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Unbeaten Partyon will improve into the Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown Final after her Semi-Final win, said harness racing trainer-driver Mark Purdon last night at Bendigo. After finishing 1.4m ahead of runner-up My Casino Belle in the first Semi-Final for the two-year-old pacing fillies in 1:58.5, Partyon was installed $1.75 fixed odds favourite with for next Sunday’s Group 1 final at Tabcorp Park Melton. “She was quite casual actually. I think she will be better with the run under her belt and she was busy looking at everything with the new track and new surroundings,” Purdon said. “She’ll be spot on for the final.” VIDEO: MARK PURDON TALKS ABOUT PARTYON AFTER WINNING SEMI Partyon, by Bettor's Delight out of Beach Parade and unbeaten in four starts, began from barrier 11 last night at Lord’s Raceway but wasted little time getting into the race, Purdon pushing her forward to find the lead after 300 metres. Once in front there were very few moves made in the run and Partyon dictated terms before dashing up the straight with a 27.2 final quarter to hold off a valiant My Casino Belle for Brad Hewitt. But while Partyon, who won the 2YO Diamond at the New Zealand Harness Jewels meeting in June, is all the rage for the Final Victorians Petacular and Miss Graceland will be far from easy-beats next Sunday. Michael Stanley trained Petacular in particular has had a super season with eight wins – including victory in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final – from 10 starts for over $160,000 in stakes. MARKETS: TAB FIXED ODDS BREEDERS CROWN MARKETS Last night she was at the top of her game once again, taking out her Semi-Final by 4m over Emma Stewart trained Miss Graceland in 1:57.7. Driven by Chris Alford, Petacular overcame a barrier 11 draw, circling the field to assume control at the mile. VIDEO: PETACULAR GRABS ANOTHER WIN, THIS TIME IN SEMI-FINAL Miss Graceland, who started from barrier 13 last night, moved to second at the 500m before dropping on to Petacular’s back for a breather turning for home. Those two dashed right away from the rest of the field and the winner never looked in any serious danger, scoring by 4m with third-placed Miss Dangerfield coming in 23.9m behind the winner. Petacular, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Ideal Priority, drew poorly for the Final resulting in putting her up as a $5 third favourite, with Miss Graceland drawing well in gate four for the Final opening at $3.50. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

While all the hype had been held by horses’ trained north of the border and off-shore, it was a Smythes Creek battle-hardened Mach Three who landed the killer blow in Saturday night’s Breeders Crown harness racing semi-finals at Bendigo. Shane and Lauren Tritton’s Tingira Beach was outstanding for the Menangle Park pair in semi-final one, but the script was thrown out in the second two-year-old colts and geldings semi-final when Christchurch trainer Mark Purdon’s gun, Pacing Major, was held off by Our Little General. “He’s a proper little racehorse now,” driver Chris Alford said, having notched up the second of three consecutive winning drives. “With a bit of luck somewhere we will be in the money (in the final).” That defining moment will come in race six next Saturday, when the Emma Stewart trained Our Little General’s large ownership contingent will be in attendance, including Anne Anderson of part-owner/breeder Lauriston Bloodstock. “It was fantastic,” Ms Anderson said. “We never expected him to hold off that quality field and he did it well.” VIDEO: ANNE ANDERSON DELIGHTED AFTER HER COLT SUCCEEDS From barrier seven Our Little General was sent to the top, where he was joined by Pacing Major at the bell, who was given a reprieve from his three-wide move when Bettor Be Gold gave Purdon’s runner cover. Come the final bend Our Little General stole the march on the field and by the time Purdon put Pacing Major into the open the task had become considerable. His Art Major colt loomed up, but Our Little General kicked on with 100m to go and that was all she wrote. “His first start was a heat of the Australian Pacing Gold and he’s danced every dance since then and we are just so proud of him,” Anderson said. “We’ll be back. I haven’t missed a Breeders Crown since the first one at Bendigo, so I’m a huge Breeders Crown fan and to have one in is fantastic.” Come the final Our Little General will again have to come from barrier seven and Pacing Major barrier nine after their semi-final draws were replicated. Their main rival, Tinigira Beach, will launch from barrier two for the Trittons, potentially enabling Pacing Major an avenue through and making Our Little General’s position a little trickier. With the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series crown already in his keeping, Tingira Beach couldn’t have been more impressive in his semi-final win and, with barrier draw front of mind, he’s been installed as a $1.50 favourite to win on TAB fixed odds. In the semi-final, the Somebeachsomewhere/Western Tingira colt held the front from barrier one and with 27.4 and 27.1 third and fourth quarters built a 12.3m win from Sunset Zeus, who had been on leader’s back. The dominant performance was that of a horse on his way up, Tritton said. “When we came here (for Vicbred) he was really green and still learning. He’s a different horse now, he’s a lot more switched on,” Tritton said. “He’s been really sharp in his work and I think he’s a really nice horse and he’s got his chance to win a good race.” VIDEO: SHANE TRITTON ONE VERY PROUD TRAINER That would mean more delight for his owners and breeders, the Dacar Newcastle group. “They come to Breeders Crown every year whether they have a runner or not,” Tritton said. “If I could get them a Breeders Crown win it would just mean the world to them. I think he’s good enough. I’d hate to think there’s better ones out there my bloke, he just feels great, I love him." Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

He came, he saw, he conquered – and Sunday it’s going to take one heck of a run to prevent him doing it all over again in the harness racing Group 1 $185,000 Breeders Crown final. Mark Purdon’s super Somebeachsomewhere gelding Our Waikiki Beach run down talented front runner Iceenothink, from Larry Eastman’s camp, to win his IRT Breeders Crown semi-final at Bendigo. VIDEO: OWNER TREVOR CASEY DELIGHTED WITH HIS STAR'S WIN And the Victorian bred, New Zealand trained winner of 22 of his 23 starts looks to have a stranglehold on the competition after a favourable barrier draw placed him in gate two for Sunday's Tabcorp Park Melton final, outside only emergency Carter Bromac. Leading rivals, who also qualified in last night’s semi-finals at Bendigo, Spiritwriter (barrier 5), Kingofthestars (barrier 6) and Iceenothink (barrier 7) have drawn outside the Kiwi on the front row, while Rock Of America (barrier 8) will likely be on his tail. Highly rated Kiwi Franco Cristiano, who ran fifth in his heat, will start from the back row, as will semi-final winner Soho Tribecca. The latter had a shining moment at Bendigo, where he controlled the race after driver Chris Alford found the front from barrier six on the Jayne Davies trained American Ideal colt. “He’s been running in all the good races this year and just been falling short,” Alford said. “Tonight for him to win a semi of the Breeders Crown is terrific and onwards to the final now.” VIDEO: CHRIS ALFORD CHATS AFTER SOHO TRIBECCA TAKES HONOURS Soho Tribecca was brilliant out of the gates to cross Keep On Rocking from gate one, while $1.40 favourite Franco Cristiano had a much more modest start and was swamped from gate four, which left driver John Dunn three-wide until he crept to the breeze mid-race. Soho Tribecca by contrast was able to do his own thing and when they came knocking at the final bend it was only Geoff Webster’s Keep On Rocking, from the box seat, who threatened. “(Soho Tribecca) found the front pretty comfortably and the main thing was that he relaxed pretty well the first lap and got it pretty easy,” Alford said. “When the pressure come on and they wanted to get rolling along, if you fight him he doesn’t seem to finish off so I was happy to let him stride and thankfully he held on.” Soho Tribecca won by a neck in a 1:55.7 mile rate for owner-breeder Rob Watson. “He’s had a lot of horses over the years Rob and he does put a lot of money in and so he deserves every winner he gets,” Alford said. The mile rate was 0.5 quicker than semi-final two, which ran as expected with Iceenothink leading and Our Waikiki Beach taking his back from barrier eight. It was then a waiting game until the sprint lane opened for Purdon, who gave Our Waikiki Beach a gentle urging and he found the front to win by 2.9m in a 27.9 final quarter, delighting part-owner Trevor Casey. “We had to drive him that way and hope for luck,” Mr Casey said. “We got it and that was our main mission (tonight).” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Clayton Tonkin’s declaration that he doesn’t like comparing his two top-gun harness racing fillies Rocknroll Magic and Heavens Trend is completely understandable. They’re both lovable. The Emma Stewart and Tonkin prepared three-year-olds won their respective Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO semi-finals last night at Bendigo and then drew gates one (Heavens Trend) and eight (Rocknroll Magic) for the $185,000 final. “I don’t like comparing them too much. They’re lovely horses in their own right,” Tonkin said. The barrier draw result is intriguing. Heavens Trend clearly has the advantage from the pole and TAB has reacted by installing her $1.65 favourite for next Sunday’s final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Rocknroll Magic will trail her more fancied stablemate and is currently $3 to win the final. “She’s been unbelievable. It’s been a long, long season for her and for her to run the way she ran tonight is just unbelievable,” said Craig Cameron, who bred Rocknroll Magic (by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic) and now races the filly with a big ownership group. “She’s only a tiny little horse but she’s all champ.” VIDEO: EXCITED OWNERS OF ROCKNROLL MAGIC Heavens Trend went around $1.50 favourite last night in the First Semi-Final and after punching the breeze for the first 500m Gavin Lang took her to the front at the mile, Chris Alford happy to take cover on initial leader Dancingwithsierra. After coasting through a 61.3secs first half, Lang and Heavens Trend only really quickened considerably from the quarter pole, the filly covering the last split in 26.6secs for a 1:55.9 mile rate. At the wire Heavens Trend had 7.3m to spare over Mark Purdon’s My Mackenzie, who came from three-pegs, with Rockstar Angel in third for Michael Bellman after weaving a passage from well back on the inside. Dancingwithsierra dead-heated for fourth with Whirily School, the latter, also from the Stewart yard, fighting on gamely after sitting parked for the final mile. “I thought (she) did a good job, too,” Tonkin said of Whirily School. VIDEO: CLAYTON TONKIN TALKS ABOUT HIS FILLIES Queenslander Get In The Groove, who last year won a Breeders Crown Semi, qualified for the final by finishing sixth for driver Luke McCarthy. Rocknroll Magic came from behind in the run to win her Semi-Final, Lang extricating her off the pegs from barrier eight early before settling sixth in the running line. At the 500m Lang made his move, easing wide to get within striking distance of race leader Luisanabelle Midfrew and the breezing Nikkibadwagon. In the stretch once Lang shook up the $3.20 favourite, Rocknroll Magic rounded up the leaders and scored by 1.6m in a rate of 1:56.4. The last half-mile was trekked in 56.3. MARKETS: TAB BREEDERS CROWN FIXED ODDS Nikkibadwagon was brave in second after facing the breeze throughout, while Just Rockon Bye finished third after showing blistering gate speed to lead from five before handing up to Luisanabelle Midfrew, who ran fourth. Gina Grace appreciated the pole position draw and qualified in fifth, while Ilikemillie scraped into the final by closing late for sixth. Lang revealed late last night he would drive Heavens Trend in the Crown final. "Her heat run was very good and she was good again tonight so it all augers well for next week," he said. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Shane Tritton isn’t one to get intimidated. Even when it means taking on the might of the Purdon/Rasmussen barn, Tritton thinks he has the horse to beat them. Tritton’s young star Tingira Beach is commanding favourite to win his Breeders Crown 2YO semi-final tomorrow night and set-up a showdown with Purdon’s young gun Pacing Major in the final. “We’ve had some luck this week drawing barrier one in the weaker of the two semis, so he only needs to run up to his recent form to win,” Tritton said. “I think he’s actually improved since he was last down in Melbourne and winning the Vicbred final.” Tingara Beach looks the leader and winner from the pole and is a $1.25 favourite in Aussie TAB markets. Pacing Major is $1.60 favourite from a back row draw (gate nine) in the stronger semi-final where Astride (gate one), Our Little General (seven) and Bettor Be Gold (12) have the talent to make it a contest. Looking ahead to the final, Tritton thinks Tingira Beach deserves top billing with Pacing Major. “I know the markets have Pacing Major favourite, but knowing how good my horse is, he will need to be something special to beat us,” he said. “He just keeps improving, has been working really well with some top horses of mine at home and I can’t wait for the final.” In other stable news, Tritton said his glamour mare Arms Of An Angel was ready to return. “She’s coming up well and will trial in the next two weeks,” he said. “We’ve been sitting her up in her work so she’s learning all the time. “She is only an M2 so we can take her through the grades for now then look at feature race options, but obviously the Ladyship and Miracle Miles are the long term targets.” Tritton also hopes to chase feature races with his new star, the injury-plagued Lombo Kotakinabalu. “He’s done a tendon three times, but he’s back flying and is sound as I’ve ever had him,” he said. “I said two years ago he could be a Miracle Mile horse and I just hope we can keep him sound long enough to run in the big races. “He’s won his past two starts in super time and without Lauren having to pull the plugs.” Adam Hamilton

The money has come for Petacular to win tomorrow night’s Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown two-year-old fillies’ second harness racing semi-final at Bendigo. The Michael Stanley-trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is already seven-time winner from nine starts and has a win and a third to her name at Group 1 level. Petacular took out the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final last month at Tabcorp Park Melton in 1:58.0 from the breeze. Despite a gate 11 draw tomorrow night at Bendigo, Petacular is into $1.55 to win her Breeders Crown semi with TAB reporting an $1800 win bet at $1.7 during the week. TAB also reported significant win bets had come for Shane Tritton-trained Tingira Beach to win the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown two-year-old colts and geldings’ first semi-final from the pole and Franco Christiano to take out the IRT Breeders Crown three-year-old colts and geldings’ first semi-final from barrier four. At longer odds support has come for Michael Doltoff-trained Rock Of America ($6 to $5.5) in the three-year-old boys’ first semi-final, and there has been a good early go for Barry Dunn-trained Nikkibadwagon ($4/$3.8/$3.5) to win the three-year-old fillies’ second semi-final from barrier six. TAB fixed odds markets are open for all tomorrow night’s semi-finals and all-in markets are available for next Sunday August 28’s TAB Breeders Crown pacing finals. Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Semi-Final Preview Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 2YO Colts/Geldings Preview Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Preview Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 3YO Colts/Geldings Preview Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The harness racing starters for the 2016 TAB Breeders Crown two-year-old and three-year-old trotters finals are complete with line-ups to be finalised at tomorrow night’s barrier draws in Bendigo. The trotting heats were conducted at Maryborough on Wednesday with the pacing semi-finals to be held at Lord’s Raceway Bendigo from 5.33pm tomorrow night. Tomorrow night’s barrier draws will be covered live across Harness Racing Vitoria’s media channels @HRVnews on Twitter and TAB will be releasing fixed odds final markets on the Breeders Crown finals soon after completion of barrier draws tomorrow night. All-in markets are currently open and can be accessed here. Breeders Crown Trotting Starters 3YO Trotting Colts and Geldings ALEPPO MURPHY BIG JACK HAMMER CONON BRIDGE NZ CRUISIN AROUND ENROLLED HUDSON BAY MAORI LAW SKYFLYER SUN VALLEY ROAD SUNDONS COURAGE TEMPORALE NZ WAR DAN DESTROYER KYVALLEY TINMAN (1st Em) 3YO Trotting Fillies ALDEBARAN AY M NZ ALDEBARAN EVE COURCHEVEL NZ FEAR NOT HIGH GAIT NZ ILLAWONG BLISS PRINCESS PHOENIX SKY MAJESTY SOCIAL FIREBALL THE COOLER WILMAS MATE NZ 2YO Trotting Colts and Geldings CLARKES HILL CLAUDYS PRINCE CUSTODIAN NZ EMPIRE BAY ENDSIN A PARTY EYRISH MIST NZ ILLAWONG BYRON JUST OSCAR KHEIRON MANO DE DIOS RED RUSTLER SHANG FANG SWORD 2YO Trotting Fillies BETTY HALL DERRIE AIRE GARSTON GIRL IONA SPIDER KYVALLEY KYRIE MIDNIGHTATPINEVALE NIETA OUR REGAL LOVE NZ SVAL QUEEN TEN SPANNERS UNE BELLE ALLURE VALSUE ILLAWONG SHIMMER (1st Em) Breeders Crown draws to be held amid owners' celebrations Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Having waited a long time to unwrap his trotting gift harness racing trainer Bill Morgan’s patience has been quickly rewarded, with his talented three-year-old putting his best foot forward. Maori Law’s unbeaten streak reached four at Maryborough yesterday when the Lawman / Sundonna gelding stepped out in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown heat and saw off a challenge from Tony Herlihy’s short-priced entrant, Temporale. It has the Seymour stable buoyant, having stepped carefully with their lightly-raced gelding, who is owned by Fred Crews. “Early doors he looked like he was going to hit his knee (when trotting) so we put him away as a two-year-old and he must have been out for eight to 10 months,” Morgan said. “Then we worked him up, had good speed, but just wasn’t good enough to trot early, wasn’t balanced enough, so we put him away for another three months and then we had another go at him again. He was handling the early speed and so we raced him.” There was still uncertainty, but Morgan was optimistic he had a good one. “I remember one night when we were getting him going we took him up to Shepparton just to have a run about,” Morgan said. “We were only educating him, he couldn’t balance early so we would work him two-mile and then build him into it. “One particular night, when Bernadette (Page) was driving a pacemaker, I said just come off his back and let him work home in the quarter and he ran 27.7. If I had have raced him then I think I might have brought him undone because he just wasn’t balanced enough early, so we put him away and waited for him.” His debut came at Maryborough on July 18, when in Gavin Lang’s hands he won by a head via the sprint lane. “His first start here he sat behind the leader, they went slow and then sprinted. He was entitled to lose, if they had have ran it true I think he would have won it easy at his first start.” Further victories followed at Cranbourne on July 30 and Maryborough on August 7, but yesterday presented his most stern test against Breeders Crown aspirants. “He’s got stronger, in saying that of course (he hadn’t raced) the likes of the Tony Herlihys then,” Morgan said. “Each time he’s racing better horses.” From gate two yesterday Lang guided Maori Law to the front and followed a 42.7 lead time with 31.6 and 31.9 first and second quarters. Temporale remained in the one-one through a 29.6 third quarter, drawing wide at the final bend and almost level with Maori Law, but the latter matched every stride and in a 28.0 final quarter won by 2.1m, with Hudson Bay third. “I didn’t know whether he could or he couldn’t (beat the likes of Temporale), but when he got the cheap splits I had a gut feeling, and I said to young Bernadette, that I don’t know if (Temporale) can beat him now.” Next stop is the Sunday, August 28, Breeders Crown finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, where the Group 1 $60,000 prize will have Maori Law square off against fellow heat winner Sundons Courage, Vicbred champion Cruisin Around and Geoff Webster’s Big Jack Hammer among others. It’s a challenge Morgan is looking forward to, in a matter-of-fact kind of way. “Breeders Crown only comes around once a year, if it wasn’t around normally you would put him away, but he is paid up for it and after that we will put him away, give him a freshen up and in another preparation we should find him better again.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Race programme for Tabcorp Park Melton, Sunday 28 August 2016

This time last year harness racing driver Ashlee Grives won a Semi-Final of the Breeders Crown with Ameretto. Wind the clock forward and the pair are aiming at Victorian riches again, this time in Saturday night's Group Three Breeders Crown Graduate Mares Free-For-All at Bendigo. Drawn wide in barrier seven for the $30,000 feature, Ameretto is the third elect with TAB Fixed Odds at $6. And despite hardly finishing out of the money throughout her career, the Million Dollar Cam mare produced one of the best runs to date to win at Tabcorp Park Menangle last start. She led throughout and rated 1:51.6. "I was a bit worried heading into that race because she had not raced in five weeks but she went super," Grives said. "She will racing in Victoria for a couple of weeks with the Breeders Crown Final at Melton at the end of month too." Part-owned by Grives' husband Ryan, Ameretto has won 17 of her 39 starts and Grives has been the only person to drive the four-year-old in all her races. This has aided Grives' record of steering 633 winners in her own career and it has also added to Grives 198 wins as a trainer, hence why they named their property 'Ameretto Park'. It is even their domain name for their website Ameretto is one of three New South Wales mares aimed at this weekend's feature, with the John McCarthy-trained Cyclone Kate the $2.20 favourite and the Shane Tritton-trained Miss Riviera Bella a $9 chance. Amanda Rando

Harness racing star Our Waikiki Beach has been handed a tricky start to his Breeders Crown defence. The exceptional three-year-old confirmed his place as favourite for the ABC series with a dominant win at Melton last Saturday but his path to final has been made more difficult by a bad draw in his semi final at Bendigo on Saturday night. Our Waikiki Beach, the winner of 21 of his 22 starts, will start from the inside of the second line in his 2150m semi final. While he follows out one of his key rivals in Iceenothink and the field is not strong, his early fate could now be in the hands of his rivals and may force trainer-driver Mark Purdon to pull back to near last as getting locked away on the markers would seem his biggest danger. That could mean a harder night at the office than Purdon would have liked and while only bad luck would stop him from qualifying for the final on Sunday week, the other New Zealand-trained three-year-old in the series, Franco Cristiano, looks to have an easier path. He has drawn barrier three in the other semi and in a series that lacks depth he will be expected to win for John Dunn. Purdon didn’t have a lot of luck with barrier draws for his other series favourites, with both Pacing Major (two-year-old boys) and Partyon (juvenile fillies) drawing the second line. Pacing Major won his Australian debut last Friday against older horses but faces a huge task on Saturday as his semi contains some serious opponents in Astride, The Little General and Bettor Be Gold. Partyon should remain unbeaten in her semi as she has drawn a weak field and has already shown the ability to work in her races. The New Zealand-trained winners in the draws apart from Franco Cristiano were My MacKenzie, barrier one in a weakish semi, and Luisanabelle Midfrew, who gets barrier two in the other three-year-old fillies semi. Meanwhile, several of New Zealand’s contenders for the trotting divisions of the Breeders Crown attempt to qualify at Maryborough on Wednesday. High Gait, Temporale and Our Regal Love will all be well favoured in their heats on the all-trotting programme.   Michael Guerin

John Dunn can’t wait for another crack at Our Waikiki Beach with his exciting pacer Franco Cristiano. That looks likely in the Breeders Crown final on Sunday week, but first Franco Cristiano has to book his spot through a semi-final at Bendigo on Saturday night. And he doesn’t have Our Waikiki Beach to contend with this time. It’s fair to say Dunn was buzzing despite Franco Cristiano having to be content with third spot to Our Waikiki Beach and Menin Gate at Melton last Saturday night. “I was thrilled with the run. He really needed the hitout, so to do the work he did and still finish so close (5.3m from the winner) was really pleasing,” Dunn said. “I’m not afraid of Our Waikiki Beach. I respect him, but I’m really looking forward to racing him again. “I do think we can beat him. I know how much improvement this is to come from our guy.” Dunn moved Franco Cristiano from Melton to Bruce Morgan’s Bendigo stables last Sunday so the gelding could do his trackwork around the circuit he will race on this weekend. “Just like I took him to the Melton trials and then gave him the run last week, I’m big on giving a horse who is still learning some experience around tracks which are new to him,” he said. Franco Cristiano will dominate betting from an ideal draw (gate four) in what looks the weaker of the two Crown semis at Bendigo on Saturday night. He will come into three if the emergency (Nickys Idol, gate one) doesn’t gain a start. The barrier has added plenty of interest to the other semi with Our Waikiki Beach drawn inside the back row (gate eight). Main danger and impressive heat winner Iceenothink has thee pole, while the other major hopes look to be Kingofthestars (gate nine) and I Will Rock You (13). Tactics will be fascinating with Iceenothink a probable leader and Our Waikiki Beach drawn to trail him through. Two of Mark Purdon’s other stars – Partyon (race two, gate 11) and Pacing Major (race six, gate nine) – also drew the back row. While his talented three-year-old filly My Mackenzie landed the pole in the opening race, but does have Heavens Trend (four), Dancingwithsierra (two) and Whirily School (three).   Adam Hamilton

Harness racing team Molander look on track to renew their acquaintances with Breeders Crown joy, with their Race To Royalty to be revived tomorrow at Maryborough. Based at Riddells Creek, trainer Nicole Molander and husband Dean have prepared two talented trotters for tomorrow’s heats in Our Regal Love and champion High Gait, winner of last year’s two-year-old Breeders Crown final. The Muscles Yankee filly was then in Mark Purdon’s powerful All Stars stable and saluted on the same night Reina Danzante won the three-year-old fillies final for Molander. Tomorrow High Gait steps out for the fourth time for Molander and expectations are high. “She is right up there with the best of them,” Dean Molander said. Since transitioning to the Molanders’ property for her New Zealand owners, High Gait was undefeated until Paul Nairn’s smart filly Wilmas Mate pipped her in an eventful Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, when High Gait did plenty of work before being beaten 2.7m. “She came home and ate everything,” Molander said. “She’s a pretty tough little horse and has done plenty of work in quite a few runs. She only had one lead up and should tune up better for the Redwood.” Wilmas Mate will be absent from tomorrow’s heats having secured her berth in the August 26 final via a win at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway, with the three-year-old instead nominated for Friday night’s Collaborate Communications Trot at Tabcorp Park Melton. Molander said High Gait and Wilmas Mate “look the standouts”, but plenty of talent will surround them. “(High Gait) obviously has a bad barrier draw (tomorrow), but she will take her chances along the way,” Molander said. “Princess Phoenix will likely lead and whether she hands up to us or we sit outside is unclear, but she will certainly be in it at the finish.” There are a few more unknowns when it comes to Molander’s other Breeders Crown entrant Our Regal Love, a two-year-old Love You filly who, like High Gait, is Breckon Farms owned and bred. “Her running is getter better and better every start,” Molander said. “She hasn’t raced all of the season, unlike a few of the others, but we are really happy with her.” Our Regal Love placed third in the Seelite Windows & Doors Redwood Classic, having lost touch with geldings Illawong Byron and Custodian. “On Redwood day she sat in the trail and when they quickened she didn’t quite know what to do, but she is improving and won’t be far away,” Molander said. “It is a nice little heat with Sval Queen and Betty Hall drawn inside her and Illawong Shimmer on her outside. “We think she will be a top horse after she has a spell. They will both have a short break after Breeders Crown.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016 Form guide for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016

The red carpet will be rolled out for harness racing owners and participants along the Race To Royalty, with Saturday night’s Breeders Crown semi-finals at Bendigo to celebrate their commitment to the trots. Prime position that overlooks the winning post will be set aside for owners to ensure they don’t miss a moment of racing, while the night will also feature the all-important finals barrier draws. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) ownership manager Tori Glenister said the industry wanted to provide owners a “VIP experience”, saluting the key role they played in the sport. “We want to acknowledge their contribution and give them an unforgettable night in a prime location at the track,” Glenister said. The Owners Enclosure will be established in Bendigo Harness Racing Club’s committee room and be open to owners of horses competing on the night, who can enjoy drinks and nibbles. Owners can bring a guest and enjoy two complimentary drinks as they cheer on their champions. It will also be an opportunity to rub shoulders with the industry’s leading participants. “We will also welcome in trainers and drivers so they can share the experience with their owners,” Glenister said. Club sales and marketing manager Brendan Baker said Bendigo was “very excited to have the Breeders Crown semis back at Lord’s Raceway”. “It is going to be a fantastic night’s racing and it’s great that ownership will be honoured in the enclosure and that the barrier draws will be held on the night, only adding to the occasion,” Baker said. Breeders Crown semi-final races and finals barrier draw order will unfold as follows: 5.33pm: Race one (3YO fillies 1st semi-final) 6.05pm: Race two (2YO fillies 1st semi-final) 6.30pm: Race three (3YO fillies 2nd semi-final) 7.03pm: Race four (2YO colts and geldings 1st semi-final) 7.30pm: Race five (2YO fillies 2nd semi-final) 8pm: Race six (2YO colts and geldings 2nd semi-final) Barrier draw: 2YO trotting fillies and 2YO trotting colts and geldings 8.30pm: Race seven (3YO colts and geldings 1st semi-final) Barrier draw: 3YO trotting fillies and 3YO trotting colts and geldings 9pm: Race eight (3YO colts and geldings 2nd semi-final) Barrier draw: 2YO pacing fillies and 2YO pacing colts and geldings 9.30pm: Race nine (Graduate mares free for all) Barrier draw: 3YO pacing fillies and 3YO pacing colts and geldings 10pm: Race 10 (All Seasons Hotel Pace)  Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 19 August 2016 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 19 August 2016

Star Kiwi filly High Gait will be one of the headline acts when the countdown to the harness racing Breeders Crown continues at Maryborough tomorrow (Wednesday). All six races are trotting heats of the Crown and High Gait will be a dominant favourite despite drawing the outside in her qualifier for the 3YO fillies’ division. It’s her first run since a fantastic second to another star Kiwi filly Wilmas Mate in the Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Derby at the same track last Sunday week. High Gait has drawn seven, but will start from the six alley with the scratching of Princess Venom. High Gait’s trainer Nicole Molander also has another Kiwi, Our Regal Love, drawn gate three in the second race, a heat for two-year-old fillies. Another Kiwi, Tony Herlihy’s Temporale, will be favourite from gate six in his heat of the 3YO colts and geldings series. He finished chased home Wilmas Mate and High Gait in the Victoria Derby. It will be an interesting contest with exciting, unbeaten local Maori Law drawn gate two at by far his biggest test. Australia’s top juvenile trotter Illawong Byron, last-start winner of the Group 1 Redwood at the same track, will be chasing his seventh win from just 11 runs in the third race. It will also be great to get another look at the superbly-bred Nieta, a grand-daughter of La Coocaracha and by Muscle Mass. She was given a break after easily winning only start and sharpened-up for her return with impressive recent Melton trial win. Adam Hamilton

Talented Tasmanian pacer Scooterwillrev will head to Melbourne this week at the top of his game and ready to take on some of the best harness racing juveniles in Australasia. The Craig Hayes-trained two-year-old will tackle a semi-final of the rich Group 1 Breeders Crown series at Bendigo on Saturday night and he goes into the race undefeated from six Tasmanian starts with is latest effort producing a resounding win in Launceston on Sunday night. In a 2C0-2C1 event over 2200 metres, the well-bred youngster worked to the lead midrace and when driver Rohan Hadley asked for an effort turning for home the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere burst clear of the undefeated Hafter and went on to defeat that gelding by 15 metres. Scooterwillrev (Somebeachsomewhere-Karamea Toastime) clocked a mile rate of 1.58.75 and sizzled home his last half (800m) in 58.68 but with something in reserve. It was a state 2YO record with the previous best by a two-year-old of 1.59.4 produced by Cody Maverick in Hobart (2090m) June 2008 and obliterated the Launceston 2YO record of 2.00.6 set by Quastor Centurion in July 2010. It was the second time Hadley had driven the gelding and he was impressed with this latest performance. "This is a serious horse. He felt enormous throughout the race and when I gave him just a bit of rein turning for home he just slipped clear and there was quite a bit left at the finish," Hadley said. It was exactly what Hayes was hoping for given his stable star is about to go up against the best juveniles in Australasia. "When you've got a horse as god as this you are always worried whether you are doing all the right things so that's why I had Rohan (Hadley) drive him in this race," Hayes said. "I have driven him in all but one of his wins (Burnie) so it was quite nerve wracking sitting in the stands watching the race. "The horse has been open to every challenge I've put in front of him and tonight he really delivered but he had to if he is going to be competitive when he tackles the Breeders Crown semi. "I'm happy that he produced his best mile rate and that he did it with a bit in reserve." Scooterwillrev is a half-brother to former star juvenile filly-mare Jadah Rose (x Totally Ruthless) that won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series in her gender category at two and three as multiple Group placings. She also won the 2007 Mother of Pearl for four-year-old mares at Devonport before finishing third in the Group 1 George Johnson behind No More Trouble and star Tasmanian mare Deanna Troy. "When we went to the Melbourne yearling sale we were keen to get this horse and we had a budget of $40,000 but when we saw him we were committed and we had to go to $42,000 but reckon he was worth it," Hayes said. Scooterwillrev will most likely be driven on Saturday night by top Victorian driver Kerryn Manning. Peter Staples

Some of Australasia’s greatest harness racing talent will step out at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night providing a pre-Breeders Crown feast. Outstanding New Zealand three-year-olds Our Waikiki Beach and Franco Cristiano, and Group 1 horses Hectorjayjay, Messini, Tee Cee Bee Macray, Flaming Flutter and Menin Gate are among the stars splashed across the card’s central races. And then there’s Group 3 races the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship final, featuring Stay And Play, and the Aldebaran Park Vulcan Trotters Free For All, featuring Maori Time. For most runners the racing presents a final tune-up ahead of Breeders Crown commitments, with all roads leading to the August 26 and 28 finals at Tabcorp Park. Among that number is Hectorjayjay, David Aiken’s five-year-old Dream Away gelding who has taken all before him in his short time at Avenel. Only a barnstorming run from Ohoka Punter in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake robbed him of a fifth board on his picket fence. Aiken said Hectorjayjay’s venture north to Menangle and then Albion Park hadn’t taxed him, which boded well for his Perth Inter Dominion campaign in December. “He’s good, he worked well this morning and has travelled well,” Aiken said. “He had a little stopover in Sydney for six days and has been really good. That’s the second trip he has had away now, having had a short trip to Mildura which (also) went well." Drawn barrier six in the Minuteman Free For All, Hectorjayjay will step out Saturday night as favourite, but will clash with a quality field and with one eye on an August 26 feature race. “This is very much a lead up run for the Breeders Crown Graduate race in two weeks’ time,” Aiken said. “We were only going to give him one run, but with the Melton Plate now just a week after (Breeders Crown) we might put him in that, then freshen him up before all things head towards Perth. “There are some challenges (Saturday night). Chilli Palmer has been very good, Messini is a good horse on the way back up, Young Modern is a nice horse when 100 per cent and Major Crocker was good last week. They are nice horses and with where we are drawn it will be a challenge, but a strength of his racing is that he can win from behind and is probably the best horse in the race. The outside draw just evens it up a bit.” Young Modern is unlikely to cause Hectorjayjay too many headaches, according to his trainer Emma Stewart. Having his first run in the stable of this year’s leading state and metropolitan trainer, Young Modern will step out for the first time in three months and the Modern Art five-year-old has given his new trainer her fair share of headaches. “He steps into the deep end and will be swimming with the sharks, but at this grade there are no easy races,” Stewart said. “We are not 100 per cent happy with him, he is not our favourite horse at the moment. He will need a couple of runs and be better for them.” The camp has higher expectations for Stay And Play, who will contest the final of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship, having won her heat by 7.1m. “I think she is the class runner of this race,” Stewart said. “She has trained good and drawn well, so I think she will run a really good race.” Fellow heat winner Snip Of Grand is among her rivals in the $30,575 feature. Much interest will also surround the pace with New Zealanders Our Waikiki Beach, for Mark Purdon, and Franco Cristiano, for Robert Dunn, to start from the back row, with Victorian Vicbred champ Menin Gate to take up the running from gate three. For John Dunn, driver of Franco Cristiano, the cards hadn’t fallen as he may have hoped for the Breeders Crown tune-up. His three-year-old Bettors Delight gelding trialled at Melton on Tuesday and ran second to Highview Ruler. “He drew five out of six, so I just took him back to last and they dawdled round up front, but he had a good last half and last 400 so I was happy with him,” Dunn told RSN’s trials review. “I came over a couple of weeks early to let the horse settle in and try and find a nice race. Unfortunately on paper this week’s not that good of a race for him, but we will see how we go. “He’s still not a foolproof horse. It’s quite good coming a wee bit earlier to let him have a couple of looks at the track anyway and the style of racing over here. Whatever he does this week he hopefully should improve on.” LISTEN TO JOHN DUNN'S FULL INTERVIEW ON RSN 927 A winner of eight of his 11 starts the half-brother to Ladyship Mile placegetter Cruiser Franco will start from gate 10, outside superstar Our Waikiki Beach who he will battle for Breeders Crown glory on August 28. “(Franco Cristiano) showed a fair bit as an early three-year-old and showed he could compete against Lazarus and horses like that, but unfortunately got a hairline fracture of his pastern so we put him aside, which could have been a blessing in disguise the way those three-year-olds were flying back home and over here earlier in the season,” Dunn said. “We brought him up late in the piece and that’s why I decided to have a crack at Breeders Crown.” The night will also be notable for the Decron Pace, with Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series star swooper Tee Cee Bee Macray to step out for the first time since his brave second in the four-year-old age classic. Starting from 13 in the preferential barrier draw, he will come up against the likes of in-form runners Johnny Fox (Kerryn Manning) and Major Star (Andy Gath). Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

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