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Last night at Tabcorp Park Melton Terang once again proved a town rich in trots horsepower. Harness racing trainer Darren Cole, based in the western Victorian town, produced classy seven-year-old Exciteusinthecity first-up to win the Alabar Captain Sandy Free-for-All over 1720 metres. Rated perfectly by driver Tim McLean, Exciteusinthecity punched through from the pole gate to hold out fast starter Maximan early, withstood a challenge from It Is Billy at the bell and went on to score a gritty win by a metre in a mile rate of 1:55.7. The Metropolitan gelding joins guns such as Lennytheshark (2015) and Smoken Up (2009) on the Captain Sandy FFA honour roll. Not giving much away in his post-race interview, reinsman McLean said leading was the key to unlocking success for the gelding by Metropolitan out of Safely Kept mare Excite. “He loves getting to the front. He fought well to hold them off (tonight),” he said. When asked what was next for the 2014 Casey Classic and Gammalite winner, McLean borrowed a line from an old coaching manual. “We’ll just take it one race at a time.” Exciteusinthecity has now won 20 races, his stakemoney exceeding a quarter of a million dollars. VIDEO: EXCITEUSINTHECITY WINS THE ALABAR CAPTAIN SANDY FFA McLean has piloted the pacer to eight city victories. It Is Billy finished second to Exciteusinthecity, his vocal fan club appreciative of the Michael Barby-trained pacer’s efforts – cheering him hard with a lap to run and giving him another cheer post-race, while Metro Mike ran third. Dalvui Raceway Terang will host a seven-race program on Tuesday night, featuring the running of the 2016 Terang Guineas. McLean will be chasing another feature victory in that race aboard The Big Show, but Im Wrongly Accused from the Terang stable of Matthew Craven, exciting Sebastopol-trained King Of Rocknroll and Group 1 winning local Jilliby Jitterbug – one of five Marg Lee Terang-trained runners on the program – will all draw support from punters. Cody Winnell

Pacing mare Whats Emma Got is a part of the family for Glenda and Neville Fuller. “She’s been a beautiful horse from the start,” Neville said at Tabcorp Park Melton last night after the bonny harness racing four-year-old broke her open-aged metropolitan maiden status in the DNR Logistics Pace over 1720 metres. The Globe Derby-trained Grinfromeartoear pacer rated 1:57.0 on her way to win No.29 at career start No.44, leading for most of the trip with Ararat’s Michael Bellman in the sulky. RE-LIVE WHATS EMMA GOT WINNING AT MELTON “I wish she had come by a few years ago because it would have been easier for us to travel all over the place with her,” Glenda said before adding:  “But we’re really enjoying her and it gets us out of bed in the morning.” Both former professional trainers – Neville in Port Augusta and Glenda in Perth – the couple married and set up at Globe Derby Park, South Australia. “We’ve both done it professionally, but it’s just a hobby now. We really enjoy it,” Glenda said. Whats Emma Got is a “team effort”, says Glenda, whose name appears alongside daughter Sharon Newman in the racebook. “Sharon is our daughter and she fast works her a lot. We’re all working together,” Glenda said. The Fullers also have a long association with Bellman, who drove the mother of Whats Emma Got, Whativewegot, which too hailed from the Fuller stable. “Mick’s drive was terrific tonight,” Glenda said. Back in South Australia, where Whats Emma Got had scored 27 of her 28 wins leading into last night, top driver Danielle Hill usually takes the reins behind the bay pacer. “Dani has driven for us since she was about 16,” Glenda said. “She drove (Whats Emma Got's) mother who won 23 races for us. Dani would have driven two-thirds of those wins at least.” In fact Glenda says Hill has driven over 150 winners for the stable. Glenda and Neville are sure they will be back to Victoria chasing more metro success with Whats Emma Got in the future, but for now the Strathalbyn Pacing Cup in a fortnight at Globe Derby is top of the agenda.  Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Melton harness racing debutante driver Tim Williams gave A Piccadilly Princess a brisk breather and then revved her up for a scintillating win in the Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks at Tabcorp Park Melton. The dip from the breeze to the box seat was described as “the winning move” by the connections of another Mark Purdon-trained Group 1 triumph, having overrun Emma Stewart’s super three-year-old filly Heavens Trend in the straight.  “It was a great performance,” Williams, 26, said of A Piccadilly Princess, who recorded a fifth straight victory and a seventh in 13 starts. “I’m privileged to be able to sit behind these horses with these colours on. I can’t thank Mark enough.” The filly by Bettor's Delight out of Hyde Park Royal had to earn the win. Flojos Gold flew out of the gates and was then crossed by Gavin Lang on Heavens Trend when they reached the back straight. As that was happening up front, down back Dancingwithsierra led A Piccadilly Princess three-wide, with the latter settling in the breeze outside Heavens Trend. “We got a good cart into it and that made a difference,” Williams said. There they remained through a 59.7 first half-mile before Lang stretched out on Heavens Trend in a 27.2 third quarter, with A Piccadilly Princess losing touch approaching the final bend and Williams dropping her on to the tail of the leader. “I thought I was in a wee bit of trouble,” Williams said. “It was a timely breather.” Having given more than a length, A Piccadilly Princess found new life down the straight, with the filly putting her nose in front at the 100m and advancing to win by 2.2m from Heavens Trend. Stewart’s other hope, Celebrity Guest, put in an enormous last 200m to draw from the pegs to the outside and storm home into third, relegating a resilient Dancingwithsierra to a close fourth. With some having flown in from Hong Kong for the race, a proud group of owners, including Simon Bradley, Michael Ward and Thomas Patterson, were on hand to accept the coveted Oaks. Patterson said Williams decision to provide their filly brief cover at the top of the straight may have made all the difference. “Coming around the bend we were a little concerned, but Tim was obviously confident he still had a little in her,” Patterson said. “He ducked in and I thought that the other one, Heavens Trend, had got away from us. But Mark and Nat and the team believe in what they have and Tim didn’t panic and it worked out and was probably the winning move.” Patterson said A Piccadilly Princess would return to Purdon’s New Zealand stable for a likely tilt at the New Zealand Oaks and a potential collision with stunning stablemate Our Dream About Me, who won the New South Wales Oaks. Cody Winnell    

Keystone Del has moved within $13,000 of joining an elite group of hrness racing trotting millionaire stake earners after tonight’s E.B. Cochran Trotters Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton. The eight-year-old gelding dominated a small but select field of squaregaiters to rate 1:59.2 for the 2240-metre trip – well outside his own personal best and track record of 1:56 flat. His next success will see him join Lyell Creek ($2.2m), I Can Doosit ($1.3m), Sundons Gift ($1.2m), Take A Moment ($1.1m), Stent and One Over Kenny ($1.0m) on the all-time Australasian trotters’ earners list. “He’ll get there,” said winning reinsman Anthony Butt after tonight’s win. “He felt terrific tonight. He had to run given the way the race panned out.” Keystone Del trotted casually to the front early, crossing in-form polemarker Illawong Helios with Sun Of Anarchy slotting in three back on the pegs. The order didn’t change for the remainder of the journey as Keystone Del reeled off comfortable splits of 31.2, 30.9, 29.6 and 27.3. RE-LIVE KEYSTONE DEL'S E B COCHRAN TROTTERS CUP WIN Illawong Helios, who is racing in super form for Ross and Greg Sugars, finished 5.9m behind Keystone Del, with Sun Of Anarchy holding off a challenge from stablemate Our Twentyten to hold third a further 10.4m away. The Yonkers International Trot remains a potential assignment for Keystone Del, who is a 33-time winner from 46 career starts. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

A dedicated group of female harness racing drivers has thrown its support behind the McGrath Foundation and will raise funds for the cause at Cobram on May 5. The club’s annual McGrath Foundation Race Day will see a female drivers’ invitation run with the competing reinswomen to wear pink driving pants instead of the traditional white ones. Organised by driver Donna Castles and a dedicated group of women who will drive in the invitational race, there is also an ongoing raffle that has been launched to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased by contacting Donna on mobile 0417 003 376 or emaildonna.castles2@bigpond.com. You can also purchase tickets by approaching any of the following reinswomen at the races between now and May 5: Ellen Bartley, Rebecca Bartley, Juanita Breen, Monique Burnett, Rita Burnett, Laura Crossland, Tiana McMahon, Katrina Salathiel or Tania Ward. The raffle has been wonderfully supported by numerous backers from around the state with 17 draws to be conducted on May 5 at the Cobram trots, giving ticketholders plenty of chances to win. Prizes 1st Prize: Wheelbarrow, 6ft Weather Beeta Horse Rug, 1 bag Mitavite Formula 3, 1 bag D M Stockfeed, 1 bag Oaten Chaff, Shepparton trots meal voucher for six people including entrance, race book and mobile barrier ride, $300 sign writing voucher, $25 fuel voucher, fly veil, Goulburn Valley Equine voucher $200 (tendon scan, scope), dust sheet, tub of horse Tuffrock, Pooper Scooper, White Healer horse cream, horse/cattle shampoo, Black Caviar brush set, $50 gift voucher Garrard’s Horse and Hound, one pair Brumby Horse Boots, outdoor umbrella, $50 voucher Shepparton RSL, pack of three Flip Cider coasters, horse vet wrap, horse health diary, one Equine Calcium Plus Block, horse hay bag, conditioner for horses, Tabcorp Park Melton dinner and accommodation for two including breakfast. 2nd Prize: Wheelbarrow, 5.9ft Hunter Horse Rug, bag of Mitavite Formula 3, bag of D.M. Stockfeed, bag of Barastoc Feed, Tabcorp Park Melton dinner and accommodation for two including breakfast, pack of three Flip Cider Coasters, dust sheet, Horse Amino Forte, Alkay Lanolin Horse foot oil, Bart Cummings book, horse/cattle shampoo, $50 voucher Garrard’s Horse and Hound, pair of Brumby Horse Boots, $50 voucher Shepparton RSL, horse health diary, horse vet wrap, Equine Calcium Plus Block, Yellow Horse Lotion, boot polish, one Stubber Horse Care, horse hay bag, umbrella/bag NAB, one pair of size three horse shoes. 3rd prize: Starlite push bike, horse rug. 4th prize: Set of Hyland Sports colours (your colours), 12 bottles of wine. 5th prize: Tub of Probiotic for horse/cattle, gear horse bag, boots, saddle pad. 6th prize: Headstall, tie back leads and engraved plaque, pearl necklace (sterling silver culture pearls). 7th prize: Silver water bucket, horse brushes and accessories, one pair of horse quickwraps (medium). 8th prize: Basket with hairdressing products, watch (sterling silver). 9th prize: Beaurepaires voucher ($200), Esky, power driver (portable data storage). 10th prize: Skateboard, wireless keyboard and mouse, power driver (portable data storage). 11th prize: Bottle of shiraz, meal voucher for the Tatura Hotel ($80). 12th prize: Bottle of sauvignon blanc, meal voucher for Pepper Mill Shepparton ($50). 13th prize: Bottle of sauvignon blanc, voucher for Traffik clothes shop Shepparton ($50). 14th prize: Bottle of shiraz, voucher for Shop 221 (clothing) Shepparton ($50). 15th prize: Bottle of moscato, voucher Pepper Mill Hotel Shepparton ($50). 16th prize: Bottle of Monichino wine, set of lashes from Le Dee Makeover (Shepparton)/Coles voucher $20. 17th prize: Bottle of Merlot, voucher for Footy Korner Shepparton ($30). Cody Winnell 

Harness racing trainer Lance Justice has high hopes for filly Hu Hu R U despite bookmakers offering huge odds in early fixed price markets for Saturday night’s Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks Final. TAB.com.au opened the Melton-trained filly $41 to win the $150,000 Group 1 three-year-old fillies’ classic despite the daughter of Jereme's Jet breaking 55 seconds and recording the fastest last half-mile behind Mark Purdon’s highly acclaimed A Piccadilly Princess in Oaks heat three last Friday night. Hu Hu R U has been ultra-impressive since arriving in Australia, the former Kiwi pacer's overall record an impressive 11 starts for seven wins and three minor placings. In last Friday night's heat, Hu Hu R U was taken off the arm from gate seven before storming home to run second, her last half recorded at 54.89secs and her last quarter at 27.45secs. “She’s got a really good turn of foot as you saw last week. She actually ran one of the quickest last halves of the night … she’s very, very quick,” Justice told RSN’s Gait Speed this morning. “She’s a very good horse. If she takes the next step she could potentially be the best,” he added. Hu Hu R U has drawn barrier 10 for the Oaks Final, giving Justice plenty to think about. Does he sit back and allow Hu Hu R U to close hard at the end, or will the one-one be up for grabs if he makes an early move? The one thing that is clear is Justice says the filly has pulled up a treat from her super first-up hit-out. “She’s pulled up really well and should improve a little bit more for Saturday night," he said. “Brian Gath  to his credit did a great job looking after her last week. He didn’t over-punish her.  Basically he chased her just on her own urgings.” The early money for the Oaks Final has been for Emma Stewart-trained Heavens Trend, who drew gate three. She opened $2.20 with TAB.com.au and is into a $1.80 favourite, while opening favourite A Piccadilly Princess has eased from $1.80 out to $2.20. Both impressively won their heats. That pair stifles the betting with $11 chances Im Wrongly Accused from the Matthew Craven stable, also a heat winner, and Gary Hoban-trained Dancingwithsierra, who ran second in her heat behind Heavens Trend, on the next line. The Oaks is Race 7 (9.02pm) on Saturday night's 10-event program at Tabcorp Park Melton and carries a $20,000 First 4 jackpot with TAB.com.au. Cody Winnell 

Burrumbeet’s Michael Stanley produced an Australian Pacing Gold winning double at yesterday's harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Stanley produced Soho Angel and Petacular to win their respective APG heats, both fillies progressing to the $30,000 semi-finals on April 23 ahead of a tilt at the rich $322,000 final on April 30 at Menangle. “There’s good money up for grabs in these races throughout the series,” Stanley said. Exciting Somebeachsomewhere/Ideal Priority filly Petacular ran a 1:55.8 mile today, working forward to find the lead from gate four heading into the first turn. She got home in 56.2secs. “She’s always shown above average ability. She got a cold after her last run at Kilmore and was underdone heading into today but she still got the job done,” Stanley said. WATCH PETACULAR WIN TODAY AT MENANGLE Soho Angel (Bettors Delight/Soho Champagne) ran 1:56.8 to defeat odds-on favourite Jovial Rock by a short half-head today. “She’s really thrived up here at Menangle,” Stanley said. “She trialled nicely last week and then raced the way she’d been working.” Cody Winnell 

On-course wagering turnover was up 23 per cent at this year’s Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup harness racing meeting on Saturday night. Overall $142,872 was held on-course this year compared to $116,030 at the corresponding meeting last year. The on-course TAB held $119,837 this year, compared to $105,707 last year, while on-course bookmakers held $23,035 compared to $10,323 last year. Off-course holdings with the TAB remained close to last year at $543,000, down slightly on last year's $550,000. “It was a wonderful carnival. We’re very thrilled in how the whole thing went,” Mildura Secretary/Manager Mark Kemp explained. “We had huge numbers the whole week because of the racing on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The boat cruise on Friday night was booked out well in advance. The golf day was a success, the whole thing was wonderful. “I think from what I’ve seen we’re the No.1 result for the season in terms of country cups for on-course holdings, so we’re rapt with that.” In excess of 2000 people attended the annual feature meeting, including about 500 who enjoyed a dining package in one of three available venues. The local economy receives a massive boon throughout the week due to the Mildura trots carnival, with all accommodation houses basically booked out and hotels, cafes and other business houses significantly frequented. “All the feedback I’ve received from people has been positive and a lot of the visitors from Wagga and Port Pirie and other places they’re all going to come back in bigger numbers next year,” Kemp said. Cody Winnell

A Piccadilly Princess took her chance in Friday's  harness racing Oaks heat at Tabcorp Park Melton and the result, an advance token to next Saturday night’s Nevele R Stud  Victoria Oaks Final. Mark Purdon’s Bettors Delight out of Hyde Park Royal filly was the fastest of the three heat winners, and her rivals might need a get out of jail free card, maybe in the shape of a poor barrier draw for the All Stars pacer, if they’re to upstage her in the big game. But despite the effortless nature of her heat win A Piccadilly Princess doesn’t have a monopoly on the final with Locals Heavens Trend and Dancingwithsierra, who ran one-two in their Oaks heat, to be major players, while Matthew Craven’s improving filly Im Wrongly Accused looms as a potential dark horse after her heat win. A Piccadilly Princess didn’t quite do it from start to finish on Friday night, crossed early by Flojos Gold before moving to the lead at the 1800m, but once in front she was unstoppable – her last 1200m divvied up by 29.5, 27.4 and 27.8 splits. Her winning time of 2:41.9 was the fastest of the three Oaks heats by .7 of a second, but the ease with which she got the job done – and her impressive Northern Oaks win recently in New Zealand – will have many punters pinning their hopes on the Purdon filly in next weekend’s $150,000 Group 1 final. Smythes Creek filly Heavens Trend won her Oaks heat in a gross time of 2:42.6 and a mile rate of 1:56.8. The Emma Stewart-trained daughter of Rock n Roll Heaven out of Trendsetter defeated another highly rated pacer in Dancingwithsierra in Friday night’s heats. Heavens Trend rolled past Dancingwithsierra early and the pair drew away in the straight with Dancingwithsierra making a late dive but Heavens Trend holding on by a half-neck. Both look live chances in the final. WATCH THE OAKS HEAT REPLAYS AND CHECK OUT THE RESULTS IN FULL DETAIL Im Wrongly Accused (Bettor's Delight out of Gross Misconduct) was the other heat winner, her winning time the slowest of the three qualifiers – 2:44.9 gross and 1:58.5 mile rate – but she sprinted sharply along the sprint lane and looked professional to topple Celebrity Guest. This heat actually produced the fastest final 800m (55secs) and trainer/driver Craven will be pleased with how his filly is progressing since joining his stable from New Zealand. Cody Winnell

“Keep yourself in the best company and your horse in the worst.” Naracoorte harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield lives by those wise words, which his uncle – trots man Harold Moody – passed on to him. The philosophy is working. Scholefield presented two horses to race at Mildura on Thursday night, unbeaten two-year-old Emain Macha and consistent three-year-old Livingston Bay. Both won. EMAIN MACHA WINS HIS THIRD RACE AT START NO.3 The two-year-old especially is exciting, says Scholefield. “He’s very promising. He’s been very easy to get going, just such an easy natured horse. A real competitor, too,” he said. Asked how Emain Macha, a son of Safari, came to be in his stable, Scholefield spoke glowingly of Dennis Wills. “He sources horses for me and does a great job,” Scholefield said. “He found Limestone Bay as well. He’s a good fella. “I’d gotten horses off Heath Redwood before and with Dennis’s help we purchased Emain Macha off Heath and brought him home. From there I haven’t had any problem with the horse.” So far in season 2015-16 Scholefield has presented 19 starters for seven wins and nine minor placings. However, a look back through the last decade’s results reveals the South Australian horseman’s success rate is no flash in the pan. Since season 2004-05 Scholefield’s results are astonishing. He has presented 265 starters at the races for 93 wins (35%), 51 seconds, 34 thirds and 21 fourths. Just 66 times his horses have finished outside the top four in 11 years. “Can I just grab a biro?” Scholefield said when his statistics were being read out, following up with: “That’s not bad” when told 54% of his runners have finished top-two since 04-05. At 67, Scholefield, a former full-time builder, is now retired and thus doesn’t mind hitting the road with a horse if it means placing one of his horse’s in a winnable race. “I don’t mind. I know a lot of good people around the industry and they’re always willing to help me out. I enjoy getting around to different places,” he said. Although he only trains a small team at any one time Scholefield has a strong list of prolific winners, including Glenferrie Rustler (who he trained to win 19 races), Mighty Maurie (10 wins), Mad House (nine wins) and The Lucky Break (six wins) just to name a few. “I named him after my dad,” Scholefield said of Mighty Maurie. In addition to his training record Scholefield has also enjoyed good success as an owner, mentioning Alesco, who he raced with Alan Tubbs, and The Rattler, who won the 1984 Inter Dominion Consolation for trainer Jim Hurley. WATCH THE RATTLER WIN HIS 1984 INTER DOMINION CONSOLATION The three-year-old son of Major In Art he had success with at Mildura last night, Livingston Bay, will now be spelled and Scholefield is confident “he’ll come back a much better horse”. And while he’s camping at Mildura for the Carnival the trainer has one more runner, Limestone Bay, who is shooting for a hat-trick tomorrow night in Race 2. Cody Winnell

Hectorjayjay was superb last night on debut for the David Aiken harness racing stable, winning his Park Douglas Printing Mildura Cup heat with a last half of 56.1 seconds. Hectorjayjay rated 1:59.3 to defeat local Murranji Track by 9.8m as the annual Sunraysia carnival got under way to an action-packed start. While Hectorjayjay is likely to start a hot favourite for Saturday night’s Group 2 final, it was last night’s other heat winner, Stunning Grin, who broke the track record courtesy of a 1:57.5 mile-rate scorcher around the half-mile circuit. Trainer Vince Vallelonga was understandably thrilled with the performance of his five-year-old gelded son of Grinfromeartoear out of Rosalee Hanover. “I’ve had the Mildura Cup in my mind for him for a while,” he said. “I thought it was important he got to the fence first because he’d never been around Mildura before and if he got to the fence I thought he’d handle it. “Normally the horse flies the gate then drops the bit nicely. Last night he was hitting the wheel and that’s why he was taking off in patches… he’d hit the wheel again and away he goes. But we’ll fix that up for the weekend. “It was a real credit to the horse that after charging like that, which was out of character, he was able to finish it off so well. Even Anthony Butt said he was entitled not to finish it off like he did.” Stunning Grin has drawn gate three for the $60,325 final on Saturday night, outside Murranji Track and Itz Dreamin Jonesy. “Murranji Track has plenty of speed but it handed up last night and I think it would be in its best interests to hand up in the final,” Vallelonga said. “I’m not super confident we can beat Hectorjayjay… that horse doesn’t have to lead to win, but I figure in front he can run a quick half and make it tough for Hectorjayjay. Even before the track was done up I remember real good horses going up to Mildura and getting beat. It’s a very competitive track because people have to make moves. You’ve got to put your horse in the race.” Country cups specialist Ideal Success, who broke the track record securing the silverware at Ararat recently, has drawn barrier five for Kerryn Manning. Melton 1720m record-holder Cold Major will start from barrier 11 under the preferential barrier draw conditions, with recent Terang track record-breaker Glenferrie Hood drawn nine, inside prolific country cups performer Uncle Wingnut. View the fields for Saturday night’s Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup Final  Cody Winnell

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has today released its 2016-17 racing calendar. Some noteworthy details are: - Tabcorp Park Melton to host 28 metro Saturday night meetings, up from 16 in 2015-16 - Victoria's Summer of Glory Carnival to be run over two huge Saturday nights, January 28 and February 4 - Breeders Crown Semi-Finals to be run at Bendigo - Picnic meetings to be trialled at Birchip and Elmore to gauge interest in an ongoing picnic circuit Featured here is a photo of a big crowd getting close to the action at the Boort trots on Cup Day this year. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has modernised the process for Futurities nominations. Trainers and owners can now electronically nominate horses for both Vicbred and Breeders Crown Futurities online via HarnessWeb. Trainers and owners can now choose to pay for the nomination immediately. The new process replaces the outdated paper-based method in which forms were sent by mail to the owner only, the owner would then fill in and return by mail to HRV, which would then manually charge the owner through the Harvey computer system. HRV plans to implement further Harness Web solutions in the future. Cody Winnell

Harness racings South Merbein filly Flojos Gold won her sixth race at start No.9 on Saturday night, taking out the South Australian Oaks at Globe Derby. The reigning Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old winner from the Ian Watson stable secured an economical trip from inside the back row, three-back-the-pegs for Ian’s son, reinsman Luke Watson, before pushing out at the 600m and moving three-wide at the quarter pole. Once in the clear Flojos Gold (Mach Three/Jasper Jo) rounded up the frontrunners to overhaul Queen Of Sharkz (Wayne Hill) and Emma Stewart-trained long odds-on favourite Celebrity Guest (Mark Billinger) for a 1.4-metre win. WATCH FLOJOS GOLD WIN SATURDAY NIGHT'S SOUTH AUSTRALIAN OAKS The last half-mile of Saturday night’s 2230-metre race was covered in 57.6, but Flojos Gold made up several lengths, her winning mile rate 1:59.9. Flojos Gold is likely to be chasing back to back Vicbred Super Series success in coming months. by Cody Winnell

Ideal Success may trek a path travelled previously by star harness racing stablemate Arden Rooney and head to Mildura in search of Group 2 glory. Last night’s record-breaking Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup winner could be headed north for the annual Sunraysia feature, the stable confirmed at Ararat. The five-year-old gelding, who last season set a record for number of country cup wins in New Zealand with five, has now pocketed cup victories at Ouyen and Ararat since joining the Kerryn Manning stable at Great Western. The son of American Ideal/Maheer Glen has in fact won three from three since donning the red and blue stars. “This is really special,” Manning told course MC Rob Auber post-race. “He’s such a safe beginner. He began very well tonight.” His standing start manners certainly held Ideal Success in great stead last night, making light work of the 10-metre impost in the space of about 100m before pushing on to the front. Punters who backed the ex-Kiwi into $2.80 would have been pretty comfortable with their investment from there as Ideal Success’s main danger, Almost El Eagle, lobbed the one-one. Ideal Success put a lead time of 76secs behind him before two identical 30.5secs opening splits for a 61secs first half at the bell. Manning then launched into action, upping the pressure with a 27.5 third quarter. Star Of Dionysis, who breezed throughout, started to struggle after pulling early and gave ground, which did Almost El Eagle no favours as Steam Washed battled on three-wide. Ideal Success’s stablemate The Noble Steed, who is having a super season, peeled off the favourite’s back with Grant Campbell in the cart to launch its claim at the corner, while Weallwantano (Matthew Craven) angled wider and ran on. But Manning and Ideal Success were having none of it, the champion reinswoman clearly elated with the win as her latest stable star crossed the post 2.9 metres clear, Weallwantano finishing on for second and The Noble Steed third, well clear of Delight Brigade in fourth. And in winning Ideal Success posted a track record mile rate of 2:00.5, which will never be broken as the race will become a mobile start event from next year. Representing the stable at the post-race presentation Grant Campbell thanked the club for putting on a terrific night and the sponsors for their support. He also made special mention of the stable’s “great staff” for their hard work. If Ideal Success does go on to Mildura Manning will be chasing a third victory in the Cup there after previous victories behind Go Charles in 2001 and Arden Rooney last season. Cody Winnell

The Victorian trots industry is once again encouraged to dig deep for the annual Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will kick things off with a $2,500 donation to the Appeal. Two of our participants will feature on the Channel 7 coverage tomorrow in Josh Aiken and Kima Frenning. Tune in from about 2.45pm to catch their segment. They will also be taking phone calls from people wishing to donate on the day. HRV extends its gratitude to both Josh and Kima for representing our industry on this special occasion. For more information on the appeal and to hear about some of the wonderful stories of people whose lives have been enriched by the Royal Children’s Hospital, visit goodfridayappeal.com.au DONATE NOW TO THE ROYAL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL GOOD FRIDAY APPEAL Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

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