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The Race To Royalty is taking shape during TAB Breeders Crown heats week in Victoria, with local and abroad two and three-year-olds making their play for the age racing riches. All two-year-old Victorian heat contestants at Ballarat on Tuesday and Kilmore on Wednesday booked places in the August 18 semi-finals at Bendigo's Lords Raceway. Fifteen contested the Always B Miki fillies Victorian heats and they will likely be joined by All Stars' Art Major three-year-old Our Princess Tiffany, who is unbeaten in seven starts including in the $150,000 2YO Diamond and on her Australian debut at Menangle on Tuesday. The class is also expected to feature Australian heat winners Miss Streisand (New South Wales), Betamerica (Queensland) and Mandy John (Western Australia). Soho Crucio (South Australia) and Karalta Moondance (Tasmania) may also attend, but Gladamare (New Zealand North Island) will not. The TAB.com.au has listed Princess Tiffany a $1.80 favourite in all-in markets for the two-year-old fillies ahead of Emma Stewart's Kualoa ($3.20) and Mick Stanley's Soho Nolita ($5.50). The 14 contestants of last night's Woodlands Stud two-year-old colts and geldings Victorian heats have also advanced to semi-finals night, where they likely be confronted by four interstate or international visitors. While Kolovos (New Zealand North Island), Leonidas (New South Wales) and Regulus (Queensland) have been ruled out, All Stars colt Im Anothermasterpiece will endeavour to build on his record of seven wins and three placings from 10 starts at the Breeders Crown. Culture King (South Australia), The Embezzler (Western Australia) and Max Delight (Tasmania) are also expected at the Bendigo semi-finals, but it's a Victorian pair who top the TAB.com.au all-in market. Heat winners Hurricane Harley ($2.40) and Centenario ($3.40) are on top, with Im Another Masterpiece ($4.50) and Bernie Hewitt's College Chapel ($5) tipped to be snapping at their heels. Tonight it's the turn of the three-year-old fillies to have their Woodlands Stud heats, and it's likely all 21 contestants will advance to the August 18 semi-finals after the scratchings of Hows The Memory and Fire Safe from tonight. Likely to be waiting for them in the semi-finals are Jarades Delight (New South Wales), Red Charmer (Queensland) and Our Angel Of Harlem (Western Australia). The jury is still out on South Australian heat winner Melodys Daughter, while Western Glory (Tasmania) and New Zealand heat winners Somethingaboutmary and the brilliant Shez All Rock have been ruled out. Punters think with the absence of Shez All Rock, who experienced a leg complaint, the Victorians will deliver the ultimate Race to Royatly winner in this class, with the TAB.com.au listing Emma Stewart's Speak No Evil a $2.50 favourite. Our Angel Of Harlem ($3), the former Kiwi who's now stationed with WA trainer Mike Reed, and Courtney Slater's well-traveled Goodtime Heaven ($3.50) are next in the market. There will be no shortage of excitement around the three-year-old colts and geldings heats, with Ignatius (New South Wales) and VHRSC Victoria Derby winner Colt Thirty One (Queensland) both set for Breeders Crown campaigns, as is New Zealand qualifier Diamonds N Cash, who will race for Victorian trainer Andy Gath. Today's withdrawal of Ange McDowell's much-loved Lumineer will dampen the Victorian resistance, but Emma Stewart's clan of Ride High, Poster Boy and Konan are all in single figures with the TAB.com.au, which has Ignatius ($2.30) on top. With scratchings excluded, 27 horses will contest Friday night's heats, vying to be among the 21 who will challenge the three raiders in the August 18 semi-finals. The Victorian trotters have their heats at Maryborough next Thursday. New Zealand heats have seen Stress Factor, winner of Sunday's Victorian Trotters Derby, and Show Gait qualify for the respective boys and girls three-year-old finals. The jury is still out on whether two-year-old boys Anditover and Enhance Your Calm will make the trip across the Tasman, but two-year-old fillies Enable Me and On The Mantlepiece aren't expected. Michael Howard

Ange McDowell's assessment that "I still think the horse will reach his full potential" will be music to the ears of Lumineer fans as the three-year-old nears his racing return in Friday night's Breeders Crown heat. The fifth fixture at Bendigo's Lords Raceway, the eighth IRT Breeders Crown heat will be a chance for the Sportswriter colt to feel his way back, having been sidelined since January's VHRSC Victoria Derby when his eight-race winning streak ended. "After the Derby final he had really bad muscle tears through his back end," McDowell told RSN's Gait Speed. "That was why he ran up the track so badly in the Derby final. "He's had plenty of time to rehab that afterwards - he's done plenty of swimming, had a bit of time off, but it's just been a really slow, steady build up. I would have liked to have given him a start before the Breeders Crown series, so he had a decent hit-out." The trainer's expectations are subsequently modest for Friday night's heat, which tips off at 8pm, for which Lumineer has drawn gate seven, directly outside well fancied Bonus Play (gate six) and Ride High (gate five). "I'd just be happy if he sat in, poked around, just made it through to the next and had a good hit-out," McDowell said. "Obviously I want him to perfom as well as he can, but because we haven't had as much time as we would have liked, if he just races well and makes it through to the next stage he will take a lot away from that run."   Trots Media

Breeders Crown champion Nostra Villa won’t be back to defend her title later this month. Trainer Emma Stewart said last season’s juvenile pacing filly final winner was feeling the effects of a hard season so has gone for a spell. "She has done a lot of hard racing and it was time for her to have a break,” said Stewart. That still leaves Stewart with four fillies in the three-year-old series as she charges toward the culminaton of her record-breaking season, with the Victorian heats for the three-year-old fillies at Shepparton on Thursday night. Even without Nostra Villa the stable has the warm favourite for the series in Speak No Evil, who is rated the stable’s best chance of the whole Breeders Crown, even after drawing the outside of the front line in her heat on Thursday. “She has gone from strength to strength,” says Stewart. “She trialed really well last week and has come on from the Vicbred win so she is clearly the best of our chances in her division and probably in the overall two and three-year-old series.” The Victorian fillies heats kick off with the juveniles at Ballarat tonight and Stewart has Vicbred quinellamates Kualoa and Two Times Bettor in the same heat. “They seem to be doing that a lot these days, putting the two good stablemates in the same heat and I think they should be split. “But they are both ready to go good races. Kualoa is the one to beat this week and, and this stage, the best of our chances in the final.” The glamour boys of the freshman division have their turn at Kilmore on Wednesday night with Vicbred winner Centanario up against his runner-up on that occasion in Nostra Ideal and Bathurst Gold Crown winner College Chapel. An interesting Victorian debutant is Whereyabinboppin, who has joined the in-form Tim Butt stable after being unbeaten in three starts. Stewart dominates the other heat with Hurricane Harley and Hardhitter going head to head. Michael Guerin

Tim Butt is about to unleash the X-factor of the Breeders Crown. Butt and his stable clients recently bought a 60 per cent share in buzz Riverina juvenile Whereyabinboppin which led to a switch from trainer-driver Steve Harris to Butt’s barn. Whereyabinboppin is unbeaten three runs and, importantly, easily beat the very exciting Victorian youngster Lochinvar Art on debut at Wagga on May 8. The strongly-built gelding has won his three starts by a thumping aggregate margin of 68.5m. He dives straight into the big league at Kilmore next Wednesday night in a heat of the Breeders Crown against Australia’s best youngster, Centenario, and elite support talent like Nostra Ideal, Fourbigmen and College Chapel. “He’s a beautiful horse. He’s big and strong, he looks a like a thoroughbred and he’s really doing a lot of it on raw ability at the moment,” Butt said. “It’s exciting to have a horse of his talent join the team even if it’s a big ask throwing him into such a strong Breeders Crown at this stage. “I’m sure he’s got the talent, but has he got the strength and the experience if things don’t go his way in a race against these sort of horses?” Whereyabinboppin has shown plenty of gate speed, but has gate five with Centenario in gate one. “I’m looking forward to the race just see where he sits at this early stage of his career against the best,” Butt said. In other stable news, last-start Group 1 Blacks A Fake winner Let it Ride is “most unlikely” to contest the Victoria Cup enroute to the Inter Dominion. “He’s still got another couple of weeks spelling so the Victoria Cup will come up a bit too soon I think,” Butt said. Adam Hamilton

Trainer Mark Purdon has given up trying to get the superstar three-year-old to the final major race of he season (which is a month later in Australia) after leg issues flared up this week. “She started to have a few problems on Monday and examinations showed there was a bit going on in an area of her leg we have had concerns with before,” Purdon said. “It doesn’t appear serious and long-term but we don’t want to put the pressure on her so she can have a spell now.” That will come as a blow to the series organisers but a relief to rival trainers as Shez All Rock was a hot favourite for the three-year-old pacing fillies division after a stunning season. She won the NSW and the Always B Miki Victoria Oaks Final before being sold to US-based former Kiwi trainer Chris Ryder and joining the Purdon-Rasmussen stable. Her New Zealand debut was a stunner, smashing her NZ Oaks rivals at Addington and she then became the first Australian invite to win a Harness Jewels with a breathtaking catch me if you can performance. She qualified for the TAB Breeders Crown at Addington earlier this month but now joins two-year-old trotter Enhance Your Calm as a high-profile withdrawal from the series for the All Stars stable. The remaining members of the All Stars team will head to Sydney next week and have their final Crown lead-ups there, with open class pacer Cash N Flow to join them and he could race at Menangle as early as next Saturday and then stay in New South Wales for more regular racing opportunities. The team’s best Breeders Crown hope is now unbeaten juvenile filly Princess Tiffany, who has pleased Purdon with her recent work. Michael Guerin

AUSTRALIAN harness racing hasn’t quite seem anything like this current dominance of Emma Stewart. The Victorian-based trainer, who works in partnership with Clayton Tonkin, took her “ownership” of the rich Vicbred series to a staggering new level at Melton last night. There were 12 semi-finals for pacers, Stewart and Tonkin won eight of them. In the other three they ran second twice, third in another and fifth in the other. Think about that … then add in the fact they also snared the quinella in four of the semis and landed the trifecta in one. Next step is next Saturday night’s six pacing Grand Finals where they will have favourites in at least four of the six. The driving honours were split with Alford driving five of Stewart’s winners and young Mark Pitt, of Shez All Rock fame, three of them. Pitt made it four on the night as he also partnered Dean Braun’s glamour mare Carlas Pixel in her heat win. Let’s through the semis one-by-one: Race 1 – 2YO Fillies Semi 1: Stewart’s Two Times Bettor was simply too strong and classy for a gallant Major Kiss (trained and driven by David Jack) in a solid 1min57.5sec mile rate for 2240m. Race 2 – 2YO Fillies Semi 2: Real statement win here from Stewart’s tough and strong filly Kualoa, who did all the work and was simply too strong for Mick Stanley’s Australian Gold winner Soho Nolita in a 1min57.4sec mile rate. Race 3 – 3YO Colts/Geldings Semi 1: Upset here, but it was still a Stewart dominance. Emerging Mach Three colt Konan led throughout and easily held-off glamour stablemate Poster Boy (the NSW Derby winner) in a sizzling 1min55.1sec mile rate. Former Kiwi pacer Master Moonlite ran fourth and made the final. Race 4 – 2YO Colts/Geldings Semi 1: Another Stewart quinella with Fourbigmen leading throughout and holding-off a gallant Nostra Ideal, who sat parked. Mile rate 1min57.3sec. Race 5 – 4YO Entires/Geldings Semi 1: For a few months the mail has been trainer Marg Lee rates Jilliby Chevy very close to Jilliby Kung Fu. And Jilliby Chevy showed his potential with an individual 26.6sec closing quarter to rundown the flying Wrappers Delight, who sat parked. 1min55.9sec mile rate. Race 6 – 3YO Colts/Geldings Semi 2: There is just something beautifully exciting about Ride High. If he was with the Allstar barn, people would be saying he’s the sports next big thing. I think he could be. Toyed with a handy field after sustaining a long run around field from back row to take lead midrace and win with plenty in reserve for Stewart/Alford. Mile rate 1min56sec Race 7 – 2YO Colts/Geldings Semi 2: Another Stewart quinella and another win for the emerging Bettors Delight colt Hurricane Harley over Aussie Gold winner Centenario. This time by a thumping 14m in a 1min56.1sec mile rate. Team Trittons’ Jewels runner-up Petes Big Jim made some late ground for distant third. Race 8 – 4YO Entires/Geldings Semi 2: It was the bounce-back win Jilliby Kung Fu needed. Led easily from gate three, kept rolling and seemed to win with plenty left over eye-catching Sirletic with Stewart’s Rocknroll Icon not disgraced in third after sitting parked. Mile rate 1min55.5sec. Race 9 – 4YO Mares’ Semi 1: She’s back! Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel did the work and dominated in a 1min56.2sec mile rate. Stewart’s Flying Moth second after cosy trip. Race 10 – 4YO Mares’ Semi 2: Stewart’s Tell Me Tales was too classy after doing all the work from back row. She’s alongside Carlas Pixel for the final. Kiwi raider Our Step Up grabbed the eye with late closing second. Rough hope in final. Race 11 – 3YO Fillies Semi 1: Stewart’s emerging Speak No Evil won, but not without a huge scare and was nowhere near as impressive as recent runs. Need to lift to win final, but we know she can. Mile rate 1min57.4sec. Race 12 – 3YO Fillies Semi 2: Mick Stanley probably couldn’t believe he’d actually beaten a Stewart runner when Soho Burning Love made the most of beautiful run to nab a head win over Nostra Villa, who was the run of the race after being attacked in front by headstrong Major Occasion. Mile rate 1min55.5sec. Adam Hamilton

Think About Me probably earned a late addition to the Breeder's Crown team from All Stars after his impressive win at Addington on Friday. Think About Me coasted home in a way which made the $1.60 price seem long and might now go on to greater things. Certainly the Breeders Crown is a step up but a recall of his earlier form suggests he will not be out of his class by any means. Think About Me is a son of female star Imagine Me by Christian Cullen, and Imagine Me was by Dream Away from Scuse Me making him standardbred elite by any standard. Certainly he was well beaten in the Sires Stakes Final won by Chase Auckland but bear in mind his no 13 draw and the fact he had had only one previous start when a strong finishing 3rd in a Sires Stakes heat on debut in a 1.53 mile rate making ground strongly late. "I leave it up to Mark and Natalie about the plans" said co-owner  Paul Kenny who races Think About Me with his wife Mary and Charlie Roberts. He made a lightning trip from Auckland to watch the race typical of the Kenny's support of all their racing team.  "I think the Breeder's Crown will be the aim now" Natalie said after the race. The stable has a strong Breeder's Crown lineup but there is a space for a top three year old. While Think About Me only ran 3.17 for the trip on Friday he won with such ease the race was virtually over  from the 400m and he should only improve. Earlier on he was highly regarded in the stable and, like many from the family, has stepped up considerably from two to three years. The local heat for the Breeder's Crown is at Addington in two weeks for three year olds. Courtesy of All Stars Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Ray Green has broken his Australian major race drought with the most unlikely of horses. The South Auckland trainer claimed the richest win of his career when King Of Swing led throughout in the hands of David Butcher in the A$285,000 ($310,000) Breeders Crown two-year-old pacing final. The rangy pacer capped a remarkable rise from obscurity, winning his group one just three months after he debuted and without having contested any of the feature juvenile races at home. That didn't deter Green, the trainer for Lincoln Farms, from giving him his shot at Australia's best and his improvement curve has peaked at the right time, with Butcher's perfect drive a massive help. Green is no stranger to campaigning horses in Australia, having won decent races with Badlands Bute and training Sir Lincoln to a luckless second in the Victoria Derby. "But on the whole we haven't had a lot of luck over here so to finally get a really big one is very satisfying," said the jovial 71-year-old. "He has always looked a good horse but we waited until he told us he was good enough to bring over here." The win eclipses the Auckland Cup that Sir Lincoln won as the richest race taken out by a Lincoln Farms pacer and King Of Swing has Derby horse written all over him. King Of Swing His win was the highlight of a mixed day for the Kiwi challengers, with Canterbury filly Renezmae the other to taste group one glory. She led throughout in the two-year-old fillies trot for 23-year-old trainer Jack Harrington, who must surely be one of the youngest New Zealand horsemen to prepare a group one winner. Harrington has quickly built up a 25 horses stable after getting into racing with no family background. "I got into it because my Dad liked a bet so to be here, winning a Breeders Crown, is pretty amazing," says Harrington. "I was welling up when I was being interviewed after the race, I was worried I was gonna start crying," he laughed. Renezmae Punters who backed the All Stars' three runners probably felt like crying too as they had a rare off day. While Partyon was a brave third in her final, More The Better and Sicario both finished unplaced. More The Better was the shock of the day, galloping when in front after 600m as a red hot favourite. And the Kiwi juvenile pacing fillies were a mixed bag, with Bettor Joy below her best when unplaced after leading, leaving fellow Canterbury filly Angel Of Harlem to chase home stunning winner Nostra Villa. By Michael Guerin  

Some interesting facts of the Australasian Breeders Crown Finalists are shown below. The number of harness racing nominations for Series 19, the current three-year-olds totaled 1,533 and that is from a crop of 2,132 foals registered in New Zealand and 3,857 registered in Australia. That is a combined total of 5,989 foals registered. The number of harness racing nominations for Series 20, the current two-year-olds total 1,515 and they are from a crop of 1,945 foals registered in New Zealand and 3,838 registered in Australia. That is a combined total of 5,783 foals registered. It is roughly a little less than 25% of the foals that are born that are nominated for each of the series. Three-Year-Old Fillies Bettor's Delight   -  4 Live Or Die  -  2 Rocknroll Hanover  -  2 Art Major  -  1 Courage Under Fire  -  1 Mach Three  -  1 Sportswriter  -  1 Somebeachsomewhere  -  1   Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Art Major  -  3 Somebeachsomewhere  -  3 Mach Three  -  3 Bettor's Delight  -  1 Courage Under Fire  -  1 Rocknroll Hanover  -  1 Shadow Play  -  1   Three-Year-Old Totals Bettor's Delight  -  5 - number of nominations 138 Art Major  -  4 - number of nominations 101 Mach Three  -  4 - number of nominations 78 Somebeachsomewhere  -  4 - number of nominations 101 Rocknroll Hanover  -  3 - number of nominations 107 Courage Under Fire  -  2 - number of nominations 51 Live Or Die  -  2 - number of nominations 10 Sportswriter  -  1 - number of nominations 25 Shadow Play  -  1 - number of nominations 31   Two-Year-Old Fillies Bettor's Delight  -  3 Art Major  -  2 Mach Three  -  2 Betterthancheddar  -  1 Courage Under Fire  -  1 Four Starzzz Shark  -  1 Mr Feelgood  -  1 Rock N Roll Heaven  -  1 Somebeachsomewhere  -  1   Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Art Major  -  3 Mach Three  -  3 Somebeachsomewhere  -  3 Rocknroll Hanover  -  1 Bettor's Delight  -  1 Courage Under Fire  -  1 Shadow Play  -  1   Two-Year-Old Totals Art Major  -  5 - number of nominations 127 Mach Three  -  5 - number of nominations 93 Bettors Delight  -  4 - number of nominations 138 Somebeachsomewhere  -  4 - number of nominations 81 Courage Under Fire  -  2 - number of nominations 40 Rocknroll Hanover  -  1 - number of nominations 11 Betterthancheddar  -  1 - number of nominations 30 Four Starzzz Shark  -  1 - number of nominations 24 Mr Feelgood  -  1 - number of nominations 25 Rock N Roll Heaven  -  1 - number of nominations 82 Shadow Play  -  1 - number of nominations  83   Combined totals for two and three-year-olds Pacers Art Major  -  9 Bettor's Delight  -  9 Mach Three  -  9 Somebeachsomewhere  -  8 Courage Under Fire  -  4 Rocknroll Hanover  -  4 Live Or Die  -  2 Shadow Play  -  2 Betterthancheddar  -  1 Four Starzzz Shark  -  1 Mr Feelgood  -  1 Rock N Roll Heaven  -  1 Spportwriter  -  1   Sires of the Dams of the Pacers                        3yo Colts & Geldings   3yo Fillies    3yo Colts & Geldings     3yo Fillies In The Pocket                  1                     1                                                             1 Life Sign                          1                                                    1 Western Terror                1                                                    1 Albert Albert                    2                                                                                     1 Blissfull Hall                    1 Elsu                                1 Dare You To                   1 Christen Cullen              1                       1                              1 Falcon Seelster              1 Badlands Hanover          1                                                      1 Perfect Art                       1                      1                              1 Bettors Delight                1                                                       1                                1 Fake Left                                                  2                              1                                2 Courage Under Fire                                 1 Western Ideal                                           1 Live or Die                                                1 Beach Towel                                              2 Classic Garry                                            1 Lucky Camilla                                            1 Artsplace                                                   1                             3 Camluck                                                                                    1 Aces n Sevens                                                                          1 Art Major                                                                                    1                                   1 Modern Art                                                                                                                      1 Sands A Flying                                                                                                                1 Million to One                                                                                                                 1 Village Jasper                                                                                                                1 Artiscape                                                                                                                        1 Troublemaker                                                                                                                 1 Road Machine                                                                                                                1   Three-Year-Old Trotters Angus Hall  -  2 Skyvalley  -  1 Muscle Mass  -  1 Blissfull Hall  -  1 Majestic Son  -  1 Metropolitan  -  1 Monarchy  -  1 Bacardi Lindy  -  1 The Prez  -  1 Great Success  -  1 Lawman  -  1 Sundon  -  1   Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies Angus Hall  -  2 Majestic Son  -  2 Muscle Mass  -  2 Yankee Spider  -  2 Armbro Varialble  -  1 Eilean Donon  -  1 Like A Prayer  -  1 Muscle Hill  -  1 Skyvalley  -  1   Three-Year-Old Trotting Totals Angus Hall  -  4 Majestic Son  -  3 Muscle Mass  -  3 Skyvalley  -  2 Yankee Spider  -  2 Armbro Variable  -  1 Bacardi Lindy  -  1 Blissfull Hall  -  1 Eilean Donon  -  1 Great Success  -  1 Lawman  -  1 Like A Prayer  -  1 Metropolitan  -  1 Monarchy  -  1 Muscle Hill  -  1 The Prez  -  1 Sundon  -  1   Two-Year-Old Trotting Colts and Geldings Majestic Son  -  3 Muscle Hill  -  2 Angus Hall  -  1 Betto'rs Delight  -  1 Danny Bouchea  -  1 Down Under Muscles  -  1 Great Success  -  1 Imperial Count   -  1 Louey Louey Louey  -  1 Lucky Chucky  -  1   Two-Year-Old Trotting Fillies Angus Hall  -  2 Majestic Son  -  2 Louey Louey Louey  -  2 Skyvalley  -  2 Down Under Muscles  -  1 Great Success  -  1 Love You  -  1 Muscles Yankee  -  1 The Prez  -  1   Two-Year-Old Trotters Totals Majestic Son  -  5 Angus Hall  -  3 Louey Louey Louey  -  3 Geat Success  -  2 Muscle Hill  -  2 Skyvalley  -  2 Bettor's Delight  -  1 Danny Bouchea  -  1 Down Under Muscles  -  1 Imperial Count  -  1 Like A Prayer  -  1 Lucky Chucky  -  1 Love You  -  1 Muscles Yankee  -  1 The Prez  -  1   Combined totals for two and three-year-olds trotters Majestic Son  -  8 Angus Hall  -  7 Skyvalley  -  4 Great Success  -  3 Louey Louey Louey  -  3 Muscle Hill  -  3 Muscle Mass  -  3 Down Under Muscles  -  2 The Prez  -  2 Yankee Spider  -  2 Armbro Varialble  -  1 Bacardi Lindy  -  1 Bettor's Delight  -  1 Blissfull Hall  -  1 Danny Bouchea  -  1 Eilean Donon  -  1 Imperial Count  -  1 Lawman  -  1 Like A Prayer  -  1 Love You  -  1 Lucky Chucky  -  1 Metropolitan  -  1 Monarchy  -  1 Muscles Yankee  -  1 Sundon  -  1   Sires of the Dams of the Trotters                                3yo Colts & Geldings   3yo Fillies    2yo Colts & Geldings     2yo Fillies Dream Vacation                1                                                                                     1 Sundon                             1                              1                        3                            3 Yentls Image                     1 Muscles Yankee               1                               1 Great Success                  1 Chiola Hanover                 1 Gee Whizz                         1                                                         1 Wind Cries Maori               1 Monarchy                           1 SJ’S Photo                         1                               2 Keystone Salute                1                                                           1 Safely Kept                        1                                1                         1                             1 Continentalman                  1 Ganymede                                                           1 Our Sir Vancelot                                                   1                          1 Windsongs Legacy                                               1 Super Punk                                                           1 Onyx Du Goutier                                                   1 Wagon Apollo                                                        1                                                          3 Pegasus Spur                                                        1 Malabar Maple                                                       1 Balanced Image                                                                                   1 Earl                                                                                                       1                           1 Maori’s Idol                                                                                           1 Evanders Gold                                                                                      1 Classic Adam                                                                                        1 Ok Bye                                                                                                   1 Dr Ronerail                                                                                                                        1 CR Commando                                                                                                                 1 The Wrath of Pan                                                                                                              1 Lindy Lane                                                                                                                        1 Harnesslink Media  

Bettor Joy will be like a three-year-old racing juveniles at Melton tomorrow - literally. The Kiwi filly is an odds-on favourite for her A$285,000 Breeders Crown Final, courtesy of an eye-catching semifinal win last weekend, drawing barrier two and champion reinsman Dexter Dunn returning from the World Drivers Champs to pilot her. She also has the advantage of having a full season of juvenile racing behind her in New Zealand, turning three on August 1 but then reverting to being a two-year-old when she crossed the Tasman as their harness racing season runs until the end of August - don't ask, the answer is ridiculous. That weird anomaly means every season Kiwi horses go into the Breeders Crown with an experience edge over their Australian rivals and while the drop back is more of a paper advantage, trainer Cran Dalgety says in the case of Bettor Joy the gap is more real. "She was a very good juvenile early in the season when she won the big race at Auckland [March] but then she weakened off like a lot of young horses do," explains Dalgety. "But she has come through that, strengthened up again and feels now like a three-year-old because she has been through her two-year-old growing phase. "In her work and the way she is racing it really is like she is a three-year-old already." Dalgety says he will leave the crucial decision on whether Bettor Joy leads or trails Canterbury filly Angel Of Harlem up to Dunn but in a race with some Aussie fillies with big reputations it wouldn't surprise to see Bettor Joy making use of the passing lane. The other richest final tomorrow sees Auckland pacer King Of Swing in a very similar situation - an impressive semi winner, drawn best of the favourites and with a gun driver in David Butcher. He has never been further back than second and hasn't had some of the hard racing of his Aussie rivals so can give trainer Ray Green his first really major Australian victory, with the All Stars-trained Sicario the danger as last week's other semi winner. Our Renezmae (two-year-old trot) and More The Better (three-year-old male pace) are the other New Zealand-trained favourites but Partyon will need to do something special to overcome a second line draw against Aussie arch-rival Petacular, who finally gets a good draw in the big time. By Michael Guerin

Airborne Ameretto is taking the fast-class pacing ranks by storm for Great Western harness racing trainer-driver Kerryn Manning. The five-year-old Million Dollar Cam-Eyes Of Courage mare completed a five-straight picket-fence winning form line for Manning tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton with an explosive win in the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pacers Free for All. Following last weekend’s brilliant Mares Graduate FFA Breeders Crown win at Bendigo, Ameretto lifted another notch tonight and the big question now is where to next? “There’s Perth … where there’s a nice mares’ race there,” Manning said post-race, adding, “We’ll have to sit down and have a think”. Ameretto tonight held off a fast-finishing Tee Cee Bee Macray by 1.9m in a mile rate of 1:53.3, with San Carlo running in third place 2.3m behind the winner. “It gets harder from here,” Manning said. “But if she keeps going like that she’ll be hard to beat in whatever she lines up in.” The last mare to win the Breeders Crown Graduate Free for All was Make Mine Cullen in 2012 (1:58.0).  And for the sake of including this stat, the last mare to win the Inter Dominion was Jodie’s Babe in 1989 (Stella Frost won Inter in 1971, Richmond Lass in 1969 and Robin Dundee in 1965). “It was a really quality field tonight. To (win) in such good fashion just shows how good a horse she is,” Manning said. “She’s a very easy horse to handle at home. It’s a pleasure to have her.” Manning was sent the mare by trainer Ashlee Grives in New South Wales. The Orange Agent, the star Kiwi mare who dominated this year’s Mares’ Triple Crown at Melton, went 1:53.7 in winning the Alabar Angelique Club Cup over 2240m at Melton in May. Messini ran on well for fourth tonight and My Kiwi Mate finished fifth. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The 2017 TAB Breeders Crown Finals were top of the agenda when harness racing jornos Cody Winnell and Michael Howard talked trots last night on Melbourne sports radio station SEN 1116am. Super Sunday will see eight Breeders Crown Group 1 finals contested as the Race to Royalty hits an exciting finale. The action gets under way on Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton with stellar line-ups for the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Free for All and the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Trotters Free for All. First race on Sunday is 12.45pm. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Classy youngster Our Little General is in a solid position to join an elite 'troop' at Tabcorp Park Melton on Sunday. Engaged in one of eight harness racing Group One Australasian Breeders’ Crown Finals, the Australian Pacing Gold graduate has drawn to lead throughout from barrier three. Should he emerge triumphant, Our Little General will become just the third colt/gelding three-year-old to successfully defend the title he captured the season before. Bit Of A Legend was the first to achieve the feat, having scored in 2012 and ’13, followed by Our Waikiki Beach. Also an Australian Pacing Gold graduate, Waikiki Beach was successful in 2015 and ’16. Two fillies have completed the double, with Sassy Sarah leading the way in 2001 and ’02, followed by Lady Waratah in 2005 and ’06. Like Our Little General and Waikiki Beach, Lady Waratah is a member of the APG family. Blessed with gate speed, Our Little General worked to the lead from barrier seven last season before accounting for Astride and Wrappers Delight. Winner of his semi-final at Bendigo last weekend, the son of Mach Three is in top shape for his title defence according to trainer Emma Stewart. “I’m very happy with where he is at going into the Final,” Stewart said. “He had a good run in the semi and has come throughout it fine.” Our Little General will be joined in the rich decider by APG stock Jilliby Kung Fu, Solid As A Rock, Stars Align and Wrappers Delight. by APG Media

Carisbrook harness racing trainer Brett Shipway hasn't got a market favourite in Sunday's TAB Breeders Crown Finals at Melton. In fact he doesn't even have a favourite of his own among his three runners. 'Shippy' doesn't play favourites. "They're all characters with their own personality," he says of his horses with genuine affection. "They enjoy themselves. They're having fun ... they're not superstars but they have a dip." Shipway will saddle up Bebubbalouie in the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Trotting Colts and Geldings Final and both Louieville Lass and Di Li in the 2YO Fillies Final on Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton. "They've gone really good," he said of his two-year-olds' campaigns. "It's good to see them all make it there." by Trots Media - Cody Winnell

One of harness racing’s golden girls will fast-track her return to driving to be part of Sunday’s stellar Breeders Crown meeting at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. Life has changed a fair bit for Lauren Tritton since she last drove in a race about seven months ago. She’s now a first-time mum to son Levi, but has been counting down the days to jumping back in the sulky. “It’s really exciting to be back driving. I haven’t driven in a race since January,” she said. “Levi’s a month-old today (Tuesday). The first two weeks were hard, I felt like death warmed-up to be honest, but every day has been better since. It’s an amazing time of life, but I’ve certainly missed the driving.” It is another of her favourite “kids” — glamour two-year-old filly My Sweetchilliphilly — who has lured Tritton back to the races this weekend. “I will drive at the Menangle trials (Tuesday) and will drive My Riviera Belle at Melton on Friday night so I’m primed for ‘Chilli’ on Sunday,” she said. “I love the filly. She ran below her best last week and didn’t look comfortable. It’s the biggest race of her season and I really wanted to be part of it.” My Sweetchilliphilly brilliantly won her first five races, earning comparisons with great juvenile fillies of the modern era, before being beaten into fifth place as a $1.60 favourite in her Crown semi-final at Bendigo last Saturday night. She’s drawn the back row (gate 10) in Sunday’s final and is a $7.50 shot with TAB. Sunday’s card features eight Group 1 Crown finals and TAB markets are open on them all. The early movers have been: The More The Better $1.70 into $1.60 (3YO colts and geldings final); Petacular $1.50 into $1.40 (3YO fillies’ final); Our Bettor Joy $2.40 into $1.90 (2YO fillies’ final); Dance Craze $1.80 to $1.60 (3YO trotting final). Reprinted with permission of The Herald Sun

The two-year-old pacing males Breeders Crown Final shapes as one of the toughest nuts to crack from a harness racing punting viewpoint this coming Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton. Last night’s Semi-Final winners, Sicario and King Of Swing – both Kiwis – were awesome, and Poster Boy was enormous in defeat.  Then there’s Colt Thirty One, who made up many lengths from the back for Grant Dixon – a renowned presenter of young talent when he treks to Victoria, Master Moonlite – another Kiwi, and his trainer Cran Dalgety doesn’t visit Melton without a live chance – and then the sleepers, probably spearheaded by Braeview Bondi, who promises to deliver a big blow on the big stage at some stage. Sicario, which hails from the all-conquering Mark Purdon Allstars camp, was at his career best so far last night at Bendigo, comfortably handling his opposition and clocking the second-fastest mile rate of the night, only behind potential free-for-all star mare Amaretto. “The last six to eight weeks he’s gone to another level,” said winning reinsman Luke McCarthy shortly after climbing out of the cart aboard Sicario. “His trials and races have been very good and tonight he just felt fantastic. He ran super. Especially on a cold night – it’s gotten quite cold now, that time is fantastic.” Earlier in the night King Of Swing went 1:55.1 to win his two-year-old boys’ division semi-final for trainer Ray Green and reinsman David Butcher. And his run was enormous. Three-wide the last lap without cover, King Of Swing held off the two horses who followed him into the race. “He’s improving with every run and I can’t fault the run (tonight),” Butcher said. “Hopefully we can do the job on Sunday. I think he’ll improve off (tonight) … he seems to get better all the time.” Of the beaten brigade last night boom youngster Poster Boy was brave to run second after being inconvenienced early then parking for the last lap. He lost no admirers. The draw for Sunday’s Woodlands Stud sponsored final has made life tricky for Sicario (gate 10), while Poster Boy also lobbed the second row (gate nine). Meanwhile, King Of Swing landed the pole draw, which shortened his odds dramatically. Colt Thirty One has gate six and Braeview Bondi barrier five. WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 1st SEMI-FINAL WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 2nd SEMI-FINAL $285,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - King Of Swing NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Artsplace mare - David Butcher 2 - Kasbah Kid by Art Major from a Western Terror mare - Greg Sugars 3 - Forte Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Aces N Sevens mare - Glen Craven 4 - Tam Major by Art Major from a Camluck mare - Rodney Petroff 5 - Braeview Bondi by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare - Josh Duggan 6 - Colt Thirty One by Mach Three from a Perfect Art mare - Grant Dixon 7 - Beltane by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - John Caldow ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Joe Nien by Shadow Play from a Art Major mare - Greg Sugars 9 - Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere from a Artsplace mare - Chris Alford 10 - Sicario by Somebeachsomewhere from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy 11 - Mister Moonlite NZ by Art Major from a Christian Cullen mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Seeuinnashville by Mach Three from Fake Left mare - Nathan Jack 13 - Tin Roof Raider by Mach Three from a Life Sign mare - Michael Bellman  Em 1 Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

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