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Plans for classy three-year-old filly Shartin are in limbo. The Tasmanian Oaks winner made a triumphant return to the harness racing today (Monday) at Warragul following her stylish display at Hobart on March 19. Starting at a short quote and clear punters elect, the Tintin In America filly strolled home for an effortless victory in the Downtowner Pace rating a slick 1:56.0 for the 1790m event. Champion reinsman Chris Alford took the winning drive. Originally, the Dean Braun trained filly was being readied for the Brisbane winter carnival with the $75,000 Queensland Oaks on July 8 the main target. But those plans aren’t set in stone anymore. “We’ve been building towards the Brisbane carnival but plans may have changed given the announcement from across the weekend. There’s a fair bit to consider and we’ll discuss that in the coming days.” Braun said. The All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have outlined plans for both of their standout fillies Spanish Armada and Partyon, both multiple feature race winners this season. Spanish Armada claimed the Gr.1 $150,000 Diamond on Jewels day at Ashburton on Saturday in a time of 1:52.1 while running home her final 400m in an eye-popping 25.5 seconds. The Bettors Delight filly now adds her Jewels triumph to her Sires' Stakes, Sales Series, Nevele R Final and NZ Oaks to her list of feature race victories this season with the promise of more to come. And that has Braun on the back foot. “They’re the best stable in the world for a reason so of course I’m going to rethink my plans, it’s a long way from Melbourne to Brisbane and it’s not a cheap exercise. “Going all that way to meet a filly like her among others is something I’d like to avoid but the owners will make the final call. Spanish Armada could easily end up being one the best fillies of all time. “Since the Tasmanian trip, the filly has come up in very good order and I’m very happy with the progress she’s made. I think she has quite a future, her speed is her best asset.” Shartin has now won 4 of her 6 to date. The New Zealand bred filly will next start in the final of the heat she contested today which is scheduled for TABCORP Park, Melton on June 17. A start in the Listed $25,000 Gold Coast/Provincial Oaks at Albion Park on July 1 is also an option for Braun and his connections before the Queensland Oaks. And Braun is no stranger to success in the Queensland Oaks having prepared previous winner Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) while his son Noah co-owned Nike Franco (2014). Chris Barsby

The elevated Trots Country Cups Championship has crowned a fitting harness racing winner with Dean Braun’s cups king, Im Corzin Terror, standing alone after the 25-cup season. The championship, which for the first time gifted $25,000 to winning connections, sits snug on Im Corzin Terror’s record, with the Western Terror nine-year-old having won the Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup and placed in four of his other six cup starts to amass 11 points, one clear of Hectorjayjay and Milly Perez. “He deserves to win it,” Braun said. “There are some really nice horses going around in these races, but he was really competitive and maybe a little unlucky not to win another.” With retirement plans on the table the championship could provide a fitting finale for Im Corzin Terror’s terrific career. Snapped up by Braun from New Zealand early in the 2012-13 season, then part-owner Pauline McColgan was a little unsure about the four-year-old’s prospects. “Dean picked him out from New Zealand, I must add after his first start I was a little unsure,” she said. “He looked like he was always about to gallop because he is a bit of a funny pacer.” But Braun was adamant. “He was very funny gaited but he gave me a really good feel when I trialled him and since then he has exceeded all expectations.” His 2013-14 season saw his first dalliance in a Victorian country cup, winning at Maryborough and then adding victories at Bendigo and Terang to finish second in that year’s premiership, just two points shy of prolific competitor Arber. The 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons saw him finish equal third in the championships, adding wins at Maryborough, Ballarat and Hamilton. And then this year he advanced to the top step, adding a seventh career country cup from 30 starts, which have seen him amass 47 championship points (four are given for a win, two for second and one for third). “He’s been one of those horses who are about a rung below the very best and the country cups have been a really good niche for him,” Braun said. “He had won about $30,000 when I took him over and is now over $500,000 and been great for us.” And he’s been a joy to own, according to Ms McColgan, whose decision to increase her stake from an initial part-owner to outright owner has been well rewarded. “He always tries,” she said. “When I bought him I wasn’t expecting him to go on and earn what he has, but the cups are great. Some have great prizemoney and they are great racing.” And this latest premiership win may just be the perfect finishing note for Im Corzin Terror. While Braun said plans for the nine-year-old weren’t “100 per cent, he has done a good job and has been a good horse” and if the trainer felt it was time to draw the curtain on his racing career he would. Ms McColgan agreed. “It looks like he might be retired now,” she said. “He will go out for a spell and I can’t see us bringing him back. He will live out a peaceful retirement on the farm. He’s such a lovely little horse.” Trots Country Cups Championship leaders: Im Corzin Terror 11, Hectorjayjay 10, Milly Perez 10, Major Secret 9, Cruz Bromac 8, Cardon Merger 8, Flaming Flutter 8, My Kiwi Mate 8. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

The decisive move in the $25,000 Trots Country Cups Championship could well play out this weekend at Ouyen, where Im Corzin Terror will be fancied to take a stranglehold on the harness racing crown. A ripping day’s racing is on the cards, centred around the Group 3 $30,000 Greggs Electrical Ouyen Pacing Cup, when an Im Corzin Terror victory would see the Dean Braun-trained nine-year-old leapfrog Hectorjayjay into first place on the season-long championship. To do so he’ll have to overcome a challenging draw and a very competitive, full field on a day that celebrates great racing and the state’s north-west in a family-friendly environment. Ouyen Harness Racing Club secretary Jo Morrish said the town was in full voice, with this weekend also boasting the Great Mallee Root Festival, a food and music celebration centred around the Mallee stump, and the weekend-long Patchewollock sheep dog state titles. “It is the first time the town has run the festival and having all these things on the weekend has created a bit of a buzz,” Ms Morrish said. “A lot of people I speak to are keen to get here and have a big weekend.” There will be plenty of crossover between the events, including a ‘competition stump’ – which is about 10m in circumference – to feature at the trotting race day and the race card will also feature The Great Mallee Root 3YO Pace. The good times will spill over to the off-course entertainment, made all the more lucrative by the fact all patrons are gifted free entry. “It’s a good family day out and anyone who attends can get as much out of it as they want too,” Ms Morrish said. “We always have free family entertainment with kids’ activities, including a rock climbing wall, and there will also be fashions on the field and local sporting clubs are involved to provide catering. “The local people really support it, we get plenty there and try and make it a very special day. It’s our chance to get people coming who aren’t all racing people, but are keen to support something local.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Ouyen, Sunday 26 March 2017 Form guide for Ouyen, Sunday 26 March 2017

New Zealand bred three-year-old filly Shartin powered her way to an emphatic harness racing win in the Cripps Waratah Tasmanian Oaks over 2579 metres in Hobart last night. The Victorian filly settled last from her wide front-row draw but inside a lap her driver Chris Alford sent the daughter of Tintin In America around the field to find the lead. From there on it was a procession with the filly forging clear turning for home and she went on to score by almost 12 metres from El Jays Mystery that faced the breeze throughout with Playing Arkabella a half-head away third. It was Alford's third drive aboard the filly and he said she was always travelling like the winner. "I was mindful that this filly can do a few things wrong if she has to race wide so I dropped her out to last and then whipped around them early on and she was able to find the front without having to spend too much gas," Alford said. "Dean Braun paid about $50,000 for this filly in New Zealand but I'm sure she will pay her way. "She is still learning what it's all about but tonight she did everything right and she had the race won a long way from home. Shartin is owned by a syndicate that includes Tasmanian Dean Richards who is overseas on business. Alford said Shartin was likely to head to the heats of the Victorian Oaks next month. Shartin has won three of her five starts with this latest her most impressive and the $15,000 prizemoney took her career earnings to just beyond $25,000. It was Alford's fourth Tasmanian oaks having been successful on Concorde Lombo in 1997, Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and last year aboard Dancingwithsierra. Peter Staples

Over the past decade harness racing trainer Dean Braun has worked with some exceptionally talented and sensationally spruiked horses. Names like Cruz Bromac, Chancellor Cullen, Chilli Palmer, Macha and Mustang Mach variously elicit images of glamour, speed, class and success. But as brilliant and glittering as those pacers have been, from a performance perspective, none have matched the deeds of their perpetually underrated stablemate, Im Corzin Terror. On Friday night, Im Corzin Terror claimed the second biggest win of his career in the Group 2 Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup. It was his seventh country cup win since emigrating from New Zealand in November 2012 and tipped his career prizemoney over $500,000. It’s no wonder then that Braun considers the equine battering ram one of his all-time favourites and the one he can rely on more than any other. “Everybody knows the opinion I have of Cruz Bromac; he’s the best horse I’ve ever trained, but this one (Im Corzin Terror) has the score on the board, he’s done an incredible job,” the Lara trainer said. “He’s also the most unlucky horse I’ve trained. He always either draws bad or finds bad luck in his races. I thought he was primed for the Bendigo Cup then nothing went right in the run. “He clearly still wants to win though, so we’ll head to Kilmore next and then reassess from there. The 9yo gelding by Western Terror has won over half a million dollars now so whatever he does from here is just a bonus.” Im Corzin Terror’s consistency is being reflected on the Trots Country Cups Championship standings, having advanced to within one point of championship leader Hectorjayjay for the $25,000 prize. Having contested six country cups this season, Im Corzin Terror placed at Charlton, Cobram and Terang in addition to the Cranbourne win to amass nine points, equal for second with Major Secret and one point clear of stablemate Cruz Bromac and Terang Cup winner Flaming Flutter. [fvplayer src=""] On Friday night Im Corzin Terror shared the headlines with another Kiwi living it up in Victoria. Sunny Ruby has recorded four wins from five Australian starts since flying across the Tasman for prizemoney earnings of more than $125,000. A Jewels winner at age three, nobody doubted Sunny Ruby’s ability, particularly from a snap speed perspective, but there were questions about her capacity to thrive in the deep end of the pool. Like so many Kiwi recruits before her, however, those questions have been answered with a brutal domination of feature races the Haras Des Trotteurs V. L. Dullard Cup, Aldebaran Park Maori Mile, North West Ag Services 2017 Charlton Trotters Cup and The Aldebaran Park Knight Pistol in recent weeks. “I’m so proud of her, she’s such a lovely mare and she is thriving here in Australia,” her expatriate Kiwi trainer Sonya Smith revealed. “Sam (Smolenski) her owner and trainer back home just did a magnificent job with her and we are so grateful to be riding this wave with them at the moment. “I’m not sure what will happen after the (Seelite Windows & Doors Australian Trotting) Grand Prix this weekend, but that is definitely the next major target and we’re looking forward to another challenge.” Jason Bonnington

The $400,000 Group 1 Eynesbury Victoria Cup is the next scheduled stop for exciting harness racing five-year-old Cruz Bromac after his all-the-way Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup win yesterday. Moments after his 4.7-metre victory over gun mare Berisari in the south-west Victoria club’s annual pacing feature, Braun said  Cruz Bromac (Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender) would be set for the Summer of Glory’s night one jewel on Saturday, January 28, at Tabcorp Park Melton. Driven by Chris Alford, Cruz Bromac toyed with his rivals yesterday to lead from barrier three, delivering Braun back-to-back Hamilton Cups, the Lara horseman having won the race last year with Im Corzin Terror. Cruz Bromac rated 1:57.3 for the 2660-metre trip, reeling off sectionals of 30.4secs, 30.3secs, 27.5secs and 27.3secs. Braun said Cruz Bromac, a winner of 12 of his 21 starts for stakemoney in excess of $152,000, was still learning the caper at the top level but was an exciting prospect moving forward. “I’ve always said I’ve got a big opinion of him,” Braun said. “He’s still got plenty to learn. He’s a big baby out there. He’s very immature and plays around.” Alford said Cruz Bromac travelled sweetly in the run yesterday and added he was confident Cruz Bromac would continue to improve as he matures. “If you have a look through the other runners in the field today they’ve all had plenty of starts, but he’s only had 21. He’s still learning. He’s untapped really at this level and he’ll keep getting better.” Yesterday’s win moved Cruz Bromac into outright third place on the $25,000 Own the Moment Trots Country Cups Championship ladder, two points behind Hectorjayjay and one behind Major Secret. The winner of the Trots Country Cups Championship at the end of the Country Cups season picks up $25,000, with $15,000 going to the winning connections and $10,000 to the winning trainer. Six-year-old mare Berisari from the Emma Stewart stable was game in second place yesterday and will likely head towards the $100,000 Alabar Ladyship Cup on Hunter Cup Night (which doubles as a qualifier for the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle). Idea Success was beaten 7.9m by the winner in third place for reinsman Grant Campbell, that six-year-old from the Kerryn Manning camp at Great Western now in equal fourth place for the Trots Country Cups Championship on six points. Meanwhile, Matthew Craven prepared El Paco (Yankee Paco-Kellybrooke) scored a tough win in the Mountain View Stud Hamilton Trotters Cup over 2660m. Driven by Glen Craven, El Paco moved to the breeze in the early stages of the race outside favourite and stablemate Uncas. El Paco softened up the leader during the third quarter, applying the pressure for a 28.1secs split, and kicked to a clear lead at the top of the straight before fending off fast-finishing Zedalite (Rod Petroff) in second, with Ainthatrightmacca third beaten 4.1 for Denbeigh Wade. “This is a terrific result for the stable and I’m really thankful for the whole team and the work they put in,” Matt Craven said post-race. “(El Paco) had run a nice race off 30m in Adelaide last week but wasn’t able to get the job done there, so to win today and for mum to own this one is pretty special.” El Paco is likely to head to Sydney to contest the NSW carnival features, with Craven saying “he is probably just a rung below the really top ones in Victoria”. The Hamilton Club slashed admission costs and had local market traders on track in a bid to attract new people to their big day. It worked, a strong crowd enjoying the action throughout the eight-race card, with plenty of positive feedback coming from happy patrons. The Trots Country Cups spotlight turns to Ballarat now for the running of the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting on Saturday night. Check out for the videos. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Patrons were treated to a star harness racing performance by the winner of the $30,000 Jim Phillips Memorial Cobram Pacing Cup, Cruz Bromac NZ at Group 3 level on Cobram Cup Day. Stepping away quickly from behind the mobile, the Dean Braun-trained 5YO gelding took pole position to set a cracking pace while Im Corzin Terror NZ zipped around the field to sit in the death outside his stablemate. Throughout the 2678m journey, challenges came from all corners in the quality field, however a 27.4 third quarter saw Cruz Bromac, expertly driven by Chris Alford, rip the field apart, putting a gap between him and his rivals to salute in splendid isolation over his stablemate, reined by three-time winner of the Cobram Pacing Cup, Greg Sugars, with last year’s winner Kotare Roland third home in a brave performance after being forced four-wide on the home run. The high calibre win saw the impressive mile rate of 1:56.1 standing as a track record for the 2678m being the first mobile start for the cup since inception. The trophy, donated by Bruce Phillips in memory of his father, was presented to Alford who accepted on behalf of winning owner Geoff Hill, a lifetime friend of Jim Phillips and his family. An inscribed rug was presented to the winning trainer, Dean Braun. Alford joined Sugars as the only reinsmen to have driven three cup winners in the 41-year history, while well-known horseman John Caldow leads the honour roll with a record of four winners. It was just over 30 years since Alford drove his first Cobram Pacing Cup winner at the age of 16, Barunah Bay, for industry identities, the late Frank and Carmel Ryan from Echuca. The Cobram Barooga Hoteliers Sweep for the cup was won by Dallas Mackenzie, second Michelle Viney and third B. Hanlon. The Central Murray Credit Union Cobram Trotters Cup, also of Group 3 standing, was a history-making performance by Scott Dyer-trained The Boss Man when he broke My High Expectations USA 2013 track record for the Trotters Cup, stopping the clock at 2:00.8 for the mile rate. The Boss Man’s young reinswoman Ellen Tormey also rewrote the history books, being the first female to rein a winner in the Cobram Trotters Cup. The 7YO gelding starting off 20m settled at the rear of the main field while David Jack and his 4YO gelding Daquiri set a sizzling pace at the head; at one stage 20m clear. Winding up his run down the back straight, The Boss Man was forced four-wide, snatching the lead on the home turn, letting loose at the 400m mark and bolting home in a record-breaking win, 13.5m clear of Lord Liam driven by Sugars, once again the bridesmaid on Cup Day. CMCU chief executive officer John Pattison presented the inscribed rug and silver tea service and tray to the excited winning connections. The first race on the program, the Cobram Barooga Locksmith Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint, proved to be a great start to Cup Day for Sugars, piloting Hot Breakfast and upstaging the home favourite Katie Grangewood, owned by Cobram Harness Racing Club members Jack and Linda Gale, in a mile rate of 1:57.2. An Alex Liddy dinner set donated by Marcus Fry was presented to the winning connections. The D’Vine Ideas Trotters Handicap saw Hayden Gray salute with 4YO chestnut gelding Aleppo Murphy as he ran down Hedge Your Bet NZ piloted by Josh Duggan to nail the 4YO gelding on the line, snatching the trophy donated by D’Vine Ideas. The Benstud Standardbreds Pace was another thriller. Peter Romero’s Red River Glacier caught the Henty-trained leader Keayang Maverick napping, racing to the pole at the bell in what proved to be a winning move by the astute Nathan Jack. In a shootout down the home straight with Monique Burnett in the cart behind Ocean Bay, Jack remained in control on the Chiltern-trained 5YO gelding to salute with the crowd favourite in a mile rate of 1:58.2. Jack then backed up in the Cec Berger 3YO Pace with the Amanda Turnbull-trained odds-on favourite, Warden Express, to land a driving double. The classy 3YO colt made his move early, rolling to the front with ease then sprinting away at the 200m mark to to salute in 1:56.1 for the mile rate. The crowd favourites continued to salute in the VHRSC Provincial Cup (second heat) and the Peter Ennals Cobram Caravans Pace. The first saw Modern Lebron storm from behind the mobile to snatch the pole and control the pace. In a thrilling three-way photo finish with Frosty Star and That Chill Devine, Lisa Bartley scored in a perfect well-rated drive on the Kialla-trained Modern Lebron over her male counterparts, Matt Berger and Mark Pitt. The final race on the program was another nail-biting three-way photo finish for punters with Our Jimmie NZ, Bernies Idol and Lettucefirestar. Coming off the second row, the Brent Lilley-trained crowd favourite Our Jimmie was forced wide early, settling at the rear. Josh Duggan pushed his charge three-wide around the field in the bell lap to position him in readiness for the home straight. Scoring a hard-fought tough win in the Peter Ennals Cobram Caravans Pace, the star 3YO gelding chalked up his seventh win from eight starts. Peter Ennals was trackside to rug Our Jimmie with the inscribed rug sponsored by Peter Ennals Cobram Caravans. ● Cobram Harness Racing Club is now gearing up for the prestigious RACV Summer Cup on Thursday, January 19. The race meeting honours three of the clubs’ foundation members, featuring the Joe Kennedy Memorial Pace, Michael Toohey Memorial 3YO Pace and the John Brooks Memorial Trotters Handicap; their families generously donating trophies in their memory. Along with the RACV Summer Cup these races will also be supported by the Jack & Linda Gale Pace and the Eeles Canvas & Saddlery Pace, which also carry trophies for the winning owners. ● Cobram Harness Racing Club is organising a bus to the Hunter Cup on Saturday, February 4. Phone club secretary Bob Watson on 0409401189 for details. By Cobram Courier Reprinted with permission of The Riverine Herald

“We’ve had some really nice horses, but I think potentially this guy could be the best I’ve had,” said harness racing trainer Dean Braun, moments after his talented five-year-old Cruz Bromac won the Group 2 $50,000 Casey Classic at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. “He’s pretty scary in what he can do and he’s relatively green.” Braun’s five-year-old Falcon Seelster gelding put in a super performance, punching through the breeze outside Alotbettor and while the pace took a toll on the New South Wales visitor Cruz Bromac muscled on. The $50,000 stakes were hotly contested with Admiral Bronski, Mister Wickham and El Major pouring on the pressure, but the leader held up. “It was a really good field tonight,” driver Chris Alford said. “He had to do all the work sitting outside the leader, but things worked out OK early, we didn’t have to burn too hard and then got to the breeze nice and he was still really strong up the straight.” For such a field, the first two quarters were ticked off pretty comfortably enabling Cruz Bromac to hit the line with a 55.2 last 800m and win in a 1:56.4 mile rate. “He’s strong, but he has really high speed as well. He’s still a little bit funny in his gate, but once he all sorts himself out he will be a really good horse.” It’s a fact well-known to Braun, who has a soft spot for Cruz Bromac. “I don’t get sick with too many horses making me nervous, he is one of the three. He’s a very special horse,” Braun said. “To have Chris on him tonight and win this race, I’ve had a bit of luck in this race, it’s pretty special. “He’s had 15 starts and the sectionals he can run are pretty amazing really, and he’s not a one-trick pony as some people think he is. He can sit parked like he did tonight, he can lead, he’s devastating off the sprint as well. He’s very, very fast. “We will just see what happens. This was his man target early in the season. We will just give him a quiet time after this and reassess.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

The multiply Group One winning mare Nike Franco, has been sold to North American interests for a substantial sum and has already arrived into the stable of high profile American harness racing trainer Jo Ann Looney-King in Delaware, Maryland. Trained by Victorian Dean Braun Nike Franco has raced in 18 Group races to-date. Her record stands at 33 starts for 18 wins and 11 placings for $392,000 in earnings. Nike Franco by McArdle is sensationally bred and is the first foal from the $439,376 Group One winning Badlands Hanover mare Nearea Franco who was the 2007/2008 4yo “Pacing Mare of the Year” and the 2008/2009 “Older Pacing Mare of the Year” in New Zealand. A yearling half-sister by Mach Three to Nike Franco sold for $70,000 at this year’s yearling sale in Christchurch. Nike Franco is closely related to world champion and “Horse of the Year” Beach Towel ($2,570,357). Nearea Franco, the dam of Nike Franco, is from the Abercrombie mare No Papa who is a half-sister to Beach Towel. There has probably never been a better performed mare than Nike Franco that has gone to North America, from Australia, or New Zealand for that matter, at such a young age with still so much to offer. At her last start Nike Franco won the Group One $100,000 Queen of Pacific Stakes over 2700 meters in a track record, beating the best mares in Australasia.  Four starts back she beat a field of top class boys in the Warragul Cup in a track record again and beat them fair and square. That field included Glenferrie Hood who went on to beat the best FFA horses in Australasia including Christen Me 1:49.1 ($2,390,000). Nike Franco won the $125,000 Group 1 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on a half mile track beating all the best mares Down Under over 2130 meters in a 1:55 mile rate over the distance, at the last Inter Dominions. In her lead up to that race North American champion driver Tim Tetrick drove Nike Franco to win at Pinjarra, while he was in Australia for the Inter-Dominions. He was very impressed with her win. Other New Zealand mares that have been sold to North American interests in recent times and that have performed very well are;  Royal Cee Cee  NZ record,  11 starts for 4 wins $73,000 - USA  40 wins 21 seconds and 14 thirds for $1,149,752. Sell A Bit  NZ record,  34 starts for 9 wins $66,000 - USA  since August 2015, 19 wins 14 seconds and 9 thirds for $426,000. Al Raza NZ record,  25 starts 9 wins $69,000 - USA since September 2015, 17 wins 10 seconds 7 thirds for $323,000. If there was ever a mare to represent Australia and New Zealand in North America then this mare Nike Franco has the best chance to do exactly that. It is quite conceivable to see her winning a million dollars plus in North America if all goes well. Nike Franco was purchased by the well known racing identity Richard Poillucci of Boston who also bought Hambletonian Day winner Barimah (1:50.3) from Australia. Barimah was having only his third start in the USA. Harnesslink Media

Nike Franco’s position among Australia’s elite harness racing mares has been further entrenched with a powerful $100,000 Benstud Queen of the Pacific win at Tabcorp Park Melton. The five-year-old mare (by McArdle out of Nearea Franco) from Dean Braun’s Lara stables upstaged a quality line-up in the Group 1 mares’ classic, including former race winner Gumdrops and millionaire earner Frith. Nike Franco led for the majority of Saturday night’s 2760-metre journey and rated 1:56.5, finishing 1.9m clear of runner-up Milly Perez with third placegetter and race favourite Cyclone Kate 3.1m off the winner. RE-LIVE NIKE FRANCO’S QUEEN OF THE PACIFIC TRIUMPH “This mare’s so exciting,” an elated Braun said. “I’ve had some really good racehorses but this mare’s very special. “I said to Greg Sugars (Driver) that I thought I had her pretty right tonight … he drove her really well.” Nike Franco has won feature races in four Australian states, with two Oaks successes in Queensland – the Gold Coast and the Qld, the Raith Memorial in New South Wales, the rich Mares Classic in Western Australia, and this season’s Warragul Cup and now the Queen of the Pacific in Victoria. “To do what she did tonight was pretty special,” Braun said.   The victory capped a great night for Greg Sugars, who drove a winning treble and dual Group 1 successes after earlier securing the win in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final for 2YO Trotting Fillies aboard Illawong Shimmer, trained by Greg’s father Ross. Illawong Shimmer (by Muscle Mass out of Shining Sun) is, as her name suggests, a member of trots owner Dr Martin Hartnett’s clan. “They deserve every win they get for what they put in,” Sugars said post-race of Hartnett and wife Kaye. Illawong Shimmer rated 2:01.2 for the 1720m trip to defeat Yankee Redback (Kerryn Manning) with Sval Queen (Anthony Butt) third. Deltasun won the night’s other Group 1, the colts and geldings’ trotters Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic. Trained by former jockey Terry Young at Ararat, Deltasun (by Tennotrump out of Deltasu) handled the final corner better than race favourite Illawong Byron (Jodi Quinlan) and held a half-neck advantage over that horse on the line in a rate of 2:01.6, with Kheiron (Peter Lane) third. Sugars and Lang shared driving honours at Melton, each grabbing a treble. In addition to the abovementioned victories Sugars steered Anton Golino-trained Val Gardena (by Kadabra out of Lets Be Happy) to victory in the Haras Des Trotteurs Sweetheart Trot Final, while Lang guided former New South Wales Derby winner Major Secret (Art Major/Secret Life) home in the Best In Town Concreting Pace for Emma Stewart, and Hectorjayjay (Dream Away/Sheer Finesse) to victory in the Group 2 University Meat 4YO and 5YO Championship over 2240m. CHECK OUT ALL THE RESULTS & VIDEO REPLAYS FROM MELTON Other Melton winners were Little Lyn (by Jeremes Jet out of Rappa Scooter), a homebred mare raced and trained by Barry Dunn at Horsham and driven by son Aaron Dunn in the Service Sphere Pace, popular It Is Billy (by It Is I out of Glenlyon Glad) in the Crown Coffee International Golden Reign Free-for-All for trainer Michael Barby and driver Anne-Maree Conroy, Stoned I Am (by Sundon out of Stoned At Midnight) in the Seelite Windows and Doors Coulter Crown for trainer/driver Simone Walker, and in-form eight-year-old Might Be Luck (by Northern Luck out of Marilyns Might) in the Riddell Umpires Association Claiming Pace for trainer Beau Tindale and reinsman Michael Bellman. Victorians shine interstate Another week, another domination from the Emma Stewart stable – this time at Globe Derby, South Australia. The Smythes Creek trainer secured a winning treble on Saturday night at the SA home of metro trots racing, with unbeaten two-year-old filly Our Celebrity (by Mach Three out of Celebrity Ball) winning the Alabar/SA Botra 2YO Fillies Golden Nursery Final, impressive three-year-old Rocknroll Magic (by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic) taking out the Home Loans-Providing Solutions SA Botra 3YO Fillies Final, and Metro Mike (by Metropolitan out of Tuscan Skies) saluting in the Carbine Chemicals Pacers Dash over 1385m. CHECK OUT ALL THE RESULTS FROM GLOBE DERBY, SA All Stewart’s winners were driven by Mark Billinger, who picked up five winners for the night overall. Meanwhile, at Menangle in New South Wales, classy five-year-old trotting mare Claudys Princess (by Bacardi Lindy out of All Finesse) took out the Rio Meteor Race Sulky La Coocaracha (Group 3) with Darren Hancock in the cart for Kyabram trainer Mick Blackmore, and Golino-trained Pizza Queen (by Credit Winner out of Armbro Domino) won the Garrards Horse and Hound NSW Trotters Oaks for reinsman David Morris, upstaging race favourite High Gait in a thrilling finish. WATCH PIZZA QUEEN'S NSW TROTTERS OAKS SUCCESS Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)  

Warragul born harness racing reinsman Gavin Lang broke a 27-year drought when he won the $30,325 Downtowner Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup on Easter Sunday. In front of the biggest trots crowd seen at Logan Park for almost a decade, Lang collected his third Warragul Cup, steering Nike Bromac to a memorable victory for Lara trainer Dean Braun. Lang previously won the Warragul Cup with Copper Leopard for local trainer Noel Alexander in 1982, while he also trained and drove top mare Our Navy Lady to win the first daytime Cup run in 1989. In typical fashion, Lang drove a cool race, guiding Nike Franco between horses in the final circuit, and gaining the verdict narrowly with a well timed run down the outside of the track. He didn't panic when hemmed up between horses with a lap to go, knowing full well his horses ability would see it through despite having to come from behind on the small track. "There is a place still for these (smaller) tracks, and there's no doubt they promote competitive racing," Lang said. While having been born in Warragul, Lang has been based at Melton for over 40 years, but still competes at most Warragul meetings, and drove his five thousandth winner on the track in 2012, so the venue hold special memories for him. "Being a Warragul boy, born and bred, I'm always happy to come home here and win a race of this ilk," Lang said. Nike Franco had won over $300,000 in stakes before Sunday's Cup victory, at only her thirtieth race start. A large group of owners share in the horse, which has also won two Oaks classics in Queensland, along with feature mares' events in Melbourne and Sydney. Nike Franco appreciated a drop in grade after finishing at the rear of the field in the Kilmore Pacing Cup a week earlier. The other feature of the afternoon was the Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Cup, which attracted a strong field and was won by Illawong Helios for trainer Ross Sugars and his driver son Greg. Illawong Helios is another lightly raced horse which should continue to win good races, having collected 16 wins from only 27 starts. The win of Illawong Helios bought up three winners for the afternoon for owners Martin and Kaye Hartnett - the first time the owners had collected a treble at a race meeting. Unfortunately the Hartnett's missed their successful day owing to a family function. Top horsewoman Jodi Quinlan trained two of the Hartnett's winners, and her further success with Christian Major in the Warragul Guineas saw her collect a $1000 bonus for driving three winners on the program. Christian Major flashed home at the finish to deny local pacer Courageous Call a win in the event. Melton horseman Lance Justice produced a nice looking horse in Crockets Cullen to win the last race - Justice confidently predicting the New Zealand bred horse will win good quality races after he easily defeated his rivals. Good weather conditions drew a big crowd to the Warragul Pacing Bowl, with the car park and dining areas at capacity 40 minutes before the first race. A variety of activities kept patrons entertained throughout the day. Visitors to the course praised Warragul Harness Racing Club Manager Mark Johnson and his staff and committee for the amount of work put in to run the successful event. New Harness Racing Victoria Chairman, Dale Monteith, was also in attendance at his first race meeting since being elected to the post the previous Tuesday. Kyle Galley  

Im Corzin Terror added a sixth Victorian country cup to his harness racing resume on Sunday at Hamilton in Victoria’s south-west. In front of a bumper crowd the eight-year-old Dean Braun-trained pacer overcame a 20-metre handicap to win the Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup over 2660m in fast time. Im Corzin Terror’s mile rate of 1:57.7 was just 0.3secs outside Restrepo’s track record mark set last year. Driven by Greg Sugars, Im Corzin Terror made his move with over a lap to go, moving to the breeze outside leader Keayang Cullen – the favourites 1-2 at the bell. When Sugars pushed the button Im Corzin Terror put Keayang Cullen to the sword and no other challengers emerged thereafter, Im Corzin Terror cruising to the line to score a 7.5m win over Tasmanian longshot The Majority, who benefited from a ripper Mark Yole drive, with Charlie Machsheen a bold third for Craig Demmler. “He felt like a winner a long, long way out,” Sugars said. “He was the best performed horse in the race today and over the trip. I was always pretty confident.” Im Corzin Terror will head towards the A.G. Hunter Cup but could still line up in next weekend’s Ballarat Cup. He’s the reigning cup champion at Bray Raceway. He has won cups at Hamilton, Ballarat, Terang, Bendigo, and twice at Maryborough. The Majority ran a mighty race at big odds in second place, trailing the leader Keayang Cullen before jumping on to the back of Im Corzin Terror at the home corner. Charlie Machsheen loomed large at the top of the straight and ended up third, 8.8m behind the winner, while Macho Comacho – a stablemate of the winner – ran fourth and the well-backed Jadahson was sixth. Keayang Cullen finished last with punters keeping an eye on the veterinarian’s report to see if that brings an explanation. Earlier on the card Emma Stewart-trained Kingofthestars (Sportswriter/Kirrilee Joy) took out the Western District Employment Agency 3YO Pace with Nathan Jack in the sulky. The colt rated 1:56.5 and won by 8.1m over Soho Madeleine. Kingofthestars will head towards the Victoria Derby. >> Video – relive Im Corzin Terror’s ultra-impressive Hamilton Pacing Cup win WINNERS’ BREEDING/OWNERSHIP Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup IM CORZIN TERROR (By Western Terror out of Corzanello) Owner: Pauline McColgan Breeders: C. McGowan, J L Smolenski, D J Smolenski. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

The impressive harness racing winner of Sunday’s Wimmera Mail Times Horsham Pacing Cup will make his next stop at Shepparton this Saturday night. Keayang Steamer, who captured his second Horsham Cup success at the weekend (he also won the 2014 Horsham Cup), will line up in the Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup, said winning reinsman Glen Craven. The Shepparton Cup is worth $75,575 and is a Group 2 standing start race, the perfect lead-in race to one of the Summer of Glory jewels, the Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup on February 6. Keayang Steamer, trained in Terang by Marg Lee, travelled well throughout in the breeze on Sunday before putting his opposition away with a lethal sprint off the back straight. He went on to win by 6.5 metres in a mile rate of 2:01.3 for the 2700-metre trip, his last 800m covered in 55.5secs. Five Star Anvil finished second from the one-one, with the two race favourites Mister Mundaka and Im Corzin Terror clocking in third and fourth. “He was travelling good… It helped that Im Corzin Terror put in a couple of rough ones on the corner,” Craven said. “He travelled good in the run and always felt strong. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on (leader Mister Mundaka) over the long trip because I was mindful of quality horses coming from behind (if we went too quick) “He’s come back in really good order. Things didn’t go quite as we would have liked up at Bathurst but hopefully he’ll keep on improving now.” Keayang Steamer has had six runs this preparation, winning the Maryborough Cup first-up and also scoring victories in the Sokyola Sprint at Melton and the Treuer Memorial (Group 2) at Bankstown, NSW. Keayang Steamer is a $16 shot for the Good Form Victoria Cup and a $13 chance for the Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup with Meanwhile, trainer Dean Braun teamed with driver Nathan Purdon to take out the Im Stately Horsham Trotters Cup (Group 2) on Sunday with eight-year-old squaregaiter Unico Pegasus. After settling back in the field, Unico Pegasus made his move three-wide down the back before swamping the frontrunners in the home straight to score by 5.1m in 2:05.5 for the 2700-metre standing start trip. Action Kosmos was second and Lord Liam third. >> Video replay of Wimmera Mail Times Horsham Pacing Cup >> Video replay of Im Stately Horsham Trotters Cup WINNERS’ BREEDING/OWNERSHIP Im Stately Horsham Trotters Cup UNICO PEGASUS (By Pegasus Spur out of Chiola’s Gem) Owners: A P Coniglio, P J Coniglio Breeder: Dave Gibbons Wimmera Mail Times Horsham Pacing Cup KEAYANG STEAMER (By Riverboat King out of Alimar Star) Owner: Levarg Racing Group Breeders: M A Lee and A C Craven   Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Concession harness racing driver Carson Millar hasn’t taken long to carve out a following in the trots, notching his first victory at just his 11th drive last Thursday night at Geelong. The victory came aboard Glenferrie College for trainer Dean Braun in the Corio Waste Management Pace, the six-year-old paying almost $10 at It followed a second placing aboard Evil Trickster at Geelong earlier this month when a 50-1 shot, and with three other minor placings in his handful of drives to date at big odds Millar’s each-way followers must be enjoying his work. “It was a great feeling,” the 26-year-old said of his breakthrough win. “I help out at Dean’s nearly every day off that I get. Dean’s been a great help and I couldn’t ask for a better trainer to work with.” Millar’s grandfather, the late Helmut Richert, was a trainer and the reinsman said it was through him that he got involved in the trots. “My grandad trained. He passed away in early February but it was him who got me into the sport,” he said. Millar said the fact a couple of drivers were keen to battle each other up front helped his cause aboard Glenferrie College, but his decision to get off the pegs and into the one-one proved a winning one. Millar said he was hoping to pick up more driving opportunities, especially in the new concession drivers series races.  Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Today's $125,000 Westral Mares Classic at Gloucester Park looked a matchrace between the champion harness racing mare Frith and the up and coming open class mare Nike Franco NZ. Frith has been in dynamic form in her two starts in the west but that was negated a lot today by the horrible draw she had of the outside of the gate at barrier nine. Luke McCarthy pressed forward from barrier two to grab the lead with Nike Franco while Chris Voak sent Frith forward on a huge burn from which she eventually found the death seat outside Nike Franco. Luke kept up a good clip in front with Nike Franco and it was obvious a long way out that Frith was in trouble when she couldn't respond to a three wide move at the 700 metres mark. Nike Franco on the other hand was still travelling beautifully and went to the line full of running for an easy win over a fast finishing Jungle Jane and Ideal Alice who battled on for third. Considering that Nike Franco was involved in a sub 35 second burn to hold the lead, you could be nothing but impressed with the ease of the win. Nike Franco paced the 2138 metres in a smart 2:32.9, a mile rate of 1:55.5 with closing sectionals of 56.9 and 27.5 It was the daughter of McArdle's 15 win from just 24 starts and took her earnings just shy of quarter of a million dollars. Trainer Dean Braun couldn't contain a big smile post race. " It has been a long way back for this mare and I am thrilled that the public got to see the real Nike Franco today." " She was a star three year old but had a few issues at four so it is great to see her back at her best.' " When she drew good we were fairly confident she would go a big race," Dean said. Dean has already set in place the longterm plans for Nike Franco. " She can go home now and have ten days off before we get her ready for the Ladyship Mile at Menangle." "The way she went today, I don't think she has to fear anyone," Dean said. Harnesslink Media  

Corzin Terror is not Addington's favourite "Terror" but plenty of Kiwis will be behind Amanda Grieve on Tuesday. As a child growing up in Christchurch, Grieve was captivated by the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Her dreams of lining up a runner in the race will become reality on Tuesday when Australian pacer Corzin Terror contests the $750,000 Group I Cup over 3200m. Grieve works for leading Victorian trainer Dean Braun and has travelled home to mentor Corzin Terror, who she holds a share in. She has spent time living on both sides of the Tasman but is adamant she is a Kiwi and there is no doubt surrounding what her dream race would be. "When Corzin Terror ran in the Inter Dominion that was a massive thing for me but everyone dreams of wining a New Zealand Cup. "It's like the Kiwis' Melbourne Cup because the nation stops but you may as well say it stops Australasia because everyone in racing in Australia watches it," Grieve said. Tuesday looms as a proud day for Grieve and her family. Proud parents Paul and Katie are flying in from Melbourne and grandfather Wally Grieve will make the trip up from Ashburton. Corzin Terror arrived in Braun's stable back in 2012 after winning five races from 26 starts for the Colin and Julie DeFilippi barn in Canterbury. But he is best known to Kiwis for beating three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Terror To Love in the Ballarat Cup last season when it was reduced to just four runners. At the time, Grieve, 27, was training Braun's team as he was suspended due to one of his runners testing positive for the prohibited substances phenylbutazone and oxphenbutazone. The Ballarat Cup was her first Group I win but what should have been a magical moment was tainted with controversy. Grieve said it was hard to celebrate when the crowd were booing before and after the race due to several runners being scratched late because their sulkies were too wide. Despite the circumstances, Grieve said it was still crazy to see her name next to the previous winning trainers. "I never thought I would be in that position. It's still hard to think I was a Group I winner," she said. "There was only four in the race but people forget that he still ran home in a 53 second half, that's the thing people forget." An $81 chance to win the Cup on Tuesday, bookmakers have all but written Corzin Terror off, even if Grieve has not. She said Corzin Terror has thrived on the sand at Mark Jones' Woodend Beach operation.  "The distance suits him down to the ground and he is usually pretty good at stepping away." She believes Corzin Terror, or Im Corzin Terror as he is known in Australia, did not get the rub of the green last season, especially with barrier draws. "He went better than people realise last season, he definitely deserves the trip over here." Corzin Terror won the Maryborough Cup and flashed home late to run second to Guranteed in the Kilmore Cup. "Everyone was talking about Guaranteed's run and he did go great but they forget what Corzin Terror can do," Grieve said. If Corzin Terror cannot win the Cup, Grieve would love to see her former employer Tony Herlihy win it with Ohoka Punter. Grieve moved to Melbourne when she was still at school but moved back in 2005 to work for Herlihy. She spent nine-and-a-half years with Herlihy before moving back to Australia around two-and-a-half years ago because her father was seriously ill. Grieve spent countless hours with the "pretty special" Ohoka Punter before she moved to Australia, including his brilliant 3-year-old season. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ    -    Check site here

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