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Following the running of Race 4 at Cobram on June 22, 2015, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Integrity Department commenced an investigation into the training arrangements surrounding the winning horse Airbournemagic, the tactics adopted during the running of the race and the associated betting on the race. In November 2015, as a result of evidence detected, the HRV Integrity Department referred its investigation to the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit (SIIU) of Victoria Police in order for a criminal investigation to be undertaken.   This continued investigation of the SIIU culminated in Victoria Police today advising HRV that criminal charges have been issued against licensed participants in connection with the race conducted at Cobram. With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police today in the issuing of criminal charges against licensed participants, the HRV Stewards will now give consideration as to whether to invoke any of the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183 which provides: Pending the outcome of an inquiry, investigation or objection, or where a person has been charged with an offence, the Stewards may direct one or more of the following – that a horse shall not be nominated for or compete in a race; that a driver shall not drive or otherwise take part in a race; that the horses of certain connections shall not be nominated for or start in a race; that a licence or any type of authority or permission be suspended In accordance with established legal principles announced in precedent cases (such as NSW Court of Appeal matter of Day & McDowell v HRNSW) regarding the use of AHRR 183, the HRV Stewards have provided licensed participants Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Lisa Bartley, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Amanda Turnbull until 5.00pm on Thursday, January 19, to make any submissions to the HRV Stewards as to whether any provisions of AHRR 183, such as the suspension of licences, are applied in the circumstances.  The HRV Stewards acknowledge any such actions are serious measures and thus all available information needs to be considered. The HRV Stewards are mindful of the decision of the HRV RAD Board Chairman on September 14, 2016, after HRV Stewards initially suspended the licences of participants after they had been arrested by Victoria Police on August 28, 2016. In this decision the RAD Board Chairman remarked when reinstating the licences of the individuals: “No person is yet charged. Even charges of themselves carry little weight as it is the evidence underlying those charges which becomes relevant. They (Stewards) invoke quite rightly, the need to maintain and protect the industry and the need to preserve public confidence in the industry. That however must be balanced against the damage to livelihood and reputation of the applicants.” HRV acknowledge the commitment of the Victoria Police SIIU in terms of conducting investigations into matters that threaten the integrity of the harness racing industry. HRV respect these matters are now before the Court and thus will not be commenting any further at this stage.   Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

New Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) CEO David Martin has already been racking up the miles visiting country tracks across the state. Although Mr Martin’s first day as CEO was officially Monday, he attended Horsham’s pacing cup meeting on Sunday and was at Kilmore on Tuesday night. “I’m keen to meet and hear the views of as many trots industry participants, club officials and other stakeholders as I can. I can already feel the pride and passion people have for our industry, so I’m really looking forward to both the Shepparton and Hamilton Cups this weekend,” Mr Martin said. The Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup will be held on Saturday night, while Hamilton will host the Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup on Sunday. For more on the Trots Country Cups Carnival visit trotscountry.com.au Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Great Western gelding Wheatsheaf Avaball will greet the harness racing starter for the 200th time in the APG Sale Pace on Monday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. It will be the popular 11-year-old’s last time at the races. Trainer-driver Michelle Wight said “Charlie”, as he’s known in the stables, would spend his retirement years on the family property. “He’s here for life,” she said. “He has been preparing for his retirement. He has been broken to saddle and he even made an appearance at the Ararat show this year, finishing third in his lead class before backing up at Horsham races the next day sporting curls from being plaited up!” Wight and husband Craig first leased Wheatsheaf Avaball in 2010 from Darren Cole, Terang horse trainer and Wheatsheaf Hotel proprietor. The couple purchased him three years later when their lease expired. Now, in the words of Wight, “Charlie is so much part of the family that we bought his mum from the Alabar sale a few years ago. We now also have Charlie’s three-year-old sister by Grinfromeartoear and a yearling three-quarter brother by Mafioso”. RE-LIVE WHEATSHEAF AVABALL'S TERANG WIN FROM MARCH LAST YEAR Although he’s never won a metropolitan race, Wheatsheaf Avaball has been a rock-solid competitor every time he’s stepped on to a racetrack, earning over $111,000 with 17 wins and a further 60 minor placings. “He is such a tough and honest horse that I have often gotten Facebook messages from random people asking after him or congratulating us after a win,” Wight said. “We were going to retire him last year when he got to $100,000 (in stakes) but he was still going so well that we decided to aim for the 200 starts. “He loves local tracks and has an amazing record at Horsham. He hasn’t won many races there but produced some huge runs. “It’s funny when you go back through his race replays, so many times the caller says as they go over the line, ‘big run by Wheatsheaf’ or something along those lines.” Wheatsheaf Avaball has drawn barrier five in the third race on Monday night at Melton.  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Monday 09 January 2017 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Monday 09 January 2017

The $400,000 Victoria Cup has a new sponsor. Eynesbury has backed the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Summer of Glory night one jewel, the January 28 race to be known as the Eynesbury Victoria Cup. “Eynesbury is delighted to put its name to such an iconic event as the Victoria Cup,” Eynesbury General Manager Fred Blevin said. “Our sponsorship of the Victoria Cup in late January will launch an exciting year ahead for Eynesbury with the release of more than 120 house and land packages nestled around a stunning 18-hole golf course.” Interim HRV General Manager Commercial Ryan Stanaway said the announcement was “an ace” for Australasia’s premier summer trots carnival. “HRV has a long and strong relationship with Eynesbury and for them to be coming to the fore and driving the Eynesbury Victoria Cup is a real ace for the trots industry,” Mr Stanaway said. The Summer of Glory is a $1.87million two-night trots spectacular at Victoria’s metropolitan home of harness racing, Tabcorp Park Melton. Night one on Saturday, January 28, is headline by the Eynesbury Victoria Cup (Group 1) but also features heats of the VHRSC Victoria Derby – Australia’s premier three-year-old colts and geldings’ pacing event, the Haras Des Trotteurs V. L. Dullard Trotters Cup (Group 1), the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Trotting Mares Sprint Championship (Group 2) and the Pure Steel. The second night, on Saturday, February 4, features the $500,000 Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup (Group 1), the $300,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star (Group 1), the Alabar Ladyship Cup (Group 1), the Edgell Sidewinders 4YO Bonanza (Group 1), the VHRSC Victoria Derby Final (Group 1), the Caboolture Cheese Rising Stars Pace Final (Group 3), the Bertocchi Pacers Free-for-All (Group 3) and the Nestle Vulcan Trotters Free-for-All (Group 3). WATCH OUR LOVE THE SUMMER – LOVE THE TROTS VIDEO For bookings or more information visit www.summerofglory.com.au Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria welcomes Andrews Government HERO Program Funding 16 December 2016 Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Chairman Dale Monteith has welcomed today's Andrews State Government announcement of a joint funding package of $362,000 to help ensure harness horses are afforded a quality life in retirement after their racing career has finished. The Government is providing $181,000 to the Harness Education Re-homing Opportunities (HERO) program, HRV's flagship and industry-leading horse welfare program, to retrain retired racehorses to become trail riding ponies, competitive show and eventing horses, or simply pleasure animals and family pets. "HRV is extremely grateful to the State Government for this ongoing funding, which will help us to recruit suitably-skilled people as registered re-trainers and to increase the number of horses in the HRV HERO program," Mr Monteith said. "The response to the program has been overwhelming and we are receiving enquiries on a daily basis from owners and trainers who are interested in offering horses. "We look forward to further increasing the number of horses re-homed each year with this vital assistance." Speaking to media today at Aldebaran Park in Nagambie, Victorian Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said the Government was proud to be supporting the HERO program. "The HERO program has been an outstanding success in its first 12 months and we're proud to be supporting it for another year," Mr Pakula said. "This program is vitally important because it improves the welfare of harness racehorses by re-training and re-homing them." Also at today's announcement were former top-line pacing racehorses turned HERO ambassadors Villagem and Tanabi Bromac. In the first year of the HERO program, more than 200 horses were either re-homed or placed with a registered HERO trainer in preparation for re-homing. So far this financial year, more than 60 horses have been brought into the program and many of them have already been placed in their new homes. The HERO program is also working with the Victoria Police Mounted Division to identify horses that may be suitable for police duty. Funding for the program will be sourced from the Government's Victorian Racing Industry Fund. HRV will also contribute $181,000 to support the program. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said Government funding was vital for the horse racing industry. "This funding boost will help to support the racing industry which delivers thousands of regional jobs and economic benefits to the community," Ms Symes said. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

When owner Mark Gurry and harness racing trainer-driver John Justice purchased Hickstead from New Zealand the Australian cups scene was front of mind. On Sunday at Wedderburn the four-year-old son of Mach Three showed his class with a tough win in the Travel Managers Wedderburn Pacing Cup over 2555 metres. Despite travelling wide for the final 900m, the Justice-trained gelding – a grandson of Il Vicolo, who sired Hickstead’s mother Il Informed – had too much potency for Lucky Lombo and Uroc Mman in a mile rate of 2:00.9. Justice said Hickstead was originally purchased because of his standing start manners, but his mobile gate form is also impressive, and he has won seven races since crossing the ditch despite Victoria's decision to cease stand-start pacing races – including a Mildura Guineas and Sunday’s Wedderburn Cup. “He’s a really good distance horse. I think he could develop into a very nice open class horse hopefully,” Justice said. “He seems very suited to Australian racing conditions and so far so good. He appreciated the extra trip on Sunday.” Justice has earmarked Hickstead for South Australia Cup night at Globe Derby on January 7, where he could contest either the Justice Family Plate – a race sponsored by Justice’s family – or the Group 1 South Australian Cup. “It’s always a special night for the whole family. We all get together and hopefully we can continue to be involved and keep it going,” Justice said. Hickstead picked up four points in the $25,000 Own the Moment Trots Country Cups Championship as a result of his success. Hectorjayjay leads the ladder on six points, one point clear of Major Secret, whose Geelong Cup success on Saturday took him into second placing on the ladder.  Earlier on the card Brent Lilley combined with Rod Petroff to win the Richmond and Associates Wedderburn Trotters Cup off a 10-metre mark with seven-year-old Sundon-Niamey gelding Sun Of Anarchy, defeating Coimadai Lodge and Herecomes The Cat in the 2555m race in a mile rate of 2:05.0. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria Chairman Dale Monteith will join RSN Racing Ahead host Michael Felgate on Wednesday morning live from 9am. Trainer/driver Lance Justice (president of the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association) will also join the panel live in the studio to discuss Harness Racing Australia’s decision to ban the whip as a tool to make horses run faster from September 1, 2017. HRV today refuted ill-informed media reports that suggested the harness racing industry had no whip restrictions in place and tried to compare stock whips, such as those used in the cattle industry, to modern harness racing whips. Both of these remarks are completely misleading. Modern day harness whips are nothing like stock whips and the harness racing industry places strict restrictions on the use of the whip. Rule 156 (1) (a) of the Australian Harness Racing Rules states a driver shall only use a whip of a design and specification approved by the controlling body. Further, over 20 restrictions are placed on whip use as an extension of that rule. In Victoria these rules are strictly policed by stewards, who do not issue cautions or reprimands, but rather impose mandatory penalties starting at a fine for first offence ($200), doubled for a second offence ($400) and becomes a two-week suspension of licence for a third offence. HRV has committed to working closely with its trainers and drivers to ensure a smooth and safe transition to no-whip racing from September 1, 2017. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

A veteran Portarlington harness racing hobby trainer is daring to dream tomorrow night at Geelong. Neville Henderson, 75, will saddle up stable star Cyrus – a well-named son of broodmare Billy Rae – in the Group 3 Flying Brick Cider Co. Geelong Pacing Cup. “It would be a dream to win it, that’s for sure,” Henderson said, acknowledging that his gelding was up against a bad barrier (gate seven – outside the front row) and a strong field of rivals. To be driven by Ararat-based Michael Bellman, one of Victoria’s leading reinsmen well-known for travelling far and wide to pilot a winner, Cyrus will meet a three-pronged attack from Victoria’s leading trainer, Emma Stewart. Stewart is a winner with her horses last year racking up $2.94 million in stakemoney nationally. Her Smythes Creek stable will have Metro Mike, Young Modern and Major Secret in tomorrow night’s Cup. Henderson’s horse will also have to overcome Geelong Cup hot-favourite Tee Cee Bee Macray from the Alan Tubbs camp with “Candyman” Greg Sugars in the cart. But Cyrus can break the favourites’ achy breaky hearts, according to his trainer at least. “I think he’s as good as any of these in this field if we get any luck,” he said. “He’s a fighter. He loves a stoush.” Cyrus was going to line up in last season’s Geelong Cup but suffered an injury and Henderson’s daughter, Mandie, who will drive stablemate Black Cougar in the first race tomorrow night, talked her father into having another crack this year. “His last couple (of starts) have been very good.  We won the Guineas at Terang with him as a three-year-old when he was three-wide the trip. He’s just got that trait and he won’t ever lie down,” Henderson said. Since taking up horse training in 1983 Henderson has produced 51 winners. Nowadays he says his daughter’s enthusiasm keeps him in the game, making it a family affair. TAB.com.au has Cyrus $51 to win the Cup, with Tee Cee Bee Macray the clear favourite at $2.20. The Geelong Cup is a leg of the Own the Moment Trots Country Cups Championship. By Cody Winnell

A passionate group of harness racing people who love spending time together at the track will be chasing back-to-back Flying Brick Cider Co. Geelong Pacing Cup wins on Saturday night. The Glenlyon Syndicate consists of 14 people, most of whom are trackside when their star gelding named It Is Billy is racing at venues right across Victoria. Syndicate manager Vincent Hayes described trots ownership as “terrific fun” and a “great social occasion” every time It Is Billy runs. “Usually about any 10 of the 14 syndicate members are trackside to cheer him on,” Hayes said. “It’s terrific, really. It’s a great social get-together. We all come from different occupations but we really thoroughly enjoy getting to the track.” It Is Billy is trained in Daylesford by Michael Barby and driven by his wife Anne-Maree Conroy. The eight-year-old bay has won 19 races from 58 starts for over $200,000 in stakemoney. On Saturday night It Is Billy will be chasing his second consecutive Geelong Cup win a night after the horse he beat in last year’s race, Hectorjayjay, starts a commanding favourite in the $1 million Inter Dominion Final in Perth. It is Billy will have his usual enthusiastic cheer squad trackside but sadly it will be minus Mark Leonard, who was on hand for last year’s Geelong Cup, as he passed away recently. “About a month ago we lost Mark, which was very sad. His wife took over the ownership. They always came to the track. She’s already said she’ll be there, so Billy will be running in his honour,” Hayes said. From barrier three It Is Billy is sure to get a nice run in Saturday night’s $30,000 Group 3 feature event over 2570 metres. It will be his third run back from a spell. “He’s been racing against really good horses and he just ran out of puff a bit last time,” Hayes said. “Win, lose or draw we’ll be there having a lot of fun. It’s not just that the trots is more affordable than the gallopers, you also find it’s more of a family thing and more friendly. You can get to the stalls and talk to your trainer and driver. It’s just great.” Meanwhile, another Billy, Cats star Billy Brownless, will be signing footballs and mingling with the crowd on Saturday night, plus there will be live music, gourmet food trucks, the trots virtual reality experience, punters’ club and heaps of free kids’ entertainment. The first race is at 6.38pm and event details are at trotscountry.com.au  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) introduced a fourth tier of country stakemoney on September 1. HRV Chairman Dale Monteith said the revised program, which included an additional $5000 tier of racing, was finalised after the HRV Board listened to the key industry groups that provided valuable feedback to the Harness Racing Advisory Council. Participants’ most common want was to ensure $3500 and $5000 prizemoney races were programmed to limit the likelihood of well-performed horses dominating them. Since its implementation, HRV has monitored all aspects of the revamped program and heard from participants regarding clauses attached to $3500 and $5000 races. HRV has determined to make the following alterations from January 1, 2017. The clause ‘and which have had at least 2 Australian race starts’ will be removed from maiden front races (C0, 3C0, 2C0, T0, 3T0 and 2T0) with stakemoney of $5000. This will allow trainers to debut horses in lower tiered $5000 races without having to have had two starts in $7000 races. The clause will be retained in C1 or faster and T1 or faster front races to prevent New Zealand imports with low field selection points potentially dominating such races in their first two Australian race starts. The clause will also be retained on all races with stakemoney of $3500. A minor alteration will also be made to the following clauses: Restricted to horses who have not won a race in their last six starts Restricted to horses who have not won more than one race in their last six starts. A horse’s automatic field selection points are calculated on the best four of its past five starts, and so it was determined the above additional clauses should only refer to a horse’s past five starts. HRV will also modify the following clauses applicable to $5000 races: Restricted to horses who have not won a race in their last five starts Restricted to horses who have not won more than one race in their last five starts Those clauses will now carry the caveat, except in ‘Graduation Penalty Races’. The amendment of this clause will allow a horse to win a $3500 race without being prevented from contesting a future $5000 race. It is too early to determine any definite trends after only 11 weeks of tiered racing, but HRV is mindful of the racing population when assessing tiered racing. Mr Monteith said the system would be reviewed with industry participants after six months. “This review will determine if the Board, with the HRAC’s advice, needs to take further action in the interests of the industry,” he said. “On behalf of the Board I would like to acknowledge and thank all parties for their co-operation and valuable input. This must continue into the future in the interests of putting the industry first.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Midnightatpinevale, Aballofmuscle, Truscott Hall and Garston Girl all won their way through to $50,000 harness racing finals of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic series at Tabcorp Park Melton last night. The four three-year-old trotters won their $10,000 heats, with all four heats broadcast live into France where punters wagered on the races via the French tote (PMU). The $50,000 finals, separate races for fillies and colts/geldings, will be run at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, December 17. The Monday night Melton meetings broadcast into France are an important part of Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) efforts to showcase the industry to overseas markets with the industry receiving vital revenue via wagering. In addition to winning the $5000 first place prizemoney last night the connections of two of the four heat winners, Midnightatpinevale (by Lawman out of Midnight Rush) and Garston Girl (by Lawman out of Pocket Fantasy), received $7000 Vicbred first win bonuses. Midnightatpinevale, driven and trained by Amy Tubbs, led all the way in a mile rate of 2:00.5 to win the first heat of the fillies’ Classic over 1720m by 2m over fast-finishing Star In Sight (Chris Svanosio) with Breezin Around (Greg Sugars) third. Peter Manning trained Garston Girl (Sugars) to win the second fillies’ heat, rating 2:00.4 to score by 3.6m over Rosanna Lindy in second (Rodney Petroff), with Margaret Ruth (Anne-Maree Conroy) running on well for third. Aballofmuscle (Muscle Mass-Baileys Model) and Truscott Hall (Angus Hall-Truscott Photo) won the colts’ and geldings heats, both driven by Chris Alford. Aballofmuscle defeated runner-up Goodtime Pe Rabbit (Glen Craven) and Garshaway (Jodi Quinlan) in a mile rate of 2:02.8, while Truscott Hall rated 2:00.7 and was 2.1m too strong for Magicool (Matthew Craven) with All Muscle (Sugars) third. Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic heats are restricted to Vicbred eligible horses, who have not won total stakes in excess of $10,000 at acceptance time for the heats. “Vicbred is the most important futurity series we have,” trainer Larry Eastman says. The Vicbred Platinum program is backed by the Victorian Daniel Andrews Government, which reaffirmed their ongoing commitment to the scheme in May. HRV’s Vicbred program is worth over $9 million each year in bonuses and stake money and provides incentives for people to “think Vicbred” and “industry first” when breeding and purchasing standardbreds. Find out more about Vicbred at www.vicbred.com.au Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Terang's harness racing driver Jason Lee picked up two third placings to kick off this year's Australian Young Drivers Championship in Perth. Coinciding with the Inter Dominion series, the Championship pits the best young drivers from across Australia and New Zealand in a 10-race series, which continues today at Pinjarra. Kiwi Robbie Close is in front after three races on 36 points, while New South Welshman Todd McCarthy is on 29 points, five clear of Lee in third on 24. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AYDC LEADER BOARD Lee’s dominance in Victoria has seen him collect the Alabar Concession Young Driver of the Year award for the past three seasons in succession.   Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

There was no stepping on Blue Suede Hooves on Saturday night, despite the Steve Cleave trained and driven harness racing gelding bumping into a $1.04 shot in the form of Cant Refuse at Tabcorp Park Melton. Punters sent Cant Refuse out at the seemingly unbackable odds of $1.04 in the Cogs Services Pace Final, but a win for that pacer never looked likely as pacemaker Four Starzzz Forsa ran hard throughout and Cleave and Blue Suede Hooves enjoyed cover on the back of the leader before sprinting to victory in the $10,000 event. “Once John (Justice) got to the front and kept rolling I knew we were in with a big chance,” Cleave, who trains in Chintin, said. “Once the $1.06 pop was out there doing a bit of work it was open for us to come through.” HEAR FROM THE WINNING DRIVERS AT MELTON Blue Suede Hooves is a well-named son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of Presidential Ball mare Presidential Night. Cleave has enjoyed four wins from 20 starts with the pacer. With only a small team in work, Cleave is enjoying a prosperous period having also enjoyed success aboard Springfield Tattoo last month. “We’ve had a great month this last month and now we’ve got a win to star this month, so hopefully it can continue on,” Cleave said. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) is backing the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) in December. Starting today and continuing for the month of December, HRV will donate $500 for every winning drive by Gavin Lang and Anthony Butt to the PCFA anywhere in Australia. Butt and Lang will wear specially designed promotional silks containing the PCFA logo during December. “I’m excited to be involved with this important promotion, which aims to raise awareness and funds for vital research into a condition that touches so many people,” Butt said. “Males probably don’t pay enough attention to their health and hopefully this campaign changes the thinking of some men and gets them to see their doctor for a check-up.” PCFA State Manager John Strachan said the foundation was thrilled to be joining forces with HRV for this important campaign. “Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is excited to be partnering with Harness Racing Victoria throughout December to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer in metro and regional Victoria,” Mr Strachan said. “Prostate cancer is a significant challenge for Victorian men (1 in 4 cancers diagnosed in men will be prostate cancer) and with HRV's significant network and community reach it provides an excellent opportunity to raise vital awareness of the disease. “PCFA applauds HRV for this fantastic community awareness initiative.” The promotion will be officially launched on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton when representatives from the PCFA will attend Tabcorp Park Melton and former AFL coach and PCFA ambassador David Parkin will be interviewed. Trots Media will provide updates on the running tally of money donated to the cause via social media channels, www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria, www.twitter.com/hrvnews, and on www.hrv.org.au and www.harness.org.au More information on the PCFA at prostate.org.au Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Lightly raced seven-year-old gelding Allies Mate delivered a Group 3 harness racing triumph to his connections, trainer Alan Donohoe and reinsman Chris Alford at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. The son of McArdle out of Fake Left mare Mon Repos scored a neck victory in the Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship Final with a 1:54.2 run. There were great scenes trackside as Allies Mate's connections celebrated the win enthusiastically.  From gate five in the 1720-metre dash Alford had Allies Mate one-by-one at the 1200m mark after Zermanion ran by early leader Bazzas Art to get the top and Egodan whipped to the chair  from his back-row draw. When Im Lonely took off three-wide down the back stretch Alford stayed in and held the back of Egodan, who hit the front for Rod Petroff at the quarter pole, allowing Alford room to swing three-deep on the home corner. Once Egodan and Allies Mate hit top gear for the final fight to the wire it was Allies Mate who out-sprinted his rival, the last quarter 27.3 and last half 55.7 as Allies Mate notched his seventh career win and took his stake earnings in excess of $50,000. Egodan was game in second, with Im Lonely third for Greg Sugars and consistent Hollys Miss Molly fourth for Robbie Walters. Earlier on the card Metro Mike (Metropolitan-Tuscan Skies) took out the Pridemore Electrics Sokyola Sprint over 1720m in 1:53.9 courtesy of a 26.5 last quarter (55.1 last half). Major Secret initially led from barrier three, but Metro Mike and driver Jason Lee came around early and dashed to the front from his back-row draw, giving the Emma Stewart-trained stablemates the lead and box-seat positions. Once in front, Metro Mike dictated and ripped up the lane to hold off an audacious  Im Corzin Terror, whose run was super in second, and Major Secret, who couldn’t come on to challenge the leader once he’d surrendered the front. Veteran Smudge Bromac was fourth. Metro Mike’s win gave Lee a double in the cart, as he also drove Desdon Murruffy (Mordern Art-Spellmaker) to an all-the-way win in the Cogs Services Pace for trainer Matthew Craven, which also gave Craven a winning double after he trained and drove El Paco (Yankee Paco-Kellybrooke) to take out the Aldebaran Park Chris Howe Trotters Cup over 2240m in 1:58.2. Long odds-on favourite Maori Time dropped out sharply to only beat the ill-behaved My Tribeca over the line and the vet will check the Brent Lilley star mare to ensure all is well moving forward. The Boss Man finished second for Scott Dyer and Ellen Tormey in the Trotters Cup, producing a brave performance to only just get pipped at the post, with Hinault – a stablemate of the winner – finishing third. Metro Mike’s win also gave trainer Emma Stewart a winning double at Melton because her five-year-old Mach Three-Star Chaser mare Our Star Dust won the DNR Logistics Pace for Chris Alford. That win was the first leg of a winning double for Alford, too, given his later success with Allies Mate. Another driver in great form is Greg Sugars, who also walked away with a winning double courtesy of six-year-old Modern Art-Bella Aurora gelding Heza Modern Guy winning the HERO Life After Racing Pace for trainer Kari Males, and Fairest Fella (Artistic Fella-Mirra Mirra) winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series E Final for trainer Michael Hughes from barrier 13. Other winners were five-year-old Elsu-Fluffy Handcuffs gelding Feel The Buzz for Maro Stella and Brad Chisholm in the TAB.com.au Pace Final, flying mare Zibibbo (Shadow Play-Karamea Dreaming) in the Allied Express Transport 4YO Pace for Kerryn Manning, and unbeaten three-year-old Star Of Memphis (Rock N Roll Heaven-Star Of Venus) for Andy and Kate Gath in the SBG Accountants Pace to finish the night. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Brilliant Victorian harness racing pacer Lennytheshark has taken out the first heat of the 2016 TABtouch Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park, Western Australia. The reigning Inter Dom champ began his title defence in the $1.8million series in the most emphatic fashion, working hard three-wide early before landing the chair with two laps of the half-mile GP circuit to run, outside pacesetter Our Jimmy Johnston, a local who had been well-tried by punters into $3.9. Sent out $1.8 favourite with punters, Lennytheshark controlled the race from the breeze, driver Chris Alford explaining post-race the David Aiken-trained superstar thrives doing the work. “He loves racing in the breeze for some reason,” Alford said. “He did the work and one day they’ll know he’s good and they’ll want to sit on him, but they want to park him at the moment.” Off the back Lennytheshark made his move. Our Jimmy Johnston tried to shake him off, but it’s tough to escape the clutches of a hungry shark’s jaws. Beaudiene Boaz found the line nicely for the Gary Hall Snr and Jr combination, but Lennytheshark had 1.4m on him at the wire, Lenny’s mile rate 1:54.8 and gross time 2:32.0. Last year Lenny won his opening heat in 2:33.1 gross and a 1:55.6 rate. Our Jimmy Johnstone held third, but as reinsman Ryan Warwick remarked pre-race, if his charge couldn’t tame the Shark tonight it’d be tough doing it in the future. Our Jericho was impressive in fourth, while Victorian Guaranteed finished fifth. Interestingly the vet ran his eye over Guaranteed before declaring him fit to run pre-race. Guaranteed sat leader’s back in the run but found little at the finish to battle fairly into fifth. “He seems to have pulled up good,” Lang later told Sky. But it was all honours with the winner, who has to firm in Grand Final markets given what he did tonight. “He should get better as the series goes on… like last year,” Alford said. “He travelled really well (tonight). Once he put the leader to bed he knocked off a little bit, but he knows where the line is.” Lennytheshark - Retravision Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 1 Bettors Fire NZ - Tabtouch Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 2 Hectorjayjay ferocious in his heat Punters are torn after night one of the TABtouch Inter Dominion heats at Gloucester Park in Perth. Do you go with the reigning series champion, Lennytheshark, who couldn’t have been more impressive winning his heat last night, or the new kid on the block, stablemate Hectorjayjay, who also looks to have gone to another level? David Aiken is in the box seat, that’s for sure. The Avenel horseman trains both Lenny and Hector. Winning two Inter Dominion heats on one night is a special feat. Josh Aiken drove Hectorjayjay to victory in a mile rate of 1:53.6 – the quickest of the night – in the 2130-metre race. “He had to work to get there, he copped mid-race pressure and then he still ripped home in a 27 quarter,” winning reinsman Josh Aiken said post-race. “I was confident. He travelled well whole race. We had to work in the middle … that brings horses like bling it on Restrepo into the race, so I was rapt he still had kick in at end.” Kick away he did. At the home bend Hectorjayjay booted clear of runner-up Run Oneover and third placegetter Franco Nelson, both trying hard but not making any inroads. “Each run is going to tighten him up,” Aiken said. “He’ll keep getting better throughout the series.” Hectorjayjay had to burn some petrol early as Exciteusinthecity held up from the pole for a few strides, and once in front, Hector copped heat throughout with a 56.8 middle half. None of it mattered as Hectorjayjay, a six-year-old by Dream Away out of Sheer Finesse, ripped home in 27.4. Simply Susational finished fourth with Bling It On fifth. Other Victorians in heat three were Restrepo in seventh, Flaming Flutter in eighth and Exciteusinthecity in ninth. The next round of heats will be held at Bunbury on Tuesday night. Get your details by visiting the Inter Dominion website Hectorjayjay - Choices Flooring Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 3 Lenny and Hector take a swim in the Indian Ocean 2016 Perth Inter Dominion Progressive Points Table Nov 24, 2016 | Gloucester Park / RWWA   Heat Night 1 Heat Night 2 Heat Night 3 Series Horse Heat Placing Points Heat Placing Points Heat Placing Points Total Points Rank BETTORS FIRE NZ (WA) HEAT 2 1 14     0     0 14 1 HECTORJAYJAY (VIC) HEAT 3 1 14     0     0 14 2 LENNYTHESHARK (VIC) HEAT 1 1 14     0     0 14 3 BEAUDIENE BOAZ NZ (WA) HEAT 1 2 11     0     0 11 4 RUN ONEOVER NZ (WA) HEAT 3 2 11     0     0 11 5 SMOLDA (NZ) HEAT 2 2 11     0     0 11 6 FRANCO NELSON NZ (NZ) HEAT 3 3 9     0     0 9 7 JOHN OF ARC NZ (WA) HEAT 2 3 9     0     0 9 8 OUR JIMMY JOHNSTONE NZ (WA) HEAT 1 3 9     0     0 9 9 OUR JERICHO NZ (WA) HEAT 1 4 7     0     0 7 10 PHOENIX WARRIOR NZ (WA) HEAT 2 4 7     0     0 7 11 SIMPLY SUSATIONAL NZ (WA) HEAT 3 4 7     0     0 7 12 BLING IT ON (NSW) HEAT 3 5 6     0     0 6 13 GUARANTEED (VIC) HEAT 1 5 6     0     0 6 14 IMA CONNOISSEUR NZ (WA) HEAT 2 5 6     0     0 6 15 CYAMACH NZ (WA) HEAT 3 6 5     0     0 5 16 MAJOR CROCKER (VIC) HEAT 2 6 5     0     0 5 17 THE BUCKET LIST NZ (WA) HEAT 1 6 5     0     0 5 18 OUR BLACKBIRD NZ (WA) HEAT 2 7 4     0     0 4 19 RESTREPO (VIC) HEAT 3 7 4     0     0 4 20 ULTIMATE ART (NSW) HEAT 1 7 4     0     0 4 21 ELEGANT CHRISTIAN NZ (WA) HEAT 1 8 3     0     0 3 22 FLAMING FLUTTER NZ (WA) HEAT 3 8 3     0     0 3 23 YANKEE ROCKSTAR (VIC) HEAT 2 8 3     0     0 3 24 EXCITEUSINTHECITY (VIC) HEAT 3 9 2     0     0 2 25 TRICKY STYX NZ (WA) HEAT 1 9 2     0     0 2 26 WAYLADE NZ (WA) HEAT 2 9 2     0     0 2 27 FREYBERG NZ (NSW) HEAT 3 10 1     0     0 1 28 HEEZ ON FIRE (WA) HEAT 2 10 1     0     0 1 29 STUNNING GRIN (VIC) HEAT 1 10 1     0     0 1 30   * Please Note: The calculations in this table are not final until the race results have been confirmed and accepted by RWWA. ** In the event two or more horses each scoring equally the minimum number of points entitling them to be eligible for the Final and thereby producing a field exceeding the number designated by RWWA, then RWWA shall decide in its discretion which of the horses with equal points shall start in the Final. by Cody Winnell

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