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

Sunday sees the running of the world’s harness racing richest race with the $1.3 million TABTouch Inter Dominion Grand Final (2536m) at Gloucester Park. Conducted over three sets of heats over varying distances (2130m, 1609m, 2536m) at two different tracks and circumferences (Gloucester Park’s 800m and Donaldson Park in Bunbury’s 960m), the series has been hailed as a return to the halcyon days of the Inters after experiments with the format. Exciting racing has been the result. By 3pm we will know the result of the all the long-term planning by connections to get their horses ready for their one shot at Inter Dominion glory. The result, however, may be known a little bit earlier than 3pm; it could be known within 500m of the start. Stephen Reed, who trains the pole marker Lovers Delight, did not attend the barrier draw function. But within minutes of the draw being conducted, Reed contacted the function by Twitter stating that he will be going forward to lead at all costs. Gary Hall Snr said that he was over the moon with drawing barrier 2 with Waylade and said that he will go forward. It will be interesting to see what James Rattray does with Devendra, who has drawn wide in barrier 8. A winner of two his three heats, the son of Bettor's Delight is very versatile and could either go back or have a crack for the early lead. If he goes forward and a speed battle ensues, that sets the race up for the likes of Lennytheshark, Philadelphia Man, My Hard Copy and Libertybelle Midfrew. Lennytheshark has been favourite for the majority of pre-race betting and like Philadelphia Man and Devendra has won two of his three heats. Early speed on it can be seen Lennytheshark slotting midfield in the moving line and being in prime position for the run home. So where does that place Philadelphia Man? Drawn barrier 4, if the speed is on he could try and slot into the field but he could be the victim of horses finding the one wide line before him. If the first 200-300m is slow, then driver Gavin Lang could go forward and try lead up the one-wide line. That will give him an undeniable chance. ROBBIE DEWAR’S SELECTIONS: 3- Lennytheshark 4- Philadelphia Man 2- Waylade 9- My Hard Copy By Robbie Dewar Reprinted with permission of the site

A late burst to win a showdown with Avonova, a well-timed run down Bunbury's modest straight to pick off Blazin N Cullen, and a run from the rear to be nosed out by leader Libertybelle Midfrew. Philadelphia Man hasn't seen a lot of breeze in the Inter Dominion heats, but has generally found the front when it matters. They are a succession of harness racing performances that sit right with trainer Emma Stewart and her partner Clayton Tonkin. “I think he's had a pretty good round of heats,” Tonkin said. “He basically hasn't had a hard run yet to be honest. Most of them have been run to suit, he got a long way back last time, which didn't work as well, but he is looking good and is sound.” Therefore a fourth run in 17 days in Sunday's final is more likely an avenue to success than a bridge too far. “I think, going in, he was probably carrying a little extra weight,” Tonkin said. “We planned it that way and now he's starting to tighten right up.” Some may view Philadelphia Man being drawn at four at Gloucester Park as being awkward. With Lovers Delight and Lennytheshark on its inside, finding the front could come at a price. In the heats Gavin Lang has successfully steered Philadelphia Man to cover and bided his time, while those that made the early running were soon mowed down. “You don't expect them to go as crazy (at the start) as they did (in the heats), but it just worked in our favour,” Tonkin said. The going will likely be willing early in Sunday's final and Philadelphia Man's connections will rely on their driver – a three-time winner of the great race – to make the right call. “Lovers Delight, Lennytheshark and even Devendra out wide will be working very hard to get the lead,” Tonkin said. “We'll leave it up to Gavin (Lang), but if the speed is on early on he could drop him in, but we could also put him in the race early. He can make his own luck and can do it tough. He's pretty versatile.” Much has been made of Philadelphia Man's long-awaited showdown with Lennytheshark. The Victorian pacers haven't met since January's Victoria Cup, when Lennytheshark hunted winner Christen Me down the sprint lane to finish second, while Philadelphia Man held ground to finish fifth. One week earlier they were first and second favourite in the Shepparton Cup, when Philadelphia Man appeared to have the cup in hand over a first-up Lennytheshark when Geoff Webster's Franco's Ledger mowed the pair down. So what's it all mean? “I just take it race by race,” Tonkin said. “Horses go in and out of form. I don't think you can get a gauge on that. “I'm happy with how our fella's going and if he gets the right run on the night he will acquit himself well.” Certainly, Tonkin believes the window is open. “I always thought he could go on to race an Inter Dominion. “I thought he would be suited to the old style of racing. And when they all dropped off, like Christen Me and Beautide, I think it's a year when he is a real chance to win.” And what a result that would be for Philadelphia Man's loyal owners, a broad Ballarat syndicate that has ridden the bumps and is now Perth-bound. “There are a heap of people in it who love the horse,” Tonkin said. “They are a real good bunch who spent a lot of money on him because of injury. “There have been a lot of setbacks and disappointments, so to even see him in an Inter Dominion final is a huge reward.” by Michael Howard

The third and last of the harness racing Inter Dominion heats at Bunbury tonight looked on paper to be the most competitive with two of the three heat winners in this heat. The ultra impressive first night winner Philadelphia Man and Gavin Lang had drawn poorly at one on the second line over the 1609 metres journey while the other first night winner  Devendra had drawn handy on the front line at barrier four. As the gates went Shane Graham sent Mach Alert forward from barrier three to grab the lead but was immediately attacked by Devendra and James Rattray and the two went to war. Neither would give an inch over the first 400 metres which was cut out in a flying 26.3 before James Rattray conceded and eased to the trail behind Mach Alert. However the damage had been done and both had done their winning chances with that mad early dash. With a lap to go Blazin N Cullen and John McCarthy looped the field to sit parked outside Mach Alert and thats how the racing order stayed until they turned for home although Gavin Lang had slid Philadelphia Man three wide at the 700 metres and was looming large as they straightened for home Blazin N Cullen pinched a length on the corner but Philadelphia Man was not to be denied and swept to the front short of the post for another impressive win. Blazin N Cullen fought gamely for second in front of a flying Flaming Flutter who flashed home late for third. A minor highlight of the race was the effort of Devendra to battle on for fifth after being involved in that early burn. Tonights win was the twenty fourth for the son of Art Major in his career and took his earnings over $520,000 mark. This heat was the slowest of the three on the night with Philadelphia Man cutting out the mile in 1:54.2 with closing sectionals of 55.9 and 27.7. It was a lovely drive by Gavin Lang who timed his run to perfection without having to really go for his horse which is so important when you are running three races at this level in a week. With Lennytheshark winning with a bit in reserve both nights, Philladelphia Man has looked the only other horse in the series on the same page and the Grand Final meeting between these two is shaping up as a beauty. Harnesslink Media

After the brilliant performance from Lennytheshark in heat 2 of the Inter Dominions tonight at Gloucester Park, it would have been a very brave man who suggested that he could be beaten in the series. However just an hour later in heat three, Philadelphia Man reminded fans on course that he was more than capable of upsetting the favourite. Allowed to come out at his own speed by driver Gavin Lang as Mach Beauty and Bettors Fire went to war early, Philadelphia Man slotted in three back in the running line through the first couple of laps. Flushed out at the 700 metres mark, Philadelphia Man quickly ranged up alongside Mach Beauty and Avonnova at the 500 metres mark. Mach Beauty stopped shortly after leaving the two experienced grand circuit campaigners to fight out the finish. The seven-year-old son of Art Major gradually wore down Avonnova for a very impressive win with Gavin Lang all smiles post race. " It's not a bad effort to sit three wide from the 700 and still wear down a tough campaigner like Avonnova." " They went so hard up front, he was always going to be a big chance to run over them late." "He was having a little bit of trouble on the bends but he should be so much better for the experience tonight," Gavin said. The third heat of the series was the quickest of the night after the early burn with the 2138 metres being cut out in 2:30.6, a mile rate of 1:53.8 with closing sectionals of 56.6 and 27.8. So while Lennytheshark was brilliant in heat two, Philadelphia Man served notice in heat three that he won't go down without a huge fight. Harnesslink Media  

Congratulations to all the winners of premierships for season 2014/15, including:   Greg Sugars (State Driver)   Emma Stewart (State Trainer).   Chris Alford and Gavin Lang fought out an enthralling tie for Metropolitan Driver honours.   Consultation Forums Tonight at Bendigo marks the first of three public Consultation Forums at which HRV will present a summary of the Consultation Paper, which will eventually lead to the 2020 Strategic Plan. The Consultation Paper is currently on the website at There is also a feedback form which can be submitted direct to HRV. HRV commenced the consultation process by presenting to representatives of the following bodies on 2 September: Association of Victorian Harness Racing Country Clubs Harness Breeders Victoria Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club (representing owners) Victorian Harness Racing Trainers & Drivers Association, and Victorian Square Trotters Association We are hoping for large attendances at the forums in order to receive constructive feedback on the Paper. The remaining two public forums (commencing at 7pm) are to be held at: Shepparton Harness Racing Club - Tuesday 22 September Tabcorp Park Melton - Wednesday 23 September Breeders Crown HRV has conducted a full review of the 2015 Breeders Crown. Once again the event was a highlight on the Victorian calendar, however we have taken on board feedback from the industry following the event. There will be changes for 2016, which are currently being discussed. I am certain the heats/repechage system will be overhauled for example. The location of heats is also under review. The time of year that the Crown is held is also a topic for discussion. HRV surveyed 20 of the top trainers and drivers and not surprisingly the result was evenly divided on whether there should be a change of date. Clearly the placement of Derby's, APG, Vicbred and Breeders Crown is difficult to co-ordinate, as well as other factors such as the NZ Jewels. From a wagering perspective, across the semi-final night and finals Sunday, total turnover was $7.80m slightly down on last year's comparative $7.85m. Vicbred Since the last newsletter, we have received the full wagering details for the Vicbred Finals weekend. The breakdown is below. Pleasingly a 15% growth over the two nights, including a very strong result for the trotters on the Friday night. 2015 2014 Variance Friday night $3,451,000 $2,760,000 up 25% Saturday night $3,844,000 $3,558,000 up 8% Total Both Nights $7,295,000 $6,318,000 up 15% The numbers show that Vicbred and Breeders Crown are two very important brands for the Victorian industry. Driver Testing The HRV Integrity Department has collected a number of swab samples from competing drivers/trainers over the last week in order to maintain the safety and integrity of the sport and to ensure drivers are not affected by any illicit substances. The testing of participants ensures less risk to the safety of all competing drivers and horses. The Integrity Department has taken random samples of drivers/trainers engaged at Bendigo and Kilmore over the last week and will continue to take samples on an on-going basis. The other significant benefit in taking samples from drivers/trainers is the early detection of any issues, so that anyone detected with banned substances in their system can also be referred to welfare and support agencies in order to receive appropriate treatment to deal with their issue or illness. While on the subject of integrity, HRV has been performing increased stable inspections and swabbing at trials. Click here for article. November Trial - Preferential Barrier Draws HRV recently announced that for a trial period of one month (November), all races (other than five feature races) will have a preferential barrier draw condition placed on them. The trial is designed to encourage more competitive racing, reduce long odds on favourites, which we hope will have a positive impact on the perception of our sport and create a more attractive wagering product. HRV appreciates each Club's support of the trial. The success of the trial will be assessed and we will gladly share the result of the trial with the industry. Vale Nell Quinlan Nell, or Nan as she was affectionately known, sadly passed away at Tabcorp Park on 24 August. Nell was a great supporter of the industry and her interest flowed on to the next generations of family members. Our condolences go to Nell's children Gary, Lee and Cheryl as well as the extended Quinlan/Walker families. Pat Brooks Also sad to hear of the passing of Pat Brooks, who would have been well known to many in the Murray River region. Pat received a Distinguished Service Medal, in recognition of his efforts for the Cobram Club. Pat joined the Cobram Committee in 1963 and served as President from 1971 to 1994. He became a Life Member in 1991. First Win Congratulations to Lisa Bartley on her first win as a driver at Shepparton on 2 September behind Als Courage, beating her two sisters Rebecca and Ellen who also drove in the race. Did You Know? Hard to believe that Ellas Puppeteer won a C0 at Charlton on 14 September in a mile rate of 1.52.8, breaking the track record by over two seconds.                                                                                                         John Anderson       Harness Racing Victoria

Gippsland horse Professor Tom won a consolation of the rich Breeders Crown series at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton last Friday night. Bred and owned by long serving Warragul Harness Racing Club committeeman Grant Rathjen, Professor Tom finished strongly to win. The two-year-old is trained by Drouin West's Gary and Debbie Quinlan and was driven by Gavin Lang. Professor Tom is out of the Rathjen family's former brilliant race mare Petes Dream. On Sunday afternoon another Gippsland bred, Our Waikiki Beach, extended its winning sequence to 12 in capturing the Colts and Geldings Final. Bred locally by the Fusinato family, and trained and owned in New Zealand, Our Waikiki Beach heads home undefeated in his first season of racing. Our Waikiki Beach is from the Fusinato's top mare Cyclone Betty. Pearcedale pacer Hectorjayjay, winner of the Warragul Cup earlier this year, won the Entires and Geldings feature, while Cranbourne horse Cruisin Around ran third in the trotting Colts and Geldings Final. These and other horses trained in the region look set to produce an exciting future for Gippsland harness racing.   Kyle Galley

Just when you thought that Claudys Princess couldn't  get any better, Mick Blackmore's champion mare produces a run that has you reaching yet again for the superlatives. Last night at Tabcorp Park Melton, the daughter of Bacardi Lindy really shouldn't have won after having nothing go her way in the running in the small field. Eased off the gate by driver Gavin Lang, Claudys Princess settled fourth on the inner as Edge Hill and Blake Fitzpatrick set a moderate tempo in front. With just over a lap to go Gavin eased Claudys Princess out into the running line and she began to work forward slowly. Gong past the 800 metres, Blake Fitzpatrick opened the afterburners on Edge Hill and she sizzled down the back straight in 27.7. Claudys Princess stayed in contact but the rest of the field were feeling the pinch. Across the top Gavin slotted Claudys Princess down onto Edge Hill's back to give her a short breather before recommencing battle as soon as they straightened for home. Slowly but surely, Claudys Princess hauled in Edge Hill for a memorable win against the odds. Claudys Princess trotted the 2240 metres in 2:47.5, a mile rate of 2:00.3 with closing sectionals of 57 and 29.3 which Claudys Princess would have bettered by some margin. Last nights victory was number 19 from 30 career starts for stake earnings of $310,281. The staggering statistic is she has only missed a first three finish once in her 30 lifetime starts. A lot of age group starts have trouble making the step up to free for all class as older horses but Claudys Princess looks to have all the attributes necessary to make it in the best company. Harnesslink Media

Leading harness racing trainer Emma Stewart has a clear plan for Philadelphia Man and at this stage everything is falling into place. Tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton, Philadelphia Man was settled back early by driver Gavin Lang before joining the three wide line and finding the death seat outside Marty Monkhouse with just over a lap to go. When Gavin pressed the go button as they straightened for home, the son of Art Major strode clear with ease and won easing down by over six metres from a game Flaming Flutter with an even gamer Cold Major holding on for a close third after doing a lot of work early. Philadelphia Man paced the 2240 metres in 2:42, a mile rate of 1:56.4 with closing sectionals of 57.3 and 27.9. Trainer Emma Stewart  was happy with the run as follows her plan to have Philadelphia Man at his peak for the Perth Inter-Dominion. " He needs racing to reach his peak so there is plenty of improvement in him yet." " I think the Perth Intrer-Dominions will really suit my horse with a return to the old format." " He will thrive on three runs in a week as he is a big gross type of horse so the series format is perfect for him. " The 800 metres track is no problem for him as well whereas some of his major competitors are not quite as happy on the smaller track as he is.' " He is the only one I am taking to Perth for the Inter-Dominions but I may take a couple of mares with me for those nice mares races," Emma said Philadelphia Man seems ideally suited to this years Inter-Dominion series and has all the attributes to take out the title. Harnesslink Media

This Tuesday's harness racing meeting was at Shepparton and close finishes were the order of the night which featured two heats of the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for Two Year Old Colts & Geldings over 2190 metres. Heat eight went the way of the local training - driving combination of Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack with Tintin In America/Zwish gelding  Zee Dana. Driven by Nathan, Zee Dana led out from the pole, before taking cover on the well fancied ex-Kiwi Code Black to enjoy the run of the race. Assisted by third elect Born To Rocknroll moving from mid-field racing for the bell to keep the leader honest, Zee Dana made full use of the sprint lane to register a soft 1.3 metre victory over Code Black, with Born To Rocknroll 3.2 metres away in third spot. The mile rate was 1-58. Heat nine saw Vicbred Super Sires victor Shadow Sax continue on his winning way with a strong victory in a rate of 1-59.4, much to the delight of popular owner/breeders Russell and Pam Hockham. Trained by Emma Stewart  and driven by Gavin Lang, Shadow Sax who is getting better with every run, possied one/one from outside the front row with Peter Manning’s one time boom pacer Christmas Jolt leading from the pole with Greg Sugars aboard. Not happy with the tempo, Lang vacated the prime spot mid-race to park in the open and Shadow Sax outstayed his rivals, scoring by a neck after the pair drew away at the straight entrance. Swan Hill winner Betanotblink was 10.5 metres away after trailing the pacemaker. A gelded son of Shadow Play from the handy racemare Miss Saxony, Shadow Sax has fronted the starter on nine occasion for five wins, the last three in succession. Rockbank area trainer Rob O’Connell and stable reinsman Zac Phillips snared the Hunter Rural Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres with five year old Falcons Icon/Alkaliner gelding Jialiner in a rate of 2-00.7. Burning away from gate four, Jialiner was untroubled to lead throughout in  defeating Lights And Music which trailed using the sprint lane to no avail, the margin 2.1 metres, with Brother Rabbit 8.9 metres away after following the pair. Jialiner is raced by Peter Earl and partners who have won many races with horses using the “Liner” moniker. Riverina (Wagga Wagga) trainer Russell Campbell combined with Gavin Lang to land the Shepparton BMW 3-Y-0 Pace over 2190 metres with Sportswriter/Aflyin Home Lombo filly Lombo Newsy Scoop. Driven brilliantly, Lombo Newsy Scoop settled mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second row, weaving in-between runners in the last lap before dropping down to the inside approaching the home turn. Using the sprint lane, Lombo Newsy Scoop finished best to gain the day by 5.2 metres in two minutes even over Wantalinga Dream off a three wide trail last lap and first starter Mesmeric which led for the final circuit after crossing Major Missile at the bell. Five year old Righteous Hanover/Jasmin Korikina gelding Black Jasmin recorded his first victory since May 2013 when victorious in the 1st division of the Saddleworld Shepparton Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres. Trained at Gingarre (G/V) by former New South Welshman Greg Lewis, Black Jasmin driven by Ben Gledhill was given the run of the race one/one from gate five, with the Narrandera visitor To Infinitynbeyond leading from the pole. Taken three wide at the top of the straight, Black Jasmin in a punishing finish prevailed by a nose over Tee Da Green (one/one) out wide, with Boardwalk Emperor  (three back the markers) using the sprint lane to be a half head away in a thrilling finish. The mile rate was 1-58.5. The second heat was taken out by another border hopper in 3-Y-0 Flight Path/Maud gelding Quagmire giving Zac Phillips a driving double. Trained at Cobbity by Belinda McCarthy, Quagmire led throughout from the pole, scoring by a neck from Our Grasshopper which trailed in 1-57.2. Bubbas Princess rushed home from last at the bell to finish third 28.8 metres away. Sit sprinting specialist Awesome Mattjesty chalked up his 8th victory in 62 outings (4 this season), when successful in the Neatline Homes Pace for C2 class over 1690 metres. Driven by “Rocket” Rod Petroff for Coimadai trainer Steve Zammit, Awesome Mattjesty starting from inside the second row was given a charmed passage following the poleline leader Tennaya, before steaming home along the sprint lane to register a nose victory in advance of Bettor Atom off a three wide trail from near last in the final circuit, with Royal Deviate (one/one at bell – three wide home turn) a half neck away third in another tight finish. The mile rate was 1-57.1. Speaking of tight finishes, the Equine After Care Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2190 metres was a ripper, with local trainer Stephen O’Donoghue’s No Tomorrow blousing Forbidden Forest in a finish with had all guessing the result including caller Dan Mielicki. Driven by the stable’s Bec Bartley, No Tomorrow a 5-Y-0 gelding by Life Sign from Cobbity Cobbity was sent forward after starting outside the front line to park outside the leader Forbidden Forest which had moved around Ramblenroller which flew away from gate four. With the pair being joined by Nor Nor West three wide approaching the home turn, the three went head and head to the wire with No Tomorrow getting the judge’s nod by a nose in 1-58.8, with Nor Nor West first up since February just weakening over the concluding stages to be 1.9 metres away in third place. Len Baker

The 2015 Albion Park winter carnival came to a dramatic close on Saturday night. On a program that boasted four Group One features with strong prizemoney attached and a majority of leading trainers and drivers from around the southern hemisphere represented, harness racing fans were set for a huge night of entertainment. And they got what they were asking for. Brilliant Victorian three-year-old Menin Gate added to his impressive list of feature race victories this season by winning the $150,000 Queensland Derby when leading throughout defeating a gallant My Kiwi Mate and Queensland Oaks victor Fight For Glory in the 2680m feature. Sent straight to the lead by his reinsman Chris Alford from his ideal draw, the $1.40 favourite scored decisively in a time of 1;57.9. He covered his final mile in splits of 30.5, 30.1, 27.9 & 27.6 seconds. Prepared by Larry Eastman, the big striding gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere has now claimed the Victoria, Gold Coast and Queensland Derby’s plus the Vicbred Super Series Final this term. Menin Gate Comeback pacer Philadelphia Man gave his loyal army of supporters plenty to cheer about when he proved too classy for his rivals winning the $125,000 UBET Blacks A Fake. Having only his second run back from a lengthy break, the Emma Stewart prepared Art Major entire worked hard early before finding the lead at the 1800m from local mare Forever Gold. After being perfectly rated by Gavin Lang, the $2.10 favourite scored a convincing victory from a brave Forever Gold while Avonnova fought strongly to hold third placing. The 2680m open-class feature was covered in a mile rate of 1;56.8. The last mile was covered in splits of 31.4, 29.9, 27.6 & 27.7 seconds. Philadelphia Man is now unbeaten in two runs back this campaign while providing Stewart with her biggest victory in the sunshine state. Philadelphia Man Most expected the Victorians to claim the $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Fillies Final with the brilliant Heavens Trend, but her erratic behavior cost her victory. Improving local filly Special Moment ($35.10) caused a boilover downing Sweet As Candy and Aussie Vista in a mile rate of 1;58.0. The victory provided another feature race victory for Shannon Price and Scott Miller plus winning reinsman Brad Cowen during this carnival. Passing the 400m marker, Heavens Trend raced to the lead from Get In The Groove but raced greenly before ultimately galloping which left Trista Dixon (Get in The Groove) unseated while Covert Beauty and her driver Mark Dux crashed to the track. All horses and drivers involved in the incident were ok. Special Moment In the $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo colts and geldings Final, the fast finishing burst from Leos Best ($8.60) proved too much for his rivals in the 1660m feature event. Leos Best, trained and driven by Grant Dixon, forced clear of an early pocket and relished a strong speed to defeat Roarn and Catcha Lefty in a career best time of 1;54.8. The Cammibest gelding has now claimed two feature events this season after winning the Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Classic last month. And the Gr.2 $50,000 Landfill Logistics 4yo Championship was taken out in brilliant fashion by New South Wales mare Sweet Molly Oshea ($11.80) for trainer Blake Hewitt and winning reinsman Gavin Lang. After racing without cover, the Mach Three mare proved too strong for Alleluia and Bling It On in a race record time of 1;54.7 for the 2138m journey. Club officials were thrilled with the big crowd in attendance to conclude a strong carnival.  

Harness racing trainer Emma Stewart combined with champion driver Gavin Lang to take out both the Alabar Tatlow Stakes races at Tabcorp Park Melton last night.  Rock N Roll Heaven/All The Magic youngster Rocknroll Magic took out the fillies’ division and later on the card Shadow Play/Miss Saxony two-year-old Shadow Sax won the colts and geldings’ Tatlow. Rocknroll Magic, which has now won six of nine career starts, was clearly the dominant filly in her $50,505 Group 2. With no pace on throughout, Lang was able to lead early and dictate terms, Rocknroll Magic’s lead time of 48secs a crawl before the first half was covered in 62.5secs. The last-start Southern Cross heat winner in Adelaide only had to dash home in 56.6secs to hold off Three Squared (11.7m away in second), with My Sophisticated Lady in third in a rate of 2:00.1. Shadow Sax, the last-start Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series champion, overcame barrier seven to score by 2.5m in 1:59.5. Three-wide early, Lang slotted the talented gelding into the running line midfield as the leader Christmas Jolt jogged through a 48.1secs lead time. With an opening half of 62.1secs, three-time Melton winner Christmas Jolt looked on track to notch his seventh career victory overall. But in the home straight Shadow Sax rounded up the leader and then held off Zee Dana along the sprint lane. Shadow Sax has won four from eight lifetime starts. by Cody Winnell

It’s been 15 long years since champion reinsman Gavin Lang tasted success in one of Queensland’s biggest harness racing events. It was the turn of the century when Lang guided star pacer Persistency to victory in the Winter Cup. Plenty has changed since then, including the name of the race, renamed to honour the greatest champion of all time and proud Queenslander, Blacks A Fake. The Winter Cup was a race that Blacks A Fake won three times during his illustrious career. Now, Lang returns to partner exciting Victorian pacer Philadelphia Man in Saturday night’s Gr.1 $125,000 UBET Blacks A Fake for trainer Emma Stewart. “I can’t wait to get back to Brisbane, the weather is obviously going to be a lot better than what we’re going through down here currently and a couple of big race victories would only top off the trip." "I’ve got fond memories of the night Percy won the cup; it was a great carnival that year.” Lang said Other key drives for Lang this weekend including brilliant rookie filly Heavens Trend in the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final and top three-year-old filly Morton Plains who tackles the boys in the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby. Philadelphia Man has drawn favourably in the open class feature and Lang believes there is plenty of upside heading into the 2680m staying contest. The Art Major – My Liberty Belle gelding resumed with a solid front-running victory at TABCORP Park, Melton last Friday defeating quality performer Flaming Flutter in a mile rate of 1;56.6 for 2240m. It was his first start since failing in the Gr.1 $400,000 Hunter Cup won by Arden Rooney back in February. “He was quite good and I was happy with the way he performed, you can’t beat match practice so he will derive plenty of benefit from that hit-out. It’s a massive step-up this weekend taking on the likes of Smolda and Avonnova who are race fit and up and firing presently." “He’s a very smart horse who takes care of himself; he is professional and goes about his work in a smart way." "His campaign has been geared for this race and he’s doing everything right in lead-up so we’re confident of a forward showing." “The draw is a big advantage and having the other two horses draw the second-line gives me some breathing room early." "The distance won’t be any issue because Emma and Clayton (Tonkin – partner) always have them ready in the big races, he’s not there for a holiday.” Heavens Trend will start at a short quote in the QBRED Triad Fillies Final following her devastating performances in the recent Breeders Challenge series at TABCORP Park, Menangle. The Rock N Roll Heaven – Trend Setter filly rated a staggering 1;52.1 when successful in the semi-final before returning to win the Gr.1 Final in a time of 1;52.9. “This filly is something else; she’s not overly big but she’s built like a tank and obviously has a motor to match that frame." "Her attitude is unbelievable and takes everything in her stride, she just seems to do it so easily,” Lang said. “She gave me a very good feel at the Ballarat trials last weekend; she ran a good last quarter and felt very comfortable." "We’ve taken the same path with her for this race as what we did in lead-up to the Breeders Challenge, she’s ready.” he added. Heavens Trend will start from gate seven, the outside of the front-line in the 1660m feature. The Larry Eastman trained Morton Plains is on the back-up following her fast finishing second in last week’s Gr.1 Queensland Oaks behind star Kiwi filly Fight For Glory. Lang has driven Morton Plain on two previous occasions. Chris Barsby

South Merbein harness racing trainer Ian Watson and son reinsman Luke made the long trip south worthwhile by taking out the Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final for two-year-old fillies at Melton on Saturday night. “I usually sit at home and watch these races on telly." "To win it is just an absolute miracle to me,” declared Luke after steering well-bred Flojos Gold to victory in the 2240-metre event. At odds of over 50-1, Flojos Gold – by Mach Three out of former smart race mare Jasper Jo – made it three wins from four career starts by upstaging hot favourite Soho Madeleine for Belinda and Luke McCarthy by a head in a mile rate of two minutes. “I thought she could run a good race if she landed like she did." "If you had have told me we’d land behind the leader then I’d say we’d end up in the top few,” the winner’s driver said shortly after the race when asked about his thoughts going in. “It definitely makes up for all those ones you think were good enough but might have had a little bit of bad luck here or there not to win a Group 1." "It’s definitely a great thrill.” Rocknroll Magic ran third for Emma Stewart and Gavin Lang, while Just Wantano was fourth for Kevin Brough and Michael Bellman. Luke Watson said the filly had only travelled down to Melton in the hours leading up to the race. “We arrived a couple of hours before we had to be here … with the babies we always reckon they’re best off at home in their own environment until they have to leave and I think it’s paid dividends,” he said. “I knew this filly got out pretty quick, we just wanted to come out early and find a spot." "To end up where we did was probably just good luck more than good management,” Luke said. Re-live Flojos Gold winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final Cody Winnell

With two months of the harness racing season remaining, the national driver’s premiership title is up for grabs with several contenders still in the mix. Leading the way is Victorian based reinsman Greg Sugars with 200 wins on the board and he holds a two win lead over Queensland based Shane Graham. Fellow Victorians Gavin Lang (189) and Nathan Jack (183) sit next and well within striking distance. Sugars landed his 200th winner on Saturday at Shepparton aboard the Leigh Miles prepared Be Good Juddy. Last season, Sugars finished third behind Chris Alford (298) and Amanda Turnbull (219) with 218 winners. Graham finished 12th with 164 winners. Double century seasons are nothing new for Sugars who has now surpassed the mark in five of the last six seasons. His highest tally of wins in a single season came in the 2012/13 term with 258 victories. Graham is yet to register a double century season. He has posted ten century seasons previously. Interestingly, star Kiwi reinsman Dexter Dunn registered his 200th winner on Friday night at Forbury Park when successful behind Give Me Strength. It is the fourth time he has reached that figure in a season with his best tally, 220 in the 2010-11 season. He has also 199 wins in two seasons. He won 206 in NZ last season. The final two months of the season in Australia offers plenty of feature racing, this weekend, the rich Vicbred Super Series Finals at TABCORP Park, Melton take place while the opening night of the winter carnival gets underway in Brisbane at Albion Park. Both Sugars and Graham will figure prominently. This is a race that looks set to go right down to the wire, so strap yourself in and follow the action closely in the months of July and August. Chris Barsby

The  harness racing $125,000 NSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle bring the best of the best together and the first big final to go today was the race for the two year old filliesl. Heavens Trend was a dominating favourite after four wins in a row, the last of them in an Australian record time of 1:52.1. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven had drawn nicely at barrier three while the main opposition in Our Golden Goddess had drawn wider at barrier six. As the gates folded, Mark Purdon driving Our Golden Goddeess threw caution to the wind and charged out to try to grab an early lead. Gavin Lang in the bike behind Heaven's Trend was having none of it and the two favourites charged through ther first quarter in 26.1 with Heavens Trend holding the front. When the half was reached in just over 55, a few were struggling with the pace but it was clear a long way out that Heavens Trend was in cruise control. As they straightened for home Gavin Lang gave her a bit of rein and Heavens Trend strode clear for an emphatic victory with Gavin sitting quite as in the bike. Hot Shot Woman dashed home late for second to continue her string of second placings with Boundtobemad edging out a game Our Golden Goddess for third. Heavens Trend paced the mile in 1:52.9 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 28.9. Emma Stewart is the trainer. Heavens Trend is from the first Australian crop of Rock N Roll Heaven 1:47.6 ($2,774,478) and is a daughter of the former outstanding race filly Trend Setter 1:55.6 ($199,414). The second placegetter Hot Shot Woman is by Rocknroll Hanover and must be the biggest stake earning maiden in Australasia with todays placing taking her well over the $100,000 mark. The main aim now for Heavens Trend is the Breeders Crown at Melton at the end of August where she will meet the unbeaten New Zealand champion Dream About Me and that should be a race well worth going to see. Harnesslink Media

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