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More records and milestones appear in the path of Victoria's dynamic duo, with Chris Alford set to become the first Australian driver to notch 400 wins in a season and Emma Stewart zeroing in on a record of her own. Having eclipsed Daryl Douglas' 388 wins last week to set a new mark, Alford has continued on his winning ways and looks likely to cross the 400 barier at Ballarat tomorrow night.The Bolinda reinsman steered On Fast Forward to victory for Brent Lilley today at Maryborough, which was the first taste in the build up to the August 3 and 5 Redwood Carnival. Alford sits on 398 wins for the season prior to racing at Bray Raceway tomorrow night, when he has two favourites among six drives, those being Stewart's first starter Swimsuit Edition and brilliant four-year-old The Storm Inside. Victories to those pacers in races three and four would also draw Stewart closer to the record for most wins in a season by an Australian trainer. Stewart has amassed 265 wins, breaking the stable's previous mark (216 set in 2016-17) and also seeing her notch the most training wins in a season by a Victorian on record, eclipsing Andy Gath's 240 in 2002-03. That has Stewart within eyesight of Bill Dixon's record for most wins in a season by an Australian trainer, which stands at 299 set in 2010-11. Remarkably, Dixon and his son, Grant, fill the top 10 places on that list with the exception of Stewart's current season. Grant is also compiling a historic season, having produced 273 wins in 2017-18, eight more than Stewart and 26 shy of his dad's record with a little over a month to go. Making Stewart and training parter Clayton Tonkin's achievements all the more stunning is that she's achieved those 265 wins from only 667 starts, a 39.7% winning strike rate. By comparison, Grant Dixon has this season had 1793 starters for his 273 wins and Bill Dixon's all-time record was created from 1436 starts. With the TAB Breeders Crown still on the horizon for Stewart in the 2017-18 season and her slew of two, three and four-year-old contenders the window is open for her to build on a historic season with Alford.    Most Australian wins in a season by a trainer - Top 20 No. Name Season Starts Wins 1 Bill Dixon 2010-11 1436 299 2 Grant Dixon 2016-17 1739 286 3 Grant Dixon 2014-15 1766 282 4 Grant Dixon 2017-18 1793 273 5 Emma Stewart 2017-18 667 265 6 Grant Dixon 2011-12 1630 265 7 Bill Dixon 2009-10 1319 264 8 Grant Dixon 2013-14 1594 260 9 Grant Dixon 2015-16 1706 245 10 Bill Dixon 2007-08 1146 243 11 Bill Dixon 2008-09 1199 242 12 Andy Gath 2002-03 791 240 13 Grant Dixon 2012-13 1537 226 14 Greg & Skye Bond 2015-16 1010 221 15 Greg & Skye Bond 2014-15 881 221 16 Shane Tritton 2014-15 1037 220 17 Peter Manning 1999-00 724 218 18 Amanda Turnbull 2013-14 1250 217 19 Luke McCarthy 2011-12 683 217 20 Emma Stewart 2016-17 594 216   Michael Howard Trots Media

A potentially historic day has dawned with champion reinsman Chris Alford within reach of setting a new Australian mark for most wins by a driver in a season. Alford ascended to a remarkable 387 wins last night with a treble of victories at Tabcorp Park Melton, including with Kyvalley Clichy and Joe Vassallo in the final races on the card. A victory today will see Alford tie Daryl Douglas's record setting 388 wins in 2007-2008, when  he brought up the magical milestone from 2063 starts. Before today's double-header at Stawell and Geelong, Alford had ventured on to the track 1410 times and smashed his previous best single-season winning rate, which had been the 336 wins he produced in 2011-12. “It would be pretty special. I keep an eye on it, if it comes it comes," Alford said of the landmark. "I just try and win as many races as I can." Speaking on the eve of an extraordinarily successful Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals night, when he piloted four winners, Alford typically attributed much of his success to the opportunities he'd been given.  “A big part of it is due to Emma (Stewart) and Clayton (Tonkin), and there are others whose horses I’m driving who have also been going well at the right time," he said. “I’ve been pretty lucky over the years to drive for most of the good stables. I think if you do the right thing by them they will stick with you." So when will the landmark win occur? Alford steers two at Stawell today and a further two at Geelong tonight. First up is Hot Breakfast for trainer Malcolm Phillips in the Hygain Micrspeed Pace at 2.55pm, who Good Form analyst Rob Auber has rated a $5 chance, second favourite behind Matt Craven's short-priced Wardan Express. "Wardan Express is a very smart horse that has taken his time to strike his best form this campaign," Auber said. "Clearly looks the class horse. Hot Breakfast has enjoyed a good season. Racing well and is a place hope." His other driver for the day is Sleepee, the raw but impressive two-year-old trotting filly who steps out in The Maori Legend at 3.33pm, a $14,000 race. Trained by Chris' wife Alison, it would be a fitting way to tie the record or set a new mark and Auber has Sleepee as the most likely winner, quoting him as a $1.80 pop. "Sleepee’s been very impressive at both starts to date and appears to be getting better," Auber said. "Runner-up in the Group 1 Vicbred final last start. Hard to beat." If the cards don't fall today, it's on to Geelong tonight, where Alford has a further three drives. Auber rates Dependlebury an $8 in the Flying Brick Original Cider Pace at 8pm, Bossanova Bay a $5 chance in the AON Business Insurance 3YO Pace at 8.30pm and Elteearr a $2 pop in the Jims Mowing pace at 9.30pm. And then it's on to Bendigo for a further seven drives tomorrow night. Michael Howard

On 23 November 2017, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard an application from Daryl Douglas for review of the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board of 11 October 2017 to issue a range of penalties relating to breaches of the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). The details of that HRV RAD Board hearing can be found here Background Mr Douglas was issued with four charges under the AHRR, relating to his activities at the registered training establishment of Marnie Bibby on 27 February 2017. The four charges were as follows: Charge 1, under AHRR 259(1) (g) & (h), which reads as follows: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – (g) enter any premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry; (h) participate in any manner in the harness racing industry; The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas participated in the harness racing industry on 27 February 2017, while disqualified, by entering the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Marnie Bibby, exercising standardbreds and leading ‘Ubringthedrinks’ to the stable tie-up area. Charge 2, under AHRR 187(6), which reads as follows: A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017 when HRV Stewards approached Mr Douglas he ran and concealed himself in a dog kennel. Charge 3, under AHRR 187(2), which reads as follows: A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017, when HRV Stewards located Mr Douglas, he refused to answer questions and subsequently left the property. Charge 4, under AHRR 187(1), which reads as follows: A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them. The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas failed to attend an inquiry scheduled for 3 April 2017 to answer questions in relation to the previously mentioned matters.  VCAT Review Hearing At the VCAT review hearing, on 23 November 2017 before Member Wentworth, HRV Stewards withdrew ‘Charge 1’, which related to Mr Douglas entering a registered training establishment whilst a disqualified person due to the provisions of section 51(3) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998(Vic). In relation to the remaining charges evidence was taken from HRV Steward John Packer, HRV Steward Russell Anderson and Daryl Douglas himself, along with submissions from the HRV Stewards and Andrew Peace on behalf of Mr Douglas. Upon consideration of the evidence Member Wentworth was not satisfied that ‘Charge 2’ was proven as it was not established that Mr Douglas was aware it was the HRV Stewards he was running from given they had not had the opportunity to identify themselves. The HRV RAD Board decision in relation to this charge was set aside. In relation to ‘Charge 3’, Member Wentworth found that Mr Douglas did refuse to answer the questions of the HRV Stewards. Member Wentworth highlighted that the role of the Stewards is well established and being able to questions parties is vital to their duties. In respect of penalty, following submissions from both parties, the fine imposed by the HRV RAD Board was set-aside and replaced with a fine of $200. Member Wentworth also found ‘Charge 4’ proven in that Mr Douglas knew there was an inquiry scheduled and the reasons for him not attending were insufficient in the circumstances. Member Wentworth set-aside the warning off imposed by the HRV RAD Board and determined that the appropriate penalty was a fine of $300, however also placed Mr Douglas on notice that he is required to attend an inquiry as required by the HRV Stewards. The written reasons from VCAT will be published when available.

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 259(1) (g) & (h), 187(6), 187(2) and 187(1) against former licensed person Daryl Douglas.  Charge 1, under AHRR 259(1) (g) & (h), which reads as follows: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following –  (g) enter any premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry; (h) participate in any manner in the harness racing industry; The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas participated in the harness racing industry on 27 February 2017, while disqualified, by entering the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Marnie Bibby, exercising standardbreds and leading ‘Ubringthedrinks’ to the stable tie-up area. Charge 2, under AHRR 187(6), which reads as follows: A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017 when HRV Stewards approached Mr Douglas he ran and concealed himself in a dog kennel. Charge 3, under AHRR 187(2), which reads as follows:  A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017, when HRV Stewards located Mr Douglas, he refused to answer questions and subsequently left the property. Charge 4, under AHRR 187(1), which reads as follows: A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them.  The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas failed to attend an inquiry scheduled for 3 April 2017 to answer questions in relation to the previously mentioned matters.  This HRV RAD Board hearing had previously been adjourned on 24 May 2017 and 25 July 2017. Mr Douglas failed to appear on this re-scheduled date and the HRV RAD Board determined to conduct the hearing in his absence acting under Victorian Local Rule 50(1)(a). The charges were found proven and the HRV RAD Board heard submissions on penalty from the HRV Stewards. The HRV RAD Board also considered both specific and general deterrence along with penalties in previous matters with similar circumstances and issued the following penalties: Charge 1: 2 month disqualification Charge 2: $1000 fine Charge 3: $1000 fine Charge 4: Mr Douglas be warned off until he attends a HRV Stewards inquiry   HRV RAD Board Panel: Brian Collis QC (Deputy Chairman) Dr Hugh Millar / Rebecca Oliver (Members) Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board

On 13 February 2017 the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board considered four (4) charges issued against unlicensed person Daryl Douglas under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 187(3), 187(2), 231(1)(d) and 91(1)(a) which provides: 187(3) 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. 231(1) A person shall not:- (d) abuse anyone employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry or otherwise having a connection with it. 91(1) Subject to sub-rule (4) a person shall not carry on an activity regulated by licence – (a) if that person is not the holder of a current licence. The charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Douglas related to a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards at the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Ms Emma Stewart on 9 November 2016 and Mr Douglas’s conduct during this stable inspection. Mr Douglas pleaded not guilty to all charges. Following the hearing on 13 February 2017, Mr Douglas and the HRV Stewards were invited to provide further submissions, if required, in regards to any relevant matters. These submissions were due by 3pm Thursday 16 February 2017. No further submissions were provided by either party. The HRV RAD Board found Mr Douglas guilty of charges 1, 2 and 4 and imposed a penalty of a 12 month disqualification commencing 4pm 16 February 2017.

After the conclusion of the hearing in relation to Mr Douglas on 13 February 2017, the Board was satisfied that the elements of charges 1, 2 and 4 were made out. We declined to formally find the matter proven because we could not be satisfied that we had jurisdiction to penalize Mr Douglas, given he is a person who is no longer licensed or serving any Racing related disposition.  Mr Douglas cited and relied upon the Clements RVL Appeal decision from VCAT in 2010 where that Tribunal held that as an unlicensed person, Mr Clements was not amenable to the RVL rules.  That submission initially found favour with the Board. On further research two things have become apparent. 1. HRV has the benefit of ARHR 299. This rule provides:  Rule 299 All persons a) Licensed under these Rules; b) Carrying on or purporting to carry on activities related to the harness racing industry c) who in some way are affected by the rules d) are deemed to have knowledge of and be bound by them and of all things done under them.  And- 2. At the time of the Clements appeal RVL did not have a similar rule.  Accordingly the Clements decision does not have the force the Board took it to at the hearing. Further it is clear despite the Board's uncertainty, that 299. (b) does make Mr Douglas, albeit now unlicensed, amenable to the rules (and therefore their jurisdiction to penalize) when found attending to horses at a registered Harness Racing Training facility.  In those circumstances, the Board recalls it’s previous decision for reconsideration pursuant to VLR 51(1)(c).  Mr Douglas and the Stewards were entitled to (but are not required to) submit in writing as to any matter they see relevant. In the absence of further submission by 3pm on Thursday 16th of February 2017, the following order of the Board will become effective at 4pm that day.  Order:- The Board is comfortably satisfied that charges 1, 2 and 4 are made out against Mr Douglas. He will be disqualified from involvement in Harness Racing for the period of 12 months.  Anthony Burns CHAIRMAN – HRV RAD BOARD John Denahy MEMBER – HRV RAD BOARD

December 30th - Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued charges against Mr Daryl Douglas under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 187(3), 187(2), 231(1)(d) and 91(1)(a) in relation to his conduct at a registered stable while not the holder of a licence. Along with his activities while unlicensed, it is alleged that Mr Douglas failed to comply with the directions of HRV Stewards, refused to answer questions and made abusive comments. These charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have also issued a charge against licensed driver Mr Matthew Walsh under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 231(1)(d) in relation to a text message sent to another harness racing participant. This charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

The Horsham Harness Racing Club will stage their traditional 3YO features, the $9505 Alabar Horsham Guineas and $9505 Rosehill Princess of the Wimmera, on Wednesday August 27th. The contests have been part of the Club calendar since the early 1980’s, when the Horsham Ladies Committee sponsored the Horsham Oaks and Derby Trials, under the lights on the tight showgrounds circuit. Alabar Bloodstock has generously donated an inscribed rug and trophies for the winning owner, trainer and driver of the 2014 Guineas. They have also donated a free service to second season stallion, Smiling Shard (1:53.7 $1,089,831) or the proven entire, Elsu (1:53.6 $2,030,796). Rosehill Farm & Veterinary Services will provide an inscribed rug and trophies for the winning connections of the 2014 Princess of the Wimmera. In addition, they have donated a free service to the highly talented but injury dogged pacer, Maffisio. Some fine colts and geldings are listed as winners of the Alabar Horsham Guineas, including  Grand Circuit performer Robin Hood (2004) for trainer Clayton Tonkin, with Daryl Douglas aboard.  In 1991, Dark Paul went on to capture both the Victoria and NSW Derbies after his Horsham Guineas victory for trainer Trevor Martin and reinsman Ted Demmler. Albenz (1996), Wenbro (1998), Remember El (2010), Savesometimetodream (2011) and Magical Telf (2012) have also taken out the Horsham Classic. The Rosehill Princess of the Wimmera has been won by a number of smart fillies over the years, including the brilliant Sheza Mona (1997) for trainer Peter Manning and driver Kerryn Manning . Mother Courage took out the 1999 edition of the Princess during her 3YO season, on the way to success in the Victoria Oaks for the Bruce Morgan- John Caldow combination. Posh Jaccka (1998), Deanna Troy (2006), Very Chic (2008), and Our Surfer Girl (2010) also grace the honour board. The Horsham Club is greatly appreciative of the continued support  of Allan Galloway, John Coffey and all the crew at Alabar, along with Darren and Anne Jacobson from Rosehill, and are looking forward to two great contests on the 27th. Nominations for the Alabar Horsham Guineas and Rosehill Princess of the Wimmera, close with HRV at noon on Thursday August 21st. Further information can be obtained from Tony Logan on 0427 857411.

Rising-star reinswoman Amanda Turnbull combined with New South Wales harness racing trainer Dennis Picker to win the first semi-final of the Bettors Delight @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Series for three-year-old fillies tonight at Ballarat with Just Cala. The daughter of Art Major defeated Spicy Stride by 7.1 metres in a mile rate of 1:57.0, while Ocean Diva ran third for Blake Fitzpatrick and Somedreamsomewhere ran fourth for Daryl Douglas. Just Cala had put the writing on the wall at her previous start when she came from an awkward position to rattle home and run second behind Rocknroll Arden. Just Cala The second semi-final of the Bettors Delight @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Series for three-year-old  fillies saw a major upset – with $1.20 favourite Nike Franco missing a place at Ballarat tonight. The Belinda McCarthy trained filly galloped early and lost ground, which meant she had to use up a bit more petrol than first planned to find the lead. Once there Nike Franco was able to get away with a 30.5-second first quarter and a 32.1-second second split, but after they sprinted up down the back straight driver Luke McCarthy was starting to wind her up as Quick Draft and Barynya were on the march. In the home straight Quick Draft finished the strongest for Chris Alford, delivering in-form trainer David Aiken the win, with Tasmanian filly Barynya second (beaten 1.6 metres) and David Moran trained-and-driven Our Santa Catalina battling on well for third after leading early. Nike Franco ran fourth. The mile rate was 1:57.2, with the last half 55.6 seconds. Quick Draft by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria  

Things just didn’t work out for Glen Craven, Keayang Steamer and the punters who took the short odds about the Terang trained star at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night. (August 8th)  Keayang Steamer was a heavily tried favourite, starting $1.50, in the Swift Signs Pace at Tabcorp Park Melton but could only muster a fifth-place finish from his inside back-row draw. Pre-race Craven declared he would be looking to get off the pegs at all costs. “I’m not interested in getting locked up on the fence,” he said. But that's precisely what eventuated. The pacer who beat Smoken Up home to claim the Horsham Cup last campaign was wedged three back along the pegs at the bell. Early on Exciteusinthecity found the lead for junior driver Tim McLean from gate three, easily crossing Hall Of Famer and La Machane. Composed got going early to work around to the breeze from his second-line draw, but Keayang Steamer was not able to get one-off and had to punch through to trail Hall Of Famer. Exciteusinthecity, trained by Darren Cole, was able to get away with 31.6secs and 30.3secs first and second quarters of the last mile, setting the five-year-old gelding up to sprint home in 56.1secs and record his second win in three starts. Hall Of Famer capitalised on a beaut trip behind the leader by running second, albeit beaten 5.6 metres by the winner, while Composed battled on gamely for third. Keayang Steamer (fifth) came in behind fast-finishing Kotare Rowland (fourth) and will need to improve significantly second-up to topple his highly regarded stablemate, Keayang Cullen, in the Breeders Crown Graduate Cup on August 24 should they both head in that direction. Meanwhile, Alison Chisholm enjoyed a red-letter evening with a winning double. The Melton trainer/driver drove Three Pints to victory in the GBL Property Consultants Vicbred Pace (Race 3) before scoring aboard stable star Asoka in the Del-Re National Food Group Pace (Race 5). New Zealand champion Our Sky Major proved far too strong for his maiden-metropolitan rivals in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Pace. The Barry Purdon trained three-year-old son of Art Major is here for the Breeders Crown but enjoyed an easy hit-out at Melton, scoring by 3.7 metres over Wolfpack, with Philtra Phella third. Driver Craig Demmler took Our Sky Major back at the start and he was the best part of 40 metres off the lead at one point over the 1720-metre sprint trip. Down the back the last time Our Sky Major made his move, reinsman Craid Demmler easing the two-time Harness Jewels champion three-wide. Sprinting up with a 28.1secs third quarter, Our Sky Major quickly put the leaders away and shot clear early in the straight to record a 3.7-metre triumph in a mile rate of 2:02.5. Another Kiwi pacer to put her best foot forward was Mark Purdon trained two-year-old Big Lucy, who won the VHRSC 2YO Pace over 1720 metres. Chris Alford, who took driving honours for the night with a winning treble, was content to sit outside early leader Yankee Showgirl before taking Big Lucy 1.2 metres clear over Wegottarocketmachine at the finish, with Yankee Showgirl boxing on for third in a rate of 1:55.7. Alford’s other two winners were aboard ultra-consistent trotter Blitzthemcalder in the Renown Silverware Trot for trainer Craig Demmler, and long odds-on favourite Upanatom in the Mediatec Pace Final for trainer Amanda Grieve. Blitzthemcalder worked his way to the lead mid-race in the trot before outshining Sunset Invasion in the run to the line to score a two-metre win in a rate of 2:00.2. Blitzthemcalder is arguably racing in career-best form. Upanatom did plenty of work to find the lead early in his race, but the son of Christian Cullen still proved panels ahead of his rivals – getting home by 4.1 metres over runner-up Pas Mate, who hit the line hard, and third placegetter Eyes On The Sky. Other winners at Melton were Rostevarren, for trainer Ross Graham and driver Daryl Douglas, in the Geoff and Lorraine Barnes Trot over 1720 metres, Road To Rock, for trainer Keith Cotchin and driver Greg Sugars, in the University Food Group Pacers Handicap over 2240m, and Michael Stanley trained-and-driven Young Modern in the Alabar 3YO Pace over 2240 metres.   Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

When Bulla harness racing trainer Kerry O’Riley entered Ourboyjay in Saturday night’s Goldfields Catering 2YO Pace at Bendigo, he was under the impression his gelded son of Village Jolt would be a fair show of recording a second win at career start number seven. The pacer scored an impressive win at Yarra Valley two starts back in a 2C0 event before a luckless eighth of 11 at cricket-score odds in the Tatlow Stakes at Tabcorp Park Melton when he got carted back at a vital stage. But O’Riley was shocked when he realised who his competition would be in Saturday night’s $6,505 race -- none other than Australasia’s best two-year-old Follow The Stars and his highly rated stablemate Linda Lovegrace. Both Follow The Stars and Linda Lovegrace are trained by Mark Purdon and will be using Saturday’s race as a hit-out ahead of the rich Breeders Crown series. For good measure, another Kiwi in My Field Marshall – who has won three from six and hails from the smart Tim Butt camp in Christchurch – will also line up on Saturday night. “It’s a lot stronger a field than I thought it might be,” O’Riley chuckled. “Let’s just hope he can run a personal best on Saturday night. It’d be the stuff of fairy tales to think you could beat Follow The Stars.” But Daryl Douglas, who drives Ourboyjay, is somewhat more upbeat about the horse’s chances, according to O’Riley, even if it was just Douglas’ natural optimism shining through. “Daryl’s always pretty optimistic but he said to me, ‘If you’re not in it, you can’t win it’,” O’Riley said. While simply hoping for a positive run this weekend, O’Riley believes Ourboyjay will develop further next season. “He’ll make a better three-year-old and he hasn’t much luck as a two-year-old,” he said. “He locked wheels in the Vicbred semi-final and got knocked over on the top turn and then in the Tatlow he got caught behind a tiring horse.” Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria   Related Links Fields for Bendigo, Saturday 09 August 2014 Form guide for Bendigo, Saturday 09 August 2014  

Maryborough was a happy hunting ground for trainer Andy Gath today – the Long Forest harness racing horseman qualifying two horses for the two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown final. Gath’s rising stars Endsino (by Angus Hall out of Jauriol) and Naked Majesty (by Majestic Son out of Starcus) both saluted in their crown heats, with Andy’s wife Kate driving both winners. Endsino started long odds-on in her heat and never looked like getting rolled, leading all the way in a mile rate of 2:04.2 to score a 7.7-metre win over Glenferrie Burn. Naked Majesty won by 3.3m in her heat, overpowering early leader Meadow Valley Road late in the race. Gath sat quietly aboard Naked Majesty behind the leader, the filly peeling to the outside in the stretch to win in a rate 2:05.7. Fabrication recorded a half-neck win in the second heat of the two-year-old colts and geldings crown, defying a fierce challenge from runner-up Kyvalley Boomerang in the home stretch. Driven by Daryl Douglas for Tatura trainer David Abrahams, Fabrication found the front early and controlled the race before Kyvalley Boomerang launched his claim late. Kyvalley Boomerang got on terms with the leader 100 metres from home but it wasn’t to be, the early leader kicking on gamely to earn a ticket into the crown final. King of the trotters, Chris Lang, prevailed victorious with One Over Da Moon in the three-year-old trotters second heat. The colt by Majestic Son cruised around the field early to find the lead before going to the line with a 2.1-metre advantage over runner-up Four Lillies, with underrated Coimadai Lodge hitting the line hard out wide for third. Shared Interest announced himself a major player in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ division with a comfortable heat win over race favourite Eljaykay Phoenix. Driven by Nathan Jack, Shared Interest cruised up to the long odds-on elect at the 400m, eventually peeling into the sprint lane to shoot clear for a 3.3m win. Eljaykay Phoenix battled on for second, but has clearly come back to his rivals somewhat after dominating throughout the Vicbred Super Series, while Illawong Armstrong was third beaten 22.1m. Our Twentyten took out the final Breeders Crown heat for the day, the Brent Lilley trained and Rodney Petroff driven son of Muscles Yankee 3.7 metres too strong for Claudys Princess in their three-year-olds heat. Filly Claudys Princess punched the breeze throughout and battled on gamely for second, while Asdenro secured a beaut run on the leader’s back and was a clear third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Bolinda harness racing trainer Kari Males is enjoying a blistering run of form. Males, whose two-year-old stable star Niki No No won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, had a winner on Tuesday night at Shepparton with trotter The Truth before backing it up on Wednesday afternoon with six-year-old gelding Hall Of Famer victorious at Maryborough. It means Males’ last three runners to the races have been winners. Hall Of Famer, a C6 horse, utilised the claim for junior driver Kyle Marshall in the C4-C5 Bill Davies Memorial Pace over 1690m. Marshall took the son of Blissfull Hall to the breeze early, outside pacemaker With Gusto (Daryl Douglas). At the 400m, Hall Of Famer poured the pressure on full-blast, taking the lead early in the home straight before With Gusto fought back gamely to go down by a neck. Another junior driver in Mark Pitt enjoyed a great day out at Maryborough with a winning double. Pitt piloted Yankee Strutter home in the Col and Margaret Ford Memorial 2YO Pace (Race 1) before bookending the program with victory in the last on Waltalight. Both winners were trained by Wayne Potter. Two heats of the Trustees Carisbrook Racecourse Reserve Trotters Handicap were run and won at Maryborough, with Bill Morgan trained-and-driven Gioiosa Ionica victorious in the first heat by 4.3m over William John, while Tennotrump gelding Jay Gee from the Ross Graham stable won the second heat by 8.4m with Daryl Douglas in the sulky. Veteran trainer-driver Ginger Gleeson drove Sun Bird into second behind Jay Gee, the 10-year-old trotter finding some form at huge odds. Peter Manning and Greg Sugars combined with Village Jasper gelding Mixedwithajasper in the Seelite Windows and Doors 3YO Pace over 1690m, the three-year-old defeating Fremarks Ceejay by 3.7m in a mile rate of 1:57.2. Fremarks Ceejay and trainer-driver Courtney Slater bowled along freely at the front of the field for much of the race but couldn’t match the winner in the last 50m. Alan Dunsmuir-trained Western Gretel continued her strong recent form with victory in the McPhersons Printing Group Pace, defeating hot favourite Hellovaway by 3.6m. Driven a treat by young gun reinsman Alex Ashwood, Western Gretel finished too strongly for Hellovaway (Michael Sullivan), which was backing up after a gutsy seventh in the Vicbred Super Series Final on Saturday night. And another junior driver, Corey Bell, scored career win number 11 aboard Stunning Grin in the Happy 90th Frank Bartlett Pace over 2190m. The three-year-old Grinfromeartoear gelding from the Vince Vallelonga yard prevailed by 8.1m at $1.60 in a mile rate of 1:59.4. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Christian Cullen gelding Upanatom continued working his way through the grades with a 19.3m win at Yarra Valley on Monday. The former New Zealander from the Amanda Grieve yard is undefeated in four starts since arriving Down Under and has won six out of nine overall. Chris Alford piloted the four-year-old in Monday’s victory and, oh boy, didn’t this pacer look a cut above his rivals. (Access Yarra Valley Monday replays here) From gate seven Upanatom charged straight to the lead clearly despite Alford hardly moving a muscle. Recording the fastest lead time of the day from the 2150m start, 38.3secs, Upanatom came home with a 58.6secs last half to score by a huge margin. It was an armchair ride for Alford all the way in fact, as even late in the race he hardly had to call on his charge. The winner’s mile rate was 1:59.1. Five of the eight races at Yarra Valley were won by favourites, with Im Anonymous scoring by a head off a 20m handicap in the yarravalleyracing.com.au Trotters Handicap over 2150m at $3.30, Game We Play winning his second race from four starts at $1.70 in the United Petroleum 3YO Pace, Pushkin getting up by a head at $1.30 for Adam Kelly/Gavin Lang in the De Bortoli Pace over 2150m, and $3.50 elect Our Horizon scoring by 6m in the Yarra Valley Forklifting Claiming Pace for trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan. Other winners were Ourboyjay for Daryl Douglas, which out-bobbed Glenferrie Bunter by a half-head in the Yarra Ranges Tourism 2YO Pace over 1650m, Onemorelaugh in the Spring Packages Online 3YO Pace, which gave Lang a driving double, and outsider Lets Go Happy for Mark Peace in the Lilydale Instant Lawn Pace over 1650m. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

It might only have been her second win from 14 starts, but if she can repeat today’s performance at Tabcorp Park Melton, many more triumphs are in store for Basil Dooley-trained Sweet Wise. The four-year-old Allendale mare by Totally Ruthless out of Little Trouble had no trouble whatsoever finding the lead early, pinging off the arm at the 1720m start in the Jim's Mowing AU Facebook Pace. From there driver Greg Sugars controlled proceedings, Sweet Wise kicking clear turning for home to race clear for a 13.2m win in a rate of 1:57.2. Meanwhile, Spidergrace looked a star in the making with a 9.4m win in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotting Colts and Geldings second heat. The gelding, trained by David Moran and driven by Laura Crossland, showed strong pace early and led before racing clear off the back for a comfortable victory. Savannah Jay Jay ran on well to get second, while Tiavon’s Dream was third after slightly missing the start due to a break in the score-up. Polemarker Miracle, who was well in the market, finished fifth after getting shuffled back along the pegs early. Speaking of potential stars in the making, Lance Justice might have unveiled another one in Phil Monty. The four-year-old gelding has not put a foot wrong since joining the Justice stable from New Zealand, with  strong wins at Charlton and Maryborough before today’s impressive 1.9m victory. Justice took Phil Monty to the front from gate one and controlled the speed perfectly before bringing him home in 55.9secs for the last half-mile to register a winning mile rate of 2:00.5. In the Jim’s Mowing Trotters’ Handicap eight-year-old gelding Xanderxav scored an upset victory for trainer Linton Power with David Moran in the cart. The son of former superstar trotter Wagon Apollo stepped well from the tapes to lead unchallenged. Brief Glance made an early move to get to the breeze, while favourite Blitzthemcalder was driven patiently from his 20m handicap. Turning for home Brief Glance challenged Xanderxav, but the leader responded and simply couldn’t be headed. Lleyton H battled on strongly for third at big odds, Lucky Twenty Three ending up fourth and Blitzthemcalder fifth. In the Jim's Mowing 131 546 Pace, eight-year-old mare Broadways Best turned back the clock for an impressive half-neck win over Lance Justice pair Machin Out and Im Barney Rubble. Chris Alford took the Shannon McLean-trained feature race specialist to the breeze with a lightning move mid-race, sitting outside early leader Blazeaway Macray. Greg Sugars then had his go, whipping Villagem around the field and dashing to the lead. But Broadways Best was too strong at the business end, out-staying her rivals in a mile rate of 1:59.5. The 3YO Trotting Fillies’ Vicbred Super Series second heat was taken out by Ross Graham’s Monkey Bones squaregaiter Four Lillies with Daryl Douglas in the sulky. Four Lillies won by a comfortable 14.9m over Lindy Vale, with Sister Of Sonoko another 8.1m away in third place. Other winners for the meeting were Nobetterthanthis in the Harness Breeders Vic Pace over 2240m for trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan, which scored a head win over What A Sheila in 2:03.8, while Gaita Pullicino’s three-year-old gelding Blackwarrior was too tough for his rivals in the Corio Waste Management 3YO Pace, winning by 1.2m over Vinny Chase with a further 24.2m away to Macworthy in third. Pullicino had earlier finished fourth aboard Lovable Larrikin, which showed a win was not far off when he rattled home out wide behind Broadways Best. by Cody Winnell

Ballarat stock agent Bill Middleton has been involved with the greyhound industry for most of his life, but through an association with Lawrence trainer Ken Whelan was enticed to take a share in a standardbred mare named Djasker last year. Djasker, a six-year-old daughter of Wind Cries Maori and Tachometer, after winning races at two, three and four years old when in the Ross Graham stable, broke through for her first win since September 2012 when successful in the Morning Melodies Book Now Trotters Handicap at Kilmore on Saturday night. In what was the drive of the night by Daryl Douglas, Djasker stepped safely from 10m, avoiding several gallopers to settle four back in the running line with Conchs Critter showing her usual manners to pint straight to the front from barrier five. Making a lightning move to park outside the leader racing for the bell, Douglas controlled the race for the final circuit allowing Djasker to surge to the front on the final bend. Driven vigorously in the straight, Djasker held on to score by a half-head in a thrilling finish over 40m back marker Salute The Wind, with Im Anonymous close up third in a mile rate of 2:08.0 on a rain-affected track. Raced in partnership with Bill, Merna Whelan and Peter Watson, all are hopeful that Djasker will now make her way through the grades. By Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria

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