Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will honour the state’s most experienced stand-start pacer of season 2015-16 with the running of the Hollys Miss Molly Pacers Handicap at Tabcorp Park Melton on Thursday, August 4. The fan favourite grey mare (by Jet Laag out of Panorama mare Lombo Luvbird) notched her 25th career win at Kilmore yesterday in superb fashion, providing locally based trainer-driver Robbie Walters and his family with a huge thrill. This season Hollys Miss Molly has contested 23 stand-start races, 10 more than any other horse. “We always like to win, but on the home track where we train every day, and being win number 25, it was a bit extra special,” Walters said. “My wife (Caroline) works at the local hospital and she ducked out for 10 minutes to watch her race. We love her. “She’s a mare we picked up for $4000 at the yearling sales (Alabar Blue Ribbon Sales) and she’s won 25 races and over $140,000. The win meant a lot to the whole family. If you can’t celebrate a 25th win when can you celebrate?” A catchy name, the fact everyone loves a grey and that she’s a lovably consistent performer on the race track means Hollys Miss Molly boasts a loyal fan base. But the six-year-old’s following increased markedly recently when the warm-natured mare visited a local nursing home in Kilmore. Caroline works at the centre and asked Robbie if the horse was quiet enough to visit. She certainly was. Hollys Miss Molly’s behaviour while inside the nursing home lunchroom was exemplary, gently allowing patrons the opportunity to have a pat and a chat with her. “There was one woman who apparently doesn’t talk at all, but she lit up when she saw the horse. She was patting her and cuddling her, and talked for the first time in years,” Robbie said. Hollys Miss Molly’s stake earnings stand at $142,851 with 47 minor placings alongside her 25 victories from 176 starts. She is expected to be stepping out in the race named in her honour at Melton on August 4. Walters said Hollys Miss Molly might get her opportunity to become a mum next season. Check out the August-September Harness Racer Magazine for more on Hollys Miss Molly's nursing home visit in an article by Lucy McCormick Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria Stewards have issued charges against licensed trainer Mr Joe Bajada under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) relating to the alleged raceday treatment of the horse Major Calipso. It is alleged that Mr Bajada stomach tubed Major Calipso with an alkalinising agent or agents preceding that horse’s engagement in Race 1 at Tabcorp Park Melton on 29 April 2016. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today announced that long-serving Chief Executive John Anderson is to leave HRV effective from 15 July 2016. The recently appointed Board and Mr Anderson have worked collaboratively in arriving at this decision. The HRV Board will now embark on a rigorous search for a new CEO to assist the Board in implementing a new direction for harness racing in Victoria. While this process is undertaken Ms Kay Rundle has been appointed to the Interim CEO role. Ms Rundle brings a wealth of Chief Executive experience, having served in that capacity with Maribyrnong, Greater Geelong and Port Philip councils. Her expertise in change management, strategic planning and governance and established links across government will assist the HRV Board to position the industry for the future. The Board wishes to pay tribute to Mr Anderson for his major contributions to harness racing in Victoria over nearly 13 years during which time many significant milestones were achieved. Some of the legacies left by Mr Anderson will include: The purchase of a large parcel of land in Melton, to create Victorian harness racing’s first ever home Overseeing the construction of the $50-million-dollar entertainment complex on a portion of that land The significant enhancement of the Vicbred Scheme, including the successful new Super Series format The introduction of the lucrative Vicbred Platinum incentive scheme The strategic enhancement and development of the trotting gait in Victoria which leads Australian harness racing The extraordinary growth in international export of Victorian product overseas with new revenues generated therefrom Significant additional investment in the critical area of Integrity Services The improvement in Victoria’s feature race programs including the hugely successful Breeders Crown, Summer of Glory and Vicbred finals meetings Furthering the interests of harness racing by serving on the TABCORP JV Management Committee for the duration of his term as Chief Executive. The investment in Victorian Regional infrastructure, including the rebuilding of many of Victoria’s premier harness tracks to modern standards which also encompassed horse welfare needs. The establishment of the HERO Program for the re-training and re-homing of retired race horses. Both Mr Anderson and the HRV Board believe that now is the right time for change given the significant renewal of the HRV Board earlier in 2016. Mr Anderson wishes to record that he gave his full commitment to the industry which he loves over a sustained period and advised the Board that he has enjoyed every moment of his involvement with HRV. HRV Chairman Dale Monteith said: “John should be immensely proud of his contribution to what has been achieved during his tenure”. John Anderson said: “I leave knowing that HRV is well placed to capitalize upon many of the opportunities identified in the industry’s strategic plan with a new and engaged Board. “The future of harness racing is secure particularly with the development of the expansive land owned by HRV in Melton. Other arrangements are in place to ensure the sport’s long term survival. “I will not be leaving the industry entirely as I can now look forward to actively participating in the future as a spectator, owner, and maybe even one day as a breeder. “I would also like to record my appreciation for the friendships and support I have received over the years from HRV staff and many industry participants and stake holders. I wish the industry well!” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
Mario Attard handed the keys to harness racing driver Gavin Lang and ‘Group 1 Gav’ did the rest, guiding his beloved three-year-old colt to Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series glory at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. Dont Hold Back won to rapturous applause for owner-trainer Attard and his sea of supporters, with the colt by Courage Under Fire out of Braeview Express mowing his opponents down in the straight to claim the Group 1. “I’m really excited,” Attard said. “I’ve got a great family and a great bunch of friends. It’s a lot of fun.” It was Lang’s first drive on the colt, who Attard had previously steered, but with the $110,000 prize pool decided to call in another. “I thought (Gavin’s) the man to give the horse every chance,” Attard said. “I believe he is the best around and he was the right man for the job.” Lang was only too happy to accept, and was up to the challenge of overcoming Dont Hold Back’s tricky barrier draw. Soho Tribeca took up the front running, with Brallos Pass joining him by taking the breeze before the bell. Lang was one-out and five-back, and took Iceenothink’s back to get an armchair ride into the race. At the 100m mark they were a line of four, come the finish line it was Dont Hold Back by 2.8m to Iceenothink, with Brallos Pass a further 3.2m back in third. “Gav being Gav, he knew that Gary Hall was on Iceenothink and he knew he was going to pull out in front of him, the guy is a genius,” Attard said. “I’m very happy,” Lang said. “It was a big decision for Mario to step down and let somebody who had only ever watched the horse before step up and drive him. A little bit of perceived pressure I suppose to get the job done and fortunately the horse was good enough to deliver.” Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria
Harness racing connections of the Group 1 three-year-old fillies winner at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight have every reason to rock’n’roll all night long after adding the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Group 1 title to their talented charge’s list of achievements. Favourite Rocknroll Magic delivered Emma Stewart’s Smythes Creek stable the first of three Group 1 wins for the night, when in Gavin Lang’s hands the filly strode four-wide and gobbled them up in the straight. “She’s been going gangbusters this preparation, great effort to get over a good quality line-up tonight,” Lang said. Connections admitted concern when Barry and Aaron Dunn’s in-form flyer, Nikkibadwagon, found her way to the front, with Rocknroll Magic some way adrift and with plenty of work to do. But Lang found a good sit on stablemate Celebrity Guest to round the field and, come the straight, blazed past Nikkibadwagon to win by 4.5m in a 1:56.9 mile rate. “Nikkibadwagon, once she found the lead, I didn’t know if we would be able to round her up,” Lang said. “Full credit to this little girl, she has got a great motor. “Great breed this one that Bruce Cameron has put together. He introduces a lot of owners, they really enjoy it.” Cameron, breeder and part-owner, heads a huge ownership group who delighted in their filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic’s success. “It’s been great tonight. We have people who have come from Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Adelaide – and they are all here to have a great time to see this little filly get her well-deserved Group 1 win,” Cameron said. “This filly’s ability has shone through tonight to be able to nail a Group 1.” Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria
Michael Stanley’s pet project has brought great joy to his Burrumbeet stable when the harneess racing trainer-driver’s stellar two-year-old, Petacular, lived up to her top billing. The Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series victory in the two-year-old fillies final at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight rewarded Stanley’s resilience, having invested in a training facility, overcome an untimely horrific injury and come out the other side a Group 1 winner. “It’s a great thrill, that’s my first Vicbred winner, probably my first proper Group 1 as a trainer,” Stanley said. “She’s a tough filly and had to do it the tough way, but she just showed her versatility and was the best one on the night.” Petacular, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of Ideal Priority, lobbed one-out three-back at the start, on the back of his main threat Perfect Sense, who Gavin Lang improved to the lead. Stanley moved Petacular into the breeze at the bell and from there it was a match-race. Leading into the final bend Emma Stewart-trained Perfect Sense kicked away, with Stanley taking leader’s back. “The other horse (Perfect Sense) gave me something to chase that’s for sure,” Stanley said. “It had us off the bit at the top of the straight, (Petacular) just showed how gutsy she is.” With 50m to go Petacular regained the lead and took the honours by 2.4m, with Stanley’s other runner Soho Angel running into an outstanding 2.3m third. “When it came to the crunch, when I came off the back again, she really wanted to dig deep and find the line,” Stanley said. “I can’t say enough about her. From the first time that we got her and fast worked her she has done everything right from day one.” The victory brought up a rare double for Ballarat breeder Bruce Edward, who produced both the victor but also bred and owns second-placed Perfect Sense. Certainly one group who believes it owns Edward a great debt is the PETstock Racing Syndicate, according to part-owner David Young. “Bruce Edward from Ballarat is a really good customer (of PETstock) and a great supporter of the Ballarat club,” Young said. “We went out to his property, he had a few to choose from and he pointed us in the right direction and said this (Petacular) is probably the best bred. “The syndicate’s all made up of work colleagues from PETstock, obviously that’s where the name Petacular comes from. It’s awesome, we are all good friends and it has been a great joy the syndicate. Mike’s done an excellent job with the horse in such a short period of time, so it is nice to get one who has the ability to win a race like this.” On the eve of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals, Michael Stanley invites trots fans behind the scenes at his Burrumbeet farm. Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria
At 71 years young trainer-driver Brian Gath wrote another page in his book of legend, winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final for harness racing two-year-old fillies at Tabcorp Park Melton Friday night. A maiden before tonight, Betty Hall is now a Group 1 winner for owners Norm and Joan Visca having produced a shock win in the night’s last Vicbred trotting final, scoring at a staggering $119 on the tote. “I have trained a few Group 1 winners, but there is nothing like training one for good people,” Gath said, who drover Betty Hall a treat, placing her on the back of favourite Illawong Shimmer. When leader Watts Up Rainbow galloped and sent the field scattering, Gath steered Betty Hall wide and then rejoined on Illawong Shimmer’s shoulder. Betty Hall was then the best horse in the straight, winning by a head from Kyvalley Kyrie with Illawong Shimmer a half-neck further back in third. For Gath, who turns 72 on Tuesday, the victory by the Angus Hall filly out of Nirvana Castle was reward for persistence. “To train one for a Group 1 race, it takes a lot of lot of work and this filly’s had a lot of work from my son (Mathew), Anthony Crossland spent hours on it for me, and myself of course,” Gath said. The win in a 2:05.7 mile rate has only further fuelled Gath’s love for the sport. “I don’t really want to stop,” Gath said. “I get more pleasure out of training, I’m really happy on the farm working my horses and that. If I’ve got one good enough I will take off to the races, but I enjoy doing it. “For the last 25 years I have been off racing every day nearly and every week and Matty has been at home training, he’s the backbone of our stable.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)
The heartache of 2015 made all the more glorious the ecstasy of 2016 for the connections of Cruisin Around, who won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series at Tabcorp Park Melton for harness racing three-year-old colts and geldings. In Greg Sugars’ hands the trotter overcome favourite Sundons Courage to win for Cranbourne trainer Michael Hughes and a merry band of Cranbourne owners. Among them was Bill Hutchison, who said it was the “greatest night of my life in harness racing”. “There’s no greater fun than owning a horse with blokes like this,” Hutchison said. “Cranbourne blokes, I’ve been on the committee about three or four years down there now, we got together ... this is sensational.” The gelding by Bacardi Lindy out of Cloud Chaser was beaten 2.6m into second by Chris Angove-trained Sundons Courage in the two-year-old Vicbred race last year, a fact not lost on his owners. “We had unfinished business and we got there tonight, and he proved he’s the best of them,” Hutchison said. Having started the back row, Sugars had Cruisin Around one-out three-back mid-race before drawing three-wide down the back straight to chase leader Sundons Courage, driven by Chris Alford. “Always a little bit of a concern with the two main dangers obviously going to settle down a fair way in front of us,” Sugars said. “Drawn the back row we had to rely on a little bit of luck at some stage, but that meant that we didn’t spend any petrol earlier.” Sugars tried to join the front runners at the turn but Sundons Courage remained strong out front. “When Chrissy kicked and I just got to his wheel I was flat out and he seemed to be going well on the leader, I wasn’t confident I was going to pick him up,” Sugars said. But the last 50m was all Cruisin Around. “They had to do a bit of work to find the front in Sundons Courage and we got off relatively easy, lobbed within a couple of lengths and that was probably the difference over the last 150m,” Sugars said. “Halfway up the straight this horse really dug deep and I felt him lift and Sundons Courage probably just felt the pinch for that early work and (Cruisin Around) was strong to the finish. “There’s not much between those two, as we’ve seen they have fought out quite a few finishes, not only this preparation but last season as well. “It’s good to turn the tables on him in the Vicbred when I thought we had the race shot to pieces last year. Really pleased for this group of owners, the horse did a terrific job. Full credit to (trainer) Mick (Hughes), he had him in tip-top order this whole campaign.” A 29.6 last quarter sealed a 2:00.3 winning mile rate for Cruisin Around and a terrific result for Hughes. “It was special. We just missed out last year as a two-year-old when Sundons Courage just got him on the line,” Hughes said. “This time we reversed the tables and it was a good effort, great drive by Greg. “Last prep he gave me a few headaches but this time in he has been really good. He was very immature last time in but he has sort of grown half a brain this time, put it all together and he has the record on the board.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)
Endsino became a two-time Group 1 winner tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton courtesy of a stellar Kate Gath drive in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Trotting Mares Final for harness racing four-year-olds. After leading from the pole, Gath handed up at the mile to Aldebaran Deebee, which snookered Endsino’s main danger Sky Petite three-back on the pegs. “It wasn’t that hard, I think most people would have done the same,” Gath said. “It’s pretty simple … if we hold the front Sky Petite goes straight past us, so at some stage we had to find a horse to hand up to. I had a good look around and Aldebaran Deebee is a pretty good horse to follow. I handed up to her at Maryborough on a different horse and she got to the line well, so I thought she was a good choice … with the draw and the run we were just able to win and that’s fantastic.” Endsino (Angus Hall/Jauriol), trained by Gath’s husband Andy, out-sprinted Aldebaran Deebee (Chris Svanosio) up the straight and rated 2:01.7 (last half-mile covered in 60.7) to win by a half-neck, with Val Gardena (Greg Sugars) third and Sky Petite (John Caldow) an unlucky fourth. “She’s been a great horse, she’s already earnt $130,000 before tonight so the money they can make (trotters in Victoria) is terrific. We are so lucky to have her.” Endsino is the third Group 1 winner tonight that graduated from the Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale. She is raced by passionate trots owners Michael Taranto and Gennaro Sposato. Endsino won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final as a two-year-old in 2014. “She’s funny she come back quite good but her last couple of starts she’s been getting pretty fired up. She wasn’t too bad but she seems to be going through a bit of a growth spurt, so maybe that’s taking its toll on her,” Gath said. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
Press mentions of John Meade can now preface the respected Cudgee horseman’s name with “Group 1 winning harness racing trainer”. His homebred four-year-old gelding Sparkling Success, a son of Great Success out of Diamond Insitu, produced a last-stride dive tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton to edge out Jodi Quinlan’s Illawong Armstrong in the Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series four-year-old trotting entires and geldings final. Driven by Gavin Lang, who is certainly no stranger to top-level glory, Sparkling Success angled behind Illawong Armstrong from barrier two after the polemarker led early. Lang was full of praise for Meade. “I take my hat off to John and his family,” he said. “They don’t train a great number of horses and this guy and the guy he’s got in the next race (Diamond Wes) are the first two foals of the dam, so for a guy that only trains a few horses it’s a great effort on his behalf.” Illawong Armstrong travelled along boldly in the lead, covering the lead time in 45.9secs the first half of the final mile in 62.3secs and his third quarter in 29.5secs. At the home corner Illawong Armstrong pinched what looked a winning break on Sparkling Success, but the south-western squaregaiter found another gear and produced a winning lunge right on the wire to score by a nostril after a 29.3secs final quarter – the mile rate 2mins flat. RE-LIVE SPARKLING SUCCESS WINNING VICBRED GLORY “My bloke had to dig deep to get over (Illawong Armstrong),” Lang said. Meade was absolutely stoked. “It’s just a thrill. This win will mean something for us … it will do something for us. I’ll wake up in the morning and I won’t be tired.” Kyvalley Boomerang (Anthony Butt) ran on well for third, beaten 19.7m, with Save Our Pennys fourth and Bring The Action fifth. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale (APTS) and the Australian Pacing Gold (APG) Melbourne Autumn Sale will be conducted on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Inglis, Oaklands Junction. This will be the first year the APTS has been held away from Tabcorp Park Melton. “The move to Oaklands Junction will provide opportunities for further growth in sales numbers as well as providing a superior and safer experience for horses, vendors and buyers,” HRV CEO John Anderson said. APG will also work with HRV to conduct a race exclusively for pacing yearlings catalogued for the Melbourne Autumn Sale and presented in the ring on April 2. “The Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale continues to grow and develop since its inception in 2013, coinciding with the terrific racing opportunities that exist for trotters in Victoria,” Mr Anderson said. “We believe it is an important step that the Australian Pacing Gold Autumn Sale and the APTS be run at the same venue on April 2 next year to create a high-quality catalogue of trotters and pacers, which will no doubt carry great appeal for buyers both locally and abroad. Oaklands Junction is a dedicated sales complex which provides a great environment for buyers and allows vendors to present their yearlings in the best possible condition.” APG General Manager David Boydell said: “I’m thrilled to see APG’s Melbourne Autumn Sale and the Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale sharing the same sales date and venue. I’m confident that the new format will be warmly received by both vendors and buyers, and should result in increased attendance and a more vibrant atmosphere. I’m also really excited about HRV’s commitment to work with APG to develop a standalone race exclusively for graduates of APG’s Autumn Pacing Sale. I have no doubt that this new Sales Race will help to attract buyers and drive demand for Autumn Pacing Sale yearlings.” Trots Media
HRV Stewards have issued several charges against licensed Victorian trainer Andrew Vozlic under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 259 (1) (a) which provides: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – associate with persons connected to the harness racing industry for purposes relating to that industry. These and other charges for Mr Vozlic will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. HRV Stewards have been conducting an investigation into Mr Vozlic in relation to him allegedly carrying out farrier duties for approximately eight months whilst a disqualified licensed person to licensed harness trainers in the Mildura and Ouyen regions. As part of this investigation, HRV Integrity Department have interviewed many licensed trainers in the Mildura and Ouyen area in relation to their association with Mr Vozlic who has allegedly been performing farrier duties for them. This investigation in relation to those licensed trainers is still on-going with other licensed Victorian trainers still to be interviewed as further examination of mobile phones is currently being conducted. HRV Integrity Department are expecting to complete those inquiries in the very near future. Anyone with any queries or seeking to provide further information on this matter can contact HRV Integrity Department hotline on (03) 9214 0651 or HRV Investigation and Compliance Manager Brent Fisher on 0402 063 410. ..................................................................................................................................................................................... HRV Stewards have issued a charge against licensed Victorian trainer Malcolm Retallick under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 230 which reads as follows; Except with the consent of the Controlling Body a person shall not associate for purposes relating to the harness racing industry with a disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. .............................................................................................................................................................................................. HRV Stewards have issued a charge against licensed Victorian trainer Murray Jardine under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 230 which reads as follows; Except with the consent of the Controlling Body a person shall not associate for purposes relating to the harness racing industry with a disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. HRV Media Harness Racing Victoria
Barrier draws for Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals to be streamed live online Coverage of the 2016 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals barrier draws will be streamed online between races live this Friday night from Tabcorp Park Melton. Hosted by HRV's John Dunne, the barrier draw coverage will begin from Legends Cafe after Race 6 (7.27pm) and the online stream can be viewed by clicking here. Barrier draws will be conducted between each race following Race 6. Connections are advised if they wish to draw a marble for their horse in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals barrier draw they need to register with the HRV staff member in the Legends Café. The order of the barrier draws will be as follows: Race 6 (7.27pm) 2YO Fillies Trotters 2YO Colts and Geldings Trotters Race 7 (8pm) 3YO Fillies Trotters 3YO Colts and Geldings Trotters Race 8 (8.30pm) 4YO Mares Trotters 4YO Entires and Geldings Trotters Race 9 (9pm) 2YO Colts and Geldings Pacers 3YO Fillies Pacers Race 10 (9.35pm) 3YO Colts and Geldings Pacers 4YO Mares Pacers Race 11 (10.07pm) 4YO Entires and Geldings Pacers Race 12 (10.35pm) 2YO Fillies Pacers The Legends Café will as usual be open to public patrons on race night. Twelve Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals will be run on Friday night with the first race at 4.51pm and the last at 10.35pm. The top six horses in each semi-final will gain a start in the 2016 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals, which will be held next Friday (trotters) at Tabcorp Park Melton and Saturday (pacers). Fixed odds markets are open for all the Empire Stallions Vicrbed Super Series semi-finals at TAB.com.au. Access the markets here. HRV's Trots Media team will also be covering the event live via social media @HRVnews and Facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria, bringing you all the colour and excitement from Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Final night. Cody Winnell
Monique Burnett after her first metropolitan winner and Greg Sugars celebrating Cruisin Around's Group level success are among those to feature in this week's Winning Driver Interviews. They were among the winning drivers to speak out after Friday night's racing at Tabcorp Park Melton. Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt, Jodi Quinlan and John Caldow also joined trackside interviewer Rob Auber after enjoying the sweet taste of success.
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced drivers will receive superannuation payments in accordance with legislative requirements. From July 1, drivers’ fees will be $71.18 per race, an increase from the current $65 payment to allow for a 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee. The decision, made in conjunction with Harness Racing New South Wales, was welcomed by Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association president Lance Justice. “Drivers have been pushing for this for a long time. It’s great that it has got up,” Mr Justice said. “Driving is like any job. The industry is up and down and a driving career can come to a finish at any moment. Moving forward, it’s a great announcement and I applaud HRV’s effort to better support drivers.” HRV CEO John Anderson said whilst the decision to introduce superannuation payments was enforced on HRV, it would give drivers greater long-term financial surety. “HRV continues to support industry participants where possible and we have made changes to our processes within our finance system to cater for this,” Mr Anderson said. Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs CEO David Brick said support and care within the industry was “a core strength of Victorian harness racing”. “Assisting drivers to ensure they have savings for later in life is an extension of the industry’s support for one another,” Mr Brick said. Michael Howard
The major races of the 2015/16 season at Tabcorp Park Melton and Victoria’s regional venues have seen a large contingent of track curators recognised for their outstanding efforts, with many track records tumbling in feature events. Regional track records have been obliterated in the Swan Hill, Stawell, Wedderburn, Geelong, Shepparton, Ballarat and Terang pacing cups, with new records also for trotters at Shepparton and Bendigo. Victoria leads the way in the training and mentoring of track curators and has run regular track maintenance seminars for some years. These seminars have grown and been attended by up to 60 curators, including strong representation from Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand. Last year seminars concentrated on Victorian track staff, with four regional sessions held that focused on practical demonstrations on the track. The HRV Board and Track Sub-Committee have been very supportive and proactive in ensuring the best possible maintenance methods and recognition of the state’s curators. The Sub-Committee focuses on the latest design technology in the construction and upgrading of tracks but also on the continuous monitoring and improvement of track maintenance and encouragement for clubs to have access to appropriate track machinery. The most recent track upgrades at Mildura and Horsham have seen increased cambers, new track bases and surfaces focused on reducing stress on horses. Already new track records have been set at both venues. HRV has stimulated clubs to use a polo citrus dust suppressant when watering, which has proven very helpful in the retention of moisture within the surface material and has gone a step further by initiating a successful trial of applying canola oil to the race track at Shepparton, which has received extremely positive feedback and results. Many clubs have also been proactive in enrolling key staff in an accredited program in track maintenance conducted by the Victorian Harness Racing Industry Training Centre. The Tabcorp Park track team of Jordan Robinson, Chris Lambrecht and Tom Byrne had the track in tip top order on Hunter Cup night as track records went by the wayside in the Del-Re National AG Hunter Cup, Seelite Windows & Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix and the state’s fastest mile rate was lowered to 1:50.8 for the 1720m journey in the Bertocchi Free For All. Tabcorp Park Melton track manager Jordan Robinson said key to preparing an ideal track was “getting plenty of moisture into it and conditioning prior to the races, which will lead to a nice cushioned surface that the horses will thrive on and run accordingly”. “As has been constantly emphasised at HRV track seminars, the need of providing a hard (road-like) surface to produce speed is not necessary. What we strive for is to apply abundant moisture, which provides a fluffy cushioned surface with plenty of give that will make the horses more comfortable and ultimately keep them sound and hopefully prolong their racing future.” “Plenty of time and effort is required to get the track in perfect order and our track team at Tabcorp Park is meticulous in undertaking regular grading to attain a consistent thickness, ensuring plentiful water is applied prior and during the races to achieve optimum moisture content and conditioning the track to the precise depth. We have found the use of polo citrus not only assists to quell the dust but more importantly helps in holding the material together, which provides the traction to generate speed. “We are fortunate here at major race meetings when presentations can limit preparation time that we have the capability of utilising two conditioners to prepare the track between races. There is no shadow of doubt that conditioning between races provides the best outcome, which is something we have always done.” Track record broken on Cup/Carnival nights (October 2015-April 2016): Pacers: Track Distance Horse Date Mile Rate SWAN HILL 2790m SS ARDEN ROONEY NZ 17 Oct 2015 1:57.3 STAWELL 2590m SS YANKEE ROCKSTAR 6 Dec 2015 1:58.9 WEDDERBURN 2555m SS ARBER 13 Dec 2015 2:01.1 GEELONG 2570mm MS IT ITS BILLY 2 Jan 2016 1:56.6 SHEPPARTON 2190m MS GLORY DAZE 16 Jan 2016 1:55.7 SHEPPARTON 2690m SS OHOKA PUNTER NZ 16 Jan 2016 1:57.0 BALLARAT 2710m MS SMOLDA 23 Jan 2016 1:55.3 TABCORP PARK 1720 m MS COLD MAJOR 6 Feb 2016 1:50.8 TABCORP PARK 3280m SS SMOLDA 6 Feb 2016 1:57.3 BENDIGO 1650m MS HALL OF FAMER 13 Feb 2016 1:52.1 TERANG 2680m MS GLENFERRIE HOOD NZ 20 Feb 2016 1:56.3 KILMORE 2690m MS YANKEE ROCKSTAR 19 Mar 2016 1:58.7 ARRARAT 2570m SS IDEAL SUCCESS NZ 26 Mar 2016 2:00.5 WARRAGUL 2627m MS NIKE FRANCO NZ 27 Mar 2016 1:57.4 MILDURA 2600m MS STUNNING GRIN 5 Apr 2016 1:57.5 Trotters Track Distance Horse Date Mile Rate ST ARNAUD 2120m SS LOMBO SCRUTINIZER 15 Nov 2015 2:06.1 SHEPPARTON 2190m MS GLENFERRIE TYPHOON NZ 16 Jan 2016 1:56.2 BALLARAT 2710m SS MONBET NZ 23 Jan 2016 2::00.1 TABCORP PARK 2240m MS KEYSTONE DEL NZ 6 Feb 2016 1:56.0 BENDIGO 1650m MS GLENFERRIE TYPHOON NZ 13 Feb 2016 1:54.4 CHARLTON 2100m MS UWOULDNTBELIEVEIT 28 Feb 2016 2:02.3 CRANBOURNE 1609m MS KEYSTONE DELNZ 5 Mar 2016 1:56.1 BOORT 2250m SS GIDAH 20 Mar 2016 2:06.1 ECHUCA 2530m SS ROSTEVARREN 2 Apr 2016 2:04.6 MILDURA 2600m SS OUR TWENTYEN NZ 7 Apr 2016 2:02.7