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Harness racings big day on Sunday at Melton has drawn great fields throughout most of the divisions and the 3 year old trotters are no exception. 3 Year Old Trotters Breeders Crown Final Unlike the two year old trotters where the fillies and colts are separated, at three they are all thrown in together which is a real shame. The other disappointing thing in this years three year old final is the absence of the top Kiwi three year old trotters such as King Denny and Majestic Time but I suppose you can't be everywhere in a long season. In our view in this years final there are really only four winning chances and we deal with those one by one. First up is Our Twentyten who has drawn nicely at barrier four. A serious contender in the classics in New Zealand before his sale to Australia to clients of Brent Lilley, Our Twentyten has quickly established himself as one of the best three year old trotters  in his adopted land. His previous trainer Mark Purdon takes the drive on Sunday which in our view is another tick for Our Twentyten. Our Twentyten does have real gate speed and we expect Mark Purdon to try to grab the lead early and dictate the tempo of the race. The big danger is undoubtedly Claudys Princess who has drawn awkwardly at two on the second line. She has finished either first or second in all of her 13 starts at three and a lot of those starts have been at Group or Listed level. The danger is Claudys Princess is not in complete control of her own destiny from the second line but with the master Gavin Lang in the bike she can overcome the draw. Her last win over Asdenro was an arrogant performance which shows she is right at the top of her game at the moment.  The enigma of the race is without doubt the Kiwi  One Over Da Moon who has drawn barrier five and who has been in the Chris Lang barn for a couple of months now. When he is good he is very good and when he is bad he is awful about sums up One Over Da Moon. Can throw the toys out at times such as the Redwood Classic where he just self destructed and he did the same thing in the Harness Jewels in New Zealand as well but there is no doubting the ability is there. One Over Da Moon was eased out of the gate the last time he raced at  Maryborough before finding the front and that was due to the fact he can over race if you chase him out of the gate which makes his job at  Group One level that much harder. The last of the quartet we fancy is Asdenro who has drawn barrier three. Asdenro has finished in the first three in 11 of 13 starts at three but has been unable to win since he starting racing in the Group and Listed races. He is competitive but just half a length off the top trotters in this division. Asdenro is a free going type who likes to lead but that tends to make him a sitting duck for the likes of Our Twentyten and Claudys Princess who have such high speed. If he burns the gate in trying to hold out Our Twentyten then in our view he can't win the final as the favoured pair have that small class edge. His best chance of winning this race is if the two favourites go to war and he runs over the top of them late in the piece.  SELECTIONS This is a very close call but we think the draw gives Our Twentyten the edge over Claudys Princess but there is not much in it. One Over Da Moon needs to bring his "A' game to be a chance and we think the other two are going just a touch better than him at the moment although his class will always make him a threat. Asdenro needs a few things to happen for him to win but the determination is certainly there. Throw in Bad Habbott, Four Lillies and Lightning Calder for first fours Harnesslink Media

Maryborough was a happy hunting ground for trainer Andy Gath today – the Long Forest harness racing horseman qualifying two horses for the two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown final. Gath’s rising stars Endsino (by Angus Hall out of Jauriol) and Naked Majesty (by Majestic Son out of Starcus) both saluted in their crown heats, with Andy’s wife Kate driving both winners. Endsino started long odds-on in her heat and never looked like getting rolled, leading all the way in a mile rate of 2:04.2 to score a 7.7-metre win over Glenferrie Burn. Naked Majesty won by 3.3m in her heat, overpowering early leader Meadow Valley Road late in the race. Gath sat quietly aboard Naked Majesty behind the leader, the filly peeling to the outside in the stretch to win in a rate 2:05.7. Fabrication recorded a half-neck win in the second heat of the two-year-old colts and geldings crown, defying a fierce challenge from runner-up Kyvalley Boomerang in the home stretch. Driven by Daryl Douglas for Tatura trainer David Abrahams, Fabrication found the front early and controlled the race before Kyvalley Boomerang launched his claim late. Kyvalley Boomerang got on terms with the leader 100 metres from home but it wasn’t to be, the early leader kicking on gamely to earn a ticket into the crown final. King of the trotters, Chris Lang, prevailed victorious with One Over Da Moon in the three-year-old trotters second heat. The colt by Majestic Son cruised around the field early to find the lead before going to the line with a 2.1-metre advantage over runner-up Four Lillies, with underrated Coimadai Lodge hitting the line hard out wide for third. Shared Interest announced himself a major player in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ division with a comfortable heat win over race favourite Eljaykay Phoenix. Driven by Nathan Jack, Shared Interest cruised up to the long odds-on elect at the 400m, eventually peeling into the sprint lane to shoot clear for a 3.3m win. Eljaykay Phoenix battled on for second, but has clearly come back to his rivals somewhat after dominating throughout the Vicbred Super Series, while Illawong Armstrong was third beaten 22.1m. Our Twentyten took out the final Breeders Crown heat for the day, the Brent Lilley trained and Rodney Petroff driven son of Muscles Yankee 3.7 metres too strong for Claudys Princess in their three-year-olds heat. Filly Claudys Princess punched the breeze throughout and battled on gamely for second, while Asdenro secured a beaut run on the leader’s back and was a clear third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Allies Mate made it two wins from two starts in impressive style at Shepparton on Tuesday night. The Jason Donohoe trained-and-driven son of Mcardle sat parked throughout in the 2190m second heat of the Congram Livestock Transport Vicbred Platinum Country Series A, dashing clear in the home straight for a 10.4m win. Despite doing the lion’s share of the work Allies Mate was cruising at the home turn, David Farrar-trained Arriens looming up strongly into second but no match for the winner. Donohoe sat quietly on Allies Mate, which was sent out second favourite behind odds-on pop Royal Hustler, and had a sustained look around at the home turn to sum up the situation. Once he flicked the reins, it was lights out for his rivals and Allies Mate broke clear to record a winning mile rate of 2:00.7 (last half in 57.6 and last quarter 27.6). Donohoe said the horse had trained on well after its first-up win and once the favourite was out of play on Tuesday night, he was confident he could get the job done. “He had trained on well after that first win. The favourite was sort of the only one I was really worried about,” the Marong trainer said. Arriens held on for second for junior driver Mark Pitt, while Black Jasmin was third for Haydon Gray. Royal Hustler galloped at the start and missed the kick badly, failing to make up ground and finishing down the track. Allies Mate became punters’ foe on debut at Bendigo last month when he defeated long odds-on favourite Kept Under Wraps at cricket score odds. On the strength of Tuesday night’s triumph, he won’t be starting at huge odds again anytime soon. Meanwhile, trainer-driver Donna Castles finally broke through for win number three with her four-year-old Lombo Mandingo mare Tennaya. Tennaya, $1.80 on Tuesday night, had endured a frustrating run of second-place finishes, coming in runner-up at six of its past seven starts. But she finally broke through, proving 2.6m too strong for nearest rival Liams Lass (Jim O’Sullivan) despite punching the breeze throughout. Tennaya ran 2:01.4 for the mile rate with a last half of 58.4. The Truth took out the Finley Bowling Club and Finley RSC Trotters Handicap at his first run back from a spell for Kari Males and Paul Males, narrowly edging out race favourite Kains Boy in the first race. Chris Lang trained and drove the winner of the second, the Kelly Grain Trot, with Aldebaran Eastwood, which started $3.10. David Aiken and son Josh Aiken combined to win the McNaughts Transport Pace over 1690m with polemarker Wounded, which led all the way to score by 1.3m over Royal Deviate. Maree Caldow and John Caldow had success in the Tuppal Hotel 3YO Pace with Lost In Bangkok, the gelding saluting by 5.9m in a rate of 1:58.3 over Arrokeefe. And Raylan Gibbins gave driver Nathan Jack victory in the Euroa Excavation Pace for trainer Melinda Thackeray. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

It must be hard at the moment for harness racing owners Lex and Heather Williams to stop smiling as their golden run continues on both sides of the Tasman. Last night at Melton One Over Da Moon won again  for trainer driver Chris Lang in a 2:00.8 mile rate for 1720 meters as he continued his preparation for the Victorian Trotting Derby. That was the icing on the cake after their Angus Hall two year old trotting filly Petite One gave a handy field of older trotters a start and a beating on debut at Addington last night. Dropping out to last early from her bad draw, Petite One was sent forward three wide by her trainer driver Mark Purdon with 1200 meters to run before eventually getting up outside the leader Strathfield Son with 700 meters to run. From there she sprinted strongly once they turned for home, putting the issue beyond doubt in a few strides. Mark Purdon hardly moved in the bike as Petite One went to the line with plenty in reserve. Petite One covered the 1950 meters in 2;30 with closing sectionals of 60.4 and 29.5 , an impressive run in the bitterly cold conditions. When you look at the pedigree of Petite One it is little wonder she is so talented. Not only is she by the great Canadian trotting sire Angus Hall but her dam is the very talented Sundon mare Petite Sunset (7 wins)($115,070) and her grand-dam is none other than the champion trotting mare Pride Of Petite (35 wins) ($811,816). The manner of Petite One's victory last night would suggest that it might not be the last time she brings a smile to Lex and Heather's faces. Petite One One Over Da Moon winning last night in Melbourne Harnesslink media    

Rosedale Farm , in conjunction with Aldebaran Park Australia are excited to announce Swedish Three and Four Year old Breeders Crown Champion, Yield Boko ( Viking Kronos – Ouzo Boko ) will be available to New Zealand breeders in the 2014/15 breeding season. The winner of 22 from 50 race starts, stakes earnings of more the AUD$800,000 and a fastest lifetime mark of 1.55.1 over 2140m, Yield Boko boasts credentials which rank him as one of the greatest trotters ever to be available to breeders in this part of the world. Leading Australian trotting trainer Chris Lang says “He (Yield Boko) was a very good horse, I followed his career and he competed well in the best races against the best horses going around.” “The bottom line is this is just great for the industry, more and more people are taking an interest in what we are doing down under.” Aldebaran Park’s Duncan McPherson added “ For Australiasian breeders ,Yield Boko represents a remarkable opportunity to access bloodlines never before available and we at Aldebaran Park are delighted to be part of making that opportunity possible.” Semen to New Zealand will be strictly limited and breeders are advised they will need to book early. Yield Boko will stand for a fee of $4000 plus gst. For more information: go to www.aldebaranpark.com Harness Racing New Zealand

Blake Fitzpatrick is confident his trotter Vincennes can measure up on Saturday night at Cranbourne in the second heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO entires’ and geldings’ series. “We’ve always had a pretty good opinion of him,” Fitzpatrick said. “He ran a really good race last time (second beaten 1.1m by Blitzthemcalder). He’s done a great job for us up here in Sydney.” Vincennes had won six of his previous seven starts before the last-start second and Fitzpatrick says the son of Ganymede and Showmethemaori had trained on strongly. “He was first-up at Melton so he’s worked better since that run.” Vincennes will start from inside the back row behind polemarker Glenferrie Dreamer from the Craig Demmler stable. “It’s a little bit awkward, but if Glenferrie Dreamer doesn’t come out quickly enough we’ll be looking to get off the fence,” Fitzpatrick said. In the second heat of the 4YO trotting mares’ Super Series the long odds-on favourite will be pole runner Maori Time from the powerful Chris Lang yard. “It looks a winnable race,” Lang said. “Obviously the main fillies Spidergirl and Paris Pepperell aren’t there.” Lang said Maori Time, Paris Pepperell and other mares in the 4YO division were a few rungs below Spidergirl. “I don’t think there’s another mare in the country on a par with Spidergirl at this point,” he said. “She’s got to be considered one of the best trotters in Australia.” Maori Time ran third to Spidergirl last time out, while Paris Pepperell finished second in the same race. They spaced the rest of the field by 40m. There will be extra incentive for trainers to win Race 2 at Cranbourne, the Cranbourne Trainers Bonanza Pace. The winning trainer of the race will go into an end-of-season draw for a trip for two to one of the world’s premier harness racing events. For more details on the Trainers Bonanza, visit the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club website. The first race at Cranbourne begins at 5.22pm. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

When Laura Crossland’s father’s truck broke down and he wandered into a property to seek a hand, who would have thought it would result in David Moran and Crossland securing top trotter Spidergrace for their stable? “He had a truck break down and was stranded in the middle of nowhere, so he walked into a property and the bloke there (Mick Grace) had a few trucks and some horses,” Moran said. “He got talking about them and the bloke said they were trotters. So he told the bloke that his daughter trained a few trotters and (Mick) sent it down to us.” Spidergrace has now had 14 starts for six wins and two minor placings and will be right in the market for the second heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Thursday at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. Spidergrace, by Yankee Spider out of a Red Coach Glory mare called Rockolina, has picked up $38,078 in stake earnings and is rated a $6 third favourite on Thursday behind equal favourites Miracle and Tiavons Dream ($2.20). Moran said Crossland would drive Spidergrace like the best horse in the race. “We’ll push forward and have a look for the lead I’d imagine and if Miracle doesn’t want to hand up we’ll sit outside him,” he said. Spidergrace’s Holmfield run last start was enormous, finishing sixth of eight beaten 16.1m after breaking due to running into the back of a rapidly tiring Our Twentyten at about the 400m. Crossland got off the back of the leader when Our Twentyten made his move and shot past pacemaker Asdenro, but then things turned pear-shaped. If the favourite had kept up his momentum until the home straight, Crossland would have been lauded for a genius drive. But he didn’t and consequently Spidergrace galloped and lost his winning chance. “Laura said he was travelling the best he’d ever travelled in the run, and she made the right move coming off when she did,” Moran said. “She was involved in a bit of a duel with Chris Lang at that point and she was probably more concentrating on that than the one in front. It was just one of those things.” Showing enormous character for a three-year-old trotter, Spidergrace got back into his gait and finished strongly in the straight, passing two runners in the run to the line to finish sixth of eight. “That was a really good sign,” Moran said. “A lot of young ones turn it up after a copping a break like that, but he got going again and it was really good to see.” There are two Super Series heats on Thursday’s program, with the three-year-old trotting fillies to have their second heat in Race 2. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Lex and Heather Williams now have two Homfield trophies sitting side-by-side in their living room. One of them was won by One Over Kenny in 2005 and the other by her son One Over Da Moon at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night. “It’s pretty cool that he managed to win the same race his mother did,” said co-owner and breeder, Lex Williams, who travelled over to Australia to watch him race on Friday. “It definitely was a huge thrill,” he added. One Over Da Moon is being trained by Chris Lang during his Australian Campaign. Lang also did the driving on the three-year-old Majestic Son colt on Friday. “He is on a round trip and will return to Paul Nairn after the Australasian Breeders Crown,” advised Williams. One Over Da Moon was given a nice run in the one-one by Chris Lang, before coming three-wide around the final bend and powering away to win by 2.4 metres over Guiltless and Daenerys Targaryen , who also found the line well. Favourite Twentyten faded to finish last after racing parked outside the leader. “Chris Lang said he may be small but he doesn’t feel it when you are sitting behind him,” said Williams. Although Williams and wife Heather were at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday to soak up the atmosphere, he was extremely disappointed that the race wasn’t televised back in New Zealand. “There were three horses with Kiwi connections in the race, so I think it is absolutely disgraceful that the race wasn’t shown live,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson

Chris Lang's standing as king of the trotters remains well and truly intact after victory in last night’s Group 2 VHRSC Holmfield at Tabcorp Park Melton. The Nagambie trainer-driver guided his newest stable gun One Over Da Moon to a 2.4m win in the 1720m race for three-year-old trotters, the winning mile rate of 1:59.4 the fastest of the colt’s career so far. Formerly trained in New Zealand by Paul Nairn, One Over Da Moon – a New Zealand Harness Jewels champion as a two-year-old who galloped out of contention in the three-year-old Jewels ranks last month – was back to his best last night. The winner started at $3.70 on the tote after the majority of punters sided with last-start New South Wales Trotters Derby winner Our Twentyten as their top Holmfield pick, backing him into $1.70. Off the back straight, favourite punters might have been forgiven for heading to the queue early as Our Twentyten whizzed past early pacemaker Asdenro, which had given a bold sight. But just 200m later things had changed dramatically. Turning for home Our Twentyten was gone, dropping back through the field dramatically in the home straight to wind up last. Guiltless rattled home to run second for Daryl Douglas, while Our Twentyten’s stablemate Daenerys Targaryen, driven by Greg Sugars, used the sprint lane to finish third, ahead of a bold Asdenro, which kept on kicking to run fourth for Haydon Gray. Another trotter it might pay to keep an eye on out of the race is Spidergrace, which lost considerable ground when it galloped approaching the home turn before balancing up once more and making up many lengths in the straight to beat two home. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

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

The Council meeting proper began with consideration of a number of matters discussed at the previous meeting last October. These included the proposal to Extend Three year old Concessions until the end of August to bring us into line with Australia, and the Points Ranking System which, following the recent Handicapping Committee meeting, appeared to have been set aside in favour of a money won system, however some Clubs were still resisting its’ introduction. Gordon Lee and Ken Barron disagreed on whether the current split stake system was working in Southland. Peter Ferguson suggested that each region was different and felt that nominations should be called for C0, C1 and C2 races with split conditions. He suggested that Clubs be lobbied to make better use of race conditions, however the Canterbury reps reported they were continually thwarted in these endeavours. The RIU was to be asked about progress on whether Starters were to be employed by that organisation. Peter Ferguson also reported that pay scales for Clerks of the Course varied considerably, and suggested that the RIU could employ these also. Ken Barron suggested that appearance money be paid (for example back to sixth placing in a twelve horse field), but should not come from the stakes paid to other place-getters. This was supported in general and would be discussed with the Owners, and Breeders organisations. Rob Lawson reminded the meeting that the role of the Association was to support license-holders, and such a move could take money away from that group. The meeting then moved on to agenda items, with Rob Lawson reporting on an HRNZ Animal Welfare Sub-Committee that he had been part of. Basically it was to ensure that a policy document existed that showed HRNZ were being pro-active in the animal welfare field. The Committee took a reasoned point of view that whips were needed, and agreed that our whip use rules were better than the Australian equivalent. Ken Barron suggested the introduction of padded whips, however it was decided that such a move would not alter the perception issue. Peter Ferguson suggested that half the driving fee should be paid if a horse is scratched after declaration time, as a driver is still committed to attend the meeting even if he or she is left with only one drive. Gordon Lee and Rob Lawson advised that the money from unused driving fees was being paid out in various bonus schemes in some areas, however the meeting agreed that the money involved in the proposal would barely effect those schemes. Following discussion it was decided that the Association should put up a remit to achieve the above, however asking that a full fee be paid to the drivers affected. A proposal that the same sulkies be supplied by HRNZ for all races was considered, however the meeting felt that the financial problems involved made it impractical. Mark Jones suggested that larger excesses be applied to insurance for the more expensive sulkies. He also felt that there should be insurance cover for colours and drivers gear, etc. Gordon Lee once again outlined the advantages of the Bulls-Eye Barrier Draw system, particularly in regard to fixed-odds betting. Following discussion, it was decided to write to HRNZ suggesting that this system be used for the Harness Jewels only, as is the case with the Miracle Mile and Interdominion Grand Final. Ken Barron led discussion on the subject of the makeup of the HRNZ Board, with John Lischner advising that the HRNZ Strategic Plan contained an investigation into this, although that did not mean there would be a change. It appeared that the optimum Board size was seven, and the problem was to decide who missed out on representation, while maintaining a reasonable balance. It was decided that the opinions of the Council should be conveyed to HRNZ to be included in their deliberations. Mark Jones, in suggesting the micro-chipping of all horses, suggested that much time, energy and paperwork could be saved by HRNZ and the RIU if this system was introduced. There was full support and a letter of recommendation was to be sent to HRNZ. Consideration was given to various changes to the current scratching penalties, however it was decided that further consideration was needed before any recommendation was made. Mark Jones was supported in suggesting that Clubs with no pylons and passing lanes should not be granted a license to race. Peter Ferguson and David Butcher also felt that lanes should be a consistent length. Following discussion the meeting agreed that the lane should be between 200m and 250m long, and these suggestions were to be made to HRNZ. The current stakes limits applied to Three year-old Concessions were discussed, mostly around whether they were still relevant due to stake increases. There were various opinions on this topic with no agreement being reached at this point. Following discussion it was decided that an increase in driving fees to $75 + GST should be applied for. Due to the resignation of John Lischner, a new Chairman needed to be appointed. John Lischner nominated Rob Lawson as the new Chairman, and this was seconded by Peter Ferguson and supported unanimously. National Council Meeting Feedback The following is a summary of feedback from HRNZ and the RIU on matters raised at the recent National Council meeting. From Edward Rennell, HRNZ CEO: Q. Can you advise any progress on extending the Three year-old concessions until the end of August, as suggested by Wayne Reid. A. CONSIDERED BY HANDICPPING SUB-COMMITTEE 9 APRIL – NO SUPPORT FOR CHANGE TO STATUS QUO RE THIS. Q. Bulls Eye Barrier Draw. There was full support at the Council meeting for using this as a one-off for the Harness Jewels. Is it too late for this year? A. TOO LATE FOR THIS YEAR. CAN CONSIDER IN DEBRIEF FOR NEXT YEAR, WHICH WILL BE DONE IN LATE JUNE. Q. There is a proposal to pay a full driving fee for declared drivers for scratched horses. The idea is to put up a Remit - is that the way to go? A. LET ME CHECK – IF REMIT, I WILL GET CHRIS LANGE TO DRAFT AND PUT UNDER TDA NAME IN ORDER PAPER. Q. It was suggested that larger excesses should be applied to Sulky Insurance to cover at least some of the larger costs involved recently. How would that be done? A. COLIN HAIR, JENNY AND I DISCUSSED THIS WITH JOHN LISCHNER TODAY. SUBJECT TO COMPUTER WORK REQUIRED, ONE OPTION MIGHT BE TO GIVE TRAINERS AN OPTION OF PAYING RATE A OR B SAY, WHICH WILL THEN HAVE DIFFERENTIAL MAXIMUM PAYMENTS AVAILABLE. WE WILL DO SOME MORE ANALYSIS OF OPTIONS AND THEN BRING BACK FOR CONSULTATION. THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE END OF MAY AND LICENCE RENEWALS BEING SENT OUT. From Mike Godber, General Manager RIU: Q. Has there been any progress on the RIU employing Starters, which the Association fully supports? Also has any thought been given to the RIU employing Clerks of the Course? A. The matter of Starters and whether the RIU should employ them will be reviewed in the new season. The RIU contracting Clerks of the Course has not been considered. My initial thoughts are that local knowledge is pretty important in finding competent people who can do the job so Clubs are probably better placed to continue to find and contract Clerks of the Course than the RIU. Q. Are there any plans to test frozen samples for Cobalt Chloride? A. Regarding the potential to test frozen samples for cobalt I would advise yes that is definitely part of our testing policy. You can take it that this policy will not only apply to cobalt but to any new prohibited substance. There is no point in freezing samples and holding them for 6 months if you don't then take the opportunity to test them when a new substance comes about. I understand the Australians have also tested frozen samples when new tests come available. Q. Can you clarify the policy concerning late scratching of horses that have been sold, and there are no emergencies in the field denied a start. There seem to have been inconsistencies in the level of fines for this recently. A. The policy is that where a horse is scratched after being sold and it does not deny a horse a start and the trainer has been in contact with the stewards in the lead up to the sale the RIU will not charge. While that is the general policy we do consider each case. Recently a trainer was charged even though the scratching did not deny another horse a start. The Stewards were advised the horse would be scratched at 5.50pm on the night of the races, and there had been no contact prior, advising the horse was possibly being sold. There was another situation which may have caused this matter to be raised. I believe it was up north a trainer was charged $350 by the JCA who, in their decision, considered it a deliberate act when their horse was scratched around 10am on race day. Perhaps a week later at Methven, a horse was scratched 7pm the night before the races the fine was $250. The stewards who had noted the northern JCA decision submitted to the JCA that they did not consider the scratching a deliberate act and the result was a lower fine. The variation in fines is ultimately down to the JCA and there may be some variation in circumstances. Thanks to Edward and Mike for their prompt responses to our questions. There are further matters up for discussion and consideration, details of these will be posted at a later date. Rob Lawson expressed his thanks for his appointment and was supported by those present in paying tribute to John Lischner for his years of hard work as Chairman and representative on the HRNZ Board. John Lischner in turn, expressed his thanks for the being given the opportunity to represent the Association, and wished his successor well for the future. By PETER T COOK (TRAINERS AND DRIVERS ASSOCIATION)

Harness racing prominent breeder-owner Pat Driscoll knocked down the three top-priced lots at the second Pryde’s EasiFeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale held at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 23. Driscoll, who trades as Yabby Dam Farms, pocketed a cool $119,000 for his three-strong draft including the sale topping colt at $41,000, a son of USA superstar Muscle Hill out of the Malabar Maple mare Calder Luck, a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 placegetter Calder Sensation, Calder Image and Bella Cheval. The handsome youngster was bought for a syndicate by John and Maree Caldow, who developed and trained Calder Sensation, a winner of 16 races and $142,762. An Angus Hall colt out of Maori’s Dream, the grand-dam of the top priced lot, realised the second highest price of $40,000. He was knocked down to Romsey trainer Chris Alford on behalf of stable clients Phil Walshe and Craig Nott. While another of the Muscle Hill progeny, a colt from the USA bred Let’s Be Happy, the dam of Bathurst Gold Coronet winner Verbier, was garnered by Christchurch trainer Tim Butt for $38,000. Two Angus Hall youngsters, one out of the Muscles Yankee mare Lindy’s Two Step (1:57.4) and the other from the useful Sundon mare Pinevale Ellason, realised $30,000 and $28,000 respectively. Majestic Son, a leading sire of juvenile trotters, had three head sell including a gelding out of the R C’s Dee Jay mare Howdoudo, the dam of Vicbred champion Split Image, which was haltered by Chris Lang Jnr for $30,000. Two Majestic Son colts out of strong New Zealand-bred mares from Harness Breeders Vic committeeman Gerard Moloney’s draft sold for $22,000 and $20,000. Former local champion Skyvalley was the sire of the highest priced filly Aldebaran Eve, out of the Victoria Oaks winner Aldebaran Dream, consigned by Aldebaran Park and sold for $18,000, while a Skyvalley colt from the 2YO and 3YO Trotter of the Year Jauriol realised $20,000. Running Pinevale, also a Victoria Oaks champion, was represented by her second foal, a colt by NZ-based import The Pres, who was knocked down for $22,000. Of the 36 lots offered, 31 were sold for an average price of $16,359, up almost 25 percent on last year. by Peter Wharton

The Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Gold, Silver and Bronze harness racing series’ have become one of the key facets of Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star night and it only solidified its place in 2014. Spidergirl stole the show in a brilliant display in the Gold Final, handling her rivals with ease in a speedy mile rate of 1:56.8. Drawn outside the second row, she was forced to work mid-race to the breeze before handing that position over to her stablemate Vics Cheval. In a race changes Death Defying found the front in the opening stages before handing over to Quite A Moment who in turn allowed Shes An Image to stride clear. In the burn off the back Spidergirl re-emerged into the running line and loomed up to hit the front at the top of the straight. Charging clear from firstly Waikare Patricia who came into the race three-wide and then Josephine Jones who was running home. Spidergirl went on to win the Group 2 by 2.5 metres from Josephine Jones with Quite A Moment sneaking up along the pegs into third. The last half came in 58.1secs. Maori Time may have shown during her three-year-old season that she was first class, but her return to take on the older mares through the Lyn McPherson Breed For Speed Silver series has cemented hers as a mare on the rise. Drawn barrier four, she trotted to the front and turned it on, rating 1:58.8 for the mile. With major danger Queens Vacation enjoying the run behind the leader throughout, it appeared a battle was ready to erupt heading to the corner but Chris Lang’s six-time winner put it beyond doubt. Cruising home by 3.1 metres, Maori Time finished off in a 57.9secs last half and took her prizemoney past the $60,000 level. The Bronze final was taken to odds-on favourite Dizzyinterest who outclassed her rivals from the chair. In a mile rate of 2:00.5, she made amends for her mistake in the heat, going on to score from Nomistakingpegasus by 3.9 metres. The sprint trip was conquered in even quarters of 29.2secs, 30.9secs, 30.8secs and 30.3secs. A strong competitor through her three-year-old season, the David Aiken-trained mare showed she is back to her best and read to race through her classes after capturing the $10,000 final. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

The Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star has arrived. With a plethora of international stars in town, the scene is set for the harness racing $400,000 heat and final series to be run tomorrow night. Australasia's best trotters will converge on Tabcorp Park Melton for a memorable night of squaregaiting.   The Game Plan for Great Southern Star Night  with Jason Bonnington @jasonbonnington Best Roughie ($10 x $30) Josephine Jones (Race 8 no. 1) $16/$3.22 TAB Fixed Odds The Money Races Race 5 4/ 2,9/ 2,8,9. $40 gets 1000% 4/ 2,9/ 3,5,6,10. $24 gets 300% 2,9/ 4/ 2,8,9. $12 gets 300% 2,9/ 4/ 3,5,6,10. $4 gets 50% Race 6 6/ 4,5/ 4,5,9. $40 gets 1000% 6/ 4,5/ 2,3,7,8. $24 gets 300% 4,5/ 6/ 4,5,9. $12 gets 300% 4,5/ 9/ 2,3,7,8. $4 gets 50% The EARLY Quads (x4 for $120) 4,8/ 11/ 1/ 1,3,6. $45 gets 750% 4,8/ 11/ 2,3/ 1,3,6. $30 gets 250% 4,8/ 1,2/ 1/ 1,3,6. $30 gets 250% 6,11/ 11/ 1/ 1,3,6. $15 gets 250% The Quads (x5 for $120) 4/ 6/ 2,3/ 3,6,11. $34 gets 566.67% 4/ 6/ 2,3/ 1,10. $8 gets 200% 4/ 6/ 1,4,5,7,10/ 3,6,11. $30 gets 200% 4/ 4,5/ 2,3/ 3,6,11. $24 gets 200% 2,9/ 6/ 2,3/ 3,6,11. $24 gets 200% Visit the Good Form Site here   Early Quaddie Jackpot On Great Southern Star TAB.com.au have supported the Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star with gusto, announcing earlier in the week a $25,000 Jackpot on the Early Quaddie. The innovative new bet type has already captured punters attention and with the huge bonus money rolling into the two Great Southern Star heats, the Early Quaddie is expected to explode this week. Click here to read more. Calder Has Eyes On Southern Star Blitz If there was just one horse that represents everything the Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star stands for, then it's got to be local contender Blitzthemcalder. He is young and brazen, bold and elegant, and he has the high speed required to trot at a rapid pace over the 1720 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton. Click here to read more. International Trotting Ambassadors Down Under HRV's international ambassadors have well and truly arrived for the Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton and with them they have brought world-wide coverage to Victoria's newest flagship trotting race. Chantal Sutherland and Corey Callahan have already excelled in their fields - Sutherland a star US jockey and Callahan the leading reinsman in the states this season. And joining them is Jonas Czernyson, one of the young guns of the training scene in North America. Click here to read more. Lang Has Podium Positions Covered Nagambie trainer Chris Lang could walk away with gold, silver and bronze at Melton's Tabcorp Park on Saturday night. Lang takes a strong hand into Australia's trotting night of nights, including live chances in all three of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed Series finals. Click here to read more.   adies Landing Plenty Of Winners In Teal Team Teal has taken over March in the trotting world with the exciting promotion involving all the female drivers in Victoria wearing TEAL DRIVING TROUSERS to increase awareness in Ovarian Cancer. The female drivers have done the cause proud driving 34 winners to date in March with just over a week left. Click here to read more. Gath Has Stars In Her Eyes The Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star is still in its infant state but after making waves on the international stage in its inaugural year 12 months ago, the scene is set for another classic. With the prizemoney for the final topped up to $300,000, taking the entire series to $400,000, it has already become the most sought after trotting race in the southern hemisphere. Click here to read more. Danny Frawley And Brian Gath Headline Echuca Cup The $25,000 Echuca Cup is upon us with a long list of stars descending on the state's north tonight. The announcements are coming thick and fast with Danny Frawley and Brian Gath ambassadors for the event. Click here to read more. Like us Follow us Visit us Copyright © 2014 Harness Racing Victoria, All rights reserved.

Bray Raceway Ballarat was the venue for Monday harness racing and with the Great Southern Star only a matter of five days away, it was appropriate for the trotters to take centre stage and that they did, with four of the nine races programmed for them. Impressive Wind Cries Maori/Tachometer gelding Glintintheeye trained at Bolinda by Brent Lilley made it two from two when successful in the Porter Industries 2-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 1710 metres. Driven once again by Chris Alford, Glintintheeye coming from 10 metres avoided a number of gallopers on the first turn, settling four back along the markers, with Welkin Park leading from barrier two for Graeme Whittle. Moving to trail the pacemaker at the bell, Glintintheeye joined Welkin Park in the run along the back straight to stride clear on the home turn, assisted by Welkin Park galloping. Cruising to the wire, Glintintheeye scored by 12.7 metres from Welkin Park which got going again, with Trade Wind (four back the markers at bell) a further 14 metres away in third place. The mile rate 2-10.7 Very smart Armbro Variable/Maoris Lass colt Asdenro brought up four wins in succession by taking the Windmill AG Vicbred Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 2200 metres in a rate of 2-02.6. Trained at Maiden Gully (Bendigo) by David Van Ryn, Asdenro driven by stable reinsman (nephew) Haydon Gray led throughout from gate four to account for the roughie Brisharlo (three back the markers) which gave the leader a scare on turning when moving up swiftly to issue a challenge. Tiroroa Tom ran on late from mid-field for third. Being St Patricks Day, the Guinness would have been flowing after the Tanya Daniels The Good Guys Trotters Mobile for T1 & T2 class over 2200 metres, as Dunnstown brothers John and David Murphy snared the quinella, with Tommy Kay (Mick Stanley) defeating Monica My Dear (Glenn Conroy) by the shortest possible margin. Sent forward from outside the front line to join the pole line leader Im Anonymous in the back straight on the first occasion, Tommy Kay trained by John showed a great deal of courage to score in a thrilling finish, while Monica My Dear may have been the unlucky runner, as she was badly held up on the back of the leader before gaining a late split in the shadows of the post to just fail. Im Anonymous weakened to finish third 1.7 metres away. The mile rate 2-05.2. The Laser Electrical Trotters Mobile for T1 & T2 class over 2200 metres saw Nagambie maestro Chris Lang in the winners stall, when talented Dream Vacation/Invasions Pride four year old gelding Lord Liam greeted the judge much to the delight of owner/breeders Richard and Pauline Matthews. Trained and driven by Chris, Lord Liam had little difficulty in retaining the inside running from the pole and despite being covered by a hard pulling Frances Annie from the bell, was never really let go in defeating the last start Ballarat winner Happy Hombre which trailed by 4.1 metres in a rate of 2-02.4. Frances Annie fought on extremely well to finish third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

The trotting super stable of Chris Lang will take a two-pronged attack into Saturday night’s Seelite Windows and Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. Lang will put the polish on six-year-olds Kyvalley Blur and I See Icy Earl in the Group 1, $100,000 feature over 2240m, with Lang to pilot the former and Greg Sugars to steer the latter. The Nagambie trainer takes high expectations into the race, with Kyvalley Blur ready to recapture the form that saw him topple expected favourite My High Expectations in December. While the David Aiken-trained seven-year-old has dominated recent feature races and deserves to go into the race as the popular elect, Lang shed some light on Kyvalley Blur’s seemingly flat form line. “He had been suffering from a virus but his last run was much better,” he said. “His last run he probably needed the run a bit, so I’d expect he can make the improvement. The virus does explain why he looked a bit disappointing for a while there.” Lang cited the Aldebaran Bill Collins Mile result at Cranbourne in December when asked about My High Expectations. On that occasion Kyvalley Blur won, while Elegant Image finished second. “He deserves top billing,” Lang said of My High Expectations. “And my bloke probably lacks a bit of match practice too at the moment. “With the virus I’d always prefer it in February rather than March, so that’s a good thing.” I See Icy Earl has been racing well of late but has drawn the second row for Saturday night. But Lang is adamant the poor draw won’t worry him too much: “He’s not the sort of horse who can utilise a good draw. He’s a bit one-dimensional in that he’s just a sit-sprinter. “He’s going very, very well. He beat Elegant Image two runs back and he beat Blitzthemcalder four runs ago. So he’s got some big scalps. It will be hard from back there though, it always is.” Lang said leading reinsman Chris Alford, who has driven Kyvalley Blur at most of his runs this preparation, elected to drive Boizel on Saturday night. “He thought it’d be best if I drove Kyvalley Blur,” he said. “I put him on when I was injured and I just stuck with him.” by Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

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