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It's full steam ahead for Michael Stanley's Grand Circuit star Soho Tribeca after a successful return to the trials at Tabcorp Park Melton yesterday. Stanley partnered the six-year-old in a modest hit-out alongside stablemate Rackemup Tigerpie, who was driven by Gavin Lang. Soho Tribeca won the trial by a narrow margin, zipping home in a 57.48-second last half. The Burrumbeet-based Stanley said he was pleased with how both horses got through the run. "They both stepped away really clean and went the first lap pretty steady. We just let them find their feet and then just upped the pace gradually," he said. "They both hit the line under a hold and had a really good hit-out without going over the top first-up." Soho Tribeca hasn’t been seen at the races since July 2018 after fracturing a leg in the Sunshine Sprint in Queensland. Successful surgery and a long rehabilitation program has followed to get the star pacer back at the track, which is likely to occur in the Del-Re National Italian Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, June 15. "Soho Tribeca will have a couple more trials and we will gradually increase the speed we go - just step him up each time," Stanley said. Stanley said it had been a long road to recovery for the one-time Inter Dominion favourite. "He spent three months in Queensland (post surgery) and then spent another three months here (at Burrumbeet) pretty well locked up in a small stable and taken out for a walk," he said. "It's been a long, slow process and now we are back to somewhere where we can start thinking about getting to the races again. "When it first happened you are always fearful they might not race again, so at least we have got to a stage where it looks a real possibility we are going to get back there." Rackemup Tigerpie, who last raced in the Group 1 Chariots of Fire in February, is being aimed at the Alabar Vicbred Super Series, which has heats in Ballarat on June 21. Stanley said he was likely to give the son of Rock N Roll Heaven one lead-up run prior to the start of the series. Arguably the horse's career-best effort came in last year's Group 1 Ballarat Pacing Cup when he finished a narrow second to Thefixer. Stanley sent around four other horses at Tuesday's trial program, including Macey Jayde, Vicstar Sharazzz, Iolanta and Keilah. Macey Jayde is also being sent towards the Vicbred Super Series, while Stanley was full of praise for Iolanta, an unraced two-year-old Bettors Delight filly who looks "above average".     Tim O'Connor for Trots Media

Veteran Ararat harness racing trainer Terry Young has been enjoying the highs of the sport in recent years with an enviable streak of success – but he’s also recently experienced the lows first hand.   Young, 77, who puts the polish on classy square-gaiter Deltasun (Tennotrump-Deltasu (Elsu NZ), had a fall at his hometown track and dislocated his collarbone.   “I was working a two-year-old named Premonition and he shied and spun back in the opposite direction,” Young explained.   “I just wasn’t ready for it because it’s just not part of his make-up,” he said.   “So while the horse trotted back to the stabling area to my wife Carol, I was sprawled on the track with my arm twisted up around behind my back.   “I popped the collarbone right out. The doctors put it back okay but told me I’m out of action for at least the next six weeks.   Young said he had already been toying with the idea of giving Deltasun, a winner of 17 races and 15 placings for $225,000, a short let-up.   “When I had the track mishap, that made the decision for me to spell him, and I’ve tossed the other three out for a break as well,” he said.   In just three seasons of racing, Deltasun has stamped himself as one of Victoria’s most consistent square-gaiters, winning seven races at TABcorp Park Melton, including the 3YO Vicbred final.   “He’s never far away, because he’s got outstanding manners and he’s very well gaited,” Young said.   “We have had a fantastic time with him because he’s won two Group One races and a few GroupThrees.”   Terry and Carol were especially thrilled to win the Central Victorian Trotters Championship and then the rich Tontine series early last year.   “Even more so because we aimed him specifically for those two events. It doesn’t happen all that often, when everything just goes right, but it’s great when it does!” Young said.   Deltasun with PT Young, Gavin Lang and Terry and Carol Young (Courtesy Tabcorp Park Racing)   He paid tribute to the stable’s main driver Gavin Lang.   “He’s been a major part in making the horse into a true racehorse. He’s outstanding with young ones and he’s taught me how to look after a good horse,” Young said.   “Just little things, like we never work Deltasun against another horse in trackwork because he just fires up and you can’t hold him.”   Deltasun, driven by Gavin Lang (Courtesy Wimmera Mail Times)   Young was a jockey as a youngster, and a respected one at that, landing country winners as well as a city win at Caulfield in 1956 for Jerry Tye, a Chinese trainer.   “The gallops were always hotly contested, and you know I was never thrown off or injured during the years I was involved. But my weight increased, and I was forced to give away race riding,” he said.   Young moved to Ararat in 1960 to be closer to his parents who lived near Port Fairy.   “Dad was a shearer and neither of them had an interest in horses. I worked as a roustabout in the shearing sheds and rode trackwork as well,” he said.   “And that was how I met Carol at an early morning trackwork session. She had ponies and her father Mick King was one of the first harness racing trainers in Ararat.   “Carol was virtually riding ponies before she could walk, and she could have easily carved out a career as a jockey if females were allowed back then.   “She was an excellent rider and had an uncanny way with horses, and she still does to this day. Along with being a hard worker and great support to me.”   Young was introduced to harness racing by Carol’s father Mick and didn’t take long to adjust. He won at the old Horsham showgrounds at his very first drive on Chalambar.   “The horse was probably classes above them, I think, but the gaps just opened up everywhere I went, and I thought how easy is this?!   “I was soon brought back to earth by the head steward, Mr Rowse who gave me a huge lecture, saying I didn’t display much control. I did admit that I was loose reining, but I’ve never forgotten that spray.”   When his interest in harness racing began to wane, Young opted for a break, turning his interest in the 1980s to running.   “I enjoyed that and was lucky enough to win the veterans event (restricted to runners over 40) at the Stawell Gift,” he said.   But his interest in harness racing became rekindled and Young found himself driving to Peter Manning’s place at Great Western to help out.   “I’ve now probably been doing that for the past 20 years or so and I’ve learnt so much from Peter and the team out there. Peter is always ready to give you a hand or some advice,” he said.   “I used to help work Tennotrumps and he was just a lovely horse. I decided to take our mare Deltasu to him when he stood as a stallion and I’m pretty glad I did because the result was Deltasun!”   Young uses the Manning track most days, trucking his small team out there.   And to add to the family flavor, son Peter (PT as he’s known) attends most meetings with his dad.   A talented jockey, PT was lured to Melbourne by astute trainer Jim Moloney.   “He couldn’t hack it in the city, like a lot of country fellas find out, but he had a successful career around the bush,” Young said.   “I asked him to come to the trots with me one day, and he was a bit undecided. Now he’s nearly the first in the car! He drives to the meetings which suits me perfectly,” he said.   “His wife Alison is right into the breeding and ownership side of it, so between the family we’ve got most parts of the industry covered. An old friend in Terry Cahill is also a breeder.”   Young intends to enjoy his enforced short break, despite counting down the days until he’s back doing what he loves.   “I’m still a bit dirty on myself for getting tipped out and hurt,” he laughed.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Premier reinsman Gavin Lang came out in support of standing-start races after winning the Easter Cup at Mowbray on Saturday night. Lang said he would like to see them reintroduced in Victoria where there have been no standing starts for pacers since the start of the 2017-18 season. "I believe there is still a place for them, especially at this level where you are dealing with readymade racehorses," the trainer-driver said. Harness Racing Victoria made its contentious decision to scrap stands after an extensive review of the format from both a wagering and an image perspective. "On both counts, the board has viewed standing start races as harmful to the viability of the industry," chief executive John Anderson said at the time. Prominent media commentator Adam Hamilton supported the decision, saying "standing starts have served the sport well through history but have passed their use-by date." There's been no suggestion, not in public anyway, that Tasracing has ever considered following suit. Opinions will always be divided but standing starts still have a strong body of support among diehard harness racing followers. Punters know the risks involved when they bet on stands. So the only real problem is their potential to seriously delay the start of races which can lead to them being 'flicked' by Sky Channel. But plenty of mobile races run late as well, as was the case on Saturday night for some reason. Although Franco Tristan was Lang's fifth Easter Cup winner, it was the first time he's won it from a standing start. Franco Tiger, Northern Brewer, Here Comes David and Jonells Son all won when it was a mobile free-for-all.   By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

Easter Cup heat night once again had plenty of action on and off the track in Launceston on Friday. A power issue off track caused a lengthy delay with credit to the Office of Racing Integrity stewards and participants for ensuring the meeting was able to proceed after a 90-minute delay. On the track, it was a great night of racing with Gavin Lang dominating the night in the sulky with a treble, including a heat of the Easter Cup with Franco Tristan. The other heat of the cup was won by Illegal Immigrant who came home well to win courtesy of a well-timed drive by Troy Hillier. Ben Yole extended his lead on the state’s trainers’ premierships with a treble in Devonport on Sunday. This week we see the first ever harness race meeting in Australia on Good Friday when the Tasmanian Trotting Club plays host to the tier two meeting of the week before the Launceston Pacing Club conduct their premier night of racing on Saturday, featuring the Group 2 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup. The Stars Gavin Lang - produced three excellent drives to put on the tape to be played at the junior driver's school when he won the first three races on the Launceston card. The main purpose of Lang’s Launceston mission was to qualify Franco Tristan for Saturday night’s Group 2 Easter Cup, and the six-year-old gelding was the first horse to qualify for the final with an effortless win in the opening heat when he scored by four-metres over Scooterwillrev and The Aussie. Lang also trained and drove Castle Retreat to victory as well as driving Art Frenzy to his third win of the season. Illegal Immigrant - caused a minor upset when he stormed home late to defeat Ryley Major by 1.9 metres in Heat Two of the Easter Cup. Trainer-driver Troy Hillier settled the American Ideal gelding three-back along with the marker pegs and was able to be driven conservatively off a solid tempo that saw the last three quarters all run in under 30 seconds, Illegal Immigrant had too much speed late to record his fifth win of the season. Kohanah - “I think he’s pretty good,” was the quote from his trainer-driver Todd Rattray after the son of Sweet Lou took out the Launceston Pacing Club Golden Slipper. Kohanah flew home in the final 100 metres to pick up the short-priced favourite Topzavski to record his second win at only his third race start. The colt is the first foal out of the Bettors Delight mare Benediction. War Dan Delight - Victorian-trained pacer who looked a class above his rivals on paper in the C0 Pace and he won accordingly. Driver Greg Sugars was forced to do a little bit of work when finding the spot outside the leader in the middle stages of the race, the Dean Braun-trained colt wasn’t out of second gear when winning by 9.8 metres. Black Ops - after finishing in the second spot of five consecutive occasions the Ben Yole-trained pacer is now finding the winning post first winning three of his last four outings, including wins in Launceston on Friday evening and again in Devonport on Sunday night. Multiple Winners Launceston – Friday evening Gavin Lang - driving treble; Art Frenzy, Franco Tristan and Castle Retreat, Gavin Lang - training double; Franco Tristan and Castle Retreat. Devonport – Sunday evening  Ben Yole - training treble; Black Ops, Ready To Fire and Blacklist. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Launceston – Friday evening Harjeet 55.49s, The Aussie 55.73s and All Style Sammy 55.79s. Outside of the Easter Cup heats; Castle Retreat 56.40s, Reign Of Pain 56.52s and El Jays Mystery 56.54s. Devonport – Sunday evening  Mostly Spirit 59.34s, Karalta Moondance 59.40s, Lille 59.45s, Navua Pixie 59.55 and My Girl Pearl 59.56s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Launceston – Friday evening  Hits: Nil Defied The Drift: Art Frenzy $3.70 out to $4.00, Franco Tristan $2.70 out to $3.60, Castle Retreat $2.40 out to $3.40, Illegal Immigrant $12 out to $21, Kohanah $3.70 out to $4.80 and Redason $3.70 out to $3.90. Missed: Maybe Jack $9.00 into $7.50, Mister Magic Man $3.70 into $3.30, War Dan $3.20 into $2.40 and Beam Me Up Chopper $3.20 into $2.35. Devonport – Sunday evening  Hits: Karalta Moondance $3.80 into $2.80, Ready To Fire $9.00 into $4.40, Blacklist $26 into $14 and Flashy Ruler $12 into $6.50. Defied The Drift: Black Ops $3.20 out to $3.60. Missed: Lille $4.60 into $3.60, The Lemondrop Kid $3.80 into $2.90, El Jays Monet $31 into $15, Jetcract $15 into $11 and The Diamond King $15 into $7.50. Trial File Carrick Park - Saturday morning The Melissa Maine trained two-year-old Better Amour recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the four trials conducted when she recorded 2m 7.0s for the 1670-metre distance. Driver Gareth Rattray positioned the daughter of Betterthancheddar behind the leader at the bell before defeating He Got Rocked by one metre with the early leader Badrick a further metre away in third position. Other winners at the trial session included; Its All Bliss (2m 21.1s), Sermac (2m 9.6s) and Levi Jimmy (2m 13.2s). Hobart - Monday evening Tasmanian Derby runner up, Resurgent Storm recorded the fastest winning mile rate of the session in Hobart when the Betterthancheddar colt ran a mile rate of 2m 1.6s. From barrier two driver Zeke Slater had the Roger Whitmore-trained pacer behind the leader at the bell and was able to hold off handy three-year-old filly Still Hungover by one metre, with the third place getter Dee Bee Bobby 99 metres away in third placing. The last two quarters were recorded in 30.8s and 28.5s. Remaining trials were won by; Finn Mac Kee (2m 3.9s), Sweetimnot (2m 3.6s), Brystabella (2m 6.2s) and Dasher Houli (2m 6.7s). Week Ahead Star Tasmanian Pacer Ignatius is back at the track on Thursday night when he lines up in the Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith. The James Rattray-trained and driven pacer is first up since mid-February and was an impressive trial winner at Menangle on April 9 when recording a time of 1m 53.8s for 1609 metres. Ignatius will start from inside the second row over the 2525 metres event that is scheduled to start at 20:03. Friday afternoon the Tasmanian Trotting Club will stage the first-ever harness race meeting in Australia on Good Friday. The meeting will be telecast on Sky Racing 1 and Tasracing.com.au’s Live Stream. The Launceston Pacing Club will stage their premier night of racing on Saturday night, with the $75,000 Group 2 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup the main event of the 10-race card. You can make a strong case for almost half the field in the Cup including Victorian-trained runners Franco Tristan and War Dan who will take on Tasmania’s best headlined by Ryley Major, Harjeet, Scooterwillrev, The Aussie and Illegal Immigrant. The Cup is set down to commence at 20:10. Other highlights on Saturday night include the Kevin Gillies Memorial, where Izaha looks the one to beat, and the Elders Insurance Launceston Easter Plate, where the Gavin Lang trained and driven Castle Retreat will be chasing back to back wins on the Launceston track. The first of ten races in Launceston is scheduled for 18:17 and you can catch all the action on Tasracing’s Live Stream Service and Sky Racing who will televise races one and two on Sky Racing 2, with the remainder of the meeting on Sky Racing 1.   Duncan Dornauf

Perhaps the greater chapter thus far was etched in the fairy-tale story of the season when Pantzup added a Group 1 to her stunning blitz of the trotting ranks. Trainer-driver Gavin Lang’s pacing-bred mare savaged the line to outpoint a game Aldebaran Kiri and clinch the $50,000 Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Gold Final, Pantzup’s finest moment after previously winning the Group 2 Vicbred Platinum crown and running second in the Vicbred four-year-old trot. “She’s a freak of nature really,” said Lang. “Bought her as a 14-start maiden pacer and she just goes from strength to strength.” That strength had Pantzup well positioned to take care of the race’s happenings, beginning with favourite Into The Unknown going off stride early and Aldebaran Kiri shooting through off the back row, first trailing up Princess Mila and then carrying on to lead. “I expected that Aldebaran Kiri may do that, she has great speed and one of my plans was that she may do that and when I saw her poking through, all of a sudden I was out in  no man’s land but was lucky to slot back in … one off the fence,” Lang said. “Aldebaran Kiri made it a genuine race which was good – suits this one because she, at this stage of her career, probably a nice horse that doesn’t have the point-to-point speed of a lot of the other trotters at this stage. While they were trucking it really suited her good.” Stuart McCormick photo And she showed that, advancing from the running line to mow down all challengers in the straight and record a 2.3m win from Aldebaran Kiri, with Moonshine Linda a close third. “The honour roll of this race, she doesn’t really deserve a place amongst them I wouldn’t have thought but you can’t do any more than she has done,” Lang said. “It’s hard to know, going forward, whether she can get any better, but she probably doesn’t have too and I don’t care if she does because she’s done a great job.” Earlier the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Silver Series Final saw Amore De Frere all-powerful in an impressive all-the-way win ahead of stablemate Parisian Amore, with the placings filled out by a fast-finishing Fatouche for Donna Castles. “She’s probably still not doing everything right, but the team at home are working hard,” winning reinsman Jason Lee said. “I know (owner) Pat Driscoll and (trainer) Anton Golino have got a pretty big opinion of her. She’s not doing every right at the moment but she’s still winning, she’s a pretty smart horse.”   Michael Howard for Trots Media

Two of the season’s greater trots tales added further chapters to their unlikely stories with feature victories at Echuca on Friday night. Gavin Lang’s average pacer turned top-line trotter Pantzup continues to take everything in her path, with the J A Connelly Crystal Bucket a seventh straight and ninth career victory after the mare showed her might against open class types. And Kima Frenning’s rapid rise in Victoria’s ranks continued unabated with her debut training project, Buster Brady, launched to the top of the Trots Country Cups Championship with victory in the Moama Bowling Club Echuca Pacing Cup. “It’s crazy,” Frenning said post-race after her former Kiwi produced a fifth win and third country cup in his ninth Australian start. “To train a horse like him, to come here and win a race like this, it’s very exciting and I can’t thank everyone around me enough. “He was really good tonight. He’s a really nice horse and he does it pretty easy when he wants too.” Off the second row Frenning advanced three-wide for much of the first lap before taking the front, from where Buster Brady was too strong in the straight, saluting by seven metres from Shadow Reign and Gottashopearly. The victory would have brought more delight for Luke Stokie and his fellow owners, with Buster Brady now a point clear of San Carlo in the Trots Country Cups Championship, which carries a $25,000 cash prize. Only an hour earlier Pantzup entered the Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship race when he scooped up the Crystal Bucket, a winning streak that has surprised even the most experienced and successful of trainer-drivers. “She’s amazing really,” Lang said “It’s well documented that we bought her cheaply as a pacer to win a couple of races and then probably flick her on, but she showed she had a propensity to trot from day one that she entered the stable. “I’d like to be able to say I did this and did that, but I haven’t done nothing – I’ve just trained her and fed her and she’s done the rest. “I’ve been in the game for a long long time, my Dad’s had plenty of trotters, I’ve had a couple of nice ones in the past, but every time I drive home from the races with this one I just shake my head because I can’t believe what she does. It’s a great story.” Drawn off 10m in the standing start, Pantzup advanced to the breeze with a lap and a half to go and found the front when leader Als Law dropped out about 500m from home. A 29-second final quarter was enough to keep all challengers at bay and salute by 5.4 from Fratellino, who picked up valuable points to leapfrog King Denny and take the lead in the $10,000 Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship.   Michael Howard for Trots Media

A fairy-tale season could etch another chapter in tonight’s J A Connelly Crystal Bucket at Echuca, where pacing mare Pantzup will hunt a seventh consecutive victory. By Always A Virgin, sire of the world’s fastest pacer Always B Miki, and out of pacing mare Evasive Moves, an APG Final placegetter, Pantzup has defied her heritage this season for trainer-driver Gavin Lang. She is one of the many stories that will play out at Echuca tonight, where Buster Brady is favoured to win the Moama Bowling Club Echuca Pacing Cup and shoot to the top of the Trots Country Cups Championship, a remarkable feat for first-horse trainer Kima Frenning. The night’s $35,000 feature at 9.20pm comes an hour after the J A Connelly Crystal Bucket, Echuca’s trotters’ cup, which presents Pantzup’s greatest test to her now six-race winning streak. “King Denny, Kheiron, both went round through the recent Inter Dominion trotting section, so they are good quality horses,” Lang said. “Another runner off 10m (Endsin A Party) was the winner of the Geelong Cup this preparation as well. “Not an easy race by any means, combined with the fact that it’s a stand, on the Echuca track, it will be an interesting race, but she is going very well and you can’t beat winning form.” Her six wins in a row are the tail-end of eight wins from 11 starts since joining Lang’s Bacchus Marsh stable. “We purchased her as a late three-year-old as a 14-start maiden who was a pacer,” Lang said. “We thought we might be able to win a few races as a pacer and then move her on, but from the time she entered our stables she did nothing but show she may have been a trotter. Eleven starts later and eight wins later, it’s staggering really. “She started this campaign as a T1 assessed horse, in other words she’d basically won one race as a trotter, and now leading into the Echuca trotters’ cup she’s now assessed T7.” With each victory comes greater tests, but as she showed with her metropolitan win on Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup night last Saturday Pantzup keeps rising to every challenge. “Each time you win it progressively gets harder,” Lang said. “Every time she goes to the track now she just keeps stepping up. It gets harder each win and this race is no exception, but you can’t do any more than win. “I wish I could put my hand up and say what a job we have done but not really at all, we just took her on board and trained her and, as I said, she showed a propensity just to trot from day one – no special shoeing, no special gear, no anything. She’s bred to be a good pacer, she’s turned out a great trotter.” Michael Howard for Trots Media

A “good grounding” has Deltasun poised to develop into one of Victoria’s premier open-age harness racing trotting stars. Winning reinsman Gavin Lang said the five-year-old son of Tennotrump had “been in the top echelon as a two-year-old and in the top three or four as a three-year-old”. Lang added: “as a four-year-old he went missing a little bit but still did a good job. He’s had a good foundation.” Trained by gun horseman Terry Young of Ararat – a former jockey – Deltasun is now a 16-time winner and tonight’s 1:55.8 win took his stake earnings over $200,000. It’s a considerable achievement that will be celebrated by connections and Lang spoke glowingly of the fact tonight’s quinella at Tabcorp Park Melton was fought out between grassroots stables. “Up the straight I was fighting the race out with Savannah Jay Jay and the people who train him (Stan Cameron) are small-time trainers, as are Terry and Carol Young and their son Peter,” he said. “When I hit the line I thought I’d just hung on. Sometimes you get disappointed if you get beat, but I would not have been too disappointed tonight if they’d won. That’s what it’s all about – the small people make this industry what it is. “Terry and his family own him, so there’s never any pressure on how I drive him. I’ve been lucky enough to just look after him a little bit and it’s paying dividends.” To watch the video click here. Savannah Jay Jay has been a model of consistency of late without winning, only once finishing out of the top five in his past 11 starts. Tonight he was beaten a half-head for driver Neil McCallum, while Fabrication finished third for John Caldow and David Abrahamson. Trots Media - Cody Winnell

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

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