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Harness racing owner Kevin Riseley confirmed last week that Lennytheshark is out of Breeders Crown contention this year, owners preferring to give the classy four-year-old a spell before chasing summer riches. But Riseley and fellow connections of two-year-old Bettors Delight colt Kept Under Wraps have a serious live Crown chance after the Brent Lilley-trained youngster upstaged boom Sydneysider Birdy Mach in the $50,505 Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes for colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Kept Under Wraps, driven by Greg Sugars, raced one-out, one-back for the bulk of the journey while Birdy Mach ran along in front for Todd McCarthy in the 2240m race. The Sydney colt, which started $1.60 favourite after two blistering wins to start its career at Menangle, found the lead easily early with no one willing to challenge. This allowed last-start Vicbred Super Series winner Feeling Arty to dash to the death chair for Cameron Maggs, which gave the eventual winner cover in the running line. When Birdy Mach pinched a 10m lead coming off the back straight Sugars sent Kept Under Wraps out after him, while Iceobar, from the Brent Lilley yard with Mark Purdon in the spider, followed into the race stylishly. In the straight Birdy Mach led, Iceobar used the sprint lane and Kept Under Wraps came down the outside. Birdy Mach kept on kicking but Kept Under Wraps had more in the tank and nailed the early leader on the line to win by 1.1m, while Iceobar was a further 3.5m away in third place. The winning mile rate was 1:57.1 with a fourth quarter of 29.3secs and a last half of 58.3. Kept Under Wraps now boasts four wins from six starts. Kept Under Wraps The $50,505 Group 2 fillies’ Tatlow Stakes went to New Zealand star Katy Perry, who scored by 2.5m over Michael Stanley-trained Soho Tokyo, while Read About Lexy was third for Bernie Hewitt. Katy Perry, who started from the back row, whipped around the field early for reinsman Dexter Dunn before taking the lead and holding off all comers late. Katy Perry clocked a winning mile rate of 1:59.4 with a last half of 57.2. Katy Perry Earlier on the program Messini continued his dominance of the Victorian three-year-old ranks with a 5.5m win over Epaulette in the A Rocknroll Dance The Graduate. Despite starting from gate 13, Chris Alford guided the Brent Lilley-trained son of Art Major home in a mile rate of 1:56.5. Bettor Rock On remained unbeaten in five Australian runs with victory in Race 8, the Yeomans Slate and Stone Winter Championship Final for in-form father-son combo Ross and Greg Sugars. Bettor Rock On scored by 3.5m over the 1720m trip in a rate of 1:54.4 (last half 56.2) to defeat Essbee Doubleyou in second and Tandias Bromac in third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Australian trotters are getting faster every year as a result of smarter breeding and modern training techniques. And the fact the Group 1 Seelite Windows and Doors Group 1 Redwood Classic at Maryborough field gets better every year is a direct correlation to Australia’s burgeoning passion for the squaregaiter. David Aiken-trained Eljaykay Phoenix is the favourite for Sunday’s $50,505 two-year-old Classic despite a second-row draw (gate 10) in the stand-start race. The standing start will be relatively new to most of the runners, who have been contesting mobile-start races of late as they look to etch their names among the country’s leading juvenile trotting ranks in races such as the Vicbred Super Series. Eljaykay Phoenix won the colts and geldings’ Super Series final with panache, comfortably accounting for runner-up Illawong Helios and third placegetter Black Valley – both of whom he meets again on Sunday. Eljaykay Phoenix has won five out of six starts but interestingly his only defeat has come at his only stand-start race. New Zealand’s champion two-year-old trotter My Arya has drawn gate one on Sunday, the Brent Lilley-trained, Mark Purdon-driven daughter of Angus Hall out to follow in the footsteps of previous Redwood filly winners Lady Thor (1987), Truscott Dawn (1995), Lacey Truscott (1997), Petite Morley (1998), Jauriol (2004), Elusive Charm (2009), Maidstone Miss (2011) and Daenarys Targaryen (2013). My Arya comfortably won her Australian debut race at Melton’s Tabcorp Park last weekend off a 10m handicap in a stand-start race. Early money has come for New South Wales raider Twice As Much, which is unbeaten in two runs to date at Menangle and will be driven by gun reinsman Luke McCarthy. Twice As Much opened $12 and had shortened into $8 as of Thursday with TAB fixed odds. Andy Gath has two runners entered in this year’s Redwood, impressive last-start Super Series fillies’ winner Endsino, which has drawn gate eight and will be driven by Kate Gath, and Naked Majesty, which will start from gate five for John Caldow. “It’s a bit of a tricky draw for Endsino and being a filly taking on the boys is always a bit hard,” Gath said of Endsino, whose mother Jauriol is a past Redwood champion. “These races can be about being in the right place at the right time. If you trot the best on the day you’re always a chance. “Naked Majesty bombed the start last time but she went really good after that. If she gets away good, there’s probably not much between my two.” Trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan will start Illawong Armstrong in the Classic, the impressive gelding finishing second to Eljaykay Phoenix in the Super Series Final. Illawong Armstrong has won four of six starts and Quinlan has a huge opinion of him, but his manners can be a worry. If he trots, he’s a huge chance. The Redwood Classic is Race 5 on Saturday’s Maryborough program and is scheduled to start at 2.06pm. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

As brilliant as Birdy Mach might be, harness racing punters won’t be ignoring the undefeated Andy Gath-trained Burnaholeinmypocket in the Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes for 2YO colts and geldings on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. The son of Bettors Delight boasts impeccable form lines; beating subsequent Group 1 winners despite starting from awkward draws and working in the run at both his starts to date. Burnaholeinmypocket sprouted wings late in his debut race, beating Justbritell (winner of the Shakamaker Classic at Melton in March) by 1.9m and Feeling Arty (winner of the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series colts’ and geldings’ final) by 7.3m. At start number two, Burnaholeinmypocket drifted a long way back early from gate seven before getting caught three-wide with no cover on the last lap. Despite covering a stack of ground from the bell to the finish post, Burnaholeinmypocket still proved 1.7m too good for Waves Of Fire, who would go on to win the Group 1 Nursery Final at Albion Park in 1:58.4. “He’s pretty gifted,” Gath said of his fledgling gelding. Asked if gate one was a definite bonus, the Long Forest trainer responded: “Always”, adding: “He had the second row at his first start and then seven at his second. I think he’ll hold his own out of the gate. Whether or not he can hold out Birdy Mach, we’ll wait and see, but my bloke’s shown he’s very strong.” Birdy Mach is the likely thorn in Burnaholeinmypocket’s side; the Sydney colt unbeaten in two runs at Menangle and from the powerful Belinda McCarthy yard at Cobbitty. Such is the boom about the son of Mach Three that champion reinsman Luke McCarthy said on Tuesday: “He’s right up there with the best two-year-olds I’ve ever driven”. Birdy Mach has blitzed his rivals in two runs so far, and on debut last month he clocked a 1:53.8 mile rate (last half 55.7secs). Saturday’s Tatlow field is full of top-quality youngsters including Kept Under Wraps, winner of three of five starts and a member of the Brent Lilley team, David Aiken-trained Show Me The Bling, runner-up in his Vicbred Super Series semi-final and the final, and Feeling Arty, who provided trainer-driver Cameron Maggs with his maiden Group 1 success recently in the Super Series at Melton. Gath will line up Looks Like Heaven in the fillies’ Tatlow Stakes and, like her stable-mate in the boys’ section, she’s drawn sweetly. The daughter of Lombo Mandingo will begin from pole if emergency Bubbling Gypsy fails to gain a start. Looks Like Heaven won on debut at Kilmore before trekking north on a Bathurst Gold Tiara mission. She won her Tiara heat by 8.8m but galloped in the final and finished down the track. “She’s going through a growth spurt at the moment ... We’ll see how she goes on Saturday and make a decision on the Breeders Crown after that,” Gath said. Team McCarthy filly Smooth Showgirl resumes in this race from gate 12 after winning the Group 1 Nursery fillies’ final at Albion Park in May. Also off the back row will be highly rated Kiwi Katy Perry, to be steered by Dexter Dunn, and Michael Stanley’s exciting Soho Tokyo, who ran second beaten a head by Tricky Styx in the 2YO Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park last time out. Hamilton trainer David Lewis will line up Luvumum in the Tatlow, the daughter of Grinfromeartoear boasting a one-from-one record after a sensational debut win at Melton in the Sapling Stakes. Luvumum was backed into $1.70 before scoring by 15.2m over Viva Safari in 1:57.6 in the February race. She’s pretty good. Punters aren’t generally a forgiving lot, so one suspects Lovelist might be on the drift. The Emma Stewart-trained Always A Virgin filly was rolled in the Vicbred Super Series semi-final after being sent out a $1.20 pop and then was beaten 11.8m in the final. Her previous form (four wins from four starts) was solid. The Tatlow Stakes races will be Races 5 and 6 at 7.32pm and 8.05pm. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 19 July 2014 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 19 July 2014

Champion New South Wales mare Frith added the Harness Breeders (Vic) Jane Ellen to her list of feature race wins at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night. The six-time Group 1 winner found the lead comfortably from the 2240m start before controlling the race to score by 2.6m over runner-up The Good Times, with Broadways Best rocketing home for third. Frith, a Bruce Harpley-trained daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, has now won 26 from 35 race starts. Frith’s winning mile rate was 1:56.7. She finished with a last half-mile of 55.7 after splits of 29.8, 30.2, 27.6 and 28.1. Emma Stewart’s The Good Times was given a cushy run by Gavin Lang on the back of the favourite before using the sprint lane to run second. Chris Alford steered in-form Broadways Best into third, powering down the outside late to edge out Beauty Secret, which ran fourth, while Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling wound up fifth. Frith already boasts Group 1 victories in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria. She will be looking to add a second Breeders Crown success to her resume next month after taking out the three-year-old fillies’ title last year. Frith Father-son combination Ross and Greg Sugars won the first three races on Friday night’s program. Illawong Magic kicked off proceedings with a 3.7m win in the Granny Reilly Performance Mix Vicbred Trot. The seven-year-old gelding found the lead early and never looked like losing, pinching a break approaching the home bend before holding off David Van Ryn pair Paris Pepperell and Enjoy A Coldie in the home straight. The Sugars’ team then combined for success with Bettor Rock On in the first heat of the Tabcorp Park Melton Winter Championship. Punters who took the short odds for the son of Bettors Delight were surely sweating with 50m to go, as Bettor Rock On was taking forever to reel in Tandias Bromac. But the $1.10 shot poked his head in front just in time to win by the narrowest of margins. Bettor Rock On posted sectionals of 29.0, 29.9, 28.5 and 28.4, with his mile rate a slick 1:54.9. Mulgrave then made it three from three for Team Sugars, defeating Gotta Go Henry in the Alabar 3YO Pace Final over 2240m. Mulgrave won by 2.8m in a mile rate of 1:58.3. The in-form David Aiken stable absolutely dominated the Granny Reilly Sole Mate Mix Trot over 2240m, Thanesan defeating stable-mate Vics Cheval by 5.1m. Junior driver Josh Aiken, who drove his first Group 1 winner last weekend, steered the winner, while his father David drove the second horse over the line. Amanda Grieve and Chris Alford combined to win the Granny Reilly Perfect Pacer Pace over 2240m with Magical Telf, who scored a half-neck win over Teo Enteo. Long odds-on favourite Almost El Eagle took out heat two of the Winter Championship for Steve Duffy and John Caldow. Ginger Bliss made it a winning double for Josh Aiken with victory in the Granny Reilly Maintain Mix Pace over 1720m, the talented four-year-old clocking 1:55.3 to beat Exciteusinthecity by 1.2m. Ginger Bliss found the lead early and dictated terms before cranking things up in the last half-mile, with third and fourth splits of 27.7 and 27.9 for a 55.6 last half. Exciteusinthecity ran a bottler of a race for Tim McLean, while Washmepockets poked through for third for Haydon Gray. Our Twentyten showed he is right on song for the Trotters Derby with an 8.9m win in the Redwood Day 20 July 3YO Trot, the Brent Lilley-trained son of Muscles Yankee defeating runner-up One Over Da Moon and third placegetter Daenerys Targaryen. The last race on the card, the Book Now For Breeders Crown 2YO Trotters Handicap, saw Greg Sugars snare win number four for the night and gave Lilley a winning double when My Arya got the chocolates. My Arya was the only filly off 10m in the race, the daughter of Angus Hall stepping sweetly early and trotting perfectly throughout to score by 2.3m over debutant Shared Interest (Nathan Jack), who ran a crackerjack race on debut and will be winning soon, while Sheza Amason was about 20m away in third. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

New Zealand trotting breeders would have slept very well last night after watching the Kiwi breds dominate the trotting races at Tabcorp Park Melton. There were no Kiwis in the first trotting race of the night but from then on it became a bit of a Kiwi bred benefit with the New Zealand breds winning the other three trot races. First up for the Kiwis was Thanesan who capatalised on a soft trip early before sitting parked for the last lap and just getting home over stablemate Vics Cheval. Having just his second start for the Aiken stable, Thanesan trotted the 2240 in 2:47.5, a mile rate of 2:00.4 The next race to fall to the Kiwis was the three year old trot where the first four home all carried the NZ tag after their name with Twentyten an easy winner. The son of Muscles Yankee was brought out of the Mark Purdon barn by Brent Lilley on behalf of clients a few months ago and looks to have a big future in his adopted homeland. The former star New Zealand 3 year old completely dominated proceedings after finding the front after 300 meters even though Spidergrace was over racing outside him When Chris Alford let him go at the 400 meters, Twentyten quickly asserted his superiorty and won with a fair bit in reserve. One Over Da Moon ran on well without looking a winning chance for second and Daenerys Targaryen and Dieu De lamour rounded out the Kiwi first four. He trotted the 2240 meters in 2:49.3, a mile rate of 2:01.7 The race for two year old trotters was notable for the Australian debut of leading Kiwi 2 year old, Arya. The daughter of Angus Hall had been promient in all the major New Zealand stakes races this season for Mark Purdon and was sent to the Brent Lilley stable for a preparation aimed at the Breeders Crown in August. Handicapped off ten meters, Arya settled third early before being sent to the front with 1100 meters to go. Pressured in front by the Angus Hall debutant Shared Interest, Arya wasn't really let down in the straight with Greg Sugars hardly moving in the bike as comfortably held Shared Interset at bay. Arya trotted the 2240 meters in 3:01.3, a pedestrian mile rate of 2:09.7 although she did quicken up over the last half in 58.9 and quarter in 29. With her impeccable manners and speed, Arya looms as a genuine threat in the Breeders Crown. Harnesslink Media

The all conquering Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen training partnership are about to get serious with their assault on this years harness racing Breeders Crown. All up it looks like they will have seven representatives trying to qualify for finals day and everyone of them has the credentials to suggest they will get there. Two-year-old trotting fillies Arya and Wanna Play look taylor made for the two year old trotters division. Arya has impeccable manners and comes off a last start second in better than 1:57 in the Harness Jewels only to be disqualified post race, while Wanna Play is a brillaint stayer with a very high crusing speed. The two 2 year old pacing fillies in Supersonic Miss and Linda Lovegrace both look capable of carrying off the major prize on finals day. They finished first and second in the Harness Jewels in a tick over 1:54 and there was a lot of merit in both their runs. The super talented 2 year old, Follow The Stars looks very hard to hold out in the 2 year old colts and gelding division and he will have support in the form of Kept Under Wraps and Iceobar who would both have to have runners chances. The last of the stable's runners is Messini who has been racing out of the Brent Lilley barn during the recently completed Vicbred series which he went through undefeated with a stunning win in last Saturday night's final. Overall it is a very strong group who should acquit themselves really well. Arya - 7 starts for 3 wins and 3 placings for stakes of $36,788. Best time of 2:01.1 Wanna Play - 9 starts for  2 wis and 4 placings for stakes of 50,771 . Best time of 1:58.9  Supersonic Miss -  6 starts for 4 wins and 1 placing for stakes of $137,128.  Best time of 1:54.1 Linda Lovegrace - 8 starts for 3 wins and 4 placings for stakes of $122,789.  Best time of 1:54.4 pl Follow The Stars - 7 starts for 6 wins for stakes of $263,710. Best time of 1:53.8 Kept Under Wraps - 4 starts for 2 wins and 1 placing for stakes of $40,855. Best time of 1:57.2 Iceobar - 9 starts for 3 wins and 2 placings for stakes of $33,580.  Best time of 1:58.1 Messini - 24 starts for 10 wins and 7 placings for stakes of $207,306. Best m/r of 1:55.9  (2240m) Harnesslink media

Chris Alford has his second Group 1 in two nights thanks to Messini scoring a huge win in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO colts’ and geldings’ harness racing final tonight. The Brent Lilley-trained son of Art Major sprinted to the lead mid-race and was never going to lose once there, eventually scoring an 8.8m triumph over Major Crocker in a mile rate of 1:55.9. Both favourite (Messini at $2.70) and second-favourite (Hectorjayjay at $3.30) had drawn extreme barriers and tactics were always going to be hugely important, with Alford on Messini and Simone Walker on Hectorjayjay. Walker took off wide aboard her chance early in the piece and was made to work by Young Modern and Michael Stanley to get to the breeze. Eventually Stanley eased into the one-out-one-back position, and then Alford made his move, sending Messini off around the field and sprinting to the front without too much trouble. “Once we got to the front he was always going to be hard to beat,” Alford said. “This is a great little horse.” Messini drew right away to win by 8.8m over runner-up Major Crocker (Greg Sugars) and Smokey Quartz (David Miles) in third. Lilley was full of praise for legendary New Zealand trainer-driver Mark Purdon, who sent the horse to the Bolinda horseman. “He’s welcome to stay at my place as long as he wants,” Lilley said of Messini, which has won 10 of 24 starts. “I can’t take too much credit for him. Mark sent him over in great order.” Messini by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Lennytheshark looks to have a stranglehold on the harness racing Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO entires and geldings’ series after a commanding semi-final win. The David Aiken-trained rising superstar produced a stunning performance on Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton to obliterate his rivals in his semi, beating the second horse over the line, Valley Of Diamonds, by 13.7m. Reinsman Chris Alford took the son of Four Starzzz Shark to the lead midrace after initially easing to midfield early from his gate-six draw. Once in front, Lennytheshark was eyeballed by Smart Major until the home turn when Alford and the favourite broke the Forbes-trained pacer’s resistance. In the straight, Lennytheshark let down like a champion, putting daylight on a handy batch of four-year-olds for a memorable win in a mile rate of 1:58.5. While he has shown a tendency to lay out in the home straight in recent starts, Lennytheshark hasn’t had many horses to keep him company in the latter part of his races as they simply can’t keep up. The other 4YO boys’ semi-final was taken out by Lennytheshark’s arch enemy Guaranteed – considered by most punters to be the only horse capable of landing the knockout blow to the favourite in next Saturday night’s grand final. The Emma Stewart-trained son of Artsplace overhauled Ginger Bliss in the home straight for a 9.9m win in a mile rate of 1:58.2. Gavin Lang produced another typically masterful drive aboard the winner, extricating it from a four-back-the-pegs position early after the horse was shuffled back with no speed from its pole draw. From there, Lang got cover out three-wide before making a sharp run towards pacy Ginger Bliss on turning for home. Guaranteed packed too big a punch in the stretch, Ginger Bliss battling on strongly for second, with Three Pints snaring third. The eye-catcher from the race was Boyz Torque, which made up enormous ground along the inside in the last 100m to finish fourth. Diamond Castle – raced by Harness Racing Victoria ownership program Raceapacer – scored a 1.8m win over Missed By Red in a rate of 2:02.2 in the second semi-final for 2YO fillies. Trained and driven by David Miles, Diamond Castle was having just her second start after a debut second at Ballarat first-up. The daughter of Art Major settled well back in the field with $1.20 favourite Lovelist finding the lead comfortably. But at the business end the roles were reversed, with Diamond Castle finishing too well to get the win. Lovelist ran third. Talented Kari Males-trained Niki No No captured the other 2YO fillies’ semi-final, Greg Sugars steering the daughter of Sportswriter to victory. Niki No No did plenty of work early and recorded a winning mile rate of 1:59.8, with Yankee Showgirl second and Our Star Dust third. Courageousnquick scored an impressive start-to-finish win in the 4YO mares’ second semi-final, holding off Mcrita, Union Belle and the fast-finishing Pressplay in the home straight. Trained by Brent Lilley and driven by Kyle Marshall, Courageousnquick held out Earth Angel to find the lead at the start before seeing off all challengers in the home straight at the finish for a neck win in a rate of 2:00.4. The other 4YO mares’ semi went to Im Smouldering for Doreen trainer John Yeomans, who teamed with Gavin Lang. Im Smouldering’s winning margin was 2m and his mile rate 1:56.7. The 2YO colts and geldings’ semi-finals were taken out by Virgil Hilts at big odds for trainer-driver Lisa Miles and Major Invictus for trainer/driver Michael Stanley. Hectorjayjay (for the in-form Bill and Simone Walker team) and Messini (Brent Lilley and Chris Alford) took out the 3YO colts’ and geldings’ semis, while Berisari (Emma Stewart and Nathan Jack) and Tasmanian star Barynya (Dick Eaves and Rohan Hillier) won the 3YO fillies’ races. Friday night's races were held in windy conditions. Videos of all races are attached above. The Super Series grand final nights will be held this Friday (for the trotters) and Saturday (pacers). Twelve Group 1 races will be contested across the two-day carnival of meetings. by Cody Winnell

New Zealand two-year-old Iceobar proved too good for his seven rivals in the 2nd heat of the Vicbred Super Series for 2YO Colts & Geldings at Kilmore yesterday. The son of Courage Under Fire, who was trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen while in New Zealand, is being trained by Brent Lilley during the Vicbred Series. After working forward three-wide and eventually finding the front, Iceobar held out second favourite Show Me The Bling, before kicking strongly in the hands of Greg Sugars to pull away for 4.3 metre win. Show Me The Bling, who is a half-brother to Baby Bling and Bling It On, was game in second, while Virgil Hilts was a distant third. Both Iceobar and Show Me Bling were bred by Harvey Kaplan, giving the renowned breeder the Quinella in the race. Iceobar is owned by Natalie Rasmussen, Neil Piltcher, and Trevor Casey, who combined with Brent Lilley for success again in the following race with Crusader Acey. Purdon and Rasmussen will combined with Lilley again tonight when Messini contests a three-year-old heat of the Vicbred Series at Geelong.  By Mitchell Robertson  

New South Wales Derby winner Our Twentyten has drawn ideally for Friday night’s Group 2 VHRSC Holmfield at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. The Brent Lilley-trained gelding will start from gate two in the 1720m $30,275 mobile-start race, with NSW reinsman Luke McCarthy trekking south to take the reins. “That’s ideal,” Lilley said when told of the draw. “He’s come through the New South Wales run with flying colours. If anything he’ll be a bit sharper on Friday night.” Our Twentyten, a son of Muscles Yankee, gave nothing else a chance at Menangle over 2400m last start, posting early sectionals of 31.7 and 30.8 before coming home in 29.1 and 28.9 for a 14.8m win over Aldebaran Southland. Prior to that run his New Zealand form had been first-rate, including a win over eventual New Zealand Jewels champion King Denny and the smart One Over Da Moon on May 2. “I was confident he’d go good. His form in New Zealand had been top-class, so we were expecting big things and he didn’t let us down,” Lilley said of the NSW Derby run. “Luke is really keen to come down and drive again. We’ll be looking to punch forward from that draw.” Lilley also puts the polish on filly Daenerys Targaryen, who broke at the home corner when pulling out to make her run in the Glenferrie Farm Trotters Oaks at Melton’s Tabcorp Park last Friday night. “She was going to be right in the finish in the Oaks and when Chris pulled the plugs she jumped out of her gear. Chris thought she was definitely going to run first or second before she broke,” Lilley said. Daenerys Targaryen has drawn inside the back row on Friday night and will be driven by Greg Sugars. “The way the draws have fallen Our Twentyen should probably have the wood on Daenerys Targaryen,” Lilley said when asked to line up his runners. "Daenerys Targaryen should get a nice run somewhere along the pegs." Kialla-trained Spidergrace from the Laura Crossland stable has drawn pole for the Holmfield, Chris Alford’s flying gelding Miracle will start from gate three, Chris Lang’s improving Aldebaran Southland from four, Tatura’s Guiltless from five, Maiden Gully colt Asdenro from six, Bacchus Marsh gelding Drunken Maniac from seven, while One Over Da Moon will start from one off the fence on the second row for Chris Lang. One Over Da Moon has raced once in Australia, in the Breeders Crown 2YO Trotters Final, finishing 4.1m second to Im Stately, beating home Claudys Princess, Asdenro, Daenerys Garyen and Guiltless on that occasion. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

David Aiken has his stable firing on all cylinders. The Avenel harness racing trainer had four winners at Tabcorp Park Melton last night, with son Joshua Aiken steering three of them. Aiken, who leads the Victorian metropolitan trainers’ premiership by six wins, enjoyed success with in-form trotter Spidergirl in the Glenferrie Farm Kahdon Trot (Group 2) over 2240m with Chris Alford in the cart, before son Joshua drove Aiken's next three winners – Cold Major in the Dimattinas Restaurant Italian Cup over 2240m, rising star Elljaykay Phoenix in the 2240m Group 2 Blue Train Café Tatlow Stakes for 2YO Trotters, and Smudge Bromac in the Tabcorp Park Melton Claiming Pace over 1720m to finish the program. Eljaykay Phoenix looked pretty special winning the Tatlow, the son of Sundon sitting one off the fence outside the leader before kicking away for a 7.9m triumph in a mile rate of 2:03.6. Glintintheeye ran second for Brent Lilley and Chris Alford, while Endsino made up ground late to run third. Meanwhile, the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship Final over 2240m went to Cyrus, who left his rivals with achy breaky hearts – scoring a 14.4m triumph. Trained in Wallington by Neville Henderson, Cyrus’s driver Matthew Craven made his move midrace and ran to the lead before running the competition off its legs in a mile rate of 1:55.7. Must Be Nice finished second for Greg Sugars, while Three Pints was third for Alison Chisholm. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

EVERYONE seems to mistake her for a girl. That's easily done when your manners are usually better than the other "boys" anyway. Either way Victorian square-gaiter Spidergrace is ready to weave a magical 'web' around his rivals and capture Saturday night's $40,000 Bulli Harness Racing Club NSW Trotters Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Chasing his sixth successive win, Spidergrace appears to have come of age this term and even a disappointing outside draw (gate eight) might not be enough to prevent the son of Yankee Spider out of the mare Coral Grace (hence the name) taking out the Group One feature. Trainer-driver Laura Crossland has certainly ticked all the boxes with Spidergrace. She's had the three-year-old stabled nice and close to the track, at Jarrod Alchin's place only a few hundred metres from the track; She has given Spidergrace two starts at Menangle - for two wins - so he already knows the track and handles it with ease. And she has had the two drives there herself for a 100 per cent record - two from two - and she's hoping to add to that on Saturday night. Fellow Victorian Asdenro, staring down his seventh successive win for trainer David Van Ryn, appears a hurdle for Spidergrace. This pair has met four times in races in the past with the "score" standing at two apiece. Crossland is confident her stable star can do the job again on Saturday night. "He's super. RealIy, really good," she said. "I think the two trips up to Sydney have toughened him up mentally and given him just that bit extra, because he's really improved." And as for continually being mistaken for a filly, Crossland makes no excuses. "It is a funny name and if I had my time again I would probably call him Spiderman or something like that," she said. "When you're in a hurry to get a horse named you whack anything down." The wide drawn doesn't overly concern Crossland either. "I've never really asked him to get out of the gate as we've never had the good draws to make use of it," she said. "But he did get out really well against the fast class horses trotters here in a trial one night, so we know he can do it. Crossland admits she is also wary of New Zealand newcomer Our Twentyten, from the Brent Lilley stable and to be driven by star reinsman Luke McCarthy. Our Twentyten was placed in the New Zealand Northern Trotting Derby and has beaten New Zealand's best young trotters in the past. Lilley expects him to be more than competitive with the other Victorian visitors. Crossland agrees: "I've watched a few of the Kiwi trotter's runs as I thought he must be pretty good with the horses he's beaten over there," she said. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

The Aldebaran Park National Monte Series race is going right to the wire as the riders chase the grand first prize of a trip to Scandinavia courtesy of Aldebaran Park. With just two races to go, Haley Toulmin leads the way on 23 points, one point clear of Daryl Douglas after he finished third on Motu Young Jacob at Kilmore on Saturday night. Saturday’s race, the Ron Hocking Memorial Monte, was won by Sonofanearl for Brent Lilley and Riina Maattanen in a stunning exhibition of trotting under saddle. The next Monte will be held on Saturday, June 7, at Bendigo, with the series culminating at Kilmore on Saturday, June 21. Current Aldebaran Park National Monte Series standings with two races to go H Toulmin 23 D Douglas 22 N Marsing 9 P Hamblin 6 Y Lagarde 6 M Gee 5 M Campbell 4 M Crosby 4 HRV MEDIA   R Maattanen 4

Victorian harness racing trainer Brent Lilley will aim two of his rising trotting stars at the NSW Oaks and Derby in the coming weeks at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The former kiwi horseman had Daenerys Targaryen in this week's Oaks and despite not racing since December 2013 he is confident of a strong showing. "I was undecided on whether to nominate her but I was told they were looking for fillies for the Oaks and after my filly's strong performance at the trials last week I thought she would be up to it," Lilley said. "She trialled at Melton on May 12, she finished second behind Stunning Jasper but the margin between them was only a half head, she hit the line full or running which was good to see because she is coming back from a pulled muscle in her back." Daenerys Targaryen won the Redwood Classic at Maryborough last season when trained by Mark Purdon. "She has plenty of ability and to get her ready for this campaign she has been doing plenty of work on the treadmill and I have also had her doing plenty of swimming as well." "After the NSW Oaks I will concentrate on the Victoria Oaks as well." Stablemate and New Zealand Northern Trotting Derby placegetter Twentyten will be aimed at the NSW Trotting Derby. "He is a very talented trotter, he beat the best in New Zealand before he ran third in the Northern Derby and I think he is going to be very competitive in any race he competes in here in Australia." "He will go towards the Victorian Derby after he races in Sydney and then I will get him ready for the Breeders Crown so he has still got a few features to go before the end of the season." The Gr. 1 NSW Trotting Derby will be held on Saturday May 31 at Tabcorp Park Menangle. By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing  

Champion harness racing driver Dexter Dunn enjoyed a grand night with the squaregaiters at Alexandra Park, winning both of the Group features for the trotters on the eleven race card. Combining with ex-pat Kiwi trainer Brent Lilley, Dunn upset some of the more fancied runners with Twentyten in the Hutton Racing Stables Sires Stakes, winning at odds of $15.40. “The race panned out perfectly but he has won pretty easily on the end,” said Dunn, who positioned the Muscles Yankee three-year-old in the trail behind One Over Da Moon.  He then bursted up the inside when One Over Da Moon went ‘bush’ on the home bend to win comprehensively by 3 & ¼ lengths over Derby winner King Denny and the wayward One Over Da Moon. Twentyten, who was having his first start for Lilley and his new connections after being purchased out of the All Stars barn, has now won 4 of his 12 starts for stakes over $65,000. He will now compete in the Trotting Derby next week before rounding out his New Zealand season in the Harness Jewels. Unfortunately, North Island trotting talent, Tout Noir, who made a break at the 1100 metres, broke down in the event and will need operated on, meaning his season has come to a brutal end. Dunn then went on to win the Group 3 Greenlane Cup with the Kevin Townley trained Sheemon, adding further to the Rowe Cup puzzle next week. By Mitchell Robertson

Rodney Petroff admits he should have dug deeper into the Harness Racing New Zealand rule book before visiting this country for the first time in his 32 years. The Melton (Victoria)-based reinsman said his initiation into the New Zealand was one he wouldn’t forget in a hurry. Moments after the third annual running of the Group One Anzac Cup the hooter blew and there was an inquiry was into Petroff’s drive behind Australian trotter, Zedalite. Zedalite finished a nose second behind Superbowlcheerleader, but his placing wasn’t safe because the protest was lodged by David Butt who was driving the fourth placed Dr Hook. He alleged Zedalite interfered with Dr Hook by not racing straight over the concluding stages. The 5-year-old son of Zooma kept second but Petroff was then slapped with a $450 fine by the JCA (Judicial Control Authority) for overuse of the whip. “It’s totally different to what I’m used to. Racing the right-handed way around is a whole new ball game. I should have known the rules better. It’s a bit different over there to here. “You can get away with a quick elbow-wrist action here in Australia and in New Zealand that’s what I thought I was doing. But I think you count the number of flourishes here and they are not so much of a flick but more of a hitting action” Petroff said. He breached Rule number 869(2)(a) which states no horseman shall use his whip in an unnecessary, excessive, or improper manner. Whereas in Australia the whip rule states that excessive use comes into being if: Rule 156(4)(a) The tip of the whip is drawn back further than the driver’s shoulder (b) If the whip action involves more than a wrist and elbow action. (d) If the whip is used other than a flicking motion. “Obviously what I done was wrong and the rules have been enforced and I will abide by them. Like I said I should have known better,” Petroff stressed. Petroff arrived back in Australia the day after his little drama to drive his stable representatives, McRita and Antiquities into third and fourth respectively at Bendigo on Saturday night. But Anthony Butt will drive Zedalite in Friday's Group Three $30,000 Majestic Horse Floats Greenlane Cup. Petroff hopes to be back a week later for the Rowe Cup. “This trip is his first time away from home and he’s already acquitted himself extremely well. I’m looking forward to coming back because he’s a good standing start horse and even better over the 2700m than the 2200m. “Last week’s run showed he’s going to be very hard to beat – even from 30m behind. There’s nothing like experience,” Petroff said. Tweed Heads (NSW) born Petroff said Zedalite had developed into a much stronger horse every time he got behind him. He believed he would strip even fitter this week and then fitter again for the Rowe Cup the following Friday,” said Petroff. Petroff moved to Victoria 13 years ago. His family have long been involved in harness racing and his older brother Chris (35) is one of Queensland’s top drivers, having driven more than 1,000 winners. Petroff (Rod) drives for several trainers including Zedalite’s conditioner Brent Lilley. He also works a team of seven at the Melton track – the best of them being McArdle 4-year-old mare McRita, who has won five of her 29 starts and $31,667. As for Zedalite the bay gelding has now raced 70 times for 21 wins, 28 placings, and $223,256 in stakes. He’s won two of his seven starts over Friday’s 2700m standing start distance, and also placed twice. Zedalite is being cared for by Lilley’s partner Tracey Cullen in Cambridge. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

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