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Among a range of growth initiatives approved by the Board of Harness Racing Victoria, stakemoney in 2017/18 will increase to $40 million for the first time in Victorian trots history. In a constrained financial situation, good progress has been made in the last five months, with increased participation reflected by individual horse numbers in May being higher than at any time for three years.  The introduction of supplementary races and splitting of other races with strong nominations has created additional opportunities to win.  As a result, turnover on Victorian trots is growing, which increases market share and future revenues.  More races at race meetings in 17-18 An increase in the number of races at all tiered prizemoney levels will be programmed for the 2017-18 racing season.  That will provide participants with more chances to win races and further strengthen the Victorian industry by increasing wagering turnover, market share and ultimately profitability. HRV will conduct 30 fewer race meetings in 2017-18 than it did in 2016-17, however the total number of races run will increase.  HRV will continue to work with participants and our media partners to maximise the positioning and presentation of races, and encourage public contact with our sport at Victorian trots clubs via dining, promotions and our popular Country Cups circuit. Changes to Supplementary Race conditions at Melton Due to the success of supplementary races, from August 1, the stakemoney for all supplementary races at Tabcorp Park Melton on a Friday or Saturday night will be increased to $7000. September and October Win Bonuses To counter the annual trend of lower participation in the September/October period, all $3500 and $5000 races in that period will carry a $750 bonus payment to the winner.  In September and October, winning connections of a $3500 race will receive $1750 in stakemoney and a $750 bonus, while for a $5000 race winning connections will receive $2700 and a $750 bonus.  The $750 September/October winner bonus will be allocated in accordance with a normal stakemoney distribution (owner 87.5%, trainer 7.5%, and driver 5%). Strategic Plan HRV has been consulting with the industry by engaging directly with kindred bodies and receiving feedback from a series of forums held across Victoria, all contributing to an updated strategic plan.  As evident by the increase in field sizes and number of races per meeting, elements of the strategy are already bearing fruit and other initiatives focused on punters, integrity, breeding, and participant and horse welfare are being developed.  Participants have indicated an appreciation of the opportunity to contribute to strategies focused on industry growth and the knowledge that better days are ahead. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Tabcorp Park Melton was the scene for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Finals tonight and the harness racing action was electric. Here’s what the winning drivers had to say post-race ahead of the Grand Final double-header next Friday and Saturday back here under lights at Victorian Trots Headquarters. R1 Jodi Quinlan on General Dodge (Courage Under Fire) “I wouldn’t swap him. He can carve out 27-second sectionals and he feels like he’s doing it in third gear. Next week will be harder again. He wanted to over-race in patches tonight. You’ve got to remember he’s only had 10 starts so it’s all still pretty new to him. It’s scintillating the speed that he does possess. He’s a really exciting horse.” R2 Michael Bellman on Rockstar Angel (Rocknroll Hanover) “She’s pretty exciting. The hard part’s done now, she’s into the final. Josh and David, and Kima and the rest of the gang have her in perfect order and everything’s ticking along beautifully. Brendan’s idea a couple of weeks ago was to send to Menangle and do her prep up there in the water walker and a bit warmer weather, and her coat suggests that’s worked quite well. One thing’s for sure, she’ll be hard to beat next week.” R3 Craig Turnbull on Major Occasion (Art Major) “She’s coming along. (I’m) very thankful to Anthony and Chris for sending her down to me. The draw was vital but she did the job well. It suits her just coming out and relaxing. She can be a bit of a nutter here and there. She can get out of the gate but we pay the penalty during the race and at the end.” R4 Chris Alford on Nostra Beach (Art Major) “She’s a lovely filly she’s got speed, she’s got good strength and she relaxes so well. Once she gets into a fight she’ll really dig deep. She stills seems to be on the rise. This filly she just seems to go through her races pretty well and have something in reserve. She’s pretty good at the moment.” R5 Greg Sugars on Wrappers Delight (Bettor's Delight) “He’s been a very well performed horse right throughout his entire career. He had a good draw tonight, which really helped. Against the very best he’s probably a bit more of an opportunist but given the right run and the right circumstances he’s very good and good enough to knock off the best.” R6 Greg Sugars on Whirily School (Courage Under Fire) “She’s had a couple of starts early this prep where she was not quite right but ever since then Clayton and Emma have done a great job to resurrect her. She really knuckled down hard the last 400, 500 metres and hit the line strong.” R7 Anthony Butt on Stars Align (Art Major) “(That was a) big run. We got running down the back and Chris got me off the bit. Lucky we had a wee breather. He really picked up and felt strong when I did that and felt really strong at the line. He was one of the Purdon army as a three-year-old. It’s not easy getting a horse off Purdon. Sometimes you’re on a hiding to nothing. He’s three-out-of-three here. Dean’s a master trainer in his own right and he’s proven it with this horse.” R8 Gavin Lang on Major Times (Art Major) “He’s bred to be a good horse but he’s a big gangly guy at the moment. He possesses his share of ability. His run at Bendigo last week was awesome really. He should be good for next week. He’s a veteran of three, four starts, so don’t worry … if I had have got more fair dinkum with him I’m sure he could have done more than he did. He’s going through it pretty well at the moment. I’ll wake him up when the time needs. When he ran home here in the Youthful Stakes he hit the line very good. He’s pretty versatile, which is a nice asset to have.” R9 Kim Prentice on Soho Tribeca (American Ideal) “I hadn’t been here before so he had to show me around. He just got left alone. I was hoping the six-horse would stay outside of me a lot longer. Next week we’ll have the pull-ups on him and he’ll find the line next week. He’ll be so, so much better next week.” R10 Chris Alford on Poster Boy (Somebeachsomewhere) “He’s racing really well. He’s so beautiful and relaxed and does everything you ask of him. He came out nice and once the speed backed off. He roared up the straight.  The draw will be interesting. Emma and Clayton will have six or seven in the final. He doesn’t have to lead. I wouldn’t swap him for any of the others.” R11 Chris Alford on Miss Graceland (Rocknroll Hanover) “She zoomed up the straight good. She sort of knocks off a bit when she’s out by herself. She won as she liked, really. She had a bit of a break before the heat and tonight would have topped her right off.” R12 Michael Stanley on Petacular (Somebeachsomewhere) “That’s the first times I haven’t had to pull the ear plugs, she’s normally pretty casual. Shows she’s starting to learn what it’s all about. She does it so comfortably. She’s been a top filly all the way through and hopefully we can keep her together.” > Facebook Gallery of the Winners > Fields for Super Series Grand Finals > Semi-Final Facebook Live video wrap > Semi-Final Results Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced today that General Manager of Integrity Andy Rogers will leave the organisation on 14 July 2017. Mr Rogers commenced his employment with HRV in January 2007 as an Investigative Steward. In August 2010 he was promoted to Manager of Integrity, reporting to the Chairman of Stewards. In December 2012 Mr Rogers was promoted to General Manager of Integrity, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer and subsequently the Chief Executive Officer. Mr Rogers informed HRV this month he would leave the organisation to take up a position as Anti-Doping Manager for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. HRV CEO David Martin said: “Although disappointed to see him leaving, I am really pleased for Andy because this is a great opportunity for him. I have only worked with Andy for a short time but he is a fantastic person and will be sorely missed. Andy should be immensely proud of his tireless work to develop the HRV Integrity Department during his time as General Manager. The high esteem in which he is held by not only his peers but the industry as a whole is testament to his character and I wish him all the very best.” Outgoing GM of Integrity Andy Rogers said: “It has been a pleasure to serve within this incredible industry and I look forward to watching the trots thrive into the future.  I would like to recognise and thank the many good people within the industry who on a daily basis promote positivity and integrity, supporting the tireless efforts of the Integrity Department, Integrity Council and HRV." HRV Integrity Council Chairman John Doherty said: “Andy will be sorely missed. He has been a vital cog in the evolving area of integrity and a driving force in the development of integrity strategies at HRV.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

On February 22, 2017, the Harness Racing Advisory Council (HRAC) called for Expressions of Interest for new members with the nominations closing on Monday, March 6, 2017.  The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Board met on April 7 after receiving a large volume of nominations and with the Minister’s consideration and approval the Board is pleased to announce the following members in accordance with section 44B (3C) of the Racing Act 1958. Section 44B (3) states: The Harness Racing Advisory Council consists of the following members appointed by the Board – A) Two members of the Board, one of whom is to be appointed chairperson; B) At least 3 members who are nominees of organisations or persons who are representatives of the Victorian harness racing industry; C) Up to 2 persons who have experience or interest in the Victorian harness racing industry. The appointed HRAC members are: - Elizabeth Clarke (Chair) - Danny Frawley (Board Member) - Peter Watkinson (alternate Board Member) - Terrence (Terry) Lewis – Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV) - Michael Taranto – Victorian Square Trotters Association (VSTA) - Lance Justice – Victorian Trainers & Drivers Association (VTDA) - Paul James – Association of Vic Country Harness Racing Club (AVCHRC) - Carol Bass – Victorian Harness Racing Sports Clubs (VHRSC) - Maxine Brain - Grant Campbell - Terence (Terry) Suhan - Clinton Welsh The HRV Board would like to thank those industry people who nominated and were unsuccessful. Their passion and support for the industry is greatly appreciated. The HRV Board congratulates those nominees who have been duly appointed to the HRAC and looks forward to working with the council for the further development of the industry. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Due to a major electrical fire at Cranbourne, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today advised Sunday’s trots meeting has been transferred to Tabcorp Park Melton. “Unfortunately the magnitude of the electrical fire at the club means we are not able to run Sunday’s meeting, so we appreciate the co-operation of Tabcorp Park Melton who have agreed to host the meeting in the interests of the industry,” Cranbourne Club CEO Neil Bainbridge said. Click here to view the alterations to race distances due to the transfer Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria CEO David Martin is continuing to visit clubs across the state to consult with the trots industry on HRV’s draft Strategic Plan. Mr Martin will visit Mildura on Friday, June 30, Terang on Tuesday, July 11, and Ballarat on Monday, July 17, with all sessions starting at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend, with industry people encouraged to come along and express their views on a range of topics. So far sessions have been held at Stawell, Charlton, Cranbourne, Melton and Shepparton, in addition to consultation meetings with specific industry bodies and their members. “The sessions have so far gone really well and it has been great to see so many people passionate about the trots give their thoughts,” Mr Martin said. “I want to see as many people as possible as part of consulting the industry on our strategic direction, which is important because we can only succeed if we are all in this together.” HRV CEO David Martin Consultation on Industry Strategic Plan Friday 30 June                   Mildura HRC                       7.30pm Tuesday 11 July                 Terang HRC                         7.30pm Monday 17 July                 Ballarat HRC                        7.30pm ......................................................................................... Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) welcomes the appointment of Glen Canty to the role of HRV General Manager – Racing, effective Monday, July 17. Mr Canty is an experienced racing administrator, having spent time in executive positions at both Greyhound Racing Victoria and the Melbourne Racing Club in the past 15 years. Prior to his move into sports administration, Mr Canty spent more than a decade working in the banking industry in Australia and overseas. Mr Canty holds a Bachelor of Business and two Masters degrees. “Most exciting for me is that whether the trots are regarded as a business, or a hobby, in both cases it is a passion. If we can harness that passion then this sport will thrive,” Mr Canty said. HRV CEO David Martin said Mr Canty’s racing and business background had him well positioned to guide HRV’s racing functions. “Glen’s intimate knowledge of the Victorian racing landscape and the complexities our industry faces will certainly assist him in this role. I am very happy to welcome him to the team and I know he is looking forward to getting started,” Mr Martin said. Mr Canty said the trots in Victoria conjured pleasant memories of his childhood days. “This is somewhat of a homecoming,” he said. “My childhood was spent at the trots. Dad bought his first horse with family members in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s and early 1980s that we had any real success. Mister Music had six wins at the Showgrounds among 16 overall, while Dunsinane won the Stawell Cup amid 18 career wins.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness racing trainer Emma Stewart qualified 10 two-year-olds for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Finals last night at Bendigo. The Cardigan trainer presented 12 horses at the 10-race card and won five races. "They were terrific," Stewart said of her team. "You always go into these nights hopeful so we were really pleased." Stewart’s winners were Concealment (an Art Major-Trojan Fire colt), Nostra Villa (an Art Major-Crystal Journey filly), Tam Major (an Art Major-Magic Z Tam colt), Poster Boy (a Somebeachsomewhere-Aston Villa colt) and Nostra Beach (a Somebeachsomewhere-Amarillen filly). Vicbred sponsor Empire Stallions had a strong night on the track with Somebeachsomewhere registering two Super Series heat wins and Artistic Fella one (Regal Cheval for trainer Bill Galea). It was also a big night for Art Major, who sired four Super Series heat winners. Champion driver Chris Alford drove three of Stewart’s winners last night in Nostra Villa, Tam Major and Poster Boy. Alford said all three winners were precocious youngsters but highlighted Poster Boy’s potential brilliance. “He’s pretty untapped at the moment,” Alford said of the half-brother to Yankee Rockstar and Born To Rocknroll. Poster Boy paced a 1:55.8 mile rate, making him the quickest winner of the night. His trainer agreed. "Poster Boy is a freak, so Major Times (stablemate) went bloody super to run second like he did after copping some pressure," Stewart said. Nostra Villa remained unbeaten with a 2.4-metre victory over recent Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic winner Imprincessgemma in 1:58.9. “Normally if they have to run a lead time of 37.3 they don’t even get to the finish, so to still finish it off in 27.4 up the straight was pretty impressive,” Alford said. Alford described Tam Major as “very strong”, adding “he looked gone at the 600 but kept on whacking away”. Tam Major refused to yield under driving for the bulk of the last lap as stablemate Tapthekeg sprint-laned to run second and Beltane grinded away from the chair for third. Other winners in Super Series heats last night were Passions Delight (Bettors Delight-Passions Promise) for trainer Nicole Molander and driver John Caldow in the fillies’ second heat, Regal Cheval (Artistic Fella-Star Cheval) in the second of the colts and geldings’ heats for trainer Bill Galea and reinsman Darby McGuigan, and Craig Turnbull trained-and-driven filly Major Occasion. Given the quality of horses he is driving it is little wonder Alford enjoys the Vicbred series. “There’s a bit of pressure driving all these good horses but that’s all good as long as they stay well and get to the finals night.” The Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series spotlight turns to Kilmore tomorrow night for the three-year-old pacing heats where Stewart and Alford are expected to dominate again. “Miss Graceland probably looks the pick of the fillies but Tell Me Tales is going very well, too,” Alford said. “Our Little General is top-line, but the other one (Stars Align, from the Dean Braun stable) felt good the other night, too. I don’t think there’s much between them.” The Super Series heads to Ballarat on Friday night for the four-year-old heats and Alford was most confident about Rocknroll Magic (in Race 8). The Vicbred two-year-old semi-finals will be run at Tabcorp Park Melton on June 30. Click here for full results from last night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 2YO Heats Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Trafalgar harness racing trainer Chris Hunter said he was relatively confident going into today's Yarra Valley trots meeting that his mare, Feel The Rhythm, could win if she put her best hoof forward. She did that, with Chris Alford aboard from the pole, the Elsu-Rhythmaka mare scoring her first ever win at start number 46, leading all the way over 2150m in a mile rate of 2:00.2. Hunter joined Trots Media's Cody Winnell to chat about the jubilation of Feel The Rhythm's maiden win. For the trivia buffs, it was the first time Alford has ever driven a free-legged pacer to victory. Hunter said he took the hobbles off Feel The Rhythm in her races recently and it hade a huge difference. He's always worked the mare free-legged and clearly she is enjoying the freedom. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has tonight announced the Group 1 Victoria Cup will be run on Saturday night, October 14, next season. The Victoria Cup will carry prizemoney of $200,000 – reduced from $400,000 in 2016-17, with the $50,000 Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters Sprint run on the same night.  The $50,000 Smoken Up Sprint will be held on October 6 as the lead-in race to the Victoria Cup, which in turn complements timing for horses wishing to participate in the New Zealand Trotting Cup and Inter Dominion. HRV CEO David Martin acknowledged the scale of the change, explaining that the reduced prizemoney would enable the provision of more races to the industry, and thereby contribute to a continuation of an increased participation rate evident in recent months.  “Importantly, the Victoria Cup will retain its Grand Circuit status and remain a key feature of our racing calendar,” Mr Martin said. Mr Martin also said the alteration would allow the Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star to become the headline act on night one of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, January 27. “There will be multiple Group 1 events on the first night of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton, so it will remain an elite program with the Great Southern Star the main race, but also featuring the Victoria Derby and the Ladyship Cup,” Mr Martin said. “Night two of the Summer of Glory will feature the Group 1 A. G. Hunter Cup and the Group 1 V. L. Dullard Trotters Cup.  The Ballarat Cup is the week before Great Southern Star night and it made sense not to have three straight Group 1 pacing events of similar distances in three weeks. We wanted to ensure the Hunter Cup attracted the best field possible as part of our Summer of Glory.” Today’s announcement means the Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Cup will be the lead-in race to the A.G. Hunter Cup, with Grand Circuit horses likely to take a week off between the two events. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs, Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo and Harness Racing Victoria have run 23 concession drivers’ series races this season. The series, restricted to drivers who are yet to win 25 races, culminates at Bendigo on Tuesday night with a 10-horse C1 class event. There have been 195 horses contest the series and Tuesday night will see one lucky trainer who has been involved in the races drawn randomly for a $2000 cash prize. The concession drivers’ races have produced the following statistics: 41% of favourites have won at an average price of $1.97 50% of winners have come from barriers 4, 5 or 6 27% of winners have led The Bendigo club’s social media streams will announce the winner at Tuesday night’s meeting. Follow @BendigoTrots on Twitter for coverage and @HRVnews to stay up to date with the latest #Trots news from around Victoria. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Chairman Dale Monteith has congratulated HRV Board member Brett Clothier on his recent appointment as Head of the independent Athletics Integrity Unit, as advised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). In due course HRV will advise on Mr Clothier's role in consultation with the Minister for Racing. "I would like to publicly congratulate Brett and wish him well with his appointment," Mr Monteith said. "Brett is an outstanding administrator and sports integrity professional and has made a valuable contribution to HRV in the relatively short time he has been a director. On behalf of the Board I wish him well in his new position." In addition to his HRV Board duties Mr Clothier sits on the HRV Integrity Council, which is chaired by John Doherty. "Brett has been a tremendous member of the HRV Integrity Council with a strong background in the field and an attention to detail that is second to none. I wish him all the best in his new position," Mr Doherty said. CODY WINNELL

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards today announced an immediate amendment to its Change of Tactics policy. At the Harness Racing Australia (HRA) National Integrity Conference in May, the change of driving tactic requirements within the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) were again the subject of discussion. Following a review of the HRV COT Policy, which included consultation with the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA) and approval from the HRV Board, HRV stewards have amended the application of the HRV COT Policy with immediate effect. View the full details Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) CEO David Martin will attend Thursday’s Caduceus Club luncheon at the Amora Hotel in Richmond to consult on HRV’s strategic direction. This forum will provide the Melbourne community and the Caduceus Club members the opportunity to be actively engaged in the consultation process. Guests can arrive from 12.30pm for a 1pm start. The Amora Hotel is 649 Bridge Rd, Richmond. All are welcome. More details on the Caduceus Club can be found here: caduceusclubvictoria.com  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

There is nothing shaky about star two-year-old Wobelee, who looks every bit the stable star at Alison Alford’s camp. Driven by husband Chris, the fledgling son of Down Under Muscles-Tupenny Bit made it back-to-back feature successes at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, careering away with the Group 2 Alabar Tatlow Stakes. At the completion of the 2240m trip Wobelee had 16.3 metres to spare over runner-up Smashthemcalder. It was a majestic combination of power and professionalism from the young mover. “He was really good tonight,” his driver stated post-race. But for the second time in succession Alford pointed out Wobelee had been “a bit stirred up before the race”. However, behavioural issues have not been a feature of the two-year-old’s races to date, his manners impeccable while some of his adversaries have struggled to find their feet. Barrier one didn’t hurt Wobelee’s hopes tonight, either, Alford able to hold the front and control the tempo, eventually posting a mile rate of 2:01.3. Owner-breeder Colin Murphy said Wobelee’s manners held him in good stead. “They’ve just got to trot,” he said. “They’re two-year-olds and a lot of them are not ready. This horse has a particular gate that makes him not gallop as much. One thing with the trotters, they’ve got to have a good gate,” he surmised. Meanwhile, although most punters were struggling in the moments after Race 5, the Allied Express Pace, trainer-driver John Justice was beaming. His Gotta Go Cullect-Jill Forsa six-year-old Gotta Go Henry had just wired its rivals in the 1720m M1 contest at rank outsider odds of $67.10. Justice issued a salute at the line. “He’s been a marvellous horse,” he said before adding: “It shows you there is a god because I’ve been down on my luck a bit. I was sad when I saw the barrier draw at the start of the week, but he showed a lot of speed and a lot of heart today, so I’m really happy with him.” History shows if Gotta Go Henry is able to head off his rivals early then there might as well be a continuous white line painted up the stretch, because he’s a hard horse to overtake. Tonight he dashed around in 1:54.8 for the 1720m sprint trip, with Hoo Nien chasing gamely in second and Perspective, who most thought would lead from the pole, battling into third after travelling leader's back. Speaking of horses bouncing back to form, eight-year-old It Is I-Glenlyon Glad gelding It Is Billy refound winning touch in the TAB.com.au Pace.  The Mick Barby-trained, Anne Maree Conroy-driven fan-favourite went 1:56.9 for the 2240m trip to overpower Bad Billy by a head, with Cold Major half a neck away in third place. The win broke the longest run of outs for It Is Billy in his long and illustrious career, which has seen him capture a Geelong Cup and multiple metro free-for-all races. “Every time you come back from a spell they’re a bit older and it takes them a bit longer to get them up against the hard ones,” Conroy said. “It has taken two or three runs to find his fitness and to show he’s got it again tonight.” Other winners at Melton were Stagger Lee (Major In Art-Lets Go Cullen) in the 2240m DNR Logistics Pace for Maree and John Caldow in 1:57.0, Whirily School (Courage Under Fire-Mayhappen) in the 1720m Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace Final for Emma Stewart and Greg Sugars in 1:55.0, Our Dreamlover (Love You-Dreamlands Nancy) for Matt Craven and Chris Svanosio in the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap over 2240m in 2:02.4, Anton Golino-trained Glenferrie Burn (Muscle Hill-Adellas Dash) in the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Trot for four and five-year-old mares, Josh Aiken driving the mare to victory in 2:00.1, and Vinland (American Ideal-Sagrantino) for Emma Stewart and Mark Pitt in the Own the Moment Pace Final over 2240m in 1:57.6. The night’s feature race, the Noel Simpson Memorial Trotters Oaks, went to Une Belle Allure for Golino and Zac Phillips. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing of former Harness Racing Victoria steward Brian Andrews. Mr Andrews was a steward at HRV in the late 1980s-early 1990s. However, he is better known for his deeds in the saddle in the world of thoroughbred racing. Mr Andrews won the 1973 Caulfield Cup aboard Swell Time, which defeated Gala Supreme and Young Ida in a time of 2:35.9 (photo attached of media coverage for that win). A premiership-winning jockey in New Zealand, Mr Andrews was the fourth Kiwi hoop to complete a century when he won the 1970-71 title with 102 wins. He also won the 1966 Wellington Cup on Red Crest, the 1973 Auckland Cup on Apollo Eleven and the 1974 International Invitation Stakes on Battle Heights. Mr Andrews combined with Merv Ritchie-trained Apollo Eleven to win the Chipping Norton Stakes during a Sydney autumn campaign, which also saw them combine to win the Tancred Cup, Sydney Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Mr Andrews relocated to Melbourne in 1976. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Exciting former Kiwi Van Mara (Lis Mara-Van Seraa) can overcome his extreme draw at Tabcorp Park Melton tomorrow night, says harness racing trainer Andy Gath. Speaking with Nadia Horne on RSN Friday morning, Gath spoke glowingly of his four-year-old, who is two-for-two since joining the Kate and Andy team. “He had really good form in New Zealand. It tapered off a little bit before he came over to us but he’s a horse we have a pretty big opinion of,” Gath said. Van Mara, to be driven by Andy's wife, Kate, starts from outside the second row in the DNR Logistics Pace Final (Race 2) at 5.55pm. “He can do it tough if he has to,” Gath said. “And he’s got good speed, even if he’s back in the field. He’s a horse that we think is going to develop into a pretty nice horse. He’ll be fighting out the finish.” Gath has always had an eye on Van Mara and always expressed interest in purchasing the gelding. “Finally he came down to a price I was comfortable at and I was fortunate enough to be able to get him in the stable,” the Long Forest horseman said. GET THE INSIDE WORD FROM ANDY GATH Meanwhile, TAB.com.au has a projected Quaddie pool of $125,000 ($20,000) jackpot tomorrow night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Sign up to receive your GoodForm Game Plan delivered hot off the press daily from our dedicated team of form analysts.  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

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