Day At The Track
Search Results
49 to 64 of 1911

Sky Racing’s Andrew Bensley is normally the person holding the microphone and asking the winning harness racing connections how they feel after a big race victory. However this Sunday afternoon he is hoping he is the one being asked the questions.  Bensley is the part owner of Yankee Rockstar and the talented four year old will line up in the Gr. 1 FORM 700 Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. While Bensley feels no nerves before conducting important interviews with racing royalty, he admits there will be a ‘few butterflies’ this weekend. “I’m normally pretty quiet when I watch Yankee Rockstar race and let it all unfold but I did get a little bit excited last start in the Bonanza because I knew that if he won that race, he qualified for the Chariots,” Bensley said. “I rode him home from the 100 metre mark that night and this weekend’s race is a much bigger one.” Yankee Rockstar has drawn barrier eight but will move into gate seven if the emergencies fail to get a start. “We would have loved to have drawn a barrier so he is going to need a lot of luck from where he has drawn, especially considering Bling It On has drawn inside him.” “The best thing about his Bonanza win was when Gavin Lang put one on his tail in the straight he knuckled down and found a little bit more, because up until then he hadn’t really been in many situations where he has had to find under pressure.” Bensley will be trackside at Menangle on Sunday afternoon with his beloved Stetson hat. “My Stetson was an amazing gift from an amazing lady in Gai Waterhouse and I know that she likes to see me wearing it because she told me to make sure that I had it on if Yankee Rockstar won at Melton so I know she will be watching on Sunday.” “I love harness racing, I am in a syndicate with Tim Bunning and we have five horses, I had a horse many years ago called Dunme Dough that did a good job but I’m really enjoying being back in the sport again as an owner.” The Inter Dominion 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Greg Hayes Position: Media Coordinator Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: Related Links Fields for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015 Form guide for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015

Well known New Zealand harness racing trainer Cran Dalgety would probably tell you that Australia is his second home due to him spending so much time there. Due to the continuing success that Cran is having in major races in Australia, it is only natural that he trains horses for several owners who call Australia home. One of those horses is the smart three year old filly Delightful Lana who is owned by BJF Bloodstock which is managed by the Melbourne based Brendan James and his wife Anne. Purchased out of the New Zealand Premier sale in 2013 for $26,000, Delightful Lana finished midfield in several of the fillies classics in New Zealand at two but has really come into her own this season at three with several stylish wins. Those wins encouraged Cran to bring her to Sydney for the New South Wales Oaks heats tonight at Menangle and she didn't let the team down with a stylish victory in the fourth and last heat. Miss Riviera Belle and Lauren Panella flew the gate to lead early from the outside barrier while Dexter Dunn slotted Delighful Lana into the one by one early from barrier five. Content to sit there through the first 1500 metres, Dexter came out three wide at the 900 metres and found the death seat alongside Miss Riviera Belle as they passed the 800 metres mark. As they turned for home Dexter got a break on the field and although Rebel Diamond  and Anthony Butt closed late, Delightful Lana held on for a deserved victory. Delightful Lana paced the 2400 metres in 2:55.8, a mile rate of 1:57.9 with closing sectionals of 56.6 and 28.6. While Fight For Glory was super impressive winning her heat earlier in the night, Delightful Lana did enough tonight to suggest she will be a serious challenger to the favourite in the final on Sunday week. Harnesslink Media 

It was hard to get any consensus among harness racing scribes this week about which filly would come out on top in the second heat of the New South Wales Oaks tonight at Menangle. Punters also had trouble sorting the field out with several runners at single figure odds. The Belinda McCarthy trained Makes Every Scents was the shortest of those in single figures and worked her way to the front from barrier seven for driver Luke McCarthy. There was no real mid race pressure with the well supported CC Chevron content to sit outside the leader and control the tempo. Passing the 400 metres mark Luke let the brakes off and Makes Every Scents shot clear as they straightened for the run home. CC Chevron didn't kick on and it was left to Du Vella with Anthony Butt in the bike to storm home late from midfield to make a race of it but Du Vella came up short by half a neck at the finishing line. A daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, Makes Every Scents is from the former smart Holmes Hanover mare in  Scent 1:57.9 ($122,082) Makes Every Scents paced the 2400 metres in 2:57.1, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with closing sectionals of 56.3 and 27.8. This heat was run over three seconds slower than the first heat won by Delight Me and both Makes Every Scents and Du Vella are going to need to lift to be serious winning chances in the Oaks final on Sunday week. Harnesslink Media 

The old adage in harness racing of breeding the best to the best to get the best was never more evident than in the win of Delight Me in the first New South Wales Oaks heat at Menangle tonight. They don't come any better bred than Delight Me with the daughter of champion sire Bettor's Delight having the former great racemare Cornsilk 1:52 ($555,046) as her dam. The Emma Stewart trained filly was settled midfield in the running line by leading reinsman Gavin Lang and there she stayed until the 600 metres mark where Gavin tipped her three wide. Looming up to the leaders on the corner, Delight Me quickly put the issue beyond doubt and didn't have to be driven out to record a stylish victory. Delight Me won with so much ease that it is hard to see any of the minor placegetters in this heat playing a major part in the New South Wales Oaks on Sunday week. Delight Me paced the 2400 metres in a quick 2:54.1, a mile rate of 1:56.7 with closing sectionals of 56.2 and 27.9 Cornsilk was purchased by leading Western Australian breeder Robert Watson while still in North America and brought back to Australia to breed from. It is a very expensive excercise to undertake and following her return Robert has sold all her progeny through the yearling sales and in our view deserves any success that comes his way. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing pundits only wanted one horse tonight in the second heat of the New South Wales Derby at Menangle. Art Union was expected to be too strong from barrier four and punters would have been happy with themselves after 500 metres when driver Dexter Dunn let the son of Art Major slide to the lead without having to really use him. Sporty Spook after an early burn from barrier nine to grab the lead settled into a lovely trail on Art Union's back with Kilcullen working to the death and in the process giving Ideal For Real a lovely sit in the one by one. Dexter held the favourite back to the field until the corner where he set him alight but it was to no avail as Ideal For Real and Gavin Lang just burned him with raw speed as he went straight  past him half way down the Menangle straight and kept going to the line for a very impressive win. Art Union fought on gamely for second just in front of Sporty Spook while Kilcullen was much improved in holding on for fourth after doing the most work in the race. Trained by Emma Stewart the American Ideal colt  paced the 2400 metres in 2:54.7, a mile rate of 1:57.2 with closing sectionals of 55.8 and 26.4.  When Ideal For Real gets the kind of run he did tonight he can be lethal over the last 400 metres as he showed recently with a huge finish for second in his heat of the Victoria Derby. With Gavin Lang in the bike Ideal For Real will lack nothing in the driver department on Sunday week and looms as a major win chance if he can get the kind of run he did tonight. Harnesslink Media

All the harness racing trainers in New South Wales with smart three year olds  must have breathed a sigh of relief when they heard that Mark Purdon was sending Follow The Stars back to New Zealand for the Derbys there after the Victorian Derby. What they wouldn't have known was that the horse he was sending to the New South Wales Derby at Menangle in his place in Hug The Wind was little if any inferior to his star stable mate. Well after the first derby heat tonight at Menangle, no one will be in any doubt about how good he is after the son of Bettor's Delight sat in the death seat throughout before kicking clear late for a super impressive Australian debut win. Having his first start since the end of December, Hug The Wind did enough to win the heat without having to be seriously asked by co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen. You would expect Hug The Wind to derive some serious benefit from his first start for over seven weeks and he will strip a much fitter horse for the final. Aztec Bromac was just as clearly second for Robbie Morris and Kerry Ann Turner and looms as a legitimate place chance in the final but the other qualifiers in this heat look to be on mission impossible going by the margin between the first two and the rest tonight. Hug The Wind paced the 2400 metres in 2:53.4, a mile rate of 1:56.3 with closing sectionals of 55.7 and 27 Going on tonights run Hug The Wind looks the horse they have to beat on Sunday week. Harnesslink Media

The first of the harness racing features at Menangle for the two year olds this season was held last night with the running of the $40,800 Sapling Stakes. Queensland visitor Major Buddy was all the rage with punters after a series of outstanding trial runs but he was no match on the night for the locals who really turned it on for so early in the two year old calendar. As the gate left Gavin Fitzpatrick shot Salty Robyn to the front from barrier two but he was hotly challenged early in the piece by Bettermatch with Steve Maguire in the bike from barrier seven. These two eyeballed each other for the first 400 in a swift 26.6 before Steve took a hold of Bettormatch and they buttoned off the speed. Debutante runner Born To Rocknroll with John McCarthy in the bike settled into the one by one after 400 metres from barrier five as Salty Robyn kept up a solid tempo. A second quarter of  29.8 and a third quarter of 28.3 from Salty Robyn meant the back runners faced mission impossible as they turned for home. Salty Robyn went for home by two with Bettermatch and Born To Rocknroll coming at him the whole length of the straight and in the shadows of the finishing line Bettormatch stuck his head out for an outstanding win. A short half head away were both Salty Robyn and Born To Rocknroll who the judge couldn't separate for second. With the last quarter being run in 28.9, the mile was cut out in a very quick 1:53.6. For Bettermatch it was his fourth win on end and he remained unbeaten this season. Trainer Col Thomas had one word to describe the feeling straight after the race. " Awesome, really awesome, I am really very proud." " That is the biggest race winner I have ever trained." "He fired up a bit tonight which is not like him." "He is a colt but he is so quiet at home he never gets out of second gear," Col said Col was quick to heap praise on owner Robbie Wakeman who helps him out with his small team. " Robbie is at home every morning at 6:30 to help me work the team and back at 2:00 in the afternoon to help out again." "He does most of the work with Bettermatch and deserves a lot of the credit," Col said. A colt by the ill fated son of Bettor's Delight in Kenneth J, Bettermatch is from the racewinning New Zealand bred  Live Or Die mare in Matchme who is from a half sister to two former topliners in Bolton Byrd and Melton Monarch for noted New Zealand breeder Jim Dalgety. Bettermatch has two immediate goals in the next few weeks. " He can come back here in ten days for the Simpson Memorial and then we will head to Bathurst." "I would really love to win a Group One with him," Col said. The first three home last night all went super and if that is the standard of two year old racing this season, then we have some great racing to look forward to. Harnesslink Media  

Birchip will be the place to be tonight after Menin Gate’s stunning harness racing VHRSC Victoria Derby success. The Larry Eastman trained son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Dreams Of Heaven won the early speed duel to find the lead in the 2240-metre race, driver Chris Alford spearing him to the pegs from gate six after pocket rocket Justbritell initially led. Race favourite Follow The Stars with Mark Purdon in the cart followed Alford across and settled second, with Artistic Flite one-one and Justbritell happy to grab the leader’s back. They stayed in that formation for the bulk of the race before Art Union commenced a run down the back straight. But Art Union’s forward move was short lived when that horse and Artistic Flite locked wheels, which cost both runners any winning hope and also inconvenienced plenty of others. Turning for home it was Menin Gate with a strong kick and Follow The Stars in hot pursuit. The pair battled tooth and nail in the stretch but Alford was able to lift a bit more out of a gutsy Menin Gate, the Birchip crew absolutely ecstatic and roaring with excitement as they won by 2.7m. Follow The Stars was gutsy but no match for the winner, while Spare Me Days finished third and Justbritell was consistent as usual in fourth. Menin Gate's mile rate was 1:56.2. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racing followers on this side of the Tasman have been hearing for a few years now how Australian breeders were producing more and more of their elite age group and aged performers and that in the not to distant future they would overtake Kiwi breeders as the major supplier of elite level horses in Australasia. Those same Australian breeders must be looking at this weekends Hunter Cup and wondering what to make of the fact that eleven of the fourteen runners have that little tag of NZ beside their name. Of the four favourites heading into tonights $400,000 Hunter Cup, three have that same NZ tag. Christen Me, Adore Me and Terror To Love are all rated huge chances to take home the Cup with the only Australian given a chance being the Emma Stewart trained Guaranteed by Artsplace from the outstanding Australian mare Jadah Rose.. The other two Australian breds in the field are also in the Emma Stewart barn in Restrepo (second dam the NZ mare Cerebrand by Lordship) and Philladelphia Man (third dam the NZ mare Sue Adios) whcih are both just a yard behind the top quartet. Ever since the harness racing industry began in New Zealand over 100 years ago, New Zealand breeders have been selling their fillies and mares to Australia but always retaining more than enough of their best bred stock to allow the breed to thrive in their own country. Each country has had periods where they seemed to be getting the upper hand but for most of the last 100 years the Kiwi breds have held the upper hand. When you consider that there are hundreds of well bred Christian Cullen, Mach Three and Bettor's Delight mares still to join the broodmare ranks in New Zealand and that dominance over the Australian breds looks set to continue. With the ongoing results achieved by New Zealand bred stock in Australia, the breeding side of the Industry in New Zealand looks to have a great future. Harnesslink Media  

Another champion to be crowned king (or queen) of the Hunter Cup Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup night has arrived as we enter the final night of HRV's Summer of Glory carnival. Christen Me won last week's Victoria Cup and will be out to become the first horse since Blossom Lady to go back-to-back in the Hunter Cup tomorrow night. Kiwi mare Adore Me is the favourite for the race, heavily backed after she caught the eye flashing home for third in the Victoria Cup. With hot weather forecast and heaps of trackside entertainment on Hunter Cup night there has never been a better time to get trackside at the trots at Melton!   DEL-RE NATIONAL FOOD GROUP HUNTER CUP Saturday night, February 7. Group 1, 3280m, stand start. 9.30pm   1: PHILADELPHIA MAN ($13w $3.28p) Ticks: Horsham Pacing Cup win was full of merit when too strong for Restrepo and Arden Rooney. Drawn the pole. Prolific winner (11 wins from his last 13 starts). Crosses: Some say his bubble may have burst having been rolled his last two starts after 11 straight victories.   2: ARDEN ROONEY ($26w $4.8p) Ticks: Loves the stand-start racing (11: 6-1-2) and will have no worries with the marathon trip.  Crosses: Was well beaten behind Restrepo in the Hamilton Pacing Cup and Restrepo is a $14 shot here.    3: ADORE ME ($2.6w $1.30p) Ticks: She's a first-class mare who produced the best run outside of the winner in the Victoria Cup and will be clearly suited to the longer trip.  Crosses: She's a mare. They don't win the Hunter Cup too often.    4: CHRISTEN ME ($3.8w $1.53p) Ticks: Victoria Cup winner, Miracle Mile winner, easy Bendigo Cup winner. He's on fire. Crosses: Struggling to find one.   5: RESTREPO ($14w $3.47p) Ticks: Suited by the distance. Burst back into winning form with an enormous Hamilton Pacing Cup win from stand-start conditions two runs back. Crosses: Finished well-back in the Victoria Cup and despite his obvious talent he's only won two races since late November 2013.   6: UNCLE WINGNUT ($101w $20.04p) Ticks: Having a super season with strong runs in the Pure Steel last time out (third), the Horsham Cup (fourth) and the Cranbourne Cup (fourth). Crosses: Yet to win in 11 goes from behind the strands and seems a rung or two below the best ones here.   7: FLAMING FLUTTER ($41w $8.61p) Ticks: Excellent stand-start record (6: 4-0-1). Has in-form reinsman Greg Sugars. Has been racing in super-consistent form. Crosses: Probably a season away from being able to win at this level.   8: EASY ON THE EYE ($41w $8.61p) Ticks: Trained and driven by powerhouse New South Wales combination in Shane Tritton and Lauren Panella. Secured invite into last year's Miracle Mile. Crosses: Finished down the track in last year's Hunter Cup, drawn slightly awkwardly as loves to bowl along in front.   9: IM CORZIN TERROR ($26w $5.76p) Ticks: Stays all day and has a good record at the stand-start conditions (10: 3-3-1). He ran on well in this race last year and was close-up in the Kilmore Cup from the stand behind Guaranteed. Crosses: Has finished behind the top-liners at Horsham, Bendigo and last time out in the Victoria Cup.    10: WASHMEPOCKETS ($301w $58.14p) Ticks: Honest as the day is long and always puts in.  Has his own Twitter account. Crosses: Just doubt he's up to this class.   11: GUARANTEED ($6.5w $2.04p) Ticks: Gavin Lang has chosen to stick with Guaranteed and would have had the choice of the three Emma Stewart trained runners. In ripping form throughout this campaign. Crosses: Will have to work around at some point but aside from that he's got far more ticks next to his name than crosses.    12: FRANCO LEDGER ($31w $6.71p) Ticks: Lethal sprint on him. He ended Philadelphia Man's winning streak at Shepparton when absolutely sprouted wings in the home straight. Is a 13-time winner from 21 goes at stand-start. Crosses: New Zealand form not as strong as say Terror To Love, Adore Me or Christen Me.    13: TERROR TO LOVE ($6.5w $2.04p) Ticks: Three-time New Zealand Cup winner so class is no worries and loves staying races. Crosses: Didn't fire in the Victoria Cup last start and found a way to get beaten in a four-horse Ballarat Cup two starts back.   14: SMUDGE BROMAC ($101w $20.04p) Ticks: Racing in career-best form. Broke the track record in the Yarra Valley Cup last December. Stable knows how to win a feature race. Crosses: Class the big query at this stage and being ODS hasn't helped his cause.    ACCESS MARKET FOR THE DEL-RE NATIONAL FOOD GROUP HUNTER CUP   $300,000 Quaddie Pool Guarantee Tomorrow night's Hunter Cup Quaddie will carry a guaranteed pool of minimum $300,000 thanks to Summer of Glory sponsor, the TAB. Cash Grab Machine Have a Quaddie on Saturday night's Hunter Cup meeting (min $10 spend) and present your betting ticket to TAB Grab staff for your chance to win entry into the TAB Grab Booth, where $5,000 worth of vouchers await at Tabcorp Park Melton! Special bonus offer There is also a special bonus offer for TAB customers this weekend. Have a fixed odds win bet on the Group 1 Hunter Cup, with your TAB account or TAB rewards card, and if your horse runs second or third, you'll score a Bonus Bet up to $50 or equivalent TAB Rewards points. Bet at the track, your local TAB outlet, via the TAB smart phone app or online at   WIN A $50 TAB VOUCHER Here’s your chance to win a $50 TAB Voucher. To enter, tell us who you think will win the Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup on Saturday night. All entrants that pick the winner will go into a random draw and whichever lucky entrant is drawn, wins the $50 TAB Voucher! Entries must be in by no later than 8:30pm on Saturday night 7 February. One entry per person. Must be over 18 years of age to enter.Email with the subject WIN.  The winner will be notified via email on Tuesday.  

Plenty is at stake for the harness racing connections of classy pacer Alleluia. The gifted four-year-old pacer faces a must win situation this Saturday night at Albion Park when he starts in the Listed $25,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final. The Art Major – Shy Annie gelding is heading south next week in preparation for the country’s biggest four-year-old classic, the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle on March 1. “That’s been the target for some time, probably since the day we bought him last year and everything has been geared for this campaign so a win this weekend would have us heading south with great confidence.” Owner Greg Mitchell said. The former New Zealand pacer has surprisingly tasted defeat at his past two starts at Albion Park; he was scorched by a red-hot Medal Of Honour in a Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final on January 24 after breezing while he went down on Tuesday as a short priced favourite. Stablemate and proven feature race winner Major Moment conquered Alleluia when he was able to lead throughout under stand-start conditions. “I haven’t been disappointed by his latest defeats, in fact, I thought he was tremendous when Medal Of Honour beat us because we did all the work and the times were fantastic while he lost a lot of early ground on Tuesday before being forced to chase hard. “He’s clearly the horse to beat in the final this weekend and I think that run on Tuesday and looking at the tapes will be very beneficial for him in the final, I think he was caught off guard a little. With a clean getaway, I think he will find the lead and prove very hard to catch. “He’s been great fun and very consistent since I bought him last year, he raced great through the winter carnival against Bling It On and the performance in the Breeders Crown Final was simply outstanding considering the barrier draw and sectionals that were posted.” Alleluia will start next week in the Gr.2 $50,000 Hondo Grattan Stakes at Menangle where he’s expected to clash with Bling It On among others. The Gr.2 $50,000 Paleface Adios Stakes on February 21 is also shortlisted if he fails to qualify in the Hondo Grattan. “We’ll start in both races if need be but hopefully he does enough to stamp his ticket the first time around. The depth in this division is truly extraordinary and could easily be the main race on Inter Dominion Grand Final day. “The Kiwis are loaded with stars while Victoria has plenty of emerging types and then there’s Bling It On, a horse we know well. It’s very exciting to be a part of this great race and I’m sure he’ll perform at his best, like he always does.” Mitchell is also looking forward for his trotter Our Overanova to tackle feature races in Sydney and Melbourne in the coming weeks. Our Overanova must overcome a 50m handicap on Saturday night at Albion Park over the short distance of 2138m. The Monarchy gelding resumed with a solid second behind Our Billy Ray at Albion Park on January 24. Our Overanova is qualified for the Gr.1 $300,000 Great Southern Star at TABCORP Park, Melton on March 7 following his victory in the Gr.3 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final back in October. Both Alleluia and Our Overanova are trained and driven by leading horseman Grant Dixon. Hoofnote; Greg Mitchell is the current Racing Queensland Harness Chairman. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 07 February 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 07 February 2015

It has been a big week for young reinsman Robbie Morris. Less than a week ago he was announced as the NSW representative in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship, and then on Saturday night watched the Sky Racing monitors at Tabcorp Park Menangle as his partner Kerryann Turner trained and drove Aztec Bromac to victory in the first heat of the Victoria Derby at Melton. Morris has been the regular driver of Aztec Bromac in his career and it has been confirmed that he will drive the three year old again this week in the Gr. 1 event. "Kerryann and I have spoken about it and it has been decided that I will go down on Saturday to drive Aztec Bromac in the Derby," Morris said. "Kerryann has some important drives at Menangle this weekend including Zenable and Lettuceriprita so she will be in Sydney this weekend and I will head to Melbourne." Aztec Bromac is only lightly raced having competed just six times for four victories. "He's a nice horse and I don't think anyone thought we would be competing in a Derby but it has been a great ride so far and we're just happy to be there." "The two owners that are in him are long term owners and haven't had a real top liner so it is nice to see them get a horse like this. He will race on Saturday night and then return to Sydney in an attempt to qualify for the New South Wales Derby." Aztec Bromac has remained in Victoria this week after his heat win. "Kerryann has been stabled at Shepparton with Daniel Jack and he has a great setup, so she will be able to give Aztec Bromac his last hit out and then come back to Sydney and I will go down on Saturday morning." By Greg Hayes

The VHRSC Victoria Derby Final is shaping as a harness racing classic after the three heats on Saturday night. Follow The Stars is not unbeatable. Who would have thought? He was $1.10 to win his heat on Saturday night but had to settle for second to Art Union (beaten 1.8m). Art Union (by Art Major out of The Sparks A Flyin) rated 1:58.4 (last half 55.2) in winning the third heat, driver Dexter Dunn taking the colt to the lead in the run and staving off all comers late. Follow The Stars tried valiantly but couldn't catch the winner. Spare Me Days was third and Mister Brazil fourth. Aztec Bromac (by American Ideal out of Agnes Patron) won the first Derby heat for the night in a rate of 1:57.2 (last half 56.7), narrowly holding off fast-finishing Ideal For Real. Kerry Ann Turner trained and drove the winner, while the runner-up was from the in-form Emma Stewart camp with Gavin Lang in the cart. One Hell Of A Ride finished well for third, while Mach Doro was fourth but was an eye-catching run after working three-wide in the run. The winner of Derby heat two, Menin Gate, has to be a serious player in the final after an impressive run on Saturday night. The Larry Eastman trained gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere / Dreams Of Heaven rated 1:57.7 (last half 55.8) and motored to the line in the straight. Chris Alford drove the winner. Consistent Justbritell was second, Rule Of Thumb third and Artistic Flite fourth. 1st heat 2nd heat 3rd heat by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria  

The 2015 TAB Victoria Cup came down to ‘gate speed’. The 2240m feature harness racing sprint at TABCORP Park, Melton was taken out by New Zealand star Christen Me who blasted the gate to lead before running away with the $400,000 feature defeating Lennytheshark and Adore Me. The victory also sends Christen Me to a clear lead in the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit race, a title he claimed last season. All pre-race talk centred on Beautide, running from gate three and expected to lead from his favourable alley but the mighty pacer was tackling the event on the fresh side, having not raced since the Miracle Mile on November 29 in Sydney. But champion reinsman Dexter Dunn rolled the dice and charged hard off the gate with Christen Me and led comfortably while Beautide got away in third place. The decisive tactics from Dunn proved to be a masterstroke. The lead time was covered in 45.3 seconds. In-form pacer Philadelphia Man quickly rushed around the outside to race without cover before his stablemate Guaranteed made his move to park outside the leader. With early moves being made, Beautide was soon shuffled back in the pack, racing midfield. The first half was covered in 30.4 and 30.3 as Dunn continued to deal with Christen Me in front. Beautide was flushed out three-wide when champion mare Adore Me commenced her run but the pressure soon hit fever pitch as they entered the back straight for the final time. Christen Me traveled strongly with Guaranteed matching while Beautide was hustled along deeper on the track. The third quarter was covered in 27 seconds. At the top of the straight, Christen Me had sailed away from his rivals while Lennytheshark went back to the passing lane and Adore Me started to charge wider on the track. At the end, Christen Me scored easily by 2 metres with a further 3.5 metres back to Adore Me in third. The last section was also recorded in 27 seconds. The overall time was 2;40.0 and the winning milerate was 1;55.0. “I was actually surprised how easy I got over at the start; he travelled so easily and rounding the home turn he felt like he was jogging. He’s going better than ever and it’s a credit to everyone involved with the horse.” Winning driver Dexter Dunn declared. The victory also continues the love affair Christen Me has with Australian racing, the Christian Cullen – Splendid Dreams gelding is yet to miss a place in 10 starts on Aussie soil. Already this season, Christen Me has claimed the Miracle Mile, NZ Free-For-All, Bendigo Cup and now the Victoria Cup. Next week, Christen Me will attempt to defend his title in the Gr.1 $400,000 Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup. For Dunn and trainer Cran Dalgety, it is their second Victoria triumph together following their success in 2009 with Bettors Strike. Dalgety also prepared Desperate Comment who scored back to back victories in 1996/97. Christen Me now has 210 points in the race to be crowned Grand Circuit champion with three legs remaining; his nearest rival is For A Reason with 150 points. by Chris Barsby

Lex Crosby got a touch emotional last Saturday night when his impressive three year old harness racing filly Read About Lexy took out the $40,800 Group 3 J L Raith Memorial at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Read About Lexy is from the breed that his late father Jim brought into over 60 years ago and it has been in the Crosby family ever since. Lex was very philosophical when talking about his filly earlier in the week. " There have been plenty of ups and downs over the years but it has been a good family to us over a long period." " Read About Lexy is the eight generation of this family that we have bred since Dad brought Winter Like over sixty years ago and I did get a bit emotional when she won the other night" Lex said. Lex is not surprised that Read About Lexy is so talented as her dam Lexy's Laughing showed plenty of ability in a short career. " She was a smart two year old but only had nine starts before she broke a fetlock and we had to have it pinned and retire her. "She won a race and run a few placings so I am not surprised she has left a good one," Lex said. Read About Lexy has been the model of consistency her whole career with Saturday night's win being her seventh to date alongside eight placings from just sixteen lifetime starts and took her lifetime earnings over the $100,000 mark. Lex has Read About Lexy's  programme mapped out going forward. "She can have a run in a C0-C1 at Menangle in a fortnight and then straight into the Oaks heats on the 21st February," Lex said. Lex is a big fan of Read About Lexy's sire Sportswriter. "From the moment I saw him in the flesh, I just had to have one." " He is such a magnificent looking stallion" " This year I bred Lexy's Laughing, her full sister Lexy's All Ears and their dam Lexy Lobell all to Sportswriter." "I just love the stallion," Lex said. Read About Lexy looks poised to give Lex plenty more thrills as all the major fillies races roll around in the next three months. Harnesslink Media   

If you build it, they will come... Harness Racing Victoria have hit a home run, not too dissimilar to one of the homers hit by the baseballers in the legendary Kevin Costner movie involving cornfields and ghosts, by changing the summer calendar and launching the TAB Summer of Glory carnival. The TAB Victoria Cup field tonight is packed with stars and more than one trots pundit believes it to be the greatest and most competitive Victoria Cup field that's been seen in the modern era.   TAB VICTORIA CUP Saturday night, January 31. Group 1, 2240m, mobile start. 9.32pm   1: LENNYTHESHARK ($9) “He’s drawn perfectly. He’s second-up from a spell and ran a terrific race first-up in the Shepparton Cup. You don’t want them at 100 per cent first-up and he’ll improve significantly with that run under his belt. Chris (Alford) has options from the draw, so we’ll leave that up to him. Philadelphia Man got away from him at the turn at Shepparton and on the line we were on his wheel.” - David Aiken (trainer)   2: FRANCO LEDGER ($21) “He’s great, we’re really happy with him. He’s in the zone at the moment and we’re drawn well. I’d be really happy to be three back the pegs in the run, but one-out and three-back would be fine too. The quicker they go up front the better it’ll be for us.” - Geoff Webster (trainer/driver)   3: BEAUTIDE ($3.2) “Really happy with how he’s going. He’s trained well and we’re pretty confident he’s better than he’s been all season. He’s had some good trials and has got a good draw. He’ll come out quick; he’s got really good gate speed.” - James Rattray (trainer/driver)   4: PHILADELPHIA MAN ($6) “He was a little bit fresh at Shepparton and he’ll strip fitter for the run. He’s worked terrific during the week. I think he brought himself undone a bit by over-racing last week. I’m happy with gate four. We can run our own race.” - Emma Stewart (trainer)   5: IM CORZIN TERROR ($81) “We’re really happy with his work. The draw’s a bit unfortunate; we’d like to swap his draw with Chilli’s. Some people are putting him down but I think he’s the forgotten horse. You look at his run at Kilmore in the Cup when he gave Guaranteed a start and was running on strongly for second.” - Amanda Grieve (trainer)   6: CHRISTEN ME ($6) “They will fly the gate and from our barrier we are half in and half out, so Dexter will most likely come out and sit in the middle of the track until the dust settles. From then on we are aiming to position up in the front half of the field rather than the back half.” - Cran Dalgety (trainer)   7: TERROR TO LOVE ($16) “We’re getting used to these barrier draws now! It is what it is … I think he’ll come into it later on. It’s the first of a lot of big races coming up. Thinking he’ll just go back and try to work into it at the right time. Everyone sort of forgets how good a sprint he’s got when he’s saved for one go.” - Paul Court (co-trainer)   8: CHILLI PALMER (1EM) ($51) “Absolutely thrilled with Chilli, we’ve just got to hope he gets a start. We’re very happy with how he’s come back.” - Amanda Grieve (trainer)   9: DAVID HERCULES ($41) “I give him a huge chance. We’re not going to have to do half the work a few of the others will have to do. He’s apparently travelled very well.”  - David Thompson (trainer)   10: GUARANTEED ($4.8) “His form’s been terrific and he’s come through every run better and better. His work has been terrific.” - Emma Stewart (trainer)   11: FOR A REASON ($41) “We were disappointed he pulled at Horsham (in the Cup) and then off 30m with those sectionals last week he had no hope. He’s come on good since that run and he’ll benefit from it. This is a tougher Victoria Cup than last year though. This is probably the best cup field in years. We’ll drive him like last year; come with one run. We’d be thrilled if he ran a place.” - Luke McCarthy (driver)   12: ADORE ME ($10) “Adore Me is training very well and we’re pretty excited going into the Victoria Cup. She has travelled really well and it’s a pleasure to be involved with her.” - Duane Marfisi (stable assistant with Mark Purdon)   13: RESTREPO ($41) “We’re hoping he’s getting home well and finishing it off strongly. The draw makes it a bit tricky.” - Emma Stewart (trainer)   ACCESS THE MARKET FOR THE TAB VICTORIA CUP   $200,000 FIRST 4 JACKPOT Tomorrow night's TAB Victoria Cup will carry a $200,000 First 4 pool guarantee. There is also a special bonus offer for TAB customers this weekend. Have a fixed odds win bet on the Group 1 TAB Victoria Cup or the Group 1 Hunter Cup, with your TAB account or TAB rewards card, and if your horse runs second or third, you'll score a Bonus Bet up to $50 or equivalent TAB Rewards points. Bet at the track, your local TAB outlet, via the TAB smart phone app or online at   WIN A $50 TAB VOUCHER Here’s your chance to win a $50 TAB Voucher. To enter, tell us who you think will win the TAB Victoria Cup on Saturday night. All entrants that pick the winner will go into a random draw and whichever lucky entrant is drawn, wins the $50 TAB Voucher! Entries must be in by no later than 8:30pm on Saturday night 31 January. Must be over 18 years of age to enter. Email with the subject WIN.  The winner will be notified via email on Tuesday.

49 to 64 of 1911