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For Terang harness racing trainer Matthew Craven the win of his mare Aldebaran Deebee in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series four-year-old mares’ heat at Maryborough on Thursday was a celebration for two reasons. One, she won. Two, good mate and stable employee Chris Svanosio returned to the winners’ list after a recent health battle. “It was terrific to see Chris win aboard the horse owned by Peter, his father,” Craven said. “Chris is a huge asset to my stable. He’s first there in the morning and last to leave. He’s a terrific worker.” Aldebaran Deebee (Skyvalley/Dirty Harriet) rated 2:02.2 to defeat Kimmywho by 3.9m, with Hush Your Majesty third. The Ararat Trotting Cup winner from earlier this year drew gate five for next Friday night’s Final, while talented Endsino from the Andy Gath yard grabbed the pole draw. “We’ve had a few little setbacks,” Craven said of Aldebaran Deebee’s recent patchy form. “But I think we’re on top of that now and she’ll benefit a lot from the run (at Maryborough). “The trouble with her is … any little setback really hits her hard and prevents us from working her how she needs to be worked.” The four-year-old mares’ trot Vicbred final shapes as one of the races of the night next Friday, with another heat winner Val Gardena (Kadabra/Lets Be Happy) drawing barrier three, and Sky Petite, who defeated Endsino in their heat, drawn eight – inside the second row. Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Trotting Mares Final Draw 1: Endsino 2: Kimmywho 3: Val Gardena 4: Zaire Diva 5: Aldebaran Deebee 6: Vari Perfect (EM) 7: Ruby Pinevale 8: Sky Petite 9: Sashas Dream 10: Desert Flyer 11: Knocked Off Early 12: Hush Your Majesty (ODM) 13: Donski (ODM) Cody Winnell

Before last month's Victorian CEO's report trots harness racing trainer Andy Gath had no idea the milestone was imminent, but admits there was definite satisfaction in surpassing the 2000 career wins mark last week. “This one did mean a bit,” he said. “... I guess you’ve got to be consistent over a long period of time (to get to this mark), so yeah, I’m pretty proud of the achievement.” Three-year-old Art Major/Our Southern Rose gelding Battle Born provided the Long Forest horseman with the landmark success last Thursday at Kilmore, winning a heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series three-year-old males’ division with wife Kate Gath in the driver’s seat. “I’ve had plenty of people congratulating me since and it’s just starting to sink in what sort of achievement it is,” Gath said. “I wasn’t aware I was close actually ... it was only when John Anderson (HRV CEO) put it in his monthly statement that I knew it was coming.” Along his trots journey so far Gath has amassed many a feature race triumph but he doesn’t miss a beat when asked to name his three favourite horses ever. Champion trotter La Coocaracha (Safely Kept/Poetry) heads the list. “She was a champion… in fact she remains the only ‘champion’ I’ve ever trained, in my mind,” he declared of the mare who won 23 of 36 starts for $428,911. Next up Gath nominates 2006 A.G. Hunter Cup winner About To Rock (River Khan/Karalta Cheri). “That Hunter Cup win came at a really good time of my career,” he says. Thirdly Gath nominates Caribbean Blaster, a $1.11m earner with 24 wins from 79 starts and a two-time Victorian Horse of the Year. “He was just a lovely horse to work with. You get to spend so much time with them one-on-one. Every time they step on to the track they go to war for you. They’re the sorts of horses that actually make me look good.” Gath sits second on the Renown Silverware State Trainers Premiership table this season with 89 wins from 301 starters. One of only 11 trainers to have reached the 2000 winners milestone – the others we know of being Lance Justice (3384 wins), Steve Turnbull (3272), Bill Dixon (2833), Peter Manning (2593), John Justice (2358), Julie Weidemann (2312), Paul Fitzpatrick (2291), Gary Hall Senior (2260), Darrel Graham (2239) and David Aiken (2068) – Gath says he is “proud to be in such illustrious company”. As for a horse to follow closest from his current crop, Gath says Glenferrie Typhoon is the clubhouse leader. "What he achieved last prep, to run with a bladder stone and do what he did ... you've got to think he'll be better for having the stone removed," he said. "He's defeated Keystone Del a few times on his merits, which is not easy to do.  "He's a very high quality horse." Cody Winnell

When harness racing driver Kate Gath left South Australia’s Port Pirie as a teenager bound for the big smoke she took with her lofty ambitions and big plans.  When the Long Forrest driver departed the same coastal town at the weekend – some 16 years on – she took with her a hefty haul of trophies and a big purse.  Along with husband Andy Gath, Kate dominated Saturday’s Port Pirie Cup night. She won on all five of her drives, three of which were trained by Andy, including with Star Of Dionysis in the 2016 Ubet Port Pirie Pacing Cup.  “They all had really good chances and I thought they would probably win, but in racing there is no such thing as a certainty,” Gath said. “I haven’t had that many wins before, so it was a good night.”  Born and raised in Port Pirie, Gath said she gets back to the township when she can, but this was the first time she had departed with the pacing cup in tow.  “I have all my extended family there, so they all come out and get into it,” Gath said.  “It makes for a very busy day because there is a lot of people to talk to and catch up with. It is 16 years since I left, so it is really good to get back and catch up. They haven’t changed and hopefully I haven’t changed either.”  Also unchanged is the stable’s high opinion of Star Of Dionysis, who recorded a fourth win in five starts since he was brought across the Tasman.  “He had strong form in New Zealand and is sensational in standing starts, where his form is just impeccable,” Gath said.  The six-year-old gelding by American Ideal out of Star Of Venus will get to again exercise those talents in Saturday’s Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup, a standing start over 2570m.  To win Star Of Dionysis, who Gath said pulled up well from Saturday’s win, will have to outpoint Kerryn Manning’s Ouyen Pacing Cup winner Ideal Success.  Unbeaten in two starts in Australia, Ideal Success has been similarly outstanding since being imported from New Zealand, while prolific country cup campaigner Almost El Eagle has also been nominated for Ararat. by Michael Howard Race programme for Ararat, Saturday 26 March 2016

K D Muscles had only once tasted victory in New Zealand before joining Andy Gath’s harness racing stable at Long Forest, but she still managed to amass over $60,000 in winnings. “I don’t know how she accumulated that with only winning the one race but she did,” Gath said. On Monday at Horsham the five-year-old mare by Muscle Mass out of Kazzle Dazzle won the Pegasus Spur @ WoodlandsTontine Trotters Series Final (Group 3) in bold fashion, sitting in the chair throughout before outpunching Tryncatchme in the stretch for a head victory. She rated 2:05.7 for the 2700m standing start with Kate Gath in the sulky. WATCH K D MUSCLES PACK TOO MUCH PUNCH “It was a bit of a fluke that the Tontine came up on the calendar after we bought her, so we earmarked that series and she did a great job,” Gath said. “She’s a mare on the way up. To win from the death over 2700m in a feature race, she obviously has ability. “She’s still got plenty of improvement in her yet. She’s got a bigger future.” Gath said he suspected K D Muscles was a victim of bad luck in New Zealand, “always managing to find one better” in her races. And as for her next stop? “We’ll just head to the next available race for her. She’s a really good mobile horse. She runs the gate really quickly,” Gath said. Cody Winnell

Faith in the people’s harness racing champion was again rewarded as Lennytheshark controlled and conquered the PETstock 2016 Bendigo Pacing Cup. All-the-way wins were the feature of the night at Lords Raceway, where outstanding trotter Glenferrie Typhoon dominated the Aldebaran Park 2016 Maori Mile to deliver Andy Gath a Group 1 winner. Lennytheshark began the Cup a $1.04 favourite and the Group 2 couldn’t have run more to script for David Aiken’s superstar, whose winnings are closing in on $2 million after the Cup was added to Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup success this season. Chris Alford steered Lennytheshark to the lead from barrier five with little resistance, with Franco Ledger taking the box seat from barrier one as expected. A 78.7 lead time kick-started the 2650m distance and preceded 30.7 and 29.7 first and second quarters, with Lennytheshark untroubled and untested. A 27.6 third quarter started to create cracks in the field, with Im Corzin Terror one of the few to loom up while Franco Ledger clung gamely to Lennytheshark’s back until Alford gave him a nudge at the final turn and that was all she wrote. A 26.8 final quarter created an eventual 10m win, with Im Corzin Terror running into second from three wide and Franco Ledger filling out the placings. For Lennytheshark, it was the perfect lead in to the $750,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile on February 28, when he will square off against two-time Inter Dominion champion Beautide at Menangle. WATCH LENNYTHESHARK CRUISE TO THE CUP Glenferrie Typhoon was similarly formidable in the Aldebaran Park 2016 Maori Mile, winning his first Group 1 in his ninth attempt and crushing the mile-rate record. Andy and Kate Gath’s $3.30 favourite rewarded punters with a powerful performance, dominating a strong and deep field, despite burning petrol tickets early. Brent Lilley’s renowned front runner Maori Time made her expected play for the lead from barrier seven, but Gath was unwilling to hand up and the two separated the field with a 26.2 first quarter until Antony Butt settled for the breeze on Maori Time. Fancied Claudys Princess and Kyvalley Blur took cover behind Glenferrie Typhoon and last year’s winner Maori Time, whose race was run at the 500m when she dropped through the field en route to a 67m last placing. Glenferrie Typhoon only drew stronger, gapping the field as Kyvalley Blur worked around Maori Time and Claudys Princess lost touch with the leader. A 28.7 third quarter fed into a 28.5 final quarter as Glenferrie Typhoon maintained his ascendancy and smashed the track record, stopping the clock at 1:54.3. That mile rate slashed 1.3 seconds off the track record set by Maori Time in this race one year ago. Claudys Princess outboxed Kyvalley Blur for third and, despite the quick tempo, only Duchess Ella ran on, claiming fourth but some 17m off the winner. by Michael Howard WATCH GLENFERRIE TYPHOON GRAB HIS FIRST GROUP 1 WIN CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE RESULTS AND REPLAYS FROM A BIG BENDIGO CUP NIGHT

Emerging harness racing star Mister Mundaka will be out to maintain his stunning unbeaten record as a front runner when he lines up in the Group 2 $70,000 Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup on Sunday. The six- year -old Bettor's Delight gelding has not been beaten in 10 starts while leading since arriving at trainer Andy Gath’s stable from New Zealand 12 months ago. But he will face his toughest test at the head of affairs holding out the gun Margaret Lee trained pacer Keayang Steamer down the long Horsham home straight. Gath has opted to bypass the SA Pacing Cup in preference for the trip up the Western Highway to Horsham. “The horse didn’t really handle Globe Derby 100 percent in the Italian Cup and we thought he would be better suited around the big track at Horsham,” Gath said. “So far it’s worked out having drawn the pole, because he has shown he is very hard to get past when he has led, ” he said. Mister Mundaka has made the transition to open class in seamless fashion taking out the Popular Alm Free For All before finishing a gallant second behind Keayang Cullen at Ballarat in 1:53 after sitting parked. Keayang Steamer has returned to the race track in good style following a lengthy injury enforced lay off and driver Glen Craven expects the lightly raced seven-year-old to improve on his last start fourth behind Bling It On at Bathurst on Boxing Day. “He felt the long float trip and was a bit flat on the night but he should be back to his best at Horsham,” Craven said. The pair look set to dominate the race from their front row draws while the Dean Braun trained Im Corzin Terror appeals as the most likely to ‘spoil the party’ on the back of his gallant placing behind It Is Billy in last week’s Geelong Cup. by John Dunne

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will send Poppy, our trots mascot, to Wedderburn on Monday for Hamish and Andy's Race That Slows Down The Nation. Hamish and Andy host one of the most popular drive time shows on Australian radio, the program beaming live into all capital cities and also across regional networks. The race itself will see 50 different entrants wearing horse suits racing around the 800-metre track. HRV's Adam Havelberg has been selected to wear the Poppy suit, the AFL Victoria umpire sure to put up a good show - though he will have a sulky in tow. Despite the suit weighing more than it seems, and the fact he'll be pulling a sulky, Poppy's trainer Andy Gath is hopeful - not confident - that Poppy can go close. >> Video of Andy Gath talking about Poppy's training The organisers of Monday's event, to be held at the Wedderburn trotting track, have two popular musical acts playing live on the day - Birds of Tokyo and Jessica Mauboy - and a huge crowd of thousands will flock to the venue for the festivities. HRV will have a strong presence on the day with the Trots Cruiser set up and promo girls handing out showbags containing trots merchandise, while people will also be encouraged to enter the draw to win the Trots Cruiser. >> Check out a Snapchat Story of Poppy's training day at Andy Gath's Follow our social media channels @HRVnews on Twitter, @Trotshots on Instagram and to stay in touch with all the action! This is a great opportunity for the trots to get some mainstream media coverage and HRV is eager to make the most of it. If you can come along on the day and cheer on Poppy, it'd be great to see some trots fans there! A big thank you to Andy Gath for agreeing to train Poppy in preparation for Monday's assignment!  

Glenferrie Typhoon's force is looking more and more powerful every time he steps out of late. The Andy Gath trained trotter, who won Friday night’s Bacardi Lindy Trot in easy fashion, looks destined for bigger and better things. The six-year-old by Majestic Son out of Cyclone Vance now boasts back-to-back wins at Melton and next year’s Great Southern Star is potentially on the radar. After working hard three-wide for the first half a kilometre, Glenferrie Typhoon eventually found the top, giving early pacesetter Action Kosmos a trail in the 2240-metre race. Once in front driver Kate Gath applied the brakes and the gelding trotted through his first and second quarters in 32secs and 31.3secs, sprinting up down the back to get Action Kosmos off the bit and chasing (29.3secs) before blasting clear seemingly under a hold in the home straight to score by 10.8 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.9 (last quarter 27.6secs). Action Kosmos held on for second place, defiantly withstanding the challenge of Cold Sister in third. Later on the card Ellas Puppeteer beat Iceobar in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. The four-year-old gelding by Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who smashed the track record at Charlton leading into Friday night’s race, rated 1-53.7 over 1720 metres from his inside-back-row draw. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley kept Ellas Puppeteer out of trouble early, going back to last before cruising around the field to assume control at the bell. Iceobar trailed and stuck on gamely thereafter but was no match for the winner. Ellas Puppeteer now boasts three wins from five starts and looks to have a sparkling metro career in front of him. by Cody Winnell >> Replays and results from Friday night's Melton trots.

The Andy Gath stable has been low flying lately and he heads to the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton tomorrow night with two recent acquisitions to his stable that look like having terrific futures. In Race 2 he has Arts Stride engaged and Gath admitted he hasn’t been particularly happy with his past couple of starts. “His last two runs he probably hasn’t gone quite as well compared to his previous two but in saying that when he got challenged at Cranbourne he really knuckled down. He is inexperienced but definitely on the way up," Gath said. He has won five of his 11 starts overall in what has been an injury interrupted career (he had over a year off the scene with a severe injury) but Gath is hoping he can develop into a nice horse. “I’ve had him a long time as he had to have an operation on a hind leg but he has come back really well." "He isn’t a superstar but he is a really nice horse you would think would get to metro class.” Friday Night he has drawn well in what shapes as a fantastically competitive race and Gath rates the Amanda Turnbull-trained Star Black as the horse to beat. The battle early will play a pivotal role in the race. “He has got pretty natural gate speed, obviously his main danger is Star Black drawn two, who has gate speed, too." "He doesn’t have to lead but it’s quite a competitive race.” Gath’s other runner on the night might be a future trotting star in Glenferrie Typhoon. He has only had the three starts for his stable and Gath has been extremely happy with what he has seen so far but it hasn’t surprised him." “He has performed well in all of his runs so far, we were lucky enough to acquire him when he came on the market and he has always been a quality horse so it’s no surprise to see him doing what he’s doing.” Formerly trained by Craig Demmler he had a taste of the big time last campaign and Gath said that is the level he expects him to get to this time in. “He has had a little taste of open company and he performed well so hopefully this time in he can measure up to the better ones." "He has really high speed for a trotter but in saying plenty others at that level do as well.” It shapes as a wonderful night of racing at Headquarters with the first of 10 at 6pm. Matt Jackson  

Long Forest husband and wife Andy and Kath Gath made the trip to Swan Hill a worthwhile one on Tuesday to contest the Nyah Harness Racing Club’s September meeting after landing a stable double with a pair of four year old geldings – Mister Whittaker (Somebeachsomewhere/Twice As Hot) taking the He’s Watching @ Alabar Stud Pace for C1 class over 1750 metres and Valens (Shadow Play/Seymour Lady) the Lucky Chucky @ Stallions Australasia Pace for C2 class over 2240 metres. Mister Whittaker was ultra impressive in his event after racing in the open from gate six, with a running Earl Of Huntington (gate three) crossing One Knight Stand (gate two)  shortly after the start. Cruising to the front on the home turn, Mister Whittaker careered away in the straight to record an unextended 25.6 metre margin in advance of One Knight Stand and Graceful Art (one/one) in a mile rate of 1-54.9. Valens bred and raced by Alabar Bloodstock starting outside the front line, brought up three wins in succession after moving forward to race in the breeze from the bell, defeating Oasis Dream (gate five) from mid-field by 2.8 metres, with Tennaya (gate four) 1.5 metres away in third place after leading for the last half of the journey. The mile rate was 1-58.2. Bunbartha trainer/driver John Newberry a regular at most Swan Hill meetings, snared the Angus Hall @ Mountain View Stud Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2240 metres with 8Y0 Earl/Shine On Alisha gelding Just Call Me Earl, but not before giving his supporters a scare. Galloping away from 30 metres, Just Call Me Earl settled at the tail of the field with Majestic Flash beginning swiftly from 10 metres to lead. Assisted by both Mike Titan and Jacob Alm breaking during the run, Just Call Me Earl had improved to be three back in the moving line at the bell. Easing three wide approaching the final bend, Just Call Me Earl ran home best to gain the day by a head over Declaring along the sprint lane after following the pacemaker which held down third a neck away. Raced by the Newberry family, Just Call Me Earl recorded his 13th victory in 119 outings, returning a mile rate of 2-05.9. Quality 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Linda Grace mare Linda Lovegrace made a one act affair of the Sweet Lou @ Woodlands Stud Pace for C0 class over 2240 metres much to the delight of Ken Breckon’s The Good Sports Syndicate. Formerly with Mark Purdon, Linda Lovegrace now with Kerryn Manning at Great Western, was untroubled to lead throughout from gate two with husband Grant Campbell in the sulky, accounting for Drayton (one/one – outside winner home turn) by 16.5 metres in 2-03.1, with Clontarf Guy (three back the markers) a further 17 metres away in third place. The Manning/Campbell combination were to bring up a double when impressive former Kiwi 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Princess Alberta gelding Duke Of Albany streeted his rivals in the Four Starzzz Shark @ Empire Stallions Pace for C3 to C5 class over 1750 metres and by doing so, chalked up six wins in succession, the last five on Australian soil. Surprisingly crossed from gate two by Life Of Ted (gate four), Campbell immediately eased away from the markers to assume control, before racing clear on turning to register a 2.1 metre victory over Precious Cullen which faced the breeze from the bell. Life Of Ted battled on gamely for third after using the sprint lane and will no doubt benefit from the outing. The mile rate was 1-56.7. Local Woorinen trainer Joe Costa sent punters home on a happy note when the “star of the stable” Uncle Wingnut returned to his best form to land the Hurricane Kingcole @ Egmont Park Stud Pace for C6 or better class over 2240 metres in a rate of 1-57.8. With regular reinsman Michael Bellman aboard, Uncle Wingnut was taken off the gate from outside the front line to settle four back along the markers, with only Diamond Ace (gate four) behind him after being trapped wide and another of the Manning team Jaccka Art leading from gate three. Making a mid-race move to join the pacemaker at the bell, the pair were head and head for the final circuit, with Uncle Wingnut taking the lead on the home turn. Drawing clear on straightening, Uncle Wingnut prevailed by 1.1 metres over Diamond Ace which followed him home from the bell, with Daylight Dan (three back the markers) 11 metres away in third place. An eight year old gelded son of Courage Under Fire and Paulas Way raced by the Costa family, Uncle Wingnut has faced the starter on 77 occasions, resulting in 17 victories. *** The next Nyah meeting will be Cup Night – Saturday October 17.   Len Baker

Despite the fact his luggage is missing, leading Victorian harness racing trainer Andy Gath is a happy man. Gath arrived in Brisbane yesterday (Wednesday) to oversee the preparation of his talented three-year-old pacer Burnaholeinmypocket who lines up in the Gr.1 $100,000 Nursery Flying Stakes at Albion Park on Saturday night. And he looms as serious threat after landing a favourable draw in the 1660m sprint feature. The Bettors Delight gelding will start from gate three while many of his rivals have drawn awkwardly including New Zealand raider Hug The Wind who was slammed with gate seven, the outside of the front-line. “I’m thrilled with the draw and the way he’s handled the trip north, I’m not so thrilled with my luggage being missing." "I’ve already been to the shops to buy some new clothes.” Gath said. Burnaholeinmypocket earned his Queensland trip following his outstanding effort in the Gr.1 Emerald on Jewels day at Ashburton on May 30. He was one of very few horses that made ground against the likes of Have Faith In Me, Hug The Wind and Follow The Stars in a mile rate of 1;52.5. An easy romp at Shepparton on June 17 confirmed to Gath that his rising star was thriving. “The trip to New Zealand has proven to be very beneficial; I’m not surprised by that as I’ve seen plenty improve with the experience." "He continues to get stronger and his last start victory was very good and his sectionals were very impressive." “Queensland was always in the back of my mind because of the options and the great prizemoney attached to it so I’m glad we’ve made the trip with him." "It’s a high quality field but you expect that with this sort of prizemoney up for grabs but he’s in top order and feeling very strong so I can’t fault him ahead of the weekend." “Hopefully we can make full use of his good draw; he’s been a good improver this season with his gate speed." He’s not in the same category as horses like Maximan or Mister Mundaka but not many are when it comes to gate speed but he’s getting better.” Gath confirmed he will back-up in both the Gr.3 $40,000 Mr Feelgood Gold Coast Derby and the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby in the coming weeks. “Win, lose or draw he’ll be starting in both Derby events in the next two weeks before returning back to Melbourne for the Breeders Crown next month." “We’re not here for a holiday, he’s there to earn.” Chris Barsby

Top Victorian harness racing three-year-old Burnaholeinmypocket is heading north. The Andy Gath prepared pacer returned to Melbourne last week after contesting the recent Jewels raceday at Ashburton where he finished a tidy fourth in the Emerald behind the Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen trio of Have Faith In Me, Hug The Wind and Follow The Stars in 1;52.5. Now, Gath is focused on the Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park next month. “I was absolutely thrilled with his performance in New Zealand; he had a shocking draw and made up very good ground in a race that was dominated by horses close to the speed. After touching down in Sydney and then returning by road to my stables, he’s in great order and the Queensland campaign looks perfect timing for him.” Gath said. Burnaholeinmypocket has a raft of features available to him including the Gr.1 $100,000 Nursery Fly on July 4, the Gr.3 $40,000 Gold Coast Derby on July 11 plus the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby on July 18. The Bettors Delight – Kelly Maguire gelding has returned in excellent form this season winning three of his eight starts while racking up three minor placings. His unplaced efforts to date this season came via a heat of the New South Wales Derby at TABCORP Park, Menangle and his most recent start in New Zealand. “He’s proven he can compete with the best of his age group and the Queensland campaign fits in nicely before we turn our attention to the Breeders Crown series in August. The increased prizemoney on offer in Brisbane is very appealing and we’re keen to give him his shot. “We know we’ll run into strong opposition but it’s a Derby and they’re not giveaway races, I was happy to take him to New Zealand so heading to Queensland is not an issue. I know the Purdon/Rasmussen team have Hug The Wind in Brisbane but we won’t run scared. “Obviously barrier draws will play a very important role but I honestly feel my horse is getting stronger as the season gets longer. At this stage, I will look to give him one lead-up run here in Melbourne before heading up.” Gath is also keen to bring in-form pacer Mister Mundaka to Queensland for a winter campaign. The former Kiwi pacer is raced by Brisbane based owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg. The Bettors Delight – Regret gelding has won seven of his eight starts on Australian soil, his only blemish coming in his debut effort when he galloped away from the stand. “He’s been a real surprise packet for the stable and he continues to get better, he’s got brilliant gate speed and he’s strong. His win in the Tontine final was great and his victory last week was also very good. “I’m taking him to Menangle next week and then we’ll look at Brisbane after that, there are a few nice races that fit his schedule.”  An added bonus for Gath, his beloved Sydney Swans play the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on July 12. by Chris Barsby

Tuesday trots in Victoria were held at the harness arcing meeting at Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley and Long Forest trainer Andy Gath produced a nice Art Major/Our Southern Rose colt by the name of Battle Born to land the Saddleworld Shepparton 2-Y-0 Pace over 2190 metres when having his first start at the races.   Driven by wife Kate, Battle Born from gate six was taken back to the rear of the field, with polemarker Herehecomes retaining the lead and the well supported favourite Emiliana (Nathan Jack) going forward from outside the front line to park in the open giving another first starter Anything For Love one/one cover.   Despite making the final bend four wide, Battle Born ran home stylishly to record a runaway 1.4 metre victory over Anything For Love and Herehecomes in a mile rate of 2-01.1.   Aucklander Mark Burley who has seen a fair bit of Australia’s east coast recently having campaigned in NSW and now in Victoria, was successful in taking the DPR Insurance Brokers Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2190 metres with a filly by the name of Little Miss Zigzag who is to start in the Victoria Trotters Oaks at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday.   Settling three back in the moving line from gate two on the second row, the daughter of Love You and Meander With Earl was sent forward shortly after the start to stride past the leader Illawong Sunny (gate six) which had crossed Aldebaran Hest (gate four).   Travelling beautifully, Little Miss Zigzag gave her rivals the slip on the home turn to register an easy 8.9 metre victory in advance of a death-seating Im Havinaball and Illawaong Sunny, returning a mile rate of 2-04.5.   Popular Huntly (Bendigo) trainer Barry Quigley combined with Chris Alford aboard six year old Mach Three/Janoela Star mare Sukovia to greet the judge in the Betta Home Living Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres.   Taking advantage of a mares concession, Sukovia led most the way from gate three to defeat the hot favourite Glory Daze (gate five) by a neck which raced in the open from the bell after a poor beginning, with polemarker Sailors Sweetheart 6.6 metres away after leading out and taking a trail. The mile rate 2-00.2.   Avenel duo David and Josh Aiken have a great record at their home track and four year old Somebeachsomewhere/Arty Alice mare Beach Shack raced by Brendan James’ BFJ Bloodstock Trust brought up two wins in succession when victorious in the Neatline Homes Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2190 metres.   Racing outside the pacemaker Party Boy inside her, Beach Shack (gate four) prevailed by a nose in a tricky finish over the leader in a mile rate of 1-59.8. Holdonsu (three back the markers) finished 1.8 metres away in third place.   The Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for Four Year Old Entires and Geldings (Heat 1) went the way of Bacchus Marsh trainer Alan Tubbs’ potential top liner Macterra Lad in a rate of 1-59.4.   Driven by daughter Amy, Macterra Lad a gelded son of Artistic Fella and Marilyn Macray raced outside the pacemaker Bryce Copper all of the way from gate five to outstay his rivals and score by a nose in advance of the heavily supported Young Modern and Sketch Me (one/three).   Macterra Lad bred by Ian Kitchin and raced by Mount Gambier’s Michael McQuade brought up his 7th success in 12 race appearances.   The Empire Stllions Vicbred Super Series for Three Year Old Fillies (Heat 1) was taken out by quality Sportswriter/Benelise filly Niki No No, much to the delight of locally based Benstud Standardbreds.   Trained at Bolinda by Kari Males and driven by regular reinsman Greg Sugars (the state’s leading driver), Niki No No wasn’t involved in the early speed from outside the front row, easing to possie three back in the moving line.   Urged forward three wide approaching the bell, the Victoria Oaks winner was surprisingly able to slide past the leader Come Cullect (gate three) which had crossed Glenferrie Baby (gate four) and proceeded to lead for the rest of the journey, accounting for Soho Tokyo (one/two – three wide home turn) and Glenferrie Baby in a rate of 2-01.2.   Invergordon trainer Stuart Govers and local concessional reinsman Riley Fortin are proving to be a formidable combination and once again joined forces to land the Shepparton BMW Pace for C2 class over 1690 metres with improving five year old Blissful Hall/Cheryls Fancy gelding Ramblenroller in a mile rate of 1-56.8.   Starting from the extreme draw, Ramblenroller raced by father Max ran home strongly from a mid-field passage to gain the day by 1.5 metres from a death-seating Lagoon Beach (gate five), with Calcavado running on late out wide to finish third.   Lockington breeder/owner/trainer Shane Pangrazio combined with Avenel based Mark Pitt to snare the Harness Breeders (Vic) Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres with Safari/Wahini Elle 4-Y-0 mare Safari Beach in a mile rate of 2-00.8.   Trapped wide from outside the front line, Pitt had no option but to go back at the start and settle at the tail of the field.   Trailing home both Pushinupdaisies and Miss Tanami three wide in the final circuit, Safari Beach finished best to blouse Miss Tanami by a head right on the wire.   The pacemaker Highly Persuasive was 4.5 metres away in third place after having every possible chance.   Len Baker

Twitter is one of the best things in the world, just ask a group of harness racing owners who have a share in Harness Jewels hopeful Burnaholeinmypocket. In fascinating sign of the technological times, five mates from the Victorian country town of Horsham bought a 25 per cent share in Burnaholeinmypocket via twitter. “Twitter is a great way to keep people updated and connect,” trainer Andy Gath said. “I posted a tweet saying I had some shares available in a well-bred Bettors Delight yearling and it all happened from there.” Horsham boy Brad Sudholz rang his mate, Damien Kilpatrick, told him about Gath’s tweet. “I direct messaged Andy on Twitter, said we were keen to know more and quickly pulled together a group of five of us to take 25 per cent of the colt,” Kilpatrick said. “A few of us had been talking about getting back into horses after a couple of years out, so Andy’s timing was perfect.” Kilpatrick and Sudolhz recruited Sudholz’s father, Ken, Jeremy Schmidt and Matt Schier to take five per cent each and make-up their quarter ownership of Burnaholeinmypocket. “I’d never met any of the guys before they tweeted me,” Gath said. “It’s great to have a mix of newcomers to my stable racing this horse with some regulars in Wayne Gowland, John Lugg, Helen Dunne and Trent Cooper.” While Gowland, Lugg, Dunne and Cooper are Ashburton-bound for Saturday, the Horsham crew will gather to watch on TV in their hometown. “It’s disappointing, but the timing doesn’t work. Most of us have commitments here and still play local sport, so we can’t make the trip,” Kilpatrick said. “But don’t worry. We’ll be cheering as loudly as anyone, just from Horsham.” Kilpatrick and friends as more excited about Burnaholeinmypocket’s future than what he’s done so far. “Andy never had a huge opinion of him, but it’s grown. I think the Breeders Crown semi win was the start of the excitement and it’s still growing,” he said. “All along, Andy’s said he’s a slow maturer and we won’t see the very best of him until he’s four or five. If that’s the case, we’re in for some fun times.” But Kilpatrick is also a realist when it comes to the enormity of Saturday’s challenge. “It was always going to be hard, but drawing the outside over a mile with the big guns drawn so well makes it almost impossible,” he said. “Our aim is a top five finish, knowing we’ve got a horse who is still on the way up." CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Harness racing trainer Amanda Turnbull is thrilled after snaring a couple of plum barriers for next Saturday’s Harness Jewels meeting at Ashburton. Turnbull’s four-year-old mare Just Cala, racing as Cala, has come up with barrier two in the 4YO Diamond, while Glenferrie Bronte has secured gate four in the 3YO Diamond for fillies. “We were pretty lucky with both of them,” Turnbull said. “I can’t wait now to get over there.” Partner Nathan Jack will drive Glenferrie Bronte and Turnbull will pilot Just Cala herself on Jewels Day. The news out of the barrier draws wasn’t as positive for connections of three-year-old gelding Burnaholeinmypocket, who pulled gate nine – outside the front line. “It’s not good news,” said trainer Andy Gath. “But it is what it is. We appreciate the opportunity to go over there and compete. It’ll still be a good experience for the horse and we'll all have a good time over there. “He can go around in a C1 heat in Victoria next week, which are run regularly, or he can go over there and run in the Jewels. … It’s a great opportunity.” Meanwhile, Blake Fitzpatrick-trained trotter Valerie has got barrier three in the 4YO Ruby Trot and Shane Tritton-trained Salty Robyn will start from barrier three for reinswoman Lauren Panella in the 2YO Emerald. Click here for Harness Jewels final fields CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Andy Gath trained a treble and his wife Kate drove all of them at yesterdays harness racing meeting at Charlton on a big day for the Long Forest husband and wife team.   True Stride (a two-year-old son of Christian Cullen/Gina Falcon), Abetta Tiny Dancer (a three-year-old filly by Bettors Delight out of Laurel Franco) and Party Boy (a four-year-old gelding by Bettors Delight out of We Love To Party) all won for Team Gath.   Abetta Tiny Dancer was impressive on debut in the Cricket Club Hotel 3YO Pace over 2100 metres.   Starting from the second row, the filly was given plenty of time to balance up for Kate Gath, settling towards the rear of the main division – with Prince Of Zanzibar the trailer after making an early break. At the bell Abetta Tiny Dancer eased three-wide and commenced her run.   But it was only upon navigating the last bend that Abetta Tiny Dancer really stamped her authority, rounding up the leaders quickly and finishing well for a four-metre win over Give Me Fifty, who ran an improved race for Keith Cotchin and Amanda Turnbull into second, with Box Lu Cove third for Glenn Douglas.   The debutant winner rated 2:00.7.   Party Boy resumed in the Charlton & District Community Bank Pace and was sent out at unbackable odds of $1.10 from barrier four.   Last time in Party Boy looked a serious racehorse in the making with three straight triumphs before being sent for a spell after an out-of-character run at Cranbourne when something was obviously awry.   But the impressive son of Bettors Delight bounced straight back today, rating 2:00.5 (last half 58.1secs) to win by 2.4 metres over a bold Jay Dee Zed, who is nearing another win, with early speedster Splendid Choice poking through for a well-beaten third placing.   True Stride opened the program with a five-metre win in the Natasa Dean 2YO Pace over the mile, the winner posting a 1:59.2 mile rate in defeating Swift Fantasy and Dallas Nikolay.   Other winners on today’s card were Karkarook and Indiana Angel, who brought up a double for trainer John Hallam and reinsman Nathan Jack, Cudgee Boy for Wayne Maher and Neil McCallum, Super Lenny for Keith and Rodney Pratt and Pink Diamond Lombo for Max Jardine and Greg Sugars.   Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

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