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Classy harness racing mare Faithful Gabby will head interstate to prepare for the 4YO Breeders Crown for mares to be run at Bendigo next month. Faithful Gabby travelled to Melbourne last month to tackle an M0-M1 mares race that resulted in her finishing second, beaten a half-neck, to classy Victorian She's Just A Delight that clocked a mile rate of 1m.54. She was driven by Tasmania's top reinsman Gareth Rattray who believes the mare is capable of winning the Breeders Crown. "She was unlucky not to win that race in Victoria and to go down by such a narrow margin with the winner clocking a mile rate of 1.54 was a good effort and it proved she is up to the top mares over there," Rattray said. "She will head back to Victoria in a fortnight and have at least one more run before the Breeders Crown," he said. Faithful Gabby has had seven starts this season for six wins and a second for about $50,000 in stakes so she has earned her chance to mix it with the best in Australasia. Peter Staples

The Trots 'TAB Breeders Crown' is fast approaching! Experience trotting’s biggest day of the year, with more than $1.3 Million in prize money on offer across 8 Group 1 races. As well as outstanding racing, the day will also feature loads of entertainment, including DJ Lauren Mac, Animal Farm, Face Painting, Jumping Castle, Pony Rides and much more. One lucky racegoer will also receive a $2000 betting voucher. While there’s plenty on offer for the kids, adults can also enjoy a glamorous day out by booking into one of our premium dining packages. We look forward to welcoming you to Tabcorp Park on Sunday 30 August 2015.   Raceday Hospitality Toolern Room With breathtaking views from the G.W. Rothacker grandstand, overlooking the home straight and winning post our Toolern Room package is for those looking for a top class, all inclusive experience. Package Includes: Racecourse Admission 4 x course dining including plated entrée, gourmet buffet for main, individually crafted dessert platters plus afternoon tea Beverage package comprising of beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages Tea and Coffee throughout the day Racebook Hosted event with special guests to share their knowledge and tips for the day’s racing Package Price - $110pp For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email bwalker@tabcorppark.com.au   Home Straight Bistro Located on the ground level directly across from the winning post the Home Straight Bistro is adjacent to the home straight lawn where you can cheer on your favourite from the thick of the action. Package Includes Racecourse Admission 3 x course gourmet buffet Cash bar operating all day Race Book Direct access to Tote facilities Live trackside televisions Package Price - $75pp For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email bwalker@tabcorppark.com.au   Skybox  Located right on top of the winning post providing the best view in the house. You’re guaranteed to be right on top of the day’s racing action while enjoying a premium menu. Package Includes Racecourse Admission Premium 4 Course plated lunch Premium beer, wine & non-alcoholic beverages Racebook Tote facilities Package Price - $150pp For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email bwalker@tabcorppark.com.au   Corporate Suites If you are looking for an exclusive atmosphere for your racing experience look no further than one of our exclusive Corporate Suites, ideal for a gathering of 20-30 guests. Watch the action from your own private balcony overlooking the track, impress your clients with the high class private room comprising of your own Kitchen and Bathroom facilities complete with personal wait staff to ensure a truly memorable day. Package Includes: Corporate Canape menu inclusive of Gourmet Cheese station Beverage Package comprising of Beer, Wine & non-alcoholic beverages Continuous Tea & Coffee Tote Facilities In room Flat Screen Television Private balcony overlooking the Home Straight Price on Application For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email bwalker@tabcorppark.com.au   City Bus FEDERATION SQUARE to TABCORP PARK MELTON There will be a return coach running from Federation Square to Tabcorp Park on Breeders Crown Day. PICK-UP POINT : Federation Square, Russell St extension 11.00AM (located at the back of Federation Square near carpark), arriving approximately 11.45AM DEPARTS TABCORP PARK : 7.00PM, travelling to Federation Square. $10 per person one way or $10 per person return Bookings essential – phone 8746 0600   For further information visit breederscrown.com.au

New Zealand's leading male two year trotter in 2014/2015 in Conon Bridge is about to head across the Tasman to tackle some late season classics in Victoria. A $7,000 purchase from last years New Zealand Premier Yearling sale at Christchurch, the son of Raffaello Ambrosio has looked well above average from the first time he stepped onto a track. The winner of three from five starts at two, Conon Bridge has looked more than capable of mixing it with High Gait and Missandei from the All Star barn with his only run where he finished out of the money being when he went off stride in the Harness Jewels. Trained by master trotting trainer Paul Nairn and driven by North Canterbury reinsman Bob Butt, Conon Bridge has two main targets on his Victorian raid as Bob Butt explained to Harnesslink this week. " The first target is the $ 50,000 Redwood Classic over 2190 metres on the second of August at Maryborough which is an open two year old race." " The distance won't hold any worries for him as he showed when winning over 2400 metres last weekend." " Safely through that, Conon Bidge will tackle the Australasian Breeders Crown series and it is a bit different this year with $84,000 finals for both Colts / geldings and fillies so we won't meet the All Stars fillies in that series which is a bonus," Bob said. Bob was really impressed with Conon Bridge's latest performance last weekend where he came off 10 metres to win a C1-C2 handicap trot. " He only did what he had to last Sunday but it is never easy for two year old trotters to beat the older horses over ground so there was a lot of merit in the run," Bob said. Conon Bridge has already earned $51,597 in his debut season and in his present form could well crack the $100,000 mark before he finishes this campaign. Harnesslink Media

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's All-Stars stable has dominated today's TAB Breeders Crown heats at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The power duo took four runners into heats and walked away with four wins, brilliant two-year-old gelding Our Waikiki Beach - now unbeaten in 10 starts - providing the highlight by setting a new Australasian 2YO record at 2300 metres in rating 1:56.3 - smashing the previous mark by a full second. "They all looked great," Natalie Rasmussen said from Queensland where she'd watched the action. "Mark will be thrilled with the whole team." Purdon drove all four winners, each starting long odds-on with bookmakers and on the tote. Our Classical Art (Mach Three/Art Lover) took the three-year-old fillies' heat in 1:58.4 by 2.7m over reigning Breeders Crown champ Katy Perry. Having trailed leader Katy Perry, now in the care of Shane Tritton, throughout Purdon took Our Classical Art to the lead inside the final 50m after spotting her about a length at the 150m. Unbeaten Bettor's Delight/Splendid Dreams youngster Our Dream About Me then won the two-year-old fillies heat as a $1.04 favourite. Crossed early by Dancing With Miley (who finished third), Purdon quickly took Our Dream About me away from the pegs after drawing the pole and ran to the front. Our Dream About Me, the Harness Jewels 2YO winner at Ashburton in May in record time, rated 1:57.4 today to defeat Hot Shot Woman by 7m. Follow The Stars then made light work of a four-horse three-year-old colts and geldings' field in his heat, defeating Hes Lightfingered by 3.1m in 1:57.3. While such dominance as we saw today in the heats is a formidable achievement and will give the Purdon camp confidence going into the semis, the fact Rasmussen believes: "The run will improve all of them", is a scary thought for rivals. The second of the three-year-old colts and geldings' heats today was won by John McCarthy-trained Kilcullen (Christian Cullen/Belligerent) in 1:59.3 by 4.4m over Pompidou. Join the Breeders Crown conversation on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #RaceToRoyalty Our Classical Art Our Dream About Me Follow The Stars Our Waikiki Beach By Cody Winnell

Tuesday’s Menangle  harness racing meeting will feature five heats of the 2015 TAB Breeders Crown. The Breeders Crown action is heating up with the Australasian trots world looking ahead to Tabcorp Park Melton's rich Group 1 finals meetings in late August. There will be two three-year-old colts and geldings’ heats on the 11-race program at Menangle, plus heats for three-year-old fillies, two-year-old fillies and two-year-old colts and geldings. Race 1, the three-year-old fillies’ heat, will pit exciting Kiwi Our Classical Art from the Mark Purdon stable against Shane Tritton-trained reigning Breeders Crown champion Katy Perry and talented Goulburn pacer Miss Nickels. Katy Perry beat home Joannes A Delight and Cyclone Kate to claim last year’s two-year-old fillies’ Breeders Crown final at Melton in 1:58.7 when in the care of Cran Dalgety. Now trained by Tritton at Keinbah, the daughter of Bettor's Delight out of In The Pocket mare Karen Donna, is coming off an eighth-of-12 run in the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park. Two starts back she won over 1660m at Albion Park in 1:53.6 when she led to hold off Major Coup by a head. Her New Zealand form before coming to Australia this time was below her best, but she’s very talented when right. Our Classical Art has the Purdon polish and is coming off a Harness Jewels campaign in New Zealand. The Mach Three/Art Lover filly finished 10th of 13 in the $150,000 Diamond final at Ashburton behind The Orange Agent, which followed a solid fifth behind Fight For Glory in the New Zealand Oaks. In November last year Our Classical Art’s class was on display when she beat Supersonic Miss and Delightful Lana in a heat of the NZ Sires Stakes in 1:59.3 (last 800 in 56) by 2 ½ lengths. David Hewitt trained and driven Sportswriter/Tinted Rose pacer Miss Nickels is coming off a second at Group 2 level behind Pass The Magic at Menangle, beaten 2.8m over 2400m (1:59.1). The two-year-old fillies’ heat sees a Purdon-trained daughter of Bettors Delight/Splendid Dreams lining up and chasing a sixth victory in six starts. Our Dream About Me has drawn the pole and is coming off  a 1.3m success in the Group 1 2YO Diamond on Jewels Day at Ashburton in May. She’s an exciting type and will be very hard to beat. Drawn alongside is a talented Australian pacer in Hot Shot Woman from the Daniel Neagoe stables at Cobbitty. Hot Shot Woman, by Rocknroll Hanover out of Deadly Woman, has placed second six times in nine starts to date and is coming off a last-start runner-up effort at Group 1 level beaten 3.8m by Heavens Trend in the Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle (1:52.9). An interesting filly in the small field of five is Abettorrose from the Kerryann Turner stable at Menangle. Abettorose captured the Group 2 Pink Bonnet at her second career start in February when she defeated Art Mistress over a mile in 1:56.4 by a head. The first of the two three-year-old boys’ heats for the day sees former champion two-year-old Follow The Stars coming out of gate three for the Purdon camp after running third in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final at Melton last time out. The second of the three-year-old boys’ heats looks an even affair, with Kilcullen drawn the pole for the John McCarthy stable, Todd McCarthy in the gig. Race 7 at Menangle will pit some top-notch youngsters against each other in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ Breeders Crown heat, with unbeaten star Our Waikiki Beach the one to beat. Another powerful pacer from the Purdon stable at Christchurch, Our Waikiki Beach has greeted the starter nine times and is yet to taste defeat. The son of Somebeachsomewhere/Cyclone Betty won the Breeders Challenge Final last start in 1:53.7 over the mile at Menangle and will come out of gate five. Bettor Together has won two on the spin for the Belinda McCarthy stable and will be driven by Todd McCarthy from barrier two, Smithstars Lexus rises in class after three straight wins from the Steve Turnbull yard at The Lagoon, while Trijet has shown plenty winning two of his four starts to date for the Tritton stable with Rob Morris in the sulky. The Breeders Crown action continues in New Zealand Thursday and Friday at Cambridge and Addington before rolling into Western Australia on Monday at Gloucester Park. Click here for the full fields. Click here for The Australasian Breeders Crown site by Cody Winnell  

Star Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Mister Lennox made a one-act affair of a heat of the Australian Breeders Crown series at the harness racing meeting at UBERT Park in Hobart last night to qualify for the semi-finals in Victoria next month. Mister Lennox was the sole starter in the event run over 2090 metres and while there was no betting on the race it served its purpose for the connections of the talented gelding. It is not uncommon for only one starter in a Breeders Crown heat but most heats run outside of Victoria and New Zealand usually boast up to eight starters. Mister Lennox is trained by Juanita McKenzie who confirmed the gelding would be sent to Victoria this week and be stabled with Dean Braun during his six-week stay in the state. "I'm very happy with the horse and he will now go to Melbourne and have up to three starts before the Breeders Crown semi-final," McKenzie said. Mister Lennox will have his next start at Melton in a fortnight. "We'll enter him for the Graduate Stakes which is a $25,000 race at Melton in a fortnight an then there's another 3YO race for him but whether we go again before the Breeders Crown semi-final depends on how he is at the time," said part-owner Jamie Cockshutt. Peter Staples

New Zealand's best harness racing two year old filly Dream About Me had her first look at Menangle yesterday in a tame workout as she heads towards the Breeders Crown series. Without doubt the best two year old filly seen in New Zealand for a few seasons, Dream About Me is unbeaten to date but faces some real competition across the Tasman as she trys to keep her unbeaten record in tact. The half sister to Christen Me and three quarter sister to Adore Me has inherited all the family ability but the clash with the outstanding Rock N Roll Heaven filly Heavens Trend 1:52.1 is something to really look forward to. The All Stars team has been reinforced lately as they turn their attention to the Breeders Crown series. The latest addition to the team is the big Mach Three three year old filly Classical Art who has tended to live in the shadows of The Orange Agent and Fight For Glory most of the season but the free going filly would seem ideally suited by the Australian style of racing. As is normal these days Greg Hayes caught up with Mark Purdon after yesterdays trial and that interview is enclosed here. Harnesslink Media  

New Zealander Trevor Casey is enjoying a lot of success with his team of harness racing horses both sides of the Tasman. The popular owner has 30 horses including Australasia's best trotter Stent, leading two year olds Our Waikiki Beach and Lazarus and Saturday night's NSW Trotters Oaks winner My Arya. Saturday night's victory meant a lot to Casey as he bred the talented daughter of Angus Hall. "I did breed her and she's the only daughter that Belle Galleon (Stent's mother) has had and I certainly will be retaining her as a broodmare at the end of her career," said Casey. "I raised her right from day dot, watched her grow up, then saw her get broken in and have since watched her all the way through." Casey chose to target the New South Wales Trotters Oaks rather than the NZ Harness Jewels after a narrow defeat in the Menangle feature twelve months ago. "My Arya could have got into the Harness Jewels and she would have been a show but I wanted to win the NSW Oaks because I ran second last year with Daenerys Targaryen and I wanted to come back and have another go at it and we were successful." "We won't be coming back for the NSW Trotters Derby next week, the Victorian Oaks is the week after which means she would have to race four weeks in a row and I just don't think that's fair on her." While at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night Casey took the opportunity to speak with club officials about Stent returning to race on the 1400 metre track. "Stent will be back, I actually said to the team here tonight I'd like to see a mile race here for the open trotters again, I would really love to see the horse at Menangle over the mile again because I think he could go 1:52.0." My Arya's trainer Brent Lilley was excited with the victory and thought her manners took her a long way. "She's proved over here she's the best trotting filly at the moment but I thought the run of the second horse (My Tribeca) was great, My Arya has got manners but the gap between her and the rest is definitely closing," said Lilley. "In saying all that, we still wouldn't swap her for any of them, so after the Victorian Trotters Oaks she will head towards the Breeders Crown and then spell." Greg Hayes

Kentuckiana Lodge trainer Cran Dalgety has joined Patumahoe’s Geoff Small as NZ’s most successful trainers of Group One Breeders Crown Final winners after Katy Perry’s hard fought success in last Sunday’s $A297,000 Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Australasian Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park, Melton. Both have achieved five Breeders Crown Final successes in the specialised two-four age group categories, just one ahead of NZ’s premier trainer Mark Purdon. Cran Dalgety’s growing list of ABC Grand Final winners is: Sparks A Flyin (2001 3YO fillies), Smiling Shard (2009 2YO colts/geldings), Bit Of A Legend (2012-13 3YO colts/geldings) and Katy Perry (2014 2YO fillies). Former world champion driver Mark Jones partnered Sparks A Flyin. Current NZ champion Dexter Dunn has driven the stable runners since 2009. The Kentuckiana Lodge mentor is challenging as NZ’s most successful trainer at the Breeders Crown, taking into account his additional three Grand Final seconds _ Smiling Shard (2010 3YO colts/geldings), Onlyforyou (2012 2YO fillies) and Bit Of A Legend (2014 4YO entires/geldings). Northern-based, but Canterbury-raised Geoff Small, set the early pace among the Kiwis. Small’s ABC Pacing Grand Final winners are: Pullover Brown (2003 3YO Fillies), Changeover (2007 3YO Colts/geldings), Tintin In America (2009 3YO Colts/geldings), De Lovely (2010 3YO Fillies) and Cowgirls N Indians (2011 2YO Fillies). He also has a Group Two Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate FFA (open class race) to his credit, with All Tiger in 2009. Recuperating Cambridge driver David Butcher has partnered all but one of Small’s ABC winners. Templeton driver Anthony Butt partnered Pullover Brown for her ABC win after also driving her to win the NZ Oaks that season.  Anthony Butt, a close second driving Joanne’s A Delight in last Sunday’s 2YO Fillies Final, also won the 1998 ABC 3YO Fillies Final driving Under Cover Lover, Mark Purdon, who gained early ABC Final training successes with Galleons Assassin (2005 2YO trot) and Fly Like An Eagle (2012 3YO colts/geldings), doubled his quota when (My) Ayra (2YO fillies trot) and Follow The Stars (2YO colts/geldings) delivered last Sunday. His additional driving win with (Our) Twentyten (who he formerly trained) in the 3YO trot final on Sunday, makes him jointly NZ’s top driver in the 2-4YO age group catergories, with David Butcher, who besides the Small-trained winners, also reined Miami H to win the 2010 3YO trot final for trainers Derek Balle and Owen Gillies. Victorian trotting training master Chris Lang is the most successful Breeders Crown trainer with seven wins. His successes, all in ABC trot finals, are: Kyvalley Road (2002-03 2 & 3YO trot), Right Interest (2006 3YO trot), Skyvalley (2008-09 3 & 4YO trot) and Let Me Thru (2009-10 3 & 4YO trot). Lang has also added three Group Two Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate FFA wins, a race for open class trotters, with former champ, Sundons Gift (2007-08 & 2010). Lang’s brother, champion Victorian reinsman Gavin, although winless at the Breeders Crown this year, remains the most successful driver in Breeders Crown Finals, with 10 successes. Courtsey Of Cran Dalgety Racing

In a matter of months she has gone from being a filly few wanted to be involved with to one of the hottest properties in harness racing. Having purchased a youngster by Bettors Delight from Karen Donna, leading New Zealand horseman Cran Dalgety was struggling to find people to buy shares in the pacer. Fast forward to Tabcorp Park last Sunday and the same prospect – racing as Katy Perry – is an Australasian Breeders’ Crown champion. Katy Perry’s latest success compliments her Group One victory in the PGG Wrightson Sales Final last May. “I did like her, which is why I bought her, but I was having a hard time syndicating her to people,” Dalgety said. “The dam hadn’t really done much, which is what scared people off I reckon. “Only about a year ago, before Katy started racing, the broodmare was sold for $1000. “As for Katy, she hasn’t stopped improving and has developed into a wonderful buy.” Unbeaten from four Australian starts, Katy Perry was forced to dig deep during her latest triumph when driven by star reinsman Dexter Dunn. Beginning swiftly to lead from barrier four, Katy Perry was ‘kept honest’ throughout the 2240-metre event by Joannes A Delight, which issued a strong challenge from the ‘death seat’. With the pair matching along the home straight, Katy Perry staved off her fellow Kiwi to score by a head. Cyclone Kate provided a New Zealand trifecta when two metres away third. “She didn’t have to do too much to get to the front, but the ‘death’ filly certainly kept the race on,” Dunn said. “She was challenged strongly up the straight, but responded well and proved she was up to it.” With the final 800 metres run in 57.3 seconds, the two-year-old rated 1:58.7, taking her record to seven wins and two seconds from 10 starts for earnings of $348,347. Due to return across the Tasman on Friday, Katy Perry will be given a “nice break” before being prepared for the various classics next season. “She will stay in Australia until the end of the week before she heads home for a nice break,” Dalgety said. “I will have her up and running again in time for the Oaks and other majors at home, but she will also be back here at some stage. “I’ll look at the Victoria Oaks as well as the Breeders’ Crown when she returns. Paul Courts    

Australian harness racing fans...You have been warned! Not only will Follow The Stars be back next season, he will be better, stronger, faster.   Okay, Six Million Dollar Man reference aside, that was the call from New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon, who believes Follow The Stars will improve following a good break.   Having proven himself the Southern Hemisphere’s premier freshman, Follow The Stars is poised for  a stellar campaign as a three-year-old. Not only will he tackle the various majors on the Shaky Isles, he will return across the Tasman for several features such as the Victoria and New South Wales Derbys.   Purdon also plans to be back at Tabcorp Park Melton for the Australasian Breeders’ Crown – a race  Follow The Stars made his own last Sunday. “There is something special about this horse,” Purdon declared. “He has a real X-factor about him. “I would say he is more than up with the best two-year-olds I’ve trained...he is the best. “He will go home and have about eight to 10 weeks off now, then I’ll get him ready for our Derbys at home. “After that he will be back in Australia for the Derbys and the Breeders’ Crown again.”   Purdon’s “he is the best” statement is huge considering the outstanding two-year-olds he has  prepared. Headed by Il Vicolo and Light And Sound, the list includes Fly Like An Eagle, Lennon, Major Mark, Mr Nickel and The Court Owl – all multiple feature race winners.   As for Purdon’s plans, they represent a bleak season for Aussies as Follow The Stars already boasts an unblemished record from six mainland starts. Furthermore, the latest was the colt’s most impressive. Pushed forward from the outside of the front row, Follow The Stars worked to the lead as his talented stablemate, Kept Under Wraps was eased to take a trail. Never in danger of being beaten, the son of Art Major provided Purdon with an ‘armchair’ drive as he cruised to a soft five-metre win from Kept Under Wraps. My Field Marshall, which was three-wide without cover from the bell, was seven metres away third.   “That was a great run,” Purdon said. “I couldn’t have scripted it any better. “After he got to the front without doing too much work he was never going to be beaten. “He just did it so easy and had plenty in reserve at the finish.” Covering the last half in 55.7 seconds, the two-year-old rated 1:56.7 for the 2240 metres.   Raced by similar connections to Kept Under Wraps, Follow The Stars extended his record to an  impeccable 10 wins from 11 starts for earnings of $455,410.   Paul Courts    

It was a case of third time lucky for top harness racing mare Spidergirl in the Australasian Breeders’ Crown. Missing the Final as a two-year-old, Spidergirl then finished fourth in the three-year-old division won by Quite A Moment last season. Returning for another crack at Tabcorp Park Melton last Sunday, the David Aiken-trained trotter was simply a class above her rivals when driven by premier reinsman Chris Alford. Aiken is naturally stoked Spidergirl upstaged the ‘boys’ to cap off a tremendous campaign with a Group One win. “She has had a wonderful year and this just tops it off perfectly,” Aiken said. “She’s met and bettered every challenge we’ve set for her and I couldn’t be happier with the year she’s had. “She is just a terrific mare which gives her best every time she goes around.” Beginning swiftly to lead from the pole, Spidergirl was allowed to roll along as Blitzthemcalder worked in the ‘death seat’. Fending off the initial challenge on the home turn, the daughter of Yankee Spider proved too slick as she completed a two-metre win from Glenferrie Typhoon, which finished along the sprint lane. Blitzthemcalder battled on to be 10-and-a-half metres away third. “What can you say about her...she is just a great mare,” Aiken said. “The draw was in her favour today and she was good enough to take advantage of it.” Rating 1:58.7 for the 2240 metres, the squaregaiter covered the last half in 57.3 seconds. To be given a short spell, Spidergirl will be aimed at next season’s majors, with the Great Southern Star the primary target. “I’ll give her a bit of time off and have her back and ready for the main races around Christmas,” Aiken said. “Obviously we’d like to have her in the Great Southern Star, which she is guaranteed a place in, so we will work her campaign around that.” Owned by Kevin Riseley’s Sheron Park, Spidergirl extended her record to 19 wins and eight placings from 31 starts for earnings of $292,587. Paul Courts  

Since settling into her new digs at Shepparton, rising-star reinswoman Amanda Turnbull has notched two Group 1 wins at Tabcorp Park Melton in just a couple of months. The 24-year-old followed up a Vicbred Super Series win last month with a Breeders  Crown triumph yesterday, steering Just Cala to a 1.2-metre win in the Bettors Delight @  Woodlands Breeders Crown Final for three-year-old fillies. Turnbull, who grew up driving hundreds of winners a season while based in Bathurst,  would have especially enjoyed that yesterday’s winner was trained by a New South  Wales country horseman in Dennis Picker. “It’s all going really well,” Turnbull said of her transition to Victoria. “We’re going to wait until next season before we get some more (horses) in but we’re  going on a holiday to Hamilton Island first and then when we come back it’ll be all go.” Just Cala, a filly by the indomitable Art Major out of a Kiwi mare named Lilsistar, found  the front yesterday from barrier one, showing far more speed off the arm than she had  in her previous two starts. “I thought Spicy Stride would cross me before the race but once I was able to hold her  out I was lucky enough to be able to be in front, which worked out really well,” Turnbull  said. Turnbull handed up to the challenge of Nike Franco, who was set alight from the rear of  the field early, grabbing the spot behind the Luke McCarthy-driven race favourite. As the field headed towards the home turn McCarthy was starting to ask Nike Franco for  more and Turnbull had to decide whether to wait for the sprint lane or ease across the  heels of the leader and death-seat horse Quick Draft to make her run wide. She took the latter option, which in turn allowed Tasmanian filly Barynya to storm  through on the inside after a three-back-the-pegs trail. “Luke was asking for his filly to show a bit more while Chris (Alford) was sitting quietly  on his,” Turnbull said. “I was travelling really well at that stage so I decided to go to the outside of them. “She let down like she has the first two times I’d driven her. “It was a great feeling to win it.” Turnbull has already driven 1041 winners in just seven seasons in the sulky, a remarkable achievement for someone so young. This season she has driven 133 winners from 660 drives. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

STAR Tasmanian four-year-old pacer Pachacuti was far from disgraced when he powered home to finish a close-up fifth in the 4YO Australasian Breeders Crown final over 2240 metres at Melton today. Pachacuti was forced to tail out to last from his wide second-row draw while the Shane Triton-trained Marty Monkhouser began brilliantly from gate six to lead. The favourite Bit of a Legend spent some time in the three-wide line to eventually find his way to the "death" outside of the leader. Todd Rattray sent Pachacuti off three-wide at the bell and he enjoyed cover for 500 metres but he had to move four-wide to set sail after the leaders. The Barrie Rattray-trained gelding appeared to lose concentration nearing the home turn and lost ground but he picked up the bit in the home straight and powered home to finish fifth and only 2.6 metres from the winner Marty Monkhouser that held a 1.4 metre advantage over Bit of a Legend with Majestic Mach a close-up third. Late money for Pachacuti had him start at $10 at fixed odds with Tattsbet while the winner started at $18. Barynya just misses Breeders Crown glory Tasmania’s Victorian Oaks-winning filly Barynya went within just over a metre of taking out the 3YO Fillies final of the Australasian Breeders Crown at Melton today. With Rohan Hillier in the sulky, Barynya was smothered up three-back the fence while the heavily-backed Nike Franco rolled to the front after early leader Just Carla’s driver Amanda Turnbull handed up 1400m from home. When the leaders lifted the tempo Turnbull left the rails to challenge Nike Franco and that allowed Hillier to find the passing lane in the home straight but the game Tasmanian filly ran out of ground and was unable to run Just Carla down with Quick Draft a close-up third. The Dick Eaves-trained filly that is owned and raced by Lloyd Whish-Wilson and his wife Judy has had a brilliant season winning the Tasmanian and Victorian Oaks and was placed in a Breeders Crown final and heat to take her stake earnings to beyond $200,000. Peter Staples  

Harness racing needs its pin up stars and there’s no bigger star at the moment in Australasia than Follow The Stars. Punters backed Follow The Stars into $1:10 after a brilliant semi final win at Ballarat last Saturday. One punter dropped $50,000 on Follow The Stars at that money and he would have had few worries during the running. The Mark Purdon trained son of Art Major was at his brilliant best today at Tabcorp Park Melton, taking out the American Ideal @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Final for two-year-olds. Working straight to the lead despite an outside-front-row draw, Follow The Stars controlled the race like he has done nine times before (from 10 career starts -- and his only defeat came in the Harness Jewels in New Zealand when he got knocked over, so he arguably he should have a perfect record). Follow The Stars cruised home by 4.9 metres over stablemate Kept Under Wraps for Greg Sugars, while My Field Marshall, from the Tim Butt stables, made it a trifecta for the Kiwis. While the Kiwi trainers dominated the race, there was a strong Australian connection with the winner – with Lauriston Bloodstock having bred the winner. Follow The Stars recorded a winning mile rate of 1:56.7, finishing off with a smart 55.7secs for the last half-mile. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria    

Harness racing driver Mark Purdon has paid tribute to Brent Lilley after winning the Pegasus Spur @ Woodlands Breeders Crown 3YO Trotting Final with Our Twentyten. The Kiwi horseman, who has driven three Group 1 winners today at Tabcorp Park Melton, said Lilley had done a super job with Our Twentyten, who is by Muscles Yankee out of Regal Volo. “Credit to Brent,” he said. “He’s got him absolutely spot on for today and he’s done a fantastic job.” Our Twentyten started $1.70 favourite on the tote but had his work cut out for him rounding the home turn when pole marker and pacesetter Bad Habbott, who ran a mighty race, kicked clear. Purdon took Our Twentyten back behind the leader at the final bend before peeling out again and overpowering the Russell Commens trained son of Sundon in the last 150m. “He tested me on the corner and I dropped in but by the time we straightened up he felt good again,” said Purdon. Lilley said he was thrilled to notch the Group 1. “He’s done a super job since we’ve had him. I’m grateful to Mark for the opportunity,” he said. “He’ll go for a well-deserved spell now.” Asdenro ran third for Haydon Gray, while Master Hugh was fourth for Chris Svanosio. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria  

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