Brent Lilley, who dominated Saturday night's Great Southern Star harness racing program at Melton, enjoyed another big night tonight with a winning double at Bray Raceway, Ballarat. The Bolinda trainer won Races 1 and 5, combining with gun driver Anthony Butt for the pair. Flying McPocket rated 1:58.6 over 2200 metres in the Flying Horse Bistro Pace, the four-year-old McArdle / Fleets Pocket mare scoring by 2.5m over Wingofwaves at juicy odds of $11.90. Polemarker Jilliby Diablo and Greg Sugars had sufficient gate speed to hold out an early challenge from Mister McKinnon (gate five) and Michael Sullivan, the latter able to jag on to the leader’s back for the box-seat trip. Flying McPocket settled third-last in the running line as they negotiated the first 600m in 43.5. The $1.30 favourite, Our Petite Soeur, was in the breeze from virtually the get-go for Gavin Lang from gate three. Opening quarters of 30.9 and 30.4 made for a 61.3 first half, the leaders getting their chance. A 28.3 third quarter was clocked as the favourite made its move, moving up to eyeball the leader at the home turn. But when Lang asked the punter’s fancy for her maximum effort she failed to offer much resistance, Flying McPocket sprouting wings out wide. Flying McPocket showed a tremendous burst to win (last half-mile 57.2), with Wingofwaves also finding the line strongly down the outside in second place. Mister McKinnon ran third with Jilliby Diablo fourth and Our Pete Soeur fifth. The second leg of Lilley’s double came in the fifth race, Sazzasophie saluting in the Heinz and Partners 3YO Pace over 2200m in 2:01.7. The filly by Art Major from I Izz Sassy came out of gate two and was able to angle on to the back of early leader Bella Sainz (the $3.10 favourite) for a slipstream after about 100m. With Zac Phillips in the cart Bella Sainz paced the first half in 64.2, Michelle Wight aboard the death-seating Ithappensinvegas content to let her runner amble along without putting too much pressure on the pacemaker to the 500m, before trying to take closer order when Siliqua (David Murphy) made his advance three-wide-no-cover. Upping the ante through a 29.6 third quarter, Bella Sainz tried to skip clear at the top of the stretch but wasn’t able to, the inside run appearing for Sazzasophie as Ithappensinvegas worked to a narrow lead, the Lilley filly too strong in the last 50m for a 2.2m win. Ithappensinvegas showed character to dead-heat for second from the breeze at big odds, with Ears No Trouble (John Caldow) the other runner-up. Ross Creek trainer Stephen Clarke won Race 2, the T J Coutts Electrical Trotters Handicap with five-year-old Bacardi Lindy / Downsouth Rose gelding William John in a rate of 2:03.4 for the 2200m stand-start trip. Emma Stewart combined with Amanda Turnbull for victory with Starburst Girl in the R U Advertising Pace, the Art Major / Celebrity Ball filly rating 1:54.8 for the 1710m journey to beat Lucky VC by 1.9m. Debutant Time Keepa Lombo produced a peach of a debut for trainer/driver David Miles to salute in the Newington Physiotherapy 2YO Vicbred Pace, the colt by Lombo Pocket Watch out of Lady Muluka Lombo overcoming a couple of checks in running for a half-neck win over Undercover Don in 1:58.9 from the ace draw over 1710m. Zac Phillips drove Uroc Mman to a 1.7m victory as $2.80 favourite in the National Tiles Pace over 2200m, the five-year-old by Mach Three out of Executive Lady rating 1:59.4 from barrier nine. David Lewis-trained American Ideal / Atomic Fusion entire The Fat Man showed again that he’s got top-class potential with a 5.1m win over Dentona in the MDS Accounting Pace over 2200m. John Caldow drove The Fat Man to victory in a rate of 1:57.7, leading from start to finish after coming out of the two-gate. The other highly rated horse in the field, Clark Griswold, came in fourth for reinsman Matthew Craven after working to the breeze in the middle stages from the second line. And Chris Svanosio trained-and-driven four-year-old Majestic Son / Steffi Jay trotter Majestic Ess Jay won the Cantebury International Trot to close the program in a rate of 2:04.7. >> Check out all the Ballarat results and video replays by Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria will commit an additional $10,000 prizemoney to Ballarat and District Trotting Club’s Boxing Day fast class race to help the club secure a quality field. In a bonus for the club, star pacer Beautide has been touted as a likely starter, with chief executive Paul Rowse stating trainer Emma Stewart has indicated she will have some horses in the race. Following the disappointment of the club’s Pacing Cup being decimated by late scratchings last weekend, HRV has worked closely with the club to make sure the Boxing Day meeting a not-to-be-missed event. Along with bolstering stake money for the C7 or Better race to $16,505, patrons can enjoy free entry, a host of trackside entertainment, including children’s activities and live music, and a special two-for-one dining offer in the Terrace Restaurant. “We want to see a huge crowd there supporting the local club. Paul Rowse and his team work extremely hard. They’re one of the best country clubs in Victoria and hopefully the patrons who left feeling disappointed on Ballarat Cup night can turn out and have a great night at the trots,” HRV’s Brett Boyd said. Rowse declared it was important the industry won back the trust of patrons who left Bray Raceway feeling flat after the Pacing Cup night fiasco. “Harness racing people are resilient people, but what I’m sure of is we’ll have a big crowd on Boxing Night,” Rowse said. "HRV have been fantastic and we've been working closely with the marketing team there to help ensure the Boxing Night meeting is a big success. “It’ll be great if we can attract some of the stars of the summer which didn’t end up competing in the Cup. “Beautide was obviously taken out of the field during the week and it’d be great to see him come to Ballarat and compete in front of a big crowd.” HRV Media
While there is never a bad time to support charities, the Festive Season is certainly a good period to support people in need. With that in mind, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club has thrown is support behind the 3BA Christmas Appeal by hosting a charity meeting on Friday, November 28. One of the most noteworthy charities in the district, the annual appeal does wonderful work in Ballarat by supporting families in need at a difficult time of the year. To help increase the drive, the club will conduct a Christmas Carnival in the middle of the racetrack throughout the evening, with a multitude of carnival rides available for everyone to enjoy. A mere gold coin is all it costs per ride, with the club generously donated 100 per cent of the income the 3BA Christmas Appeal. To enhance the carnival atmosphere, there will also be live music, roving entertainers - such as clowns, face painters, magicians and balloon artists - to keep will be keeping the crowd entertained. The ‘giant screen’ will even play cartoons between races. If that’s not enough incentive, all paying patrons will receive a $5 venue voucher to spend on food or drink throughout the racecourse as well as a buy one get, one free admission pass. The admin ticket is valid during the Christmas Carnival of Racing valid for Thursday 4th, Saturday 13th of December (Cup Night) or on Friday 26th of December. For those looking to enhance the experience, the Terrace Restaurant package includes a three-course meal, admission and a race book for $40 per person, with $5 of your ticket going to the 3BA Christmas Appeal. PAUL COURTS
With an honour roll reading like the “Who’s who” of harness racing, the Ballarat Pacing Cup can certainly boast the title as the strongest provincial feature on the calendar. Names such as Monara, Popular Alm, Gammalite, Sinbad Bay, Our Sir Vancelot, Shakamaker and Safari are just a small portion of the stars which have captured the prestigious Group One. But which winner can lay claim to being the greatest? To celebrate the Cup’s 45th anniversary, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club has joined forces with Harnesslink to create arguably the ultimate challenge for harness racing devotees…select the all-time greatest Ballarat Pacing Cup winner! As part of the promotion a panel of experts has been assembled to select a Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup field, comprising the best 12 winners of Bray Raceway’s premier event. Each panellist will select their field independently and rank the horses from one to 12. A point score system has been developed to determine the final field, which will culminate with a phantom call by the voice of the industry - Dan Mielicki - at the club’s traditional Barrier Draw Breakfast on December 9 “We wanted to do something a little different, which would generate widespread interest in the lead-up to the $100,000 Group One PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup,” club chief executive Paul Rowse explained. “Our honour roll is littered with champion pacers across four decades and no doubt there will be plenty of debate around which horses should, and should not, earn their place in the fictitious field. “I certainly don’t envy our experts and wish them well as they embark what is an arduous, but very interesting, assignment.” The selection panel comprises: David Brehaut (Sports Editor, The Courier) Jason Bonnington (HRV Goodform analyst) Len Baker (Melton FM) Bill Hutchison (Retired Media Legend ) Mick McGuane (Radio Sports National) Adam Hamilton (TAB Sportsbet) Michael Guerin (New Zealand racing journalist). Members of the public also have an exciting opportunity to participate in the Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup promotion, via an online competition. Entries will be accepted through the club’s Facebook page, with the person who correctly selects the most starters in the final fantasy field - including their finishing order - to receive a $1000 bet on this year’s Cup compliments of the Flying Horse Venue and hospitality on the night. The club will also present connections of the Cup winner with a ‘second’ Ballarat Cup as a memento of their star’s well-earned grand champion status. To help participants make their selections, Harnesslink will produce profiles on the Cup’s 44 winners during the three weeks leading into the December 13 showdown. “We invite everyone with an interest in the trots to get behind the fantasy cup concept and test their knowledge against our experts,” Rowse said. “It will be a lot of fun, and there’s a great prize on offer.” PAUL COURTS
The two mandatory harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Thursday July 11, with Shepparton racing during the afternoon and Ballarat at night.
Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday May 22, with Maryborough hosting the day fixture and nearby Ballarat racing at night.
Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Thursday May 9 - Wedderburn holding the day fixture at Maryborough and Ballarat racing at night.
Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday April 24 at two of the most popular venues - Maryborough in the afternoon and Ballarat at night.
The newly reconstructed track at Bray Raceway Ballarat opened for business on Thursday evening, with the highlight being the $20,000 Laser Electrical Lightning Mile for M0 or better class, the victor being ever reliable 5-Y-0 Union Guy/Victoria Street mare Blucolla Tigerpie in a rate of 1-55.6.
If you were after a modern day renaissance then you need only to look at the harness racing results from Tabcorp Park Melton two weeks ago to see a return to form that is befitting of 15th century France.
New Zealander Mah Sish was a brilliant winner of the $150,000 (Group 1) Petstock Ballarat Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2710 metres at Bray Raceway Ballarat on Friday January 25, giving harness racing trainer Tim Butt and reinsman brother Anthony their second Ballarat Cup in a three year period, the previous being Stunin Cullen in 2011.
Mah Sish finally made good on harness racing trainer Tim Butt's thoughts about his talented pacer in tonight's (Friday January 25th) $150,000 Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup.
Jaccka Clive is a horse that has an intangible in harness racing. He has ability which many would give anything for; a talented gelding who has won more than his fair share of races, and good races at that.
If the temperature in Victoria hasn't been hot enough lately, things are about to heat up even more over the next few days with a whopping fourteen New Zealand trained harness racing horses set to do battle over the weekend.
The Decron Horse Care Australian Trotting Championship heats will make up two of the races on the PETstock Ballarat Cup harness racing card and lead on to a Group 1 final the following week.
The Kiwis may have drawn just about as bad as they possibly could have in Friday's (January 25) Ballarat Cup, but unfortunately, we can't blame a rigged Australian system as the harness racing field was drawn manually.