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Australia's harness racing spotlight moves to an historic Cranbourne Cup meeting tomorrow (Friday) night. After the $150,000 Cranbourne Cup for thoroughbreds was postponed because of crazy winds back in Spring, the club opted to reschedule it for a bumper dual-codes Cup meeting this week. So the galloping Cup will share the limelight with the $70,000 Group 1 Cranbourne Gold Cup of harness. It’s a truly exciting smorgasboard for fans of both codes. On the harness front, the Gold Cup has attracted a strong field headed by in-form recent country cup winners Flaming Flutter and My Kiwi Mate. They clash for the third time in as many meetings with Flaming Flutter overpowering My Kiwi Mate in the Terang Cup on February 11 then My Kiwi Marte turning the tables and relegating Flaming Flutter to second spot in the Bendigo Cup six days later. Flaming Flutter has the best of the draws in gate three and is a $2.40 favourite on the Aussie TAB, while My Kiwi Mate is $4.20 from gate 11. The other key player is noted frontrunner Maximan, who upstaged Have Faith In Me at Melton last month. He’s a $4 shot and big threat if he can lead from gate four. The other highlight of the harness card is the Group 1 Knight Pistol where Kiwi trotting mare Sunny Ruby is $2.30 favourite to win again despite drawing the outside (gate seven). Sunny Ruby, in the care of Sonya Smith and Anthony Butt, has thrived during her Aussie campaign which has netted three wins and a third from just four starts along with $98,400 in stakemoney. Another big watch runner at Cranbourne is David Aiken’s two-year-old first starter Higherthananeagle in the Sapling Stakes (race four). The colt is a brother to Fly Like An Eagle (19 wins, $699,419), Mach Doro (14 wins, $146,086) and Three Squared (two wins, $62,045), who looked exciting before having to be put down. Higherthananeagle blazed a 1min56.8sec mile rate, including a 56.2sec half, winning a Shepparton trial by a big space last Thursday. “He’s a real natural and exciting. He went a lot quicker than we planned in the trial, but it doesn’t seemed to have taken anything out of him,” Aiken said. “We’ve got Beltane in the race as well and we think he’ll develop nicely as the season goes on, but Higherthananeagle is the pick of them at the moment. We think he’ll be very hard to beat.” Adam Hamilton

Cranbourne is the 2016 Victorian Country Club of the Year. Announced during the Country Clubs section of Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV’s) annual Gordon Rothacker Medal awards last night at Crown Palladium, Cranbourne’s committee was on hand to accept the gong. “We’ve got a marvellous group of volunteers and a fabulous committee to help us run the club and we’ve also got a very professional CEO in Neil Bainbridge,” Cranbourne president Duncan McPherson said. “We’re lucky we benefit with the multi-use of the venue with two other racing codes.” Mr McPherson said working alongside such passionate people was great fun. “These guys are a very good crew. They’re very professional, great fun, super fellowship and for all of us we just really enjoy it,” he said. Cranbourne was awarded the Club of the Year trophy for its efforts to bolster engagement and participation in the region through a strategic direction. The club’s training centre is also stronger than ever, while the club has thrown its weight behind the important area of ownership promotion by making syndication as easy and affordable as possible. Cranbourne also hosted a variety of race nights to introduce new people to the trots, including an 'aging positively' night and a 'girls’ night out'. The club also undertook a brand transformation to become known as Trots Cranbourne. Warragul picked up two awards, Best Country Cup Meeting and Best Local Traditional Media. The Warragul Cup meeting in 2015-16 saw attendance doubled on the season prior, while on-course wagering was also up. The club was praised for its significant pre-promotion of the event and for offering a range of family activities including free children’s rides and live music. Warragul’s efforts to engage with local media were driven by Kyle Galley, whose passion for the trots is unwavering. Galley’s perseverance saw thousands of words celebrating the Warragul trots spread throughout eastern Victoria, including publication in the Warragul and Drouin Gazette, Pakenham Gazette, West Gippsland Trader and Latrobe Valley Express, as well as the Melbourne Observer and Harness Racing Weekly. “I’m very proud to be able to accept this award,” Mr Galley said. “It is still a buzz to open the local paper and see my work after many years.” The Geelong club picked up the Best Local Media Digital award for its performance on social media and its website, promoting its offerings and the industry to Geelong and surrounding communities. Outgoing Mildura boss Mark Kemp picked up the Frank Ryan Memorial Secretary of the Year honour for the fourth time. Mr Kemp has overseen the growth of the Mildura Cup carnival, which continues to go from strength to strength each year. The 2016 Mildura Cup saw wagering up 23 per cent and attendance up 27 per cent. Mr Kemp will end his 22-year association with Mildura this December. The trophy for Club of the Year (16 meetings or less) went to Stawell, which, under the guidance of Lisa McIlvride and Peter Sanderson, continues to progress. The club continued to grow its newest race-day event, Australia day, in 2016 and undertook major upgrades to its trackside venue, including the bistro and dining room to help increase revenue on both race-days and non-racing days. “It was a huge year for us at Stawell … I’d like to thank our president and committee, my husband for putting up with me, and all the volunteers,” Ms McIlvride said. “I’d also like to thank all those backing up tomorrow and racing at Stawell.” Horsham took the honours in Secretary of the Year (16 meetings or less) with Jo Cross acknowledged for her tireless and ongoing commitment. The Yarra Valley club captured the award for Best Presented Track/Venue, while Shepparton’s Super Heroes Day Out won Best On-Course Promotion for the season and Kyabram was named Graduation Club & Secretary of the Year. Meanwhile, Mavis Collison was acknowledged for years of voluntary service to the Bendigo club, presented with the AVCHRC Volunteer Service Award.  For over 25 years Mrs Collison has volunteered at Bendigo and is known as the face of the club to many owners, trainers and drivers. Overseeing management of the supper room, Mrs Collison said she was driven by her passion for the industry. "I don’t do it for thanks or anything else, I do it because I love it," she said. “Making people happy to have sandwiches, cake and a cup of tea, that's the main thing." The Collison family is well-known among Bendigo trots with Mavis's husband, Ivan, also a volunteer trial steward. And Mildura's Barry Bottams was awarded the Distiguished Service Medal for a long involvement in the industry across various roles. “This is very exciting and unexpected," Mr Bottams said. "Thanks very much to the selectors." Mr Bottams has been involved hands-on with the horses and also behind the scenes working for the club. He said he enjoyed all roles in the industry. "I think both working horses and flying the flag for club have been a thrill. I get a thrill for winning but also from the club being successful," he said.  COUNTRY CLUB AWARDS 2016 Graduation Club & Secretary of the Year: Kyabram Best On-Course Promotion: Shepparton’s Super Heroes Day Out Best Presented Track/Venue: Yarra Valley Best Local Media Traditional: Warragul Best Local Media Digital: Geelong Secretary of the Year (16 meetings or less): Jo Cross (Horsham) Club of the Year (16 meetings or less): Stawell Frank Ryan Memorial Secretary of the Year: Mark Kemp (Mildura) Club of the Year: Cranbourne Best Country Cup Meeting: Warragul Distinguished Service Award: Barry Bottams AVCHRC Volunteer Award: Mavis Collison Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness racing trainer Emma Stewart picked up another feature race trophy tonight at Cranbourne as Yankee Rockstar took out the Group 1 Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup. With Gavin Lang in the sulky, five-year-old Yankee Rockstar (Rocknroll Hanover/Aston Villa) held off a fast-finishing Im Corzin Terror and a bold Messini in a thrilling finish to the 2555m race. From the extreme draw on the back row Yankee Rockstar worked around three-wide mid-race to park outside Messini, who had to work to get around initial leader Im Corzin Terror. Once they found their formation the big three (that trio clear favourites in betting) dictated the race through early splits of 31 and 32.2. It was on down the back though, Gavin Lang aboard Yankee Rockstar declaring it ‘go time’ and setting out after Messini (Chris Alford), while Im Corzin Terror (Nathan Jack) awaited his chance behind them. Im Corzin Terror paced roughly at one stage, which would prove costly as he stormed along the sprint lane making up many lengths in the stretch. Messini led into the lane but Yankee Rockstar steadily wore him down, Im Corzin Terror poking through late to grab second, with Young Modern fourth and not far away. Yankee Rockstar’s win was his 21st from 30 career starts. This season he has won a Stawell Pacing Cup in record time, two races at Melton, finished fourth in the Hunter Cup, third in the Shepparton Cup and now taken out the Cranbourne Cup. After the race the owners of Yankee Rockstar mentioned the Kilmore Pacing Cup (March 19) as a potential next target race. It was another great night for the Stewart stable, finishing with four winners: Goodtime Mike, Presidentialsecret, Yankee Rockstar and Our Little General.  by Cody Winnell

If you have ever thought about owning a racehorse but shied away fearing exorbitant costs, here’s an affordable opportunity to delve into the excitement of harness racing ownership. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) through its Raceapacer ownership program and the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club have introduced an exciting new syndicate to race a well-bred pacer to be trained by up-and-coming trainer Michael Hughes at the acclaimed Cranbourne Training Centre. A 5% share in the syndicate will cost just $425, and you don’t have to take up the 5% on your own, you could elect to split it among friends or colleagues to make it even more affordable. The syndicate will race a beautifully All-American bred filly, by Mister Big out of Out Of Sight. The striking brown filly is a half-sister to five winners, including supremely talented Vista Bella, who won the 2007 Youthful Stakes at Moonee Valley and the 2008 Group 3 Bathurst Gold Bracelet, and placed second in the Group 1 Victoria Oaks in 2008, third in the Group 1 Bathurst Gold Tiara in 2007 and fourth in the 2008 Group 1 New South Wales Oaks. “Thanks everybody for the wishes, this is what horse ownership in the trots is all about, fun with great people #LivingTheDream” tweeted Darren Carroll after one of his horses won at the weekend. Another who owns the moment at the trots is AFL star Josh Jenkins. The Adelaide Crows gun has a share in several horses with trainer Michael Stanley and is a regular at trots meets in Victoria. “It’s great fun owning horses with mates. We have a group text and following the horse’s races keeps us all close,” Jenkins said. “The sport endears itself to me because of the workmanlike nature of the people involved. It is grassroots racing and I love seeing country towns hosting trots meetings.” If you’re interested in finding out more about the new Cranbourne syndicate get along to Decron Cranbourne Cup Night. If you register your interest via details below, you will even get into Cup Night for free! A Q&A with HRV Ownership Manager Tori Glenister and HRV General Manager – Operations Vaughn Lynch will be held on Cranbourne Cup Night. A product disclosure statement will also be available for all. Register your interest in the Cranbourne Raceapacer syndicate and secure a free ticket to Decron Cranbourne Cup Night by phoning 03 5996 1300.  Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Cranbourne harness racing trainer and veterinarian Dr Hugh Cathels has embarked on an ambitious plan to race the North American trotting filly Waiting Room from his base at the Cranbourne Training Complex in the coming months. Cathels has long harboured a desire to turn his hand to the trotting gait after achieving success with the prominent pacers Garnet River, Gemfire and Astronaut in recent years. Never one to do things by halves, Cathels hatched a plan some time ago to purchase a well-bred, well-performed USA filly and realised that dream when he secured the three-year-old daughter of Credit Winner at last week’s Harrisburg mixed sales. The winner of over $78,000US to date, Waiting Room has taken a lifetime mark of 1:56:1 and has recorded wins in a heat of the Kindergarten Series at two and legs of the Excelsior Series at both two and three years of age.  Waiting Room is the oldest progeny of the race winning 1:56:4 mare Wedding Dress who accumulated over $100,000US on the track. Understandably Cathels is excited at the prospect of getting his purchase downunder. “My daughter Holly actually flew to Harrisburg and settled on Waiting Room after inspecting a dozen or so fillies that we had picked out from the sale catalogue. I couldn’t get away at this time of year but Holly says she is a lovely big filly with a wonderful temperament.  Hopefully we have got the right horse,” Cathels said. “She was just below the A-graders this season and only managed one win but was placed in five New York Sires Stakes heats before being unplaced in the final." Waiting Room will begin a one-month quarantine period in mid-December before flying out to Australia in January. In the meantime Cathels intends racing the mare from the Noel Daly barn hoping to pick up another three-year-old win before the end of the North American season. “It would be tremendous to pick up another win or two before she flies out to help with the transport costs of getting her home. She is in full work and won a trial last week so we’d be silly not to keep her going. My understanding is that even if she was to win another two before leaving Waiting Room will arrive as a four-year-old T0 mare and so there should be plenty of scope to win a race or two with her here.” When pressed on his plans for the filly Cathels explained: “We will see how she acclimatises before deciding on a programme for her." Hugh and Holly, who combine their training duties with a busy equine veterinarian practice, also have high hopes for a current two-year-old colt by Mach Three from Gemfire and a two-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere from Penultimate who should return to their Cranbourne stable in the coming weeks. by David Scott Harness Racing Victoria

Who needs the little white wedding chapel when the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club is offering up its committee room on a Saturday night? Guests for Wayne Thornton’s 60th birthday bash at the weekend had a night at the trots like no other, eventually finding out the shindig was actually to be his wedding to fiancée Monika. “The staff were amazing. They kept it a secret because it was to be a surprise. I can’t speak highly enough of everyone involved at the club,” Wayne said. The happy couple had planned the night for about three months, even securing the services of celebrity celebrant Greg Evans – famous for hosting TV show Perfect Match. “My wife said, ‘If we’re going to get married we should get Greg’,” Wayne explained. “He was so much fun – very laidback, which was just what we were after.” The idea came about after Wayne’s sons bought him a mobile barrier ride at the club via a Red Balloon promotion. “I’ve always been a racing fan in general,” Wayne said. “The mobile barrier ride was great. The club actually gave us a couple more, so my son and son-in-law both got a go. I couldn’t believe how the horses nudged the gate at the start. The starter was terrific explaining things and the driver was fantastic, too.” Wayne said his guests were shocked when it came time for the ceremony. “A few of the girls said they thought they knew it but everyone was yelling and screaming. “We’ll definitely be coming back to the trots. “It’s a great place since they’ve done it up. It was just superb. Even the bar staff, I can’t thank the club enough.” Want to ride in the Hot Seat at the trots? CODY WINNELL

The hard working staff and students of the Gippsland Harness Racing Training Centre were rewarded for their efforts with not one, but two winners at last Sunday night's Cranbourne meeting. Mystic Castle, driven by Jodi Quinlan, appreciated a good barrier draw in winning the third race. Just over half an hour later, the celebrations went into overdrive when Break A Wrist, with Lisa Miles in the sulky, claimed a narrow victory in the fourth event. Mystic Castle and Break A Wrist both collected their first wins in the process, and it was the first double for the Centre, and for horse trainer and Centre co-ordinator Jenni Lewis. The Gippsland Harness Training Centre is administered by Community College Gippsland and the Warragul and District Light Harness Club, and operates from facilities at the Warragul harness race track. Established in 1997, the Centre is currently overseeing a record enrolment of students who learn all aspects of the training and education of horses in a racing stable environment.   Longwarry pacer Ymbro Toto was another local winner on the program for trainer Lee Evison.   The horse was also driven by Jodi Quinlan, one of four winning drives for Jodi at the meeting.   Kyle Galley

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr George Schembri. The charges arose from an incident that occurred at the Cranbourne harness meeting on Tuesday 21 July 2015. After considering evidence from Mr Schembri and witness statements, Mr Schembri pleaded guilty to a charge under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 213(a) which reads: A person shall not:- (a) by use of harness, gear, equipment, device, substance or any other thing inflict suffering on a horse The particulars of the charge being that at the Cranbourne harness meeting on 21 July 2015, that in the stabling area after the completion of Race 6, Mr Schembri kicked the horse This Is Your Life in the abdomen or barrel region. Mr Schembri also pleaded guilty to a charge under ARHR 243 which reads: A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry. The particulars of the charge being that Mr Schembri’s conduct in kicking the horse This Is Your Life, was behavior and an action considered to be detrimental to the harness racing industry. After considering submissions regarding penalty from HRV Stewards and Mr Lance Justice, representative for Mr Schembri, the HRV RAD Board imposed a penalty in totality of a suspension of Mr Schembri’s trainers and drivers licence for a period of 3 months to commence midnight 15 August 2015 and a fine of $1000. In imposing this penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Schembris’ previous offence record in relation to conduct matters, the financial impact of the penalties imposed against Mr Schembri in view of his personal circumstances, as well as the need to protect the integrity of the harness racing industry, whilst ensuring a penalty for such actions provided a specific and general deterrent. HRV RAD Board Panel - Brian Collis QC, Paul Connolly

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr William Kucks. The charges arose from an incident that occurred at the Cranbourne trials on Saturday 18 April 2015. After considering evidence from Mr Kucks and witness statements, Mr Kucks was found guilty of a charge under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 213(a) which reads: A person shall not:- (a) by use of harness, gear, equipment, device, substance or anyother thing inflict suffering on a horse The particulars of the charge being that Mr Kucks at the Cranbourne trials on 18 April 2015 struck his horse across the head region with a plastic racing number and struck the horse with a fist in the horse’s neck region. Mr Kucks also pleaded guilty to a charge under ARHR 243 which reads: A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental o the industry. The Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board (RADB) is established under section 50B of the Racing Act (1958). The RADB is an independent Board established to hear and determine appeals in relation to decisions made under the rules to impose penalties on persons and to hear and determine charges made against persons for serious offences. The particulars of the charge being that his conduct in striking his horse was in the vicinity of other people attending the Cranbourne trials and that he behaved in a manner detrimental to the industry. After considering submissions from HRV Stewards and Mr Kucks regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a fine of $1000, of which $500 was suspended for a period of 12 months for the charge under Rule 213(a). The HRV RAD Board also imposed a 3 month suspension effective immediatelyfor the charge under Rule 243. In imposing each penalty, the HRV RAD Board acknowledged Mr Kucks’ personal circumstances and his excellent training record over a number of years. Harness Racing Victoria

There would have been celebrations galore for Bolinda’s Alford family at Cranbourne on Tuesday, when Alison Alford (wife of Chris) trained her first winner after obtaining her harness racing licence only a few weeks back - the horse in question being American Ideal/Karamea Mietta gelding Spinners Boy in the Decron Horse Care Pace for Three Year Olds 3C0 & 3C1 class over 2080 metres. Given a lovely trip one/one from gate six by Chris with Awesome Cullect inside him leading, Spinners Boy was eased three wide approaching the home turn and finished his race off well to register a 1.6 metre margin on the wire  ahead of Yackandandah which followed the winner throughout, with Abetta Tiny Dancer holding down third after racing in the open. The mile rate 2-02.4. It was a joyous occasion for the family as apart from Chris driving the winner, Spinners Boy is raced by daughter Katie and son Sam. Frankston trainer George Batsakis who prepares his team out of Bill Galea’s Rockbank stable, brought up victory number five from nineteen outings with reliable three year old Art Major/Run To Live gelding Captain Bronzie by taking the Hygain Feeds Pace for C1 class over 2080 metres at Cranbourne on Wednesday. Driven by the most travelled reinsman in the state – Ararat’s Michael Bellman, Captain Bronzie (gate four) strode past Melton Little Max inside him shortly after the start and after a relatively easy time ay the head of affairs, kicked away on the finalbend with the race safely in his keeping, scoring by 8.1 metres in advance of Melton Little Max and Richly Deserved (one/one – three wide last lap) in a mile rate of 2-02.1. Long Forest husband and wife – Andy & Kate Gath were successful with exceptional Bettor’s Delight/Le Tricky colt Padrisimo, a prohibitive $1.10 favourite  in the Condo’s Horse Transport Pace for C0 class over 1609 metres, but not before giving his supporters a scare. Leading out from gate two, Kate surprisingly elected to hand over the running to $12.80 chance Just For Laughs (gate five), giving Padrisimo the run of the race. Not perturbed at any stage, Kate drove Padrisimo through along the sprint lane to record a runaway 2.9 metre victory over the pacemaker in a rate of 2-02, with Sahara Bedouin third after racing in the open. Raced by Sydneysider Rob Nalder a strong supporter of the Gath stable, Padrisimo has faced the starter on 15 occasions for eight wins and 3 placings. Melton’s Beau Tindale combined with in-form Melton based reinsman Anthony Butt to land the Claiming Pace over 2080 metres with much travelled eight year old Courage Under Fire/Brahma Gold gelding Shanhai Knight in a rate of 2-00.7. Starting from the pole, Shanghai Knight who’s last win had been at Hobart in August last year, led throughout to defy all challengers, defeating Mister Manhattan (one/two) and a death-seating Liston. All three placegetters have had various trainers since first gracing the track. Four year old Yankee Spider/Apollo Ann mare Celtic Rose was an impressive victor of the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2110 metres for Bolinda trainer/driver Chris Alford. First up from a short break (her last outing being April 18), Celtic Rose was able to overcome a 30 metre backmark and in doing so, brought up four wins in succession. Settling at the tail of the field, with the hot favourite Jimbo Johnson beginning safely to possie one/one as the polemarker Soh Filthy Rich leading for Michael Langdon,  Alford caught Anthony Butt napping in the last lap as he sooled Celtic Rose forward to put the favourite in a pocket. Finishing best, Celtic Rose scored by 4.1 metres over Soh Filthy Rich which gave plenty of cheek, with Alabamas Invasion holding down third after racing in the open. Jimbo Johnson galloped approaching the home turn when being extricated into the clear. Metropolitan/Armbro Sunshine four year old mare Lucky Metro has found a new lease of life, bringing up three wins in a row when successful in the Blue Hills Rise Pace for C2 class over 2080 metres in a mile rate of 2-01.4. Trained at the Melton property of Ken Tippet by Doug Adams, Lucky Metro driven once again by Charlie Borg was given a sweet passage one/one from gate four after lobbing outside the speedy pole line leader Blacks A Beauty. Gaining cover at the expense of the favourite C C Chevron at the bell which had made a forward move from last, Lucky Metro pounced on straightening to gain the day by 1.2 metres from Somedreamsomewhere (gate two) which followed her throughout. C C Chevron first up since February was a neck away in third place. Andy and Kate Gath finished the night with a stable double after Gowan Brae, a four year old Jeremes Jet/Millpac Maid entire raced by millionaire developer Greg Brodie, greeted the judge in the ADE Turf Equipment Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2080 metres. Given an easy time from gate three trailing the pacemaker Jean Baptiste (gate four) one of two runners from the Lance Justice camp, Gown Brae finished bast along the sprint lane to prevail by two metres over Clancys Fobwatch (four wide home turn from five back the markers at the bell), with Aloha Don Ho third after racing in the open from the bell. The mile rate 2-02. The highlight of the night was heat three of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Sires Series for 2-Y-0 Colts & Geldings over 2080 metres which saw NSW colt Born To Rocknroll (Rocknroll Hanover/Aston Villa) victorious in a pedestrian 2-02.7 for Belinda McCarthy and Nathan Jack. Read more about Born To Rocknroll's win Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racing trainer Ross Sugars and reinsman son Greg made a winning Foray to Cranbourne on Saturday night for the Group 2 Bruce Skeggs Memorial Cranbourne Trotters Cup. First-up since arriving in the Sugars stables just over a fortnight ago, six-year-old Foray, by Armbro Invasion out of Queen Of The Mountain, finished strongest over 2555m to defeat early leader Our Overanova and a death-seating favourite Kyvalley Blur in a track record mile rate of 2:02.4. “My expectations were that he could probably run third and that he wouldn’t beat Kyvalley Blur or Our Overanova,” trainer Sugars said. “But he was really suited by the tempo, which made it difficult for Kyvalley Blur.” Greg Sugars hardly flinched aboard Foray in the home straight, carefully levelling him up with Our Overanova before the winner got his bib in front in the shadows of the post. Foray’s trainer explained the trotter had a habit of galloping at vital stages when based in New Zealand’s South Island. “That’s why Greg nursed him a bit,” he said. Asked what Greg said post-race, Sugars replied: “That was all right, wasn’t it?” “We’re pretty happy with it. “It’s not often you win your TM0 and it’s worth $30,000.” Foray is raced by a group of owners in New Zealand with Matt and Maryanne Hickey the pair who deal closest with Sugars. The pacesetter, Our Overanova driven by John Caldow, trotted through a lead time of 72 – three seconds quicker than Keystone Del ran in last year’s Cranbourne Cup – before a first half of 63.8secs. Our Overanova was slipped a bit more rein down the back straight for a 29secs third split before a fourth quarter of 29.5secs made for a 58.5secs final half. Our Overanova finished a head behind the winner with Kyvalley Blur 8.1m off in third. by Cody Winnell

FINALLY ! !  Last night Australian harness racing followers got to see what all the fuss Kiwis make about Terror To Love is all about. The Cranbourne Cup on paper looked a two horse war between Christen Me and Terror To Love but it was hard to find anybody who actually thought the "Terror" could roll the Miracle Mile champ. Ricky May was one who did and when speaking to Harnesslink midweek left no one in any doubt that he was over the moon with Terror To Love's run in the Miracle Mile and gave himself a big chance of turning the tables in the Cranbourne Cup. " He went huge in the Miracle Mile and I was rapt in his run." "If I had gone three fence earlier, he would have been a lot closer," "I don't know if Terror To Love can sit outside Christen Me and beat  him but we are going to find out," Ricky said. Last night as expected Christen Me led easily from barrier one for Dexter Dunn with Terror To Love and Ricky May settling three back in the running line. With 1100 metres to go Ricky May came out three wide and found the death seat with 900 metres to go and from there it turned into a Bonecrusher/Waverley Star type of race with the two champions going head to head and the rest of the field struggling to stay in touch. On the corner Christen Me pinched a wee advantage but Terror To Love kept coming and was not to be denied as he grabbed Christen Me in the shadows of the post for a memorable win which will talked about for years to come. Ricky May is not one to show a lot ot emotion normally but last night was an exception. "I'm thrilled for the horse to finally silence the knockers and for Graham and Paul to have finally shown the Australians what a great horse Terror To Love is." " The plan was to try to turn it into a staying race and thats how it turned out. " He felt great on that track, the surface was a credit to the club". " I hadn't intended to look Christen Me in the eye but  down the back Terror To Love latched on and was really keen" "I wasn't that confident on the home turn as Christen Me was traveling as good as we were but with 100 metres to go I knew "Terror" was going to pick him up, " Ricky said. Christen Me went super but found one a touch better on the night while the rest of the field were outclassed with Flaming Flutter third over 20 metres away. While Christen Me now heads home to New Zealand, Terror To Love will head to Ballarat for a showdown with Beautide, Guaranteed and rising star Philadelphia Man which should fill the stands next Saturday night. Kiwi's have known for a while that Terror To Love is a champion in every sense of the word and he has a huge following in his homeland and last night Australians got a wee taste of why Kiwis are so passionate about this great horse. Harnesslink Media  

Three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Terror To Love has won a classic Group 1 Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup after a memorable battle with last-start Miracle Mile champion Christen Me. The finish to tonight’s $100,000 feature race will have harness fans talking for years – two champion horses with two superstar reinsman aboard fighting tooth and nail to the finish. But there can only be one winner and tonight it was Ricky May aboard Terror To Love, who narrowly out-stayed Christen Me and Dexter Dunn in the $100,000, 2555m event. “He’s had no luck with the draws and he showed his true worth tonight,” May said of Terror To Love, who paid $3.10 on the tote. Terror To Love took off to sit outside of Christen Me mid-race and the pair kicked well clear of the field as they headed towards the home turn. Once in the straight it was clear the star Kiwis had it between them, Terror To Love slowly but surely reigning in Christen Me before sticking his head in front right on the line for a remarkable victory. “He’s been at his best all the way through. He might have been just down a wee notch for the (New Zealand) Cup,” said May. “We decided the only way we had a show of beating him (Christen Me) was to try and out-stay him.” May’s tactics worked a treat, Terror To Love proving too strong for the gallant runner-up, who was odds-on favourite, with a further 20m back in third place to Flaming Flutter, who enjoyed a cosy run on the leader’s back throughout for trainer/driver Geoff Webster. The winner’s mile rate was 1:57.1  with the last half covered in 55.4. Uncle Wingnut was fourth, Hilltop Hustler fifth and Im Corzin Terror sixth. Bitobliss failed to finish, choking down after pulling in the run, and will have to trial before racing again.   by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Australasia’s best trotter Keystone Del continued his winning streak tonight at Cranbourne. The Nicole Molander trained seven-year-old made it 10 wins on the trot with a 2m victory in the Group 1 Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Mile over 1609m. The now five-time Group 1 winner went 1:59.5 for reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick to defeat Brent Lilley trained Pretty Sunday, who paid $11.30 the place, with Anthony Butt in the cart. Elegant Image was third for driver Kate Gath and Stoned I Am – a Cranbourne local – ran fourth for Simone Walker. Tonight’s trotting feature was a qualification race for the Great Southern Star in March at Tabcorp Park, which Keystone Del won last year. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

As any harness racing driver will tell you, when things are not going your way it seems that there is not much you can do to change things. Whatever calls you make during a race turn out in retrospect to have been the wrong one and sometimes you start to doubt both your horse and yourself. Mention Australia and Terror To Love in the same breath and his long time driver Ricky May knows exactly how those drivers feel. An absolute champion in New Zealand, Terror To Love has failed in the main to reproduce anything like his real form at Menangle prior to the other night and Ricky is sure he knows why. "Prior to the other night in the Miracle Mile, he has always felt uncomfortable on the track and raced accordingly." "The club has done a lot of work on the track in the last year and Terror To Love felt like he does at home on Saturday night, " Ricky told Harnesslink this week. "We should have finished closer as well as I should have gone three rails when I had the chance but I waited and Guarantee beat me for that spot." "To finish where he did after drawing bad and then having to come wide into the straight was a great run and I was rapt with his performance ," Ricky said. This week Terror To Love is off to Cranbourne and once again he has drawn outside of his main rival Christen Me but Ricky hasn't given up on beating his long time adversary. 'If I had drawn two or three I would have been very keen to have a go at the lead as Terror To Love can really leave the gate if you ask him." "Drawn four makes it a bit tougher but the way he went the other night he still has to be a big chance on Saturday night, " Ricky said. All Kiwi racegoers know what a champion Terror To Love is from years of outstanding performances on this side of the Tasman. It would be nice on Saturday night if Australians finally got to see what a great horse Terror To Love is as well as reaffirm Ricky May's faith in one of his favourite horses. Harnesslink Media

A three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner and a Miracle Mile champ headline Saturday night’s harness racing Group 1 Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup nominations. Star New Zealand pacers Terror To Love and Christen Me have been nominated for the $100,000 2555m race, which promises to be an absolute blockbuster. “We’re absolutely delighted with the quality of the fields,” said Committeeman David Scott. “To have a three-time New Zealand Cup winner in the field and a last-start Miracle Mile winner is about as good as it gets. “The field would be right up there with the best we’ve had in recent times. We’ve had horses like Im Themightyquinn (2010 winner) and Mr Feelgood (won in 2011) in recent years, but this field if it lines up like the nominations suggest, would be right up there -- with horses like Bitobliss, Maximan and Savesomtimetodream.” The nominations for the Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters Mile – a qualification race for the Great Southern Star – are also strong with Australasia’s best squaregaiter Keystone Del shooting for back-to-back wins in the race. David Aiken trained Cold Sister and My High Expectations are also among nominations for the trot, along with in-form I See Icy Earl and Stoned I Am. The Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup is a leg of Harness Racing Victoria’s Trots Country Cups Carnival. A $1000 bet with the TAB will be given away on the night via the popular Trot Selfies promotion (, while the TAB is also offering a $20,000 First 4 pool Jackpot on the Cranbourne Pacing Cup. There will also be children’s rides and live entertainment. The Carlton Draught Beer Garden will be open for business and dining packages are still available. To book or for more details phone 03 5996 1300. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

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