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Harness Racing Driver Josh Aiken is looking forward to driving Hectorjayjay in Saturday night’s Italian Cup (2240m) at Melton.   The five-year-old gelding is trained by Aiken’s father, David, but regular reinsman Gavin Lang won’t be in the sulky due to driving commitments at Menangle.    Hectorjayjay continues to grow from strength to strength and Aiken has enjoyed watching the gelding add strength to go along with his sheer point-to-point speed.   “It’s exciting to have a horse like him here; we always knew he was an extremely quick horse, everyone knew that, but watching him develop has also been a thrill,” Aiken told Harness Racing New Zealand.   “This week is another challenge because I’ve got great respect for the pole horse (Major Secret) but Hector showed in the 4YO and 5YO Championship that he can do some work as well.   “Whether he could race tough off a strong tempo and still sprint as quick I’m not sure but he’s certainly developed a lot not only with us but just from his years of racing before he came here.”   Bookmakers expect Hectorjayjay to account for his seven rivals in the Italian Cup. He has been installed at the short quote of $1.25 with the Emma Stewart-trained five-year-old entire Major Secret the only other runner in single figures at $4.20.   READ: Italian Cup preview   Hectorjayjay has won five of his past six starts with his only defeat coming when held up for a run in an M2-M4 contest. He followed that up by leading in 1:56.0 in the Bold David Free For All (2240m) and then sitting parked in 1:55.1 over course and distance in the Group 2 4YO & 5YO Championship.   Major Secret has won both starts since returning from injury and he will look to make the most of barrier one with Chris Alford picking up the drive. Lang normally drives the entire also and it could have given punters a lead had he been driving at the meeting.   Aiken returns to driving after serving suspension for inconveniencing Ideal Majority in the Young Pedro Free For All (1720m) at Melton on June 3 when driving Cold Major. With Aiken choosing Hectorjayjay, David Moran has picked up the drive on Cold Major who will follow out Major Secret in the event.   Reprinted with premission from  www.racingbase.com

Human nature dictates that potential is more attractive than achievement, promise more seductive than stability. That’s why when Hectorjayjay takes his place in Saturday night’s Italian Cup at Melton the average harness racing fan will be beside themselves with glee. A race made most famous as the arena for Popular Alm’s emotional comeback in 1984, this weekend the Italian Cup will be the next step in Hector’s star-making apprenticeship for team Aiken. Of course, it won’t be easy. Awaiting the dual Group 2 winner will be Super Series and NSW Derby winner, Major Secret, who himself is two runs into a brilliant comeback campaign. He also draws the pole to aid his chances. But most experts and almost all pacing enthusiasts are hoping and expecting that Hectorjayjay will prove too fast, too complete and too talented for his strong but less charismatic list of adversaries. “It’s exciting to have a horse like him here; we always knew he was an extremely quick horse, everyone knew that, but watching him develop has also been a thrill,” Josh Aiken said. “This week is another challenge because I’ve got great respect for the pole horse (Major Secret) but hector showed in the 4 and 5YO Championship that he can do some work as well. “Whether he could race tough off a strong tempo and still sprint as quick I’m not sure but he’s certainly developed a lot not only with us but just from his years of racing before he came here.” All things being equal, Victoria’s most exhilarating constant resident will progress from Saturday night’s $20K mini-feature to the Group 1 Len Smith Mile where he’ll be no doubt welcomed by superstar stablemate Lennytheshark. The lover of promise, the devotee of the untapped will be dreaming of that clash and secretly hoping that the younger tyro can test his Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup winning co-habitant. But if Josh and David Aiken are both on the pulse then there’s still a little water left to flow before that happens. “I’m with Dad I suppose,” Josh said. “I might think there’s little less between them than he does but Lenny had to run second in a Vic Cup and place in a Len Smith before he started winning those big races and Hector might have to as well. “The beauty about our situation is that they’re two very different horses. “Lenny is the king and he can do everything where Hector’s got that explosive speed when conditions suit. “That means you can drive Hector a little more conservatively at the top level and get him battle-hardened for that type of racing without conceding him a real winning chance. “Any race is winnable with a sprint like his.” Jason Bonnington

Sound the alarm. Harness Racing Champion Lennytheshark is back. Resuming in the Group 3 Tabcorp Golden Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight for trainer David Aiken and regular driver Chris Alford, the reining TABtouch inter Dominion champion was sensational in his first up run from a spell. Starting from barrier 10, Alford was forced to park outside speedster Bettor Bet Black who burned out of the gate in 26.4. Sitting in the death set, Alford controlled the tempo with the 2nd quarter being cut out in 30.5. Darren McCall starting to up the tempo with 800 to run and was obviously hoping that with Lenny missing a trial and working early, that he would be able to outstay his opponent with a third quarter in 28.7. But that was put to bed when Lenny and Alford powered on past at the 200m mark to finish off with a sizzling 26.6 last quarter. The overall time was 1.52.2 and Lennytheshark looks well on his way to victory in the Len Smith Mile before heading for another spell to prepare for this years running of the TABtouch inter Dominion at Gloucester Park. Andrew Fitzgerald

Harness Racing Owner Martin Riseley has stated that a defence of Lennytheshark's Inter Dominion title is his main focus and everything is currently going to plan for an apperence in November/December later this year. Scott Hamilton

Wheen Christen Me's trainer Cran Dalgety announced his star pacer would miss the Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle later this month and head straight to Queensland, rival harness racing trainer David Aiken decided to reconsider his plans. Aiken was keen to keep Inter Dominion winner Lennytheshark and rising star Hectorjayjay apart until the Perth Inter Dominion however he has confirmed the pair will clash in the Len Smith Mile. After the June 26 race, Hectorjayjay will continue onto Queensland while Lennytheshark will remain in Sydney. "Josh (Aiken) told me that Cran Dalgety had decided to go straight to Queensland with Christen Me so I thought I might as well start Hectorjayjay in the Len Smith Mile against Lennytheshark," Aiken said. "It is a dream to have two horses the quality of Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay in your stable at the one time, obviously the headache is keeping them apart as often as you can. I think the gap between the two has closed noticeably and I know the driver of Hectorjayjay (Gavin Lang) is pretty excited and he doesn't get excited about much." Aiken confirmed the recent bad weather in Sydney had caused him a few concerns with Lennytheshark but he has already overcome those issues. "I wanted to give Lenny a trial at Menangle on Monday but because of the rain and the flooding around the track the races were transferred to Wednesday. The main track was closed but I was still able to give him a good hit-out on the training track. "He always improves with racing, he works his way into his campaign. The draw on Saturday night isn't ideal but he'll be better for the run and the Len Smith Mile is the main target, I then will just keep him ticking over until Perth which is a long time away." Lennytheshark is likely to remain in Aiken's Sydney stables if he can get access to the water walker. "Once I can start to use the water walker at Menangle it will be perfect. I like Lenny to do a lot of his work in the water walker so if he can use the one being built at Menangle then I'd be more inclined to keep him in Sydney. "If there was an attractive race for him in Melbourne he would definitely go south and compete." Greg Hayes

Reinging Inter Dom champ Lennytheshark was beaten into third spot after a tough run at his first trial on the path towards the Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle on April 26. Trainer David Aiken took the reins himself in a Menangle trial yesterday (Tuesday) and Lennytheshark’s condition gave out late after he sat parked in a 1min52.1sec mile.  “It wasn’t the run I hoped for because I knew he needed it and wanted to give him some cover, but he ended-up parked and Bettor Bet Black really ran along in front,” Aiken said.  “He was only beaten a half-length or so and got a bit tired late, but, more importantly, he came through it well.”  It was Lennytheshark’s first public appearance since his gallant second to Have Faith In Me in the Miracle Mile at Menangle on February 28.  Aiken did reveal he is consider a change of plans with Lennytheshark.  “I’d say he’s only 50-50 of running in the Golden Mile (June 11) now,” he said. “It’s not an important race and Chris Alford (regular driver) might have some big drives at Melton on the same night. I’ve got some thinking to do.  “The other option is to give him another strong trial and wait another week to run him first-up over 2300m at Menangle (June 18).  “That would still give him a lead-up run before his main target, the Len Smith.”  Aiken confirmed the Len Smith would be Lennytheshark’s last race for the season, which has so far seen him race 11 times for seven wins, four seconds and earn $1.31 million.  “Yes, he’ll be out for another break then before we set him to defend his (Inter Dominion) title in Perth,” he said.  Aiken’s other Perth Inter Dominion hopeful, the immensely exciting Hectorjayjay, is having a short let-up and doing some “water-walker” work ahead of a Queensland winter raid.  “He’s had a bit of an easy time since his latest win, which took him to another level in my opinion,” Aiken said,  “I’ll look for a race for him at Melton in a couple of weeks then he’ll come up to our Menangle stable for a few days to break up the trip on his way to Queensland for the big races in July.” Adam Hamilton

Reining Inter Dominion champion Lennytheshark’s trainer David Aiken has confirmed this week he will defend his title when the Inter Dominion Carnival returns later this year. Having won the Victoria and Bendigo Cup’s since his emphatic Perth Inter dominion win, the Four Starzzz Shark entire is aimed at the Len Smith Mile (G1) at Menangle after competing in the Golden Mile (G3) one week earlier. His travel-buddy on the trip to Western Australia will be Hectorjayjay. With the Mildura Cup (G2) and the 4 & 5yo Championship (G2) in his trophy cabinet in his last 4 starts - the Dream Away gelding will contest the Sunshine Sprint (G2) and the Blacks A Fake (G2) in Queensland. Hectorjayjay “I knew he was good when he came to our stables, but I didn’t realise just how good” Trainer David Aiken said after his impressive Melton win on Saturday night. Aiken is hoping the trip to Queensland will give Hectorjayjay much needed travel experience before attempting one of Harness Racing’s tough tasks - the Inter Dominion. Scott Hamilton

Emerging Victorian star Hectorjayjay is Queensland-bound. Trainer David Aiken had planned a freshen-up, but Hectorjayjay’s breathtaking 4&5YO Championship win at Melton last Saturday night changed his mind.  “He forced our hand, he changed our minds. He went to another level the other night. We have to give him a chance against the big boys now,” Aiken said.  “He’s scary fast and the other night he showed a new side when he did so much work in a really fast last half and still won with the plugs in.  “I knew he was good when he came to our stable, but I didn’t realise just how good.”  Hectorjayjay has won four of five starts since a change of ownership saw him switch from Simone Walker’s stable to Aiken’s barn. “He’d be unbeaten for us with any luck. His only defeat came when he drew inside the back row and never saw daylight,” Aiken said.  “This is a seriously exciting horse and I’m setting for the Perth Inter Dominion along with Lennytheshark.  “This guy can go to Queensland for the Sunshine Sprint (July 9) and Blacks A Fake (July 16), while Lennytheshark can go to Sydney.”  Lennytheshark finished a pre-training stint on the water-walker and returned to Aiken’s satellite stable on-course at Menangle yesterday (Monday).  The reigning Inter Dominion champ will go first-up into the Group 3 Golden Mile at Menangle on June 11.  Then comes the $100,000 Group 1 Len Smith Mile at the same track on June 26.  “I can get him fit enough by working at Menangle and a trial before the Golden Mile and that run should top him off nicely for the Len Smith,” Aiken said.  “Then he’s out for another little break until the new season.  “He didn’t really need these races, but he puts on too much weight when he’s out spelling, so I didn’t want to leave him out too long.  “It’ll be great to have he and Hector to bring-up together towards Perth.” Adam Hamilton

HRNZ have made significant moves today to confirm several more Australian Harness Jewels invites. The latest runner to be officially invited is 4yo Armbro Invasion trotting mare Reina Danzante, trained by Nicole Molander. Owner Pat Driscoll is said to be delighted to have received an invite, and quickly snapped up his chance to come over and compete. Nicole Molander is very keen to have a jewels starter and is looking forward to the trip with her handy mare. Reina Danzante becomes the 5th invite, joining Arms Of An Angel, Heza Bromac, My Kiwi Mate and Illawong Byron as the other Australians set to cross the ditch and do battle. Owners of Eljaykay Phoenix and Princess Phoenix, along with their trainer David Aiken appreciated the interest shown in their two stars, but declined invites today with both set to focus on home features. HRNZ are not finished and are working on several other options for the remaining invites. Andrew Fitzgerald

According to HRNZ, New Zealanders are breeding better quality horses. While breeding numbers are slightly down, from around 2690 last year to 2520 this year, the breeding industry isn't in dire straits like many think. The slight decline can be attributed to a major shift from breeders to produce a higher quality product, with a significant commercial value.  With sire fees going up, many breeders are cutting back their broodmare numbers to focus on better bred mares, who have shown ability on the track. Leading sire Bettor's Delight served 289 mares this season, while Christian Cullen has dropped to just he 45 mares this season.  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ The Shane Tritton trained 2yo High Rolling will not make the Harness Jewels trip.  While stablemate Arms Of An Angel ,Kevin Pizzuto trained Heza Bromac and the Craig Demmler trained My Kiwi Mate are the only confirmed Australian invites to the Cambridge Harness Jewels. The focus has shifted to the trotting sections with HRNZ's Racing Manager Darrin Williams working on several runners and awaiting responses. The David Aiken trained 3yo trotter Princess Phoenix will not make the trip, although her stablemate Eljaykay Phoenix is still a chance of making the trip to complete against Monbet and Sunny Ruby in the 4yo Ruby.  Connections will sit down with the Aiken’s this afternoon to make a decision on their first jewels trip. Andrew Fitzgerald

Saturday  night's Mildura Cup winner Hectorjayjay will not be aimed at the Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday June 26. Trainer  David Aiken believes it is in the five-year-old gelding's best interest to be kept away from stablemate Lennytheshark this season but expects Hectorjayjay to progress to Harnesss Racings Grand Circuit level next season. The son of Dream Away has won both of his starts since joining the Aiken stable and was dominant in his most recent victory. "Hectorjayjay is a very talented horse and I don't really want to overtax him at this stage of his career so I'm going to look at the 4YO & 5YO Championship at Melton next month before getting him ready for a trip to Perth for the Inter Dominion," Aiken said. "I didn't ask too much of Lennytheshark during his five-year-old season and I think it really helps them develop into better horses at six. I'm pretty keen to keep Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark apart for the time being as well." Hectorjayjay has been driven by Gavin Lang in both of his starts for the Aiken stable. "I think Gavin is going to help make the horse, his patience will teach the horse how to race against the best ones. "He is an exciting prospect and what I was most happy about after Saturday was that Gavin said he handled the tighter track very well and that is important if he does make it to Gloucester Park for the Inter Dominion." Aiken confirmed Lennytheshark is on target to compete in the Len Smith Mile and has been back working in the water-walker. "He's been back at the water-walker for a fortnight so he'll return in pretty good condition. Ideally I'd like him to have two or three runs under his belt before going towards the Len Smith Mile." With ten boxes at the Menangle Training Centre, Aiken is keen to make a success of his new satellite stable but has no plans to relocate back to Sydney in the short-term. "Obviously there are family ties in Sydney, my mother lives over on the Northern Beaches and I've got two sisters over that way as well but at the moment I'm happy with the set-up. I'm still working through how I'm going to staff everything but the beauty of these ten boxes in Sydney is that if there is a race at Menangle that suits I can transport horses between Victoria and NSW. "Before getting the Menangle boxes I would have to speak with a Sydney trainer to see if they had room for me and it is a bit of an ask to be trying to get four or five stables off them. Plus if I want to make that group of four or five into a group of six I can." Aiken has already earmarked a Sydney trip for recent recruit Macha. The gelding was placed second in the WA Derby behind Alta Christiano in 2013 and is set to resume for his new stable. "Macha will be best suited at Menangle and he'll be doing a fair bit of racing in Sydney." Greg Hayes                    

Hectorjayjay gave his connections some carnival delight, saluting in the Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup.The Group 2 harness racing  victory, which captured the bulk of the $60,325 for David Aiken’s newly acquired five-year-old, was born out of an ice cool drive from Gavin Lang to win from local hope Murranji Track, who reaffirmed his status as a four-year-old on the rise. Hectorjayjay’s second victory at Group level was also one of five victories on the night for champion reinsman Lang. VIDEO REPLAY: WATCH HECTORJAYJAY WIN AND ETCH HIS NAME ON THE COVETED CUP The night’s feature largely went to plan. As the Good Form speed map predicted, Anthony Butt shot Stunning Grin to the front and Vince Vallelonga’s five-year-old ran less keenly than Tuesday’s record-breaking heat, controlling the race with a 74.7s lead time, 2.7s slower than in heat one. Murranji Track slotted on his tail from the box seat and held that place through the final bend, with Kerryn Manning driving Ideal Success to the breeze, trailed off the pegs by Itz Dreamin Jonesy and $1.70 favourite Hectorjayjay, who Lang eased into cover from barrier five. There they would remain until the 600m mark when Ideal Success couldn’t match Stunning Grin’s pace from the breeze, slipping back and prompting Lang to peel three-wide and take Hectorjayjay to the front. Amid a 27.9 third quarter, Hectorjayjay passed Stunning Grin on the outside around the bend and was unchallenged in a 28.6 final quarter, with pegs runners Murranji Track and Manuka Man coming off Stunning Grin’s back to run into second and third respectively. The 1:57.7 mile rate was just 0.2 outside the track record Stunning Grin set four days prior. Hectorjayjay, a five-year-old gelding by Dream Away out of Sheer Finesse, now has career stakes of more than $250,000, with a 45 per cent winning strike rate from his 53 starts. The victory headlined an engaging night’s racing that brought to an end an enthralling Mildura Cups carnival and country cups circuit. Earlier in the night, Young Modern met expectations to give Lang the second of five winning drivers of the night in the Group 3 Mark Gurry & Associates Cup. After a luckless third in the heat, Young Modern carried punters favour in the final, starting at $1.70 and running accordingly with a 7m win for trainer Michael Stanley. Having been worked into the breeze from barrier 11 early in the running, despite a hefty workload Young Modern found separation on Matt Craven’s second-placed Emmanuel in the straight. The $20,048 pay day was the biggest of the five-year-old’s career since it saluted in the VHRSC Victoria Sires Classic as a three-year-old roughie in December 2013. Saturday night also featured the Tankard Dental Mildura Guineas and again the punters got it right with $1.50 chance Hickstead, which Good Form’s Jason Bonnington declared a moral in the lead-up, winning by 2.6 for trainer-driver John Justice. There was plenty of pace on early in the 2190m mobile, with Justice taking Hickstead to the lead at the mile mark and then cooling his jets over 31.3 and 30.2 first and second quarters. Justice made a break in the third quarter and while Mister Magic Man battled on gamely to run into third, it was Here He Comes that challenged, looming as Hickstead tired but ultimately having to settle for second, beaten 2.3. Michael Howard 

Hectorjayjay has pulled up a peach and is ready for a repeat dose of harness racing success at Mildura racecourse. A dominant winner of the second Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup heat while on debut for trainer David Aiken, Hectorjayjay will start favourite in Saturday night’s final despite drawing outside Stunning Grin and Ideal Success on the front row. “There were a few good runners in the other heat, so it is going to be a good race,” Aiken told RSN’s Inside Word. “I think my horse will start favourite, but there are a lot of other good horses in the race.” VIDEO: JASON BONNINGTON TAKES A LOOK AT THE MILDURA CUP NIGHT QUADDIE Outside of Hectorjayjay, none are likely to start shorter than Stunning Grin, winner of Tuesday’s first heat after a scorching start that saw Vince Vallelonga’s five-year-old stop the clock at a 1:57.5 mile rate, a track record over 2600m. In the wake of the race Vallelonga told Trots Media he had the Mildura cup in mind for Stunning Grin for some time, and while he “was not super confident we can beat Hectorjayjay”, he “can make it tough for” Aiken’s favourite. Aiken said Hectorjayjay had recovered well from his heat after a light couple of days and benefitting from driver Gavin Lang’s light hands. “Gav (Lang) looked after him good (in the heat), he is renowned for getting horses through heats and finals,” Aiken said. “I think they went two seconds slower than the first (heat), hopefully that is to our advantage.” A Group 2 Mildura cup, with its $60,325 total purse, would be a significant early return for the Aiken stable, which has only recently taken training duties of the five-year-old by Dream Away out of Sheer Finesse. “Those sort of horses are hard to come by,” Aiken said. “He has had a good career, Simone (Walker) did a great job with him and I hope I can just keep him at that level and have a bit more fun with him. “We are just learning a little about the horse now. We haven’t really got a plan after Mildura, so we just have to see how he recovers from the two runs in the week. Throughout his career he’s always been competitive against the really good ones. It’s a very good acquisition for the stable.” The Aiken stable also has Cold Major in tomorrow night’s final, a family favourite who will again be driven by David’s son Josh. “He’s drawn bad, but ... when they go hard he can compete with the better ones when things go his way,” Aiken said. “He’s got through the heat good too, so hopefully he will be good on Saturday night.” The pacing cup starts at 8.30pm and comes amid a 10-race card, which also includes the Mark Gurry and Associates Cup and the Tankard Dental Mildura Guineas. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Mildura, Saturday 09 April 2016 Form guide for Mildura, Saturday 09 April 2016

Faith in the people’s harness racing champion was again rewarded as Lennytheshark controlled and conquered the PETstock 2016 Bendigo Pacing Cup. All-the-way wins were the feature of the night at Lords Raceway, where outstanding trotter Glenferrie Typhoon dominated the Aldebaran Park 2016 Maori Mile to deliver Andy Gath a Group 1 winner. Lennytheshark began the Cup a $1.04 favourite and the Group 2 couldn’t have run more to script for David Aiken’s superstar, whose winnings are closing in on $2 million after the Cup was added to Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup success this season. Chris Alford steered Lennytheshark to the lead from barrier five with little resistance, with Franco Ledger taking the box seat from barrier one as expected. A 78.7 lead time kick-started the 2650m distance and preceded 30.7 and 29.7 first and second quarters, with Lennytheshark untroubled and untested. A 27.6 third quarter started to create cracks in the field, with Im Corzin Terror one of the few to loom up while Franco Ledger clung gamely to Lennytheshark’s back until Alford gave him a nudge at the final turn and that was all she wrote. A 26.8 final quarter created an eventual 10m win, with Im Corzin Terror running into second from three wide and Franco Ledger filling out the placings. For Lennytheshark, it was the perfect lead in to the $750,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile on February 28, when he will square off against two-time Inter Dominion champion Beautide at Menangle. WATCH LENNYTHESHARK CRUISE TO THE CUP Glenferrie Typhoon was similarly formidable in the Aldebaran Park 2016 Maori Mile, winning his first Group 1 in his ninth attempt and crushing the mile-rate record. Andy and Kate Gath’s $3.30 favourite rewarded punters with a powerful performance, dominating a strong and deep field, despite burning petrol tickets early. Brent Lilley’s renowned front runner Maori Time made her expected play for the lead from barrier seven, but Gath was unwilling to hand up and the two separated the field with a 26.2 first quarter until Antony Butt settled for the breeze on Maori Time. Fancied Claudys Princess and Kyvalley Blur took cover behind Glenferrie Typhoon and last year’s winner Maori Time, whose race was run at the 500m when she dropped through the field en route to a 67m last placing. Glenferrie Typhoon only drew stronger, gapping the field as Kyvalley Blur worked around Maori Time and Claudys Princess lost touch with the leader. A 28.7 third quarter fed into a 28.5 final quarter as Glenferrie Typhoon maintained his ascendancy and smashed the track record, stopping the clock at 1:54.3. That mile rate slashed 1.3 seconds off the track record set by Maori Time in this race one year ago. Claudys Princess outboxed Kyvalley Blur for third and, despite the quick tempo, only Duchess Ella ran on, claiming fourth but some 17m off the winner. by Michael Howard WATCH GLENFERRIE TYPHOON GRAB HIS FIRST GROUP 1 WIN CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE RESULTS AND REPLAYS FROM A BIG BENDIGO CUP NIGHT

Lennytheshark has become the first horse into the 2016 SEW Eurodrive $750,000 Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle, thanks to his masterful harness racing win in Saturday night's Victoria Cup at Melton. Connections were delighted to accept the invitation, even though it means they cannot contest either of the traditional lead-up sprints the Coca-Cola Amatil or Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint on February 13, two weeks before the Miracle Mile. No problem, we'll just come for the one race and hopefully win the one that matters, said Lennytheshark's trainer David Aiken, in Sydney today to inspect Menangle Park's new Training Centre, which officially opened on Saturday. We're taking 10 boxes at the Training Centre, and that's where Lennytheshark will be stabled when he makes the trip, Aiken said. The remaining spots in the eight-horse Miracle Mile field are well and truly up for grabs and will be filled by horses that must contest any of the three $200,000 lead-up features at Menangle. The two Sprints and the Chariots of Fire will decide the rest of the field, said NSWHRC chief executive Bruce Christison. The winner and the runner-up in the Coca-Cola and Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint will automatically qualify for an invitation to the Miracle Mile as will the winner of the Chariots Of Fire run the same night [February 13]. The last two spots and the two emergencies will come from those that contested any of those three races mentioned. Christison confirmed a second runner from the $200,000 Form 700 Chariots of Fire could certainly be invited into the $750,000 Miracle Mile if the club's directors felt he or she should be there. For further information telephone NSWHRC Racing Manager David Wonson on (02) 4645 2200.  

Today's $1,300,000 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Gloucester Park in Perth, Western Australia. looked a battle in two with the Victorians Lennytheshark and Philadelphia Man looking the harness racing duo to beat. The draw had thrown a spanner in pre race discussions however with Lover's Delight from barrier one always going to lead from there and his connections were adamant they weren't going to hand up to anyone. Which is exactly as it panned out once the gate went. Lover's Delight with Chris Lewis in the bike easily lead from one with Chris Alford settling Lennytheshark in the death seat outside him. Flaming Flutter and Greg Sugars settled on Lover's Delight back in the trail with Waylade and Gary Hall Jnr ending up on Lennythesharks back. Philadelphia Man with Gavin Lang in the bike settled three back on the outer while the other well supported runner Devendra settling last from his poor draw. Avonnova tried to loop the field mid race but had to go back again when Alford parked him three wide with Lennytheshark. It was obvious a lap out that the winner had to come from the first handful as Chris Lewis had managed to steal a couple of cheaper quarters and it was going to be impossible for the back runners to get into the race. Lover's Delight and Lennytheshark eyeballed each other off the back but it was obvious as they straightened for home that Lennytheshark still had something to offer and he surged clear late for an emphatic victory. Lover's Delight stuck on gamely for second ahead of Flaming Flutter and Avonnova who somehow got home for fourth after his big mid-race move. Philadelphia Man weakened out after having a great run and seemed unhappy on the bends while Devendra was no show after trying to improve wide on a 55.8 last 800 metres. Waylade after a soft run in the one by one showed nothing in the race home. Lennytheshark paced the 2536 metres in super quick 3:00.8, a mile rate of 1:54.8 with closing sectionals of 55.8 and 28.4 It was the son of Four Starzzz Shark's 24th win at just his 45th start and took his earnings over the $1,430,000 mark. Chris Alford was rapt with the run of Lennytheshark. " He settled really beautifully early on and I knew I wouldn't get the lead but I was confident of holding the death seat." " Last week I let Lover's Delight get away a bit around the last bend and I wasn't going to let that happen again." " I had a look on the corner and thought it was between Chris Lewis and me  and that is how it turned out." " David Aiken (The trainer) has done a great job with this horse and had him spot on today,"Chris said.  Chris Lewis was very proud of Lover's Delight in finishing second. " We were beaten by a better horse today but there is no disgrace being beaten by a champion." " He was clearly second best out there today but he beat the others just as easily so I am thrilled with his effort," Chris said. Harnesslink Media

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