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The wins have flowed thick and fast for Bendigo region harness racing trainers over the past week. A magnificent seven days rolled on at Horsham on Thursday, where the team of Kate Hargreaves and Alex Ashwood notched a double with Good Cop and Beau Garcon, and later in the evening at Echuca, where the John Tormey-trained and Jordan Leedham-driven Hancocks Hero made it back-to-back wins. Ten individual trainers have accounted for 12 winners in total since Saturday night's meeting at Lord's Raceway, with the Hargreaves stable the most prolific with three.   The foundations for a successful period were laid at Bendigo last weekend. On a night dominated by the scintillating performance of pacing superstar Lochinvar Art, Bendigo region horses claimed wins in four of the nine races contested. A first metropolitan race success for Heathcote trainer Terry French with Form Analyst - driven by Tayla French - kicked-off a run of three-straight winners to start the meeting for the local brigade. Carla Innes-Goodridge was next to strike with her emerging four-year-old Zarem, driven by 2020 Bendigo Pacing Cup-winning reinsman Jason Lee, before the Hargreaves-trained Streitkid completed a clean sweep of the first three events by notching his 13th career win. A productive night was capped by a tough win to the Julie Douglas-trained Rocknroll Eyes in a keenly-contested NR 70 to 79 pace. It was career win number for 17 after 88 starts for the six-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, who last won at Mildura in July. There would be no letting up when racing returned to Lord's Raceway on Wednesday night, with the locals adding a further four wins. Maryborough's Ray Cross got the ball rolling, combining with Bendigo reinsman Rod Lakey, for an impressive win with the three-year-old filly Countess Chiron. Next up was Bendigo trainer Brad Stevens, who broke through for a maiden win with the three-year-old trotting filly Everybodylovesme, making it back-to-back wins for the progeny of Imperial Count following the earlier success of Countess Chiron. Everbodylovesme was brilliantly driven out in front by Ellen Tormey and was able to notch her first win at career start number seven. A win for Lockwood trainer Ron Wicks with Ambro Hugh made it three for the night, before the local win haul again hit four courtesy of Goornong's Nigel Milne and Our Doreen Days. Originally trained by legendary trotting identity, the late Colin Redwood, Ambro Hugh has had six starts for one win and a placing for Wicks following a brief stint with the Justin Brewin stable. A double at Horsham on Thursday for the Hargreaves stable lifted the young team to equal sixth on the state trainers' premiership with 57 winners, easily a career-best. The stable will have three runners at Ballarat on Saturday night, with Streitkid looking to back-up after his win last weekend, along with Well Defined and three three-year-old Beat City. Bendigo region winners since Saturday Bendigo (Saturday): Form Analyst (Terry French); Zarem (Carla Innes-Goodridge), Streitkid (Kate Hargreaves); Rocknroll Eyes (Julie Douglas). Maryborough (Monday): Rules Don't Apply (Anthony Crossland). Bendigo (Wednesday night): Countess Chiron (Ray Cross); Everybodylovesme (Brad Stevens); Ambro Hugh (Ron Wicks); Our Doreen Days (Nigel Milne). Horsham (Thursday): Good Cop, Beau Garcon (Kate Hargreaves). Echuca (Thursday night): Hancocks Hero (John Tormey). By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser  

Three-time Group 1-winning trotting mare Dance Craze returns to harness racing at Bendigo on Saturday night. While neighbouring pacer Ride High has been taking the harness racing scene by storm, Dance Craze gets her opportunity to put her name up in lights again. Dance Craze is trained by Anton Golino - who trains at Cardigan next to the stable complex of Clayton Tonkin, who prepares superstar Ride High. Dance Craze has not raced since March, but there will be no easy return for the six-year-old. She runs straight into arch-rival Tornado Valley and emerging star Wobelee in the Yabby Dam Racing Trot, 2150m, as well as the highly credentialled Big Jack Hammer. Two starts ago Dance Craze took out the Group 1 Australian Grand Prix - adding to her group 1 2019 Great Southern Star - to reinforce her status as one of the great trotting mares of the modern era. She goes into this assignment after two trials against pacers in Ballarat. Tornado Valley, trained near Bacchus Marsh by Andy Gath, has been off the scene since March. The eight-year-old has been the benchmark for trotting in Australia for the past two years since arriving from New Zealand, winning an Inter Dominion. Tornado Valley has won seven of 12 starts this season, with two of his defeats being seconds to Dance Craze in the Grand Prix at Melton and Cochran Cup in Ballarat. Each of the two big guns also have highly regarded stablemates in the same race.Golino has the improved Imsettogo, while Gath also lines up NZ import CK Spur. While Ride High takes a week off after a fifth win on end for the season at Shepparton on Saturday night, his arch-rival Lochinvar Art races at Bendigo on Saturday. The Shepparton pacer was a disaappointing third in Ballarat on August 8. Lochinvar Art was found to have low-grade viral infection, but trainer-driver David Moran says his stable gun is ready to race again. He will again clash with the Emma Stewart-trained Major Times and My Kiwi Mate, which finished ahead of him in Ballarat. Sirletic is also engaged after finishing second to Ride Highj (twice) and Lochinvar Art at his past three starts. Ballarat district duo James Herbertson and Kima Frenning are going to the wire in their battle for the Victorian concession drivers' premiership. Herbertson from Lexton has a two-win lead over Frenning, who is now based in Ballarat. Frenning is the defending titleholder after edging out Darby McGuigan from Gordon last season.   By David Brehaut   Reprinted with permission of The Courier        

TWO of the brightest stars in Australia headline a ripper Bendigo meeting on Saturday night. Australasia’s champion trotter Tornado Valley returns from a spell, while Chariots Of Fire winner Lochinvar Art is back from a minor health scare and shock defeat at the Ballarat two weeks ago. Tornado Valley, a winner of 35 races and $767,617, steps out for the first since winning a Melton free-for-all on March 21. “He’s been ready to go for a couple of weeks, but with the regional racing we can’t race at Melton so we waited for something closer to home because he doesn’t like travel to the races,” trainer Andy Gath said.  “It’s worked well because he’s back and ready and McLovin can enjoy a bit of a break now.” Tornado Valley is drawn gate nine, while the emerging Wobelee in gate 10 after his early mistake last time saw he placed out of the draw. It’s a cracking race with former Great Southern Star winning mare Dance Craze also resuming from gate six. Multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer is there as well from inside the back row (gate eight), as is high-class and speedy mare Red Hot Tooth (seven). Lochinvar Art will need to be back on song after his viral infection to overcome an outside back row draw (gate 12) and some handy rivals. Sure he’s a league above them when right, but horses like Sirletic (gate three), Auckland Inter Dominion finalists Sicario (nine) and My Kiwi Mate (eight) as well as Major Times (11), who upset Lochinvar Art last time. “He had a couple of easy days after Ballarat and picked-up again really well,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said. “I’ll get a blood done again Friday just to make sure, but if it’s good we are all go and he’ll raring to go.” ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ GLAMOUR Kiwi filly Amazing Dream’s Albion Park debut has only been delayed one week. New trainers Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen felt the darling from the All Stars’ barn “wasn’t quite ready” to have her first run for them last week and scratched her. Amazing Dream will start from outside the back row (gate 10) over 1660m, but needless to say she’s got a monstrous class edge over her older rivals, remembering she’s still a three-year-old in Aussie. Another of her All Stars stablemates, Ashley Locaz, looked very sharp winning an Albion Park trial yesterday (Tuesday). Ashley Locaz, now with Vicki Rasmussen, was allowed to stride in the last lap by driver Shane Graham and roared away to win by 33.3m in a 1min52.4sec mile rate for 1660m. He closed in 54.8 and 27.5sec. Everything looks set for the five-year-old to open his Queensland stint on Saturday week at Albion Park. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ BUZZ former Kiwi pacer Patronus Star faces his first serious test this campaign at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Team Bond three-year-old, who won the WA Derby at just his second run across from NZ, has stretched his unbeaten WA record to six wins after winning all four outings this campaign. He takes on older rivals from a wide draw (gate seven) in a very strong $50,000 Group 2 The Binshaw (2130m). Key rivals include classy four-year-old Sangue Reale (gate five), Forgotten Highway (two) and Mandy Joan (three). The race will tell us a lot more about how well Patronus Star, who can look lazy at times, has come back this campaign.   by Adam Hamilton

Ride High's record-breaking rout of Victorian circuits reached ridiculous new heights at Bendigo tonight with Clayton Tonkin's pacer ripping 2.7 seconds off the track record, winning in an audacious 1:49 mile rate. Built off a 26-second third quarter the five-year-old notched a 14th win in his 15th start and in doing so became only the second horse to win in Victoria in a sub-1:50 mile rate, having been only 0.4 of a second outside lead rival Lochinvar Art's spectacular 4YO Bonanza time. The performance only further whets the appetite of a mooted clash between David Moran's Lochinar Art and Tonkin's Ride High, with the star pacers so far landing blows in successive Saturday nights. For now the spotlight returned to reinswoman Kima Frenning and her pacer affectionately known as 'Chainsaw'. "There's been a bit of talk about how he hasn't beaten a lot and he's got to prove that he's really good and I think he just did that," Frenning told Trots Vision post-race. "Plugs still in and he does it so easy, it's just crazy." An aggressive Josh Aiken drive on Sirletic brought the best out of Ride High, with the former leading from gate four and running 27.6 and 27.8 first and second quarters as the trailing $1.04 favourite advanced from the back row to the running line and then the breeze. The pair then exploded through a 26.1-second third quarter that dropped the remainder of the eight-horse field, with Ride High surging ahead from the running line with an extraordinary burst of pace into the final term and becoming a conclusive 21.4-metre winner come the finishing line. Unchallenged and with plugs still in down the final straight he got home in 27.5 seconds to complete the record mile rate, almost three seconds quicker than the time Aiken set with Leonidas at Bendigo on June 6. "We fired him off the gate all his starts prior to this one and then to be able to come off the back row and relax, be off their backs and then take off and do what he did ..." Frenning said. "I mean, he doesn't spend any more energy than what he has to. I think that makes him a really, really good racehorse. "He never carries on, he never pulls. I drove him in a trial a couple of years ago now and I sat him up, he dropped the bit and as soon as I pulled out he just went. He's got the whole package. I have still never pulled the plugs on him." It's a fourth successive victory for Frenning and Ride High this campaign and another stunning 53.6-second last half, completing an extraordinary sequence of last 800-metre records having previously gone 52.7 seconds (Melton), 53.6 seconds (Melton) and 53.4 seconds (Ballarat). Tonight at Bendigo his 26.1-second third quarter was the quickest ever recorded at the track, toppling Sir Briggen's 26.7-second quarter set in a concession drivers pace, as well as being the quickest ever last half, having been some 1.9 seconds superior to Leonidas' mark. "I"m just so grateful that I get to be the littlest part of this horse's journey and it's super special," Frenning said. And the exciting part is there is no doubt more to come, with King Of Swing and Cash N Flow outstanding in Sydney, Chicago Bull back to his best in Perth, several front line Kiwis returning and a battle with Lochinvar Art looming. "There are more of the better ones coming through - Self Assured raced (Friday) - it's going to be really exciting when they all come together," Frenning said. "I wouldn't swap mine for anyone." CLICK BELOW TO RELIVE RIDE HIGH'S RECORD-BREAKING WIN: HRV - Michael Howard

Australia's two most exciting pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art are on target to clash for the first time at Bendigo on August 1. Ride High made it three wins from as many starts this campaign when he cruised to his 13th win from just 14 lifetime runs at Ballarat over the weekend. “He just does it in second gear. There’s no need for him to open up, it’s scary that we haven’t done that yet,” driver Kima Frenning told Trots Vision. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s very exciting. He’s getting sharper and sharper each run. Ride High cruised around in a 1min53.6sec mile rate for 1710m to win by 13.5m, but he grabbed another record with his 53.4sec last half (26.9/26.5) slicing a significant 0.5sec off the previous best set by Wrappers Delight in a heat of the 2018 Inter Dominion series. Trainer Clayton Tonkin said he wants to “run Ride High every fortnight” in the build-up to the Victoria Cup, which is slated for October 10 pending the impact of Victoria’s second wave of COVID. Lochinvar Art’s return from a short spell also fits the Bendigo meeting. Trainer-driver David Moran gave the four-year-old two Shepparton runs for two easy wins in April/May, which came after a short break following his mighty second in the Miracle Mile on March 7. Two weeks before the Miracle Mile, Lochinvar Art dominantly won the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle. “He’s going to trial this week and then he’s off to the races,” Moran said. “I’m really happy with how he’s come back. He didn’t have long out so he’s come to hand quickly. “I know I’ll probably have to race Ride High first-up, but that’s OK by me. “He’s a great horse, they’re two great horses, it’ll be fantastic for the sport when they clash and hopefully it’ll be the first of many clashes.” Moran conceded beating Ride High first-up would be a real challenge. “He’s the sort of horse who thrives on racing, his record shows that. Whatever he does first-up, he’ll just keep getting better which each run after that,” he said. Before Ride High’s stunning racetrack return, Lochinvar Art was the horse on everybody’s lips. As sublime as Ride High has looked, his times winning his first two runs back at Melton were very slick, but well outside Lochinvar Art’s 1min48.6sec track record for 1720m. Lochinvar Art posted the almost unthinkable time when won the Group 1 4YO Bonanza, beating young Kiwi stars Self Assured, on January 25.   By Adam Hamilton

Liz Birnie will have more than a few nervous moments today as she watches a couple of her brood step out today, especially her Bendigo debutante. While it’s not the thrill of a race that draws Liz in as much as a love for the horse, the trots breeder will be glued to the screen when Wendys Watching steps out in the J L King & Co 2YO Maiden Pace at 7pm tonight. “I keep an eye all on the one’s I breed,” she said. “They all go in my blackbook, so I try to watch them live when I can. I always have nerves when they race.” In addition to Wendys Watching, Liz will also be tuning in when From The West contests the Hillcroft Stables Trotters Handicap at Stawell at 4.13pm today. Both are offspring of her broodmare Miss Saxony, who has given her a more personal link to the sport in which she’s long been employed. Joining Alabar almost 20 years ago, Liz said she “started off working outside, then with the young foals and have now been in the office since 2002”, most recently overseeing off-farm mares and semen transport. An initiative of the stud encouraged staff to have broodmares, with Liz initially breeding Safely Kept mare Cruiser Cougar and producing Dilinger Dreaming ($81,009), before striking an unusual deal with breeders Pam and Russell Hockham. They gifted Liz their mare Miss Saxony, but on the proviso that the Armbro Operative mare mare’s first colt would go to the Hockhams. As fate would have it, that colt would become Shadow Sax, winner of 23 of his 41 starts and $548,680 in stakes. While none of the Shadow Play gelding’s siblings would, to date, earn anything like the family star, Liz got nothing but joy for the rise and rise of the two-time Group 1 winner. “It’s different, but it has worked for them and me,” she said of her arrangement with the Hockhams. “It’s been good watching (Shadow Sax) go around. He was bred here and raised here (at Alabar), it’s always good to know you got something right. They have had a lot of fun with him.” Liz’s name is next to seven other Miss Saxony foals, including today's entrant From The West, the seven-year-old mare now with Jason Ainsworth a winner of one of her 51 starts and seven times a placegetter. Miss Skeeter, by Big Jim, is the only foal not to enjoy success, but has since been retired and bred to Vincent by trainer Clinton McSwain. Then there’s gelding Sax Player, by Shadow Play, who races out west for Debbie Padberg and had a breakthrough moment on June 6 when the three-year-old broke her maiden status. And tonight the next Miss Saxony offspring makes her debut when Wendys Watching steps out on Trots Vision at 7pm. “Wendy has been leased until she is age five and then she will come back to me as a broodmare,” Liz said. She will race for trainer Clinton McSwain, who’s arranged a syndicate to lease her off Liz. “I’m definitely more about breeding, making sure they are looked after and placing them to make sure they have a good life. And also to place them with a trainer who I know will give them the time to develop,” she said. “The trainer’s pretty happy with her. I have had a fair bit to do with Clinton and he is very excited, and he said (leasing) was a chance to get people racing who may not have been involved before. “He saw it as a chance to get a group of people interested in racing without having to deal with the upfront costs. Hopefully they will have a fair bit of fun. She sounds promising.” While the next in line, A Rocknroll Dance filly, was sold to Jason McNaulty at the 2019 Shepparton Mixed Stock Sale, any thoughts of selling now retired Miss Saxony’s 11th and final foal were soon quashed. Instead the Vincent foal will replicate Watching Wendys path, being leased to Clinton McSwain before returning to Liz for a broodmare career. “She is a very nice filly,” she said of the Vincent offspring. “She was originally for sale and I got too many people telling me I had to keep her for as long as possible.” For now though the spotlight's on big half-sis to strut her stuff at Lords Raceway tonight.   HRV - Michael Howard

Junortoun harness racing trainer Dylan Marshall has July 4 circled on his calendar. It's the date he hopes to take his in-form mare Barbie Mattgregor to Melton to contest her first race at harness racing headquarters. Marshall believes the much-improved - in behaviour as much as form - seven-year-old has certainly earned the right with a string of consistent performances during the regional racing period. Following another well-deserved win at Lord's Raceway on Wednesday, Barbie Mattgregor's record under the revised racing format reads three wins and a second for six starts. That formline is no fluke, according to Marshall. "She has just kept on improving and we have been able to get her sound and keep her sound and she's repaying the favour," he said. "Her previous 10 starts leading into it (regional racing) had been good anyway, she just hadn't had a lot of luck. "Probably the smaller field sizes have helped her a little bit a couple of times, while a few other things have gone her way at different times. "She's not the easiest horse to drive, she can get a little bit worked up. "But sound and happy are the two key words with her." Wednesday night's win, with in-form reinsman Josh Aiken in the sulky, boosted Barbie Mattgregor's overall record to six wins and 16 placings from 69 starts. All six of those wins have been achieved since her arrival from up north, where the mare had her first 29 starts on either Queensland or New South Wales tracks. With two wins and a second from her last three starts, Marshall felt Barbie Mattgregor had earned her crack at a metropolitan race.  Barbie Mattgregor (inside) wins at Lord's Raceway on May 14.  CLAIRE WESTON PHOTOGRAPHY   "That's the next step for her. She hasn't been there before, but I think she can give it a bit of a shake," he said. "She has been running good times and seems to be able to sit on the speed good. That's what you need to be able to do down there." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Brett Shipway is the first to acknowledge his harness racing mare Di Li doesn't win out of turn.  But the Craisbrook trainer-driver was able to leave Lord's Raceway on Wednesday night a happy man after the five-year-old trotter notched up her fifth career win at start number 63. It was Di Li's second victory at Bendigo in two months. She previously won the Vale Colin Redwood Trot on April 3, but had been unable to add to that tally in her next five runs, despite a pair of placings. Shipway, who was in the sulky as Di Li eased past a tiring Regal Assassin in the final stages of the race, was delighted the mare had shown plenty of pluck in running down the race leader. "Everything went her way, she had the run of the race," he said. "She's an average horse, but if she gets the right circumstances, she can get her way. "We were always driving for luck, but our mare did run on and she did lift when she got told to her." Di Li, whose five victories have been complemented by 17 minor placings, has paid an average dividend of $23.78 at her wins. "She had a few injuries as a baby, but she's battled on and done a good job," Shipway said. "She's out of our own stallion (Louey Louey Louey), who we bred and owned. "She'll probably be back at Bendigo when there's another race for her, not the next meeting, but the meeting after. "She will probably struggle going up to the next grade, but you have got to have a crack. The only way to find out is to try." With coronavirus restrictions slowly easing in Victoria, Shipway was looking forward to the possible return to racing at nearby Maryborough in July. "I'll have to drive around the block a few times because I've gotten used to travelling," he said. "The horses won't know what's hit them when they just have to go up the road." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of the Bendigo Advertiser

There's an old Chinese proverb that says, 'good things come in pairs', and for harness racing driver Shane Organ, it has proved true. Just weeks after scoring a drought-breaking training win with his only horse Tiza Nightmare, the 23-year-old buttered up by landing his first win as a driver aboard the Glenn Sharp-trained Mystic Chip at Lord's Raceway, Bendigo on Monday night. Organ, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was still on cloud nine the morning after his first driving win, while busy at work at trainer Gary Donaldson's Junortoun stables. "The last couple of months I have been getting a couple more of drives and it's starting to get better and better," he said. "He only won by half a head, but a win's a win, it doesn't matter how you get there. "I have had heaps of placings on Glenn's horses. I drove Goodtime Rusty (for Terry French) a few times and got a third on him last week, so things have been good. "It's been an amazing time, hopefully it leads into a good career in harness racing." Organ's first driving win did not go unnoticed by his peers, who were only to happy to remind him of his success. "Everyone at the track was pretty happy," he said. Among the first of the well-wishers was trainer Sharp. "Shane was more than happy, he couldn't stop talking," he said. "To drive his first winner after getting that training winner the other week, it's great for a young bloke." Mystic Chip, a seven-year-old mare, broke a six-month drought in recording her fifth career win from 74 starts. With nearly a month in between starts, Sharp, who has been training trotters for about 17 years, said Mystic Chip was arguably a little underdone, but he would gladly take the win. "It's been hard the way racing has been programmed, you don't get a run every week. It depends on the race and the number of horses," he said.     Shane Organ gets his first driving win aboard the Glenn Sharp-trained Mystic Chip   "She is probably underdone because she hasn't had enough racing, but she goes well fresh. "That's the positive we got out of it." Mystic Chip will back-up at Bendigo on Thursday night in a standing-start event. "She's usually a pretty good beginner, so if she can get away good and get to the pegs, she can get an earn again," said Sharp. "Whether she can win, I don't know." The Longlea trainer also has Bellmac Bambi knocking on the door of a win, with the filly producing three placings from her last five starts. "She's a nice little horse, touchwood, she hasn't done anything wrong up to this point," he said. "She's close to winning one. "After this she will go out for a bit of break, but once she comes back in the spring she will be a better horse next season."  Shane Organ with his only horse Tiza Nightmare. Picture: DARREN HOWE   Meanwhile, Strathfieldsaye trainer Glen Douglas extended his lead at the top of the Central region trainers' standings with a treble. Meanwhile, Strathfieldsaye trainer Glen Douglas extended his lead at the top of the Central region trainers' standings with a treble. Douglas bookended the meeting with wins with Ozzie Sunshine (driven by Ellen Tormey) and Motu Cullen (Alex Ashwood), and also picked up a victory with Diesel Don, who was having his first start for the stable. Other winners on the card included the Donaldson-trained Flaming Fives, who blitzed the field in the NR 46 to 51 trot, to win by 19.2 metres, Edwin Bromac (Greg Norman), Streitkid (Kate Hargreaves) and Rigondeaux (Maddie Ray and Haydon Gray). Rigondeaux has now won three of his five past starts since April 1, starting with a victory at Stawell before the move to regional racing. By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of THe Bendigo Advertiser

There's been plenty of win droughts broken since the move to regional-based harness racing in Victoria in early April. You can now add Frank Barac to the list. The Elmore hobby trainer notched his first winner since Anzac Day 2016, when Madam Reactor won the three-year-old maiden pace at Lord's Raceway on Thursday night. The filly's first win came at career start number 12 and followed a pair of previous placings, including a third at Bendigo the previous week. Barac said once back at home he celebrated with a glass of Wolf Blass Eaglehawk Shiraz. "It's been a long time (between wins), a couple of years," he said. "This filly has always had ability, but it's taken a long time to get her where she is. "She's a bit immature. I gave her a long break (after her eighth start) and gave her four months off and brought her back in slowly and suddenly she's turned the corner for me." Despite putting win number one on board, Barac said there was no rush to get Madam Reactor back to the track, albeit a crack at another three-year-old fillies pace next Thursday will surely prove tempting. "It helps when there is no long travelling involved, she's not the best traveller. Short trips to Bendigo probably suit her." he said.  Frank Barac and daughter Yvette with Madam Reactor and winning driver Rod Lakey.  CLAIRE WESTON PHOTOGRAPHY   Madam Reactor, by Auckland Reactor out of Madam Altissimo, is owned and bred by Barac and his wife Laura, with daughter Yvette charged with the strapping duties. She was driven to victory by comeback driver Rod Lakey. "He's come back with a vengeance, he's driving winners from the left and the right," Barac said. "The bloke who was stabled next to me last night said I reckon if we could put Rod on a broomstick we could win with that. "He did very well out in front, I was very happy with his drive."   To watch Madam Reactor win at Lord's Raceway click here   Before Thursday, Barac's last race win was with Shebetterwin in the Ray Woods Memorial Pace at the Kyabram Harness Racing Club meeting at Echuca on April 25, 2016. Night eight of regional racing was highlighted by a training double to Glenn Douglas with Ozzie Playboy and Torrid Saint, driving doubles to Lakey (including Nikita Adele) and Alex Ashwood (Keilah and Surbiton Pretender), and a second win on the trot for the trainer/driver combination of Darryl Pearce and Shannon O'Sullivan with Paying Your Way.   By Kieran Iles   Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Tonight could well prove the start of something special for trainer Luke Stapleton, who unveils the first of a fleet of well-bred fillies. Keilah steps out in the first at Bendigo tonight, the Bayswater Jayco 3YO Maiden pace on Trots Vision at 6.17pm, with Stapleton’s hopes high for the filly, who’s only the third horse he’s had run in his name since returning from an almost 18-year training absence. “She has taken a bit of time to get going,” Stapleton said of the New Zealand-bred Art Major three-year-old, who’s a half to ThatswhatIsaid ($116,477) and I Will Rock You ($80,726). “She was a bit rough with her pacing and now she is doing everything right.” That’s been evident in her two winning trials at Maryborough this month, her first since she trialled when in the hands of Mick Stanley almost 12 months prior. Owned by Stapleton’s uncle and aunty, Brendan and Anne James of BFJ Bloodstock, he said the filly was returned to him for a spell and “I have ended up training her”. It’s been fortuitous, because she’s taken well to the neighbour’s unique training track. “I live next door to Kate Hargreaves and Alex Ashwood and use their track, which has an ascent from 800 to 600 metres and that seems to be agreeing with her.” More will be learned when she debuts tomorrow night, but she hasn’t been missed by analysts, with Good Form’s Blake Redden marking her a $2 chance and “after showing some good dash in a couple of Maryborough trials” he noted “she’s out of a good producing mare and she should be hard to beat”. And she’s not the only promising filly in Stapleton’s care. He’s also preparing unraced pair Yankee Angel and Angel Of Heaven, half-sisters who were bred by BFJ Bloodstock to their mare Arty Alice. The latter has a terrific record, not only producing Beach Shack ($148,702) and Angel Of Arts ($100,600) but Rockstar Angel, who’s building on her $406,258 in Australian earnings with success in the US. Yankee Angel is their three-year-old half-sister by American Ideal and Stapleton said she was “a nice filly”. “She is pretty small, but predominantly the family haven’t gone early, so we won’t rush her,” he said. “She is about a month away from trialling.” Similarly, two-year-old Angel Of Heaven, by Rock N Roll Heaven, will be worked up slowly. Stapleton also trains there big half-brother Tracer Bullet, who has spelled since last July but is nearing a return. “I had a win with Tracer Bullet (last campaign), he is back in work and about a month away from trialling,” he said. The quartet make up the stable of Stapleton, who drove from 1998 through to 2003, steering 37 winners across 544 starts amid stints working with Andrew Peace, Gavin Lang, Noel Alexander, David Murphy and time in the US. “I out drove my claim and it got pretty hard and so I went working for Dad,” he said. Some 15 years on the itch has returned, he’s re-established at Shelbourne and again has his hands full. “It’s good to be back training a couple and mucking around with a few,” he said. “Four is a lot, probably too much, when you are working full-time, but when they are quality like this it is pretty motivating.” TALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK: Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong. 11am: Mike Reed 11.15am: Maddie Ray 11.35am: Peter Tonkin on Gavin Lang After noon: Mick Guerin 12.20pm: Tim Butt Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.     The good oil from the Vic trials circuit BLACKBOOKER: Bendigo, R1 N2, Keilah Settled five back on the markers before moving into a one out and one back trail at the 800m and came out three horses wide at the 600m when she won nicely. REPORT BLACKBOOKER: Bendigo, R4 N4, Angski Settled four back on the markers, moved around the field and was able to slot in behind the leader at the bell before giving chase at the 300m. She finished second (behind Just Oscar). REPORT     HRV - Michael Howard

Kate Hargreaves and Alex Ashwood will make the trip from Shelbourne to Bendigo confident their second night of region-based racing will bring further success. Having produced a win and a third from two starts when the Central region kicked off last Friday, the stable is optimistic promising two-year-old Lay The Smackdown and trotter Well Defined can put their best feet forward tonight. Hargreaves told Trots Talk her two-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, who will contest the Southern Cross Office Equipment 2YO Pace at 7.21pm on Trots Vision, was well placed to build on his third place on debut at Echuca, where he galloped when leading but recovered to run third. “I’ve got a pretty big opinion of him,” she said. “He’s got his fair share of ability, he can just get a bit rocky in his gate. “At Echuca he did gallop, he actually hit a wheel and just put himself off stride. We are just putting him a bit further out in the cart now so that doesn’t happen. “The bigger track at Bendigo will definitely help him. I’m excited to have him at the races, he’s an exciting horse. I think he’s a really great chance, if he does everything right he will be very hard to beat.” As will Well Defined, says Hargreaves, when the five-year-old trotter steps out at 8.51pm in the Race Services Trot. He returns to a mobile start for the first time since June 1 last year, having run off a standing start penalty in every race since. “I think he’s got a really great chance,” she said. “The field he’s in against, he has been racing a few better ones than what he’s racing against, and he doesn’t have to give them a start, because he’s been in starts and been off 20 and 30 metres. “I think his form doesn’t really show just how well he’s going. He’s another one I’m confident on if he can have a little bit of luck, he always needs a little bit of luck.” Lay The Smackdown is a $1.45 favourite with TAB.com.au, while Well Defined is $6. A big day of racing awaits on Trots Vision, with the eight-race card at Tabcorp Park Melton kicking off at 1.07pm before the focus moves to Ballarat for the first at 6.20pm. CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN IN TO TROTS TALK:   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Bendigo harness racing reinsman Jayden Brewin has been left a little battered and shaken following a car crash on Wednesday but has vowed to be in the sulky on Friday night at Lord's Raceway. The 19-year-old avoided major injury when he swerved to miss a kangaroo on the Avoca-Dunolly Road, en-route to Shepparton from Stawell. Brewin had earlier notched up a winning double aboard the Adam Stephens-trained pair Fowsands and Wingate Guy, but had to forego all drives that night at Shepparton. Despite a harrowing experience, the former South Australian, who relocated to Bendigo last October, conceded the accident could have been a lot worse. Damage to the car Jayden Brewin was driving when he crashed on Wednesday.   Damage to the car Jayden Brewin was driving when he crashed on Wednesday. "I have gone to swing around a skippy and as I have done that I half lost control of the car and veered off the road," Brewin said. "I couldn't quite the steering wheel underneath me and have slid off the road and smashed into a few signs that were protecting a creek. "I must have just hit the edge of the creek, which sent the car flying. I veered off the road trying to stop it and I ended up about 10cm away from smashing into a big gum tree. "The worst thing was I took mum's car because mine needed a service. Cody Winnell@codywinnell   Big relief with reinsman @jayden_brewin lucky to escape serious injury after being involved in a bad car crash today after leaving Stawell. He drove two winners there.   Jayden brewin  · Mar 13, 2020   Replying to @GiddiebK Wow I have had 35 drives in nearly a fortnight I’m on a roll "She was a bit distraught looking at it and thinking about how bad it could have been." With a day in between to recover, Brewin declared himself fit and ready for action on Friday night at Bendigo, where he has been booked for seven drives. "I'm alright, I'm just a bit sore in my back, but that's about it," he said. "I worked a couple of horses this morning (Thursday) and everything was alright. "I was thinking how good is this (driving a double) and I thought the day would only get better, but it didn't end up that way." Race 1 won by number 8 Fowsands. Driven by Jayden Brewin for trainer Adam Stephens. Mile rate 1:59.9. Next race 2.28. Race 1 was sponsored by Premix King in Stawell. @TheTrotsComAu   Stawell Harness RC@StawellHarnessR   Race 2 won by number 6 Wingate Guy thats a double for driver Jayden Brewin and trainer Adam Stephens.@TheTrotsComAu Brewin will have little time to reflect on the accident, with him and his father Justin in the midst of moving their 12 horses from Danny Curran's Marong property to their new training base at Lord's Raceway. "Tomorrow (Friday) is our official move-in day, but we're moving most everything in (Thursday), so we don't interfere with the trots tomorrow night," he said. "We're very thankful to Danny for giving us a place to set up shop. "Making the move, we think Bendigo has got everything we need, especially now that we have got quite a few young ones in the stable." He said he was grateful for the support and well-wishes following news of his accident. Brewin, who has 33 wins and 89 placings this season, nominated the Gary Donaldson-trained Liberland (race one) and the Wayne Gretgrix-trained Manassa Sky in the feature race (race five) as perhaps is best chances on Friday night. The meeting will be the first to be run under Harness Racing Victoria's new region-based model, which restricts trainers and drivers from competing outside their own designated region. "Manassa Sky has been going pretty good and is a good chance if we can zip across to the fence," Brewin said. "It depends on what Glenn Douglas does, if he rolls off the arm (on Vandanta) he will lead on his ear. "He was a bit stiff last start, Manassa Sky, if he had got out any earlier he would he have won. He should be around the mark." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of the Bendigo Advertiser  

Two more go in to the Blackbook as Bendigo, Maryborough, Tabcorp Park Melton and Ballarat trials get the Trial File treatment. Scroll to the bottom for Craig Rail's updated Blackbook, including engagements. BENDIGO 22/03/20 Trial 1: - FRATELLINO settled three back on the markers and obtained an inside run before the home turn before coming to the outside of the leader in the straight when he got home best to score. JAY BEE FLEX was able to jump to the lead at the start and kicked on well but was grabbed right on the line. GOOROC GAMBLER trailed the leader for most of the journey before coming to the outside approaching the home turn. He tried hard in the straight but couldn’t match the leading duo. TRUMPIT LIL was slowly into stride and ended up being four back on the markers approximately 25m behind the leader. She finished fourth ahead of the juvenile trotter WATCH AND ACT (Skyvalley – Misty Elle), which settled about 15m behind her. Mile Rate: - 2.5.6            Final Half: - 58.5               Margins: - Head, 12m Trial 2: - VALKYRIE was a good winner after she settled four back on the markers before getting inconvenienced on the home turn and dashing home out wide on the track in the latter stages. TREACHEROUS SAINT (Captaintreacherous – Saint Theory 2.1.8, $14,104) tried to lead throughout and was run down in the final 30m. BEACH COMBER (Somebeachsomewhere – Dream A Rainbow) trailed the leader and broke stride before the home turn but recovered to finish third. OZZIE DAYBREAK (Dawn Ofa New Day – Miss Laura Jane 1.56.8, $146,545) settled three back on the inside before moving up without cover at the 600m. He was inconvenienced by BEACH COMBER on the turn but finished fourth in front of ABBIE LINCOLN (Art Major – Jaz Equity 1.57.5, $54,023), which was last throughout. Mile Rate: - 2.2.4            Final Half: - 59.0               Margins: - 2m, 1m Trial 3: - TIGER FOR LIFE dashed to the front in the early stages and was able to lead throughout to defeat LOLA DEVEREAUX, which moved into the death seat from three back on the markers at the 500m mark. FLAMING FIVES settled down last and followed LOLA DEVEREAUX all of the way. She never peeled to the outside at any stage and could have finished closer. JAYBEEOHDEE (Angus Hall – Maori Vale 1.59.5, $35,615) galloped in the score up, ended up behind the leader but yielded ground to finish last of the four runners. Mile Rate: - 2.6.0            Final Half: - 60.0               Margins: - 4m, 4m Trial 4: - ORBIE began very quickly from a wide draw and was able to angle in behind the leader POLLY PEACHUM around the first corner. She sprinted home nicely off a good trail and proved too strong in the run to the finish with POLLY PEACHUM holding down second. CALYPSO MISTRESS settled four back on the markers and finished third ahead of RINELLA (Village Jasper – Sharnica), which settled one position ahead of her. SIMPLY HEAVENLY raced five back on the markers and finished fifth ahead of CROCROCK (6 back markers) and ORION BLASTER (Caribbean Blaster – Starlit Orion), which broke at the start and was tailed off early before tacking on mid-race. He then yielded ground from the 500m mark and came in at the tail of the field. Mile Rate: - 2.3.2            Final Half: - 57.9               Margins: - 2m, 10m Trial 5: - LOTTA FUSS led throughout and won the trial by a comfortable margin. WHOS THE MAN (Angus Hall – Oh Yes Indeed 2.5.2, $57,750) is out of the outstanding producer Oh Yes Indeed and is related to six winners including My Mate Mal, The Boss Man and Anywhere Hugo. He trailed the leader and finished second in front of WILL PATRICK, which led but broke stride on the first corner, losing fifteen metres and settling three back on the markers before galloping again on the home turn. Mile Rate: - 2.10.2          Final Half: - 63.0               Margins: - 30m, 3m Trial 6: - LEIGHA MILLER settled five back on the markers, shifted around VILLAGE FLING mid-race to be fourth, then moved into the one out and one back trail in the back straight on the final occasion. She produced a good finish and got up to defeat VON PONDER, which trailed the leader and used the sprint lane. LONGASULOVEME (Pet Rock – Aniteattheopera 2.1.6, $13,300) settled three back on the markers and moved into the death seat at the 500m mark and tried hard for third. FOUR LONELY NIGHTS raced without cover early before moving to the lead at the 1700m mark. She tired into fourth with VILLAGE FLING (Fling It – Bonnie Cheval) finishing at the tail of the field. Mile Rate: - 2.3.5            Final Half: - 59.6               Margins: - Head, 2m Trial 7: - FORM ANALYST settled four back on the markers and moved into the breeze at the 650m mark when a strong winner over VALENTINA BRAVE, which was on her best behaviour at the start and tried to lead all of the way. DELIGHTFUL MIA settled three back on the markers and finished in third position ahead of DANMAN, which trailed the leader, and HONEY CULLEN was last throughout. Mile Rate: - 1.58.4          Final Half: - 56.2               Margins: - 3m, 5m MARYBOROUGH 22/03/20 Trial 1: - SAVANNAH JAY JAY settled at the rear of the field but pushed forward without cover and eventually found the lead with 1200m remaining. He was always in control and scored by a comfortable margin. CLEM MCARDLE led momentarily before taking a trail and ended up being three back on the markers. He came to the outside on the home turn and finished off fairly well in the latter stages. GOZO COURAGE got to the front at the 1800m mark before taking a trail behind SAVANNAH JAY JAY. He galloped momentarily several times in the trial and never appeared to be comfortable but he boxed on well for third. MAJOR BANKS settled five back on the markers and finished fourth ahead of ARISTOCRAT CHESTER (4 back markers) and JILLIBY ROY, which ended up being tailed out after being without cover early, easing to last then running right off the track coming up to the bell. Mile Rate: - 2.2.5            Final Half: - 58.5               Margins: - 8m, 16m Trial 2: - CLASSICMAJOR (Art Major – Lierre Noir 1.54.4, $131,629) trailed the leader and finished off too well for the two years old filly IM LADY EVELYN (Shadow Play – Tia Franco), which tried to lead all of the way. DANCEFORME (A Rocknroll Dance – Shake It Up Baby) was inconvenienced at the start when RAGNA THOR galloped then settled three back on the inside. She finished on reasonably well for third and wasn’t too far away from IM LADY EVELYN at the end. RAGNA THOR broke at the start and lost valuable ground but was able to chase to tack on at the half mile marker as the pace was very slow. She moved up without cover shortly afterwards but the early effort took a toll and she faded in the latter stages. Mile Rate: - 2.6.0            Final Half: - 60.1               Margins: - 4m, 1m Trial 3: - ADAM CROCKER began quickly and led throughout to win comfortably. He has been trialling very well and he dashed home in a handy final half of 57.8 seconds. ROCKARIA (Pet Rock – Classic Amy 2.1.6, $33,760) trailed the leader throughout and tried hard in the straight when second. DEALERS KNOCK settled three back on the markers and moved away from the inside to race without cover when a game third. It was a good effort for a trotter taking on the pacers and importantly, he didn’t over-race in the middle stages of the event, which he can do occasionally. IM LADY MADELEINE settled five back on the markers and came away from the inside at the 700m. She battled on fairly well for fourth with REEKO REACTOR (4 back markers) in fifth. COAL PARK (Roll With Joe – Simply Explosive) settled at the tail of the field, moved into the one out and one back trail at the 700m mark and ended up finishing at the tail of the field. Mile Rate: - 2.4.7            Final Half: - 57.8               Margins: - 7m, 2m Trial 4: - KING DENNY hasn’t raced since finishing unplaced in the Crystal Bucket at Echuca in 2019. He is a very smart trotter when racing at his best form and he was able to beat his only rival SURBITON ARMISTICE very comfortably by leading throughout. Mile Rate: - 2.11.5          Final Half: - 60.2               Margin: - 8m TABCORP PARK, MELTON 24/04/20 Trial 1: - SIX NATIONS (Yankee Spider – Eagles Image 2.3.8, $43,288) settled three back on the markers and moved into the death seat at the 600m mark. He was able to hit the lead with 100m remaining and began to edge clear in the run to the finish. HOTEL KYVALLEY (Father Patrick – Lindys Two Step USA) stepped away nicely to find the front and tried to lead throughout. He finished second in front of HERE COMES KYVALLEY (Muscle Mass – Nice One Kenny), which trailed him throughout. KYVALLEY HEIST (Muscle Mass – U Dream) was four back on the markers throughout and finished fourth. The only horse to make a mistake in the trial was TIPSY TURVEY (Bacardi Lindy – Titillate 1.59.7, $36,675) and she ended up finishing a tailed off last. She stepped away okay but galloped 50m after the start. Mile Rate: - 2.14.4          Final Half: - 61.75    Margins: - 3m, 5m Trial 2: - CRUISIN AROUND commenced from the handicap of 20m and settled last of the four runners. He moved into the one out and one back trail with 500m remaining and came to the outside in the home straight. He was able to claim victory in the last stride. SHADOW JUSTICE trailed the leader ROSANNA LINDY before moving into the death seat leaving the back straight on the final occasion. He hit the lead in the straight but was nabbed on the line. JUST BELIEVE settled three back on the markers and moved through to trail behind ROSANNA LINDY when SHADOW JUSTICE made his move. He never left the back of ROSANNA LINDY all of the way down the home straight and went to the line jogging in last position. Mile Rate: - 2.10.8          Final Half: - 59.64    Margins: - Short ½ Head, 2.5m Trial 3: - REDWOOD INVASION is a former New South Wales trained trotter, which has recently joined trainer Chris Lang. He recorded a slow mile rate at his trial victory where he set the speed but he appeared to be impressive as he had plenty in reserve in the run to the finish. AVIMORE seemed to have every chance in finishing second but was well clear from ZINGARA LASS, which was last of the three runners throughout. Mile Rate: - 2.12.6          Final Half: - 60.31    Margins: - 8m, 57.5m Trial 4: - MASTER REMI (Somebeachsomewhere – Our Little Artist 1.58.1, $57,040) settled four back on the markers and started to move with 300m to travel. He finished off nicely and was able to get up and win in shadows of the post. TREBEK (Falcon Seelster – Melita Bromac 1.56.8, $46,813) was three back on the markers and was the first to make a move. He hit the lead in the straight but couldn’t repel the challenge of MASTER REMI over the latter stages. CAPTAIN MAASTRICHT (Captaintreacherous – Maastricht 1.55.3, $89,989) trailed the leader throughout and finished in third position. The early leader MISO MISO (Art Major – Rocknrollsal) finished in fourth position and WHY NOT DREAM (Shadow Play – Why Comment) was always at the tail of the field, dropping off the bunch in the back straight on the final occasion. Mile Rate: - 2.0.9            Final Half: - 59.96    Margins: - 1.5m, 5m Trial 5: - ILLAWONG MOONBEAM is a promising young trotter and scored in record time at Kilmore at her last outing. She led throughout and held off a determined challenge from WAR DAN STRIKES, which trailed her throughout and got very close on the line. LIFEINTHEBALANCE (Grinfromeartoear – Artistic Wings) did everything right but couldn’t go with the leading duo and finished a distant last of the three. Mile Rate: - 2.4.0            Final Half: - 62.11    Margins: - Short ½ Head, 62.5m Trial 6: - SEBS CHOICE (Bettors Delight – Alta Calypso 1.59.4, $79,478) trailed the leader and came to the outside with 500m remaining. He drew to the lead in the straight and won with plenty in reserve, looking very impressive in the process. CAPTAIN BELLASARIO (Captaintreacherous – Bellasario 1.55.5, $71,704) settled down last of the five runners, moved into the death seat at the 900m mark then gained cover behind SEBS CHOICE in the back straight. He held his ground nicely in fast final sectionals. LET GO MARSHALL (Hurrikane Kingcole – Sokysatin) finished a distant third after setting the speed. LE BELLE BIJOUX (Art Major – Bellas Delight 1.54.3, $442,523) is out of the great mare Bella’s Delight and finished fourth after settling three back on the markers shortly after the start. DOUBLE HAPPINESS (Rock N Roll Heaven – Our Waltzing Mathilda 1.57.7, $12,131) came in at the tail of the field after settling fourth in the field of five runners. Mile Rate: - 2.2.8            Final Half: - 56.48    Margins: - 9.5m, 36m BLACKBOOKER: - Sebs Choice Trial 7: - IS THAT A BID pushed forward to find the lead and took cover with 1200m remaining but not without making the new leader MAJESTIC MANNEQUIN work for that position. He was approximately fifteen metres behind MAJESTIC MANNEQUIN turning for home but that trotter galloped and left him in front to get the prize. HALLABOUTME showed good gate speed to lead early then was shuffled back on the markers to be third mid-race. She worked into the clear on the home turn and picked up ground albeit trotting very roughly at the end. MYRNIONG RAINBOW raced four back on the markers for the majority of the trip and finished third ahead of ROI DU SOLEIL (Danny Bouchea – Rockin Wilma 2.2.9, $59,390), which settled down last and moved into the one out and one back trail. GREAT INVASION (Great Success – Marama’s Invasion 2.5.5, $28,351) raced without cover for most of the trip and finished fifth in front of MAJESTIC MANNEQUIN. MAJESTIC MANNEQUIN is a former New Zealander and would have won impressively had she not made the error on the home turn so she is obviously worth following. GOOBER settled down third last early and was always in a rearward position before galloping with 800m remaining. He finished in front of MY LINDY ANGELS, which also settled near the back of the field and made an error at the 500m mark. Mile Rate: - 2.4.5            Final Half: - 61.12    Margins: - 1.5m, 24m BLACKBOOKER: - Majestic Mannequin Trial 8: - THEULTIMATE hasn’t raced since winning the Breeders Crown Silver event in August but won her trial nicely. She eased back to last early, quickly moved around the field to find the front at the 1200m mark and was able to hold her rivals safely at bay. FLEETWOOD ROCK finished second after showing gate speed to lead, taking cover and using the sprint lane over the final stages. POWER OF FAITH was three back on the markers and moved up without cover from the 600m mark. She finished third and SNAZOLA (Tell All – Jackieola) (four back markers from the 1200m) finished at the tail of the field. Mile Rate: - 2.5.1            Final Half: - 59.03    Margins: - 2m, 3m Trial 9: - ROLLONBY (Roll With Joe – Beach Melody 1.54.7, $101,825) was extremely impressive after he raced three back on the markers and made a strong surge from the 500m mark. He dashed well clear in the run to the finish to win by a large margin. STARLIGHT SAFARI began quickly to lead and set up a genuine tempo throughout. He couldn’t match ROLLONBY in the straight but he held down second in front of SPORTZSCRIBE, which trailed him throughout. GRESHAR settled down last of the six runners but came to the outside with a half mile remaining and started to pick up some ground. He beat home the trotter IMPERIAL WHIZ (4 back markers) and also COBBITY COVE (5 back markers). Mile Rate: - 1.58.1          Final Half: - 57.80    Margins: - 19.5m, 1.5m BLACKBOOKER: - Rollonby Trial 10: - BETTA BOPPER showed good gate speed to lead and backed off the tempo mid-race. He was headed by STAR OF MEMPHIS on the home turn but rallied strongly and was able to kick back and get the prize. STAR OF MEMPHIS settled at the tail of the field before making his move at the 800m mark. He progressed forward and eventually hit the front on the home turn but peaked on his run late. APOLLO ROCK settled four back on the markers and moved into the one out and one back trail in the back straight. He couldn’t go with STAR OF MEMPHIS approaching the home turn but he rallied in the run to the finish and ended up in third position. DANCE TO THE STARS finished fourth after being three back on the markers and ARTS DASH was the last one to greet the judge after trailing the leader throughout. Mile Rate: - 2.4.7            Final Half: - 57.31    Margins: - Neck, 3m BALLARAT 24/03/20 Trial 1: - SOHO ALMASI was able to scoot to the lead around the first corner and always appeared to be in control, winning the trial by a comfortable margin. TOUGH TILLY (Captaintreacherous – Beninjurd) paced roughly at the start and dropped out to be last of the four runners. She was the widest runner around the final corner and ran home well for second. BEACH MUSIC (Somebeachsomewhere – Musical Delight 1.53.1, $248,910) finished third after trailing the leader and LADIES IN RED (Mach Three – Kabbalah Karen B 1.52.4, $285,098) (3 back markers) came in last but she went to the line under a strong hold and was capable of doing a lot more. Mile Rate: - 2.2.4            Final Half: - 57.4               Margins: - 4m, 1.5m Trial 2: - BEYOND DELIGHT (Bettors Delight – Whattahottie 1.54.3, $30,618) was able to work to the lead shortly after the start and won with something in reserve. He did get a fright and race greenly when the bell sounded but apart from that minor indiscretion, his performance was very good. SAYITAINTSO JOE (Roll With Joe – Beach Shack 1.53.2, $148,702) galloped shortly after the start and lost approximately twenty metres. He tacked onto the group, settled last of the four and moved into the one out and one back trail before trying to chase down the leader. SEACHANGE (A Rocknroll Dance – Seaside Beauty 1.55.7, $27,900) finished in third after being three back on the markers early before moving through to trail the leader at the 900m mark. GHOST OF TIME (A Rocknroll Dance – Margot Macray 1.59.2, $3,375) trailed the leader and came to the outside from the 900m mark. He was in second position until breaking stride just after the quarter pole and dropped out to finish at the rear of the field. Mile Rate: - 2.0.5            Final Half: - 57.9               Margins: - 1m, 6m Trial 3: - MONSIEUR DELACOUR held the inside advantage early but was quick to take cover behind CAN’T TOP THIS on the first bend. He came to the outside approaching the home corner and finished off solidly to get the prize. CAN’T TOP THIS did go to the line with plenty in reserve however and was only beaten on the post. MATTS DELIGHT (Betterthancheddar – Miss Mach Kana 1.59.2, $13,311) settled three back on the inside and finished third ahead of FLOAT ON BY, which picked up some ground from five back on the markers. AMMICCHI dropped back to fifth after being ahead of FLOAT ON BY in the run and CARRAMAR CEE SMITH was last throughout after being slow in the score up and missing the start by fifteen metres. Mile Rate: - 1.57.8          Final Half: - 57.2               Margins: - Head, 15m Trial 4: - JILLIBY GALWAYGIRL hasn’t raced since winning a semi-final of the Breeders Challenge in June 2017 but she won her trial nicely after she led out then took a trail behind PUFFA MAN and proved too strong for that pacer in the run to the finish. PUFFA MAN progressed forward early and found the lead at the 1700m mark. He raced keenly in the leading role but kicked on strongly in the run to the finish. ERNIESON took cover from barrier one and ended up being three back on the markers. He finished third ahead of the trotter SHOWEMYOURMUSCLES, which settled down last, made a move to get up into second from the death seat at the 1200m but began to yield ground from the quarter pole. Mile Rate: - 2.1.1            Final Half: - 59.2               Margins: - 3m, 40m Trial 5: - TWO TIMES BETTOR settled down three back on the markers and moved to the outside with 700m remaining. She quickly got alongside the early leader BUNDY PLAYBOY and proved to be superior in the run to the judge. SINGLE TREE ROAD settled down four back on the markers and followed TWO TIMES BETTOR into the race. She was able to work into second position without being pushed over the final stages. BUNDY PLAYBOY was able to hold down third after setting the pace and MISS MCGONAGALL was fourth after trailing. MORNINGS remained last of the five runners throughout. Mile Rate: - 2.0.7            Final Half: - 56.7               Margins: - 4m, 1m Trial 6: - The star pacer POSTER BOY is on the comeback trail after winning at his latest appearance in May. He won the 2019 Chariots of Fire (1.49.1) and was placed in the Miracle Mile of that year so he rates as one of Australia’s best pacers. He led throughout and cruised to victory, finishing the trial off in a sizzling final quarter of 26.6 seconds. EGODAN settled last of the three runners and came to the outside at the quarter pole. He did well to pick up ground over the latter stages and BREVITY was last of the three after trailing the leader throughout and gaining an inside run. Mile Rate: - 2.1.7            Final Half: - 55.9               Margins: - 3m, 5m Trial 7: - KEAYANG XENA (Father Patrick – Keayang Yankee 1.55.4, $51,240) stepped away very quickly from the standing start and led clearly. She enjoyed a nice run in front and was unchallenged throughout. SELLUNE (Skyvalley – Sunelle 2.6.2, $12,356) stepped away slowly but safely and settled last of the three runners. He was able to run into second when KEAYANG NINJA (Wishing Stone – Another Clare 2.2.0, $48,902) broke stride at the quarter pole. KEAYANG NINJA stepped away reasonably well and was able to work onto the back of KEAYANG XENA coming up to the bell. He was sticking with KEAYANG XENA before his untimely error. Mile Rate: - 2.8.2            Final Half: - 59.5               Margins: - 50m, 30m   HRV Trots Media - Craig Rail

Overnight rain that battered the state won’t interrupt racing at Bendigo and Mildura tomorrow or Wangaratta on Sunday, according to club administrators. While Birchip’s Sunday cup day has been postponed and tonight’s Kilmore racing transferred to Melton, other scheduled meetings are expected to proceed as planned. Bendigo received 43 millimetres in the 24 hours to 9am this morning, and club general manager Erik Hendrix said the rainfall had damaged the track but he was optimistic “we should be fine”. “Our crew will be under the pump today,” Mr Hendrix said. “We’ve had a fair bit of damage, but with the day in hand I would expect to be racing tomorrow. “The sand looks to have run down to the bottom of the track and created ripples and they will be working on it this afternoon to get it back up to racing standard. It costs a day and a half of work, but it’s not disastrous.” Bendigo’s 11-race program on Friday precedes a further 11 races at Mildura on Friday night, and Mildura secretary Michelle McGinty-Williams said the club’s most pressing need wasn’t track conditions but horse stalls. A fantastic night’s racing is in the offing with 118 horses entered at Mildura, which received a more modest 20 millimetres in the 24 hours to 9am. “Tracks are faring very well,” Ms McGinty-Williams said. “We’ve had it on and off, most of it yesterday, and the trainers said it was beautiful. “We didn’t have any downpours. We haven’t touched the track because it’s such a small amount.” Moods are also chipper at Wangaratta Harness Racing Club ahead of its cups day on Sunday. Despite the town receiving 40 millimetres, club secretary Bernadette Costantino said the track was “pretty good”, adding if it stopped raining we could run this afternoon”. “They will be doing some work on it tomorrow, but we would have been anyway.”   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

A tireless dedication to preserving harness racing history has landed Bendigo's Noel Ridge industry acclaim. Ridge, the curator of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club's history and memorabilia collection at Lord's Raceway, was bestowed with a Harness Racing Australian Meritorious Service Award. The award was presented at a function on night two of the Summer of the Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Ridge said the award came as 'a total shock'. "I am still shocked, I had no idea this was coming," he said. "Judy Rothacker, from the Harness Racing Victoria board presented it, and it was to do with my researching harness racing industry, particularly in central Victoria and the other bits and pieces I do, like writing. "I was there under the guise of being invited to the official function and low and behold this happened."  Noel Ridge at Lord's Raceway in 2016.   The award is the third industry honour for Ridge in the past five months. In September, he was appointed to the Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame (VHRHOF) selection committee. He also picked up the Graham Goffin Memorial Award for best historical feature for an article he penned on the late former horse owner, breeder, trainer and driver John Phyland. For Ridge, his passion and dedication for racing history is a labour of love. "If we haven't got a history, we haven't got an industry," he said. "I'm thrilled (by the award win), particularly from a club point of view. "What the Bendigo Harness Racing Club has established with the collection is a pretty unique point of difference." The meritorious service award was the only one presented on Saturday night. Bendigo Harness Racing Club committee member Paul Campbell said there could be no more worthier winner than Ridge. "I'd hate to think how many hours he puts in behind the scenes trying to capture history, and to store it and display it," he said. "It's a real labour of love for him. "Even the other night when the award was being presented he was still chasing history while were there (at Melton). "He doesn't stop. He's tireless and he is infectious as well. "Because of him, I and a lot of others, have a greater awareness of the history of our sport and the fact we need to store it and display it because once it's gone it's gone for good." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

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