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Terang based brothers Matthew and Glen Craven had a day out at the Stawell trots on Thursday, with Glen snaring a driving treble and Matt also providing a winner, as well as figuring in two quinella’s during the afternoon. Matt continued his stellar season when It Is I/Shy Star gelding Okelerho Lad was a brilliant all of the way winner of the Doctor DC 3-Y-0 Pace over 2175 metres, running his rivals ragged from gate three in accounting for the hot favourite Our Petite Soeur (one/one) and Usage (one/two) in a rate of 2-01.1. Glen and Matt Craven fought out a thrilling finish to the James McLeod Memorial Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres when Partnersinvancelot nosed out Our Uptown Girl. Trained at Dunnstown by Robert McCartney, Partnersinvancelot did all of the work from gate three racing outside Our Uptown Girl (Matt) which exploded away from outside the front line to lead. Dropping down to follow the pacemaker for a brief breather approaching the home turn, Partnersinvancelot when asked for a supreme effort on straightening, rallied under hard driving to gain the decision in a tricky finish, with White Eyed Girl (one/two – three wide at bell) third. The mile rate 2-01.3. Glen partnered Hamilton trainer David Lewis’4-Y-0 Life Sign/Royal Franco mare Twentyfivetolife first up since November to register an impressive victory in the Stawell Farm Supplies Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres. Starting outside the front row, Twentyfivetolife settled four back in the running line, with the pole marker Big Gorilla leading easily as the mobile gate pulled away. Easing three wide at the bell, Twentyfivetolife was accommodated by Paris To Berlin coming out ahead of her, thus receing a nice trail home. Charging down the centre of the track in the straight, Twentyfivetolife scored by 1.6 metres over the well supported The Ole Buckaroo along the sprint lane after trailing the leader, with Arr En Special third from three back the markers. Glen was to finish the day with a driving treble after border hopper Forced Out greeted the judge in the Landmark Harcourts Pace for C1 class over 1780 metres. Trained at Allendale East by David Kemp, Forced Out a most consistent 5-Y-0 daughter of Safely Kept and May Be Trouble led throughout from gate two in defeating Peters Ace (Matt) by 4.5 metres in a rate of 1-58.8 giving the brothers another quinella for the day. Bella Hotshot (one/three – three wide last lap) finished third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)  

Unlucky to miss a berth in the Inter Dominion Grand Final, six-year-old gelding Abettorpunt showed he might well be there next year with a consolation win in today's $100,000 Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The win also proved some consolation for young reinsman Glen Craven, who handled Keayang Cullen in the Inter Dominion final and came away empty-handed. Settling in third and fourth spot behind last year's Inter Dom finalist Mah Sish, Craven brought Abettorpunt ($4.80) with a perfectly-timed run to score in an Australasian record 1:54 mile rate over the 2400m mobile journey. Abettorpunt has always shown he had the ability to win a Group One and although better known as a sit-and-sprint horse in the past, today he showed he could do it at both ends of a race with a slick effort. Team McCarthy looked a chance to break their Inter Dominion Day 2014 'duck' when five-year-old gelding Monifieth came out of the pack and began to give chase to Abettorpunt when he kicked away. But the post came too soon for John McCarthy with Monifieth, a 30-1 shot, finishing 1.5m second, just ahead of Mah Sish (Anthony Butt). Im Corzin Terror, the $3.50 favourite was locked in a pocket turning for home and never really got a good crack the leaders, until the race was safely in Abettorpunt's keeping. Harness Racing NSW  

If you wanted to bank on a big-race player coming into ID14, then there would only be one choice. Caribbean Blaster. His big race record in the past two years is almost unparalleled. A winner of the Chariots of Fire, Breeders Crown, Victoria Cup and SA Cup, he has also placed in two Hunter Cups, a Cranbourne Cup, a Ballarat Cup and another SA Cup. And there’s nothing that seems to stop him, winning from almost any barrier, Andy Gath has simply had to prepare his pacer to peak on Sunday. That came with a Tabcorp Park trial Tuesday when the son of Bettors Delight ripped home in 55.8secs. “We were just there to keep him ticking along and keep some sharpness in him. He hit the line quite well and seemed to enjoy himself and he got through it good,” Gath said.  “From there draw there is a good chance he is going to have 13 horses in front of him at some stage which is never easy when they are top quality. In saying that I’m not losing any sleep over it, I’m not sure what draw I would have been happy with to tell you the truth. “It gives you a bit of confidence going into a race knowing you are going to get 100% every time. As yet he really hasn’t let us down in a big race and hopefully this is no exception.” But what Gath did have to rely on was a coveted wildcard position, because with only three spots available from the Victorian heat, a fourth wasn’t enough to see the six-year-old through to the final. That came swiftly after the last heat however and deservedly so according to Gath who rated his run as good as any he has shown this time in. “It was up there with any of his runs this season I think. There’s no worse place to be than sitting in the death when they are running a track record so unfortunately he was there, but he battled on strongly,” he said. Owner Rob Nalder drew barrier nine on Monday and while on face value it looks to have made his job even harder, there are some upsides. One of those being the speed drawn on the front row and the likelihood that Lauren Panella and Mach Beauty will be doing everything they can to force Keayang Cullen and Glen Craven into relenting the lead early. And with a raft of mid-race moves expected, it could turn into a survival of the fittest. “Last year we all went in to the race a little bit blind. It was the first time over 3000 metres at Menangle and no one really knew what to expect and maybe drove a little bit cautiously,” Gath said. “I think it will be a little bit different this year now that we’ve got a template to look at. Given the field is so even and there are a lot more winning chances this year there will probably be more mid-race moves.” Gath also explained that squaregaiting stable star Elegant Image had been dealing with issues but after a pleasing return on Friday night, will head to the Glenferrie Challenge on Inter Dominion day. Purdon Has Gelding Smouldering For Inter Heading into an Inter Dominion final third-up from a 9 month spell would be unheard of a decade ago. In fact, it would have been unheard of a year ago. But such is the confidence Mark Purdon holds in his talented young pacer, Smolda will emerge from the Shaky Isle on Sunday to try for an unconventional win in the $750,000 Group 1 race. A win over 2600 metres first-up, followed by a strong second in a record-breaking last quarter has set the five-year-old up for what could be a famous victory. “He’s a great horse and it isn’t a typical build up but I’ve got a lot of confidence in the horse and he’s good enough to be there,” Purdon said on RSN’s dedicated trots show Gait Speed this past Tuesday. “All up it was probably close to five months preparation before he stepped out so he had a lot of foundation miles under him.” Given most of the groundwork has been covered off and the barriers have now been decided, tactics will play an integral role in the early stages. And with an expected speed war between Keayang Cullen and Mach Beauty, many would have had Smolda pegged to continue rolling forward and look to take the top off whichever horse eventually wins that battle. That’s not necessarily going to be the case however with Purdon considering his options and suggesting a mid-race move isn’t out of the question. “We’ll probably just see what happens but I wouldn’t be fussy getting into any speed duels early. He’s one horse that can make his own luck so if he settles back I’m not hesitant to make a move on his own at some stage,” he said. TAB fixed odds have Smolda the current third favourite at $5 behind Beautide ($3.60) and Im Victorious ($4.60). Purdon’s hopes won’t just be pinned on one horse though, he brings an army of star Kiwi’s to Menangle on Sunday. Adore Me, rated as New Zealand’s best mare, she is a winner of 16 of her 18 starts but has drawn the carpark in the Ladyship Mile. And her trainer wasn’t mincing his words when suggesting she could have been competitive in the Inter Dominion final had she been set for it. “I think she would have been (competitive),” Purdon said. “I don’t rate her as being as tough as Smolda but she would certainly be as quick and given the right run she wouldn’t be far away in a race like the Inter Dominion final. It is wonderful to train and drive her and to bring her across to take on some of the best horses in Australasia.” Adore Me is the $1.30 favourite for the Ladyship Mile with TAB fixed odds. Purdon also has Border Control in the Chariots of Fire, Isaiah in the NSW Derby and My Willow in the NSW Oaks. By Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)

One of the biggest talking points after Monday's barrier draw for the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion was the favourable draws for the noted 'speedsters' in Sunday's $750,000 event. Mach Beauty and Keayang Cullen both begin quickly and will head forward while the Gary Hall Snr trained Livingontheinterest could be a factor also off gate 2. "At the end of the day we will be looking to lead with Mach Beauty, barrier six is the perfect draw for him," Shane Tritton said. "I can't think of too many races where he hasn't led, he didn't lead in the Miracle Mile but the mobile barrier may have run a bit quicker that night and the harder they go the more he likes it." Glen Craven will drive Keayang Cullen and from gate four he envisages holding a position on the pace. "Well from the great draw we'll be trying to get across to the fence, that's the first plan and then I will have a couple of options up my sleeve," Craven said. "Im Victorious from gate one will be looking to use his good alley and we will be going as hard as we can to cross him but ideally we will be leading or leader's back at worst." Michael Brennan trains the leading Western Australian chance Im Victorious and while Livingontheinterest led in their heat he is confident his pacer can hold out the challenge from his fellow 'sandgroper'. "I think we will be able to hold Livingontheinterest early, especially drawn alongside him but what happens after that is in the hands of our driver Gary Hall Jnr, he has driven in plenty of these finals before and knows what it takes to win them," Brennan said. "In saying that we don't want to bust him in the first half lap, I think the draw for Im Victorious is perfect and he will have his final hit out at Thursday's Breakfast With The Stars at Menangle." Greg Hayes - SKY Racing Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |    

Twelve months ago Keayang Cullen qualified for his first Inter Dominion Grand Final after finishing a close second to Caribbean Blaster in the Victorian heat but this year he went one better booking his place in Australasia's greatest race. Not only did Keayang Cullen win his heat on Saturday night he also broke the 2240 metre track record at Tabcorp Park Melton. "It was a definite buzz for me winning the heat this year after finishing so close last year and to get the track record was a thrill too," driver Glen Craven said. "His form has been really solid recently and I think he deserved to win a race like Saturday night, he isn't the best horse in the country but he tries very hard and you like to see horses like that get rewarded for how hard they try." Keayang Cullen drew wide in last year's Grand Final and Craven knew his chances were very slim before the race even started. "He ended up finishing 11th in the race but it taught me a bit about driving in races like the Inter Dominion and it also taught the horse about racing against the better ones too, it was a learning experience for all of us and I think he will be better for that this time around." "The barrier draw will be important again and he can't be driven too aggressively as was proven in the Hunter Cup but with the right sort of run he is going to be competitive." Craven confirmed Keayang Cullen will not compete in this Saturday's Terang Cup. "It was nice and close to home and we strongly considered giving him a start in the race but in the end we decided to miss it this year." "He actually won the Terang Cup last year and that was his last win before he broke through for another win on Saturday night in the heat, it would be nice to go back to back." Greg Hayes Harness Racing New South Wales  

It looked the toughest heat on paper and it was on for young and old as the Victorians fought out a tooth and nail battle to secure the three Inter Dominion spots on offer in heat three at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. In the end it was $10 outsider Keayang Cullen who found another gear in the straight to run down favourite Restrepo to score an amazing win. Another outsider, the 80-1 shot Wartime Sweetheart held out Caribbean Blaster to run third, meaning Andy Gath's stable star, who endured a hard run outside the leader, would have to sweat on an invitation from officials if he was to make the trip to Sydney for the final in two-week's time. Champion reinsman Gavin Lang must have been giggling on the home turn, so well was Restrepo travelling. It had been a race of changes, though, with no prisoners taken as several contenders made mid-race dashes in an effort to put themselves in contention. After a 58.1 first half of the last mile, Restrepo didn't get much peace in front with a 27.4 split third quarter as the runs began to come. As they blazed home in 27.5, Keayang Cullen obliterated Smoken Up's track record, knocking .3 of a second off it with a mile rate of 1:53.1. The first three are on their way to Sydney and all are capable of surprising when they get there. Harness Racing NSW    

The Ballarat Trotting Club’s feature harness racing event for the season – the $175,00 (Group 1) Petstock Ballarat Pacing Cup for M0 class over 2710 metres, was held at Bray Raceway in front of a enthusiastic crowd on Saturday January 25 – the victor being five year old Art Major / Shes Innocent entire Restrepo for Smythes Creek co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Favourite backers gasped with horror at the start when Keayang Cullen began with a wing on every foot from gate five to cross the heavily supported Cranbourne and Shepparton Cups winner The Gold Ace who tried to muster from the pole. Despite Luke McCarthy trying to came away from the inside to tackle the leader, Lance Justice drove tight with the crowd favourite Smoken Up (gate four) to hold him in a pocket, before crossing to take over entering the front straight on the first occasion. This shuffled The Gold Ace to three back the markers, with Abettorpunt after following The Gold Ace being relegated to five back along the markers. The race changed complexion two laps out with Caribbean Blaster coming away from the markers, as did The Gold Ace who moved to face the breeze, while Christen Me was also sent forward to park in the open along the back straight approaching the bell. Racing for the bell, it was Smoken Up leading from Keayang Cullen, Christen Me in the open being followed by Caribbean Blaster, with Abettorpund moving to three back on the inside. At this stage Gavin Lang eased Restrepo from mid-field in the running line to improve three wide. There was more drama approaching the home turn, when Smoken Up shifted away from the inside allowing Keayang Cullen to gain an inside run forcing Christen Me three wide and Restrepo four wide. Smoken Up then rolled back to the markers on the final bend checking Keayang Cullen, with Christen Me taking over and Restrepo giving chase, with both The Gold Ace and Caribbean Blaster revved up to make ground. Kicking clear on turning, Christen Me looked all over a winner, however a vigorous Gavin Lang hammered Restrepo to the wire, gaining the day in a thrilling finish by a half head from Christen Me, with Caribbean Blaster a half head away in third place. Smoken Up finished fourth with Keayang Cullen fifth and Abettorpunt again having no luck in finishing sixth. Following the race, a protest by Glen Craven (Keayang Cullen) against Smoken Up for interference on the home turn was upheld. With quarters of 29.5, 31.3, 28.2 and 28.1 for the last mile, Restrepo returned a mile rate of 1-56.8, taking .5 of a second off Stunin Cullen’s record set in 2011. Other highlights of the evening were The Pure Steel, a Discretionary Handicapped event for M0 class over 2710 metres and two heats of the Australasian Trotting Championship for TM0 or better class over the same distance. Last year’s A.G. Hunter Cup victor seven year old Mach Three / Dancing On Winds gelding Mah Sish showed he was on target again for next week’s big race when successful over Im Corzin Terror and Jadahson in 2-00.4, leading for the majority of the journey. Heat one of the Australasian Trotters Championship was taken out by six year old Earl / Cinders gelding I See Icy Earl for squaregaiting whiz Chris Lang and reinsman Greg Sugars. Given a sweet passage one/one for most of the journey, I See Icy Earl bloused the hot favourite Blitzthemcalder right on the wire by a nose in a tricky finish, with ever reliable mare Cold Sister third. The mile rate 2-03.4. Heat two went the way of David Aiken’s in-form Ken Warkentin / Kovel rig My High Expectation who blitzed his rivals after a slow beginning in a rate of 2-03.6, defeating the backmarker Mister Zion which raced outside him for the last half of the journey, with Empire Earl third. The $50,000 Final will be held at Melton next Saturday. Len Baker for Harness Racing Victoria

Terang trainer Marg Lee snared the quinella in the Terang Co-Op Free For All for C9 or better class horses over 2200 metres at the Terang HRC fixture held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday with stable superstars Keayang Steamer and Keayang Cullen. In what was a heady drive by nephew Glen Craven, Keayang Steamer starting from the extreme draw was sent forward early in the race to park outside Keayang Cullen which exploded away from outside the front row with Jason Lee in the sulky. Content to allow “Cullen” to dictate the terms in quarters of 31.1, 29.6, 28.3 and 28 for the last mile, “Steamer” moved on terms with his stablemate on the final bend, before outstaying him to score impressively by 3.1 metres in a rate of 1-56.5. Old timer Melpark Major in search of cracking the one million dollar stake barrier, moved a step closer by finishing third 5.1 metres away. Keayang Steamer was victorious in winning the Horsham Cup on January 5, while Keayang Cullen finished second in the Hamilton Cup on January 12. On what was a “night of nights” for the Craven family, Matt Craven was successful aboard Hamilton trainer David Lewis’ American Ideal/Atomic Fusion colt The Fat Man in the Terang Harness Racing Club Silver Vase for Three year olds 3C0 to 3C2 class over 2240 metres. Having his first outing since last July, The Fat Man raced by David and Terry Lewis led throughout from gate two, running his rivals ragged to score by 9.1 metres in a rate of 1-59.4 over Stormy Lecture and Gotta Go Henry. By Len Baker courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria

The ever progressive Horsham Harness Racing Club conducted a sensational race day program on Sunday January 5th, highlighted by the running of the $60,000 (Group 2) Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup for M0 or better class horses over 2700 metres and what a race it was with the victor being five year old Riverboat King / Alimar Star gelding Keayang Steamer for Terang trainer Marg Lee, nephew Glen Craven and the Craven family. Although small in numbers, the field attracted a tremendous array of talent headed by champion Smoken Up, along with last year’s Hunter Cup winner Mah Sish, outstanding gelding Abettorpunt and potential stars Keayang Steamer, Magical Telf, and Im Corzin Terror. Mah Sish was best to begin from the pole from Hugo Play (gate two) with Smoken Up (gate six) three wide pushing forward to assume control running into the first turn. Keayang Steamer (gate five) was trapped wide, with Glen Craven having no option but to press forward to occupy the position outside the leader. The pattern of the race didn’t alter until the final circuit when Hugo Play eased three wide to challenge the leaders, while at the same stage Keayang Steamer immediately and surprisingly strode past Smoken Up with Glen thinking to himself that he had gone for home too early. Although unable to pass Smoken Up completely, Keayang Steamer held a 4.7 metre margin to the wire, with Hugo Play running the race of his life to finish 3.6 metres in arrears of the pair in third place. With quarters of 31.1, 31, 28.8 and 28.7 for the last mile, Keayang Steamer returned a new track record mile rate of 1-59.8 for the journey. The additional highlight of the day being the $15,000 Conch Deville HorshamTrotters Cup for TM0 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2700 metres which saw brilliant four year old Metropolitan / Like A Calder entire Blitzthemcalder thrill the crowd with a tremendous performance to snare the major prize, Bred and raced by Rick Burchell, Blitzthemcalder trained at Lara by Dean Braun with regular reinsman Chris Alford in the sulky, was very slow to begin from the pole, giving the tearaway leader Si Capisco up to 50 metres start at one stage, with both Allaward Ugo and the Kiwi Thanesan which both galloped early putting themselves out of business. Commencing a forward move racing for the bell, it was easily seen that Blitzthemcalder was going to round his rivals up with ease as the tempo in which the race was run suited him to perfection. Not bustled to make ground in a hurry, Blitzthemcalder strode effortlessly to the front on the home turn and careered away to score by an official margin of 35 metres in a mile rate of 2-04.9 (last half 64.1 – quarter 33) in advance of Lightning Joy (three back the markers – one/one last lap) and Trappers Puzzle (one/two) which recovered after an early gallop. The mile rate being only .9 of a second outside Sir Gondola’s race record set in 2005. by Len Baker for Harness Racing Victoria

At Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday, talented Riverboat King/Alimar Star 5-Y-0 gelding Keayang Steamer resumed with a strong victory in the For A Reason Pace for M2 & M3 class over 2240 metres. Raced by the Levard Racing Group, trained at Terang by Marg Lee and driven by nephew Glen Craven, Keayang Steamer having his first outing since August settled mid-field in the running line from gate three on the second line, before trailing Jadahson ahead of his forward three wide shortly after the start to park outside the Stawell Cup winning pacemaker Arber (gate two) racing for the bell. Pouring on the pressure approaching the home turn, Keayang Steamer class told on straightening as he recorded a comfortable 2.5 metre victory over Composed which followed him into the straight after a cosy passage on the back of the leader. Washmepockets (three back the markers) used the sprint lane to finish third. With a last half mile of 55.9 - quarter 27.8, Keayang Steamer returned a mile rate of 1-55.9 and could now head to Adelaide for the S-A Cup to be held at Globe Derby Park on Saturday January 11. It was Keayang Steamer's 14th victory in 32 race appearances. Len Baker  

At long last it was “cheers‘nbeers” time for the members of the Orange & Green syndicate when their 5yo mare Metrofromelle scored a solid victory at Stawell on Monday afternoon, in the Stanley Anyon Memorial C1 Pace Final.  It’s been a long time waiting for many members of the syndicate which last tasted success with Slammin Stan at Maryborough, way back in December 2007. Sam ran a few minor placings after that then headed off to SA but in the years since, the owners had had their patience severely tested, trying out a number of (sorry, too slow) horses with trainer Ashleigh Herbertson. A couple of months ago, the Herbertson team suggested the syndicate take on a going horse that was showing consistent form out on the racetrack. So at the end of September, Metrofromelle remained in her Burrumbeet stable but became the new hope of the Orange & Green after being purchased from her breeders, Equine Body Therapy Pty. Ltd. From 7 starts since, the black daughter of Metropolitan and Elleovalooka has continued her honest efforts with a victory, 3 seconds and a fourth and hopefully, plenty more fun to come. And just for the record, the syndicate, consisting of Coughlin Park lawn bowlers, West Side Horsham regulars and their family/friends; includes Dennis Wade, Ian Ryan, Titch Thompson, Howard Schier, Athol Cowan, Neville Marra, Col Henry, Vin Mellington, Kevin Cramer, John Robertson, Tim Nihill, Craig Decker, Pat Hennessy, Wally Besselaar, Jarrod Logan, Luke Besselaar, Ken Schurmann, Tony Logan and manager, Arch Besselaar. With Terang reinsman Glen Craven taking the reins, Metrofromelle began smartly from gate 4 and raced kindly outside the leader Beau Ciel throughout, but still proved too strong over the final stages. The mare finished 3 metre clear of Venus Williams (Greg Sugars) with Beau Ciel (Emma Hamblin) battling on for third in a rate of 1:57.8 for the 1780 metre trip. Monday’s event honoured the memory of the late Stan Anyon, who was a both a quiet achiever and true legend of the Stawell Harness Racing Club. The former trainer, driver & farrier was instrumental in the formation of the Club in 1956 and gave more than 50 years of outstanding service as a committee member, volunteer & track curator, before his passing in 2009. All going well, Metrofromelle will return to Laidlaw Park for the twilight, Stawell Cups fixture, on Sunday December 1st to contest a heat of Vicbred Platinum Mares Championship. TONY LOGAN

Terang trainer Marg Lee continued her remarkable strike rate, when first starter Keayang Active greeted the judge in the Bayswater Jayco 3-Y-0 Pace over 2100 metres at Charlton in Central Victoria on Monday September 25, returning a mile rate of 2-02. Driven by nephew Glen Craven who has only just returned to the sulky after having a knee attended to, Keayang Active a well supported gelded son of Art Major and the Fake Left mare Delta Dream began speedily from the pole and despite a serious challenge as the mobile pulled away by Jumbo Asakei (gate six), easily retained the inside running. Travelling boldly under a tight rein, Keayang Active bounded away on the final bend to record an untouched 5.1 metre victory in advance of In The Trenches (one/two – three wide last lap), with Jumbo Asakei which had dropped down to trail the winner after the early burn a further 1.9 metres away in third place. The heavily backed Ellen Tormey trained and driven favourite Done And Dusted also on debut, dropped out after moving to face the open mid-race. Popular Moonlight (Maryborough) trainer John Douglas made a welcome return to the winners stall when lightly raced 8-Y-0 Wind Cries Maori/Lopsided gelding Right Side Up scored in the Charlton & District Community bank Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2100 metres. Making his 30th appearance at the races, Right Side Up with Bendigo’s Chris Svanosio in the cart, led throughout in accounting for a death-seating Sans Frontiere which appeared to have him covered on the home turn, with the 40 metre equal backmarker Allawart Ugo (one/one) third. The mile rate a pedestrian 2-09.5. John Douglas was one of Victoria’s top junior reinsmen in the Showgrounds and early Moonee Valley era when attached to John Harland’s Flemington stable. On a day of short priced favourites, Mildura’s Shayne Cramp combined with Nathan Jack to land the Dunlop Superdealer Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2100 metres with South Australian owned mare Spokeswoman, a 4-Y-0 daughter of Art Major and Fatalistic. Safely holding the inside running from the pole, Spokeswoman ($1.50) was untroubled to lead throughout to score from Tere T which had an early dig for the front from gate four before dropping down to be three back the markers. Aftermidnight Sam (one/one – three wide last lap) finished third. The mile rate 1-58.5. Last season’s leading trainer at Charlton, Rochester based  Mark Thompson snared the Charlton Community Newsletter Pace with classy 4-Y-0 Falcon Seelster/Karamea Toastime gelding Timeseel an unbackable $1.10 chance. Driven by stable reinsperson Ellen Tormey, Timeseel had nothing more than “a stroll in the park”, winning by 14.5 metres from Wealthy Warrior which trailed and Absolootmagic (one/one) in a rate of 2-00.6. by Len Baker

Much of the early focus around the Shadow Play Breeders Crown final for four-year-old boys has been the promising Ideal Scott. A winner of all three for the McCarthy team, including a Group 1, and drawn the pole there is no doubt he is the horse to beat. But trotting is a funny game and one of the most underrated and consistent pacers in Victoria has been Keayang Steamer. He may not yet have received the plaudits of stablemate Keayang Cullen, or some of his rivals this Sunday but his last two wins have been destructive. The draw however may be the key, with the son of Riverboat King likely to follow out the odds on favourite, something that will give him a knockout hope according to driver Glen Craven. “If the emergency comes out and we draw behind the favourite then it would just be a matter of being able to hold his back,” Craven said. “If the emergency gets a run then it’s a whole different story, being on the fence behind Ideal Scott is probably the only way we could possibly beat him, I don’t think any horse would be able to come around him. “His form has been very good and his last couple of runs have been excellent. He has raced against the best horses all the way through so he has proven with a bit of luck he will be thereabouts. “ That form stretches back as far as an honest fourth in the Chariots Of Fire to Christen Me and a win in the Group 2 Paleface Adios in February. Currently the $4.40 second favourite with TAB fixed odds, Craven’s steed will need the speed on from the start if he is to out sprint Ideal Scott. “He’s probably not 100% suited if its sit/sprint but he will follow any speed so if there is a genuine tempo that should bring him into the race,” he said. “They are two totally different horses but he is definitely heading towards where Keayang Cullen is. He probably doesn’t have the same gate speed but he is probably tougher and more versatile.” by Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)

Four year old harness racing mare Big Mumma Fitz (Armbro Operative/Hi Ho Fitz) has certainly come of age this season, chalking up four wins from eight outings, the latest at her home track Dalvui Raceway Terang on Tuesday May 14 after a rather slow start to her career.

The Terang Harness Racing Club held a neat compact meeting at Dalvui Raceway Terang on Tuesday April 16, with plenty of winners coming from the Western District and South East South Australia.

Victorian harness racing trainer Margaret Lee set herself for a day to remember with four-year-old gelding Keayang Steamer's big finish to win the $50,000 Form 700 Paleface Adios Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle.

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