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At his 10th country cup start this season, Road To Rock won his second trophy.   The Keith Cotchin trained seven-year-old edged out Macho Comacho in a thrilling finish to Saturday night’s Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup – adding the victory to his feature race CV alongside his St Arnaud Cup triumph earlier this season.   The gelded son of Village Jasper/Diva La Diva ran to the front after Macho Comacho and Ardle McArdle both held interim leads early.   Ardle McArdle stepped strongly from seven to tackle early leader Macho Comacho out of three, working to the front when Macho Comacho galloped.   Macho Comacho (Chris Alford) quickly got back into stride and hooked off the markers to retake control at the head of affairs, Nathan Jack then seizing the initiative to grab the front aboard Road To Rock when Macho Comacho slowed, which pocketed Ardle McArdle (Amanda Turnbull) three-pegs.   Reigning Ararat Cup winner Savesomtimetodream with Jodi Quinlan aboard then made his move to work to the breeze, giving 2013 Ararat Cup winner Jukebox Music (Glenn Douglas) one-one cover.   Kotare Roland (Neil McCallum) was four-back the markers, Weallwantano (Matthew Craven) on his back, with Turnpike Cruiser (Zac Phillips), Hilltop Hustler (Michael Stanley) and Farmersntradies (Michael Sullivan) in the running line, while Narra Operative (Kerryn Manning) was second-last and Arber (Gavin Lang) made an uncharacteristic bad getaway and settled at the back of the field.   Road To Rock comfortably navigated the opening half of the last mile (31.4 and 30.4 for a 61.8 half) before Jack upped the ante when challenged by Savesomtimetodream down the back.   Road To Rock was still travelling well to the home turn though, shaking off the reigning champ’s challenge with a 28.8 third split.   In the home straight Macho Comacho angled into the sprint lane and charged hard, while Hilltop Hustler and Ardle McArdle were winding up out wide.   But the leader dug deep, Road To Rock holding off all the challengers to score a victory by a head over Macho Comacho, with Hilltop Hustler up for third beaten 3.5 metres.   The winner got home in 29.2 for a 2:02.9 mile rate (last half 58).   Ardle McArdle ran fourth while Kotare Roland showed he was working back into some kind of form with an eye-catching fifth beaten 7.5 metres.   Savesomtimetodream weakened out of the action late to finish sixth beaten 8.2 metres, with Weallwantano heading up the rest in seventh place.   Earlier in the evening father and son Neville and Clinton Welsh combined for victory in the Clive Reid Memorial Ararat Trotters Cup with consistent six-year-old Sundon/Wheels To Go gelding Wildenstein, who led and rated 2:07.2 for the 2570-metre trip.   Wildenstein defeated Death Defying by 3.3 metres with Maorisfavouritesun third.   Meanwhile, trainer Emma Stewart and reinsman Gavin Lang combined with Our Petite Soeur to take out the Angelique Club Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship (18th heat) by 2.3m over So Demanding with Graceful Affair third.   ROAD TO ROCK’S COUNTRY CUPS RECORD Ararat Cup 1st Echuca Cup 3rd Boort Cup 4th Wangaratta Cup 2nd Stawell Cup 2nd Gunbower Cup 2nd St Arnaud Cup 1st Maryborough Cup 6th Kilmore Cup 8th Swan Hill Cup 2nd   Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria    

Former Kiwi five year old Monarchy/Rob The Nest gelding Just Leave (Nathan Jack) was gigantic in winning the Betta Home Living Cohuna Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2190 metres at the Shepparton trots on Tuesday March 31.   Stepping cleanly from 20 metres to settle nice and handy with Kains Boy jumping straight to the front from barrier four before surrendering to the Kari Males trained Secret Kiss which started outside the front line, Just Leave went into a wild gallop shortly after the start appearing to put himself out of business.   Gradually making up the lost ground to be last in the running line at the bell, Just Leave trailed the 30 metre backmarker Just Call Me Earl forward three wide in the final circuit before making the home turn very wide.   Producing a brilliant turn of speed on straightening, Just Leave charged down the outside of the track to record a runaway 3 metre victory over the pacemaker in a mile rate of 2-05, with Kains Boy holding down third after a cosy trip.   Raced by former Kilmore trucking magnate Jack Knight, Just Leave trained at Avenel by Wayne Potter had recorded three wins since crossing the Tasman.   The wraps were huge on beautifully bred first starter Showgun Thomas in the Betta Home Living Mansfield 2-Y-0 Pace over 1690 metres, however the gelded son of Bettors Delight and Forest Charm could manage only third behind the all the way victor Casino Tommy.   Trained and driven by Kilmore’s Robbie Walters, John Street North/Casino Princess gelding Casino Tommy began brilliantly from gate three to lead throughout in a mile rate of 2-02.6, defeating Combined Interest from last by 2.5 metres. Showgun Thomas (one/one – three wide home turn) was a neck away in third place.   Local Lemnos trainer/driver Mark Pitt provided a shock result to the Betta Home Living Finley 3-Y-0 Pace over 2190 metres, when Village Jolt/Our Beebee Pocket gelding To The Rescue greeted the judge in a mile rate of 1-59.6 at Supertab odds of $38.60.   Leading out from the pole, To The Rescue was restrained to allow the heavily backed Three Mugs In (gate five) to take over giving him the run of the race.   Using the sprint lane, To The Rescue finished best to score by a head from a death-seating Yankee Strutter, with Three Mugs In 2.7 metres away in third place.   Shepparton (Lemnos) partners Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack combined to land the Betta Home Living Echua Eureka Series (Heat 4) for C0 class over 2190 metres with Lis Mara/Gee Cam five year old entire Last Issue.   Pushing through from gate three on the second line to receive a lovely one/one passage, Jack not happy with the tempo sent Last Issue forward to take over from Blazing Orion at the bell and was never headed, winning by an easy 14.8 metres in advance of Tragic (three back the markers) and Blazing Orion which trailed the winner after crossing Ok Why Me prior to the bell. The mile rate 1-59.1.   Four year old Real Desire/Live Love Laugh gelding Hazpazzaz brought up two wins in a row when successful in the Betta Home Living Seymour Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1690 metres in a brilliant rate of 1-55.   Trained at Sunbury by Justin Livingstone for the Livingstone family, Hazpazzaz driven by Brian Gath starting from the extreme draw spent most of the race at the rear of the field, with NSW visitor Peking Duck (David Moran for Kim Hillier) assuming control running into the first turn.   Still a “mile” off the leaders on turning, Happazzaz weaving in-between runners sprouted wings halfway up the running to blouse the pacemaker by a nose in a tricky finish, with Glenferrie College (one/four – five wide home turn) a half neck away in third place.   The Betta Home Living Deniliquin Pace Final for C1 class which qualified in the heats held the previous Thursday, went the way of heat winner Nothings Final for Undera trainer Glenn Freeman and Avenel based reinsman Mark Pitt.   Given a sweet trip one/one from gate two on the second line following the favourite Indiana Angel (gate two) also a heat winner which shadowed another heat winner in Magic Moment Lombo (gate three), Nothings Final was eased three wide on turning and ran home strongly to register a neck victory over a game Indiana Angel and Tennaya along the sprint lane off the back of the leader.   The  mile rate a slick 1-55.9.   A five year old gelded son of P B Bullville and Timid Lady, Nothings Final has fronted the starter on 52 occasions for 10 wins.   Bendigo (Junortoun) owner/trainer Gary Donaldson has a terrific percentage ratio and landed the Betta Home Living Kyabram Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2190 metres with consistent six year old Art Major/My Gentle Persuasion gelding Bazzas Art in a rate of 1-59.   Driven by Melton based Zac Phillips, Bazzas Art was eased to the tail of the field from gate six, with polemarker Philtra Phella leading out before being crossed by  Stormed Out, while the hot favourite Smo coming off a second in the recent Echuca Cup was trapped on a limb from gate five before going forward to join the pacemaker.   Gaining a beaut ride home three wide on the back of Riseandriseagain in the final circuit, Bazzas Art cruised up to Smo which had led on turning in the straight, before coasting to the wire 5.8 metres ahead of Forbidden Forest (one/one) after working out of gate four, with Smo weakening to finish 2 metres away in third place.   The mile rate 1-59.1.   Punters went home on a much needed happy note when smart Bettors Delight/Dont Answer That filly Morton Plains trained at Shelbourne (Bendigo) by Larry Eastman scored in the Betta Home Living Cobram Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres.   Driven by Chris Alford, Morton Plains a stablemate of Victoria Derby winner Menin Gate raced in the same interests was first up since mid-January and raced in the open from gate four throughout.   Surging past the leader Bright And Sonny approaching the home turn, Morton Plains ($1.70) although under pressure kept on giving and giving to the wire, scoring by a half head only  in 1-58.7 over Just Knew (one/two) and The Pix (one/three).   Len Baker - Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria

Sunday 22nd February 2015 - Three more heats in the 2015 World Driving Championship were run this evening at Newcastle, a large city 160 kilometres north of Sydney.  Famous for its coal, Newcastle is the largest coal exporting harbour in the world but tonight all of the attention focused on the ten international harness racing drivers competing at the Newcastle Paceway.  The track itself is 940 metres in circumference. Australia’s Chris Alford started the night in second position after a strong showing in heats one and two, and after a victory in the third heat he assumed top spot on the Championship leaderboard.  Driving Better Than Max, Alford won narrowly, arriving just in time to grab USA star Tim Tetrick and Kardashiancrusader.  Denmark’s Knud Monster finished third on Shez Juslika while Finland’s Mika Forss picked up some important Championship points when he finished fourth on Son Of A Star. Better Than Max Day 3 heat 3 Newcastle from Harbor Television Productions on Vimeo. Heat four was won by Frenchman Tony Le Beller driving The Merchant Banker.  Starting from barrier one, Le Beller pushed The Merchant Banker out early and held the lead despite being pressured by Red Raphael driven by Tim Tetrick.  Le Beller kicked away turning and won comfortably, second was Gee Tee Wage driven by Chris Alford while Norway’s Vidar Hop finished third driving The Puritan.  Spain’s Guillermo Adrover saved plenty of ground and finished fourth with Strawberry Courage. The Merchant Banker Day 3 heat 4 Newcastle from Harbor Television Productions on Vimeo. The fifth heat saw an aggressive drive from Finland’s Mika Forss as he pushed his horse Satu to the lead early despite drawing wide on the track.  After finding the front Forss rated Satu perfectly and was able to sneak away turning for home and held a margin to the finish line with Vidar Hop second on Heza Panamach.  Tim Tetrick finished third with Hangover Joe while Tony Le Beller was fourth on Rollon Baby Belle. Satu Day 3 heat 5 Newcastle from Harbor Television Productions on Vimeo.   Name Point Score After 5 Heats Chris Alford 52 Tim Tetrick 47 Mika Forss 43 Tony Le Beller 33 Guillermo Adrover 32 Vidar Hop 30 Jody Jamieson 29 Knud Monster 28 Dexter Dunn 19 Pierre Vercryusse 17 Peter McMullen Australia (travelling Reserve)   For all of the latest news and replays log onto https://Vimeo.com/channels/wdc15 Day 2 WDC 2015 from Harbor Television Productions on Vimeo. Canada’s Jody Jamieson won the first race at Newcastle tonight.  The race was not part of the World Driving Championship however he produced a great drive to score on Saint Stormy. The Championship will have a rest day on Monday and will then head to Wagga Wagga on Tuesday for another seven heats.  Wagga Wagga is 455 kilometres south of Sydney.  Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

Three more heats of the World Driving Championship were run at Newcastle this evening, with Aussie harness racing hero Chris Alford again producing some polished performances. Alford started the night in second position but after a victory in the third heat moved to the top of the leaderboard.  Driving Better Than Max, Alford won narrowly from USA star Tim Tetrick driving Kardashiancrusader. Denmark’s Knud Monster finished third with Shez Juslika, while Finland’s Mika Forss picked up some important points when fourth behind Son Of A Star. Frenchman Tony Le Beller, driving The Merchant Banker, captured heat four be leading throughout to score from Chris Alford and Norway’s Vidar Hop. The fifth heat saw an aggressive drive from Finland’s Mika Forss as he pushed Satu to the lead despite drawing wide on the track.  Forss scored from Vidar Hop, driving Heza Panamach, and Tetrick, who partnered Hangover Joe.   Name Point Score After 5 Heats Chris Alford 52 Tim Tetrick 47 Mika Forss 43 Tony Le Beller 33 Guillermo Adrover 32 Vidar Hop 30 Jody Jamieson 29 Knud Monster 28 Dexter Dunn 19 Pierre Vercryusse 17 Peter McMullen Australia (travelling Reserve) As a side note, Canada’s Jody Jamieson won the opening race, which was not part of the Championship. Jamieson produced a great drive to score with Saint Stormy. Championship participants will have a rest tomorrow before heading to Wagga Wagga on Tuesday for another seven heats.  Wagga Wagga is 455 kilometres south of Sydney. HRNSW Media

Victorian harness racing star Lennytheshark is officially the first qualifier for the Inter Dominion. Lennytheshark sealed his berth in the TAB.com.au sponsored Final be capturing the Melton heat just moments ago. The $750,000 Inter Dominion is scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 1. Driven by premier reinsman Chris Alford, the son of Four Starzzz Shark led throughout from barrier three to account for Flaming Flutter and Im Corzin Terror. Thrilled with the five-year-old’s performance, trainer David Aiken is confident Lennytheshark can make his presence felt in the Final. “A lot will come down to the draw, but he will prove more than competitive,” Aiken said. “After three runs back he is in top shape and will be spot on for the Final.” Lennytheshark is no stranger to top shelf glory at Menangle having captured the New South Wales Derby in 2013. PAUL COURTS

Birchip will be the place to be tonight after Menin Gate’s stunning harness racing VHRSC Victoria Derby success. The Larry Eastman trained son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Dreams Of Heaven won the early speed duel to find the lead in the 2240-metre race, driver Chris Alford spearing him to the pegs from gate six after pocket rocket Justbritell initially led. Race favourite Follow The Stars with Mark Purdon in the cart followed Alford across and settled second, with Artistic Flite one-one and Justbritell happy to grab the leader’s back. They stayed in that formation for the bulk of the race before Art Union commenced a run down the back straight. But Art Union’s forward move was short lived when that horse and Artistic Flite locked wheels, which cost both runners any winning hope and also inconvenienced plenty of others. Turning for home it was Menin Gate with a strong kick and Follow The Stars in hot pursuit. The pair battled tooth and nail in the stretch but Alford was able to lift a bit more out of a gutsy Menin Gate, the Birchip crew absolutely ecstatic and roaring with excitement as they won by 2.7m. Follow The Stars was gutsy but no match for the winner, while Spare Me Days finished third and Justbritell was consistent as usual in fourth. Menin Gate's mile rate was 1:56.2. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Premier Victorian reinsman Chris Alford has accepted the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s invitation to be the 2015 Gold Crown Honouree. Alford will be inducted into the ranks of the Gold Crown Honourees during this year’s Carnival at a Mayoral Dinner on Thursday, March 26. In making the announcement, Club President Mark Collins stated he is delighted Alford had accepted. “Chris Alford is an industry legend and so will sit comfortably within the ranks of our Gold Crown Honourees,” Collins declared. “Chris Alford is the most successful driver in Gold Crown history, having won nine of our big Finals, including two Gold Crowns, three Gold Tiaras, a Gold Chalice and three Gold Bracelets. “He has also won 100 plus races across Australia every year since 1993/94 as well as 12 Grand Circuit and 29 Group Ones, including the pinnacle event of harness racing – the Inter Dominion Final - with Golden Reign in 1995.” Collins pointed out there was more to Alford’s nomination than his on track success. “Following the diagnosis of his daughter Katie with Neurofibramotsis (NF), Chris and his wife Alison have been doing outstanding work in raising awareness of the condition and raising bucket loads of money for research into a cure,” Collins said. “We are absolutely delighted Chris Alford has accepted our invitation to be our Gold Crown Honouree. “His contribution to the industry as whole, this carnival in particular and the community at large ensures he sits very comfortably in those esteemed ranks.” BHRC Media

Champion reinsman Chris Alford has been selected to represent Australia at the 2015 World Drivers’ Championships in New South Wales. Alford won last season's Victorian Drivers’ Premiership with 291 wins, despite missing about six weeks with a broken collarbone. Nationally, Alford registered 298 victories to be crowned Australia's premier driver. “It’s a big thrill to be able to compete against the best drivers in the world,” Alford declared. “Last season was a very good season. I drove some really good horses and I don’t think it could have gone much better really.” Alford, 46, has driven more than 5300 winners in an illustrious career spanning 20 years. This will be his second time Alford has represented Australia, after 'donning' the Green and Gold in 1997. - HRV Media

Ballarat Cup winner Im Corzin Terror will head to Tasmania to contest Sunday’s $40,000 Tasmania Harness Racing Cup. Trainer Amanda Grieve said the seven-year-old’s Bray Raceway victory last Saturday night was “a surprise”, but added the geldings had been “going well”. “He had no luck at Cranbourne when he was making ground along inside,” Grieve said. “He was up to his right trip and he went really well on Saturday night.” With the Group One decimated by scratchings, Im Corzin Terror – driven by Chris Alford –worked to the lead early in the four-horse field. Given an easy time during the middle stages, the son of Western Terror sprinted home in a breathtaking 53.9 seconds, rating 1:59.7 for the 2710-metre trip. "It was a great drive," Greive declared. “We’ll go Tasmania at the weekend. Then he’ll defend his Bendigo Cup title before the Shepparton and Victoria Cups.” Thanks to his latest triumph, Im Corzin Terror is exempt from ballot in the Victoria Cup, which carries Grand Circuit status. “It just helps us plan his campaign out a bit and not worry about getting a start in the race,” Grieve said. HRV Media

Former VFL footballer Ricky McLean and his family took the harness racing honours when Broadway Classic won the first race on the new Warragul Pacing Bowl last Monday afternoon. A well known figure in harness racing over many years, McLean and his family own the seven-year-old gelding which led throughout in a fast mile rate of 1:58.9 one second outside the horse's previous best time on the much larger 1400 metre track at Menangle in Sydney, which indicates the quality of Warragul's refurbished course. Ricky, who played football for Carlton and Richmond in the 1970's, trained horses for some years but now his son Shannon prepares the family stable from their Gisborne property. Warragul property developer John Castle presented Ricky with a commemorative trophy after the event. Most races on the day were won by leaders, though this may be a reflection of the smaller fields and style of racing rather than the track itself. Most leaders were allowed to race along unchallenged in front in their events. Top reinsman Chris Alford showed what the new Warragul track is capable of in the last event, however, when he bought Balletto home with a fast finishing run to claim Stoned Again, which had led and stolen a break on the field turning for home. Balletto defied the trend of leaders and proved that if a horse is put into the race at the right time, they still can come from back in the field on the smaller track. Grande Anse and Jodis Choice were two impressive winners earlier in the day. Both horses showed improvement on their recent runs and should win further races. Local pacer Melton Little Max scored his eleventh win at start 211 for trainer Allan Preston and driver Tony Mallia in the sixth event. A much larger crowd than usual attended the meeting and witnessed Warragul Harness Racing Club life member Don Collins cut the ribbon to open the track before race one. Collins, in his 90's, part owned the brilliant Inter Dominion winning pacer Golden Reign in the 1990's. Important guests included the engineers and track design team responsible for the upgraded facility, along with re-elected Narracan MP Gary Blackwood, and Harness Racing Victoria Chairman Ken Latta and CEO John Anderson. Drivers praised the rebuild works and new surface, which was turned out in excellent condition by the track maintenance staff. Warragul races again on Monday afternoon, January 12.   Kyle Galley

Twelve of the best harness racing reinsmen in Australasia lined up this afternoon in Invercargill for the inaugural Trans Tasman driving challenge and no quarter was asked or given as bragging rights for the next twelve months were on the line. Chris Alford, Lance Justice, Greg Sugars and Kerryn Manning formed a strong team for the Australians and Justice was his usual confident self prior to the event. " I have a team of superstars who have probably won more races individually than all the Kiwis put together" he said. The North Island had a formidable lineup with Maurice McKendry, David Butcher, Peter Ferguson and Zac Butcher being a good combination of experience and youth. The South Island team also had talent to burn with Dexter Dunn joined by Ricky May, Blair Orange and Nathan Williamson who all having big seasons to this point. The points system was run on a 10 - 7 - 5 - 3 - 1 basis over the six races and that meant consistency was just as important as winning a heat. Lance Justice struck first for the Aussies in heat one while Manning and Alford also chimed in with wins  and Sugars a second but they didn't  trouble the scorer much in some heats. Their combined total after the six heats was 45 points with Chris Alford their highest points scorer with 16 from a win and two placings. The South Island team were in the points all afternoon but Ricky May was the only driver to record a win in the six races. Their combined total after six heats was 49 points with Dexter Dunn their highest points scorer with three thirds and 15 points. The two elder statesmen of the North Island team in Maurice McKendry and David Butcher showed their class throughout the day. David Butcher collected points in every race while Maurice had a win, two seconds and a third to lay the foundation for a winning total. Overall the North island team racked up 62 points for a comfortable win while Maurice Mckendry won the individual title on 29 points from his team mate David Butcher on 24 points. The whole day seemed to enjoyed by all the drivers involved and the Invercargill Harness Racing Club should be congratulated for bringing  todays event to fruition. Harnesslink Media - Check results here 

Harness racing driver Chris Alford is confident in-form mare Tandias Bromac will have no trouble handling the step up on class at Melton tomorrow night. The Amanda Grieve-trained pacer has won three of her last four outings, including a last-start 1:58.5 win in an M2-M4 at the same venue. Despite competing against the likes of fellow rising stars Maximan and Bettor Rock On, the five-year-old is ready for the acid test according to the premier reinsman. “It’s a good test for her, but she’s racing very well,” Alford said. “She won’t disgrace herself.” Early race favourite Keayang Cullen was scratched this morning, leaving Maximan a short-priced elect, but Alford said he would have preferred the Marg Lee-trained getting remaining in the field. “Keayang Cullen would probably have kept them rolling up front,” Alford said. “Tandias Bromac can come out of the gate well, but against this kind of class, she’s better driven a bit quieter, so it didn’t help that he got scratched.” HRV Media

Following a successful cameo appearance, promising harness racing youngster Spinners Boy is heading to the paddock. Brought back in work purely for the Empire Stallions Home Grown series, Spinners Boy accomplished his mission by capturing tonight’s Group Two Final at Tabcorp Park Melton at his second run from a spell. Spinners Boy was first-up in his heat when fourth behind Another Broadway before annexing the rich decider in impressive style. Pleased with the gelding’s performances, trainer Chris Alford will give Spinners Boy “four to six weeks off” before targeting features such as the Victoria Derby and Empire Vicbred Super Series. “He will go back to the paddock again now,” Alford said. “I’ll give him four to six weeks off, then bring him up slowly. “He’s only had three starts and has already shown he is above average. That said, I don’t want to push him. “If he is forward enough when the Derby comes around I will put him in a heat, otherwise we’ll just wait for the Sires’ a little further down the track. “We’ve taken our time with him so far, so no need to change that now.” With Alford in the sulky, Spinners Boy was lucky to avoid early trouble from his second row draw to settle towards the tail of the field as Abitgoingonhere led while being pressured by Shadow Of Fortune. Angled three-wide leaving the back straight, the son of American Ideal quickly sprinted to the lead before cruising to a soft eight-and-a-half metre win from Midnitedelite, with Upwardly a nose away third. “I thought he would go really well despite the draw,” Alford said. “Although well beaten in his heat he still went well considering he was first-up. “For a few days earlier in the week he was a bit flat, but he came good as the week progressed and was pretty sharp tonight.” Rating 1:56.6 for the 1720 metres, Spinners Boy covered the last half in 58.9 seconds to take his earnings to just over $35,000 for owners Katie and Sam – Alford’s kids! “I don’t think I’ve ever had better owners,” Alford said. “Win, lose or draw, the ‘sling’ is the same…a hug and kiss from both of them!” PAUL COURTS

Kialla trainer-driver David Moran enjoyed a winning double with two of his in-form pacers last night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Both The Baggy Green (a four-year-old mare by Art Major out of Lady Waratah) and Our Santa Catalina (a three-year-old filly by Rocknroll Hanover out of San Sophia) carried their strong Breeders Crown form into last night's meeting and both recorded strong victories. The Baggy Green, who ran second to Frith in the four-year-old mares’ Breeders Crown Final last time out, found the back of early leader Earth Angel last night used the sprint lane at the finish to wind up for a 2.3-metre victory in the Alabar Pace, Race 1, over 1720 metres. Earth Angel led for Josh Aiken with Isabelle Delacour (Jason Lee) parking in the breeze after a failed attack for the front. Glenferrie EJ (Jodi Quinlan) ran second after a sustained run three-wide, while Earth Angel boxed on gamely for third. The Baggy Green started at $2.20, kicking the night off on a winning note for punters. Moran’s second winner came up in Race 4, the Harness Breeders Vic 3YO Classic over 1720 metres. He drove Our Santa Catalina, who scored an upset win over last-start Group 1 winner Just Cala (Amanda Turnbull) by 1.8 metres, with Madison Louise (Chris Alford) third. With 1200 metres to go Moran and Our Santa Catalina eased three-wide from the one-out-one-back spot and moved to the breeze outside race leader Dazzling Arden. At this stage Turnbull had the $1.40 favourite Just Cala in last position. Down the back, though, Turnbull started her move, taking the Dennis Picker trained filly around the field three-wide. But the leaders quickened up with middle sectionals of 29.9 and 28.4, Just Cala forced to work hard for the bulk of the final lap. Once the field straightened up for the run to the judge, Our Santa Catalina shook off Dazzling Arden and then hit the line in a 27.8 final quarter. Just Cala simply didn’t have the firepower at the finish as Our Santa Catalina – who ran third in a Breeders Crown semi-final at Ballarat two starts back – showed enormous grit in the run to the line. Our Santa Catalina has now won seven of 20 starts. Leading reinsman Nathan Jack was the other driver to pick up a winning double last night, piloting Bad Habbott to a 2.7-metre triumph in the Home Timber and Hardware Melton 3YO Trot for trainer Russell Commens before finishing the program aboard Shared Interest, the Russell Jack trained gelded son of Angus Hall obliterating his rivals by 18.1 metres in the Haley Toulmin 2YO Trot over 1720 metres. Other winners on the card were Action Kosmos for Geoff Webster and Emmett Brosnan in the Tab.com.au Trot and Game We Play in the Empire Stallions 3YO Pace Final for trainer-driver Craig Turnbull, the son of Courage Under Fire too strong as the long odds-on favourite in the race Karkarooc who finished a well-beaten seventh. In-form mare Tandias Bromac won the Pet Rock Pace for trainer Amanda Grieve and driver Chris Alford while the Michael Stanley trained and driven Young Modern won the Woodlands Stud Pace over 1720 metres. Gumdrops won for trainer Steve Zammit and driver Rodney Petroff in the Breeders Crown Broodmare Noms Close 1 Sept Pace, and the Chris Lang trained and driven Lord Liam won the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap. The Victorian harness racing spotlight turns to Cranbourne tonight (Saturday) with the first of 11 races at 5.35pm. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racing participants are widely-regarded as being among the most generous and that status has been proven yet again. Less than a week out from the TAB.COM.AU Charity Day, a host of star reinsman have declared they will donate their earnings from a specified meeting towards the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. Chris Alford and Shayne Cramp (Victoria), Luke McCarthy (New South Wales), Peter McMullen (Queensland), Ricky Duggan (Tasmania), Clint and Gary Hall junior (Western Australia) and Ryan Hryhorec (South Australia) will all ‘sport’ the foundation’s racing silks at a program of their choice and will donate all earnings from the day to the cause. On top of that, several of Victoria’s leading concession drivers have also dipped into their pockets. Josh Aiken, Alex Ashwood, Josh Duggan, Haydon Gray and Zac Phillips have joined forces to make a donation. Each has “thrown in” $200, with the collective $1000 - a great compliment to the recent $5000 from James and Son and the $1000 from Arthur Fullwood. Thrilled with the Fab Five’s gesture, event organiser Robbie O’Connell stated the friendship between the talented reinsmen will end come game day. “It is a wonderful gesture from the five of them,” O’Connell said. “One top of their game fee, they have thrown in an extra $200. “They may have come together as a group for this, but they will split up into three teams on game day, so I’m sure white line fever will creep in. “No doubt they will enjoy revving each other up on the field and give the odd hip and shoulder for the sake of it.” Other industry identities to support the day include Alabar Bloodstock, which has covered the costs of the footballs and netballs as well as donating a service to Grinfromeartoear, which will be the headliner of a major raffle. A service to Union Guy donated by John Campbell is also in the mix, with connections of Red Samurai also chiming in with a service to the former handy trotter. There are also plenty of prizes for the non-breeders, including a 10 kilogram block of Cadbury chocolate, Bolinda Publishing Audio Books and a Myer voucher. Yirribee Stud has returned with mugs for the Most Valuable Player in each code, while Tabcorp is back as the football jumper sponsor and will supply jumpers for the four teams. The squads will be assembled from four districts – Melton (Go Blues), Ballarat, Shepparton and Bendigo. Other sponsors include Seelite Windows and Doors, Kevin Riseley, Allan McNeil and Glenn Sharp. A small fee of $50 for players and spectators (under 16 free) covers the costs of Sunday’s sausage sizzle, the games and the night’s function. Last year’s event raised $14,000, which is outstanding considering the foundation receives $18,000 from the government. Along with the fun and games, the function will also include a memorabilia auction. It was last year’s auction that proved to be the biggest money spinner for the cause. Paul Smart from Azuma International supplied the various pieces of memorabilia, which raised almost $8000 for the Chrildren's Tumour Foundation. Unlike 99.9 percent of auctions, Azuma International didn’t place a reserve on the items. For examples, a supplier will put a $500 reserve on a particular item, and should it sell for $550, the charity only receives $50! Azuma International, however, split the takings down the middle. Paul Courts    

It was a case of third time lucky for top harness racing mare Spidergirl in the Australasian Breeders’ Crown. Missing the Final as a two-year-old, Spidergirl then finished fourth in the three-year-old division won by Quite A Moment last season. Returning for another crack at Tabcorp Park Melton last Sunday, the David Aiken-trained trotter was simply a class above her rivals when driven by premier reinsman Chris Alford. Aiken is naturally stoked Spidergirl upstaged the ‘boys’ to cap off a tremendous campaign with a Group One win. “She has had a wonderful year and this just tops it off perfectly,” Aiken said. “She’s met and bettered every challenge we’ve set for her and I couldn’t be happier with the year she’s had. “She is just a terrific mare which gives her best every time she goes around.” Beginning swiftly to lead from the pole, Spidergirl was allowed to roll along as Blitzthemcalder worked in the ‘death seat’. Fending off the initial challenge on the home turn, the daughter of Yankee Spider proved too slick as she completed a two-metre win from Glenferrie Typhoon, which finished along the sprint lane. Blitzthemcalder battled on to be 10-and-a-half metres away third. “What can you say about her...she is just a great mare,” Aiken said. “The draw was in her favour today and she was good enough to take advantage of it.” Rating 1:58.7 for the 2240 metres, the squaregaiter covered the last half in 57.3 seconds. To be given a short spell, Spidergirl will be aimed at next season’s majors, with the Great Southern Star the primary target. “I’ll give her a bit of time off and have her back and ready for the main races around Christmas,” Aiken said. “Obviously we’d like to have her in the Great Southern Star, which she is guaranteed a place in, so we will work her campaign around that.” Owned by Kevin Riseley’s Sheron Park, Spidergirl extended her record to 19 wins and eight placings from 31 starts for earnings of $292,587. Paul Courts  

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