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Aaron Merriman had a big night at MGM Northfield Park on Wednesday (January 13) winning seven times on the 15-race program. Aaron's harness racing triumphs were with Taco Tuesday ($3.20) in race three, Difference Maker ($5.80) in race four, Rooney Blue Chip ($3.20) in race seven, Down On My Luck ($7.20) in race eight, Sir Pugsley ($3.20) in race 13, Catch Me Conrad ($2.80) in race 14 and Arthur Pendragon ($5.20) in race 15. Merriman won his first race in 1998, a $2,200 conditioned event at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio, aboard Albert's Filly. Since breaking his maiden, Aaron has scored almost 13,000 more times with purse earnings over $86.5 million. MGM Northfield Park has announced a $20,000 guaranteed Pick 5 total pool for Saturday’s (January 16) race card.  Beginning in Race 6, the $20,000 guarantee includes a carryover of $4,495. The guarantee is being offered at part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association.  The evening’s eighth race starts the 50¢ (non-jackpot) Pick 6 offering a $7,082 carryover. Northfield’s Pick 3s, Pick 4s, Pick 5, Pick 6 and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced take-out rate of just 14%.  Saturday’s post time is 4:20 PM.   Ayers Ratliff

Moments of Joy is victorious in the Mares Select Pace at Dover Downs on Wednesday night. Moments of Joy benefitted from a textbook, perfect harness racing drive by Victor Kirby, and won the Mares Select Pace at Dover Downs. Moments Of Joy and My Last Bet left alertly for early race position at the quarter. My Last Bet and Montrell Teague Jr. rushed back to the top as Moments Of Joy accepted the pocket. My Last Bet, broke the beam, at the quarter in 26.4.  She continued on the lead to the half in 55.3. Edge Of Eternity moved 1st over, past the half, and pressured My Last Bet through the three quarters in 1:23.4.  They matched strides pacing that quarter in 28.1. In the stretch, Victor Kirby and Moments Of Joy saved every inch of ground on the rail, and won by three quarters of length in 1:52.4  Moments of Joy returned $9 for the win. Moments Of Joy (Western Terror) is owned and trained by Bryan Truitt. Victory Kirby drove. Edge Of Eternity, eventually, wore down pacesetter My Last Bet and finished second for trainer Chuck Crissman Jr. and driver Corey Callahan. Scuola Hanover finished a fast closing third.  Andrew Stafford was the trainer.  Art Stafford Jr. was the driver. Racing continues on Thursday as Soho Burning Love A, takes on the boys, in the 12th race Open Pace.  Post Time at Dover Downs is 4:30 pm.     Alex Kraszewski Dover Downs

By Courtney Clarke - Harness Racing NZ Harness Racing New Zealand is excited to announce our Team Teal Ambassadors for 2021. All female drivers in New Zealand will wear teal driving pants from February 1 to March 14 to raise awareness and funds for Ovarian Cancer.  In addition to that our four ambassadors will wear teal designed silks to further promote the cause.  The ambassadors for 2021 are Nicky Chilcott (North Island), Alicia Harrison (North Island), Samantha Ottley (South Island) and Ellie Barron (South Island).  We are also pleased to announce that the individual sponsors for each of our ambassadors have agreed to come on board again to support the campaign.  Nicky Chilcott: Whales Harness (Craig Thompson) Alicia Harrison: Arbonne (Ange Herlihy) Samantha Ottley: Harcourts (Stevie Golding) Ellie Barron: McCallums Group Most of our Clubs racing during the campaign have also committed to donating to the cause this year as well as Harness Racing NZ who will donate $100 per female win. We are also extremely thankful of the support from Woodlands Stud who have agreed to be a part of the campaign again in 2021 and will donate $100 per female win. Various clubs will also host teal themed events this year including, Team Teal racedays, ladies only races, and fashion in the field, to help in the fundraising efforts. We are looking forward to announcing some exciting events very soon on our website https://www.hrnz.co.nz/team-teal-2020/ Founded by Duncan McPherson in Victoria in 2014, the campaign was started to help raise awareness and raise funds for research of Ovarian Cancer. McPherson lost his wife to Ovarian Cancer and vowed to continue her fight, and has grown the movement from Victoria, to nationwide Australia and now New Zealand. If anyone would like to be involved in the Team Teal Campaign or would like any further information please contact Courtney Clarke at Harness Racing NZ - courtney@hrnz.co.nz or 027 635 4355

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 13, 2020 — Swinging wide off excessive cover through the final turn, Jeffery P roared through the lane and captured Wednesday’s $16,200 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Jeffery P raced third over down the backside, cover that he probably didn’t need because it forced him well wide in the stretch. But he had a ton of trot for Dave Palone and sailed past th pack to triumph in 1:54.4, 3/4 lengths better than his rallying stablemate, Lady’s Dude. Jessiejesorjessica completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Jeffery P, a 6-year-old Full Count-Betty Jean gelding who lifted his career bankroll to $195,523, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Palone collected three wins on the 13-race card, including a pair for Burke. Live harness racing at The Meadows continues Thursday when the 13-race program features a $4,679.25 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Grove City, Ohio – Penpaperpaige had a September to remember, winning the Ohio Sires Stakes Final and the Ohio Breeders Championship on her way to being named the 2020 Ohio 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year. Penpaperpaige, the daughter of Pet Rock out of Park Lane Paige won four of her 12 starts, hitting the board nine times winning $250,080 for trainer Jeff Smith and owner Shirley Le Vin.  As a two-year-old, Penpaperpaige won the Buckeye Stallion Series final.  In her three-year-old season, she jumped ranks to the Ohio Sire Stakes and was a champion again.  She won the $300,000 OSS Final at Eldorado Scioto Downs and then won the OBC at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Smith credits his son Tyler for much of the horse’s success.  “Tyler has done an excellent job driving her.  He deserves all the credit.  If it weren’t for him getting her around the track, she wouldn’t be where she is,” said Smith.  Penpaperpaige will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Monticello, NY – On Wednesday afternoon January 13, former 3 time Monticello Raceway Leading dash winning harness racing driver James Devaux scored a Grand Slam on the 10 race card.  Devaux scored in the first race with Six Bax (1:59.2 - $5.70) the son of Kadabra has now won 2 in a row.  Luigi Bizacko (1:59.4 - $7.40) earned a new lifetime mark in the effort for trainer Joe Skowyra for Devaux’s second win.  In the $8,900 Open Trot, James scored with Sweet Royalty (2:01 - $11.80) Sweet Royalty is trained and owned by Steven Ray of New Berlin, NY.  The final win of the afternoon was aboard Elite Five (PP8) 1:59.4 - $5.00, the 4-year-old mare by Always a Virgin is trained by Chris McCracken. Also on the card, Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Mike Merton each drove home 2 winners and trainer Robert Lounsbury had 2 winners hail from his stable.   By: Shawn Wiles

It’s Time For Fun has brought plenty of pleasure to the Wilfong family over the years and trainer Brett Wilfong hopes the 6-year-old female pacer will add to the enjoyment in 2021. Lynn Wilfong, Brett’s dad, bred and owns It’s Time For Fun, who was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion at age 3. She has earned $312,395 during her harness racing career, winning 17 of 71 races and cashing a paycheck 55 times. After a brief bout with sickness, It’s Time For Fun makes her seasonal debut in Friday’s $22,500 open for fillies-and-mares at Miami Valley Raceway. Kyle Wilfong, Brett’s son, will be in the sulky, leaving from post five in a field of nine. It’s Time For Fun is 8-1 on the morning line. Miss You N is the 3-1 favorite. “I think if she stays healthy, she could have her best year this year,” Brett Wilfong said. “She’s going to have to battle the open mares or the class below that all year, but if we can keep her healthy, she can have a good year. She tries hard that last quarter, and that’s worth a lot. She has a real good closing kick. “She’s pretty competitive in that top class. If you can go for $15,000 to $25,000 every week, you can have a pretty good year.” It’s Time For Fun closed last season with five consecutive on-the-board finishes, including one victory. Earlier in the campaign, she finished second in the Indiana Sire Stakes championship for older female pacers. In 2018, It’s Time For Fun won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship at odds of 11-1 with Kyle Wilfong at the lines at Hoosier Park. “That sure was a nice evening,” Brett said. “There are a lot of good memories.” It’s Time For Fun is a daughter of Skydancer Hanover out of Irwin’s Character. She was limited to six starts at age 2 because of a foot infection, but Brett liked the horse all along. “We thought she had a lot of potential,” Brett said. “She was a beautiful animal. She could pace free-legged, didn’t really need the hobbles too much. She just had an effortless gait. Once she got over her foot infection, she had a lot more opportunity to show what she really was.” The Wilfongs owned It’s Time For Fun’s sire and dam. The family, which has farms in Indiana and Illinois, has bred hundreds of horses over the years. “It’s very family oriented,” Brett said about the Wilfongs’ involvement in harness racing. “Everyone is active, everyone enjoys the races, enjoys the horses. My mom (Barbara) and dad enjoy watching the races and they raise the yearlings and take care of some of the broodmares. Dad needs to be occupied. When you’ve been a self-employed horseperson your whole life it’s hard to sit down and not do anything.” Lynn Wilfong was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame last year. In addition to breeding and racing, he helped lobby for pari-mutuel racing in Indiana and spent a dozen years as president of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Association. In 1993, he received the very first Breeders Award given by the Standardbred Owners and Breeders of Indiana, now known as the Indiana Standardbred Association. “It’s a night we won’t forget,” Brett said. “My dad and uncle Ralph were part of the grassroots effort in Indiana to get pari-mutuel betting passed in the state legislature. My dad has a lot of ties other than owning a lot of horses over the years. I know my dad was very proud of it. It was pretty special for our whole family. “We have a lot of good memories.” With It’s Time For Fun aiming to create more.   by Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Demolition Man will be looking to shed his bridesmaids tag at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday when he contests the Kidz Kartz Course Starts Jan 18th Book Today Trot (2200m). The Trevor Phillips-trained entire has finished runner-up on 11 occasions, including his last three starts, and his connections are hopeful he will be able to finally breakthrough for his maiden win on Thursday. Phillips believes had it not been for his breathing issues, the five-year-old would have a number of wins under his belt by now. “He is going well. He has just got a few breathing issues that we are trying to sort out at the moment,” he said. “He has got a Cornell Collar on now, which shows he has got a breathing problem, hopefully that works.” Phillips has been pleased with the way Demolition Man has been performing of late and he is hopeful of another bold showing on Thursday. “Last start was a nice run,” he said. “They just outsprinted him. He is not a sit and sprint horse, he likes them to bowl along a bit. “The week before he had them shot to bits. He had about four or five lengths on them turning for home, and I thought he was in, but he flipped his palate.” Demolition Man now boasts 11 seconds and three thirds from 22 starts, and Phillips said much of that success has come down to his impeccable racing manners. “He has got the manners and that’s what takes him a long way,” Phillips said. “He puts in his best all the time, he is a really honest little fella. “If he steps, which he should do, he will be in it for a long way.” Demolition Man has drawn seven and will be driven by local reinsman Kyle Marshall. TAB bookmakers have installed him as a $1.95 favourite, ahead of Storms Acoming at $4.20, and Skyzrclearnsunny at $5.

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Cambridge today with a ten race program starting at 5:31pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Cambridge selections 14th January 2021 Best Bet:  R1 Demolition Man Best Value:  R5 Majestic Harry   Race 1 Demolition Man Doris Rae Storms Acoming Skyzrclearnsunny   Race 2 Brodie Lindenny Mailman Betterzippit Scottish Poacher   Race 3 Dun It Bad Bugalugs Ticking Over Roma Rosa   Race 4 Spirit Of Anzac Fleeting Grin Classey Robin Prodigal Pete   Race 5 Majestic Harry Littlebitoflove Safrakova Berrylicious Babe   Race 6 Ruby Mach Prop Rock Crimson Rain Pacing Hope   Race 7 About Turn Ace Strike On A Roll American Me   Race 8 Hezacrocwatcher Down The Hatch Show Me Heaven Sarandon    Race 9 The Last Gamble Delson Monkey Selfie Still Eyre   Race 10 Captain Nemo Miss Hathaway Jungle Gem Express Play   Harnesslink Media

The 2020 Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award winner will be announced as part of the United States Harness Writers Association’s (USHWA) Dan Patch Virtual Awards Show on Saturday, Jan. 16, from 5-6 p.m. This Virtual Awards Show has been made possible in large part by Jason Settlemoir and The Meadowlands, Roberts Communications Network, and the United States Trotting Association (USTA). The winner of the Caretaker of the Year Award, sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie’s Fair Island Farm, will receive a cash prize of $500 and a plaque with a photo of the caretaker and a favorite horse. Sixteen names were submitted to the seven-member committee, all USHWAns who had been caretakers, that was tasked to select the winner. Here are those names, with the stable for which they work noted in parentheses:   Erin Bonno (George Ducharme) Margaret Gillon (Ron Burke) Bethany Graffam (Graffam Stable) Shelly Greico (Linda Toscano) Michelle Hallett (John Hallett) Kim Hines (Jason Robinson) Diane Lewis (Joe Holloway) Trish Nappi (Cory Deyermand) Lisa Palmiter (Chris Lakata) Katie Remmerswaal (Nancy Takter) Kelly Smith (Chuck Sylvester) Sierra Smith (Gerry Sarama) Anki Wernis (Jim Campbell) Dave Wisher (Joe MacDonald) Vicki Wright (Noel Daley) Cheyenne Yoder (James Yoder)   The Dan Patch Awards Show can be watched live on USHWA’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/USHarnessWriters), as well as through the Meadowlands simulcast signal, on the track’s website (www.playmeadowlands.com) and through the RTN broadcast network. The next day it will also be archived and available on USHWA’s website (www.usharnesswriters.com) and Facebook page as well as the USTA’s YouTube channel.   (USHWA)

Anderson, IN— January 13, 2021—Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino announced today that they are seeking an experienced track announcer for the upcoming harness racing season. The track announcer position has potential to be a full-time, salaried position with benefits or be tailored to a per diem schedule. Track announcer experience in harness racing is required. Interested and qualified candidates should send resumes and audio examples directly to Vice President and General Manager of Racing Rick Moore at rmoore9@caesars.com. Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s 28th season of live racing will begin on Friday, March 26 and extend through Saturday, December 4. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., Harrah’s Hoosier park will offer 160 days of racing and bring back Sunday live racing cards. Beginning on March 26, racing will be held on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule through mid-May before adding Sunday evenings. The full schedule continues through September before dropping back down to a Wednesday through Saturday schedule through December 4. For the first time ever, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will also offer live racing on both the night before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving night. More information about Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino can be found at www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   Kiersten Flint VP of Marketing, Harrah’s Hoosier Park

Grove City, Ohio – Action Uncle picked up in 2020 where he left off, winning nine races on the way to being named the Ohio 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Action Uncle, the son of Uncle Peter out of Action Broadway, started ten times in 2020, winning nine and finishing second once.  He earned $351,960 for harness racing trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owners Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland, and Larry Wills. In 16 career starts, Action Uncle has 12 wins, three second place finishes and one third place with earnings of $577,535. It is the second straight year that Action Uncle has won the year-end award as the top trotter in his division. Last year he was named the 2019 Ohio 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year.  An Ohio Triple Crown winner in 2020, Action Uncle set a world record in the Ohio Breeders Championship on the Delaware County Fairgrounds half-mile track tripping the wire in 1:52.4. “It’s a thrill to train him,” said Morgan.  “He is a special horse, arguably the best trotter I have ever trained, and I have trained some very nice trotters including his mom.” Action Uncle will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Pompano Beach, FL...January 13, 2021...While Cult Icon took top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace for mares, most of the scuttlebutt came in the very next race for the mares as a rare occurrence was witnessed when stablemates Happy Heart and Glenferrie Blade dead-heated in their event with two Hall-of-famers--both with 10,000 plus career wins--were in their respective sulkies. Wally Hennessey and David Miller shared the spotlight as Happy Heart, handled by Hennessey, and Glenferrie Blade. with Miller in her sulky, hit the wire with no separation. Both mares are trained by Melissa Beckwith with Happy Heart owned by Thomas Mc Tygue and Glenferrie Blade owned by Mark Beckwith. At the outset, these two were involved in a three horse duel for the top spot as Evas Sports Czech, handled by Walter La Freniere, Jr., joined Happy Heart and Glenferrie Blade in that early scuffle. At the :27.1 opener, Happy Heart made the top with Glenferrie Blade pressing on to take charge shortly thereafter, taking the field to a half in :56. On the backside. Odds On Cheddar, outside every step thus far, reached third while Northern Swift was on a double-bubble binge from last, reaching second around the final turn with Glenferrie Blade patiently waiting for some room to roam turning for home after the 1:24.4 three-quarters. In the lane, Happy Heart fought on gamely but drifted out slightly allowing Glenferrie to shoot on through along the pylons and get up for the tie in the last stride. Evas Sports Czech did finish third while Northern Swift and Big Bad baby were next in the octet. Happy Heart, Glenferrie Blade A Both Hall of Famers had something to say about the rare event with Miller saying, "you know, I thought I might have gotten there but it was too close to call. Mark (Beckwith) said his mare likes the front end so I tried to put her there but when Wally (Hennessey) retook, I thought a two-hole trip wouldn't be so bad, after all. I guess my patience paid off and was happy to share the winner's circle in the win." Hennessey said, "I didn't know...I was hoping we held on but wasn't sure. Dave's (Miller) mare is a lot bigger than mine, so I didn't know. Happy Heart might be a smaller horse but she has a very big heart!" Happy Heart is an eight year-old daughter of Woodstock and achieved her 30th lifetime win, sending her career bounty to $43,889 while Glenferrie Blade, the Aussie bred, is the 10 year-old daughter of Mach Three. She got her 23rd career victory with her career earnings vaulting to $266,296. In sharing the win pool, both mares paid $2.10 to win. A few minutes earlier, Cult Icon, with Hennessey at her controls, put in a gritty performance, scoring in 1:51.4 in the $11,000 Open Handicap for Mares after taking charge just after the :27.1 opener and carding subsequent fractions of :56.1 and 1:23.2 along the way. Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was second, 1 3/4 lengths away, while favored Crisp Mane (David Miller) was third. Another Beach Day and Image Of A Dream also picked up checks in the classy sextet. Cult Icon, a six year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, is trained by Trent Stohler, who trains for the Stable. She now has 20 lifetime wins and earnings of $278,407. As third choice in the betting, Cult Icon paid $8.80 to win. Cult Icon Racing continues on Wednesday night with a $15,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool and a Super Hi-5 carryover of $93,236.75. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

January 10, 2021 - Fado du Chene (6m Singalo-Star du Chene), off at 2.3/1 odds, captured the harness racing Gr. II monte Prix du Calvados (purse130,000€, 2850 meters for 4-11 year olds International) at Vincennes timed in 1.12.5kr. Paul Philippe Ploquin was the jockey for breeder/owner Claude Guedy and trainer Julien LeMer. Fado du Chene won for the 14th timed in his career that has yielded 873,400€. The 11/1 Freeman de Houelle (6m Vigove) was second with Eric Raffin in the irons for trainer/breeder Franck Leblanc. The 2.9/1 second choice Daida de Vandel (8f Real de Loo) took third with Alexandre Abrivard up. Dynamite Marceaux and Etoile de Bruyere completed the top five. Fado du Chene The fine four-year old Hohneck (4m Royal Dream-Caranca) surged late and captured the Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2700 meters for four-year olds) clocked in 1.13.4kr for Franck Nivard and off at 2.2/1 odds. Philippe Allaire owns and trains this now nine-time career winner for 267,590€ earned that was bred by J.P. Guay. Hohneck traveled his final 500 meters in 1.10.2kr. The 1.8/1 favorite Hirondelle Sibey (4f Gazouillis) took second for Eric Raffin, driving for trainer J.M. Baudouin. Third home was 3.7/1 Beautiful Colibri (4f Ready Cash) that Philippe Allaire owns and trains and Francois Lagadeuc as the pilot. 2.1/1 Hooker Berry (4m Booster Winner) and 6.6/1 Hatchet Man (4m Goetmals Wood) were fourth and fifth. Hohneck The Prix de Lille (purse 80,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 6-11 year olds European eligibles) saw 10/1 odds Flamme du Goutier (6f Ready Cash-Utopie du Goutier) score in 1.11.3kr for reinsman Theo Duvaldestin. This Thierry Duvaldestin trainee now has 12 career wins for 365,570€ earned. 35/1 Violetto Jet (7m From Above) was a close second for pilot Franck Nivard and trainer Philippe Billard. Third was 5,4/1 Eclat de Gloire (7g Tiego d’Etang) was third for trainer/driver Loris Garcia. 4.9/1 Calina (7f Archipelagio) was fourth and 9/1 Unique Juni (8f Uptown Yankee) landed fifth money. Flamme du Goutier Fine trotting is on tap later this week. On January 14 Cagnes sur Mer will host the Gr. III Prix de la Cote d’Azur with a 120,000€ purse for International trotteurs. Then on January 16 at Vincennes there will be three groupe contests (Prix Gelinotte for 100,000€ for Gr. II International three year olds; the Gr. III Prix du Forez for 80,000€ featuring aged horses; Gr. II Prix de Croix for 100,000€ for International five year olds). The Prix de Croix lineup follows and it’s a great field. Thomas H. Hicks  

Grove City, Ohio – The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association (OHHA) has added three stallions to the Stallion Auction to benefit P.A.C.E.R. (Political Action Committee for Equine Racing).  Catch The Fire, Lather Up and Well Said join the list of 22 stallions up for bid.   The three additions stand at Sugar Valley Farm in Delaware, Ohio. P.A.C.E.R. helps the OHHA to support candidates and initiatives that impact Ohio harness racing. On-line bidding is available until Saturday January 16th at 5:00 p.m.  For information on how to bid visit https://hoofbid.com/OHHA. Bidders can create an account in the HoofBid app.  Phone bidding will also be accepted on the final day of the auction beginning at 1:00 PM EST.  The on-line bidding time for each stallion auto-extend in one-minute increments until the bidding activity stops for one full minute.  All contracts are subject to P.A.C.E.R. and farm approval and are not transferable to another mare or individual without the consent of both.  P.A.C.E.R. helps the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association to support legislative quests for expanding gaming and other issues that could positively impact Ohio harness racing.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

The pathway to a long-coveted win looks extremely simple on paper for David Moran and his superstar Lochinvar Art, with the pair seeming to have a steady hand on their prized local cup. A gate one draw for Saturday night’s Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup only further strengthened Lochinvar Art’s claims to the $60,000 Group 2, even amid the likes of Grand Circuit contender Our Uncle Sam and David Aiken’s trio Sirletic, Malcolms Rhythm and Reactor Now. “I’ve always wanted to win a Kilmore and a Shepparton Cup, along with some of the bigger ones. In the past some great horses have won this race,” Moran said. “(Lochinvar Art’s) got the draw for Saturday night, it’d be a great trophy to have on the mantle.” Enlisted a $1.10 favourite with TAB.com.au, success looks a near formality for the brilliant five-year-old, who’s fresh from dismantling Australia’s best in the Victoria Cup, part of six wins from his past seven outings. It’s a run that his trainer/driver is savoring. “I’m every chance of probably never experiencing a horse like him and his ilk ever again,” Moran said. “Never say never, but the chance of those sorts of horses coming around again are very, very rare. Generally most of the big wins, we celebrated really hard and enjoy it. “You only live once, as much as that’s your job, I really think you need to enjoy it and embrace it and make the most of it really.” And all is in order for the good times to continue to roll from 9.44pm Saturday night, when the cup kicks off and can be enjoyed live and free with extended coverage on Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au. “He’s really good. We cleaned him up a little bit after his last win and got a few things sorted out for the coming months ahead,” Moran said. “He’s going to be pretty close to 100 per cent. He only raced a bit over a fortnight ago, he’s always better the second week backing up, but he’ll be pretty close this week.” While a first Shepparton Cup win would be an unforgettable achievement for Moran, it’s another horse who may carry most interest for him. Race two, the Graham Head Memorial 3YO Pace, will mark the return of Patsbeachstorm, a gelding who created plenty of hype during his short racing stint in February and March last year, when he won two of three starts. “He’s probably my favourite horse in the stable, believe it or not. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a horse so much,” Moran said. “Early on I thought he’d just go through his grades and his age group and eventually be a top class horse. His ability’s unbelievable. “His first three runs showed that. I think the best one, he wasn’t 100 per cent, he hadn’t raced for a few weeks and he came out and sat parked and they ran the last half in 54.6 or 54.8 and he did that with the plugs in. “His ability is definitely there. We had a couple of issues, which is why we haven’t seen him for so long.” Patsbeachstorm’s lengthy absence is the result of an unknown toxic reaction, which Moran said was possibly a spider bite. “He nearly died on us, it was 50-50 as to whether he’d get through the night,” he said. “Thank God we saved him. He’s had a pretty tough road, but he seems to be really good at the moment. We don’t have any issues with him whatsoever. “His work’s been brilliant, but he is going to need that run and will take a bit out of it. Providing he comes back good and keeps pressing on with his work he will make a very good horse.” If all goes well tonight he could target the Group 1 $100,000 VHRC Caduceus 3YO Classic at Tabcorp Park Melton, which headlines night two of the TAB Summer Of Glory.   HRV - Michael Howard

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