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There's a great rags-to-riches story unfolding out of Strathdale, where a forgotten horse by the name of Oh Oh Noo is surprising many by his racetrack feats after being snapped up at sales for just $325. Ebony Harris bought the son of Badlands Hanover, who had been used as a trail riding horse following a tendon injury that halted his career in 2016, and was quickly convinced to take him back to the track by her partner Scott Rains. The trainer-driver said while Harris was keen to reignite Oh Oh Noo's career, his previous owners weren't so happy with the comeback plans. But after much discussion and a $2000 sweetener, Rains secured the papers needed to get Oh Oh Noo back behind the mobile. "I looked him up and it turns out he was not too badly performed," Rains said. "My Uncle and Aunty (Phillip and Kathryn) wanted to get involved in a horse and they actually paid the $2000 to get that deal over the line." First-up since a third placing at Menangle in November of 2016, Rains won with the horse at Shepparton in April. Following five subsequent runs, the eight-year-old was then able to produce a career best effort when winning again at Bendigo last week. Oh Oh Noo recorded a mile rate of 1:53.5 while taking out the DNR Logistics Pace (1650m), bettering his previous quickest run of 1:54.1 when successful at Menangle in August 2016. "It was nearly three years that he had off, so it was a real big thrill to get him over the line first-up," Rains said. Rains was quick to pay tribute to Harris, who spends hours and hours massaging the horse and attending to any aches and pains. "He's an older horse - he's rising nine - so it's just all the little things, all the little one-percenters she does with him. She does a big job with him," Rains said. Oh Oh Noo, a gelding out of New Zealand mare Sachem Franco, has now won five of 31 career starts. Immediate plans are to race him in the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo Concession Drivers Pace (1690m) today at Maryborough, where Tayla French has been booked to take the drive from barrier seven. "He's on the up, which I guess is strange for an eight-year-old," Rains said. "His last start probably (shows) that he's going better and better. He's very lightly raced for his age and at the moment he is 100 per cent sound." Rains has long been involved in harness racing and moved down to Victoria from Queensland in 2013. Since taking out his own licence, the 35-year-old has prepared 71 starters for six wins. Oh Oh Noo has delivered a third of those, with last week's victory at Bendigo netting the biggest prizemoney return of his career. "I think that he can definitely go on with the job now, all things being equal," Rains said.   Tim O'Connor HRV Trots Media

Millionaire pacer Arden Rooney is no stranger to creating history and on Saturday night he achieved another milestone. A winner of 21 races including Group 1s the New Zealand Trotting Cup and A. G. Hunter Cup, the retired racetrack superstar is the first horse to be formally adopted as an ambassador by Horseland’s Bendigo store. Manager Kylie Balazs said Horseland Bendigo had a number of sponsored riders, including Harness Racing Victoria HERO Program Retrainer Jason Dins. However, the business has never previously taken an equine ambassador under its wings. “Having a personal background in harness racing, I was already aware of Arden Rooney and his amazing achievements on the track,” Kylie said. “To then see him move into life after racing, where he has been excelling under the training of Steve Cox, has been incredibly heart-warming. “We are proud to support this special horse in his new career and hope that our sponsorship will further raise the profile of retired standardbreds as recreational and pleasure horses, and encourage more people to learn about the breed over the next 12 months.” Arden Rooney is being trained as a liberty horse and made his first public appearance at Elmore Equestrian Centre at the weekend. The appearance coincided with the Elmore EA Equestrian Club’s three-day Inter Schools Qualifier Competition, which drew young riders from throughout the State. The nine-year-old gelding behaved impeccably and won hearts everywhere, completing a demonstration then posing for photographs with a legion of new pony club fans. “I couldn’t have been more proud of Rooney and how well he handled the occasion,” Steve said. “He was a wonderful ambassador for the HERO Program and standardbreds, and did a terrific job in an unfamiliar environment and in front of a crowd. “His race owner, Merv Butterworth, has long said that Rooney enjoys being the centre of attention and that was certainly obvious on Saturday night.” Tanya McDermott for HRV Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria and radio broadcast partner RSN have teamed up to deliver two special extended nights of Vicbred Super Series harness racing finals coverage. Kicking off tonight with the running of the Aldebaran Park Trotters VSS19 Finals, GoodForm's Blake Redden will be based live in the RSN studio throughout the night for his special comments and late mail for the Melton trots. It was only last week Redden tipped listeners of the Grand Circuit podcast and his Twitter followers into Out To Play as his on-top best value play, and the pacer won his Vicbred Super Series semi-final at $151 on TAB fixed odds! Redden's late mail will be much sought after tonight and tomorrow night, but you'll have to be listening to RSN 927 - Victoria's radio home of the trots - for all the news, views and hopefully big-value winners! Meanwhile, the GoodForm team of Jason Bonnington and Redden have delivered THE MOST DETAILED EVER Punters Paradise for the 2019 Alabar and Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series Finals. Check out the most extensive form hub of any code you'll ever see right here. Harness Racing Victoria

On the eve of the new national ratings based handicapping system, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) reminds the industry of this important change and has created a list of “need to know” items to help participants with the transition. Nominations close for the first meeting under the new system close tomorrow (26 June) at noon. HRV released its July programs on June 3. They can be viewed here.   National Ratings Based Handicapping System – Need to Know Each horse’s National Rating (NR) has been live from 1 May and has calculated on racing performances since Field Selection Points will remain as the primary balloting tool independent of NR Horses can race in advance of their rating but cannot have their rating reduced for performances in such races Races run as divisions will not be divided based on NR – current ideals will remain In lower rating races where concession claims don’t apply for eligibility purposes, there may be the facility for concession drivers to claim in the barrier draw only (when stated on race conditions)  Horses that exceed NR criteria after acceptances will be deemed ineligible, however a concession claiming driver may then be applied to remain eligible if they are applicable on the race Concession claims are tiered    5 points for 0-100 lifetime wins    3 points for 101-250 lifetime wins    5 points in metro races for 0-50 lifetime metro wins  Mares allowance is 5 points No provision for dual allowances (mares & concession driver) but may be explored in future Horses imported from New Zealand from 1 July onwards will have their NR calculated on their lifetime performance against the Points Matrix  At metropolitan meetings, only Metro races will be selected manually, the remainder will be selected based on Field Selection Points For the purposes of racing guidelines races will be categorised as follows:    Restricted           $4,500    Career                  $4,501 to $14,999    Metro                   $15,000+   Ratings Points Matrix   HRV Trots Media

Long-time Cranbourne committee man and breeder Les Tilley died on Saturday at age 90. Mr Tilley was a commitee man and secretary of Cranbourne Harness Club for many years, a timekeeper at the Showgrounds and Moonee Valley for about 15 years, and a member of the Standardbred Breeders Association. Mr Tilley and his late wife Joan were members of the VHRC for more than 50 years, when they bred and raced horses successfully. Their best was Group 1 winning trotter Conaroyal and they also had multiple metro winner Desert Chase, who produced recent metro winners Desert Spur and Desert Flyer. The latter won the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Trot at Melton on June 8, the breeder's last winner. HRV sends its condolences to Mr Tilley's family and friends.   Harness Racing Victoria

Quite often the headliners of the Vicbred Super Series the three-year-olds didn’t fail to live up to that top billing in tonight’s eight-heat hit-out at Kilmore. While Kualoa reminded all of her standing with a blistering run among the fillies, the night will be best remembered for the showdown between Emma Stewart’s trio Demon Delight, Hurricane Harley and Centenario, who served up an enthralling match-race that will leave trots fans eagerly anticipating return bouts as the series progresses. It was another remarkable night for Stewart’s stable, capturing five heats to add to Tuesday night’s clean sweep of seven two-year-old wins, but there was also delight in the Jess Tubbs, Matt Craven and Leroy and Danny O’Brien camps as their chargers also tasted success.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings first heat: He may not yet have earned the chops of some of his stablemates but Fourbigmen should be considered a potential Vicbred Super Series winner, says reinsman Chris Alford. Speaking to TrotsVision immediately after the Emma Stewart runner won the night’s first heat by proving himself the best horse in the race in a testing run, Alford said Fourbigmen could make plenty of noise over the next couple of weeks. “He’s probably, on ability, right up with them, he just hasn’t had the luck in the better races and he had a few little quirks, where he could make a mistake now and then,” Alford said. “But he’s putting it all together now and if he had a good run in the final and things went his way he’d be hard to beat.” Owned by a syndicate featuring the Stokie Racing Group, Sue Murray, Fred Crews, Willow and Peter Tonkin, Fourbigmen was bred by Wayne Schulz and Dale Eastman who serviced their mare, Aleppo Heiress, with late Alabar stallion Mach Three. Gifted the widest back row draw, Fourbigmen advanced to the breeze outside Nancys Boy and while Jeff and Tim McLean’s entrant put up plenty of fight the favourite ultimately nudged clear for a 2.3-metre win. “The leader ran a good race at Horsham last time, he’s given him something to chase,” Alford said. “(Fourbigmen) just knocked off a little bit when he went to the front, so I just pulled the plugs out to keep his mind on the job without having to smack him. He ran to the line really well.” Hes An Artist ran third and Titan Bromac fourth to also advance to the June 29 semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, with Major Delico fifth and his qualification to depend on time. And for the Emma Stewart stable, taking into account Tuesday night’s clean sweep, that’s eight on the trot in this year’s Vicbred Super Series. “They seem to have them spot on on these nights and this one was no different,” Alford said.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ first heat: She was challenged in every possible way but patience from reinswoman Kate Gath would see Two Times Bettor eventually grab control and salute in the first of the three-year-old fillies’ heats. Plenty of money had come for David Miles’ polemarker Enchanted Stride in the lead-up but she was tested from the outset with Chooz Reactor (Brian Gath) and Divine Diva (Gavin Lang) out quickly and not only stretching the gate one horse but making Gath bide her time in moving forward on Two Times Bettor from gate five. “The best way to get beat is if you burn too hard too early and get nowhere, so I grabbed hold pretty quick and I was just out there but cruising,” Gath told TrotsVision post-race. “I wasn’t pushing her, then once I moved to the death I thought I’ll have a look for the front and thought she’d probably get it and she did.” As the dust settled Gath rolled to the top with Miles happy to defer and give his filly a final crack in the straight, but Two Times Bettor would prove too strong, winning by 1.7 metres. “She’s really done a terrific job,” Gath said. “The lead time was quite quick and luckily in the middle I could give her a little breather, but she was really good on the line. “She’s such a nice filly to drive and she relaxes really good, she’s got all the attributes there and she’s just getting better at the right time. Her last start before tonight was terrific and she was very good tonight as well.” It would have been a pleasing result for owners and breeders Leslie, Ian and Gary Johnson, whose Bettor’s Delight filly was out of Twice As Hot, who was also the dam of dual Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter ($789,015). With the top eight advancing to the fillies’ semi-finals Two Times Bettor and second-placed Enchanted Stride will be joined by Bettor Robyn, Celerina, Millah Joy, Chezmac, Divine Diva and Edwina Express.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ second heat: This heat win had to mean plenty for co-owner, co-breeder and trainer Jess Tubbs with the filly that carries her farm’s name, Larajay Macray, saluting in fine style for husband and reinsman Greg Sugars. Tubbs shared breeding rights and ownership with long-time family friend Ian Kitchin, who Sugars lauded when speaking to TrotsVision post-race. “Kitch has just been a fantastic supporter of mainly the Tubbs family over many years,” Sugars said. “He’s done the hard yards, been through all the ups and downs, reached pretty high levels but quite a few lows along the way as well. Being a breeder, it probably is the toughest thing you can do in harness racing. “He’s been around a long time and deserves every winner he’s got. This one was bred in partnership with my wife Jess and was the first one they bred in partnership, and she’s turned out to be all right. We are very happy to have her in the stable.” That feeling will only be heightened after Larajay Macray impressed in her Vicbred Super Series heat, finding the front before handing it over to favourite Vena May and then showing plenty of fight in the final quarter. “She gets out of the gate pretty good this one and she has led and won a couple of races and she’s taken a sit and won as well,” Sugars. “She’s starting to strengthen up as she gets a little older too and I took the other one’s back, who was kicking the wheels when it came around and looked pretty keen, so I played the safe option to follow it and thankfully we were able to just grab it up the straight, but it did a very good job and didn’t lay down.” A Sportswriter filly out of Wya Wya Macray, the half-sister to Tee Cee Bee Macray advances to the June 29 semi-finals with Vena May (second), Mona Mia (third), Izzy Jolie, Mornings, Galactic Gal, Speed Dating and Tarzali.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ third heat: Chris Alford’s best laid plans to sit quiet on Kualoa were rewritten by the two-year-old champ who was keen to kick-start her Vincent Vicbred Super Series campaign. Starting from the widest gate, Alford put on the brakes and eased into the running line before putting Kualoa in the race – at her own demand – with over a lap to go. “There was good speed early and I was quite happy just to try and sit back and come with one run, but she just got touching the wheel a little bit and got a bit keen,” he said. “I didn’t want to fight her and just let her stride up and once she rolled to the front she was always in control.” Having emerged three-wide at the top of the straight for the second last time she had found the lead by the bell and was in a class of her own from there, stretching out with 29.4 and 29.6 third and fourth quarters to register a 20-metre win. It was a second Vicbred heat success this season for owner-breeders Bruce and Val Edward, with Kualoa’s (by Art Major) little half-sister Jemstone (by Bettor’s Delight) winning her Vicbred two-year-old heat only two nights prior at Bendigo. And it was also a continuation of the winning ways for trainer Emma Stewart. “As horses you couldn’t ask for better horses to drive, that’s for sure,” Alford said. “(Kualoa) has met some good three-year-olds this year, but she looks the benchmark and hopefully she can have a bit of luck when it comes to the final.” With the top eight advancing to the semi-finals, Kualoa will be joined by stablemate Looking Fabulous (second), Soundslikeart (third), Causing Strife, Fiscal Fantasy, Tryna Portray, Single Tree Road and Headline Act in moving on.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ second heat: Brevity looked like his race was shot to bits in the very early stages but the brave Bettor’s Delight three-year-old just kept giving for reinsman Chris Alford. Having run the quickest lead time of the boys’ heats by 1.5 seconds and followed with the quickest first quarter of the night (28.5 seconds), Brevity looked ripe for the picking for favourite Malcolms Rhythm with the latter’s reinswoman Kima Frenning watching it all unfold from one-out one-back behind Catch A Moment. “His hocks were coming back and hitting the footrest and he was hitting the wheel a bit with his foot and got pretty keen,” Alford said. “He did a really good job just to finish he had gone that hard.” The challengers loomed at the bend but the leader refused to wilt, winning by a neck from Malcolms Rhythm with stablemate Out To Play 1.5m back in third. “He was pretty aggressive that first lap so he did a great job to hang on,” Alford said. “He just puts his head down. He’s never really raced the best ones before but he’s going to measure up.” It was a delightful sight for owner-breeders Russell Maisner, Karen Dunwoodie, Apri and John Chase, with the latter on-course to watch the colt out of Abbreviated for the first time. Major Exclusive ran into fourth for Darby McGuigan and Ted Caruana to book his semi-final spot, with fifth-placed Catch A Moment’s advancement to be determined on time.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ third heat: It was billed as the night’s heavyweight bout and boy did it live up to expectations with Emma Stewart’s star-studded trio Hurricane Harley, Demon Delight and two-year-old Vicbred champion Centenario leaving it all on the Kilmore track. And, remarkably, it was the contender who arguably had it the toughest who emerged triumphant in Demon Delight, who reinswoman Kate Gath placed in the breeze for the last mile – sitting outside leader Centenario and directly in front of Hurricane Harley. “I thought he was tough, he’s always gave me that feel that he had super high speed, but he’s a little machine and I’m just really happy to get the chance to drive him,” Gath said. After first and second quarters that were a tick over 30 seconds, Alford broke open the field with a 26.9 third quarter aboard Centenario but couldn’t shake his stablemates. Demon Delight kept surging out wide and David Moran cut the corner on Hurricane Harley to challenge along the pegs, with the 27.4 last quarter seeing Demon Delight finish 1.6m clear of Hurricane Harley with Centenario 4.9m back in third. “He’s just a consummate racehorse where he relaxes, drops the bit and then goes when you ask him, gets the job done and gets past one and then goes again if another one comes,” Gath said. “I’m not surprised with what he did tonight because he always felt like he was a pretty strong horse.” The delight would have been shared by owners Pam and Russell Hockham who snapped up the Bettor’s Delight colt out of Ghadas Koala for $30,000 at the 2017 Australian Pacing Gold sale. Bred by David Pefferini, Salen Fatrouni and Freddy Taiba, Demon Delight has since banked almost $75,000 in stakes win and is likely the new series favourite. Joining the top three in advancing to the series’ semi-finals was Keith Cotchin’s Betternbetter, while Cee Cee In America ran into fifth and his advancement will be determined by time.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ fourth heat: The Vicbred Super Series has long been the home of a fairytale story or two and this year’s Disney movie applicant may well be Leroy and Danny O’Brien and their entrant Im Sir Blake. Having produced one of the finds of the season in 2017 when Im Princess Gemma won the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic, the pair have plucked another pearler from the Shepparton Mixed Sale in Im Sir Blake. While the latter’s $4000 price was four times that paid for Im Princess Gemma, it’s certainly looking similarly bargain basement after the Rob Watson-bred Alta Christiano gelding blew away his rivals in an eventful front-running performance. Advancing to the breeze from gate four outside leader and co-favourite Perfect Major, Im Sir Blake was a handful for reinswoman Kerryn Manning for much of the running, overracing and continually pressing until finding the front the last time down the back straight. By that stage he’d broken up the field and kept coming, clearing out with a 27.8 third quarter and winning by 12.6m to Perfect Major and 29.9m to Explicit Castle despite closing in his slowest quarter (30.3 seconds) of the race. “The further he goes the keener he gets,” Manning said. “Since he choked down in Adelaide he’s probably drawn the back (row) most of the time and he’s settled pretty good off the back, it’s only when he gets out in the open that he tends to say ‘let’s go’. And when he gets on the chewy he really can get on it quite hard. “I didn’t ask him out of the gate, I really wanted to let him settle the best that I could. He sat up there until probably turning into the back straight for the first time, just started to get a bit keen and the further the race went the keener he got. He had the speed to get across down the back and he knocked off a little bit once he found the front.” There’s room for improvement, but it was a big win on a big stage and much to be satisfied about for co-trainer and co-owner Leroy O’Brien. “He just loves his racing, he’s a little racehorse and at home he’s a kids’ pony, walks around with the grandkids. He’s amazing, he really is.” Joining the first three in the semi-finals was fourth-placed Messerati, with fifth-placed Foolish Pleasure’s advancement time dependent.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ fifth heat: Crime Writer looked ripe for the picking at the final turn as Emma Stewart’s Always Fast loomed large in reinswoman Kima Frenning’s hands, but the Sportswriter gelding put his head down and punched on to record a satisfying victory for trainer-driver Matt Craven. “It wasn’t anything sensational but he was headed on the corner into the straight, he fought back and on the line he was going as good as he was at the top of the lane, so that was very pleasing,” Craven told TrotsVision post-race. A fourth victory in his 20 starts, which also brought up Craven’s 50th driving win of the season, came by a neck over Always Fast for owner-breeders Tony and Pamela Coniglia, who bred their mare Our Crime Of Passion to Sportswriter to produce the winner. “Hopefully he will continue to improve off the back of that run,” Craven said. “We left a little bit in the locker, so hopefully as things progress, and we’ve still got to progress through next week to the final which is never easy, but the first step’s there and we’ll see how we go.” A good performance in the June 29 semi-final and potentially July 6 final to follow could convince the stable to take the three-year-old north for the Queensland Derby. “You ask a lot of them as a three-year-old, especially if you think they go OK and you chase the big money. We’ve got in the back of our mind that, if he comes through this series well, we could head to Queensland. The good part about this fella is not much worries him wherever he’s been and even at home, he’s pretty much a cruiser and he settles in pretty well.” In addition to Always Fast, third-placed Rossini – who was beaten only 2.5m having boxed on well from leader’s back – and fourth-placed Firestorm Red will also advance to the semi-finals, while fifth-placed Belittled’s progression is time dependent.   Michael Howard  for Trots Media

HRV Trots Media today published the first edition of a new weekly online news and views harness racing column called The Score Up<>. The Score Up<> will be published at every Monday. It will be written in a way that encourages conversation and social media input. By encouraging people to join the conversation on platforms such as Twitter, it aims to promote positive and robust discussion among fans whilst also giving industry participants - trainers and drivers - the chance to positively promote their own social media profile. Recently HRV Trots Media also committed to daily Inside Word podcasts, designed to give fans and the wagering audience valuable insights for every Victorian harness racing meeting from those putting on the show - the trainers and drivers. The Inside Word podcast can be heard via, Soundcloud<> and through any of the handy podcast apps - including Apple Podcasts on your iPhone (simply search for Trots Media and subscribe to our channel so you don't miss any of our content). Already we've had over 2200 listens to Inside Word podcasts since the first edition was launched on June 4. And finally, Trots Vision at will feature an on-track host for all Alabar and Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series race meetings. HRV and the host clubs have worked together to ensure viewers watching at home will hear from the stars of the sulky as soon as they've won during these big meetings in the next fortnight. Night one is tomorrow at Bendigo where Kirsten Graham and Paul Campbell will feature. HRV Trots Media will also stream the barrier draws for the Vicbred Super Series finals from Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night June 29. Keep following our social media feeds for more information on VSS19. Cody Winnell [Harness Racing Victoria]

A menacing line-up on the outside of the front row has served up a tantalising Wagon Apollo Trotters Free For All this Saturday night, but having been there done that so often the confidence and comfort in Team Gath is high. McLovin will stride from gate 5, directly outside Group 2 winner Maori Law and inside multiple Group 1 winning champs Big Jack Hammer and Kyvalley Blur, a prospect McLovin's reinswoman Kate Gath was relishing. "We'll go forward and hopefully he takes a pretty forward position," Gath told RSN 927's One Out One Back. "It's got a little bit of depth in the race. I'm really looking forward to seeing Big Jack Hammer back and obviously Maori Law is a quality horse as well. "We'll just have to see what happens when we get out there, but I'm really looking forward to it and I have no doubt (McLovin) will run really well." Confidence in trainer Andy Gath's camp is well-founded with McLovin's record of 12 starts for the stable for seven wins and four placings coming on the tail of stablemate Tornado Valley's dominant 12 months at the head of Victorian trotting. The biggest beneficiary of this success has been Norm Jenkin, owner of both. "Andy's trained horses for (Norm) for over 20 years I think, a few years back he had a couple of years break where Andy wasn't training for him and then he came back and is really interested in buying going horses from New Zealand," Kate said. "Lucky for us and lucky for him Andy's done a terrific job in picking them out and finding them and it's really snowballed from there." McLovin returned to the winners' list with victory in last Friday's Bendigo Bank Trotters Cup, which drew the final curtain on the Trots Country Cups Championship's season. Kate said it was pleasing to get her hands back on some silverware after McLovin had to settle for placings at her previous four starts. "I knew he would have to make a move at some stage to be able to win it and we were able to do that," Kate said. "It was a field that didn't have a Savannah Jay Jay in it or a real stand out, so I think that helped, but it was a terrific run. It just showed how strong he is, the way he finished the race off on the line it felt like he could have kept going. "It was just really good to pick up a feature race because a few starts prior he's just been a little unlucky, he's run terrific but just got nabbed on the line." HRV Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) this morning released the racing program for July -the first month of the national ratings-based handicapping system. View the programs here "It's important our participants have as much time as possible to plan their programs for July and so I want to thank my team for their hard work and methodical approach to ensuring these programs were ready to go this week," HRV General Manager -Racing Stephen Bell said. "Moving forward, initially we'll be releasing the programs on a month-by-month basis to ensure we can be as dynamic as possible and provide the right programs for our horse population, then we'll move towards releasing programs in two-month blocks. "Importantly we'll be critically reviewing everything as we go, flexible and willing to tinker with our approach to programming depending on the fluidity of horse population." HRV has set an e-mail and would love to hear feedback on all aspects of the new system: Programs for August will be published on Monday July 1. Bell will be on RSN's Gait Speed tomorrow morning with Blake Redden.   Cody Winnell MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) issues the following statement regarding today’s media release from Victoria Police, which states that “in relation to alleged harness race fixing in Shepparton … a 49- year-old Kilmore man was charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome, and use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes” (read Victoria Police media release here). Quotes attributable to HRV General Manager – Integrity Brent Fisher: “HRV welcomes ongoing cooperation with Victoria Police. “Today’s charges came about following a HRV investigation, which saw the HRV Integrity Unit identify suspicious activity at Shepparton on 17 July, 2018, secure evidence and alert Victoria Police for further investigation. “As charges have been laid HRV will not be commenting any further on this matter.”   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria’s May and June $1500 breeding vouchers are helping keep breeders in the game. To date, 26 fillies and mares’ races have been run since HRV announced on March 28 that for a two-month period all 177 fillies and mares’ races would carry a $1500 breeding voucher bonus – $1000 to the breeder and $500 to the owner. This is a stimulus of $115,500 to the breeding industry. Ian Kitchin and Stephen Clarke are two of 25 individual breeders who have so far picked up a $1000 breeding voucher in May. Kitchin bred Larajay Macray, who he races with trainer Jess Tubbs, while Clarke bred, races and trains Miss McGonagall. Because Kitchin and Clarke not only bred their fillies but also race them, they will each pick up the full $1500 worth of vouchers. “I shelled out $35,000 two years ago and $25,000 last year, anything coming back the other way certainly makes things much more palatable and this will certainly help keep people in the breeding game,” Kitchin said. “Absolutely I welcome this initiative. It will help lessen the burden on the breeders and that’s really important.” Clarke, who calls himself a “small breeder”, said the $1500 incentive would probably be the difference between breeding next season and not. “Hell yeah,” he declared. “It certainly does help. Perhaps at this stage to be honest I hadn’t been thinking about breeding at all, but this helps out a lot and is probably not good news for my wife because she reckons I’ve got too many horses as it is. “The more we can get back the better. The more incentive, especially for the smaller breeders, perhaps this can help also get our mares served by the more upmarket stallions.” Breeding vouchers bonuses will continue to be attached to all Victorian fillies and mares’ races until the end of June, and HRV also announced this week that all 12 Vicbred Super Series winners would receive a $1500 breeding voucher this year.   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced a crackdown on trainers presenting horses to race with an elevated TC02 (total carbon dioxide) level. HRV Integrity will implement a new policy on June 1 designed to reduce the number of horses presenting with elevated TC02 levels and disrupt/prevent the likelihood of illegal raceday treatment. For there to be a breach of the prohibited substance rules in regard to the elevated TC02 in a blood sample taken from a horse, the level needs to exceed 37mmol/L (36mmol/L +/-1mmol/L). From June 1, where a blood sample collected from a horse returns a TC02 level of greater than 35.1mmol/L, HRV stewards will implement one of the following options for that horse’s next three race starts. Option A 1. The trainer of the relevant horse shall ensure it is present on course no less than four hours prior to the scheduled start time in which the horse is entered at a Victorian harness racing meeting. 2. Should a trainer fail to present the horse by the required time the horse shall be withdrawn from the race and the trainer may be subject to penalty. 3. Should the horse be transferred to another trainer within the period of 3 starts the new trainer can make application for the restrictions to be lifted by HRV stewards. 4. HRV will publish a list on its website of all horses required to be presented under this policy. Option B 1. The trainer of the horse which returned an elevated TC02 level shall be retained on course for a minimum of three hours after the horse has completed its scheduled race at a Victorian harness racing meeting. 2. Should a trainer fail to abide by this requirement the trainer may be subject to a penalty. 3. Should the horse be transferred to another trainer within the period of three starts the new trainer can make application for the restrictions to be lifted by HRV stewards. 4. HRV will publish a list on its website of all horses required to be presented under this policy.   Option C 1. The Stewards shall attend the registered training address of the trainer of the horse which returned the elevated TC02 level for as long as is deemed reasonably necessary on the day of the race to supervise the pre-race preparation of the subject horse(s) when engaged at a Victorian race meeting. The intention of this action is to disrupt and prevent the likelihood of any race day treatment occurring. 2. Should a trainer fail to abide or hinder this requirement the trainer may be subject to penalty. 3. Should the horse be transferred to another trainer within the period of 3 starts the new trainer can make application for the restrictions to be lifted by HRV Stewards. 4. HRV will publish a list on its website of all horses required to be presented under this policy. One of the above options will be chosen at the discretion of stewards, with consideration given to factors which include – but are not limited to – current intelligence, venue of the race meeting, and other options that may have been utilised in respect of that horse and/or licenced trainer. Trainers may seek to spell the horse while these obligations are in place and stewards shall enforce these options irrespective of the time taken for the three starts to elapse. Trainers may also seek to race the subject horse in quick succession in order for their obligation to be completed as soon as possible. At this stage there will be no minimum time period allocated for such obligations to be completed by the trainer, however stewards will review this policy within six months and if deemed necessary make changes after further consultation with the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association.   Harness Racing Victoria Cody Winnell

The trots will be taking part in the 3AW Very Special Kids 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge. This Friday (May 24) Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager – Marketing Andrew English (pictured preparing at the gym) will pound the treadmill from 8.30am on the Neil Mitchell show and he’s encouraging the industry to dig deep to support a wonderful cause. “You simply can’t put into words the importance of the work performed by the Very Special Kids organisation,” Mr English said. “This vital service, looking after children with life-threatening conditions and their families, costs more than $8.5million every year to provide, so the organisation relies on the generosity of Victorians and corporate sponsorship. “I’m encouraging everyone today, all trots fans and industry participants especially, to dig deep and contribute what you can so that families and children receive the support they deserve at such a traumatic time in their lives.” Very Special Kids cares for children with life-threatening conditions by providing a children’s hospice and professional family support services.  3AW‘s studio treadmills will be in continuous motion for 24 hours and the station is hoping it can help contribute at least $20,000 to the overall goal of $1 million. Mr English has been getting into shape for the Challenge at the Racing Victoria on-site gym and says he feels ready to perform on the big stage. “I’m looking forward to doing my part although I would say to anyone who thinks time flies, try getting on a treadmill for half an hour! I’ll just be concentrating on staying upright for my slot,” he said. Various trots programs, HRV HERO, Trots Vision at, Own the Moment and GoodForm have kicked off the harness donations with $250 each adding to the industry’s early fundraising tally of $1000. To donate to the cause visit the website:   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Vicbred horses raced for $9.13million more stakemoney than other horses in Victoria during season 2017-18. Last season, Vicbred horses picked up $4.6m in Vicbred win bonuses, while a further $4.5m of stakemoney was paid out on Vicbred-only races. This week Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) launched its 2019 Vicbred Super Series campaign, with the key message “Why wouldn’t you be Vicbred”? HRV CEO David Martin said it was important for a fresh approach to the Vicbred Super Series, one which focuses on the breeders and industry participants. “A vibrant local breeding industry is crucial to the overall wellbeing of our industry as a whole and the Vicbred program is a critical component,” Mr Martin said. “Vicbred eligible horses race for extra stakemoney through races and bonuses, so it certainly makes sense to think locally and think Vicbred during breeding season. “HRV and Harness Breeders Victoria are working hard and in regular consultation to look at ways to stimulate the breeding industry and the Vicbred program as we confront the historical challenge of a worldwide downturn in harness foal numbers.” Imamenace, who caused a boilover winning the 2014 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotting Final   --Stuart McCormick photo A new naming rights partner has been signed for the pacing Vicbred Super Series this year, Alabar coming on board to join Aldebaran Park which sponsors the trotting races. “Alabar and Aldebaran Park have a deep appreciation and understanding of the breeding industry and the Vicbred program and we’re rapt they’re both on board with HRV to support this important race series,” HRV General Manager – Marketing Andrew English said. HRV today announced it will for the first time attach a $1500 breeding voucher to all 12 of this year’s Group 1 Vicbred Super Series finals. “When we announced the $1500 breeding vouchers for all fillies and mares’ races in May and June we said there would be more announcements on the way and this was one of those,” HRV General Manager – Racing Stephen Bell said. “Today’s announcement means a further $18,000 worth of breeding vouchers will be made available for Vicbred Super Series winning owners and breeders to reinvest in the local industry. “These vouchers are in addition to the $115,500 we committed to be reinvested to the industry through the May/June fillies and mares’ races.” This year’s VSS marketing campaign is centred on the Vicbred horse’s journey from foaling to racehorse to Vicbred champion. Explaining the concept, Mr English said: “Winning a Group 1 race is the dream and over the years the Vicbred Super Series has allowed stables big and small to taste top-level success. These are inspirational stories to tell; stories like Betty Hall and Immanence in recent years. This is what Vicbred is all about.” Flojos Gold, from Mildura, who won the 2015 2YO Vicbred Super Series Final   -Stuart McCormick photo July 5 and 6 will see two enormous nights of Vicbred Super Series action at Tabcorp Park Melton.  The Friday night will be all about the trotter as the finalists in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series battle it out for supremacy.  The following Saturday night is all about the pacers as the Alabar Vicbred Super Series draws to an exciting climax with a cocktail function in the Legends Room on-course. Importantly, connections (including breeders) of Vicbred finalists will be treated to an evening of entertainment unlike any other as the “corporate” function becomes a colourful Vicbred celebration in the Legends Dining Room.   HRV Trots Media Cody Winnell

One of world harness racing’s all-time greatest drivers Chris Alford will join RSN’s Matt Stewart for a one-hour special edition of Open Mic tomorrow from 9am. Alford is approaching 7000 career winners and is at the peak of his powers, over 100 winners clear this season on the national premiership with 268 victories from 1121 starts. The champion reinsman has driven 99 Group 1 winners and looks a huge chance to crack the century when Tell Me Tales lines up in Saturday night’s $100,000 Benstud Queen of the Pacific at Tabcorp Park Melton. Tune into RSN (927am or streamed at from 9am tomorrow as Stewart takes a trip down memory lane with the man they call “the Puppet”.   Cody Winnell

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager of Racing Stephen Bell today reaffirmed HRV's commitment to being "upfront and transparent with participants" regarding the national ratings based handicapping system, which the industry nationally has committed to from July 1. Mr Bell told HRV's Trots Media, "We need to get as much information out as possible about this exciting initiative that's going to hit Australia wide. It's really important for the trainers, owners and all the participants out there to know exactly what's happening with the new system when it comes out to play on the first of July."  HRV today released a document (view it here) explaining in detail the rationale behind the current ratings, which have been visible since May 1.   Cody Winnell  Trots Media

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