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Wildwest has taken out a thrilling Pinjarra 4YO Classic (2185m) to stamp himself as the one to beat in next month’s Golden Nugget. The Gary Hall Snr-trained pacer maintained his unbeaten record with a career-best performance in the $25,000 feature. The Raging Bull gelding initially went back from barrier 12, before reinsman Gary Hall Jnr made the move to sit outside race leader Patrickthepiranha on the opening lap. The pair then had a stirring battle in the home straight and Hall Jnr was able to lift Wildwest to victory by a half-head. Ana Afreet continued his good form to run into third, while Eloquent Mach could only manage a fourth placing after he failed to hold the lead. The well fancied Its Rock And Roll finished towards the rear of the field, after he galloped on the home turn. Gee Jay Kay was another four-year-old to enhance his Golden Nugget claims with an outstanding win in the Don Randall Memorial (2631m). The gelding was having just his second start for new trainer Ross Olivieri and his first start in a standing star event. It didn’t matter though as the son of Western Terror justified Olivieri’s decision to go to the $30,000 event instead of the 4YO Classic. Gee Jay Kay galloped out from the 20m line, as did short-price favourite Ocean Ridge from the 10m line, which saw the pair relegated to the rear of the field in the early stages. Reinsman Chris Lewis allowed Gee Jay Kay to stride up powerfully to race leader Forgotten Highway on the bell lap and then got the better of him on the home turn. Gee Jay Kay went on to score by 5.9m to a gallant Ocean Ridge, while Forgotten Highway was third. Olivieri said he would start Gee Jay Kay in the 4YO Championship on November 15.   Tim Walker

With 52 millimetres of rain falling in the Yarra Valley since Saturday today's planned grass roots trotting races have returned to the harness racing track. Harness Racing Victoria Stewards have conducted an inspection this morning of the Yarra Valley thoroughbred track. This inspection revealed that the track is not suitable for racing with surface water present between the 900m and 600m. As a result races four and seven, which were scheduled to be run on the thoroughbred track, have been transferred to the harness track with the distance amended from 1950m to 2150m. The races remain a standing start with the barrier draw and handicaps unchanged. With more than 5000 expected to flock trackside for the nine-race card you can enjoy live, free and extended coverage via Trots Vision:   HRV Trots Media

The going will get a little tough and that will see only the tough get going at Yarra Valley tomorrow, according to trainer Brent Lilley who will be among the thousands enjoying grass track racing’s Victorian return tomorrow. The former Kiwi’s well accustomed to grass track trots from his New Zealand roots and has a trotter running in each of tomorrow’s two standing starts on the turf. “It’s great,” Lilley said. “I wish there was more of it.” The going will likely be lush after 30 millimetres of rain fell in the area since Saturday, with Lilley predicting the 1950-metre trots will be a test of the fittest. “I think the distance between the first horse and the last will be big, a lot will get tired,” he said. “It will probably be an advantage to those who have raced on it before, it can be pretty taxing. If there’s a bit of rain about you wouldn’t want to have pads under their shoes because it can become slippery.” Both races will feature in extended coverage of the raceday on thetrots.com.au’s Trots Vision which will be live from the first at 10.44am, with host Paul Campbell roving on-course to deliver the pre- and post-race interviews on a huge Melbourne Cup Day celebration at the Yarra Valley. Lilley said “it’s a great day” and was hopeful his grass track entrants would deliver bold showings, including Trotting Rockstar, who steps out as the backmarker (off 20 metres) in the United Petroleum Trotters Handicap at 12.36pm. “Trotting Rockstar started off on the wrong foot last week,” Lilley said of the five-year-old, who began badly when resuming from a spell at Bendigo last Tuesday. “He made up a bit of ground without being thrashed about and I think he’s my best chance.” It will be Trotting Rockstar’s first go on the grass, while stablemate Belles Son will have his fourth career start on the turf when he steps out for the De Bortoli Trotters Handicap at 2.35pm. The nine-year-old Majestic Son gelding was third at Motukarara Raceway in November 2016 before running sixth and eighth in Group 3 races on the Christchurch grass track. “He had no issues with the grass back home,” Lilley said. “But he’s not going as good as he was in his heyday, his best days are probably behind him.” Amid a busy national racing schedule, the day’s first three races (10.44am, 11.19am and 11.59am) will feature on Sky Racing 1, while the remaining six races will be on Sky Racing 2. All nine races will stream on Trots Vision amid live, free and extended coverage.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Chris Svanosio produced a magical winning treble at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, when the Bendigo-based trainer-driver scored wins with three of the four horses he took to the races. Kyvalley Finn got the ball rolling with a narrow triumph in the Alderbaran Park Trot (2240m, NR 70-79), stablemate Norquay then won the Woodlands Trot (2240m, NR 52-61) before Magicool defeated the well fancied Jilliby Babavska to take out the Niota Bloodstock Trot (2240m, NR 80-100). “It’s my first Melton treble as a trainer,” Svanosio told Trots Vision after Magicool’s success. “Every week they are just great fields down here. You have got to wait your turn a bit - some weeks the fields are just that hard. We are happy to have a couple competing down here and going good.” Svanosio was in the sulky for the wins behind Kyvalley Finn and Magicool, with Michelle Phillips partnering Norquay to her victory. Svanosio is now seventh on the state metropolitan drivers’ premiership and eighth in the standings of the metro training title. For Kyvalley Finn, his hard-fought win over longshot Jerichos Trumpet was his ninth and first since July this year. The five-year-old has now collected more than $150,000 in prizemoney. Norquay has won four of her last five starts and the success at Melton on Saturday night followed a down-the-track finish when breaking at the same track a week earlier. The Majestic Son mare is now a winner of five of her 15 career outings. Magicool was able to turn the tables on Jilliby Babavska from their meeting on October 12, running down the leader in the home straight to nab his 12th career triumph. While it was a standout night for Svanosio and his team, the powerful Emma Stewart stable also landed a winning treble. Phoenix Prince won the feature Allied Express Sokyola Sprint (1720m, NR 90-120) for Greg Sugars, while Chris Alford was at the controls for the wins of Nostra Villa (Benstud Vicbred Pace, 2240m, mares NR 70-89) and Freddy Funk (Cogs Claiming Pace, 2240m). Alford scored his other win for the evening with Shaun McNaulty-trained gelding Hashtag in the IRT Australia Pace (1720m, NR 80-94). Alford remains three wins behind Kate Gath on the metro drivers’ premiership standings, while Stewart is now level on nine wins with Andy Gath on the metro trainers’ leaderboard.   HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

Harness Racing SA has announced a funding package aimed at improving the number of standardbred foals bred in the state. While foal crops in recent years have declined, this season has seen increased activity in breeding numbers, and to this end the HRSA Board have recognised the input of those active in promoting and supporting the states breeding program.    To recognise, not only the generosity of those standing their stallion at no service fee this season, but also those owners committed to patronising commercial stallions in the state, the HRSA Board has approved grants aimed at off-setting some of the costs incurred when breeding a foal. The Board has determined that a subsidy of $300.00 be made available, for this stud season, to both the owners of stallions which stand at no stud fee in SA, and to the owners, or lessees of mares, which are domiciled in SA and which are bred to a SA based commercial stallion. For avoidance of doubt, the subsidy applies to only those mares served in SA. In announcing these initiatives HRSA Board Chairman Gary Crocker stated `the Board is committed to growing the number of horses bred within our state boundaries, and we look forward, with the assistance of breeders in SA, to ensuring that we have a vibrant and successful breeding operation’ For further information please contact: ROSS NEAL | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (08) 8285 0700 •  rneal@saharness.org.au

YOU have to wonder if Jimmy Rattray had second thoughts about pulling the pin on an Auckland Inter Dominion raid. His stable newcomer Harjeet made quite an impression and smashed the clock winning his first run for Rattray at Menangle on Saturday night. Harjeet was Tasmania’s best pacer when trained by Rattray’s brother, Todd, in the Apple Isle before being sent to Jimmy to continue his career a few months back. Late last week, Jimmy scratched Harjeet and stable star Ignatius from the Auckland series. Harjeet did a power of early work and copped pressure in front before powering his way to a 1min53.7sec mile rate for 2300m, just 1.1sec outside Clancys Fobwatch’s track record. “He’s settled in well and it was great to be able to get a run in a class below free-for-all for his first try up here,” Rattray said. “It’s exciting to have a horse like him join Ignatius here. “I’ve got no doubt Harjeet will do a terrific job here, but it’ll be interesting to see just how far he goes.” Harjeet draws so many natural comparisons with the mighty Beautide, who won two Inter Dominions at Menangle for the Rattray clan. Both left Tassie as the state’s best pacer at the peak of their careers and with great staying prowess. Meanwhile, Ignatius has his second trial back at Menangle on Monday in preparation for a racetrack return. “I deliberately gave him a soft trial last week, but we’ll be getting a lot more serious this week,” Rattray said. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LAST year’s Inter Dominion consolation winner Ellmers Image opened his preparation for this year’s Auckland series with a fighting second at Menangle last night (Saturday). Amanda Turnbull’s stable star drew wide, but kept working forward to take the lead from favourite and main danger Alta Orlando after 400m of the 2300m Group 3 free-for-all. Just when it seemed Ellmers Image was doing enough to hold-off Alta Orlando, John McCarthy’s five-year-old Jack Farthing exploded out of the pack to overhaul them both. No doubt Ellmers Image will be fitter for the run and Turnbull will look for another run for him before the Auckland series kicks-off with the first round of heats on November 29 at Alexandra Park. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FANS may have to wait a little longer to see one of Australia’s buzz horses back in the big league. Former superstar juvenile Lumineer, who made it 12 wins from just 13 starts at Melton last night (Saturday), looks set to bypass a clash with Colt Thirty One and another comeback star Ride High next Saturday. It’s the Group 2 4&5YO Championship, a race Grant Dixon is using to sharpen-up Colt Thirty One for his Auckland Inter Dominon assault. And Emma Stewart has the race earmarked for Ride High’s comeback race from a long injury-enforced stint on the sidelines. He smashed the clock at the Ballarat trials recently. Lumineer has the talent to test them both, but trainer Ange McDowall won’t commit to running. “He’ll be nominated, but he’s only had 13 lifetime starts and it would be a quick back-up from this week, so I’m erring on picking something a little easier for now,” she said. Lumineer was stunning last night, seemingly cruising his way to a 9.6m win in a slick 1min52.8sec mile rate for 1730m. Just 0.8sec slower than Phoenix Prince ran in the Sokyola Sprint, the free-for-all, on the same night. “Jason (Lee, driver) said he did it easily too, which is the main thing,” McDowall said. “I’m sure I’ve got the old Lumineer back, but we’ve got some tinkering to do because he’s so goofy at the races. He wants to loaf, wander about and look around.” ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER All Stars’ pacer Motu Premier emerged as a key player for WA’s biggest races with a superb Gloucester Park win last Friday night. The now seven-year-old has had his issues during a couple of years with trainer Ross Olivieri in Perth, but he’s right back to his best. Motu Premier sustained a long run from back in the field and lifted after looking beaten to edge-out Perth’s buzz pacer Mighty Conqueror in the Parliamentarians Cup. They blazed a 1min54.4sec mile rate for the 2130m. Mighty Conqueror had a good run then moved to the “death” to control the race, he looked home when he pinched a break at the top of the straight, but Motu Premier wouldn’t be denied. Motu Premier won by a half a neck despite covering extra ground from back in the field in closing splits of 55.5 and 27.7sec. The son of Bettor's Delight was sidelined for a year and the win, one of the best of his career, came at his fifth run on the comeback trail. Another impressive winner on the night was former NZ and Queensland pacer Bill Haley, who made it two-from-two for new WA trainer Deb Lewis. The five-year-old showed his now trademark lethal turn of speed to beat a good field, including last season’s glamour three-year-old filly Dracarys. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE brilliant Phoenix Prince lifted off the canvas to win arguably the most important race of his career in last night’s Sokyola Sprint (1720m) at Melton. Emma Stewart’s speedy gelding looked hard to beat when he snared gate two and, even more so, when he led and “pinched” a 30.1sec first quarter. It was game-on from there with splits of 28.1, 26.9 and 27.6sec and Phoenix Prince looked to be headed by Lance Justice’s stable star Rishi in the last 50m before lifting to win by a nose. They went a sharp 1min52sec mile rate. It took Phoenix Prince’s record to an impressive 14 wins from just 26 starts and earnings of almost $125,000.

"All the action and excitement of live harness racing under the ribbon of light continues from 6:00 pm this Friday, November 8th, 2019, at Sydney's very own Bankstown Paceway," Bankstown Paceway committeeman Andrew Ho has said. "Last month's thrill packed race meet on the 800 metre track featured stand out wins by five year old bay mare Britney Jane NZ, five year old brown-black gelding Lynnsanity, four year old bay mare Corbaux NZ, seven year old bay gelding Matai Valour NZ, eight year old bay gelding Flying Pegasus and, of course, past Treuer Memorial entrant, the fourteen year old bay-brown gelding Mega Alexander, ably driven by reinsman Jimmy Douglas," Mr Ho told Harnesslink. "Bankstown Paceway's Spring Summer Carnival Series of Friday Night Harness Racing continues on Friday, November 8th, followed by Friday, November 22nd (Canterbury Bankstown City Council Cup), Friday, December 6th (Schweppes Sydney Cup), Friday, December 20th and Friday, December 27th, 2019 - and we look forward to welcoming racing fans and all of their families and friends," Mr Ho added. (right to left): Bankstown Paceway's Andrew Ho, Jessica Watkins, Megan Lavender, Terry Lee, Kylie Johnson, Martina and David Rosen get set for Friday night racing under the ribbon of light this Friday at Sydney's Bankstown Paceway.   Harnesslink Media

We are receiving good reports from leading harness racing trainers about the first Australian crop of two-year-olds by the former Canadian 2YO of the Year and the third fastest horse of all-time, Warrawee Needy (1:46.8). There are 45 live foals and four have been named - two colts and two fillies - and several are showing marked ability. Warrawee Needy's initial crop in Canada has so far produced 17 starters, eight winners (7 in 2:00) from 55 foals. The Little Brown Jug winner Million Dollar Cam, who is enjoying a banner year, left three winners for the week in the 1:59.8 Tamworth winner Christian Shannon, Dollarbill (1:59.4, Marburg) and Kay Nora Shannon (Redcliffe). Caribbean Blaster, the Victoria Cup and SA Pacing Cup winner, continues to build on his impressive stud record. The Yirribee Pacing Stud bred Rocket Blaster and Scheu Creek, both members of his first crop, won at Launceston and Marburg respectively on Sunday (November 3). Tintin In America was represented by the Dunedin, New Zealand winner Elva Jaccka, while Lombo Pocket Watch left a 'new' winner in the Yirribee bred Louth Park Watch at Tamworth. The Yirribee owned mare Rhianna Reigns NZ, having her first start for four months, sat parked throughout before scoring at Junee on Saturday night (November 2). Yirribee Pacing Stud's star-studded sire roster also includes the Australasian champions Lazarus and Lennytheshark and the North America Cup and Adios Stakes winner Fear The Dragon.   By Peter Wharton

Powerhouse Aussie veteran San Carlo is primed for his first Kiwi raid. San Carlo shares a flight with emerging trotter McLovin to Christchurch, via Auckland, next Wednesday. “It’s not ideal going through Auckland, but they have the chance to get out and spend a bit of time there before the flight down to Christchurch,” co-trainer and driver Bec Bartley said. “They get to Christchurch Friday morning, so it’s still plenty of time to settle in before the big one.” Bartley is adamant Kiwis will get to see the very best of San Carlo. “I truly believe he’s never been better,” she beamed. “It’s like he’s gone to another level this campaign. It’s so exciting.” San Carlo won the Kilmore Cup sitting parked first-up and has since produced runs of the race for fourth in the Victoria Cup and second in the Swan Hill Cup after doing all the work in quick times. “Colt Thirty One had the perfect sit on him and it took the whole straight for him to nose us out. And Colt Thirty One is a really, reallt nice horse,” Bartley said. This will be Bartley’s first drive in an NZ Cup, but she’s got great memories of the race. “I’ve been twice. The first time I went, I was lucky enough it was year Kerryn (Manning) won with Arden Rooney. We joined the victory celebrations afterwards and it was fantastic to see Kerryn treated like a celebrity,” she said.  “I’ve had such a great time both trips over and never thought for a moment I’d get to compete in it myself. I can’t wait.”  San Carlo looms as such an important horse in all the NZ races he contests because he so often makes moves in his races and connections aren’t afraid to go and sit parked. He’s sure to make the races genuine contests.  And the way he’s racing, he’s good enough to win a big one with the right sort of luck.   by Adam Hamilton

Star Tasmanian pacer Harjeet makes his debut at Menangle on Saturday night. The gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover out of the broodmare gem Our Zellweger has had 30 starts in Tasmania for 17 wins and nine placings and amassed just over $200,000 in prizemoney for his breeders and owners, The Rattray Family Trust and Wayne McLaughlin. He has won many of Tasmania’s feature racing including a stellar 2018 year where he won The Easter Cup, Raider Stakes and the Tassie Golden Apple. The next few months will be used as a stepping stone to see if he can advance to grand circuit level in the coming year. Connections have looked after Harjeet and brought him along patiently. In the back of their minds, they have had the opinion he could measure up to Grand Circuit level in the future and that was evident as he was nominated for the upcoming Inter Dominion series in Auckland next month. Scooterwillrev, driven by Rohan Hadley, takes out the 2018 Danbury Cup It is fair to say he goes up to NSW with a very good record intact and he will be hoping to make an impression. It won’t be easy as he goes up with a national rating of 105 so he is not far off the top grade, but he has seemed to have found a very winnable race and will resume his battle with another former Tasmanian star pacer in Scooterwillrev which will be interesting as the pair had some great battles back at home on the Apple Isle. In recent years the Rattray name has had great success in NSW with the legend Beautide winning two Interdominion Finals and a Miracle Mile. When speaking with Rattray about Harjeet, he informed me that the horse trailed last week and he was happy with the performance. A decision was made to make a gear change,  with a sharper bur on his outside and change a bit of headgear as he has a bit of tendency become a bit lazy at times and it was something he wanted to avoid at Menangle in this grade of race. “He has found the right to make his debut and I expect him to be right in the finish, but it’s his first step so as long as races well that’s all we want to see” said Rattray. “I’m very confident that the big spacious track of Menangle will suit him down to the ground.” Rattray has had great recent success with Ignatius, who won the 2yo, 3yo and 4yo NSW Breeders Challenge Series Finals, who he trained in his early career before being transferred to his brother James who has done an outstanding job with him. Iggy is raced by Todd’s wife Lyrae and is close to a racetrack return. When asked how Ignatius was coming along, Rattray said James was very happy with him. “He had a soft trial last week but will be asked to do a bit more this week at the trials with a possible racetrack return in three weeks. His main target is the Miracle Mile in February where he will try to join another family superstar in Beautide winner of the prestigious Miracle Mile in 2013.   Jamie Cockshutt for Tasracing

Newly appointed Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) CEO Dayle Brown (pictured) will hit the ground running from next Wednesday, November 6. Brown will immediately begin meeting with staff to “learn about HRV’s current strategic projects” before embarking on a series of consultation meetings across Victoria. “It is important to get an understanding of the current strategic direction of the HRV executive management team and staff, so I want to hear about those projects and how they’re tracking,” Brown said. “I will then hit the road to visit every centre in Victoria because it is important we give the industry an opportunity to have input into the overall strategic vision for HRV. “It is important to listen to the industry and understand their views. I’m looking forward to meeting passionate industry people right across the state. It will be a busy period before Christmas with plenty to do, but my style is to be collaborative and I am a firm believer in everyone, both inside and outside of HRV, understanding the goals and working together to achieve them.” Brown will address the new-look Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame night at Bendigo on Friday November 8, which will be streamed live across HRV Trots Media channels. Details for Brown’s consultation tour will be released in coming weeks.    HRV Trots Media - Cody Winnell

It’s not uncommon for horses to show potential not many knew they had later in life and that’s exactly what Gary Quinlan is hoping for with his talented pacer Rocknroll Pearl. Quinlan has fingers crossed that the five-year-old can emulate her mother Jazzam (pictured), which many will recall as a quality mare that went on to win 24 races and more than $230,000 in prizemoney. Rocknroll Pearl is a long way off that mark, but a promising return from a short let-up at Cranbourne on October 21 has things pointing in the right direction. Quinlan said the horse didn’t quite seem herself following a three-start Sydney campaign through June that reaped a Group 3 success and two third placings, one of which was in the Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO Mares Final. After that, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven placed fourth and eighth in races at Melton before she was given a break. Following the freshen-up, Rocknroll Pearl produced a nice third placing at Cranbourne, hitting the line hard from three back the pegs behind winner War Dan Delight. “She looks a treat and was working really good before Cranbourne. I thought she would go good, but I hadn’t trialled her and I was just hoping I’d see what I’d seen at home,” Quinlan said. “I was pretty happy with what she did at Cranbourne and she doesn’t seem to have gone backwards since.” Rocknroll Pearl, a winner of eight races, will tackle Saturday night’s Benstud Vicbred Pace (2240m, mares NR 70-89) at Tabcorp Park Melton. The horse has drawn barrier four in the small field of eight and Quinlan said he’s happy for driver Jason Lee to roll forward from the mobile and see what opportunities present from there. And while Quinlan thinks Emma Stewart’s Nostra Villa looks the likely winner of the race on her best form, he’s confident of a good showing from his charge. “Being realistic, if the right Nostra Villa turns up it would be winning the race so I’m under no illusions how good it is,” he said. Jazzam, who won the Group 3 Ladyship Cup at Moonee Valley back in 2009, has had just one other foal reach the races. That is Dison, a winner of two races from seven career outings. “Rocknroll Pearl’s mother really came good as a four-year-old, at the same age she has,” Quinlan said. “So I’m hoping history repeats itself.” The Allied Express Sokyola Sprint - for horses rated between 90 and 120 - is the feature race on Saturday night’s card. A quality field of horses has been assembled for the $24,000 event, with the likes of Phoenix Prince (Emma Stewart), My Kiwi Mate (Craig Demmler) and Wrappers Delight (David Aiken) among the leading fancies. CLICK BELOW TO HEAR FROM TRAINER GARY QUINLAN:   HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

Champion trotter Tornado Valley received due recognition for a wonderful season when he was named the 2018/19 Victorian Horse of the Year and Australian Trotter of the Year.   He also collected the Australian and Victorian Aged Trotter of the Year awards. During the season Tornado Valley won 11 of his 12 starts - including four at Group 1 level - and a season’s high $250,020 in stakes.   And the son of SKYVALLEY is showing no signs of slowing down! The eight-year-old gelding won twice in Free-for-all company at Melton in October – in 1:59.2 and 1:59.5 – to push his lifetime earnings over the $500,000 plateau.   SKYVALLEY himself was recognised at the Harness Breeders Awards Day at Bendigo, being awarded the 2018/19 Victorian 2YO Trotting Sire of the Year.   On the same day the Aldebaran Park bred Jaspervellabeach was named the Victorian 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year and received a Group 1 trophy as the winner of the $125,000 WA Golden Slipper.   Aldebaran Park bred five individual trotting winners in October headed up by a double at Ballarat with On Fast Forward (by SKYVALLEY) and Kyvalley Kyrie.   The highly promising three-year-old Keayang Ignite, who was bred by Aldebaran Park and sold for $15,000 at the APTS sale in 2018, won at his first two attempts by a combined total of 65 metres and looks to well in line for the Derbies and other major classics.   Hotjane Bling (by EILEAN DONON), who overcame a 20 metre handicap at Menangle, and Imahe Man (Albion Park) were other recent Aldebaran Park winners. Besides Tornado Valley and On Fast Forward, SKYVALLEY was represented by the Melton winner Flash Kyvalley, Kimmywho (Ballarat) and Spotlight The Valley (Gore, NZ).   Aldebaran Park foalings in 2019/20: Colt: Aldebaran Marty (Naked Majesty-Aldebaran Eagle) Filly: Aldebaran Brook (Excellent Boko-Southwind Frank) Filly: Aldebaran Zoe (Zhenya-Aldebaran Eagle) Filly: Aldebaran Bree (Aldebaran Breeze-Aldebaran Eagle) Colt: Aldebaran Brutus (Kyvalley Bling-Father Patrick) Colt: Aldebaran Simba (Yankee Sister-Aldebaran Eagle) Colt: Aldebaran Shaunie (Aldebaran Sunset-Love You)   Check out the photo gallery on the Aldebaran Park website.     By Peter Wharton

Powerful mother-son harness racing duo Marg and Jason Lee are kicking goals with a successful young ownership group now aligned with the Western District stable. The dynamic captain of the Brisbane Lions AFL team, Dane Zorko, and top players Darcy Gardiner, Ryan Lester and Lewis Taylor (who recently became a Sydney Swan) race a number of pacers with the Lee team. And star young reinsman Jason and his highly successful trainer mum Marg are giving their Lions mates plenty to roar about. The footballers are currently racing two horses with the Lee team, based near Terang, and both have been more than handy acquisitions. “They actually purchased the horses – Iam Erik and Yankee C J – at the same time so they are having a good ride so far,” Jason said. “Iam Erik (Shadow Play-Invigorate (Artsplace) has shown that he’s prepared to tough it out. We’ve had two wins and five placings with him from nine starts,” he said. “Yankee C J has been a model of consistency as well.” Yankee C J (American Ideal-Focussed (In The Pocket) scored first-up for his new owners at Ararat back in April. He was again successful at Hamilton in June and has posted seven placings as well in his past 11 outings. The Lees’ association with the Brisbane team mates stemmed from a lifelong friendship between Jason and Lewis Taylor. “We were school mates. We played four or five years of underage football together and Lewis actually lived with us for a bit,” Jason said. “He worked here on and off for a couple of years doing farm and stable work. Mum let him drive trackwork and put him on some of the good ones, so that’s where he got the bug! “When it was obvious that he had a bright football career, he would be off to Geelong twice a week training with the Falcons. Then it all became very hectic, but he’d still pop out once a week and help out.” Jason, a passionate Brisbane Lions supporter, said he wasn’t surprised by his friend’s AFL success. “If there was anyone I ever thought would be drafted, it was Lewis. He was just a freak on the footy field. When he was 15 or 16, he played seniors for Terang-Mortlake and won an elimination final off his own boot,” he said. “The opposition were quickly onto his outstanding talent and he’d often be tagged with two players to try and subdue him.” Taylor in 2014 edged out Western Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli by one vote to take the NAB AFL Rising Star Award, but Marg described him as “an absolute gem of a kid”. “He has never forgotten where he comes from and when he’s home in Mortlake, he always comes out to visit us,” Marg said. The success with the Brisbane Lions boys has also helped Marg, one of the best conditioners in the sport, to edge towards a significant milestone of her own. She’s now within a whisker of an impressive 500-winners in her stellar training career. The champion horsewoman is sitting on 496 winners and 585 placings from just over 1900 starters for an impressive $4.5 million in stake-earnings. The family-focused harness racing operation has about 30 in work at present, but also combines the horses with running a big dairy and a gravel pit. “We run about 500 cows. We have two workers who start in the dairy before us. We are up and helping with the cows at about 6.30am, and then it’s the horses. It’s a long day,” Marg said. “I don’t travel to the trots meetings like I used to. I tend to leave that these days to my boys, Jason and Paddy, and my nephew Glen Craven.” Marg (7 wins and 12 placings this season) and Jason (20 wins and 15 placings) are prominent on the harness racing tables, but youngest son Paddy is certainly a quiet achiever with 10 wins and four placings as a trainer from 16 starters this season...at a top three strike rate of 87 percent. Marg’s husband Damien, while a loyal supporter of the horses, prefers sprint cars and trucks. Eldest son Jack shares the same interest. Marg acknowledges the tutelage of Great Western training legend, Peter Manning, but a good deal of credit for launching the family’s success must also go to her first ever winner – a chestnut mare named Melita (Whats Next-Another Jensen). Melita finished her racing with 11 wins from 30 but did her best work in the breeding barn with numerous handy performers – including the standout, the Holmes Hanover-sired Keayang Hanover with 22 wins and $173,000. Many of the horses bred and owned by the Lee family carry the moniker Keayang as part of their race name— Keayang is an historic pastoral property in the Western District, owned partly by the Lees. “It’ll be nice (to reach the 500-win milestone) but I don’t pay much attention to those things,” Marg confessed. “I really didn’t have any idea —we just keep doing our best and enjoying it along the way.”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Jovial Horsham harness racing trainer-driver Aaron Dunn is usually all smiles - but at the moment he certainly has every reason. Dunn made a conscious decision a few years ago to give the sport a red hot go, and this week struck a patch of red hot form, landing three winners in the space of 24 hours. "I don't bet, but gee a few of them were at good odds," Dunn said. "Their work at home had been great and they have been racing really well, so the wins weren't complete surprises." Dunn's winning streak started at Bendigo on Tuesday night with tough five-year-old mare Marjorie Jean (Blissfull Hall-Longtan Ebony (Village Jasper), who did it hard outside the leader Millah Joy ($2.10 fav) but pulled out plenty to score easily at 15/1. Dunn said he had decided to increase the mare's workload because she puts on weight "in the blink of an eye". "She is a funny horse. Sometimes her work can be great and then she doesn't take it to the races - but she was in one heck of a mood at Bendigo which usually means she's going to go okay!" he said. And the luck rolled on when Dunn's talented three-year-old Sporty Azz won the very next event. The handy son of Sportswriter was a 6/1 chance and led from the start, packing too many guns for Rock On Playboy, the $2.20 fav. Both winners were driven to perfection by youngster Jackie Barker, who got away with a leisurely speed early on Sporty Azz, then slipped him into another gear for a 56.2 last half. Sporty Azz was bred by Aaron Dunn, out of the family's consistent race mare Madazhell, and has now won three of his past four. "Madazhell was a handy performer who just couldn't quite crack it for a win in Melbourne, but she ended up winning seven races and a heap of placings for us, so she paid her way," he said. The third winner in a superb 24 hours came in the far north-west at MIldura when Keayang Kookai (Sportswriter-Melita (Whats Next), and again, it was Barker in the sulky, rating the pacer to perfection. Jackie Barker and Keayang Kookai, which has won its last two The result was never in doubt and punters who took the short odds would have been happy a long way from home with Keayang Kookai scoring a runaway 24 metre victory. The pacer had also saluted 10 days earlier at Maryborough and that win was a good effort. "He's a bit one-paced, but we did think he would take some beating in the Mildura event." Dunn was at the Bendigo meeting, but passed up the four-hour trip north the next night to watch Keayang Kookai. "I got home from Bendigo at 2am and I was up at 5.30am baling hay. So I didn't get much sleep, then I pulled a hamstring that morning, so I was a scratching from Mildura! It would have been fantastic to be there, but I just wasn't up to it." Dunn has jumped out of the blocks this season, preparing five winners and four placings from 17 starters for nearly $23,000. He has established a terrific training complex near Horsham on 240 acres. It features a 1350 metre track with two hill runs, well fenced 50 x 30 yards with shelters and numerous paddocks. "I decided in the past few years to set it up properly-I spent a lot of time doing the paddocks because I just got sick of fixing them all the time," Dunn said. "I've been running my own mobile seed cleaning business for the past 20 years and operate three trucks. It's only seasonal, but I'm hoping to perhaps take more of a back seat soon and concentrate on the horses. "We have six well-bred broodmares and over the years we've bred our own or got one or two from the sales. Although in saying that, we haven't been too often to the sales in the past 13 or 14 years." Dunn said he still got a helping hand from his dad Barry and a friend from Mortlake in Stevie Blacker. "Stevie and I go back a long way - we played junior football together. He comes here probably three days a week," he said. "And my brother Bryan who is an owner and lives in Tasmania, picks out which races may be best suitable for each of our horses. I think he's got Melton or the coming St Arnaud Cup pencilled in for Marjorie Jean." Dunn said junior reinswoman Jackie Barker, a granddaughter of a legend of the sport, Jim Barker, was a most competent driver. "I never give her any instructions-she knows our horses and drives them well. I'm on the sidelines with a suspension at the moment, but even when I'm back I'll still be using her often," he said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

An audit commissioned by the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner has revealed Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) integrity processes to be “industry leading”. The 46-page report titled Audit Report into the End-to-End Management of Investigations – Review of Harness Racing Victoria outlines that HRV has made “significant improvement in integrity since around 2016-17” and declares HRV the racing “industry leader” in the areas of integrity processes and animal welfare framework. The report, which focused on investigations and enquiries – both race day and non-race day – also praised HRV’s establishment of animal welfare training programs and has recommended that the other codes “follow HRV’s lead”. “HRV sample investigations appeared to be comprehensive, conducted in accordance with policy, and fair dealings with licenced persons, including explaining rights to those accused persons,” the report states. “HRV has improved its integrity processes since around 2017 to the point where this audit finds that in terms of the requirements in this audit with respect to investigations, it is the industry leader. “HRV has taken a number of positive steps in recent years in order to promote the importance of welfare and establishment of the HRV Animal Welfare Framework Online Training Program and the Stable Inspections Framework. Requiring licenced participants to pass the online training module in order to maintain accreditation is a commendable step towards protecting animal welfare and we have recommended that the other codes follow HRV’s lead in this regard.”  HRV General Manager of Integrity Brent Fisher (pictured) praised his team and said HRV “had much to be proud of in the integrity space”. “This annual audit shows HRV is on the right track in regards to the manner in which we police the industry and I’m proud of the integrity team for the great results we’ve achieved in the last couple of years,” Mr Fisher said. HRV Interim CEO Luke Spano also praised the work of the integrity team. “This kind of recognition highlights the great improvement HRV has made in this important area in recent years and should give the industry confidence that our processes are conducted fairly and without fear or favour. I congratulate Brent and his team on their ongoing good work,” Mr Spano said.   HRV Trots Media - Cody Winnell

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