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HRV Trots Media today published the first edition of a new weekly online news and views harness racing column called The Score Up<>. The Score Up<> will be published at every Monday. It will be written in a way that encourages conversation and social media input. By encouraging people to join the conversation on platforms such as Twitter, it aims to promote positive and robust discussion among fans whilst also giving industry participants - trainers and drivers - the chance to positively promote their own social media profile. Recently HRV Trots Media also committed to daily Inside Word podcasts, designed to give fans and the wagering audience valuable insights for every Victorian harness racing meeting from those putting on the show - the trainers and drivers. The Inside Word podcast can be heard via, Soundcloud<> and through any of the handy podcast apps - including Apple Podcasts on your iPhone (simply search for Trots Media and subscribe to our channel so you don't miss any of our content). Already we've had over 2200 listens to Inside Word podcasts since the first edition was launched on June 4. And finally, Trots Vision at will feature an on-track host for all Alabar and Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series race meetings. HRV and the host clubs have worked together to ensure viewers watching at home will hear from the stars of the sulky as soon as they've won during these big meetings in the next fortnight. Night one is tomorrow at Bendigo where Kirsten Graham and Paul Campbell will feature. HRV Trots Media will also stream the barrier draws for the Vicbred Super Series finals from Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night June 29. Keep following our social media feeds for more information on VSS19. Cody Winnell [Harness Racing Victoria]

Victoria’s leading trainer presents a bevy of well-bred and to date well-performed prodigies at Bendigo tomorrow night as the Alabar Vicbred Super Series gets under way. Last season, Stewart had 10 runners on opening night for five heat wins from seven races. She finished second in the two heats she didn’t win and claimed the quinella in two of the events she did. This year Stewart has nine runners engaged across seven 2yo heats. Will the domination continue? Given her Vicbred form in recent times, it made perfect sense – funnily enough that’s also the name of a Stewart-trained pacer who won her Vicbred heat on this night back in 2016 – to invite the leading trainer on to the Inside Word podcast to give punters insights into her line-up, and she was happy to oblige Stewart’s two-year-olds in action tomorrow are last-start Group 1 winner Pandering, Amelia Rose (whose grand-dam produced Niki No No, Wardan Express, Majordan, Soho Valencia and Yrubla among others), winner of four of five Treasure, Home Grown Classic victor Mirragon, one-for-one son of Lovelist Adapt, Kualoa’s half-sister Jemstone, last-start winner Beale Street, and supremely talented Home Grown Classic quinella pair Artmede and Maajida top round out proceedings. Some of the other headline acts to keep an eye on tomorrow include Leeton Breeders Plate winner The Tiger Army for Laura Crossland, a winner of four of six to date who finished second last start in the Group 2 Sapling Stakes at Menangle, West Australian filly Askmeilltellya for trainer Kat Warwick, Realnspectacular for Terry Coelli and Blake Jones, Michael Stanley’s Yejele Hammer and Andy Gath’s Night Spirit, who have both run several placings in recent times and are itching to break through, smart fillies Summertime for Ted Caruana and Alice Kay for Adam Kelly, and Gavin Lang’s bold son of Courage Under Fire Withoutthetuh.   Cody Winnell for Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) this morning released the racing program for July -the first month of the national ratings-based handicapping system. View the programs here "It's important our participants have as much time as possible to plan their programs for July and so I want to thank my team for their hard work and methodical approach to ensuring these programs were ready to go this week," HRV General Manager -Racing Stephen Bell said. "Moving forward, initially we'll be releasing the programs on a month-by-month basis to ensure we can be as dynamic as possible and provide the right programs for our horse population, then we'll move towards releasing programs in two-month blocks. "Importantly we'll be critically reviewing everything as we go, flexible and willing to tinker with our approach to programming depending on the fluidity of horse population." HRV has set an e-mail and would love to hear feedback on all aspects of the new system: Programs for August will be published on Monday July 1. Bell will be on RSN's Gait Speed tomorrow morning with Blake Redden.   Cody Winnell MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Harness Racing Victoria’s May and June $1500 breeding vouchers are helping keep breeders in the game. To date, 26 fillies and mares’ races have been run since HRV announced on March 28 that for a two-month period all 177 fillies and mares’ races would carry a $1500 breeding voucher bonus – $1000 to the breeder and $500 to the owner. This is a stimulus of $115,500 to the breeding industry. Ian Kitchin and Stephen Clarke are two of 25 individual breeders who have so far picked up a $1000 breeding voucher in May. Kitchin bred Larajay Macray, who he races with trainer Jess Tubbs, while Clarke bred, races and trains Miss McGonagall. Because Kitchin and Clarke not only bred their fillies but also race them, they will each pick up the full $1500 worth of vouchers. “I shelled out $35,000 two years ago and $25,000 last year, anything coming back the other way certainly makes things much more palatable and this will certainly help keep people in the breeding game,” Kitchin said. “Absolutely I welcome this initiative. It will help lessen the burden on the breeders and that’s really important.” Clarke, who calls himself a “small breeder”, said the $1500 incentive would probably be the difference between breeding next season and not. “Hell yeah,” he declared. “It certainly does help. Perhaps at this stage to be honest I hadn’t been thinking about breeding at all, but this helps out a lot and is probably not good news for my wife because she reckons I’ve got too many horses as it is. “The more we can get back the better. The more incentive, especially for the smaller breeders, perhaps this can help also get our mares served by the more upmarket stallions.” Breeding vouchers bonuses will continue to be attached to all Victorian fillies and mares’ races until the end of June, and HRV also announced this week that all 12 Vicbred Super Series winners would receive a $1500 breeding voucher this year.   Cody Winnell Trots Media

The trots will be taking part in the 3AW Very Special Kids 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge. This Friday (May 24) Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager – Marketing Andrew English (pictured preparing at the gym) will pound the treadmill from 8.30am on the Neil Mitchell show and he’s encouraging the industry to dig deep to support a wonderful cause. “You simply can’t put into words the importance of the work performed by the Very Special Kids organisation,” Mr English said. “This vital service, looking after children with life-threatening conditions and their families, costs more than $8.5million every year to provide, so the organisation relies on the generosity of Victorians and corporate sponsorship. “I’m encouraging everyone today, all trots fans and industry participants especially, to dig deep and contribute what you can so that families and children receive the support they deserve at such a traumatic time in their lives.” Very Special Kids cares for children with life-threatening conditions by providing a children’s hospice and professional family support services.  3AW‘s studio treadmills will be in continuous motion for 24 hours and the station is hoping it can help contribute at least $20,000 to the overall goal of $1 million. Mr English has been getting into shape for the Challenge at the Racing Victoria on-site gym and says he feels ready to perform on the big stage. “I’m looking forward to doing my part although I would say to anyone who thinks time flies, try getting on a treadmill for half an hour! I’ll just be concentrating on staying upright for my slot,” he said. Various trots programs, HRV HERO, Trots Vision at, Own the Moment and GoodForm have kicked off the harness donations with $250 each adding to the industry’s early fundraising tally of $1000. To donate to the cause visit the website:   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Young reinswoman Olivia Weidenbach (pictured) has made the move to Tasmania for a plum gig with the Ben Yole stable. With 65 horses in work, the Yole camp offers Weidenbach an enormous opportunity for hands-on experience at the stables and the races. Ben Yole’s stable foreman, and his dad, Wayne Yole said Weidenbach, 17, would “be a magnificent asset to the stable”. “She has a claim, which is great because we have a shortage of claim drivers,” he said. “She’ll come over here and be tutored by Mark (Yole) on the driving side of things and Ben about training. She is a very good horse person for someone so young at just 17. Of course she comes from such a strong harness racing family, with her mother being a Mifsud.” Weidenbach drove her first winner in February, when she piloted Smart Little Shard to victory at her maiden drive. Ben Yole is Tasmania’s leading trainer with 121 wins from 1789 starts so far this season. Weidenbach has four drives tomorrow night at Launceston – The Lemondrop Kid in Race 2, Give Me The Knight in Race 4, Guys Bettor Bet in Race 5 and Another Swinger in Race 8. Wayne Yole, a former Hamilton Harness Racing Club President, is now the Harness Racing and Special Projects Coordinator for Racing Tasmania.   Cody Winnell for Trots media

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

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager of Racing Stephen Bell today reaffirmed HRV's commitment to being "upfront and transparent with participants" regarding the national ratings based handicapping system, which the industry nationally has committed to from July 1. Mr Bell told HRV's Trots Media, "We need to get as much information out as possible about this exciting initiative that's going to hit Australia wide. It's really important for the trainers, owners and all the participants out there to know exactly what's happening with the new system when it comes out to play on the first of July."  HRV today released a document (view it here) explaining in detail the rationale behind the current ratings, which have been visible since May 1.   Cody Winnell  Trots Media's Trial File has returned from a hiatus with former Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) race caller and form expert Craig Rail now posting his extensive weekly trials' summary to deliver punters an edge! View the first edition of Craig Rail's Trial File here and check back each Friday morning for the latest edition. You can also follow Craig's Blackbookers, mentioned at the bottom of each Trial File article.   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) late last week circulated the final 2019-20 racing calendar to clubs. HRV General Manager – Racing Stephen Bell thanked clubs for their “proactive approach, willingness to change and their understanding when some wishes were just not feasible to deliver”. “During the process we received approximately 100 requests from the clubs with 85 per cent of those granted,” Mr Bell said. Key changes to the racing calendar for 2019-20 include:  Cranbourne – 14 Sunday race meetings to encourage participants to travel without the obstruction of midweek traffic issues (up from seven Sunday race meetings in 2018-19).  Geelong – 12 Wednesday night race meetings as the club’s preferred racing night (up from nine Wednesday night race meetings in 2018-19).  Kilmore – 15 Thursday night race meetings as the club’s preferred racing night (up from eight Thursday night race meetings in 2018-19).  Mildura – 13 Friday day race meetings to provide additional racing product during the late afternoon to early evening period on selected Fridays from mid-April to August.  Maryborough Gold Cup returns to a Sunday race meeting on October 20, 2019.  Cranbourne Gold Cup returns to a Christmas function race meeting on Saturday December 7, 2019.  Gunbower Pacing Cup moves to a Christmas function race meeting on Sunday December 8, 2019. “We believe we have constructed a fair and balanced calendar that will maximise wagering opportunities for the 2019-20 racing season. The introduction of the new handicapping system in the near future should assist in ensuring full fields and exciting racing throughout the season. There is a lot to look forward to,” Mr Bell said. “I would also like to thank Gary Bennetts for the amount of time and effort he puts into preparing the calendar. There are many variables that he must take into account, not just within our own industry but external factors out of his control such as other racing codes and Sky Racing requirements. “Gary’s attention to detail and determination for perfection is to be applauded.” Click here to view the 2019-20 Race Dates Calendar   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has made $115,500 in breeding bonus certificates available for Victorian breeders and owners during May and June. Every fillies and mares’ race worth more than $5000 (77 races programmed) in Victoria during May and June will carry breeding certificates worth $1000 to breeder(s) and $500 to owner(s) of the winning horse. These certificates can be redeemed for a service to any stallion for a Victorian based broodmare. “The certificates are part of a broader strategy to instil significantly more confidence in Victoria’s breeding industry,” Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager – Racing Stephen Bell said. “Today’s announcement will provide stimulus for local breeders and owners to reinvest next season. “As an industry it’s imperative we do what we can to reverse the worldwide season-to-season decline in foal numbers. For this to occur we need to think laterally, strategically and genuinely understand the problems our breeders face day to day.” HBV President Terry Lewis welcomed today’s news and expressed confidence that increased collaboration between his organisation and HRV was resulting in positive progress. “The breeding certificates will be the difference between some Victorian mares being served or not. Our breeders have a finite breeding budget each year, so often they will make the decision to have only some mares served. I'm confident this initiative will make a genuine difference and result in additional mares being bred,” Mr Lewis said. “The collaboration between HBV and HRV has significantly improved in the last 12 months or so and we are working on a number of new breeding stimulus initiatives and I'm certain we'll have more good news for breeders in the not-too-distant future.” HRV Trots Media

Exciting Duke Of Wellington won tonight’s 30th renewal of the City of Melton Plate at Tabcorp Park and secured Great Western trainer-driver Kerryn Manning her second Plate success. Fifteen years had passed since Manning’s first Plate win, aboard Run Albert Run in 2004, and she declared tonight’s triumph “a big thrill” before adding she felt her four-year-old son of American Ideal was destined for big things. See bottom of article for Manning's list of $50k+ feature race wins “It’s a very nice honour roll (for the Melton Plate) and to join it is a big thrill. I think this horse can be the same as them (top-line past winners), he’s certainly got the talent but he’s still got a bit of learning to do,” she said. Perusing the honour roll of Plate champions reveals names such as Hectorjayjay, Make Mine Cullen, Melpark Major, Shakamaker, Sokyola and Tailamade Lombo just to name a few. Punters put their faith in the Duke and Manning, sending the pair out as a commanding $1.4 favourite. They rolled forward out of the gate, but War Dan ($10.70) and James Rattray found the pegs first and wouldn’t relent to the favourite. “I always thought War Dan may try to hold the front,” Manning said. “I was prepared for that.” The ensuing fight was enthralling, with first and second splits of 29.9 and 29.5 followed by a 28 third sectional and a 28.9 run home. War Dan wouldn’t lie down, but Duke Of Wellington was too classy – despite covering more ground – and held a 1.5m buffer at the wire to record a 1:54.6 mile rate. “He got a bit wobbly at the start … he over-raced quite a bit during the first lap, too. Eventually he settled at the 1200m and I was just hoping too much damage wasn’t done by then,” Manning said. Rishi ran third, with Jilliby Chevy and Somebeachshadow rounding out the top five Plate finishers. Duke Of Wellington is raced by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He has had five runs for three wins with Manning since moving to Australia after a successful New Zealand three-year-old campaign. “He’s had a little time between runs this time in, so he’s still on the way up I think,” Manning said. “His fitness is pretty good. That’ll top him off nicely.” Meanwhile, trainer Stephen Telfer combined with local reinsman John Caldow to win the Allied Express Jodi’s Babe with five-year-old Art Major mare Our Step Up, who led throughout from gate two in 1:54.0 over 1720m. Our Step Up finished 1.5m clear of Reciprocity, who was charging home for Manning in second place, with Share The Road third and Juice Brogdon fourth.  Race favourite Berisari failed to beat a runner home. Highly rated Andy Gath-trained trotter McLovin won the 2Contstruct Scotch Notch Memorial over 2240m in 2:01.0 with Kate Gath in the gig. The last-start Charlton Cup winner made it back-to-back successes by finishing 4.7m clear of stablemate Kingdom Come, with polemarker Jerichos Trumpet third and consistent Savannah Jay Jay fourth. Michael Stanley trained and drove Watch List to win the Group 3 VHRSC Victoria Sires Classic in 1:55.7 over 2240m, the $5.9 second-favourite out-sprinting the $2.1 punters’ elect Crime Writer by 2.1m. Stanley sent Watch List to the front from barrier three early before handing up and using the sprint lane late. Titan Bromac finished third, 3m from the winner, with Perfect Major fourth. Driver Kima Frenning combined with trainer David Aiken to win the night’s sprint feature, the 1200m Quest for Success Stampede, with four-year-old Mach Three gelding Higherthananeagle. Predicted fireworks didn’t eventuate as Frenning found the lead easily from gate two before thoroughly dictating terms in a gross time of 1:22.2 to jog home by 8.7m over Benicio and Vinny Chase, who both followed the peg line, with Vee Rock fourth. If the sparks had flown horses in this race might have broken 80seconds. Check out the full results from tonight’s Tabcorp Park Melton meeting   Kerryn Manning’s $50,000+ Feature Race Wins  1997 Australasian Trotting Championship Final $125k – Knight Pistol  1999 El Dorado Final (3YO C&G) $150k – Sky Strike  2000 Vicbred Super Series (4YO Mares) Final $100k – Jilliby Magic 2000 Chariots of Fire $200k – Lombo Rapida 2000 Vicbred Super Series (3YO Fillies) Final $100k – Jilliby Melody 2001 Vicbred Super Series (4YO Trotters) Final $50k – La Coocaracha  2001 Bill Collins Trotters Mile $50k – La Coocaracha  2001 Australian Trotting Grand Prix $100k – La Coocaracha 2002 SA Trotters Cup $50k – La Coocaracha 2002 Australasian Trotters Championship $100k – La Coocaracha  2002 Rowe Memorial Cup, NZ $100k – La Coocaracha 2002 Legends Mile $50k – Hearts Legend 2003 Australian Pacing Gold Final (2YO C&G) $288k – Kathryn Dancer 2003 Vicbred Super Series (2YO C&G) Final $100k – Blatant Lie  2003 Australian Pacing Gold 3YO C&G $100k – Blatant Lie 2003 Australian Pacing Gold 3YO Fillies $100k – Yada Yada Yada 2004 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO C&G Final $300k – Emmas Only 2004 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Broke As Usual  2004 Vicbred Super Series (2YO Fillies) Final $100k – Kinda Arty Lombo 2004 Breeders Crown (2YO C&G) Final $190k – Emmas Only 2004 Kilmore Cup $100k – True Cam 2004 Bill Collins Trotters Mile $50k – Sammy Do Good  2005 Victoria Derby $150k – Emmas Only 2005 Vicbred Super Series (4YO E&G) Final $100k – Blatant Lie 2005 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Tennotrump  2005 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotters Final $50k – Split Image 2007 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Donttellmehetrots 2007 George Johnson $50k – No More Trouble  2008 Tatlow Stakes 2YO Fillies Final $50k – Ananz 2008 Victoria Trotters Oaks $50k – Mystic Hush 2008 NSW Sires Stakes 2YO Fillies Final $100k – Ananz 2010 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Final $300k – Leilani Lombo 2010 Vicbred Super Series (3YO Trotters) Final $50k – Mister Castleton 2015 A.G. Hunter Cup $400k – Arden Rooney  2015 Mildura Pacing Cup $50k – Arden Rooney 2015 New Zealand Trotting Cup $765k – Arden Rooney  2017 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final $50k – Imprincessgemma 2017 Breeders Crown Graduate Free for All $60k – Ameretto 2017 Norm’s Daughter $50k – Ameretto 2018 Ladyship Cup $100k – Our Golden Goddess 2018 Queen of the Pacific $100k – Ameretto 2019 City of Melton Plate $50k – Duke Of Wellington     Cody Winnell for Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Chairman Dale Monteith has welcomed the reappointment today of six HRV Board members. "It is an honour to be able to continue to serve the Victorian harness racing industry following a strong 2017-18 period, which saw our industry return to profit after a period of decline, delivering record prizemoney and wagering turnover, as well as returning the Inter Dominion to Victoria for the first time in 10 years," Mr Monteith said. Minister for Racing Martin Pakula announced the reappointment of Dale Monteith as Chair, Rothacker Medal recipient Elizabeth Clarke who returns as Deputy Chair, veterinarian Catherine Ainsworth, marketing and communications expert Jane Brook, sports administrator and commentator Danny Frawley and experienced consultant Peter Watkinson. Read the media release issued by the State Government<>   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) advises Brett Day has been appointed Chairman of Stewards (COS) effective 12 of March, 2019 after former COS Nick Murray advised he would step down from the role and will commence in the position of Senior Steward. Mr Day has been acting in the role of COS since Mr Murray took an extended period of leave due to the illness of an immediate family member in June 2018. HRV GM – Integrity Brent Fisher welcomed Mr Day’s appointment and said his “thorough knowledge, leadership and experience on the stewards’ panel meant he was a great fit”. Mr Murray returned to HRV today. “It is great to have Nick back at HRV as he is a great mentor and leader and he is such a quality person and he is well respected by his peers,” Mr Fisher said. “I’d like to take this opportunity to both congratulate Brett on his appointment and welcome Nick back.”    Cody Winnell HRV Media

Hamilton harness racing officials are hoping the 1660-metre sprint trip mile rate record is obliterated on Sunday as the club hosts the inaugural $14,000 Glenn Miles Memorial Mile. Under sunny skies with a warm lead-in to the action looking guaranteed, the club is confident the track will be cherry ripe for a Miles Memorial Mile runner to smash My Harmony Blue’s 1:52.0 flat record mile rate. “One day, who knows, they might break 1:50.0 here,” club manager Chrissy Hawker said. “What I’m certain of is they’ll all be trying for that, that’s for sure. We’re predicting fans will be treated to a fast and furious race, faster than Hamilton has ever seen.” The club’s newest feature race is expected to draw some of the fastest up-and-coming metro performers to the south-west 1000-metre track to contest a race that pays homage to a passionate local trots man in the late Glenn Miles, who sadly passed away last August. “We’ve been keen to explore a new sprint feature for a while now and I must thank Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) for being so open-minded to the idea and helping us with the programming,” Hamilton HRC Manager Chrissy Hawker said. “We’ve got the fastest track in Victoria and Mick Turner and his team do a fantastic job of turning out a tiptop racing surface every time we race. They’ll have it in great order this Sunday. “Milesy, who we’ve named the race after, was a great bloke. He was very community minded, heavily involved in local sport and he just loved his harness racing.” The inaugural Glenn Miles Memorial Mile is a C5 or better race restricted to horses with a metropolitan assessment no faster than M2. It will be the feature event on the Hamilton card this Sunday and the club is hoping the meeting develops into an annual celebration. “We’re not afraid to try new things and hopefully the community turns out in droves to witness potentially the most exciting race the club’s ever seen,” Hawker said. “What a great opportunity this is for trainers to chase a brilliant lifetime mark next to their horse’s name and the $14k prizemoney on offer. It’ll be great to watch. “We’ve got a hot week ahead but Sunday’s looking perfect at 33 degrees. We’ll have the bar stocked, plenty of activities and food options for families. It’s just a wonderful day out and you won’t be disappointed.”   Cody Winnell for Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will conduct a series of consultation sessions across Victoria in relation to the proposed national ratings handicapping system. All stakeholders are encouraged to attend one of the following sessions: Tuesday February 12 at Shepparton (7pm) Wednesday February 13 at Ballarat (7pm) Thursday February 14 at Cranbourne (7pm) Monday February 18 at Mildura (7pm) Light refreshments will be provided. View notice online   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

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