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Leading Summer of Glory player Christen Me scored an all-the-way win in tonight's harness racing $50,505 Group 2 Petstock Bendigo Pacing Cup. The Cran Dalgety trained Kiwi superstar cleared out late for reinsman Dexter Dunn in the 2650m race, clocking a 54.1-second last half after being unchallenged in front mid-race, scoring a 14.1-metre win over runner-up Smudge Bromac. First-up since finishing second to Terror To Love in a stirring Cranbourne Pacing Cup on December 6, Christen Me – the winner of last year's Miracle Mile in Sydney and the reigning Hunter Cup champion – will be hard to beat in the Victoria Cup on January 31. Dunn was typically cool throughout tonight’s contest despite concession reinsman Zac Phillips pulling the first surprise off the arm and dashing to the lead from gate seven aboard outsider Hall Of Famer. The son of Christian Cullen quickly assumed the front with Hall Of Famer snaring the leader’s back. Im Corzin Terror and driver Alex Ashwood got mobile early and worked around to find the breeze before more moves came as the pace slowed. Chilli Palmer (Chris Alford), first-up from a spell, eased back to last early and the slow speed didn’t suit his cause. However, the son of Elsu was the eye-catcher of the race, launching home out wide in the home straight to just miss second in a photo-finish. His late splits will be super and many punters will pencil him into their black book. Smudge Bromac (Nathan Jack) produced a big run in second, the nine-year-old David Aiken trained entire the first of Aiken’s four cup runners over the line (Cold Major fifth, Wartime Sweetheart sixth and Jaccka Clive ninth). Bendigo Cup Finishing Order 1: Christen Me 2: Smudge Bromac 3: Chilli Palmer 4: Im Corzin Terror 5: Cold Major 6: Wartime Sweetheart 7: Uncle Wingnut 8: Jaccka Clive 9: Hall Of Famer Group 2 Petstock Bendigo Pacing Cup by Cody Winnell Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria

Maori Time produced a harness racing scintillating track-record run to end Keystone Del’s winning streak and take the $32,275  Aldebaran Park Maori Mile at Bendigo tonight Saturday the 17th of January. Trained and driven by masterful educator of squaregaiters Chris Lang, Maori Time, a five-year-old mare by Pegasus Spur out of Sundonna, took off at the 800m employing catch-me-if-you-can tactics – and her rivals couldn’t. She had led from the pole draw but when she hit top gear mid-race, no one was going to nab her. A 28secs third quarter saw Maori Time skip clear as Keystone Del began to paddle as he pursued the frontrunner. Elegant Image (Kate Gath for trainer Andy Gath) tracked the winner and finished on well for second, Keystone Del (Blake Fitzpatrick for trainer Nicole Molander) battling away in third place. The winner’s mile rate of 1:55.6 set a new track record over the 1650m trip at Bendigo. Stoned I Am ran well for fourth and Realmein was a nice fifth after not having much luck in the last lap. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Celebrations will be aplenty as the Bendigo Harness Racing Club marks the 60th Anniversary of racing at the Lord’s Raceway. The 2014 Anniversary Cup – to be run on November 15 - commemorates the opening of the Lord’s Raceway track on the November, 17 1954. This was a major event for district as no registered trotting meeting had been held in Bendigo for nearly three decades. The track was named after A A Lord, President of the M&CTA and member of the Trotting Control Board, who gave great financial assistance to the Club. The famed Argus Newspaper wrote at the time the night “will usher a new dream raceway into Victoria’s network of provincial harness racing tracks ... Lord’s will be the first half mile tack to be lit in Victoria. Official circles predict that new records will come from: Times Attendance (Country) Bookmakers and Tote Turnover (Country) All over nominations and acceptances.” Argus Sportswriter Bruce Skeggs also wrote “Lord’s raceway is the finest trotting circuit I have ever seen. It is a perfect half-mile designed on classic American standards.” The meeting drew a record crowd of more than 14,000 people, which was a provincial trotting record, with press report of the time stating: “There was a traffic jam from Bendigo to Junortoun, a distance of three miles and cars travelling bumper to bumper moved along at a snail’s pace or were standing still for a long period”. Seven races were conducted, with the fastest rate of 2:09.8 and prizemoney ranging between 75 and 100 pounds.  Another highlight was a record 103 pounds winning dividend paid on James Dillon in the main event. These were odds of 412/1 for two lucky five-shilling tickets. The Anniversary Meeting will highlight a number of special features on the night. One lucky patron will win a Diamond Ring valued at $2250  supplied by Sens Jewellers via the Bendigo Advertiser Coupon Entry. There will be live music throughout the night by the “Rocking Donkeys”, kids’ entertainment, pony trot races and a range of other prizes and giveaways. A $2 entry will also see patrons have the chance to win great prizes in the “Movember Parade”, with proceeds going to the Movember Foundation, supporting men’s health. A new initiative also sees some lucky patrons given the chance to get up and close to the excitement of harness racing by winning double sulky rides with some of our leading drivers, and the chance to sit beside the starter in the mobile. Another feature of the night will be the running of the All Seasons Hotel Veteran Drivers’ Challenge.  Drivers who have played a significant part in Victorian and Australian Harness Racing history headline the field. Graeme Lang, Peter Manning, Jim O’Sullivan and Neville Welsh have all won either Australian or Victorian driving and training premierships. Group Races won by the drivers include Hunter, Victoria, Bendigo, Ballarat, Echuca and Geelong, Kilmore, Sydney Easter Trotters’ and Dullard Cups, Oaks, Derbys and Breeders’ Crowns. Another special aspect to the evening is four drivers who drove at the original Opening Night of Lord’s Raceway in 1954 have been invited to attend as special guests of the Club. They are Ted Zimmer - who drove a winner on the historic card - Bob Birthisel, Des Rothacker and Norm Mannix. HRV Media

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 |

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.

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