A reminder, as we close in on the end of season 2013/14, that for the first time Harness Racing Victoria will conduct just one industry awards night, the Gordon Rothacker Medal, including Horse of the Year, on October 8. ...................................................................... Breeders Crown The Australasian harness racing spotlight will be squarely on Tabcorp Park Melton this Sunday as the rich Breeders Crown series culminates with a $1.6m "Super Sunday". 10 Group 1 finals will be contested on what has become arguably the best day's racing on the harness racing calendar. The Breeders Crown is the real trans-Tasman battle, with New Zealand's best two, three and four-year-old horses heading across the ditch to take on the Australians. I particularly like the $297,000 two-year-old fillies' final with Kiwis Katy Perry, Cyclone Kate, Linda Lovegrace, Joannes A Delight and Big Lucy dominating the early fixed odds betting charts. But don't tell a couple of the Aussies that the Kiwis are set for an easy ride, as Mick Stanley (trainer of Soho Tokyo) and Rob Auber (owner of Niki No No) have both declared they're not running scared. Probably the battle that has punters salivating most is the rematch between three-year-old semi-final combatants Our Sky Major and Bling It On. Punters are also reminded of a $25,000 first four pool guarantee on all races at Tabcorp Park on Sunday thanks to the TAB. Super Sunday kicks off at 12.05pm, with 11 races to be contested. Ballarat HRV's thanks goes to President Greg Moy and CEO Paul Rowse for yet again doing a great job in hosting an important industry event, the Breeders Crown Semi Finals last Saturday (August 16). As always a job well done. .......................................................................................... Interesting Statistics (Season) Plenty of highlights this season as we near the end of another racing year: Chris Alford's drives earned over $1m for the second time in his career; Chris Alford, Greg Sugars and Gavin Lang have all driven over 200 winners nationally this season; David Aiken is the first trainer to have trained 50 winners in a season at Tabcorp Park. Next best is Lance Justice with 49 in 2010/11; David Aiken has also smashed the trainers stakes earned at Tabcorp Park in a season, currently sitting just under $1m. Speaking of Greg Sugars, if you click here you will see a nice segment featuring Greg with Jaimee Rogers from Tabcorp called "Behind the Moment" where Greg talks of his relationship with the great Sushi Sushi. ............................................................................................. Smoken Up We are building toward a big farewell for Lance Justice's champion Smoken Up's last ever run at Tabcorp Park on September 6. For the record, before his final run, he will have had 152 starts for 74 wins and career stakes of $3.6m Included in his 74 wins have been 21 wins at Tabcorp Park, from which he has earned $700,000. The horse to have won the most at Tabcorp Park is Make Mine Cullen with 29 wins at the new headquarters. The occasion is being generously supported by the State Government's Raceday Attraction Program and the Premier Dr Denis Napthine will be in attendance. ............................................................................................... Red Balloon Experience for Father's Day The State Government recently approved a grant for the promotion of a Mobile Barrier Ride and dining package offered through Red Balloon. Participating venues are offering a 25% discount ($165 down from $220) as part of Red Balloons Father's Day promotion which runs from August 18 to Father's Day on September 7, where people can purchase the package as a gift for use over the next 12 months. The Package includes the usual dining and drinks for two plus two mobile barrier rides. Click here for the link to the package on Red Balloon. ......................................................................................... Youth Policy People often associate the trots with an ageing demographic. It is pleasing to see that this is now becoming a myth as we see the rise to the top of our gun young drivers, who are knocking on the door of the likes of C Alford and G Lang. In recent months names such as Josh Aiken, Matt Craven, Jason Lee, Rebecca Bartley, Ellen Tormey, Glen Craven, Emmett Brosnan, Zac Phillips, Alex Ashwood, Josh Duggan and plenty of others have tasted regular success and are hot on the heels of more seasoned youngsters, such as Greg Sugars, Amy Tubbs and Nathan Jack. It is important for administrators to manage the business in such a way that this new generation of participants see a long term future in this great sport. ..................................................................................... Don Dove Since the last CEO News, HRV was saddened to hear of the passing of the one and only Don Dove. Below is copy penned by Len Baker following his funeral service at Kilmore: A large number of trainers, drivers, owners and harness racing people in general were in attendance at Kilmore's Trackside Tabaret on Tuesday July 29, to celebrate the life and times of iconic Victorian trainer/driver Don Dove who passed away in his adopted state Queensland on July 14, 2014 at the age of 86. The memorial service was conducted by the "Pacing Priest" Father Brian Glasheen and numerous stories were told during the service. Don was a legend of the sport and was associated with horses such as Kol's Idol, Monara's Image, Nelson's Report, Playalong, Amlin, Jaygo, Missing Charm, Jay Ar Ewing, Just Money and Victoria Derby winner Kelly Kid just to name a few, with his best being prolific winner Monara which finished second to Welcome Advice in the 1972 (Brisbane) Inter Dominion when driven by Neville Welsh. Originally training in Heatherton where he was based for many years in an area which was also home to G.D. (Dave) Wilson and several other trainers including Lloyd and Bruce Coram, the trio would conduct trials on a rotation basis at their property's each weekend prior to the formation of Southern Speedways where Don was a regular competitor at the weekend trials called by at one stage by Trackbred editor Peter Wharton. Dove then moved to Kilmore and further north to Avenel, before relocating to Queensland. A master reinsman with wonderful hands who was great in getting horses away from the tapes, there was no better driver at the head of the field in a trotting or pacing race than Don Dove. 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
Parwan’s Jodi Quinlan took driving honours at Tabcorp Park Melton last night with a winning double. Sunset Invasion kicked off proceedings with victory in Race 1, the first heat of the Seelite Windows and Doors Winter Trotters Cup, the long odds-on favourite scoring a comfortable win over Unico Pegasus and Stephen John in a mile rate of two minutes even. Two races later Quinlan produced a perfectly timed drive aboard Valley Of Diamonds to upset heavily backed favourite Garibaldi in the $10,000 Guaranteed First 4 Pools Pace over 2240m. The second heat of the Trotters Cup went to Brief Glance for Bacchus Marsh father-daughter team Alan and Amy Tubbs. The six-year-old gelding sat three-wide for the last lap, clocked a mile rate of 2:01.7 and came home in a last half-mile of 58.9secs, scoring a tough half-neck win over Mister Gunsen, with odds-on favourite Our Dreamlover third. Hamilton trainer David Lewis and reinsman Matthew Craven combined for victory in the Tabcorp Park Melton Pace over 1720m with Amajorjo, a talented five-year-old by Art major out of smart mare Jolaura, getting home by 7.9m over Magical Telf, with Discrimination a further 1.4m away in third. The winner’s mile rate was a slick 1:55.1, the last half covered in 55.9secs. Punters copped a blow when $33.20 shot Kotare Rowland saluted victorious in the Vermont Panels Enduro over 2760m for trainer Geoff Webster and driver Emmett Brosnan. Brosnan drove a patient race aboard the five-year-old son of Julius Caesar, coming from well back along the pegs to get up in the last hop over race favourite Five Star Anvil, while Our Blackbird ran a good race for third after getting checked early. Lite Jagermeister returned to her best form with victory in the Tab.com.au Pace over 2240m, the Riddells Creek-trained chestnut mare from the Adam Kelly stable proving 3.2m too strong for long-shot Amazing Kano, who never shirked the issue in the home straight and was brave in defeat, wihle Essbee Doubleyou ran on well for third. The Renown Silverware Pace Final wrapped up the night with Ken Whelan’s five-year-old gelding Kisartis scoring his first win since last July with a half-head victory over Mary Mon. The even-money favourite Suerte finished third, with the winner’s mile rate 2:00.2. FAST FACTS FROM LAST NIGHT'S MELTON MEETING * Quaddie paid $6991 on numbers 9-7-1-2 * Early quaddie paid $898.10 on numbers 6-9-6-9 * Fastest mile rate: Amajorjo 1:55.1 * Most wins by driver: Jodi Quinlan (2) 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
Two starts back Steam Washed looked all but certain to pocket her second Group 1 win when she turned for home with a clear lead in the in the $100,000 Queen of the Pacific at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. But it wasn’t to be for the Ruth Shinn-trained five-year-old, the mare getting run down late by in-form Gumdrops, which swooped down the outside to snare the glory. On Friday night she gets the chance to register her first win since February after drawing gate three for the $25,275 Harness Breeders (Vic) Richmond Lass over 1720m at Melton. As a three-year-old Steam Washed took out the South Australian Oaks, and earlier this year she enjoyed a hot spell of form with three triumphs on the trot in February – including the Nestle Country Cup at Melton and the Group 3 HBV Ladyship Cup. “She’s going really well she just needs the luck,” said Noel Shinn, who trains the horse in partnership with wife Ruth at Wallan. Shinn is predicting a strong early tempo off the front line on Friday night with pole marker Tandias Bromac, the two-horse Classic Bliss and Amy Tubbs’ Blazeaway Macray from four all tipped to come out humming. Steam Washed also possesses plenty of speed and will be looking to race handy. “She’s not real quick off the mobile but she’ll push forward,” Shinn said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to land somewhere in the first three and then be in the finish.” Shinn said Steam Washed, by Washington VC out of Laura Lace, had improved with age. “She’s been getting better as she gets older, getting a bit better every year,” he said. He also said son Christopher, who drives the stable’s horses, had a strong affinity with the mare. “Chris really likes her. He’s won a lot of races on her.” Avalon trainer Amanda Grieve holds the key to the Richmond Lass on Friday night with two runners drawn opposite sides of the front line (Tandias Bromac in one and 2013 Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling in seven). George Batsakis-trained Classic Bliss has drawn two, Ross Sugars’ La Machane will start from five, Seven Mile Beach mare Laterron has drawn six, while Avenel’s Vansumic will be the lone runner from the back row and will be driven by Darren Hancock. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)
A small but select field will vie for the $30,505 Group 2 John Slack Memorial Trotters Cup at Ballarat tomorrow night. While only five runners will line up in the 2200m race after the scratching of Cold Sister, there are winning form lines aplenty for punters to think their way through. The expected favourite is New South Wales visitor Keystone Del from gate two. The six-year-old boasts a five-win streak and dug deep to hold off tomorrow night’s polemarker, Spidergirl, two starts back at Cranbourne. Keystone Del is tipped to find the lead again with Spidergirl most likely holding his back, making for a potential carbon copy situation from Cranbourne. Spidergirl, from the David Aiken stable with Chris Alford in the spider, has gate speed and has won three of her last four starts – including a 1.8m win over Brunelleschi in the Uncle Petrika Trot at Melton on May 2. Brunelleschi has drawn gate four tomorrow night for Amy Tubbs. The son of Tennotrump has only been unplaced four times in 24 starts with 12 wins to his name. Two starts back he overcame a wide draw to win at Melton over Sunset Invasion before a tough effort for third when forced to work in the run last time out. Aleppo Midas is drawn widest of the five runners tomorrow night and will be hoping to bounce back after throwing her chances away last start when fourth to Spidergirl after breaking in the score up. She had won three races leading into that event with victories over Cold Sister, Brunelleschi and Shes An Image. The longshot of tomorrow night’s field is likely to be five-year-old mare Waikare Sunset from the Graham McDermott stable at Nagambie. The daughter of Last Sunset finished 3.1m second to Spidergirl in the La Coocaracha Trot in April but hasn’t been able to fire in three runs since. Another highlight for patrons at Ballarat will be the running of two heats of the Young Drivers Challenge (Races 2 and 3). Rebecca Bartley made a perfect start to the series at Shepparton on Thursday night, winning the first two races after producing impressive drives. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)
Outstanding Queensland six year old Famous Forever/Making Gold mare Forever Gold was a brilliant winner of the $25,275 Harness Breeders (Vic) Make Mine Cullen – the first leg of the huge Triple Crown Series for Mares M0 or better held over a three week period at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday, thanks to a brilliant drive by Kylie Rasmussen. Trained by Darren Weeks at Toorbul, Forever Gold starting from gate three on the second line was set alight almost immediately the start was effected in the 1720 metre feature to circle the field and park outside the pacemaker Beauty Secret (gate two) which had crossed the polemarker Baby Bling. Relaxing beautifully in the run, Forever Gold cruised up to Beauty Secret on straightening and quickly put a gap on her rivals. In quarters of 29.4, 29.4, 28.8 and 27.7 for the last 1609 metres after a lead time of 6.9 seconds, Forever Gold scored by 2.6 metres in advance of a very much in-form Gumdrops from five back the markers in a rate of 1-54.3, with Baby Bling using the sprint lane for third ahead of a disappointing Beauty Secret. Darren Weeks was thrilled with the performance in registering his first Victorian winner, while Kylie Rasmussen commented that “she was always confident throughout the race, especially on the final bend”. It was also Kylie’s first success in Victoria. On a super night of racing loaded with highlight’s, Victoria’s favourite pacer eleven year old marvel Smoken Up (Tinted Cloud/Carnlough Bay) chalked up his 73rd victory at start number 147 to win the Bold David Free For All over 1720 metres with trainer/driver Lance Justice in the sulky. Sent forward from outside the front line to assume control from Five Star Anvil (gate six), Smoken Up enjoyed an easy passage all through the race and although looking to be in trouble on straightening when both Five Star Anvil which surprisingly moved away from the inside and Chilli Palmer (three wide after a one/one passage from gate four) issued strong challenges, Smoken Up rallied as he usually does to record a fighting half neck victory from Chilli Palmer in a rate of 1-58.3 (last half 55.4 – quarter 26.9), with Five Star Anvil a neck back in third place. Quality four year old Four Starzzz Shark/Botswana entire Lennytheshark now with David Aiken at Avenel, resumed off an eleven month lay-off with an awesome display to land the second heat of the choicehotels.com.au Rising Stars Pace for M0 & M1 class over 2240 metres. Driven by Chris Alford, Lennytheshark raced by Kevin Risely and son Martin, led throught to score by 22.1 metres in a rate of 1-56.5 (last half 55.8 – quarter 28.1) from Sapphire Swayze which faced the breeze from the bell and Astronaut. The first heat saw Melton trainer/driver Alison Chisholm’s six year old Grinfromeartoear/New York On Sunday gelding Asoka outstay his rivals after racing parked from gate six to defeat the long odds-on favourite Flaming Flutter which led from gate two, with the ever reliable Weallwantano third after racing wide in the final circuit. The mile rate 1-57.1. Bacchus Marsh reinswoman Amy Tubbs experienced a night of “ups and downs”. After guiding Brunelleschi to a brilliant victory in the 2nd Heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Trotting Series for TM0 & TM1 class over 2240 metres, she “hit the deck” when tipped from the sulky of Blazeaway Macray in the Make Mine Cullen. Fortunately Amy suffered no injuries. The 1st Heat of the Trotting Series was taken out by seven year old Conch Deville/Smilin Eyes gelding Monsieur Deville for Shepparton’s Geoff (Marto) Martin. The $30,505 Final will be held next Friday By Len Baker (Harness Racing Victoria)
An Introduction From The CEO A very successful Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup Carnival has concluded with a big crowd attending and strong growth in wagering turnover. Click here for a highlights package of Hunter Cup night. Some exciting news is imminent with our next major event, the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star on March 22. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews Stakes Rises I am pleased to confirm that the second phase of stakes rises for the year will come into effect on March 1. A summary of the main changes: The minimum career penalty stake will rise to $6,000 (a 20% rise this year); A payment of $115 (which includes the driver's fee of $65 will be added to the stake for horses which finish between sixth and last); Metropolitan class minimum stake will rise to $17,000 for M1 or better and $16,000 for M0; With effect from July 1, the Vicbred first win bonus will rise to $7,000 for two and three-year-olds. Other stakes rises previously announced on September 1, 2013 remain in force. Fires The past week has been a tough one for many participants, with serious fires burning through several regions of country Victoria. Several of those regions housed industry people. In particular the areas of Riddells Creek, Kilmore and the Goulburn Valley were severely threatened by raging fires. HRV was monitoring the course of the fires and the likely impacts. I am pleased to say that quick action by the authorities and many in the industry meant no loss of life and minimal loss of livestock. However there has been significant damage reported to properties. Some of the areas which were closely monitored: In the Riddells Creek fires several trainers/owners in the area were forced to relocate horses as the fires headed in their direction. HRV's own Craig Rail was evacuated as the fires were close by.Apart from damage to his property his house remains intact. In the Goulburn Valley, Warwick Stud was the worst affected with the loss of barns, fencing, stallion boxes and other buildings. HRV has been assisting in replacing infrastructure to get much needed water to the property. A number of trainers in the region suffered losses to sheds and fencing and HRV is currently assisting with replacement. The local industry has responded in typical fashion and I know those affected have appreciated the extent of the industry's support. The Kilmore area was under threat for several days. A special thanks to the Kilmore Club for acting as a temporary refuge for concerned members of the racing community. The Club provided stabling, food and water for a variety of animals, which I'm sure was appreciated. A huge thank you goes out to the many fire fighters (including the helicopters) who fought so bravely to protect so many properties. Teal for Ovarian Cancer Research While on the subject of community action, the month of March will be a special one for the awareness of Ovarian Cancer. Agreement has been reached for all Victorian female drivers to wear Teal coloured driving trousers, in support of the Ovarian Cancer Institute, for the entire month of March. The initiative is being generously funded by Duncan McPherson OAM and Michael Taranto as part of the promotion of the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star which is run in conjunction with the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute Girls Night Out. Once again, it presents an opportunity for the industry to display its leadership in supporting community causes and messages that are so close to many people's hearts. Well done to all the girls who are supporting this great initiative. And while on the subject of the Great Southern Star stand by for an announcement of two highly recognised international identities who will play an ambassadorial role for the series. Major release scheduled for next week. International Expansion Over recent months there been some debate regarding the strategic importance of building international relationships and promoting the export of HRV product into overseas jurisdictions and vice versa. In 2012/13 HRV generated more than $600,000 in International Rights Product Fees from the export of our product for wagering in overseas jurisdictions. For the first half of 2013/14 those International Rights Product Fees have increased by 68%, therefore HRV forecast generating in excess of $1 million in revenue from the export of our product this year. When we consider that the French market wagered around AUD$300,000 into the win/place pools alone for the three Trotting races exported on Hunter Cup night, it's likely this forecast could grow even further. In addition to exporting our product overseas, under these reciprocal arrangements, we've seen a recent expansion of product imported from Sweden and France into our own wagering market. Over the past few months this has resulted in $500,000 in harness wagering turnover on the Victorian tote, from which HRV derives direct revenue and market share benefit. With further expansion planned, it's important the industry understands we operate in a global racing and wagering environment and strategically it is of significant value to our bottom line. Josh Duggan - Victorian Representative Josh Duggan has been selected to represent Victoria in this year's Australasian Young Drivers Championship to be run in conjunction with the 2014 Inter Dominion in Sydney. Representatives from each State and the two New Zealand Islands will participate in a 10 race series in NSW from February 25, culminating in a final heat on Inter Dominion Grand Final Day. It is always a great experience for the young drivers. HRV last won the Championship in 2012 when Ellen Tormey was successful in Perth. We wish Josh well - seen here photographed receiving his Big V colours from Chairman, Ken Latta and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Craig Ondarchie. Milestones Congratulations to Nathan Cahir who drove his 100th winner at Hamilton on January 29. Young guns Matt Craven and Michael Stanley are within reach of 500 winners, both currently in the 480's. Get Well Paul Sad to hear of the severe injuries suffered by Paul Morrissey at his Bendigo property as a result of a training accident. Paul is currently in intensive care in Bendigo Base Hospital with broken bones and head and spinal injuries. We wish Paul a full recovery. Vale HRV passes on its condolences to members of the Jack family, many of whom are involved in the industry, on the passing of patriarch Robbie Jack. Robbie was a stalwart in the Riverina as a trainer, driver and administrator. He was 81. Did You Know? HRV will be honouring the retirement of champion Melpark Major this Saturday night, February 15 at Tabcorp Park Melton. He will lead out the field for the Inter Dominion Heat with Amy Tubbs in the sulky. Melpark Major won $980,000 in stakes, having won a Victoria Cup and a host of other feature races. He will enjoy retirement on owner Don Smith's Melton property.
An Introduction From The CEO At the Community Clubs Association of Victoria Awards night on October 15, Tabcorp Park was a finalist in the Victorian Club of the Year which is great credit to the venue staff. Congratulations go to the winner, Buckleys Entertainment Centre in Geelong. HRV Annual Report The HRV Annual Report for 2012/13 was tabled in Parliament on October 16. Click here for the Premier and Minister for Racing’s press release which coincided with the tabling. Chris Alford – Children’s Tumour Foundation The dust has now settled on the Charity Football Match recently held at Melton. The industry got behind the day which was a fundraiser for Chris Alford’s charity, the Children’s Tumour Foundation (CTF). As we know Chris’ daughter Katie suffers from NF, a tumour related disease and the Alford family have been great supporters of the Foundation. With the support of the Harness Racing Industry Chris and Alison Alford have raised over $85,000 for NF since Katie’s diagnosis – a fantastic achievement. Congratulations go to them both, and HRV will continue to support their efforts in raising awareness of NF. As an unfortunate post script to the football match, Chris suffered an injury in a crunching tackle and missed three weeks in the sulky, which only slightly delayed his quest for 5,000 winners (currently 4,986). Website Usage The harness.org.au website continues its extraordinary growth. For the month of August 2013, the website attracted 780,000 visits, compared to 690,000 last August, a rise of 13%. Most popular area visited remains “Fields” with 440,000 visits (up 15%) followed by “Results” 195,000 (up 15%). Mobile usage of the site for August was 46,000 visits, up from 25,000 the previous August. The HRV Facebook page has over 3000 “Likes” – 80% from within Australia. Brazil is 7th on the list with 16 people liking our page. The Old and the New There cannot possibly be any other sport where the age range of participants who can succeed at the highest level is so varied and where gender is no barrier. Our sport has been infiltrated by young people in recent years. If you take a look at the premiership lists for the 2013/14 season so far, you will see youngsters such as Greg Sugars, Emma Stewart, Nathan Jack, Amy Tubbs, Matthew Craven, Kate Gath, Josh Duggan, Jason Lee, Michael Stanley, all at the top of the tree. Yet only recently, horses driven by Matt Donaldson, Dick Lee and Brian Gath filled the trifecta in a race at Bendigo, with combined ages of 226! Male, female, young or old all compete on an equal basis in our great industry. Harness Review – 20 Years Mid October signified the 20 year anniversary of the popular radio show Harness Review. Congratulations to evergreen Len Baker who has been with the show since its inception. Well done also to long time co-hosts such as Clinton Welsh, Brian Dobson and Alexandra Hurley as well as a band of regular contributors, including our own Craig Rail. The show has a loyal band of followers on Melton 979fm from 8pm to 10pm every Monday night. The internet now takes the show to a wider audience. Well done to Len and the team! Vale Peter Nova Peter had a long association with HRV, predominantly as a representative for Radio 3UZ and in later years for Sky Racing. He was a hail and hearty character well known across the industry. Sadly Peter passed away in September. Apart from his infectious nature, Peter was top of mind with many of HRV’s corporate supporters. About five years ago, when driving in the annual Go Kart Day, Peter suffered a massive heart attack, and was clinically dead for some time. As a result of several people’s efforts Peter was miraculously brought back to life and we were able to see his smiling face for a few more years. HRV and the Pegasus Club were represented at the funeral. Dick Collinson Dick was one of trotting’s most colourful characters. He passed away in late September at the age of 90. He was a prominent trainer during the Showgrounds era with several top line horses including Grand Monarch, Rich Dale and Sandy Spring. HRV Legend Gordon Rothacker drove for Collinson. Away from the trots, Dick was a keen Bulldog fan and was President of Footscray between 1974 and 1978. Bill Lanyon Bill passed away on September 20, at the age of 75. The Lanyon family have been publishers of newspapers for generations, most particularly in the Mildura region. They have been supporters of the trots industry over a long period. Our condolences go to Bill’s son Ross who continues the family tradition with the Sunraysia Daily and ownership of pacers. Ross is also Chairman of Country Racing Victoria. Did You Know Congratulations go to Tabcorp Park employee Kathleen Mullan, who managed to get her former pacing racehorse MF Hollywood through to the prestigious Garryowen final during the Royal Melbourne Show. Affectionately known as “James,” he became the first ever standardbred to make it through to the Garryowen. Kathleen and James performed with distinction before a large and enthusiastic crowd.
A total of $850,000 in stakes was up for grabs at Tabcorp Park Melton over two night's of harness racing last weekend, with the running of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for two, three and four year olds.
For years female jockeys have been on par with their male counterparts, and Australian female reinswoman have been very well represented by the likes of Kerryn Manning, Jodi Quinlan, Kate Gath, Amanda and Emma Turnball, Lola Weidemann, Kerry-Ann Turner, Lisa Miles, Cindy Rixon and our now very own Natalie Rasmussen.
Two harness meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday March 27 with Maryborough racing in the afternoon and Geelong at night.
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.
Old timer Melpark Major showed that he is far from a spent force, by producing a top class staying performance to capture the harness racing $60,000 (Group 2) Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2700 metres.
Campbells Creek harness racing trainer Keith Semmens has enjoyed great success over the seasons with horses featuring the "Poem/Poet" name, the latest being 5-Y-0 Yankee Paco/A Poem Kept mare Yankee Poem who broke her maiden status in the Amrod Plumbing Vicbred Platinum Country Series E for Trotters T0 & T1 class over 2180 metres at Kilmore on Thursday October 18.