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ONLY a late change of plans will thwart the first clash of superstar Aussie pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art at Melton next Saturday night. Ride High’s trainer Clayton Tonkin confirmed his pacing sensation would chase his 17th win from just 18 starts in the $30,000 Minuteman Free-For-All (2240m), while Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said it was “very likely” his charge would be there as well. Lochinvar Art lost no admirers when a monstrous second in scorching times at Bendigo on Saturday night. The Chariots Of Fire winner smashed the clock from a horror draw and after doing all the work when a mighty second to Hurricane Harley in track record time. He was timed to run his last mile of the 2150m race in a mind-blowing 1min50.9sec, some of it three and even four-wide. “His run was massive under the circumstances,” Moran said. “And, as I said going into it, he needed the run. He’ll take a lot out of it. “I’ll give him the day to make sure he’s come through it well, which he seems to have, and make a final decision tomorrow (Monday), but I will most likely back-up next week. “He thrives on racing every week and he needs the hard racing to be right at his top for the (Victoria) Cup.” Confirmation Ride High will run this week means he will almost certainly bypass the $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton on October 3 and continue his routine of racing every second-week by going straight to the $300,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup (2240m) on October 10. In other Victoria Cup news, it’s growing increasingly likely Sydney sensation Cash N Flow will stretch-out from his beloved sprint racing to the 2240m of the Cup. Cash N Flow won a staggering 12th successive Menangle mile race last night (Saturday) and broke the magical 1min50sec mark for a record eighth time. “We’ll chat with the owners and make the final call, but we’re not worried about him going out to 2240m, especially the form he’s in at the moment,” driver Luke McCarthy said. McCarthy and Craig Cross are sending Australasian 2300m record-holder Zennart down to race against Ride High and Lochinvar Art. And McCarthy said three of their stars – Balraj, Alta Orlando and Cash N Flow – were definite to go straight into the Victoria Cup without racing again. Bling It On is also a Victoria Cup definite, but he will race against King Of Swing at Menangle next Saturday night. And what about King Of Swing for the Victoria Cup? “No update from last week. It really depends on the restrictions. He’ll be ready to go if I can get in/out (of Melbourne) easily. We probably won’t decide until the last-minute,” McCarthy said.   By Adam Hamilton

Hopes are high that Pam and Russell Hockham's brilliant Shadow Sax can refind the form that had him a regular free-for-all champ and Inter Dominion contender. The seven-year-old, who is co-owned by the Stable Of Stars syndicate that incluides Garry Lyon, Hamish McLachlan, Craig Hutchison, Liam Pickering, Brittany Graham and Ashlea Brennan, makes a long-awaited return in Saturday night's star-studded Bendigo field. Pam Hockham joined SENTrack's Talking Trots on Track today and told co-hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden Shadow Sax was "back on track" and set for a good showing in the Vincent Standing @ Alabar Pace, which streams at 7.03pm on Trots Vision on Saturday. "His trials were fantastic and we expect him to go really well Saturday night," she said. Shadow Sax hasn't raced since last year's Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup when he ran 12th at the end of a three-start campaign. That followed a nine-month lay-off when he was withdrawn from the 2018 Inter Dominion, with the gelding hampered by a hind leg injruy. "It's a bit sad. The good horses always seem to break down. He had a pin put in his leg and we gave him plenty of time off," Hockham said. "He was with Rita Burnett for a while, because she used to walk him in the water every day - she's been fantastic looking after him. We hope he's back to his old self, because he's a beautiful, placid horse. A lovely horse." And she's optimistic "we will go pretty well" Saturday night, with Shadow Sax a $14 chance with the TAB.com.au, which has Lochinvar Art on top at $1.75, out from $1.55. "Lochinvar Art's a champion, we know that, but we'll see how we go," Hockham said. The stakes are heightened by the need to put in a bold showing to push his claims for a start in the October 10 Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup. "If he goes good Saturday night we expect him to keep going and would love to get him into the Victoria Cup. I think he can go with the best of them if he stays sound." Hockham is also the co-owner of Demon Delight, who she said underwent surgery yesterday to remove bone chips in his knee, which will sideline him for six months. "The vet said he will come back better. They said (he was a) 95 per cent chance he will come back good. He raced with the bone chips in him all the time." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL TALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK INTERVIEW:   Harness Racing Victoria

Fingers will be crossed that tonight’s racing at Shepparton will bring breakthrough number two for the little gelding whose run of near things sparked something of a cult following. Lion Heart, Rebecca Morrissey’s five-year-old who gradually grew into his own name, chases his second win in tonight’s JDC Contractors Trot, which will stream on Trots Vision at 7.33pm. Tonight marks start number 73 for Lion Heart, who’s produced 25 placings to date and one magical moment at Geelong on March 11, which was victory number one at start 67. It was all the more significant for being the first victory in trainer Morrissey’s own name, with her previous successes having come in partnership with husband Paul. “The fact that he went so many starts before winning, I think everyone was hoping the little bugger would get over the line and win a race for me,” Morrissey said. “He didn’t show anything as a two-year-old and did a lot wrong. It wasn’t until he was a late three-year-old that he showed a little bit and we persevered. He had so many placings in the lead-up to that first win.” It was the sweetest of victories for Morrissey and reward for patience and persistence, both from the trainer and her horse, who was named as such in “the hope he would have the heart of a lion”. “I didn’t actually like the name to start with, but you have to give options and it was not my first choice, but the name has really suited him and he has got a bit of a following too,” she said. And while not a regular winner, Lion Heart has been a regular earner, securing $33,490 in stakes. “To have him running placings every 10 days goes a long way for the bank balance, but it’s more about having fun and sharing it with other people. “I am breeding a few mares and Lion Heart has helped them go to a bit better stallions.” In fact Morrissey has five trotting mares she is breeding to in Vienna Noon, Butterfly Noon, Canadian Dream, Six Appeal and Livingonadream, the latter a half-sister to Just Like Jack ($112,381) and Barneys Invasion ($81,199) and the dam of Lion Heart. “They have been a great family,” Morrissey said. “We have ended up with some nice horses and have little Lion Heart, who tries his heart out and is competitive.” And the expectation is he will do so again in race 4 at 7.33pm, when Lion Heart has his first start in the hands of reinsman Darryl Douglas, with regular driver Mick Bellman having a big haul at Horsham earlier in the day but credited for doing “a fantastic job educating (Lion Heart) in races”. Lion Heart will start from inside the back row, and if he can overcome his poor starts Morrissey said he should be well placed for a bold showing.  “The only issue is at the start. He’s certainly better tucked away behind the leaders and hopefully he can get a good run into the race at the finish.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Doreen (Victoria) couple John and Christine Yeomans have established a solid reputation over four decades for breeding and racing quality standardbred stock, particularly pacing fillies and mares. The list of top performers bred at their Homestead Farm reads like a classics’ date book and includes Life Inthefastlane (Queen of the Pacific and Vic. Youthful Stakes), Im Smouldering (Vicbred 3YO Final and Tatlow Memorial), Racy Rita (Victoria Oaks), Vansumic (NSW Ladyship Mile) and Yes I Can (Vic. Youthful Stakes). “Racy Rita probably put us on the map,” John said. “But Life Inthefastlane gave us our biggest thrill when she won the Queen of the Pacific after almost dying from a colic attack 12 months earlier.” Other smart types raced and trained by John and Christine have been the Vicbred champion and Oceania El Dorado winner Gigi, Indigenous (Tasmanian Oaks and Vic. Gold Chalice), Gold Cygnet (Galaxy Grand Slam 2YO), the Moonee Valley Cup winner Relentless Pursuit, Etoile (APG 2YO Final), Jaydare (Tatlow Memorial) and Makeyourownluck (winner of $221,952). John estimates that he has trained more than 350 winners. “We’ve been lucky to have bred or raced 12 Group 1 winners,” he said. In recognition for sustained excellence and achievement in the Breeding industry, the Yeomans were presented with the Ian Daff Memorial Award for Victorian Breeders of the Year in 2012 by Harness Breeders Victoria. The husband-and-wife team are also proud sponsors of Victorian trotting their company Yeomans Slate and Stone. John admits that his success has been largely due to a team effort. “Christine does most of the pedigree matching and we have great staff in Shane Gallagher and his wife Rachael Benns, who assist with the breeding, training and yearling preparation. Regular vendors at the Victorian yearling sales since the early 1980’s, John and Christine have sold colts such as Red Hot Major (WA Western Crown), Solid As A Rock ($163,530), Lanista ($107,415) and Badge Of Honour ($105,469) – all classics material – and fillies in the same class such as Vansumic ($268,649), one of the few mares to ever defeat Adore Me, and others. “We normally race the fillies that we breed and don’t keep many colts,” John stated. In a parting from tradition, the Yeomans have nominated two superbly bred fillies for the inaugural Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale to be held at Oaklands Junction in April 2021. The draft comprises A Rocknroll Dance filly out of Im Smouldering, a multiple Group winning Bettor’s Delight mare from the grand producer Red Hot Rita, and a Rock With Joe filly from the Art Major mare Koori Art, a daughter of the Oaks winner Indigenous. “Indigenous’s offspring have earned more than $518,000, while Red Hot Rita’s progeny have banked $512,000,” John said. And, judging on their pedigrees and the Yeomans’ track record, the two youngsters are a realistic chance of adding their names to the Homestead Farm honour roll.   by Peter Wharton

Having helped reshape harness racing from the boardroom to the track, Elizabeth Clarke has spoken about how "humbled" she was to have the Mares Triple Crown named in her honour. Ms Clarke sat with Tooth Be Told host Paul Campbell for a wide-ranging chat about her trots life, beginning with the illustrious mares three-week series - the Elizabeth Clark Mares Triple Crown - that kicks off at Tabcorp Park Melton on October 17. "It's an incredible honour - never in my imagination or my wildest dreams would I ever think there would be such an honour bestowed upon me - it just doesn't enter your mind," she said. "It's a magnificent series. I'm a big promoter or mares races anyway, because when I was first in the industry, which was many years ago now, there weren't very many high profile or high stakemoney races for mares. "To be involved, and so closely involved in a series like this, is just brilliant for the industry and brilliant for the people who have those mares to this standard of racing." Ms Clarke speaks about her trots origins, her husband Bruce's golden era with great Terang pacer Gammalite and her long-term service to the sport. LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW OF ELIZABETH CLARKE ON TOOTH BE TOLD: Trots Media - Harness Racing · Tooth Be Told: Elizabeth Clarke   Harness Racing Victoria

Redemption will be front of mind for Mick Stanley’s runners at Ballarat tonight, with the Burrumbeet trainer’s entrants out to make amends after last-start mishaps. Both Sayitaintso Joe and Soho Major Player are well positioned to put their problems in the past, particularly the aforementioned two-year-old, who will likely start favourite in the Natures Cargo Pace, which streams at 8.30pm on Trots Vision. After breaking gait and finishing 175 metres in arears in his only start, Sayitaintso Joe – the son of Group 3 winning mare Beach Shack – has had four months on the sidelines and transformed from a colt into a gelding. “He’s got a really good deal of ability,” Stanley said. “Obviously he did things wrong last start and so we’ve gelded him and turned him out and with time he’s maturing. He had two trials at Maryborough and trialed really well.” He returns tonight not amid a field of fellow two-year-olds but of much more seasoned pacers rated 51 to 54, including 10-year-old Our Summer Wind. “Going off Soho Bollinger and Lochinvar Chief, I think they have shown the two-year-olds can handle this class no worries,” Stanley said. “We are saying two-year-olds, but they would have been three-year-olds and I think that is why they are handling it so well. They’re a lot more mature and stronger. “A lot of two-year-olds are going 1.54 or 1.55 anyway, so in this 51-54 class they are only going 1.58 to 1.59 speed. “It’s a lot about him making sure he doesn’t make mistakes. If he does that then he will be a good show.” The other Stanley stable entrant tonight is Soho Major Player, who will contest the last at 9.23pm, the Lather Up @ Woodlands Stud 3YO Pace. Previously with Kim Prentice in Western Australia, Soho Major Player has joined the Burrumbeet stable to snap up her Vicbred first-win bonus before the Art Major filly is set for a broodmare career for owner-breeder Rob Watson. She debuted at Stawell on September 6, when the $2.50 favourite was the first thing beaten after pacing poorly throughout. “I had trouble steering her at Stawell,” Stanley said. “She got on one rein and unfortunately was running off the track the whole time. We have made gear changes and they look to have worked well.” She will start from gate two in tonight’s three-year-old fillies pace, directly inside likely favourite Keilah, and Stanley said he would let tempo dictate where he lands from the gate.“I don’t think it matters. With a small field you don’t particularly have to lead because you won’t settle far off them.” In addition to his own two starters Stanley will also take the reins of three others. That begins with Courtney Slater-trained Fremarkskuzo in the Cooke & Foley 3YO Trot. “When he puts it together he feels like he will win a couple of races. Last time out he had his best run since I’ve been driving him. If he continues to improve he will get his chance," Stanley said of Fremarkskuzo, who's still chasing his first top three placing. “It is an even three-year-old trot race. Saint Calder looks the stand out, but he is in the next tier.” Stanley will then follow up with Kevin Richard in the Nextra Wendouree Pace, but said the six-year-old “will need to improve” to feature, while his other drive, Jackierabbit, has a good draw in the Regent Entertainment Pace. Stanley said the pole marker was a “good each-way chance”.   HRV - Michael Howard

The battle for a place in the Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup beefs up at Bendigo on Saturday night, with an extraordinary field of open class pacers presenting to press their claims for the $300,000 October 10 feature. The presence of Victoria's fastest ever pacer, Lochinvar Art, hasn't dissuaded the challengers, with Emma Stewart in particular unleashing her talented team entering Hurricane Harley, Major Times and country cups kings Code Black and Shadow Sax to contest the $20,000 Vincent Standing @ Alabar Pace. And the quality in the 12-horse field extends much further, including talented David Aiken front-runner Reactor Now, who's won nine of 10, while Inter Dominion finalists My Kiwi Mate, Sicario and San Carlo will also have claims. Snapping at their heels will be Malcolms Rhythm, Idealsomemagic and Rackemup Tigerpie, in what shapes as the most hotly contested race on Victorian soil since February's Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup. Scheduled for the third race on the card at 7.02pm, it precedes an outstanding open class trot, with reigning Victorian horse of the year Tornado Valley to cross swords with fellow Group 1 winners Wobelee, Sundons Courage, Red Hot Tooth, Big Jack Hammer and Cruisin Around. Andy Gath's Miss Blissful completes the Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers Trot field. And the hits will keep coming on Saturday night. The flood of nominations from open class pacing free-for-allers resulted in the addition of a second 80 to 120 rating race, the TLC Carpentry Pace, where last-start winners Diamons N Cash, Sofala and Rocknroll Eyes will clash with A Fair Ol Dance, Form Analyst, Louis Sedgwick, Chris Svanosio's pair Repeat After Me and Mister Wickham, and Craig Demmler's duo Somebeach Shadow and Fake Smile. There will also be plenty of opportunity for the next big things to strut their stuff. The Simonds Homes Bendigo 2YO Pace draws together some of the class's best performed types this season, with all having broken their maiden status. Clayton Tonkin's Idyllic will look to turn the tables on David Moran's Lochinvar Chief, while Emma Stewart has entered unbeaten Beyond Delight and two-time winner Ideal Dan. Geoff Webster's Tuppence, Paddy Lee's Jilliby Retro and Moran's Ifitstobeitsuptome complete the field. Tailored Elegance and Powderkeg are among those locking horns in the TAB Long May We Play 3YO Trot, while the $20,000 mares feature - the Southern Cross Office Equipment Pace - will pit in-form Goodtime Heaven up against the likes of Amelia Rose and David Miles' pair Six Elements and Enchanted Stride. A class field has also assembled for the $20,000 Aldebaran Park Trot, where Kyvalley Chief will attempt to make it six-straight against the likes of Emerald Stride, Brandlo Prince and seasoned campaigner C K Spur. Then there's the Garrards Horse & Hound Pace, where talented youngster Mach Dan takes on mare Soho Nolita and Amanda Turnbull trio Sonny Weaver, Shoobee Doo and The Crimson Prince to name but a few who have fronted for the $20,000 sprint. CLICK HERE FOR FULL FIELDS   HRV - Michael Howard

The Whole Package is the only horse currently racing out of Peter Robertson’s Plumpton stables and he returned from a nasty virus in grand style first-up at Tabcorp Park on Friday. The five-year-old hadn’t been seen at the races since a third placing at Melton in mid-July, but was back to his best after recovering from the illness. Given a patient drive by Luke Tabone from barrier one, The Whole Package had a look for the lead early, but took cover after Son Of Major speared across from gate four. Tabone awaited the sprint lane run in the home straight and finished best to take out the Prydes Easifeed Pace (1720m). The success was the son of Sealed N Delivered’s fourth in a 25-run career, three of which have come since late last year. “He’s always had ability, but he’s one of those horses that if you can find trouble anywhere around the stable he’ll find it,” Robertson told SEN Track. “When he won (on July 1 at Melton), I didn’t think he got to the line as good as he should have and his next run after that he ran third. The next day he just coughed and coughed and coughed for about three or four days. “He had a real bad virus and that’s the reason he hasn’t been racing.” Among his other issues, The Whole Package chipped a sesamoid bone as a three-year-old and recently took plenty of skin off his body when getting his head stuck in a fence. Robertson said he felt good about the horse’s chances on Friday despite being the second outsider in the field of seven at $16. “I was fairly confident. He’d been treated and got through that good and been working probably better than what he had been,” Robertson said. “I said to Luke he could probably lead but if something is going to attack, let it go because he is first-up and just see what happens from there.” Tabone said he had planned to hold the front, but decided to take a sit when Ken Tippet shot for the front on Son Of Major. “It was really good to hop back on this bloke. He got pretty crook on the guys and they’ve done a good job to get him back and to win first-up was great,” he said. Success was shared around between trainers and drivers on Friday, but it was reinsman John Caldow that claimed the only winning double. Caldow partnered short-priced favourite Andover Sun - who is trained by wife Maree - to win the Niota Bloodstock 3YO Trot (2240m) and then Freddy Taiba-trained Kasbah Kid to take out the fast class event, the Hygain Pace (1720m).   HRV - Tim O'Connor

The Ride High express has rolled on with another astonishing performance, tearing home in 26.2 seconds on a rain-affected Terang track to leave jaws on the floor and rivals in his wake. In her first steer on Clayton Tonkin’s brilliant pacer, reinswoman Kate Gath lodged an 11th successive victory for Ride High, who cleared out to win the Christians Bus Gammalite Pace by 20 metres, hitting the line in a 1:53.8 mile rate that was just a clip outside the track record. Watch the race click here. “Wow, not sure what I was on then,” Gath told Trots Vision post-race. “That was the definition of horsepower.” Finishing in a 26.2-second final quarter to win comfortably ahead of Idealsomemagic, Gath said Ride High was as professional as he was brilliant. “He’s such a lovely horse, he just ambles along early, drops the bit, he pretty much just quickens himself when he needs to and when he does he just grabs the bit, puts his head down and wants to go,” Gath told Trots Vision. “Around that last corner I was low-flying. He was just doing it so easily and I was just basically there for the ride, hanging on. “Obviously everyone knows how good he is, but the feel he gives you because he just goes himself you don’t need to even really ask him. I haven’t driven a horse that’s given me the feel that he gave me tonight.” And that was despite things going a little off-script early, with stablemate and polemarker Out To Play galloping as the gates were released. Ride High, who started on Out To Play’s back, was unaffected, with Gath working straight into the running line and soon finding the front. “I was always coming one off so that wasn’t a problem,” Gath said. “He was so relaxed. I just had to tap him up a little bit to find the front, he was happy doing his own thing in front and as the race progressed he just quickened himself. He felt awesome.” It was a satisfying debut in the most prized chair in Australasian racing for Gath, with Ride High likely to only firm in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup market, with the $300,000 classic now less than a month away. “To get chosen by Clayton, (he and Emma Stewart) are just the best at what they do. I have so much respect for them, for him to say ‘drive my best horse’ is an absolute honour,” Gath said. “I just hope that he can continue. He’s just an excitement machine, he’s so relaxed early, he’s really all what you to have moving forward into the big races.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Willie’s move west will be put to its first test at Terang tonight but owner Luke Stokie’s optimistic that the three-year-old’s talent will translate across the Tasman. The Amanda Grieve-trained Auckland Reactor gelding, Wille Go West, makes his Australian debut in the Jilliby Kung Fu @ Goodtime Lodge 3YO Pace, which streams on Trots Vision at 9.02pm and caps what looms as a terrific race card. Much of the night’s interest will surround Ride High’s assault on Terang track records, coupled with new reinswoman Kate Gath, in the Christians Bus Gammalite Pace at 6.02pm, and the talent laden Volstead @ Haras Des Trotteurs Trot at 7.35pm, featuring Majestuoso against Sammy Showdown and co. But there will also be plenty of eyes on the last, when proven three-year-old top liners Youaremy Sunshine and Yianni clash with Willie Go West. The latter lands with a big reputation, built in large part to his impressive last start win at Addington in a $40,000 listed feature. “The horse got mentioned to me, I watched the replay and liked what I saw. He looked like a progressive horse,” Stokie said. “I got in contact with Dean Braun to make an inquiry. He found out the horse was for sale and I went ahead and bought him. “I initially bought him for myself, a couple of mates were interested in getting involved in a horse and I thought this one was promising.” Willie Go West ran second on debut and then won his next two starts on February 2 and 14, the latter franked by the good form of those he beat. “He seemed like he really progressed from the time he first trialled as a two-year-old when he was beaten by 100 metres and wasn’t a good pacer to where he is now,” Stokie said. “His pacing is still not fantastic, but he has improved a lot. Now he is showing gate speed, that he can sit behind a leader and give a good sprint up the straight. “He looks like a typical Auckland Reactor and reminded me a little of Reactor Now, being a big, maturing horse.” Most encouraging is that the horse he beat at his last start, Spirit Of St Louis, won his following three starts and then finished sixth on August 28, just four metres in arrears of Auckland Cup winner Self Assured. “Spirit Of St Louis really looks like he has taken the next step,” Stokie said. “We expect a really forward showing (from Willie Go West).” But he appreciates he meets a very competitive field first up. “Youaremy Sunshine you have to really respect, second in the Breeders Crown and fourth in the Derby and one of the real benchmark two-year-olds,” he said. “I will leave it up to (reinsman) Chris Alford, but our horse has a lot options and good gait speed. “It will be a really good measuring stick this week. If he’s competitive we will probably look towards a race like the (Breeders) Crown. He’s probably still got a lot of maturing and growing to do.” Of other horses Stokie has part ownership of, he said Sirletic would return within the month to pursue a Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup start, while Buster Brady, whose been trialing after almost 12 months on the sidelines, would likely be treated with kid gloves. “I was really happy with his first trial, when he finished fourth or fifth beaten about five metres and really cruising. I was disappointed with his (second) trial, he just wasn’t 100 per cent right.” Buster Brady has since trialled a third time on Thursday night, but it will be a slow road back. This year’s October 10 Victoria Cup isn’t in the frame, with Buster Brady instead likely to be directed towards country cups and longer distance races. “He has all the ability in the world but a lot of issues.”   HRV - Michael Howard

All things being equal, Luke Watson doesn't think his in-form charge Caulonia Terror can spoil Bernie Winkle's party this evening. But that won't stop the Merbein South horseman giving it a crack. Bernie Winkle is out to join elite company when he chases a 10th successive victory in the Tasco Petroleum Pace (2190m), with just over 70 horses having reached that mark since 2000. Watson's four-year-old gelding has only been beaten narrowly in his last two battles with the new 'King of Mildura' and that has pleased his trainer-driver. "Bernie would need to find an obstacle or something like that in the run for me to sort of beat him," Watson said. "If it's even stevens and we both had the same luck in the run then Bernie is probably going to beat me all the time, but I've been around long enough to know while you're running places you can win races. "I'm really happy with his form obviously this time in. He's finally matured into a racehorse where he was a ratbag and a lunatic. He used to gallop and carry on and he's finally got the idea of racing. "He's been competitive in that grade so I'm thrilled to bits with him." Watson trained Caulonia Terror's mother Caulonia Babe as well as her mother Bold As Brass and, while they won 11 and 10 races respectively, were also slow to mature on the racetrack. "I guess he's just following the family trait along as he goes," Watson said. "He used to do so many things wrong. He'd blow away 80-100m at the start and circle the field and run third or fourth. He was his own worst enemy. "He doesn't feel like he's going to do anything wrong, so touch wood this time in he hasn't put a foot wrong and finally the ability is starting to come through. "In the old system I think he is only a C3 horse. That's a big job for a C3 horse to be racing Bernie Winkle, Murranji Track and Egodan - it would have never been heard of back in that day." Caulonia Terror, who was bred and is owned by Watson's long-time clients Peter and Avis Argiro, has won six of 37 career starts and has drawn barrier three for tonight's assignment, which he tackles following two weeks away from the races. Bernie Winkle and driver Shane Smith will have to overcome barrier eight to reach the magical 10-win milestone, but it's hard to see the horse being beaten without bad luck. He meets four rivals that he defeated here last week including runner-up Egodan, third-placed Heza Reddy, fourth-placed Velox Equus and Our Missionary Man, who finished last in the field of six.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

For those playing Ride High bingo on Saturday night the numbers are in and the record books look set to be rewritten. Clayton Tonkin’s star pacer is tipped to stamp himself all over the Dalvui Raceway record books in Saturday’s Christians Bus Gammalite Pace, with the short-course records looking well within his reach. A short price to add an 11th straight win, a feat achieved by only 49 other horses since the turn of the millennium, Ride High has left a trail of destruction this campaign, rewriting the record books with blistering mile rates, last halves and quarters. Having won all five starts this campaign, Ride High set the quickest last half at Melton (52.7 second) first up, when he lowered the mark by 0.8 of a second. He followed up with a 1:50.8 mile rate in his next start, the third quickest ever produced at Melton, and then set new last half (53.4 seconds) and third quarter (26.5 second) records at Ballarat. Then came his finest work of art this campaign at Lords Raceway on August 1, when he ripped 2.7 seconds off the track's mile rate record, stopping the clock at 1.49 flat and including a 26.1-second third quarter. And finally, on August 15, his 26.2-second last quarter was half-a-second faster than any horse had hit the line at Shepparton. So what does the Ballarat Beast have to do to enter the Terang records books? Tam Major and Im Sir Blake, who’ll take on Ride High on Saturday night, share the track record (1:53.6 mile rate), while Rocknroll Icon holds the quickest third quarter (27.1 second) and last half (55.5 seconds) and Cant Refuse the quickest last quarter (27 seconds).  Quite extraordinary, Rocknroll Icon set his records as a two-year-old and making his race track debut.   HRV - Michael Howard

A terrific drive at her home track was the fitting showcase for an extraordinary milestone, with Kerryn Manning recording her 1000th victory as a trainer at Stawell yesterday. Valiente’s victory in the Father’s Day Pace was Manning’s 998th Australian win, which coupled with Arden Rooney’s 2015 New Zealand Trotting Cup and Kakoura Cup wins clinched the four-figure achievement. “I hadn’t realized they added up quite so high,” Manning said when advised of her milestone. “That’s made my day feel much better. “I love racing at Stawell and I had also had a little mini-pony born as well, so it’s all very happy.” While Manning’s zeroing in on 4000 driving wins, with 3971 Australian victories to her credit, she said the training milestone was particularly pleasing. “It’s more rewarding to do all the work with the horses and get a victory, especially one that is a bit tricky and also for the owners as well,” she said. “I still remember my first win, which was a grey horse called Special Game.” Manning may have had the $2.40 favourite in the Father’s Day Pace, but it certainly took a class steer to get Valiente to victory by a head, finding an escape route leading into the final turn to sweep wide and salute. It made it four from four for the Mach Three gelding since he joined Manning’s camp. “He has been quite good since he came down,” she said. “It was a bit of a step up for him. “I didn’t think he could win that, but he did a bit of work early and has a good sprint on him and we were able to use that.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Slide into the sulky of Victoria's fastest ever pacer as David Moran complete a hit-out at Lochinvar Art's home track of Shepparton, guiding Trots Vision viewers through every step. Race caller Lachie McIntosh chatted with the trainer-driver as he ripped home in 53.2 seconds amid a 1:56.6 mile rate, an imposing work-out that comes just one week after his lead rival Ride High wowed with a workout of his own. Moran told Trots Vision post hit-out that Lochinvar Art "pulled up good". "He was pretty cocky tonight," he said. "Hopefully he will take a bit out of that and press forward. Whether we go to Terang next week or Bendigo the week after we will need to figure that out.” CLICK BELOW TO SOAK UP THE SHEPPARTON SUPERSTAR   Harness Racing Victoria

Tonight presents a moment for Reactor Now that could well dictate much of the promising pacer’s path for the forthcoming season. Having gone on a tear since joining David Aiken’s stable, winning his last eight of nine with the only failure being a retirement, Reactor Now faces his most stern test in the TAB Long May We Play Pace, which streams on Trots Vision at 8.03pm. A good performance from tonight’s favourable gate one draw could prompt planning for the Group 1 Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup, but before contemplating the $300,000 feature there is much to prove. Reinsman Josh Aiken told Trots Talk a Victoria Cup was “something we really haven’t discussed”. “He’s been an interesting horse, the discussion surrounding him with us and the owners have just been take it a run at a time,” he said. “He’s a big horse, he’s been given time, we are going to continue giving him time. “(Tonight) will be a big test to see how he goes against better quality horses. Best case scenario, if he manages to win this race Saturday night and he mixes his name in with horses like My Kiwi Mate and Hurricane Harley, I think it’s definitely on the table. You just have to see how he matches up to those really classy customers.” The market is certainly optimistic he can, with tab.com.au opening him as a $2 chance for tonight’s sprint race and punters back him into $1.70. Aiken believes their confidence is well founded. “He’s a really nice horse, he’s got loads of raw ability and he wins races in good time comfortably,” he said. “He’s got a stack of ability, he just needs to get some race manners and some tractability and a bit of ring craft. No doubt he’s going places. "You see a lot of horses go through their grades and put races on end. I suppose the most impressive thing is the times he can do it in and the way he’s been able to put opposition horses away.” And that’s the plan tonight, that Reactor Now holds the lead and then has enough in the tank to outsprint My Kiwi Mate, who will likely be parked on his back in Greg Sugars’ hands, and challenges from the likes of returning Hurricane Harley and second up Sicario. “Plan A is definitely to hold the lead,” Aiken said. “You’ve got to take into consideration you have a really classy customer in My Kiwi Mate on your back. You’ve got to give your utmost respect to a horse like that, who’s already been at the top level. A horse like Reactor Now, he’s got all that in front of him. “And you’ve just got to be cautious that you don’t create too much early tempo for a horse like Hurricane Harley. He’s a really classy horse, but on their nights Sicario and Mister Wickham are really deadly as well. “It’s a really fine line between doing your best to hold the front and not creating too much of a first half tempo to bring those other horses into it.” Aiken will also tonight partner a horse who’s been there done that in multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer, who will contest the Your Sold Real Estate Trot. It will be the second start of Big Jack Hammer’s campaign after galloping late when he finished eighth amid a star-studded field, a result Aiken put down “to driver error”. “That was an absolute stinker by me. I was following the winner and probably run a definite second, the way he felt there’s some chance he wins that race,” he said, having moved off Imsettogo’s back from three pegs only to run into traffic. “You can scrub that eight off his name and put it next to mine. “He has come back really good from a freshen up, he’s felt awesome in his trials, he was running out of his skin at Bendigo. It’s a really even field, there’s an argument for every runner. I think that will be a really good race.”   HRV - Michael Howard

You’ll get a great insight into what makes the Shepparton superstar, Lochinvar Art, tick this Saturday, with the 4YO Bonanza and Chariots Of Fire winner to feature as part of the night’s attractions. Trainer-driver David Moran will give Victoria’s quickest ever horse a hit-out on Trots Vision at www.thetrots.com.au from about 7.40pm. Moran will be micced up and chatting with race caller Lachie McIntosh as his four-year-old has a Shepparton hit-out on his road to the October 10 Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup. The work out comes a week after Emma Stewart steered Ride High around Bray Raceway, with Trots Vision viewers in the sulky as the Ballarat Beast produced a 26-second third quarter amid a 52.7-second last half. How fast will Lochinvar Art go? Be sure to tune in to Trots Vision, where the star’s 7.40pm work-out will be among a big program of racing. Race caller Lachie McIntosh will be joined by co-hosts Paul Campbell, who will bring us all the pre-race insights from the Parade Ring, and Daniel Hibberd, who will get the first word from the winning drivers. All’s in readiness for a great night’s racing, which includes a terrific TAB Long May We Play Pace, where Reactor Now will attempt to prove his bona fides against high speed pacers My Kiwi Mate, Sicario and Hurricane Harley. That race will stream at 8.03pm, immediately after brilliant trotter Wobelee locks horns with Group 1 champs Red Hot Tooth, Sundons Courage and Big Jack Hammer in the Your Sold Real Estate Trot at 7.33pm. With Lochinvar Art’s work-out in the middle of the two open-age features it promises to be a half-hour of power on Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au from 7.30pm. RELIVE RIDE HIGH'S BLISTERING LAP FROM THE SULKY: Harness Racing Victoria

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