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For the 13th time in his decorated career harness racing reinsman Chris Alford is the SBG Accountants Victorian Metropolitan Premier Driver. Alford notched 51 metro wins in 2016-17 to finish 18 victories clear of nearest rival Gavin Lang (33 wins) with Greg Sugars finishing third on 31 wins. It is the fifth straight season that Alford, Lang and Sugars have shared podium honours in the metro title, and in fact that trio has also claimed top-three honours for the past five years straight in the Melton Saddlery State Drivers Premiership. Alford also won the Melton Saddlery State Drivers Premiership for the second straight season in 2016-17, giving him a dozen wins in that category throughout his career. Alford’s 51-win metro season was a career-best performance, eclipsing his previous personal best of 48 set in 2015-16. His 320 state winners was his second-biggest haul behind his 2011-12 season, which saw him claim the Vic honours with 327 victories. It is an amazing record for the man they dub ‘Puppet’, who won his first metropolitan drivers’ premiership back in 1993-94. Alford’s glorious season of achievements in the past 12 months also saw him pilot Lennytheshark to a memorable Miracle Mile win at Menangle in February, and steer his 6000th win in the sulky during May. Other highlight wins for Alford in season 2016-17 included… Group 1 VHRSC Victoria Derby aboard Our Little General in February Group 1 Canadian Club Sprint aboard Lennytheshark in February Group 1 Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks aboard Miss Graceland in April Group 1 Queen of the Pacific aboard The Orange Agent in May Group 1 Sportswriter Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO Fillies Final aboard Molly Kelly in June Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotting C&G Final aboard Wobelee in July Group 1 Pet Rock Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 2YO Pacing C&G Final aboard Poster Boy in July Group 1 Western Terror Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 2YO Fillies Final aboard Nostra Villa in July Group 1 Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic aboard Wobelee in August Group 1 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Trotting C&G Final aboard Wobelee in August Group 1 Always B Miki Breeders Crown 2YO Pacing Fillies Final aboard Nostra Villa in August Group 1 IRT Breeders Crown 3YO C&G Pacing Final aboard Our Little General in August Meanwhile, Emma Stewart completed a clean sweep in the Renown Silverware State Trainers Premiership and the Taylors Metropolitan Trainers Premiership, winning both categories. It is the third straight double-premiership win for Stewart, whose horses earned over $3million in stakemoney in 16-17, a stable record, eclipsing its previous best set in 15-16 of $2.95m. Stewart trained 54 Victorian metropolitan winners in 16-17 from 269 runners and a career-best 206 Vic state winners from 572 starters. Amazingly young gun Jason Lee won his fourth consecutive Alabar Concession Drivers Premiership, notching 110 Victorian winners in season 16-17 from 534 races, edging out runner-up Zac Phillips on 108 wins. Art Major won the Victorian Sires Premiership with 235 wins from his progeny. The super stallion also claimed the 2YO Sires Premiership with 37 wins. The 3YO Sires Premiership went to Somebeachsomewhere with 70 wins, while Safely Kept claimed honours in the Broodmare Sires Premiership category. Sundon took top honours in the Trotting Sires Premiership with 105 wins, while Angus Hall took out the Juvenile Trotting Sires Premiership with 20 wins. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria encourages Gordon Rothacker Medal nominations from Country Clubs, Kindred Bodies, Industry Participants and/or Individuals. The criteria for the Gordon Rothacker Medal is as follows: Contribution to harness racing in Victoria (past and present) Length of industry involvement Held (voluntary or paid) key positions within the industry Demonstrated excellence within a chosen field Significant personal achievement Service as a role model/mentor Integrity If you wish to nominate someone for consideration for the 2017 Gordon Rothacker Medal, please email the name of the nominee and a brief summary of supportive information (achievements, positions held in the industry, length of service etc) to Angela McCallum (AMcCallum@hrv.org.au) by close of business on Friday September 22. Click here to view more info on the Gordon Rothacker Medal Cody Winnell HRV Communications/Media Manager

Humbletonian 2017 at Maryborough yesterday saw 10 horses register their first ever racetrack win and $63,000 paid out in Vicbred First Win bonuses from Harness Racing Victoria. Additionally Harness Breeders Victoria paid out $2500 in breeder bonuses across yesterday’s 10-race card, the Victorian Square Trotters Association offered $250 bonuses for trot race winning owners who were on-course and the Maryborough Harness Racing Club offered $250 breeder bonuses for pacing breeders that attended. The important ongoing role played by breeders in the trots was on display at Maryborough with three winning horses yesterday owned and trained by the person who bred them – Mascott (Race 1) for Jayne Davies, Crazy Ideas (Race 3) for Kari Males and Tobi John (Race 4) for Darren Cole. A further three horses were bred, owned and trained by family members – Seattle Grace (Race 7) for Brad and David Barnes, No Republic (Race 9) for Virginia, Julija and Emmett Brosnan, and Live On Broadway (Race 10) for Christian McLean and Shannon McLean. For Jayne Davies, the debut win of Mascott was extra special. Davies purchased Mascott’s mother, Maidstone Miss, from New Zealand in 2011 and debuted her on Australian Soil in the Group 1 Redwood Classic at Maryborough. She won, and now, six years later, Maidstone Miss’s first progeny to hit the racetrack has won on debut at the same venue. “It’s really nice to have him follow in his mother’s footsteps by winning at Maryborough first-up,” Davies said. “I’ve sold the mare to Pat Driscoll (Yabby Dam Racing). I took an embryo from Maidstone Miss actually, and he (Mascott) is the result.” Davies only qualified Mascott – by Majestic Son – last Saturday from the mobile. “He probably wasn’t quite ready and still has a couple of problems, but he trotted OK yesterday. He’s a nice little horse and he’s got a lot of improvement in him as a three-year-old,” Davies said. Being the overseer of a racehorse’s transition from foal to racetrack and first win is a special experience, says Davies. “It is a bit special,” she said. “And days like yesterday where the maiden horses are given that opportunity to pick up nice bonus prizemoney are really important for the industry.” Find out more about the Victorian breeding industry  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Victorian turned Tasmanian harness racing reinsman Mark Yole wants not only the trots industry but the wider community to understand that it is okay to talk about feeling down or depressed. Yole, whose battle with depression was documented recently in Tasmania's The Examiner, says depression and related illnesses are far more common than people think and that the more people talk openly about the subject the better placed society will be to understand. "I'd like to do what I can to get the word out there about it and see if we can make a real difference," Yole said. Yole, 29, told the Examiner that people feeling depressed should: "Talk to people. Don’t be ashamed. Even if you don’t think you’ve got depression, but you’re just not feeling great, talk to someone". He added: “Even now, my fiancee and I talk about that stuff. She’s really great - if I’m feeling a bit down or she’s feeling a bit down, we can sit down and talk about it and work through it together. You never know what talking to people can do.” Click here to read Yole's full story on The Examiner website Yole praised Harness Racing Victoria's recent move to extend its industry assistance program to include all trainers and drivers. "The more awareness the better with this issue. It's important the conversation is started and kept going so people doing it tough know it's okay to reach out and get some help," he said. Yole added that he would jump at the opportunity to secure public speaking engagements to promote awareness of depression. "I just want do to my bit to make a difference," he said. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Airborne Ameretto is taking the fast-class pacing ranks by storm for Great Western harness racing trainer-driver Kerryn Manning. The five-year-old Million Dollar Cam-Eyes Of Courage mare completed a five-straight picket-fence winning form line for Manning tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton with an explosive win in the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pacers Free for All. Following last weekend’s brilliant Mares Graduate FFA Breeders Crown win at Bendigo, Ameretto lifted another notch tonight and the big question now is where to next? “There’s Perth … where there’s a nice mares’ race there,” Manning said post-race, adding, “We’ll have to sit down and have a think”. Ameretto tonight held off a fast-finishing Tee Cee Bee Macray by 1.9m in a mile rate of 1:53.3, with San Carlo running in third place 2.3m behind the winner. “It gets harder from here,” Manning said. “But if she keeps going like that she’ll be hard to beat in whatever she lines up in.” The last mare to win the Breeders Crown Graduate Free for All was Make Mine Cullen in 2012 (1:58.0).  And for the sake of including this stat, the last mare to win the Inter Dominion was Jodie’s Babe in 1989 (Stella Frost won Inter in 1971, Richmond Lass in 1969 and Robin Dundee in 1965). “It was a really quality field tonight. To (win) in such good fashion just shows how good a horse she is,” Manning said. “She’s a very easy horse to handle at home. It’s a pleasure to have her.” Manning was sent the mare by trainer Ashlee Grives in New South Wales. The Orange Agent, the star Kiwi mare who dominated this year’s Mares’ Triple Crown at Melton, went 1:53.7 in winning the Alabar Angelique Club Cup over 2240m at Melton in May. Messini ran on well for fourth tonight and My Kiwi Mate finished fifth. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Legendary trots scribe Max Agnew gives his take on tonight's Victorian Harness Racing Media Association Hall of Fame inductees, on a night at Tabcorp Park Melton when Vin Knight was awarded 'Legend status'.  Ron Peace Ron Peace grew up in Northern Victoria where at the local primary school his teacher later became Mrs Jean Pascoe, who with her husband Jim, would open Keilor Motor Raceway. He was 19 when he came to Melbourne with a pacer, stabling it at Dale’s Community Stables at Maribyrnong while he went to work for trainer George Gath for several years to learn what he could. To say that he learned plenty off the wily George would be an understatement. Most trainers will have a bet on a horse they believe can win. So successful was the man they called ‘Tubby’ in setting up a horse to bet on, it helped him secure a fine property at Yan Yean to build his stables; then later another major collect enabled him to purchase more than 80 cows to conduct a dairy; selling his milk to a well-known South Melbourne outlet where the two owners were members of the Trotting Club at Moonee Valley. Ron employed others to milk his cows, and the money this regularly brought in provided further ammunition to fire off at bookmakers. He kept on frightening the hell out of bookies with successful plunges that before long led to him being offered shorter than expected odds.  All this encouraged him to try and outsmart bookies by trying to sneak under their guard. Like the time he secured a pacer from Mrs Faye Barron. Somehow he was so busy that he overlooked making the change of name for owner and trainer with the Board, so several months down the track when it was produced for the first time by him, when it won he collected $27,500, asking his little tote down the road he needed it in cash. This led to the TAB sending out a Security Van with the money – and not for the first time either. Because Sydney back then had the strongest betting ring in Australia, his battles with Bill Waterhouse were tactical and at times quite hilarious as each tried to better the other with various ploys. There were several occasions when his collect from bookmakers was upwards of $70,000. This was at a time when $12,000 would have bought you a fine house. When his money went on the TAB, it was usually in the daily doubles, or a quadrella, as any large collect would not be made public. He also brought in some big names to race horses in their name, including Bert Newton. He was able to have Sky Channel set up a dish to receive a telecast of all racing when successfully applying for it under the name of the local licensed dart club with D.R. Peace the secretary. The only thing, no such club existed. When his son Andrew emerged as a fine reinsman, Ron toned down much of his betting activities. This led to him training six winners on a program at Moonee Valley in 1987, all driven by Andrew. He followed up with six winners on a Cranbourne meeting in 1988, and several occasions having further meetings with five winners. His son Harry was also smart in a sulky -- he too would win a city driving premiership with horses from his father’s stables. He trained many smart horses, from Dale’s Gift to Scottish Fusilier, before it went to the US; He also raced Australia’s top 2YO Nicotine Prince. After Andrew took over the driving, Hyperstat won 19 races in a row, and Provocative set a new Australian record for mares of 1:53.8. Indemnity and Man Of The Moment were just two other smart winners. He never worried about premierships, but he was crowned top Victorian trainer in 1988/89. Ron Peace, a remarkable horseman, and a well-deserved inductee into our Hall Of Fame. Richmond Lass Richmond Lass was bred by Fred Miller in 1963. By Aachen, at one stage the No.1 sire in Australia, her dam Chevro was a daughter of Robert Derby, so she carried a double cross of the blood of the great Globe Derby. Owner/breeder Miller then lived at Bung Bong, between Avoca and Maryborough, with this bonny lass trained by Jack Moore. The winner of several two-year-old classics, Richmond Lass at three won the Oaks in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.  Trainer Jack Moore later set her for the 1969 Adelaide Inter Dominion.  One of the few who thought she could win this race at big odds was a young staff member of the Victorian Trotting Control Board who loved a punt. When early betting opened before the series began, Bill Hutchison had several wagers on her at 33/1. He was given a few uneasy moments during the series with the mare being the last to scrape into the Final.  But that night when driven by Kevin Brook, she won the big race by several lengths. From Hutchy’s large collect he purchased an expensive fur coat for his girl-friend. Richmond Lass returned to Victoria the hero of all at Bung Bong – that had a population then of almost 20. Today at last count the official claim is the little town is deserted. While Richmond Lass, the winner of 31, races went on to have four foals for Freddie Miller with two of these quite successful, the story has a sad ending. When a bushfire swept through the district in January of 1985, this once great mare was among those burnt to death.  Ironically, in that fire, her old trainer J.P, Moore and his foreman, John Carey, both dived into a water trough to escape the flames, but each suffered some burns.  Fred Miller had a plaque erected at his property Richmond House to remember this wonderful mare. And tonight we also celebrate her life with her induction into the Hall Of Fame as one of Australia’s finest pacing mares. Clarrie Allen (trainer-driver) In the early years of night trotting at the Melbourne Showgrounds, the majority of the leading horsemen had grown up out in the country, later moving to have stables in the city.  Among them was Clarrie Allen, born at Charlton in 1917. His harness racing father Ron had earlier trained and driven the smart Gay Venture. With the coming of night trotting to the Melbourne Showgrounds, Clarrie moved to the city to work for the legendary Jack Barron for a time, before going out on his own with stables at Ascot Vale, within walking distance of the Showgrounds. In those days the Melbourne season in Melbourne closed down from July to the end of September, thus limiting the opportunities to win races like today’s leading drivers. What made Clarrie so well respected was his consistency, usually finishing among the leading five drivers each season, and winning the premiership in 1961/62.  His total number of winners in Melbourne of 172 might not seem that great on today’s standards, but back then it was quite an achievement. Most of the winners he drove he also trained.  Among his most successful pacers were the likes of Requisite – Tarport Song -- Blazing Arrow – Ariki Whero – Joyoro – Moon Reveller, on which he won the 1971 Victorian Derby – Tranquill Scott – Smoke Dash – Dean Reveller – and the smart Border Luck. He also won good races with Belroy, a pacer caught up in the notorious incident involving Howard Craig when he was outed for a lengthy spell for having reached out and grabbed Belroy’s sulky shaft for some 30 or so metres at a meeting at the Showgrounds. In 1963 Portland owner Claude Jobe called on Clarrie to take the reins of Tail Light in the Victoria Oaks where they led throughout to win the classic. Clarrie broke his left arm in a race fall at Kilmore driving Journeyman. If he was here with us tonight, he would surely have mixed thoughts about this pacer, as later he won with Journeyman at a Cranbourne meeting. Melbourne newspapers the following day had the story how a punter associated with the Allen stables, went around the betting ring after the victory with a brand new satchel, stuffing large amounts of money into the bag. It was also at Cranbourne on a heavy track in 1975 that led to him being pictured on the front page of the Melbourne Sun. Terry Phelan, the top photographer of the day, had Clarrie getting off his winner Dean Reveller with his face thick with mud, and his then four-year-old grandson Dean Allen looking frightened at his mud-splattered Pa. The horse had actually been named after young Dean. Harness racing could not buy such publicity today on the front page of Melbourne newspapers. Clarrie cut back on his commitments in 1980 when moving to stables in the Goulburn Valley, before later moving to train several horses from near the Bendigo track.   He battled on with cancer until passing away in the Tatura Hospital at the age of 67 in 1984. Clarrie Allen – a much respected horseman that tonight we welcome into the Hall Of Fame. Russell T. White      (Administrator) Born in 1895, Russell White it was said was a handy rover in the local football competition at Ballarat. He was a dairy-farmer and involved with horses on the farm at Cardigan. During the 1930s he raced two pacers with his best success coming when one of the pair won a Geelong Cup. Ron Peace, who himself later had a dairy farm at Yan Yean, used to delight in telling the story about Russell back in the days when he would load up and drive his horse and cart into Ballarat and go around selling milk out of a large drum to house-holders. The day came when It seems after a couple of his customers had claimed to the powers-to-be how they thought some of his milk was being watered down, an inspector was sent out to find if this was true. When catching up with Russell when nearing the end of his round for the day, the wily farmer recognised the fellow lying in wait for him as he went forth carrying the last bucket of milk. Just as the inspector approached, Russ suddenly tripped over, sending the last of his milk spilling over the ground. No test would be done that day.     Russell White became the first President of the Ballarat Country Party in 1945, and the following year was elected to State Parliament. It was at a time when the trotting association that had run the sport since 1919 with the support of John Wren, was being challenged in Parliament by a new group – the M&CTA  with the support of the Melbourne Show Society, and the idea to race at the Showgrounds. It was actually Russell White who got to his feet and proposed these changes to the Racing Act – with the challenge getting up by just one vote. Russ White served two terms as the Minister for Agriculture, until in 1960 he was appointed the Chairman of the Victorian Trotting Control Board.  He would spend 13 years as the boss of the sport, with his first years proving him a fine spokesman for harness racing, becoming widely known as ‘The Hot Gospeller of Trotting’.    He and his Public Relations Officer, Bill Burns, would travel to the major country meetings where the aging Russell would often make a similar speech to his flock, changing the name of the club and the town they were in. When one Mildura Cup meeting was coming to an end, Russ suddenly remembered how he had forgotten to buy his apple and a lick of molasses that he never went to bed without, sending Bill on a trip around any shops that might have been open in search of molasses for the boss. Russell will be remembered as a popular chairman who truly loved the sport, though in his last year or two when illness was taking hold of him, he became pre-occupied in rattling his many tins for charity at the main gate of trotting meetings. Russell T. White, an early leader of night trotting that we celebrate his induction into our Hall Of Fame tonight.  John Peck When still a teenager, John Peck went to work for the Australian Trotting Record in West Melbourne until its closure, when he moved to the Australian Trotting Council, now Harness Racing Australia.  Later, when Ken Dyer became Secretary of the industry in Macau, John briefly took over the role of Australian Secretary and for a time was the Keeper of the Stud Book, until deciding to take his leave. His passion for harness racing history over the following years would see him spend hours most weeks at the State Library delving into old newspapers and records. But for him, much of this early work might well have been lost in the mists of time. He still devotes a great deal of time researching the industry’s past. He later spent time with Harness Racing Victoria, and then began the publication, Harness Racing International which he edited successfully for more than a decade, collecting numerous National awards for his successful writing. John has compiled in-depth works on the history of clubs at Ballarat and Horsham, and the researching of other trotting specials. Perhaps his crowning glory has been his remarkable work of elite performers listed in what is named – Classic Families – a major work he co-wrote with Dr Ron Groves from Perth, and Peter Charles from New Zealand. Not only does it include the winners over the past 150 years, but there is no other work like it anywhere in harness racing.  Among those to heap praise on this project was the famous United States official publication, Hoof Beats. Because of his passion for the sport, he has for years been making an invaluable contribution to harness racing, and has come to be recognised as the most outstanding authority on our industry. John Peck thoroughly deserves his recognition tonight, and we welcome his induction into Harness Racing’s Hall Of Fame. Dan O’Grady Dan O’Grady, the man who was chosen to represent Harness Racing when Chester Manifold was asked by Premier Bolte in 1958 to investigate creating an official off-course tote betting in Victoria, trained both thoroughbreds and pacers on a small scale. Back in 1944 at a public meeting in Terang to test if the support was there to begin a new trotting club, Dan and Kevin Ryan were asked to follow up this unanimous passing of the idea. Ryan was then the District Handicapper for local meetings of the gallops, also calling these races on 3YB Warrnambool and 3HA Hamilton. At that time Dan O’Grady used a trotter he had secured from Eric Cochran to drive around a paddock at the large property known as Dalvui, leading a galloper or two behind for its trackwork.  One of his thoroughbreds was the good winner Chahtool, which ran in a Melbourne Cup for Dan. Before the formation of the new trotting club could be established, Ryan was appointed the official Handicapper for the VRC. The day he left town for Melbourne, he handed over to Dan the books he had begun for the coming of this new club. Dan O’Grady would retain these books as the only club secretary Terang had right through to the day he died in 1977 aged 74. Both O’Grady and Kevin Ryan had earlier been on the committee of the local club for thoroughbreds at a time when a few trotting races were held at the turf track, but tossed in this role after being disappointed at how the club was treating trotting people. When the new club was formed at Terang, Dan was asked to approach the Heffernan brothers to ask if they could rent or buy the piece of land at Dalvui where Dan trained his horses. The brothers not only agreed, but actually donated this area for free to the new club. Because Dan’s training routine had been around a virtual circle, leaving a clear pathway there, the new track in its first years virtually followed what Dan O’Grady had unknowingly created. Several of the committee of the new club would meet in the kitchen of Dan and Mrs O’Grady to sort out the fields for the race meetings several days later. This was an era before Melbourne officials came to handle such duties. Before long Dan O’Grady came to be recognised as one of the truly outstanding club secretaries in Victoria.  After Dan became a team with Chester Manifold in pushing harness racing’s involvement in what in May of 1961 became the first TAB operations in Australia, he refused to accept any formal acceptance for his work, while his friend Manifold became Sir Chester. Their close friend Premier Bolte four years later would become Sir Henry. Some old-timers in our sport might remember the success Dan had training the pacers Grey Vance and Cordoba brought him, usually driven by Neville or Bruce Clarke. Many a harness racing matter was carried out at Dan’s hardware store in Terang, which probably sold more trotting gear than it did hardware. Each time Dan O’Grady was approached to become a member of the Harness Racing Board in Melbourne by the Government, he would turn down this idea, claiming how he could do more for the sport out among the grass roots of trotting.  Dan O’Grady, a truly outstanding inductee into the Hall Of Fame.   Vin Knight (Legend) In the 15 years leading up to 1991, Vin Knight became to harness racing what Walter Lindrum had been to billiards, and Don Bradman to cricket. Vinnie was very much different from your normal top class horseman. He worked harder around the stables than just about anyone, and away from the track he would play just as hard. He was always driven by an untamed spirit and a boundless raw energy, becoming a handful for any rival who tried to compete with him. In the few short years he had at the very top of the tree in harness racing, he drove a record 721 metropolitan winners, collecting six Melbourne driving premierships along the way.  He rarely drove horses from other stables, with his winners coming from the horses he came to train himself, usually in the name of his father Bob as trainer. Four times Vin drove five winners on a program. He drove four winners at a meeting no fewer than nine times. His number of trebles was 45, and he steered home 143 doubles. Twice he won the A.G. Hunter Cup, and six times he won the Victoria Cup. In his short time at the top he drove a record 18 Inter Dominion Heat winners. Vin Knight was just 36 years-old when he died tragically in May, 1991. He was so far ahead on the leading premiership for drivers at that time with several months of the season to run that he easily collected another driving premiership. This hard-working horseman had dominated harness racing like no one before or since. In his own flamboyant style, Vin Knight took our sport to the public like no other horseman has ever done. Tonight we recognise the remarkable talents in harness racing by Vin Knight with Vinnie becoming a Legend in the Hall Of Fame. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The 2017 TAB Breeders Crown Finals were top of the agenda when harness racing jornos Cody Winnell and Michael Howard talked trots last night on Melbourne sports radio station SEN 1116am. Super Sunday will see eight Breeders Crown Group 1 finals contested as the Race to Royalty hits an exciting finale. The action gets under way on Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton with stellar line-ups for the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Free for All and the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Trotters Free for All. First race on Sunday is 12.45pm. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The two-year-old pacing males Breeders Crown Final shapes as one of the toughest nuts to crack from a harness racing punting viewpoint this coming Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton. Last night’s Semi-Final winners, Sicario and King Of Swing – both Kiwis – were awesome, and Poster Boy was enormous in defeat.  Then there’s Colt Thirty One, who made up many lengths from the back for Grant Dixon – a renowned presenter of young talent when he treks to Victoria, Master Moonlite – another Kiwi, and his trainer Cran Dalgety doesn’t visit Melton without a live chance – and then the sleepers, probably spearheaded by Braeview Bondi, who promises to deliver a big blow on the big stage at some stage. Sicario, which hails from the all-conquering Mark Purdon Allstars camp, was at his career best so far last night at Bendigo, comfortably handling his opposition and clocking the second-fastest mile rate of the night, only behind potential free-for-all star mare Amaretto. “The last six to eight weeks he’s gone to another level,” said winning reinsman Luke McCarthy shortly after climbing out of the cart aboard Sicario. “His trials and races have been very good and tonight he just felt fantastic. He ran super. Especially on a cold night – it’s gotten quite cold now, that time is fantastic.” Earlier in the night King Of Swing went 1:55.1 to win his two-year-old boys’ division semi-final for trainer Ray Green and reinsman David Butcher. And his run was enormous. Three-wide the last lap without cover, King Of Swing held off the two horses who followed him into the race. “He’s improving with every run and I can’t fault the run (tonight),” Butcher said. “Hopefully we can do the job on Sunday. I think he’ll improve off (tonight) … he seems to get better all the time.” Of the beaten brigade last night boom youngster Poster Boy was brave to run second after being inconvenienced early then parking for the last lap. He lost no admirers. The draw for Sunday’s Woodlands Stud sponsored final has made life tricky for Sicario (gate 10), while Poster Boy also lobbed the second row (gate nine). Meanwhile, King Of Swing landed the pole draw, which shortened his odds dramatically. Colt Thirty One has gate six and Braeview Bondi barrier five. WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 1st SEMI-FINAL WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 2nd SEMI-FINAL $285,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - King Of Swing NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Artsplace mare - David Butcher 2 - Kasbah Kid by Art Major from a Western Terror mare - Greg Sugars 3 - Forte Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Aces N Sevens mare - Glen Craven 4 - Tam Major by Art Major from a Camluck mare - Rodney Petroff 5 - Braeview Bondi by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare - Josh Duggan 6 - Colt Thirty One by Mach Three from a Perfect Art mare - Grant Dixon 7 - Beltane by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - John Caldow ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Joe Nien by Shadow Play from a Art Major mare - Greg Sugars 9 - Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere from a Artsplace mare - Chris Alford 10 - Sicario by Somebeachsomewhere from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy 11 - Mister Moonlite NZ by Art Major from a Christian Cullen mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Seeuinnashville by Mach Three from Fake Left mare - Nathan Jack 13 - Tin Roof Raider by Mach Three from a Life Sign mare - Michael Bellman  Em 1 Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The big-race barrier curse of Petacular has been lifted. The marbles fell the way of the harness racing star Burrumbeet filly last night at Bendigo shortly after her Breeders Crown Race to Royalty Semi-Final win. Petacular drew gate three for Sunday’s $190,000 Woodlands sponsored three-year-old fillies Breeders Crown Final at Tabcorp Park Melton, a welcome change for connections who have endured horror luck at the draws in big races over the last 12 months. Petacular has also been made to work hardest several times in key qualifiers, so last night’s comfortable win was music to trainer/driver Michael Stanley’s ears. “It worked out really well,” he said of the Somebeachsomewhere daughter’s Semi-Final win, which saw her rate 2:00.8 after the 2150-metre race became just a dash up the straight (26.5s last quarter) after opening sectionals of 33.5s, 33s and 30.5s. “I was happy to go as slowly as I could once I was able to get to the lead because she’s had a few hard runs this year, and most of her semi-finals have been hard,” Stanley said. “It’s good that she’s had an easy one for a change. Hopefully we can go in (to next Sunday’s Breeders Crown Final) with a different game plan this time.” Partyon was a significantly quicker Semi-Final winner last night for trainer Mark Purdon and driver Luke McCarthy. The Allstars filly stopped the clock at 1:56.1 in the first semi, also leading throughout, but will have to negate a back-row draw on Sunday. Partyon has drawn gate nine, trailing out Gilty Hanover in two, whose runner-up effort to Petacular last night was full of merit for Kari Males and Zac Phillips. New South Wales filly Shezallapples will start from pole, which brings her absolutely into contention with the coveted leader’s back position behind Petacular a logical aim for reinsman Jimmy Douglass. Fellow NSW raider My Casino Belle has barrier four for the final, inside Better B Chevron, Perfect Look and Oaks winner Miss Graceland rounding out the front row. Tasmanian El Jays Mystery has the inside-back-row draw, just inside Partyon, with Lincolns Superstar, Six Elements, Be Not Afraid and Petacular’s stablemate Soho Angel, giving Stanley two runners in the final, rounding out the back row. Emma Stewart also has two runners qualified – Miss Graceland and Perfect Look. Video replay: Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies 1st Semi-Final at Bendigo Video replay: Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies 2nd Semi-Final at Bendigo $190.000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Shezallapples by Sportswriter from a Fake Left mare - Jim Douglass 2 - Gilty Hanover by Rocknroll Hanover from a Courage Under Fire mare - Zac Phillips 3 - Petacular by Somebeachsomewhere from a Western Ideal mare - Michael Stanley 4 - My Casino Belle NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare - Brad Hewitt 5 - Better Be Chevron NZ by Bettor's Delight from a In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 6 - Perfect Look by Art Major from a Live Or Die mare - Sidney Van Den Brande 7 - Miss Graceland by Rocknroll Hanover from a Fake Left mare - Chris Alford ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - El Jays Mystery by Live Or Die from a Perfect Art mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Partyon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Beach Towel mare - Luke McCarthy 10 - Lincolns Superstar NZ by Mach Three from a Beach Towel mare - Ashlee Grives Em 1  11 - Six Elements - by Art Major from a Classic Garry mare - David Miles 12 - Be Not Afraid by Courage Under Fire from a Lucky Camilla mare - Rodney Petroff 13 - Soho Angel by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - Michael Stanley Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The 2017 TAB Breeders Crown barrier draws have been completed in front of a big harness racing crowd at Lord’s Raceway Bendigo. This weekend's Super Sunday will see eight Group 1 finals at Tabcorp Park Melton as the Race to Royalty draws to an electric finale. $190.000 IRT Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - The More Than Better NZ by Bettor's Delight from an In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 2 - Solid As A Rock by Rocknroll Hanover from a Life Sign mare - John Caldow 3 - Our Little General by Mach Three from a Western Terror mare - Chris Alford 4 - Alabrock by Rocknroll Hanover from an Albert Albert mare - Christopher Shinn - Em 1 5 - Mista Lombo by Somebeachsomewhere from a Blissfull Hall mare - Emmett Brosnan 6 - Big Mach NZ by Mach Three from an Elsu mare - Nathan Jack 7 - Cruz NZ by American Ideal from a Dare You To mare - Gavin Lang ...........................................Second Row................................................ 8 - Stars Align by Art Major from a Albert Albert mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Wrappers Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Christen Cullen mare - Greg Sugars 10 - Motu Meteor NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Falcon Seelster mare - Kerryn Manning 11 - King Solomon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Badlands Hanover mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Jilliby Kung Fu by Four Starzzz Shark from a Perfect Art mare - Glen Craven 13 - Rock Diamonds NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy   $190.000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Shezallapples by Sportswriter from a Fake Left mare - Jim Douglass 2 - Gilty Hanover by Rocknroll Hanover from a Courage Under Fire mare - Zac Phillips 3 - Petacular by Somebeachsomewhere from a Western Ideal mare - Michael Stanley 4 - My Casino Belle NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare - Brad Hewitt 5 - Better Be Chevron NZ by Bettor's Delight from a In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 6 - Perfect Look by Art Major from a Live Or Die mare - Sidney Van Den Brande 7 - Miss Graceland by Rocknroll Hanover from a Fake Left mare - Chris Alford ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - El Jays Mystery by Live Or Die from a Perfect Art mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Partyon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Beach Towel mare - Luke McCarthy 10 - Lincolns Superstar NZ by Mach Three from a Beach Towel mare - Ashlee Grives Em 1  11 - Six Elements - by Art Major from a Classic Garry mare - David Miles 12 - Be Not Afraid by Courage Under Fire from a Lucky Camilla mare - Rodney Petroff 13 - Soho Angel by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - Michael Stanley   $285,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - King Of Swing NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Artsplace mare - David Butcher 2 - Kasbah Kid by Art Major from a Western Terror mare - Greg Sugars 3 - Forte Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Aces N Sevens mare - Glen Craven 4 - Tam Major by Art Major from a Camluck mare - Rodney Petroff 5 - Braeview Bondi by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare - Josh Duggan 6 - Colt Thirty One by Mach Three from a Perfect Art mare - Grant Dixon 7 - Beltane by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - John Caldow ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Joe Nien by Shadow Play from a Art Major mare - Greg Sugars 9 - Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere from a Artsplace mare - Chris Alford 10 - Sicario by Somebeachsomewhere from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy 11 - Mister Moonlite NZ by Art Major from a Christian Cullen mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Seeuinnashville by Mach Three from Fake Left mare - Nathan Jack 13 - Tin Roof Raider by Mach Three from a Life Sign mare - Michael Bellman  Em 1   $285,000 Always B Miki Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Passions Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Modern Art mare - Gavin Lang 2 - Our Bettor Joy NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Road Machine mare - Gavin Lang 3 - Our Angel of Harlem NZ by Mach Three from a Bettor's Delight mare - Anthony Butt 4 - Red Charmer by Mr Feelgood from a Fake Left mare - Grant Dixon 5 - Amelias Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Art Major mare - Kerryn Manning 6 - Hows The Memory by Mach Three from a Troublemaker mare - Bill Trembath 7 - Angel Of Arts by Art Major from a Artiscape mare - Josh Aiken ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Goodtime Heaven by Rock N Roll Heaven from a Village Jasper mare - Glen Craven 9 - Captured Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Million To One mare - Chris Voak Em 1 10 - My Sweetchilliphilly NZ by Betterthancheddar from a In The Pocket mare - Chris Geary 11 - Molly Kelly by Four Starzzz Shark from a Albert Albert mare - Chris Alford 12 - Nostra Beach by Somebeachsomewhere from a Fake Left mare - Mark Pitt 13 - Nostra Villa by Art Major from a Sands A Flyin mare - Chris Alford   $65,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - Our Fast Forward by Skyvalley from a Dream Vacation mare - Chris Alford 2 - The Male Model NZ by Muscle Mass from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 3 - The Spanyen by Blissfull Hall from a Yentls Image mare - Jullian Attard Em 1 4 - Aldebaran Prince by Angus Hall from a Muscles Yankee mare - Lisa Miles 5 - Kheiron by Majestic Son from a Great Success mare - Chris Alford 6 - Clarkes Hill by Metropolitan from a Chiola Hanover mare - Chris Svanosio 7 - War Spirit NZ by Monarchy from a Gee Whiz 11 mare - Kath Gath ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Claudys Prince by Bacardi Lindy from a Wind Cries Maori mare 9 - Empire Bay by The Prez from a Monarchy mare - Greg Sugars 10 - Truscott Hall by Angus Hall from a SJ's Photo mare - Brad Angove ODM 11 - Mano De Dios by Great Success from a Keystone Salute mare - Anthony Butt ODM 12 - Hammers Law by Lawman from a Safely Kept mare - Gavin Lang ODM 13 - Jilliby Babavska by Sundon from a Continentalman mare ODM   $65,000 Yabby Dam Racing Breeders Crown Series  (3yo Trotting Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Hotjane Bling by Eilean Donon from a Muscles Yankee mare - Josh Aiken  2 - Chevron Express NZ by Muscle Mass from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 3 - Four Walls by Armbro Variable from a Ganymede mare - Matthew Craven 4 - Iona Spider by Yankee Spider from a Our Sir Vancelot mare - Chris Alford 5 - Dance Craze by Muscle Hill from a Safely Kept mare - Nathan Jack 6 - Breezin Around by Skyvalley from a Windsong's Legacy mare - Greg Sugars 7 - Hiding My Heart Fin by Like A Prayer from a Super Punk mare ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Une Belle Allure by Angus Hall from a Onyx Du Goutier mare - Zac Phillips 9 - Andyou by Majestic Son from a SJ's Photo mare - Kerryn Manning 10 - Skyeski by Angus Hall from a Wagon Appolo mare - Rodney Petroff 11 - Kinvara Sue by Yankee Spider from a Pegasus Spur mare - Jason Lee 12 - Downtown Miss by Majestic Son from a SJ's Photo mare - Ellen Tomey - ODM Em 1 13 - Bigonluck by Muscle Mass from a Malabar Maple mare - Alex Ashwood - ODM   $90,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - Kyvalley Frank by Majestic Son from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 2 - Wobelee by Down Under Muscles from a Sundon mare - Chris Alford 3 - Smashthemcalder by Lucky Chucky from a Balanced Image mare - Anthony Butt 4 - One Muscle Hill NZ by Muscle Hill from a Earl mare - Gavin Lang 5 - Majestic Eyes by Majestic Son from a Maori's Idol mare - Ginger Gleeson 6 - Maziah by Bettor's Delight from a Our Sir Vancelot mare - John Caldow 7 - La Grange by Muscle Hill from a Safely Kept mare - Zac Phillips ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - More Shades Of Gold NZ by Majestic Son from a Evander's Gold mare - Nathan Jack 9 - Whizzbang Dan by Danny Bouchea from a Classic Adam mare - Christopher Shinn 10 - Imperial Whiz NZ by Imperial Count from a Gee Whiz 11 mare - Jim O'Sullivan 11 - Runaway Success by Great Success from a Ok Bye mare - Greg Sugars 12 - Bebubbalouie by Louey Louey Louey from a Keystone Salute mare -  Brett Shipway - ODM 13 - Tomahawk Phoenix by Angus Hall from a Sundon mare - Josh Aiken - ODM Em 1   $90,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Trotting Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Our Renezmae NZ by The Prez from a Lindy Lane mare - Anthony Butt 2 - Miss Kaikoura NZ by Majestic Son from a Dream Vacation mare - Alex Ashwood 3 - Princessa Ruth by Down Under Muscles from a Wagon Apollo mare - Josh Aiken 4 - Moonshine Linda by Majestic Son from a Sundon mare - Nathan Jack 5 - Louieville Lass by Louey Louey Louey from a Earl mare - Brett Shipway 6 - Moresuccess by Great Success from a Wagon Apollo mare - Greg Sugars 7 - Amour De Frere NZ by Love You from a Sundon mare - Zac Phillips ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Meadow Valley Sky by Skyvalley from a Wagon Apollo mare - Josh Duggan 9 - Hades Sky by Skyvalley from a The Wrath Of Pan mare - Tony Xiriha 10 - Fairytale Hall by Angus Hall from a CR Commando mare - Nathan Jack 11 - Aleppo Jewel by Angus Hall from a Safely Kept mare - Kerryn Manning 12 - Di Li by Louey Louey Louey from a Dr Ronerail mare -  Brett Shipway  Em 1 13 - Allthemoves by Muscles Yankee from a Sundon mare - Chris Alford Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The all-important line-ups (pre-barrier draw) for the Group 1 TAB Breeders Crown trotting gait finals were today announced by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) following yesterday’s heats at Maryborough. Brilliant juvenile Wobelee, a son of Down Under Muscles, was at his finest yesterday for reinsman Chris Alford in the Aldebaran Park 2YO Trotting Colts/Geldings third heat, destroying his rivals by 15.5 metres at the prohibitive odds of $1.04. As the skinny odds suggest, the trouncing was predictable and Wobelee will be shooting for his 10th straight triumph come next Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton. He looks the day’s ‘moral’ already. La Grange (by Muscle Hill out of La Coocaracha) was the other male 2YO to salute in his heat for the powerful Anton Golino camp. In fact, Golino put the polish on three heat winners yesterday so has plenty of soldiers representing Yabby Dam Racing next week. Reinsman Zac Phillips meanwhile jagged a winning double to continue his stellar season.  La Coocaracha, a freakishly talented trotting filly and mare in her day, nowadays is renowned as a producer of quality squaregaiters. Yesterday two of her progeny tasted Race to Royalty success in their heats, with dynamo 3YO filly Dance Craze – a full-sister to La Grange – also victorious in her qualifier. Dance Craze will take a power of beating on Grand Final day at Melton, but stablemate Une Belle Allure cruised home in her 3YO heat, the Angus Hall-Glenferrie Unixa filly swaggering home with almost 10m to spare over her nearest rival Skyeski. Yesterday’s mile rates saw Une Belle Allure – who beat Dance Craze to win the Derby at Maryborough earlier this month – clocking 2:03.3 and Dance Craze stopping the clock at a quicker 2:01.7. Will that mean much come next Sunday? It’s going to be a heck of a clash. In terms of sheer dominance yesterday Kerryn Manning’s Angus Hall-Insulated 2YO filly Aleppo Jewel couldn’t have been more emphatic. After a couple of unplaced runs behind the tapes that resulted in her displaying head-banging moves more akin to a fan at an ACDC concert, Aleppo Jewel’s youthful exuberance became a thing of the past. She moved faultlessly and had her rivals absolutely thunderstruck, romping in by almost 25m in 2:05.5. Not to be outdone Kiwi Our Renezmae took out her 2YO fillies’ heat but had to dig for it, challenged fiercely by Moonshine Linda at the finish and it took a photo finish to separate them. The final margin was the shortest of half-heads in favour of the bay by The Pres out of City Lane for trainer Jack Harrington and reinsman Anthony Butt. Wife and husband team Kate and Andy Gath combined in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO male division third heat to achieve success with War Spirit, which won by 2.2m over Empire Bay. War Spirit, by Monarchy, was inconvenienced early and the race probably didn’t go as planned. But horse and driver worked their way through it and got the job done in style, rating 2:02.3. An exciting Sundon gelding by the name of Jilliby Babavska will clash with War Spirit and co. in the 3YO boys’ final after he blitzed his rivals in the fourth heat, making it three wins on the spin. Trained out of Terang by Paddy Lee and driven by Glen Craven, Jilliby Babavska clocked a 2:03.1 mile rate. The Race to Royalty spotlight turns to the pacers tomorrow night at Bendigo for Semi-Finals night. Trots Media will have all the action from the night, including interviews with trainers, drivers and of course the live barrier draws as they occur via www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria Catch the action live on Sky Racing 1 (Channel 526 on Foxtel), RSN at 927am on radio or streamed online. Check out all the Breeders Crown markets at tab.com.au Breeders Crown Trotting Finals Fields 3YO Trotting C&G ALDEBARAN PRINCE CLARKES HILL CLAUDYS PRINCE EMPIRE BAY HAMMERS LAW JILLIBY BABAVSKA KHEIRON MANO DE DIOS ON FAST FORWARD THE MALE MODEL NZ TRUSCOTT HALL WAR SPIRIT NZ THE SPANYEN (1st Emerg) 3YO Trotting Fillies ANDYOU BIGONLUCK BREEZIN AROUND CHEVRON EXPRESS NZ DANCE CRAZE FOUR WALLS HIDING MY HEART FIN HOTJANE BLING IONA SPIDER KINVARA SUE SKYESKI UNE BELLE ALLURE DOWNTOWN MISS (1st Emerg) 2YO Trotting C&G BEBUBBALOUIE IMPERIAL WHIZ NZ KYVALLEY FRANK LA GRANGE MAJESTIC EYES MEZIAH MORE SHADES OF GOLD NZ ONE MUSCLE HILL NZ RUNAWAY SUCCESS SMASHTHEMCALDER WHIZZBANG DAN WOBELEE TOMAHAWK PHOENIX (1st Emerg) 2YO Trotting Fillies ALEPPO JEWEL ALLTHEMOVES AMOUR DE FRERE NZ FAIRYTALE HALL HADES SKY LOUIEVILLE LASS MEADOW VALLEY SKY MISS KAIKOURA NZ MOONSHINE LINDA MORESUCCESS OUR RENEZMAE NZ PRINCESSA RUTH DI LI (1st Emerg) Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Bendigo, Saturday 19 August 2017 Form guide for Bendigo, Saturday 19 August 2017

Star harness racing filly Nostra Villa remained unbeaten last night at Shepparton and will take an imposing seven-from-seven career record into TAB Breeders Crown semi-final night at Bendigo on August 19. Driven by Chris Alford, Emma Stewart-trained Nostra Villa (Art Major-Crystal Journey) had no trouble running to the lead after 500m when initial leader Amelias Courage took the trail. Once in control the $1.40 starting price for Nostra Villa appeared overs, especially after a 33.9secs first quarter and 31.2secs second split (65.1 first half). Nostra Villa only had to marginally increase the tempo down the back (29.9 third quarter) before sprinting up at the finish (27.2) and holding Amelias Courage at bay by 3.2m at the wire. Her winning mile rate of 2:01.8 was Nostra Villa’s slowest career triumph so far. Amelias Courage has finished second to Nostra Villa now on three occasions and will be hoping to turn the tables in coming weeks as the Race to Royalty riches increase through the Semis at Bendigo on August 19 and the Super Sunday finals on Sunday August 27 at Tabcorp Park Melton. Dougs Kitty finished third but was beaten 18.5m from three-the-pegs, while Gwendalion ran fourth and was the first horse off the pegs over the line. Bill Trembath trained and driven Hows The Memory (Mach Three-Distant Memory) captured tonight’s second Breeders Crown heat, upsetting the $1.10 favourite Nostra Beach by a half-neck in 2:01.1. After trailing the favourite throughout, the Leeton-trained filly extended in style up the home straight and made it three straight odds-on defeats for Nostra Beach. Loveyoubabe finished third, with Angel Of Arts fourth. And Kiwi raider Our Bettor Joy (Bettors Delight-Joyfulbelle) won the final heat tonight for trainer Cran Dalgety and reinsman Anthony Butt. Race favourite Molly Kelly led with Our Bettor Joy stalking on the fence. The leader carved out comfortable fractions of 32.6secs, 31secs and 30.8secs before the fillies flew up the straight in 27.5secs. Our Bettor Joy rated 2:02.3. Passions Delight finished third after racing three-pegs throughout, while Art Series boxed on from the chair for fourth. Don’t miss securing your Super Sunday Breeders Crown dining space, book today Breeders Crown Heats this Week August 9 Kilmore (Victoria) 2YO pacing colts and geldings Thursday August 10 Ballarat (Victoria) 3YO pacing fillies Friday August 11 Bendigo (Victoria) 3YO pacing colts and geldings   Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Of the top 10 Australian stakes-earning two-year-old harness racing fillies, three will line up tomorrow night at Shepparton in Breeders Crown heats. Emma Stewart-trained Nostra Beach (ranked 1 nationally with $187,800), Molly Kelly (#2, $187,600) and unbeaten Nostra Villa (#4, $118,890) headline the heats, which also feature Cran Dalgety-trained Our Bettor Joy from New Zealand, which would slot in at No.9 nationally with earnings of $68,730. The Breeders Crown heats are Races 2, 3 and 7 on the 10-event card, which gets under way at 5.27pm and is scheduled to finish at 10pm. This week’s Race to Royalty heats Today Globe Derby (South Australia) 2YO pacing colts and geldings 2YO pacing fillies 3YO pacing fillies 3YO pacing colts and geldings Tomorrow Shepparton (Victoria) 2YO pacing fillies Albion Park (Queensland) 3YO pacing colts and geldings Wednesday August 9 Kilmore (Victoria) 2YO pacing colts and geldings Thursday August 10 Ballarat (Victoria) 3YO pacing fillies Friday August 11 Bendigo (Victoria) 3YO pacing colts and geldings Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Shepparton, Tuesday 08 August 2017 Form guide for Shepparton, Tuesday 08 August 2017

The premier country two-year-old trotting race in Australia is without doubt the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic and it is that time of the year again. Held at Maryborough each year, the Redwood Classic is an iconic race steeped in prestige. It attracts a big crowd and this Sunday's renewal promises to deliver. Harness Racing Victoria, the Maryborough club and the AVCHRC have once again combined to run the TAB.com.au Redwood Rattler, a chartered 'train to the trots' experience now in its second year. Last year the Rattler was a huge success with 161 people booked aboard. This year's train will carry 220 passengers, a percentage increase of 36.64%. The Rattler will also carry an extra lounge carriage and revellers are sure to be well catered for both to and from the Redwood. Past winners of the Group 1 Redwood Classic, sponsored by long-time trotting aficionado Michael Taranto of Seelite Windows and Doors, include inaugural champion Young Trouper, driven by Gavin Lang in 1986, prolific winner Dark Edge for Barry Alford in 1988, Ghia in 1991, the mighty Wagon Apollo in 1993 for Graeme Lang, Lacey Truscott in 1997 for Chris Angove, Andandon in 2000 to net Gavin Lang a second Redwood Classic trophy, Kyvalley Road for Chris Lang in 2002 – this horse won 20 out of 27 all up including two Breeders Crown trophies, Jauriol in 2004 for Chris Lang, Lord of the Gym in 2007 for John and Maree Caldow, Eljaykay Phoenix in 2014 for Team Aiken and Illawong Byron last year for Jodi Quinlan. The event is a standing-start race but is not a handicap, with starting positions drawn at random. Some fast facts to consider when you are trying to pick the winner on Sunday include: The last 5 winners are filly/gelding/filly/gelding/filly/gelding... Black Cat Claw ($71) & Our Renezmae ($9) are fillies.   Gavin Lang (One Muscle Hill $5) & Chris Alford (Wobelee $1.65) are the only multiple Redwood winning drivers in Sunday's field. Sundon has sired 4 of last 20 winners. He is the grandsire of Fend Off ($10), Tomahawk Phoenix ($61) & Wobelee ($1.65). Safely Kept has sired 2 of the last 20 winners. He is the grandsire of La Grange ($10) & Black Cat Claw ($71) on Sunday. Illawong Byron holds the Redwood race record mile rate of 2:04.4. He is a stablemate of Fend Off ($10) for @JodiQRacing Trial form from behind the tapes can give a pointer to how these juveniles might handle Sunday's standing start. Click here to view some of the key standing-start trials. TAB.com.au has fixed odds markets open for both the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic and the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, which is also run on Sunday at Maryborough. Race 1 at Maryborough will be 11.40am Sunday morning and the 10-race program will finish with the Alf Simons Memorial Trot at 5.07pm.  Racetrack address is 106 Chaplins Rd, Carisbrook. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Maryborough, Sunday 06 August 2017 Form guide for Maryborough, Sunday 06 August 2017

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced an extension of its employment assistance program to benefit all industry players. HRV People and Culture Manager Isabella Galati described the HRV Industry Assistance Program (IAP) as a confidential, professional, coaching and support service delivered by Davidson Trahaire Corpsych (DTC). “The service is available at no cost to all licenced industry participants, including trainers, drivers and HRV, Tabcorp Park and country club employees/volunteers,” Ms Galati said. “The IAP can assist with a wide range of personal and work-related issues, including but not limited to anxiety, stress and depression, bereavement, grief and loss, personal trauma, dealing with change and career planning.” View the IAP information document online for all services provided (link) “One of our core values is empathy, which reflects our genuine care for the health and wellbeing of our participants,” HRV CEO David Martin said. “Today’s announcement provides confidential access to support for industry participants experiencing hardship, and I thank Isabella for her work on this.” Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA) president Lance Justice welcomed today’s announcement. “We welcome this decision because the industry’s greatest assets are the people involved,” Justice said. “Trainers and drivers work long hours and it is hard work. That takes its toll and it is important our people have access to help when they need it and I’d encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed or in need of a helping hand to reach out. It’s important they know they’re not alone.” The Association of Country Clubs also welcomed the announcement. “We applaud HRV for making this service available across the Victorian industry,” association CEO Toby McKinnon said. “Being on the front foot regarding the welfare of our people is a very sensible strategy and we wholly support this announcement.” Find out more about the HRV IAP or contact DTC (link) Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Sunday's Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic is of course a standing-start Group 1 event for harness racing two-year-old trotters. Therefore, punters will need to keep that front of mind when assessing the form for the runners in the time-honoured $50,000 feature. Below is a list of key trials that feature several of the hopes ahead of Sunday's contest, which may help save you time studying up before Sunday. All the trials below were recorded at tracks throughout Victoria or in South Australia and all are of course started behind the tapes. Tickets for the Redwood Rattler have been selling well and the trip promises to be bigger than last year.  To purchase tickets visit trotscountry.com.au and follow the prompts. KEY TRIALS FOR SUNDAY'S SEELITE WINDOWS & DOORS REDWOOD CLASSIC Tabcorp Park Melton – February 20, 2017 Featuring: Wobelee, One Muscle Hill, Smashthemcalder, Hades Sky Shepparton – July 18, 2017 Featuring: Black Cat Claw Maryborough – February 19, 2017 Featuring: Bebubbalouie, Louieville Lass Maryborough – February 26, 2017 Featuring: Bebubbalouie, Louieville Lass Bendigo – July 17, 2017 Featuring: Chissy Globe Derby – April 9, 2017 Featuring: Crow Power Bendigo – March 5, 2017 Featuring: Dellsun Tabcorp Park Melton – May 16, 2017 Featuring: Fend Off Maryborough – July 2, 2017 Featuring: Just Call Me Molly Tabcorp Park Melton – July 11, 2017 Featuring: La Grange Warragul – July 8, 2017 Featuring: Sovereign Minx Maryborough – July 25, 2017 Featuring: Strops Shepparton – March 21, 2017 Featuring: Tomahawk Phoenix, Moresuccess, Patsdelight, Allthemoves   Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

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