Search Results
1 to 16 of 35
1 2 3 Next »

Harness racings 2 year old trotting filly Breeders Crown winner Arya is to stay in Australia for the immediate future which is probably not the news the owners of other smart two year trotting fillies in Australia from last season will want to hear. Arya was probably always going to be too good for her rivals in the $A87,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2year old trotting fillies lineup but Mark Purdon sealed it when Meadow Valley Road made a surprise bid for the front in the first 500 meters. Mark Purdon briefly resisted then allowed Meadow Valley Road to assume command before quickly going out and regaining the lead. It was a procession after that  as Arya went on to win by 8 meters in a 2.02.7 mile rate after two middle halves in 32.5 to set up a sprint home.  Arya, co-bred and raced by Trevor Casey who also races her half-brother Stent, is by Angus Hall from the smart Sundon racemare Belle Galleon ($116,114)  Arya has now won five of her ten starts along with four placings for stakes of $102,076. She gave Trevor Casey an unusual double in that another of his young trotters Daenerys Targaryen won the Group One Redwood Classic last year. The reason that the decision was made for Arya to stay in Australia  was to avoid a clash with another of Trevor's smart young trotters in Wanna Play 1:58.2 ($50,771) who was recently voted the New Zealand 2 year old trotter of the year in front of Arya. Trevor Casey owned Wanna Play with Natalie Rasmussen but recently brought her share out and became the sole owner of the brilliant daughter of Majestic Son. Harnesslink Media 

Here at Harnesslink, we thought we would be brave and offer our opinion on the Breeders Crown Finals as we head towards one of the seasons biggest harness racing days at Melton on Sunday. Our first preview is of the 2 year old trotters division.  2 year old Trotting Fillies Breeders Crown Final The $87,000 Aldebaran Park final for 2 year old fillies looks to be a battle between three fillies that are all sired via frozen semen and are all by stallions that are at the top of the siring charts in North America. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained daughter of Angus Hall in Arya looks very hard to beat here after an outstanding season in New Zealand which was followed up by a great second to the leading Australian male trotter in Eljaykay Phoenix in the Redwood Classic. Arya has been foolproof all season which in the 2 year old trotting ranks is a major plus and with no Endsino in the field she looks to have a class edge as well. Arya should come into five on the front line which is the perfect draw for here as she can stay out of the early rush and work to the lead without having to burn from the gate. The two main dangers to Arya have both drawn nicely on the front line and are both beautifully bred trotters. Glenferrie Burn who has drawn one is a daughter of the brilliant Muscle Hill from the 16 win Sundon mare in Adellas Dash ($102,626). She has developed as the season has progressed and looks a real chance from the draw to get a soft run. Val Gardena who has drawn three is a daughter of leading North American sire Kadabra from an Andover Hall mare. She has only missed a placing once this season in ten starts and comes into this race a last start winner. From her handy draw Blake Fitzpatrick has plenty of options with Val Gardena and she looks a major player here. Of the others Meadow Valley Road and Naked Majesty have both shown enough to be serious place chances but its hard to see them as genuine winning chances. Selections Arya clearly on top, followed by a combination of Val Gardena, Glenferrie Burn, Meadow Valley Road and Naked Majesty. 2 year old Trotting Colts/Geldings Breeders Crown Final The $87,000 Aldebaran Park Final for 2 year old colts/geldings has drawn a cracking field and the draw has only evened out the contest even more.  All the top contenders have drawn the front line with the favourite Eljaykay Phoenix fearing the worst with barrier seven. A son of champion sire Sundon, Eljaykay Phoenix has looked a class above them for most of the season but his recent defeat by Shared Interest has thrown this division wide open. Throw in his draw and the fact that all the real challengers have drawn inside him means if Eljaykay Phoneix and Joshua Aiken are going to win the final, they are going to have to do it the hard way. His main challenger is the son of Angus Hall in Shared Interest who has drawn beautifully at barrier two which gives Nathan Jack plenty of options Weather he tries to park Eljaykay Phoenix or takes a sit on his back, Shared Interest has the all round game to win the final. The chances don't end there with both Illawong Armstrong and Primz Luck capable of toppling the favoured duo if things go their way. Illawong Armstrong finally gets a good draw and Jodi Quinlan will be hoping that the favoured pair go to war which then brings her horse right into play. The enigma of the field is The Pres gelding Primz Luck whose ring craft has let him down lately but who has ability to burn as he showed in New Zealand several times. Now in the Kerryn Manning barn and to be driven by her in the final, Primz Luck threw it away on his Australian debut in the Redwood Classic. Kerryn has had five weeks since then to iron out those kinks and if he gets around on Sunday they will all know they have been to the races. Selections. Can't split the two favourites in Shared Interest and Eljaykay Phoenix due to the draws but lean a bit towards Eljaykay Phoneix on his overall record. Illawong Armstrong and Primz Luck are both live chances depending how the race is run. Throw in Kyvalley Boomerang, Fabrication and Hadrians Phoenix for trifectas and first fours.  Harnesslink Media    

Thursday’s Tabcorp Park Melton meeting belonged to Riddell trainer Adam Kelly and stable reinsman Gavin Lang, Kelly chalking up a stable treble and Lang a driving quartet. Four-year-old Mach Three/Going Royce gelding Pushkin was first to greet the judge in the SEW-Eurodrive Pace for R2 to R4 class over 2240 metres. Trapped in the open from gate three in the early stages, Pushkin extended to cross the surprise pacemaker Danish King and Pushkin enjoyed a sweet time at the head of affairs. Kicking clear at the straight entrance, Pushkin just lasted from a flying Jeans Mattjesty, which had been at the tail of the field for most of the trip, scoring by a nose in a rate of 2:06.5, with Voce (one/one – three wide home turn) an eye-catching third when first-up since April. Kiwi-bred Art Major/Strathrowan filly Dazzling Arded was next to come along in the Alabar 3YO Pace over 1720 metres. First-up since June and on debut in Australia, Dazzling Arden starting from gate two on the second line raced three-wide for most of the trip, with the polemarker Shes Pinkalicious retaining the front running. Showing plenty of intestinal fortitude, Dazzling Arden outstayed her rivals to record a 2.8-metre victory in 2:01.5 over the first-starter Kristy Ann Hanover along the sprint lane after trailing the leader. Richly Deserved (four-wide home turn) from last looked a big chance on straightening and finished third. Ex-Sunraysia seven-year-old gelding Eyes On The Sky, having his first outing since May 2013, was a tough victor of the Woodlands Stud Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres. Making his first appearance for the stable, Eyes On The Sky a son of D M Dilinger and Gipsy Belle who’s most recent victory had been at Mildura on May 26, 2013 raced in the open from gate five, proving too strong over the concluding stages for Pas Mate (one/two – three wide home turn) which joined him halfway up the running appearing to be going better, with Bucksaroo third after following the runner up throughout. The mile rate 2:05.1. Lang was the “punters pal” on the day, also snaring the Pegasus Club 3Y0 Pace over 1720 metres aboard the Sue Hunter (Melton) trained Kenneth J/Artistic Dash gelding Kool Kenny. Given a beaut trip one/one from gate five, Kool Kenny was switched to the sprint lane on straightening, scoring by a half-neck from Gowan Loch, which led from the pole, and Daddywho (three back the markers) The mile rate 2:00.6. It was a great day for the Macedon Ranges district with Kyneton duo Greg and Steve Leight taking the Aldebaran Park 3Y0 Trotters Handicap over 2240 metres with Lawman/Kellybrooke gelding Law Legend, leading all of the way from barrier two, accounting for Eureka Encounter and Fire To Rain in a rate of 2:12.3 in appalling conditions. Four-year-old Britewell/Jenola Bay gelding Our St Pierre gave Bolinda’s Brent Lilley another winner for the week when successful in the tab.com.au Trotters Handicap for TRO & TR1 class over 2240 metres in a rate of 2:09.5. With Chris Alford in the spider, Our St Pierre starting from the 10 metre mark settled six back along the markers, with Atego Turbo beginning like a rocket from outside 10 metres to lead. Moving to be one/one racing for the bell, Our St Pierre was eased three wide on the final bend and finished strongly to gain the day in advance of Our Elvis which moved to face the breeze at the bell before striding clear on the home turn. Only One Aussie which trailed the weakening pacemaker finished third. Len Baker - Harness Racing Victoria  

Chris Alford took a 10-win lead in the metropolitan drivers’ premiership – and won his 264th race for the Victorian season – last night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Alford drove a winning double to take his state premiership buffer to a whopping 69 wins over second-placed Greg Sugars (195) with Gavin Lang in third on 179. Craig Demmler-trained Blitzthemcalder opened Alford’s account last night with victory in the first race on the card, the Aldebaran Park Trot. Alford steered the long odds-on favourite to the lead early from outside the front row, the four-year-old then running his rivals into the ground to score a 16m win. Alford doubled up in Race 8 with Tandias Bromac saluting by nearly three metres for trainer Amanda Grieve. Tandias Bromac clocked a winning mile rate of 1:55.5 over the 1720m sprint trip. The in-form father-son team of Ross and Greg Sugars collected the night’s black-type event, the Harness Breeders (Vic) Lightfoot Laurels, with four-year-old trotter Quite A Moment. Quite A Moment caught the spot behind the leader’s back early when Paris Pepperell ran to the lead before being pocketed three-markers when Vics Cheval took the lead at the bell. Sugars angled Quite A Moment into the sprint lane in the home straight before the mare sprinted sharply to overhaul Shes An Image, who came with a run out wide, and Vics Cheval, who battled on for third. Maximan (Andy and Kate Gath) and Exciteusinthecity (Darren Cole and Tim McLean) took out the two heats of the Tabcorp Park Melton Cup. Maximan clocked a winning mile rate of 1:57.2 in his short-half-head win over Beauty Secret, while Exciteusinthecity found the lead from gate two and ran 1:56.2 in winning, ripping down the back straight in 27.6 before recording a last half mile of 55.9 seconds. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Friday night was a red letter affair for the Aikens. David Aiken, head of the Avenel operation, trained two Group 1 winners on the opening night of the Vicbred Super Series finals carnival at Tabcorp Park, while his son, Josh, drove his first Group 1 winner aboard the stable’s rising star Eljaykay Phoenix. The 21-year-old looked totally undaunted against drivers several years his senior, taking Eljaykay Phoenix to the front early, and not panicking when headed by Jodi Quinlan aboard Illawong Armstrong with a lap to go in the two-year-old male trotters’ final. The pair stayed one-two for the remainder of the race, with Eljaykay Phoenix proving 5.4m too strong in a mile rate of 2:03.8. “It felt awesome coming around the home turn,” the young driver said after the race. “That’s just unreal. I can’t explain how good it feels.” David Aiken then made it two Group 1s for the night with four-year-old Spidergirl capping her domination of the futurity series after previously taking out the two- and three-year-old titles. Chris Alford took Spidergirl to the front early and was never headed, the long odds-on favourite beating second favourite Paris Pepperell by 7.3m, with the rest of the field more than 20m away. Meanwhile, favourite punters were on song for most of the night with seven of the 10 races going their way. Claudys Princess was one of those, the Mick Blackmore-trained three-year-old filly saluting by 2.2m over Illawong Helios in her Super Series final. The win was Claudys Princess’s ninth from 12 starts and Blackmore will now have to seriously consider taking her to the Derby on Redwood Day. “She’ll tell us,” he said when asked about what was next for the daughter of Bacardi Lindy. Winning reinsman Gavin Lang was thrilled with the success. “While there are a lot of people at the top of the tree who deserve the accolades they get, there are a lot of people down the other end who really make our industry what it is,” he said. “You don’t have to be a millionaire.” New South Welsh visitor Vincennes wasn’t the favourite but was well-supported before taking out the four-year-old males’ trotters final. And with six races being beamed live into France for wagering and broadcast last night, there’s a fair chance the French punters took the omen and made him favourite. Trainer-driver Blake Fitzpatrick delivered a copybook drive aboard Vincennes to defeat punters’ fancy Blitzthemcalder by 2.5m. Blitzthemcalder sat in the breeze mid-race and took the lead on the home turn, but Vincennes had momentum up after securing an economical trip four-back in the running line. Vincennes’ winning mile rate was 2:00.0, coming home in a last half-mile of 58.2secs. Andy Gath’s young trotter Endsino, driven by Kate Gath, started a short-priced favourite and showed she has a bright future by winning the two-year-old fillies’ trotters’ final. Endsino was over 12m too strong for her nearest rival, Shesa Amason, who gave cheek from her pole draw. The other Group 1 victor for the night was long-shot Imamenace for hobby trainer Peter Cormican and reinsman Greg Sugars. Imamenace sat outside race leader Spidergrace before getting the better of the David Moran-trained horse after a stirring battle in the home straight. Despite reinswoman Laura Crossland throwing everything at Spidergrace, Imamenace proved the tougher horse on the night. Alford finished with driving honours on the night, the Spidergirl victory coming after the champion horseman won on Triumphant Monarch in the first race. Amy Tubbs trained-and-driven Brunelleschi won the inaugural Group 3 Noopy Kisok Trotters Free For All, while Sonofanearl won the Aldebaran Park Monte despite a 20m handicap for rider Riina Maattanen. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Rosedale Farm , in conjunction with Aldebaran Park Australia are excited to announce Swedish Three and Four Year old Breeders Crown Champion, Yield Boko ( Viking Kronos – Ouzo Boko ) will be available to New Zealand breeders in the 2014/15 breeding season. The winner of 22 from 50 race starts, stakes earnings of more the AUD$800,000 and a fastest lifetime mark of 1.55.1 over 2140m, Yield Boko boasts credentials which rank him as one of the greatest trotters ever to be available to breeders in this part of the world. Leading Australian trotting trainer Chris Lang says “He (Yield Boko) was a very good horse, I followed his career and he competed well in the best races against the best horses going around.” “The bottom line is this is just great for the industry, more and more people are taking an interest in what we are doing down under.” Aldebaran Park’s Duncan McPherson added “ For Australiasian breeders ,Yield Boko represents a remarkable opportunity to access bloodlines never before available and we at Aldebaran Park are delighted to be part of making that opportunity possible.” Semen to New Zealand will be strictly limited and breeders are advised they will need to book early. Yield Boko will stand for a fee of $4000 plus gst. For more information: go to www.aldebaranpark.com Harness Racing New Zealand

The Aldebaran Park National Monte Series race is going right to the wire as the riders chase the grand first prize of a trip to Scandinavia courtesy of Aldebaran Park. With just two races to go, Haley Toulmin leads the way on 23 points, one point clear of Daryl Douglas after he finished third on Motu Young Jacob at Kilmore on Saturday night. Saturday’s race, the Ron Hocking Memorial Monte, was won by Sonofanearl for Brent Lilley and Riina Maattanen in a stunning exhibition of trotting under saddle. The next Monte will be held on Saturday, June 7, at Bendigo, with the series culminating at Kilmore on Saturday, June 21. Current Aldebaran Park National Monte Series standings with two races to go H Toulmin 23 D Douglas 22 N Marsing 9 P Hamblin 6 Y Lagarde 6 M Gee 5 M Campbell 4 M Crosby 4 HRV MEDIA   R Maattanen 4

A late decision by Appin (NSW) harness racing trainer Nicole Molander to contest the $30,505 (Group 2) Bruce Skeggs Memorial Cranbourne Trotters Cup for TM0 or better class over 2555 metres at Cranbourne on Saturday after nominations were extended, paid dividends when  prolific winning six year old Dr Ronerail/Flipside gelding Keystone Del scored a fighting victory in the feature event on the program. With regular reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick again holding the reins, Keystone Del who two stars back was successful in the rich Great Southern Star Final at Tabcorp Park Melton in March, began swiftly from gate five, however Chris Alford aboard Spidergirl inside him had similar thoughts and the pair went head and head as the mobile barrier pulled away, with Keystone Del winning out. Allowed to dawdle at the head of affairs with the field racing in Indian file, Keystone Del went through the first two quarters of the last mile in 33.8 and 33 seconds, with Vics Cheval one of three David Aiken trained runners moving from last to creep forward in the open at the bell. In a last half mile of 29.9 and 28.6, Keystone Del had to pull out all stops to defy a strong challenge by Spidergirl along the sprint lane to gain the day by a nose in a pedestrian mile rate of 2-06.2, with Vics Cheval 4.8 metres away in third place. Even through the rate was nothing special, the race had the crowd on their toes cheering all the way up the running. It was Keystone Del’s 17th victory in 34 outings. The trotters took pride of place at the meeting, with brilliant Bacardi Lindy/All Finesse filly Claudys Princess taking the $10,275 Aldebaran Park Starlet for Three Year Olds over 1609 metres and in doing so, brought up her eighth victory from eleven outings. Driven by Gavin Lang for Kyabram trainer Mick Blackmore, Claudys Princess starting solo on the second line was allowed to amble at the rear of the field, before moving forward three wide racing for the bell to park in the open for the final circuit. Cruising to the front on straightening, Claudys Princess registered a 5.6 metre victory in a rate of 2-01 over Im Havinaball which led and  Indie Pepperell (one/one last lap) which came in third 8.7 metres in arrears of the pair. Bred by veteran Goulburn Valley trotting devotee Gus Underwood, Claudys Fancy is raced by the Catchya Racing Group of which Gus is a member. Honest eight year old Conch Deville/Springfield Wilma mare Rockin Wilma chalked up her 10th victory and first since February, when successful in The Red Shed Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2575 metres. Trained and driven by Sunbury’s Justin Livingtstone, Rockin Wilma starting from 20 metres was given the run of the race trailing the front runner Mosquito Spur after the heavily supported pole line favourite Seascape Boy galloped shortly after the start when contesting the lead. Taken away from the markers approaching the home turn, Rockin Wilma proved far too strong over the concluding stages to score by an easy 14.1 metres in advance of Seascape Boy which made up plenty of ground, with Mosquito Spur holding down third albeit 25.5 metres from the winner. Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria

WASHINGTON, PA, May 16, 2014 -- Broadway Socks not only routed the field by 8 lengths in her division of Friday's $120,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series event at The Meadows, but she also established a stake record of 1:55.2 in the process. The stake for 3-year-old filly trotters was conducted over six divisions, with Explosive Attitude, Passing Jetta, Czech It Out, Indoor Voices and Glisten Hanover also taking $20,000 splits. Dave Palone (Explosive Attitude, Czech It Out) and Mike Wilder (Passing Jetta, Indoor Voices) each enjoyed a stake double. With five wins overall on the 15-race card, Wilder has collected 15 victories over the last three programs. Although Broadway Socks earned $84,260 at 2 and reached the championship of the PA Sires Stakes, trainer David Wade had no reservations about dropping her back to the stallions series this year. "We weren't ready for the sires stakes yet -- too early," he said of his $34,000 yearling acquisition. "We're not ready to go in 1:54. We'll be ready to go faster than that eventually, but we're not there yet. But if I kick her back up (to the sires stakes), I'll miss both finals. But $10,000 here is nice money. There are no guarantees in the sires stakes. She's eligible to other stakes -- a couple of things in the Midwest late in the year." Her time erased the old stake mark of 1:56.3 established by Sephora De Vie in 2011. Dan Rawlings drove the daughter of Broadway Hall-I Gotta Feelin to her front-end romp for owners Gerald Brittingham, William F. Peel III and Wade. Explosive Attitude, whom owner/trainer Arlene Cameron describes as "evil" away from the track, moved smartly first over from fifth and easily captured her second straight stallions series split in 1:57.4, matching her career best. Glams K rallied for second, 3-1/4 lengths back, with Keystone Harper third. "On the track she's perfect; in the barn, it's another story," said Cameron of the diminutive daughter of Explosive Matter-My Foolish Dream. "Some days it takes a half hour to catch her in the stall. She'll wheel on you, or she'll come at you with her mouth wide open. I just try not to get mad at her and let her do her thing. You can't manhandle her or fight her and think you'll get somewhere with her because you won't. She'll win every time." Passing Jetta had failed in all five of her previous starts, but she brushed confidently from third into the final turn and drew off late, breaking her maiden in 1:58.1. Exclusive Photo came from far back for second, 5 lengths in arrears, while early leader Winky Dink earned show. "They told me she would be a little excited going to the track but not to pay any attention to that," Wilder said. "They were right. First step on the racetrack, she was a class act. She was fantastic to drive, and she's very smart. I couldn't have asked her to do her job any better." Jonas Czernyson conditions the daughter of Lear Jetta-Europass for Team JC Stable, Joanna Callahan, Aldebaran Park and Trish Foulk. In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Sam Hill found late racing room and notched his second consecutive victory in 1:51.4, a nose better than Justified, with Good Day Mate completing the ticket. Greg Wright, Jr. drove for trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. The 8-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding now boasts career earnings of $264,389. Saturday's Preakness Day card at The Meadows is highlighted by the Stenographer, a $199,400 PA Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters which features the season's debut of Shake It Cerry, the 2013 divisional champion. She goes in the second split, Race 8, from post 7, with Ron Pierce piloting. First post Saturday is 11:25 AM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

The ALDEBARAN PARK NATIONAL MONTE SERIES continues at Maryborough on Monday Afternoon. Daryl Douglas (17 points) continues to make ground on injured leading rider Haley Toulmin (23 points) with another win on MOTU YOUNG JACOB on Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star Night and Douglas has the chance to make further ground on old-timer ANDYS FAVOURITE on Monday. From limited opportunities champion Danish rider Nicole Marsing holds third place on the table with nine points. With seven races to go the race for leading rider is well and truly alive, where the winner will receive a trip to Scandinavia courtesy of Aldebaran Park. Tune in to RSN or catch the action on SKY at 1:16pm on Monday afternoon. H Toulmin 23 D Douglas 17 N Marsing 9 Y Lagarde 6 M Gee 5 M Campbell 4 B Wood 2 M Jaques 1 B Carey 1 M Crosby 1 C Sutherland 1        

Harness racing prominent breeder-owner Pat Driscoll knocked down the three top-priced lots at the second Pryde’s EasiFeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale held at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 23. Driscoll, who trades as Yabby Dam Farms, pocketed a cool $119,000 for his three-strong draft including the sale topping colt at $41,000, a son of USA superstar Muscle Hill out of the Malabar Maple mare Calder Luck, a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 placegetter Calder Sensation, Calder Image and Bella Cheval. The handsome youngster was bought for a syndicate by John and Maree Caldow, who developed and trained Calder Sensation, a winner of 16 races and $142,762. An Angus Hall colt out of Maori’s Dream, the grand-dam of the top priced lot, realised the second highest price of $40,000. He was knocked down to Romsey trainer Chris Alford on behalf of stable clients Phil Walshe and Craig Nott. While another of the Muscle Hill progeny, a colt from the USA bred Let’s Be Happy, the dam of Bathurst Gold Coronet winner Verbier, was garnered by Christchurch trainer Tim Butt for $38,000. Two Angus Hall youngsters, one out of the Muscles Yankee mare Lindy’s Two Step (1:57.4) and the other from the useful Sundon mare Pinevale Ellason, realised $30,000 and $28,000 respectively. Majestic Son, a leading sire of juvenile trotters, had three head sell including a gelding out of the R C’s Dee Jay mare Howdoudo, the dam of Vicbred champion Split Image, which was haltered by Chris Lang Jnr for $30,000. Two Majestic Son colts out of strong New Zealand-bred mares from Harness Breeders Vic committeeman Gerard Moloney’s draft sold for $22,000 and $20,000. Former local champion Skyvalley was the sire of the highest priced filly Aldebaran Eve, out of the Victoria Oaks winner Aldebaran Dream, consigned by Aldebaran Park and sold for $18,000, while a Skyvalley colt from the 2YO and 3YO Trotter of the Year Jauriol realised $20,000. Running Pinevale, also a Victoria Oaks champion, was represented by her second foal, a colt by NZ-based import The Pres, who was knocked down for $22,000. Of the 36 lots offered, 31 were sold for an average price of $16,359, up almost 25 percent on last year. by Peter Wharton

One of three international guests heading to Melbourne to experience the Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star night on Saturday, March 22, will be Swedish-born, North American-based harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson. To followers of US trotting, Czernyson’s name needs little introduction. Long considered one of the world’s leading horsemen, the 40-year-old trainer will be a keen observer at Melton’s Tabcorp Park as the spotlight turns to the Australian trotting industry’s night of nights. Czernyson will join recently retired American-based jockey Chantal Sutherland and star US reinsman Corey Callahan as Harness Racing Victoria’s international guests on the night. While he is not bringing any horses Down Under with him this time, Czernyson’s knack for training big-race winners will have him licking his lips at the thought of one day contesting an Australian Group 1. And he is certainly no stranger to the big stage, having won some of the US’s biggest races – with his horses pocketing tens of millions of dollars US in stake money –during a sublime career spanning some 22 years. In addition to attending the Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star night Czernyson will experience other Victorian institutions during his visit, including a trip to the famed Healesville Sanctuary, lunch in the Yarra Valley and an AFL football match at Etihad Stadium. The star trainer will also visit Aldebaran Park in Nagambie and the state-of-the-art Cranbourne Harness Racing Training Centre before attending the Australian Premier Trotting Sales yearling sales next Sunday. Czernyson’s story is proof one does not have to have grown up in a “harness racing family” to succeed in the sport. Czernyson grew up with his father a handyman and his mother a nurse. Czernyson became a welder. He told media in 2008 that his affinity to working with steel held him in good stead as a harness racing trainer in terms of shoeing horses. At age 18 he headed to the States and went to work with Don Swick at the South Florida Trotting Centre. He planned on staying in the US for just six months, but 22 years later he hasn’t left. He had a nine-year stint working with renowned trainer Per Eriksson, where he was associated with top horses such as Giant Force, Credit Winner, Dream Of Joy and Giant Mermaid. When Eriksson returned to his native homeland in Scandinavia in 2001, Czneryson decided to set up his own operation with initially seven horses in work. That number quickly grew and in 2005 the trainer scored his first $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks win with Jalopy. He has since scored a host of big-race wins and secured his place among the sport’s elite. Harness Racing Victoria

In one of the biggest announcements of the year, Harness Racing Victoria can now reveal that recently retired American-based jockey Chantal Sutherland is headed to Australia to compete. Not only will Australian crowds get to see the Group 1 winning hoop on the track, she will also be one of the Great Southern Star ambassadors along with local reinswoman Kate Gath. And while Sutherland is best known for her work in the thoroughbred industry, it's her roots which have always drawn her towards the Trots. Having experience with standardbreds from a young age, the 37-year-old proved her skills in a time trial at The Meadows racetrack on September 23, 2013 breaking the USA record with an open class trotter under saddle. From that has spurned the idea to have Sutherland compete on Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star night in the inaugural Aldebaran Park Monte Series. Sutherland will also be a guest at the Great Southern Star Launch Cocktail Party on March 19 and a judge in the Fashions on the Field contest to be held in conjunction with the Great Southern Star racenight. "I'm very excited to experience Australia for the first time and am honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador and ride in the Monte race on Great Southern Star Night. I look forward to the exciting events that have been planned and meeting all of the racing fans," Sutherland said. The respected horsewoman won't just be known to racing fans through her career in the saddle but also her work on the big screen having starred in the reality television series 'Jockeys' as well as a part in the Dustin Hoffman led drama series Luck. With a Hollywood Gold Cup and Santa Anita Handicap to her name, Sutherland might be most well-known for her association with Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and star gelding Game On Dude. In fact, the Canadian glamour made history by becoming the first woman to ever ride in the Dubai World Cup in 2011 and she will again break new ground when riding in Australia on March 22. Sutherland's list of achievements go far beyond that however, with 931 career wins to her name and dozens of big races, she has become one of the most recognisable names in American racing. The Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star will be run jointly with the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Girls' Night Out supporting the Women's Cancer Foundation Ovarian Cancer Institute and after raising almost $75,000 last year, hopes are again high for another record breaking event. Sutherland arrives in Australia on March 18 and for all media inquiries in the lead-up to Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star night please contact Brett Boyd on (03) 8378 0250. BLAKE REDDEN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [Harness Racing Victoria]

Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup night draws ever closer and with it brings a plethora of trots action to suit every enthusiast. Three trot races are on the card, and, as is customary, trotting royalty in the form of the Chris Lang stables is well represented. The Group 1 Chiko Australasian Trotting Championship has developed into a fascinating race in the past couple of weeks with boom Dean Braun colt Blitzthemcalder having his colours lowered by a short-half-head in the first heat of the race at Ballarat by the Chris Lang trained I See Icy Earl. “That was arguably the best run of his career so far; we were really happy with him.” Lang said. “The distance (of Saturday night’s race – 2760m) really suits him.  He couldn’t be drawn better; he’s not that quick off the gates.” Regular driver Greg Sugars will again take the reins. When queried about why Lang no longer drives the horse, he produces a surprisingly generous response. “Greg drove him when I was sick and knocked back a lot of other drives for him so I think it’s only fair that he keeps the drive now,” he said. Despite I See Icy Earl’s current excellent form, Chris sees the David Aiken trained My High Expectations as the horse to beat. He’s in a better position to know than most; My High Expectations faced the Lang trained Kyvalley Blur in the Aldebaran Park Maori Mile (Group 2) at Bendigo recently with the two American bred trotters fighting out a thrilling finish in which the former prevailed by a neck. The lightly raced Kyvalley Blur will sidestep the Trotting Championship in favour of the Glenferrie Farm Trotters Cup (Group 3) over 2240m from a mobile start. “I just didn’t want to start him two weeks in a row over that distance,” the Nagambie-based trainer explains. “He’s only young really, and he’s bred to Northern Hemisphere time so he’s younger still. We’re saving him for the Great Southern Star (at Melton on March 22nd).” Lang goes on to say that Kyvalley Blur will first travel to Tabcorp Park Menangle to compete in the Chambers Challenge trotting event to be held on Inter Dominion Day on March 2. Taking her place in the same event is three time Group One winning mare Shes An Image, who is first up from August 2013 and will “need the run” according to her trainer, but perhaps her class and the good draw will see her run into a place. Shes An Image will instead be set for the Breed For Speed Gold Series Final over 1720m on Great Southern Star day. Rounding out the quartet of Lang runners for the day will be the lightly raced Pegasus Spur mare Maori Time. “She’s a big filly so we’ve taken our time with her but she’s above average.  I think she’s a winning chance even though this is a step up in class for her.” And when a superstar trotting trainer like Chris Lang is talking about trotting horses in trotting races, it pays to sit up and take notice. by Lucy McCormick (Harness Racing AU)

Described by his harness racing trainer, Jill Nielson, as a "Head Case" highly talented Chuck Wagon returned to the winners circle in the feature race at Betezy Park Globe Derby on Saturday Night.   Perfectly driven by Wayne Hill, who avoided the galloping Im Ready Set who caused a false start and galloped again as the mobile pulled away, made a desive move by sending Chuck Wagon forward to race outside the leader, My Independence Day. No sooner had he got to the death when Sonofanearl made a forward move to give Hill and Chuck Wagon the perfect sit.   Hill took the 6 year son of Wagon Apollo to the outside at the 400 meter mark and quickly claimed the lead then raced away to win by 5 meters from Used Tickets who got home hard from the rear and the leader My Independence Day held on for third.   The states leading lady trainer Jill Neilson contributes Chuck Wagon's the success to his Monte racing. She said" it has settled him right down". Chuck Wagon recently performed well under saddle being placed in the SA Heat and final at Melton of the Aldebaran Park National Monte and during the Summer Cup Carnival also finished second to Victorian Lysenko in the Monte.   The large crowd at Betezy Park got their first look at the 2014 juveniles with the 2 year olds gracing the starter for the first time and it was Ima Shark by leading sire Four Stazz Shark who found the lead from barrier one and was never headed. Out of former good race mare Lee Almahurst who has had 8 named foals for 7 winners, amazingly all her winners have been fillies including $100,000 earner Perfect Lignum who won 40 races. All her filly progeny have been multiply winners and Ima Shark looks to have a bright future. By Gary Newton  

Trotter My High Expectations is on track for another tilt at the Great Southern Star, connections hoping he can go two better than when he ran third in the inaugural running of the feature race last year. The David Aiken trained-and-driven seven-year-old, who was bred in the US, took out last Saturday night's Group 2 Aldebaran Park Maori Mile at Bendigo, holding off heavily-backed runner-up Kyvalley Blur despite doing the bulk of work in the run. Aiken was understandably thrilled with the performance, My High Expectations forced to punch the breeze for most of the journey with Kyvalley Blur enjoying the perfect slipstream on his back. "He deserved it," the Avenel horseman said of his trotter's 24th career win. "I'm really happy that he's been able to carry on from last season. "When I had Kyvalley behind me in the run I got a bit worried. "It was probably always going to end up that way, but I was able to duck down the pegs pretty quickly when I got past Junior's (Chris Lang's) horse at the home turn (Im Ready Set), so that helped." My High Expectations had a neck margin on the line, with Kyvalley Blur finishing hard for second, the pair putting a 12.2m gap on the rest of the field headed by third-placed Empire Earl. The winner stopped the clock in 2:00.9, with a mile-rate of 1:57.9. Aiken said the March 22 Great Southern Star Final remained the main aim, suggesting the week-to-week lead-up races to the big dance at Melton's Tabcorp Park would suit his charge. "Everything rolls along one week to another with the lead-up runs, but he's showed that's no problem," he said. "We'll definitely go to Ballarat (after contesting the Group 3, $20,000 George Gath at Shepparton on Saturday night) for the Australasian Trotting Championship heats and we'll see how he gets through that. And of course there's the big Glenferrie Farm Challenge up in Sydney as well. "That's the race he got a late invitation to last year and he ran a really good race (to finish fifth). Aiken's other Maori Mile runner, Cold Sister, finished fifth after being caught wide from outside the front row at the start and having to ease back to last before copping a check from the galloping Aleppo Midas at the home corner. "Nathan (Jack) was really happy with her run. He said if she didn't get checked at the turn she probably runs third," he said. "It was a real shame she drew wide because those short-course races are her go." By Cody Winnell (Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria)

1 to 16 of 35
1 2 3 Next »