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Jilliby Kung Fu is the 2017-18 Victorian harness horse of the year after the annual honours were bestowed upon the winners at last night’s Gordon Rothacker Medal event at Crown Palladium. Over 450 people attended the industry’s night of nights, which also featured a lengthy list of honours, including legend I.R. Dick Lee receiving the prestigious Gordon Rothacker Medal. In the Horse of the Year awards, Jilliby Kung Fu, trained by Marg Lee, secured top gong for a dual Group 1 winning four-year-old season (wins in the TAB 4YO Bonanza at Melton and the Chariots of Fire at Menangle), plus a runner-up effort beaten a head in the Grand Circuit open-age classic, the Miracle Mile, in 1:46.9. Check out what the award recipients had to say about their equine stars The Victorian Horse of the Year voting panel, comprising 10 judges, voted 4-2-1 for overall Horse of the Year, and Jilliby Kung Fu picked up 20 votes to finish five ahead of Lennytheshark, whose biggest win for the year was the Group 1 Victoria Cup. Lennytheshark, who won the open-aged pacing entires and geldings’ horse of the year gong, also won an Inter Dominion heat and finished second in the Group 1 Ballarat Cup and fourth in the Group 1 Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup. Filly Shez All Rock capped a dazzling three-year-old season by winning Victorian three-year-old filly of the year and was third in the overall Victorian Horse of the Year category with 12 votes. Shez All Rock was judged on her performances when trained in Victoria by Emma Stewart and then Mark Pitt, with her major performances therefore being her Group 1 Alabar Victoria Oaks and New South Wales Oaks successes. Trotter Sparkling Success was fourth overall for Victorian Horse of the Year (11 votes), the John Meade-trained star winning the open-age trotting entires and geldings’ section after winning two Group 1 races for the season – the Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star and the Aldebaran Park Maori Mile. Soho Tribeca (six votes) finished in fifth place for the overall Victorian Horse of the Year award. Importantly, judges could only take into account Soho Tribeca’s performances when trained by a Victorian-based trainer. Soho Tribeca won the Group 2 Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup, and placed in the Group 1 Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup, Group 1 Allied Express Sprint and Group 1 Miracle Mile. Other horses to pick up votes in the overall Victorian Horse of the Year were trotting mare Maori Time (four votes), open-age pacing mare Ameretto and last season’s premier three-year-old male, Poster Boy (one vote each). The judging panel consisted of Rob Auber, Jason Bonnington, Michael Guerin, Adam Hamilton, Michael Howard, Lachlan McIntosh, Dan Mielicki, Craig Rail, Blake Redden and Cody Winnell.   Victorian Horse of the Year 2017-18 results 2YO Pacing Colts and Geldings Centenario: 32 Hurricane Harley: 28 Hardhitter: 8 Lochinvar Art: 2 2YO Pacing Fillies Kualoa: 38 Soho Nolita: 20 Major Kiss: 6 Tangoingwithsierra: 4 Two Times Bettor: 2 3YO Pacing Colts and Geldings Poster Boy: 40 (unanimous) Ride High: 20 Major Times: 4 Konan: 3 Master Moonlite: 2 Duplicated: 1 3YO Pacing Fillies Shez All Rock: 34 Speak No Evil:  26 Soho Burning Love: 10 4YO Pacing Entires and Geldings Jilliby Kung Fu: 40 (unanimous) Wrappers Delight: 20 Motu Meteor: 6 Stars Align: 3 Magical Marn:  1 4YO Pacing Mares Carlas Pixel: 36 Tell Me Tales: 24 Flying Moth: 10 5YO+ Pacing Entires and Geldings Lennytheshark: 34 Soho Tribeca: 23 Shadow Sax: 13 5YO+ Pacing Mares Ameretto: 40 (unanimous) Our Golden Goddess: 19 Berisari: 11 2YO Trotting Colts and Geldings Always Ready: 40 (unanimous) Kyvalley Clichy: 17 Moreton Bay:  13 2YO Trotting Fillies Sleepee: 30 Emerald Stride: 26 Fear The Yankee: 13 Georgias Pride: 1 3YO Trotting Colts and Geldings Wobelee: 30 Stress Factor: 29 Anywhere Hugo: 11 3YO Trotting Fillies Moonshine Linda: 40 (unanimous) Pretty Majestic:   20 Moonlite Dream: 10 4YO Trotting Entires and Geldings Kheiron: 40 (unanimous) Deltasun: 20 Claudys Prince: 5 Garshaway: 2 Carnera:  1 Hellbound:  1 Illawong Byron:  1 4YO Trotting Mares Margaret Ruth:  33 Kinvara Sue: 23 Margaret Jean: 9 Myrtle Vale: 3 Andyou: 2 5YO+ Trotting Entires and Geldings Sparkling Success: 38 Tornado Valley: 21 Kyvalley Blur: 11 5YO+ Trotting Mares Maori Time: 32 Red Hot Tooth:  27 Regal Pepperell: 7 Hey Yo:  3 My Tribeca:  1 Overall Victorian Horse of the Year Jilliby Kung Fu: 20 Lennytheshark: 15 Shez All Rock: 12 Sparkling Success: 11 Soho Tribeca: 6 Maori Time: 4 Ameretto: 1 Poster Boy: 1 Cody Winnell Trots Media

If Gottashopearly can produce a minor miracle and qualify for December’s TAB Inter Dominion series, he’ll be positioned to become the pride of Tamworth. For the duration of the three-week ID18 series at least, the Country Music Festival preparations will take backseat as the Richard Williams-prepared steed takes on the best in Australasia’s premier harness racing series. Heck, if Gottashopearly wins they’ll have to replace the Golden Guitar with the bronzed pacer. “We’ve definitely thrown him in the deep end of the pool,” acknowledged trainer Williams on RSN’s One Out, One Back this morning. “He won our feature at Tamworth over 2700m and rated a 2:01 mile rate on a 750m track. As far as the Inter Dominion nomination is concerned it wasn’t really on the radar until we sort of thought, everything ticks the boxes for him. He loves the quick back-up and he’s a genuine stayer. "We’ve taken him to Brisbane and Menangle to step him up and see what he’s got. He wouldn’t disgrace himself, so we thought we’d throw him in and have a stab. And if it’s not this year, who knows, maybe next year.” Gottashopearly has already jumped 11 spots in the TAB ID18 rankings since the initial positions were released earlier this month, but he’s still got a long way to go. He’s up to 92 (from 103), starting out second-lowest ranked of the 104 entrants. A forward showing in tomorrow night’s 3SH Swan Hill Pacing Cup would see him thunder up the charts. And there’s money in the market to suggest he just might – backed from $31 to $14 with TAB.com.au’s fixed odds market for the Swan Hill Trots Country Cups Championship feature. “We haven’t driven 12 hours for nothing,” Williams said when asked about the pacer’s chances at Swan Hill. Similar to fellow Swan Hill Cup and ID18 contender Im The Boss, Gottashopearly is a former claimer. “Basically I was nagging the owners to claim the horse about four months ago and they weren’t real keen on him … they ended up claiming him to keep me quiet. Now they’re pretty big fans of him,” Williams said. Cody Winnell

Tiger Tara tore shreds off his rivals to score a remarkable 12.2-metre win in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton. The New South Wales-trained eight-year-old clawed his way to the lead early for reinsman Todd McCarthy, defying the challenge of fellow Sydneysider Mach Doro, and powering past polemarker Gotta Go Ya Hu, before ripping home with a 54-second last half. That made it virtually impossible for anything to make ground from out the back following a 44.2secs lead time and 59.6 first half. “Being able to lead on him worked out perfectly,” McCarthy said. “We got that breather early and were ready to roll after that. Full credit tonight to (trainer) Kevin Pizzuto; he had him absolutely at the top of his game.” Chicago Bull lost no admirers, boxing on gamely to run second, covering ground in the breeze and holding off third-placed Carlas Pixel – the mare running a bottler to finish third – and Franco Nelson, who did his share of work early, finishing fourth, just ahead of stablemate My Alpha Rock. Chicago Bull remains the favourite for the TAB ID18. Ameretto, who finished last, was scoped post-race and showed signs of mucous, according to trainer-driver Kerryn Manning, which may explain the performance. Tiger Tara will now head to New Zealand for a tilt at the $800,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup, one of the international jewels of the sport, before returning to Victoria for the TAB Inter Dominion from December 1. Ranked No.3 in the Inters earlier this month, there would be every chance Tiger Tara could launch to the top of the charts when rankings are updated this week. “We’ll definitely be back for the Inter Dominion,” an elated Pizzuto said. “He’s such a great horse with a big heart.”   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Tornado Valley may head to New Zealand for a crack at the feature Kiwi trot races next month before returning home for the TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship after winning tonight’s Group 1 Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint at Tabcorp Park Melton. First-up from a spell, Tornado Valley was aided by a 10-out-of-10 Kate Gath drive, going hard enough early for potential pest Conon Bridge to drop on to her steed’s back. “I thought if I keep on running through early it’s a chance of dropping on my back and that made a big difference. As soon as he did, I was able to ease the tempo straight away,” Gath said. Tornado Valley trotted his first split in 29.3 and his second in 31.1, which forced major danger Kyvalley Blur to launch from the back earlier than he would have liked, and the rest was elementary. Tornado Valley got home in 56 seconds. Dance Craze rattled home into second place for Anton Golino and Rodney Petroff, while Kyvalley Blur sustained his long effort to finish in third. Tornado Valley’s mile rate was 1:55.7. “I think he’ll be good with a sit as well,” Kate Gath said when asked about Tornado Valley’s plans in coming months. “I don’t think he has to be driven this way (tonight). At home, he’s really good with a sit. I think he’s versatile.” Tornado Valley – a son of Skyvalley – is now the clear TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship favourite. Representing race sponsor Aldebaran Park, Duncan McPherson remarked “to see Skyvalley sire the winner is a great thrill for us”.  Skyvalley stands at Aldebaran Park. Read about Tiger Tara's enormous Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup victory Book your ID18 tickets online now   Cody Winnell Trots Media

The story of tonight’s Natale and Camera Italian Cup Pace at Mildura was the long-awaited return of 2018 TAB Inter Dominion contender San Carlo. Given the obvious origins of the pacer’s name, omen players may have ignored the fact San Carlo was deep in the red and just taken the $1.04 on offer. And truth be told, he never looked like losing, although he did have to do it the hard way. In-form local Brocks Territory and Luke Watson weren’t going to relinquish top billing in the run and San Carlo's driver, Bec Bartley, would have to breeze aboard her champ. Despite covering extra ground however, the eight-year-old eventually drew clear for a 5.5m win in a rate of 1:55.9, simply proving too classy for his rivals as San Carlo took his important first steps towards ID18. "We're really happy with him," Bartley said. "He pulled up really good and we're looking at either Swan Hill or Cranbourne (Cup), but will see how he travels home.  "He's probably about 90 per cent at the moment and needed the run tonight." San Carlo won a heat of last year's Inter Dominion in Perth before finishing ninth in the grand final. The victory was the second leg of a winning double for Bartley and trainer Stephen O’Donoghue, who combined to win the fifth race at Mildura with honest six-year-old Willem.   Cody Winnell

EQUITANA Melbourne patrons will be offered the opportunity to witness the excitement of the trots through free entry into one of the 2018 TAB Inter Dominion events with a recognised 2018 EQUITANA Melbourne gate pass. In December, the TAB Inter Dominion returns to Victoria for the first time in 10 years, and the reintroduction this year of the Trotting Inter Dominion Championship – to run alongside the Pacing Inter Dominion Championship – will see the best standardbred horses of both gaits journey to Victoria for Australasia’s most prestigious harness racing event. ID18 opens with heats at Tabcorp Park Melton on opening night, Saturday December 1, followed by heat nights two and three at Ballarat (December 4) and Cranbourne (December 8). Then, on Saturday night December 15, ID18 culminates with the exhilarating Inter Dominion Grand Finals at Tabcorp Park Melton. The Seven Network will broadcast TAB Inter Dominion Grand Final Night between 9pm and 10.30pm. For all equine enthusiasts, the EQUITANA and TAB Inter Dominion events provide a unique opportunity to experience two vastly different aspects of the equine world. EQUITANA is famous as an education, entertainment and shopping frezy, and the ID18 showcases the most exciting harness racing in the southern hemisphere, and you can have both for the price of one EQUITANA ticket. HRV’s HERO (Horse Education and Re-homing Opportunities) program will feature at EQUITANA. Secure your EQUITANA ticket at www.equitana.com.au   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today conducted the barrier draw for the 2018 Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup at the Amora Hotel in Richmond. The race will be run at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. The final field for the Group 1, $200,000 race to be run at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night is:   1: Gotta Go Ya Hu (Shane and Lauren Tritton / Lachie Manzelmann) 2: Tiger Tara (Kevin Pizzuto / Todd McCarthy) 3: Chicago Bull (Gary Hall Snr / Gary Hall Jnr) 4: Im The Boss (David Aiken / Greg Sugars) 5: Mach Doro (Craig Cross / Luke McCarthy) 6: Franco Nelson (Shane and Lauren Tritton / Lauren Tritton) 7: Wrappers Delight (David Aiken / Kima Frenning) 8: Majordan (Kevin Pizzuto / Chris Geary) 9: Shadow Sax (Emma Stewart / Chris Alford) 10: Carlas Pixel (Dean Braun / Gavin Lang) 11: My Alpha Rock (Shane and Lauren Tritton / Josh Aiken) 12: Ameretto (Kerryn Manning / Kerryn Manning) 13: Three Ways (EM) (Andy Gath / Kate Gath)   CODY WINNELL EDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER      

Having to choose between two live chances - and personal favourites - in a Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup is a nice problem to have, but it also brings a tinge of heartbreak. For rising star driver Kima Frenning, who less than four years ago relocated to Australia from Sweden as a monte rider, she never fathomed being in such a pleasant predicament. But this morning she made the call after seeking counsel from her team, siding with Wrappers Delight over Im The Boss for Saturday night's Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton and beyond. "It was a very, very hard decision but I'll be driving Wrappers," she said. "I talked with Aik (trainer David Aiken) and the owners of both horses, and that's the decision we've come up with. He's done so much for me that horse (Im The Boss), but you've got to pick one."  Five-year-old Wrappers Delight heads into the Victoria Cup having taken out last weekend’s Group 2 TAB Multiplier Smoken Up Sprint, finishing ahead of three of his Vic Cup rivals on that occasion. He also won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series and Hygain Breeders Crown finals last season. “He’s the up-and-comer,” she said. “I’d say there will be improvement (from last weekend). This will be his third run back and the way he raced through the Vicbreds he just kept improving. The earplugs never came off in the Smoken Up Sprint, so he should have a bit left.” Im The Boss has been a revelation since joining the Aiken stable after being claimed for $11,000. He’s since won the Park Douglas Printing Mildura Cup, Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup and the Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup. Both horses will target the TAB Inter Dominion, which kicks off in Victoria on December 1. WA star Chicago Bull is the hot favourite for the Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup. Frenning’s own rise in the sport in a short time has been nothing short of remarkable. She has transitioned from saddle to sulky with an ease that only comes from having an innate knowledge of standardbred horses. “It feels amazing. It’s just so special. I didn’t think I’d even be driving this much, let alone in the big races. I’ve got so many good people around me supporting me and I’m pinching myself,” she said. “It feels unreal. I’m loving it and just trying to take it all in.” Frenning hadn’t even heard of the Inter Dominion before moving Down Under, but now explains it to those back in Sweden as “the Australian version of the Elitlopp” “It’s clearly the biggest race here and to have four horses from the (Aiken) stable nominated, it’s crazy,” she said. Book your ID18 tickets today The confirmed starters for the 2018 Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup in alphabetical order are: AMERETTO CARLAS PIXEL CHICAGO BULL NZ FRANCO NELSON NZ GOTTA GO YA HU NZ IM THE BOSS MACH DORO MAJORDAN MY ALPHA ROCK NZ SHADOW SAX TIGER TARA NZ WRAPPERS DELIGHT THREE WAYS NZ (Em 1)   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Trainer Gary Hall Snr is in firm agreement with the TAB Inter Dominion handicappers. Chicago Bull is No.1. The Peth superstar pacer owns the rare air of being top-ranked horse for Australasia’s premier harness racing series after Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced the first round of rankings today. Last season’s Inter Dominion runner-up has won 11 of his last 12 starts and is about to embark on a monster campaign that will take in the $200,000 Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup on Saturday night October 13, the $800,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington in November, and ID18 in Victoria, which kicks off on December 1. “He ran second to Lazarus (in the Inter Dominion final) and never got a crack at him; he won two heats and was third in the other. He’s won 11 out of 12 races since … you can’t fault his form,” Hall Snr said. “They keep saying he hasn’t beaten anything but that’s just not true. Lazarus, San Carlo, Tiger Tara … he was racing all those horses over here. I know he was on his home track … but they’re grossly underrating him.” Pressed on where Chicago Bull ranks right now among Hall Snr’s all-time top horses, the trainer was a mix of circumspect and audacious, if it’s possible to be both.  “Right now, he’s the second best horse I’ve ever had,” he said, “But, saying that, he’s also better than Quinny (Im Themightyquinn) was at this stage in his career.” Any suggestion therefore that Chicago Bull requires a coming out party against the best is erroneous; he’s been there and done that in the Inter Dominion. Are travel questions fair? Sure.  “I think he’ll handle that. He’s a pretty laid back fella,” Hall Snr said. “The only thing is you never quite know I suppose. He’s always got a paddock mate, so he needs the right company, that’s all.” The Bulls’ Michael Jordan was always the best, but Scottie Pippen helped. On the New Zealand Cup Hall Snr said it was a race he’d tried to win three times before. “Fourth time lucky hopefully,” he said. “I tried to win it with Quinny but he fibrillated, bled, broke a leg… it just didn’t work out. It’s a great meeting. I went 12 years in a row and would love to win it.” Meanwhile, Tim Butt-trained rising star Let It Ride, who produced a slashing run to win the Grand Circuit Blacks a Fake classic in Queensland, is second on the ID18 pacing rankings, ahead of New South Wales’ Tiger Tara. Kiwi superstar Speeding Spur is top ranked in the TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship, with Andy Gath-trained Tornado Valley number two, ahead of Temporale, Kyvalley Blur and Glenferrie Typhoon.   Cody Winnell

104 pacers, 88 trotters have been nominated for TAB ID18 Nominations for the 2018 TAB Inter Dominion Pacing and Trotting Championships closed today. All up, 104 pacers and 88 trotters have been nominated for ID18, with representation from throughout Australia and New Zealand.   2018 TAB Inter Dominion Pacing nominations click here. 2018 TAB Inter Dominion Trotting nominations click here.   The first round of official ID18 rankings will be released by HRV on Wednesday.    Cody Winnell Trots Media

AFL superstars Josh Jenkins (Adelaide Crows) and Michael Hurley (Essendon) will sign Trots Country footballs, mingle with fans and run kicking competitions as ambassadors for this year’s Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup. Jenkins and Hurley are keen trots fans and can’t wait to attend what promises to be both a great night of racing and trackside fun. “What better way to start the AFL Grand Final weekend than to get trackside at Kilmore for what looks like being a ripper night of harness racing,” Jenkins said. Will you join Josh & Mick for a kick at Kimore? Let us know at the Cup Facebook Event page “Hurls and I are looking forward to it and it’d be great to see heaps of people there enjoying themselves, trying to win some great prizes and having a kick of the footy.” Kilmore has thrown open the gates free for anyone who wears their AFL footy jumper and is giving away a $500 TAB betting voucher on every race via the racebook competition. All patrons, those who pay at the gate and those who wear their footy jumper, will get a free drink voucher and a racebook, which contains their ticket for the $500 per race voucher. “There’s huge money to be made by punters just for turning up,” Kilmore CEO Ben Murphy told thetrots.com.au. “We’re pumped about having Josh and Mick on course. They’re great with the fans and happy to chat about racing or footy, so everyone will have a great time and take home a free signed mini footy.” There will be plenty of other giveaways on the night, as well as a metro-class program of trots, including the time-honoured Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup. To find out more and secure your space in the dining room, visit Kilmore Racing Club on Facebook or phone Trackside Dining on 03 5783 0777.   Cody Winnell Trots Media

The intrigue ahead of the three-year-old IRT Breeders Crown Grand Final was akin to the goings on in Canberra this week, but there can only be one winner in any power struggle. And tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton rising superstar Ride High produced a lethal mix of ridiculous speed, ironclad strength and versatility to blow away his rivals in the race touted by many in the lead-up as “the best Crown contest in years”. “He’s done it with ease,” beamed winning reinsman Mark Pitt (pictured winning tonight on Hurricane Harley) aboard the Emma Stewart-trained colt affectionately known by stable name ‘Chainsaw’ and a son of megastar Alabar stallion Art Major. “He’s only lightly raced and every time he goes out there he just keeps getting better and better.” If a good drive is “a peach” then Pitt produced punnets – making a lighting move seven furlongs out to arrest control from Queenslander Grant Dixon aboard polemarker Colt Thirty One. Once Dixon relented, and Poster Boy and Ignatius – two of the race’s big guns – lagged back and didn’t pour on the mustard, Pitt was riding high. “I was a little bit surprised there weren’t a lot of challenges but the tempo was very genuine and I suppose it made it hard for the backmarkers,” Pitt said. Ride High notched a mile rate of 1:55.2. Colt Thirty One held on for second, with Poster Boy third. Earlier, another Art Major young star Our Princess Tiffany made it nine wins from nine career starts for New Zealand champion trainer Mark Purdon. Our Princess Tiffany twinkled under the Melton lights, parking outside boom filly Kualoa and finding gears at the finish when the others had simply nothing in reserve to take the Always B Miki at Alabar two-year-old fillies’ final. “She was very courageous and full credit to her. She took quite a bit out of herself over-racing, which surprised me a bit. Down the back I just let her roll so we got down the back pretty good. We were off the bit at the quarter, but it just survival of the fittest,” Purdon said. Our Princess Tiffany went 1:55.3, with Kualoa a brave second and Enchanted Stride third. Wrappers Delight continued marching towards an Inter Dominion 2018 campaign, blowing away a strong line-up in the Hygain four-year-old Crown final. Driven by Kima Frenning – the former Swedish monte rider who now boasts a huge Australian fan base – Wrappers Delight dominated to score by almost 10m. “I just have got absolutely no words,” Frenning said. “I’m just shaking my head. I’m so grateful that I get to drive him and Aiks (trainer David Aiken) has done an amazing job with this horse to get him where he is today. It’s been such a cool ride to be on.” To kick off the night – in glorious winter sunshine – Kiwi Stress Factor remained unbeaten on Australian soil with victory in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for in-form trainer Brent Lilley and champion driver Chris Alford. Stress Factor dictated in front to beat Anywhere Hugo and Kyvalley Finn in 2:00.4. Alford went back-to-back in the second race, the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Trotting Fillies’ Final, courtesy of Sleepee – trained and owned by wife Alison. “Colin was kind enough to give us the opportunity to lease (Sleepee) and mum jumped in and took a share with me. It’s a little surreal, I never thought I’d own one, I always wanted to own one, and I said to Chris on Thursday I’m starting to get a bit nervous. He said I could have told you that on Monday.” Our Show Gait captured the three-year-old trotting fillies’ final for NZ trainer Regan Todd and Purdon, rating 2:01.2 to defeat Moonshine Linda. The two-year-old pacing final lived up to the hype, with Emma Stewart training the quinella as Hurricane Harley finished like a whirlwind to defeat Centenario to deliver driver Pitt the crown. “… He really dug deep and deserved to win,” Stewart said of the performance. Speak No Evil extended her winning streak to six in the Woodlands three-year-old fillies’ final – another win for Stewart/Alford – holding off Angel Of Arts in second and My Harmony Blue in third. “She’s had an amazing season really, winning this and winning Vicbred and an unlucky second in the Oaks as well,” Alford told Trots Vision. “You can’t ask much more.” Kyvalley Clichy secured Alford his fourth crown for the evening but in controversial circumstances, having to withstand a protest from runner-up Kate Gath aboard Dream Mastar after the winner broke stride in the run to the post. “I’m extremely happy. This is a race I’ve been very fortunate in over the last 18 years. I’m just very lucky and hope the luck continues,” said winning owner Jim Connelly. Dean Braun-trained Carlas Pixel showed she had classes on her rivals in the Nevele R Stud Breeders Crown four-year-old mares’ final, thoroughly dominating. Driven by Pitt – who won three crowns tonight – Carlas Pixel had to work to find the front early but had plenty left at the finish to score by almost 7m over runner-up Cherry Stride in 1:54.2. “She’s a fantastic mare. Every time we have taken her out she’s just got better and better,” Braun told Trots Vision. “She’s just got an amazing constitution, she never really gets sick. She’s just one of those horses; she’s a pleasure to train and the owners are really, really good people. She’s a star. She’s got a motor as big as herself.” Cody Winnell

The legendary Dan Patch (pictured) will be honoured at Hoosier Park with a $325,000 feature race this Saturday, and Sky Racing’s Greg Hayes will be on-course for the Indiana classic. Named in honour of the renowned standardbred of the early 1900s, the Dan Patch attracts the best in the sport and this year features Australasian champion Lazarus. Now trained by superstar Swedish horseman Jimmy Takter, Lazarus will be cheered on by Australian racing fans via Sky Racing 1. In partnership with the host club, Hoosier Park, TAB and Sky Racing will have Hayes trackside from the States on Saturday morning (11.50am AEST) delivering viewers all the action. The recent Maori Time Elitloppet coverage, Shartin’s US dominance which saw her deliver a supersonic performance to take out the Lady Liberty at the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day, Kerryn Manning’s invite to Solvalla for the Ahsell Legends Invitational Drivers race, and Sparkling Success’s Yonkers International Trot invitation has ensured Australian harness racing is front and centre on the world stage right now.   Cody Winnell

Exciting colt Lumineer is back on track, winning a trial at Terang on Sunday as trainer Ange McDowall plans for the 2017 Australian Pacing Gold champ’s racetrack return. Lumineer hasn’t raced since the VHRSC Victoria Derby Final in January where he suffered his first ever defeat at start No.9 but will trial at Tabcorp Park Melton next Tuesday and is likely to target TAB Breeders Crown riches next month. “He’s come through his trial well,” McDowall said. “He seems bright in himself. He needed the run. It is going to be a real ask to go straight into the Breeders Crown heats competing against the smart group of three-year-old boys we have this year.” McDowall said Tuesday’s trial would answer some questions regarding Lumineer’s immediate plans, and added the son of Sportswriter would carry some new gear. “We’ll make a few gear changes for this trial. As always he has a new trick every time he goes around,” she said. Lumineer has won over $207,000 in stakemoney. This year’s TAB Breeders Crown three-year-old pacing boys’ division is one of the slickest on record, with the likes of Ignatius, Poster Boy, Ride High, Colt Thirty One, Konan, Pats Delight, Bonus Play and Master Moonlite among the line-up.   Cody Winnell  

Victorian harness racing breeder Paul Humphreys no longer races Anything For Love, but the Shane and Lauren Tritton-trained speedster will always hold a special place in his heart. The passionate trots man bred Anything For Love and raced the pacer with trainer Leigh Miles before accepting an offer to transfer the horse to new connections in New South Wales. On Saturday night at Menangle the now five-year-old, who set a new career mark via a 1:48.7 win in last weekend’s Group 1 Allied Express Sprint,  will line up for his shot in the Grand Circuit $750,000 Miracle Mile. “I still get a huge thrill out of it,” Humphreys said. “It’s like watching one of your kids out there. The team (Shane and Lauren) have done an amazing job with him.” Anything For Love is out of a mare named The Perfect Mona, whose 14 racetrack appearances yielded a solitary win. In the breeding barn however success came more naturally to Mona, her first foal named Palais Du Louvre (by Safe And Sound). Raced by Humphreys, Palais Du Louvre won $165,201 in stakemoney via 18 wins and 24 minor placings from 88 starts. “We had so much fun with him,” Humphreys said. “When he ran fifth in the Breeders Crown Final (2011 as a four-year-old) he looked a chance at the home turn. That was a huge thrill. “He won a Breeders Crown Graduate on Breeders Crown Day in 2014, which was also fantastic and he was just a super horse.” Humphreys also raced the siblings of Palais Du Louvre, Trip Sevens (by Bettors Delight), who won three races and $18,800 from 29 starts, and Anything For Love before his move north. And he has three younger ones coming through with an unraced Safely Kept filly named Something Fast, a two-year-old Pet Rock rig called Dino Bellino and a yearling by superstar stallion Somebeachsomewhere. Asked about his approach to breeding Humphreys says his is more investigative than scientific. “I ask lots of questions… for Anything For Love I got on to a fella in New Zealand and we talked breeding for ages. He was really helpful. I went looking for a stallion and found Rock N Roll Heaven.” On his unraced progeny of The Perfect Mona: “Safely Kept is by Jate Lobell and Palais Du Louvre is by Safe And Sound. I couldn’t go to Safe And Sound, because he’d retired, so I went to Safely Kept instead. Alabar still had some frozen semen as he’d retired as a stallion too. I think there were three Safely Kept foals born that year (2013),” Humphries said. “I chose Pet Rock because he was a real brave bugger and had almost the same pedigree as Rock And Roll Heaven. Both were owned by Joe Bellino (in the USA). “And Somebeachsomewhere was the best going around they say, so I went to him (most recently). “I really enjoy the breeding side of things. It’s great fun. And my daughter Sarah loves the foals.” Trots Media - Cody Winnell

If you or someone you know has ever considered an exciting career in the trots, the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo and Gippsland Harness Training Centre can make your dream a reality. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today launched a social media advertising campaign ('Saddle up for a career in the Trots' and 'Want to make a career out of horsing around?' aimed at highlighting the opportunities for secondary school students, and others, to secure a career in the trots. The two industry training centres, Bendigo and Gippsland, are offering a range of industry training programs in 2018. Government funding is available for eligible students and fees may be further reduced for eligible Health Care card holders. Participation in these courses may also enable Youth Allowance or Austudy for eligible students. Certificates I, II and III are suitable for all levels of horse and industry experience and the centres will work with students to determine the best pathway in relation to current skills and knowledge. The Certificate IV courses require some experience with horses and/or racing. Importantly, courses are open to students who are still attending secondary school as either a School Based Apprentice/Trainee (SBAT) or a full fee for service student (no government funding). In either case the course contributes units to the successful completion of a student’s VCE or VCAL. The training programs and qualifications on offer this year are: Harness Racing Victoria Online Licence Course Certificate I in Racing  (Stablehand) Certificate II in Racing (Stablehand) Certificate III in Racing (Advanced Stablehand) Certificate IV in Racing (Racehorse Trainer) Certificate IV in Racing (Harness Race Driver). The certificate courses can be completed in the following ways: Full or part-time student Full or part-time in a harness racing workplace As an apprentice or trainee. For more information, contact Vicki Moro at vicki.moro@hrtcbendigo.com.au for Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo queries and Jenni Lewis at Jennifer.lewis@ccg.asn.au for Gippsland Harness Training Centre. The certificate level qualifications have national recognition and may attract Victorian and/or Commonwealth funding for eligible students. Trots Media - Cody Winnell

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