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The cream of British trots will be in Melbourne next week as part of a two-week jaunt, which sees them take in the Melbourne Cup in the gallops and the harness racing Four-and-Five-Year-Old Championship Night at Melton before jetting to Christchurch for New Zealand Cup week. Legendary trainer- driver Alan Haythornthwaite, who represented Britain in the World Driving Championships in Australia in 1999, will be accompanied by his trainer, wife Teresa, and their two sons Richard and James – both outstandingly talented horsemen. Richard (30) who took care of Mr Feelgood when working for Tim Butt eight years ago, has more than 350 winners to his credit including the prestigious Vincent Delaney Final in Ireland last year while James, a prodigiously talented former top class Rugby League player has driven more than 80 winners in his three seasons in the sulky and is rated by Bill Hutchison, a consultant to British Harness Racing Club, as a star in the making. Their partners Lauren Moran and Ireland’s Shannon Flanagan are also handy race drivers in their own right. Sally Teebon, trainer of mighty four year old Miraculous (28 from 34 and over $AU100K) and partner Robert also make the trip along with the “Voice Of British Harness Racing” Darren Owen who is a prolific thoroughbred caller and already has 12 Grand Nationals on his CV. Thanks to Dan Mielicki and HRV, Darren will call a couple of races at Melton on Saturday November 11 and the wheels are in motion to get some drives for Richard and James whilst they are here. Connections of horses engaged at Melton and/or Geelong 8th, Yarra Valley 9th or Bendigo 10th can be assured of a high standard of horsemanship should they to come to the party and put one of the drivers on. Trots Media

DUBLIN, Ireland - With just over 24 hours to go before the world record attempt for 2 miles, the last of the preparations are currently taking place at Portmarnock Raceway, ensuring optimum track conditions for the seasons finale. The weather forecast is currently good for this time of year with an expected high of 18 degrees and plenty of sunshine forecasted for tomorrow (Sunday). Five of Irelands top trotters are set to go to post at approx. 3.30pm (10.30am USA) and for those that cannot make it in person, this race will be covered LIVE on Portmarnock Raceways Facebook page. Likely favourite is renowned stayer Vichy De Moem and trainer/driver Alan Richardson has oozed confidence all week in the run up to the 2 mile marathon. Brenda Hudson drivers her own Scoops Team and there wont be a dry eye in the house should the only female driver in the line-up beat the boys on the day. Billy Star the youngest in the field at only 5 years old will be driven by the oldest driver in the race Christy "Hopper" Foran and a win for him will ensure SHRI Trotter Of The Year honours for popular local trainer Stephen Foran. Silvano Bello for West Cork's Donal Murphy has hit form with a vengeance in recent weeks whilst Patrick Kanes Twist Du Layon claimed the last invitation to the race with a track record win over 1¼ miles at the venue last Sunday. Both look to be up against it on form but over this extreme trip of 2 miles, four laps, all 5 runners have live chances of landing the spoils. This event has captured the imagination of harness fans worldwide with luminaries such as top announcer Roger Huston, Australian broadcaster Gareth Hall, current record holder Ake Svanstedt, world driving champion Jody Jamieson from Canada, journalist Bill Hutchinson and US based driver "Irish" Joe Hanney all posting up messages of support on Portmarnock Raceway's Facebook page so far with many more well-wishing videos expecting to being posted up by the great and the good of the sport every other hour in the lead up to the contest. Local track promoter and photographer Nadina Ironia has been thrilled with the interest that this world record attempt has generated and for such a small trotting community the Irish are certainly punching above their weight knowing the eyes of the harness racing world will be on focussed on Portmarnock tomorrow afternoon. A recent on-line poll has revealed that over 75% of respondents believe that this record of 4:06.8 held by Svansted's Clear Sign, will be broken and it will be the first time that the Irish will hold a harness racing world record. So will it be victory for Vichy? can Hudson Scoop the pot? Is there a new Star about to be born? will Silvano be the saviour for the bookies? or will there be one final Twist on the final day of the season. Come out for the closing day of racing at Portmarnock tomorrow or watch on Facebook LIVE - Portmarnock Raceway Facebook page approx 3.30 local time (10.30am in USA). by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

The heartache of 2015 made all the more glorious the ecstasy of 2016 for the connections of Cruisin Around, who won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series at Tabcorp Park Melton for harness racing three-year-old colts and geldings. In Greg Sugars’ hands the trotter overcome favourite Sundons Courage to win for Cranbourne trainer Michael Hughes and a merry band of Cranbourne owners. Among them was Bill Hutchison, who said it was the “greatest night of my life in harness racing”. “There’s no greater fun than owning a horse with blokes like this,” Hutchison said. “Cranbourne blokes, I’ve been on the committee about three or four years down there now, we got together ... this is sensational.” The gelding by Bacardi Lindy out of Cloud Chaser was beaten 2.6m into second by Chris Angove-trained Sundons Courage in the two-year-old Vicbred race last year, a fact not lost on his owners. “We had unfinished business and we got there tonight, and he proved he’s the best of them,” Hutchison said. Having started the back row, Sugars had Cruisin Around one-out three-back mid-race before drawing three-wide down the back straight to chase leader Sundons Courage, driven by Chris Alford. “Always a little bit of a concern with the two main dangers obviously going to settle down a fair way in front of us,” Sugars said. “Drawn the back row we had to rely on a little bit of luck at some stage, but that meant that we didn’t spend any petrol earlier.” Sugars tried to join the front runners at the turn but Sundons Courage remained strong out front. “When Chrissy kicked and I just got to his wheel I was flat out and he seemed to be going well on the leader, I wasn’t confident I was going to pick him up,” Sugars said. But the last 50m was all Cruisin Around.  “They had to do a bit of work to find the front in Sundons Courage and we got off relatively easy, lobbed within a couple of lengths and that was probably the difference over the last 150m,” Sugars said. “Halfway up the straight this horse really dug deep and I felt him lift and Sundons Courage probably just felt the pinch for that early work and (Cruisin Around) was strong to the finish.  “There’s not much between those two, as we’ve seen they have fought out quite a few finishes, not only this preparation but last season as well. “It’s good to turn the tables on him in the Vicbred when I thought we had the race shot to pieces last year. Really pleased for this group of owners, the horse did a terrific job. Full credit to (trainer) Mick (Hughes), he had him in tip-top order this whole campaign.” A 29.6 last quarter sealed a 2:00.3 winning mile rate for Cruisin Around and a terrific result for Hughes. “It was special. We just missed out last year as a two-year-old when Sundons Courage just got him on the line,” Hughes said. “This time we reversed the tables and it was a good effort, great drive by Greg. “Last prep he gave me a few headaches but this time in he has been really good. He was very immature last time in but he has sort of grown half a brain this time, put it all together and he has the record on the board.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

PERTH, Australia - Irish Inter-Dominion candidate Meadowbranch DJ has overcome some travel hiccups prior to landing in Sydney and since being flown across the breadth of Australia to Perth (akin to New York- Los Angeles) has settled in nicely at Greg Bond’s stables in Perth and is working well enough for his possible Aussie debut at the provincial Pinjarra circuit on November 9. Meadowbranch DJ has endured an arduous journey since winning the final UK/Ireland heat of the series by a big margin at Portmarnock back in August, enduring two arduous flights and bouts of quarantine in the UK and Australia, but should be spot on for the series which commences at Perth’s Gloucester Park on Friday night November 27. The time honoured series which features the best pacers in Australia and New Zealand was inaugurated at Gloucester Park back in 1936, has also showcased some of the best from the US in past years (Little Brown Jug winner Mr Feelgood won in Queensland in 2009) and this time features its first Irish/UK runner. Ranked at 18th of the 30 runners, Meadowbranch DJ will have to front up in three heats over varying distances in an effort to qualify for the rich $1.3 million mile and a half plus final on Sunday December 13. As an added bonus for UK fans, top horseman Alan Haythornthwaite will represent the UK against world class drivers Tim Tetrick and Dexter Dunn in an International Driving Series at Gloucester Park on December 4 and 13. Alan, whose Brywinsmagicpotion was beaten on countback for an Interdom berth, has already had experience of Aussie conditions – he represented the UK in the World Driving Championships in Oz in 1999. Bring on the Interdom!! By Bill Hutchison

Tuesday night’s Billy Williams Memorial Free For All at Tir Prince for UK 7,500 features a mouth watering British/Irish harness racing showdown between UK nine year old superstar Stoneriggs Mystery and new kid on the block Bath Lane who inflicted Mystery’s only defeat in his last seven starts when dive bombing him late in a record 1:55.2 at the Delaney Portmarnock weekend just over a month ago. Arguably Britain’s toughest and most durable pacer of all time, Stoneriggs Mystery who’s won in excess of 35 races and more than UK 40,000, worked to take the lead away from Bath Lane in their only meeting and was cut down late in a brave effort. He’s since won at York then here in the Crock Of Gold Final, and followed up with an easy victory on the grass at Tregaron eleven days ago. Comparatively Bath Lane is only a baby at five but he’s come a long way in recent times - he was beaten in novice grade at Appleby only 15 months ago but now finds himself racing the elite. Barrier draws will play a big part bit but with eight on the gate here, Mick Lord and John Richardson’s pair can make their own luck. The wonderfully honest Brywinsnmagicpotion is a genuine upset chance and a win would be great consolation for his missing an Australian Interdominion trip on countback. With a strong undercard as well, Tir Prince’s season will end in a blaze of glory. Some big things are in the wind for the popular North Wales circuit – watch this space!! From Bill Hutchison       From: William Hutchison [mailto:hutchysays@me.com] Sent: Saturday, 5 September 2015 6:22 PM To: 'Bill Hutchison' Subject: FW: Stoneriggs Mystery Photo               From: William Hutchison [mailto:hutchysays@me.com] Sent: Monday, 20 July 2015 9:30 AM To: 'news@harnesslink.com'; 'steve@harnesslink.com' Subject: FW: Stoneriggs Mystery Photo               From: BHRC KLee [mailto:bhrc.office@yahoo.co.uk] Sent: Monday, 20 July 2015 9:21 AM To: Bill Hutchison Subject: Stoneriggs Mystery       Bill,           As requested.           Regards   Kirsty Lee   BHRC Secretary       BHRC, Ground Floor, Burlington Crescent, Goole, East Yorkshire, DN14 5EG   Tel: 01405 766877 Fax: 01405 955000 Email: bhrc.office@yahoo.co.uk   http://www.bhrc.org.uk       This e mail and any attachments are confidential and intended for the named recipient only. The content may contain privileged information. If it has reached you by mistake, you should not copy, distribute or show the content to anyone but should contact the BHRC at once.  

Making light of his wide gate seven draw Stoneriggs Mystery was a runaway winner of his second Crock Of Gold at Tir Prince on Saturday night. Speedster Meadowbranch Josh quickly found the lead as expected but was hammered by Ayr Regal and eventually took the trail. Mystery and Mick Lord were away swiftly and soon cruised to a spot outside the new leader, raced clear with a quarter to go and won by open lengths from Brywinsmagicpotion who made big ground from the rear, and an improved Sepia Sands who closed late after encountering traffic problems. Rain during the day and evening slowed the surface (which raced extremely well) and 1:59 was the time for the race. With wins and from five of his last six a narrow 1.55.2 defeat in Ireland, Stoneriggs Mystery has silenced any doubters (if there were any) and proved he’s the best horse we’ve seen in the UK for many a long year, if not, ever. Bill Hutchison

The spacious half mile oval at Tir Prince in North Wales will host it’s flagship race, the Crock Of Gold Final on Saturday night. Having qualified in multiple heats in the UK, an eight horse field will do battle with clear favourite Stoneriggs Mystery the one to beat. He sandwiched heat wins of the race on this track with a victory on the grass at Aberystwyth then went to Ireland where he had his colours lowered narrowly by Bath Lane after setting up a 1:55.2 track record. He then demolished his opponents in 1:56 at York last weekend. Inter Dominion star Brywinsmagicpotion will welcome a different opponent to Australian bound Meadowbranch D J and looks the likely danger. Astounding hasn’t had much luck since winning an Interdom heat at York and with a decent draw can cause another upset. Bill Hutchison  

Irish harness racing champ Meadowbranch D J made mincemeat of his opposition in Sunday’s final Inter Dominion heat at Portmarnock on Sunday, smashing the mile and a half track record (2:57.3) in the process of his astonishing 17 length victory. Working hard early he took the lead after half a lap and was never out of second gear. His major rival Brywinsmagicpotion who was two points ahead of him going into the race, chased valiantly but to no avail, winding up second but losing the Aussie invite on a countback as DJ won two heats to Magicpotion’s one. An amazing series has captured the hearts of all British and Irish fans and resulted in track records in each of the four heats. Owner Mark Flanagan was one of the instigators of the UK/Ireland series and deserved the success. Driver John Richardson later smashed the Portmarnock mile record on Bath lane with a 1.55.2 clocking to upset Britain’s best Free For Aller Stoneriggs Mystery. The Delaney weekend drew a bumper crowd where ace Kiwi Dexter Dunn wowed them with four winners while top US driver George Brennan won the big four year old race and Canadian Jody Jamieson flew in for the day and was runner up at his only drive. Despite having many outstanding horsemen and plenty of well bred stock, the sport is little known to most people in the UK, Ireland and abroad but is making great inroads and starting to generate the recognition it so richly deserves. Bill Hutchison. Interdominion Final - Portmarnock 2015

The UK/Ireland Inter Dominion series took a new twist yesterday at York on Saturday with the “Flying Scotsman” Astounding for John and Gordon Gilvear, upsetting the applecart with an easy all-the-way harness racing victory in the penultimate heat.    Setting the pace from an inside draw over the mile and a quarter with favourite Meadowbranch DJ parked and Brywinsmagicpotion in the trail, he drew clear in the home straight to a four length win from Brywins with five lengths back to DJ, making it three track records from three Inter heats in the process.   Three different winners from Ireland, England and now Scotland have made the series truly international.   Disappointingly Astounding can’t win the series as he had no luck in his first heat and didn’t go to Portmarnock last week, but he’ll keep things interesting for Brywinsmagicpotion (20) and Meadowbranch DJ (18) as only two points separate them going into next Sunday’s mile and a half final heat at the big Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend in Ireland.   Points are 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 in order of finish and the UK/Ireland Interdom committee will early this week  rule on what happens if the final points are tied.   At stake is a place in the $1.5 million Inter Dominion series at Gloucester Park Perth in late November and early December.   By Bill Hutchison  

Aberystwyth, Wales - Last weekend’s two day Ceredrotian meeting at Aberystwyth was highlighted by the scintillating victory of Irish raider Sepia Sands in the Park Lodge Classic in what was an all Irish trifecta.   On a rain affected track, he followed a hollow heat win to garner the first prize of $4,000 when too good for Brywins Picasso and the other John and Geoff Dunne runner Porterstown Road.   Sepia Sands who was luckless in the first Inter Dominion heat at York a week earlier, will provide strong opposition to Meadowbranch DJ and company in the sprint heat at Portmarnock in a couple of week’s time.   UK’s favourite Free For Aller, Stoneriggs Mystery, made it two on end with his tough effort and Mick Lord has this fellow back to his very best.   Other highlights came from Jessies Conquest, who made it two from two when winning the 2YO race, promising to be up there with the best fillies we have seen; and Imjustalittleguy for the Richards - Walker and Haythornthwaite, who took out the Saturday handicap final.   by Bill Hutchison

An amazing and action packed day at York on Saturday was highlighted by a ten length win by Irish star Meadowbranch DJ (John Richardson for Mark and Willie Flanagan) in the first heat of Australia’s Inter Dominion, where the time of 3.00.8 broke the long standing British record for a mile and a half by three seconds. The winner assumed the lead after a 27.8 opening stanza, ran through the mile in 1.59.4 and in the final lap shot clear of his floundering harness racing rivals. A luckless Brywinsmagicpotion shook clear of traffic late to grab second place from stablemate of the winner Meadowbranch Romeo who led out then took the trail. Outside of the winner Saunders Mach 3 was the run of the race as he sat three wide for the last five furlongs (1000 metres) and was a whisker off the placegetters. The second heat of the series will be conducted at Dublin’s Portmarnock circuit on Sunday July 26. The other highlight of the day was top three year old Titanium’s heat and final victory in the York 3YO Championship – he set a new British record of 1.56.8 for his age group early in the day, then eclipsed that mark with a 1.56.4 clocking in the final, ending Rewrite History’s unbeaten streak of seven when comfortably holding off his late charge. Scottish gelding Robhall was an outsider when outfinishing UK’s best four year olds in a blanket finish to win the York 4YO Championship in a day of class pacing and trotting that will be well remembered. By Bill Hutchison Chris Berry presents York Harness Racing   BHRC presents "Come Harness Racing"

Ten of Britain and Ireland’s top pacers front up at York on Saturday for a history making mile and a half heat of the Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championships . After two heats at York and at Dublin’s Portmarnock track (both half mile circuits), the leading point scorer will be invited to Perth Australia and contest the Inter Dominion series to be raced over four nights from November 27 to December 13. The ten pacers to contest the UK/Ireland series are: ASTOUNDING  A Scottish winner of 24 races who is a speedy customer but would need to draw well to have an impact. BRYWINSMAGICPOTION The winner of 17 races and to be driven by Alan Haythornthwaite who represented UK in Australia’s World Driving Championships in 1999, this fellow finished last season in great fashion and will be improved by four luckless runs this term. The English representative, he is one of the top chances. MEADOWBRANCH JOSH Welsh owned and trained and a flyer from the gate, he’s the winner of 23 races and has been an early season standout. The current form horse, he’ll be hard to run down in the sprint heat but unless he settles, may be a query over the longer trips. SAUNDERS MACH 3 Another from Wales, he won eight of nine last season, will be improved by his first up Wolverhampton run a fortnight ago and looms as a major contender. WELLFIELD OFFICIAL A third Welsh representative, he’s a lightly raced and will be improved by three luckless runs this term. MEADOWBRANCH DEMON From Ireland as are the subsequent runners, he’s a nine year old who’s prepped for this with three runs from impossible back marks. Keep this fellow safe! MEADOWBRANCH DJ Owned by Meadowbranch Stud and to be handled  by top driver John Richardson, this fellow is a multiple FFA winner who’s been set for the series and will be improved by recent racing. MEADOWBRANCH ROMEO A stablemate of Meadowbranch DJ, he won last season’s Famous Musselburgh Pace from a back mark. Another who’s been racing from long handicaps, he will be cherry ripe for his return to the front. RHYDS DESTINY Now with British trainer Sally Teeboon, this winner of over 25 races including last season’s All-Ireland Classic  prepared for this with a disappointing recent effort at Wolverhampton.  Expect big improvement. SEPIA SANDS At five and the youngest horse in the series, he’s  a multiple classic winner who beat Meadowbranch DJ, Demon and Romeo in fast time at Portmarnock when resuming.  He has to meet them at level marks this time but is well capable of beating all of them. Subsequent heats of the series are at Portmarnock over a mile on Sunday July 26, York on Saturday August 1 (mile and a quarter), with the big finale over a mile and a half at the huge Vincent Delaney weekend on Sunday August 9. From Bill Hutchison.

If you build it, they will come. Bringing together Victoria’s two biggest summer gems – the TAB Victoria Cup and the Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup – has resulted in what long-time harness racing pundits are describing as the greatest ever Victorian Cup field. Long-time trots form analyst and scribe Bill Hutchison remarked at the TAB Victoria Cup barrier draw this morning at Eynesbury Golf Club that: “Depth wise this is the best Victoria Cup field I’ve ever seen.” Master of Ceremonies, Adam Hamilton, agreed. “It’s definitely the best overall Victoria Cup field I’ve seen in my time,” Hamilton said. The Australasian harness racing world is abuzz ahead of the Group 1, $400,000 feature race to be run over 2240 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. The best from New Zealand, including three-time New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love, reigning NZ Cup champion mare Adore Me and Miracle Mile hero Christen Me, will be hoping to take the cup back across the ditch, but the Australian brigade – spearheaded by Tasmanian superstar Beautide and a three-pronged Emma Stewart attack – Guaranteed, Philadelphia Man and Restrepo – will provide fierce resistance. “This race won’t be for the fainthearted,” said champion reinsman Gavin Lang, who is expected to pilot Guaranteed on Saturday night. Impressive five-year-old Lennytheshark, who took all before him as a four-year-old last season, drew the coveted pole for the Victoria Cup. Drawn alongside the David Aiken trained runner will be Geoff Webster’s last-start Shepparton Cup winner, Franco Ledger, who stunned Philadelphia Man and Lennytheshark to win last weekend. The race favourite, and a heavily backed one at that, is Beautide from gate three for trainer/driver James Rattray. Beautide hasn’t raced since finishing second to Christen Me in November’s Miracle Mile but has trialled impressively in recent times. Trainer Amanda Grieve drew gate five with her Ballarat Pacing Cup winner Im Corzin Terror. Grieve also has Chilli Palmer, the first emergency, in the race, who drew gate eight. Cran Dalgety’s superstar Kiwi Christen Me will come from gate six, while Terror To Love and Ricky May will be hoping to emulate their Cranbourne Cup win from December but will have to overcome a barrier seven draw here. West Australian star David Hercules comes out of nine, drawn to trail through nicely on the back of Franco Ledger for Victoria Cup winning reinswoman Kate Gath. Guaranteed and Gavin Lang have drawn gate 10, reigning Victoria Cup winner For A Reason is coming out of 11, superstar New Zealand mare Adore Me is in gate 12 and last-start Hamilton Pacing Cup winner Restrepo rounds out the field in gate 13. The trots world will pause for the big race at 9.32pm on Saturday.  Race 7 TAB VICTORIA CUP (GROUP 1) 9:32 PM  M0 Or Better. * The winner of the following races in 2014 will be exempt from ballot for this race - New Zealand Free For All, Miracle Mile, Cranbourne Pacing Cup and Ballarat Pacing Cup. * This race is a leg of the Pacers Grand Circuit. * Acceptance Fee - $2, 000. * Stakemoney of $3, 375 per horse to be paid to the 6th to 12th placegetters respectively. TRAINERS NOTE: * Nominations for this race close at Noon on Friday, December 19. * Late nominations for this race close at Noon on Monday, January 19. A late nomination fee of $2, 000 will be applicable. RBD. Prizemoney: $400,000 2240 METRES 2ND LEG DAILY DOUBLE, 3RD LEG QUADDIE, 5TH LEG BIG6 MOBILE START   Form Horse Trainer Other Eng. Driver   Class  Hcp 1 111s3 LENNYTHESHARK  D Aiken   Chris Alford   C10 M4  FR1 2 89151 FRANCO LEDGER NZ  G F Webster   Geoff Webster   C20 M14  FR2 3 4112s BEAUTIDE  J R Rattray   James Rattray   C37 M13  FR3 4 11112 PHILADELPHIA MAN  E J Stewart   Gavin Lang   C13 M4  FR4 5 61264 IM CORZIN TERROR NZ  A J Grieve       C16 M9  FR5 6 51121 CHRISTEN ME NZ  C T Dalgety   Dexter Dunn   C22 M14  FR6 7 44412 TERROR TO LOVE NZ  G T Court   Ricky May   C27 M21  FR7  ---------- Second Row ----------  8 020s3 CHILLI PALMER NZ (Em 1)  A J Grieve Balarat 30/01/2015     C9 M5  SR- 9 s1112 DAVID HERCULES  D A Thompson   Kate Gath   C33 M23  SR1 10 11231 GUARANTEED  E J Stewart   Gavin Lang   C16 M6  SR2 11 35177 FOR A REASON  B J McCarthy   Luke McCarthy   C20 M9  SR3 12 12111 ADORE ME NZ  M Purdon   Mark Purdon   C22 M12  SR4 13 s4421 RESTREPO  E J Stewart   Gavin Lang   C12 M5  SR5 BY CODY WINNELL 

Coming off the back of what was an outstanding Breeders Crown series, it’s hard to envisage the momentum could keep on rolling but that’s just what happened when fields were released for Tabcorp Park Melton this Friday. The night, which will double as a tribute to the recently retired trotting legend Bill Hutchison, has drawn together stellar fields in the main events on the card. The Minuteman Free For All will hold much of the focus with the racetrack return of both Smoken Up and Melpark Major. Both champions of the sport, they have been on the sidelines since January and February of this year and each has trialled to be ready for the contest where they will take on Bitobliss. Melpark Major won the day at the barrier draw being the only one of the trio to draw the front row and he’ll start from three outside of Toulouse Lautrec and Wartime Sweetheart. Neither Smoken Up nor Bitobliss would have been pleased the marbles they drew, having to start from 12 and 13 respectively. It does however set the scene for an action packed race over the 2240-metre trip. The trio of stars have met in a race on three occasions with each having finished ahead of the other two once. Smoken Up will be coming off two trials this preparation following an untimely end to his last campaign from niggling issues after his brave Ballarat Cup fourth. Melpark Major has been around in the very same trials and has finished off strongly on both occasions without being tested. The last of the three, Bitobliss, has already had one run this time around and it was a slashing second when coming from the rear in the Our Maestro Free For All back in late July. Although he had to battle a minor cold, Scott Stewart has the two-time Kilmore Cup winner back on track now. The night will also be supported by the VHRSC 3YO Cup which has drawn together an exciting field of horses who will be leaving their classic year behind when the month draws to a close. One last throw at the stumps it might be, but with Chilli Palmer, No Tomorrow, Hilltop Hustler, Nowitzki and Ginger Bliss all engaged, it promises to be one of the best races on the night. For all of the fields and form for this Friday, simply click here. Harness Racing Victoria  

It’s official – the very first Goodform Faceoff will see industry identities Jason Bonnington and Bill Hutchison go head-to-head in the monster of all punters club challenges. The pair will be searching for patrons to join their team in the hope of out-punting their opposite number in a promotion that will get the entire on-course crowd involved. That’s just one of a number of attractions on the night that would be enough to get any sports lovers heart racing. The Goodform Sportsman’s panel will bring RSN and Sky Racing’s Shane Anderson to town, along with TAB’s Jaimee Rogers, where they will mingle with the crowd and talk all things racing with Hutchison and Bonnington. Be sure to get to the track early though because the club are offering up a complimentary race book and betting voucher for the first 500 paying adults through the gates this weekend with entry only $8 and kids under 18 free. There will also be a free bus from Melbourne (Junction Hotel, Moonee Ponds) to Melton and then on to Ballarat in time for the first race. To book call the club on (03) 5335 9041. One of the star attractions on the night will be the Ballarat Hot August Night competition. On a night which garnered strong support from the Napthine Government, the talent competition will give away over $10,000 in cash and prizes to winning contestants. Industry dining packages are available and owners who have a horse racing on the night will automatically receive free entry to the track and two drink vouchers to get the party started. For the kids there will be face painting and balloon artists to make it a night to remember. Those wanting to kick-on after the last are invited to the Flying Horse bistro located on site, where there will be live entertainment following the final event. Fields for the semi-finals will be released tomorrow however there is already an impressive list of Group 1 winners targeting the rich futurity series. For more details contact the Ballarat Trotting Club on 5335 9041, e-mail Paul O’Donnell at pod@ballarattrottingclub.com.au or visit www.ballarattrottingclub.com.au Harness Racing Victoria

An Introduction From The CEO Congratulations to the Maryborough Club on conducting another successful Redwood Carnival.  The quality of our current crop of young trotters has never been more evident than during the recent Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series and Redwood Carnival.  Bring on the Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown.   Stakes increases – 2013/14 The HRV Board has approved the budget for the 2013/14 season. HRV is projected to derive a profit in excess of $1.6m in 2013/14, which will be a similar result to the recently completed 2012/13 year. Included in the budget is a significant increase in stakemoney. It is proposed that stakes will increase by $2.5m for the year, from $33.5m up to $36m. As several of the rises are phased in during the year, the full year impact will equate to a rise of $3.9m, which will take the total up to $37.4m in 2014/15. For the full details of where the stakemoney rises apply click here. Brett Boyd HRV was pleased to announce recently the appointment of Brett Boyd to the position of General Manager Marketing. Brett commences with HRV on August 5. Brett’s experience stands him in good stead to make a positive impact on HRV, having spent several years in senior marketing roles with Tabcorp and the Australian Turf Club. In other changes to the marketing department, Jason Bonnington has moved into the senior form analyst role, recently vacated by Michael Polster who is now providing “TrotsTips” for his home state in Queensland. We are currently recruiting a harness industry enthusiast to fill the communications/form analysis role vacated by Jason. Coming Events Hutchy Tribute As we all know, Bill Hutchison retired from full time harness racing activities earlier this year. He has now returned from an overseas trip and ready to receive the accolades he deserves for a life time in the industry. HRV has dedicated the Friday night August 23 race meeting to Hutchy and will be hosting a “tribute” in the Toolern Room on that night. Bookings for the night can be made by contacting Courtney Thompson at Tabcorp Park on 03 8746 0631.  Buffet cost is $35 per person with drinks at bar prices. I am sure it will be an entertaining night! VHRMA Hall of Fame This is early advice that HRV, in conjunction with the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association, will once again stage the Hall of Fame night on Wednesday November 27 at Tabcorp Park Melton. This event grows in status every year. Apart from the Hall of Fame inductees, there will also be the announcement of the industry’s second “Legend”. Initial enquiries can be made via Bernadette Bensley from my office on 03 8378 0257. Industry Awards Night HRV is also re-introducing an awards night, to be held on Thursday September 12 at Tabcorp Park Melton. The night will be designed to recognise the achievements of industry participants during the 2012/13 season, which concludes on August 31. Awards will include Horse of the Year categories, training/driving premierships and milestones. Further information will be available in Harness Racer and on the website.   Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown To celebrate the return of the Breeders Crown Semi Finals to Ballarat a range of promotions will take place to entertain the expected large crowd and complement Australasia’s best pacing juveniles including: Goodform Sportman’s Panel featuring Shane Anderson, Jaimee Rogers, Hutchy and Bonners; Goodform Faceoff (punters club challenge), pitting Team Bonners against Team Hutchy.  Attendees on the night will get the chance to invest and support their team of choice; Complimentary racebook and betting voucher for all paying adults; Hot August Night Talent contest showcasing Ballarat’s best up and coming talent with over $10,000 in cash and prizes on offer; Free bus transport from selected locations; Free entry, drink and racebook for all owners with a horse engaged. For more details contact the Ballarat Trotting Club on 5335 9041 or visit ballarattrottingclub.com.au Trots Card The Trots Card came into effect on July 1, effectively replacing the Harness Card.  The Trots Card will provide holders with access to all Trot meetings in Victoria throughout 2013/14. All you have to do is purchase or renew a club membership package that is valued at $25 or more to be rewarded with all the benefits. In addition to the Trots Card many clubs will include significant other benefits such as membership raffles, discounted dining, member's nights and giveaways. The VHRSC will also include the Trots Card as a benefit of their Single and Family Membership Packages. Contact your local club for package prices and specific benefits for becoming a member. Click here to find your local Victorian club. The added bonus is that you won't have to renew your Trots Card specifically, members just need to renew their club package to get a new Trots Card. Renewal will be each July. The initiative is a joint effort of The Country Clubs Association, VHRSC and HRV and has enabled the industry to align the promotion with its consumer brand 'Hot To Trot'. For further information contact David Brick on davidbrick@avchrc.org.au or 03 8378 0276. Milestones Congratulations to the following HRV staff who have recently achieved long service milestones: Belinda Edwards ticked over 10 years on July 11, in reception and administrative roles; and Joe Ivisic also hit the 10 year mark in June, having served as manager at the Junction Tabaret and Tabcorp Park. Did You Know The French Tote (PMU) conducted win/place wagering on the recent Vicbred Trotters Final night. The PMU took the five Trotting Finals and held a total of $225,000 in win/place bets. Remarkably the PMU held $98,000 on the 4yo final, whereas the SuperTab held $70,000 on the same bet types.  

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