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This is the time of the season for Vicbred horses to shine. Over the next few weeks you will see many heats for Vicbred eligible horses leading into a fantastic weekend of Group 1 Finals on July 4 & 5. Our appreciation to sponsor Empire Stallions who do a great job in promoting themselves during this series.   Growth of 2YO Trotters The growth in trotting ranks has been highlighted by the number of two-year-olds who have presented at the races so far this season. By the end of May, 55 two-year-old trotters had raced (of which 50 are Vicbred). At the same time last year 33 two-year-old trotters had raced. A 67% increase in the number of starters can in part be credited to the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown series which recently boasted separate $50,000 finals for both colts and fillies. Those two finals included five graduates from the inaugural Australasian Premier Trotting Sale (APTS) in March 2013. The first winner purchased from the APTS was Dream Vacation gelding Livin The Life which won at Kilmore on June 10. Well done to all involved at the Cranbourne Club. Fastest Last Half Ever David Lewis trained Amajorjo may not have won a major race yet, but he does now lay claim to the fastest last half mile in Australian history. At Maryborough on May 16, Amajorjo won The Leo Crameri, finishing off in a last half mile of 53.3 seconds, the quickest on record. Victorian tracks hold the first five places on the national speed chart with Chilli Palmer, Ideal Scott, Macha and Bling It On all recording sub 54 second last halves at Tabcorp Park Melton. Harness Racing worth $422m in Victoria During May the Premier and Minister for Racing Dr Denis Napthine released a Size and Scope Study into the Victorian Racing Industry - conducted by experts IER. The report concluded that harness racing in Victoria generates $422m for the Victorian economy - a 63% increase since the previous study eight years ago. Some of the other highlights specific to harness racing in the study included: 4,000 full time equivalent jobs; 19,000 people involved as employees, participants or volunteers; 8,000 owners and syndicate members; 3,000 breeders; Highest Regional Contribution comes from the Goulburn Valley ($58m) followed by Loddon ($50m). A full copy of the 96 page study is available by clicking here. Ballarat Stakes Reduction The Ballarat & District Trotting Club is the first Club to announce a reduction in its contribution to stakes due to the impost of a new State Government gaming tax. The new tax will cost the Ballarat Club an extra $200,000 per year so the Club has decided to cut approximately $100,000 from its contribution to stakes. Most affected will be the Ballarat Pacing Cup, which reduces from $175,000 to $100,000. Admirably, the Ballarat Club will continue to invest heavily in its community and charity work, neither of which will be impacted by the new gaming tax. For the full statement from Ballarat click here. Incidentally, the new tax will have a $400,000 impact on HRV. Management is currently working through next year's budget in order to minimise the impact on overall stakes. Queen's Birthday Honours A pair of harness racing identities were awarded Queen's Birthday Honours earlier this week. Keith McGowan OAM Keith received an OAM for services to the media, however the honour also recognised his "ownership of Harness horses for in excess of 25 years and his support for the industry over many years". Despite Keith's passing late last year we are all proud of Keith's award, and in particular for his family, including son Nathan. John Ballestrino OAM John received an OAM for services to the community, particularly sporting organisations. One of the sports John is associated with is harness racing, in his role as Vice President of the Geelong Harness Racing Club. Congratulations to John and the McGowan family on being recognised in such a way. Vale HRV was saddened to learn of the passing of two industry stalwarts. Norm Fear Norm was a trainer back in the 60's and 70's and later a HRV Board member from 1984 to 1988. He loved harness racing and was always positive about the sport. The most appropriate comment I have read is from Russell Edwards on Facebook. Quote "Norm was a true gentleman who volunteered countless hours to the game he loved....I never heard anyone utter a bad word about him". And as the Shepparton Club said on their Facebook page "Norm was simply the best". Edo Bettiol Edo had a long term interest in harness racing and previously owned several horses. He was also an esteemed member of the Caduceus Club. His son Greg is equally passionate about the sport and is a member of HRV's Pegasus Club. Our condolences to Greg and Edo's family. First Winners Harness racing in Victoria continues to be the breeding ground for young participants becoming involved in the sport. During the month of May a couple of young drivers experienced the thrill of driving their first winners: Robert Caton (19) drove his first winner on Lombo Mini Lamouch at Bendigo on May 8; and Zac Steenhuis (16) drove his first two winners, Village Spirit and Tallulah Bay, at Terang on May 18. Not so young, but still enjoying his first win was Darren Manton on Prettyboytoby at Ballarat on May 10. Josh Aiken Josh is quickly becoming a young star of the industry. Son of David, Josh has had a roller coaster ride over the past two weeks. Here is a summary: Drove his first Metropolitan winner at Tabcorp Park on May 30 on Composed; Became the youngest person (at 20 years of age) to drive a treble at Tabcorp Park on June 6; Celebrated his 21st birthday on June 10; Appeal against a three week suspension dismissed by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on June 10. Milestones Amanda Turnbull With her win on Tezz Khora at Charlton on June 12 Amanda, now residing in Victoria, has driven 999 winners. If she makes it to 1,000 in the next couple of days, she will become the youngest ever to achieve the feat in Australia. Brian Kiesey Brian trained the first two winners at Charlton on June 12, his first double since Elmore in 2001. The first of the double was Candy Digger, which hadn't won since March 2012 at Warragul. Since then she had 132 starts without success. Second placegetter in the same race Master Kiesey, also trained by Brian, achieved the milestone of 300 starts in a race. Geoff Kay Dr Napthine has advised that Board member Geoff Kay's term has been extended for a three year period - until May 2017.

There has been no shortage of races and horses in the Riverina this season with a further 12 races at Wagga on Friday an equal record high for the club. With only one meeting in the Riverina this week, Wagga received overwhelming response with the program running for six hours and starting just prior to noon. It's the second time Wagga has held 12 races and follows on from similar large programs at Young in recent meetings. The meeting will be highlighted by two heats of the Menangle Where Country Horses Fly series which are both worth $10,000. "Harness Racing New South Wales approved the additional races otherwise too many horses would have missed out on a start," Wagga chief executive Graeme White said. "It's important all horses are able to race otherwise owners turn their horses out through frustration of not gaining a start - that then impacts on your fields sizes for months later." White said there would be some doubling up of race day stalls between trainers with horses in early and late races, but this was unavoidable due to the large numbers. Leading trainer Shaun Snudden said it was pleasing to see additional races especially with the higher graded races also attracting a field of eight. "You can't afford to be balloting out a lot of horses especially at this time of the year when it's normally a little quieter for horses," he said. Snudden will start eight horses and will swap his own colours for those of the late Shelton Smith with his two horses, Gesturestar and Starzzz In Order. "They have a good following those two horses and hopefully they can win for the family,:" Snudden said. Shelton Smith passed away on Tuesday after a lengthy battle with cancer. Meanwhile, Wagga is working towards the end of an 11 week straight racing sequence which will draw to a close on July 4. The club's next feature meeting is on Friday night, June 27, when the Norm Johnson Memorial for three-year-olds will be held. There will also be bonuses on all races for Standardbred Owners Association members. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |

STAR Tasmanian three-year-old Resurgent Spirit will make his ling awaited return to racing in a heat of the Globe Derby Stakes over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre (Race 5) in Launceston tomorrow night Friday). Resurgent Spirit won his first 13 starts to equal Halwes' record of the most number of consecutive wins in Tasmania and he then stepped out in the Tasmanian Derby and had his colours lowered for the first time when third to Outrageous El and Lake Eyre in Hobart. But he bounced straight back with a convincing win in Launceston three weeks later after which his trainer Roger Whitmore opted to freshen him up. Whitmore then admitted this stable star had encountered a problem with brushing his knee but the farrier came to the rescue and last season's two-year-old of the year is back on track. It would be hard to see any of the other six runners emerging triumphant if resurgent Spirit enjoys a trouble-free run in the race. The remaining heat (race 6) looks a match between the Christian Salter-trained Vande Velde and last-start winner Hustler Halo from the in-form Dick Eaves stable. There weren't enough nominations for heats of the Bandbox Stakes for three-year-old fillies but enough to program a Bandbox Prelude (race 2) that boasts a field of 10. It looks an open race on paper but if Tania Maree from the Craig Hayes stable can overcome her outside second-row draw she is the one to beat. Tania Maree has won seven of her 10 starts this season along with two seconds and a third. By Peter Staples

Tim Yole and Samantha Freeman ended up squaring the BOTRA Novice Driver Series in Launceston on Sunday night. Yole took a five-point lead into the final two heats of the series over Freeman and Lyarna Graham but the best Yole could manage from his only drive was a third aboard Helen Wheels in heat five and he was restricted to a mandatory six points in the final heat as he didn't have a drive. Freeman had to win the last heat to square the series and she had no trouble in guiding long odds-on favourite Mickwillrev to an effortless all-the-way win to earn maximum points (16). It was Freeman's second win in the six-race series. Matthew Howlett finished third with 53 points courtesy of a win aboard Robyn Scherbotsky in heat five that put him in a winning position going into the last heat but he could only guide Little Jethro into fifth place in a field of seven. Final standings after six heats: 56 - Samantha Freeman and Tim Yole. 53 - Matthew Howlett. 48 - Lyarna Graham and Kristy Grant. 44 - Duncan Dornauf. 41 - Braden Howlett. 36 - Shane Boon. 33 - Nicholas Brockman. 29 - Adrian Collins. By Peter Staples

All roads lead to Maryborough on Sunday, July 20, for the running of the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic. The all-trotting program will also feature the Group 1 Victoria Trotters Derby. The Metropolitan and Country Harness Racing Association will again be taking a coach to Redwood Day. The coach will depart from both Moonee Valley Tabaret car park and Tabcorp Park, Melton, at times to be determined. The cost for the coach will be $70, which will include transportation, lunch, afternoon tea and a racebook. For bookings call Len Baker on 0401 679 745. Spaces are limited. Please note: The Herald Sun today published a Redwood article stating Redwood Classic day will be held on “Sunday week”. This is incorrect. The correct date for the Redwood Day is Sunday, July 20. HRV Media

Star filly Tricky Styx is being set for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 after she produced her typical whirlwind finishing burst to snatch a thrilling last-stride victory in the group 1 $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I think she has earned the chance to run in the Slipper," Northam trainer Jesse Moore said after Aiden De Campo had driven Tricky Styx to a head victory over Soho Tokyo. And the 22-year-old de Campo is looking forward to the challenge of contesting the Golden Slipper with Tricky Styx against the colts and geldings, saying: "She's a quality filly who has proved that she can race against the boys with her win in the Champagne Classic." Tricky Styx showed her class in the group 2 Champagne Classic early in May when she overcame the outside barrier and the task of charging home from the rear after settling in last position. Tricky Styx, who started from barrier two on the back line on Friday night, was sent out at the surprisingly good odds of 9/2, with Major Reality (10/9) and polemarker Sea Me Smile (13/4) more popular with punters. Major Reality was smartest into stride from the No. 3 barrier, but was unable to cross Sea Me Smile, who kicked up strongly on the inside to hold out Soho Tokyo and Tricky Styx. Justin Prentice quickly was able to get Major Reality into the one-out, one-back position behind Soho Tokyo (in the breeze), with Tricky Styx settling in seventh position. Massive Attack started a three-wide move after about 500m and Prentice eased Major Reality three wide with 950m to travel. It was a line of three in front passing the 400m mark, with de Campo having eased Tricky Styx out of a pocket and into the three-wide line 450m from home. Michael Stanley got Soho Tokyo (8/1) to a narrow lead on the home turn and Tricky Styx was fourth (and winding up) 90m from the post. She then flew to gain the verdict over Soho Tokyo in the final stride. The final quarters were covered in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. and Tricky Styx rated 1.58.1 over the 1730m. "We got a dream trip," de Campo said. "But at the 400m she didn't let down as good as I thought she could. However, at the top of the straight she really started motoring. I think that she might have been a touch below her very best, but she still got the job done. Jesse wasn't one hundred per cent happy with her before the race. He said that her past two runs had not been as good as her two previous runs. Jesse is a very astute trainer and will have her ready for her next assignment. "I didn't pull the plugs because she doesn't respond to that. She has the plugs in, but you don't pull them. She is quite temperamental and you can't hit her too hard, either. "She is not the easiest horse to drive and she gets around a bit and it is a credit to Jesse that her race manners have improved immensely over the past six to seven weeks. She is probably green more than anything. Jesse had the block blinkers on early and then he took them off and put the Dollies on --- and that has been a big key to how she has been racing." Tricky Styx, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is certainly proving a wonderful bargain for the 69-year-old Moore, who paid just $NZ5000 to buy the filly for his wife Maree at the New Zealand yearling sales in Christchurch early last year. Tricky Styx now has earned $110,435 from five wins and one placing from eight starts. Ultimate Major makes it four to Lewis Champion reinsman Chris Lewis was in dashing form at Gloucester Park on Friday night, landing four winners. He ended the night on a high with an astute frontrunning drive to score a smart win with 13/4 chance Ultimate Major in the 2536m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace for three-year-olds. He had been successful earlier in the night with the Ross Olivieri-trained trio of Shelby Cruzin, Might Be Luck and Selkie. Ultimate Major, a relatively inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt, gives promise of developing into a very smart pacer, and Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that long-range plans for Ultimate Major included the rich group 1 Golden Nugget Championship next season. "He's a funny horse with a lot of speed and his record in New Zealand was very good and, hopefully, he will continue to improve," de Campo said. "The Golden Nugget will be his main aim. "After he arrived from New Zealand in February he tried rushing him for the WA Derby and didn't have enough time to have him ready. At his WA debut early in April he went very badly in the Western Gateway Classic (distanced behind Elegant Christian). So we freshened him up and now he's racing well. "He is a funny kind of horse. When he's in front he switches right off, like he did tonight. But when that horse (Mista Rush) got to him he lifted and was running through the line strongly." Ultimate Major clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Lewis was able to give the colt an easy time early, with the first 400m section of the final mile going by in a pedestrian 32.3sec. before he increased the tempo with sections of 30.2sec., 29.1sec. and 28.4sec. He led clearly half-way down the home straight and had almost a full length to spare in defeating 3/1 second fancy Mista Rush, who was last at the bell and unwound a sparkling late burst. Soho Lennon, the 6/4 favourite, had a tough run before finishing third. He was trapped three wide for the first 500m and then worked hard in the breeze. Ultimate Major, owned by Paul and Tony Poli, won at two of his four New Zealand starts and he now has a record of nine starts for five wins, one placing and stakes of $37,225. He is a half-brother to Pas Ultimate Delight, who has had three starts in New South Wales for two wins, including a group 3 event for mares in Dubbo. Ultimate Major's maternal granddam Abbeybell produced Our Awesome Armbro, a winner in New Zealand, Australia and America before retiring with a fine record of 184 starts for 37 wins, 42 placings and $849,309. Lewis and de Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night, with Lewis driving three winners (Major Rush, Miss Atomic and Onedin Crusader) and de Campo training a double with Captain Proud and Typhoon Tan. Olivieri praises Selkie Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri predicted a bright future for Selkie after Chris Lewis had driven the five-year-old to an effortless victory in the first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzas Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She is one of the better mares I have trained," he said. "I have trained a lot of good mares and Selkie rates pretty highly with some of the best of them. "Gliding Princess is the best mare, by far, that I have trained. She is only the third filly in history to have won the New South Wales Derby and Oaks. Ima Spicey Lombo and Miss Bo Scott were pretty good, but Selkie is much better than Elysees Crest (23 wins and $228,290) and Slick Lavra (15 wins and $143,026). The latter two were not in the same class as Selkie. "Selkie is fast, tough and versatile and when she's doing a 30sec. quarter she's absolutely cruising. Chris said that she was cruising on the line tonight." David Gravolin, an Oakford trainer whose property is about 5km from Olivieri's Oakford stables, recently cut down his training activities to concentrate on his thriving bitumen paving business and he handed over Finbar Abbey and Selkie to Olivieri to prepare them for racing. Olivieri then won the Easter Cup with Finbar Abbey and the Race For Roses with Selkie. He said that Selkie, who has had 24 starts this season since arriving from New Zealand, would continue racing. "Apart from qualifying for the final of this event for mares, she will run in suitable stands," he said. "She is a brilliant beginner in stands. She may require a break somewhere along the line, but at this stage she's not sending out any distress signals." Selkie was hot favourite at 2/1 on in Friday night's race and Lewis opted out of the early speed battle when polemarker Maggies Mystery led from the fast-starting Am Opulent. Lewis then sent Selkie to the front after 450m and she was untroubled to beat Maggies Mystery by just over a length at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m, with the final three quarters being covered in 28.1sec., 29sec. and 29.8sec. Her 24 WA starts have produced five wins and three placings and she has a career record of 49 starts for ten wins, six placings and 79,920. Lennys In Heaven relishes a return to a stand Experienced seven-year-old Lennys In Heaven, an inconspicuous seventh at each of his first two starts after a spell, in mobiles on country tracks, relished a return to a standing-start event when he set the pace and scored an easy win over Pembrook Henry and Sonic Classic in the 2503m Sealanes Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of eight, stretching back to a win in a 2518m stand in Kalgoorlie last November. The New South Wales-bred gelding, a 10/1 chance trained at Pinjarra by Michael George, was driven for the first time by Morgan Woodley. The gelding resisted an early challenge for the lead from Mister Sarkozy and then was rated perfectly after Finbar Abbey, favourite at 9/4, moved into the breeze 550m after the start. After the first 400m section of the final mile was covered in 30.9sec., Woodley lifted the gelding's rating and the final three quarters went by in 29.4sec., 28.3sec. and 29sec. Lennys In Heaven was not extended in beating Pembrook Henry, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside. Lennys In Heaven, by Blissfull Hall, is out of Panorama mare Merry Rama, who had 33 starts for five wins, 18 placings and $31,267. His 17 West Australian starts have produced three wins and two placings to take his career record to 95 starts for 17 wins, 24 placings and $118,079. Soho Highroller bred to be a smart pacer Five-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Soho Highroller has inherited a good deal of his ability from his dam Pelicanrama and he looks set for many more wins after scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Del Basso Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Soho Highhroller, ended a losing sequence of ten when he was favourite at 7/4 on and dashed to the lead after 400m before bowling along in front and beating Barkers Hall by five metres at a 1.57.4 rate. He was most impressive in sprinting home over the final 400m in a sizzling 27.7sec. Trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., Soho Highroller gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.3sec. before dashing over the final 800m in 57.2sec. Polemarker Barkers Hall led for the first 400m before enjoying the perfect trail behind Soho Highroller. Soho Highroller, bred by Rob Watson, is a full brother to Soho Tokyo, who finished a very close second to Tricky Styx in the group 1 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies later in the program. He has earned $71,264 from nine wins and 18 placings from 48 starts. Pelicanrama was an outstanding juvenile performer before enjoying a successful career of 149 starts for 55 wins, 37 placings and $730,271 in prizemoney. Her wins in feature events as a two-year-old included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold and $75,000 NSW Sires Stakes at Harold Park and $30,000 Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in 1999, and as a three-year-old she won the $100,000 NSW Sires Stakes. Her full-brother Mustang Fighter earned $292,566 from 29 wins and 26 placings from 108 starts. My Hard Copy is on the way up My Hard Copy maintained his standing as one of the State's most consistent four-year-olds when he set a brisk pace and strolled to victory over Heez Orl Black and The Feather Foot in the 2130m Top Cut Meats Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His easy win graduated him to an M2 classification and he should have no difficulty in maintaining his excellent form and moving swiftly to open-class ranks on his way to contesting rich feature events during the summer carnival. Friday night's win completed a double for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun. Soho Highroller was favourite at 3/1 on and Hall sen. notched yet another quinella result, with Lauren Jones bringing 8/1 chance Heez Orl Black home with a solid burst after enjoying the run of the race behind the pacemaker. My Hard Copy, owned by Steve, Christina and Danielle Chapman, has earned $134,167 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 39 starts. He won three times from 16 starts in New Zealand and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 17 times for eight wins and three placings. Change of training aids Shelby Cruzin Victorian-bred pacer Shelby Cruzin, described by his trainer Ross Olivieri as "a little fatso," has responded to a change in his training routine and made amends for a dismal failure at his West Australian debut with a stylish victory in the 1730m Del Basso Importers And Exporters Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a 10/9 on favourite at his first WA appearance three weeks earlier when he was a major disappointment, racing at the rear and then out wide in the final circuit, finishing eighth in a field of nine behind Loose Wire. He was favourite at 7/4 on on Friday night when he finished full of running to win by a half-length from 86/1 tote outsider Local Rogue, who had threatened to cause a major upset after starting from the outside of the front line and then racing out four wide for the first 350m before taking the lead 100m later and then setting the pace after a blistering first quarter in 27.3sec. Shelby Cruzin made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by leading for the first 400m, but Chris Lewis then took the sit behind Local Rogue, who boasted a losing sequence of 16 since his previous win 18 months ago. Local Rogue was still travelling well when he led clearly approaching the home turn. But Lewis was able to ease Shelby Cruzin off the pegs 150m from home when Caesars Cloud, in the breeze, began to fade. Lewis then drove Shelby Cruzin hard and the five-year-old finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 20m. The winner rated 1.57.2. Olivieri said that Victorian trainer Geoff Webster had telephoned him recently to ask him to train Real Hammer and Shelby Cruzin. Olivieri was happy to oblige and he said that the two horses were entirely different. "Shelby Cruzin has been a bit hard to work out, but I have changed his training and the result was that he went a mile better tonight than he did first-up," Olivieri said. "First-up, he fooled me. I thought he was fitter than he was. He's a little fatso, and you've got to get into him. I've made him more interested in his work by galloping him on the sand instead of hoppling him. I haven't hoppled him since his first-up run, apart from one trial." Shelby Cruzin now has earned $44,520 from ten wins and ten placings from 48 starts. He is the eighth winner out of South Australian-bred mare Motoring Sassie (five starts for two wins and one placings for $2169). Motoring Sassie's progeny includes Sassy Gina (12 wins and $80,405) and Ombudsman (13 wins from 23 starts for $54,480 in prizemoney). Paramedic ends losing sequence of 27 Noted frontrunner Paramedic took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and caused an upset in winning by just over a length from 5/4 on favourite Bettor Party in the 2130m Action Industrial Catering Westbred Pathway Pace. Paramedic started at 6/1 and ended a losing sequence of 27, stretching back to February 2013, and his win foiled Bettor Whitby from extending his winning sequence to four. Part-owned and trained by John Rogers, the six-year-old Paramedic was driven assertively by Kyle Harper. Bettor Party began out wide, from the No. 6 barrier, and he raced four wide for the first 300m. He then was trapped three wide before Colin Brown eased him back to last after a lap. Bettor Party was eleventh and last at the bell and he sustained a spirited burst, out wide, to finish second. Paramedic covered the final 800m in 58.5sec. and rated 1.58.4 in improving his record to 69 starts for ten wins and 15 placings for earnings of $75,823. He is related on his dam's side to former talented juvenile performer Shes Royalty, who had 96 starts for 24 wins, 27 placings and $288,146. Might Be Luck excels in front Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri told star reinsman Chris Lewis that West Australian-bred gelding Might Be Luck was a certainty to win the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night if he was able to set the pace. Might Be Luck, a 5/1 chance from barrier No. 3 off the front line, began well and Lewis drove the gelding vigorously in an attempt to get to the front in the early stages. Polemarker Bartowski galloped out briefly, but was able to hold Might Be Luck at bay for the first 250m before he wilted under pressure and his rival forged to the front 250m after the start. Might Be Luck relished his pacemaking role and dashed over the final three quarters in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. to make life tough for his rivals. Bartowski fought on doggedly to finish second, just more than a length behind Might Be Luck, who rated 2.1.4. "I said to Chris that if he could lead, he would not lose," Olivieri said. "He's a horse who hasn't had a lot of luck, and tonight he led them a merry dance. On his trackwork at home he's one of the best four or five in my stable. Once he's in front, any horse has to be pretty good to catch him." Trojan Bromac impressed in thundering home, six wide, from tenth at the bell to finish third. Might Be Luck, a Northern Luck gelding bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has had 43 starts for ten wins, five placings and $48,982. He is related on his dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds, who earned $307,547 from 31 wins and 29 placings from 121 starts. Dalton drives first Perth winner Former Victorian horseman Clive Dalton landed his first Gloucester Park winner as a reinsman when he drove Retained to an all-the-way victory in the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Trotters Handicap on Friday night. Retained, a 7/2 chance and trained at Herron by Dalton, jumped straight to the front from the inside barrier on the front mark and led throughout, holding on grimly to beat 22/1 chance Nicky Eileen by a nose. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven almost 500 winners in Victoria, enjoyed plenty of success as a trainer of square gaiters in Victoria. He prepared Right Interest to group 1 and group 3 victories in Victoria and Magic Interest for his victory in the group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotters at Bendigo in August 2008. Retained, an eight-year-old gelding owned by Jennifer O'Byrne, is a seasoned campaigner who has had 113 starts for 16 wins, 19 placings and $145,265 in stakes. He was successful in a $20,000 group 3 event over 2760m at Melton in October 2012. Dalton kept up the good work at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained Miss Atomic (Chris Lewis) for her win at 6/1. by Ken Casellas To unsubscribe, please click here. To forward, please click here.

Following an approach from the Newcastle Harness Racing Club after the passing of its Chief Executive Ross Gigg, Harness Racing NSW has agreed to postpone the track renovation works which were planned for July through September 2014. Harness Racing NSW will work with the Newcastle Harness Racing Club to reschedule the 1 million dollar upgrade during 2015 which includes the reshaping and recambering of the entire track, a new infield drainage system, refencing of the perimeter of the track and the laying of audio visual supplier cabling. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |             Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: nogrady@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au               Warning to recipients:   This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.          

A strong harness racing meeting Friday night at Port Pirie featuring a heat of the Breeders Crown 2yo fillies which has bought together the first two past the post in last weekend's ALABAR BOTRA Golden Nursery in Call Her Julie and the Emma Stewart trained Secret Agenda.   The barrier draw once again favours Call Her Julie who is much travelled but has found her niche in South Australia having won her heat and final of the BOTRA Golden Nursery. Secret Agenda had every chance to run down Call Her Julie in that race and once again looks the main danger.   Major Crocker returns to SA coming off some very good form in Victoria and looks the one to beat, his main danger no doubt will come from Glenferrie Affair the last start Mildura Guineas winner who despite not appearing to comfortable, bolted in at Mildura by some 14 meters, it looks a race in two.   Smart three year old filly Dougs Courage returns to the track after a let up since taking out the SA Oaks and scoring her ninth win in the season looks the one in race 4 the Laucke Mills Pace. Tthe Courage Under Fire filly gets into the C0 event and even the inside of the back line should not stop her from making it 10 in a row.   South Australia also has couple of starters at Melton with Come On Frank drawing the back line in the FFA and his stable mate Lord Manaloo has the prime number one spot in race one. He has not started since finishing second Glenferrie Flash in the Victoria Harbour Cup in January but has trailled nicely at Globe Derby.   An eight event program at headquarters is the $10.000 3yo Trotters Classic Final on which Zahris Idol a daughter of Majestic Son is shooting for a hat trick, she has been in good form of late, her past two wins at this track in similar grade to this. She will take a power of beating again and her main danger is Waikare Aviator having finished runner up at her past two behind Zharis Idol.   On Monday's Queens Birthday Holiday the action heads to Strathalbyn for the running of the 2014 Mt Mooney Strathalbyn Pacing Cup, a standing start C5 and better event has drawn a full field of 12 plus an emergency Caribbean Crest  and if he steps from the pole looks the one to beat.   Gary Newton    

Monday's meeting at Fairfield is part of the TAB Carnival Of Cups and Secretary-Manager of the 'Trotdome' Ross Scherf is expecting plenty of excitement on and off the track. The feature event, the time honoured J.D Watts Memorial has attracted a strong field and Scherf admits that it is the race he is looking forward to the most. "A standing start event over 2513 metres is a great spectacle and it has been won by some very good horses in the past." "The club is also running the 'Moment Of Glory' for horses that haven't had much success in their careers, the Bat Out Of Hell will be run over 1313 metres." On the subject of the JD Watts Memorial a strong field has been drawn with former South Australian based trainer Aaron Brown looking to break through for a NSW feature with Rathmore Lady. The mare put the writing on the wall at Menangle last start with a close third behind Armbro Chimes after storming home from the tail of the field at the 400 metres. She has drawn ideally off the front row and is likely to make her presence felt. Adam Brand will perform for the final time for Harness Racing NSW and Scherf has confirmed there will be three bookmakers on course for the strong crowd expected. "There will be a jumping castle for the kids and being a public holiday I'm expecting a very good rollup." Just by being on course at Fairfield on Monday, patrons will get the chance to go into the draw to win a brand new Toyota Yaris to be drawn at the Harness Racing New South Wales Awards Night on October 25. The first of ten races is scheduled for 1pm. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

STAR three-year-old pacer Resurgent Spirit has been sidelined with a leg injury but connections are hoping he will be ready to contest a heat of the Globe Derby Stakes in Launceston on Friday week. Resurgent Spirit's trainer Roger Whitmore said the horse had been kicked in the knee and was forced to the sidelines soon after he won at Mowbray on April 20. "It was the same knee that he has been brushing a bit in his races and it was quite swollen," Whitemore said. "It started to come good after 10 days off." "There is still a bit of swelling in the leg but there is no ligament damage," he said. The gelding has returned to his normal training regime but due to a change in shoeing the horse no longer brushes his knee. "He might be a bit underdone for a heat of the Globe Derby but we have another 16 days to get him right for the final," the trainer said. At one stage Whitmore was confident the horse would be heading to Victoria to contest the Breeders Crown series but the injury setback could curtail those plans. "If everything goes well, we'll run him in a heat (Breeders Crown) here (In Tasmania) and then play it by ear," he said. Resurgent Spirit was unbeaten as a two-year-old and he became the first horse to win his first 12 starts and at his subsequent outing he equalled Halwes' record of the most number of consecutive wins by a pacer in the history of Tasmanian harness racing. He suffered his first and only loss in the Tasmanian Derby in early April. By Peter Staples

BOTRA Golden Nursery Final night, while damped by the weather, still had a good crowd gathered to see some of the best 2 year old colts & geldings do battle in the harness racing final.   Both Hez The One and Blackntan went into the $25,000 final undefeated but it was Hez The One e (by Jeremy's Jet out of Summer Fairytale -by California Cam) who found the front early and led all the way while his main rival and short priced favourite Blackntan eyeballed Hez The One for a greater part of the race. The pressure was on all the way but when Blackntan began to tire it was left to The Dapper Don and Hilltop Delight to issue strong challenges. In the drive to the line Hez The One mustered every last ounce of courage he had to give. He managed to hold on to take the prize. On the line his lead had been reduced to 1m but that was more than enough to hold his unbeaten mantle.   Hez The One is trained by the very affable Rebecca East. Hez The One is owned and was bred by Graham Cole. Mr. G. F. McDonald is also listed as a part owner of Hez The One.   Hez The One looks set for bigger and brighter things and he certainly looks to have a lot of upside about him.   The fillies ALABAR Golden Nursery Final was taken out by Victorian Call Her Julie trained and driven by David Jack, (by Lombo Pocket Watch out of Lady Jillet Lombo by Mach Three)..   Throughout the race Call Her Julie was tracked by the highly fancied, Emma Stewart trained Secret Agenda. Call Her Julie and Secret Agenda waged a two horse war from the 300m mark but Call Her Julie held sway with Sazee and Caroline Bay who galloped out of the gate making up many lengths as did Unveiled who put in an outstanding effort to finish close up to third and fourth place getters. Unveiled lost a mountain of ground soon after the start, and was tailed off at the very least, 60m. At the end of the race Unveiled was in the chasing group of horses, 30m behind the winner.   Gary Newton      

It has been twenty years since Tess Wilkes (nee Gleeson) has driven in harness races. The talented horsewoman has driven in more than 800 races in her career and after two decades away from the support decided the time was right to make a comeback to the sport she loves. "My husband and I are working horses on our property at Rainbow Flat which is halfway between Forster and Taree. We have four gallopers and one pacer" Wilkes said. "There is a trotting trainer who lives just around the corner and he had been at me to drive one of his horses in work just on the beach and I had been saying no, but I decided to have a go one day and fell in love with it all over again, it was like I had never left." Wilkes was told she would need to compete in ten trials and has already driven in nine. "Shane Tritton has been helping me out giving me a few drives. I will have my tenth trial drive later this week so I won't be far away from having my first drive back." "The horse I'm training is called Kandidate, we bought him from Victoria. He has good early speed, he probably needs to toughen up a bit but I think that will come." When Wilkes gave the sport away in 1994 she decided it was time to have a life away from harness racing. "I did all the things I wanted to do. I got married, I had three beautiful kids and we went into a few different businesses but the love of horses was always going to be strong." "Our property is thirty acres and we have spent a fair bit of time setting it up. Hopefully in time we will be able to build up the team, it would be nice to be training three or four." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing    

Twenty nine year old harness racing trainer Rob Xerri had a month in charge of the Sloys Racing Stable that he will not forget in a hurry. In his first full month in charge of the team of twenty horses, Xerri brought up his first training treble, got four winners on a programme and had a placing in a Gr. 1 event with the talented two year old Mister Brazil. "It has been a great start for me since I took control of the stable, I have got a very nice team of horses to work and they are all well bred," Xerri said. "Luda was very good winning her heat of the Breeders Challenge at Newcastle last Friday and I am really looking forward to that series later in the month. She isn't the only runner I am aiming at the Breeders Challenge, I have five horses that are eligible and it would be nice to see them get through to the final." Xerri produced Miss Rocknroll to win a two year old Breeders Challenge heat at Newcastle on May 23 where she accounted for short priced favourite Sally Fletcher. "She has already competed in a few big series, she ran in a heat of the Bathurst Gold Tiara and she also made it through to Australian Pacing Gold Final. I think Miss Rocknroll and Luda are the best chances from my stable going into the Breeders Challenge for sure." May was not all smooth sailing for Xerri's stable though with his promising two year old Mister Brazil diagnosed with a tendon issue. "I was very happy with his run in the APG final but the trip to Melbourne took its toll on him because he was off his food for a couple of days when he got home and then to make matters worse he did his tendon." "The vet says he needs four months off and I thought there is no use in crucifying him so he will have a good break and he can get ready for the APG next year." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Geoff Smith has been riding the crest of a wave of late and it has a lot to do with a couple of horses that recently arrived at his Port Sorell stables. At Devonport on Monday night one of those new stable tenants Stareeshar scored an impressive win in the Maxfield Drilling Pace for C1+ pacers over 2286 metres. With Craig Hayes in the sulky, Stareeshar set a cracking pace and at one stage had established a 40-metre lead without seemingly being pushed hard to achieve that goal. The chasers closed in over the final 300 metres but the gelding was still able to find a bit more when seriously challenged in the home straight to go on and score by 3-1/2 metres from Next Sound with Touchwood Topsta a close-up third. It was Stareeshar's second win from only three starts for his new stable, having won first-up at Burnie at that club's first meeting under lights on May 16. The horse had been sacked from two other stables before landing in Smith's care. "I can't explain his improvement," Smith said. "I have done nothing different with him than I have with any other horse in the stable." "I've put a hood on him and let his hopples out a couple of inches, but that's it," he said. Smith was very impressed with Stareeshar's recent effort. "It might have looked like he had a hard run in front tonight but he wouldn't have blown a candle out after the race," Smith said. Peter Staples  

Tim Yole retains a handy lead following another two heats of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series at Devonport last night but two of the state's leading female drivers are hot on his heels. Despite not winning a heat Yole snared second in the fourth heat of the series aboard Animi Sub Ignis and as he did not have a drive in heat three earlier in the night he was allotted six points in accordance with the conditions of the series. Any driver who misses a drive through insufficient starters or through a scratching is awarded six points. Yole won a heat on the opening night of the series in Hobart last Sunday to earn 16 points and his other drive finished fourth to earn seven points to give him the lead with 23 points after the first two heats. He leads Lyarna Graham and Samantha Freeman who has accrued 34 points. Freeman won heat four with a clever front-running drive aboard Apple that she also owns and in heat three she drove Gottalovefridays into third place. Graham partnered Kinda Cute As into second lace in heat three last night and she didn't have a drive in heat four. Braden Howlett put himself into contention by winning heat three aboard Barrys Best to take his tally to 29. The winner of the series is determined on a points score basis with 16 points awarded for first; 12 for second; nine for third and seven for fourth reducing by one through to one point for last place (10th). The series concludes with two more heats in Launceston on Sunday night. Points tally after four heats:   41 - Tim Yole. 34 - Lyarna Graham, Samantha Freeman. 31 - Matthew Howlett. 29 - Braden Howlett. 27 - Krysty Grant. 26 - Duncan Dornauf. 24 - Shane Boon. 23 - Nicholas Brockman. 20 - Adrian Collins. By Peter Staples    

Tim Yole will take the lead into tonight's second round heats of the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers Series at Devonport Showground.  Yole scored a great win aboard Aninchofhislife in them opening heat in Hobart on Sunday night, taking daring inside runs to secure victory aboard the Christian Salter-trained five-year-old. Aninchofhislife rattled home along the rails to score by 1-1/2 metres from Fletch Davis (Duncan Dornauf) with Krysty Grant's charge Tinkers Taxi a close-up third. All three placegetters were driven superbly along with four-placed Mes Elsu that was handled by Lyarna Graham who set a solid clip in front and was only overhauled in the closing stages. The second heat was won by the Brent Parish-trained The Family Guy that was driven by Matthew Howlett. The Family Guy started the $2.10 favourite but his backers had some anxious moments over the concluding stages with the favourite getting up by only a half-head from the Shane Boon-driven Island Disco for Brighton trainer Christian Salter. Scruffy Jake ran third in advance of Yole's charge Lucky Dave. The series continues at Devonport tonight with two more heats but unfortunately only six horses have accepted in each heat. This means that only two drivers will have had four drives from the four heats with all other drivers to have had only three drives. Those drivers who do not get a drive in either of the heats at Devonport tonight will be allocated six points. The winner is determined on a points score basis with 16 points awarded for first; 12 for second; nine for third and seven for fourth reducing by one through to one point for last place (10th). The series concludes at the Launceston meeting on Sunday night. Points score after two rounds: 23 - Tim Yole. 18 - Matthew Howlett. 16 - Lyarna Graham. 14 - Duncan Dornauf. 13 - Shane Boon. 12 - Krysty Grant. 10 - Nicholas Brockman. 9 - Samantha Freeman. 8 - Adrian Collins. 7 - Braden Howlett. Peter Staples Jamie Cockshutt's tips and form analysis on tonight's meeting at Devonport.  

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