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Harness racing "Group One" winning reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick notched up 100 winners for the season at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday. The century of wins came about on Dieu De Lamour, which ironically pushed his earnings past $100,000 with the win too. Trained by Martin Herbert, it was Fitzpatrick's second win with the trotter. "Blake drove him extremely well," Herbert said. "The horse wore them down on the line and has been racing extremely well with not a lot of luck so it was nice to see him win. "I know Blake was excited . . . he has driven a lot of winners for me over the years." Unlike Fitzpatrick, Herbert has only trained one other trotter previously and that was 2011 NSW Oaks winner Our Dolly Would. Fitzpatrick, however, has been involved with many trotters and has experienced a lot of success with them particularly in recent years. He drove Keystone Del to many Group victories and has also trained many trot winners including Seven Secrets, Glenferrie Burn and Empire Bay in recent weeks. And it was the pacing bred Seven Secrets that opened the winning account for Fitzpatrick on Tuesday. At the time of writing, the Cawdor horseman had driven a treble at the meeting also winning with Lombo Yanky Invada, which is by Lombo Mandingo another horse Fitzpatrick had success with. It is the eighth time Fitzpatrick has driven a century of winners in a season. Amanda Rando

Harness racing trrack records were broken and dreams came true at yesterday's (Sunday's)  Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Regional Finals Day ($30,600 each race) at Newcastle Paceway. The Blake Fitzpatrick-trained Fun Magic Trix set the scene setting a new age record when taking out the Two-Year-Old Fillies Group Three Final. Leading throughout, the daughter of Artistic Fella clocked 1:55.9 to eclipse the record of 1:57.1 that her stablemate Shez Sugarsweet set at that track a month ago. "Fun Magic Trix has the ability but is still very green," Fitzpatrick said. "It was a great effort by her and she will have a spell now." The Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Final was won by Hez All Courage. Piloted by Chris Geary for Georges Plains mentor Bernie Hewitt, the son of Courage Under Fire rated a career best 1:57.7 to secure his second win in just eight starts. It did not take long for the next record to be set, as Pixies Parlour made her presence felt in the Three-Year-Old Fillies Final rating a slick 1:54.4. Driver Amanda Turnbull was unsure of how the race would unravel with Pixies Parlour drawn wide beginning from barrier nine. "She has drawn wide again and bad draws have been working against her of late but she has been racing well enough," Turnbull said before taking out the Group Three. The track remained fast for the following race, the Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Final as Si Nardore lived up to his $3.50 favouritism rating a personal best 1:54.9. In the Four-Year-Old Mares Final the well-bred Maudie Mombassa swooped down the middle of the track to win the feature, beating fellow Sydney-trained pacer Deadly Merrywood. And it was another Sydneysider that won the Four-Year-Old Entires and Geldings Final when Valoroso Hanover produced a dominate display clocking 1:54.1. The son of Kenneth J had the odds against him having raced at Tabcorp Park Menangle the night before and also being involved in a transport issue on the way to Newcastle. However, that was not enough to stop the gelding from causing a minor upset and winning by more than seven metres. AMANDA RANDO

Leading harness racing trainer-driver Blake Fitzpatrick is confident with the team he has in at Newcastle on Saturday night. The 33-year-old mentor has three horses nominated, which includes a two-pronged attack in a heat of Harness Breeders New South Wales Go Girlfriend Series. Headlining the charge is the former Victorian mare Helens Bonus who is well-graded for the heat. "Helens Bonus is a very underrated mare," Fitzpatrick said. "In the Breeders Challenge she had no luck and practically did not get a clear run. "Ability wise she is quite a smart mare and it wouldn't surprise me if she won on Saturday night even though she has drawn wide." Fitzpatrick's other runner in the heat is Annajodi who has not missed a place since racing in Australia. The New Zealand-bred mare has won three of her five starts on this side of the Tasman. "The owner Flora Robson purchased her from NZ and the mare has just been a real improver," Fitzpatrick said. "This will be her biggest test but based on her work this week she should put in a good race." Fitzpatrick's third runner on the night is Absolution. "He is a three-year-old taking on older horses but he is blessed with gatespeed and drawn one over the mile I think he will be a good chance," Fitzpatrick said. However, the Cawdor conditioner will not be at Newcastle to drive his team as he also has his trotter Glenferrie Burn engaged at Tabcorp Park Menangle that night. "She was also unlucky in the Breeders Challenge Final and probably should have won the race but was shuffled back with a bit of interference," he said. "I'm also driving Match In Heaven for Dad (Paul Fitzpatrick) and if he goes well he will head up to Queensland for the Derby next weekend." Amanda Rando

Several upsets at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday afternoon left harness racing punters reeling and history confirmed the average priced winner was more than $10 longer at any of the corresponding meetings since the track first opened in 2008. Menangle has always hosted a feature meeting on the final Sunday in June and with NSW Breeders Challenge finals conducted, favourites historically have performed well. Here are the statistics from previous years Year / No. of Races / No. of Successful Favs / Average Priced Winner 2008 / 9 / 4 / $7.22 2009 / 8 / 4 / $5.51 2010 / 8 / 4 / $4.51 2011 / 9 / 4 / $2.93 2012 / 10 / 4 / $7.15 2013 / 11 / 7 / $3.53 2014 / 11 / 4 / $7.07 2015 / 10 / 6 / $3.51 2016 / 11 / 1 / $17.34 The only favourite to win on Sunday was two year old trotter Empire Bay trained by Blake Fitzpatrick. Five odds-on favourites were beaten including Bacardi Hurricane ($1.70), Glenferrie Burn ($1.30), Ameretto ($1.30), Dont Think Twice ($1.70) and Lennytheshark ($1.40). Other beaten favourites include Heavens Trend ($2.00), Arma The Gun ($2.10), Three Of The Best ($2.60) and Spare Me Days ($3.80) while $2.90 equal favourites Jilliby Jagger and Lumos both suffered defeat in a heat of the Rising Stars. The only trainer to enjoy multiple winners at the meeting was Steve Turnbull who trained two year old gelding Conviction and four year old gelding Mouse In The House to win the respective Group 1 finals. Only one stallion sired two winners with Four Starzzz Shark the sire of Charlaval and Mouse In The House. The longest priced winner of the afternoon was two year old filly Shezallapples, she returned $91.20 for the win while another four winners were longer than $10 in the market. Greg Hayes

Honours and dollars were shared although there were hardly any great surprises after the three Group Two Trotters Finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle this afternoon. Harness Racing Trainer/Driver Blake Fitzpatrick kicked off the big Breeders Challenge Finals Day in typical fashion when he took Empire Bay to victory in the opening event, the Two-Year-Old Trotters Final. Sent out a prohibitive $1.50 favourite, Empire Bay was a comfortable winner over his only two rivals Shang Fang Sword and Nanas Eyes. While he was expected to dominate the trotters’ races, Fitzpatrick could only fill the minor places with his following two entries with Seven Secrets running fourth in the three-year-old final and short-priced favourite Glenferrie Burn leaving its run too late and ending up second with a late burst in the four and five-year-old Trotters’ Final. Zac Phillips guided Red Hot Tooth to victory to deny Fitzpatrick of making it two from two while Todd McCarthy held on from a fast-finishing Fitzpatrick with Glenferrie Burn in the third race. Fitzpatrick was delighted to draw first blood: “He (Empire Bay) went great, he’s been a really smart horse and he’s made mistakes in the wrong races,” he said. “His record really should be better than it is. “I was happy to follow Shang Fang Sword as my bloke has really good speed and he picked the leader up quickly and finished the race right off. “He’ll have a short break now and then head to Victoria for the Redwood and then the Breeders Crown.” The Three-Year-Old Trotters Final could almost be considered a Bathurst victory as Red Hot Tooth was bred by Geoff Bullock from Bathurst. He sent the horse to Kari Males, who trains out of Bolinda in Victoria but is originally a Bathurst girl. Young Victorian-based reinsman Zac Phillips, 20, caught a plane this morning to drive the horse and then headed straight back to drive at Shepparton tonight. “I’ve been up here a few times but this is the first time I’ve driven a winner here,” he grinned. “She’s been a revelation this horse and came down around six months ago. She wasn’t much to look at but has had six starts and kept improving. “Once she began to race the better horses she just acquitted herself well. “I thought I’d be hard to beat if could lead and we had such a great run I was really confident. “If she’s in front she runs her best races. “I think she could have gone quicker had she needed to. It’s a terrific story the owners are lovely people and it’s really good to see people win on a big day like today.” Michael Howard

The 2016 Racing Queensland UBET winter carnival is fast approaching and in the coming weeks, Queensland harness broadcaster Chris Barsby will profile a number of major players vying for the top prizes. With 18 Black Type races on the program for the 2016 Winter Carnival, the carnival’s pinnacle in 2016 is the Group 1 Blacks A Fake, which now boasts an impressive $200,000 in stakes. The carnival spans from May 28 to July 30. Here’s a profile featuring a talented three-year-old from south of the border that’s eyeing Derby success on July 16. Name: Match In Heaven Stable Name: Sparky Age: 3yo colt Owner: John Starr Trainer: Paul Fitzpatrick Driver: Blake Fitzpatrick Prizemoney: $91,034 Biggest win: 2016 Young Derby Target: Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Derby (July 16) Trainer says: “We’ve always liked him and hold him in high regard, from day one he’s shown natural ability and he’s building a nice record and we feel he will keep improving and make a nice older horse over time. He’s got good smarts about him and he’s very quick, his point to point speed is his biggest asset. Hopefully we can have some luck in the Queensland Derby because he’ll prove very competitive in any race he contests.” Barsby says: “A really nice pacer that’s been well looked after and managed throughout his career to date. He showed his class when he chased home Our Waikiki Beach last season in the Breeders Challenge when he was still quite raw and inexperienced. Possesses great speed and will prove very hard to beat if given any luck, the Queensland Derby looks an ideal target.”

Saturday night’s Harness Racing Group 2 New South Wales Trotters Oaks has attracted runners from New Zealand and Victoria leaving a small group of local fillies to repel the challenge.  The best hope of the NSW trained fillies looks to be the Blake Fitzpatrick trained Parisian Chic after she finished second behind Group 1 winner Bacardi Hurricane in the NSW Trotters Foundation Final last start. Parisian Chic finished second behind Saturday night’s favourite High Gait in last year’s Breeders Crown Final at Melton and Fitzpatrick believes he has more than one thing in his favour. “The extra distance is a real plus for my filly this Saturday night, the further they go the better for her because she is so tough and she is on her home track which is always a bonus,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think there is so much depth in this year’s Oaks, normally there is a standout or maybe two winning hopes but this year there are six or seven nice fillies in the race and any of them could win it with the right run.” Last year Fitzpatrick trained and drove Fiery Mountain Girl in the NSW Trotters Oaks.  The filly finished third behind My Arya and returned a week later to win the NSW Trotters Derby.  Fitzpatrick isn’t planning on Parisian Chic running in the NSW Derby this year and will instead concentrate on the Victoria Oaks. “At this stage Parisian Chic will miss the NSW Trotters Derby because I want to get her down to the Victoria Oaks and that race will be run at Melton on Friday June 3.” Meanwhile Fitzpatrick is suggesting punters give talented mare Edge Hill another chance in the Group 3 La Coocaracha this Saturday night.  The five year old mare last won a race in October last year but she will appreciate getting back over the mile. “She has always had the ability to run a very quick mile and she is definitely going to enjoy dropping back and racing mares.  Edge Hill has been racing against the boys of late and has found it harder but I think if everything goes right on Saturday night she can be right in the finish. “There is good depth in the race and a couple of handy trotting mares are engaged but she has proved in the past she can mix it with the good ones.” The third of Fitzpatrick’s trotters to race at Menangle on Saturday night will be Glenferrie Burn in the final event. “Glenferrie Burn looks really well graded.  She finished second in the Breeders Crown last season and has matured into a quality mare. “I guess the biggest factor is that she is a little one dimensional but if everything is run to suit her then she will take some holding out.” Greg Hayes

New South Wales Rising Stars defending champion Jack Trainor has offered up his position in this year's harness racing series to another junior driver. The 21-year-old admitted it was a tough decision to make and he has thoroughly enjoyed competing in the series over the past two years but believed it was the right thing to do. "Through participating in the Rising Stars I was able to meet a lot of people and it helped further my career as a driver," Trainor said. "I am fortunate enough to have been able to establish myself as a junior driver, I have a number of drives each week at different tracks and also get the opportunity to compete in some of the feature races in Sydney. I would like to see my spot given to a driver who is younger and would use the opportunity to further their career as I have been able to do in the past two years." Trainor confirmed his success in the series last year increased his number of opportunities and believes the quality of the drivers that have competed previously proves what a success the Rising Stars has been. "Amanda Turnbull, Robbie Morris, Lauren Panella and Chris Geary have all competed in the Rising Stars and they are some of the best drivers in NSW. The series gives young drivers from across NSW a chance to meet and compete with one another, it really is a grouse week. "In 2014 I represented the Newcastle region, last year I was selected to represent the metropolitan area and after winning the series it opened up a lot more opportunities for me." Recently Trainor has started working for Blake Fitzpatrick and is enjoying working with a number of quality trotters. "I have worked for stables before that have had one or two trotters but working for Blake is something different because he has a number of high quality trotters. It is something new for me and I really like it. "Working for Blake has also helped me with my driving because while you have to ask for his feedback he is always happy to give you some advice and he is one of the top of drivers in Australia." Ten drivers are selected to compete in the NSW Rising Stars series each year. The defending champion and a Western Australian representative are normally automatic selections with the remainder of the junior drivers picked from across the state. The list of drivers competing in this year's Rising Stars series will be announced later today. Greg Hayes

When Jess Prior won the J.C Caffyn Plate driving the Blake Fitzpatrick-trained Cilantro at Tabcorp Park Menangle earlier this month, the 25-year-old reinswoman enjoyed the biggest win of her career. Not only was the victory her first drive on the 1400 metre track but in winning the feature Prior became the first female driver to win the J.C Caffyn Plate (formerly known as the Michael Brown Planning Strategies Indigenous Drivers Invitational.) Race sponsor Michael Brown took the opportunity to visit the Blayney Carnival Of Cups meeting on Sunday to make a special presentation to Prior. "I think Jess was a little bit surprised with the special presentation at Blayney but she deserved it and what made it even more special was that there were some family members in attendance too," Brown said. "I got the opportunity to present the previous winners of the Indigenous Drivers Invitational with their respective J.C Caffyn Plates the day Jess won it but obviously it was going to take some time to get the plate for Jess engraved with her name." Brown is keen to see the J.C Caffyn Plate grow annually and will continue to support the race into the future. "Going back a few years I remember talking with John Dumesny who was the boss of Menangle at the time and we discussed the idea of creating a race that could get bigger and bigger. "A race like the Miracle Mile was born and grew from an idea and while the J.C Caffyn Plate is never going to rival the Miracle Mile I would like to see this race become an event that Indigenous Drivers can set their sights and aim at." Prior is keen to defend her title next year and is looking forward to the opportunity. "I told Michael I want to be part of it again next year, it was a big thrill to win it this year and it is something that I will never forget," Prior said. "It was great to be involved in the race and to receive a framed J.C Caffyn Plate is something that I will treasure forever." Greg Hayes

Harness racing trainer Amanda Turnbull is thrilled after snaring a couple of plum barriers for next Saturday’s Harness Jewels meeting at Ashburton. Turnbull’s four-year-old mare Just Cala, racing as Cala, has come up with barrier two in the 4YO Diamond, while Glenferrie Bronte has secured gate four in the 3YO Diamond for fillies. “We were pretty lucky with both of them,” Turnbull said. “I can’t wait now to get over there.” Partner Nathan Jack will drive Glenferrie Bronte and Turnbull will pilot Just Cala herself on Jewels Day. The news out of the barrier draws wasn’t as positive for connections of three-year-old gelding Burnaholeinmypocket, who pulled gate nine – outside the front line. “It’s not good news,” said trainer Andy Gath. “But it is what it is. We appreciate the opportunity to go over there and compete. It’ll still be a good experience for the horse and we'll all have a good time over there. “He can go around in a C1 heat in Victoria next week, which are run regularly, or he can go over there and run in the Jewels. … It’s a great opportunity.” Meanwhile, Blake Fitzpatrick-trained trotter Valerie has got barrier three in the 4YO Ruby Trot and Shane Tritton-trained Salty Robyn will start from barrier three for reinswoman Lauren Panella in the 2YO Emerald. Click here for Harness Jewels final fields CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Waldenburg looked to have a big harness racing career after his two-year-old season.  One of the top performers of his crop, son of Bettors Delight won a semi-final of the Breeders’ Crown before finishing second behind Three Over Three in the Final. As a three-year-old Waldenburg won the Simpson Memorial and was placed in the Victoria Derby, beating home Restrepo.  He qualified for another two Group One races that season, but after suffering a leg issue, was sent for a well-earned break.  As a four-year-old Waldenburg was back on the sidelines due to another a leg injury according to his trainer Blake Fitzpatrick.  “Waldenburg suffered an injury to his leg in a paddock accident after only a couple of runs back as a four-year-old, which was really disappointing,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’ve had him back in work for about five months this time and he is holding up really well. The leg is no longer an issue…he has had two trials back and I think he is ready to go back to the races.” Waldenburg trialled yesterday when he charged up on the back of dual Inter Dominion winner Beautide to hit the line full of running. “I was really happy with his trial this week,” Fitzpatrick said. “There was improvement from the first trial, so now I will look to put him into a race for M0 horses on Saturday week.” “He is only lightly-assessed at this stage and I think he will do a good job because I thought that there were some nice horses in his age group and he competed with them very strongly as a two-and three year-old.”     HRNSW Media

Harness racing trainer Owen Martin says seven-year-old Farmersntradies doesn’t owe him anything and whether the gelding ever gets back to his best or not doesn’t really matter. A previous Vicbred Super Series two-year-old heat winner, Farmersntradies (by Blissfull Hall out of Karamea Vedette) is also a three-time Menangle winner. But niggling health issues have scuppered the pacer time and again in his races, his Concongella (near Stawell in Victoria's west) trainer declaring the chestnut “too smart”. “As soon as he feels something coming on he doesn’t put in at all,” Martin, a former farmer and miner, said. “When you come to the 400 and the acid is right on, he doesn’t let down straightaway. And when he does they’re already long gone.” Farmersntradies hasn’t registered a race win since July 21, 2012, in Sydney with then trainer/driver Blake Fitzpatrick. Martin had sent his stable star to New South Wales where he hit a purple patch, winning three straight races across a four-week period – including two $22,000 events. “His last two runs with Blake he went shocking so I brought him home and he had some health issues," Martin said. “It’s been a fair job trying to turn it around.” But despite finishing sixth of 11 at Horsham last time out at odds of $112, Martin was pleased with his charge’s effort to be beaten only 7.7 metres by Hilltop Hustler, who it meets in Sunday’s Loddon Valley Stud Boort Pacing Cup. Hilltop Hustler will line up behind the 20-metre tape in the 2612-metre, $14,905 race, while Farmersntradies has the ace draw for Martin’s reinsman son-in-law, Michael Sullivan. Farmersntradies found the line well at Horsham and still seemingly had something under the hood as the field went past the post. “I think he’s sort of working his way back into form,” Martin said.“But I don’t think he’ll ever get back to his best form. I think I can get him back a bit closer to his best but I won’t knock him around; he’s been a fantastic horse to his owners.” Farmersntradies ran third in last year's Boort Pacing Cup behind winner and eventual Inter Dominion Grand Final placegetter, Flaming Flutter. Martin, whose daughter Anna is married to Sullivan, said the young reinsman was a great help at the stables and he was the reason the veteran trainer was still in the game. “Without him I probably wouldn’t still be doing it,” he said. “He loves the horses and he gets along good with Farmersntradies.” Eleven runners are engaged for Sunday’s Boort Pacing Cup, Cam Before The Storm, Turnpike Cruiser, Mista Styx, Smo, Gollahman, Ya Bowen Delight and Seven And A Half all joining Farmersntradies from scratch. Road To Rock and Hilltop Hustler will both start from 20m, while Narra Operative is the backmarker off 30m. The Haras Des Trotteurs Boort Trotters Cup sees a nine-horse field race over 2612m from the stand, with Sunset Invasion and Looks A Moral both off 10m, and Waikare Sun, Rumbustious, Wildenstein, Paris Pepperell, Cillas Earl, Theywannacallmesue and Gidah all off the front mark. The Boort Pacing Cup program kicks off at 1.18pm. HRV’s successful Trot Selfies competition will be run on the day, patrons invited to post their selfie to for a chance to win $1000 thanks to the TAB. Watch Farmersntradies finish third to Flaming Flutter at Boort last year. By Cody Winnell  

Fresh off his win in Saturday night's Wagga Pacers Cup, the Trevor White trained Hollywood Sign is set to compete in this Saturday night's Cordina Farms Young Pacing Cup. Hollywood Sign has gone to a new level this season and part owner and former trainer David White is enjoying watching him compete from the other side of the Tasman now that he is based in New Zealand. "I stayed up on Saturday night to watch him race at Wagga and I was very pleased to see him win, Trevor (White, trainer and David's uncle) has got him flying at the moment and I thought the effort was really good because he didn't get too much peace early," White said. "It is going to be harder again this week at Young by the looks of it but he is so much stronger this season, I'm thinking of making the trip back to Australia this weekend to watch him but I will just have to wait and see if I can get back as the weekend gets closer." Hollywood Sign went to the sales as a yearling for breeder Tim Phillips and after being passed in was offered to Trevor and David. "Trevor and I had gone to have a look at him at the sales and when he didn't sell I went and spoke to Tim and asked what he was going to do with him and he then offered Trevor and I the opportunity to lease him so we jumped at the opportunity." "A mate of mine Matt Peden was looking for a horse at the time too so we offered him a share in the horse and that's how it all started." When Hollywood Sign's career began in 2012, David was the trainer. "I trained him for the first year and a half, then when I moved to work with Blake Fitzpatrick he was transferred into Trevor's name, he came down and had a couple of runs at Menangle last year and I think that is the reason he has improved so much, those runs have toughened him up mentally." "He's the first horse I have owned and I'm really enjoying the ride we are having with him at the moment." David is currently enjoying his time working in New Zealand for Graham and Paul Court, the pair who train the three time NZ Cup winner Terror To Love. "I'm enjoying my time over here and have been able to learn a lot about training horses, I have also done a lot of farrier work too, it has been a very educational experience for me." "I haven't done a lot of driving over here but I knew that would be the case when I made the decision to come." David believes Hollywood Sign has improved fifteen or twenty metres this season under his uncle's training. "As a two year old he competed in some nice races but was always just a little bit below the best ones, he is a lot tougher now and I think he is ready to take on metropolitan racing again." "Trevor will make that decision but Hollywood Sign got grabbed late on a couple of occasions running 1:55.0 at Menangle last year, I think he will be able to go quicker than that now." Since resuming from a spell Hollywood Sign has won five of his six starts with his only defeat coming in the Albury Cup when he finished third. "It's been a good run and I'm hoping it can continue but this weekend will be his toughest test this campaign." Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

The barrier draw for Sunday’s Gr. 1 Trotters Standing Start over 3009 metres at Menangle was conducted this afternoon Monday the 23rd February.   1. MISS IN MAJORCA 2. KYVALLEY RAP 3. A LOAN AGAIN 4. KVINTET AVENGER 5. ZEDALITE 6. OUR OVERANOVA 7. LORD LIAM 8. KYVALLEY BLUR                     ODS 9. ON THUNDER ROAD              ODS 10. ALTA RIHANNAH                     RODS 11. IDLE LEA                                 RODS 12. SUPPER WALTZ WILSON        RODS 13. VINCENNES     (10M)              RODS The Trotters Gr. 1 event is one of the most open races on the afternoon according to TAB.COM.AU.  The favourite for the event when the market first opened was Lord Liam at $3.80.  The Blake Fitzpatrick trained Vincennes was the second pick in the market at $4.00. The Inter Dominion 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Greg Hayes Position: Media Coordinator Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email:

The markets for harness racings holy grail, the Interdominion were thrown into disarray when the reigning Grand Circuit champion Christen Me was scratched today, hours before his heat at Menangle. After his outstanding run for fourth in last Saturday nights Hunter Cup, trainer Cran Dalgety did mention that Christen Me was taking a while to get over the run and that he wished he had another week between runs as Christen Me was still a bit jaded mid week. Then of course throw in to the mix the fact that Christen Me had to make the trip from Melton in Victoria down to Menangle in New South Wales for tonights race and it was a tall order for Christen Me. However Christen Me was still on track to start tonight until he was brought in from his paddock today. Cran was very philosophical about todays events. " He has just brushed up an area on top of his hind quarters which we believe he has done in his paddock" "We very nearly started him, but opted out at the last minute." "Its just bad timing," Cran said. With Christen Me out of tonights heat the race now presents a perfect opportunity for Terror To Love to break his duck at Menangle. Coming off probably his worst lifetime run in last weekends Hunter Cup and with a new driver in Blake Fitzpatrick in the bike tonight, Terror To Love has plenty of question marks about his chances tonight but he is never going to get a better chance to grab that elusive first win at Menangle. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing trainer Nicole Molander received an early house warming present at Ballarat last night. Molander captured the V L Dullard Cup with outstanding trotter Keystone Del, with the win an ideal way to celebrate her move to Victoria. Molander and her family will exit New South Wales for their newly purchased Riddells Creek property on Friday. With the move – and her three children - keeping her busy, Molander’s husband, Dean, handled the racing side of the operation at Ballarat. “This is a great way to kick off the week we move down to Victoria,” Dean declared. “It’s going to be a busy time for us with the move, settling in and still racing.” Driven a treat by Blake Fitzpatrick, Keystone Del worked to the lead from his second row draw before accounting for Elegant Image and Stoned I Am. “I’m very happy with the way he went tonight,” Dean said. “You never want to go into a Group One too confident, but we felt he had their measure. “Blake has been fantastic with this horse. He was a handful when we first got him, but Blake has been patient and helped get the best out of him.’ Covering the last half in 56.9 seconds, the son of Dr Ronerail rated 1:59.2 for the 2200 metres to stretch his winning streak to 11. To be given “an easy week”, Keystone Del has been aimed at several key targets such as the Australian Grand Prix, Great Southern Star and Glenferrie Farm Challenge. The seven-year-old has won the first two editions of the Glenferrie Farm Challenge at Menangle. “There are plenty of good races ahead for him,” Dean said. “While they would all be great to win, it would be good to win the Glenferrie Farm Challenge for a third successive time.” PAUL COURTS

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