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Save Our Pennys got a well-deserved first taste of sweet success this campaign with a comprehensive all-the-way win in the harness racing E B Cochran Trotters Cup. With driver Gavin Lang’s trotter having been valiant in Tornado Valley’s shadow, finishing second in five of his previous six starts, Save Our Pennys enjoyed the freedom of his main foe’s absence to dominate the $30,000 Group 2 on PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup night. It was the perfect tune-up for next Saturday night’s showcase Woodlands Great Southern Star, the $250,000 Group 1 that's Australia’s richest trotting race. “He’s an old marvel really,” said Lang. “Dad (Graeme) always said he’d win a good race, but he’s won three or four now. “His behaviour before the race tonight was a bit like a two-year-old, not like an eight-year-old who’s had 50-odd starts. He’s a great horse, just trots, as you can see no gear on him, no head check, no nothing. He’s just a great horse to have around.” Save Our Pennys won by 5.2m from Dance Craze who boxed on well to finish ahead of Yabby Dam stablemate Pizza Queen, with the winner holding all at bay with his 56-second last 800m amid a 1:59.8 mile rate. “Once Tornado Valley didn’t turn up it opened the race up a bit and then we were fortunate to come up with the right barrier. Made our own luck tonight, because he’s been a bit of a bridesmaid lately behind Tornado Valley, but that’s OK, I’ll cop that. “He deserved that win. Dad and mum will be very happy and I will be back in the will now that I have got a win on board.” The focus quickly turns to night two of the TAB Summer Of Glory, when Kiwis Marcoola and Speeding Spur travel to Tabcorp Park to take on TAB Inter Dominion winner Tornado Valley and a host of challengers hoping to flip the trotting landscape. “Tornado Valley has got the record on the board,” Lang said. “The opposition is always hopeful (that they can turn the tables) one day. He’s a great horse from the front of the field or the back of the field. “Horses like (Save Our Pennys) can never be discounted. He’s got great manners and a great will to win. There’s three or four Kiwis coming over for the Great Southern Star. It will be a Trans-Tasman race for sure, Tornado Valley’s probably not going to get it all his own way. It will be a great event.” To watch the video click on this link. Trots Media - Michael Howard ID18 5 8:30pm E B COCHRAN TROTTERS CUP (GROUP 2) 2200M $30,000 TM0 Or Better. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 SAVE OUR PENNYS      Fr4 4 Graeme Lang Gavin Lang   $ 1.80 fav  GS L 1 SWAB   BAY GELDING 7 by SAFELY KEPT USA out of TUPENNY BIT (SUNDON USA)  Owner(s): G A Lang, R J Sleep, Estate of G Lucas, J Glavas  Breeder(s): Bromfield Park Pty Ltd 2 DANCE CRAZE      Fr5 5 Anton Golino Rodney Petroff 5.20 $ 4.30   PRS 3WE OLM 2 SCT 3 PIZZA QUEEN USA      Fr3 3 Anton Golino Mark Purdon 8.10 $ 9.20   PRS GS 4 4 BIG JACK HAMMER      Sr1 8 David Aiken Kima Frenning 8.30 $ 17.70   PRS 5 HUE CTS D/F$ 5 SAVANNAH JAY JAY      Fr1 1 Stan Cameron Neil McCallum 9.20 $ 36.10   GS L SLE 3 6 SKY PETITE      Fr7 7 Michael Stanley Ryan Duffy 9.40 $ 8.00   RAS 10 3WL 7 DELTASUN      Fr2 2 Terry Young Kerryn Manning 13.70 $ 17.40   PRS 6 8 FABRICATION      Fr6 6 David Abrahams John Caldow 15.50 $ 53.90   RAS 8 Scratchings All started Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:43:8 Mile Rate: 1:59:8 Lead Time: 44.1 First Quarter: 32.1 Second Quarter: 31 Third Quarter: 28.7 Fourth Quarter: 27.9 Margins: 5.2m x 2.9m    

Master reinsman Gavin Lang predicts that bigger and better things could be on the horizon for victorious Kiwi harness racing raider Im Pats Delight, winner of the Shepparton Gold Cup on Saturday night. “I honestly believe we are yet to see the best of him – I think he has the makings of a grand circuit horse next season,” Lang said. Im Pats Delight (Bettors Delight-Righteous Franco) prepared at Christchurch, NZ, by highly successful trainer Cran Dalgety, showed his customary courage to dig deep late in the $60,000 Group Two feature event, run over the marathon journey of 2690 metres. At the finish, you could have thrown a blanket over the first four (to use a favorite racecallers’ description) with Im Pats Delight holding on by a metre from Our Triple Play, who nosed out Our Uncle Sam.  Sentimental hometown favorite San Carlo was a close-up fourth. With the Tim Butt-trained Let It Ride zooming along out in front and San Carlo (Bec Bartley) on the outside cutting the breeze, Lang supporters could have been excused for having big smiles in the early stages with “Pat” perfectly placed in the one-one. The leading brigade slipped into overdrive over the second last quarter in 27.6, with Let It Ride the first to surrender. San Carlo worked to the lead then was collared by Our Uncle Sam who launched wide from the back. But it was Im Pats Delight who swooped to take the honors, courtesy of another classic timed-to-perfection Lang drive.    The final 400m saw the survival of the fittest, being run in 29.6s. But in fairness, the mile rate for the staying trip of 1.56-2 was just .01 of a second outside the track record held by recent Inter Dominion series competitor Im The Boss, set on April 28 last year. Lang said his association with Dalgety “goes back a long time”. “I enjoy driving for him, because you know the horses are going to the races in prime condition,” Lang said. The combination has enjoyed considerable success over the years with talented pacers coming to mind including London Legend who ended up a M10 and C15. It was the second Victorian win for Im Pats Delight during this campaign, having won a heat of last month’s Inter Dominion at Ballarat in a career best of 1.52-2 for 1710m. Lang said while the horse held his own during the series, the tough runs eventually caught up with the four-year-old. He said Dalgety freshened “Pat” up after the series. “The horse had a nice hit-out in a Melton trial on the Tuesday prior to Shepparton, running a close-up third to Cruz Bromac and we knew that would have done him the world of good.” Lang, now back in the training ranks based at Bacchus Marsh, is also having a good season as a trainer. “My wife Meagan and I decided we could do around 12 to 13 between us,” he said. “But with a few winners we quickly found we were up to 18 and that meant employing staff, but we’re thoroughly enjoying it.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Owner Matt McLellan has just one wish for 2019. He wants to return for the Brisbane winter Carnival in July at Albion Park. Naturally, he wants to be part of the action again with his millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay. His memories are so joyous and so vivid, he’s often reliving the glory days when his brilliant pacer took the state’s biggest events. Back in 2016, Hectorjayjay produced one of the greatest performances of all time when he came from a near impossible position to win the Sunshine Sprint before going down as favourite a week later in the Blacks A Fake on a rain sodden track. He returned the following year and won both features, sublime efforts of both occasions. “There’s no doubt Brisbane holds a lot of special memories for me and the guys that race Hector, we’ve been lucky enough to win so many good races but his Brisbane efforts just stand out for me. It’s a great track nestled amongst a fascinating backdrop and the people are so great up there, I really look forward to getting there as much as possible.” McLellan said. As fate would have it, things have turned sour with Hectorjayjay developing some major injury setbacks which ultimately cost him a chance of returning to Brisbane last year. After enjoying so much success with star trainer David Aiken, he was transferred to Gavin Lang where he left with a perfect record after winning his only start for the master horseman when triumphant in the Popular Alm Sprint at Kilmore last June before going amiss again. Nowadays, Hectorjayjay is based with Ecklin South horseman Mattie Craven who makes full use of the nearby Warnambool beaches. And the signs of improvement are looking better each and every day. “His latest scan, which occurred days prior to Christmas, was really encouraging and it’s given us a lot of confidence moving forward with him. “We can now increase his workload but we’re not going to overdo it with him, rather than pushing him for a race like the Miracle Mile, I’d rather wait and be ready for Brisbane and make sure he’s proper ready. “If we can return to Brisbane and win those two big races again, that would just be absolutely amazing, a dream come true for me personally and hopefully we can get that opportunity.” The Brisbane winter carnival takes place at Albion Park throughout the month of July and the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship is the final leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit. Racing Queensland has recently announced some cash bonuses for horses aiming at the staying feature. Last year, Mattie Craven enjoyed tremendous results throughout the carnival after claiming both the Queensland Derby (Master Moonlite) and Queensland Trotters Cup (Our Dreamlover). Chris Barsby

Top horseman Gavin Lang equalled the record for the most number of wins at a Warragul trots meeting when he drove five winners there on Sunday. Lang joins fellow top drivers Ted Demmler, Chris Alford, Jodi Quinlan and Craig Demmler as those to have landed five race wins on a single program at Warragul. His haul came courtesy of Alpha Charlie and Harpagus (who he also trains), Just Anything and Rocknroll Gold (prepared by local horseman Michael Hughes) and Sahara Tiger. Sahara Tiger is trained by Gary and Debbie Quinlan, who also produced So Much Bettor to win the fourth event. That gelding was the second of two winning drives for reinsman Chris Alford, who had driven the Jayne Davies trained 12-year-old All I Can Be to win the third race. Greg Sugars was the only other driver to win a race on the afternoon, courtesy of Wattabout Rioli, trained by his wife Jess. For all his success during over four decades in harness racing driving, the Warragul born Lang has not won a drivers' premiership on the Gippsland track. Sunday's meeting was the first of the racing season at Warragul, so Lang certainly has got away to a flying start in a bid for his first driving title. Warragul's track raced in fast order on Sunday afternoon, and field sizes and on-course turnover were excellent. The next meeting at the Warragul Pacing Bowl will be staged on Wednesday, January 9.   Kyle Galley  

Top harness racing driver Gavin Lang equalled the record for the most number of wins at a Warragul trots meeting when he drove five winners there yesterday afternoon.   Lang joins fellow top drivers Ted Demmler, Chris Alford, Jodi Quinlan and Craig Demmler as those to have landed five race wins on a single program at Warragul.   His haul came courtesy of Alpha Charlie and Harpagus (which he also trains), Just Anything and Rocknroll Gold (prepared by local horseman Michael Hughes) and Sahara Tiger.   Sahara Tiger is trained by Gary and Debbie Quinlan, who also produced So Much Bettor to win the fourth event.   That gelding was the second of two winning drives for reinsman Chris Alford, who had driven the Jayne Davies trained 12-year-old All I Can Be to win the third race.   Greg Sugars was the only other driver to win a race on the afternoon, courtesy of Wattabout Rioli, trained by his wife Jess.   For all his success during over four decades in harness racing driving, the Warragul born Lang has not won a drivers premiership on the Gippsland track.   Sunday's meeting was the first of the racing season at Warragul, so Lang certainly has got away to a flying start in a bid for his first driving title.   Warragul's track raced in fast order on Sunday afternoon, and field sizes and on-course turnover were excellent.   The next meeting at the Warragul Pacing Bowl will be staged on Wednesday, January 9.   Kyle Galley

Champion driver Gavin Lang secured gate three for both his 2018 TAB Inter Dominion pacing and trotting drives at this morning's barrier draw. Held at Zinc Federation Square on the banks of the Yarra, the TAB ID18 Barrier Draw and Breakfast of Champions attracted plenty of guests and grabbed the attention of morning commuters in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. Lang, who pilots impressive Kiwi Im Pats Delight in the pacing grand final and trotter Save Our Pennys in the trotting decider, has two live chances on the biggest stage of all. The master reinsman said both horses were progressing well through the ID18 series to date but would have to step it up again to secure harness racing's holy grail. Save Our Pennys heads into the trotting decider a $14 shot after finishing second in all his qualifying heats behind the raging ID18 favourite Tornado Valley. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven a lot of very good trotters in my career and I would have been prepared to say this one’s not a patch on any of those ones, especially the three Inter Dominion winners,” Lang said when asked about the recent progress of the seven-year-old. “But I must say he’s really exceeded my expectations (through ID18).” Lang also said Save Our Pennys’ fitness was improving each run after his first-up second off a 30-metre handicap in the Geelong Trotting Cup. “He got beaten on his merits at Geelong and I thought if he improves 10 per cent from that in the first of the Inter Dominion heats I’d be pleased. I wasn’t expecting him to come out and run second,” Lang said. “He’s improved each run through this series and three seconds is more than I would have expected. “The distance of the final (2760m) is no burden for him and he’s just an old-fashioned horse who puts his head down and gets on with it. He’s got a great demeanour.” Cran Dalgety-trained Im Pats Delight is a four-year-old New Zealand pacer, who has gone from strength to strength through the heat rounds. “It’s a daunting task for a four-year-old to contest an Inter Dominion series but he is very mature and he seems to be getting through each run well,” Lang said. Meanwhile, Nat Rasmussen has chosen Cruz Bromac as her ID18 drive in the pacing final with partner Mark Purdon picking up the reins aboard fancied stablemate Spankem. Click here for the ID18 final fields   Trots Media - Cody Winnell

Three-time TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship winner Gavin Lang has outlined his ID18 chances ahead of Saturday night's first round of harness racing heats. From his Darley stables, Lang said his trotter, Save Our Pennys, had "a couple of minor setbacks" this campaign before an encouraging second when first-up last Saturday night in the Yabby Dam Racing McNamara Memorial Trotters Cup. "He'll improve, which he'll need too because he's stepping up to another level come round one Saturday night," Lang said. "If he improves a bit from one run to the next hopefully he can make the final." Lang also spoke about his pacing hopes Im Pats Delight and Mister Wickham, who he'll steer for trainers Cran Dalgety and Lee Evison respectively, and who he hopes might provide his first Inter Dominion pacing crown. "People speak about it and I've thought about it and, yeah, sure, it would be great to achieve it," Lang said. "As a kid, an Inter Dominion was basically the goal going forward if you were a driver. Haven't been able to achieve it yet, there's been probably greater drivers than me that haven't been able to achieve it - if it happens it happens." CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW: ID18 Trots Media - Michael Howard  

Gavin Lang will be looking to continue his stunning training strike rate at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight when he gears up three runners in the Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship Final. The champion reinsman said My Kiwi Lady, My Cash and Solid As A Rock had strong form leading into the Group 3 race over 1720m. “They have been racing well; (it’s a) tough race, of course but they have earnt their spot,” he said. While Lang will drive six-year-old mare My Cash, who has won her last three, he says “it doesn’t necessarily mean she has the best chance”. “She is by a stallion called Mach Three and the progeny can be a little bit headstrong as a rule – she’s no exception,” he said. “Probably on paper she is the pick of my three horses but, like I say, she is a little bit different (and) knowing her little tricks is probably an advantage, hence the reason why I have chosen to drive her.” Lang’s training record – 3403 starters since 1979-80 for 727 wins – speaks for itself, although personal circumstances led to a hiatus of horses running under his name (official records show he trained just the one starter from 2003-04). But he was never completely out of the training game. “I used to assist Brent Lilley when he first came out from NZ and then Adam Kelly,” he said. “(Then), through a little bit of pressure from long-time clients and owners and schoolfriends I grew up with, they sort of pressured me into training again in my own right.” Since dipping his toe back into training in 2016-17, Lang has scored 40 winners from 107 starts. “Even when I trained in the past one thing I was always pretty proud of was the strike rate I have always had with my horses; me and my wife Megan, we are fortunate to have a good band of owners and a reasonable band of horses,” he said. “It is a tough game and if I am going to take a horse to the races I want to be taking one that has a reasonable chance if things go our way, because I have been around as long as I have I am sick of going around there just for the fun of it; it doesn’t pay the bills.” Lang will be hoping his impressive strike rate continues into next month’s TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship, where he will gear up Save Our Pennys – who resumes in Saturday night’s Yabby Dam Racing McNamara Memorial Trotters Cup at Geelong – and drive Maori Law. “(Save Our Pennys) form last time in was sort of impeccable (but) he had a little setback at the start of this preparation, so his return to the track has been delayed,” Lang said. “Resuming this weekend (is) not ideal (as) you would have liked to probably be a little bit further advanced going into a series like the Inter Dominion, but he is very honest and never makes an error so, given that, he is a chance of making it through to the final. “Maori Law has a very good record; same deal with him, he was pretty plain at his last start probably about four weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since but has been trialing up pretty well, so he’s good enough to get through to the final as well. “As far as the pacing ranks go, I don’t even know if I have a drive yet but, as I have always found, if you have got a licence you just never know what is around the corner.”   Shaun Campbell Trots Media

SIDELINED star Hectorjayjay won’t be ready in time for the Melbourne Inter Dominion. New trainer Matty Craven had hoped the multiple Group 1 winner was on target with his latest comeback, but scans during this week proved a setback. “One part of the tendon has healed well, but the other part needs more time,” he said. “He had some more PRP (platelet rich plasma) treatment and will go back into his box. “We’ll get him scanned again in eight weeks and if it looks ready, we’ll step his work up again. “So that’s obviously the end of the Inter Dominion and anything this year. Probably the Miracle Mile as well. “But this is really the last shot we’re going to have at getting him back, so we won’t take any risks or rush anything.” Hectorjayjay first went amiss after his career-best win in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park last July. His only run since came on June 21 this year where he won easily at Kilmore, but then sustained another tendon injury when trained by Gavin Lang. He was transferred to Craven soon after so he could mix beach training at Warrnambool into his rehabilitation program. Adam Hamilton

Bendigo trainer-driver Chris Svanosio's whirlwind season could ascend to an even greater tier when the talented horseman brings a strong hand to Maryborough for Sunday's trotting showcase. The two-day Redwood Carnival peaks with Sunday's Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby at 3.47pm, when Svanosio will present two genuine chances in the $75,000 age classic. He will take the reins of well-drawn Kyvalley Finn and also trains Anywhere Hugo, the fancied and well-bred three-year-old who last month gifted Svanosio his first Group 1 as a trainer when winning the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series final. "Anywhere Hugo won a Group 1 a little while ago, so it's good to have him back and up again in the Derby on Sunday," Svanosio told Gait Speed today. The gelding by Majestic Son has won five of his 18 starts and been in the top three on 11 occasions, including when he placed third in last Saturday's SBG Accountants 3YO Trot at Tabcorp Park Melton. On that occasion Anywhere Hugo was slow away and has paid the price, with stewards placing the gelding out of the draw, which will have him start from gate 13. "I was very happy with his run," Svanosio said. "Being drawn out the back doesn't matter too much, it's a long trip, so (driver) Gavin (Lang) can keep out of trouble early and I'm sure he will be running home hard at the finish. "When you look at his sectional times (last start), Anywhere Hugo has run the quickest last mile and just kept running home the last 400 out three wide. He pulled up terrific, so I'm sure he will be fitter on Sunday." As mentioned, Svanosio will also field Kyvalley Finn in the Derby. "Anywhere Hugo's got a little bit more ability than Kyvalley Finn, but Kyvalley Finn just tries his hardest every time and he hasn't had a lot of luck in the bigger races with the draw," Svanosio said, before Kyvalley Finn was blessed with gate two for Saturday's Derby. "(From a good draw) he can get a nice trip up near them and I'm sure he will be finishing off pretty good. He's always pretty honest." It could be a big day for the 36-year-old, who will also take the reins of Group 1 winning trotter Sparkling Success. He is first up from a spell on Sunday in the Peter Egan Bi-Rite Electrical Trotters Free For All. It's an important outing for his Warrnambool trainer-owner-breeder John Meade, with Sparkling Success bound for a ground-breaking trip to the US to contest the International Trot at New York's Yonkers Raceway. "With going to the US in mind, (John Meade's) happy with how he's come up," Svanosio said. "He's had a few trials and will kick off on Sunday in the free for all. All going good he will have a couple of runs and is due to head to America mid-September." Michael Howard for Trots Media

REPORTS of Hectorjayjay’s retirement now seem premature. In an exciting twist, the superstar’s latest injury setback is not as severe as first feared and optimism is now high around a racetrack return, possibly in time for the Inter Dominion late this year. Managing-owner Matt McLellan said the past few weeks had been a whirlwind of emotions, but he the diagnosis of renowned Ballarat vet Ian Fulton had turned the tide. “Of course you think, ‘oh no, it’s probably over now’ as soon as you hear he’s had another setback. Especially after just one race back from a year out,” he said. “But when we got him to the Ballarat clinic they said he had an acute tear to his suspensory (ligament), but there were no issues with the old injury.” In a nutshell, the diagnosis was quite positive. Hectorjayjay was treated immediately, confined to a box for a few weeks and can resume rehabilitation in the next week or so. But the latest setback, along with Hectyorjay’s injury history, created a problem. “We had to find a new trainer for him,” McLellan said. “It’s a shame because Gavin (Lang) did such a great job getting him back to win that Kilmore race for us first-up, but Gavin said given the ligament setbacks the horse would be better suited to someone who trained on a beach. “There aren’t a lot of those around, but we did the homework and landed on Matty Craven.” Hectorjayjay has been with Craven for the past couple of weeks and will be scanned again next week with a review to resuming full training. “There’s still a way to go, but it’s exciting to think there is now serious hope of him returning to racing and fairly soon,” McLellan said. “We obviously want him back and the sport needs him to with so many of our big names being retired, going over to the US or going amiss like Soho Tribeca recently. “We’d love to have him back for the Inter Dominion and we’ll know about the possibility of that in the next month or so.” Adam Hamiton

GAVIN Lang’s rollercoaster week took another twist when he wound back the clock and snared a Group 1 Vicbred trotting double at Melton last night. Lang was on cloud nine after Hectorjayjay’s winning return at Kilmore last Saturday night, but in the dumps just a couple of days later when it was revealed the comeback star has aggravated the injury which sidelined him for a year.  But, like all great sportsman, Lang stayed focused and drove like an inspired man last night.  His first win came when he both trained and drove recent stable addition Moonshine Linda to snatch victory late over hot favourite Pretty Majestic in the $90,000 3YO Trotting Fillies’ final.  It was Lang’s biggest training triumph and continued his phenomenal strike since returning to training ranks earlier this year.  Lang then teamed with popular young horseman Chris “Snooze” Svanosio and Anywhere Hugo to win the 3YO Trotters’ Colts and Geldings final.  It was Svanosio’s first Group 1 training win, but he missed the drive as he instead took the reins on stablemate Kyvalley Finn, who ran fourth.  “I didn’t know until well after the line my other horse had won, I was so busy driving Kyvalley Finn to the line. It’s a heck of a thrill,” Svanosio said.  Anywhere Hugo lifted late to gun-down buzz trotter Wobelee, who overraced throughout, pinched a big break at the top of the straight, but just couldn’t find enough late for a desperate and clearly frustrated Chris Alford.  Anywhere Hugo’s win followed success in the Holmfield earlier this season and put him ahead of Wobelee, at least on performances, so far this season.  The gelding is raced by renowned vet Dr Alastair MacLean and his daughter, Elizabeth.  _________________________________________________________________________________ THE growing force that is Yabby Dams, Pat Driscoll and Anton Golino flexed its muscle again last night.  The team landed two of the Vicbred Group 1 finals: the 2YO Trotting Colts and Geldings with Always Ready (driven by Nathan Jack) and the 4YO Trotting Mares’ with Kinvara Sue (driven by Jason Lee).  They went so close to a Group 1 treble when Pretty Majestic led and looked the winner until Moonshine Linda charged home and snatched victory by 1.1m.  Golino did train a treble for the night with his brilliant mare Dance Craze barely raising a sweat in the opening race, winning by 7.2m.  It was her second win from as many starts back home after a luckless third in the Harness Jewels final and took her career record to 10 wins from just 14 starts.  “She’s just never been really sound this mare. She’s done a great job. She’s got so much speed,” Golino said.  _________________________________________________________________________________ ANTHONY Butt joined the Group 1 party last night when two-year-old filly Fear The Yankee showed perfect manners to win her Vicbred final.  While seven of the 11 finalists made mistakes, the Shane Gallagher-trained Fear The Yankee began well, found herself in front and found plenty to hold-off the fast-finishing Sleepee.  _________________________________________________________________________________ CHRIS Alford jagged one of the Group 1’s last night, but just not with the trotter most expected.  Wobelee was the spruik trotter of the night, but had to be content with second in his final.  Alford’s win came aboard Peter Lane’s Kheiron, who won the 4YO Mares’ final in a desperate three-way go ahead of Next Thru and Illawong Byron.   Adam Hamilton

Hectorjayjay’s comeback could be over just run after it began. The multiple Group 1 winner has been scratched from Melton tomorrow (Saturday) night and managing owner Matt McLellan confirmed the gelding had “an issue.” “I’m away in England on holidays, but I can confirm there is an (injury) issue, but we don’t know the full extent as yet,” he said. “Gavin (Lang, trainer-driver) has scratched him from this week’s race and we want to find out more about the issue before making any longer term decisions.” Hectorjayjay was sidelined for almost a year with a suspensory ligament issue following his career-best Group 1 Blacks A Fake win at Albion Park last July. He returned with a sparkling win at Kilmore last Saturday and many tipped him to become Australia’s top pacer. Lang was always cautious when talking plans, noting the significance of any suspensory ligament injury.   Adam Hamilton

THIS Queensland Winter Carnival just got a whole lot more interesting. And the biggest and most exciting twist could be yet to come. Cruz Bromac’s upset Group 1 Len Smith win at Menangle yesterday threw his name into the Queensland mix, but did little to answer the question as to who Australia’s best pacer is right now. That’s largely because top seed and $1.40 Len Smith favourite Soho Tribeca broke at the start and effectively took no part in the race. It appeared Soho Tribeca, who was dipping his head in the score-up, got his head under the arm of the mobile briefly and caused himself to gallop. He was subsequent found to have pulled-up with a minor issue and stood down for seven days and pending a vet test. Many argued the mobile gate was going too slow for a major race and potentially contributed to Soho Tribeca’s issue. Whatever the exact reasons, punters copped it big time and Soho Tribeca took no part. Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal began well from the pole, but was no match for the early brilliance of a new-look Cruz Bromac – having just his second run for Kevin Pizzuto – and grabbed the trail on the leader throughout. My Field Marshal saw plenty of room at the right time in the home straight, but was unable to make any real impact on Cruz Bromac, who zipped home in 26.5sec at the end of a 1min50.1sec mile and won by 4.6m. “The win certainly didn’t surprise me,” Pizzuto said. “I tipped him on (Sydney) radio and told everyone we’d backed him fixed odds. “I got really keen on his chances after we worked him around the half mile track at Bankstown early in the week and he flew. I knew he was ready and I told Danny (Zavitsanos) he was spot-on.” Pizzuto and Zavitsanos run deep and sharing a Group 1 win was special. “I was gutted when Danny sold Majordan and he came out and went so well for me. I thought he might have a sold a Group 1 winner and still think he might have,” Pizzuto said. “So it was great when the chance to buy Cruz Bromac came along and Danny took 75 per cent of him with me to train, I thought ‘ok, let’s get this guy to win a Group 1 for us both’.” It was only a few weeks back at Cambridge when Zavitsanos and his wife, Joanne, won their first Group 1 race with the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Enhance Your Calm. Pizzuto said the next 24-48 hours would decide whether Cruz Bromac headed to Queensland for Saturday week’s Group 2 Sunshine Sprint and/or the Group 1 Blacks A Fake a week later. “He’s not the soundest horse, that’s well known, so we just need to see how he comes through this win,” Pizzuto said. Majordan, who parked outside the leader and weakened late for seventh, is headed for a spell. While Pizzuto’s other open-class star Tiger Tara is about to start fast work with a view to a racetrack return in late August. But back to Queensland and while Cruz Bromac’s plans will be known very soon, fans will have to wait until next week for the verdict with defending Blacks A Fake champion Hectorjayjay. Despite his sparkling comeback win at Kilmore last Friday, where he paced a 54.8sec last half outside the leader, new trainer-driver Gavin Lang still only seems lukewarm on heading north. “He’s racing again next weekend and Gavin will make his final decision then,” part-owner Mick Harvey said. Adam Hamilton

Having been given his name because he entered the world on wobbly legs Victoria’s leading three-year-old trotter’s title could become more associated with his behaviour. Despite chucking a wobbly out of the gates in last night’s Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series trotting heats, reigning champion Wobelee recovered to win his three-year-old colts and geldings’ heat. It was a challenging but ultimately satisfying result for trainer Alison Alford and driver Chris Alford, with the winner of 14 of 18 starts – who’s never failed to place – overcoming the early 20m advantage his mistake gifted his rivals at Bendigo. “He’s a bit difficult, but when he can go like he does you sort of put up with it,” Chris told Trots Vision post-race. “Bit more work to do to get him to be normal.” Wobelee was fractious in the lead-up to the race and galloped as soon as the gates opened but gradually recovered in the run to score by 3.8 metres from Anywhere Hugo and Aldebaran Pete. “We’ll just have to try and iron out some of his pre-race issues and go from there,” Alford said. “Ability-wise he’s as good as all the ones who have gone around and qualified tonight. Touch wood, apart from his canter out tonight when he just got a bit keen, his run was really good and if he does the same in the final he will be right there.” Chris Svanosio will also take a strong hand into the July 6 Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series trotting finals at Tabcorp Park, having not only had Anywhere Hugo the best of the rest behind Wobelee but also claimed the first boys’ heat with Kyvalley Finn. “Luckily this bloke was able to get out good enough to be able to get off the pegs after the start and work to the front,” Svanosio told Trots Vision. “He did it well. He’s never been out in front but he’s pretty tough and keeps fighting on. Now I just have to have him spot-on for the final.” The remaining colts and geldings' heat winner was Majestic Player, who led and held off favourite Lunchwitharthur, who recovered well after breaking stride early in the race. The victory was the first of a Majestic double for Yabby Dam Farms, with trainer Anton Golino producing a race-to-race double when another offspring of Majestic Son – Pretty Majestic – claimed the last of the night’s three-year-old trotting fillies' heats. Reinsman Jason Lee said Pretty Majestic, the Victoria Trotters Oaks winner, had a “good hit-out, she always improves after a run”. “She’s a pretty lazy type, which is a good thing to have, you don’t want to over-race them,” Lee told Trots Vision. “She did what she had to and hopefully she improves a bit – I’m confident she will.” The remaining fillies’ winners were two-year-old Vicbred champion Moonshine Linda for trainer-driver Gavin Lang and Moonlight Dream, who improved her record to six wins and five seconds from 14 starts with a win for trainer Andy Gath and reinswoman Kate Gath. “We decided to have a good crack,” Kate told Trots Vision after guiding Moonlight Dream to the front from the widest gate. “She has pretty good gate speed and as we know getting on the fence makes all the difference. “She has a habit of running pretty strong early. Once I crossed them I made sure I grabbed hold of her. I was really happy when I saw the lead time and the first quarter. “She’s a lovely little horse. It will be good to hopefully get things to go her way next week and she won’t be too far away." The Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series trotting heats conclude with Thursday night's four-year-old heats at Geelong before the attention turns towards Friday night's 12 pacing semi-finals in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series. Michael Howard

Here comes Hector. At a time the sport is crying our for big names to replace the likes of Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Bling It On, Heaven Rocks and others, Hectorjayjay’s comeback is huge. And it’s happening very soon. New trainer-driver Gavin Lang has pin-pointed the $20,000 Popular Alm Sprint at Kilmore on June 30 as the comeback race. It will be Hectorjayjay’s first start since going amiss in a suspensory ligament after his breathtaking Group 1 Blacks A Fake win at Albion Park in July, last year. Lang confirmed the return race after Hectorjayjay turned plenty of heads with second trial win in as many weeks. It was Melton yesterday where Hectorjayjay came from last to win and privately clocked with a 54.7sec last half. He beat classy rivals like Major Secret, Philadelphia Man, Three Ways and Tee Cee Bee Macray with a devastating blast of speed around the field. “Really, he went 54.7sec? I didn’t feel that quick. He did it so easily. He felt terrific,” Lang said. More importantly, he came through the trial in great fashion. “He was in the top paddock running around having fun with the kangaroos later that night,” Lang said. “He’s ready to race now. Kilmore looks suitable. It’s a sprint race and the timing is right. Around the same the time the Group 1 Len Smith Mile is run at Menangle, which means the likes of Soho Tribeca will be there instead of Victoria. “I know this horse has won a Len Smith before, but they go 1min48sec miles or quicker up there and he doesn’t need that first-up from a year out,” he said. “I’d like to get a couple of runs under his belt and hope he comes through them well before I look at anything bigger.” The dream of a Blacks A Fake defence at Albion Park on July 21 is alive, but Lang is coy. “A horse with his history, especially a suspensory issue, needs to be taking one race at a time. I’m just thinking about getting him to Kilmore and getting through that well,” he said.   Adam Hamilton

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