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Among a range of growth initiatives approved by the Board of Harness Racing Victoria, stakemoney in 2017/18 will increase to $40 million for the first time in Victorian trots history. In a constrained financial situation, good progress has been made in the last five months, with increased participation reflected by individual horse numbers in May being higher than at any time for three years.  The introduction of supplementary races and splitting of other races with strong nominations has created additional opportunities to win.  As a result, turnover on Victorian trots is growing, which increases market share and future revenues.  More races at race meetings in 17-18 An increase in the number of races at all tiered prizemoney levels will be programmed for the 2017-18 racing season.  That will provide participants with more chances to win races and further strengthen the Victorian industry by increasing wagering turnover, market share and ultimately profitability. HRV will conduct 30 fewer race meetings in 2017-18 than it did in 2016-17, however the total number of races run will increase.  HRV will continue to work with participants and our media partners to maximise the positioning and presentation of races, and encourage public contact with our sport at Victorian trots clubs via dining, promotions and our popular Country Cups circuit. Changes to Supplementary Race conditions at Melton Due to the success of supplementary races, from August 1, the stakemoney for all supplementary races at Tabcorp Park Melton on a Friday or Saturday night will be increased to $7000. September and October Win Bonuses To counter the annual trend of lower participation in the September/October period, all $3500 and $5000 races in that period will carry a $750 bonus payment to the winner.  In September and October, winning connections of a $3500 race will receive $1750 in stakemoney and a $750 bonus, while for a $5000 race winning connections will receive $2700 and a $750 bonus.  The $750 September/October winner bonus will be allocated in accordance with a normal stakemoney distribution (owner 87.5%, trainer 7.5%, and driver 5%). Strategic Plan HRV has been consulting with the industry by engaging directly with kindred bodies and receiving feedback from a series of forums held across Victoria, all contributing to an updated strategic plan.  As evident by the increase in field sizes and number of races per meeting, elements of the strategy are already bearing fruit and other initiatives focused on punters, integrity, breeding, and participant and horse welfare are being developed.  Participants have indicated an appreciation of the opportunity to contribute to strategies focused on industry growth and the knowledge that better days are ahead. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The final night of the 2017 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series delivered three top-level harness racing triumphs for the Emma Stewart stable. Stewart's triple Group 1 success also saw champion reinsman Gavin Lang pick up his 6000th career winner in the sulky, aboard Tell Me Tales in the three-year-old fillies' final, upsetting favourites Petacular and Miss Graceland. Nostra Villa remained unbeaten winning the two-year-old fillies' big dance for Chris Alford before stablemate Poster Boy doubled up for the Puppet and Stewart combo with victory in the two-year-old final a race later. Without You wired her rivals in the four-year-old final, Nathan Jack flying the Lauriston Bloodstock owned four-year-old off the arm from gate seven before staving off all comers at the finish for trainer Amanda Turnbull. Jilliby Kung Fu is this year's three-year-old boys' champion for the Terang team of Marg Lee and Glen Craven. And West Australian raider Soho Tribeca overcame adversity to notch a stunning win for trainer-driver Kim Prentice in the four-year-old entires and geldings' final. For results and video replays of races from Tabcorp Park Melton click here. Below is a snapshot of what the winners had to say post-race Race 1 – Greg Sugars on Hes Okey Dokey “His manners before and during the race are really good now whereas he was a bit wayward early days. Keith’s (Cotchin) done a marvellous job to sort him out. He never runs a bad race. He’s been a bit fortunate in recent times and tonight was no exception.” Race 2 – Zac Phillips on Four Ex Dan “His first dip at free-for-all level last week and we were over the moon with his run. He chaired up and held off Maximan and It Is Billy. We were confident enough if we were aggressive early we could find the front and if he found the front he’d be a hard horse to get past.” Race 3 – Chris Alford on Nostra Villa “She just keeps getting better and better each week. Tonight was the first night she had not got to the front but she travelled really well. Nearly dropped in before the turn. Clayton said her last 50m would be her best. “She was just travelling too well. She wasn’t off the bit. She stuck her head in front and didn’t know to run right away. She did enough and that was super.” Race 3 – Anthony Curuana on Nostra Villa “Amazing. I’m still pinching myself, I still can’t believe it.” Race 4 – Chris Alford on Poster Boy “Things didn’t pan out exactly like we would have liked but he was able to get a good trail, poke around and get another good trail, had to come out a bit earlier than I would have liked but he was really good. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to lead, as soon as the gate left I could see Gavin wanted to get out hard. Just had to wait and see what happened and thankfully we got cover for a while and he got a bit of a breather. “He’s a perfect little racehorse. “Clayton always thought he was the pick of his two-year-olds this year and the way the season’s going he’s probably right.” Race 5 – Nathan Jack on Without You “Big thanks to everyone at home. Everyone that chips in, without them we wouldn’t be here tonight. We’ve had a rough trot lately, but Bill and Anne have been there the whole time. “Lauriston horses turn out looking amazing and she’s coming good at the right time.” Race 6 – Gavin Lang on Tell Me Tales “Good feeling… “Everything worked out well for her. She was good last week. Barrier draw came out and not what you would have chosen if you had the choice but you knew full well the ingredients were there that it might be a genuine run race and when you’re drawn bad that’s what you require. She’s progressively got better each run Emma and Clayton have had her. “These colours have been very good to me for a lot of years now. Quite happy to achieve this tonight, especially for these guys. 6000 wins, I’m nearly 60 years that’s only 100 a year so it’s not much when you add it up like that." Race 6 – Emma Stewart on Tell Me Tales “This one’s quite special to us because we’ve had a good association with Mrs Head (Helen, the breeder) over the years.” Race 7 – Glen Craven on Jilliby Kung Fu “We got the draw. He’s been plagued with bad draws and he’s always had to run second fiddle to Emma and Clayton’s good horses. He’s developed into a really nice horse now and was able to get the job done. “We’ve always liked him. He took a while to get going as a young horse but every time you took him out on the track he just got better. It’s a great thrill. The amount of work everyone does at home, the hours and after hours, it’s a team effort and that’s what we’re here for.” “Jason’s (Lee) won more races on him but I drove him as a two-year-old. I went to Sydney with the Breeders Challenge horses. Jason rang me straight after his heat win and said 'he’s ready for you'. “He’s still improving and hopefully we can have a bit more success with him.” Race 7 – Marg Lee on Jilliby Kung Fu “He’s been racing really well and he was super at Kilmore and he did the same tonight sprinting over the top of them. “You can sit him in and come from behind or he can lead, he’s just a really good horse to deal with. He’s still a stallion and you wouldn’t know it.” Race 8 – Kim Prentice on Soho Tribeca “I just have to take my hat off to this horse. I wanted the second favourite to be sitting outside me for longer but it was gone turning for home. He’s an incredible horse and there’s plenty of people Id like to thank, Rob Watson, but this win goes to Mick and Gen Stanley, what they’ve helped me with the last couple of weeks has been unbelievable and if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I’d be there. “He was 90 per cent better than last week but he’s still only 80 per cent right.” Race 9 – Michael Bellman on Whenmechief “(It has) been good to get a pick-up drive for Darren and Julie when they came across. He was a good horse in the Sunraysia and I think he ran third in a South Australian Cup last year, and he’s done a good job for them tonight.” Race 10 – Greg Sugars on Rule Of Thumb “Tim’s done a good job to get him back racing as well as he has his last couple. He showed as a two-year-old he was going to be a horse of the future, but unfortunately he’s had a few little hiccups. But they’ve got him back doing everything right and doing well. “The Nott family put a lot of money into the sport over a number of years and it’s good to see those people get the rewards.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards advise that Petacular has successfully trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards tonight at Geelong. Petacular was stood down in accordance with the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 101B(2) after it was determined that the filly bled from one nostril subsequent to her winning performance in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3Y0 Fillies Semi-final at Tabcorp Park Melton on 30 June 2017. AHRR 101B(2) states: “If the Stewards determine that a horse has bled from one nostril the horse shall not be eligible to race until it has trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards.” Veterinary examinations conducted prior and subsequent to tonight’s trial by HRV Veterinary Consultant Dr Richard Cust have failed to reveal any abnormalities.  Accordingly Petacular is now cleared to take her place in this Saturday nights Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final for the 3Y0 Fillies to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton. Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provide the below information regarding Soho Tribeca and Petacular, which are engaged to compete in next Saturday night’s (08/07) Vicbred Super Series Finals, in light of the veterinary findings identified subsequent to their Semi-final performances. SOHO TRIBECA - EMPIRE STALLIONS VICBRED SUPER SERIES (4YO ENTIRES & GELDINGS) (FINAL) A post-race veterinary examination of Soho Tribeca revealed the horse to be lame in the off foreleg and as a result Soho Tribeca has been stood down from racing pending a veterinary clearance being tendered. The HRV Stewards will monitor this situation and if necessary Soho Tribeca will be examined by an independent HRV Veterinary Consultant prior to competing next Saturday night. PETACULAR - EMPIRE STALLIONS VICBRED SUPER SERIES (3YO FILLIES) (FINAL) A post-race veterinary examination of Petacular revealed the filly to have bled from the offside nostril. In accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 101B(2) Petacular will not be permitted to start in the final until trialling to the satisfaction of the Stewards on one occasion.   AHRR 101B(2) states: If the Stewards determine that a horse has bled from one nostril the horse shall not be eligible to race until it has trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards. Michael Stanley, trainer of Petacular, has advised the filly will trial at Geelong on Tuesday night (04/07). Petacular will be examined by a HRV Veterinary Consultant at the completion of the trial to determine whether the filly has successfully passed the embargo. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced today that General Manager of Integrity Andy Rogers will leave the organisation on 14 July 2017. Mr Rogers commenced his employment with HRV in January 2007 as an Investigative Steward. In August 2010 he was promoted to Manager of Integrity, reporting to the Chairman of Stewards. In December 2012 Mr Rogers was promoted to General Manager of Integrity, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer and subsequently the Chief Executive Officer. Mr Rogers informed HRV this month he would leave the organisation to take up a position as Anti-Doping Manager for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. HRV CEO David Martin said: “Although disappointed to see him leaving, I am really pleased for Andy because this is a great opportunity for him. I have only worked with Andy for a short time but he is a fantastic person and will be sorely missed. Andy should be immensely proud of his tireless work to develop the HRV Integrity Department during his time as General Manager. The high esteem in which he is held by not only his peers but the industry as a whole is testament to his character and I wish him all the very best.” Outgoing GM of Integrity Andy Rogers said: “It has been a pleasure to serve within this incredible industry and I look forward to watching the trots thrive into the future.  I would like to recognise and thank the many good people within the industry who on a daily basis promote positivity and integrity, supporting the tireless efforts of the Integrity Department, Integrity Council and HRV." HRV Integrity Council Chairman John Doherty said: “Andy will be sorely missed. He has been a vital cog in the evolving area of integrity and a driving force in the development of integrity strategies at HRV.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued against licensed trainer Mr Shane Osborn under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 190(1), 193(3), 190B and 90A(2.9)(a).  Charge 1 - AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.  The charge under AHRR 190(1) related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Shaka The Baker’ after it finished second in Race 1, the ‘DNR Logistics Pace, at the Mildura harness racing meeting on 11 January 2017. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of that urine sample revealed the sample to contain arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold.  Charge 2 - AHRR 193(3) reads as follows: A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. The charge under AHRR 193(3) related to Mr Osborn’s race day administration of Stamazene and Carbalene to ‘Shaka The Baker’ on race day prior to that horse competing in Race 1 at Mildura on 11 January 2017.  Charge 3 - AHRR 190B(1) reads as follows: A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book The particulars of this charge related to the stable inspection conducted on 8 February 2017 by HRV Stewards, when Mr Osborn was found not to keep and maintain a logbook as required. Charge 4 - AHRR 90A(2.9)(a) reads as follows:  The holder of a trainer’s licence shall ensure that all persons carrying out the activities of stable hands are licensed as stable hands.  This charge related to Mr Osborn not ensuring that Sharon Osborn was appropriately licensed when carrying out the activities of a stablehand by presenting ‘Shaka The Baker’ for a post-race swab.  During the investigation Mr Osborn stated that he did not use any arsenic based preparation and gave evidence that ‘Shaka The Baker’ had been chewing pine fence posts. Subsequent analysis of those fence posts revealed them to contained arsenic at levels consistent with Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) treated timber. Mr Osborn pleaded guilty to all charges.  After considering submissions on penalty, including Mr Osborn’s early guilty plea, his previous record over a long involvement in the industry and his own personal circumstances, the HRV RAD Board imposed a $1500 fine, which was fully suspended for a period of 12 months. Acting under AHRR 195, the HRV RAD Board also formally ordered that ‘Shaka The Baker’ be disqualified from Race 1 at Mildura on 11 January 2017, and that the placings be amended accordingly. In relation to the charge under AHRR 193(3), which concerned race day treatment, Mr Osborn was fined $500.  Mr Osborn was also fined a further $250, being that that he failed to keep and maintain a log book.  The fourth and final charge, under AHRR 90A(2.9)(a), being that as a trainer he failed to ensure a person carrying out activities of a stablehand was licensed as a stablehand, Mr Osborn was fined $200. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

On February 22, 2017, the Harness Racing Advisory Council (HRAC) called for Expressions of Interest for new members with the nominations closing on Monday, March 6, 2017.  The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Board met on April 7 after receiving a large volume of nominations and with the Minister’s consideration and approval the Board is pleased to announce the following members in accordance with section 44B (3C) of the Racing Act 1958. Section 44B (3) states: The Harness Racing Advisory Council consists of the following members appointed by the Board – A) Two members of the Board, one of whom is to be appointed chairperson; B) At least 3 members who are nominees of organisations or persons who are representatives of the Victorian harness racing industry; C) Up to 2 persons who have experience or interest in the Victorian harness racing industry. The appointed HRAC members are: - Elizabeth Clarke (Chair) - Danny Frawley (Board Member) - Peter Watkinson (alternate Board Member) - Terrence (Terry) Lewis – Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV) - Michael Taranto – Victorian Square Trotters Association (VSTA) - Lance Justice – Victorian Trainers & Drivers Association (VTDA) - Paul James – Association of Vic Country Harness Racing Club (AVCHRC) - Carol Bass – Victorian Harness Racing Sports Clubs (VHRSC) - Maxine Brain - Grant Campbell - Terence (Terry) Suhan - Clinton Welsh The HRV Board would like to thank those industry people who nominated and were unsuccessful. Their passion and support for the industry is greatly appreciated. The HRV Board congratulates those nominees who have been duly appointed to the HRAC and looks forward to working with the council for the further development of the industry. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have concluded an inquiry into a report received that My Field Marshal NZ may have suffered a bleeding attack subsequent to winning Race 6 the ‘TAB.COM.AU 4YO & 5YO CHAMPIONSHIP (GROUP 2)’ at the Tabcorp Park Melton meeting conducted on 20 May 2017. Upon initial inquiry, which included review of the available footage of the post-race presentation ceremony, it was confirmed by a HRV Veterinarian Consultant that My Field Marshal NZ had bled from one nostril. In accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 101B(2)  Stewards stood My Field Marshal NZ down from racing on 2 June 2017 until trialling to the satisfaction of the Stewards on one occasion. My Field Marshal NZ subsequently passed this embargo on 3 June 2017 and as such was free to resume racing. AHRR 101B(2) states: If the Stewards determine that a horse has bled from one nostril the horse shall not be eligible to race until it has trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards. On 23 June 2017 the HRV Stewards continued their inquiry where evidence was taken from Tim Butt, trainer of My Field Marshal NZ. Mr Butt was assisted throughout the inquiry by Mr David Wonson Snr. Upon consideration of the evidence in its entirety Stewards could not be satisfied to the required standard that Mr Butt was aware that My Field Marshal NZ had bled from one nostril on 20 May 2017 and accordingly no action was taken for his failure to report this occurrence as the trainer of the horse. Submissions were heard from Mr Butt and subsequently from Sydney Brown, part-owner of My Field Marshal NZ, concerning the eligibility of the horse to compete the following week at Tabcorp Park Melton on 27 May 2017. After consideration of the matter, including the submissions tendered, Stewards determined that on 27 May 2017 My Field Marshal NZ was eligible to compete as the horse was not determined to have bled from one nostril until 2 June 2017 and effectively My Field Marshal NZ was not subject to the provisions of AHRR 101B(2) until they were applied by the Stewards on this date. In arriving at this outcome Stewards were mindful of the decision of the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal (RPAT) of Western Australia in the appeal of Malcolm Byas where it was determined the equivalent thoroughbred rule was not able to be applied retrospectively. Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against licensed trainer Mr Louis Franc.  Mr Franc was charged under AHRR 216 which reads:  A person whether alone or in association with others shall not fraudulently or improperly nominate or start a horse in a race.  The charge related to the nomination and scratching of ‘Bianca Jasper’ from the ‘Lions 201 Memorial Pace’ at the Horsham harness racing meeting on 13 March 2017.  Mr Franc pleaded guilty to the charge and after considering submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a fine of $1500, with $500 of that fine suspended for a period of 12 months. In handing down the penalty to Mr Franc the HRV RAD Board took into account Mr Franc’s early guilty plea and cooperation with the Stewards during the investigation, Mr Franc’s good record over his 20 year involvement in the industry and submissions in relation to his standing in the industry. The HRV RAD Board also noted that the integrity of harness racing had to be upheld at all times and the need for consistency of penalties. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

The Victorian racing industry wanted conditions placed on Victoria's next wagering licence option that would have fettered the state government, the tribunal hearing the Tabcorp-Tatts merger ruled. The proposal – jointly put forward by Racing Victoria, Harness Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing Victoria – was condemned by the Australian Competition Tribunal as involving a "degree of political and commercial unreality". "In some respects the proposed changes are anti-competitive themselves," the tribunal concluded in its judgment, which gave the green light to the merger of Tabcorp and Tatts. The Victorian racing bodies wanted to compel Tabcorp to participate in the next Victorian licence process and use its "best endeavours" to ensure a bid is successful. Tabcorp holds the current Victorian licence, which expires in 2024. The Tabcorp joint venture is Victorian racing's major source of funding. "Given the uncertainty surrounding the Victorian licence, such a condition is unreasonable," ruled the tribunal, which was presided over by Justice John Middleton. The Victorian racing industry also wanted Tabcorp to enter into new arrangements on identical terms with the existing joint venture. That was slammed as "inappropriate" by the tribunal. "Such a condition fetters the freedom of the Victorian government to restructure licence arrangements, likely compels Tabcorp to pay a non-commercial price and puts Tabcorp at a competitive disadvantage," the tribunal said. Victorian racing's unsuccessful attempt to shape the next licence is unlikely to be viewed favourably by the Racing Minister Martin Pakula and the state government, which is responsible for structuring the licence auction. The Victorian government did not oppose the merger. As the tribunal noted, "with the only exception (Victoria) all of the state peak racing bodies supported the proposed merger and have put evidence before the tribunal to this effect". The tribunal also dismissed a claim by the Victorian racing industry that a decrease in funding for Victorian racing would lead to a decline in participation by international horses and, by extension, tourism. "The tribunal is not of the view that the merger will lead to a decrease in funding for the Victorian racing industry. The question of how Racing Victoria allocates its funding to premium events is not for the tribunal to determine, but is a matter for Racing Victoria." The Victorian racing industry was granted leave to intervene in the hearing after suggesting the merger would reduce competition for the next wagering licence and future returns to the racing industry. The industry has now been left with a legal bill running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. The merger was also opposed by racing.com and corporate bookmakers spearheaded by CrownBet. By Patrick Bartley Reprinted with permission of The Sydney Morning Herald

On 22 June 2017, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards conducted an inquiry into the activities of unlicensed person Nea Fresenius at the Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting on 17 June 2017. After considering all available evidence, licensed trainer Vince Vallelonga pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 90A(2.9)(a) which states:         The holder of a trainer’s license shall ensure that all persons carrying out the activities         of a stable hand are licensed as stable hands. The particulars of the charge being that as a licensed trainer Mr Vallelonga failed to ensure that Nea Fresenius was appropriately licensed when carrying out stablehand activities at Tabcorp Park Melton on 17 June 2017. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account Mr Vallelonga’s guilty plea, that the offence was an isolated episode due to his recent injury and previous penalties for offences under this rule. Stewards accordingly imposed a fine of $200.    After considering all available evidence, Nea Fresenius pleaded guilty to a charge under AHRR 91(1)(a) which states:         A person shall not carry on an activity regulated by licence -                 (a) if that person is not the holder of a current licence; The particulars of the charge being that on 17 June 2017 Ms Fresenius did carry on an activity regulated by licence, namely as a stablehand for trainer Vince Vallelonga, when not the holder of an appropriate licence. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account Ms Fresenius’ guilty plea and previous penalties for offences under this rule. Ms Fresenius was fined $200. Harness Racing Victoria

Due to a major electrical fire at Cranbourne, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today advised Sunday’s trots meeting has been transferred to Tabcorp Park Melton. “Unfortunately the magnitude of the electrical fire at the club means we are not able to run Sunday’s meeting, so we appreciate the co-operation of Tabcorp Park Melton who have agreed to host the meeting in the interests of the industry,” Cranbourne Club CEO Neil Bainbridge said. Click here to view the alterations to race distances due to the transfer Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria CEO David Martin is continuing to visit clubs across the state to consult with the trots industry on HRV’s draft Strategic Plan. Mr Martin will visit Mildura on Friday, June 30, Terang on Tuesday, July 11, and Ballarat on Monday, July 17, with all sessions starting at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend, with industry people encouraged to come along and express their views on a range of topics. So far sessions have been held at Stawell, Charlton, Cranbourne, Melton and Shepparton, in addition to consultation meetings with specific industry bodies and their members. “The sessions have so far gone really well and it has been great to see so many people passionate about the trots give their thoughts,” Mr Martin said. “I want to see as many people as possible as part of consulting the industry on our strategic direction, which is important because we can only succeed if we are all in this together.” HRV CEO David Martin Consultation on Industry Strategic Plan Friday 30 June                   Mildura HRC                       7.30pm Tuesday 11 July                 Terang HRC                         7.30pm Monday 17 July                 Ballarat HRC                        7.30pm ......................................................................................... Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) welcomes the appointment of Glen Canty to the role of HRV General Manager – Racing, effective Monday, July 17. Mr Canty is an experienced racing administrator, having spent time in executive positions at both Greyhound Racing Victoria and the Melbourne Racing Club in the past 15 years. Prior to his move into sports administration, Mr Canty spent more than a decade working in the banking industry in Australia and overseas. Mr Canty holds a Bachelor of Business and two Masters degrees. “Most exciting for me is that whether the trots are regarded as a business, or a hobby, in both cases it is a passion. If we can harness that passion then this sport will thrive,” Mr Canty said. HRV CEO David Martin said Mr Canty’s racing and business background had him well positioned to guide HRV’s racing functions. “Glen’s intimate knowledge of the Victorian racing landscape and the complexities our industry faces will certainly assist him in this role. I am very happy to welcome him to the team and I know he is looking forward to getting started,” Mr Martin said. Mr Canty said the trots in Victoria conjured pleasant memories of his childhood days. “This is somewhat of a homecoming,” he said. “My childhood was spent at the trots. Dad bought his first horse with family members in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s and early 1980s that we had any real success. Mister Music had six wins at the Showgrounds among 16 overall, while Dunsinane won the Stawell Cup amid 18 career wins.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing of Graeme Maher, who lost his long and spirited fight against pancreatic cancer yesterday. Graeme was a passionate trotsgoer for the majority of his life, closely following his father, Len, who trained several horses and had great success with fast-class performer Transpec in the late 1970s and early 80s. Graeme himself drove 27 winners, including two metro victories aboard Stephen John, who he also piloted in the 2011 Breeders Crown 3YO Trotters’ Final. But it was on the other side of the fence where Graeme made his real mark globally. Maher was instrumental in the change of mindset that has seen the track preparation mentality change from ‘hard means fast’ to providing a cushioned surface which will not only promote slick times but will make the horses more comfortable and ultimately keep them sound and help prolong their future. The track conditioner, which plays an integral part in providing an optimum cushion, was introduced to Victorian trots by Graeme at his home track Bendigo in 1991. He was also responsible for turning the track around in his stint as track manager at Moonee Valley and has now overseen the preparation and maintenance of Victorian tracks for nearly two decades. Graeme was an inaugural member of the HRV Track Maintenance Subcommittee in 2002, which has been proactive in ensuring well-designed tracks, the most conducive maintenance methods and training of curators. Graeme has been the key player behind the highly successful track maintenance seminars that HRV has conducted regularly over the past 15 years for Victorian curators but which have also attracted significant representation from interstate and New Zealand. He built a strong rapport and friendship with many of his counterparts including American track guru Dan Coon and his New Zealand track inspector equivalent John Denton, who attributes everything to Graeme’s eminent mentorship. HRV Track Maintenance Sub-Committee Chairman Carl O’Dwyer was glowing in his praise of the subcommittee’s achievements and its team unity, while acknowledging the integral part that Maher has played. “Graeme was absolutely fanatical and immersed with harness racing tracks and was always seeking ways of improvement though forever mindful of the welfare of the horse,” O’Dwyer said. “He was a valuable member of a proficient and united subcommittee and was largely responsible for the successful placement of canola oil on the Shepparton track. This innovation has resulted in providing a quality surface along with substantial savings in water and fuel costs, while tripling the life of the track material to boot.” HRV is now embarking on applying the canola oil to five of its major tracks, which will provide a further legacy to Maher’s revolutionary thinking in the future. A thanksgiving service to celebrate the life of Graeme Leonard Maher will be held at Connect Church, Solomon St, East Bendigo, on Monday, June 26, at 11 am. At the conclusion of the service, the cortege will leave for the Bendigo Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Pancare Foundation in memory of Graeme would be appreciated. Refreshments will follow at the Bendigo Harness Racing Club. by Trots Media - Rob Pongho

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has tonight announced the Group 1 Victoria Cup will be run on Saturday night, October 14, next season. The Victoria Cup will carry prizemoney of $200,000 – reduced from $400,000 in 2016-17, with the $50,000 Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters Sprint run on the same night.  The $50,000 Smoken Up Sprint will be held on October 6 as the lead-in race to the Victoria Cup, which in turn complements timing for horses wishing to participate in the New Zealand Trotting Cup and Inter Dominion. HRV CEO David Martin acknowledged the scale of the change, explaining that the reduced prizemoney would enable the provision of more races to the industry, and thereby contribute to a continuation of an increased participation rate evident in recent months.  “Importantly, the Victoria Cup will retain its Grand Circuit status and remain a key feature of our racing calendar,” Mr Martin said. Mr Martin also said the alteration would allow the Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star to become the headline act on night one of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, January 27. “There will be multiple Group 1 events on the first night of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton, so it will remain an elite program with the Great Southern Star the main race, but also featuring the Victoria Derby and the Ladyship Cup,” Mr Martin said. “Night two of the Summer of Glory will feature the Group 1 A. G. Hunter Cup and the Group 1 V. L. Dullard Trotters Cup.  The Ballarat Cup is the week before Great Southern Star night and it made sense not to have three straight Group 1 pacing events of similar distances in three weeks. We wanted to ensure the Hunter Cup attracted the best field possible as part of our Summer of Glory.” Today’s announcement means the Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Cup will be the lead-in race to the A.G. Hunter Cup, with Grand Circuit horses likely to take a week off between the two events. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Chairman Dale Monteith has congratulated HRV Board member Brett Clothier on his recent appointment as Head of the independent Athletics Integrity Unit, as advised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). In due course HRV will advise on Mr Clothier's role in consultation with the Minister for Racing. "I would like to publicly congratulate Brett and wish him well with his appointment," Mr Monteith said. "Brett is an outstanding administrator and sports integrity professional and has made a valuable contribution to HRV in the relatively short time he has been a director. On behalf of the Board I wish him well in his new position." In addition to his HRV Board duties Mr Clothier sits on the HRV Integrity Council, which is chaired by John Doherty. "Brett has been a tremendous member of the HRV Integrity Council with a strong background in the field and an attention to detail that is second to none. I wish him all the best in his new position," Mr Doherty said. CODY WINNELL

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