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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) is partnering with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) this September to drive funds and awareness during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. This year 20,000 Australian men will be newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, 3500 will die of the disease, and over 200,000 Australian men are living with it every day. Help us make a difference by heading to PCFA.org.au to download and share the PCFA’s free Awareness Guide. One click is all it takes to learn more about prostate cancer. Two of our star harness racing drivers in Greg Sugars and Darby McGuigan have signed on Prostate Cancer Awareness Month ambassadors. For every win during September scored by Sugars and McGuigan HRV will donate $500 to the PCFA. Sugars and McGuigan can be easily identified in Victorian harness races during September as they are wearing specially designed promotional Prostate Cancer Awareness Month silks. “Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is excited to be partnering with Harness Racing Victoria throughout September to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer in metro and regional Victoria,” PCFA State Manager John Strachan said. “Prostate cancer is a significant challenge for Victorian men (1 in 4 cancers diagnosed in men will be prostate cancer) and with HRV's significant network and community reach it provides an excellent opportunity to raise vital awareness of the disease. PCFA applauds HRV for this fantastic community awareness initiative.” Cody Winnell HRV Trots Media

We reckon trots fans are a creative bunch, so we’ve got a plan. On Saturday night May 2 next year, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will stage a new $60,000 race exclusively for horses who have contested the 2019/20 Victorian Trots Country Cups Championship. The Group 2 event will be held at Tabcorp Park Melton over 2760 metres. The winning horse will receive the prizemoney, plus the winning trainer will get a $10,000 cash bonus, and the winning breeder(s) will receive a service to Vincent courtesy of our friends at Alabar and Nevele R Stud. Want more? Well, the winning horse will also receive a golden ticket (automatic entry) into the Grand Circuit, $250,000 Group 1 2020 Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup. We’re pumped about this race, but what the heck do we call it? Here’s where you come in! Email your suggested race name to nametherace@hrv.org.au with the subject line #NameTheRace or take to social media (Twitter or Facebook) and use the hashtag #NameTheRace (respond to HRV Trots Media’s call for entries post which we’ll pin to the top of each social media platform). The winning race name will be chosen by HRV and whoever suggested that name first will win… The honour of having named a new annual feature event on the Victorian trots calendar; A sumptuous 10-person dining + drinks package in the Legends Room on the night of May 2; A $1000 TAB betting voucher for the table to use throughout the night; A photograph with the winning horse and driver of the new race; A Mobile Barrier Ride at the start of the night; Luxurious limousine transport from Melbourne CBD for you and your whole crew! The conditions for the new race are that it is restricted to horses who contested a race in the 2019/20 Trots Country Cups Championship, with preference in field selection given to horses in accordance with the following criteria. Most wins in the 2019/20 Trots Country Cups Championship series, then; Earned the most prizemoney in the 2019/20 Trots Country Cups Championship series, then; Earned the most prizemoney in the 2019/20 racing season. The winning entry of the #NameTheRace competition will be notified live on RSN’s Gait Speed program on Monday October 7. Entries must close Friday October 4 at 2pm.   Cody Winnell Trots media

Humbletonian 2019 was a resounding success, with connections of nine first-time winners (all Vicbred eligible today) picking up significant bonuses and prizemoney at Maryborough. The bonuses were supplied by Harness Racing Victoria, Harness Breeders Victoria, the Maryborough Harness Racing Club and the Victorian Square Trotters Association. It's a day for the grassroots horses, and a day for the breeders to shine.  Congratulations to all the winners.  Let's recap how it all played out.   Race 1 – 3YO MAIDEN PACE Winner: Surbiton Hartbreak (Courage Under Fire-Queena Harts Lombo) Trainer: John Douglas Driver: James Herbertson Breeder: Mick Fryar Owners: John Douglas and Peter Ward   There are more wins in store for Surbiton Hartbreak after his Humbo win today. Reinsman James Herbertson was full of praise for the John Douglas-trained son of Courage Under Fire post-race “He’s a nice horse and I’ve always just tried to keep a lid on Johnny and try and not get his hopes up too much,” Herbertson said. “But he’s a pretty nice horse… if that 26.7 first quarter is right then yeah, that says it all.” The quarter was adjusted to 26.9, so close enough to concur with the young gun reinsman’s sentiments given he had to work to get the lead and was able to kick on boldly late.   Surbiton Hartbreak was bred by Mick Fryar, whose previous breeding successes include Courageous Affair (7 wins, $37k), Crown Dream (9 wins, $50k), Dream Mastar (1 win, $37k), Ima Showgirl (5 wins, $37k), Moonlight Dream (11 wins, $154k) and Royal Dream (7 wins, $56k).   Race 2 – 3YO MAIDEN PACE Winner: Carter Mayson (Auckland Reactor-Angel Spirit) Trainer: Philip Chircop Driver: Darby McGuigan Breeder: Susan Wegmann Owner: Susan Wegmann   Funnily enough Carter Mayson hadn’t started since Humbo 2018, but this year he went one better than his runner-up effort of 12 months ago, a tip-top training performance by Philip Chircop. “I’ve been driving him at the trials so I knew he was up to it,” said winning reinsman Darby McGuigan. “His first trial at Bacchus Marsh he hit the line really good and then last time, I led on him and we worked out the hard way that he doesn’t go in front.” McGuigan said winning any race involving a Vicbred bonus was “a great little kicker”, adding “everyone loves winning those”. Carter Mayson was bred by Susan Wegmann, who has previously bred winners including Aleppo Lady (13 wins, $80k), Classic Act (9 wins, $33k), Dreams Of Heaven (13 wins, $150k), Express Drive (6 wins, $24k), Frankincense (8 wins, $64k), Golden Showgirl (10 wins, $53k), Golden Zeus (13 wins, $39k), Iconic Valor (6 wins, $34k), Insulated (5 wins, $15k), Masweet Georgia (4 wins, $19k), Matty Chrimes (13 wins, $90k), Menin Gate (16 wins, $574k), Mighty Jasper (7 wins, $37k), Millah Joy (2 wins, $29k), Mon Soie (7 wins, $55k), My Bros Dreaming (8 wins, $38k), Nikkibadwagon (11 wins, $167k), Panorama Drive (13 wins, $67k), Princess Hayley (8 wins, $25k), Safe Decision (17 wins, $90k), Schouten Island (6 wins, $43k) and Soho Rockefeller (3 wins, $12k).   Race 3 – 2YO MAIDEN TROT Winner: Illawong Stardust (Muscle Hill-Lunar Landing) Trainer: Jodi Quinlan Driver: Craig Demmler Breeder: Martin Hartnett Owners: Martin and Kaye Hartnett   This filly, Illawong Stardust, might just be a little bit special, and she’s on track to potentially be a freakish three-year-old, according to winning driver Craig Demmler. “(She) could be very dangerous,” he said. “One thing I like is she’s got manners. She can relax, whereas (Illawong) Armstrong (the filly’s brother) can get on the bit a bit. “Hopefully she’s an Oaks horse. “I just wish she’d done that (behaved how she did today) on Saturday night … but she’s getting there. Jodi (Quinlan) has been very patient. I gave up after the Sires and said ‘put her out and let her grow’, but Jodi said ‘keep going’ which is the best thing we could have done. “It’s been brilliant for her manners … and the other night, galloping away and giving them a big start like that just kills you but it shows how much ability she’s got.” Breeder Martin Hartnett is well-known for producing the famous Illawong horses.   Race 4 – 4YO+ MAIDEN TROT Winner: Highway Huntsman (Yankee Spider-Coral Grace) Trainer: Chris Svanosio Driver: Chris Svanosio Breeder: Mick Grace Owner: Mick Grace   He’s only lightly raced but Highway Huntsman is making an impression early for trainer-driver Chris Svanosio. The son of Yankee Spider is bred and raced by trotting enthusiast Mick Grace, whose past racing stock include Tender Don (18 wins and $183k in stakes), Spidergrace (8 wins, $66k), Lindy Vale (7 wins, $44k), Maori Vale (eight wins, $35k), Big And Rich (11 wins, $32k), Annies Life (6 wins, $39k) and Bank On Betty (3 wins from 13 starts, $19k). “(I’m) glad he could put it all together today. He’s a pretty big, strong horse,” Svanosio said. “He’s one of those horses who will hopefully keep getting better and better with racing.”   Race 5 – 2YO VICBRED MAIDEN PACE Winner: Secret Identity (A Rocknroll Dance-Jerulas Shadow) Trainer: David Aiken Driver: David Aiken Breeders: Dot and Edith Schmidt Owners: Dot and Edith Schmidt   On a day where upsets came thick and fast, none were a bigger price than Secret Identity for Avenel’s David Aiken. The juvenile pacing filly by A Rocknroll Dance is out of an unraced Jennas Beach Boy mare named Jerulas Shadow, who has thus far produced four winners from four foals. At over $150 on one of the totes, Secret Identity got home too strong for Techys Angel and Minika. “We locked wheels last week and she’s tender in the mouth … when I grabbed hold she went up in the air, but she felt good after that,” Aiken explained post-race. “She’s a work in progress and she’s always been overgrown, so hopefully she’ll make a better three-year-old.” Secret Identity is raced by Edith and Dot Schmidt, whose previous successes in the breeding barn include Tidal Surge (2 wins, $35k) and Mach Diva (3 wins, $20k)   Race 6 – 2YO VICBRED MAIDEN PACE Winner: Allshookup (A Rocknroll Dance-Ballandella Baby) Trainer: Shayne Eeles Driver: Chris Alford Breeders: Shayne Eeles, Roslyn Eeles, Robert Viney and Jenny Viney Owners: Shayne Eeles, Roslyn Eeles, Robert Viney and Jenny Viney   Chris Alford moved just two wins from yet another career milestone, taking his tally to 6,998 with victory aboard Allshookup for trainer Shayne Eeles. The colt by A Rocknroll Dance enjoyed a beautiful run from the pole draw and got home over the top of first-starter Just Ralph by 3.6m. Allshookup was bred by the Eeles and Viney families.  Eeles hasn’t bred an enormous amount of horses, but has had success already with his breed including Bad Influence (two wins, $8k), Breakntherules (2 wins, $10k), Party Rocka (5 wins, $22k), Pushinupdaisies (7 wins, $42k) and Whosthatchick (7 wins, $44k). “I was a bit worried down the back but once I got the plugs out he got up and was really travelling,” Alford said. “He was nice and relaxed and had that little kick. He only had to come out at the top of the straight.”   Race 7 – 3YO VICBRED MAIDEN PACE Winner: Speed Dating (All Speed Hanover-Chick At The Bar) Trainer: David Miles Driver: Patrick Franklin Breeder: Patrick Franklin Owner: Patrick Franklin   Here’s one of those great harness racing stories of a horse bred, owned and driven by the one fella – Patrick Franklin. Franklin would have been thrilled with today’s windfall for his improving filly, who prior to today had just the one placing to boast from 13 starts. When the David Miles-trained pacer was almost 20m clear approaching the home bend, Franklin must have been grinning. Speed Dating kicked on at the finish to hold on by 3.5m over professional placegetter Jessies Girl, who is more than crying out to win a race.   Race 8 – 4YO+ VICBRED MAIDEN PACE Winner: Missus Matilda (Live Or Die-Andrea Hayley) Trainer: Graeme Dalton Driver: Chris Alford Breeder: Graeme Dalton Owner: Graeme Dalton   Graeme Dalton bred, races and trains black mare Missus Matilda, who was lining up for just her second race start at Humbo 2019. And she didn’t let backers who took the $1.30 down, surviving a scare narrowly from runner-up Clever Cowboy (half-neck margin) in the straight, and then a protest by Josh Duggan in the stewards’ room. In the finish Chris Alford proved the winning reinsman and took his tally within one of career win No. 7000. Some of the horses that Dalton has bred to win include Blended Family (8 wins, $38k), Pop Opera (7 wins, $18k) and Roslei Hilda (11 wins, $25k).   Race 9 – VICBRED MAIDEN 3YO TROT Winner: Dances (Bacardi Lindy-Im Tina Turner) Trainer: Donna Castles Driver: Donna Castles Breeder: Raelene Sweet Owners: Ken and Janice Wills   Dances, trained by Donna Castles, proved simply the best in the last race on the program, fitting given her dam was the memorably named Im Tina Turner. Bred by Raelene Sweet, who has previously had success in the breeding barn with Majestic Melody (six wins, $25k), Dances overhauled Zarem late to score by 1.1m. “She’s a nice little thing,” said winning trainer and driver Donna Castles. “She can get a bit hot but she really moved nicely today.” Franklin has bred four horses to date, three from his broodmare Chick At The Bar, with his other winner being Pick Up Line. Of today’s performance Franklin said:  “She’s a tricky filly to drive, and to train, and she’s tested our patience somewhat, but we found she’s probably better off in front if we could find the front. We’re very happy with her. I want to thank you to everyone involved. It’s a fantastic day.”   Cody Winnell HRV Trots Media 

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has worked closely with Racing Information Services Enterprise (RISE) and miStable to change the game for Victorian trainers and owners. Through HRV’s arrangement with miStable, trainers are invited to sign up for a 60-day free trial of the program used throughout the thoroughbred industry to keep owners up to date with their horses – simplifying and streamlining the communication process for trainers. miStable allows trainers to send text, photo, video and audio reports in just seconds and provides updates to all your owners in four simple steps. Following the 60-day free trial, trainers can continue to use this program from as little as $29 a month. A logo can also be built for trainers who take up this offer and assistance will be provided in setting up your account. RISE has worked closely with HRV to ensure all the required data is flowing through miStable, allowing owners to receive alerts when their horse is entered, so users never miss a hoof beat. For further information contact HRV’s Nikkita Ross at nross@hrv.org.au or phone 8378 0279, or miStable direct via ali@mistable.com   Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

By tomorrow evening nine Victorian horses will no longer carry the ‘maiden’ tag. It’s the annual Humbletonian Day at Maryborough, a meeting for Vicbred-only horses who have never won a race. These are horses that have been paid up for the popular Vicbred program, meaning their connections have invested in the local industry. For their commitment, every horse that breaks its duck tomorrow will receive a plethora of bonuses on top of the $7000-per-race prizemoney for the nine-event card. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced it will deliver a $1000 breeding certificate to the winning owners of each race. The $9000 extra commitment to the breeding industry comes after HRV delivered $133,500 worth of breeding stimulus to connections during May and June via mares’ races and the recent Vicbred Super Series. “The breeding certificates have been extremely popular with recipients and the feedback we’ve received is that they’ll make a genuine difference with how those connections approach next breeding season,” HRV General Manager Racing Steve Bell said. Explicit Castle (trainer Andy Gath and driver Kate Gath)         -Stuart McCormick photo Given all runners are Vicbred eligible at ‘Humbletonian’ Day, every winner will also snare a Vicbred First Win Bonus with $63,000 available. All two-, three- and four-year-old winners will get a $7000 cash bonus, while five-year-old and older horses receive $3500. The event’s long-term naming rights partner, Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV), will donate a $250 cash bonus to the breeder for each of the nine winners on the day. The Maryborough Harness Racing Club will offer a cash bonus of $250 to the winning breeder of the six pacing races if those people are on-course to claim their loot, while the Victorian Square Trotters Association is offering the same bonus for the three trotting events. The host club will also donate a Claire Weston Photography framed memento for every winner. HRV Trots Media will have Paul Campbell on-course for Trots Vision viewers, interviewing winning connections post-race at thetrots.com.au. Race 1 is scheduled for 12.47pm, with the last set down for 5.30pm.   Cody Winnell HRV Trots Media

The Breeders Crown Silver races are gaining a reputation for being punting puzzlers. Tonight at Geelong the favourites failed to land a blow, going 0/6 in the feature events as the rich series wound up. At the corresponding meeting last year the tote fancies went 0/7. The each-way punters might have fared well early, with Theultimate opening tonight’s proceedings with a half-neck win in the Always B Miki Breeders Crown two-year-old fillies’ Silver Pace. Despite starting a $5.9 outsider against $2.4 favourite Jo Dina and $2.5 second-elect Summertime, Theultimate – prepared by astute trainer John Yeomans – bloused her rivals up the Beckley Park straight courtesy of a typically patient Gavin Lang drive. The champion reinsman bided his time aboard the improving daughter of champion sire Art Major before unleashing her late, Theultimate nailing La La Bron at the post for a half-neck win in a 2:00.0 mile rate. She was specked in fixed-odds markets throughout the day.  The winner is out of unheralded racetrack mare Salix, whose true value has shone in the breeding barn with five winners from five foals – including 38-time winner Ultimate Art (1:50.3). Itzamajor Surprise proved just that in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown three-year-old fillies’ Silver Pace, causing a boil-over for Terang’s Matthew Craven. Another daughter of Art Major, Itzamajor Surprise looked every bit the athlete late as she powered to her third career victory by 5.1m over Jess Tubbs-trained pair Lady Rocknrolla and Larajay Macray in 1:57.7. Itzamajor Surprise started at $13.7, with commanding $1.2 favourite Two Times Bettor tiring to finish fourth after riding shotgun throughout. Two Times Bettor broke in the score-up and had to do a power of chasing to get into her starting position, before motoring forward to the position outside the leader early on. The effort told late. In addition to being an Art Major, Itzamajor Surprise has bloodlines to shine on her mother’s side, her dam Itz Nosurprisesthere a three-time Oaks winner in 2013 – claiming the New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmanian features. Veteran horseman Graeme Whittle took out the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown two-year-old Silver Trot with Skyvalley-Kyvalley Diva gelding Floating Mountain (pictured above by Stuart McCormick). At start No.4, Floating Mountain trotted flawlessly and held off the fast-finishing Miss Maia by a half-head in a rate of 2:05.3. Steve Turnbull and Bec Bartley combined to win the IRT Breeders Crown three-year-old colts and geldings’ Silver Pace with Firestorm Red, narrowly upstaging hot favourite Hurricane Harley. Firestorm Red, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere out of Spirited Storm, had produced a couple of eye-catching runs during the Vicbred and Breeders Crown preliminary races, so the writing may have been on the wall for some punters clever enough to take some of the $14. Firestorm Red rated 1:57.6. An aggressive drive by Kate Gath aboard Night Spirit (pictured below by Stuart McCormick) helped land the Downbytheseaside Breeders Crown two-year-old colts and gelding’ Silver Pace. Gath made her intentions clear early aboard the son of Mach Three, driving hard to get across heavily backed polemarker The Tiger Army. Once in front Night Spirit had to sustain the effort when Krafty Bart pulled and applied pressure throughout. But Night Spirit was up to the task, pulling clear late to upstage The Tiger Army by 5.3m with Monsieur Delacour close-up in third in a 1:59.4 mile rate. Night Spirit is trained by Andy Gath and is a member of the powerful Uncork family (his dam Blissfull Night was out of daughter of Uncork Whatacorka). Uncork has had 13 foals to the races for 12 winners, with Rambunctious – her only maiden runner – showing ability from just six starts to date. Rave On Hall (Andover Hall-Pretty Peggy Sue) capped the night at $11.10 for the all-conquering Anton Golino camp, taking out the What The Hill / Father Patrick Breeders Crown three-year-old Silver Trot. Driven by Rodney Petroff, Rave On Hall packed too much punch late for stablemate Norquay (a $58.3 outsider), rating 2:04.0. And for the trivia buffs, the last favourite to win a Breeders Crown Silver race was Carter Bromac for Amanda Turnbull back in 2017.   Cody Winnell HRV Trots Media

HRV Trots Media today published the first edition of a new weekly online news and views harness racing column called The Score Up<http://bit.ly/2Rn5yF5>. The Score Up<http://bit.ly/2Rn5yF5> will be published at thetrots.com.au every Monday. It will be written in a way that encourages conversation and social media input. By encouraging people to join the conversation on platforms such as Twitter, it aims to promote positive and robust discussion among fans whilst also giving industry participants - trainers and drivers - the chance to positively promote their own social media profile. Recently HRV Trots Media also committed to daily Inside Word podcasts, designed to give fans and the wagering audience valuable insights for every Victorian harness racing meeting from those putting on the show - the trainers and drivers. The Inside Word podcast can be heard via thetrots.com.au, Soundcloud<https://soundcloud.com/hrv-2> and through any of the handy podcast apps - including Apple Podcasts on your iPhone (simply search for Trots Media and subscribe to our channel so you don't miss any of our content). Already we've had over 2200 listens to Inside Word podcasts since the first edition was launched on June 4. And finally, Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au will feature an on-track host for all Alabar and Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series race meetings. HRV and the host clubs have worked together to ensure viewers watching at home will hear from the stars of the sulky as soon as they've won during these big meetings in the next fortnight. Night one is tomorrow at Bendigo where Kirsten Graham and Paul Campbell will feature. HRV Trots Media will also stream the barrier draws for the Vicbred Super Series finals from Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night June 29. Keep following our social media feeds for more information on VSS19. Cody Winnell [Harness Racing Victoria]

Victoria’s leading trainer presents a bevy of well-bred and to date well-performed prodigies at Bendigo tomorrow night as the Alabar Vicbred Super Series gets under way. Last season, Stewart had 10 runners on opening night for five heat wins from seven races. She finished second in the two heats she didn’t win and claimed the quinella in two of the events she did. This year Stewart has nine runners engaged across seven 2yo heats. Will the domination continue? Given her Vicbred form in recent times, it made perfect sense – funnily enough that’s also the name of a Stewart-trained pacer who won her Vicbred heat on this night back in 2016 – to invite the leading trainer on to the Inside Word podcast to give punters insights into her line-up, and she was happy to oblige Stewart’s two-year-olds in action tomorrow are last-start Group 1 winner Pandering, Amelia Rose (whose grand-dam produced Niki No No, Wardan Express, Majordan, Soho Valencia and Yrubla among others), winner of four of five Treasure, Home Grown Classic victor Mirragon, one-for-one son of Lovelist Adapt, Kualoa’s half-sister Jemstone, last-start winner Beale Street, and supremely talented Home Grown Classic quinella pair Artmede and Maajida top round out proceedings. Some of the other headline acts to keep an eye on tomorrow include Leeton Breeders Plate winner The Tiger Army for Laura Crossland, a winner of four of six to date who finished second last start in the Group 2 Sapling Stakes at Menangle, West Australian filly Askmeilltellya for trainer Kat Warwick, Realnspectacular for Terry Coelli and Blake Jones, Michael Stanley’s Yejele Hammer and Andy Gath’s Night Spirit, who have both run several placings in recent times and are itching to break through, smart fillies Summertime for Ted Caruana and Alice Kay for Adam Kelly, and Gavin Lang’s bold son of Courage Under Fire Withoutthetuh.   Cody Winnell for Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) this morning released the racing program for July -the first month of the national ratings-based handicapping system. View the programs here "It's important our participants have as much time as possible to plan their programs for July and so I want to thank my team for their hard work and methodical approach to ensuring these programs were ready to go this week," HRV General Manager -Racing Stephen Bell said. "Moving forward, initially we'll be releasing the programs on a month-by-month basis to ensure we can be as dynamic as possible and provide the right programs for our horse population, then we'll move towards releasing programs in two-month blocks. "Importantly we'll be critically reviewing everything as we go, flexible and willing to tinker with our approach to programming depending on the fluidity of horse population." HRV has set an e-mail and would love to hear feedback on all aspects of the new system: rbhs@hrv.org.au Programs for August will be published on Monday July 1. Bell will be on RSN's Gait Speed tomorrow morning with Blake Redden.   Cody Winnell MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Harness Racing Victoria’s May and June $1500 breeding vouchers are helping keep breeders in the game. To date, 26 fillies and mares’ races have been run since HRV announced on March 28 that for a two-month period all 177 fillies and mares’ races would carry a $1500 breeding voucher bonus – $1000 to the breeder and $500 to the owner. This is a stimulus of $115,500 to the breeding industry. Ian Kitchin and Stephen Clarke are two of 25 individual breeders who have so far picked up a $1000 breeding voucher in May. Kitchin bred Larajay Macray, who he races with trainer Jess Tubbs, while Clarke bred, races and trains Miss McGonagall. Because Kitchin and Clarke not only bred their fillies but also race them, they will each pick up the full $1500 worth of vouchers. “I shelled out $35,000 two years ago and $25,000 last year, anything coming back the other way certainly makes things much more palatable and this will certainly help keep people in the breeding game,” Kitchin said. “Absolutely I welcome this initiative. It will help lessen the burden on the breeders and that’s really important.” Clarke, who calls himself a “small breeder”, said the $1500 incentive would probably be the difference between breeding next season and not. “Hell yeah,” he declared. “It certainly does help. Perhaps at this stage to be honest I hadn’t been thinking about breeding at all, but this helps out a lot and is probably not good news for my wife because she reckons I’ve got too many horses as it is. “The more we can get back the better. The more incentive, especially for the smaller breeders, perhaps this can help also get our mares served by the more upmarket stallions.” Breeding vouchers bonuses will continue to be attached to all Victorian fillies and mares’ races until the end of June, and HRV also announced this week that all 12 Vicbred Super Series winners would receive a $1500 breeding voucher this year.   Cody Winnell Trots Media

The trots will be taking part in the 3AW Very Special Kids 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge. This Friday (May 24) Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager – Marketing Andrew English (pictured preparing at the gym) will pound the treadmill from 8.30am on the Neil Mitchell show and he’s encouraging the industry to dig deep to support a wonderful cause. “You simply can’t put into words the importance of the work performed by the Very Special Kids organisation,” Mr English said. “This vital service, looking after children with life-threatening conditions and their families, costs more than $8.5million every year to provide, so the organisation relies on the generosity of Victorians and corporate sponsorship. “I’m encouraging everyone today, all trots fans and industry participants especially, to dig deep and contribute what you can so that families and children receive the support they deserve at such a traumatic time in their lives.” Very Special Kids cares for children with life-threatening conditions by providing a children’s hospice and professional family support services.  3AW‘s studio treadmills will be in continuous motion for 24 hours and the station is hoping it can help contribute at least $20,000 to the overall goal of $1 million. Mr English has been getting into shape for the Challenge at the Racing Victoria on-site gym and says he feels ready to perform on the big stage. “I’m looking forward to doing my part although I would say to anyone who thinks time flies, try getting on a treadmill for half an hour! I’ll just be concentrating on staying upright for my slot,” he said. Various trots programs, HRV HERO, Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au, Own the Moment and GoodForm have kicked off the harness donations with $250 each adding to the industry’s early fundraising tally of $1000. To donate to the cause visit the website: https://vsktreadmill2019.everydayhero.com/au/andrew-9   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Young reinswoman Olivia Weidenbach (pictured) has made the move to Tasmania for a plum gig with the Ben Yole stable. With 65 horses in work, the Yole camp offers Weidenbach an enormous opportunity for hands-on experience at the stables and the races. Ben Yole’s stable foreman, and his dad, Wayne Yole said Weidenbach, 17, would “be a magnificent asset to the stable”. “She has a claim, which is great because we have a shortage of claim drivers,” he said. “She’ll come over here and be tutored by Mark (Yole) on the driving side of things and Ben about training. She is a very good horse person for someone so young at just 17. Of course she comes from such a strong harness racing family, with her mother being a Mifsud.” Weidenbach drove her first winner in February, when she piloted Smart Little Shard to victory at her maiden drive. Ben Yole is Tasmania’s leading trainer with 121 wins from 1789 starts so far this season. Weidenbach has four drives tomorrow night at Launceston – The Lemondrop Kid in Race 2, Give Me The Knight in Race 4, Guys Bettor Bet in Race 5 and Another Swinger in Race 8. Wayne Yole, a former Hamilton Harness Racing Club President, is now the Harness Racing and Special Projects Coordinator for Racing Tasmania.   Cody Winnell for Trots media

One of world harness racing’s all-time greatest drivers Chris Alford will join RSN’s Matt Stewart for a one-hour special edition of Open Mic tomorrow from 9am. Alford is approaching 7000 career winners and is at the peak of his powers, over 100 winners clear this season on the national premiership with 268 victories from 1121 starts. The champion reinsman has driven 99 Group 1 winners and looks a huge chance to crack the century when Tell Me Tales lines up in Saturday night’s $100,000 Benstud Queen of the Pacific at Tabcorp Park Melton. Tune into RSN (927am or streamed at rsn.net.au) from 9am tomorrow as Stewart takes a trip down memory lane with the man they call “the Puppet”.   Cody Winnell

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager of Racing Stephen Bell today reaffirmed HRV's commitment to being "upfront and transparent with participants" regarding the national ratings based handicapping system, which the industry nationally has committed to from July 1. Mr Bell told HRV's Trots Media, "We need to get as much information out as possible about this exciting initiative that's going to hit Australia wide. It's really important for the trainers, owners and all the participants out there to know exactly what's happening with the new system when it comes out to play on the first of July."  HRV today released a document (view it here) explaining in detail the rationale behind the current ratings, which have been visible since May 1.   Cody Winnell  Trots Media

Thetrots.com.au's Trial File has returned from a hiatus with former Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) race caller and form expert Craig Rail now posting his extensive weekly trials' summary to deliver punters an edge! View the first edition of Craig Rail's Trial File here and check back each Friday morning for the latest edition. You can also follow Craig's Blackbookers, mentioned at the bottom of each Trial File article.   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) late last week circulated the final 2019-20 racing calendar to clubs. HRV General Manager – Racing Stephen Bell thanked clubs for their “proactive approach, willingness to change and their understanding when some wishes were just not feasible to deliver”. “During the process we received approximately 100 requests from the clubs with 85 per cent of those granted,” Mr Bell said. Key changes to the racing calendar for 2019-20 include:  Cranbourne – 14 Sunday race meetings to encourage participants to travel without the obstruction of midweek traffic issues (up from seven Sunday race meetings in 2018-19).  Geelong – 12 Wednesday night race meetings as the club’s preferred racing night (up from nine Wednesday night race meetings in 2018-19).  Kilmore – 15 Thursday night race meetings as the club’s preferred racing night (up from eight Thursday night race meetings in 2018-19).  Mildura – 13 Friday day race meetings to provide additional racing product during the late afternoon to early evening period on selected Fridays from mid-April to August.  Maryborough Gold Cup returns to a Sunday race meeting on October 20, 2019.  Cranbourne Gold Cup returns to a Christmas function race meeting on Saturday December 7, 2019.  Gunbower Pacing Cup moves to a Christmas function race meeting on Sunday December 8, 2019. “We believe we have constructed a fair and balanced calendar that will maximise wagering opportunities for the 2019-20 racing season. The introduction of the new handicapping system in the near future should assist in ensuring full fields and exciting racing throughout the season. There is a lot to look forward to,” Mr Bell said. “I would also like to thank Gary Bennetts for the amount of time and effort he puts into preparing the calendar. There are many variables that he must take into account, not just within our own industry but external factors out of his control such as other racing codes and Sky Racing requirements. “Gary’s attention to detail and determination for perfection is to be applauded.” Click here to view the 2019-20 Race Dates Calendar   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Harness Racing Victoria

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