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Defending Inter dominion champion Lennytheshark will undergo another vet inspection on Thursday to see if he can take his place in the field for the $1 million final at Gloucester Park on Friday night.   Trained by David Aiken, Lennytheshark’s spot in the field is in doubt after pulling up lame when running second to Run Oneover in the second of the final heats at Gloucester Park on Friday night.   An x-ray conducted by Lark Hill vets today indicated there was no structural damage to the horse however Racing and Wagering Western Australian (RWWA) veterinarian, Judith Medd, following a further inspection, found the seven-year-old to be still sore in the near foreleg.   Bar plates have been fitted and poultices have been applied to aid the recovery and to assist with any discomfort the horse may be suffering.   Aiken’s own vet from Victoria will look over Lennytheshark tonight (Monday) with Medd to conduct another inspection on Thursday.   Lennytheshark, one of two Interdominion entrants for Aiken, has drawn barrier four in the final and is currently quoted a $6 chance with Tabtouch.   Heading the market at $2.45 is stable mate, Hectorjayjay, who has eased in betting after drawing gate 9. 1 - Bling It On - by American Ideal 2 - Run Oneover NZ- by Changeover 3 - Our Jericho NZ - by Tomahawk 4 - Lennytheshark - by Four Starzzz Shark 5 - Joan Of Arc NZ - by Courage Under Fire 6 - Franco Nelson NZ - by Christian Cullen 7 - Smolda NZ - by Courage Under Fire 8 - Bettors Fire NZ - by Bettor's Delight 9 - Hectorjayjay - by Dream Away 10 - Beadiene Boaz NZ - by Badlands Hanover   Media Contact:  Barry Hamilton RWWA Manager Harness & Greyhounds P: 08 9445 311 E: barry.hamilton@rwwa.com.au   Race programme for Gloucester Park, Friday 09 December 2016

Will defending champion Lennytheshark take his spot in next Friday night's $1.1 million Perth Inter Dominion final?  That’s the big question after David Aiken’s superstar pulled-up lame in both front legs after another shock defeat in his third-round qualifying heat at Gloucester Park last night.   A remarkably open and honest Aiken said moments after the race: “He’s obviously 100 per cent. The Lennytheshark of his best would have won easily.  “Chris (Alford, driver) said he didn’t feel right, even in the warm-up. It’s back to the drawing board and the next day or so is crucial.  “We don’t think it’s anything serious, but the timing makes it tricky.”  Lennytheshark was wayward in the score-up and almost broke, but Alford gathered him again and held the lead from the pole.  A huge gasp when around Gloucester Park in the middle stages when Run Oneover drew alongside Lennytheshark, challenged for the front and ran straight past him.  “He’d normally want to race another horse when it comes alongside him, but he didn’t tonight. He wasn’t right,” Alford said.  “He still felt like he’d come and go straight past the winner on the home turn when the gap came, but he went roughly and didn’t finish it off.”   Chairman of stewards Carl Coady said the on-course vet found Lennytheshark was lame in both front legs. “Now it’s a case of him having to prove himself fit before we allow him to run in the final,” Coady said.  The drama around Lennytheshark saw the Aussie TAB push his odds out from $3.20 to $7.50.  In contrast, his stablemate Hectorjayjay firmed to a remarkably short $1.70 for the final after another sparkling heat win. He was unbeaten and seemingly unextended through the three heats.  “I’m rapt. He won under a grip. Like Bunbury, I didn’t pull the plugs. He did that so easily,” driver Josh Aiken said.   “He’s really thriving through the racing. Some people thought it could be a query, but it’s the opposite. He’s loving it and feeling better with each run.  “He certainly didn’t get it all his own way tonight. Jimmy Johnstone really raced him through the middle stages as the times show, but Hector was always cruising.”  Hectorjayjay’s 1min56sec mile rate for the 2536m was easily the fastest of the three heats last night. He ran home in a 1min54.7sec last mile, including closing splits of 56.2 and 28sec.  The Bucket List ran a huge race for second, but it was only enough to make him first emergency in the final. He will make the field if Lennytheshark is scratched.  Comeback pacer John Of Arc continued his terrific form with a slightly unlucky third. He sat behind the leader and didn’t have much racing room in the final stages.     GRAND FINAL FIELD  (barrier draw Sunday 8pm NZ time)  Hectorjayjay  Lennytheshark  Run Oneover  Smolda  Bling It On  John Of Arc  Beaudiene Boaz  Bettors Fire  Our Jericho  Franco Nelson  The Bucket List (1st emerg)  Our Jimmy Johnstone (2nd emerg)    Adam Hamilton

The seemingly impossible occurred at Donaldson Park in Bunbury on Tuesday night when harness racing superstar Lennytheshark was beaten into fourth place in the sixth heat of the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship. It was the first time in 637 days that the reigning interdominion champion had failed to finish in the top three placings. However, trainer David Aiken declared after Lennytheshark’s fourth behind Bling It On, John of Arc and Waylade that he was not concerned at the defeat. “I’m not disappointed and he’ll bounce back at Gloucester Park on Friday night,” Aiken said. And his optimism increased considerably on Wednesday morning when Lennythshark drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the Westral interdominion qualifying heat No. 8. Lennytheshark started from the inside of the back line in Tuesday night’s 2100m heat. He was favourite at 2/1 on. Ima Connoisseur revealed his customary brilliant early speed and was untroubled to lead from barrier four. John of Arc (9/2) quickly dashed forward to race in the breeze, with Waylade trailing the pacemaker and Bling It On (13/2) enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Chris Alford settled Lennytheshark in eighth position in the one-wide line. Alford sent Lennytheshark forward, three wide, 650m from home and the seven-year-old fought on gamely to finish just over two lengths from the winner after the final two quarters were covered in 27.5sec. and 27.3sec. Aiken said that the race wasn’t run to suit Lennytheshark, who faced a massive task with the final 800m (off the front) whizzing by in 54.8sec. “He has pulled up well and there are no problems,” he said. Lennytheshark’s previous 21 starts had produced 14 wins, six seconds and one third. His previous unplaced effort was his sixth behind Beautide in the final of the interdominion championship at Menangle in March 2015. That sixth was Lennytheshark’s only unplaced effort in his previous 37 starts (24 wins, ten seconds and two thirds) before his comparative failure on Tuesday night. On Friday night Lennytheshark should be capable of holding up from fast beginners Bettors Fire (barrier two) and Franco Nelson (three) and setting the pace in the 2536m heat. Bettors Fire, Franco Nelson and Run Oneover appear Lennytheshark’s main rivals. Bettors Fire, who led from barrier three and won from Smolda and John of Arc in a 2130m heat at Gloucester Park last Friday night, raced in sixth position in the one-wide line when a fighting fifth behind Hectorjayjay over 2100m at Bunbury on Tuesday night. Smolda, second favourite at 7/4, finished third behind Run Oneover (6/4 favourite) and Freyberg in a 2100m heat on Tuesday night after racing in the breeze for the entire final circuit. Run Oneover, trained by Gary Hall sen., began speedily from the No. 4 barrier and he gave a powerful frontrunning performance to win by 2m from Freyberg (who trailed the leader). After a fast lead time of 34.4sec. and opening sections of 30.3sec. and 29sec. Run Oneover sprinted over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 26.8sec. and his rate of 1.53.8 set a track record for 2100m. “I couldn’t be happier,” said reinsman Clint Hall. “Run Oneover proved on the first night (when second to Hectorjayjay after over-racing in the breeze) that he was up to them and he’s put them away tonight. It was a pretty decent field and he did it in good fashion. “He was good tonight even though we had to open him up early. He came back to me, which was pleasing. I knew that we would cop some pressure from Smolda at some stage, and it all worked out well. I had a plan and that was to keep Smolda, when he came, at my wheel. And Run Oneover was good enough to keep Smolda at my wheel for the rest of the race. “Run Oneover broke 27sec. for the final quarter to show that he has a chance in the final. We’ll need a bit of luck to beat the good ones, but it is not beyond him.” Click on this link for the full fields on Friday night at Gloucester Park Ken Casellas

Brilliant Victorian harness racing pacer Lennytheshark has taken out the first heat of the 2016 TABtouch Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park, Western Australia. The reigning Inter Dom champ began his title defence in the $1.8million series in the most emphatic fashion, working hard three-wide early before landing the chair with two laps of the half-mile GP circuit to run, outside pacesetter Our Jimmy Johnston, a local who had been well-tried by punters into $3.9. Sent out $1.8 favourite with punters, Lennytheshark controlled the race from the breeze, driver Chris Alford explaining post-race the David Aiken-trained superstar thrives doing the work. “He loves racing in the breeze for some reason,” Alford said. “He did the work and one day they’ll know he’s good and they’ll want to sit on him, but they want to park him at the moment.” Off the back Lennytheshark made his move. Our Jimmy Johnston tried to shake him off, but it’s tough to escape the clutches of a hungry shark’s jaws. Beaudiene Boaz found the line nicely for the Gary Hall Snr and Jr combination, but Lennytheshark had 1.4m on him at the wire, Lenny’s mile rate 1:54.8 and gross time 2:32.0. Last year Lenny won his opening heat in 2:33.1 gross and a 1:55.6 rate. Our Jimmy Johnstone held third, but as reinsman Ryan Warwick remarked pre-race, if his charge couldn’t tame the Shark tonight it’d be tough doing it in the future. Our Jericho was impressive in fourth, while Victorian Guaranteed finished fifth. Interestingly the vet ran his eye over Guaranteed before declaring him fit to run pre-race. Guaranteed sat leader’s back in the run but found little at the finish to battle fairly into fifth. “He seems to have pulled up good,” Lang later told Sky. But it was all honours with the winner, who has to firm in Grand Final markets given what he did tonight. “He should get better as the series goes on… like last year,” Alford said. “He travelled really well (tonight). Once he put the leader to bed he knocked off a little bit, but he knows where the line is.” Lennytheshark - Retravision Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 1 Bettors Fire NZ - Tabtouch Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 2 Hectorjayjay ferocious in his heat Punters are torn after night one of the TABtouch Inter Dominion heats at Gloucester Park in Perth. Do you go with the reigning series champion, Lennytheshark, who couldn’t have been more impressive winning his heat last night, or the new kid on the block, stablemate Hectorjayjay, who also looks to have gone to another level? David Aiken is in the box seat, that’s for sure. The Avenel horseman trains both Lenny and Hector. Winning two Inter Dominion heats on one night is a special feat. Josh Aiken drove Hectorjayjay to victory in a mile rate of 1:53.6 – the quickest of the night – in the 2130-metre race. “He had to work to get there, he copped mid-race pressure and then he still ripped home in a 27 quarter,” winning reinsman Josh Aiken said post-race. “I was confident. He travelled well whole race. We had to work in the middle … that brings horses like bling it on Restrepo into the race, so I was rapt he still had kick in at end.” Kick away he did. At the home bend Hectorjayjay booted clear of runner-up Run Oneover and third placegetter Franco Nelson, both trying hard but not making any inroads. “Each run is going to tighten him up,” Aiken said. “He’ll keep getting better throughout the series.” Hectorjayjay had to burn some petrol early as Exciteusinthecity held up from the pole for a few strides, and once in front, Hector copped heat throughout with a 56.8 middle half. None of it mattered as Hectorjayjay, a six-year-old by Dream Away out of Sheer Finesse, ripped home in 27.4. Simply Susational finished fourth with Bling It On fifth. Other Victorians in heat three were Restrepo in seventh, Flaming Flutter in eighth and Exciteusinthecity in ninth. The next round of heats will be held at Bunbury on Tuesday night. Get your details by visiting the Inter Dominion website Hectorjayjay - Choices Flooring Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 3 Lenny and Hector take a swim in the Indian Ocean 2016 Perth Inter Dominion Progressive Points Table Nov 24, 2016 | Gloucester Park / RWWA   Heat Night 1 Heat Night 2 Heat Night 3 Series Horse Heat Placing Points Heat Placing Points Heat Placing Points Total Points Rank BETTORS FIRE NZ (WA) HEAT 2 1 14     0     0 14 1 HECTORJAYJAY (VIC) HEAT 3 1 14     0     0 14 2 LENNYTHESHARK (VIC) HEAT 1 1 14     0     0 14 3 BEAUDIENE BOAZ NZ (WA) HEAT 1 2 11     0     0 11 4 RUN ONEOVER NZ (WA) HEAT 3 2 11     0     0 11 5 SMOLDA (NZ) HEAT 2 2 11     0     0 11 6 FRANCO NELSON NZ (NZ) HEAT 3 3 9     0     0 9 7 JOHN OF ARC NZ (WA) HEAT 2 3 9     0     0 9 8 OUR JIMMY JOHNSTONE NZ (WA) HEAT 1 3 9     0     0 9 9 OUR JERICHO NZ (WA) HEAT 1 4 7     0     0 7 10 PHOENIX WARRIOR NZ (WA) HEAT 2 4 7     0     0 7 11 SIMPLY SUSATIONAL NZ (WA) HEAT 3 4 7     0     0 7 12 BLING IT ON (NSW) HEAT 3 5 6     0     0 6 13 GUARANTEED (VIC) HEAT 1 5 6     0     0 6 14 IMA CONNOISSEUR NZ (WA) HEAT 2 5 6     0     0 6 15 CYAMACH NZ (WA) HEAT 3 6 5     0     0 5 16 MAJOR CROCKER (VIC) HEAT 2 6 5     0     0 5 17 THE BUCKET LIST NZ (WA) HEAT 1 6 5     0     0 5 18 OUR BLACKBIRD NZ (WA) HEAT 2 7 4     0     0 4 19 RESTREPO (VIC) HEAT 3 7 4     0     0 4 20 ULTIMATE ART (NSW) HEAT 1 7 4     0     0 4 21 ELEGANT CHRISTIAN NZ (WA) HEAT 1 8 3     0     0 3 22 FLAMING FLUTTER NZ (WA) HEAT 3 8 3     0     0 3 23 YANKEE ROCKSTAR (VIC) HEAT 2 8 3     0     0 3 24 EXCITEUSINTHECITY (VIC) HEAT 3 9 2     0     0 2 25 TRICKY STYX NZ (WA) HEAT 1 9 2     0     0 2 26 WAYLADE NZ (WA) HEAT 2 9 2     0     0 2 27 FREYBERG NZ (NSW) HEAT 3 10 1     0     0 1 28 HEEZ ON FIRE (WA) HEAT 2 10 1     0     0 1 29 STUNNING GRIN (VIC) HEAT 1 10 1     0     0 1 30   * Please Note: The calculations in this table are not final until the race results have been confirmed and accepted by RWWA. ** In the event two or more horses each scoring equally the minimum number of points entitling them to be eligible for the Final and thereby producing a field exceeding the number designated by RWWA, then RWWA shall decide in its discretion which of the horses with equal points shall start in the Final. by Cody Winnell

Exciting pacer Hectorjayjay fared poorly by drawing out wide at barrier No. 8 in the third heat of the Choices Flooring Inter dominion championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but young harness racing reinsman Josh Aiken is likely to steal a march on his rivals by using the six-year-old’s dazzling gate speed and charging to an early lead. Trainer David Aiken, father of Josh, gave a strong clue to the possibility of the Dream Away gelding surging straight to the front when he said: “He can burn out pretty quickly when he wants to and he may be able to cross them.” Hectorjayjay is the form runner of the 30 pacers who will contest the heats of the championship, with his past 15 starts producing 11 wins, three seconds and a fifth placing. He was most impressive at his most recent outing when he was not extended in winning the Markovina Free-For-All at Bendigo last Friday week. He started out wide at barrier six and revealed sizzling pace to charge to the front after 50m. He was untroubled to win from Stunning Grin and Yankee Rockstar, reeling off the final quarters in 27.2sec. and 26.9sec. At his previous outing Hectorjayjay was the lone runner off the back line and he raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before running home determinedly, three wide, over the final 800m to finish second to the pacemaker Restrepo in the group 3 Yarra Valley Cup over 2650m. “He ran a sub-53sec. last half and his was a really good performance,” David Aiken said. “If he just gets one little easy section in front he can run a very fast time.” Restrepo, who charged straight to the front from barrier three in that event. A slow early pace and slow opening quarters of the final mile in 32.3sec. and 31.1sec. made life extremely difficult for Hectorjayjay. Restrepo (barrier four) ande can burn out pretty quickly if he wants to. He and Franco Nelson (five) are speedy beginners and there is a strong possibility that Gavin Lang (Restrepo) and Dexter Dunn (Franco Nelson) will fire their horses out of the gate. The John McCarthy-trained Bling It On is favourably drawn at barrier two and the six-year-old will have many admirers, particularly after Luke McCarthy produced a superb drive to bring Bling It On with a sparkling late burst of speed to beat Lennytheshark in the 1720m Smoken Up Sprint at Melton last Saturday week.    Freyberg, trained by Kevin Pizzuto, gave a solid performance when second to Smokey The Bandit over 2300m at Gloucester Park last Friday night. But this week he meets sterner opposition and must overcome a wide draw at No. 7. Simply Susational, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is capable of causing an upset. He is the sole backmarker and he could well be able to replicate his powerful finishing burst which gave him victory over Run Oneover and Waylade on November 4. Ken Casellas  

The Markovina Free for All, to be run at Lord’s Raceway Bendigo tomorrow night, has attracted a high quality line-up. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) last month made the decision to move the Markovina from Saturday night’s Tabcorp Park Melton program to Bendigo due to the flight transporting horses to the Perth Inter Dominion booked to take off Sunday. Trainer David Aiken has elected to run both his Inter Dominion big guns this weekend, reigning Perth champion Lennytheshark stepping out at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night in the Olympus Feeds Smoken Up Sprint, while outright Inters favourite Hectorjayjay ($3.40 with TAB.com.au) runs tomorrow night from barrier six in the $20,000 Markovina FFA. Hectorjayjay is a commanding favourite tomorrow night ($1.65 into $1.40 with TAB.com.au), but he bumps into his last-start Yarra Valley Pacing Cup vanquisher in Restrepo from the Emma Stewart stable. Restrepo is $2.60 with TAB.com.au and driver Chris Alford predicted the eight-year-old son of Art Major would improve on his first-up win. But the superstar reinsman also placed a caveat on his statement, saying it would be a tricky task to upstage Hector twice in succession. “It was well documented he’d had 20 months off (before Yarra Valley) but his run there was super. He did have a nice, easy run, but he still ran a super half and I’m sure the run will have done him the world of good,” Alford said. “It’ll be a hard task tomorrow in such a small field and with Hector being there. But I’m sure he’ll go great again.” The pair dominates the market but there is not one slouch among the chasing brigade tomorrow, with Group 2 winning speedster Stunning Grin drawn the pole for Rod Petroff, dual Inter Dominion placegetter and Group 1 winner Flaming Flutter in gate two for Greg Sugars, reigning Country Cups Champion Yankee Rockstar to in three for Gavin Lang and evergreen 36-time winner Smudge Bromac the rank outsider of the field for David Aiken in barrier five. Meanwhile, legendary drivers will contest the annual Oxley Feed Mills Veteran Drivers Trot tomorrow night at Bendigo (Race 4). Cliff Powell, Neville Welsh, Peter Manning, Keith Pratt, Graeme Whittle, Brian Gath, Graeme Lang, Dick Lee, Bill Spiteri, Jim O’Sullivan and Noel Shinn will all jump in the gig in the 2150-metre race at 7.40pm. The race meeting is the annual ‘Memorial night’ meet, honouring past Bendigo and district greats such as Ken and Daphne Pocock, Ron Pocock, Less Pratt, Ted Manton, Henry McDermott and Merv Dillon. Bendigo’s 10-race card kicks off at 6pm. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Bendigo, Friday 11 November 2016 Form guide for Bendigo, Friday 11 November 2016

The race for the $25,000 Trots Country Cups Championship bonus is under way and harness racing star Hectorjayjay has drawn first blood. The David Aiken-trained gun scored four points for winning Saturday night’s 3SH Swan Hill Pacing Cup, runner-up Guaranteed for trainer Emma Stewart picking up two points and stablemate of the winner Smudge Bromac on the board with one point for third. The Trots Country Cups Championship turns to Maryborough on Sunday where a quality field will clash, including the expected return of reigning Country Cups king Yankee Rockstar who will be out to defend his crown this summer. Twenty-five cups make up this season’s Trots Country Cups Championship with Yarra Valley (November 3) and St Arnaud (November 13) in coming weeks. The $25,000 Country Cup Championship bonus will see $15,000 going to the winning horse’s owners and $10,000 to the trainer. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Champion harness racing pacer Lennytheshark begins his quest to defend his Inter Dominion title at Tabcorp Park @ Club Menangle this Saturday night. The 2015 Inter Dominion victor lines up in the Group Three Kevin Newman Free-For-All, his first assignment since finishing runner up in the Len Smith Mile at the same track last June. Trainer-driver David Aiken on Sky Sports Radio's On The Pace program this week suggested he is happy with where his $1.8million earner is at. "One thing I've learned about racing at Menangle is that it is never an easy race, they will still run a quick mile and you have to be very good on the night," Aiken said. "I thought his trial was very good last Thursday and this week he has shown me he has benefited from that trial." Lennytheshark trialled at Shepparton and finished second to stablemate Hectorjayjay when they rated 1:55.7 in the 2190m hit-out. Aiken's main target for both pacers is the Perth Inter Dominion which begins on November 25. "Lennytheshark will have three runs before Perth, we just have to figure out when the flight is going over," Aiken said. AMANDA RANDO  

“It’s like driving a Ferrari”. That’s how young gun harness racing reinsman Josh Aiken today summed up his first hit-out in the gig behind star pacer Hectorjayjay. Aiken, 23, drove the brilliant six-year-old at the Shepparton trials last Thursday, where he came in first ahead of Inter Dominion winning champion stablemate Lennytheshark in a rate of 1:55.7 (55-second last half). “I said straight afterwards I think I might have gone too slowly on him but he ran home in a 55secs last half and a 26.2 last quarter,” he said. “It was just unreal.” Today Aiken received the news he’d be piloting the David Aiken-trained 31-time winner in Saturday night’s Group 3 3SH Swan Hill Pacing Cup. Hectorjayjay’s regular reinsman, Gavin Lang, has committed to Emma Stewart-trained 2014 Swan Hill Cup winner Guaranteed, who is first-up since the 2015 A.G. Hunter Cup on Saturday. “I’m excited to have picked up this opportunity,” Aiken said. Swan Hill is the first of 25 Trots County Cups to be held across Victoria. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Swan Hill, Saturday 15 October 2016 Form guide for Swan Hill, Saturday 15 October 2016

Trainer David Aiken loves Hectorjayjay, but he is just a little more emotionally connected to stablemate Lennytheshark. And that’s why Aiken will be at Menangle instead of Swan Hill on Saturday night. If you win an Inter Dominion, like Lennytheshark did in Perth last year, you earn than connection. “I’ll be at Menangle. I’m taking Lenny up to Sydney on Wednesday,” Aiken said. “But I’ll be watching Hector closely on TV (when he runs in Saturday night’s Swan Hill Cup).” Lennytheshark will open the campaign towards his Perth Inter Dominion title defence in the Group 3 Kevin Newman Cup (1609m) at Menangle on Saturday night. He will dominate betting despite being the lone back row runner (gate 11) a field lacking any real star factor. His major rivals will be the likes of Blazin N Cullen (gate four), Freyberg (nine) and Iam Mr Brightside (10). “It’s a perfect starting point for him,” Aiken said. “I was really pleased with his trial (second to Hectorjayjay at Shepparton last Thursday) and he’s worked really well since. “He’s a horse who thrives on having his runs close together so he’ll race this week and then back-up the week after at Menangle again in another free-for-all. “Then it’s back down to Melbourne for the Smoken Up and then he heads to Perth.” Hectorjayjay returns from a freshen-up in the Swan Hill Cup which is set to see champion driver Gavin Lang have to make a big driving decision. For months people have been speculating whether Lang will stick with Hectorjayjay or switch to one of Emma Stewart and Claytin Tonkin’s stars, most probably Yankee Rockstar. “It looks like Gav will have to decide this week,” Aiken said. “It’s up to him. Of course I’d love him to stay wih Hectorjayjay because I think they are made for each other, but I’ll totally understand if he doesn’t.” Aiken’s son, Josh, is on stand-by to drive Hectorjayjay, not just at Swan Hill but in the Perth Inter Dominion as well. “We’ve known this day would come and have to have a back-up plan. Josh will take the drive if Gavin doesn’t. They (Hectorjayjay’s connections) are happy with that and have been for quite some time.” Aiken is in the amazing position of having the Aussie TAB’s $6 Inter Dominion favourite Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay, who shares the second line of betting at $6.50 with Have Faith In Me.   Adam Hamilton

Lenny or Hector?  Or both? David Aiken certainly is the latter. But the intra-stable battle between Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay should add stacks of spice to the 2016-17 Summer of Glory carnival and Perth Inter Dominion. And harness racing fans will take sides. Both Aiken-trained stars will be headline acts all season long. While reigning Inter Dom champ Lennytheshark deserves top billing for now, Hector fans are undoubtedly growing in bullishness. When Hectorjayjay scorched past Lennytheshark in the Len Smith Mile (1:50.5) during June a rivalry was born. Tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton Hectorjayjay (Dream Away-Sheer Finesse) added the City of Melton Plate to his owners’ trophy cabinet. And he did it with plenty of panache. Reinsman Gavin Lang hit the go button off the arm at the 1720-metre start and Hectorjayjay ripped across the face of the field to find the pegs first. Unlike last start when Hectorjayjay had to arc the field before getting upstaged by an unlikely vanquisher in All Eyes On Us, Lang and Hectorjayjay put the issue beyond doubt early tonight. With Maximan sitting outside him and Five Star Anvil in the trail, Hectorjayjay posted a 6.7secs lead time followed by first and second quarters of 29 and 29.9.  His third quarter was 27.2 and his fourth 26.6 – the 53.8secs final looked half a powerful statement. His 1:51.7 mile rate exquisite. In 2015-16 Hectorjayjay won eight races from 17 starts for $279k. He’s launched 16-17 on the right hoof. Five Star Anvil and Stunning Grin filled the Plate minor placings. Chris Alford took driving honours tonight with three winners, while Gavin Lang picked up a winning double in the gig and Aiken won two races as trainer. Kyvalley Blur (Chocolatier-Duo Val Car) notched a strong win in the City of Melton Scotch Notch Memorial for Brent Lilley and Nathan Jack, scoring by 2.1m over The Boss Man (Ellen Tormey), who looks to have taken the next step, and Maori Time in third for Anthony Butt. In the Battle of the Claimers heats trainers Marnie Bibby, Cheyenne King-Davies and Luke Bryant all tasted success with Ubringthedrinks (Panorama-Sorrento Star) (David Moran), Four Needed (Real Desire-For The Don) (Alex Ashwood) and Kenny Trickem (Stonebridge Regal-Alexina) respectively. Larry Eastman had five-year-old Morton Plains (Bettors Delight-Dont Answer That) back to her best with a 1:56 run in the DNR Logistics Pace to beat Michael Stanley-trained pair Soho Tokyo and Soho Berlin, while Lightning Calder (Ganymede-Miss Calder) prevailed for trainer/driver Craig Demmler in the Aldebaran Park Trot, Upanatom (Christian Cullen-Atom Queen) went 1:53.2 to win the Middy’s Industrial Laverton Pace, and talented five-year-old Mister Wickham (Julius Caesar-Bronte Jones) overcame barrier 11 to win the TAB.com.au Pace for trainer Lee Evison. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Victorian-bred gelding Hectorjayjay will be a major player in the rich TABtouch Interdominion Championship at Gloucester Park in November and December, according to his Victorian trainer David Aiken, who had no qualms in comparing his horse favourably with recently-retired harness racing superstar Im Themightyquinn. “Hectorjayjay can cover a field very quickly and he possesses similar dazzling speed that made Quinny such a champion,” Aiken said at the launch of the $1.8 million series on Tuesday afternoon. Aiken, who prepared Lennytheshark for his brilliant victory in the final of the Inters at Gloucester Park last December, will campaign with both Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay this year. Both pacers will have the services of champion Victorian drivers, with Gavin Lang in the sulky behind Hectorjayjay and Chris Alford behind Lennytheshark. Im Themightyquinn won the interdominion championship three times --- in 2011, 2012 and 2013 --- and he retired with earnings of $4,567,456 from 58 wins, 21 seconds and 13 thirds from 111 starts. His trainer Gary Hall sen. agreed with Aiken’s claim that Hectorjayjay possesses similar characteristics which made Im Themightyquinn such a magnificent champion. “Yes, Hectorjayjay can unwind a devastating burst of speed,” Hall said. “But I’m not convinced that he has the same strength as Quinny at the end of his races.” Hectorjayjay is only a comparatively recent addition to Aiken’s training establishment. He was transferred from Simone Walker’s stables to Aiken last February and in ten starts for Aiken the gelding has won seven times and finished second twice. His 62 starts have produced 30 wins and 19 placings for stakes of $508,084. Five starts ago Hectorjayjay won the group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle, beating Lennytheshark by 1.2m in 1.50.5 over the 1609m journey. Two weeks later he gave a phenomenal performance to thunder home from a seemingly hopeless position in second-last place 400m from home to win the 1660m Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park, rating 1.51.8. Hectorjayjay is not exclusively a sprinter. He has won over 2627m, 2600m (twice) and several times over 2240m. His recent form, including a strong second to Ohoka Punter in the $200,000 group 1 Blacks A Fake Classic over 2680m at Albion Park on July 16. Lennytheshark, who has earned $1,896,790 from 27 wins and 20 placings from 51 starts, has had a spell since finishing second to Hectorjayjay in the Len Smith Mile on June 26. “He has just come back into work and everything is on course for him to attempt to win the Inters again this year,” Aiken said. Adding considerable interest to this year’s championship series will be the expected appearance of star pacer Smolda, a veteran star of the All Star New Zealand stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Speaking via a video link at Tuesday’s launch, Purdon said he was keen to bring Smolda to Perth for the big series. Smolda, bred in Victoria, has raced 53 times for 27 wins, 16 placings and $1,518,824 in stakes. He has had a beneficial winter spell since finishing a neck second to Locharburn in a $100,000 3200m stand at Addington on March 26. Smolda won the group 1 New South Wales Derby at Menangle in April 2012 and other feature wins since then include the Len Smith Mile at Menangle in April 2014 (beating Beautide and Lennytheshark), the group 1 Ballarat Cup last January (beating Lennytheshark), the $500,000 Hunter Cup (beating Ohoka Punter) at Melton and the Brian Hancock Cup and the Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Menangle last February. Hall said that Beaudiene Boaz would head his list of about ten nominations for the championship series. Beaudiene Boaz, winner of 22 races from 32starts for earnings of $998,014, is progressing well and will resume racing soon. His victories include five in group 1 events (the 2014 Golden Slipper, the WA Derby, the McInerney Ford Classic and Golden Nugget in 2015 and the Fremantle Cup last January). Hall is hoping for a trouble-free preparation for Beaudiene Boaz after the disappointment of that pacer’s half-brother Beaudiene Beaufighta breaking down with a damaged suspensory ligament after scoring a smart all-the-way victory over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The injury will keep Beaudiene Beaufighta out of action for at least six to seven months. Gloucester Park Harness Racing president John Burt said that more than 25 nominations from four States have been received and the club was expecting further interstate entries and many more from local owners before nominations close at 4pm (WA time) at RWWA on Friday September 9. Ken Casellas

There will be a hell of a party up Stawell way on Saturday night if harness racing trainer Owen Martin’s pacer takes line honours in the Harness Breeders Victoria Jane Ellen. Victory in the $30,575 Group 3 mares race would deliver Martin, 63, the trots trainer’s first victory at Group level and in Hellovaway he has a genuine hope. “It would be a dream come true if she won,” Martin said. “I just hope she runs a good race and whatever happens will happen.” A winner in three of her last five starts, Hellovaway has twice tasted success at Tabcorp Park Melton across her 37 starts, most recently in the Gippsland Racing Training Centre Pace on November 20. The six-year-old has raced twice at Group level, running a competitive seventh in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series four-year-old mares final at her fifth career start, and then sixth in the Mark Gurry and Associates Cup at Mildura on April 9. Participation alone is notable, given the mare by Dream Away out of Jilliby Jasmine began in modest terms. “(Me and a mate) went to Mount Gambier to look at another horse and then on the way back went to the Cravens (in Terang), who had her advertised,” Martin said. “She was only a small thing and they couldn’t get her going. We bought her, it wasn’t much money, about $1000.” It wasn’t until deep into age four that she made it to the track.  “She grew, but it was a hell of a lot of trouble to get her to pace around corners,” Martin said. “I gradually got her confidence up and she started to find her feet. “She never showed anything brilliant, I thought she might win one or two races, but once she started racing she just got better. She is headstrong, she did her own thing sometimes and that made her look average. Now she has put it together.” She first stepped on to a race track on May 31 at Ballarat and from barrier four found the front and cleared away to win by 13.7m. “She was a one-paced sort of horse, then we went to Ballarat for her first start and she won in a 1:56.7 mile rate in a C0,” Martin said. “She showed that much speed that night we almost fell over. I think she’s a true racehorse, her work at home is OK without being spectacular, but once she gets to the race track she turns it on.” She is now, at age six, 37 starts in which have produced nine victories and a further nine placings for $57,367 in stakes. That includes three wins amid four placings in her last five starts, and Martin said his stable was in good order owing to more than a drop of rain. “We had it very dry out here for a long time and a lot of the horses get sick of being fed dry hay and having no green grass for them,” Martin said. “I was carrying bore water for them and that was a bit of factor too. “(This year's rain) is one of the best years we’re had for 10 or 12 years. The paddocks are just starting to get a bit wet. It can keep raining as far as I’m concerned.” The grass may only get greener on Saturday night, though Hellovaway will have to see off some nice types to claim the night’s feature, with David Aiken’s Quick Draft and Beach Shack among participants.  “(Hellovaway) will be very competitive in that run,” Martin said. “She has terrific gate speed and I don’t think they will want to hold her out, because she could sit out in the death seat and poor pressure on. “David Aiken got’s two nice types in the race, but I think she will definitely make it a true race.” Michael Howard

Harness Racing Trainer David Aiken was expected to capture the Group 1 Len Smith Mile (1609m) at Menangle on Sunday. However, it would be his second-seed that would be victorious as five-year-old gelding Hectorjayjay ran down stablemate Lennytheshark to score in 1:50.5.   Lennytheshark was involved in a flying 25.7 opening quarter as Bettor Bet Black scorched over before Lennytheshark was able to find the top in the back straight in a 55-second first half.   Champion reinsman Gavin Lang took three-wide cover with Hectorjayjay before peeling to the outside to give chase to Lennytheshark. The third quarter was run through in 28.3 followed by a 27.2 final quarter as Lennytheshark’s early work took its toll.    Hectorjayjay would defeat Lennytheshark by 1.2m with a further 5.9m back to Ohoka Punter in third place.   “That’s one thing about drawing 14, you need those type of quick sectionals early to bring you into the race and that’s how it turned out,” Lang told Michael Court. “That early burn gives you a chance. Over a mile if they go slowly early then you are left to do your share of work to get into the race and chasing quality horses, well, you just won’t catch them.”   Aiken had originally planned for Hectorjayjay to contest a couple of Queensland features and now that he has claimed the Len Smith Mile, there is no reason not to continue on the original path; later in the year Lennytheshark will defend his Inter Dominion Championship crown in Perth with Hectorjayjay looking to take the coveted title away from his stablemate.   “The plan all along was to take him up to Queensland for the winter features,” Aiken told harnessnews.com.au.  “So that’s the way he will keep going.”   The Group 2 Sunshine Sprint (1660m) will be held at Albion Park on July 9 followed by the Group 1 The Blacks A Fake (2680m) at the same venue on July 16.   Former Miracle Mile winner Christen Me is in Queensland to contest both features while Ohoka Punter will return to his home state to tackle both events.    Reprinted with permission www.racingbase.com

Master harness racing trainer David Aiken pulled off the ultimate big-race success when he trained the quinella in today’s $100,000 TABCORP.COM.AU Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The only problem was it wasn’t quite the way punters expected it to go. Aiken’s up and comer Hectorjayjay ($10.10), finished like a train to swamp odds-on favourite Lennytheshark ($1.40 favourite) by 1.2m, with Ohoka Punter ($7) a fighting third 7.1m further way. The winner rated a slashing 1:50.5, confirming the huge wraps that Aiken had placed on the five-year-old gelding, who is now bound for Queensland and further feature starts. Victoria’s two leading reinsmen Gavin Lang (Hectorjayjay) and Chris Alford (Lennytheshark) cleared away to fight out the finish although the wicked grin on Lang’s face in the last 100m clearly indicated he knew he had the race in his keeping. Close behind the placegetters were outsiders Blazin N Cullen and Alta Jerome, just ahead of the mighty mare Frith, who endured a torrid run and couldn’t match the Grand Circuit stars in the straight. “Gavin really likes this five-year-old gelding by Dream Away,” said Aiken. “He doesn’t say a lot but I just really got the feeling he’s been impressed with his turn of foot.” Lang explained that draws were important and 14 was not ideal against a quality field like that. “As I always say before the race, it’s only a number, we usually have a post mortem after and decide if they’re good bad or otherwise . . . and it turned out perfectly,” said Lang. “That’s one thing about drawing 14, you need those type of quick sectionals early to bring you into the race and that’s how it turned out. “That early burn gives you a chance. Over a mile if they go slowly early then you are left to do your share of work to get into the race and chasing quality horses, well, you just won’t catch them.” Lang said Hectorjayjay always travelled well and his only concern pre-race was that he had been scratched from his last run because he had a minor problem. “But a solidly run race (like today’s) can be their downfall and to the stable’s credit they did a great job and had him in excellent condition,” he said. Home straight: “He’s a good horse and that’s one of the qualities that good horses have - under pressure they really dig in.” “I’m sure these two horses will have some epic battles in the future.” Michael Howard

The 2016 Racing Queensland UBET winter carnival is fast approaching and in the coming weeks, Queensland harness broadcaster Chris Barsby will profile a number of major players vying for the top prizes. With 18 Black Type races on the program for the 2016 Winter Carnival, the carnival’s pinnacle in 2016 is the G1 Blacks A Fake, which now boasts an impressive $200,000 in stakes. The carnival spans from May 28 to July 30. Here’s a profile featuring an up and coming open class talent, a real star in the making and a horse that has many people excited. Name: Hectorjayjay Stable Name: Hector Age: 5yo gelding Owner: Matt McLellan, Earl Sakareassen, Mick Harvey, Jane Hughes, Luke & Paul Stokie, Gareth Hall Trainer: David Aiken Driver: Gavin Lang Prizemoney: $355,832 Biggest win: 4 & 5yo Championship, Mildura Cup, 4yo Breeders Crown, Warragul Cup Target: Gr.2 $50,000 Sunshine Sprint (July 9) & the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake (July 16) Trainer says: “A recent addition to the stables but a pacer with enormous talent and abundant speed. While a great foundation has already been laid, we’re still sorting him and getting to know him but we’re very happy with the job he’s done for us so far and the best is yet to come. The Queensland carnival provides a perfect springboard into the elite races and the Inter Dominion later this year is the long range target so we’ll learn a lot more about him in Brisbane.” Barsby says: “A pacer with unbelievable ability and speed that can torch his rivals in an instant. He’s destined for the very top and it’s just a matter of when, not if, so the Queensland carnival will see him pitted against some proven Grand Circuit like opposition and he will thrive on the hard style racing that Brisbane is renowned for in the coming weeks. Over the years, the Queensland winter carnival has nurtured some great pacers and Hector is about to join that famous list.”

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