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With a brilliant dash up the sprint lane three-year-old filly Pink Galahs bettered Australia’s leading trotting mares and delivered Matt Craven a victory dripping in sentimental delight. The trainer-driver dedicated the win to Pink Galahs’ part-owner Bryan Healy, son of Ric Healy, who produced the extraordinary Maori family that changed Australian trotting, which includes Sumthingaboutmaori after whom tonight’s race was named. “That’s one for Bryan in Queensland,” Craven told Trots Vision post-race. “I am sure he’s having kittens up there on the Gold Coast. “All his mates will be at the pub and to win a race named in the honour of his great mare (Sumthingaboutmaori), I’m sure he will be super thrilled tonight, as will Caleb (Lewis) and Laura (Lewis). They will be super excited and very proud of their little filly.” Bryan shares ownership of Pink Galahs with daughter Laura and her husband Caleb. The Skyvalley filly is out of Sweetasay, whose lines lead back three generations to Maori Mia, dam of Maori’s Idol, and a fourth generation to the great Maori Miss. Now Pink Galahs is writing an extraordinary new chapter of trotting success in the Maori family, having tonight registered her ninth win in just 15th starts, despite her last six starts having been run outside of her age group. “We were a bit concerned we had been way to easy on her and the reason she was here tonight was because we needed to get a run into her before the Oaks,” Craven said. “There’s not a lot of options for her, she’s put herself in this position basically because she’s been so good.” Tonight’s Aldebaran Park Sumthingaboutmaori Trotters Free For All was a whole nother level, with the likes of Dance Craze and Red Hot Tooth contesting for the Group 3 prize. Pink Galahs tagged on to the back of leader Imsettogo out of the gates, with Red Hot Tooth again doing heavy work in the breeze while Dance Craze loomed likely with her typical late run. But it was Craven’s runner, benefitting from a perfect run on the pegs, who had enough late zip and plenty in the tank to score by 2.1 metres. “Tonight we had the ideal trip in the box seat right behind the leader. Against this class of horse, stepping up against the older mares, super experience, well performed horses, she’s going to need that trip at the moment,” Craven said. “She’s probably all heart. Considering we have been so easy on her, she was great to the line and I think she will take a lot of benefit out of that. It’s a big thrill for me.” And it has the Terang trainer optimistic about his filly’s chances as the three-year-old classics near, beginning with the $60,000 TAB Victoria Trotters Oaks on October 17 at Melton. “It’s a great ride that she’s given us, hopefully we can take this form into the age feature races that are coming up, the Oaks, we could have a throw at the stumps at the Derby maybe,” Craven said. “Then we’ll just have the (Vicbred Super Series) in December.” And, if all goes well, the Great Southern Star? “Every time we’ve raised the bar she’s stepped up to it,” he said. “There’s one thing that we know: that she tries hard. She’s got good speed, you’d love to see her following the fence in a race like that. It wouldn’t be beyond her by any means.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Lochinvar Art is tuned to the minute for the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup says trainer-driver David Moran, who will now decide whether to propel his stable star straight into the $300,000 feature or step out in next Saturday star-studded sprint. The four-year-old was in a class of his own in tonight’s quality TAB Minuteman Free For All, the headliner of a 10-race card as metropolitan racing returned to Tabcorp Park Melton. Lochinvar Art comfortably put paid to two highly-rated threats, Cruz Bromac and Zennart, who were both well below their best, before careering away to a 9.3-metre win ahead of Emma Stewart’s fast finishing Tam Major and Out To Play, and impressive Rackemup Tigerpie for Michael Stanley. “Going into last week he was probably just a little bit underdone for race fitness. He’s been super during the week and he was really good again tonight,” Moran told Trots Vision. His impressive performance has left the door ajar for the $50,000 TAB Smoken Up Sprint at Melton next Saturday, where he’d likely run into Ride High and potentially the likes of Cash N Flow. “He probably had the run tonight where he could nearly go around again next week and possibly just have him rock hard for the Vic Cup, but we need to work out whether we really want to have a speed burn next week for the sake of it,” Moran said. “If you draw bad again, he’s going to have a complete gut buster and you start to think is it necessary? We will sit down and figure out whether we go straight to the Vic Cup with a break or without a break. He’s going to be pretty forward now, good enough anyway.” Moran rated Lochinvar Art a “50-50 chance” to run next week and a 100 per cent chance to be choc full of confidence. “Over the past three years we’ve got to know him pretty well and all his little traits,” Moran said. “The harder the runs he gets the better he pulls up, so he’ll be pretty full of himself. “And then throughout the week he’s a bit similar, he gets very boisterous and can sometimes leave a little bit of tucker. “He just wants to get on with the job really. He’s happy to work, happy to be there, pretty playful, so that’s what we will mainly be looking for.” He was certainly happy to get on with the job tonight. A line of four met the first bend, with Im Sir Blake holding the front and holding out My Kiwi Mate in a 43.3-second lead time, with Craig Cross’s Zennart requiring a lot of urging from reinswoman Kerryn Manning to join the race. Despite Tayla French’s apparent willingness to cede the lead on Im Sir Blake, Zennart was bogged in the breeze until finally advancing when Cruz Bromac loomed to take the lead, tailed by Lochinvar Art who settled into the death for the final lap. Lochinvar Art put paid to first-up Cruz Bromac heading into the final turn, gapping all challengers to win comfortably. “There was probably a little bit more speed early than I thought there would be,” Moran said. “Tends to be some of those races, where there are some horses that are a little bit below the better ones, where you think it’s going to unfold pretty quick and everyone’s going to find a spot. “It didn’t, there was a bit of speed there early and then we had to chase through from the second row. The field opened up a fair bit and then Herby’s horse (My Kiwi Mate) made a little gait break there into the 1400. “Kez was left in the breeze and couldn’t find the front and he was a little bit reluctant to go old Zennart. It was a tricky race, but when we went the speed slackened and it was probably the right time to go and he did the rest.” And team Lochinvar Art marches on with big fish to fry in coming weeks. “It’s everyone’s dream really, I’m very grateful with the journey he’s taken me on so far," Moran said. "You dream of driving in those races or training those horses but it comes around very very rarely.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound NZ Sires Stakes winner The Pukekohe colt American Dealer, who firmly clinched his claim to being the best three-year-old colt of the season when he won the $128,800 Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park, is a member of one of NZ’s top ranking standardbred families. American Dealer, who has now won four races and $99,670, is a colt by the Western Ideal horse American Ideal, who stood his early seasons at Woodlands Stud and has been located at Northern Rivers Equine while at the stud in Victoria. American Ideal has been most successful in Australia. His stock include the champion Bling It On, the WA Pacing Cup winners Soho Tribeca, My Hard Copy and Mighty Conqueror, the brilliant but ill-fated Centenario and the Derby winner Ideal For Real. American Dealer                                                         --Megan Liefting/Race Images photo   American Dealer is out of Maddison’s Delight, by Bettor’s Delight from Pacing Grace 1:57.7 (8 wins), a North Island bred mare by In The Pocket from Jessie Grace, by Vance Hanover, and tracing to the taproot Verity (by Vancleve). Pacing Grace was the dam of two high class pacers in Pacing Major (1:52), a winner of 19 races and $621,436, and All U Need Is Faith 1:49.8 ($326,114), a good winner in NZ and America.  Other daughters of Pacing Grace also bred on with marked successes. Grace Way (1:56.8) became the dam of the Victoria HRSC 3YO Cup winner Three Ways 1:54.1 ($219,949), the Redcliffe Derby winner Make Way 1:51.7 ($148,095) and Forgotten Highway 1:55.6 ($147,019).  Pacing Delight, a sister to Maddison’s Delight, left a Group 2 winning juvenile in Virgil 1:52.3 ($121,741), the Menangle winner Mason’s Delight (1:51.9) and recent Addington three-year-old winner Aladdin. American Dealer is a half-brother to the thrice Gloucester Park winner Sweet Maddison (1:57.1).   Call Me Hector star sprinter Call Me Hector advanced strong claims to being the best sprint pacer in Tasmania today when he scored a record-breaking win in the Free-for-all at Launceston last Sunday. Call Me Hector carved out the 1680 metres 1:59.4, a rate of 1:54.4 - 0.2 inside the previous track standard. He also holds the Hobart track record of 1:54.3 set 12 months earlier. Call Me Hector                                                                 It was his sixth win for the season. At his previous start he disposed of Ryley Major and others, and earlier in the year he won at Melton in 1:55.2. Call Me Hector has not done a great deal of racing, having averaged 11 starts a season. In four seasons of racing Call Me Hector has won 19 races and has been 16 times placed from 58 starts for $129,856. By champion sire Art Major, he is out of Lady Jillett Lombo, by Mach Three from Lady Titian Lombo (1:59.4), by Fake Left from Titian Annie, by Big Band Sound. Call Me Hector is a half-brother to the former top racemare Call Her Julie 1:56.2 ($172,428) and recent Cranbourne winner Groom (1:57.3).   Well related three-year-old filly Artemis, who downed a strong field of three-year-olds at Menangle last weekend, is a Mach Three filly from the same family as that which produced a champion New Zealand pacer in Courage Under Fire. It was her third success at the Sydney headquarters track. She is a filly by the Matt’s Scooter horse, Mach Three, from Eyre To The Throne (1:58.9), the best of whose several progeny have been the Breeders Crown winner Cyclone Kate 1:50.3 ($341,723) and the NZ Kindergarten winner Cyclone Prince 1:57.1 ($131,057). Eyre To The Throne ranks as a sister to the prolific Menangle winner Passion Stride 1:53.4 ($162,028), being by Presidential Ball from the In The Pocket mare Erin Brockovich, a full sister to Courage Under Fire, the winner of a record six Derbies, and Advance Attack, a former to Kiwi juvenile who is now at the stud in WA.   Fifth on end The Western Districts gelding Jilliby Sylvester, who is being aimed at the forthcoming three-year-old classics, extended his unbeaten winning sequence to five at the Horsham midweek meeting. He is by the Cam’s Card Shark horse Roll With Joe, sire of the record-breaking juvenile Ignatius. Jilliby Sylvester’s dam, Jilliby Opal, was unraced, being by Artsplace from Jilliby Gold 1:59 ($183,394), a top racemare whose 24 successes included the Queen of the Pacific, and by What’s Next, a world champion and highly successful sire. Jilliby Gold, the dam also of a capable pacer in Jilliby Rio 1:55.8 (27 wins and $214,755), was a half-sister to the Nyah Cup and USA winner Jilliby Spirit 1:50.2 ($495,022), the Melton winner Jilliby Master (1:55.4) and others in Jilliby Lightning (1:57.2) and Jilliby Jet (1:57.8). Their dam, Jilliby Diamond, who left nine winners, was by the Inter Dominion winner Koala King from Jilliby Dollar, by the dual Derby winner Royal Dollar. Jilliby Sylvester is a member of Marg Lee’s team.   Broodmare double The Art Major mare Glenferrie Shuffle 1:57 ($279,839), a former Breeders Crown 2YO champion, left two winners in the space of 24 hours. Her first two foals, Zanadu (by Bettor’s Delight) and Kezzamac (by Well Said), won at Menangle and Canberra respectively. Zanadu, who went in 1:55.3, has now won five races, while the three-year-old Kezzamac has won twice. Glenferrie Shuffle, a winner of 13 races, is out of a fine racemare in Hot Shoe Shuffle 1:57.9 ($295,011), by Falcon Seelster from Off Beat, by Vance Hanover from Broken Drum, by Lordship from the Smooth Fella mare Berndon Star (2:02.8), a half-sister to the Victoria Derby winner Smooth Falcon. Glenferrie Shuffle is a half-sister to the Menangle winner Jivin Cullen 1:54 ($190,713), the exported Joshua Mac 1:57.8 ($107,760), Sem’s Delight (1:57) and Hotinthecitytonite (1:58.8), dam of the Melton and Albury String of Pearls victor Delightful Jazz 1:54 ($105,600).   Star three-year-old by Sportswriter James Rattray, who brought out champions in Beautide and Ignatius, has a smart three-year-old in Jimartee racing at present. He downed a strong field in a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge at Penrith, rating 1:53.9 over 1720 metres – only 0.3 outside Ignatius’s track record. Earlier in the season he won the Young Derby and from 20 starts he has won seven times and been six times placed for $75,600 in stakes. Jimartee ranks as a half-brother to a handy pacer in Vienna Boy (1:52.6), being a gelding by the Artsplace horse, Sportswriter, from Vienna Bromac, by Courage Under Fire from Universal Woman, by Caprock from Winsome Tricks, by Overtrick from Winsome Glow, dam of the Kaikoura Cup winner Franco Whisper. Vienna Bromac, who won four races at Menangle and took a record of 1:54, was a half-sister to the good NZ and Albion Park winner Amysteriouseagle (2:00.8). This is the family of the Breeders Crown champion Just Cala, Classiesistar (1:51.8), Sir Clive (NZ Kindergarten), Posh Jaccka (Vic. Gold Chalice), Adda Rising Star and others.   Tailored Elegance bred to be top trotter Tailored Elegance, who is proving herself a star juvenile trotter, has won three of her last five starts including a runaway success at Bendigo last Saturday when having only her second start on Australian soil. Tailored Elegance                          -HRNZ   She is a three-year-old filly by Muscle Hill, sire of Australia’s top trotting mare in Dance Craze, out of the Armbro Invasion mare Classic Armbro (Tr 2:07.2), a winning daughter of the former NZ trotting queen Merinai Tr 2:00.8 ($244,155). Besides Classic Armbro, Merinai, who won three Group 1 races, is also the dam of the smart NSW square-gaiter Sunny Elegant Tr 1:57.2 ($102,330), Miss Pegasus, who won nine and $86,391), Wingsonhai (7 wins) and Madam Spur (5 wins).  Merinai is the grand-dam of the NSW Foundation Series and Bathurst Gold Coronet winner Pegasus Elegance Tr 1:54.6 ($128,060), the prolific Melton winner Pretty Sunday Tr 1:57.4 ($175,182), Sonofanearl Tr 2:00.6 ($117,798), Rosemma (Lyn McPherson Memorial) and the Maori Legend victor Aldebaran Shelly. Tailored Elegance is a sister to the promising youngster I See Fire and a half-sister to Sertorius Tr 1:58.6 (8 wins and $116,898) and the Victorian winner Popcorn Sutton.   Henrik Larsson unbeaten three-year-old Henrik Larsson, who beat a useful field at Gloucester Park last Friday and is undefeated in four starts, gives the impression that he could develop into one of next season’s top four-year-olds. Bred in New Zealand, Henrik Larsson is a big, muscular colt by Art Major from No Mas (2:00.8), a lightly raced mare by Badlands Hanover from Sammi Franco, by Falcon Seelster from the NSW bred Stormy Pat, a sister to the glamour filly Eva Thor, the winner of 15 races as a two and three-year-old including the Raith Memorial and National Stallion Stakes. No Mas, who won twice, figures as a half-sister to a grand WA pacer and cups winner in Our Jimmy Johnstone 1:53.5 ($778,635), the Harold Park winner Fast Sticks (1:59) and to Sevenspanishangels, dam of the Wanganui Cup winner Thunderfromthethrone. Henrik Larsson is the first foal of his dam. A champion pacer in Don’t Retreat belongs to this family. He won a record 26 races at Harold Park and qualified for three Inter Dominion finals and in all won 54 races and $340,317 in stakes. Alecane (NSW Cannonball Stakes and ID heat), Seaswift Joy (1:50), NZ 3YO of the Year Kotare Legend and Majestic Major are among many good winning members of Henrik Larsson’s family, which has produced to pacers in both NZ and Australia.   Blue blooded filly Rogue Wave, who scored a commanding win in a slick 1:54.3 at her first start at the Shepparton midweek meeting, is a two-year-old filly who can claim some worthwhile blood. By Somebeachsomewhere, by Mach Three from Where’s The Beach, by Beach Towel, she is out of the Live Or Die mare Perfect Life, whose dam, Secret Life (1:58.6), ranked as a sister to Royal Crime 1:55.7 ($100,753) and a half-sister to the Southern Cross winners Lovelist 1:53.2 ($222,889) and Punch Line (1:54.2) and to the Modern Art mare Modern Life, dam of Rising Stars winner Ample Power 1:55.6 ($107,825). Lovelist became the dam of this year’s unbeaten two-year-old filly Treachery, winner of the $100,000 The Allwood. Their dam, Lifeline, was a half-sister to the Hunter Cup winner Safe And Sound ($995,606), Gold Rocket (1:51), Massarua (1:55.8) and The Good Times (1:54.4).     by Peter Wharton

Champion South Australian harness racing brothers Darren and Mark Billinger are racking up the miles for a great cause - and have put out the call to industry participants to quickly get on board. The pair have been wearing the Prostate Cancer colors during September as part of harness racing's drive to build awareness about the disease which kills more than 3000 Australian men each year. As Prostate Cancer Awareness Month ambassadors, the brothers' roles include stressing the importance for men over 50 to take regular medical check-ups as the best method of early detection of prostate cancer. "As drivers, there's no way of avoiding the annual check-up, because we have to pass the medical tests annually to get our licences renewed," Mark said. "But even then, it's worth checking with your GP about any extra check-ups you might need as the years go on. This is something I'll certainly be doing in the future," he said. Statistics show that prostate cancer kills more than 50 men each week in Australia with more than 16,000 new cases recorded annually. As well as awareness, a key focus of Prostate Cancer Month is to raise funds for research and to assist men and families impacted by the disease and HRSA and SA Botra have joined forces to support the cause. A call went out for people to sponsor the Billingers by pledging an amount for every kilometre they drive in races during the month. In the previous three months, Darren averaged 23 kilometres in race drives, while Mark, a top freelancer in his home state, averaged 62 kilometres. "There have been a few things happening to get people on board, but there's only a week or so left, so we're wanting to encourage the harness racing family to get involved by making donations to the cause," Mark said. "COVID's made it tough and we only race probably twice a week, but we've been doing our best. I've been getting a few drives from my regular trainers, but Darren's been a bit light on," Mark said. So far, Mark has "travelled" over 16 kms during which time he's collected six wins from 20 driving engagements. Darren has done 6.7kms for one win from eight drives. All donations over $2 are tax deductible and can remain anonymous if requested. South Australian people have been asked to click onto Other donations can be made at   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

REIGNING NZ Cup champion Cruz Bromac launches a campaign aimed at defending his crown when he tackles a strong Minuteman free-for-all (2240m) at Melton tomorrow (Saturday) night. It’s his first run since being sidelined with a fetlock injury after the Auckland Cup last New Year’s Eve. Managing owner Danny Zavitsanos is thrilled to have him back at the track and expects a bold showing despite a back row draw (gate 10) and quality opposition, headed by Lochinvar Art (gate 11) and Zennart (seven). “Amanda (Grieve) and Dean (Braun) think he’s at least as well, if not better, than the same time last year, which is great to hear,” he said. “We’re sure he’ll run well this week and then it’s into the Victoria Cup two weeks later. “All going well in these two runs and I told Mark (Purdon) he’ll be back to over to him to get ready for the (NZ Cup) again.” Zavitsanos, who “lit-up” Addington with his post-race celebrations last year, said Cruz Bromac was booked to return. “He’s booked with IRT for the 12th or 14th (of October), so we just need to be happy with his next two runs and he’ll head back over. It’s just a shame we won’t be able to go with him because it’s such a special day,” he said. Champion driver Chris Alford is aboard Cruz Bromac for his return, which is a vote of confidence given he’d been approached to drive Craig Cross’ Zennart and one of their many runners in the Victoria Cup. Kerryn Manning has picked-up the Zennart drive. Lochinvar Art, who smashed the clock when a monstrous second to Hurricane Harley, has been backed from $1.80 into $1.60 to atone tomorrow night. Zennart has firmed from $4.80 into $4.60 second elect, while Cruz Bromac is next ($4.60 out to $5).   by Adam Hamilton

The WA Trotting Media Guild Cup (2536m) and the Group 3 The Warwick Pace (2130m) headline a stellar 11-event card at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Shockwave, after drawing the pole, seems to have a mortgage on the cup but the Warwick Pace is an open affair, despite the presence of Victorian three-year-old Soho Hamilton, who is taking on older horses. Members of the Guild have agreed and disagreed on a couple of races when selecting their best bets for the meeting. Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart and longshot king Pat Harding believe Our Alfie Romeo can win. “My best bet comes up in race nine with No. 8 Our Alfie Romeo,” Wishart said. “She’s a classy mare who looks well placed here despite the wide draw. Should be too good.“ And Harding agrees. “Looks like another good night coming up for the Bond camp this Friday night,” Harding said. “However, I do think there might be some value in some of the races, but it still could be a tough night for punters and tipsters alike. My best bet comes up with the Bond-trained Our Alfie Romeo. She has been so consistent in her recent races and even though she has drawn the outside barrier, I think she will prevail in the small field.“ The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is keen on Kiwi Bloke in the stand. “Kiwi Bloke returns to standing-start conditions where he has been ultra-consistent of late,” Havercroft said. “The son of Courage Under Fire hasn’t missed the placings at his last five tries from behind the strands and his main rival this week, The Buckeye Bullet, gives away a 20-metre advantage under handicap conditions.” However, veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas holds a different view. “Four-year-old The Buckeye Bullet has a 55 per cent winning average and I’m making him my best bet on Friday night when he has the speed and strength to overcome the 20-metre handicap in the 2503m stand,” Casellas said. “The New Zealand-bred gelding has resumed after a spell in fine fettle with two wins and a fighting second when not enjoying any luck when outsprinted late by Just Wing It at Pinjarra on Monday.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on My Carbon Copy. “The Gary Hall-trained My Carbon Copy will appreciate a sharp class drop after running third behind star stablemate Chicago Bull in last Friday night’s $50,000 Navy Cup,” Manning said. “Four-year-old My Carbon Copy set the pace and won impressively two weeks ago. The gelding is a brother to $1.2 million stake-earner My Hard Copy and he appears to have inherited plenty of the family’s abilty.” TABradio’s Matt Young has made El Jacko his best for the night. “El Jacko was a slashing run first-up in free-for-all company, powering home as an eye-catcher,” Young said. “He drops considerably in grade and in the small field can sit anywhere in the run and round them up to win. I’m very keen.“ Guild president Wayne Currall believes he’s found some value in his star bet. “On a terrific program of harness racing, I’ve opted for Jack William as my best for the evening,” Currall said. “The Nathan Turvey-trained pacer goes well for young Emily Suvaljko, as was shown last Friday when the horse did a sterling job to stick on for second after racing in the breeze outside eventual winner A Boy Named Rosie. Jack William will have to do it tough again, but he’s got the strength to cover this field.” VALUE BETS WARREN: The Verandah gets a nice draw here and will settle on speed. Think the market will underestimate his chances. PAT: My value bet comes up in race three with No. 2 Henwood Bay. He hasn’t had much luck in recent races but barrier two gives him a great opportunity and he should be at good value. RYAN: Chiaroscuro will have the sit on Shockwave’s back in the Media Guild Cup. If Shockwave opens the field up like he did in the James Brennan Memorial, then Colin Brown should have Chiaroscuro well placed to take advantage. KEN: For value, I suggest Askmeilltellya in race seven in which she will need to overcome the disadvantage of a wide draw at barrier eight. She is racing keenly and possesses a strong finishing burst. ERNIE: El Jacko has won only once in his past 17 starts, but looked set for a propsperous campaign when he ran a first-up sixth from gate eight in last week’s Navy Cup. He has won 23 races, including 14 at Gloucester Park. MATT: Destined To Rule is in great form, he just needs to find a position from gate three to play a big part in the second race. WAYNE: Disco Under Fire can run a cheeky race at each-way odds in the stand. Gary Hall Jr will be looking to tuck the horse in behind likely leader Kiwi Bloke. From an ideal trailing position he could finish well when the sprint goes on. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

After notching in excess of one hundred winners a season for the past eight seasons, Chris Voak chalked up his 200th victory for the 2019-20 season when he set the pace with the Ross Olivieri-trained gelding Diamond Life and scored a two-length victory over Change Of Address in a 2536m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. He has six drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and he rates the Olivieri-trained Queen Shenandoah as his best winning prospect. Queen Shenandoah will start from barrier five in the TABtouch Pace in which she will clash with quality mares Our Alfie Romeo and Miss Sangrial. Queen Shenandoah caught the eye in a similar 2130m events for fillies and mares last Friday night when she began from the outside barrier (No. 9) and was tenth and last at the bell before surging home powerfully, five wide, to finish fourth behind Has No Fear. “That was her first run for a fortnight and I expect her to go better this week, backing up from last week’s run,” said Voak. Of his other runners this week, Voak gives Rock Me Over (race three), Askmeilltellya (seven) and Kiwi Bloke (eight) an each-way chance. “Rock Me Over has a middle of the road draw (barrier four) and he will need to be in his best form to win,” he said. “But he normally goes well when I drive him. “Askmeilltellya is going well and has a good chance, even from the bad draw (No. 8), while Kiwi Bloke, from the inside of the front line in the stand, appeals as a top four chance.”   Ken Casellas

Star reinsman Ryan Warwick should send punters home on a winning note at Gloucester Park on Friday night by guiding polemarker Give Us A Wave to an all-the-way victory in the eleventh event, the 2130m Off The Track–More Than Just A Racehorse Pace. He had the choice of the four two-year-olds trained by Greg and Skye Bond, and he chose Give Us A Wave ahead of Jett Star (Dylan Egerton-Green), Be Rock Hard (Deni Roberts) and Squinta (Colin Brown). Four of the five runners in the race Give Us a Wave, Jett Star and Be Rock Hard and Lavra Joe, owned and trained by Ray Jones, will be racing first-up after a spell, with Squinta making his second appearance after a spell. Warwick, who has landed 224 winners this season, picked Give Us A Wave, a winner at two of his eight starts, mainly because the Mach Three colt gave such an excellent performance at his latest outing when he raced wide early from barrier six, took the lead after 550m and was beaten into second place by the fast-finishing Mighty Ronaldo in the group 1 Golden Slipper on July 10. Warwick has driven The New Zealand-bred Bettors Delight colt Jett Star in all of his six starts for five wins and a sixth placing in the Golden Slipper at his most recent outing after he settled in eighth position and moved to fifth, out wide, at the bell before finishing 11 metres behind Mighty Ronaldo. Be Rock Hard, a winner at Pinjarra, Northam and Bunbury in June-July, has been handled by Warwick in all of his five starts. Lavra Joe is a talented colt who has raced 15 times for six wins and four placings. He will be having his first start after finishing eighth in the Golden Slipper. With Chris Lewis in the sulky, Lavra Joe will start from the No. 3 barrier with two Bonds runners on his inside and two on his outside. Jones has him primed for a strong first-up effort after two recent splendid trials at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park. Last Sunday week, driven by Lewis, Lavra Joe ran home strongly to win a 2100m trial by almost three lengths from Elsu You, rating 1.59.2 after sprinting the final 400m in 27.9sec. Then, on the following Wednesday Ash Markham drove Lavra Joe to a 60-metre victory over Reddington Reactor, rating 1.59.8 over 2100m with final quarters of 31.5sec., 29.9sec., 29sec. and 27.4sec.   Ken Casellas

Handy WA-bred five-year-old Liam Neil was sold a few months ago and looks hard to beat at his first start for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr when he starts from the No. 3 barrier in the opening event, the Friendly Eric Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Liam Neil has impressed in two recent Byford trials and is capable of ending a 13-month drought and a losing sequence of nine. Two Sundays ago Liam Neil was a sound third behind Mister Bushido and Mattjestic Star in a 2150m Byford trial when the winner rated 1.57.5 and the final three quarters whizzed by in 28.8sec., 29.3sec. and 28.5sec. Then, last Sunday he was smartest into stride from barrier three before Gary Hall Jnr took the sit behind open-class performer Im Soxy 400m after the start. Hall eased Liam Neil off the pegs with 550m to travel and the Modern Art gelding ran home determinedly to finish just a head behind Im Soxy, with the final quarter in a slick 27.6sec. “I thought he went okay in the first trial and would benefit from it and he went better again last Sunday,” said Hall. Hall is sure to be keen to set the pace with Liam Neil, who has led and won at seven of his 13 career victories. Hall, who has driven 191 winners this season, has ten drives on the 11-event program, including two promising young pacers from Justin Prentice’s Boyanup stable --- Broadbeach in the NYE at Gloucester Park Pace for three-year-old fillies and Always An Honour in the Pace. The New Zealand-bred Broadbeach has won at her first two Australian starts in modest company, at Narrogin and Bunbury earlier this month. Broadbeach will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. “This will be a test for her,” said Hall. “She went pretty good at Narrogin (winning by seven and a half lengths) and then she set the pace and kept waiting for them (her rivals) before beating Gov Starzzz by less than a length. She is probably better off coming from behind at this stage.” Broadbeach is likely to meet with stiff opposition from Askmeilltellya (barrier eight), Intheskyrocket (nine) and Red Hot Lady (six), a trio of fillies who are in splendid form. Always An Honour is an Art Major four-year-old who will start from the No. 2 barrier in the 2130m tenth event on the program. He has won at 12 of his 28 starts and this will be his first appearance for 16 weeks. “He was a lot better the last time he raced than we thought he was going to be,” said Hall. “He just kept taking the next step.” Always An Honour and the polemarker and likely leader Roman Aviator will have admirers, but the race appears likely to develop into a serious contest between Patrickthepiranha and El Jacko. Four-year-old Patrickthepiranha, trained and driven by Colin Brown, will be having his third start after an absence of eight months and is sure to prove hard to beat after his excellent second to My Carbon Copy last Friday week when he raced in the breeze and fought on solidly. Seven-year-old El Jacko, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, resumed after a four-month absence last Friday night when he was eleventh at the bell before finishing strongly, out five wide, to be sixth behind Chicago Bull in last week’s Navy Cup. All runners to be driven by Hall will have a good following, with The Verandah (race six), My Carbon Copy (four), Mister Bushido (two) and Extreme Prince (three) all appearing to have sound each-way prospects.   Ken Casellas

Baskerville trainer Ryan Bell is in awe of Shockwave’s remarkable recuperative powers and is bubbling with confidence that the star four-year-old will defy all challenges and win the Media Guild Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Shockwave has taken no harm from his torrid run when he overraced fiercely in front over the final 1400m before clinging on to win the 2536m James Brennan Memorial by a half-head from champion Chicago Bull last Friday week. “Since that run, I can’t believe how well he has pulled up; he’s top-notch,” declared a buoyant Bell. “I’m confident and my gut feeling is that we did the best thing by not starting him in the Navy Cup last Friday night. He is well, and if anything, he’s too well. He hasn’t missed any hoppled work since his latest run when it was the first time that he had hit a wheel in a race. “He has overraced first-up in nearly every preparation, but this time he took it to a whole new extreme.” Bell said that he was looking forward to Shockwave competing against Mighty Conqueror, who will be resuming racing after an absence of eight months. Mighty Conqueror, prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond, last appeared when he endured a tough run to win the WA Pacing Cup from stablemates Vampiro and Our Jimmy Johnstone last January. Shockwave, clashing with Mighty Conqueror for the first time, was emerging as a serious threat with a four-wide burst approaching the home turn before locking wheels with Caviar Star and then dropping back to finish last. “This will be a good test for Shockwave this week, meeting Mighty Conqueror,” said Bell. “Hopefully, we’ll have the fitness edge on Mighty Conqueror at this stage. But knowing the Bonds, I’m pretty sure he will be forward enough.” Shockwave, to be handled by Aiden de Campo, has drawn perfectly at barrier one, with Mighty Conqueror (Ryan Warwick) starting from barrier six in the field of eight. “Obviously, we have the barrier draw advantage and the plan will be to lead,” said Bell. “Shockwave left the gates very well at his latest start, and that was the first time we actually hunted him out, and that’s probably why he overraced. But it won’t be a problem this week. Our Jimmy Johnstone (barrier No. 3) is the question mark (regarding the possibility of Shockwave being beaten out at the start).” Gloucester Park Harness Racing vice-president Kevin Jeavons, who races Shockwave in partnership with his son Kyle and Howard King, is hoping that history repeats itself. He was a part-owner of Washakie, the 10/9 favourite who started from the No. 1 barrier in the 2008 Media Guild Cup and driven by Gary Hall jnr, led throughout and won from Capitol V and Franco Amon. Horses starting from the No. 1 barrier have won four of the past eight Media Guild Cups, with those winners being Banana Dana (2012), Ima Rocket Star (2013), Libertybelle Midfrew (2016) and Waylade (2019). All four set the pace. Mighty Conqueror looms as a chief rival for Shockwave. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old has created a wonderful impression with his 27 starts producing 16 wins and five placings. The Ross Olivieri-trained Motu Premier will be having his third start in the Media Guild Cup. Chris Lewis drove him to a half-head victory over King Of Swing in 2018 and in last year’s Cup Motu Premier finished fifth behind Waylade. He will be an outsider this year from the outside barrier in the field of eight. Simba Bromac, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, will start from the No. 7 barrier at his first appearance for six months. He was a smart Pinjarra trial winner three Sundays ago. Simba Bromac was an extremely unlucky fifth in last year’s Media Guild Cup. He trailed the pacemaker Waylade and was hopelessly blocked for a clear run in the final stages.   Ken Casellas

One of Australia’s harness racing legends Destreos has officially been retired. Destreos has ended his career as a 16-year-old having started 486 times for what is clearly an Australasian record. Destreos (Astreos-Melvin’s Speed) spent most of his racing life in Queensland where he became a local hero, contesting races against some of the best of an era, but none could match his durability. Destreos never reached the heights of some of Australia’s superstars such as Blacks A Fake, Beautide, Smoken Up and Im Themightyquinn, to name a few, but he was a star in his own right. Affectionately known as Dexter, the gelding’s most prestigious win was a Group 3 Be Good Johnny Stakes in 2012, but he placed in other Group events during his 14-year racing career. He shared partnerships with many drivers but none more so than Queensland’s ace reinswoman Kelli Dawson who won 57 races aboard the gelding, of which 54 were at Albion Park. Destreos arrived in Tasmania in August 2017 having already notched 96 wins and he settled into his new digs at Flowery Gully in the north of the state where Tasmanian-born trainer Ken Rattray and his life partner and Destreos’ owner Sally Stingel decided to set up shop and prepare for retirement. Destreos attracted plenty of media attention as he edged his way closer to the ultimate milestone of 100 wins. There wasn’t a racing media outlet in Australia and New Zealand that didn’t record Destreos’ 100th win and that eventuated in Devonport in April 2018. “To win 100 races with the same horse is an almighty effort because it takes plenty of determination and courage to reach that mark and Destreos had those attributes and much more,” Rattray said after Destreos notched win 100. In notching his 100th win he joined Paleface Adios and Cane Smoke as the only pacers in the Southern Hemisphere to win more than 100 races. Cane Smoke holds the record of 120 victories while Paleface Adios won 108 times. Destreos won again in March last year but wins eluded him until he was sent for a spell after finishing well down the track in the TTC Elite at Elwick in late February. Destreos loved to race and keeping him sidelined in a paddock, when he was fit a healthy enough to race, was nye on impossible but no doubt he gave his first indication that his legs may have had enough and Rattray and Stingel did not hesitate in retiring their legend. Destreos notched 101 wins and 140 minor placings from 486 starts during his 13-year racing career for $828,369 in stakes.   Peter Staples for Tasracing

With her right arm extended in a victory salute, Michelle Phillips looked to the heavens as she crossed the line aboard the Tim Bolitho-trained pacer The Big End Oftown at Stawell yesterday. The winner was raced by prominent harness racing breeder, owner and club official Philip Nott who died the previous night. “As soon as we roared out of the gates I knew I had a horse and when I pulled the plugs at the top of the straight he just kept on motoring and they weren’t going to catch us," Phillips said. “The horse looked at me in the parade ring before the race as if he knew what was at stake,” she said. A bookmaker for more than 45 years, there is a fair chance Philip would have looked down from above with a wry smile as his horse knocked punters for a six saluting at the lucrative odds of $34. Philip enjoyed plenty of success racing horses linked back to bookmaking and racing terms with Off The Old’s upset win as a 90-1 chance in the 1999 Geelong Pacing Cup his biggest win. Among his better performed runners was the metropolitan winner Doyouwantitagain, while multiple winners Round Of Drinks and Copyarightwhack were always a topic of conversation along with The Early Crow. In more recent years Philip’s close friend Bolitho has been in charge of the team and the Anakie based horseman admitted the day produced a gamut of emotions. “What an amazing thing to happen, I was a mess after the race,” Bolitho said. “That he was able to win didn’t surprise me all that much because he is a good horse and I told Michelle to go forward at the start,” he said. Bolitho and Philip combined to make frequent visits to the winner’s stall during the past five or six years with the four-time country cups winner Arber and Rule Of Thumb. “Phil would come out to the stables once of week until his health wouldn’t allow him and while he wasn’t a hands-on horseman, he enjoyed the involvement and our trips to the races,” he said. “He will be sorely missed not only by me but also by the industry and his many friends in harness racing.” Philip was a fine contributor to the Geelong Harness Racing Club serving as president from 2005 to 2008 and was bestowed with Life Membership to the club in 2017. Geelong Harness Racing Club president John Ballestrino acknowledged Philip’s service to the club. “I had the fortune of having worked alongside Phil as his Vice-President during his years as President and he never wavered in his passion to see the club succeed and become a force in the industry,” Ballestrino said. “Phil was a friend and mentor to all of us at Geelong, in later years volunteering at trial nights and race days while his health still allowed him to do so. “It will be very hard to replace Phil, his friendship, his leadership and his passion for a good joke will be greatly missed by all of us at the club. “Our thoughts are with his wife Linda and son Craig at this sad time.” Harness Racing Victoria extends sincere condolences to the family during this difficult time.   HRV - John Dunne

"Patience is a virtue" penned William Langland in the 14th century - and the words of the noted poet could certainly have been written with a Victorian Western District square-gaiter in mind! Four-year-old Fremarkspoetry (Majestic Son-A Poem Kept (Safely Kept) has returned from an 18-month layoff, rewarding connections for their patience with a perfect comeback record. "She's an absolute ripper...a real beauty," said Courtney Slater, who trains under the banner of Goodtime Racing at Beeac, with husband Mark Driscoll. The titan bay mare showed she'd lost none of her x-factor in her long layoff, making it two-from-two this campaign, with her latest being a faultless exhibition at Maryborough on Monday afternoon. "We didn't have too many worries with her-she was a little fractious for a few moments before scoring up and that was it. She ended up getting the job done nicely," Slater said. "Her previous winning effort at Stawell, despite breaking in the score-up and later galloping in the run, was strong, but it showed us that she needs a bit of room and we'll be looking toward the bigger tracks where possible." Fremarkspoetry, raced by former dairy farmers Fred and Maree Clarke, of Terang, has now raced eight times for an awesome record of six wins, a second placing and an unplaced run for over $55,000 in stakes. "She has pulled up super. We haven't got any particular races in mind and we'll just take her one step at a time. Obviously toward the end of the year we'll be chasing the features and looking at going through her grades," Slater said. After finishing second at Melton in early March of last year, the co-trainers and connections made a gut-wrenching decision and turn the horse out. "It was devastating to miss a lot of the feature events, but she was such a big filly back then. We just had to look at the big picture," Slater said. "She was sound as a bell. It was just that she was going through a growth spurt and there were a few minor issues as she was growing out. "It was a real bummer, but we think in the long run it was the best decision. She's just a big girl and we put her in our swim a fair bit now as a precaution to take the pressure off her legs." Slater said Fremarkspoetry, a homebred mare, had always shown massive potential. "Mark broke her in and did the majority of her early preparation. He was always telling me she had exceptional ability as well as being strong-minded. They've had a fair journey together!" she said. Both Mark and Courtney have harness racing in their blood, each being third generation participants. Courtney's parents, Ian and Judi, conduct the highly regarded Goodtime Lodge, while Judi's late father Allan Anderton had a very good horse in Als Court, a winner of 25 races. Mark has followed in the footsteps of his parents Allan and Margi, who still have at least one going around, while his grandfather was also involved. "I'm a qualified hairdresser, while Mark was a builder for 20 years. It was probably five years ago when we decided to have a red-hot crack at harness racing," Slater said. "We bought a farm and set it up. There's an 850-metre track, a swim, 20 boxes, paddocks and a eight horse walker. While we've both driven in races, we're concentrating on the training aspect now. "I still drive at the trials and I drove at a Wagga Wagga meeting last year, but we're both enjoying taking a backseat. "Our usual driver Glen Craven, a thorough professional, has been sidelined with a knee injury so we've been using Michael Stanley, who we've found to be terrific and a great thinker." There's 35 in work at the Goodtime Racing stable, which includes quite a lot of youngsters. But those racing have been in super form. Apart from the brilliance of their star on the horizon Fremarkspoetry, others stamping their authority have been Goodtime Floyd (three from three), G1 winner Goodtime Heaven (two wins and a second from last three runs) and Luvyoubabe (a recent Stawell winner). "It's been a handy month. Hopefully we can keep it ticking along," Slater said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

FANS will have to wait at least another week for the first clash of glamour Aussie pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art. In a surprise late twist, Ride High was nominated, but then pulled-out of Saturday night’s $30,000 Minuteman free-for-all (2240m) at Melton. Connections have remained tight-lipped on the circumstances, but it is now expected Ride High will run in Saturday week’s $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton to sharpen-up for the $300,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup a week later. This week’s race is still a pearler with Lochinvar Art (gate 11) meeting reigning NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac (10) and Australasian 2300m record-holder Zennart (seven). Lochinvar Art has been crunched from $1.80 into $1.60 favourite in the Aussie TAB’s early market, ahead of Zennart ($4.80 to $4.60) and Cruz Bromac ($4.60 to $5). “He’s come through last week’s run really well and it’s definitely brought him on for sure,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said. Cruz Bromac, first-up since his fifth in the Auckland Cup last New Year’s Eve, has been sharpened-up for his return with two recent trial wins. __________________________________________________________________________________________ THE excitement around this season’s Aussie juvenile crop gained more momentum with Bar Room Banta’s blistering Menangle win yesterday (Tuesday). The powerfully looking son of A Rocknroll Dance sped to the front for Luke McCarthy from gate seven, cruised through a 57.8sec first half, then scorched home in 54 flat and 26.6sec. Bar Room Banta’s 1min51.8sec mile, at just his third start, was just a half-second outside the Australasian record of 1min51.3sec set by Ignatius back on June 25, 2017. Bar Room Banta is trained by Mick Stanley in Victoria, but loan to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy to target the NSW Breeders Challenge. The same combination brilliantly won a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge for two-year-old fillies with Soho Almasi a week earlier. Bar Room Banta and Soho Almasi are nominal favourites to win their finals. “I’ve got a fantastic crop of babies this season and these are the pick of them,” Stanley said. “Almasi is the fastest and potentially best filly I’ve had, while ‘Banta’ is something else … he’s just so fast and exciting.”   by Adam Hamilton

Harness Racing Australia is pleased to announce the J.D. Watts Awards to our sports highest performers for the 2019/20 season. Named after legendary trainer J.D. (Jack) Watts, who trained and drove winners in all states of Australia and New Zealand in a fifty year career, the awards celebrate the nations leading driver and trainer. 2019/2020 Australian Driver of the Year CHRIS ALFORD Chris Alford of Victoria was again Australia’s leading driver with 283 wins Australia wide for the 2019/2020 season. This is Chris’ 14th national title, his first being 26 years ago in 1994. He also took national honours in 2016 – 2019, 2012 – 2014 and 1996 – 1999.   2019/20 Australian Trainer of the Year GRANT DIXON Grant Dixon of Queensland was Australia’s leading trainer with 290 wins during the season. This is Grant’s 8th J.D. Watts Award and second in succession. Grant was also the leading trainer from 2012 to 2017. Remarkably, Grant’s title makes it 12 national titles from the last 13 seasons for the Dixon family, with Grant’s late father Bill the leading Australian trainer from 2008 – 2011. The Members of Harness Racing Australia congratulate Chris and Grant on their outstanding achievements.   Harness Racing Australia

A start in the Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup could well hinge on this Saturday night for many pacing hopefuls, with every prelude to the $300,000 Grand Circuit race on October 10 crucial to gaining favour with handicappers. A strong performance in the TAB Minuteman Free For All, which will air on Trots Vision at 6.30pm, will likely go a long way, with Group 1 champions Lochinvar Art and Cruz Bromac headlining the $30,000 feature. Boom horse Ride High is notable for his absence, having been initially nominated but then withdrawn, meaning the much coveted clash with Lochinvar Art is on the backburner at least until the $50,000 TAB Smoken Up Sprint on October 3. Instead trainer-driver David Moran and his Shepparton superstar will have to contend with reigning New Zealand Trotting Cup champion Cruz Bromac, who will be first up and looking to build on his 23 wins from 52 starts and $1,050,975 in stakes. His trainer, Amanda Grieve, said her eight-year-old seemed "really good and in a similair space to last year", when he followed his third placing in the Victoria Cup with an unforgettable victory at Auckland's Alexandra Park. "He’s about as good as we can have him without racing,” said Grieve, who stressed her stable star raced well when fresh. Lochinvar Art dominates the early betting market, listed a $1.60 chance with, with New South Wales raider Zennart ($4.60) and Cruz Bromac ($5) the only others in single figures. Zennart is the first of Luke McCarthy and Craig Cross's crew to descend upon Melbourne, with Balraj, Cash N Flow, Bling It On and Alta Orlando expected to follow, while Hunter Cup champ King Of Swing's hopes of a Victoria Cup start seemingly hinge on covid-19 border restrictions. Of their team, Zennart appears to have the most to prove to convince handicappers he's worthy of displacing a local in the Victoria Cup field, making the stakes all the higher on Saturday night. Victorians Sicario, My Kiwi Mate and San Carlo, all 2019 Inter Dominion finalists, will be eager for bold showings Saturday night to boost their claims, while Rackemup Tigerpie, Tam Major, Out To Play, Im Sir Blake, Rocknroll Eyes and Bulletproof Boy would also be hoping to break the door down. Saturday night's 10-race card kicks off at 3.39pm, with the first three races being shown on Sky Racing 2 to enable racing to be finished by 8.30pm, before the Victorian Goverment's 9pm curfew. The headline trot at 8pm is the Aldebaran Park Sumthingaboutmaori Trotters Free For All, which features Anton Golin's Great Southern Star winner Dance Craze, who's $1.90 favourite with Stablemate Imsettogo was initially installed a $2.30 favourite before the market was flipped by punters, with the latter easing to $3.40 while Dance Craze tumbled in from his $3.70 opening price. Red Hot Tooth, who last start held off Tornado Valley for an impressive all-the-way win, has eased from $2.80 to $3.40. Other Saturday night must-sees will be the Hygain 3YO Pace, when Sahara Sirocco and Pacifico Dream resume their duel and are joined by Craig Cross-trained Bomb Suit, a $1.70 favourite, and Marg Lee's impressive Yianni among a deep and talented field. Breeders Crown (November) and Vicbred Super Series (December) hopefuls will also be prevalent in the Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Pace, where Mick Stanley's pair Soho Brandenburg and Soho Bollinger will lock horns with the likes of Jess Tubbs' duo Sumomentsomewhere and Momentslikethese. Race caller Dan Mielicki will be joined on Trots Vision by co-host Rob Auber for Saturday night's coverage, guiding trots fans from the VHRC Parade Ring to the Winners' Circle. Racing will also show on Sky Racing 1 (races 4-10) and Sky Racing 2 (races 1-3), while Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden will headline's SENTrack's coverage and RSN 927's will also broadcast all races.   HRV - Michael Howard

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