farms Breeders Challenge semi-finals on Saturday night. Milliondollar Wave from the Alan Tubbs stable at Bacchus Marsh and Emma Stewart’s Miss Nickels from Smythes Creek will take to the track. Milliondollar Wave, a gelding by Million Dollar Cam out of Im Making Waves, had his first Sydney run at Young on May 23 and scored a 10.3m victory in 1:57.6. Before his Young run, Milliondollar Cam finished fifth behind Follow The Stars in the Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Colts and Geldings Final. On Saturday he is drawn gate six for driver Amy Tubbs. Miss Nickels showed grit to hold on and win her Pepper Tree heat last start giving driver Jamie-Lee King her first metropolitan win. This time around, however, Miss Nickels has drawn a visitor’s gate for the semi-final (10), the Sportswriter filly sure to need a touch of luck to fully utilise her abundance of speed. HRV MEDIA    

A neat and compact meeting was held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday September 27, featuring the $20,000 Claiming Masters Final and the $16,000 tab.com.au Pace for M2 to M4 class. Smiles of joy turned to disappointment following the victory of six-year-old Aces N Sevens/Alesco gelding Cut For An Ace in the University Foods Claiming Masters Final over 2240 metres. Trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs, Cut For An Ace driven by daughter Amy was sent forward from gate five to stroll past Thats Mister Ali inside him shortly after the start and proceeded to run his rivals ragged. Kicking away on straightening, Cut For An Ace (claiming price $25,000) scored by an untouched 12.7 metres in a brilliant mile rate of 1-55.7 over Smudge Bromac from near last and Kotare Roland (one/one) which trailed the heavily supported favourite Catch Your Breath. Cut For An Ace who in winning chalked up his 13th victory in 62 outings, was claimed in the race and will do his future racing in the care of Geoff Webster at Bannockburn in the Geelong area. Hamilton part-owner/trainer David Lewis’ quality six-year-old Bettors Delight/Frosty Mattina gelding Abettorpunt resumed from a short break with a brilliant near last to first performance to take out the fast class event over 2240 metres. Driven by Matt Craven, Abettorpunt starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with the roughie Pinevale Willpower leading from gate four. Although wide in the final circuit, Abettorpunt raced away on straightening to record a 7-metre victory in advance of Saint Flash and Victors Delight in a mile rate of 1-57.9. It was Abettorpunt’s 19th victory in 45 outings. Bolinda co-trainers Kari and Paul Males brought up another Melton victory with nine-year-old Sundon/Tender Annie gelding Tender Don listed in the racebook as being trained by Kari, taking out the $16,000 Glenferrie Farm Trotters Mobile for TM1 to TM3 class over 2240 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.8.. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tender Don (gate five) had little difficulty in crossing Jingling Silver (gate two) shortly after the start, before coasting to the wire 10.4 metres in advance of a game Prettylilangeseyes (one/one – outside winner home turn) after galloping in the score up. Armed Guard finished third. Avenel horseman David Aiken has been having a great run in recent weeks (especially around the provincials) and landed the Aldebaran Park Trotters Mobile for TMO class over 1720 metres at Melton with Kiwi bred mare Brylin Crescent in a slick rate of 1-59.5. Driven by David, Brylin Crescent a seven-year-old daughter of Brylin Boy and Another Starlet led virtually throughout from gate two, easily accounting for Goldstar Invasion (one/one) which raced outside her for the last lap. Just Call Me Earl came from last to finish an eye catching third. Next Friday’s Melton program will feature the $50,000 (Group 2) City Of Melton Plate for four and five-year-olds over 2240 metres and promises to be one of the highlights of the season. Len Baker

A neat and compact meeting was held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday September 27, featuring the $20,000 Claiming Masters Final and the $16,000 tab.com.au Pace for M2 to M4 class. Smiles of joy turned to sadness following the victory of 6-Y-0 Aces N Sevens/Alesco gelding Cut For An Ace in the University Foods Claiming Masters Final over 2240 metres. Trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs, Cut For An Ace driven by daughter Amy was sent forward from gate five to stroll past Thats Mister Ali inside him shortly after the start and proceeded to run his rivals ragged. Kicking away on straightening, Cut For An Ace (claiming price $25,000) scored by an untouched 12.7 metres in a brilliant mile rate of 1-55.7 over Smudge Bromac from near last and Kotare Roland (one/one) which trailed the heavily supported favourite Catch Your Breath. Cut For An Ace who in winning chalked up his 13th victory in 62 outings, was claimed in the race and will do his future racing in the care of Geoff Webster at Bannockburn in the Geelong area. Hamilton part-owner/trainer David Lewis’ quality 6-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Frosty Mattina gelding resumed from a short break with a brilliant near last to first performance to take out the fast class event over 2240 metres. Driven by Matt Craven, Abettorpunt starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with the roughie Pinevale Willpower leading from gate four. Although wide in the final circuit, Abettorpunt raced away on straightening to record a 7 metre victory in advance of Saint Flash and Victors Delight in a mile rate of 1-57.9. It was Abettorpunt’s 19th victory in 45 outings. Bolinda co-trainers Kari and Paul Males brought up another Melton victory with 9-Y-0 Sundon/Tender Annie gelding Tender Don, taking out the $16,000 Glenferrie Farm Trotters Mobile for TM1 to TM3 class over 2240 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.8.. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tender Don (gate five) had little difficulty in crossing Jingling Silver (gate two) shortly after the start, before coasting to the wire 10.4 metres in advance of a game Prettylilangeseyes (one/one – outside winner home turn) after galloping in the score up. Armed Guard finished third. Avenel horseman David Aiken has been having a great run in recent weeks (especially around the provincials) and landed the Aldebaran Park Trotters Mobile for TMO class over 1720 metres at Melton with Kiwi bred mare Brylin Crescent in a slick rate of 1-59.5. Driven by David, Brylin Crescent a 7-Y-0 daughter of Brylin Boy and Another Starlet led virtually throughout from gate two, easily accounting for Goldstar Invasion (one/one) which raced outside her for the last lap. Just Call Me Earl came from last to finish an eye catching third. *** Next Friday’s Melton program will feature the $50,000 (Group 2) City Of Melton Plate for four and five year olds over 2240 metres and promises to be one of the highlights of the season.  By Len Baker

Former Ballarat Trotting Club Secretary/Manager Colin Holloway returned to the scene of his greatest triumphs when 4-Y-0 Live Or Die /Inclination gelding Excuse To Live greeted the judge in the Seniors Starquest 10/10 Pace for C0 class over 1710 metres at Bray Raceway on Tuesday September 17, returning a slick mile rate of  1-57 Raced by Colin, wife Heather and son Brett, Excuse To Live trained by Colin and driven by Brett, settled three back in the moving line from gate two, before being pushed back a spot when Daryl Douglas urged Desiring Kate forward three wide at the bell after being trapped wide from the outset after starting from outside the front line. Latching to the back of Crazy Dave ahead of him three wide in the final circuit, Excuse To Live received a lovely trail home and when taken wide in the straight, finished strongly to defeat Crazy Dave by 3.6 metres, with the roughie Chesney (death-one/one at bell) third. Excuse To Live was bred by former HRV Board member Peter Bourke. It was welcome back to the winners stall for Campbells Creek trainer/driver Kevin Ford when lightly raced 8-Y-0 Conch Deville /Wringing Wet gelding Will Atone scored in the Diamond Rewards Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 2200 metres. Raced by Kevin and mother Kath who was victorious in winning both the 1988 and 1992 Australasian Trotters Championships aboard Fair Tally and Penny Brown, Will Atone making only his fourth appearance at the races led throughout from gate three, scoring by 1.9 metres in advance of Ballan Road which trailed and Ifu Seek The Luck which moved outside the winner approaching the home turn after a one/one trip. The mile rate 2-04.7. Rocknroll Hanover /Aston Villa colt Yankee Rockstar raced by a large syndicate under the banner of  Peter Tonkin Racing Syndicate No 3 and Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd, had an effortless victory in the Flying Horse Bistro 3-Y-0 Pace over 1710 metres. Touted by many as a star of the future, Yankee Rockstar trained at Smythes Creek by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin was second up since February and with Michael Stanley in the sulky, led throughout from gate six, coasting to the wire 9.9 metres ahead of Ideal Majority which trailed sticking to his guns well, with Eliseos Falcon third 8.4 metres away after racing in the open. The mile rate 1-56.2. Five year old Armbro Operative /Sexy Lexy Whitby entire Black Caprice chalked up his eighth success in 35 outings, when victorious in the Laser Electrical Pace for C2 class over 1710 metres in a rate of 1-56.2. Trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs and driven by daughter Amy, Black Caprice from gate two was able to cross the red-hot favourite Goodtime Veejay inside him at the start who immediately moved away from the markers to race outside him. With Amy making the favourite chase hard a long way from home, Black Caprice held a handy margin on the final bend, maintaining a 6.3 metre buffer on reaching the wire. Future Operator (one/one) finished third. Len Baker

Bitobliss may have started an odds-on favourite at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday but there were more than few questions for the rising star of the sport. Drawn the extreme barrier over the sprint trip, he had to work three wide in the final lap but he produced a crushing display to loom up outside Melpark Major and charge through the line a comfortable winner. The early lead was taken up by Im Barney Rubble who was then crossed by Toulouse Lautrec but down the back the final time Melpark Major had loomed up out wide. As the Alan Tubbs runner shot to the front, Scott Stewart stalked the near-million-dollar pacer into the race and cruised up as they swung for home. In the end it was a no contest because the dual-Kilmore Cup winner, who is on track for a third, was barely tested as he cut loose in to record a blistering 27.4secs. They never stopped running in a stunning 1:52.4 mile rate, helped by the earlier speed burn. Melpark Major held second from the fast-finishing Broadways Best who was strung up in traffic before the bend. The True Roman Trotters Free For All was taken out by Elegant Image as he staked his claim to be the best squaregaiter in Australasia. Leading from the pole, the son of S J’s Photo was too strong for Kyvalley Blur and Mister Zion. The mile rate was timed in 1:59.3 with a 58.7 last half. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

Nine year old home bred Iraklis/Golden Forrrest gelding Melpark Major moved a step closer to cracking one million dollars in harness racing stake earnings after winning the $25,000 TAB Geelong Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2570 metres at Geelong on Saturday.

Melpark Major recorded a stunning upset win in capturing todays $60,000 Group 2 Wimmera Mail-Time Horsham Pacing Cup. In downing a star studded harness racing line up that would have done justice to a Grand Circuit race, it was Melpark Major's biggest win since capturing the Victoria Cup in 2008.

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