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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today announced measures to further assist integrity in the sport with the installation of additional cameras at Tabcorp Park Melton. The advanced cameras will cover all horse stalls, parade ring, float car park and maintenance equipment shed. The use of CCTV cameras has greatly assisted law enforcement agencies in solving crimes over a long period of time and is commonplace within the community. HRV believes the installation of these cameras ensures greater integrity for the sport at its major racing venue, Tabcorp Park. The HRV Integrity Unit will have access to the CCTV footage to investigate complaints and matters arising out of trials and race meetings. The CCTV can also be provided to law enforcement agencies to assist them in identifying persons responsible for any criminal offences at the venue, including burglary and theft. “This is a great initiative and will assist the HRV Integrity Unit in monitoring and providing evidence where required to support prosecutions where allegations have been made against them that have no basis whatsoever,” HRV Compliance Manager Brent Fisher said. The time of the announcement is significant with these works to start shortly with major races in January and February to be held at Tabcorp Park, including the Victoria Cup and the Hunter Cup during the Summer of Glory Carnival. HRV CEO John Anderson added: “The HRV Board is supporting the HRV Integrity Unit with continued investment in new resources such as these cameras and other detection devices, to ensure participants adhere to the rules.” Cody Winnell

Victorian horses will have the chance to race for metropolitan prizemoney in a country penalty race thanks to a new deal between Canberra Harness Racing Club and Harness Racing Victoria (HRV). HRV has welcomed the opportunity to bolster ties with the Canberra club to help promote the 2016 Canberra Cup. This season’s Canberra Cup will be a heat and final format series with the first heat in Canberra on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, and Heat 2 going to Shepparton Harness Racing Club on Thursday, January 28. The third and final heat will take place at Goulburn Harness Racing Club on Monday, February 1, before the final is held at Canberra on Sunday, February 7. The Cup is worth $25,000 and is a C2-C5 race. An exciting trainer’s bonus has been attached to the race this year with the Canberra Cup winning trainer to receive a trip to the 2016 Little Brown Jug held in Delaware, US. Canberra’s dynamic committee decided it needed to find ways to make the cup an attractive racing proposition for trainers and connections to fill a niche in the country cup calendar. With limited funds available to put on 20 race meetings a year, the challenge for the committee was to maximise bang for buck. The Canberra club’s General Manager Greg Nugent said: “The uniqueness of the cup format would not have been possible without the assistance of HRV and the Shepparton club. Also we extend thanks to our friends at Goulburn. We would also like to acknowledge the support of in helping us get this concept off the ground. To have a Cup format that covers three jurisdictions is very unique and to my knowledge has not been done before.” Mr Nugent added: “Since our deletion from the Harness Racing New South Wales Carnival of Cups circuit we have struggled to find a place for our Cup in the racing calendar. Hopefully this new approach will reinvigorate our Cup and allow us to once again showcase our feature race. The C2-C5 format allows the local and hobby trainers to participate and with the added bonus of a trip to the Little Brown Jug, trainers will have an opportunity to reap the rewards of this trip which is high on trots fans’ bucket lists.” The Canberra Cup program also sees the running of the annual ‘Ackie Hawke’ and the Capital 3YO Championship. “Hopefully the support card will encourage visiting owners and trainers who may have qualified for the Cup to throw a couple of extra horses on the support card,” Mr Nugent said. HRV CEO John Anderson said Victoria welcomed the opportunity to support the Canberra club. “It’s a great fit for Canberra to become closer to HRV and some of our trainers here in Victoria will jump at the opportunity to race for good prizemoney in a $25,000 Cup as well as a potential trip to the USA for the Little Brown Jug.”   CODY WINNELL

Last Friday night the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton proved the $5 each-way punter is very much looked after in the trots with winners at odds of $36.10, $65.10, $6.10, $11.20 and $33.10. If you’d played field into field in Races 1 and 2 – both open races on paper – into One Yankee Hall ($1.20) – considered by most to be night’s “moral” – into Hellovaway  ($4.40) and Mistressofillusion ($2.80) – the clear second favourites in Race 4 – in a $50 flexi early quaddie, you would walked away with almost $9000 in your pocket. The EQ paid $38,431.80 overall and the $50 ticket would have had you on for 22.72 per cent of the dividend. But of course, how easy is everything in hindsight!? Josh Aiken took driving honours from the meeting with a winning double. The first leg for the young reinsman was One Yankee Hall defeating Columbias Deejay in the Pridmore Eelctrics Trot over 2240m in a rate of 2:02.3. Later on the card Aiken combined with father David, who trains the Avenel team, again with Vics Cheval to win the Alabar Trot over 2240m in a rate of 2:00.5. Vics Cheval ($3.20) led from the start out of gate two, Aiken expertly guiding him through a jogging 61.4secs first half before taking the sting out of his chasers down the back with a 27.9secs third section. Vics Cheval had almost 10m to spare on her rivals at the wire after a 29.2secs final split. Mister Sumna achieved something rare in winning heat three of the Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship for trainer Dean Braun and reinsman Chris Alford, coming from off the pace to win after a 32.7secs second quarter in a sprint race. Mister Sumna ($11.20) charged by the opposition late to score by 1.8m over race favourite Under Worked. “It’s not often the leaders run a 32 quarter around Melton and one wins from back there, but he did get a nice cart-up and swamped them at the finish,” Alford said. Despite the superb win by Mister Sumna, Barimah from the Tony Peacock stable looks hard to beat in the Rothacker final after his comfortable heat win on Friday night. Cody Winnell

French import Used To Me made his long awaited Australian debut in the Ted Manton Memorial Trotters Handicap at Bendigo last night, and it was a winning start. Trained by Anton Golino and driven by Greg Sugars, Used To Me stepped cleanly from his 20-metre handicap in the 2150-metre race before making a three-deep move from four-back the running at the bell. Class prevailed at the finish with Used To Me cruising past the early pacesetters and recording a 4.3-metre win, Sugars allowing him to coast to the line virtually untouched. “He did what he had to do,” Sugars said. “It was his first time at the stand conditions and he handled that well.” Used To Me was granted an international invitation to contest the 2015 Great Southern Star before injury scuppered his preparation. Whether or not the now eight-year-old would be up to that level after recovering from injury remains to be seen and Sugars said the team was “taking it one race at a time, at this stage”. “I’m sure they’ll be hopeful of getting more wins and competing in better races than last night, but the important thing at this stage is he’s back on track.” Given Used To Me’s journey back to the racetrack Sugars admitted to feeling some relief after last night’s win. The stallion’s winning mile rate was 2:01.2 with the last half-mile completed in 59.7secs.  Cody Winnell  

Mistressofillusion makes her debut for trainer Brett Cox at Tabcorp Park Melton tomorrow night. The four-year-old mare has looked infallible this time in with three wins from three starts at Ballarat, Swan Hill and Terang. Formerly trained by Cox’s training partner David Lewis, Mistressofillusion is expected to start near the top of the betting tables in the Gippsland Racing Training Centre Pace over 1720 metres. Cox, 26, who has been training with Lewis for about four years, has spent time training horses in Sydney and was also previously based in the USA with top horseman Chris Ryder for 18 months. “I’ve been doing it full-time my whole life,” he said. “It’s been really good with Dave. He’s taking a bit of a step back while he builds his house and it’s a great opportunity to be able to train Mistressofillusion." “When I first started there it was only a small but select team. We’re up to about the 14-horse mark now." "To walk into a stable with horses the calibre of what Dave had was fantastic." “It helps that he breeds his own. He’s very meticulous and has been a great mentor to me.” Cox said Mistressofillusion had come a long way in her three campaigns to date. The daughter of Jeremes Jet out of Whodyou Wantmetobe has racked up five wins and a second from 11 starts and displays a potent turn of foot. “She’s one of the quickest horses I’ve got behind,” Cox said. “We’re not sure how good she is yet. After Friday night she’ll probably go to the paddock for a month then we’ll return her for the Vicbred Mares Sprint Championship and then hopefully the Vicbred Super Series." “She’s been a late maturing horse. She’s quirky and has a real mind of her own. She’s very quick and she’s getting stronger. She’ll hopefully keep on getting stronger.” Mistressofillusion savaged the line at Terang winning on November 2 over a mile, coming from last at the 400m to score by 2.1m over Dam Lucky in a rate of 1:58.3, her last quarter clocked in the low 27s. Cody Winnell

Although he hasn’t won since taking out a claimer in September last year, Kotare Roland takes good form into Sunday’s Gunbower Family Hotel Gunbower Pacing Cup. The seven-year-old gelding from the Roly Wilson stable at Yarra Glen powered home at Melton last Friday night in the Kerryn & Arden Rooney FFA, recording a 26.9-second final quarter and a 55.5secs final half to finish fifth. Two runs back he notched the third-fastest final 400m of the night at Melton when sixth behind Major Crocker and despite only beating one runner home he finished off strongly three runs back when beaten less than 12m by Inter Dominion hopeful Lennytheshark. “(Driver) Neil (McCallum) was pretty chuffed last week. He came back smiling,” Wilson said. “It didn’t surprise me how well he finished off. He’s always shown he can win a nice race.” Kotare Roland won last year’s Enduro at Melton, a stand-start race over 2760m, suggesting the 2630m stand conditions at Gunbower will suit. “I think he’ll possibly lead or take a sit behind one of the good ones from the pole,” Wilson said. Plenty of big-name stables are represented in the Gunbower Pacing Cup including Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack with Star Black, Nicole Molander with Cillas Boy and Im Meticulous, Peter Manning with Narra Operative, Vince Vallelonga with Manuka Man and Brent Lilley with emergency Eric Clapton. Cody Winnell

Last-start St Arnaud Trotters Cup winner Irish Whisper will be chasing two cup wins in two weeks in the Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup on Sunday. The Tony Peacock trained eight-year-old has twice beaten New Zealand champion Stent, so he’s always had ability, but Peacock has him at the peak of his powers right now. He did plenty of work last Sunday but still proved too strong with Damian Wilson in the sulky. Wilson will drive the son of Sundon again this weekend. “We haven’t had him long but he’d gone all right at the trials." "He’s beaten Stent twice." "We knew he was going good and he’d run a good race,” Peacock said of the St Arnaud success. “He’s got ability that’s for sure.” Nicole Molander and Chris Alford will combine with former Kiwi Dead Cat Bounce, who attacked the line strongly last week after making an early break behind Irish Whisper, while Brent Lilley trained trotter Sun Of Anarchy is sure to have plenty of supporters.   CODY WINNELL

Almost El Eagle’s Weirs Supa IGA St Arnaud Pacing Cup win yesterday was about as eye-catching as wins get. From five back on the pegs at the home turn, the Steven Duffy trained six-year-old sprouted wings, reinsman John Caldow steering him through needle-eye gaps for a last-stride victory. “The horses three and four back on the fence both went to the sprint lane, which gave me a good run through,” Caldow said. “I could see it opening up before I got there. It doesn’t always work like that of course. The horse was in great order for the race. Steve had set him for the cup.” Caldow said he was confident Almost El Eagle, who had bumped into Yankee Rockstar at his two previous runs before yesterday, was travelling like a winner at the corner but after a tardy beginning from the tapes he had his work cut out for him. “I didn’t give him any chance at all,” Duffy said when asked how he was feeling at the final corner. “I thought if he got a gap he might be able to run on and get fourth or fifth and at least pick up some prizemoney. “It was a 10-out-of-10 drive.” Duffy had set the son of Mcardle/Nuclearaccelerator for the St Arnaud feature and plans to back him up this Sunday in the Gunbower Pacing Cup before aiming him at Cobram’s cup in December. “He’s a great little horse. He’s got the best nature you could ever ask for and he won the Lombo as a two-year-old and is still winning races now. I think that was his 19th win at the weekend, so he’s been a ripper of a horse,” Duffy said. “He’s not a big, strong horse, but he’s probably 25-30kg heavier now than ever so he’s getting stronger. You hope that strength keeps building up and if you’re lucky enough he might be able to be just short of the better ones.”   Almost El Eagle’s winning mile rate was 2:01.6. The clock on his last 150m would be interesting.   IRISH WHISPER WINS TROTTERS CUP Heavily backed Irish Whisper won the St Arnaud Sporting Club Trotters Cup to bring up a race-to-race double for Moama trainer Tony Peacock and reinsman Damian Wilson. The eight-year-old son of Sundon/Little Contessa stepped cleanly from his 30m handicap and moved three-wide solo for the last lap, out-staying his rivals in a rate of 2:05.6 for a 3.2m win over favourite Dead Cat Bounce. “We haven’t had him long but he’d gone all right at the trials. He’s beaten Stent twice. We knew he was going good and he’d run a good race,” Peacock said. Peacock also heaped praise on Wilson’s drive. “Brilliant. He does a great job. I’ve always got nothing but confidence in him when I send him to the races.” The Gunbower Trotters Cup is next on the agenda for Irish Whisper. Cody Winnell

The harness racing Molander stable has bolstered its stock with the inclusion of a former Kiwi named Dead Cat Bounce, who will make her Australian debut in the St Arnaud Sporting Club Trotters Cup on Sunday. Trainer Nicole Molander is hopeful the well-named daughter of Revenue/Wee Annie can defy her “lazy track work” since arriving at Riddells Creek.  “We were warned beforehand and I’m glad we were because she’s the laziest thing I’ve ever seen at home,” Molander said. “She arrived last Sunday and I think she’ll be the type who’ll hopefully put it all together on race day.” Dead Cat Bounce won two of her last five starts at Addington before crossing the ditch and has a 41:7-4-8 record overall. “The owner of Cillas Boy, John Green, had been looking to sell that one for a while but wanted to replace him with another horse for the stable. Dean (Molander) had been watching Dead Cat Bounce for a while … and John said go for it,” Molander said. Dead Cat Bounce has barrier three for Sunday’s 2520-metre stand-start cup but with the scratching of Maorisfavouritesun she’ll only have one horse – Tiroroa Tom – drawn to her inside. The Trotters Cup will be run at 3.43pm. Molander will saddle up two runners for the Weirs Supa IGA St Arnaud Pacing Cup in Cillas Boy and Im Meticulous. “He thought he was king pin when he won three in a row and last start he didn’t get much chance,” she said of Cillas Boy. “A lot will depend on whether he steps away on Sunday.” On Im Meticulous Molander was more confident, nominating it her best winning shot for the afternoon. “He came back making a horrible noise last start after a disappointing run. We had him scoped and he’s fine now. He flipped his palate, so we’ve popped the Cornell Collar on to remedy that.” by Cody Winnell

The New Zealand Trotting Cup has been won by some of the biggest names and Lara trainer Dean Braun is hoping his stable star Im Corzin Terror can add his to the list of champions to have won NZ's greatest race. Im Corzin Terror has drawn the second line in a super field and Braun is a little apprehensive about the draw, saying he would have much preferred drawing the front row. “He is just a little funny following them out," Braun said. "He got knocked over early at Yarra Valley one day and he has been just a little funny since then. It would have been nice to draw the front row but unfortunately we haven’t.” Since arriving in New Zealand he has been stabled with Mark Jones and Braun said from all reports he has settled in super. “He has settled in really, really well. He is down at the beach with Mark Jones and Reagan Todd. He worked pretty good Friday morning and by all reports they are very happy with him.” He led in the Cup trial finishing fourth, but Braun is hoping with a clean start he can weave into the first six, where he will be saved for one run. He said Im Corzin Terror would relish the 3200 metres, hence the reason he has gone to NZ instead of Perth for the Inter Dominion. It will be a wonderful achievement if he can win NZ’s greatest race and Braun's career highlight. The NZ Trotting Free For All might have lost its lustre somewhat with the omission of NZ trotting champion Stent, who has opted to go straight to the Dominion Handicap next Friday, but it shapes up as another fascinating race with the two major chances drawn gates 1 & 2 in One Over Da Moon and Monbet. One Over Da Moon has won his past seven starts brilliantly, which includes beating Stent in the Ashburton Flying Mile last start. He is in breathtaking form for Tony Herlihy. Monbet couldn’t get into the race last start behind One Over Da Moon but he has a much better draw Tuesday to turn the tables. The other winning hopes here are Habibti, who split the two favourites at Ashburton, and Sheemon, who will get a cheap run on the pegs. The other feature is the NZ Sires Stakes Final and the clear favourite is the Mark Purdon trained Lazarus. A winner of seven of nine, we haven’t yet seen this guy in Australia but he is a genuine star and even though he has drawn the second row he will be very hard to beat. CODY WINNELL

Talented Terang pacer Keayang Steamer resumes from a long spell in Sunday’s Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Pacing Cup. At his best Keayang Steamer was able to upstage superstars like Smoken Up and Melpark Major, getting the better of Trigger in the 2014 Horsham Cup and toppling Melpark Major a couple of weeks later at Tabcorp Melton. But the son of Riverboat King has only graced the starter twice in 14 months and is first up since February this weekend, so it’s a case of “fingers crossed” rather than taking grand expectations into the race for trainer Marg Lee. “He’s shown what he can do, so we’ve got our fingers crossed and we’ll take each race as it comes,” she said. “He’s done a lot of fast work over the distance without fully putting the pressure on him.” The impressive gelding has won 16 races from 38 starts for $210,043 prizemoney and will be aimed at next year’s Sumer of Glory carnival all going well. But it is a case of baby steps for the time being, according to Lee, who said Keayang Steamer wasn’t strong enough in his “back, stifles and quads” last time in. “His quads needed a lot of bulking up. He’s been doing a lot of riding and a lot of hill work here,” she said. “He’s had three trials and we’re happy enough with where he’s at. It was just a matter of finding a suitable race and with Arden Rooney and Flaming Flutter not in it we decided to go here.” Keayang Steamer will start from a 10-metre handicap alongside Exciteusinthecity in the $30,610 Group 3 Maryborough feature. Lara’s Dean Braun has polemarker Macho Comacho in the field and will be hoping the stand-start specialist gelding can improve on a first-up 11th in the Swan Hill Pacing Cup. Brent Lilley-trained Lets Elope has gate three after a big third at Swan Hill, while Glenn Douglas-trained stablemates The Dip (gate four) and Skippy Rascal (six) will be split by Vince Vallelonga’s last-start M1-M2 winner Manuka Man. Keith Cotchin will present country cups specialist Road To Rock after it ran fifth in the Swan Hill feature, while Matthew Craven-trained Changing Code has barrier eight, Craig Demmler’s Charlie Machsheen will come out of gate nine, Tim Bolitho-trained Arber will start from 10 and Geoff Lucas-trained Daylight Dan has barrier 11. Kerryn Manning’s in-form six-year-old Jaccka Art is the emergency. Meanwhile, the popular TrotsCruiser will be in attendance at Maryborough with showbags for people who enter the "Drive Away in the Trotscruiser" promotion.  HRV and the TAB will also be giving away a $1000 bet on the Cup via the Trot Selfies competition.   CODY WINNELL

Look out, New Zealand – one of your own is about to return to where his career began with eyes on your greatest prize. Arden Rooney’s New Zealand Trotting Cup prospects climbed big time on Saturday night as the Kerryn Manning-trained six-year-old 2015 Hunter Cup winner smashed the track record on his way to winning the Tooleybuc Sporting Club Swan Hill Pacing Cup (Group 3) over 2790 metres. Stepping well from his 30-metre handicap, Arden Rooney was quickly sent forward by trainer/driver Manning who had no issues urging the son of Bettors Delight to the lead. Arden Rooney paced his final mile in splits of 30, 29.4, 27.1 and 29.1 seconds for a 1:57.3 mile rate, beating home runner-up Savesomtimetodream by 3.6m, with Lets Elope third beaten 7.6m. Flaming Flutter, second in last season’s Inter Dominion, was beaten 9.8m after starting 20m ahead of Arden Rooney. Franco Ledger, who flashed home in the Hunter Cup earlier this year to run second to Arden Rooney, was beaten 12.6m on this occasion in sixth place. The way Arden Rooney won he’d have strong claims in any race he was to head towards. The NZ Trotting Cup conditions will suit. And his bid at back-to-back Kaikoura Cup wins looks right on song. Cody Winnell

The harness racing nominations for Saturday night’s Swan Hill Pacing Cup boast 33 cup wins between them in Australia alone. Given some are former Kiwis with impressive CVs, the number of cups won in Australasia among Swan Hill Pacing Cup nominations would be even higher. Im Corzin Terror from the Dean Braun stable and Smudge Bromac for David Aiken boast five cup wins each. Im Corzin Terror won the Ballarat, Maryborough, Terang and Bendigo Cups in 2014 after taking out Maryborough’s feature in 2013. Smudge Bromac has won two Melton Cups (2011 and 2014), an Albury Cup in 2012, a Yarra Valley Cup last year and this year’s Echuca Cup. Arden Rooney has five cup wins in Australia for trainer/driver Kerryn Manning, victorious in last year’s Group 1 Hunter Cup, as well as the Mildura, Geelong and Terang Cups during his impressive run of form last summer. Paul Rowse-trained Savesomtimetodream has snared three cups in his lifetime so far, capturing the Gunbower silverware in 2013, the Yarra Valley Cup the same year and the Ararat trophy last year. Then there are a host of pacers with two cup wins to their name, Road To Rock (St Arnaud 2014 and Ararat 2015), Saint Flash (former winner of the Nyah Cup in 2012 and also the Maryborough Cup the same year), Flaming Flutter (last season’s Cobram and Boort Cup winner) and Uncle Wingnut (Ouyen Cup winner earlier this year and the Charlton Cup champ of 2013). It’s a stellar list of nominees for the first cup of the new Trots Country Cups season and a big crowd is tipped to be on course at Swan Hill on Saturday night. There will be loads of giveaways and trackside entertainment, including the popular kids’ pony trots and Fashions on the Field. One of the most exciting offerings from a trots goer’s perspective has to be that patrons will go into the draw to win a brand new Toyota Yaris! > Visit the Swan Hill Trotting Club on Facebook The car will be given away on the night, with AFL stars Josh Jenkins and Michael Hurley from the Adelaide and Essendon Football Clubs also in attendance signing autographs and helping auction off signed jumpers. HRV’s Trots Selfies competition will also be back for another summer with one lucky patron winning a $1000 bet on the Swan Hill Pacing Cup thanks to the TAB, while the new HRV Trots Cruiser will be in attendance handing out merchandise and also giving patrons the chance to actually win the Cruiser at the completion of the Country Cups Carnival. So for $15 entry adults (children free) patrons will get a shot at winning two cars! Dining packages are still available for what promises to be a dynamic start to the Trots Country Cups season. For bookings phone 0417 344 802 or email for more information. Cody Winnell

Harness racing driver Ellen Tormey produced an absolute pearler of a drive aboard Miss Fisher to land the Elite Horse Transport Trot on Tuesday night at Shepparton. In fact, so impressed was long-time harness racing stalwart Bill Glover that he phoned this scribe to sing her praises. Check out the video replay and it’s not hard to see what impressed Bill so immensely. Tormey made all the right calls, avoided plenty of troublesome situations and guided the five-year-old daughter of Tennotrump/Miss Laura Loo to a 5.4-metre triumph. “She was back in the score-up 10 metres and horses 2 and 3 both break. She keeps her horse trotting – and it’s a risky trotter at the best of times – then 60 yards down she has to avoid another one galloping. Then at the 500 she’s one-by-three and Doc (Wilson) pulls three-wide on Illawong Red, Leannes Legacy gets put four-wide and she pokes through the middle. Then she eases out five-wide at the corner. At the 175 Leannes Legacy gallops and I reckon brushes her, but Ellen gets around it and the horse comes away,” was how Glover recalled the drive. “I’d say that was about the best drive I’ve seen without using sprint lanes or anything, on a trotter where you can’t make those sharp moves. It was just a wonderful drive,” he added. The win provided Pompapiel’s John Davidson with his first victory as a trainer in 13 years. “John’s done a great job with her and it was his first win in a fair while, so that was really nice. They’re the wins that really make it worthwhile,” Tormey said. Davidson raced the smart mare Passionfruit in the 1980s. Tormey humbly played down her drive, but said she had felt reasonably confident Miss Fisher would run a big race. “She’d trialled really well on the Monday when I drove her but the key was that she just stayed trotting,” she said. “I knew she had enough speed but I just had to try and eliminate the risk. “She wasn’t trotting smooth in the score-up so I just allowed her to settle and I also knew the ones in front had a habit of doing things wrong. “Around the first turn one galloped and I went to go around it and it went wider, but I eventually got around it. “There was one that knocked me over the start before (Leannes Legacy) so I wanted to get off its back as quickly as I could at the end.” Leannes Legacy mustn’t like Tormey much because she very nearly cost her victory in the straight on Tuesday by galloping again. But Tormey and Miss Fisher avoided the hiccup and coasted home out wide. Tormey made it two wins in two nights last night at Bendigo driving Sheer Strength to victory for trainer and partner Scott Dyer. “He’s quite a nice horse,” she said of the four-year-old son of Shadow Play/Kateeshar. “He’s won seven out of 17 now. He races good over a mile.” Tormey, whose father John is also a trainer, said the stable had bred quite a few young horses in recent years and they were looking forward to finding the next “good one”. “Hopefully there are some nice ones. You always strive to get a good one,” she said. Tormey would also welcome more opportunities in the gig. “I’m realistic. I know it works after you lose your claim,” she said. “You find you have your good runs … but if I’m not getting the opportunities I’m also happy enough to stay at home and keep working on the younger ones.” Given her form, Tormey can expect to pick up a few more drives in coming weeks. Cody Winnell

Last summer’s champion Arden Rooney needs to improve Friday night in the My Lightning Blue Free for All at Melton for harness racing  trainer Kerryn Manning to be confident he’d be a good show at cups time in New Zealand. The Hunter Cup winner has not flattered at either run to date this time in, finishing eighth beaten 17.6 metres in the Gammalite first-up over 2760m (off a 40m handicap) and sixth of seven in the Preux Chevalier Free for All over 2240m, beaten 24.5m by Franco Ledger after sitting in the breeze. But 2014 Gordon Rothacker medallist Manning changed Arden Rooney’s training regime following his most recent run. “I put the hopples on him at home because I thought I had to try something,” she said. “His work’s been really good. The horse looks super. “I probably had him 85 per cent before the first-up run, but he had an impossible task from the handicap and the times they ran that night. “Second-up I thought he was more like 95 per cent but he just got tired. He’d had enough by the home bend.” Arden Rooney will start from barrier seven on Friday night over 1720m, a distance range he’s never won at. He’ll face opposition such as Philadelphia Man (1-52.6 best mile rate overall and 1-53.4 best mile rate over trip at Melton) and Franco Ledger (1-53.7 best rate over 1720m). Philadelphia Man is the lone runner off the second row on Friday night, while Franco Ledger will come out of gate six. The battle for early supremacy over the short course looks intriguing with Arber (one), Exciteusinthecity (three) and Major Crocker (four) all likely to be handy and potentially wanting to hold the front if they can find the markers first. So what does Manning hope to do aboard Arden Rooney from her draw out in the cheap seats? “I think most of that front line would let him go if we put enough pressure on,” she said. “He came out pretty good last time.” Arden Rooney won last year's Kakoura Cup and is likely to cross the Tasman in coming weeks to defend the crown before heading to the NZ Trotting Cup in November. by Cody Winnell

Glenferrie Typhoon's force is looking more and more powerful every time he steps out of late. The Andy Gath trained trotter, who won Friday night’s Bacardi Lindy Trot in easy fashion, looks destined for bigger and better things. The six-year-old by Majestic Son out of Cyclone Vance now boasts back-to-back wins at Melton and next year’s Great Southern Star is potentially on the radar. After working hard three-wide for the first half a kilometre, Glenferrie Typhoon eventually found the top, giving early pacesetter Action Kosmos a trail in the 2240-metre race. Once in front driver Kate Gath applied the brakes and the gelding trotted through his first and second quarters in 32secs and 31.3secs, sprinting up down the back to get Action Kosmos off the bit and chasing (29.3secs) before blasting clear seemingly under a hold in the home straight to score by 10.8 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.9 (last quarter 27.6secs). Action Kosmos held on for second place, defiantly withstanding the challenge of Cold Sister in third. Later on the card Ellas Puppeteer beat Iceobar in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. The four-year-old gelding by Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who smashed the track record at Charlton leading into Friday night’s race, rated 1-53.7 over 1720 metres from his inside-back-row draw. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley kept Ellas Puppeteer out of trouble early, going back to last before cruising around the field to assume control at the bell. Iceobar trailed and stuck on gamely thereafter but was no match for the winner. Ellas Puppeteer now boasts three wins from five starts and looks to have a sparkling metro career in front of him. by Cody Winnell >> Replays and results from Friday night's Melton trots.

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