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Jovial Bill Milner of Kilmore is strictly a trainer only of square-gaiters these days - and loves every minute of it. "I'll have to be honest and say that a fair amount of patience is required with them at times, but I just keep poking along and mostly they are enjoyable," Milner said. And Bill's certainly enjoying a pleasant time in harness racing at the moment, with four-year-old Dellsun (Majestic Son-Auravale (Malhana Gindin USA) getting the job done in fine style. The gelding, nicely driven by master Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford, didn't put a foot wrong to take out the JDC Contractors Trotters Handicap at Shepparton last Tuesday night. Milner said the Shepparton circuit was quickly becoming one of his favorite tracks. "I seem to have a fair bit of success up there. Dellsun is an example because his previous victory was also at Shepparton a month ago," he said. "It's a nice easy drive from home so I'll keep racing there while our luck is in." Milner is hands-on with pretty much every aspect of the sport and does a great job with a small team. Not only does he breed all his stock, but breaks them in, does the farrier work and trains them. That virtually leaves only the driving side of it, but he says he's quite happy to watch from the other side of the fence. "I do enjoy the breaking-in part probably the most. There's a heap of satisfaction comes out of that and yes I suppose I do nearly everything myself," he said. "Over the many years I've been involved, I've learnt a hell of a lot from a great number of people. "I got started with Carl O'Dwyer when I was a teenager doing a farrier apprenticeship. Then later on when I was shoeing for greats like Vin Knight, Gordon Rothacker, Kevin Murray, Kevin Dixon and others, I would pick up more knowledge. "Early days another influential person was Frank Shinn. I remember we went off buying a horse each and mine was named Fair Baron. I was learning how to drive fastwork one day and nearly put Frank over the fence, which didn't go down all that well. "Fair Baron never won a race, but I'm certain the one Frank purchased turned out okay!" Milner now owns the property that belonged to Shinn. It's on nearly four acres and has a 400-metre track. He said he trained pacers years ago before changing his alliances to square gaiters. "Without doubt the best pacer I had would have been Vice Regal, who raced in the early 1990s," Milner said. Vice Regal (Vance Hanover USA-Pat Hanover NZ (Emory Hanover USA) finished his career with 14 wins and 24 placings for more than $74,000. After becoming a fully qualified farrier, Milner was employed by the Victoria Racing Club and worked at Seymour and Kilmore gallops meetings as well as some in Melbourne. "I used to help out with barrier duties as well and I'm still at it, nearly 50 years later," he said. Most of the Milner team go back to a daughter of Welcome Advice, Star Advice, a moderately performed race mare. However, in the breeding barn, she had six foals, including Auravale and Auravalley. Auravale, a five-race winner, had six foals with all winners, except one. Auravalley has produced three foals with the best being My Archie Way (4 wins) and Tetra (2 wins). Milner paid tribute to his success with his small team to supporter Kevin Dixon, "92 years young", who has held a licence for 76 years. "Kevin would only train two at a time back in the day, but he was very good at it. When the old Melbourne Showgrounds closed, he moved to Kilmore on a small acreage and he lives about five minutes from me," Milner said. "He has taught me a lot. He calls into my stables regularly and still attends all the meetings with me - he's a great mate."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

PUNTERS think champion driver Chris Alford’s 51st birthday will be extra special at Melton on Saturday night. Alford is perched on 99 Group 1 career wins after missing out reaching the ton with minor placings in the two Australian Gold finals at Albion Park last Saturday night. But his drive in Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queen of the Pacific at Melton – Tell Me Tales – has been smashed in from $2.60 to $1.85 favourite despite a back row draw (gate 11). And it just happens to coincide with the day Alford turns 51. “It all looks good, doesn’t it … home track, a mare I love, my birthday … I think she’s going to be very hard to beat,” Alford said. “The longer distance (2760m) will really suit her. She won so well a couple of weeks back and I watched her run last week and it was huge given the run she had. “I’m sure she’s the best mare in the race and she can make her own luck, which gives you so much confidence.” Tell Me Tales sat parked to brilliantly win the first leg of Victoria’s mares’ “triple crown” the 1720m Make Mine Cullen on May 4, then did a power of work when a fantastic third to stablemate Berisari in last week’s 2240m Angelique Club Pace at Melton. “The draw gives us a great chance of staying in front of Berisari and working forward from there. She drew well and controlled the race in front last week, the draws makes it a lot harder for her this time,” Alford said. In an astonishing example of trainer Emma Stewart’s dominance, she has five of the 12 runners, including three of the first four in betting. Her runners are: Tell Me Tales (gate 11, $1.85), Berisari (13, $5), Delight Me (three, $8.50), Pistol Abbey (four, $34) and Frankincense (two, $41). Alford actually has an outside chance of bringing up his 100th Group 1 win earlier in the night with veteran trotter Kyvalley Blur, who is a $10 shot of a 10m handicap in the $50,000 Australian Trotting Championship. Andy Gath’s former Kiwi trotter McLovin (barrier one, $2.80) is favourite from the rejuvenated Savannah Jay Jay (two, $3.20).   Adam Hamilton

One of world harness racing’s all-time greatest drivers Chris Alford will join RSN’s Matt Stewart for a one-hour special edition of Open Mic tomorrow from 9am. Alford is approaching 7000 career winners and is at the peak of his powers, over 100 winners clear this season on the national premiership with 268 victories from 1121 starts. The champion reinsman has driven 99 Group 1 winners and looks a huge chance to crack the century when Tell Me Tales lines up in Saturday night’s $100,000 Benstud Queen of the Pacific at Tabcorp Park Melton. Tune into RSN (927am or streamed at rsn.net.au) from 9am tomorrow as Stewart takes a trip down memory lane with the man they call “the Puppet”.   Cody Winnell

Experienced Melbourne harness racing trainer Shane Gallagher could be forgiven for thinking that his wife may just be the lucky charm he’s needed around horses.   Gallagher, who is head-trainer at the picturesque Doreen property Homestead Farm, owned by John and Christine Yeomans, has his wife Rachael Benns as owner of two square gaiters.   “I don’t know if it’s beginner’s luck or what it is, but the horses have seven wins between them, and they’re the first two that Rachael has ever owned,” Gallagher said.   “My wife has a love for buying shoes, so needless-to-say she has been adding to her collection with each racetrack victory - she will probably kill me, but there’s about 100 pairs in her collection.”   Six-year-old bay mare Whattalottafray (Armbro Invasion USA-Whatta Tussle (Brioso Hanover USA) gave Rachael another reason to go shopping with an all-the-way win at Maryborough on Thursday afternoon.   After beginning nicely from the standing start tapes, the mare assumed control in front and was then rated in typically brilliant fashion by master reinsman Chris Alford.   With comfortable splits of 31.2, 31.3, 28.6 and 29.6, Whattalottafray had an eight-metre advantage up her sleeve at the finish over Surbiton Armistice, and a further four metres back to Allens Delight.   Gallagher said he had put the trotter up for sale a few weeks ago. “I couldn’t believe it, but I didn’t get a single call. It was quite surprising, but perhaps I might get one now because she’s still on the market,” he said.   “I’m actually enjoying training a few trotters because I haven’t had any for many years.”   The other square gaiter in the Gallagher team is brilliant three-year-old Fear The Yankee (Yankee Spider USA-Whatta Tussle (Brioso Hanover USA), a half-sister to Whattalottafray.   Fear The Yankee has three wins and two placings for $79,000.   Her victories were in the $50,000 Platinum Home Grown Classic Group One final in May and then the $90,000 Super Series Group One final for trotting fillies two months later. On both occasions, Anthony Butt was the winning driver.   “A friend told me about Whattalottafray, suggesting it was well worth a try,” Gallagher said.   “Then we later had the chance to purchase Fear The Yankee so we’ve been a bit fortunate.   “I only work two at a time, while John (Yeomans), who I’ve been with for probably 30 years, usually has a few more with six or seven in training.”   Gallagher said all jokes aside, he didn’t have a problem with wife Rachael having a full rack of footwear.   “She is a big shoe buyer and providing her horses keep up their form, I haven’t got a problem in the world!”     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

He may have 6000 plus career wins on board and has driven 400 wins in a season......but that's not all !   Harness racing Hall Of Famer and Living Legend Chris Alford spoke with Anthony Logan ahead of his participation in the Invitation Drivers Championship on Labour Day Monday - March 11 at Horsham.   Your greatest strength & weakness – strength: staying focused under pressure - weakness: saying no A question you hate to answer: best horse driven Strangest thing you have ever eaten: something raw in Sweden, I don’t even know what it was! Your favourite and least fav. words: favourite word = yes & the least fav. = no Your hero: John Campbell (Legendary US reinsman, retired with 10,600+ winners, stakes $US299.9 million) If you were able to spend a day with a celebrity, who would it be ? Bradley Cooper (44yo American actor and filmmaker) Is your glass half full, half empty or simply has water in it? has water in it Your guilty pleasure food: licorice ice cream If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do ?  be an astrologist or archaeologist Your preference - crowds, small group or by yourself: small group if you could bring a famous person back to life, who would it be ? Falco (Austrian singer/song writer, died age 40, 1998) If you joined the circus, what would your act or role be ? the clown Last time you ran or jogged: I did the 16km Run for the Kids in 2011 & after that I never wanted to run again Bad habit: biting my nails   Anthony Logan

The most successful reinsman in Australian history thinks he might be better for the experience of driving at Menangle last Saturday night.  Which might sound a little strange considering Chris Alford has already won most of the great races at the NSW track, including the Miracle Mile.  Alford returns to Menangle this Saturday night for a fistful of top chances in group one races, all trained by his racing muse, Emma Stewart.  The pair combined for three wins last Saturday night and have Poster Boy (Miracle Mile), Centenario (NSW Derby), Tell Me Tales (Ladyship Mile) and Kualoa in the NSW Oaks.  And it is in the Derby that Alford says he should be better off for his outing last Saturday.  “I hadn’t driven in a 2400m race there for a while and I kinda forgot how much advantage the horses drawn wide of the track get.  “When you wind into the back straight you are only just straightening up when they let them go and that was one reason he got crossed at the start last week.  “But later in the night I drove a filly in an Oaks heat and was more awake to it and able to get her out better from the ace and that will be the case again this Saturday.” Centenario looked very at home around Menangle last Saturday, with his huge stride suited to the big track and if Alford is able to hold the lead early that gives him options, one of which could be then trailing Victoria Derby winner Muscle Factory. With that rival’s love of hard running and the fact it could have gaps appearing, Centenario sitting in the trail could be outstanding value even at the $2.60 with TAB.  Alford is not so sure what to make of the ace draw for Poster Boy in the Miracle Mile as so much will depend on the pressure from the outside.  “I would be happy enough to lead or trail the right horse, but I obviously won’t want to be trailing one of the roughies. And I don’t want to be going a 25-second first quarter.  “He can win but the early part will be interesting.” Alford won’t have to worry about inside draws with Kualoa in the Oaks and Tell Me Tales in the Ladyship, with their wide draws costing them favouritism but maybe not the race.  “They can both still win but their chances might depend on how the Purdon horses (Dream About Me in the Ladyship and Our Princess Tiffany in the Oaks) end up.  “But the draws don’t end our chances. They just make it harder.”   Michael Guerin

A STUNNING track and class record by the Emma Stewart-trained Demon Delight has set up an enthralling NSW Derby next week after three heats were run at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. Demon Delight set a world record over 2400m for a pacer, coming from fourth at the bell to beat the highly-rated Muscle Factory with a devastating sprint in the straight. While Victoria Derby winner Muscle Factory (Lauren Tritton) tried to kick away on the turn after racing without cover for most of the race, Amanda Turnbull brought Demon Delight with a mighty finish to score by an incredible eight and a quarter metres. That broke the mighty Smolda's world record over the 2400m journey, which was covered in 2:48.0 and a mile rate of 1:52.6. War Dan Delight (Luke McCarthy) was an eye-catching third and the front-running Hardhitter grabbed the final spot in the Derby by finishing the fastest fourth of the three heats. Earlier promising Victorian visitor Centenario set next week's NSW Derby on its' ear with what was at that stage, a world record run for a three-year-old in winning the first of the three heats. Taken straight to the front by master reinsman Chris Alford, Centenario bowled along in front with slick quarters of 29.3-28.9-28.5 and home in a stunning 25.8 to rate a slashing 1:54.3 mile rate, blitzing the previous record for a three-year-old set by Atomic Red. Centenario's task was made a little easier when second favourite Hurricane Harley (Amanda Turnbull) put in an impromptu gallop at the start before putting in sterling effort, coming from last to finishing third, with Malcolm's Rhythm finishing second after getting a lovely run behind the leader. The second Derby heat saw another Victorian visitor Laura Crossland win a spot in next week's rich final with her current stable star Lochinvar Art. Crossland signed up one of Australia's best reinsmen Luke McCarthy for the drive and the former Bathurst boy didn't let her down with a dashing all-the-way win with the son of Modern Art. McCarthy made his intentions clear right from the beginning and despite a wide draw, took Lochinvar Art straight to the top and dictated terms in a masterly display, rating 29.2 and 29.7 for his first two quarters of the mile, leaving plenty of petrol in the tank for the run home. With a third split of 28.8, Lochinvar Art then put the pedal to the metal and ran a 26s quarter to put his rivals to the sword, beating Max Delight (Todd McCarthy for David Aiken) and Fourbigmen (Chris Alford for Emma Stewart) with a 1:54.5 mile, just two-tenths of a second outside of Centenario's earlier track record run. The final field for the NSW Derby, with barrier draw to come, is Centenario, Malcolms Rhythm, Hurricane Harley, Lochinvar Art, Max Delight, Fourbigmen, Demon Delight, Muscle Factory, War Dan Delight and Hardhitter. FOR MORE INFORMATION TELEPHONE CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON 0438-398-251.   Mandy Madern

Champion Australian reinsman Chris Alford says taking on the most feared horse in harness racing could actually help Poster Boy win the A$1million Miracle Mile.  The Victorian four-year-old earned an automatic invite to Australasia’s richest harness race with a stunning display in the A$200,000 Chariots of Fire at Menangle on Saturday night.  He came from fourth last at the 600m mark to blow past some superstar opponents and had punters beaming after being backed in from $5.50 to start $3.80.  Trainer Emma Stewart was quick to accept the invite to the Miracle Mile on Saturday week so Poster Boy joins longshot Newcastle Mile winner Yayas Hot Spot as the only guaranteed starters with the other six spots to be decided from two preludes at Menangle this Saturday.  In one of those preludes will be the iron warrior of pacing Tiger Tara, fresh from adding the Hunter Cup at Melton to his Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup victories this season which has seen him ascend to the top of the Australian pacing ranks.  But while Tiger Tara remains the $3.50 Miracle Mile favourite with the Australian TAB compared with Poster Boy’s $6.50, driver Alford says the hard-running champ could aid Poster Boy.  “The harder they go in the Mile the better it will suit us,” said Alford, who tipped Poster Boy strongly last week.  “He will follow any speed and in fact his best chance of winning the Mile would be if they went really hard and he can sit off them just like he did tonight.  “I am glad Emma accepted the invite because he has developed into a really good Grand Circuit horse.  “He has always been fast but now he is strong enough to carry that speed longer and that is what you need for a Miracle Mile.” While Poster Boy has his spot in the great race the competition for the remaining six places has intensified as more big names eye the preludes.  Tiger Tara’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto will also have Majordan in them after he smashed some serious free-for-all opponents on Saturday night, leading from barrier nine to pace 1:49.5, which compares favourably with Poster Boy’s 1:49.1 considering Majordan did all the work in his race.  “He is a really good horse but Tiger is flying at the moment,” said Pizzuto comparing the pair.  Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon could have up to five prelude contenders, including Chase Auckland who was the luckless Chariots favourite after never getting clear in the straight.  Saturday’s meeting will also sees heats of the NSW Derby and Oaks as well as the open class mares chasing the final four spots in the Ladyship Mile, which will be run Miracle Mile night March 2.  Dream About Me and Elle Mac will make last minute trips to Sydney on Friday to contest the final lead-up to the Ladyship Mile, with the pair needing at least a top four finish to be guaranteed a start.  And they will be joined on the flight by Princess Tiffany, who was originally going to miss the NSW Oaks but after trialling well at Rangiora last week she will head to Menangle on Saturday night for the Oaks heats. Michael Guerin

AUSTRALIA’S most successful driver says he doesn’t fear the country’s most exciting pacer in Saturday’s $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle.  And Chris Alford says he even has a surprising plan how to beat Ignatius with Victorian star Poster Boy.  Ignatius started the week as the TAB favourite for Saturday night’s great four-year-old mile but has lost that honour to Chase Auckland, even after he sat parked outside him and beat him last Saturday.  That would seem to be punters rallying for the Purdon-Rasmussen training factor as well as Chase Auckland having the ace draw.  But Chris Alford, the most successful harness driver in Australian history with over 6700 wins, says he can beat both of them with Poster Boy.  The latter has only met Ignatius twice and beaten him both times as well as winning the NSW Derby this time last year.  Add that to a comeback win over Inter Dominion star Spankem two starts ago and a walk in the park at Melton last Saturday and Poster Boy’s $5.50 bookies quote starts to look inviting.  One of the reasons for the value is his widish draw at barrier seven but Alford says rather than track Ignatius, who many expect to see parked again, he wants to stay in front of him.  “I think we are every bit as good as him,” he offers.  “And we are drawn inside him so my first plan would be to stay in front of him. “This has always been a good horse because he has real speed but now he has developed the stamina to go with it.  “So he could be in for a very good season.” The Chariots has gone from being a great four-year-old race to one of the fastest miles run in Australasia every year and the winners now become genuine contenders for the Miracle Mile, as shown by the performances of Have Faith In Me (won Miracle Mile), Lazarus (third) and Jilliby Kung Fu (second) in recent season.  But whether Poster Boy is ready for a Miracle Mile on March 2 should be win on Saturday will be up to trainer Emma Stewart. “Emma and Clayton (Tonkin, partner) have a great record at Menangle and they are one of the few stables from down here where the horses don’t need a run on the track before they showed their best up there.  “Their horses are just so tough and they suit Menangle because their is nowhere to hide.” Poster Boy is Alford’s only drive on Saturday night but he is confident about the classic chances of Kualoa (NSW Oaks) and Centenario (NSW Derby) in coming weeks.   Michael Guerin  

Poster Boy had a perfect all-to-plan tune-up for Saturday night’s Cordina Chicken Farms Chariots Of Fire, the Group 1 four-year-old sprint for $200,000. Having saluted when first up in the TAB Multiplier 4YO Bonanza, which earned the half-brother to Yankee Rockstar and Born To Rocknoll a place in the Chariots, Poster Boy made it two-from-two this time in when he won the Sandhu Enterprises Pace at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday. The Emma Stewart-trained four-year-old cleared out and won comfortably for reinsman Chris Alford, who heaped praise on the “beautiful little colt”. “He just does what he wants too,” Alford told Trots Vision. “Clayton wanted him to have a bit of a blowout the last 400 and he felt really good.” Poster Boy saluted by 12m from San Domino off a 55.6 final 800m, taking his stakes won to $551,390 for owner-breeders Anne and Bill Anderson of Lauriston Bloodstock. Alford said the Somebeachsomewhere entire had great versatility, which should stand him in good stead Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “He can buzz off the gate for a 100 and then just drop the bit, and you can pull out go again and then he will just drop the bit again,” Alford said. “He can just sprint and slow down as much as you like.” Rackemup Tigerpie will also fly the Victorian flag in the feature, having qualified with a third placing in last week’s Paleface Adios Stakes Michael Stanley’s Rock N Roll Heaven four-year-old has been enlisted a $23 chance with the TAB.com.au, with Poster Boy ($5.50) on the third line of betting outside polemarker Chase Auckland ($2.50) and Ignatius ($3). Michael Howard for Trots Media

Champion Victorian harness racing driver Chris Alford admits he had his fingers crossed when he travelled to Maryborough on Thursday to drive exciting first-starter Kyvalley Chief. The three-year-old colt (Muscle Hill-Love Ya Doosie (Love You), raced by KPC Racing, had shown some Jekyll and Hyde tendencies at the trials – a touch unpredictable, but brilliant on his best behaviour. “There’s no doubting his ability – when he decides to put his best foot forward, he does it effortlessly,” Alford said. Punters sent Kyvalley Chief out as a $3 chance with the Gavin Lang-trained and driven Classy Spirit assuming favouritism at $2.10. With several of the youngsters not bringing their best manners and breaking at the start to cause interference, HRV starter Doug Gretgrix, officiating at his final meeting after 21 years, had no option but to call the first attempt of the race a false start. “I was a bit lucky because Kyvalley Chief was in a cranky mood. He galloped in the score-up, wouldn’t trot properly and was trying to go sideways, so I did have my hands full,” Alford said. “Without doubt, had they gone I’d have been 200 metres behind them. “But fortunately, in the second attempt he went up like a complete gentleman and we trotted to the lead.  He went fantastic.” Kyvalley Chief won by 19 metres from Classy Spirit, with a massive 51 metres back to Zarem in third spot with quarters of 30.8, 31.4, 29.5 and 31.3 for a rate of 2.03. “It was annoying that he played up the first time, but thankfully he made amends time and went similar to his Bendigo trial four days earlier.  He was on his best behaviour there and won in a jog and in a pretty handy time.” Alford said Kyvalley Chief, despite having a handful of trials and heaps of education, was probably still “a big immature boy”. “He’s certainly a work in progress, but he’s got heaps of raw ability so hopefully it will all come together for him soon.” To watch a video replay click here. Kyvalley Chief was bred by Breckon Farms, who have a full brother to Kyvalley Chief at this year's inaugural National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka, Auckland, on the 18th of February. He is Lot 53, Doosie Do by Muscle Hill from Love Ya Doosie. For the catalogue pedigree click here. Doosie Do From the race winning Love You mare Love Ya Doosie (T, 2.7.5, 2 wins, $12,375) who is a half-sister to champion trotter, 9-time Group 1 winner and 4YO Trotter of the Year, Trotter of the Year (twice), Harness Horse of the Year and Australian Trotter of the Year I Can Doosit (T, 1.55.5; 36 wins, $1,445,774,), Group 3 winner and Group 2 placed Sno's Big Boy (T, 1.58.4, 15 wins, $215,309), Heezadoo Early (T, 2.06.9, 5 wins, $46,866) and Yankeedoosie (T.3, 2.05.2, 4 wins, $43,999). Second dam is the broodmare gem and dual Broodmare of the Year sheezadoosie (T, 2.04.2, 7 wins, $48,632) who is the dam of 6 foals to race, 6 winners and the granddam of the promising Forget The Price Tag (T, 2.04.9, 2700m, 2 wins & 2 placings from just 6 starts, $21,703). From the family of Golden Blend (T, 1.55, 33 wins, $294,630), Group 2 winner Aldebaran Ay M (T, 1.58.8, 9 wins, $72,419), Group 1 placed Aldebaran Southland (T, 2.00.1, 12 wins $67,332), Breena Almahurst, Brighton Lobell, Noble Hustle, American Hustle, Hardesty, Noble Traveller etc Kyvalley Chief was the first leg of a winning treble for master reinsman Alford at the Maryborough meeting. He followed with victories in the 4yo and older trot with Flash Kyvalley (Skyvalley-Cashel Dagha (Pine Chip) and a heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series with Bettor Be Sorry (Bettors Delight-Whos Sorry Now (Western Ideal). Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

TWO of the major Inter Dominion players – trotter Tornado Valley and pacer Shadow Sax - had easy warm-up wins at Melton last Friday night. The first was Inter Dominion trotting favourite Tornado Valley, who effortlessly made it 13 wins from his past 15 starts. He’s the $3 favourite on the Aussie TAB for the trotting final from Kiwi star Speeding Spur at $3.80. Kate Gath took Tornado Valley straight to the front from gate three, cruised through a 62sec middle half and really just sprinted a 28.2sec to win hard-held by four metres in the Group 3 Lenin Trotters’ free-for-all (2240m). The fact Kyvalley Blur performed so well in his two NZ Cup Week runs last week speaks volumes for Tornado Valley’s form given he’s been easily beating that horse in Victoria of late. Shadow Sax and San Carlo clashed in the Group 3 Popular Alm free-for-all (2240m), but it proved a fizzer. Shadow Sax cruised to the lead, while San Carlo was three pegs and that was the race. Driver Chris Alford dictated terms in front and ripped home in 54.7 and 26.9sec to win easily on Shadow Sax, while San Carlo only saw daylight late and charged home for second. The Emma Stewart-trained Shadow Sax has won his past two on end from good draws and boasts 23 wins from just 37 career wins. _________________________________________________________________________________________ TOP WA trainers Greg and Skye Bond will make a final decision this week on a Melbourne Inter Dominion raid. The Bonds have set last year’s finalists Galactic Star and the emerging Vampiro for the series, but have travel concerns. “If they stick with this requirement to be in Melbourne five days before the first round of heats, then we won’t go,” Greg Bond said. Galactic Star, who finished fifth to Lazarus in last year’s final, has returned with wins at his two starts after a let-up. The latest win came in strong style at Gloucester Park last Friday night where Ryan Warwick gave him a lovely one-one trail and he scored by 3.4m in a 1min54.2sec mile rate for 1730m. It was part of a big night for Team Bond, who also won the $50,000 4YO Championship with the exciting former Kiwi, Mighty Conqueror. The son of American Ideal won three of his four NZ runs before heading to Team Bond where’s easily won all four starts. But it was last Friday’s win which stamped him as a major Golden Nugget player. Mighty Conqueror won a blazing 200m sprint for the lead at the start then copped plenty of midrace heat from Golden State – who finished a distant last – and still held-off the classy Bechors Brook to win easily by 7.7m. His 1min53.9sec mile rate for 2130m was just 1.0sec outside Beaudiene Boaz’s track record. “We thought he could make a Nugget horse and he keeps stepping-up,” Bond said. Team Bond already has a major Nugget hopeful in buzz Kiwi import Ana Malak, who makes his debut for the stable at Pinjarra tomorrow (Monday). Another winner of note last Friday night’s Gloucester Park meeting was former star Kiwi filly Our Angel Of Harlem, who overcame a wide draw to score easily for father/son Mike and Mark Reed. It will be interesting to see if they throw the now fiur-year-old mare in against the “boys” in the Nugget. _________________________________________________________________________________________ LET It Ride looks right on target for the Inter Dominion despite being beaten at Menangle last night. Anthony Butt drove the Group 1 Blacks A Fake winner more aggressively from the outside draw at his third run from a spell and Let It Ride ran a mighty race in slick time. He did all the work outside the leader and was in front until the emerging Ellmers Image nabbed him in the last 50m. They went a 1min49.9sec mile. Ellmers Image’s win gives Amanda Turnbull two good Inter Dominion heat drives, the other being Joes Star Of Mia, trained by her father Steve. The other feature race at Menangle, the Group 3 Sue Kelly Stakes for mares’, went to the flying Village Witch in a 1min50.9sec mile. _________________________________________________________________________________________ THE rise and rise of young Swede Kima Frenning continues to build momentum. Frenning has enjoyed a stellar 2018 through her relationship with open-class pacing stars Wrappers Delight and Im The Boss. And Wrappers Delight gives her a serious chance of winning the Inter Dominion final. Frenning scored another career first when former classy Kiwi pacer Buster Brady won easily at Cranbourne last night. It was Frenning’s first win as a trainer in her own right. _________________________________________________________________________________________ DAVID Aiken thinks his recent stable addition Big Jack Hammer won’t be out of his depth in the Inter Dominion trotting series. The six-year-old, raced in the same interests as Aiken’s leading Inter Dominion pacing hope Wrappers Delight, looked sharp winning at Melton last Friday night. It was just his second run for Aiken. Big Jack Hammer was backed for plenty on debut for Aiken in the Yarra Valley Trotters’ Cup, but made a mess of the start and caught the eye making up loads of ground afterwards. His manners were much better from the mobile start last Friday, pushing forward from gate five to find the front and never looking in danger. The eye-catching run came from runner-up Aleppo Murphy, who galloped at the start, lost at least 30-40m, but flew home to get within 3.3m of the winner. The flop was Inter Dominion hopeful Magicool, who went into the race with nine wins and two seconds from 11 starts, but weakened after sitting parked to finish almost 30m away in seventh spot.   Adam Hamilton

Shadow Sax’s surge towards the Melbourne Inter Dominion gained some serious momentum with an easy Sokyola Sprint win at Melton last night. After some brave runs from bad draws in strong races, Shadow Sax drew superbly in gate three and used it to lead and dominate. With Chris Alford away at Globe Derby for the Australian Drivers’ Championship, Mark Pitt took the reins on Shadow Sax and always looked in control. And he beat fellow key Inter Dominion hopefuls Wrappers Delight and Menin Gate in the process. Shadow Sax clocked a 1min52.5sec mile rate for 1720m – just 1.8sec outside Cruz Bromac’s track record – and closed with splits of 55.0 and 26.6sec. Wrappers Delight’s run was enormous given he sat parked early then took the one-one trail on Menin Gate, but had to swing three-wide and make-up good ground in the blistering last quarter for second. The concern from the race was how sharply Menin Gate, who returned from a long spell with a terrific Swan Hill Cup win – dropped out to finish a distant last. Stewards queried the race and stood him down pending vet tests. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ An emerging star and a rejuvenated veteran stole the show in the Group 3 Nick Robin Free-For-All (1609m) at Menangle last night. And both of them – Joes Star Of Mia and Maximan – could be Inter Dominion-bound. Joes Star Of Mia has made a stunning step into Menangle’s big league, following a ripper fourth and eye-catching second with a sub-1min50sec win last night. Despite being part of a slick 26.5sec quarter as driver Amanda Turnbull fought to lead, Joes Star Of Mia followed with splits of 28.0, 27.3 and 27.5sec to win brilliantly in a 1min49.3sec mile. Most thought the currently sidelined Atomic Red was trainer Steve Turnbull’s next star horse, but Joes Star Of Mia has pinched that title, at least for now. Maximan’s slashing second, coming from a mile off them and finishing well ahead of Let It Ride, has got trainers Shane and Lauren Tritton thinking. “We’re talking with the owners about paying the late entry for the Inter Dominion. He won a couple in a row and he’s smashed the clock finishing second in both runs since,” Shane Tritton said. “I’ll be talking to HRV about it. He’s going well enough to give it a go for sure.” Maximan’s stablemate, My Alpha Rock, tired late but wasn’t disgraced in eighth spot after sitting parked. Let It Ride settled near last and was standing-up the leaders a huge start on the home bend before finishing well for fifth, less than five metres from Joes Star Of Mia. He’s now got two runs under his belt and shows every sign he will appreciate getting over further than a mile. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Many of the biggest names in Australian driving ranks locked horns at Globe Derby last night. There were eight heats of the Australian Drivers’ Championship and it went right down to the last heat to decide the winner. And it was NSW young gun Todd McCarthy who snatched victory by just two points over Queensland-based Adam Sanderson with WA veteran Chris Lewis another four points away in third spot. McCarthy only won the one heat – heat two about Imprincessgemma – but was consistent through the right races, also snaring a second and three fourths. Final standings were: Todd McCarthy (72pts), Adam Sanderson (70), Chris Lewis (66), Greg Sugars (63), Pete McMullen (63), Dani Hill (62), Ricky Duggan (59), Ellen Rixon (51), Todd Rattray (45), Chris Alford (44), Shannon Suvaljko (40) and Ryan Hryhorec (37). ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Former Kiwi pacer Vampiro continued his rapid rise through the ranks with the biggest win of his career at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Driver Ryan Warwick made the most of a good draw (gate three) and Vampiro’s gate speed to lead and always looked in control in the $50,000 Group 2 James Brennan Memorial (2130m). After cruising through a 61.4sec middle half, Vampiro finished-off in 56.0 and 27.9sec to hold-off a gallant and revitalised stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone in 1min57sec mile rate. Vampiro’s won five of his past seven starts and 17 of his 38 career runs and with Chicago Bull sidelined he is pressing for the top seeding in WA’s open-class ranks. “I liked him from the start, but Bondy (co-trainer Greg Bond) wasn’t so sure. He rushed through his grades and took a few runs in open-class to take the next step, but he’s into it now,” Warwick said. Vampiro is one of two “Team Bond” pacers being set for the Melbourne Inter Dominion. The other, Galactic Star, is slated to return to racing next Friday night at Gloucester Park. Team Bond’s other emerging open-class player. Mitch Maguire, also impressed winning last Friday night, coming from a 10m handicap to score by 16m in a slick 1min58.8sec mile rate for the long 2503m from the stand.   Adam Hamilton

Finding a horse with the ability to score five wins on the trot is like finding a needle in a lucerne bale, so it's no surprise it took Russell Maisner four decades and just as many generations of breeding to find one in Abridged.  Maisner, whose first taste of the trots was attending the Showgrounds as a 10-year-old in the 1970s, will be at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night watching the unbeaten four-year-old shoot for win number six in the 1720m Fixwell Smash Repairs Pace.  But the story behind this promising pacer is anything but abridged. It all started in the early 1990s; Maisner was driving in races – his main passion – for about a decade while forging a corporate career to pay the bills. Along came Lady Muck, a Muckalee Strike mare who won six races from 13 starts for Brian Hancock in 1990/91. “(She was) the first horse we bought,” he said. “There were a couple of friends (in on her, but) we dissolved the partnership (and) I kept her.” Maisner bred Laconic, a filly out of star sire What’s Next. He raced her 21 times with wife Karen Dunwoodie for nine wins, including winning the 2001 Australian Pacing Gold three-year-old fillies’ final with good friend Darren Hancock aboard. He said Laconic, who was trained by Peter and Kerryn Manning, was the fastest horse he had owned.  “She just had blinding speed, brilliant gate speed and as long as you didn’t look at her from the knees down she was a beautiful horse,” he said. “She won (the APG final) with bone chips in both her knees, so we never saw the best of her.” Laconic was sent to the breeding barn and it didn’t take long for her to excel. Her first foal, by US sire Panorama, was Abbreviated – the dam of Abridged. He brought good friend, Sydneysider John Chase, on board. “John had been in the thoroughbreds and had a horse with Gai Waterhouse but didn’t really enjoy the experience of a syndicate,” he said. “So we went halves and John put his wife in and I put my wife in (as co-owners) and he has been my partner now for 14 years.” Abbreviated, also trained at Great Western, won eight races – including one with Maisner on board – between 2006 and 2008 until injury issues again took their toll. But Abbreviated would shine as a broodmare, with her first three starters – the last Abridged – all winning at least four races. The fourth, three-year-old Brevity, is also looking promising. The son of late, brilliant Alabar stallion Mach Three, Abridged won those races faster than any horse Maisner had owned or driven. “We know he will get beaten as it gets harder. I don’t know where we will end up, you harbour dreams (of winning top-flight races) deep down in your soul,” he said. “But it is hope and so you just go ‘we will just enjoy the wins as they come’. We saviour every win; we don’t take anything for granted.” Maisner doesn’t take his love for driving for granted either: He has driven in almost 100 races since 1980, winning six of them. He is so passionate about sitting in the sulky he makes almost weekly 300km round trips from his Hawthorn home to Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s Smythes Creek stables for the privilege. He said he loved the professionalism of Stewart, who along with regular driver Chris Alford departed Sunday night’s Gordon Rothacker Medal celebration with a suitcase of trophies.  “The reason why I drive the distances I do to go there is just because I love the way they train, I love their approach to the horses,” he said. The regular trips also give him a chance to see the treasure chest of quality four-year-olds at Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s stables, the likes of Poster Boy, Ride High and Konan to name a few. “I know we think reasonably well of Abridged, but I drive these horses and it is like, ‘err, I don’t know if we want to meet any of these’,” he said. “You look at them, there’s probably about six or seven of them on the list. It is very intimidating.” Regardless of what the future holds, Maisner is always looking forward with hope – and with good reason. Abbreviated is one a handful broodmares booked in to be served with Mach Three’s final reserves of frozen sperm. All going well, a full brother to Abridged is on the way.   Shaun Campbell for Trots Media

The Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup kicks off a bold new era Thursday night and has drawn one of the more open editions of the race in recent memory. The Group 2 showpiece will be the 55th running of one of Australia’s greatest races, which will be race seven on the card and the first of 25 cups in the 2018-19 Trots Country Cups Championship. Andy Gath is one of three trainers with two runners in the field, preparing Burnaholeinmypocket and Three Ways, while Glenn Douglas has readied Bernie Winkle and Shortys Mate and David Aiken Im The Boss and Audi Hare. The cup's preferential barrier draw was arranged on prizemoney earned in the last four starts, which hasn’t advantaged Gath with Three Ways, who has been racing very consistently, drawn the back row and Burnaholeinmypocket outside the front row. The latter looks to be getting back towards peak form and might well deliver Gath's second Kilmore Cup, which True Cam won in 2004 when beating Sokyola. He said Kate Gath would drive Three Ways and, in Alex Ashwood's absence, it would be a pick of the available drivers, with leading lights Chris Alford, Gavin Lang and John Caldow among those seemingly yet to have a designated drive. “I like the concept of the barrier draw being done on the last four starts prizemoney, rather than the metro class, and it should prove to be a good point of where you’re at rather than a historical metro class form," Gath said. “The draw probably hurts Burnaholeinmypocket, he has had bad draws most of his life and this is the third time in a row he has drawn the outside of the front row, so it’s not ideal. "But it’s not a fast front row, he has got really good gate speed. We didn’t come out quick on him the other night as we knew he had no chance of crossing Audi Hare or Love Ina Chevy, but he does run the gate pretty quick and I think it is probably a race where he will probably come out pretty solid and try and get a forward position. “He has run over the distance (2690m) a couple of times before and has gone average, but both of them were on really hot days and he has a bit of a breathing issue. When it is really hot he doesn’t perform at his best. He has probably got an each-way hope, it’s a pretty even race." The stable considers its main chance to be Three Ways, who draws the second row, so tactics will likely differ to recent runs. “We know from the draw he is not going to lead, obviously, but sitting off the speed he has put in some really good runs and he won a race at Ballarat in nearly track record time with a cold sit against Hughie Green," Gath said. “I don’t think any of them, maybe apart from My Kiwi Mate, could probably make their own luck and win. I think (Three Ways) is going to have to have a bit of luck from that draw and if things go right he is a winning chance at the top of his game." Gath said Three Ways had gotten stronger as he got older and was handling his workload better, but in regards to the longer distance, "you don’t know until you go over it”. “His 2200m record is pretty good, but if it’s like last year - a last man standing affair when there wasn’t many in it - we don’t really know. He will probably be driven with a sit, but we’ll drive to tempo." Gath also shared his thoughts on his Cup rivals. “I thought My Kiwi Mate was really good last start when he won, he is a Bendigo Cup winner, he is a very seasoned and well performed horse at this level, but he is not the only one. "Bettermatch was fantastic when he won at Menangle, as it looked like he’d just joined in, but how you line up his form coming off a long spell and in this race is pretty hard to say. "Obviously Im The Boss is a proven country cups horse too, but he is first-up, so it’s going to be pretty tough for him to win this type of race." Gath has two more runners on the night in the classy Star Of Memphis in race six and the very progressive Diamonds N Cash, a half-brother to former top class stablemate Diamonds N Furs. “Unfortunately in the 4YO & 5YO Championship Star Of Memphis galloped and knocked his tendon and bruised it really bad and kept him off the scene for virtually 12 months. He has always been a good horse, again he has drawn eight, but in saying that he has probably drawn behind the eventual leader, Makes Every Scents, which obviously brings him into the race in a pretty even field. “(Diamonds N Cash) has done a really good job since he's been here, he is a horse that only started racing as a three-year-old in New Zealand, so this is virtually his first racing preparation. “Win, lose or draw he’ll go for a bit of a break after this race and then get him ready for the 4YO & 5YO Championship on November 10. He has a really good future and we’ll put him away after this run and give him a bit of a break and hopefully he develops into a Chariots Of Fire horse down the track." The other feature on the night is the Group 3 McIvor Estate Kilmore Trotters Cup, the only race left in Victoria run over more than 3000m, where Father Christmas has opened a $2.80 favourite with TAB fixed odds over Margaret Ruth ($3.80), Majestic Ess Jay ($5), Destinée Jenilou ($6) and Kyvalley Barney ($6.50). This race kicks off the 2018/19 Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship. Luke Humphreys’ Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup Preview 1 BERNIE WINKLE ($81 TAB.com.au fixed odds): Consistent type that very rarely runs a bad race. Had absolutely no luck at Mildura two starts back before down the field on Saturday night at Melton. Will find a few too good but should get every chance from the gate one draw. Trainer Glenn Douglas has won the race twice with Bold Cruiser in 2008 and Make Mine Cullen in 2010. 2 SHORTYS MATE ($151): Stablemate to Bernie Winkle who was fourth behind two rivals at Melton on Saturday night. Racing ok but outclassed. 3 BAD BILLY ($17): Has been racing well without winning and will be hoping to enjoy an economical run here. Did win the Hamilton Cup in January over a similar distance. 4 MAGICAL MARN ($10): Renowned for his barnstorming finish, which got him past the post first in multiple races during the winter at Melton. If anything, should be starting to come into his own even more now being a five-year-old. Hasn’t won for a while but has been racing respectfully. 5 BLACKBIRD POWER (EMG $151): Emergency runner but if he gained a start he could finish in the first half of the field as he has been racing well in Sydney. Formerly prepared by Ross Sugars, now in New South Wales with Gavin Kelly. 6 IM THE BOSS ($5): Multiple Cup winner last season at Cobram, Mildura and Shepparton including a narrow second to Cruz Bromac at Warragul. Personally surprised to see him open favourite as he was a bit disappointing towards the end of last campaign. He was a little bit disappointing in my eyes in his second trial back. Tactics will be interesting from the draw. Trainer David Aiken won the race in 2017 with Lennytheshark. 7 BURNAHOLEINMYPOCKET ($18): One of two Andy Gath runners that can race very well but also on occasions poorly. Has been very good in his last couple of runs including a two-race stint at Mildura for two wins, which definitely would’ve got his confidence up. He produced a marvellous trial at Melton on August 28 when beating Magical Marn in 1:53.8 leading all the way. Was then a very good third in The Gammalite behind My Kiwi Mate and Magical Marn from a poor draw and has run respectfully at Swan Hill and Melton since when sitting outside the leader on both occasions. Poor draw and two runs over this distance range have produced down the track finishes in the 2015 Queensland Derby and 2017 Maryborough Gold Cup. In good form though and can’t be dismissed. 8 KEEP ON ROCKING ($34): Could be the roughie of the race. Likely to enjoy a very economical run on the pegs and has been racing in good form. Won after getting it way too easy at Melton last Saturday and that was unlucky not to be a second consecutive win as he was run down very late the week before. 9 MY KIWI MATE ($2.70): Former Bendigo Cup winner in 2017 and second in this race to Lennytheshark in 2017, making him the only horse in the field to have run in this race before. Absolutely brilliant win in The Gammalite when running down Magical Marn after having no luck early and passing every single horse out very wide in the final 400 meters. On that run without a shadow of a doubt is the one to beat here and there is already good support for him on TAB Fixed Odds. Ted Demmler, the father of trainer/driver Craig Demmler, won the race in 1984 on Raging Bull. 10 THREE WAYS ($31): Another one that looks juicy overs despite drawing poorly. If you go back through his form he has run in the placings in Group 1 races behind Lazarus, including a second in the 2016 Derby. His last two wins have been when he led and enjoyed very easy runs and that is unlikely to be the case here. Have always thought he is a better stayer than sprinter, however, and that could go in his advantage late. 11 BETTERMATCH ($4.80): Tim Butt trained New South Wales raider who is the winner of 11 from 13 including his last five, all of them in good time at Wagga, Young and Menangle. Formerly trained by Colin Thomas before being purchased by the Butt stable and on his debut for them stormed down the outside to win at Menangle in 1:50.4. This since has subsequently raised the eyes of many and made him a possible aspirant for races such as the New Zealand Trotting Cup. However this particular race will answer a lot of questions, one of mine being he has never in his life started over a distance further than 1800 meters. Tim Butt is a great staying trainer, however, this will be a completely different experience for this lightly-raced six-year-old compared to previous wins. 12 ELLMERS IMAGE ($4.80): The other raider from New South Wales in the field prepared and driven by Amanda Turnbull. Has been racing very consistently up at Menangle and had two very deserving wins in the Group 3 Mount Eden Stakes and an absolutely brilliant M1 win in 1:50.7 just under two weeks ago. A bit like his fellow NSW raider this will be a completely different race and the barrier draw hasn’t helped, but can’t knock his last couple of runs. 13 AUDI HARE ($31): Remarkably despite winning the Group 2 Breeders Crown Free For All over the Breeders Crown meeting pops up at $31 for this, with that reason obviously being due to the barrier draw. Had a trial earlier this month where he ran very well and was not disgraced at Melton last Saturday when caught late by Love Ina Chevy. Will need the correct run into it. Selections: 9 My Kiwi Mate 10 Three Ways 4 Magical Marn 8 Keep On Rocking   Luke Humphreys Trots Media

AUSTRALIA’S leading NZ Cup contender Chicago Bull is having a brief freshen-up after posting his sixth win from as many starts this campaign at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Gary Hall Sr’s superstar won in trackwork-like style by working to the front from stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, cruising through a 59.8sec middle half and dashing home in 55.3 and 27.5sec to win without being extended. “I wanted to give him a fairly easy time, but he’s having a little break after tonight so I was happy to let him finish-off the race a bit,” driver Gary Hall Jr said. “He’s having three weeks at home now. The first couple fairly quiet, then the hopples on again to prepare for the first of two runs here (Gloucester Park) before he heads to the Victoria Cup (Melton, October 13).” Hall Sr described Chicago Bull’s preparation as “perfect”, but quickly added: “You’re reluctant to say that because they are horses and things can go wrong, but every thing has been perfect so far. “There’s no doubt he’s come back better than ever.” The plan is for Chicago Bull to be flown to Auckland soon after the Victoria Cup and race once at Alexandra Park ahead of his NZ Cup tilt at Addington. Hall Sr and his major rivals Greg and Skye Bond dominated the Gloucester Park card with four wins each. Along with Chicago Bull, Hall Sr teamed with his son, Gary Jr, to win with three-year-old Speed Man, Beaudiene Beaufighter and Alta Christiano juvenile filly Fake News. The Bonds struck early winning the first three races with Lincs Tiger, Detroit Lily and the very emerging open-class player Vampiro. They also snared the quinella in race eight with talented mares Better B Chevron and Dodolicious. The Bonds had to be content with second in the feature of the night when former star juvenile Mitch Maguire chased home the exciting Simba Bromac in the $25,000 Schrader Final. _______________________________________________________________________________ VICTORIANS Chris Alford and Emma Stewart closed-out the 2017/18 season with record-smashing results. Alford obliterated the previous Australian driving record of 388 wins in a season with a staggering 457 victories. They came at a powerhouse 27.92 per cent strike rate. Alford’s dominance was underlined by the fact Greg Sugars finished second with 229 winners. Stewart, who unofficially trains in partnership with Clayton Tonkin, also bettered Grant Dixon’s 299 Australian record with 308 wins. Her strike rate was out of this world at 39.09 per cent and would’ve been far higher if you eliminated the number of times she beat her own horses. The Queensland-based Dixon had another fantastic season with 289 wins, headlined by Colt Thirty One’s Victoria Derby triumph. _______________________________________________________________________________ TIGER Tara’s NZ Cup preparation struck a snag with his scratching from Menangle last night. There’s nothing wrong with the star stayer, but his trainer Kevin Pizzuto is recovering from minor injuries after a car accident last Tuesday. “A car came out of nowhere, hit us side-on, so we lost control and crashed into some trees. It’s wrecked my car and float,” Pizzuto said. “We were lucky it wasn’t a lot worse. “It’s left me needing help with the horses.” Making matters worse in so parts of Australia is the drought conditions, which has made feed both scarce and very expensive. With Tiger Tara out of the Club Menangle free-for-all, Team Tritton’s emerging open-class player My Alpha Rock worked to the front, controlled the tempo and blitzed his rivals. My Alpha Rock finished off in splits of 53.7 and 27.1sec to score by 7.7m in a 1min55.3sec mile rate for 2300m. The other eye-catching Menangle winner was Jason Grimson’s mare Ideal Lifestyle, who was good enough to blaze a 25.8sec lead time, but keep going to win by a whopping 16.5m in a 1min50.3sec mile. _______________________________________________________________________________ GAVIN Lang reminded everyone of his genius in the sulky when he won what looked the unwinnable on the home turn with brilliant mare Carlas Pixel at Melton last night. In a leader dominated race where the last half was run in 54.8sec, Lang felt he couldn’t winning coming wide, so instead weaved his way through the field, then back inside the leader Three Ways to snatch a nose win in a 1min55.2sec mile rate in the My Lightning Blue free-for-all. It came just a week Carlas Pixel won the Breeders Crown 4YO Mares’ final. She’s also won the Group 1 Ladyship Mile at Menangle back in February. Carlas Pixel denied Three Ways’ driver Kate Gath a quartet of wins on the night. She snared wins on High Rolling, Van Mara and emerging trotter Ymbro Wasted. _______________________________________________________________________________ WHEN owner Fred Crews tackled the famous Elitlopp Trot in Sweden with Maori Time earlier this year, he vowed to do it again before too long. Crews and trained Bill Morgan have always had a huge opinion of trotter Maori Law and, after a stint on the sidelines with injury, he has returned in fine style. Maori Law had 13 months out, ran two solid placings in his first two runs back, then scored in dominant style at Melton last night with Gavin Lang aboard. The six-year-old boasts 13 wins from just 18 starts and looks a serious Inter Dominion player later this year. _______________________________________________________________________________ IT was a milestone win for Alleluia in the free-for-all at Albion Park last night. The former Kiwi passed $500,000 in career earnings by posting his 31st win from 132 starts with another 49 placings. Alleluia’s $7075 for the latest win took his bank balance to $500,900.   Adam Hamilton

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