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A much needed sprinkle of Stardust could be just what the doctor ordered for trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan, whose long road back from injury could be met with a timely pick-me-up. Illawong Stardust, the half-sister to Quinlan’s prodigiously talented but trying trotter Illawong Armstrong, produced an eye-catching 17-metre victory in today’s Tabcorp Park Melton trials, reaffirming the filly’s talent that it’s hoped will soon translate to the race track. “She seems to be pretty faultless, but she has to prove it on race day,” Quinlan said of Illawong Stardust, who has broken at both her starts, belying the good temperament she has shown at home to Quinlan and partner Craig Demmler. “Craig did all the work early days because I was hurt and liked her from day dot,” Quinlan said. “Being from that family, they all seem to do things wrong. At home she seems fairly faultless but at the track she has galloped both times.” She hasn’t raced since her April 3 sixth placing after a paddock fall led to a cut knee “and so we had to back off her”. Today’s Tabcorp Park trial of seven two-year-old trotters marked her track return and she couldn’t have been more impressive in cruising to the lead and dictating throughout, crossing the line 17 metres ahead of Brent Lilley’s Magical. The latter has had two starts, breaking on debut and then running second in her second start on April 3, the same race Illawong Stardust started favourite and broke. “For her trial she was only about 75 per cent but she went quite well,” Quinlan said. “She’s probably not trotting 100 per cent, but she is pretty good. Ability wise her performance (in the trial) didn’t surprise. If she has half the ability of her brother and more brains it will take her a long way.” If she pulls up well Quinlan will direct her to the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic for two-year-old trotting fillies at Maryborough next Thursday (May 9), which feeds into a $50,000 final at Melton on May 18. Strong performances would be a timely fillip for Quinlan, who’s still on the comeback trail from a horrific injury suffered when she was kicked in the side by a horse on Christmas Eve. Quinlan was left with a lacerated kidney, spine fractures and a long road to recovery. “I’ve been back to the doctor’s yesterday and am into hospital for a day on the 9th of May with a few pain-related issues,” she said. “I’m at the four months mark, I was hoping to be back, but because my internal organs have had so much trauma they are relating to me as a car crash victim. They’ve just said I’ve got to be patient. “I’m quite stiff and scratchy from the spinal challenges, but am getting around a hell of a lot better than what I was.” She has purposefully scaled back her operation from 23 horses to 10 and praised her owners, “who have all been so supportive. I’ve been very lucky”. And she has left the door open to returning to the sulky, driven mostly by the want to again guide her trotters to glory. “I like to think someday I will (drive again), especially to drive my trotters. At some stage I’d like to, but I’ve got to look at the big picture.” In the meantime she will continue to ride the bumps from the sidelines with owner Dr Martin Hartnett as both Illawong Stardust and her big troublesome brother Illawong Armstrong try to transform their potential into prize winnings. Quinlan said Illawong Armstrong, who hasn’t raced since December 29, would trial next week ahead of what looms as the seven-year-old’s final campaign. “It will be his last hurrah,” she said. “He’s getting to the end of his tether, but he is up and going and his next month will tell me what he has left. He has had fantastic ability, but not the brain span unfortunately.”   Michael Howard  for Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria was saddened to learn the passing of Denise Demmler last Saturday evening. Denise was the former wife of World Driving Champion Ted Demmler amid the halcyon days of their Carrum Downs stable from which several premierships were won.  During this era, they became the proud parents of both Craig Demmler and his older sister Tracey, also a successful driver in her own right during the 1990s. Denise had battled ill health for the past few years and our deepest condolences go to her extended family and friends at this sad time. Harness Racing Victoria

HOW fast can our two-year-olds go? The mind boggles after watching Shane Tritton’s latest buzz juvenile Divine State smashed the clock in last night’s $50,000 Group 2 Sapling Stakes (1609m) at Menangle. The son of former star Kiwi pacer Tintin In America worked his way to the lead and scorched a 1min51.6sec mile to thrash a strong field. He left the previously unbeaten Thisbeachrighthere, who trailed him, 12.8m away in second spot. The splits were 27.3, 29.1, 28.3 and 26.9sec and that was after and during the rain coming down. Divine State’s mile took 0.5sec off the previous Australasian 2YO mile race record held jointly by Lettucerockthem and Heavens Trend. “There was lots of talk about how good a few others were in the race, but I told everyone I’d be devastated if anything beat us because I know how good he is,” Tritton said. “I worked him the other day with Katy Perry, who is going well and very quick, and she couldn’t get near him.” Divine State is being set for next month’s Bathurst Gold Crown. THE intimidating shadow of Dream About Me looms large, but her stablemate A Piccadilly Princess could not be going better heading into next Saturday night’s Group 1 Ladyship Mile. Of all of A Piccadilly Princess’ big wins, her most impressive came in last night’s $50,000 Group 2 Robin Dundee Classic (1609m) at Menangle. That’s because she never stopped working and still thrashed a good field. A Piccadilly Princess was out three-wide for much of the first half, which the leader Millwood Liberty ran in a blistering 54.9sec. Purdon worked around to sit parked and never panicked before pushing the button and zooming away from her rivals at the top of the straight. They came at her late, but the win was awesome in a 1min51.5sec mile … and during driving rain. This Ladyship has plenty of depth with the A Piccadilly Princess and Dream About Me joined by the likes of Cyclone Kate, Frith and others. It will just another highlight on what promises to be a magical Miracle Mile night. FORMER Kiwi pacer My Kiwi Mate scored the most important win of his career in last Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Bendigo Cup (2650m). It’s not the biggest race he’s been in, but it marked his leap from exciting talent against his own age group to a serious open-class force. The previous week co-trainer and driver Jodi Quinlan tried to lead throughout on My Kiwi Mate in the Terang Cup, but was nabbed late by a rejuvenated Flaming Flutter. My Kiwi Mate and Quinlan turned the tables at Bendigo. This time it was Flaming Flutter who sat parked, raced to the lead, but was unable to hold-off My Kiwi Mate’s big finishing burst in a very sharp 1min56.2sec mile rate for the long 2650m trip. “Gee he deserved that one,” remarked co-trainer Craig Demmler after the win. My Kiwi Mate’s greatest asset is his sit-sprinting ability and, judging by Bendigo, it is going to take him a long way in his open-class career. The logical next step is the Cranbourne Cup on March 3. Flaming Flutter showed his Terang Cup was a genuine return to form by doing all the work and fighting on gamely for second at Bendigo. The disappointment was heavily-backed former topliner Guaranteed, who did some work at times, but faded late to finish 15m from the winner in sixth spot. A big plunge on former Kiwi pacer Messini ($41 into $7.50) went astray when he led, but was spent on the home turn and only beat one rival home. CLASSY Kiwi trotting mare Sunny Ruby is loving her time in Australia. And trainer Sam Smolenski’s decision to leave her in Victoria after a slashing third in the Great Southern Star paid immediate dividends with victory in the $50,000 Group 2 Maori Mile at Bendigo last Friday night. She’s raced here three times this trip for two wins, a third and earned $87,000. Sunny Ruby, now in the care of Sonya Smith and Anthony Butt, took advantage of hot favourite Glenferrie Typhoon’s enigmatic manners to win at Bendigo. Glenferrie Typhoon, winner of the Great Southern Star, was crunched from $1.90 into $1.50 and led, but never looked as though he was trotting comfortable. Driver Kate Gath nursed as long as she could in front, but he broke stride coming to the final bend and lost all chance. Anthony Butt drove with great poise and patience and Sunny Ruby did the rest, storming home to win without being extended by 2.3m in a slick 1min56.1sec mile. IT was a good ripping night at the office for the Greg and Skye Bond barn at Gloucester Park last Friday. They combined with stable driver Ryan Warwick to cause a minor upset in the $50,000 Group 2 Caduceus Club Classic (2130m) – a key WA Derby lead-up – with Rock Diamonds, a son of Rocknroll Hanover. In a driving finish, Rock Diamonds beat a gallant Maczaffair by a whisker in a 1min57.7sec mile rate. The disappointment was hot favourite Im Rockaria, who did plenty of work and sat parked, but tired late to beat only two rivals home. Team Bond also won the fast-class race, the $50,000 RWWA Cup (2536m) with classy former Kiwi pacer Our Jimmy Johnstone, who landed a big plunge ($3 into $2.40). The race was effectively over once Our Jimmy Johnstone found the lead and he cruised to 7.3m win over Bronze Seeker. The other buzz horse in the race was Im Full Of Excuses, but he just battled into fourth spot. Team Bond won four races on the night, the other two coming with Bettor Offer in race five and Our Regal Ideal in the eighth event. LOST in the wash-up of another huge weekend was yet another win by the remarkable old fella Destreos. The Ken Rattray-trained former Kiwi pacer lifted after looking beaten numerous times to post his 92nd career win – from a staggering 419 starts – at Albion Park last Tuesday. And he led throughout for driver Kelli Dawson to pace a slick 1min53.3sec mile rate for 1660m as well. Destreos is nicknamed “King of the Creek” because his amazing record at Queensland’s harness home, Albion Park. He raced there 306 times for 69 wins. COULD Clover Mac be the new K D Muscles? Just as K D Muscles struggled for wins in NZ and thrived when she came to Andy and Kate Gath’s Aussie barn, Clover Mac has started the same way. Clover Mac ran second at her first Aussie run, but has since won three on end. It was the seven-year-old’s latest win at Melton last night (Saturdau) which looked most exciting. Kate Gath extricated her from a pocket before the home bend and once in daylight she exploded past the leaders to win running away by 8.2m in a slick 2min0.2sec mile rate for the 2240m standing start. She left classy trotters like Conon Bridge and My Tribeca standing. Adam Hamilton

Craig Demmler hopes My Kiwi Mate's days as a bridesmaid are over. The five-year-old son of Bettors Delight is blessed with ability. We've seen it in his 10 wins since joining the Demmler camp and in many of his top-level placings in the Queensland Flying Stakes, Qld Derby and the Breeders Crown Final at three. But Demmler wants those placings, many of which were eye-catching and sensational runs, to turn into Ws. "He's always been the bridesmaid, which you do get a little bit disappointed about," Demmler told Gait Speed on RSN today. "(Last start) we were just hoping the speed was on but unfortunately it wasn't, or it was early and then they backed it off, it was always going to make it very hard for him." On Sunday at Horsham in the $70,000 Horsham Pacing Cup (Group 2) My Kiwi Mate steps up to the stayer's distance, 2700 metres, to contest a leg of the 2016-17 Own the Moment Trots Country Cups Championship. "We know he can run the distance ... I know it's going to be a great field and they're seasoned horses, my horse isn't at this stage, but hopefully if he gets the right run he'll be thereabouts on Sunday," Demmler said. "I know when I worked with Dad (Ted Demmler) and he had Breenys Fella he always used to say to me if you travel them around the countryside ... even when you see Darren Weir talk on, you can see with those sort of guys they say if you do travel them it can really make them into good horses. "This is why I've done that. I've always backed the horse. He's just one of those horses who seems to get better and better when you take him away and I found that in Queensland. That's why I decided to go to New Zealand. I'm just hoping each time he has a bit of a break he does get better." Hear the full interview with Craig Demmler on the Gait Speed podcast   Cody Winnell

The rise of exciting four-year-old My Kiwi Mate continued at Tabcorp Park Melton last night when the Craig Demmler-trained gelding captured the harness racing Decron Winter Championship Final. Working hard to find the front for the first 600m of the 1720m contest, long odds-on favourite My Kiwi Mate eventually arrested the lead off plucky polemarker The Dapper Don. Tonight’s 7.1secs lead time was 0.2secs above average and the first quarter of the final mile was a sharp 28secs, followed by a 29.4secs second split. My Kiwi Mate’s last half-mile was trekked in 55.4secs (28.4secs and 27secs) and his winning mile rate was 1:52.2 (1.4secs off Cold Major’s track record). The victory was the first leg of a winning double for Parwan reinswoman Jodi Quinlan, who later guided Lucky Lombo home in the Ride the Redwood Rattler Pace for trainer Graham McDermott. My Kiwi Mate’s first place cheque of $20,048 took his stake earnings in excess of $213,000 and, given the quality of Victoria’s four-year-old ranks – highlighted in the recent Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series by Ideal For Real, Tee Cee Bee Macray and Menin Gate, some ripping clashes await. The Group 2 male four-year-old Breeders Crown Championship on Super Sunday August 28 could be a marketer’s dream should the stars align. Meanwhile, the second placegetter behind My Kiwi Mate last night, The Dapper Don, looks a good thing in an M0 in the not-too-distant future. Irymple trainer Boris Devcic quite simply has this four-year-old Julius Caesar gelding flying and to get within a half-neck of a proven Group 1 performer in 1:52.2 – and with momentum up at the line – punters will be queuing up to back him if he lobs a good draw in a similar class race next time. Third placegetter Pepe Bromac from the Isabelle Walsh camp chased hard for third while Macha did all the work from his back-row draw and was only beaten 11.8m in fourth. VIDEO: Re-live My Kiwi Mate taking out the Decron Winter Championship Final  Cody Winnell

Australia's sole Jewels representative My Kiwi Mate is a $7 chance to win the four-year-old Emerald at Cambridge Raceway on Saturday. The Craig Demmler-trained son of Bettors Delight warmed up for his grand final with an easy victory at Alexandra Park last Friday, outstaying his rivals with driver Tony Herlihy in the cart. “Our horse will probably have to go forward early but if he can get handy I am pretty sure Titan Banner will come and put some pressure on. So if we can be sitting with cover on a really hot speed, that is what will suit him best,” Demmler said. Field Marshall is a commanding $1.80 favourite with for the Emerald. The annual Jewels Day sees horses race for $1.2 million in prizemoney. has fixed odds markets available for all the finals and Sky Racing will show the first seven races on Jewels Day on Sky 1. Trots Media

The man with the sole responsibility of flying the Australian flag at the Harness Jewels says he hopes the four-year-old Emerald becomes a war.   Because that will be My Kiwi Mate’s best chance of winning. The Victorian pacer warmed up for next Saturday with an easy win from in front at Alexandra Park on Friday night, outstaying his rivals in the hands of Tony Herlihy. It was his first start for a month and followed on from his second to Field Marshal in the Messenger on April 29, with an impressive workout win in between. All of that points to him being a good chance on Saturday but trainer Crag Demmler knows his middle of the front line barrier looks less than ideal, especially with Field Marshal drawn the ace.  “But I think it might work out all right,” says Demmler.  “Our horse will probably have to go forward early but if he can get handy I am pretty sure Titan Banner will come and put some pressure on.  “So if we can be sitting in with cover on a really hot speed, that is what will suit him best.  “Even though he won tonight and went well, he is definitely better coming from off a hot speed as he tends to lose concentration and wait for them when he leads.”
  The win was the first for Demmler’s colours as a trainer at Alexandra Park but punters with a good memory could be excused for thinking it wasn’t. Demmler actually drove Breeny’s Fella, trained by his father Ted, to win a free-for-all at Alexandra Park back in 2000. “My colours are almost identical to Dad’s, but this is the first winner I have trained here.  “It is simply that hard to get a horse good enough to come across here but now we have one I am looking forward to the big day.” My Kiwi Mate was the best of several good Jewels trials on the night, with Democrat Party a slightly luckless third just in behind him while earlier Donegal Bettorgretch, Miss Daisy, Motown and On The Town all suggested they are close to their peaks leading into the $1.2million day. One horse who won’t be heading to the Jewels but provided one of the feel good stories of the night was Foray, who came from near last to win a rare fast grade 1700m mobile trot. The Manawatu trotter was having his second start back for co-owner Matt Hickey after returning from Australia and an earlier spell with Paul Nairn. He stormed home to down Realmein and The Almighty Johnson, the latter producing a fine Jewels trial although he faces a tough second line draw against Monbet. Michael Guerin

My Kiwi Mate’s second in the Messenger Pace on Friday has earned him a shot at an even richer target. The Victorian-trained pacer has won the Australian invite to the $150,000 male four-year-old division of the Harness Jewels at Cambridge on June 4. Trainer Craig Demmler has accepted the invite from Harness Racing New Zealand and My Kiwi Mate will now remain in New Zealand, stabled with Barry Purdon until the giant group one day. My Kiwi Mate joins Arms Of An Angel and Heza Bromac as confirmed Australian invites for the Jewels and can be expected to open second favourite behind Field Marshal for his division when that market is released this week. The rangy gelding was formerly trained in New Zealand by Brian Hughes but was sold to clients of the Demmler stable as a late three-year-old, going on to finish second in the Queensland Derby. He has had a limited four-year-old campaign and was a strong fifth after sitting parked in the Taylor Mile two starts ago. He then came from well back to finish second to Field Marshal in the Messenger on Friday. Most importantly he has show good gate speed in some of his Australian races so with a good draw could be a major threat around Cambridge. Harness Racing New Zealand has been looking very strongly at the recent three and four-year-old trotting races in Australia, with the potential for invites in those divisions this week. Courtesy of Michael Guerin

The HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today released its decision with respect to charges issued by Harness Racing Victoria Stewards against licensed trainer Mr Craig Demmler. Mr Demmler pleaded guilty to having presented the horse Christian Torado to race at Cranbourne on 19 October 2014 whilst not free of the prohibited substance cobalt.  Taking into account Mr Demmler having already served a period of two months suspension in relation to this matter, the HRV RAD Board imposed a further 12 month disqualification to commence midnight 27 March 2016.  Mr Demmler was also fined $250 after pleading guilty to a charge relating to his failure to maintain a log book. The HRV RAD Board decision can be viewed here:  

Victorian harness racing horseman Craig Demmler has returned to Queensland. It’s been some time since he last ventured to the sunshine state, in fact, when quizzed about his most recent visit north the astute trainer wasn’t entirely sure. “I’m guessing it’s been awhile, probably back with Breenys Fella during the 2001 Inter Dominion series.” Demmler quipped. The Demmler name is no stranger to success in Brisbane, Craig’s father Ted was a regular visitor during his halcyon days. In fact, many would recall the stirring 1991 Queensland Derby battle between the Demmler stablemates Bowral Boy and Impressionist who hit the line together while their rivals with a minute behind. Almost a quarter of century later, the Demmler name is back in Brisbane with an exciting three-year-old chasing Derby success. On Saturday night, My Kiwi Mate starts in the Gr.1 $100,000 Nursery Flying Stakes, a lead-up to the Queensland Derby scheduled for July 18. “He’s a high quality pacer that we paid good money for and the Queensland winter carnival has been on the radar for him since we purchased him earlier this season." "This carnival offers great prizemoney and great options so we’re happy to be here,” Demmler said. “The horse arrived on Wednesday and he’s settled in really well, we’ve got him based with Chris Petroff at Redcliffe and he’s eating and drinking very well." "I couldn’t be happier with the way he's adapted to new surroundings." “In the short time he’s been in our care he’s matched and beat some very good horses including the likes of Menin Gate (Victoria Derby winner) and others." "We’re here to tackle this race on Saturday night plus the Gold Coast and Queensland Derby’s.” The Bettors Delight gelding must overcome a second-line draw in the 1660m sprint feature while many of his main dangers have drawn favourably off the front. My Kiwi Mate starts from gate 10. “We’re reliant of a genuine speed being set in this race and there’s every chance that will occur, normally in the sprint features they go very hard which will suit us down to the ground." “He follows speed very well, that’s his best weapon and he’ll show that given the right conditions." "He’s going to the spelling straight after this campaign so we’ll leave nothing in reserve with him.” Star horseperson Jodi Quinlan takes the drive on Saturday night. Chris Barsby

The victory of My Kiwi Mate in the harness racing Holloway Classic at Ballarat last week proved two important things. Firstly, he proved he can match it with the best of his age group after taking down last start Victoria Derby winner Menin Gate in a scintillating time of 1;53.7. And secondly, he underlined the faith that his connections have in him after purchasing the Bettors Delight – Classic Nymph gelding earlier this year. Purchased by John Fitzgerald and placed in the care of Craig Demmler and Jodi Quinlan, My Kiwi Mate shapes nicely following three impressive starts on Australian soil to date. My Kiwi Mate scored impressively first-up at Kilmore on April 29 before running an encouraging third behind Jewels qualified pacers Follow The Stars and Burnaholeinmypocket in the Reg Withers Classic at Kilmore. His victory last Friday came as no surprise to his connections. “We think a fair bit of this horse and we weren’t shocked that he was able to run down a horse like Menin Gate. We think he can match it with most three-year-olds going around at the moment and we’ll give him his chance to prove that.” Demmler said. Connections are now looking at winter carnival campaign in Queensland during the month of July. Sunshine state targets include the Gr.1 $100,000 Nursery Fly on July4, the Gr.3 $40,000 Gold Coast Derby on July 11 and the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby on July 18. All feature events will be staged at Albion Park. “He deserves his chance to head north and tackle those feature races and the carnival looks really good with great prizemoney on offer so we’re keen to head up and take our shot. “We’ve got to make sure he holds his form and stays healthy, he will have another run or two down here and then we will make the trip. He keeps improving all the time and his form proves that, he’s a talented type and he proved that as soon as he entered our stable. “I’m sure the Brisbane features will attract plenty of likely types but I’m confident our guy will measure up with the best of them. It won’t be easy with that sort of prizemoney up for grabs but I’m looking forward to the challenge while keen to take in some warmer weather.” My Kiwi Mate was formerly prepared by Brian ‘Bunty’ Hughes in Auckland. by Chris Barsby

Jodi Quinlan produced a stellar drive and My Kiwi Mate did his bit with a scintillating run to take out the Colin and Heather Holloway 3YO Classic tonight Friday 22nd of May at Bray Raceway, Ballarat. The Craig Demmler-trained former New Zealand pacer went within 0.6 seconds of the track record held by Smoken Up and Abettorpunt over the mile, the three-year-old's winning time a brilliant 1:53.7. The tempo was breakneck early, Show Me The Bling challenging Jilliby Royal hard for the front and eventually finding it. But the early burn would prove detrimental to both the pacesetters, a 26.8secs first quarter setting things up for the backmarkers. The leader was able to ease the pace between the 1200-800m, clocking 30.6secs for the second split before the foot went down again up the back stretch (28.4secs third quarter). Victoria Derby winner and race favourite Menin Gate stalked the leaders before running to the front at the 600m for driver Chris Alford. Padrisimo and Kate Gath looked a chance off the back, looming up on the outside of Menin Gate and working into second before the fresh horse on the scene, My Kiwi Mate, peeled around three-wide to stake his claim. In the straight My Kiwi Mate chased down Menin Gate, the son of Bettors Delight/Classic Nymph sprinting home in 27.9secs to win by a short half-head. Jilliby Royal lifted himself off the canvas to run third, beaten 6m, a valiant performance, while filly Morton Plains hit the line hard for fourth and Padrisimo was close-up behind her in fifth. Show Me The Bling weakened out of the money to run sixth while Mister Wickham wasn’t himself and came in tailed off. Double for Team Tubbs Father/daughter team Alan and Amy Tubbs combined for a winning double at Ballarat. Impressive three-year-old Million Dollar Cam/Im Making Waves gelding Milliondollar Wave took out the Active Electrical Collingwood & Morwell Pace over 2200m in 1:58.1, holding off Starzzz Of Icon and Gavin Lang by 6.5m with a 21m margin back to Thanknbonnie in third. Team Tubbs backed it up in Race 7, the Nextra Wendouree Newsagency Pace over 1710m, four-year-old Artistic Fella/Marilyn Macray gelding Macterra Lad explosive in the straight to take the prize. From the wide alley Amy Tubbs took the gelding back to last early. Turning for home Macterra Lad was eased to the outside and once he hit top gear there was no stopping him, the $2.70 race second-favourite overpowering Citysneak (Glen Craven) and Hes Just Rusty (Kate Gath) for a head win in 1:57.4 (last quarter 28.2secs). Other winners were Lifes Tough (So Thats Life / Illawong Lily) for Brooke Sadler in the Active Electrical Bendigo & Moorabbin Pace Final in a rate of 1:57.4, Yeah Right (Whatagain / Belles N Roses) for Laura Crossland and David Moran in the Active Electrical Thomastown & Bayswater Claiming Pace in 1:58.8 over 2200m, Paris Pepperell (Armbro Variable / Pepperell Mistal) for David Van Ryn and Haydon Gray in the Gullock Plumbing Trot over 2200m in a rate of 2:02.2, Keayang Starzzz (Four Starzzz Shark / Sayaka) in the 2200m Active Electrical Distributors Pace in 2:01.2 for Marg Lee and Jason Lee, Jilliby Jagger (Grinfromeartoear / Jilliby Ruby) for Glen Craven in the P.F.D. Food Services Pace over 2200m in 1:57.9, and Vapar Grin (Grinfromeartoear / Armbro Affair) in the Active Electrical Geelong & Shepparton Pace over 1710m in 1:56.1 for Ashleigh Herbertson and Matthew Craven. VIDEO: Re-live the 2015 Colin and Heather Holloway 3YO Classic by Cody Winnell

On 6 May 2015, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard the application for review of Mr Craig Demmler regarding the decision made by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on 18 March 2015 to affirm the decision of the HRV Stewards made on 13 March 2015 to suspend the training and driving licences of Mr Demmler. The original decision being made pending the outcome of an investigation into an analytical report that one of Mr Demmler’s horses returned an elevated raceday cobalt level that was in excess of the relevant threshold permitted by the rules.  VCAT heard evidence from Dr Richard Cust and also heard submissions from the legal representative of Mr Demmler and the legal representative of the HRV Stewards. VCAT has now released its decision and ordered that the decision of the HRV RAD Board regarding the suspension of Mr Demmler’s licences be set aside, meaning that Mr Demmler’s licences are reinstated and that he is therefore able to undertake activities in accordance with his licences. - HRV Media

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) today heard an application of Mr Craig Demmler for a stay of proceedings regarding a decision made by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on 18 March 2015. The decision of the RAD Board was to affirm the 13 March 2015 decision of the HRV Stewards to suspend the training and driving licences of Mr Demmler pending the outcome of an investigation into an analytical report that one of Mr Demmler’s horses returned an elevated raceday cobalt level that was in excess of the relevant threshold permitted by the rules. After hearing submissions from the legal representatives of Mr Demmler and the HRV Stewards, VCAT dismissed Mr Demmler’s application for a stay of proceedings, resulting in Mr Demmler’s licences remaining suspended. The VCAT determined it was only hearing the stay application at this stage and such suspension would remain in place until such time as a further VCAT review hearing (regarding the RAD Board decision) was held on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

Craig Demmler’s appeal against Harness Racing Victoria stewards’ decision to suspend his trainer and driver’s licences has been dismissed by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board. The decision was made by HRV stewards under the provisions of Australian Rule of Harness Racing 183.  The suspension was imposed pending the outcome of an investigation into an analytical report that one of Demmler’s horses had returned an elevated raceday cobalt level that was in excess of the relevant threshold permitted by the rules. At the hearing, the HRV RAD Board heard submissions on behalf of HRV Stewards and Demmler.  The HRV RAD Board also heard from Dr Richard Cust regarding the nature of the substance cobalt. The HRV RAD Board noted they were required to decide whether the decision of the HRV stewards was justified in all of the circumstances, and after considering all of the matters before it, ordered the stewards’ actions were justified. The HRV RAD Board accordingly dismissed Demmler’s appeal and the restrictions imposed upon Demmler remain in place. HRV Media

Harness Racing Victoria stewards, acting under the provisions of Australian Rule of Harness Racing 183, has suspended Craig Demmler’s trainer’s and drivers’ licences. Stipes based their decision after the analysis of a raceday sample collected from a horse prepared by Demmler. The Chemistry Centre in Western Australia, and the National Measurement Institute in New South Wales, reported the sample contained cobalt at a concentration in excess of the permissible threshold, which sits at 200 micrograms per litre in urine. Demmler has appealed the stewards’ decision to suspend his licences. The appeal will be heard by the independent HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on Wednesday. HRV stewards will continue their investigations into the reported cobalt irregularity. Earlier today, Harness Racing SA stewards suspended local horseman Mick Micallef. This action was taken after receiving advice from the Chem Centre, Western Australia that cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from Glenthorne followings its win at Mount Gambier on November 30, 2014. The “B” sample has been confirmed by the National Measurement Institute, New South Wales. Micallef was given an opportunity to be heard on the imposition of Rule 183, but elected not to provide a submissions No date has been set for the inquiry. PAUL COURTS

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