When Bulla harness racing trainer Kerry O’Riley entered Ourboyjay in Saturday night’s Goldfields Catering 2YO Pace at Bendigo, he was under the impression his gelded son of Village Jolt would be a fair show of recording a second win at career start number seven. The pacer scored an impressive win at Yarra Valley two starts back in a 2C0 event before a luckless eighth of 11 at cricket-score odds in the Tatlow Stakes at Tabcorp Park Melton when he got carted back at a vital stage. But O’Riley was shocked when he realised who his competition would be in Saturday night’s $6,505 race -- none other than Australasia’s best two-year-old Follow The Stars and his highly rated stablemate Linda Lovegrace. Both Follow The Stars and Linda Lovegrace are trained by Mark Purdon and will be using Saturday’s race as a hit-out ahead of the rich Breeders Crown series. For good measure, another Kiwi in My Field Marshall – who has won three from six and hails from the smart Tim Butt camp in Christchurch – will also line up on Saturday night. “It’s a lot stronger a field than I thought it might be,” O’Riley chuckled. “Let’s just hope he can run a personal best on Saturday night. It’d be the stuff of fairy tales to think you could beat Follow The Stars.” But Daryl Douglas, who drives Ourboyjay, is somewhat more upbeat about the horse’s chances, according to O’Riley, even if it was just Douglas’ natural optimism shining through. “Daryl’s always pretty optimistic but he said to me, ‘If you’re not in it, you can’t win it’,” O’Riley said. While simply hoping for a positive run this weekend, O’Riley believes Ourboyjay will develop further next season. “He’ll make a better three-year-old and he hasn’t much luck as a two-year-old,” he said. “He locked wheels in the Vicbred semi-final and got knocked over on the top turn and then in the Tatlow he got caught behind a tiring horse.” Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria Related Links Fields for Bendigo, Saturday 09 August 2014 Form guide for Bendigo, Saturday 09 August 2014
Harness Racing Victoria was saddened to hear of the weekend passing of Bill Hanson. Bill was an immensely popular harness racing man, whose enthusiasm and affability was infectious to all he met. Bill was a life member of Harness Breeders Victoria and he and wife Margaret were principals of Homevale Stud at Fern Hill. The stud stood many stallions and in 1990 purchased the legendary Maori’s Idol for stud duties, where he stayed until his death in 2006. Bill was an inaugural inductee into the VHRMA Hall of Fame in 2009. Officials from Bendigo and Mildura harness racing clubs spoke glowingly of Bill and his association with the sport. Mildura Club Manager Mark Kemp said Bill and Margaret would never miss a Mildura Cup Carnival. “They’d roll into town on the Monday and catch up with friends and they’d stay the whole week. Then they’d go home after the cup night on the Sunday,” Kemp said. “They formed very strong bonds with many up here in Mildura over the years.” Bill and Margaret would sponsor the Mildura Trotters’ Cup for several years and in 2013 the race was named in their honour. Mildura HRC will honour Bill at next Tuesday night’s Mildura meeting by naming a race after him. Bill also had a long and loyal association with the Bendigo Harness Racing Club, where he was a life member. Bendigo harness racing stalwart Des Rothacker, a long-time friend of Bill, said he would be missed. “He was very committed,” Rothacker said. “He requested Maori’s Idol be buried at the track. Just as you go into the club you can see a placard on the fence there about Maori’s Idol. That was at Bill’s request and the club was only too pleased to do it. “He had a lot of friends here. He donated a free service to one of his stallions for many years. “He enjoyed life and was a very good bloke and very good friend.” HRV CEO John Anderson said: “The industry is saddened to hear of Bill Hanson’s passing. He was a great friend of harness racing in Victoria and will be sorely missed. HRV sends its condolences to Margaret and family.” The funeral service for Bill will be held at the Thomas J. Scott Memorial Chapel in Piper St, Kyneton, on Friday, July 11, at 2.30pm. A burial at the Tylden Cemetery will follow. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
Bendigo musician and advocate for homelessness Luke Owens is the new Young Ambassador for the Bendigo Harness Racing Club. Luke Owens, 21, the winner of the 2013 Pride of Australia Young Leader Medal, set up Bendigo for Homeless Youth in 2012 and managed to raise about $500,000 in just nine months. To date he has raised approximately $3 million for Homeless Youth and charities. He is a co-founder of United for Change and among his other projects are working with Haven Home Safe to build a $6 million housing development for low-income earners and with the Father Bob Maguire Foundation. Mr. Owens is commencing his teaching studies at La Trobe Bendigo this year. Bendigo Harness Racing Club president Dennis Bice will formerly announce Mr. Owens appointment as the Young Ambassador for the BHRC at the Club Pacing Cup Eve Cocktail Party tonight at All Seasons Hotel and the 50th Bendigo Pacing Cup at Lord’s Raceway on Saturday night. Mr. Owens will take centre stage at the Pacing Cup singing the national Anthem before the 50th running of the feature Group 2 race. For more information contact: DAVID ALDRED (Bendigo Harness Racing Club) 54493205 | www.bhrc.com.au.
Terang trainer/driver Matt Craven who represented his state in the Australasian Junior Driving Series a number of seasons back, has enjoyed his best harness racing season ever mixing both training and freelance driving.
Further heats of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series were held at two venues in Victoria on Wednesday June 19 - Yarra Valley hosting the 3rd Heat for Three Year Old Colts & Geldings and the 3rd and 4th Heats for Four Year Old Entires & Geldings all over 2150 metres in the afternoon, while Bendigo presented the 5th & 6th Heats for both Two Year Olds over 2150 metres at the night session.
Few horsemen were busier than Mark Purdon yesterday.
Even though it was only a low grade $1500 non winners event - an interesting winner at the Bendigo harness fixture on Saturday June 8 was 9-Y-0 Davids Pass/Its Whatz Left stallion Nonno Medoro in the Alderbaran Park Pace over 1650 metres.
Champion harness racing reinsman Greg Sugars is on track to complete the Bendigo Pacing Cup, Bendigo Trotters Cup double at Lord's Raceway on Saturday night.
Bangholme harness racing owner/breeder who has the most bubbling personality, enjoyed a magic month of May as her home bred Pegasus Spur/Annika filly Fiftyshadesofbrown chalked up two wins - the Bill Morrissey 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile at the Sebastian meeting held at Tabcorp Park Melton on May 19, followed up by the Majestic Son 3-Y-0 Vicbred Trotters Mobile at Lord's Raceway Bendigo six days later.
The mandatory two meeting Thursday took place on May 16, with Shepparton harness racing in the afternoon and Bendigo at night.
Harness racing co-trainers Lisa and David Miles enjoyed a super Saturday, with 3-Y-0 Art Major/Lee Almahurst filly Thunder Fee and 4-Y-0 Badlands Hanover/Kellyarmbro mare Ourbellabro the 4th Heat of the E K Bray Country Cup at Bendigo for Lisa, while David snared both Semi-Finals of the rich Australian Pacing Gold Two Year Old Fillies at Albion Park Brisbane with Mindarie Priddy (Artistic Fella/Kellyarmbro) and Manellira (Art Major/Amarillen).
There were two harness racing meetings held in Victoria on Wednesday April 17 with Shepparton racing during the afternoon and Bendigo at night, the highlight being heats of the 2013 Goulburn Valley & Central Victoria Young Drivers Challenge.
The spotlight was on the squaregaiters at the Bendigo harness racing fixture held on Saturday March 9, with the commencement of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Series for trotting mares over 1609 metres.
Squaregaiting has come of age in Victoria; a fact beautifully illustrated by the second annual Aldebaran Park Girls On Fire Time Trial Series, which kicks off this Sunday at Lords Raceway, Bendigo. The initial harness racing series was considered a success however the focus will intensify this year with two Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star qualified mares contesting the series.
Two harness racing meeting were held in Victoria on Thursday February 14 - Cranbourne racing in the afternoon and Bendigo at night.
The harness racing four year old Life Sign/Red Hot Rita entire Just Live Life returned to the winners list at Lord's Raceway Bendigo on Tuesday January 29, taking out the Alabar Bloodstock Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2150 metres.