Search Results
1 to 16 of 398
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

No harness racing trainer has ever prepared back to back winners of the Queensland Derby. Many have featured multiple times but never has a trainer scored successive victories. On Saturday night, respected Victorian horseman Larry Eastman is hoping to rewrite the history books and do the unthinkable following his victory last year with the mighty Menin Gate. Eastman prepares Iceenothink in the $75,000 Sure Duz Mosquito Candle Queensland Derby, and the Art Major gelding has been installed as the favourite after drawing the inside gate in the 2680m feature. Again, champion reinsman Chris Alford will combine with the Eastman trainee. But he has a simple message for punters. “This horse is no Menin Gate, he’s a nice horse who continues to improve but he’s not at the level that Paulie was last season. We think he deserves his chance in a race like this and his recent form is very good, his run in the Vicbred Final was very good last start so we’ve decided to head north again.” Eastman said. Iceenothink has developed nicely this term which followed on from his unbeaten rookie season and Eastman has been thinking Queensland Derby as a long range target. His efforts during the recent Vicbred Super Series have only confirmed the thoughts of Eastman; Iceenothink finished a brave second behind talented pacer Dont Hold Back in the July 2 feature. “I’m really happy with his form, I thought he performed really well during that series and his effort in the final was very good. Gary (Hall Jnr – Driver) said he went very well and the Queensland Derby comes at the right time, we don’t need an excuse to be in Queensland at this time of the year. “The draw is lovely because it looks a very open race on paper; there is no standout and most if not all can win this race with some luck on their side. This horse has gate speed and Chris has options while the distance shouldn’t pose any problems. “The Gold Coast Derby last week was a keenly contested race and this week will be no different, I thought there were a number of good efforts in that race and I’m not selling any them short. This should be a good race.” Last year, Menin Gate won both the Gold Coast and Queensland Derby classics but given the Vicbred series and the Queensland carnival clashing, Iceenothink was never considered for the Gold Coast Derby. UBET have listed Iceenothink as the $2.40 favourite. Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016

This season has been a little drawn out for one leading three-year-old filly, but connections are optimistic further success is just around the corner. Dancingwithsierra will be among the many chasing  harness racing silver and bronze at Tabcorp Park Melton tomorrow, when the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series concludes with the silver and bronze pacing races. Trainer Gary Hoban remains adamant his three-year-old filly, Dancingwithsierra, is top shelf, providing she gets a little luck before and during the race.Unfortunately for the Tasmanian Oaks winner and her connections that luck of the draw has seemed all too fleeting.  It is disappointing from an owner and trainers point of view that when she gets into big races she never draws a barrier,” Hoban said. That frustration was renewed when Dancingwithsierra drew barrier 12th for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final and ran eighth, having been unable to make an impression on the leaders who had rolled along comfortably. “When (driver) Chris (Alford) jumped on her in the semi we had to hope for speed on up front,” Hoban said. “When he came off he said with a lead time of (45.3) and a 63-second first half of the mile they ran home in (55.2) and from the back, how could she get into it?“ For the Victoria Oaks she drew barrier 12, for the Breeders Crown she drew 10 and then she drew 12 in the Vicbred semi-final.  In today’s racing there is probably not a lot between first and last ability wise and if she doesn’t draw well it is hard to make up that 20m on the others. “When she draws a barrier, like in the Tassie Oaks, she has shown what she can do. When she draws in the first three or four she finishes there.” Poor random draws are not an uncommon complaint, begging the question in Dancingwithsierra’s case, does it stack up?In 21 starts her average draw is 6.52 in an average field size of 9.48. Well below par, and makes all the more notable that her average finishing position is 3.05.And to Hoban’s point the bigger the stakes the worse her draw? In races with stakes of more than $20,000, Dancingwithsierra’s average draw is 7.63 in an average field size of 9.81. “She is not a filly who can make her own luck against the elite,” Hoban said. “Rocknroll Magic, who won the (Vicbred) final, three months ago Dancingwithesierra defeated her when she led and Rocknroll Magic had to come from behind.”And that’s where the frustration stems from, Hoban’s confidence in his filly. This brings us to tomorrow’s 11-race card, when Dancingwithsierra has drawn barrier seven in the $25,000 stakes race. “Again she is drawn poorly, but she is probably not against the elite,” Hoban said. “Chris wasn’t disappointed with her run last week. She has probably trained on as well as you could expect her too and she will give a good show Michael Howard.”

Master harness racing trainer David Aiken pulled off the ultimate big-race success when he trained the quinella in today’s $100,000 TABCORP.COM.AU Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The only problem was it wasn’t quite the way punters expected it to go. Aiken’s up and comer Hectorjayjay ($10.10), finished like a train to swamp odds-on favourite Lennytheshark ($1.40 favourite) by 1.2m, with Ohoka Punter ($7) a fighting third 7.1m further way. The winner rated a slashing 1:50.5, confirming the huge wraps that Aiken had placed on the five-year-old gelding, who is now bound for Queensland and further feature starts. Victoria’s two leading reinsmen Gavin Lang (Hectorjayjay) and Chris Alford (Lennytheshark) cleared away to fight out the finish although the wicked grin on Lang’s face in the last 100m clearly indicated he knew he had the race in his keeping. Close behind the placegetters were outsiders Blazin N Cullen and Alta Jerome, just ahead of the mighty mare Frith, who endured a torrid run and couldn’t match the Grand Circuit stars in the straight. “Gavin really likes this five-year-old gelding by Dream Away,” said Aiken. “He doesn’t say a lot but I just really got the feeling he’s been impressed with his turn of foot.” Lang explained that draws were important and 14 was not ideal against a quality field like that. “As I always say before the race, it’s only a number, we usually have a post mortem after and decide if they’re good bad or otherwise . . . and it turned out perfectly,” said Lang. “That’s one thing about drawing 14, you need those type of quick sectionals early to bring you into the race and that’s how it turned out. “That early burn gives you a chance. Over a mile if they go slowly early then you are left to do your share of work to get into the race and chasing quality horses, well, you just won’t catch them.” Lang said Hectorjayjay always travelled well and his only concern pre-race was that he had been scratched from his last run because he had a minor problem. “But a solidly run race (like today’s) can be their downfall and to the stable’s credit they did a great job and had him in excellent condition,” he said. Home straight: “He’s a good horse and that’s one of the qualities that good horses have - under pressure they really dig in.” “I’m sure these two horses will have some epic battles in the future.” Michael Howard

Smythes Creek harness racing trainer Emma Stewart holds plenty of aces in next Saturday night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. The three-year-old pacing fillies’ division appears to be one of her strongest hands. Stewart has four runners in the field and semi-final winner Whirily School’s stocks only rose when she pulled gate one at the barrier draw. “It was one of those cases where the wide barrier draw was actually to her advantage,” Greg Sugars said of Whirily School’s semi-final win tonight. “We were able to press forward and once she was able to take up the lead she was always the one to beat. “It’s probably a very honest and fair assessment to say she’s probably a length or so behind the very best of her age group, but she is certainly not far behind them . With a bit of luck in the final she is definitely in with a chance.” Whirily School (Courage Under Fire/Mayhappen) worked forward to eventually find the lead through a 45secs lead time and posted quarters of 30.5, 32.5, 28.9 and 28.9 for a mile rate of 1:58.7. Stablemate Rocknroll Magic will take a power of beating in the final though, despite drawing barrier 11. The filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic made it 15 career wins from 22 starts tonight, notching a 1:57.5 mile rate in the chair (55.2 last half) to overhaul leader Rockstar Angel by a half-neck. “I probably expected that is where I would land in the run but I was still confident enough she’d be good enough,” winning driver Gavin Lang said. “She’s one of the main players (in the final), as you know with Emma and Clayton’s horses this time of the year they’re always on song.” Rockstar Angel has drawn barrier eight so will follow Whirily School. In the three-year-old colts and geldings’ final, semi-final winners Soho Tribeca (American Ideal/Pixel Perfect) and Iceenothink (Art Major/Decethree Lombo) have drawn gates three and four for the Final. Iceenothink finished powerfully tonight for Chris Alford and trainer Larry Eastman (who combined to win this section last year with Menin Gate), holding off Mario Attard and Don’t Hold Back, who also savaged the line from well-back. Iceenothink posted a 1:57.4 mile rate. Soho Tribeca, trained by Jayne Davies and driven by Alford, scored by a half-neck over Carter Bromac, with Brallos Pass third in a rate of 1:57.4. “He was going to get a good run through, (it was) just whether he could stay in front of Brallos Pass. That didn’t work out but he (Brallos Pass) had to do a fair bit of work,” Alford said. “Just got to hope he gets a good draw and he can play a part next week.” Burrumbeet trainer-driver Michael Stanley is set for a busy Vicbred finals night once again, qualifying six pacers through tonight’s semis. His three-year-old Spiritwriter drew the pole in the males’ division and that brings him right into contention.   Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Fillies Final Barrier Draw 1: Whirily School 2: Ideal Lifestyle 3: Kalinda 4: Platinum Power (em) 5: Just Wantano 6: Nikkibadwagon 7: Flojos Gold 8: Rockstar Angel 9: Alessa 10: Celebrity Guest 11: Rocknroll Magic 12: Rockabella Starz 13: Champagne Taste Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Colts & Geldnigs Final Barrier Draw 1: Spiritwriter 2: Battle Born 3: Soho Tribeca 4: Iceenothink 5: Keep On Rocking 6: Senor Macray 7: Brallos Pass 8: Herehecomes 9: Professor Tom 10: Showgun Thomas 11: Illawong Maestro 12: Dont Hold Back 13: Carter Bromac ..................................................................................................................................................................................... Advantage Sundons Courage and Princess Phoenix after the three-year-old trotters' barrier draws for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. Drawn on Friday night amid the pacers' semi-finals, Sundons Courage drew the front row in the colts and geldings and fellow heat winner Cruisin Around will start from barrier eight, while Sky Majesty will start from barrier 12 in the fillies, opening the door further for her rivals. The three-year-old fillies semi-final promises to be an evenly fought and engaging final, with several winning hopes. Among them is Princess Phoenix, a $1.80 favourite in the second heat at Bendigo last Wednesday, who led but was beaten into third by winner Into The Unknown, from Donna Lewis’ Toolern Vale stable, and Geoff Webster’s Rift Valley. The first heat was all about Sky Majesty (Skyvalley/Mystic Hush). Bacchus Marsh trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan was rapt with her filly’s heat win, which she said was one of her “best runs to date”. The 12m victory came after she found the front and careered away, and Sky Majesty should be right in the final despite the tough draw. “I was very happy with her heat,” Quinlan said. “She’s a good chance. There’s not a lot of difference between the horses in the grade, it is pretty even. “(Sky Majesty) can sit and sprint. She is not a class above them, but I think they have all come back to each other.” The three-year-old colts and geldings final also promises much, not the least of which is another showdown between Cruisin Around (Bacardi Lindy/Cloud Chaser) and Sundons Courage. Both won their heats, with Sundons Courage (Sundon/Truscott Photo) a 1.6m winner for Muckleford trainer Chris Angove and Bolinda driver Chris Alford, with Brent Lilley’s $34-shot Kyvalley Tinman running into second. Cruisin Around’s win was even tighter. Driven to one-out one-back by Myrniong’s Greg Sugars, Cruisin Around lost touch with front runners Calder Knight and Big Jack Hammer at the final bend but wound up sufficiently in the straight to win by a short half-head. Bannockburn trainer-driver Geoff Webster’s three-year-old Big Jack Hammer (The Press/Running Pinevale) punched on for second in the breeze and will be a threat come next Friday’s final, says Cranbourne’s Michael Hughes, trainer of Cruisin Around. “There are three or four really good horses,” Hughes said. “(Cruisin Around) has always had a ding-dong battle with Sundons Courage. Big Jack Hammer looked back on song, and a few others are also a chance. It will all come down to who has the best luck.” Hughes’ confidence about his own charge’s horse were only emboldened with Cruisin Around’s heat win. “I think he went pretty good. I was a little worried when he lost ground at the top of the straight, but he did a good job to pick them up in such a quick quarter,” Hughes said. “I give him a really good chance as long as he does everything right. The horse is really good, feels really good, there are no issues. He is a good sit-sprinter, but has also done it the tough way and led before.”   Barrier draws: Three-year-old colts and geldings trotters 1: Kyvalley Tinman 2: Skyflyer 3: Big Jack Hammer 4: Calder Knight 5: Sundons Courage 6: Cargerie 7: Sun Valley Road 8: Cruisin Around 9: Diamond Wes (emg) 10: Sky Me A River 11: Menewa 12: Shetland  13: Imahe Man (ODM)   Barrier draws: Three-year-old fillies trotters 1: Aldebaran Eve 2: Never Never Land (emg) 3: Princess Phoenix 4: Mizurri 5: Defence Power 6: Into The Unknown 7: The Cooler 8: Tension Seeker 9: Getthenet 10: Illawong Bliss 11: Rift Valley 12: Sky Majesty 13: Scottish Sardius (ODM) Michael Howard/Cody Winnell

Twelve months after his extraordinary domination of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series, picking up a Group 1 three-peat, Shelbourne harness racing trainer Larry Eastman says he could only dream of achieving similar this time around. "It brings back a bit of deja vu but up until this time last year of course we'd only won the one Group 1 race, so we're under no illusions. To be honest I was just happy we were a part of it last year," Eastman said. The horseman takes three horses into tomorrow night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, in-form gelding Iceenothink and reigning Vicbred champs Morton Plains and Menin Gate. Speaking firstly about last season’s star three-year-old and Victorian Horse of the Year, Menin Gate, Eastman is pleased with the recent progress of the classy son of Somebeachsomewhere/Dreams Of Heaven. “All the signs are good. Everything’s gone to plan so far,” he said. “I liken it to this time last year. He was a shade off his top, then into the semi, then at his top for the final.” Menin Gate is $3 second-favourite with TAB.com.au for Race 7 at Melton tomorrow night, with Alan Tubbs-trained Tee Cee Bee Macray ($2.20 favourite) and Emma Stewart-trained Solarsonic ($3.50) also among the market’s top contenders. Menin Gate, who at three won the Breeders Crown and Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals, the Queensland and Gold Coast derbies and the Victoria Derby, is usually an on-pace runner and he takes a power of beating when he finds the front. Tomorrow night he’s drawn gate 10. Quizzed for his view on tactics Eastman replied: “It’s all tempo-related, but I obviously just leave it up to Chris Alford.” At both his runs this time in Menin Gate has finished second, behind Solarsonic and then Ideal For Real last start. CHECK OUT ALL THE FIXED ODDS FOR VICBRED SEMI-FINAL NIGHT Eastman’s talented son of Art Major/Decethree Lombo, Iceenothink, will fly the stable flag in the male three-year-old division this year, drawing gate four for tomorrow night’s second semi-final (Race 5). “He’s been a bit of an unassuming horse, just gradually progressing along. He’s a nice three-year-old and he’s shown the signs that he can go on to another level, too,” said Eastman. “He’ll just keep on getting better and I think he’ll make a very handy four-year-old.” Eastman’s other runner, Morton Plains (Bettors Delight/Dont Answer That), goes into her four-year-old mares’ first semi-final with just one run this time in under her belt. She finished third in her Super Series heat at Shepparton on June 17, 3.3m behind Vapar Grin. “I was rapt with her run at Shepparton. She raced a bit fresh but was really strong to the line. It’s a big ask going into this with just the one run but she had trialled up before the first-up run and she’s on the way up.” Cody Winnell

Super Harness Racing sire Art Major produced a third successive Del-Re National Italian Cup winner on Saturday night with Emma Stewart-trained Major Secret scoring a gate-to-wire victory in the 2240-metre feature. The multi-millionaire Alabar sire also boasts Cold Major among his progeny, that horse having to settle for third place on Saturday night after successive wins in the Italian Cup in 2013 and 2014. Major Secret (Art Major/Secret Life) held the lead from the pole for reinsman Chris Alford and posted splits of 29.3s, 29.7s, 28.4s and 27.7s following a comfortable 46.7s lead time to win in a 1:56.3 mile rate. Driven confidently by Victoria’s leading reinsman, Chris Alford, who won four races at Melton, Major Secret had 1.1m to spare on the line over runner-up Lets Elope. “He hasn’t had to run the gate for a long time, tonight he did and he kept going strong all the way and he was still strong on the line,” Alford said. “When he got away at the top of the straight he sort of waited a little bit and Lets Elope started to come back the inside and he sort of dug in again the last 50m.” LISTEN TO CHRIS ALFORD SPEAK AFTER MAJOR SECRET'S WIN Alford is tied with Gavin Lang on the SBG Accountants Metropolitan Drivers Premiership, both with 32 wins, four clear of Greg Sugars. Lang and Alford of course finished tied for last year’s metro title. Alford is a clear frontrunner in the Melton Saddlery State Drivers Premiership on 215 wins, with Sugars second on 178 wins. Smythes Creek’s Stewart is a tearaway leader in the Taylors Metropolitan Trainers Premiership on 47 wins, 25 clear of Avenel’s David Aiken. Stewart also holds a commanding lead in the Renown Silverware State Trainers Premiership with 152 wins, Long Forest’s Andy Gath in second place with 89 wins. Stewart produced a winning treble on Saturday night at headquarters with Jet Black Shadow (Jeremes Jet/Homin The Shade) and Berisari (Safari/Beris Holmes) winning in addition to Major Secret. Art Major is leading the Sires Premiership with 172 wins, with Bettors Delight second on 154 wins and Courage Under Fire third on 113 wins. On Thunder Road (Bettors Delight/All The Way Home) won the night’s other feature event, the Group 3 Wagon Apollo Trotters Free for All at Melton, rating 1:58.9 for the 2240m trip for trainer/driver Darren Hancock. Cody Winnell

Sound the alarm. Harness Racing Champion Lennytheshark is back. Resuming in the Group 3 Tabcorp Golden Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight for trainer David Aiken and regular driver Chris Alford, the reining TABtouch inter Dominion champion was sensational in his first up run from a spell. Starting from barrier 10, Alford was forced to park outside speedster Bettor Bet Black who burned out of the gate in 26.4. Sitting in the death set, Alford controlled the tempo with the 2nd quarter being cut out in 30.5. Darren McCall starting to up the tempo with 800 to run and was obviously hoping that with Lenny missing a trial and working early, that he would be able to outstay his opponent with a third quarter in 28.7. But that was put to bed when Lenny and Alford powered on past at the 200m mark to finish off with a sizzling 26.6 last quarter. The overall time was 1.52.2 and Lennytheshark looks well on his way to victory in the Len Smith Mile before heading for another spell to prepare for this years running of the TABtouch inter Dominion at Gloucester Park. Andrew Fitzgerald

Punters left Tabcorp Park Melton on a high after favourites dominated the nine-race harness racing card, including well-travelled three-year-old High Gait, who added a third Australian Group 1 to her decorated career. Driver Chris 'Puppet' Alford brought up his 200th win in Victoria for the season in the Noel Simpson Memorial Victoria Trotters Oaks when he steered High Gait to a hard-earned victory, with the Muscles Yankee filly out of Regal Volo having to fight off a terrific Red Hot Tooth to claim the bulk of the $60,575 stakes. “(High Gait) is a professional little horse. They have probably caught up to her a little bit from last year, but she was still good enough to win,” Alford said. “It’s always good to drive a real nice trotter and ones like this don’t come along too often.” The win rewarded the efforts of trainer Nicole Molander, who has taken back responsibility for the filly after a stint in leading Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon’s care. The Group 1 win was hard earned, with Kari Males’ filly Red Hot Tooth (Yankee Paco/Karaka Tooth) defying her $36 odds to lead impressively. She was joined by the favourite at the 400m mark but never gave up the fight, with High Gait’s class edge bearing fruit in the dying stages to win by 1.3m. “There was plenty of action early and I had to probably come out earlier than what I would have liked,” Alford said. “She got to the front and, I’m not sure what happened, she was going to win by a length and just clocked off, but fortunately she held on.” It was the second of a double for Alford on the night, having earlier steered Our Missionary Man (Jeremes Jet/Hawthorne) to victory in the DNR Logistics Pace for trainer Emma Stewart. Stewart also walked away with a double after Major Secret’s return from a lengthy lay-off continued to bring success, having claimed the tab.com.au Pace for two consecutive victories in the hands of driver Gavin Lang. “For a horse that’s come back after nearly 12 months off and to win two races in a row like that, it’s really a credit to everybody involved,” Lang said of the five-year-old by Art Major out of Secret Life. “We all know how good he has been, but to come back and race at this level and show the ability he has got, to sundry and all it’s a great effort.” Alan Tubbs’ four-year-old Ponder gelding, Tee Cee Bee Macray, again produced a show-stopping burst to salute, this time winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace final for driver Greg Sugars. “He’s got tremendous speed,” Sugars said. “That’s a pretty impressive last quarter … he would have run clearly under 27 (seconds). Very fast horse, very bright future in front of him.” From last at the bell, Tee Cee Bee Macray was given cover into the race before taking off four-wide around the last corner to pursue Kerryn Manning’s heat winner Miss Dreamin and Mildura flyer Murranji Track, who emerged from the box seat into the sprint lane. None could match Tee Cee Bee Macray’s irresistible pace. “He’s turning into more and more of a racehorse every time he steps out on to the track,” Sugars said. “That speed he’s got, it’s going to hold him in good stead when he’s up in grade against better horses, because he can follow any speed and still finish off just as quick. He’s an exciting animal.” Others to venture into the winners’ circle included talented trotters Illawong Byron and Claudys Princess. Trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan's two-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass out of Illawong Blush registered a fourth win from seven starts when Illawong Byron won the Group 2 Haras Des Trotteurs Tatlow Stakes. “He was very fired up tonight in the warm up,” Quinlan said post-race. “I always planned to press forward, I just had to really balance him early. He was just trying to go a little bit too hard and starting to mix his gear a little bit. That’s all an experience thing and if he settles he doesn’t usually trot like that, he usually trots quite good. He is just getting a little fired up.” But despite being a temperamental two-year-old he proved too good, as did Claudys Princess (Bacardi Lindy/All Finesse) who by contrast was once again on her best behaviour to win the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Mares Trot for trainer Michael Blackmore and driver Gavin Lang. “That’s been the great thing about (Claudys Princess), her manners have been exemplary all her life and, as you know, in the trotting ranks you are halfway home when they are like that,” Lang said. There were further smiles in trainer Michael Barby and driver Anne-Maree Conroy’s camp after It Is Billy also confirmed his top billing to win the Mittys Young Pedro Free For All, a second straight success for the It Is I gelding out of Glenlyon Glad. Having led throughout a 26.8 last quarter clinched the deal for It Is Billy. “He can move when he wants too,” Conroy said. “It’s terrific that he did win. The (owners) are happy all the time, it’s great to win for them.” Also making it two wins in as many meetings at Tabcorp Park Melton was Tenno Dance, who won the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for trainer Glenn Sharp and driver Josh Duggan. The five-year-old by Tennotrump out of Disco Dance registered a half-head win from Jimbo Johnson. The night closed with an old favourite from trainer David Aiken’s stable, Smudge Bromac, winning the Cogs Claiming Pace, a 34th career win for the 10-year-old veteran of 189 races. “He went awesome,” driver Josh Aiken said. “He knows his job and loves racing and it’s just good he can still win at age 10.” by Michael Howard

High Gait gets her chance to atone for a recent string of minor placings in Friday night’s Noel Simpson Memorial Victoria Trotters Oaks at Tabcorp Park Melton. The daughter of Muscles Yankee (fourth on the Australian 3YO trotting sires’ list this season) out of Regal Volo, bred by Breckon Bloodstock, has drawn barrier 10 in the 2240-metre Group 1 race, which carries a purse of $60,575. CHECK OUT TAB.COM.AU’S FIXED ODDS MARKET ON THE TROTTERS OAKS The multiple classic-winning youngster has been out of the winners’ list since March 12 when she won the Need for Speed Final, but trainer Nicole Molander said she was particularly pleased with High Gait’s last-start effort in the New South Wales Trotters Oaks at Menangle. “She had a pretty hard run the other day … she still went very good, especially with the run she had,” Molander said. “They ran a world record time for three-year-old fillies over the 2400m and she was wide then parked the whole way. “If she had have had the sit on another runner then she would have finished over the top of them.” Champion reinsman Chris Alford has won five races aboard High Gait. “Chris is a top driver to have on from the tricky draw, so that will be his job,” Molander said. Molander said Pizza Queen and Keayang Yankee were two major dangers in what looks an open Trotters Oaks field. Matt Jackson

Reining Inter Dominion champion Lennytheshark’s trainer David Aiken has confirmed this week he will defend his title when the Inter Dominion Carnival returns later this year. Having won the Victoria and Bendigo Cup’s since his emphatic Perth Inter dominion win, the Four Starzzz Shark entire is aimed at the Len Smith Mile (G1) at Menangle after competing in the Golden Mile (G3) one week earlier. His travel-buddy on the trip to Western Australia will be Hectorjayjay. With the Mildura Cup (G2) and the 4 & 5yo Championship (G2) in his trophy cabinet in his last 4 starts - the Dream Away gelding will contest the Sunshine Sprint (G2) and the Blacks A Fake (G2) in Queensland. Hectorjayjay “I knew he was good when he came to our stables, but I didn’t realise just how good” Trainer David Aiken said after his impressive Melton win on Saturday night. Aiken is hoping the trip to Queensland will give Hectorjayjay much needed travel experience before attempting one of Harness Racing’s tough tasks - the Inter Dominion. Scott Hamilton

The Traralgon Pacing Cup is one of the highlights of an eight-race harness racing meeting at Warragul this Monday afternoon. Run each year by Warragul Harness Racing Club to recognise two decades of racing in the Latrobe Valley (1975 to 1995), the pacing cup has attracted eight starters. Champion reinsman Chris Alford drives Mister Manhattan in Monday's race in an effort to win his fifth Traralgon Pacing Cup. He won the event at Traralgon in 1990 and has won three of the cup races run at Warragul since it was reintroduced in 2006. Alford also drove the last race winner on the old Traralgon circuit. The Traralgon Pacing Cup runs at 3:33pm. The main race on Monday's card is the Ken Miller Memorial, constructed from qualifying heats at Warragul on April 18. Sir Liberty looks particularly hard to beat from barrier two, however a strong contingent of local horses have qualified for the event and they are all keen to win the race named in honour of a Warragul trots stalwart. Lara trainer Dean Braun has half the field engaged in the main two-year-old event, with three of the six starters from his stable. Although the field is small, it will be an interesting race to kick off proceedings on Monday at 12:35pm. The last race of the day could be a good betting contest, with a number of in-form, up and coming horses set to do battle. Over the sprint journey on the tight Pacing Bowl, luck in running will play a part in the result of this race. Kyle Galley Fields for Warragul, Monday 02 May 2016 Form guide for Warragul, Monday 02 May 2016

The Storm Inside’s reputation as a freak two-year-old was only heightened when the colt produced an outstanding win in the second Australian Pacing Gold semi-final at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s Smythes Creek stable claimed both semi-finals with Our Little General (Mach Three) and The Storm Inside (Rocknroll Hanover) , and it was the latter that again dropped jaws having been tested early before finding the lead and still having plenty in the tank to draw clear and win by 9.5m. “He’s showing start-by-start that he’s an improved horse,” driver Greg Sugars said in the wake of The Storm Inside’s win. “He’s the real deal. He’s a top horse and I’m looking forward to next week.” He’ll likely start a short-priced favourite after Saturday night’s outstanding showing. In the first semi-final, Our Little General, renowned for his sprint, was instead called on to produce a dogged run to win the first of the semi-finals. With heat on in the early going Our Little General was the third of four-wide to the first corner, eventually claiming the lead inside Jilliby Kung Fu. By the bell Geoff Webster’s fancied Wrappers Delight had cornered the field and sidled next to Our Little General in the breeze, and they cooled their heels from a 27.7 first quarter to a 29.3 second. Our Little General and Wrappers Delight gained separation at the final bend but the latter lost touch and $21 shot Three Of The Best was the best of the swoopers, almost pinching the race from Stewart’s short-priced favourite. Driver Chris Alford had Our Little General hold on to win from Three Of The Best by a half-head, with Wrappers Delight third and Weona Sizzler (fourth) and None Bettor (fifth) also qualifying for the final.  “He’s a good little horse and had to earn it tonight,” Alford said. “Being in front is not ideal for him. You never know when they get pressure how they will handle it. He is probably better with the sit. Hopefully next week we can get a draw and a bit of luck.” Our Little General won in a 1:55.4 mile, a time eclipsed by 0.8s in the second semi-final.  Alford, chasing a fourth win from as many races on the night, made The Storm Inside earn the lead by pushing Redbank Blaze along early before handing up to Greg Sugars when they entered the straight for the first time. Sugars settled in on The Storm Inside but was kept honest when Bettor Be Gold loomed into the breeze on the back straight. Any thought that the $1.20 favourite was under threat though was soon erased with Sugars again barely moving as The Storm Inside rattled down the final straight to win in 1:54.3. Redbank Blaze ran second from Atomic Red, Bettor Be Gold and fifth-placed San Domino, who all qualified for Friday night’s $322,000 final. by Michael Howard

Victorian three-year-old filly Dancingwithsierra signalled she has arrived as a genuine Group 1 harness racing contender when she led throughout to win the $30,000 Group 3 Tasmanian Oaks over 2579 metres at UBET Park Hobart last night. With Chris Alford in the sulky the well-bred filly by Modern Art prepared at Toolern Vale by Gary Hoban gave her rivals a pacing lesson on her way to her first Group win, scoring by 11 metres from Gina Grace with Chica Bella a distant third with the winner clocking a mile rate of 2.01.43 and ran home her last half (800m) in 57.91. "She is not a big filly but she has tremendous speed and she has good stamina so I'm confident she will be very competitive in races like the Victorian Oaks and the Breeders Crown series," said driver Chris Alford. "Speed is definitely her biggest asset and once she landed in front tonight and nothing took us on seriously I knew she would be very hard to beat. Dancingwithsierra ($1.50 fav) led easily while the well-backed Gina Grace ($4.90) worked hard to face the breeze two laps from home with Chica Bella ($4.90) content to take the sit in the one-out-one-back position. When Gina Grace's driver Mark Yole tried to apply pressure heading down the back stretch the leader picked up the pace and when Alford released the brakes at the top of the home straight his filly powered clear and hit the line without being fully extended. The winner was bred by her trainer and is raced by his son Craig Hoban. "We bred this filly from a mare we raced with some success (Sierra Tango) and she has already proven herself at stud with this filly and her next foal that is a half-brother that we are hoping will win some good two-year-old races this season," Craig Hoban said. Peter Staples

Harness racing drivers Kerryn Manning and Chris Alford led a Victorian surge on day four of the International All Star Series at Ballarat, overturning The World’s advantage. Manning drove a treble, including two series victories, and Alford was at his consistent best producing  a win, two thirds and a fourth to position himself as the night's leading pointscorer. The headlines belonged to Manning, who not only ended the day on top of the leaderboard but wiped almost a second off a track record with her all-the-way win driving trainer Matt Craven’s The Culture. The World weren’t without their shining moments. US contestant Corey Callahan had his best day yet, amassing 32 points that included two placings, and his compatriot Brett Miller produced another long-shot winner for an overjoyed group of owners. Miller brings joy to trainer The day was more difficult for Yannick Gingras (16 points) and Dexter Dunn (23.5 points), who entered the day respective $2.50 and $2.60 favourites. Dunn lost his lead on the series to Manning by a point, with the latter’s golden day continuing in race two – the first of the day’s All Stars series races – when she guided Brent Lilley’s Kyvalley Boomerang to victory. “He got knocked over early and I thought that was it for me, but to his credit he picked himself up and did a good job,” Manning said. Dexter Dunn (Zaire Diva) and Chris Alford (Glenferrie Belle) finished second and third, beaten to the post by Manning who cut the corner, found a gap and then set down wide with a swooping finish. Kerryn Manning's interview post her houdini act Race 14 of the series followed and this time it was all Alford behind Game On Bro, which shot to the lead and never looked back. The fast pace had the pack swooping late, but the Sebastian Steenhuis-trained gelding by Courage Under Fire out off Presidential Rose had enough in the tank to hit the line. “The horse was a bit keen and you’ve just got to drive them,” Alford said. “I tried to keep rating him as slow as I could without strangling him and he was good enough to go on with the job.” Jason Lee almost pinched it with Watchmaka Lombo, while Corey Callahan drove Carseblue into third. Chris Alford finding the Ballarat chill to his liking There was plenty of excitement ahead of the series 15th race, and it didn’t disappoint. Fresh off a second in the Terang Co-Op Pacing Cup and not long since running a 1:51.6 mile at Tabcorp Park Melton, Matt Craven’s The Culture is gaining a loyal following and Kerryn Manning only added to that goodwill. Manning steered The Culture to his front running role from barrier seven and while Chris Alford put highly-fancied Star Of Dionysis on his back, The Culture had too much in the straight. Corey Callahan drove Royal Hustler into second, the $19.10 chance beaten only 4.1m by The Culture who finished in a 1:53.0 mile rate, stripping 0.7 of a second of Saab Quality’s 1710m record set in 2013. Alford finished 2.4m further back in third. “He’s a lovely horse, he actually did that really easy,” Manning said. “The track’s really fast tonight and he probably could have broken that by more.” Kerryn Manning dares dream of a series win after Culture dominates The form book was thrown out for the 16th All Stars race – the last for the day – with three longshots filling the placings in a trifecta worth almost $13,000. Greg Sugars looked as though he had almost pinched it when he moved Cee Goddess to the front and drew clear, only to have Brett Miller draw Premier Rose off his back to take the $36 shot to victory for trainer Ken Tippet. “Anything can happen in a horse race and that right there proved it,” Miller said. “In fact my horse was very good, for the odds being that big, my horse was very good.” Brett Miller's review of a job well done The day began with #trotsallstars taking in historic Sovereign Hill And then the Allstars ventured to a Ballarat Wildlife Park for a cuddle Next stop will be Bendigo on Friday before Saturday’s finale at Tabcorp Park Melton. International All Star Series day four leaderboard:  Kerryn Manning 122.5, Dexter Dunn 121.5, Chris Alford 114, Brett Miller 112.5, Yannick Gingras 104.5, Greg Sugars 104, Jason Lee 95.5, Corey Callahan 93, Gavin Lang 87.5, Anthony Butt 82.5. Overall leaderboard: Victoria 523.5, The World 514. Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

Tonight's $400,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton looked a two horse war between two outstanding harness racing champions in Lennytheshark and Smolda and thats exactly as it panned out. Smolda and Mark Purdon had drawn better at barrier four but have never been renowned for their gate speed whereas Lennytheshark and Chris Alford have always had gate speed to burn which lead most pundits to predict an early war between the two champions. The concenus was that whichever of the two champions made the front would be incredibly hard to beat overall. Smolda, Mister Mundaka and Lennytheshark all came out together as they rushed into the first corner but Lennytheshark had the momentum and made the front in front of Smolda and as predicted that was the winning of the race. Allowed to run the first 1200 metres of the last mile in a sedate 1:29.8,Lennytheshark sprinted quickly from the 400 metres and a last quarter in a smart 26.9 was enough to see him just hold out a late charging Smolda by an ever diminishing head to reverse the result when they last met in the Ballarat Cup. A minor highlight of the Victoria Cup was the performance of the Greg Hope trained Mossdale Conner who after settling near last early, worked forward in the three wide line and then finished brilliantly out wide late on a 26.9 quarter to run third. Driver Ricky May had been bullish about the Bettor's Delight geldings chances going into this week but was looking forward to the Hunter Cup even more as Mossdale Conner is a renowned standing start exponent. Lennytheshark paced the 2240 metres in 2:40.1, a mile rate of 1;55 with closing sectionals of 55.8 and 26.9. The last two meetings between Lennytheshark and Smolda have proven one thing beyond dispute. Whichever of the two champions finds the pegs first invariably proves the horse to beat. There seems to be a tissue paper between them on performance at the moment which has made for some great racing in their last two clashes. Lennytheshark A race earlier, Ohoka Punter sent another warning shot over the bows of his Hunter Cup rivals with another effortless standing start victory at Tabcorp Park Melton in the hands of Anthony Butt. Ohoka Punter seems to be thriving on his Australian campaign and looms as a major player in this years Hunter Cup where the standing start and 3000 metres + trip will suit him down to the ground. Ohoka Punter Harnesslink Media

Reigning Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup winning harness racing trainer Emma Stewart has a double shot at the title this Sunday. The Smythes Creek star will line up two runners in the $30,575, 2660-metre Group 3 feature – part of the Road to Glory ahead of the TAB.com.au Summer of Glory – with Jadahson and Presidentialsecret both taking winning form into the race. Both horses have won two races on the trot with leading reinsmen Chris Alford (Jadahson) and Nathan Jack (Presidentialsecret) to drive the pair. Asked if either horse could replicate Restrepo’s record-breaking Hamilton Cup procession last year, Stewart’s response was obviously predictable. “I don’t think so!” “They might be able to win it but they won’t be able to do what he did.” Jadahson is drawn barrier three on Sunday for three-time Hamilton Cup winning driver Alford (Justa Jomahl 1992, Earlsplace Ego 2003 and Lady Lisa 2004) and Stewart is hopeful he can step well and set the tempo to suit himself. “As long as he brings his manners he’s in good form,” Stewart said. On Presidentialsecret Stewart said: “He has a tricky draw (barrier eight) but he’s going well.” One of Stewart’s Victoria Derby bound three-year-olds, Kingofthestars, has the extreme draw in Race 2, the Western District Employment Agency 3YO Pace over 2160m for reinsman Jack. “He’s a lovely horse. He won well last week and he’ll be targeted towards the Derby,” the trainer confirmed. A key challenger in cup markets on Sunday will hail from the Matthew Craven stable in Desdon Murruffy, a last-start Melton M1-M2 winner in 1:56.2 (last half 55secs) over 2240m. The Craven team has been flying of late, winning 13 races between December 1 and January 14 – including seven wins between January 1 and January 14. Craven said Desdon Murruffy was a good each-way chance in the cup but was a “take on trust” proposition at the stand start. “The key to his chances are he’s got to get away,” Craven said. “He completely bombed his first go at the standing start and at home he’s hit and miss. He’s in terrific form though.” A horse that is no stranger to the Hamilton track is polemarker Arber, who has lined up in the Cup three times for a second in 2012, third in 2013 and eighth in 2014. In-form The Majority makes the trek across from Tasmania for the Cup, former local driver turned Tassie star Mark Yole also returning home for the day to pilot the Matthew Dwyer trained six-year-old, who has run 1-2 seven times out of nine from behind the tapes. Local trainer Kevin Brough, who won the Cup in 1997 with Chase A Rainbow, has Weallwantano lining up from barrier four for reinsman Chris Svanosio. Weallwantano finished down the track last time out at Melton but won there three starts back over Charlie Machsheen, who has barrier five on Sunday for trainer/driver Craig Demmler. Geoff Webster and Emmett Brosnan will combine with five-year-old Ideal Majority in the Cup, drawn seven, while Lara's Dean Braun has two key chances in Macho Comacho (barrier nine) and the high-class stayer Im Corzin Terror off 20 metres for top driver Greg Sugars. Im Corzin Terror ran on well in both the Geelong and Horsham Cups leading into Sunday and is ready to win. Alongside Im Corzin Terror on the back mark is the lightning quick Keayang Cullen, who won the Ballarat Lightning Mile two starts back in 1:53.3. Cody Winnell Fields for Hamilton, Sunday 17 January 2016 Form guide for Hamilton, Sunday 17 January 2016

1 to 16 of 398
1 2 3 4 5 Next »